Archaeology, the most fun you can have with your clothes on

Steven – I hope you get better soon. The Chuans and Fas need you.

[Burnt Rock Mound] After an excellent supper of Mango Chicken and rice and something else that was wonderful (sorry I can’t remember) we all retired to the Seymour’s hot tub. We all wore bathing suits – this may be Las Vegas but (disclaimer: I speak only for myself) none of us is likely to be cast in the next Sports Illustrated swimsuit video. We teased Greg about the ‘one of the most respected archaologists in the Southwest’ comment on the Channel 1 report (I recorded the video of the three newscasts so we could all watch them – ego? what ego?). Some of the archaes in Phoenix and Tuscon might quibble that ‘they’ should receive that appelation instead. The thing is that the statement is damn near true, we just need to flash forward 10 years. Thats nothing in archaeological time, right?

One of the many good things about the Channel 1 report on Burnt Rock is the camara work. I have no idea what the young man’s name is who did the video, but I will say he was into it. I suspect he won’t be doing news work here long, if he stays in news that is. I suspect he really wants to make movies, and I think he would be extremely good at it. He certainly has the talent.

Melencholia passes with a good night’s sleep, the company of best friends, and reality seeping back in. Zen helps too.

blivet

No external links today, what little there is, is all about me. Please feel free to browse through the calendar to the right for past blivets (blivi?). Thanks to Dori at Backup Brain for the reciprocal link. We’ll resume what passes for a weblog Saturday. I haven’t even made more than a cursory tour of the sites I frequent for several days.

Today was a day of false starts and feeling out of step. It started with this cold (OK, cold for Las Vegas) morning. It had snowed waaay downslope on the flanks of the Spring Mountains to the East and the Sheep and Las Vegas Range to the north. The snow was heavy enough that no rocks were visible in the distance so the slopes were absolutely blazing white. It was stunningly beautiful!

We’re working at the north edge of the urbanization in the trash halo oozing steadily outward so there were no buildings between us and those amazing white mountains. The only drawback was that there was a gusting wind of maybe 35 mph coming off those cold slopes and it had that sharp bite that just makes you want to jump back in the truck. Standing on top of that spring mound you just felt like you were wet and naked in that wind. Perfect conditions to walk very slowly, hunched over looking at the ground. Everybody has been fighting (and succumbing!) to various respiratory ailments all winter and this felt like one of those situations your mother warned you about. ("Don’t stand out there in the wind!")

Greg, our fearless liter (archaeology is science and science is metric after all), has been the sickest and I think he was feeling the brunt of the weather – though I didn’t admit until later how bad I felt. So Greg, if you’re reading this, now you know. He called the day after about an hour (one transect) and we rolled up the tapes and piled back into the Suburban without hesitation or complaint. I couldn’t hear out of my left ear until about 3 pm whereupon it rang for about 20 minutes until returning to normal. It just made me feel so disassociated, I could so empathize with those with a hearing loss.

That got me pondering the aging process and the inevitable decline of talents and abilities I now take for granted. Boy, that makes the monkey mind dance around! La, la, la, la, la, la, la. I can’t hear you! We are so attached to these bodies we inhabit, we think that they are us. That kind of attachment leads to so much suffering. We even go to doctors to have how we look changed thinking we’re improving ourselves. How short-sighted we can be if we let the Ego drive the bus. There is so little incentive in American culture to consider otherwise.

Right now, there is so much incentive to go to bed.

Be well.

A little bit later: I take that back, what I said about no external links today. John Martello has posted Mister Wizard: Meet The Internet, a new Utopia Planitia.

blivet

I missed mentioning the latest Risks Digest, number 20.77, came out on Saturday.

Nomad the robot is finally driving solo – in the Antarctic outback. from yahoo daily news.

It must seem like not much is happening in blivet land, but there is frantic activity behind the scenes at the Las Vegas nerve center. The Super Bowl came and went unwatched. A group of archaes got together Saturday night and after lengthy spirited discussion, solved nothing. However, many opinions and potential solutions to problems real and perceived were presented and a good time was had by all. Remember, fondue represents an unrealized ideal. Several essays are in the hopper, but none are ready to go hopping yet. Oh yeah, there is that thesis thing too.

blivet

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jack Dykinga has teamed up with naturalist and writer Janice Emily Bowers to tell the story of the smallest U.S. desert in their new book, Desert: The Mojave and Death Valley. From CNN Book News This is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Yes, I’m biased

BBC News, and others are reporting that EMI and Warner Music are planning a merger. Soon there will be no more little guys anywhere

There is a new Alertbox Saying No: How to Handle Missing Features

John Anderson talks about his fear of dentists over at genehack. I share this phobia. Dentists terrify me! As a result I have a third-world mouth.

I saw this at BradLands – The Movie Review Query Engine

Incompetent people have no clue that they are. What is more interesting to me is that extremely competent people tend to believe that more people are competent than really are. This could explain a lot of things.

It was great seeing Karl again. After the initial awkwardness, we settled back into the banter of old friends. Time is just a comma in the sentence.

In another moment from the past, Terry called last night. He moved back to Idaho 10 years ago and we haven’t spoken for a couple of years. Lots of difficulties in Terry-Land. We talked for about four hours. He had a lot to pass along so I did more listening than talking. I love him like a brother. There’s nothing I can do for him except be his friend. Perhaps that is enough, he certainly didn’t ask for advice or “help”, but it still feels like its not enough.

blivet

College has roared into session. It seems very unnatural knowing my diploma will have the date “2000” on it. I feel like I should have a data jack just below my right ear or something. Where’s my hovercar? We were supposed to have hovercars in the year 2000! We were supposed to have colonies on the Moon and Mars too, for that matter. The futures just not what it was all cracked up to be. Where does that phrase “all cracked up to be” come from? I don’t even know what that is supposed to mean though it gets used often.

Karl is in town for the Scuba Con. We getting together Thursday night, it will be the first time we’ve seen each other since 1977. Coool.

Work proceeds on the Las Vegas Springs Preserve Master Plan. It is truly strange to be involved a project that has a roll-out in 2005 and think that there isn’t much time to get things done. So much science to do, so little time.

blivet

A very good friend of mine, Historian Karl Friday (University of Georgia), is going to be here (Las Vegas) next week for DEMA (SCUBA industry convention). They’re flying him in from Japan. I love this town!

President Clinton is going to declare some new National Monuments in the West.

President Clinton is scheduled to visit one of the most revered natural wonders in the United States on Tuesday, the Grand Canyon. But some nearby residents say they are not happy about Clinton’s visit and the reason for it.

The president is expected to expand the national monument status of the region to include about 1 million acres of land near the canyon.

PRIMATES ON THE BRINK New List Spotlights World‚s Top 25 Most Endangered

After surviving a century with no extinctions, 25 species of apes, monkeys, lemurs and other primates now risk disappearing forever, according to a report released today by Conservation International and the Primate Specialist Group of IUCN–the World Conservation Union‚s Species Survival Commission.

I’ll update later if I can – I’ve just started a new position.

blivet

Favorite comment via mailing list of the week:

I know someone who always carries a couple meters of optical fiber whenever he goes hiking, so that if he gets lost all he has to do is bury the fiber and wait for a backhoe to come and cut through it.

Thanks to SirDeath for this: while away the hours with the PERPETUAL BUBBLEWRAP! From Javascript nonsense for the terminally bored

Larry Augustin of VA Linux Systems was on Charlie Rose (PBS) last night. He seems like a very realistic person. I liked him!

slashdot interviews major deity Steve Wozniak

A brief history of the future an interview with Professor Stephen Hawking from The Sydney Morning Herald. I would have liked a little less of the reporter’s perspective and winced when I read ‘a man with a freakishly quick, brilliant and creative mind condemned forever to articulate his thoughts at the speed of an imbecile.’ Still, I enjoy reading about Hawking.

I’m still fighting to get the printer working while the cablemodem is hooked up. I thought it would be trivial. That was a week ago. Of course its nobody’s responsibility because the printer will work with the bridge without the cable modem hooked up, the cable modem connects to the computers fine, and the new iMac works fine. Still, I ‘know’ (heavy caveats with the use of ‘know’) it’s in the cable modem because everything changes when it enters the picture. I can’t do file sharing or anything else over EtherTalk/AppleTalk/LocalTalk and I have no proof other than observational logic. No one at Cox claims to know anything about Macintoshes. I’m not suprised

blivet

Just like that R.E.M. song: “Its the End of the World as we know it” and I feel fine!

News

An apologetic Boris Yeltsin resigns; Putin becomes the acting Russian president – from CNN; NY Times story

Its over! The hostages arrive in India to an emotional welcome after being released – also from CNN

If you want to keep track of where the Y2K rollover has already happened, you can check UserLand’s Y2K Watch. Slashdot is keeping track of people’s postings about the Y2K Rollover around the world. Nothing much seems to be occuring, non-events rather than events. They also have New Years Resolutions From Assorted Nutcases.

To my family, loved ones, friends, and everyone: Have a safe and Happy New Year’s celebration! We’re going over to Heidi’s house for a Hawai’Ian luau, complete with tiki torches around the pool. Many of our friends will be there, we’ll have fun!. I have the perfect shirt!