When Destitution is No Longer an Option

Rafe asks a question that has crossed my mind more than once, only he puts it coherently…

What must it be like to have achieved a station in life where destitution is no longer an option? Once you’ve attained a certain level of fame, or notoriety, it is literally impossible to find yourself in the ranks of the unemployable. Indeed, corruption, criminality, incompetence on a grand scale, and rank stupidity cease to become obstacles once one has ascended to a certain station. [more]

George Tenet gets a professorship at Georgetown University. St. Bernard Parish (remember Katrina?) might hire MIchael Brown as a consultant. Sigh.


Just trying to catch up on some things…

I’m getting fairly adept at filling out applications for archaeologist positions at various federal agencies at the USAJobs website. I wish I was getting adept (some practice) at saying, “why yes, I’d love to come in for an interview.” [edits]

It never ceases to amaze me that a 4-year old boy and his Dad both think that peanut butter and jelly is the best lunch ever. For the curious, that’s freshly ground peanut butter with strawberry preserves on wheat bread. Ian even eats the crusts.

Audrey is all setup for tomorrow’s poster session. It’s amazing how good a post-travel nap you can get when you don’t have one ear cocked for little 4-year old voices.

Doug has a great pointer to a Geology.com Google Maps hack that displays the locations of several large meteor impact craters. At first, I wrote “terresterial meteor impact craters” before I remembered that JMARS is a whole ‘nother thing. JMARS is a geographical information system for Mars.

I think Alwin’s kitchen whiteboard idea is really worth exploring.

December is here again. Seems to happen about the same time each year.” [Dave Rogers] I keep encountering variations on this (Thanksgiving, a birthday, etc.) and it just cracks me up every time. Who knew I was an easy mark for chronological humor?

Christmas song mondegreens. Mondegreens are a series of words resulting from the mishearing of a statement or song lyric. Not quite the caliber of rock and roll mondegreens like “the girl with colitis goes by,” “the Revered Bluejeans” or “‘scuse me while I kiss this guy,” but it’s a start.

And Not a Moment Too Soon

Great Ghu! One of the jobs I have been hoping to apply for since last October has finally been posted. Now where did I put those job hunt materials? The others may be shaking loose soon as well…

We’ve been spending $1k/month on health insurance since February (yes, I know, we are not the only ones doing that). It sure would be nice to get on a health plan that would pay for part of that. Some semblance of financial stability would be nice as well.

Digital Graphics

I put this up so some colleagues could find it. Most of you will probably not find this of more than passing interest.

Digital Graphics for the Journal of Field Archaeology

This short article is about preparation of illustrations for our pages, and the guidelines that apply generally to art in any medium, digital or analogue. Towards that end, we provide here the current sum of our experience with what works well, and where the requirements of commercial printing differ from the expectations of consumers. A closely related topic arises from the use of digital technology to prepare maps and plans. No one would expect professional cartographers to excavate archaeological sites, and archaeological training does not always provide cartographic skills. Happily, most maps and plans for archaeological illustration do not need to be complex, and there is a simple grammar of cartography that satisfies most archaeological situations.

Fellowships, Jobs and All That Jazz…

Several good things came to pass today.

Audrey received notification that her Graduate NASA/Nevada Space Grant was renewed for the 2005-2006 academic year. I believe this is the first time a Nevada graduate student’s grant has been continued. Way to go sweetie! 🙂 [edit: YA spelling error corrected]

I was offered and accepted a temporary position at the Desert Research Institute [addendum: doing archaeological GIS data verification and archive work]. I had worked there from 1991-1998, so there are a lot of familiar folk I will be reacquainting myself with. Several of them look older than when I last saw them. I’m sure they thought the same thing about me. The position will last until the end of the fiscal year (September 30), so this but a short-term solution.

This does mean that I will not be returning to Utah with Far Western, which I have mixed feelings about. Daron, Janie and the whole crew made me welcome in classic Archae fieldworker fashion and I would certainly like to see closure on that project. But, we all understand that people come and go from projects with great regularity. They are a great bunch to work with. I hope it happens again.


We returned from Carson City late last night and transferred a sleeping boy to his own bed. He has turned out to be a very good [as in patient and not fussy] traveler.

Audrey’s presentation and poster at the Nevada NASA Joint Conference were very well received, she won a prize and a monetary award for her poster and networked up a storm. At an archaeological conference, you might get a 10% discount at the organization booth as swag in your registration packet. Part [part!] of the swag at this NASA conference was a matte black bullet Fisher Space Pen. (Maybe I could change directions for the Ph.D.…)

On the job front (which I haven’t mentioned because nothing has shaken loose) I’m starting a stint with Far Western Research Group and will be at the Dugway Proving Grounds in Utah for two 8-day field sessions starting on Monday. I had hoped to avoid time away from Audrey and Ian, especially since she has her Ph.D. proposal defense and comps coming up, but it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. Baby needs new shoes, Daddy doesn’t want to have the house repossessed. What’s an archaeologist to do? :^)

I think I owe just about everyone I know email replies or updates on various things and I have no idea when I will get to clear out that backlog. I apologize for that.