Saturday, November 27, 2004


The above, of course, is an experiment to test the drawing power of a few choice words to my fairly obscure weblog, drifting in the cosmic winds of cyberspace. I employed the (free) services of two Marches ago after seeing that neat-o logo on Martha's (the good one, although the other one seems pretty good too, so what's up with that?) old website. Extreme mainly lists the IP address of folks that have visited your website and counts the number of hits.

More interestingly, I recently found that they also show how my website has come up in certain search engine queries, and shows the last 20 searches that have yielded my blog.

Oct. 15: Andrews Sisters songbook
-- Too cool. I don't remember what I wrote about the Andrews Sisters, but I hope whoever was looking for them got something out of whatever I said.

Oct 22: Pink's hotdog Tucson
-- I mentioned Pink's famous dogs in LA, but anyone thinking there's a franchise in Tucson is hopelessly optimistic.

Oct 29: blind melon bumblebee girl
-- No idea how someone looking for Blind Melon would stumble upon my site. I have no real interest in the band, and don't remember ever mentioning them.

Nov. 18: Margaret Hassan snuff video
-- That's just fucked up. I did mention Hassan's death recently, and how proud I am that some sicko clicked on my weblog, hoping that I might have some link to a streaming webcast of her being shot in the head. See two posts ago for how much faith I have in humanity as a result.

Nov. 22: Kelly Clarkson bikini photos
-- Huh?

Nov. 26: Janine and Andrew Bockhorst wedding
-- Well, shucks, that's very nice.

And, more to the point of the current excercise, Nov. 1: teen hair pie
-- I do remember listing among my ideas for candle scents, "Hair Pie," to compete with Apple- and Fresh Blueberry-. Now, with the title line above, may my readership grow exponentially! Read, perverts, read my blatherings!

Monday, November 22, 2004

You Must Please Remember

Be sure to clean out your mouse. I unlatched that little hatch on the bottom of mine and was thoroughly horrified. I've seen more dust and cat hair and fluff in old vacuum cleaners than I saw spilling out of that mouse. The rubber ball even had bits of stuff clinging to it -- and it was only acting a little hesitant, when I moved it off to the right. A little, and the little thing was trying to roll around in a mouse equivalent of a crack den! With a biker room-mate!

Clean that mouse!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

My Heart's in the Basement, and My Weekend's at an All-Time Low

My personal kaleidoscope of perspective on humanity has shifted slightly in the past couple of days, and the moderately content greens and beiges have given way to the spiked slivers of red and baritone purples of real, well, pissed-offedness. People suck.

1. Number One's gotta be that all of the below takes place in the nucular afterglow of the election. That means that over 50 million people suck right off the bat.

2. For the past three days, I've been helping a friend of mine fight a backruptcy filed by a long-time friend of hers. This "friend" revealed herself very slowly to be an accomplished con artist who lightened my friend's pockets to the tune of $22 Gs, and plans to Chapter 7 that and about $120,000 from other "gullible" creditors right out of her life. The deadline to challenge this bankruptcy was today, and (as a real lawyer would've cost an extra $5000 up front) we whipped up official-looking (but not really -sounding) complaints and summonses and other arcane bullshit that we hope doesn't (by way of ineligant wording or something) get my friend into potential legal trouble of her own.
I knew and liked this woman myself, and the revelation that she was, indeed, an amoral scumbag was rough. Throw on top of that the legal system's apparent enthusiasm for letting people like that off essentially scot-free, and you've got me thinking humanity sucks, yet again.

3. Inevitable, but it doesn't get any harder to swallow that Margaret Hassan was executed. The only consolations were that she wasn't slowly beheaded (she was shot), and that Al-Jazeera somehow saw fit not to broadcast it to an apparently eager international snuff film audience. Another deep, deep hole for humanity.

4. Somebody hit my Metro in the parking lot of the bankruptcy court and took off, leaving a large dent with traces of white paint, and a hard-to-open passenger-side door.

5. The news is suddenly full of a bunch of crazy Pro-Lifers screaming about what a liberal Arlen Freaking Specter is. And if you got my petition recently, you're also aware that Pro-Life crazies appear to be getting key appointments in government. If you're the prayin' kind, what the hell do you say to God at moments like this? "Are these guys with you?" "Is it really 'that time' for Planet Earth?" "Can you at least just give me the initials of the fucker that hit my car?"

6. A Pro-Lifer was elected Minority Leader?! Have we basically conceded Roe v. Wade? To paraphrase Shania Twain: Man, I'm glad I'm not a woman.

I'm sure things will look slightly more rosey tomorrow -- I'm beginning a new archaeology project in the morning, somewhere within commuting distance. Thanksgiving will be here soon -- we'll be spending it here, but with friends.

And maybe I'll just have some pie.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Ah, the domestic life.

I've got about a week off after the conclusion of my stint in Gila Bend and before another project coming up in Green Valley (south of here) beginning on Wednesday. This one includes one Lyle Stone, a big name in the local archaeology circles, especially if you're my thesis bibliography! Maybe I'll have him sign my Mobile Railroad Line site report. Golly!

Anyway, a nice, quiet Saturday night -- just got done watching Escape from New York, listening to the Moz's latest, and sipping egg nog that hasn't quite ripened into the Christmas beverage it shall be a few short weeks from now. A perfect time to ruminate on the past week or two (cue wavy lines).

One pretty cool thing about being an archaeologist is that you have, from time to time, access to areas that you normally wouldn't. I've spent the last three weeks wandering around on or near a bombing range on Luke Air Force Base near Gila Bend. The first two weeks were spent basically walking around, although I was officially demarcating archaeological sites so the Explosive Ordinance Disposal units (the military bomb squad) wouldn't drive their hummers over them while looking for 500 lb. duds. From the tire track evidence, both the EOD and illegal immigrants are driving all over everything out there, but we bother because it's there to bother over.

Last week was spent on something a bit more substantial, actually taking stock of a large petroglyph (ancient images pecked in rock) site -- off Range One, but still within hearing distance of the explosions and short bursts of 20mm rounds coming from the fighter jets sharpening their killin' skills. I spent most of my time there running around with a stadia rod, taking elevation points and soaking up the November desert deliciousness. As soon as Statistical Research, Inc. green lights a no-shirt policy, I'm getting myself a killer fall tan.

Speaking of SRI, I'm getting the feeling that I might finally be making an impression in the archaeology field -- talk has been bandied about there that I might be appointed crew chief in the not-too-distant future. I'm gonna have Survivor singing "DREW! DREW DREW DREW! DREW DREW DREW! DREW DREW DREEEEEEEW!" behind me in no time! Until then, I'm hoping business keeps up over the holiday season enough to keep both employed and awash in presents to give. At least now I have time to sit down and write out all those thank you cards left from the wedding. Didn't I already thank you people?!

And I don't want to talk about the Cardinals losing the World Series. I'm happy for the Sox, but dammit, that shoulda been a Series for the ages! Ah, hell, don't start cryin' again...

And the writing is continuing apace, but there's no real way I'll be doing the however many words I'm supposed to do. I think something more important's happening anyway, in that I'm successfully shaking the rust off after years of creative inactivity on any large scale. I like the story I've got going, and I'm getting the previously deafening choir of negativity to calm the hell down, so all's coming along. And that's the real spirit of the exercise, is it not?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

[Ann] Coulter writes a chapter [in Treason] claiming that the religious right is a myth dreamt up by the liberal media (which is sort of like saying that cows are a myth dreamt up by griffins)...

-- Ruthless

I had an opportunity to get a small sample of how the other half thinks over the past few days. One of my fellow archaeologists is a Bush supporter and probably a classic neo-con (registered Democrat who believes the party deserted him, etc.). A nice enough fellow, and we're both level-headed enough to allow for civil debate of our ideologies (especially at 5 in the morning, in a truck, on our way up to Luke Air Force Base, when I was still fairly certain that Kerry was assured victory). In this series of mutual interviews, I was sincerely, ardently trying to suss out why on earth ANYBODY would vote for GW Bush, being fully aware of the mind-boggling hatchet job he's made of such enormous and fundamental issues like international relations, the economy, the endless morass that the Iraq situation has become, etc.

And interpreting this political "push hands" that we spent a few hours on, I'm still not 100% sure what his take on these essential issues is. Our debates came down mostly to information bias in the media -- he trotted out the old "liberal media" chestnut; I pointed to Fox News, Sinclair, virtually all popular radio talkshows, and probably over half of all newspapers. I won't bother debating him all over again in this space -- his most impassioned response to my concern over the black-and-white, name-calling, "we're right and they're evil" approach on most overtly conservative media (esp. right-wing radio and fuckwits-in-print like Ann Coulter) was that people are intelligent enough to distinguish these as mere entertainment. And of course he poo-pooed Rush's "dittohead" army as simple playfulness.

And essentially that's where the debate ended. We spoke at length on other issues (as a hunter, guns are very, very import to him, and he thinks everyone should have one for home protection. I don't care about them at all, although I think every movie hero should have one if they're in a tight jam), but everything seemed to come back to "credibility" (read: news channel) of the information one consumed.

Which is really fucking scary, because I think a lot of the American voting public is doing what Adolph Hitler suggests early on in Mein Kampf: don't read anything that doesn't already agree with your viewpoint. That's what's so goddamn frightening about hacks like Limbaugh -- even if you are listening to him for entertainment purposes, he will never say anything that conflicts with the conservative agenda. He will not question, he will not suggest a different way of viewing an issue, he will not offer opposing opinions. Even if I were to assume that most people who listen to his show are intelligent enough to see his show as entertainment, I don't believe that they, like our president, are intellectually curious enough to go explore other points of view.

This election hasn't inspired me so much with despair or anger as fear. I fear that Americans have become big fucking chumps -- supremely gullible, close-minded, myopic, NIMBY-centric rubes, too intellectually lazy to digest anything more simplistic that Rush's brand of pre-chewed wrong-headedness, served with a side of smug insufferability. I am dismayed at America right now. There are no further excuses -- by electing George Bush, the United States has put its official seal of approval on all of Bush's inexplicable actions over the past four years. I find this jaw-dropping.

And maybe they didn't even really mean it like that. Maybe, for a lot of people, it was hopelessly irresponsible single-issue voting -- gays shouldn't marry, abortion should be illegal, I want the Ten Commandments in the classrooms. Nevermind the downward economic spiral we're in, nevermind we're in an unnecessary and appallingly expensive and deadly war that's seemingly endless. Bush is fiddling, and half of America has been persuaded to act as a happy, smoldering string section as Rome burns.

H.L. Mencken wrote, "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." Well, the Republicans have the wheel, and pretty much carte blanche to do what they will for at least the next two years, and for every massive mis-step or outright travesty we're subjected to, there will be a legion of propagandists to blame everyone but the obvious culprits.

I think we'll all be getting it good and hard for the next few years -- the ones not smiling about it will be the Democrats.