Monday, 30 July 2007

so hungry....

It's been a while, and I don't remember everything that's happened since last I was here... And all I've been able to smell all morning [on campus at any rate] is the smell of wet things - hair, clothes, whatever... it's that clinging smell that hangs around even though there's nothing damp here anymore.

Oh well, I had my first undergrad chemistry lecture today. Well, I've done undergrad chemistry before, but this was my first lecture of this course. It was quite fun. The class is really small, which is nice. Unfortunately I have realised two unhappy facts. The first - my bag is breaking. The second - lectures make me hungry. So I shall shortly venture out into the cold in search of food. I also forgot to get chmicals while I was there, so I need to go back and do that. I meant to do it last week, but I got distracted somehow.

Hopefully IN will be in today and I can begin my next stage of the project. Assuming I get the chemicals... Perhaps I should wait for KK to come in and talk her into putting off sorting for long enough to help me carry the bottles back here. We shall have to wait and see.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Shimmy, shimmy, shimmy, pop

So... stuff has happened...

The car has been assessed. Yay! Now it just needs to be approved and then I can be carless for a week and a half or so while it gets fixed. Won't that be fun.

I went to dancing. And learnt that TL had hurt her knee, had to have a knee-operation and can't dance for THREE MONTHS! Poor T. So now she can't be in the show, which is a pity. But the show will go on, she sent out the poster today, which I'm putting here so that everyone can see it. Rumour has it that all the dancers are going to get tickets to sell, so you can probably get some from me if you want them.

I also went to yoga - where are our usual teachers? Why aren't they around? I liked them, they taught regularly and were good at it. Now we're having a string of "I haven't
taught in ages/very/often/at all" and the entire class seems to be based around what they like to do and are capable of, as opposed to those of us taking the class.

On Tuesday, there was the game. Now, do I remember what happened? One of the thigns that happened is that WH is going to be busy on Tuesday nights until Hodgestar and Confluence go to Poland... so we're going to be playing on Sundays until then, excepting Dargonfire and the week before.
Anyway, there we were having a discussion about how to proceed with our investigation, with Yashamaru and Kamenosuke failing to communicate properly... Off we went to question some guy, who was almost rude [not a good plan if you're a ronin and Hideo is around ... he might kill you for it]. There was some kind of commotion outside, just as we finished the ... interrogation. We went outside to find the square filled with hysterical geisha. It turns out that there was a trickster spirit in the geisha house, which they all thought was a goblin. It was looking for its orange-thing ... the fox mask we're also interested in finding. Then, there was another one in the bookshop... Nagataka and I narrowly managed to avert disaster as another one tried to light an enormous pile of fireworks. We managed to get them all to congregate in the Running Fox Inn, where a less-than-reliable ronin/bandit was on hand to tell them about when he saw the fox-mask. And then we talked them into going home - we'll light some fireworks if we need them to return. And then ... we sat around discussing the next step in our investigation again.

And that's been my week so far. This morning I went off to SAHRA with Button. I had to deliver a report [or three] to ML for MP. Apparently someone broke into SAHRA last night and tried to steal a radio, but failed. Poor ML had to come through from Somerset West to reset the alarm. From there it was off to Heritage Western Cape to deliver another report for MP - this one to NN. Then I foudn my way back to Hiddingh so I could get through to UCT on a really dismal day, when I have very little to do here.

This weekend is fairly fully booked with nothing tonight [yay, nothing!], yoga in the morning [assuming I can drag myself out of bed], an archaeological get-together at A&A's in the evening, with the possibility of trundling off to Stones afterwards, to say goodbye to the Purple-Polka-dotted-Panda, depending on how late the archaeologists stay up... Sunday will probably involve a trip to the market, depending on the weather, followed by roleplaying in the evening...

Monday, 16 July 2007


It is a lovely warm, summery day in the middle of winter in cape town. Some might say that this is because cape town's weather is unpredictable at the best of times, but they're wrong. It's because Button is back and the city is celebrating. And even if it's not, I am.

The airport stole his bag, but then told him that barring any strange occurrences they should be able to get it to us today... Then they phoned at 9 this morning to tell us that they'd have it to us by 10. It turns out that they actually meant 12, but the point is that it arrived!

Otherwise, the car is going to see an assessor this week, so progress is being made, if slowly.

The weekend happened. It was fun. On Friday I went with Conrad, Wombat and Dave Sharpe, to Lara and Dave's and we watched Doctor Who. It was cool. On Saturday I saw Dave Sharpe again, this time at Simon and Adrianna's, where Neil was also in attendance. We played games and sat around talking till far too late... but it was fun.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Dull and Dreary

It's a dull and dreary day in Cape Town. Dismal, even. There's apparently supposed to be a front moving through sometime today. Leaving us with [hopefully] clear weather for the trip to Yzerfontein tomorrow. At the very least, it should be clear up at the site.

In other news, there was a game last night. It was fun... Having been told to investigate the fire, we set about doing that. We started by talking to the man behind it all, and then getting some interesting information out of his daughter, who is set on being a magistrate, much to her parents' horror. Then, Kamenosuke went off to sit around being confused, I gather, while the three of us headed into town to do some investigating. We went off to meet with Kamenosuke and discuss what we'd learnt, when Yashamaru returned from wherever he'd been. Kamenosuke and Hideo then went into town to keep an eye on Hideo's uncle and his betrothed, while Yashamaru, Nagataka and I went to speak to a rather cranky Isawa ishiken. After that I tried to explain some stuff to Yashamaru, but was swiftly distracted by his introducing some interesting magical theory stuff. In the end, it wasn't necessary, but it was an interesting discussion, by the end of which Ishie had forgotten what it was they'd been talking about in the first place...

There were other things, but they weren't as interesting.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Tuesday *again*...

I'm beginning to think that the world is entirely made up of Tuesdays...

In other news, I am taking a well-earned break from work. I've done 15 boxes today, and many more individuals since previous people who did the accession didn't understand the concept of 'one number = one individual' ... they don't seem to have a clear concept of cleaning the material either. But it could be worse... it's getting better. I'm on my 16th box already... I think I'm going to go home slightly early today since I've done loads of work already and I'm filthy and need to have a bath before the game... Score one for the sand in the boxes/bags...

In other news... there's not much news since yesterday... But there will be news tomorrow, 'cause the game's tonight and then on Thursday we're going up to Yzerfontein to check out the excavation. I'm excited.


Actually, now that I think about it, I've done 16 boxes since I printed ... which makes it more like 20 boxes today...

Monday, 09 July 2007

Look, a ... uh ... thing

So, the weekend has gone by, and I'm wondering why it is that I got up this morning? On the other hand, my samples have all been filtered [rather than left to stand, making the department stink of chemicals]. So that's done.

Otherwise, the weekend happened, but I did very little. I spoke to Button and then to Wombat, who came to visit me. That was nice. And I rewatched Samurai Fiction, which put me in mind of the L5R game, as one of the main characters reminded me of Kamenosuke... if he wasn't such a nice person, that is. When I first watched SF, I didn't get it - which makes one wonder about my mental abilities as it's not that complicated. To be fair I was half asleep and not really interested in paying very much attention at the time...

And now... I'm waiting for lunch to be over so that I can go down to the SEM in the Physics building, while exploiting the fact that the Wombat and Hodgestar are similar looking in appearances. And I've decided to be semi-consistent wrt the whole not using people's real names bit...

Friday, 06 July 2007

Not my day...

Well, yesterday started well. It went rapidly downhill when I tried to weigh out the powder and realised I didn't have nearly enough. It's hard to have an idea of how much powder weighs 5g when you've never seen it [and let me just say: it's a lot!] I suppose it was a good thing that we did that before we went to MCB, so we could add some giraffe powder to my cow. The day went well, though boringly - centrifuging is fun ... the first time. My last tube of the day [there are two more to do this morning] resulted in unhappiness when the tubes decided that they wanted to spend the rest of forever in the centrifuge buckets ... with my sample. After much effort they were removed. As it was, I was late and got the late shuttle, that went first to lower campus and then back to upper campus, before going to hiddingh... And then, just when I was near dancing, a bit early, yes, but not late, some guy drove into the back of me. He was very apologetic and seemed nice enough, but I'm not exactly a sterling judge of character, so we'll just wait and see. As it is, I made it to dancing [and wasn't actually late 'cause we started late]... When I finally got home I realised that my gate-opener wasn't working. I avoided the lifts, once I'd finally gotten my car in - no point tempting fate and I've been stuck in there before [and this time there's no Button to come to the rescue]. This morning I woke up sore. Very sore. I think my body objects to being jerked around like a ragdoll... Hopefully today will be better, but I don't hold out much hope. For a start, I think I left my lights on...

Thursday, 05 July 2007

I'm so excited!

Yay! This morning I am going to be centrifuging my samples! It's so exciting! Well, I suppose it's only the one sample. Which I probably should have weighed before now, but we'll manage. IN and I are off to the MCB building at 11ish to meet MC, the woman in charge. She's going to help us get started and hopefully it will all go well. I'll be sure to let you know...

Yesterday WK had a look at my interesting maxilla and told me that it was not actually a deciduous tooth, this guy [or girl] just had an extra tooth. Apparently she's had a couple of those previously. Otherwise, not much else interesting happened. We had two lots of kids [little kids!] coming through to look at human remains. The first was a man who had discovered a skeleton in his garden, while having a trench dug. That was excavated and is now at the museum. So he brought his daughters in to look around and see what happens and so on... They were between 7 & 10 years old. Later on two women came with four kids for the same thing, except the oldest child here was about 5! I'm all for educating children, but surely when it comes to something like this, it's better to wait until they're older? I don't know - how much can a two year old understand about some bones? Can it really understand that this was an actual living human being? And what about a child that's slightly older, who does understand that they're looking at human remains? How does it affect them? I guess at the end of the day, every child is different and the parents probably have the best idea of what their children can cope with, but if it was up to me, I'd wait till they were at least 10 or older, to make sure that they can understand what we do and why we do it.

Despite telling myself that I wouldn't go to yoga last night 'cause I just wasn't in the mood... I did. And I'm so glad I did. I knew that it would be Etienne taking the class, which I was dreading, 'cause the last time he took it, I didn't enjoy it. It turns out that it was exactly what I needed and I was left in a happy place.

This morning I came in on the shuttle with AM, who is a wonderful person, despite being Australian. He has a wonderful girlfriend AW, but she's not with him this time. I saw him yesterday at the museum and so was surprised that he was coming in to UCT this morning, but apparently he's got so many rocks to look at from all over and only 4 more weeks to do it in, that he's following some sort of hectic schedule and since SW isn't at the museum much this week, he's going to do a long stretch next week and spend some more time with the UCT collection for now...

Wednesday, 04 July 2007

Napoleon Green

So, the game last night. Lucas was not there, despite being in the country. He'd had some horrendous delay and arrived late and was not pleased about it. The game went smoothly otherwise. I almost got away from Kamenosuke, but then Nagataka insisted that I wake him. So off we went to the fire, which got swiftly out of hand [the situation, not the fire. The fire was put out around the same time that I arrived on scene]. Hideo felt the need to kill a number of ronin [a bandit that attacked him while he was delirious in particular], but managed to restrain himself. Kameosuke doesn't know that I tried to go without him, so it's okay.
I tried to convince my father to talk to Kamenosuke, but he didn't seem particularly inclined to do so. Perhaps if Kamenosuke is around to plead his own case next time he puts in an appearance, things will go better. He also tried to warn me about a number of things, including another shugenja, who both Kamenosuke and myself quite like. And then Masezumi essentially told us that his son is unreliable and has been forced into letting us investigate matters around the fire. And I got to cast spells on Nagataka for his 'enlightenment'. All in all it was a good evening.

Today I found an old school friend on facebook who is now married. Having spent most of high school trying to get her to pass maths, she's now teaching it! It turns out that when she actually bothers to interest herself in the matter, she's actually pretty good at it. I can't say I'm surprised.

Otherwise, it's back to work as usual. Yesterday I was quite excited when I found a maxilla [upper jaw] with 17 teeth. There's a researcher at the museum at the moment who's interested in teeth [WK], but she wasn't around when I found it - it's on her list anyway, but I thought she'd be particularly interested, as the jaw should only have 16 teeth. I think it's a case of a deciduous tooth still being in the jaw, though it didn't look like mixed dentition overall. Of course, I'm not the expert.

Tuesday, 03 July 2007

So much to do...

Look, it's Tuesday again. It's like some sort of ... thing. Roleplaying tonight, which is exciting. I have a sneaking suspicion I was supposed to email Adrianna something, but I don't remember what it was... I know I'm supposed to have sent some stuff to Beth, which I haven't done 'cause I just haven't had a chance to...

So far work has been fun today. 'Fun' being a euphemism for 'awful'. I suppose it's not really been that bad - but it started out with my arriving, only to realise that in all my worry to remember the computer and all its stuff [like the power cable], I'd managed to leave my keys in my other 'non-computer' bag. I needed the computer 'cause there's a new girl who's just started and she's got the one I use 'cause hers isn't up and running yet. She's very nice, and SW's asked me to help teach her about human remains and so on. There's hope yet 'cause I explained how carbon isotope analysis works and she understood me, so if I can explain that I can explain anything.

Yesterday I went out with my friend Guen in the evening. It was really nice, we hadn't seen each other in ages - the last time I heard from her, she was trying to organise a mah jong game. She's going back home to Durban [or nearby, at any rate]. We had a nice time wandering around cavendish and then I took her home and, much to my consternation, found myself on Princess Anne avenue.

I went in to varsity yesterday [some of you may have noticed I haven't been around lately - I do have a rather nice literature review coming along though...], where I found some bromoform waiting for me. I'm sure you can imagine my elation. So I organised the centrifuging for Thursday with IN and MC. And then I trundled off to make up some solutions ... and realised that I'd miscalculated and didn't have enough bromoform after all. I made all the solutions, except for the last one. IN thought that should be fine, as all it meant was that two fractions became one. I managed to get hold of JS in the evening [thanks to KK who is one of my favourite people on the planet right now] and she agreed that it would be fine as there shouldn't be very much dense stuff anyway.

I made the mistake of spending the weekend at my parents house. It was nice to spend some time with them and the dogs, but I've never been so cold! I did get to go visit Mary-Anne, though, and see her new flat, which was cool.

I also got to speak to Button, when he got to Maryland at 10 on Sunday night. Of course, it was 2 on Monday morning for me! But it was very nice to have an actual conversation with him. Especially since he's now out of communication range, in Texas without internet and then travelling up to Maryland again.