Wednesday, 26 March 2008


Currently, most people are off in Green Point for the mid-conference excursion. I am sitting here doing some much needed email catch-up, as well as just generally getting some actual work done [and by work, I mean ordering of new vials]. The conference has been going reasonably well. Yesterday we ended up running an hour late, but we kept to time today. A number of papers were very interesting, surprisingly, this included one on rock art. Generally I'm not overly fond of rock art as it's not really useful [it doesn't tell us anything, except that at some point someone painted pictures on the rock - we can't tie it to anything, it annoys me intensely].
JG & JW gave a very interesting paper on rock art digitisation that was well put together and full of pretty pictures. Of course, it didn't go into any sort of interpretation of rock art, it was talking about ways of using digitisations to study and possibly restore rock art sites.
JS gave a very interesting paper on isotopic stuff, looking at herders in the southern Cape. Also on isotopes, was MM's paper involving reconstructed diet of people from the Kalahari [specifically looking at the difference between people buried very close to the Okavango River and people buried further away].
It was, however, LR & TM's paper at the very end of the day [or the conference, that is, there was another, public lecture afterwards] that I found most interesting, for two reasons. They were talking about the formation of the African Forensic Anthropology Team , why it's important and what they're doing. They were also looking for more people with more diverse skills to get involved. Button and I have both spoken to them about this [my sister is very excited]. The other reason that their talk was so fascniating to me is because it involved a picture of a freezer mill. Apparently it's the same model as ours, but about 8-10 years younger. The freezer mill is at UWC, but I'll be getting in touch with them about getting access to it soonish.
Today, there were two very interesting talks about radiocarbon dating. TR's was in relation to finding proxies to use for the dating of rock art [which if we could do it, would make rock art actually useful]. SP & GD were talking about whether or not there needs to be calibration in the Late Holocene [there does] and how to do it [more data - we need more data].
WB's talk about teeth was interesting - I thought she did very well. Even though I don't know too much about teeth.

And then, of course, there was the most important talk of all. Mine. Apparently it went very well. Considering that the exact same talk [give or take a couple of words] took 7 minutes on Monday evening, I was a little worried. Button tells me that I made 11 minutes. This surprises me, as I didn't see the '5 minutes' sign go up, but perhaps she was just so enthralled by what I was saying she lost track of time. Everyone seems to be fascinated and I've had a number of people telling me that they want to talk to me in more detail about it. It's very exciting.

Afterwards, while chatting to various people, DM came up to me and informed me that we were distantly related. I have discussed the matter with my sister, who is more aware of all that genealogical stuff than I am. It was most curious, especially since TC has been talking about him for ages. Button was also talking to him because he's very knowledgeable and important.

There's not much other news, since I missed my game in favour of the conference [and it sounds as if Yaeji is very lucky - although, I imagine Kamenosuke is too clever to go around hugging untrustworthy women when Ishie's around]. The only other thing going on is packing. There was a rather monumental 'discard'. A whole bunch of jewellery I don't like and never wear is being given away [along with other things I've been given that I detest] and a large amount of clothes are boxed, to go sit in my cupboard at my parents' house for 6 months before someone quietly gets rid of them without me noticing. On that - why do people give other people such horrendous things? I have friends who, having known me a couple of years, give me nice jewellery that I actually like and have worn fairly regularly. Then I have friends I've known for a very long time, who give me absolutely hideous stuff that I will never ever wear and prefer to pretend I don't own. Why is this? Why do people who profess to be my best friend [I'm sorry, isn't that my choice?] completely fail to understand the kind of person I am and the sort of jewellery, etc, that I'd like?
On a similar note, why do people keep giving me hand cream? I don't use it and I have enough to last me for several years. So, seriously, stop with the hand cream already.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

I thought we were going to have a good day.

So, the past week has happened and I'm sure there's information that's vaguely interesting. Like the fact that first-year's are incapable of reading course outlines.

Last night there was a game. We didn't kill anyone this week. Ishie got to try out her grandmother's elixir. It was fascinating. I really need to find out what's in it and make some more. Very useful stuff when people are dying. And, even better, no one asked what was in it. Not that Ishie's even aware of all the ingredients, only the one that she provided. Yashamaru departed, in search of his uncle. The rest of us headed back to Breeze Through The Long Grass to see if we could get any information on the place we're trying to find. Hideo, or rather Waynnnnnnnnnnnnnne, put a very bad idea into my head - what would the elixir do if administered to a person already dead? This is why I need to make more - I already used a drop on a ronin, I'm not wasting the little I have on experimentation unless I can make more. Poor Kamenosuke, who has to try and stop me from turning into my grandmother. In other news, we had a meeting with Yumiko and will be having another meeting with Hiroshi and Sata to discuss important stuff, etc.

This morning I arrived to discover that my mesh was here and JL fixed the mill [apparently simply by being stronger than me, which I don't think is fair]. Of course, I still need to make the sieves. There's also the problem that Wendell is currently at the bottom of the mill, which is something I was hoping to avoid. We did a run-through of presentations for next week's conference. Well, me KK, PH and WB did. KK's is very straightforward, old-school archaeological stuff. I'm kind of jealous. PH's is just a shortened version of his earlier departmental presentation on his thesis [though he seemed to get almost all the same information across, possibly I was just filling in the blanks as a result of

Thursday, 13 March 2008


So, I appear to have forgotten about this. That's not entirely true, I just can't be bothered to post 'cause I have too many other things to do. So.... stuff has happened.

Button and I watched Ronin, it's a very good movie that doesn't involve any actual ronin at all. I enjoyed it, you should watch it. Except, of course, you probably already have since it's probably about as old as I am [or older, possibly, or younger, more likely].

There was a game, that was not a game. The four of us who were there ended up playing Fluxx and Zombie Fluxx for most of the evening.

There was also dinner with my parents. Mom and I had sushi. It was yummy. I think I ate more than I usually do, though it's hard to be sure.

Apparently I really have nothing to say. Mostly I've been working. There have been lots of tutorials and practicals that I've needed to prepare for, as well as preparing my presentation for ASAPA. On top of that there's actual work that needs doing.

Wednesday, 05 March 2008

Sneak Attack

I am at my parent's house, with puppies [but no glasses]. I was going to be very sneaky and not tell them that I was here, but then I phoned my mother...

Last night, there was a game. First there was a discussion about group communication [or lack thereof] and then we started playing. Nagataka and Yashamaru managed to discover a body 'buried' in the outhouse. The old lady admitted to murdering her husband and depositing him there. She had to be executed. Neko ["she's just a little girl"], who is not-like-people and may be some sort of spirit type, did not appreciate the bit where the old lady had to die. Unsurprisingly, Kamenosuke managed to talk her into acceptance. After the execution [and sending Sachio off with a report and to fetch someone to deal with the other dead body], we headed south, in pursuit of the evil-tainted-people. It was a short game.

This morning, I went to the rheumatologist. I was late, but only a little. Everything is better, except for a bit of inflammation in my left knee. Some things are a lot better, some are only a little better.

Now, food.

Monday, 03 March 2008

Block Application

Why do I still have a facebook account? Because I'm too lazy to delete it. Because this way I can still see people's photos. It's the only way I find out about who's died lately. Currently I'm fighting the temptation to just hit the 'ignore all' bit on the invites and requests and what have you. Why? Because I'm going through and blocking every application I've been invited to add. I have no interest in the stupid things and I don't want them cluttering up my life. So I'm taking the time [while I do other, more important stuff, of course] to block as many of them as I can. I must admit to gaining some sort of rather sadistic pleasure out of it, but I don't really understand the how or the why of that.

Okay, the weekend happened. Friday morning was another horrendous early morning all in the name of teaching the tutlings. That went reasonably well, except for the fact that there are some things they don't understand. Like - if you don't ask us what something is and just assume you know, you might be wrong and you will get no marks when you have to identify something similar. But don't feel that you're under any obligation to admit any sort of ignorance. Later in the day [and far more important than some idiot tutlings] I discovered the air compressor. I knew it was there somewhere, and now I know exactly where and how it works and so on. So I can clean Wendell out of the mill completely. It's exciting.

On Saturday, I started the day by gardening. I like to garden and I like plants. I particularly like my plants. They were ruthlessly pruned and the ones not responding to the pesticide were sadly sent away. They were all half dead anyway and so infested that they couldn't be saved. It was very depressing. Now all I need are new pots and new plants. But I'm not allowed any until after we've moved. One of the plants got another spraying of poison as it was only by pruning away the dead bits that I discovered some of the evil plant-killing bugs on it. So it got sprayed. In the midst of some much-needed filing, Mom arrived with Gummy, for tea in the garden. It was fun. Later on, I seem to have brushed up against the recently-poisoned-plant and transferred said poison from the plant to the biscuit I was eating. That was not a happy half hour, particularly since we were supposed to be leaving the house right about then. Thankfully I am my mother's daughter and off we went to watch the rest of Ergo Proxy with Confluence et al. We also watched Samurai Fiction, one of my most favourite movies ever. And then, someone unleashed the blinky lights [I blame the combined efforts of Button and H*. Button just had to mention the crystal-dragon-block and H* just had to say that there was a silver stand and then they just had to find it and plug it in]. Hours passed and eventually someone [though I forget who] found the willpower to switch on the actual light and release the rest of us.

Sunday saw grocery shopping. This was important as events had conspired against it the week before and we'd had no food in the house for a very long time. We went off to fruit and veg and then headed to the Pick'n'Pay nearest our new house. It was exciting. And, I have a watering can now. I'm sure other stuff happened yesterday, but I don't remember it.

Today will involve cleaning the mill, marking and two seminars. Then, there will be dinner with archaeologists.