November 9, 2014

Signing off for a week. . .but for good reason!

Filed under: Blogging update, Modern artifacts — acagle @ 4:53 pm

Actually only singing off for five days (M-F). Why you ask?

Desert Fox

Yes, around ArchaeoBlog manor it will be. . . .THE 1980S!!!

In other words, I’m going to live like it was the 1980s for five days. What an odd idea. Yes. Well, I’ve been contemplating something like this for a couple of years now, although mostly planning for a Live Like The 1970s Week instead. But I’m doing the ’80s instead. I got the original idea when I had an hour and a half drive back from a field project in my Mustang II and, as men my age are often wont to do, started wondering what Teenage Me would think of my life as it is now. And then, as a little bit of a mental exercise, started wondering what all was really that much different from when I was a teenager in the 1970s. That’s not so odd, as I was driving a 1978 car at the time.

So I started ticking off my daily routine and seeing what all was really different from what I would have been doing in the 1970s, what all was pretty much the same, etc. Really down to the most minor things, like, say, toothpaste. When I got home and throughout the next few days I took mental notes of things I was doing and using with the same questions in mind. Could I go back to those days and actually survive with sanity intact?

I’d actually seen a couple of news stories of families provided with the accouterments of the 1960s or 1950s for a week to see how they’d react, not to mention the occasional news article about someone who’s tried to do their work with an old computer. So it’s not like the idea is unique to me.

Then for Halloween I dressed up as ‘1980s Me’ complete with vintage t-shirt, jacket, sweatshirt, and glasses from those days and started wondering anew what it would be like to time travel back to 1983 or so. And since the ArchaeoWIfe is traveling on business for the week so I figured now would be a good time to have a go at it, without inconveniencing anyone else. So, here I go.

Now, obviously I can’t recreate the world of 30 years ago in anything approaching true fidelity. And I do have a job to do which might cause some problems if I showed up with no cell phone and no computer and tried to get anything done. So in some part, I’ll still have to exist in the here and now. At the same time, I can still insert some of the ’80s into my routine without causing too many problems, for me or my compatriots. For example, back then we didn’t have an Internet with streaming audio so I’m going to avoid that. Also I shan’t be fiddling on the Web for recreational purposes, either at work or at home.

I’m already going into withdrawals. . . . .

There’s some tech that I can really recreate and use and others that I have to improvise. For example, I would, at work, usually have a Walkman to keep me entertained. Since finding one is rather difficult, and I’m not going to buy a new, similar one just for a week’s use (not to mention not having a single cassette tape to play on one), I’m going to improvise. I’ll use my smart phone to stream a couple of local radio stations to listen to (through headphones only!), and perhaps if I convince myself it’s acceptable to play some albums, mimicking cassettes. At home I have my old 1980-vintage stereo complete with tuner and vinyl LPs, so that won’t be much of a problem. And no CDs either (more on that in a bit).

I have an old car that I can use — though not the CD player — although I’ll probably substitute the 1997 Honda Civic instead if it’s raining because the old Mustang doesn’t do well in the rain.

Trying to decide if I should still wear my contact lenses or not. True, they had soft lenses in the 1980s, but I didn’t get them until the 1990s. And it might be more of a pain than it’s worth. But we’ll see.

I will take time out every evening to type in a journal for the day. I thought about handwriting everything (I still may), but then I’d have to transcribe it all and I think I’d probably not do that. Instead, I’ll open up the old computer and type it into a simple Word document, sort of mimicking a simple word processor from those days. I will also need to be at least monitoring my email and cell phone because, well, it needs to be done.

Oh yeah, I’m using my baseline as 1983/1984 or so. Just because.

One thing is problematic (well, more than one thing, but this is the really interesting thing): What do I decide wasn’t there in the 1980s? What’s the evolutionary angle? For example: Yes, there were cell phones in the 1980s. For that matter, there were cellular phones in the 1970s, although not really that common or available. And for an even other matter, there were mobile phones available back in the 1940s. So how does one say “No, this technology wasn’t available” when in some cases — probably most cases — it really was in some form or another? I’m mostly just winging it, and will be taking notes — handwritten ones! — as I go. For the most part, I’ll be trying to live how I experienced the 1980s. I didn’t have access to cell phones in the 1980s, so I won’t be using one. Same thing with CDs, they were around, but they weren’t all that widespread for most of the decade, and I certainly didn’t get any until into the 1990s (I think).

So yeah, it’s not perfect, but that’s part of the intellectual fun of it.

It’s also got some cultural evolutionary implications in there as well which I’ll try to focus on.

So there you have it: 1980s week. I urge readers to have a go with it yourselves. Look around and ask yourselves what around you is different from your personal world when you were, say, a teenager. What’s the same? Are things qualitatively different or quantitatively so? When you do ‘x’ consider how you might have done the same thing then. For example, finding out whether a store is open when you want to go: now, you’d punch it into your web browser to find out. Then, you’d probably have to find the store’s phone number — probably in a physical telephone book — and call the store yourself on a fixed landline telephone. That sort of thing.

See you in 30 years!

October 16, 2014

Back from the field

Filed under: Blogging update, Car Lust — acagle @ 6:55 pm

Sorry, forgot to mention it. Was out in the field on a project since Tuesday. Nothing at all found except a collapsed old building.

And cows.

Pictures tomorrow.

In the meantime, I had some Car Lust posts up this week y’all might enjoy:
Monday Mystery Trucks.
Lust for the Honda CRV.
Monday Mystery Solved.

September 29, 2014

Gone fishin’

Filed under: Battlefield archaeology, Blogging update — acagle @ 6:36 pm

It’s that time again, off to a short vacation. First one in over a year. Will be out at the Olympic Peninsula again. Be back sometime in a week or 10 days.

In the meantime, enjoy this short series of photographs of preserved underground ‘cities’ from WWI. One could argue with some of the author’s conclusions — it’s a slide show with captions (which go by too quickly, IMO) — but the photos are stunning and worth remembering:

Cloaked in darkness under private land in the beautiful French countryside, these underground cities are bristling with artifacts, sculptures and emotionally charged “graffiti” created by WWI soldiers a century ago. Frozen-in-time, these cities beneath the trenches form a direct human connection to men who lived a century ago. They make hundred years ago seem like yesterday. They are a Hidden World of WWI that is all but unknown, even to the French.

July 21, 2014

Aaaaaand we’re back.

Filed under: Blogging update — acagle @ 2:45 pm

Well, I’m back. Had a marginally hellish week last week complete with lots of report writing along with site update forms. =P

And I was getting ready to show my Mustang II and that took some preparation and the entire weekend. Went, meh. I’ll write another post about that later.

July 8, 2014

Blogging update

Filed under: Alcohol, Blogging update — acagle @ 7:27 pm

Crazy busy week. Out in the field two days and then I found out that a presentation I thought was next week is this week instead. !!! Happily, I was mostly done with it anyway, even though I’d specifically scheduled the fieldwork for this week so I’d have time to prepare. Oh well, best laid plans. Probably better this way as I won’t have as much time to think about it. Actually, I’m not really nervous, I’ve been giving a lot of these things lately.

I’m presenting my research and plans for alcohol study in Kenya. With some anthro/archy thrown in.

June 23, 2014

Blogging update

Filed under: Blogging update — acagle @ 7:11 pm

Just getting back, last week was bussssssssy, archaeology-wise. I did one survey up in the San Juans — a 1-day thing — but had lots of reports and stuff to finish. And this computer is getting really slow. Not sure how much is the machine or the software or my internet connection, though I suspect the former. I just ordered a new one — first new computer in like 10 years! — and I’ll have a special little post up once that arrives. Or maybe before, I don’t know.

June 6, 2014

Back from a long week

Filed under: Blogging update, Field photos — acagle @ 7:40 pm

Five straight days of fieldwork done. On three different projects! One starting at 4:30 Sunday morning. One 3-day affair on a lovely island. And one on another island that was kind of piddling. But, back. All went pretty well. Had one irate land owner tell us we were trespassing (we weren’t) and called the sheriff on us (he knew he’d probably get called), but they worked it out and we went back out a couple days later and finished. Can’t say much about it mainly because it was kind of boring. We found one isolate, a biface. Will get back to posting Saturday. Here’s some scenery candy in the meantime:

Desert Fox

June 1, 2014

Off for a few days

Filed under: Blogging update, Egypt, Online publications — acagle @ 3:17 pm

Not fun, work. FIeld work. In a faaabulous location, but work nonetheless. Probably won’t post at all this coming week, but maybe so.

As your homework assignment, read this PDF on ancient Egyptian quarries.

Also: Archaeology, Anthropology, and Interstellar Communication. Really!

May 9, 2014

Slammed

Filed under: Blogging update, Conservation/CRM — acagle @ 7:36 pm

Light posting due to large amounts of work. Archaeological work! And other stuff, too. But for some reason ever since February all the archaeology firms have been super busy around here. I’ve even begun doing project management cuz we’re so busy.

I haven’t been doing this though:

OSO, Wash. — Contractors have begun removing slide debris from more than a third of a mile of State Route 530, which is covered by mud and dirt 22 or more feet deep. About 600 feet of the road has been recovered so far, but another 1800 feet remains buried.
It’s a careful exercise, because the slide that hit on the morning of March 22 swept people, along with their homes and possessions across SR 530. Scientists say mud, clay, gravel and dirt slammed into the neighborhood along Steelhead Drive at speeds of 60 mph.
That means every scoop of mud and dirt removed by excavators is observed by an archaeologist and a member of the local community for personal effects. Most of the victims were found south of the road during a recovery process that took over a month and much of this dirt had been inspected before.

I got called for it though, but the other place is keeping me too busy. Apparently, it’s basic monitoring, but they’re just looking for personal effects (and a couple remaining bodies, too).

April 30, 2014

Comments not working?

Filed under: Blogging update — acagle @ 7:38 pm

I just saw a new comment but when I attempted to add one the Captcha refused to work, just kept saying I entered the wrong solution. If someone would like to comment, let me know if it works (duh), although I don’t know how’d I’d know if it didn’t. . . .(I rarely ever check the email for this thing cuz it’s completely inundated with spam)

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