Gexx in Knoxville

This blog is about Gexx, in Knoxville

Archive for the ‘geeking out’ Category

Strangers in the field

Posted by Gexx on July 24, 2009

Wow – so today is Friday and I don’t know what to do! I had scheduled today originally to go back out to the field because I didn’t think I would finish with the metal detector yesterday. However, I did finish. M and I worked very well as a team: I manned the metal detector and he flagged metal deposits and kept me on transect. I had originally marked 10m transects for STPs but I wanted to do the metal detector in 5 m sweeps. In the heavy woods it was really easy to loose my bearing, and compasses sometimes do odd stuff with metal detectors, so M walked the marked transects parallel to me.

We found a whole bunch of metal concentrations (surprise!) next to the road that leads to a metal processing area. One would almost think that things fell off the wagons 150 years ago. We also found an old pop-top beer can, so I postulate that “back then” people drank beer in the woods.

On our way back to the car from the site – because we park at a tourist area and hoof it from there – M and I were talking loudly. I don’t know if he realizes why I like to keep in conversation, but there are bears in the area. I don’t want to run into and surprise any. We’re talking about some personal bodily function stuff when some guy in a day-glo green shirt (which matches the underside of the leaves pretty well) pops up. He’s wondering what’s back in the woods, so I give him a quick elevator spiel. There’s no need to be secritive as the project has BEEN ON TV!!! and in the newspapers and the locals all know about it. But I still don’t want some random person wonder what all the crazy pinflags with cryptic markings are.

So – today I need to find something to do. I guess I should do another load of laundry (does it ever end?) and it wouldn’t hurt to clean the bathroom. I’ll be meeting with my plant dude, Greg, at the farmers market at about 3.30 so I need to make up my meal plan, which might involve cleaning my fridge up. The peaches we got last week have hit their peak so the few that aren’t done yet need to be eaten now or frozen for tarts later in the summer. I sorta also want to update my 101 in 1001, but it’s not the end of the world. And as it’s national Tequila day, I somehow foresee a meeting with the buddy Eric this evening at one Mexican restaurant or another… or maybe I could have the thing at *my house.* But I sorta want to stay in – and get to bed at a decent time – because tomorrow M and I are going to Belle Chere in Asheville!

Posted in archaeology, geeking out | Leave a Comment »

Documentary on Gender, and tomorrow’s plan

Posted by Gexx on July 22, 2009

Spike, author/illustrator of the awesome webcomic Templar, Arizona tweeted about a documentary, so I checked it out. It’s called “Dr. Money and the boy with no penis.” It’s about a boy who lost his penis in a circumcision accident. Dr. Money was a gender psychologist who decided that this boy should be raised as a girl. It’s somewhat interesting, at the beginning of the movie the subject (who as an adult identified as male) spoke about how he never liked being a girl, he “knew he was a boy” because he didn’t like dresses and dolls. While the documentary makes it sound pivitol, it sounds to me like a complaint of many of us non-girly girls. At the same time, it creates an interesting dialogue about gender identity, “nature/nurture”, and parental insistence. You should check it out.

So I got the metal detector today from my prof. I’ll be going out on Thursday, and I do sorta want to camp that night. So tomorrow I need to make sure I have it calibrated, get new batteries, and make sure that all of that is ready. Also, tomorrow I am going to get back on my 7AM wake up schedule with morning yoga.

Posted in archaeology, geeking out, media, sexual rights | Leave a Comment »

Why can’t girls have trucks? An arguement on the internet

Posted by Gexx on July 20, 2009

Ok, I find this somewhat amusing (and somewhat frustrating – because people don’t agree with me). But either way it’s not much of a big deal as I’m now not following the blog mentioned.

I had been following a recipe blog on my RSS feeder because the author focused on quick recipes she could make while still focusing on her young children. I love quick recipes for good food. I don’t have young children, but I do have the whole grad student thing and I don’t want to spend hours cooking. So that day, I check my RSS feed and notice that this blog has updated. I check on it and find that instead of a recipe the author has posted a craft for children with the title “Attention Parents of Truck Loving Boys.”

At that point I realize that unless something changes, I can’t follow the blog anymore. So I comment, admittedly not deferentially but very very briefly (one sentence), that it shouldn’t only be for boys, and remove the blog from my RSS reader. I expected that to be the end of it.

See, there is a huge issue when from birth we create a gender for our kids. It’s something that had been slowing down but in the mid/late 80s picked up more speed with the huge increase of consumer culture. Basically, if a company make a GIRL toy/onesy/room-decor-line and define it as that, the parent can’t reuse it if they then have a boy. So the company is guaranteeing repeat sales of everything.

If a parent buys into this, like my generation’s parents did, children are then told from an early age that girls are princesses, pastels, castles, and passiveness. Boys are told that they are bold primary colors, trucks, and aggresive sports. Continue this by the parent acting as if these products actually do define the child’s gender and eventually the child’s self. This limits the child.

Why can’t girls have trucks?

Like I said, I expected that to be the end of it. Since then I have noticed significantly increased traffic on this blog. So instead of not visiting the site again, I was curious and went to check it out.

The comment thread turned into taunting ad hominins. Oh well. I have better things to do than argue on the internet.

Things like:
-check under black plastic
-measure area for lumber
-buy lumber, landscape fabric
-pick up metal detector
-hit site
-get examples of site forms, customize
-build new container garden
-check tomatoes again
-harvest peppers
-update 101 in 1001
-make Jalapeno Cornbread

And to show how pissy I *can* be

-the only person of color is a hypersexalized gay stereotype
-all the women look “normal” and bland
-while the men are goofy and stand out so they have individuality

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Environmental Justice – TVA Coal Ash Spill is getting national attention… FINALLY

Posted by Gexx on July 11, 2009

A few days before Christmas, a retaining wall at a TVA coal ash containment site collapsed and dumped 1,100,000,000 (that is in the BILLIONS!) of gallons of coal ash into the Tennessee River (that’s 100x the number of gallons of oil in the Exxon Valdeze spill). This huge mass of coal ash flooded nearby houses with coal ash sludge.

The original disaster was covered by national news services. The aftermath on the families, however, has not been. Families cannot afford to move out of the contaminated environment. This is playing out as many environmental justice issues do – the economically limited citizens are told by the rich corporations, companies, and agencies responsible for the disaster that nothing is wrong, when the coal ash, containing murcury and selenium has permeated the waterways and the air. Local residents are facing a large increase of illness. Because of new (more lax) air quality standards, the local air quality is “acceptable.”

National news services are now picking up the Environmental (in)Justice because Erin Brockovich is stepping in.


Posted in geeking out, picture | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Gexx on July 10, 2009

M thought I was done with the chicken idea after I saw his mom’s greenhouse extension on her shed. She made a frame out of lumber and then covered it with clear courrugated plastic. It’s pretty cool, and I think I want to do that, and my friend J (whose ancient black lab I am watching) is going to help me set up a beehive behind my shed (away from next-door 4 year olds) so the bees can help pollinate my fruit trees and make honey.

This is my thinking on honey and why i fits as the appropriate sweetner in my current PhoodPhilosophy:

Sucernut/WhiteSugar/BrownSugar/Molasses are all made from sugar cane which, in addition to whatever processing is done, must travel far to my foodshed.

Agave syrup must travel far to my foodshed.

Maple Syrup must travel far to my foodshed (normally) and requires a large amount of energy to process.

Sweeteners are right out!

Stevia seems to be a good idea, but I want to see where it goes. I think I will raise some next year, though.

But honey does not travel far. Local honey is actually good for you. Also, the bees that I care for will assist in my gardens and my fruit trees, and in any local gardens. I don’t consider beekeeping as animal exploitation.

So back to the chickens. M calls me to the porch with “the Rooster has chicks!” I don’t see the Rooster, but I hear him every morning (reminder: currently chickens are illegal in our area, and roosters will continue to be not allowed after the Knoxville Chicken bills get passed).

At that point, I start wondering how soon I can convert my shed into a chicken coop. M realizes the mistake he made!

Posted in garden, geeking out, house | Leave a Comment »

Stupid Alarm Clock

Posted by Gexx on July 7, 2009

So – either my alarm clock doesn’t always work, which is possible because the cats spill water on the table and have already messed up one function, or I am able to turn it off in my sleep. One way or another, I totally missed my 4.30AM wakeup and didn’t realize it until 9AM. Normally I’m up by 630 or 7, but last night M didn’t get in until late and then he kept talking about his current entrepreneurial idea and I kept responding. Then, generally unable to sleep because I kept thinking about his ideas and my next day in the field, and it was too hot/cold, cat attacked my feet, whine whine whine, next thing I know it’s 3AM.

So at 9AM I wake up to find that my contact for equipment has texted and called me, and I respond to her. I won’t be in because to get ready will take 1/2 hour (9:30), to meet her will take another hour (10:30), to get to the parking lot will take another 1.5 hours conservatively and possibly 2-2.5 hours (noon), to hike to the site and set up will take another 1.2 hour (12.30) and to guarantee that I will be back to return the gear we need to leave the field at 2.30. 2 hours is not near enough time that I need.

So we get to try again next week.

This week (today especially) I need to take care of some serious stuff, though, since I’m not getting in the field.

– pay mortgage
– pay internet

– find something to do w M’s stuff
– help M find retailrealestate out in Mville
– laundry
– clean sink area
– organize back room (I removed some extraneous storage devices to give to Ms. S for her new apartment)
– clean under bedside table (cats always mess it up)
– finish telling break-in/insurance nightmare story
– get GexxCooksKnoxvilleStyle going
– take pix for GexxCooksKnoxvilleStyle banner
– take pix of garden
– research chicken coop plans
– bring my stuff back from M’s (the stuff we moved after the first break in

– empty out randomly stuffed (inspired by break-in) purses that have made their way back.
– enter current data into spreadsheet
– install OpenOffice

– research greenhouse plans (clear courrigated plastic on the side of the shed)
– install hook/eye on shed
– install hook/eye on laundry room door
– call Greg of Gregory’s Greenhouse
– get keys back from neighbor
– finish Bee book
– compost garden (when compost dries)
– look at recent issues of trade magazines
– order toy
– order stolen necklace

– find reciept for paint, door knob,
– fax to Wallace Miller
– Thursday: Court for second break in
– Saturday: Benefit concert for Conservation Fisheries at Shady Grove Meadery, Cutthroat Shamrock and Zombie Bazooka Patrol shows at Catalyst

Posted in drama, geeking out | 2 Comments »

link love

Posted by Gexx on April 29, 2009

Every now and again I add some links to my account that can only be described as “odd,” so I give them the tab “bloggable” or “blogable,” dependant on how i feel like spelling.  Here are a few:

The first is a website devoted to preserving words that are currently falling out of parlence through adoption.  If you want to add some veteratorian flosculation to your rhetoric, Save the Words is where to go.  Magistracide is still available ;).

The second is an article, “Marijuana in Beer“, which is about ::drumroll:: marijuana in beer.  Simply: an important part of the beer process includes hops, so what if we were to switch things up a bit and dryhop with the flowers of the female pot plant.  And for the record, I can’t type “marijuana” without hearing in my head “mer[EE-JEE-wanna”.

The third is another article, “Hipster Economy,” by Jack Neely of the Metropulse, Knoxville’s local free biweekly.  An economical paradigm I’ve been touting for a while has been that spending money locally will stay more among the “normal” people and less will go to the fatcats of the multinationals.  The article is a correlary of this: lay off a local hipster who frequents local businesses and the local economy suffers.


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stepping back… after x steps forward

Posted by Gexx on February 27, 2009

I have been on the search for my drill bits for days.  I want to make a LED seed starter.

I searched through three tubs of stuff.  You know that stuff, the stuff that accumulates because you don't know where to put it.  I ended up putting it in a series of laundry baskets and tupperware totes.  After I went through them, seperating out what was going to Goodwill, seperating out the paperwork/old mail for further detailed perusal, and finding places for everything else (if it had no place, it was Goodwill), I still had no drill bits.  I was so certain that the bits were in them because that's where I threw everything when my parents visited.  So, no bits.

Onto the next possibility: The dinning room drawers.  This is a set of drawers that came from Justin's parents.  The top drawer is full of catchall stuff, rolls of scotch tape, fuses, lightbulbs, spools of thread, ribbon, dry-erase markers, all that good stuff.  I emptied the drawer into one of the now-free laundry baskets, searching for the drillbits.  They're in a blue nylon book, so it's somewhat obvious.  Still no drillbits.  I take the opportunity to re-pack the drawer.  I use gladware: one for batteries, one for screws and nails, one for fuses, one for sewing stuff.  I stack up all my appliance manuals on one side.  I find places for my tape measure, my screwdriver set, and my hammer.  I take all the random wrenches, pliers, and other hardware and set it aside for it to be brought into the basement.

Then onto the bottom drawer.  This drawer ended up being stuffed so full of stuff that the front was pulled off, leaving the drawer more like a cubbyhole.  One side is stuffed with fabric, which I refolded for the purpose of getting it to fit better.  I ended up finding some lovely brown and blue fabric that I was going to make into my bedroom curtains but I think I'll use for a dress or skirt (depending on how much I have) and some red and cream fabric that was going to be a pillow but will work for another skirt.  They're both rather stiff, but that will be ok.  Working on the other side I pulled out a plethora of other hand tools that migrated up from the basement, and in them was the pack of drill bits!

My first project was to reattach the doors to my kitchen cupboard.  They were taken off when I re-did the kitchen.  I attached the handles and the hinges to both and then carried them to the kitchen.  For some reason I ended up purchasing the wrong style of hinges.  I'm not sure how that happened.  So one project still not done.

Then I wanted to build the seed starter that I had mentioned for last weekend.  I pulled out the tupperwares for it, but for some reason when I bought them, I never checked that the lids fit on the bottoms.  ARGGH! 

So needless to say, I'm a little peeved that I can't do what I wanted, but at the same time I'm glad that I was able to clean up those piles of junk.

Posted in geeking out, work | Leave a Comment »

Answer and Ambitions

Posted by Gexx on February 20, 2009

the answer: A Key

Todo for the weekend.
1 – make initial garden plan
2 – re-find arpa permit
3 – make desk workable
4 – get taxes started (find everything)
5 – fix the garbage can (bag broke spilling catlitter to the bottom.
then it rained. now it's cemented in and the garbage people won't take
6 – make a seedstarter
7 – get stuff prepped for anderson
8 – make something for friend's Bday
9 – make french onion soup
10 – catch up on readings for ARL
11 – clean room (clothes, bedside table)

Posted in garden, geeking out, i do have a life | 1 Comment »

a riddle

Posted by Gexx on February 19, 2009

Swings by his thigh, a thing most magical!
Below the belt, beneath the folds
Of his clothes it hangs, a hole in its front end,
stiff-set and stout, it swivels about.

Levelling the head, of this hanging tool,
its wielder hoists his hem, above his knee;
it is his will to fill, a well-known hole
that it fits fully, when at full length

He's oft filled it before. Now he fills it again.

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