One of the many benefits of working in center city is the entertaining people who share the city with you. Everyday people watching experiences are of the best variety and beyond entertaining. In my case, not only do I work in center city, but I work right on Broad Street about two blocks north of City Hall. Which means quality protests! (and in some cases lack of quality protests) Over the past few years I have watched some very entertaining protests, pro-union, anti-union, pro-war, anti-war, budgets for various organizations, and of course, campaigning.

At the beginning of the summer I was looking forward to a new wave of protests and demonstrations! But there have been none! Not one! Not even some old guy sitting on the corner with a sign about the war! Needless to say I have been a little disappointed but I simply had to be happy with the other vagrants that roam the city.

Today that changed! I was chatting with one of my coworkers at her cubicle when all of a sudden we heard shouting and (for some odd reason) whistles! As quickly as I could I grabbed my phone and snapped these pictures. Apparently the sweeping budget cuts occurring in the city finally bothered a few people into action! It appeared to be a group from a charter school protesting the cut to their budget.   

Birds eye view of the protest

Birds eye view of the protest

With all the time and effort I am sure went into making that huge banner, it was almost impossible to read it from any angle!

With all the time and effort I am sure went into making that huge banner, it was almost impossible to read it from any angle!

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A weekend of excitement!

August 31, 2009

For the first time in what seems like a very very long time I actually had an “at home” weekend! Yes I know, shocking! The family returned from their vacation sometime on Friday afternoon and so we all spend the rest of the evening at home with delicious food from Sakura Springs. This is as good of a start as any to a weekend home!

I spent several hours at the archaeology lab on Saturday doing a combination of things. I started off with finishing off 8 trays of class that needed undercoating, labeling, and top coating. With the help of another girl at the lab and a brief espresso break we finished the trays rather quickly. I spend the rest of the afternoon working to complete the mending of about a dozen redware bowls and basins, part of the time with another woman and part of the time alone. It turns out she is a freelance graphic designer with her husband and had to go home to work on a few projects. It always amazes me at the variety of people that volunteer at the lab! Now back to business!

Redware was a very popular style of potter and very affordable to the everyday person. Its color is due to the color of the clay in the soil and it has a gritty consistency, kind of like brick.

Redware

Redware

These two objects are significantly nicer that what I work with but you get the idea.

These two objects are significantly nicer that what I work with but you get the idea.

When mending redware, or any other type of pottery, we use drafting tape to hold things together until (and if) they are glued. Tape does not stick well to redware since the artifact tends to crumble pretty easily and little grains render the tape non-sticky! It also doesn’t help that some pieces are no larger than my finger nail and others are half that size!

Imagine dropping dozens of these basins, then burying them with a bunch of other stuff for 200 years, then dig them up, and put them back together! That is what we do in the lab

Imagine dropping dozens of these basins, then burying them with a bunch of other stuff for 200 years, then dig them up, and put them back together! That is what we do in the lab

Upon leaving the lab I was inclined to take a few pictures of the park before I got to my car. I managed to take these two before it started to thunder. Lucky for me, however, I managed to get to my car before the intense downpour started and then it followed me over to NJ!

Chestnut St. between 5th and 6th

Chestnut St. between 5th and 6th

Independence Hall

Independence Hall

Liberty Bell Building

Liberty Bell Building

 

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! Turned out to be a pleasant day as well!! I spend a few hours over the afternoon on the back porch drinking tea and studying for the GRE. I started on a new Kaplan book I picked up a few weeks ago, and let me tell you I like how it’s set up! It teaches you more about how to take the test and how to beat the test than the actual content. To be honest that seems like the only way to get a decent score. I could know all the information on the test and still get a 400 total (which would be my score if I turned in a blank test). Regardless the weather was beautiful and I was able to enjoy my tea in relative peace!

Afternoon Tea with Black Cap Honey

Afternoon Tea with Black Cap Honey

Turkish Apple Tea

Turkish Apple Tea

The August Christmas Creep

August 25, 2009

So I have noticed the Christmas Creep coming earlier, and earlier every year. Now we have all come to accept that Santa Claus makes his first appearance before we have even pulled our wool topcoats out of storage (or at least before I have). To most people this means late October early November, but every year it seems to get closer and closer… The whole Christmas in July thing is awful and a pathetic way to get people into the shopping spirit (which during this economic downturn isn’t exactly the best idea for a lot of people). But I have since come to exclude the “Christmas in July” ploy in my Christmas Creep observations.

My first exposure to the Creep this year was a few weeks ago. I was shopping in a Bath and Body Works in Philly and received a packet of coupons from store upon making my purchase. I like coupons as much as the next person and I don’t mind free things when I buy something I actually need, but upon closer inspection of the coupon I noticed that they are valid over a specific time period through November! The last section of the packet and the last coupon were dedicated to their holiday line! At least they didn’t expect you to BUY anything from their holiday line in August but it didn’t stop them from advertising for it early and getting you into the “Christmas Shopping Mindset” the early August!

My second exposure to the Creep occurred today (thus prompting me to write this portion of my blog entry!) from Sur La Table, a popular culinary store! I am on their e-mail list, (they have amazing tea accoutrements) and today’s e-mail was titled “Online Only: They’ve Arrived! Preview our New Ornaments!” I believe I stared at this e-mail for a few moments before I realized that what I was looking at were Christmas Tree Ornaments!

This just goes to show there is no stopping this Christmas Creep from coming earlier and earlier!

Brett Favre signed with the Vikings (pending his physical of course) today for $10-12 million. I am beyond annoyed with this development. Not only is he coming back to the rivals of his Packers he did so after he SPECIFICALLY STATED he would not come back and he would remain retired with his lawn mower. He still has a rotator cuff tear and still leads the league in interceptions. There is also Rosenfels and Jackson who are both decent QB’s (not that I would draft either of them for a fantasy football team and I would be pissed if they played for the Eagles), add Favre into the mix and who knows what drama we will have to deal with.

When I went out for lunch I experienced another ridiculously hot Philadelphia day…but I took some pictures just so you can see how hazy it is out there…its horrible….and so is Favre.

City Hall

City Hall

Ben Franklin Bridge (from Broad and Vine Streets)

Ben Franklin Bridge (from Broad and Vine Streets)

I’m having mixed feelings about Blood of Ambrose. It has so much potential but it’s just not as deep as I would normal like. Maybe it needs more time or I should just dig in and read it in one long sitting. It feels like he is trying to set something up, something big, but we just aren’t getting there. And now the second part is 6 or 7 months later!? Maybe he should have made the book a two part and really dove into the story. It’s subtle, and I understand the reader is supposed to put the pieces of the puzzle together but its not a very complex puzzle. It also seems to move from scene to scene rather quickly instead of developing more in depth characters. I’m going to give it time before I give it my final judgement.

 

P.S. I’m ok with the Vick Situation.

 

This is one of the best articles in a long time that sums up Philadelphia sports, it’s not long give it a quick read:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/trainingcamp09/news/story?id=4403926