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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Dud Suds

During Bob's visit last weekend we went through all my old pictures and reminisced about the old days when used to come up to Kodiak every summer to do archaeology. Those were the pre kid and even pre Zoya days. Things were a little different.

I had totally forgotten about how we used to shoot rockets out over Mill Bay. Today I'd be totally PO'd if a neighbor did this, and on some nights the fireworks at nearby Mill Bay beach do drive us nuts (I've joked about taking a crying, sleep-deprived kid down to one of the parties at the beach and telling everybody that since we can't sleep we'd thought we'd hang out until the party ended). In the old days I was the jerk lighting off the fireworks! And note how short the spruce trees on the cliff edge used to be - today they are over 20 feet high.

During the summer of 1999 when Bob visited we were excavating at the Outlet site up on Buskin Lake and it rained every day. Every evening we'd get back to the 'Ponderosa' (our name for the house back then), light a fire the fireplace and drink bad beer. Another archaeologist, Ross, who was trying to fly out to Aniakshak on the Peninsula to do archaeology was weathered in town for a week. He came to stay with us at the Ponderosa and excavated with us in the rain every day at the Outlet site (until the weather cleared and he left). We decided to have a cheap beer contest (see top photo). So every night we bought a different 12 pack of cheap beer and then rated it. The commercial cheap beer varieties, and light beers were excluded.

We narrowed the cheap beers down to a final four and then had blind taste tests out of small glasses for the final event. Two female archaeologists, Kris and Jennie) on their way to excavate out on Sitkalidak Island joined us for this while Ross had already flown off to the Peninsula and left us. What is surprising is that the results were pretty consistent. Everybody liked Old Milwaukee and Olympia the best. However, the Olympia we were drinking came in small bottles ('dumpies') which we felt gave it a taste advantage over the canned Old Swill. So Old Milwaukee was declared the winner.

What's funny is that today Bob and Ross work together at an archaeology firm down near Seattle. But they first met at my house - drinking bad beer by night and digging in the rain by day. Patrick

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