Where in the hell am I?

Stories from the road, and home, by a contract archaeologist.

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Location: Texas, United States

I work out of town a lot as a contract archaeologist. Sometimes it's interesting. It can be quite funny, although probably only to other archys. Home is Austin, with my wife and our cute kitty and all of our crazy friends.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

There will be blood

Surveying always means lots of scratches and cuts. You're dealing with briar, barbed wire, cactus, mesquite, juniper, (insert your own regional thorny thing here), etc. I have a scratch on my stomach from something that passed through four layers of clothing.
But I have never had a field nick that bled like the one I currently have on my neck. It is the tiniest little puncture wound you can imagine. The scab is about the size of a poppy seed. But I guess it's right on top of a major artery, because when it comes off the blood literally runs down my neck. I've had much larger, more painful cuts that haven't bled a tenth of what this little prick will.
Speaking of "These things will happen", that was precisely the response I got for the land agent and the drill crew project manager about our landowner incidents. I was stunned, until the drill crew guy followed it up with, "Well, it's was not the fault of anyone in this office."
I now know the sound of six jaws dropping simultaneously.
It was truly amazing how minor they seemed to think the situation was, and how pissed off they seemed to be that we were making a big deal out of it. What made me angrier still was that I was in part trying to do them a favor by making them aware of potential access issues. I was also legitimately concerned for the safety of my crew. Their guys are out on humongous drill trucks. We're out walking around. The landowners know that there will be huge trucks rumbling on their land at some point, but probably aren't expecting 2-3 people in safety vests out on the back forty.
Anyway, I went in after a short field day yesterday and found someone who would help me, and got all the information I'd asked for on Monday morning (and should have had before then) within an hour. Now I know every property ID, and the permit status of every property as of January 14th, and have it on a map. This doesn't mean more incidents won't happen, but I've now made every effort to get the permit information to the land agent...so next time, there's no way it's our fault. Plus, we're almost done.

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Anonymous Joolie said...

Sorry about all the pricks!

11:11 AM  
Blogger St. Murse said...

Whoo-boy, sure am glad I don't have to deal with that. And don't pick at that scab. And make sure your tetanus booster is up-to-date.

6:31 AM  
Blogger mybloodyself said...

Wow, that sounds aggravating. Still, good experience for you.

9:52 AM  

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