Connecticut is starting to look a lot like it did when I arrived here last June. First, it has gotten warm enough that I can open the windows of my apartment again, and leave them that way. Second, daylight is arriving before 6 AM, so I guess I won’t be sleeping late on the days when I don’t set the alarm.
Third, the field across the street is active again. Remember on April 10 I wrote how it was actively used last summer, but nobody played on it after that until the end of March? Well, this morning there was a fullscale lacrosse tournament out there, with several teams playing at the same time, and at least a hundred spectators watching. They got started before 8 this morning (that’s when I first heard them, anyway), and played around the clock until 6 PM. I took one more look at the field at 7:30, and saw a soccer game in progress. Ah, the summertime fun has returned.
Fourth, I’m sleeping closer to the floor, because my air bed popped. Before I tell how that happened, I’d better explain what led up to it. On Friday afternoon I went to the mechanic that gave my car a new starter last November, because I was the ready to spend the money for some repairs the Buick has needed since then. Specifically a new EGR valve; I believe it is hurting my gas mileage to drive with a failed one. Because the valve sits on top of the engine, I believe it can be replaced in a few minutes, but the mechanic didn’t have one, and suggested I come back the next day. So I set the alarm to wake me up early on Saturday, and made another trip to the repair shop, only to find that the part wasn’t there, and neither was the lady who had ordered it, so nobody knew when it would arrive. With nothing better to do in the morning, I went and did my laundry, and after that, did some grocery shopping and had a late lunch.
Then a late nap seemed in order, but when I got up at the end of the nap, for no apparent reason, a hole suddenly ripped in the top surface of the air bed. I did not make any sudden moves; most likely the mattress just wore out, after nine months of constant use, except during Christmas week. The hole was only the size of a pea, but I couldn’t patch it up, so I had to go get another air bed. Long-time readers will remember I had bought the previous one at Costco for $130, but Costco was already closed for the evening, so next I went to Wal-Mart and bought one of their $50 models. Last night I got it set up without a hitch, and today I put some air in it for good measure, though I can’t tell if it lost any overnight.
I sure hope getting the cheap air bed was the right thing to do. I got one when I first arrived in Connecticut, as you may remember, but it sprang a leak after only three weeks, so then I got the Costco one I have been using until now. At nine months, it certainly outlasted all other air beds I have had; if it made it to the end of this job assignment, I probably would have tried to pack it up and take it home with me. Now I am only certain of the next seven weeks, because I don’t know if my job will be extended again; if it ends in June, it won’t be worth the extra expense to get the $130 bed. On the other hand, I was definitely more comfortable with the expensive bed. Because the expensive bed was twice as high, I could put things on it, like plates and books, and reach them while working at this computer without getting out of my chair. Now I feel like I’m roughing it again! It may be just as well; if I get too comfortable here, I won’t have a motivation to change my lifestyle.
While on the emotional dive from losing my bed, I got another downer the next time I went online; on Facebook I was informed by David Rohl, the archaeologist I have written about previously, that a friend of his had died of a heart attack. That friend was Dr. Gaballa Ali Gaballa — my Egyptology teacher! In the spring of 1981 he was Professor of Egyptology at Cairo University, and when he came on sabbatical to the United States, he offered a basic course at the University of Central Florida, which I happened to take. We did not keep in touch after the course ended, but I saw him on TV a couple of times in the 1990s, because he moved into the government, eventually heading the Supreme Council of Antiquities, so he was interviewed whenever an important archaeological discovery was made in Egypt. Then he retired in 2002, and the far more visible Zahi Hawass took his place. I believe he was 75 years old. Most recently I saw him in a series of videos last fall about the Hittite Empire, where he talked about Egypt’s involvement in the battle of Kadesh.
I did some searches online, and so far I have not found any obituary of Dr. Gaballa. In fact, every page I found mentioning him was dated to 2002 or earlier, like this story Al Ahram did on him in 2001:
One thing I remember from Dr. Gaballa’s course is him expressing a desire to see a complete inventory done of the statues, mummies, sarcophagi, scrolls and other artifacts which have been stashed away in the basement and attic of the Cairo Museum. Stuff which wasn’t pretty enough or important enough to put on display in glass cases, so most of it was simply forgotten. He felt that all the questions we currently have about ancient Egypt could be answered if we thoroughly examined those artifacts. Well, I’m sure he was happy to see that project begun by his successors.
Okay, so my weekend was more busy than I expected. What about yours?