A Year in the Life of a Czech Plush Monkey.

Week 32:  22 - 28 August 2004

Return to the Navajo Nation

Sunday, 22nd
We gotta get ready; this Saturday is Auction!

Twice yearly (May & Aug.) Monkey sends his webslave to help Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site and Friends of Hubbell Trading Post N. H. S. host the Native American Arts & Crafts Auctions. Wow, Monkey's tired already just trying to say all that.

Anyway, Opice's team developed the software that computerized the auction. Here he is wearing his insecurity badge directing setup of the wireless network in the auction tent. In a few hours hundreds

Network Sysgod

of Navajo Rugs, Hopi Katsinas, ceramics, turquoise and silver jewelry, cradleboards, paintings, baskets, carvings, and gobs more stuff from several tribes will get auctioned off.

That's why Monkey had to take over. That much work needed super supervision. Think about it. If you have 550 lots to sell, and you must sell them in 7 hours time, you only have 45.8181818181... seconds per lot to do so! That calls for fast computation and nothing computes faster than Monkey. In less than 1 nanosecond he knew he had to make other people do the work!

Monday, 23rd
Circle the wagons; we're surrounded by Indian
Arts & Crafts!

That's how the auction works. Off center under the circus tent is a stage for the auctioneers. Behind the stage are the computers and "lots" for sale. Local students & volunteers carry the lots around the stage (& computers) showing the buyers what's now up for bid. Around and around the art goes as it sells.

Vášek helps display an Eye Dazzler rug
Don't bother me, I'm snacking.

Monkey is in the picture above, honest. He's working behind that rug. As the rugs, baskets, ceramics, katsinas, etc., etc., etc. quickly sell, Opice must get the sales information into his database.

A database is just a bunch of organized facts, in this case important facts like Lot Number (1, 2, 3...), what the lot is (Rug), what it looks like (12' x 3' black/gray/white "Eye Dazzler" style), the weaver's name, the buyer's info (Bid Number, name, address), how much was paid, and a lot more stuff that only database people think is interesting... Besides, software is only as good as the monkey that writes it.

It's a lot of stuff to keep track of, which is why computers sure help. And banana milkshakes sure help Monkey pay attention.

Navajo Wedding basket
Opice! Get off the stage.

Tuesday, 24th
Navajo Wedding Basket

Opice likes baskets. He gets excited when he sees good ones.
Beautiful jewelry also catches his eye.
Guess what? Purple is his favorite color.
When he met these girls wearing purple dresses, turquoise and silver jewelry, carrying wedding baskets... he decided not to make any commitments.

Bachelors seldom do, I guess.

Surrounded by spokesmodels!

Wednesday, 25th

What would you bid for a Squash Blossom Necklace, Red Coral Bracelet, Turquoise Bolo Tie, and fashion challenged Czech?

Indigenous blingbling?

Interactive Katsina

Thursday, 26th
Kachina Doll,
Katchina, Katcina, Katsina, or...?

Opice does not touch the katsinas. He fears breaking them. They can be fragile. Many wood carvers are so expert the feathers or details are nearly paper thin. Pottery is similarly breakable.

You may touch the katsinas with your mouse if you'd like to. But don't let Monkey try.

Nervous Monkey, frightened Hopi pot.


Hopi Katsina

Friday, 27th

Navajo rugs generally
look like these.

Animated rug examples

Auctioneers and clerk ignore Monkey's bids.
Monkey's favorite rug styles are the Ganado, Eye Dazzler, and Two Grey Hills. He likes rugs with red and earth colors. He often bids on rugs during auction, but the Auctioneers never see him do it. I wonder why?

Saturday, 28th
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site Native American Arts and Crafts Auction

Today's the day! The tent's up, the lots for sale in the database, the buyers checking in, the computer network online, everything's ready.

All Monkey needs to do now is sleep.

Putting rugs to the test

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