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Thanksgiving [Nov. 24th, 2014|10:10 pm]
AHEM! Three days until Thanksgiving - so where are the thanks?

I hereby and without reservation thank a good medical system that kept me from dying on the operating table. University of Missouri/Columbia hospital, and their doctors, nurses, LPN's, RN's, PA's, pharmacists, radiologists, oncologists, interns, students, respiratory technicians, lab geeks, whoever came up with Percocet, fentanyl (oh the painless dreams I had!), morphine, and anti-fungals,and most especially the cleaning staff which has a job no person should ever have to do day in and day out but continued to do it cheerfully and without complaint, at least in my presence. I shudder to think of how many gallons of blood and urine they must mop up every day.

I mean it. Next time you see anyone mopping up in a hospital, thank them.
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(no subject) [Feb. 24th, 2014|11:49 pm]
Note to self: stop trying to write FaceBook entries that require thought after 10:00 PM. Every time I do, it seems I make no sense at all, even when I read them the next morning.

...so, what is an appropriate phrase to use for the Vernal/Autumnal Equinox when writing a note that'll be read at the same time in both hemispheres?
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K'zoo books [May. 31st, 2013|03:37 am]
One of the reasons I go to the Kalamazoo medieval congress is, of course, that quite a few publishers display old, new, and advance copies of books. This year, there seemed to be more than the usual number of archaeological-report series ("Findings from the 10th-century digs at Outer Slobovia" with 14 yearly volumes so far; "Upper Fitchburistan: A multi-century, multi-layer, cross-cultural set of really old stuff", 49 yearly volumes....). Most of said volumes present reports of a good cross-section of the items found ("At level XXXIX, carbon-dated to October 21, 2231 BCE, we found purple pies, a left-handed sewer wrench, and a dozen two-slot three-pronged blivets") and some volumes are centered around a particular class of objects over several decades/centuries ("silk purses from sow's ears: a five-century study of dead pig stuff").

I'd love to be able to stock all of them, except that Potboiler Press is, like most small independent stores, lacking in both money to buy inventory and space to put it in.

So, I wonder, I does: knowing there are not a few re-enactors, re-creationists, and archaeology fiends, if you were of the mind to buy archaeological-report books, would you buy either
a) volumes that involve many objects from one culture and/or time period ("10th century Anglo-Saxon material from the dig at Inner Fenwick, Australia"), or

b) volumes that involve a single type of object (footwear, jewelry, textiles, beer and mead...) over a broad swath of time, or

c) a particular dig (e.g., the several volumes that have come out of the raising of The Mary Rose - one large find with multiple objects concerning ship-board life from the early 16th century England)?

Comment here, if you like, or if you have particular requests or comments as long as this one, email them to owner at potboilerpress dot com.

(Yeah, I know polls are doable here, but it's 3:20 AM, and even if it weren't, I'm too lazy.)
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48th Kalamazoo medieval congress, my comments on [May. 29th, 2013|04:52 pm]
Thursday 10:00 am
Collaboration: Scribes with Scribes, Scribes with Artists.Collapse )

Thursday 1:30 pm
Late Medieval Collections: Manuscripts and/or Books Bound TogetherCollapse )

Thursday 3:30 pm
I had intended to go to a session on Metals in Architecture, but wound up having a lively conversation at a table near the coffee and tea service, with Eric Johnson, OSU's curator of early books and manuscripts, and Mildred Budny of the ( Research Group on Manuscript Evidence ). It was quite an accidental conversation: none of us knew who the others were or of our mutual interests until five minutes into talking. Dr. Johnson was much of the school of thought that believes in showing students actual artifacts (in his case, books and individual artifacts) rather than showing them photographs or reproductions; he said they respond so much better, so much more lively, when they can actually hold a 400-year-old hand-illuminated hand-scribed *real* *honest-to-God* page, rather than see a slide and listen to a discussion. This is (as most of you know) a school of thought to which I very firmly belong. Which is why this conversation lasted for well over an hour.

Friday 10:00
Playing with Food: Exploring Medieval Food-Ways in Classroom and Popular CultureCollapse )

Friday 1:30
Dress and Textiles I: Looking NorthCollapse )

Friday. 3:30
Medieval Manuscripts in North American CollectionsCollapse )

Saturday, 10:00
The Greatest Sport”: Histories of Collecting Medieval ManuscriptsCollapse )

Saturday, 3:30 PM
Iron Smelting Demonstration (A Workshop)Collapse )
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(no subject) [Oct. 2nd, 2012|03:48 am]
Back to occasional insomniacal posting, with a probably badly worded request, but I'm sure most of you will know what I'm trying to say even when I don't:

I know some of you are medieval-music junkies, or know some MMJ's. And I believe most of you know I've acquired a few pre-17th-century books, some of which are musical in nature (e.g., Giovanelli's Novi [atque catholici] thesauri musici.) As far as I know, some of the music has never been published in modern editions, and I suspect (without much proof) that some of the music therein has never been recorded.

The books I have have been digitized, thanks to a Nikon D300 digital camera, a fair amount of time, and tendonitis in the thumb that's pressed the shutter release way too often.

I'm wondering if there's a good way to let medieval-music groups know that such a resource is available for their use and/or redaction and/or editing, translating, publishing, etc., etc., etc., without making me sound more like an idiot than I do now, posting this here. ("Hi. You don't know me, since I have absolutely no credentials in either the medieval music field or in performance. I happen to have these, like, really old books with, y'know, like, really old music that've been digitized. Wanna use them?" .....and the answer comes back, "Who is this idiot?") And then there's the problem that, as a non-medieval-music specialist, I don't know where to begin checking to see if I'm right in assuming no modern editions and/or no recordings.

Any suggestions as to how to proceed? And how to persuade anyone that I do indeed have the books, that they are indeed digitized, and that I am willing to provide the images?

...and if anyone in the SCA knows of any groups wanting some really nice period music to sing at events....
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bibliographic armorial stamp database [Aug. 15th, 2012|02:24 pm]
Feel free to copy/post wherever appropriate:

In my alternate persona of small-time bookstore owner, I subscribe to online news flashes about forthcoming publications from various publishers. This one just popped up in my inbox, from the University of Toronto: British Armorial Bindings.

This catalogue which attempts to record all known British armorial bookbinding stamps used by personal owners to mark and decorate their books, reproduces over 3,300 stamps used between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries, associated with nearly two thousand individual owners....

...The database has been created and hosted at the University of Toronto and is made available as a free public resource through the sponsorship of the Bibliographical Society.

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(no subject) [May. 14th, 2012|04:00 pm]
I knew it! I knew it!

Domesday Book 1, Digital Media 0

From The Economist, 28 April 2012:
IN 1086 William the Conqueror completed a comprehensive survey of England and Wales. “The Domesday Book”, as it came to be called, contained details of 13,418 places and 112 boroughs—and is still available for public inspection at the National Archives in London. Not so the original version of a new survey that was commissioned for the 900th anniversary of “The Domesday Book”. It was recorded on special 12-inch laser discs. Their format is now obsolete.
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Spanish Grant of Arms [Jan. 10th, 2012|02:43 pm]
A while ago (as in about six years ago), I was lucky enough to be able to buy a Spanish Grant of Arms, granted by Felipe II to one of the few surviving conquistadors. Large document, lavish and excellent calligraphy and illumination, colored out the wazoo, and generally really, really nice to look at.
Unfortunately, it's in Spanish, which I do not understand. Several people have enquired about getting a translation done, so that the text might be used or modified in some way for SCA purposes. I finally got around to asking David Szewczyk, co-principal of Philadelphia Rare Books & Manuscripts (from whom I purchased it) to translate, and he did, and here it is, finally.

Here are some not very good photos of the grant.

Here is a description of the document:Collapse )
A translation of the text into English:Collapse )
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(no subject) [Jan. 15th, 2010|10:17 pm]
Permission to cross-post far and wide:

A rather long list of organizations, denominational and non-, liberal and conservative, helping the Haitians.

(Yes, I know DailyKos is liberal - but people wanting to help disaster victims know no politics, I hope.)

And thanks to robespierrette, from whom I borrowed the link.
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"10 Things I Want" meme [Dec. 16th, 2009|11:02 am]
It's been rolling around in the back of my mind for a week or two. I already have enough stuff, to the point where some of it has been thrown out, put into storage, or given to Goodwill. And the stuff I'd really love to have isn't exactly inexpensive (has anyone priced an original Gutenberg Bible recently?), or insubstantial (an end to poverty, war, hunger, disease, injustice....), or both. Well, there is also that whole "better health would be nice" thing, and the "anyone want to introduce me to a local woman who's charming, friendly, intelligent, nice, clean, intelligent, witty, nice-looking, intelligent...." thing, but I digress. I'm talking something that can be done, not out-and-out impossibilities.

So, a thought popped into mind an hour or two ago: this being the season of giving and all that, and I could always use an emotional picker-upper, and "ten things I want" could be expanded to "ten groups I want to know about" -

Tell me of a good charity you'd love money be donated to. It can be international, national, regional, or local; it must do good works (for a broad definition of "good"); it must be non-sectarian in what it does (i.e., the Sisters of the Most Holy Church of the Spaghetti Monster, Scientist, would be okay, if donations can go to just the soup kitchen they run for all poor, not just Pastafarians). Food banks, nature-conservation groups, legal-rights groups, botanical gardens (especially the ones that are active in conserving rare and endangered species), zoos (ditto), museums, shelter-builders (e.g., Habitat for Humanity), equal rights groups, children's hospitals, literacy programs, libraries, schools, community-service groups, public radio stations,....

I can't absolutely guarantee I'll give money to it since my funds are not limitless, but I can't give to your charity-of-choice if you don't tell me what it is, either.

Give me groups good enough to give to. Include a URL, if you could. And you're quite welcome to email me privately, if you wish, at (alban at socket dot net).

(Of course, if anyone does know of the ideal woman in the greater mid-Missouri area....)
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(no subject) [Apr. 8th, 2009|12:51 am]
This political commentary brought to you by a sleeping pill that's having the opposite effect.


Huh. There's been lots of reportage on NPR (National Public Radio here in the States; publicly funded news and entertainment sort of like the BBC but with less charm, for you non-North Americans) on recent pro-gay-marriage legalization in both Iowa (via those "activist" courts) and Vermont (via the legislature; you never hear of an "activist legislature" even when they do something identical to the courts, though. I wonder why?), errrr, right....but it took my young cousin who's currently in Paris to tell me that Washington, D.C.'s city council just voted 12-0 in favor of legalizing gay marriage. It still has to pass the mayor's scrutiny - he's in favor - and the Congress' approval (for political reasons too weird to go into here) which will be much, much, much harder - but D.C. has joined the movement, at least for a while.

An article on what happened in DC - which has this bit, too:

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins on Tuesday condemned the votes in Vermont and Washington.

"Same-sex 'marriage' is a movement driven by wealthy homosexual activists and a liberal elite determined to destroy not only the institution of marriage, but democracy as well. Time and again, we see when citizens have the opportunity to vote at the ballot box, they consistently opt to support traditional marriage," Perkins said.

"The radical left wants to destroy the traditional union of one man and one woman across the country and they will not rest until they do so. The marriage amendment movement has been many times more successful than the same-sex 'marriage' movement," Perkins added.

Right. That's the first time I've heard of those dangerous wackoes, the "wealthy homosexual activists". Ditto, their attempt to destroy democracy as we know it...although how gay marriage will destroy democracy when a democratically elected city council, voted into office by democratically-minded citizens voting in an open, free, fair, and unbiased election, democratically chooses to allow gay marriage without any intervention by those "activist courts" that conservatives loathe is anti-democratic, I have no idea.

And would someone please tell me how two guys getting hitched "destroys" the institution of marriage? I keep hearing that, and no-one will explain to me, in simple terms, how that'll happen.

It's quotes like that that make me glad there's groups like the Family Research Council around. Court jesters do make life a bit more enjoyable.
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Stuff Having Been Digitized, Ye Consolidated List of, Part the 3rd [Feb. 13th, 2009|11:24 am]
Edited to add a LJ-cut.
Folia, Bifolia, and other bits and piecesCollapse )
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Stuff Having Been Digitized, Ye Consolidated List of, Part the 2nd [Feb. 13th, 2009|11:23 am]
Edited to add a LJ-cut.
Books and Pamphlets, Part 2Collapse )
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Stuff Having Been Digitized, Ye Consolidated List of, Part the 1st [Feb. 13th, 2009|11:21 am]
Edited to add a LJ-cut.
Books and Pamphlets, Part 1Collapse )
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(no subject) [Jan. 1st, 2001|01:23 pm]
Friends' locked.
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