Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Postin' links, postin' links...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Memes II: The Memening

And, here's the second meme!:

1. List these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog.

First: I have succeeded in working the 1912 New York Giants baseball team into a lecture on the irregular Latin verbs "Volo," "Malo," and "Nolo." I did this yesterday.
Second: I have a fairly decent collection of punk rock albums.
Third: Most of said albums are in the wrong CD cases; I am somewhat lackadaisical in that respect.
Fourth: I, too, am fond of the mighty olive (green or black)!
Fifth: I have very recently, for the very first time in my life, become a cellphone owner. So far, so good, with that!
Sixth: I firmly believe, and have argued as much, that Hole were better than Nirvana.
Seventh: My three favourite Latin authors are Tacitus, Catullus, and Pliny the Younger, in no particular order.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
Ah-ha! I shall be wild and crazy and not follow this rule! Fight the Power!! Fight the Power!! * Runs Away *

Friday Memes I

A long long time ago, we got tagged for a meme by Chorus. More recently, we got tagged again. Here's the older of the two!

The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.
Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.
At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Ten years ago:
Ah, 1998! I remember it well. The big thing that year was that I started work at the University Bookstore, in the warehouse. It was, I must say, a fine place to work, with fine people.

Five things on today's "to do" list:
1. Mark some Latin quizzes (see below)
2. Carry out (Perform? Do? Answer?) the second meme (also see below. And above, eventually)
3. Read some more medieval Latin sources on the Battle of Varna.
4. Begin to ponder contemplating the possibility of writing a report on the pottery found this past June.

Things I'd do if I was a billionaire:
Two Words: Generalissimo Chunklets.

Three bad habits:
1. I put off marking.
2. I put off doing memes.
3. I lose nail clippers at a truly astonishing pace.

Five places I've lived:
1. Here!
2. In another place, also here, but a different part of here, if you catch my drift.
3. Chicago, Illinois.
4. Ypsilanti, Michigan.
5. Given the amound of time, overall, that I've spent there, I'm going to mention Ossaia, Italy.

Five jobs I've had:
1. Bookstore Clerk
2. Latin Instructor
3. Various sorts of Archaeologist
4. Operatic Supernumerary
5. Van Driver (for a local used-clothes-collecting charity)

Five People I'm Tagging:
Given the age of this meme, and the fact that most of the blogs I read have already dealt with it, I shall pass on tagging this time!

Teh Funny! here.

Speaking of which, is David Wells still playing?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Manny Ramirez Vs. A Fly Ball

Spoiler: The ball wins.

Friday, July 18, 2008

And, Making A Cameo Appearance...

The above picture is a scene from the Battle of Varna, fought on November 10th, 1444. It ended in a decisive if costly victory for the Ottoman Turks over a combined force of Hungarians, Poles, and others. I believe that the painting (a 19th-century work by Jan Matejko) depicts the heroically stupid charge of Wladislaw III of Poland against the janissaries of Sultan Murad, a military action that resulted in Wladislaw's death and the defeat of the Europeans (it really was a case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The brilliant Hungarian general John Hunyadi had managed to rout the Ottomans and overrun their camp, and Wladislaw's charge, which Hunyadi begged him not to undertake, turned the entire course of the battle).

I've been helping a friend translate some Latin sources on the Battle of Varna, including some letters written by a certain Andreas de Palatio, a papal envoy who witnessed the battle. In describing the prelude to the battle, he describes the arrival of a potential ally to the Europeans:

"In stacione autem nostra sub urbe Nicopolii illustris Wlad waywoda Transalpine Walachie, qui et Dracula dicitur, Danubium traiecit in Bulgariam..."

"Moreover, during our vigil below the city of Nicopolis, the famous Vlad, Prince of Transalpine Wallachia, who is also called 'Dracula', crossed the Danube into Bulgaria..."

Of course, this immediately led to the mental image of...

...taking part in the Battle of Varna. Unfortunately, however, the battle was likely relatively vampire-free. The Vlad referred to here is not Vlad III Tepes, a.k.a. "Vlad the Impaler," who would later inspire Bram Stoker. It is, in fact, his father Vlad II Dracul (Stoker seems to have been ever-so-slightly confused over the names). Still rather fun to see the name in a contemporary document, though!

First note: This isn't the only fun Latin project I've embarked upon recently (leaving aside the teaching of the Latin summer course). One of the local High Schools (the covert canine's alma mater, to be precise), is set to offer Latin in the fall, and the Latin-teacher-to-be and I are frantically working to get her up to speed.

Second note: The internet is a charming place, sometimes. I found the Battle of Varna painting at a site, which I will neither name nor link to, that claims to present the history of the conflict between Islam and the West "from a neutral and factual viewpoint" (their words). It then goes on to enthusiastically endorse the forcible lobotomizing of all Muslims. Uh, that's just swell, guys...

Monday, July 14, 2008

And There Was Much Rejoicing!!

The medical news out of the South of Italy, alluded to here, is all good! Everything went fine, and resting is underway.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

More Pictures!

I am a sucker for small, narrow, windy, medieval alleyways, a thing we are sadly short of out here. It is not a thing, however, that Tuscan and Umbrian towns particularly lack! So... a couple of favourites here:

Vicolo della Notte (I think), on a rainy afternoon in Cortona.

The same, at a somewhat more appropriate time of day.

The sinister-sounding Via delle Streghe, in Perugia. Witches not included.

As always, click on the pictures to embiggen them!

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Picture Or Several

Working backwards in time, then, here are a few pictures from the second bit of digging we got up to this summer. First of all, behold the glory that is the dig van, early on before it got tired:

The Archeospeedwagon at rest.

Unlike most digs, the staff dwelling for this one was actually fairly luxurious:

However, I'm sad to report that our little apartment suffered from a faunal infestation. I opened the door the first morning we were there, and this wandered in and started sniffing things:

I'm pretty sure I didn't order one...

Sigh. The things we have to put up with on digs. Anyway, she was quite friendly, and entirely willing (sometimes) to be a lap-cat. Whe belongs to the owners of the residence, and pretty much had the run of the place while we were there.

A view from the outside:

Note hideous beast, contemplating storming the place and smelling everything. Her name is Agata.

Anyway, it was a lovely place to retreat to after work, especially as it was up on a hillside, and therefore breezy. This was especially nice in the last couple of weeks, when the temperature flirted with Very Hot.

Click on any of the pictures to make them bigger!

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Very Brief Post

Home, and tired. More (with pictures!) soon.