How do we shuffle our cards?

Over the past few months I’ve had a quote, more of an idea really, rattling around in my head. The artist James C. Christensen wrote about how he thinks about creativity and new ideas using the metaphor of a library’s card catalog. I never knew card catalogs, so in time the cards in the metaphor…… Continue reading How do we shuffle our cards?

Everyday History

I’ve met a number of people for whom history is apparently something in the classroom or textbook, a dry (possibly dusty) academic subject. I don’t blame them for thinking these things, any more than I would blame people who likewise relegate chemistry, physics, math or literature to the school building. But just as we encounter…… Continue reading Everyday History

The Revolution in Egypt

I have been wanting to write about following the events in Egypt, and how it made me feel connected to those observers who witnessed the French Revolution, as well as those who witnessed the American. I may still write a nice, scholarly post about it. This isn’t that post. I read the news on Twitter…… Continue reading The Revolution in Egypt

Categorized as General

The Wilderness and the WalMart

Just a quick note to say that today a judge in Orange County VA is hearing arguments about whether or not to take the issue of the proposed battlefield-sited WalMart to court. Please note that although WalMart and supporters say it’s “not on the battlefield,” they mean the battlefield as currently preserved by the Park…… Continue reading The Wilderness and the WalMart


When I was a kid, I had a paper cutout set that came out at Thanksgiving. It has a backdrop of Plimoth Village, and little paper Pilgrims – children and adults – as well as a handful of Native American men. I took great care every year in setting out the display, arranging it just…… Continue reading Thanksgiving

Categorized as General

Tech knowledge

One of the many hats I wear at work (because, really, who doesn’t wear multiple hats?) is as the Department Technical Support. Setting up computers, frozen screens, defective mice – I am the front line. When I’m at a loss, we call ITTS, which for us is one man with a radio.  It can be…… Continue reading Tech knowledge

Categorized as General

QuickPost: Citations

I recently finished reading The Anatomy Murders by Lisa Rosner. It’s a very readable look at the early 19th century Edinburgh murderers Burke and Hare, offering a great deal of context both for the Edinburgh they inhabited and the culture of medical anatomy which motivated them. I may write more on it later. What intrigued…… Continue reading QuickPost: Citations

Who knows what history lurks in the audiobook section…

The Shadow Knows! I’ve been listening to CD recordings of the old radio show The Shadow that I checked out of the library. The shows range from the 1930s to the 1950s and the historical context is wonderfully apparent. All except the later shows have advertising at the start, middle, and end. I’ve been encouraged…… Continue reading Who knows what history lurks in the audiobook section…

Change vs. Exchange

I am reading the Baron Montlezun’s Voyage fait dans les années 1816 et 1817: de New-Yorck à la Nouvelle-Orléans, et de l’Orénoque au Mississippi, although only the part about his visit to Orange County, Virginia (perhaps I might read the rest later). He had a conversation with President Madison, at the latter’s house, where they…… Continue reading Change vs. Exchange