Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Monday, April 14, 2014
April 14, Illinois, Light Snow
I really shouldn’t have put away the winter coats.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
The Good News according to Dorothy
I drop off my son at first grade a few minutes before my daughter at preschool, so we have extra time until preschool starts. When it’s cold, like today, we go inside the preschool building to wait.
The building used to be a church, and the waiting area has a Good News Bible. Dorothy (who has not been raised in a religious way) likes to look at the illustrations and the chapter numbers, and tell me stories. Some recent bible tales she’s told:
"Mother and Daddy waking up in London" (after cereal and soup for breakfast, they immediately went shopping).
Three kings and One Queen
The Seven Dwarves
Twelve People, the Girl, and the Steam (you would think this was from the life of Jesus, but we were still in Kings then).
These were particularly incongruous today, since Malcolm asked about Passover (he read it off the calendar), and we talked about that on the way to his school.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Closeup of the giant dust bunny that was infesting Tara’s laptop. It should run a lot quieter and cooler now.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Brushing the cat. She is concentrating so hard to do it right.
Local color. Tara went to this PTC meeting, as it turns out, but was not the mom in the title.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
An insider’s view of what I’m doing with the show.
So I’ve had complaints from both ends of the spectrum. When I was doing a ton of cultural stuff, I had people annoyed that I wasn’t tackling kings and queens enough. And now that I’ve given the drama of Northumbria a full telling, I’m getting complaints that I’m not talking enough about culture. The fact that people are complaining from both sides is probably an indication I’m doing something right, but I wanted to let you know what my plan was.
And my plan is this… rather than doing months long excursions into one side or another, I’m trying to bounce back and forth. Obviously, I couldn’t do that during the Northumbrian mess because it was one gigantic continuous story of murder, exiles, and comebacks. And when we have large stories that really do deserve a steady focus, I’ll probably continue doing that. But part of what I really enjoy about this project, and what I think is really important about properly teaching history, is to also talk about things other than Kings and battles. So I definitely don’t want to abandon that aspect of the story, which is why I’m going to spend several weeks talking about the shifts in society and how this concentration of power, and the rise of towns, is leading to increased stratification and complexity in society.
So that’s my plan on how to handle this stuff… and even when I’m just focused on Kings for a while, like recently, I’ll still try to mix in cultural aspects (like I did with the issues of conversion).
Anyway, thanks for sticking with me. Honestly, I’ve been designing this show as I’ve gone along, and when I get feedback from you guys it really does alter the direction of the show. But I think doing a back and forth style might be the best way to try to keep everyone happy and also give this material the attention it deserves.
But yeah, if you have any comments or requests, you can always let me know here, over email, or via some other method like carrier pigeon. I really do listen and take your thoughts on this very seriously.
If you’re not listening to the British History Podcast, you really should try it. In the author’s style particularly, I hear a lot of what I love about the History of Rome and Revolutions podcasts.
I’m personally celebrating a little because:
1. After starting at the beginning a few months back, I’ve finally caught up to the current BHP episodes!
2. I really enjoyed the recent episodes about Anglo-Saxon kings Penda and Oswiu.
Tax season is mostly done!
I should not have put off the taxes this long, but I was dreading all the employee stock data entry, confusing forms, etc. Not that I do a lot of that, but we switched firms and systems this year, which required a lot of small transactions to hand off.
It’s really not worth the hassle to re-learn this once a year; I wish they’d just pay me more instead.
The good news is that it’s done now!