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The Slow Days of Yule

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Life seems to slow down this time of year. It is a bit of a paradox because, of course, Christmas is one of the most hectic of times. Once the shopping madness is over and cooking gives way to warming leftovers, the year comes full circle and there is time to breathe before the holidays […]

Fingered by the Index

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

I don’t remember when I first read Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy. Whenever it was, I have read it many times since. I won’t go into much of it here, it would be well off topic. Suffice it to say that it deals with a vast sweep of the future and the decline of a great […]

Words to the Wise

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Words. They are the smallest unit of meaning. The documents we study, the stories we are told are built up of those units. Little bits of meaning are added to each other until some information is conveyed. To understand that information we need to understand the basic ingredients. Do we always know what those ingredients […]

A Visit to the Old World

Sunday, August 7th, 2011

A neighbor and I just took a small herd of kids to one of my favorite living history sites, Old World Wisconsin. I’ve probably been there more than a half a dozen times over the years and like any good bit of living history, you learn something new every time if you keep your eyes […]

A Measure of Confusion

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

One of those bits of reverse culture-shock that I have experienced since returning to the U.S. after twenty years abroad has to do with measurement. After years of only needing to think about the metric system’s factors of ten, it was time to try to remember all the factors of 3, 4, 6, 12, 16 […]

Dour about Dowers?

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

I love words. Like people they have origins and even genealogies. They even have family groups and cousins both close and distant. They have ancestors and many will leave descendants. Words have their own personalities—definitions, shades of meaning and special ways of behaving. They change as they grow older. When reading an old document it […]