Toys and distractions


Sorry for the recent lack of posting. My Macbook’s hard drive died. Replacing it was easy (… once I found the right screwdriver). Ten minute job. Replacing all my favourite stuff on the hard drive? A bloody great time-sucking pain in the arse.

But at least it’s an opportunity to dump all the crap I never bothered to use, and get new stuff (OK, probably won’t use most of those either, but it’s fun). And upgrade to Leopard. (Shiny.) And it’s a much bigger drive.

PS: completely unrelated, but it keeps making me laugh hysterically, so I just have to share: The Twat-o-Tron.

Home again


And absolutely f***ing knackered. I might have a few somewhat belated AHA thoughts over the weekend. But anyway, met plenty of great folks, ate way too much good food, took in the City of Brotherly Love (and my feet have been killing me for it… but at least all that walking must have burned off some of the calories). There might be some Philly photos when I unpack the camera too.

A pause for thought


Expect light posting from now until, well, possibly mid-January. I really do have a lot to do before and after Christmas.

But as a quick comment, yet again, on the ‘why blog?’ question: well, I’m currently thinking and writing about my research interests for applications, and I’ve been able to use various things I’ve written over the course of the year to focus my thoughts: from quite solid ideas about my naughty gents (who are heading slowly towards the status of serious scholarship. and I promise there will be more about them in the new year… when this damned book manuscript is done), to my fuzzier long-term thoughts, once I get this stuff about people battering the crap out of each other out of my system (I’m a pacifist really! honest!), about travellers and border crossings, and somewhere inbetween, work I’d really like to do on servants and masters. See: blogging is not a frivolous waste of time. Well, not all of it.

Anyway, back to work.

PS: how’s about this for an alternative to “keeping a blog”: “developing the potential of the Web* to communicate scholarly research to non-academic audiences in accessible forms, to foster communications between researchers and to increase understanding of history (as a subject and a discipline) in general and my field in particular”…? Am I full of it or what? Heh.

*or maybe more specific: “new forms of web software” rather than “the Web”.

Xmas shopping nightmares


I think it really does get worse every year. (Fortunately I have a relatively small circle of friends and family to deal with. But at this rate they’ll all be getting book tokens and chocolate. Admittedly, extremely good quality chocolate, but still. Or socks.)

It’s partly having spent so long in a fairly small town with a limited set of choices. Let’s face it, I know every bloody shop in Aberystwyth. I know exactly what’ll be there. And the Christmas Craft Fair increasingly saps my will to live. (I’m sure it used to be pretty good…) And I’m not at all sure I can face several hours on a train to the nearest real city shopping centres.

Anyone got any online gift shopping favourites? (Speaking in practical terms, they need to be UK-based – it’s getting too late for things from anywhere else to arrive in time.)

Email troubles


Having some trouble connecting to my university webmail this weekend: those of you who usually email me at that address should know that there might be a delay in getting a reply back to you. Use if you can, for the time being.

And anyone know what it means when you get an error message saying “The connection to (webmail) has terminated unexpectedly. Some data may have been transferred”? It’s been doing it on and off since yesterday. Should I worry about it?