A Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving feast as guests of the Malcolms. Since Aaron did not get to cook for this occasion, Charlene offered up her kitchen the next day. I have never had such delicious dressing. And the turkey was excellent.

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Opening Christ’s Tomb

I found this several weeks ago and have been waiting to post it. When I was in Jerusalem in June, I went multiple times to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is such an inspiring and interesting place on so many levels. One high point was hearing the Franciscans sing the evening Office and accompany them in a candlelight procession within the church reminiscent of the Way of the Cross. Experiencing the church at different times, especially by candlelight, was quite remarkable. It is easy to see why it has been a place of pilgrimage for two millennia.

I always made sure to enter the Edicule, the structure surrounding the niche where Jesus’s body was laid. This trip, it was surrounded by construction fencing as a Greek firm was preparing to make important restorations.

I look forward to the National Geographic special. Truth-be-told, I was hoping there would be a live streaming of the process as there was of the raising of the Costa Concordia. You can also find additional information here and here.

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A Thorough Purge

A week ago, my sister re-posted an item on her Facebook feed that basically said, “Watch the politics. I want to be your friend after the election.” I couldn’t agree more. I use Facebook to keep up with family and watch cute animal videos; I don’t need political reeducation. So, I went through and “unfollowed” the non-family folks who were p***ing me off. That an one or two family members who I can resurrect when their candidate wins and all is right with the world. Let me say, that was therapeutic.

But my sister’s wisdom went further. I’ve got a book to write, and if I get up in the morning and check my e-mail and Internet sites I get so depressed at where we are as a nation that it is hard/impossible to work. So step two: I set my e-mail accounts to only show the sender (and not the subject line), then redirect all of the political and news sites that I subscribe to to the trash. Bliss. I can now open my mailboxes without seeing the evil world. As new junk comes in that I haven’t already filtered, it gets added to the list. Amazing. E-mail is now a “safe space” for this precious snowflake.

A special place in hell is reserved for Twitter and the idiots there who think that I give a care. I started using Twitter two years ago as a source for new information that might be useful for my teaching. Consequently, I “follow” a lot of historians. Big mistake. Any number of both prominent and marginal historians think that the world is thirsting to learn their political views, which is frequently puerile and totally superficial. The very worst sort of piling on and vilification of people that one can imagine. Unfollow, unfollow, unfollow.

Someone reading this might think, “well that isn’t very open.” Perhaps not. I am willing to entertain the notion that refusing to wade through the sewer of bigotry spewing forth over the Internet is close-minded. Similar to my refusal to watch kiddie-porn, snuff films, etc. My bad. Somehow we lived and where happy before Silicon Valley.

Perhaps I can get in a few good days work now.

 

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Anne’s first academic conference presentation!

Anne’s first academic paper – “Physiographic Mapping of Ohio’s Soil Systems” – has been accepted for presentation at the November conference of the Soil Society of America in Phoenix. It is a multi-scale, bottom up case study of Northwest Ohio that seeks to correct the problems inherent in previous soil mapping. I am happy to be able to understand a bit of it! Congratulations, Anne!

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Morning in the UP


Out on the lake at sunrise. Hearty breakfast. Walk trough the woods. Grade essays and discussions for two classes. Reading Michael Brenner.  I thank God every day for my life.

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Next Year in Jerusalem!

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I have been back one week from a quick research trip to Jerusalem. I was able to see documents at Yad Vashem, the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People and the Central Zionist Archives. Everywhere I was greeted by accommodating and helpful archivists. I took advantage of Shabbat closures to visit the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Pictured above, the Orthodox alter atop Calvary. What an amazing spiritual experience. I am of course hooked and look forward to my next visit. Might as well be optimistic, right?

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Every Dad’s Dream

From the moment I first held her at OSU hospital, Anne has been so special. And unique. My greatest wish for her was that she would find the right guy. She surely did.

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A beautiful wedding at the meeting house, followed by a reception in the Malcolm’s barn.

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No one was left out of the festivities. Grand-cousin Josie was crowned by the bride.

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Not that Dad lost out.

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Lastly, the guest of honor at her wedding!

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All good things come to an end

  
I sit beside the fire and think

of all that I have seen,

of meadow-flowers and butterflies

in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer

In autumns that were here,

With morning midst and silver sun

And wind upon my hair.

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Ohio Rare Disease Day

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Just finished a legislative event that Charlene organized for Ohio Rare Disease Day at the Capitol in Columbus. Our representative, Tim Derrickson, spoke as well as his co-sponsor of the legislation establish Rare Disease Day in Ohio. We also had the opportunity to meet other adults and kids with rare diseases.

Thanks, Charlene, for organizing this event and all the work you do for the rare disease community!

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They might look innocent

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What sweet dogs! Unless one needs to go out at 4:30 AM. That makes for one long day.

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