It’s a fallacy, but it’s one to which I fervently subscribe

I will do better work in a prettier library / better tricked-out study.

Not usually. But I live this way.

I got home from Rome to find my back bedroom/study a big ol’ mess. At least since mid-November I’d been stacking stuff everywhere and the desk and guest bed were entirely invisible.  I dumped a few more things and left it.

For the last 10 days or so I have been working to restore it to usefulness. I’ve shelved and re-shelved books. I’ve recycled a bunch of paper. I hung things in the appropriate seasonal closet.

I had already ordered my new laptop. The black MacBook I took to Germany in 2009 with the cracked LCD screen has been running the external monitor and speakers since that summer – and it was time to replace it with my retired 3 year old MacBook Pro (in between was a MacBook Pro I passed on to my mother as soon as I was eligible for another interest free computer loan on campus).

So I hook up the MacBook Pro to the monitor – and the monitor is dead. As in doornail. Well, it’s at least 10 years old itself, so I bought a remarkably inexpensive replacement (less than $100 at Staples). Then it turned out I didn’t have the right dongle! Well, I went to the office and dug through my electronica there and found a likely candidate – which worked!

So I replugged everything, sat down, and tried to configure the Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. The mouse paired up immediately. The keyboard was recalcitrant. I decided to change the batteries – only to find that they were corroded in place in the oh-so elegant battery-compartment cum keyboard angle-stand.

So, I had to order a new bluetooth keyboard. I’m ashamed of myself, but for once I paid for Amazon next-day delivery.

And here I am typing at my newly restored desk set-up. I’ll straighten more later. I promise I’ll do better work on a sharper screen and with a new keyboard!


Click here to see what I couldn’t see today – the 100 (Roman) foot wide base of the Pyramid of Cestius.

Here’s the wikipedia link: the work is being sponsored by a Japanese individual. Not a great sign for Italy? Kind of back to the days of Victorian gentlemen paying for facades to be built onto major churches in Florence?

P.S. I hate Flickr. Why won’t it let me post my pictures here??

Flickr broke it again

I’m way too invested in Flickr to change services. I have a couple of thousand photos there, administer one group, and actively post to a bunch of others. But almost every time Flickr upgrades itself it breaks some connections. This time, I’m having trouble posting from Flickr to this WordPress blog – one of the features I like the most. So no Christmas pogo photos for you yet!

Maybe it’s WordPress’s fault, but I just input my password about 7 times into Flickr and it’s still failing to post. Grrr.

For instance, from the first page – where one now sees contact’s top photo – I can use the share icon to share that TOP photo. However, if I go to a contact’s photostream, the share icon doesn’t work any more than it does on my own. Wow.

British Library Medieval Manuscripts go Public Domain!!

I have been very out of the medieval blog loop – the end of last semester was pretty busy – but how did I miss THIS announcement in late November?

The British Library is treating its medieval manuscript collection as though it is public domain!


The catalogue is designed to increase public access to the British Library’s rich collections, and we want to encourage even greater use and enjoyment of these collections.  Technically these works are still in copyright in the UK until 2040, but given that they are anonymous and many centuries old, the Library has decided to provide the images on the Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts under a Public Domain Mark and treat them as public domain works, as would be the case in many other countries.  For more information, please see the library’s use and reuse policy for CIM.  We ask that you maintain the library’s Public Domain tag, and provide a link or other credit back to the image’s source on the British Library’s site – help us share these riches even more widely with the world. (my emphasis)

Wow – is that ever sensible!


Out of idle curiosity I’ve been trying Chrome (the browser) for the last few days. It seems very unstable on OSX 10.8 – it crashes constantly. Guess I’m sticking to Safari, even though I don’t much care for the way the current version (6.0.1) treats scroll bars. Everything else about it seems fine.