Posts

Showing posts from April, 2011
I'm in San Antonio at the moment at a conference (presenting my work on the Tejano Conjunto Destvial en San Antonio) and also getting in as much new research and interviews on the subject as I can.

Oh, and eating a lot of Mexican food, too.

Yesterday I spent much of the day at the Macias bajo sexto shop, an institution in San Antonio and surely one of the most significant luthier shops in the United States, if one of the least known. I'll write about the experience in greater detail when I have some time to do it. I am simply pausing with my computer as I EAT lunch, then on to better thingts.

Today taking in many other locales and talking to people, all culminating tonight with the Conjunto Kingz de Flavio Longoria at legendary VFW Post 4700. Much more scheduled for tomorrow.
I was really thrilled to get a copy of my book in the mail the other day. It is not officially out yet but I guess this is the early printing. The press tells me it will be distributed within six weeks, right on time.

Of course I am really excited. It is hard to really capture what it feels like to have a book out after so long working on it. Better yet when people actually read it. Since it is coming out in paperback I have hopes that people will actually read it too. Not exactly going to be sold in airport bookstores, but this book sho8uld be interesting in lots of diverse ways my first one apparently might not have been (though, I must say, it was not bad!).

Of course the delay in distribution should not stop you from ordering it today on Amazon!

Actually, my book is already up in full on Google books, which is kind of amazing and ever-so slightly freaky.

I definitely can't complain--I've read a lot of new books on Google books as well as all manner of 19th works. I …
Here is a typically sharp takedown (and historical contextualization) of Obama's war in Libya from Andrew Bacevich, whom I am glad to see will be speaking at the SHAFR conference this summer.

Essential things

My professor in college, N. Gordon Levin, used to require that our essays reflect the "essence of the essence of our thinking." This required focus and thought, to say the least.

This crystalline description is something I have continued to think about and use with my own students today when I describe what I want in their papers. I of course give Professor Levin credit.

(As long as I mentioned Professor Levin, I should note that he is a legendary professor who in addition to his influential work on Wilson, launched an incredible number of people into careers as historians. In the half century he has been teaching he also inspired who knows how many others who actually went on to get gainful employment in other fields. I meet people all the time who had his classes and were deeply influenced by them.)

Anyway, I put a section in one of my grade sheets that has different boxes to be marked for no essence, essence, pure essence, and essence of the essence. Few get to that hi…

maybe they should subpoena his emails

Glenn Greenwald:

"Harry Reid and Lindsey Graham yesterday both suggested that Congress take unspecified though formal action against the Koran-burning by Florida preacher Terry Jones, which triggered days of violence this week by angry Muslims in Afghanistan. Graham in particular -- using the "but" that is the hallmark of all enemies of the First Amendment -- said: "Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war."

This whole post is worth reading in its entirety, I am just excerpting his main points. Don't stop here, go read his elaborations of each.

"There are several points worth highlighting about all of this. First, it demonstrates how many people purport to believe in free speech but don't. The whole point of the First Amendment is that one is free to express the most marginalized, repellent, provocative and offensive ideas."
...

Second, this event demonstrates one of the most uncounted (though one of the most intended) costs of our posture…
This is a surprising fact given the growth in all sectors of the economy and population:

"Today’s nationwide supply of movable honeybee hives, at 2 million hives or somewhat more, is only half what it was in the mid-1940s, says Eric Mader of the Xerces Society, an insect-focused wildlife conservation group in Portland, Ore. Yet the U.S. acreage needing pollination roughly doubled during the same time."

My sense is that despite the size of the commercial beekeepers with thousands of hives, there aren't that many of them. I spoke with one in Santa Barbara (600 hives) and he said he basically knew all of the major beekeepers in California since it was a surprisingly small group.

I'm glad to see that there is still attention being given to the crisis of the bees this spring, like in this article about experiments with blue orchard bees.

I liked this description of the situation of pollinating bees in the California almond crops: "like other migrant farmworkers, hone…
As we've told a few people already, the big news around here is that we are expecting twins. We found out today that it will be a boy and a girl. We are definitely stoked.

Lark, who has just recently found out herself, is now insisting that we call her "Big Sister" rather than Lark.

It is fairly impossible to wrap my mind around completely, especially in terms of the exponentiality involved, but it is an impossibility of lesser intensity than the level that was involved in having Lark. It will be a little while until they arrive, which is good as I madly scramble to get things together in these parts.

Alas, we aren't going to be somewhere interesting during the first year of these kids' lives, as we were in Seoul for Lark. That also means it is necessary to reconfigure things at home rather than simply split the country and worry about it later on. It will also mean we won't be able to simply put the babies in a stroller and walk a few blocks to a sashim…