Epiphany 2

I spent about an hour last night writing a long blog post about research techniques. Why did I bother?

At the time, I thought it was because I’m still processing all I learned, and it would help to set it down. Late last night, I realized that there was another reason:

Isaac would have loved this.

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The gift of the magi (or something)

A friend of mine calls me today. They ask, “Have you read any Jules Vernes?”

It’s not a question I get asked every day. I pause a moment then answer, “I’ve read his most popular works: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Mysterious Island, From the Earth to the Moon, Journey to the Center of the Earth. Why?”

They respond, “How about the Morte d’Arthur? There’s a new English translation.”

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Calendar scanning

I’ve completed scanning Isaac Bonewits’ calendars. I thought the process would take longer, but I followed the advice of : Put on some music on full blast when no one else is around, and the task will pass quickly. I should have known.

This does not remove the need for calendar parties. It means that they can go substantially faster: Just put the key stuff into the calendar. I’ll have images of the calendars for the details.

This may also represent the last of the material I’ll have to scan for the biography. Of course, these could be “famous last words”; tomorrow Phaedra Bonewits could call me with news that she found five more boxes of Isaac’s papers.

Two steps forward…

…and one step back.

Isaac Bonewits’ big wall calendars take twice as long to scan as I thought they did. I thought an entire page could be scanned by my big scanner at once, but the images are chopped off at the top or bottom. I’ll have to rescan those calendar pages in the flipped orientation so I have the entire image in my computer.

Isaac had the strong sense of personal history to keep all his old calendars, but not enough predictive power to get smaller ones for easier archival storage. Please, old friend, in the next lifetime buy smaller wall calendars.

(Of course, in his next lifetime all the calendars will be computerized, password-protected, and inaccessible to biographers. Isaac foresaw this issue, and printed out copies of his computer calendars. I don’t how historians of the future will function when all the key information may be behind unbreakable encryption.)

Finally, physics

My subtitle for this blog is “Musings of a physicist, a witch, and a gamer.” I’ve posted on wicca and gaming, but I’ve never said much about physics until now.

I have been reticent to talk about physics because what I physically do is sit in front of a computer terminal and type (and occasionally think) all day. But evidently someone thinks that the work I do is interesting:

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The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen

It has come to our attention that the community of barbers and purveyors of leeches have grasped upon the noble name of Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchhausen to describe a mental condition. Such actions merely reveal their own ignorance, not only of medicine, but of the behavior of gentlemen such as the good Baron. Therefore, if any member of the lower classes, those infused with a ill-conceived notion of their cleverness, or a Norwegian is heard to mutter the despicable phrase “Munchausen by proxy,” he shall be visited by Baron Münchhausen himself. That worthy shan’t bother with the formality of a duel, since clearly no challenge is needed when insulted in such a dastardly manner. Rather he shall use his remarkable display of swordsmanship (as complimented by none other than Empress Catherine the Great, whose offer of marriage the Baron once had the honor of declining) to enact such a skillful display of vengeance that the justly-chastised victim will be forced to spend two weeks looking for his trouser buttons.

Where was I? Oh yes. I am reviewing a game: The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen, “A Game of Wagers, Wine, and Competitive Lying.”

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