Happy Holidays!

Have a wonderful holiday season, no matter what you celebrate this time of year!

Ah, the weather of Texas

On Saturday, I had to dig out a pair of shorts to wear because the temperature was in the 80s. On Wednesday, we have sleet and freezing rain and even a stray snowflake here and there. Gotta love it!

Although the best example of mercurial Texas weather was one February (1997, I think) where we actually hit 100 degrees F and had an ice storm that shut down the city for a couple of days all in the same month...

The picture says it all...

Although there hasn't been a speeding train causing the light at the end of the tunnel, there have been some speedbumps on the road, to sort-of mix my metaphors. A colleague and former teacher of mine (History of Astronomy) passed away on the 2nd. He had been ill for several years with Parkinson's so it wasn't a shock, and was a release for him from what he's been having to live with. Getting photos together to take to the funeral home and then going to the memorial mass was pretty stressful. Work has been busy and somewhere in all of this I'm supposed to be studying for the last exam in my Art History class. Thankfully that last part will be done one way or the other by noon tomorrow.

Boy am I ready for this week to be over and done with!

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I just hope it's not an oncoming train... Last night I finished the remaining reading for the class I'm taking this semester (Art History - Ancient to Medieval), so all that remains this semester is a one-page write-up and an exam (which mercifully isn't comprehensive). The write-up is on some medieval manuscripts we viewed at the Harry Ransom Center here on the UT campus. Some are facsimilies of well-known manuscripts in other countries, such as The Book of Kells and The Book of Durrow. But, we have some originals too, although only one was on display for the class (The Belleville Hours, 15th century). While I was poking around the HRC's website I saw all sorts of things I had no idea were sitting just on the other side of campus from my office.

Once the semester is over, it will be time to finish the shopping and get the cards in the mail and get ready for some holiday travel.

For all of you who are nearing the end of the semester or term before a holiday or winter break, Good Luck!

Where to begin?

I wasn’t sure how to start out the first “real” post to my personal blog, but the subject presented itself nicely when I started going through the old Tudor History site "updates" pages to add to the main site blog. What a trip down memory lane. The first “What’s New” pages I had were from the July 1997, when I moved my Tudor History site to the old tudor.simplenet.com address from the machine that was on my desk at work.

It’s been interesting to see the progress (and lack thereof) that I’ve made on the Tudor History site over the years. It has existed in some form or another for ten years now, so I feel that I should be much farther along the path of where I want to go by now. But then I stop and think about the various changes that have taken place in my life, particularly over the past five years, and I get more realistic.

It’s been interesting to see the record of how many coughs and colds I’ve had through the years (and those are just the ones I complained about in the updates), but that is one of the hazards of working at a university with 50,000 people from all over the world crammed into a relatively small area. Not to mention interacting with the public and school kids as part of the outreach stuff I do at work. I’m constantly coming into contact with new germ sources! And, for the record (although I didn’t mention it on the main site blog) I’ve already had my first cold of this semester.

I thought I had spewed more about my big burnout stretch in 2001, but I guess I did it through email instead of the site updates. I wasn’t treating the update page as a journal (or blog, before a lot of people even knew what one was) that much then, so I didn’t elaborate too much. It was a pretty rough time for lots of reasons, and I have to admit that quite a bit of it came from running the Tudor History site and Tudor Talk. I had a bad confluence of getting a nasty-gram from the National Portrait Gallery (long story), someone trying to take over the email list, and getting some really hurtful emails about the site. I really shouldn’t let the latter get to me, but sometimes it is hard not to. Especially when it comes with the other stuff and while I was taking a very tough class, which was leaving me pretty tired. And little did I know that would only be the beginning of how tired I would be for the rest of the year…

Obviously at some point I managed to shake off the burnout and started to devote more time to the Tudor site again. Last year I finally uploaded the new design with the new front page and a consistent design through the content pages. I have already decided to redo some of it again, but in a way that I think will make the information more accessible. I also need to go through and add the search link to all the pages, but that’s going to take a while!

Well, I think I’ll close out this first post here. Expect more nonsensical ramblings soon!

Welcome to my personal blog!

Well, this is getting started a little later than I had anticipated, but a lot of other real-life things got in the way, as usual. I'll have a full post up shortly, but I wanted to get something up here for the few souls who were brave enough to click the link!