Archive for February, 2010

February Ends…

Sunday, 28 February 2010

And I complete a full month of daily blog posts, for the first time since 2008, if ever! And that’s just the right time to tell you that NatCroMo begins tomorrow, and with it my Mystery Pattern!

As with the past two yearsFreeform Games, I’ll be posting all the instructions to one daily updated page, as well as on Ravelry. This year, though, I’m also going to put them into blog posts, for the convenience of those using RSS or similar. For those who like the freeform game style, there’s a group one taking place over on Ravelry too, so join in there!

Not something I’ve done before

Saturday, 27 February 2010

So, thanks to Heather on Craftlit – which has just started Persuasion, one of Jane Austen’s lesser known novels, with one of the five Librivox recordings – I just found out that Librivox is having a fundraiser. They’re trying to raise $20,000 to upgrade their website, hardware, and pay for their hosting costs. As my readers must know, I listen to a whole lot of Librivox content, so I’d like to help them out if I can. Since they haven’t advertised the fundraiser much, I thought some of you might like to know about this too.

Appropriately Timed

Friday, 26 February 2010

So at least I’m going to talk about one book at the right time! One of the ones we got yesterday was Purim and the Persian Empire: A Historical, Archaeological, & Geographical Perspective by Rabbi Yehuda Landy. (Purim, for those who don’t know, is celebrated in most of the world this coming Sunday, but in Jerusalem on Monday.) I haven’t yet had the chance to do more than skim through the pictures and a couple of their captions, but it looks like it’s going to live up to the title. It’s beautifully laid out, with fabulous photos from museums around the world, as well as archaeological sites in what was the Persian Empire.

I expect to be reading this over Shabbat, and if the text lives up to the quality of the production values, I’ll learn a lot more about Jewish and world history of the time. The book even has the megilla (plus translation) in a nice large clear font at the back, so I might well take this to shul if I haven’t finished reading it by then. (I like to arrive with enough time to get settled before the actual reading starts.)

Good stuff on the way

Thursday, 25 February 2010

We finally sent off several packages of gifts and just stuff to friends and family. (Seven, to be precise.) Some are big, and some are little, but we hope everyone will like the contents of theirs. We’ve sent most of them (ie the large ones) by surface mail, so in about three months people can expect to hear from us!

We had to go to the post office twice, as we got the lunchtime closing hours wrong the first time! We got some books in between, so eventually they should show up in reviews here. (That’s my tangential tying in to the regular themes of this blog.) I did take a picture of the piles of parcels, which I’ll aim to add to this post later, but I think it’d take longer than I have now.

Walked lots, didn’t crochet

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

I went out for the day with my friend who’s here on holiday, and we walked a long long way, first around the archaeological park, and then around the city. I even walked home, because the buses were horribly full.

I thought I’d get some crocheting done on the buses, but I was davening on the first bus, chatting on the second, and didn’t take the third!

Late again

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

My friend’s over, so I don’t really have blogging time…

We did play Settlers of Catan, though – first time with three players. It worked well, and I like the game better now.

Finally

Monday, 22 February 2010

I’m up to the second-last book from 2009. I really need to read some more for 2010, and crochet more, and stuff like that, but at least the blogging is going better this month…

74. Jailed for Freedom by Doris Stevens

I know a reasonable amount about the women’s suffrage movement in the UK, but I hadn’t really come across any discussion of the movement in the USA (or anywhere else, really), so this was a very interesting book indeed, for both the differences and similarities between the campaigns and what they were actually fighting for and against. This particular book does not in any way claim to be neutral on the topic – Doris Stevens was prominent in the particular fight (picketing of the White House for national, federally mandated women’s suffrage, and its consequences) she describes herein – but she gives enough sources that I would accept most of the facts, with the knowledge that the ‘other side’ might well have represented them differently.

Stevens doesn’t pull too many punches about the politicians who promised support to the cause when it was politically expedient, but then didn’t do much of anything to help. (President Woodrow Wilson is brought up on this charge repeatedly.) She is plain spoken about the rights and wrongs of events discussed, as she saw them. Still, this is historical account as well as well-argued polemic.

It is also generally well-read by the Librivox crew. Since there are several readers, there are bound to be some you’ll like better than others, but none made me outright cringe, so that’s okay. This would make excellent source material for any student of the topic/period, especially school students, since it is very clear and easy to understand, both in content and bias. The general reader/listener is recommended to it as well.

Personal Meanings

Sunday, 21 February 2010

73. Trinity, a novel of Ireland by Leon Uris

I began reading this book in early November, and it was an interesting perspective on Irish history of the late 19th and early 20th century. I don’t know enough about Uris’ historicism, nor the details of Ulster at this time to really comment on that, but there wasn’t anything too glaringly wrong in what I did know already.

The book follows a number of individuals of a wide range of backgrounds in terms of education, class, profession, religion, desired nationality and more. (These last two aren’t plain dualities, either.) It’s fairly good at doing so, and is provocative. Worth reading for those interested in the topics.

Happy Gamers

Saturday, 20 February 2010

This is pretty much going to be another placeholder post, since we just got home after a wonderful Shabbat with friends. It was lovely to see and spend time with them, we were very well fed, and we got in four games of Cosmic Encounter (two each night, with the adults), which we’d been wanting to play ‘for real’ (we’ve tried it at home, but it really isn’t a game for two) for ages. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, so hopefully we can do that again soon!

Checking in quickly…

Friday, 19 February 2010

We’re off to spend Shabbat with some good friends, so I don’t have time for a proper post. We’ve packed the games we’re bringing, so what else is there? 😉