Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Off the Interstate

Driving the old highways off the Interstates takes longer... but can be infinitely more rewarding.

Robot moose. Route 9, near Queensbury, New York. June 26, 2012.
World's Tallest Uncle Sam (and Shorty Santa),
Magic Forest (Diving Horse! 25 Rides! 2 Shows!),
Lake George, New York. June 26, 2012.

World's Tallest Uncle Sam sign, Magic Forest, Lake George, New York, June 26, 2012.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nerd Notes

There were fireworks today on the lake. Two towns, one at the head of the lake, the other a few miles up, had competing fireworks displays. The light show was pretty impressive. The booms, though... they exploded and then rolled around the mountains, traveling up and around the valley, smoke wafting over the water. With the rolling explosions from different towns, I couldn't help imagining that I was hearing the sound of cannon from the French and Indian War.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


I'm on an archives adventure. Some more photos and travelogue from here:

Cayuga Lake Creamery, Route 89 Interlaken, New York, June 16, 2012
If you're in the Finger Lakes region of New York (especially the west side of Cayuga Lake), don't bother visiting any other ice cream place. Cayuga Lake Creamery is where its at. They make all their own ice cream (I'm a fan of the maple walnut, sea salt caramel, and butter pecan). They also make fantabulous wine sorbet with local wines. Sounds weird, I know... but it's yum. Extra awesome: you can mail order their ice cream.* Not just around for the tourists, CLC always has locals stopping by and they stay open throughout the winter (reduced hours, natch).

Roller derby admission. Ithaca League of Women Rollers, Cass Park, Ithaca, New York. June 16, 2012

Waiting for the derby. Ithaca League of Women Rollers, Ithaca Bluestockings vs. Capital City Derby Dolls (Ottawa, Ontario), Cass Park, Ithaca, New York, June 16, 2012

I have wanted to go to the roller derby in Ithaca since I found out they had a team called the Ithaca SufferJets. How perfect for a team out of the cradle of the women's rights movement. Since then, the Ithaca League of Women Rollers has spawned a second team, the Ithaca Bluestockings. Finally went... Ithaca Blusetockings vs. the Capital City Derby Dolls from Ottawa, Great White North and Homeland. It was very loud and very fun. Great community support synergy, with the community supporting ILWR and ILWR supporting the Ithaca community.  Dinner in Ithaca was at Moosewood. I don't have a pic of my dinner to post; it was too yummy (salmon with mango sauce). I did try a new brewery, though... Bacchus Brewery, in Dryden, New York. Had their Blonde Ale... good stuff. I wish them well... there is always room for good beer in this world.

Wesleyan Chapel, Womens Rights National Historical Park, Seneca Falls, New York, June 17, 2012
Can't go to the Finger Lakes and not stop at Women's Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls. There are plans afoot (and tape on the floor) to do some work on the inside to re-create what little is known of the interior architecture. I'll be interested to see what it looks like; right now, the positions of the altar, vestibule wall, and pews are taped out on the floor.

Emily's direct route to the Adirondacks. June 17, 2012
Emily is my GPS. Actually, more specifically, Emily is the name of the disembodied voice that lives inside my GPS and tells me where to go (and scolds me when I get it wrong). The photo above is the direct route from Seneca Falls to where I'm staying in the Adirondacks. Yeppers, that there is a main road.

Purple paper lantern, Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake, New York, June 19, 2012
I've seen these purple paper lanterns hanging from trees all over New York State. Fortunately, the Adirondack Museum had signage! It's a trap for emerald ash borers. There are thousands of these traps up all over the place, monitoring for this invasive species that will kill an ash tree as soon as look at it.

Up next? More research. Some family time. Do laundry. Write (oy, the book). More research. Then poof, the summer (which only technically started yesterday) is over....

* Not a paid endorsement. Not even for free ice cream. Just support for a really awesome small business in an area I love.

Monday, June 18, 2012


A couple of photos from upriver...

The river is smaller here.
Hudson River, North River, New York, June 18, 2012.

You are here. Hudson River, North River, New York, June 18, 2012.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Recent Acquisitions

The books, they do accumulate. Recent additions:

Actual books:
Howe, Daniel Walker (2007) What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848. Oxford University Press. Bought to feed my obsession with the Finger Lakes area in the mid-nineteenth century (by going big picture). The title suggests a generalists approach, but the damn thing is over 900 pages. I've not read it cover-to-cover yet, but it's been super handy for dipping-in for references to obscure things like the establishment of the telegraph and the etymology of snail mail.

Sappol, Michael (2002) A Traffic of Dead Bodies: Anatomy and Embodied Social Identity in Nineteenth-Century America. Princeton University Press. Borrowed it twice from inter-library loan, finally had to get my own copy. Bioethics, revolutions in medicine, identity, anatomy, and popular fiction... all in here. If you're interested in what the living are doing in the nineteenth century, you should check out their relationships with the dead. Looking forward to reading it again (and having it handy when I need to cite it...)

Saitta, Dean (2007) The Archaeology of Collective Action. University Press of Florida. According to the book cover, it includes archaeology of protests, labor strikes, and slave uprisings. Looking forward to reading it.

Voss, Barbara L. and Eleanor Conlin Casella (2012) The Archaeology of Colonialism: Intimate Encounters and Sexual Effects. Cambridge University Press. This will probably be the first of this batch that I read; I find both Voss' and Casella's work fascinating. Lots of new things to read about in this edited volume that offers exactly what the title describes.

Kindle Accumulations:
The Hunger Games series. I liked it. Haven't seen the movie, but liked the books.

One of Robyn Hobb's Liveship Traders series (can't recall which off the top of my head).

Yep, I read fantasy/sci-fi when not reading archaeology. Don't judge.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Etymology of Snail Mail: Like, way older than 1983...

The Online Etymology Dictionary gives 1983 as the first use of "snail mail" to reference letters written on paper delivered by the post office vs. electronic communication.

They missed the mark by almost 140 years...

The Philadelphia North American [of January 15, 1846] welcomed the telegraph with the pronouncement: "The markets will no longer be dependent upon snail paced mails." (Howe 2007: 695)


Howe, Daniel Walker (2007) What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848. Oxford University Press.