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Friday, June 15, 2012

Offline to deal with spammers for a while.

It's available again. Obviously.

FWIW. I know, I'm a bad blogger.

Smoke if you got 'em.

In addition to spammers, I've also been dealing with nuked credit, good and bad family stuff, along with occupational obligations.

Consider this your open thread, if you're so inclined. Michigan being a surprising battleground State, you can lecture me on how not voting for Romney is a vote for Obama.

Or some such.


  1. No, Dale, you are not a bad 'blogger; you are a prudent husband and father. Your example of living out your vocation is a more eloquent post than anything anybody can write.

  2. I figured that you had gone private, and I didn't make the cut!

    Michigan may be a "battlegroud state" but I have enough battles within my soul to keep me busy. A vote for Candidate X is a vote for that person, not anyone else.

  3. Dale, LarryD suggested I ask you about Byzantine history and customs. If you have any resources I'd love to hear them. Here's the info on the book I want to write:


  4. I've also been dealing with nuked credit, good and bad family stuff, along with occupational obligations.

    Regrets. Keeping you all in mind.

  5. Good to see you back. Sorry things have been rough. Y'all remain in our prayers, Dale.

  6. Devin, in case it didn't post at your site for some reason, here are a few to get you started:

    “Daily Life in the Byzantine Empire” by Marcus Rautman. A good nuts and bolts look at life for your average Eastern Roman.

    “Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire” by Judith Herrin. Good collection of essays about the Empire and its major figures and attributes. She screws up the discussion of the Regensburg speech by the Pope in her introduction, but skip over that.

    “Sailing From Byzantium” by Colin Wells. A very good overview of Byzantine influence on/relations with the West and other civilzations.

    “Walking Thru Byzantium” by the Byzantium 1200 project. A guide to the city as it was 150 years after the start of the Schism, but still gives a feel for what the city looked like before. Here’s the website:

    “Byzantium: An Introduction to East Roman Civilization” by Norman Baynes (ed.). A nice summary of various topics in easily-digestible form.

    “A History of Private Life,” Vol. 1. Chapter 5 deals with 10th and 11th Century Byzantium.

    Finally, Jonathan Harris’ “Byzantium and the Crusades” offers a worthwhile discussion of the mutual incomprehension of the Latin West and Byzantine East.

    I also fully concur in the primary source recommendations of Phillip below. Anna Comnena (as she’s known in the West) is an invaluable source, especially on Byzantine attitudes toward the West in the 12th century. She’s rather unreliable when it comes to her little brother, the Emperor John II. She rather resented him ascending to the throne instead of her. Fortunately for her, John didn’t get bloody-minded in response. But that’s not a problem for your purposes.

    Psellus is another good primary source, and an engaging if foppish writer with a strongly-sycophantic streak towards demonstrably lousy emperors. Again, good for the attitudes of the ruling/cultural elites of the 11th century. Just don’t expect to see much of a reaction to the Schism–it wasn’t a huge deal to the Byzantines. The real break was 1204, not 1054.

    If you can get it on interlibrary loan, or can afford it out of pocket, this is nothing short of magnificent:

    The artistic and cultural achievement of the Byzantines during their peak years has never been more effectively presented by a museum.

  7. I think Obama could be looking at a Midwest meltdown. On election day I think He loses every state in the Midwest, except for Illinois, Minnesota and Michigan, and I think that the two M states will be close. Even in Illinois it is going to be closer than many people expect. Governor Quinn just barely won election in 2008, and he is massively unpopular now, with his midnight tax increase, a state facing bankruptcy and a lousey economy, and some of that will rub off on Obama. Romney will crack 300 in the electoral college.