I realize that I’m more often using my public Facebook page to make brief notes about reading and random thoughts…and as most of my energy has ben going into the History of the Renaissance World recently, there have been many more brief notes than well-reasoned blog posts recently.

But the posts do give a sense of what I’ve been up to during the week, so here’s a summary…

Let’s see…a week’s family vacation, and then a day of birthday celebration that included a movie doubleheader: Cowboys and Aliens (mayhem!) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes (yet more mayhem!). And peanutbutter-chocolate cupcakes made by my wonderful children. And now back to work.

Today my oldest son turns twenty. And later this month, my second son turns eighteen. Here they are in first and third grade…when things were simpler (although I didn’t realize it at the time).

So I started work at eight this morning on the western trade route to Ghana, and have ended up at noon investigating the Australian feral camel. That was quite a rabbit trail. I love my job.

(Today’s research courtesy of The Camel and the Wheel, by Richard W. Bulliet)

Trying to locate the general size of Lake Chad circa 1140 AD. Feeling the truth of this statement: “It should by now be clear that Lake Chad is a cartographer’s nightmare.”

(SOME answers in Three Thousand Years in Africa: Man and His Environment, by Graham Connah)

Giving our kids too many opportunities can be “displaced fear about the collapse of the future.” Interesting piece on the “Overbooked Child” from the New York Times: “Children’s Activities No Guarantee of Later Success.”

Personally, I think it’s a very good thing that the “pretty stewardess” turned into a “flight attendant.” And, yeah, “cowboy” is probably not the lucrative career choice it once was.

From “How to Be A Retronaut”: Comparison of Richard Scarry’s Best Word Book Ever, 1963 and 1991 editions

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