31 July 2007

Back to the Grand Duchy!

Hello there men! The Grand Duchess and I have just returned from 10 days camping on Michigan's upper peninsula, where some of my Cornish ancestors went to work in the copper mines that used to operate up there, not far from the shore of Lake Superior, in the 1870s and 80s. Very beautiful nature, wildlife, cooler summer weather, and fascinating regional history. It's hard to believe the level of industry and accompanying population that existed up there at one time when looking at the small, picturesque towns and villages along US Highway 41 today.

At any rate, we returned yesterday, following an evening in my old stomping grounds (Madison, Wisconsin). Now, the run up to fall semester starts since school begins again in only a few weeks. That means syllabi to write or update and other assorted administrative things to take care of. Sigh.

On a more interesting note, there is the translation project I've been contracted to do -- a bunch of articles and chapters on Norwegian-American immigrant women and their political activities during the 19th and early 20th centuries -- Norwegian to English. Should be very interesting reading/translating and will give me a chance to use some recently dormant linguistic skills. . .

In my former life, I researched 19th century Norwegian women authors, who wrote in dialect -- a response to the growing Norwegian nationalism of the same period. At one time, I had hoped to write my doctoral dissertation on some of these women and their work. Unfortunately, I encountered stiff opposition/disinterest from faculty advisors and committee members, so that didn't happen. But, my desk was two seats away from the Grand Duchess in our shared office at the University of Minnesota, so I guess you could say it wasn't a complete loss. ;-)

Things are busy on the physical fitness front too for the next several weeks, There are a couple of organized bike rides in the 50-100 mile range that I will do with the Grand Duchess and our Australian cycling/speed skating friend "Leo", who is married to an American academic and lives not too far from us. Like me, Leo is a one-time fan of the British TV series Doctor Who, and he might also become a possible wargaming opponent. Leo once let it slip that he was a Napoleonic wargamer during his pre-university days back in the late 70s-early 80s. Hmmmm. Seems I’ll have to put the thumbprint on him and rekindle his interest in the hobby.

In the meantime, I'll be catching up on Battlegames issue #8 (Another wonderful issue. Henry does an amazing job, doesn't he?) and attempting to come to grips with the 80 or so Revell Austrian SYW grenadiers that need painting -- plus one sorely neglected and needy old cat who hasn't let us out of her sight since we returned yesterday afternoon. Poor, poor kitty! As I always remark to her, “It’s a dog’s life!” Then, there are all of those imaginary 18th century blogs out there to read plus assorted other hobby-related things. On that note. . .

Rumors are rife throughout the Grand Duchy of Stollen that Irwin-Amadeus II has taken delivery of his freshly laundered lobster costume from Grizelda (the palace laundress) just in time for an upcoming state ball. What bizarre incidents will transpire during the function? How might the Grand Duke embarrass himself and his ministers next? What strange direction will Stollenian political affairs take on the apocryphal stage of late 1760s Europe? Will the Electorate of Zichenau invade the southernmost provinces of Stollen? And where is Oberfeldwebel Klatschen when he's needed most? Stay tuned to find out. Ah, the life of a nerd. . . It's good to be back. Charge!


Bluebear Jeff said...

Welcome back! I've missed reading your blog . . . and feared that Stagonia's Koenig Maurice the Vile had somehow waylaid you and the Grand Duchess while you were in the wilderness.

Fortunately such fears were groundless and you have returned safely to your schloss.

-- Jeff

Stokes Schwartz said...

Hi Jeff!

Yep, back and eager to see what's been going on in Stagonia, Saxe-Bearstein, and all the others. Thanks for the good wishes.

Best Regards,


Fitz-Badger said...

Welcome back! I, too, had a brief sojourn away from the computer, and now have lots of catching up to do. :-D
(as well as more painting, flag designing, history making, and other fun stuff to do)

meadows boy said...

Good to have you back!



tradgardmastare said...

Good to have you back and I trust you will continue to entertain us all.


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