Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s finally Friday in what felt like a long week despite being a short one. I have a few little projects that I need to finish today which will lift a bit of weight from my shoulders. I also have a few larger projects that will reward some attention this weekend, including putting North Dakota Quarterly 88.1/2 in order. 

That said, I’m also pretty intrigued to watch the NASCAR guys on the Daytona road course on Sunday (it’s as close as we get to V8-Supercar racing in the US). I’m excited to watch the Sixers play tonight on national television. But most, I’m counting down the hours to the Miguel Berchelt – Oscar Valdez fight on Saturday night. It’s obvious premature and inappropriate to make such comparisons, but it’s also hard to avoid seeing the similarities to the great Morales-Barrera fights of the early-2000s. If Berchelt-Valdez is half as good as any one of those fights, it’ll be worth staying up to watch it.

My list of quick hits and varia is a bit thin this week, but I like to think that its filled with things worth reading!

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s cold here and, for lack of any other comparison, it’s North Dakota cold. As I write this, it’s -24 and it feels like -35. It doesn’t even matter if its Fahrenheit or Celsius to be honest.

Fortunately, we have heat and a fire place and books. So, it actually isn’t that bad especially since we don’t have to be outside much. Plus, this weekend, there’s a light heavy weight title fight on the weekend that should entertain and, on Sunday, there’s the Daytona 500. 

And, in the meantime, there are some quick hits and varia:

IMG 5943Oh, Milo.

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

Reports of spring’s imminent arrival were greatly exaggerated as the temperatures this weekend will duck below zero and not raise their heads for nearly a week. My stroll in the park yesterday was cut short by an annoyingly gusty wind, blowing snow, and a bone chilling “feels like” temperature. As they say in olden times, “winter has sprung.”

Fortunately, there are plenty of books to keep my busy by the fire and some writing and revising to do and a journal to edit and a book to publish and, of course, a Superb Owl to watch.

Before we get to our little herd of quick hits and varia, do check out two cool new things from The Digital Press. First, on Monday, we published the fourth volume of Epoiesen. Four years ago, Shawn Graham invited The Digital Press to publish a paginated paper version of his digital journal for creative engagement in history and archaeology. It’s always a fun challenge to think about how to create a paper version of a digital text and you can check out volume 4 and the three other volumes here.

The Digital Press also released a sneak peek of their next book: Deserted Villages: Perspectives from the Eastern Mediterranean, edited by Rebecca M. Seifried and Deborah E. Brown Stewart. Go download the introduction and table of contents here.

Finally, it’s almost Mardi Gras

And now onto some quick hits and varia:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

This week, we had our first taste of real winter here in North Dakotaland with temperatures refusing to move about 0 Fahrenheit for a few days. This weekend, though, milder days should return and giving me the feeling that we’re as close to spring as we are darkest days of the year.

The semester is well and truly upon us as well with classes, projects, service obligations, and other bits and bobs tumbling over themselves for my attention. It’s a busy, but exciting time of year made all the more interesting by the hotting up of the NBA season, the return of motorsports in this weekend’s 24 Hours of Daytona, and the prospects of some good prize fights (perhaps not including Caleb Plant’s match this weekend) on the horizon. 

New books are piling up and some old classics are begging to be re-read, the next issue of NDQ is imminent, and my own book project is creeping along. 

Amid all this, there are some quick hits and varia: 

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

We’ve been skirting around the edge of real winter so far this year, but this week, mostly yesterday, it feels like it started in earnest: cold and house-shaking wind. It has motivated me to spend more time by the fireplace or under a blanket in my office chair.

Maybe it’s the cold or the inauguration, or the general bustle of live, but my quick hit and varia collecting was a bit slower than usual this week. (If you ever have anything that you’d like me to share here, drop me a line and I’d be more than happy to add it to my list!)

In any event, I offer this somewhat modest haul for your enjoyment:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s finally Friday of what feels like one of the longer weeks in recent memory. Maybe this has to do with this being the first week of class. Or maybe the unseasonably warm weather. Or maybe the juggling too many little projects that did not quite get finished over the winter break.

Whatever the reason, I’m looking forward to taking some time this weekend to read, to recharge, and, ideally, to enter the third week of January with a renewed reserve of energy. 

I am also looking forward to watching some of the final test of the tied Australia-India series, watching my mighty Spiders take on their crosstown rivals at VCU, and seeing how the NFL playoffs continued to develop. 

In the meantime, please enjoy some quick hits and varia:

Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s been a hectic few weeks while I simultaneously tried to relax and get work done that slipped through the cracks of the strange fall semester. I’m not sure that I managed to accomplish either thing, but it’s too late to worry about that now as the spring semester begins next week.

Plus, it would seem silly to even try to get work done when there’s so much quality NFL football this weekend, the third test in the Australia-India series is “hotting up,” and the NBA season is finding its feet. Sometimes it’s all about priorities.

Plus, there are some quick hits and varia:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits: The Digital Press and NDQ Edition

Happy New Year!

While it is hard to deny that 2020 was a bit of a disaster, some good things did come out of it and in an effort to give credit where it’s due, I thought I’d shine a spotlight on some of the amazing work that appeared in the two “sister projects” to this blog: North Dakota Quarterly and from The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota. (Actually, it doesn’t feel right to call NDQ a sister project, it’s more of a “granduncle” or “first cousin once removed” or something and The Digital Press might be some kind of “nephew” or whatever. I’ll stop.)

In any even, for the first “Friday Varia and Quick Hits” in 2020, I want to shed some light on the fine work by other folks whom I had the good fortune of shepherding along its way. 

First, from NDQ:

We were particularly happy to see that when we made a digital version of issue 87.1/2 available for free, it received over 2000 downloads. You can still download it here for free.

If you liked what you read and you can afford to subscribe, a subscription very much helps support the Quarterly’s work. It’ll also give you over 500 pages a year of fiction, poetry, essays, reviews and art in a glorious paperback package! If you’d like to subscribe, go here

Finally, as a way to look back over this year, here are the top 15 most read posts over at the NDQ blog. To be clear, there are plenty of great posts that didn’t make this list: Erin McIntosh’s “The Doll’s House,” Terry Toma’s “how it will happen,” and especially Megan Howell’s freakishly prescient “Harper and Marisol” come immediately to mind. 

1. Poetry from Craig Santos Perez.
2. Mainstreaming Racial Slurs: White Nationalism Comes Home to Roost
3. The Poetry of John Sibley Williams.
4. An Interview with Laila Lalami.
5. Role Playing Games.
6. Poems: Mythe and Death by Project Management Webinar.
7. Remembering John Lewis.
8. Poetry from Kirby Olson: 1453 and All That.
9. Maunel Tzoc Bucup’s Poetry for a Pandemic: Bullshit in oblivion.
10. Two Poems by Whitney Waters
11. A Prodigal Poem by Caroline Parkman Barr.
12. Bonnie Larson Staiger’s Poem: Still.
13. Shane Castle’s “Ursa.”
14. A Poem by Amalia Dillin: Unvarnished.
15. James Sallis’s “Scientific Methods.”

Over at The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota, things were every bit as busy in 2020 and have set the stage from a particularly exciting 2021.

Check out the five books that we published this year:

1. Derek B. Counts, Erin Walcek Averett, Kevin Garstki, and Michael Toumazou, Visualizing Votive Practice: Exploring Limestone and Terracotta Sculpture from Athienou-Malloura through 3D Models. 2020.

2. Sebastian Heath, ed. DATAM: Digital Approaches to Teaching the Ancient Mediterranean. 2020.

3. Calobe Jackson, Jr., Katie Wingert McArdle, David Pettegrew, eds. Foreword by Lenwood Sloan, One Hundred Voices, Harrisburg’s Historic African American Community, 1850-1920. 2020.

4. Kyle Conway, ed., Sixty Years of Boom and Bust: The Impact of Oil in North Dakota, 1958-2018. 2020.

5. Epoiesen. Vol. 3.

Special Publication: The University of North Dakota and the Great War.

What’s almost as exciting is that our back catalogue continues to attract readers, downloaders, and even the odd buyer! If you want to buy a book from the Digital Press and support a small bookstore you can check out the options on this page

If you want to sample the top five books in our back catalogue, all of which receive over two downloads per day in 2020 check out the links here:

1. Nicole Burton and Hugh Goldring and Patrick McCurdy, ed., The Beast: Making a Living on a Dying Planet. Expanded Digital Edition. 2018.

2. David Haeselin, editor, Dakota Datebook: North Dakota Stories from Prairie Public. 2019.

3. Shawn Graham. Failing Gloriously and Other Essays. With a foreword by Eric Kansa and afterword by Neha Gupta. 2019.

4. Eric Burin, ed., Protesting on Bended Knee: Race, Dissent, and Patriotism in 21st Century America. 2018.

5. William Caraher and Kyle Conway, eds. The Bakken Goes Boom: Oil and the Changing Geographies of Western North Dakota. 2016.

Special mention goes to two other books from The Digital Press that have continued to garner attention in distinct ways. More people purchased Eric Burin’s edited volume, Picking the President: Understanding the Electoral College (2016) than downloaded it. In contrast, our very first book, Punk Archaeology (2014) edited by myself, Andrew Reinhard, and Kostis Kourelis enters its seventh year of availability consistently getting more than one download per day.

Finally, it’s not a Friday Quick Hits and Varia without a couple dog photos:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

This is likely the final Friday Varia and Quick Hits of 2020! It’s pretty hard to believe that it’s almost January. Our winter here in North Dakotaland has been so mild that we still haven’t had the turn the heat on and we have just enough snow to make things look seasonal. 

This weekend will be filled with book layout, a bit of reading reading, and putting the final marks in this semester’s gradebook. It’s also a great weekend for sport with Ohio State playing in the Big 10 Championship game, Canelo Alvarez fighting on Saturday night, my Mighty Spiders playing tonight, and the first test of the Australia and India series underway. 

Hope your weekend has some snow, some sports, or something wonderful. In the meantime, here are some quick hits and varia:

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Friday Varia and Quick Hits

It’s reading and review day here in North Dakotaland and I plan to spend as much of it as possible reading and reviewing. In a perfect world, I might read and review all the way through the weekend.

In reality, I know myself well enough to realize that I probably can’t read and review all weekend. Fortunately, there is a remarkable weekend of boxing on tap. First, there is Anthony Joshua versus Kubrat Pulev for heavy weight championship of the world. Then in the evening, there is a full card of boxing from Bob Arum’s Top Rank stables including Shakur Stevenson, the first round knock out machine Edgar Berlanga, “The Dominican Kid” Elvis Rodriguez, and the former Cuban Olympia Robeisy Ramirez. It should be an entertaining enough day of boxing to make me forget that Ohio State won’t be playing Michigan this year for the first time in a century. 

In the meantime, here’s a little gaggle of quick hits and varia:

IMG 5796Dog’s life