Speaking at Computers in Libraries 2011

ImageA note to my library peeps. I will be speaking at "Computers in Libraries 2011", March 21-23 at the Hilton Washington in Washington DC. I will be discussing the installation and use of the Drupal Open Source content management system.

Walter Nelson

Useful Waltz Tunes for a Beginners' Dance Class

In presenting a waltz class, it's often difficult to know what to play. A waltz recording for a class, especially a beginners' class, needs a few basic attributes.

  • A clear, unambiguous beat -- especially a nice strong downbeat. Your beginners shouldn't have to search for the beat.
  • A stable tempo without a lot of changes. I am not a devotee of the ballroom dance "Strict tempo" mindset, but your beginner students really need something reliable.
  • A moderate tempo. With beginners, you don't want a crazy fast tempo.

Video of the Jane Austen Evening

The Jane Austen Evening, January 22nd 2011 in Pasadena, California.

Edwardian Farm Reality Show

ImageThe BBC have hit upon the novel idea of doing a historical reality show populated with people who have a passion for the period and academic knowledge that they are keen on turning into practical experience.

There seem to be two of these in this series: the Victorian Farm and the Edwardian Farm.

In Defense of Ragtime Dancing

ImageAs an organizer of vintage dance events, I have found something quite puzzling: Victorian, Regency, Roaring '20s and Swing Era themed dances have a lot of "traction", and if properly promoted and executed, do quite well but "Ragtime era" dances don't.

Granted, there is a strong and very devoted Ragtime dance community, but it is a small community that tends to skew to the older end of the demographic spectrum (I include myself in that demographic), and is not enough to support large scale events on the scale of the Social Daunce Irregulars, or Jane Austen Evening or Avalon Ball.

Some Reflections on Renaissance Faire

ImageI don't generally blog about myself, but the recent passing of Ron Patterson, and the things people have been telling him via Facebook, have caused me to reflect on the impact his Faire has had on my life, and I am blogging about it not because I think you are all just dying to hear my dark secrets, but because I think my experience is very similar to that of many people I know, and I would like to just add this to the discussion that has been sparked by Ron's final journey.

A Big Deal for Small Archives - A Consumer Grade Book Scanner

Small archives, such as one finds at historic houses, have generally run into a major obstacle in any plans they have for digitizing their collections: they have had to rely on slow flat-bed scanners, which are very poorly suited to digitizing bound materials.

Volunteers Needed to Find Historic Neighborhoods and Features in Los Angeles

ImageThe Speakers Bureau of SurveyLA, a project of the Office of Historic Resources in the Department of City Planning is calling for volunteers. The five-year citywide survey identifies and documents important places, features and stories in the City's history. The survey will eventually be conducting research in our community. They first need Speakers Bureau volunteers to do presentations to Neighborhood Councils, schools and other community groups about the project.

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