I am very glad to find out that this blog actually has some readers other than my family. I realize that I write about subjects with a pretty narrow audience. I do not imagine there are that many people interested in either life in Arivaca or Stalin's ethnic cleansing of various stigmatized nationalities. Right now, however, I am going to take a short break from writing about Stalinist deportations. The break will probably last at least a couple of days. It might even go a whole week. The subject was starting to depress me.
I finished editing the conference paper and sent it off for consideration as a book chapter. Now the only deadline I have is for the one postdoctoral application I am currently working on. It is not due for another seven weeks, so I have some time. I really do not think I have any chance at getting it. But, I feel I should be sending in at least some applications. When I figure out a viable use for my Ph.D. other than working at a university I can cease using the post office as an OTB. I doubt that I will apply to more than a half dozen positions this fall anyways.
I have been doing a lot of reading of Ottoman history recently. Currently I am reading three books that relate to the subject. I have only been to Turkey once and I had to spend most of my time there in Ankara. Istanbul is a city I have only seen at night and then mostly from the windows of moving buses. I would really like to go back to Turkey and spend at least a week in Istanbul. For westerners it is probably the city that most represents the urban side of the Islamic Orient.
The wild flowers are in full bloom here now. We have lots of pretty yellow, purple and orange ones. It is like some sort of fantasy jungle at Serenity Ranch. I feel like I am in a painting when I walk through it. It certainly contrasts greatly with my recent writings on the deportation of the Russian-Germans to Kazakhstan.