On Saturday, I made it to the plenary on the Michael of Rhodes manuscript, on which there was an entire conference a few years ago. The group effort's fruits were Fedex'd in from Hong Kong in time for Alan Stahl - introduced by John Munro - and his lecture, summing up and fleshing out the project and its results. This bound Venetian manuscript is a compilation in one man's hand of a mathematical treaties; a treatise on shipbuilding; and a personal history in increments of yearly positions held on board ships. Twice, he came home from sea to learn that his wife had died.
A whirlwind visit around the bookroom, and then to the AVISTA meeting, where I was elected VP and we accomplished all our business in under an hour. The afternoon began with a roundtable on use, abuse, and identity of things "medieval". Its primary virtue for me was the globally wide-ranging specialties on the planet, from periodization or attempts at it recognized in regional history in Japan, India, and North America.
juniperus and I organized a might fine session on blogs and identity. She liveblogged it. You can read all about the papers here. Afterwords, many of the same people made it out to dinner together, and there were mad conversational hijnks around the dinner table. At one point someone said that it was better than the Pseudo-Society, whose work we were then missing. I ordered really good deep=friend breaded dill pickle sticks. The dance, at which I began to get used to childeric's new hair, before out into the clear night and sleep.