Wednesday, November 30, 2005
What in the world is "silent sports?"
In Minnesota/Wisconsin, where I have spent over 35 of my nearly 50 years on this planet, silent sports are outdoor sports that don't require an engine or motor. The phrase was popularized by a magazine started in the late 1970's called Wisconsin Silent Sports, late shortened to simply Silent Sports, since the majority of the subscribers were from Minnesota! It covered such things as canoeing, hiking, cross-country skiing, bicycling, backpacking, and (later) snowshoeing. I see that it now has a web presence here. They summarize thus: "we loosely define [silent sports] as 'aerobic outdoor activities.' In other words, getting the heart rate up through non-motorized, healthy outdoor fun." Well put, and thoroughly enjoyed by myself and my wife.
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Begin idle musing:
But, I also missed some good stuff on some blogs, for example this one about pacifism on Jesus Creed. At the risk of incurring the wrath of "gun-toting" Joe Cathey, who said some nice thing about me here, I must say I agree with Scot. As Christians, our highest allegiance must always be to God, not the state. But, Scot says it so much better than I do. As one of my theology professors used to say, "You owe it to yourself to read this."
By the way, I am tempted to take Joe up on his challenge about no firearms in the house, but as I explained to him, it would be unfair. We live next door to one of the police officers in town, and everyone knows it. So, I might not have firearms, but Terry has enough for a small army :)
End idle musing
Monday, November 28, 2005
Fun little church history book
The book is a fast read, concentrating mainly on the people who were outstanding in the periods, whether for good or bad reasons. A lot of it was just rehash of things I knew, but it was interesting to find out that the writings of Wyclif were brought to Hus's attention by a marriage between King Wenceslaus' sister and the English king. The book stops with Luther posting his 95 theses.
I would recommend the book to anyone wanting a fast overview of the late medievel church.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Philly and flight home
Before I caught the train to the airport, I made one more pass through the Reading Station Market. What a neat place, I wish there were something like that here in Indiana.
Got to the airport and ran into Michael Thomson from Eerdmans, we were both on the same flight. He told me of some nice book deals he had made. They will be coming out in the next year or two. My flight out of Philly was only a few minutes late, so I figured I could catch my connecting flight out of Detroit with no problem. Turns out I could have been a lot later. There was a fume leak of some kind on the plane next to us. There were guys in silver suits and emergency vehicles all over. We ended up being about 45 minutes late in taking off. I got into Fort Wayne, grabbed my baggage and drove the hour home.
This AM, I got to see my grandson for the first time since May, isn't he cute, that's my daughter and son-in-law in the second picture? Debbie had a chance to spoil Joshua for 2 days before I got home. There was also snow on the ground, and it is packing snow! Snowman time. Well, I needed to come in to work first, but its more fun playing with a grandson, that's why these posts are so late.
Well, I won't be posting until next Monday, so have a good Thanksgiving day and remember to be thankful, I know I am.
Tuesday, Day 4
Wow, what a convention. I heard there were over 10,000 here this year. The sales were a bit slow for the last day, but someone told me that quite a few people had left early because of the weather. The pictures above are from the teardown. It is amazing how fast the place transforms back into an empty display area.
After the tear down, I had a few hours to walk around town before I caught my flight home, but that is another story.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Monday always feels like a Wednesday. You know that you are over halfway there and can make it to the end. As you can see from the picture, the stack of Sacred Bridge has dropped dramatically. But, what you don't know is that this reflects the backup shipment that we had delivered to us on Monday. So, actually of the 24 that are there, 18 are from the new shipment. Emanuel isn't kidding when he put out the sign "Last Copies." We should be able to sell the remaining 24 copies without a problem.
We had a good year, actually we had a record year for booth sales. Thank you to all of you who bought our books! We have to wait for the later orders to come in, but this year was very good for us.
Last night we had our Eisenbrauns company dinner. Every year we have it on Monday night and review the happenings of the conference, trying to detect trends, things we do right and wrong, what our customers are saying, etc. We do know that we need more space next year! I'm sure you will agree. We will have Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht in our booth next year, so that alone requires more space, and Carta has a strong release schedule for 2006, so they might need 2 booths instead of one. Of course, that many booths opens the possibility of doing something more creative, maybe along the lines of Liturgical Press, or WJK or Fortress. I kind of like the layout of the Continuum booth, with the bookcases along the back wall and the 2x2 tables in the middle.
One thing we have noticed in the last 2 years or so is that we are no longer a small player in the biblical studies/ANE book world. We have "come of age" so to speak and people speak well of us as a major player. Kind of scary in a way, but we will continue to work on deserving the respect of our customers. We like being a family run company where real people answer customer's questions.
Well, those were definitely idle musings, but I must run to the booth, since it is an early day today. Hope everyone has a safe trip home. My flight leaves at 6:00 tonight, so I am hoping to get to see the town for about 2 hours after tearing down the booth. I will try to post pictures of tear down, you should find it interesting to see the transformation and the mad rush to get out :)
Monday, November 21, 2005
Day 2 evening
Anyway, the reception was in celebration of the completion of the German version of the AGG and the commencement of the English translation. It is an amazing piece of work, 10 volumes. Stop by the Mohr Siebeck booth to see a sample.
After that reception, I went to the Eisenbrauns reception. We had a small reception for our authors and distribution partners in celebration of 30 years of business. Many luminaries were there. I took a few pictures, but they aren't very clear, so I won't post them. I felt sorry for some of the attendees. I had seen quite a few of them at the previous reception and some of them still had another reception to go to. Joerg Persch from V&R was leaving to attend his fourth one that night. Ah, the trials of being an editor :)
Hopefully I will have a chance to wander the exhibit hall. I usually use this as a chance to pick up titles I might have missed from the catalogs. So, if you see a book that we should carry that isn't listed, let me know.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Day 2 continued
I am about to run off to the Brill reception, but wanted to add a few comments.
I had lunch with Ellen from Brill today and was able to purchase a few titles at a nice price, so watch for some good prices on a few Brill titles after the new year. I can't tell you which ones yet, because I forgot to write them down. She promised to e-mail me the list.
The pictures are the front table, which was loaded with books yesterday morning. I even moved two titles from the back to fill in the holes.
In case you have forgotten, we are giving away two $50.00 gift certificates per day. Be sure to swing by and drop your name in. I was going to post the winners, but forgot to write them down. We have them displayed at the booth.
I am starting to feel tired. This is the six day of conferences for me and I am running out of energy. I hope everyone else out there is doing well. I had to reschedule one appointment because the rep was sick.
Another busy day. We have sold out of 5-6 of the 20 new releases we brought with us. I have been dividing my time between meeting with vendors, manning the Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht booth and our booth. I still haven't gotten past the 400 aisle in wandering the exhibit! I have been taking pictures of the some of the exhibits to get ideas for next year. We are bursting at the seams and now with V & R, we definitely need to expand. There just isn't room for more books.
We had the first book signing for Sacred Bridge That's what the pictures are from, except the last one, which shows how the stack has gone down.
Tomorrow is the last signing. If you didn't get yours signed, make sure to come by between 11:45 and 12:45. Or buy one and get it signed at the same time.
Some photos of the booth before we began selling. Needless to say, the stacks are much lower now than they were yesterday.
The book exhibits opened at 8:30 and, as usual, Peter Gentry was our first customer. Jim West and Joe Cathey were probably second. Nice to be able to put a face to names.
After the hectic pace of the setup, today seemed a bit more relaxed. Not to say we weren't busy, we certainly were. But, the Carta banner got printed and put up, you can see it in the previous post. I only was late to one of my appointments, and he was trying to find me to reschedule, so that worked out well.
Since it is becoming general knowledge anyway, I will "officially" announce that Eisenbrauns has signed a distribution agreement with Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, which is why you saw Eisenbrauns employees manning their booth yesterday. Next year we will be in the same booth. But, what that means is that V&R books will be more easily obtained here in the North American market. We are excited about the opportunity to make their titles available to you--especially the Goettingen LXX (my philological biases are showing).
Last night I attended the reception/paper for/by Michael Fox. We just published his festschrift, Seeking Out the Wisdom of the Ancients and there was a reception. Michael's paper was delightful, he talked about the "subjective" side of his "objective" books. His best quote, talking about Qohelet whom he said must have been bi-polar: "It's a good thing there wasn't lithium, or my bibliography would be a good deal shorter." Afterwards it was a nice chance to put faces to names. I find that my BookNews e-mail has made me notorious.
As the Fox reception was winding down around 10:30, that gave me a chance to put in an appearance at the Eerdmans reception. They have one of the nicest and its a good chance to see people that I miss at the booth. Ended up talking until after midnight with Roy from Accordance and Dr. Instone-Brewer about digitizing texts and related issues.
I will only be able to post about once a day, since Internet access is limited to the free wireless areas and during the day I am running in 60 directions. Today is the booksigning for Sacred Bridge, be sure to drop by and have Anson and Steven sign your copy.
These are pictures of the Sacred Bridge before the first day and then after. Watch the stack go down each day.
Joe Cathey has a nice little writeup on his impressions.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
These are some pictures of setup. There were 8 of us, counting Emanuel from Carta and Darryl from SIL. Large crew, almost too many because with the boxes and all there wasn't much room. Dave is building a tower of Sacred Bridge, I'm sure it will all sell to the point where even an archaeologist won't be able to find the foundation :) Gina will probably shoot me for posting the last one, but that's her carrying the box, with me in the background arranging books.
During setup we found 8000 bag stuffers that we had sent earlier to be stuffed into your tote bags. Guess what, the people at the receiving dock had put them with our stuff instead of giving them to the correct people! So, we paid for a service that we didn't get, at least not totally. They told me that they would stuff them in the remaining tote bags. "In everything give thanks."
Setup took extremely long, longer than anyone remembered it ever taking. At the end there were 4 of us, because the others had commitments for the evening. Dave, Gina, Marti and I finished around 7:30. But that's when the fun began. We had forgotten to bring a banner for the Carta area of the booth. Now we had to get it printed locally. Got a hold of a local Kinko's, found out they could do it (for a premium!). Tried to contact our graphics guy, Andy, to have him e-mail the file to them. I hope it works. We'll see later today.
Then Dave tells me that it costs $10.00 a day for Internet in the hotel and the workout room costs $10/day per person! Yikes! So, I'm sitting in the public area of the convention center catching up on e-mail and blogging this.
I have never felt so fleeced in my life. We're paying 30% more for our hotel than usual, without Internet and a workout room. The food is still not cheap and the service is slow, although the waitress last night was friendlier and apologized for the slow service. Again, "in everything give thanks!"
Are you noting a recurring theme here? I Thessalonian 5 may seem a high calling, but in Ephesians it says "for everything give thanks." I guess the Biblical writers had a higher view of God than most of us! And a higher view of grace, since it is only by grace that we can do that.
Start idle musing:
Which leads to an idle musing--I'm Wesleyan-Arminian to the core. You cut me and I will bleed free grace. Not free will, free grace, there's a difference. But, I have a stronger concept of God's sovereignty than some of my Calvinist friends. Explain that, if you wiil...
End Idle musing.
ETS breakdown, getting to Philly
Sacred Bridge arrived at the booth around 11:00, but by then most people were thinking about going home, so only a few sold. I hauled them over to Philly with me. Tear down went smoothly, only took about 45 minutes. We (Darryl from SIL) and I got all our boxed in a cab. We had requested a van, but would have had to wait until 4:00 to get one. So instead, this cabbie with a Lincoln had agreed to take us. But, when he saw all the boxes, he got kinda upset and pretended he didn't know we were going to have that much stuff. After everything was loaded, he said, "You know this is going to cost you $xxx.00." Right, after we load up! What do you do, unload and wait. So we agreed. When we got to the convention center, he jacked the price again! City of brotherly love? Anyway, "In everything give thanks" is our calling. Believe me, it is only by the grace of God that I could do that!
We managed to get all our boxes in the convention hall and started helping the rest with the booth setup...
Thursday, November 17, 2005
After tomorrow we are staying in Philly and the hotel there has a complete workout floor, complete with 4 lane lap pool. I am looking forward to that, since I haven't done a swim workout in a few years now. We'll see how the arms like 2000 yards.
ETS Day 2
Another day done. It started early with breakfast with Michael Thomson from Eerdmans. We had a problem finding a place to eat. We both asked at our hotels, and the person at the Radisson (where I am staying) said that there was only the hotel. Her words were, "It is hard to find breakfast in upscale neighborhoods." Then she printed out a list of restaurants, most of which were steakhouses, etc. We finally found a nice little deli close to Michael's hotel. Of course the time spent finding a place to eat, eating, etc. made us 15 minutes late for the opening of the book exhibit.
The problem with manning a booth alone is finding a time for lunch. Yesterday I went to lunch with Emily Varner of IVP while the plenary session was going on. Today, Eric Weiss from B-Greek gave me a tuna rollup he had left over and Zondervan (right next to me) had 4 archaeology cakes. So, I asked someone to hand me a piece over the divider. Hey, it works :)
The pictures show a much depleted booth. I sold out of Dunn & McKnight's The Historical Jesus in Recent Research by 10:00 AM. Lots of disappointed people. Don't worry, we have plenty for AAR/SBL and the book signing on Saturday at 1:30-2:30.
If you look at the top picture, you will see a blank spot on the top row to the right. The book riser is collapsing there. I actually had 2 books fall behind the display yesterday. Needless to say, the display in that area was changed to lighter books and fewer!
I have been rationing out the mugs, so that I have a fresh supply each day. I like them. If you do, then swing past the booth, either at ETS or AAR/SBL. If we have any left and you buy some books, ask for one. We also have some paper bookmarks, lots of them. Please take some!
Tomorrow I pack up and head over for AAR/SBL to do it all over again with more space, but more books, too. If you are going to AAR/SBL, stop by booth 216. I may be there, although as I look at my schedule... I really enjoy working the booth, but it is also the only time I can meet some of our vendors, so it is tough to be everywhere I want to be. And then there are the sessions I would love to go to...
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Anyway, I'm going to bed, I have a breakfast meeting tomorrow.
As for the rest, this is the first time at a conference that I haven't been the only person in the workout room, even at 6:00 AM. Is Os Guinness right about Evangelicals??
The food is not too good and the prices are high with poor to fair service. Except tonight, some of us on the B-Greek e-mail list got together and had Italian. The service was fair, but the food was good, and lots of it, too. Thanks to Eric for organizing it.
ETS day one
I heard that the book I have been waiting for from Israel has finally arrived in Winona Lake. So, now I can say what it is: Sacred Bridge by Anson Rainey and Steven Notley. I'm not sure it will make it to display at ETS, but we will definitely have them at AAR/SBL for the book signing. That is a relief. These international shipments are so hard to know when to expect, scheduling something depending on their arrival is tricky.
Be sure to visit Booth 216 at AAR/SBL on Sunday or Monday between 11:45 and 12:45 to get your copy signed.
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Pictures of the ETS booth
For those of you who might not know, ETS stands for Evangelical Theological Society and they are having their annual meeting in King of Prussia, PA starting tomorrow. I am here selling books and today was set up. Tomorrow the selling begins, we're offering 50% off on Eisenbrauns and Harvard Semitic Museum titles, 30% off on Carta and 20% off on all other distribution partners. Here are some pictures, I am right next to Zondervan, as you can see.
Let's Start with Jesus
There is one quote, though, that I have to post. On page 117 he quotes from Gabriel Marcel: "The more exclusively it is I who exist, the less do I exist; and conversely, the more I free myself from the prison of ego-centrism, the more do I exist."
OK, two quotes, on page 152, "The reality is that we will not trust God to do something for us if we do not feel the need. As we walk with him and expose ourselves to the Scriptures and to the constraints of the Holy Spirit, we begin to sense the inner division in the depths of our being that springs from an existential fear of totally trusting ourselves to his control. That fear of surrender to God, who loves us more than he loves himself, is the final evidence of our fallen sinfulness."
I will try to upload some pictures later. Right now I want to get something to eat.
Monday, November 14, 2005
We are pleased to announce that Dr. John A. Cook (Ph.D., Hebrew and Semitic Studies, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison) will be joining the Eisenbrauns publications team as editor after January 1, 2006. We're delighted in this addition to our staff and believe that John will bring a wealth of skills and will provide significant additional direction for the future of our publication program. John will be attending the AAR/SBL meetings in Philadelphia; thus, even though he will not be formally joining us at Eisenbrauns until after the first of the New Year, we invite you to greet him and welcome him to the Eisenbrauns staff.
Jim Eisenbraun, Publisher and President
I am looking forward to him working with us. He comes with excellent qualifications: he is a bicyclist married to a Canadian (my son-in-law is Canadian). What more could you ask for?
Quote of the day
What to take
I would like to take my small BHS, but my Hebrew isn't good enough to not have a lexicon, and they are all too large. If anybody knows of a good pocket Hebrew lexicon, please let me know.
Updated 7:53: As I was walking to work (it's a beautiful morning, 32 degrees and clear, perfect for crunching leaves), I realized that I had not mentioned Holladay. I don't consider that pocket, although mine is near falling apart. It was the lexicon I used as an undergraduate, back before HALAT/HALOT was done. Sure enough, I get to work and Jim West had already e-mailed me about Holladay :)
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Another shipment gone
I leave for ETS Tuesday morning, early. ETS runs from Wednesday through Friday, so I have to set up on Tuesday. I will have the digital camera with me and will be blogging from the convention. So, you probably know only too well what a convention feels like for an attendee, but if you watch this page you will see it from the perspective of an exhibitor.
Friday, November 11, 2005
Rick Brannan's Biblioblogger Paper for the SBL
It looks interesting, but how many bloggers will implement it? I'll have to read it a bit more closely...
Another good book
Thursday, November 10, 2005
When I was at the University of Chicago (years ago now) I was walking to class with a neighbor from Australia on a beautiful Fall day. I did my normal walk through the leaves, kicking them up in the air. He looked at me strangely and said that they didn't have leaves like that in Australia. How sad. Of course, they probably have stuff we don't, but I would miss walking through the leaves.
I found the install disk for my Palm Zire that I couldn't find anywhere. Problem of synching solved. Simple when you have the right tools. So, now my calendars will agree with each other for the first time in a few weeks.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
So, everything is almost back to normal, except I can't get my Palm Zire to synch with Outlook (don't even say anything). It will synch with Palm's desktop, but not Outlook. Anybody have any clues? I can't find the original install disk, so reinstall isn't an option. I tried getting the programs from Palm's website and all it gives me is the Palm desktop, which isn't bad, but I don't want to run two calendaring programs. Any help appreciated.
More thoughts on The Three Battlegrounds
Too often we as Christians seem to get distracted from the goal. We get caught up in our problems, perspectives, goals, whatever, and forget the true goal. It is refreshing to be reminded that the true goal of Christianity is Christ. Seems too obvious, but sometimes the obvious is overlooked.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Eisenbrauns' conference order forms on the web
"It's that time of the year again, when the semis arrive and we load up books and other goodies to take to conferences, where we sell at a deep discount. We invite you to come and get acquainted in person!"
ETS and AAR/SBL shipments
Now I can get other things done before being gone for a week :)
Monday, November 07, 2005
Sermon on the Mount
The Sermon on the Mount is not optional for "truly committed" Christians, it is foundational to Christianity. Too bad E. Stanley Jones' book The Christ of the Mount is out of print, or I would recommend it, well it is available used here
New digital camera
I got a new digital camera for work last Friday. We are going to use it for conferences, but I need to learn how to use the thing. It has a "stitch" function that lets you take the equivalent of a wide angle picture. It will be useful to take the whole booth in one picture at AAR/SBL, which is 40 feet long. Well, let's see how this looks--it is our living room and is 3 pictures. The cooling racks on the table are because Debbie was baking chocolate chip bars.
Another new book from Eisenbrauns
The Fall and Rise of Jerusalem
Judah under Babylonian Rule
Eisenbrauns - EIS
by Oded Lipschits
xiv + 474 pp., English
Cloth, 6 x 9
Your Price: $47.50
The period of the demise of the kingdom of Judah at the end of the 6th century B.C.E., the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians, the exile of the elite to Babylon, and the reshaping of the territory of the new province of Judah, culminating at the end of the century with the first return of exiles--all have been subjects of intense scrutiny during the last decade. Lipschits takes into account the biblical textual evidence, the results of archaeological research, and the reports of Babylonian and Egyptian sources and provides a comprehensive survey and analysis of the evidence for the history of this 100 year long era. He provides a lucid historical survey that will, no doubt, become the baseline for all studies of this era to come.
Added note at 4:25 PM:
This book will be the focus of the "Literature and History of the Persian Period Section" at the SBL meetings in Philadelphia. The session is S19-117 (Saturday, November 19, 4:00 p.m.; check the session location on arrival in Philadelphia; more information on p. 46 in your program book). Panelists include John Wright (Point Loma Nazarene University), H. G. M. Williamson (Oxford University), Daniel Master (Wheaton College), Rainer Albertz (Univ. of Muenster), and Tamara Eskenazi (HUC-JIR Los Angeles).
Friday, November 04, 2005
ETS/AAR/SBL/ASOR Alphabet soup
All that is left is checking everything over, adding the books for another distribution partner and we are done. I need to go finish checking those books in...2 skids left.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Good words to remember!
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Books, part 2
Books I'm reading
Only too true...