I've stepped momentarily aside from the issues of the past month (researching militant activism) and questions about where that leads or doesn't (the sharply double-edged sword of those involved seeking media coverage). Call it a breather or a chance to shun the blinders I've slipped on. More, totally new freakshows lie ahead - such as trying to get someone from a certain controversial Midwestern Governor's office to lower the drawbridge for me to cross. But those are other stories for other days. However, this moment's lovely not-at-all left field distraction is a new book that arrived today. Not my typical fare, but something I'm nonetheless using as an introduction to days of yore. Exploring Fort Vancouver (edited by Douglas C. Wilson and Theresa E. Langford) gives an introduction to what was the biggest West Coast outpost in the early 19th Century. Credit that toehold somewhat to the old Hudson's Bay Company. As this book lays it down, site specific history is much more complex than just quoting dates and names. Plus it's just a lovely little book. I haven't yet ventured to the actual National Historic Site in what is now Vancouver, Washington. I will someday soon. Until then, this book is a glossy time capsule escape. Along with being a reminder of the loving work too often ignored but still being done by archaeologists and historians. Highly recommended.