Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gotland field school report

Or, Karen and Neil go to an archaeological field school in Gotland, and eat good food along the way.

A full report can be found here: http://www.treheima.ca/Gotland_2011.html

Cirque du Soleil this past weekend was fantastic! As indeed, they usually are. No pictures 'though - I got a little distracted.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Yes, I know. I fell off the face of the earth after that last post. I just got distracted.

The short version is that I missed recounting the last two weeks of the dig/vacation, and I've been back home for two weeks already!

The good news is that the hubby and I are working on a web page detailing the whole trip, and I'll post it here as soon as it's done. Possibly even this weekend.

The bad news is that real life is still very distracting. It's easier to find me on Facebook 'though my friends circle is intentionally smaller there, just because it requires so much less thought and coherence then blogging does.

Next big plans are seeing Cirque du Soleil so maybe I'll have more pictures to share from that trip in a few weeks!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New dig site!

Apparently the search for a Viking Age harbour in Slite didn't pan out. There was no evidence in any of our finds - many mixed layers, and history all over the modern period.

So..... as of Monday, Dan moved us to a new site in Hellvi to dig a Migration Era Iron Age house. It's a 400m walk from the parking lot, through both cow and sheep fields and we climb over two fences and one bridge. We do this twice a day, going both in and out for lunch back in Slite. We're really getting some exercise in!

I`ll try to remember to take pictures of the walk in, it`s actually quite a pleasant combination of field and forest.

Once again, we deturfed the old fashioned way, but this time we had 22 people working all at once - it went quite faster. Although... there are a few rocks.

Early finds include: bones (including some mandibles and teeth) from a variety of animals, iron age pottery (undecorated), slag, and a bit of glass.

Today was a good day - we found a tiny spiral of silver wire...

a blue bead...

a piece of decorated pottery......

and an iron knife, remarkably well preserved.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Gotland Field School - Beginning of Week 2, updated later in the week

The first week was Tuesday to Saturday, with a planned excursion on the Sunday. The planned excursion went on a little longer then expected, covered way way more ground (literally) then expected, and quite a wide variety of history.

Week 2 started on the monday and goes until friday. So .... no real downtime between the weeks.

My inner introvert had a small panic attack during the excursion, but I hid out all evening so I'm much better now.

I should preface a description of the week's archaeology with the idea that we were digging trial trenches to see if we can find evidence of a Viking Age harbour in Slite. Dan's reasoning seems sound, but we have no proof. This is what we are trying to back up with archaeology.

So.... it was pretty hit and miss.

BUT.... it was fun anyway!

Our first trench was 2 metres by 3 metres, and we had 6 people, one in each square metre. Partway through, one of our people had to bow out as it proved that her new and improved knees couldn't take the punishment. We all pitched in to finish the 6th square.

Neil and I were a bit concerned at first that it didn't seem like there was a lot of instruction. But that did quickly improve. And we're asking a lot of questions.

Two squares proved to be really interesting of the six. My square in the north east corner of the trench and Konrad's square in the south east corner.

Konrad's square had the right side of a cow's mandible and teeth, and some big stones in the bottom of the trench that may or may not be part of a construction, although they think it unlikely for a variety of reasons.

My square seems to have a wide variety of rubbish like finds, throughout many layers in the north east corner, with some kind of limestone in the walls, and packed clay near the bottom of the trench.

All in all, I found a plastic button, what is likely a BBQ ash box, oodles of glass (window, bottles, two jars of shoe cream), iron nails and rivets, ceramic (shaped pottery, glazed pottery, and porcelian), various animal bones, a couple of very tiny clay pipes, broken clay bits (possibly both pots and bricks), and an absolute ton of flint.

Here's Snorri trying to puzzle it out while still in the ground.

And me with my prize after it finally got dug out. It was visible in Layer 2 but I had to finish evening out the layer and leave it until we could get to Layer 3. It was somewhat frustrating walking away from it! And it's clearly not Viking Age.

This is possibly the single largest piece of flint that we dug up - weighing in at 320g all by itself, and it's only one piece. Collectively, we came up with something in the order of 10kg of flint in Trench 1 alone. The other trenches also had quite a bit of flint show up.

I should put this in perspective - flint isn't native to Gotland. So it begs the questions - who brought it in, when, and why?

One piece of clay might be Viking Age. Maybe. But the square is so mixed up, it's hard to tell if that means anything.

The two jars of shoe cream are definitely Viking shoe cream. We know that because it says so on the bottom of the jar. :) Although apparently, I didn't get a picture of it.

We drew the profile of the walls on Monday, and closed up the trench on tuesday. We started two new squares in Trench 7 on tuesday afternoon and pretty finished it by the end of the day. We starting hitting pure sand, and there were very few finds in a 50cm depth.

There was a lecture on Monday night about the bronze age in Gotland. Dan Carlsson is trying to branch out the educational historical focus from the Viking Age as it has been in previous years. Bad timing for Neil and I to be here! But as a friend said to me earlier this week "it's all archaeology".

Which is why I found my rubbish heap of a square in Trench 1 to be so exciting to dig!

Wednesday, we both dug out and closed squares 2 - 4 in Trench 7. We found zilch in squares 3 and 4 but it was really easy to dig, being almost entirely sand. Squares 2 and 3 were..... annoying. Lots and lots of big (but not big enough to be interesting for more than 10 minutes) .... rocks. Rocks, rocks, and more rocks. There was some good natured muttering under the breath about the humanity of the lead archaeologist by the end of the day. :)

Wednesday night's lecture was about the excavations in Västergarn, which was really quite interesting. It's really close to, and historically related to another place called Paviken, which has some evidence for bead-making. Bead-making is one of Neil's specialities in the Viking Age.

At some point this week, we had a bit of excitement in one of the other group's trenches. Trench 6 produced what many speculated might be a possible Viking grave.

But by the end of the week, we knew it to be a well, and the lead archaeologist thinks it belongs to the 18th century at the earliest. So crushing...

Since our group had finished up our trenches on Wednesday, we all went out to Burs, in southern Gotland, for a new adventure on Thursday.

Dan called this "rescue archaeology" - given that Gotland is just loaded with archaeological remains, every time someone wants to do something different to their land, they have to call in an archaeologist. Dan was called to do a survey of a field in which the farmer wanted to add a crayfish pond. He walked the field with a metal detector and came up with 10 silver coins in a small area of the field. So he arranged a big dirt-moving machine to lift the turf and called us in for help. We were to help find more coins, and then to hunt through a rather large trench for postholes (evidence of habitation - building construction). In one day.

And oi vey, was it ever hot out.

Fortunately, the day ended up consisting mostly of following Dan around with the metal detector and picking coins out of the dirt where he pointed, carefully digging up the central "hoard" area (more on that in a bit) and quickly coming to the conclusion visually that there were no postholes. We were all wilting from very little physical activity by the end of the day because the heat was so incredible and there was no shade in the field.

But! we found a silver hoard!

We (the group of 12 of us) found some 40 odd silver coins in the field throughout the day and we called in a numismatologist (coin expert) to dig up the final central "hoard" area. He brought along his wife and small child, and right there, in the wilting heat, proceeded to go through all 40 coins and tell us the approximate date and geography of each. And then, finally, turned his attention to the hoard. He pulled up 3 of the coins that were sitting on the top of the soil, carefully brushed away for him, and then decided that it could possibly go quite a bit deeper and this should be done carefully in the lab.

So....we (the students) made a small column of sand, wrapped it in plaster, and cut it from the field with a string, loaded it on a board and put it in Dan's car.

Snorri thinks it's his birthday!

Dan's assistant finished the processing of the "hoard" on friday and we learned there were another 20 odd coins buried in the top 2-3cm. The latest coin in the hoard was dated to 1009-1017 so the poor fellow who lost his purse walking home one night (probably drunk) did so sometime after the turn of the century.

This is the work at the beginning of friday - we learned about the results at lunch.

Okay..... that wraps up the first two weeks! I will try to not take so long in between posts next time!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gotland Field School - Day 1

Just for the record, I can already see that I won't be able to keep this rate of posting up. This is tiring work. But today, we only dug for half a day and it was our first day, so it's special.

The morning was spent with Dan Carlsson and others introducing this year's dig - his reasoning for, and evidence behind, the choice of dig location this year. Pretty interesting, and well reasoned out, and well.... too long to go into here.

We are digging in the middle of a small town, in people's back yards, so..... I give you turf lifting the old fashioned way!

We are each responsible for a 1 metre by 1 metre square. This is Neil getting a start on his 1 metre square.

This is me sieving my first bucket of dirt.

This is the backyard of the house that we can dig in. Some homeowners were enthusiastic about the project and some put limitations on where and how long we can be there. This homeowner is very enthusiastic and apparently has said 'dig it all up!'

This is my first box of finds, in the first layer of the trench. For those not familiar with archaeology, that's the fairly modern stuff. You can see pottery shards, flint shards, chert shards, some glass bits, and two nails. Dan offered a bottle of champagne to the first person to find a Viking Age coin. Sadly, I am not yet that person.

And for the gastronomically inclined, this is tonight's dinner. We're eating as a group on a meal plan, at a nearby restaurant. Buffet style, limited choices each night. Tonight we had some sort of fish in some sort of sauce and chicken in some sort of gravey with vegetables and baked potatoes. Both lunch and dinner are very...... culturally specific.

I'm struggling with the language barrier. Although the course is officially taught in english, there are only 4 english speakers in the group, and the Swedes.... slip into what is comfortable and familiar at times. It will be an interesting experience.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Stockholm to Gotland, and settling into fieldschool

When last we left the story, Neil and Karen were saying goodbye to the Hotel Rival for a month. We have one more night there at the end of the month on the way home. It is a wonderful place, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Snorri made a sad farewell to Teddy.

We trundled off to Bromma airport to pick up our flight to Gotland. A slight delay in that they cancelled our trip, and moved us to the next plane, an hour later. No big deal, we weren't in a rush.This was our plane - getting in by climbing up the stairs is old school now 'though - we did that on the last IcelandAir flight. But the propellers were new to me. And the experience of flying an entire trip in an airplane without understanding a word of the language was a first as well. Good thing the safety demo was pretty self-explantory. :)

The legroom.... not quite the same as we experienced with IcelandAir either.... it's a much much smaller plane. If there had been anyone in the seat in front of Neil, they would not have been able to recline their seat.

Visby is a delightful town to the senses - it really gives off a laid back beach front slow moving relaxed vibe - at least in the summer, at least inside the walls. The town wall was likely begun in the 12th century. It was rebuilt to it's current height in 1280, and finished sometime in the beginning of the 14th century, although some towers were added in the 15th century. See the Wikipedia entry here for more information.

This is the laconic waterfront.... note the entire lack of a fence on the boardwalk.

The whole town has these interesting sculpture/seats scattered around - some are adult sheep and some are lambs. Snorri and I visited.

Dinner was on another outdoor patio at a nearby hotel. Snorri and I were very very relaxed - I've got a sangria on the go, a blanket on my lap, sunshine, a good book and Neil's company. What more do I need?

Today, we got on a bus and headed to Farosound, at the top of the island. Our fieldschool residence is here, and the site we are digging is about 30km away. Tomorrow - school starts!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Living Gastronomically, and the "Viking" day tour

Three folks have commented on the food so far. Trust me, it won't be so exciting once we're established at the field school in another day. I expect it will be pretty standardized student food but I will endeavor to make it *look* exciting once in awhile.

I took pictures of last night's dinner but first let me tell you about the day itself. 8 hours in a mini-bus with the overly talkative driver on a "Viking" day tour. Right off the top, we had this inkling of trouble when he decided to use the "new" definition of the Viking Age as 400 - 1300 AD instead of the more traditional 793 - 1066 definition that we're used to using. He was straightforward about it, right up front. Apparently this means one can include a lot of gothic churches in the tour.

To be fair, there was an awful lot of interesting things to see and he had some interesting theories on the Viking Age to share, but the fellow just wouldn't shut up long enough for interaction or reflection or the chance to absorb through other means. Neil and I are both readers and like the chance to read the signs at places too.

Stops included (thefted from Neil's notes):
- Jarlabankes Bro (old viking bridge) - two runestones, some other stones
- Arkils Tingplats - local thing site, and another runestone
- Church at Vallentuna
- Granby
- Lunda (from bus - no place to park)
- Sigtuna (lunch)
- Gamla (old) Uppsala - mounds from the 500-600 with the Uppsala museum.  Lots of fun things to get photos of, and beads in the gift shop - not enough time here, but on our way out we did notice that the kind folks at the museum hadn't bothered to enforce the "no pictures" they have posted - we are grateful
- Uppsala - the Uppsala Catheral - construction began in 1287 with a focal point about King Gustav I

This is the runestone at Jarlabanke Bro.

And in Sigtuna, where we stopped for lunch, we saw this interesting use of a faering. We thought some of the parents in our friends might enjoy the idea. It's a sandbox.

Now.... dinner at Pontus by the Sea in old Stockholm.  Although the site in general is all in Swedish, here's a link to the english menu. It is a lovely restaurant, quite literally on the sea-side in Stockholm. We watched boats come in, people of all sorts walking by on the boardwalk, observed the weather and skyline of the city.... and ate delicious food.

Here's Neil getting drifty with the scenery.

My food - char with lemon foam and dill pesto.

Neil's choice - cod with shrimp and butter (again with the butter!).

And my dessert - fresh strawberries are a big thing at Midsummers in Sweden. Neil had a creme  brulee.

Today we leave for Gotland - we'll have one night in Visby before we report to the school on Monday. Work starts on the Tuesday.

By the by, I have neglected to mention the window dressings at the Hotel Rival. They have what amounts to blackout cloth! As I've mentioned the northern climes are no fun for the light sensitive sleeper, but this is not a problem at the Rival :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

On the Road - Iceland and Stockholm

Random bits from the travels thus far..

I was up at 4:30am Iceland time this morning to catch an 8something am flight to Stockholm and really since my body had only just barely adjusted to Iceland time itself, I may not be entirely coherent tonight.

The things you can find on the internet is rather amusing. Alda, from the former Iceland Weather Report has moved to Facebook with a fan page for IWR, and she recently posted a pic of the IcelandAir plane with the Eyjafjallajökull name on it. Apparently, IcelandAir recently renamed all of it's planes with the names of volcanoes in Iceland. Planespotters.net has a list of all the planes thus far - we flew from Canada in Hengill, and over to Stockholm in Askja. Neither have erupted in a very long time so we're probably not gonna have any problems.

Yes, I'm tired. I did mention that. Strange things are important when you're tired. :)

So.... starting the trip in Canada then. (I knew the chronological approach would catch up with me eventually.) Spent the day packing and cleaning house, left the doggie and got on an Airways Transit van, had dinner at the airport (lobster soup and a greek chicken salad for me, lobster soup and a burger for Neil - Anti-V likes to follow the food). Got on the plane - Hengill, mentioned above. Attempted to sleep - it might have worked in brief moments at a time - 4 hours had passed before I felt compelled to check the time.

Didn't feel too badly throughout the day (this part of the trip usually just kills the first day for me) so we wandered around quite a bit. Vikingaheimer again - some changes there but nothing big. It needs some more ... depth. The presentation is awfully light on information. But the addition of a sail, and the animals out front were amusing.

Snorri tried to get on the boat again.

Went into Reykjavik for a bit and found the ever delightful Icelandic Fish and Chips - the service is a bit slow, but the food is just so darned good. We split an order of wolf fish and handmade garlic potato fries, with homemade sodas - lemon mango for me, and pomegranite for himself. Wandered around a bit on the way back to the car, and missed the parking meter just long enough for the parking police to issue a ticket. : (

Off to the National Museum to see if newer cameras would get better results with the really low lighting in the museum. Some improvement.... but heck, what's with the low lights anyway? Okay, I get it on the textiles, but seriously... beads and metalwork aren't going to be harmed by too much light.


I think the new cameras made a difference - wouldn't you say so, Rob?

Dinner at the hotel - Northern Light Inn. Neil had catfish in butter *shudder* with shrimps. Butter just isn't a 'sauce' in my books - drowning anything in it is just..... wrong. Yes, I do love lobster, but I will never ever order it in this all too common form.  I had the lamb with wild mushroom sauce. The sauce was served seperately, and several long minutes after the lamb. Very odd. I'd actually forgotten about it when it arrived. We skipped dessert in favour of skyr back in the room.

Crashed pretty shortly thereafterwards.... having been effectively up for two days without real sleep. Had to put my night shirt over my head to block out the sun. The Icelandic hotels that I've been exposed so far don't seem to believe in blackout cloth and this really is the wrong time of year in Iceland for light sensitive sleepers.

Up at the crack of stupid, returned the car, bought some more skyr for the travelling, and off to the airport. I haven't mentioned yet but we somehow have managed to be upgraded to Saga class (1st, or business class) when we bought Economy Comfort (a middle state with slightly bigger seats but no perks). Let me say, the perks in the Saga class are fun! Comfortable lounge pre-boarding with free food and wireless, no lineups, pre-boarding (in Toronto only), gadget giveaways on the plane, free food on the plane and oodles of leg room.

Off the plane in Stockholm, adjust the clocks again (only two hours this time) and we're off to the Hotel Rival (pronounced Ree-val). The concierge here writes a blog called The Stockholm Tourist which is very helpful - that blog and TripAdvisor's ratings and comments are largely the reason we chose the hotel. The fact that Benny Andersson of Abba is one of the owners is just an amusing coincidence. Really. I found out that tidbit after we'd decided on it. Of course, it did explain all the Abba related comments on TripAdvisor. There are Abba cds in every room, should you choose to become assimulated.

And teddy bears. There are teddy bears in every room. If there's a connection between Abba and teddy bears, I'm not aware of it. But he's darned cute.


Wandered around Stockholm for a few hours before dinner - most of the small crafty tourist shops in the Old Town are open, even on Midsummer's Eve, and there are tons of them. This painting, in a store here, of old town captures it better I managed!

Stockholm is a city spread over 14 different islands. This is just one of the riverways that seperates it.


Some parts are very industrialized, like most cities, and some parts are still old and beautiful.

Dinner at the Rival Bistro - a delicious shellfish casserole for both of us. I had a lemon creme brulee with fruit, and Neil had a raspberry souffle with licorce sorbet.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Adventure - the schedule arrives

I haven't mentioned this before on the blog, but certainly in Facebook.... we've been a little frustrated by the lack of communication from the school with information about this field school thing we're about to embark on. So today... we're packing, going to get on the plane for Iceland tonight.... and at the very last minute the schedule arrives. :)

 It's a good thing we have email access all the way along.

Anyhoo... here's the schedule for your follow along entertainment. Subject to changes due to weather and exciting finds. I do hope to be able to blog about it as we go but we'll have to see how a program designed for the average archaeologist (aka crazy people) and 20 year olds sits with this 40something person.

It's my birthday today, by the way.

Archaeological Field school 2011

Tue. 28/6 09.00-12.00 Roll call, grouping. Practical questions. Introduction to Slite. Info from
Alanna Scott
13-16.30 Field work. Find sorting.

Wen. 29/6 09-16.30 Field work. Survey about osteology, Astrid Lennblad
19-21 Lecture by PhD Christoph Kilger. Viking Age treasures and female

Thu 30/7 09-16.30 Field work

Fri. 1/7 09-16.30 Field work

Sat. 2/7 09-16.30 Field work. Summarise the week at Slite.

Sun. 3/7 09-17 Excursion with visit to the historical museum

Mon. 4/7 09-16.30 Field work
19-21 Lecture by PhD student Gunilla Runesson, Bronze Age on Gotland.

Tue. 5/7 09-16.30 Field work

Wed. 6/7 09-16.30 Field work
19-21 Lecture by MA Johan Norderäng. Västergarn-new excavations

Thu. 7/7 09-16.30 Field work. Summarise the week at Slite.

Fri. 8/7 09-16.30 Field work (3 and 4 weeks). Excavation, review, completion (2 weeks).

Mon 11/7 09-16.30 Field work (4 weeks). Introduction 2 weeks, see schedule for Tuesday

Tue 12/7 09-16.30 Field work. Survey about osteology, in groups.

Wed 13/7 09-16.30 Field work
19-21 Lecture by PhD student Joakim Wehlin. Baltic stone ships

Thu 14/7 09-16.30 Field work
19-21 Lecture. PhD students. Gustaf Svedjemo. Iron Age landscape on

Fri 15/7 09-16.30 Field work 2 and 4 weeks. Review of the results, interpretation, and
completion for the 3 weeks group. Summarise the week.

Sat 16/7 09-17 Excursion with a visit to the historical museum

Mon 18/7 09-16.30 Field work
19-21 Lecture. Will be decided later

Tue 19/7 09-16.30 Field work
19-21 Lecture by Associate Professor Dan Carlsson. The Eastern
Connection. Scandinavia and Russia.

Wed 20/7 09-16.30 Field work

Thu 21/7 09-16.30 Field work
19-21 Preliminary results, find analysis, bone analysis. Dan Carlsson, Anna
Pettersson, Astrid Lennblad

Fri 22/7 09-16.30 Field work, Review of the results, interpretation, completion for the 2
and 4 weeks groups.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Doggie Day Care

Nina asked what Doggie Day Care is?

Doggie Day Care is just like day care for children. You can drop them off in the morning and pick them up after work already pre-exhausted for you. A boon for those days when the weather is too bad for walking, or you're busy in the evenings, or you're just too lazy for a hour or more of walking / playing after a long day at work. The energy needs of a young puppy are often more then many of us can handle on our own.

Plus, there are benefits for your doggie in terms of socialization with other dogs. They play together in big groups and learn doggie culture - something us humans can't teach.

These pictures are from Country-Side Boarding, Grooming and Day Care. One of the staff is a very adapt photographer, and they often post pictures from the day care.

It's not something we do every day. We need to go on walks for ourselves, and throwing the frisbee is fun from this side too. But it's a great relief to have back-up in raising a highly energetic young puppy.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Still there? Probably not. I don't believe anyone reads me anymore.

*shrug* Oh well. I'll just blabber on anyway.

I was reading last few posts and thought I'd catch y'all non-existant readerly types up.

Thoka is now only occassionally the dog-from-hell. He's mostly a very sweet puppy who's exercise needs sometimes outstrip my ability to keep up with him. He's even sometimes lapsing into 'companion'. Doggie Day Care is so very yuppy a concept but I'd go crazy without the extra help.

Or maybe it's the spring, and I have more energy for endless walks and frisbee throwing. He really loves that frisbee.

Or maybe he's actually getting me .... *gasp* healthier. More capable of more walks! Nah, can't be that one. It's not like I have any weight loss to show for it. Yes, yes, I hear muscles weigh more then fat. Big fricking deal.... would it kill the scale to give me some achievement markings once in awhile?

Anyhoo.... the trip to Gotland to go on an archaeological dig is still in the planning. We leave in less then a month. The most frustrating thing right now is that the field school is incommunicado. Two months ago, they said they'd contact us with final payment  and more information in the middle of May, and well....you might have noticed that in a typical month averaging 30 odd days, that the 27th isn't generally considered "mid May".

If they need us to bring something specific - like steel toed boots maybe - then they need to give us enough time to find and purchase said object. If there's a pre-requisite reading list, then they need to give us enough time to find and read said books. If they want a final payment for the school, they need to tell us where to send it. Sleeping arrangements would be good to know. A map of where the school is, and which office to go to when we arrive would be good. I can google the school's address, but which office to go to isn't something Google can tell me.

Ya know... little things, like details. I've been married to a Project Manager for too long perhaps. Of course I've always liked to have plans.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Planning an archaeological dig in Gotland, Sweden

Hallo again :)

This year, Neil and I are planning going to an archaeological field school in Gotland, Sweden.

I plan to blog about it as it happens, but I'd like your input please. As you might have noticed, I'm a little short on original material recently. Facebook's brevity and immediacy has sucked my brain dry for intelligent, lengthier writing.

So.... what would you like to see me blog about during this adventure?

I've done previous trip blogging in May 2008 (Scotland, Iceland) and July 2009 (Iceland, the ring road tour), and in August 2010 (L'Anse aux Meadows, NFLD), but this trip is a little different in that there will be an educational component as well as entertainment.

Please be specific. Please feed my poor, starved-for-topics brain with ideas.

If you are not feeling inclined to using the comments field, I have added a Contact Me section to the sidebar - please feel free to email me. I don't promise responses.

Questions about trip preparation will be entertained as well.

Thank you,


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Not entirely abandoned

I'm thinking about what, if anything, I want to do with this blog in the future.

With Facebook being so much more compelling and immediate, I'm not spending as much time here as I once did. Is it still useful a space?

Do I have enough readers?

Do you have an opinion?