Not that I've written much in the past couple weeks, but I'm writing now to say I'll be out of town for about a week and a half because I'm going on a research trip to Canada.
I hope that this will be the last major research trip for my dissertation. I've done one trip already to Toronto, and have done 3 trips to Ottawa. Even though the Canadian part of my topic is focused on Toronto, the Ottawa archives have a wealth of Toronto and Ontario newspapers as well as being a warehouse of federal records relevant to my topic. I was tempted to go to Ottawa a fourth time (it's a pleasant town, with enough but not too much hustle and bustle), but there are some municipal and provincial documents that I could find only in Toronto.
Research trips are expensive, but I like them (I guess that's like saying "expensive luxuries are expensive, but I like them"; however, some expensive things, like sushi or cars, I don't like at all, so it doesn't follow that being expensive means ipso facto that it is to be liked). There's something nice about having a reason other than tourism to be where one is traveling, about being able to tell the customs person that I'm coming to their country "for business," even if it's the pathetic "business" of researching a law that most Canadians don't seem to know exist. (I recently talked to a law professor from Canada who didn't realize that her country had an "antitrust policy"....that's in part because in Canada, the relevant laws are called "Combines legislation." Once I said that, she knew exactly what I was talking about.)
Of course, I've been a tourist before, and I'll do touristy things this time around. My girlfriend has graciously agreed to spend her vacation there with me, and it'll be nice to have the company, and we'll probably do some of the touristy things there.
It will be interesting to be in the country now that Canada is about to have a round of parliamentary elections. I know someone who has the same last name as the current prime minister, so it'll be interesting to watch the political ads pro and con about "Mr. Harper."