Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, February 26, 2015

So I went ahead and gave blood

and that went well. The folks were very nice, and took my iron level first before I filled the paperwork out. Apparently those children's complete chewable multivitamins help, as I was at a good level. All in all it took a little less than an hour. I think they separate the blood into three parts usually, so a donation can help save the lives of three people. If you've never donated, and can, or maybe haven't donated in awhile, consider it. With all the horrible winter weather lately, blood drives get cancelled, regular donors can't make it, etc. Every bit helps. It's actually quite easy to do.

I went over to my friend's house afterwards, visited for awhile, and we watched an episode of 'Hart of Dixie'. Now we're at the appointment, so I'm typing on my laptop with the hotspot from the phone going.

It's been pretty nice to have a day away from work today. It's been a bit leisurely, even with times to be at various places. I'll be back at work tomorrow, though. But then in a couple of weeks there's the Chicago trip, so that will be fun--three days of mostly vacation with some meetings, too.

Speaking of Chicago, I brought my Fodor's book with me. I may see about looking through other places in the Loop and nearby environs that I can go to while I'm there. I'm sure there are restaurants, etc. I don't really have the money to go to the Adler Planetarium and the Field Museum, although it would be nice to. I went to a planetarium in Wichita years ago as part of a school trip and really enjoyed it, and of course there's the Hubble Planetarium in nearby Richmond at Eastern Kentucky University, which I haven't been to before. But I definitely want to do the Field Museum.

That was incredibly easy

I got over to the hospital at 8:30, and since I'd already pre-registered, they just needed me to sign a couple of sheets of paper and give them my ID and insurance card to verify. Then I waited just about five minutes after being taken back to radiology. The CT scan itself was much easier than an MRI--I didn't feel closed in (of course, they were just doing my sinuses), and was able to stay still, except for breathing. I got back to the waiting room by 9:01 and the longest wait was actually the one for my disc with the scan on it that I have to take to my doctor. But I was still out of there before 9:20. I could have actually gotten to work by 9:30 or 9:45. But a friend has an appointment of his own today at 2 pm, so I took the day off. I really thought the scan, or at least the waiting, would take longer.

So now I'm eating some plain low-fat Greek yoghurt with raspberries and blackberries because 1) I haven't eaten yet today and am a bit peckish, and 2) I'd like to give blood, especially since I have time now. So the plan is to finish breakfast and then drive over to Mapleleaf to the Andover branch of the Kentucky Blood Center, which opens at 10 am, and see if I can donate (sometimes my iron doesn't cooperate). Then I'll head over to my friend's house.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Well, phooey

I just got in from class a little while ago and was trying to use my new University of Kentucky online account that was set up today to get my unofficial transcripts to apply for a job at a local college by Friday (I just learned about it yesterday). Unfortunately, something wasn't submitted when they built my account and I can't access the transcripts at all, and won't be able to until at least a couple of days, meaning I'll miss the deadline. While I could pay $10 and get an official transcript, I'd still have to wait till sometime tomorrow or Friday for that because the older transcripts are on microfilm, hence there needs to be someone at the office who can scan them and send them to me, and technically the HR department at the college had requested a mailed résumé, cover letter, unofficial transcript, and three professional references, although there is an option to upload a résumé and cover letter on their website. While I certainly could do the job, I suspect they have an internal candidate in mind, as it wasn't posted the last time I checked a few days ago, and so I'm going to chalk this up to an omen that the job wasn't going to pan out, get my access for future use, and go on my merry way. Still, it's the first job in awhile that would be a good fit, and I really like their library; I interviewed there years ago. So anyway, I think I missed the boat on this one, and that's my fault. I should have been more vigilant about looking, although in my defence last week I was mostly preoccupied with the snow storm, cold, and just getting to my current job.

I got my airline and hotel confirmation for the Chicago trip today, and went by Office Depot and got a padded lightweight bag with an over-the-body strap for my laptop at a price less than the sleeves alone, which I plan on taking on the trip. I'm so hoping everything like weather, etc., goes off without a hitch. I should have time the first day to go to the Field Museum of Natural History, and then there's the morning of the second day before our seminar for a little sightseeing. On the third day there's a morning meeting and then I'll have to head straight to the airport. But the idea this time is to definitely see a bit of downtown Chicago.

Okay, I have a CT scan of my sinuses first thing tomorrow morning, and should see if I can find the paperwork in case it's needed. I've already pre-registered and paid for my part (which was a bit of an annoyance, because I'm within $47 of my out-of-pocket maximum for the year but had to pay $127 over the phone yesterday. I just couldn't make the clerk understand that I shouldn't pay that amount, and if I did, they might owe me a refund.

I also have to take a friend to an appointment tomorrow, so I've taken off from work for that day. And afterwards I need to go by the pharmacy because another friend got only a partial fill of his medicine and needs more. I am in high demand this week. Friday there's another appointment and Saturday I'm taking two other people, three dogs, and a cat to the vet--in a Taurus. That should be fun. :) But it's nice to be needed.

Okay, on to finding that paperwork. I've never had a CT scan. There doesn't seem to be much to it, but I did want to read their recommendations and make sure everything was as planned. Good night!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In science news...

Stunning 3D animation reveals how the Sahara fertilises the rainforests of the AMAZON with 182 million tones of dust

Buddha statue reveals remains of mummified monk inside

Rats May Be Exonerated in European Plague, Say Scientists With a Gerbil Theory

More Siberian Craters Prompt Call for Urgent Investigation

'Early peanut intake could prevent allergy'

Blind man sees wife for the first time in a decade - here's how

Nice article

about efforts of librarians to work with agencies and other professionals to serve the needs of the homeless in their communities.

Homeless People Need Libraries, and Libraries Need Them, Too
"I think there are still a lot of punitive policies and a lot of barriers ... rules about the size of baggage you can bring in or policies about odor or no-sleeping policies," said librarian Julie Ann Winklestein, who co-wrote an ALA pamphlet to help librarians better serve people who have already been turned away by other institutions.

The single most important thing libraries can help people do online is find a job, the ALA found. Even fast food restaurants require online applications now. But many libraries still require patrons to have an address and photo identification to get a library card, and then limit the time patrons can spend online.

Librarian Liz Coleman, who serves on a new Homelessness Advisory Committee at the Nashville Public Library, says her co-workers are frustrated they can't help everyone. One regular patron died of exposure; another was hit by a car and died shortly before he was to receive housing.

"It was a feeling of kind of helplessness," she said. "You see these folks every day, so you can't help but care about them. But what are you going to do? You can't take them home with you."
But this is my absolute favourite quote, by Julie Ann Winklestein:
Librarians can't solve people's problems, but we can provide them the resources to solve their own problems.
I recently had an interview at the local public library and asked about how they approached the homeless. I was interested in services and outreach, but instead I think they thought I was afraid for my security, as the adjacent park is full of people on any given day who have no home. I guess I took them aback, or maybe I didn't ask specifically enough to elicit the answer I was looking for. I know the subject is a tricky one for public libraries, as they balance the needs of all patrons and want to provide a welcoming atmosphere for everyone, and some people are afraid of those who live on the streets. But those who are homeless--for whatever reason--are actually much more vulnerable of a population, and if we can partner with agencies and work together to provide the resources needed--whether it's getting a job, getting help applying for affordable housing, getting mental health treatment, or any of the other things that can transform a person's life, then I say, more power to the librarians.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Is it me

or is today going by very sloooowly???

We've got several of our doctors out on a mission trip this week, so the clinic is pretty slow, meaning I have fewer charges to put in. So although I used the time to catch up with library stuff, time seemed to drag. After work I grabbed something to eat at home and tried to use my banking application with much frustration. I don't know if there's a glitch now that I'm running the higher operating system on my phone, or what, but it was very annoying. I was finally able to do what I was trying to do, but only with great effort and circumventing a screen or two.

I helped with a couple of projects [one quick, one tedious yet necessary] over at my friends' house, visited for awhile, watched 'Hart of Dixie' with YKWIA, found a book that had gone missing, helped right a shelf of books that tried to collapse--that sort of thing. But finally I am home and it's only a little after 10:30 but I am ready for some rest and a brand new day. There were several things I found interesting in the news, but I'll have to blog about them later, I'm afraid. But you have a great night.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

I love that even though

I have a handful of TV channels over the digital antenna, one of them is playing The Princess Bride. I love that movie, and even though I do have it (in DVD and VHS), I'll take this opportunity to watch it. They're right past the sword fight, with Fezzik and Westley are going head to head. Now on to Vizzini and the battle of wits....

Going back to bed

as sleet is pelting my windows. Here's hoping for snow over ice, and rain to wash it all away (without flooding). So tired of winter, and really, it's been a decent one until this past week, upon which time Old Man Winter thought, gee, the South isn't getting that much and the New Englanders haven't broken yet, why don't I dump a whole winter's worth of stuff on Kentucky?

This is very well done...



I'm curious as to what YKWIA (who also has a history degree) and Brenda (who has a costuming degree) think of this.

Friday, February 20, 2015

One of my neighbours

has been digging a parking spot out nonstop for over two hours (I don't know how long before I came home) so she can get her car into the spot. She'd had it mostly done, I'd thought, when I got in, but she's still going, way past dark.

I left work early today and picked up my friend and we went by his house to pick up a prescription and then headed to the pharmacy so we could both get our medications. Then we tried to go to the Kroger on Alexandria Drive but there was no place to park and lots of frustrated drivers, so instead we went over to Chinoe's Kroger, got a few things for each of us, and then I dropped him off and came home. My street still hasn't been touched; my parking lot is now more clear than our street. I managed to pull into a parking space that was pretty clear, which is good, because we're looking at significant snowfall tonight, some ice, and some rain. It's all going to come down to what temperature things stay at, to see which we get more of.

Speaking of temperatures, it was -18 degrees here in Lexington. In one of the neighbouring counties, it was in the negative 30s--again, not wind chill, but rather air temperature. My car was a little reluctant to start, but did, and I was able to drive to work for the first time this week.

Plans tomorrow include a possible bigger trip to the grocery, but that will depend very much on the weather. I'd hoped to give blood, but I suspect that will not be possible. If I do get snowed in, I'll just hang out here. I doubt we'll get to play the game Sunday, but perhaps if things aren't too bad.

Okay, I think I'm going to do some things around here. I did dishes and put them away last night, gathered the recyclables, etc., but I need to take them out and straighten up. I feel bad sitting here next to the window while someone works so hard outside.

What a mess that's on the way!

Another Winter Storm
A lot of us are in a band of our forecasted 3-7"+ of snowfall with sleet, freezing rain and rain mixing in. It looks like more snow north and perhaps significant amounts of freezing rain and ice in the southern portions of that forecasted area. This does include Lexington.

In case you missed it and can't watch, but want a recap

'The Comic Book Store Regeneration': The entire gang experiences a lesson in the art of letting go.

Yay!!!

T-Mobile Galaxy S5 lands Lollipop to lead this week's Android device update roundup

My phone is running faster. I'm happy.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Big Bang Theory tonight

Made me cry.  It still makes me well up with tears when I think about it.  It was very fitting,  and I'm glad they chose this route.  But it was still sad.  I won't say anything more in case you haven't seen it yet.  But you frankly should try to see it. That's it for me tonight,  I think.  I'm listening to OneRepublic's Native album (specifically,  'I Lived' at the moment).  After that I think it's time to turn in for the night.  Take care,  stay safe. Good night.

Yay!

I haven't done this for awhile; usually I'm doing well if I get half as many steps in. And this is with a ride home from work and driving to Kroger once I got the car unstuck.

Success!!!

After a co-worker and her family dropped me off at home from work, I managed to get the car cleaned off further, and got it out of the space! I went ahead and headed to Kroger, filled up the car, which was on empty, and then stopped in the store for a few groceries. My street still hasn't been touched, but I handled it pretty well. I almost got stuck again trying to get into the spot next to the one I left, managed to get back out, circled around, and found a spot without any snow and parked there.

Once I got in and put the groceries away, I changed clothes, lit a candle, and updated my computer while I made a couple of breakfast sandwiches. (Yeah, I know, it's breakfast for dinner). And while I ate, I updated my phone, which downloaded Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and is just now finishing up. So I'll have a new operating system to play with, and since I was on Jelly Bean 4.4.2 and never got the 4.4.4 update, I'm happy. We'll see if I have any issues with 5.0. Right now it's optimising the application (apparently I have 445 applications on my phone. I really should take some off, huh?)

Now that the car is free, I plan on giving blood either tomorrow afternoon or Saturday, depending on the wintry mix/rain we're supposed to get this weekend. I'm O+, so while I'm not quite a universal donor, I'm close, and the blood and platelet stock has been hit by cancelled blood drives and the inability for donors to get out and about. I called this morning to check and see if it had been long enough since I donated, and it had. They wanted to go ahead and schedule an appointment, but I didn't know about the car. So, I'll try to drop by as soon as I can. The main office is open till 6 pm tomorrow, but is on the other side of town from me. There's one closer, and I'll check tomorrow to see if the hours are the same. If so, I can make it there after work.

The cold is just crazy. It was -8 today, -22 air temperature a couple of counties over, breaking records. Our high was 7 degrees. Tonight we're supposed to be about -15--not wind chill, mind you, that was in the negative 20s and 30s today. I'm so glad the car started, especially without any gas in it, and I hope the battery holds for tomorrow, too.

Okay, I'm going to go see what I can figure out about my phone's new OS. I'm updating Google Play services now. Some of the settings have changed, so I may need to tweak it a bit. Good night, although I may write some more later.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Get ready for the Big Chill

City Intensifies Efforts To Keep Citizens Safe In Bitter Cold

It's going to be a doozy--temperatures going down to -13 or so, with wind chills about -35 degrees Fahrenheit. Fayette County schools are closed for the rest of the week, and the University of Kentucky is also closed the rest of the week, with only essential (Plan B) employees working. My class was cancelled as well, thankfully.

I lucked out this morning. I got to the bus stop, with some difficulty, and had just sat down at the shelter when one of my co-workers, an orthotist who also has an office over here, stopped and offered me a ride. So I got to work about 9:30, which wasn't too bad, considering the ordeal of digging out the car and getting it stuck. Another co-worker had her husband pick us up at work and drop me off at home, so I didn't have to take the bus home. So now I'm half in comfy clothes (still in my jeans). I need to check on my friends and make sure everything's okay with them. And then, to be honest, I am going to take a nap, the idea being that I will get up and work on some things here in a little while.

Nice to see some humour in response to our major winter storm

Harlan City Police Department Issues A.P.B. For Queen Elsa
"All points bulletin!!! HPD has issued an arrest warrant for Queen Elsa of Arendelle. Suspect is a blonde female last seen wearing a long blue dress and is known to burst into the song "Let it Go!" As you can see by the weather, she is very dangerous. Do not attempt to apprehend her alone."

I am supposed to be at work

I spent over an hour digging out the car and trying to get out of the space, but got stuck half-way out and half-way in, finally managing to dig around the tyres enough to get some traction and get (mostly) in. I've called my boss to let her know I'll be late. I'll be taking the bus, and the next one I can reasonably catch is in about 50 minutes, so I have a few minutes to catch my breath and get ready for the walk over there. It does mean I can't get the medications, but I'm going to check and see if the Fayette County Sheriff's Department is still running their Winter Care programme, where they'll go get them for you. If not, I'll have to try to get there by bus, meaning leaving work really early, because our pharmacy closes at 6 pm. I'll work it out somehow. Looks like I'll get to work about 10 am, or an hour-and-a-half late. But Gods willing, I'll hopefully get there. Okay, time to start walking.

I can't sleep

There are a whole bunch of things I have to do tomorrow, and it's causing some anxiety, because the roads won't be very good, and there are a lot of what-ifs in terms of my car. I'm not even sure it will start, what with the low gas and battery, and then I really have to clean it off, clean off some space behind it (the only thing I can think of for that is a broom--I don't own a shovel, since I live in an apartment), get to work, and then get to the pharmacy. I can just feel all sorts of tension building up, and even a little stomach trouble. I know I'll soldier on, but it's bothering my sleep. So I'm trying do so some deep breathing and relax. Sometimes I get this way when I'm full of expectation. I'm like this when it's time to take a plane somewhere, too. I feel like going out and doing something, anything, right now--clean off the car, go get the gas, even go into work, even though that's hours away, and there's probably a lot of re-icing on the road that doesn't make that quite advisable right now, plus the new snow should be starting soon. So I wait.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Well, I made it to work and back today

and I'm pooped. The official snowfall total for Lexington yesterday was 10.2 inches, or the fourth-largest snowfall from midnight to midnight in our history.

I started out this morning from the apartment at 6:40 am, trudged through snowdrifts the two-tenths of a mile to the bus stop, taking great care to cross the road safely (that is the intersection where I was hit by a car while crossing in a crosswalk a couple of years ago, breaking my toes and ankle). I got there about 7:10. The bus was due about 7:16, but it got stuck in the snow over at Locust Hill and Richmond Road, so I sat there until about 7:45, when the next bus came. We went by the stuck bus when we went back up Richmond Road. I got off at my stop, managed to cross the road without too much trouble, but cars were turning into the lane, so I had to go over a drift up to my buttocks, then slog through the sidewalk, which had snow up to right below the knees. Fortunately I'd worn my jeans and had brought a pair of pants to wear at work. I had brought an extra pair of socks, too, but I wish I'd have worn them on top of the others, because my feet really got cold (it was 3 degrees Fahrenheit outside while I was sitting at the bus stop). When I went to go home, I did wear both pairs of pants and socks, and it really helped (it was also in the low twenties temperature-wise by then). But none of the sidewalks had been cleared, and I stood inside a snowdrift at the bus stop at work, so I got home, peeled off the wet clothes, got into something comfy (but not particularly warm, as I was pretty hot with the exertion, the 2-4 layers over my body, and a balaclava that showed just my eyes. My heart rate was probably up there with someone shoveling snow, and my breathing took awhile to settled down.

I had thought I might dig out the car while the sun was still out, but I just didn't feel up to it. Besides, we're supposed to get 1-3 additional inches of snow tonight, so I'd still have to do it tomorrow. I'll just have to get up early. I just hope the roads are better than this morning, as I really need to go by the pharmacy tomorrow after work, which means I have to get to work during the snowfall--and get some gas, too. But I've been home for about an hour and a half, and now I finally feel normal. I've eaten some lentil pilaf and a quinoa burger, along with an apple, and I think I'll do some reading soon. I did do some yoga yesterday, but I'm not feeling the desire to do any tonight. I've done plenty of exercise today, walking 8,036 steps so far today--well, more really, as I didn't have my phone with me every step. But as far as the yoga goes, I struggled through the poses yesterday (I used to be much better at that), but I did watch a segment after the workout on using props to keep proper alignment. So I'll try that, although I have a mat and strap, but only one block.

Brrr...I've been watching the weather. Thursday has air temperatures at a high of 3 degrees, and -12 degrees for a low. I just hope my car battery will work that low.

Okay, I'm going to go take my contacts out, get comfy, and do some reading. Good night, for now.

Monday, February 16, 2015

As of 4 pm, Lexington was just over 9 inches in snowfall

with snow still falling, so they expect at least 10 inches, but we're within a few hours of the end of the snow. My friend got home, but he had to walk from the closest major artery; even the road that he lives off of, which is a snow route, was snow covered, and the bus driver wouldn't go up it. Neither of us is sure of what to do for tomorrow. He may have to walk back to the same bus stop if it's still as bad, and he doesn't have winter boots--tennis shoes don't do so well in this. I may be taking the bus myself, because I suspect the roads will still be difficult at best.

Fortunately most people are staying off the roads at this point. The authorities have asked people to not go out on the road unless it is absolutely necessary, particularly as it gets dark and visibility will be even worse. As it is, you can't see the lanes on the circle around Lexington, or on the interstates, and a lot of people have gotten stuck and had to hoof it out of there. Tomorrow should be cold, but after that temperatures are going to plummet. We're looking at -11 degrees Fahrenheit (air temperature, not wind chill) Thursday morning, for example. So it's not like the snow is going to melt, and the road treatments are less effective as the temperatures go down.

The airport has had all flights cancelled. Our governor has declared a state-wide emergency. About the only good thing about this snow is it is a high-ratio, powdery and light, so it's not impacting trees and power lines. So I haven't heard of electricity outages at least. Since midnight, the police have been called to over 30 accidents, five of which sent people to the hospital, and assisted over 300 cars stuck and that sort of thing. We're not at an emergency level yet. All city offices are shut down tomorrow. They are discouraging those who don't have to drive tomorrow to do so.

I don't think I'll be driving tomorrow. We'll see if I can make it to work.

For Brenda



and this...

Update on the winter storm that's hitting our entire state

The snowfall so far. It's coming down 1-2 inches an hour. I'm home today, but tomorrow I may be going to work on the bus at the rate this is going.

So about 10:30 this morning

we were sitting just under seven inches of snow. I'm not sure how much is there now, but we were experiencing snowfalls at an inch or two per hour and expect to have snow into the night and into tomorrow. So we're looking at possibly a foot or so. I've been home all day; they're really encouraging people to not head out unless absolutely necessary. I've been communicating with a friend who rides the bus who is at work and should be getting on the bus this very moment, and he's promised to call me when he gets home. I'm glad we were off for Presidents' Day, but tomorrow may be a different story. Plus I really need to get some medicine tomorrow if at all possible. The thing is, it's twelve degrees (that's Fahrenheit) and it's going to plunge down further to about -8 for a low in a couple of mornings. I have about $5 in cash and my car is on empty in terms of gas until I can fill it Thursday after getting paid. So my plan is to get up early tomorrow, check the news and road conditions, then check and make sure the car starts, and if it does, clear it off and try to go into work if the main roads are clear enough, so I can go to the pharmacy. If the roads aren't passable, I'll take some change and take the bus, since there's a stop a little less than a quarter of a mile away from me, and hope to go to the pharmacy on Wednesday. We'll see.

In the meantime, I'm listening to music, reading about bringing balance into your life through yoga and natural foods, and considering taking another nap. I really need to clean up around here, too, but I'm not sure about taking anything out to the Dumpster at this point, at least today.

From a couple of weeks ago

Wise words from a fortune cookie: 'Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time.'