Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, August 30, 2002

It's Friday Five time!

1. What's your favorite piece of clothing that you currently own? My purple duster (it's a sort of moleskin-synthetic material, kind of cape-like, very long, very me).

2. What piece of clothing do you most want to acquire? Just once I'd like to find a poet's shirt that looks good on me. The closest I have is a sort of filmy fabric in black. White ones make me look huge. If I could find a black one in cotton, that would be great!

3. What piece of clothing can you not bring yourself to get rid of? Why? Hmmm...actually, it's a doll's dress. My dog and my friend's dog once played tug-of-war with my Hollie Hobbie doll, Amy. Her prarie dress was the only thing to survive. It was one of the few toys I still had from when I was a kid. So now, her dress is on another doll instead. For a long time I kept the pieces of the doll, but realised that even if I could put them back together, she'd look like the Bride of Frankenstein, so I finally pitched her. At the time I cried. Now, I look back on the destruction of the doll more fondly, since one of the dogs was put to sleep this summer and I miss her. Crazy, hmmm?

4. What piece of clothing do you look your best in? Anything purple, particularly a deep purple. Blues are also good, and black. I have a simple black dress that gets good comments.

5. What has been your biggest fashion accident? Anything in the '80s. In some ways the '80s were worse than the '70s, because I was choosing my own clothes. Probably one of the worst was a bright fushia tunic with a tiger's face and black stripes on it. It took an artist to convince me that reds and pinks were not going to work with my skin.

Ah, what I love about being a librarian...

...access to random, sometimes useless, sometimes useful, often obscure information.

One of my colleagues on the solo librarian list sent out an appeal regarding the question of whether only children/only sons are exempt from the draft (here in the U.S.) After all, it's certainly a widely-held belief. The answer? No, although those who have had a sibling or parent die in the service are. And then there's the matter of whether it's a peacetime or wartime draft. Here's where to find the skinny:


Well, it doesn't take a flood to endanger some collections...

Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan New York
P. O. Box 151
New York, NY 10274-0151

August 28, 2002


The members and board of the Archivists Round Table of Metropolitan
New York are writing to express our extreme concern over the
closing of Special Collections at Teachers College and laying off
its four professional staff members. The decision, apparently
announced to the library staff on Monday, August 26th without any
advanced warning or discussion, did not stipulate the fate of the
exceptional and unique archival holdings of this institution.

Teachers College Special Collections
(http://lweb.tc.columbia.edu/cs/sc/index.html) is one of the
premier collections relating to the history of education in the
US. Besides the archives of Teachers College (2000 cubic feet)
dating back to 1887, 1,600 cubic feet of manuscripts and about
200,000 volumes, the Special Collections also houses the archives
of the NYC Board of Education including 1,500 feet of records and
70,000 photographs. The repository holds a singular collection of
education-related rare books. The Special Collections department
serves as an essential repository for advanced study in the fields
of education, psychology, and the health sciences and is widely
used by scholars, teachers, media and the general public.

We are concerned that this precipitous action goes against the
professional norms that Teachers College professes to uphold. For a
century Teachers College has taken on a duty to care for the
collections in its custody, but is now taking action, which
violates that public trust. We firmly believe that the decision of
Teachers College officials to close this important department, thus
leaving its holdings without the adequate supervision, conflicts
with their basic responsibility for the safety of archival
materials owned by the college. We are especially concerned that
this decision appears to have been taken in an institutional
vacuum, without considering the needs of a broader research
community. Moreover, the college officials have not proposed any
means of ensuring that the collections will remain accessible to
researchers, expecting to use the materials. We are also concerned
about the public's access to the records of the Board of Education,
a government agency that is subject to the Freedom of Information
Law. These valuable collections cannot be left to untrained staff
and an uncertain future.

As the professional society representing New York City area
archivists, librarians and manuscript curators, we urge Teachers
College officials to rescind their decision to close the department
and reinstate staff members, pending a thorough review. In
addition, we offer our assistance in exploring options that would
result in safeguarding and preservation of this irreplaceable
educational collection.

If you share our concerns and would like to express your opinion to
the Teachers College administration, you can write to the following
Teachers College officials:
Patricia M. Cloherty and Antonia M. Grumbach, Co-Chairs of the
Board of Trustees,
Dr. Arthur Levine, President,
525 West 120th St., New York, NY 10027

Officers, Board and Members of the
Archivists Round Table of Metro New York, Inc

Monday, August 26, 2002

This is one of those perennial e-mails wending through the net...

But it's still funny. :) Need a laugh? Read on...(PS I haven't taken the time to verify all of these, but I remember some making the news at the time they were uttered. If any are really misrepresentative, I'll be glad to take them down.)

Sage quotes:
Question: If you could live forever, would you and
why? Answer: "I would not live forever, because we
should not live forever, because if we were supposed to
live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot
live forever, which is why I would not live forever,"
--Miss Alabama in the 1994 Miss USA contest.

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids
all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd
love to be skinny like that, but not with all those
flies and death and stuff,"
--Mariah Carey

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very
important part of your life,"
--Brooke Shields, during an interview to become
spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign.

"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body,"
--Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward.

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the
lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington, DC.

"I'm not going to have some reporters pawing through our papers.
We are the president,"
--Hillary Clinton commenting on the release of subpoenaed documents.

"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death
by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it,"
--A congressional candidate in Texas.

"I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them.
There were great numbers of people who needed new
land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves."
--John Wayne

"Half this game is ninety percent mental."
--Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment.
It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
--Al Gore, Vice President

"I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."
--Dan Quayle

" It's no exaggeration to say that the undecideds
could go one way or another"
--George Bush, US President

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean
air do we need?"
--Lee Iacocca

"I was provided with additional input that was
radically different from the truth. I assisted in
furthering that version,"
--Colonel Oliver North, from his Iran-Contra testimony.

"The word "genius" isn't applicable in football. A
genius is a guy like Norman Einstein,"
--Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback &sports analyst.

"We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude
certain types of people."
--Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instructor.

"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure."
--Bill Clinton, President

"We are ready for an unforeseen event that may or may not occur."
--Al Gore, VP

"Traditionally, most of Australia's imports come from overseas."
--Keppel Enderbery

"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March
1992 because we received notice that you passed away.
May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change
in your circumstances."
--Department of Social Services, Greenville, South Carolina

"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack
in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their
heart throughout the night.
And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there'll be a record."
--Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman

Friday, August 23, 2002

Fonduing the Chocolate Bunny

Sounds like a great name for a band. I came across this while looking at the Universal Press Syndicate's 'News of the Weird' in my local newspaper. I'm amazed I didn't hear about this sooner, as 1) I'm Pagan, and 2) I do actually read the news, and it made it nationwide.

Apparently a group of Christians harrassed a group of Pagans who were having a vernal equinox celebration. Police response was terrible (5 hours). The harrassment seems to have been mostly loud music, shouting, and intimidation; I don't think anyone was physically hurt. Basically it was a clear case of hatemongers who give Christianity a bad name.

So where does the chocolate bunny come into it? Well, apparently the pagan group was melting the bunny as part of the ritual, a sort of pseudo-animal sacrifice. The chocolate bunny (or "Easter" bunny) itself is a survival of Pagan symbolism still celebrated in the Christian Easter holiday, having to do with fertility rather than Christ's resurrection.

Did I mention that I'm Pagan? That said, I'm just not sure how I feel about the melting bunny. Sacrifice is about giving up something of real value to you, and of value to the deity/ies involved. I'm not sure that the chocolate bunny is really that important to our way of life, even if it is somewhat symbolic of it, and it's sort of a blend between New World/Old World culture. In the old days, you tended to kill a sheep or cow, cook it, give the Gods the unusable parts, and the community would eat the rest. Some non-animal, traditional sacrifices include wine, beer, clear springwater, olive oil, bread, etc.--anything basic to a way of life. There are examples in the ancient world of Greek families being too poor to offer an animal making a substitute from bread.

I guess I'm kind of a religious prude (the Christians don't have a corner on that market, after all). Sacrificing a chocolate bunny seems, well, silly. And it makes Pagans look silly. It's done based on some idea of communion with the Gods, I realise. It even fits into some of the ancient practices. But it's still silly. I think the thing that gets me is the lack of reverence. I've never seen a bunch of pagans who tried something like that who didn't make it seem like it was all some meaningless joke. Maybe the ones in Lancaster were able to preserve some of their dignity. I don't know. I wasn't there. And certainly paganism itself has no requirements to bleed away the joy of celebration.


I guess I'm too weird for the Christians and too uptight for the Pagans, at least here in America, where the 60s sort of took hold in Pagan circles. But the British Paganism that's more organised, more ritual, is a little too, well, Episcopalian for me. I'm not really an organised religion sort of person. Maybe I should just stick to my own quiet practising.

Without bunnies.

'Cause I would just giggle.

But enough of that...on to a Friday Five!

1. What is your current occupation? I'm a librarian.
Is this what you chose to be doing at this point in your life? Well, I originally planned to be an academic of some type, but really, I don't specialise well--I'm interested in too many things. Being a librarian is about the most perfect thing I could be. Being an academic librarian would be even spiffier, though.

2. If time/talent/money were no object, what would your dream occupation be? Aegyptologist/archaeologist

3. What did/do your parents do for a living? My father was an engineer in the military; my mother is a nurse.
Has this had any influence on your career choices? After three nurses in the family, I knew I didn't want to do that. Now I'm the only one who actually works in a hospital. :) I think I inherited my scientific and design bent from both parents, but especially my father. The actual artistic part, though, I think comes from my mom.

4. Have you ever had to choose between having a career and having a family? No. I had to choose between having a family and being true to myself, though. Does that count? I mean, I could have several kids now, but it would have been a very BAD situation. I'm still hoping for kids, but it has nothing to do with my career, just my standards in men/my general wariness of people in general.

5. In your opinion, what is the easiest job in the world? I'm not sure there's ANY easy job. Ones where you don't have to think tend to hurt your feet and back. Even dictator's wives have to worry about losing their shoes eventually.
What is the hardest? Anything involving life and death decisions. It's one reason I didn't go on to be a doctor. I'd hate to always second-guess myself.

Um...did these people never see "Space 1999"?

Check out this article on Space.com.

And on a totally unrelated note....

I've wondered how some of the cultural treasures that have been threatened by this summer's innudations have been faring. This was passed on through a conservation list I belong to:

Below are two recent reports on flood damage in the Czech Republic
and Slovakia, from David Carsky, Vice-Chancellor of the Academy of
Fine Art and Design in Bratislava.

August 15, 2002

Indeed, the amount of water coming from Austria is worrying.
Soldiers are filling sandbags and trying to protect the city,
however, it looks like some damage is inevitable. In Bratislava,
the water level of the Danube is supposed to culminate tomorrow
(Friday) morning. The damage it has caused in Austria is
enormous. And it's virtually breaking my heart when I hear of
Prague, my beloved historical center, the Kampa, Mala Strana,
and other parts. Mentioning Kampa, just recently they've
reconstructed a wonderful historical building right on the bank
of Vltava river, it is called "Sovovy mlyny". The Chancellor and
I went to its opening abut a month ago. It was showing a
collection of distinguished modern artist (Czech and Slovak).

The whole project was sponsored by the collector, Mrs. Meda
Mladek from Washington, D.C. who owns one of the most remarkable
collections of works by Frantisek Kupka. Anyway, that
newly-renovated building is now under water (a significant part
of it) but I believe they were able to take the paintings away
on time. I've heard the same about the Klementinum Library and
other institutions. They were warned ahead of time and took
precautions, however, nobody has anticipated such enormous

August 16, 2002

By now we can say according to the authorities) that the worst
is over, at least for Bratislava. The Danube is now receding
(finally) and we were "lucky" because it didn't significantly
flow out of its banks in the Old City. Still, the Slovak
National Gallery has in advance evacuated the deposit of modern
art (4,000 paintings), which is located in the basement. Since
our downtown building is relatively close to the river, we have
prepared some sandbags, these were still in the driveway this

As you may have heard in the news, the Vltava river is receding
as well. The damage in Prague's historical district is enormous.
Yesterday, Italian conservators from Florence have offered help.
I can imagine that any help of experts will be appreciated. I'm
a bit worried though that all the attention is concentrating on
Prague, other Czech cities with virtually historical "jewels",
which were heavily affected (e.g. Cesky Krumlov), are not
getting so much international publicity. I'm sure help would be
appreciated there as well. I've also heard of the Northern
Bohemian town of Terezin, the site of a former
nazi-concentration camp, which is now a holocaust museum. Their
valuable archives might have been damaged since they were not
able to save everything in time.

I haven't found any funds set up to help the people or the cities recover, but I'll post them here once I do.

Speaking of disasters, I give you the following to ponder (passed on through Friends of Bosnia:

Tenth Anniversary of the Assault on the National and University Library,
Sarajevo, August 25-26, 1992

Dear friends,

The time is at hand to mark an important anniversary: the tenth since the attack on the National and University Library of Bosnia and Hercegovina in Sarajevo on August 25-26, 1992. It was not the first great outrage of that war of aggression; the collections of Sarajevo's Oriental Institute had been utterly destroyed in May and concentration camps such as Omarska and Keraterm were taking their place among other twentieth century sites of evil memory such as Auschwitz and Kolyma. However, the assault on the Vijecnica, the splendid Moorish-revival building that had been founded under Austrian dispensation as the seat of government and transformed into the National Library after WWII, deserves special attention.

For those in need of reminding, Serb nationalist forces commenced firing incendiary phosphorus shells at the Vijecnica on the evening of the 25th. The grand and elegant stained-glass skylight over the atrium made a perfect target. The ensuing conflagration was unstoppable in spite of desperate efforts on the part of Sarajevo's firemen, shot at throughout their efforts to put the fire out, leaving hoses sprouting leaks everywhere. Although a significant number of rare manuscripts and books were salvaged by the staff under daunting conditions (and collections of tertiary value, stored off site, were spared), some ninety percent of the library's contents were consumed, including numerous special collections, the greatest collection of Bosnian periodical literature since its beginnings in the nineteenth century, and the archives of the various ethnic and cultural societies that had been consolidated there at the time of the library's establishment. The Vijecnica itself survived as a shell, its fine marble revetments burnt to lime, its lovely rooms laid waste.

This was not only arguably the worst single case of deliberate book burning in history in absolute terms, with the loss of well over a million volumes; it was also a blow to the heart of a whole nation, an incalculable loss whose magnitude is beyond the imagination of most people to encompass. The library's collections enshrined the strivings of generations, the products of that hopefulness which is at the foundation of all knowledge, all progress and those liberal values that invigorate our civilization. In toto, those collections put the lie to the exclusionary arguments of the nationalist extremists for they demonstrated that multi-ethnic, multi-confessional Bosnia had thrived under centuries of Ottoman rule and then decades of Austrian and Yugoslav rule, its inhabitants of whatever background able not simply to live next to but also with each other. To create facts suited to their narrow ideological program, the extremists had to create a new present by erasing the past.

The National and University Library has faced daunting odds in rehabilitating itself. It has been provided one wing of the Austrian-era, latterly-named Marshall Tito Barracks, along with its stables. Funds from Soros, UNESCO, USAID and the World Bank have enabled the restoration of the barracks in a manner suitable for a library. A German donor provided the stacks. Although the collections are much diminished, despite new growth, the current library provides only thirty-five percent of the space available in the old library. Sadly, funds from major donors only addressed the requirements of the physical space and many other needs are not yet met, despite efforts of the Director, Dr. Enes Kujundzic, and, independently, of the Bosnia Library Project to seek sources of support. Even worse, the National Library has been dealt a terrific blow recently: its budget has been cut by a catastrophic 60%. The devolution of government and the lack of a Minister of Culture in the national government (what there is of it), means that there is no natural constituency amongst people of influence for this institution so long as the national identity is undermined at every turn. Evidently, the IMF told the Bosnian government that it had to get its house in order and it preferred to gut the budget for the National Library than cut services it deemed more basic. What is to be done about this and whether it can be ameliorated, I do not know at this point.

In my childhood, Nazi Germany provided the very image of evil in the world for me. This condition was exemplified by certain iconic features of that regime: the swastika, goose-stepping, Gestapo torture chambers, collective punishment, death camps, and book burning. Book burning came to seem the very sign of intolerance, despotism and unenlightened thinking, wherever one might find it. It is no accident then that the megalomaniacal autocrat who rules contemporary Turkmenistan, who has dubbed himself "Turkmenbasi" (Father of the Turkmen) and who has recently renamed the month of January after himself, has closed the national library of that unhappy country. He perceived it as a hotbed of independent thought and so, declaring that all true Turkmen required was Turkmen literature, he simply shut the library down.

Although doubtless an adventitious connection, I have thought there to be something profound in the identity of two basic Latin words: Liber for book (as in library) and liber for free (as in liberty and liberality). It is literature and scholarship, freely available to all who wish access, especially in the form of books, often enshrined in libraries, that makes us truly free by affording us the understanding to support free institutions and humane values where they exist and desire them where they do not.

The Bosnia Library Project has been dedicated to assisting in the renewal of Bosnia's libraries. We can never hope to regain what is lost, but we can aspire to develop useful collections that, by giving today's students some of what they need to understand the world and find their place in it, will help to provide a viable future for Bosnia and its citizens. To read more about what the BLP has been up to please see the appeal at the following url. Thanks to three generous donors, its immediate goals were reached; however, its future will rely on further support.

Yours truly,
Jeff Spurr
Coordinator, Bosnia Library Project

Wednesday, August 21, 2002


I just found out that Blogspot has been blocked by my workplace. That means I can post, but can't read my own blog or my friend's. Now I'll have to do something else during my breaks. I hope Zabet and her Hubby get that server up soon.

Some news items that piqued my interest...

Bob Herbert's multi-segment syndicated column (just now reaching our newspaper) on a racial witch hunt in Texas. Click here for the first segment. You may have to register with the New York Times, but this is free.

We've had our first West Nile Death confirmed here in Kentucky.

Newsweek has an article on blogs (which gave me a clue about this blog, where Julius Caesar blogs his way through Gaul--as someone with a degree in Classics, I loved it!), and a TipSheet mention of Plus Size fashion doll. I bet she can take Barbie!

Another thing from Newsweek, although it wasn't news. There's an ad from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for Understanding America after 9/11 a week-long look at how life has and will change. It shows the current skyline of Manhattan with the pre-9/11 skyline reflected in the water, with the words "it's amazing how long a shadow they still cast". It is fairly understated, non-exploitative; I'm hoping the programming will be as well. They're supposed to be talking to different people across America, rather than professional commentators.

I have't figured out what I'm going to do that day. I have an appointment for my annual exam at 9 am that day. Part of me doesn't want to go; but my first thought was to go back to the room where I watched everything unfold that day and watch any memorials that might be shown; but I also don't want to get sucked into a media event. I think I'll go on to the appointment, sort of keep life going on, but light candles and say prayers later on in the day.

I know it sounds crazy that a year later I, who only knew one person in the towers (who got out okay), none in the Pentagon, lost no family, etc., etc.--but I really do not think I can treat it like an ordinary day. It's like the world slipped on its axis, sending everything akilter, and then righted itself, but not before the damage was done. I'm sure there are those who think it humbled America. Well, I agree that Americans can act like arrogant bastards. But it didn't humble America--it matured her. But what it did more than anything was remind us of the fragility of human life, and the darkness that lurks in some hearts, and the importance of reaching out to others.

In that vent, let me just say that I sympathise with those in Europe and Asia who are undergoing such difficult times due to the flooding. As a human, I mourn the loss of life and of livelihoods. As a librarian, I mourn the loss of historical and cultural treasures, and I hope that with determination and aid, these lives can be rebuilt--not replaced, forever changed, but that those who survive overcome their struggles and achieve their dreams.

Gee, I guess that was pretty sappy. I should sign off for now. But, really, now's the time to come together as a world to stand united on the things that matter--and our response to disaster is one of those things.

Monday, August 19, 2002

I wonder if this means Colleen is a grandmother???

I added this blog to Blogtree.

Apparently I am even weirder than the weirdest person I know...

I had my friend D take the weirdness test. Now, one thing about D. He is legend for being eccentric, weird, etc. People who don't even know him are convinced he's weird. But, alas, I am weirder than he. I might understand if there were any questions on whether or not you've ever been part of a "tri-unity". But no, they were actually pretty normal--for a weirdness test, anyway. That is frightening to me. I'm interested in having Zabet and her hubby take it when they get back from South Carolina. Maybe they'll come out weirder. I dunno, though....

I'm over at the University Student Centre. I came over a little early for my DBT group so I could put a cheque into the credit union. They've got a line of computers set up in what used to be the cafeteria room so you can go online while you eat. That's a definite improvement, although I don't think it would be that viable when the students start hitting in large numbers. Thankfully, that won't happen until next week. Now there's Long John Silver's and KFC, and a host of non-franchised alternatives. (Hey, at least those restaurants are based in this state). My first job was in this food court. I flipped burgers at the grill for $3.15 an hour. This is where I first found out about the Space Shuttle explosion in '86. My boyfriend and I spent the next nine hours or so in shock in one of the TV rooms watching them replay it over and over. Downstairs there was the student organisations room that we called the Zoo where all the computer geeks hung out talking on Phone under the old Prime system, nuking each other on the Vax, playing marathon sessions of Rook and Hearts, planning destruction to dungeon crawlers, and setting up the next SCA excursion. Now it seems more colourful, kind of cooler, but like it sold out somewhere along the way. I guess it just reflects how things have changed in general. But some things don't changed. The gaming geeks still roleplay downstairs. And I'm sure that everyone huddled in the TV rooms on Sept. 11th last year, asking themselves how something like this could have happened. It's still a kind of home for me, even though it's been brought up to the new millenium's expectations. I used to think I'd never escape school. Then I really missed it. Now I'm nostalgic but see it as the closed world it was. Hmmm...

Saturday, August 17, 2002

Here is the result of your Weirdness Purity Test.
You answered "yes" to 75 of 116 questions, making you 35.3% weirdness pure (64.7% weirdness corrupt).
According to the scoring guide, your weirdness experience level is:
Certifiably Weird - It’s amazing you can understand humans at all!


I am. of course, an Aries.

Friday, August 16, 2002

Continuing in an etymology vein...

While looking something up for a patron, I found a great site today: http://www.geocities.com/etymonline. (Couldn't let you think I'm such a geek that I'd go looking for this sort of thing on my own, right? :) In it the compiler (Douglas Harper, who has a great sense of humour) mentions that if someone calls you feisty, you should slug them. Okay, what would you do? I looked up feisty:

feisty - 1896, Amer.Eng. from feist "small dog," from fice, fist Amer.Eng. 1805 "small dog," short for fysting curre "stinking cur," attested from 1529, from M.E. fysten, fisten "break wind" (1440), related to O.E. fisting "stink." The 1811 slang dictionary defines fice as "a small windy escape backwards, more obvious to the nose than ears; frequently by old ladies charged on their lap-dogs."

Heehee. I agree. Oh, and be sure to check out the "I know I shouldn't but I can't resist" link at the bottom of his page.

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Another face lift

Yeah, I know. I changed the template again. But I was getting seasick from swaying to the gently changing psychodelic colours. Maybe you were, too? And yes, I'll eventually get my links/YACCS prompts back up.

Oh, and...

A bit of good news. My dog's test came back NEGATIVE! No bladder tumours detected. They scared me to death by skipping over that part when they read the results to me over the phone, but hey, so long as it was okay in the end. When she goes back for her annual, we'll do the full geriatric screen. But for now...I'm happy. :)

Ah, one thing I've loved ever since I took five semesters of German--the Germans have a word for everything!

So, I'm glancing through The Harvard Guide to Women's Health to see what it says about polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) for someone else who has it, and I come across two words I'd never heard of before, both Germanic in origin.

Mittelschmerz--"pain in the middle"--This is pain in the middle of the menstrual cycle, at ovulation. I used to have terrible mittelschmerz, often on both sides. Ha! I got to use it in a sentence. Nice to know there's a name for it--too bad I didn't know then.

Spinnbarkeit--This describes a quality of a woman's vaginal mucous during ovuluation. It becomes very clear and thin, but there's a lot of it--sort of like an egg white. In the words of the text "just before ovulation it can be stretched between two fingers into strands an inch or more long". Hmmm...I've never used that as a method for telling ovulation times, but apparently someone who speaks German figured it out. :)

Have I mentioned that even though the pay is low, I can't go to national meetings, and generally feel unrespected professionally at times, I love being a medical librarian?

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

This has got to be one of the most proposterous things I've ever heard...

Granted, the man's a bit quirky and obviously has a healthy ego, but I'd say he'd have to, wouldn't you?

According to The Register, a Texas man has been waging a court battle with a former employer over thoughts that remain only inside his head. They've never been written down or even finalised. A court has decided that Evan Brown, who has been working on an idea to convert old computer code to newer platforms since 1975 , should pay over $300,000 to Alcatel (which bought out his former employer, DSC communications) due to a contract for inventions made by DSC employees. Note, he'd started working on the project long before he was employed by this company, and his job did not in any way cover this sort of programming. You can also check out Evan Brown's website for more details, and even contribute to his campaign if you wish.

Friday, August 09, 2002

I cannot understand how anyone can do this...especially to their own chidren.

International Ring of Parental Paediphiles Indicted

It's like a child was created specifically to be abused or tortured for the parents' amusement. I've long thought people should be licensed to breed. If I had "Star Trek" technology, I'd replay a person's crimes over and over in their head (from the victim's point of view) in full sensory effect. But there are some who would no doubt enjoy it. Now I'm beginning to think there are some out there who should have their gonads ripped out and just be eliminated from the planet. [And I'm a bleeding heart liberal about most things.]

I don't think a person like this can every truly be called a father or mother. The sad thing is, even though the children have been removed, they have been through so much, and those pictures are still out there--and due to their abuse, they are at a higher risk for growing up to be abusers themselves.

It's a mad, mad world we live in.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Oh, and my scores, from that motivational profile, by the way:

Places-Being: 7
People-Relating: 6
Knowledge-Learning: 8 (According to him, I'd be a "knowledge junkie") :)
Things-Having: 1
Problem Solver-Away From: 8
Achiever-Towards: 5
Leader-Internal: 7 (That's a little surprising, coming from a perpetual sidekick. Here's to introverts who rely on themselves!)
Follower-External: 6
Innovator-Options: 9
Processor: 2
Thinker: 6
Revolutionary-Difference: 6
Evolutionary-Progress: 6
Traditionalist-Sameness: 3
Big Picture: 9
Detail: 3
Hearing-Auditory Communicator: 4
Sensory-Kinesthetic Communicator: 5
Seeing-Visual Communicator: 4
Time Orientation-Past: 8 (Gee, in an historian?)
Time Orientation-Present: 2
Time Orientation-Future: 4

All in all, it was pretty interesting...

I thought this might be interesting

Okay, it's essentially an advertisement, but I've been interested for some time in how different people are wired for different talents. Here's an e-mail forwarded to me by one of our directors at work. QIMacros is an add-on to Microsoft Office® products for performance improvement charting. I've bolded a couple of sections of thinking that I just can't quite imagine. I have a constant internal dialogue and sometimes have to fight to get out of my head and into the physical world. Maybe I should try their methods. :)

From: Jay Arthur
Sent: Wednesday, August 07, 2002 6:42 PM
Subject: Upgrade Your KnowWare® August 2002

Upgrade Your KnowWare® August 2002
the Online eZine for Managers Who Want To Motivate Everyone
from Jay Arthur

Sent every month only to opt-in subscribers.
Please share Upgrade Your KnowWare with your friends!

Reverse Engineering Human Genius

Have you ever watched someone do something and thought: “I wish I could do that.” It might have been Tiger Woods hitting a golf ball or a child playing with wild abandon. How do they do that?

Has anyone ever said to you: “How do you do that?” They’re amazed about something that you do effortlessly. Maybe it’s your ability to connect with people, resolve a conflict, or run a marathon.

Each of us has three kinds of mental software: betaware, vaporware, and pure genius. Betaware is the everyday abilities like driving a car, but we don’t have the genius of a Nascar driver. Vaporware is the software you wish you had, but don’t. And genius is not an IQ, but the ability to do something elegantly and effortlessly. Genius is often the result of trial and error and steady refinement with a dash of natural talent thrown in.

In “Frames of Mind,” Howard Gardner identified at least seven “intelligences” that we all have to greater or lesser degree: linguistic
(i.e., speaking), musical, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Our school systems
prize logical-mathematical and visual-spatial. Many people I’ve met, who weren’t particularly good at either of these came out of school thinking they were dumb, if not outright stupid. But they were beautiful musicians, speakers, or connectors.

Although we tend to be naturally inclined toward one or two of these intelligences, it is possible to study and reverse engineer the essence of these other abilities. For example, I’m pretty good at math, logic, and spatial problems, but I was never particularly good at sports or interpersonal relationships. I was an only child so I spent more time getting to know myselfintrapersonal intelligence. But I play golf to develop my kinesthetic intelligence. Having studied good athletes, I found that the key difference between them and me is that they have NO internal dialogue. They SEE someone do something and then they DO it, first using micro muscle movements and then full movements. I, on the other hand, tend to see the motion, talk to myself about it, then try to do the full
My internal program is different from theirs. Once I discovered that, I’ve been systematically working on changing my internal strategy to match better athletes. Guess what: when I get the internal dialogue out of my golf swing, I score much lower, often by 5-10 strokes per round.

Then, you listen to Jack Nicklaus talk about golf: “It’s 90% visualization and 10% swing.” Ah, so he visualizes the path of the ball and let’s his body produce the result. (I spend most of my time thinking about the setup and the swing, not the flight of the ball.) Another player said: “I pick a landing area the size of a sprinkler head.” Ah, so they see a much smaller target (I was looking at the whole fairway.)

Whenever geniuses talk about their abilities, they are always offering clues to their success, but they rarely know how they do it. Through my training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP Inter- and Intrapersonal intelligence) I’ve learned to listen and watch losely when experts talk about their abilities, because they’re always offering clues to their mastery. I’m always wondering: “What are they seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, or tasting that gives them the edge? What’s the sequence of steps they follow unconsciously to duce the result?” As I get bits and pieces of the puzzle, I try it out and see how it works for me. Over time, I develop a step-by-step approach that covers the essence of what the geniuses do.

Am I ever going to end up on the PGA Tour? Not likely. Jack and Tiger have decades of practice and refinement that it will take me years to develop. Am I a better golfer because I’ve studied how they think? Definitely, and I’m going to keep getting better because I keep adding to my map of golf genius.

And you too can reverse engineer the genius in any human ability: meeting people easily, growing wealth, attracting romance, or standup comedy. There’s a difference between our betaware and their genius. And when you find it, you can “install” the genius strategy by simply stopping your automatic process and stepping your way through the genius strategy. Through repetition, the genius strategy will become automatic. That’s how to Upgrade Your KnowWare!

If you’ve noticed a skill or ability you’d like to develop, send me an email: lifestar@rmi.net. Over the coming months we’ll explore some of these abilities and the essence of genius.

Feel free to forward this ezine to anyone you know who might enjoy it.

Want to discover your own “motivation profile?” Go to http://www.motivateeveryone.com/profile/profile1.pl where you can take the complete profile online. Compare your results with your spouse, kids, or coworkers to determine where you are most likely in alignment and where you conflict. You can also order printed copies of the profile from http://www.motivateeveryone.com/orderknow.html.

Want to review the chapters of Motivate Everyone that relate to this month’s ezine, go to http://www.motivateeveryone.com/motivate.html where
you can download and read any chapter.

To order Motivate Everyone, from Amazon.com go to:

To order Motivate Everyone from LifeStar, go to

© 2002 Jay Arthur, the KnowWare® Man, works with managers who want to
harness the power of the mind and companies that want to turn their Cash
Cow into a Golden Goose.

For more information about How to Motivate Everyone, contact Jay at
(888) 468-1537, lifestar@rmi.net. For more information about Six
Sigma Simplified, visit http://www.qimacros.com".

Rights to reprint this article in company periodicals is freely given with
the inclusion of the following tag line: “© 2002 Jay Arthur, the KnowWare®
Man, (888) 468-1537, lifestar@rmi.net.”

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in the subject.

Jay Arthur-The KnowWare Man works with companies that want to turn their
Cash Cow into a Golden Goose.
2244 S. Olive St.
Denver, CO 80224

Saturday, August 03, 2002

Quick, a Friday Five before Saturday hits...

1. What is your lineage? Where are your ancestors from?
As far as I know, it's Irish, Scot, English, Welsh, Cherokee, Blackfoot, and French Hugenot.

2. Of those countries, which would you most like to visit?
I pine for Britain. I think my Irish skin would bloom in the climate there, whereas I just look pale and ruddy here in the Southern U.S. If I ever go I might just stay. I have frumpy English genes and a romantic Celtic soul. I've visited the Cherokee, North Carolina reservation, but I haven't been up north to Blackfoot country.

3. Which would you least like to visit? Why?
France, I think. One, they made life very difficult for my ancestors, who also came via Britain. Two, my French is atrocious. I can read the language but I cannot pronounce it and they would just think I was silly. I'm sure they already have their fill of silly Americans. But I'd still love to see France, especially the south, Langue d'Oc and Provence.

4. Do you do anything during the year to celebrate or recognize your heritage?
I'm very keen on Celtic music and culture. No special sort of thing, just a year-round awareness. I don't want to be one of those "white wannabes" who spurt lots of Indianese, but I have read about both tribes, their history, and current life.

5. Who were the first ancestors to move to your present country (parents, grandparents, etc)?
The first one I know of was Eduoard Bompasse, who came to this country in 1693 on the second ship to come to Plymouth colony after the Mayflower. Most of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since about 1790, having received land for service in the Revolutionary War. So, pretty far back.

Well, that's the Friday Five from me, albeit just over into Saturday. Happy Birthday, Momma!

Thursday, August 01, 2002


My mom's birthday is Saturday, and while I have failed to find a present worthy of her, I decided to send her a real (as opposed to virtual) card. So, I'm looking through all these beautiful, Maxfield Parrish sorts of things, that are very pretty, but just don't quite say what I want.

Then I find it. It's not beautiful--just a bunch of words courtesy of Hallmark. I laugh so hard, I almost...well, I think you'll know.

Front of card:

It's hard not to feel
happy when you see a
peaceful, bubbling fountain.
It's hard not to pee, too.
Actually, it's hard not to
feel happy when you pee.


Feel happy. Pee.

Maybe it's a girl thing. But I think it's hilarious, and I think she will, too. :)