Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, April 28, 2006

Griff was sentenced today

for 20 years. He'll be eligible for parole in 16, making him about 60 when he gets out. When he does get out (assuming he survives prison), he'll have to register as a sex offender and keep his address up to date or risk three years of automatic prison again. The sad thing is, I don't think he still understands how wrong he is--yet he really does deserve this sentence. The judge had leaned towards leniency until reading his psych profile and the letters from those who knew him, none of whom wrote in actual support of him. I think that surprised him. I saw one of the letters, which outlined the pattern Griff had used before. The victim's mother wrote a letter as well, including an assertion that the he tried to lure the victim's brother too. All this added up to the sentence given. All Griff could say was that he was sorry he let people down, not that he was sorry for what he did or taking any responsibility for harming a child. I don't think he's reacting like an adult, but more like an adolescent or child being caught for being bad.

Sad. But good and just.

Yesterday was a blah day

It all caught up with me, and I felt really depressed. See, on top of the problems I'm having with the car and the financial fallout of that, plus the computer, I still haven't heard from my folks, someone is really angry at me and I'm not sure whether I can make it up to the person, my psychiatrist is leaving for New York so I have to find a new one, and my house is continuing to deteriorate because I am overwhelmed by the results of Darius' illness.

In other words, life is a reall mess right now.

But I do feel better today, and not to sound touchy-feely Christian, because I'm not, but I prayed about it (there's various Gods to pray too, after all), and I feel more like facing the challenges today. Yesterday I was just overwhelmed and after riding the buses to my psych appointment and to get my work schedule, I just didn't feel like being around anyone at all and just wanted to curl up in bed. Which I did. But I guess sometimes you just need a pause to reflect on the good and the bad and how to face both, right?

Does anybody know

what I can do to make sure the left sidebar works on all screen settings? I ask because one person I know has had trouble for a long time with it being beyond a margin, and I don't know how to fix it. Someone else e-mailed me to know this is also a problem for him, so it's not an isolated issue. I'd appreciate any advice. Thanks.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

I had the strangest sensation

this morning as I walked from the bus stop to work. I stepped forward, and it was like I stepped on something vibrating, like a rattlesnake in full rattle. Then my right hand (same side) started feeling like it was vibrating from the inside out, though it wasn't visibly any different. I didn't have any sensory changes or feel woozy or anything, just the vibration, followed by a bit of a headache on the left side of my head. My first thought was, my God, I'm having a stroke, but again, no other symptoms were present, and I barely hesitated in coming on up the hill. But it was weird. I'm used to the pins and needles feeling of carpal tunnel, although I don't have it anymore, but this was totally different.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

A really great site on disaster prevention

Are you prepared?

Very simple to use and shows you how to build a disaster kit for the home and a 'go bag' that you can take with you. It's from the San Franciso Office of Emergency Services, so it covers a lot of different types of disasters including earthquake, flooding, terror, disease, power outages, even tsunami. There's also areas designed for special considerations about children, seniors and the disabled, and pets.

And isn't that a relief for all of us?

Not to be sniffed at: a chance for bean-eaters to go fart-free - World

Now they just need to cure the common cold and the greatest mysteries of science will be solved. :)

Remembering twenty years ago

Chernobyl horror remembered

And one thing we need to remember is how interconnected we are as a people and as an environment. Mistakes made sometimes have far-reaching consequences. The lives lost and the wasteland that is left remind us of folly and bravery in the face of disaster.

Need to find a good doctor?

This story from KGO, an ABC affiliate in San Francisco, tells of the pluses and pitfalls of researching physicians online.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A very tall stack of books

Take a look at this sculpture celebrating Germany as a place of ideas.

Check out

PGG : Official Project Galactic Guide Horseshoe

How fitting

Yesterday's DailyOM discussed the Bad Day that we all have, and how it can be viewed as a gift, because it gives us pause to reflect, and of course, it makes other days seem so much brighter. Here's a snippet:
We all have days from time to time when it feels like the world is against us or that the chaos we are experiencing will never end. One negative circumstance seems to lead to another. You may wonder, on a bad day, whether anything in your life will ever go right again. But a bad day, like any other day, can be a gift. Having a bad day can show you that it is time to slow down, change course, or lighten up. A bad day can help you glean wisdom you might otherwise have overlooked or discounted. Bad days can certainly cause you to experience uncomfortable feelings you would prefer to avoid, yet a bad day may also give you a potent means to learn about yourself.

I'm thankful that my life is not full of bad days, that I can have one occasionally and then bounce back the next day with renewed purpose. There are so many others who in the course of their everyday lives deal with far worse than I do, and have far more reason to complain. That said, I'm glad I have this forum to pour out my problems and my joys, because it really does help to write them down, or in this case, type them in. Writing can be a catharsis of sorts, a focus for the emotions that otherwise would continue churning inside. Ironically, because this is a public forum, there's lots I can't write about, especially in terms of my relationships with others, but it is enough, and I'm slowly trying to learn ways of journalling the private stuff, too. But thank you for reading my blog. I feel like I can share a lot of my life with others, and even if I don't know them intimately, it's a start, right?

A discovery with far-reaching implications

Listening to: 'Problem Girl' by Rob Thomas, from Something to Be

Scientists Solve Bone Disease Mystery - New York Times

You may have seen documentaries on a rare orthopaedic disorder called fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), where various body tissues calcify into bone, freezing joints overnight and turning children and adults immobile. It's so rare there's only 2500 cases estimated (it occurs about 1 in 2 million births) worldwide, with about 600 known cases. Scientists have now found the gene responsible, sparking hope that 1) a drug can be developed to supress the gene or its effects, 2) if it can be understood how the tissues turn to bone, then it might be applied to other diseases where there is bone loss, such as osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease) and osteoporosis, which have a wider range of occurrence.

Fun with Evidence-Based Medicine

EBM Librarian: Teaching EBM, Example Articles, & More has some great EBM links, but by far the best sections are the Humour articles (articles primarily published in the British Medical Journal and its Canadian counterpart as part of year-end spoofs of studies) and the section labelled 'Researchers With Too Much Time on Their Hands', with such gems as 'The Spermicidal Potency of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola' and 'Distinguisihing Between New and Slightly Worn Underwear: a Case Study'.

Also, be sure to check out the IgNobel awards. 'Ever IgNobel Prize winner has done something that first makes poeple LAUGH, then makes them THINK. Technically speaking, the Igs honour people whos achievements "cannot or should not be reproduced".'

Shop Amazon.com this Mother's Day and benefit NAMI

to the tune of 6% of sales by folowing this link. You can also visit NAMI's store throughout the year.

Monday, April 24, 2006


Well, I was going to do a good news/bad news kind of saga, but really it's primarily just bad news. It just had that good news/bad news quality to it up to the breaking point.

Basically what I'm talking about is my Monday, my car, and my computer.

Here's the spiel:
  1. The Car. First, it looked like the torque converter seal, which was leaking, was the fault of the person who dropped the engine into the car not sealing it correctly. But he wanted no part of making it right. So I told the transmission place to go ahead and fix the leak, and my mother and stepfather were going to seek small claims satisfaction. Then I got a call last night saying the guy had been by and would make it right, so I had to call the transmission company early this morning to see if they'd started yet (they didn't think they'd get to it until today) and lo, they had already started, so we were going to let them finish up the repair and go from there. Then I got a call saying my ball joint was about to blow. This is the part of the car that if it breaks, your steering goes fakakta and you have an accident. That was a hundred dollars. Fine, I have a hundred dollars, I tell them to fix that. Then they get into the nuts and bolts (figuratively and probably literally as well) of looking at the transmission. The seal was bad, nothing that the guy probably did, and the whole kit and kaboodle needs to be rebuilt to the tune of $1575.


    So I try to get a hold of my parents, but can't, and I look over my finances, and I ask the guy some questions, like do they take payments (they do), what about getting a junk tranmission, etc., etc. I have to come up with $800 and then can work out payments, and if I am a teensy bit late with my rent, I can do roughly $600 of it, although times will be tight. I have a coupon for $100 off the work, too. Soon I should be getting $500 in tax refunds, so that will help, but of course I can't tell when that will arrive. But it looks tenable, so I go ahead and okay the rebuild.

  2. My Monday. I got a message the other day saying I had a podiatry appointment at 9:15 this morning, so I'd told my boss I'd be in at 11 and why. Then I look in my appointment book and it turns out the computer voice was wrong, I made the appointment for 3:45 this afternoon, so I go my normal time to catch the bus, but miss it and have to catch the next one, putting me at the time I'd originally arranged to be at work, but for the wrong reason. So I'm going to work a little later today and then catch the bus for the 3:45 appointment and be slightly late. [PS I found that the buses run every thirty minutes during that window, so I was able to arrive early after all. The one good thing of the day is my feet are better and I have leave of the podiatrist unless anything else comes up.]

  3. My computer. The computer is shutting itself off for no apparent reason, not completely but into a sleep mode or something (as in the lights stay on, but there's no movement or sound coming from the box) and you have to turn it off and turn it back on to wake it up. This has led to several check disk runs, a few restarts of Windows in safe mode, repair of the registry and indices on the disk, etc. It does not appear to be a virus, although I haven't completely been able to run a virus check on the whole disk, or a spyware one, either. Any ideas???

I think it comes down to I'm just cursed, and I should do everything in my power to placate the forces that be. Please forces that be, I'm sorry. For everything.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Best quote from the movie:

Okay. Leave this to me. I'm British. I know how to queue.

--Arthur Dent

A watercolour day

Today was a wash of greys and green, as the rain came down most of the day. Here and there pinks and whites of flowering trees stood out against the bright green and subdued greys and silvers. I didn't bring my umbrella with me today, and after taking a break to capture a periwinkle flower using watercolour pencils, I headed out into the wet just in time for a shower whilst I waited for the bus. I took shelter at the Eagle Creek library branch, where I came out with the following things due to a somewhat odd mood:

  1. Passion: A Novel of the Romantic Poets by Jude Morgan. I love the Romantic era, and I've especially been drawn to George Gordon, Lord Byron and his half-sister and supposed lover (and possibly mother of one of his daughters), Augusta Leigh.
  2. A Fool and His Honey by Charlaine Harris (I somehow overlooked this one when I thought I'd read all the Aurora Teagarden mysteries)
  3. Forty Whacks: New Evidence in the Life and Legend of Lizzie Borden by David Kent (one of the real murders I've been interested in, especially since pop culture tends to forget Lizzie was acquitted
  4. Watercolor Made Simple by Claudia Nice
  5. The Watercolor Artist's Flower Handbook by Patricia Seligman
  6. Painting Plant Portraits: a Step-by-Step Guide by Keith West
  7. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (the movie, which I decided to finally watch since Douglas Adams is credited for the screenplay, and of course, it should give the answer to life, the universe, and everything

Now I'm home listening to the news and doing some work on the computer. Hope you have a good evening.

Came across this pamphlet--

Active at Any Size--that shows fat people having fun and staying active. Woohoo! Thanks to BigMamaDoc for the link.

Stuck in my head

I don't know why, I haven't heard it, as some deeper Southerners would say, in a coon's age, although it was one of my favourite ballads growing up.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down


Hips on fossil snake give clue to terrestrial evolution

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I'm off work

contemplating one of two scenarios:
1) going to the gas station, picking up/cashing my paycheque, and going over to where my car is parked so that I can have it towed to the shop
2) going to the gas station, picking up/cashing my paycheque, and going home to work on job #2's stuff, and do the towing tomorrow.

As my mom pointed out, if the transmission leak is because of the engine work (as in a hose got knocked off or something like that, like the speedometre and air conditioning apparently did), then the longer I wait to get it looked at, the easier it is for the guy who fixed the engine to say well, it's been running all this time (which it hasn't been), it's not my fault. On the other hand, I'm not sure one day will make a difference. A lot will depend on my schedule for the rest of the week, which I'll find out when I get my paycheque. If I'm working tomorrow I need to go ahead and do it now, today, when I'm free.

So, I think what's best is to take the phone number of the transmission place with me, go pick up my paycheque, check my schedule, then go get the cheque cashed, call the transmission place to see when they can come tow my car, and then decide from there whether I should catch the Southside bus going to my car or go on home.

A librarian ferrets out an historical coverup

Adding up a coverup, talking about Gladys Hansen's forty-year crusade to add up the real numbers of deaths in the great earthquake and fire of San Francisco in 1906.

Be sure to check out her website, www.sfmuseum.org, too.

I like this blogger, BigMamaDoc, a doctor who shoots from the hip

discusses her weight issues, all sorts of things. Here's a snippet that was especially illuminating of her humour and things she deals with. I can relate.

Husband, Family Doctor, Perinatologist and I have been switching all my meds to prepare Uterus for Fetus-of-the-Future. Nothing has been so hard as giving up my Prozac. Now before you all start bombarding me with literature that suggests fluoxetine is probably safe, I've read it and I agree. Still, we switched to a class B product. Husband, Family Doctor, Perinatologist and I are trying our best to minimize medication risk as much as possible because the risks of being a fetus in my body are high enough as it is.

New Drug, which shall remain anonymous so that my personal loathing does not unduly influence readers, sucks. Really sucks, as in I can't believe I give this to depressed people. As in, I doubt I'll ever prescribe this again. As in, I can't wait to have this baby-making-nonsense over with so I can go back to my good friend.

So here's the big thing I've noticed: When well-medicated, I'm a happy person who happens to have depression. When not effectively medicated, I hate everybody, my temper has a hair trigger and I seriously contemplate taking this job and shoving it. This could be a long, long year, for me and everybody who knows me. Sorry, world. Hopefully I can give society a little slice of hope for the future to make up for my nastiness.

Check her out.

Disease or personal quirk?

In Pediatric Perspective: The Trouble with Asperger's (free with registration), a doctor examines a book and his own beliefs in today's popular diagnosis of Asperger's disorder, considered a high-functioning form of autism. Basically he looks at whether we are as a society medicating anything we don't quite view as normal.

A new advocacy website for the ALA

ALA has a new online legislative action center. The site is located here: http://www.onlineadvocacy.net/.

Please note that the new legislative action center requires users to register and create a user name and password because lawmakers are requiring legitimate e-mail addresses to avoid spam. (Can you imagine how much spam they get???)

Some of the topics include EPA Libraries, Digital Media Consumer Rights Act of 2005 (Fair Use Bill - H.R. 1201), and the FOIA Act.

The new ALA e-advocacy site will be officially introduced April 24, 2006.

Comments or questions about this site may be sent to
ehaggerty@alawash.org or bmurphy@alawash.org.

Well, at least I didn't have to walk through a car accident this morning

like I did yesterday. Two cars had collided, sending a camper of a pickup right off the bed and sending at least one person to the hospital. I had to walk through the debris to get to the bus stop, then caught the bus a little way up so it wouldn't have to turn around to avoid the accident.

I'm seeing more accidents as a pedestrian/bus rider than I do as a driver, which is a little crazy.

Yesterday I finished reading a murder mystery and slept as the front came in with the rain. I forgot to take my meds, so I feel a little wonky this morning, but I've already taken everything and feel better. Yesterday I just had no energy, and it may have been the combination of not having my ADHD and anti-depression medicine, I don't know. My blood sugar's also up a tiny bit. Bad Lisa! No cookie!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I have to start over

in the history department, according to the director of graduate studies, because I've exceeded the time-limit for an MA. But if I understand correctly, that means I can apply to the PhD programme and just earn the master's on the way, so in a way it's a good thing I applied for the MA the first time. I don't want to go into a lot more debt, so I may see about getting grants, scholarships, or assistantships--or at least save up some money for the first semester or two of school--but that may mean putting off returning until next fall, and that's okay. I don't want to start unless I can finish this time. I'm more focussed since being treated for ADHD, too, and my memory's better. I think my anxiety is better, too. I'm more mature by far this time, too. So wish me luck.

A good medical reference guide for those not in a medical library

Medical Reference for Non-Medical Librarians - UCDHSC Denison Memorial Library

Yay for metformin!

The last few days when I've checked my blood sugar in the morning, it's running about 131-134, much closer to the norm than I had been. I feel so much better now that my glucose levels are down. All the walking to and from work and bus stops is having an effect, too. I've lost over 10 lbs. in about a month. Go, me!

Monday, April 17, 2006

A good resource for doing poster presentations

Designing Effective Poster Presentations

Listening to

Rob Thomas, 'All That I Am' (from Something to Be. I love this album, and on this particular song I love the romantic quality of the marimba, shofar, kanun, and duduk in the background. I'm not really sure what a kanun and duduk are, but whatever they are, they help make the song.)

PS If I ever get married again, I definitely want this played at the wedding. And I looked up kanun and duduk. And just in case anyone doesn't know what the marimba and shofar are, I've included links to them as well. :)

Want to look at examples of medical library web pages?

Try these:


A nice small business website for an indexer

Indexing By the Book

How readers look at web pages

F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox): "Eyetracking visualizations show that users often read Web pages in an F-shaped pattern: two horizontal stripes followed by a vertical stripe."

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Well, I had my car back. For a day.

It was grabbing in first gear and having trouble, so I checked the transmission fluid and it was low (because it's leaking pretty badly). I filled it up and made it almost to where I was going when it worsened, a lot of white smoke billowed out of the car, and now I can't get it to switch into reverse , for example (or at least it goes forward when I put it in reverse). All the fluid I'd put in it leaked out on the way over a couple of miles. Mind you it wasn't doing this before the engine was fixed, or at least not to that degree.


It's back on the buses for me, at least for now. I'll have to see how much it will cost to replace the gasket where the leak is most likely and to see if I've lost my transmission. I don't think so, because otherwise it would be locked up, from what I gather. I've loaned some money to a friend who's going to pay me back on Friday, so hopefully between the gas station cheque and that I'll be able to cover the repairs.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I have my car back!!!!

Okay, it's speedometre isn't hooked up and I have to keep an eye on the transmission fluid, but yay, it's back! Thank you, Momma and John. Thank you thank you thank you thank you.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Yay! My taxes are finished

And I'm getting back nearly $600, thanks to interest on my student loans.

Okay, a tragedy is never really funny

but my L'il Cthulhu calendar marks today, the anniversary of the Titanic sinking, with Cthulhu rising from the depths, grasping the ship and the iceberg, thinking, 'Who's king of the world now?'

If you know anything about Cthulhu and the motion picture with Leonardo diCaprio, that's hilarious.

I love this calendar.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wow...that's all I can say

Doctors perform breakthrough heart surgery by removing a donor heart and restarting a Welsh girl's dormant heart which had been kept at the time of the transplant. Her original surgeon came back out of retirement to advise the team. Over the ten years that she had had the donor heart, her own heart had rested, and she is showing no signs of the cardiomyopathy that caused the transplant in the first place. What an amazing story, especially given that the girl is also in remission for lymphoma. It amazes me what can be done these days.

I hope they get her okay

AP Wire | 04/12/2006 | N.Y. rescuers go high-tech to save cat

A bibliography of personal accounts with mental illness

A fellow librarian, Susan E. Skoglund, put out a call on the MEDLIB-L list for books we'd recommend in terms of providing personal insight into living with mental illness. I contributed some of them. Here were the results, posted with her permission:

Asperger Syndrome, the Universe and Everything (Hall, Kenneth)
Asperger Syndrome in the Family (Willey, Liane Holliday)
Autobiography of a Face (Grealy, Lucy)
The Beast: A Journey Through Depression (Thompson, Tracy)
A Beautiful Mind (Nasar, Sylvia) An Unquiet Mind (Jamison, Kay Redfield)
Behind the Smile: My Journey Out of Postpartum Depression (Osmond, Marie)
Burn: a Bipolar Memoir (Feldman, Shane)
Call Me Anna (Duke, Patty)
Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness (Styron, William)
Daughter of the Queen of Sheba (Lyden, Jacki)
The Day the Voices Stopped: A Memoir of Madness and Hope (Steele, Ken)
Detour: My Bipolar Road Trip in 4-D (Simon, Lizzie)
Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood (Traig, Jennifer)
Divided Minds: Twin Sisters and Their Journey Through Schizophrenia (Wagner, Pamela)
Down Came the Rain: A Mother’s Story of Depression and Recovery (Shields, Brooke)
Emergence: Labeled Autistic(Grandin, Temple)
Everything in it’s Place: My Trials and Triumphs with Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder (Summers, Marc)
Exiting Nirvana: A Daughter’s Life With Autism (Park, Clara Claiborne)
The Family Face of Schizophrenia (Backlar, Patricia)
Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence (Jackson, Luke)
FTH * Rickie (Flach, Frederic F.)
Get Me Out of Here: My Recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder (Reiland, Rachel)
Girl, Interrupted (Kaysen, Susanna)
The Heart Too Long Suppressed: A Chronicle of Mental Illness (Hebald, Carol)
I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can (Gordon, Barbara)
I Never Promised You a Rose Garden (Greenberg, Joanne)
Imagining Robert (Neugeboren, Jay)
Inner Hunger: A Young Woman’s Struggle Through Anorexia and Bulimia (Apostolides, Marianne)
The Inner World of Mental Illness: A Series of First Person Accounts of What it was Like (Kaplan, Bert)
Is There No Place on Earth for Me? (Sheehan, Susan)
Leaving Food Behind: An Inspiring Personal Story of Recovery from Bulimia, Starving, Overeating (Mather, Sheila )
Let Me Hear Your Voice: A Family’s Triumph Over Autism (Maurice, Catherine)
Like Color to the Blind: Soul Searching and Soul Finding (Williams, Donna)
Living in the Dead Zone: Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison: Understanding Borderline Personality Disorder (Faris, Ralph M.)
Media Madness: Public Images of Mental Illness (Wahl, Otto)
Memoirs of My Nervous Illness (Schreber, Daniel P.)
A Mind That Found Itself (Beers, Clifford)
The Monster Within: Overcoming Bulimia (Rowland McClure, Cynthia)
My Sister’s Keeper: Learning to Cope with a Sibling’s Mental Illness (Moorman, Margaret)
Nobody Nowhere: The Extraordinary Autobiography of an Autistic (Williams, Donna)
The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression (Solomon, Andrew)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Kesey, Ken) Personal History (Graham, Katharine)
The Outsider: A Journey Into My Father’s Struggle with Madness (Lachenmeyer, Nathaniel)
Pretending to be normal: Living with Asperger’s Syndrome (Willey, Liane Holliday)
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary (Winchester, Simon)
Prozac Diary (Slater, Lauren)
The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness (Schiller, Lori)
Recovered, Not Cured: A Journey Through Schizophrenia (McLean, Richard)
Skin Game: A Cutter’s Memoir (Kettlewell, Caroline)
Somebody Somewhere: Breaking Free From the World of Autism (Williams, Donna)
Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism (Prince-Hughes, Dawn)
Succeeding with Autism: Hear My Voice (Cohen, Judith)
Sybil (Schreiber, Flora)
Terry: My Daughter’s Life-and-Death Struggle with Alcoholism (McGovern, George)
There’s a Boy in Here (Barron, Sean)
Thinking in Pictures: and Other Reports from My Life with Autism (Grandin, Temple)
Three Faces of Eve (Thigpen, Corbett)
Undercurrents: A Therapist’s Reckoning with Her Own Depression (Manning, Martha)
Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament (Jamison, Kay Redfield)
Washing My Life Away: Surviving Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (Deane, Ruth)
Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia (Hornbacher, Marya)
Welcome, Silence: My Triumph over Schizophrenia (North, Carol S.)
Welcome to My Country (Slater, Lauren)
When the Music’s over: My Journey into Schizophrenia (Ross David Burke)
Willow Weep for Me: A Black Woman’s Journey Through Depression (Danquah, Meri Nana-Ama)
Women of the Asylum: Voices from Behind the Walls, 1840-1945 (Geller, Jeffrey L.)
The Years of Silence are Past: My Father’s Life with Bipolar Disorder (Hinshaw, Stephen P.)

Also, NAMI of Massachusetts:
www.namimass.org/biblio/biblio.htm (click on Personal Accounts)



Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Let's celebrate diversity by cutting protections afforded to our state employees

Oh, yeah, that makes sense (and I'm being sarcastic, in case that doesn't make it through the context). I'm definitely ready to elect a new governor.

Fletcher cuts worker protection

'He's trying to be different! Burn him!'

so says Cthulhu on my L'il Cthulhu calendar, as he holds a figure of Galileo, who was convicted of heresy on this date in 1633. Of course, I've discovered it's off on Passover (it has it as starting the 21st, when in fact it begins tonight, so for those of you who are Jewish, have a good Pesach) so it may be wrong (and of course there's the calendar changes, too. Oh, well). :)

More on diabetes and depression, this time in children/adolescents

Diabetic Children Should Be Screened for Depressive Symptoms (free with registration)


Study: Siblings of Autistic Children Often Have Autistic Traits (free with registration)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

My friends think I am way too liberal on immigration

Lexington Herald-Leader | 04/11/2006 | Thousands rally downtown and, of course, I've heard a lot of talk both in friends' rants and some on the buses, too.

That said, I don't actually have any trouble with a federal law that would make it a felony to be in this country illegally, per se, although I think it may very well clog our legal system, and really it's the immigration system that needs to be overhauled in general. In other words, rather than focussing on the individuals who come here, focus on the system that allows them. I don't believe people should come here illegally. I am not as conservative as some I know who would rather see them shot or put into labour camps for invading our country. But even more so, I don't think they would if they couldn't get jobs here. Will we make it a felony to hire undocumented workers? I hope so.

My main problem with people who are on the other side of this debate is there seems to be a cosensus among them that almost all Hispanics are here in this country illegally, and that all illegal immigrants are Hispanic, and that's simply untrue. There are lots of legal Hispanic immigrants, and I don't think they should suffer because of the wrongs of others. There are certain programmes (libraries have some of these)that I think are excellent for helping Hispanic immigrants adjust to this country. How do we determine who is undocumented and who is not? Do we ask to see the cards on everyone? What about the children of illegal immigrants who have been born in this country? Do we need to see birth certificates for storytime? Probably not. For essential benefits? Yes. And while I do think it is important for Hispanic immigrants to learn English as a way of bettering themselves and assimilating into their chosen country, I also think it's important to realise that this takes time, and people such as health care workers and law enforcement should strive to have Spanish speakers on staff to help prevent misunderstandings that could have life and death consequences. I think schools should strive to help Spanish-speaking students learn English however it is best to do so, which may not be just throwing them into an English-speaking classroom but instead having a certain amount of bilingual study...as long as English speakers are also learning Spanish (Spanish is a good introduction to learning another language, and children learn more quickly than, say, teenagers). They could do something akin to what the Japanese here do, have a Saturday school on home culture and language.

That's all I'm going to say on the matter for now. I know they're are lots of people who disagree with me. But I really don't think this is a problem that can be solved without rethinking the whole structure and looking at who really benefits from illegal immigration. As one of my friends said in a recent rant, the borders are as porous or closed as big business wants them to be. There's some truth to that. There are businesses that avoid paying taxes by hiring undocumented workers. There should be a way to make sure those taxes are paid, that there aren't benefits of hiring cheap labour without a real safety net, kind of like the states that have attempted to tax illegal drugs. Companies that exploit undocumented workers should be held accountable.

A college has a right to make its policies

but it shouldn't be getting public funds if its going to expel students just for being gay. Ernesto Scorsone, the only openly gay legislator in our general assembly, has called for state funds to help build a pharmacy school to be reconsidered after the University of the Cumberlands, a Baptist college, expelled a student for mentioning his boyfriend on MySpace.com. He was confronted by school officials and given a letter to vacate the dorm immediately, leaving his family and friends very upset about the school's action. Personally I wouldn't be attending a small Baptist college, being neither Christian nor heterosexual, but he and his family apparently thought it was the right fit and at the time he began attending (and paying the school tuition, mind you), there was no policy directly in place against homosexuality among students. That came the next year, and it was that policy that was cited when expelling Jason Johnson, who was a major in theatre arts and was due to stage manage a play last week.

The same policy incidentally lists sex outside of marriage an an expelling offence. I wonder how many students they'd have if they kept to the letter of that policy.

I hope Mr. Johnson will continue his education at a more open and welcoming university. In the meantime, it's become quite a controversy at the college, and rightly so. There are, of course, other gay students to consider. The environment is clearly not conducive to students being able to openly acknowledge who they are.

It's a shame that there are far more problems involved in being gay because of how society and individuals feel about you than in being gay itself. Being gay shouldn't ruin your life. It should be the same as being black, being left-handed, being a woman, being brown- or blue-eyed. It's a part of who you are, and not a part you can change or should be expected to change, and I think it's sad that in this case a student was expelled for daring to talk about what I assume is a loving relationship with another person, in a sort of 'don't ask, don't tell' kind of world. And yes, I hope this gets picked up by the national news and the national gay rights organisations, because it's a debate that needs to be out in the open.

Reaction grows to gay student's expulsion

Legislator says school shouldn't get funds

Monday, April 10, 2006

Well, that was a good response over all

The Director of Graduate Studies sent me back an e-mail that it would take him a while to figure it out and get back to me, which is encouraging because that puts me closer to one of the options, even if I don't know which one yet. :)

Everything you ever wanted to know about Hermione Granger

including which book (the fourth, Goblet of Fire she had her teeth enlarged and then shrunk (a question I was asked recently).

Have I mentioned that I love Wikipedia?

Hermione Granger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Musings on my evil ex

whose birthday is today, although far more important was last week's fourteenth anniversary of our divorce, which was the best damn present I ever received for my birthday. Now I'll probably get a nasty e-mail threatening legal action for the mere mention of him. Oh, well. Thankfully the few things we still share are a birthday week, an age (I'm a week and 12 hours older), and our feelings towards each other, which no doubt have softened to mere disdain over the years.


That is all. :) No real reason, just a little silly. I know, I'm just 'not right'.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

So glad to be home

after 10 hours standing at the gas station, listening to bigots who haven't a clue that they are out of line (if I hear one more, 'well he sounded gay', 'well he was so gay', 'well, but they're generally nice people') from both customers and coworkers. Coworkers I feel I can handle pretty well. Regular customers take some special handling, and I have to admit, I haven't quite figured out the best way to do so. Sigh. This is when I ask myself what YKWIA would do. I'm pretty sure it would be a very direct, 'do you realise how bigoted you sound?' or even more confrontational. I should have been more outspoken. Instead, I sort of gritted my teeth and bore it, partly because I was shocked by what was said, and it wasn't overtly derogatory, like if someone had used the f-word. But it was meant that way. I wonder what he would have said if I asked, 'tell me, do I sound bi to you?'

Friday, April 07, 2006

Kudos to Teri Hatcher for coming forward

Teri Hatcher's Molestation Revelation - Mar 08, 2006 - E! Online News

Being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse is a difficult thing. Coming forward and publically acknowledging it--especially if you are already in the public spotlight, is going a step further.

There's very much a sense, when you have been victimised, that it is somehow your fault. That's ludicrous, of course, but for a child with limited experiences, that's how it seems, especially if you liked the special attention, or liked the feel of a touch, or thought that you were loved more because of your experience. Yet somehow it seems wrong, even if you don't understand how, and so there's a sense of shame. And you find yourself thinking, did I encourage it by wanting to be loved? That's the saddest thing of all. You take a child's capacity for love and twist it, so he or she doesn't know what love is anymore, what innocent touch is, what should be permitted and what shouldn't. The child loses a sense of boundaries, because his or hers have been shattered by the molester, who crashes through the most private aspects of our lives. And no matter how fleeting or persistent the experience, a child's life is changed forever by the actions of a sick adult who has no business being in that position of trust.

Those of us who have survived such abuse need to find our voices, to find an inner strength. They say that which does not kill us makes us strong. There's truth to that. Humans can survive the most horrendous of conditions, and it can either make them break or can strengthen them.

I've lived with guilt all my life over a series of molestations that I've tried to repress, tried to dismiss, tried to purge my entire childhood rather than remember. There comes a time, though, when too much of your life has been shut away by that effort, and you find that you are broken and twisted inside, and will never be whole until you come to terms with what happened, and how you felt, and forgive yourself. I'm still learning to do that. But until I do, I'll never really be whole and functional. I think I'm closer to a more healthy outlook than I ever have before.

Note I don't mention forgiveness for the molester. I don't think that's really necessary for healing. There are some who would argue that it's the only way to let go of the power the molester has on you. But I don't believe in turning the other cheek in this case, and quite frankly, I hope there's a special circle of hell for them, because nothing that we as humans can do by way of punishment really fits the crime of preying on a child.

Just my two cents' worth, anyway.

An adventure

Listening to: Rob Thomas, "I Am an Illusion"

Today I discovered there is a bus that never goes to the transit centre, but goes between Centre Parkway/Appian Way and Hamburg Pavillion and back. It only runs Monday through Friday, but it has the unique character of going within 2 blocks of my house, running right by D's (yes, this is the one that drives her crazy and wakes her up), and near some other friends as well. Nifty.

I went out to Hamburg Pavillion (have I mentioned how much I hate walking around this shopping hell, as it isn't pedestrian friendly?) to look for the medicine for Darius, but unfortunately, Petsmart was out of it (and Incredipet doesn't even carry it). So, it was sort of wasted as trips go, although I did have supper at Backyard Burger (where I had a gardenburger and waffle fries), went to Meijer's and found some clothes I'd like to get (but didn't, being fiscally responsible), and then over to Barnes and Noble, where I also escaped without getting anything but a mocha frappaccino from Starbucks. I did get some reading done at whilst eating and drinking.

It was nice to shop, and I got some ideas for things I'd like to do. It was raining when I started, but it was sunny as I walked home from the bus stop. (It's raining again now; actually it just hailed!) Then I came home and watched a couple of hours of CSI on Spike TV. Now I'm recording Doctor Who for later. So now I'm listening to Rob Thomas' Something to Be album and blogging, another day heading to its conclusion.

A draw-a-pig personality test

Go to the following website (it requires Flash):


My results:

You drew your pig:
Toward the top of the frame, you are positive and optimistic.
Facing front, you are direct, enjoy playing devil's advocate and neither fear nor avoid discussions.
With many details, you are analytical, cautious, and distrustful.
With 4 legs showing, you are secure, stubborn, and stick to your ideals.
The size of the ears indicates how good a listener you are. You are a poor listener.
The length of the tail indicates the quality of your sex life. You have a great sex life. (ha!)

Received this via e-mail. Happy Friday!

Marketing definitions by example:

The Buzzword in today's business world is "MARKETING."

However, people often ask for a simple explanation of "Marketing." Well, here it is:

You're a Woman and you see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and say, "I'm fantastic in bed."

That's Direct Marketing.

You're at a party with a bunch of friends and see a handsome guy. One of your friends goes up to him and pointing at you says, "She's fantastic in bed."

That's Advertising.

You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and get his telephone number. The next day you call and say, "Hi, I'm fantastic in bed."

That's Telemarketing.

You see a guy at a party and you straighten your dress. You walk up to him and pour him a drink. You say, "May I?" and reach up to straighten his tie, brushing your breast lightly against his arm, and then say, "By the way, I'm fantastic in bed."

That's Public Relations.

You're at a party and see a handsome guy He walks up to you and says, "I hear you're fantastic in bed."

That's Brand Recognition.

You're at a party and see a handsome guy. He fancies you, but you talk him into going home with your friend.

That's a Sales Rep.

Your friend can't satisfy him so he calls you.

That's Tech Support.

You're on your way to a party when you realize that there could be handsome men in all these houses you're passing. So you climb onto the roof of one situated towards the center and shout at the top of your lungs, "I'm fantastic in bed!"

That's Junk Mail.

You are at a party, this well-built man walks up to you and gropes your breast and grabs your ass.

That's the Governor of California.

You like it, but 20 years later your attorney decides you were offended.

That's America.

Heaven help me

I just sent an e-mail to the Director of Graduate Studies for the History department at UK asking if it would be possible for me to finish my graduate studies. That means either returning as an MA candidate, finishing that, then continuing to the PhD or bypassing the MA and heading straight to the PhD. I'd prefer the latter, because I'd only have to defend one thesis rather than two. I realise now that a lot of the problems I had that led me to dropping out were health based. In the time since I stopped going to school, I've been diagnosed with diabetes, asthma, sleep apnea, obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depression, anxiety issues, social phobia, and borderline personality disorder. In other words, I was a real mess. It's amazing I did as well as I did. Now that I'm being treated for all those, though, I think I have a good chance to finish what I started.

And I actually sent the e-mail without triggering a panic attack. :) Wish me luck.

Today's Blogsticker: Urban Sprawl

Appropos of my previous rant:
Urban Sprawl: Cut down all the trees and name the strets after them

Boy, I just came in and crashed

I got in around 7pm and just went ahead to bed, thinking I'd take a bit of a nap. That was six hours ago!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Good news, bad news

The good news is the car is being fixed. The bad news is it was the engine, which means it's going to be expensive, although not as bad as it could be. My mom and stepdad found a motor with 66,000 miles on it for $425, and it will cost about $375+ in labour to put it in, but then I should be able to drive it for a good while. They're getting the motor on Friday. I don't know how long it will take to put it in, maybe a couple of weeks(?) Momma and John are paying for the fix, although I've offered to pay maybe $100 a month towards it, since it's so much (that's a pretty substantial birthday present, and I don't want them to be caught without anything that they might need.

Today at work, we celebrated my birthday with pies from Missy's (a branch of Ramsey's). I had coconut cream. It was very nummy. I also have some beautiful daffodils and narcissi on my desk courtesy of JA. Thanks to all the girls for making my birthday special.

So I might get the car back soon. In the meantime, I'm waiting around after work for about an hour for the next bus out. I'm going to get my paycheque (I was down to my last dollar, which coincidentally is the amount of the busride) from the gas station, cash it, and get some things I need. Then it's back home for me. Hope your day is pleasant.

Today's Blogsticker: Medication

Listening to: "Gesthsemene (I Only Want to Say) from Jesus Christ, Superstar, the original concept album

(haven't done one of these in quite awhile, but I got a new Northern Sun catalogue, so here goes)

You've heard the one, "Lord, help me be the person my dog thinks I am", right? How about:
Lord, help me be the person my psychiatrist medicates me to be.

PS I tested my blood sugar with two different metres today, because I was having trouble finding my normal one in my backpack and used my backup one at work. It said 232, whereas the regular one (I thought it was high, and still had blood on my finger to try with, so I tested with the other) was 159. I know the second is within the correct range because I've coded and tested it with the solution. It makes me wonder if the high ranges I was getting early on (with the first metre) were really bugs in the system. Hm.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Something to complete from the Chatty Librarian list, as seen on Ms. Monkeythong, the Librarian Sock Monkey

A book that made you cry: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
A book that scared you: Comes the Blind Fury
A book that made you laugh: All Creatures Great and Small
A book that disgusted you: Survival in Auschwitz
A book you loved in elementary school: The Ghosts
A book you loved in middle school: Who Comes to King's Mountain?
A book you loved in high school: Great Expectations (Really)
A book you hated in high school: The Old Man and the Sea
A book you loved in college: Flatland
A book that challenged your identity: Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady
A series that you love: The Dark is Rising
Your favorite horror book: The Dunwich Horror
Your favorite science fiction book: Fahrenheit 451
Your favorite fantasy book: The Grey King
Your favorite mystery book: The Last Camel Died at Noon
Your favorite biography: one of George Gordon (Lord Byron), but I can't remember its title
Your favorite "coming-of-age" book: Dragonsong
Your favorite book(s) not on this list: His Dark Materials, The Timaeus, Sophie's World, The Gift, oh, too many to count!

According to my L'il Cthulhu calendar, today is Tomb Sweeping Day

Just remember folks, good graveyard dust is hard to come by and imminently useful.

Plan wisely, live fully

There were several articles in Medscape (viewable with free registration) about the need to plan communities for better health for children. This one Poor Air Quality, Pollution Endanger Health of Children suggests increasing density of development with greater mass transit and walkability. I'm not sure that's the key. What we do need to do is make livable communities that you can get through without relying on a car. For example, when they built Hamburg Pavillion, or as I like to call it, 'the world's biggest strip mall', they plopped down stores all over the acreage that as a whole you can't really browse as a pedestrian without some serious danger. Instead, people take their cars to one or the other as they go about their shopping. If you do take the bus to Hamburg, you take your life in your hands by dodging traffic as you navigate the crossings on roads that are confusing for drivers.

When did we lose the sense of communities? Why not build our developments so that 1) traffic doesn't rush through, 2) important centres like groceries and libraries are reachable by bike or walking, and 3) there's plenty of green space to help counter pollution and give residents a sense of living with nature rather than in spite of it? Encourage community gardens and parks. Don't build houses so densely that they are abutted to the point where you can see everything your neighbours do. Bring back the front porch that one can sit on, maybe have a porch swing on. Increase neighbourhood watches.

Isn't it sad that we have to have ad campaigns just to get our kids to go outside? Is it any wonder when, in additon to all the recreation available inside (and by that I mean TV and video games, and yes, even books) we have busy streets and the fear of strangers bred by media stories? When I was a kid, especially in summer, I spent most of the daylight hours available outside--and I was a slightly chubby kid who read a lot, but even so, I rode my bike, played tag, ran around, did all those things, and was far healthier than I am now. I happen to live in a neighbourhood where I can ride a bike or walk...but to get to anything of importance, like the store or the library or work, I have to cross one or two of the busiest streets in the city. It's a little frustrating. On the one hand I live within easy range of a hospital, a Kroger, a Wal-Mart, banks, a library, several gas stations, and all sorts of restaurants and small stores. On the other hand, it's dangerous to go that way.

I'm thinking of getting a bike (I found a Roadmaster yesterday for only $53) for that trek, because when they redid Richmond Road, they put in bike lanes, and with a light array, I'd actually be more visible at night. Plus, all the buses have carriers for bikes. Plus I can ride it to a nearby park which has a bike trail. I so need some sort of exercise, and it's pretty decent on my knees, if not my buttocks. :)

Well, for someone who just received a DVD burner for her birthday

this is interesting: PCWorld.com - Download Movies Legally, for a Price. But I'd like it better if you could burn a copy of the movie to play on a regular home DVD player rather than just on a computer with an internet connexion. One, home theatres tend to have better sound than home computers. Two, you're shelling out $20-$30 for a new release, $10-$20 for catalogue titles, comparable to a DVD, but without the DVD extras. It's mainly competing with video-on-demand features of digital cable, but of course those cost about $3-$4 to play for up to 24 hours, but you can record them with the right equipment. (I'm not sure of the legality, and I personally don't have the right equipment, but I know it's possible.) So I don't know how it will fare. We'll see.

Hmmm...I need to look into a way to transfer my old home movies to DVD. Some are in 8mm format, some in VHS from back when I had a video camera. They include movies of me as a child with my grandmother, my great-grandmother when she was quite old, and Spock when he was just a kitten.

Speaking of Spock, tomorrow would have been his 18th birthday. I miss that big dumb white cat. :)

Well, damn

I decided to go ahead and eat something before leaving the house this morning rather than getting something at work, which means, of course, checking my blood sugar first. It's 190, even though I've taken my meds and been pretty good about my diet (okay, I did have a cookie at dinner, but that was hours ago). Grrrr.

Of course, my blood sugar rises when I go for any length of time without eating, so maybe it'll help to go ahead and have breakfast and get the insulin circulating. I hope so.

Can I just say that it sort of sucks to have to test blood sugar every day (and yes, I'm glad I'm not having to do it more often). My fingers are like pincushions. And yes, I alternate which ones I do. I just hope that one day we'll look back and think, 'well, that was a barbaric practice suitable for the Dark Ages'. They've already got a watch that uses an electric charge to test blood sugar rather than bloodletting, and an inhaled form of insulin rather than injected. It just takes awhile for those sorts of technologies to reach the market. In the meantime I'm using 30 gauge lancets, which are pretty fine, to minimise discomfort. Okay, enough of the whigning.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

My cat is pissed with me

because I just gave him a bath. He needed one, badly, but of course, he didn't agree. :) Fortunately no clawing commenced and he's so light, it was pretty easy to manhandle him into position. He looks like a half-drowned kitten, he's so tiny. He's definitely wary now of being picked up. If I come near him, his eyes get big. On the other hand, he'll come sit in my lap. It's the only time, I think, that he's been given a bath in fifteen years.

The library in my home county

was broken into and a large jug of change was stolen. Check out Boyle County Library's story: Thief steals library donation money

I think my mother may be right

I think Darius may have tapeworms. They fit his symptoms (loss of weight, diarrhea, unkempt look) and I think I've found signs of shed segments. That means I have to get some praziquantel, which is relatively cheap these days now that it's over-the-counter (although it's still $19.99 for 3 pills!) I'm going to try at Incredipet or PetSmartsince I live nearby and I don't have a current vet. If that doesn't work, I really think it's time to take him to a vet. I'm pretty impressed with the Gainesway Veterinary Clinic; it's just a matter of how to get him over there. That might be a run I'll have to enlist Dee for. We'll see. Bless his heart, he eats and eats and doesn't seem to be able to put on any weight. That could be thyroid, too. But he had fleas last summer and fall, so it could very well be the worms. Ironically, it was always Spock I had to treat before, since he attracted fleas if there were any in a mile radius, being white, and occasionally he'd have a shed segment or actual worm. (And yes, they're icky, and they make a popping noise when you kill the buggers, too.) Darius never showed any signs, but then most cats don't. Now if I can get the medicine and then keep any fleas from getting to them this year--I need to get some Frontline early, before it becomes scarcer than gold at the vet offices or at Woodstock. I also need to hit Woodstock for Cerys and Darius' shots, they're due, or overdue, actually, even if it means missing the game for one day, or else go ahead and take them to the Gainesway clinic, now that I have some better cash flow and can afford it.

I'm home

Listening to: Chris Isaak, Always Got Tonight

after a fairly eventful afternoon. I went in to Job #2 (the public television station) to see about getting some tapes that I can view at home and create outlines for a project my boss wants. It was fairly easy to get there--I just took the Woodhill bus downtown, transferred to Tates Creek, then got off at Cooper and walked about half a mile to the station. But I discovered it wasn't *quite* as easy to get back. It turns out that Tates Creek doesn't come back up the street for which it's named until night time. Instead, it goes up Nicholasville Road and up by the UK hospital. So, I wound up walking over there through the campus. I took a nice picture of a crabapple in bloom, as you can see. Then I caught the bus, went downtown, transferred to Richmond Road, and got off to get a money order for the balance of my rent (on time again, woo-hoo). I also got some seed packets of perennials that will make a nice beginning to a cottage garden. I got back on the bus and this time got off at the Eagle Creek library (the closest stop to home). I went into the library and got the following books:

  • The Complete book of garden design, construction, and planting

  • Creating a cottage garden

  • Christopher Lloyd's flower garden

  • Using herbs in the landscape

I also got the Chris Isaak CD and R.E.M's Murmur, a knitting DVD, and the movie The Aviator. I was at the library till right about dark, then walked home, and indeed here I am.

I felt better overall today than yesterday. The only bad thing about today was that I had a bad hair day from some of the bath oil getting in my hair when I took that bath this morning. It feels greasy, and looked stringy, and short of taking a shower, nothing was going to help its limp character. :[

But that was it. Tomorrow my shift at the gas station is going to the new guy (yes, I'm fine with that, I've been working too many hours there a week), so I'll do some yard work and plant the seeds I bought instead. Yay! Gardening at last!

Well, I'm going to finish up dinner from Subway and then do some reading. I'm in the middle of a Charlaine Harris murder mystery, Three Bedrooms, One Corpse (an Aurora Teagarden mystery), and I'm keen to finish it. Goodnight for now.

Another resource on copyright and taping for classroom teachers and librarians/media specialists

from PBS:


This includes an overview on copyright and fair use, guidelines for taping Public Broadcasting Service programmes, etc.

A good teacher's resource for ancient Aegypt

The program and Web site for "Egypt's Golden Empire" made their debut some years ago, but remain popular resources for K-12 educators, reinforcing the notion that popular content can have a "long tail" effect. Thanks to support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS has been able to relaunch this Web resource, found at http://www.pbs.org/empires/egypt/, to enhance its interactivity and--best of all--infuse video online.

Take a tour of the site and you'll find biographies, a "day in the life" interactive, a richly illustrated timeline, a virtual image library, an in-depth section on hieroglyphs, and an archive of free, on-demand video clips--which are also integrated into the site's eight lesson plans.

Happy National Library Workers Day (April 4th)

and of course, it's also National Library Week, as well.

The folks on the solo librarian list are debating whether it should be
'librarians' rather than 'library workers' but of course librarian now tends to imply a master's degree and the the point was to include the paraprofessionals who also work in libraries.

Anyway, it's a good time for a librarian to have a birthday, hmmm...but of course, my birthday's also on International Children's Book Day (April 2nd) because that's also the birthday of Hans Christian Andersen. :) By the way, it also happens that April 2nd is the birthday of Charlemagne, according to my calendar. Of course Charlemagne would be an Aries. :)

I feel much better this morning

I even got to work an hour early today, so I could take my time getting settled, have breakfast, etc., before starting work. Why do I feel better? Well...

  1. It's sunny.
  2. I have all my meds, including the paroxetine, Adderall, and allergy meds, which I was out of yesterday and unable to take.
  3. My blood sugar is better today, probably because I actually remembered to take both doses yesterday of my metformin.
  4. I had a leisurely bath this morning.

At least I think that's why I feel better. I also set up a sharps container at my desk and put lancets and alcohol pads in the drawers since I check my blood sugar every morning, usually at work. I keep some with the metre, which goes with me everywhere, for times when I might be feeling bad or on weekends. It feels good to take care of myself. I'm not usually that good at it; I tend to put others ahead of myself or play the martyr instead, something I'm trying to get away from.

A snippet of the types of discussions

we have on our medical library discussion list, MEDLIB-L made it onto a Detroit consortium blog you might want to check out: Library users-physical v. virtual, and does it matter?

Trivial tidbit

Late tonight, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 am, the time and date will be:

01:02:03 04/05/06

Nifty, hmm?? How's that for a once-a-century convergence? Thanks to C for sending me an e-mail about it.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Oooh, it's nippy

It's going down in the 30s tonight, so I definitely won't be sleeping with the window open like I did through the weekend. I went out with Cerys and the lawn is freshly mown and smelling sweet, and the little brook behind my apartment building is bubbling. The sky looks pretty clear; the stars are out.

Okay, that's all for tonight. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. Today wasn't so much bad, as just not great. I'm probably just being a little whigny since I didn't feel well. I don't know if it was the weather or my diabetes or just post-birthday blues, but I'm sure I'll feel better soon.

Today was just kind of weird

I felt really well in the morning; the sun was shining, it was warm, and I was beginning to think I'd overdressed for the weather. I got to work feeling fine, but over the course of the day just felt worse and worse, and perhaps not coincidentally a front came in, bringing clouds and colder weather. By the time I got off work, I felt like I was in a stupour and just wanted to crawl into bed. It may have been my blood sugar, I don't know. But I just felt icky. I walked over to Walgreens and got some prescriptions filled and some bread and toilet paper (my big package of toilet paper went with my car when it was towed back to Danville, so I needed more).

I took a bus back to Eagle Creek, managed to stop by the library and pick up a book on hold, then walked on home from there. I ate a little cheese and crackers and then went on to bed for awhile. Now I'm up again and I feel a lot better, although I'm having some allergy problems. The weather is starting to clear a bit, too, and I'm drinking some water and getting some peanut butter into my system. But I think I'm going to take Cerys out and then head back to sleep, even though I'd like to do some reading. I just don't really feel up to it. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

A remarkable career

Dear Colleagues,

We are saddened to learn that Mark Hodges, director of the Eskind Biomedical Library (EBL) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center from 1972-June, 1995, died suddenly and unexpectedly on April 2. Mark was a dedicated employee of Vanderbilt and worked to grow the medical library from a collection of around 100,000 items in 1972 to over 200,000 in 1994. He also led the introduction of early electronic technologies and improvements in services such as document delivery and outreach. He was actively involved in planning for the award winning Eskind Biomedical Library building, completed in 1994, and established a separate Special Collections department for the EBL.

Mark was also an active member of the Medical Library Association (MLA), serving as parliamentarian for 7 years and obituaries editor for the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) from 2001 to the present. Mark was awarded the MLA Fellow title in 1995. He served as the MLA's unofficial historian and had the honor of giving the association's annual Janet Doe lecture in 1997. He was also a charter member of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AASHL) and active member of the Southern Chapter of the MLA (SCMLA). Mark also founded the Mid-Tennessee Health Sciences Librarian Consortium and was a fellow of the United Kingdom's Library Association. He was an active contributor of reports to the Library Association's bulletin.

He is survived by his wife, Judith, and son and daughter, Thomas and Sarah. We will miss his vast knowledge of the profession, gentlemanly manner, and gracious spirit.

Nunzia Bettinsoli Giuse, M.D., M.L.S., A.H.I.P.
Director, Eskind Biomedical Library
Professor of Biomedical Informatics
Eskind Biomedical Library

Adding to the list of things otherwise educated people do

that really bug me. Today someone wrote on one of the lists I read: 'something peaked my interest'. It should be piqued. Another wrote 'right' rather than 'write'. Nevermind the loose/lose problem or things like a professor who once said 'epi-tome' (as in a book tome) rather than 'epi-to-me' (as in rhymes with me, or hyperbole) [see my rant from a few days ago]. :)

Granted, I'm not blameless. I often have to think about whether something lays or lies, for example. But in writing I guess I expect people to get it right, and especially homonyms just screw with people's attempts to express themselves intelligently. I'm sure if I ever become emperor of the world (or in my case, more likely the handmaiden and librarian of the emperor of the world), we'll get rid of homonyms altogether.

Why do I rant here? Because I can. It's my little corner of the Internet, a tabula rasa for me to express whatever I want, and that way I don't get into the etiquette vs. truth issues of correcting someone publically. I know, it's not like someone elected me the grammar police. But, gee, can we just have a little proofreading out there?

An article on the increasing problems

libraries are having keeping access to serials due to rising costs. It was written for the Louisville Courier-Journal, and includes information from the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky, with a picture taken at one of our other consortium hospitals, Baptist Hospital East.

Libraries cut back

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I'm not sure how I feel about this birthday

It was pretty much the same as any other Sunday; I went over to a friend's to prepare for the game, then played the game, then worked at the gas station for a couple of hours. It really didn't feel particularly special. Maybe I've reached an age where it just doesn't seem to matter anymore. No, that's really not true. I wanted it to be a special day, but it really wasn't. Overall, it was a little disappointing, but only because my expectations were unrealistic.

Of course, I can't really complain. I took off Friday as a special day to myself; my mom and John gave me a DVD burner and are going to help fix my car; we're celebrating at work on Thursday with pie, and I had a cheerful 'happy birthday!' on a post-it on my register tonight when I came into work. One friend had to be reminded that it was April 2nd, and from there it dawned on him and he wished me a happy birthday (and then took delight on my being 'a year' older than he (we're actually eight months apart, so come October we tie again). Another didn't forget; he just tends to give gifts on his own whims rather than because it's expected, so at some point in the future I'll get a birthday present when I least expect it. Those are the best kind. I guess in retrospect it wasn't really that bad after all.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

I just got in from the gas station

My goodness, it was busy. Between the traffic on Richmond Road rerouted from I-75 causing snarls and getting a lot of people confused as to how to avoid the mess and the fact that tonight is Powerball night and the jackpot's getting pretty big, we had all sorts of people in and very little down time, including one guy that I thought we'd have to call the police over. (Hint to those of you out there: no matter how upset you are over a promotion that was discontinued four months ago that would have given you 25 gallons in free gas, don't threaten to not pay. If you don't pay, it's considered theft and if the clerk also has your licence plate number, even if you leave it means a phone call to the police, fines, and the loss of your driver's licence. Also, if you want to bitch to corporate, well, that's what they get paid for. We're happy to tell you the number. But there is only so much a clerk can do for you, no matter how much a fuss you make, and even to some extent only so much a manager can do. Personally I would have made sure I had the coupon in hand before pumping nearly $80 in gas, something that wouldn't have been possible because it was discontinued so long ago. But that's just me.)

So, I'm glad to leave that all behind me. Now for a (hopefully) relaxing night at home, away from all that.