Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Need to search published conference proceedings?

InterDok's database is now free

Congratulations M & B!

who welcomed their little girl to the world yesterday. Good luck!

I'm excited

The book for which I've written a chapter has been submitted to the publisher. The process should still take awhile, with a publication date probably in autumn of 2007. Yay! There were 98 contributors altogether, with two editors, and there are 95 chapters. Whew! It's been a year since I wrote my chapter. This has given me some idea about how publications happen.

Happy birthday to the search giant

Google, which is eight years old. Eight! It seems so much longer. Google transformed how we search the Internet. And yes, I know, it is technically an anniversary, not a birthday, but here's wishing a happy one anyway.

Do you know someone who is particularly dedicated to intellectual freedom?

Nominate him or her for this new award:

Gordon M. Conable Award
The Public Library Association's (PLA) new Gordon M. Conable Award will honour a public library staff member, a library trustee, or a public library that has demonstrated a commitment to intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights.

The recipient of the Gordon M. Conable Award must have demonstrated a commitment to intellectual freedom and the Library Bill of Rights in various ways, including, but not limited, to the following:
* developed and promoted collections that include diverse points of view;
* provided programs that promote community dialog on controversial issues;
* created and nurtured an organizational climate that fosters an understanding of the Library Bill of Rights amongst the library staff, library board, and elected and appointed officials;
* initiated activities at the local, state, or national level that promote, support, or defend intellectual freedom, the Library Bill of Rights, or the First Amendment;
* guaranteed open access to library materials and services for children and young adults;
* guaranteed open access to electronic information;
* defended library materials, programs, or services when confronted with a censorship challenge.

The award consists of a $1,500 check and a commemorative plaque.
Sponsored by LSSI.
For information on other Intellectual Freedom awards, see http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/oifprograms/ifawards/intellectual.htm

More on the Lexington deaths during this weekend's torrential rain

I mentioned the other day that we'd had two deaths due to flooding here in Lexington. Here's more on that: Two women die when swept into a storm drain

One of the women, a nurse, had made it through the standing water when her friend, a pharmacy student, called for help and the former made her way over to the latter. Both women were swept into a storm drain and found dead some distance away.

You usually think of flooding in Kentucky in rural areas (and the death toll in the state has risen to something like 10 for that weekend). But this happened at an intersection that most of us in Lexington pass regularly--it's right by campus and on the busiest road in the city, not far from downtown. The water was about knee deep. The cab the two women were in was turned away from the intersection, and while the police officer was dealing with that, the women, both 25, decided to get out and walk the remaining 100 yards to one's apartment. It was dark, and I've heard that the water seemed still on the top, but had a powerful current underneath. The culvert where the women were swept away had a slippery slope that probably couldn't be seen in the deep water.

Sadly, one of them could have survived if she hadn't gone back to help her friend. But she died trying to save someone; that says a lot about her character. My thoughts are with the families and friends of the two women.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Menthol cigarettes may be harder to quit

according to a study looking at the differences between menthol and regular cigarettes, those who smoke them, and long-term outcomes for those smokers trying to quit. It has certain racial implications, since more blacks than whites smoke menthol, due to cultural differences and marketing by the big tobacco companies--which may help explain the disparities in diseases that result from smoking among the black community. There was no difference in how dangerous the menthol ones were compared to regular cigarettes, but since they apparently taste better, they may be more difficult to quit.

I don't smoke myself (thankfully, I'm one of two who don't in my immediate family, and we've buried two of them from lung cancer and emphysema respectively). But I do, unfortunately, sell cigarettes as part of my duties as a gas station attendant. A friend is convinced that I will damage my karma by doing so, and he may be right. Certainly anecdotally I've seen that blacks seem to prefer Kools and Newports (both menthol) than say, Marlboro Lights, which mainly seem to be preferred by white smokers. Blacks also overwhelmingly buy cigars and cigarillos. Likewise, Virginia Slims are almost exclusively a women's cigarette, again not surprisingly, due to the marketing of that product.

In a related matter, the suit against the tobacco companies concerning their use of 'light' and 'low-tar'--both of which are designed to make them seem healthier when they aren't--has been given class action status and will proceed. Companies may be forced to retract their claims and change their branding because of it.

I do think ultimately it is the person's decision to smoke. However, the tobacco companies have gone to a lot effort to mislead smokers and market a very addictive and dangerous product and should be held accountable for their actions.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

How horrible

Three children were found dead hours after the a woman was charged with killing their mother and her unborn baby. The mother seems to have been knocked unconscious and then the child inside her was cut out of the womb supposedly with a pair of scissors. She was seven months' pregnant. The foetus did not survive.

This was in East St. Louis, Missouri, the same state with the recent case of a mother of a newborn was slashed in the throat and her baby stolen. In that case, the baby has been reunited with her family and a woman has been charged in the attack.

A woman is at a greater risk for being a victim of violence or murder when she is pregnant, although it is usually due to domestic disputes. Pregnancy puts a lot of pressure on the family dynamics. Apparently it also brings out those obsessed with having a child of their own, or at least the attention of doing so. But I have to admit, I worry occasionally about the girls at work who are pregnant, because frankly there are those lunatics out there who do things like this.

Deadly deluge

Seven Die Across Kentucky Due to Heavy Rain, Floods

including two here in Lexington. According to one police officer, there could have easily been more. Two girls were rescued by officers in the Tates Creek area because the officers happened to hear screams. The cops and other emergency workers were pulling extra hours due to the number of calls. I, for one, appreciate all they do, even if I have grumbled the few times I've been pulled over.

Friday, September 22, 2006

L'Shanah Tovah

Tonight begins Rosh Hashanah, Jewish New Year. Happy New Year to all of you out there who celebrate it, and a special new year's wish for YKWIA.

Happy Anniversary

to Dwana and Eric, celebrating five years of marriage (yes, they married right after the September 11 attacks, and still flew off to their honeymoon). Congratulations! It's the Wood anniversary, by the way, of all things.

A banned book site spotlighting Mark Twain

Banned Books and Censorship
Mark Twain's books and shorter writings on political and social issues have been targets of book banning and censorship campaigns since Huckleberry Finn was published in 1885 and they remain controversial today. Our Banned Books Week special highlights Mark Twain's banned books, censorship of his shorter writings, quotes on book banning, and the ten most frequently challenged books of 2003 and 1990-2000.

A banned book videoconference for high school and college students

Banned Books: Virtual Panel Discussion

And again, anyone surprised?

You Are 64% Abnormal

You are at medium risk for being a psychopath. It is somewhat likely that you have no soul.

You are at high risk for having a borderline personality. It is very likely that you are a chaotic mess.

You are at medium risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is somewhat likely that you are in love with your own reflection.

You are at high risk for having a social phobia. It is very likely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.

You are at medium risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is somewhat likely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

Okay, time to go to bed, now that quizzes have worn off my pissiness. 'Night.

Was there any doubt?

And I'm certainly cranky, now. :)

You Are Oscar the Grouch

Grumpy and grouchy, you aren't just pessimistic. You revel in your pessimism.

You are usually feeling: Unhappy. Unless it's rainy outside, and even then you know the foul weather won't last.

You are famous for: Being mean yet loveable. And you hate the loveable part.

How you life your life: As a slob. But it's not repelling as many people as you'd like!

Unprofessional much?

On my cellphone's voicemail:
Ms. Rowan, this is So-and-So from Place to be Unnamed. I'm going to have to cancel our appointment tomorrow at 3 [this was a job interview]. We had a couple of strong candidates today [the first day of interviews] and so we've decided to go ahead and take them through second interviews and cancel the rest. We will call you though, if these don't work out and we decide to go back to the first round of interviews.

I won't repeat what I said when I heard it, although I think the situation definitely called for an expletive. Okay, maybe this is how they do things in the podunk little town they're from (it was an institution in rural Eastern Kentucky, with most duties here in Lexington, but then monthly trips to said location), but in the big world, it seems to me that most places pick which candidates they want to interview--where the first main selection starts--then (shocking as it must seem) interview them, then decide who to call back. A friend of mine is convinced (and I think he's right) that 'strong candidate' probably means they know someone who goes to church with someone who's from the town.

Which makes me believe that they don't really care about getting the best person for the job, and frankly, if they're that dismissive before you even meet them, I don't want to work for them. So it's their loss, period. Perhaps this does explain their high turnover (there have been 3-4 librarians in the time I've had my job).

And just so you know, I don't really have a bias against podunk little towns (I've lived in my share). True, I didn't want to live there (their main claim to fame was a local boy who played football at UK then went on to an NFL team), but I wouldn't have minded travelling for hours to get there on a monthly basis. Besides, the clientele was (from what I gathered pre-interview) from all over the US and even the world. I think I would have done an excellent job for them. And even if they decided I wasn't the person for the job, they'd at least have made that decision based on seeing and talking to me, since on paper I was obviously worth checking out. I'm just a bit peeved at the moment, although all in all it's probably for the best. I have a suspicion that I wouldn't fit in well.

Thank you, D, for finding the ad in the paper. It was, I suppose, worth a try.

Have any of you had this happen? Am I missing some sort of new trend in interviewing/pissing off potential employees? What would you say if they called you back after all that wanting you to interview? My first thought was to trot that expletive out again, but of course, that would also be unprofessional. I'm thinking something along the lines of, 'I'm sorry, but given your treatment of your candidates, I cannot imagine putting myself at the mercy of such an organisation as an employee.' Oh, who am I kidding? 'F*** you' or at least 'you've got to be joking' will do quite nicely. :)

On a brighter note, I'm starting to learn how to do foot pressure readings for the extra hours I'll be putting in at the hospital whilst a co-worker is on maternity leave. I must admit, I'm excited and a little scared, too. I mean, me, doing something clinical? Still, it looks fairly simple and I just need to take the rapport I have with people as a librarian (and gas station attendant) and put it to work with patients, right?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

And her Jewish husband died never knowing

US widow deported over Nazi past

Elfried Rinkel was a guard at the Ravensbruck labour camp in Germany for just under a year. Although she was never a member of the Nazi party, she worked with an SS-trained attack dog to shepherd inmates back and forth from slave labour each day. An estimated 90,000 people died at that camp.

After leaving Germany for America in 1959, she married her husband, a German Jew who had himself escaped the Holocaust. He died in 2004, never knowing his wife's secret. She also gave to Jewish charities, perhaps in way of atonement. She was deported September 1st, presumably back to Germany, since she maintained her citizenship there.

Can you imagine how her relatives must feel? There must be a good deal of shock. They don't say whether the couple had children or whether she herself converted to Judaism. Many commented on what a sweet little old lady she was, and what a loving relationship the two shared. I wonder what would have happened had he known? Surely it would have changed the relationship forever.

We live in a complex world, where people make decisions which will haunt them their entire lives. Mrs. Rinkel made a terrible decision when she took that job as a guard, and another when she chose to hide it. Granted, it was a little less than a year compared to 47 years of no doubt doing good things. But for 90,000 people--and millions more--those years were stolen. I can't imagine having this sort of secret in the family.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Fat phobia

Fear of fat: attitudes toward obesity; the thinning of America Nutrition Today

The Wooley's observed that the attitudes expressed [about obesity] were, in part, a reflection of the experience as growing up as the daughters of weight-conscious mothers. These mothers had been the first generation to generally reject the association of motherhood with being 'bosomy and round'. Their daughters had been urged to 'have it all'--self-actualisation through beauty, career, and maternity.

I wonder how attitudes towards fat will change as our population gets fatter and fatter. We are a nation (and beyond that, there is the Western world) phobic of fat, yet becoming more obese as our environment changes to abundant, cheap food and less activity.

And one for my new character in the game

Joshua Daniel Adler, whose very first mission never got off the ground, literally, as the plane crashed midway to his destination. Currently he's recuperating in a Chicago hospital. Josh is a photojournalist whose pictures graced the pages of magazines such as National Geographic, until that terrible experience in the Amazon. Now he is a highly trained martial artist trying to keep Cthulhoid things from Earth.

It's a Lisa avatar!

From Yahoo!:

Me with Cerys (okay, so I'm not anywhere near that glamourous looking, but it's the closest I could come up with what I had to work with. At least they had plus size clothes).

I had had an avatar for awhile through Yahoo! mail, but a new player in the game reminded me of how useful they were for characters, and now you can download it (and upload it to other things like blogs). :)

Could it be anything but?

Your Blog Should Be Purple

You're an expressive, offbeat blogger who tends to write about anything and everything.
You tend to set blogging trends, and you're the most likely to write your own meme or survey.
You are a bit distant though. Your blog is all about you - not what anyone else has to say.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The reason public health officials designate them as 'men who have sex with men'

rather than gay, straight, or bisexual.

Nearly 10% of 'straight' men admit to having sex with another man in the past year', with 70% of them married and the majority not using condoms as a protection against HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

It was ambiguous as to whether researchers were surprised that so many men did have sex with men or that they admitted to it, but certainly the former doesn't surprise me, given what I know about men in restrooms, rest stops, and who knows where else.

It does make you wonder though, if they are really gay or bisexual men in denial, then does that raise the gay percentage to more in the 20% range, making a fifth of all men gay? Just a thought.

Not the best reaction to hearing you're going to be a grandparent

Race a factor when parents kidnap 19-year-old daughter and transport her across state lines to force her to have an abortion

The father is black and has just begun serving a 6-month prison sentence, both of which apparently upset the parents so much that they chased their daughter down, tied her up, put her in a car, and headed from Maine towards New York. She escaped in New Hampshire by convincing them she had to use a restroom. They deny the charges, but a .22 calibre gun and various other accoutrements were found in the car. The parents are facing several years of prison for their supposed actions.

Shave Bush's Head :)

Shave Bush's Head Petition
We, the undersigned, now recognize that the constitutional division between church and state has been diminished to the point where we can and do demand that President George W. Bush’s head be shaved and his scalp be searched for the number 666, which the president’s own stated religion specifies will make him unfit to serve in his present capacity. The president’s history and present behavior has caused us to suspect that he is none other than Lucifer himself, and we hereby demand that he undergo this process of proper identification before he is allowed to make any more decisions that concern the lives of others.

Thanks, YKWIA, for the link!

Monday, September 18, 2006

As much as I sometimes squirm and cringe

when my best friend tells me something with his unerring candour, I appreciate it. What drives me mad is when someone has a personal problem with me and rather than speak to me directly about it they go to someone else and ask that person to 'talk to me', when in fact it's none of that person's business. This has happened several times at the hospital; the latest and majority of times the go-betweeen has been my boss.

Why is it that no one seems to have trouble giving me compliments or positive feedback, but a the hint of a problem, they run to my boss and involve her? This was a personal financial matter, not related to my department's budgeting or anything like that. I had a couple of small cheques to the cafeteria that didn't go through because I didn't realise there was still a debit out. I'm paying the cheques, that's not an issue. The problem I have is why couldn't the finance person just have come to me about it rather than involve my boss? It was none of her business. Now I feel embarrassed and angry. Grrr.

Getting ready for

2006 BBW; Read Banned Books: They're Your Ticket to Freedom

Friday, September 15, 2006

I was the first person to vote in this poll

Should UK provide domestic-partner benefits to its employees? and after reading the discussion, had to chime in (message #46). So far the yeses are outweighing the naysayers, and most of the comments have also been positive.

Mental illness just sucks for all concerned

Woman with multiple personalities sentenced in death of husband

and is some cases there's no really 'good' solution that protects the person and others. Granted, there are a lot of mentally ill people who would never hurt anyone, even among the truly psychotic. But for that small percentage that do...well, it's a tragedy for everyone.


Domestic Partner Benefits At University Of Kentucky
were approved by the University Staff Senate by secret ballot with a margin of 2-1 for the benefits. Still, there are hurdles to go over, but yipee!!!

Be prepared

Fighting Censorship: Guidelines for Libraries has the story. For the actual guidelines, check them out here.

For those in the DC area this coming week

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE - History of Medicine Division
Wednesday, September 20, 2006, 2:00-3:15 pm, Lister Hill Visitors Center, Bldg 38A, NLM; Bethesda, MD

The Art of Medicine On Stage: An Historical Perspective

Speaker: Angela Belli, PhD, St. John's University The physician-patient relationship has been depicted in plays created from earliest times to the present, including those of Sophocles, Shakespeare, and a number of modern playwrights. The focus in such works is often on the merits of empathy and "tender charity" in the treatment of physical and psychic disorders. Particularly in periods when scientific knowledge was severely limited, a physician's ability to nurture a patient's wounded spirit has been foregrounded as a much-needed skill capable of effecting a cure. A number of contemporary dramatists, cognizant of the intersecting strands of medical discourse, have taken as their subject the view frequently held by patients and supporting medical ethicists that as medical knowledge has advanced, the practice of nurturing the spirit has appeared to regress or even been lost.

Responding to the issues of the times and emphasizing the need to recover the spirit of empathy as advanced in the dramas of their predecessors, modern playwrights have reaffirmed the essential humanistic perspective with which scientific practice must be infused to create an art of medicine.

Angela Belli is Professor of Literature at St. John's University in New York City.

All are Welcome

Note: The next history of medicine seminar will be on Tuesday, October 17, 2006 from 2:00-3:15pm, in the Lister Hill Auditorium; NLM's Bldg 38A. Dr. Herbert Reynolds of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute will speak on "How Laennec Changed Medical Practice."

Sponsored by the History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine. Sign language interpretation will be provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact Stephen Greenberg at (301-435-4995), e-mail greenbes@mail.nih.gov, or call the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).
Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are advised to consult the NIH Visitors and Security website at:

Food and money

Food represents security and comfort to me; it always has had more emotional baggage than merely being sustenance. I've known that for some time, and certainly anyone looking at me might guess that as well. But when I get low on food two things happen, both apparently a kind of panic thing. One, I eat more. No, for all my ability to hoard things, I can't do it with food. I can't eat just a little every day. Instead, I eat too much, and then go totally without. Which brings us to the second thing...I spend money, mainly because I feel panicked without food. Almost every time I've bounced my checking account, it's been over groceries or prepared food. Which is sort of sad, since I could get a lot more groceries for the amount I've paid in fees. Sigh.

But something to watch in the future.

Money also represents a certain amount of security for me, but if I have extra, I can't seem to hold on to it. Instead, I nickel and dime myself to death, buying magic beans.

This seems to indicate that I don't really want security, that I'd rather float adrift admidst the drama of my life. It must be the reason I continually mess up things, why I make 'mistakes'.

It amazes me the more I realise or have my motivations pointed out to me that I am one really wily person, if I could just tap into those powers of manipulation, reinventing history, justifying, lying, and all the other things I do for good. :) I mean, I do them without effort. On the other hand, I wouldn't spend nearly the effort that I do to avoid things that are unpleasant. For someone who is somewhat lazy, I spend way too much effort in being lazy. :)

Just a peek into my psyche.

No excuse anymore for allowing genocide

Clooney, Wiesel urge UN to end Darfur genocide
'If in other times, people could claim ignorance of terrifying events far away, today no one can, and no one should,' Elie Wiesel said. 'Everything is known -- known to anyone willing to listen.'

How utterly appropriate

Nicknamed world 'Xena' to be known as Eris

Eris being the Greek Goddess of discord...it is an erraticly orbiting dwarf planet that is actually larger than Pluto and who was majorly responsible for the demotion of the former planet in status.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

What is your favourite banned book?

The American Library Association is doing a survey. Readers of all ages can vote for their favorite challenged book. Organized by age group, the books all have faced expulsion from U.S.schools and libraries in the last 25 years. Votes will be tallied and announced Monday, October 2.

I had trouble getting it to take mine, so I may try again later. It seemed there were server problems. But I will include a couple of responses so I'll have them saved for later.

The book I chose was the Diary of Anne Frank. It won narrowly over To Kill a Mockingbird. I enjoyed both immensely as a teenager.

In response to Why is This Your Favourite Book? Do You Have Another One? I put:

Anne Frank's Diary did so much to put a face on the millions of people who perished in the Holocaust, particularly to young people her own age. The censorship of her words began with her own father, who felt some things did not reflect well on his family or were too racy. It's great to now have editions where that has been restored. But it's the sexual issues that particularly get challenged, and of course, it is an adolescent's nascent sexuality, which surely is of interest and use to young adults.

It was hard to choose between this and To Kill a Mockinbird. Anne's words, which are a true accounting rather than fiction, trumped this excellent story of racism.

In response to Why Should We Celebrate the Freedom to Read?

As a child, books were my lifeline. I would, over the summer, read six a day. Because I was somewhat a neglected child with limited experience in the world, books became my window into others' experiences and to other worlds of fantasy as well. Books stimulate the imagination and reading is as far as I'm concerned as important (and comforting) as eating. Those who would wish to take away books generally do not understand this love of reading or the importance that all ideas flourish openly.
I can not imagine a world in which I could not read.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this site before

The Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has an excellen site on the History of Medicine, mostly Western but including indigenous cultures, Vedic, Chinese, and Islamic medicine as well. Check it out.

A companion to C-SPAN's author interview series

Booknotes describes the book on which the author was interviewed, and it allows you to view the actual interview, get transcripts or classroom guides, or buy the video as well.

This was brought to my attention by a colleage searching for the interview for We Band of Angels, the story of the nurses captured by the Japanese at Bataan and Corregidor during World War II. It sounds well worth reading.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

UK taking first step to determining if they will offer domestic partner benefits

That would be so great. It would make them more competitive with other universities and allow families (yes, I know, not everyone accepts that definition, but they're families nonetheless) to reap the full benefit of their employment equally, regardless of marital status. There are a lot of hurdles to go over, though. This is just a step to form a committee to come up with a proposal and a pricetag. Who knows where it will go from there. But it is certainly the right thing to do, and I hope they go forward with it.

One person's view of Wikipedia

I don't happen to agree with Donna Bogatin's take on the giant cooperative encyclopaedia.

For one, I think she doesn't take into consideration three things: the immense peer review of Wikipedia (since anyone can edit, errors tend to be fixed quickly, rather than relying on an editorial staff's schedule), the sheer quickness in which information can be disseminated and verified, and the fact that traditional encyclopaedias--which are always compendia of extant knowledge, rather than breakers of new ground, also do not produce original research. An expert writing an entry may write about various theories that are extant, but he or she does not use this forum as a means to expound those of his or her own. In that manner, Wikipedia really is certainly within a long tradition of quantifying knowledge.

I was all set to blast the Democrat whose campaign

supposedly 'hacked' into Gov. Schwarzeneggar's system, then leaked a controversial audio file to the media (see, just because I'm a Democrat doesn't mean I won't mock stupidity or unethical behaviour, even in my own party).


It sounds very much like no hacking really took place, and that the stupidity lies in Schwarzeneggar's camp, which one, had such a stupid remark (involving Latinos and Blacks) captured, and two, that it was on their website freely available without password. It wasn't out in plain sight, true. But this is California, for crying out loud--I don't think they have a dearth of computer geeks who can handle basic website security.

It should be interesting to see how the political spinners translate to voters, and what the result will be.

Something I need to consider

From today's DailyOM:

The idea that we have to suffer or live in poverty in order to be spiritual is an old one and can be found in the belief systems of many philosophies. Most of us carry this idea around subconsciously, and we may be holding ourselves back from financial or emotional well-being, believing that this is what we must do in order to be virtuous, spiritually awake, or feel less guilty for the suffering of others.

While it's true that there can be a spiritual purpose to experiencing a lack of material well-being, it is rarely intended to be a permanent or lifelong experience. What we are meant to find when material or emotional resources are in short supply is that there is more to our lives than the physical realm. Intense relationships and material abundance can distract us from the subtler realm of the spirit, so a time of deficiency can be spiritually awakening. However, once we recognize the realm of spirit, and remember to hold it at the center of our lives, there is no reason to dwell in poverty or emotional isolation. In fact, once our connection to spirit is fully intact, we feel so compelled to share our abundance that lack becomes a thing of the past.

If you find that you are experiencing suffering in some area of your physical life, perhaps your spirit is asking you to look deeper in your search for what you want. For example, if you want money so that you can experience the feeling of security but money keeps eluding you, your spirit may be asking you to understand that security is not to be found through money. Security comes from an unshakable connection to your soul. Once you make that connection, money will probably flow more easily into your life. If relationships elude you, your spirit may be calling you to recognize that the love you seek is not to be found in another person. And yet, ironically, once you find the love, your true love may very well appear. If you feel stuck in suffering to live a spiritual life, try to spend some time writing about it. The root of the problem will appear and it may not be what you expected. Remember, the Universe wants you to be happy.

I really rather think the Universe is indifferent, rather than wanting me to be happy. But, I think there's some truth to the above in my case, although only on the most superficial level. I want to be seen as more spiritual, more connected to the greater whole, and on some level want that for myself, too. But being poor and suffering have very different underlying reasons for me.

One, I am afraid of success. I feel as if in order to be a 'good girl' I must sacrifice all that I am and ever could be for others, partly because I don't believe I should or can succeed on my own, and partly out of the ability to be long-suffering and to make people feel sorry for me. Two, suffering is something in which I wallow and milk for all that it's worth for that same symapthy. By being pathetic, I can gain attention and support without truly taking responsibility for the drama that is largely caused by my own actions. A very good friend has, over the years, helped me to realise this, but it's still hard to admit, and a little shameful.

The question, of course, becomes whether I will ever stop this cycle of actions and events that keeps me from reaching my full potential both spiritually and materially. I would like to say yes, but my learning curve is somewhat flat at times, and past experience would disincline one from believing it. Still, one can hope for change, even if one fears it....

Cold. Wet. Falling. :(

The carpet is still drenched, although I'm lucky it didn't get to any of my books (there's only one stack on the floor, next to the door, but you never know. I seem to have an apartment suffering from major wicking action, as the floor in front of the water heater was totally dry, but the carpet is wet even at the entrance inside the bedroom).

I just took a cold shower because I'd rather have a couple of minutes' inconvenience rather than be overripe all day. But brrrr!

And at one point I slipped and nearly fell due to some water I'd tracked back into the kitchen.

And I had to temporarily turn the water back on to the toilet in order to go to the bathroom because the maintenance guy had turned it off last night because it wasn't filling up all the way and they're going to fix that too.


the good news is they're going to bring big blowers in to help dry the carpet, and then later today a plumber will come and they'll change out one water heater for another. So any inconvenience won't last long. And at least I do have hot water normally. Some people don't have access to anything like that. Plus, none of my things were damaged, and the only thing in the apartment damaged was the carpet, which in all likelihood I'm going to replace at the end of my tenancy. The walls and other floors are fine.

That is the second mini-flood I've had since I've been here. A leaking air conditioner cascaded water into a walk-in closet where we'd originally considered putting books, but my stepfather had spotted evidence of early leaks so I'd just had clothes in it. That one did cause some problems with mould, which I think is finally under control.

Also, I was able to fix someone else's toilet yesterday (I am, for all my clumsiness, somewhat mechanically inclined, although my spatial relations suck). And that someone bought me ice cream (Hawaiian Sundae) for my efforts to fix a printer and all the other things I'd done that day. So, once the maintenance guy left, I dug into that for a bit and it helped make things better.

Oy, vey. I have a long day ahead of me. I just hope I come home to hot water.

Eight Americas in terms of longevity

Research finds that geography, race, and income predict an average lifespan that varies based on which group in which you fall

Yay, Brad!

Brad to marry when gays can too


I came home an hour or so ago to find my kitchen and hallway drenched in water. My water heater had leaked all over them. One of the maintenance men came over, turned off the water and the correct circuit breakers, then shop vaccuumed the affected areas several times. He also made sure the heater didn't have any more water in it. Tomorrow they'll get a plumber out and replace the old heater with a new one. Until then, I have cold water but no hot.

Still, I'm kind of glad I rent, so I don't have to pay someone extra to do that for me.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Five years ago, at this time, the South Tower of the World Trade Centre in New York collapsed due to terrorist attacks.

Here is a short timeline:

8:46 Flight 11 strikes the North Tower
9:02 Flight 175 strikes the South Tower
9:37 Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon
9:59 The South Tower collapses
10:06 Flight 93 crashes near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, apparently after passengers attempted to wrestle control, thereby saving others on the ground at whatever the unknown target, most likely in Washington, DC
10:38 The North Tower collapses

For a detailed timeline of that day, go to 911Timeline.net (although you may want to take some of their comments with a grain of salt; they make some that might be considered more conspiracy theory than anything else)
For an extremely detailed timeline of events leading to and following the events, go to the Centre for Cooperative Research's Complete 9/11 Timeline

There are a total of 2,973 victims who died in the attack, along with 19 hijackers. Another 24 remain missing.

For a list of those who died, along with profiles, try
CNN's memorial page
For a look at the numbers involved, check out New York Metro. They are current as of a year after the tragedy.
And of course, there's the Wikipedia article on the attacks and their consequences

5 years ago, I heard about the attacks when I came into work, then like so many others watched as the events unfolded on television. When the towers collapsed, I was watching with a resident who was from New York. His fiancee went by the WTC daily, and he was worried for her. He could point to where relatives lived from the footage shot from above Manhattan. I couldn't imagine his worry and pain.

For those directly affected by this tragedy, I hope the last five years have brought some healing. For the families, responders, survivors, and those who toiled for months to piece through the wreckage, September 11th remains in the forefront of their lives. The rest of us can afford to set aside a little time each year to remember.

A contest just for librarians!

_____Calling Agatha Christie fans! _____

Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (A division of Workman) are releasing new editions of a several of Agatha Christie books. As a part of their promotion a contest open only to working librarians - the grand prize is a trip to London for two that includes airfare, hotel, and an invitation to tea at Brown's Hotel (supposedly the model for Bertram's Hotel) with Dame Agatha's grandson.

OTHER PRIZES: Three lucky runners-up will receive the complete AGATHA CHRISTIE COLLECTION, 24 hard covers in all, to be published between September 2006 and September 2007.

Winners will be selected by random drawing and announced at the end of September 2006. You need not be present at the drawing to win.

Enter before September 20, 2006. No purchase required.

Details, Official rules and Entry Form here:

Ethics of Tolerance in an Age of Violence is Never Simple

Ex-Iranian President Condemns Bin Laden

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I. Have. A. Bug. On. Me.

I love bugs, insects, spiders, etc. I've been known to shepherd baby praying mantises and unassuming spiders outside, much to my phobic friends' annoyance. I'll let bugs crawl all over me and it's fine.

But I hate when they're on me when I'm not expecting it. Something was in my hair, then down my back, just crawling away. I touched it long enough to tell it was pretty bit (at least a half inch around) and I did the dance of someone trying to dislodge a bug from her back and jerked my shirt off in one quick movement (fortunately I was in my living room at the time). Then I checked my shirt, but did not find the bug.

So either it's a wily bug, or I'm hallucinating. Okay, taking medicine and heading to bed--right now. 'Night.


A unique tribute to a Kentucky-bred naval officer, killed in the Pentagon during the 9/11 attacks.

The ancient Greeks saw true immortality in how you were remembered. Names such as Plato, Odysseus, Alexander, etc. prove to have a lasting quality.

For Edward T. Earhart, his immortality was assured by the naming of an undersea mountain between Australia and New Zealand the Earhart Seamount. A meteorologist whose job including knowing where all carriers were in relation to icebergs, Earhart was familiar with the area, having traveled there with the Navy.

His is not the only seamount named for a victim of 9/11. Earhart's seamount is one of a pair. The second is named for Earhart's co-worker, Matthew Flocco. Earhart went in the morning of the attacks in order to help Flocco with his new job.

On board Flight 77, the plane that crashed into the Pentagon, there were two National Geographic Society colleagues on their way to study the Channel Islands off the coast of California. There are seamounts named for them as well.

Appropriate, I think. It's interesting to see the various ways these people have been remembered--from Ale 8-1 (Earhart's family leaves one at his grave on his birthday and the anniversary of his death) to great underwater mountains. Like the makeshift memorials after 9/11, they tell a story and give insight into the personality and life of the person honoured.

I spent an hour

trying to sign onto My Space, since it's supposedly a good way to connect people. I thought it might be good for my family. After a lot of glitches and frustration, I still don't have an account, although it does recognise my e-mail as one in use. I just can't get beyond the sign up process, which breaks down when it asks you to invite friends. It just keeps giving an error, whether you skip the step or try to invite someone. It's not a known issue according to the Frequently Asked Questions, but it was also freezing up my browser so when I tried to e-mail them about it, it just would not work.

So, frankly, boo, hiss. I have better things to do than deal with buggy systems. I'll stick with separate services like Blogger and Flickr and leave the family networking to Yahoo!Groups. They don't seem to have trouble with functionality, and they're really good about addressing problems and announcing issues.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hmmm...sounds like me

From today's DailyOm:
There are scores of people in the world who seem to be magnets for calamity. They live their lives jumping from one difficult situation to the next, surrounded by unstable individuals. Some believe themselves victims of fate and decry a universe they regard as malevolent. Others view their chaotic circumstances as just punishments for some failing within. Yet, in truth, neither group has been fated or consigned to suffer. They are likely unconsciously drawing drama into their lives, attracting catastrophe through their choices, attitudes, and patterns of thought. Drama, however disastrous, can be exciting and stimulating. But the thrill of pandemonium eventually begins to frustrate the soul and drain the energy of all who embrace it. To halt this process, we must understand the root of our drama addiction, be aware of our reactions, and be willing to accept that a serene, joyful life need not be a boring one.

It can be a real challenge, especially if you happen to be bipolar or borderline (depending on which diagnosis is correct, or if it's both), to find a serene, joyful life. I haven't figured it out yet. But I hope to. Number one, I guess, is to stop making bad decisions and use my brain that has been subject to my own intellectual laziness and also a tendency to do anything that will hurt me in the short or long run due to the fact that I don't believe I deserve better.

Just some thoughts spilling over this morning. Ironically, the rest of this daily--well, I guess it's akin to those inspirational quotes from the Bible, except New Agey--involves using a journal to explore our need for drama and to learn serenity. I should probably blog more about my thoughts and feelings here than I do; it is, after all, may main journalling outlet. And goodness knows, I've blogged about enough sensitive topics that I already come off as a total loon. (Well, I hope I come across as a decent professional who struggles with issues in her personal life, but that's another discussion entirely).

I'm checking into this


Today's scene from my Li'l Cthulhu calendar

to celebrate the debut of "Star Trek" in 1966...

Cthulhu is in a Star Trek uniform saying, 'Dammit Jim, I'm an Elder God, not a doctor!'

You have to love it when two fandoms collide. Although Great Cthulhu is an Outer God, not an Elder God. Oh, goodness, I'm such a geek to like this.

I have two claw marks so perfectly spaced

as to look like they were caused by a vampire kitty.

Oh, wait, they were caused by a spitting, hissing, foaming at the mouth not-quite-undead psycho kitty. Did I mention Stephen Kingesque recently? Try pilling that cat.

Oh, yeah, what fun. At least I wasn't the only one he got. Still, it would have be nice for my previous wounds to have healed before bleeding again.


Thursday, September 07, 2006

A resource that's free to all schools and libraries

AwesomeStories.com, The Story Place of the Web has first-hand accounts of various events with relevant maps, pictures, artefacts, manuscripts and documents viewable to the reader. Individual subsriptions are $9.95 a year, with a free licence to libraries and schools Hundreds of thousands of stories have been categorised and made available through human-based searches which make it safe for an educational environment.

I learnt about this resource through Catherine Balkin, whose own husband was at the World Trade Centre during the 9/11 attacks and was one of the last to leave before the first tower collapsed. She is offering his story--which isn't on Awesome Stories, though they did try--to educators and librarians who are looking for free first-hand accounts of the events to share with sixth-graders and up. You can go to her website to get the address, and just request the account, which is about 9,500 words. Just put 'Send WTC story' in the subject line of your e-mail.

Check it out.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


the schedule isn't up at the gas station (and I know why, as my boss is still trying to find someone to work tomorrow night, which I can't, since I have a dental appointment that should run late), so I had to plot out the coming week based on an assumption as to when I'll work. If I can wake up early enough, I'll be back at the gym. Meanwhile, I have upcoming appointments, errand, and yes, the notes work scheduled,, but only for the coming week, and I'll have to do so on a weekly basis from there.

Yes, Y, 117 days indeed.

I didn't get any reading or take out the trash like I'd planned (I'll do the latter tomorrow morning once it's daylight), but it's been restful and pleasant nonetheless, a rare, unplanned day, and I didn't even have to go get my friend tonight from work, as he's off. So, I'm going to take Cerys out and go back to sleep for the night, hoping to wake up about 7 so I can go to the gym.

Good night.

Apparently we have a serial killer in our town

Police Search For Serial Killer After DNA Links Victims To Same Man

Police Form Task Force in Serial Murder Case

Troubled Lives, Cruel End

A nice gesture

Woman's friends show their colors

Y sent me this

Auroville, a universal city in the making

and yes, they have a library and archives. :)

It's a social and cultural experiment uniting people from many countries together to work and build a city devoted to higher consciousness and creating a sustainable environment in Tamil Nadu, India. The number of residents are just under 2000 and a form of English is the main language (but others are well represented). Auroville was based on principles of two visionaries (Mirra Alfassa, also known as the Mother, an Aegyptian/Turkish/French woman, and another an Indian guru, Aravind Ghose (Sri Aurobindo)). Both worked for many years to bring about a higher form of consciousness, a Supermind or Supramental, and eventually a superior and transforming race that would be a high above humanity as humanity is above animals. The Mother is quoted here:
Humanity is not the last rung of the terrestrial creation. Evolution continues and man will be surpassed. It is for each individual to know whether he wants to participate in the advent of this new species.

For those who are satisfied with the world as it is, Auroville obviously has no reason to exist.

The Mother, 1966

Auroville is an interesting experimental community devoted to bring together people of all backgrounds in a sustainable world with new ideas for educational, cultural, as societal harmony. Check it out.

Home at last; time for a nap

I went to my appointment with the nurse practitioner. We agree that the Lamictal is working to keep my mood stable whilst allowing for the full range of emotions. I had been concerned about tearing up whenever I encountered anything sad; but she pointed out that they were all appropriate times and asked it I had been a 'sensitive' child/adult. The answer is yes, of course. So apparently that's normal for me. I didn't realise it, but I was a little flat on the Paxil.

We're going to try Provigil for my ADD. As an added benefit, it should help with the daytime sleepiness I have, since it's actually a sleep apnea/narcolepsy drug. She was quite happy to hear she shouldn't have to justify the ADD use, which I presume is off-label, since I do have sleep apnea and sleep with a CPAP machine.

Speaking of sleeping, I have had my dinner (peanut butter sandwiches); time for a short nap and cuddle with my animals, since I have a rare free evening. It's my intention to get up, do some stuff around the house, devise a schedule for the game notes, maybe get a little reading in, and check out the new schedule at the gas station.

Long Reach of 9/11

Lung Problems for 9/11 Rescuers More Widespread

Providing long-range monitoring and treatment to these responders is essential. The long-term effects could include malignancies and other crippling lung diseases. In others, apparently the problems seem to resolve. Let's hope the latter is the case in most.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My cat is sneezing in quick succession

I wonder if he's allergic to ME? It would make us even.

Yes, he's still alive. Things have improved some and I have been spending money on other things than my pet's demise. I know it is only a matter of time. And he's getting thinner, despite eating like a horse. He doesn't have much room to be thinner, either. So, it really is time. I'll do it soon.

Nothing else to report. I came in from work and I'm settling in for a bit and playing on the computer until I go get a friend from work in about an hour. Then I definitely plan on sleeping. 'Night.

Monday, September 04, 2006

How very sad

Deadly Blaze Likely Caused by Candles

Six children, ages 3-14 died. The mother and three siblings survived, but were injured. They had been without power since May.

Too much labour

not enough fun. What an odd holiday.

Well, he died doing what he loved best, and it was very, very quick

Death of a Crocodile Hunter

which is some comfort now that the lively well-known Australian's antics finally came to an end with a stingray attack. Although I didn't really watch his shows, I had to admire his ability to juggle deadly animals and keep up such a commentary as was his trademark. You could tell he loved his work, and despite the apparent lack of sense, he took it seriously and with great care. His death was one of those things where the odds were really infinitesimal it would happen, and yet it did. Steve Irwin lived life to the fullest, and it's shocking that his life was stopped so abruptly--but it was a life doing what he loved, and there's a lot to be said for that. His family is in my thoughts.

Art imitates life...

And in a record, two characters from our game were disabled before they could even be sent on their first mission, as their plane was struck by lightning (and the wrath of Nyarlohotep, the Crawling Chaos), to plummet to the ground in a spectacular crash that was, actually, the result of random dice rolls. Both characters barely survived. It sucks to piss off a Dark God, but hey, that's what Guardians of the Light tend to do.

Meanwhile, another character fought the Colour Out of Space and managed to shred it at great cost to herself--her statistics now have heavy minuses, ranging from Strength and Constitution to her very appearance, as it dessicated and tried to simulataneously burn and freeze her.

You just have to love Call of Cthulhu.

Anyway, the game master has to be happy; three different characters--one for each player, actually, disabled in one game. And I very much think he killed off an non-player character on the ground during the plane crash. He's crafty that way.

Other than the game I haven't really had much of a holiday...I worked most of Saturday and then got called in for an hour or so Sunday when no one else showed up. Today I'm pulling part of a shift for one of those someone's, who is now no longer working at the gas station. Tomorrow, between both jobs, I'm working 11 hours. Gah.

Well, that's all for now. Hope you are having a better holiday, for those folks in the US, and for everyone else, I wish you a good day.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Well I finally got the fireworks I thought I'd missed

and I got out of work just in time to go over to the hospital to watch them. Idle Hour Country Club usually has their display on July 4th, but it rained then this year, so it was bumped to today. We knew at the hospital because security and Idle Hour keep in touch over it, so we can handle parking issues. There weren't a lot of people there, though, since it wasn't as publicised, which made it nice for getting back onto Richmond Road. The display itself was fun, a nice blend of big clovers and smaller fireworks, with lots of shapes and colours.

So now I'm here, eating dinner, enjoying some music and having electricity this weekend. I think I may sit on my massaging cushion and do some reading, after I take care of the animals.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Some good library feeds

recommended by various Chatty Librarians:

Librarian's Guide to Etiquette: http://libetiquette.blogspot.com/
Unshelved: http://www.overduemedia.com/ (syndicated here)
Library Link of the Day: http://www.tk421.net/librarylink/
LII New This Week: http://lii.org/
LIS Career News: http://liscareer.blogspot.com/
ALA Press Releases: http://www.ala.org/Template.cfm?Section=News
Musings of a Medical Librarian Maven: http://medicallibrarianmaven.wordpress.com/
Information Literacy: http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/
Kept-up Academic Librarian: http://keptup.typepad.com/academic/
ACRLog: http://acrlblog.org/
Librarian.net http://www.librarian.net
TameTheWeb.com http://www.TameTheWeb.com
WalkingPaper.org http://www.WalkingPaper.org

plus a blogroll with lots of feeds:

a directory of higher education feeds:

and a non-library one:
Post Secret http://postsecret.blogspot.com/

I know the national news has moved on

but here in Lexington we still have our flags at half-mast, the funerals are just beginning, and a pall of mourning hangs over the town in response to the crash of the plane at our airport earlier in the week. Local coverage continues, and the Herald-Leader has an excellent overview, including profiles of those aboard in a sort of memorial page, so if you are still interested, there's an excellent resource.

The crash and its aftereffects have featured highly on every front page of the paper since the accident. Today's photo was of the wife of an off-duty pilot who had been travelling to his next assignment, carrying her 16-month-old son, who was wearing his dad's pilot wings & epaulets on his tiny white shirt. For whatever reason--I seem to tear up at the least thing these days--that one photo brought tears to my eyes. He'd kept touching his dad's uniform, his mom said--as if looking for the father he'd never see again.

So, just as the tragedy is still real to the relatives who are left behind, we as a city continue to see images and profiles of the people we--and most were living in Lexington or surrounding counties--lost, and it's still real for us, too. As they work to figure out what series of events led to this--and it's generally not a single cause, but a conjunction of several, I'm sure even it will fade from the news. But, the sense of tragedy will remain. I've noticed that Lexington doesn't let go of its losses. The paper still prints follow ups to the story earlier this summer of the pregnant woman killed by falling concrete. People want to remember and celebrate the lives around them. That's one of the nice qualities about the city. I remember a former friend from New Jersey making fun of us for having things like car crashes on the evening news--he thought they were minor and would never had made it onto New York City's airwaves. But for us, it is news, it is a life lost, a reminder of the sweetness and transitory nature of life. And it makes me glad that I live somewhere that cares.

Frou frou but interesting

Lexington Couple Transforms a Basement into a Paris Streetscape