Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Two crafts: one dying, the other revived but trapped

First of all, the solar probe Ulysses:

Farewell, Ulysses: Lights Out for Solar Probe

Ulysses Hears the Siren's Song

Free Spirit Rover
[Design by Emil Petrinic - http://www.strangegoat.com/ - merchandise at http://www.cafepress.com/strangegoat]

There are videos that show efforts to free Spirit, but my attempts to embed the videos didn't work very well; the original wouldn't work and the update played automatically and had to be turned off. Sorry about that. I've included the links, though, and here's a story about what Spirit is doing in the meantime:

Spirit Rover Begins Making Night Sky Observations

Monday, June 29, 2009

In the 'World of Darkness'

specifically in the game Werewolf: the Apocalypse by White Wolf, these would be the Glass Walkers:

Gadget Blessings: Shinto Priest Protects Electronics From Bad Mojo
Japan's Shinto religion holds that nearly every object in the world, animate or inanimate, has a spiritual essence. Therefore, anything can be blessed, from a newborn child to an automobile. Priests at the Kanda Shrine, which overlooks Akihabara—Tokyo's mecca for consumer electronics—offer prayers for the well-being of gadgets.

In the game I play, the Gifts of the Glass Walkers and other tribes from this system have been incorporated as a system of witchcraft among humans, not werewolves. In the Werewolf system, the spirits are seen to be in all things. Most tribes deal with spirits of the Wyld, that of nature. The Glass Walkers see the spirits of the Weaver--of which technology is a part--as being a part of creation and tend to interact with them, unlike their brethren, at least as I understand the game. One of the characters in our game has a cell phone that was given to her by the Glass Walkers whose inner spirit makes sure that calls are never dropped, service never falters, that it cannot be tracked, etc. The author in the article above has had tremendously bad luck with cell phones either going dead or disappearing, and has his blessed by the Shinto priests, who believe in a cell phone's spirit. After the blessing, he has gone several months without problems. Maybe there is some truth in fiction. Maybe the creators of Werewolf were incorporating principles of Shinto, I don't know. But I was struck by the similarities.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I went to the dentist today

for two temporary crowns. One of the nice things about Dr Stech's office is that it is in front of a pond and they get lots of geese and other birds there. The geese had goslings earlier this year, but they're adolescents now. Here's a parent....

I got this the other day

because I was one of the first to apply for a grant. It's Tugger, the DOCLINE mascot! Cute. :) By the way, I took the picture with my new phone. :)


The moon rather reminds me of Dick Cheney in looks (and in being full of hot air), but it comes through in the end. Thanks to Cory over at Voyages Extraordinaires for the link to the video.

Yay, I got a new cell phone!

Nokia 6263
I got my cell phone in yesterday. I'm excited. As you probably know, I'm gadget girl. I've had the same cell phone for nine years. It's an old reliable Nokia 'brick' phone with a monochrome display and no real features. I finally decided I wanted something different.

The Nokia 6263 that I got has a lot of interesting features. It is a clamshell phone that has a music player, a camera, an FM radio, text messaging, instant messaging, e-mail (although I don't have a plan to cover that, so I'm not accessing my Gmail account through the phone). It's the first 3G-capable phone T-Mobile bought into.

If you read reviews of the phone, battery life is an issue. I played all day on mine, talked with customer service (I added an text messaging plan for Twitter), and the battery indicator light went down a bit after that. But I'm used to charging my other Nokia nightly or every other night, so I don't think that will be an issue for me. There was a certain tinniness to the call to customer service but that may have been isolated; I don't know yet. Otherwise the phone seems great. I've loaded some music to listen to at work today.

I guess that's all for now. I need to take out the garbage before the exterminator comes, and then stop by the local library branch. Have a great day.

Sad, but a life well lived

Doctor in gripping South Pole rescue dies: Trapped by weather, she treated her own breast cancer
'More and more as I am here and see what life really is, I understand that it is not when or how you die but how and if you truly were ever alive,' she wrote in an e-mail to her parents in June, 1999 from the South Pole.

Nielsen FitzGerald never lost her adventurous spirit and even returned to desolate Antarctica several more times.

'She had incredible zest and enthusiasm for life,' said her husband, whom she first met 23 years ago when they were both on vacation in the Amazon. 'She was kindest soul I ever met, she was intelligent, with a great sense of humor, and she lived each day to the fullest.'

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of this intrepid woman. My sympathies to her family and other loved ones.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Good news

I got the results of the MRI and there are no stress fractures, which makes me feel better. See, the ones I had before were in an area where a very large friend stepped on my foot years before and probably broke the bones then, so they were weaker and fractured with my weight and standing up to 10 hours a day at work. But if normal bone fractured, then there must be something wrong with my bone density or something. I haven't reached the age where they start scans yet, so I haven't had one. I so need to increase my calcium, though. I understand calcium citrate comes in something other than horse pills now. :)

What I do have, however, is a severe (she stressed that several times on the phone) case of peroneal tendonitis, so I have to wear the boot for at least a month. If the pain gets worse, then they want to take me to non-weight-bearing, so I'd need crutches. That would seriously be a problem at work. I will say that when in the boot I have no pain other than a spot on my leg where the boot's plastic rubs. I've been putting on band aids and wearing heavy socks (despite the fact that it's summer) in an effort to counteract that. Being diabetic, I have to be vigilant about eroding patches of skin.

Speaking of summer, I think I spent all day sweating. The hospital is air conditioned, of course, but I put a lot of boxes of children's books on a cart, took them to a closet, pulled out different boxes to unpack and put books on our clinic book cart, and put the newer ones (many were the same title, and I didn't want to overwhelm the clinic with too many of them at once) in the closet. I really worked up a sweat between pushing the cart with the boot on (although two people helped me out with that part) and toting boxes. I worked on that right up to time to go and went straight into errands in an unconditioned car, then over to a house where the air conditioning is turned off for reasons I won't go into. I also cooked over a stove there and did my laundry, so that raised the temperature around me even more.

So the first thing I did after getting home was take a shower. I'm clean, and I have a clean night shirt on, and this makes me happy, especially as I have both air conditioning and a fan if necessary.

Speaking of heat, on Friday I got my hair cut. I donated 10 inches of hair to Locks of Love, and the hair cut was free as a result. It's now very short, but I couldn't stand the long hair anymore even in a ponytail given the heat, so it's fine now, although when I perspire my hair as a whole goes damp, and then it starts to do a flip up. It's a little longer in the front than back, with layers. Here's a somewhat fuzzy picture:

I like it, but I'm not used to it yet. I'm used to flipping my hair up on the pillow when I go to bed, for example. But it doesn't get tangled and it's really easy to take care of. I can poof it up a little with mousse and a hair dryer, but this is just me after a quick shower and not doing anything but running a comb through it.

Heaven help me I am not photogenic in the least.

Well, that's all for now. I think I'll turn in early tonight.

The reason I still cross my sevens nearly fifteen years after German class

Have you seen the Marshalls 'Bjorn' ad? I can't find a copy of it online just now but it goes something like this. They show a designer. This is Bjorn. Bjorn is European. This means he has cool European hair and clothes. It also means that he makes those cool 'ones' that look like 'sevens'. They show him writing the aforementioned '100' that to an American would look like '700'. Of course, this means Bjorn orders seven times more shirts than he meant to, and we can sell them to you at reduced prices. [Not an exact transcript; I'm pulling from my imperfect memory, but you do get the gist, hopefully.] I also cross my Z's. That's from physics, not German. :)

Funny how you pick these things up. Anyway, I thought it was a hilarious commercial, and it somehow made all my semesters of German worthwhile (even the part where the Frau would not let us leave during a fire drill due to a test)...that woman was like a Doberman in terms of discipline, but I remember her now quite fondly, despite my fear of her at the time.

A sad tale but a heartwarming one as well, of what big business can do with a heart

Pixar fulfills dying girl’s wish to see ‘Up’: 10-year-old with cancer couldn’t go to theater, studio brought DVD to house

By the time 'Up' hit the theatres, Colby Curtin was rapidly losing her battle with cancer and was too sick to go to the cinema. So the studio came to her, sending an employee with a DVD, stuffed characters, and memorabilia, for a private screening at home. She died later that night.
Her mother said one of the memorabilia left by the Pixar employee was an 'adventure book' based on a scrapbook that, in the movie, is kept by the [late] wife of the main character [who floats his house away with balloons to take the trip he never managed to make when she was alive].

'I’ll have to fill those adventures in for her,' Lisa Curtin said of her daughter.

At least it gave them some comfort, and a little girl precious moments of happiness. The best thing of all is that the news didn't come from Pixar; they haven't even commented. It wasn't some self-promoting gimmick, it was a real gesture towards a family stricken by the impending death of a young girl.

That's class.

This is nice

. E I L I R . by ~HyperStrudel on deviantART

On a lark, I was looking for a Twitter post of mine via Google and found this instead. See, my middle name, Eilir, means butterfly, although in Wales it is normally a man's name, but according to a Welsh baby name book it is now used for both sexes. I'd like to have a poster of this (and not just because it has my name on it). :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Oh, just one more before bed

I have always admired Joan Baez, her music, and her principles. But the 45 I had as a child was this one, and although it is a cover of The Band's song, I will always associate it with her (even though she mangled the original lyrics some). I am a Southerner by birth and spent much of my life in the South, and this song called to me even at the age of four:

Incidentally, here are the original lyrics written by Robbie Robertson, with Joan's changes in brackets:

Virgil Caine is the [my] name, and I served [drove] on the Danville train,
'Til Stoneman's [so much] cavalry came and tore up the tracks again.
In the winter of '65, we were hungry, just barely alive.
By May tenth, [I took a train to] Richmond had [that] fell, it's [it was] a time I remember, oh so well,

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, when [and] all the bells were ringing,
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, and all the people were singin'. They went,
Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na,
Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na,
Na, Na, Na

Back with my wife in Tennessee, when [and] one day she called [said] to me,
Said [--] 'Virgil, quick, come and see, there goes the Robert E. Lee!'
Now I don't mind [them] choppin' wood, and I don't care if the money's no good.
Ya take what ya need and ya [Just take what you need and] leave the rest,
But they should never have taken the very best.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, when [and] all the bells were ringing,
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, and all the people were singin'. They went,
Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na,
Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na,
Na, Na, Na

Like my father before me, I will work the land, [I'm a working man]
And like my brother above [before] me, who [I} took a rebel stand.
He was just eighteen, proud and brave, but a Yankee laid him in his grave,
And I swear by the mud [blood] below my feet,
You can't raise a Caine back up when he's [it's] in defeat.

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, when [and] all the bells were ringing,
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, and all the people were singin'. They went,
Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na,
Na, Na, Na, Na, Na, Na,
Na, Na, Na

Some time after the 1971 recording she said that she'd never seen the lyrics written out and had misheard them when learning the song. Since then she's changed how she sings it to reflect the original, apparently.

Enjoy. Good night.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Have I ever mentioned how much I like folk music?

Listening to:

and as a special bonus, even though it's not folk music and the embedding is disabled, is Alexandra Burke's rendition of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'. (I am also highly impressed by the efforts of the set designers and crew who lined up so many candles in perfect harmony. Watch the video and see what I mean.) She has a beautiful voice, and won Britain's 'The X-Factor'.

Today I:

  1. Sweated...a lot. It's very muggy and got up into the 90s today.
  2. Decided that I'd had enough with long hair, especially in mugginess. I had my hair cut to the nape of my neck and donated to Locks of Love.
  3. Signed up with T-mobile for a non-contract plan that will allow me to actually talk on my cell phone with people rather than have Twitter-like conversations because I'd get 35 minutes at a time with my prepaid account. I get 300 minutes per month (should be plenty), nights and weekends free, and five numbers whether cell or land line that I can call for free for $39/month. I got a $200 phone for $30 that has a camera/video, music, FM radio. It comes with a memory card and a Bluetooth headset for hands-free calling. The only downside so far is that because I have a T-mobile prepaid phone number, I can't transfer it to the new plan and will have to get another number. The phone model has mixed reviews (complaints are mostly about battery life, but I charge mine every night or two, so I think I should be okay).
  4. Was one of the few people inside at the hospital because many were volunteering with a sports clinic outside--in the muggy heat.
  5. Worked truck night. We are being decimated. One woman is in the hospital with a 102 degree fever (and she's pregnant, so I'm worried about her). One is out of town preparing for a relative's impending death. Another is getting over food poisoning, and I'm gimpy (can't go up the ladder easily with the boot on--I almost fell the other day) and having sinus issues or mild cold. That leaves the hyper girl and the manager at 100%, as far as I know.
  6. Fixed (I hope!) a computer software issue for a friend.

I did other stuff, of course, but those were the main ones. How was your day?

Unless you are heartless

you will cry if you watch this video:

'Concrete Angel' by Martina McBride (Sorry, the embedding is disabled)

I've always liked Martina McBride's music (especially 'Independence Day'), but I had not heard this song or seen the video. Thanks, YKWIA, for showing it to me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Short and sweet

These three Twitter posts say it all:

eilir: Tomorrow I get to fix the car. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!
less than 5 seconds ago from web

eilir: I am so not wearing the air boot on my foot when I sleep. It is too clunky and hot. I can't even stand socks on my feet, much less this!
less than 5 seconds ago from web

eilir: Snot! Effusive snot to the point of not being able to breathe out of nose! I hate allergies/colds!
less than 5 seconds ago from web

[but I'm not going to take the codeine/phenergan cough syrup again since I overslept this morning as a result]

I'm very tired and I have to be at the auto shop at 8 am. I'm going to bed now. Good night!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Last night I came in from work and just passed out. I've had a sore throat for a couple of days. Now I'm sniffling and coughing, the latter bad enough that sometime when I was up during the night I took some cough syrup with phenergan and codeine, and that helped me sleep.

Yesterday was also the first day I wore the boot. I forgot how clunky and Frankenstein-like it is. I couldn't bring myself to sleep in it, as bad as I felt already. I'll do that tonight. But last night I just had to have the thing off of me.

I am so glad tomorrow is the day the car gets fixed, barring any complications. Yesterday the buses got trapped in the transit centre due to fire trucks. I'd taken one to the pharmacy to get some baby aspirin (which keeps blood clots from forming in the leg with the boot) and the next bus just never came, and the one after that was late, so I was about 10 minutes late for work. It was truck night, and I mostly ran the register and put away a few things since I couldn't really get up on the ladder to put away cigarettes.

Okay, I got up, checked to make sure I got paid today, and now I'm going back to sleep for a little while. My head hurts. Maybe I should take some of that aspiring now. I'm thinking aspirin and ibuprofen together are not a good combination. The CPAP machine helps me breathe when I'm sniffly. I hope I feel better soon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I feel like I have walked all over creation today

although that's an exaggeration, of course. I did walk over to the doctor's office today to see about my ankle. I have peroneal tendonitis and a possible stress fracture in my foot. I have an appointment for an MRI on Friday. They asked me if I were claustrophobic and I said yes. Apparently if you are they sedate you and you have to have someone drive you. I am the main driver, so I really don't have anyone to drive me, unless Margaret was free. So I said I'd just work through it. Only my waist down has to go in the machine. When I had the stress fractures in my other foot a couple of years ago I had trouble with the MRI but managed to get through it okay. Now when they did my head I had an open MRI and felt much better.

The doctor had a hard time trying to fit a boot on me because although my feet are very small, my calves are large, and the uppermost strap wouldn't close. She sent me across the street to a brace office, but they weren't in my insurance network. Since it would have been next Monday before I could really go to another orthotics office, I said I would go ahead and pay out of pocket, which in this case meant $250 out of my flexible spending account. But when I saw the orthotist, I mentioned that I had a boot that had been on my other foot. They're universal, and although he couldn't say for certain that it would help in this case, he suggested trying it and seeing. It's shorter than the one the doctor tried and therefore the calf issue is moot. They didn't charge me for the consult. I got to the bus stop before realising I'd left my umbrella, had to go back, and then managed to catch the bus to work.

I used some points I'd built up at Papa John's to get a free pizza today. That's pretty much held me all day. I talked to a friend who was really down and upset. I hoped I helped her. Then I went over to another friend's to do some work for him. I got in from there about an hour ago.

I'm looking forward to getting the car fixed on Thursday. I hope it won't be too expensive. It's also the day that LexTran rides are free. I haven't decided whether to take the day off or go to work during the repair and going back out to pick up the car. Thursday is our catered employee appreciation cookout, and we get a gift from the hospital. Although I don't eat the hamburgers, hot dogs, or baked beans (which have meat in them), they usually have garden burgers that have been cooked separately. So it would be nice to be there. I'm leaning towards that, especially given that I was out two days last week for the museum and the seminar, and I'll have to leave early Friday for the MRI.

Tomorrow and Wednesday I'm working from 10 am to 10 pm, with only a bus ride down Richmond Road between jobs. In theory I should be off from the store on Thursday and work 6-10 on Friday (another reason I couldn't do the valium sedation for the MRI).

I did my good deed for the day during my wait for the bus home. A pit bull puppy had wandered out of a house and the little boy who was holding the door open and calling it was being ineffectual. Of course, it came over to me, being the only other person around and it being a curious pup. I picked it up and brought it back over to the townhouse entrance. Fortunately the bus didn't come for another few minutes.

I meant to mention the other day that there is an advantage to riding the bus and walking down the road--you notice so much more along the side of the road. For example, as we passed the reservoir on Richmond Road the other day there was a turtle or tortoise sunning itself, its head bobbing up and down. There are also lots of geese with their goslings there. There were the daisies the other day, of course, but at the inbound bus stop across from the hospital there is a patch of tall yet small-flowered thistles that butterflies really love. I'm sure when they go to seed the birds will be all over them. When I used to live over by the hospital and walked, there was a creek where I'd stop and watch the fish for awhile.

Speaking of which, my platy mom has been having more babies. I'm not sure how many I have now, but the first ones are over a quarter of an inch now and a darker orange. The black swordtail is pregnant too. Thursday I hope to take some water over to Animal House to have it tested to see if it's okay. If so, I want to get an Amazon lily and a couple of golden snails at the very least and maybe a catfish or algae eater of some sort.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Budding young sociopath or misunderstood and maligned?

18-year old charged in Florida cat mutilations

Police investigated over 30 cat deaths in the Miami area where residents have been horrified by a series of cat mutilations/deaths. Tyler Hayes Weinman was charged today with 19 counts each of animal cruelty and improperly disposing of an animal body and four counts of burglary in the deaths.

If the police have their man, then I hope they throw the book at him. Besides the general consideration of how this killer has upset lives of loving families who have lost their pets in chilling ways, research suggests that those who torture or kill animals often eventually make their way up to people. It is a red flag in the past of young sociopathic killers.

Of course, if he's being made a scapegoat and is innocent, that's wrong. And if he is innocent, it's a shame that police took him in for questioning on his prom night, in tuxedo, making him miss the dance.

But if he is guilty...thank the Gods they caught him now. I don't know what Florida or local laws are for animal cruelty--some places are very lax, others more stringent. But if he is guilty I'd like to see him in prison for a good long time.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

By the way

The seminar I attended yesterday as part of our Kentucky Medical Library Association meeting, 'The Librarian and the Evidence: Our Role in EBHC', was excellent. The instructor was Lisa Traditi of the University of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Library. I knew very little about Evidence-Based Practice (aka Evidence-Based Medicine aka Evidence-Based Health Care) and it was a good overview of what EBP is and how librarians can be invaluable to clinicians. If you have a chance to see her speak, do so. She is very engaging and made the material rather fun.

One of the things she did to break the ice was give out catalogue cards (see, a use for obsolete cards!) and have us write three things about us on the back, two of which we thought would be true of everyone in the room, and then one that we thought would be unique to us as individuals. Then she had everyone stand as she read off some of the cards and then sit down when something wasn't true about us. One thing we discovered is that not just one but two people in the room were down in the mud pit at Woodstock. :)

Random things

The other day when I was at the pharmacy I saved a little girl, maybe 2 years old, from being smooshed by a trolley full of boxes being pushed by an employee who didn't see her. Mom didn't really have time to get her and was slow to react. I said, 'Child!' and stopped the trolley with my hand, just like moms smack their kids in the chest when stopping a car too quickly. So, all was averted. As much as I don't really interact with children well, I do care about them, and rather think of them as a the future of our community, and therefore they're everyone's responsibility when it comes to this sort of thing. I don't know how logical it is, but it is how I feel.

Walking alongside the road the other day I came across a patch of daisies, which made me happy. I used to pick wildflowers in Danville occasionally. I thought about picking them and taking them home, but decided that others should be able to enjoy them, although to be honest, most people drive right by and probably don't notice them. Plus, some wildflowers can be endangered--for all I knew it was some subspecies of daisy on the protected list. So I left them.

They got mowed down yesterday. Such is life.

I took a quiz on Facebook to see what kind of roleplaying game alignment I would be. I came out neutral good:
Known as the 'Benefactor' alignment, a neutral good character is guided by his conscience and typically acts altruistically, without regard for or against Lawful precepts such as rules or tradition. A neutral good character may cooperate with lawful officials but does not feel beholden to them. A doctor that treats soldiers from both sides in a war would be considered neutral good. Zorro and Spiderman are commonly cited as neutral good.

I found out about the quiz because Bill, with whom I used to game, took it and came out chaotic good. I'm not surprised. :)

Oh, and I got my Facebook domain name in the great Facebook Land Rush. So it's http://facebook.com/eilir, but I think you have to be a 'friend' to really see much.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Anne Frank museum to display her actual diaries
The Anne Frank House museum says it will put the teenage Holocaust victim's diaries and other writings on permanent display to commemorate what would have been her 80th birthday on June 12, 1929.

Frank died in a concentration camp at 15.

Today would have been her 80th birthday. So sad that such a vibrant life was cut short by hate.

Interesting news from the art world

Nude, Mona Lisa-like painting surfaces: Documents suggest work at least based on similar work by da Vinci

Well, I'm ready

but it took me a little longer than I expected, so I can't make it to the bus that would have gotten to the consortium meeting early, so I'll catch the one that should be right on time or maybe five minutes late, depending on how long it takes me to walk to the library from Euclid and Woodland. On the other hand, at least I don't have to waste time looking for parking, right? :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I don't know why

but the gadget on the sidebar for LibraryThing isn't displaying my books, but rather random books from somewhere else. Still, many of them sound interesting. I haven't figured out how to fix it yet--the settings are correct. But I just wanted to include that caveat.

Home at last

I took off from the hospital today to run some errands and go to an exhibit on Flinders Petrie's excavations of Aegypt that's wrapping up at UK by Sunday. I thought it would be $10 to get in, but it turns out that it's free to alumni, but you don't have to be in the Alumni Association or anything. Petrie, unlike other excavators of the time who were interested in carting off treasure as quickly as possible, saw archaeology as a science and approached it very systematically. These are items from the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London, some never displayed before, and with my interest in Aegyptology, I wanted to take advantage of it. Although I've read quite a bit about Aegypt's history, life, and language, I first heard of Petrie from Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody mysteries. Peters is a pseudonym for Barbara Mertz, who holds a phD in Aegyptology.

The exhibit was very nice and spanned most of Aegypt's pre-Islamic history, including items considered classically Aegyptian but it also had Ptolemaic, Roman, and Coptic artefacts. It was well-attended. There was a group of elderly men and women and two women with their pre-teen children, among others. The exhibit runs through the 14th (Sunday), after which it returns to England. Hours are 12-5 except on Friday, when it is open till 8, and although it is $10 for the general public, it is free on Friday from 5-8, and also free to students, staff, and alumni of the university.

After that I went to my friends' house and painted shelves and did some work around the house for them. I stopped at the gas station on the way home to pick up a PowerBar for dinner, then walked home through a steady rain. Now I'm glad to be home. I did manage to go to the pharmacy in the early part of the day and got a lace-up support for my ankle, although it's a devil to get on. :)

Tomorrow I have a consortium meeting over at UK's Young Library where we'll have a continuing education class. I think it's on evidence-based medicine. I'll have to leave a little earlier than usual to make it there on time by bus. Then it's over to the store for truck night from 6-10.

Saturday I work from 10-6 [not by myself!] and then there's more painting to do (the last of this project, though). Sunday is the game. Monday I have my appointment with the podiatrist in the morning, and then I work at the hospital, staying a little later since I'll come in late. Tuesday and Wednesday are long days, working at the hospital and then working at the store from 3-10. On Thursday I'm getting the car fixed. It's also our employee appreciation cookout, so I'm torn as to whether to take the day off and hang out at the repair shop or go back in to work and then pick the car up afterwards. I'm taking the car in by 8 am, so it hopefully will be finished fairly early. Whew! It's going to be a busy week!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A good question

How do you move an entire country?

Check out the post on information regarding islands that are losing land to the sea due to climate change. Thousands of people will lose their homes within a few years and their governments have no real means to pay for relocation; nor does the UN recognise refugee status for those who lose their homelands due to climate. Video is included of islanders showing the encroachment of the sea and how the loss of these islands will also mean the loss of a cultural identity for those left adrift. One of the videos points out that industrialised nations spend millions--billions--on war. Why can't we spend money on relocating those affected by our emissions in a way that will preserve their way of life?

:) Couldn't have happened to a nicer girl

Carrie Prejean fires back after losing Miss California crown

Read the comments; many are great. Prejean insists her stance over Prop 8 got her fired, as opposed to violating her contract in several ways, including posing for Playboy and joining a reality show. Gee, wasn't getting free boob upgrades from the California pageant folks enough? Did she really think she'd be able to do all of this and keep her crown? The sad thing is that her self-promotion will probably get her on B-grade reality shows for years to come, and she won't just quietly go away.

Conspiracy-riddled right-wing anti-Semitic lunatics and guns--a horrible combination

Guard dies after Holocaust museum shooting: Authorities say they're investigating a white supremacist as the suspect

A couple of thousand people were inside the building at the time. The guard who was killed gave his life defending them, and he is a hero. People tend to give security officers short shrift, but any place can be a target, and their actions are important. It's sad that a crackpot like this would be so driven by intolerance that he would shoot indiscriminately in a place that teaches tolerance and commemorates those who died from the systematic slaughter of a people in an effort to prevent such horrors again.

Here's a video where they discuss the role the assailant has played in Holocaust denial, white supremecy, etc. and whether the fringe, less empowered in the era of Obama, is more likely to pursue violence in hate crimes. There have been three high-profile shootings recently--a Muslim gunman who killed a soldier outside a recruiting office, the killing of an abortion provider in a church, and now this.

For the Administration's reaction, see the White House Blog's On the Holocaust Museum Shooting, which is actually where I first heard the story.

Unexpected time off

Things were overscheduled at work tonight, so I got sent home early, but unfortunately not early enough to go over to work on a painting project, as I would have gotten there about the time I normally return home, given the time it takes to get there by bus. So I'm home, catching up on news and eating a bit.

Brand new day

I purposefully did not write yesterday about any events in my own life, because although the beginning was fine, the afternoon dissolved into hurt, anger, and thoughts that should not have been expressed because they might have had far-reaching circumstances. Such is life when people who are as close as family clash, when people who have known each other for more time than most people have been married have a disagreement.

So today is a brand new day. The emotions are all still there, but dampened somewhat, and I'll have some time to sort them through. It will be a difficult few days but I have faith that things will work out. That's a very different attitude than I had yesterday, where I spent three hours trying to get back home and keep it somewhat together without success, wondering if I should walk away from it all, but deciding to step back and look at the consequences for a change.

That's all I'll say on the matter for now. But if I seem a little emotional for awhile, please understand. Hopefully it will be brief, and things will soon be back on track.

Some stories on social networking or technology in the news, with a special look at closing a medical library

Twitterers defy China's firewall (Using technology to get around the censorship regarding Tiananmen Square.)

Homeless Advocate Goes High Tech (DC Man uses social networking to advocate for the homeless.)

'Text' Books (Japanese women write novels quickly using just their thumbs.)

AP Reporter Reprimanded For Facebook Post; Union Protests (How what you say online can affect your job.)

and as a special bonus...this tidbit created quite a stir on DOCLINE-L, with posts about how the National Library of Medicine should work to make sure their network is not available to such institutions that cut out library jobs (although it kind of degenerated into a vague 'us' vs. 'them' where some people favoured degreed librarians and perhaps unintentionally stepped on the feet of library technicians, or favoured shutting out small library collections, so I have to admit, I weighed in on that.) In this case, there won't be anyone with a library background trained to staff it, degreed or not. And I hope the hospital gets exactly what it sows. This idea that everything's free on the Internet is so wrong. Electronic resources are costly, need a lot of oversight and maintenance, and there's still interlibrary loan resources (such as through DOCLINE) and other cost-saving benefits such as consortial access that they're simply going to be shut out of.

Hospital library closes to public, goes electronic
'They can put whatever spin they want on it, but brass tacks is that they're closing the library,' [library volunteer Joyce Herbst] said. 'I guess I just don't understand how you can take that resource away from a teaching hospital. How can it be a teaching hospital, without a resource library and someone to run it? I just think it's not a very smart thing to do.'

The library closes on Friday, at which point medical librarian Pat Hamilton, who has run the library along with a staff of volunteers for 24 years will be out of a job. I hate to hear things like this, all due to a desire to cut costs indiscriminately without really understanding the costs involved. Bah!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Okay, really one last thing

Just in case you didn't know, I am a hopeless romantic, despite being unpartnered for nearly eighteen years. But there was one pivotal moment of film I watched as a young teen, that surely sealed my fate as such a romantic...and here it is.

One more thing!

I found this linked on the Adult Swim website. Even if you don't listen to the band Blink-182, this is funny. It's from the BBC's 'All the Small Things', which the College Humor website calls 'the funniest show on television. Too bad it's supposed to be a drama.' (Of course, Blink-182 has a song called 'All the Small Things' [their main song I'm familiar with], and that was the source of the series' title).

For comparison, here's the original.


Blogs Falling in an Empty Forest
...95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream — or at least an ambition — unfulfilled.

So I guess it's good that I never expected to get profit, book deals, or scads of followers from this blog, but simply felt like writing. Don't get me wrong, I pay attention to page views and subscribers fairly closely. I like the fact that people read this blog--but I'm not obsessed by it. I still feel like it's going strong even after nearly eight years and I guess it will so long as I feel like writing.

On the other hand, I do have an abandoned blog that I did just for a class. So I guess I've contributed to the trend as well. I'm halfway afraid to delete it, because I'd probably accidentally delete this one instead. I know, that sounds psycho, but those who know me will agree, it's something I would probably do by accident, because I'm just like that sometimes.

Okay, time to go to bed. I have eaten my second calzone ever (although shouldn't it be cal-zon-ay?) and watched an episode of Moral Orel where the Reverend said something sweet to his lesbian daughter. It wasn't that he disapproved of her dance date being a girl when she was younger--he just didn't think the girl cared enough about her. He's got more depth than I thought. I love Moral Orel. :)

One more reason to go vegetarian

or at least lay off red meat...
A 10 year study of more than a half million U.S. men and women associates the frequency adults eat red and processed meats with significant increases in overall death, death from cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The study, which features a cohort of about 322,000 men and 223,000 women (who answered questionnaires about food intake and health for a decade), suggests the consumption of red meat is independently associated with mortality...

For more, listen to the comments by the Director of the National Library of Medicine here.

I feel so ungenius-like

Boy, 11, graduates from college: Studying astrophysics in California

I didn't know community colleges taught astrophysics, but apparently they do, and Moshe Kai Cavalin, an 11-year-old only child of a Taiwanese mother and Israeli father, has gotten a degree in the subject. He initially planned to head on to a four-year university, but has decided to take 6 months to a year off pursuing other projects like martial arts and piano. Best quote? 'I don't consider myself a genius because there are 6.5 billion people in this world and each one is smart in his or her own way.' Go, Moshe!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

That wasn't too bad

About five hours' worth of game time condensed down to about two hours of note-transcribing since most of it was a huge battle, and I just had to hit the highlights. Funny how the investigative part of things makes the notes much more intensive, but the really exciting, intense part of the game can be kind of glossed over in many respects. Well, I'm going to go on to bed. I'll get about seven hours' sleep all total, so that's pretty good. Have a good night.

I really hate it

when I lay down for 'just a few minutes' and wake up to find several hours have passed, when I need to have used that time for other things, like notes. The only reason I woke up at all is the game master called to see when I was coming over tomorrow. I slept over four hours. Grrr....

Well, at least I won't be terribly sleep-deprived on a Saturday night...that's better than I often get. Now if I can only finish the notes in time to get over to the house by bus by 8 am (meaning I have to catch the bus by 6:40). Gack. Fortunately last time we spent a lot of time fighting off a biker gang/avatar of he-who-should-not-be-named (no, not Voldemort, but rather something that would eat Voldemort for breakfast), and there's no reason for a blow-by-blow, so that should help.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Quote of the Day

'There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.'--Albert Schweitzer

A better day than expected

When I went to work at the store last night, I looked at the schedule more closely than I had when it first came out, and realised that the new manager had *scheduled me for 10 hours by myself*. Come on, a girl's got to pee at some point, not to mention there's no way to take federally-mandated breaks when you're the only person there. So contrary to my usual passivity, I called him. The district manager had apparently been under the delusion that we had single coverage on Saturdays (Sundays often, yes, but Saturdays?), so that's what he'd scheduled. I explained that this was not the case. He got one of the other women to come in a couple of hours early and the new guy to come in for four hours, so I was only alone for four hours total, broken up into two periods, so that wasn't bad. Of course, most of the propane exchanges did happen when I was alone.

As it turned out, although it was relatively steady, things were not as busy as they could have been, and with help around I was able to take my designated breaks, which helped out whenever I started flagging a bit. So even after working 10 1/2 hours, I am not as exhausted as I could have been, which is good, seeing as I still have notes to finish (although I did work on them earlier in the week for a change). Plus, my ankle wasn't too bad, either; it is swollen and does hurt, but not as badly as it has been, even after standing for that amount of time.


Okay, I'm going to take it easy for about forty-five minutes and then start work on the rest of the notes. I may write later depending on how that goes. If not, good night.

Friday, June 05, 2009

The Apocalypse (or at least an apocalypse) may now run uninterrupted

as I have done something almost unheard of: I paid my rent on time for the first time in months. Go me!

I am intrigued, not so much

by the fact that director Guillermo del Toro (of Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth) is working on the Hobbit, although that's nice...but rather according to:

Q&A: Hobbit Director Guillermo del Toro on the Future of Film

he also has plans for...Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness, as in, the story set in Antarctica which served as the basis for the module of doom we played. Yay!

Apparently Ron Howard also has a Lovecraft film in the making, but I'm not sure what that is.

Both have Universal, with its funding, behind them. Often Cthulhu Mythos films are low-budget and exceedingingly 'B' status. I'd like to see a film that really captured the creepiness of Lovecraft, although that can sometimes be difficult with American special effects-driven movie-making. So much of Lovecraft's expertise is in leaving some mystery and allowing the sheer horror to slowly creep up on the reader until the last slip of sanity is taken.

(Although I will say, it helps to read 'The Rats in the Walls' when you really do have rats in the walls, late at night and moving about, which scared the daylights out of me with all the sounds, and of course, I didn't know what I had going in that student ghetto house at the time, so my mind tried to tell me it was squirrels. For all I know, the damn rats had hands, too.)

An interesting film on sustainable living available (with commercials) on YouTube


It was an interesting choice given that commercial interruption most likely breaks the spell here more than most, but I'm glad it's available for viewing, although many people on YouTube hate anything that isn't totally free of strings. Still, if I wanted it commercial-free, it is available on DVD.

On closeout over at Northern Sun

Listening to: 'Everyone's a Hero' from Dr Horrible's Sing-along Blog

T-shirts I like for only $7--

'Lord, please let me be the person my psychiatrist medicates me to be.'

'I love my country...But I think we should start seeing other people'

I love Northern Sun (of course I would, liberal that I am). Where else can you get a rainbow sarong for Pride? And I came across a nice quote from Helen Keller looking through their catalogue: 'It is a terrible thing to see and yet have no vision.'

I think the best (non-closeout) bumpersticker I saw, though was 'Don't Pray in My School and I Won't Think in Your Church'.


If research papers had a comment section...


Okay, some of the published ones do, these days, but think if you handed one of these in to your professor. :)

Thursday, June 04, 2009

RIP David Carradine

'For all life is precious
Nor can any be replaced.'

UPDATE: 6/5/09

Given what sketchy details there were yesterday, I did not believe the suicide thesis, and I had a good idea what had happened. Now suicide seems to have been discarded in favour of auto-erotic misadventure, as the British courts term it. I'm so sorry he died, but perhaps his death will help educate others that this does, indeed happen. For some families, the stigma of death by auto-erotic asphyxiation is greater than that of suicide. MSNBC had an excellent look at the subject as a tie-in to reports of Carradine's death.


For those who died, may they rest in peace. For those whose lives were changed forever, we have not forgotten. For those who cannot read about or watch such images, may you someday have freedom.

And for the Tank Man, wherever you may be, know that you inspired millions.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Okay, before you think I'm just being well, a wuss, please consider that my ankle has been hurting now for about two weeks and I only said something a few days ago. I must say, it's getting worse and worse, though, probably because I'm walking more without the car.

I called the podiatrist's office to see if I could make an appointment for next week but she's on vacation, so I have one on Monday next (as opposed to next Monday). The thing is, I'm not sure I can wait until then. I just hobbled home and it's very painful and swollen even though I had a shoe and sock on. It is a burning pain that starts at the outer top part of my foot, goes across the ankle bone and back to the back of my heel. I don't have to be on it for it to hurt with this throbbing pain. If I'm on it, and shift my weight wrong, it's worse. If I move it side to side, it worsens, as does going up and down. Both shoot up to my knee and even into my thigh at times. On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is negligible and 10 is excruciating, I'd put it at a 6. I think I need to take care of it as soon as possible. I'm going to check tomorrow and see if there's any chance they could work me in on Friday or maybe I can see her partner.

Apparently the friend with the spare van has a different home number than the one I have, so I'll call him at work tomorrow.

I'm getting together with my old boss tomorrow (a strange phrase, as she's 28). She's thinking of going back to school, which I think would be an excellent idea.

What else was I supposed to do today? I'll have to check. I stopped by the pet store near work and looked at their plants and snails, but I'm going to wait until we can test the water with liquid testers rather than the strips. Then I went to Subway, had dinner, and hobbled on home. I am so tired.

Oh, that's right--cleaning and notes, both of which I plan to do, after I put my foot up for a bit and see if I can get the swelling to go down (I don't have ice, but I think I still have an ice pack left over from my last surgery. I'll check.)

That's all for now.

Or not

Okay, maybe I'll just nix that plan. In the time it took for me to transfer to a more bus-friendly satchel, the rain has come pouring down, so the best plan seems to be to wait until I would normally leave for the bus and hope that it's let up. I do have an umbrella here in the house but when riding the bus I prefer my rainbow one because it's much easier to see, and that one is in the car.

I just missed the bus

I've been trying to wake up ever since 6 am, but strange dreams have drawn me back downward at each attempt to rise. My ankles are the right size again this morning after keeping a cool fan on them all night (this will change over the course of the day), but my left ankle is just throbbing, even when I'm not standing on it. Also, a thunderstorm is on its way, so I may get caught in that.


Fortunately it is also pay day. I don't have quite as much as I'd hoped for, but it's enough to cover rent, get some bus money, and go out with my old boss if we choose somewhere fairly cheap.

I think I'm going to go get my umbrella and try to walk over to the store, get some money, and go from there. Today I plan on:

  1. Calling my old boss and arranging to meet today or tomorrow.
  2. Calling someone I know about borrowing his van in the interim.
  3. Calling the podiatrist and making an appointment for Monday.
  4. Cleaning up my apartment some.
  5. Working on notes, both new and old.

Wish me luck!

You may have wondered where I went off to...

nowhere, actually. But my car's starter is out and so I've been schlepping around on the bus, which takes a lot of time and by the time I've gotten home I've just been wiped. It always takes me a bit to acclimate to riding the bus, but it can take an hour and a half to go anywhere if I have to transfer. Thankfully I can get to the hospital or from the hospital to the store in about 20 minutes. But to get to my friends' it's over an hour.

Unfortunately, it looks like it will be the 18th before I can get it fixed, because this week's pay goes to rent and it'll be about $300 to fix. The good news is that the strange speedometre-busting behaviour where the speed goes to 0 even when the car is tooling along at about 50 may be a faulty sensor. It in turn, can cause the transmission to have issues and other systems to go out, because the computer doesn't know how fast the car is going. That means it may not be the computer going out after all. A speed sensor should be much easier and cheaper to fix. So, I have an appointment at 8 am to take the car in on June 18th.

I'm never going to get ahead, am I? Oh, I know I will, but sometimes I get a little discouraged.

We had a heavy rain earlier tonight when I was at my friends' house. Fortunately it didn't rain on the way home. I hope the rain holds out awhile longer--depending on whether he finds a ride home or not, A may be walking, and it's several miles. I'm going to check with someone tomorrow who offered a spare van for times like this. If it's not still being used by someone else, I might be able to borrow it so that I can pick A up and do grocery runs, etc.

Meanwhile, my ankle is swelling to more than twice its size and is very painful all the time. My other ankle swells too (they do that in warm weather), but the other isn't really bad. My left one has really been hurting. It may be time to go to my podiatrist again. It may just be arthritis (it is the ankle I have sprained dozens of times), or some issue like I had with my foot last year, some stress issue from standing with my weight like it is. It unnerves me that my weight has caused broken bones.

I have a friend who's on a special medically-supervised diet where she drinks little tiny shakes and has a food bar a day of something that is so remarkably full of fibre that it fills her up. I think it's an Optifast diet. But the food is $150 a week, something I don't think I could afford, plus my insurance won't pay for weight loss plans (but will my diabetes and cholesterol, go figure). Still, it might be something to consider.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A new controversy brewing in Lexington

I hate to see a dog on a chain. A friend has a rescue dog who had a chain or collar left on her during her growth and there are scars along her neck. Personally, I believe if you can't keep a dog in a house, or at least have a fenced yard for it to stay, then you really shouldn't have the dog. Not everyone can build a fence, and not every dog can be housebroken, I realise, but many people never look at alternatives.


Today's front page story of the Lexington Herald-Leader was quite horrible (the story will be accessible for 7 days). A 20- or 22-month-old boy (reports vary) drank drain cleaner that was being used to make methamphetamine from a coffee cup in his home. He died within the hour, being severely burned inside and out from the chemical. It was a horrible way for anyone to die, especially an innocent child. His father (19) and mother (only 14--she would have been about 12 when he was born) have been charged with murder, and four other people have been arrested on related drug charges.

There are so many things wrong with this story. First the child's death as a byproduct of drug manufacturing. Second, a child that young raising a child...her parents live across the road, but still...look what was going on there according to police.

For more, including video, see:

Parents Charged With Murder In Baby's Death

Family of toddler who ingested meth chemical claims father is not to blame

Listening to

'Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall' by Simon & Garfunkel

Through the corridors of sleep
Past the shadows dark and deep
My mind dances and leaps in confusion.
I don't know what is real,
I can't touch what I feel
And I hide behind the shield of my illusion.

So I'll continue to continue to pretend
My life will never end,
And flowers never bend
With the rainfall.

The mirror on my wall
Casts an image dark and small
But I'm not sure at all it's my reflection.
I am blinded by the light
Of God and truth and right
And I wander in the night without direction.

So I'll continue to continue to pretend
My life will never end,
And flowers never bend
With the rainfall.

It's no matter if you're born
To play the king or pawn
For the line is thinly drawn 'tween joy and sorrow,
So my fantasy
Becomes reality,
And I must be what I must be and face tomorrow.

So I'll continue to continue to pretend
My life will never end,
And flowers never bend
With the rainfall.