Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fortune cookie fortune of the day:

'A house without books is like a room without windows.'


And yes, 'American Dad!' was very, very funny. Plus I got a calendar scroll/menu from Golden Wok that is actually kind of cute as advertising goes, and their food was nummy. :)

I made several calls on the way home

(after getting past all the dangerous intersections). One was to the public library I had just left. I saw a couple of DVDs in the Friends' sale items for $3 a piece and wondered if I had to have cash to get them when I go next (hopefully they'll be there; I think the earliest I can go is Saturday) or if I could use my debit card. The latter is the case. Then I checked with Kroger to see if they have any bus passes so I can get one tomorrow. Yes and yay. Then I called the pharmacy to see if they had my medication and pen needles still (the doctor's office called them in last week, but I can't pick them up until tomorrow). Again, yes and yay.

Today was library day (I didn't have a ride home tonight and I needed to return a book, so I went over to the library after I got off the bus). I got some music CDs and two 7-day video loans of things I have in VHS but can't watch because I no longer have a working VCR. One is The Princess Bride; the other is AM/PM Yoga from Gaiam, the one I used to do yoga to in the mornings. I'm going to try to get back into a routine for a week, since I've been waking up earlier, and if I still enjoy doing it, may see about ordering the video from Amazon.

I downloaded an application to my phone for the airline I'm flying on soon, so I can see the flight status. I can actually check in through my phone, for that matter, but I think I'll just do it the old-fashioned way.

I think I'll put on some of the music and consider eating dinner. And I have an episode of 'American Dad!' to watch that YKWIA told me about last night and I was able to DVR it when it repeated. It's all about the family's adventures on vacation being the result of being put in chambers of goo, and called 'Vacation Goo' and it sounds hilarious.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I just shopped until I dropped--and I didn't spend a dime

Which is good, as I don't have even that to spare at the moment. One of my co-workers, who often gives me a ride home, 'kidnapped' me out to a sale where if you knew one of the employees, you could get 45% off, so she had several family members and co-workers give her their lists and saved a bunch of money. I went along as companion, finder, and to hold things, and in return she and her husband took me out to eat. So, I'm just getting home, but I also am happily full with a nice haddock dinner (especially nice, as I have a can of peaches and half a container of oatmeal at home, and while I like steel-cut Irish oats, I'm a little tired of it every night). [On the plus side, I've almost lost 3 lbs this week.] Fortunately payday is coming up soon, yay.:)

My trip is fast approaching, too. I'm starting to keep an eye on Chicago weather. I'm spending the night, flying there and back, in the next couple of weeks. I hope the weather is good. They were having wind issues today causing flight delays. Since this is a fly-there-stay-one-night-come-right-back sort of thing with meetings over two days, I don't want any delays. I'm borrowing an overnight carry-on bag from a co-worker since I know that it has the right dimensions. I need to get some quart-sized zip lock bags so that I can put my liquid containers in one (nothing over 3 ml). I need to get a few sample size things like shampoo, but I have toothpaste and contact lens solution already is smaller containers, and I checked my makeup and they're all alright. Plus the insulin should be fine. The plan is to wear the Birkenstocks in the terminal/on the plane, as they are simple to slip off and then just bring my boots in case of snow outside in the bag. I think I understand how to deal with the CPAP machine, too. So I don't have a lot of preparations left.

Speaking of weather, we had our first snow of the season today, although it didn't stick. It made quite a display during lunch, since our dining room has one wall of windows and we could watch it fall. It was lovely.

Okay, I think I'll sign off of here for now. Remarkably, I'm awake at this time of night and a little energised. I don't think I'm up to watching Forrest Gump (yes, I still have the DVD out), but I may read for awhile. Good night.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hmmm....odd jobs that might be useful to look into

Serfing the Web: Sites Let People Farm Out Their Chores: Workers Choose Jobs, Negotiate Wages; Mr. Kutcher, Anonymously, Asks for Coffee
"Manage our worm bin!"

That was the help-wanted note new mom Rachel Christenson posted a few weeks ago at online marketplace TaskRabbit Inc. Neither she nor her husband wanted the "gross" job of dealing with an overflowing compost bin, so she clicked her mouse in search of someone who would do her dirty work.

After about 11 hours and a few crazy questions like, "Are your worms nice?" Ms. Christenson, 27 years old, found a taker. Douglas Ivey, a 45-year-old research scientist, drained the "worm juice" from the bin, put back the compost, mixed in newspaper and hosed it all down. The price? $31. "That guy was bold," says Ms. Christenson, of San Francisco. "He just jumped right in."

"It was completely disgusting," says Mr. Ivey, who added, "I don't mind. Actually, I find the really gross jobs pay pretty well."

Not all the odd jobs on such sites as TaskRabbit or Zaarly are so disgusting, for that matter, and might be a good way to earn some extra money for some folks. It doesn't seem to have caught on yet in Lexington--at least on those sites--but it sounds interesting.

An interesting animated video

Directed by Ned Wenlock; music by MGMT, 'All We Ever Wanted Was Everything'

I really like the effect of paper layers being put down, although I think it's actually computer animation.

So yesterday

was going to be my totally-relax-and-recover-from-Thanksgiving day, as we thought Brenda would still be coming back over the mountains from North Carolina. I was napping (of course--I've spent way too much time in bed this weekend) when I got a call at 2:30 pm that she was there are ready to play the game. I got up, got ready quickly, and she came and got me, and we had a good session with a surprise at the beginning that had to be dealt the rest of the time. In a way, getting back into my routine probably helped more than anything else in making me feel better and getting myself ready for the week ahead.

This morning, when I got out of the shower, a friend called and offered me a ride to work. So despite the rain, the new week is looking up.

I haven't actually talked about Thanksgiving, and I'm not going to, beyond saying it was good to see my grandmother and mom for a little while. But I felt awful when I got home, and it's taken me days to get better emotionally. I wrote not long ago on this blog that I had never had true suicidal thoughts. I realised the other night that it simply wasn't true. I have in the past, and I had them the night that I got home; they just weren't what I would call hard-core thoughts, where you're actually ruminating over how to do it. I spent Friday night curled up in bed having those fleeting depressive thoughts, being miserable, and wondering why I do this to myself year after year.

Saturday I went over to my friend's house to deliver the much-anticipated package (part of which was a present) and cleaned like I would for the game normally on Sunday, but more relaxed, and then he fed me a wonderful meal. We talked a lot and I felt better. But Saturday I still came home and went to bed. The bed is where I think, where I emote, and where I curl up and hide from the world. I spent a lot of time in bed the last few days, and I have a little more clarity for it. And now that I'm slipping back into my routine, I feel a little better.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A very sweet video

An advertisement from Australia...

...for marriage equality.

Thanks to George Takei for the link. :)

I love the giant cracker

And I'm not entirely sure what that Cyberman is doing to Matt Smith (Doctor Who). I think it's a form of Twister, but then.... :) Zany Brits....

One of my high school classmates

(the mom in this video) was interviewed after the town we went to high school together in, Belle Plaine, Kansas, was rated #1 in Kansas and #6 in the nation for raising kids by Bloomberg Businessweek.


Kansas town ranked one of the best places to raise kids

Thanks to another classmate CJ Applegate Stonehocker, for the link.


Kentucky's child protection system under scrutiny after girl's murder
When Kimberly Dye was trying to adopt her great-niece in 2006, she said her two sons were excited about a little sister joining the family, according to state documents.

Garrett Dye, then 12, was asked to write what he would tell friends about his new sister, Amy, who was 5, and what he hoped she would be like.

"I will tell them that she is the best sister ever," he wrote. "I would like her to be funny and happy wherever she goes."

Not quite five years later, on a bitter-cold evening in February, Garrett beat Amy, 9, to death in the gravel driveway of their Todd County home with a metal jack handle, then dragged her body about 100 yards behind the house and hid it in a thicket.
This kid didn't stand a chance. Her family, the system, all failed her. Such a shame. I don't understand why sibling-on-sibling abuse is not taken more seriously.

Friday, November 25, 2011

A very moving story

Listen to Finding Emilie. It is a story of love and of tenacity, and how one young man refused to give up on the girl he loved as she lay trapped in a body that could not see or hear, and how he connected with her again. Listening to the story in their own words was very emotional for me.

On the morning of Friday, October 8, 2010 Emilie Louise Gossiaux was struck by an 18-wheel semi-truck while riding her bike in Brooklyn, NY. She was rushed to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan where trauma doctors performed emergency surgery to save her life. In addition to stroke, traumatic brain injury, and resuscitated cardiac arrest, she suffered multiple fractures in her head, pelvis, and left leg. She emerged from the ER in severely critical condition with a pessimistic assessment of her brain function. A “grim” prognosis was made of her chance for survival.

Born August 4, 1989 in New Orleans, LA, Emilie was diagnosed with moderate hearing loss at a young age due to an untreatable disorder. Her hearing deteriorated rapidly throughout her teens; a deficit that Emilie filled with a passion for visual art. She pursued her art education in high school at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and, after evacuating from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, FL. Emilie arrived at The Cooper Union School of Art in Manhattan, NY in 2007 for her undergraduate studies. Upon completion of her junior year in May 2010, she received cochlear implant surgery in her left ear to partially address her hearing impairment.

A month and a half after the Oct. 8 incident, Emilie's friends and family waited diligently at her bedside; she showed very few signs of mental functioning or response. Due to facial fractures, Emilie's mouth had been wired shut, a tracheostomy prevented her from speaking, and the integrity of her vision was in question. Finally in stable condition after multiple surgeries, doctors determined that Emilie was not cognitively ready for rehabilitative treatment, and should instead be transferred to a long-term nursing home facility. Although she was deaf and unable to communicate without assistive hearing devices, Emilie's boyfriend was still certain of her mental acuity and fought the hospital for her admission to rehab. By writing on her palm with his index-finger, he was able to communicate with her, proving her high-level cognitive function, and eventually coaxing her into allowing her hearing aid to be inserted. Once switched on, Emilie bounced back immediately, but not without recoil. Her memory and cognitive functioning were completely intact, but she awoke to discover that the trauma had left her blind.

Emilie was then admitted to the neurorehabilitation program at the Rusk Institute in Manhattan on Thanksgiving, where she remains today. Her outlook on recovery was set from day one. Simply happy to be living, Emilie approaches each day with positivity and thanks for the support from everyone around her. Despite her vision loss, Emilie is certain she will complete her final year at The Cooper Union, and is determined to help others by joining The Peace Corps as soon as she is able. She has many more surgeries and extensive physical therapy ahead of her. Please help Emilie begin her life again.

Emilie Louise Gossiaux is an artist, student, and survivor currently alive in New York, NY [from http://www.emiliegossiaux.com/]

Here's a story on the Huffington Post: Emilie Gossiaux And Alan Lundgard: Love Brings Healing For Student Hit By Semi Truck

You can go to http://www.emiliegossiaux.com and there's a blog as well as ways to donate to her rehabilitation.

I wish them well. Thanks to Maria Popova for the link.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Three perspectives in The Guardian regarding Anne McCaffrey

Anne McCaffrey obituary: Prolific creator of the Dragonriders series of science-fiction novels

Anne McCaffrey, Pern creator, dies aged 85

Anne McCaffrey: a magician of Newtonian logic

So I got a phone call today from my postman

regarding the package, and I asked him to put it in the parcel bin and put the key in my mailbox, which worked like a charm. Why the person on Monday couldn't have done this, I have no idea. It was, indeed, sent from here in Lexington, and took three days to get to me, but I have it, which means my friend will have his birthday present this weekend (only three weeks late), and I have a book I've been looking forward to reading to occupy me during the holiday.

Yay for Eric the postman, who actually called and asked me what I wanted, thank you very much!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not feeling so well

I still have the headache, and I've felt achy and 'off' all day, not sick, just not good, and things that don't normally irritate me have been. I even feel a little down. It could be the weather, I suppose. I'm going to try to get back on track on my medicine, which has been somewhat spotty at best.

In the meantime, I am seriously considering a long bath.


F.C.C. Seeks Review of AT&T Merger With T-Mobile
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission took steps Tuesday to block the proposed $39 billion merger of the mobile phone companies AT&T and T-Mobile USA.

The chairman, Julius Genachowski, made the move after the commission’s staff concluded that the deal would harm consumers, kill jobs and result in an overly concentrated wireless phone industry, F.C.C. officials said.

The decision puts another large roadblock in front of AT&T, the nation’s second-largest wireless phone company, in its effort to buy T-Mobile, the fourth-largest carrier. In August, the Justice Department filed a federal antitrust lawsuit to block the merger, saying it would stifle competition

FCC deals serious blow to AT&T and T-Mobile deal
AT&T, with its powerful army of lobbyists and years of experience navigating Washington, thought it could easily persuade the government to approve its merger with T-Mobile. But regulators aren’t buying it, and the $39 billion deal is facing its biggest threat yet.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Gena­chow­ski dealt a serious blow to the merger Tuesday, moving to block the deal on the basis of findings that it would cause job losses and higher prices for consumers, officials said. It was an unusual move for the FCC, which has not tried to block a deal since 2002.

I don't want to be an AT&T customer. :)

One of my favourite fantasy authors has died

Growing up, I adored the Pern books (particularly The White Dragon and the Harper hall books, and also the Crystal Singer series. I lost track of the seemingly neverending story of Pern years ago, about the time McCaffrey began to work with her son Todd. But the early stories have been read and re-read dozens of times, and I was very saddened to learn that she died of a massive stroke at the age of 85 yesterday. May she rest in piece.

R.I.P. Anne McCaffrey, Creator of Pern and The Ship Who Sang

Anne McCaffrey Has Died

Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011)

Thanks to Gary Corby, who tweeted the news.


  1. No package, with no indication that an attempt at delivery was made.
  2. When told I would be out of town two days next month, my doctor's office manager made an appointment to see a specialist on one of those two days, approximately an hour after my flight leaves.
  3. Worst of all, my friend who is facing eviction was told he did not qualify for help because of the very small, tiny, assistance he gets for his disability and the woman took the form from him, tore it up in front of him, and basically said 'we're done' right then. Gee. And she's in a 'helping profession'.
  4. And it's still freakin' raining. I still have a headache.


On a bright note, my doctor gave me as many samples as he could, including for my insulin, and told me to check back in three weeks, thereby saving me in co-pays until my flexible spending account refills at new year's.


Penguin US halts library e-lending
OverDrive, the largest provider of e-books to public libraries in the States, posted this statement on its Digital Library Blog: "Last week Penguin sent notice to OverDrive that it is reviewing terms for library lending of its e-books. In the interim, OverDrive was instructed to suspend availability of new Penguin e-book titles from our library catalogue and disable 'Get for Kindle' functionality for all Penguin e-books. We apologise for this abrupt change in terms from this supplier. We are actively working with Penguin on this issue and are hopeful Penguin will agree to restore access to their new titles and Kindle availability as soon as possible."

Some facts about libraries

How Will We Read: In Public Libraries?

I particularly like this list that they included:
1. Americans go to school, public and academic libraries nearly three times more often than they go to the movies.
2. There are more public libraries than McDonald's in the U.S. (total of 16,604 including branches).
3. 59% of adults in the U.S. have a public library card.
4. Reference librarians in the nation's public and academic libraries answer nearly 5.7 million questions weekly.
5. Public libraries are the number one point of online access for people without internet connections at home, school or work (98.7% of public libraries provide public access to the internet).
6. Public libraries are one of the greatest equalizers for equitable access to information regardless of race, creed or income level.
7. In these times of economic crisis, over 65% of public libraries provide services for job seekers.
8. Americans spend more than twice as much on candy as they do on public libraries.
9. Americans spend $34.95 a year for the public library (and check out an average of more than seven books a year)
10. A public library provides a safe, warm, friendly place for a poor family to read with their children.

(Sources: American Library Association, Henmead Enterprises, Inc.)

Thanks to Vanessa Irvin Morris for the link.

That is one happy owl

I found this rather relaxing. And I think owls are great.

Thanks to Vanessa Irvin Morris for sharing.

Wow, I konked out

About 8 o'clock, after texting with a friend (who is terribly sick with chills, vomiting, and diarrhea--I hope he gets better soon!) and then folding and putting away my laundry, I had a headache, so I turned on some soft Classical music and laid down for awhile. I just woke up. The headache is gone (perhaps because it's actually raining now, rather than that period before). My bedding is still a bit damp so I'm sleeping on an uncovered mattress with my regular pillowcases but a small felt blanket that was an employee gift a few years ago. I had the window open, letting in some fresh air (it's almost midnight and 59 degrees, November or not), but I guess someone could have watched me sleep (creepy) or even come in. I don't normally sleep with the windows open now that I no longer have a dog to alert me.

I had found quarters for two more loads of laundry in my purse, which happens to be all the laundry, and had thought to do it tonight, but then decided not to when the headache came up, which is good, as it is raining steadily now. I did put the clothes in the hamper that's in my granny cart to get ready for taking over there, and put the collapsible hamper away. I may do it tomorrow morning. I don't have to be anywhere as early as usual; I have a doctor's appointment at 11:15 and it made absolutely no sense to go into work as usual and then turn around on the next bus and come back out here. Since I live within a short distance of the doctor's office, my boss is letting me just go straight there. So I could get up and do the laundry like I did this morning, but not as early. We'll see what the weather's like.

PS I got an e-mail a little while ago from Amazon that my package had shipped. We have a warehouse here in Lexington. It must have shipped from here. :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

I am annoyed at the US Postal Service

I got a present for a friend from Amazon, and ordered a book for me. I normally have these sorts of things sent to the place I work because I have never been able to get parcels sent reliably to the apartment I live in. [Oddly enough, anything I don't anticipate makes it here with no problem, either being delivered to the leasing office or using the system of holding boxes for parcels we have with the postal service.]

But, because I was ordering so close to Thanksgiving, and I won't be at work Thursday or Friday, I had it sent home, because I had been receiving things there enough to try. So today I come home and there's a delivery notice saying the parcel was taken to the post office, which is clear across town and I don't have transportation/can't take the bus within the timeframe they're open and still get to work. So:

There's one of those automatic systems on the phone that you say what you want. I don't play those games, and said 'real person' until it transferred me, although I had to hold. I explained the situation and asked if I could have it redelivered to work, and if so, if it would make it there tomorrow or Wednesday. But you can't change the address it's delivered to. Okay. How about the leasing office? It's not in the same building, although it's the same address, so no. And the holding boxes could be full. Grrr...

We finally came up with a less than ideal solution, and we'll see if it's delivered. Mind you, one, this didn't require a signature or anything, so it shouldn't have been so hard, and two, the postal carrier neglected to put any sort of article number on the card, so there's no way to really track it, and Amazon uncharacteristically has 'shipping soon' on their system still, so we couldn't get to it that way. Essentially they just took my address and telephone number and said they'd redeliver. If all else fails and it goes back again, I might be able to get someone to take me over Friday. But it should not be this hard to get a smallish package delivered to one's home. Thank goodness it wasn't a Kindle Fire or something like that.

Wow. Unbelievable.

Thanks to Anne for the link.

It is merely foggy

and not raining, so I finally got the trash and recyclables out and I'm now drying five loads of laundry. I woke up sometime about 6:30 and finally got into gear right before 7, so hopefully I'll be able to get the clothes in, take a quick shower, and make the bus. I'm doing the bedclothes, too, and I put my house shoes and some thick comfy socks through the wash cycle (the shoes have rubber soles and the socks have some sort of vinyl bottoms, so I didn't dry them), even though I normally stay barefoot all year round inside; I tend to have hot feet. Even as a child I crawled under beds and tried to get cooler when they put me in those footed pyjamas. YKWIA has threatened to put me in them when I'm in the home. And they do come in adult sizes--I've seen them. :)

Anyway I'm up and moving. I haven't eaten anything yet, but I'm not particularly hungry. I guess my stomach hasn't woken up yet. So while I'm waiting for the dryers to finish, I think I'll check the news.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It was a busy day, but I didn't really finish anything

There's maybe a box and a bit on the dresser and chest of drawers to do in the bedroom. I gathered the laundry up but it's been raining steadily so instead I thought I'd try to do it early in the morning. The trash and recyclables are ready to go out, but I'll wait till the morning for that, too. And I never made it to the cabinets. Oh, well.

But things look much better, I've worked hard, and now I think I'm going to head on to bed. I've already talked with various friends and my mother, and despite being fairly caffeinated I am getting in that sleepy mode where I want to crawl into bed. So good night.

A hard dose of reality

When I was young, we were told that education and hard work pays off and with both you can achieve the American dream. I learned a long time ago (within a month after graduating with my MSLS, when I started selling bagels for a living) that what I was told was simply not true. And I think it will be far harder for today's college students and recently grads. In short, whereas I've always contended that we Gen Xers got a bad rap and card hand compared to the Boomers, the Millennials are getting the shaft.

25 college majors with the highest unemployment rates

This is the same list I wrote about awhile ago, but with a full 25 on the list. Library science is number 4, at 15% unemployment. And of course, considering you really need a master's level degree in library science to get a job, that means more outlay.

There is also 25 college majors with lowest unemployment rates to look at.

I'm a medical librarian and with a history background

So it's probably no surprise that this interests me:

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson from Book Videos on Vimeo.

For more, see The Ghost Map: Hard Lessons in Epidemiology from Victorian London by Maria Popova

and here's the book itself:
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson (which is cheaper than the Kindle edition).

In the last two hours

I have taken the mattress and box springs off the bed, discovered scary dust bunnies, some papers, holiday lights, facial tissue, and even some dog food (I haven't had a dog in years). I took care of that, flipped the mattress (or as much as you can when you have a pillow-top mattress), gathered up the laundry, and then starting putting all the junk that escaped the closet, came from other parts of the apartment, or came out of the drawers (most were in those reusable grocery bags) onto the bed. The laundry is ready to go, although I think I have more loads than I do quarters, but I'll do what I can. I also vacuumed. Now the trick is to start finding places for things/throwing things away. The clean laundry will go into most of the drawers, so this will be a challenge. :)

But for now, I must take a break. A peanut butter and spreadable fruit sandwich and some more caffeine, and maybe a little playing on the computer. If I sit down and watch a programme, though, I'll run out of steam and considering I can't go to sleep tonight without clearing off the bed, I don't want to do that.


Tweety And Sylvester Bring Mel Blanc Back To Life
Looney Tunes are back! A brand-new cartoon short called I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat debuts in theaters this weekend. It features beloved comedy duo Tweety Bird and Sylvester The Cat, but the real star of the show is the man who made them famous.

Mel Blanc was the voice of Warner Bros' most enduring cartoon characters for more than 50 years. He died in 1989, but an original recording of Blanc singing "I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat" has been remastered for the new short, playing in theaters alongside the film Happy Feet Two.

Mel Blanc really gave the characters he voiced life, and I grew up with his voice.

Always nice to see librarian bloggers in the news

Sarah Houghton, who blogs as the Librarian in Black, got a nice write-up in her local paper in Devilishly digital: San Rafael's 'Librarian in Black' finds cult fame with blog.

You can read her blog or follow her on Twitter for informative posts. And be sure to read her The Creepy Librarian Stalker Hypothesis. Thankfully, I can say that this has not been a problem for me. Yet, anyway. Which is a blessing.

Happy Sunday morning!

On a typical Sunday, I'm up at 4:45 am, leave the house about 5:20, catch the bus at 5:45, transfer at 6:20, go to Kroger for game snacks about 6:25, catch the next bus about 7:25 (they run hourly on Sundays), and reach my destination about 7:40. Then I clean house until about 1 pm. Then Brenda gets there about 3. Every two weeks we go to Kroger for about an hour for a big grocery run. Then we play Call of Cthulhu an average of five to six hours, and I get home somewhere between 8:30 and midnight. This may explain why I rarely blog on Sundays.

But today the game was called off due to an early Christmas celebration and I have the day to myself. So I slept in to my normal wake time, which is around 8:30--this despite being up till 1:30 on the phone with a friend. (And I woke up again at 4 am. I think I have trained my bladder to wake me up about 3:15-4 am so I can check out Amazon's 'free app of the day' (Today's is List Master Pro). I have already begun the caffeination--via Diet Sunkist--and have had breakfast. Yesterday's aches seem to be gone, despite rain coming into the forecast possibly today. Here's what I plan to do today:

  1. Laundry
  2. Clean bedroom
  3. Take out trash and recyclables
  4. Put kitchen cabinets in order
  5. Dust

About the only thing I did for the house yesterday was water the plants. If there's time after all that I plan on getting caught up on some recorded television or watch the movie I have from Netflix, Forrest Gump (I've never seen it, but I hear it's rather long, so we'll see if I'm up to it later). I've already talked with a friend on the phone, too.

But first, I'm going to check the news. I'll probably write later, if only to say, yes, I did all this and I'm exhausted or gee, I blew off everything and enjoyed my Sunday. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I've been following a page on Facebook

called Aid for Aidan. Aidan Reed is six years old. He was diagnosed last year with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). He loves lots of scary things, like monsters, and draws them, and they've been raising money for his care with them.

Aidan's been pretty sick the last few days. I think it started with the flu. The last I've heard he's been rushed to the ER twice today, the second time with low counts and a fever of 104.

Please keep this little boy in your prayers tonight.

There was a young man

of whom I did not know, a founder of a social networking site called Diaspora, whose name was Ilya Zhitomirskiy. He committed suicide the other day. He was only 22, and apparently hid his depression very well. There are some thoughts on this, as well as a plea to make the choice to reach out to others rather than to take one's life, at this: Please Reach Out

I have dealt with depression, in fact I've spent probably the majority of my life depressed, but never to that point. I've gotten to the point where I didn't care if I lived or died, but not where I felt like doing the deed myself. But I've known others who have been actively contemplating suicide, had it all planned, and it is a very scary thing, and I've seen what serious depression can do on a daily basis.

Please, if you are contemplating suicide, seek help. Call 1-800-273-8255 in the US. (If you don't have the number handy, put 'suicide' into Google and it will pop up at the top even before you hit search--thanks folks at Google.) Reach out to a friend, a family member, a member of the clergy, a teacher--anyone you feel you can trust to help you. And if there is no one, there is the hotline. There are things that can help, such as medication and therapy. And most of all, there are people who care, even if you don't think so right now.

I must confess

That if I had a Dalek, and if I still had cats, I would chase said cats with the Dalek. But I don't, so I have to watch this:

Another favourite

Carl Orff's Carmina Burana 'O Fortuna'

[English translation is provided at the YouTube site, if you're interested.]

I totally blanked on Orff's name for a moment. Thank goodness for Wikipedia. :)

I love Mozart's Requiem, particularly this section

Which may be a little odd for a pagan, considering it is about the day of wrath, but hey, I was a mediaevalist in school, and my major professor sang the Dies Irae rather well. :)

I think the person who put this up has put up translations of all parts of the Requiem in his videos. There are also images from the Hubble Telescope to Pink Floyd and various others. I think I will subscribe to the channel.

They've re-figured how they count poverty--and those who are not 'poor' but struggling

Older, Suburban and Struggling, ‘Near Poor’ Startle the Census
They drive cars, but seldom new ones. They earn paychecks, but not big ones. Many own homes. Most pay taxes. Half are married, and nearly half live in the suburbs. None are poor, but many describe themselves as barely scraping by.

Down but not quite out, these Americans form a diverse group sometimes called “near poor” and sometimes simply overlooked — and a new count suggests they are far more numerous than previously understood.

Here's the full graphic illustrating the numbers.

After the video game

I sneaked into the bedroom and took a nap. Now it's dark. I think this day is a dud for cleaning, but had I had already decided it would be best to clean the bedroom during the laundry, which was set for tomorrow anyway. That way the clothes that are piled in a couple of areas can be gathered up and out of the way, then go into the empty drawers I have ready for them once they're clean.

Apparently I didn't get hyped up on enough caffeine to clean house like last weekend. I'm also achy, especially in my back. I don't know if it's the weather (which was cold, but is improving) or the fact that I totally stopped my period for 24 hours and it came back (welcome to perimenopause, perhaps?)

So tonight I think it's going to be TV, and then tomorrow I can really get going, hopefully. Of course, that means I'll probably not sleep much right before work on Monday.

Going the extra mile for your dissertation

Female Orgasm - Brain Activity Captured In FMRI Imaging Device

Don't get me wrong, I find the study fascinating. But one of the first questions that leapt to mind was how did they do that? Well, a PhD candidate who is a sex therapist achieved orgasm by self-stimulation. As she put it, 'It's my dissertation. I'm committed to it.' Now for an MRI on the brain you have to be very still. I don't know if that's true of a functional MRI. But if so, there's a bit of challenge in that when apparently 80 different brain areas are responding in rapid succession.

Of course, if they can pinpoint those areas of the brain, they can maybe figure out why other people do not achieve orgasm, or even figure out other ways to fire those pleasure centres.


Burma poised to free jailed activists as it edges closer to democracy: As the pace of the 'Burmese Spring' accelerates, release of political prisoners will be crucial to lifting EU and US sanctions
There is no "concrete" reason why hundreds of Burma's political prisoners could not be released without delay, according to a spokesman for the country's authoritarian regime.

The pace of the Burmese "spring" appeared to accelerate this weekend as the regime revealed plans to make peace with ethnic rebels, release more prisoners and ease state censorship.

It came as Hillary Clinton arrived in the country for a two-day visit, the first by a US secretary of state in more than 50 years. Praising reforms made since the March elections when the military gave way to a civilian one, albeit in a parliament stacked with former generals, she urged more.

I got sucked into a game of Civilization IV

where I had built a very educated, advanced, and wealthy Indian state, with multiple religions and lots of rights, when the Aztecs and Chinese basically decided to eliminate me with prejudice, and there was no time to both fight a war with both and get a space station into orbit, so I stopped. Now I really should start working on the bedroom. Forrest Gump did come today, but I'm going to work first, then vegetate in front of the TV later. :)

Just got back from a trip to the grocery store

thanks to a friend who took me. I also got quarters for laundry. So now I'm eating a bagel and cream cheese and contemplating my next move. Do I work on the laundry/bedroom? Or watch something on the DVR? I'm not used to having free time on the weekend, and tomorrow is free and clear as well. I'm thinking the laundry room is usually pretty full on Saturday afternoons. I may wait to do laundry until tomorrow morning, then I can put in all the loads at once.

I got the makings for fruit salad for Thanksgiving, and I'll take that to my mom's. Trust me, you don't want me to bring anything I actually cooked. That's assuming we are having Thanksgiving there; I can't imagine us not, but I need to call and make sure they can come and get me. I'm off Thanksgiving and the day after, so I may just stay overnight.

I reactivated my Netflix account the other day, so I should get a DVD today. It's Forrest Gump, which I have never seen. Really. So many people have told me I need to, I moved it up in the queue. :) That reminds me, I also haven't seen Philadelphia, and it is on streaming video as well as DVD. I might watch that today. We'll see.

I don't think I'd care for this, either

Will pay-per-mile be a buzzkill for American road trips?
Imagine 254 million vehicles.

That's the number of cars, trucks and motorcycles that a tax per mile system would have to monitor.

Some proposals call for using GPS satellites to gather mileage data on each vehicle.

Whoa. Really?

When it comes to tracking their vehicles, Americans tend to be really touchy about protecting their privacy.

According to a University of Iowa poll, only about 20% of drivers would choose a pay-per-mile tax system if GPS tracking is involved.

The anonymous driver will soon be an extinct species, says Neil.

"You can't drop off the grid. Ten years from now, it will be virtually impossible to drive a car that doesn't have an electronic signature," said Neil.

"It doesn't matter whether you have OnStar or you rent a car -- it's going to have a 'black box.' If you've got any kind of navigation, The Man -- with a capital M -- knows where you are."

That's disheartening

I have a friend who has been going through a rough time, both health-wise, and consequentially, financially-wise, as he has not been able to work, so his wife has been working frantically to keep a roof over the head of the two of them and their very small children (2 and 4).

Facing eviction right around Thanksgiving has to be a nightmare. I know, I've had a couple of times when the the only thing that saved me was help from my family, in just this timeframe, and I have been evicted once after being partialy laid-off, although it was in spring, and I was thankfully able to find a place to move to. But it has to be worse when you have a family to worry about at well.

I've done what I can to help, and I'm hoping very much that if one programme he has an appointment with next week comes through, they'll have what they need. The thing is, though, he's talked to lots of charities, and although I recognise that charitable giving is down, resources are tight, etc., etc., two things he was told were fairly disheartening.

One--some charities have the funds to help, but prefer to wait till Christmas to disburse them. That makes Christmas all warm and fuzzy, but I don't really thing Christ would say to give to the poor just for his birthday (which let's face it, isn't really anyway, all indications being he was born in the spring) and let them be homeless and needy the rest of the year.

They were also told that because his wife has a college degree, and they're hard-working with families that are considered 'semi-affluent', that they don't qualify for help. I'm not sure what his family situation is, but he's been ill for most of the year and they've probably exhausted what resources they have, from what I gather. His wife was in the middle of a career change when everything hit the fan and while thankfully she has a job, it is in the low-end of the career, and does not pay well. We're in an oeconomy where a six-figure executive can find himself homeless in a very short time, much less a family struggling to get by very little income. Instead, it sounds like if they'd both dropped out of high school, gotten involved with drugs, and starting cranking out lots of babies, they'd be in a better position.

So that's a bit disheartening. But I have great hope about the agency next week, and that they can get the money together. But I worry because they'll still be behind, and I'm not sure what can help get them out of the hole altogether. They are not living in a large or expensive apartment, etc., and I'm not sure they could find a cheaper one of that quality in Lexington. And there will probably be no Christmas to speak of for the kids.

Anyway, I had to vent just a little. All of this has put more stress on his health, and on his family. So, please, think good thoughts for them, and pray for them if you do.

Arachnophobes, do not follow this link

For the rest of you, it may prove an interesting article:

Spiders offer up useless gifts to get sex — but ladies not duped: Males will even play dead to get more action in this devious 8-legged world

Friday, November 18, 2011


Doctor Who, 'The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe'. :)

Thanks to a fellow language geek

(Bill) for sharing:

On a totally different note

I love this song...

Gathering the music

One of the things I do with this paycheque is start paying on the insurance policy that will pay for my cremation and memorial service should I die, according to arrangements I made last month with Milward Funeral Directors. When we got to music, this was what I wanted, and I have two of the three on CD. I just got a coupon from Amazon worth a free .mp3 song that I'm going to use to get the one I just have on tape, 'Dust in the Wind' (which, granted, is a bit cliché, I suppose, but I rather love); then I'll put them on a CD and put it with the rest of my planning materials. [The third, Rob Thomas' 'Now Comes the Night', will be the version on the album, not this live version.] They sort of sum up some of the stages of my life. What do you think?

Simon & Garfunkel, 'Scarborough Fair/Canticle'

Kansas, 'Dust in the Wind'

Rob Thomas, 'Now Comes the Night'

One of the comments on 'Dust in the Wind' was great. They all have that 70s look, and someone wrote that Hagrid did a great job playing the violin. :)

Anyway, I don't consider any of these sad. Poignant, yes, but sad, no, and fitting for any gathering remembering me. I did originally tell the lady 'Sound of Silence' for Simon & Garfunkel, because I guess with all we were going over, I had a brain freeze, but I'll correct that when I send in the payment to her tomorrow.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Today was going to be about consumerism and selfishness

instead it has been a reminder that things are things, that the well-being of others is utmost, and the value of friendship is way more than anything you might buy, about how being decent and doing the right thing are way more important than gadgets, and caring about people feeds your soul.

I also got some good news tonight. It looks like Charlotte Reid, the little girl I know of who is dealing with a couple of rare disorders, will be coming to America thanks to proceeds from a golf tournament in Melbourne and some other donations. Thanks to any of you who might have helped out. :)

I have not yet read the trilogy

even though I've known about them, and this upcoming film, for years. This makes me want to read now.

The trilogy is available for Kindle from Amazon for $17.85, but The Hunger Games itself is only $4.69, and if you buy them separately you pay about $2 more total. I think I'll try the first book out and see if I like it, rather than getting them all at once.

This is interesting

Antarctic mountain mystery solved
The mystery of how a subglacial mountain range the size of the Alps formed up to 250 million years ago has finally been solved, scientists said on Wednesday, which could help map the effects of climate change.

The Gamburtsev subglacial mountains are buried 3km below the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, the largest remaining body of ice on the planet.

Experts are trying to learn more about the frozen continent as even a small thaw could swamp low-lying coastal areas and cities. Antarctica contains enough ice to raise world sea levels by about 57m if it ever all melted.

I got to play with an Amazon Kindle Fire today

One of the ladies at work got hers when she ran home for something else and brought it back to oohs and aahs (at least three people there have ordered it, including her, so we had a brief Fire petting zoo).

First impressions: Very slick, very easy to use, very good for a person whose needs are consuming content who don't need the versatility of a full tablet and want to keep a simple interface going. I showed her how to use the Amazon app store, how to browse the web. We downloaded one of her Kindle books to the device and looked at it. She figured out how to view a magazine. Like I said, it was a very quick view. It is also made with a scratch-resistant 'gorilla' glass that makes it seem very solid without being clunky.

I think Amazon has a winner.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Getting a good start to the day

I've put away dishes, re-potted an orchid, fed the fish, eaten breakfast, chatted with someone from Australia, and I'm about to get ready for work. Apparently where he lives it's almost midnight. :) That has been a challenge we've had in playing the Cthulhu game--figuring out the time differential when gallivanting around the world. It was awful during the Antarctic adventure. I think after awhile the game master was close to rolling a luck roll to see if phone calls woke anyone up in the middle of the night.

Today is rainy and quite a bit cooler than yesterday. I have a lot to do in the latter part of the week (a meeting, a doctor's appointment, a webcast), but today is light for the library gig, although the data entry should be busy because of a large clinic census.

I'm curious to know if my co-workers who pre-ordered Kindle Fire tablets got them yesterday--some people did, and we have an Amazon warehouse in town. One of them was very excited when I told them they were shipping early. :)

I really looked at them to see if they are for me, and I decided that what I would really like is a device coming out tomorrow from T-Mobile called a SpringBoard. Like the Kindle Fire, it is a 7" tablet running a version of Android (in this case, it's Honeycomb). Unlike the Kindle Fire, it has two cameras and has 4G connectivity in addition to wi-fi (meaning it requires a data plan, but also meaning I could watch a Netflix show or be on the Internet on the bus, whereas a Kindle Fire would mean I'd have to put a wireless router in at home, and could only use the streaming and Internet services there or out where there's a public network, which I'm not around much). The exact price hasn't been released; I've seen one subdomain page on T-Mobile's site at $179.99, but I was told by T-Mobile that was a sub-contractor's price and not their official one, which won't be known until it launches.

One good thing I could do with it is use it to finish cataloguing the collection at work and at home, because the cameras are autofocus (my phone's isn't, and so it does well with QR codes but not regular bar codes). But mainly it would be for fun and productivity. But I can't get it until at least the 1st. I'm finally caught up from the book club fiasco, but I have two doctors' appointments and some medicine to get on top of my normal bills, and those are more important. So I'll try to delay gratification for a little while, and thankfully we're not too far away from the time my flexible spending account starts up again, as far as medical bills go. January would be absolutely great for getting it, as a major bill is paid off then, so no more monthly payments of $200, but I'd like to get it before T-Mobile is gobbled up by AT&T so I can get a real unlimited plan for the connection, and I think January is when that is decided. We'll see. But I'm not going to cut out necessities to get a gadget, and there's the trip to Chicago coming up in December as well, so while it's definitely on my wish list, it may or may not materialise soon.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another sad, story, I'm afraid

I wrote about these friends some time ago, and it only seems fitting to finish the tale. Their story was remarkable, and it still is. Elephants (and dogs) are quite wonderful creatures, and their friendship was doubly so. RIP Bella, and to Tarra, may she find comfort.

There is a book about Tarra and Bella you can get at Amazon, called Tarra & Bella: The Elephant and Dog Who Became Best Friends.


Why David Yates’ movie could be the best thing to happen to Doctor Who in ages

David Yates brought us the final Harry Potter movies from Order of the Phoenix through Deathly Hallows, if you're not familiar with him. It's not by any means firm--BBCAmerica, for example, insisted in a tweet that 'A Doctor Who feature film remains in development w/ BBC Worldwide Productions in LA. As of yet no script, cast or production crew in place.' Anyway, the io9 article has some ideas for why it could be good, and what is essential for a good Doctor Who movie.

My nightmare Doctor Who movie (and I have heard rumours along this line, too) would be Tim Burton doing it with Johnny Depp in the lead. Really. Let them do odd things to Dark Shadows, but keep my Doctor British, quirky in a good way, etc. And I agree with the author of the article that a Doctor Who movie shouldn't be just for the fans, but for everybody. That's one great thing about the show, that it appeals on so many levels, even to people who aren't sci fi geeks.

Nice mysterious artefact

Bronze Artifact Found on Alaska's Seward Peninsula
A research team is attempting to discover the origin of a cast bronze artifact excavated from an Inupiat Eskimo home site believed to be about 1,000 years old.

The artifact resembles a small buckle, researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder said in an announcement. How it got to Alaska remains a mystery.

"The object appears to be older than the house we were excavating by at least a few hundred years," research assistant John Hoffecker said in the release. Hoffecker led excavating at Cape Espenberg on Alaska's Seward Peninsula.
Nifty, no? Leather connected to the bar dates to about 600 CE, but they're trying to find more wood in the stratum to date it more thoroughly through radiocarbon method. The house is away from the then-shoreline, so would not simply have washed up from some sort of sea vessel, and the indigenous peoples did not cast metal. So the question is, were they visited by someone from the Old World far earlier than the Europeans who came later?

Home early

which is good, as it's supposed to possibly thunderstorm as a cold front comes through this evening. Today it was up to 70 degrees; I think tomorrow it's supposed to be in the high 50s. Anyway, I'm home, I've checked the news (which includes Facebook and Twitter, although apparently Twitter is over capacity at the moment, as I got the Fail Whale), eaten, and now I'm going to put away the clean dishes and wash the ones left in the sink that were soaking. After that I'm not quite sure if I'll straighten up some more, listen to music and read, or take a nap. We'll see.

PS (A little while later): The dishes are clean, the refrigerator is cleaned out, and the ice cube trays are full of water, freezing. I think I'll take a small nap, after changing [I am nearly incapable of hand-washing dishes without getting water down my shirt.] :)

Words fail

10-year-old Commits Suicide Because of Bullying

I know I've posted some grim news stories here lately. Sorry for that. But this so disturbed me. 10 year olds shouldn't have to endure being called sluts, and they certainly shouldn't feel that ending their life is the only way out. How do we stop such horrible bullying, and build resiliency in our children? Are we failing both the bullied and the bullies?

Up early (on a Monday!)

and I've had breakfast, taken my meds, washed a drainer full of hand-wash dishes, cleaned the counters and stove, etc., so the kitchen is in good shape. I have a few more dishes to do once I get home. Unfortunately my shirt caught on the dishwasher dial and so the clean dishes to put away from Saturday will have to wait till tonight to be put away. Perhaps this is one reason newer models don't have dials. (That and tiny curious fingers.)


I would write about yesterday (which was also pretty productive), but it's time to head to the bus stop. I'll write later tonight. But the weekend was one of the best I've had in awhile.

I truly do no understand

how any person can do this to another human being. And I am so glad that I do not.

Savagely beaten, tied to a lamppost and burned alive: Horrific fate of hotel manager who was murdered 'for being gay'

Later reports corrected the being tied to a lamppost, but unfortunately the manner of death is correct. I cannot fathom the kind of person who would do this to someone. Fortunately there are decent people in the world who turned out in support for his funeral.

Thousand mourners attend funeral of Stuart Walker

That's from a town of only 9,000 people. They have a suspect in custody, thankfully.

Thanks to Joe.My.God for the links. RIP Stuart Walker. May you find peace, and your murderer find justice.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

So terribly sad

18-Year-Old Girl Tweets 144 Times before Committing Suicide: MyFoxHOUSTON.com

Of course, the thing about Twitter is it's kind of a crap shoot whether a tweet is noticed by someone following you, especially if the person follows a lot of people or agencies. And then there's the fact that it's sometimes hard to figure out who to report a suicide note to, what jurisdiction, that sort of thing. But she used her real name, and 144 tweets over 6 hours--that might be a little different.

This girl obviously felt that no one could stop her pain, and that the world failed her. And, it seems, it did. I am saddened by the death of someone so young, so troubled. I hope if her allegations are true, then the case will be reopened and the person who essentially killed the spirit of this young girl gets the justice deserved.

Well, I did many of the dishes

Those that are dishwasher safe, anyway. The rest I'll leave for Monday night, and I'll clean out the fridge, do a bit of cleaning as far as the counters and floors go. The day of rearranging and housework went pretty well. I'm tired, but I've also had quite a bit of caffeine, so I'm not entirely sure I will sleep soon.

I also set up the mist lamp (it's an ionising humidifier with a light that glows and puts out cool stem) in my bedroom, with a little lavender oil in it, and that was relaxing. I went in there for awhile during the dishwasher's cycles.

Now I've had an evening snack and I'm going to take my long-acting insulin for the night. I'm going to check the news and then read for awhile and listen to some more Loreena McKennitt. I was originally going to try to catch up on some TV, but that's more relaxing. If I find something particularly blogworthy on the news, I'll post, but otherwise, good night.

I'm not sure I can face the kitchen

I've been working solidly for nine hours, after going to the grocery and bank. The living area looks great, the fish are happy, I've even vacuumed. Lots of books have homes now. All I have left are the dishes and straightening up the kitchen, and I'm pooped. And although I could wait until Monday (Sunday we'll play the game most likely late, as it's a Kroger run day), I hate to leave them much longer. So I must soldier on. I do think I'll take a brief break now that there's plenty of room to sit, maybe read my Dresden Files novel for a bit. The nice thing about the loveseat being moved is there's a light behind it now, so it's good for reading and for watching TV. Yay.

Okay, this is too cute for words!

Thanks to George Takei for sharing!

By the way

Today's Daily Kindle Deal at Amazon is Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke. Its list price is $8.99 and normally is just a smidge under that, but for today it's $1.99. I've wanted to read it for some time.

So if you have a Kindle, get over there and get it, if you can, for tomorrow it goes back to regular price.

Agenda for a Saturday

  1. Eat breakfast (toast and peanut butter, the two things in the house).
  2. Shower/get ready to out into a sunny, cool day.
  3. Go to grocery for game snacks and some groceries. Make sure there's caffeine in the mix.
  4. Go to the bank and get some quarters.
  5. Clean fish tank.
  6. Take out recliner.
  7. Move loveseat.
  8. Clear space for bookshelf.
  9. Set up bookshelf/put up books.
  10. Wash dishes.
  11. Straighten living area.
  12. Water the plants.
  13. Take our trash/recyclables.
  14. Vacuum living/dining area and hallway.
  15. Do game notes.
  16. Print out calendar sheets for gamemaster and self for notations in coming game year.
  17. Find book to loan to Brenda.
  18. Look to see if I have an unused short comic box.


Friday, November 11, 2011

I am not so much surprised

or incredulous as, well, flabbergasted that anyone would think this was a good idea. Oh. Yeah. We're talking people whose brains are still forming (no offence to the teens of the world, but hey, I'm just saying).

Teens using vodka tampons to get drunk

And no, it isn't just girls. Guys are using similar methods rectally.

I found this more than a little disturbing

Tests Show Most Store Honey Isn't Honey: Ultra-filtering Removes Pollen, Hides Honey Origins
Ultra filtering is a high-tech procedure where honey is heated, sometimes watered down and then forced at high pressure through extremely small filters to remove pollen, which is the only foolproof sign identifying the source of the honey. It is a spin-off of a technique refined by the Chinese, who have illegally dumped tons of their honey - some containing illegal antibiotics - on the U.S. market for years.


‘Honey laundering’ from China through India to America

I need to rethink the honey I give as an offering.

I like something George Takei

said on his Facebook page today:
Happy 11/11/11. The one day when dyslexia has no power.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Almost sad

My ride and I came across a duck which was stunned in the middle of the road tonight right by my apartment complex. We couldn't tell if it were hurt, although it was flapping its wings like making snow angels while on its back. We were trying to figure out what to do for it, and weren't sure, so she dropped me off and went back. I was checking on the animal control number (figuring that they could either help it, or if it were too far gone, put it out of its misery). Meanwhile Lindsey called, and another lady had stopped for it and had gotten it off the road and it went running into the bushes. Hopefully it isn't hurt badly. I suspect it may have been the duck my apartment leasing office feeds, the one that took a dip in our pool last summer once while I was going by. In retrospect we should have just gotten out of the car and picked it up right then. But it all worked out. I hope it's okay.


Africa's Western Black Rhino declared extinct: A quarter of all mammals are at risk of extinction, conservation group says
The Western Black Rhino of Africa was declared officially extinct Thursday by a leading conservation group.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature said that two other subspecies of rhinoceros were close to meeting the same fate.

The Northern White Rhino of central Africa is now "possibly extinct" in the wild and the Javan Rhino "probably extinct" in Vietnam, after poachers killed the last animal there in 2010.

A small but declining population survives on the Indonesian island of Java.

See the IUCN's Red List of endangered species for more we may lose. And for a visual, here are some of the animals (and plants) on the list:

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Quote of the day

Commonly attributed to Albert Einstein, but it is disputed, so I'm really not sure of the source. I got it (as attributed to Einstein), from something George Takei shared on Facebook:

Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Welcome to my world. Most people think I'm smart, but I've spent years comparing myself to someone whose intelligence is probably off the charts, which I really need to stop doing. After all, people have so many unique qualities, it probably isn't fair to compare yourself to anyone else or to what others may think of you.

Just a little rambling thought for the morning.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

This is great

Dirt Devil-The Exorcist from MrPrice2U on Vimeo.

Thanks to Angela from high school, who shared this on Facebook. :)

Wow, I got all sorts of hits on this...at least I didn't major in psychology

Because apparently that is the kiss of death as far as getting a job....

The 11 Majors with the Highest Unemployment

History (albeit US--I was strictly European), library science, and linguistics are all on the list (I do not technically have a linguistics major, but I was one class short.)

I am apparently anathema should I be on the market again. Ugh.

Thanks to Vanessa Irvin Morris for the link!

I started out a science geek

I took college-level chemistry in high school, including organic (over the summer). I came three points short in by-passing the first two semesters of college chemistry, plus lab, and started out my college career in a dual biology and sociology major, interested in oecology and how people interact with their environment.

I had soaked up all that chemistry, physics, biology, and even had survived calculus, when I realised I was terribly burnt out on science. Then my animal biology lab teacher chloroformed a white rat we'd been playing with all semester in front of me and dissected it.

The next semester, I switched to history and sociology. I'm not saying history was easier--it's more than memorising dates, you know, but it was less intense, less full of ups and downs. And I found it much more interesting than I did the practice of science, which when you get down to it can be tedious, repetitive, and really, with the burn out I'd lost the spark I'd had for it. Instead, I threw myself into studying people--their history, their languages, art, etc. I went on to get a degree in history, sociology, and honours (a Great Books programme), went back and added a classical civilisation major and a Judaic studies minor, and then spent years in the ancient and mediaeval history graduate programme. Granted, I'm not working in that, I'm working as a librarian, which benefits from all sorts of backgrounds. :)

I do still love science--much like I love technology--but I prefer to be an armchair scientist, rather than making it my life's work. But I did find this interesting:

Why Science Majors Change Their Minds (It’s Just So Darn Hard)
Studies have found that roughly 40 percent of students planning engineering and science majors end up switching to other subjects or failing to get any degree. That increases to as much as 60 percent when pre-medical students, who typically have the strongest SAT scores and high school science preparation, are included, according to new data from the University of California at Los Angeles. That is twice the combined attrition rate of all other majors.

For educators, the big question is how to keep the momentum being built in the lower grades from dissipating once the students get to college.

Another mystery cracked with genetics

Cave Painters Were Realists, DNA Study Finds
Scientists have wondered for years how much imagination went into animal drawings etched in caves around Europe, for example with depictions of spotted horses experts didn't think actually existed. Now, after DNA analysis from the fossilized bones of prehistoric horses, they found a genetic mutation that gives rise to a spotted coat.

Spotted Horses in Cave Art Weren’t Just a Figment, DNA Shows
Roughly 25,000 years ago in what is now southwestern France, human beings walked deep into a cave and left their enduring marks. Using materials like sticks, charcoal and iron oxides, they painted images of animals on the cave walls and ceilings — lions and mammoths and spotted horses, walking and grazing and congregating in herds.

Monday, November 07, 2011

This is going to take a little time to get used to

It is pitch black outside, and was even as I got home, before 7 pm. Welcome to Standard Time, folks. Winter's just around the corner.

Weird news of the day

thanks to YKWIA, who won hands down for this gem he found:

Police: Russian man kept 29 mummified bodies
The Russian historian had always been open about his interest in the dead and eagerly described how he loved to rummage through cemeteries, studying grave stones to uncover the life stories behind them.

What he failed to mention, according to police, was that he had dug up 29 bodies and taken them back to his apartment, where he dressed them in women's clothes scavenged from graves and then put them on display.

A police video of the man's apartment in the Volga River city of Nizhny Novgorod released Monday shows his macabre collection of what look like dolls. Lifesize, they are dressed in bright dresses and headscarves, their hands and faces wrapped in what appears to be cloth. Police said they were mummified remains.

Instructions for doll-making were found in the apartment, police said, and the video showed old-fashioned plastic dolls in frilly dresses lying about.

So not only was he hoarding mummified human remains he'd dug up, he was dressing them up like dolls. The story YKWIA read indicated he was making working joints for them, as well.

It topped the story I'd found about the South Africa couple, engaged and expecting a baby, who found out they were brother and sister. I haven't been able to confirm that one, any way--I'm somewhat dubious of the sources, and no names have been named (which, granted, I understand).

Anyway, there's your odd news for the day.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Individuality is a wonderful thing

And this video aims to inspire those who are different to foster that individuality rather than conform to the ideas others have about us.

I particularly like the following:
Robert Frost wrote a poem about taking the road less travelled, but he never mentioned the bullies, hecklers, and know-it-alls who repeatedly block your way. Don't let them stop you--or doubt yourself.

The video is dedicated to Matthew Shepard, who was tortured and killed at age 21 in an anti-gay hate crime, and Phoebe Prince, who committed suicide at age 15 after persistent bullying.

The video is available for download to schools and other organisations to use in their anti-bullying/diversity programmes at http://www.4shared.com/video/ktKDqdqP/To_You_Who_Are_Different.html.

This will probably be the last time

I come home from work with the sun still shining for awhile, given the time change this weekend. Also, I'm home a bit early. My ride graciously stopped at the library so I could run in and get the book I have on hold.

It's been a good day. I got up early, got the game notes finished and did some stuff around the house, went back to bed for a bit (emerging with poofy hair since it was still damp from the shower). I actually had a hearty breakfast this morning. I finished up my to-do list at work for the week. Now I'm home, eating a sandwich and contemplating my next move. I'm afraid a lot of Fridays I just sort of crash. We'll see if my early morning will cause me to do so, or if I'll be able to stay up for Grimm and/or Supernatural (I haven't decided which I'll watch, which I'll record, or if I'll just record both and watch them at another time.) DVR is a wonderful thing.

For right now, though, I think I'll listen to some music and check some stuff on the Internet. Then I'm going to work out a budget for the end of the year and 2012. Hope you have a good weekend.

Wow, that was record time

The game notes are finished, in about fifty minutes tops. :) On to other things for the day, but in the meantime, yes, I think I'll go back to bed for about an hour. But this means that I don't have to worry about it tonight or tomorrow. Yay! I just need to remember to transfer the notes to the Kindle later.

Okay, have a great Friday. Our weather's supposed to be nice compared to yesterday, so I'm looking forward to some sunshine.

I am up uncharacteristically early

I fell asleep early, so I guess it figures I should be awake at 4:30 in the morning, having gotten a full eight hours' sleep. I don't normally do that, of course. I've already had my shower, changed my stuff over from my backpack to my satchel, and done a few things around the house.

I must have slept on my hip wrong; it's hurting. I'm hoping it'll get better as I walk it out over the course of the day.

I do have a movie to watch, or I could do game notes. I think I'll at least transfer them over to the computer and get a feel for how long they'll take. We had downtime last weekend, no investigation or action scenes, so it shouldn't take long. (Investigation takes awhile, because there's all that useful information to include. Action scenes can be glossed over so there's not a blow-by-blow, but they're important. This was stuff that was more day-to-day stuff. Not unimportant, but it isn't necessary to put it all in with detail. Sometimes I can go through, say, five hours of downtime in about an hour or two. Long sessions or those with lots of investigation can take much longer.

I could read my newest Vicky Bliss library book, but I've got the Kindle charging and it's a little more awkward with the cord. The battery's actually not down that far (it lasts upwards to a month or more, and I have the old Kindle 2, which was only supposed to be 2 weeks), but I figured now was a good time to charge.

Truth be told, I'm starting to feel a bit sleepy again. I may go back to bed, at least until say, 7 o'clock. I'd rather there be some light outside, and it's not like I've got to be to work until mid-morning.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Thank the Gods this is a parody

...a hilarious one, by the way. It's based on the real interviews, in which the question, 'Should evolution be taught in school?', was asked. You can view that video at: Miss USA 2011 - 51 Delegates Interview (Q2 - Evolution taught in school).

Thanks to David Reid for sharing the parody video with me. I particularly like, 'On the one hand there's math, and on the other you have, like, "non-math".'

I fell asleep earlier

but got up to check my insulin and whether I'd gotten paid. The answer to the latter is yes, thankfully, although I'm looking at what I need to pay and there's not much left over. I have to get a couple of medicines, including insulin--which is $50 for a box of pens. Plus rent, a bus pass, and my electric bill. But I should be able to get some food, too. Now the middle of the month is looking much better, which is good, because I'm behind on gifts.

I'm tracking my expenses on my phone. This will be the first month with nearly normal expenses. I'm curious as to how much I actually spend on food, especially at work. It's my main fluctuating expense. That will put me on a better road to a budget.

Today I finished the Elizabeth Peters book Silhouette in Scarlet and checked out the next novel, Trojan Gold. I stopped by the library earlier because I determined that the later Jim Butcher novels, which I have gotten stuck on halfway through the series, are available for Kindle checkout--but I have to get past this one problem story first. I'm stuck on Small Favor, for some reason. Anyway, I went to check it out but someone got it yesterday (I should have checked ahead, I know, but it's not like I went out of my way to go there--it's right where the bus lets me off). So, I requested another copy to be sent over to my branch (I love that the library lets me do that--for someone on the bus, it saves a lot of time not having to go to other branches in search for a book that might be checked out by the time I get there, and one thing about bus riding is that it takes time, at least here in Lexington). I'll probably be able to pick it up Friday or Saturday morning (they'll send it over tomorrow, I expect). So, I'll try again.

Gary Corby's new book, The Ionia Sanction, is coming out next week. The plan is to order it and a friend's birthday present on the next pay day.

I also have a book that was given to me for free so that I could review it. I'll keep mum on that for now. It isn't a professional review--just on someplace like Amazon, etc.

Speaking of professional book reviews, I got another one published, this time in the Journal of the Medical Library Association. Unlike the journal I normally publish in, JMLA is open access, so you can view the review online. That brings the number of publications on my resume to fifteen, and even though they're not scholarly, exactly, for the most part it's been fun, and they range in type quite nicely. Here's a list:

  • Broadbent, LK, 1986 Checklist of Kentucky State Publications. Frankfort, Ky.: KDLA, 1992 (under former name).
  • Rowan, EE. Providing Library Services in a Unique Pediatric Orthopaedic Setting: Experiences at the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Journal of Hospital Librarianship. 5(2). 2005, pp. 65-72.
  • Rowan, E., Library Selector. Doody’s Core Titles in the Health Sciences 2006. Doody Enterprises, Inc., 2006. [Orthopedics]
  • Rowan, E. Medical Librarian, Pediatric Hospital Library. A Day in the Life. Ed. Priscilla K. Shontz and Richard A. Murray . Libraries Unlimited, 2007.
  • Rowan, E., Library Selector. Doody’s Core Titles in the Health Sciences 2007. Doody Enterprises, Inc., 2007. [Orthopedics]
  • Rowan, E., Library Selector. Doody’s Core Titles in the Health Sciences 2008. Doody Enterprises, Inc., 2008. [Orthopedics]
  • Rowan, E., Library Selector. Doody's Core Titles in the Health Sciences 2009. Doody Enterprises, Inc., 2009. [Orthopedics]
  • Rowan, E., Library Selector. Doody's Core Titles in the Health Sciences 2010. Doody Enterprises, Inc., 2010. [Orthopedics]
  • Rowan, E., Library Selector. Doody's Core Titles in the Health Sciences 2011. Doody Enterprises, Inc., 2011. [Orthopedics]
  • Rowan, EE., 'Caring for Patients From Different Cultures, 4th edition Geri-Ann Galanti', Journal of Hospital Librarianship. 10(2), 2010, pp. 205-206.
  • Rowan, EE. 'Document Delivery and Interlibrary Loan on a Shoestring by Emily Knox', Journal of Hospital Librarianship. 10(4), 2010, pp. 420-421.
  • Rowan, EE. 'The Accidental Health Sciences Librarian by Lisa A. Ennis and Nicole Mitchell', Journal of Hospital Librarianship, 11(2), 2011, pp. 204 — 205.
  • Rowan, E. Orthopedics. The Medical Library Association's Master Guide to Authoritative Information Resources in the Health Sciences. Ed. Laurie L. Thompson. Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2011.
  • Rowan, E. Orthopedic Nursing. The Medical Library Association's Master Guide to Authoritative Information Resources in the Health Sciences. Ed. Laurie L. Thompson. Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2011.
  • Rowan, EE. 'Effective Blogging for Libraries by Connie Crosby', Journal of the Medical Library Association. 99(4), 2011, pp. 321-322.
:) Plan for tomorrow:
  1. Get up early.
  2. Go to Kroger. Buy deodorant and a small amount of food.
  3. Go to the bank. Get my rent and quarters.
  4. Go to work.
  5. Come home.
  6. Watch the movie The Last Supper [if it's arrived]. (I watched it years ago but I don't remember the ending well. I remember it involved tomatoes, arsenic, and a bunch of crazy. Here's a link to the trailer (rated R, no watching if you're not old enough, kids)).
  7. Wash dishes.
  8. Read.
PS Did you see today's announcement from Amazon regarding the Kindle Owner's Lending Library for Prime subscribers? They're allowing you to choose from thousands of books, borrowing up to one a month with no due date. They're definitely getting ready for the Kindle Fire, but it makes Prime membership enticing for those of us with e-ink Kindles, too. Basically for $79 a year you get up to 12 free books to read during that time, choosing from thousands of books to borrow, streaming video content on your computer (or Fire), and free two-day shipping. It's not a bad deal for something that comes out to be $6.58 when averaged out per month. Boy if it weren't for that cap of one book to borrow a month, I'd be all over it. But it's still a pretty nice deal when taken as a package.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

I keep thinking my time is off

For one, both my radio-controlled clock and my bedside alarm clock, which have daylight savings time features, have already fallen back on their own. Then my alarm went off twice this morning (no I didn't snooze--I have to perform a simple memory test to turn off my alarm on my cell phone, and I did that twice). I dreamt for awhile between the two alarms, although it was only a few minutes. So it left me feeling a little disoriented. For once, I'm awake, and running ahead of schedule.

Tonight the 'time of no money' ends. There will be much rejoicing. It's been a month of peanut butter and crackers except for some food a friend bought me early in the month (well, actually, the peanut butter came from there, too. It was one of those giant Kroger ones and it's lasted me just about a month). I won't be rolling in money--I'm paying my rent and electric from this, plus getting a bus pass and food. But considering last month I paid my rent on the 20th, things seem to be looking up. And yes, I have already declined those featured selections for the book club and I'm doing what I need to cancel it soon. I swear the first thing I'm going to buy is deodorant (thank goodness I have some nice smelling bodywash, but even I can tell towards the end of the day that deodorant is a necessity. I hope no one else has noticed. I've been out for just been the last few days. YKWIA has a nose of a bloodhound, and he didn't say anything, and he would have.)

Okay, it's off to work I go. (Sorry, watched the latest 'Once Upon a Time' last night). I ate tuna gruel with some rice and tuna that had been given to me and some old cream of celery soup that was two years out of date from the back of my cupboard, but everything was nice and hearty and I only belatedly realised my insulin was still in the refrigerator (it shouldn't be injected cold), so I kind of passed out afterwards with some idea to get up and blog later. Hence I'm up early today.

Speaking of which, I need to take that out and put it in my backpack. Have a great day.