Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sarah Silverman does it again

Warning: Explicit words, but good video, and pretty darn educational. There is also a 'clean version' if you can't handle the 'f'-word.

Be sure to check out the LetMyPeopleVote webpage.

I live in a state that requires an ID, but it doesn't have to be a photo ID, so a Social Security card or credit card works, according to the requirements as outlined by the Council of State Legislatures' web page and then there's this from our Secretary of State's office:
All voters must produce identification or be known by a precinct officer prior to voting. KRS117.227 and 31 KAR 4:010 provide the types of ID that can be used by the voter such as: Personal acquaintance of precinct officer, Driver’s license, Social Security card, credit card, or another form of ID containing both picture and signature.
Fortunately, I have a driver's licence. But I know of one person who would have to use the credit card option to vote. Not everyone has a valid state ID or driver's licence, and the hoops to get even the ID can be daunting if you don't have some form of proof of identification in hand already, even if you're a native-born American. So while requiring photo identification seems quite reasonable on the surface, the use of it to disenfranchise certain groups who tend to vote one way by politicians in the other party is, well, wrong.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tonight I need to:

  1. Do laundry.
  2. Work on a book review or two.
  3. Get my library books that are due together.
  4. Take out the trash.
  5. Take out the recyclables.
  6. Straighten up a bit.

I'd like to:

  1. Take a short nap.
  2. Catch up on 'Doctor Who'.
  3. Maybe watch something else fun.
  4. Do some reading.

What do you think the chances are of all of that happening? :) We'll see....

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How do kids get a great vocabulary? By adults using words around them

(and reading, of course).

How ‘Shrek’ Persuaded Me to Let the Words Fly
“Shrek” inspired me to let the words fly around my children. Nope, I’m not talking about the movie “Shrek”, but about William Steig’s wonderful picture book “Shrek.” And I’m not talking about using curse words around my children, but about using a more sophisticated vocabulary in ordinary conversation.

The vocabulary in “Shrek” is extravagant. It’s so baroque that I did some research to find out why Steig had included phrases like “shady copse,” “churlish knave,” “rosy wens,” and “fusty fens.” Had he picked words at random from a dictionary and challenged himself to work them into his story? Did he have pet underused words that he was determined to bring back into favor? (I myself have waged a losing campaign to popularize “chirk.”)

I love words, especially those which have unfortunately fallen out of favour these days. And I have never understood why we talk down to children who are capable of handling words that have more than five letters or two syllables.

I learned a lot of my vocabulary through reading, as opposed to hearing folks talk. I didn't always get the exact meaning, and a few things I terribly mispronounced the first time I used them. I used to read dictionaries for fun, too. YKWIA insists that I have an idiosyncratic use of words at times despite that. That may be. But the best way for kids to learn is to hear the words used (correctly). And in an era of mangling language online (I read instances of 'my advise' rather than 'my advice' yesterday in comments on a news story, for example, and I'm beginning to wonder if anyone can use 'loose' or 'lose' correctly these days, their misuse is so ubiquitous), it is terribly important to reiterate the importance of words.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

'You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means'

Inconceivable! A Tribute of an Unusual Size to ‘The Princess Bride’
A six-fingered man. Prince Humperdinck. Cliffs of Insanity. Mawage. Miracle Max.

On Sept. 25, 1987, Rob Reiner invited film goers to the fictional land of Florin for a romantic adventure filled with sword fights, outlaws and undying — or mostly undying — true love.

In the 25 years since its big screen debut, The Princess Bride has developed a following with a dedication to the film that rivals Westley’s devotion to Buttercup. Honoring the movie with anything less than a André the Giant-size tribute would be inconceivable.

For an even more authentic trip down memory lane, ask a grandfatherly figure to read the content out this tribute out loud to you while curled up in bed surrounded by Chicago sports paraphernalia. Or maybe just go for a scroll down the page.

I do love that movie. :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A little bit of iPhone fun

Thanks to David Reid for sharing:

Oh, and just in case you didn't get the Samsung Galaxy S III ad before the video, it's actually quite entertaining in and of itself:

What can I say, I don't have a Samsung GS III, but I am an Android kind of girl when it comes to operating system.

Okay, I'm home from the game, had a good time, and I've had the weekly debriefing with the game master. It's time to go to bed. Good night.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

In the last couple of days, I've read two selections

from the same book. I must say, I think it would be good to read it, not just you or I, but the people who make policy, run hospitals, and generally have a business with health care.

The book is by Dr Marty Makary, is called Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won't Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care, and it was published this month.

Here is one excerpt:

How to Stop Hospitals From Killing Us: Medical errors kill enough people to fill four jumbo jets a week. A surgeon with five simple ways to make health care safer.

and here's the other:

Are Hospitals Less Safe Than We Think?

Not surprising, but sad

Smoking Gun on Sexism?
But a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers evidence of bias among scientists -- male and female scientists alike -- against female students. The study was based on evaluations by scientists of hypothetical student applications for a lab manager position, with the application materials identical in every way, except that half of the pool received applications with a male name and the other half received applications with a female name. The faculty members surveyed -- 127 professors in biology, chemistry or physics -- were told that their analyses of the applications would be used to help the students. And they were asked to evaluate the students' competence and "hireability" and to consider how large a salary they would recommend and how much mentoring they would offer the student if hired.

The scientists evaluating these applications (which were identical in every way except the gender of the "submitter") rated the male student more competent, more likely to be hired, deserving of a better salary, and worth spending more time mentoring. The gaps were significant.

Female scientists were as likely as male scientists to evaluate the students this way. For instance, the scientists were asked to rate the students' competence on a 5-point scale. Male faculty rated the male student 4.01 and the female student 3.33. Female scientists rated the male student 4.10 and the female student 3.32. On salary, the gaps were also notable. The average salary suggested by male scientists for the male student was $30,520; for the female student, it was $27,111. Female scientists recommended, on average, a salary of $29,333 for the male student and $25,000 for the female student.

Click on the link above ('a new study') to read the paper itself.

Friday, September 21, 2012

How bizarre

Art School Tells Students to Buy Pictureless $180 Art History Book
What is this, October!? According to a blog post published by a disgruntled parent of a student, the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) is forcing students to buy an art history book for $180 — which wouldn’t be unheard of, but the catch is that the publishers of this book didn’t get any of the image rights for the artwork it includes. To reiterate, that’s an art history survey without any pictures. WTF?

Instead of having pictures of artwork, the book, Global Visual and Material Culture: Prehistory to 1800 (so named for the course it goes with), instead just has placeholders with instructions to see a digital version for the actual image. It’s like a website with only broken image links.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I had a bit of an aquarium emergency this morning

but still got to work on time. I had not put water in it and it had gotten low enough that the pump was trying to get the water up but couldn't. I have one of those filters that has an intake valve, and the water goes through the filter and then falls back into the aquarium. So I filled up the tank, treating the water with both the anti-chlorine/chloramine stuff and with good nitrate-eating bacteria, and the fish are much happier. Their space just increased to double what it was. I am such a bad fish mom sometimes. I cleaned the algae off the glass as well, and now the water is happily tinkling down and the fish are swimming all about, and it's very relaxing to watch.

I started reviewing my Greek today (and I'm going to do some Latin before the night is over). I had five semesters of Latin (I have a Classical Civilisation degree, and one semester was Mediaeval Latin in the history graduate programme), but I dropped Greek in the first semester, about the time we got to the aorist. So I'm going to try to follow the adventures of Dikaiopolis and his family. I have both of the Athenaze books by Maurice Balme. They're standard at many universities and there are a lot of websites with exercises and supplemental material.

For Latin, I have a series of five small books called Ecce Romani! which follows the story of the Cornellii family, especially their children. I also have Wheelock's Latin Grammar (two different editions, the most recent I have being the 6th, on my Kindle. There is now a 7th out.)

I also just went through and downloaded several free Kindle books from Amazon. I'm getting back with my Kindle. For awhile there the tablet took precedence, as it was smaller (I have a Kindle 2, which is a behemoth compared to the newer ones, but by God it reads to me, and not all the new ones do), could be more easily packed, and I could read Kindle books on the tablet (but I don't really like to, I prefer eInk), so I've started taking it with me in my backpack.

Okay, I've paid some bills and gotten some things done on the computer. I think I'm going to go do a little studying and then maybe listen to some music. Bye for now.

Food for thought

In Discarding of Kidneys, System Reveals Its Flaws
Last year, 4,720 people died while waiting for kidney transplants in the United States. And yet, as in each of the last five years, more than 2,600 kidneys were recovered from deceased donors and then discarded without being transplanted, government data show.

Those organs typically wound up in a research laboratory or medical waste incinerator.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Amazing story

Taylor Morris, Quadruple Amputee, Dances With Girlfriend Danielle Kelly

Taylor Morris and Danielle Kelly's love story is a captivating one: Morris was hit by an explosive device while serving in Afghanistan and became one of the few surviving quadruple amputees, but that didn't stop him from dancing at a recent wedding with the girlfriend who has stayed by his side throughout his recovery, 9 News MSN reports.

Morris, 23, is an Navy EOD tech -- or Explosive Ordinance Disposal tech -- from Iowa who was injured in action last May after stepping on an IED. He lost both of his legs, his left arm from the bicep down, and his right hand.

Also...A Love Story In 22 Pictures: A picture is worth 1000 words. Keep tissues handy.

I wish them all the best...


Prehistoric cave paintings ANIMATED under flicker of torchlight

Includes a video of the superimposed drawings as animated. (Thanks to Bill for sharing that one on Facebook).


Harvard professor identifies scrap of papyrus suggesting some early Christians believed Jesus was married

A Harvard professor has identified what appears to be a scrap of fourth century Egyptian papyrus that contains the first known explicit reference to Jesus as married, a discovery that could fuel the millennia-old debate about priestly celibacy in the Catholic church.

The fragment, which has been preliminarily authenticated but still must undergo further testing, portrays Jesus as referring to a woman as his legitimate disciple -- most likely his wife, whom the text’s author probably believed to be Mary Magdalene.

The text is not evidence Jesus was married, said the professor, Karen L. King, a historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School, who is scheduled to discuss her discovery at an international gathering of Coptic scholars in Rome on Tuesday. But she said it may cast new light on the history of early Christianity, including the formation of Christian views of celibacy and whether women were members of Jesus’s inner circle, issues still intensely relevant to the Catholic church, which allows only celibate men to be priests.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

That was completely satisfying

I was looking around for something for lunch, I saw that I still had some of that jalapeño salad YKWIA made. It has two jalapeños, some regular peppers, corn, black beans, and cilantro, and who knows what else. It's very good, but pretty hot, and the heat has increased over the intervening days to where even my taste buds have a little trouble. Then I looked up a shelf in my refrigerator. Eggs!

So I scrambled some eggs with a little half and half and when they got mostly cooked, included a good proportion of the salad, and finished cooking it all, and then ate it and it was wonderful. I'm also having some coffee, since the Coke machine is out of Diet Coke and I finished up the diet cranberry juice I had this morning. I'll finish the rest of the day with plain water, I guess. I'm drinking from one of my X-Files mugs that says 'the truth is out there' and then, when hot liquid is in it, says 'trust no one'. :)

I've talked on the phone and texted this morning, so I haven't actually gotten much reading done. It's not a work of fiction, actually, but something called Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris by David King. I have it out of the library on my Kindle. Speaking of the library, I have a book ready to pick up over there, so I may venture out later, since it's not too far. I still may get a phone call from my co-worker about those tables.

One thing about reading fiction

it's a great escape when the real world news disgusts you. So I've got the windows open (it's a glorious day, weather-wise) and I'm assiduously going to avoid the real world out there for an hour or two. Of course, I don't have angry mobs protesting at the gates outside, either, so I'm have that luxury. Some Americans aren't so lucky, and my thoughts are with them and the security forces of the various countries who are trying to contain this senseless violence.

Friday, September 14, 2012


A few days ago a three-year-old child was reported missing and found unresponsive in her home, and then the news reported she had died. She apparently was playing hide-and-seek and climbed into a zippered bean bag chair, where she suffocated. I feel so sorry for her loved ones and the people who were called to the scene who found her.

Grandfather says 3-year-old Lexington girl climbed into bean bag, suffocated

I lucked out

I was finished with my work for the day and needed to go to the bank, so I left work a bit early and one of my co-workers not only took me to the bank, but took me home as well, so I got home in record time. Now I'm in a sunny room having some of the pasta YKWIA made, although it looks like it's cloudy on the western horizon and might even rain later.

Tomorrow I have free time, although as usual when that happens, I don't have money to go out and do things. Also, a co-worker is giving me a couple of small tables and might stop by if she's in Lexington, so I'll probably stick close to home in case she calls. I'm looking forward to reading and maybe watching some movies. I do still need to do the notes, and I will start earlier this time, as last time was awful. The house is in good shape, so I don't need to do anything on that front, except maybe vacuum and put some water in the aquarium for the fish (it evaporates). So tomorrow is a fun day, for the most part.

Okay, I think I'm going to go read the news and then that HP Lovecraft graphic novel. Have a great night.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Central Park attack: Cops arrest man for rape near Strawberry Fields

The victim is in her 70s and has some choice words for what should happen to her attacker, which is quite understandable. I'm glad they have a suspect in custody, and hope that the woman will recover as well as she can.


Watch Curiosity Rover’s Mars Descent in Stunning HD


4 dead, 8 injured after driver crashes into Las Vegas bus stop

The accident happened at 6:25 local time, when no doubt people were on their way to work and waiting for the bus. The car may have been going at least 100 mph. The driver, who survived and who smelled of alcohol and basically admitted he'd been drinking, has been charged with four felony counts of driving under the influence causing death. I feel so sorry for the injured and the families of those lost in such a senseless incident. And I have to admit, I sometimes worry when I'm standing at the bus stop (especially the one at the hospital, which is right on the road, with no kerb, and which is right at a right turn lane which many people don't so much as drive as veer into).

A nice afternoon

Today we had a catered lunch at work. For carnivores there was apparently excellent chicken with apricot sauce and pulled pork. Otherwise there was potato salad, a vegetable pasta salad, fruit, chips, cookies, brownies, and fruit bars, lemonade, and tea. I ate some potato salad and pasta salad, a tiny bit of fruit, and yes, did have a wonderfully rich chocolate brownie. I stopped by the cafeteria and got some eggs off the salad bar to have a little protein in my system. Despite the carbs, I did pretty well.

I was ahead on my time, so I left a half-hour early and rode home on the bus. I went to the library and got several books of various types. There's two graphic novels: Chiaroscuro: the Private Lives of Leonardo da Vinci, which I never managed to find the whole series when DC-Vertigo put it out; Graphic Classics: HP Lovecraft--yes, I've read the stories, but I'm always interested when they translate it into graphic form. Then there's John Oldale's A World of Curiosities: Suprising, Interesting, and Downright Unbelievable Facts from Every Nation on the Planet (I love trivia books); The Diary of Mary Berg: Growing up in the Warsaw Ghetto (the Holocaust is an area of special interest for me); finally, Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: the Illustrated Edition. I read this book years ago (my mother was taking some college classes and had to do a report on it), but the illustrations make it worth a second-look.

I carried the books home somewhat awkwardly (the Brown book has a wrapper around it that would be easy to damage). A typical evening, there are boys playing football and basketball over near the court. I got in and was happily surprised to find a cheque from my flexible spending company. I was pretty sure I was overcharged the last time I went to Lexington Clinic, and lo, I was. I can put that in the bank tomorrow, yay! Then I went out and watered my pepper, which was looking a little peaked. After that I fixed dinner (I still have the lovely pole bean orecchiette that YKWIA made me. I had that and a garden burger patty. I may go back for seconds with the pasta. I'm also having a little coffee, something I rarely do. It's chocolate raspberry. I got some of those 'Mini-Moos' last time I went to the grocery, because I don't drink enough coffee to get half-and-half, but these store for awhile.

Yesterday I got my new issue of Victoria magazine, which I love to peruse. I didn't get a chance to look at it last night, so that will be something for this evening. Also, I am considering watching The Lorax, so I can send it back tomorrow. I think the next DVD on my list is Coraline, but I may see about getting something else in my queue. I've really been wanting to watch Priscilla, Queen of the Desert again, and unfortunately my copy is VHS and my VCR died. I also discovered just now that 'Airwolf' is available on streaming video. I really liked that show. It had helicopters, cellos, and Jan-Michael Vincent. :)

Okay, I think I'm going to do a quick sweep of the news, get some more coffee, and start doing some things. :)

Just getting home and it's after midnight

I went over to YKWIA's to figure some stuff up for the game and he fed me some wonderful tomato, fennel, and zucchini soup, stuffed tomatoes, and potato salad. I even got the tiniest sliver of homemade Derby pie. :) I have had lots of veggies today; lunch was acorn squash, broccoli, vegetarian bean soup, a roll, and salad. Breakfast, in case you were wondering, is my 'new normal' of two hard-boiled eggs, a small biscuit, and some apple butter, which is probably not the best, but much better than the 'old normal' of a package of Pop-Tarts.

It's been the week that doesn't seem to end. Maybe that's because last week was a short one. At least tomorrow I get to wear jeans to work; it's employee appreciation day. We're going to have a free lunch (with prizes and a small gift).

That's all I think I'll write about right now. I'm very sleepy and my bed is calling me. I don't want to be a zombie tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Also amusing

As I was waiting after being dropped off by the bus to cross Richmond Road and walk up the hill to the hospital, a gust of wind blew my shirt up past my bra and I belly-mooned the oncoming traffic. Quickly pulling it down, I laughed so hard it took awhile to recover. One lady drove past smiling. I hope everyone had a good time. It was embarrassing, but not as bad as my worst wardrobe malfunction, where I went to the bathroom at Blimpie on Rose Street and had gotten all the way to the President's home at the University of Kentucky when a kindly woman pulled over to tell me my skirt was caught in my underwear, with my underwear hanging out for the world to see. I was mortified, and I am almost obsessive as a result when I wear a skirt that it is in place when I get up or use the bathroom. But looking back years later, I can laugh.

A new twist on a library closure

Squatters reopen Friern Barnet library after council closes service: Eight-strong group become 'community librarians' with locals' support after law change forces them out of residential property
A few dog-eared copies of novels by Joanna Trollope and Wilbur Smith sit on the otherwise bare shelves of Friern Barnet library alongside banners urging "peace", "occupy" and "revolution". The library closed down by Barnet council in April is under new management.

Eight squatters entered the north London library last week through an open window. Since a law change on 1 September made it a criminal offence to squat residential properties, they have turned to commercial properties to find a bed for the night. The occupation has the blessing of many residents who are delighted to see the locked doors of the library flung open once again. It's the first time that squatters have morphed into "community librarians" by occupying and reopening a public lending resource in this way. Book loans will be manually recorded and stamped.

Some statistics on how personal info is shared

that could lead to things like identity theft, hacking, etc.:

Infographic: Are You Revealing Too Much on Social Networks?

Monday, September 10, 2012


I received a letter from my health insurance company, UnitedHealthcare, requesting I call them about getting into their diabetes programme to help me 'reach my health goals'. The funny thing was that when I opened up the letter, it was in Spanish--not my first language, and not one I am by any means fluent in, but surprisingly, I got the gist of the letter, and I haven't had Spanish since 9th grade. I didn't know every word, but I understood about 80% of them. It was only after I turned the letter over that I discovered it was in English on that side. :)

I found this interesting, listening to public radio on Sunday....

Alain de Botton on a School of Life for Atheists
Alain de Botton is a philosopher who likes the best of religion, but doesn’t believe in God. So he’s created “The School of Life,” a secular community in London. He explains why wisdom and ritual shouldn’t be reserved just for believers.

This disturbed me

that anyone would treat a child this way 1) in the name of education, 2) without resorting to other measures, and 3) without parental consent or knowledge, This is not just a way of 'time out'. And this is how just one 5-year-old was treated. According to the opinion piece, thousands of children are disciplined at school using restraints or seclusion rooms, with a high proportion of them children with special needs, and a good proportion of them non-white.

A Terrifying Way to Discipline Children
At school, her mother and I found Rose standing alone on the cement floor of a basement mop closet, illuminated by a single light bulb. There was nothing in the closet for a child — no chair, no books, no crayons, nothing but our daughter standing naked in a pool of urine, looking frightened as she tried to cover herself with her hands. On the floor lay her favorite purple-striped Hanna Andersson outfit and panties.

Rose got dressed and we removed her from the school. We later learned that Rose had been locked in the closet five times that morning. She said that during the last confinement, she needed to use the restroom but didn’t want to wet her outfit. So she disrobed. Rather than help her, the school called us and then covered the narrow door’s small window with a file folder, on which someone had written “Don’t touch!”

We were told that Rose had been in the closet almost daily for three months, for up to an hour at a time. At first, it was for behavior issues, but later for not following directions. Once in the closet, Rose would pound on the door, or scream for help, staff members said, and once her hand was slammed in the doorjamb while being locked inside.

School should be a safe environment; I'm not saying there shouldn't be discipline, but there is a difference between discipline and abuse, and this, in my opinion, crosses the line.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

PS Regarding the new Fires

New Kindle Fire tablets will have ads on the lock screen, with no option to opt out

Although they may bow to pressure to allow an opt out at some point, as many people--including me--do not like the idea of even targeted ads on their device. We'll see. If I didn't already have my tablet, this would make it harder for me to get a Fire. Maybe I'm alone, but I don't like ads pushed at me, even the supposedly unobtrusive ones, and rarely click-through anything resembling an ad online, skipping when possible. They're an annoyance. I'm one of those people who doesn't like ads in paid applications that I get for 99 cents. Imagine paying $500 for a device and still having ads. Come on Amazon, at least give people an option to pay extra and get a break from ads.

So I'm up and doing that load of laundry

It's raining at a heavy pace outside. It was light when I went over with the clothes, moderate when I came back, meaning I got rather wet, moderate when I went back to put them in the dryer (but this time I brought the umbrella), and now it's pouring. But we need it, so I'm not going to complain. Even my pepper, which is under a covered porch and up next to the window, is getting watered (although I did do that yesterday just to be sure). I'm glad I got the clothes in the dryer before it started raining cats and dogs.

Although I'm up, I've been running back and forth between the laundry room, so no ability to concentrate and do the notes yet. That may have to be an evening thing after all. I petered out completely yesterday by about 8:30 or 9, which is expected on a Friday, but I wish I'd stayed up.

Also, a friend called while I was asleep and I can't call him back until closer to 9 am so I don't wake them too early, but I was going to leave shortly after 9, so there will be a small window of opportunity. Of course, if it's raining like this, I may wait a bit before going. I'm not on a definite timeframe, but the earlier I get there, the earlier I get home, you know. Or at least it sometimes works that way.

The clothes have another 25 minutes to go. I'm going to go over there a little early though, because it's a fairly small load. Got the stain out of my jeans, which was nice, and might not have if I'd let it sit too long. Once I get the clothes back, I'll take a quick shower, make that call to make sure I don't need to bring anything else, and then collect everything and head out. Have a great day.

Friday, September 07, 2012


Did you find all the secrets in Google's Star Trek: The Original Series doodle?

I missed the tribbles the first time, and Uhura's spot with the soft lens like they always did with the women at certain times on the show. But it was great fun. I felt sorry for the redshirt 'e'. :) If you haven't tried it, go do so.

By the way, if you want to see the collection of 'doodles', including ones seen in other parts of the world, they go to Google's Doodle page.

How horrible

Hopes pinned on wounded girl in French Alps killings

This seven-year-old and her four-year-old sister survived a terrible attack on their family, which left her mother, father, and grandmother dead, as well as a person who happened upon the scene. The four-year-old survived by hiding for eight hours under her dead mother's skirt, but has been unable to give authorities much information. The seven-year-old is in a medically-induced coma after being shot and beaten. Such a horrible thing for such innocent children to witness and endure.


  1. Today: To either renew a yoga DVD I have out from the library before midnight or take it in before they open tomorrow; it's due today [PS Can't renew, must be requested--so I guess it's bring it in tomorrow]
  2. Water the purple pepper and water/turn the lavender
  3. Do the game notes; it'll take awhile, so I can't wait until the last minute--it involves investigation on a case, and that always takes longer than action
  4. Take my rent over this evening so I don't owe more
  5. Check to see if I have enough quarters to do one load of laundry; I got something on my favourite pair of jeans and would like to wear them this weekend [yes, I do, I actually have $3 which is good, because $1 in quarters went down the black hole that is my loveseat when I tried to gather them up :)]
  6. Do the laundry
  7. For tomorrow: Set the DVR for 'Doctor Who' in case I don't get back in time
  8. Bring an umbrella; it's going to rain, most likely> [yes, quite wet!]
  9. Take the beans Brenda gave me so YKWIA can do something wonderful with them
  10. Take the big container I just bought for the results of the something wonderful so I can take some home [already packed in bag, with the groceries except the refrigerator stuff]
  11. Take all the groceries YKWIA requested with me
  12. Tally up how much he owes me [not much, when I tallied it]
  13. Take The Lorax DVD to watch with someone who wanted to see it [in my purse]
  14. Charge the reusable batteries for the voice recorder for Sunday's Cthulhu game [do that Saturday night; I don't feel comfortable leaving them to charge when I'm not home, for some reason; I feel the same way about dryers and heated dishwashers]

I think that's it. I'm thirsty, hot, and tired after going to the bank and the store, filling the cart and having three plastic bags besides. I'm considering that a workout for the day. Just ate some spinach artichoke hummus with flatbread and so I'm not hungry like I was. Going to relax for a bit before I do anything else. Thank goodness for Bethany, though, who gave me a ride from work to the bank, so I didn't have to go all over the place on the bus.

Why I won't be getting a new Kindle

If you're a techie, or an Amazon fan, then you probably heard the news about updated basic Kindle [$69] the two new Kindle Paperwhites (available with [$119, $179] and without special offers [$139, $199) and the four new Kindle Fires (7" [$159], 7" HD [$199], 8.9" HD wi-fi [$299], and 8.9" HD 4G LTE [$499]).

They're great products, and the tablet war just got a lot more interesting. They're offering the highest-end one, the 8.9" Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE, for $499 with a 250 MB wireless plan for $50 a year. If this had been a year ago, when I was looking at getting a tablet, I probably would have gotten this one. It's a cost savings over both mine and the 4G iPad in that the yearly data plan is quite cost-effective. I pay about $20 a month for my wireless. But, the fact of the matter is, I love my tablet, it's still more versatile, running Android Ice Cream Sandwich now and not a forked system of Android, etc., etc. Although it's a great buy for lots of people, don't get me wrong (and one co-worker is going to trade her Kindle Fire for the new $499 one, I think, rather than get an iPad), it's not for me. By the way, that's a 32GB machine. There's a 64GB one that's $599.

Here are how the specs compare with mine, from what I could glean from Amazon, T-Mobile, and my own machine in particular (the Springboard shipped with Honeycomb, but an Ice Cream Sandwich update was pushed out last weekend):

Kindle Fire HD 8.9" display with 4G

Price: $499 for 32GB, $599 for 64GB

Display - 8.9" 10 point capacitive touch high definition color display; 1920x1200 resolution at 254 ppi, video playback up to 1080p, with IPS (in-plane switching) technology, advanced polarizing filter, and anti-glare technology

Processor - Dual-core, 1.5GHz OMAP4470

Size - 9.4" x 6.4" x 0.35" (240 mm x 164 mm x 8.8 mm)

Weight - 20 ounces (575 grams)

Memory - 32 GB model, or 64 GB model, internal memory, no expansion slot

Wi-Fi Connectivity - Dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi (MIMO) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard Wi-Fi. Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication; does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) Wi-Fi networks 4G Connectivity 4G LTE 10 band wireless modem with HSPA+, HSDPA, and EDGE/GPRS fallback

Ports - USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) port for connection to a PC or Macintosh computer or to connect to the Kindle PowerFast charging accessory. Micro-HDMI (micro-D connector) port for high definition video output to televisions or A/V receivers

Audio - 3.5 mm stereo jack and integrated stereo speakers with exclusive Dolby audio engine. Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP) support for streaming audio to compatible headphones and speakers. Built-in microphone

Content Formats Supported - Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible Enhanced format (AAX), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, PCM/WAVE, OGG, WAV, MP4, AAC LC/LTP, HE-AACv1, HE-AACv2, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, HTML5, CSS3, MP4, 3GP, VP8(.webm)

Camera - Front-facing camera for video chat/Skype, not sure of the specs

Included in the Box - Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 4G tablet, USB 2.0 cable, and Quick Start Guide [power charger sold separately]

My T-Mobile® Springboard™

Price: I paid $179 down after a $50 rebate and pay $10 per month for 20 months (total $379); I think the actual retail price is $449: currently $249 with qualifying 2-year contract, not sure if that's a down-payment or special offer with plan.

Size - 7.48" x 5.08" x 0.41"

Weight: 14.1 oz

Display - 7-inch HD touch screen, 1280x800 TFT with IPS

Processor - 1.2 GHz dual-core mobile processor

OS: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

Wi-Fi Connectivity - 14.4 Mbps 4G and Wi-Fi capable, 4G HSPA +14.4 EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900, Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

Ports - Micro 3.0 USB port, Micro-HDMI port

Audio - 3.5 mm stereo jack and integrated stereo speakers. Built-in microphone. Bluetooth support.

Content Formats Supported - MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, MPEG4, WAV, MIDI, Real Audio, HTML5,CSS3, also, with applications I have, Kindle books, Nook books, ePubs, PDFs, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, TXT, unprotected MOBI, plus Adobe Flash support

Memory - 16 GB built in memory, expandable up to additional 32 GB (total 48 GB) with Micro SD card; 1 GB RAM

Battery - upports up to 7 hours of continuous use and 12 days of standby time; Li-Polymer, 3.7V, 4100mAh

Camera, Photos, and Video: 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for photos, video capture and video chat; 5-megapixel rear-facing camera for HD photos and video capture; Video codec: .3GP, MP4, MOV, MKV, ASF, WMV, H.264

Sensors - Accelerometer

Included in the Box - T-Mobile® SpringBoard™ with Google™ 7-inch tablet, Charger, Micro USB data cable, SIM Card [SD expansion card sold separately; I have a 32 GB card]

I pay $20/month for an unlimited up to 2GB with no overages plan; I use about 250 MB a month on average, so I'd be right at the edge of their $50/year plan.

But I did seriously consider upgrading my old Kindle 2 to the Paperwhite version and giving my old one to a friend. Paperwhite is basically a Kindle Touch with a new display that has a front-illuminated light in it. The display's been upgraded pixel-wise, etc., etc. and it has some nice features. What it doesn't have, like the Kindle Touch, is an audio output. This was the deal-breaker for me.

I can read Kindle books on my tablet--or Nook, or ePub, or MOBI; I just don't tend to. I prefer e-Ink screens for that experience. So that's why I was excited. But, the one feature I can't get through my Android application that I have on my old clunker of a Kindle is the text-to-speech option, which has its downsides in terms of natural voice, but sometimes I just like the machine to read to me. Unfortunately, because of the lack of audio output, there is no text-to-speech on the Kindle Paperwhite. Oh, well. End of story. (Sorry, Brandon, no old one for you just yet, I'm keeping mine for awhile it seems). So, even though I don't have wi-fi on mine (I have the 3G without it) and have to transfer my library books via USB, and even though I don't have page numbers (although those show up on my tablet), I'll keep my old Kindle. But, you might want to check out the various offers; perhaps you'll find one that you like that's right for you.

Let there be light

So I finally took my aquarium light in (and got toilet paper, which is good, as I was down to two sheets this morning), and it turns out that while I have an electronic ballast, and many of the early ones of those had issues, the problem was simply that my replacement bulb that I got at Incredipet was bad. So I got a new one from Animal House, they took care of my old bulb, and I'll take the bad one back and get my money back from Incredipet. Sometimes, apparently, you just have to deal with a real pet store run by people who know what they're doing, who have been doing it for years (I've watched this couple's kid grow up over time). Anyway, the fish seem happy. The new light really picks up their colours and shifts the water to a nice green.

While I was at Kroger I found a cart that is smaller than mine, a much better size for the bus, but which will carry about two or more reusable bags and save wear and tear on my little suitcase. It has a heavy-duty blue and grey cover, rugged wheels, and an aluminium body. It carried a large thing of Cottonelle toilet paper, a grocery bag, the aquarium hood, and the old bulb, and I still could have gotten a bit more in. I put it together when I got off the bus (the bus came the moment I got to the stop at Kroger) and carried everything in it. At first I thought it was broken; there were broken plastic pieces that were basically place-savers and didn't go back on after the wheels snapped on (no tools required). It was $15 or so, which I thought was very reasonable, and looks pretty sturdy.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Being judicious and musing about one of life's little necessities

Since I was getting paid tonight (late tonight, that is, and possibly even tomorrow with the holiday), I decided to take the aquarium hood in tomorrow. In doing so I forgot about the other reason to go the shopping centre today--toilet paper. And of course I got a ride home in the rain, so I was just relieved not to be out in it, without thinking about the small roll at home. I still have some, but let's just say tomorrow morning may be it, and I definitely have to go to Kroger tomorrow. I so should have gotten this at the store Sunday when we did the big grocery run, but I didn't think of it at the time. That's the trouble with toilet paper--it's so innocuous, and yet necessary, and it's lack sneaks up on you. I usually get those really big packages of double rolls (Cottonelle when possible), and they seem to last forever, but last time I just got a four pack and it didn't.

Still, I'm glad we have such a thing, especially the cushiony type. Some people in the world use other things, like stones (I remember when I first heard of that--ouch! A facility in Afghanistan was built and they couldn't figure out what was happening to the plumbing, until they realised the locals weren't using the toilet paper provided, but rather stones--and then flushing them. Come on guys, even the ancient Greeks had a sponge on a stick. I know the country's landlocked, but still....) Of course, maybe we Americans are a little spoiled when it comes to toilet paper. Someone I knew who went to Russia, for example, took two things she considered essential--peanut butter and toilet paper. I'd probably do the same.

Okay, time to go to bed. Good night.

So the news broke today

about the hospital moving, written as if it were a totally done deal, and I have to admit I was a little sad, because of course I won't be a part of it, as neither I nor the library will be a part of that new venture.

I have worked for the hospital for fifteen years. Others who are not going in the move have worked there much of their adult lives. Some will retire when the time comes. Others will hit the job market in our 40s to 60s hoping to find another job we love as much as we do there. It's going to be a difficult time. I dare say that I will not be able to pass the new building (or the old one, if it is maintained by a new owner) without a certain amount of bittersweet feelings. But I, like the others, will still have to move on. Maybe it's a golden opportunity in disguise, forcing me past my sense of comfort and into a better position. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


I pedalled about three miles/fifteen minutes this time, but at a higher tension. My back did not like this. On the other hand, I've lost 6.5 lbs in the last couple of weeks. So I'll keep pedalling. The nice thing is that it was pouring rain outside and I didn't have to get wet.  :-)

On a related note...

Mike + the Mechanics

Listening to:

a great pair of classics--

from Phil Collins himself

and Genesis itself

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

I decided not to go for a walk

I'm already a bit sore from the bike ride. But overall I accomplished a lot today.

I'm a little worried about my mom; I tried calling her and couldn't get a hold of her. It's not that that is so unusual but I haven't heard from her in awhile, and she never responded to my birthday greetings a month ago (which I sent by card, e-mail, and Facebook), and I couldn't get through on the phone then, either. If she got a new phone, she could at least e-mail me. I had hoped to go visit this weekend, but never heard back, and I haven't been able to get her. The only thing I do know is the gift certificate I gave her for her birthday was redeemed. Otherwise, nothing. So I'm a bit concerned.

Well, maybe she'll see I called and call back. Otherwise I think I'll listen to some music before bed. I probably won't write any more tonight, but will turn in early. Good night.

Exercised for 20 minutes on the stationary bike just now

At 15 mph, about 5 miles, and I was inspired to go the extra 5 minutes past my planned workout because my phone's cardiovascular workout application randomly plays music from my collection and just as I was about to stop 'Give Me Something to Sing About' from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Once More, With Feeling album came on. I should work out to that more often. :)

I did yoga earlier today, did the bike (on an off-day, I'm supposed to do it Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, so it was extra, but I figure I should since I didn't do anything yesterday), and at some point this evening I plan on taking at least a bit of a walk. It's sunny and beautiful right now, but 82 and humid, so I'll let it cool off a bit.


Well, phooey

Animal House is closed today. I guess they took the day off, too. I'm glad I called before taking the bus over there. Now the question is whether I still need to go over there for the toilet paper. I think I can wait till tomorrow. I could take the aquarium hood with me to work (yes, that will look odd) and stop by on the way home. But it would have been nice to do it today.

Now, there's also this: Do I want to check out the farmer's market, or just stay home and finish doing stuff here? Hmmmm....and the good thing is there's mostly just fun stuff left to do. :)

My apartment complex puts out a monthly newsletter, too

Which I don't, frankly, read often, or at least just skim. But today as I was straightening up a few things, I came across some quotations on stress, relaxation, etc. I came across a few that could have been useful yesterday, on my day of absolute rest.
How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward.--Spanish proverb

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.--J. Lubbock

There is never enough time to do all the nothing you want.--Bill Watterson

And here's one that tends to be me on a normal day:
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.--Jennifer Yane

On that note, I think I am going to go read for awhile, and by that I do not mean nap.

I'd kind of like to go

I get a Kentucky literary calendar in my e-mail monthly and this month's said that Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross are coming to Joseph-Beth Booksellers tomorrow evening for a book signing and discussion of The Rapture of the Nerds. I haven't read it, but I am making my way through Stross' Laundry Files series and while I haven't read Doctorow's books, I've read his commentary on the web. He was listed as one of the Web's top 25 influencers by Forbes magazine, and his commentary often comes up on library lists.

Unfortunately, I have no funds to buy the book, and hence get a ticket to go. But it sounds like it might be interesting. So by all means, if you're interested, it's 7 pm, Wednesday, September 5th. From Charlie Hughes' Kentucky Literary Newsletter: 'This is a ticketed event. Line tickets are free and available with the purchase of The Rapture of the Nerds, available September 4th, at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Vouchers for the book are available now and come with a ticket. Gives Back Members will have a limited opportunity to meet the Authors first.'

There's a great commentary on the news making its way around Facebook

How the News Really Works

[Picture of President Obama drinking from a cup with a Pepsi logo on it]

CNN: Obama appeals to Pepsi fans.
FoxNews: Obama declares war on Coke.
MSNBC: In about an hour, we will have live coverage of Obama drinking the best cola. All who disagree are racist.
BBC: 18 killed in US drone strike in Pakistan.

Which spurred me to check, once again, to see if the BBC News Android application had been updated to work on my tablet and lo, it had. Yay!

Well, so far I've been pretty productive. I did some yoga earlier and my back feels really nice. I've got some pain in my eye, and it's red and I woke up just streaming eye goo, but I don't think it's infected or anything; I think it's just allergies, as it got better with the Claritin.

I've taken out the trash and recyclables and generally done a few small things around the house. I should call our payroll clerk in a bit to make sure she puts my PTO in for last Wednesday. Payday is Thursday, thank goodness, as I have about $30 in cash one me and another $20 in the bank. :) Then there's some more house chores to do--nothing heavy, the house is in pretty good shape, just maintenance stuff. I still have those CDs to go through and put in order so I can clear off the dining area table. Sometime today I want to get some exercise in. And after noon I'll call the pet store and see what their hours are. The farmer's market runs from 3 to 6 today (it is Tuesday, right?), so I may stop by there on my way back from the shopping centre, if I go, which I pretty much have to, as I'm down to one roll of toilet paper, and that is a good reason to venture forth to the grocery store, which is next to the pet shop, low on funds or not. :)


The Brooklyn bookshop saving out-of-print sci-fi, one e-book at a time: The genre enthusiasts are working with rights holders to preserve great book

With its dramatic cover art and fantastical story plots, science fiction dared readers to dream of amazing possible futures filled with aliens, robots, and all sorts of gadgetry. Now, ironically, some of the earliest books of the genre find themselves precariously near extinction, never to make it to the future they describe. Until Singularity & Co came onto the scene, that is.

This is a fantastic idea. One sad thing is the response by some libraries that own the books that are to be saved:
Despite being out of copyright, none of the universities who owned a copy of Mr. Stranger's Sealed Packet permitted scanning. "If you're part of that university or that consortium then you have access to that book. If you don't then you don't," said James. "Which is sad," added Kalb, "the default position of the organisation seems to be, 'I don't know if this is valuable but, just in case it is, I want to make sure nobody else gets their hands on it.'"

I'm sure there were lots of reasons such as how rare the book has become and the need to preserve, but isn't that ironic considering these people are trying to preserve them? And one thing we were taught in library school is while the physical object is important (and often have a beauty in and of themselves, thinking of mediaeval manuscripts, beautiful marbled end papers, luscious illustrations, and yes, even lurid pulp magazine covers), it is the information inside that is most treasured.


  1. Get up and get out of my jammies.
  2. Take a shower. (I never did this yesterday.)
  3. Get dressed in clothes I can wear outside.
  4. Take medicine.
  5. Do yoga.
  6. Eat breakfast.
  7. Make my bed.
  8. Check the news.
  9. Take out trash.
  10. Take out recyclables.
  11. Water plants.
  12. Straighten up the house.
  13. Dust (one of my least favourite chores.
  14. Sweep and mop the kitchen and bathroom.
  15. Clean the toilet.
  16. Wipe down the counters in both kitchen and bath.
  17. Put away laundry.
  18. Do a load of dishes.
  19. Take my aquarium hood assembly in to Animal House to have them look at it. [Tomorrow; they're closed today]
  20. Buy toilet paper. [Tomorrow with the pet store visit]
  21. Watch The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, which I have out from Netflix.
  22. Read, and by that I do not mean as a euphemism for sleeping.
  23. Ride the exercise bike. [20 mins at 15 mph! Yay!]
  24. Straighten up those CDs.
  25. Call my mom. [no answer]
  26. Get a card together to send to my grandmother since I didn't get to see her over the weekend.

Monday, September 03, 2012

I love the Internet

One thing I couldn't figure out on Ice Cream Sandwich was removal of individual notifications...in the previous version you tapped one side of the notice. Now you slide it, easy enough, but I didn't find that out without searching. Also, I couldn't quite figure out Rory McIlroy's accent (what can I say, I was switching over to news and golf was wrapping up, and the accent intrigued me; I don't care for golf and had never heard of him before). Turns out he's from Northern Ireland. My, the power we have due to Google and Wikipedia and their instant information. And if a ever lose them they'll have to bring back those librarians who learned to find info in the pre-Internet age (or those of us who learned both) to save the wealth of human knowledge.


I almost never get to sleep in. Either I'm at work, or on someone's schedule, or have my own things to do. Last night I turned all the alarms off. I woke up at 8:30 to go to the bathroom, and I took my long-acting insulin. Then I went back to bed. I was having an annoying dream where I was having to fight a non-existent library branch for a snack they offered but didn't actually know how to sell, and had finally resolved that when I woke up at 11:45. I guess I was dreaming about food because it had been over 12 hours since I'd eaten. My blood sugar was good despite lots of treats yesterday (as in fresh fruit and cheese, plus a wonderful meal of kugel, zucchini soup, and purple coleslaw). And while I did sleep nearly 12 hours, consider that I'd been up early yesterday and had a full day. On a normal week I would have gone into work somewhat zombified, been productive regardless (I am often most productive on those days), and then slipped home and crashed for 12 hours anyway. This time I got to avoid the delay. :)

It's gloomy outside but not raining. We did get some yesterday, but I don't know if it was a good soaking rain or not, since we were playing and it was dark already when the real rain came, and I sit with my back to the window anyway. But I did hear it a couple of times, which is a good sign, as the windows were closed. Even my pepper, which sits deep inside a porch, had some. I'll check later today to see if I need to water it more, though.

I have no plans for today. I don't plan on going out unless there's a good reason. The buses only run till 8:20 anyway. I'll try to take my aquarium hood assembly in tomorrow. So today it's read, straighten up a bit, watch some DVDs, laze around a bit, and generally entertain myself, something I used to be quite good at doing but have lately started failing at miserably, hence the getting bored and going on to bed. They say as you get older you get more 'opposite' than you were on the Myers-Briggs test. I used to be a very strong introvert, then was more in the middle. Now I'm beginning to wonder if I'm losing the introvert's ability to amuse themselves without stimulation. Could I be becoming (oh, no) an extrovert? I have become very people-oriented over time, rather than living as much in my own head. It does make you wonder. :)

On that note, I think I'll go read. Hope you have a lovely day off, if you have one.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Heading for bed

Yesterday I spent all day at a friend's house working on his to-do list and then came home and watched the series 7 premiere of Doctor Who, which was great fun. Another great thing was my tablet had an update pushed to it by T-Mobile, so now it's running Android operating system Ice Cream Sandwich rather than Honeycomb. Most of the changes have been cosmetic, but it's fun to play with. So far, everything seems to work on the higher version.

Today I slept in for a Sunday, getting up at 6:30. I cleaned house to prepare for the game. Then Brenda came and we did the big grocery run, which wasn't giant this time. Then we played the game for about 6 hours, till 11 pm, doing a lot of investigation, which means I can't wait till the last minute to do notes next time, because it takes longer to transcribe investigation vs. action.

Tomorrow I have no firm plans. If Animal House is open, I'll take in my aquarium hood and see if they can get it going. Fortunately I got a new bus pass today, although tomorrow the buses are running on a Sunday schedule, which is pretty limited. I'm glad I don't still work in retail where you're expected to work on holidays, often at hours later than the bus runs. Otherwise I'll do some stuff around the house, I think. But my plan is to turn off all alarms and just wake up naturally, maybe do some yoga, and go from there. :)

Alright, I'm tired; it's time to head on to bed. If you celebrate the holiday, may it be a good one. Hope your weekend went fine if it's now over and done with. Good night.