Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Oh, one more quick note...

I went to see the movie My Big, Fat Greek Wedding last night and it was hilarious. I find it odd that everyone keeps calling it a "surprise hit". I mean, really, isn't it a sad commentary on the state of the cinema when a really good, funny movie doing well is surprising, just because ordinary people talk about it rather than some over-blown and quite possibly imaginary movie critic?

If you haven't seen it yet, do. It will make you laugh. A lot. Especially go if you're having a rough day/week/life. It will turn your day around. This is definitely one I need to get when it comes out for home viewing.


For those who don't know, that's the rallying cry of the Knights of the Dinner Table. Not to sound like a total geek (but then, I am one, after all), I just got in from a great game where our characters took on vampires, sorcerors, daemon-ridden guards, radioactive uranium spirits, and an impending thing with tentacles that was about to hatch. It took all our abilities--magickal, physical, and intelligence, plus a haunting great-grandmother, a shaman, and an ancestor spirit (whom I mistakenly threw a dagger at, and Yoda-like, she deflected with her staff. There will be much groveling for that one, I think). All the bad guys were killed--even the undead--the egg was sealed, and we even made up with the Indian tribe who had cast us out mistakenly for a supposed betrayal. Occasional bouts of adrenaline-laden fight scenes, I think, can be good for the soul. It gets all of your normal angst out. I think that's why so many people like Buffy. Much better than last week's game, where I had a character whose eyes melted out of his head.

Hey, I know, it's weird, but it's fun, it's creative, and no actual people get hurt. :) Hope your day went as well.

Friday, September 27, 2002

Sad news...

One of my first professors at UK has died of ovarian cancer. Pem Kremer first introduced to me to Greek philosophy and ancient literature as part of the honours program. I'm sorry to hear of her death. We shared many interests, but I remember best that she shocked a know-it-all 17-year-old by giving me a C on my first paper and expecting me to work harder. It was my first hint that college wasn't like high school, and I was expected to live up to my potential. Fortunately it worked, and the next semester I made Dean's List (unfortunately the only time; once I actually started dating and juggling a social life, I learned that Bs and a wider experience could be better than sitting home every night studying and getting As. Mmmm....

Argh. I blogged. I posted. Blogger crashed.

And so, I try again; this time in WordPad--so if it doesn't work when I'm done, I'll hold onto it till it does. Sorry I haven't blogged in a couple of days--Tuesday was Buffy/Charmed night and I didn't get home until late. Yesterday I took the bus downtown to pay my electric bill and go to the library, and when I got home I pretty much crashed.

So, let's catch up, but first, while I have it in my clipboard, here's this week's Friday Five

1. What are your favorite ways to relax and unwind?
Take a long bath, listen to Loreena McKinnit, watch my aquarium, run my fountain, do yoga, stroke my dog's face (it's like velvet), and curl up with purring cats.

2. What do you do the moment you get home from work/school/errands?
Kick off my shoes and socks, go to the bathroom, dodge the kitty greeting committee, and pee. In that order, without fail, no matter how badly I have to go.

3. What are your favorite aromatherapeutic smells?
Lavender oil. I bathe in it, rub it on my temples for headaches, spray it around, scatter powder with it in it, all sorts of things.

4. Do you feel more relaxed with a group of friends or hanging out by yourself?
Definitely hanging out by myself, although I worked hard to go back to that. I went through a period of insanity where I was afraid to be myself. My anxiety medication helps with that.

5. What is something that you feel is relaxing but most people don't?
Watching bugs crawl on me--especially ants. I find it very relaxing to shift gears and see the world at their scale. Now, stealth bugs are not relaxing. But you get the idea....

It's been raining steadily for the last twenty-four hours, thanks to tropical depression Isidore. This is generally good news, as we've been in a drought and September/October are usually our driest months in Kentucky. Of course, tomorrow we're supposed to be hit with the biggest part of the storm, so we could have a lot of flooding. Walking to work this morning was pretty wet, and the creek had good waterfall action going on. Obviously I didn't do any fish watching today. They expect rain for the next twenty-four hours, but heavy. But having grown up in Louisiana, it could be much, much worse. I'm glad I don't live down there right now. I remember in the 1974 we got hit with hurricane Carmen, a category 3 storm that hit central Louisiana, and Shreveport got hit pretty hard with very strong winds, etc. I remember being amazed at rain that went horizontal and even up. I'm glad I live in a state that's over 500 feet above sea level. Granted, we are near a fault line (the New Madrid--that's "Mad-rid"), get hit by the occasional tornado, and there is perennial flooding with all our rivers and streams, and we occasionally get a foot of snow, but our disasters tend to be pretty localised. I'm amazed at how large this storm is--it's hitting all the Gulf Coast states at once, and has already generated so much moisture even up here.

My day got off to a bad start. I came in, grabbed breakfast in the cafeteria, watched a small white spider that came off my umbrella, and made the mistake of saying something to it. Yeah, I talk to spiders. Then one of my coworkers took her napkin and squashed it before I could stop her. Zabet will understand my reaction. I have a geas/taboo against killing spiders, because they are associated with my Patron Goddess. That may sound a little screwy to a non-Pagan, but basically it was the equivalent of someone taking the Host and crumbling it into their soup. I just tried to remind myself that the woman didn't know I'd react that way. It's not something that's easy to explain without sounding like a loon. Sigh.

I went to the appreciation lunch. Rafferty's could have been much better. It took them nearly an hour to seat us, and they seemed to be reluctant to push a couple of tables together (there were seven of us, not a huge group), but let in lots of two-people parties who sat at tables for four. Hmmmm..... There was quite a wait for the drinks, and food, too. The salmon was pretty good, though, although the orange-bourbon marinade was a bit much at first. The garlic mashed potatoes were excellent, although I've had heartburn all day--I think I inadvertedly got some bacon in my system from my salad. All and all it worked out. I also got a pretty cool satchel for my help with the committee. It has our logo, a nice long strap, and lots of pockets.

After I sloshed back home, the best seemed to do seemed to be to curl up with a good book and listen to the rain. I read Death at the Priory: Sex, Love, and Murder in Victorian England by James Ruddick. It was very good; it examines a scandolous unsolved murder of the 19th century. I finished it in a couple of hours--it read much like a fictional whodunnit, but I think the author's arguments were very plausible. If you're interested in social history, Victoriana, true crime, etc., you'll enjoy it.

Speaking of crime, here's a suggestion: if you're going to rob a bank, don't steal a getaway car with OnStar. A lethal robbery took place earlier, I think in Nebraska, and that was the result, so the police were able to track them down. Like I've said before, if we must have criminals, let them be stupid ones.

I watched and interesting Primetime show on ABC tonight. It concerned the case from the late 80s of "wilding" in Central Park where a jogger was raped and left for dead. Five teens confessed. I remember there was a lot of tension--all the youths were black. Apparently a convicted rapist/murderer has confessed to doing the crime--alone--and his DNA matched that from the crime scene. The men who were sent to prison for the crime insist they were scared teens who were pressured into confessing. Certainly there was pressure on the police to nab someone for such a high-profile crime. The authorities aren't talking, because they're reviewing the evidence internally. A former policeman said he thought that they were all guilty. I don't know. I tend the think the young men are right. There wasn't evidence of a gang rape, they had no forensic evidence that tied them to the crime--the conviction was based on their confessions. Even the victim, who cannot remember the attack due to the trauma she suffered, says she is interested in the truth.

Having served on a jury (thankfully in a civil, not criminal case), I've lost some of my faith in our justice system. Let's just say, for example, that I'm glad I'm not black, hispanic, or Middle Eastern in ethnicity these days. It bothers me that we put people to death mainly because they can't afford the lawyers to get them off. Being a minority or having a low IQ shouldn't make you more likely to be put to death. It's not like it's cheaper to kill someone, or that it's any real deterrent. Granted, I don't think prisoners should have cable TV and gym equipment, either. If I had Star Trek technology, the punishment meted out would be to take the feelings and memories of the victim and replay them over and over inside the prisoner's head so that he or she has to spend their sentence reliving the pain they caused. And for people who embezzle millions or manipulate companies for the big payoff, the very first thing should be to require reparations to be paid to the victims. I know a lot of people who'd serve a couple of years in prison for a few million dollars. That's just wrong. What's worse, is that a lot of those sort of people never even go to prison, where someone who breaks into a house and steals a TV--no gun, no one hurt, not a large amount stolen--is quite likely to. Strange world. Of course, it's better than places where, say, a bunch of guys molest a kid, then accuse him of inappropriate contact with a woman, so that his sister has to submit to a gang rape. Trust me, I'm aware of the privelege I have as an American.

I finally saw a little of the show Monk. I wasn't sure I'd like it, because the detective has obsessive-compulsive disorder, and that could open up all sorts of inappropriate things in the writing. As someone with OCD, let me just say it's not a funny thing to have. But the character is played by Tony Shaloub, whose work I've always admired (and to be honest, I've always thought he was cute). He makes any character likeable. Actually, I loved the show. It is offbeat, quirky, and while the OCD is a little gimmicky, it didn't offend. Since it comes on before CSI (my main Thursday show), I think I'll keep watching.

I guess that's all. My original blog included a rant about our governor (he was being ridiculed by Jay Leno for the scandal that has erupted over his affair with a woman. I'm not sure it's worth the rant, although I will say that I'm really not sure which is more pathetic--these politicians who wind up like guitarists having sex with groupies, or women who obviously calculated the rewards of having sex with someone in power who then cry foul when the favours stop coming and things turn nasty. Ugh!

Well, I think that's it for now. I'll see if I can post now.

Monday, September 23, 2002

Parting shots

I was going through some long overdue e-mail and realised I'd missed the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the bombing of the National library in Sarajevo. I've updated my post for August 23rd, if you're interested. I keep up with such things in Bosnia through the Friends of Bosnia. I'm sorry to say that one of the finest projects I've kept tabs on recently, the Bosnia Library Project, is seriously in danger due to a lack of funding. I hope it can continue.

I thought I'd put a note here as well, especially as it is Banned Book week. Read a Banned Book--it shouldn't be hard--practically any good text has been challenged by someone. I'm reading Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone (a current favourite target of small-minded Muggles everywhere). What are you reading?

PS I got an e-mail from the Lexington Public Library E-librarian (Electronic Reference). My creek has no official name. Apparently it is an "intermittent stream". Seems like Eidolon is especially appropriate, then. I think I'll go for Eidolon Run. It's in keeping with many of the names around here, and a "run" is a small stream in local parlance.

Oh, and I had an amazing find in my closet last week. A teacher named Mona Combs did a paper on "Archaic English Words Used in Northeastern Kentucky", and there was a copy of the typescript in the library. I have no idea why. Our chief of staff emeritus is really into etymology--maybe that's why. As someone just one class shy of a linguistic major :(--a day class, unfortunately--I've always tended to respect regional dialects, despite the assertion that it's just not "proper English". (Let's face it, the received pronunciation favoured by the BBC is largely artificial, and it's not like those Yorkshire and Cockney folks are speaking German.) Anyway, Ms. Combs sent her students out into the Rowan county area to collect various "archaic" words, then compared them to Chaucer. I'm familiar with a lot of them, actually. But I think I'll include a random one every now and then just for the sake of fun.

So...drumroll, please...today's Kentucky-word/phrase-of-the-day is:

to honey fuggle verb, to flatter persuasively

oh, and I just have to add:

a gentleman cow noun, a bull--to be used in the presence of ladies, as "bull" was deemed too vulgar

Beaming Humming Smile

It is a BEAUTIFUL autumn day. Yes, autumn, which is the best time to live in Kentucky weather-wise, but probably the worst time to be here allergy-wise. (After all, Goldenrod is our state flower. I'm surprised it's not ragweed). The sky is a beautiful cerulean (that's one of my favourite words, next to bleak). It's just a perfect, lovely day.

Anyway, I've seen blue jays and dragonflies, bees, etc. I've sat in the warm sun on a bed of flowering bluegrass with a lovely breeze. The sound of cicadas makes everything just seem ALIVE.

I'm not crazy. I just get into nature a little more than most. ;) And, I have good reason, as you'll see below:

I'd forgotten how utterly piled up the library is until I came in this morning. We had a library committee meeting this afternoon, and they basically want everything we don't use much to go, because, after all, we can "get it easily anyway, and they're probably scanning in this stuff like mad". They? They who? Um...no. Even libraries have better things to do than scan in the New England Journal of Medicine back to the Dark Ages. They also want it to go away quickly, so they can get the family resource centre up and running by October 1st. Have I mentioned it took me THREE WEEKS (working by myself, because I am a solo librarian and they didn't have any lifting-toting volunteers) just to tote this stuff out of the room? Sigh. If you all know of any place that would be glad to take a lot of medical journals and texts (mostly orthopaedic) and find good homes for them, let me know. I wonder if someone actually does business doing that. Maybe that's not a bad idea.

They are finally going to take the employee appreciation committee out to lunch, which is nice, since employee appreciation week was four months ago. :) But hey, I know, summer's are hard to coordinate because of vacations. It's set for Thursday at Rafferty's. I hope I can eat something. There doesn't seem to be much vegetarian on their menu, but I should be able to get roast salmon. I had originally hoped to go see Jane Goodall speak on Thursday, but I don't see how I can swing it, because it's in the middle of the day--from 1-2pm at UK's Singletary Centre for the Arts :( I have one of her books. I may try to send it with one of the girls from my gaming group who's going and see if she can get an autograph.

Well, I think that's all for now. :) Hope your day's going well, too. I have to go do DBT homework now.

Sunday, September 22, 2002


I decided to catch up with some of my blog reading and went over to Dreaded Purple Master's site. His was the first Blog of Note I ever read. Turns out that while the rest of us have been having fun this summer, he's been dealing with a heart attack and then a couple of strokes! Be sure to check out his site and send healthy thoughts his way.

It's funny how we have this community of strangers who wouldn't know each other on the street but care whether we live or die. It's sort of hopeful, really. I mean, it's harder to want to wipe each other out of existence when you know that someone who seems to be very different from you has the same hopes and dreams as you do. Maybe the Israelis and Palestinians/Americans and Iraqis, etc., etc. should blog at one another rather than shooting at each other. Maybe we'd have a better place, do you think? Or am I just being bleeding-heart-liberal-why-can't-we-all-get-along? I never can decide if I'm a pessimist, an optimist, a realist, or just living in another dimension. :) I usually come out as a pessimist, but I think my 60s/70s upbringing just made me madly hopeful for world peace.

Oh, and...

I have an idea for a memorial to the victims of the 9/11 attacks, but I don't have the land resources to do it. Feel free to steal it if you'd like. There is a type of crocus that blooms in autumn (it's what we get saffron from). I'd like to see someone naturalise 3,000 along a garden path. They'd bloom around the anniversary, represent the beauty of the lives lost, the hope for a brighter future--but illustrate the enormity of the toll. What do you think?
Well, I never made it to the Farmer's Market (I slept until 2pm). However, I did go grocery shopping later, so that worked out pretty well. I also talked with my neighbour--he says that the mosquitoes are probably in the crawlspace under the apartments. The entrance to ours is right in front of my door, and that's where they're congregating. So he's going to put in a work order to bomb that area underneath. In the meantime, I didn't get stuff today, but I'll walk over to Walgreens tomorrow when I pick up my meds and get some stuff there. On a happier note, I did use bug spray last night and I don't think I got any new bites. As I commented below, I'm not oblivious to West Nile virus--I'm just trying not to dwell on it because it would feed my anxiety problems. But it's certainly a reason to get rid of any breeding areas underneath the building.

I'm sitting here watching my fish. The tetras tend to stay together as a school. All the others go their own way. The babies seem to taunt the bigger fish, but really, they're too big to be eaten by anything smaller than an oscar at this point, so I think they're pretty safe. The new filter has really livened up the tank. It's made a small current that seems to make the fish more active.

I'm not a cookie fanatic, but I picked up some Coconut Chips Deluxe by Keebler while at the store. (To be rationed carefully, I assure you). Very tasty. I love macaroons, and they're sort of chocolate-chip macaroons.

Watched Harry Potter for the second time this week. I'm rereading the books right now, hoping the fifth will come out soon. I"m ready for the second movie, too. We started out watching Angels & Insects, but everyone else was bored by it, and I wasn't really in the mood for a deep art film. Sometimes you just have to have Quidditch. There are four movies that just put me in a grand mood: Mummy, Mummy Returns, Stargate, and Harry Potter. I can't explain why. They all have a lot of imagination and rich settings/costuming. That's the only thing I can think of. So, you'll probably hear me talk about them over and over. I watch them more for the mood, usually on weekends, than for the stories now, as I have most of the line memorised by now. :)

Saturday, September 21, 2002


I found at that the pretty orange flowers along the creek (that apparently attract hummingbirds) are called spotted touch-me-nots or jewelweed. Their flowers remind me of some orchids.

Yesterday we went to PetSmart and there was much joy to be had. I got several new fish for my aquarium (3 cory cats, 5 neon tetras, 2 red wag swordtails--females for my male marigold one, who's been alone--and two pairs of fancy guppies). I also got another filter (the type with a waterfall that hangs on the back). The fish seem to think this is great fun--they swim up the bubble stream. So now I have about 40 fish, including the molly babies. I took out some of the choking Java moss, bought some cobamba, and it's looking quite nice. I also cleaned the algae off the glass top so the light could reach everything better. The tank is now extremely varied (with a concentration of livebearers, my family specialty)--black, orange, red, purple, cyan, amd white. All of the fishes are pretty fast-swiming, and the more bashful ones (like my clown loach) have plenty of hiding places. Zabet and hubby brought home a kitten from the Humane Society that she'll no doubt blog about. Her name is Maxine; she's a calico with six toes on each foot and very, very sweet. I'm glad--I was bonding with her, ,and I simply can't have any more animals for now. We're hoping that the feral daemon cat, Agatha, can learn to come out and play with the kitten, and maybe realise that no one's going to hurt her. In the meantime, the kitten is eating up the attention, and Zabet is happy to have a cat who appreciates loving--which means hubby is also happy, and besides, the kitten has a great talent for a kneading six-toed massage.

I am itching. A lot. My house has mosquitoes and small black flies that are shaped like deer flies but smaller. I don't think they bite. I checked online for other hidden pests--someone suggested that the bites looked like those of chiggers--but it looks like the mosquitoes are the best bet--it's wherever my skin is exposed, and the darn things seem to be flying out at night. I'm reacting to the bites--they're an inch or two around, and while I'm trying not to scratch, the anti-itch cream I got isn't working well. I've been putting on citronella-based spray on at night. But I think I'm going to have to break down and get something with DEET. I'm also thinking a mosquito-specific "fly strip" might be the way. The spiders in my house are doing a good job of killing them, and the fish, of course, will eat any larvae that attempt to hatch out. But I'm annoyed that they're in the house. I think they come in when I do--there's usually a cloud around my front door, although I've been spraying and that seems to have helped.

On the continuing fauna front, late at night I can hear something scrabbling under my bathtub. As in, I can hear claws, meaning something is down in the crawlspace. I know there's a opossum that lives under the building, and that's fine with me. But it's a little unnerving, especially with those horror stories I've read with rats coming up pipes, etc. I put a bottle of shampoo on the drain just for peace of mind, even though I don't seriously think there's a problem. I am going to ask my neighbour, Bert--who's on the apartment maintenance crew--if I should report it. I'd hate to make a scene over the opossum--they don't tend to carry diseases or otherwise make themselves pests, and they get a seriously bum rap, with absolutely no respect for being our native marsupial, after all. Of course, maybe I'm just a little weird when it comes to animals. :)

Yawn. I think I'll go back to sleep for a bit. I got up very early, which is odd for me on a Saturday, so I've been playing on the computer, but I don't think I'm really rested--I'm practically nodding in my chair, even with breakfast and caffeine. If I can get up and going by noon, I may go downtown to the Farmer's Market. Talk to you later.

Friday, September 20, 2002

Gee, it's already Friday!

1. Would you say that you're good at keeping in touch with people?
I am lousy at keeping in touch with people. Growing up in the Air Force, we moved so much you couldn't keep up with anyone. I'm really bad at writing through regular post. The Internet helps. Unfortunately, most of the people I'd like to catch up with I haven't been able to find: Deana Headley [from Belle Plaine]; Jody Sauers, Paul Scarboro, and Julia Hollingshead [from Barksdale]. I'm sorry guys, I know you tried to keep in touch with me. Write me if you see this! And then there's the pseudo-lost ones like Tracy. Tracy, Tracy, Tracy. Girl, I know where you are, tracked you down, exchanged letters, and you never write! Agghhh! Oh, well, one of these days we'll see you on CNN blasting into space, I guess.

2. Which communication method do you usually prefer/use: e-mail, telephone, snail mail, blog comments, or meeting in person? Why?
E-mail. I don't lose computers with as much regularity as I lose slips of paper. My telephone comes and goes. Blog comments are becoming more important, though.

3. Do you have an instant messenger program? How many? Why/why not? How often do you use it?
Yes, but no one else I know uses it regularly enough to bother.

4. Do most of your close friends live nearby or far away?
Well, yes, now, since I've let the others fade away.

5. Are you an "out of sight, out of mind" person, or do you believe that "distance makes the heart grow fonder"?
Definitely the first. I don't mean to be. I just get caught up in other things. Now, if they're somewhere nearby and start wandering off, I can be tenacious, as Zabet can attest. :)
Also, I finished emptying the closet at work (about 1000 cubic feet of stuff!) Haven't a clue as to where most of it's going to go. I'd say about 1/3 of it can be sent off to other places via the backmed list where we trade things around. I feel like I've been working out--not only have I been lugging stacks of books and journals for three weeks, I did a lot of overhead lifting when I took the shelves apart. They've already started getting the room ready for paint. I have a library committee meeting next Monday, so I think I'll take a break from the mess to work on my report.

Okay, Conan O'Brien's going through supposedly humourous propositions for state quarters. Definitely time to sign off and go to bed. Have a great tomorrow/weekend.

Something really nifty...

You know how some people plant "treasure" for scavenger hunters to find using coordinates on a website? A similar concept for book lovers is BookCrossing.com. You read a book, label it with a note you can print from the website, maybe write a review, and then leave it in some spot/donate it/etc. so that someone will find it and read it. That person then reads it and adds to the reviews. It's sort of making the world itself a giant library. Check it out.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

So far this week...

1. Yesterday I woke up at 7am for no particular reason and stayed awake.
2. I also received a plastic fork wrapped up with two extra tines (just in case I needed them, I suppose).
3. Today an avalanche resulted from taking items off a shelf. Fortunately it was a lower one, and I was in the library proper talking to the information system guys about a computer they were installing. It sounded like the roof caved in, though.
4. My USB port is working, meaning my little webcam is doing fine (and that also means my Handspring cradle should work, too).

This evening I moved my computer/desk from my study to my dining room. Sound's odd, hmm? Well, the truth is, I'm more likely to enjoy it out here, where I can also watch the fish in my tank (I've got about 20 baby mollies and more on the way!), watch TV, etc. I'm going to try to find a big comfy chair to put in the study so that I can, well, study. In the meantime, there's more room for books. :) Which is good, since I'm at about 3,000 and growing--what can I say, they're habit forming.

I'm considering naming my creek Eidolon Creek. It seems to work. On one hand, it's sort of a play on sound (since it runs along the border of the Chevy Chase and Idle Hour neighbourhoods. And certainly it's phantasmal. What do you think? Or is Eidolon Run better?

Well, I'm off to see if the Windows XP service patch will fix some of the minor glitches I have with some software. Toodleoo. :)

The cleaning continues...

As I go through the storage area at work, I find scraps that I want to throw away, but still retain the information. Here's a clipping that appeared in an Ann Landers column several years back, although I don't think it was attributed to her, per se, so I think it's okay to reproduce it, so I can find it here later. It's ideology in a nutshell.

Socialism: You have two cows. Give one cow to your neighbour.
Communism: You have two cows. Give both cows to the government, and they might give you some of the milk.
Fascism: You have two cows. You give all the milk to the government, and the government sells it.
Nazism: You have two cows. The government shoots you and takes both cows.
Anarchism: You have two cows. Keep both of the cows, shoot the government agent and steal another cow.
Capitalism: You have two cows. Sell one cow and buy a bull.
Surrealism: You have two giraffes. The government makes you take harmonica lessons.

Although on the Internet, if you have two cows, it usually means your downloading stuff for your PDA. :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Well, that's better...I think

Which monkey are you? made by Bijouriel

I suppose I ought to sign off now. I hadn't done quizzes in awhile really, and I missed it. The thrill is now over, and I am satiated. 'Night.

Oh, dear, my Americanism came forward...at first I thought I thought they meant as in "Winnie"...

I went to The Quiz Blog and found a quiz called 'what poo are you'. [Note: I've since removed the link because it went wherever old decrepit links go. Suffice to say I came out as 'vegetarian poo'.

[I don't know what came over me. Yes, the 'h' was missing. But people online are notoriously bad spellers. And...well...Americans don't generally say 'poo' unless they're in drag, and then it's like, "Well, poo, dahling, what is one to do?", not in the excrement sense. We say 'poop'. But since it's uncharacteristic of me to surf online looking for poop, I thought I might as well include it. Granted, you may not be edified by my blog today, but hey, were you expecting poetry?]

As for the answer, I guess it's okay, since I am a vegetarian, or at least a pesce-one.

Poor Zabet

She of the Womberineness is congested and feeling plague-ridden. She called earlier and taunted my phone because she was so bored--which was nifty, seeing as I finally have a phone again. I feel connected!!! All that fiscal responsibility paid off. (Well, that and the fact that Alltel bought out Verizon, so my record's clean!)

Anyway, healthy thoughts are being aimed in her direction; you may wish to contribute as well.

Hmmm...I'm a (temporarily) thwarted librarian :(

Well, Michael, this is as close an answer I can provide for now. I even called up the Kentucky Geological Survey, and they couldn't tell me the name of the creek. I suspect that I'm being kind and most people see it as a drainage ditch. However, as far as I'm concerned, it has a streambed, not man-made materials, at its bottom, flora and fauna, etc., so it's a creek. I do know it's in the West Hickman watershed area, but isn't West Hickman Creek. That's a little further south.

If you have no idea why I'm babbling about streambeds, read Michael's comments from a couple of posts ago.

I found out a lot of stuff in trying to answer the question. For example, I thought this was pretty interesting. Also, the KGS website had a lot of information on the area's geology. I knew we sat on karst topography (lots of limestone, with sinkholes and caves riddling the area), but the limestone formation itself is very, very old--from the Ordovician era (510 to 440 million years ago). There are inactive faults running underneath Fayette County, with the major one being on the east side.

Kentucky is one of the few states to have the entire topography mapped out at the most detailed USGS scale. I guess this is because of coal mining (in both the western and eastern parts of the Commonwealth), and the importance of water. (I've heard, but never verified, that Kentucky has more running water in any state other than Alaska. As a point of trivia, we also have the longest known cave system [Mammoth Cave] and the only moonbow in the northern hemisphere [Cumberland Falls]. :)

Another aspect of my search was that I came across a lot of historical place names that really aren't used to navigate the county these days. Lexington-Fayette County is a merged government, and while there are other towns (Athens being the largest), most everything's just considered city these days, especially with us encroaching to the south towards Nicholasville. BTW, Athens is pronounced "Ay-thens". Nearby Versailles is "Ver-sales". And before anyone gripes about stupid hicks, keep in mind that most English speakers don't call Paris "Par-ee", etc. Put it down to small but interesting regional differences. Although one of my favourite memories from college was a very stiff professor of German history who once started to say the "Treaty of Ver-sal--Ver-sai". He was so embarrassed. Guess he'd just been here too long. :) Anyway, it made some of the road names make more sense, and could come in very useful if I ever write my Victorian mysteries set here in Lexington, which was very bustling at the time and a centre of culture. ;)

That's all for now. Do you think they'd let me name the creek?

Friday, September 13, 2002

She made it pretty :)

Zabet did a nifty-cool title image for this blog (and some colour correction for an overly-bright yellow). Always nice to have a professional around! I think it looks quite nice. Thanks, Zabet!

September 11 Postscript

I forgot to mention a lovely thing that happened the other day while I said my prayer at the edge of our creek. A hummingbird whizzed by me and starting drinking from some flowers at the water's edge. It stayed where I could see it, just a couple of feet away, for a minute or two, then zoomed off. It's the first one I've seen in quite awhile, and its timing, I felt, was an omen of hope.

Also, thanks to Kevin Adams, an information specialist in New Zealand, for sharing this selection from a poem recited during ANZAC ceremonies, which commemorate the Battle of Gallipolli. I found them very comforting.

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Just to let you know that I am with you on this day.

A quiet sky?

I was upset to learn of the huge inroads West Nile is making among the midwestern bird population. Until this year, I didn't even know mosquitoes bit birds (see, information professionals are not all-knowing, we just know where to look for answers!) Crows and jays are particularly susceptible, although bald eagles, hawks, and owls are also affected. Apparently when birds contract West Nile, they just die--there's not much they can do to fight it off. One of the biggest worries is for endangered birds, whose small numbers may just be wiped out.

Click http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/4056510.htm for the full story.

Friday Five!

1. What was/is your favorite subject in school? Why? History; it embraces every aspect of human life--language, culture, religion, etc. It studies both the ancient and recent past, and helps us understand the present and future so much more.

2. Who was your favorite teacher? Why? Mr. Amos. He had the patience to spend 45 minutes teaching me to stand on my head. He pushed us without breaking us in PE. In history and social studies, he had a "Famous Amos" test where we got extra points for creative writing. He took the fact that his classroom was pink gracefully. And he made it clear that he'd had learning problems as a kid and that different kids learned different ways, so he was one of the most supportive teachers I ever had.

3. What is your favorite memory of school? Eating popsickles and playing with four-o-clock seed "grenades" during Field Day. It's something they did in Louisiana where you had three-legged races, bean bag relays, etc. I was good at the bean bag relays, because the top of my head is a little flat and you couldn't knock one off if you tried, unless I had my head down.

4. What was your favorite recess game? Poison. It had a series of moves played in a four-square block, with one square as the poison square that you couldn't go into. I also loved dodgeball. I was very good at it. For all that I got hit with other types of balls, I could apparently see the big red one better.

5. What did you hate most about school? The other kids. I was picked on, harrassed, beaten up occasionally, that sort of thing. I was a geeky know-it-all with few social skills, and the youngest in the class because I'd skipped a grade. But the only person I ever hit was a neighbourhood bully who was picking on a four-year-old. I learned to mostly read during recess as I got older.

Well, that's enough for now. I think my asthma attack is over (fall weeds, ugh!) and now I can work on the closet (dust, ugh!) Happy Friday the 13th!

Thursday, September 12, 2002

Ach, so tired...

For the past week and a half I have been cleaning out my storage area (7 feet by 15 feet) at work so that we can carpet it, take the shelves down, and install a family resource centre complete with reading area, TV/VCR, and computer.

No one had any idea how much stuff I had in my closet. I did, in a way, but I'm clueless when it comes to spatial relations, so I had no idea how long it would take to empty, or what sort of space it would take to absorb it. Needless to say, the library is very very messy now. I have signs up, so people come in piping up remarks like, "I came to see your mess!" I know they're joking, but as someone who hoarded for years until my OCD diagnosis helped get me the medicine to change that funky brain chemisty, I just feel like hanging my head in shame.

I know it'll get better. It's just a big job, and I'm trying to do it in small, steady bursts rather than all at once. And I have been chipping away at it. Still, I just want to go home, curl into a ball and sleep. Everything out of place is causing a little bit of anxiety,--I can't even see my desk--but I guess it's better than walling myself away with stuff. Sigh. I'll have to celebrate when it's over somehow--maybe a PTO day. :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

A line from the Kaddish

Y'hei shlamah rabbah meen sh'mahyah,v'chahyeem
May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and life

I am not Jewish, but I have friends who are, and I have a minor in Judaic studies. As a Pagan learning Hebrew, I would never say the name of G-d as Adonai, but rather Ha Shem, as the Orthodox do, since Adonai means 'my Lord'. But there were many people of many faiths who died in these attacks. Some were Jewish, and it is traditional to recite Kaddish for the dead. I especially remember one man, an Orthodox Jew, who refused to leave is wheelchair-bound friend. He could have gotten out, but he stayed. So today, I recited Kaddish for him and the other Jews who died that day. My Hebrew's a little rusty, so I found a site (above) that provided the transliteration. This line from the prayer especially resonated with me.

I hope He isn't offended--it's meant in respect, even from a Pagan Goy like me. :)

I find I keep coming back here

when I try to focus my thoughts of remembrance regarding the events of September 11th last year. I suspect hundreds-perhaps thousands-of others will write in their own journals today. What will historians of the future write about our nation's pain, I wonder?

One of my coworkers/neighbours commemorated the attacks with a small cannon that fired at the time of the impact of the aeroplanes into the twin towers. Because I live nearby and walk to work, the first boom came just as I left the apartment--the second came just as I reached the hospital. So little time for our lives to have changed so.

On the way, I prayed. It's funny, I don't really pray that much, which I suppose is a little odd for a priestess. But usually I worship monthly, and most supplications that I deliver are not my own, but for others.

There is a stream along the road to work. I found that as I was walking the following came to mind.

Lady Hekate, grant that those who lost their lives find peace, and that those who love and miss them find comfort. May no more acts of hatred break the peace of this day.

I picked up four stones, and went over to a pool where I often watch the fish swim. Four stones, one for each attack. Four stones dropped into the pool.

May those who did these terrible acts find not the heaven they sought, but the perdition they deserve.
May their organisation be plundered.
May those who remain have their hearts turn from violence.
May our world come together in peace, not bloodshed.

At work our flag is at half-mast. We are wearing red, white, and blue, or black in accordance with our wishes to honour those who died. A television in the auditorium is showing the memorials live for those who wish to view it, and I placed a list along the wall of the names of those who died. We will observe a moment of silence at noon.
For now I am listening to Mozart's Requiem, and finding that I can't think about much else at all.

So many lives. So many changes.

I watched the unfurling of the flag at the rebuilt wing of the Pentagon. That day, somehow, I couldn't comprehend the enormity of the collaspe of the twin towers, but as an Air Force brat, I felt like someone had attacked my family when the Pentagon was hit. And the one victim that I know of from Kentucky, Edward Thomas Earhart, died in that place. The Navy recently named a mountain under the sea for him; he was an aerographer's mate first class. It's good to know that his name will live on. He was only 26 years old. After the national anthem was sung, I saluted him and the others who served, and died, and those who survived as well.

Somehow the thing that is getting me the most today are pictures of loved ones placing flowers and mementos down into the pit at the Ground Zero site.

In some ways it must have been better to have died. Many were with others. For many, it was quick, although terrifying as well. But for the workers who spent months sifting through pieces of bodies, for the families who have no closure, for the children who were born not knowing their fathers--the pain will go on for so long. I cannot imagine what they feel. I cannot imagine what those who were there saw. My heart goes out to them as well. I hope today brings them comfort. I saw families coming together in Pennsylvania, most of whom did not know each other before their shared tragedy brought them together. I pray that some good comes from all this.

I know someone whose wife was in the basement of the WTC when the first plane hit. She was able to get out safely. I'm glad, but as I look through the names of the dead, I see so many others from their home in Hoboken, New Jersey. Bill, Jen, I wish you well. I know that we've not always seen eye to eye, but I still think of you as my little brother. I'm glad you're alive, and that Jen is, too. Take care. I suspect Bill is singing today--that was his major here at UK, and he sings in churches, at weddings, and funerals. Gods, this day feels like one big funeral.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

In preparing for the anniversary of September 11th, I decided that what I wanted to focus on were not the ruined buildings, or the explosions, or the violence, but the individuals killed--each having lovied ones, each with a story. It's awful that history tends to remember those who perpetrate atrocities and not the names of those killed. So I went through and printed a list of the dead--and placed the sheets of paper on the wall around our auditorium at work. Sixty sheets. Three thousand names. The youngest was 2, the oldest 85. People living everday lives. People like you, or me. People killed by hate.

An excellent website has the names, with a photo and information if available, and comments from readers. It is at http://www.september11victims.com. It will no doubt be getting a lot of traffic tomorrow, but it gives a glimpse into the lives behind the names.

It's funny but I don't really fear tomorrow--I know that there are alerts, that new terror is always possible. It's the world we live in. It was the world we lived in last year, too, although we tried to forget it. As I child I remember terrorists flinging a man in a wheelchair off a cruise ship, bombings in Beirut, the terror of the 70s. It never went away. But we cannot live with that fear, or terrorists win.

They say that the Oklahoma City bombing broke the 'militia' movement in this country. It's harder to recruit hatemongers when you kill kids, you see. Maybe, just maybe, the same will happen with terrorism. The IRA recently apologised for its actions in the Troubles of Northern Ireland, after all.

We can hope, anyway, and remember, and live our lives to the fullest despite a sometimes scary world, and teach our children not to hate so that someday the idea of blowing yourself and anyone nearby up will seem as awful as it is in reality.

It's like the whole world is holding its breath...

a year ago everything seemed normal
no fear
just the pain of living our everyday lives

how could we know it would all change?
buildings would crumble
loved ones would be torn away

holding our breath
on a path to challenge
steadfastly endured despite the odds

waiting for tears to fall
not knowing what was coming
innocent and unaware

that our world would change
that we would come together
to change hate to hope

all to play out
as the world held its breath
many faiths, many nations, one people

Monday, September 09, 2002

Ack, let's liven things up!

Okay, the poopie thing worked in my mood the other night, but it would even drag Marvin the Robot down further, so I decided to go with sunny day colours instead. Hope you like them.

What I'm up to...

I finally got to watch all of the "megaseries" Dinotopia last night. It was wonderful! How could it not be, with a dinosaur linguist librarian who is determined to win at ping pong, even if he does have to prop the scrolls up as a net? So today I decided to check some things out about it. I'd seen the books but hadn't actually read any. I'm going to have to check them out. I'm happy to see that a series is planned this fall--and on ABC, meaning I can still watch it even without cable! :)

I did LOTS of walking this weekend. I missed my bus Saturday night, so I walked about 2 miles home. Next day, I took the bus to Kroger but walked about a mile with a backpack full of books, dice, and beads, carrying bribes for the game. (Do you have any idea how much a backpack full of beads weighs, especially if they're real stone, meaning I suppose that I was carrying a bunch of "very small rocks" around? And we all know they don't float!) So I'm sore, and sleepy (I was up till two last night doing some research on Hellenistic magical religious practices--did I meantion I have eclectic interests?) and I have to be on campus tonight for DBT, but I managed to get a ride with a coworker, so that was good, especially as it's so hot. It's supposed to cool down about 20 degrees this week, though. And at least for now, bus rides are free with campus IDs. So, life is good. But tonight I think I'm going home and just curl up with my animals for awhile, just the same.

Friday, September 06, 2002


The page is back up with links, comments, and counter. Whew! That took awhile. I chose this colour scheme for an earthy look. Hope it's not too poop-coloured for you. The comments should work (albeit some tinkering with that server on occasion). I couldn't get the YACCS comments to work out, so I went ahead with the enetation ones [besides, they have cute smilies. I particularly like the invasion one. Don't know what I'm talking about? Send me a comment and see! ]

Well, that's all for now. I am very sleepy. Time to check my laundry and then see about going home.



I'm coding blind here, because I can post/change my template, but not check the results at work due to our firewall blocking blog*spot but not Blogger. So...I found a copy of my old page with all my links (yeah!) and put them back in.

Ugh. So, if for some reason you come visiting and this is really screwed up, I'm sorry, and I promise I'll check tonight over at a friend's and fix any problems. Thanks!

It's F R I D A Y!!!!!!!

1. What is your biggest pet peeve? Why?

Oh, wow, I have so many. One of the biggest is people who say "lie-berry" instead of "libRary", since that obviously comes up a lot with me. It's pretty common in this area, anyway. Another is when people assume all Asians are Chinese. I mean, I can tell someone who is Japanese from someone who is Korean from someone who is Thai. Why can't they? It's like saying all black people look alike. This is also why I always have a little trouble when, say, someone who is Japanese is playing someone who is Chinese or Korean, or vice versa. 'Course, at least with that, I know there are limited roles in Hollywood, and at least it makes more sense than, say, all those white Indians in the '50s.

2. What irritating habits do you have?

I have a nervous laugh, I repeat stories over and over, I gesticulate with my hands (which annoys one friend and causes waiters to lose their spoons), I talk about morbid gloom and doom things that fascinate me but apparently not others, and I sometimes act like the world revolves around me. But I'm getting better. ;)

3. Have you tried to change the irritating habits or just let them be?

Oh, yes, my life is about self-improvement. I slip as much as everyone else. But I have eliminated some totally, I've minimised others, and a few may just take some more therapy.

4. What grosses you out more than anything else? Why?

Not much. I do have trouble hearing someone else throw up or if I smell cat hack-up, etc. It makes my own gag reflex try to kick in. But otherwise I can happily discuss strange disorders, cadaver atlases, alien goop, and diarrhea over food with no problem. I do have a problem with needles, but it's okay so long as I look away, but that's more of a scared thing than a gross out one.

5. What one thing can you never see yourself doing that other people do?

Dating. :) Well, that's close, anyway--I mean I haven't in years, and then I only did because I hadn't a clue that I was, like, dating. And look where that got me--married to a geeky weirdo who wanted to set up his own religion and screw thousands of men. So, I'm a little scarred, you might say.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Comments, anyone?

I should be able to receive comments now, through enetation. If you get a "server busy" error, be patient/try back later. They just put in a new server and so they're fiddling with it. Thanks for all the great work, enetation!

Someone's going to Hell...

In Klamath Falls, Oregon, a man has been charged with sexually assaulting two nuns and strangling one to death with her own rosary beads. Sister Helen Chaska, 53, was attacked while reciting the rosary as she and another nun were taking a late-night stroll. The other woman was treated at a hospital and released. Maximiliano Esparza, 32, was charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, assault, sodomy, sexual abuse and possession and delivery of a controlled substance.

What circle of Hell is reserved for this?

And can we add one for people who just stand by while someone else rapes a person?

Teen raped on train; passengers fail to help

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

One last post for the day...

Really! I just wanted to say that I had a w o n d e r f u l Labour Day weekend. On Saturday I went to the Newport Aquarium near Cincinnati. It was wonderful, although I wish they'd had room to have sea mammals as well. Unfortunately, one poor child is probably scarred by his experience. His dad, who was something like 6'5", decided to put him on his shoulders so he could get a better look at the sharks in the shark tunnel. Ever noticed curved glass with water in it is harder to see than regular glass? He basically smacked the child straight into the ceiling. No physical harm done but I bet they'll be paying for therapists later. I got to pet starfish, regular crabs, and horseshoe crabs. They remind me a little of trilobites. I've always wanted one of those for a pet--too bad it's several million years too late. :)

I really liked the mud skippers, the octopus, and the jellyfish. The little mushroom-like jellyfish and ones with shimmering lights were almost what you might call cute. The ones with long, sinuous tentacles reminded me of something out of Lumley. However, the cuttlefish were quite adorable despite looking like little Cthulhus.

Monday night Zabet, her Hubby, and I watched the movie Amélie. It was wonderful--sort of like my inner life, which I think alarmed my friends.

Anyway, it was fun.

And now, off to ride LexTran to Jo-Beth!

Giggle...I have fan mail

So the thing with trying to get my comments back up isn't working. Seems I can't remember any username/passwords today (the latest at YACCS, whereas earlier it was the New England Journal of Medicine. ) Alas.

So I requested my hint, without results (maybe I should be more patient) but by checking my e-mail I found that I have...a fan. Named Michael. Who works in a library. And is also married to a librarian. (Wondering how many sentence fragments I can string together?)

Anyway, thanks for the mail, Michael, and for sharing your Friday Five with me. Blogging is great for writers--and it's free. :) And don't worry, I won't hold your being Christian against you...I may even send you a chocolate bunny card next spring. I was about to say that some of my best friends are Christian (but really, there is one nominal but very political Christian in a field of Pagans and Jews. So...hmmm...well, some of my best acquaintances are Christian.) I rather agree that most people are either good or not, regardless of religion. Except maybe Satanists. Don't they by definition have to be bad, at least from a Christian standpoint?

Anyway, welcome to the readership. I'll really try to get my links back up soon. Maybe YACCS will get back to me, too.

I'm free i'm free i'm free i'm free

Had an appointment with my psychiatrist this afternoon (what, you did know I was mad, didn't you? Hence the rabid librarian part!) so I got off work at 2pm. I went home, scooped up the languishing PDA that I had so cruelly left on the end table, grabbed a soda and protein bar at Walgreens, headed over to the bus stop, and ... nothing. For awhile. Now, the buses in Lexington run every hour during the off hours, but I've gotten very good at telling when they come. I was on time. It wasn't. Then a sedan drives up with an old grizzly man with a young couple in the back, and they're beckoning me over.

I have a firm rule that it's fine to give directions so long as you are at a minimum of three feet from the car at all times. No leaning into windows for me. This is actually not psycho. This is modern life. So, they're beckoning me closer and I shake my head and return to my seat. The younger guy then calls out the window -- "he is the bus, the bus broke down". Ah, of course. Turns out it was one of the route supervisors trying the help the bus driver who's bus had a flat tyre. Of course, I didn't know who the */^*&* he was. His normal van with LexTran markings was in the shop. Apparently they're hard on vehicles.

Anyway, despite initial communications issues, I'd like to thank LexTran for getting me to my doctor's appointment on time. My doctor said she understood that it was taking a risk. Fortuanately the Paxil's working--I wasn't one big ball of anxiety, but I did have a little bit of an adrenaline rush afterwards...Zabet said I probably felt like other people feel after bungee jumping--either could get you killed, and you have to put a little faith into the mix. I don't know if that's a sad commentary on my life, but I took it as encouraging.

So now I'm over at one of UK's labs, having discovered that they don't bother to password the OS 9 machines (with a very helpful supervisor who has handed me all the paperwork I need to get an account who I don't have the heart to tell that I get onto campus once a month at best, so it's really okay that the system couldn't automatically process me--since I'm not in classes, just one of those "all but dissertation" types--I'm happy, I'm online, I can read my blog that is otherwise blocked at work.)

Later this evening I'm going to meet some other librarians out at Joseph-Beth and have dinner. For now, though, I might be able to get some of the comments and links back onto this site.

That's it for now.

Weird fact of the day

American Wire Gauge sizes are inversely proportional to the size of wire, and therefore to the size of current that can be sustained; thus a 18 gauge wire is much smaller than a 10 gauge one. Who knew? (Well, a heck of a lot of you, I know, but I never got that little fact in physics, and you'd think I'd pick it up at some point, seeing as my father's an electrical engineer/radio buff, etc. I mean, I know how long it takes two people to put up a fifty-foot radio tower in the backyard, and most people don't know that). This is what comes of looking up things for theatre majors.

What I'm doing in my free time

Reading Darkover--yes, I, the phantasy geek, never did--although I enjoyed House Between the Worlds and Mists of Avalon when I was younger. I'm through Darkover Landfall and starting Stormqueen!. And yes, Patrick, I'm still working on the Simarillion. Also have some new Lovecraft books, have checked out a Manly Wade Wellman, and found a used copy of The Man Who Fell to Earth, which was set in Kentucky before they made a movie with David Bowie out of it. Listening to lots of Loreena McKinnit with some Depeche Mode, Enrique Inglesias, and Ace of Base thrown in. Yes, I know, I'm not right. Watching baby mollies in the fish tank grow. Curling up with the dog and cats. Pining for someone to play Scrabble with other than my PDA. Preparing to watch Dinotopia with D next Saturday (it was my birthday gift to him). All in all, pretty normal. :)

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

As promised...

For those not familiar with Holocaust history, Terezin is the local name for the ghetto set up by the Nazis also known as Theresienstadt. It was supposed to be a "model" ghetto. Many artists, musicians, scholars, and other aesthetes of Jewish lineage were sent there. It was supposed to be the one you tried to get into to, because it was not supposed to be as harsh as the others. Nazi propagandists went to a great deal of trouble to film Jewish schoolchildren playing, musicians playing, etc. as a way to show the outside world that their programmes were not unreasonable. However, when the cameras weren't rolling, the simple fact was that many of the inmates died from diseases, lack of food, etc. Many who survived were sent on to the concentration camps. There are beautiful pieces of music and poems both written in the ghetto itself and commemorating those who lived and died in Terezin.

The following were gleaned from e-mail lists. I'm thinking, however, that no one would mind me publicising this problem.
The Society of American Archivists (SAA), UNESCO and many other
organizations are appealing to the archival community for assistance
in saving what can still be saved in the museums and archives of
flood-ravaged Germany and Central Europe.

We are joining in this effort by donating 5% of all sales for the
balance of the year to the effort, and encourage others to help as
they can in this important effort.

Details are in a press release at

(Main page is URL:http://www.archivalmethods.com)

Whether you chose to help through our efforts or by direct donations
to any of the effected museums and collections, please help save the
cultural heritage of Central Europe.

Steven Hess, CEO
Archival Methods, LLC
235 Middle Road
Henrietta, NY 14467
Fax: 721-1112
866-877-7050 (toll free)
Fax: 585-334-7067

The following appeared on ICOM-L and is reproduced here without the
knowledge or consent of the author

Date: 29 Aug 2002
From: Tlachova Katerina

As you may know from the media, a major part of the Czech
Republic has recently been affected by heavy floods. There are
serious problems, especially in Prague, north, south and west
Bohemia; towns, villages, roads have suffered a lot. Although
people's lives and homes are now the prime concern of everybody
here, the time is coming to evaluate also the damage on cultural
heritage--historical towns, chateaux, monuments, museums and
collections--the losses are estimated in billions of Czech

In Prague, buildings of the National Museum, the National
Gallery, the Jewish Museum, the Kampa Museum and others were
flooded; in the South-Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov, listed in
the UNESCO world heritage, the well-known Egon Schiele Centre
was under water.

Nevertheless, there are many more affected cultural heritage
institutions in the country that suffered serious damage: In the
Prague city district of Karlin, the building of "Invalids",
housing the collections of the National technical Museum
including the archives of architecture, history of industry and
material of the Army History Archive, found themselves at the
bottom of a three-meters deep lake.

At the Museum of Central Bohemia in Roztoky near Prague, where
water was reaching the second-floor level, interesting and
modern exhibitions were completely destroyed together with the
archaeological collection. Unfortunately, the same fate met the
unique conservation workplaces, which were used by cultural
heritage institutions all over the country: the radiation room
(used for rehabilitation of objects infested by insects, cobalt
radioisotope 60Co) and the plasma-chemical conservation
laboratory (developed in the 1990s in cooperation with the
National Museum of Switzerland in Zurich, and using the method
of plasma reduction in treatment of historical and
archaeological metal objects).

The town and fortress of Terezin, a national cultural monument,
commemorating WW II and the Holocaust, was completely under
water. The damage caused on the fortress itself, the Museum of
the Ghetto, the National Cemetery and other monuments, all
recently renovated, are immense. Also the Central Storage of the
National Museum in Terezin was flooded.

However, we can proudly announce that with only a few
exceptions, collection items were evacuated in time from
exhibitions and storerooms located in the buildings' lower
floors. This was made possible by the extreme zeal of all museum
staff members, who did not spare any effort to save the
collections, often to the detriment of their own homes. We
gratefully acknowledge their work and express our gratitude.

The most serious damage then occurred on the museum buildings -
almost all of them are listed historical monuments, and quite a
few of them will now have to face general renovation. Besides
the enormous material losses on technology (computers,
air-conditioning systems, etc.), equipment and furniture, the
thoroughly soaked walls and floors will seriously influence on
the microclimate and subsequently, on the condition of stored
collections. If the buildings are not dried up in relatively
short time, we will be facing a "second flood" for the
collections, due to the extreme humidity in the buildings.

A major problem that appeared immediately after the water left,
was how to save archive material and books kept in museums.
Knowing that the most efficient immediate remedy for paper
flooded by water is deep-freezing, works were directed in that
way. A "central depository" for soaked paper was found in the
cooling chambers of Mochov food plant, and wet archive, museum
and library collections, as well as the agenda of several other
offices, have been deposited there. However, we are aware that
simple deep-freezing does not mean safeguarding of the
collections. Now, hundreds of conservators would be needed to
dry up and clean the items, so that to restore them in their
original condition of human memory media.

In this fight, museums stand close to the other cultural
heritage preservation institutions--archives and libraries.
Although a lot has been done in the past years thanks to the
international Blue Shield scheme in order to develop a common
methodology for solving emergency situations, there is still a
lot to improve.

We are very touched by the tremendous solidarity within the
museum field. Since the culmination moment of the flood-wave in
Prague, there is a constant flow of offers of professional
advice, manpower and financial contributions for the affected
institutions. The Museums and Galleries Association of the Czech
Republic has launched a public fund-raising campaign to help
Czech museums damaged by the flood. The gathered finances will
be distributed by the Association's Senate (upon recommendation
of an expert working group) directly to the museums in need. The
bank account number is 27-7705500277/0100, at Komercni banka in
Prague (designation of payment: constant symbol 0558, variable
symbol 9999).

On behalf of the Czech museums, we would like to express our
most sincere thanks to all of you who have manifested your
interest, provided support and offered help. It came very
quickly and in large amount, and we really appreciate it a lot.
At the moment, physical help does not seem to be needed any
more. What is urgent, though, is equipment and money--as already
mentioned, hundreds of drier units will be needed to restore the
soaked buildings and to provide for sustainable climate for
collection storage. Later, when the buildings will have been
cleaned and working conditions will be approaching the standards
again, we will definitely need all kind of conservation
equipment and material, professional consultancy, as well as
physical help of skilled conservators.

Most of the museums in the flooded areas strive to re-open their
doors to the public as soon as possible: So do come and support
us with your visit!

Yours sincerely,

Katka Tlachova Chair of the Czech Committee of ICOM

First estimate of damage caused on cultural institutions in the
Czech Republic

(Press release of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic
from 21 August, 2002)

This first estimate is very approximate and deals mainly with
cultural heritage and institutions under the care of the State;
private property could not be estimated yet in most of the

Historical monuments and sites:
181,300,000 CZK (6,043,400 EUR)

Museums and galleries:
public: 1,411,000,000 CZK (47,040,000 EUR)
private: 240,000,000 CZK (8,000,000 EUR)

public: 20,220,000 CZK (674,000 EUR)
private: 361,515,000 CZK (12,050,500 EUR)

Churches and buildings of the Church:
so far: 30,200,000 CZK (1,007,000 EUR)

Theatres: 47,800,000 CZK (1,593,400 EUR)

Music: 26,807,000 CZK (893,600 EUR)

TOTAL: 2, 318,842,000 CZK (77,301,900 EUR)

Survey of museums in the Czech Republic, affected by the
catastrophic floods of August 2002

Prague City Gallery
Mickiewiczova 3, Praha 6, 160 00
+42 2 33321200
Contact: Dr. Petra Hoftichova
+42 2 33324170

Chateau Troja:

* the garden completely flooded, as well as part of the
outdoor sculptures and objects located near the lower wall;

* the underground floor of the chateau was under water--there
were the Gallery's storages, but a major part had been
evacuated, so that damage occurred on technical equipment
and a small part of the storage (sculpture collection).

Houses "U kamenneho zvonu" and "U prstenu" (Staromistske Square):

* slightly damaged buildings due to penetration of underwater,
resp. canalisation

* exhibitions in both exhibition buildings had been evacuated
in time, only the installation of Frederico Diaz, which is
integral part of the building "U prstenu", was damaged;
damaged workshops and storage area.

Prague City Museum
Ko'na 1/475
Praha 1, 110 00
+42 2 24223696 8;
Director: Dr. Zuzana Strnadova
+42 2 24235218;

Main museum building (Pooiei Street):

* the lowest level of cellars has been flooded;

* collection items deposited there had been evacuated in time
to the higher floors of the building.

"Podskalska Customs Office" (Na Vytoni Street):

* this important monument is located in the endangered area
and has been completely flooded;

* the building has been undergoing general refurbishment, so
that there were no exhibitions installed.

The National Gallery
Staromistske nam. 12
Praha 1
110 15
+42 2 24810758

Director General: Prof. Milan Kni'ak Dr. A.

Buildings of St Agnes Convent and Zbraslav Chateau have been

For more information, contact the press office of the National

The National Museum
Vaclavske nam. 68
Praha 1 115 79
+42 2 24497111
nm@nm.cz Director General
PhDr. Michal Luke
Contact: Lenka Edrova, press office of the National Museum
+42 2 24497376

"Velkopoevorsky" Palace:

* a part of the sheet music archive has been damaged by water,
no other collection items damaged.

Smetana Museum:

* collection items had been evacuated in time, no losses

Libichov Chateau:

* the building has been flooded up to the second floor level,
the whole complex including the park is totally devastated;

* the recently restored mural painting are damaged by water;

* several heavy pieces of furniture have been damaged, while
all the other Non-European collections were safeguarded in

Naprstek Museum:

* the underground floor was flooded, but evacuated in time. No
collection items suffered.

Tyr Museum of Physical Training and Sports:

* the building is in the flood area, but collection items

Central Storage of the Historical Museum in Terezin:

* two buildings in the Old Town centre have been flooded up to
the height of two meters. Approximately 20,000 books of the
National Museum Library have been soaked there;

* the flood further damaged collection items of various type
which were not possible to evacuate in time;

* both buildings have destroyed infrastructure and are
seriously damaged.

National Technical Museum
Kostelni 42
Praha 7, 170 78
+42 2 20399111
Contact: Ing. Zdenik Rasl
+42 605 971573

The "Invalids" building in Praha-Karlin

* store-rooms have been completely flooded, the huge archive
of architecture and the Archive of history of technology and

* measures had been taken to protect the building up to the
height of one meter above the 1890 flood, but water finally
rose more that 3 meters above that level;

* the flooded collections include items of electrotechnics,
engineering, chemistry, architecture and construction,
metallurgy, textile production, architecture designs of
numerous 19th and 20th century architects, many personal
archives and legacies of prominent personalities of Czech
technology, architecture, industry and science, a huge
collection of photographic negatives and positives dating of
1880-1970, the documentation of the aeronautics archive,

Postal Museum
Vavruv dum
Nove Mlyny 2
Praha 1, 110 00
+42 2 2312006
Director: Dr. Pavel Etvrtnik
+42 2 2315595

* the museum building--cellar and ground floor--has been
flooded up to the height of 60 cm;

* in two days, all the endangered collections had been
evacuated, so that no collections suffered, with the
exception of engraved and printing plates for Czechoslovak

The Jewish Museum
U stare 'koly 1
Praha 1, 110 01
+42 2 24266953
Director: Dr. Leo Pavlat
+42 2 21711510

All the collection items in all the building had been evacuated in

Main museum building in U Stare 'koly Street:

* the new technical equipment installed in 2001 was completely

Pinkas Synagogue:

* the recently renovated inscriptions on the walls,
commemorating victims of the Holocaust, were destroyed up to
the height of 2 meters.

"Old-New" Synagogue:

* the building has been flooded.

Maisel Synagogue, Klaus Synagogue, Spanish Synagogue:

* water did not directly accede to the buildings, but due to
capillary humidity from the ground the walls have to be

Plzeo (Pilsen) Region
No serious damage on museums occurred. 'umava Museum in
Su'ice--slightly flooded underground floor.

Museum of Western Bohemia in Pilsen--flooded underground floor.

Art Museum of Western Bohemia in Pilsen--increased humidity.

Regional Museum in Klatovy--flooded cellars of folk architecture
buildings in Chanovice, destroyed access road.

South Bohemia Region
Museum of South Bohemia in Eeske Budijovice
Dukelska 1, Eeske Budijovice
370 51
+42 38 7311528 9
Director: Mgr. Pavel 'afr
+42 38 635 6447

* The underground and ground floors were heavily flooded, all the
administration of the museum is destroyed, as well as offices,
conservation workshop and publications storage. The building
needs general refurbishment. Collection items from the
exhibition halls were evacuated in time up to the higher floors.

Pracheo Museum in Pisek
Velke nam. 114
Pisek, 397 24
+42 362 801111, 214731, 217161
Director: Vaclav Barto'
+42 362 213532

Pisek municipal electric plant--Museum of town lighting:

* water has completely destroyed the permanent exhibition, but
collection items were safeguarded.

Church of the Holy Trinity:

* water has destroyed the whole interior of the church -
historical door, valuable organ and technical equipment (the
museum was using the church as concert and exhibition hall);

* the unique Renaissance pulpit has been dismantled and

Memorial of the town of Protivin:

* heavy rain has damaged the building's roof.

Museum of Middle Otava Region in Strakonice
Hrad I/1, Strakonice, 386 01
+42 342 321 537
Director: Dr. Ivana Oihova
+42 342 23391
+42 603 161 867

* water from Otava river acceded the first and third castle

* store-rooms of archaeology, textile and shoes have been
flooded, as well as storage of exhibition installation

* the castle gallery had been evacuated, however, several
graphics and lithographs for commission sale were destroyed
together with installation equipment;

* museum exhibitions and other store-rooms were out of danger.

Central Bohemia Region
City Museum in Kralupy nad Vltavou
Vrchlickeho 590, Kralupy nad Vltavou, 278 01
+42 205 723035
Director: PaedDr. Jan Racek
+42 205 723035

* the museum building is flooded in the underground and ground
floors (technical infrastructure and exhibition of

* collection items from the recently opened archaeological
exhibition have been evacuated, but the installation
equipment is destroyed;

* the gallery located on the ground floor has been evacuated;
however, the acquisitions library and ethnographic material
store-room suffered.

Oboistvi--Lamberk, Bedoich Smetana Memorial
Oboistvi--Lamberk 12, 277 42
Director: Dr. Miloslava Havliekova
Regional Museum in Milnik,
+42 206 621616

* water has destroyed installation equipment and technical

* all collection items have been evacuated.

Museum of Central Bohemia, Roztoky u Prahy
Zamek ep. 1, Roztoky u Prahy, 252 63
+42 2 20910016
+42 2 20910017
Director: Mgr. Eva Bala'tikova
+42 2 20911015

* the buildings (8 in total in the complex of the chateau and
Brauner's mill) were completely drowned in water, the total
estimate of damage is not available yet;

* damage in the specialist library and archive, store-room of
folk furniture;

* permanent exhibitions completely destroyed;

* unique conservation workplaces and laboratories, technical
infrastructure flooded;

* store-rooms located in the attic were preserved safely.

Usti nad Labem Region
Terezin Memorial, national cultural monument
Principova alej, Terezin, 411 55
+42 416 782225, 782442, 782131;
Director: PhDr. Jan Munk, CSc.
+42 416 782225

* The large museum complex, including the "Small Fortress",
the national cemetery, the Museum of the Ghetto, the
crematorium at the Jewish cemetery, the columbarium, the
central morgue, the former Magdeburg barracks and the
Meeting Centre building--all this has been completely
flooded, and the damage is immense.

Prague, 21 August 2002. Compiled by the secretariat of the Museums
and Galleries Association of the Czech Republic (AMG)

Odchozi zprava neobsahuje viry.
Zkontrolovano antivirovym systemem AVG ().
Verze: 6.0.384 / Virova baze: 216 - datum vydani: 21.8.2002