Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

OCLC legal action involving the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) System

This was released by OCLC concerning the recent issue with the Library Hotel in Manhattan, posted here with permission of OCLC.

OCLC has received several inquiries regarding a recent legal action filed by OCLC involving the Dewey Decimal Classification® (DDC®) system. OCLC would like to provide some background on that legal action.

On September 10, 2003, OCLC filed a trademark infringement complaint against The Library Hotel. The Library Hotel (New York), which opened in August 2000, makes extensive use of and reference to the Dewey Decimal Classification at the hotel and in its marketing materials.

OCLC is disappointed that legal action had to be taken against The Library Hotel. This is an unusual event for OCLC. However, trademark law imposes affirmative obligations on trademark owners to protect their trademarks, or risk losing all rights in those marks through legal abandonment. We felt that abandoning our rights in the Dewey trademarks was an unacceptable result for the OCLC membership. OCLC attempted to avoid litigation by repeatedly requesting attribution of our ownership of the Dewey marks from The Library Hotel. They have refused to do so. Unfortunately, that refusal left us with no other recourse than to file a legal complaint.

Since 1988, OCLC, a non-profit library services organization, has assumed ownership of and responsibility for the Dewey Decimal Classification system (including all associated trademark rights) on behalf of its membership, and therefore has an obligation to manage the use of the Dewey trademarks to preserve them for the benefit of the cooperative. Accordingly, between October 2000 and October 2002, OCLC made three written requests to The Library Hotel asking the Hotel to acknowledge and attribute ownership of the Dewey trademarks to OCLC. The Library Hotel refused to do so.

In appropriate situations, OCLC has established licensing arrangements that permit the use of the Dewey Decimal Classification trademarks while protecting OCLC's trademark rights. OCLC accommodates licensing requests whenever possible.

The Dewey Decimal Classification exists to help libraries and other organizations and companies organize their information materials so that users may find information easily. The DDC is the world's most widely used library materials classification system. Over 200,000 libraries in 135 countries use the DDC to organize their collections. The DDC has been translated into over 30 languages. OCLC sells thousands of print and electronic editions of the DDC each year. These funds are used to continue the development of the DDC.

The DDC is a general knowledge organization tool that is continuously updated and revised to keep pace with knowledge. For example, recent additions to DDC include: "extreme sports," DDC classification number 796.046; "Web publications," classification number 070.57973; "laser surgery," classification number 617.058 and "digital television," classification number 621.38807. Over the past decade, OCLC has invested more than $6 million to continually update and maintain the effectiveness and relevance of the Dewey Decimal Classification in a modern world. It is important work. OCLC has seven full-time staff dedicated to the creation and management of the DDC. OCLC is supported in this effort by the Dewey Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee, a ten-member international board whose main function is to advise the DDC editors and OCLC on matters relating to changes, innovation and the general development of the DDC. Appointed by various organizations, EPC members represent the interests of libraries around the world as they help guide the ongoing development of the DDC.


The University of Kentucky Libraries in partnership with the Kentucky Virtual Library is pleased to announce the availability of digital versions of a collection of rare and imperiled books on Kentuckiana. The project, entitled Beyond the Shelf: Serving Historic Kentuckiana Through Virtual Access, is funded with the support of a National Leadership grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The first 200 books of the 900 book project are available to the public from the project website at http://www.uky.edu/Libraries/BTS/.

Beyond the Shelf: Serving Historic Kentuckiana Through Virtual Access is creating a fully searchable digital page image archive of rare historic Kentuckiana books using a microfilm to digital methodology. Students, teachers and scholars will use this material to support their research and teaching. Microfilm ensures preservation and the digital images ensure easy access and wide distribution. This hybrid, standards based non-proprietary approach can serve as a model for cost effective access and preservation for published materials.

Titles for Beyond the Shelf were selected from J. Winston Coleman’s landmark compilation, A Bibliography of Kentucky History. Published in 1949 by the University Press of Kentucky, Coleman’s Bibliography includes 3,571 titles divided into 76 categories, including county histories; early explorations and settlements; military expeditions, battles and campaigns; reminiscences, recollections and memoirs; and speeches and debates. For researchers, Coleman’s work is the indispensable starting point.

Since 1992, the UK Libraries have participated in the NEH-funded SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Preservation Microfilming Projects. 3,500 titles in 6,500 volumes from the Libraries’ comprehensive Kentuckiana collection have been filmed during this Project. The UK Libraries selected approximately 1,500 titles from Coleman’s Bibliography. This corpus of microfilmed titles will form the target collection for Beyond the Shelf.

More information on Beyond the Shelf can be obtained at the project website or by contacting Becky Ryder, Head of Preservation Services at 859-257-0500 ext. 2047 or Mary Molinaro, Director, William T. Young Library at 859-257-0500 ext. 2090.

Good lord!

Yahoo! News - Texas-Fried Oreos, Anyone?


This blog is valued at $1000 on BlogShares with outgoing links worth $25.58. Nifty.

Somehow quizzes seem to perk me up

listening to: 'Beautiful' by Christina Aguilera; 'Bigger Than My Body' by John Mayer
feeling: Better

My Immortal
My Immortal.

Your Lyrics

I'm so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave
I wish that you would just leave
'Cause your presence still lingers here
And it won't leave me alone

These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have
All of me

You used to captivate me
By your resonating light
Now I'm bound by the life you left behind
Your face it haunts
My once pleasant dreams
Your voice it chased away
All the sanity in me

These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have
All of me

I've tried so hard to tell myself that you're gone
But though you're still with me
I've been alone all along

When you cried I'd wipe away all of your tears
When you'd scream I'd fight away all of your fears
I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have
All of me

What Evanescence song are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sometimes it doesn't pay to think too hard

This struck me the other day in the bath: If I had had a child at last opportunity, it would be eleven now. Eek! I don't know which freaks me out more...the fact I could have a kid that old (actually, I could have a 17-year-old at my age, just like my mom) or that, well, and this may be too much information, but it's been that long.

On the more morbid front: There was a show about entertainment shockers on this weekend, and I found out that I am the same age now as Marilyn Monroe was at her death. And I'm not that much younger than Elvis was at his death--he was only 42. I somehow thought he was older. I guess all that hard living made him seem older--and when he died my parents were just hitting 30, so he seemed ancient by comparison. But I don't feel that old. I kind of feel like I'm just hitting my second wind. When did I become middle-aged? Argh! I. Really. Need. A. Quiz. Now.

So how did your week start?

listening to: 'The Remedy' by Jason Mraz; 'Blurry' by Puddle of Mudd; 'Going Under' by Evanescence
feeling: A little worried

Mine was alright, except I forgot to drop my electric bill payment by KU this weekend, so I didn't get it in until after work and they'd already turned off the electricity. But it's back on. I'm just kicking myself--I was in area three times this weekend and just literally forgot, even though I had it with me. I did call this morning to see if I could get a reprieve, but no such luck.

On the good news front a couple more jobs opened in the area, so I'm going to send in my applications tomorrow (and hopefully I've used up my quota of procrastination this week on the electric bill).

Dwana called me this morning. Flying with sinus problems seems to have made her feel worse, so she was staying home today. This time of year, although beautiful, wreaks havoc on people with allergies or sinus problems.

Today was nippier than it has been in awhile. I actually wore a sweater today, and I'm fairly warm-natured. As I was waiting for the bus to go downtown, I was struck by the beauty of the wildflowers (some would say weeds) growing along the little stream that wends along the golf course. Yes, this is the same one I blog a lot...it's just on the other side of the road at that point and smaller. But it had masses of pink jewelweed and some other airy flowers that were white. I could hear crickets and various other insects; they almost drowned out the sounds of traffic. The flowers rather reminded me of masses of heather you see in Britain.

I managed to get downtown, pay my bill, and get back on the bus headed out before they left. But I hadn't been on the Woodhill bus since the routes changed and didn't realise it was going to turn right before the stop I had planned to get off at. Since I didn't want to get out on the busier road, I went ahead and rode it on around and back. Then I picked up some bread from Great Harvest, paid another bill, and went home. I took Cerys out and she enjoyed a long roll in the grass and sunning herself in the courtyard. Then, I took a nap. I think the whole trying to make do with the reduced hours and pay bills, etc. is starting to get to me. I'm a little worried. I hope one of these jobs pans out. I'd be making nearly twice what I make now, with good benefits, and I'd get to increase my experience and scope of library service. I keep telling myself that every day I'm doing a little to help things improve. But it's not very encouraging.

Okay, that's a little depressing. I may go check out a Monday quiz.

Oh. 'Unwell' by Matchbox 20 just came on the radio. How appropriate. I love that song, though. It's good to remind me that compared to how I was a year or two ago I'm doing much better. Even with the stress. I did find myself crying yesterday despite the fact that I couldn't blame PMS, etc. I think it's just been getting to me, so I need to keep a handle on distress tolerance and mindfullness.

:) I just looked over at my aquarium (one nice stress reducer). I have a new crop of baby mollies, and my plecostomus, which tends to hide a lot and then come out at night, is out foraging. I sometimes go weeks without seeing him. Her? How can you tell? Mollies I can sex...glass-sucking algae eaters are harder. Anyway...I know it's just a little thing, but it's kind of helping my mood.

When I was a kid, I hung out with Brown, Trixie Belden, and the Three Investigators

The Onion | Idaville Detective 'Encyclopedia' Brown Found Dead In Library Dumpster

I know, when you think of children's mystery series, you think of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. They were okay, but I couldn't relate to them as well as to the above. So glad The Onion gave a fitting tribute to an old friend.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Add your voice

US News & World Report is taking votes on the usnews.com: The People's Vote: 100 Documents that shaped America; you can vote for up to 10 documents.

Mine were (and it's hard to choose just 10:

Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Louisiana Purchase, 13th Amendment, Keating-Owen Child Labour Act, 19th Amendment, Social Security Act, GI Bill, and Civil Rights Act

Want to learn how you can support the study of history...

Check out: National History Day

Life's Unanswered Questions

Reference questions librarians dread: Life's Unanswered Questions

Subversive Reading

Interesting commentary for the day: Subversive Reading piece from the NY Times on reading, librarians defending our freedoms, and the square off with the government over the USA Patriot Act.

Amazon.com: Books: The Dewey Decimal System of Love

The Dewey Decimal System of Love by Josephine Carr

So...um...I wonder if OCLC knows about this? I haven't read it; someone enquired regarding opinions on a list, but it sounds mightily stereotypical and apparently attempts to make it into book groups with pre-packaged discussion questions. Still, I won't pass judgement until I've read it.

Saturday, September 27, 2003


listening to:Pre-release of Sacred Love by Sting at VH1.com)
feeling: Tired with a headache

1. I saw the movie Underworld today. It did a decent job with the action and special effects, although it didn't really have much in the way of plot or development. Unfortunately I haven't read the Nancy Collins short story that inspired the folks at White Wolf to sue, but I must admit, it has a very World of Darkness feel to it. If your aim is to watch Kate Beckinsale run around in black leather for the duration shooting lots of things and check out some good action moves, though, it was fine, and I enjoyed that part. :) I first saw her in Cold Comfort Farm, which is absolutely hilarious. So, this was quite a different role, but I think she did a decent job. The film itself lacked depth, but what little it had she imparted. Oh, and the werewolf changes and vampire mansion were very spiffy. There is one move, at the climax, where my years of playing in the game made me know exactly what she had done, although it was not immediately apparent. It was a great move. If you took Kate Beckinsale and a young Mädchen Amick and put them together, with grey-green eyes instead of blue, you'd get my character Tessa that I've blogged about. I could see Tessa doing that move. She's the one who once lept over a crowd of cultists and somersaulted to the top of an interdimensional gate to seal it and save the day.

2. Dwana left a message for me this evening. They were at Logan airport getting ready to come home. They won't be in until late, so I guess she wanted to let me know things were going well. Here's wishing them a safe journey.

3. I saw a great pillow at Jo-Beth. It had a screenprint of Munch's The Scream on it, and if you squeezed it, it screamed. Not a bad novelty item.

4. I watched Dido's 'White Flag' video on VH1.com again, and I didn't realise the first time that although David Boreananz' character has a shrine to her in his apartment, she has pictures of him all over her apartment, too. So I guess it's a matter of mutual attraction, rather than stalking. Thought I should point that out, since I'd mentioned it before.

5. Random question for the day...why is it that when you get a bag of cat litter, especially the pine litter, your cat decides he must sleep on top of it? Those pellets must give it a bean-bag quality for the kitty.

6. Never mix Irish and Jewish traditions together. Otherwise you nosh the Salmon of Knowledge with a little cream cheese on a bagel. Finnegus becomes Finagle. It really hurts the brain. So does assigning people in Harry Potter various tribes from Werewolf: the Apocalypse, but this is what happens when people spend too much time typing in stuff for the game (if anyone is interested in the results, let me know; that was a little too esoteric to post here, I think).

7. Part of me wants to play online and do a little writing, but I really have a bad headache and I think I may turn in early. Time to dislodge the cat and let the doggie out, although with the rain starting and it getting a little nippy, I'm not sure she'll go. 'Night.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Days before the moose hunt, bull goes on a human hunt

This is one reason even as a bleeding-heart liberal vegetarian, I'm not particularly against hunting, so long you're hunting for meat and using as much of the animal as possible and the hunter is actually sporting (animal has a chance to get away, is being hunted in the correct season by a hunter with a permit, etc.)

Days before the moose hunt, bull goes on a human hunt

I agree with Deb Thompson that hunting should be a full-contact sport. I mean, you have to give someone who's charged by a moose (and survives) a lot more he-man credit than someone with a high-powered rifle who just hides and shoots, right? I think he would have done better tangling with the bear.

Beautiful music

listening to: 'Love Song' by The Cure; 'Old Ways' by Loreena McKinnitt; 'Cat's in the Cradle' by Harry Chapin
feeling: Yes!

Three great songs one right after the other. One thing about Launch Yahoo! is it learns your musical taste, so most of what you listen to is either stuff you like or similar.

I heard the Cure song on the radio earlier, and for the life of me couldn't blank on the name of the song or the artist (hey, I've felt crappy today, give me a break) and when I tried to put the chorus into various lyrics search engines, I came up with either nothing or too many hits, mainly because I've heard it wrong all these years. So...it was driving me crazy. I'm so glad Yahoo! played it. :)

I love 'Old Ways'. It's a beautiful song, as is much of Loreena McKinnitt's work. I first heard it--and this version is from that--on a CD I have, Live in Paris & Toronto. It's got a very ethereal quality, a song of loss, and (because music always affects me emotionally) I always cry, particularly for that version. You see, that CD is one that the proceeds go to a charity, the Cook-Rees Fund, begun by McKinnitt and others after losing loved ones who were killed on a sailing trip, including her fiance. The charity raises money to get rescue equipment in that area of Canada. And I always feel, in a way, that the song is for her lost love.

The last song, by Harry Chapin, was always one of my favourites as a child. I think I was drawn to it because of the estrangement I felt with my own father. I feel the same way about Genesis' 'No Son of Mine' (how I felt from my father) and Tori Amos' Winter (what I wanted from my father). I know, I sound like I was a depressed kid. I was. I didn't realise it, then, though. But my two favourite songs, the ones I identified most with, were 'Shadows' by Simon and Garfunkel and 'Shilo' by Neil Diamond. Suffice to say I was a very lonely child. When you move every couple of years, it's hard to form bonds. And I grew up in a family where the three of us were all wrapped up in our separate worlds. My mom and I did bond, mainly driving together, singing to the radio, talking, etc. But at home, we all did our own things. I asked my mom about the one time I can remember us all together outside the house when we weren't moving. It was a government surplus sale out in California. That's it. My dad once took me home to my grandparents' instead of my mom because she'd had some oral surgery. But usually if we drove back to Kentucky from wherever we were living, it was just her and me. We never had vacations, really. We visited family. But I never knew that was different, because I really didn't have anything to compare it to. My dad did take me to see Empire Strikes Back but I think that was mainly because he wanted to go. We never saw Star Wars when it came out. My dad just never seemed to relate well with a kid. I can never make up my mind whether he was just a total ass or if he was just a screwed-up person trying to get past a dysfunctional family, too. I think it's a little of both.

My mom, I think, wanted to go to places, even though she had some of the same social anxiety issues I do. Right after I graduated from high school, she took me to my first circus. She told me recently that some of her favourite times were the places we went to when I was in the Gifted & Talented programme down in Louisiana. We went to see a Sousa operetta, to museums, etc. She needed to go to places like that, too, but for whatever reason, we didn't outside of the school trips, and unfortunately we moved two months after I started the programme.

It's funny how the disappointments of childhood sometimes haunt you. But the great thing about being an adult is that you can do stuff on your own and not have to rely on anyone else. My biggest problem in terms of going places is lack of transportation. But that'll eventually work out, and I plan to actually go on weekend trips to some of the places I've wanted to see.

And I am excited about the prospect of serving on that library advisory board, not just because of the issues involved, but if I'm selected, that means going to Boston, Washington DC, and San Antonio. Dwana's in Boston right now. The game has made me especially keen to go, but also because I've discovered my earliest immigrant ancestors came to that area on the ship right after the Mayflower. I was originally supposed to go to Washington with that G&T programme, but never got to go because we moved. And here I am, 36, and I've never seen the capitol of our country. So that will be a great experience. As for San Antonio, my uncle and his family live down there, and I want to meet my cousins' kids and spend some time there. I miss travelling. If I ever had a lot of money and fewer responsibilities, I think that's what I would do all the time, so long as I had a place to call home and come to between trips.

Well, I guess that's enough for now. I'm going to wait for 'Everybody Hurts' (R.E.M.) to finish and then head to bed.

Okay, I'll admit it...I took this one twice

since, if I admit, a slight, rare tendency to lisp...I wind up as The Clergyman. Well, I did accept a bribe from the bride the one time I officiated at a wedding to do that quote....

Princess Bride Quiz Results: Inigo Montoya
Which Princess Bride Character are You?This quiz was made by mysti

No new Friday Five this time...

listening to: 'Kodachrome' by Paul Simon
feeling: :(

They're taking a break till next week. They do that every now and then, and I can see why. So, in lieu of FF here's a similar get-to-know-you-kind alphabet thing:

A- Appetizer of choice: spinach artichoke dip and pita bread
B- Best friend: Starts with D :)
C- Choice of meat: None, actually, seeing as fish is parve.
D- Dream date: Nestled together under the stars at the beach watching meteors fall and listening to the water ebb and flow.
E- Exciting adventure: My life is an ongoing adventure. And going anywhere with Dwana, it seems.
F- Favorite food: A garden-ripened tomato with a bit of salt.
G- Greatest accomplishment: Learning to love myself.
H- Happiest day of your life: The day my divorce became final.
I- Interesting fact: The Joshua Tree, which grows in the Mojave Desert, is not a tree but is actually a yucca, and therefore a member of the lily family. When I was in junior high school, I lived in the Mojave and I remember their wild deranged-spider arms fondly. A lot of older science fiction movies were filmed in the Mojave. I guess the plants look alien and helped make the landscape look otherworldly.
J- Joke: I'm really not good at telling jokes. I always screw up the punchline...I prefer to see the humour in every day life.
K- Kool-Aid: I'm still scarred by those nasty capsules my mom put in my Kool-Aid as a kid; thank you, no. How about juice?
L- Lover: of chocolate. Preferably on a lover.
M- Marriage: I did that once. I don't think I ever will again unless I'm sure. And I'm a romantic with high standards.
N- Name: Lisa, Elisabeth, Eilir, depending on who you are.
O- Obsession: Names and their meanings. Well, and blogging, apparently.
P- Pizza toppings: Tomatoes and spinach. Green peppers and onions are optional. Mushrooms and olives are doable. Anchovies are right out.
Q- Question asked to you the most: Can you help me with the copier?
R- Radio station: CD 106. Launch Yahoo!, which isn't really radio, but still...
S- Sex: A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.
T- Television shows: MI5, Charmed, Without a Trace, CSI, that sort of thing
U- Underwear: Cotton.
V- Video: The Mummy/Mummy Returns
W- Winter: Um...can we skip that this year? Last one was enough for awhile.
X- X-ray: Vision? Cool. Can I have it?
Y- Year born: 1967
Z- Zodiac sign: Aries

Grabbed this randomly from Nic's blog.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Lighting a candle

Today would have been my grandfather's eightieth birthday. His name was Edgar Craig. He died three years ago after a long battle with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). He was a smoker, even sneaking a cigarette when he'd go out to the store so my grandmother wouldn't fuss at him. When I was little, he seemed to smoke a pipe more than cigarettes. He spent his last years attached to oxygen bottles. I hate what smoking did to his quality of life, and if I sometimes seem a little rabid on the topic, he's one reason why.

He was a man who worked hard all his life. He was born in Parksville, Kentucky, and grew up on Persimmon Knob near Junction City. He lived with his brothers and sisters (there were 14 altogether), his parents, and grandparents through the Depression. When he was 17, his father died and he quit school to go work in Dayton, Ohio so he could send money back to the family. He barely made it back on the train in time to marry my grandmother, the 'little black-haired girl' back home. He was a US Marine who'd served in a tank division on Iwo Jima. Later, he did construction. In the 1950s he fell from a bridge and landed on top of his jackhammer, breaking his back. The doctor who treated him did such a poor job that by the time he had the back surgery he needed, they told him that if he'd stepped on a piece of gravel the wrong way, he could have been paralysed. He had a near death experience there, and thought he'd heard nuns singing.

For years he managed the G.E.M. Supply store in Danville, Kentucky. He seemed to know everyone in town because of this. Then he turned to sales. Once the store had closed, he found that his lack of a high school education kept him from most management positions. Yet he was the most financially smart man I've ever known. I wish I had a tenth of his ability.

He passed on great loves to my mom and me. Gardening. Keeping fish. A love of history. He read a great deal, especially once he retired. He introduced me to the National Geographic. One of my favourite Christmas gifts I found for him was a book on Danville history mentioning his mother, Virginia, who had sons in the Navy, Army, and Marines. Pa was the Marine. He is the reason I know that the famous picture on which the monument was based was actually the second flag raised; the first was considered too small. I also heard descriptions of what it was like to be in tanks on volcanic sand. And he once told me of how an officer tried to get him to volunteer, but he said, 'if you order me to go, I will, but I won't volunteer'. When the officer asked why, he explained that he had a wife and child at home. He was willing to serve his country and follow orders, but he wasn't go to get gung ho and throw his life away. He lived his life a lot like that...working hard, fairly gentle, making choices by looking ahead. The only times I ever heard him seem angry or raise his voice was if he described someone he thought was an abusive bully. He had no use for that kind of man.

In some ways, he was a surrogate father for me; my main positive male rolemodel. When I was little, and my dad was in Vietnam, we lived with my grandparents. I sometimes got confused and called him 'Daddy' like my mom did. It became a family joke, 'Daddy Pa'. I was apparently so like my aunt when I was little, in terms of being a chatterbox and even a little in looks, that he sometimes called me 'Sharon'. It drove him crazy that he did it, but I got to where I'd just respond anyway. I knew he saw me for myself. He was one of the few who did. He was my buddy. He'd get his boots on to go out to the farm and I'd say 'I go with you Pa!' and grab my little boots, too. I was three, and he was the best guy in the world.

I still feel that way. And I miss him. So, tonight, Pa, I'm thinking of you.

Federal Probes of Libraries Have Long History

Check out this story for more.

I remember stories back in library school of the CIA recruiting librarians back in the 1970s, too. I don't know if that was part of the Library Awareness Programme, or just good sense. (Okay, you may think of librarians as a strange pool of spies, but intelligence is based on information, after all.) Every now and then I've played with the idea of working for the government, but I figured that I probably couldn't make the cut at, say, the FBI Academy, amongst other things.

But I found the story interesting. I think that AG Ashcroft tends to play it as if the government is not and has never been interested in the activities of library patrons--but of course it makes sense to check out libraries for possible terrorists or spies, from a security point of view. If we had no civil rights, it wouldn't be a problem.

I do think that librarians sometimes go a little far towards the 'must protect all information access' canon. I've been in several discussions about the PATRIOT Act and other ethical issues. There's always someone who's ready to become a martyr to civil liberties in the bunch. But I think most of us would agree that if we discovered a threat to life or infrastructure, we'd be calling 911, as hopefully anyone else would. So blindly following either camp can be a problem, don't you think?

I'm against smoking in most public spaces, but I have to admit...

I'm sort of surprised that when they passed the smoking ban, they didn't exempt cigar bars along with tobacco shops. It would seem like they would be similar businesses; nor do most people go to one for any reason other than to smoke. But they didn't, so one local downtown bar is going to go to a British pub format rather than continue as it is now. Nicholson's, which I think is part of DeSha's restaurant, is going to the new format in November. In the meantime, they're having a last hurrah this weekend and then will still sell cigars, especially since the Keeneland meet is coming up, although they won't be able to smoke in the bar.

If I'd had a hand in drafting the ordinance, I'd probably exempt cigar bars or any other business that revolves around tobacco in some way. Of course, as a non-smoker who particular hates the smell of cigar (pipes okay, cigars yucky and make me want to throw-up), I probably wouldn't have thought of it, either, so I really can't blame the council on that one. Or, maybe they thought bars might use it as a loophole; if they called themselves 'cigar bars' they could get around the ban. I don't know. But the people at Nicholson's seemed to have the situation in hand.

L'Shanah Tovah

Here's hoping for a peaceful new year, for my Jewish friends and the rest of us as well.

Am I the only one out there who finds accents sexy?

listening to: 'Interview with Stuart Adamson' (Big Country)
feeling: Sniffly, sneezy, coughy without rest

I'm listening to an interview with Stuart Adamson of Big Country. I love listening to a Scottish man (note Sean Biggerstaff's site, on the blogroll, too. One of these days I really must get a Scottish man. :) I just melt and it makes me feel like I've come home. Irish is lovely. Welsh soft and endearing. Virginia Tidewater is sexy in it's own right. But nothing is quite so wonderful of a rolling Scottish accent saying something like 'world' (worrelled)--but I'm probably biased due to my Scottish roots and the fact that our family still calls ewes 'yoes'. Ah. I don't know why some women just fall over accents, but I do. Nearly every time I hear a particularly pleasing one. Do guys do this? Does anyone fall for an American or Canadian accent? I can remember listening to my geology professor, Ciaran O'Hara, and his lovely Irish lilt, and very little of the lecture matter. Fortunately I'd had a long history of rock collecting as a hobby, so I didn't fail, but if I had, I'd have to blame the accent. I swear, you could probably get the most pimply, wretched-looking guy with an accent in America, and girls would fall over him as long as he kept talking--especially Brits, Irish, and Aussies. Even Dave Matthews, who has a fairly slight South African accent, sounds sexy. So guys...take note.

And now the Chieftains are playing. Ah. It's better than medicine.

Ready, set, NaNoWriMo!

Ah, autumn, the time when aspiring novelists turn towards that beacon of self-discipline, NaNoWriMo.org. See, November is National Novel Writing Month, and thousands celebrate by trying to write a 50,000 (175 page) novel in 30 days. All participants who mangage this feat are considered winners and can get T-shirts commemmorating it.

Last year I got a late start and didn't really have an idea of where I wanted to head, so I think I managed about 7000 words. :( But it was still fun. :) This year I've already got a decent idea in mind that I think I'll be able to outline quickly and coherently and then just start writing. So stay tuned.

US to allow feeding aides to work in nursing homes

Feeding aides to help in nursing homes

I've never worked in a nursing home, although I sort of grew up in one, since I went with my mom a lot overnight when we were down in Louisiana. I'm going to have to ask my mom, Dwana, and Eric--all of whom have worked in nursing homes--what they think of this. On the one hand, it could free up nursing aides for other things...but there's already a problem within nursing home with neglect and abuse concerns, and I don't know about letting people who aren't well supervised and with little training (just 8 hours) around such frail patients. I agree with the concerns of the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform.

Virent ova! Viret perna!

Yay, yet another instalment from the professors Tunberg!

Green Eggs and Ham translated into Latin

I was fortunate to have both of these authors as instructors whilst at UK. Jennifer Tunberg taught me Latin paleography. Terence Tunberg taught Latin literature. He's especially an advocate for teaching Latin as an oral language and is one of the reasons that the UK Classics Department has an annual immersive workshop on spoken Latin, Conventiculum Latinum. I haven't been able to attend since they started, but I would really love to...maybe next year. I've had the basic Latin language classes plus reading Mediaeval Latin in the history programme; I think I'm considered fairly fluent given that it is not usually considered living, spoken language these days. I can read it with only a little dictionary look-ups needed. But speaking's a totally different matter.

I'm glad the Tunbergs have added this to their other Seuss translations (Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus: How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Cattus Petasatus: The Cat and the Hat have also been done) and their Alma Arbor: The Giving Tree. I have Lenard's translation of Winnie the Pooh and the (Grinch. But I do need to get the others, definitely...and Vere, Virginia, Sanctus Nicolaus Est! and Harry Potter in Latin.

Ah. I love Latin. It makes me happy. Which is not most people's reactions. They probably think of that one section of Monty Python's Life of Brian where the Roman soldier makes Brian conjugate things correctly and write the graffiti on the wall a hundred times. Does that make me insane? Or just a language/classics geek?

Funeral Services Held for Former UK President Otis A. Singletary

listening to: 'Remedy' by Jason Mraz
feeling: Beyond Sleepy

One last thing. Promise. Funeral Services Held for Former UK President Otis A. Singletary

Dr Singletary was president when I started school. Yeah. I know. I'm still working on a degree. If I finish that one last year and get my PhD, I'll actually have been at UK about as long as he was--and he was president for 18 years!

He made it into our school history for a lot of things, but I remember him as being tough in the winter. See, the rule was that if Dr Singletary could walk from his home, Maxwell Place, to the library (which at that time was M.I. King, which was right behind his house) in the snow, we wouldn't get our classes cancelled. In the entire time he was president, they cancelled them once, in the winter of 1978-79, with the entire region shut down. For those of us who were walking 30 minutes in 65 below wind chill in 1985, this was not a popular decision. But I still have a soft spot for him. He steered the university through some of its toughest years--kids running through the streets of Lexington and burning the ROTC building, switching from a primarily agricultural and engineering college to a selective flagship of the Commonwealth's higher education system, that sort of thing.

His signature is on my BA diploma. Nice to have a historian sign a history degree. So I have memento. And of course, whenever we attend community and university performances at Singletary Centre for the Arts, we can't forget his support.

A quote: 'I sometimes feel I’m involved in a conspiracy here to build a better university than Kentuckians are willing to pay for'--that's for sure.

Requiescat in pace.

And so on, and so on...

listening to: 'Ironic' by Alanis Morrissette; 'Someday' by Nickelback
feeling: Sleepy

Funny thing about blogs. If you look at one, you look at their links, and next thing, you know, there's a whole circle of stuff you've gone to. Since I am trying to catalogue Kentucky blogs (I don't know why, it came to me one night that people tend to think of Kentucky as a place of hicks and little else, and I thought it might help people to see some of the variety), that means I updated my template. So now I'm sleepy. But I enjoyed a lot of what I read. A lot of the blogs are pretty new or sparse. It takes awhile to get psychotically regular about updating, like me. Since most of the blogs I was reading belonged to college students, they're usually chasing things in about 15 different directions. I did really enjoy Tiffany Cole's description of her discovery at 13 that salty breakfast meat and dental wax are a dangerous combination. I never did the braces thing as a teenager (my mother didn't really trust dentists, and I'd had an experience as a kid that was so bad that only replacing all my fillings in my early 20s by one of UK's dental students--lots of visits, lots of time--was able to get me to the point where I could fall asleep in the chair. I guess I accidentally did challenge therapy like they use for phobias. The school had a programme where for a one-time $45 you could have anything short of orthodontia or oral surgery done. So, since my fillings needed replacing, we did that. Since I have sensitive teeth, it took a lot of packing with numbing temporaries. So it took three years, but we finally did it. But, I have to admit, I'm finally just getting over my fear of being put to sleep, so I still have impacted wisdom teeth that need to come out, and I'm still not looking forward to that. Sometimes I think about getting braces. They've come a long way since I was a kid. But I still don't know if I could do that. But at least if I do get braces, I don't eat meat. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Ghost in the Stacks?

I was checking out the blogs mentioned in the Kernel and on Broken Train. Besides giving some context to a quote from the article about beating up defenceless stuffed animals (it happened when he was a kid, and not the other day, like the article implied) he's posted a picture of the geology library, where he works. Several of UK's libraries are supposed to be haunted. For a brief moment, I thought the picture was of M.I. King, the main library for most of my tenure there--the shelves, floor, oh, everything looks the same. At M.I. King, those sounds at night could easily be amorous couples...years and years ago the same area that was the Honours lounge and then the College of Library Science's computer lab when I was in working on my MSLS--yes it was a college then, not a school--was a separate study room which could lock. One guy who'd worked in the library then told me that part of his job was to go knock on the door and ascertain that no one was having sex up there before they locked up for the night.

Heaven helps us if the Young Library (the new main library, which makes a better museum building in its layout, one in the Land of Giants, than a library, but that's another post) gets to be haunted. See, all the stacks in the new library are electronic moveable shelving. They had to do that to get all the books onto the shelves when they combined collections. Of course, they're supposed to be safe, but I have it on good authority that when the place opened the librarians put a desk in between a couple of shelves to prove its safety and they didn't stop closing....Anyway....can you imagine? It's a dark and storm night and a student is stretching up to see if she can read the title on a book spine when suddenly, far from her vision, the light changes from red to green...and the shelves begin to move.

Muhaha. Go to the blog. Be scared by the library toilet. Hee hee. Okay, Spock just fell asleep on my keyboard, his head thunking onto the function keys. Definitely time to go.

What a weird, weird day

listening to: 'Running Out of Pain' by 12 Stones
feeling: Reflective

    Today I:
  1. Watched Daddy Long-Leg sex up close. Question: What do you call female Daddy Long-Legs? Mommy Long-Legs? Actually, they're also called Opiliones, or Harvestmen, or Harvest Spiders, even though they're really not a spider. Arachnid, yes. Spider, no. They have a one-part body, no silk for webs,no fangs, and, incidentally, are not poisonous, contrary to some myths out there, although they do release a foul-tasting/smelling liquid when threatened to ward off predators. When I was growing up in Louisiana, we had a lot of them. I've always loved them. I like arachnids in general, which kind of makes my friends twitch, since I seem to attract both spiders and arachnaphobes. Anyway, I know, this sounds odd. Keep in mind I wanted to be an entymologist when I grew up. Also, I'm a pedestrian, so I tend to notice the little things on my morning commute. There was a large-bodied grey creature that was the female, who was trying to find the perfect place. A smaller male, more yellow in colour was following her so closely they at first seemed attached, although I realised after a moment that this was not the case. I don't know if they do an egg sac like spiders, but she seemed to be heading for the underside of the post. Unfortunately, I had to leave before the deed was done, and get to work. It was like watching a PBS special.
  2. Speaking of which, I met with the woman at KET about the research job. We clicked really well, and even if I'm not hired, I really enjoyed talking to her. I think we would work really well together, and I also think that I'm pretty much what she's looking for. I love a workplace where they bring their pets to work and you can actually walk into the parking lot and see a Prius Hybrid car. It would be a very flexible position where I could earn a little extra money and do something I love doing.
  3. After I got out of the meeting, I called D to wish her and N a safe trip. They were on their way to the airport to fly to Boston for the rest of the week, and she's kind of nervous. Plus, she's having a lot of allergy/sinus problems and can't take anything at the moment. I think the allergy issues will clear up after she gets out of Kentucky. But I hope the plane ride goes well.
  4. I went to a bus stop near LCC and...well...sort of got glommed onto by a young man who obviously had some mental health issues. He started out by loudly talking about things...you know conspiracy theory stuff+'I know it all attitude'...the kind of person who strings unbelievable statistics with official-sounding words like 'the X rate of Y is approximately', etc., but it's pretty much 75% bull and 25% see, look at me. Having spent the last 15 years being verbally swatted whenever I tried that, it was somewhat painful to listen to. I tried not to encourage him, but it wasn't one of those smile-and-nod-and-eventually-they-get-the-message sorts of things. So, I tried an entirely different tack. I turned to him, looked him squarely in the face, and started asking him what he was going to school to become, which turned out psychologist, and started with, 'well, you know, social skills are very important in counseling...are you planning to go into clinical psychology?' We wound up actually talking for about an hour about psychology, different techniques of handling clients, etc. After awhile, he thanked me for being direct with him. I'm not sure anyone had told him he came off like a loud-mouthed crazy asshole, and yet, he realised he had. I also pointed out that women in particular were frightened or made uncomfortable by this approach. Turns out we had a history of military brathood and mental health issues in common, although his was obviously severe enough to affect his interaction with people and I suspect it was something along the lines of schizophrenia, and he also had a sort of repetitive speech pattern that wasn't stuttering but probably gives him much grief in school. Just his luck he happened on someone with OCD and social phobia, but I think I did pretty well talking to a total stranger who sort of dropped in on me. It probably helped that I'd just come from a job interview where I'd felt I'd been pretty compentent, even with my blood sugar flagging towards the end. So, I made it clear that he had annoyed me greatly at the beginning, but that I had respected him enough as a person to let him know, rather than just dismiss him as some loon. It had taken him so thoroughly aback, but it gave me more control over my anxiety of dealing with someone who seemed unpredictable, and by the time we parted he was down to a much softer tone, not struggling as much with his words. I think the fact that I saw him as a person and encouraged him to talk so long as he took a better approach helped him. We did eventually introduce ourselves by first name only, and, since we were apparently at the bus stop where the bus did not stop after a certain time of day, had a decent conversation and parted company. It was very interesting. He had a lot of decent ideas but a lot of trouble articulating them; he was driven by his own experiences to go into a field to help others from the standpoint of someone who had been there, and I applaud that. But I think in terms of nervousness he tends to come on too strongly at first, and we talked about other, better methods of dealing with strangers. But I was also careful not to let him fall into the, well, I was being stupid mode--it's not about stupid or smart. Smart people often have the worst social skills. People who don't do well on standardised tests may excel in other ways, and still be smart. Anyway, it was an interesting hour. I don't know if it'll help him, but I got the impression that most people don't take the time to interact with him at all, so how is he supposed to get practice? And it gave me a chance to really see from the point of view of someone who had obviously dealt with much bigger issues than I had. So...it turned out to be a good thing, all because I seized the bull by the horns and told someone they were being incredibly rude. Of course, along with learning the skills I discussed with him, I was also told not to talk to strangers, especially crazy ones, on the bus or bus stop. And that was great advice. But I have to admit...I think that hour was an important one of confluence. I'm just not sure which one of us benefited more from it.
  5. So, I finally managed to catch the bus and went over to Jimmy John's for a sandwich. I always forget I don't care for their tuna, so of course that's what I ordered. But it was okay. Then a guy with a beer belly and an unbuttoned shirt came in and ordered a Budweiser. They don't serve beer at Jimmy John's. I thought he was going to get very belligerent with them for a moment (I think he'd already had a few beers), but he finally understood that the bar was next door.
  6. I'm really excited that the judge ruled that the smoking ban the city council passed a few months back is legal, so we should have a smoking ban in place as of next week. I personally plan to go over to O'Neil's and have pub food and maybe some Guinness. Oh, and Tolly Ho's. I love their food but it's become so hard for me to breathe I haven't been able to go in awhile. I have no trouble with people smoking in private but I really do not believe they have a God-given right to pollute the air for the rest of us. I've seen smokers lighting up at tables next to someone on oxygen. Although many are well-meaning, a lot of us are very sensitive to smoke (it triggers my asthma, for example), and nearly anyone who's ever attempted to smoke around me without having the smoke make a beeline for me has failed, no matter how well-meaning. It's a poison, people. It's a stupid one to take, but it is your right to smoke. It is not your right to smoke anywhere. And especially for those who work in a smoky environment, it is very much a public health issue. I think a lot of the flak will eventually die down, since it does affect most businesses equally. Unfortunately, there's a state politician who's so offended he's trying to bypass the local decision and make it impossible for localities to pass such ordinances. Although I admit a full referendum would be best--and my understanding is that current state law prevents such a referendum, I also think local government has authority in this matter, just as they have ordinances for food service inspections.
  7. On the way home I ran into some people walking down to the transit centre and the librarian who works at Kroger. Grand total, I've talked to about 7 other bus riders today. I guess I'm really breaking that etiquette rule, but I never agreed with it anyway. One thing I'll say about riding the bus...you get an incredibly rich variety of people, and most are fairly friendly.
  8. I had originally planned on going to the gym, but after taking so long, I decided to just go ahead and go home. I got some mail from my apartment building that I opened with some trepidation, seeing as I have been running late (but paid in full) for awhile on my rent and it's almost the end of my lease. Turns out, they want me to renew my lease, the rent is only increasing by $5, and, in return for signing for another year, they're offering a free carpet shampoo (I've been here 3 years and since I had animals, started with an older carpet. I guess they figured it probably needed it, and it does.) So, that was nice. I guess they figure long-standing, quiet tenants who pay their rent (even sometimes late) are better than having to try to rent the same apartment every six months or so.
  9. I was in such a good mood that I did a little work out on the patio (swept, sorted through some of the flowerpots, and cleared a path in the spiderwort so Cerys doesn't have to keep jumping it) and then did some straightening up in here. I washed dishes, got rid of junkmail, discovered some onions that really, really needed to go away and that mead, when it's been opened needs to be refrigerated because insects will somehow find a way into a corked bottle, etc. And then I sat down to blog. And so you have it. Strange day.

At the sandwich shop I read UK's Kentucky Kernel had a story on students blogging. Nice. I'm adding the blogs they mention to the 'slice of Kentucky' section of the blogroll.

Okay...I've had two cats sitting on my hands through most of this post and another atop the monitor. Cerys is wrapped up like a burrito on a couch cushion. I think I'll go spend some time with them...and maybe send the KET a thank you/some information of capoeira, which is a very graceful form of martial arts that is based on dance. In Brazil the slaves could not use weapons, so they found ways to adapt moves from dances. We had been talking about dancing and I'd brought that up. If I were more graceful and fit, I would love to learn to do this martial art form.


On one of my lists today, a librarian was making fun of OCLC suit against the Library Hotel. She planned to complain to her reps there. Certainly I'm sure the media, who often see librarians getting huffy about anything as amusing, seemed to dismiss it, but when you come down to it, it's a trademark infringement case, and as others pointed out, a trademark holder is obligated to defend it or risk losing rights to the property, so I guess I was a little miffed that she would react that way. This was my reply to the call for protests against OCLC:

What can OCLC be thinking? That they need to protect their intellectual property...property that they bought and paid for and spend a lot of resources maintaining.

The hotel is making money from a concept that is trademarked. It's not like it was just a fun idea that they're not getting paid for...or that they just did a thematic grouping based on, say, LC, which I believe is probably in public domain, since it's created by the government (although I'm not sure about that). OCLC has a right to sue. Libraries pay for using the system. Certainly a business that is merely using it as a gimmick should.

My gripe with the hotel, as someone who was trained in cataloguing (read had DDC and LC beaten into her during school), is that not only did they co-opt a trademarked system...they mucked with the DDC.(Heretical use of canon!) If you go to: http://www.libraryhotel.com/concept you'll find that they start with the 300s on the third floor (so far, so good) and continue through the 900s on the ninth floor. Then...they just start putting in the first part back in and changing the numbers. So, instead of Paranormal being 130.4, on say, the first floor, etc., it's on the 11th AND called it 1100.005. So, they took a recognisable system and then messed with it, instead of, say, starting with the 000s without trying to match floors or just going with a thematic grouping without gimmicky numbers, thereby minimising their vulnerability to the lawsuit.

I'm sure it never occurred to the people at the hotel that the DDC was trademarked (maybe they should have asked a librarian) any more than it occurs to many of our patrons they may be violating copyright law. But they are still culpable and I expect there will be an out-of-court settlement. But I can't see organising a protest--aren't we supposed to support intellectual property rights as librarians?

My understanding from reading the news stories is that OCLC made attempts to contact the hotel prior to filing the suit and were rebuffed. Certainly, the hotel has gained a lot of publicity from this, so they may even benefit from the suit.

Ah, the crazy world of business.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

In honour of the equinox...which season are you?

Results...: "Season = Spring
You're Most Like The Season Spring ...

Fresh faced, with a young outlook on life - you smile at the world and expect it to smile back at you. You're mostly a bubbly, fun - innocent person. Described as cute possibly. However, you're a little naive about things and tend to be a little too trustworthy. As the first season, it makes you the youngest - and so most immature - but people are inclined to look out for and protect you.

Well done... You're the most fun of the seasons :)

?? Which Season Are You ??
brought to you by Quizilla"

Ah...I got my favourite season. Maybe I should head south. Happy Spring to the folks Down Under. But autumn's okay, too...except for allergies. :)

I'm in shock

As the result of an e-mail I wrote on a library list, I was contacted by someone associated with a major medical journal about representing small libraries on their library advisory board. At the time, I didn't think I was being particularly articulate, but they did. It would involve serving for two years, meeting twice a year (including at MLA's national conference) with travel to the meetings paid. I've never been able to participate in a national meeting because I haven't been able to get the travel money approved. I'll write more if it pans out...he's submitting my name next week.

Wow. Keep your fingers crossed. I'd love to do this. I could actually be an advocate for small hospital libraries. :)

Yahoo! News - Woman Bites Two Librarians in Robbery

Yahoo! News - Woman Bites Two Librarians in Robbery

Brain hurts. But if people think librarians will just roll over and meekly let them rob the till, I guess this might change their minds.

I love this quote:

"When I grabbed her it was kind of stupid," Barry told the Journal Review newspaper. "What I should have done was yanked her hair and sat on her, but I didn't think of it at the time."

Usually they tell businesses to just let the person rob them and call it in. I don't think $70 is worth getting killed for...they might have had a gun, after all, but you know, when adrenaline kicks in we all react differently. I probably would have done the same.

I'm surprised people even think to try to steal from a library. I mean, yeah, they collect fines, but it's not like a store or something, and there are often security guards and several patrons around.

I am glad they caught them, though. There's also a picture in their local paper of one of the bites on a hand with The Boxcar Children in the backdrop with the caption 'The librarians' bark is as bad as their bites'. :)

Wired News | Dewey Decimal Owner Sues 'Library' Hotel

Wired News | Dewey Decimal Owner Sues 'Library' Hotel

The Curmudgeony Librarian passed that story along, as well as his discovery that the hotel didn't get its numbers right, and he got them dead to rights. Hello! It runs from 000 to 999. I mean, I realise they don't apparently start their guest rooms until the 3rd floor, but whay start with the 300s and...circle around, giving the 000s, 100s, and 200s totally new numbers. Like, I could undertand if Parnormal was in any way related to its rightful 130s...the 1st floor, or the 4th (if you started the 000s on the third). Why not just make things thematic without worrying about floor corresondences. You could line the dining rooms walls with cookbooks. You can still have your erotica package. Why start with the 300s, for pete's sake? Why take a concept from a system and muck with it? Librarians will twitch everywhere. We are born, not made! We will defend the canon! Well, okay, maybe we're freaks of nature, but messing with the DDC is not negotiable. Oooh....I hope Melvil haunts them. It's like in the comic book Epicurus the Sage where Plato and his cronies creep up behind Pythogoras and his followers and start shouting random numbers during their chants. 'Unclean numbers! Unclean numbers!' Maybe they should have gone with Library of Congress classification. At least that would have been in the public domain, although the letters would probably make their brains hurt.

Great Quote

Silly me...I still haven't gone to bed, and in fact I checked my e-mail, including permission to quote this:

One of my fellow librarians, Sean Padget ('Biker, Buddhist Cataloger From Hell') was talking about how his dad had taught in a private school (I have becomed so subsumed by British culture that I accidentally typed public and realised that means the opposite in the States...I really am an American, honest), so here's the quote:

'He also used to refer to faculty meetings as "holding hands and trying to contact the living.'

I love that!

Thanks, Sean!

:( Oh.

Gordon Jump of WKRP and Maytag Ads Dies

I loved WKRP, and not just because it had a setting with which I was familiar. Gordon Jump was wonderful at being bumbling but sweet. I wonder if that was his nature or if he was just good at acting that way?

PS Should I be concerned that I can hear a train outside and there is no train line nearer than say, on the other side of UK or downtown, 2 miles away?

Also, Blog*Spot seems to be down; I can post via Blogger and my Google Toolbar (a very handy search bar that doubles as a pop-up blocker, which is why they built in a 'Blog This!' feature in), but I can't view my blog or for that matter any of the others hosted there. It must be a sign that I should be in bed by now. Ta.

What personality are you?

Hmmm...found this link via Write Lightning. She suggested using it to flesh out characters:

RHETI from www.9types.com

2--Type 1: The Reformer. The rational, idealistic type.
4--Type 2: The Helper. The caring, nurturing type.
1--Type 3: The Motivator. The adaptable, success-oriented type.
7--Type 4: The Artist. The intuitive, reserved type.
6--Type 5: The Thinker. The perceptive, cerebral type.
4--Type 6: The Skeptic. The committed, security-oriented type.
4--Type 7: The Generalist. The enthusiastic, productive type.
1--Type 8: The Leader. The powerful, aggressive type.
7--Type 9: The Peacemaker. The easygoing, accommodating type.

And then there's always the Meyers-Briggs, which I've taken officially a couple of times, as opposed to something online, so I know I'm an INFP (BTW, I wonder if Wil Wheaton knows they have his character listed as an INFP? Might be interesting to see how he and the character compare/contrast)....There's a pretty decent online version at Human Metrics. On that one, I came out Introverted 78% Intuitive 22% Feeling 67% Perceiving 44%. The interesting thing about this one (which is based on Jungian psychology) is that as you get older you tend to go toward the opposite type...so in the case of the above, I'd head more towards Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, and Judgemental, on a sort of spectrum, and that has been the case. I think the first time I took it, when I was about 17 in a class at college, I came up in the 90s for Introvert. I used to be higher on the others too. The idea is that as you get experience you learn to encompass aspects of the other.

NF's are usually given an archetype of Healer or Idealist. I've seen estimates that anything from 1% to 2% of the population is INFP, but I suspect a lot of online are. (Or should that be a lot of us are online). A much shorter test, that still seems to work well, can be found at Bloginality, where yes, I still come out an INFP.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Celebrate Banned Books--Read Something Subversive

listening to: 'Come to My Window' by Melissa Etheridge; 'Send Your Love' by Sting; 'White Flag' by Dido
feeling: Better, but frustrated with stupid people and feeling slightly subversive myself at the moment

My favourite quote on book banning/burning:
Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.” (German: “Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen.”)—Heinrich Heine, from his play Almansor (1821)

2003 BBW logo Open Your Mind to a Banned Book

100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000

Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2002

A few years ago I set up a display around the tops of my bookshelves at work of books that had been banned or challenged. Books like Shel Silverstein's. Harry Potter. The Bible. It caught people well. Not surprisingly, I suppose, most came from my house, but some came from our kid's book area in recreational therapy, too.

People sometimes have this idea that librarians are either this old wizened biddies who won't let them have anything or brainless people who think kids should be surfing porn online. The reality is in between. There are some books that we may place out of the kids area or even the general reading area but still have available for people if they ask for it. Librarians are great in terms of determining target audience. There are a lot of YA (Young Adult) items that are perfectly fine for a teen that might be too much for a much younger kid. Still, in the end, I think that if a kid can read at the comprehension needed and the parent agrees that it's okay, there's no reason to pull the 'you're too young for that'. I remember being upset when I was in the Kern County library on Edwards AFB and the librarian wouldn't let me check out any books from the adult section, especially the John Jakes' series The Bastard, which was, after all, on TV at the time. Okay. I was 12. But I was reading at a college level, loved historical fiction, and most sex stuff went right over my head at that age. Hell, I didn't even catch the gay material in Mary Renault's The Bull from the Sea when I was a kid, and spent a good deal of my life thinking of it as a children's book. Granted, I never got around to reading Jakes' when I was older. Maybe they were just horrendous. But personally speaking, I'd rather have my kids read about sex than see lots of gratuitious violence in videogames or on TV.

But people also ignore the fact that sometimes things are there for a reason. And they make arguments that you just wonder if they've ever read the thing. Huckleberry Finn racist? Hello? Did they miss the whole anti-slavery thing? I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was based on real-life experiences--including sexual assault. Shouldn't teens read about real life rather than a saccharine treacle that they're told is life? Little Black Sambo? Hello, people. It's about INDIA. Sigh. Even Amazon has this children's classic put under African-American in its subject, even though it was written by a Scottish woman in 1899 who had lived in India for 30 years about a very clever boy who was INDIAN--not African. Not American. Not Southern Black, although I think a lot of the reason it was maligned was because it was misunderstood by Americans, who, being somewhat ethnocentric, seem to think every description of black must be African-American (and on the flip side, that anyone who is, say, from Nigeria, should be polically speaking, called African-American even if they're not American--is Dave Matthews African-American? He's from South Africa, but also American. Or what do you call someone bi-racial? I once talked to a parent whose son called himself 'negrite'--I'm sure that would set some people off, but it worked for him...not to mention the tendency for any little bit of African blood to make you Black in our society and all the sub-differences withing Black Culture based on lightness of skin, and, oh, I'll stop now, the whole concept of ethnicity and race could fill up many blog entires, except to say I'm not white, I'm really rather pink, and Anglo-Celtic with a smidgeon of Cherokee and Blackfoot, thank you very much). *I am now putting my head down on my keyboard out of frustration over how badly people have treated Little Black Sambo.* I grew up with that book (actually, I also had the story on 45 record) and even as a small child *growing up in the South* I got that one. And yet I still grew up as a progressive bleeding heart liberal who nevertheless thinks political correctness is silly and that people should just be accepted for who they are, and not what other people think they are.

What gets me, too, are that the things that are truly disturbing or subversive are ignored. I would never buy Flowers in the Attic or other VC Andrews' books for a young teen girl, even though they're considered teen fiction. They're pretty much the same stories over and over with disturbed families and lots of incest. Maybe an older teen. One librarian list I subscribe to mentioned a certain set of books that will remain nameless (because I don't want you all running out and trying to ban a great set of fantasy books) as truly subversively anti-religious, although for the rest of you, here's a hint...they're fantasy, children's books, listed on my favourites to the left, and not Harry Potter and if you've read them you'll recognise what I'm talking about immediately. However, the consensus is that they don't make the list because they're just too damn subtle for most rabid book banners to get. Note to self: when writing subversive children's books, avoid all mention of magic, wizards, magic, sex, etc. but feel free to mention Metatron. It's Biblical. :)

Today has been:

lunarly, waning to just a sliver
hemispherically, the last day of summer
regionally, raining
personally, menstrual

It's like everything around me is exhaling down to the last and preparing to renew. I'd say it's almost like entropy, except all of those are cyclical, so it's never really destroyed, just waxes and wanes. It's like that point where your heart stops beating so it can begin again. That's a little vulnerable, a little scary. If you get hit in the chest at just that point in your beat, everything stops and you can die. I guess I'm waiting for the next beat. Yeah. I'm in one of those odd moods, can you tell?

watching: 'MTV2 presents Dave Matthews Live' performing material from his new solo album, Some Devil
feeling: Bleh


what decade does your personality live in?

quiz brought to you by lady interference, ltd

I was sure I'd be from the eighties. Although believe it or not, I never saw The Breakfast Club, even though I was eighteen at the time it came out.

Great quote from Dave Matthews in the aforementioned programme: When asked about how his opinions on allowing fans to record and share music from live performances differ from some in the music industry, he said (paraphrase here) that his opinion covered a fairly large range on the topic and he could certainly see if someone is creating something, and that's their livelihood, they should be compensated, but in terms of live performances he said: 'but live, unless you really suck live, I don't see why you shouldn't' allow people to record performances. Later he was talking about a song, 'Save Me', where it was sort of inspired by the temptation of Christ in the desert, and described the devil as showing up and say, 'hey, how about a cheeseburger, here's a Pepsi'. Great modern visual there, although some might not agree on that sort of update.

They just showed the video to 'Gravedigger', which is an excellent song, a very intense video (directed by the guy who directed Mothman Prophecies); I really love that song. If you haven't seen or heard it yet, definitely check it out. It's got great imagery in the lyrics, a brooding musical quality that really matches the mood of the lyrics. Not to mention, that even though Dave Matthews has a fairly low voice, this high soprano can still sing along to the song....except today.

I just woke up about a half an hour ago. I felt awful this morning, managed to get a lot done at work, even set up a meeting for Wednesday with a woman who works at KET about doing some research and web work for her, but felt bad enough that I had the employee nurse take my blood pressure, because I felt light-headed, my chest was tight, I was really tired for no really good reason, and like my heart was racing. Everything was normal, but we both decided I was probably having one of those sneaky asthma attacks where you're not really coughing or having a full-blown problem breathing out, but you feel like your chest is tight and and you're feeling a little panicy. So, I inhaled my medicine, went home, put the CPAP machine on (I don't know why, but it seems to help) and just utterly crashed for four hours.

I'm starting to feel human again. I ate. I growled at kids selling papers. Well, I growled fairly politely...two separate kids came by who were trying to sell newspaper subscriptions. I get the paper at work. I get my news online. I recognise that the school or club or whatever is trying to make little entrepreneurs out of them and get funding for some project. But I don't have the money, so I just said, 'I'm sorry, thank you' rather then let them go through the whole spiel. Okay, the second one got a...'dude, you're the second one in five minutes, this has got to stop'. It's like they let them loose with a gate. I was a little testy, especially since...and anyone out there who ever has to do this stuff for school clubs take note: why do they always send the kids out to do this right after dark? Women who live alone are not appreciative of this. Besides, I don't want people knocking on my door every five minutes that late, and I was eating. My apartment is small enough where I can't just ignore a knock easily, either. But, I wouldn't want my kids knocking on doors alone through large apartment complexes and how many weirdos there might be after dark, either. These kids were maybe 12. And if some nice person does order, make sure they get their paper...Dwana hasn't seen hers yet, after two months.

Speaking of Dwana, today is her wedding anniversary. Two years! Hope she and Eric had a ball. We missed her at work.

What else has been going on? Let's see...yesterday on the way to the game I went down Lyndhurst, the street where the rape I mentioned the other day took place. I've had three friends live on that street over the years. I glad nothing like that happened during the time they were there. Well, okay there was the police streaming through the neighbourhood after a guy shot at police over by the YMCA and then was spotted there before going over towards Transy and shooting a cop there, but that was years ago. I discovered then, though, that shooting at cops means virtually every peace officer in town swarms into action looking for you. Don't know why people could be that stupid. And with downtown, we actually have the Lexington police, UK police, and Transy police all within a small area, on foot, in cars, on bicycles, on motorcycles, and on horses. They will get you. Trust me.

The game went rather well. We're still in process of hunting down a cultist who is trying to gain eternal life by possessing people who received his donated organs. We managed to avoid a very clever trap due to some great rolls by Brenda in terms of driving and a great call on both parts to get our innocent home where we could protect him rather than chasing those trying to entrap us through the woods. Oh, and Brenda also managed to take out a Hunting Horror with one sword stroke. Nasty creatures that tend to be great diversions because they try to come chomp off your head. The one-winged ones always cause my characters to lose sanity. I haven't made a roll yet on those. I think it's because one-winged flying things cause me sanity problems myself.

You've got to love Cthulhu. What other game would you have this sort of exchange:

Gamemaster: You hear two thumps on the top of your car roof and a high chittering noise.
Brenda: Nightgaunts or Biyalki? Do Nightgaunts make sounds? Or do they just tickle?
Lisa: And take you away never to be seen again. Do we happen to have a sunroof in the car?
GM: No.
Brenda: I'm going to flare the Elder Sign through my sword and punch it through the ceiling?
GM: *eyebrow raises*
Brenda: Well, it's not like they're made of steel anymore. And you'll probably just wreck this car too, so we might as well beat you to it.
GM: You'd have a very small chance to hit.
Brenda: Then I'm going to have to get out with my sword.
Lisa: No. You need to drive on to protect the innocent if needed. I'll do it. But first, can I tilt the mirrors to get a look?
At this point the idea...I'm not sure who had it...comes up to flare the Elder Sign through our palms and up to the roof of the car. We both do so. The Biyalki (who do chitter) dissipate. We drive on.
GM: Drat.

Also, here's another little brain-hurting thing from the game that seems to come up only with science fiction.

Five characters go back in time, using a spell that sends them mentally into the bodies of contemporaries, to right before the Salem Witch Trials to try to save someone who has been thrown back in time physically. They do not immediately realise who they are. They are inhabiting four young girls and a woman named Tituba. Any of you familiar with history will realise these are the girls who touched off the Salem Witch Trials. Because it takes awhile to come to ourselves and unite to save the woman, there is a moment of panic where we very actively band together with this brilliant white light coming from us and we save the woman, bring the true bad guy to justice, and then return to the future, only to find out much later that in doing it so openly we gave the girls the reputation of having been touched by God and so instead of running to the historical conclusion, Witch Finding is still happening today in the re-written timeline, and we are the only ones who remember it otherwise. Now we're trying to put things to right so thousands don't die and history 'goes back'.

I've mentioned that one before. But the sheer consequences of what we did are just now sinking in. For instance:

1) Britain in this timeframe is ruled by Parliament--the Roundheads won.
2) World War II was shortened considerably because the US came in quicker because of Hitler's occult leanings. Which also means that the concentration camps were liberated much sooner, and millions of people who originally died, did not.
3) JK Rowling never wrote the Harry Potter books, because they would be considered too subversive by ignorant people who want to say anything to do with magic is the Devil's work, and the powers that be would have put her to the stake or gibbet. Actually most fantasy work would be in the same boat. Tolkien probably never published either, nevermind that the the battle of good vs. evil in fantasy books is often a metaphor for the same theme in Christianity. In other words, the four remaining characters (one died later) are the only ones who ever read Harry Potter. Or Tolkien.

Now, as my mind was being boggled by that revelation, which came in an after-game chat on instant-messaging, the sheer weight of ethics also hit me, even though they're totally hypothetical.

What would you do if you realised that in changing history, you had caused the deaths of thousands, but prevented the deaths of millions? If you had the opportunity to 'put things back', would you? If you are dedicated to the protection of humanity, which is the greater need?

There was an interesting quote that came out in that discussion:

'The force of history demands a certain number of deaths. The details of how they happen do not matter.'

I would argue (and did) that history itself is very much depends on the details...how the past unfolds makes for a different tapestry woven, a different history written. But the point of the quote was that a certain balance remains. The consequence of life is death. Those thousands that died on the gibbet or the stake would have died in other ways. Those who died in the Holocaust or in the war would have as well. But the when and how a person lives and dies, whether they reproduce, how their lives affects their descendents, make for a different world.

Of course, in the game what will probably happen is that two alternative timelines will be spawned, and it's more of a matter of which one do we choose to live in? 'Fixing' it from our point of view will make our jobs much easier, and in another timeline, other lives will go on. So it's not just down to selfishness vs. greater good. And in the game, the person trying to fix things hasn't thought of these ramifications, and so it won't come down to a choice when the time comes to fix it.

Instead, it's in my hands whether to bring it up to her or not. My character is the one who figured it out. And as a witch from a tradition that's been decimated due to being easily sensed by Witchfinders, that just makes it harder. In the end, I think she's going to go for the 'let's right the first wrong' and put things to how they were before we meddled. But I think we're definitely going to resist mucking with time much in the future. And she's going to keep a record so that, hopefully, if the timeline changes back, we'll still know what happened.

See, science fiction is good for brain stimulation. But it can hurt the brain worse than horror.

Kentucky Town Wants to Cash in on Crater

Newsday.com - Kentucky Town Wants to Cash in on Crater

Cool. Here's more about Middlesboro/Middlesborough from the Kentucky Atlas and Gazetteer.

Lulu the Kangaroo Saves Farmer

A kangaroo who had been adopted by a family after losing her mother repaid the favour by alerting them that the father was unconscious after being struck by the tree branch.

Beats Lassie leading us to Timmy in the well all to hell. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Shades of Ryan White

Kudos to the teens who are trying to fight stupidity in adults, and to the family who--in a country where so few people have HIV that this sort of misunderstanding could still take place--found it in their hearts to take in two little girls with HIV. Croatia Town, Peers Shun Orphan With HIV

Saturday, September 20, 2003


The ancient Greeks believed that as long as someone remembered you, and your name was remembered even through stories, then you were immortal.

Some time ago, I was doing some genealogical research, and found a page devoted to Owen County, Kentucky veterans. I sent my grandmother's information in. She was an army nurse who served in Europe and lost a kidney when a patient who was overwrought kicked her. She died in 1993 of lung cancer, a life-long smoker. Some would say, at 71, she had a long life, considering her service, etc. I say, her parents, who did not smoke, lived into their late eighties/early nineties. If I sometimes seem a little anti-smoking, that's why...I feel like smoking has robbed two of my favourite people of their lives. It's a personal choice...but in this case, a deadly one.

Anyway, NaNa's information is on the page of Owen County, KY: World War II Veterans now, under both her name during service (Broadbent) and her maiden name (Duncan). So...in a way, at least as long as someone keeps those records...she's immortal.

I was also glad to see my uncle Catlett Duncan on the World War I page. But I couldn't find my cousin Cantrill (whom my family took care of before he died). I'm not sure if he was from World War I or World War II (I thought the former). I have his dog tag.

I'm also related to all the Cobbs on the list, descendents of Samuel Cobb, who served in the Revolution. The Tyrus R. Cobb is not the Tyrus R. Cobb who was the baseball player (different death dates), but they were cousins. Cyrus and Tyrus were popular names in the family. Our line mostly had ones like Asa, Ota, and one named after Frances Marion, the Swamp Fox. :) My great-grandfather's father and namesake, Joseph Warren Duncan, is listed on the Civil War for the Union. Owen County was a hotbed of Confederate resistance, with the famous Morgan's Raiders using it as a base. You can tell there are a lot more names on the Confederate side. Another relative, Squire Duncan, is on that roll. There's a family story that says that Mr Duncan (I'm not sure if that was Pa's father or grandfather) had two sons, one joining up for the North, one for the South. He shot the boy going to the south in the leg, so he couldn't join. He wasn't so much against the South as he was wanting them to not to fight on opposite sides. Very practical family. Another branch of the family (I'm not sure which name) apparently spent a lot of that war selling horses to whichever army was going through at the time and then having family steal them back or get them from whatever motley band went by, and resell them again. Even my great-grandfather made it through rented his land out to Revenuers so they could use it as a base to find illegal stills during Prohibition. I suspect that mentality is what got them through the Depression.

One thing about Kentucky...as bad as the Depression was, a lot of folks lived on whatever land their families had scraped by on since winning it in service in the American Revolution, and so they probably fared better than the city folk. Having land to plant vegetables and not much use for a stock market had its uses. Until World War II, everyone in my family tended to live on the land, farming...some big farms, some small. There wasn't a lot of prosperity, but people did pretty well. Families took care of their elderly at home. Not too many people went homeless. Even in Owen County, when I was growing up, sheer stubborness and thrift kept my great-grandparents maintaining a hand-pump in the kitchen and commodes built over slop jars, not because they couldn't afford city water, but they saw no reason for it until my great-grandmother got too frail to carry the jars out. A lot of people still use wood stoves, mostly the older folks, and you hear of fires from that. If a young couple couldn't afford a house yet, the parents set up a trailer on the farm, giving them privacy but keeping family nearby for child care, etc. I remember a trailer fire a few years ago, not in Owen County, where they were working on setting up the electricity for the trailer and in the meantime were using candles. Several children died, and the grandfather was beside himself, since in a day or two they would have had it finished. But generally, that setup works pretty well. There are some who would see that as, well, backwards. I say it makes more sense than piling on debt on a mortgage you can't pay and having to send your kids to day care. Even when I was growing up, although my mother worked and my dad was often away overseas, we specifically came back to be near the family, and I rarely had a non-relative have to care for me. That's just the way things were here...and still are, in some tight-knit communities. There's a lot of good even though it's conservative and backwards, sometimes.