Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, December 30, 2005

Have a safe and happy new year

I'm signing off for a few days, the last weekend that I should be without Internet access for awhile. I'm off Monday and taking off Tuesday, which is also when they deliver the cable modem stuff. I'm going to try to get a tyre on Tuesday, since it's so difficult to get them to put one on in a reasonable time when so many other people are off work, but Tuesday should be when most people are back, so there shouldn't be a problem.

I'll write more then. Until that time, please have a safe, reasonably sober (or at least, if you're going to drink, don't drive) New Year. Take care.

Male domination of Internet over

A new study finds that 68% of men and 66% of women use the Internet, but since there are more women in general that means more women use the Internet than men. They also found that men and women use the internet quite differently; men choose solitary pursuits like fantasy sports or games and women e-mail friends or otherwise use the Internet to enrich relationships. I didn't catch where the study took place; it's obviously Western, 'first world' with ready access to the Internet. But considering how men have traditionally dominated the technology fields it's nice to see women catching up. Now if we could just attain equal pay. :)

Good for them

Two teens accused of being lesbians sue school that expelled them

Fun :)

D is getting broadband access the day after I do, so even though we can't chat on the phone yet, we can instant message all we want. Yay!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I forgot to mention

I've rescheduled my oral surgery for Wednesday, January 25th. My driver had a conflict to work around and then I went and didn't realise that the schedule at the station would be made through Wednesday of next week and was supposed to work that afternoon, which wouldn't have been possible with the surgery. Given that it was easier to reschedule than get someone to sub for me, I rescheduled. This also meant that I didn't need to pay the $134 until later in the month, by which time I should have my flexible spending debit card, but if not, it's right after the 'free' paycheque (the one not dedicated to rent) from the hospital.


I came in this morning

to find a card on my desk from someone anonymous, with a cheery holiday wish and $20 in it. I'm thrilled, of course, but I kind of feel funny taking it, too, especially as I'm not quite as destitute as I have been throughout the year thanks to the new (third) job. But it will be a nice cushion for some groceries, etc. So, thank you, whoever you are. I promise that I'll pass on the goodwill when I can to someone who needs it, too. And Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, to you as well.

I went through the money I still have after my paycheques at the gas and television stations and I have enough to pay my electric, get some more gas, get the tyre my car needs, and still have some for food. Next week I get paid at the hospital and the gas station, and that together makes my rent, and on time to boot. Because it'll be on time, that's about $35 in late fees avoided. I've budgeted out for the next six months at least on a preliminary basis, and my rent should be on time throughout that period. The gas station's weekly paydays really helps in the cash flow department; even though I'm not getting much, it adds a cushion I didn't have before. I actually may be able to start saving next month! And so far I budgeted based on how much I was making at 10 hours a week, when I've been working 19 of late. So that's just a little extra to go to debts and savings.

In the meantime, I went ahead and paid a back balance with the cable company and as of next Tuesday I'm getting Internet service from them. They had a special deal and I didn't have to pay for installation (as I'm doing it myself). This will help me with my second job at the television station because much of what I do is on the Internet, and I can work from home at hours when the office is closed but still keep up with e-mail, etc. Just not paying the rent late will pay for most of that. I'm not getting cable itself, one because of the extra cost and two because I don't watch much TV and when I do I usually watch with a friend over at his house. I tend to spend my free time on the computer instead. What I would like to eventually do, though, after paying back another debt, is to get Vonage phone service. It's $15 a month and it would really help keep up with friends and family and also in terms of job hunting better than my little pay-as-you-go cell phone, which is really better for emergencies, but not great for chats and rants.

On another totally unrelated note, I'm trying a different tack with my feet. I know, time will help. But I'm having ginger feet for a day or two after working and hobbling around like an old woman. I've actually been tempted to use those scooter carts in the grocery due to the pain. So...I took the gel soles and transferred them to my old pair of short boots. They've got ankle support, lots of room for my toes (I think they're boy's shoes) and I can't roll onto the outer edges of my foot as much as with my other shoes. Granted, they're a dark brown that doesn't really match my office wear that well, but my feet feel better than they have in days. I'm definitely trying these tomorrow at the station to see if that helps.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Disaster Remembrance Week

World Wide Help: Remembrance Week - 26th December, 2005 - 1st January, 2006

It's thundering and lightning

in December. Weird. Just weird.

*Warning: I will now commence whinging*

My feet hurt. Even with gel soles. Even with ibuprofen. The standing for hours at the gas station takes its toll, and they don't seem to be getting used to it, maybe since I don't work everyday. I feel like I can barely walk, and my soles are bright red. That is all.

*Whinging ceases*

It was bound to happen evenutally

Alias Doghouse Reilly - Murder on the Polar Express, Part 1

Oooh...the last book will soon be started

J.K.Rowling , in the 'Christmas present' message on her website, talks of her both the excitement and dread in approaching the last book in the series of Harry Potter. She's been going over the planning stage and doing some fine-tuning, and is set to start writing next month.

I know. That means we'll have to wait a year or two to see the finished product. But it's one step closer to finding out how it all turns out.

You might want to check out the Scotsman article speculating on whether her comments mean that Harry will die in the last book or if it simply rules out a second series.

A tad longer year than normal for 2005

Telegraph | News | Leap second means 2006 will arrive late

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My babies

Here's some experimenting with the new camera.

There's Cerys licking me. Yes, she has a bare butt from all those years of rolling in grass. Cerys Kisses
Here's her front.Cerys on Bed
And finally, Darius, wishing you a happy holiday. Happy Holidays

I really enjoyed the holiday

And I didn't do too badly with my list from November, especially as only one gift was a direct result of reading it online.

Okay, it's really not about things, but I'm including this catalogue anyway.

Things I gave: a multipurpose massage pillow (A), a UK women's basketball media guide (A), a massaging cushion for home or car (J), lead crystal hurricanes and peppermint candles (MC), a bath set (M), popcorn/puzzle set (D&E), a book (Y), tiny one-certificate-per-day-of-Hanukkah gift certificates to a favourite store (Y), 3 videos (Y), a dream journal (DD), a blank book (B), and for my Secret Santa, a melts warmer, some bath lotion, a picture frame, a candle holder and candle, and some chocolate covered cookie bars. All things considered, I did really well, and I didn't go over $150 for everyone which if you include the little $1 gifts for the Secret Santa averages out to be about a little over $6 per gift, but everyone got something pretty nice and and I think they liked them, and I was able to give without any real money stress thanks to the timing of my cheque and a gift card to Wal-Mart from the hospital.

Things I got: A gift certificate to Joseph-Beth and a Li'l Cthulhu desk calendar (Y&A), a fruit basket and money I used to buy a very professional looking briefcase/purse (MC) and shoes for interviews, money I used for a really nice meal at Joe Bologna's including homemade carrot cake (D&E), money I'm using for a digital camera and car tyre (M&J), a velvet box with a black Bast cat statuette and blue-white Bast statuette pendant (B), and a Goddess of Willendorf double-sided bead (my boss at the television station). Things I got from my Secret Santa: Heath bars, several blues CDs, tealights, a red mosaic tealight holder with shade, and a hat/gloves/scarf set.)

But best of all was the time I was able to spend with people over the holiday. I really enjoyed it. I had a wonderful time at our Secret Santa party. I had a very nice meal with friends. I spent Christmas with my family. I played in the game the day after Christmas. It's been a good time of just being with others. I hope your holiday was nice, too.

Yesterday was more than a post-Christmas shopping day

fuelled by so many people being off due to Christmas falling on Sunday. It was also the anniversary of the massive tsunami that killed thousands upon thousands in South Asia on December 26, 2004. I want to take a moment to recognise that, to remember those killed and those whose lives changed forever on that day. It's hard to imagine any good coming of such a massive disaster, but it did lead to unprecedented cooperation amongst groups and governments. Check out Acheh: Building Peace from its Ruins for a glimmer of hope of ending a civil war when nature's wrath united enemies, at least for a time. Let us hope peace will prevail.

Friday, December 23, 2005

How does Google collect and rank results?

Google Librarian Center

To find out when other library-related newsletters are put out by Google, you can join the announcement list at http://groups.google.com/group/librarian-newsletter.

This is so cool

LibraryThing | Catalogue your books online

Not only can you catalogue, you can share your library with others. It gives you 200 books for free, $10 for a year, or $25 for life. I'm thinking life...and I've got about four thousand to catalogue.

Why am I up this early?

I went to bed last night around 1:30, somewhat jazzed from the English Toffee capuccinos I'd been drinking at work (all you can drink, it's a perk, no pun intended). So this morning bright and early (well, dark and early, as it was 5:30 and the sun was not in sight) I woke up raring to go. I got ready and then went out to look for the one gift I hadn't found yet. Now I just have to stop by a store where I have something on hold, pick that up, get some gift certificates there (since I'm doing both Christmas and Chanukah) and I'm finished. Go me!

So now it's just past eight and I'm blogging because I don't have to be at work until 10.

I kept things modest this year, but more robust than I can normally afford, spending a total of about $130 for thirteen gifts (eight Chanukah and five Christmas), about $55 of which was on a gift card that work had given me, so I didn't have to use a lot of cash. That's in addition to the Secret Santa, which ran about $18. Altogether, I'm happy.

I did splurge just a little this morning. Kroger had zygo cacti (Christmas cacti) for $2.99 (regular $7.99, so $5 off) and I bought one for my desk at work. It's pink and has one full bloom and a whole bunch of buds and is...well...perky.

I got paid at all three jobs yesterday. I'm keeping two of the cheques in that form until I find out whether or not I get my flexible spending debit card before the first of the year. Together they make up the $134 I need to pay for the oral surgery on the 4th of January. If I get the debit card, I can use it instead. But for now I'm saving that. I've doled out gas, phone, electric, and medicine money, too. There's some left over for groceries. The paycheque I got from the gas station was my first, for 10 hours. Last week I worked 14; this week I'm working 19. I like the idea of getting paid every week. And at least it will keep me in gas, ironically enough, plus help with rent and groceries.

I'm sleepy now. Or rather, tired but not quite sleepy, where you're both sleepy and jazzed at the same time. I probably would be a little more focussed with my Adderall, which I tried to get this morning. Turns out my doctor wrote two prescriptions (since I don't see her again until February) and the one I brought was dated for January, so I have to bring in the other one instead. Argh.

My feet hurt. I still am not used to standing for so long at the cash register. Fortunately I have a foot rest at the hospital which elevates them a little and takes the pressure off the soles. Tomorrow I work eight hours and Tuesday I work six. At least I'm getting days off in between to recuperate, and I'm off on Christmas, so I can go on home.

That's all for now. I think I'll check the news and see if there's anything blogworthy.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A quote for the holiday

from Garrison Keillor:
A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.

Just in time for the holidays

Art of 'Regifting' Requires Planning

Not that any of us would ever do that, right? ;) I mean, yeah, we might give all of our friends a...say...rock marble for Yule because we're too poor, but at least we bought those, right?

Actually, I think this is the first year in ages my family is getting gifts that were specifically bought for each person.

This is a really scary news story

Woman kidnapped, raped repeatedly in front of her toddler now safe

She managed to mouth the words 'help me' and the name of the motel where she was being held to a liquor store clerk who happened to also be a domestic violence counselor and who had the presence of mind to call 911. The man who kidnapped her and her son from a Wal-Mart parking lot is being held without bail, thankfully.

Is it just wrong

that I don't associate 'The Nutcracker' with Christmas, but rather Tetris, the Russian game with falling blocks?

I shouldn't be surprised, really. As a child, I wasn't exposed to a lot of 'high' culture. I had to make that up as an adult. But I was exposed to TV. So I first heard Ravel's 'Bolero' on 'Star Trek' and the music to Carmen--with words from Hamlet from 'Gilligan's Island'. Sad, I know, but at least I finally found out their true origins. But I'm listening to holiday music on the radio, and now I want to go play my PDA version of Tetris, you know?

Ah, well, back to work instead.

Where in the world are the blogging librarians?

Check with Frappr to find out (and add yourself, if you're one). I did.

I'd be concerned over privacy, certainly

N.Y. Adopts Code to Monitor People with Diabetes

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A nice cross-cultural look at the importance of trees in religion

Santa Claus and the Origin of the Christmas Tree: Pole-Spirits North and South

Happy Yuletide

Today is the winter solstice (summer for those of you Down Under, of course, but winter here, anyway), a time when in the midst of the cold and dark we celebrate the rebirth of the sun, the coming of warmth, and the promise that new growth will begin.

Strange and yet somehow fitting that I stumbled upon an obituary for my cousin's mother-in-law today of all days. She died just a couple of weeks ago. I was looking for their address so I could send a holiday card, and instead found this.

This is a particularly rough time of year for those who have lost loved ones, for it is a time where families come together. I know it must be difficult for Lisa and her children at this time, and that saddens me.

We are such fragile creatures. Violeta Warner was four years younger than my own mother. As we go into the holiday, I think I will be more grateful for the time we have together as a result.

Think about those you love. Now imagine that one day they were gone. What would you like to tell them? Would you like one last chance to be with them? Carry that with you into the holiday, and don't let all the little things that build up at this time and cause stress and anxiety to matter. What matters is being together, telling someone how much you love him or her, and spending each moment as if it were the last.

And in the meantime, the circle turns, and as dark as it is, as cold and drear, we know the sun will return, warmth will cause things to blossom, and life will renew. And so it is with our loved ones, as well.

Looking at homelessness and the local public library

Lexington Herald-Leader | 12/21/2005 | Homeless are welcome - as long as they behave

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Groovin' along

Listening to: Ella Fitzgerald, 'Somebody Nobody Loves' and 'When I Get Low I Get High'

which is perfect for doing interlibrary loans to. Really.

Monday, December 19, 2005


An Excerpt from The Google Story talks about eventually the search engine being used to tailor medical advice by allowing doctors to Google your genes.

Think about that.

A fun read

Rex Libris by James Turner
The astonishing story of the incomparable Rex Libris, Head Librarian at Middleton Public Library, and his unending struggle against the forces of ignorance and darkness. With the aid of an ancient god who lives beneath the library branch, Rex travels to the farthest reaches of the galaxy in search of overdue books. He must confront incredible foes, such as powerful alien warlords who refuse to pay their late fees. Wearing his super thick bottle glasses, and armed with an arsenal of high technology weapons, he strikes fear into recalcitrant borrowers, and can take on virtually any foe from zombies to renegade public-domain literary characters with aplomb.

And here's a review.

Heh. Yes, just try to borrow the Necronomicon without a library card. I dare you.

A nice compendium of library humour

library_mistress' library humour slideshow on Flickr

although of course it's probably a major copyright violation. I particularly like the one that says:
Books cause dangerous thoughts: For your protection give all books to your local fireman for safe disposal.
I do so like Fahrenheit 451.

Yes, hire me!

UBC Google Scholar Blog
Meanwhile, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales suggests in Nature's Weekly Podcast that "As we grow the wikipedia community, information specialists and librarians are needed to assess the accuracy, readability and scope of the entries..." To Wikipedia: hire some librarians!

Textmining PubMed

The Arrowsmith Project Homepage

Tools for linking find sets, finding specific authors within PubMed and annotating the results of a PubMed query, currently under construction, but interesting.

Friday, December 16, 2005

I feel like I'm fighting through fog

My blood sugar's 175 where I haven't eaten for awhile. I had a few pretzels just now, so hopefully my body will make some insulin and I'll feel better. I just feel like curling up and sleeping. Gack.

On the other hand, I've pushed myself to get a lot of work done in a short time whilst feeling like crap, so that's good. I have a busy day ahead with some errands that are important and then Speedway from 4-10. I'm not quite sure how to get through everything I need to do. But I'll muddle through.

Hate those pesky registration screens?

Try BugMeNot.com. I'm assuming it won't work on the ones that require a verification using an image, but otherwise it can be useful.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A jab at the PATRIOT Act

Slate Magazine - Editorial and Political Cartoons, Comic Strips
Ok, which was the librarian who wouldn't turn over her files?
with a lineup...great! I thikn I bear a certain similarity to the one in pants. :)


We had drawings at work for door prizes and I won a DVD/CD player...something I was beginning to think I was the only person on the planet (okay, that's obviously a little overboard, how about at least in a 50-mile radius) without! Yay!

Someone's on the ball

re: the FBI memo about 'radical militant librarians' kicking the FBI's butts, we all want a t-shirt, right? Or at least a mug? Ergo: Radical Militant Librarian : CafePress.com

Nice website on the history of medicine

The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL

Tired of those happy 'Read' posters from the ALA?

Check out DONTREAD.org | brought to you by Audible.com--promoting audio books. I can't quite see hanging them up in a library, but hey, we do audio books, too, right?

Santa, Baby

The folks at the public broadcasting station I work at sure know how to have fun. I went in for my paycheque (so it all went to rent, but I'm paid up, yay) and they had Santa on a sleigh (a flatbed hand truck that had been decorated) complete with elves and a reindeer delivering the cheques. Also, since it's a state job, I 1) get the day before and the day after Christmas/New Year's weekends as holidays, and 2) our next paycheque, which would usually be the 30th, will come right before Christmas instead. Anyway, Santa came in time for me to get my cheque, pay my apartment complex, and get to work. Thanks, Santa, Baby.

This place is always one for food, there's often potluck lunches, etc., but around the holidays it's even more so. I overheard someone who had it right, 'there's always food around here, you just have to know where to look'. Maybe I should be glad I don't work full-time, or I'd probably be even more roly-poly. And they're very giving. There's a tree which allows you to sponsor a family by giving gifts they need. There's always something going on to unite the different departments, too. This month there was a wreath contest, secret Santas, etc. It's nice to know they can get the job done but have fun doing it. It's never a chore to come into there.

Speaking of eating, today is the holiday dinner at the hospital where people bring in desserts and we get a free meal, for which since I am now officially broke until next Wednesday, I am very happy. Fortunately I still have a little on the gift card to get groceries if I need to, and I should have a little help with gas.

I''m amazed that we're this far into the season and I'm still in a holiday spirit. Of course, I haven't been near a mall. Nothing kills my holiday spirit like a mall.

That's it. I just wish I remembered what I told a friend I'd be getting him for Christmas. Dratted memory. Now he expects it and I haven't any idea what it was, beyond a book at a gaming store. Do you know how many gaming books there are out there? I definitely need to go by the store and see if my memory jogs.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A look at the pagan underpinnings and trends within Judaism

Jewish Paganism: Oxymoron or Innovation?

Percolating in the copyright universe

The Section 108 Study Group, convened by the Library of Congress to update how the Copyright Act is interpreted in a digital world in such a way to serve the needs of fair use, particularly as it applies to libraries.

Hurricane-related mental health resources available

Last Wednesday, December 7th, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a national public service announcement (PSA) campaign to encourage adults and first responders who may be experiencing emotional distress following the recent hurricanes to seek mental health services.

Research on the mental health consequences of major floods and hurricanes suggests that the psychological impact of these disasters could be widespread, serious, and long-lasting. Experts estimate the numbers affected by the recent events to be substantial. The holidays may be especially difficult for hurricane victims, as the personal losses of community and loved ones become more real.

HHS' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is leading the PSA campaign in partnership with the Ad Council. As a complement to the campaign, SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) created a Hurricane Mental Health Awareness Campaign Web site http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/disasterrelief/ where visitors can view the PSAs and obtain disaster-related resources that include:

* Brochures and fact sheets to help parents, families, educators, and
other caregivers care for their own and their children's mental health during a disaster.
* Guidelines for first responders and relief workers.
* Best practices, reports, and policy guidelines for program planners.

* Links to State and local disaster relief agencies and referrals.
* A 24-hour service hotline.
* Other mental health and substance abuse facility locator services.

Some resources also have Spanish translations.

SAMHSA/CMHS National Mental Health Information Center's call center (1-800-789-2647; 866-889-2647-TDD) is offering extended service hours to accommodate consumer need at this time. Assistance and bilingual information services are now available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 12 a.m., EST.

All resources on the Hurricane Mental Health Awareness Campaign Web site http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/disasterrelief/ are offered as a no-cost public service to consumers. You can link to any of these resources or post the content to your Web site with a link back to the National Mental Health Information Center's Web site as your source.

To order copies of print publications, go to http://store.mentalhealth.org/publications/ordering.aspx or contact the call center.



SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center



SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center's Web site http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov and call center (1-800-789-2647; 866-889-2647-TDD) offer users of mental health services-families, the general public, policymakers, providers, and the media-reliable information and resources to support mental health needs and objectives. These services are administered through SAMHSA's CMHS division.

India creating a public domain encyclopaedia of ayuravedic medicine

India hits back in the 'bio-piracy' battle


Medscape's Depression Resource Centre has a couple of articles on diabetes and major depression (and a whole host of articles on major depression, the number one cause of disability amongst people five and older, and the site is free with registration).

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It's amazing

that Wikipedia doesn't have more issues like this, but overall it's been pretty reliable, because in addition to anyone being able to edit, there's also quite a bit of peer review of a sort.

On the 'to do' list for humanity

800 species slated for extinction without intervention

For more on biodiversity efforts, check out the Alliance for Zero Extinction.

Oh, like that makes sense

Okay, so I'm scheduled for my oral surgery (the 4th of January), but beyond the date I don't have any idea of the time and won't until I go through pre-admission on January 3rd. This makes it difficult as my ride has a conflict at 10 that morning, and we don't know if this will cause a problem or not. Agggh! The surgery is at St Joseph's Main, rather than the East hospital where I had my carpal tunnel surgery. But the procedure surrounding outpatient surgery should be the same.

On the other hand, I was impressed by the surgeon's manner and I found out my health insurance will pick up 100% of the hospital-related costs. The lady at the surgeon's office seemed surprised at how quickly it was approved. Go, UnitedHealthcare!

I'm off the 2nd for the New Year, need to do pre-op the 3rd, then surgery the 4th. I wonder if I should take off any time after the surgery. I'm having four wisdom teeth and one molar removed. How about it? Do any of you have suggestions? Did you need to take off after your wisdom teeth came out?

Who knew we librarians were so much trouble?

At F.B.I., Frustration Over Limits on an Antiterror Law - New York Times: (my emphasis)
One internal F.B.I. message, sent in October 2003, criticized the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review at the Justice Department, which reviews and approves terrorist warrants, as regularly blocking requests from the F.B.I. to use a section of the antiterrorism law that gave the bureau broader authority to demand records from institutions like banks, Internet providers and libraries.

While radical militant librarians kick us around, true terrorists benefit from OIPR's failure to let us use the tools given to us,' read the e-mail message, which was sent by an unidentified F.B.I. official. 'This should be an OIPR priority!!!'

Everything you wanted to know about Impact Factor but were afraid to ask

Biomedical Digital Libraries | Abstract | 1742-5581-2-7 | The "impact factor" revisited available for free PDF download.

ABSTRACT: The number of scientific journals has become so large that individuals, institutions and institutional libraries cannot completely store their content physically, and much less so intellectually. In order to prioritize the choice of quality information sources, librarians and scientists are in need of reliable decision aids. The "impact factor" is the most commonly used assessment aid in the decision-making process of which journals to contribute to, or to retrieve knowledge from. It is also an often misunderstood tool. This narrative review explains how the impact factor is calculated, how bias is introduced into the calculation, which questions it can or cannot answer, and how different professional groups can benefit from the information that the impact factor provides.

Check it out. (Okay, if you're not a librarian, you probably won't want to. But librarians probably would.)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Something to consider in treating depression and other disorders

FOXNews.com - Health - Paxil: Stronger Birth Defects Warning

Yipee! No need to keep a secret anymore!

As part of our employee appreciation efforts, in lieu of a Christmas party this year, the hospital gave everyone a $100 gift card to Wal-Mart. So, I can probably go ahead and buy a new tyre and still have money for holiday gifts for my family. Yay!

Yesterday I went to the oral surgeon. Because I have sleep apnea, they're going to take my wisdom teeth out at a hospital rather than in the office. That means my health insurance has to pre-approve the change, so it'll probably be two to four weeks before I have it done. The total I have to pay after dental insurance is $134 (20% of the total). Not bad. And if United Healthcare has to approve it, then it probably works like the outpatient surgery I had for carpal tunnel, and the hospital part will be covered 100%. Yay again.

I also started my job at the gas station. I'm catching on to the register pretty quickly. Authorising the pumps is quite easy. The hardest thing to do is apparently the lottery, and I've watched that. It was was a good night to start, with a winter storm that petered out to just some slush on the roads and no real snow accumulation (although at one point snow was coming down in groups of flakes that were three to four inches in diametre). I only worked four hours. I'll work six more on Saturday. I like it so far, and I like my co-workers. If I can work about 10 hours a week there and 5-10 hours per week at KET, that brings me up to 35-40 hours per week. I feel better about myself already, more productive, more together. It's funny how something small can do that.

I got the rest of my paycheque today, so I should be on track to make my rent. I have to go back and check how much I worked at KET to be sure, but I've got $375 of it and then I get paid at KET on the 15th and that should be at least another hundred. My rent's $470, so it'll be down to whether I need more for late fees. Starting next month, though, my paydays line up so that I shouldn't be late for any reason. I've already plotted them out through June. That'll save me about $30 a month.

Tonight is our Secret Santa party. I'm really looking forward to it. I took my gifts home last night and after work relaxed to Ella Fitzgerald with the holiday lights on and a candle burning in the little lamp. It was very nice.

Hope your holiday season is stress-free (ha!) and happy.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

It is very, very quiet

We have a two-day lecture going on at work, which means clinic is shut down and there is consequently not a lot of action going on, which gives a lot of us time to catch up on other projects. In the library, they're painting. It amazes me what a great job the guys do. No taping, no dropcloths, but no mess. I don't know how they do it. It's the first time the library's been painted in thirteen years, so it definitely needed it. They switched from an off-grey to an off-white, and it looks brighter in here already. The guys are out pre-salting the parking lot (we have a winter storm with up to 6-10 inches of snow possible on its way), but they should be able to finish painting today. Yay.

Today's Secret Santa gift is shiny, and I got a glass mosaic candle lamp to go with the red tealights I received yesterday. I really like it. So far my Secret Santa has been just right on with things I enjoy. Since most of the girls are attending the lecture, I was able to deliver mine easily this morning, too. :)

Yesterday I went to the doctor and she increased my ADDerall to 30 mg and kept me on the lower dose of Abilify for now. I don't go back for two months, so we're in a maintenance phase now, apparently. Today I find out when I'll have my wisdom teeth out and start the new job at the gas station, plus it's payday. Double yay, even if it all goes to housing.

I sat down the other night and worked out a budget for the next six months, when I'll pay what bills, etc. I think with the three jobs I'll be able to make it on about $1200 a month and maybe even save a little each month.

I just got my paycheque and there's a mistake on it, so I'll sign off and go see about working that out. Have a good day.

PS Apparently there was an accidental third deduction for AAA. They're going to try to cut me a refund cheque in the next couple of days since I'm trying to make my rent, rather than put it on the next paycheque. Yay. Have I mentioned that in general I love working at the hospital? There's not a lot of bureaucracy to go through and since we're relatively small, you get to know just about everyone, at least on first shift. The layoff is really the only bad thing about working here, and it's been long enough that I've come to terms with that.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

This is a great parody of diploma mills

General Delivery University, an affiliate of the Frumious Bandersnatch, a satirical news site.

A nifty documentary

The Hollywood Librarian: Librarians in Cinema and Society

It's funny the things Google spits out

Apparently if you Google Lexington, Kentucky and ceramic Christmas tree, you get this blog as one of the hits. One of my co-workers, W, sent me an e-mail asking if I were the same person she knew. It's a small world after all. The same woman has met my ex-in-laws, because they're from the same town. Weird.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I'm glad (and sad)

they were able to tie the knot in a bittersweet ceremony a day before one partner died. Britain apparently has a new law that has gone into effect giving gays civil partnership rights. The couple, one of whom had terminal lung cancer, applied for a special waiver of the waiting period (most will be able to undergo registration and ceremonies starting December 21st) because of the concern that he would not live to do it. The couple have been together for seven years.

It's nice to see countries giving basic rights to people regardless of sexual orientation. Britain's law isn't a marriage one, but it's a great step in the right direction, providing at least the minimum of rights that should be accorded any couple of legal adults who want to commit to each other. I hope to see it happen here during my lifetime. It just underscores the fact that I live in a fairly backwards area that is, despite being a regional gay mecca, very much ensconced in Bible-belt anti-gay legislation. I have to admit, if I were in a committed relationship with a woman, I'd seriously be thinking of moving to another state or country and establishing residency or otherwise going through the legal hoops necessary to join together legally. I wish people would realise that the actual legal aspect of marriage--all marriages registered in this country--is purely civil and does not impact anyone's idea of religious marriage. That happens in its own ceremony that just happens to be held on the same day as the civil binding, and the law accords ministers the right to perform the same civil duties as a justice of the peace...namely the signing of the marriage certificate after a dutiful application for licence. From a Christian point of view, most denominations would not recognise a religious service between same sex couples as a marriage, but that's a matter within the religion. My own religion would not have anything wrong with it, and certain denominations have come out to perform ceremonies. But these are all still essentially separate from that legal document that entitles a person to inherit, share property, and accords certain civil rights. And that, in this country, is no place for religious debate. I find it ludicrous that I, who was allowed to enter into that civil state and was considered married by all the laws of this land, even though nine months later I sued for divorce and can never truly explain the idiocy of having entered into it in the first place, but people who are together twenty years are considered living in sin and not accorded any basic rights...even to see each other in the hospital...without a large amount of paperwork to mimic as closely as possible the same rights I received with just one piece of paper. It makes no sense. I see this as being a non-issue someday, as accepted as, say, interracial marriage is today. But it'll be a long time coming for some.

Well, I (unofficially) have a third job

I do the paperwork on Thursday, work my first shift of about four hours to train, and then I'll work Saturday. It's at a gas station a couple of blocks from home. Wish me luck. :) A friend is concerned that I'll rack up bad karma selling cigarettes and alcohol. I think I'm okay so long as they're of age. We'll see. I can't afford any more bad karma; I seem to have it in spades already. I'm beginning to think I was very naughty in a past life. Another friend is afraid in terms of safety--robbery, etc. Hopefully that won't be an issue. Wish me luck.

Getting to know you

1. What is your full name?? Elisabeth Eilir Aranea Rowan (Lisa for short)
2. What color pants are you wearing? I'm not wearing pants. Today is a rare dress day.
3. What are you listening to right now?? Ella Fitzgerald.
4. What was the last thing you ate??? Peanut butter sandwich
5. Do you wish on stars? Yes.
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Indian red. It was the one I always used for my hair as a kid.
7. How is the weather right now? Cold. Very cold.
8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? YKWIA.
9. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes.
10. How old are you today? 38
11. What is your favorite drink? Fresca.
12. Favorite sport? Participating? Volleyball. Watching? Ice Skating and English Premiere Football.
13. Hair color? Chestnut Brown.
14. Do you wear contacts? Sometimes, though not for a while. I do wear glasses though, and have since I was 8.
15. Siblings?? Um...not that I know of.
16. Favorite month? April
17. Favorite food? Indian.
18. What was the last movie you saw? Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
19. Favorite time of the year?? Spring
20. What do you do to vent anger? Mostly hold it in. Maybe cuddle a stuffed animal and devise a list of people who will be mown down by a bus in my head.
21. What was your favorite toy as a child? Hmmm...probably my Dynamite doll. She was a fully articulated action female, who came in a pink motorcycle outfit. She was a gymnast, spy, all sorts of great things. In comparison, I threw my Barbie dolls at power lines.
22. Summer or winter? Summer
23. Hugs or kisses? Hugs.
24. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
25. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? Yes.
26. Who is most likely to respond? D or N
27. Who is least likely to respond? J; she sent this to me.
28. When was the last time you cried? Last week.
29. What is under your bed? Holiday decorations (what's not up), house slippers, dust bunnies.
30. Who is the friend you have had the longest? YKWIA, in terms of continuously in touch. 17 years!
31. What did you do last night? Washed dishes, swept, mopped the floor, cleaned the refrigerator, picked a friend up from work.
32. What are you afraid of? Heights. I used to be afraid of thunderstoms, but not so much anymore.
33. Plain, buttered or salted popcorn? Caramel.
34. Favorite car? Prius.
35. Favorite flower? Iris.
36. Number of keys on your key ring? Let me check. Five: apartment, mail, car, library, Dwana's
37. How many years at your current job? 7 years, 9 months.
38. Favorite day of the week? Sunday. I play in the game.
39. What did you do on your last birthday? I don't remember.
40. How many states have you lived in? 5--Kentucky (multiple times), Louisiana (twice), California (twice), South Carolina, Kansas.
41. How many cities have you lived in? Let's see--Junction City, Dry Ridge, Owenton, Danville, Stanford, Lexington (Kentucky), England AFB, Barksdale AFB (Louisiana), Vandenberg AFB, Edwards AFB (California), Wichita, Belle Plaine (Kansas), Myrtle Beach AFB, Garden City (South Carolina) so that's fourteen if you count air force bases.
42. How may countries have your lived in? Only one--I somehow didn't manage to go outside the US as a military dependent.

OK your turn? See how many you get back

I'm listening to the blues

I got a collection of various blues greats for my Secret Santa gift today (the theme was soft, and as she put it, these songs are soft, smooth, and blue.) :) I love blues but don't really have much beyond Marc Broussard, so this is great. Yesterday's theme was sweet; I got some Heath bars, my favourite candy. This is fun. So is dodging the person I have, trying to deliver her presents in secret. And one of the girls who isn't doing the gift thing has been recruited as an elf to help keep the secret, so she's having fun, too. I think I may know who mine is...but it could just be someone who talked to the person. We'll see. I'm enjoying being a Secret Santa, too. And I'm glad that mine took a different tack on soft because I did too, though I won't say what I got for the person here for now just in case one of the girls reads this.

I'm still very much in the holiday mood. I have a tree on my desk quietly twinkling (I usually do still lights with twinkling ones). I've sent almost all of my holiday cards out, which is so rare that my relatives will be very surprised.

I've confirmed my appointment with the oral surgeon, so I'm a step closer to having my wisdom teeth out.

Today I have an interview at the gas station for a job and I went ahead and wore a dress and my new pumps, which have a higher heel on them then I've ever worn (about 2 inches). So I'm getting used to walking in heels and it's a little disconcerting. It's okay if I don't think about it. Remember, I never really got the Girl Handbook. :)

Oh, and N sent me a quiz with a slightly evil twist. You fill out information about your current and first crush, and it asks some rather personal questions (like how often you masturbate and whether you are attracted to the same sex, and what celebrities you'd have a three-way with). Then instead of giving you some thing about your sex and love life, it e-mails the info to the person who sent it to you. It's a little embarrassing, but not too bad. Of course, I'm pretty open about my sex life (or lack thereof). My three-way, incidentally, was David Duchovny and Catherine Zeta-Jones. :) Anyway, if this sounds fun to you, you can get your friends to fill it out by going to http://www.crush007.com/ and following the directions there.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Apparently the turkey spirits got bored and gobbled away

My rash of bad luck seems to be waning, and I'm finally getting over the crud I had. I'm only hacking occasionally now. I've gone through three bags of cough drops in the last week, but I haven't had to take any more today (knock on wood).

This weekend was mostly uneventful, although the game was particularly entertaining. Only in our version of Call of Cthulhu would a character 1) be shot by a Rambo-like assassin determined to prevent an Apocalypse of Biblical proportion, 2) mentally whammy the assassin to sleep, 3) find out that the helpful doctor who came along in the ambulance is the back-up assassin, 4) detoxified the poison the doctor injected, 5) sleep the doctor, 6) decide to get out of restraints by stepping sideways into the spirit world, 7) turn into a raven to step out of the bonds, 8) turn back to self, then 9) launch self outside the ambulance to get away from everyone who's trying to kill him, returning to our world, only to 10) be hit by a lorry, and 11) find out he's now in Dublin Ireland rather than Derby England.

Got that? Yep, that's our game. We're no closer to preventing Apocalypse, but if this keeps up we may not need to worry, because the character's going to be too beaten up to turn into an avatar of Nyarlothotep.

I love Lovecraft, and I love what a good job our gamemaster does at setting the stage. Sometimes, though, players send their characters careening in unexpected ways across that stage. This was one of those times. It's an interactive story after all. Sometimes it pings into strange directions. After fourteen years of play, our story has gone into some very odd ones indeed. But this was just classic. Thanks, B. :)

PS Today marks the fourteenth anniversary of living out on my own away from my marriage. It seems like it was just yesterday in some ways, and a lifetime away in others. Also, happy birthday to U! (a person whose name starts with U., not bad grammar for 'you').

Friday, December 02, 2005


I will not be anxious. I will not be anxious. I will not be anxious.

About Wisdom Teeth

I'm trying to figure out timewise when would be the best to do the extraction, as I need a ride home (and have a limited pool of drivers) and didn't want to miss the holiday meal at work. Apparently the likelihood of complications is greater because of my age and being a woman--not in terms of the anaesthesia, my great fear when I was younger, but in terms of post-op issues. I'll discuss these issues with my doctor, and hopefully that will put me to ease. Now I'm going to try to not panic and just take it in stride when it gets scheduled. Whew!

Hack, hack, cough.

No, it's not a variation on the classic D&D attack of claw, claw bite. I am beginning to wonder just how much snot one person can produce. Is there a factory in my feet? It just seems bottomless. Argh.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Imagine a 40-year battle over a state tree

Yes, that happened here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

A history of the battle Tulip Poplar vs. Kentucky Coffee Tree can be found on the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives website.

Yes, we're a bunch of cantankerous cusses. What can I say? Personally I fall on the coffee tree side of the debate. After all, it's endangered and is poisonous if the seeds aren't prepared right. You have to love that. :) The seeds remind me a little of buckeyes (Ohio's tree). Although tulip poplars, not a poplar at all but related to magnolias, are fine trees, too.


Can I just say I love my dentist,

Robin Bays, and her office staff? Not only did she NOT run screaming at seeing the shape of my mouth after several years of not seeing a dentist, she 1) went straight to work on the initial problem, requiring a root canal, 2) set up a cleaning (today), 3) did the cleaning herself when the hygienist was unavailable, 4) they all did a really good job of staying in latex-free gloves (although I caught her once before anything came of it), 5) took x-rays painlessly, 6) set up my appointment to see an oral surgeon, rather than making me do it, 7) set up the three appointments I'll need for my treatment plan plus another cleaning in 6 months, so I'm all set and could get good times, 8) have been really good about payment flexibility, and 9) are just so darn friendly. They also took panoramic views of my mouth so the oral surgeon won't have to and gave it to me to take. Plus I saw them work with another patient, a young girl, today who was very nervous and they were explaining everything really well and were going to give her nitrous oxide to calm her down and even explained everything to do with that really well.

The verdict, which I've known for years, is that I really need my wisdom teeth out, have needed them for all this time, and now for the first time I feel fine about going under sedation to do it. (Having survived two surgeries in the past year, I'm not as nervous). Plus I have a broken tooth that needs removal. So that's five to have out all at once. Gack! But once they heal we can start replacing some fillings and work on crowns and spacers.

I'm so glad my flexible spending account is going to have a debit card attached to it starting January 1st. That way I don't have to come up with the cash on hand first before getting it reimbursed. Looks like my main project in the coming year will be my teeth. Maybe I shouldn't have reduced the amount I'm having taken out after all. Oh, well. We're going to try to have the oral surgery done sometime this month. I have an evaluation next week. That comes under this year and I still have about $600 left to spend or I'll lose it. So here's hoping we can get it done soon.

So we have this thing at work

where we fill out a form listing our performance improvements over the past year. I was really tempted to write:
Librarian receiving medicine for ADD improves her output tremendously.

It's true. I'm not sure I would have ever been able to catalogue the whole collection if I weren't more focussed, and I certainly couldn't do it in a timely manner. I did get to put the catalogue in as an improvement. Same goes for the other improvement I put on the sheet, that I was (finally) keeping statistics to help monitor trends in library services and improve as necessary. I've tried to do it for years. I'm now on my third month of doing it for real.

If I compared how productive I have been at the end of the year compared to the beginning of the year, it really would be like night and day. Virtually every moment of my time is taken up in constructive work, rather than flitting from project to project and having trouble finishing anything. It's even been easier to bring some order to my house. I'm still working on the social skills aspect of ADD, but overall my quality of life post-ADDerall/diagnosis has been remarkably better. Woo-hoo!

Plus, I'm not frustrated by having to switch gears in the middle of something anymore. I was able to do a literature search and find several articles and put them into a resident's hand with no trouble at all. I used to have trouble if I had to drop everything and focus on something else instead.

Okay, time to go get my teeth cleaned (oh, joy) and then on to my other job. Happy December!

ADD and obesity--is there a link?

ADDvance - Weight Management Strategies for Adults with ADD (ADHD)

A cool basic libraries FAQ

Libraries FAQ, v. 2.1, part 1/10

A new library blog

OA Librarian

Good news

I just found out that due to a market survey, my grade is being changed, which means starting with the first paycheque of the year I'll be getting a 7% raise. Yipee! That's in addition to our normal raise of 3-3.5% that happens in March. That works out to be about $1.50 more an hour.

I also recently received a raise at my second job. So together, this is really good.

Yesterday I put in for a library job, a job at the place I work my second job, and then today put in an application at a local gas station for a potential third job. Wish me luck in the job hunting. My goal is to be working SOMEWHERE (or group of SOMEWHERES) 40-50 hours per week by the beginning of the year.

And yes, I know I should have done this two years ago.

I'm feeling better

but I'm still going through cough drops like they're candy and occasionally trying to hack up a lung. I'm so stuffy I'm not sleeping well, but otherwise I think the creeping crud is winding down.

On another note, today Cerys and Darius are in the bedroom because the landlords are doing an annual inspection. I haven't had a chance to tackle the closet that suffered so from the air conditioner back up (not my fault, but I get to do the cleanup, and I'm very allergic to mould, so I've put it off). So they may be in for a surprise. The house is looking pretty good, except I need to work on the bedroom and getting clothes out of hampers and into drawers (the problem of using your closets to store books) :). But I did go ahead and take the trash out and vaccuum this morning. It's not like I could sleep anyway. Well, that's enough for now, time to go to work.

An experiment

I'm wearing a watch for the first time in fourteen years. This time last year--right before my carpal tunnel surgery--I couldn't wear anything on my wrists without causing the numbness to get worse. I couldn't feel my own fingertips. Now, a year later, I can pronounce the surgery very successful. Thanks Dr William O'Neill and the team that helped make this possible at Kleinert and Kutz. I highly recommend them.

Today is

Support World AIDS Day

For those lost. For those battling it. For those yet to have it.
Remember...and be safe.

(And a thank you to Google for reminding me with their red ribbon.)