Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Off by a decade. Is that good or bad? :)

You Are 28 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Ah, home at last

Listening to: 'Have a Nice Day' by Bon Jovi
Reading: Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris

Today was busy. At job #1 I found out I have $1000 more this year for books and journals than last year. Yay. The hospital is abuzz because one of the others in the system was visited by JCAHO today, so we could be soon. One thing you learn in the medical librarian field: Joint Commission surveys are big deals; everyone wants to do their absolute best towards accreditation. Then I headed over to job #2, managed to snag my paycheque from the mailroom before it went out, did my timesheet, and did some searching on our website. Afterwards I visited with friends briefly, then went and got my hair cut, cashed my cheque, and spent some on a sweater and pants that were on clearance, some socks, shampoo, and mousse. It's about time I spent a little money on my appearance. Then I put gas in the car (stopping by job #3) and headed to the library to hand in the Anne Perry mystery I'd finished, picked up another one, along with the second and third of Charlaine Harris' Shakespeare series.

So, after all that, I'm home, I've taken Cerys out, eaten a sandwich and some tapioca pudding, pulled the trash together to take out in the morning, and now I plan to just relax a bit and read. Hope your day was good. 'Night.

This is a great idea

Seminar Teaches Core Content Through Kentucky Crafts

The Kentucky Arts Council will present “Crafts and Beyond,” a professional development seminar for teachers, in conjunction with the state-sponsored craft fair, Kentucky Crafted: The Market. Participating teachers will have an opportunity to interact with more than 200 Kentucky writers, craftspeople, artists, musicians, and farmers and will learn about art and writing activities to use in the classroom as well as grant resources for bringing artists and guest speakers into schools. The seminar will help teachers develop exciting ways to teach creative writing, language arts, social studies, arts and humanities, vocational agriculture, and practical living while connecting these areas of the curriculum to the real world of Kentucky’s artistic traditions.

The seminar will take place on Friday, March 3 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm (ET) at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville. The fee is $50 per teacher. Please register early, as space is limited. Registration will close on February 18 or when filled. Visit the KAC web site to register online, or call Charla Reed at 1-888-KYCRAFT, ext. 4815. For more information, contact Judy Sizemore at (606) 364-5831 or circuit@prtcnet.org.

Librarian images discussed

Judith Siess in her blog, OPL Plus (not just for OPLs anymore), includes a transcript of Lin's Bin, a radio programme in Chicago that in November tackled the librarian stereotype. Be sure to check it out in 'Librarians on the Radio'.


This morning as I was driving in I was listening to "Bob and Sheri" and the conversation turned rather profound in that it talked about the wonders of mentorship, and how those who most desperately need a mentor are usually the same people who don't want one. One of the regulars chimed in that the path to success is usually pretty boring, whereas the road to failure is usually full of excitement, and that's one reason that you have people who have fallen flat on their face, you offer them everything they need (usually simple, basic ideas they fail to grasp), and they simply don't want to do the work involved and usually go and flail about on their own anyway. I think part of that has to do with the fact that it's a fairly mature thing to want to work at being succcessful, to do the things longterm that you need to do, rather than wanting instant gratification, so those who would most appreciate a mentor probably don't really need them in the long run. The rest of us, however, are another story.

I was blessed with a mentor for years, and I don't mean in terms of business or finance or one aspect of my life, but in all areas of my life, someone who found me flat on my face trapped in a prison of my own making, who lifted me out and then tried to impart wisdom with mixed success. In the long run, I made progress, but I fought every step of the way, and never made the progress he hoped for. Finally after years of frustration on both parts and in a fit of honesty I admitted that I hadn't wanted to listen in the first place--and thereby lost my mentor.

Only now do I really appreciate what I had. I chafed under his authority like a teenager at the time. I regret that loss. I didn't really deserve what I received. But the thing is, over the years, even though I was braced against it, some part of me listened, and now I'm slowly incorporating some of that wisdom into my life. Maybe it had to come down to that. But I wish now that I had been more appreciative at the time. So just in case I never said it clearly, let me just say 'thank you' for all those years of struggle. I really do think in the end it will be worth it. And now, finally, I do appreciate what I had. I'm just sorry I didn't sooner.

Yay! I'm up to a peanut butter sandwich

(creamy, not crunchy)

Still a little swollen and I can't open my mouth all the way, so flat or small food is best, but yesterday I had fish and chips without any trouble, either, although I almost forgot and used a straw on my milkshake. But a friend caught it in time, thankfully. Have you ever tried to eat a fairly runny shake with a spoon? It's not like a Wendy's frosty, that I can tell you. I'm surprised more didn't wind up on me than in me.

I had a dream this morning. I was working at the gas station (a different one in the dream; for one thing, it was bigger, and more of a Shell). I'd had to catch a ride from friends because my car was missing. Turned out this hippie guy with bad dreadlocks (Caucasians really shouldn't try. At all.) comes in driving my car, which is a red Chevette (my current and past two cars were red...the Chevette was my first car). The paperwork I had to do for my job was different than what I do now (yes, even I, a lowly gas station clerk, have paperwork to do before and after my shift on the register). The guy who'd stolen my car had done so with some CDs that were CD-ROMs that gave access to the car by playing them in the CD changer on the Chevette. I took the CDs out of the car as he was in paying for gas with a pot full of change. When he tried to start it up, I confronted him and explained that if he ever came near my car again, I'd have him up on charges of grand theft auto. He was one of those people who mistakenly decide that peace and harmony means no rules. You know, the type that doesn't want to oppress a dog by having it on a leash and then get upset when the dog runs into traffic and is hit by a car. I'm sure you've met the type. So, he was pulling this, 'hey man, no one owns this car, it's there for everyone'. Obviously that didn't wash with me. That's where it ended. Dream interpretation, anyone? I have my own ideas but I'm curious as to what you think.


Your Blog Should Be Purple

You're an expressive, offbeat blogger who tends to write about anything and everything.
You tend to set blogging trends, and you're the most likely to write your own meme or survey.
You are a bit distant though. Your blog is all about you - not what anyone else has to say.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The swelling's down

but it looks like someone tried to throttle me; I have yellow and reddish-purple bruises from my chin down my throat.

Today was the first day I was back to work at the hospital; I thought there'd be a pile of stuff to go through but it wasn't too bad after all, certainly nothing I couldn't handle.

I got paid at the television station, but missed the office manager by five minutes, so I can't pick up my cheque until tomorrow. :( But I did get my cheque at the gas station. :)

I've been running since early this morning without a break. I think it's time to relax a little. Later.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Not surprising

Your Career Type: Social

You are helpful, friendly, and trustworthy.
Your talents lie in teaching, nursing, giving information, and solving social problems.

You would make an excellent:

Counselor - Dental Hygienist - Librarian
Nurse - Parole Officer - Personal Trainer
Physical Therapist - Social Worker - Teacher

The worst career options for your are realistic careers, like truck driver or farmer.

A meme

Your Inner Child Is Sad

You're a very sensitive soul. You haven't grown that thick skin that most adults have.
Easily hurt, you tend to retreat to your comfort zone. You don't let many people in - unless you've trusted them for a long time.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

A special morning treat

I just saw not one but two great blue herons in the woods/marsh behind my apartment. It sucks to have that sort of wingspan when you're trying to fly through trees, but they're beautiful creatures and as soon as they clear the branches, they're quite graceful. No pictures, I'm afraid...I'm on my way to work, so I just had a moment to blog. Just wanted to share that bit of bird watching. Hope your weekend is wonderful.

Twenty years ago...

Challenger Crew--courtesy of NASA(NASA Photo)

I was a college sophomore, dating someone who wanted to work for NASA. He had blueprints to the space shuttle, could tell you all about it. That was before we were afraid to put any schematic into the public view because of terrorism.

I remember that morning, when our friend asked us if we'd heard, and we thought it was some sick joke. No, really, come and see...

And then watching on the news, over, and over again as they showed the explosion.

I remember watching a dream die, as he for lack of anything else explained that one part was the crew cabin, that they were still alive, at least for a little while...something no one mentioned for months. We watched that same footage for hours on end, as if doing so could bring catharsis or maybe erase the awful truth.

I remember how routine the flights had seemed, now, after those days when I'd watched the prototype on back of a Boeing out in the desert. I never got a chance to see it land there. I always wanted to. I'd watched eagerly the first missions, but with this one I was busy in class, too busy to take a moment to watch. In the end, it was this mission in which many of us lost a certain innocence about space.

And with the explosion, the sense of routine shattered, a tragedy made worse by a civilian, a teacher, on board, and the many school children who watched it live.

I remember Dan Rather at loss for words, his eyes tearing instead.

At the time, it was the worst thing I'd ever witnessed. Before 9-11 and the fall of the twin towers, this was my generation's moment frozen in history, where everyone knew where he or she was, like the Kennedy assassination was for my mother's generation.

On that day in 1986, it was more conceivable that we'd be nuked by Russians than attacked on our home soil by terrorists.

And now, after Oklahoma City, after 9-11, after Columbia, it seems that Challenger was merely a misstep in man's search for meaning in the universe. I cannot believe it to be in vain. Someday, we will 'touch the stars' rather than merely dream about them. And when we do, we will remember Ellison Onizuka, Mike Smith, Christa McAuliffe, Dick Scobee, Greg Jarvis, Ron McNair and Judy Resnick, as dreamers who lived a dream, and died pursuing that dream. They were a cross-section of ethnicities and religions, representing America at its best.

Please join with me for a moment of silence at 11:40 EST, the anniversary of the explosion. For those they left behind, for those of us touched by that awful day, for the belief that we will go into space, remember their sacrifice.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Things I've learnt

  1. You use your jaw muscles for all sorts of things you wouldn't expect.
  2. Sneezing really hurts after wisdom tooth extraction. You feel like another tooth could come out at any moment.
  3. I now know what I'll look like if I gain 50 lbs, because my face has ballooned to about there. Annoyingly, it's bigger on one side (the one with three teeth removed) than the other (only two taken there). Now I understand why women who are anorexic are at risk for relapse with this surgery. I look freaking huge! And I have, well, if not a normal body image, at least not one that's terribly distorted to look fatter than I am.
  4. Beware of people who want to pinch your chipmunk cheeks.
  5. Going for too long between saltwater rinses causes pain.
  6. A Pop-Tart is flat enough to eat without having to open too wide, although it's crumbly and has to be rinsed well.
  7. Evil people design drugs to be used by dental patients like megadoses of ibuprofen, antibiotics, and pain medicine that are a full 3/4 inch long. Can we say gag? My regular meds aren't that huge.

That is all for now. I went back to work at the gas station today for four hours and did pretty well. I can talk better than I could and I took the time to do the rinses. I couldn't use a straw though for my drink--that can cause dry socket, which I want to avoid.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Yay! Solid food!

Since I haven't had any pain, I tried a banana and that worked, so I tried a couple of cheese quesadillas. It worked pretty well, although I can't open my mouth very wide. I still am very swollen; I guess that's why. I'm up for the first time and at the end of the twenty-four hours where I can't drive. I'm thinking of going to the store for some more sherbet and checking my hours at the gas station.

Okay, time to go rinse with salt water.

I'm okay

Apparently I came through the anaesthesia with flying colours, as it didn't make me sick or anything. One moment I was breathing oxygen and had a little burning sensation in my IV, the next moment I was awake and not groggy at all. My only complaint really is that I was told to be there at 9:30, they didn't expect me until 11, and the surgery wasn't until nearly one. The pre-op area ran very smoothly otherwise, although D said that downstairs they were very disorganised. They tried to get her to fill out paperwork that I had already done the day before, for example. I had gone through pre-admission to avoid that sort of thing.

I'm swollen up with cheeks like a chipmunk. I've been sleeping a lot. I took one darvocet but otherwise I've just had the ibuprofen they prescribed for the swelling, because there really hasn't been any bad pain. I'm eating applesauce and pudding and sherbet. The sherbet especially feels good to my throat where I was intubated. I have some baby food and mashed potatoes, too, so I'm set.

I'd like to get up and do some things tomorrow, but so far I've just slept, slept, slept. Oh, well. I probably needed the rest, and now more than ever. I'll write soon. 'Night.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Well, this is it

In about 45 minutes I leave for the hospital and my surgery. I've made out a holographic will and executed another living will (because I couldn't find my copy). I have my organ donation covered. If that sounds morbid, it's not that I really think I'm going to die...it's just there's a chance, although I have more chance of dying in the car on the way, really. :) I just wanted everything covered. Besides, it's like buying flight insurance. Nothing will go wrong, then, right?

I'm not as nervous as I was. I had a relaxing evening with a friend and had a chance to just calm down and rest, and I've carried that sense of peace with me. I am a little nervous, I have to admit, but it isn't as bad as it was. I think my antianxiety medicine helped a lot, too. :)

I'm going to spend the rest of the time waiting for my ride in my comfy chair (sans Spanish Inquisition) with the massaging cushion. The worst thing is I'm hungry, and can't eat. Nor am I sure I'll want to after the surgery, but I have some soft foods on hand for that like pudding, applesauce, potatoes, and baby food. Thanks to D, some of that came from a care package she brought. She's my ride, too. I really appreciate that she's using her day off to help me. Thanks, D.

Hopefully I'll write later, although it may not be today, since I'll be doped up and sleepy. Bye.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I'm premenstural and nervous as all get out

To prove the first part of that, I only need to give you this: in watching Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, I bawled from the moment Annakin attacked Windu through the funeral procession. Why? (Spoiler alert)All I can say is hormones. I mean, we knew how it would all end, right? Annakin Skywalker had to become Darth Vader. Padme would never live to see her children grow up. I certainly knew this going into the thing; in fact, that's one reason I took so long to watch it; I didn't think it was a big deal. And it's only good irony that in seeking to avoid his visions he fulfilled them. But today I'm still puffy from all that crying. I think in my heart of hearts I still have the unrealistic view that love will conquer all; I'm a hopeless romantic I suppose. And the facts of life are that sometimes, it doesn't happen.

As for the nervousness, I forgot to take my anxiety meds last night, which probably isn't good since a nurse, physician's assistant, and anaesthesiologist all sat down this morning and told me what terrible things could happen during the surgery tomorrow. Okay, that's a little strong. Actually a handout outlined the truly bad things and the staff went through some of the things that could happen with a minimal amount of poking and prodding (they took my weight, height, blood sugar, oxygen levels, temperature, and blood pressure), we got all the preliminary paperwork over. This surgery will actually be a little more involved than my carpal tunnel ones, because they were on extremities that could have a nerve block, and I was just given happy medicine like Versed. This time I'll actually be under general anaesthesia, with a tube down my nose. I have to take my CPAP machine with me just in case I have to be admitted to the hospital. So basically, my reasons for finally having the surgery--'oh, I got put under and came out okay'--weren't valid. So, yes, I'm a little freaked. AAAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHH! But it's too late to turn back now, and I really do need this surgery. The good news is I don't have to go in till 9:30, and it shouldn't take that long, then I can get loaded up on pain meds and sleep a lot and eat soft foods. So here's to waking up again and if I don't, well, I won't know anything really, but thank you all for reading my blog. :) Take care.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Need to figure out what a drug is?

Ever have one of those questions like, 'I take a drug for X. It's round and blue, but I don't know the name. What is it?'

Check out: Wall's Medicine Center: Drug Identifier

An interesting art project, a fascinating result

You’ve Got Confessions, a story from Newsweek, and the related blog, also at PostSecret.com.

Additionally, some of the proceeds from the resulting book go to help support 1.800.SUICIDE, the national Hope Line that connects people in crisis with local suicide prevention counselors, a worthy cause. It was founded by a man whose wife committed suicide in 1998. Until it was set up, there was no national means of accessing the local infrastructure of crisis centres. Her memory lives on through the work of this organisation, and the story is quite touching. The connexion? Some postcards relate to suicide attempts or ideation, or express going to the brink of suicide and things that kept them alive.

Oddly enough, I was pointed to this on a library list, because two of this week's postcards have library-related themes. But I can see why this is the third most popular blog on the Internet...it's the ultimate look into what makes up humanity, both the joys and sorrows, the beautiful and disturbing. As someone touched by depression, had suicidal thoughts, and who has had suicidal people in her life (thankfully, so far, none have died), that aspect of all this is very close to my heart as well. I'll link to the Hopeline from this blog, too, just in case some reader needs to talk to someone. I hope that it won't be necessary, but you never know.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Dog and cat together
Darius loves Cerys. She is 'his dog'. Cerys is not so crazy about Dar-bar, especially when he sits on her face. But this picture shows them as they usually are, curled up together.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

I got some rest

This is the first day in a long while that I could sleep in, so I got an extra hour before waking up. I'm a little stiff from standing at job #3. I don't work until 6 so I have some time to chill and maybe finish the floors. Okay, I'd better go. My blood sugar's starting to feel wonky. Bye.


I just received the debit card for my flexible spending account in the mail, so when I go to pay for my part of the surgery next week, I can use that, instead of paying $134 out of pocket. It's especially good for dental work, since I haven't gotten some that I needed because the copay is so much higher, but it works for all medical expenses, even over the counter drugs. There's nothing like being sick and not having the money to get something to make you feel better. Now that will be no trouble at all. I just use the card and then send in the receipts. Yay!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Privacy is going to be a big issue with this

Google has been subpoenaed by the government for information on searches performed on their engine. They are resisting the subpoena for now.

Google resists government data request

Get out of my head!

Nearly every morning I wake up with a song playing in my head. Today's? 'I'm turning Japanese'. Really. Agh.

Meanwhile, the broken tooth that's coming out with my wisdom teeth next week has plans of its own and is loose and jiggling and generally driving me crazy because it should just come out but the root is still firmly in, so no dice. Whenever I chew I have to be careful of it. It doesn't really hurt, but it moves around and that's just annoying. I'm looking forward to Wednesday in a way, because it'll finally be out once and for all. Otherwise, I'm a little nervous. My plan is to stock up on soft foods and have a couple of days off afterwards, since I'm having five teeth out at once and I don't know how I'll be. Wish me luck.

Okay, off to work I go.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

This juggling three jobs is taking a bit of a toll

I came home from job #1, let job #2 know I wouldn't be in, but did go ahead and check that the publish request I made yesterday went through, so I worked about 15 minutes (and will some more tonight), and then a half hour from now I have to be at job #3. I'm getting a lot accomplished at all three, though, so that's good. Plus, I got paid at job #1 and still have about $80 from the last round of cheques, and job #3's pay should be in sometime between now and Monday. I need to pay my electric, make a payment on a debt, pay the oral surgeon my part of the bill for next week's surgery, pay the bank some of the back money I owe, and get some groceries. Oh, and try and save some of it for the next round of rent so I don't have to use my whole paycheque for that at the beginning of next month. This would all be easier if my bank account were in order, but that won't happen until *hopefully* next month. Still, it's progress.

On another note, it's 61 degrees outside. In January. The day after snow...in other words, typical bizarre Kentucky weather. I'm waiting for a huge blizzard or ice storm late in the season; it tends to happen when we have an otherwise mild winter.

I'm also being annoyed by the broken tooth that's supposed to come out along with my wisdom teeth next week. It's loose, but not enough to come out on it's own, just enough to annoy. At least they shouldn't have any trouble getting it out. Gee, even my teeth are stubborn.

Well,I should probably eat something before I go in to work and take Cerys outside, since I'll be there 6 hours. Write to you later.


I overslept this morning, waking up 10 minutes before I was supposed to be at work. The good thing: despite everything, I was at work within a half hour. Bad thing: I don't know yet if it will be counted against me as an occurrence. I never heard my alarm, but it must have gone off, because the cell phone was in bed with me when I woke up. Argh!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Today in my Li'l Cthulhu Desk Calendar

is the anniversary of James Cook finding the Hawaiian Islands and calling them the Sandwich Islands. The picture has Cthulhu eating Hawaii as a sandwich. This was a great gift for the holidays. :) It has things like Cthulhu in a tutu. It's great. But my coworkers probably won't 'get' it at all, which is another bonus. Thanks, YKWIA!

Nifty readability test

where you put in a website and out pops the scores. Juicy Studio: Readability Test

This site (well, this page as it comes up, with the current posts) had the following results:

Total sentences: 1291
Total words: 10359
Average words per Sentence: 8.02
Words with 1 Syllable: 6771
Words with 2 Syllables: 2061
Words with 3 Syllables: 1036
Words with 4 or more Syllables: 491
Percentage of words with three or more syllables: 14.74%
Average Syllables per Word: 1.54
Gunning Fog Index: 9.11 (this is a scale where mine falls into the realm of popular novels)
Flesch Reading Ease: 68.31 (this is basically a gauge percentage-wise in how easy it is to read)
Flesch-Kincaid Grade: 5.73 (this is the grade level)

I apparently write (at least informally) in the range they usually want you to aim for. I know when I check readability of academic papers, it's much more difficult, but I try to keep things simple here. Yay for monosyllables. :)

Nice to know

ADHD Drugs Are Generally Safe, Some Doctors Say Ahead of FDA Panel (free with registration)

An excellent choice

Yesterday, Oprah Winfrey announced her next Book Club selection: Night, the winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize, written by Elie Wiesel, who wrote of his experiences during the Holocaust. In her statement, made on the Martin Luther King holiday, Winfrey said, “Like Dr. King, I have a dream of my own too, that the powerful message of this little book would be engraved on every human heart and will never be forgotten again.” She believes that the book "should be required reading for all humanity.” The edition of Night selected by Winfrey is a new translation by Marion Wiesel, the author's wife and longtime translator.

Winfrey also announced her plans to travel with Wiesel to Auschwitz next month and that the trip will be featured on her show. Auschwitz and Buchenwald are the concentration camps where Wiesel and his family were imprisoned during World War II and where his parents and sister died. She also announced a national high school essay contest based on Wiesel's book. The 50 winners of the contest will be flown to Chicago in February to meet the author.

In her announcement, Winfrey did not refer to the controversy surrounding her previous book club selection, A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. TheSmokingGun.com and other news agencies have questioned whether certain key points in Frey's book happened as he reported them.

Still snowing, up to 2 inches

or so...I took this picture of Cerys in the snow this morning.

On a somber note, I found out last night that my grandmother fell and dislocated her shoulder, so they're putting her under anaesthesia today and putting it back into place. She's broken her wrist recently too...it's scary how fragile the human body can be, especially as we age. So here's to wishing her well. My mom's taken off from work so she can be with her, but I hope they let me know how it all turns out.

This blog has devolved

to slimy mollusc! (in the Ecosystem of the Blogosphere). But it's not that the links have slipped; rather, the entire ecosystem was changed, with the unfortunate result of our plummet from slithering reptile to slimy mollusc. Sigh. The sad thing is I totally in a moment devoid of biology or evolution thought at first it had climbed up a level; YKWIA reminded me of reality. 'You've got no legs! You can't move! That's devolution!' Oh, well, back to climbing the evolutionary ladder again.

It's snowing!

I came home a couple of hours ago and it was raining, just like it had all day, just a little colder than it had been (another 50-something day). I went back out to pick a friend up from work, and about 1 inch of the white stuff was everywhere. Yay! Granted, there's also a really cold wind out, but hopefully that will die down by tomorrow. It finally feels like winter around here. I'm going to go check the forecast for tomorrow. 'Night.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I had a conversation today that made me feel better

about myself. We talked of the situation with Griff, and my asking him out to date, and that led inevitably to discussing my ex and some of the choices I made when I was young and stupid, and those made once I started growing a spine of my own.

When I look back and compare it to my life now, two things come to mind:

once commented on my lack of luck. She could do really stupid things and everything would still work out for her, but if I did something, it was like some sort of evil karma tripped me up wherever I went. I countered that I used my luck not getting AIDS, because when I was young and stupid I had lots of unprotected sex with a sexual addict who trolled the restrooms for encounters with other men. I knew what he was doing, but convinced myself that it wasn't that bad. I convinced myself of a lot back then. I wound up in a relationship with a third partner with whom I shared the duties of 'wife'. It built up over time, slowly, a non-traditional arrangement that many applauded as avant garde, and others just thought was weirder than weird. I stayed in that relationship for three years, but finally left only after getting married to one of the men and taking the other as my 'bosom companion' (the words of the Unitarian minister that performed the ceremony--a ceremony attended by most of our acquaintances for the sheer shock value, and attended by my parents and grandmother as if this were all quite normal.) At least one person was there specifically to hear the vows, which came down to 'as long as love shall last' because I, a product of divorce, didn't believe in vowing until 'death do you part'...something that saved me in the end, because that witness helped ask the hard questions I'd been avoiding, hoping to get me to draw some lines in the sand, but never thinking I'd actually ever leave. But I did. Today I was reflecting on the impetus I finally had to get out of that relationship. When it came down to it, I realised I could never bring children into that household, because I trusted neither of the men with which I was living. One had gleefully told stories of his randy grandfather's wandering hands, while the other had told of listening on the phone while a friend molested a child. Neither showed disapproval or thought this was heinous.

Ironically, I've never moved on to have the children I sought to protect, mainly because I've never trusted anyone to come that close to me again after my experiences. But we were discussing this and I was told that in that one choice I made anything stupid I did afterwards, the little slips here and there, pale compared to the greater stupidity I could have done by having children in that environment. I have to agree. Maybe it's like the luck I spent on the same relationship; if I never have a child of my own, it will be worth never having taken that last step down that path.

I was 24 the day I left. I'm 38 now, and it's a world of difference. I won't say I've flourished; I've had some hard times and made some poor decisions. But all in all, my life is better now than it ever has been. And I am still hopeful for the future. I still have some basic issues to work through, but at least over the last few years I have come to understand a lot of why I am the way I am, and I feel healthier than I have in a long, long time as a result. I feel like I'm on the upswing, too. I'm in therapy. I'm working close to full time again. I'm not as destitute and desperate as I have been. I feel more confident. I feel more me. That says a lot right there, don't you think?

A nice look at a medical librarian with lots of experience

Anatomy of a Medical Librarian, a profile on Miriam Gellar, 77 and still going strong.

Received a flyer for this today

McConnell Literature Conference - UK School of Library & Information Science

Sponsored by the SLIS and BWI, this conference on children's literature will be held in Lexington, Kentucky February 24-25th. I've been to one of these before and it's certainly worth the price. Full conference is $85 with meals/$45 without. The registration deadline is February 16th. A PDF copy of the brochure is available with more information and the registration form.

The end of a great resource

Virtual Hospital/Virtual Children's Hospital: A digital library of health information
After 13 years of service, on January 1, 2006, Virtual Hospital / Virtual Children's Hospital, the Internet's first medical Web sites, ceased operations after serving over 80 million users, due to a lack of funding.

Although it is no longer being updated, some of the content from the past is still available through a list of links left on the site. Pediatric content has been moved to the Virtual Pediatric Hospital, which is still being maintained. Archived versions of VH may be found at the Internet Archive, with the last archival copy dated April 1, 2005, if you want to see what it was like.

I don't want to end the night on a down beat

so let me just make a quick note. I got everything accomplished except for the floors, which I'll try to finish sometime this week. I just need to mop and vaccuum. The laundry's good for at least a week. The fish have more water. I love watching them swim after their food...it's very relaxing. I slept for a couple of hours this evening and I'm heading to bed a little more rested. All in all it was a good balance of housework and relaxation. I need a little downtime to decompress every now and then. Plus, today was a holiday (although not at the hospital; I had to work), so I get paid extra at the television station anyway.

Okay, I'm sleepy. I'll just do a couple of things and then head for bed. 'Night.

Oh, Griff, how could you?

Someone I used to game with years ago has been arrested on four counts of 2nd degree sodomy with a minor, with new charges to be filed. There's just something eerie about looking at a mugshot of someone you know (I won't link to it, since it's temporary, but our jail has pictures and charges of all the current inmates available online as part of open records).

One of our friends figured it out years ago, but had no proof of what was going on, just a gut feeling and a smattering of suspicious activity. I believed him, but many people didn't--they thought he was the bad guy. Turns out he was right, and it was Griff who was the bad guy all along. But again, there was no proof. If there had been, he would have contacted the authorities and the police could have been building a case years ago.

So now it's come to this. Griff is cooperating with the district attorney, and is looking at years in prison. I know our system sees a person as innocent until proven guilty, but there seems to be a strong case against him, both in terms of testimony by his victim and seized child pornography in his possession.

I just don't know what to say. What do you say when someone you know is arrested as a paedophile and child molester--someone who came into your home and spent an evening every week around a table of snacks and interactive stories? I can't say I'm sorry to see him caught; I'm glad it's over. I'm glad that he won't be able to hurt anyone else. Although I'm not sure in his mind he was doing so, a minor doesn't have the emotional maturity to have a relationship of that type with an adult.

Griff tended to play children in games--a kid vampire, for example. It was an annoying trait. I think on some emotional level he identified with children strongly. Whether he saw himself as a child or identified with them as a predator stalking prey I don't know. I do know what it's like to be a survivor of such abuse, how much you want to be loved by someone, even if it isn't a comfortable experience or one that doesn't seem right. I'm still uncomfortable around children partly because they remind me of that vulnerability to sexual predation, especially young prepubescent girls. I think it's always a fear of a victim of sexual abuse that there will be some sort of chain where you grow up to be like the person who molested you. I used to be very confused over feelings I had towards children, but they weren't sexual so much as a tendency to project my victimisation onto them. Now I can generally ignore that tendency and relate with them as individuals, but for a long time I was almost afraid of children. D, a social worker, tells me that seems to be pretty normal given her experience with survivors of abuse.

Even so, I can't imagine what it must be like to be attracted sexually to children, to know that you mustn't act on those feelings, and yet to do so. It must be a kind of warped thing. Maybe Griff is glad it's over, too, I don't know. But it would only be natural to either have a great deal of self-loathing or to totally snow yourself into thinking everything you were feeling was normal. It's weird what the human mind can do.

And once again, this is a case where my judgement was flawed, because I remember years ago asking Griff out (in a sort of desperate, I'm never-going-to-meet-anyone way). He turned me down, which rather offended me at the time, but now I'm glad. Apparently I'm attracted to people with sex abnormalities (one ex was sexually addicted), given my history. Sigh. Maybe that's a reflection of my childhood issues, too. Yep. I'm better off not dating. So much better off, although I still have hope that there are some normal guys to date out there. Please tell me there are, anyway.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The nice weather is back

Listening to: 'Black Horse and the Cherry Tree' by KT Tunstall

It was in the 50s today, and sunny, which made for a pleasant afternoon. My laundry is drying and I'm finished with everything except for the floors, the next thing on my list. I may see about doing those and adding some water to the aquarium, which is a little low.

I spent about a half an hour in the easy chair with Darius curled up on my chest having my back massaged by a heating cushion (the same thing I gave my stepfather for Christmas; I went back and got one for myself, since the price was so good). That was nice; I listened to music and almost fell asleep, although not quite, which was good, as I had to go switch the laundry from the washers to the dryers. I miss having a washer and dryer in my apartment (I had one of those stackable models), but at least these days I mostly do laundry over at some friends' house; today was laundry day over there, though, and I so need clothes for tomorrow. Fortunately the three cheques from last week mean I'm in pretty good financial shape, so $5 in quarters were no problem.

In addition to the cushion, I made another purchase, a light fixture for my aquarium. My poor fish have been in the dark for months. My betta is acting like he's got a swim bladder issue, but the others are all fine (Goldfish survive just about anything; hence the reason for having them, along with the fact that they're supposed to be lucky, but mainly because I love watching the goldfish at my psychiatrist's office, so I got some (smaller) ones for myself. I usually raise swordtails and mollies, but I haven't done that in a year or two.)

I scanned my computer for spyware and caught 30 of them. I think that's why my computer seemed a little slow. That and I'm trying to run BOINC (the Seti@Home program) but it tends to hang up, at least the screensaver part of the application. I've disabled the screensaver and am just letting it do its thing in the background instead. Hopefully, that will help.

An evening at home

Rare these days, I'm home for the evening.

I've been home for about half an hour and I've already eaten a sandwich, started a load of dishes, sorted my laundry, collected the trash, and started a download to protect my computer from spyware, cleaned my keyboard (i.e., take it apart and discovered that honey and cat hair make the keys stick together terribly...everytime I typed an 'f' I got the 'r' as well). I really shouldn't eat (especially peanut butter and honey sandwiches) at the computer. Hopefully I'll have a chance to finish the laundry, do another load of dishes (it's been about two weeks since I've had some time to attend to the house), pick up a bit, clean the floors, and cook something nice for dinner. Of course, I'll be happy if I just get the laundry done. :) So why don't I go put that in now?

A nice article highlighting librarians

Don't Google; librarians have the health facts

And for those out West:

Please join the Medical Library Group of Southern California and Arizona for Geeks Bearing Gifts: Unwrapping New Technology Trends, presented by Michael Miller, Technology Coordinator of NN/LM PSR.

Two sessions will be offered:

1) Tuesday, March 14, 2006 at California State University, Northridge, CA
2) Friday, March 17, 2006 at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ

This course provides a fun, fast-paced introduction to today's hottest technology trends and how they will impact or can be integrated into traditional library services. Content will be presented with a "can-do" focus to encourage participants to investigate at least one technology for implementation at their institution. Course structure will include brief vignettes and demonstrations of a wide variety of technologies, including library management systems, open source software, the Open Access movement and free online journals, spyware, mobile computing, RSS, blogs and wikis, radio-frequency identification (RFID), and more.

Michael Miller is the Technology Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Southwest Region (NN/LM PSR). Michael provides Internet and technology instruction and support to regional network members, as well as Web development for a variety of NN/LM and NLM programs and services. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles specializing in Music Performance. Since 1993, he has been actively involved with Web technology; he is currently exploring distance learning technologies and their applications in the NN/LM environment.

Full details and a registration form will be posted on the MLGSCA Discussion List (http://www.mlgsca.mlanet.org/discussion.htm).

Registration deadlines:
California: March 7, 2006
Arizona: March 10, 2006

Late registrations and on-site registrations will not be accepted!

For my European colleagues

14-16 February, Cologne (Germany)
“The Best in Heritage - Excellence Club” Symposium

The Symposium will open on 14 February and, over the following three days, presentations will be given on the various museums and heritage projects which were presented on two years previously at "The Best in Heritage" event held in Dubrovnik. Parallel to the Symposium, an exhibition on publications and other printed matter by Excellence Club members will be held in the new International Trade Fair for Museums, Conservation and Heritage : “Exponatec Cologne” (15 to 18 February).

More about the Symposium at www.Exponatec.com or www.ExcellenceClub.info

"The Best in Heritage" is an annual event created by the European Heritage Association, a non-governmental organization which is dedicated to promoting every aspect of professional excellence in heritage professions “by power of example”. At each annual conference a list of noteworthy cases from about twenty countries is presented to attending professionals. The next annual conference will take place in Dubrovnik, Croatia from 21-23 September 2006.

More about the Dubrovnik event at: www.TheBestinHeritage.com or please contact the organizers at info@TheBestInHeritage.com.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

So tired

I've been going since about 8 this morning and I'm bushed. Work + my other duties (I should explain that sometime, but not tonight) mean I've been on my feet most of the day. Whew!

Now for a little wind-down and then off to bed.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

After several days of warm temperatures

tonight it's snowing. Ah, Kentucky weather; if you don't like it, just wait a bit. It went from 54 degrees today to an expected high of 38 tomorrow, with about an inch accumulating. The rain came first, of course, and with it a dreary, dark grey evening with lots of reflections on the road. I very nearly hit someone who was crossing the street against the light; his clothing melded into the muddiness of the background. Fortunately my passenger saw him and warned me. He seemed clueless as to how close I came to ploughing into him; I have to admit it left me shaking inside. I don't know how I would have reacted if I'd actually hit him. The only thing I've ever hit with a car was a cat, which died, and I went hysterical for about forty-five minutes with that. I can't imagine hitting a person, yet it would have been so easy today to have done precisely that, and in a moment everything would have changed. Fortunately and thankfully nothing bad happened, though, and somewhere there is a clueless guy out there no doubt wandering in work boots and khakis who very nearly had a nasty turn of fate, all because he chose to cross at a red light in murky near-darkness, and I was having trouble finding the intersection, much less seeing him--not the brightest thing to do when trying to get across Broadway at Lane Allen Road, although technically I suppose the fault would have lain with me, as the driver of the vehicle, since it's my job to not hit things. Anyway, whew.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Gleaning from spoilers

A friend asked me to find out if the movie 'Brokeback Mountain' has a happy ending, i.e., the two men in the film are together in the end. The answer is no. I won't go into it beyond that, because I don't want to give any details that might detract from your seeing it. There's enough spoilers out there if you're interested.

Nor have I seen it for that matter as of yet.

What I have done is read several reviews and comments on reviews, including assertions that if you aren't a gay man, you really won't truly understand the power of this film.

Poppycock. We all bring to a film viewing our own perceptions and past. Not every gay man is going to approach the film the same as any other, and I'm sure there are plenty of people who are neither gay nor male who will 'get' the story, although as always, through their own lenses.

But the reason I'm writing is that I know that my experiences will surely colour my perception of the film when I see it. You see, I'll approach it from the angle of someone who married a gay man, who saw the struggles he had, who lived with a lie out of desperation, who finally saw no future and left the relationship. So there are at least two characters in the movie that I'll identify with right away--and they're the women in the movie. On the other hand, my closest male friends are also gay, so I have a lot of positive experiences and consider myself very pro-gay. I've spent my entire adult life in close proximity to gay men, and so I think I 'get' a lot about them, and can even identify with them in terms of the movie.

On the other hand, I'm bisexual myself. I don't talk about it much because, frankly, it's not a driving part of my life as I'm not in a relationship of any sort. I haven't been with anyone of either sex in nearly twelve years. But one thing I know is that most people just shake their head and don't 'get' bisexuality. Straight people tend to think you're just weird, and gay people tend to think you're gay and can't make up your mind. When I am sexual--and I don't have a strong sex drive, at least I haven't for some time--I'm attracted to women slightly more than to men, but I definitely am attracted to both, and I actually prefer sex with men slightly over that of women. So I'm near the middle of the Kinsey scale (I think it runs 0 to 6, with 6 being exclusively gay and 0 being exclusively straight, with 3 dead centre in the middle. I'm probably a 4.) For those of you who know me but never imagined me in that context, it might be a shock, although I haven't tried to hide my sexuality; I just haven't had dates to the company Christmas parties or brought anyone home to meet my family, so it hasn't really 'come up' unless I mention it for some reason. I'm not sure I've ever explained this explicitly on this blog, although I have keywords set up and sometimes have mentioned it in passing. But I guess looking at those reviews made me think of my own sexuality, my own fears of rejection, and made me think that it was time to discuss it here. For me, though, my fears of being in an intimate relationship with anyone, of either sex, are more damning than any of my fears related to being bisexual. That's something I'm working on through therapy. There are very few people I trust completely, and they are friends with whom there is no sexual component. It would be very difficult (and frankly unfair to anyone) for me to be in a romantic relationship as of now, because I'm not ready, and I'm not sure if I ever will be. That lack of trust is deep-seated from childhood due to betrayal of trust and sexual abuse. I don't know if I'll ever be 'fixed' per se, but I keep muddling along in an attempt to get better. But like I said, it affects me far more than the fact that I have feelings for either sex. But then I tend to be attracted by the person, rather than the gender; I don't know any other way to describe it.

Anyway, that's all for now, I've got to go. I would like to see the movie, although I'll probably wait for the DVD. I'd be interested in what you all think of it, so feel free to leave comments. Bye for now.

An overview of how one of my main allergens is processed :)

A Brief Natural History of the Latex Rubber Tree

An interesting article on search engines and Net commerce

Search Engines as Leeches on the Web (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox)

Anyone want a job in the balmy Carribbean?


The Robert Ross International University of Nursing, located on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, seeks to fill the position of Director of Library Services. The candidate must have a minimum of five years experience working as a Library Director with Masters’ of Library Science degree.
The IUON Library and learning resource center focuses on nursing education and provides the basics for a good liberal arts education through its numerous volumes, online databases, internet access, and audiovisual technology.
Responsibilities of this position include planning and setting goals for the future of the facility in consult with the Dean, faculty and University staff; marketing of the library’s products and services, purchasing books, periodicals and other publications and supplies; and establishing and developing an annual operating budget. As the director, you will also oversee library services to students, supervise staff, and ultimately manage the facilities on daily basis.

We offer a salary of $70,000+ commensurate with experience, a challenging opportunity to impact the growth of the facility, and consistently beautiful climate in which to live.

Please forward resume, CV and references to:

Robert Ross International University of Nursing North American Administrative Office 460 West 34th Street, 12th Floor New York, NY 10001
Attn: Warren Ross
Fax: 212 868-4722
Email: wross@iuon.org

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A question of integrity looms over book on drug addiction

Fact or fiction? James Frey's drug memoir

I hate to say it, but is it really that surprising in today's society that supposed facts get embellished or melodramatised for a better read? I'm not saying it's right, just not surprising, especially given the background of the author. Integrity is not necessarily associated with drug addiction and criminal behaviour, after all. While I'm sure that James Frey kept to the writer's mantra of 'writing what you know', I'm not sure it should really be classified as non-fiction given the supposed embellishments. On the other hand, do they serve to negate his experiences as an addict and his recovery? Not really. But it certainly casts a certain amount of doubt about the book, and so readers should (as always), read critically with a pound of salt at hand.

The moon

has a perfect halo around it tonight, so I guess we'll have rain. I love it when you look up into the sky and there's just this perfect circle of light. I tried to take a picture of it, but no luck. Anyway, just wanted to share this little bit of natural beauty with you.

Librarian rated excellent among careers for 2006

USNews.com: Money: Excellent careers for 2006 (1/5/06)

A worthy cause

Donating Medical Books and Journals to Iraq (Free with registration)

Medical professionals in Iraq are working under very difficult conditions. I recently read an article that indicated that doctors and other healthcare professionals were being targeted by terrorist groups. That can only hurt the general populace of Iraq, who rely on these men (and women, I assume, although I'm not sure about that) for treatment.


I just woke up to a horrible dream where I was back in food service, dealing with a customer who was crazy. *Shudder* Prior to that, it was an interesting dream of traveling to another planet, but the food service dream (I was working in a sandwich shop, running the cash register) brought me right out of dreamland. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Well, phooey

I didn't get my paycheque today (it's in the mail somewhere) or the medical reimbursement cheque, and I am down to my last 25 cents, but that's okay because I still have groceries and I think I've got about $5 on my gas card, come to think of it. We should get paid tomorrow instead. Oh, well.

At least I'm doing okay otherwise. Poor D is home with pneumonia. She just had strep and apparently she's gotten worse rather than better. I hope she feels better soon. I think she and her baby have been passing things back and forth, so hopefully he's doing better, though.

It seems like everyone's been sick with something over the last few weeks. Don't you just love winter?

Disturbing but not all that surprising

Katrina—Welcome: 'White Couple' - Newsweek Periscope - MSNBC.com

I don't think it's necessarily fair to sue the bulletin boards that allowed postings of offers of shelter to a 'white couple' or a 'white American family'--they were providing a forum and did not necessarily control content, although at least one site director may install a filter for those sorts of posts to prevent this sort of thing, so I suppose it could be argued that they had the ability to do so and therefore should have. Still, they were formed to try to help in a disaster situation, not perpetuate bias.

On the other hand, housing areas that offered incentives for whites and politely turned away blacks or charged them extra were obviously violating fair housing laws, and should be fair game. As it was, many of the more affluent refugees (many of them white) had greater resources and were able to get out of the storm's path easier, whilst poorer residents (many of them black) with fewer resources were more likely to need emergency shelter...and it's a kick in the face to be discriminated against in a time of crisis because of your skin colour, and it's just plain wrong.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A worthy cooperative effort

reprinted with permission from Laurel K. Graham, librarian for the American Dietetic Association:

FreeForAll is an international collaboration of libraries whose mission is to serve underserved nations for free. Please see instructions for use of service below this note. Contact me off-list if you have any questions or would like to join.

Librarians from developing and less developed nations, please email lendinglibrarians@gmail.com to register for FFA.

Look for a profile of FreeForAll in "Library Journal" - we've been awarded a "Movers and Shakers" award!

Here's my promo:

Your thighs look great, and you deserve a break, so instead of useless resolutions like improving your finances (you're a librarian--it won't, or can't, get much better), battling the bulge, or embracing THAT side of the family:
join FreeForAll. Forty noble libraries already have, be in with the group that sends much needed medical literature around the world in the form of nice, warm .pdfs each day. Put on an apron and serve up .pdfs to some thankful patrons.

A librarian from the Bahamas recently wrote:
Free-for-All has allowed this little nursing library to really shine - we can now do the impossible! Thank you so much.

This is a guide to providing FreeForAll services.
A library need not be a Loansome Doc participant to participate. You will receive FreeForAll requests the way you normally receive Docline requests. The patron will be FreeForAll and their email address will be in email field and/or comments field.

Here's an outline of the procedure for libraries:

  1. Join FFA Yahoo Group

  2. Loansome Doc allows four primary libraries to be chosen as first recipients of Loansome Doc requests. Please consider becoming a Cornerstone FFA library, by being a primary library. Standard members fill FFA ILLs, they do not deal directly with FFA patrons.

  3. If these primary libraries cannot fill request, they will route it to other libraries in FreeForAll.

  4. Problems should be forwarded to me: lgraham@eatright.org

  5. So far misuse has not been a problem, but if you suspect a patron is not from an underserved nation email them and forward their response to me, I can check their IP address for authenticity.

  6. Libraries control workload, reject or accept as many ILLs as desired.

Suggestions welcome!

This is scary--a recall of dog food that contains a deadly toxin

YKWIA called me this morning after watching a news spot on the following:

The company, Diamond Foods, recalled the food back on December 20th but many pet owners have not received the word. 19 varieties of the pet food are implicated, causing liver damage and death in about 70% of the of the dogs who get sick. Some cat food was implicated as well, but cats seem to be more tolerant of the toxin. In dogs who survive, there may be lifelong liver problems and an increased chance for liver cancer. The company has apparently agreed to reimburse vet costs for several of the families (and rightly so--it should with all of them), but that can't bring back a beloved pet who died needlessly. Ironically, the first symptom is a lack of appetite, with owners doctoring the food with gravy or other enticements to get them to eat. It's just horrible. If this were happening to humans, it would be all over the news, but as it was, I had to search for it after being called by a friend after he heard it on a morning news show. Thankfully, our dogs are okay. It's not a brand I'm familiar with and I'm not sure it's available in Lexington, but I'm posting it here in case any of you reading might have animals and get this food. There's a diamond logo on the packaging. For more information, check the company website set up to deal with the crisis. I will say I'm impressed by the website, which offers the necessary information, media updates, and a form to claim help from Diamond. Read these for more info.

Deadly chemical in dog food claims lives of over 100 pets

Couple Hopes Dog Food Recall Would Get More Attention

Pet Owners Devastated by Deaths

Not that I disbelieved, but

a friend was watching Nick at Night and called to describe...Roseanime. It so hurt my brain. I don't know if it was the Ranma 1/2-esque panda (David?) or the girls with swords going through various katas that got me. I want to see it for myself, but my brain just might melt into goo.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Remember the Monty Python game 'Spot the Looney'?

Fred Phelps (I refuse to link to his site, so you'll have to Google it yourself if you want to see it), who in my opinion is a hatemongering evil on the lunatic fringe of Christianity, has protested at gay funerals for years, and has picketed other churches, including my friend D's for supposedly supporting gays. Now he has taken his homophobia (and you know what they say about people who are afraid of gays, don't you, Fred?) to new heights by picketing the funerals of soldiers who lost their lives in the war against terror.

He and the extended family who make up the majority of his church demonstrate with signs designed to shock, things like 'Thank God for 9-11' and 'Thank God for dead soldiers'. For the families who are grieving a terrible loss, the signs are a jarring and painful experience. One grieving mother said, "This is an evil that is beyond explanation. It's beyond all understanding." (ABC7Chicago.com: Law would limit protests at military funerals) She is so right.

As far as I can tell, what Mr Phelps and his followers are practising is in no way Christian or based on teachings of Jesus Christ. Instead, it is hate packaged in Christian wrappings, and claimed to be speaking for God. In some ways, it's totally ludicrous, and it would be easy to dismiss them as a bunch of loons. And of course, they have certain rights to free speech, although those rights end when what basically amounts to harrassment and threats come into the picture.

The sad thing is, most people didn't care when he was picketing funerals of gays. There was some outrage at the widely reported desecration of Matthew Shepard's funeral (the young gay man beaten and murdered in Wyoming). But all in all, Phelps and his crew were able to continue their hatemongering. Then they started on soldiers' funerals, and for many this was going too far, making a circus of a solemn event, making a mockery of the sacrifices these young men and women have made for their country.

I'd like to see laws enacted that would prevent the desecration of any funeral by such protests, regardless of who is being honoured at the funeral. Grief is grief, regardless of how someone died or who they are. It sickens me that Phelps and his crew will challenge such laws so that the government must waste money on defending the right of privacy that the dead and their loved ones have.

As a librarian, I'm obviously an opponent of censorship. But freedom of speech should not apply to hate speech, especially when directed at a particular group, no matter what that group may be. Hate speech begets hate crimes; it dehumanises a group and encourages those vulnerable to the message of hate to think of its victims as less than human. That's wrong, plain and simple.

Personally I hope Mr Phelps has a chance to meet and be judged by the Christian God, although I don't think it is truly the God he worships. I'd say he's in for an unpleasant surprise. For all the inconsistencies I see in Christianity (and the annoying tendency it has to evagelise), the God of the Christians is supposed to be a loving God, which if Phelps has actually read his Bible, he should know. The laws of the Hebrews are fulfilled with the coming of Christ in Christian tradition, with the Golden Rule becoming the one most important law to follow. Nor can we really trust Pauline tradition, since he claimed to come to Christ only after the latter's death, and basically bought the Gentile franchise within the new faith from Christ's followers in Jerusalem (look at the letters where he begs for money to pay them off). Jesus never says anything about gays, and in fact extorts those without sin to cast stones, with the knowlege that none of us is without sin.

But I guess for Phelps, the word of the Son of God isn't worth following.

Lastly, I'll leave you with a letter D--who was understandably riled up by the news of the latest protest planned--sent me, written by a pastor in Australia to Fred Phelps that appeared in an online magazine for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered Christians.

And as a postscript, let me just reiterate that the above is my opinion on the matter. Anyone wanting to sue me for defamation will be sorely disappointed, as 1) I don't own anything worth having and 2) I have a little thing called free speech, too, and am entitled to my opinion regarding a public figure. Mr Phelps has made himself public and open to comment by his own actions.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

It is January, right?

It's 61 degrees Fahrenheit at 11:30 at night, with a wind of about 30 miles an hour from the southwest bringing in the warmth...in other words, what I consider perfect weather, albeit not normally in winter.

I'm very tired; it's been a long week, despite being off of work a couple of days. All in all it's been a good start to 2006, I have to admit, but busy, and at this point I just want to curl up and sleep the night away and get some rest so I'm ready for the coming week. I feel more useful than I have in months, probably since I'm working full-time (between 3 jobs) for the first time in a couple of years.

Well, I guess that's all to write for now. Soon it will be time to go to bed. Good night.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I can't believe I'm saying this

but I like something from AOL--their music that plays whenever you have the instant messaging system open. It's not as personalised as Launch!, but it does pretty well...it's at least as good as listening to the radio, with fewer commercials, and it's free, too.

To summarise:

  • was a good hair day,
  • was a long shift at the gas station (10 hours)
  • was beautifully, deceptively sunny
  • with a cold, cold wind

I spent today

  • selling cigarettes to blot my karma
  • teaching children about money
  • hungry
  • assuring a coworker from the hospital that I still worked there
  • answering the same question (what happened to your window?--and before anyone asks here, someone accidentally put their truck in drive rather than reverse and crashed into the station, shattering a door and window) over and over again

I'm glad

  • to be finally home
  • to be finally free
  • that I'm through with job #3 for the week
  • that I have the game to look forward to tomorrow
  • that I have a warm home and food
  • that I have access to the Internet

So how was your day?


It occurs to me we're seven days into the new year and I haven't mentioned resolutions. I was tempted not to make any at all, because I don't do well with fulfilling them. But...as one friend put it, that's bad luck, and besides, resolutions aren't hard and fast; they're just expressions of what you want to work on. Still, I'm going to try to keep it simple.

So my resolutions for 2006 are:
  1. Try to be more fiscally responsible. (I'm already off to a good start with that one.)
  2. Try to eat fewer sweets. (Today, for example, I ate grapes rather than cake.)

That's all for now. Not much, I know, but hopefully baby steps will lead to bigger rewards.

Friday, January 06, 2006

A good approach

ABC News: 'Swimsuit Lesson' Teaches Kids About Sexual Abuse

So sad

ABC News: Miners' Notes Reveal Their Final Moments

One of my coworkers had a good point; mining accidents happen all the time and don't have the coverage that this one did. I don't know if it just happened on a day where there wasn't a lot to crowd it to a mere crawl on the screen or what. But they should get that kind of coverage. It has all the heartbreak and drama of a Lifetime movie, but sadly it's real-life and not fiction. I just hope the lone survivor manages to pull through. The families of the miners are just starting to live a changed life. My thoughts are with them.

Just in case you didn't know

Postal rates increase January 8th so a first-class letter will now go for 39 cents rather than 37. There is an issue of a non-denominated 39 cent stamp (Statue of Liberty) and one for 2 cents (Navajo Jewelry) if you have any of the old stamps you still want to use. Glad I used all of mine over the holidays. :)

Who knew?

askSam, the searchable database folks, have put up eBooks to be used with their database.

They include everything from Shakespeare and the Bible to the complete text of the PATRIOT Act and even convention speeches made by Kerry and Edwards. Check them out.

January is Birth Defects Prevention Month

Birth Defects Prevention Month, which takes place annually in January, was established to increase awareness about birth defects, abnormalities that are present at birth and can lead to physical or mental disabilities. In accordance with this event, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) National Mental Health Information Center's Web site is featuring resources for community programs and activities associated with this event. You can access these resources and details about the event at http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/highlights/January2006/birthdefects/

As a side note, one of the most preventable birth defects are those neural tube disorders such as spina bifida. 400 mcg of folic acid, the daily requirement, can help prevent this crippling condition in almost 70% of cases. All women of child-bearing age, regardless of whether they are planning a pregnancy or not, should be sure to get this through diet (there are foods rich in folic acid (orange juice and green vegetables), but also many cereals and other grains are fortified with it, and most multivitamins contain this as well). Folic acid also may help lower your chances of getting heart disease and some types of cancers. It may help protect you from having a stroke, as well. Neural tube defects happen very early in pregnancy, often before the woman is even aware that she is pregnant. There are some people who don't process folic acid well, and some families/ethnic groups that spina bifida runs in (Hispanics and those of European descent--especially Irish and Scottish--are most at risk), so check with your doctor to see if you may need further supplement.

Spina bifida is one of the disorders treated at the hospital I work in, but I also have an aunt who has spina bifida occulta, the form that has minimal impairment and is not readily seen except via x-ray. So if I plan a pregnancy (isn't happening anytime soon, trust me), it's important for me to get the folate I need, too. Plus, it's just good sense as there are other health benefits beyond pregnancy. :)

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Cerys Chilling
It's nice to sit down after a shift at the gas station. My feet are doing much better, of course, but towards the end of things pretty much everything hurts a bit. I could really use the massage cushion I got John for Christmas. :)

We had some excitement today. Someone drove into the store. Well, not completely, but enough to break a door and window. Apparently he thought it was in reverse and it was in drive and he stepped on the gas, and well, the rest is history. I wasn't there when it happened, thankfully. It probably would have scared the bejeesus out of me.

Since my register is the one on the side that was being repaired, I did a lot of stocking and not a lot of business until the last couple of hours of the shift. That wasn't so bad. Plus, I got to tell a customer to put out his cigarette whilst he was pumping the fuel.

But oh, it's good to be home. I've eaten a couple of peanut butter sandwiches and hugged my dog and taken her out, and now I think I'll chill out until it's time to pick a friend up from work.

Speaking of Cerys, I took this picture earlier today of her lounging on the bed. Doesn't she look sweet?


Okay, I know this is a sad thing to be excited over, but I just paid my rent. ON TIME. For the first time in so long I don't remember when the last time was, maybe April? No late fees. No notes. No feeling guilty about calling for maintenance. Plus, this paycheque was my first with my market raise which was $1.02 more than I had been making, so I can make my rent with that cheque plus $30. That meant there was more from the gas station paycheque for food and other necessities.


*Does a little dance*

On a different note, I'm working all three jobs today, so I don't have much time to blog until tonight. Bye for now.

The Meme of Four

Haven't done one of these for awhile.

Four jobs you’ve had in your life: librarian, telephone surveyor, web page designer, cashier (wait, that's all the current plus my last job before becoming a librarian) :)

Four movies you could watch over and over: The Mummy, Stargate, the Secret of Roan Inish, Wickerman

Four places you’ve lived: California, Louisiana, South Carolina, Kentucky

Four TV shows you love to watch: Charmed, CSI, Medium, and (yes) Whose Line is it Anyway?

Four places you’ve been on vacation: Hunting Island (SC), Great Smokey Mountains (TN/NC), Mammoth Cave (KY), Natural Bridge (KY)

Four websites you visit daily: Google, Gmail, Blogger, Google News

Four of your favorite foods: Ice cream, chocolate, mashed potatoes, tomatoes

Four places you’d rather be: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland

A nice resource

MLA Guide (Anderson/Allee): Free Samples: "Medical Library Association Encyclopedic Guide to Searching and Finding Health Information on the Web"

A link to a new drug database

DrugBank Homepage

This has been characterised as the world's largest drug database. It is an "one-stop-shop" with drug information for patients, researchers and healthcare professionals. Although based in Canada, it includes FDA-approved drugs. It has about 4100 drug entries. Each entry includes all the various names, the chemical formula, how it works in chemical-speak, patient information, interactions, contraindications, etc.

The patient information is such as you would find on the bottle (don't operate machinery, etc.) rather than full-blown information sheets, so most of the information is meant for researchers and clinicians. Still, having everything together is really great.

I have to admit

It probably made a certain amount of sense to wait to tell the families the crushing news until they were sure of who had survived and who had died. But I still think they could have come out and said, 'we were wrong, please wait for further information' and stopped the celebration.

Man, I would not want to be the head of this company, dealing with an explosion, employee deaths, and the fallout of an information fiasco. I wouldn't be surprised if there were death threats on top of that (not condoning mind you, just observing that there's a lot of anger and bitterness as the result of this, along with the mourning).

Lexington Herald-Leader | 01/05/2006 | Mining company lost control of information

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A little news with a local tie-in

KRT Wire | 01/04/2006 | Sheikh of Dubai, a leading horse breeder, dies of heart attack

I think it's awful

that for three hours the families of these miners were under the mistaken belief that twelve of the thirteen had survived, due to miscommunication, when in actuality one of the thirteen managed to survive the toxic fumes inside the mine. How awful for them. It was chilling today that the jubilation was frozen in print when those of us who had heard the news coverage or read the updates on the Internet learnt the awful truth. I cannot imagine how distraught and angry these families must be, and they have my deepest sympathy.

Update 57: Mine Co. Head Expresses Regret to Families - Forbes.com


my feet are finally getting used to the standing at job #3, which is good, as I worked tonight and will again tomorrow night, followed by a ten-hour shift on Saturday. Tonight they hurt just a little, and that came in the last hour as I was stocking the cooler, which has a concrete slab without any cushion like the mat we have at the cash register.

In one day

I've had 149 intrusion attempts blocked by my firewall, seven of them high-rated.

Yay for firewalls.

Note to self

take smart medicine #2 (ADDerall) BEFORE you take a shower. It helps if you remember to wash your hair.

I couldn't figure out why my hair looked limp and sad today, and then I remembered; I'd used the shower gel but not the shampoo. Oh, well, at least I washed my hair before going to job #3. :)

Can you imagine?

going to your pharmacy and being told, sorry, you can't get the drug you've been taking for years--and the only thing that's been working for you, because they pulled it due to concerns over liver damage?

Now, I understand being concerned over potential damaging side effects of medication--virtually every drug has some unwanted effect possible. But this drug has been around for a long time--at least twenty-five years, and the number of people who do not suffer bad effects surely should outweigh the concerns. Even so, if you must pull something, shouldn't you have to phase something out gradually, and at the very least, notify patients that it won't be available? Finding out at the pharmacy (and in this case even the pharmacy didn't know until it contacted the wholesaler) isn't really acceptable.

Anyway, I'm sorry for those who got left hanging. Maybe the Narcolepsy Network and others concerned over this will be able to get out the word. For those of us who rely on medications to be productive members of society--whether it's for seizures, pain, ADD, narcolepsy, or a host of different chronic ailments--it's scary to think that our medicines that are so important in our lives could be yanked away at any moment.

Making Light: Fckng Ralph Nader, fckng Public Citizen

Archaeology, biology, and history meet under interesting circumstances

Of lice and men: Secret destroyer of Boney's army revealed at last

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I'm back, at full speed

although apparently having trouble typing words in any coherency, as I have to keep going back and fixing mistakes.

I'm blogging from home using my new internet connexion through the cable company. Woo-hoo!

Also, I did go ahead and get that tyre yesterday because the one I was replacing became unbalanced and was making the car list to the left and it sounded for all the world as if the tyre were flat and/or about to fall off. So, I moved up my purchase a day. Now it's going rather smoothly.

Well, just a quick note by way of update. I have some errands to run, but now I can blog any time, and I've just checked out my e-mail for job #2 and it gets/sends e-mail fine, which will help when working from home. I'll write soon.