Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, July 31, 2006

Posted by me

to the PUBYAC (Public Library Services to Young Adults and Children) list:

I thought I'd turn to the experts for this one. I'm assuming most librarians who work with children like to do so or have a good rapport with children. Although I deal well with children in theory (literature, ideas for stories, etc.) I find that I feel somewhat overwhelmed when it comes to putting things into practice.

I'm a librarian in a children's hospital primarily responsible for the professional resources. But I run an early literacy project, although in that case I mostly deal with the books and those providers who give out the books. Lately, though, I've been asked to take a library cart around to the rooms, which I do pretty well, and read to the children in the lobby, which feels me with overwhelming anxiety. I find I try to rush through things rather than really building a rapport, so slowing down obviously would help. What other suggestions would you have for a newbie to all this in terms of her performance anxiety? Do I just need more exposure to kids? The thing is, I really love kids and children's lit and the whole idea of services to children. But it's kind of like horses--I love horses but they're kind of big and scary when I'm up close to them (never mind my allergies). Do children's librarians have to be born, or can they be made?

Any suggestions? I'll welcome any wisdom you might have. Thanks in advance.

I know, it sounds a little pathetic, but it's true. If any of you have suggestions, I'd welcome them, too. I think it's about performance anxiety coupled with just not being that conversant with children. What do you think?

Today was the first time since I went up on the lamictal

that I forgot to take my night meds. I'm a little groggy this morning, although I feel better now that I've eaten an apple. Tongight I'll be sure to take them. I have taken my morning meds, which consists of my metformin.

The weekend went well. I worked my normal 10 hours on Saturday and then yesterday we finished up things in San Francisco during the game except for those trapped inside Yog Sothoth. Since both of my characters there are trapped inside, my contribution was primarily taking notes, but it was still fun.

Friday, July 28, 2006

I had a talk with my psychiatric nurse practitioner

(that sounds like so much of a mouthful), it's just easier to say therapist I suppose, but she doesn't really do therapy so much as medication management, and I have someone else who is actually my therapist. Maybe I can call her my PNP. :)

Anyway, we're decreasing the Paxil to 25 mg for a week (because I was out anyway and had gone down before running out, and she had exactly one package to give me of the 25 mg Paxil CR, and increasing the lamictal up to 200 mg over the next couple of weeks. I'm taking the lamictal at my evening meal to try to counteract the daytime sleepiness I was having when I took it during the day or at bedtime.

So, it should be an interesting 2 weeks, as we see if this works for me. I'm still on the Abilify at the normal dose, too, so that should help keep things on an even keel.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

She had so much to live for

and in an instant, all her dreams and aspirations were over. I was saddened to read of a 21-year-old who died of a heart attack the other day. She had been a child model, actress and cheerleader. At 15 she'd had an enlarged heart and had to have a heart transplant. She had graduated from college, was set to start teaching this fall, and had just gotten married earlier this month to a medical student. They had just returned from their honeymoon when she died.

She seemed to have crammed so much living into such a young life. She had so much to look forward to; she was truly poised to live out her dreams.

And I have to admit, along with the sadness, came a tickle of embarrassment that I am here, almost forty years old, and have not really lived as fully as she did. What would someone really say in my obituary? What have I really accomplished that I set out to do? Alright, I am a librarian, I have a bachelor's and master's. But I always saw myself getting a PhD. In terms of relationships I have to say I'm a failure, both in the ones I have and in the staying out of them for as long as I have.

But I still have hope. And I suppose I do affect other people's lives to a small degree just by being me. I have good friendships. I have my dog and cat. I'm a little lonely, sure, and not as active as I should be, but I'm also working three jobs and just trying to make ends meet. So I suppose I'm doing okay for now. Still, with the big 4-0 looming in the not-so-distant future, I'm looking back at my wasted youth and wishing I'd done things differently, and looking forward and thinking of ways to do so. It'll probably be harder to do some of them now rather than then, but I have to try. Otherwise, am I really living?

Monday, July 24, 2006

Okay, they don't include data from the newer laparoscopic surgeries but

40% of weight-loss surgeries develop complications. The article doesn't mention if the study dealt with death rates at all, which last I saw ran between 1 and 2% (doesn't sound bad, but that's 1 in 100 to 1 in 200, and that's pretty high in my book). The number of surgeries are rising, just as the number of obese people are rising, and women are much more likely to seek the procedure than men. This article didn't include a quote that the New York Times (free with registration) did about how 'The number of people receiving the operation “may be less than 1 percent of those who need it"'...there aren't a lot of standards yet, but one I've heard is that you have to be 100 lbs overweight, but that seems to be fudged in some cases. I've actually heard of people gaining weight so they can have the procedure.

The thing is, this is a lifestyle choice--a drastic one--in which you are forced to eat differently than you have in the past, but with a lot of complications and pretty radical means. It's a choice you make for the rest of your life. Average weight loss over 10 years is about 44-66 lbs. If you don't eat properly, you can negate the surgery by expanding the stomach pouch, in essence wasting everything. Wouldn't it actually be easier to just eat healthfully and exercise to take off this amount of weight, without spending thousands in health care and risking other complications and death? This surgery was developed for people so obese that they could not exercise without putting strain on their system. The people I have seen had the surgery look like balloons that had the air let out of them; they seem haggard and sometimes too thin--especially if they weren't that fat to begin with.

I'm not ruling it out forever--the techniques could be better, or I could get to the point where I truly need it--but I'd rather work on it myself rather than have people rearrange things in my body and basically cause myself malnourishment to meet some sort of societal standard of thinness. What matters is health, and you can be overweight and healthy so long as you are active and eating right, and if you're doing it well, then you're less likely to be overweight, too.

I also have a theory that if you eat like the regimen given to these patients, you'll lose weight, too, although you may have more hunger cravings. Why not try that before surgery (under proper supervision of doctors and dieticians, of course)? Why expose yourself to the dangers of the surgery unless the health benefits TRULY outweight the risks in your case?

The first time someone I knew went through the surgery, I remember my reaction was one of instant anger. I'm not sure why I reacted that way...it seemed that it was a response to such a drastic measure. We're basically telling people it's okay to be dying to be thin, or at least changing your body and your habits so you'll spend the rest of your life eating differently from your peers. In other quarters, that's considered an eating disorder. Here, it's encouraged.

I just don't get it. I'm sure the surgery works for some, but I think others are chasing a magic pill that doesn't exist. And frankly, this surgery isn't going to solve all the problems the person may have...he or she will still have most of them, but just be thinner.

This so makes me want to go to the gym. Grrrr....

Heaven save me

from people who are too lazy or impatient to take a ream of paper and put it into the copier, leaving it for the next person to do.

Yes, I watched someone do this today. Fortunately the other girls were not so inclined, as I was busy with another patron, and they not only put a ream in but filled it up, for which I thanked them.

I'm cranky today; I just found out I have about $1.30 to my name rather than the $10 I thought I have, so I may not be able to eat lunch today; I think I'm premenstrual, and I don't have my normal patience for idiots. Grrrrrrr...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

A long day

I worked a 10-hour shift, as is usual on Saturdays for me. I enjoy working with my coworker Phillip, who has a great sense of humour and a similar quality to one of mine--a childlike wonder for the world. He also has my blend of laziness and if you're going to do something, do it right.

Today something special and unexpected happened. I won't go into it here, and nothing came of it, but let's say it was an act of random kindness on the part of a customer that could have had really good consequences. Oh, well, we can still dream anyway, and it WAS sweet.

Friday, July 21, 2006

N's send off went well

She's moving to Lawrence, Kansas, to pursue a phD in psychology. We got together tonight, several of us from the hospital, and had a party in her honour. The highlight--several people put their hair up in N's signature 'minibun' hair style. It's hard to believe that Wednesday will be her last day! :(

A study on blogging

I blog, therefore I am

This morning is blissfully cooler

A front came through last night. Granted, it's grey outside and looks like it could rain at any moment, but it IS cooler. Yay.

A good step in the right direction

Men's breast cancer website launched

Yes, they're in the minority, but men do get breast cancer and are often left out of education and events to bring about awareness.

The website itself is http://www.nbcc.org.au/men.


Google tests more accessible Web search for blind

Another questionnaire

Participate with me on this. I only sent this to folks whose answers are bound to be clever! This is what you are supposed to do, and try not to be LAME and spoil the fun! Just give in and do it. Copy, not forward, this entire e-mail and paste it into new email. Change all the answers so that they apply to you then send this to a whole bunch of people you know. *including* the person who sent it to you. Put your name in the subject. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about your friends. It is fun and easy 52 questions to answer.

1. FIRST NAME? Elisabeth (Birthname: Lisa)

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? No, my parents specifically made sure I wasn't


4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes, even though others describe it as 'bump, bump, loop, loop'

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH-MEAT? Back when I ate meat, pimiento

6. KIDS? 0 (just a dog and cat who think they are)


8. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Yes, an online blog.


10. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes, despite many infections as a child...they were never free of infection long enough to do the surgery.






16. SHOE Size? 6 1/2 double wide

17. RED OR PINK? Red. I generally despise pink. But I can't wear either.


19. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My cat, Spock.



22. LAST THING YOU ATE? Sundae cone ice cream.

23. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? 'If you're gone' by Matchbox Twenty

24. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Indian Red. Yeah, I know, you thought I'd say Purple, didn't you?

25. FAVORITE SMELL? Lavender




29. FAVORITE DRINK? Diet Pepsi

31. EYE COLOR? Hazel Brown

33. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Not presently, but I have.




37. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Um, blue. We covered that already.





43. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Poppy Done to Death by Charlaine Harris



46. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Celtic music


48. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO GOSSIP THE MOST: YOUR SISTER, BROTHER, FRIEND OR IN-LAW? I guess it would be my friend...I don't have any of the others.

49. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Vandenburg AFB, California

50. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Finding things for other people

51. WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU BORN? April 2, 1967 Danville, KY

52. Who sent this to you? Jody, a friend from elementary school

How awful!

Soldier Whose Family Was Slain Returns

To be serving in Iraq and to find that your wife, two young sons, and sister-in-law have apparently been killed by a neighbour...I can't imagine.


It's been 98 degrees today, with a heat index above that due to the humidity. It's 85 now, in the middle of the night. It's so hot in the daytime it takes your breath away. I'm so glad I work and live in air conditioning. Just wish it applied to my car as well.

Jody sent me the following questionnaire, so I thought I'd respond to the questions here:

Things you may not have known about me.....

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Toys R' Us stocker (yes, I wore the stupid orange and white blazer)
2. Gas station attendant (currently, in addition to being a librarian and web designer)
3. Kroger cashier (the only time I've been union)
4. Telephone survey researcher (for the university, not telemarketing)

B) Four movies I would watch over and over
1. The Mummy
2. The Mummy Returns
3. Stargate (see the Aegyptian theme?)
4. Back to the Future trilogy

C) Four places I have lived
1. Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina
2. Edwards AFB, California
3. Belle Plaine, Kansas (pop. 1800)
4. Barksdale AFB, Louisiana

D) Four TV shows I love to watch:
1. Charmed
2. CSI (the original)
3. Whose Line is It Anyway
4. Anything involving forensics or the paranormal

E) Four places I have been on vacation:
1. Hunting Island, South Carolina
2. Danville, Kentucky
3. Great Smoky Mountains State Park, Tennessee/North Carolina
4. Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

F) Four Websites visited daily:
1. Google.com
2. Pubmed.gov
3. Docline.gov
4. Blogger.com

G) Four of my favorite foods:
1. Naan
2. Tofu in Sesame Sauce (from Great Wall only)
3. Mashed Potatoes
4. Chocolate

H) Four places I would rather be right now:
1. At the beach
2. Britain or Ireland
3. Europe
4. Mammoth Cave (hey, it's a steady 56 degrees and it's hot outside)

I) Four friends I think will respond
1. N
2. B
3. D
4. J

Now, here's what you're supposed to do... and please do not spoil the fun. Copy the message, Hit forward, delete my answers and type in your answers.

Then send this to a whole bunch of people you know INCLUDING the person who sent it to you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little known facts about those who know you.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bipolar Disorder in Women

from the Bipolar Disorder Daily News Blog

I feel kind of flat and sleepy

most of the time, and I think it's because of the Lamictal (lamotrigine). Basically I seem to be having trouble really having much enthusiasm for anything and tend to zone easily. It's possible that I'm currently over medicated and once we start taking the Paxil away, things will get better.

I had a panic attack the other day, or emotional storms as I like to call them, where my anxiety built up to a breaking point. I think I blogged about it here. I basically felt trapped in the car during the rain and wound up yelling at a friend for no good reason. Apparently Lamictal can increase anxiety or hypomanic symptoms, although it does better with the depression issues.

Oh, well. I hope this sorts out soon, because I just don't feel like myself per se, and I'm trying to make some plans for the future and just keep everything juggling in the air at the same time. Tonight I go up to 100 mg (from 50), so I should have a better idea of how it'll work or not.

Rare and Aged Bowheads

Rare Whales Can Live to Nearly 200, Eye Tissue Reveals

Adult stem cell use could put the debate to rest

Studies back up U of L stem-cell findings

Those in the DC area may want to check this out

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE History of Medicine Division


WEDNESDAY, JULY 26, 2006, 2:00-3:15 pm,
Lister Hill Visitors Center, Bldg 38A, NLM; Bethesda, MD

"And then came the Nuremberg Trials..." A.C. Ivy and the Myth of the Nazi Ban on Vivisection"
Speaker: Ryan Shapiro, M.A.
Shortly after the Nazi seizure of power, Hermann Göring announced to the German people that "vivisection of animals of whatsoever species is prohibited in all parts of Prussian territory." No ban, in fact, went into effect. Nonetheless, the Nazi ban on vivisection, and its alleged consequences in the human experimentation laboratories of the concentration camps, became an enduring rhetorical weapon for American researchers combating antivivisectionists. Focusing on eminent Chicago physiologist and drafter of the Nuremberg Code, Andrew Conway Ivy (1893-1978), this presentation explores National Socialist animal experimentation in law and practice, the genesis and propagation of the myth of the Nazi ban on vivisection, and Ivy's central position within the controversies over continued human and animal experimentation in the United States Ryan Shapiro is a doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
All are Welcome
Note: The next history of medicine seminar will be on Tuesday, August 15, 2006 from 2:00-3:15pm, in the Lister Hill Visitor's Center; NLM's Bldg 38A. Prof. Liping Bu of Alma University will discuss NLM's collection of Chinese Public Health posters.

Sponsored by the History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine. Sign language interpretation will be provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact Stephen Greenberg at (301-435-4995), e-mail greenbes@mail.nih.gov, or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339).

Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are advised to consult the NIH Visitors and Security website at: http://www.nih.gov/about/visitorsecurity.htm

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Family Reunion Time

I had a great time at the family reunion on Sunday. There were only two mishaps (I walked into a glass table and managed to break the figure on it, and my cousin Steve lost his car keys for awhile so there was a general hunt for them.)

I saw family I hadn't seen since my grandfather's funeral (six years! ago), and it's the first time we've all been in one place in about twenty five years. I also met some family members I'd never met before. We all met at my cousin Buddy's farm near Perryvile. Among the attendees: My mom, John, and John's son Robert, my grandmother, my Aunt Sharon and Uncle Terry, their kids Craig and Steve, plus Craig's wife Lisa Ruth and children Ally and Ethan, my Uncle Ed and Aunt Sharon, their children Jan and David, Jan's daughter Emma, David's wife Tammy and children Alex, Ryan, and Jacob. Funny how there were five of us cousins, two girls and three boys, and the great-grandchildren are also numbered five--two girls and three boys. There's only two of us who haven't reproduced--Steve and I--and while I suppose there's hope for Steve, (who's only thirty, an engineer, and quite available for those girls down there in Mississippi) I'm starting to lose hope. Still, that's okay.

The kids loved Buddy's pool and water slide, and were entranced by the four-wheel ATVs. Buddy and the guys took turns giving them rides. Since I work in a hospital that takes care of kids injured by ATVs, I sort of held my breath, but they were careful and everything worked out okay. Buddy also has Belgian draft horses, which I didn't get to see but sounded lovely.

We ate way much (and I've eaten leftovers for two days now). Man, the Craig family takes potlucks seriously, as you can see by our number of hefty adults (something I'm still not used to--I was always the one fat kid in the bunch, and my cousins, while not all fat per se, are fairly stout. One of my grandomother's cousins had had bariatric surgery, although I didn't realise it until someone mentioned it after he'd left, or else I would have questioned him about it, and got a personal perspective. Buddy's been going to Weight Watchers and doing really well, and when I mentioned I needed to lose weight he shared a little of his experiences there. It's something to think about.

I have to admit at first I was a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of people and despite their being relatives my social anxiety kicked in. I was especially nervous around the kids, just as I am at work. I don't know why they scare me a little, I suppose because they're so vulnerable and my own experiences have left me a little scarred about my own childhood. I just don't have an easy manner around kids, something I wish would change but I expect it comes with more exposure. Despite working in a children's hospital, up to this point I didn't really do much interacting with the kids. Now I'm expected to do storytimes and a library cart, and although I think the ideas are great, I'm not sure I'm the best person to do it. Anyway, once I talked with my Aunt Sharon Sue (there are two Aunt Sharons, as you can see above) and with various cousins, I felt better.

I did feel rather flat in my affect, and that may be the lamictal. My mom said that when she called the other day to check and see if I could come I didn't sound like myself. We'll see how this medicine works.

Well, that's the update. Otherwise I just worked during the weekend without too much excitement. That's all for now. Take care.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Sometimes, I find it hard to believe I'm crazy

and other times, like tonight, I feel really fucked up, like there's no point in going on, and crazy rears its ugly head, and the rages come out, this heartrending tantrum of emotion--anger, sadness, all sorts of things tangled up and pulling at me from all sides, and I wonder if I'm at a point of going to the hospital. Like always, they only last about 20 minutes. I haven't had one in months, maybe even years, and this one surfacing after the lamictal's had a chance to start working is worrisome. I feel fine now, a little drained, but a short time ago I was screaming at a dear friend to basically shut up and leave me the hell alone.

I don't want to be like this.

I want to be well.

I'm tired of this.

So tired of all this.

Friday, July 14, 2006

I'm not sure how I feel about this

The other day the employee health nurse sat down in my office and told me of another employee's success with Lap-Band (TM) Surgery, and how she thought I would be a good candidate for it.

I don't feel comfortable doing anything so drastic yet in my life. Bariatric surgery has a high death rate (1 in 100/200), although I'm not sure about the Lap-Band, as it's less invasive and seems to have lower side effects. But there are a lot of lifestyle adjustments to make in how you eat, not drinking carbonated beverages, etc. It seems to me that if you are willing to make those adjustments, then you'll lose weight anyway without the surgery--it's just that the surgery assures that you feel full. On the other hand, it's reversible (the band can be removed) and adjustable (through a stoma in your abdomen). It's certainly not as drastic as many other procedures I wouldn't consider at all.

I have to admit, for me losing weight and being a normal size is a sort of personal Holy Grail. I've spent my entire life believing I was fat (and for my adult life, I have been). I don't know what it's like to be normal. So much of my overeating has been emotional, and although I don't do that so much anymore, sometimes I slip. If I had the surgery and did that, I'd make myself very, very sick. A lot of my weight has been a sort of insulator socially so I didn't have to worry about dating or relationships, although as I come out of my shell I realise people flirt with me anyway, so it's not as much of a barrier as I always believed it to be. I do think it's a barrier to getting a decent job; fat acceptance is not where it needs to be in this country, although as we become supersized as a population, I think that will change.

I'd rather work on diet and exercise first before going with something so drastic. But I have to admit, I've mulled it over, and will continue to do so. Perhaps at some point I will pursue it as a last resort. I certainly would be heathier overall without the amount of weight I'm carrying. And I know that the nurse was trying to be helpful, but I'm a little offended that I can't be accepted for myself as I am, and that I might be expected to go to such lengths to change my body to meet some societal norm.

You know?


What a crazy hour of panic.

Of course, I'm starting to move from panic to pissed.

Remember the big car repair bill? I paid half down and made a payment, but then fell behind between the need for a starter and some other financial issues I've been having. Today I get a phone call on my way to work where the man asked for half of the balance by today or he'll go down Monday and swear out a warrant for theft by deception, which at this amount would be a felony. He said they would arrest me (not that I see how this gets their money back, but I took him at his word).

So I panicked for about forty minutes.

Then I calmed down (thank you JoAnn!) and called our company's EAP (Employee Assistance Programme) which includes legal counseling. Once I got to a lawyer, I was told that at no point by not paying have I committed a crime, and that any charge against me would be untenable. Basically, the worst they could do would be sue me. If by some chance a warrant was made, and I was arrested, then I should hire a lawyer not only to get out of the mess but to sue them, according to the man I talked to. In other words, they were trying to scare me into paying. Well, they succeeded in scaring me.

So I'm calmer. But I'm actually rather pissed that they tried to strongarm me by threatening me with legal action they couldn't back up.

Still, all told, the lamictal seems to be working as a mood stabiliser--I didn't panic into doing something more stupid.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Simplifying the cocktail regimen for HIV

FDA Approves Once-Daily Combo Drug for HIV

This must have been interesting from a logistical standpoint, as it combines drugs made by different pharmaceutical companies.

The implications for international use, where it is particularly difficult to get patients to comply with the regimen, are outstanding. The pill would be considered for purchase in Third World countries under the President's Plan for AIDS Relief. Of course, at $1,150 per 30-day supply, it's incredibly expensive otherwise, but it's apparently the same as the drugs would cost separately, yet in a once-a-day formulation.

Questions about the New World Order?

Yes, I know, it's a crackpot kind of thing, but we get crackpot questions occasionally--and of course the answers are important to the asker. These were actually posted in response to a librarian's questions about government documents that mention it.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I forgot to take my meds last night (I'd switched to taking them at night to combat the daytime sleepiness the lamictal was giving me), plus I ate some strawberry cream cake fairly late, and today I feel really out of it, downright wonky. I was a little late for work as a result, with my brain just spinning this morning on all sorts of things, none of them related. Let's hope this gets better now that I've taken my meds.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Babies, babies, babies

Tonight we had a shower for one of the girls at work who is expecting her first child. This is the second shower I've been too in a couple of weeks--my first ones. I think I know how D felt going to showers when she was trying to conceive. There was a pang of regret in that I'm not sure I'll ever have a child. Part of me is fine with it, and I don't think I could handle such a responsibility (I'm lucky if I take care of myself!)l, plus the idea of passing on my health problems is not particularly pleasant, but part of me really wants children, and unless I miraculously get in a position where I'm financially stable and have a partner, I don't see that happening. I turn 40 next year, so the biological clock is definitely ticking. There's one other woman about four years younger than I am that's probably better off in some ways (she owns her own house, etc.) but has no man in the picture, and definitely wants children. I suppose what's meant to be will be, but it's a little painful. Of course, if I am ever financially secure I could adopt, I suppose. Part of it too is that I see these women and they're mostly quite a bit younger than I am and they just seem to have it together financially and personally. I feel very much like an outsider sometimes who's looking through a window rather than really participating.

Monday, July 10, 2006

I'm proud of myself

I told a woman off today. I'm not one for direct confrontation--I shook the entire time, but I'm very proud of myself for doing so, even though it may mean a complaint about me at the gas station. She drove up with a passenger that had a 6 month old baby in her lap--no carseat in the car, etc. This incensed both the assistant manager and me, and the woman came in complaining about another customer using a cuss word in front of the child and then gave us all sorts of grief over some coupons she wanted to use, wanting us to call the manager at home, etc. Finally I said:

'Do you have airbags in that car?'
Surprised, she answered, 'Yes, yes I do.' She sounded pleased.
'You do realise that if you hit anything, that baby is dead, don't you?'
(Acts surprised). 'Oh, did she take her out? She stays in the back in a carseat whenever I drive.'
'We watched you drive up with that baby in the front, and there isn't even a carseat to be seen.'

Needless to say, she got all huffy and left, backing up very slowly so we couldn't get the licence number. I think she knew we were going to alert the cops if we could. My assistant manager called the manager and explained the situation just in case there was a complaint. Later, the passenger came back sans child and got a money order, and we sent one of the other guys to get the licence number, and called it in to one of the policewomen who regularly stop by. They'll run the plate and find out the area where the women live and keep an eye out. It's not much, but maybe together we helped save that child's life. I think I shocked my assistant manager--they all think of me as really shy, which is partly true, and she was really proud of me. :)

Well, there goes one argument against my bumpersticker

I got a bumpersticker over the Fourth that says 'a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle', and one of my male friends took issue with it, explaining that women say they don't need men until, say, they want a baby (there were other arguments concerning what happens when you need a doctor or mechanic that happen to be male). Of course, I'm not avocating some man-hating Amazon thing here; I just personally don't find I need a man to be fulfilled, but I couldn't really argue against the sperm necessity.

Until now.

First live births from artificial sperm grown from embryonic stem cells. Oh, yeah, they're mice, but you know if allowed the research will eventually make it to human beings, although there is such an ethical mire associated with stem cells and fertility treatments. Here's some other possibilities, quoted from the article:

In the longer term, it may even prove possible to produce sperm from female stem cells, and eggs from male ones, allowing homosexual couples to have children that bear the genes of both parents.

This would also enable a single man or woman to provide both the sperm and eggs needed to create an embryo, so that a person could essentially mate with himself or herself."

That latter rather wigs me out, because you'd have a child with 100% of your genes but not cloned, so any defects would me much more likely to pass down, you'd think. And whereas theoretically a clone would have all the benefits and failings of the person cloned, a child conceived this way would have unpredictable traits. I certainly wouldn't do it without some major gene study/counseling.

Anyway, there's your weird science story for the day.

A recommendation from librarian Lisa Traditi, reposted with permission:

Dear Colleagues,

The Tour de France is in its early stages and watching it reminded me of a cancer resource that I wanted to share with all of you.

This spring I discovered what looks like a really useful tool for cancer patients and their families from the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF).
Many of you may know about this already, if so, feel free to ignore this message.

LAF has produced a "LIVESTRONG(tm) Survivorship Notebook" and will send it, for only the cost of shipping and handling, to anyone, including libraries. They allow bulk ordering, in case any of you work in a cancer library or cancer center where you might wish to have a stack of these notebooks on hand to give to patients or their family members.
See below for ordering info. Good information and resources are included. I thought the Survivorship Tools would be especially useful -- worksheets one can use to help prepare for medical appointments, track meds and treatments, and keep insurance and other info in one place.

Quoted from LAF material:
"The LIVESTRONG(tm) Survivorship Notebook is a useful tool to help cancer survivors organize and guide their cancer experience. The portable, three-ring binder contains a variety of information covering a full range of physical, emotional and practical survivorship topics."

"To receive a sample copy:
The notebooks are free, however shipping and handling charges do apply.
You may order a notebook by going to the Lance Armstrong Foundation website at www.livestrong.org and clicking on the store. Follow the prompts that take you to the order page.
Complete the information and you will receive a notebook in approx 5-10 days. You may order up to 20 notebooks on the website. If you would like more than 20 copies, please email notebookbulkorders@laf.org to receive special bulk shipping rates."

-- Lisa

Disclaimer: I discovered this resource during volunteer work I do for two LAF benefit bicycle rides held in Moab, Utah (the Moab Skinny Tire Festival and the Moab Century Tour -- y'all come!). I have no formal, including monetary, ties to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, although I greatly admire and support their work.

Cross Cultural Guides

Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange: Cultural Monograph Series has rehabilitation guides for serving people who were born outside the United States. Check it out.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A typical Sunday

Today I did better in the game, although I barely played...I have one character being sucked into Yog Sothoth and one just being introduced who isn't where the action is just yet. No breakdowns, at least. :)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Weirdos abound

Today was a little weird. We had two drive-offs, I really pissed a couple off by carding the male and refusing to sell a cigar to the female who came in to buy it for him. She was pregnant and hormonal--or so she said--and really went off on me. I stood my ground and pointed out it was the law and they left. One of the guys quit because we haven't got our paycheques yet. They usually come on Wednesday but haven't yet, but in actuality our payday is Monday so they technically have then to pay us; I'm sure he was made aware of this, although he seems to have forgotten. Apparently they wrote a rubber cheque for the rent that isn't going to make it without his pay on time. That is his responsibility, not the company's. Oh, well. He came in at one point badmouthing the manager and generally making a fuss, saying that another person wasn't coming in (and then the person did, proving him wrong). We also had panhandlers in the parking lot who tried to get a cup of ice, then changed it to a small 50 cent beer, then tried to drink the beer on the premises, for which they were told to leave (we don't have a licence to serve). I really wish one of the police had been in at that point to get him for an open contaner. I'm just glad the day is over. After work I've tried fixing a printer and I'm stumped on what to try next. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be a non-professional techie--you know just enough to be asked to do things but not necessarily enough to do them. The print test page works fine, and it even prints part of the document (sometimes) but otherwise hangs up in the middle of the print job. It's a Lexmark X125 connected to a Windows XP machine by a USB port. The drivers for both the printer and the USB are the most recent. I'm about at my wits' end.

PS I heard a radio ad where they were going on about being able to play video games on the TV to get a truly wonderful experience. Maybe I'm showing my age, but I rememeber when the only way to play a video game WAS on the TV. It's not that special of a thing...really, although new games are way better than Pong

Friday, July 07, 2006

Joint Conference of Librarians of Colour

Gathering the Waters: Embracing Our Spirts, Telling Our Stories

This conference will be October 11-5, 2006 in Dallas, Texas. Included are five caucus associations which are affiliates of the American Library Association. The 2006 joint national conference is co-sponsored by the American Indian Library Association (AILA); the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA); the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA); the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Provide Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. This is the first time they have come together in a combined national meeting.

The MLA will exhibit at the conference.

Hey, but you'll be happy that Velociraptor made it

New words; OED Online - Oxford English Dictionary

Actually, Google's a Verb in the Oxford English Dictionary

as of June 15th. Other inclusions are 'yada yada' and 'energizer bunny'.

So for those purists out there...hah!

Okay, it's not the OED, but...

google, with a small "g" will appear in the 11th edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary.

And then there's this

Librarian Search Engine

Librarians in the media

About Ask.com: TV Spots show founder Dr. Apostolos Gerasoulis talking about the search engines in a variety of settings, one of which is a library, where he details librarians using Ask.com to find information.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

You learn something new every day

ARACHIBUTYROPHOBIA is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth. I was browsing through Wikipedia and found that gem. Fortunately I don't have this relatively common phobia.

Listening to

Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Hey, I didn't miss the fireworks

They didn't have them, due to a storm we had between the festival and the time they normally have them. So, the Idle Hour folks will be having them for Labour Day instead. So, I still get to watch a fireworks display this year. Yay.

PS I really craved peshwari naan, so we went back to Masala today. This time I had eggplant bakhta (I think that's what it was called), skipped the appetizer and dessert to save money, and it was just as heavenly. I'd like to see how their buffet is.

Actually they're correlated, and at least in depression, it goes both ways

with chances of obesity rising with depression and vice versa. Interestingly, obese people are less likely to have substance abuse issues (probably because they're addicted to food already?). Anyway, I found it interesting that being fat increases your chances for depression, bipolar disorder, and panic disorder.

Obesity Raises Risk Of Psychiatric Disorders

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday, America

Well, I only got a little burned at the Fourth of July festival, mainly on my shoulder where my seat belt and purse go. I bought a couple of pairs of earrings, the traditional funnel cake, and some lemonade. Then I watched the parade, which seemed very, very long. Somebody with a sense of humour arranged to have military oil tankers followed by the Unitarian kids calling for peace. The Fairness folks had a good contingent, too. I donated $5 to Fairness (which works for equality based on sexual orientation), talked to a woman from the chorus, and got a rainbow-coloured diversity ribbon magnet for my car (made in America, by the way, just so you don't think I'm supporting the Chinese-made yellow ribbon industry). I also gave $1 to the National Organisation for Women (NOW) and got a bumper sticker that says 'a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle' and managed to offend one of my male friends with that one. I did miss the fireworks, though; my friend and I were eating and I got to the display right after they finished.

It's been good to be off, to take a bit of a break. This next little bit will be very busy at work, so I felt like I got to recharge a bit.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Yum...Indian Goodness

To celebrate being off on an additional day of holiday (the Fourth being Tuesday, it just made sense to take off Monday), we went to Masala, a new Indian restaurant by the same folks that own Tandoor. It's over in Beaumont. It is absolutely to die for...and they do carryout. :) I had the vegetable pakora and korma with garlic naan and pishwari naan (the latter has a mixture of cashews and raisins, and is wonderful). I followed it all up with gulab jamun, the sweet balls in syrup. Appetizer, meal, drinks, and dessert ran $28. It's the best Indian food I've had, better than Kashmir or even my old haunt, the Taj Mahal. I heartily recommend it.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

I really screwed up in the game today

I froze when I needed to make a decision. Well, it's just a game you say. But I do that in real life, too. I have such anxiety over making the wrong choice that I inevitably do exactly that.

How idiotic. And partly because of it, I now have a character who's going to be drawn inside Yog Sothoth (this is REALLY BAD, in case you don't know anything about HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos), and because other characters are pregnant or training or trapped in a bubble reality we call Mageland, I'm out of characters. So, it's time to come up with another. I think I'll go with a male this time (we're very female heavy), a Jewish photojournalist.