Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Thursday, May 29, 2008

An April Fool's Day joke taken seriously on library lists

Google Buys OCLC, Announces New Products

Strangely enough, it's an April Fool's post from last year, but I've seen it on both LIBREF-L and MEDLIB-L.

What may have started it is the recent news that:

OCLC and Google to exchange data, link digitized books to WorldCat, which is true.

Anyway, always look at those dates. Many people swallowed it, until the joke was pointed out or they were gently nudged to the date and comments on the ALA blog.

Calls for writers (sorry, long!)

Seeking Submissions from U.S. Librarians for ALA Editions

The Published Librarian: Successful Professional and Personal Writing
(American Library Association)

Foreword: Bob Blanchard, Adult Services Librarian, Des Plaines Public Library. Contributor to Illinois Librarians; Thinking Outside the Book: Essays for Innovative Librarians (McFarland, 2008)

Afterword: Dr. Ann Riedling, LIS Faculty, Mansfield University.
Learning to Learn: A Guide to Becoming Information Literate in the 21st Century (Neal-Schuman, 2006)

Practical, concise, how-to articles. No previously published, simultaneously submitted, co-authored material. Two articles required sharing different experiences from each contributor: 1900-2100 words total; for example, one article could be 1000 words and a 900-1100 word article on another topic. Librarians with ethnic backgrounds serving diverse cultures are encouraged to share.

Editor Carol Smallwood, M.L.S., has written, co-authored, edited 19 books such as Educators as Writers for Scarecrow, Libraries Unlimited, Peter Lang, and others. Her work has appeared in English Journal, Clackamas Literary Review, The Detroit News, Poesia, and several others including anthologies. Pudding House Publications published her chapbook, 2008; Words and Images of Belonging co-edited with Aurorean editor is with an agent; a recent book is http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-3575-3

Possible topics: marketing, online publishing, where to send reviews, research skills for historical novels, using editing a library newsletter to edit books, diversity in publication, ideas from students for YA books, using tools like BIP to locate publishers for your books, storytellers turned picture book authors, blogs and author web sites, interviewing, writing groups, networking, using a technology edge, promoting your books at conferences. Using issues librarians face such as censorship in poetry, essays, memoir, short stories, columns.

Deadline July 30, 2008

Please send more than 2 topics with annotations for feedback; a sample article may be requested. Compensation: a complimentary copy, discount on additional copies. Please submit topics for consideration with a 65-70 word bio. Place LIBRARIANS/your name on the subject line to: smallwood@tm.net

Sample bio:
Suzanne Doe, a subject bibliographer at Central Michigan University, obtained her M.L.I.S. from the University of North Texas. She has been published in American Libraries, Beloit Poetry Journal, Library Trends. Her recent books include: The Mystery Woman (Random House, 2006); Adagio Sunset Candle (Poetry Press, 2008); Midwest Library Organizations (McFarland, forthcoming). She received the Kitty Maize Fiction Award, 2008. An avid skier, Suzanne organizes writing workshops for Pine Arts Council.


Seeking Submissions from U.S. Women Writers for 3 Proposed Books*

Guidelines also on:
http://www.encirclepub.com/poetry/aurorean/announcements (bottom of page)


Writing, Publishing, and Teaching Tips from Contemporary American Women Poets

Foreword by Robin Merrill, Maine Poets Society President 2006-2007. M.F.A. Stonecoast. With hundreds of poems published, some from her chapbook Laundry & Stories (Moon Pie Press) were featured on Garrison Keillor's "Writers' Almanac." http://www.robinmerrill.com

Afterword by the editors of Iris Magazine, an award-winning publication of 27 years celebrating and empowering young women through provocative articles, essays, and fiction pieces that are uplifting, inclusive, and literate.

Markets for women, why women write, time management, using life experience, women's magazines, critique groups, networking, blogs, unique issues women must overcome, lesbian and bisexual writing, formal education, queries and proposals, conference participation, family scheduling, feminist writing, self-publishing, teaching tips, are just a few areas women poets are interested.

Practical, concise, how-to articles with bullets/headings have proven the most helpful. Please avoid writing about "me" and concentrate on what will most help the reader. A question and answer format for interviews may be used.


Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages

Foreword by Carolyn Lesser, Webster University, St. Louis, MO, nonfiction writing faculty; natural science children's books published by Harcourt, Alfred A. Knopf; essayist, poet, photographer, keynote speaker, artist.

Afterword by Dr. Loriene Roy, 2007-2008 President of the American Library Association. Professor, University of Texas at Austin, founder of "If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything," a national reading club for Native American children.

Please consider sharing the important milestones, life changing events, transitions in your life--material that would broadly fit the "Women's Studies" genre that is highly readable, moving and relatable. There are the passages that occur to us (for example, losing a loved one, having to relocate) and then the passages we
choose (such as getting a degree in mid-life, adopting a child). Please focus on those pivotal moments and why they were important passages for you.

This book celebrates our passages as women, from one moment into another, from one door to the next. Often it is after the navigation, that in reflection, we see that some of the most difficult are the ones we have learned the most and have had lasting effects as well on those around us.

Guidelines for Writing, Publishing, and Teaching Tips from Contemporary American Women Poets and/or Contemporary American Women: Our Defining Passages:

Step 1: send your proposed topics before writing articles to avoid duplication; proposed topics must be accompanied by a 65-70 word bio with your present position, location, relevant publications, career highlights for the contributor page; please use POETS or PASSAGES/your name on the subject line to brackett-vincent@encirclepub.com.

Step 2:(if your topics are approved): deadline for submissions (by e-mail only) is July 30, 2008. Again, please use POETS or PASSAGES in the subject line; send to Cynthia at brackett-vincent@encirclepub.com in a Word document (.doc format only) using 12-point font.

Article specifics: word total for 1-2 articles based on your experience: 1,900 minimum; maximum 2,100. Two articles preferred. If submitting two articles, please break them up fairly evenly in word count.

No previously published or simultaneously submitted material. Contributors must be reside in the U.S. Books such as this can typically take up to a year to compile. Contributors receive a complimentary copy and contributor's discount on additional copies.

Co-editor Cynthia Brackett-Vincent is publisher/editor of the esteemed Aurorean poetry journal; poetry instructor; award-winning poet; author of The 95 Poems chapbook (2005) and contributor to Educators as Writers: Publishing for Personal and Professional Development. In 2007, her poems received a citation, honorable mention and second place in the National Federation of State Poetry Societies, New England Writers and Maine Poets Society competitions. View Cynthia at http://www.encirclepub.com/poetry/aurorean/editor

Co-editor, Carol Smallwood has written, co-authored, and edited 19 books such as Educators as Writers for Scarecrow, Libraries Unlimited. An award-winning writer, her work has appeared in English Journal, Clackamas Literary Review, Iris, and several others including anthologies; chapbook, Pudding House 2008; Educators as Writers, Peter Lang 2006; and http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-3575-3


U.S. Women on Family: Writing, Publishing, and Teaching Tips

Foreword: Robbi Hess, Journalist, co-author, Complete Idiot's Guide to 30,000 Baby Names (Penguin Books); Editor, Byline Magazine

Afterword: Suzanne Bunkers, Professor of English, Minnesota State University, editor of Diaries of Girls and Women: a Midwestern American Sampler (University of Wisconsin Press)

This is a book not just on writing but tips for women writing about family. Possible subject areas you might address include: markets; why women write about family; using life experience; networking; blogs; unique issues women must overcome; formal education; queries and proposals; conference participation; family scheduling; self-publishing; teaching tips; family in creative nonfiction, poetry, short stories, novels.

Practical, concise, how-to articles with bullets/headings have proven the most helpful to readers. Please avoid writing about "me" and concentrate on what will help the reader. A question and answer format for interviews may be used.

Word total for 1-2 articles based on your experience: 1,900 minimum; maximum 2,100. Two articles preferred broken up fairly evenly in word count. No previously published or simultaneously submitted material; no co-authors.

Deadline: July 30, 2008

Contributors receive a complimentary copy and discounts on additional copies. It is common for compilation of an anthology to take upwards of a year.

Editor: Carol Smallwood has written, co-authored, and edited 19 books such as Educators as Writers (Peter Lang, 2006); chapbook, (Pudding House 2008); The Published Librarian (American Library Association, forthcoming). Her work has appeared in English Journal, Clackamas Literary Review, Iris, The Detroit News, several others including anthologies; Words and Images of Belonging co-edited with the editor of the Aurorean is with an agent; a recent book is http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-3575-3

Please send topics for consideration with a 65-70 word bio. Place FAMILY/your name on the subject line to: smallwood@tm.net

Sample bio:
Suzanne Doe has appeared in Bellingham Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Passages North. Her M.F.A.'s from the Stonecoast Program/University of Southern Maine and she teaches creative writing at Central Michigan University. Her recent books include: The Mystery Woman (Random House, 2006); Midwest Ski Slopes (Michigan State University, forthcoming). She received the Kitty Maize Fiction Award, 2008. An avid skier, Suzanne organizes writing workshops for Pine Arts Council.


55 Ways to Have Fun With Google | by Philipp Lenssen

Thanks to S. Sripriya for the head's up.

Remember the 'touch' techonology from Microsoft I blogged about some time ago?

It's making its way to personal computers with Windows 7, scheduled for release in 2010:

Microsoft demos 'touch Windows'

Scheduled for release in 2010, the new fingertip interface lets users enlarge and shrink photos, trace routes on maps, paint pictures or play the piano. 'The way you interact with the system will change dramatically,' said Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.

Thanks to John Jaeger for this information.


U.S. Army suicides highest in 2007

Surprisingly, there was no indication that multiple deployments increased the risk of suicide. Breakups in relationships were a significant factor. It's a 12.7% increase from 2006 to 2007. There's a breakdown in the article regarding how many were in Iraq or Afghanistan, which were regular army or reserve/national guard, etc.

New info on the story behind Stonehenge

Stonehenge 'a long-term cemetery', serving as a burial ground for cremation burials, possibly to a single dynasty.

An ordinary day

Listening to: Leona Lewis, 'Bleeding Love'

Not a lot happened of any consequence today. I worked my normal shift at the hospital, then worked at another store for an hour and a half so they could have a meeting (the idea being that they'll reciprocate). I took a friend to work, dropped by our store for my schedule, did notes, and watched great episodes thanks to YKWIA of 'Reaper' ('me Devil, you minion') and 'Frasier' on YouTube and 'American Dad' on Hulu. (You have to love an episode which deals with sci-fi geeks with Patrick Stewart on the show, the Star Wars Kid so popular on YouTube and kids who save the country's infrastructure from a cyberterrorist by decoding the Elvish script. Viva la geeks!)

I think the two guys who are training to be assistant managers made out the schedule, and it's a little different than normal. I'm working at 8 am Saturday until 6 pm, which is way earlier than I normally work. I think they forgot that the truck will be here on Friday night instead of Thursday due to the holiday. I'm going to call tomorrow morning to see if my boss wants me to switch nights. But I'm off Monday, which is good. I was originally going to go to Danville to visit my grandmother on Thursday (her birthday), but found out that my aunts and uncles and at least some of the cousins are coming up for a visit at the beginning of next week, so I'm going on Monday instead.

Along with all of this I will be painting more shelves, so there will be a lot of work to do between my jobs, the painting, etc. It looks like I'll be working Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday, with Monday spent visiting. But we're going to call the game for painting, so I should be able to sleep in on Sunday before going over to finish up the paint job.

Well, that's all, I guess. Good night.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A future library I'd probably love to visit

Via Jenny--The Shifted Librarian's Ou Est La Doctor Who Bibliotheque?

The next Doctor Who episode is called 'Silence in the Library' and is set, predictably, in said establishment. According to Wikipedia:
As shown on the BBC Doctor Who website, there are a number of books in the library that reference previous episodes. Those seen are the operating manual for the TARDIS (a document which the Doctor has long since lost), Origins of the Universe (Destiny of the Daleks), The French Revolution (An Unearthly Child) the Journal of Impossible Things ("Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood"), The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (written by Douglas Adams, former Doctor Who writer and script editor), and Black Orchid (a book first seen in the Fifth Doctor serial of the same name).

Also from Jenny at the Shifted Librarian:

Citricon: Library Defender, a game from the Orange County Library System (in Florida).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I got it! I got it!

Listening to: Big Country's 'Look Away'

This morning I had a package waiting for me from Amazon.com. Yes, that package, the one I ordered using my $100 gift certificate that I received from my bank card rewards programme. It contained two things:

The Seer, one of my favourite albums from my 20s, and I still love it. It's by Big Country, which most Americans only know from their 80s hit, 'In a Big Country' (one of their worst songs, in my opinion, but isn't that the way it tends to go?) They were known for their use of guitars and e-bows to produce sounds similar to the Highland pipes and other traditional Scottish instruments. Many of their songs are based on Scottish nationalist themes, especially this album. The band is still well-known in Scotland. Unfortunately, several years ago the lead singer, Stuart Adamson, died as a result of an ongoing problem with alcohol. (He was found hanged, but it was done in such a way that if he'd been sober he could not have died.) The band has continued to release material, however. I left behind my old vinyl LP at an apartment when I was evicted; my tape version is getting battered from years of play. I was very happy to see it in compact disc. The CD contains some bonus tracks from a Germany release; I don't care for them, but I love all the original ones. I listened to it at work, through notes, and am listening to it right now (I'm up to 'Eiledon').

Even better, I got my data voice recorder, the Olympus WS-311M. Features include:

  • 512MB internal Flash Memory
  • 138 hours of recording time in LP mode
  • Six recording modes: Use STXQ, STHQ and STSP for stereo recording or HQ, LP and SP for extended recording
  • Variable Control Voice Actuator (VCVA) records only when sound is sensed
  • The Low Cut Filter minimizes air conditioner noise and other similar noises
  • Five file folders, each holding up to 200 files
  • Up to 16 index marks can be set in a file
  • USB Storage Device can store many file types, not just audio files
  • Lock files to avoid accidentally erasing important information
  • "USB Direct" design provides direct connect to a PC via USB 2.0 port
  • WMA and MP3 Music Player
  • Voice Filter enhances the human voice by cutting low and high frequency noises during playback
  • Slow and fast playback speed variations
  • Repeat and Random playback
  • WOW XTTM technology provides rich bass and three-dimensional stereo sound
  • Customise the sound with a built-in equaliser

Today I have:

  1. Transferred a digitised PDF of Kidnapped! by Robert Louis Stevenson [one of the songs on the Big Country album is based on it and historical events depicted in it] onto the device using the built in USB flash drive (the battery case pulls away to expose it; no cable is required, although one is included in case your USB port is in a tight space...but mine is (I don't have a hub, just two on the back) and it worked fine without it).
  2. Made several test recordings so I could learn to use the file system, play back, delete, etc.
  3. Transferred the following from CDs I own: The Seer (Big Country), ...Something to Be (Rob Thomas), and Once More, With Feeling (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Musical)
  4. Listened to the music as I did notes. It's got nice sound quality.

Next on the agenda--recording the game on Sunday to help with the notes (the main reason for getting the gadget in the first place). Then I also get to try out a program I downloaded not long ago that helps transcribe the audio. :)

Anyway, it's been a day of music and gadgets. Yay.

It was an accident, and they were forgiven, but it breaks a 1,000-year-old rule (and Greek law)

Women break all-male Mount Athos ban
Four Moldovan women accidentally violated a 1,000-year-old ban on females entering the all male monastic community of Mount Athos, when they were left on Greek shores by human traffickers.

Thanks to YKWIA

I have SMiLE.dk's 'Butterfly' in my head:

(Incidentally, the band is Swedish; their songs were first marketed in Denmark, hence the '.dk' in the name, just like Denmark's domain name.)

For a similar Danish artist, try Aqua of 'Barbie Girl' fame:

Okay, enough bubblegum pop for the day. :)

Famous satire rag sets its cross-hairs on librarians

From The Onion:

Report: Women Increasingly Choosing Dead-End Careers Over Dead-End Relationships

There are days I can't argue.

And another death, that made me bawl

I'm such a sucker for animals...

Ailing Giraffe Gretchen, 22, Is Euthanized at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

Two deaths in entertainment

"Laugh-In" funnyman Dick Martin's life remembered, part of a comedy duo to Dan Rowan's straightman, he helped a generation get through some difficult times with laughter.

Oscar-winning director Sydney Pollack dies (the man who gave us Tootsie and Out of Africa, among many others).

Monday, May 26, 2008

Yay, Tracy and Company

Tracy Williams Drain
A friend works at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California. Here's some great news for them today:

Mars Craft Succeeds in Soft Landing: Phoenix to Begin Search for Signs of Life Beyond Earth

And as an interesting footnote:
In addition to its sophisticated cameras, soil retrievers and mini-laboratories, Phoenix carried on its journey a mini-DVD created by the Planetary Society called "Visions of Mars." It holds a library of science fiction stories and art, as well as the names of more than 250,000 people.

The DVD, featuring the likes of Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury, is made of material designed to last for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.

PS Tracy's big project has been the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which arrived at Mars in 2006. I'm not sure if she's part of this project or not, but I always think of her when I hear of this sort of thing. I came across this feature on Tracy. She's very talented, and probably the most driven of the lot of us.

Interesting horror/suspense series

These short (4 minute) webisodes pack a powerful punch. Devil's Trade involves a cursed cross made from the wood of a hanging tree and how three teens deal with it. It's up to 7 episodes. Check it out. I couldn't get the videos to play on the main site (even though I updated my Flash player), but you can also find them on Hulu. Here's the first one (you'll have to sign up for a Hulu account because this is rated TV-MA for mature audiences only, so they want to be sure of your age):

Devil's Trade Episode 1: The Purchase

There's also a trailer on YouTube (with embedding disabled).

And of course YKWIA found them. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Oh, well, here's the video after all

Nasser Busaad playing 'Leiti li Janahi' on an Oud, an Arabic stringed instrument often seen as a predecessor to the lute, but without frets:

Good night (for real this time).

Too tired to blog (almost)

I was going to just give you a random video of a small child playing amazingly well on an Arabic stringed instrument, but that post got eaten as Internet Explorer shut down inexplicably on me.

I don't feel like finding the video again. Maybe later.

I'm very tired because I spent 10 hours today cleaning, doing detail work, toting trash, doing the cooler, etc. rather than running a register because our second station was broken--literally. A cigarette rack came down yesterday and smashed the touch screen quite spectacularly. For about two hours there were four of us--one doing paperwork, one running the register, and two cleaning. That store sparkled. I kind of wish I'd just been sent home, but hey, it's money, and I had to deal very little with the public, so I didn't have to be my perky cashier persona, but rather could be myself. It was actually sort of fun, but still tiring. 10 hours on your feet lifting and such isn't really that much compared to some--I mean, I know there are people who do much harder work for even longer shifts, but 10 hour shifts just wipe me out sometimes.

So I'm going to bed now. Good night.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Yesterday I:

  1. Found my non-white sandals to wear before Memorial Day under the couch, which has no real space under it so I had to lift the whole sofa off them. How did they get there?
  2. Had to work out some red tape with my flexible spending account, which will take 2-3 days to resolve (probably more with the holiday), so my testing strips and meds will have to wait.
  3. Started reading a book on Tibetan meditation.
  4. Started the MLA webcast. Apparently I can access it now that it's over.
  5. Took a nap between jobs, which is good, given below.
  6. Worked the truck, put it away on my own, got a Subway $5 footlong sub afterwards.
  7. Ate too much over the day and the day before given that I finally had some cash. Wound up with a stomachache. Will eat lightly today.
  8. Did notes and ran to the store.
  9. Got home around 2 am, then back out at 3 am to get my friend. I had a 9-day vacation because he was on one, and I got spoilt over that time. I got to bed by 4 am but feel like I've had little sleep. Oh, wait, I have had little sleep.

Going off to work now. Have a nice Friday, and if you're in the US, a nice three-day weekend. Remember what it's all about, maybe go visit a cemetery or at least pause and remember those who have died. Bye.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I didn't get to see the webcast from the MLA annual meeting on Web 2.0 because of technical difficulties we're still trying to iron out. What we thought was a headquarters firewall issue is apparently a local one, as my tech advisor could view it on his computer, but I couldn't view it on mine, so we have to figure out what needs to be updated. Fortunately the video will be available for awhile in the members-only section, then move into the public area, so I can watch it later. But I really did want to participate live and maybe ask a question along the way.

I did get both breakfast and pizza. My system isn't used to so much food, but my stomach is happy.

I'm home early tonight, so I think I'll go on to bed early. Tomorrow I work at the store, and then Saturday is a 10-hour shift. I may work an hour at another store on Tuesday. Otherwise I'm off, including Memorial Day (that day at both jobs), so I'm going to check with my mom tomorrow about her schedule and whether it would be a good time to go to Danville. My grandmother's birthday is on the Thursday afterwards, and so I'd like to go. If Monday's no good I'll rest and do stuff here and then ask off next Friday if that's better. Also when I wake up I should have enough money in my account to pay bills, like the rest of my electric bill, my Internet one, get some food and gas, that sort of thing. I've already paid my phone bill.

Okay, off to slumber with the window open, the fan blowing, a little nightlight with coloured light that shines through bubbling water with little plastic marbles that circulate, and my trusty CPAP machine. I know. I'm weird. But I sleep better that way. It was very hard to sleep without electricity, especially without the CPAP. The rest truly are optional, but fun. Good night.

Great new technology

As Great Western Dragon puts it in the LISNews post, 'think of it as microfilm 2.0'.

This Technology Will Blow Your Mind.. (click to watch a great video)

Microsoft is working on something it acquired in February called Seadragon. It allows the user to browse visual information quickly. As they put it in their blurb:
If this sounds a little vague, consider the following four "promises" of Seadragon:

  1. Speed of navigation is independent of the size or number of objects.
  2. Performance depends only on the ratio of bandwidth to pixels on the screen.
  3. Transitions are smooth as butter.
  4. Scaling is near perfect and rapid for screens of any resolution.

Basically you can read a newspaper shown as a small image on the screen by zooming to as large a size as you need, in incredible detail. Plus, when married to Photosynth, pictures can be grouped to show panoramic views. The video even uses flickr images that people have taken of Notre Dame and arranged them in a browsable '3-dimensional' model of the cathedral itself.

It really is mind-blowing. Be sure to watch the video.

Beautiful, peaceful, restful

This animated music video was found by YKWIA. I could listen to it every night...

'Animusic: Aqua Harp'

Then there's one that impresses me because of all the balls' shadows. That's 'Animusic: Pipe Dream'

Whereas 'Animusic: Resonant Chamber' is downright Cthulhoid in how the instruments play themselves. Be sure to watch the moon in the background.)

(Again, YKWIA found them. He obviously spends a lot of free time on YouTube.)

They're all incredibly well-done. I would never have heard of them without YouTube. Animusic's official site is: http://www.animusic.com/. They have a special on the two DVDs so for $35 you get a third (another of Animusic 2) to give someone, whereas each DVD is $19.99 individually. I'd like to get them if I can scrape up the money. The website includes wallpapers and a link to an interactive screensaver demo.

PS I'm sorry, I know embedding too many videos can really slow down the loading of this page. I try not to do it too often. But these were just too good not to share. Thanks for your patience.


As you may recall, several weeks ago I repierced my left ear where the hole had closed up, using one of my earrings. Then I put the original earrings my ears were pierced in (22 years ago, yikes!) into the holes to make sure they would be big enough to easily put in and remove earrings (my right ear was trying to close, too, I think).

This morning I took them out--and that was no small feat, because the backs lock and the right one refused for awhile, and now I have silver earrings (circles with little clear stones in them that dangle a bit) in them instead. Most of my necklaces are silver and I don't like to mix the metals, but the earrings are gold because one of the conditions of getting my ears pierced when I was younger was to get them in 24 kt gold over surgical steel to keep down the chance of allergy, since my mother reacted to gold when she got hers pierced. I never had any problems, maybe because of that. And I didn't have any trouble with either hole this time, no infection or anything, and the earrings slid right in. (Previously earrings would go in the left ear to a point, then strain against a bit of skin in the back, sort of 'swimming' around in my ear, which was a little unnerving. Anyway, I'm happy, I can wear earrings again (and take them out when I sleep if I want...I have kept those original earrings in for quite some time).

Okay, now it's time to go to that birthday breakfast at work. Have a nice day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm really not trying to be depressing

In fact I've twittered several small, happy things from my mundane life. So what's going on with me? Today was a good day, full of productive work and then I got some medicine, voted, got my new library card (with the keychain card, too), went to the gym (and got a new card for that, too, since it's changed from Gold's Gym to Urban Active), came home, and I've had a relaxing time, taking a nap, blogging, etc.

Tomorrow should be even better. We have a birthday breakfast at work where the directors serve and the administrator cooks omelets. It's something they do every six months or so, so even though I had a birthday in April, I go to this one. I'll need to get up early, as it finishes at 9 am and I'm usually at work at 10. Then there's a plenary session on Web 2.0 provided by webcast from MLA for those of us not in Chicago at the annual meeting. I have decided that I'm celebrating getting paid on Wednesday and Thursday with pizza (I have a coupon all ready, so it won't be very expensive) for lunch tomorrow. Then Thursday I'm going to pay my bills and get some gas and groceries.

Well, that's what's going on in my life, which is significantly better than last week. Hoping you're having a decent day/week, too.

A bright spot in the aftermath

With China quake toll rising, an unexpected rescue

CHENGDU, China: As the death toll in the earthquake last week in southwestern China continued to rise - exceeding 40,000, with tens of thousands still missing - the state media reported Tuesday that 129 students and 10 teachers had been rescued in an isolated town in Sichuan Province.


Police patrol South Africa riot zone

22 people have been killed and 13,000 displaced by xenophobic violence against foreigners, many of them other Africans.

I hope there's hope

Kennedy Diagnosed With Brain Tumor

Ted Kennedy has his baggage, but he's served our country well for many years. I hope his health improves. The tumour is in his parietal lobe, so near the speech centre. No one has said so far whether surgery is an option.

I wanted to take a moment before I go to work

to remember the victims of the Chinese earthquake (and I haven't forgotten the Burmese cyclone). It boggles my mind that so many lives can be lost in such a short time. In China the latest figures are 40,000 dead, many children in their schools. Even 200 rescuers travelling to help were killed in a landslide; it's dangerous work to save others, but people are still being pulled out alive. In Burma it may be 200,000, although with the government's hold on the country, it's hard to be sure. Nature can be a harsh mistress, although she provides so much else for us.

China comes to a standstill in silent tribute to earthquake victims

My mercy mission into the cyclone zone with the Burmese heroes who put junta to shame

Fun :)

A song inspired by Eric Clapton's 'Layla' and Catullus...in Latin.


Okay, the pronunciation is not the best by any stretch of the imagination, but it was it was done in good spirits. Be sure to look at the notes for lyrics and references to Catullus' poetry.

And even if you're not a classics geek, here's another song for you:

'The Addams Family Sing-a-long'

Tomorrow is our primary

I'm voting for Obama, of course; I'm almost always in the minority when it comes to Kentucky's voters. I have a guide published in the paper Sunday for some of the other races that I need to look over. Interesting enough, John McCain never even answered any of the questions. I guess he figures he has the Republican nomination, why bother dealing with a local newspaper of a decent-sized but by no means major metropolitan area? The main non-presidential race is that of the Democratic nominee who will go against the juggernaut Mitch McConnell, who has a lot of influence in Washington and is currently the highest ranking Republican in Congress, as he is the minority leader of the Senate. He's been in office since first running for Senate in 1984.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Well, I'm home

not as early as I'd like, but still before midnight, which is good. Today was rather productive even though we didn't have a game. I washed a load of dishes, scrubbed my bathroom and reorganised it/threw away anything that wasn't usable, picked up much of my living room, and went through the recent mail. Oh, and I did manage a nap. Then I went over to a friend's house and cleaned it, fixed him dinner, and watched a couple of episodes of Ben 10: Alien Force. (Okay, yes, I do watch cartoons occasionally. In addition to the original Ben 10 I also like Fairly OddParents. And of course there's Family Guy.) :)

Well, I still need to do a little in the bathroom, but I'm getting a little sleepy and I've eaten, so I may just head on to bed.

Want a random video? How about an animated version of the Bayeux Tapestry? by David Newton


According to the Money Crashers' Blog:

If you owe taxes will you still get the refund or will the IRS apply it towards what you owe?
I am assuming that you mean if you owe taxes for 2007, will you not get the 2008 refund check? The answer is yes. You can think of it as a tax credit refund advance. So, it applies to your 2008 taxes, and has nothing to do with your 2007 taxes whether you owe money or are receiving a refund for your 2007 taxes. It does base the amount you’ll receive on what you filed for your 2007 taxes, but if your income changes drastically or you have a child or two in 2008, the above questions apply.

Hmmm...that would actually do well to start off that savings with maybe half and start on some of the smaller debt. Plus I need new clothes. Most of mine are second-hand (for which I'm grateful, but I should buy a few pieces occasionally) and I'll be somewhat hard-pressed to find an ensemble to go to any job interviews. I have dress pumps, black pants, and maybe one dressy top. Everything else is business casual.

A rare day off

Well, okay, I am going over to a friend's house later to help with the weekly cleaning normally done before the game, and then there's notes, but we're not playing and so I have a few hours to pick up my own place (my couch is buried under junk mail and books), maybe get a nap (I was up late last night), and do some computer stuff.

I went ahead and got some bread this morning to go with my peanut butter, which will hopefully hold out until Thursday. I have that and potatoes, although very little butter, so I may take those to work where I can get butter in the cafeteria.

I also checked on my prescription for glucose test strips and it's out of refills. I have all my other prescriptions that haven't been taken in from Dr Nesbitt and there isn't one for them, so I'll call Monday and see it they can call one in.

I was running some numbers last night for what would happen if I actually got a job like the one at Lexington Public Library that I applied to. I would wind up with about $700 a month (allowing for rent, gas, food, phone, electricity, Internet, and student loans) that wouldn't be committed, I think. Say I take out $100 for other stuff. That would leave $600. I could put half of that in savings and another half towards my debts. That would be $10,000 in savings over three years, which I consider healthy. (They recommend 6 months' worth of savings for expenses in case of job loss or other calamity. For me that would be about $7,000.) I could pay off my debts (except for the student loans, which may take my entire life!) in two years and hopefully rehabilitate my credit (I owe about $5000 in debt, which isn't bad really, considering what some people carry. But I haven't been able to pay it on my salary yet, although I have paid off a dental bill and am almost finished with an old phone debt.)

I hope I get this job. If I do, there's going to be one ecstatic post on this blog. Or, if not, I hope I can find a similar one.

I also checked into getting certification for working in public libraries. It would basically mean sending in a copy of my diploma (and probably the court order for my name change, since my diploma is unfortunately under my old name and one of those debts is to the school, so I can't get it changed until I pay it, I think. In any case I don't have the $50 to change both my BA and MSLS documents. The fee for the certification is only $5. It's required for all public librarians in Kentucky. It also means getting 100 contact hours of continuing education credit over five years. I think that's doable.

I also figured up my points to get my AHIP certification and I have enough plus extra, but it's $175 for five years, payable up front, so it may be awhile before I can do it. Also there's really no point if I move into the public library track. I wish they had a tier, much like the membership, for a reduced rate for those who make less than a certain amount a year (I think the MLA's cut off is $30,000, which I am well over.)

Also, one of my customers mentioned the economic stimulus rebate and I said I didn't think I'd get mine because I owed taxes and they'd apply it. He said his sister did, too, and she got hers. So I wonder if I will get one after all. That would be great. I'm not due to get mine until sometime in June (it's done by the last two digits of your social security number, and mine is pretty high). So I'm hopeful for that.

Well, I guess I should get off here. Thanks for reading. I know my life isn't very exciting. :)


I got my Amazon.com gift card today. $100 free to spend; not bad for doing nothing more than paying bills and shopping. I went ahead and ordered the digital voice recorder and a CD. I was going to get the recorder and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in Latin, but I didn't have enough with the tax (just my luck, we have a distribution centre here in Lexington, so we're taxed up front--although maybe that means I'll get it faster). Also, the shipping was free. So I'm happy.

Anyway, just thought I'd update. Oh, and I'm glad Big Brown won the Preakness. I hope we have a Triple Crown winner this year. He looks like he very well could do it. The Belmont's a longer race that tends to break the streak, though.

Good night.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

One more thing

This is stuck in my head, ever since YKWIA played it the other day.

Donovan's 'Atlantis' done by No Angels and featuring Donovan himself:

You know, I always thought Donovan was Irish, but he's a Scot. You learn something every day. I listened to Donovan as a child, as his music was part of my parents' collection. This version is actually I think better than the original. It was tied to the Disney film Atlantis: the Lost Empire, although it does not appear on the official soundtrack.

Friday, May 16, 2008

More hours mean more pay

but it was still nice not to be working at the store today, the only day I've had off during the work week. Tomorrow I do my regular Saturday shift, then Sunday I'm off for the game, and then I work Monday. But I'm off Tuesday and Wednesday.

At some point I need to reschedule a cancelled dental appointment for two fillings. I'm having some pain and I'm not sure but I may have chipped a molar. I have such large fillings in most of my molars that it's pretty easy to break a tooth. That may mean another crown.

Today was spent doing interlibrary loans, putting literacy project books on the cart for the clinic, printing off patient surveys, and generally preparing for our big open house at the hospital. I don't go (I did once. I discovered I'm uneasy around crowds and clowns. I never had trouble with clowns until I was surrounded by about seven the one time I volunteered for the information booth. They wanted a pin I had. The lack of personal space and creepy old men in face makeup really unnerved me. I know they meant well, but still....) That is actually one real hazard of my job. You never know when a clown is going to insist on hugging you.

I also spent the day being harassed by ants in my cubicle. It's rained quite a bit and they're coming in one by one. I picked up some ant traps from housekeeping, so maybe that will help.

I'm going to have to go into work early on Wednesday because they're having a free birthday breakfast for those of us with recent or upcoming birthdays. The directors serve the food and our administrator makes omelets. Considering that's the day before I get paid and my food situation is already looking sad, it will be welcome.

Speaking of food (or lack thereof), I weighed myself, and I have officially lost 20 lbs since about September. I weighed 291 at my heaviest; now I'm 271. Go me! Go lots of peanut butter! D said I could be the spokesperson for the Peanut Butter Diet much like the Subway guy is for healthy sandwiches.

I've been playing a lot with iGoogle this evening. It's a personalised form of Google that allows themes and various widgets where you can choose the content you want displayed and customise everything. I have Twitter, Google Docs, Google Talk (a chat client), Google Calendar, a picture-of-the-day from National Geographic, my Gmail account, my Google Reader feeds, a to-do list, a clock, and some miscellaneous stuff, just on the main page. There's other tabs for games, news, politics, etc. My theme changes according to time of day (the sun is shown during the day, at sunrise/sunset, it turns orange, and at night it shows the moon. Anyway, it keeps all sorts of applications that I use daily at my fingertips (and no, I don't twitter at work, since it is in essence mini-blogging).

The picture to the right of this post is of my Yahoo! Avatar. I played with it a bit and have been using a square icon of the face for some of my profiles, such as at Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Okay, it's almost 12:30. Time to go to bed early for a change. Good night.

News I'm keeping up with

Missouri Woman Accused of Driving Girl to Suicide Is Indicted in California (You may need to register for free to read the New York Times.)

Gay couples 'ecstatic' over ruling (by the California Supreme Court upholding the state's gay marriage law (which may be short-lived, as an amendment to the constitution to ban it is on the ballot this autumn.))

Bush Assails ‘Appeasement,’ Touching Off Storm (another New York Times article) (More utterly stupid and divisive speech on the part of our soon-to-be-ex-leader. I am counting the days until the general election, and more importantly, to Inauguration Day. No matter who wins the contest, at least George W Bush will be out of office.)

Jockey chases Triple Crown while son can still see it (Kent Desormeaux hopes his younger son, Jacob--who has Usher syndrome and has conchlear implants to treat deafness but who is expected to be legally blind by young adulthood--will have a Triple Crown to remember as the jockey gears up for the Preakness riding Big Brown.)

Parents' losses compounded by China's one-child policy (The earthquake that hit the other day happened during the school day. Rescuers have found hundreds of bodies at some school sites, where children were killed when their schools crumbled atop them. For parents, the death of any child is horrific. For those in China, it is compounded by the fact that they have lost the one state-sanctioned child they were allotted, the child who represented their dreams, the child who would care for them in their old age.)

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I made my rent, with one cent left in my bank account. I was at the bank in the drive-through lane when they opened. I got the money orders and then dropped them off before the leasing office opened, then called to ask them to let me know they got them alright (since timing is everything, I thought this might be better than coming in once they had begun their business day and getting an actual receipt; I wasn't sure exactly when they would go to court that day). Then I went back to the apartment, got into bed, and worried. When the lady called to say everything was okay, I actually fell out of bed getting to the phone (those pillow-top mattresses like the one my mom gave me can be a little slippery, especially when you're a klutz anyway).

Then it was off to the agency to see if I could get assistance with my electric bill. The woman took my information, explained they'd need copies of my last two pay stubs (I don't get one from the gas station--although I can apparently request that I get one, I found out later), so I was thinking, great, I'm not going to be able to do this. But then she asked me how much the bill was. It was only $73. Apparently this is much smaller than they're used to (it's a big bill for me, the last of the winter bills--mine are usually around $40). She said she'd check with another agency to see if they would be willing to pay, and they were. So I have the Black Church Coalition here in Lexington to thank for being able to write this now (and more importantly, use my CPAP and take a nice warm shower, both of which I did this evening once all was said and done). Thank you so much, especially as I am neither black nor Christian. However, if I can donate at some point to your cause, I will. Maybe it will help someone else in a similar bind.

After that I went to work and then over to the station to help out for just an hour so my boss, who'd mostly worked alone all day, could go home and get some rest. I went over to a friend's house after that, but he sent me home to sleep, realising how tired I was as a result of another late night (I helped him with a project till 3 am) and the anxiety. I was going to get up a couple of hours later, get a shower, and blog. It turns out I woke up four and a half hours after I'd gone to bed, far more than I'd planned. Then I went back to my friend's house for awhile.

Even with the nap earlier, I just fell asleep whilst writing this so it's time to go back to bed and get some more rest. (I had dreams and everything.) Thank you again so much to the Black Church Coalition. Good night.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An excellent job animating

my favourite Edward Gorey book, the children's classic The Gashlycrumb Tinies, Or, After the Outing, a syllabary that some would see as macabre but really they're cautionary tales of what children ought not do. And of course, Gorey was always very Victorian/Edwardian in his style, and if you've ever read real fairy tales (not the Disney version), traditional children's literature was downright scary, and meant to be. Still, be warned, if you're overly conventional or sensitive, you probably won't like it, and you should just skip this.

This animator has done a wonderful job in bringing the book to life. It took 80 hours of work to do so. It's really rather impressive. I'm sure Gorey would be proud.

Oh, and of course, thanks to YKWIA for finding this.

I fell off the grid

Sorry I haven't posted. There's a simple reason: I have no electricity. I never received a notice from Kentucky Utilities and so I was somewhat surprised on Friday morning when my power went off. I thought I had until the 20th or so to pay. Not so.

I'm not sure which has been worse, the not being able to blog regularly or the cold showers. Oh, well, I guess really it is the cold showers. I dread getting under that freezing water. It finally occurred to me last night that if I could get up early enough, I could go work out at the gym and get a hot shower. Unfortunately, due to a series of things, I didn't get home until 3 am, so that was not to be. I did get up early enough to go to the library at 9 am so I could be at work by 10. Turns out the Eagle Creek Branch opens at 9:30, so I was thwarted. I'm blogging now out of the kindness of a friend--'Yes, but no porn!'

Tomorrow I have to make my rent or they'll start eviction proceedings. I've been behind ever since I had to buy that tyre, and of course the gas is killing me. (It's $3.85 today, a record in Lexington. I know, a lot of you are paying more, but I just don't know how I'm going to keep the car running.) So that's why I don't have the money for my electricity--much more important to have someplace to live than to have the electricity to run it. I'm supposed to get paid tomorrow, but it isn't 100% likely (our actual payday at the store is next Monday; we normally get paid the preceding Wednesday, and with my direct deposit I'm more likely to get it on time, but it isn't a sure thing.)

Tomorrow I also have an appointment with an aid agency to see if I can get some help with that energy bill. I'm afraid they'll basically tell me I make too much to get aid, but not enough to pay my bills. I make a little over two times the poverty rate. We'll see, though. If they won't help, then I can get the power back on May 22nd.

I'm eating mainly peanut butter and some soup, tuna, crackers, and chips from a care package a co-worker brought me. Thanks, M.

Please don't think I'm enummerating my problems to go, 'poor me'. I know this will pass relatively quickly. But I have some very real fears of how things will pan out and I guess I'm trying to put those into words. I don't want to be evicted. I want my C-Pap back so I can sleep well again at night. I want to not be living hand to mouth all the time.

To that end, I checked the Kentucky job line for librarians on Monday (new postings normally show up then) and found one for the Lexington Public Library at--and this is great--the Eagle Creek Branch, within a block or two of my apartment. That would be so wonderful. It pays $36,000-$53,000 a year. I went ahead and applied for it right then. Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

Well, thanks for reading. I'll post an update as soon as I can. Good night.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Yay! I finished my class!

On the mashup section I came across a nifty site called Weather Bonk. It overlays Google Maps with weather information, gives you access to webcams, and displays forecasts. Try it out.

Also, I found a wonderful etiquette blog whilst searching about the white shoe rule the other day. It's Etiquette, Charm, and Beauty for the Woman of Today by Hildegarde Fillmore.

Also, if you haven't tried iGoogle, you should. It's a personalised web page that can be set as the home page that allows you to bring a variety of modules into play, such as Gmail or Google Docs. I have a nifty theme on mine that changes as the sun rises and sets and the moon changes phases. You do have to sign up, but it's free, and if you already have an account for other similar projects then you should be okay. In addition to my documents and mail, I also have a virtual fish tank and National Geographic pictures.

Okay, definitely time to go to bed.

Oh, it's nice

to take my shoes off and get into some comfy clothes. I'm in for the night until 7 am, when I go pick someone from work. I managed to get week #7's homework (videos and podcasts) finished for class, but still have the last week's topic of mashups and miscellaneous Web 2.0 concepts to go.

I just helped someone make a wonderful honey-soy sauce and tofu. I'm eager to try it for myself. It has honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, cayenne pepper, and ginger in it, and boy does it have a zing.

The nice Indian couple across the hall have moved out. They were good neighbours and always filled the hallway with good smells of cooking. They even got Cerys a bag of dog food at one point because it is the custom in their culture to feed animals, which are seen to be close to God.

Speaking of animals, I visted D last Friday and played with her new kitten, Claire, a 6-week-old tortoiseshell. I found out today that Claire later had to be euthanised after suffering from coccidiosis. That's a shame. They're going to wait awhile before getting another kitten. Their 3-year-old son doesn't really understand where the kitten has gone, though, and their dog seems a little depressed. But it really hit D the hardest, I think.

The link above goes to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which is offering free access for a year to bloggers who want to link to their content. I guess they want to compete with Wikipedia. It's a great deal--you just sign up and they verify that you blog regularly, etc. You can sign up yourself at: Encyclopaedia Britannica WebShare.

Okay, that's all for now.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I think I finally got some rest

this week. I even got in a nap this afternoon. I have to be at work to check in the truck delivery in a little less than an hour, but since I had three hours to myself I took a nap, made supper, and picked up the house a little. I've also caught up on the news and my RSS subscriptions. I'm going to try to finish up my classwork either before I go in or later tonight, so I can get credit. Technically the class is over but we have until the 18th to submit our progress. I was looking at all the credit I've received last fall and this spring plus my writings and jury work for one of the MLA awards. Basically I have enough points to apply for the Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP). Although not a requirement for my job, it would help if I went to another medical library position, more than likely, and it's expected if you've been in the field for awhile. I put it off for some time not knowing if I wanted to continue this track of librarianship, but I've been a medical librarian for eleven years now, so I should probably go ahead and apply. The only stumbling block is that it's $175 and I don't have that in my professional dues budget, so I'll have to come up with it on my own, which isn't going to happen very quickly, especially as I owe taxes so I seriously doubt I'll get any of my tax rebate. But maybe towards the end of the year....


  1. I finally got enough reward points on my debit card/bank account to get a $100 gift certificate to Amazon.com. My plan is to get the digital voice recorder I wanted to get for the winter holidays. It's a voice recorder, flash drive, and music player all-in-one, and it's $75 on their site. With the remainder I'll probably get some rechargeable batteries and Big Country's The Seer, my favourite of their albums and something that has been rattling around on my wish list for some time.
  2. I avoided being beaten with a phone Monday when I accidentally pulled out the first pair of sandals I could find for work (I refuse to wear flip flops like some of the girls do), got there, and suddenly realised I was wearing white shoes before Memorial Day. Granted, growing up in the South I was taught it was okay after Easter, but I also know that's really not true. Anyway, hopefully the gods of etiquette will forgive my faux pas.
  3. I got my Lamictal today after not having it since a half-dose Saturday. I hadn't realised how flat my affect was without it. That may also be why I just wanted to sleep all the time and couldn't bring myself to do much. Just goes to show you how quickly your brain chemistry can break down. At least I didn't have a meltdown or anything. Being bipolar is a challenge, but at least it's manageable.
  4. I have some groceries thanks to my boss at the gas station. She's giving me extra hours this week (one of the regular full-timers is on vacation), so that will help. Considering gas is now $3.75 and I'm paying about $200 a month just to keep my car running, it's been difficult. I've been eating peanut butter sandwiches (no spreadable fruit, even) for a week or more now. I got some potatoes, macaroni and cheese, tortillas, cheese, beans, chili, bread, peas, and spinach. Unfortunately I couldn't work in fish or fruit, but at least I have more variety. I've lost another two pounds in the last week and a half, bringing my total net loss since the fall to 17 lbs, none of which has been from actual dieting. Imagine what I could do if I actually watched what I ate and exercised. :)

Well, that's it for now. Good night.

PS Dear Hillary Clinton. Please drop out from the race so Barack Obama can start running against the real threat--John McCain. You've poured $11 million of your own money into a lagging campaign without momentum. Seriously, give it up, before you become pathetic. Try again next time; thank you for playing.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Hi, how are you doing?

I know I still haven't written much of anything, even though I'd like to comment on:

Still, it's very late, so that will have to wait; but those are some of the issues churning in my mind.

I spent most of the day in bed and didn't feel well, so I didn't really make it out to blog even though I had the time. I'm feeling a little better now, although it's definitely time to go back to bed. I will get back on track, really. Good night.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

I should be asleep

and in fact I'm heading to bed now. But I had some trouble with a firewall upgrade and didn't have time to sort it out over the last couple of days, so I've been offline. Tonight I took a shot at it and yay! I got it working again. I think the program thought I was running Vista, because the first download didn't ask which operating system it should work with, and once I finally got everything uninstalled and downloaded an updated file, it did. I'd like Vista, but I'm on XP for now. Anyway, sorry for not posting. I hope to catch up over the next few days.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Another library ninja

with creative patron demises...

It was a group project for an art class at Wellesley College. Of course, YKWIA found it for me, along with this one is from an audition for 'Britain's Got Talent' (the inspiration for 'American Idol')...13-year-old Andrew Johnston.

This kid has an amazing voice. He's singing 'Pie Jesu'. People throughout the auditorium (including one of the judges) cried. Even Simon Cowell had kind words for him. And people rallied because he is bullied for singing. That wouldn't have been enough, though. But his fantastic voice is angelic and beautiful--even more so because he was so nervous, but kept it together. I only hope that when it changes, it will be equally wonderful.