Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Monday, June 23, 2008

I just wanted to take a moment at the library

to let you all know I'm still around, just without my Internet connexion at home. Nothing much interesting has happened personally until today, when I had a dead battery after running some errands before work and stopping in at home to get a cheque I'd forgotten that I meant to put into the bank. Fortunately it was a AAA battery that I got a couple of years ago and it was still under warranty, so they replaced it for free. I was late for work, but back on the road in a fairly short time. And, at least I was outside my apartment and not stranded somewhere.

Last night I got home early, took a nap, then got up and washed dishes and straightened up the house some for about two hours. I still have a lot to go, and I discovered that my garbage disposal is not working/backing up, so I have to call that in to maintenance. Since that's where the dishwasher drains out, it was a problem last night. Unfortunately with the whole battery situation I totally forgot to call it in. Also, when I did try to go back to sleep after my industry, I did a rare thing--I laid in bed unable to go to sleep for an hour or more. Maybe it was just too early, but I kept mulling things that had happened that day and worried about a robbery at work, which hasn't happened and I don't think of it that often, but let's just say I hope there's no precognition going on there, because it's been on my mind more lately.

Well, I guess that's it. I shouldn't stay too long; I've got some other stuff to do tonight. But I just wanted to check in. My connexion may be down longer than I thought; I had to choose gas over paying my bill. So unless an oeconomic stimulus cheque shows up in my mailbox, it may be another week or more.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I may be incommunicado for a bit

I should be losing my Internet connexion sometime today, and I won't be able to pay my Insight bill until next Wednesday. My rent is far more important. But I'll see about blogging from the local public library if I can get over there in the afternoons (the branch near my house doesn't open until a half-hour before I need to be at work). Just wanted to give you a head's up.

I saw a doctor today about my elbow

He agreed with my 'diagnosis'--tennis elbow/tendonitis. He gave me a brace to wear on my wrist. Apparently bending back the wrist is a major cause of elbow tendonitis. The brace keeps my hand in neutral position and should take pressure off the tendon near my elbow. I'm also supposed to give it a rest, but not try to do everything with my left arm because I'll just get it there. So I have to make a decision about the Habitat house. I'm signed up for two full days of painting, which is one of the worst things you can do with tennis elbow. I'm betting hammering's up there. Last Thursday we did framing for the house. I built a wall to a utility room and toted and sorted wood. I was careful to take breaks and hydrate. But the next day my elbow hurt, even with the ibuprofen, and I had to ice it throughout the day about 15 minutes apart. So we'll see. Maybe this will help and I can continue, but I suspect I'll have to drop out.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Saturday, June 14, 2008

An excellent social networking site based on reading books

Goodreads allows you to easily search books and add them to a 'read', 'to-read', or 'currently reading' category. You can tag books to organise them whilst looking for friends online--and comparing reading lists, even. It's really kind of neat. Be sure to check it out.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Wish me luck

I'm going to the Habitat for Humanity site in a little while and starting work. Tonight's scheduled task is siding. YKWIA is no doubt laughing--he's done this before. Let's see if I can manage to use a claw hammer without loss to life or limb. Actually, I have some mechanical ability, but I'm also clumsy, so that's the concern.

All the people from the hospital who are doing the build were given powder blue shirts with our logo on it. I'm wearing that and my khaki convertible pants (they convert from regular length to capri, but I'm keeping them normal). I found my boots and put my inserts into them. I stopped by Walgreens to pick up some medication and invested in some sunblock as well, since I had no idea where mine was (actually, I just looked down from the computer and it's on the shelf below my table in front of the window) and sunscreen's supposed to only last about a year anyway--and my old one is 2-3 years old. This came with a keyring version for taking along with you. It's SPF 70 for the regular one and 30 for the keychain, so that should protect my Irish skin. I put my hair up in braids rather than using a scrunchy in case of needing to wear hard hats. I think I'm ready.

Gods, I'm going to be tired tonight, I suspect. Then there's the final coat of paint on the wainscotting to do and notes. Agh. But I'm not checking in the truck at the store tonight. :) (The actual check in is rather a bunny job; it's putting away the boxes that involves lifting and sweating.)

On top of that I have to get up early because I'm an hour and fifteen minutes behind on my time at work, so I need to go in at 9 am rather than 10. Plus I need to straighten up a bit since they're looking for leaks and will be coming into the apartment to turn the water off, so that also means I have to take a shower tonight or early tomorrow before they do that.

Okay, here goes nothing. :)

Also from the Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper

When gay couples fail to reach happily ever after

Canada's had same-sex marriage on the books for awhile now. Columnist Sarah Hampson explores the challenges such marriages face but also the benefits they have in terms of gender roles.

Oh, and I absolutely understand the 'common-law' relationship vs. marriage 'oh, I'm stuck' thing. I was with my ex-husband for six years, but walked out after only 6 months of marriage. Of course, he is gay, so it was rather necessary. But it took getting married to really give me the trapped feeling of having made a huge mistake and needing to get out of the relationship.

A rare pagan culture is endangered

Ancient race confronted by militant Islam, modernism

Pagans that are thought by some to be descendants of Alexander's troops, the Kalasha number about 2,500 to 3,000. Men and women mix freely. Living in the northwestern tip of Pakistan, the only road in winter actually goes to Afghanistan. They are increasingly pressured by Islam (and certainly were during the Taliban rule of Afghanistan) and modernism. A new road promises to bring trade, but also will expose them to outside influences.

At the height of their civilisation (between 900 CE and 1320 CE), their kings ruled over much of the area. Their religion 'may be a survivor of the early beliefs of the Indo-Persian area, embodying an early Hinduism and pre-Zoroastrian faith.' It would be a shame to have them assimilated into the greater whole of Islamic culture.


4 dead as tornado hits Iowa Boy Scout camp, taking out pretty much all of the buildings and a good bit of the trees, injuring as many as 40, etc. There were 93 campers and 25 staff all in all, so it's a wonder more wren't killed. The weather service did issue warnings for the area but it is unclear if the camp had a siren or other warning system.

After more than a year, a Lexington library resource re-opens

In February 2007 a burst water pipe in the special collections area of the Lexington Public Library shut down the Kentucky Room, where needed renovation and expansion was made posible by donations. In his blog, Bluegrass and Beyond, Tom Eblen talks about the crown jewel of the collection, a near-perfect run of the oldest newspaper in Kentucky.

Kentucky Room is back in service: 2007 water damage leads to improved space (link good for seven days)

Good riddance

2 Marines disciplined over puppy-tossing video, one of whom--Lance Cpl. David Motari--is being kicked out entirely over the incident. Sgt. Crismarvin Banez Encarnacion is also being punished, but his punishment was not released. My grandfather was a Marine at Iwo Jima. That is the type of legacy that the Marines want to leave--not of callous wingnuts who think tossing a puppy off a cliff is good fun and then are stupid enough to post a video about it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

There are two songs I'd like played at my funeral

One is is Kansas' 'Dust in the Wind', a classic (as opposed to classical, YKWIA):

Another is a more recent song, Rob Thomas' 'Now Comes the Night' (which is unfortunately cut off in this video a bit):

And just for the record, I want to be cremated and NOT EMBALMED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Embalming gives me the willies and I think it's unnecessary, especially if you're planning to have your body reduced to cremains and ash anyway. I've told my family this, I've told my friends, and if it's in my power I'll haunt whomever buries me. I'm signed up as an organ donor; take what parts you need and then destroy my body and release my spirit's ties to matter so I can reincarnate in peace.

Good things


  1. Got home before midnight. Yay!
  2. Have only one more coat of paint left on the seemingly neverending painting project.
  3. Am starting the Habitat for Humanity build tomorrow.
  4. Am going to bed at a reasonable hour.

PS I'm trying to find a decent program that will help me transcribe dictation from a .wma file rather than a .wav. My recorder creates .wma files, and when I've tried to convert to a .wav for Express Scribe and other programs, I run out of space on the computer/disk I'm saving it to. (Well, I can do it on my computer, but a six-hour session creates a 4 gigabyte file that I can't get onto flash drives and the computer I use for the notes doesn't have a DVD-ROM drive.) Express Scribe is supposed to open .wma's but doesn't seem to recognise the one I have. Right now I'm using Windows Media Player and the slide bar is not particularly sensitive; I need to be able to rewind just a bit rather than to the beginning of recording, etc. Everything I've tried so far, even with a .wav, thinks it's 6 minutes rather than 6 hours long. Any suggestions?

PPS Actually, the version of Windows Media Player that I have on my computer allows for holding down the rewind or fast forward buttons to go back or advance a short amount. The question is whether I can get a version with that feature to work on a machine running Windows ME. (What can I say, I'm doing notes on an old clunker, and I can't bring them home and do them here, unfortunately.) Hmmm...Microsoft suggests WMP 9 for ME. It's supposed to have a rewind feature. The one that came with the machine just goes to the beginning or end of the file. It's worth a try.

Why would anyone do this?

Girls' shooting deaths rattle rural Oklahoma town

Friends on a sleepover, the two girls, Taylor Dawn Paschal-Placker and Skyla Jade Whitaker ages 13 and 11 respectively, were killed by multiple gunshots on a rural road within minutes of leaving the house. They both lived in small towns (the one near where they were killed has only 1,000 people), and both were the only girls in their classes. Due to the area where they were killed, authorities believe the shooter is a local, but otherwise have few leads they've released to the public.

It's just senseless, which is why I sort of wonder if it isn't someone else about their age who got a hold of a family member's gun--someone who didn't quite understand their actions. On the other hand, I guess they could have come across something they shouldn't have seen, like a drug deal or something. It's a very sad and scary situation in an area with low violent crime where people leave their doors unlocked and treat people like the neighbours they are. People are rightfully afraid to let their kids out of their sight.

I hope they catch the shooter as soon as possible. If you have any information about this case, call: 1-800-522-8017. Thanks.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Well, it will be pretty dark down there at McMurdo, and you've got to keep warm somehow.

Antarctica base gets 16,500 condoms before darkness

(Aerial photo courtesy of the United States Geological Survey, found at the USGS Newsroom. On that site you can click on the photo and enlarge it.) [A hint to our Gamemaster who might want to show it to the other players, since their characters are currently living in the shadow of Mt Erebus, trying to save the world.]

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Hmmm...there's a troublesome librarian after all

I am really looking forward to The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor on August 1st. (Rachel Weisz did not commit to the movie, so I thought there would be no Evvie, but she's been replaced with actress Maria Bello.)


Friday, June 06, 2008

In memoriam: 40 years since the assassination of Bobby Kennedy

I was one year old the year Martin Luther King, Jr and Bobby Kennedy were shot. One of my favourite records as a child, Tom Clay's 'What the Word Needs Now/Abraham, Martin, and John' remembers them both, along with John F Kennedy. Bobby Kennedy was shot on June 5, 1968 and died on June 6th, making it 40 years to the day since his death.

From Ted Kennedy's euology, as included on the record:

'My brother need not be idealised or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.'

It's all any of us can do.

I've finally cooled down

Listening to: Three Days Grace, 'Never Too Late'

after painting in a hot room ever since I got out of work at 9 pm. I had to get some gas on the way here so I stopped and in addition to the gas got a pint of ice cream, then sat in the air conditioning eating whilst perusing the news.

So it's 4:30 am and I haven't been to bed yet. I plan on heading to bed after I sign off here. I'll wait until tomorrow to take a shower--I'm just too tired right now.

Good night.

PS Here's the Clancy Brothers doing 'Parting Glass', just in case you like Irish music.


Police Search For Man Who Robbed Elderly Woman

'Don't say a word or I'll cut your throat': WOMAN, 86, TRIES TO HELP MAN ASKING FOR GAS, IS ROBBED AT KNIFEPOINT (link good for 7 days; I'll try to find it archived on Topix before then)

Just in case you didn't believe in a housing crisis

About 1 in 11 Mortgageholders Face Loan Problems

Mortgages and Madness: Questionable lending practices turned a peaceful Cleveland neighborhood into a blighted slum

Freakish (and sad)

Boy Drowns Hours After Leaving Pool: 10-Year-Old Autistic Youth An Apparent Victim Of "Secondary Drowning"

...secondary drowning can occur up to 72 hours later and without any warning signs, according to medical experts.

The boy in question swallowed some water in the apartment complex pool accidentally. After he got home he complained of feeling tired and took a nap. Later when he was checked on, water was coming out of his nose and he was struggling to breathe. His lungs were full of water.

Having inhaled my share of pool water before, it never occurred to me that you wouldn't either be fine or die right there, that there was a middle ground. Unfortunately there aren't many signs of secondary drowning; experts said that adults involved wouldn't have had any idea what was going on. My thoughts are with his family.


Passersby ignore man struck by car

HARTFORD (Connecticut) - The surveillance video is gripping: A 78-year-old man is tossed like a rag doll by a hit-and-run driver, and cars zoom by as he lies motionless on the busy city street.

Pedestrians gawk, but do nothing. One driver stops briefly, but then pulls back into traffic. A man on a scooter slowly circles the victim before zipping away.

Makes you wonder about human decency. Apparently no one even called authorities--a police cruiser happened by on another call.

PS Later they did release that four people did at least call 911. And a group did appear to flag down the policeman. Still, I saw the video today and one person is let out by a car and walks right by the man and never seems to notice him. The man is in critical condition and paralysed at last report. Here's the video. Hartford police are asking anyone with information to please contact them at the number in the video: 860-527-TIPS.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

I was too tired to blog properly last night

I didn't get home until 2:30 and managed to eat something and check the news before going to geting someone from work at 3 am. Then I went on to bed. I did find the Habitat for Humanity article and managed that. But I was almost too tired to focus enough to type.

Yesterday I worked, took someone to an appointment, ran some errands, and started priming the shelves and those in the utility room. I didn't get to the wainscotting or the brackets; that will have to be for tonight. I work 5-9 pm so my idea is to come home between jobs and nap (since I've only had five hours' sleep) and then go to work, go prime for another 2-3 hours, do at least an hour of notes and my normal nightly stuff, and then crash. Friday and Saturday I need to paint until I get it all done, shelves and wainscotting on the same day, so they'll be ready by Sunday. This is all worse because it's been 85 degrees without air conditioning in a small ventilation-free utility room, for the most part. Bleh. I'll be lucky I don't fall asleep during the game. :)

I was really upset yesterday because I was actually on target to pay my rent on time but when I checked to see how much my store paycheque was, I found three overdrafts. Three? I'd forgotten about the gym payment (but on the other hand, according to my records, a similar amount was still out for some gas, and I had enough money to cover it. Apparently I made an error somewhere.) But so I could understand if the gym payment overdrew. But actually through some sort of convoluted process plus the paying company's policy of not releasing funds at midnight, the way things happened were that the gym payment gobbled up the remaining funds although it was pending, and everything else in pending bounced. I understand how it works now (basically I can't trust my running balance or available balance at all). But the upshot is because of how their system handled the debits, there were three charges instead of one, eating up my entire paycheque from yesterday and leaving me negative. I got paid at the hospital last night. But I'll be short on my rent and although I'll be able to pay before being evicted or anything, it's going to cost a lot more money. Yes, this is my life, a comedy of errors. In this case part of it was my fault, part was their system and that of the company I work for, since if those funds were available (as they indicated in the available balance) at midnight, then everything would have been paid anyway. Grr.

Well, there's nothing I can do about it at this point except be sure I get everything paid I need to. Still, it was annoying.

Time to go to work.

A little news story about the house I'm helping build in the next few weeks

UK Joins Habitat’s Good Health Build

Note that our hospital is in the listing as well. We start next Thursday and continue through July building a house through Habitat for Humanity.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Last night

my internet was acting up and so during the time I would normally blog, I reset and unplugged modems and routers until it was working, then headed to bed without writing. Sorry about that, but I'd worked two jobs and taped a lot of a little hot utility room with no air conditioning for several hours and I just felt drained. Today's the priming. Now that I've meticulously taped, I'm thinking the priming and painting won't be as bad. But, hey, I could be wrong.

I think I have a new addition to my painting clothes. Monday I went to Danville and before I left I checked the car's oil and transmission fluid and prepaid for some gas. I needed transmission fluid. Now, my hood doesn't stay up on its own anymore; the hydraulics are shot. It's a twelve-year-old car with 252,000 miles on it, so as long as other things don't break down, I can live with it. Well, I was juggling the hood, the funnel (you need a long one for transmission fluid), and the fluid, and I wound up dumping the fluid down my blouse--my favourite one at that. I was so discombulated that I almost drove away without pumping my gas. But I got some of the fluid into the car, pumped the gas, went home (I was only a block or two away), changed, and headed to Danville.

I missed my cousins by about 15 minutes; they headed towards Mammoth Cave and other attractions to see on the way back South. My uncles were roofing a shed for my grandmother most of the day, so I saw them intermittently, then had a little visit when they were through. My mom and John came for awhile, but she'd had a 16-hour shift the night before and was exhausted. She went back home to go to bed after awhile (but I did get my car insurance cards from her; yay--my copies have been expired since February, even though I've had insurance, I just haven't had the proof with me). But I had a great visit with my Aunt Sharon Sue (I have two Aunt Sharons--my uncle married one, so the middle name is necessary; besides, we're in the South--that's what she's always been called. This is my mother's sister. She and her husband are paraprofessionals in a public library, so we can commisurate.) And of course I got to visit quite a bit with my grandmother. All in all it was a good visit. The weather was beautiful and the traffic light, at least on the way there. There were a couple of accidents and even a detour but it wasn't too bad.

After that I came back to Lexington, taped for a couple of hours, and then I did notes. This is my first experience using the recording I made to get down everything; I'm listening to it off the flash drive on the computer through Windows Media Player since I can start and stop it easily. On the recorder, unless you set index marks, it just goes back to the beginning or forward to the end, and that's over 6 hours of recording to go through. This way I can skip any extraneous stuff like dollmaking or the latest movies and concentrate on the content from the game.

Yesterday I worked at the hospital and met with a Basch representative, who did an impressive presentation. If she can get a better deal, especially in terms of service fees, I may go with her company as a serials vendor. I like their claims system, check-in module, and how easily it is to access electronic journals in a central online location. I haven't had that with our current jobber. Then I went to the store for about 3 hours and helped train a new girl. Then it was time for taping. I didn't get to do notes last night; I felt like I'd had all the life sucked out from me and only an episode of 'Will & Grace' restored me a tad.

By the way, something happened on Friday that I forgot to mention here, although I put it on Twitter. I went to the clinic to check on room for some Spanish books and found a tub of ice condensing on top of some of the board books during a party. Needless to say, I was upset, and although I didn't demand the culprit's tongue, I did point out to several people that this was no place for liquids. About four were damaged, but not severely. I forget other people are clueless about books, but my God, you expect some common sense, especially as all of the people in the clinic presumably have degrees. Agh.

Okay, off to work before I'm late.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Success, I think

Listening to: 'These Hard Times' by Matchbox 20

I used the recorder for its first game and recorded over six hours of material with the battery just going down one bar out of three (but it's rechargeable) and things are pretty clear even though a fan is blowing in the room. There was some lawnmowing at some point outside the window, so it should be interesting to see how well things were picked up by the recorder. I took notes as usual, though, so this is just supplementing them, although there were a few spots I didn't get down everything, so I'm glad for the backup. Speaking of backups, I put a copy of the file onto the computer since I do actually take the recorder around due to the music player function and listen at my desk at the hospital, etc.

Tomorrow I'm going to Danville to visit my grandmother, mom, and aunts/uncles/cousins who have come into town. Wish me luck. When you have a car with 252,000 miles on it, even an hour-long trip can be a little daunting.

By the way, you may have noticed the 'Twitter' widget on the left side of the screen with postings. Twitter is a type of mini-blogging--you only have 140 characters to eke out your message with, but it's incredibly easy to update. You can tweet from the web, from a phone/text message, through instant message, etc. I use a widget on my iGoogle page called 'BeTwittered', so I don't need to leave my home page if I don't want to. I've found sometimes I'm just too tired to blog here, but I'll put something on Twitter, or maybe I see something silly that isn't worth a post, and make a quick note. (One post was of seeing the first lightning bug of the season the other day, for example).

You can follow other people on Twitter. I started out following the MLA national conference and now I'm following a general MLA one, several librarians, and several Lexingtonians who seemed interesting and update regularly.

Today one of the librarians I follow posted a RIP message for her dog. I couldn't send her a direct message (she has to be following me to do that), and there wasn't a link at her blog, but I was able to send her a message of condolence at Facebook. I think I'm finally getting the hang of these Web 2.0/social networking gizmos.

Well, I guess that's it. That last part may not be comprehensible to non-techie types. Sorry about that. But I should go on to bed. I need to get gas and check my oil in the morning and for some reason it always takes longer to get out of Lexington than it should; when half the family is diabetic they take a dim view on you running late and throwing off lunch. :) Good night.