Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Halloween Wildcat

Today I dressed up as a zombie gas station attendant (hey it was kind of lame, but I didn't have much in the way of ideas this year). So I wore my uniform, put on white makeup with dark circles around my eyes to suggest the undead or a skull, and put fake spiderwebs in my hair and on the shirt. I didn't have a picture taken of it, though, even though I had my camera with me. The picture to the right is a decorated statue in one of our hallways. The artwork is by Virginia Leake and is called 'Blue's Cat'. It was donated to the hospital sometime after UK had their public art auction of wildcat (their mascot) statues (Lexington had recently done a similar one with fibreglass horses).

We had trick-or-treating for the kids at work; hence the dressing up. The kids come to each department and we hand out candy. There weren't that many kids this year; Fridays are kind of light on census and outpatient clinic visits. But it looked like they had a lot of fun.

The biggest hit in costumes were probably those of the information technology department, who all dressed up at iPods. They had white cardboard boxes with a transparent sheeting where the screen would be, and the buttons and Apple logo were printed on them as well. I remember one saying his screen kept fogging up. I wish I'd gotten a picture. Nancy was in that department; I think she would have approved.

I had thought to dress up at the gas station as a librarian, but 1) I wasn't working tonight and 2) it's a lot harder to dress as a librarian, even with stereotypes like buns and glasses. I don't have a long skirt and crepe-soled shoes, either. Basically, if I dressed as myself, no one would get it, work name tag or not. So, it's just as well I wasn't working tonight.

Of course, it's also a religious holiday for me. So I'm home early and enjoying some time at home. Normally I would make an offering, but I hate to say it, I don't even have spring water, and I miscalculated with my chequing account (I forgot an ATM charge for using another bank's machine), so I can't really get anything right now. Sigh. But I like to celebrate on Old Samhain, too, and that's the 11th of November. I'm sure things will be better then, so I'll give a libation then.

I'm going to spend some time tonight on notes. I don't have to be at work until 2 pm tomorrow, so maybe I can do notes and clean the apartment some. I'm working until 10 pm. Sunday's the game, of course. Then Monday-Wednesday I'm off at the hospital so I can do a massive cleaning. I still have to work Monday and Wednesday nights at the station, though.

Tuesday I'm off completely; I asked off at both jobs for Election Day, partly because I'd like to go vote, take a friend to vote, and check on the results throughout the night. A few years ago there was another big election and I took my friends to vote an hour or so before the polls closed and wound up being two hours late for work because we got locked into the polling place and it took so long for them to get through the line. This election sounds like it's going to be a record one, too. I'm going to try to go about 10 am and I'm taking my friend at 3 pm, so I'm hoping we can get around the big crowds. Mine should still be lighter, since I live in a precinct that is almost entirely my apartments, and many apartment dwellers do not vote. But I think that might be different this time. We have two big races--the presidential one, of course, and also the senate race between McConnell and Lunsford. It should be apparent how I'm voting from things I've written here (and the Obama graphic). But remember, no matter how you're planning on voting, VOTE! Exercise your right to choose your leaders.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

An embarrassed alumna

Effigy of Obama Found Hanging From Tree

I guess we have racist boneheads at UK, too (but I'd argue they're pretty much everywhere). The comments to the news story are especially interesting, many pointing out that there is a very different reaction from people and the media of the incident vs. the gay couple who as part of their Halloween decorations in West Hollywood have hung an effigy of Sarah Palin and put John McCain on the chimney surrounded by flames like the Devil.

I think the history of lynching black people makes something of a difference. Nor do I think anyone is attacking Palin due to her gender--she and McCain were targeted because of their politics. But I agree that neither case should be treated like Halloween fun. I just don't think Palin's represents a hate crime (and wouldn't be treated as one under the law, which as far as I know doesn't recognise gender for hate crimes, which I think is unfortunate). The Obama effigy may be meant as a Halloween prank, or a political statement, but it strays more fully into hate crime territory. I don't support either 'statement', to be honest.

I definitely am embarrassed that this happened at my alma mater.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008


Grieving father says he gave son, 8, permission to fire Uzi
I sometimes wonder if fully (or even semi-) automatic weapons belong in the hands of the average person (generally I'd say no, certainly it's not necessary for hunting, after all, since that's better done with standard rifles, shotguns, and bows), but on the other hand, they are legal in many places and as far as I am concerned, if you have obtained them legally, know how to use them (even taken classes on them), are duly licensed, and are an adult with your full faculties, then I say, fine, go to the local shooting range and use your weapon in as safe an environment as can be made.

I've even shot guns myself, and at the age of 8 or 9--at 4-H camp, both rifles and shotguns (but neither automatics).

But why would anyone put an automatic UZI, with a decent recoil, in the hands of an 8-year-old, even if it met all the other parameters I stated above (legal gun, permits obtained, in a shooting range, under certified instructors' supervision--and in the state of Massachusetts, which has long been touted as a 'tough' state in gun laws)? What adults thought this was a good idea? Because although a fair amount of children shot such weapons this weekend at a gun expo in Westfield, Massachusetts, one little boy didn't come out alive. He lost control of the gun during the recoil and accidentally shot himself in the head. It's a miracle no one else was injured, either. And a lot of people are asking why.

The father says he gave permission because it was a small gun, with lower recoil than many, and his son already had experience in firing weapons. He doesn't think the instructor was holding the gun with his son, but doesn't see it as particularly relevant, according to the story. Oh, and his father's job? He's the medical director of the emergency department at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs, Connecticut--which you'd think would give him a perspective on the fact that kids and guns don't really mix well.

I'm not sure what I think about this story is particularly printable. I'm sure there are those out there who say, but you just don't like guns and want to keep them away from everybody. No, I don't like guns, although every now and then I consider buying one not for defence but for shooting at a range, increasing a skill. No, I question why a kid that age was given a weapon that more correctly would be in the hands of soldier than a child. I question why a gun club would advertise an event with discounts for children, lots of child activities, and drawing them in as just plain family fun. Does no one teach children about the dangers of guns anymore? Before I was allowed near one, I had to complete a hunter safety course in 4-H. And I KNEW not to go near the handgun my dad had (as a military person he had one in the home) at all, because that was made clear. I knew what guns could do without having to see if first hand. And then when I was older, I had a younger cousin killed by a gun when he was 18, which has been described as a freak accident but I suspect someone was clowning around with it. Guns aren't toys. Kids need to learn that early on. I knew the cap guns I played with as a child weren't real. I knew that real guns were deadly. And so should all of the adults and children at that expo.

News of interest

FACT CHECK: McCain persists in exaggerations

Obama assassination plot thwarted

US crossing more borders in terror war?: The alleged incursions into Syria, and previously into Pakistan, could be risky

Sunday, October 26, 2008

International law and boundaries just don't seem to matter to the Bush Administration

US Forces Reportedly Strike Inside Syria:

This 9 days before the election. I hope this goes no further than Syrian protests. I mean, attacking other countries is generally considered an act of war. Nevermind overextending the military, let's fight on as many fronts as possible, right? Who cares about whether we have to go into another country or not? We're Americans; we can do anything we want. What a mentality. Gods, I hope that some cooler heads get put in office before our country goes belly up in terms of international support. It's no wonder the world thinks we're a bunch of cowboys.

A feel-good story

Hero dog risks life to save kittens from fire

I cashed in my points from my bank for a Barnes & Noble gift card

because I'm not particularly trustful of corporate America. You see, my bank is National City. But according to this news story: PNC to buy ailing National City for $5.58 billion, it's being acquired. So I don't know if the points programme will continue. It should, in theory, or at least accumulated points should be able to be used. But like I said, my faith in corporations is weak. Hence, cashing in a little over 5,000 of my points.

What will I get with the $10 card, you ask? H.P. Lovecraft: The Fiction, an unabridged and complete compilation of Lovecraft's stories in a hardcover tome with 1,120 pages. It's just been published, with an online price of $12.95, so I can get it for about $3 plus shipping and handling. Yay.

As you may recall, the last time I cashed in points, there were 40,000 of them and I got the $100 Amazon.com card that I used to buy my digital voice recorder (used mostly for the Cthulhu game) and a CD. I love getting free stuff. :)

Okay, that's enough blogging. I'm going to bed now. Ciao.

PS Did you know 'ciao' comes from 's-ciào vostro' or 's-ciào su', literally meaning 'I am your slave'? Maybe I should take that back, although of course it's an idiom not meant to be taken literally even in the full phrase. Just a bit of random knowledge for the day.

Now for something lighter: did you know common office sticky tape emits x-rays?

From Wired:

Gallery: Take an X-Ray With Your Office Sticky Tape
It has been known for a long time that sticky tape emits visible light when peeled in a dark room (try it!). But researchers at UCLA have also discovered that peeling sticky tape in a vacuum sends out pulses of X-rays along with visible light, though the actual mechanism that causes the X-rays to form is not yet understood.

Looking in the mirror and seeing mortality

Nancy's funeral was Friday afternoon. For those of us who couldn't go, there was a memorial service at the hospital, which was nice. I was able to view the slideshow today, and the service itself was really pretty helpful, I must admit. A chaplain from Hospice performed talked to us, but mostly it was people talking about how she touched their lives.

A friend of mine and I were talking about why I took her death so hard, given the fact that I really didn't know her that well, and certainly not outside of work. He believes, and I agree, that part of it is that the last person in my life to die was my grandfather, eight years ago, and he was older and had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/emphysema and had been on oxygen for years. It was not unexpected. Most of the people in my life who I've mourned died due to an illness that prepared everyone for the eventuality. The one exception I can think of was a young man in a wheelchair I'd been tutoring who was killed by a car as he was crossing the street. But I was nineteen or twenty at the time, and although I was sad about him, I didn't really make a link between his mortality and mine.

But now I'm in my forties, I'm diabetic, overweight, and very much feeling the weight of my mortality. It's not that I'm particularly afraid of death per se, but it is the unknown quality that unsettles me. And Nancy's death--someone closer to my own age, sudden as it was, and with her dying alone--underscores the idea that we all will die, sometimes without farewells or wrapping up loose ends, and especially it reminds me that I could die at any time--and yes, die alone. I find myself thinking sometimes questions like: Will my family respect my wish to be cremated, to give my organs? Should I write a will? How will I die? How will my loved ones take it? How will the readers of my blog know? Will I be remembered fondly? Have I touched any lives? What will people think of the mess that is my house when they have to go through it? That sort of thing...

And part of it, too, is that I feel like such a failure in my life, in terms of what I've accomplished. But that's mostly because I'm pretty critical; I don't always see the good in life very easily. I do know that one of my best qualities is that I'm a fiercely loyal person. And I'm sure there are other good qualities. But I can't say I have joie de vivre, or that spark that Nancy had.

One thing my friend said that struck me, though, (and I'm paraphrasing since I don't remember the exact words, but it was expressed much better than this) is that there's no way to know how people will really be remembered until their work is finished and they've died.

I guess most of us have thoughts on mortality as we get older. It's only natural. But Nancy's death has given me more to digest about death, and life, and I can only hope it will have an impact in how I approach the rest of my life, and how I myself will be remembered.

I know that's several posts now on the subject. Thanks for bearing with me.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Today I worked less than two hours at the store instead of the ten I was scheduled. This was in exchange for working a couple of hours on another day. It'll be less money, but it was almost like being off on a Saturday.

Then I got a reprieve on notes for the game tomorrow. This means I can go to bed at a reasonable time and get some rest, which is good, seeing as I worked nearly thirteen hours yesterday (10 am-almost 11 pm) and didn't get to bed until 5:45 am this morning because I had some things to do.


Horrible--I hope they catch the person who did this

TV anchorwoman dies after brutal beating

She was only 26 years old, a popular anchorwoman in Little Rock, Arkansas. She was found beaten a few days ago by her mother after she didn't answer her wake-up call. Police believe it was a random crime; her credit card was used at a gas station not too far away. My thoughts are with her family and friends.

Friday, October 24, 2008

In remembrance

My apologies. This is going to ramble.

From the Lexington Herald-Leader:

Nancy CharleyCHARLEY Nancy Jean, 52, of Lexington, KY, died Tue, Oct 21, 2008 in Cincinnati, OH. Born in LaCrosse, WI, she was the daughter of Muriel Charley of Lexington and the late Peter Stuart Charley. Ms. Charley was a graduate of Midway College and a clinical analyst for Shriner's Hospital. She was a Kentucky Colonel, a volunteer at the Kentucky Horse Park, and a member of Gethsemane Lutheran Church. Survivors other than her mother include a sister, Patricia Charley (Mark) Balkan, Oakland, CA; a brother, David Charley, of northern KY; three nieces, Anika Balkan, Samantha Charley, and Megan Charley; and Sophie. Funeral services will be noon Fri at Gethsemane Lutheran Church by Pastor Joe Trester. Burial will follow in Lexington Cemetery. Visitation will be 5-8pm Thu at Kerr Brothers Funeral Home, Harrodsburg Rd. Memorial contributions are suggested to Shriner's Hospital, 1900 Richmond Rd, Lex, KY 40502 or The Kentucky Horse Park, ATTN: Foundation, 4089 Iron Works Pkwy. Lex, KY 40511.

I couldn't go to the visitation since I worked tonight. I doubt I can make it to the funeral, as it's in the middle of the workday. But I can light a candle for Nancy. They had grief counselors in from Hospice today, and a memorial video was playing in the room, but I got choked up just going near it, so I went ahead and left since I was heading to an appointment anyway. Maybe I'll try to watch it tomorrow.

I did find out that all indications were that she died in her sleep. That's somewhat comforting, anyway.

I wonder if a Lutheran would mind a Pagan saying prayers for her soul? Somehow I don't think Nancy would mind.

Good night. And remember, each day should be lived as if it were your last, because it may be. I have a hard time putting that into practice, like most people, I suppose. But I try not to allow spats or hurtful words fester overnight for that reason.

The deaths of others help remind us how fragile, short, and tenuous life can be, and make us respect and cherish it all the more. It forces us to contemplate our own mortality, to ask how well we are prepared to die, to go on to the next step in our soul's evolution, if things are as I believe. If you believe in the Christian world-view, death should be a time of joy.

In my own belief system the soul is released from the body, which allows it to join with the World-Soul, as the Platonists would put it, or to reincarnate into another existence to learn more life lessons. All we can do when put upon this Earth is to leave it better than we found it, something I think Nancy did well.

Perhaps whatever lessons she needed to learn she had done so, and it was time to move on. I don't know. But I will miss her, but I can't feel too sad, either, for death is a transition to a new state of being, and in most belief systems, that transition will lead to new horizons. I just wish I'd stop crying whenever I think of her. I mean, it shouldn't be sad, right? Not according to my beliefs. I should be happy for her. I guess the sadness is for me and for the others she touched. So maybe I should acknowledge it, but let the sadness go, and celebrate her life, the good memories, and thank her for the opportunity to know her. Because wherever you are, Nancy, you really helped me understand what it means to be alive. Thank you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Although I sometimes complain about America

I fortunately have that right, as part of my right to free speech. And it's stories like these that really make me appreciate my rights as an American citizen. I wish others fared as well.

Afghan gets 20 years for women's rights talk
An Afghan appeals court overturned a death sentence for a student accused of blasphemy for asking questions about women's rights under Islam. But the judges still sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

My schedule is tight from Thursday through Sunday

but I get to watch 'Heroes' on Monday after all. I need to go to the website and watch the episodes I missed. I hear it was awesome, especially this week's.

I'm working Thursday (truck) night for 4 1/2 hours, Friday for 7, and Saturday for 10 at the store. Then there's the game on Sunday. But I'm off Monday-Wednesday from the store, so that's nice.

I don't work at the store tomorrow, either, but I'm going to go into the hospital, work until about 11 am, go to the store for a celebration (one of my co-workers who has been with the company 32 years is retiring), spend a long lunch there (having okayed it with my boss at the hospital), then come back and work a little later than usual to make sure I can finish up the grant work by Thursday.

Requiescat in pace

Today I found out that a co-worker, Nancy Charley, died sometime this morning or last night. She was up in Cincinnati on a work-related trip, and when she didn't arrive in the morning they checked at her hotel and she was dead. Just like that. She'd gone out to dinner with the others last night and seemed fine. It's just a reminder that death can come at any time.

I really liked and respected Nancy. She had a joie de vivre that I could barely dream of. I think she was in her 50s, and yet she did things like take belly dancing lessons, dance in the zombie-parade in downtown Lexington to Michael Jackson's 'Thriller', that sort of thing. She loved horses and volunteered at the Kentucky Horse Park. I really didn't know Nancy that well; she was an acquaintance, and yet I was always amazed by the spark of life that blazed within her. Now that spark is gone, and it makes me very sad, even though I know death is not really the end but is also a beginning.

I had been listening to Marc Broussard whilst working on a grant project before my boss told me about Nancy. I looked at the CDs I had at work and realised I had Mozart's Requiem mass. I don't know if Nancy was religious or not, but it seemed fitting, as it is now. So I'll include the 'Introit' and 'Kyrie' from his Requiem here. My condolences to her mother and other family. If the funeral is here and I'm not working, I'd like to go. I suspect she touched many lives in the time she had here. I gather she was somewhat of a wild child, especially in her youth. She also had a wonderful sense of humour. She was always supportive of me and valued my creativity. She will be sorely missed.

Monday, October 20, 2008

So I'm missing 'Heroes' again

due to my work schedule. :( That's two weeks in a row, and likely next week, too.

Listening to Marc Broussard's 'Home' [embedding disabled, but it's a great blues-y song]

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Very peaceful and brooding, fitting my mood

I was looking up classical guitar and lute videos (I love that sort of music) and found this:

'Lachrimae Pavan', written by John Dowland (circa 1604)

Good night.

Just wrong

Chef guilty of stabbing, seasoning victim

The Briton was found guilty of murder on Friday.

That's sort of sad

Titanic survivor sells items to pay for bills

The last survivor of the Titanic, who was 2 months old at the time of the sinking, is auctioning off memorabilia in order to pay for her nursing home costs.

An odd finding

B&W TV Generation Has Monochrome Dreams

I've always dreamt in vivid colour. But when I was a kid, I thought things that happened before I was born were in black and white because of the popular technique of filming flashbacks to the past that way.

Remember the a-ha video? This is by the same folks

but it's Tears for Fears' 'Head Over Heels' as a literal video, and of course it was set in a library, so I decided to include it here. Thanks to palexander of LISNews. Enjoy.

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Something I need to tell myself, because I'm the one keeping me from being myself

'Let Me Be Myself' by 3 Doors Down [lyrics]

Friday, October 17, 2008

I am being thwarted

Women for Obama Sticker
Some weeks back, when the car was out of commission, I received a free Obama bumpersticker from MoveOn.org. I cannot for the life of me find it. No doubt it will turn up after the election. So I thought I'd get one from the Fayette Democrats, our local group. I've tried twice now, and they've been out. Yesterday I called and they had them, but it was raining and I wanted to put it right on the car so I wouldn't lose another one, and by today they were out again. They only get them in batches of 500, apparently. They're like gold. The nice lady did give me their phone number and asked me to call next week and have them hold one for me, since I've tried several times. So hopefully next week I'll have one (and maybe by then I can actually make a small donation to at least cover their costs). If all else fails, I may just have to order one from his website. They're just $3 and have a removable adhesive so they won't take paint off your car. My favourite is the one pictured here.

A rare night at home

I got in a little while ago, but I can't really take it easy; I have an evening of notes ahead of me, since I haven't even transferred the game's recording to the computer yet. I need to finish by Sunday morning. Since we play from about 2 pm-8:30 pm (we get together at 1 pm, but there's usually socialising and catching up on the last game's notes before we get going), that's several hours to go through. Fortunately it was all downtime. I've got some plans for Sunday's game, jotted on a sticky note in my purse, that I must remember to bring up.

But first I took a brief break to eat something and check the news, just a few minutes. I hope I don't have to stay up too late tonight, as I work at 8 am tomorrow, [then go wash dogs and read more Lumley, among other things] and then on Sunday I have to be there at 7 am to prepare for the game plus get a friend from work, so Saturday night is going to be a crunch, too. I really meant to start earlier this week, and I've actually had a little time to work on them--but I keep napping instead because I just feel tired most of the time. Maybe it's the weather change or the days getting shorter, or just working a lot, although this week that's slacked up. Or maybe it's a touch of depression. I went up on one of my meds but it'll take a few weeks to really get the full effect. Hopefully after daylight savings ends it'll be easier for me to get up in the morning, anyway.

We lost another person at the store today. I don't know the details; it was the girl who didn't show up the other day, leaving me by myself. So I may be working more next week. Plus, on the 22nd a woman who has worked for the company for 32 years is retiring, and one of the second-shifters will be going to days. That leaves the new shift leader and myself to cover evenings. Hopefully my boss can borrow some people from other stores or even better, get someone sent over from the hiring centre that isn't flaky, is honest, and doesn't mind working. How hard can that be to find? Pretty hard, apparently. It worked much better before when the managers hired their own employees.

Listening to

I was disappointed to find out that a beautiful video about which I posted last year with Blue October's '18th Floor Balcony' to Final Fantasy graphics is no longer available. I wish there were some way to download videos for future viewing. Instead, I wound up watching another Blue October/Final Fantasy combination, 'Amazing'. Althought the lost video was definitely more stunning, this is the best video with this song set to it that I've found on the Internet, and it fits the emotions of the song pretty well.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It was a good day, overall

and much better than yesterday. Last night when I worked at the store, the other CSR (customer service representative, our official title, meaning clerk, really) did not call or show up for work, so I was alone with a fair amount of traffic in terms of customers served. I was also pre-menstrual (I know, too much information), and I guess I was having a bit of anxiety over working alone at night (I do it normally on Saturdays for a couple of hours during the day, but it seems a little more menacing at night, like I've got a big target on my head that says, 'rob me!') Anyway, this guy came in and somewhat crudely explained he had to go to the bathroom and it needed cleaning, with the ladies' room occupied, so I cleaned it and then once he was inside just started crying. Not bawling, but visibly upset. I guess it was a combination of hormones, anxiety, not having taken my meds yet that day, and his manner as a trigger. A couple of customers who were regulars were very kind as I tried to hold it together, and when the guy came out he saw me crying and hugged me. Gods, I'm so embarrassed, but at least it's in the past. Turns out my co-worker apparently got caught in court until late (I don't know why) and then on the Interstate coming back her car caught on fire and her cell had no signal.

Today was much better. I spent most of my day at the library working on some details for a grant we're writing that will hopefully pay for updates to the library and family resource centre as well as electronic resources. Then I picked up some meds from the pharmacy, came home, took a 20-minute nap, and headed to work at the station. The girl did come in today, and it wasn't that busy. Customers are generally happy because gas is $2.81 a gallon. Would you have imagined we'd be happy about that ten years ago?

Then it was over to a friend's to read some Lumley. Now I'm home and I've gone through lots of stories in my news reader. I think I should head for bed. I want to get up a little earlier tomorrow and do some straightening up and clearing the living room floor of boxes of books so I can start yoga. I went to the clinic which has been treating the pain in my elbow and I told the doctor it has mostly resolved. Since much of it seems to be postural, they are really recommending yoga, and it is one activity I really enjoy. I have a tape I especially like, called AM Yoga, with Rodney Yee. Anyway, I thought I'd give it a try. And if I don't wake up early enough in the morning, there are a couple of hours between jobs tomorrow. Good night.

That's a little disturbing

Britain is considering legislation to create a centralised database which will store details of all phone calls made, websites visited, and e-mails sent by UK citizens, ostensibly to fight crime and terrorism. Supposedly the content itself will not be stored. Still, opponents have labelled it as 'Orwellian' and a breach of the principles of a free society. I would like to think that the US, with its emphasis on civil liberties, would encounter great opposition in passing such legislation and could not get it through Congress, but then I had a lot more faith in the American government before the Bush Administration got a hold of things. Here's to the opponents in Britain prevailing.

Phone calls database considered
Warning over phone calls database
'No decision' on giant database
Giant database plan 'Orwellian'

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

'Tis very late

but YKWIA just showed me an interesting web series (from quite a few years back, so for some of you this won't be new). It's called Ghosts of Albion. It was created by Amber Benson (Tara of Buffy: the Vampire Slayer) and Christopher Golden, an American novelist. The series features among its voice talents Anthony Daniels (C3PO) and Emma Samms (remember 'Dynasty'?) There are several chapters on the BBC website, and there are two books out for it. There is also a Ghosts of Albion roleplaying game from Eden Studios that was set to be released in September as well (I'm not sure if that actually happened; publication dates are very tenuous in the gaming world, but you can purchase a PDF copy from their website.) Here's a free starter demo (PDF). It sounds like it would be interesting to play. For more about the world of Ghosts of Albion, check out the Wikipedia article

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weeding words

Speaking of the English language, the following words are being purged from Britain's Collins English Dictionary as archaic and obsolete to make room for new entries. I figure as long as they're in the OED, they're still official. And as you've no doubt noticed, I have a penchant for archaic words and spellings anyway. :)

Abstergent, Agrestic, Apodeictic, Caducity, Caliginosity, Compossible, Embrangle, Exuviate, Fatidical, Fubsy, Griseous, Malison, Mansuetude, Muliebrity, Niddering, Nitid, Olid, Oppugnant, Periapt, Recrement, Roborant, Skirr. Vaticinate, and Vilipend

For lots of 'obscure' words, try Luciferous Logolepsy, a great site devoted to them.

What does your library say about you?

Two stories caught my eye as I perused my RSS reader. One was a link Jessamyn West pointed me to about Jay Walker's large, personal collection. It's simply breathtaking.

Then there was a link to Know a Man by His Books posted on LISNews by Bibliofuture. It looks at the collection Adolf Hitler had.


The Jennifer Morgue by Charles Stross
Necroscope V: Deadspawn by Brian Lumley
An HP Lovecraft Anthology by HP Lovecraft

Okay, I know my camera is a very basic one

and doesn't really take sharp photos--especially of things in the sky, but the moon tonight looks like a giant dragon's eye with the way the clouds were reflecting its light, and you can see a little of what I mean in the following photo.

PS Speaking of the moon, I just have to write a note on Kid Rock's song 'All Summer Long'...I know technically 'shined' is a past tense of 'shine' just like 'shone'--and maybe that works for nouns like 'light' (although I would says 'he shined the light' but 'the light shone', but it just does not work so much for 'moon'); 'the moonlight shone upon her hair', rather than 'shined' sounds so much better. Check how many times 'moon shone' pops up in Google vs. 'moon shined', for example. General English usage puts 'moon' with 'shone'. I have only heard 'moon shined' twice in my life, both recently, once in the song and once on an advertisement. It just sounds afflicted, even if technically I can't prove it 'wrong', but maybe I'm too old school. Maybe it's a regional thing (he's from Michigan, I'm from the South). I don't know. I like the song (it's very catchy and sticks in your mind, among other things), but this just bugs me. :) Oh, well, my grammar's not perfect; I probably shouldn't complain. But hey, what's the use of a blog if you can't rant once in awhile?

Monday, October 13, 2008

I cannot justify spending $40 for a set of dice

but the glow-in-the-dark Cthulhu dice with Elder Signs are still nifty cool.
Cthulhu dice

Okay, enough game-related stuff. I'm going to bed. Good night. :)

Gives a whole new meaning to 'checkmate'

Someone has made a Cthulhu chess set. Check it out. The person still has the moulds, so can make more.
The kings (Cthulhu) have precious stones for eyes; the white piece has spherical lab-created rubies, the black piece has salt water pearls.
The queen is Nyarlathotep (has a single large tentacle for a face).
The bishops are Father Dagon/ Mother Hydra (take your pick).
The knights are Hounds of Tindalos (the knights move in angles, and in the mythos the hounds are supposed move through angles).
The rooks are shoggoths
The pawns are Deep Ones.


Listening to

'My Immortal' by Evanescence

Today was an enjoyable Cthulhu game, although the scariest entity encountered was my character's 2-year-old. Yes, she really is that scary. Give me Mi-Go, Shub-Niggurath, or Cthonians--anything but Kaia, a child with a morphing ability, multiple personalities, and a penchant for growing tentacles and injecting people with neurotoxins. What can I say, daycare is out of the question. :)

I found a link to headlines of strange stories any Lovecraft fan might like to follow, such as strange pyramids, meteorites, and planets at the reaches of our system. Granted, it hasn't been updated in awhile, but it's a good idea. Check out BloopWatch for more.

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's not the slickest of videos, nor will any singing careers be launched

--but I think it captures the fears of the liberals regarding the handbasket to hell we'll be in with Sarah Palin as Vice President. There is a bit of profanity.

'Hey Sarah Palin' (to the tune of 'Hey There Delilah' by the Plain White T's)

YKWIA: Be sure to show A this.

My favourite line?

Hey Sarah Palin, just because you're good at shootin'
Doesn't mean you have the ammo to negotiate with Putin

There's even a T-Shirt. :)

The sky is beautiful and full of stars

as a setting gibbous moon hangs overhead.

It's been a decent day in general, I suppose. I was finally able to place an order through our new computerised materials management system at work, but the Internet connexion fizzled this afternoon, too. My best self-quote of the day: 'I make a good beta tester; I'm a problem magnet.' This was mitigated with breakfast for lunch today (my favourite meal, not only for its content, but its cheapness--my whole meal was $2.10). But it took care of some of the frustration, although I found the main task sans Internet for me to do was go over the e-mails that had piled up in my inbox during my vacation, which I had been somewhat avoiding--just skimming for the important ones.

I signed up to renew my AAA membership today. They take out our dues from our paycheques in two instalments in November, always with the code 'flower fund'. :)

After work, I paid my rent, then had a nap between jobs. It wasn't long but was refreshing. I had the window open and the fan blowing on me.

I spent nearly every moment at job #2, except for checking in the truck and my 10-minute break, in the cooler organising and stocking, trying to remove as many boxes and crates as possible. Like everything else about the store, the cooler is way too small for the product we keep in there, so that means getting creative in stacking sometimes. The two of us who are regular second-shifters were off yesterday and the day before, with those borrowed from other stores filling in, so I don't think the cooler was really done that well, or at least they weren't able to find everything that needed stocking. I was frozen by the time I got home, although not as cold as the girls who were working out front. They're small and don't have the fat layer I have. I can be working in the cooler with the fans running full for awhile without really losing that much heat. But tonight was longer than usual.

Then it was over to YKWIA's to read more of Lumley. We're doing two chapters a night right now. I didn't get over there until after 10 because he was watching 'Supernatural' and didn't want to be disturbed, so I was over there pretty late. Plus, I watched a little of Keith Olbermann whilst I was there, since I enjoy his show [what can I say, I'm liberal to a fault and so I like it. Did you know he was raised a Unitarian? That was the last and only type of church I'd belong to. I left only because they harangued for money too much, but I still agree with the ideals.] He had Sarah Silverman on. She'd done a video urging Jews to schlep over to Florida and convince their grandparents to vote for Obama. What can I say, it's something only she could pull off, I suspect. They didn't show the whole thing on TV (and I can see why) but it's pure Sarah (so you know there are expletives, right?)

Anyways, so I'm just now getting home. My shoes are off, I've eaten a few pretzels, and it's off to bed. 'Night.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

You know how young lovers tend to have a 'song'?

One that's special to them? When I was dating my ex-husband, ours was 'Take on Me' by the Norwegian band a-ha. Despite all that came after in that relationship, I still like the song a lot.

But I like what these people have done to it even more. :) It's the literal version of the video, and one of the latest 'internet phenomena'. I found out about it from MSNBC.

'Gentiles will eat anything', or so my friend, who is Jewish, tells me

But I had to draw the line at undercooked catfish today at lunch. I very indelicately spit out a piece into my napkin, I'm afraid. But they let me get some tuna salad instead, and alerted the servers. Serves me right for trying to eat something non-kosher--a bottom-feeder at that. Granted, I'm not Jewish, but I can't help thinking that they are on to something when it comes to unclean food. I don't really like catfish, shrimp, or pork (the latter not being an issue, since I'm a pescu-vegetarian). I have to admit, I'm convinced I was Jewish in a past life and seriously considered converting at some point (much easier for me, as a woman...no circumcision required). I even have a minor in Judaic Studies, so maybe that's all worn off on me.

But I am excited that tomorrow the cafeteria will be serving breakfast for lunch. My favourite! I like breakfast at odd times, like lunch and late at night. I'm rarely up early enough to actually make breakfast before work, and the cafeteria stops serving breakfast before I get there.

I am still craving tofu goodness from Great Wall. I couldn't make it in time before they closed tonight; maybe I can get it between jobs tomorrow, depending on how much money I have left over after my rent is paid.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

This is too great

Okay, it's not particularly favourable to either the police or young men who want to act like thugs, but it is funny. It's Chris Rock's 'How to Not Get Your Ass Kicked by the Police' and is a good primer for all of us, black or white. There is some profanity.

I particularly like the 'don't bring a crazy friend along' part and the look on the poor guy's face. It reminds me of a traffic stop where I and the other passengers bounced up and down, shaking the whole car whilst the cop ran the plates, and Bill nearly wet himself trying to get us to stop. We were the crazy friends. Ah, good times. Thanks YKWIA for finding it and showing it to me...

As usual, here's a peek at what I'm listening to:
Three Days Grace's 'Never Too Late' and Thriving Ivory's 'Angels on the Moon'.

Several '-ing's

Listening to: 'Viva la Vida' by Coldplay (embedding disabled) [lyrics]

Reading: 'The Concrete Jungle', a novella by Charles Stross (I'm reading it in a collection of his works, but the link goes to an online version of the story.) Also reading Necroscope IV: Deadspeak by Brian Lumley, still, as well as the HP Lovecraft collection mentioned in the sidebar.

Eating: Macaroni shells and cheese. Yum!

Drinking: Diet Sunkist soda

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

David Rothman of davidrothman.net did not have a heart attack

It was David H. Rothman of TeleRead, a great site devoted to E-Books. What are the chances that the same name would come up in my reader? Anyway, I hope the other David recovers quickly and thanks to David Rothman (no H.) for putting me straight. And you should still check out his site/the links I put in, because he is one cool medical librarian. :)

Sorry for the confusion...I hope I didn't alarm anyone.

PS, here's hoping for a full recovery of a fellow medical librarian


I didn't really read much of my RSS feeds, including news, over the week I was on vacation. I have 600 in my reader right now, and I went through a few earlier today. But one thing I did see was unfortunate, and I thought I'd mention it here. David Rothman, a medical librarian whose blog I read and who was named as a Mover and Shaker in Library Journal last time they came out with the list, had a heart attack a few days ago, followed by a quadruple bypass within 24 hours. There was a 90% blockage. David doesn’t smoke and is primarily a vegetarian, but apparently there is a family history of heart problems. He's not that old (he looks to be in his 30s or early 40s at the most). He and his wife were blessed with a baby this summer. I'm hope he's doing better now.

To put a face to a name, you can see David in a video shot earlier this year as part of a plenary session called Web 2.0 Principles and Best Practices: Discovering the Participatory Web at the MLA annual meeting in May. He was the first presenter. He gave a great talk, and has a definite sense of humour. Or there's a nice article about him called 'Direct Effects: David Rothman, Community General Hospital' with a picture. Again, best wishes, and I hope everything turns out for David and his family.

UPDATE: Please see the next post for the real story. Basically, the David Rothman who had the heart attack was not the medical librarian who blogs at davidrothman.net. Their names are very similar, and it appeared in my library feed because David H Rothman (who did have the heart attack) is involved with E-Books.

Thanks to David (no H) for putting me straight, both in the comment below and on his blog. Sorry for the confusion/alarm, and a personaly apology to David for any misunderstandings that may arise. I've tried to update this in such a way, both with a new post and editing this one, so it'll make it through searches and RSS feeds okay.)

I hope to Gods this doesn't turn viral. I'll have more understanding for gaffes that politicians and reporters make (although I still love Biden's assertion that FDR addressed the country on television in 1929, when he wasn't president yet, no was there television. Hey, I'll still vote for him, even if he has a weak sense of history. At least he knows he's running for vice-president, which is more than you can say about Sarah Palin.)

I've got to get up at 6:45 am but wanted to give you an update

Sorry I haven't posted. The weekend was exhausting. Last night I came home at 11 pm and thought, 'I'll sleep for an hour and get up and blog.' I woke up at 7:30 am and then went back to sleep for ostensibly another hour and woke up 10 minutes to 10, when I normally leave for work, so I was a little late. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Friday I went on an excursion with people from the hospital to one of the local horse farms, Darley Stud. It used to be known as Jonabell Farm and was owned by the Bell family. In 2001 it was bought by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai. He and his junior wife, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, daughter of King Hussein of Jordan, are both very involved in horses. He owns farms throughout the world dedicated to breeding and racing thoroughbreds. She rode for the Jordanian show jumping team in the 2000 Olympics.

We took a tour bus out there (it's off Harrodsburg Road, not far south of Man O'War Boulevard). There were cushy seats. I'd never been in one before, but I kept forgetting to step down to the ramp floor and hit my head once on the overhead bin. I had a window seat, and as we were going down the road, I saw a stone tower.

Now, if you've ever played Call of Cthulhu, you will recognise that stone towers are essential to summoning Yog-Sothoth, an Outer God which touches all space and time. So, what can I say, it's fiction, but it was the first thing that popped into my head. Then we started to turn into that farm, and I was like, neat, we get to see the stone tower up close. I thought it might be a folly, but apparently it's an old water tower. Here is its entrance:

and what the tower looked like from the side:

Here's a picture of me against a bookcase of bound Blood-Horse Magazine issues (must remember to take off my glasses when using the flash, as I have Transitions lenses). It's not a great picture (note to self, get a hair cut so I have some shape and body, and don't look like a member of a religious cult), but there you go. Also, don't wear black when you're going to pet horses--you just get hair all over you.

I really need to learn to smile in photos. Gods, I look hideous.

We also saw the grave of Affirmed, the last winner of the Triple Crown--in 1978. He was euthanised in 2001 after a serious bout of laminitis (the same problem that led to Barbaro's death) and buried whole at the farm. No horse has been able to attain the Triple Crown since he won 30 years ago. He was known for his rivalry with another great horse, Alydar, who came in second in each of the Triple Crown races after Affirmed. Here's Affirmed's grave:

So that was the trip to Darley. We got to see their prize stallion, Street Cry, pet a pony and a tamer horse, tour some of the farm, and go to a barn. Oh, and they fed us breakfast. Not much for a vegetarian, but what I could eat was good, and the hot chocolate was to die for.

Once we were back at the hospital I actually worked on my vacation for five minutes to submit a report to the national Reach Out and Read organisation. Those reports are necessary for us to receive funding for our early literacy programme, and that was the last day to submit.

I went to a friend's and we watched Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. It was excellent: wonderful acting, beautiful costumes, 1930s ambiance, and a plot that went at a good pace without a lot of unnecessary stuff thrown in. It was, in a word, charming, and it left me feeling good all day, even though I had to work four hours at the store. After work we watched the premiere of 'Sanctuary' on the Sci-Fi channel. It's filmed entirely against green screens with computer-generated sets. I liked it, meaning it will probably not last.

Saturday involved a 10-hour shift at the store, 3 1/2 of which I was by myself and had to deal with a major problem outside with a line in the store. Enough said about Saturday. Oh, and I only got 3 1/2 hours' sleep because I worked on game notes into Sunday morning.

Sunday I picked a friend up at 7 am and we went on a big grocery run. Then there were the game preparations, and then the game. I really enjoyed it. It was downtime, but I got to finally strike back at the creatures who are killing my character's family one-by-one on the full moon. She still lost her brother, but three of the creatures are dead, too, or at least will be once they get taken away in body bags and dealt with.

Today was work at both places, and then 'Heroes'! It really is one of those rare shows that only gets better with each new episode.

Okay, that brings me to now. I need to go on to bed. Have fun, thanks for reading, and I'll try to update as usual tomorrow. At least I have Tuesday and Wednesday off from the store. Yay.

I didn't get to see the actual debate because I was at work

but this is probably funnier...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Well, autumn is truly here

I know because it got suddenly cooler a day or so ago and I've been keeping the windows of the apartment open, and today I'm not just bleary-eyed; my eyes are streaming and so is my nose from allergies. (They've been cutting grass outside, I think). I am also allergic to most of the fall weeds like ragweed and our state flower, goldenrod. I may just have to load up on Claritin. Tomorrow I definitely will. I'm going to a horse farm. Have I ever mentioned that among my many allergies is horses and bluegrass? I am so allergic to Kentucky.

Okay, on with notes, if I can see the screen.

A sad situation all around

Remember the TASER case in which a man plummeted to his death after being shocked on a ledge in New York City? Here is a follow-up.

The lieutenant who ordered the stun gun fired, a 21-year police veteran, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot today. It would have been his 46th birthday.

We all make bad decisions. The police are in a situation where that decision could turn deadly. I have to admit, my first reaction was how could anyone have ordered it. But he may have thought that the inflatable mat they'd ordered had already arrived, and it was just a 10-foot drop, so that would have absorbed the impact. I don't know the circumstances, really. I do know I have enough trouble with making minor decisions that I couldn't really be a policewoman or nurse or doctor or military person--or anyone who makes life and death decisions everyday. It's one of the reasons I'm a librarian. At worst, a book might suffer, or there is some sort of customer service fallout. No one dies because a librarian makes the wrong decision in carrying out his or her duty, unless it's some spectacular thing like a hostage situation or whatever. And I have great respect for people who do have to make those decisions every day.

Some decisions, I guess, you just can't live with. I don't know if it was the cost of another life or the potential of losing his career, or both, but Lt Michael Piggot made another decision, one that cost him his life, and my thoughts are with his family, friends, and fellow officers today, on what was his birthday.

An interesting study in historical genetics

HIV dates back to around 1900, study shows

Scientists have take three samples: One from the earliest known infection in the US--1981, one from the earliest known infection in Africa--1959, and lymph node tissue from a woman who died in Africa in 1960, and have traced through the mutations to a time period between 1884 and 1924. The study suggests that the building of colonial cities at the time allowed the virus to take hold, as there was a higher, urban population and prostitution to help its spread. They believe AIDS was not initially recognised at that time because of the general conditions in colonial Africa and the many Africans who died of diseases and wasting at that time.

A chance at closure for a mystery and for the family

Wreckage Spotted in Fossett Search

A hiker hiking way off the established trails in a region of California that is very rugged and about 10,000 feet above sea level found what appears to be Steve Fossett's pilot licence, money, and some clothing. Teams are trying to find what they can before the first expected snowfall of the season hits this weekend. Plane wreckage has been found, but authorities are cautious about identifying it as Fossett's craft because plane crashes are relatively common in the area.

I hope they find something that will give the family some closure and solve the mystery of Fossett's disappearance. Even if they find the wreckage, though, it sounds like he might have survived and hiked to the position his belongings were found, so there may still be problems finding his remains. Mr Fossett has been declared dead at the request of his widow, and I just can't believe he'd survive and not contact his family or tap into his considerable resources.

Okay, so I just got up

which puts me about an hour and a little more off schedule. I set my alarm for 8 but apparently turned it off at one point and slept on through till about 10 am, then took a little while to stir. I'm not quite focussing completely; my eyes are still bleary, but I'm going to start work in another few minutes, once I get some peanut butter and spreadable fruit inside me and check the news.

Listening to

Carl Orff's 'O, Fortuna!' from the Carmina Burana

This video provides the words and a translation into English. I've always found it brooding yet stirring.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I have high hopes for tomorrow

in terms of getting some of the things done during vacation that I meant to when I took it. I don't have to work at job #2 until four and have no plans with anyone prior to then. The general plan for the rest of my 'vacation' (subject to change):

Thursday 10/2

9:00 Wake up, breakfast
9:30 Begin notes
12:30 Finish notes (3 hours), Lunch
1:00 Clean kitchen (incl. taking out trash and cleaning refrigerator)
2:00 Clean Living room (incl. finding a place for boxes of books on floor)
3:00 Clean Bath
3:30 Get ready for work
4:00 Work
10:00 Off work, go to friend's
10:30 Do reading
12:00 Get other friend
1:00 Go home, sleep

Friday 10/3

8:00 Wake up, get ready
9:00 Catch bus to horse farm excursion
12:30 Back at hospital, check on detail for report, finish report and submit
1:00 Go to friend's
1:30 Errand with friend
2:30 Watch Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day with friend
4:30 Go to work
5:00 Work
9:00 Off work, back to friend's
9:30 Do reading
12:00 Get other friend
1:00 Go home, sleep

Saturday 10/4

9:00 Wake up
9:30 Do notes
11:30 Finsih notes (2 hours), get ready for work
12:00 Work
10:00 Off work
10:30 Do notes
11:30 Finish notes (1 hour), sleep (unless I'm not finished with notes; if that's the case, do extra)

Sunday 10/5

8:00 Wake up
9:00 Prepare for game
1:00 Game
8:30 Finish game
9:30 Do notes
11:30 Finish notes (2 hours)
12:00 Sleep

Monday (10/6) back to work at job #1...

Somewhere during the weekend there is the task of taking and/or picking up a friend to/from work, but I don't know his schedule yet. But that would be late at night or early morning--generally midnight, 3 am, or 7 am).

Also at some point, I have to catch up on my RSS news reader (Google Reader) because I have over 500 stories on it. Gack!

A nice blurb on an area parapsychological group

From Chevy Chaser, a local magazine:

Getting in the Spirit: Ghosts and spooks run amok with Kentucky Area Paranormal Society

The Kentucky Area Paranormal Society's website includes podcasts, forums, and information on their investigations. You can also listen to their programme 'KAPS Paranormal Radio' at: www.psychiconair.com or www.para-x.com from 8 pm-midnight on Sundays.

Maybe that's what we need in the game...our own radio show. (Our cover for investigating Cthulhoid activity is a paranormal investigation company.) :)