Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I wish I'd seen these during the campaign

The first is a send up of Hillary vs. Obama as part of an epic battle in a galaxy far, far away. Bill as the Emperor is a great touch. YKWIA, who showed me the video, thinks Rev. Wright should have been Jar Jar Binks. :)

The second was aired more than a year before Sarah Palin became a vice-presidential candidate, so I guess Craig Ferguson was quite possibly the first national figure to draw the similarity between Palin and...a naughty librarian. :) I think Craig's a bit naughty, too, but after all, he is Scottish. ;)

Sometimes the YouTube comments under the video can be very interesting, and that is the case with this one. In one exchange, the first person, going by the moniker derajsyla15 used the 'f' word a lot and basically said in a cruder way that he'd like to cut her head off and feed her to special needs children. Really. So there was of course a reply, and it was great: 'You come across as a very articulate and mature person, I'm going to take all your comments seriously. But other than that, you seem like a serial killer that belongs in an asylum.' (from irsh4lyf3). It was a comment worthy of YKWIA.

Good night.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Speaking of financial stuff...

I saw this commercial for a mortgage company on Ellen DeGeneres' show today. As a convenience store clerk, I have to admit, I understand. I hate it when people come up to the counter on cell phones, talking throughout the transaction. Maybe this will make them a little more cautious:

I am almost financially illiterate

I can balance my chequebook 77% of the time, but start talking about retirement prospecti or amortization and I glass over. So it's nice to see a simple explanation of the Madoff scandal as demonstrated by Ernie and Cookie Monster from Sesame Street:

(From the Jimmy Kimmel show):

Friday, March 27, 2009

A long but excellent day

A small miracle happened this morning. I was able to get to the gas station without running out of gas despite the fact that I was 10 miles over my normal limit of 26-miles-to-the-gas-light. I was very nervous getting a friend last night because I really didn't think we'd make it and I'd have to call AAA. At least I have AAA. Yay, AAA.

This afternoon my mom came over (along with my stepfather, his mother, and the dog--I'm not entirely sure why) and we went downtown to transfer the car I've been driving for years over to my name. They had already gotten insurance for me from GEICO and paid for six months, so I'm good until September. I have my registration and insurance cards in the glove box just in case I get pulled over (I have a tail light out, so it's a possibility. Unfortunately I don't have the tools to fix it and it's a chronic water-collects-in-the-light-due-to-a-bad-seal-and-kills-the-bulb kind of thing, so fixing it doesn't ensure that it will stay fixed. Next time I go to visit my family I'll try to get my stepfather to help.) I paid for having the title transferred over and I also had to pay some minor back taxes on a car I didn't officially junk and accrued a bill for two years. But it wasn't much, which is good, because although it's payday I have:
  1. Gotten gas.
  2. Bought some health and beauty aids I was nearly out of, like shampoo and toothpaste, to name a couple.
  3. Had breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then got some groceries tonight on the way home from my friends' house.
  4. Bought a Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse novel that happens to be the next in the series of the ones I've read.
  5. Paid my cable Internet bill.
  6. Found a gadget on clearance at the grocery store that was half off (I have trouble passing up gadgets.) It's an emergency radio/flashlight/signal flasher/cell phone charger/compass/siren all in one. It operates with a hand crank, with 30 seconds giving 60 minutes of charge. This is what a former acquaintance once referred to as a 'non-electric radio', which of course it absurd, because it is electric, it just doesn't run on batteries or wires. What can I say, I thought it might be useful in the car especially and it was less than $12. And it works pretty well, too.

Okay, it's after 3 am. I'm going to bed now. I've been painting and dusting tonight and I'm fairly tired. There will be more tomorrow, plus two hours at the store for truck night, work at the hospital, and errands, so I should get some sleep while I can. Good night.

An excellent video of how data is being lost through obsolescence (and what libraries are doing to preserve it)

From CBS' 'Sunday Morning' programme:

Watch CBS Videos Online

When I was working on my thesis, I ran up against this in that UK has an excellent collection of early scientific treatises...on microcard (think microfiche on white paper cards). They had a reader, but the closest printer was at Vanderbilt. I wound up having to interlibrary loan microfilm, which could be printed, to get the information I needed.

Thanks to Bibliofuture of LISNews for the tip.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm a 2009 Shover & Maker!

Shovers and Makers 2009: I’m a winner! (So are you.) shoversandmakers.net

Here's the best explanation of what S&M us all about, directly from the website:
Every year, Library Journal names a group of innovative librarians as “Movers and Shakers.” M&S is a popular feature for a good reason: the profiles of M&S librarians are thought-provoking and inspiring. M&S ends up as something of a snapshot of what the library profession finds innovative and worth of notice, and there is no question that the Movers and Shakers are people to watch.

But at the Library Society of the World, we can’t help but wonder about everyone else in libraryland. While the Movers and Shakers are moving and shaking, what are the rest of us doing? Standing still? Surely not.

So we have come up with our own award that we see as a complement to M&S. Introducing Library Society of the World’s Shovers and Makers.

And there is only one way to become a Shover and Maker: declare yourself one.

Here's a link to my blurb. It's a great opportunity to see what other librarians are doing and in many cases put a face to a name one might have seen on electronic lists. So promote yourself and share what you're doing in the library world by nominating yourself!


Japanese man is a double A-bomb survivor: He was in Hiroshima on business trip before returning home to Nagasaki
My double radiation exposure is now an official government record. It can tell the younger generation the horrifying history of the atomic bombings even after I die.--Tsutomu Yamaguchi, 93

For a short look at the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the following MSNBC video does a decent job, although I would really recommend John Hersey's book, Hiroshima, a classic, for an in-depth account. For children, the story of Sadako Sasaki in Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes may be useful. It is certainly moving.

On this day, 93 years ago

March 25, 1916: Ishi Dies, a World Ends

When I was a child, I read Theodora Kroeber's Ishi: Last of His Tribe about the man her husband Alfred, an anthropologist, had studied for nearly five years. [The Kroebers' daughter may be familiar to science fiction and fantasy fans, as Kroeber would be the 'K' in Ursula K. LeGuin.] Ishi was not the man's name; that was never discovered, as it was apparently taboo in his culture to utter one's own name. But when he was found he was considered a 'wild man', and only the anthropologists realised he was the last speaker of an nearly-extinct language and quite possibly the last of his people. Two of the Kroebers' sons went on to become scholars as well (a linguist and a professor of comparative literatures) and have edited a book called Ishi in Three Centuries.

Who Ishi was and exactly of what tribe is a point for discussion, but it remains to be said that when he died of tuberculosis, a way of life died, too.

Reason #6 for why I did not have children

This European commercial should be shown to every teenager contemplating unprotected sex. According to YKWIA, who showed it to me, it was banned in the US. Pity...

Oh, and just in case you're interested, it really is on my list:

  1. I did not want to be entangled with my ex-husband for the rest of my life.
  2. I am a wuss when it comes to pain and labour scares the daylights out of me.
  3. I do not want to pass on traits such as diabetes and depression to anyone.
  4. Granted, the above relate to biological children. But even with adoption, there remains the fact that I am, being an only child with little child care experience, rather afraid of children. Even as a child I related better with the adults (see 6 for why). I like children in theory and love many things relating to children, but when confronted by a child, especially one who is not of an age to play with, such as the very young or teenagers, I don't know how to relate. I'd be a better children's author than children's librarian or mother.
  5. I would constantly worry and obsess about my children neurotically without letting them breathe and giving them space to grow.
  6. Children are holy terrors, especially as toddlers and teenagers.
  7. The world has quite enough population, thank you, without me adding to it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I just had a bit of a close call

turning right from Palumbo to Man O'War. A car was turning right on to Palumbo and it seemed to be the only one on the road, so I started turning, when a car came out from behind it and nearly squashed me. Fortunately I am somewhat 'grandma'-like in such turns normally, and they were able to slow down, so nothing impacted and no one got hurt. Nothing like a near-accident to chase away the afternoon doldrums.

I'm getting ready to go to job #2. I left job #1 a little early because I was ahead on my time. Tomorrow I have a web conference over at UK from 2-4, so I'll get some extra time in then, too. I didn't want to be *too* far ahead. The main thing I did was order books today and waded through the rest of the e-mail I got during my PTO on Thursday and Friday. Fortunately no interlibrary loans got routed there, since I forgot to set the library to not receiving. I've done several borrowing ILLs since I got back, though.

Oh, yesterday I was positively bouncy, as I got another 13 hours of sleep on top of the 11 1/2 the night before. I was apparently exhausted. I came home at 7 pm Sunday night and was in bed by 8. But I got a lot accomplished on Monday, including an eye appointment. I have been wearing glasses the last several years but had decided to try contacts again, and it was time for my check-up, so it seemed a good opportunity. I'm in a trial pair of monovision contacts, which is an alternative to bifocal lenses. Basically the dominant eye (in this case my left) is fitted with a contact for distance vision, whereas the non-dominant eye (in this case my right) is fitted with a lens tweaked for near vision. It takes the brain about a week to really get used to both lenses working together. You don't look at anything with one eye--that's important. In order to get used to it, you have to look with both eyes. About 20% can't deal with them, from what I've read, but I seem to be doing alright. Yesterday was a little blurry but I chalk that up to having my eyes dilated. Today is much better. I'm doing fine with the computer screen and with traffic signs. It's not quite as clear as my glasses, but I expect that to improve. We're trying the monovision because I've started having trouble reading small print near me and have been holding things out a little further to see them better, a sure sign that I, like other forty-somethings, am having changes to my vision due to ageing. The only concern that came out of the eye exam is that my eyes' pressure is a little high, but she said that 1) they're at the same pressure, which is good, and 2) my optic nerves look good, so there's no real indication of glaucoma as yet. Still, she wants me back in 6 months for just the pressure tests to make sure everything is fine.

I guess that's it until tonight. Because of tiling (and a lack of paint coupled with my schedule), I won't be painting tonight. It looks like Thursday may be the next day. Have I mentioned that I hate painting dark colours on walls like burgundy? Three coats already and no complete coverage. It took five last time; I think the results will be the same this time. Each time has been over primer (last time dark, this time lighter) and with Sherwin-Williams' highest quality paint. Sigh. Well, it should be well worth it in the end, at least. :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Earth Hour: An interesting idea and a statement worth making

Transcript of Cate Blanchett's voiceover:
This year, the world's first global election is taking place, an election between Earth and global warming. It's not about what country you are from, but what planet you are from. Your light switch is your vote. We need one billion votes for earth, because our planet is worth saving. Vote Earth by simply switching off your lights for one hour and join the world for Earth Hour. Saturday March 28th, 8:30-9:30pm.

For more information, go to www.earthhour.org or www.voteearth2009.org. For more on Earth Hour in the United States, check out www.earthhourus.org. Lexington isn't listed as a participating city, but I hope people will hear about and join this historical campaign.

11 1/2 hours of sleep!

I finally feel somewhat human again, and a rested human at that. The painting odyssey is still going on, but at least I got some sleep. This morning I caught up on news from my reader and cleaned off my kitchen table (I've been dumping stuff there when I come in.) I uncovered a package of tuna, so I'll have a portable lunch to take with me today. I'm pretty much to the point of only having things I have to cook in the house. Yesterday's supper was pasta made with olive oil, Italian spices, and Parmesan cheese, for example. There's not much in the house, but fortunately I get paid on Thursday. My only real concern is keeping gas in the car at this point.

Last night I got in and my neck and back were really bothering me. I never truly relax in those areas, and the muscles bunch, plus I have osteoarthritis where the neck joins the spine because my spine is 'J' shaped rather than 'S' shaped and my neck curves the opposite way of how it's supposed to, then bounces on the straight spine, putting more pressure on it. Since I don't have money for a masseuse (especially at 10 o'clock on a Friday night), I went to the comfy chair and turned on the heated massage cushion and tried to relax for about an hour. That did wonders, although it's still a bit of an issue today, but I'll probably work that out painting. I'm doing burgundy today. A friend saw a big line on my forearm the other day and thought I'd been scratched or sliced with something. Fortunately that wasn't the case.

Okay, it's 11:30 and I have to go paint at noon, so I'll sign off here for now. But I'm still alive, and hopefully when I get home I won't just collapse into sleep now, like I have been doing. I never seem to have the time to blog about everything I think is interesting enough to blog about, and lately I'm lucky to blog at all. But I'll keep trying. Now I have to go feed the fish and take a bath. Hope you're having a great weekend.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Sometimes the news seems to parallel the Cthulhu game I play in

We are currently playing a module called 'Utati Asfet', which begins in the Pacific island of Tonga, although we're currently in New Orleans. During the stay in Tonga we encountered a professor who was studying undersea geology. So of course, this caught my eye:

Inspectors head to undersea volcano in Tonga: Eruption in South Pacific not presently a threat to islanders, authorities say

Apparently this area, a few miles from the main island of Tongatapu, has 36 or so of these undersea volcanoes. The eruption is between the twin volcanic islands of Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha'apai, and within sight of the capital, Nuku'alofa. All of these places came up in our adventure.

I suspect we'll be returning to Tonga later in the story. I wouldn't be surprised if an eruption or earthquake happened...or rather a tentacled monster rose from the sea. :)

PS Sorry for those of you not in the know regarding pencil-and-paper (as opposed to computer) roleplaying games, Call of Cthulhu, or HP Lovecraft--this post probably doesn't make a bit of sense. But I've been playing this game continuously for nearly 18 years, so it should be of no surprise that I blog about it now and then. It's fairly educational--I didn't even know where Tonga was before we started, and I'm pretty decent with geography.

Listening to:

Supertramp, 'The Logical Song'

Phil Collins, 'In the Air Tonight'

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Poor thing

Although I think it unfortunate that the little bat that clung to the external fuel tank during the space shuttle launch the other day most likely died as the shuttle ascended, you have to admire its tenacity--it looks like it held on for dear life for the entire ride.

Bat's fate after shuttle launch appears grim: Small bat spotted clinging to the back side of Discovery's external fuel tank

Bat Hung onto Shuttle During Liftoff

(Picture courtesy of NASA)

What if Abraham Lincoln had a Facebook page?

It might look like the following: Would You Superpoke Him? from worthalaugh.com.

via Steven of Library Stuff.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I have a little time to blog this morning

because my mom called me at 8:30. It was kind of comical. I'd left the cordless phone off the cradle the night before and last night, so the battery died. Then I went to call back with my cell phone, but the minutes were low. But wait, I purchased minutes yesterday! So I pull out the ticket and go to add minutes and it's an AT&T pay-as-you-go card. I have T-Mobile. Those aren't usually returnable. But I bought it at the store I work at and the acting manager is the one who made the mistake and remembered the sale, so she said she'll return it today. Fortunately I remembered I had a backup corded phone and plugged that up so that I could call my mom back. After that, I decided I might as well stay up and go into work a little early, stopping by the store. I'm still tired (I went to bed at 4:30 last night and got up at 8:30), but at least I'm up.

Today I work at the hospital, then 3-10 at the store, then I do some more priming work on a bathroom. With all the fixtures installed now, it's proving difficult to reach everything I need to tape, but I'll figure out a way.

Yesterday was very dreary but the sun is out now and it promises to be fairly mild. I've seen a few flowers and leafing of trees and bushes. The forsythia in front of my apartment are ready to bloom. I'm so ready for spring, and it will be here on Friday, thankfully.

Okay, that's all for now. Time to finish getting ready.

Indignation and sadness

Congo women fight back, speak out about rape: Victims shatter local taboos around talking about violence against civilians
'I am not ashamed to show my face and publish my identity. The shame lies with those who broke me open and with the authorities who failed to protect me...If you don't hear me, see me, you will not understand why it is so important that we fight this together.'--Honorata Kizende

According to MSNBC, UNICEF reports that more than 1,000 women and girls are raped each MONTH in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Elsewhere in Africa...

Sudan wants all aid groups out within a year: Wanted for war crimes, defiant president says 'spies' must be cleared out
'We have ordered the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to completely Sudanese the voluntary work in Sudan within one year and after that we don't want international organizations to deal with Sudanese citizens with relief,' Bashir told the rally.

It's one more way to isolate the region already devastated by genocide from the outside world. For ways to help Darfur, visit SaveDarfur.org.

I admit it--Africa is an enigma to me. Is it that power is so intoxicating that many feel they must work to destroy so many other lives in looking out for themselves? The problems Africa faces are staggering, and although there are some who would rather blame the colonising forces of Europe and the actions of the United States, the mess seems mainly to be a product of power struggles amongst factions and tribes in Africa. The countries in Africa are perfectly able to find peace and prosperity so long as their governments are just. But the governments in many areas of Africa certainly are not doing their best to protect their citizens and provide stability. This is something that can be changed ultimately only from the inside, although of course the rest of the world can provide aid and help in the process. I hope to see peace in these areas and a healing of the deep scars left by murder, rape, and destruction.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hey, I'm home before 3 am!

I did run into a snag in painting, though, so it looks like I'll be finishing the last room by the end of next week instead of Monday. I'm working Tuesday and Wednesday nights, but the schedule hasn't been made beyond that, so I might be able to get a lighter workweek so I can go ahead and finish. Remodeling is an adventure, I've certainly found. In the meantime there's plenty to help out with besides painting.

There's so much I want to blog about that I've starred in my news reader, but for now I've eaten and it's time for some rest. I've gotten four hours of sleep a night for four nights in a row and I'm very tired and have a headache. Tomorrow comes early for me, too, so it's just good sense to go ahead and turn in for the night. I'll try to get up a little early and write then.

PS At work we've got 20-ounce sodas on sale for 2/$2.22 (they're normally $1.49), but there are 75-cent-off coupons for Diet Cherry Dr Pepper, which I like, so if you get 2 and use the coupons, the grand total is 84 cents, with tax. Really. So I guess you know what I've been drinking of late. :)


South Africa gangs using rape to 'cure' lesbians: Gay support group cites 10 new cases of 'corrective rape' a week in one city

In the past decade, at least 31 lesbians have been reported raped and murdered, although that number is probably higher because the South African criminal justice system does not recognise hate crimes based on sexual orientation. Of those, only two cases went to court and only one conviction was obtained. Far more have survived rape, but at great cost, with the very real threats of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and the physical and emotional scars. The justification is that if a man has sex with a lesbian, it will 'cure' her of her homosexuality. The violence is especially bad in townships where homosexuality is taboo, despite the fact that South Africa was the first country in Africa to allow gays to marry back in 2006.

Let's hope there will be changes.

This sounds like an interesting book

Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books by Aaron Lansky

From Bibliofuture at LISNews:
In 1980 an entire body of Jewish literature--the physical remnant of Yiddish culture--was on the verge of extinction. Precious volumes that had survived Hitler and Stalin were being passed down from older generations of Jewish immigrants to their non-Yiddish-speaking children only to be discarded or destroyed. So Aaron Lansky, just twenty-three, issued a worldwide appeal for unwanted Yiddish works.

Since 1980, Lansky and his compatriots have saved over 1.5 million books and collected them together. To some he is known as 'the Yiddish Indiana Jones' or 'the Otto Schindler of Yiddish literature'. Without his work a great deal of Yiddish-language materials might have been lost forever. It sounds like a remarkable story and a reminder that one person can make a difference with persistence and by bringing people together.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

I am so very tired,but haven't managed to get to sleep yet

Last night I painted a home library that was about 18 x 12 feet, as well as a walk-in closet. Today I worked (between the two jobs) for twelve hours (10 am to 10 pm). Then I spent about four hours moving and dusting furniture for a friend.

Our manager at the store is on leave, and the woman who is filling in redid our schedule because one woman is out after surgery and another is on spring break from school next week. I gave her my general schedule between customers, forgetting to mention that 1) I have to paint tomorrow and 2) I have an optometrist appointment on Wednesday. But that was my fault. I still have to paint tomorrow, but it won't be until after 10 pm, so I'll be up late again tomorrow night. I need to call tomorrow to see if I can change days for my appointment to Monday.

I usually work between 15-23 hours at the store a week. The new woman scheduled me for 30, making for a 50-hour workweek. Now I know lots of people do that sort of schedule all the time, but I have all this project work to do as well, and although Sunday and Monday are the only days I really need off from the store, I never work every single other day until now. Thursday is 10-2:20 at the hospital, then an appointment at 3, followed by the store from 6-10. Then I have to paint a hallway. Friday it's 10-2:30 at the hospital, then errands with a friend and an appointment, followed by the store from 6-10. Saturday I work 9-5 at the gas station, and then go and prime a bathroom, followed by painting someday next week. Tuesday I work 10-2:30 and then 3-10, and I have the same schedule Wednesday. That's a pretty tight schedule, so I'm not sure if I'll really be able to stop and catch my breath. It depends on what I'm doing Sunday and Monday (although at least I get to watch 'Heroes'--it was so nice spending time doing that with a friend the other day for the first time in quite a while).

So now I'm finally home. I've fed the fish (The pregnant one is huge and looks like she could pop at any moment. I hope the little platies live!) I really should go out and do my monthly libation tonight but I'll just have to try tomorrow; I'm too tired.

Now that I have had a chance to wind down, I'm going to try to go to sleep. I have to get up in about 4 hours. Wish me luck.

PS During the time it took me to compose this post, my pay cheque was deposited from the hospital, and the raise was on it--it's about $25 higher than it was. Yipee!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sorry I haven't posted much

I've been painting a project that includes a home library, hallway, bath, and closet, so that's quite a bit of work. I've finished the library and closet. I'm actually rather enjoying it, though, except for the paint on my hands and in my hair. But I'm getting so good at it I can paint and only get a very small amount of splatters anywhere on the floor.

Today I was taunted by two crows as I came out of work. It made me think of counting crows--one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, and four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, and seven for a secret never told.

The weather today was beautiful, in the mid-70s, mostly sunny, and breezy. I feel so alive on days like this. That, coupled with a beautiful full moon, made me feel very connected to nature today.

Tomorrow I work both jobs, then I paint more on Thursday. I work on Friday (the new truck night at the store) and on Saturday, and then I'm off from the store until Tuesday. Next Wednesday I have an eye appointment; I'm going to try to go ahead and get contacts, something I haven't had in awhile. I'm intrigued by the new extended, 30-day wear contacts made of breathable polymers I have a certificate for a month's supply, so I definitely want to ask the doctor about that. I'll also have him do a diabetes screen on my retinas.

I found out the other day that I'm getting a 4.5% raise at the hospital, which translates to about $30 a pay period after taxes. That's on top of the market raise I had in January, which was $1 an hour or about $40 per week. It offset the rise in deductions for my health flexible spending account to cover an increase in co-pays for my health insurance. My boss thinks this will go into effect on Thursday's deposit. That would be great, as this week I need to pay my rent and possibly my electric. I may also be getting a bonus at the store, if I've figured my time frame correctly.

Speaking of electricity, I called Kentucky Utilities today to make a payment arrangement just in case I can't pay until next Wednesday. They had a recording stating that as a result of the oeconomic hardships faced by their customers, they have suspended shut offs for non-payment, to be resumed some time in April. I thought that was nice.

Okay, it's late and I should go to bed. Goodnight.

A dog's life

Being an animal lover, these stories in the media got to me:

Martha Stewart's dog dies in kennel explosion: 17 dogs killed, truck driver injured after propane fire in Pennsylvania

Something managed to ignite a propane tank during a delivery. Although badly burnt, the truck driver managed to toss one of the dogs over a fence to safety. He's in critical condition.

Dogs cheat death after blast at animal hospital: Vet frees pets from blazing kennel by smashing door with cinder block

This one happened in Massachusetts, on Cape Cod. It is being investigated to see if it were a natural gas explosion.

My thoughts go out to the families of the pets who died, and thankfully at least some were saved. It's so weird that these two blasts would happen so close together.

Then there was the 'My Turn' from this week's Newsweek, The Dog That Made Us A Family. The author's adoptive daughter was devastated by the loss of their dog, who ran away the first day they had it. The child, who had been adopted as a baby by another woman who then died and then was shuffled around several homes before coming to them, had acted as if she were fine and didn't seem to grieve for her mother until the loss of the dog brought all those feelings to the forefront. Fortunately that one has a happy ending.

I really miss my dog, Cerys. She had a long and good life, but it is just a shame they live so few years compared to the human lifespan. At least I get to be an 'aunt'.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Too dark, too early

both in the day and the year to change to Daylight Savings Time. I don't like this losing an hour last night. Plus, now I'll have more trouble getting up without the sun up already. I just got A from his job and took him home. I'm going back to sleep for a little less than an hour for now, and then I'll get up and get ready for my day--when it's light outside. Thank goodness I don't normally work before 10 am (although I often work until 10 pm, so it balances out).

A productive and gorgeous Saturday

Listening to R.E.M., 'Orange Crush':

The weather was beautiful today (even now, at 1:30 in the morning, the temperature is in the mid-60s)--warm and sunny. Unfortunately I had to work from 8 am to 4 pm, and I realised I don't like working at the store in the early morning because both the customers and I are grumpy. But I survived and went over to a friend's to tape in preparation for a large painting project. Tomorrow I start priming and painting.

One thing of concern today is that one of my fellow cashiers is in the hospital. She was in terrible pain when we worked together on Thursday, kept getting sick, and could barely sit up. She was sent home. Apparently they had to do exploratory surgery and found an obstruction. She'll be out at least a week, barring complications. Here's hoping she gets better very soon!

Okay, I'm tired from work and taping. Tomorrow there will be lots of painting to be had, in two rooms, a closet, and a hallway. Whew!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Listening to:

Loreena McKennitt's 'Mummers' Dance'

I just added some songs to my playlist on MySpace, but didn't make the player play automatically, as that annoys the hell out of me. This is the first on the list. My MySpace page is: http://www.myspace.com/eilirion if you want to check it out. Feel free to do a friend request; just let me know you read this blog so I don't think you're a random stalker (as opposed to the type that really knows how to stalk someone by reading their blog). :)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I took a quiz on Facebook

called 'What Musical Are You?' I came out as Wicked.
You love so fiercely that it may be perceived as intimidating to some people. But you always stand by your convictions and causes. Nothing can stand in your way. You have few BEST friends but you are one of the most loyal friends they'll ever have. You are prone to being mistaken for mean or fierce when really you know that you're doing what's right. No one mourns the wicked.


My mind is reeling at the scope of this loss to history

HISTORY IN RUINS: Archive Collapse Disaster for Historians

The Historical Archive of Köln (Cologne in English) collapsed Tuesday, leaving two people missing and presumed dead and millions of documents, photographs, books, and other archival items imperiled. So far 9,000 documents have been recovered, a small percentage of a collection that took up 18 kilometres of shelving and spanned two millennia. Köln's archives were very rare because they survived the destruction of the World War II era completely intact. It was also the largest municipal archive in Germany.

When I was working on my thesis on Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, a native of Köln, I benefited from other scholars who had studied the humanist and occultist by poring over documents in this very archive. I would love to have been able to go myself.

Now much of that history may be lost. When I think of my emotions, it is not so much sad as horrified. It reminds us how fragile our connexion to the past can be, and the importance of archivists, librarians, and historians in maintaining that connexion. I so hope that more can be saved, and that they can rig up some device to protect against rain as they try to unearth these precious holdings.

Although I'd seen the story in a variety of media, this particular link is courtesy of Steven from Library Stuff.

Photos can be accessed through the article, but these were particularly riveting, I thought:

Building as it was before collapse - After the collapse: View 1 - View 2 - View 3

You can also see an aerial view in this video.

The building is gone, leaving only huge chunks of concrete. Let us hope that treasures may be found under the rubble, but it will be an arduous task that will be painstakingly slow compared to clearing most rubble, due to the great care necessary to preserve the documents. I wish them well.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Well, that's good

They found Breanna Woodside, the little girl who was the subject of our local AMBER alert. She and her father were found in Monterey, Mexico and are being transported to Texas. Kidnapping across state lines is bad. Is it worse if you take the child out of the country?

Okay, good night for real this time. :)

A relatively relaxing day

Listening to/watching: '18th Floor Balcony' by Blue October [a very nice live performance] and 'It's Not My Time' by 3 Doors Down [the setting looked very familiar; turns out it was shot in Cincinnati. It has some great acrobatic moves of parkour in it that I need to remember for the game. There's a great word-of-the day. :)]

I was off work today to take someone to an appointment. Afterwards I did some errands and went to a store meeting in preparation for my boss' month-long leave, which starts Thursday. She really needs the time off but we're all going to miss her. We met the person taking over temporarily and first impression is that she'll be fine to work with. We had pizza and free drinks, and that's always nice.

Later I went home, started a dishwashing cycle, and took a nap. When I got up I watched one of the 'Heroes' episodes I've missed, getting all comfy on the loveseat. I pretty much lounged around until a friend called me to get him from work. So it was yet another lazy day, which are usually few and far between.

Nothing earth-shattering is going on right now in my life; no drama (yay!) I nearly hit a bunny last night on the road (it was hopping parallel at the edge), but didn't, thankfully. I've only hit one animal (a cat, which I killed) and was hysterical afterwards. I love animals.

I re-potted an amaryllis which has never bloomed for me and it shot right up (as well as a baby that I'd separated off it). There's no indication so far if it will bloom yet. The one I got last year that bloomed so nicely didn't this year, although it leafed out. It's dying down now so I'll give it a rest and try again.

The fish are hanging on. Next week I'll have the water tested again and see if it's better. I've been feeding sparingly and had changed a good part of the water and added more bacteria, so let's hope the nitrates go down. I need to get some plants to help take the nitrates out of the water and put them to growth instead.

I'm keeping up with the house and it looks nice and clean.

I'm going to try another MLA class that starts on March 9th. It's on wikis. Even though I didn't manage to finish in time to get credit for the Google Docs class, I learnt valuable lessons, including the fact that Google Docs can only graph numerical data (although that only came out after a bunch of us made surveys with non-numerical data like multiple text responses and discovered the graphing wouldn't work). There are workarounds, but they're not really satisfactory and it's simpler to just set it up numerically from the first. (There's your Important Safety Tip of the day.) That part of the class was rather annoying, but otherwise it was fun. I've played a little with wikis on Wetpaint and a tsunami-related one that came out after the disaster to help get out information on volunteering, news, and aid. If you're a member of the Medical Library Association and want to take the class, here's the information:
Dig Deeper with Social Media Free CE Course: Wikis
Available to MLA members March 9–15, this course covers how libraries can apply wiki software to their work. Participants will gain an understanding of the benefits and challenges of wiki software, brainstorm and discuss practical applications of wikis in libraries, and get hands-on experience. Members who complete the course will receive two MLA CE credits. Registration for this course is required by March 6, 5:00pm CT. Register today>>

Okay, it's 3 am. Time to go to bed!!! (Past time, really, but I did get rest earlier, so I wasn't sleepy.)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

'Lucia di Lammermoor' Production Honors Late Professor
The University of Kentucky Opera Theatre presents the powerful opera 'Lucia di Lammermoor' in celebration of the illustrious career of the late Gail Robinson. Robinson, a noted singer at the Metropolitan Opera and professor of voice at UK School of Music, was best known for her portrayal of the title role in 'Lucia.' This Donizetti masterpiece is a classical example of the bel canto style of opera. The UK Opera Theatre will present the fully staged opera at 7:30 p.m. March 6, 7, 13 and 14, at the Lexington Opera House.

Music is by the Lexington Symphony Orchestra and tickets are reasonably priced from $12-$34. The Opera House has gone through a recent remodelling, including more comfortable and roomier seating. Information on the opera and obtaining tickets can be found at the link at the top of this post.

Time for karaoke!

My two favourite songs from the musical...creatively captioned by canttakesky.

'My Eyes' from Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

'Brand New Day' from Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

I haven't gotten the CD/DVD set yet, but I think it will be my birthday present to myself, and that's only a month away. Together they're less than $22 at Amazon.com. Good night.

Monday, March 02, 2009

I'm so not seeing it

I'd rather expected Labrador, to be honest. But a collie? Active? Graceful? Um...no. Good night.

Your result for The Dog Reincarnation Test...


44% Collie, 19% German_Shepherd, 38% Labrador, 25% Poodle, 13% Doberman, 31% Fox_Terrier, 25% Dachshund, 31% Bulldog, 25% Chinese_Crested, 6% Basenji, and 25% Cocker_Spaniel!

The Collie is an active dog. People that are into sports and outdoor activities would be very suited to be reincarnated as a poodle.

The Collie is a large, elegant, and graceful dog. It's also very active and at times almost looks as if it floats over the ground as it runs. It is loyal, affectionate, and very smart. It has a beautiful long coat and a thin muzzle. The collie is one of the easiest dog breeds to train. They make excellent farm dogs. The most famous collie was the television star, Lassie.

A Look Back The exact origin of the Collie is uncertain, but they have existed for centuries as herding dogs of Scotland and England. They were used primarily as a drover dog, guiding cows and sheep to market. The true popularity of the breed came about during the 1860’s when Queen Victoria visited the Scottish Highlands and fell in love with the breed - from that point on Collies became very fashionable.

Take The Dog Reincarnation Test
at HelloQuizzy

I got in a little while ago

Listening to 'Sunglasses at Night' by Corey Hart

after watching Hairspray with friends. It's a great movie. I think Nikki Blonsky, in her first role as an actress, did an excellent job. I even liked John Travolta's Edna, Tracy's mother and the role originated by Divine in the 1988 film and continued in the original Broadway show by Harvey Fierstein. The dancing and music was excellent. Queen Latifah's 'I Know Where I've Been' was probably my favourite song, although 'You Can't Stop the Beat' was definitely a close second. It's just a nice, feel good movie that you can't go wrong with.

Today was great. I slept a great deal, had spa time with a long, luxurious bath, and then visited with friends and watched the movie. I haven't had a day like that in a long, long time. I feel refreshed and ready for a new week and a new month. I hope your weekend went well, too.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Wow...a lazy day

I cannot remember the last time I stayed in my sleep clothes past 4 pm, woke up every couple of hours to eat a small bite and then went back to sleep to resurface a couple of hours later. The last stretch was spent in a sunbeam in the comfy chair in the living room. I've been chronically short on sleep for days now, so I really needed it. When left to my own devices that's how my days go--sleep a bit, stay up and work on something, sleep a bit, stay up and work on something. I manage to accomplish more than you'd think, especially if I'm house cleaning or whatnot. Today the focus has really just been on sleep. I do need to do the dishes and maybe some touchups in the bathroom and put some non-perishable groceries away that are sitting on the kitchen table, but that's about as messy as my house has been of late. I really have been just keeping it clean as I go. Oh, and I have some videotapes on the couch and boxes to keep them in, so I need to transfer them from a bag to the boxes and put them neatly away for easy access. But I think the first thing to do is to take a long bath. Later I'm going to go over to a friend's for a movie.

So this is what a day off is.

This AMBER alert came over our lottery machine at work yesterday

From Code Amber:
The State of Kentucky issued the Amber Alert on Saturday (2-28) after the suspect failed to return the girl following visitation in Frankfort on Friday. The suspect is considered armed and dangerous and has suicidal tendencies according to Police.

Breanna Woodside is a white female, 2 years old, 3 ft. tall and weighs 35 pounds. She has straight blonde hair past her shoulders, and hazel eyes. She was last seen wearing purple sweatpants, a purple and pink striped shirt, a black jacket with pink lining, and blue shoes.

The suspect is Miles Woodside, a 30 year old white male, 6'1'' and weighs 190 pounds. He has red hair and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing loose-fitting blue jeans, and tennis shoes. He has a tattoo with symbols between his upper shoulders.

The suspect vehicle is a silver 1997 Lincoln Towncar with KY tag number 064BAA.

Anyone with information is asked to call Frankfort Police Department at 502-875-8582 or dial 911.

Go to this link or click on the yellow ticker above during the alert to get pictures of the child and father. Please, if you have any information, contact the police and help get this little girl back home.

Sleeping in

Okay, I don't know if it's officially sleeping in if you get up at 7 am to get someone from work, but the fact is that other than that, I had nowhere to be at a certain time this morning and slept until almost noon. My dreams were very vivid and nearly psychedelic, ones that I've dreamt before and always have an intensity that leave me pretty well-rested, but kind of frenetic, too, and if I woke up I'd only have to close my eyes and the images would be there, and I'd go right back in. I'm wondering if I weren't a little manic last night--I blogged a lot and got pretty keyed up. Even this morning when I went to get A I was somewhat frantic--the phone startled me and it was on a different side of the bed, charging, so it confused me as I got out of bed and ran around to get it rather than just turning over. That's a little odd.

Also, on the way to get him my thoughts turned to someone who had been my friend but basically used me to get through her battle with infertility and then dropped me like a stone once her son was born. When I went to the doctor the other day, he asked about her and whether she had managed to adopt a child and I just said I didn't know. The doctor had known her from working with her years before and sees her as a patient. He just assumed I knew she was doing that. I only do because she spends time telling another woman in one of the nearby cubicles who is the process of adoption hreself. Maybe when she manages to adopt, she'll drop her as well. I know, there's obviously some unresolved emotion there, but it was odd that it surfaced days after going to the doctor at a time when I should have been focussed on driving and getting my friend.

She did help me get over my 'I can only really be friends with one person at a time' thing, and it was nice to have a girl friend and get together. But I certainly deserved better--at least a 'I don't want to be friends with you' talk rather than pretending to be friendly but just engaging in small talk. Even when L went insane and broke off our friendship on her blog nastily, I knew where I stood, though it hurt. This friendship just died from lack of care, as I tried to give the new mother space and she put me off for months, then years with being 'too busy'. I know she thinks she's very caring and focussed on other people, but just like the rest of us she's caught up in her own life and although I'd like to think there just wasn't time for me after the baby was born, I know that's not true, because she made time for people who had children or were trying to. I think I make her nervous, because she is well aware that she dropped the ball and she and her husband have behaved very badly in relations with someone they met through me. (As in, husband getting drunk at a dinner, running around screaming 'tallywhacker!' [apparently due to some latent homophobia regarding the host], then throwing up all over the place, and then her promising to make it up by buying dinner and never bothering to fulfill her promise. That kind of thing. She never seemed to understand why my friend might be upset by both the behaviour at the dinner and the lack of follow up to make things right.)

I guess the moral of the story is that some friendships, no matter how solid they may seem, are only there for a short time for as long as they are mutually beneficial, or at least until both parties realise there's no point anymore. And I was too passive and didn't demand to be treated better. On the other hand, I have one friend of 21 years and another of 12 with whom I know where I stand and whose friendships are deeper. But I do miss having another woman to spend time with.

The rights of women seem to be among the first to fall in Chechnya

Chechen leader imposes strict brand of Islam: Critics fear dictatorship in region where Russian laws will not apply

Ramzan Kadyrov insists seven young women shot in the head and found alongside a road were the victims of Islamic honour killings for having loose morals, even though the facts and quite a bit of public opinion do not agree. It's just one aspect of a move towards a stricter form of Islam that has some worried about the loss of separation of church and state that Russian law ensures.

There is a Jewish prayer where a man thanks G-d for not being born a woman. I thank the Gods I was not born a woman under Islam. I don't have trouble with Islam itself--but the strict forms are hell on women's rights. Lots of religions have problems in terms of how they treat women--how they should dress, how they should behave, etc. I fortuantely don't have that problem in my own religion, which is actually rather female-centric, but all it would take is a change in religious freedom and that could go out the window. Also, the rights I enjoy as a US citizen are not portable through the world, and that's certain true in many Muslim areas, among others. It seems to me that most Fundamentalist faiths seem to share the desire to control women, and any faith focussed on controlling half of the population in favour of the other half is just wrong, no matter what faith it is--Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or non-Biblical religions that relegate women to traditional roles and ideals.

And whilst headscarves can be pretty, and it's certainly any woman's right to wear them should she choose--it shouldn't be imposed on women on pain of punishment. It often seems to start with headscarves, doesn't it? Then it's a birka, or who you can talk to, and what you can talk about. Then it spins downward from that. Other religions have their own versions of headscarves, too, so I'm not just picking on Islam.

Funny how they differ in meanings between the RSS feed and the website

Today's Dictionary.com word of the day was pedant.

The meaning as given in my news feed:
pedant: person holding books in esteem

The real meaning in all its shading, as given on their website:
pedant \PED-nt\, noun:
a person who makes a show of detailed knowledge, esp. relying on books; also, a narrow-minded teacher or scholar

World of difference, hmm?

An archival document/public vs. private ownership debate in the news

Court: Va. man owns 1776 copy of Declaration: Tech entrepreneur purchased document from a book dealer for $475,000

Although it's a loss to archives, I have to agree with the court. I don't think the state of Maine proved its case.

Maine says that the disputed printed copy of the Declaration of Independence is a Maine official public document and is subject to their ownership because it was never officially released, but rather was retained by a clerk and then was mixed up with his personal estate, which was sold.

The collector's lawyers argued that the copy that was transcribed from this one into the town's books was, indeed a public record, but the Declaration itself is not. It is one of a series of copies of the Declaration printed in Salem and sent to Massachusetts towns (Maine was originally part of Massachusetts) to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 so they could be read to the populace.

I just don't see that as an official document; it wasn't produced by the state or local town as a permanently held record, but rather was a copy much like a facsimile of an important federal document might be posted online for others to read. Also, I'm not sure when the state law was made about releasing official documents, but the clerk died in 1929, so I'd be interested in whether the law predated that.

The collector didn't do anything shady, the provenance was not shady, and I don't think the collector should be out anything just because he was shrewd enough to purchase it and a public archives did not. I'm sure there are plenty of my fellow librarians who wouldn't agree, but that's my opinion. It's the court's opinion that really matters. There's nowhere to go up in terms of appeals for cases like this, so the matter is settled.

Trying to save animals from a deadly fungus in the wild

Scientists Build an Ark To Save Jungle Amphibians

A fungus called chytrid has been spreading for the past 20-30 years through streams in Central America, killing up to 80% of the amphibian population and eradicating some species completely. A couple established a centre for capturing amphibians from the wild in the hopes of establishing breeding programmes to ensure the species survive towards a time when chytrid can be controlled and the animals can be re-introduced into the wild.

More than a little unusual

Mich. woman with 2 wombs delivers twins: Mother has a condition known as uterus didelphys

She bore each girl from a different uterus. Wow! The babies are premature so here's hoping everyone stays healthy.

A master storyteller, gone

Radio commentator Paul Harvey dead at 90

I loved Paul Harvey's 'The Rest of the Story' from the time I first heard it as a child. It was often thought-provoking and he was wonderful in his use of a phrase, a pregnant pause, always keeping you waiting for his story's 'punchline'. He was a consummate storyteller, and those are few and far between these days. His distinctive voice was comfortable and inviting.

(Shakes head sadly)

Breast-feeding, cell-using driver charged: Ohio police cite woman with child endangerment

I'm all for breast-feeding, but going down a road with the child nestled between you and a steering wheel/probable airbag IS NOT THE WAY TO DO IT!!!! The woman, when asked about it, said she didn't want her child to go hungry.

As opposed to a child with its head bashed in from blunt force impact.

I should stop being surprised by stupidity.


I should.

Good library press

Hard economic times a boon for libraries
'Whenever you have tough economic times, public libraries are a place people go because they have no other alternatives or because they know they are going to get the kind of powerful information that will make a difference in their lives,' said Kristin McDonough, director of the Science, Industry and Business Library in New York City.

It would have been nice to mention that many libraries are struggling to continue such great services with budget cuts, layoffs, and branch closures, but hey, good press is good press.

Thanks to Libraryman for the link.

Interested in librarian weblogs? Here's your book!

The Liblog Landscape 2007-2008: A Lateral Look by Walt Crawford

I've mentioned this before. It's a look at various blogs written by library people and analyses how various metrics change over time. It looks at over 600 blogs from 2007-2008 and for 143 it also includes change from 2006 on. This blog happens to be one of those. I plan on getting the book once I can. It lists for $35 but is currently on sale at Amazon.com for only $27.76 (and thus qualifying for free shipping). I hope the sale stays through to the latter part of March. Anyway, I've seen some of the author's past work and I'm interested in how this came out. If you are as well, be sure to buy the book or at least check out his blog at Walt at Random: The Library Voice of the Radical Middle.