Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nice to see someone promoting reading the books that inspire upcoming movies

N.b. to my arachnophobic readers--there is a mention of The Hobbit's giant spiders, but the video just shows cobwebs as near as I can see in the brief frame. I think you're safe to view.

Okay, my work schedule changes (about an hour and a half earlier) starting tomorrow, so it is now time to take my meds and go on to bed. Good night.


Remember I posted at some point a shelf reorganisation done in stop-motion in someone's house? Well, they took it to another level, doing the same to a whole bookstore, Type, a bookseller in Toronto. It's really beautiful, and when I think of how much work it took, it makes my brain hurt. I think back to the comic store and how it might have come alive. Thanks to Jeannine Gluck for the link.

Then there are those of us who were on the cusp

WILL UNWOUND #681: “Stone Age Reference”

Will Manley, who sometimes gets librarians up in arms over various topics, but whom I've always enjoyed reading, wonders if those who learned their reference skills pre-Internet had to be essentially more creative than those who came after.

I was in the process. I graduated in 1993, and took a few classes afterwards. Until after graduation, I didn't have an Internet class. So my training involved, well, books mostly, plus proprietary databases that involved code-like search strategies, but on the other hand I was an early adopter of this whole World Wide Web thing (just like my first computer was a 1983 Atari 800XL, which I had part-way through graduate school. It was so primitive the word processor was on a ROM pack, but I loved that thing. Played a mean game of Joust, too.) I first saw the Web through the old Mozilla browser. It was pre-Google. My main search engine was Ask Jeeves back then, which was more fun than what's left of it now.

So anyway, maybe I got a little of the best of both worlds. When I started my job as a medical librarian fifteen years ago, we were still using Grateful Med, searching using that specialised language. Now there's PubMed, and you can still use subject headings and for the most part that specialised know-how to search the MEDLINE databases (there's a big thread on MEDLIB-L right now on trying to explain the difference between PubMed and MEDLINE, and I think those who did have to learn to do it the old-fashioned way grok that difference better, given their analogies).

I'm used to being on the cusp in a way. I'm an early Generation X-er (born 1967), that smaller generation between the Boomers and the Millennials, and I'm in a position now to be looking for a job as we (hopefully) start crawling out of the worst recession in my lifetime. I'm on a new cusp now, too, because much of the profession is nearing retirement age, and I'm discovering that I'm in a position to be, well, maybe one of the 'older' librarians soon, firmly in mid-career. It should be an interesting 20 years or so left, with the grace of the Gods, and I for one am looking at it in anticipation.

How does your generation and timing of how you learned about technology affect you? Are you readily able to accept technology? Can you do anything when the power goes out? :)

Looking at the Independent Publishers Group/Amazon standoff

From a couple of angles...

Amazon Ditches Entire Independent Publisher; Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers of America Ditches Amazon

Dear Publishers: What Have You Done for Me Lately?

I had such a crush on him as a child

and now he's gone. RIP Davy Jones of the Monkees, who died today. He was 66 years old (a couple of years older than my parents, actually). There's a great tribute video set to 'Daydream Believer' that reminds me how much fun they had, and made, while making music and clowning around. I can't embed it, but you can watch it on YouTube.

Here's another (quick music trivia--can you spot the one picture of another singer who isn't Davy Jones?)

PS It's a picture of David Bowie (pouring a drink), whose real name is David Jones. The poster caught the mistake, from where they'd put in David Jones rather than Davy, after it was published.

I'm a sucker for banned books, the Lorax, and tote bags

Win an 'I read banned books' tote bag from the American Library Association's @yourlibrary website in honour of Dr Seuss' upcoming birthday and the release of the movie, The Lorax.

The Lorax is my favourite of Dr Seuss' books. 'I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.' :)

I hadn't really thought about going to the movie. Normally I'm sceptical about full-length films made from books you can read in 15 minutes, but it does look intriguing. It's from the makers of 'Despicable Me', which I really enjoyed. And the granny is played by Betty White. :)

The next movie I will probably go to is The Hunger Games, also out next month. In fact, I may have it be my birthday movie this year. I still have a free pass to the cinema from our employee appreciation gift from last year.


I came home this evening, took out my contacts, and immediately went to bed. That was six hours ago. Last night I didn't even get home until midnight, and went to bed around 2 am, and so I'd been working on a bit of a deficit. Today was very busy, and I started to work on my new duties a bit and at the same time tried to get caught up on my data entry from being off Friday afternoon for a doctor's appointment. I'm not on the new schedule quite yet (I need to talk with my boss who supervises me in the library job), but if all goes well, I can start that on Thursday.

It was in the 60s today. I didn't get a chance to go outside and enjoy any of it, but my allergies are definitely feeling the evidence of early spring. Right now I'm sneezing and my eyes are watering. I'm not sure what the cause is (I'm allergic to just about everything in the Bluegrass region, including bluegrass). I'd say trees are part of it; I start going every year when the maples bloom, although I'm not sure whether they're one of my allergens. But most deciduous trees came back on the report, if I recall. I've actually had to use an inhaler twice in the last few weeks--once after the spat with the dogs, and another time when I'd been cataloguing apparently somewhat dusty books that I'd removed from the shelf.

I got up and took my night meds, but I'm considering going on back to bed and getting up early in the morning and doing a little laundry. It may be the last chance I can do that without being in the wee hours of the night. Also, I need to stop by the bank. Again, once I'm working the new schedule, there's no way to do that during the week. It's a good thing they're open on Saturday mornings. :)

Happy real birthday to any of you who were born on February 29th, by the way. For everyone, how will you spend your extra day this year?

Okay, I'm going to head back to bed. I forwarded myself some library-related links today from some lists I'm on, and I'll try to blog about them tomorrow. Good night.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I fell asleep at my computer desk

and woke up to find a large ambulance with its lights on headed towards another apartment. Hope it's nothing serious.

Good night. Time to get my contacts out and really stretch out and sleep.

PS She loves sunbeams. :)

The funniest thing I saw all weekend

Since it is obvious that the puppy is going to be a chewer, three Nylabones were purchased, one for each dog. Upon being given a bone, the collie-shepherd dropped hers and went off to herd the others. The border collie-terrier took hers for awhile but quickly became bored. The puppy? The puppy collected every single one upon her blankie and then gnawed each in turn like she was playing some sort of strange doggie xylophone.

I didn't see it, but also, apparently, she's grown enough in a week that she can now stand up and look at the world outside, with which she is fascinated. She's also started actually barking at things, especially cranky cats who hiss at her when she wants to play.

So cute.

Excellent article about how ageing and dementia in prisons

The Vanishing Mind: Life, With Dementia
Dementia in prison is an underreported but fast-growing phenomenon, one that many prisons are desperately unprepared to handle. It is an unforeseen consequence of get-tough-on-crime policies — long sentences that have created a large population of aging prisoners. About 10 percent of the 1.6 million inmates in America’s prisons are serving life sentences; another 11 percent are serving over 20 years.

And more older people are being sent to prison. In 2010, 9,560 people 55 and older were sentenced, more than twice as many as in 1995. In that same period, inmates 55 and older almost quadrupled, to nearly 125,000, a Human Rights Watch report found.

While no one has counted cognitively impaired inmates, experts say that prisoners appear more prone to dementia than the general population because they often have more risk factors: limited education, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, depression, substance abuse, even head injuries from fights and other violence.

Many states consider over-50 prisoners elderly, saying they age up to 15 years faster.

Sad (and senseless)

Schoolgirls' fight ends in death, leaving haunting questions
It began with an incident that seemed relatively harmless, even timeless: Two little girls. An argument over a boy. An arrangement to meet after school. A pause, while a few friends gathered around and the girls put their hair up in buns. Then the fight. It lasted just a minute — two flurries of punches, a busted lip and separate paths home.

But six hours after Friday's fight in Long Beach, 10-year-old Joanna Ramos was dead.

Good for libraries (and library patrons)

Pottermore and OverDrive link on Potter library e-book distribution
Pottermore has entered into an exclusive worldwide e-book and digital audiobook distribution agreement with OverDrive for public and school libraries, with the e-book distributor to manage hosting and digital fulfillment for libraries for J K Rowling's Harry Potter series.

OverDrive director of marketing David Burleigh said the e-books and audiobooks are not yet available, though libraries and schools can pre-order them. The “go-live date” is to be announced, he said. Worldwide, the e-books will be available in ePub on PCs, Macs, Android devices, iPhones, iPads and Blackberries, plus reading devices including the Kindle and Nook, with Kindle support in the US only. The audiobooks will be available in MP3 format.

Sorry I haven't written

It was a very busy weekend, followed by work and heading back over to a friend's house tonight to help with something (three days in a row over there). So I haven't been home, and I was having trouble copying and pasting URLs into the post code on the tablet for links, which defeated the purpose of trying to blog about things I'd seen online.

Anyway, I'm back. Hope you had a good weekend.

Have you been watching the sky?

Planets Align Tonight: Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars & Moon To Appear

The waxing crescent moon, Jupiter, and Venus have been very close together the last few days and tonight lined up around sunset. Meanwhile, Mars was rising across the sky in the west. I've been keeping an eye on the sky, enjoying the show, and tonight was no exception.

The sad thing is there are many people who never bother to look up at the wonderful world above them.

When I was a girl

I loved horse stories, especially the Marguerite Henry books (my favourite was Black Gold) and Anna Sewell's Black Beauty. I went through a horsey-girly phase where I read about them, drew them obsessively, etc., etc. Despite the fact that my horsey-girly phase dimmed long ago, I'm severely allergic to horses, and to be honest, I'm a little bit afraid of their sheer size when I encounter them for real, even so, horse stories such as this still move me:

Burma's True Love: How a girl lost — and found — the horse she cherished

It has all the plot twists of an excellent horse book or movie, and, thankfully, a happy ending. I had never heard of the practice of using mares to test stallions undergoing quarantine for contagious equine metritis, and the process and what it does to their bodies seems horrible. They were used up and thrown away to slaughter by people who did not really love them. I'm so glad that this horse and her companion were rescued, and that a girl and her horse were reunited.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I think the touchy stomach is from my new meds

Because I took my meds a little while ago and I've started having mild nausea and very little warning in certain other gastroenteric areas. I started having problems once I started the new medicines. I ate something light with it right afterward, but I don't know if it will help. So far the effects have been relatively minor; I'm not acting like I have a stomach bug or anything like that. Actually, I looked things up and two of the drugs I just went on can cause problems, so I think the mystery is solved. Hopefully that will ease.

I've gotten up and ready, paid my cell phone and electric bills, and am waiting till it's time to catch the bus. I'm going to make a very quick trip to the grocery, just to get a couple of things, and then head over to a friend's house. It is much colder today than it has been and they're still saying the wind will be bad, although it doesn't seem to be blowing that hard right now. But, it's kind of hard to tell from my living room; the wind tends to be blocked somewhat by the apartment buildings in the complex and then once I get out on the street I freeze.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I feel hung over

I ate a really large meal, and then I went to sleep. Four hours later, my blood sugar is through the roof, I'm very thirsty (I'm drinking some cold water now, and I've put more ice cubes trays in the freezer for later), my eyes are a bit blurry, and that was well, just stupid. I really do know better. I've taken my Lantus for the night, but that's a long-acting insulin. In the meantime, I'm bumping into just about every surface of my house because I'm not judging distance well and am clumsier than normal (which means I should probably go back to bed or I might break a leg; I'm clumsy enough normally). :(

Interesting article on the aging of the eyes, artificial light, and the circadian rhythm

Aging of Eyes Is Blamed for Range of Health Woes

The wind is cutting outside

making it seem much colder than the 39 degrees it said on the weather. I walked home from the ophthalmologist, my eyes bleary and dilated, and was quite happy to get inside. At least there isn't snow like in Chicago, but still...it was over 60 degrees yesterday.

I spent most of the morning feeling run-down and tired, although I perked up when I went to a meeting. The library was just so quiet, you would think that I could have maintained some sort of focus, but that wasn't the case, although I managed to get a few things done. By 2:15 I was leaving for the doctor's office, and it turned out a co-worker was leaving too, so she gave me a ride.

I spent a couple of hours at the ophthalmologist's, waiting to be called, then getting my vitals and history, then going back to the waiting area, then getting my eyes numbed and my pressure checked, followed by dilation and returning to the waiting area, then getting my optic nerve looked at, then waiting, then finally getting the good news that there is no sign of diabetes in my eyes, nor has the pressure reached a point where we have to do anything more than continuing semi-annual visits. Yay. My great-grandmother, who was also diabetic, lost much of her sight as a result of the disease, and I don't want to have a similar problem.

After the visit, I talked briefly with a friend on the phone and made plans for tomorrow, then headed to the still-open (I'd thought it had already closed) library for a very quick wi-fi connexion to download a couple of updates on the tablet. I scanned the new books briefly and then headed out into the wind, finally getting home and, having not eaten since 11:30, scrounged for some food. So you would think I would go straight to bed, but I'm not exactly sleepy, just tired. I should check and see if 'Grimm' or 'Supernatural' are on tonight. But I don't know if I can hold out till then.

A nice profile

of Abby Marlatt, an activist whom I met through the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lexington and really respected. She passed away in 2010, but had a remarkable life of service and pacifism, supporting peace and racial equality before it became fashionable.

I updated my emergency medical info

1) on the USB drive I carry on my key chain
2) with Medic Alert
3) in an 'In Case of Emergency' (ICE) application on my phone
4) in the same application on my tablet

So I should be good to go if I'm in an accident or the like. The application was rather buggy. It wouldn't save edits, and on the tablet the letters were there, but in white on white, so I couldn't even see to edit. So I removed that section and started over. Then I realised I'd forgotten the foot pain med on the phone and had to do it again.

Oh, well. It is now time to get ready for work. Have a wonderful Friday.


I didn't get much sleep last night. First of all, go me, I didn't fall asleep at something like 8 or 9 pm. I had just crawled in bed when a friend called (he has a talent for sensing when I do so) and we talked for awhile. Then, I decided to read Turn Coat, one of the Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher, which I had out from the library, but which was due today. So after nine chapters of being sucked in (and reading on the tablet, not the Kindle, for a change), I returned the book and re-checked it out so that I could finish it this time.

About then the storms rolled in. They weren't particularly violent where I was, but the electricity was flickering, my surge protector/battery backup shut down the computer to be safe, and I didn't feel comfortable going to bed and charging all the devices while I slept.

I went to bed for a little while, got up at 11:30 pm, took my medicine for my feet. Then I played with the tablet for awhile, took my insulin around 1 am, and fell back asleep. At 3 am I got up because my stomach was being touchy, and it was finally past storm time and I felt comfortable plugging everything in. But I was having trouble sleeping. I checked out the new free Amazon application of the day, and it was a shoot-'em-up, and I wasn't so sure about getting that, but I found a noise machine/sleep helper instead and downloaded that. It lets you layer up to three sounds. I discovered birds and crickets just keep me awake, but a babbling brook, rain, and thunder helped. So even though the storms were gone, I slept to thunder, amazing for someone who used to have brontophobia.

So I finally fell asleep about 4-something. And then my alarms started at 6:30. Oddly enough, one of my alarms, which gently wakes you with noises and then has you solve a short puzzle, doesn't have birds as a separate sound, but it's included in a 'row boat', with lapping water, so I changed it to that.

So I've checked my blood sugar, eaten, taken my medicine, and I'm putting some stuff over from a CD set to my tablet. I had it partly done, because at some point I'd chosen certain songs, but the third disc was missing (it's a Simon & Garfunkel collection). So I found that disc and now I've got all the songs, not just my favourites. I've also put some documents on the tablet for easy access, such as my living will/medical info, résumé, etc. I have an application where I can easily view and edit files like that. These are on a USB drive I have on my key chain, but it was falling off a bit ago and they do have a finite life. So I thought I should have backup, both on the computer and tablet. I also fixed the backup snafu that meant my external hard drive was almost out of room.

I'm almost tempted to see if I could go back to sleep for an hour. My stomach's still a bit touchy and I don't want to get moving just yet. But I should probably stay up, and just get ready. The good thing is even without sleep, I'm not having trouble getting up early, which will be good for the new schedule. And even with the lack of sleep, I'm glad I didn't go to bed too early.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Quote of the day

Fantine, Eponine: 'Take my love, for love is everlasting.'
Fantine, Eponine, and Jean Valjean: 'And remember the truth that once was spoken: to love another person is to see the face of God.'

(From the musical Les Misérables, which I listened to (and mouthed to words to and once everyone left the library, sang loudly with) at work tonight. Although those lines belong to the musical, there are some lovely quotes by by Victor Hugo, author of the book, including on the subject of love, at the Good Reads Victor Hugo Quotes page) [although be careful; the second line above appears on the page as a quote from Hugo, when I cannot find it in the text]. But others are quite legitimate. For example, this one:

“Love is like a tree: it grows by itself, roots itself deeply in our being and continues to flourish over a heart in ruin. The inexplicable fact is that the blinder it is, the more tenacious it is. It is never stronger than when it is completely unreasonable.”― Victor Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris, or The Hunchback of Notre-Dame [This quote is verifiably in Chapter IV.]

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

So after I blogged this morning

I actually went back to bed for a half hour, after dumping quite a bit of water out of that CPAP hose. I got woken up by a friend, who was on my side of town and offered to take me into work, an offer I was very happy to take.

I didn't manage to go for a walk, as my day was rather busy. I had my performance appraisal, which was very good, and it looks like I'll be getting some new duties which will mean changing my schedule to a more normal first-shift one. I'd be getting home before 6 pm, even on the bus. It does mean coming in earlier, but that's okay; after all, I go to bed early as it is. I'm pretty excited; it gives me more contact with people, albeit on the phone. And since both evaluations went very well, I get a raise starting next pay cheque, for both pay grades.

Tonight was the weeknight I don't have ride home, and I wound up leaving while a thunderstorm was raging somewhat to the south of us. I walked down Richmond Road a ways (I was afraid the bus driver wouldn't see me in the dark and rain). Fortunately, it stopped raining for awhile, when I was at the bus stop, which doesn't have a shelter. And it rained just a bit on the way from the bus stop. I did forget to take my medicine at 4, so my feet were hurting a bit, but not nearly like they do in other shoes. Tomorrow there's more rain in the forecast (it'll be 64 or so degrees).

So now I'm home. I've talked to a friend on the phone [the puppy went to the vet today], eaten a bit, and am considering turning in, although it's really pretty early, but sans humidifier. I may be up later. If not, hope you have a good night.

Funny tech predictions that are great for presentations

Use It Better: The Worst Tech Predictions of All Time

My favourite?

"The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys."—Sir William Preece, chief engineer, British Post Office, 1876

How're the messenger boys working out for you, England?

I think in this case, this is a good thing

Murderer pardoned for saving hundreds in deadly Honduras prison fire

Marco Antonio Bonilla had just a few months left of his sentence to serve when the deadly fire broke out in a Honduras prison. A prison nurse who had more freedom to move through the prison than most, he got some of the keys to cells and saved perhaps hundreds of lives, and in one case used a bench to bash open a lock.

At least 360 of the 852 prisoners died in the fire. In once cell block of 105 prisoners, only four survived.

For his actions, the president of Honduras said he would give Antonio Bonilla a pardon for his conviction. While I certainly don't condone murder, this man served his debt to society and at great risk to himself saved many men who might otherwise have died horribly.

Rude awakening

On my fourth alarm (I set four every morning, with the hopes that as they start at 6 am, maybe I'll wake up by 8), I pulled the humidifier that attaches to my CPAP off the stand, although not the CPAP machine itself. (My CPAP machine is a decade or so old--it didn't come with an internal humidifier, so that was added later. It's basically a hotplate with a reservoir, connected by hoses.) Anyway, the air cut out, and water started gurgling down the hose towards me. I got up, trying to find the humidifier, which was hanging off the stand (it's on a platform that is hinged, and the CPAP kept it from coming off entirely). Where I have a queen-sized bed, the hose normally extends far enough but not if I reach too quickly for the phone to turn off the alarm.

So I was up at 7. I've decided to take my lunch today, so I packed some hummus and flatbread, some plain non-fat Greek yoghurt from a large container I put in a smaller one I had around, some blueberries I put in a little container, and some non-sugar added applesauce. Also, I'm having granola cereal for breakfast with blueberries. I haven't had cereal in months, and it's quite tasty. So I think that's a healthy start to the day. I have enough hummus and flatbread I can eat dinner there, as well. I've been spending way too much money eating in the hospital cafeteria.

On top of the healthy eating, I may go for a walk today. It's supposed to be 56 degrees and partly sunny. I have a conference call and a performance appraisal meeting, so I don't know if I'll have time, and of course, my feet can be an issue, although they feel really nice right now. So we'll see.

Okay, I've checked my blood sugar, taken my medicine, packed my lunch, eaten breakfast, checked my e-mail, and so now I have an hour to kill before getting ready for work. I think I'll check up on the librarians whose blogs I follow and the news on Google Reader.

Oh, and one thing I found off the bat, from Morbid Anatomy:

Lost Libraries and Fake Catalogs: A Renaissance Trope Explained, talking about the phenomenon of the Musaeum Clausum (the hidden library). Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Mardi Gras!

Today I made sure I wore my Mardi Gras beads and enjoyed some red beans and rice that the cafeteria had specially made for me without meat. Yay for them! I don't expect to have people cater to my dietary restrictions, but it is nice when they happen to. I did eat a couple of small beignets as well. A couple of my co-workers didn't know what they were and were quite intrigued with them.

It was a good day. My feet feel better. The new shoes are helping. I took the shoelaces out of an old pair today and re-laced them onto the new pair so I'd have longer ones than the ones that came with the shoes.

The only bad thing about today is I forgot to bring a second insulin pen and pretty much used up mine with breakfast. I came home, took one of both types out of the refrigerator, so I'll have the one tonight and the other for tomorrow.

I did my hair up in a couple of braids, then pulled back with lots of bobby pins. Later in the day I let it down and it was very poufy for me, as you can see. :)

I went through the news and while there were some things of interest, there wasn't anything I particularly wanted to post here, but I'll check later and see if there's anything.

Monday, February 20, 2012

YKWIA shared this with me

It's hilarious. This is from 'Let Them Eat Cake', starring Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders (of French & Saunders, and the latter from 'Absolutely Fabulous'), set a few years before the French Revolution. This is the funniest segment, the second one, which includes a murder scene. You can check out part 1 and part 3 as well.


might be a decent ingredient in something, but eating pressed seaweed is not my idea of fun. I will taste most foods (as long as they're vegetarian), but a friend popped a sheet of seaweed in my mouth the other day and I gagged and gagged. The worst thing was, it stuck to my tongue and palate, and I couldn't swallow it, nor could I throw up, although it sure was making me want to. I finally had to go over to the trash can and scoop it out of my mouth with my fingers, which it even clung to like a limpet, and then I washed out the taste with orange soda and ate some cheese. Ugh. Nasty. Much worse than the Marmite (interesting, but not really what I'd like on toast) he had me try first, or the curry chips after. The curry chips might actually be good if they had oil and salt on them, but they came from a health food store and are made by people who lost all rights to their taste buds the moment they substitutied carob for chocolate and pronounced it nummy. He gave them to me and I'm going to use them with my Indian food, to see if that helps.

Anyway, the texture and the taste (which was much like how fish food smells) just got to me. The worst thing was the delay in getting it out of my mouth. I couldn't even spit. No food should cling that desperately to you.

I nearly got run over by two little old ladies this evening

The driver stopped when I started walking with the light and then revved up and started forward while I was still in the lane she wanted to turn into. I then turned and said, 'hello, excuse me, walking here' and she stopped and looked sheepish. I suspect her companion told her to stop in time. I really wonder sometimes. And I don't mean to pick on the elderly. Lexington is full of bad drivers, of all ages, many of whom don't know how to yield, use a turn signal, or follow the traffic lights. I watched no less than six cars run a red light, turning left, at the same intersection the other day. Granted, no one was coming from the other side, but still the turn light had ended, and both lights were red. No clue. I think they followed each other like lemmings.

Here's another picture of the puppy

I'm holding her to try to get a decent shot. I cropped out the huge monstrosity that was me. I haven't had a full on shot from the head down on camera in awhile and I was bent over in a large beach ball formation. I've gained about 10 lbs since we increased my insulin. Definitely have to work on that. But the puppy is absolutely adorable.

I hear that the other dog who was avoiding her last night actually, well, frolicked with her for awhile this morning. The cats are still annoyed with the whole thing, though.

On another 'regenerating ancient gardens' note

Russians regenerate flowering plant from 30,000-year-old frozen burrow of Ice Age squirrel
It was an Ice Age squirrel’s treasure chamber, a burrow containing fruit and seeds that had been stuck in the Siberian permafrost for over 30,000 years. From the fruit tissues, a team of Russian scientists managed to resurrect an entire plant in a pioneering experiment that paves the way for the revival of other species.

The Silene stenophylla is the oldest plant ever to be regenerated, the researchers said, and it is fertile, producing white flowers and viable seeds.

Intriguing, yes?

I'm a new auntie!

Isn't she adorable? This was the only really decent picture I got; the shutter speed on my tablet is too slow to really deal with a wiggly puppy. Next time I'll take my video camera with me and then I can take stills from that.

She came from the Lexington Humane Society, adopted yesterday. She's about three months old, so she's still in the housebreaking phase. She was a stray. As you can see, she's just been spayed and still has the stitches. She is very curious and has a tendency to gnaw on things when you're not looking. One dog (a collie/shepherd) is herding her everywhere, and she's bonding with her nicely. The other dog thinks she has cooties and is not sure what to do when she comes near her. One cat has been through this before, and is just, 'oh, damn, you did it again', staying up on the furniture and looking pretty stoic. The other cat (who is the baby of the family), is running around all bristled and has totally lost his mind, that they've brought in this thing that's about his size and it (gasp!) wants to play.

She is very affectionate, just a bit skittish, but I think that will settle down. She seems to be handling her new environment and people wonderfully, and they're already bonding as well. She likes the whole lap-puppy thing, but given the size she'll probably be, she better enjoy it while she can. She's supposed to be part Labrador retriever and part pit bull. You can definitely tell the latter in the face. Most of that is usually guesswork. Sadly, about 80% of those available for adoption seemed to be either pit bull or a pit bull mix, which says something about the people who have dogs with litters and then don't care for them. Apparently if they seem to be all pit bull, the Society doesn't let you adopt with small children, but if they're mixed, they do. That's not an issue here; the issue was dealing with other pets, and I think that will work out well. She already wants to cuddle with the others, they're just not having any of it just yet.

Anyway, I love having a new animal in my life (but I don't have to deal with it on a daily basis, especially as I have never had to house train a dog). But she's a lovely addition to the family.

Okay, time to get ready. I have a podiatrist appointment at 9:15 and want to stop by McDonald's and get a couple of egg and cheese biscuits to start my morning. Fortunately we never got any snow, none at all, and it's sunny and looks to be warmer. Have a great day.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

As a gardener and history/archaeology buff, this made me happy

Ancient biblical gardens 'bloom' again: Reconstruction of 2,500 garden relied on analyses of excavated pollen and reveals a paradise of exotic plants
An ancient royal garden has come back into bloom in a way, as scientists have reconstructed what it would've looked like some 2,500 years ago in the kingdom of the biblical Judah.

Their reconstruction, which relied on analyses of excavated pollen, reveals a paradise of exotic plants.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Finished with the notes

Everything's transferred over for reading at the game tomorrow. The batteries are charging. It's 8:30. What do I do now? Oddly enough, I'm not sleepy. That M*A*S*H episode sounds good, but I have to get up very early in the morning, like 5 am. Maybe I'll read for awhile. Or play Plants vs. Zombies. No, I think reading it is, with some nice music in the background. Then I'll probably get sleepy and go on to bed. Good night.

Wow, how industrious I've been

I went over to the library about 3 pm, turned in my book and some other stuff (but accidentally left a CD in my bag; at least it isn't due yet), took the bus over to Kroger, got a pretty big order for me (I filled up my granny cart), and then walked back. It took me 35 minutes to get two blocks, because I took my time with the traffic and the cart.

When I got home, I put up the groceries (I now have things like fresh vegetables, fruit, lots of dairy, eggs, and a goodly amount of canned goods [the latter in case we do get snowed in and lose electricity]). Then I took out the trash and the new load of recyclables.

I just sat down to eat and I took my blood sugar and it is only 181, which is really good for me. With a little effort and the new dosages, I'm hoping to get it down to normal. I also took my medicine that helps my feet, which was overdue. Note to self, don't go on a major expedition without taking your medicine.

It was really mild today (52 degrees), and on my way home I saw a groundhog in a field. As I came closer, he loped away (can they lope?) or whatever it is groundhogs do when they run away. He was really big and fat and was so funny as he moved. I used to know someone who always thought of the groundhog as his totem animal of sorts. It so fit, let me tell you.

You know, I do very little in the way of primping or elaborate skin care, although I am blessed with generally unwrinkled, clear skin, although sometimes it's ruddy. I use Clean and Clear's Morning Burst cleanser, followed by Aveeno's calming moisturiser, which contains SPF 15 to keep down sun damage and tame some of that ruddiness. I've used the latter for years, and I always get sticker shock when I get it. $15??? For lotion? Granted, there are a lot more products that set women back far more, but it just kills me. Still, it's good for my skin, and it does last several months, so I pay it. Razor heads are the same way. I spent $11, on sale for razor heads to a refillable razor. But again, at least they last awhile.

Awhile back I went to Bath & Body Works and got some of their orange ginger body wash, lotion, and shampoo (all of which were more pricey than what I might normally get in the grocery). But I have to admit, my skin has been much clearer and softer, and even my hair looks better. With my diabetes, my skin gets awfully dry, and that seems to be helping. I may have to go back when these are gone. It looks like they'll last about three months or so, so that's not too bad.

Okay. It's time to start game notes. I have the batteries charging now. Hopefully it won't take too long to transcribe. It was mostly us trying to figure out how best to capture and exorcise a creature without getting killed in the process. :) Ah, you have to love roleplaying games.

Listening to

'A Little Fall of Rain' from Les Misérables, which never fails to bring tears to my eyes, what with Eponine's unrequited love, dying in the arms of the man she loves.

So I've gotten quite a bit accomplished. The living room looks livable again, the dishes are washing, the recyclable bin is almost full again, and I've got some trash to take out. Basically, I have been hoarding all sorts of stuff that I just haven't had the energy to deal with, and haven't wanted to deal with, and it's time to get rid of it all.

So I'm taking a break now. It's not quite lunchtime. I'm going to check the bus schedule and see how best to do the grocery run. I'm tempted to do a fairly big run and take my granny cart. I can fit six reusable bags in there. The problem is that the cart is bigger than the newer ones I've seen, and doesn't fit on the bus well, and I don't want to take all those bags out or anything, so I may just go ahead take the bus over there (after dropping the book off at the library), go to Kroger and do my shopping, and then walk home.

I just looked out of my window and one of my neighbours, who takes the bus quite often, is out walking her cat. You never know what you'll see around here.

Okay, back to Les Mis. I'm up to 'Bring Him Home'. :) This is the 10th Anniversary concert in the Royal Albert Hall, and Colm Wilkinson singing, particularly that long last note, just makes chills run down my spine. I got the CD ages ago, but at some point I'd like to get the DVD as well. One thing I like about this concert, too, is they took many of the actors who had played Valjean, throughout many countries, and did a rendition of 'Do You Hear the People Sing?' as a compilation of phrases in various languages from Hungarian to Japanese as an encore, then ending with the whole cast and them singing 'One Day More' as a second encore. It's quite interesting.

Within 10 minutes of waking

I was taking out the recyclables on my way to getting a drink at the laundry room, and then I came back and cleaned off the couch (and not just by putting everything on the floor). Today's aim is to get the apartment in good order. Someone in my family is unable to care for their little corgi, and I'd like to take him in, but I'd like to get the house dog-proof by then. I would have mentioned it to my mom last night when she called, but with the house a mess I didn't think I should. Tonight, maybe....

I forgot my Saturday alarm was set for 6:30 am (which means the Gentle Alarm application starts chiming at 6:00), and snoozed and finally dismissed all four alarms, but woke up at my normal time, 8:30. I've taken my blood sugar, which is holding steady and lower than it had been by 50 points, so the increase in insulin must be working. It's nice to see the weekly and monthly averages on my tracking application go down. I've eaten and I'm now staring at the (now) six pills I'm supposed to take every morning, up from two. That's in addition two more of one of the pills, plus four injections of two types of insulin per day. Bless the pharmacy, there was one pill that I take 1/2 a tablet of, and they went ahead and split them all for me. :) At least they're all relatively small.

I've called the hospital and the receptionist said he'd have the security guard put the package on my desk. If that's the case, then I may just leave it till Monday, so yay, one less thing to do.

I do still have to go to the grocery. I'll do that today and then get some things for the game and the game master (whose e-mail I just read shared with me the fact that you can get your eyeballs tattooed, which has a big ewww factor--fortunately there were no pictures in the e-mail) on the way to the game. Hopefully snow will not be a factor. I haven't seen the forecast today but yesterday they were predicting anywhere from 1"-8", but admitting they didn't know how it would track. that's an improvement from years ago when our 'dusting' became 14". :)

Okay, I'd better start. I think first I'm going to put in a load of dishes and then while that's running, tackle some of the clutter. Maybe I'll put on some Les Mis. I like cleaning to show tunes.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Well, I figured out how to get music and documents onto the card where it can be seen by the various applications. It's a 32 GB microSD card, so I think I should be okay for awhile. I put several albums on as mp3s and it was only a couple of gigabytes. :) I also downloaded a Kindle library book to the tablet just to test that (I still prefer to read on the Kindle, but the screen isn't too bad, and you can play with the background) and the game notes. No more putting it into 24 point font and then making a PDF that I can read on the Kindle. Also, since I was able to get OfficeSuite 5 at some point free from Amazon, I can load the game notes and make changes if I need to right then and there. I do prefer Adobe Reader for bus schedules, though. They load faster with it, between the two, both on the phone and on the tablet.

Despite all I've done with it today, including cataloguing books, it's at 35% battery charge still. That's pretty decent. Since I got it, I've catalogued 196 books. I'm close to 700 now, out of a collection that if you included the family resource centre is about 1300. :)

I actually remembered Supernatural tonight. Grimm doesn't seem to be on; there's an award show on instead. I cleaned out a good portion of my DVR and went ahead and recorded Supernatural.

The plan tomorrow is to clean house and go to the grocery, and maybe go pick up my shoes from work if they come there in the mail. (It's 70 minutes between buses on the Saturday Richmond Road route, so I'm not sure I want to fool with it.) Oh, and do game notes, which shouldn't take too long to do.

I think I'll step away from the tablet for now and maybe take a nap. I know it's kind of late, but if I wake up early, I'll just work on the house earlier, and if I sleep in, that's fine, because my plans are flexible. :) Oh, and I do have to go to the library tomorrow--I let a book get overdue, although not too badly. Bad librarian!

Two out of three isn't bad

Well, I got the microSD card and my medications in the mail today. The shoes are scheduled to be delivered at the hospital tomorrow. I haven't decided whether I'll go over and pick them up or wait until Monday.

So now I have all my medicine, including some (mercifully small pills of) vitamin D, which I was apparently low on. The pharmacy also sent some more test strips, yay! And it all fit in my mailbox, so no trouble with the delivery.

When I ordered the SD card, the only complaint people had mentioned was not getting the USB reader and adapter with it, so when I saw the envelope they sent it in, at first I thought that had happened. But everything was there. The SD cards, especially microSD, are, of course, tiny, and the adapter is the size of a normal card. The USB reader, though, was about the size of the first joint of my little finger, and that threw me off. But it's nice to have them; they were essentially free when you compared their price for all three vs. a microSD card alone.

I got the tablet out of its case, took off the little cover that allows access to the SIM card and microSD slot, and put it in with no trouble, and the tablet recognises it. I also figured out how to move my music that I'd had on the internal storage over and the music player recognises it. But I then discovered that Honeycomb, unlike its predecessor Froyo, does not save internal storage by moving applications to the SD card. There's no option, and according to some, no need. Granted, I have 16 GB of internal storage, so I don't think it will be a problem any time soon, especially since my documents, pictures, music, etc. can all go on the SD card. But I had no idea until I Googled it, like so much of Android stuff. The manual is basically not collected together so much as available on forums as questions come up, as near as I can tell. On the other hand, I haven't had any question about Android that's come up I couldn't find the answer for.

The one thing that couldn't find documents on the SD card was Adobe Reader, which expected them in internal memory, so I moved my bus schedules back. I may just not have figured out how to point it to the SD card--it accesses the one in my phone with no problem. But it's not really an issue.

Anyway, I now have lots of space to play with. I also want to hook the tablet up to the computer and see if it recognises the SD card as a disk. Okay, I'm going to play with tech for a bit. Hope you had a good week. I'm so glad it's Friday. I'll write later.

I am a freak sometimes

I didn't sleep well last night (hence the blogging at 2 am, on the tablet no less), and it wasn't pain or worry--it was excitement about what the mail holds for me today.

I have three packages in Lexington today, and it remains to be seen when I'll get them, if it will be today or tomorrow (or in the case of the two going to my work address, Monday).

One is my medicine. My pharmacy mailed it to me, I'm not sure what day, but I didn't get it yesterday, but on the other hand there was nothing indicating a delivery attempt. If you've been following this blog for awhile, you know that I have issues getting the postal service to deliver anything bigger than my mailbox to my apartment (other than unexpected parcels). We have a parcel box at the apartment complex, with four compartments where there's a key that goes into the mailbox, and when we use that, it captures the key back. But not all of the postal carriers seem to know about it. So, we'll see. Hopefully I'll get that today or tomorrow. It has the new meds, some test strips, but most importantly the balance of a prescription that I haven't had meds for since Monday. They did say if I didn't get it today to call and they'll bring some to me, but of course I won't know whether I've gotten it or not until after they close. Hey, we're still working out the kinks. At least all the meds went through on my card this time.

The other two items are going to work (seeing as I do have so much trouble). One is the pair of New Balance shoes, the other is the micro SD card I ordered last week from Amazon (but it's filled by a third party in California, so it took longer than normal). I already got my books from Amazon on Tuesday that I ordered at the same time.

So I'd tracked the package for the shoes and the card and they're in Lexington as of last night and so the anticipation kept me up. Isn't that ridiculous? I could understand, I suppose, if I were getting a new car or something incredibly wonderful, but both of these are basically utility over form. But both will (hopefully) make my life easier, and so I guess there's something to that.

On the bright side I'm up, it's sunny, and my blood sugar is less than normal for a morning, which is good, as I had way too much Great Harvest cinnamon, raisin, and walnut bread last night. It is so good. Great Harvest Bread is a local bakery that tends to bake dense, whole grain breads that are also quite nummy. They do the white breads too (my favourite of those being their blue and white bread, which they do in the fall before the University of Kentucky games, with blueberries mixed in). They use only natural ingredients. For example, mine has fresh ground 100% whole wheat flour, water, raisins, walnuts, sugarcane molasses, yeast, salt, and cinnamon. That's it. They slice them thin, and a slice of their breads equal easily four of that stuff at Kroger they call bread. The only bread I have ever had that I had any criticism of was their challah, which is very good, but not the light egg bread that challah is meant to be. But that said, I highly recommend them. They even give you samples with butter or spreads when you walk in, and those samples are mighty enough to make a breakfast. Thanks to Jill for picking up the loaf for me.

Fascinated with imaginary cities?

Urville is the product of twenty years of planning and design by an autistic man, complete with history and illustrations. It looks very interesting, not only for its beauty, but also because it provides a window into how the autistic brain works. The book is available on Amazon.

Sometimes it's more challenging

To answer questions as my friends' personal librarian rather than in my professional life, especially with my friends. Today's challenge: find someone from the past with a probable address, a profession, place of work 25 years ago, race, deafness, a brother with a particular first name, and with only the person's first name to work with. Are they dead or alive, and if the latter, where? And of course, I have no better person search resources at home than the average person. These sorts of requests keep me on my toes. This one isn't looking good, but I haven't given up yet. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Science can be amazing

15-minute-old newborn gets pacemaker for heart
The name Jaya in Hindi means victorious. And little Jaya Maharaj was just that, when she became one of the smallest recipients of a pacemaker when she was just 15 minutes old.

Jaya is now three months old and doing quite well, despite having to induce labour so prematurely and the operation that gave her the pacemaker. Doctors chose to implant one rather than do an external one with a second surgery later, and the pacemaker should last her ten years. I'm so glad that medicine was able to give this child a second chance, and I'm sure her family is thrilled to have her. The condition could easily have caused her to die in the womb.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

For Brenda

(I'm not sure she reads this, but we'll have to show her on Sunday. This saves me the trouble of finding it again, and you might enjoy it as well.)

Amusing montage of footage from the excellent series 'Sherlock' that basically takes the nuances of relationship and makes it, well, slash. Since Brenda introduced me to both 'Sherlock' and the term slash fiction, this is for her:

N.B. In the original story, Sherlock removed John's clothing because he was wired with a bomb courtesy of Moriarty, just so you know. ;)


Blaze at Prison Kills Hundreds in Honduras
The bodies of the inmates, shirtless and blackened by soot, lay on the ground in neat rows, belying the chaos from which they emerged.

Outside the fence, hundreds of relatives rushed the gates of the burned-out prison, anguished and anxious for any word, clashing with soldiers and the police when they could not get in. As a prison officer stood on a balcony, reading out a roll call of the dead and survivors from a handwritten list, faces in the crowd turned away in tears.

It was one of the worst prison fires in recent years in Latin America, with a death toll surpassing 300, most of the victims choking to death in their cells awaiting a rescue that never came. Guards with the keys were nowhere to be found, rescuers said. Some inmates bashed their way through the roof to escape, and kept running. They are now fugitives.

Granted, yes, these were criminals of all sorts. But to die trapped while smoke and fire spread throughout the area is an awful thing, a horrible death sentence. Over 300 are presumed dead of the 900 or so prisoners, with the death count likely to rise. Many of the bodies are burned beyond recognition.

One thing the folks in Starfleet never had to worry about when exploring the final frontier: budget cuts

[Although they did have their share of bureaucrats.]

Obama's NASA budget: Mars takes a hit, but space science isn't dead
Two major Mars missions lost out to the James Web Space Telescope in Obama's proposed NASA budget, but there's still money for other ambitious space-science missions.

Reports of the demise of ambitious space-science missions at NASA may be somewhat exaggerated.

To be sure, in President Obama's fiscal 2013 budget proposal, two major Mars missions for 2016 and 2018 lost a budgetary wrestling match with the replacement for the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Web Space Telescope.

But Mr. Obama's plan also includes money to begin preliminary studies on a mission to Saturn's moon Enceladus, as well as an orbiter-probe mission to Uranus.


The drug pictured, midazolam, might be familiar if you've ever been through a procedure. It's Versed®.

Study finds new help for people with seizures
Injecting patients in the thigh with a drug-loaded syringe is a safe and effective way to stop a seizure in an emergency, according to results of a national study released today, a finding which could pave the way toward making such syringes as widely available as EpiPens used to treat severe allergic reactions.

The two-year study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, concluded that a single stab from an auto-injector was more effective in stopping a prolonged seizure than the traditional method of inserting an intravenous line and delivering the drug directly into the bloodstream.

The results are likely to quickly change how such seizures, which can be life-threatening if they're not stopped quickly, are treated by paramedics. But they could have more long-term repercussions, if doctors start giving the auto-injectors to epileptic patients, some of whom have several severe seizures a year, to use at home, much as people with severe allergies carry epinephrine syringes with them.

What a difference two hours makes

I took three ibuprofen and got in bed, stretching out on both sides for awhile, not really sleeping, just feeling the muscles relax, and that took about an hour. Then I did fall asleep for a bit, once I relaxed. Yay, I'm moving better. And my feet feel better, too. I was having pain especially where those stress fractures were. That's arthritis, I think, and the Neurontin doesn't necessarily touch that, because it's not nerve pain. But the ibuprofen did.

If it weren't for the pain, I would have walked today, as it was 50 degrees and mostly sunny at one point this afternoon. Unfortunately tomorrow is forecast as rain, but the temperature is supposed to remain mild for awhile.

Today I was busy with many interlibrary loans, both borrowing and lending. So there was much scanning at copier, though thankfully I didn't have many large bound journals to deal with. I haven't bound journals in a few years, a trend that other hospital libraries have gone to. Granted, there is more chance that a single issue will go missing, but I think it's much easier to get a clean copy rather than those older tightly bound volumes. I have one journal, The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, back to the 1930s, and let me tell you, they are quite tight.

There was a strange smell in the library that bothered my allergies all day. I think it was some sort of wood cleaner housekeeping used. At first I thought my cubicle mates had gotten flowers or something, but no, that wasn't it. Between the pain, the lack of insulin, and the allergy issue, I left work a little early so I could go do the collapse in bed thing.

There's something I meant to blog about a couple of days ago, but it slipped my mind. Did you know A Wrinkle in Time turned 50 this week? There is the A Wrinkle in Time: 50th Anniversary Commemorative Edition available this year, with bonus material in addition to the novel. I own at least two copies of this book, so I can't really justify getting it, but it's a wonderful series. I have five of them, along with one of her other books. Madeleine L'Engle was a wonderful writer and interesting person. If you haven't read this classic, you should. Also, it is available for the Kindle, for $6.99, as well as others in the series.


Okay, on a day when you wake up with your lower back in spasm, it does not make sense to pile all the stuff you normally carry into a backpack into a large purse. It only makes it worse. I have a green purse and a purple backpack. I was wearing green today, so I thought I'd go with a matching scheme. So much for that bright idea. Now I'm in a quite a bit more pain than this morning. And my feet are hurting even with the Neurontin, although it's not as bad as it has been. Plus I didn't realise I was so close to the end of an insulin pen and didn't have a spare with me for dinner. So I feel crappy. I'm going to bed for awhile and hope I'm feeling better. I'll write later when I'm in less of a foul mood.

Heaven help me

So far I have resisted the Twilight phenomenon. I can't handle the idea of sparkling/twinkling/whatever they are vampires who run around during the day, or angsty teen love. I know, I'm being unfair, those of you who love the series say. But for Valentine's Day Amazon is selling the first book for the Kindle for only $2.99 (I'm assuming that runs till about 3 am EST, when it becomes midnight on the West coast; that's how the free Android application a day thing works, actually till 3:15). Anyway, for a brief moment, I was tempted. I had to tell myself to step away from the Kindle, and from the order button. And so, thankfully, I remain blissfully ignorant of the ins-and-outs of the Edward/Bella romance.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Today's visit to the doctor

included the longest and most thorough laboratory report I've ever had, colour-coded according to how good or bad the findings were. They even tested for genetic predisposition for heart disease (fortunately I came out well in that regard) and sensitivity/metabolism for Plavix (which I'm not on, but apparently I should only ever be on small doses if that). It was quite impressive, and both the accompanying literature and my doctor explained things well. We increased my insulin, and I have two new meds to go on, based on the results of the tests. I'm hoping that will help. I see him again in a month, then in July to have the tests done again, and August to go over them. A lot of the report was actually good, but there are a couple of areas related to my diabetes/metabolic syndrome that have to be addressed.

I've been very good about recording my own glucose testing, taking my insulin as I'm supposed to, and I've been eating better as well. I hope to add exercise in there, too, now that my feet are doing better, and the next 10 days are going to be relatively warm (highs from 46-55 degrees), with some days clear of rain. Wish me luck!

So I was thinking today

that it is time to get some new shoes that actually feel good to walk in and match my outfits that I wear at work. I'm hard on shoes because of my supination (tendency to walk on the outside of the foot), and they lose shape after awhile, making it worse. I have a pair of shoes that are decent but are a little long for my foot and I've had them for awhile now. They're Reeboks, and were free (someone was giving away things from her grandmother's closet), but they're white and don't go with anything but my jeans. Basically, they look like running shoes, whereas the black shoes don't look so obvious, and I almost always wear black pants at work. I used to wear the Reeboks and then change into my black Birkenstocks at work, but where the Birks have soft cork soles, they're now worn down at an angle, putting stress on my ankle tendons. So that's really not an option anymore. Besides, the podiatrist told me it was important to wear lace-up shoes that would give me the support I need.

When I got home, there was a coupon in the mail for New Balance shoes for 20% off plus free shipping, and I decided it was a sign. So I ordered a pair of shoes and paid much less than normal. These are black, very similar to a pair I had before but a half size up, 7 2E, as my feet have gotten longer as I've aged and the last pair were a bit too short. They are approved as a diabetic shoe, as well, and are built to keep the feet even, rather than supinating. That, along with my orthotic inserts, should help. I told myself that one of the things I would do with my tax refund was take care of my feet, so this worked out well.

I am actually up early and (gasp) doing (a load) of laundry!

I forgot it was Valentine's Day until I saw that Google doodle. :) My plans today include laundry, a doctor's appointment, and work. Very romantic, but better than having a mammogramme like I did last year. :) I've printed out my logbook for my blood sugars to show my doctor. I need to try to get back on a medicine I had for awhile for my ADD--my friend is noticing a pronounced difference in my attention. And I'm going to suggest I go back on metformin along with my insulin to bring my glucose down. We'll see how that flies.

So I've put in the load of laundry, gone through rain to do it, recorded my blood sugar, taken my meds, and eaten breakfast. That's a pretty decent way to start the day. Except the rain, but considering it was supposed to be a wintry mix, that's good. Wintry mix around here often means ice storms, and freezing rain is worse than snow, in my opinion.

I think I'll go put the clothes in the dryer and check the news. Hope your Valentine's Day is wonderful.

PS I guess the jeans are a lost cause as far as wearing them to work for jean's day. Oddly enough, the blood from the dog fight came out fine, but the mud was a different matter. But I'm not going to dry them and set in the stains. I can still wear them around the house and on Sundays. Still annoying, as they were my favourite pair. But hey, at least the dogs are fine and I didn't get hurt.

A Google doodle that really touched this romantic

Note the couples at the end, by the way. :)

Such a shame

I would not really describe myself as a fan of Whitney Houston's, but I enjoyed her powerful and beautiful voice when I heard her. It's such a shame that drugs robbed her of that voice, and perhaps, her life, although it may be some time before the results in the investigation are announced.

She was only three years older than I, and battled daemons I cannot imagine. I wish things had turned out differently, and I hope she is finally at peace.

Although my favourite of her songs is her rendition of Dolly Parton's 'I Will Always Love You', I was listening to her singing the national anthem on YouTube and not only did tears come to my eyes, chills went up my spine. It is quite possibly the best performance of that notoriously difficult song, and she made it seem flawless. Here it is:

Monday, February 13, 2012

Listening to:

In honour of Valentine's Day

Before match.com and other services, there was computer dating, which meant putting all your info into a computer at an agency, making a video for others to view, and hoping someone hot popped out. Here's a skit that shows you young folks what it was like:

Sadly, I never tried this method of dating. But Richard does remind me a little of an ex....

One more step in understanding

how the body is infected and resists infection from HIV:

Immune cells use 'starvation tactics' on HIV
Scientists have shown how some cells in the body can repel attacks from HIV by starving the virus of the building blocks of life.

Viruses cannot replicate on their own; they must hijack other cells and turn them into virus production factories.

A study, published in Nature Immunology, showed how some parts of the immune system destroy their own raw materials, stopping HIV.

It is uncertain whether this could be used in therapy, experts caution.

Eight years ago today, a senseless death in the line of duty

I'm taking a moment to remember a woman here in Lexington who gave her life trying to save another. Our firefighters and police do not get nearly the recognition they deserve. May she rest in peace, and may her family be comforted by the memorials in her honour.

Firefighters honor Brenda Cowan; hang mystery blanket in former station
Cowan was Lexington's first black female firefighter. She was a trained paramedic, a University of Kentucky graduate and the sister of Fred Cowan, a member of UK's 1978 national championship team. She had been promoted to lieutenant and assigned to Station 18 about a week prior to her death.

Cowan was among the first to arrive to the scene of a shooting at 8645 Adams Lane, about a mile from the station. While tending to another female gunshot victim, Cowan was shot by Patrick Hutchinson, a paranoid schizophrenic who had shot and killed his wife before paramedics arrived. Another firefighter was wounded by Hutchison, who was firing a rifle through an open window of the home.

I am bone tired

even though I was only at work for the first and last part of the day. I left at 12:15 so that I could catch the bus that would get me to a doctor's office in time for a 1:45 appointment. I walked from the transit centre to the office, which was by Good Samaritan (they used to have an office over near my apartment; I didn't know until I made the appointment that they had moved, and only because I asked). I made it back to work about 4:15, this time waiting for a bus to take me down to the transit centre and then transferring to my other bus. I could have walked, but I'm not used to walking several blocks since I've had the foot problems for so long, and it was doing a number on my feet and knees.

It was a gynaecology appointment for a routine exam, for which I was slightly overdue. Because it was UK, there was not just the regular doctor and nurse but also a resident, who did the exam. It's the first guy I've had do the exam and pap smear in awhile. The regular doctor did have the presence of mind to pull the blinds before I asked. We all thought it was one way glass, but weren't sure, and if not, anyone walking or driving by at the right angle might have gotten an eyeful from a ground floor window. :)

The gowns were not big enough (the arms were quite uncomfortable), but I had a nice big sheet for privacy. I tell you, the best gowns in the city are at the St Joseph Breast Centre over at Eagle Creek. Even I find them comfy, even voluminous.

Because some women only have a GYN as their main doctor, there were a whole lot of questions on their checklist that had nothing to do with reproductive health, such as vaccinations, alcohol use, colonoscopies, that sort of thing. The paperwork even asked for odd things, too, like my mother's maiden name and my father's first name. The history, of course, was complete, and that was good. The one thing they never asked, which I thought was interesting, was whether I was sexually active. They just asked if I was using birth control, and if so, if I were happy with it.

I will say they were very thorough. They took my weight, blood pressure (which was good), listened to my heart and lungs, did the actual pelvic exam, and did the pap. Apparently my cervix played hide and seek with the resident. I had no idea that it could turn away from the speculum. Who knew? Apparently mine was shy. :) I must admit, I was amused.

I arrived early, of course, but the wait wasn't very long. The bus took more time than anything else.

I'd scanned several articles for a doctor from our journals this morning. This evening I retrieved the last article from a database I'd been locked out of earlier (there's only one licence, so we get turnaways sometimes). Then I entered all my charge sheets and got that all squared away.

Tomorrow will be fairly busy because 1) I have another doctor's appointment, but fortunately it is in the morning and across the street from me, 2) I need to request several articles via interlibrary loan, fill one request from another library, and catalogue, and then the charge entry should be quite busy as clinic is very large, plus I'll get sheets from today's clinic and the OR.

Today I got my new Medic-Alert card in the mail, and also the farewell episode of M*A*S*H on DVD from Netflix. I'm excited to see that again after all these years, but I'm not sure I'm up to it tonight.

The plan is to do a load of laundry early in the morning, since my appointment means I'm leaving the house later than normal.

Do you think I could take a nap without crashing for the night? I got sleep last night, but I felt a little hung over this morning since I'd been up 17 hours on Sunday, had cleaned house, done the grocery run, and played the game (in which we finally defeated the creature that could walk through walls and phase her hand through your chest, squeezing the heart until you died). I got home at 11 and I was probably asleep within a half hour. I tried to get up at 6, but it wound up being 8:30.

So tired. We'll see. At least I'm going to chill for awhile, maybe listen to some music I have out from the library. If I don't write again, good night.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I'm cold. I'm almost never cold.

The temperature outside was already cold, but is falling, and I was having trouble staying warm even in my bed, which is unusual for me. The thermostat was on 66 degrees. I've moved it up to 68 to see if I feel better, and I put on a comfy nightshirt and house socks (they're knit socks with vinyl bottoms to them), and I've brought out the Snuggie, a sure sign that all is not right with the ambient temperature. I shouldn't complain--it's been so warm and I've had lower heating bills as a result, but for that reason I'm not used to it.

I am not doing laundry, or taking things out, in this. It's supposed to get down to eleven degrees tonight. Tomorrow it's supposed to be a bit warmer. We'll try then.

I've got to take a break before I do anything else

I just got home. It is freezing (23 degrees!) and windy. I've been running strong for seven hours, five of them out and about, and two of them on the phone with two different companies trying to sort out a mess with my flexible spending card.

First I worked on notes, getting them done early on a Saturday, which is better than normal, although I should transcribe them earlier in the week. And the batteries for the voice recorder are charging. Then someone I know from the pharmacy came and got me on his day off to take me in to work with them on the card issue. United Healthcare, which is not only my medical insurance company but also my flexible spending account company, was very helpful. Medco, which is my pharmacy insurance company, really was, well, not, although she at least admitted that she was out of her league and no one there knew what to do. It looked like I was going to have to pay $400 out of pocket and then get reimbursed. Then the pharmacy tech ran them through one at a time, and virtually all went through. Anything where I pay less than the normal co-pay, including my pen needles and one of my meds, declined, and they had been declining the whole thing. Still, it's crazy that they have to run ten meds through one at a time, especially as they get charged by the credit card companies for each transaction. So I'm not giving up, and I'll call the companies again this week. But it took two hours on the phone just to get to that point. In the end, I had to pay $60 for the things that wouldn't go through, which is far better, but the point is all those have gone through before and should continue to do so without problem. I am definitely going to let our human resources people know as well, in case others are having the same trouble.

The pharmacy was closing by that time, so we left and my ride, who had mailed that package for me, suggested trying the vegetarian oyster sauce at Good Food Co-op, but it was to no avail. At that point, I realised that I'd left my wallet and phone back at the pharmacy. Fortunately he had a key and I knew where it was, so he ran in and got it for me. Then he dropped me off at the Richmond Road Kroger so I could look for oyster sauce and do a little shopping. He was so great about taking me around.

When I came out of Kroger, the bus had just gone by, and wouldn't be back in over an hour, so I went over to Subway, because I hadn't eaten since 8 am and it was 2:30. I'm still used to checking my blood sugar and giving myself an insulin injection in public, but I think I do it fairly discretely.

Then I waited at the bus stop with several people including a woman who complained about how rude Southerners were, but was fairly, well, odd (read possibly mentally ill) and frankly wouldn't have been happy anywhere she lived, by the sound of it. She should go back to wherever she came from, in my opinion.

I stopped by the library briefly and then walked home, carrying many things and generally freezing. The one thing I had considered doing, but forgot to do at Kroger, and that's probably just as well, because it would have been a waste of money, was play the Powerball, which had the highest jackpot tonight in its history. I sure wasn't going to walk down to the Circle K station laden as I was. So now I'm in, I'm warm, and I'm thinking of taking a nap. This early in the afternoon I doubt I'll stay asleep for hours on end. Maybe. I still have a lot to do, of course. But all the absolutely vital-had-to-do-it-today stuff is done, although the laundry really does have to be done before Monday.

I stepped outside to clear my head

and it's snowing tiny, sparkling snowflakes. Not too much has actually accumulated; the walks are clear, just the bushes, cars, and a bit on the grass. But that's supposed to change.

I've been asleep since shortly after I arrived home, so about 7:00. Yes, that means once again I slept through 'Grimm' and 'Supernatural'. I so need to get caught up on them, and of course I was sure I would wake up, so I didn't set the DVR. Fortunately they have episodes online.

I just took some ibuprofen, the first I've taken since starting the Neurontin, because I'm having other types of aches and pains. I will say I woke up at 9:30, about an hour and a half past due for the Neurontin, and my legs were bothering me so much I couldn't stand to have pants on. Now they're fine, and my feet are mostly so. The odd thing is the test showed that I didn't really have any pronounced neuropathy--it was mostly normal. But it sure is helping, so I'm not going to complain, and it doesn't make me groggy or otherwise impair me, plus, considering how much ibuprofen I was taking, my stomach is likely happier.

I've taken my Lantus and done all the nightly stuff except feed the fish, which I will do when I put the lights out. I've already had five hours' sleep, so the plan is to get up early in the morning and do laundry and game notes. In fact, I'm tempted to do it now. But I'm a little achy right now, so I don't want to go lifting much.

Tomorrow's agenda:
  • Do laundry
  • Transcribe game notes
  • Charge batteries for the digital voice recorder (keep forgetting to do this until it's almost too late)
  • Visit pharmacy and iron out the flexible spending issue or at least get new meds and pay for them so I can be reimbursed
  • Mail a package for a friend from the post office (which is conveniently near the pharmacy)
  • Get some groceries, look for vegetarian oyster sauce
  • Go to the library, download 'Where's My Water?' through the wi-fi connexion and pick up a book they have on hold
  • Take out the trash (of which there is some, but very little)
  • Take out the recyclables (of which there is a goodly amount)
  • Clean the kitchen and bathroom
  • Do housework (different than cleaning, as I have been informed that cleaning involves water, as in dishes, mopping, and scrubbing)
  • Sew a button back on my coat, which popped off today on the bus when I tried to get my backpack off

It's a lot to do, I know, but hey, that's what Saturdays are for.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I must confess

that today I sent a DVD that I have had for almost six weeks from Netflix without actually opening and watching. It's suppposed to be a great film (it's A Beautiful Mind), but I was just never 'in the mood' for it. I'll put it back in my queue for later. The next one will be the final two-hour episode of M*A*S*H, so hopefully that will get me back into my 2-discs a week schedule. And of course, there's so much to choose from streaming when I am in the mood. There's still all those episodes of 'Downton Abbey', for example, or for shorter periods of attention span, there's 'American Dad', 'Invader Zim', and 'Avatar: the Last Airbender', and I never saw the complete series of any of those. I just wish 'Supernatural' was on streaming with the other CW shows.

Despite it snowing a good part of the day

I was warm and cozy in my library and had flowers to brighten up the place. The carnation spray on the right came from work, from recreational therapy. The plant on the left is an oxalis, often mistakenly called a shamrock, and if you look closely (click on the picture to blow it up if you have to, it's blooming little delicate pink flowers. I got it around St Patrick's Day last year from Kroger, and it was tiny compared to now. Around May I stuck it in the present pot and it just exploded in size. I'm thinking of repotting it to see if that continues. I had one co-worker who said the leaves look like butterflies flittering. I like that. :) Anyway, I brought the vase of cut flowers home for the weekend, but the oxalis will stay at work; it really likes the lighting there. You can also see part of my library in the background, just in case you're interested.

The snow hasn't been sticking, but that should change now that it's gotten dark. We're supposed to get 1-2 inches through tomorrow. I hope it's okay outside tomorrow as I'm going to the pharmacy, the library, and the grocery, plus doing laundry. We'll see.

I get the objection

but as a librarian and avid e-book borrower, it pretty much sucks.

Why can't you borrow that Penguin e-book from the library?
Starting today, if you go to your library to borrow the e-book of "Bringing Up Bebe," Pamela Druckerman's new book about parenting the French way, you'll come up with nothing. That's because its publisher, Penguin, has pulled out of its relationship with OverDrive, the vendor that supplies most libraries with e-books and audio books.

The change was unexpected, but it is not surprising. Penguin joins publishers Simon & Schuster, MacMillan, and Hachette Book Group in not allowing e-book library lending. As e-books have increased in popularity, major publishers and libraries -- who share the goal of getting books into readers' hands -- have found themselves bumping into a number of complicating factors that seem to put them at odds.

For Penguin, that issue was OverDrive's relationship with Amazon. A 2011 arrangement made library lending possible on the Kindle. Publishers have objected to the library loans being executed through Amazon's servers -- imagine walking into your public library then finding yourself at the Target checkout counter.

It took nearly an hour and three alarms

(Listening to Natalie Merchant's 'The Living')

to get me up from an almost 12-hour sleep. I was up briefly at 2, and took my Neurontin (I'd taken my insulin before I'd gone to bed, it just was too early for the other). And somewhere around 10 there was a phone call. But otherwise I slept. The Neurontin is working wonders with the foot pain, and I got some distilled water so my humidifier on my CPAP could run, so I was set and comfy. I realise now that when I was sleeping so much in the past, I wasn't really sleeping that much in all that time, because of the pain. It was keeping me in this light, dreamless sleep where I woke up all the time. Now I'm sleeping much better, dreaming again, and although I'm not quite sure where the need for the long sleep came from, it was nice to get. I'm not groggy like I used to be upon waking, either, although I'm a little congested and coughing. I've noticed I've been having some trouble breathing very deeply lately, so I'm going to ask them to check me out at my appointment Tuesday. I haven't felt sick or anything, nothing beyond the ubiquitous allergies. But it may be my asthma kicking in. I had an actual episode during the dog attack where I needed my inhaler, and that happens something like three or four times a year, my asthma is so mild. I really have trouble breathing if I bend over, but I think that's just because I'm fat.

I am not up early enough to do any laundry, so that will have to wait until tomorrow. Fortunately it is jeans day and I have just enough clean clothes to manage that. As far as tomorrow goes, we're going to try to iron out the problem with my pharmacy and flexible spending card not meshing, and the guy I know who works there is actually going to come pick me up and take me across town to the pharmacy so we can talk to the company together and then bring me back, saving me maybe three or four hours on the buses, which I really appreciate. At some point tomorrow, I'm also going to go by the grocery and get, if I can find it, vegetarian oyster sauce for a friend, as well as some groceries for me. I also need to stop by the library briefly.

Today we're supposed to have clouds followed by a rain-snow mix later in the day that should cause things to be, well, miserable in terms of getting out and the commute home. I've got a ride, thankfully. My aim today is to catalogue as many books as possible. I did 45 the other day, and I've done 149 in the last few days. It's not full-blown cataloguing--I'm using LibraryThing, where you type in or scan the ISBN and it populates it from other sources. I then put in the tags and the National Library of Medicine classification number, for that is what we use on our shelves. So it's basically copy cataloguing with a little additional work.

It's been a long week, and I think people are ready for Friday. Our accrediting agency was at the hospital for three days doing a survey, and I gather it went well. They never came to the library, but I was ready with my codes and acronyms for dealing with crisis situations, as well as what we as the library could do in the case of computer or utility failure, so I felt fairly confident if they were to come in. In the fifteen years I've been there, I don't remember a surveyor asking about the library, but it could always happen.

Speaking of work, I should probably start getting ready. Hope you have a great end of the week.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

I ordered

a micro SD card for my tablet today, with a price that was much better than the phone store and also includes an adapter and USB card reader for essentially free, given the price of the other cards alone. I also figured out how to take the tablet out of the case (the guy in the store had put it on) and get the door open on the back to see where to put said card. It should be here in 3-5 days. I love Amazon, despite my earlier post. I also ordered a couple of books, Elizabeth Peters' A River in the Sky which is now a bargain book, and I have it on the Kindle, but I have all the others in physical format and wanted to add it to my collection, as well as Jack Vance's Tales of the Dying Earth, which I have never read but which came highly recommended through YKWIA. I haven't bought any non-Kindle books from Amazon in awhile.

Speaking of YKWIA, he told me a story about a friend of his today that just made me sigh and shake my head in disbelief. She was in an accident before the holidays when she was sitting at a stop light and a truck whose driver wasn't paying attention ran right into her. Since she was on the job at the time, workman's comp paid for her therapy. But they were tired of doing so, and even though her physical therapist and doctor agree she needs two more months to get her stamina back, the workmans' comp people sent her to a doctor of their choosing who didn't even examine her, only asked a couple of questions, and then filled out paperwork that got them off the hook. That's wrong. But then there was what followed...she was at home and heard the mail carrier honk a horn a couple of times and went down to the mailbox. She had a certified letter she had to sign for. Inside the envelope were two things. One was a birthday card wishing her a happy day and expressing how great it was to work with her. The other was a termination notice. Really? That has got to be the tackiest thing I've heard in awhile.

10 reasons I'm glad I didn't settle for a Kindle Fire

That's a little inflammatory, I know. Lots of people have Kindle Fires, and love them dearly. I know I feel the same way about my Kindle 2. But every device has good and bad points about them, and each one should be evaluated for what the individual needs and will use it for. I know several people with Kindle Fires, of various technological abilities. Some ordered them the first day they were available. Others got them as gifts. Some ordered them without really looking at the requirements first. I've played with three different Fires hands-on, briefly, but even before it came out I determined that they would not fit my needs and instead pursued (and finally, with my tax return,) got a T-Mobile SpringBoard, which is also a 7" tablet, is overall more expensive, although I put up less money up front than a Fire, but in my opinion, the extras were worth it. So here are the things I don't like about the Fire, with the caveat that I am comparing it to what I eventually went with.

  1. Wi-fi: The Kindle Fire is wi-fi dependent. Sure you can download material, watch movies, do cloud browsing--but only in a wi-fi network. I am almost never in one, except at the public library (and then I'm usually looking for books). We have a public one at work, but we're not supposed to use it. I don't have a wi-fi network at home. I've had trouble troubleshooting Fires because there was no way to access, say, a video to see if the volume was really okay without going onto a network. One person I know ordered the Fire without realising this, and had to actually go set up a wi-fi network (or rather, have a family member do it) after she got it. Granted, I pay $20 a month for 4G connectivity, but I can check my e-mail on the bus, look up odd medical terms for a friend while he's on his computer, watch a movie via Netflix at my grandmother's which has no computer, that sort of thing. It was the number one reason I decided the Fire was not for me.
  2. The button to turn the thing on and off is on the bottom of the device. This means that when I've been holding it against me, I've inadvertently turned it off or made it sleep. Mine's on the side in portrait view, which turns out to be the top if you turn it in landscape.
  3. The earphone jack is also on the bottom. To be honest yesterday when I was doing the troubleshooting, I wasn't sure whether the jack was an earphone or power switch, and had to look it up in the guide. Many tablets do not charge through a USB cord like a phone, and mine is no exception. The Kindle Fire is. That's not bad, that means you just need a cable and not a charger with you if you'll be around computers, but I wanted to make sure I didn't poke the earphones into the wrong jack, and I didn't like the placement in terms of listening if you're holding it portrait up.
  4. The carousel: I don't care for it. Give me my five Android screens with widgets and icons that I can instantly go to wherever I want rather than scrolling through whatever the most recent stuff is. This is actually something I dislike about the regular Kindle. I'd rather put my categories in order alphabetically rather than most recent first, and there's no option for that.
  5. No text-to-speech ability. I use this feature all the time on my Kindle 2, and it's sad that it's not available. It also means the device is less accessible to those with visual issues.
  6. No camera: I have two cameras, a front-facing one and one on the back. That means if I wanted I could Skype or videochat, which I don't really do since I have no one to do it with. But I can scan information into applications like Google Goggles, and most importantly, I can catalogue my books through the LibraryThing scanner application, something I'm using at work and at home. Yesterday I catalogued 45 books alone, as opposed to doing about that many in a good two-week period.
  7. Its thickness. The Fire is a thick little tablet, and well, seems a little clunky next to mine, which is slimmer and just a little bigger in the rest of the dimensions. But that's solely aesthetics.
  8. The lack of customisation. The Fire pretty much looks the same except for the cases regardless of who has it. Oh, the content is different (and I'm learning you can tell a lot from a person by what they have on their Kindle), but the look is pretty much the same carousel. I have five home screens to change wallpapers, icons, widgets, whatever I need, and maybe this is something I just haven't played with enough and I'll get a bunch of comments about how you can put a live wallpaper on a Fire, but I'd still argue that in terms of sheer ability to customise, regular Android tablets and iPads win.
  9. Which brings us to--Amazon content. Please realise, I am an Amazon girl. I adore Amazon products and customer service. But I can get an application from Amazon (and you should look into their free application a day feature in their store) or from the Amazon market. Sometimes the market has higher versions of the same programs, but they also have many more applications. I can have Netflix on either device, but to get Amazon videos, you need Prime, at $79 a year, which isn't a bad price and comes with 2-day shipping, but I already spend $8 a month on Netflix, so why should I add it? I agree it's brilliant the way they packaged it for their content, and you can get other stuff on there through applications or transferring files, but is primarily a device to deliver Amazon content, and I feel I have the best of both worlds.
  10. Reading ease: This is go to apply to any tablet, including my own, and is rather a comparison of backlight vs. the eInk of the regular Kindles. If you're going to primarily play games, music, or videos, the Fire's great (I don't include productivity applications--I use a lot of those on my tablet, but really haven't tested them on the Fire). If you want really just to read--get another Kindle. The eInk is easier on the eyes, although you need a regular light source (no reading in the dark in bed with a regular Kindle). But in general, reading, I think, is a more pleasurable experience on a regular Kindle, and there's that text-to-speech issue.

There you have it. Maybe they'll change some of those in forthcoming iterations. And there's lots of good things about the Fire; you just have to decide if it's right for you. There was a news story about how it topped the list of most unused gifts this past holiday season. Some people aren't prepared for it, or lack simple tech know-how. I will say the Fire requires less than a standard Android tablet, so if you're less geeky, it may be better for you. But there you go.