Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Raise awareness of climate change

Join the many people and many countries turning off the lights from 8:30-9:30 pm local time throughout the world today, March 31st, 2012.

Friday, March 30, 2012

I'm afraid I'm not a mulit-millionaire

although I did succumb to Mega Millions frenzy by buying a ticket yesterday. But it was nice to dream about what to do with $640 million for a little while. Surely someone will win this time. But I'm going to feel very bad if my work buddies, who went together in a pool that I declined, win, although of course I wish them luck. :)

Oddly enough, my birthday came in as two of the winning numbers, so maybe I would have been better off if I'd have picked them rather than doing a quick pick.

Ah, well, I guess it's back to work Monday. :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This looks so...well...cute, and I loved the first movie, and the minions

How to paint Despicable Me minions on your fingernails...

Which I got to because of:


Thanks to YKWIA for putting me on the trail of bananas and minions. :)

This seems wrong, to pay more if you want to get into the class you absolutely have to have

Community College to Charge More for Top Courses
For years now, administrators at the community college here have been inundated with woeful tales from students unable to register for the courses they need. Classes they want for essential job training or to fulfill requirements to transfer to four-year universities fill up within hours. Hundreds of students resort to crying and begging to enroll in a class, lining up at the doors of instructors and academic counselors.

Now, though, Santa Monica College is about to try something novel. This summer it will offer some courses for a higher price, so that students who are eager to get into a particular class can do so if they pay more.

I realise that they're trying to 1) survive financially and 2) provide a way to limit the number of people who take the really popular classes so they're not so impossible to get into, but this just seems, well, wrong, jacking up the prices for students who are already beleaguered by debt and putting a monetary worth on some subjects or classes over others. On the other hand, it's kind of still a bargain; for example our local community college, Bluegrass Community & Technical College, charges $130-135 per credit hour for all classes for in-state students, for comparison. So you could look at it as they've had it impossibly cheap and they're going to have to suck it up. But why not just increase the amount for all classes, treating them equally, especially if their costs are just being covered by the higher figure, as the article states? Why a two-tiered system? It sounds like historically they haven't charged enough (California colleges used to be free to in-state residents, and then were very cheap for years compared to other places, which I think is wonderful, but it only works if the state is funding it correctly), and now they're trying to avoid covering costs completely by jacking it up overall to people who are used to paying a little. But I don't really like the idea of having to pay substantially more for a class when the others are so much cheaper, and there might be a haves vs. have-not problem, even with some scholarships. If the class you absolutely need to graduate or transfer is expensive, that might be a hardship.

Oh, and I really liked this comment:
Lorak G. Selrak, Vancouver
Interesting that the article neglects to mention which courses are in demand. If tradition holds true business, accounting, computers, health care and other "practical" courses will be the ones in demand. "Impractical" courses in the humanities will still be cheap because no one really wants to study them. Students take note: the reason the courses are more expensive is that they will teach you less. There is an inverse relationship between what the market wants in the short term and what you will learn from (and therefore what will benefit your life and career.) Humanities courses are cheap because the education they will provide you is priceless.


Not only are the Harry Potter books now available in e-book format, they're available from libraries using OverDrive.

And there was much rejoicing...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


One perk of having my period (okay, the only perk) is that my blood sugar drops during that time. So yesterday I was excited that my pre-dinner glucose reading was 148. Tonight was 157. And two hours after the meal? 99!!!! That's in the normal range, yay!

If only it would last. But I'm trying. No sweets, better portions, and healthier choices. Let's see if it persists beyond my menstruation. I hope so, anyway. *Fingers crossed*.

Up late without a nap

I went straight from work to the grocery store and then to a friend's house, to deliver some things we missed on the big grocery run. Fortunately, he served me a wonderful meal and my tummy is very happy. I left around 9:30 and got home at 11 (hey, it's how it is on bus time). I went online, checked the news, and then found something I've been looking for for several years on eBay and got it as a surprise for my friend. Now it's after midnight and I'm a bit tired, so I'll keep this short and sweet.

First, I'd like to wish a great couple a happy 14th anniversary tomorrow. I couldn't live with either of them without bloodshed, and I find it miraculous that they manage it, but hey, that's love for you.

Second, I have a friend whose having some pain from complications from a procedure he had yesterday, and he'll have to go into the hospital so they can poke and prod him and verify the cause. He also happens to be having a birthday on Saturday. I hope they've got it sorted out by then and he has a great one.

Lastly, I've been reading accounts of Hunger Games fans taking issue with the actress playing the part of Rue in the movie due to her race. From the beginning I pictured her as black, and I can't imagine why people are upset. I also pictured her fellow tribute from the same sector as black as well. She is described as having dark skin and eyes, which yes, could be Latina or South Asian or a host of other things, and Suzanne Collins doesn't come out and describe her as black, but that was what I pictured, and the young lady portraying her looks very similar to how I saw Rue. I suppose they'd rather Collins out-and-out say 'African-American' but I'll remind people that there is no such thing as America any more in the world of the Hunger Games. Sheesh, some people will nitpick for all they're worth. I'm still hoping to see the movie soon, maybe Saturday as part of a birthday gift to myself. I haven't figured out when I can take off work that would mean the least impact next week (I don't have a relief person in either position, and there is a time limit for the data entry that includes the weekends, so if anything, Wednesday of next week is looking good, which is two days after my birthday, but oh, well. On the other hand, I might just forgo that and celebrate Saturday. We'll see. It'll depend on the weather and a few other factors.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

SO wrong

YKWIA showed this to me awhile back, and I'm just getting around to posting it. It will hurt your brain. Incidentally, can you spot the Time Lord??? :)

'Unforgivable, yet satisfying.'

Monday, March 26, 2012

I like that...

'Everyone who isn't an American...drop your gun.' :) Looks like it will be another wild ride. I am waiting in anticipation. This is why I pay a little extra for BBCAmerica.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I'm feeling much better

I've turned off the air conditioner and opened the windows. I got up at 6 am and went to the grocery for a couple of things for a friend, visited awhile, then got home about 2:30. I've been online for an hour and a half and I think it's time to switch gears and do something else. I still have the book selection, game notes, and book review to do, plus there's some stuff around here that really need doing. I think I'm going to take a little bit of a break and then start working. But it's so nice to have the sunshine streaming in, a breeze ruffling my window sheers, and greenery in the window (various plants along with one blooming African violet, the first time it's blossomed since being separated from its parent plant.) The birds are singing. Everything is blooming outside--I saw lots of tulips today--but my allergies aren't too bad today. So all in all, it's beautiful. I love spring. :)

Interesting series on the loss of literature and history as collections crumble or are sold for scrap in India

In India, History Literally Rots Away
Repairing the Damage at India’s National Archives
India’s Archives: How Did Things Get This Bad?
The Parsis, Once India’s Curators, Now Shrug as History Rots
...all by Dinyar Patel, a historian and Harvard doctoral candidate who is also Parsi.

If you care anything at all about preserving history, documents, and literature, some of this will break your heart. But some people are trying to change things, although it sounds like the problem is so large, the bureaucracy so great, that it's a bit like tilting at windmills. But if even a tenth of what out there gets preserved through greater awareness, that's a step in the right direction.

I feel so sorry for this man, and for the others who lost loved ones in this horrible act

Afghan Father Tries to Cope With Shooting Rampage
Wazir — who [in addition to his 7 year-old-daughter] also lost his wife, five other children ages 2 to 15, his mother, his brother, his sister-in-law and his nephew — said he would travel to the U.S. for the trial if given the opportunity but the death penalty for just one man would not be enough. The only child he has left is his 4-year-old son Habib, who was with him in another town when the shootings occurred.

And the most heart-breaking quote:
Then he brought up his 2-year-old daughter, Palwasha, and his eyes brimmed over with tears.

"I can still feel her small hands on my face and feel her pulling my beard," Wazir said as he cried and shivered in the warm air. "Even when I saw her burned body, she still had that beautiful smile."

I don't understand how anyone who is also a parent could possibly shoot children to death in such a rampage. But that is what Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales supposedly did, in all premeditation. And I feel sorry for his wife and children, for whom he has been a hero, but now he will be known as a murderer.

I hope justice prevails in this case. There may be mitigating factors in this case--post-traumatic stress from multiple tours of duty, among other things. But it is still a despicable act, and at the very least our country needs to make sure it takes responsibility for its part in sending him there and arming him, and to also give him a fair trial and hopefully people like Wazir some sense of justice, which, I'm afraid, will never restore what was taken away from them on that terrible night.


I don't know about being the smallest, but 4 oz. is awfully tiny. Talk about runt of the litter! Here's wishing the pup, her littermates, and mom well.

Friday, March 23, 2012


So, I am feeling better, put my feet up for awhile, ate something, and decided to relax. But I just spent over an hour and a half playing Civilization IV and it had something like 32 turns left, in the midst of a space race, when it says there is a memory allocation error and exits the program. Then I went back to the autosave and it can't decompress the game session. :( I've never had that happen in all the time I've had the program. Really? I must admit, I am mildly put out.

Okay, it's obviously time to step away from the computer. Hope your night is a little less annoying.

Not feeling well

I was in the library alone finishing up my data entry sheets when I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my chest going down my right arm. My back hurt, I became nauseous, light-headed, and my head hurt. I sat there for a few minutes debating as to whether I was having a heart attack or if it were merely gas pain, doing the 'I don't want to be a bother if it's nothing, but I don't want to die, either' thing. Then I got up and went to the unit and became much more dizzy and flushed. They took my blood pressure, which was something like 165/86, much high for me, but my pulse was okay, and they said it's more dangerous to have the numbers very close together. My blood sugar was 264, which isn't all that unusual for me, but they were freaking out and telling me to take some insulin, which I did. Once I felt a little better, one of my co-workers took me on home a few minutes early.

My ankles are also swollen (they do that in the summer, and we've had unseasonably warm weather). I'm feeling better now, but it was a little unnerving. I'll check my blood sugar in a little while, since I took the insulin without eating anything, to make sure I don't go too low. And if any of the symptoms worsen, I'm a block from a hospital emergency room. So we'll see. I really want to lie down, but I'm not so sure that's a good idea. But I think I will put my feet up for awhile using the recliner on the loveseat.

I am so glad it's Friday. It's been a very long week, and I'm glad to see it go. I've worked hard, been very busy, and today was no exception. I'm finally getting my full time in (well, I was short 15 minutes for this week coming home early, but I can make that up easily next week). But I kind of feel like I can't get ahead in what I'm doing, at least when it comes to part of my job, not on the library front, but the other. Plus, we've had a lot of people using the library lately (which is very good), so there's always something going on, virtually every moment, and I am constantly on the alert for patrons in need of assistance, which is probably good for me.

This weekend I have to finish some book selections for an outside project, a book review for a library journal, get a couple of things from the store and take them to a friend, try to get sticky footprints from disintegrating shoes off a floor, visit a bit, and hopefully on Sunday play the game. Plus it's time to do more laundry, and there's the game notes. So again, lots to do.

But right now, I'm putting my feet up and maybe I'll read (and not as a euphemism for going to sleep), or I might play 'Angry Birds: Space', which is incredible fun, especially now that there are gravity wells to deal with. Maybe that will relax me and bring down my blood pressure.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I broke down

and turned on the air conditioner when I got home. It's after 7 pm and it's 81 degrees. I don't normally do this in March, but it's not normally this warm. I thought about just opening the windows like I have the last few days, but I've only truly been comfortable in front of the fan in the bedroom, so I figured, hey, I might as well. I did put it on 74 though, so it's not like it will get really cool.

I had a good day at work, and got a dozen or more compliments on the new hairstyle. It was such a drastic change, people were a little wowed, and I went ahead and used some thickener and blew dry it this morning (it took all of two minutes), then actually applied some makeup. One woman said it really made my eyes (which I think are my best feature) really 'pop' (that's good). I wish the pictures of me really showed what it's like. I'm not very photogenic; I haven't been since I was three. (Prior to that, I would have given many people a run for their money on sheer cuteness.)

I stopped by Gabriel Brothers and got some sandals that seem to work well with my feet. They were so comfortable, I bought two pairs, one black, one purple (of course), for the price of a pair I saw yesterday while browsing there after the haircut, since the bus wasn't coming for awhile. The pair I'd considered was one of those with the strap between the toes, which I don't really like, but they did seem comfortable beyond that. The ones I actually got have three adjustable straps, are meant for wide feet, and have nothing between the toes, with a strap in the back and a nice sole. I decided that the strap between the toe thing might not be good for a diabetic, if it rubbed and caused a sore. So I came out with a better deal and a more comfortable shoe, for that matter. These are made by Easy Spirit. I hope they do well. I'm glad I found these; my old sandals had lost all support and tread, and were really no longer comfortable, plus they were slowly falling apart, and weren't really nice enough to wear to work any more. My feet feel better in my New Balances, but when it's warm, I really prefer sandals, so the goal was to find a sandal that gave good support. We'll see if I succeeded.

I missed the bus (it moved off away from the bus stop just as I came out of the store), and the next one wasn't for an hour, so I started to walk home. A neighbour with whom I've talked before who works at Wal-Mart offered me a ride, and I took her up on it. (I know, getting into random cars, but Alice is very nice, is not a complete stranger, and I was very thankful for the ride).

So I'm home, I've tried on the shoes and walked around a bit, and putzed around a little. I've had some lentil soup and I'm thinking about reading for awhile. My Kindle library book is due back on the 24th, I think, and I'm not quite halfway through it. I haven't been reading much lately, although that may change, as my lunch buddies have been eating outside in front of the building, and I'm just not all that keen about sitting and eating in the sun, at least without sunblock. So I'm going to start bringing the tablet with me to lunch each day in case they go out, so I can read, or play a game, or catch up on the news.

Okay, I think I'm going to go put my feet up (they hurt from wearing my old beaten-up sandals) and cozy up with my book. I'll probably write later, but if not, have a good night.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I saw it at Forbes--Siri Fails to Understand Scottish Accent in Hilarious Video

Thanks to Bill Hart for sharing it on Facebook. Oh, and there is a generous use of the 'f' word should you be easily offended (or watching this at work, assuming you can get Facebook at work. Use headphones. Then invite the ones who will love this to see.)

Of course, there are Android applications that do this sort of thing, too, and I suspect, they, too, would find the accent an impediment. But still....

This evening (aka 'After')

Obviously, I decided to celebrate the first day of Spring with a haircut.  I haven't decided whether I like it or not; but my, it's been hacked off. There are lots of layers, especially in the back. This was after sitting out in the sun for about 20 minutes and being blown, and just combing it into place. It should be easy to care for. My hair was getting in the way of everything from getting stuck on the silicone case for my phone, to being caught in car doors. Plus, I was getting hot, and with fine, thin hair (that's getting thinner every year), the long hair doesn't have much body. We'll see how this is after I put some thickener in it and blow dry, but the nice thing is that it isn't necessary.

This morning (aka 'Before')

Long, and getting in the way of everything

Monday, March 19, 2012

A very long weekend

And I enjoyed myself, but man, am I tired. I made two mistakes in my data entry in one day. Up till then I had three out of thousands of entries. I am really considering going to bed, without even going through the charade of lying down for a short nap.

Saturday I dog-sat for my friends, who were out of town. Everything went fine. The puppy sat on my feet twice and went to sleep, and there were no accidents in the house. It's always good when you can return the animals fully intact and happy.

I cleaned the house while I was at it, meaning I didn't have to get up early Sunday and do it before the game. I did have to do a bit that was left of the notes and go to the grocery, though, so I got there a little before 1 pm. We played the game until 11 pm (I think it was for nearly seven hours). In it we were kidnapped by narrow creepy straw people, and my character lost an eye in the attempt to break free. So I'm essentially out of the investigation, at least for now, and Brenda's character was off checking a lead when the three non-player characters decided to pursue another, so I'm not sure how things are going to work out next week. I came home and was in bed and asleep within 10 minutes, I think, even though I was not up before dawn and had had the equivalent of a 2 litre of caffeinated soda.

I had an awful time getting up this morning but managed to get to the bus on time. I'm really looking forward to morning sunshine again, although it's very nice to have it 7:30 pm and the sun is just going down. I've felt like I've been in a fog all day. I managed to stop by the library briefly, but now I'm just ready to prop up my feet and maybe read--or just sleep. That's sounding nice. :)

A despicable act

Gunman Kills 4 at a Jewish School in France

The same gunman is suspected of killing several French soldiers, all of whom were black or Arabic. Killed were a rabbi who taught at the school, his two sons, and the daughter of the principal. A teen was injured. It happened while kids were being dropped off at the school by their parents. I cannot imagine the horror they felt as this played out, and I feel for those who lost loved ones, especially the rabbi's wife, who has lost three at once. I hope they can catch this person before there are more deaths.

Friday, March 16, 2012

In an era where few peope stand up for their principles, kudos to them

I admire those who were arrested today protesting the Sudan government's treatment of it's own people. Here is what was said prior to the arrest of George Clooney and his father Nick:

George Clooney has used his fame to bring attention to the Sudan when the world has tried to overlook the atrocities there, for which I admire him. But his actions also show that one person can educate the world. What could we do if we all supported this cause?

Sorry I didn't post last night

Yesterday was a library day. I catalogued at my library, then went over to the Eagle Creek branch and picked up two DVDs that were part of what I checked out but had somehow become separated. The staff had called me the day before to alert me, which was nice. I thought I had somehow missed volume one and two on the shelf.

I downloaded an update for something on my tablet via Wifi and then went home. Then I had the bright idea to download the Overdrive application for audio- and e-books. That went fine, but then I found out our audiobooks are actually done through OneClickDigital now. So I went through the directions to download an audiobook. I managed to check one out, but I couldn't get it to play in the computer or transfer to a device, so I canceled the checkout. I suspect it works fine with Apple devices, as iTunes kept coming up in the background and freezing things up until I changed the settings. Of course, I spent more than an hour doing this, so I was frustrated and grumpy when I went to bed. If anyone knows how to do this for Android, let me know. The directions from the company were not particularly helpful, and unlike Overdrive's old setup, I didn't see a list of compatible or incompatible devices.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I know it's a new digital age, but this makes me sad...

Encyclopedia Britannica to stop printing books
After 244 years, Encyclopedia Britannica will cease production of its iconic multi-volume book sets.

Britannica usually prints a new set of the tomes every two years, but 2010's 32-volume set will be its last. Instead, the company will focus solely on its digital encyclopedia and education tools.

Encyclopedia Britannica: The end of its shelf life
Its current print run will be its last ever. John Walsh mourns the end of 244 years of bourgeois self-improvement

Encyclopaedia Britannica--get the name right, people--it's got an 'ae', was once like an old friend, its pages a smorgasbord of knowledge for an eager young child who liked, of all things, to read encyclopaedias cover to cover. I owned the World Book Encyclopedia when I was younger, thanks to a passing salesman--but it was Britannica that drew me to the library reference area.

I realise that a digital form can be much more current, but I still mourn the loss of the encyclopaedia in print. In an age where Google and Wikipedia really have revolutionised the finding of information, where you can look up anything from a smart phone, perhaps the volumes on the shelves seem out of touch. But they are still like old friends.

So here's a toast to 244 years of disseminating knowledge, of providing millions of school children with the information for their reports, and of updating us to the new and wondrous topics just around the corner.

Thanks to Dr John Jaeger for the first link, and for sharing the news with our LIBREF-L list.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In line with what my doctor told me

Health panel: Pap tests needed only every 3 years
Women only need to get a Pap test once every three years to check for cervical cancer, and don't need to be screened until age 21 - even if they're sexually active earlier, according to new guidelines from a government-backed panel.
Although he stressed that it's important to get a GYN exam every year, particularly the breast screening. I suspect they also want to see you every year because for many women, the gynaecologist is their primary care physician. The five-year Pap plus HPV is intriguing. I am curious as to whether I have ever been exposed to the cancer-causing virus. Many people by my age, have. But of course they won't do it just settle my curiosity. I have had a very limited sexual experience in my life, but I had a partner who cheated on me with a host of men, and I thank the Gods that in my naïveté (read 'stupidity'), I did not contract anything as a result, despite a period of unprotected sex.

What they're not saying is to end screening; rather it's important to be screened between the ages of 21 and 65, and beyond if there is a history of problems. They want you to be screened--particularly if you've ever had an unusual Pap smear, never had one, or haven't had one in five years. So if you've put it off, and you're a woman, really consider going ahead and going in. No, it's not the most comfortable test, but cervical cancer is far worse.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Well, it does make sense

This is talking about video games, of course--of all sorts. I still wonder if they've studied non-video roleplaying games and their effects. I should look that up.

When Gaming Is Good for You
Videogames can change a person's brain and, as researchers are finding, often that change is for the better.

A growing body of university research suggests that gaming improves creativity, decision-making and perception. The specific benefits are wide ranging, from improved hand-eye coordination in surgeons to vision changes that boost night driving ability.

Somehow I am not surprised by their findings

A Field Guide to the Middle-Class U.S. Family
Anthropologist Elinor Ochs and her colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles have studied family life as far away as Samoa and the Peruvian Amazon region, but for the last decade they have focused on a society closer to home: the American middle class.

Why do American children depend on their parents to do things for them that they are capable of doing for themselves? How do U.S. working parents' views of "family time" affect their stress levels? These are just two of the questions that researchers at UCLA's Center on Everyday Lives of Families, or CELF, are trying to answer in their work.

By studying families at home—or, as the scientists say, "in vivo"—rather than in a lab, they hope to better grasp how families with two working parents balance child care, household duties and career, and how this balance affects their health and well-being.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Still a bleak outlook, one year later

Japan’s 3/11 Triple Catastrophe Endures in Broken Families, Divided Towns
Chikako Abe’s desk is decorated with flowers and candy at her school in Minamisoma, a reminder of a 17-year-old life cut short a year ago. Instead of attending a graduation ceremony this month, her family will pray tomorrow at the ruins of a house where the sea snatched away the lives of Chikako, her father and two grandparents.

It's hard to believe that a year has gone by since the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster hit Japan. Oeconomic, cultural, and bureaucratic issues are hampering recovery, but on the other hand, can we really expect any nation to bounce back quickly with such a triple disaster, especially given the lingering uncertainty of radiation?

My thoughts tonight are with the people whose lives were changed forever by this disaster, people who lost family, homes, and livelihoods, and also trust of their government to protect them.

Japan marks 1 year since quake, tsunami disaster

Japan on Sunday was remembering the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck the nation one year ago, killing just over 19,000 people and unleashing the world's worst nuclear crisis in a quarter century.

Along the tsunami-battered northeastern coast, in Tokyo and elsewhere, memorial ceremonies were planned to mark 2:46 p.m. — the precise moment the magnitude-9.0 earthquake hit on March 11, 2011.

The quake was the strongest recorded in Japan's history, and set off a tsunami that towered more than 65 feet (20 meters) in some spots along the northeastern coast, destroying thousands of homes and wreaking widespread destruction.

Today, some 325,000 people rendered homeless remain in temporary housing. While much of the debris has been gathered into massive piles, very little rebuilding has begun.

I'm still an organ donor, and will continue to be

but he's got a good point when it comes to potentially signing your life away....

What You Lose When You Sign That Donor Card: Giving away your organs sounds noble, but have doctors blurred the line between life and death?

I think he's oversimplified the process, as I don't think signing that driver's licence gives doctor's a slam dunk...you still have to go through the next-of-kin, from my understanding, and they could demand the measures he suggests. The problem is most people wouldn't know to. But it's definitely food for thought.

This is also for Brenda

Maybe she should try rabbits with her sheep. :)

Just got in a little while ago and I've accomplished a lot today

I got up at 6 am and went to the grocery, went over to my friends' house and visited for awhile, stopped by the library, and now I'm home. I need to do the game notes (I stayed asleep last night till about midnight, got up for just a bit, and went back to bed. My it was a tiring week.) Then there's working on the kitchen, the main disaster area in the apartment. I might try to do some laundry, too, but I'd like to go to bed a little early since the time changes to Daylight Savings tonight and we essentially lose an hour, and I'm already getting up about 5 am.

It's a glorious day, a bit cool, but sunny and very spring-like. Next week we're supposed to be in the 60s and 70s. The birds are very active (and by that I mean having wild monkey sex), the roses are sending out shoots, and there are already flowers blooming, as evidenced by these daffodils to the left. I know we still have a few days before spring, but it really seems like it's here. I think it's time to take down the prismatic snowflakes in my window, don't you?

If you have an Android phone or tablet

You may have noticed a 'Google Play' icon rolling out onto your device over the next few days, along with a notice asking you to agree to its terms and conditions. Google Play replaces the Android Market, Google Books, and Google Music, integrating them into one store, much like iTunes. For more information, there's this:

Google Play Replaces Google Music, Books & Android Market, Adds YouTube and Google+ Tie Ins

It's a smart move. Let's see how it works.

Friday, March 09, 2012

I'm loving this new schedule

It's just now about the time I would normally have gotten home a couple of weeks ago. But instead, I was able to:

  1. Go to the bank and put in a cheque I forgot to deposit yesterday (yay for a later closing time on Fridays).
  2. Eat at Taco Bell (okay, what can I say, I do about twice a year, so it's kind of a treat. I rarely eat fast food; I do eat a lot of cafeteria food, though.
  3. Go to Kroger and get a couple of things I needed.
  4. Come home and re-pot a plant into a larger pot so it could spread out.
Not bad. I must say, though, that I am glad it's Friday. This is my first full week of doing the additional tasks I've been given, and it's been a learning experience. I'm starting to learn time-saving methods, like where I can look for what I need rather than going through a lengthy process of obtaining it from other providers, or checking with the companies to see if we even need anything. I still have a ways to go to try to fit in what I'm beginning to think is at least a five-eight hour job in two hours, so I can also get everything done in terms of my data entry and, of course, the library. So I am a bit tired. I haven't been crashing like I was, but I'm really considering taking a bit of a nap, then getting up to do the game notes rather than waiting till the last minute, which I've been doing of late. No one's mentioned needing me tomorrow for anything yet, so if I can, I'm going to do the rest of the laundry, some stuff around the house, and a small grocery run. I'm also interested in doing some review of my ancient Greek. I never got past the aorist, dropping out in my first semester, but I have both semesters' books. I was thinking the other day how much I missed studying languages, so I think I'm going to try to spend a little each day (except for Sundays; there's too much to do on that day) to work on that, at least for awhile. I get these moods every now and again, and I usually drop things fairly quickly (the curse of an Aries, I suppose, they start things but sometimes have a hard time finishing them), so we'll see. Eventually, I'd like to really do well in all the languages I've studied, of which I am fluent in none but English, and some days that's questionable. I've studied Sanskrit, Biblical Hebrew, ancient Greek, Latin--classical, mediaeval, and Renaissance (probably the one language other than English I'm best with, and I'm getting rusty), Spanish, German, and also French (but only for reading), a little Welsh and Irish, a tiny bit of Cherokee, some basic hieroglyphics, and that's about it. So I'm very much a dabbler, and I want to be more fluent. (I did manage in all that to come one class away from a linguistics major--phoenetics never seemed to be taught when I could take it, and it was required. My favourite aspect was historical linguistics. They would give us languages we didn't know, so parameters, and we would be able to figure out how things changed over time. It was a great kind of puzzle. Government and binding theory nearly caused me to have a breakdown, on the other hand, and this from a person who absolutely loved diagramming sentences as a kid. I really regret that I didn't manage to finish the major.)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Thank the Gods I don't eat beef

Because I don't want to eat pink slime.

Is Pink Slime in the Beef at Your Grocery Store?
Pink slime,” a cheap meat filler, is in 70 percent of the ground beef sold at supermarkets and up to 25 percent of each American hamburger patty, by some estimates.

“It kind of looks like play dough,” said Kit Foshee, who was a corporate quality assurance manager at Beef Products Inc., the company that makes pink slime. “It’s pink and frozen, it’s not what the typical person would consider meat.”

As seen in the movie Food Inc., the low-grade trimmings come from the most contaminated parts of the cow and were once only used in dog food and cooking oil. But because of BPI’s treatment of the trimmings — simmering them in low heat, separating fat and tissue using a centrifuge and spraying them with ammonia gas to kill germs — the United States Department of Agriculture says it’s safe to eat.

Eeeewwwww. I hope they don't have white slime for fish, since I am a pescetarian. Thanks to YKWIA for grossing me out with this.

Saw this yesterday on the news. Unbelievable.

You know what else is unbelievable? The number of people on YouTube commenting on how her taxes on that lottery win more than paid for any public assistance she's been (and continues) to be given. That's not the point. Public assistance is for those who need it, period. It doesn't matter if you don't get your money from a job, what matters is that even after cash option and taxes she had $500,000 to her name, and that's not poor. I think she can pay for her groceries herself and let others who truly need it use the benefit as it was intended.

Oh, and let me just add that I think food assistance should be used for, well, groceries. I worked in a gas station for five years and heard so many complain that we didn't take food stamps. I understand that for some neighbourhoods, a convenience store really might be the only place to get bread and milk with limited transportation, but the vast majority of the complaints I heard came from people upset for having to spend money loading up on cokes and candy, and then there were those who put those back so they could afford their cigarettes. Not saying everyone does that, I'm just saying that is what I often saw.

I just watched

the series finale of M*A*S*H, a series I dearly loved growing up, out from Netflix. The episode, called 'Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen', was just as moving and well done as I remember in 1983, airing when I was fifteen.

I do have one question, though, something I didn't notice all those years ago. Why is Colonel Potter's horse Sophie male? He had dangly bits not seen in a mare. How come in Hollywood they don't take care of details like that? I mean, really, I think Colonel Potter, an ex-cavalry officer, would know the difference, wouldn't you? And indeed, he did, for when the horse was first introduced, it was referred to as a colt.

Anyway, it was good to watch, and a fine ending to a long and storied series, and it was even more poignant now that Harry Morgan, who played Colonel Potter, has died. The folks involved with that show have reason to be proud of their work.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

This is absolutely amazing

I want to dance with the books, too, and fly. They have captured the joy that books bring, the enrichment, and the imagination, so well. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore also won an Oscar for best animated short film. And it was created in Shreveport, Louisiana, near where I spent six years of my childhood.

Thanks to my childhood friend Jody Sauers Cummins for sharing this on Facebook!

I admire the goal, not to mention it's a possible place for weeded library books

In a Flood Tide of Digital Data, an Ark Full of Books
“We want to collect one copy of every book,” said Brewster Kahle, who has spent $3 million to buy and operate this repository situated just north of San Francisco. “You can never tell what is going to paint the portrait of a culture.”

As society embraces all forms of digital entertainment, this latter-day Noah is looking the other way. A Silicon Valley entrepreneur who made his fortune selling a data-mining company to Amazon.com in 1999, Mr. Kahle founded and runs the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization devoted to preserving Web pages — 150 billion so far — and making texts more widely available.

But even though he started his archiving in the digital realm, he now wants to save physical texts, too.

Thanks to Gerry McKiernan for the link.

Also interesting

The Bookstore in the Library
One way to think about patron-driven acquisitions (PDA) is that it sets up a bookstore in the library. It’s not what we usually think of as a bookstore — there are no dusty shelves or a chic coffee bar. Nor is this what we have come to expect from online bookselling, where Amazon sets the standard. The library bookstore is a new phenomenon, but there is a chance that it will become more widespread, perhaps even ubiquitous in the coming years. I hope it does. It would be a good thing for scholarly communications.

Thanks to Pat Devine for the link.


The Once and Future Library: An architect’s perspective on designing for changing constituencies

This is what they're talking about on the nightly news

Huge solar flare heading toward Earth; power disruptions, satellite problems are possible

And unrelated...

Winter of 2012 Named 4th-Warmest for US

In honour of a friend

who somehow managed to lose his Blackberry phone down a storm drain yesterday. I know I feel uneasy when I don't have my phone with me, or back when my one phone died, even though I managed to live nearly 33 years without a cell phone and I know it's rather irrational to worry or feel bereft.

Rise in nomophobia: fear of being without a phone

'Nomophobia', by the way, unlike true phobias, doesn't have a nifty Greek name. The 'nomo' comes from 'no mobile'. Harumph.

Anyway, I hope my friend manages to get another phone soon. He's the only real person who texts me. [Most others are from T-Mobile or the Weather Channel]. :)

I seem to be the only one in my apartment complex who's up

Good morning. Well, I got up at 5:30 rather than 5, so that's cutting it close, but I decided to go ahead and do the blacks and the whites in my laundry, for three loads total. (2 1/2 really--I have very few whites).

Because I didn't have my Lantus night before last, my blood sugar was bad all through the day. But at night, five or more hours after I ate, it was 402 right before I went to bed. which I can handle because I'm used to being somewhat high, but that's even bad for me. It's 308 now, still terribly high, but better than it was. I still feel a bit groggy and I've drunk loads of water and diet soda [although mostly water] over the last 24 hours, I've been so thirsty. I've taken my Novolog and am eating a light breakfast (just some crackers), so hopefully it will go down more and I can get back on track. As busy as the weekend was, I wasn't very good at keeping my blood sugar down, not so much in what I ate but remembering to take enough insulin. So it's still up from that as well. It's a little hard to find a happy medium between eating and medicine sometimes. I still struggle with that, even though I've been on insulin for a year. I see the doctor on Monday. I really think that going back on metformin would help me. I suggested it last time, but one of the other medicines could counteract some high glucose levels, so he wanted to give that a chance first. I don't think it's helping in that regard. I'm on another medicine I've been on for years that raises blood sugar, but it's done so well in its main use that he decided not to take me off of it.

Now that I'm doing referrals at work in addition to my data entry and the library, my days are really flying by. I'm very busy at work, and I think I'm starting to get into more of a normal schedule. Granted I went to bed at 10 pm last night, but that's better than the 8-9 range, and I did that knowing I'd be getting up early. I got a lot done last night and hope to spend a couple of hours a night doing that sort of thing; tonight I think I'll tackle the kitchen, then tomorrow the bath. It's so nice to get home while it's still light, and next week there will be even more thanks to daylight savings time.

I just took a break from this to go put my clothes in the dryer. It's going to be very close in terms of time before I have to go to work. The whites will dry quickly; they were a small load, but the blacks are heavier and full ones. People are starting to stir, and a couple were out the door and ready to face their day. The birds are singing and the sun's glow is peeking up in the east. We're supposed to have a wonderful day weather-wise, in the 60s and just a bit windy, but sunny. Tomorrow I think the rain comes back. I just hope there's no severe weather.

I'm going to try to do some more cataloguing today. I haven't in a couple of weeks because I've been busy with other things. I also need to distribute a needs assessment to the various departments. And there's some interlibrary loans I'm waiting on.

I think for now, I'll go ahead and take a shower and get ready so that when I pull the clothes out, I can just take them back to the apartment, change and go. Hope you have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

I've been a busy bee

I went into work a little early this morning because I thought I'd have to go across town to the pharmacy today to get my insulin, but it turns out the person I know there was able to bring it by this evening, along with everything else, which is really good, because I have uncharacteristically lost one of my meds, maybe a day or two ago, and didn't realise it, and it's the one that if you go off it and then back, your skin could possibly slough off. So I was glad to see that, and my Lantus, too.

Because I was looking for a misplaced roll of quarters and said medicine, I spent a couple of hours working on the house. Along with straightening things up and managing to throw away a bag of stuff, I sorted all the laundry. At least I found the quarters in the recesses of my bag. No such luck with the medicine, but I have more now. The plan is to get up at 5 am and do said laundry, because there are several loads and I think it's going to take up quite a few of the washers, and hopefully no one else will be doing it then. If not, then I'll reduce the loads I do and at least get a couple in. But I'd rather do it all at once. That's the good thing about having a laundry room at your disposal rather than just a washer and dryer. While I'm at it I'll take out the recyclables, etc. Among other the things I think I'll need the hamper.

I also watched Monty Python's Life of Brian, which I have out from the library. It was fun to see again. I really miss Graham Chapman; he was always my favourite of the troupe.

Well, now I have my meds. I'm going to read for awhile so my insulin can get to room temperature before I take it, then head on to bed. I'm still working my way through Turn Coat and only have two more days on the loan. Good night.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Winter's last hurrah?

So on Friday, while we were all hoping that we wouldn't be blown away by the storms, it was in the 70s temperature-wise. It has snowed very little this winter, maybe a half-inch to an inch a couple times, three inches maybe once. So after the tumultuous warm weather, what do you expect if you live in Kentucky?

SNOW! Yep, because we have our share of odd weather. And it apparently snowed something like six inches (I'm not sure what the official count was, but a co-worker told me that's what she saw on the news, and it jives with my experience.)

I took this picture of our courtyard at work, which shows the snow we received. The neighbourhood kids came out in droves with sleds and snowboards to play on our hills; we watched them out of the dining room window, and they were still going when I was down at the bus stop. I wonder what will happen when the hospital moves, if they'll still be allowed to do that? There were plenty of dogs out, too. I remember how much my dog Cerys loved to plough through the snow. :) I wonder what the puppy thought of it. :)

Anyway, it's supposed to warm up again this week, so this stuff will all go away soon. But it was nearly the perfect snow--heavy, wet, perfect for snowballs and snowmen, not terribly slick on the roads, and just enough of it to enjoy it and no more. So thanks, Mother Nature, we had a good snow, finally, and now can we move on to spring (but without any more tornadoes, please?)

Sunday, March 04, 2012

So on Friday

the temperature was in the 70s and we had tornadoes in the area. Tonight? A wintry mix with 1-3 inches of snow possible.

Crazy Kentucky weather. They always say if you don't like it, wait around for a bit.

Spring really is around the corner. Really. I have faith it will come (but please, a little calmer this time).

Hopes dashed

A sad end to what seemed to be a miracle...

Ind. toddler found in field dies from tornado injuries
Angel [who was 15 months old] was found in critical condition in a field near her New Pekin home Friday afternoon, shortly after a tornado ripped through her home, killing the rest of her immediate family — her parents, Joseph Babcock, 21, and Moriah Brough, 20; her big brother, Jaydon Babcock, 2, and her baby sister, Kendall Babcock, 2 months.

I feel very sad for this family, which has lost five loved ones so quickly, and with the three children being so very young.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Having a Scottish music interlude...


So after all the excitement, I fell asleep (not surprisingly)

but I'm up now, checking on the reports. So far the death toll is at 27 for the region, with 85 tornadoes reported. Somehow I think those numbers will go up. And at least a couple of towns (one in Indiana, one here in Kentucky) are reportedly essentially gone, although in the latter case there's still not a lot of official assessment. State officials did lose contact with the town, West Liberty (I've always wondered about that name, as it is northeast of and in an entirely different county than Liberty) and have sent in the National Guard plus rescue teams.

The storms were so fast, they went through my area very quickly, and we only had one tornado warning here in Lexington, while other areas were pounded over and over. But I'm glad I came home when I did, or I would probably have been trapped at work for about two hours after my shift. Tomorrow, by the light of day, we'll know more about damage throughout the area.

The scary thing is that we're just at the beginning of March. What a way to open storm season. Take care out there.

I'm going to go back to bed. The idea is to get up in the wee hours and do game notes and maybe some laundry. I have to stop by work for a bit tomorrow and go help with some things at my friends' house, too, so it'll be busy. Good night.

Friday, March 02, 2012

I came home early, along with a good portion of the people in the area

All day we've been at something the Weather Channel calls TOR:CON 9, meaning we have a 9 in 10 chance of a tornado in the area.

Because it was set to hit about the commute, the city sent home non-essential personnel, the University of Kentucky cancelled late classes, and many, many businesses closed or sent who they could home so they wouldn't be en route anywhere.

The line of thunderstorms was set to hit about the time I would normally take the bus home, so one of my co-workers took me home a bit early. I've been watching the weather for a little over two hours. The storms are very fast. Owen and Grant counties, where my dad is from, got hit pretty hard, and my mom's under a tornado warning (one of many) right now. Boyle and Lincoln have been hit over and over, and a new storm is on its way. At one point they told everyone at the Cincinnati Airport (which is in northern Kentucky) to head to the basement. One Kentuckian is dead, they're reporting, from Kenton county. They've reported everything from pea-sized to softball-sized hail throughout the state, and several tornadoes have been spotted. A tornado seems to have hit West Liberty, which had one just two days ago, causing extensive damage. In fact, the storms have tended to track very similar to the ones on Wednesday.

At one point we had a tornado warning here, and I went into the bathroom for its duration. The storm was travelling at 85 miles per hour. Really. Fortunately they seem to have passed for Lexington and to the north and west, but south and eastern Kentucky is still very much in danger. But I'm feeling a little more at ease here; there's even some clearing to the west--I can see blue sky as the sun sets. Good luck to those out there still dealing with the storms.

But before I go, a last bit of 'music'

'Is he died?'

Poor Beaker. I know what it's like, my man, yes I do.

I was listening to some music earlier

and had just about fallen asleep, I was so relaxed, when a friend called. I'd told him I'd been listening to Simon & Garfunkel and had almost drifted off. He said no wonder; it was like being given sodium pentathol. I've loved the duo since my childhood, but he doesn't care for them, obviously. For that matter, we don't always mesh when it comes to musical tastes (no sense that we should, as we're not clones) although we overlap on show tunes, classical music, traditional Celtic music, and a bit of country. We each have a wide range of taste. I like folk and oldies, 80s, modern rock, and alternative music. He likes all sorts of things from 'Sunshine Day' sung by the Brady Bunch (which I just can't get in to), some oldies (but he insists they shouldn't be called that if they're from his lifetime), but then things like The Black Crowes, (which I must admit are pretty cool, I just haven't heard them much), etc. I don't think you can pin him to genres, really. He tends to like songs from several, but just those songs, or some musicians, but not necessarily everything like them. I think it's good to not easily be pegged.

Anyway, so I really did drop off eventually, after we talked, but it was after 10 pm, so I think the change in schedule helped today. I'm up now just to take my medication, shut off the aquarium light, and generally prepare for bed. Good night.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Haunting and beautiful and creepy

all at once...

Okay, really, on to Harry Dresden and his lot.

I may be biting off more than I can chew

but I just downloaded another library book for the Kindle that I happened upon by accident, but which sounded intriguing. It's called The Metropolis Case, by Matthew Galloway. It takes place in America and in Europe, over three centuries, with four main characters united by Wagner's opera Tristan and Isolde.

I know little of opera (although I knew someone in the opera programme at the University of Kentucky, and between him and another friend with good taste, I have been exposed to some). I am, of course, familiar with Wagner, although I have never heard this particular opera, which is perhaps sad, as of course I've read versions of the original tale. But apparently it's not a requirement to enjoy the book, and it does make me think I should broaden my horizons and see if I can find some decent clips on YouTube of performances.

It's just now dusk and I'm getting home about the time I have been--but...

before that I worked a full schedule at work, got off while it was still quite light outside, went to Parisa International Supermarket to look for something for a friend (and found it; they were very helpful), ate dinner, took the bus to the library, returned a book, checked for wi-fi-only updates for the tablet (there was one that popped up yesterday, but it's gone now), paid a small fine, checked out two seven-day videos (Back to the Future 2 and Monty Python's Life of Brian, both of which I enjoy), and checked out a book by Matthew Pearl called The Technologists. I had just read a review yesterday about it and it was on the new book shelf.

Today was busy at both jobs, and the day seemed to fly by. I don't feel as draggy as normal. Maybe I just need a regular workday to keep my Circadian rhythm happy. It's nice to see some sunshine that isn't just through a window. At least I have a window, even if it is at my back. Some people have little cubicles that have no natural light anywhere about.

It was a gorgeous day today, calm, sunny, in the 60s, and few clouds, which is kind of strange as it's sitting right between two days of tornadic storms. Wednesday we had a tornado warning at one point and there were several that touched down in the state. They're saying we may have really bad storms tomorrow. In fact they're saying our area has a 70% chance of tornadic activity within 50 miles. Fun. I have a feeling that I'm going to get wet tomorrow. Maybe I should put the electronics into those gallon-sized Zip-Lock bags I accidentally got before my trip, and then put them into my backpack.

Okay, I think I'm going to read a little Turn Coat (Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files). I only have it out for Kindle for a little while and I'm only about a third of the way through.