Showing posts from February, 2014


Still reading, thanks for asking. No, the book isn't getting much better. Why haven't I put it down yet? Sheer stubbornness, mostly.

Here's my Throwback Thursday pic:

Man, I look different with short hair. Also with blue hair. Ah, the college years...


If You Ever Doubted the Significance of a Library, This 6-Year-Old Will Change Your Mind. Also, check out The 13-Year-Old Who Is Championing World Literacy, a Million Books at a Time!Because it's not just reporters that need to know: How not to write about libraries – some guidelines for reporters.Ben Hatke's third Zita graphic novel (The Return of Zita the Spacegirl) comes out in May; what is Hatke working on next? Little Robot! He even made a super cute animated comic strip to celebrate.Looking for the next book to read? 22 Books You Should Read Now, Based On Your Childhood Favorites.If You Think You're Anonymous Online, Think Again.From the Prosthetic Medic: The words I hateOn this day in 1827, a group o…

Not Much Hope, After All

I'm bout halfway through a book (well, a "trilogy in one volume") that I'd never, ever, ever pick up on my own. I'll write a review when I've slogged my way through it, but it raises an interesting conundrum.

If you've known me for more than three minutes, you can figure out the type of fiction I like - steampunk, fantasy, sci-fi, cyberpunk, dystopian, horror, and the like. I want to see L.A. blown up, or dragons, or L.A. blown up by dragons. I also like aliens, virtual reality, and, yes, gears. I occasionally get in a "serious" mode and read Walker Percy or Toni Morrison, but that only happens once a year or so. (I also read some nonfiction, but we're focusing on fiction, here.)

Even more occasionally - once every five years or so - I'll decide to "stretch" a bit and try a genre I don't care for. I'll look around and get a book recommended by a celebrity, because reading someone's favorite book is an interesting wa…

Moving Right Along...

The most interesting thing to happen to me today was ordering a new desk for my office. I'm excited, but I doubt anyone else is, so we'll move right along to -


Public libraries are more popular than ever in this information age.Today, we say goodbye to Harold Ramis. Did you know he loved libraries? We loved him, too.Think your emails are private? Think again. Senders can now sign up for a service that lets them know exactly when you opened their emails - and where you were when you did so. I wonder if there's an opt-out service.Bad news for net neutrality advocates: Netflix will pay Comcast for faster and more reliable access to Comcast’s subscribers.Happy birthday, Wilhelm Grimm! I love the Brothers Grimm stories, and Swicky does, too; lately, she's been reading a LOT of books based on the Grimm tales. She then comes to us to discuss differences between the new books and the old stories. I love it!Reading bedtime stories is fun! Here are Books for a Dramatic Sto…

Oh, yeah, there's that!

I was all excited, planning to do a blog post on pants! And then I got an email from my in-laws saying, "Happy Anniversary!" Right, that's today...

So, story time: Once upon ten years or so ago, I took an awesome class on Paul's Letters. There was a cute but very annoying guy in the class - he and I argued a lot. We took to arguing outside of class, as well; he'd walk with me all the way to the bead store (I was in a "make all the jewelries" phase) and back, arguing. By mid-December, we found there was actually a lot we agreed on, and I asked him out. We went on our first date on January 10; I left shortly afterwards for Nicaragua. When I got back at the end of January, he asked how long we had to wait before we got married. We got officially engaged February 15 and "eloped" down the street on February 22.

We called our parents, first. Then we walked to the church, wearing jeans and hoodies. We'd forgotten witnesses, so we scrambled to fin…

Oh, My...

I ran across this picture of Jared Padalecki on Tumblr, and made a growly sound:

Not two seconds later, I ran across this picture of a brownie:

I made the exact same sound.

I think I am fat for reasons, people.


Good job, everyone! The day we fought back.Construction causes leak in library roof. I am sad; Howard-Tilton is an awesome library that DH and I have found very useful. I hope their collection is okay, and the problem is resolved quickly.Considering library school? Check out these Guidelines for Choosing a Master's Program in Library and Information Studies. Librarians, as always, meeting the information needs of their communities: Librarians find new purpose helping uninsured navigate health care. Why aren't libraries more popular? WE DON'T KNOW! Why libraries deserve to be hip.Can't get to a library anytime soon? Here's a list of Free books: 100 legal sites to download literature.We know humanity has a major impact on the shape of the world, but we&#…

So Full....

Pho is good.

That is all.

Throwback Thursday pic:

That's my sister on the left, me on the right. Wow, that was a long time ago...I'm not sure when this was taken, but it was at church camp. That's where I fell in love with Fun Dip.


Why Bedtime Reading Rules. It really does. And it doesn't have to stop once the kids are reading on their own, either!Today is Love Your Pet Day! It is also Cherry Pie Day! I don't have a pet, so guess which one I'm celebrating.Let The Puppets From Glove And Boots Fix Your Common Grammar Mistakes .Cuba makes Hemingway trove available to US. This Color Palette Generator is really cool!Hats in general are cool; Dr. Seuss's hats are even cooler. What do foreigners think of Americans? Well, here are travel tips for Russian and for Japanese tourists visiting the U.S. of A. It's really very interesting to see how others view us. Also, sort of weird...

All Rise

I got called up for jury duty today. I've never been called up before. It was not as exciting as Grisham made it out to be. I spent three and a half hours listening to other people give unnecessarily complex answers  to simple yes-or-no questions before leaving to go back to work. I didn't actually get the chance to sit on a jury, though - maybe the excitement comes after the trial officially starts? I had hoped to get a good start on my next  book, at least, but I wasn't allowed to read in the courtroom, even during the five minute recess. Ah, well.


F.C.C. to Try Again on ‘Net Neutrality’.TPP is still a problem, and we need to keep making noise until they stop it. Sign the petition, and maybe call Congress, yeah?600 year old mystery manuscript decoded by University of Bedfordshire professor.Capital One says it can show up at cardholders' homes and workplaces. "What's really in your pocket? We want to know." Quit being Creepy Stalker Dude, Capitol …

Save the Patron's Time, Already...

I feel weird today. I forgot my belt (purely aesthetic, as I'm wearing a dress and not pants, so no worries), my earrings, and my necklace. I feel under-dressed, although I'm literally the only person who notices. People don't often see much but hair and glasses, at this point.

I did get a lovely phone call from a patron I helped last week. He was very upset last time I talked to him, because state tax forms were not available in the library this year and he didn't know how to get hold of them. He had been given a phone number to call, but it hadn't worked. (I've gotten that complaint several times - there's something wrong with that number.) He didn't have Internet access at home, and didn't want to have to make a special trip to the library to sort this out, especially as he is elderly and disabled and going anywhere is an ordeal. So, over the phone, I got the information I needed to fill out an online form to have the tax forms mailed to his hous…

It's Presidents Day!

I don't really care except that, because the library is open today, it's become "Monday on Crack." It does, sadly, mean a lot of people calling to ask if we're open. It's also Random Acts of Kindness Day, and since I haven't been answering that inane question with, "Why, no, we're closed - I like to sit here on my days off and answer phones, just for the hell of it," I think I've met my holiday obligations, yes? If not, then does it count that I didn't snap when someone called to ask why the mail hadn't been delivered, and if I could fix that? It's also, apparently, National Cafe au Lait Day, and, by Jove, I've drunk a ton of that in celebration, or an attempt to wake up and be sociable, whichever. Both? Both.


Apparently, these guys don't want women to write science fiction: Which sucks, because women write great science fiction. I suppose, since I've got this link on my post, I'm in trouble (but not rea…

It's Mardi Gras Season! Also, Star Trek Trivia?

Actual conversation I just had with DH:

DH: "I had a thought...What was Wesley's first name?"
Me: "Uh...'Wesley.'"
DH: "His first name?"
Me: "Yeah,  it's 'Wesley.'"
DH: "Wait, what was his whole name?"
Me: "'Wesley Crusher.'"
DH: "Um, no, the Methodist Wesley."

Yeah, that happened.

In other news, I took Swicky and Coconut to the Krewe of Little Rascals parade today. They loved it. They got a ton of beads, a couple cups each, some candy. It was fun. I love living just a couple blocks from the parade route! I did end up pushing a kid - he was a bigger kid, and he kept swatting stuff out of Swicky's reach. There was one float in particular that was giving out cups. Swicky kept trying to get one, and the lady throwing kept dropping them towards her - four or five of them - but this one group of bigger boys kept swatting them away and grabbing them. They each had a bag full of cups - t…

Stolen Post

I've linked to the Prosthetic Medic before, but I'm going to outright steal his latest post. I encourage you all to read it and sign his petition:


I want your much? Life as an amputee can be perplexing. Aside from the things you would expect to be challenging; learning to walk again, gaining balance, learning to fall, stairs....there are other parts of this lifestyle that just confuse me.  Case in point; when it comes time for me to get a new prosthetic device I have to work my way through a ballet of hoops and red tape. It's not as simple as my physician saying "Joe needs this prosthetic in order to live the life he is accustomed too." No! Instead we submit to my insurance company which prosthetic I need. They will either 1.)reject it outright and say I have to choose a prosthetic from their list of approved devices; 2.) Offer to pay a very minimal amount tow…

Love is All You Need

Happy Valentine's Day! Check out the Google Doodle today! It's all candy hearts, each with its own true story of love. Awwww... What's your story?

Today is also, appropriately, Library Lovers Day!

The entire month of February is actually Library Lovers Month, but I suppose today is the "heart" of the whole holiday season! (I make no apologies for my terrible sense of humor.) How do you love the library? You should tell the world. And, of course, the library will always love you back.

Here are some fun book-love links:

What Your Book Crush Says About You: Oh, Benedick...What's Your Love Story? (INFOGRAPHIC): I adore The Princess Bride!These 9 Famous Writers Can Teach You More About Love Than Any Hallmark Card Ever Could

Community Divided Over The House of Spirits as Final Banning Decision Draws Near: While we're focusing on love today, let's pause to remember that loving our kids does not mean sheltering them from all that's bad in the world …

My Favorite Little Punk

Coconut decided he wanted to be a punk (his words, even) and asked us to give him a mohawk. Cutest little punk ever! I couldn't be prouder. I'm considering dying his mohawk green for Mardi Gras. 
He's also the sweetest little punk ever. I took him with me today to get Valentine's stuff for the kids. I let him pick out some stuff for himself, but he was much more interested in looking for stuff for his sister and for me. While we were going through the line, a guy asked if he could have a single pack from the box of Fun Dip we were getting - he was supposed to get one, and couldn't find them, and didn't want to go back through the store. I asked Coconut, since it was his candy, and he said, "Sure!" What a sweetheart.
Here's my Thursday Throwback picture - me, in college, with my own head buzzed. 

Links! Is This The Most Racist Pastor In America?  Just to be very, very clear: Donny Reagan of Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ in Johnson City, TN mi…

Tax Season is Open Season on Librarians, Isn't It?

"Faux Nom Library. How ca-"
"You got the tax forms yet??"
"I'm sorry, no, we do not."
"Aw, $#!+."

This has been my morning, so far. Well, it actually started when I opened the doors of the library precisely at 9:00 a.m., to be literally shoved aside by Rude Lady shouting, "It's about time!" She and a Herd of something like twenty people rushed into the reference section; one elderly patron stopped and asked where the Tax Help People were - I explained where to find them, but also that they wouldn't arrive until 10:00. Then the Herd came back, with Rude Lady still in the lead position.

"Tax people?!"
"They won't actually be here until 10:00, I'm afraid."
"Just tell me where they'll be!"
One Garrulous Gentleman extended the typical phone conversation by a couple minutes, explaining that he would be contacting mymanager to complain that I don't know when the tax forms wi…

Not Feeling It

I have a headache. It was a pretty good day, over all. Well, you know, any day that starts off with your priest giving you a venison roast is bound to be pretty good. But now my head hurts, so let's go straight to...


Very thorough literary analysis of Goodnight Moon. I learned so much... Bonus! BABY’S TOUCH ’N FEEL GUIDE TO RUSSIAN LITERATURE.Happy birthday, Alice WalkerAncient Church Discovered By Archaeologists In Israel, Including This Remarkable Symbol Of Jesus ChristWant to read some really cool, very short stories? Try Perilous Writing.I'm really looking forward to reading this book that hasn't been written yet: That He May Be One.

Guest Post: FOSS (Free and Open Source Software)

Today's post, a response of sorts to my earlier post on free software, is written by D.H., who is working on his PhD in philosophy and has a particular interest in digital rights and ethics.


To be clear, there is a huge difference between merely open source software and FOSS. We should be supporting FOSS (and nothing less worthy). The question should be rephrased: Why should people use (FOSS) free and open source software?
The claim that "It doesn't cost anything" is not always true. I think anyone who has actually used a wide range of FOSS will tell you that while it is financially free, that doesn't mean there aren't costs involved in using it. Maybe you've heard the joke, "Linux is only free if your time has no value." Linux, of course, is only one example of FOSS, but the joke is a half-truth for FOSS in general. FOSS can be the Wild West, and transitioning to …


In case you hadn't figured it out yet (hah!), I'm a firm believer in the power of literacy to make life better, for individuals singly and all of humanity together. It is a powerful tool for shaping the future, and one we need to get into the brains of every underprivileged kid in the U.S. and globally.

That's why I'm a huge fan of LitWorld! If you aren't familiar with them, I highly encourage you to read their story. They do amazing things, including providing solar lanterns to kids in developing nations to read by, bringing attention to the plight of uneducated girls worldwide (and highlighting the astounding power those same girls pour into their communities once they are educated), and World Read Aloud Day (WRAD).

It's WRAD that I want to focus on today, because it's coming up very, very soon - March 5! It is a day set aside to celebrate and bring awareness to the impact reading aloud and sharing stories has on our lives - and the potential literacy ha…

Throwback Thursday

Well, I had wanted to start adding some "Throwback Thursday" pics to my blog posts, and completely forgot. So you get an extra post today. Also, lots of pics.

Here's my grandfather and grandmother:

Here's my mom, when she was in her 20's, I think:

You can clearly see where I got my flair for the dramatic, although my fashion sense has always taken a more Victorian angle:

That was me at 14 or 15, long before I knew anything about steampunk, believe it or not. 
Okay, that's all for now! I'll do another pic next week. Still, it just wouldn't be the same without...
Links! Speaking of steampunk, here's a mini-film that is absolutely gorgeous: The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello. If you like it, check out the Gothia Gazette, too!

This Isn't What I Signed Up For...

I am cold! All my Northern friends are starting to hyperventilate and scream, now, I'm sure - "37° isn't that cold! Sure, you've got rain and even a bit of sleet, but that's nothing! We have snow!"

Calm down, sheesh...

But, see, here's the thing - this is the weather I moved South to avoid. I can't get much further South without leaving the dang continent, guys. I'd do that, but Michael won't let me - he likes the cold.

I don't know, y'all will feel bad when I turn up as an icicle, that's all I'm saying.

Kids like picture books, we all know that. Do you ever get your kids nonfiction picture books? My kids love 'em.Want to see something cool? Of course you do! Getty Publications Virtual Library.Someone said something about leaving them wanting more, right? The Delicious Evil Of The Cliffhanger EndingSpeaking of art, how would you like to design some bookmarks? Okay, go do that. Literary agent Donald Maass has made a fo…

Be Free, My Pretties!

This post was prompted by this excellent article: Does Free Software Restore Dignity?

Of course, libraries across the U.S. have been getting more involved with integrating open source and free software. Open source ILSs, like Evergreen and Koha are becoming more popular, although I've yet to work for a library using either of them (or another open source ILS). There are lists like, "Open-Source Software for Libraries" and "Open Source Software" from Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki, that are great for libraries moving to open source and free software to cut costs and/or gain more control over their systems than proprietary and commercial software allows.

This is all great! I wish more libraries would move towards using open source and free software for their systems. I know that there are some obstacles - mostly involving having staff who can manage those systems and/or use them on a daily basis, but there are also issues of compatibility with various pro…