Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lent...or, cutting off the wool supply.

The sheep of the world are not allowed to become magically incapable of growing more wool over the next two months.

And if that isn't a way to start a blog post--what is?

Whilst chatting with M this evening, the subject arose of her expectation of a King's Cake in the mail. M is from New Orleans originally, so Mardi Gras is in her blood. This turned to a discussion of Easter in generally and Lent in specific.

Lent and I, we don't have a very good relationship. Generally you're supposed to give something up for Lent--and one pastor I had recommended taking something up as well, out with the bad habits, in with the good. Normally the giving up is associated with something of the food variety. I became a tea drinker the year I gave up chocolate (age 8), and at some point in my teen years it just kind of went by the wayside. The Incredibly-Patient-Mother will back me up when I say I wasn't particularly interested in much food to begin with, so giving up what I actually would eat was not a good idea.

Fortunately or unfortunately I still eat much the same way. Yes, I made Calico Beans and a giant Crockpot of beef stew this week but most of the time lunch is something frozen that I have around the apt and dinner involves lots of cereal. Chex and Cheerios are my favorites. But anyway--giving up food, probably not a good option.

So, as M and I talked, I came up with the idea that I should go on a brief yarn diet. I have lots of beautiful yarn in my home--why not give up buying yarn and knitting stuff (needles, etc) for two months? It will be more difficult than it sounds--I listen to knitting podcasts, hear about knitting sales, and feel the need to run up to the yarn store every now and then. And while it's a cheaper habit than most, I can spend a lot very quickly.

But still, I assume sheep will still be woolly at the end of March--when M and I will be hanging out around a conference she's attending. And if I've been good, I get to go to Loopy while she's at the conference center.

Kindle: Someone Else's Impressions

I still take issue with the fact that it's white, $400, and won't coordinate with anything in my wardrobe.

Rochelle has taken a serious look at the Kindle as an eReader and as a potential library tool.

Her initial glee
Finding out we're not supposed to circulate it
Why she doesn't see it useful for libraries

Summary: for personal use, so far not bad beyond the price--for libraries, not so much.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bizarre Quote Sunday: Weird Wisdom

The month is flying by--but the days and weeks are taking forever.

Take Meebo Out of Context:

"I agree--not nearly Fabio enough"

On requesting a meeting:

"I need more wisdom. Same subject, more wisdom."

Something for a 15 Year Old Boy to Read....

That was my goal to find. Does he like fantasy? Not really--but he did read all of the Harry Potter books. He likes series...

On the basis of that, I was off to the teen section to recommend a few series.

What did I choose?

Stravaganza: City of Masks (Mary Hoffman)

There are three books in Hoffman's Stravanganza series--which involves time travel from the modern world to fictional versions of historical worlds. I've not made it through the entire series but the City of Masks sees a teen with brain cancer warping into an alternative Venice. There he's healthy but up against a lot of challenges--trying to fit into an alternative world riddled with power struggles and other mischief.

Ranger's Apprentice: Ruins of Gorlan (John Flanagan)

Flanagan's up to four books thus far in the series. I keep meaning to get back to them--the first one was SO good. I'll need Flanagan's narrator Keating though, I think, to keep me going. See my full review here. A young man is apprenticed at 15 to the kingdom's spy--despite his desire to be a warrior. Seeing him discover himself--and watching a brawny friend simultaneously struggle through the warrior training provides for a fast moving and engaging story.

Bartimaeus Triology: Amulet of Samarkand (Jonathan Stroud)

Now, how have I not done a review on this one? Hmmm....(digging through posts) Anywho-- this was another audiobook delight during the many hours of back and forth from Lakeview to Auburn-Gresham. Simon Jones does an excellent narration of a story--told from the perspective of a frustrated but all knowing djinni with a wicked sense of humor. It follows an apprenticed magician in an England/alternative history where magicians controls the government. Stroud makes it a believe stretch of the imagination.

And I couldn't remember it but I also wanted to send The Book of Mordred (Vivian Vande Velde) because she'd mentioned that he was interested in King Arthur. Put it on the list for next time...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

One Diplomatic Hedgepig....

The other evening, at the end of a long day, I sent out four emails. Collectively it had taken me the better part of two hours to compose them.

Diplomacy in writing is a tricky art--particularly, for me, in email. There's less context than in most other instances. On a website--there's usually something to give you clues: the URL may link you as being part of a school, or a news agency, a medical publisher, etc etc. There are other visual cues on the website. Those cues, I think, carry over even into RSS. Even when I haven't visited the WebMD website for long periods of time, I still know of the context of a consumer focused medical publisher and a well known brand name.

On my blog some readers have the context of knowing me and others can hopefully get a sense from the tone when I'm being serious and when I'm jesting. Truly, can you always take one seriously who refers to herself in third person as a small mammal that lives in English gardens and eats grubs? Especially one who posts her own ridiculous comments on Sunday?

In email, it's not always so easy. Yes, one has the "address context" (e.g. work email, home email, school email) and emoticons are very useful but still.... Especially when making a suggestion you have a feeling won't go over well, it's hard to find that diplomatic phrase for saying "I think that's a bad idea."

So there are words one uses, polite but unfortunately not as effective. Because to politely say that something is bad idea--you then get these people who don't understand (either deliberately or unintentionally). You are then written off while they assume that they should go forward however they feel is most effective. It's a delicate balance of being the polite hedgehog...and being the honest one who says "Quit being hard headed about this and give in before I get really ticked off--because really, I'm right."

But I can't say that so instead the polite hedgehog has put in a request to chat with the brilliant Jedi master of diplomacy for some direction on how best to get the point across without hurting feelings.

In the meantime I get to figure out how to politely, firmly and without negotiation tell the owner of the tow truck company who stripped the lug nut while changing my flat that yes, he will replace it and no, I'm not paying for it. The phrase "that's unacceptable" leaps to mind.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Job Opening at La Crosse Public Library

In case you're fascinated by tons of snow, temperatures well below zero degrees Fahrenheit, and a really great library system--check out the job ad that has gone up for La Crosse Public Library.

We've got two branches in addition to Main where I work at, overseen by a valiant lady who needs a second in command. It'd be a chance to do a little bit of everything and to help expand new ideas that you have. Job description available here. If you're interested in a lovely small town nestled between potato style mountains ("bluffs") and the Mississippi--it's perfect. School systems are good if you've children, there are three universities here for your own continuing ed, and the people are awfully nice. Happy to share opinions of a recently relocated--shoot me an email.

We've got a hedgehog and a raccoon-- what can you add to the mix?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dinah as Muff

Formerly-Known-As-Roomie has a lovely long haired fluff brain named Dinah. One of our favorite threats was to turn her into a muff. She would make a lovely and very very soft muff.

And now, I learn, we can just brush her really well and knit up a permanent reminder of her.

Pet devotion may just have gone a step too far.

Knitting Club: the LAX PL Edition

Today was the first attended week of the LAX-PL kids knitting club! We had seven kids, all drop ins who wanted to join in the woolly goodness. May I just say it's lovely to meet children whose parents know how to knit (and are willing to stay and help) and kids who've knit at school! Even a brand new knitter (Little L), who had never knit before, learned Continental style in about 15 minutes!

Hooray! And yes, I'm going to be spoiled.

The word is slowly going out and I'm promised more supplies if I need them. (Yay for an understanding boss!) The middle school parents will hear about it in their next newsletter thanks to an insider knitter and the elementary after school knitting guru has promised to tell all of her yarn devotees. Word's getting out!

Find what you like--make it part of your job.

And now...because of course we can't go 24 hours apart from each other, I have to go address an emergency database report for NY. Thank heavens for coffee from Orange on Clark Street (awesome late Christmas gift!!!!!!) . Formerly-Known-As-Roomie?-- yeah, she rocks.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Three Day Tuesday....

Some days--because of their myriad sections--become more than one day. Today for example--was three days.

Day 1: Meeting with NY, quick call with M, a little light reading in the sunshine, lunch

Day 2: Work, including some desk time, catching up with my boss who was on vacation, and debating the death of an actor.

Day 3: Promptly started at 9:02 p.m. and will end when I fall asleep. Comprised of a super long conversation with the Tech Sergeant wherein we discuss everything from why he volunteered to rotate over to Iraq a couple of years ago to how we get along with various extended family members to the merits of Transformer videos and characters.

Three very distinct days how is it that it's still Tuesday?

A Third Dragon Tale: Paolini's Finally Back

According to Random House, we can expect the third egg in the Paolini Eragon series to hatch on September 20, under the title Brisingr. Random House is also trying to pull a Scholastic on libraries--requiring a "you must sign a promise not to early release the book." I guess they feel the book needs the extra hype. I don't think it helps all that much though--more, it just annoys the librarians who are trying to get the book to patrons who do want to read it.

Guess I need to get cracking on Eldest--I got about five chapters in and then it got shoved down the reading list.

I found out about Eldest via really LARGE posters in the New York Subway--anyone riding the transit there know if they've put up those posters for Brisingr? Check 71st and Continental for me...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sharing in Google Reader

When I first started using Google Reader, I didn't really pay much attention to the "Share" option at the bottom of each post. Other than accidentally hitting it, I wasn't using it to "share" with the world--I didn't figure the world cared that much about what I was reading.

With the upgrade that Reader made a while back, I still didn't really think much about using it. Google Reader skimmed the addresses book of my Gmail account and synced up my shared with my email inbox. Again, I don't share much so even the outrage this created with people not wanting everyone to see what they are sharing didn't really faze me.

While I understand wanting to be selective in what you're sharing--the option before this version seemed to be "share with the world" and now it's "share with the people you already email." Hmmmm.... reading the article linked above, it looks waaaaaaaaaaay too complicated trying to figure out how to reorganize so some people see stuff and others don't. Personally, I'm going to hold to the same rule I do for my blog: If the Incredibly-Patient-Mother would have a strong objection...

But I have found a few interesting surprises that are pleasing about the share option. My-Friend-the-Lawyer is into house music in a big way. I enjoy it but can't keep up with it the way he does, so instead I'm occasionally pestering him for names of who I should be listening to. Add Google Reader Share and a half dozen feeds with house mixes that he already subscribes to and tada! Now he just marks whatever he thinks I'll enjoy and we're off! This is also how he alerted me that, yes, I could now order Pizza Hut via my cell phone. While I doubt that will be happening any time soon--I can't remember the last time either of us actually ate Pizza Hut pizza but still, I'm up to speed. (Personally, I still prefer ordering pizza online when I need my half black olive/half bacon fix.)

Similarly things have been trickling in from Sibling-the-Younger (gadgetry stuff mostly), David, and a couple of other friends to whom I can't give link love.

Anyone else had interesting experiences?

Afternoon update: Apparently lots of people are interested in what's being shared--Shared items are now their own blog. Thanks to the Lovely Lady of Research Buzz!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bizarre Quote Sunday: Sleeping and Wisconsin

The frozen tundra just found out we aren't going to the Super bowl. Shucks. Don't I look downcast. Of course, this means instead of joyous hangovers, I'll be surrounded by people with misery driven hangovers.

But enough about their weirdness, on to mine.

On trying to reach me:

Therebefore, I will be sleeping.

On getting 7 inches of snow this week:

This is Wisconsin! Scraping off one's car is practically an Olympic sport here.

May this week be calmer than last one!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Opening Boxes of Yarn; Learning I'm Occasionally Crazy

So, I might have gone a little crazy at the beginning of the year with a couple of yarn sales. It has not yet required an intervention and I seem to have gotten through the worst of it--but obviously I was in some kind of post holiday odd spree.

I'm a blue/green/purple/black kind of girl when it comes to most knitted things. Well--actually when it comes to most things. Most of my clothes are sorted by color and at a glance you'll see a lot of neutrals with healthy doses of blue/green/purple thrown in (especially in the sweater category). This will come into importance in a moment.

The many skeins of super wash wool that arrived yesterday are justifiable. I have this a barter deal going on with a massage therapist and fingerless mitts. See? Totally justifiable.

Today was a different story though. The cone of "melon" cotton is a baby weight and I can make it into a nice light blanket that will be very washable and get ever softer over time. Pencil this one in for one of the babies due this year--I hope. The lace weight Malabrigo in varying shades of forest green? That's going to turn into something amazingly beautiful, take me millions of hours to knit, and I am completely in love with this yarn. It's also incredibly hard to get--I only know of one place that carries it and they're almost sold out right now. Fortunately, my usual Lady of Malabrigo tells me she's getting a lot in soon. It's an amazing hobby when approximately $20 provides me with nearly a thousand yards of yarn, weeks of potential knitting enjoyment and a gorgeous something at the end.

And then there was the yarn causing my first stunned reaction when I opened the box. Seriously: what kind of delusion was I having the day I bought 5 skeins of 100% super wash wool in a color that can only be described as "WOW-bright!" and 'geranium' cashmere/cotton (which feels totally yummy--btw). I checked the site and apparently my monitor just doesn't convey the full glory of how ....vibrant this yarn is. It's pink, at least I think so. I have rather yellow lighting here and I'm not altogether sure that it's not peachy/orange. Hopefully I can decide tomorrow in overcast daylight. Again, it's recommended for baby and children's clothing--so I must have thought it would be good for one of the babies. I wasn't planning on blinding them though....

But wow bright pink and geranium? (The latter btw is a peachy/pink geranium color--very appropriately named.) Proof yet again, I shouldn't yarn shop alone.

Kind of Hugo-ish

xkcd has a neat comic today---and it reminded me of how Selznick illustrated Hugo Cabret. Might that mean when we see sequential illustrations zoom in and out we'll call it "Cabretian Illustration"?

(This is what happens when people let me think too much. Sorry--it's Friday. )

Jigzone: Take a Puzzle Break

National Puzzle Day is coming up and in honor, we're doing a puzzle program at my library. Scouting around for helpful websites yesterday, I stumbled upon Jigzone. Pick one of the many pictures; choose how many pieces you'd like to put together and go! No registration required to start playing.

It's very easy to waste time here, I quickly became engrossed in fitting 48 piece puzzles together--I can do almost two in about 15 minutes.

Other features to note:

Easily create your own puzzle with your pictures
Embed in your blog

So here's one to get you started:

Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What's In Your Librarian's Closet??

Now you can dress up your own librarian! Check out LibrarianDressup--options include peace loving, jeans, superhero. No mini skirts, but hey, who needs a mini skirt when you can wear hotpants!

Thanks to Kimbooktu for the heads up!

(For the record, I don't own a Wonder Woman costume or a Bill of Rights Miss America Sash.)

Doctors and Golf....and Wii's

Okay--show of hands: How many of you agree that this sounds like doctors finding another way to squeeze in a little more golf?

"Wii Warmup" Good for Surgeons

I have great respect for the medical community, particularly the ones that wield sharp things and cut people open and stitch them shut again, but still....

Reading the article, one finds that the fine motor control and detail needed for the game translates to a lot of the non-invasive surgical techniques now being used. This, I do find relevant :) . I wonder if Nintendo has considering creating training games for medical schools--to be practiced on Wii's.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Theme Song Full of "La" : Smurfs

Did you know Smurfs have been around for 50 years? News story with cool historical info here.

I can remember them being on Saturday morning cartoons in the early 80s--though I'll admit the memories are hazy. This will soon be remedied--in February Smurfs: Season 1 will be released! I do the data entry for the children's DVDs orders, though not the selections, and I threatened to order these even if my coworker doesn't select them. I can't be the only one excitedly awaiting the chance to add "smurf" back into my vocabulary as a catch all word.

And your Smurf trivia du jour? Without looking it up (or reading to the bottom of the news story)-- what's Gargamel's cat's name?

La, la, la, la, la, la -- la, la, la, la, la

Casting the Playaways upon the Waters...

My shopping resulted in something!

One of the joys of my job is getting to buy really neat books with someone else's money. In this case, it was really neat audio books.

Playaways, a self-contained digital audio player and narrated book in a deck of card sized format, are a wonderful for libraries. I had 3 books on cd land on my desk just today with discs missing or scratched up to the point of needing replacement. Unfortunately with two of them we're unable to replace single discs. As a result I can either re buy the entire book or lose it from the collection, based on one damaged piece. Rather frustrating when one considers the cost of books on CD.

A primary argument I've heard about Playaways is a prohibitive cost to consumers. They're more expensive than Audible downloads, agreed, but when I was buying they were cheaper, generally, than the CD format. And in a public library that has a lot of audio book readers, I can justify the cost.

I put out about 40 books tonight. They are all children's books and are living in a prominent display position just inside the children's department. I've talked to some parents who were excited that they were coming and at least one of the generally oblivious to all but computer games tween boys stopped and commented "Hey, you've got Playaways? My school has those." He almost sounded enthused.

There's hope yet. Teen Playaways go out later this week!

The Children's Lit Awards: Redefining Perceptions

I woke up Monday to the annual awards for Children's literature. I won't post the full list, that's why the good designers gave us hyperlinks. But I found this year's selections very interesting--at the very least for Newbery and the Caldecott the judges apparently decided to turn everything on our heads this morning...

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz

I'd never heard of this book and a part of me is hoping it came out early in the year before I was actually working as a children's librarian. Fortunately, I don't think I'm the only one for whom it was a surprise. A set of historical voice to 23 characters from a medieval sounds like something I could have used when I was in high school and trying to help the Incredibly-Patient-Mother get junior high students through after school drama. I have a copy on the way to me from another library (we didn't own it, oops) and I'll sit down and read through it pronto. I'll have to--I'm sure there are about to be a ton of holds on it.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Wow! Congratulations to Selznick! Not only for an amazing book but I think he just redefined "children's picture book." For anyone not on PubLib, I just stuck my neck out in defense of the award and am waiting to see if I get flamed for it. While not a "traditional" picture book--it is not a book that works without its pictures and it is a children's book. Yes, they've made an audiobook of it but I can't imagine even the best narrator being able to render the tiny details that make Selznick's illustrations so incredible. Interestingly, popular children's lit blogger and NYPL librarian Elizabeth Bird said this one shoud but won't win at SLJ. A 'should'-- did!

Nice to see things shaken up a little!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

In Search of a Book

It's a limited number of people who might recognize this one...but I'll put it out there just the same and perhaps someone can find it.

I'm looking for one of my favorite (in high school) romances.

She's a math professor and I'm not sure what he does. Their fathers, deciding that they'll never get married, negotiate a contract between the two of them. To try and prove how annoying the meddling is, the two take it into their own hands and decide to send the contract back and forth with edits. The woman is initially delivered the contract by an elderly retired judge who is in on the scheme. She goes over to the guy's apartment and confronts him.

He makes rum cake at some point. She's got a Kappa something or other, some kind of high math award that means her mother has given up all hope of her making some kind of alliance. There's something about a feather mattress--a hot pink feather mattress as memory serves.

At the near end they have a huge blow out and the guy goes to the fathers to plead how to get her back, as by now they are of course in love. They end up reconciling at her niece's christening.

So, if I have such near complete recollection of said book-- why do I want a copy? To re-read.

Hopefully, someone else will recognize this and send me a title. Or maybe the Incredibly-Patient-Mother will find it on a shelf and send a copy this way ? It might still be at her house.... It also might possibly be in an unpacked box. Should that be the case, I will update with a title and author.

Bizarre Quote Sunday: Multiple

I sincerely hope no one records me on a regular basis--you'd probably have had a decent reason to lock me away for being totally bizarre. Phrases that came out of my brain and were actually used in some form of verbal/print/electronic communication included:

I'm tempted to tell him my idea of a balanced meal includes a Snickers, pretzels and a Pepsi.

Regarding a new password:

Duly chosen after the cup of tea I’m drinking at the moment. I’m sure we’re all grateful I’m not having a pot of Darjeeling.

Are you available in August for impromptu bridesmaid detail?

And the penultimate--which I reserve rights to use as a book title in the future:

I Caught a Trout: Get on a Plane.

Happy Sunday all!! :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday Fun

The short version? It's been a long week and other than getting a new elephant figurine, I think I could have skipped a large portion of it.

I'm hoping to have something more substantive next week but for today, I leave you with a list brought to my attention by Chris.

100 Things We Know Now That We Didn't Know Last Year

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Databases Before Tea Bad...

The last couple of nights I've been modifying away on one of the databases I manage. It's an Access database and while "real" designers scoff at that, keep in mind for many people it's software they already own and it feels comfortable to them. I'd love to take some classes and get better at "real" design, especially mySQL. Yes, I know mySQL is learnable at home but I need deadlines and someone making me responsible for the actual learning process. Otherwise, the rest of life kicks in and there's a lot of it to contend with.

But requested updates were made and uploaded and then at 8:50, an hour when I was conscious (kind of) but not lucid (at all) my cell rang. Rats. If my cell rings on my morning off and it's one of about 3 numbers, that's not a good sign. And it wasn't.

I created a new table last night and built a half dozen forms and modified a few reports based on that table. All pretty straightforward and normal. But for whatever reason, Access, when it chose to go to sleep last night-- deleted the table. The forms were there, the reports were still modified. The table was gone. I know the table was there and working--because I double checked the forms and whatnot before I uploaded.

Not realizing this caused some panic because the database was randomly shutting whenever we tried to filter a form. Finally I saw the sub-form linked to the new table not showing up and tada, fixed in five minutes. Thank heavens my Managing Editor is incredibly patient.

So where exactly did the table go? I'm guessing the never never world of socks the dryer ate. Grrrrr. There are days, this being one of them, I swear this program gets PMS. What's the software version of chocolate?

Also...I should be learning Drupal.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Happiness is...

Happiness is...

A cup of hot tea
A good book
and guessing which chocolate is the caramel


Sunday, January 06, 2008

Bizarre Quote Sunday

So it's 2008...and I was thinking that instead of trolling for quizzes, I might try something a little different. I've been known to come up with some completely random quotes and whatnot. What better place to share them than with you :)

To be taken completely out of context and used for your own enjoyment.

This week's quote "I was hoping to avoid it, but I think I'm going to have to use the Obvious Stick..."

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Staying Reachable...Cell Phones in 2008

I'm transferring my numbers from my old cell to my new one today. I could have paid the Verizon guys $10 to do it but they couldn't also port my pictures or be otherwise useful--so I chose to make it a chore I'd do myself. (I love Vz's phone customer service but their stores leave a LOT to be desired.)

What struck me as I'm going through and adding entries is how confident I am. I don't worry about having the wrong number for all but a slight number of people---even the people I've not spoken to in the past year. We've all moved to almost primarily cell phones and with portable numbers, we've all stayed with our numbers over the years. I can call a cousin I haven't seen since last Christmas and be relatively sure that when the phone rings, he'll be at the other end.

I've had a cell phone for five years. In that time, I've moved from Indiana to New York, lived in three apartments in New York, moved to Chicago and now to Wisconsin. I've had two cell phone numbers--total. If I was relying on land lines, my number would have changed at least four times. I can't imagine having to call 100 people and tell them my number has changed every time I pack up my books. It would probably make me more selective about whose numbers I would keep, but I like having everyone in there--just in case. It makes it possible for my former supervisor at the theater to call me at 9 p.m. on a Thursday night to ask "Is that his fiance on ER?" and we then have a chance to discuss that it isn't and the actor in question is now single.

The important stuff.

But I do like the continuity it gives...and heaven help me and tons of others if the Blonde ever changes her number. She's had it since at least 1999 and it's one of the few I can still dial with my eyes shut.

Friday, January 04, 2008


I'm not a big fan of posts consisting of nothing but links-- hence why I only have one feed in my reader that is someone's links du jour. But I've run across a couple of things and I wanted to pass them on.

Local Harvest -- Brought to my attention by knitting podcasters Lime and Violet, this is a site that allows you to purchase locally grown, raised, created products. By local I mean within the 48 contiguous states of the United States. (Sorry Jennie--no version for you yet) They brought it up because it's a neat way to get yarn and wool. Since I've just gone on a bit of a yarn binge to make projects for my massage therapist and to donate some to an upcoming yarn event at my POW, I won't be shopping anytime soon. There are numerous categories and you can choose your area to find locally grown fresh foods! Check out the shop tab at the top. You never know when you'll really want Kumquat Marmalade.

Jamieson and Smith Yarns -- Not a new yarn store by any means but new when it comes to me drooling over it. They have a ton of gorgeous Shetland yarn in a wide variety of colors and I'm shocked at how reasonable the pricing is--even for shipping. Again, I just bought lots of yarn, no more for me for a while. But go do some drooling for yourself. Anybody know who carries it in Wisconsin?

RetailMeNot -- I'd heard of BugMeNot, but don't really use it all that much. This gives the option to gather coupons from around the web and find relevant ones at that last minute of needing something from a chain store without digging through last month's pile of recycling because they won't take me off their mailing list. Even better--they have it as a Firefox Plug-In, so I don't even really have to think about the site--I just pop open a new tab, plug it in the corner and tada--coupon or knowledge that I've not missed one. Fabulous!

And finally--perhaps a move in the high def DVD wars? Check out the WSJ article. I don't have an opinion--I'm aware of what the technology does but I only have "regular" DVDs and a "regular" DVD player and I'm not looking forward to having to upgrade my computer DVD drive and buy another DVD player. I'm kind of hoping the BluRay/HD will end so I can at least know what I have to buy in the future. Bad enough I have to eventually get another CD player for mp3 CDs.

The Difference Between Jobs...

At my last library, I was always on the desk--often even when I was in programming I could be called out because I was the only person in the building who could do "reference." Off desk time was something only one of the adult librarians seemed to get.

Here...we argue over who has to work a third shift and take *gasp*...12 hours on the desk.

What a difference...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Alternative Use of E-Book: Flashlight

There's a fabulous Opus strip posted currently for 12/30/07. It addresses the alternative use of an e-book and gets back to a lot of why we get tactile enjoyment out of our reading material.

I will be in a similar setting to the final panel this weekend--it's obscenely cold out of doors and I see no reason to come out from under the afghans except to refill the teapot.

May also be able to find it here.

**Update--the links should take you to Salon or Washington post. Also available at


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Back in Storytime, Warmer Than Ever

I should have known better than to wear a wool sweater for story time. By the time we finished a rousing round of "Head and Shoulders" (only the first verse, sung faster and faster)---I was feeling rather toasty. During the Stop and Go Chase I got downright overheated. I now remember why we wore t-shirts when I was teaching pre-preschool parent participation play and music classes.

It was my first story time at LPL and it's nice to get back into the swing of things. I had age appropriate children (gasp), interested but reserved parents (I asked them to let the kids answer--they did!), and a really great book about a not-blue dog. (Dog Blue by Polly Dunbar)

I started with a deliberately easy theme--colors. They are easy to talk about with children, there are colors quite literally everywhere, pre-schoolers recognize colors and can "own" a color--only one boy in orange today. It's a little harder when not everyone has a cat, aunt or hedgehog.

I won't say I was an unqualified hit--but I think they'll come back next week.

Happy New Year!