Monday, December 19, 2005

All I don't want for Christmas

I don't listen to public radio, but Not Martha linked to a lovely reaction piece to what can be the horror of : the homemade gift.

I received a couple of homemade items that came with good intentions, but really, I would have been just as happy without them. I'm not as cruel as Michael Scott from The Office, waving my crocheted oven mitt and demanding a "Yankee swap", but it makes me wonder if my co-workers have any clue as to what makes me tick.

Actually, I don't like it when people are able to figure out what "makes me tick", and the consequences of living such a detatched lifestyle are that I rarely receive a gift that I can get excited about. The only time I really get a gift that I truly appreciate is when I have specifically informed the gift-giver of the present they are to purchase.

Conversely, I think that I am a good gift-giver.

#1. I'm more observant than people realize. Most of the people that I am around are much more generous with their opinions, and so I spend more time listening to what other people want and take notes. I sort of have a running list in the back of my mind and when I run across something that I know someone has mentioned, I'll pick it up even months before I need the gift.

B. When in doubt, ask. Part two of B is to actually get the person what they asked for. It doesn't do any good to ask if you don't plan on following through.

III. I believe in the gift card. There are some in my circle of friends and family who just do not believe in the power of the gift card. They think it's impersonal, they don't want the recipient to know the dollar value -- whatever. I say, get over yourself.

I once gave a co-worker a twenty dollar bill as a going away present. I knew she would be driving cross country after retiring and I told her to stick the money away in her glove compartment and keep it there in case an emergency came up. She kind of chuckled when she read the note, but she said that she thought it was an extremely practical idea. Hey, I can live with practical!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Favorite Christmas music

I only own a few Christmas CD's, but I never get tired of the ones I own. I could listen to these CD's all year long and never get tired of them:

Christmas by Mannheim Steamroller
A Christmas Album by Amy Grant
A Charlie Brown Christmas by Vince Guaraldi
Peace by Jim Brickman

I've actually been known to listen to these CD's in the middle of July!

Goodbye, Moon

More politically correct crap. I don't know why I didn't run across this earlier.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Best Christmas present so far

So I haven't yet had my groovy new HP iPAQ hw6500 a full week, but I am sooooo all about it. A few weeks ago I finally gave up Thunderbird for my email program, mostly because I had a feeling that I was getting some type of mobile device for Christmas. So now I'm an Outlook user (*sigh*) but I have to say it's working out really well.

With the kids starting to have more and more activites that take place at different times, I needed some way to keep the home/office schedule in sync. I think I'm going to need either an additional cradle so I can sync the iPAQ with my PC at work, or I'm going to need to finally upgrade my office PC so that I can just use bluetooth to sync up.

Ah, I've been putting of replacing my PC at work, though I've forgotten why. Oh yeah, because I've been on the committee to pick our next ILS. And replacing all the other crappy PC's in the library. Well, it's my turn next, baby!

Anyway, back to the iPAQ. Did I mention it's also my new cell phone -- awesome! The only think my iPAQ needs is the wireless networking so that I can surf from just about anywhere. Then I'll have to get some more disk space so I can store more than 5 songs on it.

I know my family bought me other things for Christmas, but I just can't see any of them topping my new toy.

Friday, December 09, 2005

The accidental flutist


Hey, I'm famous! This picutre is in the CODI picture gallery, but I'll post it here, too.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Christmas shirts

Chrismas and gaming: the perfect match. Here are some awesome t-shirts for that gamer on your Christmas list, i.e., me!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Trading Card Maker


Create a customized trading card from your digital photographs.

How fun is this??

Okay, here's my card:

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

IM Shorthand for Monty Python Fans

I don't really use IM, but if I did, I would use these shorthand items regularly.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Morning Coffee

These may be just rambling thoughts, but I think they're pretty good.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Hey, I didn't know I had fashion style

Fashionista
56% Tastefulness, 51% Originality, 45% Deliberateness, 47% Sexiness
[Tasteful Original Deliberate Prissy]

One is certain: you have great taste and plenty of ideas. You have
clearly defined beliefs about what's good and what's bad in fashion but
they are far from banal. Stylish and imaginative, you prefer to inspire
admiration than to shock and you mostly succeed. Even if sometimes
you'd like to have more courage to put on something absolutely
outrageous you do great job in creating a unique look that others look
up to. There is a possibility that you work in the fashion industry. If
you don't, perhaps you should.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Just can't get enough Disney

WDWToday offers podcasts on Disney topics. Cool!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Thanks but no thanks

I guess it's my week for donations. Last night I went to Lifesource to donate blood.

Denied!! I had low iron, so they wouldn't let me donate! Last time I donated, my iron was fine. Well, the first test they do was questionable, so they had to do their secondary test -- which I passed.

I love it when the nurse there asked me "do you ever feel kind of run down?" Um, yeah, that's pretty much how I've felt -- for the last 10 years!! See what having kids does to you?

Oh well, I rescheduled for another appointment in January. Supposedly, starting Jan 1, 2006, my employer will have to let me take an hour off work (paid) to go donate blood. Hm, note to self, -- where is that memo again?

At any rate, I guess I'll have to start taking vitamins again. Blech!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The haircut

I promised myself that when our software search committee reached a consensus I would get my hair cut. I mean really cut. I've been growing it out for 4 years so that I could donate my ponytail to Locks of Love.

So Tuesday afternoon the committee had reached a consensus (yeah!) so I went pretty much straight from my meeting to Great Clips. The gal who cut my hair was really cool. She was excited that I was donating my hair and she was really excited about Halloween.

She also gave me a really great haircut, and, because I was donating the hair, it was free!

It's so wierd, having short hair again. I really like it, but I can't stop myself from reaching around to the back of my head to check it out.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Ten Steps to Insure Staff Buy-In for the Technology Projects

Everyone loves a list of 10 items. I like this gem over at Tame the web: libraries and technology.

My problem isn't getting staff to buy in to new technology (well, in some cases that's true) but I can't get the library director to buy in to anything new. And yet somehow our business office manager (who isn't a librarian by any stretch of the imagination) seems to get whatever the h-e-double hockey sticks she wants!

I know how things are run at my library. When one patron complains loudly enough (actually they don't even have to complain that loudly) the administration backs right down on any current policy and changes it without bothering to go before the board.

But I digress. I also like this summary of the 2005 Internet Librarian's Conference. I'm slightly frightened by point #2. It's still a struggle for some folks. That would be my library director. Technology is a HUGE struggle for her. Consequently, I feel like I'm trapped on a slowly sinking ship. And I just don't have the people skills to get her to see things differently.

Yes, I'm real down on my job right now. Well, it's not so much my job that I'm down on, it's that I'm not allowed to try anything new. Ugh.

How much do you make??

Here's an interesting article from Library Dust about librarians' salaries. I gotta read it over a little more carefully....

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Monday, October 17, 2005

Magical Express Service coming home

As promised, here's my report on using the "Magical Express Service" for our trip home. In a nutshell, it worked just great, I would not hesitate to take advantage of this service on a future trip to Disneyworld.

But here are the specifics on how it worked for us.

We had an 8:30 pm flight out of Orlando. The evening before our scheduled departure, we got a note left on our room door saying that we should be at the customs house to catch the bus to the airport at 5:45 pm.

The day of departure, we got up at the crack of dawn (6:00 am, which is only a little earlier than our usual rising time on a school day) and even though we supposedly scheduled the bell service to pick us up, we had to call them a the same morning. They arrived pretty quickly after that and took us to the customs house to check out of our room.

Since we were flying United (or Ted), we were able to check our luggage for the flight right at the hotel. We also were able to obtain our boarding passes. All this took maybe 20 minutes. We never saw our luggage again until we went to baggage claim back home in Chicago.

We had plenty of time to catch the bus to the Animal Kingdom and we even arrived before the park opened. Quite a bit before, actually. We were almost the first ones on the Kilamajaro Safari.

Anyway, I did feel a little nervous carrying around our boarding passes all day. In theory, I wouldn't have to. I could have packed a carry on bag for the airport and left it with bell services at the resort, but I felt better knowing that I had the passes on me.

We enjoyed a nice, though wet day at the park and made it back to the resort in plenty of time to catch the bus. We still had plenty of snacks left over from our dining plan, so we stocked up on snacks for the flight home.

The bus back to the airport was really nice. It even had TVs so we watched the beginning of Aladdin on the way to the airport. The flight was practically deserted, so the kids both stretched out in empty seats and slept all the way home.

Was the "Magical Express Service" really magical? Well, it sure was convenient and we did not encounter any problems at all really. By the time you're done with a Disney vacation, you do feel like you've spent a lot of time waiting in lines, but I think it's worth it. The entertainment, the attractions, the atmosphere at Disneyworld is top notch. We're already planning next year's trip!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Disney's Magical Express Service

Here's something new from our Disney files. Since we stayed at a Disney Resort, we were able to take advantage of Disney's "Magical Express Service". A couple of weeks before our departure date, we received a booklet in the mail with special bright yellow tags to attach to any luggage that we would be checking for our flight to Orlando.

When we landed at Orlando, we did not go to baggage claim, but went to the "Magical Express Service" counter and checked in there. Okay, my husband did, so I'm not sure what he had to tell them. The line for that counter looked daunting, but it didn't take very long at all.

So then we got into a line for the busses. Disney employees asked what resort we were going to and then showed us where to wait. Now, we did have to wait probably a good 20 minutes here. Fortunately, our kids are good at entertaining themselves. (They played a lot of "Concentration 64" during this trip.)

Finally we were told which bus to board. Ours was the first resort on the list of stops. I was glad that we weren't the last stop! Our flight landed around 2:30 pm and we were at the resort by about 3:30 pm.

We checked in and got to our room about 4:00 pm. Everything really did go smoothly. We were always treated courteously and were given prompt, accurate answers to any questions.

So it's about 4:00 pm and we're in our room with only our carry on luggage. It was about 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) when we left Chicago and it was about 90 degrees in Orlando. So we had packed swimsuits thinking we'd hit the pool until our luggage showed up.

I reality, we had priority seating arrangements at Planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney so we scrapped swimming. In retrospect, I would have packed both shorts and swimsuits in our carry on bags so that we would have some options.

We had a fantastic dinner at Planet Hollywood (more about Disney dining in a future post) and got back to our hotel room around 8:30 pm or so. While we were out our luggage with the special tags "magically" had been delivered to our room!!

So that worked out very nicely in my opinion. If you are staying on Disney property and don't plan on leaving the property, you definately want to use this service. Look for my report on using the Magical Express Service for the trip home!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

It's a small world after all...

I never imagined that I'd ever know as much about Disneyworld as I do now.

Amongst my friends and colleagues I'm becoming something of a Disney expert. We have now visited Disneyworld three times in the last four years. Every trip has been a little different, but every trip has been completely spectacular!

Before we go to Disneyworld I always consult mousesavers.com and The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. Both are packed with good advice about how to make sense out of the chaos that Disneyworld can be.

This time we stayed at the Caribbean Beach. I was not expecting a whole lot of the room, but it was very nice. Perfect for the four of us. We requested a room with a garden view which meant we looked out into a little courtyard.

We were in the "Aruba" section of the resort and were just a few steps from both the beach and the "quiet" pool. We did visit the main pool one day but I didn't feel that it offered much more than the pool that was closer to our room. Plus the main pool was a lot more crowded than ours.

For the most part, I liked the design of the resort. It's very spread out and divided into different "islands" of rooms. Each building is only 2 stories high so it felt more "resort-y" as opposed to a massive high rise hotel where you're just a number on a floor.

The part I didn't like was that since everything is so spread out, you pretty much have to take the internal busses if you want to go back to the main "customs house". But then again, we only had to go to the customs house to check in and then out again. Also, when the busses came through our resort, they stopped at all the stops before going to whatever destination you were going to, so sometimes it felt as though you had a long ride.

I shouldn't complain about the transportation, though. It really is fantastic. We never had to wait more than 10 minutes for a bus and all the drivers were extremely helpful, courteous, and friendly.

More about transportation later, I'm hosting Bunco this Friday and I've got to finish up my Halloween decorations before then!!

Friday, October 07, 2005

I've decided that I must be pretty well liked at work

When I got back from vacation I had a couple of people say that they needed to see me right away. In both cases, they just wanted to "give me a heads up" regarding events that took place while I was on vacation.

I find as a rule, staff here like to "give me the heads up" on things. I may not know the lunchroom gossip, but I'm usually privvy to any library-related goings on. I think this means that people care that I'm not caught off guard when I get called on for explanations and things. And since people do go out of their way to tell me things, I figure it must mean that they like me. If they hated me, they wouldn't bother making sure I was in the loop!

So that's nice. Plus I had someone tell me that I had made a very astute observation regarding our search for a new library ILS, so I'm pretty much walking on clouds right now.

Plus it's Friday. Ah! 2:30! Slacking time!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

30 minutes to go

Oh that horrible last 30 minutes of the work day. 30 minutes and I don't have to set foot in the library for 6 whole days!

I just changed my voicemail greeting, I've taken care of pretty much anything that I can possibly get done today -- now it's slacking time!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fifth sentence meme

Rules:

  1. Go into your archive.
  2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to it).
  3. Find the 5th sentence (or closest to it).
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

Result:

"I searched using the phrase "most challenged books 2003" and got links to conference proceedings. Spleesh!!"


He, he. I really sounded like a librarian, eh??

Via niceperson.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Time to start freaking out

We leave for Disneyworld in 4 days! Ack! I always freak out before we go on vacation. I was sick before we went to Niagara Falls, and I feel sick now.

It doesn't really make any sense, though. I got the suitcases back from my China friends (they are doing great!!), tomorrow night I'll do a little laundry (I could even start tonight, really), everything's pretty much pre-paid (Disney ran a good deal that included meals!), so why do I feel like things are going to go drastically wrong?

I do need to call the Doc because my younger daughter is in the middle of a round of Cephzil, which needs to be refrigerated. I'm not sure how we're going to be able to take her medicine along. Maybe I'll call the resort, too, to see if there is a frige in the room (I doubt it).

I'm not quite sure how to pack. We're using Disney's "Magical Express Service" which means that the good folks at Disney are supposed to get our luggage from the airport to our resort. (We get to ride a shuttle to the resort.) The word on the street is that we will probably arrive at the resort well ahead of our luggage. So I want to pack a carry-on bag with swimsuits and other essentials in case something happens to the rest of our bags.

But I'm not packing tonight, so I shouldn't be stressing about this right now. I paid the mortgage and our homeowner's insurance so I don't have to worry about those being late. I hope our school sends us a monthly statement home tomorrow as I know we have to have that paid by the 1st of the month -- and we'll still be on vacation then so I want to get that taken care of as well.

Plus, we still have yet to "officially" notify the school and the girls' teachers that the kids are going to miss four days of school. Ack! I hate that part the most. I hate taking the kids out of school. It's such a pain. And the first week of October is acheivement testing. Aye -- yi - yi.

Well, if that doesn't qualify me for "worst parent of the year", I'm not sure what else does.

Peace out!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

China update

My friends should be back in the U.S. of A. by now. September 7 was when they left for China to get their new daughter.

Was it a coincidence that their trip just happened to be at the exact same time I had to attend all those library software demos? I think this means something, though I'm not sure what it means.

September 7-22 has been such an unsettling time for me. I think it was the combination of the intense stuff going on at work and Amy being out of the country. Now that Amy's back, (theoretically of course -- I haven't talked to her yet) and the demos are over, I hope to get a good night's sleep again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I guess part of being a grown-up is knowing when to keep your mouth shut.

I had a very frustrating day at the Innovative demo since my boss decided to join us. Thankfully, someone else pointed out how "surprised" they were that she decided to attend this demo since she didn't attend the Sirsi/Dynix demo, so I didn't feel compelled to point out her hypocrisy there.

During the morning break, my boss and colleagues talked just a little bit about self-checkout and epayment of fines. My boss (who is the library director) is very anti self-checkout. She said that she refuses to even use the self-checkout at Jewel since (to her) it represents someone losing a job.

Here's where I had to bite my tongue so hard it hurt.

It took every ounce of strength in my body not to ask her if she pumped her own gas. After all, gas stations used to employ people to do that for you.

It took every ounce of strength in my body not to askd her if she used an ATM. After all, if you use an ATM, then the bank doesn't need to employ a person to get you your cash.

I know for a fact that she goes online to pay her mortgage. (I can't help it, I have to fix her freakin' computer when she screws it up.) If she doesn't pay bills using the postal service, then what do we need mail carriers for?

If there's one thing I have no tolerance for, it's hypocrisy.

And I know I'm guilty of it, too.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Ahoy!

Avast, mateys! Don't be forgettin' today is Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Oops, sorry, that should read: Don't be forgettin' today be Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Looking up?

Well, the melancholy has started to lift. Saturday Maria came over and brought the fam, too. She and I worked on scrapbooks. It was very soothing to spend time with her. Probably because of all my friends, she is so like-minded with me.

She is my one good "working mom" friend. And we both have very similar outlooks on motherhood. I love my "stay at home mom" friends too, but there is just always that one element of life that we will never share. When I talk with Maria about the day-to-day stuff, I know that she really understands what it's like to have to be "on" pretty much 24/7.

Plus, she's a redhead, too, so she's naturally one of the coolest people I know.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Melancholy

I've been in kind of a blue mood lately. It's partly frustrations at work, partly frustrations at home, an overall feeling of being overwhelmed. Too much going on. Living in a world where idleness is tantamount to worthlessness. But idleness is what I crave. I feel like I can't even sit down without feeling guilty that I'm not "doing" something.

Time to dig out my copy of Leaves of Grass.

I sit and look out

I sit and look out upon all the sorrows of the world, and upon all oppression and shame;

I hear secret convulsive sobs from young men, at anguish with themselves, remorseful after deeds done;

I see, in low life, the mother misused by her children, dying, neglected, gaunt, desperate;

I see the wife misused by her husband—I see the treacherous seducer of young women;

I mark the ranklings of jealousy and unrequited love, attempted to be hid—I see these sights on the earth;


I see the workings of battle, pestilence, tyranny—I see martyrs and prisoners;

I observe a famine at sea—I observe the sailors casting lots who shall be kill’d, to preserve the lives of the rest;

I observe the slights and degradations cast by arrogant persons upon laborers, the poor, and upon negroes, and the like;

All these—All the meanness and agony without end, I sitting, look out upon,

See, hear, and am silent.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Library patrons we'd like to see hung up by their thumbs

Our Branch library manager shared with me her most recent annoying patron from hell story. The other night a young girl was in, using a public access computer to type up her homework. We have some time limit software on the public PC's and she had about 20 minutes left on her session. Everything is fine and dandy.

Then Ms. "I'm the most important person in the universe" comes up and demands to use the exact same computer. She wants to use that one because apparently the filter isn't working correctly (my to-do list item #101) and she knows that she can get to her email on that computer.

(Yes, that's right, we filter out web based email on our public computers. I really don't agree with this policy, but I'm stuck. We do have a few "email only" computers at the main library. My dream is that administration would wise up and allow at least email on every freakin' public PC.)

Anyway, the library staff tell her that the girl using the computer has about 20 minutes left and they would be happy to make her a reservation for right after the girl's time is up. But that's not good enough and the patron goes over to the PC and actually starts pounding on the keyboard.

So the girl's document gets totally screwed up and the staff tell the patron that she will have to leave. The manager didn't exactly tell me how they got rid of the patron, but she left when the staff refused to let her even wait in line after that. In the meantime, the girl starts to cry because she's just spent 40 minutes typing her homework and it's all messed up.

Well, kudos to the Branch staff!! They got rid of the patron and worked were able to recover the girl's document, so at least she didn't have to start from scratch.

I know that public services staff probably have much worse horror stories, but I just had to share this one. It's really got me riled up and it's making me lose faith in humanity.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Everyone needs an elf....

I just signed up for an account on Library Elf. I'm not quite sure how I feel about allowing some website access to my library account, but then again, I do have a gmail account, so I'm not overly concerned about privacy, I guess.

I do like the idea of getting "pre-overdue" alerts. Plus, I like the Library Elf interface better than the one on our catalog. I hope the library automation vendors are paying attention.

Now, I suppose the library automation vendors might counter with "but you can set up your ILS to do the exact same thing." I'm sure that's absolutely true.

I think what happens is that library directors are reluctant to changing the more traditional circulation workflow. In addition, libraries like to enforce policies across the board, meaning if one segment of the population is receiving "pre-overdue" alerts based solely on the fact that they have email accounts, then what about that segment of the population that does not have a personal email account? How do they get their "pre-overdue" alerts?

In the meantime, Library Elf is there for those library users who can take advantage of it.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Joy


I hope my dear friends won't mind my posting their photo, but they just adopted a beautiful baby girl. I know, it's not a real fantastic photo, but I think it sure is great!

I heard that their little girl is having an unusually hard time making the adjustment from her foster home to her new parents. Apparently, the case worker handed Joy over to Marty, not Amy, so Joy has bonded much more with Marty. I know this is devastating to Amy, so lots of prayers are heading her way!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Oh goody, another personality test

Your Brain's Pattern

Your mind is a multi dimensional wonderland, with many layers.
You're the type that always has multiple streams of though going.
And you can keep these thoughts going at any time.
You're very likely to be engaged in deep thought - and deep conversation.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Lost

In preparation for the new season, I've been watching some old episodes of Lost. I had forgotten over the summer how much I really like the show. We got the entire season one on DVD at work, so I've watched bits and pieces of the bonus material while I was processing it, getting it ready to hit the shelves. I'm finally getting excited about the new episdoes starting up.

Yeah, I know that's a pretty shallow thing to post, given the current state of affairs in the U.S. right now. We are going to Disney World later this month and I've started telling people "but we feel guilty about it!" We've had the trip planned for several months now and it just seems so unfair to me that we should go and enjoy a vacation while there are so many people suffering.

I've been talking to my Mom quite a bit this week. My Grandmother is finally going to have to go into a nursing home from her assisted living facility and my Dad thinks that he had a TIA. But I had the news on when I called her tonight and there was all this footage of ruined homes in Biloxi. So when she asked how we were I told her we didn't have anything to complain about.

On top of all that is all the crap at work. Two days of vendor demos this week, followed by a meeting to "evaluate" the vendor tomorrow. Repeat for the next two weeks. I just don't want to do it anymore. *sigh* At least the cute sales guy will be doing demos next week. At least I hope he is. At least there will be a little eye candy.

On a good note, I got email from my friends in China. They got bumped up to business class on their flight, so that went really great. Tomorrow they will get to visit the Great Wall. That's so cool. I'm not sure what day they get their daughter, but I know they will email when they do.

Peace out Fred Poets!!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Good ol' Ben Stein

Has this to say.
My prayers today are with some dear friends who are leaving for China to adopt their new daughters!!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Katrina posts that I like

One from Neonalune.

One from Bill Hobbs.

And one more from i-magery.

Finger pointing never helped anyone

I've restrained from posting anything Katrina related, because my thoughts are simply all over the map.

It's horrible. Damage from flooding is irreversible. The homes that are still standing up to their rooftops in water cannot be lived in again. Everything is going to have to be torn down, rebuilt, and it is going to take a long time for that to happen.

On the other hand, think of how much engineers have learned since the city of New Orleans was built. Think of the opportunity to build it better than before. (Hm, maybe we don't want a major coastline city to be below sea level.)

Who can predict the number of deaths related to this hurricane? I've seen figures all over the place, from 100 to 10,000. It's still too early to tell. Has anyone ever calculated the "final" death toll from the earlier tsunami? It's really tragic to think of dying from being impaled by an object in the wind, or from drowning. It's not how I hope to die.

On the other hand, death is a fact of life. Everyone alive today is going to die someday. No one lives forever on this Earth. It's sad, but it is the punishment for our sins. Only through death can we be reunited with our Heavenly Father. It's sad when people die, but necessary. (And think for every person that does die, that's one less person who will be drawing from social security. But that's not a politically correct observation to make, I realize.)

The two things that make me feel the worst are:
1. The constant, unjustified criticism of President Bush
2. JKSW and I always talked of taking a vacation to New Orleans

1. President Bush did not cause the hurricane. President Bush did not cause the looting, the murder, the filth, the whatever bad stuff. I'm so sick to death of people blaming Bush and his administration. Why doesn't anyone hold the local government responsible?? Oh, that's probably not politically correct either. The worst part is that trying to pin blame on someone, anyone -- does not help!!!

What helps is giving money to the Red Cross.

What helps is offering refuge to those displaced.

What helps is leaving your flooded house when help arrives.

What helps is employers allowing people the time off to either find family members or to go to the areas that are going to need help cleaning up.

I don't care about politics, I don't care about race, religion, age, whatever. Either you're helping or you aren't. That's says it all for me.

2. When JKSW and I graduated from Con. U. we took a trip to Boston together. It was so great that once we returned we started planning our next trip together -- New Orleans.

That was almost 14 years ago. The trip never materialized. School, work, husbands, kids always got in the way of us ever going. It makes me sad to think that even if we still got to go to New Orleans, it won't be the same city that we would have seen 14 years ago.

Carpe Diem -- sieze the day is the Fred Poet's motto. Every day is a gift. Thanks, God, for today.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Serious blogs for a change

Here are couple of new blogs I've recently started reading.

Collecting my thoughts

Amy Ridenour's National Center Blog



P.S. I don't want to jinx anything, but go White Sox!!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Cats In Sinks

This is just waaaay too much cuteness for the Internet.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I think I have a new favorite blog

Well, maybe it's not my all-time favorite, but so far I'm very much enjoying A librarian's guide to etiquette.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Aloha!!

Apparently my dream job awaits.....

Monday, August 08, 2005

This blog has been on vacation!

We went to Frankenmuth, Michigan, then on to Niagara Falls, then back to Manistee, Michigan before finally heading home. The kids said it was the best vacation ever -- and we've been to DisneyWorld twice!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Playaway

Playaway is a completely self contained audio book player. Hm, there aren't any titles or prices on their website yet. I like the idea, but I wonder about the price. I think that this would be really cool for libraries to circulate, so that means there's no way that we'd actually do it in my library.

No air conditioning

Something's not working right with the library's air conditioning today. It's getting really stuffy in here. Maybe it was the work of squirrels.

Maybe if it gets hot enough they will close the library.... a girl can dream, can't she??

Monday, July 25, 2005

Popgadget: Personal Tech for Women

I'm going to have to keep an eye on this. It looks promising, but I'm basically such a tightwad with my money that something has got to be REALLY cool (or edible) before I'll part with my cash.

Invisible laptop

This is way too cool. I'll gonna give it a try. If it comes out halfway decent, I'll post it.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Who wants to go to camp?

We took our 10-year old daughter to camp today. It was only about 100 degrees Fahrenheit when we dropped her off. We were quite relieved that she gets to sleep in an air conditioned cabin.

For the first time, I could really tell that she was nervous. She's usually quite adventurous and outgoing, but today she was talking even more than usual, plus she talked louder and faster than she usually does.

The really good news is that as soon as we got out of our car, she spotted a girl who is in her class at school! So right away she saw a familiar face. The other girl was in a different section of the camp, but they would at least get to see a little bit of each other.

Diego is going a little crazy without the kids around. (Our 7 year old is spending the week at Grandma's house.) He's just running around like crazy, meowing, knocking things over. What a nut.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Harry Potter and the insanely boring book

I finished reading H.P. and the H.B.P. tonight. So now I know who dies. Big whoop. I'm sorry, but it didn't really affect me at all.

J.K.R. is still using the same plot devices she has used in every single H.P. book so far. She just mixes it up a little more. In the first 5 books a whole bunch of confusing things happen and at the end Dumbledore explains everything to Harry. In H.P. and the H.B.P., a whole bunch of confusing things happen at the same time that Dumbledore is explaining still more of Harry's mysterious past to Harry.

Not that I find the plot "confusing". What I mean is that Harry and co. always seem to end up with some bits of suspicious information. A good deal of their time is spent trying to unravel the mystery of some item that they just happen to conveniently lay their hands on.

Okay, so Goblet of Fire at least had a little more plot to it. And Quidditch. To be fair, the Half-Blood Prince also has Quidditch and "snogging" in it as well. *ack* Gag me totally with a spoon.

I know that some would say that J.K.R. has crossed the line from "children's" literature to "adult" literature, but I maintain that she has merely crossed the line into "young adult" literature.

I'm quite disappointed, really. I loved H.P. and the Sorcerer's Stone, and I even loved H.P. and the Chamber of Secrets. But after that, I really felt like the quality of J.K.R.'s writing went downhill. I suppose that's not a very popular view, but it is mine.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Lipson-Shiu Corporate Type Test

Here's a fun and short personality test to take.

I was initially disappointed when I didn't score as a:
ILUG (Mensch)
The I LUG is that rarest of underlings: the one whom you can trust to understand what you're telling them and then rely on to get the job done. In any organisation, these are the people who actually do the work. (example: Florence Nightingale)

But it's turns out that I really do fit my actual results rather well:

ICIG (Entrepeneur)
A bubbling energetic type often with boundless energy and a short attention span. Has a pattern of getting enthused about a project, starting it up and leaving the rest to others (example: Maria von Trapp)

Friday, July 15, 2005

Exhausted

What an exhausting day. It was one of those days when things seem to be going wrong, but ultimately, they turn out alright.

I finally worked up the nerve to ask my boss about the status of a couple of projects. The way things work is that the department heads who make decisions regarding services and policies decide what services the library will provide and what the policies are. Then it's my job (where it involves computers) to make sure that the services are working and the policies can be enforced.

Anyway, I was nervous because you never know what kind of a crazy mood the library director is going to be in. She basically told me what I kind of figured, that we can't proceed with any of the projects until she talks to the board. At least that buys me some quiet for a while.

On the other hand, I'm usually involved in talking to vendors and salespeople for the purpose of gathering information and advising as to the feasibility of any new projects involving computers. Also, I get to ask how much things will cost. At that point the vendors usually think we're just about ready to go when in reality the administration never makes any decisions without knowing exactly what everything costs.

Anyway, I feel stuck in the middle, just waiting to find out if I can proceed or not. And waiting can be tiring.

Case and point: Harry Potter. Ugh. We didn't get our copies in until 2:00 pm today. I was in a panic to get them processed, stamped, covered, etc because my one person who works Saturdays is off tomorrow. That meant they had to get done before we closed today. (It only took about an hour to completely process the 20 copies that we received.)

But I was stressed because I had told the staff that I wouldn't leave for the day without making sure that the Harry Potter's were ready to go. But things got complicated by the fact that my husband decided to go to a Cubs game in the afternoon leaving me to pick up the kids and still make it to a 6:20 pm showing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

It all worked out because given the fact that I had to pick up the kids, I was able to take our branch library's copy of Harry Potter to them today and it's right on the way to pick up the kids. I left work by 3:00 pm and did my running and we made it to the movie at exactly the time I had agreed to meet a co-worker at the theater.

It got even better since a local pizza joint was giving away free slices of pizza before the movie, too!! So we had pizza and popcorn and smuggled Swedish Fish into the movie, which was just great.

We all loved the new Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. It was just good fun. And good storytelling, too. There were some pearls of wisdom in that movie, I tell you.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

All quiet on the Harry Potter front

It's time to clock out at the ol' lib, and so far no sign of Harry Potter and the blah blah blah. According to Ingram, it's scheduled for delivery tomorrow, but who knows what time tomorrow it will arrive. I hope it gets in early enough that my staff can get it all processed.

Heaven knows I don't want to be stuck as the only person in TS who's still around 10 minutes before we close, making sure that all the book barcodes are entered so that the circ people can have their precious Harry Potter in the morning.

After all, I've got a movie to catch tomorrow night.

Well, until the Half-Blood Prince shows up on the library's doorstep I can just amuse myself with this.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme

I'm Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme!

Which Simon and Garfunkel album are you?

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Ooh!! Pictures!


How cool! Blogger is letting folks upload pictures directly now. So here's a super cute photo of my dear sweet Diego.
Who cares about Harry Potter? I just found out the next title in the Series of Unfortunate Events is coming out October 18!

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Video Game Librarian: Six Months Later Special

Follow up on a library that actually circulates video games! Fantastic idea!! I'm still BEGGING our YA librarian to follow suit.

What's new??

I finished reading The Last of the Mohicans. It was so refreshing to read something that made me think, as opposed to the other drivel I had been reading. I even considered declaring this the summer of "Great Novels featuring Native Americans". But no matter what, you just can't have a book about Native Americans with a happy ending. And I don't think I can read that much "depressing" literature at once. (Or can I??)

So today I checked out All Quiet on the Western Front. Another "classic" that I've never read. One of the other librarians is supposed to read it with me.

You know what really ticks me off? The fact that when you search for these great books on Amazon, the first thing that comes up is the movie of the book. Usually it's the book that comes first!!

Oh well, the other item I checked out was a collection of Junie B. Jones books on CD. That will be fun to listen to during the long summer commute with the kids.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The Internet

Useful? Or not? You be the judge.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Cup-A-Cake Cupcake Container

An idea whose time has finally come.....

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Waiting room from heck

So I get in my car this morning and the yellow "service engine soon" light comes on. I needed an oil change anyway, so I took it to Sears where I usually go for oil changes. They tell me that they can change the oil, but they don't diagnose lights.

Okay, fine, I'm already here, let's change the oil. The car never stopped running or acted funny anyway, so I wasn't too worried about the light just yet.

I'm told it will take about an hour and I go wait in the lounge. First the morning news finishes up and then Oprah comes on. This really is no big deal, I don't watch Oprah, but she is someone I can respect. The teaser for her show says that it's going to be a makeover show, which I think is really nice.

But wait -- it's not just any makeover show, it's: Releasing your inner sexpot! Talk about your nightmare!! "Releasing your inner sexpot" is not what I want to hear at 9:00 in the morning -- least of all in the automotive repair waiting room.

Of course my book is in my car so I can't go get it. I could have gone and hung around Panera for a while, but I had already eaten breakfast. I could have gone shopping in the mall, but nothing was open yet. I could have just called Amy or someone, but my cell phone battery was almost dead.

So there I was stuck watching women learn to pole dance, try on thong underwear and practice the "stripper walk". How humiliating.

Oh, there was one other couple in the waiting room as well. Actually, they were really nice. A slightly older couple, and the woman was very friendly. She actually made a few wisecracks about Oprah's show and I had to just laugh with her.

Still, it was so horribly uncomfortable to have to sit through the show with mechanics always passing by. Ugh.

Finally, around 9:30 the president cut in with a news conference. I've never been so glad to watch a press conference in my life!!

Star Wars vs. The Quilter's Apprentice

So this weekend we went to see Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. I thought it was pretty good. Amazing what 25 years of advanced in computer animation has wrought. I'm not a huge Star Wars geek, so I'm not all gushy about it. I'm glad that George Lucas was able to expand on the Star Wars world, and it was fun to see how all the loose ends got tied up. Dave said that he thought it was a little predictable, but I pointed out that of course it was predictable, we all know what happens next. Whatever. It was fun, and Hayden Christiansen is cute.

I think I was more impressed with the preview for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I know it's corny, but I got a little choked up when the Lion came on screen. But as well all know, previews can be misleading. Almost every movie looks good as a preview.

I also read a book in a day. My Mom has been trying to get me to read the "Elm Creek quilt" novels for a while. So I took her copy of The Quilter's Apprentice and read it in one day. It was as I expected. In two words, this book is: mostly harmless.

The characters are completely one dimensional, the plot is contrived, and I remain unconvinced that someone with so little sewing experience could create the quilt described in the book. It's more like the author's little fairy-tale daydream of a cute little fantasy world. People who don't want depth in their reading repertoire and quilters will probably go crazy for the book.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Nintendo Power!

We just bought a Nintendo Gamecube! It's soooo awesome! My brother in law and I both wanted one, so we split the cost and we have to share it. No big deal, since my kids will be spending the summer at their house anyway.

Since I was the one who actually bought it, I picked out Donkey Konga and the Sonic Mega Collection. Donkey Konga is a total blast! I rock! The Sonic collection is just plain fun, too.

This weekend I rented the Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker. This is totally the next game I will buy. When I rented it from Blockbuster the guy at the register said my kids would love the game. "It's for me." I had to explain.

So long sleep! Hello Gamecube!

Friday, May 20, 2005

Diet Coke news

Anyone who knows me for even the shortest amount of time knows the importance of Diet Coke in my life. It's pretty much my life-blood. I know I'm addicted to it but I figure there are worse things in life to be addicted to.

So now the folks at Coca-Cola have introduced Diet Coke made with Splenda. My family loves it. I hate it. It tastes pretty much just like regular Coke. Blech. At least it has zero calories. I can't really figure that one out because I thought Splenda was part sugar. So I expected the Diet Coke with Splenda to have maybe half the calories, but it has none. Whatever, I'm not going to drink it anyway.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Gizoogle me!!

Check out the new Gizoogle'd Fred Poets blog.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

A few more good news items

Alright, so there are several other good news items to report on.

Last Friday we went to see "The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy". I really liked it. Oh yeah, I had "heard" that it wasn't all that good but that wasn't going to stop me. No, it wasn't some ground-breaking life-changing kind of thing, but it was extremely fun and I thought it was superbly cast. Everyone just looked like they were having fun and everything was really visually appealing.

I got to play a flute solo in church -- twice. Well, once was for a Sunday morning service and the other time was for the Wednesday chapel at school. It was really fun to get to be the one playing the flute and not always the one playing the piano accompaniment.

I finally broke down and called Gateway regarding a Profile PC that I have already had to reinstall the OS like three times. And this time I actually caught a break!! I got through right away and the techie had me run a diagnostic which turned up a bad hard disk! This is a good thing as it's still under the on-site warranty. Someone from Unisys is coming out today and installing a new hard drive for me!! Yeah!! This should put an end to the problems on that PC!!

My first grader asked me to bring her home a copy of Socks by Beverly Cleary. Awesome! Socks is one of my all-time favorite kids books. I love it when my kids read books that I loved as a kid.

And it's finally Friday. Mmmmmmm, fries......

More good news/bad news items

Bad news: Yesterday I took a sick day. Not a "mental health" day. Not a "I have a doctor's appointment so I'll take the whole day off" day. A full-on barfing my brains out sick day. I can't remember the last time I was so violently ill. It kind of put a kink in my plans as I had some prep work to do for a meeting today.

Good news: In between puking, I was actually able to work on the documents for my meeting and probably accomplished more because I didn't have to deal with my co-workers or other interruptions. Thus, my meeting today went off without a hitch.


Good news: The quilt top for "Ye damned quilt" has been handed off to me. Another person was piecing the quilt and then it was to be passed to me to do the actual quilting. Yes, it's a good news thing because it means that I finally get to use my walking foot (insert your own joke here, Steve.) and it means that the recipient of the quilt is one day closer to retirement and thus will be out of my life.

Bad news: I have to actually work on the stupid thing. I'm so close to finishing my hand pieced quilt. It's completely quilted and I almost have the binding sewn on completely. It really slays me to have to put that project aside to work on "Ye damned quilt".


BAD NEWS: The DVR didn't freaking record "Lost" tonight!!! It must have gotten knocked out of whack when the thunderstorm went through this morning.

Good news: There is no good news to compensate for missing an episode of "Lost". Not when there are so few episodes left this season!! Okay, so I had an episode of "House" to watch. Small consolation. Nobody I know "tapes" anything anymore. So how am I going to catch up? The worst part is that my husband didn't even pretend to be upset that it didn't record!! You call yourself a fan?? I didn't get a "harumph" out of that guy!

Mmmm READ......

So finally the American Library Association has done something worthwhile! It's about freaking time!! Now I just have to clear a spot at the ol' cubicle to make way for my new hottie. Who will have to move? Mel? No, I don't think so. Tim? Possibly....

However, for every good thing there is a corresponding bad thing. I have nothing against Johnny Damon at all (or the Red Sox), but have you seen this guy in those Puma commercials? He just looks creepy. Put a shirt on already. Ew, ew, ew.

Insert curses here

It seems like Blogger has been a little flaky lately. Well, at least it seems like every time I try to log in either Blogger just doesn't work or my stupid internet connection at home is down. So I guess I'm going to have to do one really long post now that I'm actually logged in and able to update the blog.

Hm, better make sure I can post this first....

Thursday, May 05, 2005

We apologize

The persons responsible for the recent postings have been sacked.

We now return to your regularly scheduled whining.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

“Turismo con llamas”: la idea surgió en Bolivia

Es difícil conciliar el sueño a 5.000 metros de altura.

En una de esas noches en vela, mientras viajaba por los Andes bolivianos, a Nadia Cathomen se le ocurrió la idea de hacer excursiones con llamas en su pueblo, Surrein, en el cantón de Grisones.

Y mas llamas!

El Dr Williamm Franklin lideró un estudio entre 136 ganaderos que usan 237 llamas para la vigilancia de cabras, vacas y aves , y se extrajeron las siguientes conclusiones respecto a las pérdidas por el ataque de depredadores:

  • Cabras: descendió del 13% al 1%
  • Vacas : descendió del 13% al 0%
  • Aves: descendió del 40% al 6%
  • En el 78% de los casos descendió hasta el 0%
Llamas!!

En las tierras bajas semiáridas del occidente de Eritrea, los pastores hierran sus camellos con la marca de su clan, y con otra secundaria y exclusiva de una familia o de un individuo. Para la población de la región de Tigrina, los camélidos son una propiedad de evidente valor: sirven para transportar cargas de hasta 200 kilogramos, para obtener leche (hasta nueve litros diarios) y para hacer girar los molinos que producen aceite de ajonjolí.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The incredible iceless can cooler

Finally!! I got my Christmas present yesterday. It's so awesome!! I took it to work and every last drop of my Diet Coke was icy cold.

Okay, it is a little loud and I was afraid that the noise would bother people, but they haven't noticed at all.

Monday, May 02, 2005

More music hijinx

Hm, I think I like that spelling of "hijinx". It just looks so bizarre.

Well, I'm playing the piano at Trinity again. I feel like I shouldn't complain about it since I did volunteer and they are paying me.

("You volunteered, didn't you? We're paying you for this, aren't we?"
"Yeah, but I didn't know I was going to be getting electric shocks!" -- what movie?)

I do feel obligated to point out the absurdity that the theme for the services on Mother's Day weekend is:
"Father knows best".

At least the music is going to be super easy to the point of being horribly boring. I get nervous enough when I play at Trinity that I don't need interesting and/or challenging music. Check out these lyrics and see if you can tell me what they mean:

The beasts of the field,
The birds of the air,
Are silent to call out Your name;
The earth has no voice,
And I have no choice
But to magnify God unashamed.
Let the rocks be kept silent
For one more day;
Let the whole world sing out,
Let the people say.

And then it goes back to this amazing forgettable chorus. No offense to Wayne Watson who wrote it. It's just not that great of a song.

On a really great note, I finished hand quilting my hand pieced quilt. This weekend I put the binding together and the last step is to put on the binding. (Get your mind out of the gutter, guys.)

I was all ready to start sewing Sunday night, but I sliced off part of my thumb when I was cutting up some vegetables for dinner. I was using our Pampered Chef Ultimate Slice and Grate and I have to tell you that that blade is SHARP!!

Well, it made a nice clean cut anyway, which bled a lot and caused me to swear, but worst of all, it just hurt too much for me to do any more sewing. Rats. Well, I suppose I just wasn't supposed to start sewing just yet. That's alright there were two brand new episodes of the Simpsons on last night anyway.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Violence in the workplace

We're about 60 days from the end of the fiscal year, which means that the competent department heads at work are trying to make sure all their budget is spent. For me, that means purchasing and installing close to 10 computers in the next couple of weeks. Thank God for group policies!!

Yesterday I set up a new computer for the administrative assistant. She says she likes the new computer, but the printer is too "violent". Violent?? Huh? I've had people use the following words when attempting to describe a computer "problem":
strange
odd
crazy
"on the fritz"
weird
freaky
funky
wacky
flaky
uncooperative
stubborn

But today has to be the first time I've had a printer described as "violent". So I'm thinking maybe the ink carriage is out of balance, or something just isn't seated correctly. But I went to investigate and I've never seen a printer behave in a more predictable fashion.

So I told her she basically had to live with the printer. No, honey, there's nothing I can do. We've got about 16 of the exact same model printer installed in the building and yours is the only violent one. It must sense that you're Lutheran.

Click on the "#" to comment, guys

Hey Steve, see the little "#" to the left of "posted by Julie". Click on that to leave a comment.


And it better be funny -- but no pressure.....

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Two thumbs up?

I'm so totally excited about the new Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy movie!! It looks just great!

Monday, April 18, 2005

What's goin' on?

Yeah, I know, no posts for a long time. So what have I been up to?

Quilting like crazy, for one thing. I've only got a few rows of quilting left to go. If I can get a nice chunk of time this weekend, I ought to be able to finish it. Oh wait, that's right. I've got a flute and piano gig Saturday afternoon and then I'm playing piano at church Saturday night. Forget about Saturday.

"Working out", so to speak. I've been better about getting back on the treadmill. My goal is three times a week and I've been doing about four or five times a week. It doesn't seem to make any difference, though, and it's so freaking BORING!

I've recently started watching "The Office" on NBC. I know that it's a rip off from the BBC, but it's still pretty funny. "Lost" has been reruns anyway, and I can't remember the last time "Boston Legal" was on. At least "House" has been a good show. Still, I feel like that's too many TV shows to watch on a regular basis.

Spring Break! I actually took a whole week off of work. One glorious week!! It was stressful because I travelled with my kids and my mother, but hey, I was still off work for a week. Ahhhhh.

Spring cleaning! I have a friend who is having a garage sale, so I filled up the trunk of my car and dropped the stuff at her house. I still feel like there is a lot of stuff in my house that we don't really need. Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

Oh, speaking of work, it's been insane. Well, it is that time of year when people are figuring out that they haven't spent all their budgets yet. So it's time for me to go shopping! I interviewed for a new job, but didn't get offered the position. They could probably tell that I wasn't really serious about the job anyway.

Reading Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. I'm up to book ten -- The Slippery Slope! These books are just fun. I had hoped to read more during Spring Break, but I ended up driving a lot.

It was my birthday yesterday. W00t! I celebrated by mowing the lawn.

Peace, love, dope!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Video Game Librarian

I can hardly believe it! There is a public library out there that circulates video games!!

I keep telling our "Young Adults" librarian that if we want to see circ statistics go up we should circulate video games.

Full article can be found here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Well, what do you know. Today I finally changed the batteries in my wireless keyboard. I've had a wireless keyboard and mouse for a couple of years and it seems like I'm always changing batteries in the stupid mouse, but I can't ever remember changing the keyboard batteries.

I also enjoy that when I took the old batteries out, they stated that they were good until January of 2005. So I guess I got my money's work out of those batteries!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Friday, February 11, 2005

R.I.P. Arthur Miller

The Fred Poets salute you.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Ulala!

Sunday I picked up this wierd PS2 title: Space Channel 5. I'd seen Morgan Webb review the GBA version of this game on Xplay, and she thought it was cool. So for, like, 10 bucks, I thought, what the heck??

Really the game idea is pretty simple. You're Ulala, a reporter and you have to defeat aliens and robots by copying their dance moves. Kind of like Simon, but much, much cooler. I mean, it's just really cool.

The game has two discs and I haven't played the second disc so I don't really know what's on it. Maybe I'll have time to play it this weekend.

Well, House should be done recording, so I can hop on the ol' torture machine, I mean, treadmill, and watch. Hooray for closed captions!!

And tomorrow is an early dismissal day for the kids, so that means a short day for me!! I can't believe it's only Tuesday. I feel like I've put in a week's worth of work already...

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Weekend in review

Despite the illness in my household, I think I managed to pack a pretty full weekend. Anyone who knows me knows that I do not acknowledge most illnesses. Diseases, yes, but anything that can be treated with simple antibiotics really is nothing to lay around in bed all day over. Runny, stuffy noses and coughs shouldn't prevent a person from pulling their weight, especially if said person already took off a whole day of work already.

I took down the outside Christmas lights, vacuumed, cleaned bathrooms, dusted, cooked, shopped, and still managed to finish The Ersatz Elevator. I also made a birthday card, hand wrote an actual letter and addressed and stamped the envelope, so that I can get the card to its recipient on time.

Granted, I sort of weaseled out of playing the synth Saturday night and Sunday morning. Since I woke up Sunday morning with a splitting headache, I suppose it was okay. Hm, colds I don't believe in, but headaches are crippling. Back to wearing the bite guard all day again.

In retrospect, I probably would have enjoyed playing the synth, not so much because of playing the synth, but because I would have brought my flute and played that on a couple of songs. That would have been nice.

I also made a major decision regarding my social life. It's all too much. I'm pouring too much effort into projects producing too little satisfaction. In June, I'm quitting both Bunco and flute choir and joining a book club. I hope that people won't be angry with me, but ultimately, I don't really care if they are angry with me or not.

Wow, can it be midnight already? I shouldn't have taken a nap today.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Candela Rechargeable Lamps

These are so cool! Wish they didn't have such a hefty price tag.

How much time do you have?

The Candybar doll maker is just way too much fun!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Fun stuff for the office....

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Good things

Considering it's only Tuesday, it's still been a pretty good week:

  1. Did treadmill and situps three nights in a row
  2. Freecycled a whole garbage bag worth of stuff
  3. Finally figured out how to make closed captions appear on TV
  4. 6 PC's set up successfully, 4 more to go
  5. Got a glimpse of the new policy manual which actually allows me to enforce the group policies that I want to enforce
  6. Mailed three cards
  7. Resisted watching Desperate Housewives
  8. Watched House
Not too shabby, I suppose. The "things to look at" list at the office is still a lot longer than I would like, but what's a sys admin to do? I mean -- librarian. Yeah, that's right, I'm supposed to be a librarian. Hm, librarian, what is that again?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The dark side of Mr. Potato Head

I can't decide if I want one of these or not....

Some days I really really like my job

Yesterday was one of those really good days at work. I had three new laptops to get set up and configured and all that jazz. So I pretty much locked myself in the board room and just sat there with the three machines and a copy of Because of Winn Dixie. While the software was loading, I just sat and read. There was no phone to bother me, no people came in and bothered me, not even any email to have to eyeball. Ahhhhh.......................

Monday, January 17, 2005

I've got a taste ... for murder!

This weekend I was invited to a "How to host a murder" party. I haven't ever been to one before, but it was a lot of fun! It was a "Class of '54" reunion theme and I was cast as a brainless cheerleader (wha?? me? a cheerleader? It is to laugh!) who had the victim's baby but he dumped me but if he died I would have inherited a lot of money.

Of course, the best part was seeing my three best friends in the whole world. We had all been thinking that it has been almost a year now since we all got together for that Mom's conference.

Anyway, we've got several family birthdays coming up in April and I'm thinking of hosting my own murder....

Friday, January 14, 2005

Ibuprofen

What do you know ... "Not to exceed 6 tablets in 24 hours." (I've had 8, and it's only noon.)

I always thought that 800 mg of Ibuprofen was the "normal" dose.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

creme brulee kit

D's birthday will be coming up soon enough. I think he needs one of these.

I'm really trying to pass off all cooking responsibilities in the household to him....

Random thoughts on a rainy Thursday

Yes, it's January and it's raining. The snow is almost completely gone now. I don't know why, but it makes me sad.

I feel good that I am continuing to rid the house of extraneous "junk". I posted more items to freecycle and have more to go. I've got three auctions up on ebay and they are all going to sell.

Yesterday I finally had some time to take down the Christmas decorations. I have four fairly good sized plastic storage bins that I use to store them. Over time, of course, I've received more decorations and things but my "rule" is that anything that does not fit into the four bins is not allowed. I think four big bins ought to be enough Christmas decorations for anyone.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Shoe frenzy

I'm not really crazy about shoes. When I find a pair that I like, I tend to wear them for as long as I can. However, I've been wearing the same pair of Merrell shoes for about 5 years now, so I think it's time I treated myself to some new shoes.

I got a nice pair of black slip on clogs from Land's End and a pair of short brown boots from Payless.

Ah, I feel in style now...

6.5" of snow

Okay, so someone should have taken my bet. We got around 6.5" of snow as of this morning.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Good Lord of the Rings news!!

The exhibit is coming to a museum near me!!!! We must sign up for advance ticket sales, precious.....

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Snow, schmow....

The weather forecasters are all a-flutter here, making predictions of 4-6 inches (possibly more!) of snow in the next 48 hours. Since it's getting late in the day and folks are starting to go home, everyone is joking "see you tomorrow, unless we're snowed in!" Har.

#1. This is the Midwest, not some wimpy little crybaby Southern state. The world does not stop for a little snow. And we're talking snow here, not ice. Sure, give us a really bad ice storm and travel is going to be dicey, but snow over 48 hours time is not going to be hard to keep up with.

#2. The weather forecasters here have such a big area to predict for that if you're not in the right place at the right time, the predictions have nothing to do with the suburb in which you live. Then there's the whole lake thing that throws everything out of whack as well. People living East of the lake inevitably get more snow than those of us on the West side of the lake.

At any rate, I made a public announcement that I'd be willing to put up $50 saying that in our suburb (and the immediate surrounding ones) we will not see more than 2 inches of snow total.

Will I prevail?? Your questions will be destroyed!! By answers!!


Monday, January 03, 2005

Happy Birthday, Professor Tolkien!
Here's your chance to give those cheerleaders what they deserve!

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Oh, those pesky resolutions

On one level I hate New Year's resolutions. I like to pretend that I'm "above that". I like to think I'm usually in a state of perpetual self-examination. I don't wait until once a year to look over the mess that is my life and try to improve the things that I can.

On another level, I like New Year's resolutions because they mean that people really do want to be "better" people. It means that we care enough to take some time to examine our lives and to right whatever wrongs might be going on.

On that note, I did reorganize both my "stamping and scrapbooking" desk and two kitchen drawers. I am ruthless when I reorganize. Didn't use it for like two years?? It's gotta go. Thank heaven for the freecyclers. Not all my "junk" ends up in a landfill!

On a broader scale, I did make one real resolution. I admit, I am the world's worst sender of birthday cards. Really. Honestly. I am the worst. I do actually think of people on their birthdays but I've just got some "block" or something that prevents me from putting a stupid card into an envelope and putting a freaking stamp on it and hoofing the thing out to the mailbox. This year (as I've said so many other years) I really am going to get people birthday cards -- even people to whom I have never sent a birthday card.

So if you get an unexpected birthday card this year, it might be from me.

A bit o' Robby Burns

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

(Chorus)
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint-stoup,
And surely I'll be mine;
And we'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit,
Sin' auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd.
Sin' auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak' a right gud-wellie waught,
For auld lang syne.



Cheers, Fred Poets, wherever you may be! I miss you all!