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!!