Friday, December 22, 2006

Fun with slides!

It was a pretty slow day at work. With about an hour to go in the day, I stumbled upon the manual for the flatbed scanner. I hadn't had a chance before to see if the scanner was capable of scanning slides, and it turns out the scanner is capable of scanning slides.

It's cool because the library director showed me the "historical" drawer with about 10 carousels worth of slides. Apparently, the library doesn't own a slide projector anymore, so the library director told me she wasn't sure what to do with the slides.

Enter a techie/geek like me and I know exactly what to do with them! Since it was a slow day and we were operating with a skeleton staff, I set about scanning the slides.

What's great is that the library does have a good index to what is on the slides. Each slide is numbered, and the Reference staff have the index that says what is on each slide and when the picture was taken.

So I'm thinking that, armed with that information, and the ability to go from slide to digital image, we're ready to get ourselves a flickr account and start making those photos public!

I hope my boss will be as excited about this as I am!

A Christmas wish

'Twas the night before Christmas and if you think I'm going to compose some cutesy Clement Moore knock-off poem, you've come to the wrong blog.

The upside to starting a new job right before Christmas is that there's plenty of food (and at this library -- booze!) and plenty of good cheer.

The downside to starting a new job right before Christmas is that you never quite know the Christmas ettiquette. I passed out a few cards to the department heads here, but I actually got a present from my boss. I didn't get her a present, just a card. In retrospect, that was a mistake.

I guess there's always next year, right. Then again, my predecessor didn't last a whole year here. But I intend on staying a long time.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Oh, those horrified librarians

"Imagine the horrified looks you'll get when you bring this "pizza box" into the library."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Murphy's Law

Yarg, what a day! Everything that possibly could go wrong, did. Well, it was only minor stuff, really, and in the end it all ended up being a comedy of errors.

The day started out pretty well. Dave got up and went downtown for his class. The girls and I got up, got dressed, I made lunch for myself and Michelle, it was all good.

Then I left the house. To be more specific, I left the house, taking Michelle with me to drop her off at my sister-in-law's for the day.

On the way down, I get a call on the cell phone (after two failed attempts -- my Office ringtone is too quiet to hear!). JP, who was supposed to take Hannah to basketball practice had to work and so she couldn't anymore, but she was making arrangements with LR to pick Hannah up -- oh, and the time and location for basketball practice had changed.

So I get on the phone with JP who confirms everything Hannah said and LR will do the driving today. No big deal, just a minor annoyance.

Then we get to my sister-in-law's house and she's not home! She knows I'm bringing Michelle, but the house is empty. I don't panic, I still have plenty of time to get to work. And after only 5 minutes or so, she shows up. (She's having her own Murphy's Law day.)

Again, it's no big deal, but now I do need to rush off to the library. I decide I'm going to take the "back roads" rather than the major streets. BIG MISTAKE! I got so turned around it was nearly ten after nine by the time I'm parking my car.

Then I realize -- my library keys are in my other coat pocket. I switched coats today because I thought it was going to be warmer. (It wasn't.) So I "get" to tell my new boss that I'm late and I forgot my keys. But when I tell her my whole tale of woe, she's totally cool. Since the library board meeting is tomorrow night, I have plenty of opportunity to make up any lost time.

At least at this point I'm still able to laugh it all off.

Then at noon, I get a call from Dave. The environmental sensor at home has gone off and can I run home and check it? Well, I've only been at this job three weeks, so I don't want to have to make any waves -- especially after the morning I've been having. But since he's downtown, I have no choice.

So I head home and it doesn't take long to find the problem. There is water on the floor of the laundry room, but that's because the washer drains into a sink before it goes down the real drain. (I don't know why.) Anyway the sink drain had a plug in it, so when the washer emptied, it all spilled out onto the floor. (Fortunately we'd had other water problems this summer so everything's in plastic tubs in the laundry room now.)

So another crisis averted. Actually, that's about where the crises seemed to end. Oh, I did have to reboot my phone a couple of times, but that's pretty minor.

It's all really minor, isn't it? Nobody that I'm really close to is in the hospital, or on the verge of bankruptcy, or having real problems that affect the rest of their lives.

So I'm not complaining about having a Murphy's Law day. Compared to the alternatives, I'll take Murphy's Law anytime.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Who reads this stuff?

I really was about to write off this whole blog. After all, who reads this stuff anyway? But then I reviewed by Bloglines feeds and three people subscribe to the feed.

Okay, so one of them is me, but who are these other mysterious two? I have a suspicion I know one person, but he can barely navigate his way out of a cardboard box, so I can't see him using an RSS reader.

I'm not posting lately because I'm just too exhausted. The new job is going GREAT, but it just takes me so long to do things because I'm still learning all the details of who to call, how bills get paid, what are my daily priorities. I feel like I'm bugging my boss all the time, but she seems cool with it all.

When not at work, I've been consumed by music. I know I should limit my involvement, but I just keep volunteering to play piano, flute, handbells, whatever. I also volunteered to be the "document manager" (fancy term for 'librarian') for the contemporary worship service, which is now being planned by committee.

I'm not a big fan of committees, so I did not volunteer to actually do any service planning. Being "document manager" should allow me to work independently and set my own rules.

At least the kids are on Christmas break now, so we don't have any evening committments. Scratch that, we still have a bell rehearsal this week and I have my first library board meeting to attend. At least I was home tonight with nothing to do - yea!

So, to my readers, thank you for reading this drivel. I'm desperately seeking time to scrapbook my latest Disney pictures, but I'm not really eligible for any time off work until March.

I am going back to my cute dentist this week because the new crown isn't pleasing me. Please pray that I don't have to have a root canal or pay for a new crown!


Peace out! -- And watch The Office!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Annoyed Librarian Joins the Revolution

Another brilliant and beautifully written post by the Annoyed Librarian.

One of the "perks" of my new job will be paid membership in ALA, which is something I don't really care about. After reading AL's post, however, I guess I don't have to feel bad about joining that bunch.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The big news!

I got the job!!!! I've been interviewing for every possible library job (that could come close to matching my salary) for almost 18 months and I finally landed a GREAT library position!

I officially accepted the offer today and I'm giving my notice on Monday. The only thing that stinks is I won't be starting until after Thanksgiving so that means I'll be giving like 6 weeks notice. Actually it will be a little less, since I already have time off approved for the day before and after Thanksgiving.

So I'm looking at my last day here being November 21, which is how many days?? Okay, starting from October 16, the day I give notice, it will be 56 days.

Woo-hoo! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Monday, October 09, 2006

The big letdown

Wow, it's been an unbelieveable three weeks since I've posted.

To summarize:

The trip to Disney was awesome! HOT, but awesome.

The job interview went pretty well, I think -- but I always think my job interviews go well, then they never pan out.

The conference in Salt Lake City was kind of a bust. I was bored, lonely, cranky, and the whole time I was thinking about everything that needed to get done at home.

The reality of open enrollment looms over all. We've always socked away money in day care flex spending, but now that braces are on the horizon, we need to utilize the health care flex spending. Any hope of either of our paychecks going up is always negated by the need to have more money taken out pre-tax.

The day after tomorrow, I get started on my new crown. My tooth is finally starting to hurt, so I'm looking forward to getting it over with. But I'm not looking forward to paying for it or the discomfort that is sure to ensue while I adjust. At least my dentist is super nice, so it's not so bad. (Plus, he's SUPER cute!)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Getting excited

I'm finally allowing myself to get excited about the upcoming Disneyworld trip. Up until today, I was not really even allowing myself to daydream about it, but now that it's less than a week away, I figured I'm allowed a daydream or two.

Then again, I just had too much on my plate between work and school and home to think about fun things. But now I've got a grip on my upcoming piano playing, the school schedule is starting to settle in, so while there are lots of activities, there is at least a sense of structure.

A number good things have happened in the last 24 hours:

  • I rehearsed with the St. Peter band and the director was blown away by my playing!
  • We went to Lou Malnati's for dinner!
  • The crappy LAN color laser printer is now replaced!
  • I have a job interview on September 29!
  • I had a stupid run-in with a staff member so I really am revved up for the interview!
  • I have all the bills for September ready to mail!
  • The kids didn't have any homework last night! (And they don't get much on the weekend!)
  • I completed my Schaumburg Flyers scrapbook layout!
  • Michelle agreed to be an iPod for Halloween!
  • I got a new storage card for my PDA! (With lots of music! And a movie!)
  • My best friend just got high speed Internet at home! (So now she has email and we can keep in touch better!!!!)
  • We're caught up on book orders!
  • I had a number of positive encounters with my boss!
  • I got all the CD-ROMs cataloged!
  • We're leaving for Disneyworld in 5 days!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

Bad words

Two words that I dislike:

Etcetera
Miscellaneous

At work I have "temporarily" been assigned the duties of ordering general office supplies and maintaining the supply cabinets. My first act of duty was to go through the cabinets and get rid of supplies that are dried up, broken, out dated, or just not used anymore.

The last person who had these duties had labeled the shelves, but there were so many shelves labeled "Etc." and "Misc supplies". This just bugs the crap out of me.

So the person who labeled things was either too lazy to bother sorting through the supplies or they were a packrat who couldn't throw away something because "you never know when you might need it." Give me a break.

I am not a packrat and I never will be. I don't understand this mentality of holding on to material things for no other reason than "just in case". If you haven't used your "just in case" items in 5 years, then just what sort of situation were you planning for when you picked up the item in the first place?

I know, I know, there isn't anything inherently wrong with liking "things". I've just seen too many homes lately where the "things" seem to be more in control than the person who owns them. Maybe I should also stop watching Clean Sweep.

P.S. 10 more days until Disneyworld!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

For this I became a librarian?

Granted, I've never had to clean up any bodily fluids at the library, but I've been through the wringer on automation issues. And today was #1 of all-time frustrating automation h-e-double-hockey sticks.

Today was our big implementation of PCounter. For a long time, I've had to listen to administration gripe about the amount of money spent on printer ink. For as long as they've been griping, I've been countering with the fact that we should install a true pay for print system that forces users to pay for their printouts before they can print.

I wasn't nervous about the installation the way I was when we implemented PC Reservation. Perhaps it was because I just watched Office Space the other night and just don't care about work anymore.

But I digress. It wasn't the actual software installation that drove me to tears today, it was the 3 hour process of figuring out exactly which group policies and which local PC rights I had to give to the user to get the printer drivers and software to install. (And how to configure the mandatory profile so that we wouldn't lose any changes.) Once we figured that out, the installation was really very simple, albeit, time consuming.

So today was probably the most grueling day I've ever had at this library. It wasn't quite as physically demanding as when I worked at my college library and we moved the contents of the third floor to the basement and the contents of the basement up to the third floor, but I'm completely drained. (How I have the energy to type is beyond me.)

I still have nearly 15 PCs that I still have to hook up to the new printers. At least I can get into work an hour before we open tomorrow and I should be able to cover a lot of ground in that time.

Now for some sleep that knits the ravelled sleeve of care.....

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Stating the obvious

People crack me up. Why is it, when a person comes to me because they want help with something computer-related, they always say: "I don't know what's wrong."

Really?? You don't know what's wrong? Gee, and I was so hoping that you were asking for my help because you were able to solve a problem on your own.

I should be a nicer person

A patron had brought in a printed resume from a while ago and wanted to type the resume up in Word. She was having great difficulty using Word and after about an hour, only had about a paragraph typed up.

One of the reference librarians came to me asking if we could scan the resume so that the patron could just edit it. Of course! was my happy reply, just come on down and fire up the scanner and I'll show you how.

So we scanned the document and the reference librarian sat there and proof read the whole thing before saving it onto a disk for the patron. I think she even did all the editing to make it look like the original resume. The whole time I'm thinking that's really going above and beyond to help someone. I personally wouldn't take the time to do it.

About an hour later the same reference librarian calls me and I roll my eyes as I answer the phone thinking I just want to be left alone with my cataloging. But it turns out the patron with the resume from earlier was so grateful that she brought in a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and coffee and tea to thank us for our help.

I did eat a donut (which is nice, since I don't have anything for lunch) and I'm drinking tea now (which is also nice, since I have a cold) and I'm feeling very humbled.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Third time's a charm?

I just applied for yet another library job. Let's see, I had one interview in December of 2005, one interview with follow up interview in January 2006, a phone interview in March 2006, then one more interview with follow up interview in July 2006. So I made it to the short list twice, but I can't seem to figure out why I'm not landing these jobs.

But last week another assistant library director position opened up. I felt obligated to apply, though it was hard to write a very enthusiastic cover letter. I'm completely discouraged by this crappy job hunt. I'm tired of it all, but I'm also tired of my current job. But I figure I can't complain unless I'm also doing something about it.

Sure I'm being deliberately vague, even though no one reads this blog. What would my ideal job be? I think I've got one in mind:

Systems support. Our library system has a shared ILS, and I could be the go-to girl for the member libraries. I'd like to travel to each member library to train staff on using the system, help catalog materials, and assist with technical support issues as well. I'd help profile new consortium members, assist with retrospective conversion, and in general help libraries make the most of the ILS.

Okay, two good things about my current job:

1) I've been thinking a lot about my library's current ILS setup. I think it leaves a lot to be desired. I am looking forward to our upcoming system migration, as it gives us a chance to sort of start over.

2) Since the person who was in charge of ordering general supplies managed to escape the clutches of the library by quitting, the responsibility for general supplies has fallen into my hands, temporarily. (At least I was told it was temporary.) What this means is more power for me.

We have these horrible cabinets of despair that hold all sorts of office supplies, some from the 1970's, but no one can bring themselves to throw out a box of stickers that we no longer use, even though the adhesive has dried up and the box is decomposing. But now they are officially under my power and thus begins the great office supply purge!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

On the Purpose of Public Libraries

The Annoyed Librarian nails it once again! I love this part:

Bureaucracies expand because the self-interest of bureaucrats is to keep their power. Apparently, public libraries are no different. Many libraries are desparate to seem relevant regardless of the lack of coherent or compelling rationale. Apparently, just getting people through the door is a compelling enough rationale. Is this the kind of tepid purpose that inspires librarians today? ("Take a look for inspiration!") Do librarians even want to be inspired anymore?


I find it hard to believe that anyone goes to work for a public library really expecting to raise the intelligence level of a community beyond the "--for dummies" level. Face it, public libraries are about recreation first, education second.

perspicuous

This is a good word:

perspicuous

WorldCat

Need something?? Find it in a library!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Updates

Family:

We finally decided to send the kids to St. Peter for school this fall. There was a momentary flurry of paperwork, followed by the hassle of school supplies, but we've got orientation on Thursday, so things are falling into place.

We still need to find a piano teacher, and I am hoping to figure out how I can fit back in to our new/old church.

Work:

I pretty much ran the whole gamut of emotions when I learned that the job I interviewed for was offered to someone else. So that makes 3 really serious interviews in 8 months. That may not seem like a lot, but each time I had my hopes up pretty high, plus I sent out a few resumes that got no response at all.

Then last Friday another Assistant Library Director position opened up. One that is geographically good, with a slight increase in salary. The thought of writing another stinking cover letter and going through that whole interview process has got me exhausted already. I'm sick and tired of being rejected, but I don't feel I can complain about my current job without at least trying to get out when I have the chance.

Friends:
I called JKS Wilder the other night, out of the blue. I don't call my friends all that often, especially the ones whom I consider to be my closest friends. Does that make any sense? No, it doesn't. At any rate, we had a lovely conversation and but it made me miss her terribly.

Other:
Our Gamecube has been spending the summer at my in-laws house, so I've gotten back into playing Dark Cloud 2. I'd forgotten how much fun it could be. There's really nothing better than wiping out a few dozen baddies to get your frustrations out.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Boozefest '06!

I think I drank more booze in the last 5 days than I have all year.

Last Wednesday we went to the Flyers game. Forget hotdogs and nachos, give me some of that sweet sweet beverage that makes me forget all my cares. Okay, so it was like three beers. Two and a half, really. But for me, at my age, beer just has too many calories than I'm prepared to burn off.

Then Friday night big D and I went to a wedding. Open bar? Gin and tonic, and make it a double, please? Wine with dinner? But of course! What? I'm the only one drinking the white wine? Impossible. There's half a bottle left!

In my defense, it's been a helluva week. Oh, Monday and Tuesday were the usual crappy days at work, but then Wednesday all heck broke loose.

Wednesday morning -- meeting in North Aurora followed by a follow up interview in Lombard. One of my co-workers was attending the meeting with me so I had to lie through my teeth as to why I wasn't coming right back to the library. Then Wednesday night was the ball game.

Thursday morning at 8 am, big D and I met with the principal at St. Pete's. Then I had to rush off to Geneva for a riveting meeting to discuss the ramifications of the Library of Congress's series decision. (Why don't those bozos have an RSS feed?) The highlight of Thursday was the long lunch I had after the meeting. (I'm not being sarcastic here. It was one of the most fun lunches I've been on in a LOOOONG time.)

Friday meant actually spending time back in the library, but at least the director was out of the building. Then I had to cut out early to get ready for the wedding Friday night. I got home to find that big D coudln't find any of his ties. What's up with that? His suit was dusty (then you'd better clean it up, I've got makeup to put on!) then between the church and the reception hall his shoes fell apart. Yeah, that's right. The shoes are ancient and the last time he wore them was my grandfather's funeral 7 years ago, so the stitching actually gave way and we had to go buy him new shoes in between the church and the reception. (My husband, the Rhodes scholar.)

Saturday meant getting started on painting the lower half of the bedroom walls. At least that went smoothly. I finished up the second coat this morning and I love it! It's a dark red -- barn red I keep reminding my family. So with the bedroom finally painted, I can turn over the rest of the trim and baseboards, confident in knowing that I have done everything within my power to see the door project to completion within my lifetime. Time for some more booze!

Friday, July 14, 2006

From the "what were they thinking?" department...

This is how NOT to carpe diem. Embarrasing...

More career advice I can actually use!

Annoyed Librarian's Guide to Public Service

My all-time favorite tip, the one where I laughed out loud:

Another good response for the really irate: "You'll just have to take that up with the director." "Whatever" also works. ("What bonehead is responsible for this mess?" "You'll have to take that up with the director." “I am the director!” “Whatever.”)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Radar image has some bugs in it, literally

Okay, I know I'm on a bit of a pity party, but at least I don't have to deal with this.

Just another manic Monday

I'm so freaking irritated today. Bad sign for a Monday, eh? It's not just this crappy job, it just feels like I have no balance in my life. If I could just point to one thing in my life that I could say is going well, I would feel better.

Uppermost in my mind right now is school. We are fortunate enough to be able to send our kids to a Lutheran elementary school. However, we're just not entirely pleased with the administration of the school. The school board seems very close minded and we are not happy with the homeroom teacher assigned to our 6th grader and when we requested a change, the response was very resistant. Now my husband just hates the teacher she's been assigned to. I just know that if our request for the other homeroom teacher is not honored, we will not send our daughter there.

There are other Lutheran schools in the area, including the one where we used to be members, the one where our kids were baptized. I was very involved in the music ministry and had many good friend and hated leaving. The only reason we left the old church for our current church is because of the school's reputation. Well, I think that reputation is fading, or else we're just finding out that the school isn't all that it's cracked up to be.

What's bothering me most right now is just the not knowing. I am not a patient person, and not knowing exactly where our kids will be going to school this fall is already getting on my nerves. We are setting up an appointment to visit our old church's school and see how we like it. My husband has suggested sending our 6th grader to one school and our 3rd grader to another, but I just think that's way to impractical. It's got to be all or nothing.

If I had to make a decision today, I would pick St. Peter. After all, we live right here in Schaumburg, don't we? The kids that attend St. Peter will more than likely all be going on the same high school, too. Doesn't it make sense to get our kids integrated into that group?

Friday, July 07, 2006

Weekend to do's

So much I want to accomplish this weekend.

Finish painting the top half of the bedroom walls (I have to buy more paint to do this -- which I knew would happen. I hate running out of paint in the middle of a project. It doesn't seem to bother my husband if he has to run to Home Depot in the middle of a project, though. Must be a guy thing.)

Donate blood. I had low iron the last time I tried to donate, back in June and haven't made it in to try again. Lifesource has been calling me to reschedule, but I'm just so freaking exhausted by the time I get home from work. I know it's a lame excuse, because I really believe in giving blood.

Take the kids to the pool. Here it is July 7 and we haven't been to the pool yet. The girls have been swimming, of course. They went swimming at camp and used the neighbor's pool, but we haven't gone to any community pool yet this summer.

Pay bills and balance the checkbook. Oh joy. I can't really say which one I hate more: paying bills or painting.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Why will this day never end?

It feels like it has been 3:55 pm FOREVER! Yeah, it stinks working the day after a major holiday. I'm nearly out of my mind!

Today I:
  • Pulled more VHS videos for weeding
  • Deleted some horrible looking paperbacks
  • Cataloged my "Instant Immersion Japanese" oddballs
  • Created items for the Children's department Apple order
  • Created a new user for Ingram iPage
  • Gave someone a form for an Internet email account
  • Ran a report of old, old, non circulating fiction
  • Opened boxes
  • Submitted an order for color toner cartridges
  • Submitted an order for replacement CD lids
  • Assisted the "appraiser" in finding asset tags
  • Cataloged new videos

The bad part is I'm not all that much more excited about leaving the library.

I stripped wallpaper over the weekend and got the bedroom 1/4 painted yesterday. I'm painting the top half of the wall a cream color and the bottom will be a dark, barn red.

I got the first coat on the top half done, but had a couple of spots where I did a lousy patching job, so I can't paint again until I get those spots fixed -- oh, and buy another gallon of paint. (I knew one gallon wasn't going to be enough!) It's going so slow because I'm on my own for this paint job, my husband isn't helping AT ALL. I can't blame him TOO much since I've barely lifted a finger to help him replace the interior doors and trim. But he started his project a year and a half ago and still isn't done, whereas I figure I should be done (worst case scenario) by the end of July.

Friday, June 30, 2006

In search of an emotionally healthy library

Wow, I could have used this last week during my interview. I always try to think of great interview questions to ask, but I never can come up with anything good.

On the really scary side, the article lists "Characteristics of Emotionally Unhealthy Libraries". I'll just list the ones that are particularly appropriate for my library:

  • Imposition of one person’s views on the rest of the library
  • Lack of communication between divisions, lack of mechanisms for communication
  • Lack of mission and vision articulated by the administration
  • Library lacks good communication with its stakeholder groups (i.e., community, faculty, students, etc.)
  • Culture is dominated by a few negative personalities that “act out” their own personal agendas or decrease staff morale.
  • Passive library administration that seeks no conflict or resolution to unhealthy situations
  • Complaints are ignored or are used against the staff member who complains.
  • Library administration not held responsible by stakeholders
  • Double standard for performance by library administrators and staff (i.e., staff may not arrive late but administrators can).
  • Hiding behind prestige of collections or “good old days” image
  • Lack of respect for the staff by the library administration
  • Lack of clear direction from library administration.


I think the writing is on the wall, though. The rumor mill has it that one of the board members finally blew their top a the budget meeting when they looked at how much money the library has been spending on consultants (space planning, building, architect, marketing) -- with nothing to show for it.

And that's the key isn't it? Results. In our case, it's not that we're trying all sorts of new and innovative ways to reach out, it's that we don't even try. And the only person to blame in our case is the director. She will ask staff for ideas on how to market the library, but then she will shoot down every single one of them.

My library is celebrating it's 40th year this year. It's the last day of June and we've done nothing to celebrate. Zip, ziltch, zero, nada. And supposedly we're going for a referendum in April to raise funds to double the size of the building. There's just no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks that's ever going to happen. Sad, really.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Dodging bullets #2

My boss was back in today. I only saw her once in passing and in as cheery a voice as I could muster said "Hi! Welcome back!" She grumbled something in return, but I didn't care. All that mattered was that I sounded like I was happy to see her again.

The trash talk going around is that she chewed out the Assistant Library Director and her Administrative Assistant because they didn't open her mail while she was gone. Not that she asked them to open mail for her -- she didn't. And around here, you just don't do anything unless asked directly and even then you run the possibility that you will still get chewed out for actually doing something.

Dodging bullets #1

My husband has been working with his father to help his old grade school in Indiana get an updated computer lab. He had scheduled this weekend to go down and get everything finished up. He was also going to take the kids with him on the trip, leaving me with essentially 3 days of glorious solitude!

Then last night he got a call. There was a problem. My father in law couldn't get a PC connected to the server. He would contact tech support and see if they coudn't get it resolved. So the trip was now in jeopardy of being postponed until a time when I could actually go along.

But my husband spent two hours on the phone with his father this morning and they think they got everything resolved, so the trip is back on!! Hooray!

The last remaining glitch involves getting my own parents to leave town as well. They've been out all week helping run the kids to swimming lessons and will go home to Iowa tonight. I was hoping they would leave town when the rest of my family did (before I get home from work) but they want to stick around and have dinner with me and leave closer to 7:00 pm in an effort to avoid traffic.

Well, it's not like you can tell your parents that you want them to leave, so I guess that's all fine.

What am I planning on doing with my time? I am planning on stripping the last remaining original wallpaper in the house. Now, it may seem illogical that I would want my parents to leave, considering that they could help me out on the wallpaper, but I just work better alone. Plus this way I can always change my mind about the wallpaper project if I like. But I probably won't since the Gamecube is at my brother in law's house anyway.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Summer reading top prize




How do you like our top prize for the summer reading program? It goes right along with our "Voyage to book island" theme. Har.

Seriously, someone abandonded this boat in the library parking lot. Lovely, eh?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Looks like I picked the wrong week to give up chocolate

What a week! (and it's only Tuesday)

Last Thursday the floppy drive on a public PC failed. I told the staff (2 people) on duty that I was taking the PC "in the back" so that I could work on it. One of the staff working said that she would put an out of order sign on the monitor. I said that would be great.

Problem is, she never did it. And neither of the staff working informed the next shift that I had taken the PC, so when the next staff member came on duty -- without bothering to ask anyone what happened -- reported the PC stolen to the police. A flurry of calls ensued, and it was my husband who got ahold of me on my cell to tell me that the library had called our house. (I was out getting a massage -- heavenly!!)

Anyway, I quick called in and cleared everything up. Nothing more was said to me by anyone but the staff members' supervisor who told me that they were both being "written up". I didn't think it was necessary, after all, no harm was done, but that's not my call.

The good news is I got the replacement drive in just fine, installed it, everything is great. Dell tech support was simple to use, and provided extremely timely service to me. Kudos to Dell!

Then yesterday the display stopped working on one of our Gateway Profile public PC's. This seems fairly common with the Profiles. Unfortunately, the machine is out of warranty, so I really have to decide how to proceed. Is it worth getting it repaired? But wait, I brought the PC "in back" and turned it on and, lo and behold, it works! Great, I've never been more disappointed that something actually worked.

In the meantime, one of my own staff members reports a problem with the typewriter, a messed up spreadsheet and problems with labels. Okay, this staff member is the thorn in my flesh. She's sooooo close to retirement that she just doesn't care anymore. She only does the bare minimum of what's required of her. Even as I've added responsibilities, somehow she still has plenty of time for web surfing. Plus, she just doesn't get along well with technology of any kind. I feel like I'm constantly helping her out of jams. (Why, oh why won't she just retire?)

The one good thing: my boss is down at the ALA conference and won't be back until Thursday. (Black Thursday as we like to call it.) Here's hoping she got all her crazy liberal left wing rantings out of her system for a while.

But then Thursday my husband and kids are leaving town for almost 4 days -- oh the glory! 4 days to myself??!! Oh, it will be glorious!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Whaaaaaa??

Tuesday afternoon I had a job interview. I'm getting sick of interviewing with no job offers, so I wasn't really looking forward to it all that much. During the interview, a very strange thing happened that I was not expecting.

I don't remember the question, but I gave my answer the best that I could. I was afraid of getting off track, so I asked "does that answer the question?" The director replied "What I hear you saying is...." and he proceeded to nicely summarize everything that I had just said. I said "Yes, that's it exactly."

For a second I thought, wow, am I not making myself clear, but then I realized, the director was actually using active listening on me.

It was as if a light bulb went on in my head. Wow, this person is actually interested in demonstrating that he understands what I am saying. You have to understand, dear reader, that this does not ever happen to me. EVER.

If I was only mildly interested in the job when I went in for the interview, I was enthusiastic about the job when I left.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Summertime and the livin is easy...

... or so.

The kids are off at camp this week. We dropped them off this past Sunday night. I thought I would be more emotional about it, but I'm holding up okay, though I keep checking the website to see if there are pictures posted!

I feel bad because we forgot a couple of things, but nothing major. I feel worse because I didn't send any mail in advance, so yesterday I scrambled to send the kids letters so they would get some mail.

I'm soooo bad at mailing things (not bills, thank goodness!). But personal things, like birthday cards, Father's Day cards, I just can't seem to get it done. How lame is that? When my kids go off to college, they'll be lucky to get a postcard from me.

Then again, when they go off to college, I'll probably just email them anyway. That works for me!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Topless sandals

I've been watching "I want that" on HGTV lately. I think these look pretty cool.

If amazon sucked like our old opac

I've never had the "pleasure" of working at a library that used Innovative, but I can still chuckle at this.

Monday, June 12, 2006

100 days!!

Today we are officially at 100 days until Disneyworld!

Here's a short list of things I'm looking forward to on this trip:
Expedition Everest Brand new!!
Mickey's Philharmagic Classic!
Soarin' Invigorating!
Fantasmic Last time Fantasmic got rained out! It's such a great show -- not to be missed!!

Since we got the dining plan for free again, we're going to the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue. It's going to take 2 of the table service meals for each of us, but last time we didn't use all of our counter service meals, so we figure it will all even out in the end. We also had plenty of snacks left on our last day, so that will help to stretch the plan further.

I'm also looking forward to using my new camera for this trip. (I think that link is my camera -- close enough.) I love this new camera. It's much smaller that our last digital camera, and the battery is rechargeable.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Disney's Cars

Saturday night we went to see Cars -- at the drive in! Woo-hoo!

My brother and sister in law have a giant RV, so we all went in that. We parked sideways and set up chairs and blankets in front. So we could all kind of come and go as we pleased. It was cool.

I mean cold. Really, it was a little too chilly to really enjoy the evening. No, that's not fair, we all had a good time, it just would have been nicer if it had been warmer.

I thought it was also a little hard to see and hear the movie, too. We had a portable radio that we could tune in to listen, but it wasn't a great radio.

Overall, I thought the movie was cute, sweet even, and very funny. Seems like everything Pixar touches is gold!

Friday, June 09, 2006

From the "eeewwwww" department...

Today I installed a new printer for our publicity person. It was a little bit bigger than her old one, so I had to clear off a little more space on her shelf.

When I moved her paper file I found more dried up coffee than I care to ever encounter in my life. Ew. So I dutifully cleaned that up, since I think it's disgusting to put new computer equipment on top of old dirt.

But that's not the gross part. The gross part is that as I sat waiting for the software to install I noticed two old Burger King burger wrappers on the shelf below the printer. Not nice, new wrappers, like she was actually going to do something publicity related with them, but used burger wrappers, like she had eaten her lunch in front of her computer and was too lazy to throw the dirty wrappers in the garbage can that was located two feet behind her.

Now, come on. How lazy and disgusting do you have to be not to throw away burger wrappers with ketchup and cheese still on them??

Thursday, June 01, 2006

ALA

Okay, so I decided I want to join the ALA after all.

I'm pretty sure that I'm just annoyed, not bitter, but who knows....

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Me v. the bees

I spent my Memorial Day weekend attempting to eradicate an infestation of carpenter bees. We've had these bees hanging around our deck for probably two years now, but I could never find a nest. We also have quite a few raspberry bushes in our backyard, so I always figured the bees were just visiting the bushes.

They are pretty docile and never botherd us, but this weekend I finally hung around long enough to watch about 4 of them actually digging into the wood on the deck. We have sort of an arbor over the deck and that's where I found about 8 nest holes.

My first method of attack was just regular old wasp and hornet killer. I sprayed the foam as best I could into the holes and just made a big old foamy mess out of everything. It went from bad to worse because it not only didn't affect the bees, but now I had wasp poision dripping from the arbor onto the deck. Yuck!

So then I did my research. Turns out these bees are pretty much immune to regular wasp poison. Turns out I needed drione dust to spray into the nests to kill the larvae.

They didn't have the drione dust at my local Ace Hardware, but they did have some other spray poison that I was assured would do the trick. (Dang, I can't find a link to it.) The kid who found it for me said "be ready to run!"

I appreciated the warning, but it turned out to be unnecessary. I simply waited until I saw a female entering the nest, then I sprayed in the poison.

It worked like a charm!! Throughout the day, I would just watch for more bees and by the end of the day, I found about 5 dead bees on the deck. I feel sort of bad, since these bees are actually helpful pollinators, but I just can't have them destroying the deck either!

I'm still not done, though. I have to patch up the holes so that other bees (or worse!) don't decide to move in.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Thursday, May 18, 2006

10 Reasons Why The Web Is Almost A Substitute For Libraries

Gotta love the devil's advocate.

Here's a great post from a librarian who actually thinks about things. I think you're right, Blake. I'm glad someone actually has the guts to say some of these things out loud.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The hidden life

A bit of marvelous poetry today, courtesy of The Lutheran Hymnal. Today in church we sang:


Chief of sinners though I be,
Christ is All in all to me;
All my wants to Him are known,
All my sorrows are His own.
Safe with Him from earthly strife,
He sustains the hidden life.


The last two lines intrigue me. I think I understand the second to last line to mean that as long as we have a relationship with Jesus, He will provide us with relief from the worries and cares that would consume us.

But for a hymn to refer to "the hidden life" -- I can't quite grasp it. I can't think that it would mean that God wants us to take our most base thoughts and desires and somehow "sustain" them, that is, to keep them as part of our identity.

Maybe "the hidden life" is just referring to the intangible aspects of life in general: thoughts, worries, fears. If we gave ourselves over to our darkest thoughts and fears, we would pretty much self-destruct. Maybe it means that God gives us strength to conquer our fears and to live lives with peaceful hearts.

This hymn also has a great closing verse:

O my Savior, help afford
By Thy Spirit and Thy Word!
When my wayward heart would stray,
Keep me in the narrow way;
Grace in time of need supply
While I live and when I die.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Friday, May 12, 2006

Poetry time

It just doesn't seem right to have a Fred Poets Society blog without much poetry. So here's a good one I unearthed:


Love and Sleep
Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909)

Lying asleep between the strokes of night
I saw my love lean over my sad bed,
Pale as the duskiest lily's leaf or head,
Smooth-skinned and dark, with bare throat made to bite,
Too wan for blushing and too warm for white,
But perfect-coloured without white or red.
And her lips opened amorously, and said --
I wist not what, saving one word -- Delight.
And all her face was honey to my mouth,
And all her body pasture to mine eyes;
The long lithe arms and hotter hands than fire,
The quivering flanks, hair smelling of the south,
The bright light feet, the splendid supple thighs
And glittering eyelids of my soul's desire.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

You Belong in Paris

You enjoy all that life has to offer, and you can appreciate the fine tastes and sites of Paris.
You're the perfect person to wander the streets of Paris aimlessly, enjoying architecture and a crepe.

The Whistle Stop Pot Luck

I sure hope Norma won't mind if I make a blog entry pointing to her cute story! I think it's just great!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Was there life before Gamecube?

Man, oh man, am I hooked on The Legend of Zelda : the Wind Waker. It's kind of sad, I'm almost done. Oh, I've got Gannon's fortress to defeat yet, and of course there are any number of side quests that I still need to take care of, so I'll be playing it for a while. Then again, who can play any Zedla game just once?

Hannah spent her birthday money this weekend. I was sort of hoping she would opt for the link cable so that we could visit the island on Animal Crossing. Instead, she came back from the store with a wireless controller and Super Smash Bros. Melee.

I'm not a huge fan of fighting games, but SSB rocks! Mario is proving to be my favorite character, mostly because I've been able to figure out his "special" moves. But what other game can you be Pikachu, Kirby, Link, or Zelda (and Sheik?!)? It didn't take us very long to unlock Jigglypuff and Marth. Now, I don't know who Marth is, but then again I've never played Metroid or Starfox.

I'd love to check them out, but I've still gotta get a perfect town rating in AC first!

Friday, April 21, 2006

ColdHeat Glue Gun

My glue gun has been acting up lately. It doesn't always push the glue through anymore. This glue gun looks pretty awesome! Not a bad price, either.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Does your kitchen make you fat?

Here's an interesting little post. I know my kitchen is guilty on some accounts. That old spring cleaning bug is starting to hit again. It's hard to keep the house on a diet when every time I visit my parents they try to send me home with boxes and boxes of stuff.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Why I need to find a new job

Reason number infinity:

Today my boss tells me that "people who use computers and go online do it because they can't function normally in social situations".

And you thought Michael Gorman was bad.

Monday, March 13, 2006

ALA, relevance, and the almighty dollar

So I find this little gem the same week that I found out that my library pays for all our library board to be ALA memebers.

Why, you ask? My library director is running for council and she needs as many votes as she can get.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Why yes, I am a nerd

My Eats, shoots & leaves daily calendar has a great snippet for today.

"The confusion of the possessive "its" (no apostrophe) with the contractive "it's" (with apostrophe) is an unequivocal signal of illiteracy."

What’s the Secret to Your Success?

Here's a great post about working smarter.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Mmmmm, blogga...

Every have a song you just can't get out of your head??

Friday, February 17, 2006

Multi-Touch Interaction Research

This is awesome! Totally awesome to the max!!

Monday, February 13, 2006

For lack of better content...

Okay, so I got one of those emails you're supposed to fill out and send on. Due to my lack of having anything better to post, here it is:


Seven things to do before I die:

1. Vacation in New Zealand
2. Get a new job
3. Vacation in Boston
4. Go to a Nebraska Cornhuskers game in Lincoln, NE
5. Vacation in Banff, Canada
6. Take a girls only trip to Las Vegas
7. Send out birthday cards on time

Seven things I cannot do:

1. Roll my r's
2. Stop chewing my fingernails
3. Knit
4. Crochet
5. Configure a server
6. Listen to "Silent Night" without crying
7. Take good pictures

Seven things I do ritualistically everyday:
1. Wake up
2. Shower
3. Put in my contact lenses
4. Brush my teeth
5. Put on makeup
6. Check my email
7. Go to bed

Seven things I say most often:
1. Get out! (as in you're kidding, not go away)
2. Why is there not a look of shock and surprise on my face?
3. No soup for you!
4. I just don't get people sometimes
5. Crap!
6. Could _____ be any more _____? (Think Chandler from "Friends")
7. -- NOT!

Seven books I love:

1. Lord of the rings - Tolkien
2. Dandelion wine - Bradbury
3. All the king's men - Warren
4. Catch 22- Heller
5. Socks - Cleary
6. Fox in socks - Seuss
7. The Chatham school affair - Cook

Seven movies I watch over and over again:

1. Ghostbusters
2. When Harry met Sally
3. Ferris Bueller's day off
4. This is Spinal Tap
5. Lord of the rings
6. So I married an ax murderer
7. Sixteen candles

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

When you think of librarians

Please don't lump us all into this group. Especially me. I heartily oppose ALA sticking their nose into non-library related business.

The only good thing that ALA has ever done for me is the READ posters. And recent celebrities have been a bit lacking in the looks deparment. Okay, they did do pretty well with Ethan Hawke.

Not-surprising test results

Blog Guru
Blogs are nothing new to you – you've weathered your share of blogstorms and maybe even started a couple yourself. You may remember reading "weblogs" in 1997, when Jorn Barger started "logging the web" in Robot Wisdom. Since then, the "blogosphere," the total of blog-related websites, has exploded. As a blog guru, you've probably encountered blog novelties out such as the milblog, a soldier's military chronicle. "Dark blogs" are no mystery to you either – you might even be a member of these hidden, invitation-only websites.

Blog Style
Your blog style takes you beyond the fluff of the blogosphere and into the substance. Blogs can be a powerful and informativeresource. Some blogs pool collective wisdom; others pull readers together for collective political action. Many blogs sprouted up during the Iraq conflict to provide grassroots news coverage. Blogs give everyone a chance to be heard, even the trolls (disruptive bloggers). Of course, you can always "blurk" – listen without posting – instead. However you participate, it's an interesting ride.

Blog Junkie
Your blog probably hasn't yet made a splash on blogrolls (lists of links on a blog) everywhere. You've yet to be the target of a blogfoo (oblique reference in a blog post). Blog junkie or not, you'll find your niche in the blogosphere. Karyn Bosnak found hers through simple chutzpah. A taste for Prada had landed Karyn in $20,000 credit card debt. Miss Karyn launched a thread on savekaryn.com to "bleg" (beg on a blog) for cash. Six months later, she was back in the black.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming

Oh, my dear, neglected blog. I haven't updated in weeks. What have I been doing? Mostly, just trying to keep my head above water.

My 5th grader is playing on the 6th grade basketball team. That means keeping track of when and where everything happens, plus trying to get to as many games as possible.

My in-laws spent about 10 days with us, helping Big D get trim put up in the house. He started this new door/trim project in March of 2005 and it's not done yet. Grrrr. Well, at least quite a bit of progress was made during those 10 days, and I have to admit that it does look nice.

I've been on two unsuccessful interviews. What a bummer. I'm trying to maintain a positive attitude, though. God must have some reason why neither position was offered to me.

I was kind of naive, though, and put a few projects on hold while waiting to hear if either new job would pan out. But now I at least know where I stand job-wise, so I can start to move forward on these other projects.

Next week I get to meet with our "Space planning" consultant and with the architect to discuss "how my ideal department would be designed". The sad thing is that the library staff just aren't buying into the whole "reconfiguration" project that administration wants. Nobody really believes that anything is going to happen.

I remain reservedly optimistic. I'd like to believe that something good is going to happen. At the same time, I'm extremely skeptical that a good long term solution is going to be implemented. I think a few more people need to retire at my library before that happens.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

National Education Association supports left causes and candidates

Yet another great post from Collecting my thoughts. Man oh man, that Norma is one tough cookie. I hear it, but I don't know what I can do about any of it. I'm already not a member of ALA or any library related organization.

I recently had two job interviews where the interviewer said that one of the "perks" for that position was that the library paid membership dues for either ALA or ILA. Eh, not much of a perk, IMHO.