Thursday, August 28, 2008

Unclutter

I really do love the Unclutter blog. Well, I don't like when they have a "a year ago on this blog..." post, but they do have good advice on simplifying and organizing your life so that you can spend less time dealing with "stuff" and more time enjoying life.

The had a nice post today. A list of 10 tips to beat clutter in less than five minutes. I haven't read the comments yet, but I will comment on tip number 3:

Follow the “one-minute rule” – push yourself to do any chore that takes less than one minute.

I had read on another business blog that you will get more accomplished at work if you stop procrastinating any task that takes three minutes or less to complete. Meaning, if it's only going to take three minutes to do a task, don't put it off, do it right away. I've worked hard over the past few weeks to do this as much as I can and it's true: I've gotten much more accomplished in my day because of it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The week that was

It's been almost a week now since I posted anything new.

The kids went back to school on August 21. So far, so good. There's a new girl in Hannah's class who I think has become one of Hannah's friends. That's good. She could use a good friend who is also in her class. Her best friend is a year behind her. Not sure what those girls are going to do next year when Hannah heads off to high school.

Dave's sister and family came to town over the weekend. Everyone except Michelle and I went to the Michael W. Smith concert on Sunday night out in Rockford. Michelle didn't want to go and I didn't want to attend any type of "mass" event where there wasn't reserved seating. I've decided that being 40 means you have the right to refuse to attend any event where seating is "general admission." Who wants to arrive three hours early for a concert to get a good seat? Not me. I refuse to do it.

Yesterday was perhaps one of the most interesting days at work so far. We are having our 30 year old HVAC system updated. The company had to hire a helicopter to remove the old unit from the roof and place the new one on the roof. So the library was closed until noon while the work was being done. It was awesome.

We all got there really early to get assigned our "crowd control" spots to keep gawkers from getting too close. I was slightly disappointed that I was assigned to be across the creek from the library, in the park by the footpath, but I still had a pretty good view when the helicopter came up over the trees. I was pretty far away, but really felt the wind from the helicopter. A lot of people took pictures, but I don't actually have any pictures otherwise I'd post one here.

The frustrating thing since then has been the staff griping about the temperature of the building. We had temporary cooling units, but they didn't get them actually up and running until late Tuesday afternoon. I about slapped somebody when I was asked if there was anything I could do about how "hot" it was in the library about 2:00 in the afternoon. Um, hello? They are in the process of hooking up the temporary cooling units right now. So just suck it up. I think you can handle it being 78 degrees in the building. Babies.

Then today the installers had to use a blowtorch and do some soldering or something. All I know is that it smelled like smoke and indeed, the crew chief did tell me that they had created some smoke, and that it was harmless, but annoying. The had turned off the blowers and were ready to turn them on, and they thought maybe it would trigger the smoke detectors. (I wouldn't be so concerned, but my boss is on vacation so I'm the one in charge now! *gulp*)

Anyway, the smoke alarm did not go off, but it still didn't smell really great. It sort of smelled like your furnace when you first turn it on in the fall. One staff member was quick to let me know that "people are leaving because of the smell." And? Your point is? You think I wouldn't leave for the day if I could? Again, suck it up. It got better after an hour or so. Tomorrow the window washers are coming so then the library will smell like window washing fluid.

Oh crap, we've got the cooling units in front of the huge set of bay windows. Why didn't I reschedule? D'oh! Well, I guess they won't get the outside bay windows this time around.....

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Have you smiled today?

Why smile?

There has actually been a large body of work done on why smiling matters. Indeed, look on the Internet and you will find that it is said that a genuine smile…

  • Makes us more attractive.
  • Helps us to change our mood.
  • Provides us a greater attention/notice from others around us.
  • Boosts our immune system and overall health.
  • Utilizes as many as 16 facial/neck muscles. But it takes 43 to frown.
  • Lowers the blood pressure.
  • Helps make people more successful in the long run.
  • Helps us stay more positive.
  • Releases endorphins that act as natural pain killers.
  • Boosts levels of Serotonin which regulates our moods, sleep, sexuality and appetite.
  • Acts as a natural pain killer.
  • Makes us look younger
  • Helps pave the way toward a better future.
  • Releases a warmer vocal tone.
  • Becomes contagious with others.
  • Relieves our stress.
  • Makes others more comfortable in our presence.
  • Triggers certain hormones, lowering heart rates, and steadying breathing.
  • Helps support our immune systems and fight illness.
  • Helps us to live longer.
  • Provides a stimulation to others as strong as eating 2,000 chocolate bars.
  • Becomes contagious.
  • Offers greater leniency to those facing a judge.
  • Eases the tension in an embarrassing moment.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love

I've been listening to Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert on CD. This book seems to have gotten a lot of attention lately and a fellow librarian recommended it on CD.

It is read by the author, something about which I have mixed feelings. The narrative tone is so conversational that I think there are some sentences only the author can pull off with the right tone. On the other hand, she does have a tendency to drop the "ng" off words that end in "ing". She says "walkin" and "talkin", yet she consistently says "eating" with the clear "ing" at the end. So I can't decided if I wish a real book reader had done the recording or not.

I also haven't decided whether or not I even like the book. At times, I can completely identify with the author and at other times I think she's completely off her rocker.

In the end, listening to the book makes me desperately want to take a road trip with my three best friends from college (you know who you are). I don't even care where we go; I just want the four of us to be forced to spend a lot of time together, free from outside interruptions and schedules. That would be great.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

An evening wasted

I know it's midnight and I should be going to bed, but I'm too wound up. I feel like I had no evening during which to relax.

I battled traffic home, ate a mini bagel, drove Hannah's friend Jessi home, battled traffic up to church, practiced flute for an hour, had band practice for an hour, picked up Hannah, and spent an hour at Kohl's before finally coming home for good.

At least we got some bargains at Kohl's. And the music rehearsals went well. And Dave had brought me a Gordita from Taco Bell. But then Michelle wanted to make cookies. Everyone seemed to think that was a GREAT idea, if Michelle and I made cookies. So we made chocolate chippers, and tried to catch glimpses of the Olympics in between batches.

So here it is. Midnight and everyone else has finally gone to bed. Except me.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It is Tuesday, right?

Someone put their library card into the floppy disc drive on a public PC.

I was just asked by a library patron whether or not it was considered socially appropriate to ask an African-American author if she wanted the children in the illustrations to be black or white.

Sometimes Wikipedia just can't help you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Found at the copier

A staff member left a post-it note at the photocopier that reads:

"I'll scout around for flannel racoons, otherwise I'll make some."

Only in a library....

Monday, August 04, 2008

A weekend of food and photographs

This weekend's activities consisted primarily of two things: 1) preparing photographs for scrapbooking and 2) eating.

Going completely digital with our photographs used to cripple me from a scrapbooking standpoint. It used to be that you took your film to the store and you got what photos were on that roll, either 31/2x5 or 4x6 and you had to base your scrapbooking on what you had in front of you. If you wanted a big picture, you had to either special order it or, more recently, you could make a color copy. But that was pretty much it. You had to design your page around whatever photos you had in front of you.

But with digital photography, you get to pick out exactly which photos you want and the size and shape that you want them and you can enhance them in pretty much any way you want. Want to make a bold impression, print everything in black and white or sepia! It used to be that this total and complete freedom to do whatever I wanted overwhelmed me. I had too much under my control and felt pressured (from myself only, of course) to push my scrapbooking efforts to higher and higher levels of creativity.

Thank heaven for the Cherish program from Close to my Heart. Cherish is a book that gives you sample scrapbook layouts, including instructions on what size of photos to use, how much paper you will need and a complete recipe for putting it all together. Using this resource has gotten me excited about scrapbooking again. I just use my HP printing software to identify a group of photos and then I look in the book to find a layout that fits the photos, and I print out the photos in exactly the size and shape I want, so I don't waste precious ink or paper.

So all the photos from my last two Disney trips are printed and ready to go!

In between my photo printing, we went to the Taste of Roselle. It's not a really great event, but it's close to home and it's not a hassle to get in and out of. Parking is free and close by as well. There is one shop that has wine tasting and there are a couple of caterers who have tents with pretty good food. Usually we go to see the band Synod, but they weren't playing this year. At least the weather was nice enough that you didn't mind sitting outside next to a major train crossing and having festival type food. I'm much more looking forward to Septemberfest.