Friday, August 31, 2007

Blog Day?

According to Stephen Abrams, today is "blog day." Opposed to being a day to blog, it is a day to recommend 5 blogs to others. I did this fairly recently and have not as of yet found any new ones that I would recommend. I do plan to look up something called the "hip Librarians" though and will report back.

All is well in Library land. Weeding graphic novels (I hate letting the cute little suckers go). Camping through Sunday, then lunch with I Asshole (one of my formerly mentioned favorite blogs) on Monday. I will post if I take any pretty pictures!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Step Out to Fight Diabetes!

There are walks to support research for a cure for diabetes all over the US coming up. Check here to see if there will be one near you. The Boy and I will be walking in the Seattle one.

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Such Good Stuff

Sometimes things just seem to come together. Yesterday was stellar. I rode my bike to work. I settled on the Burke Gilman Trail route and did 6 miles in a little over half an hour. I probably could have done it a little faster except that there was a detour and a hill tired me enough so I had to stop for a drink of water. I also walked a little way up a hill at the end, when I thought my leg muscles were going to burst (yucky thought). Today I am weary, but the soreness has not settled in yet. I am sure I will have that tomorrow. For various reasons I rode the bus home last night.

Cool thing number two: two meetings with teachers in my community. One was to set up a film night in connection with a school curriculum. That one is going to have some legal questions--can we cover the rights with Fair Use, or does she have to pay for them? The second meeting was even better. I met with a small school that functions out of the school district, but supports homeless youth and kids that can't go to other schools. It is housed in a support center for homeless youth. Meeting with them was like a shot in the arm. I used to work with a similar population during my undergraduate years of volunteering with the Office of Minority Affairs. (Did you know that single parents are minorities? Yes, I guess we are) These guys are doing wonderful things and it was exciting talking about the ways we could partner. That house might be something I would like to get involved in outside of my library persona.

Cool thing number three: a very open and creative discussion with my new manager. We discussed our ideas for the future of teen services at our branch. I know I am going to have all the support I need to pursue my ideas and he even gave me some new ones. I love this job and I mean to keep it.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Is that coal down there, or diamonds?

And as I told my sister to do her homework, I realized that I have some of my own to do. I can't believe that I am going to have two totally unrelated sisters who are lawyers. They are both so smart and classy. I am so lucky!

Ok, back to the homework. I have been researching librarian interview questions. I have a hazy recollection of the questions asked at my last couple of interviews. As I look up examples, it is interesting to me how different other systems are from SPL. Most of the examples seem to come from the mid-west and do not include any questions on diversity. What is that about???!!! Does Indiana have no diversity? No people of color or different ethnic backgrounds? Or maybe they just don't care? I have a hard time believing that.

Any-who, researching interview questions on Google is somewhat difficult since the words "reference interview" are often on the same page as librarian, as it is common knowledge that one conducts the other and it is a hot topic out there in internet land. It will probably be on the list of interview questions. I am up on that one though, so I wish it would get out of my way and stop making my research so darn hard!

Otherwise, the few examples I have found have been somewhat useful. Now I need to compile a list of ones that will most likely pertain and write up scenarios and examples. Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go...

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Fluttery Tummy

There have been two developments in library land today. The first one is easy. I found a potential missed opportunity and rectified it. A local agency usually has one of our Book-It Danger: Books! presentations but was missed because the former Teen Services Librarian took another job. In introducing myself to the agency, they mentioned that they usually have that program, so I quick as a super mod scooter did some inquiring and found that not all the spaces were full. Then I put in motion the necessary steps to get it scheduled with Book-It and the agency. Whew! Missed opportunity diverted!

Second development...a TSL position is opening up in a library that I have worked at quite a lot. response to the fact that I will undoubtedly be applying for that job, my job will now be posted as well... Soooo, now I really have to brush up on interviewing so that I won't be out of work in a few weeks.

I have been meaning to put together a list of topics for interviewing. What I have had rattling around in my brain since the last one is:

behavior issues
controversy in the work place
general tasks: reader's advisory, reference, outreach and programming, selection and collection maintenance
flexibility and perseverance

And of course, I have eliminate my habit of downplaying my skills. I am the best person for the job!

I am nervous and excited all at the same time....

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Taking Over the World

Last night I was driving to a friends house and saw many bright dots bounching across the street ahead of me. It was dark, but when I got close enough I could see that the bright dots were the eyes of raccoons. There were five of them and all were fairly large. They bobbed and weaved as they crossed the street, one was trailing behind and another one went back for him, trying to hurry him up. As I watched their tails disappear into the bushes I thought "don't go eating any body's cat now, guys."

Has anyone noticed how Caffe Vita seems to be popping up everywhere? They just took over a coffee shop in upper Fremont and they also have one in Queen Anne, Capitol Hill and Olympia. I also see their sign in many neighborhood coffee shops, like World Cup in the U-district and Firehouse Coffee in Ballard, and I know there are many more. This little coffee roaster and cafe business is really taking off. I used to sit in their Capitol Hill store for hours, writing xml for one of my library classes and sipping iced coffee or short cappuccinos. Now they are taking over the world! Wait, that was my plan...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Public and Private

Opening a new branch is so much fun. Who knew that shifting books would be such blast? I spent part of today and yesterday just moving books back and forth to make the shelves look nicer and to help fix the mistake of one of the moving people that put the 000-799 on the shelves in the wrong order. Some parts would be in order for a while, then change to totally different number. It took us a couple of hours to sort it out, but it felt so good when the last book was on the shelf where it was supposed to be. Yesterday I mostly rearranged the teen area to be the way I wanted it, and to make everything fit on the shelves that I had. I perused all the books that were checked in and all the new books. The float is still MIA. It is exciting to see so many cool books at once, I just wanted to take them home with me. I also like working so closely with my new crew. Everyone is easy to be around and I know we will get along famously.

So, last week we had an interesting circumstance at one of the branches I work at. There is an elderly woman that comes in fairly regularly, but not so you can set a clock by her. She reads the periodicals, falls asleep, then swears she wasn't sleeping when reminded that she can't sleep in the library (sounds like an unreasonable rule, but in all honesty without it, we would become some peoples' bedrooms). She is a grumpy lady, but doesn't make too much trouble. Recently a social worker sent by the family has come by to check on her, but as the fates have it, she hasn't been there when the social worker drops by. It seems that she has stopped staying at the home of a friend of the family that was arranged for her, and her family is worried--they all live out of state.

Libraries have several goals, and one of them is protecting the privacy of our patrons (you may be wondering why I am blogging this subject then, but I have changed some pertinent information and have given no names, so the privacy is still protected). The social worker asked us to a)call him when she showed up and/or b)tell him what her usual pattern was, so that he could come talk to her on behalf of the family. We couldn't do that, in fact we have strict rules against it.

So I happened to be working at that branch when the Social Worker finally managed to show up at the same time as Grumpy Lady. Before he approached her, he asked us if he could talk to her there. I told him that we could not be involved at all, but that the library is a public place so he could approach her if he wanted. I also told him that if GL happened to get loud and irate (which I could see happening) they would be asked to leave the library. I also told him that usually we had a policy that if a patron was too unruly, they could be asked to stay away for up to a year. I told him that in face of the circumstances today that I would waive that policy and that she would be given a freebie. I hated to think of that woman with no place to go, losing another place.

I was wrong. She did not get upset, at least not in the loud and angry way. She spoke quietly with the man and started crying--I imagine she was happy that her children had bothered to send someone after her. They chatted a while and then departed, so I don't know what happened, but I hope she is a little happier and maybe I can stop thinking of her as grumpy lady.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hee Haw!

I'm ba-ack (at work that is)! Actually I have been back since Friday, but I had such a bad headache that day that I had to concentrate on just being at work and couldn't do anything extra. I am better now and had a nice day off yesterday. I rode the mechanical bull last night at Cowgirls!

Yes, I went to Cowgirls. I have been there twice before and the place is definitely entertaining. Usually I would be snobby and proclaim this place to be beneith me but everytime I go there I have a great time. It is a good place to people watch, the women dancing on the bar are an interesting mix--only a couple are really good dancers and there seems to be a rule about how much skin you have to show. And they have a mechanical bull that people line up to get thrown off of. Usually I just watch, or dance with my friends, but this time I finally got in line myself. My guy friend went first and he did a great job of holding on. I think he stayed on longer than most of the guys. When I went the guy running the bull acted like he knew me or something. He didn't make me sign the waver and just let me go figure it out for myself--he gave everyone else instructions. I had seen it so many times though that I didn't have a problem. I think I stayed on as long as my friend, but I wish they timed us. That would have been even more exciting. As it was, I was shaking with adrenalin when I was thrown off. It seemed like several minutes but it was probably only 30 seconds.

The bull is a big piece of wood that has a light padded blanket and a strap to hold onto, shaped like a rounded wedge. This is the best picture I could find.

It starts out at a 45 degree angle, and trying to get on proved interesting. I saw all sorts of first attempts and many didn't make it on the first attempt. I made it on the first try and didn't look too dumb by swinging my leg over the front part where the bull's head would have been. The rule is that you have to have one arm in the air and the other hand in a glove, holding onto the strap around the bull. The operator starts out slow and picks up speed, bucking harder as it gets faster. It rotates right and left while doing this. Most people ended up sliding off after they slid to far to one side. I swiveled my hips a lot and sort of tried to move with it, but I got bucked off when it really got going and a quick series of bucks knocked me to the side. I am happy to report there were no injuries!

Well, work really starts tomorrow with my first day at my new branch. It isn't open yet, so I am not sure what I will be doing, but it is sure to be busy. No idle computer time like Sunday at a quiet branch.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

We had a great time on Whidbey Island. The Highland Games were fun; we saw Ockham's Razor, who play in Seattle sometimes and the Stout Pounders. Sis and I went to the beer garden while The Boy went to look at something and saw the singer of Ockham's Razor coming into the garden as we were leaving. When the door (gate?) guy asked for his ID, the singer said "ok, but don't laugh at my hair." The door/gate guy said "we were doing that as you walked up." Singer looked offended and said, "I meant on my ID." His hair was pink--not a normal men's haircolor for Whidbey, I be thinkin'.

We went to a nice place in Langley for dinner, called the Fish Bowl--kind of fancy, but we suffered through. The Boy has a bad tendency to slurp his salad (a strange phenomenon) and my Sis and I had to shame him into conformity. It didn't work very well. When we got back to the hotel, we beat each other up with the 3' wooden swords we bought at the festival, played a couple hands of poker, then fell asleep.

The next day we drove North through the rest of Whidbey. We stopped in Fort Casey and snooped through the old buildings and over the catwalks and gun platforms. Then we went through Deception Pass, got out of the car for the requisite walk of the high places--which I love so much. I did enjoy the view, as long as I avoided looking straight down.

We stopped at the Seattle Outlet stores on the way down and Sis got some suits for her new gig in Elko. My sister, a Judicial Clerk. Only a day or two left before she goes :'(

HG rock 3
Originally uploaded by Srcsmgrl
And here is a man throwing a 120# rock, dibbed the "Whidbey Rock."

Friday, August 10, 2007

Finally, Plans

After much dithering, we are going to Whidbey Island tomorrow to stay in a little place in Freeland. What finally settled us on a place was that every other hotel we looked into didn't have any room. We are going to stop in at the Highland Games in Greenland. I am looking forward to seeing big burly men throwing logs for fun and profit. There will also be bagpipes and a saucy Celtic band. We plan to hit the beach and then Deception Pass on the way home.

Yay! Vacation!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Yay! Vacation

I am finding myself happy that I am staying home (mostly) for my vacation. I took off with The Boy on Monday to Wenatchee to see family and celebrate my brother's birthday. It was interesting to see the old stomping grounds. Wenatchee is where I finished my last two years of high school, worked at Albertson's for 4 years and met my ex-hubby. It never really felt like home, but I could point out the first place I parked with a boy, where I hung out with the undesirables I called friends and where I almost broke my best friends car trying to learn how to drive a clutch. It was a relaxing trip, mostly hung out, stayed in a hotel, ate cake and sang the happy birthday song to the now legal to drink youngest brother on my mother's side.

Today I slept late, watched Angel, went for a walk with my friend Mary. Now I am vegging again--probably going to watch more Angel up until the moment I go to have dinner with my new friend, SJ. I like my brain as a vegetable. I think I am going to keep it that way for a little while.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Full Metal Landscaping!

I took most of yesterday off, much needed, and did some digging in my yard. I call it my yard even though I rent and the landlords usually take care of all that. I have adopted the area outside of my kitchen window, and my ambitiousness keeps growing. I started out planning on putting a couple of paving stones outside the window to keep the rain from flinging dirt up and blocking our little bit of sun. When I asked the landlords if that was ok, they said to go ahead and use the bricks in the garage. So I did, and I did it right. Leveled the ground, laid weed fabric, threw down some sand, laid the brick and added more sand, which I swept into the cracks. It turned out beautifully, but the rest of the area is left with lumpy clay dirt, so now I feel that I have to continue with my landscaping efforts.

Yesterday I dug up a bunch of pavers that were at different angles but originally meant to section off the area from the grass. So I followed the above procedure and made them all nice and even. Now all I need is some green and some artful rock formations. There is also the crest of a large boulder sticking out of the ground in this area, so I plan to make a little zen garden with this as the centerpoint. What else do you do when you have a large boulder and a lot of shade? You make a rock and sand garden surrounded by moss. Sounds good to me! (I sound like my mother :(

So, library news: I had my final library program for the old library yesterday. Only one girl came to watch Full Metal Alchemist with me, but we had a good time and chatted quite a bit about books at the end. I found out that she was visiting from up North, and didn't have a lot to do at her relative's house, so I gave her a book from the stash of SRP prizes. She chose Love Roma (manga) and Emily the Strange.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wow! New Spam

I have gotten used to all the spam out there in email land. The member enlargement, the "I'm bored, wanna chat with me," the Nigerian scam spam. But this one almost made me look twice--so beware your Toyota Japan Lotto emails!

Toyota Japan Lottery
Customer Service Department Affiliate of Toyota Branch China.
XX Tanfield Road Tiaxiu lio Beijing China

DEAR Sir/Madam

We are pleased to inform you of the announcement made today, You are among the winners of the TOYOTA CAR INTERNATIONAL PROMOTION PROGRAM Participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from 2,500,000 email addresses of individuals and companies from all part of the world as part of our electronic business Promotions Program.

As a result of your visiting various websites we are running the E-business promotions for. You/Your Company email address, attached to ticket number 719-226-1319, with serial number 902-66 drew the lucky numbers 05,12,30,11,17,43 and Bonus number 10 , Your INSURANCE Number: FLS433/ 453L /GMSA and consequently you won in the Second Category of the TOYOTA FORTUNE LOTTO DRAW.

You have therefore been approved for the payment of the sum of US$500, 000, 00 in cash, including a Toyota car which is the winning present /amount for the Second category winners. This is from the total prize money of US$2,650,000.00 shared among the international winners in the Second category.


Please be informed that your won fund of the sum of US$500,000.00 is now with the payee center. Contact our agent and give them your full names so that they will re-insure your winning fund under your full names. Together with the port where your winning car should be shipped to.

To begin your claim, please call our claim agent or send email immediately to:-

MR Hoffman Desmond
Foreign Services Manager,
Transglobe Finance Securities
TEL: +#####

NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, Please quote your

1. Full Name:
2. Address:
3. Occupation:
4. Age:
5. Sex:
6. Nationality:
7. Country of Residence:
8. Telephone/Fax Number:

NOTE: In order to avoid unnecessary delays and complications, please remember to quote your reference and batch numbers and other information provided above and below in every one of your correspondences to your claiming agent.

Congratulations'' once again from all our staff and thank you for being part of our promotions program.


And the "aol" part of that email is original. What high up executive uses an aol account? I am sort of surprised they didn't ask for my ssn and credit card number.

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