Thursday, April 29, 2004

Why Gmail is going to put Hotmail and the like out of business...

"You are currently using 2 MB (0%) of your 1000 MB."
Mailbox usage: 89% of 2 MB. Almost out of space.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

  NYU student who can't afford housing sleeps in library for eight months
Strangely enough, I had discussed the possibility of a person doing this sort of thing at IU with Todd...

Monday, April 26, 2004

Thursday, April 22, 2004

  Our congressman tried to carry a 9mm handgun on a plane. Sadly, this will probably strengthen his support in our conservative, gun-loving area, rather than get him voted out, which he so richly deserves, for numerous other reasons.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

  I now have a Gmail account. I'm going to start phasing out my Hotmail and Yahoo accounts and use only Gmail since it has such incredibly large storage capacity. My school email account will end later this year, but I still have the one at the university. Basically, by the end of the year, I hope to be down to two email accounts total instead of the five I currently have.

Monday, April 19, 2004

  From Howard Stern show transcript, March 30, 2004:
Caller Tom says he was kicked out of public library in Ohio for looking at the HowardStern.com website. Caller Tom says the librarian told him that Howard's website is a pornographic website.
I'll bet she told John Ashcroft about it too.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

  The Library is a strip club in Las Vegas. Somehow I don't think that they have MLSs...

Friday, April 16, 2004

  My friend Evan flies a lot for his job...
evan_kaiser: holy shit, did i tell you about the guy i had to sit next to on Sunday?
SpinsterLibrarian: no
evan: oh man
evan: i knew he was trouble right off because he was a talker
evan: he didn't talk the whole flight but he did talk a good portion of it
evan: first he was bitching about how the airline made him check his duffel bag
evan: because it was too big to take as a carry-on
evan: and it had some fragile things of his grandfather's in it,
evan: which he was taking to Dallas because his grandfather is dying
SpinsterLibrarian: dang, how big was it?! I've carried on some pretty big bags before.
evan: it wasn't that big, just long
SpinsterLibrarian: k
evan: too long to fit under the seat
SpinsterLibrarian: ah
evan: anyway there was poetic justice
evan: he was looking out the window the whole time to see if they loaded his bag with the other luggage
evan: because he wanted to make sure they didn't leave it
evan: well his bag is on the last luggage cart thing
evan: and when the guy tossed his bag onto the automatic ramp thing,
evan: he tossed it too hard and it slipped off and fell on the pavement
SpinsterLibrarian: oh!
evan: so then of course he griped about that for five minutes
evan: how the airline was going to have to pay for anything that got broken
evan: the further irony that i learned later was the he himself was an American Airlines employee
evan: anyway he asks me where i'm going, and i say Sacramento
evan: but then he doesn't ask what i'm doing there
evan: i'm guessing he just asked as an excuse to talk about himself
evan: which he did to no end
evan: when we were taxiing to the runway, he was looking out the window at the other planes
evan: wondering what kind they were
evan: and when i knew or had a guess as to what kind a certain one was, i would tell him
evan: somehow he got on the subject of how many people the plane we were on could hold
evan: he thought it could hold about 300 people
evan: i don't know if you know how big a Super 80 is but it's not very big
evan: it's one of the smallest non-regional jets there is
evan: so i had to tell him that he could just figure out how many people the plane could hold by counting how many rows there were
evan: ~19 rows of 5 seats each in coach is 95
evan: plus 12 or 14 in first class was ~120
evan: wasn't until later that i looked on AA's site and saw that it held 127 according to spec
evan: anyway as you might have guessed, this guy was not the sharpest knife in the drawer
evan: when we get to the runway and turn the corner to start accelerating, he starts saying,
evan: "1, 2, 3, speed! 1, 2, 3, speed!" as we're speeding up
evan: then finally "1, 2, 3... takeoff!"
SpinsterLibrarian: omg
evan: i managed to avoid laughing or choking him
SpinsterLibrarian: how?!
evan: but the girl sitting in front of him would turn around and look at me from time to time
evan: with a wide-eyed expression
SpinsterLibrarian: She was amazed by your fortitude.
evan: part, what is the deal with this guy? and part, how can you stand it?
evan: anyway then right after we take off he asks me if i want to do a word search puzzle from his book
evan: i say, no thanks, i'm gonna listen to some mp3s on my laptop and read
evan: he says, oooh! get out your laptop, i wanna see it
evan: apparently he had never seen a laptop computer in person before
evan: but they hadn't given the ok to use electronic devices yet, so i said, hang on, i will in a bit
SpinsterLibrarian: Never seen a laptop before? I think that he was an escaped mental patient.
evan: then when they did, i got out my headphones first
evan: the Bose noise-cancelling ones, of course
evan: i don't know if i showed them to you but they're the older kind
evan: with a little box for the power switch and batteries
evan: the box is black plastic and maybe 3" tall, 2 or 2.5" wide, and less than 1" thick
evan: apparently, he thinks it's the laptop, and says, "wow, that's a small one."
SpinsterLibrarian: How long was this flight?
evan: then i get out my actual laptop and boot it up
evan: about 2 hours
evan: and since my laptop is slow, it takes a few minutes
evan: and he makes some comment about how slow it is, and i say yeah, it's old and slow, about three years old
evan: then he says he's thinking about getting a laptop of his own, and asks what a good brand is
evan: and how much they cost
evan: that part wasn't very amusing, i just said, cheap ones you can get for ~$700-$800, really good ones are up to $3,000 and more
evan: so we talk a little more about laptops but nothing interesting happens there
evan: then mercifully my laptop finishes booting so i load Winamp and start listening to something, i can't remember what
evan: STP's No. 4 i think
evan: but that didn't stop him from talking to me sometimes
evan: can't remember what he asked about then
evan: anyway as luck would have it, i had the crappy battery in my laptop at the time, so it only lasted an hour or so, just enough to play one album
evan: so even after i shut it off, i pretended like i was still listening to music, since i figured he probably didn't know any better
SpinsterLibrarian: good move
evan: but he still started talking to me again eventually anyway so i just took the headphones off then
evan: i can't remember what order he told me the following stuff or how he got started,
evan: but he started talking about how he had been flying back and forth from Grand Rapids (which is near where he lives) to Dallas to go to court to get custody of his son
evan: because his ex-girlfriend is crazy and a drug addict
evan: he said something about how one time he went to her apartment when she was there and picked up his son to hug him,
evan: and she went nuts and got a kitchen knife and attacked
evan: and bit him and bit the baby
evan: well maybe he wasn't a baby anymore at that point, he said he was almost 4 now
evan: and who knows how long ago that was
SpinsterLibrarian: geez
evan: and how whenever he saw his ex she would always accuse him of being with another woman
evan: so he goes on about his crazy ex-girlfriend and how he knows he's going to get custody of his son because she's a bad mother and a druggie
evan: oh, and because he prays to God and God will arrange for his son to be with him
evan: and then he starts talking about how his mother wants him to find a woman and get married
evan: presumably because one grandchild isn't enough
evan: and he says repeatedly that he does want to get married, he just has to find the right woman
evan: and it doesn't matter if she's white like his crazy ex-girlfriend or some other race
evan: as long as she's a good woman who will love his son
evan: apparently his mother had asked him if his next girlfriend would also be white
evan: or something to that effect
evan: oh, i forgot to tell about the word search puzzle
evan: he had this book of really easy word search puzzles that was in bad shape
evan: looks like he'd had it for years
evan: but he obviously hadn't done all the puzzles in it because he was working on some when i was listening to music
evan: and they were so easy it was sad
evan: i sorta looked sideways at the one he was doing
evan: they were small, probably less than 15 x 15 letters
evan: and within a few seconds i saw two words that he hadn't yet found
evan: then he moved his hand out of the way and i saw how much more pathetic it was,
evan: because there was a list of the hidden words next to the puzzle
evan: in addition to a theme for each one
evan: the theme for that one was Nebraska
evan: and in the center of the top row was the most obvious word, yet he hadn't found it yet
evan: G R A I N
evan: anyway so he's not smart, he can't help that, but it was just sad
SpinsterLibrarian: Yeah, we used to sell those at Readmore. Pathetic is the word.
evan: so back to later on, he's telling me about how he was threatening this family court
evan: saying if they didn't give him custody, he'd just appeal to a higher court
evan: and it didn't matter how much money he'd have to spend on a lawyer, he'd get his son no matter what
SpinsterLibrarian: Yeah, threaten the judge, that'll help.
evan: that's what i thought
evan: of course he had to show me some pictures of his son
evan: they were some of those stupid studio ones he had done when he was a baby
evan: so they were several years old
evan: in one of them he was dressed up in a little business suit and had a fake calculator and everything
SpinsterLibrarian: omg
evan: and he said that when his mother saw that one, she joked about how he shouldn't be putting his son to work already
evan: yeah, that's hilarious
evan: then in the other one he was dressed up as an angel
evan: and he said his mother had some other comment, something about how the kid's second middle name should be Angel
SpinsterLibrarian: oy
evan: he also talked about how he wanted to go to Puerto Rico
evan: and i asked if he had friends or relatives there or if he just wanted to visit
evan: he explained that he was from there originally and wanted to go back to see how the town he was from was these days
evan: then move back there permanently before too long
evan: because he knew his son would be happy there
evan: and they'd be safely away from his ex
evan: plus, although he said he was ashamed to say it, Puerto Rican girls are easy
evan: though i don't think he was trying to say that he was going to attempt to find a wife among them because of that
evan: then he goes on about how he takes reservations for American
evan: and how he's the fastest of all the reservation-takers at the office he works at
evan: and since he's on good terms with his boss, he thinks his boss will let him have a few weeks off to go to Puerto Rico with his cousin and his stepfather or whoever
evan: but he knows the manager won't want to let him go because he's the fastest and all the other guys are slow and lazy
evan: somehow he also got to talking about how people think he looks really young
evan: he said he's 32 but most people think he's mid-20s
evan: he did look younger than 32, but i'd have guessed he was late 20s
evan: it was a little harder to tell because of his moustache
evan: he said one time recently he went into some office,
evan: and somehow he and the receptionist got to talking about how old he was
evan: she thought he was 25 and was amazed when he told her he was 32
evan: so she asked him how he kept looking so young
evan: he said, God takes care of me
SpinsterLibrarian: geez
evan: i had to wonder how many times he had actually been on an airplane,
evan: because his assumptions about what various maneuvers and noises were weren't ever right
evan: near the end of the flight we banked left to head south to get to Dallas,
evan: since we'd been heading sorta southwest from Chicago
evan: and he thought we were descending
evan: then a bit later when they deployed the front air brakes on the wings,
evan: he thought it was the landing gear going down
evan: despite the fact that we were still in the clouds
evan: then of course when we were landing, he had to say, "1, 2, 3... touchdown!"
SpinsterLibrarian: omg
evan: i seriously suspected early on in the flight that this was some kind of hidden camera prank
SpinsterLibrarian: hahaha
evan: maybe it was, who knows
evan: anyway when we finally get to the gate and they turn the fasten seatbelt sign off,
evan: he stands up and turns around to get to the overhead bin
evan: and the girl sitting in front of him turned to me and quietly asked, "how do you do it???"
evan: fortunately he didn't hear
SpinsterLibrarian: hahaha
evan: or if he did, he didn't know she was talking to me since he was facing the opposite direction
evan: that's about all i can remember
evan: i'm sure i left a few trivial things out
evan: so i guess the lesson is that if you pray to God, he'll take care of you
evan: except when the bag full of your grandfather's fragile and irreplaceable possessions is being tossed onto an automatic ramp by a careless airline worker

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

  I'm switching my domain name from one company to another, so the spinsterlibrarian.net URL may be down for a while. In the meantime, you can get here via spinsterlibrarian.org


1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

The book that I had closest at hand is HTML for the World Wide Web, 5th edition. The fifth line on page 23 is, "In their case, they share precisely the same vocabulary (to the letter) but have a slightly different syntax."

Smoke Up: n. a midterm school report indicating a need for improvement...

  When I was in middle school, at midterm time, if you grade was below a C, a notice would be sent home to your parents. This report was always called a "Smoke Up" - both by students and school officials. (While my mom had been really involved when I was in elementary school, she was not involved with the middle school, and was not aware of them. I did get a few, but never got in trouble for them because mom had no idea what they were. Sorry, Mom!) I was wondering about the source of the term Smoke Up so out of curiousity I Googled it. All the relevant hits I found about Smoke Ups were from Indiana schools. I guess it's just a Hoosier word. I'm still curious about the source.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Coming soon to a theater near you...

  They are making a movie of a Judy Blume novel...finally. How many bestselling books get made into movies? Let me rephrase that...how many CRAPPY bestselling books get made into movies? I hope they get this right, it would be a shame to screw up a Judy Blume novel, and if they get it right, there will be many more to come...she wrote 24 books.

"Why must we be subjected to `Agent Cody Banks' when there are Judy Blume books out there? It's not right." says Terri Minsky, creator of "Lizzie McGuire"

Amen, sister.

  It looks like we are going to put on Rocky Horror Picture Show at Collins this Saturday night...not for sure yet, but it might happen.

  Vlogging: blogging with video
I first posted a video clip last year...I didn't know that there was a name for it. The article says that you need a digital video camera, but I make my clips with my Fuji FinePix 100, a n inexpensive digital photo camera.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

  From a Library Journal interview with Michael Gorman:
"The fundamental problem is that the core faculty in most library schools are not interested in teaching librarians," Gorman asserts. "They are interested in other things like information science. When we get applicants for our library jobs we have to check to see which courses they have taken. Just having an MLS or MLIS or one of these other degrees doesn't mean anything. You might find you have a graduate who has taken four courses on JavaScript and no courses on cataloging.

"Clearly the Congress on Professional Education didn't work," Gorman says as he warms to the subject. "The product has not been successful. We can't even agree on core values or core competencies. I plan to meet with Ken Haycock, the incoming president of ALISE, to try to set up a working conference to develop a national agenda for library education and the schools.

"I would like an event that isn't just another gabfest, a conference that comes up with ways to reform library education," Gorman adds. "We must think innovatively about such questions as: Do library schools have to be in research universities? Why couldn't they be housed in major urban public libraries? These questions are worth thinking about. The information scientists tell us they have to meet the expectations of their institutions. 'I'm sorry,' they say, 'I'm not interested in cataloging, I have to study business taxonomy.'"

Gorman sees library education reform as a top priority for ALA because the profession is aging. "We just have to have a diverse group of younger people coming into this profession," Gorman states. "Trying to disguise this by telling them to go to library school to get a job not working in libraries is not a positive way to go."

He writes in Journal of Academic Librarianship:
"There is a dearth of research in U.S. LIS schools that is dedicated to the
real needs of real libraries. This is the result both of the divorce between
information science–oriented faculty and practicing librarians and of the
fact that LIS schools in the United States tend to be part of large
universities that value (and reward) pure research over applied research."

"There is a lack of consensus on the nature of librarianship. ALA's recent
struggles to formulate agreed statements on the core values and required
competences of librarianship illustrate this confusion. Professions are
defined by their ability to control education for that profession and by
agreement on the basic areas of study required for such an education. My
submission is that our profession is perilously close to losing control of

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

  Just for the record, this is not how I'm putting myself through school.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

  We had a good turnout for a knitting program at my library Wednesday night. Here are some pictures.