Tuesday, August 16, 2005

"See, Dad, my French degree isn't completely useless after all!"

Bernard Pivot
Putain! You are 81% fluent in French slang !

You are the fucking master of French swearing. Chances are you spent a
significant amount of time living in a French-speaking country !

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 44% on conneries
Link: The Obnoxious French Slang Test written by megascargot on Ok Cupid

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Who knew? Innovation in BFE

Baskets serve as mini libraries
By Dr. Stanley Melburn Campbell

With minimal fanfare the Poseyville Carnegie Public Library in the small rural town of Poseyville, Indiana opened a mini library in the Poseyville dental office of Doctor Alesia Brown on December 8, 2004. Although the dental office is just a few blocks down the street from the library, the staff anticipates a significant turn around for books at the new site.

It is a rare situation when a doctor’s office waiting room is found to have the latest magazines, or anything you have not previously read. On average what reading material is available is months old - considered ancient by magazine standards. But now this particular doctor’s office can boast it has a mini library in the waiting room.

The library is targeting those individuals who are waiting for services. There are three additional mini library sites presently being negotiated in northern Posey County and are expected to open by Spring 2005. Doctor’s offices, hair salons, dental offices, automotive repair shops, and restaurants are just a few of the possible locations being considered as prime mini library sites.

The mini libraries will consist of stylish baskets purchased from a Pier One Imports store in nearby Evansville, Indiana and should regularly contain between ten to twenty paperback books. The books are donated by the public or purchased out of pocket by the staff and include selections from popular authors. A card in each book explains that the reader may take the book home with them and can return it to either a mini library site or to the Poseyville Carnegie Public Library at 55 South Cale Street in Poseyville. Volunteers from the community will be responsible for restocking and maintaining the mini libraries.

Why mini libraries scattered over the county? Although the library covers most of northern Posey County the population is largely rural with a significant population of adults who rarely read books. It was clear that reaching everyone would prove difficult without actually purchasing a bookmobile or adding small library branches. In either instance the cost proved prohibitive.

It is not often that something innovative comes along that can be of service to the community on such a wide scale. The Poseyville Carnegie Public library operates on a minimal budget with one full-time and one part-time staff member and is extremely dependent on private donations for special projects and programs. In this instance, repeated appeals to area corporate contributors failed to stimulate any interest, so the staff decided to fund the program themselves.

Admittedly there will be books that are never returned, but that is of no concern in this instance. Tax payers are not footing the bill for this project because everything is donated by seriously concerned citizens. The objective is to provide some form of reading stimulation for adult minds, not to improve library circulation.

Although the library has become an active gathering place for local children and teens since 1997 there are few adults who can be considered regular patrons. It is not because this 100 year old Carnegie library is afraid of innovation, far from it.

In 2000, the library doubled its floor space with the assistance of a community development grant, and additional grants have significantly increased the book and video collection. Nearly all of the activities and special educational programs offered at the library have been the result of both corporate grants and private donations from in and outside the community.

The library has ten computers with plasma screens available to patrons, and of those nine have Internet capacities. Five of those computers were custom designed and built by local resident Stanley Forzley.

The card catalog database, barcoded checkout system, and computer security system also designed by Forzley were designed exclusively for the library at a fraction of the cost normally required for comparable systems. The card catalog program has been available to other libraries in Indiana free of charge for the past two years.

The library has embraced the technology of the twenty-first century with a vengeance, but the library has not lost sight of the significance of reading books and thus continues to investigate new approaches to increasing literacy in the community it serves. So, it is hoped that these new mini libraries will be that next step in the right direction.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Where is this generation's Woodward and Bernstein?

  This morning on NPR, Juan Williams was interviewing Donald Rumsfeld, and asked him about the possibility of restarting the draft. Rumsfeld BS'ed a bit and then qualified his answer by saying something to the effect of, "If you ask me personally - personally, I don't think that that is going to happen." But what if he was asked OFFICIALLY?! This was not some Barbara Walters interview, getting to know "the REAL Donald Rumsfeld", this was an interview on NPR in his capacity of Sec. of Defense! Back in the days of Watergate, that was what was called a "non-denial denial" - if he's called on it later, he can say that that was just his "personal" view, not the actual view of the Dept. of Defense. And Williams just let it slide by, not following up and making him really answer the question...in fact, by the end of the interview, they were chuckling and acting like best buds. Puke. Rumsfeld also claimed that we have enough troops, and that the commanders have all the people that they have requested. Yeah. Right. Let's see, the Guardsmen and Reservists are refusing to re-up in record numbers, enlistments are down across the board, we have over 1000 soldiers dead, and thousands more permanently disabled...yet we magically have just enough troops. Rummy, in the immortal words of Mark Andrus, "go sell crazy somewhere else, we're all stocked up here."

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Sunday, July 11, 2004

On the road again...

  After many weeks, and a few hundred dollars, my Honda Civic is back on the road. Jeff, our new mechanic, replaced the cap and rotor - which had gone bad, the timing belt - which was waaaay past when it should have been replaced, and gave her a tune up. He dropped the car off today while I'm working circ at the university, and I cannot wait to drive her home. She's a good little car, it's just that at 12 years old, she needed some vital parts replaced. The car got 37 mpg before this, and I can't wait to see if her fuel efficiency goes up even more.
Originally, we thought that the timing belt had broken, and as the car has what is called an "interference" engine, that would have meant mucho dinero to repair. It ended up costing us quite a bit, but probably less than half of what a broken timing belt would have cost.
While the car was our of commission, I still had classes in Bloomington, so I had to find alternate transportation. I borrowed my mom's car twice - for a total of four days, rented a car four times, and carpooled with a friend a few times. The rentals were interesting. I always requested (and paid for) economy cars, but I don't think that this particular branch even has any economy cars. I got a Chevy Cavalier, a Chrysler Pacifica, a Dodge Neon, and a Pontiac Grand Am. Three of the four had V6 engines, and the Pacifica was all power with leather interior - it was the fanciest, most expensive car that I have ever driven.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Literature Abusers Anonymous

  Are You a Literature Abuser?

Take this test and find out! How many of these apply to you?
- I have read fiction when I was depressed, or to cheer myself up.
- I have gone on reading binges of an entire book or more in a day.
- I read rapidly, often 'gulping' chapters.
- I have sometimes read early in the morning or before work.
- I have hidden books in different places to sneak a chapter without being seen.

- Sometimes I avoid friends or family obligations in order to read novels.
- Sometimes I re-write film or television dialog as the characters speak.
- I am unable to enjoy myself with others unless there is a book nearby.
- At a party, I will often slip off unnoticed to read.
- Reading has made me seek haunts and companions which I would otherwise avoid.

- I have neglected personal hygiene or household chores until I have
finished a novel.
- I have spent money meant for necessities on books instead.
- I have attempted to check out more library books than permitted.
- Most of my friends are heavy fiction readers.
- I have sometimes passed out from a night of heavy reading.

- I have suffered 'blackouts' or memory loss from a bout of reading.
- I have wept, become angry or irrational because of something I read.
- I have sometimes wished I did not read so much.
- Sometimes I think my reading is out of control.

If you answered 'yes' to four or more of these questions, you may be a
literature abuser. Affirmative responses to seven or more indicates a
serious problem.

Once a relatively rare disorder, Literature Abuse, or LA, has risen to
new levels due to the accessibility of higher education and increased
college enrollment since the end of the Second World War. The number
of literature abusers is currently at record levels.

Social Costs Of Literary Abuse
Abusers become withdrawn, uninterested in society or normal
relationships. They fantasize, creating alternative worlds to occupy,
to the neglect of friends and family. In severe cases they develop bad
posture from reading in awkward positions or carrying heavy book bags.
In the worst instances, they become cranky reference librarians in
small towns.

Excessive reading during pregnancy is perhaps the number one cause of
moral deformity among the children of English professors, teachers of
English and creative writing. Known as Fetal Fiction Syndrome, this
disease also leaves its victims prone to a lifetime of
nearsightedness, daydreaming and emotional instability.

Recent Harvard studies have established that heredity plays a
considerable role in determining whether a person will become an
abuser of literature. Most abusers have at least one parent who abused
literature, often beginning at an early age and progressing into
adulthood. Many spouses of an abuser become abusers themselves.

Other Predisposing Factors
Fathers or mothers who are English teachers, professors, or heavy
fiction readers; parents who do not encourage children to play games,
participate in healthy sports, or watch television in the evening.

Pre-marital screening and counseling, referral to adoption agencies in
order to break the chain of abuse. English teachers in particular
should seek partners active in other fields. Children should be
encouraged to seek physical activity and to avoid isolation and morbid

Decline And Fall: The English Major
Within the sordid world of literature abuse, the lowest circle belongs
to those sufferers who have thrown their lives and hopes away to study
literature in our colleges. Parents should look for signs that their
children are taking the wrong path -- don't expect your teenager to
approach you and say, "I can't stop reading Spenser." By the time you
visit her dorm room and find the secret stash of the Paris Review, it
may already be too late.

What to do if you suspect your child is becoming an English major:
- Talk to your child in a loving way. Show your concern. Let her know
you won't abandon her -- but that you aren't spending a hundred grand
to put her through Stanford so she can clerk at Waldenbooks, either.
But remember that she may not be able to make a decision without help;
perhaps she has just finished Madame Bovary and is dying of arsenic
- Face the issue: Tell her what you know, and how: "I found this book
in your purse. How long has this been going on?" Ask the hard question
- Who is this Count Vronsky?
- Show her another way. Move the television set into her room.
Introduce her to frat boys.
- Do what you have to do. Tear up her library card. Make her stop
signing her letters as 'Emma.' Force her to take a math class, or
minor in Spanish. Transfer her to a Florida college.

You may be dealing with a life-threatening problem if one or more of
the following applies:
- She can tell you how and when Thomas Chatterton died.
- She names one or more of her cats after a Romantic poet.
- Next to her bed is a picture of: Lord Byron, Virginia Woolf,
Faulkner or any scene from the Lake District.

Most important, remember, you are not alone. To seek help for yourself
or someone you love, contact the nearest chapter of the American
Literature Abuse Society, or look under ALAS in your telephone

From JumboJoke.com

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Monday, June 14, 2004

Saturday, June 05, 2004

  Apparently, the fashion pendulum is swinging back to more modest styles this fall. This is a good thing, but I don't know if I like that the librarian stereotype is being invoked...
Shoppers are starting to see higher waistlines and lower hemlines, and tweeds, fitted blazers and layers are expected to be big this fall, Schanen said.

"It's kind of like a sexy take on a librarian," she said. "I think people are tired of seeing so much skin and want to leave a little more to the imagination."

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Save money, and support the ALA

  With this coupon, you can get 10% off at Borders, and they will give 10% to the ALA. Good only June 4th through 6th.

Weekend Librarian

  Today, one of the campus police officers at the university called me "the weekend librarian." Until I find a full-time job, I guess that's exactly what I am - grad student during the week, librarian on the weekend. The money is pretty good, and if I can get enough hours, I can pay the bills; but once I graduate in August, and certainly by the time the student loans kick in six months after that, I'll either need a full-time position, or a second part-time job.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

"We're heading into the silly season."

  I missed it, but Nancy "Action Figure" Pearl was on NPR the other day giving her recommendations of the best political fiction. Check it out! (pun intended)

What religion are you?

  I attend a Unitarian Universalist church...well, here in Indiana it's a church, but apparently in Texas it's not.

Sunday, May 16, 2004