Thursday, September 25, 2008

Round Up

I am finding so many cute Halloween decorations. I love this witch shoe candy bowl. It's available from Sur la Table. I think I would heap my bowl full of Hershey's Kisses, mini Kit Kats, mini Snickers and maybe I'll splurge and throw in some Lindt Chocolates.

Or maybe some Godiva Chocolates, mini Peppermint Patties, Peanut Butter cups and some special-made Virgin Run Fudge.

Or some Buns (which they don't make anymore), Smoothies (which they don't make anymore), Peanut M&M's and some Werther's Butterscoth (reminds me of my Grandparents).

Okay, I'm finished.

Next week, September 27, 2008 through October 4, 2008 is Banned Books Week.

Having problems with your co-workers stealing your lunch. Try these anti-theft lunch bags.

I love the moxie of the castor bean plant.

I have not watched ER in years. I really enjoy medical shows, but I get my fix with House and sometimes Grey's Anatomy. This is the 15th and final season. I ended up catching it last night, and I was crying my eyes out. It was already upsetting that Mekhi Phifer's character Dr. Gregory Pratt, was dying. It was Troy Evans' character Frank Evans that got me, that probably got everybody. When they were taking Pratt's body down to harvest his organs, and the very gruff Frank Evans went and pushed the elevator button, and then put his hand on Pratt's shoulder as they wheeled him onto the elevator. Good Grief.

There are so many really fine character actors out there and Troy Evans is one of them. Here is a site with some other great character actors. Here is another list of classic character actors.

This Karl Lagerfeld Steiff Bear is freakin' me out. It looks just like him.

It's useless for me to try and be apolitical on this blog. I came across Librarians Against Palin and cheered, and also the McCainPedia. McPainPedia is a wiki that is documenting all of the oddball things McCain is doing in his campaign. This wiki is not publicly edited. It is run by the (Democratic National Committee) DNC's Research, Communications and Internet teams.

The Bush administration has done some crummy, horrid things, but this has to take the prize for one of the crummiest.

And while I am on the subject: Oh my heavens!!!

Rhyme Zone-a rhyming dictionary, thesaurus, and word finding tool all-in-one.

"Happy Birthday to You" Appendices, Documents and Sound Recordings. This site contains to PDF document files (and a few mp3 sound files) relating to the history of the song "Happy Birthday to You," as well as of several appendices to the article "Copyright and the World's Most Popular Song." This is fascinating information.

Interesting post on book jackets and copyright over at the LibraryLaw Blog.

Ex-Boyfriend Jewelry-you guessed it. A place to unload jewelry given to you by your ex. I think it should be just called "Old Lover Jewelry" or something like that, but good idea nevertheless.

The Hip Hop Chess Federation. Who knew???

The Diagram Prize is an annual award given to the book with the oddest title. This years winner is Greek Rural Postmen and Their Cancellation Numbers. Here is the Bookseller's news release that also includes some of the titles that did not win.

A. and I have done quite a lot of work on our humble abode this year. We still have some major renovations to do, but we've gotten more accomplished than I thought we would. The next project is the master bathroom. We have already started buying the tile, and have picked out the bowls, vanity and new shower. It's going to be awhile before we can start doing any demo, but at least we have started. This is the biggest master bathroom I have ever seen. Why they made this room so big is beyond me. I don't have a linen closet, which has been a gigantic, scratchy, annoying burr under my saddle since we purchased this home. I don't have a linen closet (I say it again), but I have a master bathroom I could use as a ballroom. Where's the logic in that.

Who builds a house without a linen closet anyway. I grew up in a home with a wonderful linen closet and an even better cedar closet. Now that I think about it they should have built the linen closet as a cedar closet too, but they didn't. My parent's owned that home for over 20 years and the cedar smell never dissipated. I miss that closet, the house, and some of the great times we had there especially this time of year. I've lived in numerous places since I left my parents home and guess what? Every place I have lived except dormitories had a freakin' linen closet.

Stories behind 10 Dr. Seuss Stories at the Mental Floss blog.

It's a nice, cool, gray day. Love it.

"Well done is better than well said." - Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Round Up

Manual of Traffic Signs
If someone comes knocking on your doors on Saturday, September 20, 2008, it might be the Million Doors for Peace.

Already getting geared up for Halloween-the Fright Catalog.

It's great to see some positive things happening in New Orleans since Katrina.

Read this beautiful, thoughtful essay on why Sarah Palin is no friend to children with special needs.

It's been awhile since I posted an interesting reference book, so here is one I just found out about yesterday: The Elvis Encyclopedia.

These "jacket potatoes" are adorable.

Interesting blog, but not for the squeamish-Morbid Anatomy.

And something else not for the squeamish is the Unidentified Decedent Reporting System (UDRS) site.

Whenever I find out that something is extinct, or becoming extinct, that thought always gives me this sad, hollow feeling. I don't care what it is that will no longer exist, I just find it a bit heart breaking. I feel that way about these 10 endangered languages too.
Oh, I like these vintage map necklaces.

Yarn from old newspapers. I love the recycling aspect, but I wonder what this feels like. I wonder if it's extremely knitable. Hmmmm.
Wonderful, wonderful images in the Science and Society Picture Library.

Learn to identify the flora in your own neighborhood and take part in The 100 Species Challenge.

I leave you with this image of what's to come.

This quote is from the Einstein quote of the day: "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." Albert Einstein

Friday, September 12, 2008

Round Up

I am in the process of reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. What a delightful, vivid and charming novel. It is written in an espistolary format and the authors didn't shy away from some of the darker subject matter like the lack of food and other amenities on the island after the Nazis occupation of Guernsey, both the the terrible treatment of the people by the Nazi soldiers and also some of the kindesses displayed by the Nazis.

What makes this novel even more poignant is that Mary Ann Shaffer worked on this book for years, and when she became to ill to finish the novel she asked her niece, author Annie Barrows to finish the book. Annie Barrows is the author of the Ivy and Bean series for children. Unfortunately, I just read that Ms. Shaffer passed away earlier in February of this year. This book is sure to win your heart. How the islanders not only exist, but grow to depend on each other and love each other during this horrible time is told from the viewpoint of approximately 20 characters. I borrowed it from the library, but I must have my own copy. If you are a fan of 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, I think you will love this novel as well. You can listen to some excerpts from the book here.

Author groupie-that's me. I have a friend who is a politician groupie, but it's writers all the way for me. I like reading about their process, how long it took them to get published, and even very personal tidbits like where their average day and where they write. I guess other folks are interested in these things too. The Guardian has a series on Writer's Rooms.

Oops, I forgot to get the some of the new 42 cents Latin Jazz Stamps.

The universe sure is purdy!!! We should not muck it up the way we do.

The Benedictine monks of St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota.University, and the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML, or “himmel”) are the monks who are working on the St. John’s Bible, a project commissioning the first handwritten, illuminated Bible since the printing press made its appearance in the 15th century. Watch this video and see some of the other manuscripts at the library.

Follow the journey of a USGS specialist as she writes about her time spent in the Arctic with scientists who are mapping the sea floor-Arctic Chronicles.

Walt Crawford, who really should be called Mr. Library, has compiled a list of over 600 library-related blogs.

My beloved tartans are in the news. The Jewish people who live in Scotland now have their very own tartan. The tartan was certified by the Scottish Tartans Authority.

I didn't always have a fear of heights. In fact I was always quite the daredevil. The higher up the better. I will never forget the day that I realized a new fear had taken over my body. I was walking across the Key Bridge from Rosslyn to Georgetown. I happened to get close to the rail and was looking down into the Potomac River and bam. It was like the river was coming up to me and I was getting very dizzy. I can't even watch a commercial or program where someone is up high without my knees feeling weak. It's terrible. I'm better if I'm sitting down, but standing forget it. I will never, ever be dining here.

Shakespeare's Den, the home of very cool gifts.

A publishing primer.

Cool Halloween doormat. More of Frontgates Halloween decorations.

Have a good weekend.

"Why are not more gems from our great authors scattered over the country . . . .Let every bookworm, when in any fragrant, scarce, old tome he discovers a sentence, a story, an illustration, that does his heart good, hasten to give it. " Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Round Up

The Top 100 Liberal Arts Professor Blogs.

Why are pencils yellow? (I don't know how correct this is, but it is interesting if it is true)

Another pedia-Medipedia.

Interesting articles about diaries and diarists.

I think it would be great to be able to sit beside Ben Franklin and read a book and maybe even strike up a conversation. Gary Lee Price's sculptures are amazing.

I just found out the other day that Lois Nettleton died this year. She was a wonderful character actor. I loved her sort of honey-whiskey voice.

Two more Etsy favorites- Signs by Diane-for the shabby chic lover and Seasonal Celebrations-love the Eat, Drink and be Scary sign.

The Linus and Ava Helen Pauling Papers are located at the Oregon State University (OSU)Libraries . (Linus Pauling was an OSU graduate). All 1800 boxes of them. The staff has created a blog to document items about the Paulings as well as information about cataloging and preserving this important collection. There is an amazing amount of content contained in this well-written blog. Oh, just in case you may have forgotten who Linus Pauling was, here is his wikipedia entry. He has always been one of my personal heroes so I was thrilled to come across this blog.

I am going to try and refrain from writing too much about the election. However, I did come across a very interesting point about that vicious, ultra-conservative, skanky,overpopulationist, gun-toter Sarah Palin. Is there another woman on the Earth that could possibly be the total opposite of me? I don't think so. It makes me sick to my stomach and also terrified to think that someone like this woman could possible be walking around in the future with codes to nuclear weapons and may have some opinion as to the next Supreme Court justice(s). Good Grief!!! And believe me if one of Obama's daughters were pregnant (yes, they are both much younger than 17) his entire family would be excoriated. And yes, I am holding back- a lot. Also, what taxes is she talking about? I thought Alaska did not have a state tax or sales tax. Read the Boomer Chronicles September 3rd entry.

I'm not a coffee drinker, but I love how this blogger has combined coffee with the environment, specifically birds. Visit Coffee and Conservation.

The Digital Scriptorium is an image database of medieval and renaissance manuscripts that unites scattered resources from many institutions into an international tool for teaching and scholarly research. Look at the pretty images.

Uh-oh-Woman arrested for overdue books.

A good library preservation blog called, what else, Library Preservation.

That's all for today. Have a good week.

"Satisfaction of one's curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life." Linus Pauling

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Interesting Bus Ride

I'ts 5:30 on Saturday morning, and yes I am up. Sleeping is not my best thing these days, and besides, during the week I am usually on the metro bus on my way to the subway station at this time of the morning, so I am use to being up at this time.

I had an interesting discussion on the commuter bus last night. I take the commuter bus home (after the "incident" on the metro bus). The commuter bus is so different than the metro bus. It seems like all of these people have been riding the bus together for years. I tend to sit near the front and all of these people are carrying on discussions with the bus driver and laughing. For the last few nights the discussion has settled on politics and sports. I don't chime in of course. I am just to introverted for that. I do listen, and sometimes smile to myself at some of the things being said. I generally read or sometimes just enjoy the ride. The beginning of the ride is through a great section of WDC. After all of these years I still enjoy seeing the famous buildings and all of the various architectures.

Last night a woman sat down next to me and she was one of these people who seems to be very friendly and a chatter. She started talking about this and that, and then she launched into a big discussion about her job. I think she is a bit younger than I am, but her situation is fairly similar. We started talking about what we wish a place of employment would be. Here are some of the points we both touched on.

1. Fairness, fairness, fairness

2. Opportunities for advancement. Why do employers continue to go outside to hire people instead of looking closely at the employees that are already there.

3. Managers who have taken some sort of management courses. Just because someone is credentialed in their field, and good at what they do, does not mean they should be managing staff.

4.If you do not have the credentials, you shouldn't be in the GS-12 category, or the equivalent for non-government jobs.

5.This is one of my peeves. I know that when I started my current position, I wasn't treated that great by some of my co-workers. Where I work is sort of strange anyway because it's not just the library, we are co-located with another department. And I will never work in a place that is set up like that again. Anyway, everyone has problems, but is it too much to ask for people to try to treat new hires respectfully. Try and remember when you where new and how that felt. Good manners and common decency are all that's needed. Good grief! I thought, like I always do, that I was being treated terribly because I'm a black female. I still feel I am being limited to certain things because of that, but that's another post. I don't even think that had a lot to do with it. The last new hire, who is actually more credentialed than any of these people, but she took a non-professional position. Quite a few people do that just to get in the government, and then I guess they think they will be able to move around. Not so easy to do that. Anyway, they treat her like crap. They watch her like a hawk, and it's ridiculous. This woman is always on time, and she works hard. She has been befriended by someone on the library staff so at least she has someone to talk to and go to lunch with. I want to ask all of the hawks that watch her, what the hell do you think she's going to do? Is she in prison? The only thing that she and her library friend do is go across the street and get coffee every once in a blue moon. The hypocrisy of this is that the rest of the staff does what they want to do so I don't know why they are treating her this way. I hope she doesn't put up with this nonsense for too long. I'm amazed she has lasted this long with what she has to go through on a daily basis. I could go on and on even more than I have already, about this, but I'll stop FOR NOW. We are all hypocrites to some degree, and at times I just sit back and laugh at these folks, but the situation that this woman is so blatantly unfair, it's sad.

6. Employees who are making a boatload of money, should do a boatload of work.

7. Employees who have set a pattern of not doing their work, not meeting deadlines,etc., etc. should be fired. I'm sorry, but that's fair. It is very demoralizing and dispiriting for the employees who do everything that they are supposed to do and more, but are treated the same as the malingerers.

That's all we came up with. If I see her again, and we continue our discussion I'll post more. What's your idea of a great workplace?

I just thought of this. The female bus chatter-I didn't even exchange names with her.

Even though I went to Catholic schools I am not Catholic or any religion for that matter. I just love what the following quote has to say.

"Because each human person has inherent dignity independent of his or her economic value, work is designed to benefit the person, not the other way around...In this era of economic globalization, it is all the more important to remember that people should always take priority over profit. Workers, in the Catholic social tradition, have essential human rights: to a just and living wage that will support workers' families, to organize and bargain collectively through trade unions, to safe and to humane working conditions, and to leisure time to spend with their friends and families. Employees have a responsibility to hold up their end of the bargain, but so too must employers take an active role in protecting these essential rights." (p. 27.)" A Nation for All: How the Catholic Vision of the Common Good Can Save America from the Politics of Division, by Chris Korzen and Alexia Kelley