Thursday, March 31, 2005

Dept. of Get a Clue

Principal bans blogging: "not educational", reports boingboing. Practice writing, researching (to find good links to illustrate one's point), fact checking, and perhaps even correcting oneself (It turns out that thing I wrote last week wasn't true. Maybe I shouldn't trust tabloids for my sources) -- yah, those are skills I would hate for young people to practice. Or am I deceiving myself -- perhaps teens write only unsupported, unlinked, ungrammatical gossip about each other?

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

John's new book found its way into the newest New York Times Book Review (April 3 edition). The reviewer found that John "brings some needed rationality" to the flag debate, and that he is "refreshingly direct and nonpolemical."

Monday, March 28, 2005

I'm No Teresa R.

... but I am running into lots of people I know while working at North Park! So far, Girl scout folks are in the lead:

GS Council staff members (former and current): 3
Public school staff members I met while subbing: 2
Kids who admit having had me as a substitute teacher: 2
Friend from The Friends of RPL: 1

In not-really-related Girl Scout news: some Kitty girls visited this weekend. "Girls"! Ha. They've all become fine young women: a soon-to-be teacher (and, I predict, administrator one day), a PE teacher at a boarding school, a researcher at the Medical College of Va., and an inspector of B-52s for the Air Force. Pretty cool. In addition, someone mentioned that Kitty girls who learned to play rugby at Kittamaqund have started a rubgy club at a local high school! Way to show leadership. Quotable: "I guess Air Force command just doesn't do pansies."

Speaking of the Friends of RPL, the book sale is this weekend. You know you need more books.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I don't have the energy to comment on the probably over-hyped story of the moment, I just offer something from AlterNet.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Girl Scout stuff

The sib forwarded an article from The Economist (sign up required) on Girl Guides in the UK. Not surprisingly, they have faced similar challenges and responded in similar ways to GSUSA: keep activities and uniforms current, be sure the promise reflects contemporary language. They, too, are critically lacking in adult leadership:
It is the adults, not the children, who are deserting. Girlguiding UK reckons it needs another 8,000 leaders, (called Brown Owls by the Brownies) to give places to everybody who wants to join. It blames the pressures of modern life for the shortage. More people are bringing up children single-handedly, or are in families where both parents work. The proportion of women in the workforce has risen from 42.5% in 1971 to 53.4% in 2004. That makes it harder to find time for good deeds. Ironically, that same lack of free time is another reason why the Guides remain popular: frazzled parents like the idea of someone else taking care of their children one night a week.

I trained troop leaders in basic outdoor skills at That Other Camp yesterday. Perhaps it was the beautiful weather (at last), but I found everyone more receptive than at past trainings to practicing firebuilding and cooking lunch together. The afternoon session brought up some interesting conversation on the increasing number of parents not ready to cut the apron strings: parents who won't send a child on a troop camping trip (with girls and adults known to the kid, and, one hopes, her parent), much less to summer camp. As a follow up, a leader invited my comment on a situation she's having. She added that she thinks that the current generation of parents includes an enormous number of people who won't be receptive to Girl Scouting's core value of girl planning -- and girl doing, as it were. Fewer people want their daughter to have a share in the chores, keep up with her own towel at camp, etc. That makes me nervous.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Stupid Blogger ate what I wrote this morning about attending the event at the Children's Museum at which Tim Kaine formally announced that he's running for governor. To recap: I went with T; the Silver Fox found us despite a huge crowd. A number of rich people butted in front of me. The band was good. Former Governor Linwood Holton, still a Republican (and Tim's father-in-law), said some nice things about making choices. We heard the predictable rhetoric about values, leadership, bipartisan work, creating jobs, etc.

Snow. Again we had a downpour of ineffectual snowflakes this afternoon.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Saturday at the Reference Desk
  • A 50-ish year old man paused by the graphic novels end cap to peruse a Simpsons collection. Someone checked it out, but I didn't see who.
  • I "sold" Order of Amelie, Hold the Fries to a young-ish woman.
  • Homework: Emily Dickinson
  • Tech support: where did the browsers toolbar go?
  • Homework: clouds
  • Tech support: why won't AOL come up?
  • Tech support: why can't the library trace whoever's text-messaging is popping up on the screen and bothering me
  • Homework: college (?) paper on slavery [!!]
  • Reader's advisory . . . I don't wanna talk about it: I'm no good at it.
  • One complaint about a sign (handled)
  • Tax forms are over there, under the clock.
In Saturday's Mail
A ding letter from the Virginia Historical Society. A bill for the Sunday Washington Post, giving me hope I would get a paper copy today: Ha.

Richmond Burning, by Nelson Lankford.

A Book of Books, a book of photos by Abelardo Morell (2002), and with introduction by Nicholson Baker in which the latter writes, "Over many decades, paper changes color and becomes more fragile (though considerably less fragile than some apocalyptists have claimed) . . . ." At first read, I thought that was a move to the center on Baker's part, but typing it makes me think, No, not really. Typing the photographer's name sent my mind in another direction: that's a real name? Surely it's a diminutive, made up by people like that SNL "makin' copies" character? Wait. You know where I really know it from: the first book by Baker I ever read: Aberlado is the name of the narrator's boss in The Mezzanine (I book I adore, by the way. I wrote my name and "1992" on the inside of the cover, making me feel certain I bought my paperback copy at the delightful Square Books. For the record, its pages are beginning to discolor just a bit.). What an odd coincidence.

Capital City weather
: Clear, mild enough to spend time picking up trash in the street, raking leaves in the back yard. A nice contrast to the snow showers we've had 4 or 5 times in the past 3 weeks.
Battle of the Bulge ( "David L. Katz of the Yale School of Medicine puts it more bluntly: 'Children growing up in the United States today will suffer more chronic disease and premature death because of the way they eat and their lack of physical activity than from exposure to tobacco, drugs, and alcohol combined.'"

Friday, March 11, 2005

Follow Up
I couldn't remember the name of this site, and lo and behold, there it is was in American Libraries. The Internet Archive preserves how the web used to look, thus I have reconnected with the early look (and that little bit of missing content) of Capital City Desk. American Libraries quotes the Internet Archive's founder on the physical space libraries occupy: "Records did not kill concerts and VCRs did not kill theaters. Books are not dead, and the library will continue to be a rich space for learning and discovery."

Shout out to Barrie Lee, finishing Rare Books School today. Thanks for keeping me up to date on digital issues -- and thanks for dinner. To follow up one of our threads: Wikipedia defines open source in terms of "projects" as well as software. It describes itself as "openly edited" and "openly accessible."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

In other news, Wil Wheaton Just discovered Wilco, and is going forward; I discovered them via YHF, too, and went backwards. Right now, I play A.M. endlessly. (Drat. Blogger's archiving feature doesn't save the template, meaning that all those changing things I used to put in the sidebars, like music and reading are gone.)
Day wrote in to share another cat tale:
I'm sitting on your (very comfy) couch talking with
you after a Christmas party a couple of years ago, and she jumps up onto the
cushion between us looking for some attention from you. She then decides to
investigate this other strange person sitting in her living room, and she
comes over to sniff me. That's when I see it - the tag around her neck that
says "Mee-yow-za!" I think it's the funniest thing I've ever seen, and she
just looks at me with a look that says, "This tag was made for me. There has
never been another cat that required a 'Mee-yow-za!' tag more than I do."

Ed Slipek finally reviewed the renovation of the Heritage Building. He doesn't write about the apartment fittings, which you may recall I described as disappointing. Style also reports that Hecht's may finally go away -- and take it's Sale This Weekend! advertising money with it.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Random: What if Mayor Doug followed this mayor's example and kept a blog?

Teen Lit: I liked Nina Schindler's Order of Amelie, Hold the Fries (Griffin and Sabine, with text messaging). I'd never read Kafka's The Metamorphosis, so I picked up Peter Kuper's (he draws "Spy vs Spy") comix treatment of the tale. It's so . . . dark, and Gothic, and Victorian. And sad. Yet it does have those few cues from the first part of the 20th century, when Kafka wrote it -- the attention to time and cleaning (I'm thinking about pure food laws, home ec as science, etc.), for example. The art is strong, and detailed.

Dan writes, "It won't seem like a visit to Richmond without her somewhat worried-looking appraisal of my presence. " Catly was awfully worried, for a spoiled house cat!
Odds n Ends

A couple of friends and I had a silly good time a the grand opening of a new Target store. (That whole blank spot on the map is a forth-coming strip mall. It's where the Great Big Green House used to be.) I do like looking at all of the nice things, and having a little money again does make it nicer. Not that I could let myself go nuts -- the only extras I got were a white t-shirt and some Cadbury eggs creme eggs.

In the office and school supplies aisles I mused aloud about switching calendar systems: maybe I could get a bigger day runner that I would keep open on my desk and carry home every night so I will never mess up which weekends I work and whether I've switched nights working. With that thought so fresh in my head, I still went to bed and got up thinking about a vow to go to the Sandston Y for morning water aerobics on this, my usual morning off. At the same time, I spent some last time thinking about what I would wear to work today that I can wear straight to a GS volunteer meeting tonight that will maintain my hip image. . . . Oh, yeah, I switched my schedule around already: this is not a morning off.

We also went to the opening of an exhibition called The Golden Age of Illustration in Richmond PL's special collection room.

Thanks to all for notes and calls about Catly. J wrote to say, "As a one-time swatee, I cherish memories of her unpredictably...." Ah, don't we all. I adopted her after starting grad school at William & Mary. The first or second night she lived with me, I playfully put my face in hers as she sat on the coffee table. She swatted me across the face and I went to class with a noticeable split lip. My new classmates and I joked that So-and-so, with the kitten, sounded like a parent of a new-born, while I sounded like one with a troubled teen.

Adam Gopnik wrote in the February 14 & 21 issue of The New Yorker about the city's new suburb-like street signs. They're getting those big ones that hang with the street lights, so it's easy to see which cross street is coming. I find the ones in Capital City's far west end very helpful. In Manhattan, of course, they seem wrong: "the signs ... violate the First Law of civilization, which states that nothing must ever be done for the convenience of cars (the mark of any city of worth living in is that there are never enough places to park)...."

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Catly Mower Fullerton Kroll died at home Friday night, at the (approximate) age of 17. A former alley cat, she made her home in Capital City for most of those years, with brief tours of duty in Williamsburg, Va., and Oxford, Miss.

The empty, clean space where her bowls sat, next to the closed basement door (formerly propped open, for litter box access), makes me saddest, this morning.

Friday, March 04, 2005


I'm not surprised that the handsome old building off Broad and Boulevard doesn't meet modern baking needs. I am not surprised to hear that Interbake to close Richmond plant. I occasionally get a wiff of the vanilla smell of baking at this house, but I enjoyed it most in that first apartment, on Park at Strawberry. I will miss that a lot.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

I learned a few days ago about the TV adapting of Their Eyes Were Watching God. That explained why almost every copy of the book has been checked out of CHPL, and why I was asked twice for the classic in one day. I did not know that MHC alumna Suzan-Lori Parks adapted it.

At work today, I helped a tall boy find a book about Roman mythology, showed a woman the cool magazine racks that flip open to reveal back issues, talked to a boy of about 10 about video games and the need for gaming books, and set up my first address list in Outlook e-mail (ugh).