Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Around the Commonwealth

Vote here for the design for new "Welcome to Virginia" signs. Do note that keeping the same sign, because it's always been that way, is a choice.

That wacky marketplace known as the Bizarre Bazaar is this weekend.

The "Grand Illumination" -- aka plugging in of the light-up deer -- takes place this Friday, along with activities at the 17th Street Market, Shockoe Slip, and Train Station.

The Fan District Association's House Tours are December 10 and 11. Houses featured this year are in the lower Fan, between Floyd and Monument Avenues.

At Ukrop's: Alex, Greta, and Ceci. . . .
Capital City weather: clear and mild
At NP: A surprise visit from CB

Thursday, November 17, 2005

To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem. This week I have been summarizing the summaries of books selected by our book club for the year to come. It's fun 'cause I haven't read most of 'em!

Reading: Japer Fforde, The Big Over Easy - delightful, as is all of his writing, if a bit more heavy handed thans the Thursday Next books. And, Tom DeHaven, Dugan Under Ground.

Capital City weather: cold; 30s overnight. Yay.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Breaking News

No sign of a blog from CNB, yet, but P has started one, on the fringe, as it were.

On the Musak at Ukrop's
: "Voices Carry"
Everybody Talks About the Weather

What with one thing and another, I don't read Lileks much anymore. I didn't, in fact, get through all of today's post, but what I skimmed made me think it is my duty to mention that it's going to be 75 degrees today. Again. It's normal to think of September as the fourth month of summer; it wasn't odd that much of October was mild (except the weekend I went camping? Nah, it wasn't that bad.); but, really, 70s for most of November??

At least the leaves settled into changing long about October 28. Sometimes it seems that those four years in New England shaped my ideas about fall more than they should: why else would I believe that the leaves should begin changing closer to October 1? Despite pointedly taking walks in the woods, my vote for best autumn display may go for some trees along 64, between Phil's house and mine. Nah, we got some award-winning sun-through-yellow leaves at Henricus; the highway will have to be runner-up.

Settled In?

I must really have settled in to the new job: my definition of a kooky patron has become more stringent. As we left last night, R looked up and said, Yeah, full moon; that explains it.

I said, Hunh, I don't think I had anyone that zany.

What! Said T. Did you forget Loud Cell Phone Girl?!

Oh, yeah. As I returned from helping someone in non-fiction, I changed my tact to intercept a 20ish young woman headed to the Ref Desk, all but shouting into her phone. Several feet from the desk, I said my usual quiet-but-firm, "I'm sorry, m'am, but we ask that people have phone conversations outside of the library." She replied, doubling my volume, "Yeah, I gotta do this," and stepped up to the desk, asking her phone, "So six o'clock?"

"Outside of the library, please." I insisted, taking my place of authority behind the desk.

"I gotta find out what time she wants." She conferred on the phone again about days and times and hung up. I may have been guilty of making a pursed-lips-librarian face.

I got out the room reservation book, and in a lower voice than usual explained to her about the size of our meeting rooms, use by non-profit groups, etc. The odd thing was -- or maybe it wasn't? -- was that she continued to talk loudly about reserving the room.

Maybe she's always a loud-talker. Obviously, she's immune to subtle hints such as my lowering my voice in order to model to her expected behavior. Whatever her deal, no, she wasn't all that zany.

Shout out to CNB for the hospitality of showing us her new bumblebee house and hometown, and Frederick, Md., too. Also, a dose of peer pressure: Sure! Start a blog! Right here. Everybody does it.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Trailers for books! One for Alex Rider's new book, here.

Also, kooky take on To Kill a Mocking Bird, here.

This weekend: 20% off at my antiques mall, Broad at Staples Mill, behind the Holiday Inn. But we'll be in Maryland.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bright Morning Over Virginia

Dare I say I feel downright optimistic this morning, knowing that Tim Kaine is our new governor?

This is where to go to check election results by locality, to see if your neighbors voted like you did.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Hot damn. I reckon there's a house in the Northside -- no cable, though -- that's going to be available for rent for four years if you're interested.

Monday, November 07, 2005

A la Libetiquette I would like to say:

By all means, take all four major daily papers to which we subscribe to your own special table, to pore over all morning. And the 6 periodical titles (8, 10 items?) I picked up from your table, too? I'm sure no one else comes to our library to read those. Make yourself at home. Oh! I see your shoes are off, so you did.

Election Day

Please go vote tomorrow. My fellow Richmonders, check your polling place here, and note, too, the links to check on the names of all your current representatives, what we're voting on tomorrow, and to learn about our new voting machines.

Similar info for suburbanites:
Chesterfield County Registrar, here.
Henrico County Registrar, here.

Party links:
Democratic Party of Va.
Republican Party, Va.
Independant candidate for Governor, Potts.

Capital City weather: "Fog/Mist" Or, clear and warm, depending where you are.
Reading: Feed

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Walking Through the Woods
With Mistletoe, Poo, and You

... is what I promised Ph. I would call this entry about our Sunday ramble at Dutch Gap. There's a wonderful conservation area with hiking trails adjacent to the reconstruction of the 1611 English town of Henricus.

I am struggling to make this a narrative: it's all impressionistic and snapshot-y. Thus the title, I suppose.

Our morning was chilly, lit by clear, low sunlight.
Red leaves across the pond lit up bright;
Yellow leaves behind us, all aglow.
The fine contrast of loblolly pine needles against bright blue sky.

Quiet -- except . . . is that gunfire? It's so frequent (but distant) that it must be a firing range. Also, boating is permitted, so add some macho motors whizzing by.

We found the bald cyprus -- cyprus knees! -- as promised by both the website and the map provided by the visitors' center. We found that path an excellent scramble, frequented by more critters than we could identify by droppings only. The feathers I found suggest some poo must have been turkey, and, indeed, when I saw something largish moving on the other side of the water, I thought we might spot one. Instead, I found myself suddenly whispering, Oh! Look, a deer.

I did not whisper about the other find, a spay or two of mistletoe in a hardwood tree. ; )

The birding was good:
black & white warbler
mocking bird
great blue heron

Next time, I need a tree book, because many trees I could not name without help. Maybe a wildflower book, too. Also, we agreed we'll pack a lunch next time, so we can stay longer.

Capital City weather: cold nights, but clear days reaching 70
Upcoming event: Friends of Richmond Public Library Book Sale