Tuesday, December 27, 2005

This was the hit of Christmas with my family.

And with yours, what was it?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Winter Solstice!


As I became a serious thrift'er, I learned to cross the Boulevard Bridge to go to Southside Plaza or that east end of Midlothian Turnpike, where flea markets and thrift stores had settled into old commercial spaces. I knew that the ARC thrift was in an old Miller & Rhoades. I started to think about how I considered that end of Midlothian Turnpike, where our BEST was just a few doors down from our neighbors' car dealership (Whitten Brothers) to be the far end of Midlo -- well beyond Cloverleaf Mall! The construction of Chesterfield Mall -- though a modest mall for so many years -- had made Cloverleaf seem ridiculously distant.

Of course, my point of view was new-suburban: I viewed the metropolitan area from the porch of a house built in 1970, a few doors down from a farm (replaced by another subdivision within a few years). It seemed odd to me for those businesses to be so far out, but really, they were far in -- they were close to the city, where the majority of people lived.

This item in Style brings all this to mind. I didn't know that the Southside Plaza M&R was the first suburban location. It's no longer a neighborhood that can afford to shop at a nice department store. How can the houses that were once Nice now be Poor? Yeah, I know: white flight and the middle class's rising need for great rooms and atriums, not trim little houses.

Also interesting in Syle: Hotel John Marshall, City Hall.

New Welcome sign, here.



Impulse Buy

I moved a book from the non-fiction shelves to an endcap display the other day. I note that now, for the first time in over two years, someone checked it out. It's called Plane Insanity...; search our catalog, here, to find out about it.

Singing: this

Saturday, December 17, 2005

At Work

For exploration, later: library poetry, here.

Alas, no: we have not got a dictionary of opthalmic terms in Spanish. Medline in Spanish is good, but not that good.

From the Desk of the Children's Librarian:
Email Santa:

Radical Militant Librarians! Brazenly cut-n-pasted from a listserv:

From the amazing Chris Finan's ABFFE newsletter of December 16, 2005: FBI Official Blasts "Radical Militant Librarians" In a related story, the New York Times reported earlier in the week that some FBI officials are eager to make broader use of their power under the PATRIOT Act to search business records. In e-mail messages and other internal documents released by the FBI in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the officials complain that the Justice Department's Office of Intelligence Policy and Review is not approving enough search requests. "While radical militant librarians kick us around, true terrorists benefit from OIPR's failure to let us use the tools given to us," one unidentified FBI official complained. "This should be an OIPR priority!!!" For further details, click here ...."

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Bigfoot book highlighted on boingboing (thanks VJ!).

Knitting *and* Wil Wheaton, here. (Thanks to Steph S., who sent me here first: a blog -- very popular if high comments numbers are a good gauge -- of ugly knitting projects.)

Governor-elect Kaine's inaguration will be in Williamsburg, at the (not original) colonial capitol. Alas, I believe I work that Saturday.

Capital City weather: cold, cold rain

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

At Ukrop's: Ms. S., my old landlady; "Run, Run Rudolph" on the Muzak.

Capital City weather: Yesterday - pretty cold, with that winter-in-Virginia gray sky. We took a drive through east Henrico, New Kent, and Charles City Counties to enjoy the browns and grays of a southern December day. We spotted old houses, mistletoe in oak trees, 6 manger scenes (including the one in front of Samaria Church) and some snow left from last Monday's little storm. Today: clear and colder.

On my desk: an article on Sharon Indian School to revise per the editor; Urquhart's Place paperwork; Christmas shopping list.

Reading: old New Yorkers

Monday, December 05, 2005

I Owe Someone a Dollar

I can't remember if I made the bet with Mom or Dad, but yesterday, when we were at the farm in 60+ degree weather, I asserted "there's no way it's going to snow tomorrow." When we woke up to snow this morning, I figured it wouldn't last. It snowed all day, accumulating on cars right away, but not on the ground, much, until recently. It's too deep in the grass at P's apartment for me to walk in without boots.

Click "slide show" here to view pictures courtesy of the TD.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Set aside about 30 minutes and listen to "A Car Talk Christmas Carol," here, while taking virtual scissors to e-snowflakes. Thanks to Steph S. for the awesome links -- she's sure to get something nice in her stocking for sharing!


Yesterday, I spent about two hours at one of the bigger libraries putting special new identification tags in a couple hundred books. We took Fiction, the end of E - FO. Is it bad that at one point my mental count showed that I had seen more movie versions than I had read books? Giant, Bridget Jones's Diary -- and -- bother. That's the trouble with a mental list. I caught up in the Fs, with Faulkner and Fford.

As an "area library," D has much more Faulkner than NP, but I can never remember what I've read. As an area library, there was more of everything: Jonathan Franzen's first(?) book, The Twenty-seventh City, for example.


Okay, time to stop writing, and start baking!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I spent last week with P and the Pre-teen in Marietta, Georgia, home to The Big Chicken, Kennesaw Mountain, a pretty good town and local history museum, and a yuppified town square.

On Tuesday, in fading winter sunlight, we waded through rush hour traffic, listening to Christmas music on the local Lite station, and found the right exit. By the time we scooted up the main suburban strip, it was dark, and we were having trouble finding the street sign. "What on earth?! . . . ." - "Is that a chicken on the horizon?" At our turn?! Why don't our directions say Turn Left at the big chicken!? I actually felt glad for the red light, so I could study it and decide if it was genuine -- real, mid-century roadside art. I thought that the Kentucky Fried facing was new, but the bones, so to speak, and chicken itself old. It is. The town is quiet proud of it, and framed articles in the restaurant document more than one restoration operation.

Visiting the shops on the square and the chicken were the main business of Wednesday for P & me.

Thursday found the three of us climbing the mountain (I admit that I was the most reluctant) in a chilly, stiff wind. The view on the clear afternoon was worth it. Many other people were there -- though the park was closed -- representing a happy cross-section of races and ages and fitnesses. With such a fine calorie-burning accomplishment under the belt, we were ready for a meal with 2 kinds of turkey, 2 kinds of stuffing, and 5 pies.

Online Advent Calendar I like, here.
Today is both World AIDS Day, and National Pie Day; National Cookie Day is the 4th.