Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Boxing Day

I am solo for the first 3 hours today. A la Ref Grunt, a list:

I can give a little help on the scanner. . . .

Her son's new library card wouldn't log on; got it fixed at circ.

Re-booted scanner PC 'cause it wasn't right.

Brought an extra chair to the 20-something sitting in the lounge chair several feet from his buddy and talking pretty loud: "Why don't y'all sit closer so you don't have to be so loud." (I see they put the extra chair back. Thanks, fellas!)

City directory.

Scanner-user asks a question I can't answer. I stand next to her until she says, "Oh, here it is." I walk away.

Gentleman, a little unhappy about a "claims return" incident, bristles when I try to send him over to circ, so I sort out the first third of it myself, get an answer from circ head, and then walk him back to circ to finish it up.

Yeah, your friend really does need to sign up for computer classes with her own card, on January 2. Please, take a schedule with you.

Circ staffer has stepped into the back. Man knocks on circ desk to get her attention. It didn't work. I walk over and check his books out on the self-check machine.

Place a hold for a book . . . but she's going out of town, so she wants it next Wednesday.

Gave directions to Powhatan to a man too old to be driving on his own. :-( He didn't really have an end address.

No our PCs are not full; only 4 out of 27 are in use. Take a seat at any PC that says "Welcome."

Please talk on your phone outside.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Online Sources: Xmas, etc.

Santa is ... "a transnational corporation with one mission-critical fulfillment goal: Every kid who celebrates the holiday gets a toy on Christmas eve," according to Wired. Note the men in black.

NORAD helps you track Santa.

A selection of photos of the White House Christmas tree.

Robot creche.

On Festivus: a book, a fan site, defined by our pals at Wikipedia.

A review of the screaming latke book.

Shopping: done
Wrapping: done
Baking: done, but I mibht be tempted to do more. . . .
Book club book, The Book Thief: done, but not in time for book club on Monday. I usually avoid books that might be described as, "set in Nazi Germany" or "narrated by Death" -- but I loved it. Death has a world-weary, warm, witty voice, and the events and characters are memorable.
Also reading: Lemony Snicket's The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming, a picture book about the true meaning of celebrating the holiday you celebrate.
Xmas songs stuck in my head: "Richmond Rock Star Christmas" and Country Sunshine's "Are You Ready for Christmas?" available here.
Capital City weather: 40, gray with brown trees -- just like Christmas-time should be

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


At Wired: blogging tips from the man who, 10 years ago, coined "weblog." He remains loyal to the notion that a blog is a list of links, something "we" use for instead, these days.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Note from Suburbia

Five weeks ago, I worked at a location on the other side of Staples Mill Rd. from My Lib. I passed a particular intersection with only three "live" businesses. I don't recall that the fourth lot, which had featured a closed gas station, showed any signs of change.

Today, as I slowed for the red light at Staples Mill, I said "holy cats, where did that Panera come from?!" Okay, it hasn't opened, but the exterior and signs are ready for the first day of business. It's as if it sprung fully-formed from the head of suburbia. It represents quite a spiffy gentrification, chain-ification, of a crossroads I used to think of as a not-so-spiffy neighborhood, and the last vestige of suburbia before Staples Mill takes you into the country.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cubicle Makeovers! Cookery!

Hints for cube makeovers in this cool-looking book. I like my library cubicle since I am by a window and since the walls are . . . . hunh. Not the usual beige or gray -- I think in the blue-green family. My GS office cubicle was quite terrible (except for cool cube-mates).

I am such a library nerd that I named my MSWord folder for recipes "cookery." Yet, when I go looking for tasty dishes I've typed up, I can never find it. Anyway. Here's a nice online exhibit of cookbooks, 1541 - 1931 (Kansas State U.).

Capital City weather: rainy, windy, 30s

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Local University Library Way Ahead of Ivy League

Columbia has begun serious collecting of graphic novels; VCU's comic arts collection goes back years. Oh, you kow what, though? I bet Columbia's collection circulates.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Burton Alice in our future. So . . . Johnny Depp as the Cheshire Cat?? No, Mad Hatter, clearly.

The timing is interesting, given that Frank Beddor's Looking Glass Wars series is bound to come to the screen in the next several years.

Shout Out to Marky Mark for going through the door counter at My Branch a couple of extra times yesterday. . . .
Capital City Weather: So, I went to the Old West-End Mall yesterday, parked on the top layer of the two-level deck, got what I needed and got out a little after 11. After baking in the sun for just over an hour, the car was a little oven. I almost put on the A/C, but made do with the windows open, listening to "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" on the radio. The Teen says the official high temp, reported at the airport, was 80 degrees. Happy Global Warming Christmas!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Fruit Spritz Cookies

Bake at 375 for 10 minutes
Makes about 10 dozen cookies

4 ½ cups sifted regular flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt
1 ½ cups butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons thawed frozen orange juice concentrate

Sift flour, baking powder and salt.

In another (large) bowl, cream butter with sugar until fluffy light; beat in egg and juice concentrate.

Stir in flour mixture, a quarter at a time, blending to make a stiff dough [my stand mixer isn’t big enough to cope with this much dough; I blend the last quarter or so by hand].

Use cookie press to make cookies; space about an inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Decorate with colored sugar, nonpareils, etc. Bake at 375 until firm but not brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to wire racks to cool.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Baking Day

My Mom's fruit spritz cookie recipe totally rocks. I always gear up for doing spritz with drama and resignation, based, I think, on a year using a different recipe. Or maybe it was that terrible plastic cookie press I had for a while. Oh, and since I wrote "finish blending flour by hand" on the page, I haven't burned up a hand mixer or gotten dough all the way up the beaters and onto the kitchen wall . . . . Hmm. Maybe I actually have years' of experience!?!

Anyway, the first set of trees looks perfect, and the one that broke coming off the sheet tasted great -- a dense buttery cookie, with a hint of orange. Mmmm.

Capital City weather: light snow (no accumulation) all of yesterday morning; clear and upper 30s today.
On the Muzak at Ukrop's: Christmas carols, which my bagger sang to
At the Byrd: "Bourne Identity," I think it was.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What I Didn't Say

. . . . when, upon entering My Branch, Area Lib F patron said “We obviously spend too much money on libraries”: - “If you want to see not-enough-spent, go live in the City.”