Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Did I mention that StepTeen needs glasses? I took her for a check up and the nurse spun her around in the middle of the hall to face an eye chart, and, in a terse, end-of-the day voice said, Cover right eye. Read line eight.


The poor kid hadn't been for a regular check up in so long, and the hall of this former-house-turned-medical office took a dogleg, and was full of stuff, so I figured she didn't get what she was being asked, or was wondering where the eye chart was. The nurse recited Seven? Six?? Before she sighed, What can you read?

The kid is super bummed about this. But, at least she's not dull (via Information Junk)! I dig that WPA poster art. At the Library of Congress shop, you can use just "work progress" as a search term to find lots of other items from the same era. You'll also get reprints of WPA photos. I got Greater Knowledge as a Cafe Press t-shirt; it's there as a poster.

Monday, February 25, 2008


Phil wins! He beat -- er, solved -- the puzzle W left us when he was here in January! (Do excuse the poor film-making: we were so beside ourselves that the puzzle we'd tinkered with for so long had finally fit back in its box, I didn't even turn the TV off before I started recording.)
Librarians and Tax Forms...

... the t-shirt.

Also noteworthy, this library LJ from Marky-Mark.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Vampire Librarian has begun a conversation on why the CIA might be "always looking" for librarians. I think this Capital City suits me just fine, thanks.
Click here for an important announcement.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Am a Packrat

Sheree e-mailed in response to my comment on her blog to ask if I had a book from my childhood. Here's the proof! I recommend the Tutti-Frutti-ice Sparkle, Perfect French toast, and Raisin-oatmeal cookies.

As for jello salads and presenting food on lettuce, I refer you all to Mr. Lileks and the Gallery of Regrettable Food (I own the book; it was Dan who threw a party based on it). For a delightful popular history work that has lots to say about the role of iceberg lettuce and molded salads in American foodways, I recommend Fashionable Food (now, that's a volume that I own but can't seem to find).

In other news, despite my lingering cold, we did slip out for just an hour to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count. We saw 15 different species in and near Fountain Lake. In our own yard, in a period of an hour and a half, we had:
  • carolina wren 1
  • house sparrow 7
  • junco 12
  • mourning dove 2
  • white-throated sparrow 1
The count continues tomorrow.

Reading: The Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler
On the Muzak at Target: actually, it may have been coming from something on display in electronics -- "Blister in the Sun."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ref Desk Random

Librarian rated as a top career. Go know. I like it pretty well. ;-)

Paolini's third book is due out in September; it's called Brisingr.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Saturday Ref

City resident needs image of Sailor Bob. WWBT's page has info., too. I refer her to Val and the TV station. We also talk about old houses and I direct her to the few Richmond coffee table books we have, and recommend the city library system for those.

No cell phones.

Conspiracy Theory Guy #1 tries to menace patron at scanner PC, then menaces scanner itself. Thankfully, a quick on-off gets in back on track.

Couple is surprised Sue Grafton's books are in Mystery; delighted that "B" is available.

Man calls from home: needs directions to get grid lines in an Excel document. I hesitate, then go ahead and tell him how.

American Born Chinese.

Bridge to Terebithia.

Books on palmistry, finance (for different people)

Veggie Tales DVDs.

Lit crit for A Separate Peace.

Need a computer, need a computer

Soul Surfer

Pause to check blogs; love the tip at Libetiquette. Realize I forgot to note that I have pointed out the Family Restroom 15 feet from me only once. A few commenters got off topic onto the subject of the problem of distinguishing printers and photocopier, to which I would like to add:
Her: Why doesn't this copier work?
Me: Because it's a self-checkout machine.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Oout and Aboout

For the first time in ages I went downtown during workaday hours, and - lo! - there were people out and about! Some were even smartly dressed. I picked up T and we scooted back west a bit for lunch a Chez Fushee. I observed that work was being done to the Miller & Rhoades building, "at last, after, like 15 years," I said, making the left, then the right onto Grace St. "No, no, I exaggerate." T laughed: "not by much."

Also on Broad, I noted the courts(?) building appears to be done. It faces the street squarely, but the back end of it is a big arc. It breaks the grid up with curves -- and not in the pleasing way. The Schwarzschild building now houses this legal-help group, it seems. The streets seemed full, and busy -- maybe because Broad Street has taken a turn for a better (speaking in the 30-year time frame), or maybe because ongoing construction of all sorts has pushed all the activity into just a few spaces. T says that when people come to the museum, they gripe and gripe about being stuck in construction traffic.

Missed a 5th birthday, I see.

Reading: Extras, by Scott Westerfeld. Even more like Ghost in the Shell than the Uglies trilogy -- because it's set in Japan? Because of the part the feed plays? He's also got some fascinating stuff going on about popularity and trend-setting: cool-hunting. Bringing me back to the first book of his I read, So Yesterday -- which I so loved. Just as figuring out if being Special was worse or better than being Pretty, it'll be interesting to see whether being the first to finger the fad (or story; the reporter parallel is there, too) will lead to glory or suffering.

and "Three Smart Things You Should Know About Leap Years," at Wired.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


  • trouble printing Gr@nd Th3ft Auto cheat codes.
  • how to Mapquest
  • "Someone's using my library card number to use a computer." "Well, have you given other people that number and PIN?" "Yes." [tough]
  • books by Charlotte B-R-O-N-C-E
  • 8th graders need fantasy or science fiction books: most are picky. . .
  • grants and scholarships
  • forgot my library card
  • meeting rooms
  • needs "Directories in Print" - but I think ReferenceUSA will work for her

Get the Tax Forms Habit.

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Tax Season

Two early contenders for zaniest tax season happenings:
  1. At Love the Liberry, her patron had been referred to the library by the Hallmark store.
  2. The patron who entered through the staff entrance at Juice's Liberry was looking for tax forms. Of course.
Now, I could make an elaborate excuse about an old-fashioned patron remembering an old-fashioned Hallmark-as-stationer time and almost see the logic: but, no. That would mean the patron hadn't needed tax forms since, like, 1950.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sick Daze

What I did while I was home sick (not pictured: coughing fits, tea-slurping, staring into space):

Did a jigsaw puzzle.

Finished wedding album.

Read: Kiki's Delivery Service, Uglies, Specials, a Style article on 1920s Hollywood stars with Richmond connections.

I did not go to the WRIR birthday bash, so I missed Phil's MC'ing antics, and I missed Ceci being recognized as Volunteer of the Year.

I popped some pills and chewed cough drops so I could enjoy Ira Glass at UR yesterday. I love the feeling of any kind of live show, the feeling that you're in the room with that famous voice. He treated the "talk" much like the road show of This American Life a couple of us went to in DC five years ago. Ira sat at a table with two CD players and a mixing board, and he told stories about stories; stories about putting stories together for radio. He stitched it together with music. And his trademark pauses. I loved it. I love that kind of thing.