Thursday, March 27, 2014

This morning I was assailed by such sadness at the velocity of life -- the distance I've travelled from my own youth, the persistence of old regrets, the new regrets, the ability of failure to freshen itself in new forms -- that I almost crashed the car.

"The Largesse of the Sea," Denis Johnson (The New Yorker, March 3, 2014)

Not sure if I should call it an episodic story, or if it's really just odd scenes stitched together. This line hit me so hard I reread it three times right then.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What I Learned Today

Some re-arranging of schedules means that I now have more opportunities to be "in charge" which should give me more "formal" management experience @ the library.

Yesterday, it sleeted and snowed all day (but little accumulation as it had been 60s for days), then sleeted some more this morning. Because a workman was here for our heater, I went in the back door, not the public front door. In my rounds, I looked at the front walk, saw a dwindling patch of ice a few steps from the door and decided not to fuss. One of the first four patrons complained about how slippery it was; sure enough the far end of the walk was pretty bad.

Lesson: don't do a half-assed check. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ref Grunt

Wow, three great things in a row! Let's see if it holds up:

  • Put some Star Wars movies on hold for (immigrant) family; nice conversation about viewing order, forthcoming movie (kid reported it's due out in 2015).
  • Pair of 20-somethings dashed in-and-out in about 2 minutes. They retrieved something in the "Uglies" series; those new covers are distinctive, but difficult to distinguish with a furtive glance.
  • Readers's advisory for a teen who likes thrillers, horror -- she took Code Name Verity and at least one other.
  • meeting room
  • retirement planning books
  • finance books
  • question about our new location

Monday, March 10, 2014


I thought I would do due diligence and add this weekend's pretty-good bird list to eBird. But, oops: I forgot that good citizen scientists keep each outing as a separate list and count individuals. The latter is actually pretty easy to ballpark, but since I tend to keep a running list for a whole trip, adding birds at the end when I remember "oh, we saw that yesterday," the time/walk is hard to reconstruct. I wanted to add to it, though, because we ID'd a rusty blackbird and a very early tree swallow. eBird shows one other list in Halifax County with a rusty blackbird -- at the end of last year -- so I feel OK about that. But no one's reported a tree swallow since last spring! Yet I felt confident of that ID, if surprised by how early they were (2).

The other "meh" thing about eBird is that it creates a life list -- in theory, awesome, but not an asset for someone who's been at this a while. This weekend was not, after all, my first sighting of a killdeer!

Highlights from a list of 39 species across 3 days, mostly at Staunton River State Park, but these first 2 from Staunton River Battlefield SP:

red-headed woodpecker
all the other Virginia woodpeckers! (a full house?!)
bald eagle that swooped over us as we entered park, with nest material in its talons
rusty blackbird
many pine warblers feeding on the ground
red-winged blackbirds eating grass seed
tree swallow
LOTS of titmice

Weather: Southside Virginia got about 3 inches of snow on Friday; when we arrived Saturday afternoon, picturesque dustings -- more like crusts --  remained and some lasted until departure Monday morning. Days got up to low 60s, I think, and it was nice and sunny.