Saturday, November 15, 2008

Morning sabotage

Inspired by E's post, I decided to note down my own current morning routine for posterity.

3:30am Wake up for no good reason. Check my jaw to see if I've been clenching my teeth in my sleep again. Think angry thoughts that I can't seem to get rid of and struggle to fall back asleep.

5:00am Startled out of sleep by the awful toilet-plunger noise (hurka, hurka) the cats make. Check to see that they are not throwing up on the bed, fling them off if they are, mentally note location(s) of noise so I can avoid stepping into cat barf in the morning. Fall back asleep.

Wonder why I've woken up this early, even though I haven't set the alarm, I am exhausted, and I have a flexible schedule that allows me to show up to work whenever I want. Feed the cats if they are threatening to throw up on my head. Crawl back into bed for another half-hour of rest. Dozing turns into a deep sleep.

9:00am Wake up, look at the clock, sigh, and realize that I really should get up and do something productive, like finishing up my incomplete courses or going to work and earning money to pay rent and buy cat food. Pee, feed cats (if I haven't already), shower, dress, minimal grooming. Heat water for French press coffee. Check email.

[Alternate 9:15am Meet up with Adam at Kopi for mutual study-support. Buy breakfast/coffee. Work on incomplete courses until noon. Go catch bus to work. Rejoice that I have been productive before I have arrived at work.]

9:30am Realize I've been on the computer for so long that the coffee-water is now cold. Reheat water, make coffee, take meds, make breakfast, pack a lunch if I remember to and/or I'm in the mood. Eat/drink while doing more internet poking.

10:15am/10:30am/10:45am Depending on how much teh intarwebs have sucked me back in, realize that I have missed the bus by just 1 minute and will need to catch the next one.

11am-ish Get to work. Pound head against desk because I really should get here earlier, but balancing out productivity with a proper amount of sleep seems to be escaping me lately. Promise self to go to bed tonight directly after The Colbert Report and only read for 30 minutes before turning off the light and attempting sleep.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


I voted!

VOTED! on TwitPic

Friday, August 15, 2008

Ego boost

Well, damn. I am apparently way too modest about many of my abilities...

You Are Sexually Powerful

Your attitude toward sex is healthy, safe, and sane.

You enjoy sex as much as (or possibly even more than) the average person.

You're open minded, intelligent, and adventurous when exploring your sexuality.

And while you never take things too far, you take them far enough!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Horribly Awesome

Best pie chart ever.

song chart memes
more song chart memes

If you have no idea what the graph is referring to, then you need to view Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. I was lucky enough to see it when it was free, but now you'll either have to 1) find a pirated copy, 2) buy it from iTunes, or 3) wait for it to come out on DVD. I think you'll be pleased whatever route you choose.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I want a post-apocalyptic bookmobile!

Who wouldn't want to watch a educational sci-fi video series from 1985 about library skills?!

All videos can be accessed on YouTube. And there is more info on Wikipedia.

It is 2123 and everyone on Earth is leaving, in order to escape "the Wipers." All human knowledge has been collected (and organized) for preservation in the ultimate library (gee, the Dewey Decimal System really CAN catalog everything!). But one book has gone missing and Ms. Bookhart goes in search of it. Hijinks, suspended animation, and library skills education ensue.

"Put it on microfilm and file it..."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

See food?

You know how when you're hungry, you keep revisiting the fridge and freezer to see if something new and more appetizing has appeared since the last time you checked? Yeah? Never works, does it?

It works even less when you investigate an unfamiliar ziploc bag from the freezer and (re)discover the pet fish that died last month.

Adding "bury Gibby" to the to do list. And avoiding the deep freeze for the rest of the night.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Geekery and an attempt at real-time blogging

I'm letting myself have a little non-job search fun at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, California, so I'm attending a session called Science Fiction and Fantasy: Looking at Information Technology and the Information Rights of the Individual. Just thought I'd take some notes on what was being said and discussed. Any errors or mis-perceptions below are entirely my fault. Enjoy!

As I begin to write this, Cory Doctorow is standing not more than 2 feet from me, having a discussion with some friends about young adult fiction, especially young adult scifi.

Aww, his wife and 5 month old daughter are here. It's their 5-year anniversary. And yes, he spent the morning at Disney (I was told to ask him that, but I can just eavesdrop on him, instead. Heh). Wonder if The Haunted Mansion was actually open when he visited, unlike when I was there on Thursday. But I bet he didn't get to watch half a tree fall on a crowd of people. Damn, Disney has a fast response time to internal troubles!

Short break to help someone with wireless connectivity problems. And he taught me about iwconfig (Linux-based). Ah, librarians and learning!

Vernor Vinge
Spoke about the possibility of the coming Informational Dark Ages, the pie-in-the-sky idea of DRM that actually works, proprietary formats (and so-called open formats). Giving example of Charles Stross's Glasshouse plot: main character volunteers to take part in a "radical, isolated social experiment that will attempt to recreate the forgotten "Dark Ages", the late 20th and early 21st centuries." (Wikipedia entry)
[Sorry this was so sparse, my neighbor was using my Mac to figure out why he couldn't access the wifi]

Brandon Sanderson
He's the guy who is continuing/finishing the late Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Speaking on uchronias [and a mention of Steampunk. Woo! Must finish my bibliography...] and idealized scientific eras. Modern uchronic look at monarchy in politics. Lots of fantasy fiction in 1900s about one man bringing everyone together; warrior-heroes. Burroughs, Tolkein, etc. Start adding magician character as a scientific figure in later part of century (Harry Potter, among other characters). Wizard becomes more important than warrior; information as power. Infotocracy: rule by people who have the info.

"You want young people to love classics, first find them something, anything, they love in order to get them to read. They'll get there. Teach them to love information first!"

Eric Flint
Copyright terms are too long. Berne Convention is badly structured. Life +50 as minimum, drawback is that nations could lengthen it, but not shorten it. His own income relies on copyright, yet he thinks 75 years is ridiculous. Heirs should invest their money in something else anyway! 40 years is plenty long to support an author. Locking up information-as-property doesn't benefit the creators of that information and actually destroys writing. Most writing comes and goes (few Illiads out there). Just need enough copyright to provide a living.

His first book is still in print, still sells well, even though available online for free at Baen Free Library). Proves that the notion of "Pirating costs creators" is baloney [Halleluia!]. People want multiple formats for different uses. Book market too opaque. Advantage to e-publishing: allows provision of access, introduction for new readers. Battle is being slowly won. I sure hope so.

Cory Doctorow
Internet is good means for cheaper collective action, not copying stuff.
Storming Forming Norming.
Internet makes information a verb. "I just got this, how do I make it do that?"
Internet has given us conceivable universal access to human knowledge
Info not meant to be hoarded, kept from others.
Slow science if no sharing. Alchemist gets idea of publishing outcomes, led to Enlightenment.
"Universal access to all human knowledge is a feature, not a bug."
Worked with ALA/IFLA Access to Information Africa.
High-latency links to Internet (small info cafes, books and info on cds, printed materials from those cds), latency getting lower as time progresses.

One Laptop, One Child project, first great, now derided. But we forget how many steps it took to get to point of convincing everyone in world that having a computer is a good thing.

Fight for future of civilization. Fight over whether devices will control you or obey you.

Libraries may burn, but info about people has a longevity in direct comparison to how much it will embarrass them.

Mitch Kapoor "Architecture is politics." Our information structure will determine structure of society.

[So much data from Cory. Sadly, my typing was not up to speed.]


Cory talks re cctv cameras in London. Weapon you don't know how to use becomes an enemy. Criminal use of cctv, not solving crime. Use of cctv instead of people-presence, not a deterrent for many criminals (example of friend being stalked and killed by teens out to steal cell phones).

When is Cory's next book?
Cory: Out second-half of 2009 from Tor, Themepunks (working title?)

How to teach persistence of information to kids who don't care?
Brandon: Fiction can be very didactic. Tell a good story first; teach second.
Cory: Facebook, MySpace, are Skinner boxes that reward disclosure.

ALA Stacks pass [swipe card that vendors use]: what did you do with yours? (Hee!)
Cory: Maybe we should swap with each other? No easy mechanism for people to read what is on the cards they carry, would be good development. RFIDS, toll cards.

Thoughts on the "Universal Identifier" of the future?
Vinge: Pessimistic. Stasi-heaven. But Internet will help unbalance the Stasi.
Cory: Biometrics. Can't change your fingerprints. But can lift them!
Eric: Put things in historical perspective. We are nowhere near Medieval-era levels of control. Fallacy [I spelled this "phallacy" before the spellchecker caught it] of the Stasi: person collecting info is likely to be underpaid, not do good job. Don't overestimate inefficiency of Big Brother. Not that it can't be misused.

User-privacy, opt-in.
Vinge: Belief cults. [sorry, lost track of convo and missed his answer]
Cory: Zero-knowledge protocols. Cryptographic systems, the need for more widespread use.

This panel was great! Wonderful selection of speakers. Got all four of my books signed and found out from Cory that yes, the Haunted Mansion was open for business again. Sorry I missed it!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

More want!

Ooo, pretty! And some people wonder why I like medieval (and pre-20th century) Russia. Can you imagine living with this type of beauty around you? Makes the cold (and the oppression, and the Oprichniki, and the terem, and the Orthodoxy...) almost bearable. Go look at these gorgeous interiors and exteriors!

Monday, April 28, 2008


I'm at the Urbana Free Library doing some schoolwork, which I hadn't planned doing here, but since my 11am appointment isn't actually until 1pm (I'm conflating calendar entries now, apparently) and I needed to stop in and pick up some books I have on hold, why not get a few hours of enforced writing in?

But before I sat down and got to business, I went over and browsed the new books like I always do. My eye was caught by what appeared to be a new Laurell K. Hamilton book. I wasn't sure if I had read it or not, so I cracked it open to read the blurb. And saw the following, penciled neatly on the title page:

Be forewarned, before you get all happy reading this (like I was) one of the main characters dies in this one.
Really? That's the warning? I think a more appropriate caution would have been "before you get all happy reading another of Hamilton's books, remember how sucky her plots have become and brace yourself for yet another slew of angst-ridden sex."

Yes, I had already read the book (A Lick of Frost). And yes, I had then ignored my own warning. Sigh. Back to writing about XSLT and metadata issues. I'd rather be having angst-ridden sex, even if it came with a bad plot and no character development.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Earthquake! Just now! Whoa!

Um...I'm in mid/downstate Illinois.....

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

I'm going back to bed now.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spring want!

Okay, I need someone to buy this and then let me borrow it so I can make a pattern. It only goes up to size 14 and I'm (mumble) sizes bigger than that.

Mycra Pac Designer Wear Reversible Scrunch Neck Travel Coat

Like it would be so hard to manufacture a swing coat in more than three sizes. Sigh.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Recovering from heart attack (not a real one)

Things you do not want to see when you are already anxious about finishing school:

Instruction is actually over on April 30, by the way. I think GSLIS needs to update their RSS feed to show dates. But this was a pretty good, if inadvertent April Fool's joke. Back to breathing normally.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Laundry issues

Very grey in downstate Illinois today. Spring has sprung, but it keeps bouncing back into Winter mode, unfortunately. One thing about nicer weather that makes me happy is that I can hang my laundry out on the clothesline, instead of having to use my coin-operated dryer all the time. It's too expensive and rarely dries things completely, plus I absolutely hate the fact that random people from Coinmach have access to my house. Yep, complete strangers (who often don't bother to knock, by the way) invade my house on a regular basis, to collect my money. I nearly had a heart attack the last time they came by while I was still in bed. Still need to complain to the company about that particular incident.

Anyway, the dryer works better after cleaning the lint out of the vent and throwing tennis balls in with the clothes. And there was a pertinent comment on a Lifehacker post today about drying your clothes:

I agree that "the outside" is available. However my "the outside" has a manufacturing defect. It has this thing called "the rain" and I've asked the manufacturer to fix the problem, but so far I haven't heard anything back. So I'm back to using the dryer. And from what I hear, "the outside" isnt available everywhere just yet. For some reason theres a shortage in larger cities, especially for those who live in apartments.

I'm not looking forward to possibly not having my own "the outside" when I move away from here.


via jennyjenny

One Word Only

You’re Feeling: anxious
To Your Left: air
On Your Mind: school
Last Meal Included: eclair
You Sometimes Find it Hard To: finish
The Weather: icky
Something You Have a Collection of: boxes
A Smell that Cheers You Up: laundry
A Smell that Can Ruin Your Mood: cigarettes
How Long Since You Last Shaved: decades
The Current State of Your Hair: messy
The Largest Item On Your Desk/Workspace Right Now (besides computer): Buddha
Your Skill with Chopsticks: expert
Which Section You Head to First In the Bookstore: new
…and After That?: scifi
Something You’re Craving: saltycrunchy
Your General Thoughts On the Presidential Race: impatient
How Many Times You’ve Been Hospitalized this Year: none
A Favorite Place to Go for Quiet Time: bedroom
You’ve Always Secretly Thought You’d Be a Good: chef
Something that Freaks You Out a Little: centipedes
Something You’ve Eaten Too Much of Lately: pastries
You Have Never: sailed
You Never Want To: fish

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Notes to self

Remember to make sure that you have a contact lens case at your boyfriend's before spending the night. Otherwise, you will be forced to use a shot glass for one lens and a double-shot glass for the other. And you will also end up standing in front of the sink for at least 5 minutes, looking puzzled and trying to remember which eyeball gets which glass.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A job for me?

I'm starting to keep an eye out for job possibilities, since I may actually be graduating this May. Well, as long as I get my incomplete classes out of the way, that is. Right now I'm torn between moving elsewhere and starting my "professional" life and staying in Champaign-Urbana and working on a "Certificate of Advanced Study," which is sort of a PhD-lite degree. It would be 40 more credits, but no qualifying exams, and a thesis instead of a dissertation. Sounds fun to me!

But then I run across job titles like this one, and think "maybe I should go the job-route, with such interesting positions!"

Coordinator of College Liaisons
Colorado State University, Fort Collins

Aren't librarians supposed to stop students from having sex in the stacks? Librarian-pimp was not one of the positions (har!) I thought I was qualified for....

Monday, March 24, 2008

What OS are you?

Well, I didn't expect this result. I've never even used a Linux OS. Yet.

You are Slackware Linux. You are the brightest among your peers, but are often mistaken as insane.  Your elegant solutions to problems often take a little longer, but require much less effort to complete.
Which OS are You?

Found via Dave