Monday, December 14, 2009

Things that make the day go faster

It's the holidays! What better way to make the day go faster than indulge in the annual tradition of wrapping your supervisor in Christmas lights!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Big Snark-Off! Post-2012 Edition Part One

Recent advancement in retrieval of ancient electronic media, has given us access to this remarkable chronical of the early years of the Time of No-Text (TNT) The site was discovered in the Great I-10 Cave in the year 3500. A power generator and ancient digital device were also found at the site. These artifacts have been very valuable in our understanding of pre-2012 technology

From the events discussed in these fragments, we can guess that it was written between the years 2012 and 1250 and that the author was between the age of 12 and 20 when it was started. This would make the author between 62 and 70 at the time the newest fragments were written.

A object found near the fragment may indicate that the author's name was Security.

While archaeologists are still searching for items that would verify the accuracy of this document, we may look at it as something that give us insight into TNT.


In the days before the world changed in 2012, life was simple. Advances in science, technology, and homeland security made life easier every day.

We All Live in an Atomic Submarine via Awful Library Books by hhibner on 12/4/09)

The people benefitted from this technology. It became part of everyday life. Hyper-tasking left more time for the leisure activities everyone and their dog enjoyed.

(Picture: Strange Black & White Photos
via Walking Paper by Aaron Schmidt on 11/17/09)

Modern cultural institutions also benefitted from this technology, making cultural opportunities available for everyone.

(Picture: public library photos and reminiscences
via by jessamyn on 11/28/09)

Indeed, the technology and resulting social networking led to a lively sense of community both in-person and online.

(Picture: Party’s Over via Awful Library Books by hhibner on 11/22/09)

Then some bozo with generic cornstarch for brains looked at the Mayan Calender

(Picture: Dunno Source)

In technicolor

(Picture: Dunno Source)

To be accurate, let the record reflect that the average Mayan was nonplussed by the entire topic and laundry remained the first order of the day.

(Picture: Dunno Source)

Meanwhile, Cornstarch-For-Brains and his nefarious hangers-on decided this ancient calendar could be useful to them. They wanted power. The power to change history. The power to bend history to their will. The power to gain Great Wealth.

To further their cause, this group used all media available to convince large groups of fundamentalist Christians that the End of the World was nigh. Convincing this large a group would give them Great Power over the lives of those people and, more importantly, their money

So the word was sent forth:

"This is it! The ancient sign! The Sign of Pagans! Gog and Magog are going to duke it out. Will you be a sheep, goat, or Left Below? The RAPTURE is at hand. "

(Picture: You’ve Been Left Behind!)

All that was left to do was pray, live in brotherly love, and find some idjit whose neglect of the environment, ability do divide a united people, serious lack of communication skills, and an irritant factor of +5,000,000 to speed this blessed event on its way

(Picture Source: The Internet)

And then it happened.
December 12, 2012.
The day the internet died.
When our world ended "not with a bang, but with a whimper."

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Big Snark-Off! Cautionary Tale Edition

My goodness, look at Susie all grown-up!

She gets the best grades of the whole class in Home-Ec. Surely she'll make some man a fine wife someday.

That nice neighbor boy, Kenny, is always coming over to grab Susie's cupcakes!

Math Anxiety! via Awful Library Books by marykelly48 on 10/24/09
Mom is so proud of little Kenny! Good grades and he's dating that sweet little Susie from church.

Their faith and common sense will surely keep them safe from harm throughout their lives. Praise God!

Coffee, Tea or Me?
via Awful Library Books by marykelly48 on 10/12/09

Susie's Dad is just skipping with glee as he sees his little girl growing up. Previously only interested in cooking and playing dress-up with her cat she has just started dating that cute little boy from next door.

That Kenny is just dreamy in a hot nerdy way. His interest in hot rod safety speaks volumes about his character. I'd trust my girl with him any day!

Teen Wheels via Awful Library Books by hhibner on 11/5/09
Look! See Kenny's car. Kenny has a new car. Kenny is so excited he's going throw a rod. Now he and Susie can have all the privacy they need on a date!

Kenny: "Hey babe, can't wait to shine up the hood and extend the antenna so we can make out in the backseat tonight after the big game!"

Susie: "Here's the key to my chastity belt! Let's get it on!

When duct tape and plastic aren’t enough…
via Awful Library Books by marykelly48 on 10/5/09

There was just one little thing left behind that night. And that thing just got bigger and bigger.

Oh why did they skip school the day "family preparedness" was discussed in health class!

How could they know that Saran Wrap could not save them from impending disaster!

Cheap Dates via Awful Library Books by marykelly48 on 11/3/09

One teenage pregnancy, a mortgage, chronic unemployment, and a
cretaceous divorce later, Ken struggles to get back into the dating game while Susie chuckles over his every bonehead move.

He was too cheap to buy condoms back then and he hasn't changed a bit!

But Susie was not left untouched by tragedy. Oh no. A few years later, suffering from empty-nest syndrome, aging, and crippling alcoholism, Susie turns to the two things that went right in her life.

Kittens and Home Ec.

Years later, Kenny and Susie met in an alley outside the homeless shelter. Upon sight each was overcome with rage at how their lives had ended up. Shivs were drawn, blood was spilled, and they killed each other

The End

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Fire, Ice, and Polar Bears

Fire and Ice (Buchanan, #7) Fire and Ice by Julie Garwood

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Something is wrong here. I'm not enjoying Garwood's last three books the way I have every other book she has written. I'm not giving up on her, not by a long shot. Something is just off here.

I think maybe the books are getting more caught up in the mystery/suspense portion of the genre and less involved in the romance department. Sophie and Jack seem to wash around in a flood of other characters. The romance appears and it just isn't quite fleshed out.

I suspect character development was neglected a bit. Character development was rich in her other novels. Other than his interest in the Food Channel, we don't find out a whole lot about the "real" Jack. Information is given, it just doesn't stick. Sophie's interactions with her girlfriends are real. Her interaction with her co-workers and others is not heart-felt. They seem to be almost by wrote.

I do give points for Garwood's interwoven story about the mad scientists. Totally cool. Suspense and then an adrenaline rush. The mystery surrounding their actions and the full account of their transgressions is revealed very satisfactorily at the end.

I'll soldier on with Ms. Garwood. I suspect this slump, too, will pass. I think she is still appealing to many readers and look forward to seeing where she goes next with her stories.

Would I recommend this book to a Mad Scientist? Possibly. He may like a feeling of unity with the scientists in this book.

Would I recommend this book to Michele Obama? Naw. She has less time to read than the average person and I'm sure she'd like to spend it on things that are just a bit better. Unless she's really a Mad Scientist in disguise.

Would I recommend this book to a man in a bear suit? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Bears do not fare well in this book.

View all my reviews >>

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chachbag aka: Chach Bag


Because they asked me to.

Because he insulted a romance author, etc.

But mostly, because I've never participated in a google-bomb. Man I hope I did this right.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Take Me Back to The Black Hills

Black Hills Black Hills by Nora Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Another fun read from Nora Roberts. Not her best, but still good. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the Black Hills and the refuge animals.

Another thing I really admire about Roberts is her dialogue. She uses terms real people use. Consider the contraction "I'd've" We all say it. Authors seem to fear it. It's real. I say, if you're writing popular fiction or have characters who speak popular American English, toss that fear aside and go with it.

There are also some possibilities for sequels in this novel, although I don't know if response will be positive enough for it to warrant a sequel. Many of the assistants and interns seem to be characters screaming to be further explored. That would, unfortunately, put Roberts in the position of writing two series at once, so that may be another variable.

I didn't find the hero to be as lovable as her recent loving nerdish ones. The heroine, as always, was strong and smart.

Would I recommend this to a man in a bear suit?
Possibly. The man may have an interest in animal refuge work. Or not. His choice.

Would I recommend this to a fan of Christian Romance?
Possibly. It would depend on the reader's reason for reading Christian Romance. The heroine especially takes a spiritual journey as she finds love with the hero. So does the secondary character who comes to terms with love in her life. Swearing is not particularly prevalent. However, if the reader insists on a completely Christian interpretation of spirituality, this book would not be for him or her.

Would I recommend this to someone looking for something like what Charles Bukowski writes? Absolutely not.

Would I recommend this to

View all my reviews >>

Not The End

Hot Pursuit (Troubleshooters, #15) Hot Pursuit by Suzanne Brockmann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
By now it's no secret that there will be a pause in the series for a bit. Maybe some short stories. While the thought makes me want to faint dead away, I totally get it. Brockmann has been writing this series for how long now? Take a rest, girl. Explore some new ideas and formats. Enjoy time with your son. I totally get it.

Add to that the cretaceous hell-fire generated from her previous book where she apparently gave Sophia the HEA many readers didn't want and, truly, she deserves a rest. I didn't get the whole controversy anyway. It's her world and it did leave us with a new way of viewing the series.

While I gave this book 5 stars, I did feel it wasn't up to her usual standards. The plot was good. Sam and Alyssa were a great team as usual. A couple of new characters were introduced, giving the series room to grow. Even a new gay character was introduced. Good deal.

While I enjoy Sam and Alyssa, I'm not understanding the great obsession many readers have with them. I'm hoping the proposed short stories are not all Sam and Alyssa 24/7. There were some other great stories and characters I'd love to revisit.

Including Tom and Kelly Paoletti! Let's check back on the Big One that started it all. Unsung Hero, their love story, was part of the Seal Team 16 series predated the Troubleshooters series. But it was a great setup for the series. And, after all, many critiques of romance consider it the Perfect Contemporary Romantic Suspense Novel.

So, take a break, Ms. Brockmann. Stand down. Job well done and looking forward to the Next Big Thing.

Would I recommend this title to a man in a bear suit? Not unless he indicated he had been reading the series all along. Although it stands alone, the rest of the series really whets the appetite.

Would I recommend this title to the guy standing outside the library repeatedly stating "The End is Near?" Since that's about all he says, I don't think I would. Not that he ever says much else to go on anyway.

Would I recommend this title to a fan who wants Hard Science SF? No. While there are gadgets, this does not meet the criteria for that genre.

Would I recommend this title to a fan of Marliss Merton's Seal series? Yes, without hesitation. Action, romance, empowered heroines and hunky strong smart heroes. Great fit.

View all my reviews >>

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dallas Love-Boat Fail

Burn Burn by Linda Howard

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Well crap.

I enjoy most of Linda Howard's books. This isn't one of them. I read the first 50 pages, as Nancy Pearl recommends. I wasn't impressed. But I wanted to like Burn. I really wanted to! Death Angel wasn't great at the start but had a socko ending. Please, let this one be too, please?

Alas, it was simply not to be. Jenner is a good strong character. Then she turns into a wimp. Maybe seven years after winning the lottery everybody turns into a wimp. Whatta I know?

The beginning Jenner would either have given her capters the slip and burned down the boat or would see right through things and partner with Cael et. al. because it was the right thing to do. I presume so, since I couldn't finish the book.

And Holy Hoary-headed Grebe! What's up with Cael and his merry band of kidnapping-with-no-explanation let's-play-bondage pals? much in the romantic suspense area lately? Bodice-ripping "Rape Me" scenes or anything remotely related to them are sooo 1980s! Not that this was exactly bodice-ripping rape-me stuff. But the undercurrent was the same: Submit woman! Submit or unspeakable things will happen to you and your little friend! And the dog! And the neighbor's dog! Submit!

Or maybe Ms. Howard is revisiting the Glitz and Glamour romances that were hot in the 80s. Jackie Collins anyone? How about her sister, Joan? And maybe there is a chance that will come back while people are facing tough economic times right now. Who knows, maybe it's time to resurrect this subgenre from the dead, dead oil fields of Dallas and the withered vineyards of Falcon Crest.

And, yes, the television show Love Boat kept weaving itself into my consciousness while I tried to read this. Seriously, would the affable and not-stereotypically-named bartender, Isaac Washington have allowed this? Wouldn't Captain Stubing and the Doctor have figured out something was amiss? Couldn't Gopher have sunk the boat or something?

Yup, the whole thing smells of a 1980s rehash, using modern high-tech to somehow imagine it into this century. In fact, something about the previous book, Death Angel, also gives me that vibe.

I have confidence in Ms. Howard and, if she's playing with the genre this way, I can only encourage her even though I did not enjoy this book. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, for the author or the genre. So give it a shot. I hope next time is more successful.

Would I recommend this book to a man in a bear suit? Only if he mentioned loving Speed II, Love Boat, Dallas, and Falcon Crest

Would I recommend this book to an undercover superspy who liked fiction about electronic spy gadgets? I didn't get far, but it appeared to me that the gadgets that were going to be used weren't really emphasized, so I'd have to say no.

Would I recommend this book to someone who likes to read about current events? No.

Would I recommend this book to someone who is really curious about where the romance genre is headed? Yes. Ms. Howard is reviewing old ground and trying to bring it into the present. Give it a shot, Ms. H! I'll check in on your next book, too.

View all my reviews >>

Monday, August 31, 2009

Against All Odds by Irene Hannon

Against All Odds (Heroes of Quantico Series, Book 1) Against All Odds by Irene Hannon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I don't read a lot of Christian fiction. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the genre has evolved since my last foray some years ago. And shame on me for not keeping up! Irene Hannon has done a good job of putting a lot of my fears about Christian Fiction aside.

The plot was a lot of fun and full of action The hints about upcoming heroes and heroines in the series are always fun to spot. The emotions felt by the hero and heroine were genuine. The chaste behavior was downright refreshing, as were the character's struggles with maintaining that behavior.

The heroine's relationship with her father and the circumstances surrounding his situation were well-explained. Great descriptions of the countryside involved in both locations.

Ummm...the security/body guard aspect? Boy howdy, some very important things were left undone by the security people. I can see how Ms. Hannon used them to advance the story. Unfortunately, the security team's mistakes were so blatantly negligent it made it difficult to suspend disbelief and completely enjoy the story.

In the name of Scotch-brand Adhesive Tape and drywall, what team does not check each and every window and door of each and every building on the ground with every walk-through? Who would time their rounds to be absolutely predictable? That aspect of the novel was a real WTHeckOMGoshBBQEleventyHotMess with a side of fries. Here's hoping Ms. Hannon finds less-blatantly obvious ways to advance the story in future.

I did run into another BIG problem. A problem that a lot of Christian Fiction publishers need to address. The hero's conversion from skeptic to full-blown, church-going, man of Christian faith was just too quick and too easy. After just reading a few parts of the Bible? After attending one service because the heroine didn't like to miss church?

The heroine's faith is too simply presented. She believes. But what does she believe?

What passages and emotions specifically drive the changes in both the hero and the heroine? If writing from a Christian viewpoint, then forge ahead with gusto. Make it interesting, keep the emotions strong and fully explored. Let the reader feel closer to God's glory.

Faith requires emotion. I would like to see that emotion explored as deeply as the emotions between hero and heroine in Christian Fiction. Relying on an unwritten assumption that everyone will understand because the readers tend to be all Christian is a failure of logic.

My Christian walk of faith tends to be different from those who prefer a more literal interpretation of the Bible. Some call it a more progressive faith, others a more liberal understanding. What do I know? God speaks all languages. I can still appreciate the Holy Spirit felt by those with that literal interpretation. Hit me with it!

I have a deep emotional connection with my faith. It is not simple. It is complex. I want to see that in Christian heroes and heroines. I want to know their faith journey. Share it.

Would I recommend this to readers of Christian Fiction?
Yes, first revealing that there is some violence and it is a contemporary romance. Some readers don't want the violence. Others don't want a contemporary

Would I recommend this to readers of Thrillers?
No. This is not a medical, legal, economic, or tech thriller. It is Romantic-Suspense, Christian-style.

Would I recommend this to a Man in a Bear Suit? Only if he specifically asked for a Romantic-Suspense, Christian-style book. Readers of romance tend to be women. (I do want to point out that there are many, many exceptions to this statement. And, let's face it. The guy in the bear suit may be into some uncommon sexual practices. This would not appeal to him.

View all my reviews >>

3 Favorite Authors! 3 New Books!

What a great time for this Romantic-Suspense reading fool to be alive! Sure, it happens every August and February. Sure, I know way ahead of time what's coming. But wowza! What a rush!

Suzanne Brockmann's Hot Pursuit, Linda Howard's Burn, and Nora Roberts' Black Hills in one glorious end-of-summer trifecta!

I've been remiss in my reviews lately so I will be doing some posting to play catch-up. Perhaps more than one a day.

I also plan to include in these reviews something I picked up from Bitterly Books: Who would I recommend this to?

I'll include some groups that would enjoy the book, some groups that would not enjoy the book, and, always "A Man In A Bear Suit."* The bear suit always gets me.

*See old David Letterman schticks. The one that I best remember was the "Can a guy in a bear suit get into a strip club?"**

** Mr. Letterman, CBS, et. al.: If I offend or otherwise break a copyright thingy, do please let me know. I will switch to "A man in an Ursine Disguise." Bear Suit is easier to type so I'm going with that for now.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Snarky McCrabby Pants Reporting For Duty!

(photo courtesy of
Heavy is the head that wears the sausage crown… via WTF Pictures and WTF videos by Picture Is Unrelated by pizzaburger on 7/22/09)

America, listen up. You dress like pigs having a bad hair day. Well, at least they do here, in the middle of a Big City in the middle of a Dusty Desert where it's freakin' hot.


If you want to dress like a slob, stay at home where you'll be ready to garden, fix the plumbing, work on the family car, or have a head cold.

This is not to say there are times when it is simply unavoidable. Like, say,

  • When the temperature is over 105. Or below 20.

  • When you've been a victim of a disaster: natural or otherwise.

  • You're homeless by choice or chance and live off donations to the shelter you've taken refuge in.

  • You've been out of work for ages.

  • You're incredibly pregnant and miserable.

  • It's January in Iowa and you only have one winter coat so it's not like you can take it to the cleaners and go without for a few days.
Stuff like that. These things are understandable. I understand that. I support people's attempts in these circumstances.

For the rest of you:

C'mon peeps! What does this say about your self-image? I say it means you don't give a damn. Or you have low self-esteem. And that ain't good.

Love yourself! Have a little pride! You are not respecting yourself or the places you are visiting by poor choices in dress and presentation. Not all positive life-changes start from the inside. Fake it 'til you make it.

A friend of mine says the entire downfall of western society is due to the introduction of Diet Pepsi into the marketplace. Me? I trace it back to the late 60s or early 70s when wearing a t-shirt with a slogan or someone's corporate logo on it became chic.

Yes. Yes I do. Somehow this gave us all permission to dress down. To go for comfort over presentation. To slouch toward the epitome of slobdom.

And think of this, you logo-wearing t-shirt fanatics: You paid money to be a walking billboard for a product. And you receive no reimbursement. What are you, stupid? Clarification: T-shirts for worthy causes are encouraged. Unless the event was 2 years ago. Save that one for the garden.

Let me be clear. Nobody makes it every day. And, like I said, I work in a place where it's just plain stinkin' hot and it's very urban. Maybe my vision is skewed. I am aware that there are many places in the country where this isn't a problem. Big chunks of NYC pay close attention to dress, for example.

So, for the love of Gucci and flip-flops, consider this, America:
  • When was the last time you wore a shirt that was not a t-shirt? If it has been longer than a week, you might want to rethink that choice.

  • Can I see man-titty, boobs, or belly jiggle beneath that shirt? If so, you might want to rethink that choice

  • Was that now-grey t-shirt once black? If so, you might want to rethink that choice.

  • And how can we forget this? Keep the fanny pack above the belt level, fellas?


  • Over 24 and still going for the grunge thing? Sorry, Kurt Cobain called from the beyond and wants his mojo back

  • You really can use an iron. Or a steamer. I'm not insisting on this. I'm just sayin'


  • I am declaring bra-straps showing under spaghetti-strap camisols OUT!

  • I am also declaring that prison-convict-inspired pants with the waist at the knees look OUT!

In related subjects, let's talk hair-styles
  • If you last changed your hair-style during the Carter administration, it's time for a makeover

  • If you last washed your hair a week ago, it's time to do so

  • If you last changed your hair-style during the protest-era, STOP THAT

  • If you can't keep your hair out of your face, find a way or cut it. Mom was right.

  • Are you Anglo and for some reason trying to turn your stick-straight hair into dreds? NO!

  • Do you over-gel the hell out of your hair to keep it standing up in a punky kind of spiky style? Don't. A special word to the gentlemen on this: My father wore his hair in a flat-top for over 50 years and never used wax or gels. It always stood up. He would say "It takes a good man to keep it standing up." Ummm...don't show your lack of manliness by using a ton of goop. Advertise your manly goodness in other ways

  • Bowl cut? Sorry, my fellow librarians, update it. Now.

OK, I think I've spewed enough. Like the guy who walked in the other day with traces of this morning's hangover spew still clinging to him. Enough with the spewing already.

For now.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dork Report - Healthy Edition

OK, I've had quite enough of this health care flap. WTFBBQOMG with a side of fries! My opinion is: For the love of God and latex gloves, let's just do something! I'm willing to sacrifice for the good of others.

Hey! You all who call this a Christian Nation or simply call yourselves Christians? Join me in the Great Commandment - that we should love one another as ourselves. I've had it with watching friends and co-workers go without health care because they have no insurance.

Let's take a look at some health-care dorks, shall we?

Interview with gun-toting protester at Obama rally was staged
ia Recently Published/Updated on 8/18/09
Staged? Who cares? How was it even appropriate that an assault rifle shows up at any kind of rally? It's not like he's in downtown Baghdad.

Commentary: When interest groups go too far
via Recently Published/Updated on 8/12/09
"Last week, Americans saw some disturbing images. During town hall meetings about health care reform, legislators and citizens were loudly interrupted and intimidated by members of the audience who refused to let them speak."

Ummm...can anybody think of a place in the constitution where it says intimidating people into silence is a good thing? No, I thought not.

Free speech = good.
Denying the opposition the chance to speak=bad

And a double-dork award for the media that only cover these ridiculous confrontations. Many of these town halls have gone off without a hitch.

Entertainment Department

Friend: Jon Gosselin 'is not the same as he was' via Recently Published/Updated on 8/20/09

Dan Brown's latest conspiracy thriller looks to be 'big, big'
via Books - Top Stories on 8/21/09
WHAT? How could this happen? Wow. I wasn't expecting that

Parenting Department
It just never ends...

Parenting Fail via FAIL Blog: Pictures and Videos of Owned, Pwnd and Fail Moments by Cheezburger Network on 8/20/09

Don't snakes carry salmonella? Or is that just Death Turtles?

At Least Someone Is Thinking Of The Children
via PROBABLY BAD NEWS by newshound on 8/6/09

Domestic Sciences Department
18 clever time-savers for super busy people via Recently Published/Updated on 8/3/09
Man, some of these are too dumb to live. Let's start right off with the first line:

Ingenious ideas from (and for) busy women everywhere. Hmmm...didn't that line go out about 1972?

And some of the suggestions...

Make a quick breakfast
Put all your fruit, milk, silken tofu, or yogurt in the blender pitcher and store the pitcher in the refrigerator overnight. (You can even prechop a banana. It will brown, but that will not affect the flavor of the shake.) In the morning, set it on the blender and press the button.

Oh good grief. All my fruit? Here's an even quicker breakfast: Breakfast bars. Bonus: Your kids will eat them. As opposed to the rotten-banana-looking shake thing with tofu.

Thanks for the tip about pressing the button on the blender, though. I was wondering why mine wasn't working.

Put the kids to work
Tired of hearing "What's for dinner?" and "That again?" Turn over the role of meal planner and cook to your family.

Oh yeah, that's gonna work. 1) It assumes all these busy people have kids. 2)It assumes a toddler is able to prepare a meal 3) It assumes a teen is going to "remember" to make a meal. 4)Someone (ie: YOU) is going to have to clean up the mess.

Never miss another birthday
Send out birthday cards once a month. Receiving one early is better than not receiving one at all.

Here's a ticket for the clue-train: Just ditch the cards altogether. Maybe for your mom or a close relative. Srsly, does anyone expect a birthday card from their neighbors anymore? Email, email, email. If you must. There. Problem solved.

Start a recipe chain letter
OK, how does this work with: Put the kids to work.

And I'm sure we all have time to sit down and write out the recipe, snail-mail it, and anxiously await the day when your name will float up to the top and you'll receive a boatload of yummy recipes that will satisfy your entire family. Oh yeah, that's a real time-saver - NOT

Time-stamp your photos
When you get your photographs developed, label the envelopes before leaving the store. WHAT? Who does this anymore? Let me explain this: the pictures you take with a digital camera are already date-stamped when you upload them to the computer. Backup frequently. Print out as needed. Done.

I think this entire article was surreptitiously lifted from Good Housekeeping in 1963.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Dan Brown's Lost Symbol

Besides stocking tons of these books, it is important to be able to refer your readers to readalikes. Face it, those waits for holds will be looooooong! Here is yet another list of readalikes

click here for lists of readalikes

(for my co-workers: I will be working like crazy to make shared/community lists and also handouts asap)

Genre Talk

Some great stuff lately describing and discussiong genre

Mystery via Library Journal - Genre Fiction on 8/14/09
"Using the past as a main ingredient in solving present-day crimes has increasingly become an important element in contemporary mysteries."

Romance via Library Journal - Genre Fiction on 8/14/09
"Paranormal Everywhere Paranormal romance is still enthralling readers. In addition to carving out discrete romance niches—vampire romance, shape-changer romance (werewolves, werecats, etc.), witch romance, and so on—magical and paranormal elements continue to seep into other romance subgenres with delightful, or alarming, regularity"

Still Page Turners 10 years Later via RA for All by Becky on 8/16/09
"Click here to read Isabel Wilkinson's "Back to the 90s" article outlining nine page turners from the 1990s that are still holding strong."

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Big Snark-Off: Pregnant Anticipation Edition


Here is a brief summary of why you should click, and CLICK NOW, to read this review:

"Two of my family members have been by to check on me. The dog is now resting on my feet in case I need comfort, and the cat is in my lap. When the phone rang, my mother thought I was horribly upset about something, and I started laughing all over again."
If that doesn't convince you, consider these soundbites from the review itself:
" I know when I want to kidnap someone on the down-low, I hop in my van PLASTERED WITH MY CHURCH LOGO in order to do it."




And these winners from the gracious author:

"My original title was Pregnesia-The Story of A Pregnant Princess with Amnesia Who Lusts For An Ex-Navy Seal Turned Sheik Cowboy.

"Stay tuned for my next blockbuster - Virgin Bride With Secret Babies Wants A Cop who Rides The Range"

But here's the kicker:
The stupid title works! It is so memorable that our Fiction specialist at work actually remembered it after the hundreds of titles he flips through each day. Further, many members of the bitchery are buying it for the chance to actually own a book with the title "Pregnesia."


Libraryland Department

Awful Library Books has been on a roll lately:
Teacher Spanks Johnny
From anonymous submitter:
“Being a teacher myself, I just HAD to have this book. Empty threats are no more in my classroom! Not after a quick reference to page 18 in the chapter titled Force Used on Pupil By Teacher where it states that “five blows with a ping-pong paddle is not unreasonable force“.

And thoseblows are why we need this man.

Moving into Manhood
via Awful Library Books by marykelly48 on 8/10/09
Moving into Manhood

"...Sexual health information is a bit vague and sketchy. There were a couple of nice pencil drawings some basic sex parts. Dr Bauer does warn of mixed marriages and girls who are fast."

Save us ceiling-cat! Save us!

Dr. Bauer is, fortunately, not the only person out there looking out for the health of our nation's young people.

Oh, God, no... not again. Not another migraine. Ugh, I can feel it coming on, feel those demons cavorting on my cranium. But that doesn't really describe the agonizing ache - feels more like pins pushing through my pineal gland or...or...(fuck, this hurts) thorns thrusting through my thalamus. Or serpents slithering through my cerebellum. Oh, sweet bejeebus, make it stop! It feels like ballerinas pirouetting en pointe and executing perfect arabesques on my parietal lobe. Yes, that's what it is! Tiny dancers dashing my desire to live. I... need... relief!

I've found a boatload of wonderful sites that have increased my snark-wonder to an all-time high. I share them via my feed to the right. I also have a lot of fodder for the Dork Report and because of my blasted liberal-biased righteous need to share.
Feel free to browse my feed. I just can't blog them all!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Modern Life Failure - Domestic Science Fail

I have failed in the use of many modern conveniences. I admit it now before God and the Internet. God help me.

Not that I don't use one helluva lot of modern stuff that didn't exist a mere 50 years ago. There are just some that throw me for a loop. So, herein lies my partial confession. I know I'll have more at some later date. I always do.

Throwing a Sheet-Fit
I like fitted sheets as fine as anything for sleeping on. Yes I do. For those who move about a lot in their sleep and tend to untuck everything they are beyond swell.

What I can't do well is put them on the damn bed. The struggle! The swearing! The Sturm und Drang!

I learned to make beds in the 1960s before fitted sheets were in wide use. For the flat bottom sheet, you put the wide hem at the top and the sheet is easily straightened so that the long sides line up with the long sides and the bottom at the bottom. From there it it's a simple matter of tucking under and doing your hospital corners. Like this guy, you may need to try a couple of times before you get the hang of it, but pretty soon it's a snap.

These fitted sheets? In the name of love and cornstarch, how the hell are you supposed to tell which end goes at the top of the bed and which at the sides? It's all an elastic-sided floppy basket. You turn and turn and you don't know you've put a side at the top until nothing fits.

Then there's the "warping the mattress" problem. Tuck too far under and you've got the corners of the mattress rising from the box spring in an attempt to contort itself into an origami monster.

And do not get me started on folding the stupid fitted sheet so it lies nicely on the shelf when not in use.

I have partially solved the where-is-the-top problem by purchasing sheets with a subtle self-stripe. I must admit that the best solution I've found is hiring a cleaning crew that makes the bed for you.

Mineral Mines
What's with people who can't be bothered to remove mineral deposits and other scale from the showerhead?

Say you're visiting a friend out of town and use their shower. You don't know if the water is going to squirt out one side of the showerhead or dribble out the other. And is it really sanitary? Does that rocky gook provide a breeding ground for bacteria? Are you really that good friends?

Save those fancy new-fangled chemical sprays for those desperate times when a great rock of minerals has sprun up somewhere on your premises. Those boulders just need a good atomic blast of poison.

Holy Gila Woodpecker! Why not just unscrew the showerhead once in a while and soak it in plain old vinegar? Do it a couple of times a year and those nasty mineral deposits won't require so much work, won't creep out your guests, and will keep that expensive showerhead in good condition.

Are You Above the Salt? Really?
My grandmother rarely took medications of any kind. She'd had diptheria as a child and, as a consequence of the morphine pumped into her, developed a strong aversion to medications. The morphine made her feel "rosy." She had a fear of anything making her feel "rosy." And heaven knows we don't want anyone walking around feeling "rosy."

I myself have absolutely no aversion to medications. I take them daily. In abundance. In fact, I've just used a pill to ward off an impending migraine.

What I'm getting at here are the over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and other pain relievers. Add up the money you've spent on over-the-counter pain killers over the years. Scary, huh? Not to mention all those life-will-kill-you news segments on risks for this and that.

Here's what my grandmother did instead of drugs for occasional muscle strain and inflammation and for cramping of various kinds. For the sake of cabbage, just put the epsom salts in the tub and soak! It works wonders. And all you'll feel afterward is the rosy glow of relief.

Friday, July 24, 2009


New Citizen Alert!

Had a big 'ol honkin' group of people come to the 'ol biblioteca to take the oath today to become brand-spankin' new US citizens. Our Teen Council members coordinate this at least once a year. Welcome to our new citizens and props to our teens!

Health and Entertainment

Publicist: Mischa Barton 'making improvements' via NPR Topics: Arts & Entertainment on 7/21/09 OK, nobody has come right out and said it, but the fact that they didn't indicates it's probably a mental health issue. I don't know much at all about Ms. Barton. What I want to say is, if it is a mental health problem, bravo for having the courage to take care of it before it gets out of hand. And double-kudos to those who have let the lass have privacy.

Pharmacists can't refuse Plan B pill, appeals court says
via All News Feeds on 7/8/09 "Pharmacists are obliged to dispense the Plan B pill, even if they are personally opposed to the "morning after" contraceptive on religious grounds, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday."

While I respect a person's individual beliefs, the pharmacists trying to refuse medications are not following the ethics of their profession. Even though I hate some of the things my library customers ask for, if it's legal and in my power, I can't refuse to look for it. Follow your professional ethics, please!

International Report

Face it, our neighbors to the south are in one helluva pickle with these drug cartels and government corruption. And, living in the US kidnapping capital, I can say without qualification that the violence is spreading across the border. It scares the crap out of me. This is just one small drop in the bucket, but bravo to those who caught the killers. It was a brave thing. Keep working on it, Mexico.

Fugitive U.S. white supremacist captured in Israel via Recently Published/Updated on 7/14/09 "A fugitive American white supremacist was arrested Monday in Israel, ending an international manhunt that began in 2007, Israeli and U.S. officials said."
Hallelujah. Let's keep fighting the good fight against hate. And find out what would make a person like that.

Africans reach out to Obama via text messages via Recently Published/Updated on 7/11/09 I just think this is just cool. Individuals in a continent torn apart by poverty and civil war have an avenue, however tiny, to plead their case to one of the most powerful men in the world. It may not be much, but it's a small step.

US Politics
Although I did not want him for president, when Sen. McCain stands up for the right thing people listen. Well done, senator.

"With each failure our conscience is stung, and we resolve to do better," he said. "Each time we say, 'never again,' whatever our flaws, whatever dangers we face, however sharp our debates, we must remain a country with a conscience..."I will tell you, if you inflict enough pain on someone for a long enough period of time, that person is going to tell you anything that they think you want to hear in order to make the pain stop," he said...He said even if torture did elicit useful information that would help keep the country safe, the tactic is almost always wrong."
Food For Thought

(quoted in full)
Changing Our World via Stephen's Lighthouse by stephen on 7/10/09

On of the more thoghtful and well written blogs is Dave Pollard's How to Save the World.
In a recent posting entitled
4 World Changing Questions, and 12 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE. Dave asks, on a personal level:

1. "What one additional capacity or skill, more than any other, do you think you need to acquire or learn, to equip yourself to make the world a better place, and why? What is the single best way for you to acquire or learn (or motivate yourself to learn) that additional capacity or skill?"

2. "What one additional action, more than any other, do you think you can take, personally, to make the world a better place, and why? "

3. "What one additional action, more than any other, do you think you can take, in your community, to make the world a better place, and why?"

4. "What one additional action, more than any other, do you think you can take, in your job or enterprise, to make the world a better place, and why?"

For each question Dave asks "What's really holding you back from doing so? What can you do to get past this block?"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Big Snark-Off: Death Turtle Edition

AHA! Great Minds Think Alike!
One of my snark-idols, Lileks had thoughts similar to mine on Monday's 40th anniversary of the moon landing. This indicates to me that we must be approximately the same age.
“This is the hour of rejoicing” via (title unknown) by Lileks on 7/20/09.

"I knew we’d make it. I knew they’d come back safe. They were astronauts...It wasn’t just geeky nerd-boys who lived for Space. It seemed everyone did. Now that I think of it, I had my first - and possibly last - act of actual journalism in the summer of 1969; I got a cassette tape recorder for my birthday, and went over to Northport Shopping Center to ask people what they thought of the moon landing. (They were for it.) "

Let This Be A Lesson To You Department!
Back...away...from...the turtle... This torrid tale is reprinted in full below.

Turtles have a leisurely, gentle way about them. They're slow and steady and don't partake in any seaside drama. But just try to mess with their eggs!

These are some of the last known photos taken of one C. Sheldon Smith during a school field trip to the shore. Repeatedly told by his teacher "not to disturb the eggs; to look, don't touch; and to get your grimy hands off the goddamn eggs, how many times do I have to tell you, you freakish little moron," Sheldon squatted down, scooped up a cache of freshly laid leathery orbs, and in so doing, incurred the mighty wrath of mama turtle.

May the following snapshot, taken moments before the horrible deaths of Sheldon and his classmates (and the surrounding townsfolk) serve as a warning to us all.

Thus passeth the glory of the naughty boy/lizard king/potential death turtle

Vocabulary Department
The story is nothing particularly new, but the phrase "cow-irker" will now be stuck in my vocabulary forever! Blathermouth Cow-Irker via Etiquette Hell by admin on 7/21/09

Politics Department
This is bizarre. I can not figure out the reason for this. In the name of love and taquitos, WHY?

I'm Guessing They Didn't Have a Matching Card via Cake Wrecks by (Jen) on 7/21/09

On the other hand, I am struck by the detail on this representation of a dead Lenin.

And I also think it would be cool to name a band "The Dead Lenins," but I'm funny that way.

Paranormal Fiction Department

Now the Christian authors are getting into the act! And even NPR can't shut up about werewolves and werecoyotes and vampires and wereducks and crap like that. I expect to soon see a traffic warning sign: Caution: Amish Vampire Crossing

Makeitstop makeitstop makeitstop!

But, on the up side, a sequel to a book I'm fascinated with but haven't read yet (quoted in partial):

“The runaway success of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (which I have written about here and here) has inspired the publishers to try again, this time with sea monsters.
As reported in Early Word, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is taking Jane Austen's text into a world where terrible monsters lurk in every lake and pond. Our heroes must find love and stop the monsters.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sharing Wonders

And here it is, 40 years later. The moon. Man walked on the moon. Do your children and grandchildren know the wonder of the achievement? Do they understand the wonder? Have you shared?

My grandmother was told flat-out in the 1920s that a trip to the moon was impossible.

In my time, it happened. We did it. It wasn't just NASA. The entire country hoped and dreamed and did it. Sciences and mathematics were big. Interest was high. For a moment in 1969, we were all concentrated on One Big Thing.

I remember early test shots, going back to the Mercury program days. I thought they were cool. At 3, this may not have been an opinion formed on my own, but because my older brother said so it was so.

Lunchtime was interrupted at home. The black and white television was on. And we saw it go off. Something that flew higher than anything had ever flown.

Something that held promise of a wondrous future.

And looking back, it now seems almost impossible what we accomplished with slide rules. How did we dare? How did our wings, like Icarus, not melt off and send us crashing to the ground?

But we made it. We all made it. And someday, maybe we will make it again. A nation's pride and a universal wonder. Someday.

Perhaps the biggest dreamer was Walter Cronkite. His simple comment as the landing was confirmed, a simple "oh boy" summed it up. What more could be said? What more needed to be?

Walter Cronkite loved the space program as he loved sailing, his job, and his sense of humor. In the joyous and in the tragic moments of mid-twentieth century history, he led us. He was everyman and an exceptional man. And he loved the space program.

The most fitting tribute I can think of, from this small space today, is a song from the Sacred Harp. It is called White or also I'm a Long Time Travelling. Perhaps Walter's ashes will go to space someday. And that will make the singing all the sweeter.

These fleeting charms of earth Farewell,
your springs of joy are dry
My soul now seeks another home
A brighter world on high

I'm a long time travelling here below
I'm a long time travelling away from home
I'm a long time travelling here below
To lay this body down

Farewell kind friends whose tender care
Has long engaged my love
Your fond embrace I now exchange
For better friends above

I'm a long time travelling here below
I'm a long time travelling away from home
I'm a long time travelling here below
To lay this body down...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Big Snark-Off - Bastille Day Edition

Libraryland Department

I want to be a LIBRARIAN! via Awful Library Books by marykelly48 on 7/13/09
I want to be a Librarian

Thanks to anonymous submitter for this wonderful relic from the past! Submitter says there is lots of information about the card catalog and finding good books. (I wonder if this counts as a good book?) I quickly breezed through the world cat holidings and A LOT of public libraries are hanging on to this title. Please do the profession a favor and get something more current.

Trust me, this book was not my inspiration for my career choice.

ALA, Going to via A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette by J on 7/9/09
Don't feel guilty about spending your library's money to travel to ALA. It is the one time of year when your colleagues and staff actually get to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the library without you in it. Everyone will agree that that is money well spent.

It's just a jump to the left...via Judging the Books by beth on 7/11/09

There's an image so frightening here that shakes me to the core and turns my insides into pudding just thinking about it. No, it's not the thought of traveling through time and meeting one's older, cross-dressing self as this young man has done.

That would be awesome. Look above that. See the girl falling through space? Egads! I can't think of anything more spectacularly frightening than to be precariously perched, not being able to hang on, to lose one's slippery hold .......... and then drop.

In The Name of Love and All the Little Fishies Make It Stop Department

'Jon & Kate Plus 8' plus one? via Recently Published/Updated on 7/13/09
Just three weeks after Jon and Kate Gosselin announced their separation, there is speculation of a new plus-one in the mix for "Jon & Kate Plus 8."

Unemployment Department
Does commute seem shorter? Report confirms less traffic via Recently Published/Updated on 7/8/09
Americans are spending less time stuck in traffic and wasting less gas, according to a new report. Yup. And it's because they have no jobs to go to and, frankly, can't afford the gas to just go joyriding. Nope, they're taking the bus to my library to use free internet to sign up for unemployment and look for jobs. Especially if they've never used a computer before.

Funny Pictures Department

Yes, we would like to rent a manger for the night… via Picture Is Unrelated - WTF Pictures by pizzaburger on 7/8/09
"All we have left is the manger suite, sir"

"Jesus Christ! You expect us to rock the house in a friggin' manger?"

Condom dresses are so vogue right now…
via Picture Is Unrelated - WTF Pictures by pizzaburger on 7/10/09

An army unlike any other…
via Picture Is Unrelated - WTF Pictures by pizzaburger on 7/14/09 Also known as the inner circle of hell. Note also the brightly lit naughty bits on the Big One