Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: The Year In Review

demotivational posters - THE GOOD OLD DAYS
And what a year it was!

From insightful comments from the Jesus Guy outside the door to the 'ol Biblioteca to Sheriff Joe, my year was full and rich.

I'm at a new unit now and the Jesus Guy is downtown.  I miss that guy.  Let's take a look back and contemplate his messages.

"Heaven or Hell!?"
"Read the Bible!  Avoid Hell!"

I miss this guy.  He has made me contemplate many things.  Here's to you, Jesus Guy, wherever you are.




In February, the Bear Force started to patrol the border.   Here are some shots of them in action
And their coolest weapon:









Socks were discovered to be full of awesome









I continue to blather on and on and on like a liberal about politics.  Usually Arizona politics.












My tranfer to a new unit was a refreshing change of pace.  Everybody is real nice to me.  Best of all, the customers tend to bathe and put on fresh clothes before venturing out.  Life is good.














Doing storytime again is a real blast but not without its danger
















The only real problem with the 'ol biblioteca is the horrific Puppet War of 2011.  Thankfully, a herd of yaks invaded the spider-hole Teddy al-Bayr was hiding in, killing him gruesomely.



And That's Just The Way It Was

Meanwhile, In Cheezburger land

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Puppet Wars



Life at a branch library is always graced by the opportunity to participate in storytime.  Unless you absolutely despise children, storytime is fun.  It's like a little playtime built into your day. 

If you're lucky, your storytime kids will run up to you and hug you outside the library.  Like in the lingere department.  That was fun to explain.




When you start doing stuff in the children's department, a number of things start happening.  Almost immediately, everything on the planet starts gravitating to your desk.  Children's books.  Cute magnet board shapes.  Toy grasshoppers.  Pig noses. 

Cute Overload

But then something darker happens.  You walk into a storage closet and you see it.  You pretend it's not there.  You avoid the area as much as possible.  Storytime becomes tense because you know what's behind that storage door over there.  You're scared, but you can't let the kids know.  But you know. 

And, somehow, your supervisor knows.  She feels it's time to face your fears.  You are in charge of cleaning up the storage closet.  And that storage closet is overflowing with the one thing you detest:  Puppets.  Millions of puppets.  Puppets run amok.  A nightmare of puppets  Puppets that must be tracked down and jailed in their own personal Puppet-Guantanamo.

Time to declare Jihad.

First, it is important to identify the leader of the puppets.  Intelligence soon discovered the mastermind behind the occupation of the closet, one Teddy al-Bayr. al-Bayr was believed to be hiding in a back corner between the glue sticks and a box full of hats.

al-Bayr was also never without his personal cleric, one Kim Jong Boo-Boo.  Surprising communication and coordination existed in the puppet camp. 

The size of their Bear Force was impressive.

So the battle waged on.  Early on, there were rumors of a group of baby seals who planned to escape and come to our side.  Hopes were high that this group could then be employed against the Puppet faction.  We named them Seal Team 6.5.

Unfortunately, the rumors were untrue.  Some weeks later, we discovered that the defectors were not seals but, rather, turtles.  This also explained the length of time between rumor and their arrival at camp.

The battle raged on.


A few days ago, their camp became quieter.  Nothing good could come of this.  And nothing good did come of that.  Our spy had been discovered and returned to us. 

Violently. 

This brave soldier was found tossed headfirst into a box.  The noticeable scars will be with Chucky and all of us forever.

And so the war continues.  Intelligence has told us that al-Bayr's position is lacking appropriate fortification and may be breechable.  This is our greatest hope.

Until then, keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Meanwhile

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Whereupon I Join The Borg

You probably knew this was coming.  It had to happen.

I have created a QR code for this blog.
What the hell I'll do with it is anybody's guess.  Maybe I'll set it as my Facebook picture.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Space Available: #occupymybrain

OK, time to be a bit serious.

I have been fascinated with the #occupy movement and the response to it. I have come to the following conclusions:

1. Mainstream media and politicians don't get it. They look for lists of demands. What they're missing is that this isn't about specific demands. It's a call to conscience. That simple. There. Now pull it together. Because...

2. #occupy has made an end run completely around traditional media. While nothing beats feet in the street to attract television coverage, this movement exists independent of network or cable news.

We don't need you, Geraldo. #webeatyourass

And any business, any organization, any politician or political party that doesn't notice this, is SOL.

When the internet began, it was all about information being free. It still is. And now dissemination of that information is free and instant. No more waiting.

Wait until the 5:00 news? #hellno

Set up a formal structure? #areyoucrazy?

Collaboration? #whyyesindeed

Sticking it to the man? #priceless

Meanwhile, in Bimini

Friday, September 30, 2011

Things That Make The Day Go Faster

Having your boss teach you how to set up the Wii for the teen program.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Holy Hot Tamales!

CALDERACALDERA by Larry LaVoie

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


If you can suspend belief long enough, this is a fun read. If you can't, don't bother.



I love me a good disaster. The Yellowstone caldera is just about the worst disaster I could imagine. From what I can tell, some day that thing is going to spew harder than a college freshman after his first kegger. When it comes to Yellowstone, this is a very bad thing indeed.



Even if you haven't heard about this danger, you would know this is dangerous. You are told throughout the book that the explosion would plunge the planet into a nuclear winter. Sayonara food chain, hello extinction.



And yet the ending of the book disregarded at the end. Nuclear Winter? What nuclear winter?



I won't even mention the numerous sub-plots that neither add to the story nor add extra suspense.



Not gonna waste time trying to figure out how the bad guys think this mega-explosion will further their cause.



I will say there is a romantic element that is nice.



Would I recommend this book to a fan of the SyFy channel's disaster films? Yes



Would I recommend this to a volcanologist? Only if they wanted a good laugh.



Would I recommend this to a man in a bear suit? Yes. He probably has family in Yellowstone and he'd probably want to tell them to haul ass putts there



View all my reviews

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Things That Make The Day Go Faster

Arriving at work at 8:00 am to discover the police interviewing two 3-5 year olds that are both barefoot and in pajamas.  A passer-by had discovered them crossing the street moments before.  Nothing worse than misplacing your kids before breakfast.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Backstory: A Run For The Money


Let us once again, without benefit of actually reading the book, look at the backstory of an American Literary Masterpiece.  Today's honoree is A Run For The Money, by Dale Clark.  Published in 1956, this jewel was part of the Ace Double Mystery series. 

Although not apparent by the cover, a second novel was included:  The Thin Edge of Mania by Mack Macklin.  "Mack Macklin" Is that a pen name or what?


But wait!  Mack isn't the only one with a shady name.  Some google-sleuthing reveals that "Dale Clark" is not the real name of the author of our book today!  Oh no.  "Dale Clark's" real name is Ronald Kayser. 





Well, if my name was Ronald Kayser I'd probably go by Dale Clark, too.  I assume he didn't go with "Dick Clark" because that moniker was already taken by a fresh-faced young lad in Philadelphia whose real name was actually Marion Dubois.  



But I digress. 


The cover of A Run For The Money gives us a little information about three characters in the book.  We are told there is a dead woman in a freezer.  We also see a sultry Arlene Dahl look-alike in the foreground.  In the doorway, a somewhat harried man is also pictured.  An endowed man who, if my eyes do not deceive me, appears to "dress slightly to the right."

What we are not told is that Arlene was the Dairy Princess of Johnson county in 1954.  She spent that glorious year promoting dairy products to the population at large.  Not bad work if you can get it.

The Johnson County Pork Queen was her arch-rival.  The two women were frequently scheduled to appear at the same non-kosher events.  The rivalry was intense.  Claws were extended.  Salaries were disclosed.  Greed was their constant companion. Not even the intervention of Miss Cornfield and the Maid of Millet could keep those two away from each other's throats. 



Enter one Mr. "Dress Slightly," whose real name is Carol Reed.  He is the dedicated and hard-working meteorologist at the local television station.  When storms arise, he stays at his post dutifully tracking storms and dispensing pieces of advice.  Advice like:  Carry an umbrella, wear your overcoat, or, haul your ass to the basement, there's a twister comin'. 


He is a pillar of the community.  He is smart and handsome.  He dresses to the right.  He has a steady job.  And he is the only man in the county that is both single and not related to either Arlene or the Pork Queen. 


I think you've seen enough Lifetime Movies to know where this is headed.  The question is, just who is the dead woman in the freezer?


The former Johnson County Pork Queen?


Miss Cornfield?


The Maid of Millet?

The Avon Lady?


Carol's Mom?


Arlene Dahl?


You've got the backstory, now go read the book and tell me what it's really about, k?

Friday, August 12, 2011

We Are Experiencing A Lull

Time between sessions of State and Federal lawmakers is sooooo deadly dull.  Let's see if we can find anything of note from elsewhere...

We had a bit of an incident at the 'ol biblioteca the other day:
demotivational posters - MUST FIND A ROCK


The Safety Dude came by the other day for a workplace ergonomic evaluation.  That was enlightening to say the least:
funny pictures history - Mary was overly cautious   when it came to pop-up books


While we all enjoy the Summer Reading Program, we do get a bit giddy when it's over.
funny pictures history - DO THE PRAWN!


The heat has driven away some of our more noticeable regulars
funny pictures history - Chaaange?

Finding new ways to beat the heat is a traditional pastime here in the desert.  A little music is soothing

funny pictures history - But They Won't Die Laughing...

A little gardening in the early morning hours is relaxing for some
wtf photos videos - Pink Killers


Travelling away from the heat is good.  Alaska is a destination popular with desert-dwellers
funny pictures - SHES RIGHT... I CAN SEE RUSSIA FROM HERE


And a cool, refreshing, adult beverage shared with friends is always welcome
demotivational posters - ALICE COOPER HAVING A BEER WITH CORONEL SANDERS


Meanwhile, in Tombstone
funny pictures history - DUMBSTRUCK AND HORNSWOGGLED





Monday, August 08, 2011

A Tale of Two Libraries

Many of my co-workers at the Old 'ol Biblioteca are curious about the differences between their work and the things I do at the New 'ol Biblioteca.  I have set brain to spreadsheet and have come up with some surprising and some not so surprising stats.

It must be noted that my previous department catered, largely, to adults and the high school homework crowd.  This meant swift and hourly movement between 7 desks on 3 floors with a couple of hours off at times to do work in the back.  We also did not deal with public computers often.

At the New 'ol Biblioteca, there is one service desk, the building is on one floor, and children and teens and adults are all served.  And it's the size of a postage stamp.

Ergo, the following things happen at the New 'ol Biblioteca and not at the Old 'ol Biblioteca:
Storytime, Summer Reading Program prizes (now done for the summer), finding picture books and the like, and dodging piles of storytime craft materials in the storage closet, being able to leave right at closing because the customers are out of the building, and booking meeting rooms

Unexpected
Twice daily fish feeding
20 feet from desk to car
75% less chance that car will be vandalized or stolen
Sitting in a regular chair at a low reference desk instead of a rickety high stool at a reference desk does not increase customer intimidation
Commute one way 50% faster
Eating lunch at home increases the chance of vegetable consumption by 82%



The rest
Police calls down 89%
Foul unwashed customer odor down 99%
Chances of seeing a biological woman deformed by plastic surgery up 91%
Chances of seeing a biological male dressed as a woman down 72%
37% more likely to have a clean desk top as computers in the workroom are shared
Possibility of claustrophobia while in the workroom:  97%
67% less chance of seeing an administrator nearby
73% more goodies on the break room table
27% smaller break room table
100% fewer teens in heat running madly about
59% fewer teens


Chances of being injured by a pop-up book up 99%
funny pictures history - Mary was overly cautious   when it came to pop-up books



Meanwhile, in Iowa





funny pictures - This pig is wearing boots  Your argument is invalid

see more Lolcats and funny pictures, and check out our Socially Awkward Penguin lolz!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Change is change

Working in a new unit.  So far it's very interesting.  For continuity's sake the "ol biblioteca" moniker will be used for this unit as well as the other.  Because being a librarian in a large library system is kind of like being part of a borg.

So, lemme tell ya about the new 'ol biblioteca.

The thing that immediately struck me was customer hygiene.  Particularly, the practice of having good hygiene.  All, including the problem customers, appear to have bathed within the last 24 hrs. 

I think this has something to do with this building being in a more suburban area. While I'm not letting my former non-homeless customers off the hook on the hygiene issue, a suburban neighborhood has by its very nature higher hygiene expectations of its denizens.








There are at least 30% fewer panhandlers outside the front door 
funny pictures history - Chaaange?

With less visual stimulation and a smaller area in which to wreak havoc, the teens are less noticeable.  Verily, they are at moments very helpful indeed!

Yes, so far it has been a good change for me.  As to the future, no one knows.  We shall see.












 Meanwhile, off the coast of Australia

OK, Facebook Notes Is a Problem

This is part whine part plea for help.  I remember that somehow I had set up something to automatically put my posts here on my FB wall.

Now my posts all go to my Notes section and, get this, THEY DON'T HAVE PICTURES!!!!


As you well know, my blog is gibberish without the pictures.  I have removed networked blogs and perhaps that was the problem.  This post is a kind of test.  With any luck, nothing will show up on FB unless I post it there.

Sometimes lower-tech is best

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Things That Make The Day Go Faster

Marlin the Marvelous Magician tells all 90 kids in the program to scream as loud as they can and then go hug the unsuspecting librarian.  Because screaming and hugging strangers is what we're all about.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

Controversy and politics have been a bit slow lately in AZ. What with half the state on fire, legislators being on break, and the all-consuming Casey Anthony trial, it has been downright slow.

Do not despair. I do have a few tidbits.

You may have heard about problems we're having with Mexican cartels wreaking havoc around the state. This is true. While the Joe Arpaio harassment "crime sweeps" are despicable, I do fully support the hunting down and elimination of these Cartel jackasses. Mostly Zetas, I believe.

These piles of shit kidnap citizens of Mexico and parts south and bring them into AZ and parts north. They hold them for ransom. They force them to go out and do their dirty work. Men are tortured in methods reminiscent of Abu Ghraib. Women are raped. People within the houses are crammed in like cord wood.

Identified drop houses are, in fact, raided. Many times, a handful of people are rescued from that hell and sent back to whence they came. Where they are kidnapped again.  Once in a blue moon, perpetrators are even caught.

But something strange is going on. Many, many, many times, the raids find only a recently vacated house. I mean recently. Coffee still warm in the cup. It's almost as if the Cartel members were tipped off in advance so they could hightail it out of there. ...hmmmm...


funny pictures of cats with captionsCall out the rocket scientists! Investigation has revealed that there are a noticeable number of law enforcement officials with ties to people close to the AZ Cartel Contingent.

Investigation is ongoing


Meanwhile, In Soviet Russia

wtf photos videos - Your Pet is Unsatisfactory...

see more WTF Pictures and WTF videos by Picture Is Unrelated

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Save Yourselves!

RegolithRegolith by Brent Reilly

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


Avoid this book. Repeat: avoid this book. Step away from the book.



I bought it at $2.99 to try out on my Kindle. The price is the only reason I can imagine for its ranking on Amazon. The first reviews at Amazon rated it high. The rest gave it the lowest rating. Sadly, when I bought it only the good reviews were up. I doubt I'll be buying anything from this publisher again.



The author's favorite word is "fuck." This is followed by "fucker," "fucking," and "motherfucker." I counted the term four times in one page. It is used by every male character. Profusely. Here's hoping the author's vocabulary improves. Having only one swear word in one's repetoire limits one's self expression.



Science. The author likes science. Fair enough. Most of the first part of the book is spent in pages and pages of dreary explanation of the main character's invention of a special kind of steel. To save my sanity, I have blocked out the name of the steel. The author displays a lot of pride in his knowledge of materials. It's as if the author was saying "Look at me! I'm a genius!"



The main character is. forgive my language, an asshole. Yes, his inventions and money save lots of lives in this train-wreck of a disaster novel. The way he makes the trillions (yes, trillions) of dollars to pull off this rescue is despicable. He is cruel. His only redeeming value is he loves his dog. The dog's name is the Spanish word for "fart."



During the story, the main character's daughter gets engaged. She is 16 and her fiancee is considerably older. Pedophilia anyone?



The sex scenes were laughable. They seemed to be stuck in at random so the author can say "see, I can write a sex scene! Naughty me!" I would say they were gratuitous, but they're not even good enough for that.



During extended periods of inner-dialogue, the main character even uses parenthesis. Who thinks with parenthesis? Really, author, I know that the Diamondbacks (Phoenix) are indeed a (Phoenix) baseball team.



Extended rants against the Bush presidency permeate the book. The author is furious with Bush. The rants go on and on and on. The book, at these points, more resembles a political diatribe than a novel.



I want to assure you I read it cover-to-cover. The whole thing had the feel of a train-wreck. I just couldn't look away. And God knows I wanted to.



Would I recommend this to a Science Fiction fan? No



Would I recommend this to a fan of disaster fiction? No



Would I recommend this to a scientist? No



Would I recomment this to a man in a bear suit? Oh hell no!



View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Backstory: The Blind Barber



I read books.  You may read books.  Every character in a book has a backstory.  It's there in the shadows.  I search for that backstory.  I read between the lines so you don't have to.

Today's victim book is The Blind Barber by John Dickson Carr.  First published in 1934, it is part of his Dr. Gideon Fell series.

But enough about Mr. Carr and his dubious Dr. Fell.  I'm here to read between the lines.  To find the backstory.  To find the roots behind Edna's tragic end.



In her childhood, Edna was like any other kid.  Wholesome farm living kept her cheecks rosy and her body lithe.  And so much to do!  Living on the farm, there was plenty of room for running, playing, spying on animals in heat, and jumping around. 

Autumn was an especially joyful time of year around the farm.  The fertile fields were ready to offer up their bounty.  And the bounty was reaped.  And there was rejoicing.

Wagons brimmed with grain, groaning under their loads.  Nearby, an auger stood proud and tall against the sky.  Next to it, the grain bin opened wide, ready to receive the grain, to relieve the wagons of their contents.

Edna was fascinated by the process.  The grain swirled up the tube and spewed into the bin.  An unfamiliar tingling consumed Edna.  Her body begged to ride up and up to the sky.  She wanted to ride up and be part of the powerful release at the top.  Again and again.  She wanted to fly.  Up and up.  Again and Again.  She had no fear of flying. 

Suddenly, she knew for a fact that becoming one with the auger, the grain, and the bin was the only thing that would satisfy the growing need inside her.  Up and up.  Again and again.  If she could not ride the wild auger, she knew the delicious tingling inside her would never be satisfied.  And she wanted it satisfied.  Her body begged for satisfaction.  Up and Up.  Again and Again.

In a wanton act of need, she took her first step toward the grain wagon.  Like jam slithering on top of peanut butter, she melted into the shadows on the side of the wagon.  It was so right.  It would be so good.  She had to have it.

Wrapping her tiny hands around the huge metal bars on the wagon, she hoisted herself up.  Peeked over the edge.  Her excitement grew as she saw soft grain waiting for her.  It called to her.  It longed for her as she longed for it. 

"Join us...join us," the grain whispered.  "We are for you.  No one but you.  We will guide you as you writhe up the tube.  We will join you as we gush into the bin.  We will fly.  Up and up."

Edna hoisted herself to the edge of the grain wagon and, releasing her hold, let herself fall into the grain.  It felt so good.  Instinct took over as her arms opened wide and her legs splayed on top of the grain. 

She felt the grain shifting beneath her as they inched toward the auger.  The tickle of the grain was a new sensation.  A welcome sensation.  Together, they moved slowly.  Oh so very slow.  Glorious waves of pleasure delighted her even as her need increased.  Let it be slow.  Let it speed up.  Her back arched, as she squirmed and sighed.

So close.  So close.

And then she was there.  Her entrance into the auger was at hand.  One toe...

The pain, the pain.  Pain unlike any other she had known.  The tingling, the all-consuming tingling was replaced by the pain.

And then, nothing.

When she awoke, Edna found herself in the hospital.  All around her were doctors and nurses.  The medical staff could not hide their sadness.  Something was horribly wrong.  Her legs.  They were staring at her legs.  Edna looked down.

Her left leg.  It was gone.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Just Another Day

wtf photos videos - Blending In
It's another fine day at the 'ol biblioteca. 

Because I'm a conscientious librarian, I decided to go undercover today and learn about our customer experience.  Under normal circumstances, I'd then use this information to find ways to improve our customer's experience in the building.  Today, I was just enjoying walking around unsupervised.

My first destination was the Teen Center.  This is a magnificent place.  Truly.  500 kids were jammed in there  using computers, reading manga, watching movies, and flirting.



Ah yes, the annual flirting ritual.  Our Teen Center sees a lot of it.


http://www.awfullibrarybooks.com/
I wish to add that flirting, inside or outside the library is not limited to teens!  There is a sense of dating-urgency around here in June.  Anyone down here looking for a good time date, knows full well that the dating season is winding down.  It's desperation time.  Best get in a relationship now before all hell breaks loose in July. 

It's too freakin' hot to flirt in July in Phoenix.  July through September is the non-dating season.  Seeing your prospective significant other for the  first time when you are both covered in dust and sweat is a major FAIL. For most people, anyway

It's frustrating.  But, stalwart desert rats that we are, Phoenicians find many ways to keep their hands busy in the summer heat.  Staying in the solitary comfort of your home air-conditioning is a key survival skill for Phoenicians.

But I digress

http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/
After recovering from the inevitable rash I get when exposed to so many teen hormones at once, I wandered into the children's area. 

As I approached, I was nearly run over by a herd of 213 children here for today's puppet show:

Give Booktender A Heart Attack. 

A good time was had by all








wtf photos videos - Your Farts Are Quiet RepugnantI went up to the non-fiction collection on the fifth floor to
investigate the experiences the average customer might have up there.  Note that I said average. 

What I found was a place jam-packed with our regular customers.  Our regular customers are above average in many ways.  They're also smarter than the dickens.  How else to explain their ability to read with their eyes closed?  And sit in comfy chairs all day and stay awake.  Brilliant! 

Since the non-fiction collection was filled with our regulars, I was unable to ascertain what experience the average customer might have on that floor

By this time, my supervisor caught hold of me and sent me crashing down to the first floor where it was my turn to provide service at the Fiction desk. 

Our library is a place of wonders.  Thought-provoking.  Lively, in fact.  Today, I was unable to go any further in my customer experience experiment.  Despite my supervisor's best efforts, I vow to continue my study to the farthest reaches of the building.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, in Stratford-on-Avon

wtf photos videos - Unexpected Shark Attack