It's only appropriate that the quote is from Carlin's Brain Droppings as this is pretty much what this post is.
Bwahahahaahaaaa! The Madeleine L’Engle throwaway comment is my favorite and caused me to snort tea through my nose. (Perhaps I am just a cheap date?)
This email was sent out to everyone who works at my library (MINE! Possessive today much?):
Greetings! You may have noticed that the numbers 1, 2 and 3 have been placed above the library’s elevator doors on each floor as well as in each car.
Their purpose is twofold:
- For safety purposes and easy identification of location when an elevator breaks down with people inside. When summoned by the emergency phones in the elevator car, Public Safety personnel will know immediately which elevator needs attention and people rescued.
- For repair calls, library staff and maintenance/repair personnel will be in synch.
OK, tell me quick – what’s wrong with this?
Is anyone else perturbed by the WHEN rather than the IF?
I will take the stairs from now on. I have no wish to need to be “people rescued.”
I have been doing a literature review on customer service. I have no idea how some of these articles cropped up in my search results – but they’re amusing.
Like this one:
Miller, Robert H., Ph.D
Efforts to Improve Patient Safety in Large, Capitated Medical Groups: Description and Conceptual Model
Is the opposite of “capitated” de-capitated? And if so, God help *that* control group!
And this one – what sort of person earns a PhD in wig study?
Illicit Wigmaking in Eighteenth-Century Paris
Eighteenth-Century Studies - Volume 38, Number 1, Fall 2004
But this one is my favorite, and one I sent to my husband whom I often compare to Star Trek’s Data:
The Cyborg Librarian as Interface: Interpreting Postmodern Discourse on Knowledge Construction, Validation, and Navigation within Academic
Abstract: This paper explores the implications of postmodernism upon a historically modern institution by articulating and applying three components of postmodernity to the academic library: the rise of local narratives, the performativity of knowledge, and the notion of the cyborg, a human-machine hybrid inhabited, in many ways, by the academic librarian.
An email came from an old (as in time-past, not old-ancient) friend recently that made me laugh:
Some of the artists of the '60s are revising their hits with new lyrics to accommodate aging baby boomers. They include:
- Herman's Hermits: Mrs. Brown, you've got a Lovely Walker
- The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Hip
- Bobby Darin: Splish Splash, I was Havin' a Flash
- Ringo Srarr: I Get By With a Little Help From Depends
- Roberta Flack: The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face
- Johnny Nash: I Can't See Clearly Now
- Paul Simon: Fifty Ways to Lose Your Liver
- Commodores: Once, Twice, Three Times to the Bathroom
- Marvin Gaye: I Heard It Through the Grape Nuts
- Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade of Hair
- Leo Sayer: You Make Me Feel Like Napping
- The Temptations: Papa's Got a Brand New Kidney Stone
- Abba: Denture Queen
- Tony Orlando: Knock 3 Times on the Ceiling if You Hear Me Fall
- Helen Reddy: I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore
- Willie Nelson: On the Throne Again
More library-ish-related news:
Don't trade freedoms for security
By LEONARD PITTS JR.
Knight Ridder Newspapers
"The enemies of freedom will be defeated."
- President George W. Bush, 2005
"We have met the enemy and he is us."
- Pogo, 1971
The following happened in the United States of America on Feb. 9 of
The scene is the Little Falls branch of the Montgomery County Public Library in Bethesda, Md. Business is going on as usual when two men in uniform stride into the main reading room and call for attention. Then they make an announcement: It is forbidden to use the library's computers to view Internet pornography.
As people are absorbing this, one of the men challenges a patron about a Web site he is visiting and asks the man to step outside. At this point, a librarian intervenes and calls the uniformed men aside. A police officer is summoned. The men leave. It turns out they are employees of the county's Department of Homeland Security and were operating way outside their authority.
We are indebted to reporter Cameron W. Barr of the Washington Post for the account of this incident, which, I feel constrained to repeat, did not happen in China, Cuba or North Korea. Rather, it happened a few days ago in this country. Right here in freedom's land.
There are those of us who would say the country has become less deserving of that sobriquet in recent years.
And there are others who would say, 'So what?' They're in the 51 percent, according to a recent Los Angles Times/Bloomberg poll, who say we should be ready to give up our freedoms in exchange for security.
Apparently, they are ignorant of what Benjamin Franklin said: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Apparently, they're also unversed in something candidate Bush said in 1999: "There ought to be limits to freedom." Mind you, this nugget of wisdom wasn't dropped in a discussion of national security. Rather, it was the future president's reaction to a Web site that made fun of him.
Seven years later, he's clearly getting his wish. It chills me to know that doesn't chill more of us.
Indeed, of all the many things I cannot fathom about certain of my countrymen and women, their ability to be sanguine at the threatened abrogation of their rights is very near the top.
The only way I can explain it is that freedom - the right to do, say, think, go, "live" as you please - is so ingrained in our psyche, has been such a part of us for so long, that some are literally unable to imagine life without it. They seem fundamentally unable to visualize how drastically things would change without these freedoms they treat so cavalierly, what it would be like to need government approval to use the Internet, buy a firearm, take a trip, watch a movie or read these very words.
If that sounds alarmist, consider again the experience at Little Falls, where an agent of the government literally read over a man's shoulder, Big Brother like, and tried to prevent him from seeing what he had chosen to see.
I'm sorry, but the fact that we are at war doesn't make that OK.
Look, freedom is a messy business. It is also a risky business. But it means nothing if we surrender it at every hint of messiness and risk. That's cowardly and it's un-American.
You would think we would have learned that lesson after the Sedition Act of 1918, the excesses of Joseph McCarthy, the surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr. But apparently the lesson requires constant relearning. And vigilance.
So thank you to the Little Falls library for having the guts to say, hell no.
Some things should never happen in freedom's land.
If I were selecting Christmas presents again, I know who’d get this book. Doesn’t it look cool?
“Long ago, Blackbird was voted the most beautiful bird in the forest…”
Last week I was walking Primo home from preschool. It was raining and he had his Teletubby umbrella. I had dashed out the door with no umbrella. He said to me, “Well, that wasn’t very smart, Mama. I am smarter than you – but Daddy is smarter than me. That can’t be right, grown-ups are supposed to be smarter than the kids.”
Oh yeah? I’m smart enough to backhand you into next week, kiddo!
Later the same week – the kid is pushing his luck – he said to me, “Mama, who put my laundry away inside out?”
I replied, “I did.”
His reply? “Well, that was very lazy of you. Daddy would not do that.”
Well, since Daddy generally doesn’t gather the clothes, wash them, sort them, or put them away, perhaps he finds it in his kind heart to turn your shirts and socks right-side-out occasionally.
Segundo is very two at the moment. Even though he will be three in a month or so. The whining and whinging and crying over trifles is driving me insane. I look at my sweet little Terzo and think, “Sweet Jesus, are you going to grow up to be one of these grubby, nose-picking, mouthy hoodlums like your brothers?”
No, my snookums, Mama’s little sweet pea, you is not, I soooo know you is not! You are gonna live with your Mama forever and ever and I am going to munch those toes right on up, yes I am, right on up! Yum, yum, yum! Right on up! Deeee-lish-ous! Gimme a kiss! Give me a big fat wet slobbery kiss! Ooooh, I love you, my little sweetie pea. Mmmmm, mmmm, mmmm. My little booger boy!
I know, I'm sick.
I started reading The Left Hand of Darkness but put it down in favor if the new Newsweek and a collection of Robertson Davies’ writings called The Merry Heart. My brain capacity just doesn’t stretch to entire books this week.
I am probably not getting a laptop anytime soon, but H. turned up trumps with a tablet PC he was given at work several months ago. It runs Windows XP and has word processing capabilities, Internet browsers, and I should be able to load my photo software on it as well. Everything I need. I need to buy a USB keyboard, as the onscreen one will quickly make me nuts trying to write long blog entries. But it’s equipped for wireless and as soon as I have the keyboard, which should only run me about $25, I am good to go.
Coffee shop computing, here I come!
Whoever gave us this outfit, while having great taste in colors and texture, clearly does not have children or hasn't dressed an infant in a very long time. Back snaps! Ack!
My friend C. and Terzo at lunch at the coffee shop yesterday. Terzo has many, many girlfriends who all vie for the privilege of holding himi and having him spit up on them.
Blackbird, I thought you might enjoy seeing the Conductor in his natural habitat. You made my boys very happy, thank you so much. That was very sweet of you. As you can see, he's a very important man in charge of many important things...
This post has been brought to you by the letter B.