Tales of Woe From the Library

June 17, 2008 at 11:54 pm (Concord, Rants, Summer, Work) (, , , , )

Today I had the immeasurable pleasure of spending three. full. hours. taking that plastic stuff (and the security stickers) off new DVDs and CDS.  DVDs aren’t so bad because with an exacto knife, you can slice right through the plastic and the sticker in one fell swoop, and everything comes off neatly without trouble or residue.

CDs on the other hand are the new bane of my existence.  To take the plastic off, you must first find somewhere to get a hold on since there is nowhere to make a nice simple slice with the exacto knife.  Be careful not to be so exuberent in your tearing off of the plastic that you crack the case itself, as I did with at least two cases (that I noticed).  Once you have removed the first layer of plastic, you must now grapple with that stupid plastic sticker that covers 80% of the top of the case.  Unlike the ones on DVD cases, these do not like to come off as one whole piece, but rather as about 20, each more irritating than the last.  But even if you manage to get the sticker off without chucking the whole thing across the room, 9 times out of 10 there will be sticky residue left behind.  All in all, the record companies have no idea how to package their CDs.  I wish I could say thank goodness for digital music, but considering that’s a bit hard to lend out for a week or two at a time, I fear the library will continue to buy and lend out CDs.

My other tale of woe comes from two days ago.  This is exam week at the local high school, so the library, which is normally closed on Sundays in the summer, opens its doors from 10am to 10pm for all high school students (and any other patrons who wander in – we’re not going to turn people away!).  Since this is a break from the normal schedule, the library has parent volunteers manning the desks and such, but, for the circulation desk, where knowledge of the computer system is necessary, they need someone with some experience to help out, which is where I come in.  I got to spend 10 hours at the library on Sunday, and got a nice chunk of my book read in the process (and I got to meet some adorable kids with their fathers – it was Father’s Day after all!).

To keep busy when I simply couldn’t stand sitting on my bum in a slightly uncomfortable chair anymore and there were no patrons in sight, I would check in books and file them for shelving.  This is where the woe comes in.  Remember Roald Dahl, beloved author of such classics as Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and of course the BFG (among many others)?  Well, guess what?  He wrote “filthy” novels (that’s the adjective I remember from the book cover) for adults as well.  I have no issues with people writing those sorts of books, but for a well-known author of children’s books?  Maybe I’m just a prude, but I think that’s just wrong.  At least use a pen name!  What if some kid was searching for Roald Dahl books and came across one of his adult ones and, not knowing any better, started reading?  That’s absolutely something I would have done!  :sigh:  What is the world coming to when you can’t even trust favorite childhood authors to have moral standards?

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Add Another Line To My Resume!

June 16, 2008 at 11:43 pm (Family, Happy, Summer, Work) (, , , )

Today started as a really grey, yucky, rainy day, so I decided to skip out on going to the library today (after all, I worked for 10 hours there yesterday!) and had just settled in with Sabrina (which was actually kinda disappointing) when my father pokes his head into my room and asks me if I know anything about web design.  His company has had a really terrible web page for years now, and he’s finally decided to do something about it.

Fast forward 10 minutes, and instead of watching Sabrina, I’m downstairs, sitting with my father, watching the U.S. Open playoff between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate (what a great name!) and messing around with a trial version of Dreamweaver that I had downloaded a few weeks ago but then forgot about.

Fast forward 2 hours, and I have barely looked up from my screen, while my knowledge of Dreamweaver has grown by leaps and bounds, and I have not just a single web page for my father’s company – but a whole website with multiple pages and a wonderful custom menu bar!

I wish I knew more about Dreamweaver and had certain other programs to help me make better websites, but unfortunately I’m currently stuck with only the most basic of websites.  Not that my father minds.  He’s thrilled with what I’ve been able to do thus far and can’t wait to keep working with me on it for the next couple of weeks.  In fact, tonight, he was jokingly arguing with my mother (who I work with at the library) over who gets to have me tomorrow!

I’m really excited about this cause I’ve been wanting to learn more about web design and such, but haven’t had any real reason besides an interest to delve into all the possibilities, but now, now I can play to my heart’s content with the knowledge that the final product will actually be going online for millions (a girl can dream!) of people to see!  Now I just need to convince my father to A) pay me for my work and B) buy me the complete Adobe package of design programs for me to use the summer to launch a new career 😀

Happy day!

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Facebook Make Me Happy

June 16, 2008 at 1:15 am (Facebook, Friends, Happy, Summer) (, , , , )

I just have to say that it makes me very happy when I upload pictures from a recent party to Facebook around midnight on a Sunday night, and within an hour, almost everyone tagged in the album has made at least one comment and had full conversations in the comments section of certain pictures.

It’s the little things in life…

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Sunburned Knuckles and Other Events of Interest

June 13, 2008 at 5:15 pm (Summer, Work)

Sorry for not posting in a long while.  I wish I could say that the reason is that I am wicked busy, but unfortunately, that is not the case.  I am still looking for a job beyond the part-time one I have at the library currently.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to be relaxed and only have to go in for about 2 hours a day, but I kinda sorta maybe just finished the huge backlog I was hired to diminish yesterday, so I’m not really sure what else they will have me do.  The woman who officially fills the job I am doing hates covering books, which I don’t mind doing, so she likes to leave them for me to do, so I guess I’ll continue doing that, but I would like to keep doing the other stuff to – the stuff that requires at least an iota of intelligence and thinking.

On the 23rd, I’ll start working at the Children’s desk on Monday nights, but that’s only for three hours, so it’s really not too much.  I did get my first paycheck of almost a hundred dollars today, so that was nice, but…  The full-time job that I might get was supposed to contact me either yesterday or today, and business hours are now over, so it looks like I’ll at least have to wait until next week to find out if I should just give up or what.

In other news, el boyo left for the Army’s Leadership Training Course two days ago.  I keep almost texting or calling him, and then realizing that he’s not there.  It’s sad.  I’m very excited to see him when he comes back though!  It’s just a question of keeping busy until then, which, without a job, gets harder every day.

But I am excited for a fantastic day tomorrow of hanging out with my friends for someone’s 20th birthday!  Lots of exciting (and secret!) things planned that I will not dish on until after the fact.  But I guarantee that it will be fabulous!!!  And I get to wear my new dress!  So exciting!

Oh, and to explain the title of this catch-up post, I came in from reading outside today and thought I had escaped from getting sunburned again, until I made a fist, at which point I realized that my knuckles got sunburned.  Somehow.  And it’s really only the first two knuckles on my right hand.  Odd.

And that’s all for now, folks!  I’ll work on being more consistent, promise!

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I am an Artiste

June 5, 2008 at 2:13 pm (Summer, Writing) (, )

My father was helping me figure out what to write on a particular section of a job application, and as he watched me fill out the spaces, he commented, “You don’t write, you draw.” And trust me, to him, it was not a compliment.

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The Joys of Summer

June 3, 2008 at 11:32 pm (Summer) (, , , , )

As I may have mentioned earlier, on one of the first actual warm sunny days up here in north country, I sat outside on our patio for about 2 hours in prime sunshine time (ie noon-2), which resulted in a lovely sunburn. Fortunately, the sunburn faded after about 2 days and I am now a nice lovely brown color. Unfortunately, however, I am peeling. I don’t believe I have ever really peeled before in my life so this is a new experience for me. I have this large spot on my upper right arm that just keeps getting bigger and today I discovered a small spot on my upper left arm as well. My mother likes to lovingly refer to it as leprosy. I look oh-so-fabulous in dresses and sleeveless shirts. Gotta love summer.

In terms of actual joys of summer, tonight, having lived for almost a week without a single coat of paint on my fingernails (shocking, I know!), I rummaged through our nail polish drawer and came up with an absolute gem! As most people who know me well know, I love fun and wacky nail polish colors, and this evening I did not disappoint. I uncovered a fabulous bottle from my childhood of color-changing nail polish! That’s right, when this nail polish is exposed to the sun, it changes color! What’s not to love? When I get the chance, perhaps I shall post pictures of this miraculous transformation…

Happy summer all!

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Sign of the Apocalypse

June 3, 2008 at 12:08 am (Family, Rants) (, )

So I was talking to my brother online tonight, and he starts playing the “we have better celebrities coming to my school” game with me, so I spring the fact that Stephen Sondheim is coming to my school’s city, and his response is, “Who?”  This is my own brother, who, while not really into musicals, was the head sound techie in high school for West Side Story.  And he still had no idea who Stephen Sondheim was!  I mean, you’d think he’d at least recognize the name!  But no!  Arg!  So much to teach him….

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I Love Bureaucracy

June 2, 2008 at 10:19 pm (Rants, Study Abroad, Summer) (, , )

Today my father’s renewed passport arrived in the mail.  Mine did not.  I sent mine one day earlier than he did, with an expedited label through our city hall.  He sent it through the mail from home without the need to expedite it.  Yet he received his today, and according to the passport people, mine was shipped out today.  What is wrong with this picture?

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Librarian Burglars

June 1, 2008 at 11:23 pm (Concord, Family, Happy, Summer, Work)

Tonight I went to the library with my mom to finish up some work.  As I may have mentioned earlier, I have been working for the past week as the library’s processor since the normal processor is on vacation and there was a serious backlog.  I find it really fun since a) I get to do something with my life besides stalk Craigslist for jobs b) I get to work with my hands and mind, since the job requires a lot of attention to detail and c) I get to work with books and get first dibs on any new books that come in 😀

Anyway, to get back to my main point, the normal processor is coming back this week, but I had just a few more books that I had promised to cover last week but never got around to, so tonight, my mom and I went to the library to finish it up.  The library was closed, but my mom has a key, so it’s all good.

Or was it?

In the midst of my groove of recovering a few books, I hear a voice coming down the hall, “Hello?  Anyone there?  Hello?”  Assuming it was another of my mother’s co-workers, I answered, “Hello!” along with my mother.  After a few of these Marco-Polo responses, the mysterious voice’s body comes sauntering into the workspace and instead of a librarian, it is the town’s K-9 officer who I knew from a self-defense class ages ago (and she is so nice and amazing – as is her dog!).  The police officer tells us that someone called the police to report that the side door to the library was open.  I direct her to my mother who explains that we work here and make our own hours, so we came in a while ago and the door was shut then, and we shut it behind us.  Of course, the library director has been called by this time and is on her way over, so my mom tries to call her to tell her that everything is fine, but cannot reach her.  The police officer chats with us and looks around a bit more to check on everything, and then heads out while my mom goes upstairs to wait for the director.  The director is a bit late in getting to the library, so my mom just leaves her a note and comes back downstairs to do some work.

Finally, the director comes, and joins us downstairs and is completely fine with the whole thing, and then just starts chatting with us about the backlog that I am working on and what caused it and all that jazz.  And then I get offered the chance to keep working on the backlog even though the regular processor is coming back, since it’s obvious that she won’t be able to get ahead of it since it’s kinda her fault it was created in the first place!  So yey!  I still have something to do for at least another week!

So just call me the Librarian Burglar, breaking into libraries to work on their backlogs of work! 😀

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Fiction Becoming Reality

June 1, 2008 at 12:16 am (News articles)

Apparently, some genius decided that Phillip Pullman is the answer to improved credit cards.  Seriously, this is hilarious!  It’s a short article, so I may as well quote it here:

Electronic pets inspired by the popular Dark Materials fantasy stories could offer answers to the 21st century security problems, claim developers.

The devices called biometric daemons could carry people’s personal details and replace pin numbers and passwords for everyday transactions, reacting to different levels of risk and becoming stressed and eventually dying if they are apart from their owner.

They were inspired by the Philip Pullman fantasy novels – recently turned into the hit film The Golden Compass – which include animal daemons which are physical representations of character’s souls.

Prof Pamela Briggs, a psychologist specialising in trust at Northumbria University, has worked with computer scientist Dr Patrick Olivier from Newcastle University in developing the idea.

Voice recognition technology and software to monitor the way the owner moves could be installed inside the daemon, allowing it to get to know its owner.

It could store fingerprints or other biometric data, and be used to access cash like a bank card, or get into a building.

But the developers, who have talked to mobile phone giants Nokia, envisage a future where the owner grows to nurture the device over many years, and grow to love the daemon more than a humble credit card.

Dr Olivier, who is looking for financial backing to develop the idea further, reckoned the technology could be ready within a few years.

“The idea of the daemon is that it is a living credit card,” he said. “It would recognise it is with you, and if you put it in your pocket, it can recognise your walk and your voice.”

For simple, low-level transactions, the daemon would not need much “reassurance” to allow the deal to be completed. But if a “strange” cash point was used, or a purchase was for a lot of money, it might require the owner to give a fingerprint before authorising the deal.

The idea of a “smart” card that will recognize its “owner” and learn about him/her over time is a great idea, but calling it a daemon makes it more complicated than I think it should be.  Un-freaking-believably awesome, but complicated nonetheless.  I don’t know about you, but reading that article confused me about what the concept will turn into.  Will people be carrying furry animals equipped with all sorts of gadgets that will make Tickle-Me-Elmo jealous around with them to make purchases, or what?  Do you think this is feasible?

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