Thursday, November 27, 2008


I am sitting here, blessed with wireless internet and a fire in the fireplace, sitting with my folks. Everyone's reading, except the cats*, who are lounging about and looking like they wish we'd do something more interesting. It is peaceful.

Part of me says I'm mostly thankful this year is over. But honestly, a lot of good things happened. I'll be turning in my last assignment of grad school next week. (Assuming all is well - I haven't received an official letter from the school yet, but as far as I know everything is in order for me to graduate.) My sister got married to a nice guy who she loves, and did her own graduating. I spent some quality time getting to know my neighbors, and they turned out to be great people.

I'm thankful to have my family and friends, my Bucket, my pets, my health. Occasionally my sanity. I have hope that next year will be better - for me, for my family, for our country.

Happy Thanksgiving, y'all.

* Note that these are my Mom's cats, who are much less rambunctious than mine. If they were here, my cats would be crawling on everyone and wreaking havoc. Instead, they are sulking in the catbed while lying on top of one another, wishing I was there to entertain them. At least, I suspect that's how they're spending the evening.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Holidays are Looming

Laurie writes:

Can you believe it's just a week-and-a-day until Thanksgiving? If only holidays were meant to be spend under a blanket watching Spencer Tracy movies and knitting and drinking warm tea spiked with calvados while the cat sleeps on your feet.

To which my initial response was... aren't they? Because that sounds pretty awesome to me. Okay, I'm more likely to drink coffee spiked with whiskey and cream or a glass of red wine. And I tend to put my blanket under the Xmas tree. But still.

I am looking forward to the holidays as only a student who has submitted her final project can do. Now if I can only get that pesky last paper written (for my internship) I will be finished! And desperately thinking about the holidays rather than job finding. Ahem.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ancient Injury

Still working on classifying newspaper articles at Santa Cruz... I'm looking at The Mountain Echo, published in Boulder Creek in the late 18 and early 19 hundreds. Browsing through these aged papers - this one was obscure enough not to have been converted to microfiche - is quite an experience. I find myself wondering about the people who produced them, and how many hands before mine have carefully turned the pages.

I'm not sure if it says something about the work, humanity, or just me, but as I'm moving through the articles, I've ended up inadvertantly following the story of one Mr. Dool, who had an illness which required his being sent to San Jose for treatment. After a September 1904 entry indicating his return home and improved health, I felt a pang of genuine surprise and concern when his name came up the following month next to the word "operation."

Mr. Dool has most likely been dead for some time now; but somehow I find myself concerned for his health. We humans are funny folks.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Modern Compensations

I'm enjoying my almost-freedom by having a knitting/Jane Austen orgy. It has had two pleasant side effects: 1) this scarf is almost a foot long now, and 2) I'm feeling a sudden thankfulness.

To wit - thank goodness I can decide what I want to do with my own life and earn my own living without waiting on any man's pleasure and/or relying on my relatives not to be idiots. Huzzah for the modern era!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Archives? What archives?

Bush E-mail Records Could Be Lost to History
from the Lost in Translation blog of the National Journal

This makes me so angry. We KNEW this was happening, now seems a little late (but better than never, if only in terms of precedent for the future) to be suing people about it.

Here's a little gem from the article:
There's a couple of issues relating specifically to Vice President Cheney and the office of the vice president. It's our understanding that the vice president's office came up with stamps that said "treat record as classified." Or as "secured compartmentalized information." Now, classification is not sort of just a generic term, it's actually a term of art that refers to classification according to the standards that have been established by the president in an executive order. The executive order is 12958. Things that do not meet the standards of the executive order should not be labeled as classified. So it was improper to label some of those things, at least, as classified. And the problem is that once you label it as classified, it makes it far more unlikely it's ever going to be released, because it's going to require significant additional significant review to determine if it's really classified or not....

Now we'll just have to wait and see if Obama's administration does better...

The first thing is, we would like the new president to state up front and clearly that he is committed to preserving the historical record, the documents, presidential decision-making. That's something that we feel like the Bush administration has not wanted to do.

It seems like the sort of thing we could count on him for, but after all this mess, I am feeling far from certain.

Don't Friend Me, says David Lee King

Recently I was happy to have found David Lee King's blog about libraries and web technology. There are a lot of good conversations going on over there - most recently about Twitter and libraries friending patterns, plus a follow up where I perhaps waxed too rhapsodic in the comments.

He talks about libraries just friending other libraries rather than reaching out to their community. I added to that my experience of being friended by lots of libraries and librarians spread all over the country. Perhaps it's a unique scenario, since I use Twitter purely as a means of staying in touch with friends, but I did put that I was a library school student in my profile. And for a while, I was accepting all the friend requests that I recieved from librarians, so long as we seemed to have something in common in addition to that (usually knitting).

But eventually I let almost all of them go - they weren't twittering about things that interested me, and I had a really hard time imagining they were interested in the fact that my cats can be annoying, or that I love my crockpot. As far as library institutions go... if I don't have some sort of connection to them, I'm not sure why I would want to follow them. Besides, many of them don't pass the following/follower ratio rule (if there are a large number of people who you follow who don't follow you in return, I am probably not interested, either). I do follow places that I have some connection with - SF BART, for example. If the library in my neighborhood had a Twitter feed, I would follow it. But just because someone, somewhere has some connection to library science is not enough for me. Not for the way I choose to use the tool.

Which is not to say I don't wish my fellow library-related people and institutions well. I do. I just don't necessarily want to read about all of them every day. Life is too short, and time too precious.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November Stress

Between the elections today and my project for school plus the usual suspect triggers... I have been smitten with a migraine. But my ballot is safely cast. So that's good.

Now I'm going to bed.