28 February 2006

Mississippi Curling?

Today, a friend of mine posted a message in a mailing list concerning the Magnolia Curling Association. Personally, I think he just likes the Johnson sisters, but who can blame him?

I watched very little of the Olympics, but what I watched mostly was curling, if only because I possess an extremely tenuous familial connection to the sport. I'm of Scots-Irish descent, and the clan chief of my family owned Ailsa Craig, and I think still does today-- at least according to this site.

So what's special about Ailsa Craig? Well, it's considered the best place to produce the granite needed to produce curling stones.

I noticed that Rick Cleveland has had a column and a couple of blog entries about curling. Here's the first blogpost. The second blogpost is mostly a response by Scott Hamilton, the Director of Communications for the Mississippi Development Authority.

The friend of mine mentioned that there's supposed to be a meeting on the 11th. I doubt I can make it. I am, after all, busy with my Project, but it surely sounds interesting.

High School Basketball

The state championships began yesterday in Jackson.

One of the schools involved in the Girls tournament, Northeast Jones, is coached by a family friend. She's several years younger than me and also attended & graduated from Heidelberg Academy.

Her father used to be my old school's football and baseball coach. In his last season at Heidelberg, the 2003-04 school year, the school won MPSA Class A football and baseball titles-- going 29-0 in 2004.

Last year, my friend was an assistant coach at Jones County Junior College to one of my many second cousins. My cousin's been head women's basketball coach at Jones for several years. (In case you're interested Otherjay, she's also one of your cousins.) She previously coached West Jones to a state basketball title. If I remember correctly, she also won state championships as a player at Northeast Jones, where her father-- my first cousin once removed-- was football coach.

Oh? The game? Northeast Jones won. They play Wayne County in the Girls 4A semifinals.

23 February 2006

The Known World

My book club recently read The Known World.

I checked out a copy from my library and started to read it. My mother hijacked the copy for a few days when I went to visit her back in mid-January. I took the book with me to ALA Midwinter in San Antonio. I finished reading it at the airport while waiting on the return flight to Houston.

I think it's a great book. I like the way Jones goes from a contemporaneous recounting of what's happening to a quasi-historical perspective and back (and forth again). I liked the journey of reading it very much. The ending was somewhat disappointing-- well, not really. I wasn't expecting happy endings; however, there were characters I liked, and I was disappointed in their fates.

I got to choose the next book for book club. It's At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien.

As TD noted earlier this morning, fans of Lost have become readers of his work. This NYT article briefly goes into Lost fans' newfound fascination with O'Brien.

I love Blog of a Bookslut...

Courtesy of Blog of a Bookslut:

1. An essay comparing and contrasting Brokeback Mountain and Curious George.

2. Betty Friedan Honored?

21 February 2006

Stress Relief

Tonight I met up with TD, DT, and Coppertop over at the Hickory Pit for some BBQ, a little discussion of the book, and an analysis of the men's 1500 meter skating race. After tonight, The Known World is no more.

My worklife's has had more stress, and I've not had much time for fun. I need to get out more-- that's for sure.

I had a half slab of dry ribs, slaw, beans, and bread. I washed down the meal with a Coors Light. I had a slice of Hershey Pie for dessert. Good sides. Good dessert. I need to try their wet ribs next time. Tonight was the first time I had been to Hickory Pit.

TD spilled a beer, and for some reason I laughed-- giggled, really & noticeably as well-- for a little bit. I don't know why. Actually, I might. I think it served as a tension reliever for me, if only for a little while. My apologies, TD.

I need the Project to be over soon, and it should be in about three weeks. At least it had better be.

The Dead White Male of the Month

Robert Burns

19 February 2006

The USA's got a fever, and the only prescription is...

What? You thought I was going to say more cowbell?

I'm Your Man

I'm listening to Leonard Cohen sing via iTunes.

I finally got out and had a little fun Saturday night.

My worklife's been so hectic that I've only been out once since New Year's, and that was to attend a JFP party on a Sunday night.

I got to see a few of my friends. I got to relax a little bit, but I'm still tense.

The Project has to be finished in a few weeks-- just in time for the St. Paddy's Day parade.

I slept thirteen hours last night, but am ready for some more sleep.

14 February 2006

The Heart of the Matter

One good thing about my being busy at work on the Project is that I've been too busy to be down during the holidays that occur from Thanksgiving to Easter. I won't go into the details why I'm normally not filled with joy at this time of the year. Suffice it to say that my life's extremely hectic this year, which means that I've been too tired to be filled with Un-Joy.

Despite the fact I've got more stress in my life, that's a good thing. I will, however, make an exception for today, Valentines Day.

I was once a fan of Valentines Day when I was a child. As I've gotten older, I've become increasingly disenchanted with the holiday.

Partly, it's because I believe it's grown to be just another commercial holiday. Mostly, it's because I'm a single guy who has for years had the idea that as long as I live in Mississippi, my romantic life will be nothing but misbegotten misery.

Speaking of which, it's been a while since I've provided an update on my match.com travails. Sorry, TD, no hate e-mail this time.

I still get a good number of responses for someone who doesn't have a photo on his match.com profile. It helps that I've been creative and humorous. I am a bit peeved at match.com though, I used anal-retentive to describe myself at one point in my profile. Now, it's no longer acceptable. Apparently it got caught by match.com censors, and so I have to come up with an alternative synonym. Sadly, none of the synonyms have that same je ne suis quoi.

As far as how things are going currently are concerned, I'd gotten along well with a respondent, but she's decided to go in another direction. C'est la vie. Communications with one correspondent have progressed to the "let's exchange emails" stage. However, another respondent is just content to send emails through match.com. She just wants to talk and appears uninterested in going to the email exchange stage even though she's accidentally given me her email address and I responded with mine. Apparently, she doesn't respond to subtlety, which isn't a good sign. Sooner or later, one of us will accidentally "forget" to respond to an email & there will be no more communication. I'd guess that would happen sometime this week. I'm surprised it's not happened already.

Surprisingly, I've gotten a lot of responses from women looking only for Christian men-- even though I'm not the type of guy they would normally prefer. The six regular readers of my blog might just recall my previous mention of my religious status. Anyway, it's gotten to the point that I had to create a template for responding to women looking for only Christian guys. It saves me a lot of time.

What does match.com have to do with Valentines Day, you may wonder? At the moment, the answer is: Not much at all, and that's the heart of the matter. As far as I'm concerned, looking for love and in Mississippi particularly is like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. I'm looking for love in all the wrong places, and unfortunately, the right places are also very much wrong for me.

13 February 2006


I'm thumbing through the University of Texas Press Spring 2006 Catalog. One of my colleagues has made some requests and I'm looking through them. This story came to mind because of this request:

Apparently, February is Bat Month at the University of Texas Press.

Here's some DVDs that are available:
This one looks to be a video edition of the book that my colleague's requested.

Bats for Kids!

Oh yeah, and here's a link to their Bat Conservation International publications.

12 February 2006

The Week Behind; The Days Ahead

The Project continues, and I can add something else to my responsibilities-- I've written, edited, researched, and been (and am still) an independent reader. I'm also now, for lack of a better phrase, an independent weblink checker. The Reaffirmation Powers-that-are have made it known that colleges should put their documentation on the web-- meaning that references to other documents, etc., have to be hyperlinked.

A couple of the college VPs made me one of the weblink checkers, which means that I've got to verify all of the web links for all college documents. And here's the deal, I'm doing this while the college is advertising for a FT webmaster.

Our webmaster left early last month. This position previously had a posted deadline that has since passed. Interviews were held this past week-- in fact, I told one of the interviewers to make sure to tell the person who becomes webmaster not to change a thing with the college's website until the reaffirmation stuff has been completed-- that's the thing with newbies, they want to change things... and that's fine normally-- but not now... if the new webmaster makes any changes, I will be one peeved librarian...

Apparently though, the people who applied weren't impressive enough because the job announcement is up and running again.

There's a PT guy who's doing webstuff (and who I believe is the other weblink checker). He has been doing an outstanding job considering the circumstances. So anyway, I've got about a month (probably much less) to go over all the narratives to see that the weblinks work. My colleagues will cover for me at the reference desk.

I think I need to attend another conference. I'm becoming more and more short with people again. This Project has been pretty stressful.

It's gotten to the point where it takes me so long to decompress at the end of the week-- especially after long Friday reading and editing sessions-- that I've not felt like going out. It takes a least a day and a half for me to decompress.

I don't feel like going out. I don't feel like traveling. I don't feel like being me, and that's not good.

As far as my usual duties are concerned... I've done a little book ordering. I still need to complete going through a couple of catalogs and email my request list to the Technical Services Librarian. I've also done interlibrary loan work.

I did have the opportunity to have a little fun this past week.

Tuesday night, we had book club. TD, FP, TC, and I met up at TD's house. DT didn't show up even though we were discussing the book he had chosen. We'll meet up I think on the 22nd, but I don't think the details are on the book club site as of yet.

Thursday night, the anime club met. A few of the people from last school year showed up as well as a couple of new faces. Last semester was so hectic, we'd not had a chance to meet then... We're meeting up again on the 23rd.

I have a busy life, and yes, the stress is there. I need to do something different, I know, but I've been too busy decompressing when I've not been at work.

04 February 2006

Belated Swag Post

A couple of weeks ago, I was at the ALA Midwinter Conference in San Antonio. It was very productive. I got to meet many representatives of the companies that the library does business with while I was over there. I'm also glad I was at the conference because I had a chance to become aware of some changes going on with a major database company.

In addition to going to meetings and interacting with vendors, there was the opportunity to garner some swag, but not nearly as much as this person. I had a couple of bags filled with stuff from vendors and publishers. They fit in two bags that were pretty heavy for me to lug around, and so I decided to ship them UPS to the house.

The package arrived this past Tuesday evening,

I already mentioned in a couple of previous posts that Dark Horse representatives had given me some books on Will Eisner and Frank Miller. Those three books are in process in Tech Services.

I was given a few advance reader's copies of books. I thought my mother might like one of them, and so she has it.

These books look interesting. The first book has an interesting topic. The rest are fiction. I've always liked Dorsey and Feist. The Rash book looks interesting, and it's already gotten good reviews. I read some of Patterson, but not the first book in this series. I might read it first-- if I get a chance.

1. AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes from Military Service-- and How It Hurts Our Country by Kathy Roth-Douquet and Frank Schaeffer
2. The Big Bamboo by Tim Dorsey
3.. Flight of the Nighthawks by Raymond Feist
4. The World Made Straight by Ron Rash
5. Maximum Ride: School's Out Forever by James Patterson

In addition to being a librarian, I'm the faculty sponsor for the college's anime club. I talked to some manga and anime folks who were at Midwinter. I was given some manga-- about a half of them are like the third books in series I've not read. There's a couple books that are the first books in series that I've read through. There's also an issue of Usagi Yojimbo and an edition of Strangers in Paradise. I might just see if any of the people in the anime club would like to have some of the books-- or even a couple of comic books-- issues of Spiderman and Emily the Strange.

I promised Coppertop a button. I didn't see a superhero button like she had requested, but did snag a couple of Fantastic Four posters, two Emily the Strange posters, and a Serenity poster. One of the Fantastic Fours is hers-- the other was given to a colleague of mine. I like the Emily posters. I do have a spare anime-Death button though.

I also got a complimentary DVD. I signed up for the club to receive some free DVDs from Anime Advocates.

Wandering around, I saw a blast from the past. When I was a child, I used to read Cricket. It's still in publication and I've got a copy of an issue from last year.

There's also some catalogs. I may be going through them Monday evening at work. I need to order some more books for the library. I think I need to go through what Greenhaven and Bloom stuff is available first.

01 February 2006

Book Bar

This is cool.

Thanks go to Bill with Unshelved for bringing this to my attention.