30 September 2006

Also Known As

And I'll hang around as long as you will let me
And I never minded standin' in the rain.
You don't have to call me darlin', darlin'
You never even call me by my name.

I've gone by quite a few names in the 39 years I've been living. When I was a child, I went by Jamie because I have the same first name as my father.

Nowadays, the only people who call me Jamie are relatives and people who knew me when I was a child. I'm older and prefer to use James not only professionally, but also when I'm off duty.

Salesmen and customer service representatives usually try to establish familiarity with me by calling me Jim. I never have liked being called Jim.

However, I've not minded being called Jimbo or Jim Beau. I suppose they appeal to my sometimes perverse sense of humor. Those of you who've accessed my MySpace page know that I usually go by my middle name Beauregard there.

One of my history professors at Southern Miss once told me, jokingly of course, that the only thing that was good about me was my middle name. There's also my Library Guy moniker, which I was originally called by (and still am) by people in Laurel.

There are people I know who've gone by one name when they were younger, but prefer something else now. I know people who go by one name professionally, but often want people they consider to be friends to call them by another name.

There are a couple people I know that I can't help but automatically refer to them by their professional names because that's how I first came to know them. I'm terrible remembering peoples' names, so that's also a concern.

There are people who I have to keep from calling them by their first names because they go by other names. My workplace requires people to wear identification badges, which helps out my memory. But then, I have to remember those people who go by other names.

Argh. If only remembralls actually existed...

29 September 2006

Faraway Land

Yes, it's been another hectic week. Again.

We're getting ready for site visits by two accrediting teams. Both will be at the college next week.

After a year and a half of working on reaffirmation tasks, I'm ready for the visit.

In addition to those preparations, I've been doing my usual tasks, which have kept me busy. With the addition of study hall, I've not had much of a life outside work.

I went to a football game last night. The opposing college might be best termed as my home college. It's the nearest college to where I lived before I moved here.

Family members have degrees from there as do many of my friends and acquaintances. While I didn't earn a degree from there, I did take a couple of classes one summer.

I spent a lot of my time over on the opposing side of the field. I saw some people I knew. I talked with a friend from school I'd not seen in a few years. She graduated from Heidelberg a year ahead of me, and she has a son who plays for the college.

I recognized one of the cheerleaders as being the daughter of a couple of other friends from Heidelberg. I told her to tell her parents hi for me.

She seemed surprised that I knew who she was. I usually speak to her parents whenever I'm at an athletic event at Heidelberg, and they've always mentioned her and her younger brother.

I ran into one of my second cousins at the game. She's the women's basketball coach at the college. I knew her father, my first cousin once removed, had been ill, but I hadn't heard how he was doing lately. I asked her and found out that he died a month ago.

The last time I saw him was at my father's funeral a little over three years ago. I wish I had heard. I've always liked him, and I would have found a way to attend his funeral service.

Over forty years ago, he was head football coach at Heidelberg High School. My father, his first cousin, filmed the football games.

I don't know how many people are left from my father's generation. He had a lot of first cousins.

I also saw an acquaintance of mine-- a guy who I've met a couple times previously in the course of my football writing sideline. He was surprised to see me at the game. I had to tell him that he was at the site of my day job.

We chatted for a while. I thought it was a good visit.

This weekend I plan to relax. I may go out tonight. I might go to WellsFest for the first time since I've been here in the area tomorrow.

Dead White Male of the Month

Joe Juneau

28 September 2006

It ain't Spartacus

I am the father!

No, I'm the father!

27 September 2006

Guantanamo Bay Revisited

I sometimes read David Durant's blog. He's made note of this news story concerning a detainee library at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. As I noted earlier, that library also has a job opening.

26 September 2006

For Delta Librarian, The End

After decades of doing battle with illiteracy, poverty, racism and the elements in Mississippi, Ronnie Wise is walking away.

By J.R. Moehringer, Times Staff Writer
September 23, 2006

CLEVELAND, Miss. — It's not easy to escape the Delta. People have been writing songs for 100 years about how hard it is to escape, especially this part of the Delta, where the crushing poverty and the heat storms and the ghost towns get hold of you and won't let go.

Some used to hop a train out, but the trains don't stop here anymore. Some worked their way out, but jobs have gotten scarce. Few dreamed of escaping through books. Then Ronnie Wise came along.

Click the above blog entry title or this link here to read the whole article. You need a free latimes.com membership to access.

Accompanying photo gallery. The aforementioned latimes.com membership is also needed to access.

For what it's worth, I thought that this sentence was particularly powerful:

"A mind can be a terrible thing," says Oscar Lindsey, the prison librarian, "and a book can keep you from twirling around inside it."

I'm now using it as my blog's epigraph for the time being.

22 September 2006

Job Posting of the Month

Are you interested in putting your library science education and experience to work in one of today’s most challenging, interesting and rewarding environments? Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions is recruiting for a Chief Librarian to manage the Detainee Library, under the direction of the Joint Task Force-Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

You can read the rest of the job description here.

17 September 2006

Midnight Choir

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.

I didn't do too much this past weekend. I went out. I slept. All in all, I thought it was a productive weekend. A weekend that doesn't add stress is a good weekend.

I attended a couple of football games. I saw Taylorsville defeat St. Andrew's 20-7 at Ridgeland. I highly recommend the burgers. The Episcopalians can cook a good burger.

I'd never been to the St. Andrew's campus before Friday. One must say campus when referring to St. Andrew's because it doesn't have the look of many of the public schools and private academies where I've attended events. Impressive. Based on what I've heard and read about St. Andrew's, I would think that if I had children and money, both would go to St. Andrew's.

I went to Don's after the game. It was good to visit with people and relax, and relaxation is much needed.

I got up Saturday morning to get ready to attend a funeral. I saw Mississippi State lose to Tulane. I already knew State was in for a long season when the Bulldogs didn't score against either South Carolina or Auburn.

I decided to wear an all-black ensemble-- black Mississippi State shirt, black pants, black Reeboks, and topped off with a black cap purchased at the Cullis Wade Depot, and then sat with a good friend of mine who lives up in Starkville.

We left when Tulane scored midway through the third quarter to make the score 32-7. State, of course, came back to make the score respectable, but then again, since when is a loss to Tulane respectable?

I made it back to Jackson and went to Don's, then Martin's-- and after some driving around-- Fenian's very briefly after 1 a.m. I was pretty tired though, and when I went to bed, I slept for some ten hours. Next week's going to be pretty hectic for me, so the sleep is very much welcome.

Other stuff of note:

Chip has a showing at Gallery 119 until the end of the month. My worklife's been so busy that I didn't know about that article until a couple days ago.

Jeff the giant orange cat now has a myspace page.

15 September 2006

Have you ever wanted to be a taxidermied rat?

If so, then you can have your name appear in an upcoming book to benefit the First Amendment Project. Among the participating authors are Carl Hiaasen (who wants you to be his rat-- right now, the bidding is at $910), Edward P. Jones, Chris Ware, Phillip Margolin, and many more...

14 September 2006

Little Wild Bouquet

I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean
I love the country but I can't stand the scene.
And I'm neither left or right
I'm just staying home tonight,
getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags
that Time cannot decay,
I'm junk but I'm still holding up
this little wild bouquet:
Democracy is coming to the U.S.A.

Thursday at the library was quite busy. I helped out a colleague with a project earlier this morning.

I also did quite a bit of interlibrary loan work. Now the fall semester is in full swing, we've been getting requests mostly from libraries within the state, but out-of-state libraries have sent us requests as well.

I've also got an email from a faculty member. Apparently, some books meant for the library collection somehow got shipped to her classroom, which meant that me and one of my student workers went over there to get them this afternoon. As it turned out, the timing was such that me and one of my colleagues had given one student worker separate orders and the student didn't know who to follow at first.

My colleague is also kind of living vicariously through book club. I've mentioned to her the books that we've read, and when I haven't, she's asked what we're reading. She loves the selections thus far, and is currently reading Ada (in her case re-reading, she's read it before). Her life is so busy that I know she doesn't have the time to attend meetings, and she knows she doesn't have the time to attend. (Yes, we've discussed book club.)

And now for something completely different, someone I don't know well (I'll call her Delta Lady, or DL for short, whose profile I ran across a few years ago when I was actively searching the yahoo personals-- hey, I was new in Jackson, and I didn't know many people) who I last communicated with via IM over a year and a half ago wanted me to be her yahoo messenger friend once again.

When we chatted several years ago, it was Seinfeldian. I don't know if we actually chatted about nothing, but it seemed like it at the time.

For several months before I bought my iBook, I didn't activate yahoo messenger on my old Gateway because for some reason it didn't interact properly with my computer. Before then, DL's requests for chats could often be annoying (she wanted to talk all the time, and I didn't feel like it). I often had to keep my profile invisible all the time just to keep her from initating chats with me.

The last time we chatted was shortly after I had acquired my iBook and reactivated my yahoo messenger account. After I reactivated the account back in February 2005, I removed from my friends list those people who I'd not communicated with via email for at least a year-- this was some 4-5 people, including DL. That same day, DL sent a chat message to me and wondered why I'd not been online.

I told DL I had problems with my yahoo messenger, got a new computer, and had removed from my friends list some people I'd not talked to in a while-- including her. That was over a year and a half ago, I had not heard from DL until she sent me a friend request sometime last night.

I didn't notice it until I had logged off the Internet. It was late and I needed to shut down the computer. I did, which apparently wiped out her friend request.

Oh well. I don't know why DL would want to send a friend request to me out of the blue unless she's desperate, which doesn't make any sense.

I'm tired. My workday was rather long. Study hall was quiet. The football game went well.

I need to sleep. I may still be up even if I had maybe four hours of sleep, but that's going to change soon enough.

13 September 2006

A Red Baron Pizza with Loads of Tangential Toppings

Life's been busy for me and I hardly ever get a chance to blog about subjects of (sometimes very) tangential interest. Now is actually a good time for me to be tangential.

I finished reading Ada for book club yesterday evening. I skimmed through the section that I was supposed to read through for book club. We didn't meet though-- with the people leading busy lives, and well, life happening, we couldn't meet.

While I was at Pub Quiz, I thought for a moment that I was going to have to be thrown out of the Librarians Club. One of the questions concerned the profession of the Brothers Grimm, and I said "publishers" to my teammates who agreed with me.

The answer was librarians, which goes to prove that you can't always go by what's in Wikipedia. Oh well, the team still won, which was indeed cool.

I've not actually attempted to read the Susanna Clarke book yet, and it looks like that I'll be reading this book I got via interlibrary loan before I read the Clarke bok.

I had heard great things about the book, but hadn't thought about reading it until I read a list of recommendations by Bill Simmons of ESPN. Since the link's activity may time out any day now, I'll include what he wrote about the book:

When I made my plunge into the Premier League last month, people kept telling me to read Franklin Foer's book and I finally succumbed. It's well worth the time. It's like "Freakonomics" and "Blink," one of those mainstream intellectual books for dummies like us. You learn some stuff, you feel smart after you're done, and then you can impress people at dinner one night by bringing up anecdotes from the book. This one raised my IQ by about four points ... well, for about three days, until a Wednesday night when I watched "Rock Star" and "Laguna Beach" back to back, followed by an all-gay episode of "Next" that ended with a medieval joust.

Incidentally, Simmons also recommended this David Foster Wallace book. I might have to give it a try sometime.

Oh geez, he also recommended this cheesy funny Youtube video. I couldn't help but to laugh when I saw it.

Hmmm... Now this is, well, I don't know what to say:

A few days ago, I was reading this Time.com article on showhorses, and my brain wandered as is wont to do. Nearly fifteen years ago when I was in graduate school, my folks had satellite TV. One of the channels they could get featured this person (you know, I didn't know that 1. his name was trademarked and 2. he died).

I remember several years ago when Robin Williams was on an episode of Saturday Night Live. He portrayed Gene Scott in a sketch. I remember it being pretty funny. I also remember viewing some episodes of Scott's programming on his channel. Very interesting to say the least, but what do you expect of an ordained minister who recommended books, cigars, and wine and also featured equestrian riders-- not to mention horses.

Nyja Lagis

My plans last night after study hall were to go to book club, but that was postponed because most of the people couldn't make it, so instead I went to Pub Quiz.

I teamed up with a couple of guys that I've teamed up with before and three other guys. We won first place in what turned out to be a slightly truncated contest.

Afterwards, I headed across to Don's and socialized for a little while. Only for a little while though because I needed to be at work at 8 this morning.

It was good to get out and do something. My life this semester at the college is such that many of my weeknights are taken up by various events and activities associated with the institution.

Library work has been astoundingly hectic this semester. The nights are busier than they've ever been since I've been at the college.

Various projects occur during the days. For instance, when I came in today, I had to check on the status of one of the computers used by students. I've also been working on issues concerning one of our online databases as well as a bibliographic instruction tour.

I'm still helping out my friends with their high school sports newspaper. Two schools from the coverage area are playing in the Jackson area. Oak Grove is playing at Clinton. Taylorsville is playing at St. Andrew's. I think I may attend the latter game.

10 September 2006

A Week of Mondays

Jaysus told me last night at Don's that my blog was like a reality show what with me detailing what was going on in my life. I don't know about that. I mean, I'm no Samuel Pepys.

I'll pause whilst you cheer this latest piece of news.


Still cheering? Alright.


Not quite ready? Okay.


This past week was extremely hectic. As much as I normally would enjoy having Monday off especially when considering that I normally work at the library on Monday nights, I think it would have been better for me professionally this year if Labor Day did not exist.

Bibliographic instruction. Interlibrary loan. Reference. Database troubleshooting. Study hall.

The college will also have a reaccreditation visit next month. Knowing TD's stance concerning my previous entries involving this topic, there won't be any further mention of it today.

What with all the stress going on, I made an appointment with a masseuse. I needed to be kneaded, and I had a lot of knots in my back. Fortunately, that was taken care of.

I've got to email a colleague at another library. I'm doing a presentation at a conference next month and want to make sure that she received the information I'd emailed her about two weeks ago.

This weekend was pretty restful. I needed it.

I went to CelticFest. I saw this band perform twice. Really good.

I saw friends, old and new. I saw colleagues-- present and retired. I saw students-- former and current.

I caught a little of the SCA presentation. I drank some Guinness. I purchased CDs and a T-Shirt. I had a good time.

I also had fun with friends downtown at Don's, Hal & Mal's, and Martin's. I sang karaoke quite badly.

One thing that I've become more and more aware of lately is that it seems like that everything is louder-- the background noise I mean.

Being partially deaf in one ear means that in louder environments I've often asked people to repeat what they've said. Because I sometimes can't hear people talk because of background noise, I am loath to ask people to repeat what they've said repeatedly. (This usually occurs when people are talking to several people rather than just myself.)

Friends have joked about getting an ear trumpet for me as a gag gift, but it looks like I may be in the market for a hearing aid. When I was first diagnosed some thirty years ago, it wasn't yet technologically feasible for hearing aids to help me. Now it's possible. When I have some time, I'll look into it.

06 September 2006

The Tao of Richard Vernon

Selected Richard Vernon quotes from The Breakfast Club:


Why is that door closed? WHY IS THAT DOOR CLOSED?


Hey. What's the hell's goin in there? Spoiled brats.


Well, well. Here we are. You have exactly eight hours and fifty-four minutes to think about why you're here. You may not talk, you will not move from these seats. Any questions?


You think he's funny? You think this is cute? You think he's "bitchin," is that it? Let me tell you something. Look at him - he's a bum. You want to see something funny? You go visit John Bender in five years. You'll see how goddamned funny he is.


Don't mess with the bull, young man. You'll get the horns.


What if your home... what if your family... what if your *dope* was on fire?


You think about this: when you get old, these kids - when *I* get old - they're going to be running the country.


Now this is the thought that wakes me up in the middle of the night. That when I get older, these kids are going to take care of me.


The next time I have to come in here I'm crackin' skulls.


Carl, don't be a goof.


You ought to spend a little more time trying to do something with yourself and a little less time trying to impress people.

05 September 2006

Phule's Errand...

...judged, found to be not all that funny. Up next: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell.

02 September 2006

Labor Day Weekend

I'm at my mother's house in Canebrake. Yesterday, my mother emailed me to let me know that one of my cousins had died. I stayed here in the Jackson area because that's where my cousin had lived, which is where the service would likely be.

After I left work yesterday afternoon, I ran by the house to take care of a couple things before heading over to Cups in Fondren to have a mocha frappuccino. I wanted to relax for a while before seeing my old high school play at Canton Academy.

Heidelberg Academy lost 6-0 in overtime-- losing on a gadget play, a halfback pass to the receiver. My old school played well. The Rebels had a chance to win, which was amazing since Canton should have won easily.

My old high school is an MPSA Class A school. Schools in this classification are the smallest in the MPSA, which means they're really small. For example, I was among twenty-four people who graduated from Heidelberg Academy over twenty years ago.

Canton is an MPSA Class AA school, which is also very tiny, but the Panthers roster is larger than Heidelberg's. I would have thought that Canton's coach should have emphasized power football and rotated their players in order to tire out the Rebels. However, they didn't because the coach is new, very likely wants to install his system, and wants the players to get accustomed to the system.

After the football game, I drove to Jackson. I stopped by Nagoya and ate some sushi and then went downtown. I went over to Martin's and WCDon's. Many of the usual and expected suspects showed up. Considering my day, I had fun.

I went back to the house at 1:30 Saturday morning and fell asleep at 2:45. Five and a half hours later, I hear my cellphone. i answer it too late, but saw that it was my mother who called. I called her back, and she let me know that my cousin's service was scheduled to be at 11 today.

My mother calls me again at 10. She, my aunt (my mother's sister), and my uncle (aunt's husband) are in Magee traveling north and wondering if it would be better to take 49 up to the interstate and then take the interstate to Byram. I tell her it would be much better to take the left at Florence and go to Byram that way.

They did, and I met them at the funeral home. I saw one of my cousins (my dead cousin's sister), and then her father (who is my mother's brother). We visited for a little while, and then there was the service.

The service ended at 11:45. I drove my mother back to Canebrake. Incidentally, I still prefer my funeral to be conducted as described in this post.

My aunt and uncle are from Indiana and happened to be here visiting relatives this week. They drove over to Union to visit more relatives, as previously scheduled, before heading back up to Indiana.

We made it back to my mother's house a little before 1:30. She opened up her shop about a half hour later. I showed up at 2:30 and watched the shop for her.

I'm watching the Notre Dame-Georgia Tech game on ABC. Some sleep would be nice, and I think I'll get some.

01 September 2006

Websites of Interest

I got tired of having a really long list of websites and blogs, so I thought I'd do a little creative pruning by creating a blog entry consisting solely of a list of websites and blogs that I like. I'll have a link to it from the sidebar and will update it on occasion. I'm also adding blogs that don't look like they will be updated.


Book Club
Bucky Satan
ChiChi Merengue
D Trane
Fairy Penguin
Give a Chick a Trophy
Glam Menagerie
Mightier than a Butterknife
Minimum Heroic
Oh Really?
Overheard in Jackson
Polly and the Mooch
Pretty Fakes
Super Mom
Topiary Cow
Aggie Gearheads
Bemusement Park
Client & Server
Kudzu Files
Left Oblique
Mean Green Cougar Red
M1EK's Bake-Sale of Bile
Taylor Street Purple
...trailing edge
Clinton Administration
Live from LRMA
Throwing Bullets
Book Depository
Free Range Librarian
Gareth Wyn
Heretical Librarian
Hot Librarian
Jessamyn West
Librarian in Black
Librarian Pirate
Michael Stephens
MLC Reference Blog
Vampire Librarian
The Cannon
Every Day Should Be Saturday
Godfrey Show
Gregg Ellis
Hail State
Kevin Cott
Kyle Veazey
Mississippi State Sports Blog
Officially Unofficial MSU Athletics Blog
Patrick Magee
Rick Cleveland
Marshall Ramsey
MPB Writers Blog
Sid Salter
Bookslut Blog
Cotton Mouth
The Hill's Pundits Blog
Mental Floss
Neil Gaiman


Chronicle of Higher Education
Current Cites
Google Librarian Newsletter
Miss. Library Association
Miss. Library Assn. ACRL Wiki
Mississippi Library Commission
BBC News
Clinton News
Google News
Hattiesburg American
Jackson Free Press
Laurel Leader-Call
Magnolia Report
McSweeney's Home Page
...from a Public Librarian
...from Adjunct Faculty
...from a Real McSweeney
...Essays on Favorite Songs
...Imagined Monologues
Chrysler Music Legends Podcasts
Crossroads Film Society
Lauren Rogers Museum of Art
Lemuria Books
Mississippi Archives & History
Mississippi Public Broadcasting
Square Books
Hal & Mal's
North Mississippi Allstars
Scott Albert Johnson
WC Don's
Arsenal FC
Bulldawg Junction
ESPN Soccernet
Gene's Page
Mississippi Sports Talk
Six Pack Speak

Blogging No More?

Bringing in the Sheaves
Dylan's World Cup 2006 Blog
Ian Rapoport
Michael Wallace
Snyder News Network

A sadly unexpected email

I got an email from my mother this morning. One of my first cousins died yesterday afternoon.

I didn't know he had a heart attack several weeks ago. He was just a few years older than me. Crud.