New Ani DiFranco CD arrived today

I received my pre-ordered Ani CD, reprieve, in the mail today. Yay! It’s not due in stores until August 8th.

I’ve been “listening” to it over and over while writing the previous post. That said, it’s been mostly serving as background music for now so I’ll refrain from saying much about it.

As a preliminary response, though, I will say that it seems a bit like revelling/reckoning, both musically and attitudinally. This is not to imply that there is no growth here, or that the themes are the same. Certainly not what I’m saying!

Of course, there is plenty here that addresses the issues of gender discussed in the previous post, including the title track.

feminism ain’t about equality
it’s about reprieve.

Heck, in the kind of timeliness that only Ani can address in my life, she even has a response to Michael:

such an intent stare
one eye at a time
your talons like fish hooks
you are a rare bird
the kind I wouldn’t even mind
writing in the margin of my books

“in the margins”

Now that would be a rare bird, indeed!

I am definitely looking forward to spending time getting to know, and really listening to, this new offering from Ani.

What happened to the library on my blog?

Maybe none of you are asking this question, but I have to admit it has been pestering me a lot lately. The sad part is that I honestly don’t have an answer.

I have been pursuing my own self-education this summer amid all the apartment hunting, moving preparations, job searching, relaxing and whatever else I’ve been doing. I just haven’t been writing about it, although I have intended to.

I have finished two monographs and am about halfway through a conference proceedings:

Elaine Svenonius, The Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization.

Richard P. Smiraglia, The Nature of “A Work.”

Ann M. Sandberg-Fox, ed., Proceedings of the Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millennium: Confronting the Challenges of Networked Resources and the Web.

I have also read and re-read the Calhoun Report, engaged in discussions of it, and have read several responses by Thomas Mann, and one to Mann by James Weinheimer.

This upcoming week I will be calling Karen Calhoun on the phone as a guest speaker in the Tech Services distance ed class that I am a tech for. To say that I am excited about this would be a complete understatement.

My views towards the report she wrote using my (and your) tax dollars have become a bit more moderate, although I still have major issues with her use of business metaphors, her equating the researcher with a typical Google searcher, some of her rhetorical strategies, and the choice of experts that she chose to interview. Despite the many flaws in this report, there is some definite “truth” in it. The problem is that someone needs to embrace those few nuggets of reality and then rewrite the entire report. Ah well, hearing what she has to say should be quite interesting. By the way, no one needs to worry. I will be performing my official duties, and thus representing my school and my university; I will not embarass them, nor myself.

Some of the other articles I’ve recently read include:

Daniel Rosenberg, “Early Modern Information Overload.” Journal of the History of Ideas 64 (1), Jan 2003. (via Project Muse) This is an excellent overview and synthesis of the other articles in this special issue on information overload in the Early Modern period, which also asks some great follow-up questions. While being a good article overall, I highly recommend it to those who do not believe in “information overload” for its highly nuanced approach to assorted contributions to the feeling and experience of information overload.

Lynne C. Howarth, “Metadata and Bibliographic Control: Soul-Mates or Two Solitudes?” Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 40 (3/4), 2005.

Thus, it appears that, while the bibliographic control community is advancing theory to inform its longstanding and extensive application, the metadata community is learning from experience to inform its conceptual frameworks. Hence, opportunites for learning from one another abound, and will prove constructive to enhancing the overall goals of quality description for effective resource discovery (51).

M. E. Maron, “On Indexing, Retrieval and the Meaning of About.” Journal of the American Society for Information Science Jan 1977. I came to this article via footnote 54, chapter 3 of Svenonius (see above) where she is discussing the concepts of “aboutness” and “subject.” This paper, described as “a classic,” defines “aboutness behavioristically, in terms of beliefs, opinions, or psychological states of mind” (46). While it contains some good insight, it also has limitations as any attempt to operationalize the individual searcher’s intentions, desires, contexts, etc. does.

Lou Burnard, Metadata for corpus work. A link to this paper was left in a comment on my post, TEI is too metadata! Parse that link out to get a somewhat out-of-date home page for Lou Burnard, Assistant Director of Oxford University Computing Services, among other things. Serves as a good overview of editorial, analytic, descriptive and administrative metadata, particularly in the context of TEI and corpus work. Thanks for the interesting read, sir.

I have, of course, read or re-read an untold number of other things; some re-readings were intentional and some accidental (Rosenberg).

In the realm of liblogs I have either written or considered writing some lengthy responses and then decided otherwise.

One of the ones that almost but then did not get written was a response to Michael McGrorty’s (Library Dust) recent book-fetishist screed, Read Only. I generally like most of what Michael writes, and have said so publicly and to Michael himself. But that little screed was asinine, to use the same word he does to describe my belief that I own my books.

I’m not sure what uber-socialist world he’s living in, but they are my books. I most certainly am not any book’s “foster parent.” And yes, I do argue with the TV; just one of the many reasons I choose not to watch it. And what kind of asinine analogy is it to ask if I “annotate paintings in museums?” If we were talking library books or someone else’s book, then it’s not such a bad analogy, but I don’t own the works of art in a museum. My books, as several pointed out in the comments, are mine.

I had a much better response, and even a bit more gentle one, to Michael that included pointing him to some very good research on note-taking and annotation. I wonder if he’s aware that there are books that are valuable precisely for the annotations that they contain and not particularly for their published content?

I did write a lengthy response (me, really?) to Karen Schneider’s aside in her comment on her own post (Free Range Librarian), It almost goes without saying. In her comment, Karen states “(In fact, an interesting gender question is whether women bloggers read different blogs than male bloggers.)” While I agree that it is a very interesting question, I also think it would be very hard to actually answer in a “scientific” manner and, that more importantly, it would not actually tell us anything useful.

Simple reasons are that there are lots of reasons for which blogs are read by somoeone (that is, there are far more and possibly more important variables than gender), and even more reasons as to why a certain individual reads certain blogs. I listed lots of examples of both.

The draft post also contained my attempt to join the conversation(s) surrounding gender issues, sexism, homophobia, and all the other angles brought up recently in librarianship, especially systems librarianship, and in society in general.

I have, though, decided not to post it. To many, I am just a middle-aged white male and thus have nothing to contribute to the conversation. A few, and I am including Karen here, would encourage me, I believe. The problem for me, though, as I see it is that many would misconstrue my confused, but sincere, attempt to learn and grow and to figure out how I can better contribute to making the kind of world that these women, and many men, would like to see, and so richly deserve.

I guess in a sense, I have nothing to contribute to the discussion. Maybe I feel somewhat silenced myself (as do many men, I think.) And that is just so wrong. People like me are needed as allies, but without honest and open discussion that will only happen very slowly, if at all.

So, although I have frequently written about gender here, I will stay out of this (fairly public) discussion for now. That does not mean that I am ceding my chance(s) to learn. It only means that I must rely on the more personal, and dare I say intimate, discussions that can occur between friends and/or face-to-face. Emily, Jenica, Jenny, my baby girl Sara, Miss E, and others, I sincerely hope you will continue to help me grow into the kind of man the world needs more of.

I would say that I promise more of “the library” here in future, but then I never thought I’d be asking myself where it went in the first place.

Fathers and sons

Today my son told me that he that has reenlisted in the Army for 6 more years. It did not come as a surprise as we had discussed the possibility via IM on Monday evening.

I am extremely proud of my son and I support him in this decision! He has discovered what he likes, he does it well, and he desires to continue making a contribution to his country. Should that we all are so lucky.

This decision will put him at around 13 years of service wehn this enlistment is up, which means that quite likely he has become a “lifer.”

Yet, as you can imagine, I am quite torn. I am completely against the uses to which our military has been put over the last several years, and quite likely will be over the next several. And this has absolutely nothing to do with whether it’s my child, your child, or someone else’s child on the line.

I’d like to share a bit of what Jeremy wrote today in his MySpace blog:

I love being a soldier. I am proud to put on my uniform every day. I was born into the Army thanks to my father, even if it isn’t perhaps a distinction that he enjoys at this point. I know he is proud of me though and both my parents support me in my decision, although they both would prefer that I hang it up. I understand that alot of people do not support the current political regime in the United States. However, I would hope that people understand that we as soldiers (at least at the point that I am in in my carreer) are not in the Army for the college money, the benefits, or that we are too stupid to do anything else. And we certainly are not in it for the money! We are also not sheep. I have very accute opinions on just about everything, even if I cannot express my views as openly as I would like. I signed up to defend this country and defend the Constitution. I have to follow whatever government that is elected by YOU whether I voted for them or not. It is an oath that I have taken three times now and one I take very seriously. I cannot call it quits just because I don’t want to go to war for a cause that I do not believe in. There is honor in fulfilling obligations and standing up for what you believe in, a concept some people do not understand.

I love my son very much and am very proud of him. I am overjoyed that he knows both of those things.

One last comment to the parents or soon-to-be parents out there. Be very, very careful with the examples you set for your children. Otherwise, you may well find yourself extremely proud of them for doing something that every fiber of your being wishes they were not.

Finally bought something from iTunes

I have mentioned once or twice, here and there [FRL], that I got a $10 gift certificate to iTunes back in December that I just never seemed to get around to using.

This morning, I finally did. I had a couple artists recorded in my little personal, local wiki [VoodooPad by Flying Meat (for Macs). Hey, I’m glad I pointed this out as I just got a free upgrade since I registered my copy after 5 May. There is a free version called VoodooPad Lite which I started wth. Try it, you may find it useful. I certainly did.].

Then I remembered Kurt playing something for me when we were discussing my move to WordPress. I did a bit of browsing by genre but quickly got bored with the iTunes interface, so I called on my musical “buddies.”

First, I turned to Anna, eclectic librarian, because she often recommends things that sound intriguing that I probably wouldn’t stumble over on my own. When Kurt opportunely came online, I IMed him and asked for some more recommendations. Within no time I had my 10 songs picked out and had them downloaded.

I haven’t listened to them yet, other than the preview snippets (and a video or two that Kurt pointed me to), but here they are (song title, artist, album title [recommender]):

  • Ai Du, Ali Farka Touré & Ry Cooder, Talking Timbuktu [me, see below]
  • I Wan’na Be Like You (The Monkey Song), Los Lobos, Just Another Band from East L.A. [Kurt, from a previous discussion re Louis Prima and Disney’s The Jungle Book]
  • Country Mile, Camera Obscura, Let’s Get Out of This Country [me and WEFT 90.1]
  • No Place Like Home, Jodi Jett, Revelations [Anna]
  • Quick, Painless and Easy, Ivy, Apartment Life [Kurt]
  • Conceived, Beth Orton, Comfort of Strangers [Kurt]
  • Some Other Place, Whisperado, Some Other Place [Anna]
  • Heart In Me, Cordero, En Este Momento [Anna]
  • Way You Walk, Papas Fritas, Buildings and Grounds [Kurt]
  • Cross Bones Style, Cat Power, Moon Pix [Kurt]

“Ai Du” is in the movie l’auberge espagnole (The Spanish Apartment). I have also definitely heard Beth Orton, Ali Farka Touré, Camera Obscura, and Cat Power on WEFT. Unfortunately, I am often using the radio as background music so I don’t really hear it. But, at least, I can file away an artist or song title in the back of my mind as something to check out someday.

I want to definitely say thanks to Anna and Kurt for helping pick out some stuff to get exposed to! And a definite thanks to Cheryl for the gift certificate in the first place!

I swear that taking 7 months to use it has absolutely no bearing on my appreciation of the gift! It just hasn’t been how I have operated musically. Yet. But thank you, thank you!

I am looking forward to checking all of these out and hopefully discovering new artists to love in the process.

Giving props where due

A while back, just before ALA Annual, I wrote a post declaring my opinion that Leslie Burger’s Emerging Leaders program was discriminatory due to its age restrictions. That post got a lot of comments, most of which were in general agreement, although several pointed out other ways in which it was, at best, non-inclusive and, at worst, was discriminatory.

I believe that there was some discussion of this program at ALA, but I heard no more about it. Last night I saw a post on it again in my Bloglines. I must not have kept it as I can no longer find it this morning. So I apologize to whomever alerted me to this again.

It seems Leslie Burger deserves a hand for listening to someone or someones. The qualifications now say: 2) Young (under 35 years) or new librarians of any age with fewer than 5 years post-MLS experience.

That second clause is new. And I, for one, applaud it. A few other minor questions I initially asked seem to have been answered also. Thank you Madame President!

Now, to be sure, there are still some financial issues for many who might want to apply. Yet, I feel I must give credit for my initial direct concern being answered. I am taking no credit for this whatsoever; I am not deluding myself that Leslie reads my blog. Actually, I am assuming several of the folks commenting on my post (Karen, Nanette, … and maybe others) addressed it in some manner during Annual. Nonetheless, my initial concern was addressed and I feel that it is only right to credit that change.

Welcome to Off the Mark

This is my new blog, Off the Mark.

It is replacing my original blog …the thoughts are broken… which was hosted at TypePad. Reproduced here, in a different expression is the last post I made [that is, it is edited to make sense in this context], and reproduced in a different manifestation is the entire contents of the previous blog.

I still have to move physically in a couple of weeks, but my virtual move has already happened. Of course, there’s still (virtual) unpacking and tidying up to be done but, thanks to Kurt‘s help, it really went sweetly.

This original version of this will be one of my last posts at my TypePad blog. It will also be an orphan as I will not replicate it in WordPress. I was going to but it doesn’t make much sense. I’ll write a similar one, but from the now “local” point of view. [Changed my mind, sort of.]

My new blog is named Off the Mark. It is currently subtitled …the thoughts are broken… to help others (and me) with the transition. The new name is courtesy of Richard Urban and Walt Crawford [the 1st link in this sentence is wrong. WP is changing it on me and I haven’t figured out why yet.]

Here is the feed for it. Please switch any feed you may be subscribed to to the new one. I’m not exactly sure if/when, but I’ll probably kill the TypePad blog in about 4 weeks.

I have no doubt that the layout of this blog will change a bit over time as I get to know WordPress and its capabilities, but it is functional for now.

You are also free to poke around the website at my new domain: Not really worth it at the moment, but I will be adding to, and styling, it slowly. This blog can be found from there also.

I am sorry to everyone for “breaking the internet” or at least a small portion of our small slice. Once the TypePad blog dies (and I’m not sure how long TypePad will leave it in place once my account expires) any inbound links to it will fail. Nothing I can do about that that I know of. Redirects won’t help because I won’t have control of that “place” to redirect from.

I can probably edit the Carnival wiki and, if not, I’ll send Greg the links to the 4 posts in their new location. Not much I can do for anyone else. If anyone can suggest things I might be able to do to minimize the damage, please feel free.

As for my “there’s still (virtual) unpacking and tidying up to be done” comment above, I am referring to fixing some image issues and doing a bit more checking of things. A lot of the images are showing up right now, but that is because TypePad used absolute URLs. I’ll have to upload all those photos to my domain and edit the links in those posts. [Started on that today, but I have a long way to go still.]

If any of you find anything else broken or that you can predict will break, PLEASE let me know.

And, again, welcome to Off the Mark.

Rodenbach, oh Rodenbach

Last night I went to a going away party for one of our soon-to-be grads. After having a few pints of Guinness the party broke up. I went to another bar with 2 folks, fully intending to drink only water.

Having acquired my water I began perusing the list of fine beers they have. I happened to notice that they had a “Rodenbach” on tap currently. I went up to the bartender and asked if this might in fact be the Belgian Rodenbach and, if so, how long they might have it on tap. She said, “Yes,” and began extolling its virtues to me. I quickly told her I was well aware of its many virtues having drunk it by the case for over 3 years in Belgium in the mid-80s. I asked how long they would have it, intending to come back another time. She said, “It only comes in these tiny little kegs and when the one they have is empty, well, that would be it.” Sigh.

I had no choice. Really. I had to have one. I even had to borrow $2 from my friend to afford it. But I had to have it. Rodenbach was one of the 3 main beers I drank for my 3+ years in Belgium.

Belgium makes the oddest, but often wonderful, beers. Lambecks, krieks, framboises, geuzes, top- and bottom-fermented ales, lots of monks involved, and so on.

Rodenbach is a Belgian sour ale. It isn’t all that heavy, but it is pretty dark. It also smells kind of vinegary, and even has a small bite of acridness. While it is not an everyday beer, it is exquisite. The funny thing is, I don’t remember ever having it in draft in Belgium. I got it in brown 33cl bottles with wonderful painted labels. I may still have a bottle somewhere in storage. It doesn’t look like they have painted labels anymore; ‘progress’ is not always a good thing.

I’m hurting just a bit today, but man, oh man was it ever so tasty.

Blog maintenance and moving prep

I was able to get WordPress installed yesterday afternoon and now have a default WP blog in place.

Tomorrow evening my friend Kurt is going to help me try and get this one imported into WP.  Wish us well!

Toward that end, I intend to do a little maintenance and prep around here.  When I first started this blog I used TypePad’s extended post feature for a few months on the longer posts [about 27].

I am going to go in and hopefully change all of them to single body posts.  That means all of you reading this via RSS will see them all again.  Feel free to ignore them.  I am not sure, but I may have to republish the site, too, to force some changes.  That’ll also mean more repeats in your feed readers.  I do apologize.

Assuming all goes well with the import into WP, I don’t foresee a lot of new stuff here.  So it may be safe to ignore most of what comes into your feedreader from me for the next 2-3 days.  Once I get the blog in the new place, I will make a final post here to point folks to it and provide the feed URL. 

Feel free to ignore most, but keep an eye out for the new address and feed.  Of course, if you weren’t reading this blog between Feb and May 2005 you may actually want to check some of these posts out.  Some of it could have been much better, but then some of them are my "classics."  And comments are still open on all of them, if you feel the need.

Just don’t say you weren’t warned.  🙂


Well, I find this very interesting.  None of the 30 or so posts [missed a couple yesterday when making the list] I updated have refreshed in Bloglines.  This is good.  Maybe they didn’t in other feed readers either.  One can only hope.

No longer imminent, just ugly

…and hopefully only temporarily so.  While I was waiting on my domain to go live today I threw together a quick page or two, borrowing some CSS from across the web.

Now seriously, this is just a placeholder so please don’t judge me too harshly for an hours work.

I am extremely pleased that I actually managed to get this much uploaded using only the basic instructions Blake sent with my hosting order.

The next major step is to get WordPress installed in my domain.  Then comes the massive step of getting this blog imported and hopefully working correctly in WordPress.  Wish me well, and feel free to contact me with any suggestions or tips.

Imminent domain(s)

Or perhaps "eminent."  Or maybe even "immanent."  But then they’re not really imminent either.  Just "empty."

I just registered, and  Their mine, all mine.  Bwaahaahaa.  I passed on .org for now, and someone has .com parked.

Since it is after my bedtime, tomorrow I’ll finish ordering my hosting from LISHost.  [Thanks for the timely response Blake!]  After that I’ll have Kurt help me try to get this blog moved over to my own domain.  He already has an exported copy, fresh as of yesterday, to try importing.  Hopefully he’ll learn all we need to know or at least be prepared for when we move it for real.

Will the thoughts remain broken?  Or will they be retired?  Stay tuned; and cross your fingers they don’t get even more broken in the move.