Movies I watched in 2006

Unfortunately, most of my movie watching is no longer at the wonderful Normal Theater [How many of you have theaters in Wikipedia?]. We do have two “art” theaters here in Champaign, but they are not the same. They certainly aren’t non-profits, and the snacks are much more than a $1 each.

Most of my movie watching is now done at home. At least I have a better sound system than the local theaters.

I have no idea if this list is 100% complete. I do believe that it is close, but I think I may have missed one that I saw at the theater.

The list is divided into 3 groups: theater movies, borrowed movies from the ex, and those I rented from That’s Rentertainment. If there is link it is to a blog post where I wrote about, or at least mentioned, the movie. I may link to the WorldCat or IMDB records, especially for the more obscure ones, but that’s a lot of linking!

Anyway, here is the list of movies I watched in 2006:

Saw in the theater:

Syriana – 5 Jan with Em
Heart of Gold (Neil Young) – 14 Apr
Superman Returns – Harvest Moon Drive-in 7 Jul with “the kids”
Snakes on a Plane – 18 Aug with “the kids”
Little Miss Sunshine – 27 Aug with Tracy

Borrowed from Mary and Terry in the 1st half of July 2006:

Foxfire
Pitch Black (Roddick)
The Chronicles of Roddick
Dark Fury (Roddick animated)
The Italian Job – Michael Caine
The Bone Snatcher
Mercury Rising
Unbreakable
Around the Fire
Donnie Darko

I talked about these movies in two posts.

Got a 40 movie Block from That’s Rentertainment on 1 Jan 06

1 Jan 06
Batman Begins
The Brown Bunny
Lords of Dogtown – skateboarding

3 Jan 06
Broken Flowers – Bill Murray / Jim Jarmusch

6 Jan 06
Winterschläfer (Winter Sleepers) – Tom Tykwer (Germany) imdb
Serenity
Kick the Moon (Korea)
Kinsey

11 Jan 06
turtles can fly (Iran-Iraq) imdb Although heartbreaking at the end, this was an incredible movie.
23 Jan 06
Put the Camera on Me (doc) imdb Darren Stein’s home movies.
Up and Down (Czech) imdb

17 Mar 06
Kung Fu Hustle (China, Hong Kong) imdb Pure camp.
Look at Me (France)
Zelary (Czech) imdb Simply wonderful.

20 Mar 06
Layer Cake (Britain)
The Baxter
House of Flying Daggers

22 Mar 06
Sex and Lucia (Spain, France) – ranger recommendation
Sueno
Off the Map

24 Mar 06
2046 (China, …)
Sideways
Osama (Afghanistan, …) An extremely powerful movie.

4 May 06

Thumbsucker
The Hot Spot (Virginia Madsen, Jennifer Connelly)
The Constant Gardener

7 May 06
Breakfast on Pluto
Mad Hot Ballroom (doc)
Dandelion

10 May 06
Memoirs of a Geisha
The Story of the Weeping Camel (Mongolia)
Dark Blue World (Czech)

2 Jun 06
Weather Man
Transamerica

5 Jun 06
The Squid and the Whale

6 Jun 06
Mrs. Henderson Presents
The Education of Shelby Knox, et. al.

16 Jun 06
The Same River Twice
Missing In America
Munich

10 July 06
Brokeback Mountain
Walk the Line

2nd 40 movie block from That’s Rentertainment 17 Nov 06:

17 Nov 06
Steamboy (Japan) (anime) – “science” (steam tech) at the 1851 Great Exhibition/Crystal Palace
3 Burials of Melquiades Estrada
Kingdom of Heaven – 100 yrs after England took Jerusalem

These and many of the next several movies are mentioned here and talked about here.

20 Nov 06
Adaptation
Paradise Now (Palestinian) (via LibraryTavern 22 Apr 06)
Junebug (music by yo la tengo)
Sirens
Napoleon Dynamite
Maria Full of Grace

22 Nov 06
Word Wars
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Spellbound

3 Dec 06
X-Men 3: The Last Stand
Schlock! The Secret History of American Movies
Mr. Death

6 Dec 06
Mongolian Ping Pong (China) imdb Awesome movie!
3-Iron (Canada/S Korea)
Über Goober – documentary on role players and related geeks

9 Dec 06
Rock School (doc)
Under the Sun (Swedish) imdb Lovely movie!
Genghis Blues (Tuvan throat-singing) (doc) Good!

11 Dec 06
Kinky Boots (England) – based on a true story. Was pretty good.
The Cavern – stupid, not scary, with a completely gratuitous rape at the end.
Blossoms of Fire imdb documentary about the Juchitecas (supposed matriarchy of the Zapotec peoples) of Juchitán, Mexico. Was very interesting and colorful.
The Cockettes (doc) imdb I had been looking for this movie since January when I read The Riddle of Gender.

16 Dec 06
Ultraviolet
Stick It – commentary on elite gymnastics; pretty good.
Bad Education (Spain)

19 Dec 06 — bought
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

19 Dec 06
goldfish memory (Ireland) [20 Dec] imdb Highly recommended.
Mind the Gap imdb Also highly recommended.

22 Dec 06 (8)
Touching the Void (snow/ice climbing documentary)
Imaginary Heroes imdb
Nobody Knows (Japan) imdb

24 Dec 06
Lady in the Water — video at Mary and Terry’s. Both Sara and I decided this movie was “interesting,” in the most negative and sarcastic connotation available to ‘interesting.’

26 Dec 06
King Kong
Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School imdb
Other Side of Sunday (Norway) imdb This was a very good film. It takes a hard look at repressive organized religion.

All in all, several great movies, quite a few good ones, even more decent ones, and a few bad ones.

XMAS Post hoc comments: “Bah, humbug!”

Let me begin by saying that I had a wonderful “Christmas.”

I put Christmas in quotes because, as it has been for a long time, Christmas is really a couple to a bunch of Christmases at different places over what may be a several week period (only 6 days this year).

It was great to see almost all of my (immediate) family; everyone, that is, except my Mom and my little (younger than Sara) brother, David, who is in the Air Force and currently stationed at Fort Gordon, GA (Disgusta, GA. Horrible shivers!).

I got to hang out with both my kids most of the afternoon/evening Christmas Eve and pretty much all day Christmas at the ex’s. And Jeremy met me at the diner for breakfast Wednesday as he headed to his girlfriend’s in Ohio.

Yesterday, I went to St. Louis to hang out with Dad’s side of the family (minus David). My sister and her family had driven in from DC. I went down and back yesterday, but was there from around 11 AM – 8:30 PM. That was nice.

I got several nice presents, including Cowboy Junkies The Trinity Session, Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style, Davis and Phillips’ Learning PHP and MySQL, The Muppet Show Season 1 DVD, Epictetus’ The Art of Living, Cicero’s On the Good Life and $80 for books.

I am already reading Epictetus, and I have no doubt I could finish it by this evening, but no need to rush it.

I like not getting a ridiculous amount of stuff; makes life a bit more manageable. I am, almost paradoxically, excited about having cash to exchange for more “books,” though. Plenty left on the wish list.

But back to the title:

As Christmas Eve arrived, I did not greet the day knowing that I was heading to Mary’s, as I did not know both kids were already there. It was also a Sunday morn so doubly slow. Once I learned they were there (around 10 AM, I think) I was still needing breakfast. So, I cleaned up, got dressed and headed to Merry Ann’s diner on the way.

I sat in what I hoped was a quiet spot, next to a couple around my age. This couple. This couple. I wanted to knock their heads together! I felt bad about it; I did [I still have plenty of Baptist guilt to go around]. But I really did want to knock their heads together and yell at them to “Grow the fuck up!”

I finally had to pull out the laptop and throw in my earbuds to try and drown out the incessant whine, which did not work so well. For the whole time I was there—trying to enjoy my Christmas Eve breakfast—one or the other was on the phone, loudly, complaining about portions of their family, how fucked up it was that they had to miss most of the football game today to be somewhere with family, how they went late to something else because of some awesome new interactive game system, shouldn’t the brother’s families just get together and play games and ignore the rest of their familial commitments [clearly not their words], yadda, yadda, yadda.

Jesus. I wanted to scream! I mean WTF! If your family really does suck that much, then Christ almighty (whose birthday we are theoretically celebrating), get a new family! If you are my age in this world, and you have yet to figure out that you create your own family, you are, well, in serious freaking trouble.

I’m no longer Christian, and even when I was Christmas was also highly secular, nonetheless, Christmas for me is about love, family, being with the ones you love and the family you have created, sharing that time together, and traditions, including starting your own [the last is very important]. There are few good reasons to be with people you don’t really consider family (or at least friends, in a traditional sense of “friend”) at this time of year. Call me old-fashioned. Anyway, this couple really started my “Christmas” out badly. “Grow the fuck up, people!”

At least I got these shots out of this trip to the diner.

My other, even bigger, Christmas gripe is about television. And I think maybe I’ll just leave it at that.

I did have a great holiday season—generally low-key, not a lot of traveling, got to spend time with most everyone, and a got a few great gifts. There were just two biggies that I’d like to avoid in future manifestations of “Christmas.”

I hope everyone’s was at least as good as mine! And, although, I might say it again later in the day … Happy New Year 2007!

Books read in 2006

I know I have questioned the value of these lists in the past, but remember that often questioning is a means to learning.

Now my list is going to be pathetic compared to many others because I mostly read articles, but here it is nonetheless:

The Riddle of Gender: Science, Activism, and Transgender Rights – Deborah Rudacille [blog post] [OWC]

Information, Knowledge, Text – Julian Warner. Scarecrow Press, 2001 — not very good. Sloppy typography. [OWC]

An Introduction to Book History – David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery. Routledge, 2005 — pretty good, but a bit British-centric. [OWC]

To the Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf [OWC]

Mimesis: the Representation of Reality in Western Literature — finished after 4 years of group discussion, chapter-by-chapter. [OWC]

Universities and the Future of America – Derek Bok [OWC]

The Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization – Elaine Svenonius [OWC]

The Nature of “A Work”: Implications for the Organization of Knowledge – Richard P. Smiraglia [OWC]

The Joke – Milan Kundera [OWC]

Love and Garbage – Ivan Klíma [blog post] [OWC]

Advances in Classification Research Vol. 13 [OWC]

Conspicuous Consumption – Thorsten Veblen [OWC] “Unproductive consumption of goods is honourable”

Some of you may notice the Svenonius, Smiraglia, and others and say they are LIS materials. So? I chose to read these books. They were not for any course; they were for me. And in the case of Svenonius and Smiraglia, I am better for it.

Wow. See. Twelve books. I did it without even trying; although, these are all fairly short books.

While it is a short list, all but one were well worth the effort. I wish I could say the same about the Warner book. It is brilliant in points, but on the whole is not fully cohesive as a whole, and there is simply some bad, or lack of, editing. I have met and heard Julian Warner speak twice now. I must say he is more impressive in person.

Since it is unlikely I will read anymore books “for fun” this year, I am going to go ahead and post this. So. On to next year’s reading and the wonders, joys, experiences, and challenges that it will provide.

Veblen’s Conspicuous Consumption: an excerpt review

Unproductive consumption of goods is honourable.

I recently finished this little, but powerful, book [OWC]. Actually, I believe it is an excerpt from a much larger work, The Theory of the Leisure Class, edited and introduced by Robert Lekachman (Penguin Classics, 1994) [OWC].

I bought this book in the Penguin Books . Great Ideas series. This is a series of excerpts, extracts, abridgements, etc. And while I generally loathe such things, this may be a good idea in this case; some of them for some people anyway. Would I have really ever read 400 pages of The Theory of the Leisure Class? Probably not.

Some of the works in this series include Sun-tzu’s The Art of War, Plato’s Symposium, Rousseau’s The Social Contract, Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Women, Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling, Marx & Engels’ The Communist Manifesto, among others.

While I would only read several of these titles in their entirety, some might be more useful to me in a shorter version. I imagine the same applies to others, just differently. For instance, although I see no need to read a short version of the Symposium, I would recommend the full-length version to very few people.

All in all, this edition seemed like a good one. The book is small–18×11 cm.–and costs only $8.95 retail. Type is a reasonable size, although not large, and there is a decent use of margins. The publisher provided information about which edition this “extract” came from, and the birth and death years of Veblen. What they did not tell me, and I consider this to be the major flaw of this manifestation, was when the first edition of this book (or its whole, actually) was published. That information seems just a bit useful to place the work in context!

There were a few points where I was trying to decide if something being described was during the interwar years or earlier. It turns out the book was originally published in 1899; almost 20 years before the interwar years. There have been many editions and manifestations of this book. It is possible that it had been edited over all those years and that the things I was questioning had been added later. I’ll just have to do a bit more research into the actual editions of this book if I want to know.

The contents include: The Leisure Class; Conspicuous Leisure: Status and Servants; Conspicuous Consumption: Women, Luxury Goods and Connoisseurship; Canons of Taste: Greenery and Pets; Admission to the Leisure Class; Survivals of Primitive Male Prowess: Fighting and Sports; and Conspicuous Uselessness of Education.

Now I’d like to highlight some passages I found particularly “important” to me:

The ground on which a discrimination between facts is habitually made changes as the interest from which the facts are habitually viewed changes. Those features of the facts at hand are salient and substantial upon which the dominant interest of the time throws its light. Any given ground of distinction will seem insubstantial to any one who habitually apprehends the facts in question from a different point of view and values them for a different purpose (8).

This should be common sense, especially in library work, but is it? How many people in our society, or even our profession, really honestly believe— and more importantly, live by— this idea?

The early development of tools and weapons is of course the same fact seen from two different points of view (19-20).

See also: “Every tool is a weapon if you hold it right.” Ani DiFranco. my iq. Puddle Dive.

[The] term ‘leisure,’ as used here, does not connote indolence or quiescence. What it connotes is non-productive consumption of time. Time is consumed non-productively (1) from a sense of the unworthiness of productive work, and (2) as an evidence of pecuniary ability to afford a life of idleness (21).

A knowledge of good form is prima facie evidence that a portion of the well-bred person’s life which is not spent under the observation of the spectator has been worthily spent in acquiring accomplishments that are of no lucrative effect (26).

Unproductive consumption of goods is honourable, primarily as a mark of prowess and a perquisite of of human dignity; secondarily it becomes honourable in itself, especially the consumption of the more desirable things (43).

But a base service performed for a person of very high degree may become a very honorific office; … (53).

No class of society, not even the most abjectly poor, forgoes all customary conspicuous consumption (58).

The enthusiasm for war, and the predatory temper of which it is the index, prevail in the largest measure among the upper classes, especially among the hereditary leisure class (77).

Now ain’t this just the damn truth? And what are we to finally do about it?

It is only the high-bred gentleman and the rowdy that normally resort to blows as the universal solvent of differences of opinion (79).

Sports shade off from the basis of hostile combat, through skill, to cunning and chicanery, without it being possible to draw a line at any point. The ground of an addiction to sports is an archaic spiritual constitution – the possession of the predatory emulative propensity in a relatively high potency. A strong proclivity to adventuresome exploit and to the infliction of damage is especially pronounced in those employments which are in colloquial usage specifically called sportsmanship (85-6).

The addiction to sports, therefore, in a peculiar degree marks an arrested development of the man’s moral nature (86).

The slang of athletics, by the way, is in great part made up of extremely sanguinary locutions borrowed from the terminology of warfare. Except where it is adopted as a necessary means of secret communication, the use of a special slang in any employment is probably to be accepted as evidence that the occupation in question is substantially make-believe (87).

Hmmm. What does this second sentence say about librarianship?

The chapter entitled “Conspicuous Uselessness of Education” is particularly damning of the humanities. While I tend to agree with Veblen’s analysis, I do think that there are some countervailing issues that bring their value (of which Veblen admits) more to the fore. There have also been further changes in higher education (or education, period), along with the demographics of students, professors, and so on, which impact his analysis. All in all, though, a very interesting chapter; especially since it was written so early in the history of public higher education.

The presumption that there can ordinarily be no sound scholarship where a knowledge of the classics and humanities is wanting leads to a conspicuous waste of time on the part of the general body of students in acquiring such knowledge. The conventional insistence on a modicum of conspicuous waste as an incident of all reputable scholarship has affected our canons of taste and serviceability in matters of scholarship in much the same way as the same principle has influenced our judgment of the serviceability of manufactured goods (99).

A breach of the proprieties in spelling is extremely annoying and will discredit any writer in the eyes of all persons who are possessed of a developed sense of the true and beautiful. English orthography satisfies all the requirements of the canons of reputability under the law of conspicuous waste. It is archaic, cumbrous, and ineffective; its acquisition consumes much time and effort; failure to acquire it is easy of detection. Therefore it is the first and readiest test of reputability in learning, and conformity to its ritual is indispensable to a blameless scholastic life (102).

I may just have to read Veblen’s whole work one of these days. I’m also interested in seeing some critiques from over the past 100+ years of its issuance. It is very insightful, although I imagine some of the ideas could be couched differently, also more scholarship in areas which Veblen uses for support has been done. If things have changed in these areas, it might affect his arguments.

Anyway, highly recommended short read. As for the series, you might consider it for your library if you have patrons that need an “easier” or, at least, shorter introduction to assorted “classics” of Western lit.

And as “good Americans,” as I have no doubt most of my readers are, remember, “Conspicuous consumption of goods is honourable.” Even our president urged us to consume in the wake of 9/11; so it must be honorable.

Hey, Iris, Veblen is a Carleton geek, er, I mean grad. ;)

Books TBR; Challenges; Extra Credit?

As some of you (may) know, I am not a big fan of reading challenges. Nor do I do resolutions. You may also know that currently I do not read many books (as you will see soon enough [future link]); although I do have a pretty good theory about why my reading is what it is currently.

When I first saw this 2007 TBR Challenge at Wanderings of a Librarian I thought “No way!” Then I noticed that it was only committing to 12 books in a year. As you will soon see, that is about how many books I read this year for “fun.”

I thought it doable enough that I went through many of my books and identified about 30 possibilities and a few definites. Narrowing it down from there has been much more difficult. The rules also theoretically proscribe anything newer than 6 months in your possession. What if I get (or buy) something good for Christmas? [As I did the 1st and will do the 2nd.]

I was trying to work on narrowing down my list earlier and decided to go back to the official challenge site to see how people were handling “options,” whether alternatives or extras. I was mostly interested in alternatives, but it was the “extras” that got me. MizB, the originator of this challenge, and others, are referring to these as “Extra Credit.” Extra Credit. WTF? There’s no “extra credit” for expanding your mind and/or experience. You read because you want to, and maybe you help motivate yourself by committing to these challenges, or listing your goal publicly somewhere [as I seem about to do...], maybe even somewhere others can comment on them, but there is no freaking “extra credit” for reading.

Maybe it makes sense to some of you; I’m sorry for my comments if it does, but it seems completely inane to me.

So, with all that babbling as preface … I am going out on a limb (for me) and making a vaguish commitment to try and read 12 books (at least) in 2007, many of which will come from my huge backlog of “to be read” books.

I am setting this goal as part of my continual attempt at self-growth; exposure to information, facts; and striving for knowledge and wisdom. I read for me; so that I can be a better person and a better citizen of the world. “Extra credit” has no place in the picture. I am also not linking anywhere, joining any lists, or doing other things. This is an opportunity for me to do a little more focused reflection on what I need/want to read in 2007.

(Probable) Definites

Lakoff – Women, Fire and Dangerous Things: What Categories Reveal about the Mind 600 pp.
Foucault – The Archaeology of Knowledge & The Discourse on Language
Eli Hirsch – Dividing Reality
Herodotus – The Histories
Henricus Cornelius Agrippa – Declamation on the Nobility and Preeminence of the Female Sex
Nicholas Ostler – Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World
George Eliot – Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe
Alexandr Solzhenitsyn – One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Alain Renaut – The Era of the Individual: A Contribution to a History of Subjectivity

Possibilities

Lakoff and Johnson – Philosophy in the Flesh 600 pp.
Hofstadter – Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought 500 pp.
Hofstadter – Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid 760 pp.
Elio Frattaroli – Healing the Soul in the Age of the Brain: Becoming Conscious in an Unconscious World 430 pp.
Alexis de Tocqueville – Democracy in America 700 pp.
Michael Williams – Groundless Belief: An Essay on the Possibility of Epistemology, 2nd ed.
John Cottingham – Philosophy and the Good Life
Richard Rorty – Philosophy and Social Hope
David Riesman – The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character
Todorov – Hope and Memory: Lessons from the 20th Century
Ellul – The Technological Bluff
Buschman – Dismantling the Public Sphere: situating and sustaining librarianship in the age of the new public philosophy
Erik Davis – TechGnosis: myth, magic + mysticism in the age of information
The Information Society Reader (Routledge Student Readers) ed. Frank Webster
Brown & Duguid – The Social Life of Information
Camille Paglia – Blow, Break, Burn
Biographies of Scientific Objects, ed. by Lorraine Daston
Thoma Gieryn – Cultural Boundaries of Science: credibility on the line
K. C. Cole – The Universe and the Teacup: The Mathematics of Truth and Beauty
Dumas – The Three Musketeers

I’m open to input on the Hofstadters; I can’t read both of those big books and make progress on many others. Which is the best to read first? Or comments about either generally?

I figure this is a pretty ambitious list, which includes a vast array of topics and literature. I mean I have poetry on my reading list; I can’t get much more ambitious than that. Although, I am starting with a shorter poetry book. ;)

There’s a lot to be said for all of these, especially those on the definite list. All of those on the definite list make perfect sense for me. The first three have to do with “classification” and categorization, there’s a book about words and languages, and one about the removal of the subject from modern Western discourse. The Eliot is the only one needing any justification. I wanted to include a couple works of literature and can only have so many lengthy books, and I really enjoyed Middlemarch—one of the finest books I have ever read—so I thought a short one by Eliot would be good to include.

Narrowing down the possibilities list will be difficult [which is why I want to leave it open for now]. The easier discriminators are (1) decide on which, if either, of the Hofstadters, (2) probably not Lakoff and Johnson, nor the Tocqueville. The poetry, the Biographies of Scientific Objects, and the The Information Society Reader have a lot going for them as they are in more bite-sized chunks; certainly not snippets, but far easier to read than lengthy [book-length] sustained arguments [of which there are plenty on the lists]. The Cole would be good as I need to read more math; although the use of those words in the sub-title is really irking me. I should give her a chance, though, and read what she really means by it. Also, lots of great philosophy and sociology (both connected to how individuals and societies actually do/should live).

Anyway, any input on my list, my lack of commitment in certain quarters, or other comments on this topic are welcomed.

Five things you don’t know about me

I got tagged by my friend, jennimi, a few days ago.

It has taken me a while to decide on what to reveal; sorry Jenn! This sort of ties in to many of the issues which caused me to “withdraw” somewhat recently, thus I was a bit “careful” about what to put here. I had several ideas but decided that that detail might be a bit more context sensitive, at least to me and when and to whom I might tell it. Shades of storytelling arising again….

Well, with any luck, these tidbits may be interesting, intriguing or entertaining, but not TMI.

  1. In a much younger life, I had the responsibility of unlocking and passing the Permissive Action Link codes to unlock the nuclear warheads on our missile site in West Germany.
  2. I used to collect beer cans, for almost 20 years. I still have some in storage.
  3. I cut two fingers on my right hand to the bone with an X-acto knife. On Christmas Day. When I was 12, I think.
  4. I listen to Lambchop’s song, “the new cobweb summer,” (almost) every night before I go to bed for the opening lyric, “The last thought that you think today / has already happened…”
  5. I, and the rest of my family (and many others), have a permanent life-time ban on donating blood. This is thanks to being in Europe during the beginnings of the Mad Cow scare, or more accurately, the rise of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.

Hopefully nothing here will cost me a job someday. Hehe. Just some of the more mundane facts about my life.

If you haven’t done this yet, and you would like to, then feel free to feel tagged. I’m a little too out of shape right now to be tagging anyone and running away.

Carnival is coming back to town

The 62nd Carnival of the Infosciences is coming to town on Monday, January 8th. This means posts from tomorrow, 25 Dec 06 through (early) 7 Jan 07 will be eligible. So, get to writing yourself and please feel free to send suggestions.

I am currently “reading” approximately 130 library-related blogs. There are 100s more in many area of librarianship that I am not reading. Please help feel bridge that gap. All areas of librarianship are important.

As a point of departure and to get you all thinking, how about writing about what you would really want for the world of libraries and information in 2007 if you could just wiggle your nose and make it happen.

Anything from software that just works; e.g., a citation manager that can “read” all the pdfs on my hard drives and extract all relevant bibliographic metadata (an impossibility, I realize for older pdfs; maybe doable for newer ones) to an open, supported standard(s) for ILS modularization. What would make your world or the world of your users better? Small or large ideas welcomed.

I have a few I’ve recognized recently (e.g., citation managers) that I hope to stumble across again as I have been considering this myself as a post. Myself, I think I’ll be focusing on smaller, eminently doable things. But feel free to consider widely.

Who knows, maybe our collective lists will motivate someone to do something useful.

Anyway, not to constrain you … submit what you like of your own or others for the 62nd Carnival of the Infosciences coming here 8 January 2007.

Submissions can be made at my contact form (preferred) or emailed to me at mark (dot) lindner (at) insightbb (dot) com.

I hope everyone enjoys whatever holidays they may be celebrating and that as dysfunctional as the family you have surrounded yourself with may or not be that you take the time and effort to appreciate them, and to ensure they know it. Most of us may be born into a family, but everyone of us is at liberty to create our own. The “family” you create is probably the most important thing any of us will ever do in life.

welcome to
something like elation when you first open your eyes
just cuz it means
that you musta finally got to sleep last night
welcome to
the precipice between groundlessness and flight

Ani DiFranco, “welcome to:”, evolve

May we all learn to fly in the next year!

Day off

I have rarely been as excited to be locked out of where I work than at 8:58 AM this morning. So sweet! While I have no doubt that I could use 3 hours pay, excitement was the emotion of choice.

I stopped at Merry Ann’s diner and had a 3rd breakfast–an actual hearty one this time–and read all the parts on interoperability in the ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005 Monolingual Controlled Vocabulary standard [pdf].

Now I’m going to look up some articles that looked promising when I took a quick glance through some of my thesaurus construction materials from the summer. Then I’m heading to the library to retrieve whatever I can/need.

I have retrieved some things and have call nos. for others in the hopes that I can retrieve something or something in more useful form. Being digital doesn’t inherently make something more useful. I should probably look through some more articles that I already have printed (and read, most likely). Maybe I will.

I also need to return two movies and maybe deposit a check in the credit union. Some leisurely errands on a nice day off.