A crazy mishmash of life

Sickness and death

Been having odd sick-like things going on for a couple months now. Went to the doc last week. Sinus x-rays showed an infection and I’m a third of the way through 20 days of antibiotics. My electrolytes were also off and I had to have them retested. Go back Monday for a follow-up.

I need to call the pest control dude back. Maybe it’s the cold snap, but I have had a couple ants the last couple days. I have about 3 more weeks to get a free touch-up spray. It’s stressful enough right now with the semester’s end rapidly approaching without needing to kill more ants. “Stay outside, you little bastards!”

End of the semester

Speaking of the end of the semester … I’m OK, but really need to get productive quickly! I’ve been reading a lot as you can see, but now it’s time to do something with what I’ve read and to actually research some (i.e., visit and play with) some terminology services-type projects. I’ve been entering many of my readings in Zotero, too, so I can do my bibliography.

My project for Representation and Organization is probably going to be an annotated bibliography. Kathryn’s left it up to me to produce something useful for the class on my topic, relationships, although she suggested a few things including the bibliography. I am going to structure it around Bean & Green’s 4-way grouping from the introduction to Relationships in the organization of knowledge:

  1. Bibliographic relationships between units of recorded knowledge
  2. Intratextual and intertextual relationships, including those based on text structure, citation relationships, and hypertext links
  3. Subject relationships in thesauri and other classificatory structures
  4. Relevance relationships (vii)

I will, of course, expand on these (non-mutually exclusive) categories and try to include at least one good article on each topic. Many topics will have several good or even great ones. And, if you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that I’ve even gone back and read some of the early classic articles.

Allen really liked my first paper for Ontologies and now I just need to do a bit of expansion and try to add a couple sentences here and there on some points he said I’d get nailed for if it were a conference paper. Our initial limit was 3 single-spaced pages and now I have 1-3 more to “play” with. Of course, I’m supposed to explain the notion of hierarchies, my choice of methodology (chose the right one, but need to say why), and also what I mean by “fundamental category.” I love how he said that “I need to do something (about “fundamental category”), that it’ll be hopeless, and that I won’t be satisfied.” Truer words of advice from a philosopher were never spoken. In 1-3 sentences I need to stave off criticism from those who think they know what they are and that I don’t, and criticism from those who think no one knows what they are. Certainly a simple task, eh? ;)

I really had no idea what to expect from Allen when I went in to talk to him last Sunday since I had never written an actual paper for him before, but it was delightful. We chatted for a good while about a fair few things and it did my heart good. Those memories are mine, though.

I need to get on this paper, though, as I present it to class on Tuesday the 17th. I’ll post it here at some point. I’m even considering posting both versions, but I want to have the expanded version written before I post the original.

Assistantships

I just realized that my thesaurus assistantship is over May 15th, and I verified that they have no money to pay me (hourly) after that. At least I didn’t get let go like several other folks a month or two back. That means I will not completely finish my first pass through FireTalk, although possibly all Top Terms except TT00 General. The problem is, I’m still waiting for node labels (maybe next week) and it will really need a 2nd pass. ::sigh:: “‘ferris wheel rescue’, ‘ferris wheel rescue’, ‘ferris wheel rescue’…”

I think I’m set for Fall, though. I scored another assistantship in Rapid (monographic) Cataloging and kept my Serials gig. Sweet! I’ll get to sit at my own desk all week, and get some great monographic copy cataloging experience. I’ll certainly see a vastly wider range of subjects, class nos, and some other MARC fields than I do now. My only concern is that if some adjustments aren’t made it’ll be 60% total, and those extra few hours/week make a big difference.

My serials gig is through the summer, but I need to find some way to make up the $$ from the Fire Service gig. Cause it only adds up to rent and utilities for 3 months. Else it’ll be a very boring summer as I basically sit in my house and it ramen.

Blogging, or not so much

See the next post…

Future classes

This summer I’ll be taking a class on Topic Maps with Patrick Durusau via LEEP. This Fall, who knows? Registration opens Monday and we don’t have all the classes listed yet! Now this is certainly abnormal for us, but it sucks nonetheless.

I am taking Bibliography with one of our amazing emeritus professors, Don Krummel. After that, hmmm? There really aren’t many decent courses being offered in my opinion. But one should keep in mind that I’ll have 74 semester hours of LIS credit by the time Fall semester starts. Maybe it is about time to move on. ;)

There are a couple that might be interesting in light of my previous socio-technological work, but they are with someone I don’t think I’d take any class from based on what I’ve heard from many of the PhD students.

Julia Flanders (who is amazing!) will be teaching Electronic Publishing via LEEP again. While interesting, I had a look at last year’s syllabus and I don’t know. Kind of peripheral to my main interests.

An analysis of contemporary electronic publishing from the perspective of the production process, emphasizing the role of information processing standards and the concept of documents as knowledge representation systems. Specific topics will include the organization of digital document production, tools and techniques, technical strategies, business strategies, and policy issues. Particular attention will be given to the use of key XML-related standards in the production process, and to the general role of data standards in supporting the development of a high-performance electronic publishing industry. As a vehicle for presenting a coordinated selection of fundamental issues, we will focus on the development and use of the Open eBook Publication Structure, a new industry specification for the content, structure, and presentation of “electronic books”. Students may approach the material from a variety of perspectives. Final projects will be individualized to student’s interests and backgrounds and may be either analytical research papers or technical projects designing and implementing portions of publishing systems (From GSLIS Course Catalog).

Dave Dubin will be teaching Foundations of Information Processing in Lib & Info Science, which will include Python programming. Allen Renear highly suggested I take this after hearing of the other classes I have taken and my professional plans. He’s right; I need to do this. But it’s LEEP and I broadcast this class for Dave once and had a hard time keeping up when in the same room with him even. That boy can pack an English sentence like none I’ve ever known!

Covers the common data and document processing constructs and programming concepts used in library and information science. The history, strengths and weaknesses of the techniques are evaluated in the context of our discipline. These constructs and techniques form the basis of applications in areas such as bibliographic records management, full text management and multimedia. No prior programming background is assumed (From GSLIS Course Catalog).

More important to my current goals are the independent studies/practica that I’m trying to put together. I want to do some work with “authority control,” both traditional (AACR, MARC, LC) and newer, non-traditional forms like embedded gazetteers, term lists, etc. They will probably have to be separate, but who knows? I’m drafting a letter to ask for a meeting to discuss possibilities with our head of cataloging but am waiting on a couple feedback responses first. Quite possibly something could come of this that would shape my CAS project. It’d be nice to do some real work and learning, and benefit the library and our patrons at the same time.

I thought I had the authority control thing sewn up when I got a CETRC Mentor, but seeing as I never heard from them I seem to need to find a different route. And speaking of never hearing from….

ALA and its offshoots

Almost 2 months ago, I wrote about ALA membership processing being broken. I called them a couple of days after that and was assured that everything was right with the world. The lady I spoke with really was very pleasant. She assured me that, “No, I did not owe any more $$ for ACRL and that I really was no longer a member of ACRL, and that surely LITA knew I was a member because they have exactly the same info as she does.” She suggested that maybe I hadn’t heard from them yet as their journal is quarterly and, well, Nov. to Feb. When I asked whether I should have at least received a welcome email or such she was a bit perplexed but, nonetheless, “All is right with the world.”

Well, damn it ALA! All is not right with the world. I still get ACRL publications. I have yet to receive any thing—journal, email, “Fuck off but thanks for the $$”—except for a kindly welcome from a member in my post comments. As I said in my previous post:

I voted for the dues increase ALA. I expect you to actually fix some of the broken parts with it. Starting with membership services might be a good place. That seems like such a basic concept for a membership organization, especially one whose purpose really isn’t to serve their members but where their members work. It seems to me that asking people to pony up large sums of money to be a member of something that actually supports their employers—truly one heck of a concept—would particularly make the organization pay attention to the “small” matter of membership.

I said a lot more, too, and I stand by every word of it. There are other games in town and as I figure out exactly where I want to put my limited time and energy professionally ALA is at the bottom of the list. I also doubt that they could do much to improve the situation for me at this point. I’ll probably stay a member of ALCTS next year, but after that when I am no longer a student and depending on where my 1st job takes me … who knows?

ALA, you are improving in a few small ways and I am truly glad for that. But you still truly suck in some very overarching ways that are far more important. So keep putting money into Second Life because that is far more important than even recognizing that someone is a member of part of your organization. Yeah, seems like the right priority to me. In the meantime you can find me at ASIST and NASIG.

That is all I’m willing to say because I don’t want to find myself in a situation like someone else I know who swore “Never again ALA…” and ended up taking a job there a few months later. See, my ethical sensibilities would have a real hard time with that.

That’s all for now as I have another post to finish so I can concentrate on school work.

Another semester shaping up

As we head into the second week of the semester, here is how things are looking:

LIS590OH: Ontologies in the Humanities with Allen Renear

First class consisted of introductions, discussing the proto-syllabus [first time offering], and where we might want to take the class. There are about 10 students almost evenly split between “old-timers,” like me, and some of the more interesting seeming newer students. I am very glad to see some 2nd semester Masters students in here and I look forward to learning from them, and from my “old-timey” friends, too, of course.

Coursework looks fairly easy but then, as this is an “intermediate research seminar” in Allen’s ontology of course types, the true work is in individual and group learning. We will also learn a bit about the ontology editor, Protégé, and have the opportunity to substitute a practical ontology project for one of our papers.

I’ve managed to get all of the discussion readings and background readings read for this week. While I may not always get the background readings done, especially when I have read them before as in this week, I was happy to revisit some of them. Actually, in truth, I skipped one discussion reading. Gasp! As good as it may be, how often can one re-read Barbara Tillett’s pamphlet, “What is FRBR?: A Conceptual Model for the Bibliographic Universe”? [pdf]

I did enjoy revisiting the 1st 3 chapters of the FRBR Final Report [pdf], Buckland’s “What is a Document?”, the 1st 2 chapters of Smiraglia’s The Nature of “a Work”, and Denton’s FRBR and Fundamental Cataloguing Rules. There were also 2 Renear co-authored papers, one on axiomatizing FRBR and one on refining the OHCO model of text.

The next couple of weeks will allow me to revisit chapter 3 of Svenonius’ The Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization [set-theoretic view of bibliographic entities] and some classic articles by Frege and Popper.

I’m not sure where my interests will take me in this class, but I am excited nonetheless.

LIS590RO: Representation and Organization of Information Resources with Kathryn LaBarre

This will actually be week 1 as we did not have class last week with Kathryn at ALISE. This seminar also has about 10 students, although most are either “mid-career” or newer students. But again, it looks like a brilliant group and I look forward to much interesting learning as we all explore our own varied interests within the structure of the class. About half of us are together in Allen’s class above, too, which may provide its own interesting angles and benefits.

Our “textbook” is Morville’s Ambient Findability, which in my experience wasn’t all that findable. The other, optional, text is Svenonius. Thankfully! [see above for Svenonius link.]

I read Morville over break and while it eventually got (a bit) better than I expected, it is still tripe. I have refrained from slagging it here so far since I will have the privilege of critiquing it in class. If, like me, you prefer to buy books, do yourself a favor and get this one at the library or at least used. Of course, if like me, you have an overpowering urge to write “BS!” in the margin of the first few pages then maybe you should buy a used copy. This has got to be the 1st book that I have ever written a negative comment in the preface! Seriously, who writes something that can be argued with in the preface?

Despite Morville, I am really looking forward to this class. And I do know what my focus will be. Relationships. Hopefully I will be able to mostly focus on thesaural relationships, but I intend to dive head first down this particular rabbit hole.

One of our assignments is a book review and a presentation of it in class. The book I am “reviewing” or, in my case, living with, is Bean and Green’s Relationships in the Organization of Knowledge. I found this book while working on my thesaurus paper a few weeks ago. I was unable to use it at the time and am glad that I get to now. I ordered myself a copy through abebooks on Friday evening.

Side note: I understand supply and demand (somewhat), and I understand that most of these sorts of books go to libraries, but seriously folks, why does a remaindered copy of such a book go for almost $90? I know I would buy a lot more of these seriously nerdy books if they were affordable! Richard and I were discussing this after 590ON last week regarding Smiraglia [see above]. The cheapest copy is over $100 used. Seriously, WTF?

Back to 590RO. I’m not sure what form my final project will take, but it will almost certainly involve relationships.

LIS592: Independent Study with Kathryn LaBarre

With Kathryn away until Wednesday, I am still in the process of getting this set up, although we have been narrowing it down via email. Here is the current draft of my proposal:

This independent study will allow me to further my research into thesauri. To this point, I have taken Thesaurus Construction (590TC), and have written a selective literature review on the mapping of thesauri as an aid to assist interdisciplinary scientists for Information Transfer & Collaboration in Science (590TR). I also have a graduate assistantship at the Illinois Fire Service Institute Library where I am responsible for maintaining the FireTalk thesaurus. My previous coursework has really piqued my interests in thesauri–construction, maintenance, evaluation, use, and current and future trends. My work experience has only reinforced how vastly difficult it is to implement theory.

My coursework for this independent study will involve reading (or re-reading) the ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005 monolingual thesaurus, the ISO monolingual and multilingual thesaurus standards, Lancaster (1983), Aitchison, et. al. (2000), among other readings. It will also involve an in-depth look into both OCLC‘s and JISC‘s Terminology Services programs and research. I intend to visit OCLC Research over Spring Break for a first-hand look at their Terminology Services research.

I am particularly interested in current trends and future directions for embedding thesauri into various, diverse services (Terminology Services) and the extension of relationships in thesauri (see e.g., Green (1995), Tudhope, et. al. (2001).

I will meet with my instructor every other week to keep her abreast of my progress and for discussion of issues as needed.

The final product will take two forms: (1) A literature review of current projects and research into Terminology Services; and (2) a presentation on the reality and potential of Terminology Services. The presentation would be open to the school and any other interested parties.

Besides the extracurricular learning in linguistics and grammar that I need to do to provide myself a ladder back out of the rabbit hole of relationships, I think that is it. :) For now.

Best of luck and learning this semester to all the LIS students out there. May you find what you’re looking for. And don’t forget to dive head first down a rabbit hole once in a while.

“Approaching normality, in …”

As part of my continuing education in the organization of information—focusing on classificatory structures—I have made a major transition over the break.

My hourly work on the FireTalk Thesaurus at the IFSI Library becomes a 25% graduate assistantship on Tuesday. Along with my 25% assistantship in serials cataloging at the main library, this is all the work I can handle while also focusing on classroom work. This means that I have formally left my job with “Team Awesome” (Instructional Technology Division, GSLIS).

While this is an important—and desired—transition for me, it is also very bittersweet. I have greatly enjoyed my 2 and a 1/2 years with “Team Awesome,” and I will miss them greatly. More importantly, I will miss the very special patron group comprised of our distance education (LEEP) students and instructors. It has been a distinct pleasure and honor to serve this group. I have met, learned from, and been befriended by such an amazing and diverse group of intelligent and caring proto-librarians, librarians, and library educators during my time working for and with these folks.

So why did I leave? Because a good portion of the reason to stay and do another 40 hours of classwork was to also get some experience(s) in the organization of information as I focus in on what I believe is the kind of work I want to do in my new career. Seeing as I have found those opportunities it was time to leave the job that, although enjoyable and rewarding, does not.

Yesterday I turned in all of my keys to various offices in GSLIS, Miss E removed my admin privileges from Moodle, I cleaned out my storage drawer in the LEEP office, and I even removed my spare water bottle from the fridge in User Services. I have also requested that all of my privileges be removed from the system we are transitioning from, and that I be removed from several internal listservs and mailing lists.

It will be very odd to finally be a “normal” student. [Stop laughing, danggit! I know you are because everyone else has so far when I have said this. I just replied, "Well, as normal as the rest of you!" No snappy comebacks yet from the other not-so-normal students.] I am looking forward to it, though.

Basically my whole time at GSLIS I have had a vastly different experience of our educational tools and environment due to having “privileges” that 98% of our students don’t have. These privileges meant that my view of, and access to, course web pages, bulletin boards, etc. was very different than most others. Of course, the power this gave me was to be—and was—only used for good. I will miss having access to a few bits and pieces as they were prime sources of important information that I did not get elsewhere. All in all, though, I am looking forward to being a “normal” student or, at least, as “normal” as any of us in the program here.

To all the wonderful students, staff and faculty with whom I have had the privilege to interact in the course of my duties as a member of “Team Awesome” (and User Services) over the last couple of years, I’d like to pass on some of the thoughts I relayed to Miss E, Jill, Matt and Martin this morning.

Thank you all for giving me the room I needed to grow as I put a very difficult part of my life behind me. I wish you all the best.

With all my love and respect,

Mark

It may not be as easy as Arthur makes it out to be, but nonetheless I shall try.

A cup of tea would restore my normality.

So now for that cup of tea. And then back to the paper on mapping thesauri.

Why, and when, did education become purely instrumental?

These are, in fact, rhetorical questions. I do have a sketchy answer for them [sketchy in the outlined, sort of questionable sense, not in the highly questionable sense]. But if you want to take a stab at either, or both, feel free; comments are below. My questions are more of the why, as in ought it to be this way?

I have managed to get myself into my usual conundrum. I have found a “topic” that really appeals to me and about which I want to learn as much as I can. Of course, the amount that I want to learn easily eclipses the length of a semester and a seminar paper. My usual course of action is to finally carve out a small portion of my interest, write a paper that only addresses a small part of the subject (after seriously over-researching), and then move on [due to circumstance, not choice]. Well, it seems I am here again.

I was up in one of our departmental libraries getting a book I needed on “meaning in language” the other day when the librarian working (a former classmate) asked me what I needed that book for. When I told them that I was working on a paper that was just too big for a semester because I prefer getting an education versus doing just what’s required, I was told, “But it’s a new year, you could learn to do better.”

Do better? What the heck does that mean? I should change my belief in the value of an education—for its own sake—just to write papers that show I learned … something? Not happening! Do not be mistaken; although I have found myself in this situation, repeatedly, over the last 8+ years, I still manage to get almost all As on my papers. So I seem to be accomplishing the “evaluative” portion of higher ed just fine.

But is higher education, or any education for that matter, only or mostly about the evaluation? Most certainly not! I do agree that evaluation is a necessary evil, in many cases. But evaluation, especially formal, is not the purpose of education.

And for those friends of mine and others who routinely give me crap about getting a PhD, is this just another one of those indicators that you use to tell me that I should be in a PhD program? Of course it is. It’s not like I don’t recognize the things you use about me to make your claims. But before you begin, just stop. PhD students still have to write papers, including one generally very big one. And the PhD is about jumping through even more, often specious hoops, than even a Masters. My problem might not be worse in a PhD program, but it certainly wouldn’t get any better either. I care about learning and using my learning, and not about “proving” it. I will not sacrifice the quality of my education just to learn to write papers for someone else.

This time I may not “just move on,” though. First, I need to get this paper finished for Dr. Palmer—whatever the grade may be. But Wednesday I spoke with my advisor about continuing this work in an independent study this Spring. By doing so, I will certainly not learn everything about this topic; actually several highly complex and interrelated topics. But I hope to learn enough—breadth and depth—to satisfy my “habitually probing generalist” tendencies. Maybe by taking a “big(ger) picture” approach I may even be able to say something useful by bringing together sources and communities that are yet to have the many conversations they need to. [Walt, I swear I am working on my hpg t-shirt design but I need to learn something about text graphics first, and perhaps even find a new program to use. Re: C&I 7 (1), p. 11]

As soon as I get this paper finished (sigh), I will start fleshing out my proposal for my independent study. I have a great start on a reading list, and have already read many of the items at least once. I also have a (for me) fairly detailed vision of what I want to cover.

I have already promised several of you a copy of my paper for Carole and I will (probably) make it available here in full. But let me get it written first. Maybe I’ll only be happy enough with it to give it to those already promised a copy.

What you should really be interested in (if at all), though, is the one I want to write. I hope to get the chance.

Because. I, too, want “lexicographic privileges” (Johnson, 143 and 150). Just kidding. Sort of.

Besides, I already have lexicographic privileges. Directly so at IFSI, and less directly in other areas.

Seriously, what I want is to understand thesauri (and other controlled vocabularies, a bit) both historically and currently, theoretically, experimentally, practically and pragmatically. I want to see a world with embedded controlled vocabularies, most of which would be freely available, and easily accessible via the Web and even when off-line [See Johnson on this. Or JISC Terminology Services. Or OCLC Terminology Services.].

I want to curl up with ANSI/NISO Z39.50-19 2005 Guidelines for the Construction, Format, and Management of Monolingual Controlled Vocabularies. Again. I want to read the multilingual thesaurus standard, along with the British/ISO monolingual and multilingual thesauri standards. I want to read (all of) Lancaster and Aitchison, et. al. I want to put what I’ve seen so far into some sort of coherent whole.

I have no doubt this little offshoot of my interests began long ago and in many ways, but it mainly started in LIS590TC Thesaurus Construction this past summer. My work for our group presentation on interoperability and merging of thesauri really sent me off in this direction. But then I left it (or so I thought) as another semester began. Many of these ideas came up again—directly or indirectly—in LIS590CS Seminar in Classification Systems, and I am now incorporating some of them into my paper for LIS590TR Information Transfer and Collaboration in Science.

Overall, I am highly interested in “classificatory structures,” be they controlled vocabularies, authority control, classification systems, and so on. I am particularly interested in the structures we will use to organize, implement and use these various classificatory structures [See for example: ADL Thesaurus Protocol].

In Spring, I will be taking LIS590ON Ontologies in the Humanities and LIS590RO Representing and Organizing information Resources, along with whatever independent study I work out. Ontologies will give me a foot in the door with other controlled vocabularies, and may go a long way to addressing what I see as the main (theoretical) limitation of thesauri. Representing and Organizing will allow me to continue my work in most any way I desire. Seeing as my advisor is the professor for RO, and that she is big on students being able to integrate coursework into other studies in the same semester or on a continuing basis, and that she seems excited about my desire to do this, I imagine I might well be focusing some of my RO efforts on this topic also.

Will this turn into my CAS project? I don’t know. At the moment, I kind of hope not. As I have said before, and as vastly intriguing as this topic is to me, I am pretty sure this is a lot like looking over the cliff with one leg dangling in space. But if I were to change my mind, I would certainly be well on my way to doing something “useful” and interesting for my project.

Johnson, Eric H., “Distributed Thesaurus Web Services.” In The Thesaurus: Review, Renaissance, and Revision. Sandra K. Roe and Alan R. Thomas, eds. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Information Press, 2004, pp. 121-153. Or: Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, 37 (3/4), 2004, pp. 121-153.

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.

Words. They’re OK.

I had my thesaurus meeting and it went pretty well.

Luckily, the boss has done this herself and believes thesaurus work to be intellectually difficult work. So, basically, it’ll grow on me. And we all have the same basic priorities. Check.

As many of you can tell, I’m not exactly satisfied [although I stand by my claim that it went pretty well]. I have some other ideas/options and I’ll start rolling them out very soon.

For instance—duly noted, earlier today I was told that it should be time for me to call in my coffee date. The messenger had to duly note it from the source, and I duly noted it from the messenger. [One thing I do know after starting my military career on a nuclear missile site is how to duly note the important messages!]

I’ll just have to do some extracurricular work and bill for it. I’m already slotted for 5 hrs/wk right now and am only working 3 (for just one more week, then I’ll work more). This is a budget line in a grant and she wants me to work as many of the hours budgeted as I can.

There are possibilities here. I sure hope I can learn to visualize this thesaurus and have the time to make it well-structured and (vastly) more useful. Definite possibilities.

Anyway, the boss is relaxed about the issue of my “seeing” the thesaurus and thinks it will come to grow on me. There are ways to work on structure as a community, which agreed could be a very good thing. She understands it is not quick work.

So I basically feel better (for the moment) because my boss fully understands my concerns, likes what I’m up to, and thinks it’ll just take some time. Soon, my constant worrying will take over, but for now the boss is less concerned about my concerns than I am so I should enjoy that.

As for any specific short-term answers to help me “see” the thesaurus, well, zip. Not a problem, in the short-term anyway. I’ll do an hour or two of thinking about questions that might help me understand some structure, I’ll print the 14 top terms and their list of terms (some anyway), I’ll talk with Jon and see if (some of) my questions make sense in terms of the database, have some run, call in my coffee date somewhere early in this process.

Ah. The Perils of Pauline. ;)

“Cliffhanger” is just about right for this. Certain of my radar are currently on overload. I do not like to feel better about a situation when my fundamental questions remain unanswered. Maybe it’s all those years of never being able to ever get answers to the fundamental questions. By the way, “all those years” includes a fair amount of library work; I was not just busting on the military. I guess it could be the case that sometimes forward progress can be made while still leaving the questions of basic import unanswered; that can only go on so long though.

’til the next episode

Snow day! Sort of anyway…

We have winter! It could be worse, but I decided not to risk it in my non-sure-footed car on the 1st snow. Blowing, freezing fog, snow, sleet, visibility issues. Most people have to re-experience how to drive in the snow and they drive like they never have done it before the first time.

So, I’m working from home this morning; doing meta-thesaural work. I need to provide some info and views on how I see the thesaurus, or don’t see it, to be more accurate. Then we’ll try and have a meeting Mon or Tue afternoon next week. Wish me well. I need some help visualizing the thesaurus or else I’m the wrong person for the job. I have plenty to work with as to providing an overview of the situation, including details about any specific terms and what I did with them.

I made a 2nd (small) pot of coffee and got out the biscotti for my 2nd snack of the morning. I can stay toasty and watch the early winter swirl around outside while getting work done. This is a nice ending to the week.

So. Welcome to December. It’s off to work I go….