Me, an aristocrat? Or 2

Found at LibraryTavern

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
The Very Reverend Mark the Profuse of Nether Wombleshire
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title


My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Count-Palatine Mark the Nimble of Greater Sodbury
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Take your pick!

I kind of like them both. Me a Reverend; now that is funny! But I’ll happily take “the Profuse.” As for “Count-Palatine,” well, I’ve lived in the Palatinate twice now, and my son was born there. I practically deserve to be a Count-Palatinate. Look at all the cool toys one would get to play with. And the dress clothes are far better than any interview suit and tie get-up. One’s kitchen might even come with flowery pots and pans; what more could a nimble knight of the Palatinate desire?

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!

Comment on Washtub’s post

Yes sir, gotta say the rooming worked out well!

Very happy to hear that I’m “an incredibly interesting and easy-going roommate” because I was afeared that I might be “talking you to death” once or twice.  🙂

I’m posting this comment here instead of at washtublibrarian because I’m not getting a Blogger account just to make comments, even at my friend’s places.
Shoutouts to be forthcoming…

Austin bound [last Saturday]

Last Saturday, my baby girl’s birthday, I headed for Austin, Texas and ASIS&T 2006. As a newbie to ASIS&T conferences I was completely unaware of what was in store. As it was, I thought I was getting sick. Before leaving for the airport I posted as much. By the time I got to our airport three wonderful ladies had commented that I would not get sick. Thank you so much, ladies! It worked.

Yes, Willard Airport in Champaign has free wireless! But then it is run by the University so it makes sense.

While spending several hours laying over in O’Hare, I watched a lady let her little boys pick out some scratch off lottery tickets. Twice. You know what they say? “The family that plays together, stays together.”

I finally made it to Austin in the late evening and made it to the overflow hotel where I met my roommate, Benjamin Hockenberry. I couldn’t have done better than lucking into Ben as a roommate!

Sunday morning we got up and roamed around a very quiet and empty Austin looking for some affordable breakfast. It took a while but we finally did find some. Then it was almost time for the New Member/First Conference Brunch.

Beginning to catch up (with some things)

I made it back to lovely Champaign-Urbana in one piece. Stopped for milk and bread on the way home last night, but had little else in the house. So I called my friend Jenn and asked if she’d meet me at Crane Alley for a bite to eat. Jumped in the shower and then went and met her for some dinner, beers, and conversation.

This morning I slept in a bit and then got up and got busy. I’ve finished uploading my conference/travel pics to flickr [Damn it! Why is this stupid set not in order?], caught up on email (mostly), tried to get the new ACRL@UIUC webmaster the access she needs to maintain the site, started on the laundry, got caught up in Bloglines.

I’m also trying to find out where the stupid freaking ants I have in my kitchen have come from, and are, so I can annihilate them! I have no issues with outside ants, but they are not supposed to be house pets.

I have no doubt that there are bills to pay, but I have to wait on the last week’s mail to be delivered before I spend all my remaining money on the wrong things.

I hope to start on some blog posts about my conference experience and maybe even some on the sessions I attended. One of the things that I have learned, though, is that I am not a conference blogger. Maybe I will learn how, maybe wireless will become ubiquitous, maybe hotels charging close to $200/night that can’t be bothered to have hot water to shave with in the mornings will stop charging for wireless, maybe airports will consider wireless a public service for those of us who have to spend 5 hours laying over in them, maybe ….

Anyway, I don’t seem to be much of a conference blogger. I did take a lot of pictures of slides (which maybe I shouldn’t really post?) that I hope to use to stimulate my brain when I do get a chance to blog the sessions. As I’ve said before, for some fairly prolific blogging of ASIS&T 2006 go see Christina’s LIS Rant.

One of the things I did in airports and on airplanes was to make more blog headers. I need to rename and upload them, and then change the code for the random number generator in the template.

Far more important is to get in the swing of school. There are things to do! I still need a solid thesis statement for Carole’s class and I need to start on the paper. 🙁 Since I missed Allen’s class sitting in O’Hare last night, I need to listen to the archive and get caught up.

I did get registered for 2 classes for Spring ’07 while in Austin. I enrolled in Allen’s 590OH Ontologies in the Humanities and Kathryn’s 590RO Representing and Organizing Information Resources. There are several other course I am interested in, but will probably skip them. I need to sit down with Kathryn and do some serious talking about the rest of my CAS and my project. I need to come up with some Independent Study hours on things like authority control, faceted classification, automated classification systems, and so on.

At the moment, I need to go eat lunch.

All set (I think), and I will not be sick

I think I’m ready for my trip to ASIS&T. I made a list and checked it thrice. All that’s left is second breakfast, a shower, dressing and heading for the airport.

I sure hope I’m not forgetting anything important! I don’t travel much so it’s hard to have it down to a routine. Plus, I’ll be dressing a bit nicer than I do on a normal day and that adds a layer of complexity.

I started feeling pretty crappy last night and ended up taking some Nyquil before bed.  I’m still feeling a bit off this morning. I’m hoping it was something I ate and that this morning’s sluggishness is due to the Nyquil. “I will not be sick. I will not be sick. …”

See you in Austin!  Or not.

Tentative ASIS&T Schedule

ASIS&T 2006 starts in a week in Austin, Texas. My professors, my advisor, Dean Smith whose class I broadcast, and others from GSLIS will all be there. I just sent in my dues for my 2nd year in ASIS&T a few days ago. Having just gotten my ALA renewal, I can say ALA will be a tougher choice; will probably drop ACRL. Add LITA? Don’t know yet.

Here’s a possible and tentative schedule that will end up deviated from for my visit to Austin:

Sun Nov 5th

New Members and 1st Time Attendee’s Brunch

Plenary Session: Albert-László Barabási

Theoretical Topics in FRBR (CR), Allen Renear (moderator), Jonathan Furner, Jerome McDonough, Carl Lagoze

Welcome Reception and SIG Rush — 69th Annual Meeting

Mon Nov 6th

The I-School Movement (ED), Andrew Dillon, Harry Bruce, Michele Cloonan, Leigh Estabrook or Linda Smith, John King, James Thomas, Ray von Dran

Forgetting and (Not) Forgotten in the Digital Future (HFIS), Howard Rosenbaum (moderator), Jean-Francois Blanchette, Michael Curry, Leah Lievrouw, Ronald Day

Designing for Uncertainty (USE), Theresa Dirndorfer Anderson, Marcia Bates, Jennifer Berryman, Sanda Erdelez, Jannica Heinstrom

*Philosophy and Information Science: The Basics, Don Fallis, Jonathan Furner, Kay Mathiesen, Allen Renear

Marcia on use or philosophy with Furner and Renear? Tough one.

Toward a General Approach to Information Organization (CR), Francis Miksa, William Moen, Joseph Tennis, Frank (Little Bear) Exner

Alumni Reception — I’ll be representing our student chapter at this.

Tue Nov 7th

Paul Otlet, Documentation and Classification (HFIS, ED), Boyd Rayward, Jonathan Furner, Kathryn La Barre

Building a Digital Teaching Commons to Enhance Teaching and Learning: The MERIC Experience and Challenges, Ingrid Hsieh-Yee, Sherry Vellucci, William Moen, Francis Miksa, Diane Hillmann

Awards Luncheon

*Education for Digital Librarianship: Employers’ Needs and How They Can Be Addressed (DL, ED), June Abbas, Kyung-Sun Kim, Barbara Wildemuth, Youngok Choi, Javed Mostafa, Kristine Brancolini, Jeffrey Pomerantz, Abbie Clobridge

New Theoretical Approaches
Conception-based Approach to Automatic Subject Term Assignment for Scientific Journal Articles, Eunkyung Chung, Samantha Hastings
Formal Definitions of Web Information Search, Su Yan, Lee Giles, Bernard Jansen
*Modeling Our Understanding, Understanding Our Models – the Case of Inheritance in FRBR, Allen Renear, Yunseon Choi

Collection Analysis
Mapping Interdisciplinarity at the Interfaces Between the Science Citation Index and the Social Science CItation Index, Loet Leydesdorff
Trailblazing Through a Knowledge Space of Science – Forward Citation Expansion in CiteSeer, Chaomei Chen, Xia Lin, Weizhong Zhu
Collection Definition in Federated Digital Resource Development, Carole Palmer, Ellen Knutson, Michael Twidale, Oksana Zavalina

This one’s kind of tough. I much prefer the New Theoretical Approaches but need to be concerned with the 1st two in Collection Analysis for my 590TR paper in a few weeks. Oh well, we’ll see.
Annual Business Meeting

SIG CON: Come see the lighter side of ASIS&T!

Wed Nov 8th

Personal Digital Collections (DL), Deborah Barreau, Christine Borgman, William Jones, Cathy Marshall, Luz Quiroga
Plenary Session: Susan Dumais, Senior Researcher, Adaptive Systems and Interaction Group at Microsoft Research

Historiography of Information Science (HFIS), Michael Buckland, Julian Warner, Geoffrey Bowker

A Semiotic View of Information – Semiotics as as Foundation of LIS Research in Information Behavior, Sheng-Cheng Huang
Weak Information Work and “Doable Problems” in Interdisciplinary Science, Carole Palmer
Data Realities in Plural Contexts – Appraisal of a Definition [of Social Informatics], Fletcher Cole

Access to Scientific Data (pt 2) – Panel Two will focus on the micro-level: emerging structures at the discipline or personal level to facilitate archival and promote use of data sets and collaboration among scientists.
President’s Reception

Looks like more than enough to do. And this leaves out all of the interpersonal stuff; possibly the most important.

Back to earth

I seem to have exhausted all benefits of having one class over already. I have spent all day so far (till 4:30 PM) on Marked Exercise 2 for Allen. Unit 2 is on Data-oriented modeling: Relation-based systems. This is the 2nd entire unit that I “missed” most of; luckily it is the last to be missed now.

I am answering questions on data independence, defining and explaining relations, schemas, instances, keys, etc. Then there are questions on relational algebra and some definitional stuff on tuple relational and domain relational calculi. There are a few relational algebra operations to explain and show a row or more that results from the operations. There is one optional tuple relational calculus question that I think is just going to have to stay optional.

It is due at 6 AM tomorrow and I pretty much “left” it for today. Luckily, I got far further than I expected. I only have one last question to answer about completeness in respect to relational languages. It is certainly not my best work, but we are only getting a passing acquaintance with most of this anyway. Seeing as that is what I seem to be gleaning, I guess I’ll try to be a bit more satisfied with it all.

I’m heading back towards exhaustion soon too. Been up late lately. Doing a lot, pretty much nonstop. I have been doing lots of things that I would like to comment on here, but there is no time (generally, nor at the moment). I have found some time to relax over the last few weeks, though, which seems evident. If I hadn’t relaxed for just a bit after Pauline’s class ended I wouldn’t have survived as well as I have. I was actually pretty “up” for a while there.

As for relaxing, I’ve been to four live music shows lately. I saw:

The Wailin’ Jennys at Krannert Auditorium on 11 Oct, Ani DiFranco at the Chicago Theatre on 13 Oct, Jolie Holland at the Highdive on 26 Oct and then my friend Kurt had a spare ticket to Jeff Tweedy at Foellinger Auditorium on Friday evening. I chose to go and was glad I did. He played various acoustic guitars and such, solo. It was very nice, and very relaxing, to say the least.

Yesterday was the Beta Phi Mu induction and meeting. Last night was the Halloween Party at Basil Estates. I didn’t get enough pictures because I failed in the battery department, although I had a new 8-pack of Duracell Ultra Digitals at home. *sigh* I adjusted quickly and had a good time anyway. Our friends, Angela and Chris, who recently moved to Michigan State surprised us all by showing up. As Miss E said, there was a lot of squealing.

I am getting really excited because this time next week I’ll be at ASIS&T in Austin listening to this: Theoretical Topics in FRBR, Allen Renear (moderator), Jonathan Furner, Jerome McDonough, Carl Lagoze.

I added a comment form page to my blog (see the Contact Me! tab above) and also pointed the Contact tab at my domain to point to this one for now. I tested it and the resulting message was flagged as possible spam by my ISP. Hope to get that issue worked out easily. So if you have something to say and don’t want to leave a comment, or want to say more than in the public comment, or whatever, feel free to contact me this way.

Damn! Trying to crank out a “comprehensive” update quickly is an issue when your internets are not responding!

I also noticed that there is another upgrade to WordPress out. Damn! When will we get some stable tools? Or is that a stupid question in today’s world?

Anyway, I wanted this to be a bit more and contain a lot more links, but most of my outgoing (not all) internets seem to be broken. Can’t get to flickr (multiple accounts), other blogs, etc. But I need to stop fighting because it isn’t working. On to other things….

Updates coming…

I am trying to be busier and productive now that I’m a little rested from last week. I am trying to prioritize, and trying not to feel guilty about “owing” various folks here something or other.

I’ve been busy and want to mention some of these things here in more detail:

The Wailin’ Jennys on Wed.

Siva on Thursday

Friday the 13th (I love them!)


Ani DiFranco


Two days of “rest”

Refocused busy time, again

I’ve already started on Ani post. I have some notes from Siva’s talk for a post. I have photos on flickr; not of Siva or Ani though….

But I also have other things to do and other priorities. I end one class on Tuesday afternoon. And as much as I love it and would like to continue it in other directions, I need a freakin’ break and I need to start attending my other class.

For Pauline’s last class, I need to finish my Common Ex. C write-up and turn it in. I also need to prep for leading discussion on the Calhoun Report. That is the easy one of the two, even if the common exercise is technically further along. It has been a few weeks since I looked at the exercise. As for Calhoun, I have written and spoke about this at least 3 times each now and have read lots of commentary covering the spectrum on it. My views have, in fact, moderated much since I first read and wrote about it. I still think that despite the good that is in it, it is an abomination and went a long way to effectively shutting down productive discussion on its and related topics of concern in the cataloging and classification worlds of libraries. [Steve, our discussion from summer LEEP oncampus would be vastly different now. I see some good now, a lot even. But….]

The Wailin’ Jennys were excellent. I got no good photos though. I did get all 3 to sign the liner notes of my 40 days cd.

Siva was good, but I was exhausted [there will be more on Siva]. Besides the exhaustion building up to Thursday, I also woke up at 4 AM Thurs. morning. Yippee! I followed Siva with 2 classes. I gave my “Free the Authorities!” presentation in the last of the two. It started out quite well despite the situation. I did start flagging after a bit, particularly after a few questions and discussions. But I held up reasonably OK. I was proud of it (my performance?) at the beginning….

After class Pauline said something very positive to me. Daunting in a way, but very nice. On Tuesday she had asked me if I was applying for a possible job, because she said if I wasn’t then she was going to twist my arm until I did (paraphrased). I sure wish I could believe in myself like she does.

I’m not sure how driving to Chicago and back in a day and a half is “rest.” But I had a good time and it was as relaxing as it could be. So I am somewhat refreshed.

3rd load of clothes is in the dryer. I may have to go in to GSLIS to look at my thesaurus for Common Ex C. I found all my stuff, but printouts do not a thesaurus make.

OK. Off to do other things. I’ll be working on more details as I can.

Oh, BTW. I’m going to a meeting about that job tomorrow. More in the future, but it is one I hope to do beginning next semester, while hopefully staying in serials cataloging also. So, I’m also studying a 32-page LSTA grant application and finding myself wishing I had the figures and the attachments. I’m asking for a complete copy tomorrow at our meeting.

Where do you go little bird
When it snows, when it snows
When the world turns to sleep
Do you know, do you know
Is there something in the wind
Breathes a chill in your heart and life in your wings
Does it whisper ‘start again’
Start again

The Wailin’ Jennys. “Arlington.” 40 Days.


My weekend

Friday I went to St. Louis to visit my friend Dave for his upcoming birthday and to see Dar Williams in concert at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

I stopped at Scott Air Force Base on the way down to go to the BX and Commissary.  I bought a few things that are definitely cheaper are those places compared to elsewhere, especially my beloved German kaffee.  2 kilos worth.  Also hot German mustard, and German cookies of various sorts.  At the BX I bought a 50-pack of blank audio CD-Rs, and a toner cartridge for my printer, among other odds and ends.

I arrived in St. Louis about 3:30 PM.  I walked around and took a few pictures because Dave wasn’t home yet.  The Dar concert was Friday night and it was wonderful; more on Dar in another post.

After the concert, we went out for a couple beers and then back to his place.  I got to bed at 2 AM and up at 8:30 AM Saturday.  We went out for a leisurely breakfast and then went to the Missouri Botanical Gardens, also known as Shaw Gardens.  I took 140 photos there, and uploaded 124 of them to Flicker this morning.  Here is the set of photos from the Gardens.

I hadn’t been to Shaw Gardens in over 30 years and it is wonderful.  Here is a link to what is currently blooming, which they also have available via podcast.

After the Gardens, we went to Imo’s for lunch and then back to his place.  After getting my stuff together, I headed out about 2:50 PM.  I arrived at home about 6:45 and quickly unpacked the groceries and things from the car.  Then I headed over to school for the The Third Annual GSLIS Storytelling Festival.  There was 10 stories by 10 tellers and they were all excellent, but I want to particularly mention "Zanzibar" as told by Katrina Bromann.  She was simply amazing telling this story by Bill Harley.

Afterwards, some of us tried to meet some other GSLISers at a campus bar but, being Mom’s Weekend, they were all overrrun, so we headed to downtown Champaign to The Blind Pig.  Another late night, as I got to bed at 3 AM.

Woke up at 8:30 AM, got the newspaper and read it.  Uploaded my MoBot pictures and then turned to taxes.  <grrr>  I forgot to force the university to withhold more $$ each month after last year.  So I owe almost $700 to the Feds, and $40 to Illinois.  Of course, I don’t have $700.  I guess I’ll never get my credit cards paid off….

Also been doing laundry, some reading for classes, and assorted other minor things.  I’ll try to get some more pictures posted to Flickr, but the ones from the Storytelling Festival didn’t turn out very well.