Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Home of the JazzMan

I'm not sure why anyone would hold an estate sale on Sunday, Dec. 23 - but MargieBeelge sales had one on the calendar. Perhaps they had no choice but it made for low attendance which suited us just fine. . It was an odd sale to begin with since the family held several garage sales before calling them in. From what they said the most amazing treasures went out of the house for pennies on the dollar (great weeping and wailing on everyone’s part).

The house was your standard 3 bedroom ranch, built in the early 1960s, in what was once a nice part of town but is now a lock your car doors part of town. . It was pretty apparent that it was a one owner house, that the wife had died years before the husband and that neither had ever redecorated or thrown anything out. Both of them had some serious pack rat issues and ADORED mail order. As in every book every put out by Oxmoor (Southern Living) press, every video put out by National Geographic, Columbia Music club and the Software of the Month club (bet you didn’t know there was such a thing – I didn’t either).

We I arrived at 10 and found one room was nothing but wall to wall CDs. The man was a major jazz aficionado. So much that he lost track of what he had – lots of duplicates and many were still sealed. We each took a corner and started scanning. Lots of not founds, Columbia music club and junk but some amazing finds too. At 1:30 we finally finished with the room – and neither of us had scanned behind the other one. My scanner showed I’d scanned 700+ cds and my friend did more (she’s more agile than I).

We were sitting on the floor, standing, on our knees and bending into assorted pretzel positions - physically it was a very uncomfortable sale.. We both have Scoutpal but the volume was so great that we didn’t have the time to hand key in any of not founds. Neither of us know anything about Jazz so we were scan monsters to the extreme. Oddly we were the only dealers present – the other folks were just people who like estate sales or like jazz. We had lots of comments on our scanners to which we gave our standard answer “It helps us keep track of what we don’t need”.

We were starving so we checked out – I have never dropped $500 on inventory and had only 2 boxes to show for it! Got some lunch and headed back for round two.

Round two consisted of the garage which was knee high in magazines and trash bags. Trash bags full of ripe garbage. My nose couldn’t take it but Lou got 2 boxes of Downbeat Magazine. That left us the computer room which had a waist high pile of software – much of it unopened. I think the man might be have been a beta tester for Borland. The software stopped arriving around 2003 – just prior to Windows XP. We couldn’t get any hits on it so we left it behind and tackled the videos instead. Great collection –lots of MGM musicals but they’ve been re-released on DVD so they were worthless. We both found enough $20 dollar or so videos with good ranks so it wasn’t time spent in vain

At 3:30 we checked out and painfully crawled into the car and headed home. I'd spent $550 and my friend dropped $900. The CDs were $3 each so we had one loaded car. I'm to tried to do the math but that's a lot of CDs - and we barely made a dent in the collection.

It's been a rather amazing 13 months. Friends of the Library Sales doors are closing but windows are opening elsewhere. November, 2006 was the month of the BookMan, September, 2007 Spiritual Man and December, 2007 ushered in JazzMan.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Diversity R Us

Celebrated the beginning of Winter Break and early dismissal by going out to lunch (it doesn't take much to make a teacher happy).

We went to our favorite Chinese Buffet and as always the bill came with fortune cookies.

Only they weren't your Grandma's fortune cookies. These were bi-lingual fortune cookies.
English / Chinese you ask?
Nope, English / Spanish.

Only in Houston would you encounter fortune cookies English / Spanish in a Chinese restaurant.

Diversity, gotta love it!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And Our Priorities Are ..............

A librarian at a nearby school questioned some of the teachers as to why their students were reading so few books and so rarely darkening the door of the library.
The response of one 5th grade teacher: " I don't have time to come to the library, I'm to busy getting my kids ready for the TAKS reading test. The kids don't have time to read any books - we have so many TAKS practice reading passages we need to finish."

Humm.....schools are supposed to be educating tomorrows workers and citizens. I don't think most employers consider bubbling in TAKS answers a career prerequisite.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Times..They Are A'Changing...

Rather interesting library meeting today.

In my district, as in many other school district the technology folks pretty much set the policies regarding computer equipment. As far as they are concerned their first task is to "protect the equipment". They remind me of the librarians of yore who didn't want any children in the library. They might disrupt the order of the books on the shelves or God Forbid, lose a book. Better for the books to stay safe on the shelves than to be checked out and used.

Our Tech folks are just as possessive of "their" computers. They forget that our primary business is educating children and that the computers are supposed to be a means to that end. They aren't as bad as some other tech departments I've read about. LM_NET abounds with horror stories of techies disabling the usb slots so that nobody can use a jump drive, forbidding the opening of any attachments and closing off the floppy disk drives.

Given their druthers I am quite certain our techie types would have loved to institute similar polices. I attended one of their trainings last spring which consisted of them telling nothing but "Us" vs "Them" stories (I was in the "them" camp).

Directors of our computer department have come and gone with in a dizzying speed and the revolving door just a landed another one in the head honcho chair. This one has a new attitude.

All teachers are getting a laptop. A laptop they can take home. A laptop they can actually install printer drivers and hook up to their home Internet provider. A laptop they can carry from workshop to workshop and meeting to meeting. A laptop that won't lock them out of the desktop and the control panel.

This is a complete 360. Granted corporate America has been operating this way for years but the wheels of educational change move with a global slowness. I do hope this current director stays around long enough to celebrate his one year anniversary.

Friday, November 23, 2007

To Many Catalogs or Drowning in Junk Mail

We have an extra large mailbox and at this time of year it's full to bursting with catalogs, catalogs and more catalogs. Both My Beloved & I loathe Malls and do the bulk of our shopping by mail or internet. Company A sells one of our names to Company B who sells it C and so on till Company Z sells it back to Company A. Since we have seperate credit cards we often get duplicate catalogs.

Through one of my many and assorted list servs I discovered Catalog Choice. It's the mail box version of the "Do Not Call " List. Grab a pile of unwanted catalogs, log on, sign up (it's free), look up the companies and start deleting.

Check out this great site and save some trees and your mail persons back !

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - 13 Reasons to be Thankful

Yes, I know it's a cliche but it's Thanksgiving, which is good day for cliches, thankful thoughts, good food and football

My Beloved - 10 years and counting and she continues to make my heart sing

My girls - all grown up, college graduates and on their own in careers they enjoy

The Internet - it gives me friends, a business and shopping from my couch

My job - while I don't like getting up in the morning, I very much enjoy it when I get there.

My Parents - who decided on their own to sell their house and downsize.

Our House - It's been 7 years and I love it as much as I did when we moved in

My Bookselling Friends - both my actual and my cyber ones

Thrift Stores - whose wares allow me to resell at a 200% mark up

The USPS - I couldn't run my business without them.

Gizmos and Gadgets -Digital cameras, Media Scouter, Cell Phones, Tivo and more

Masterpiece Theater - A bit of enlightenment in a cultural wasteland

NetFlix - so I can enjoy the above while packing books

Health Insurance - I may gripe about it but at least I have it.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Flat Stanley Goes to School

Going to school is not nearly as restful as being on Dufuskie Island. I had to get up at 5am.

I always thought libraries were quiet.

Not this one.
It’s non stop activity. Kids came in and out all day. The kids at this schoool really love to read.

There are many computers and more books that I have ever seen.

The students even eat lunch there.

I think I need to go on another vacation!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Flat Stanley Heads Home to Houston

Here I am in the Savannah Airport with the pilots who are supposed to fly our plane home. It is over 2 hours late because of the thunderstorms in Houston. I find it amazing that the weather in one part of the country can affect someone who is over 1000 miles away.

Two hours later we were finally on our way. It will be good to be home again!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Flat Stanley Plays Golf

I played golf today. Here I am getting my first birdie.
I learned that math is very important because you need to be able to add up your score. The golfer with the lowest score wins the game. The goal is to have a score lower than 72 which is called par. So you also need to be able to subtract. Professional golfers usually shoot below par but amateur golfers are happy if they break 80.

Flat Stanley Meets Rosie Jones

I’ve meet several famous golfers on this trip. Here I am at breakfast with Rosie Jones. She’s also a famous LPGA golfer. She’s retired now and besides doing commentary on the Golf Channel she also arranges golfing trips. She’s very funny and most delightful.

Flat Stanley Walks on the Beach

Daukuskie Island faces the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Bay of Savannah on the other. The beach is totally deserted – we walked for over an hour and saw no one. You can take a look at it on Google Earth if your teacher has it installed on her computer.

I examined a Horseshoe Crab – did you know that they date back to the time of the Dinosaurs? Some people call them Living Fossils.

Daukuskie Island has a long history. At one time Indians who ate the crabs just like this one lived there. Now it is a summer home for wealthy people who build great big houses. There is no bridge to the island. The only way to get on and off is by boat. It’s as close as getting away from everything as I’ve ever seen.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Flat Stanely Rides in a Golf Cart

Most everyone at the Daukuskie Island resort drives around in Golf Carts.

They have many uses besides golf courses. They are electric and they are good for our earth since they don’t need gasoline. You just plug it in at night and let the battery recharge. They are also very quiet.

Sun City, Arizona, many people have a golf cart instead of a second car. Many people there have custom golf carts.

Flat Stanly Meets Kathy Whitworth

Flat Stanly again:

I’ve meet some interesting people on this trip. Here I am with
Kathy Whitworth. She is a famous golfer who won 88 Professional Golf Tournaments. That’s more than anyone.
Tiger Woods has 54wins. How many more does Tiger have to win before he breaks her record?

Annika Sorenstam’s won 69 tournaments. How many more does she have to win to break the record? Who has won more – Tiger Woods or Anika Sorensten?

Ms. Whitworth said she’d never before posed with a book character. I told about my travels and she said that I travel as much as she does. She is going to Australia next week.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Wives

My Beloved is nourishing her inner Golf Goddess at The Rosie Jones Golf Getaway at Daufaskie Island, South Carolina. It’s also our 10 anniversary and she suggested I do the unthinkable and ask for 3 personal days and join her. There is a partners package, so way she can indulge without one iota of guilt.
So, along I came, books and computer in tow. The women – there are 16 of them golf all day and I join them for breakfast and dinner. In between, I’m at my own devices, which suits an introvert like me just fine.

Daufaskie is very, very remote so I’m not doing my usual thrift store marathon. No point, there aren’t any stores on this island, not to mention few roads or cars. Transportation is mainly by foot or golf cart.

I’ve been spending time on the porch overlooking the ocean, reading and watching the world. Dukasee caters to corporate retreats and meetings. Given that is no place to go, it’s actually a very good choice since nobody can skip out of the meeting to go to the ball game or the mall. There are several golf courses & bars so the A type executive is content.

Besides our group, there is a also a large party of slightly graying at the temple men in golf shirts and Ralph Lauren shorts enjoying a tax deductible combination of golf and business. Some have brought their wives who of course may join their husbands on the fairways. They stay behind, visit the spa and sit on the veranda and chat.

The wives fall into two categories. Some originals, acquired during the man’s senior year in college. 50ish or 60ish, graying hair, a figure that’s been changed by childbearing and gravity. Comfortable clothes that cover the buldges and flat shoes. They look well taken care of off and are well put together. They look like women who are at peace with themselves and their life and realize the size 6 cheerleader they were 30 years ago is gone forever. They keep busy with their children, their grandchildren and volunteer activities.

Then there are the trophy wives. Blond, painfully thin, carefully manicured nails, high heeled sandals. Large diamond engagement ring, expensive gold necklaces adorning a taut carefully maintained size 4 figure clad in perfectly coordinated resort ware. A large purse with lots of chrome and buckles hangs over their left shoulder. Large, suitcase size purses appear to be in this year.

The two groups are thrown together for a couple of days, expected to spend most of the daylight hours in each other’s company. I wonder how the first group feels, looking at the second. Do they keep in the touch with the women the trophies have replaced? Do they look at the trophy wives and wonder if any of them have a friend waiting in the wings to take their place at the table?

And ,does it ever occur to the Trophy Wives that 10 or 15 years hence they may find themselves in the first group?

Flat Stanley here:

I'm not quite sure what happened but after arriving in Texas I found myself stuffed into a bag . The next time I saw daylight I was on a ferry boat and surrounded by water.

I over heard some saying I was on the Savannah River, in Savannah Georgia and that we were heading toward Daufuskie Island, South Carolina.

Wait a minute! This isn't making any sense. I 'm supposed to be learning about Cowboys and the Alamo and instead I'm seeing the Atlantic Ocean.

What's going on?

Flat Stanley Adventures #1

Mrs. ABC Mom asked if I'd be willing to host Flat Stanley for week or two. For those of you who don't hang out in Elementary classrooms Flat Stanley is a book character who accidentally found himself paper thin and living in a envelope. Teachers send him round the globe and he helps make geography come alive.

He show up in my post office box the day before we left for Daufuskie Island & I stuffed him into my computer bag and took him along for the ride. He's really supposed to be hanging out in my library back in Texas but he's taken a slight detour.

Flat Stanley hopes to blog about his trip and adventures. Of course he realizes that his audience is in the second grade so he's not going to tell the ENTIRE story of his trip. His hostess will however, fill in all the details in her blog posts!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

And I Helped...

About 10 years back we got a new student - 8 year boy, just arrived from Vietnam. The family was living with their cousins in a home down the street from school. Funny looking kid, kind of gawky, mismatched clothing and an eagerness to learn such as I've rarely seen. He took to the library, to the books and to Accelerated Reader like a duck to water. He started out with Go Dog Go. By time he graduated from the 5th grade he was devouring Harry Potter. He loved computers too -the two of us learned PowerPoint together. He was one of those kids you always remember and go out of your way to give extra help and encouragement. .

Some of the cousins were younger so I'd see him from time to time at school events and we kept in touch. Two years ago he showed as a volunteer via his High School service group.

He's a senior now, graduating in May. Applying to Yale, Harvard, Sanford and Rice. I know his parents, his family, his natural ability and his work ethic are mostly responsible for the fine young man he's become. But I like to think I helped a little bit too.

Reasons for the Long Silence

Last Thursday
Get to work at 7, teach till 2:30, teach after school Primary Gifted & Talented class till 3:45. Take 3 of the Primary Gifted and Talented to kids to daycare (pacifying them with my GPS). Go to post office. Go to thrift store next to post office (find a $40 & $30 book, a Halloween flag and 2 books to donate to my school library). Pick up Spring Rolls at the Vietnamese place for dinner, 5:30, open library for Family Library Night. 8pm. Remove 77 people from library by turning off the computers. Go home. Answer e-mails, list the 2 books, pack books. Go to bed.

Last Friday
Get to work at 6:45 (have to put library back together again after Family Library Night), work till 2:30 (check out 400 books and teach 6 classes + lunch in library for 30+ kids). Rush home, meet a friend who drove in from MacGregor. We , drive to Galveston for the annual Friends of the Library Sale.. Arrive at sale at 4:30. Doors open at 5. Shop the sale till they kick us at 7:30 (awesome sale – they weeded the art books-spend $110, and have a $400 book in the lot). Have dinner, drive back to Houston, We kill half of a big bottle of wine, go to bed.

Last Saturday
Get up at 6:30, arrive at the Heights Friends of the Library sale by by 7:30. Buy books (spend $120) , Go to Zen center sale, buy more books (spend $30) . Go to brunch with 2 other book sellers and talk shop for 2 hours.. Go to Half Price Books. Buy more books (spend $40)- including 10 Betsy Tacy books . Come home Do laundry, clean up kitchen, clean up after cats (one has a new habit of pucking). Drink rest of the wine while listing books (that might not have been the brightest of moves) .

6:30pm The Universe calls (via Lou): Spiritual Man has more books .
Guess what I’m did last Sunday at 2pm?

It’s beginning to look like the Soccer’s Apprentice has switched from buckets of water to boxes of books

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I'm a History Geek says I'm an Uber Cool History / Lit Geek.  What are you?  Click here!

Thanks Library Girl!

Those Dead White Guys....

Really did know what they were doing .

Last week was “Constitution Week”. Believe it or not,, all public school students must be exposed to the Preamble of the Constitution on or about September 17th. It’s the law. While I love history I don’t like teaching The Constitution in September. It’s to early in the year for 5th grade, who are still discovering America and the little ones are still struggling with The Pledge of Allegiance.

However, Congress decided they solved all of our problems and having nothing better to do mandated Constitution Day a couple of years ago. To ensure it’s done my principal delegates it to me since I see all the classes.

This year I tried something new – I turned my Mr. Magoo puppet into James Madison and had him “read” a new book by Picture Window called “The U.S. Constitution. Actually, he paraphrased it, since parts of it were totally over everyone’s head.

It turned out rather well – the kids loved the puppet – even the 5th graders who think they are to sophisticated for puppets. James of course did quite a bit of improvisation depending on the grade level he was addressing. James’s voice got hoarser and hoarser as the day went on and James’s alter ego went home exhausted.

James read and explained the Preamble some 40+ times. It is one outrageous statement. Those Founding Fathers weren’t staid, conservative, white men. They were wild eyed radicals intent on creating a form of government like no other. They did it too. And did it well.

I do wonder, if in this post 9/11 World if our current Congress would ever manage to pass it, shoudl it ever have to come up for a vote again?

I do know that if they did our current President would veto it in a heartbeat.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Houston, We Have Found the Motherlobe

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad garage sale day till the last sale – which was not advertised and we almost didn’t go to – my friend was hot and my friend was tired.

“Let’s just do this one, it’s only a few blocks away. I said. Then we can call it a day”.

It’s almost noon. Old house in the “arty part” of Houston. Sale was in the back, in a garage apartment occupied by a self proclaimed ‘natural healer & herbiest”. We walk up and there are 2 big tables piled with books. Big, thick fat books. Books without dust jackets and shiny picture covers. Books published by Gulf, Mosby, Wiley & Academic Press. I scan the first 3 and suddenly have $600 worth of inventory in my hand. We each fill up 2 boxes.

“Folks just give me books” says the guy, “ I need to clear them out, in fact just threw some away, go look”. I lift the lid of the trash can and pull out the first book - $250. Gives new meaning to the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.

“Got more inside – you want to go look? “. Is the Pope Catholic?

2 hours later my friend calls her husband to come and pick her up – there isn’t enough room in my car for all the books.

I have 12 boxes of academic, technical and medical books, all of which I scanned. Most rank in 2,000,000 and up but for those prices they can sit and wait for a buyer

I paid: $100!

My friend has the same. And paid the same.

The “Profits” screen of my Axim read $10,000+ when we’d finished.

On my way home I stopped at a sandwich shop next to Half Price Books to grab a bite to eat.

For some odd reason I had no desire at all to go inside and check out the Clearance Shelf.

I wonder why?

P.S. We went back twice during the week and bought still more books.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

13 Reasons I Love My Job

Thirteen Things I Like About My Job

1. Kids (well most of the time)
2. I get paid to read aloud
3. I have a ironclad excuse to buy puppets, kid lit & lava lamps
4. There is a ready made appreciative audience for any new cake recipes I want to try out.
5. Computers to play with and on
6. Long holiday breaks
7. Wonderful staff
8. Even more wonderful principal
9. 10 commute
10. Outstanding leadership from our library director and staff
11. A new and different project ever year
12. Never the same and never boring
13. Getting paid to do what I’d do for free!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Reading, Reading, Reading

Many eons ago my district somehow started receiving review copies. They are still arriving, though not in the numbers they once were. Any librarian who is willing to read one and write a short (25 words) review gets to keep it for their library. Hey, I can read for books - such a deal!

Oddly, not everyone jumps at this chance - a couple of years ago our Library Director had to insist that everyone read at least 10. A librarian who doesn't want to read? Maybe they should re-think their profession.

The reviews are due on Wednesday so this weekend I underwent a reading marathon. One problem with selling books is that one doesn't have nearly as much time to read them as one would like.

This weekend it rained. And I read. And read. And Read.

Some good books, some bad books and some really bad books. Children's literature is all about graphic novels and fantasy these days. Neither genre appeals to me but I plowed on. Picture books are featuring computer generated art and after a bit all the illustrations start to look alike. All the children have abnormally big heads, stick legs and bug eyes.

The most memorable: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. It reminds me of ,The Giver, both have an ending that stays with me way longer than I like.

Book I most enjoyed: Shelter - a book that brings home "many people are just one paycheck away from a homeless shelter". Laura should read it to George.

Book I never want to read again: Hot Dog and Bob - if this had any redeeming virtues they certainly escaped me.

Latest trend - precocious 2nd or 3rd grade girls - all of which are a carbon copy of Ramona Quimby. And like all carbon copies they are fuzzy and blurry and not nearly as sharp as the original.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

What Fresh Hell Is This...Redux

The beginning of the school year always seems to find me quoting Dorothy Parker.

Last year's quote was"What fresh Hell is this" - which summed up the
"District Convocation" .

This year the quote is again apt. That's really very sad since it's not a positive quote.

August, 2007 brought "The Teacher Institute". The idea was that we'd get to pick our own in-services so that we could go to what interested us. That way we might be a better audience (teachers are notorious for being rude). Then the district started requiring some people to attend some sessions and other other people to attend other sessions. By the time it was all over many people had no choice at all.

The site was one of the districts very large high schools. It was built in the mid seventies , a nadir for school architecture and at the zenith of the "windows, who needs windows" theory of building. The place looks like a large brick prison. Inside there a maze of wandering corridors that make no sense to anyone - even the maps don't work. The "A" hall is next to the "L" hall.

Oh, and did I mention the air conditioning wasn't working properly? And that the temps have been in the 100s? I did mention that the building has no windows didn't I?

The parking lot is totally inadequate for the number of attendees. Car pooling was encouraged but teachers don't car pool very well. They come all areas of the city, and being that most are women many have to drop a child off at daycare or run errands on the way home. Besides, this is Texas, home of big oil and big trucks. Real Texans don't car pool. That's only for wussy Yankees. Cars overflow= the parking lot and are spread far and wide throughout the surrounding neighborhoods. Some folks are getting parking tickets as their back to school present

I'm to do a presentation on "Blogging". I'm told to bring my own projector but that there should be a laptop set up and waiting for me. Being an experienced cynic , I pack the projector,and also a laptop, a very long extension cord, Internet cable, power strip and jump drive.

I find my room. On the teachers desk, an ancient Dell faces the wall. It's dusty. The desks are lined by row by row (and I'm thinking I'd like to go to
Flander's Field where the Poppies grow). A lectern lurks at the front on the room. The room screams "Sage on a Stage" and "Didactic Teachings R Us".

I unpack my equipment. A desk turned sideways, crowned by a box and a 4 heavy literature books becomes a computer stand. The orange extension cord snakes across to an outlet at the east end of the room, the Internet cable goes west. I plug in, hook up, configure and turn on. Lights come on, Windows sings its happy song and all appears to be going well till I click on Internet Explorer. Nothing happens. I trouble shoot, I re-configure, re-power and search for available wireless networks. Still nothing happens.

I stick my head out the door and spy our
Director of Library Services. He tries. Nothing happens. I catch a roving computer geek. He tires. Nothing happens. He gets a different laptop. Still no Internet. There is a strong wireless signal but the computer can't find it. We hard wire it with my 20 feet cable. Still nothing.

"Firewall" he mutters.

The clock is's 8 and the programs begin at 8:30.

"Gotta go find another laptop" Dripping with sweat he dashes from the room.

That leaves me, with a presentation to give on Elementary Blogging and no Internet. The dusty laptop is on. I awaken the monitor to find that the teacher who owns it gets as much nasty spam as I do. Leaving one's e-mail open is a district no-no, as is leaving one's computer turned on and logged ion. But e-mail means the Internet is working. I restrain myself from sending tacky e-mails from her mailbox and find the USB port.

The computer can't find my jump drive. It's still running Windows 98, which predates jump drives (and many of the students who will be using it) and it doesn't "see" it. So much for plans A, B, C, & D and maybe E. I know my
presentation is supposed to be on the Ed-Tech web site.

I log on and yes, it's there. Whoo -Hoo - finally a bright spot. Only the ancient Dell is locked down and I can't D/L or save it. I can only view it on the web. Well, it's better than nothing.

I gather the class around the monitor and it's on with the show. 4 slides into it and we're interrupted by the geek, toting 2 more laptops. He hooks up , configures and powers up. No internet.

"Internal firewall".

He notices I'm sitting cross legged on the teachers desk and doing a presentation by monitor.

"I can hook your projector to that computer so that everyone can see"

Sounds good to me, I stop so he can once again hook up, configure and power up and down.
Nothing happens

"Windows 98, it can't find the projector"

"Or my jump drive "I chime in.

He does a little this, he does a little that, suddenly we have a projected image but now what is on the screen doesn't match what's on the wall.

"That's a Windows 98 thing - you'll get used to it".

He notices my presentation is via the Internet.

" You should save it to the desk top"

"Can't " I retort.

He tries.

He can't.

"Give me your jump drive!"

Reluctantly I hand it over. He scurries out of the room, saying "I'm going to save it to the server"

He leaves me with my audience and returns 10 minutes later. The audience by now is wondering if they are attending an in-service or an
Abbott and Costello skit. Not only does anybody not know who's on first, we aren't to sure about second, third or home plate either.

In bursts the Geek, my jump drive in hand.

"It's on the server, you can open it that way".

"Show me" I say, since by this time I am taking nothing for granted.

He clicks here, there, and everywhere and ten folders later finds my presentation.

We are ready to begin (again) and the intercom squawks to life.

"Good morning teachers, it's time to move to your next session".

So much for enlightening folks as to the joys of blogging.

The Geek looks at me.

"You are sure are flexible"

Well, it's either go with the flow or have a nervous breakdown.

I hope the class participants are forgiving when it comes to doing the evaluation.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Somebody Stop Me!

You Are a Not Pack Rat

You're not a pack rat - and there's probably no rats in your home.
You have a living style that's totally minimalist. You're definitely not attached to stuff.

These are Addictive!

You Are Grape

You are bold and a true individual. You are very different and very okay with that.
People know you as a straight shooter. You're very honest, even when the truth hurts.
You are also very grounded and practical. No one is going to sneak anything by you.
People enjoy your fresh approach to life. And it's this honesty that makes you a very innovative person.

This is so me!

Blog Quiz

One interesting sideroom of the Bloggerspace are all the "what / who are you quizes" that have prolifereated, many of which can be found on Blogthings. . Musings of a Library Girl is Picasso.

Who Should Paint You: Alfred Gockel

All American yet funky, you inspire an artist's imagination
And while not everyone will understand your portrait, you will!
I have no clue who Alfred Gockel is - guess I'd better go to Wikipedia and find out! wonder I don't know anything about him - he's a contemporary artist. Who know Blogging was so educational?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

13 Things I Need to Do to Get the Library Ready ...for The First Day of School

1. Create the AR incentive charts
2. Unpack the stuffed animals
3. Catalog all the books I found at the thrift stores & garage sales this summer
4. Update my Calendar
5. Change out all the flags
6. Put together the library schedule
7. Create a fall library display
8. Dust!
9. Plan the teacher’s book preview and food fest
10. Lesson plans for the first 3 weeks
11. Finish my Activ-Board FlipChart
12. Lay in a supply of food to bring for lunch.
13. Find the alarm clock!

Summer is over...Whahhhhhhhhhhhhh

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Unmentionable Thoughts

Thoughts that flitted through my mind last week while spending enforced time with someone who had a bit to much to contribute:

After the first hour - sore throat
After the second hour -laryngitis
After the third hour - transparent tape
After the fourth hour - duct tape
After the fifth hour - strep throat
After the sixth hour - a thought that should not be commited to cyberspace

A Welcoming Environment?

First day back on duty; and as always it was spent in an all day library meeting. Theme for the year is connecting with students and being extra careful to ensure that the libraries feel friendly and welcoming.

Other topics of discussion - Web 2.0, social networks, blogs, wikis, pod casts and all the other new technologies the digital native use to keep in touch. I know that sooner or later the terms "real life connection" or "real world connection" will pepper an in service.

Meeting is held in a high school library. Above every computer is a large sign stating :


Perhaps the meeting should of been entitled :

Thursday, August 09, 2007

13 Goals I Didn't Attain This Summer

1. Lose 20 lbs
2. Exercise 3x a week (hence the failure of #1)
3. Clean out the closet under the stairs
4. List the back log of books in the garage
5. Re-do the front porch window boxes (60 days of rain)
6. Blog at least 3x a week
7. Plan all my lessons for the entire school year
8. Go to school and get the cataloging backlog caught up
9. Write an article for Library Sparks
10. Write an article for BookThink
11. Wax the floors (ugh)
12. Re-organize all 600+ Amazon books (halfway done!)
13. Get my checkbook balanced (I hate numbers!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

13 Reasons Why Today was a Very Good Day

I sold a $650 book. It arrived safely and the buyer is happy. Yeah for hitting a new new high dollar book selling goal

I spent a good bit of the afternoon sitting in Cricket’s Creamery lost in a new book. Yeah for Beth Gutcheon. Must find some more of her books.

I arrived home to find I’d sold a $100 & $150 book. Yeah for making money while reading.

I thought my scanner was broken. The Socket Scan folks sent me a patch and it’s fixed. Yeah for technical support that works.

I had a facial today. My skin feels wonderful and I’m still feeling relaxed. Yeah for being pampered!

It poured late in the afternoon and I was safely home as opposed to being stuck in traffic.
I love a rainy day- providing I’m home! Yeah for summer break.

I found a copy of the Rich Dad/ Poor Dad Cashflow game at the Goodwill for $1.99. I sold it last night on E-bay for $170. Yeah for E-bay.

The house is clean & I didn’t have to do it – yesterday was cleaning people day. Yeah for them!

I put out 3 different things for Freecycle and every one of them was picked up. Yeah for stuff moving on to a new home.

I now own one of my Holy Grails of books -an ex-library copy of Carney’s House Party. It’s just like the copy I read as a child & I got it a steal of a price on E-bay. Yeah for finding a Holy Grail.

I may actually make my elusive and never attained bookselling goal this month. Yeah for Art of Books.

I found a barely used pair of Ann Taylor brown shoes at the thrift. Yeah for my feet not hurting!

I have another book that’s just as engrossing as the one I just finished. Yeah for summer reading and Linda Francis Lee.

Now if I didn’t have to go back to work in 2 weeks life would be absolutely perfect. But then who said life was perfect?
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Life As Seen by ESPN

It’s been an all ESPN sort of day at my house (My Beloved is home with a virus).

ESPN operates from a slightly different universe than the rest of us frequent.

A comment on the unfolding NBA Gambling Scandal: “This is an international incident”

Hum, if a corrupt NBA official is an “international incident” what does that make the War in Iraq? An international catastrophe perhaps?

NFL is investigating whether Michael Vick of the Atlantic Falcons has violated the leagues “Personal Conduct Code”. Seems they aren’t sure because the lawyers never thought to include a clause regarding the torture of dogs. Guess they thought nobody would be so stupid, so heartless and so cruel. Hopefully the code will be amended.

Whether Michael Vick returns to play another day is still under discussion. Cynical me thinks he will, because in the mind of the NFL wining touchdowns trumps dead dogs any day.

Let's hope that for once professional sports does the right thing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


We’re now in Southern Orlando, some two miles from the Land of the Mouse and the Pond of Shamu. The area is wall to wall hotels, motels and restaurants. It’s an area where everyone is transient and nobody lives, they come only to stay.

We are at a sprawling hotel & event center complex, chosen partly for it’s golf courses and partly for it proximity to the Mickey, Goofy et. al.

The hotel is chock a bock with people. Conventioneers mingle with tourist families. It’s pretty easy tell them apart – the conventioneers wear big badges around their necks and the tourists wear sunburns and mouse ears.

Odd Sights:

Children hang out in cocktail lounges – and treat it like a playground.

People walk through the lobby in swimsuits that really need a cover- up of some sort. Wobbling butt cheeks are not a particularly attractive sight. It really isn’t necessary to be a walking advertisement for the rampant obesity in this country.

Each drink costs about $10, the lounge seats about 100 – just how much money does it rake in between in the hours of 4 pm & 8pm?

If every child who goes to Disney World buys a set of ears, who many ears are sold each day? How much does Disney make on said ears? How much do the sweat shop employees in China earn who make them? I suspect the former is much, much more than the latter!

Tattoos are not for bikers any longer. None the less, they are not an attractive sight on women who are budging out of their skimpy tops. Tattoos aren’t meant to stretch.

Only in Disney World would you see small children eating a $20 hotdog at a 4 Star restaurant at 10pm.

This hotel, like all the other abounds with minions. Where do they live? Do they ever resent having to wait on people who spend the equivalent of one weeks salary on dinner and drinks?


The thrifting in the small towns around The Villages (always spelled with a
capital T) is prime. These tiny towns abound in Thrift Stores – Belleview has 4,000 people and 8 Thrift stores. There aren’t the “for profit” with the corresponding high prices thrift stores like Savers and Family Thrift, these are Little Old Lady thrifts in the best and vanishing sense of the world. In one day I paid a visit to St. Jude, St. Phillip and St. Theresa. They are clean, nicely organized and the prices are from a by gone era. At most of them books were only a quarter and the highest I ever paid was a $1. It’s a far cry from Houston and the $4.94 & 6.96 prices I’m accustomed to seeing at Family Thrift.

Even the Goodwill was reasonable – all the books were $1.99, with of course the exception of what they consider “Better Books”. Luckily, their idea of better books is radically different than mine. Better Books consisted of some dreary copies of old People’s Book Club Books and some hardback classics with nothing to distinguish them from thousands of other hardback classics.

I struck gold in the “ordinary” books – a definitive book on Irish Wolfhounds and another on Worchester Pottery. The first was courtesy of MediaScouter, the latter from my own brain. Naturally, the latter was the most satisfying, though the former will bring in a bit more money.

The Villages does not allow estate or garage sales – that’s another reason I wouldn’t want to live there – so guess the only outlet for excess stuff is a thrift store. So many people come to the Villages with nothing more in mind that playing golf till they go on to the Great Golf Course in the Sky so there stuff has to end up somewhere. The Great Golf Course in the Sky comes with an eternal supply of everything one could ever need!