Friday, September 27, 2013

Revolution Season 2 Premier

Just a quickie post before I fall behind   :)

The bombs hit Philadelphia and Atlanta and there seems to be some interaction between the fallout from that and the nanites that are everywhere.

The lights were on for 4 minutes.  This gave people hope that they could be turned on again permanently.

The President of the US who has been hiding out has made his way to the White House by mule cart.  One of his followers/staff arrived by ship to the place where Neville and his son are looking for the mom (aka Piece of Toast Lady) to rally everyone to the cause of the good ol' USA.  Neville is reinvigorated by hatred and he plans to get  revenge on the "patriots".

Charlie has gone off alone to find and presumably kill Monroe.  Her hair finally looks straggly as it should.

Rachel has gone all wimpy and self obsessed with guilt.  However she seems ready to openly be in love with Miles.  He is dodgey but hovers protectively nearby.

Aaron has found a nice woman and is in a relationship till her ex bursts in and slices him in two. Oops.  We see Aaron at the end of the show breathing in a deep lively breath though so, yo, nanites?

War Bands of total skag guys are raiding and killing people.  The Plains Nation isn't the snuggliest place on earth.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Person of Interest

A new night and time for Person of Interest. 

They are taking a team approach to the show, and annoying Shaw wasn't quite as annoying as usual,  She just isn't a likeable character.  They're taking a bit of a lighthearted humorous approach to everyone and their abilities though so maybe I'll get used to her.

Carter has been busted to street cop.  Poor Carter.  On the plus side when not in uniform they're playing up how gorgeous she is, as well as being loyal and smart.  Don't open her closet.

Fusco remains a detective with a new partner who is "a bag of rocks" or something similar.  Fusco gets to be in disguise and defuse a bomb, a step up for him.

Finch and Bear are actively out on the streets, showing up just when needed.

Reese coordinates everyone and is the natural leader. For such a lonely man, he seems very happy to be leading this merry group.

Root is in an asylum with the most idiotic psychiatrist on the planet.  In every scene I just kept looking at the pencils on the desk and was expecting her to grab one and stick it in his throat.  When she finally did unleash on him, it was in a far more damaging way, since she knew (of course) all of his secrets and had made friends with his young daughter online as well.

The main case this week of a sailor in trouble with some bad guys over stolen uncut diamonds, meh, not very good at all though the actor who played the sailor was really cool and I wanted to see him added to the team.


Marvel: Agents of Shield

ABC's new series is off to an interesting start. 

A common but likeable man who is having some tough times turns out to have taken part in an experiment to augment his body.  He has super strength which allows him to save a woman from a burning building. 

Everyone in the area is filming the fire with their cell phones.  That certainly is realistic, that's what everyone does in a disaster situation now, right, get out their cell and start filming it for the news and social media?

One of those documenting the incident sees Mike drop from a high window to the street with a woman in his arms, both totally unharmed by the fall.  She stalks him in a very giddy and I thought creepy way, wanting him to come forward as a hero. 

Her name is Skye and she is a computer whiz living in a van who can hack into anything.  SHIELD turns out to be one of her main targets.

SHIELD of course, is all over her with a newly assembled team whose job it is to try to shield the public from knowing too much or having too many encounters with the mutants now among us.

The show takes just the right tone of humor, whiz bang action, high tech amazements while grounding the episode in very human stories like innocent Mike trying to take care of his young son and doing desperate things to keep everything together.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sleepy Hollow: Blood Moon

While not so frenetic as the pilot, the first episode of Sleepy Hollow was excellent and scarier by far!  Ichabod dreams of the Four Horsemen and his wife Katrina. 

He learns that the leader of the evil coven which inhabits Sleepy Hollow, Serilda of Abaddon seeks to return to life.

She has help from that hapless Pawn of Evil, John Cho's Andy Dunn.  Andy awakens from death with his head still impossibly bent down his back, and boy does he have trouble seeing where to walk!  Yikes!  The Smoky looking Beast snaps his head back into place and Andy heads off to do his bidding, muttering about some people being ungrateful and not being sooo helpful all the way.


He finds and names the victims for the witch, as she needs ashes from the ancestors of those who weakened her so she could be burnt at the stake. 

Serilda is one one scary woman in life and in death.  In life, her eyes were black slates, and in death, she is a lithe, ragged, burnt creature who transports from spot to spot closing in on, then burning her victim to turn them to ash.  I had my shirt ready to put over my eyes as she stalked a little boy in a darkened house.

Andy Dunn is not the only dead character who comes back to life.  In an interview I read, Ichabod aka Tom Mison says you can never tell who will die and who will return to life in Sleepy Hollow.

We have two covens then:  Serilda's and the Sisterhood of the Radiant Heart which I think must have been lead by Ichabod's beloved Katrina, now trapped "between worlds".   Good to know she isn't just helpful, but powerful, though her powers are limited if she can only appear in dreams.

We briefly meet Abby's sister Jenny at the end of the episode.  While Abby has dealt with her childhood brush with evil by burying the memory, her sister fully embraced the encounter with evil and has been in an asylum ever since.  She seems completely sane when we see her, doing pushups and pullups in her room to stay buff and ready to fight.  She reminds me of Linda Hamilton from Terminator 2: Judgement Day.  She also sees the Beast in a reflection in her window.  We don't know if he is a regular visitor or if he is coming now because things are heating up in Sleepy Hollow.

I enjoyed the episode.  Ichabod Crane is an intelligent man in an impossible situation.  The fact that he is a soldier and a spy who was investigating possibly supernatural events in his own time for someone like George Washington helps him adjust to his new circumstances more quickly than someone else would.  I enjoy the scenes from Revolutionary times.  It is very cool that he can know about the network of underground tunnels under Sleepy Hollow and secret rooms in buildings because he used them himself in his duties.

Abby is just the right mix of hard cop and wounded inner person who wants to believe and wants to do the right thing.  She is determined to do what is right no matter what that involves personally or professionally.  Her big heart serves her and us well.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Banned Books Week

Every year we look at the books which have been banned, removed or requested for removal from libraries everywhere. 

We often put up displays of these books and everyone is fascinated, and can't believe that the very books they enjoy reading and that their kids love are the most targeted by someone, someplace who wants to have a say in what others read.

One year I put up a display of the books and decorated it with a roll of that Do not cross: police line tape.  Someone was offended by that! 

Read read read, everyone!  Let your children read what engages their hearts, minds and imaginations and don't personally ban them from enriching themselves.

Read More about it!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

What to do when you're retired #2 Make Lists!

I hadn't been aware before I started researching the Interior Life of the Retiree a bit that some people get a bit wacky and bored in retirement.

Their minds and bodies go kablooie.  Eek!  My body is kablooie enough, thank you.  My mind, well I think it has just been set free and I don't have to behave like a librarian anymore (although it is so ingrained and just plain me that it will continue to rise up).  I can be the jackanapes I was meant to be.  hehe.

I have been jealous all these working years of moms who didn't have to work in particular, but anyone who appeared to have a lot of time on their hands has probably been thought to be "sitting around on their dead a#%", a phrase that comes from my dad, I do believe.  Now that it is me, I'm sure I won't be so harsh.

To avoid Dead A$* Syndrome going in, I've made myself lists galore to give my life structure.  I have listed daily, weekly, monthly things that should be done around the abode.  I've determined that I don't want to be a hermit crab, so I made a list of things to do that will get me out in the world.  I've factored in daily walks for exercise.

You don't know it, poor foolish working peeps (hahahahaha), but you can apparently lose something of your sense of time because you don't have weekdays and weekends anymore.  It's all a haze of relaxation and fun times! Noooooo!  Who wants to fall into THAT trap?

So I have structured my days so I do household and garden chores in the mornings, write, read, relax (nap!!!) and make dinner in the afternoons.  In the weekday evenings I relax as I normally would but I'll have had that nap so I won't doze away the evening in my easy chair.  On the weekends I relax and play.  No fuzzy brain for me!  Of course, if I start posting pictures of sponges here everyday and no text, you will know I have succumbed.

Friday, September 20, 2013

What to do when you're retired #1

I've often wondered myself what people do with all their time when they're retired.  Well, you start making idiotic little video clips and you post them on your blog.  Keep an eye or two peeled here for even MORE ideas.

The Last Days of DOA: Final Friday

Today was a toughie.  I was sad most of the day.  Turning in my keys and badge was hard.  I don't suppose you remember the old TV show Branded with Chuck Connors. The theme song kept going through my head.   Poor Chuck, sniff.  I loved the Rifleman too.

I snarfed my co-workers desk time since I was only scheduled for an HOUR today, ack.   Karma City,  The DVD Screamer came in and was working herself into a nice lather but my desk mate calmed her down.

Then a really rude woman came in and yech.  Just in case I planned to be all "I love the planet today, and you...and you...and NOT YOU!"

I didn't ask to make announcements.  I did make this clip earlier in the day and it expresses exactly how I feel about leaving the place where I've spent most of my career.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Last Days of DOA Thunderous Thursday

Out of nowhere, a big storm moved through today and one of my tasks at the Mezz Ref Desk was to monitor the Weather Radio and let everyone know if things got too dicey out so we could get everyone to the lowest levels if needed.  Luckily it all blew over.

This was my last day at the Big Library, as I sometimes call it.  My shift was all Mezz Ref, but the 10-1 shift is really a different animal than the mid-afternoon one.  I had plenty of phone calls, some lengthy.  A couple of chats. 

An hour of 24/7 AskMN, the nationwide consortium of librarians who answer questions 24/7, somewhere, anywhere, in the U.S.  I saw my first ever Class Bomb.  This is apparently an entire classroom of students or a group from one, who decide to hit the AskMn service with questions all at once. 

In this case, two questions came in right on top of each other from another state from "PrincessBubbleBlower" and "PrincessPoohBear"  asking the exact same question.  Then pop pop pop six more names from that state popped up with the same question.  The answer to their question was not something that came up easily.

Questions come in to the askalibrarian email reference service throughout the night and in the morning before we're there.  There are always a fair few of those to work through.  They can be on any topic, the most common ones being How do I do _____with my eReader, how do I re-set my PIN, and everyone's favorite "I RETURNED THAT ______ DANG NABBIT!!!!!!"

Librariandoa is my public face on the Internet and I am pretty sure I write Librariandoa far more than my own name.  When we respond to askalibrarian emails we sign them

askalibrarian/lrs      ...and our initials.   I have struggled mightily these two years and had to backspace away my "natural' signature.


I feel better now.   You may certainly submit your questions here anytime and I'll see what I can do.  We don't want my brain to rot, do we?

Sweet, sweet people stopped by to wish me well.  I have been doing so well saying goodbye, but today I honestly could not find the words to tell some people who have been very kind and special to me goodbye in anything but the simplest way.  I could not convey to them a zillionth of what they have meant to me.  I am pretty sure I have let them know over time in nice side moments how much I respect and admire them.

I have this to say to the folks there in general:  Thanks for taking me in.  I arrived there a couple of years ago after having been in the system for a couple of decades.  In two days a week I was going to learn every cool thing possible.  Unbelievably, for the first time, I was going to be working directly with two of the very sharpest people from the old Internet Mentors group.  Dream city, eh? 

Just a few weeks in, I get my charming Stage IV cancer diagnosis and virtually disappear into a whirlwind of medical tests and several months of chemotherapy.  My two days a week there becomes one.  Instead of being that new person from another branch, I'm that woman with cancer and no hair and a boatload of interesting scarves.  And "that laugh".  I don't know where they get that last part :)

Absolutely everyone was so kind to me, and understanding, and there were a few who had also fought the cancer beast.  You can't imagine how good it is to talk to people who have walked that walk.  Since customers there did not know me as my other library customers did, they never ever commented on my scarves or my short, short hair once I  stopped wearing them.  It was really a haven of sorts.

I loved working on the single service desk there (they had it first).  I carried voluminous notes about circ procedures around with me for the longest time.  I asked the same questions over and over and everyone patiently answered and explained.  The dreaded cash register screamed at me pretty much every day I was on the public desk.  However, by the time my other library got one I was completely relaxed about how things operate and I think the transition was smoother than silk.

The staff are so excellent with the public, very attentive, nobody ever has to wait for long because they have got that public service spirit right to their core to a person.

Hugs to everyone there I did not by chance hug today on my way out!

The super secret upstairs office. You may call it The Librarian's Lair.

The meeting room where we have hosted the most extraordinary authors, musicians, crafters and speakers on innumerable fascinating topics.

Talk about Super Secret! The Administrative Offices...


Mezz Ref!  The Librarian Is In!

The Children's Department where there are books galore, and foot tall dinosaurs! Also boats, mailboxes, trucks, it is an amazing maze of toys all threaded through the area.  There are these charming 1950's-ish couches to read on.

Most popular of all is a JET PLANE!!!!

There is something for everyone.  Lots of comfy places to sit and read and dream.  Free wifi and Internet.  A Coffee Shop.  Excellent staff who can answer all of your questions, truly.  You don't get that anywhere else.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Last Days of DOA: Wayward Wednesday

I honestly wanted to use Wierdo Wednesday but I was on Mezz ref and no wierdos popped up in any of the modes handled by that desk.

Someone I worked with waaay back popped in.  One of the sweetest women on the planet.  Smart, funny.  Libraries and the world could use many more like her, could they not?  How lucky I've been to have known her.

I finished off my Dead Paperback Removal List just in the nick this morning.


Somehow I found time to sneak downstairs and hear the LRS Memorial performance of BINGO by one of the Children's librarians. He had those little people singing and clapping like you wouldn't believe.  It is such a happy song, completely silly.  I have requested he do Bingo a few times when the storytime was upstairs in the children's area, so he asked if I'd like to stop by to hear it once more.  The man has a wildly talented Moose puppet and he (the librarian) plays guitar.  No wonder those kids are rockin'.

 I also was lucky to get there just in time to hear the best reading ever of "The Napping House" by Audrey and Don Wood.  I read that one to my son many times but never like that.

A quiet couple of hours on the Mezz Ref Desk (mostly email and a single chat), then off to visit the County to make sure I am oozed out the door just so.   Busy short day, tomorrow shorter yet, then on Friday Poof!

One of my coworkers suggested I do the closing announcements on Friday afternoon.  What an excellent idea!  Reference always used to do the closing announcements because we had the microphone.  I could use my old sleek voice on them.

Last days of DOA: Terrific Tuesday

These "last days" posts are just a diary of my last days as a librarian.  The blog and me shall live on, never fear.  Many people I've talked with don't recall at all what they did right before or after retiring so I thought I'd get the gist of it here for myself.  This retiring thing is HUGE.  You should remember it.  I bet all people recall is the PARTY and what food people brought.  Sillies.

Busy day!  I had a last meeting with the Public Services Committee in the afternoon.  Lots of good things ahead for that group.  I really have never been a fan of being on committees, but a few have been a delight:

Public Services  Who loves public service more than I do?  You'd be hard pressed to find someone.  I got the invite to the committee earlier this year when I was already set to retire this fall.  We looked at some accessibility issues and talked about my favorite thing, how to provide better service to our customers in a practical way.

Adult programming (in its early days when every branch had a representative there, it was quite exciting).  The enthusiasm and ideas flashing around the room were most excellent.

Young Adult Committee  Since I was on this committee for seventeen years and worked with a wide variety of creative folk it has to be my favorite.  Again, in earlier days we would have a once a year trip to Bookmen to purchase books, loading a cart.  We could even buy some for ourselves at a discount.  That multi-level warehouse was too cool.   We'd go out for lunch.  Quite convivial.  We read and talked about YA books.  We worked to track series books and did lists of recommended reading on topics like Tear Jerkers or World War I fiction for teens. 

Internet Mentors   Before we were so well staffed with uber-doggie tech support people, some of the librarians who appreciated technology and who were willing to help others both staff and public served as mentors to try to provide ongoing training and answer questions about new technologies as they were added.  A most excellent group of people!

I said goodbye successfully to longtime colleagues without breaking down.  Yeah me.  They're good. They're already excited about who might step into my spot and I am encouraging that because I've seen a lot of new and truly excellent people coming through in recent times and I know both branches where I work will be invigorated by new shiny ideas.  Tis a good thing!

Busy evening.  A bit of a weirdo vibe going on.  Where do these folks come from? 

I made a HUGE CASH REGISTER MISTAKE!  Agh!  Apparently easily corrected but what an eye popper!  And it didn't even scream like it does when you mess up.  Why why why.  I thought I was doing so well with that little monster of a contraption.  I thought we had an understanding

A Voice From the Past called to see if I was actually cracking these last few days.  Probably thought to hear stifled sobs wracking my voice, but noooo.  As she and I well know, Voice Modulation is a Pillar of Public Service Success.  Keep that voice smooth and the wildest beastie can be dealt with.

I was a little sad locking up.  You know those routines you take for granted can be the ones that get to you.

Two and a half more days and I transition to Librarian DOA at large.  Then we see things from the other side of the desk and think our wily librarian thoughts from a new perspective.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sleepy Hollow Premier: Awakened

Official Site

Yo ho! Off to a swashbuckling, head rolling good start! 

Ichabod Crane, still lanky but handsome as anything with a British accent is helping a most cryptic and mysterious George Washington track down a man in the Hudson Valley of 1781.  The man finds him, riding right for Crane on a monstrous white horse, a mask over his face, an enormous axe in hand.

Failing to kill him by shooting the man as he closes in, Crane desperately beheads him with his sword.  The killer takes a swing at Crane, slicing his abdomen open and both fall to the ground.  Semi-conscious, Crane sees the massive fellow get up, headless, and mount his horse to ride away.

Crane awakens in a dank cave, partially buried but he's alive.  He's in modern day Sleepy Hollow.  A local policeman has been beheaded and Crane's story of Revolutionary War times and working for George Washington make him an immediate and convenient suspect.

What I learned from the opening episode:

Don't lose your head over any character because they're likely to be dead by episode's end.

There are two covens of witches in Sleepy Hollow and beyond.  One is good and one is evil.

Two witnesses will work over a period of seven years to keep the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse from entering the world.

Abbie's partner has secret files he had been keeping trying to piece together of unexplained events over time in Sleepy Hollow.

The Headless Horseman has an agenda, more than just getting his shrinky glowing head back.

As in any really good scary tale, you can't tell who the good guys and bad guys are.

The episode went really fast and I can't wait for next week's episode!  Scary, great characters, fast paced!  Abbie Mills, the tough female cop and Ichabod Crane, professor of history and adventurer are a great pair.

Map of Sleepy Hollow

About the Show from the Official Site:

Welcome to SLEEPY HOLLOW, the thrilling new mystery-adventure drama from co-creators/executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (the “Star Trek” and “Transformers” franchises, “Fringe”).

In this modern-day twist on Washington Irving's classic, ICHABOD CRANE (Tom Mison, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen”) is resurrected and pulled two and a half centuries through time to unravel a mystery that dates all the way back to the founding fathers. Revived alongside Ichabod is the infamous Headless Horseman who is on a murderous rampage in present-day Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod quickly realizes that stopping Headless is just the beginning, as the resurrected rider is but the first of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and only one of the many formidable foes that Ichabod must face to protect not only Sleepy Hollow, but the world.

As Ichabod finds himself in 2013's Sleepy Hollow, he discovers a town he no longer recognizes and grapples to understand. Teaming up with Lt. ABBIE MILLS (Nicole Beharie, “42,” “The Good Wife,” “Shame”), a young cop who has her own supernatural experiences, the two embark on a mission to stop the evil that has awoken along with Ichabod and that now is seeping into this once-sleepy town.

Clues from the past enlighten mysteries in the present, as each episode features a flashback to Ichabod's life in 1776. Ripe with untold stories from American history and cloaked in mythology, the divide between present and past becomes dangerously blurred. Lives are in the balance, including that of Ichabod's late wife, KATRINA (Katia Winter, “Dexter”), who is trapped in a mysterious netherworld. In his pursuit to save her, Ichabod uncovers secrets about her, leaving him with countless questions.

Not everyone believes Ichabod's tales of 1776 and supernatural evils, especially the new head of Abbie's police precinct, Captain FRANK IRVING (Orlando Jones, “The Chicago 8,” “Drumline”). When faced with bizarre events he can't explain, Capt. Irving reluctantly turns to Ichabod and Abbie to investigate.

Ichabod's extensive first-hand knowledge of our country's hidden history, coupled with Abbie's superior profiling and modern threat assessment skills, make them a formidable duo. The complex pasts of the pair, from Ichabod's inclusion in the powerful and secretive Freemasons Society to Abbie's childhood visions, will help them solve the intricate puzzles of Sleepy Hollow in order to protect its – and the world's – future. As history repeats itself, the oddly-linked pair will draw on the real stories and secrets this nation was founded on in their quest to stop an increasingly vicious cycle of evil.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

How to Snuggle Down for the Duration: Householding

A post from Susan Wittig Albert on Facebook sharing a site on how to make Homemade Extracts reminded me of a post I've been meaning to put up. 

How to make Homemade Extracts  from the Commonsense Homesteading blog illustrates the thinking that you can and should return to the idea of a household which operates organically with your garden and the community resources that allow you to live simply and in a better way.  That is my explanation.

If you're a gardener, this opens up all sorts of possibilities for you to be creative beyond the practical aspects of growing and preserving foods.  You can use what you grow in so many ways. 

I haven't had time to dig in and read all about it myself yet, but the long cool winter this year can be spent planning my garden for next year with some added dimensions and possibilities.  These are some of the books I jotted down to read:

Householders Guide to the Universe by Harriet Fasenfest

Homeward Bound: why women are embracing the new domesticity by Emily Matchar

Backyard Winter gardening Vegetables by Caleb Warner

Barnheart the incredible longing for a farm by  Jenna Woginrich

The Dirty life: a memoir of farming, food and love by Kristin Kimball

Made from scratch discovering the pleasures of a handmade life by Jenna Woginrich

I'm sure there are plenty more, and I could be a fiend and request the old Foxfire series from my library.

Since my ancestors were farmers, this will tie in nicely with my family history scrapbooks and help me appreciate the lives those folks led so that I can bring them to life.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

How to Leave a Comment

I welcome comments!  A couple of people have had trouble lately leaving comments, and I was unable to add one myself earlier with my iPod.  Very frustrating!

Just a tip, what I always do because I'm such a poor typist and don't want to lose what I wrote in a comment box is highlight and then "copy" what I wrote before I hit Publish.  If it gets poofed you don't have to recall your brilliant thoughts and you can just paste them right back into the comment box.

How to leave a comment on Blogger:

Click to enlarge if you can't read it!

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Last Days of DOA: Fortunate Friday

I do Volunteer training once per month, and today was the day for September.  People may turn in applications, but they don't always come to training.  I had a potential for four to five trainees this morning, and haven't had that many in ages.

True to the way the week has gone, two people came.  I thought they were just gems however and I of course found myself regretting that I won't be here to help them settle in on an ongoing basis.

I've re-worked and tweaked my training many times and I think I have it just right.  I was of course extra sweet and welcoming because I won't get to work with Volunteers anymore.  I am hoping the new person takes good care of them.

One of our long time volunteers stopped by this morning to say goodbye.

I ran into another at Library 2 this week.   Some of our folks have been with us since we opened the "new" library in 1992.  Many have faithfully straightened our shelves, worked on the book sale, and helped us put on large events.  There is always someone in the group who can help with whatever we need.  We would be a mess without them.

A wonderful customer who is always willing to talk books stopped in.  She reads voraciously.  I am often able to help someone pick out a book to read based on her recommendations.  She made me Caramels.  Rich buttery lovely caramels.  I am not sharing!

Very slow then wickedly busy on the desk this afternoon.  Nobody cranky at all, just everyone for awhile needed lots of help.  The best possible time on the desk is a nice steady stream of people who need you.

Time is short, I found myself talking and joking with most everyone.  I could tell one long time customer was surprised!  Nice person and all, I've just always been business like.  Now that I'm getting all smooshy about time being up, I've got the Rose Colored Reading Glasses thing going.

I've been kind of getting emotional all week, who wouldn't?  3 1/2 more work days and Poof.  Because of my three days here, two days there, schedule, I won't see all the staff again before I go.  I've been trying to lightly say "goodbye, been nice working with you" to people as I see them.  Lots of good folks in our library system.  Some truly fine people who will help you work through anything you need.

So, this sweet lady who is an absolute charm to work with stops by when I'm on the desk and says "I won't see you again, I wanted to say goodbye", like someone flipped a light switch I hug her and my eyes fill with tears and for a moment I'm just heartbroken.  And then I hug another lady who is leaving for the day who I won't see again, another sweetheart of the universe.  Struggling for composure I'm going "no more hugs, no more hugs, I can't hug anybody".

I'll have to find a dignified way to say those last goodbyes.

Last Days of DOA Thrilling Thursday

It actually wasn't thrilling or anything, but we used to have monikers for the days of the week that indicated how things were going.  Pretend it was a good week:

Marvelous Monday
Terrific Tuesday
Wierdo Wednesday (It is always Wierdo Wednesday)
Thrilling Thursday
Fortunate Friday
Stupendous Saturday
Salubrious Sunday

Feel free to adapt as best describes your week!

In late for a medical appointment.

I tried to wrest away main reference desk time from a poor sweet librarian thinking I was scheduled there but yikes, I was actually supposed to be back up on Mezz Reference.  Cone of Shame City.  My brain has been working just a bit less efficiently every day.  Well, actually it has transitioned to working on other things.  Let's go ahead and say it has left the building for the most part.  Really difficult to keep on target for these last few days.

My final program of my career was a Dungeons and Dragons for Beginners session taught by a very cool local Dungeon Master.  We only needed four people, and on the very day of the program we reached that robust number of registrations.  Not a single one of those registered people came to the event.  Also, a man who had noted we had teen Dungeons and Dragons programs in the summer  and had asked that we do an adult program that he could go to and brush up his skills and bring his 9 year old to....nope.   Nary a peep from the guy who drove the offering of the class in the first place.  And I had written to him along the way reminding him to sign up and bring pals!  And he wrote back that he was looking forward to it.  Righto buddy.

Miraculously, a very cool staff member who played in her callow youth and a last minute Teen who wondered if he could come to play made up three of our four players (I got to play, yay).  We had considerable trouble with goblins so the Dungeon Master  tossed in a Rogue to help us.  A very quick two hour program!  

On That Other Topic, apparently it was all a mistake and There Was No Spoon.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ironside Pilot (NBC)

I sat in my easy chair for a bit this evening watching the pilot for  the new series Ironside on my iPod.

There were a few fuzzy scenes but most came through really clearly.  At first I thought it a bit gritty and violent for my taste, but soon Blair Underwood as Robert Ironside won me over.  He is a really tough guy and seems to have no trouble taking down most bad guys with a little help from his team.  They are all young, but they seemed dedicated, smart, funny in some cases.

Ironside is a good team leader (he also coaches hockey).  He uses his assistants well.  Contrasted with Ironside's tendency to whomp on people is his tendency to get all smooshy eyed over an innocent victim.   That won me over right there.  As long as the guy cares I guess he can whomp on people if he needs to.

There are a few relationship complexities to explore:

The guilt of his ex-partner.

The odd relationship he has with his boss.

Spencer Grammer as Holly seems to have a fond relationship with a weirdo fat guy in a car.  Looks like a gang boss.  Knows more than he ought to about weird sex.

I thought the sister of a dead girl was quite compelling as an actress.  I think she also played her dead sister, if so, most interesting.

The premier is October second. You can watch the pilot and see what you think now:

Side note there were intriguing commercials for Revolution included.

The Last Days of DOA: Wily Wednesday

Since I work at two branches this was a day at branch two.  A nice day always includes desk time, and I had what is called "Mezz Ref" time.  This desk was briefly called something like the 'Digital Services Desk" to indicate that phone, chat, email and text reference questions were all handled here.

That has not changed but somehow it has reverted to a name that indicate it floats in the air.  On a mezzanine.

Floaty or not, it is interesting to work this desk because you may get the same type of questions you could get in person, but you have the leisure to take the time to answer and do the questions right. 

Sometimes there are lots of questions, sometimes there are few for your entire shift.  That could certainly be the case at the main desk as well, I suppose.

I spent some time in the morning working on a paperback weeding list via Collection HQ charmingly called the Dead Items Removal list.  It seemed to have a large number of supernatural romance and fantasy, making me wonder about the popularity of those genres.

There was an afternoon program from the Better Business Bureau on Identity Theft and Scams.  My program numbers are way up from yesterday's goose egg...three came (though one left when the presenter was late).   I personally learned a lot and the two attendees had lots of questions for our lady.

At one point during the presentation when she was enthusiastically naming all the ways that you can be scammed, I wished I could tell her she had a fair few mystery novel plots ready to go.

All though not a word was said about the you-know-what, I thought I detected quite an undercurrent of tension over the course of the day.  Tsk.

Last Days of DOA the Continuing Saga

Tuesday, Tuesday.  It is my late night day meaning I work 12:00-8:30.  Only one more left now! Evenings can be busy or very slow.  Last night was a slow starter then people began to pile up waiting as long questions such as ebook Readers and library cards (with quirks, like not a county resident, no ID, not the person who owns the card, lots of kids working on an assignment with a local school wherein they were supposed to get a library card, ask the librarian some pithy questions, get a form signed by their "Librarian friend") stopped the flow of peeps through the line.   With two people one circ and one reference working the issues, it just takes one person to tie up one of these and the line forms to the left. 

The old beloved Reference Desk

I do like what we call (or I do) the "uni-desk" or the "Single Service Desk".  One stop shopping and we all learn a lot from each other, everyone on both sides of the counter are (90%) of the time nice, everyone usually gets help and is happy.

Nobody came to my Red Mars discussion.  On the plus side, I made up some discussion questions for the book and for discussing Science Fiction Books more generally, which I can use here, so all is well. I'm hoping the other discussions have an audience.

A wild rumor of a Ninja retirement mini-bash for me had me pretty cranky.  I'm hoping that people respect that I have my own ways and I feel I shouldn't have a party or anything if I don't want one here at the last.  I understand the party impulses others have, but I've got none of them.  If the beaners would just stop and think, they'll recall I never go to anyone else's party either.  Not a party person, would rather just say goodbye in a nice civil manner and float out the door. 

Before work, I had the Murphy's Law book discussion with what is sometimes called the Mystery A Month Book Group and that went swimmingly.  Always a really great group of people there.  This mystery book group arose after I did a class on Mysteries for the activities director at the senior center as a cooperative effort.  Except for the timeframe where I was in chemo, I've continued going to meet with these ladies on the second Tuesday of the month and I treasure them and will keep joining in the discussions :)

That's my second to the last Tuesday.  Glad I wrote it this morning instead of last night since I was smokin' about the Ninja-You-Know-What.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Molly Murphy: Murphy's Law

Our mystery book group is discussing Murphy's Law by Rhys Bowen in the morning.  I read my first copy from the library and have bought all subsequent volumes.  The series is set in New York City at the beginning of the last century.

Molly is on the run from her home after pushing away the landowner's son, who falls and gashes his head.   She makes her way to Dublin and tries to find work, looking over her shoulder every minute for the pursuing police.  Just as they close in on her she is saved by a very ill woman who pretends Molly is her sister.

The woman is dying and though she has passage to America for herself and children, she knows that she will not be allowed to leave the ship in America, if she lives long enough to get there to bring the children to her husband.  She begs Molly to go in her place, making the ship's passage as herself, bringing the young children to her husband who has been trying to make a living in America.

On the ocean voyage Molly gains the attention of a ratty man who is killed.  She comes under suspicion for the grisly crime though there is no real evidence.  Brought before Captain Daniel Sullivan of the New York Police Dept., she struggles to remain logical and composed, not letting her famously sharp tongue get the better of her.  She is certain that her crime in Ireland will catch up with her as well and that she'll be sent back home to an execution.

Desperately coming up with other scenarios and suspects, Molly impresses the Captain who releases her. 

New York City for new immigrants proves to be a hardscrabble life, with people packed into apartments.  Seamus's cousin Nuala instantly dislikes Molly so Molly takes to the winter streets looking for work and still trying to solve the onboard crime.

Always looking for work, always digging deeper into the crime that now crossed two oceans, Molly finds herself learning the ropes quickly and enjoying the company of the captain who reluctantly listens to her theories.

I first read this right after visiting Ireland and have been charmed by Molly and her keen wit and big heart ever since.

Rhys Bowen is very active on Facebook  and on her personal blog   She also writes with seven other popular mystery authors on the Jungle Red Writers blog

You can find links to these on her web site

There are three series by Bowen:
The Constable Evans Series

Set in a bucolic Welsh highlands town of Llanfair.  Everyone in the town shares the last name Evans and each title plays on the name as if it were spelled "heaven".

Evans Above
Evan Help Us
Evanly Choirs
Evan and Elle
Evan Can Wait
Evans to Betsy
Evan Only Knows
Evan's Gate
Evan Blessed
Evanly Bodies

I read the first of these long ago, and was not pleased with everyone having the same name for some reason, and perhaps I wasn't fond of the characters.  I saw someone else on Amazon compare these to the Hamish Macbeth series by M. C. Beaton, but setting aside, the character is not the lazy, smirky Hamish character. 

Molly Murphy Mysteries

An excellent historical mystery series set in early New York City.  You get a real flavor for the times.  Molly has terrific side characters to help her solve her mysteries and provide connections in society she would not have as a new immigrant.  The romance between Molly and Daniel Sullivan plays out wonderfully over the series.  Molly's detection skills improve over time enough to get her the attention of some very high placed men in law enforcement.  Over time her past and "The Troubles" in Ireland reach across the ocean to give further depth to this brave young woman.  I buy these and read them as soon as they arrive :)

Murphy's Law
Death of Riley
For the Love of Mike
In Like Flynn
Oh Danny Boy
In Dublin's Fair City
Tell Me Pretty Maiden
In a Gilded Cage
The Last Illusion
The Amersham Rubies
Bless the Bride
The Family Way
City of Darkness and Light (upcoming title)

Her Royal Spyness

Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, 34th in succession for the throne and penniless, often hires herself out as a maid to the wealthy in order to make ends meet.  She is able to do some favors for the Queen herself in her disguise, and learn about 1930s British Society that she may not have access to otherwise. Glamour, romance and a bit of the "caper" film quality to the stories.

Her Royal Spyness
A Royal Pain
Royal Flush
Royal Blood
Naughty in Nice

If you enjoyed the Molly Murphy series, I highly recommend

Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mysteries

Set at about the same time period as Molly in New York City, Sarah Brandt's adventures as a midwife in the lower quarters of the city contrast with her being the daughter of one of New York's wealthiest men. 

Shirley Tallman's  Sarah Woolsen Mysteries take place in 1880's San Francisco.  Sarah comes from a family of lawyers and is one herself, striving to find employ as the first woman lawyer in the city.  She is absolutely committed to being successful in her career.  The city of San Francisco at that time (and all times!) is exciting, as are her adventures.

The first of these is:

Murder on Nob Hill

Kathy Lynn Emerson's Diana Spaulding Mysteries

Set in 1880s New York Diana is a reporter for a small paper in a time when "yellow journalism" was rampant and papers vied to write the most outrageous stories possible.   I think there are only three of these and Emerson writes a more well known series the Face Down Mystery series set in 16th century England.

Dianne Day's Fremont Jones Mysteries beginning with The Strange Files of Fremont Jones     Fremont is able to make a business for herself and solve mysteries as a capable "type-writer" using the new machine in early 1900s San Francisco.  Richly immersive of that city and the times.

Further reading!

19th Mysteries in Series from Williamsburg Regional Library

Historical Mysteries with Women Sleuths

Monday, September 9, 2013

DOA in the Kitchen: Caprese Salad Returneth

I made Caprese Salad once before after seeing it roll by on Facebook. You know how that goes.  It is such simple ingredients but such a wonderful flavor!

I finally have some medium sized tomatoes RIPE from my garden but I am crushed as they are mushy and near tasteless.  Good thing I keep such good garden notes because those aren't going in again.  It needs to look like a tomato, smell like a tomato, TASTE LIKE A TOMATO.  Sheesh.

I thought that I could try using them up in the Caprese salad and the robust flavors of that salad would compensate.  I was right!  They were great.  Lovely.

I followed the Pioneer Woman's recipe with the balsamic vinegar reduction. It stinks like a pot of ammonia cooking on the stove, but when it is nice and glazy the taste is a delicately sweet taste, utterly transformed. That last time I reduced it too much, this time too little.  Too much is better!

This time I had my pretty but mushy tomatoes, some really nice sliced Mozzarella fresh basil and that lovely vinegar.  I used the leaves whole this time but they did taste better sliced into the salad the last time so I'd go that route.

When is the last time you actually found yourself craving a salad?