thank you, jessamyn!

Thanks to a mention on this past Sunday, hits on this blog have gone from about five per day to nearly forty per day. It also helps that I discovered blogrolling a couple of weeks ago, so I’m now pinging that site whenever I add a new entry. In light of all this new traffic, I’ve made a few changes to the blog, including the improvement to the RSS feed and adding handy-dandy topics to help categorize the content. I’m also starting to make one entry per topic so that there is less of a hodge-podge of things. In other words, I’m starting to use some of the features of Moveable Type that until this point have been gathering dust on my server. Maybe one of these days I’ll even do an over-haul of the stylesheet and make this blog look a bit more unique!

ebay fraud warning

Apparently, this isn’t the first time some bozo has attempted to obtain username/password combinations from unsuspecting victims, but this morning’s email was the first one of these that I have received. I wisely checked with eBay after noticing that the mailing headers on this message looked a little odd:

Received: from (HELO eatmydick2000) (eatmydick2000@ with login) by with SMTP; 29 Jul 2003 23:37:18 -0000

Never, never, never, never assume that just because the visible From address looks valid and the body of the email looks valid that any email requesting your username/password combination for anything is legitimate. Always do your homework before giving that information to anyone. Thank you. This message brought to you by your local friendly cybrarian.

rss feed

I have some good news for those of you who read this blog through an RSS subscription feed reader like SharpReader – I finally figured out how to fix my template so that the full content of each entry shows up in the reader! The button on the left for RSS 1.0 will now give you a full-content feed. For those who still want headers only, RSS 0.91 is there for you.


For as long as I can remember, my mother has made a variation on the standard sloppy joe that is simply browned beef, condensed cream of mushroom soup, ketchup, and mustard. She said she got the recipe from a church potluck when we lived in Iowa, and my family has always called the sandwich a “maderight” – or at least, that’s how I spelled it in my head. It made sense to me, since I didn’t like the regular sloppy joe, a maderight was made the right way. Tonight, I was chatting with a friend from Iowa and mentioned that I had made this yummy sandwich for dinner. She knew exactly what I was talking about until I mentioned the ingredients. First of all, the original maid-rite (note the spelling) did not have condensed cream of mushroom soup, but it also isn’t quite like the messy sloppy joes they served in my Ohio elementary cafeterias. You can see some pictures of the sandwich at the Taylor’s Maid-Rite official website. I still love my mom’s version of this “loose meat” sandwich, but now I’m curious to know where she got the recipe with the condensed cream of mushroom soup and why she called it a “maid-rite” (or “maderight” as my mental spelling always put it).


Howard Dean has a weblog? I think he must be the first Presidential candidate to jump on the blogging bandwagon. [thanks mike]

I think I’m going to abstain from the primaries. It’s all about who has the most money, anyway. I’ll let those who care enough pick one from all of the Democrat candidates, and then I’ll decide if I want to vote for him (maybe a her, but not likely). Wait…if? Okay, to be honest, I’ll vote for anyone who is running against Bush and has a chance of winning, which basically means whomever is the Democrat candidate. As for Dean mania, I think that yesterday’s Doonesbury spoke volumes.

generic response

I wrote a short note to the company making the librarian action figure referenced on July 10th, and today I received a response. Here is my original message to them:

I have a sense of humor. When I saw your design for the librarian action figure in the Seattle Times article today, I didn’t laugh. That stereotypical image of shushing librarians is so tired and worn out that it has ceased to be funny. If we are superheroes because we “make sense of the world of information,” then why not make an action figure that represents that?

Here is the response I received from Jan at Accoutrements:

Thank you for your interest in the Librarian Action Figure. She should be available in Mid to Late September. For retail purchasing info and availability updates please stay tuned to For wholesale info please go on our website at

It is so heartening to know they read email comments and respond with thoughtful and appropriate replies. Here is my response:

I am curious – what part of my message to your company gave any indication that I would want to purchase this item? Your response definitely puts me off any thought of it.

If I receive a response on this, I’ll be sure to post it here.

Continue reading “generic response”

portable information technology

Yesterday, Open Stacks author Greg Schwartz wrote about smart tags being used for books so that wireless phone users could point their phone at the book and call up information from the OPAC or websites like, and that got me thinking. My library Dean came back from ALA fired up about a new technology in barcoding called RFID (Radio Frequency Identification). Right now it’s a hot topic among consumer advocacy and privacy groups, but the technology has been slowly creeping into libraries through technologies like self-checkout systems and collection inventories.

Personally, I’m divided on the issue. I think that libraries will likely use this technology responsibly by doing things like turning off the tags after they have been legitimately checked out so that they will not be able to track where the book is physically (except for the information in the patron record, of course). I do have some concerns regarding commercial use of the tags. I understand the security issues, but if the tags aren’t automatically turned off when the item is purchased, much like when the ink tag is removed from an item of clothing, then it does pose some questions about consumer privacy.

As for Mr. Schwartz’s wish for smart tags in books that talk to wireless phones, I expect that it shouldn’t be long before someone develops a technology that will facilitate the communication between RFID and smart tags.