vendor rant

I (heart) Jenica’s vendor rants. The latest one is spot on, and reminded me that it is the season of library product sales people trying to get me to buy their stuff. I still haven’t figured out how to politely tell them not to bother, and that if we want something and have the budget for it, we’ll contact them.

three score and ten

Folk and traditional music fans will appreciate the intimacy of this live recording.

by Peggy Seeger

Peggy Seeger is not as well known in the United States as her more famous musical brothers Pete and Mike. Folk music fans and feminists likely recognize one of her most famous songs, "I'm Gonna Be an Engineer," but for the most part, Seeger remains under the radar of the general listening public, and it is our loss.

She approaches traditional folk music in a way that many do not, treating it with reverence, but also unafraid to have a bit of fun. Her own contributions are numerous. 149 of her best songs were collected together and published in The Peggy Seeger Songbook – Warts and All: Forty Years of Songwriting, and she has continued to write more songs since the book's 1998 publication.

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five non-librarian blogs

I meant to do this last night, but I forgot. So, here are five non-librarian blogs that I regularly read:

  • WWDN: In Exile – Wil Wheaton’s not-so-temporary blog that he created when the one at crashed and burned in September 2005. I think that the exile has become a more permanent blog home. Regardless, his writing is often witty, poignant, and full of geek empowerment.
  • Feminist SF Blog – Yes, I am a science fiction geek and a feminist. As if you didn’t know that already. Make sure you read the Women in Battlestar Galactica essay.
  • A Year in Pictures of Working – I went to high school with Arnie and we both were involved with several theater productions. I ran across his old blog, A Year In Pictures Following The Break-Up, when I was doing a random Google search of various classmates. One thing that I remember most about Arnie is his witty and slightly silly sense of humor, and it seems he hasn’t lost any of it in the past twelve years.
  • Jonathan Coulton – “Code Monkey like Fritos / Code Monkey like Tab and Mountain Dew / Code Monkey very simple man / With big warm fuzzy secret heart / Code Monkey like you”
  • Blogcritics Magazine – I would be remiss if I did not include this on my list. I don’t read everything that is published (approx. 50 articles every day!), but I do browse the reviews and news items. I’m also one of the writers and involved in some of the behind the scenes work. About 95% of the lengthy reviews you see published here are from materials I have received as a BC writer, and the reviews are all cross-published on the BC site. Their version is after an editor has looked it over, but my version is pre-externally edited. Usually, they’re the same copy.

Are you a librarian blogger? Tag. You’re it.

bum rush the charts

Bum Rush the Charts — stick it to the RIAA!

I just heard about a really cool project to get the attention of the RIAA. There’s a group of folks who have organized an unusual protest called Bum Rush the Charts that is scheduled for tomorrow. Basically, they want everyone to purchase a single song on iTunes and get it bumped up to the top of the daily charts.

The song is by a band called Black Lab who have been dropped by two RIAA labels and are still struggling to gain access to their recorded catalog of music, which is not an uncommon problem for bands/artists in their situation. I have no idea what the band sounds like, but for $1.07 ($0.99 + WA tax), I’m willing to join the cause. Luckily, the date of the event is tomorrow, so I heard about it just in time.

Also, if you buy the song via the link through the project, they will donate half of the commission to college scholarships.

also… a contest

If my review hasn’t turned you off completely, or if you’d just like a free DVD, here’s your chance. The first person to post in the comments the name of the state where James T. Kirk will be born in 226 years from this Thursday will get my review copy of the DVD. It’s just like the regular one, except the bar code has a hole punched through it.

roasted shatner on a stick

This show will be funny after a few pints of Romulan ale. I hope.

by Paramount Home Video

William Shatner has had a long career as a mediocre actor who was elevated to cult status due to his connection with Star Trek. His notoriously difficult working relationships and stilted acting style has made him one of the more common impersonation targets, as well as the butt of many jokes. Given all that, it's no surprise that Comedy Central selected him for their brand of celebrity roast.

A roast is a public event that both honors the roastee and pokes fun at them. The first incarnations of this were private events, but television eventually became a medium for disseminating the roasts. What was shown to the public was often far more tame and prurient than what was not shown. Times have changed and what was once considered to be too crude or explicit to be shown on network TV is now standard fare for safe harbor hours and cable channels.

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northwest airlines is going down

Or, why I think Northwest Airlines is going to fold in the next year if they don’t get their act together.

Or, why I think Northwest Airlines is going to fold in the next year if they don’t get their act together.

My parents were told late last week that their original flight from Dayton (Ohio) to Seattle through Minneapolis was canceled and they were re-booked on a flight through Detroit instead. This flight was scheduled to leave earlier than the original one, so they booked a hotel room in Dayton the night before with a 4am wake-up to get to the airport in time.

Their day began with a 2am fire alarm in the hotel that didn’t get shut off for an hour. This is the only screw-up of the day that is not Northwest Airlines’ fault. After the alarm was turned off, they decided to go ahead and stay up, rather than trying to sleep for another hour or so.

They arrived at the airport in plenty of time for their flight, and everything seems to be okay until they are on the plane, which sat for an hour waiting for mechanics to fix a problem. Finally, everyone was told to get off the plane and go stand in line at the other end of the airport where they would be re-booked on different flights.

Except that the flight they were supposed to be on was never officially canceled in the computer system, so no one could get re-booked. On top of that, even when the customers could get re-booked, both printers at that station were broken. Neither of the airline employees at the counter knew what was going on with the flight. In fact, they told the people in line to call some numbers to see if they could find out what was happening. At no point did any management person come down and explain anything or try to fix the problems.

After several hours of standing in line, my parents were told that the best they could get was a United flight that would arrive in Seattle tomorrow night, and they would still be returning on Northwest Tuesday afternoon. They declined and went home.

Here’s the rub: Their original flight through Minneapolis was not canceled at all. It left on time while they were standing in line. And, they weren’t the only ones on the Dayton-Detroit-Seattle flight who had been told the Dayton-Minneapolis-Seattle flight was canceled and had been re-booked through Detroit.

Along with the “mechanical problems” that delayed my Northwest Airlines flights in December, this is the reason why I think the airline is going down and will likely fold in the next year if they don’t get their act together.

atwitter about twitter

It seems that all of a sudden, the biblioblogosphere is all atwitter about Twitter. For once I feel like I’m ahead of the curve, although not by much. I signed up for Twitter a couple of months ago when it was suggested by a member of the Blogcritics editorial team as a way of keeping track of who is around and working on the pending queue of article submissions. We’ve ended up sticking with email notifications, mostly, and GTalk, but Twitter could probably be just as useful if everyone got on board.

I didn’t quite grasp how cool it could be until yesterday, when I downloaded and installed Twitteroo. It’s like Twitterific, which is a Mac desktop widget, but it works on Windows machines. The program icon sits in the systems tray, and when anyone you are watching updates their Twitter message, the program chirps at you. It will display the last handful of updates from everyone, including your own updates (20 notes from the past 12 hrs currently displayed on mine).

Okay, now I get it. Now I see how this can really be used in collaborative settings where frequent updates shared with a group of people can keep everyone connected with what’s going on. Of course, I’m sure no one really cares that I was baking pies this evening, or that I was sleeping last night, but the potential for Twitter being more than bland navel-gazing is there.

star wars reference convergence

3PO! Shut down all the garbage mashers on the detention level!

Yesterday I caught up on reading librarian blogs, and several of them I had not read since mid-February. One of those was the Librarian in Black, who may be prolific in the number of posts, but is thankfully brief in the content of those posts. Back in February, she pointed to a site that has a large collection of funny cat pictures. One of them includes a reference to a scene in Star Wars: A New Hope. It made me chuckle at the time, and then I saw today’s Unshelved strip. I just spent the past fifteen minutes trying to remember where I had seen something like that recently. Finally, after searching the past few days worth of comics, I remembered the cat picture site. Whew!