it’s cold here

This morning, I walked past a young man who was wearing shorts and talking on his cell phone. I was bundled up in my winter gear and still feeling the bite of the below-freezing temperature, and walking as fast as I could to get indoors. As I passed him, I heard him say, “yeah, it’s cold here.”

Dude. It’s almost December and you’re at the North 47th parallel. Of course it’s cold here! Put on a pair of pants, fer cryin’ out loud!

beer & food

My review of Bob Skilnik’s book was published yesterday, and the first comment that I received was a snarky commentary on a misspelled word. Sheesh. I have written many reviews over the past year, and most of them have at most received a comment from the editor that published them. Not the most pleasant way to wake up in the morning, let me tell you.

Anyway, the book was interesting, albeit not exactly an exciting read. I’d recommend it if you are interested in beer, food, and history, as well as old recipes.

I’m about half-way through a book on the history of Guinness, and I hope to write the review of that this week.

Oh, and for those who are keeping score, this is #25, which means I’ve read half of my annual goal.

everything is fine, except for the feed

FeedBurner is taking a loooooooooong time to update the DNS information, which means they keep looking at my old site, and are blind to this one. Sorry for the trouble — hopefully it will be resolved soon.

Edited: Aaaaand… we’re back!

blogworld and more reviews

I have to agree with Philip: I hate Las Vegas.

The BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas was tons of fun. My liver is fine, but my heart is a little sad for having to say goodbye to my fellow Blogcritics editors until next time. It was wonderful to meet everyone and to get a chance to just be with each other. It’s amazing how well such a diverse group of people can get along.

We definitely had one of the best booths there, thanks in part to the great swag, but also because of who was staffing it. Several people commented that we were more warm and friendly than the folks at other booths, and Pete from the Planetary Group kept coming back just to hang out because he enjoyed being with us. I think we will have quite a few new writers joining soon, particularly now that they know we do critical reviews of all sorts of stuff, not just blogs.

The panel I was on was fun and informative, and I think in the end, beneficial to us because it helped us define what makes for a good review for a variety of styles and formats. I wish we could have had a larger audience, but all things considered, we did pretty well. I understand we had good representation on several other panels, and there were several folks who stopped by the booth after hearing one of our Politics section editors speak on a political panel.

The only down side to the whole event was the location. I’d never been to Las Vegas before (besides the 30min or so I spent in the airport on a layover one time), so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Now that I know, I’m fairly certain that the only thing that would get me to go back would be my Blogcritics pals or some other conference.

Anyway. Here are some reviews I’ve written recently for BC Magazine:

Wishing ChairFolk and Roll: Live in Austin [full review]

[This album] has a little bit of something for everyone. From newer arrangements of old favorites to brand new songs, the album straddles the line between being a best-of compilation and something fresh and different.

The Best of the Colbert Report [full review]

This collection is sure to please fans, although some will be disappointed that even with nearly three hours of content, a few of their favorite segments will have been left out of the collection. For viewers who have not yet caught on to the show, this collection is a good introduction; however, I recommend watching it only a little at a time in order to build up a tolerance.

Jim Bianco / Jenny Owen Youngs / Sean Hayes – High Dive – Seattle, WA – 11/12/2007 [full review]

Prior to the concert, I had not listened to any of the acts, and had only a passing familiarity with their names. Probably not the best example of research, but I went with an open mind and low expectations. In some cases, those expectations were exceeded far beyond my imagination, and in others, not so much.

movin’ across the country… again

Anyone need a new-to-you car?

As I indicated a while ago, I have a new job. Starting December 10th, I’ll be the Electronic Resources Librarian at the University of Richmond. They already have me in the staff directory, so it must be true. My time at Central Washington University has allowed me to grow and explore both professionally and personally, and it has given me the knowledge and experience I needed in order to make the decision about where I would like for my career to go.

One major thing has been the realization that I do not have any interest in participating in the tenure process, at least as it stands at Central. I am a practitioner first, and a scholar only in the most liberal sense of the word. I do have a desire to share my knowledge with anyone who is interested – I have had a blog for five years, and it’s not always just a bunch of naval-gazing posts about nothing – but the method of dissemination and the content of that knowledge is not what this university expects from its teacher/scholars, and I suspect that may be true elsewhere, as well.

I want to be a librarian. I want to come into my job every day knowing that the work I do will directly benefit my users. I do not want to spend time outside of my 40 hours worrying about whether or not I will have enough publications in journals no one actually reads (seriously – when was the last time you read a peer-reviewed library publication for anything other than a literature search for your own article or book chapter?) just so I can keep my job.

I can be “just” a librarian at the University of Richmond, and I’m really looking forward to that. I’m also excited about moving back to Virginia. When I left to go to grad school, I thought I’d be back soon. When that didn’t pan out, I gave up that dream. Now I’m going back, albeit not to Harrisonburg, but Richmond is close enough. Plus, I am closer to my family and friends, and it won’t cost me a $400 plane ticket to see them whenever I want to.

The moving process has begun, but I’m starting to freak out a little because I haven’t nailed down an apartment yet, nor have the movers responded to my queries. I do, however, have real moving boxes this time, and once I get some packing tape, I’ll be good to go with the daunting task of sorting through my stuff to determine what comes with me and what stays in Washington.

Anyone need a new-to-you car?

my career has peaked

I shushed a room full of librarians. And it worked.

A couple of weeks go, I attended a short conference for academic librarians in the Pacific Northwest, which was organized and hosted by the Washington chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries. Until recently, I was a member-at-large on the executive board of the organization, and one of my roles at the conference was to get one of the concurrent sessions started. This meant herding everyone to their seats after a snack break, and directing their attention to the speakers.

The room we were in required the use of a microphone in order to be heard. I spoke clearly and evenly into the microphone as I tried to call the room to order, but apparently it wasn’t loud enough because someone in the first few rows said, “They can’t hear you.” And that was when I did it.

I shushed a room full of librarians.

And it worked.

more music!

reviews of Elisa Peimer and Trio Mediaeval

In between all the moving tasks — Have I mentioned yet that I’m moving to Virginia? No? Well, I am. In December. More on that later. — I’ve found time to write a couple more music reviews. I currently have a DVD review and a book review that are nearly ready to go, followed by a product review, but I’m not sure if I’ll finish all of them before I leave for the Blog World Expo on Wednesday.

Elisa PeimerPull of the Moon [full review]

The album as a whole has a 1980s ballad rock feel to it. The production is definitely modern and rich enough in depth to stand up to the headphone test. It’s the arrangements that seem to be fixed in time with straight-forward percussion and lead electric guitar flourishes, and the standard verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus song structure.

Trio MediaevalFolk Songs [full review]

Until I listened to this album, I had not actively sought out Norwegian music, folk or otherwise. However, periodically a musical phrase would jump out as vaguely familiar. Often I found myself thinking of the collection of Anonymous 4 albums on my CD shelves.

In case you were wondering, I’m totally addicted to the Trio Mediaeval CD. I’ve had to force myself to listen to other things.