yup, it’s monday

A long story about my Monday from hell.

I figured it was just a typical Monday when I woke up two hours late. Little did I know that this was only the beginning. I was house sitting out at the farm this past weekend, so by the time I got everyone fed and the car loaded, it was around 8:30, 1.5 hours after I should have been at work. I hit the gas station at Georgetown at 9am, put about 5 gal in and called my boss to give her the ETA. At that point, I figured I could get home, drop off the cat and my stuff, and be to the office by 10:30-ish. Late, but with enough time left in the day to get something done.

At around 9:30, I’m cruising around Lexington on I-75, listening to WRFL and thinking about what I was going to work on today. I noticed a SUV pull up on my left side, and the woman in the passenger seat is trying to get my attention. I look over, and she mouths something like “flat tire” and points to my rear wheel. I don’t think much of it at the time, since I have a full load in the car and sometimes that makes my tires look a little low. I decide to wait until I get to Richmond (25 mi away) and check the tires then. That was a mistake.

About 10 mi down the road, I’m getting close to the bridge over the Kentucky River. I thought that my engine seemed to be louder than normal, but I wrote it off to being hyper-sensitive. Generally, I don’t notice anything mechanical about my car unless I’m worried that something may be broken. Suddenly I hear a pop and the road noise gets really loud. I make my way over to the side of the interstate and discovered that my driver-side rear wheel is flat.

I’ve never had to change my tires before, so I’m a little freaked out, but I know what I need to do. I pull out the jack and the spare from the trunk, and get to work. A few minutes later, I have the car jacked up on that corner and the hub cap is off, but I can’t get the bolts to loosen. I’m starting to get really freaked out and very frustrated. I know that my cell phone battery is very low, so I pray that I have enough juice to call Progressive roadside assistance and get someone down there to help me change the tire. I do, and the automatic confirmation a few minutes later relates the unwelcome news that it will be an hour and a half before someone can get there.

Thankfully, while I was waiting for the confirmation call, a Kentucky State Trooper pulled up and got out to assist me. He was able to get the bolts loosened (put the emergency brake on, lower the car so the wheel is on the ground) and replaced the tire with the spare for me. Turns out that I had run over a screw at some point this morning which caused a leak and then the blow-out. I’m thankful it didn’t happen while I was on the bridge.

Limping along at my 50 mph limit, I get into Richmond and stop by my tire place. They have a replacement in stock and they can get to me today. I head on to my house from there to drop off the cat and my stuff, then I return to the tire place. At this point it is 11:30 am, so I call my boss to let her know that I don’t know when I will be at work today. Then I settle in a comfortable chair in the waiting room and watch an episode of the Brady Bunch followed by The Love Boat. I was going to read, but I really needed the bad TV just to get my mind off of worrying about my car and how I was going to pay for the repairs.

Around 1 pm, the service guy comes over and tells me that my rear brakes are very thin and probably should be replaced. He also shows me my wheel bearings, and it looks like those may need replacing soon, also. I’m not thrilled with this surprise, much less the estimate price tag that came with it. However, it can wait a little while longer, so I decide to have this work done some other day soon.

About 25 minutes later, all the work is finished and I’m back in my car. At this point, I have a half an hour before I need to leave for Lexington for my regular Monday afternoon on the radio. So I swing by the library, relate my story of the day so far, and show of my new laptop (more on that later), and then head on up to Lex. Not much else eventful or disastrous happened after then, but as my boss said, I’ve had enough of a Monday to last me for a while.

speeding tickets

Librarians are among those least likely to speed?

Jessamyn posted a link today to a CNN report on bad drivers. Apparently, librarians are ranked among the top five professions that are least likely to get a speeding ticket. I guess this is another example of how I’m not your typical librarian, since I’ve gotten three speeding tickets in the past three years. Ironically, the first one occurred when I was moving to Kentucky to attend grad school for my MLS. After the last one, though, I have been more careful about my driving habits, and I’m proud to say that it has been eight months since my last speeding ticket.

conference presentation

Musings about my presentation at KLA last week.

I gave my first conference presentation last week at KLA, and I haven’t really had the time to sit down and write out my thoughts about it. The topic was my library’s implementation of SFX, an OpenURL linking software. My library is the first in the state to go with this particular company, and possible the first to make use of the technology at all. I had two co-presenters who provided perspectives from other areas of the library (public service and systems administration) to balance the presentation.

We were very prepared with the material. I wanted us to make sure we weren’t using PowerPoint as a crutch, so we limited its use to slides that contained screen shots of our SFX setup. Turns out that was a good thing, since our antiquated projector was so weak that even with most of the lights turned out it was difficult to see. Despite our efforts to encourage attendees to move towards the front, most stayed in the back few rows. Later, we received comments about the dim, small images. Gee, no kidding.

Other than the technical glitches, everything went well. I fielded quite a few questions on the fly that I hadn’t expected, but thanks to my improv theatre experience, I think I handled them pretty well. Attendance was smaller than I had hoped for, but there were a lot of other conflicts at that time. Still, 20+ attended and about 17 actually filled out the feedback slips. It seemed to me that most everyone who was there was interested in the product and our experience with it. I think we’ll be writing up the presentation for publication in Kentucky Libraries, since the feedback indicated that would be desired. Also, a friend in Oregon has talked me into submitting a proposal for Online Northwest on this topic. I plan to modify the presentation from not so much of how we did it but why other comprehensive universities should do it and how it has effected the usage of our A&I databases.

I’m still stunned that anyone would want to hear what I have to say about something in my profession.

pda

I had a lovely birthday (thanks for asking) with family and friends over the weekend, and I took off work for most of this week. It’s been a nice vacation at home, but I think I’m actually ready to go back to work.

Dad & I went hunting for the PalmPilot on Saturday. CompUSA had it on sale for $199, but they were out of stock. The woman at the counter said she has been having trouble getting it re-stocked. A trip to Best Buy enlightened us as to why that might be. Apparently, Palm discontinued the m505 and m515 last year when they came out with the Tungsten models. While at Best Buy, we took a look at the other PDAs they had in stock, and that is where I discovered the Toshiba e355. It’s priced the same as the m515, which was what first caught my eye. I also like the styling, and it fit nicely in my hand. The other good features all add up to a much more robust PDA than what I had originally been looking for, but all for the same amount of money that my Dad was willing to spend on me. So, we went for it. I haven’t had time to really play with it (other than a few rounds of Jawbreaker and Solitare), but I’ll be sure to comment on it as I get more familiar with it. So far, I’m very pleased. Thanks Dad!

hair cut

I’m trying to decide about what to do with my hair.

I’m trying to decide about what to do with my hair. For most of the past couple of years it has been really short. I mean really short. Short as in I get called “sir” more often that you’d expect someone with a 42-D bra size to be called “sir”. One of my friends sent me to hair-styles.org for some direction. I found this quote to be rather amusing:

“Most women finally hack their hair off the same day they file for divorce. Interesting side note don’t you think.”

I didn’t initially cut my hair off because of a divorce; it was more of a lifestyle statement. I wanted a hair style that was easy and convenient, and I didn’t care anymore about how other people might perceive me with that hair style. Now I want to change my hair style again, but I’m a little more concerned about how it will look. I still want the easy and convenient bit, but maybe I can do that with a slightly longer style. Hm…