Yesterday I came home to find my recent Amazon order had arrived. Last week while browsing LibraryThing, I discovered a new book in one of my favorite mystery series, so I pre-ordered it. It was officially released the next day. I’ve never done this before, but I’ve started collecting this series in hardcover and I decided to treat myself to a brand new tome.

Anyway. New book arrived yesterday. I finally had a chance to crack it open at 10:30pm, thinking I’d read until midnight and then finish this evening. As if. Check the time stamp on this post. I’m gonna need a grande latte when I wake up. Possibly with an extra shot.

Sour Puss is the latest in the collaboration between Sneaky Pie Brown and her person, Rita Mae Brown. As with the previous books in the series, the authors take time to set the scene, refresh our memories of the old characters, and introduce us to the new characters. The action doesn’t happen until the penultimate chapter, but Mrs. Murphy fans have come to expect that. We like spending time with our friends and family for a while before we have to get our paws hands dirty with some icky murder.

The back story deals with current events and concerns regarding bioterrorism. H5N1 makes a brief appearance, as well as theories about biological weapons used by Iraq in Desert Storm. Most important to the plot is the Supreme Court decision striking down state laws that prohibit direct sales of wines to out-of-state customers. Wine drinkers rejoice.

national library week revisited

I meant to write more than I did last week, since there are so many things going on with libraries right now. However, I had a full week at work which included a day-long symposium and a several day-long conference. Oh, and I was quoted in a recent article in the Lexington Herald-Leader.

ACRL has some information and links about scholarly communication.

My favorite panel at ACRL was on developing home-grown systems to keep track of the library’s electronic resources. One of the presenters, Adam Chandler, has co-created a web hub for “developing administrative metadata for electronic resource management”. In other words, it’s a collaboration of library techies from all over trying to create a standard for electronic resource management. What’s even more cool is that Norm Medeiros of Haverford College has offered to make their Electronic Resources Tracking System (ERTS) database structure available for free to anyone who wants it. The catch is that there is absolutely no tech support.

It is disheartening to have been in the midst of all this fabulous library technology while at the same time Iraq’s National Library and National Museum were looted and burned.

ALA changed the design of their website last week and has really ticked off quite a number of folks. Jessamyn West has commented on it frequently over the past week, and Karen G. Schneider sent a well-articulated complaint to the ALA Council. No word on whether ALA will modify the site. It looks to me like they are leaning heavily on FrontPage and ColdFusion.

dixie chicks on the next geraldo!

It’s so beautiful outside today that I wish my campus had a campus-wide wireless network. That way, I could borrow a laptop and work on the lawn. Ahh… one can dream…

The Specious Report has written a satire of Natalie Maines’ apology. I think it is much more appropriate.

Geraldo Rivera has “volunteered” to leave Iraq after broadcasting the location of the Army troops he was quasi-embedded with, as well as their possible future movements. I thought that the Fox News Channel was the breeding ground for conservative war hawks. I had no idea that they were actually working for Saddam!

Ever since the Patriot Act was passed in Congress, librarians have been discussing what to do about patron privacy. Booksellers have also been concerned, but their situation is somewhat more complex than libraries, since they have a history of using their customer histories to provide more customized service. One bookstore owner in Washington State has decided to not follow many libraries’ leads and is retaining his customer records in full. He briefly explains why he has made this decision, despite privacy concerns surrounding the Patriot Act.

keeping my chin up

I’m trying to keep my sense of humor and lightness in the middle of all this chaos and darkness. One step towards doing so is to turn off the network news. Another step is to find things to laugh about, and there are some of those in today’s entry.

The US Department of Homeland Security has set up a website to provide citizens with information on how to be prepared for a terrorist attack and what to do if one occurs. The US Department of Laughs has set up a page explaining some of the more ambiguous pictures found on the Department of Homeland Security website.

If you want to keep up with the latest news on the war in Iraq, I suggest taking a look at Warblogs:cc. It is a weblog that collects the latest information posted to several war-focused weblogs, as well as major news source headlines. One stop shopping for all your war news needs.

Some citizens of Longmont (CO) are committing a “patriot act” by organizing a “subversive book check-out” and rally protesting the USA Patriot Act. Sounds like a good idea to me! I hope it works.

Edna Fripple, librarian for the Sir Walter Raleigh Secondary School, has won this year’s “Shushy” award. Kudos to The Toque for this amusing piece of satire.

What do we want? PEACE! When do we want it? NOW!

Yesterday, I participated in my first anti-war protest. I’ve wanted to do something over the past year and half since it became obvious that Bush & Co. want to bomb the hell outta somebody so no one will pay attention to the things that really matter, such as the failing economy and political/corporate corruption. So far, most of the reports on the demonstration (a part of the nation-wide Books Not Bombs student strike) have spent more time talking about the anti-anti-war protestors and how the protest didn’t get across the message that anti-war does not mean that the demonstrators hate people in the military. Of all the people involved in this political smoke screen, it’s the 18-year-old military recruits who are going to get screwed the most. They’re going to be the one’s risking their lives for Pappy Bush and Uncle Cheney.

Is there a case for war in Iraq? Personally, I believe that all war is immoral, but most of the world doesn’t agree with me. So, if you need more than that, take a look at these 13 myths about the case for war in Iraq.

Watch what you wear in public – you might be a target for discrimination.

Bush is out of control. Am I next?

I first started to examine what I believe about war when I was in ninth grade, attending a Mennonite high school. The Mennonite Church USA has put together a nice website for peace advocates, including a section specifically on Iraq.