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Archive for July 2008

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We originally planned to go to the Eisenhower Center in Abilene today, but when we got to the town, we changed our mind and visited the Greyhound Hall of Fame instead. They have two resident retired racers, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Abbey.

Greyhound Hall of Fame and Museum

Just finished this little monster tonight. He’ll be on his way to IL tomorrow to his new home.

And here are a couple of pictures from the Oz Museum. Toto willingly posed for the pictures. It’s his official job at the museum. He’s paid in dog treats, of course!



Naked

Posted on: July 23, 2008

…wrist. I never realized quite how liberating it can be to leave your watch at home. Even when I don’t have to be somewhere I find myself checking it often. But this week, I took it off. In fact, I’m not ever sure where it is right now. And I don’t care!

We went to the Oz Museum in Wamego today. It was really neat. I’ll share pictures later. I’ve been having more fun this week with my Flip camera.

We might go over to Abilene tomorrow…the DH and me. It’s been too hot this week to do anything outdoors. I’ve been wanting to visit the Eisenhower Presidential library there. I also hear there is a good restaurant somewhere in town.

Thought for the day: that bright golden haze on the meadow that guy sang about. It was because it was hot and humid. Not my idea of a beautiful morning. Yes, I will be complaining about the heat until the temperatures go back below 90 and the humidity stays in the rivers and lakes where it belongs. *laugh*

On the front page of the paper tonight was the news that the Kansas legislature is requiring Regents schools (of which LittleU is one) to cut budgets u to 7% over two years. Doesn’t sound like a huge amount, does it? But this year we are on a flat budget. No gain, no growth, nothing added. To help make up for this guess what happens? Tuition goes up. Not too much and probably really not enough to cover things like rising energy costs, food costs, materials, etc. You get the picture.

Kansas does a lousy job of supporting higher education. Heck, at this rate, can you even say that they are supporting higher education? Sure doesn’t sound like it.

The state (and this likely applies to almost every state in this country) and the federal government are misspending our money. I hate to think what kind of waste we would see if an independent, honest audit was allowed. The outrage across the country would be unbelievable. And don’t think it’s just one party doing it.

Our politicians ceased caring about the people of this country a long time ago. The current presidential campaign makes me feel ill because of all the crap that is spilling out of the mouths of both of the two major party candidates. I’ve become so jaded that I really don’t believe an eighth of what any person in our state or national government says…because talking and action are two different things. Too much talk.

It’s time the people of this country find a way to really make ourselves heard. More than heard. Felt! I don’t know how to start this, but there has to be a way. I’m not a radical or anything even close. What I am is an American who is deeply concerned about the direction my country is taking. As an American citizen I have a duty to help find a way to fix it.

What are you going to do?

I’m melting

Posted on: July 22, 2008

…from the heat. It’s been hot here the past few days. 90’s and even hotter. When will winter get here again? I’m really ready for snow. *laugh*

DH’s parents are visiting and we’re sticking to inside activities. Think we’re heading to post today to show them around. Ft. Riley is a historically interesting post with lots of old buildings. And his mom has been commissioned to find a couple of toddler Ft. Riley t-shirts.

I’m really fortunate to have in-laws that I like and get along with. It’s always a pleasure to visit them or have them visit us.

And it’s nice to have some time off work. With all the other stuff with job searches going on and people having time off, it’s been a busy summer and I was more tired than I realized. I turned the cell phone off this week and I haven’t had a watch on since I got home Friday night. That’s about as unplugged as I can get this week. (Still have to check email because of the Friday thing.)

I started knitting Fred the Friendly Monster, but I don’t like how it’s turning out knitted flat, so I’m going to start over and knit him in the round. Which means a visit to the LYS today to pick up some size 4 DP’s. And since I’m making him for a boy, he also won’t be pink. It’s a quick knit and Fred might be in a new home by the end of the week.

I wish I could think of something insightful and interesting to say. But my brain is in vacation mode now. Have a good day!

I love YouTube because I never know just what I might find. Like this…

Think we need this guy at an ALA conference!

The Summer Institute on Friday is about advocacy. I’m excited to hear more about how to be a better advocate for my library. At the moment, I don’t think I can even say that I’m much of an advocate at all.

It appears to me as I read things about libraries closing, librarian lay-offs, library funds being cut, etc. that we do a poor job of showing people are value. Maybe we assume too much that people see the reason for having a library in their community (and this includes universities as well!)

In the academic arena, there seems to often be a disconnect between what we as librarians feel our role is and what other academic staff want from us. It makes me think of professors that see us as a way for them to get materials that only they will use. That doesn’t make good use of our funds and can create bad feelings with other people on campus. But have we really made people understand the purpose of the library?

The state of Kansas in general does not do a good job of supporting higher education. This is a fact that is painfully evident by flat budgets this year. Yet expenses for all sorts of things continue to increase. Including things like databases fees, periodical subscriptions, etc. My university wants to expand the student population and has been adding more online classes. Yet the library hasn’t really seen any huge increase in our budget so that we can support these worthy endeavors. And these are just two examples. I’m sure libraries at other colleges and universities are facing the same thing.

We know we are important and that the students and faculty need us. But we do a poor job of explaining why. So how can we change this? I hope to get some ideas at the end of the week. I may be one small voice crying in the wilderness, but we all have to start somewhere.

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Now that life has slowed down a bit thanks to vacation, I’ve got a bit of time to reflect on some of the simpler pleasures in my life. There are actually quite a few, but I often forget to really be thankful and appreciate the little things.

*Sleeping dogs. Today I was reading a bit before taking an afternoon nap. Maddie and Charley were up on the bed with me. I put my book down just to watch them sleep. Dogs do some funny things when they sleep, like poofing out their flews (I swear it’s a real word!) and twitching paws. Not to mention snoring. DH gets poked for snoring, but the dogs can snore as much as they want.

*Community band concerts. I went to the concert in LittleUtown last week with a friend. There is something so comforting and American about standing to salute the flag and hear the National Anthem. The evening ended up being comfortable with a gentle cooling breeze. At the concerts they have a children’s march and it was fun to watch all the kids wind around the audience waving flags.

*Having a hamburger with DH. Nothing special really. Not even the best burger in the world (although Dairy Queen does make a good burger.) Just having something to eat and hanging out with one of my favorite people.

*Knitting. There is something deeply satisfying about creating something. I like feeling the yarn and the needles and following the pattern. And I enjoy seeing my hands make something that I can share with someone else.

*Cherries. I love cherries and they are in season right now. Not the cheapest fruit available, but I try to buy a small bag every week because they won’t be around forever. That flavor in my mouth is so sweet! Maybe I enjoy it even more because I can’t have them every day of the year.

There are so many other things. What is that quote? “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take…but by the moments that take our breath away…..” It’s true. And so often those moments that take our breath away aren’t big things. They may be simple little things. Sure, it’s corny. It doesn’t make it any less true.

What is one of your simple pleasures?

Vacation has begun…almost. DH isn’t officially on leave until Monday. And we were up and out of the house at 8:30 this morning. If you know me at all, you will realize what a big thing this is. I’m not a morning person and if I can sleep in, I usually do.

There is a great breakfast/lunch restaurant in BigUtown. That’s all they serve and they are not open in the evenings. I’ve been wanting to go back (and it’s probably been at least a year since we last ate there) so we headed there first thing this morning. Omelet for me and chicken fried steak for DH. Seems to be his meal of choice at most places right now. And we got caught up a bit more on the past week. That’s the thing about living apart during the work week – I often forget things I want to tell him by the time we talk in the evening. Stuff like seeing a hand-letter sign (likely a child from the writing) in a yard that said “Don’t be a litterbug”.

After breakfast, we had some errands to run. Stuff like getting our nephew a birthday present. I really hope he likes it. Not being parents and generally not being around children, it’s hard to figure out what a two-year-old might like. Hopefully we did okay with the Fisher Price garage. DH helped decide on that one over the farm, even though the farm had a Farmer Jed. Not the Fisher Price of my childhood; better and cooler!

We hit one of the farmers’ markets in town. Yes, there are two. The downtown one is probably the better one, but we had some other things to do near the other one. Got to see an interesting exchange between a snotty seller and an irate customer. Seemed that the customer lady wanted some corn, but they were close to being out when she got there (the market opened at 8 and this was around 10:30). There was more on the way, but that just didn’t seem to suit her. While there could be more to the story, my thought was that with a farmers’ market, you get there early if you want the best choice. Maybe I should have had a tantrum because someone else got the last container of green beans. Seeing stuff like that makes me ashamed of the times I don’t behave like an adult and makes me promise myself not to be corn-women ever again.

Once we got home, the whole house had a nice afternoon nap. It’s ridiculously hot and humid today and that’s really about all you can do on a summer afternoon like this. Boring people that we are, there is nothing big planned for the evening.

Guess what I plan to do tomorrow…clean the house! Yes, I vacation in exciting and exotic ways, with toilet bowl cleaner and lemon scented Pledge. That’s just how I roll. *grin*

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July 2008
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Upcoming

Mar. 10 - Photography Class

Mar. 11 - Quad Cities SnB

Mar. 12 - Lincoln Reenactor performance at BHE

Mar. 13 - Annual budget due

Mar. 14 - SnB trip to Galena

Mar. 16-21 - Spring Break

Mar. 16-18 - On the Front Lines library conference in Springfield

Mar. 19-22 - In Kansas

Mar. 23 - Orientation in Quad Cities

Mar. 24 - Photography Class

Mar. 26 - Spring Break for Academic Librarians workshop in Peoria

Mar. 27 - Supervisor Development in Quad Cities

Apr. 2 - Using Social Technologies in Library Instruction workshop

Apr. 6 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 6 - My birthday

Apr. 7 - Photography Class

Apr. 9-12 - In Kansas

Apr. 10 - College Closed

Apr. 12 - Easter

Apr. 13-19 - National Library Week

Apr. 13 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 14 - Photography Class

Apr. 16 - Evening Instruction Session

Apr. 17 - Information Literacy Summit

Apr. 18 - A Day of Books and Quilts at Toulon Public Library

Apr. 20 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 21 - Photography Class

Apr. 22 - Renegade Reference meeting in Bloomington

Apr. 23 - Illinois Library Day

Apr. 24 - Quarterly Supervisors Meeting

Apr. 27 - Weight Watchers

Apr. 28 - Photography Class

Apr. 29 - Supervisor Training in Quad Cities

May 5 - Photography Class

May 12 - National Library Legislative Day

May 25 - Memorial Day - College Closed

June 4 - RSA Users' Group meeting in Peoria

June 6 - SIL's birthday June 6 - Brother and SIL Anniversary

June 8 - Nancy Pearl at Bradley University

June 13 - WWKIP train trip to St. Louis

July 3 - Holiday - College Closed

July 4 - Independence Day

July 10 - Mom's Birthday

July 10-15 - ALA Annual Conference in Chicago

July 17-19 - Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Fair in Crystal Lake, IL

July 31 - 10th Anniversary

Sept. 7 - Labor Day, College closed

Oct. 6-9 - Illinois Library Association Annual Conference in Peoria

Nov. 23 - Brother's birthday

Nov. 26 - Thanksgiving Day, College closed

Nov. 27 - College Closed

Dec. 7 - MIL's birthday

Dec. 18 - DH's birthday

Dec. 25 - Christmas Day

Dec. 26 - Dad's birthday

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