Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas dinner

 And the dog dined on bear.
four daughters, eight sons, three mothers, four fathers, two grandmothers, two grandfathers, three uncles, two great uncles, two aunts, one great aunt, three nephews, one niece, one great nephew, four grandchildren, one great grandchild, one turkey, twenty-six home carrots, one hundred and five home potatoes, countless peas, one pot of gravy, two pumpkin pies, and a tiny carton of whipping cream, whipped, three boxes of chocolates, two plates of goodies. Twelve people stuffed to the gunnels.

Monday, November 25, 2013

To the Mooooooon!

My day is made.  Top of the pile of the new* books:  Space Mission Analysis and Design.  Oh my mind off instantly designing space craft, and shall we stop at the moon?  Never.  Out, out into the inky blackness white with stars, and possibilities.  Wide wings on our craft to catch the wind of stars and glide in graceful circles round the moons of Jupiter, slip with elegance between the many shapes of the Kuiper Belt and out to dive into the darkest matter and mystery of the universe.

*Apparently a prof ordered it.  It is from 1999.  But hey, we can still go.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Today's Count

Blue, cold, sharp air.  My yellow coat and blue jeans and red laces.  The sun, turning the frosted grass green, but not melting the snow flakes caught in the ice on the man made pond. Leaves race across the surface, clatter into groups to crow their winnings while small aquatic creatures made their singular progress, oblivious beneath the ice: long round, doing the breast stroke and little furry tadpoles look a likes snapping side to side to glide through the water, passing each other unconcerned.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Today's count

Purple, yellow, sage green, orange, blue sky, the rattle of my ancient bicycle on hard ground and the sweep of my feet and pedals though the tall hard prairie grass, then into the rain cool shadows of pines, out again and past the wild wind waving aspen leaves.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Today's Count

A blue sky, a brisk morning, cool enough upon setting out to warrant long pants (not jeans) and a light sweater.  Upon return a desire for shorts and the sweater swinging from my left hand.  A small moccasin complete with beading and bunny fur waiting by the side of the sidewalk for its little owner to come back for it.  Suzie, rescued from somewhere up north and fully recovered from a nasty encounter with a car.  Bright of eye, and keen to have her faced rubbed along her cheek bones and her ears stroked.  A stone path brilliantly laid across the corner of a newly landscaped lawn.  If you can't make them stop cutting across your lawn, build them a path.  A student who studies regularly in my library going to class.  "Morning."  A bird's nest.  Nestled on the cross beam of a walkway arch.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Second Coming! Book of the Day

Yup, it's true, he's back.  I have proof of it today in my new books.  Jesus has returned and has just published a book on Data Mining - Data Mining Mobile Devices.  He is using the last name Mena.  This could be from the family Mena in Spain.  It is well known that the apostles came west. Or MENA for Middle East and North Africa, a reference surely to his original home town in the Middle East.

Aren't you glad all the waiting is over, and that the Lord is making good use of his time finding out all about what we've been up to from our iphones?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Today's count

Four horses, three barn cats, a house cat, three dogs, several chickens, twenty one abandoned (mostly by a neighbouring farmer while the property was under the care of its previous owner) out buildings.  I am helping the friend of a friend build a coop for the chickens. One guinea hen escaped and has been making various forays over the barn roof, through the horse pasture and up trees.  Generally making her presence known to the local fox.  Her friend, the other guinea hen, has already been on the menu.  The glory of the day was watching the fox, hell bent for leather across the yard and out of sight behind the barn with one of my friend's dogs in hot and joyous pursuit.  The fox had forgotten that the visiting dogs, unlike the farm dog, could actually see it.

Yes, I do prefer this kind of vacation to a beach in Jamaica.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Title of the day

New books again.  Ohhhh.  Today I think we have card sharks trying to find the perfect system:
Sequential Monte Carlo Methods for Nonlinear Discrete-Time Filtering.  Come on, can't you just see them in the tuxedos in the swanky hotel.  Cary Grant perhaps.  Daniel Craig?

A lovely slim volume, classic lines from Morgan&Claypool Publishers.

Sean Connery?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Title of the day

On my new book pile today, weighing in at a guesstimated 0.9 kg (or 2 lbs), measuring 26 cm (10.25") long, 18 cm (7") wide and 5.5 cm (2") deep, the aptly named, Einstein Gravity in a Nutshell.

Happy squirrels around the world rejoice.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spring Count

photo info
A robin taking a bath, dip, flutter, dip flutter.  Then flapping hard the four feet to the fence top to preen and shake his tail feathers until quite dry.  A jack rabbit, half white, pursued by a small ecstatic dog, with this human flapping along behind on a red string.  Finally the scent of rain.  The shadows of leaves on the midnight wall.  Feet up watching the moon disappear into the trees.  Three ticks. Many, many robins.  This morning: five people, twelve poles, a piece of canvas, and in fifteen minutes, a home.  The Convocation Pow Wow is on the 29th of May.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

the luddite has returned

So  I spent this last weekend at a library conference in Jasper Alberta.  The question most often asked after, who are you and where are you from was..."Why are you here?"  Well I am here to learn and get ideas on the future of libraries and how we can connect with students who think the staff sits behind their computers because they are busy doing 'something' and have knowledge of where the stapler is.  Both of which are technically true.  But sooooooo limited in its understanding.  So, I went to this great conference with a bunch of really great, if puzzled, Albertans.

The last session I took was on social media, by Wendy Hodgson-Sadgrove of Westlock Libraries.  Wow, informative to a luddite.  That, combined with the sea of tech and digital 'come on, join in, it's easy, it's great" that is going around these days, and a rental car so new it hadn't seen 200k when I picked it up, lead me leap into the technological age.


So, I am driving my amazing techno car toward Edmonton to catch my afternoon flight.  I get onto the loop de loop which I have viewed on Google maps (21st C marvel).  I follow the luddite signs, and go around, and round and round and am careening along at 110k in a 110k zone, virtuous me, when it dawns on me that there are no signs saying 'this way to the Edmonton International'.  No plane icons, nada.  Well thinks I, what a great situation to use the much vaunted On Star.  I reach fatally for the small blue botton on the rear view mirror.

"Am on on the right road to the Edmonton International Airport?" "Yes ma'am you are on the right road.  Do you want me to send the instructions to your car?"  Well, what the heck. "Okay."

Bong, turn right 100 yards south on X street.  Yards?  Yup, America has landed in the car and we are going south in yards, and miles.  Miles!  Okay, I can do this.  I turn on the street and see the city looming up before me.  Hummm.  If I really was on the right road, why am I being sent into the city?  The Anthony Henday should shoot me right past the entry way to the airport.  Perhaps I got on and was heading north, not south and this is the fastest way.  She said I was going the right way, she's got the car located through some high up satellite or something.  Hummm.  Then I see it, ahhhh, an airplane icon on a sign, yes yes come this way.  Bong turn right, here.  Here?  I can't the cars are tight beside me, the intersection is, was, right thereeeeee.  Humm.  You have gone off the assigned route, do you want to reroute?  Say yes..... YES.  Execute a legal and safe U-turn.  Uturn?  Are you nuts, here?  My flight is leaving now in one hour and fifteen minutes and I still need to return the wonder car.  Bong.  I see another airplane sign.  Oh good I can do this myself....Edmonton City Centre Airport.  Aaaahhhhh.  Press the blue botton again.  Oh, ma'am I am so sorry.  Let me send you the correct directions.  Bong.  Turn left here.  Not in the correct lane?  Too close to the intersection before I alerted you this was the one you were suppose to turn on?  Execute a safe and legal U....My thanks to the kindly elderly couple who gave me directions.  My thanks to the WestJet crew who got me on the next flight and the airport staff who where very good with me in my frazzled state.  And especially thank you to the East Indian doctor selling chewing gum in the airport store who knew her drugs and loaned me her phone so I could confirm with a pharmacist.  Can we get that woman her Canadian credentials please.

So, I return home a confirmed luddite.  Give me a paper map and keep those kindly Americans away from me.  I am quite taken with kindly Albertans though.

Friday, April 5, 2013

signs of spring...or sanity

I am processing the new books. I think the women in cataloguing have been hording, for suddenly I cannot find the surface of my desk, or the chair, or sometimes even my work station.  But amid the pile, and as you might know I have moved from Law (one college) to Natural Sciences (ten colleges) so the topics I have pass before me are much varied now, I found a small but hope filled pile:

Handbook of Green Information and Communication Systems
Harnessing Green IT
Energy-efficient Distributed Computing Systems
Green Networking
Green Communications and Networking

Oh joy, someone other than little me has noticed this new marvel has a toxic underbelly that needs dealing with.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Today's Count

Ah sweet mystery of life at last you found us.  Spring.  Today it is here.  I sensed it yesterday, but today it is here.  It is not just the sun, we have, blessings, seen that daily now for almost a week.  It is not the puddles, they have been increasing over the week; the snow has only so much cold to keep the burning sun at bay.  It is, possibly the temperature combined with the sun, and the size of the puddles.  Or it could be that I walked on a patch of grass for the first time since October.  Brown, bent, soaked, but grass, with real soil beneath it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Favourite book of the day.

Even the title is cool.  A Guide for the Statistically Perplexed.  The font the title is in is cool.  The pen drawn graphs used to illustrate the cover are cool.  The smooth texture of the cover is..., but most of all the inside is extravagant.  I opened it to the delicate scent of a fresh book and ran my finger tips over the page.  Oh tactile glory, raised print.  Such a delicious rarity these days.  I am a book binder, among other book related things, and I love my info in a tactile format that has more artistic possibilities than the visual.

Enjoy it for yourself at the Nat Sci Library:  RA 409 .S7975 2013.  You may even learn something about statistics.

Monday, February 25, 2013

to moodle

I love to moodle.  I knew it as an activity long before I knew it by the name Brenda Ueland gave it in the 1930s.  It means "long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering."  It is an activity used by artists, writers, and other creative people to give the conscious mind time to shut up so the unconscious mind can send up, for purposeful use, all the marvelous ideas it has been weaving together out of what has been seen, heard, smelled, tasted, touched.  Sometimes it takes years for the mind to moodle on a given subject.  From amid the poetry I wrote in my twenties a single line stuck with me. Twenty years later I discovered it was actually a painting.  Without moodling I would never have found that out.  But now another thing has floated to the surface of my mind.  Moodle.  It wafts across the internet as I look for things.  It is not the verb to moodle, not the act of moodling, but, oh the glories of the poetry of our modern tongue:  Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment.  Barblefark.  It's an online education tool. Doubtless a decent one, but modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment?  Could you have made that more anal or static if you'd tried?  The most interesting thing about that is that you can pluck the first letters and form moodling, an activity of beauty and power.  Not to mention you can often get the laundry folded while doing it.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Today's Count

My yellow spring/fall jacket, a pink grey sky with a pale yellow glow, and amid the degas and snakes, frogs and fish, about thirty little small creatures in bright orange t-shirts two sizes too large for them, so focused on their observations that the sudden influx of a couple hundred students changing classes through the museum area makes no impression on them at all.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

clicking through a train of thought

 745.5 F66 1987  
Just helped a student locate Plants of the Bible (who knew!) BS (as all good religion related books are) 665.M71.  Being keen to be helpful even as she charged off, I dropped my eyes to the subject link: Nature in the Bible. Click.  I think there was something about nature, but, calligrapher and illuminator such as I am, my eyes fell on: Decoration and Ornament. Click.  I am offered the option of 59 subsections:  Click.  And what do I find? Felt Marker Decoration!  A train of thought leading to the joys of the Curriculum Collection of the Education Library.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

favourite title of the day

So, as I shelf read (making sure all the call numbers bounce along in the order they should), or arrange books at the shelving point ready to pack, or packing them, onto a shelving truck, my eyes run over the titles and now and then my eye is caught.

Today:  An Idiot's Fugitive Essays on Science*,  with a two page errata no less.

*Q 126.8.T78 1984.  And don't get any ideas the common denominator is any brighter thirty years on.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Today's count

February and last week it was ski pants and extra mitts.  Today the sky is blue with passing clouds and it is sweaters and fall jackets.  Scraped snow has dissolved into wet patches on the pavement, and more people are looking upward than usual.  It seems at least for today, those rodents didn't see their shadows on Saturday.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Yesterday's count

A great blue bowl above as I sat in the Bowl of the U of S in the afternoon sunshine, my great coat open, my eyes up and upon the delicate branches of the elms, turned white in the sunlight, and the sounds of the little people climbing the snow mountains at the far end of the Bowl and screaming their glee as they charged up and slid down.