Thursday, October 20, 2005

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

With a hurricane creeping closer to Miami, the NFL decided to move the Chiefs/Dolphins game from Sunday to Friday night. I do not know, but it seems that there just was not a good answer to this problem.

Moving to the game to Kansas City did not seem to be in the cards this time. In a previous season, the NFL moved a San Diego home game to Arizona due to potential wildfire complications. However, this year, NFL has taken serious grief over the New Orleans “home” game that was recently played in New York. The idea of giving Miami a “home” game in Kansas City certainly would not have sat well with the rest of the AFC, especially since the Dolphins play so poorly away from Miami and Kansas City cannot win a game in Florida!

So, I’ll be home early on Friday to see the Chiefs play. We will see what happens.

How do I feel about the Chiefs this year? I am not as bullish as I was a few weeks ago. Although I think that the defense has improved enough to no longer be a liability, the offensive production has declined a bit. The offense needs to score twenty-eight points (or more) and keep the chains moving with first downs. The Chiefs need to win the time of position battle. If the offense has too many three-and-outs, they expose the defense. I guess my point is that the Chiefs new defense can hold their own…by should never be expected to “win” the game.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I never thought I'd be doing THAT when I went to Library School!

I never thought I’d be doing THAT when I went to Library School!

I know one of the most common topics for conversation among recent graduates of any Masters in Library Science program is the, “I never thought I’d be doing (fill in the blank) when I decided to become a librarian.”

I know that the first time I taught a class for MU in Public Librarianship, I actually dedicated a small section to basic office equipment troubleshooting (how to change toner, clear a paper jam, even plunge a toilet) because you ACTUALLY need to know these things in many public libraries, along with the Dewey Decimal System!

One thing that MCPL does is that when it is time to recarpet a library, the senior administration, along with other specific employees, go to the library, clear the furniture and move the ranges so the old carpet may be removed and new carpet put down. You may have read my entry about my broken PDA. That occurred when we were out recarpeting the Raytown branch library.

For all my complaining about the practice, it does serve a real purpose. Certainly, involving the senior administration allows the employees to see that we are not willing to do anything we do not ask them to do. In fact, we are willing to subject ourselves to much more physically straining activity than we ask them to undertake. It also provides direction. I mean, if the library’s executive director is there saying, “put this range here” whose going to argue? Of course, there are negatives. For instance, by having the five most highly compensated employees acting as manual laborers, it does not make the enterprise very cost-effective!

Perhaps the thing that makes recarpeting very doable was our purchase (several years ago) of range movers. These devices actually link together, attach to library shelves so you can easily wheel the range (books and all) to another part of the building. Typically, we will compress the library ranges, creating a large area for the people to remove the old carpet and to put down the new carpet. Then, we will go back and move the ranges on to the newly carpeted area to open up more space. Finally, after several days of shuffling the ranges, we place them back where they belong.

In the past two months, we have been involved in recarpeting two locations. My back is killing me! But I’m not alone. All the senior administration is really aching if not outright injured! Certainly, one thing I can say. When I decided to go away to library school, I never thought I’d be part of a furniture moving team several time a year!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005



A friend of mine read the blog and suggested that I may want to talk about music. People who have known me for a long time, know that I’ve always enjoyed popular and rock music. When I was growing up, I had what was considered an extensive collection of tunes for that day and time. Lots of “classic” rock, featuring The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who.

Now, with digital music, people have collections much larger and much greater than my collection. Recently, I’ve been collecting a lot of the music that I’ve had in cassette and L.P. format in MP3 or other digital formats. I think I will tackle the content versus media question in a later posting. Let me start by saying that piracy is wrong…but not as wrong as making people buy The White Album five times because the media keeps changing!

One thing that may surprise many people who knew me in high school is that I really embraced 80s New Wave and Alternative music over time. I became a big fan of “punk rock” (Sex Pistols, The Clash, X, etc.) “college rock” in the 90s (R.E.M., The Replacements, The Cure, Morrissey, etc). From there, I really got into “alternative rock” and still prefer music that dances along the edge of popularity (like Ben Folds, Garbage, etc.) to chart toppers.

I think I will write more about my music, music media, and other related topic in future posts.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Autumn with the Pigskin

Autumn with the Pigskin

Many people who know me, know that football is a legacy issue in my family. No, we are not the family that has been the starting tailback on our high school team for generations. My father gave me a great appreciation for football. He was from Barberton, Ohio. Barberton is a very short distance from Canton, the birthplace of professional football. My dad used to talk about Ohio State / Michigan and the great Jim Brown, Otto Graham, Paul Brown, and Vince Lombardi. As I got older, my dad told me about the glory years of the Kansas City Chiefs. I listened, and paid attention and learned to love my father’s game.

We spent many Sundays watching pro football. Now that my dad’s gone, it is a little bittersweet every time I watch football. However, it is our game. With the Chiefs starting out with two wins, I’m thrilled. Sure, NY blew some scoring opportunities. I still have no idea why Oakland didn’t run a corner route to Moss on Monday night during that last drive. However, this new Chiefs defense has shown the ability to stop an opposing offense periodically…something they could not do in the past two years.

For two seasons, we have been saying that all KC needs to do is be in the top 20 in defense, and the offense will do the rest. I suspect we will see if that speculation is true.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Tech Tech Tech Tech

Tech Tech Tech Tech!

Everyone knows that I love tech. I’m a gadget junkie. The weird part is that I often get blind sided by some technology. It’s like being hit in the side of the head with a 2x4!

Recently, my sister and I were using Yahoo! Messenger to chat about a few things. I love this technology. It is a little easier to have family in Alaska if you can affordably chat or see them on camera. For about a year, I’ve been trying to set things up so I can play computer games over the Internet with my nephews. I just think it would be cool! After several months, my sister finally got her PC working, got all the helper applications in place, and took a try. We were able to start a game of checkers. I can’t wait to play against my nephew. The sad part is he will likely clean the floor with me! When he was little, I played a couple of games of tic-tac-toe with him at Kauffman Stadium. He beat me two of three games. I really wasn’t paying attention, to the game, but that really is no excuse!

More tech…Today, I stopped by our Parkville branch. I discovered that SBC had been by to install FreedomLink Wi-Fi. The library is going to roll out public Wi-Fi to everyone as soon as we get enough branches up and running. Anyway, I took out my recently obtained Dell Axim IIIi and logged right on to the Internet. WiFi is too cool!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Loose Ends

Loose Ends

First, and perhaps most important, I got my replacement PDA from Dell yesterday…FINALLY! I knew that my PDA had become a very important part of how I kept organized and how I ran my life, but I really had not realized how much I relied on it, until this week. I keep notes from meetings, all my personal and business contacts, my entire calendar, and all my financials (via Pocket Quicken) in my PDA. Of course, I also have my copy of Monopoly for the Pocket PC and Pocket Conquest (Risk) to occupy my mind while eating lunch! I found myself lugging a laptop around to meetings so I could make comments directly into Outlook. While this was not a horrible thing, I would have never thought to carry a laptop from meeting to meeting just five or seven years ago…before my first Palm.

I found that I had so completely disassembled my old analog ways that it was hard to go back. I could not find a decent pad of paper for making meeting notes anywhere in my office. I noticed that I had to keep receipts folded up in my pocket so I could record them in Quicken when I got home. Before Pocket Quicken, I used to carry my checkbook and make those entries as I made the expenditures. Technically, I do not even own a traditional “checkbook” anymore.

This was a big week at work. Several of us were working to bring ADP’s Enterprise eTIME on line for a trial. Things went pretty well. However, we missed our “go live” date. The software was delivered so late that we had to do a limited parallel process, rather than a building-wide paper and digital parallel, as had been originally planned. Of course, not having my PDA to remind me of meeting times, made the process even more trying.

I am not sure what I really learned from my broken PDA experience. I have learned that yelling at Dell does not speed up the process. I also learned that an old computing adage works with PDAs, too. Back up your system and back it up often. I started doing a system backup on my PDA every two weeks. When I got my new device, the back up was about two weeks old, but the migration to the new hardware was pretty good. Certainly better than reconstructing everything from scratch (my typical M.O.).

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Fall TV Line Up

Fall TV Line Up

Leigh Anne is all stoked about the new Fall TV line up. I don’t feel like I watch much TV these days. I think I am going to like Extras by Steven Merchant and Ricky Gervais. Speaking of which, I am a huge fan of The Office (US and UK versions). And while speaking of HBO, I do like watching Real Time. I watch a couple of local KC shows on public television (Ruckus and Kansas City Week in Review).

I like watching Mythbusters on Discovery Channel but they are not doing any new shows right now. Likewise with the Sopranos nor Entourage. Really, these are the shows I really like to watch. Beyond that, I can take it or leave it. Leigh Anne, on the other hand, has the old DVR queued up to record several things every night.

I do not think I am an anti television snob, or anything. I just prefer to watch documentaries on the History Channel, or work on my computer, or (truthfully) keep caught up on my reading for my MPA classes.

I guess the thing I am most excited about watching this fall is the NFL. I can watch pro football all day on Sunday, and want to watch even more!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

PDA Blues

PDA Blues!

Starting the day after Labor Day, we started recarpeting the branch library at Raytown. I will have to write about the recarpet job sometime. People who have never seen a library being rearranged for carpeting are really missing out!

Anyhow, during the chaos associated with the job, the screen on my PDA was broken. I have no idea how it happened. This is not my first PDA to go to the great gadget afterlife. My first PDA (A Palm III purchased in 1998) lasted about a year before the screen became so scratched that it could no longer recognize text.

I moved up to a Palm IIIxe the next year. It was pretty good. Then, one day, I had to go to the warehouse at work and get bookends for one of our branches. Our warehouse had pallets of discarded books stacked two high in all the aisles. I climbed up on the pallets and started to get the bookends. At one point, I leaned over and the Palm IIIxe fell out of my pocket. It bounced once on the floor. Then, on the second time down, it landed square on the screen and broke. I got down from the boxes, went straight to my car, and bought a new Palm. I had become so dependent on them, I had to go to OfficeMax and get a replacement at once!

I had success and failure with a couple of other Palm devices. Then, a guy at work got a Dell Axim. I played around with it for a while, and purchased a Dell Axim V. Of course, I broke the screen somehow (I don’t even remember how). I got an Axim III a few years ago, and upgraded to an Axim IIIi a little less than a year ago.

As much as one person can love a gadget, I loved my Axim IIIi. I uses to surf the ‘net with it, using the increasingly present wifi hotspots around Kansas City. I kept a whole collection of photos on my Axim. I really liked having audio and e-books on the Axim so I could read or listen when the mood struck.

I am very disappointed with Dell right now. I purchased a 24-hour replacement agreement when I bought it my Axim. Given my history, it is typically money well spent. Now, almost a week later, I still do not have my replacement device. I am so lost without my digital buddy. I’m sure I’ll get by.

Monday, September 12, 2005



I’ve been watching the blog world for the past several month, and after reading a fellow librarian’s blog for the past couple of months, I decided to take the plunge myself.  I promise nothing profound.  I promise nothing thought provoking.  All I promise is a periodic detour from your world, to mine.  

We will see how this experiment works.  I’ve never been a joural-keeper.  However, I was never the type of person to keep a “Daytimer” until I got my PDA.  I infrequently balanced my checkbook until I got Quicken.  Who knows?  Maybe I’ve just been waiting for my world to digitize!