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Really proud of myself for refraining from saying what I think, as I watch a grown man, older than I [Jan. 14th, 2011|02:46 pm]
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...from my tonsillectomy! [Nov. 9th, 2010|03:23 pm]
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I must say I really wasn't excited by my medical clinic's online patient info system...and I didn't [Nov. 9th, 2010|03:21 pm]
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Must-see [Jul. 4th, 2009|03:22 pm]
[Current Location |current home.]


Incredible sand-painting performance, via MetaFilter. You have GOT to see this. I don't even understand any of the language or content and I was about to cry like some of the audience members.

I was about to say that jinglymushroom could maybe help out with some translations, but my observation of the non-Cyrillic details tells me that this is from a TV talent show in the Ukraine, so I don't know whether this is actually in Russian or not.

Just go see.
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From your friendly neighborhood consumer health librarian [Apr. 28th, 2009|12:46 pm]

I was just replying to a friend's post regarding potentially suspect information she received about the swine flu, and thought, hey, I should post this publicly where anyone can read it.

Here are sources of GOOD (accurate, up-to-date, scientific, unbiased*) information about the flu:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) page on swine flu: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/?s_cid=swineFlu_outbreak_001

World Health Organization (part of the United Nations) for international info: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.html

U.S. government flu information, gathered in one place: http://www.pandemicflu.gov/ (from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services)

*I realize I have friends who regard everything the government does and says as violently biased. Now is perhaps not the time to argue about this, but my opinion is: One company trying to sell me drugs and nutritional supplements is MORE likely to provide systematically biased information than a large federal government organization made up of thousands of people and reporting to two different bodies of elected officials from all over the country, most of whom can't agree on what kind of sandwich to have for lunch, much less on what ideological slant to take on any given issue.

This is a public post with screened comments. Don't make me leave yours screened.
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(no subject) [Mar. 17th, 2009|01:45 pm]
[mood |irateirate]

I am so angry I could scream.

My boss just stopped by to let me know that one of the two brand new painstakingly handmade heavy wooden cabinets, full of antique photos and fragile books that I worked on for a month and carefully arranged...


And I don't mean two feet to the left. I mean fifty feet across a very large conference room and up a step. By three people, none of whom is qualified to move heavy wood furniture, late one Friday afternoon, ON A WHIM.

Set aside the fact that it has been moved from where everyone walking in the room can see it, to where only those sitting up front in a large meeting will even notice it.

Set aside the fact that a complete exhibit has now been split in two (the larger cabinet isn't movable without special equipment, so it remains next to where the other one was).

What's horrible about this, is that the cabinet is full of old and unique photos and books, on bare wood so there is nothing to anchor them to the spot if the cabinet tilts. And my boss and I (and the locksmith, who wasn't one of the three people there) are the only ones with keys. So I am sure everything inside has been tumbled around, maybe even damaged.

Ah, but this is the fact that tops off all others: the person who suggested moving the cabinet, and who helped move it, is OUR INSTITUTIONAL DIRECTOR, the very same man who cares so much about this collection that he had it moved out of storage and near the library so it could be worked on, who asked me to look into how to organize it, who directed me to put together the exhibit and the carpentry shop to make the cabinets, who wants to be the one who writes "the book" about Mendota. He has all these high hopes for the collection, yet he a) doesn't want to pay for a professional archivist to organize it so people can use it, and b) doesn't care enough about the actual artifacts to take decent care of them when they're on display!

And when I called the person who schedules the conference room to see if she had any idea who moved the cabinet, she began laughing uproariously, like she was remembering a madcap adventure, and said it had been her and the Director and another person, and they just wanted to see if it would be more visible there. Here's a direct quote; imagine it being said with much laughter: "Maybe it would have been nice if we'd have called you to let you know?" I was sitting at my desk gaping into the phone, trying to figure out if I should reply with a loud "YES, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN.", or just sort of laugh along with her. People who think they are being funny are usually offended if one responds with cold silence. So I said, "Well, you know, yeah..." in a self-deprecating way, and laughed a bit along with her.

Lest you think I would swallow anger simply to be polite, because of the involvement of the director, there may be some politics involved here. People are very territorial around here, and duties can be informally assigned based on who feels like doing something, leading to a blurring of job boundaries; a sure way to gain an enemy is to imply that what someone thinks is their prerogative, is actually yours. So I had to do some swallowing, to keep the future peace. Otherwise I'd have shouted at this idiot on the phone loud enough to scare the patients in the library.

This is all so far past unacceptable, I don't know what more to say, except that I am so far succeeding in keeping myself from running over to the conference center to check on the cabinet's contents. My boss (who is almost equally offended by all this, bless her) advised that we sleep on our irritation, and go over and check tomorrow. I had a group here until 2, so I've been keeping myself in the library for, let me check...thirteen minutes. My 2:30 group isn't coming today.

It's going to be a long, long two hours until I go home.

EDIT: I had another strong urge to go over to the conference center at 3, but I rode it out. This is ridiculous, though. I'm going to sort the mail, finish cataloging the two items I have left in today's batch, and then go home.
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Sometimes the gimmick doesn't mask the quality [Mar. 11th, 2009|05:40 pm]
[Current Location |home]
[mood |lazylazy]

Fredo Viola's cluster duets (and trios, etc.) are always amazing, but this time he's concocted your basic really good song,"Red States"--which he presents here as three simultaneous performances in three countries. Sort of a distributed cluster...

"Red States" by Fredo Viola, the English group I Am Your Autopilot, and French flutist Scalde
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Why do I feel so at home? [Mar. 4th, 2009|08:41 pm]
[Current Location |home]
[mood |bouncybouncy]

I just got, and responded to, my first e-mail inquiry about joining the SCA since I became Baronial Chatelaine (newcomer welcomer) Sunday night. (That didn't take long...!) Oh, and an LJ-related note: the person who e-mailed me found a post I put on the madisonwi LJ group maybe a year ago about the SCA, and that's what led her to be interested in joining!

I'm really the Chatelaine again, now that I've started doing one of the duties of the office! I just love doing this. I was Shire Chatelaine in Rokeclif and Kingdom Chatelaine a couple of years ago, but now I get to welcome people to the SCA in my actual hometown. There is something about this that feels like coming full circle. My first non-newcomers' event in the SCA was here in Jara. So although I lived elsewhere, I feel a little like I was new here once, too, in Madison. (That was one long, cold, lonesome event for this newbie...anyone remember the Pas d'Amour? In one of those livestock barns next to the Coliseum in fall 1997? That's one event that will never let me forget how hard it can be to be new.)

I am suddenly taken with uncharacteristic ambition: I want to do a good job. Anyone have Chatelaine-y advice?

Next fall I would like to do a real blow-out Newcomers' Feast here in the Barony. Who'd like to help out? Any ideas for sites? I know we could use devikat's co-op's living room again, but I'm hoping this will be too big for that! Ideas for fun activities? I wouldn't mind having a co-autocrat (and you wouldn't be committing to being my deputy or anything). Let me know your thoughts/ideas.
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It really is all about the slushies [Feb. 27th, 2009|09:46 pm]
[Current Location |home]
[mood |coldcold]
[music |Blip.fm]

The verdict on the cherry creamslush from Sonic: tasty and not heavy like a shake (though I am purposely avoiding looking up the calorie load). Not strongly-flavored, but then if I liked strongly-flavored, I'd have gotten lime. (Next time, maybe.)

Yum. Bet it's even better in July.
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listening to "Fringe - Pinetop Seven" on Blip [Feb. 25th, 2009|09:21 pm]
[music |Pi]

A character sketch in a song. Alt-country.
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