Thursday, July 31, 2008

Today's Quote

Sometimes I prepare books to send to other libraries. I was processing one that was a collection of famous letters from history. So I flipped through it and read a couple. I found some interesting correspondence.

Harriet Beecher Stowe (author of Uncle Tom's Cabin), received a letter from her sister saying:
"Hattie, if I could use a pen as you can, I would write something to make this whole nation feel what an accursed thing slavery is."

This is Harriet's response:
"Tell Katy I thank her for her letter and will answer it. As long as the baby sleeps with me nights I can't do much at anything, but I will do it at last. I will write that thing if I live.
What are folks in general saying about the slave law, and the stand taken by Boston ministers universally, except Edward? To me it is incredible, amazing, mournful!! I feel as if I should be willing to sink with it, were all this sin and misery to sink in the sea... I wish father would come on to Boston and preach on the Fugitive Slave Law, as he once preached on the slave-trade, when I was a little girl in Litchfield. I sobbed aloud in one pew and Mrs Judge Reeves in another. I wish some Martin Luther would arise to set this community right."

Now, am I the only one who noticed something unusual there?
"I wish some Martin Luther would arise to set this community right."

Of course, Harriet is referring to Martin Luther who nailed his 95 Theses to the door of a Catholic church and sparked the Reformation in the 1500's. But isn't it uncanny that she would choose him as her example, when so many years down the line, Martin Luther King Jr. would be the one to nail his own reformation to the hearts and minds of the entire world? Don't you think that is amazing? I never even thought, until now, about how Martin Luther King's namesake was right there staring me in the face all these years, and that he was the inspiration for a revolution of his own.

What would Mrs. Stowe say had she known that her wish would be satisfied so many years later?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good Quote Today

"What about all these kids that waste up all the broadband playing their stupid games?!"

Says the man that is watching a video on youtube of a grizzly bear running.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Things I learned at work today

- Old kindly-looking ladies = not always kindly. In fact, can be snottier than teenagers.
- Women who take money from betwixt their bosom should be watched warily. Also, as a suggestion, use hand sanitizer after that monetary transaction.
- If someone tells you the bathroom needs "attending to" but doesn't elaborate, enter that bathroom with extreme caution.
- Some people will run from you if you're on your way to ask them to stop doing something they're not supposed to be doing.

Worst quote of the day:
"The Amish, like hobbits, are not generally an adventurous people." - Jon Marken, on the back cover of A Time to Live

Sunday, July 27, 2008

So much to blog about...

So much has happened, I could write all night.

Here are the two biggest changes:

1. We hung our painting.

2. We bought a car.

I guess the car is the biggest change. It's a Toyota Matrix. It's a great fit for us because it's small enough to get good gas mileage, but inside it's really roomy, like a small van. So we figure we can fit a kid or two and some groceries in there. Now we just need to find some kids and go grocery shopping. Just kidding, but it is a nice change from our old car. I'm planning on devoting an entire post to the many challenges our old car poses to us on a daily basis. Another time, though.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I opened it

So this is my painting. It's actually called South/Summer. It's part of a series of 4 paintings done of North/South/East/West horizon lines from Maui at different times of the year (and I believe different times of day). This is the South Summer sunrise. The horizon line is split up into 5 sections, the leftmost being at the top, and then on down to the bottom as you move right. The blue lines are the ocean, and I don't know if you can tell, but it's raining.

I cracked it open last night. This picture is kind of grainy because I scanned it from a card that Lynne sent along with the painting. I think we will try to hang it somewhere, though it may involve a little redecorating.

So what do you think?

Monday, July 14, 2008

My big painting

It looked smaller in the truck.

When I bought this painting, I knew that I wouldn't be able to hang it until we move to a different place. It's large. It really doesn't matter that I can't hang it right away, I'm glad that it's here in one piece and ready for the future.

But it does sort of present a problem when you look at it in my kitchen. I don't really have space to hang it, but I do want to look at it! It seems sad to leave it crated until we move to a bigger place, but that might be the safest thing to do.

Who wants to bet that I'm ripping it open by Thursday?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What gets results...

Alright, people.

We have a policy at the library, that if someone prints something out and comes to pick it up/pay for it, that we ask the patron what they printed. This helps us to not give the wrong printout to the wrong patron. Many patrons print out bank statements, tax records, and other sensitive information.

So when I ask people what they printed, and they get defensive and confused, I try to be as kind as I can and explain why we do what we do.

This afternoon I asked a patron what he printed, and he was astounded and incredulous, but told me what he printed and I gave it to him. He couldn't help coming back five minutes later to say, "I was just wondering what the reason was that you ask what the patrons print." And I told him and he responded, "Oh, wow, it's just a straightforward answer. I was expecting something weird. That makes sense, though."

I was inspired. He had a totally rational and reasonable response. So I pulled out a sticky note and wrote this down:

People are good.
People can be reasonable.
People have off days.
Everyone is doing the best that they can.

Ok, there are obvious exceptions to this, but if I can give people the benefit of the doubt right off, then I'm doing them a favor and will be more patient myself.

So the next time a patron came to get a printout, he had the look. The look is that impatient, hurry-up-already look.
So he said, "I printed something."
And I said, "Ok, what was it that you printed?"
And he gave me an incredulous look and said, "It's a paper, it's probably the only thing on there. How much is it to print?"
And I said, "It's a dime."
And as I said that he held up a dime in the air for me to see, and then threw it across the counter at me, in a "Now get my printout" sort of way.

Now people, the moral of this blog post is: you may think that being huffy and acting stressed out may work with some on-the-phone customer service people, but my belief is that 90% of the time, if you are patient and kind, you'll get more results.

I know this because it works with me. If he had been kind and patient with me, I would have worked with him. But throwing money at me across the desk isn't going to help anyone, especially you.

So I said, "They ask us to ask what people print out just to make sure that we don't give the wrong thing to the wrong people. Some people print out confidential information."
He got frustrated and said, "It has ____ name across the top."
So I picked it up and gave it to him, and he turned to walk away and ranted so I could hear, "There was only one printout! Of course it would be mine. There's no need to ask, grumble grumble..."

First, the logical argument.
Actually, no. Someone else could have printed one page and your print could be pending. Some documents don't print out for several minutes once someone sends them to the printer. We also periodically pull things off of the printer and set them on the counter, so his could have been just pulled off and someone else printed one page in the meantime. There are lots of things that could have happened.

Second: Come on.
Harassing a librarian? Really? I don't deserve this. I'm doing what has been asked of me and trying to protect your information at the same time. I don't deserve the verbal abuse that patrons can give. It's not really worth anyone's time to sit and take lip from you, and it didn't even get you anywhere.

I might have to throw away my sticky note.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Weight this morning

I weigh every morning at the same time before I've eaten breakfast, wearing the same outfit, so it should be a somewhat relative scale.

Today I've eaten:
Breakfast: cut up fruit. Michael brought the fruit home when he came off of the graveyard shift in the morning. It had a sticker on it that said, "Manager's Special: $1.49." I appreciate Michael getting it at all, as well as his efforts to be thrifty, but it was a little scary. Some of the "over-ripe" stuff had to be left uneaten, so it felt like a very small meal.

Lunch (at 4:30): A salad that shall remain nameless that MAY have contained trace amounts of sugar and/or flour that were used for garnishy-purposes. I am a little ashamed, but not a lot because I said no big sugar/flour hits, and that was minimal. Will do better on future days anyhow, as I'll have time to hit the grocery store soon and I'll have more control over what's available to me.

I think I have to re-evaluate this, because I don't think that cut up fruit in the morning will work for me. I'll do some thinking and report back.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Resolutions: Step 2

Ok. My sister Jacque called me and got the ball rolling again. She's joining me in taking on my resolutions again, but this time with some modifications...

I realized that Step 2 has to be bigger somehow if it's going to be meaningful. It has to push me harder than my first resolutions, so: This time it won't be just one week. It has to be one month. (AHH!!) And the reason I'm blogging about it tonight, is because if I tell you (who read my blog: thank you for all of your support by the way), then I HAVE to do it. Or at least I have to give it a real try.

Here's the eating plan:
Breakfast: Fruits (cut up or in shakes, are there any other fruity ideas out there?)
Lunch: Salads (does anyone have good ideas for yummy salads? Please divulge!)
Dinner: something cooked but still healthy. For me, this means I'll be doing dinners from Jacque's healthy cookbook that she created (no dairy or flour and low meat, hurray!).
No candy, no soda, no big-sugar hits. And no flour.
That last part was actually hard to type.

BUT: we have Saturdays off.
I've heard of this being successful for a couple of people, and I can re-evaluate later and see if this was detrimental or not. I noticed when I did my week of Resolution (step 1), that it was easier to get through the tough moments if I told myself, "I have to be tough for this week. Next Tuesday I can do whatever, but right now I can't give in." So hopefully Saturdays will be that beacon of hope for me.

I'll also be re-starting the walking/running every night, too.

So what do I hope to accomplish with this?
I want to see if it changes me.
Physically, but also maybe my desire to self-improve will get stronger. Maybe I'll learn how to change in better ways.
Maybe I will prove something to myself by doing this.

I'm starting tomorrow: Tuesday, July 7th. That means that this will all be over August 4th. Here we go...

...Crap, I just remembered that Michael's birthday is in two weeks. (sigh) Do you think he'll go for a glutein-free birthday cake? Just kidding.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Poor Dutch Girl

Bah, I had to remove my video because when it ended, the video provider listed 6 other "related" videos, and for some reasons this shoplifting video is "related" to some images that I don't want on my blog. But if you want to see the video you can do a Google search on "The 10,000th Shoplifter Award."

Here's my original post text:

A Dutch store owner, sick of shoplifters, decides to give the 10,000th shoplifter a big prize, including party hat, cake and an in-store marching band.

Though it's probably fake (I doubt they've actually tracked all of their shop lifters down to the 10,000th) the guy's expression sort of makes it worth it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Are you wondering how it went?

I did it, the whole week. Running every night, no tv, no sugar/flour. I even got down to xx0.2 on the weight scale.

And it all came crashing down on day 8.

But: I know I can do it now. I'm down-and-out with a cold this week, but when it's over I plan to pick myself up and start making some changes that will hopefully last more than a week.

I'm also starting to see more clearly what I want to do, where I want to head from here.... scary. Maybe I'll just find some way to procure some chicken soup for now.