AshtabulaGuy's blog

Day 2 in Canada

Hmm. So far, so good. The visit at the potential job site has been rather quite interesting.I will be having some hard decisions to make soon.

The AshtabulaGuy vs. Airplanes

Okay. So now our Slashgirl is not the only person writing from Canada. At least temporarily I am in Saskatchewan since this morning. This may be my only chance at Internet access during this trip though.Planes are odd things. Usually one would think a cataloger-type oddball would have no problems with such. Alas, such is not to be. I flew Continental on an Embraer jet from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and then on a DC-9/30 to Regina International Airport. The problem laid not in the technology but in biology.Granted, I have been reading a Dave Barry fiction book (Tricky Business) while in flight. Having been prior a schools custodian (I did such pretty well oddly enough), I of course was laughing hard at all the chatter in the book about vomiting. Perhaps sleep deprivation from not really sleeping last night was in play too (too much worries about flying for the first time since 1997).Anyhow...my whole body reacted as the plane bounced up, bounced down, hit turbulence, and made turns. Allergy problems aggravate this due to too much mucus in my head flow which impacts inner ear balance. Suprisingly the pretzels and granola bars offered along with the hot unsweetened tea helped greatly. I was surprised I did not get airsick at all. I usually get quite motion sick.In short, I get back to Cleveland on Thursday. I have a three day gauntlet of interviews and me assessing operations here to endure. I will know not one whit about my prospects before I get on the first plane home Thursday.I will say I found it heartening that one of the new items I found the ILS reporting here (during the course of my investigating) was a book by our own Walt. I was happy to see that. This is a small bible college that I am considering working for but it thankfully has room for at least something about library science.Questions/thoughts that I seek insight on: Anybody have thoughts about the L4U automation system? Anybody have any thoughts about the Bookware software for grabbing records from LoC? Based upon my initial thoughts, I do have some bibliographic control concerns...

Leaving Snow for...More Snow?

Okay. The snow keeps falling and falling. The Lake Erie Snow Machine is in full force right now. Even my poor sled dog, my Maya, was not amused with the snow today!In less than seven days I will be showing up in Saskatchewan for interviewing. My "meet and greet" has a big item on its last day when I must speak to the chapel at the school. I hope that I hear something as to an outcome on the 13th. If not, I am going to be in a holding pattern for a little while perhaps.Outside of that item, I am out of ideas in the field. After searching for about five months so far, I may have to put things on hold. I do not really have any back up plans left. I have yet to ever get a substitute teaching call-out (teachers have the gun to the head as to absences right now as school districts cannot really afford subs). As the largest employers in my county are two school districts and county government (all of which are either in the middle of RIF'ing people or contemplating doing such), finding a job right here at home is nigh impossible seemingly.I am finding lately that I cannot join the military. I am even finding that I apparently would never be drafted either. Why? I had a running string of hypoglycemia episodes at work while doing sales at RadioShack. Erratic blood sugar levels messed with my performance there greatly. I usually wound up bottoming out at work. At home, as there is food around I can hit, I usually end up with hyperglycemia (there is a way to tell that from the eyes, if memory serves). I have apparently a quite long family history of Type 2 Diabetes. Since I have no health insurance right now, I cannot really rush out to see a doctor to get this checked as it is. The key problem is that I seemingly cannot fall back on joining the military because of a possible prejudicial medical problem.Considering that I have been in odd scrapes when bottomed out at work, I could justifiably understand why nothing sharper than a rubber spoon would be entrusted to me by armed forces in such a case...

Goal for 2005: NEXGENLIB

I have a simple goal for 2005.I am back as a subscriber on NEXGENLIB-L as of tonight. I have had problems before keeping up. Having my master's in hand now, I feel a little more at ease in reading the list.Of course, I will contribute "interesting" viewpoints...

Rain, Ice, Drinking, and New Year's Eve

A warm-up today is a nice thing for some. Having an air temperature of over 55 degrees Fahrenheit is perhaps enjoyable for some. I do regard such as nicely.As we ring in the new year tonight, the temperatures are supposed to fall. Right now, rain is falling and is not going much of anywhere. Ashtabula is getting more and more wet across the county.What is the catch with this? Temperatures are supposed to fall through the floor known as the freezing point tonight. Roads will get really nasty and quite slick just before midnight based upon current forecasts.Icy roads.Drunken drivers.This is going to be a looooooooooooooooooong night bringing the curtain down on 2004...

A glimpse of me

Sometimes silly little quizzes do help serve as icebreakers and allow you to learn things about people. Since I am a wee bit too unpleasant looking to post a picture of myself any day now (folks might go blind), I would stick to a quiz. Besides, I guess I truly am an oddball sort of person, eh?TEN Random Things About Me10. I am a librarian by training, if not by employment9. I own no cats8. I have allergies problems (especially as to cats)7. I do indeed listen to some music by Eminem6. I am honestly afraid some times about speaking of Christian matters in audiences I am not quite comfortable with5. I have problems listening to country music4. I like techno3. I like the flashing lights of tow trucks for some odd reason and want to outfit a big diesel truck with such for delivering The Star Beacon before dawn2. I have attended two higher education institutions with school colors of yellow and blue1. I think Ashtabula has one screwed-up economyNINE Places I've Visited9. Paris, France (and was almost arrested by gendarmes)8. Lattes (a town in southeast France...good pizza and newspapers)7. Extreme northern Spain...Salvador Dahli Museum to be exact6. Washington, DC5. University of Maryland-College Park (College Park, MD)4. Central Michigan University (in Mount Pleasant, MI...the “middle of the mitten”)3. Universal Studios Hollywood (yes, I have been out to the “left coast”)2. Windsor, Ontario1. Freed-Hardeman University (Henderson, TN)EIGHT Things I Want To Do Before I Die8. Visit some part of Canada other than Windsor, Ontario7. Show love towards a beautiful young woman6. Exhibit love towards myself5. Have offspring (not quite sure how few anymore)4. Raise dogs3. Be married2. Actually work longer than one week as a librarian1. Be “in shape”SEVEN Ways To Win My Heart7. Accept my quirks and idiosyncracies6. Try not to re-cast me and try to re-shape me in your view of “perfection”5. “You like kishka?”4. Being able to accept: “No, we do not quite really use musical instruments during worship...”3. Exhibit love in the example of Jesus2. Engage me in really good conversation (which evidences having a brain)1. Have beautiful hair, an appropriate nose, and overall not worry about what I think of such thingsSIX Things I Believe [In]6. This world is fallen5. I have trouble accepting what I am dealt in life4. That the US is involved in Iraq for the best of reasons3. That the US is not going down to a major defeat and that mass suicide is not the best way for the US to atone for its “sins”2. That God exists1. That Ashtabula has tons of snow FIVE Things I'm Afraid Of5. Earthquakes4. Losing everything and not being able to provide for myself3. Being "burned" and otherwise subject to legal sanctions2. Losing my family1. LonelinessFOUR of My Favorite Items in My Bedroom4. My Maya (my Siberian Husky dog)3. My walls2. My blankets1. My pillowTHREE Things I Do Everyday3. Shave2. Shower1. Deliver The Star Beacon TWO Things I Hate2. The way I look1. That I have not succeeded in the librarian job track yetONE PERSON I Want To See Right Now1. Hmm...only one? “Agent Dancer”. Yes. “Agent Dancer”.

Ah, snow!

There was some idiotic chatter on WJET’s morning news telecast this morning. I was not happy with meteorologist Tom DiVecchio talking about a possible warm-up this week in which fifty degree temperatures might be possible. Although I am not happy with the snow, such is dreadfully bad. Why? Lake Erie was already well on its way to freezing over and such is a good thing. Once Lake Erie freezes over, the chance of lake effect snow is gone. If the lake freezes over much later the chance of lake effect snow continues! As much as I might like a warm-up, I am no fool. I want to see Lake Erie frozen over as soon as possible.Maybe I should have went to University of Maryland College Park to study meteorology as an undergraduate and then have pursued library science there in lieu of what I did wind up doing?

I Almost Became A Colleague of Christine Borne

The infamous Christine Borne almost wound up with me as a colleague. To folks here at LISNews, that perhaps could be a scary thought. I was rejected, though, in applying for the position of reference librarian at the Brick branch of the Ocean County Library System. I tried but got bounced out by remarkably fierce competition. Where was the competition from? One need only consider how many duly-accredited master's degree programs there are in New York City to consider the odds of me being shut out. Being shut out was expected but I still rushed in to at least trying head-first anyhow.Alas, being a Cleveland native from the Slavic Village neighborhood, it would have been quite amusing if I wound up out in New Jersey. Once upon a time, I considered attending Kent State University's Master of Library and Informatin Science program. Actually, I was seemingly hell-bent on doing such as I wanted to study with my friend who just happens to be "The Curmudgeony Librarian"'s girlfriend these days. We had studied together at Kent State University initially but she wound up at Cleveland State University while I was outside Motown at Rochester College. I wanted to return to the Kent State University atmosphere after spending time at Rochester College finishing off my undergraduate studies. Alas, some days I do think I am not considered too highly having graduated from one of the three duly-accredited library science graduate programs in Pennsylvania instead. If I had not attended the program in the mountains that I did, I would not have been able to afford to pursue graduate study in librarianship though.Proceedings continue apace getting ready to go to Canada. I keep watching the silliness involving Citizenship and Immigration Minister Judy Sgro and wonder why she does not meet the same fate as the now former British Home Secretary David Blunkett. I am supposed to travel in mid-January for my "meet & greet" session which will thankfully occur right before my supervising minister-elder heads off to Tanzania with his wife on a medical mission trip.I have to preach on January 30, 2005. My topic is missions. Why such a topic? My church's minister-elder is due back from Tanzania the next day barring unforeseen complications. Paul's speech from the Areopagus as recorded in Acts is what I am thinking my text to work from shall be as of right now.Drawing this year to a close is ever more interesting. I am thinking of perhaps going to Erie to participate in First Night Erie. Considering that Erie Mayor Rick Fillippi is under indictment right now, such could be an interesting event with somebody standing in for the Mayor.

nbruce has to have more snow than me

Ohio is getting hit with a weird snowstorm. This is not a "lake effect snow storm" whatsoever. Instead, this is seemingly a "regular" (for me it is quite abnormal) storm coming in from the west. In this instance Lake Erie is helping blunt the force of the storm greatly rather than act as a snow machine. nbruce is probably getting hit hard with this. When I walk the tenth of a mile separating home from Grandma's House I will perhaps consult ONN (The Ohio News Network) to see best what is happening out the way of nbruce.Delivering the newspapers took hours this morning. The roads were treacherous and the forces under the direction of the Township Highway Superintendent of Ashtabula Township just are not keeping up. Ohio Department of Transportation forces seemingly are not keeping up all too well either. I think I am going to hide at home as much as possible and (the librarian in me) use databases when necessary today to fulfill information-seeking desires.Yesterday I almost was in a severe automotive crash. A car pulled out of a shopping center along a road I was travelling south on at a clip of roughly 25 MPH. The person slid straight into a snowbank and oblivious to traffic around them tried to force their way out. Regrettably the person did this at the very last minute and I had to try to stop to avoid a major collision. I ended up locking my brakes and just threw my car into "park" to try to stop. I just narrowly missed hitting the blitheringly oblivious person who just got righted and went merrily on their way as if nothing had happened.It is not good that I am but 23 (full five years of higher education studies, though) and am yet thinking about becoming a snowbird. Of course, if there was a librarian job I was qualified for in the US Virgin Islands, I would think about such. I really would.

Snow, snow, snow...

Cataraugus, NY is under a warning tonight for windchill and snow. Erie, PA has such as well. Regrettably Ashtabula has yet the same thing. Ah, life in the Lake Erie Snow Belt.I have been burned lately in the community here at home. I live in a community full of quite ignorant elderly people who are stuck in the Great Depression in terms of their mindset. If you even make the slightest offense towards them, they often consider such a federal offense and are full of such rage that they probably could be commited to a psychiatric ward. In delivering the newspapers, I am not kidding when I say a good day is when I have not encountered armed opposition. Considering that a customer has almost run me over (I hate close calls), such is not really an overreaction. When you almost get run over trying to deliver the newspaper, you kinda start to think that even if you are rational and reasonable that probably few others in town are as well.I tend to think I am a reasonable person. Perhaps Stockwell Day or Stephen Harper might blush if they were in the same room with me talking about issues of a social nature that I might be way out on the right about. I don't know. I guess I am a wee bit much of a social conservative but also don't try to force people to come to that stance.I just found that my old advisor posted the news about my appointment in Johnstown. That's nice. I wish he would also remove such since I lasted but five days in the job. A cataloger living out of a car is not safe. Losing ten pounds of bodyweight over the course of five days (and was still losing such the day I quit) was not healthy either. I thought I was eating heartily but I think nerves were a problem.Six to nine more inches of snow are expected by dawn. Right now, if the pay were not as bad, I would almost consider working for Matt in Florida trying to do reference. I really would. Of course, since I am kinda sick right now, the weather feels much worse than it actually is I think.

"Beautiful Day"?

No new snowfall for a few days is a nice thing here on Lake Erie's south shore. The Lake Erie Primary Snowbelt stretches from Buffalo in NY to Erie in PA through Ashtabula in OH to some point (I forget off the top of my head) southwest of Ashtabula but still in OH. At least the snow can be considered "pretty" now.I have only just noticed how intolerant some communities can be of Christians who are "tolerant". I have especially found that that is seemingly the case in Saskatchewan. I will have to be careful if I land the job (I have my "meet & greet" interviewing period coming up in January now due to delays) to not offend anyone or risk being hauled before a human rights commission. There are not freedoms of speech in Canada comparable to those enjoyed in the United States according to what I have read thus far about laws in Canada. Of course, then again, offending some group could result in my being deported too. Hmm.Christmas sales are coming up at RadioShack. Whenever I ask folks "Would you like batteries with that?" (not the actual sales pitch I use, but good enough for this journal), I usually get shot down. I have to improve my sales ability.Of course, then again, I guess I am not a stereotypical cataloger type if I am working sales?

From The Darkness On Lake Erie's South Shore

Friday was a day of errors. I am not happy about such. If I finally ever get to bed at a decent time before I have newspaper deliveries to handle, I hope Saturday will be better.Things are slowly dragging to a conclusion as to whether or not I will get that job in Saskatchewan. What remains now is that I need to have a meet-and-greet interview on the campus of the school that wants me although right now I have some transportation issues to cope with. I feel very reticent about leaving this port community I live in for the Canadian Prairies, though. I truly do.AUTOCAT lately was quite cynical in response to a question about the training of catalogers. In a way, such makes me feel quite sorry I ever really pursued the master's degree in library science. It really does. The notion that frankly a multi-year internship after completing the master's degree is necessary before a newly-minted MLS could be considered more than a chimpanzee that cannot be trusted even with a dull pencil annoys me. If such is the case, then perhaps a total re-auguring of curriculum is required.I have a whole bit of angry ranting about that AUTOCAT thread but such is not for posting here. No, not at all. It would be most appropriate to instead write a journal article for JELIS to be submitted for consideration perhaps by this chimpanzee who apparently cannot be trusted with anything greater than a blunt pencil.I have no clue what the new year may hold in terms of me being employed in libraries. I do know that, for now, I seemingly will not end 2004 employed in a library anywhere.

Darn it!

I thought the rain here in the 'Bula-land (Ashtabula County in Ohio, that is) was not supposed to change to snow until tonight! I have duty at RadioShack for normal work until the mall closes and then I have to help with the Wednesday night set up proceedings for Black Friday. It seems like I probably should dig out my ice scraper today and throw it in my car to keep on-hand just in case whenever I get done tonight (anticipated anywhere from 2345 EST tonight to possibly even 0200 EST Thursday morning).I saw a note on National Review Online about there being an audiobook edition of The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis read by John Cleese. Regrettably, it is out of print. Fortunately Cleveland Public Library should be putting a hold on it for me to pick up on a sojourn into Cleveland.This is too dark and gloomy of a winter thus far. At least snow allows for sunlight to reflect and make things dreadfully bright...

Would You Like Batteries With That?

So for now I am a temporary seasonal sales associate with RadioShack. The training is interesting. Most of the sales training duplicates things learned in reference classes. Granted I am trained as a cataloger but I know enough about ref that I am apparently doing okay making sales at this busy time of the year.I have to finalize my answers to the five theological questions tomorrow that the school in Canada posed. Such is going easier than I thought. I just hope I am not deemed a bloody heretic, though...

Rain, rain, rain...waiting for the snow to come...

Ah, the joys of living in the Lake Erie Primary Snowbelt. I only live two miles south of the south shoreline. The lake is beautiful for most of the year...just not this time of the year when we get pelted with tons of snow.I got the questions today from the school in Saskatchewan. I was not expecting softball questions. I was right in my expectations and had some particularly nasty ones to deal with. I raced through the questions this afternoon and came up with answers that I think I can live with. I need to throw such back tomorrow for the school's review.There is a problem with the Saskatchewan matter, though. The school would want me to start either 1/1/2005 or 7/1/2005. With the inundation of Canadian diplomatic posts in the United States seemingly with asylum applications and inquiries from various disaffected persons as well as those starting the immigration process, any paperwork I end up trying to get through might get really quite delayed badly. The last I had seen, the asylum inquiries only continue to increase. My papers might get severely delayed, meaning starting in January might not be doable and I might be going ahead with preaching at my church in place of our minister while he is in Tanzania with his wife on medical mission for over two weeks.The nice thing is that places I have applied to lately have accepted my time preaching occasionally in lieu of classroom teaching experience when my applications are considered. Such can be a good thing, I suppose, eh?

Water, water everywhere and nary a clean drop to drink...

Okay. Second water main break in three weeks happened on my street at home in Ashtabula. This is getting annoying. It truly is.Birdie asks how I would feel about leaving the USA to take a position in Saskatchewan. I had to give the question some thought. I truly did.If I took the job, I really would not leave the USA behind. I could not. I would have to work with the libraries of fellow brotherhood schools like Abilene Christian University, Pepperdine University, Harding University, Lipscomb University, Oklahoma Christian University, Freed-Hardeman University, Rochester College, Lubbock Christian University, Faulkner University, and all the others around as well. That would mean travelling to quite a few red states (and blue areas too) at the very least once per year for the Christian College Librarians conference. If for some odd reason I decided to work on a graduate theological degree (I am basically working de facto as an Associate Minister now as it is), I would probably have to visit Oklahoma Christian University or Lubbock Christian University as I would probably work on either an MAR or MDiv through one of them. I would still have family in Ohio who would want me to visit as much as possible too.I would be physically leaving the United States but would not be leaving it behind. I would be trying to advance the work of a religious tradition that was born out of the fire of the War Between the States and became big in the American South (the counterpart is Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in a major chunk of the north, although my tradition is still present up here).Frankly, it would be a neat adventure...if I can pull it all together and get it green-lighted...

YEEEAAARRRGGGHHH!

Sorry. I needed to scream. I ran into too many crazy drivers on Northern Ohio Highways today...I was on the roads again today having to haul a sibling to Lakeland Community College's main campus in Kirtland. Such is a wee bit of a drive. Of course, I heard the news about Secretary Powell's resignation on WTAM AM 1100 while I was out and about too.Interviewing. Oh. Yeah. I should mention something about that. I had my interview with the president of the tiny school in Saskatchewan Saturday afternoon. The interview was interesting. It barely touched upon librarianship but heavily upon ministry and where I stand theologically in the brotherhood. Of course, since the school right now trains ministers primarily, worrying about where your librarian stands theologically is quite important as that can create indirect silliness through collection development decisions. I thought the interview went as well as it could.It will be amusing when I get the five essay questions this week to answer that will explore for the college where I stand theologically. The joke among the minstry team at church Sunday was that I basically would end up having to write really fast about five sermons or so. Such should prove interesting.As it stands, there are two possibilities for me to start in Canada if nothing kills this off in the interim. I would either start in 2005 on January 1 (New Year's Day) or July 1 (Canada Day). Either would prove to be quite interesting!

Why I Should Not Write Stories Before Dawn in Ashtabula

There is a catch when I submit stories in the wee hours of the morning here in Ohio. I have to be up in the wee hours of the morning to deliver newspapers (must be done by 6 AM EST weekdays, 7 AM EST weekends). I kinda do have the news on in the morning as I am sitting down bundling newspapers. I also flip through one of my newspaper copies real fast (a big no no) to see what is happening before I start bundling. Such also gives me a sense if the sorters at The Dock screwed up in parts of my stack of papers to be bundled for delivery.Sometimes I see gems. I tried to take time out this morning before I went merrily off on my route to deliver newspapers to post the story. I was hoping somebody might have caught it in the queue in the morning. When I had posted the queue was actually quite empty.The problem with news is that it is perishable. I wish when we submit we had expiration dates on the submissions much like there is on packages of bread relative to when you really should not eat such. When I was a print reporter at a weekly newspaper, I remember having some stories returned as "kills" because they simply got mooted due to no longer being timely for publication.This is what happens. I know nobody gets paid for submitting at LISNews. I know that I submit somewhat infrequently (usually because everybody else grabs good stuff first and also because I try to go for quality). I knew driving around listening to the radio today that Mr. Gonzalez was picked. That was hours after my original submit. Alas I kinda really had family commitments today (such as hauling my one sister out to Lakeland Community College in Kirtland for class) that kept me on the road since Mom was on a substitute teaching call-out.Oh well. This does happen...

Nasty Neocon Reporting In...

With respect to the Texas textbooks matter, I merely note that having gone back into classrooms ever since being baptized into Christ and having seen more than just one side to a debate I do think the right thing is being done. Whether one may call President Bush by the Star Trek: The Original Series reference of Kodos (who happened to have been an executioner), I think he really had little to do with this one. I live in a county full of Democrats that probably would favor such positions being discussed.We cannot in our country have the situation in which we are the best but also our values are reflective of destruction and death. One or the other, please. Such is what really turned me off with Senator Kerry: I never quite understand what on earth he stood for. I never did. I tried and tried to weigh everything out. With the shifting sands of his campaign, I never could play the proper utilitarian and factor things.Of course, then again, I did not vote for President Bush or Senator Kerry at all....I must inquire in the morning if I am still bound for Saskatchewan to be a school/college librarian...this is to further the work of the churches in my ecclesiastical tradition where the churches are not as strong, not to run away from a political situation...

Religion and Scholary Communication -- Librarians Link It?

Some day I will do this...with a little more specificity to add in...when it is safe and I am sure I will not get body-slammed by folks such as at Contending for the Faith and other such crusading publications of the brotherhood:“The role of libraries and education in the ecclesiastical make-up of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement.�Do libraries as well as colleges and universities provide a quasi-hierarchy for the churches of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement through the creation of a communications infrastructure similar to that utilized for scholarly communication? It is axiomatic that even though there is no formal traditional sort of hierarchy among Stone-Campbell churches as such there is a major degree of uniformity. Do libraries and educational institutions create a virtual hierarchy through the system of scholarly communication used by members of the church?In other words, through their collection development activities, do we wind up with the librarians at brotherhood institutions like Pepperdine University, Abilene Christian University, and elsewhere being thrust into a position much akin to that of the Roman Catholic Holy Office in terms of determining orthodoxy and what will be provided as information?

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