AshtabulaGuy's blog


I must admit that I was visiting a friend last night at her LIS program in lieu of sitting around getting flustered watching results come in. I remember the last two elections (which were during the Clinton years while I was still a newspaper writer) I did actually sit at the Ashtabula County Board of Elections with a laptop running as I wrote copy all night as results came in and most candidates or issue proponents had plenty of things to say. Our editorial office was just a brief walk away from the Ashtabula County Board of Elections and sneakernet was the way my copy went back to layout. Somebody needed some interpersonal relations care last night and frankly that was a wee bit more important than worrying about an election that I thought rightly would not be resolved at all.So now the legal battles will get underway. There are some cute problems to this. Unofficial results are just that, unofficial. They cannot be really appealed quite just yet. Official results in Ohio come out later this month. Those can then be appealed. Under Ohio law, such matters can go straight to the Ohio Supreme Court with it exercising original jurisdiction in the matter. Such matters would be considered under an accelerated timetable that would not provide all the drama that there was in the Florida Supreme Court.Driving back from Pennsylvania last night, I got home in Ashtabula around 3:00 AM EST. Amazingly, I did not fall asleep behind the wheel while driving (which I have done before sadly). Perhaps it was listening to WCBS boom in on the AM dial as I was driving along Interstate Route 80 that kept me awake. Who knows? I do know that at every rest area I stopped at (which was almost all of them), I ran into many Democratic folks who thought the world was ending and that they were going to be carted off to Guantanamo Bay under reasoning they could never explain to me.Oh well. I must note that I shockingly actually voted for the Constitution Party this time. My parents and two younger sisters are all Democrats (both parents and one younger sister registered, one younger sister not to be registered as such until the next partisan primary rolls around where she can do so). I am a full-blown registered Republican. We all agreed we would vote for the Constitution Party ticket this time around as we thought they best fit our views (scary thought!). We wound up being part of the 1% of Ohio's vote that the Constitution Party supposedly has right now.Glen Beck is finally back being live on WFUN this morning and is amusingly me greatly...And yet I am being pursued by a school in Saskatchewan (a province ruled by the NDP) to be a librarian...hmm...

Hmm...PR?...Arts Promoter?

Okay. So the Ashtabula Arts Center decides to advertise for a Public Relations/Marketing Coordinator this week. I threw my application in the mail this afternoon to make its way from the city core over to the Harbor Historical District. This should prove interesting. I did enough time as a stringer, staff writer, and enterprise reporter (politics, tax levies, elections, and election) to know how to hopefully write a decent press release.Doing this in an arts center that promotes drama and visual art could prove interesting...

Ranting...Lots of Ranting...Pre-Election Ohio Ranting...

Okay, where to begin?Ohio keeps seeming more and more like it is the Titanic going down and all that the leadership in Columbus can do is just rearrange the deck chairs. There is chatter about the possible major reduction (possible eventual annihilation) of the Libraries & Local Government State Fund ("LLGSF"). To shore up holes in the budget, libraries will be made to suffer if things do not improve financially.Why is this a major concern? An overabundance of libraries in Ohio get anywhere from 80-100% of their operating funding from LLGSF. The only way to shore things up is to pass ad valorem property tax levies and in today's anti-tax climate at least in Ashtabula County, it is more likely to be personally struck by a meteorite rather than get one of such levies passed. There is chatter that possible 200 libraries around Ohio may close.Where are the magic budget shortfalls to be closed up? What is so important to have to take money away from libraries?Prisons & elder care. Yes, you read that right. Prisons & elder care.State leadership complain that "educated young people" (whatever that is...I guess I fall into that classification being 23 years of age with my master's in hand) are leaving the state in droves. They protest that they must find ways to "hold onto the young people". The state-level leadership just seemingly does not understand that you cannot sanely express a wish to achieve a desired result and then actively vociferously work against the stated desired result.There are not "Republicans" governing in Columbus. I am not quite sure what sort of politicians are actually governing in Columbus at all. Indeed, most of the state-wide executive elected officeholders all seemingly are from Cincinnati. Few folks from northeast Ohio really exercise all that much influence at all.What to do? Have Canada annex Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, Portage, Summit, Trumbull and Ashtabula Counties? That might make things easier to handle, perhaps. At least health care would run better.For all the protestations that one must vote next Tuesday, frankly, I do not see any good choices at all!I need some Earl Grey Tea!!!!!!!!Stephen


Okay, so there is this small bible college in Regina, Saskatchewan. It is an institution that is part of my ecclesiastical heritage (as odd as it is being from the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement). It had a position open of Administrative Assistant to the Vice-Chancellor.On a whim, I figured I would apply. I applied by electronic mail. The result was a wee bit odd, though.The school is trying in good faith to get out of candidate status with the Association for Biblical Higher Education (formerly known as the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges) and become fully accredited.

Hey, Curmudgeony...

Curmudgeony...when you are ever in town...which according to an LCMS P-K we both know is going to perhaps be coming up or something...ask the LCMS P-K we both know if she is willing to introduce us...might be one of the few chances to meet me in person finally...Besides, you might find this area amusing anyhow, especially the campus I spent two years on first getting my associate's degree before transferring to work on my bachelor's degree...Stephen

Jobseeking...on a Sunday?

This is a fairly atypical Sunday. What did I end up doing? I talked to my state representative (fortunately he remembers me from when I was a pesky reporter who was on an enterprise-politics beat). I asked him if the Ohio Legislative Service Commission or just his own office might need some research support (I did way too much briefing and research work as a GA that I seemed like a presidential briefer or something).Who knows what may erupt? It was only a local phone call and an e-mail message I had to expend on my part to wing my state rep a PDF of my resume.

And so I am home now...

Gee, now I get to live at home with my family once again.Church comes up shortly. I am sure that several congregants are going to be wondering what on earth happened. It is going to be painful trying to explain.I screwed up big time...

Wrapping up the one week I lasted...

Well, in under 40 minutes my first and final week as a cataloger at the public library I am at is coming to an end.How did this come about?1. I could not find anywhere to live (I have been temporarily living in an executive suite at a hotel). I could not live out of my car as an option at all.2. My car was not handling the mountains I am in all that well. Pennsylvania has a ton of mountains and my car has not handled such well.3. I am only but 23 years old with my master's in library science. I was way too lonely trying to live on my own alone.

Well this didn't work...

I get to leave where I am at tomorrow to return to Ashtabula. First post-master's job (at a public library at that) did not go well enough to make work. :-( I am not happy about this.

A Little Inquiry (Comments Enabled For Once)

Questions as follows:1. Is it atypical for a library to participate in OCLC independently rather than through a group like SOLINET or PALINET?2. $26,000 per year is a wee bit low for a cataloger job and conscientiously should not be accepted, right? Is such okay as a salary? Presume for the purposes of this that someone concerned is fresh out of library school holding their master's degree.3. What is an acceptable minimum salary that should be accepted in the OH-PA-WV-KY-VA region?

A Recent AUTOCAT Thread

AUTOCAT had a recent thread about the propriety and usefulness of librarian education. The thread tweaked me off a bit. I suppose I should write an article about it, no?

Going to be a public library cataloger

Hmm. So I got a job as the sole cataloger at a public library in Pennsylvania. This will be getting interesting.I have to find somewhere to live near the library first, though.


Hmm...I have just received in today's United States Mail the letter saying that I am invited to join the Beta Phi Mu honor society...this will prove very interesting I suppose...HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Beta Phi Mu: Librarianship's Answer To The Order of the Phoenix

Thinking About Being 'Net Security Analyst

So there is this job posted for a network security analyst in Cambridge Springs, PA. It sounds really neat. Sadly it is not library work but it is computer work. The organizational skills picked up in pursuing the MSLS would probably definitely help.Something I am definitely going to have to think about, I guess.

I was sitting ten feet away from Teresa Heinz-Kerry today...

Why oh why did I decide to go to the H.G. Hart Auditorium of the Erie Maritime Museum today to listen to Teresa Heinz-Kerry? I am a Republican. Oh. Yeah. I wanted to know where the Kerry-Edwards campaign stood on health care issues so that I could make informed decisions. Mrs. Heinz-Kerry scared me badly with what she said and it made me question whether I was from the same planet as the other folks in the auditorium.The event was not a good attempt at building bridges. I was thoroughly not amused that Mrs. Heinz-Kerry was fashionably TWENTY MINUTES LATE to her own event!


I have a simple stumper.What on earth are John Kerry's proposed policies?I have searched and I have searched. I have yet to find a coherent answer. I like to make informed choices when I go to the ballot box. In this case, I will have an amusing time probably trying to decide who to pick on my Votomatic ballot here in Ohio's Ashtabula County in November (the electronic system is not fully implemented county-wide yet for at least my puny unincorporated area).

Old Tricks Made New Again

Old Tricks Made New Again

In his electronic serial Library Juice, social activist librarian Rory Litwin wrote recently concerning an effort by a group of librarians to provide non-traditional reference services. The purpose of such reference services is to provide answers to “radicals� who would be protesting at the Republican National Convention in New York City. Although hailed as a bold step forward, the effort by the “Radical Reference� group can best be considered the baptizing of something old and passing it off as innovation. During the 1997 general election campaign that brought Tony Blair to power as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the British Labour Party used computers for a similar purpose. Although not feeding information to protestors, the fabled Excalibur computer system has been reported in multiple media outlets as being used as a tool then to rapidly respond to candidates of the Conservative Party (then in power under John Major). The system was brought about by present Hartlepool Labour MP Peter Mandelson. Mandelson is a former cabinet minister who is now expected to be joining the European Commission as its trade commissioner once the new commission takes office later this year. The system proved its worth as Labour candidates were able to rapidly respond to their Conservative competitors and win a massive majority in the House of Commons as well as the power to rule that comes with such a majority. Excalibur, although described by Mandelson as not much more than a news-gathering system, was deemed to be a tool of “New Labour� that helped bring about its success in the campaign. Using a system reportedly derived from Slashcode, the group of reference librarians volunteered to provide questions and answers to protestors at the Republican National Convention. Questions and answers revolve around topics such as the laws of the United States relative to governmental propaganda. Litwin himself wrote that he thought that during the convention the site would revolve mostly around legal issues faced by protestors on-site. Just as much as Excalibur helped Labour candidates respond to their Conservative competitors, Radical Reference is helping protestors respond and react to the happenings of the convention. With the use of technology, a seemingly monolithic entity of librarians appears to be in existence. However, such is not totally the case as Radical Reference is only but a small part of that world. Through the enabling of today’s computer technology and new innovative resources, the work of a few librarians can appear to be much more than it would seem to be in person.

The Governor, The Speech, And My Wardrobe

The Governor: The Governor of California made a great speech. What was scary was that it showed that Republicans could have fun and LAUGH at themselves while the Democratic convention looked more like a funeral.The Speech: The speech by the Governor of California was what was needed for Republicans, I think. Even I was cheering when I was watching it on TV.And My Wardrobe: I look more like a redneck than a "Young Republican". Appearance is not always the best barometer for someone's views.

So now I am a librarian...

So I have my master's degree in library science.Do I have a job? No.Do I have much hope for a job right now? No.Am I sure it was all worth it? I don't know...

The Long Week

I find out Friday whether I officially can tack on the postnomials that say I am a trained librarian. I really hope such is possible. I find out after 1630 EDT whether I can or not.

I also have an all-day job interview on Friday that is dependent upon me getting those postnomials. Failure to do so would be catastrophic. I wound wind up substitute teaching for a while until I could figure out how to proceed.


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