mdoneil's blog

;Loising my religion.... for a job?

There is a job posted on the Florida Library Jobs site that requires that applicants "be willing to attend an Assemblies of God congregation."

1 cool thing, 1 request

I was poking around at BrianG's work blog and I found an interesting tidbit about the National Center for Standards and Certification Information. Check Brian's blog of 17FEB06 for better links and more info.

If anyone has an information about certification requirements for librarians in other countries (or other states for that matter) please let me know so I can update . I finally have some free time again.

Tagged like a Cheney hunting trophy

Four jobs I've had:

1.Women's shoe salesman (quit the day the space shuttle Challenger exploded)

2. Dead person removal guy (was in the movie Cocoon as a dead body as my bosses wheeled me out)

3.Registered Nurse

4. Very bad waiter (3 different places, no more than 3 weeks each place)

Four movies I can (and do) watch over and over:

1.My Left Foot

2. Casablanca

3. Snapper - I still laugh like an idiot each time

4. This is my Father

Four places I've lived:

1. Florida

2. Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

3. Chapelizod, Co. Dublin

4. Buffalo, New York

Four TV shows I love:

1. The Office (UK more so than US but I like them

2. Monk

3. Fawlty Towers (all 12 episodes)

4. A&E's Hercule Poirot

Four places I've vacationed:

1. Chichicastenango & Tikal, Guatemala

2. Crystal Beach, Ontario

3. Madrid

4. 25 of 32 Mexican States

Four of my favorite dishes:

1. Roast Beef (on Weck)

2. Quesadillas con pollo

3. Roast turkey

4. Potatoes -any way

Four sites I visit daily:

1. LISNews

2. Drudge

3. Google

4. (or

Four places I would rather be right now:

1. Rathmines Inn, Lower Rathmines Rd, Dublin 8

2. Donatellos restaurant (across from Rathmines Inn)

3. Los Almendaros restaurant Merida, Yucatan

4. Schwabl's restaurant West Seneca, NY

Four books (or series) I love:

1.The Great Brain series by John D Fitzgerald

2. Father Dowling (or any by Ralph McInerney)

3. Anything Agatha Christie

4. Anything P.G. Wodehouse)

Four video games I can (and do) play over and over:

1. PacMan

2. Ms. PacMan

3. Freecell

4. 3 out of 4 ain't bad.

Four bloggers I am tagging:

I don't think I know four people who have not completed this already. If my mom & grandmother & great grandmother want to blog than live it up.

Chavez wins UNESCO Marti Prize

So this can be discussed:

I'll bet Harry Belafonte is happy.

By the way Chavez is a Socialist and nuts.


I have a secret word that is used as a password with a government agency. I have to identify myself by license number and they use this secret word to make sure I am me.

The secret word is aardvark. Today two people insisted it was not a word, and a supervisor insisted that it was incorrect as I should have use anardvark since 'ardvark' begins with a vowel.

Some days even I wonder about the government. They are sending me a form so I can change the code word.

Alito Nomination Opposed by ALA

My esteemed colleague has posted about this in her journal, but with the plethora of formatting errors due to cutting and pasting from a non-standards compliant word processing application and the fact that comments are turned off I thought I might just add my two cents here.

Hey Canadians Vote

I'd vote for Harper, and I'd vote like they do in Detroit, early and often.

Remember it is an offense to eat your ballot.

Happy Democracy.

WaPo blog shutdown after nasty comments by Dems

The Washington Post's ombudsman noted in her column that Democrats, as well as Republicans received contributions from Abramoff. That brought forth an onslaught of rude, even filthy comments on her blog. It seems the supporters of those same Democrats can be filty name calling weasels. Jim Brady, the WaPo's executive editor noted that the comments included: "Personal attacks, the use of profanity, and hate speech."

For more see the AP story here. Golly Gee, who would have thunk it?

College Republicans

I was a College Republican when I was an undergraduate. I'm glad the College Republicans are raring to go; an involved citizenry makes for good government.

I won't link to the same link that Dr. McCook provided because it is just silly humor - today its top entry is an attempt at a humor disguised as a personals advertisement for the future Mrs. Alito. I don't know perhaps some people think it is a scream; I thought it was juvenile.

I was also a member of the Sierra Club in college and I still buy their calendars.

OP-ed piece about Kennedy's remarkes re: ILL MAO farce

The newspaper that started the ILL MAO fiasco has posted an op-ed piece that asks that Kennedy stick to the facts. A nice job, but I don't see Kennedy changing his spots and sticking to the facts any time soon, or for that matter ever.

I do like the author's comment on the original story: "Given the details, it is almost laughable that anyone ever believed him." Hmmm...sounds like something I said.

I hate

I hate the IRS forms.

People started asking for them two weeks before the year ended.

They have started to arrive but we get the odd schedules before the 1040-whatever forms so the patrons get all pissy. I don't want to hear it. I put out all the forms I have received and I put up a sign that says these are all the forms we have right now - if more come they will be put out as soon as they arrive. If you don't find the form you want you may order it from the IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM (also listed as digits).

New website

I put up a new website, If I ever get motivated I may change it from the notepade created HTML to something spiffy with comments and discussion.

Since I've had 3 naps today don't rush right to the site.

OK now it is worse than it was, but I have Joomla installed properly. I've never used Joomla before, but I am quite familiar with the MySQL back end and I feel like playing around with it.

I just found six bucks in the washing machine, lunch Tuesday is paid for !

Petition signers personal info abused

A petition was circulated in Mass to put a proposed amendment to the state constitution on the ballot. A special intrest group who opposes the amendment has posted the petition signers names and addresses on its webiste so that checks for fraud may be made. Bear in mind that these signatures were vetted by the Secretary of the Commonwealth as being authentic.

A poem

!*[email protected]$_
%* ~#4

Found this when cleaning up the HDD, my brother sent it years ago.

I gave myself a Christmas gift!

I went here and used the button to send a few bucks along to support (I hope the button still works!)

I appreciate the exchange of ideas that happens on LISNews- including the opinions of those with whom I don't always agree. The panoply of experiences, ideas and opinions available at LISNews and its immediacy make LISNews a rewarding rest stop on the Information Superhighway.

Depressing / Enlightening

I just came back from Western New York. I stopped at several Buffalo & Erie County library branches and it was really sad that they are closing the libraries. I visited the first library I ever went to the Cazenovia branch and it closed in November. I walked it, it was 204 steps to my Grandmothers's house. I'm sad to see that close.

I went to the Elma branch, which is the first library I used by myself, I was allowed to select my own books rather than just going with my Grandmother. They signed me up for a card and let me use the computer. I had to get a 'computer only' card -since I'm from out of town I can't check out any books. Elma is not on the closing list, but they need community donations to keep open enough hours to maintain state certification.

I also went to the Depew branch which is closing at the end of this month. You can no longer check out books there, only return books. They are having a book sale at the end of the month. $2 hardbacks & $1 softcovers, the next day the prices are cut in half and the final day it is all you can jam in a bag for a buck. I know books are inanimate objects but to sell library books off like so much flotsam and jetsam saddens me. That there will be fewer libraries in Erie county saddens me even more.

There were some bright spots. I saw two advertisements in the "Buffalo News" for librarians, both at UB one for a medical librarian and one for some other type that I can't really recall as it was some management type position. That beats my local paper. Unfortunately there will probably be 100 qualified applicants for those positios. I couldn't bring myself to apply. There are laid off librarians in WNY who need those jobs more than I do.

I did visit the downtown branch, I'm not sure I've ever been there before. I did not find the staff remarkably unhelpful, but then I didn't ask for anything other than directions. I did make a few observations. No one uses self check out. They are even offering a $0.75 coupon for a Wendy's combo meal if patrons use self check out. There was a line of 12 people but no one used self check out.

There are only two small bathrooms in the whole building and in both people were practicing good hygene by either shaving or bathing. One of the facilities, the Humanities and Science reference room is closing one day a week because of the budget cuts. Simply amazing. I don't know what caused the budget problems in Erie County (I know what caused it unchecked spending and a corrupt administration) but I don't know why the people of WNY tolerate this crap.

I did see some other non-library related stuff like churches I once attended. The Basilica of Our Lady of Victory and some others primarily for their architecture but some just because I remember them as a kid. I also saw the Frank Lloyd Wright designed mausoleum at Forest Lawn (as well as visiting all my dead realtives pread from Lancaster, to Lackawanna, to Buffalo near the Corner of Harlem and Genesee. Oddly a lot of people were out in the snow visiting the graves.

The newspaper also had a great article about the Patriot Act's library records provision and what is used much more frequently -National Security Letters. It says we should be more concerned with NSL than anything else. See it for free for a few days a the News. Interestingly the 'My View' column right above that story was from a soldier who thinks the troops are doing their job and who is not real please with the media noting that as "Rancor and hyperbole peak, we continue to be fed bastardized statistics." (read 'em quick they will be free only another week, then fee based.)

I also went to the Broadway market, that was the most disappointing part. When I was a little kid it was a treat to go there. Now it is almost deserted. It is really sad to see the city's businesses and culture fade away. My Grandfather was the plant engineer for some years before being promoted to chief plant engineer at city hall. I never really knew what he did other than keep the boiler running. I never knew what a boiler was but I knew it was a really important job because he had a reserved parking spot.

So while my trip to Buffalo was bittersweet it still feels like home. I did stop at a real estate agent's office and pick up some brochures. If I could find a job there I would move back in a second. Old friends are still around - people I've known for more than 30 years who are happy to see you if you have been gone 3 days or 3 decades. Heck even the lady that rear ended me on Main Street in Williamsville knew my uncle the eye doctor.

Thomas Wolfe wrote You Can't Go Home Again, but you can - you just have to realize it has changed and not always for the better.

Politics is librarianship?

The last few weeks have been remarkably illuminating. On the day before Thanksgiving I was beaten and robbed and I found I am unable to shoot felons running away from me. I guess that is a good thing, especially if you are one of the guys that beat me up.

I also went to the mall and was reminded how distasteful I find the commercialization of Christmas. I wonder if this happens to the High Holy Days in Israel? Or do are they able to separate secular consumerism from religious holidays? My family only gives token gifts to one another and I'll continue that this year. My mom wants some washcloths and she told me the local hardware store / marine supply store has a 12 pack on sale. My brother is probably getting meat again this year. We are a practical bunch. Our Christmas gifts will most likely go to the Humane Society - a group that can put the money we would usually waste on stuff that would end up in the back of closets to a much better use.

This week a man from Tampa was kidnapped in Haiti, in an area to which I have traveled several times. He was bringing relief supplies to an orphanage that I have seen but never been to. His family paid a ransom of $10K for his release. I can only pray for his safe release, but on the bright side they accepted a wire transfer so if they renege they can be tracked down.

Today I was quite disappointed by my library director, and I realized that a library director's primary duty is to be a politician and not a librarian. I was not so naive to think this was not the case, but I was indeed disappointed to have my suspicions confirmed. This only adds to my displeasure with public librarianship, as I know it. I though it was to assist the patron but it really is not, it is a mixture of theatre, mental health care, politics, and clerical duties, with perhaps 10 percent of the work being devoted to duties appropriate for a librarian. It is unfortunate I didn't listen to the people who told me this before library school, but as always I thought it would be different if I were involved. As usual it was not.

On the good news side I have been accepted into a medical school. Where I want to go medical school is an undergraduate program (as it is in most countries outside the US). Four of five months ago I was browsing the University's website at work and saying to my co-workers that I should apply there and they agreed. I filled the application out on a lark and was accepted. I know I would enjoy the learning even if I did not practice (I could not practice in the US). As I grow more and more disabused that we in the US are a kind, caring and civil people the more attractive living in a different country -in which I already own a house- becomes.

This country is filled with barely civil people and if one more of them comes up to the reference desk and grunts "Computer" I am going to tell them to ask politely. One of my co-workers told a rude patron today that she does not answer to whistles. I heartily support that, we are civilized people providing a public service, we are not house pets. I have grown remarkably weary of the incivility rampant in this country. Some people can be polite and civil without apparent effort, but others - and unfortunately the vast majority- lack the social skills I learned from the good sisters in second grade.

Is it so hard to say please and thank you? Is it so hard to ask for something rather than speaking in monosyllabic grunts? I want a cheeseburger is something a three year old would say; yet I hear it in McDonalds from adults. If I can say "May I please have a cheeseburger happy meal," then any adult can. It is simple rudeness to fail to treat others as you would be treated.

Is there some reason poorer people seem to be ruder than those more well off? Is it poverty that makes people rude, or rudeness that makes people poor. I have to think the latter as I would not hire someone lacking in social skills to any position that pays more than minimum wage doing work away from the public so as not to offend.

Well, that's my two weeks worth. I'm going to watch Charlie Brown's Christmas video.

Oh, and I'm going to Buffalo at the end of the week for a few days. I'm going to the library to see what kind of service I get; I hope it is not a bad as that which Blake gets. I'm also going to the Botanical Gardens. I love that place.

Reference question?

Dr. McCook noted that a frequent reference question is how many members of the US Forces have died in Iraq. I have never been asked that question. I do know of two sources that have that information readily available. ( has it listed daily and keeps an updated list. -although I think the AP is more authorative.)

Wikipedia wonder

I wonder why the list of celebrities that are listed on the Republican Celebrities page sourced while almost all of those on the Democratic page is not.

Never forget...

I'll not forget to post my how to about small claims court for fax spammers. I really can't call it a how to because that would be legal advice so a 'how I did' is more like it. Just to make certain I'm not banged up for UPL I gave it to a real Florida lawyer with whom I went to high school to see if I made any errors and to make sure that I'm not giving legal advice. As soon as I get it back from him I'll post it.


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