shoe's blog

There's a blog hanging from your nose

I don't know why I interpret the word "blog" that way. But it really does sound like it should be up there with the word "nose goblin."

I have just registered a new domain (aside from my old one, which is on my brother in law's server). My husband didn't want to outlay the money, but this morning he came around and said, "I play table top war games, and spend lots of money on metal army men and paint. You should have your hobby too."

Little did he know I went ahead and put the wheels in motion about eighteen hours earlier.

frumpy bumpy grumpy librarian

That's me right now. I get over tired sometimes. The little dogs got me up at six on my day off to tell me they peed on the floor ten minutes earlier. How nice of the little dorks.

I am thinking of doing an entirely separate blog, on LISHost, of course. My husband and I briefly entertained the idea of setting the Compaq up as a server, but the only server softwares I am familiar with are Win Server 2003 and Apache. Okay, and 2k Pro, but that hardly counts. I prefer Apache, though it is a bitch to set up correctly (did it once, and nearly killed myself). I drove one of the poor moderator guys on Linux Questions bats, I think. I had a question every five minutes.

It was all an issue of actually noticing where I'd put Apache and all the components I wanted to run off it. The sick thing was, I was setting it up just to, well, entertain myself. I was out of school for the summer, not working, and bored silly. Is that the mark of a geek or what?

Win Server 2003 is fairly easy to run and administer, but I don't want to give Bill Gates more money than I have to.

Good sig file I saw:

Throw a rock at a Window, and look what happens. Throw a rock at a penguin, and look what happens?

I assume penguins move when one throws rocks at them, but last time I tried to test that theory the cops escorted me from the aquarium.

I do this journal for two reasons... I really like LISNews, and I want to chronicle my journey through young librarianhood, for me more than anyone. But I am thrilled that I have some people coming along and joining me for the ride. It helps a lot, actually.

It's a psychological thing, too. It helps to talk about Edna and the patron who damned an old woman to hell yesterday. It even helps for non-librarian stuff, like Small Blonde and Freaky.

Librarian moment of Zen: Swish is the sound of two eight foot yellow groove bamboo plants getting shoved in the back of a Prius. Yes, you can fit trees (or in this case, really long blades of grass) in the Prius.

schedule changes

I like my summer schedule. One night a week, and a full complement staff on Fridays.

So if I moved this over to my own blog, would it still be read? I want to do an RSS feed for it, of course. But it's fun to design your own and do that sort of thing.

Driver 8

I think the PCs for Everyone (yay!) PCs with their cool card readers need an update of their drivers. I suspect this because a message keeps popping up about mass storage devices being improperly unplugged.

I suspect it's the card reader, because I don't honestly think that ten Intel motherboards right in a row could have faulty USB hookups. I do however believe ten came with the case card readers could.

I am downloading the drivers now. The tech guys basically agreed with me, but suggested disconnecting the card readers from the motherboard to see if perhaps I could get the problem to stop first. Then they mentioned that yes, there is a firmware update to the card reader. My money's on that.

The ATM line totally messed up today, and according to the network (I am, fortunately, unable to touch anything that might help or hinder them in this regard) we spent most of the day on backup. Which means our lone librarian in the branch had no internet, as for some strange reason our branch isn't on the main ATM line. She also told me her IBM sucked. Of course, we were all in IBM suckland as of three days ago. She is getting a Dell which I cleaned up and reconfigured to run faster and jump higher. At least, I took the bogging it down programs off and left it feel much less bloated. Except for that whole Windows thing.

One for the baby book: I changed my first iMac battery. Except for having shaky hands from medication, it wasn't too hard to put in.

I really hate dial up. With Opera, I have four tabs and a transfer open, and things are just crawling. I am all one for instant gratification.

Today I heard a patron on her way to the library damn an old woman to hell because she wasn't moving fast enough. The public is so nice sometimes.

It was the first Friday of the summer schedule. It was nice. We were full staff, all day. I actually finished up putting Horizon and on all the boxes, as well as making the individual tweaks I knew everyone would want. Some people love Netscape. Some people have programs they want transferred.

My boss said it's part computer technician part therapist when it comes to switching over boxes. In some ways, they're like cars and people get emotionally attached to them.

I can see why. If mine wasn't a backstabbing SOB, I probably would be attached to it. I am attached to the ubercomputer, after all.

I have to hit the ubercomputer with a can of compressed air soon. It's a mess. We have a filter on one of the fans, but that still leaves a lot of nooks and crannies for the blasted dust and dog hairs to get in.

In a non-computer, non-library note, tomorrow we are going to try to purchase a largish sort of grove of yellow bamboo for our garden. We got some dwarf bisetti last year and managed to kill it. Something about having to fertilize it or something. Actually, in our defense, it is coming back, just not as fast as I'd like.

Friday... last day of parochial school

It's the last day of the troublesome student's parochial school. For some reason, it seems that all the kids that come out of this school in the afternoon are so fired up. Some just run. Some mouth off. Some pull fire alarms. Some do all three.

I sure hope my public likes Barry White

Because damn, we just got about 50 of the same Barry White CDs at work with this settlement. What's up with that? How much Barry White does one community need? We're going to be in a really mellow, soulful mood all the time if this keeps up.

We got some other stuff, too. I think most of it's Easter Island Reggae-Organ Grinder-Goth music. I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but it's not exactly stuff that's, well, popular. Some of it's okay, but we really don't need more than three of the same album, I wouldn't think.

making headway

Gradually making headway on the computers. I've got five of them so that they run Horizon and all the necessary components. I put OpenOffice on them, then set them up so that they'd have at least a few catalog bookmarks. I am giving Netscape to the people that I know use it.

Actually making more progress than I thought I would, though I hope I have a little more time off the desk today than I usually do.

ActiveSync turns out to be freeware. I am using Pocket Informant on my Pocket PC in place of the kind of blah and nasty software that came with it. I was hoping it had a desktop component, but it doesn't. However, I prefer it so much over the standard I registered it anyway.

I will be so glad when the damned word processor that's out on the floor can finally be retired. I spent the better part of an hour helping some poor people try to get the printer to cooperate with Word. I think the problem was with the computer, honestly, but don't quote me on that. I worked a little systems librarian magic and got them printing on the iMac instead. I swear the printer on that's better anyhoo.

Thursday! I love Thursdays! I really do. We close for staff development, which usually isn't too enlightening, but it's the only time we can all get together for meetings. We close for an hour. Then I get to have my lunch really late and for some reason it makes the day feel really fast.

My favorite part of the new computers: opening the box.

We had a few "Oh the humanity" moments yesterday. Someone has taken to throwing books out the window (I guess that's one way around the security tape). So now the windows are being screwed shut. It's going to be cooking in there this summer.

It's kind of funny, people think working in a library must be quiet and boring (or relaxing) and dull... I dare them to spend one day at my job.

A mesozoic gentleman walked into special collections at 3:58 yesterday when I was on. We close at 4. I was good about it (I really felt guilty sending this poor guy back out into the heat) and let him have a few minutes to look at the collection. I've seen him before (not in special) and he is a sweetheart. But boy he likes to talk.

the evil empire

I am currently downloading a free trial of Intellisync software for my Pocket PC. I refuse to try to fight with Microsoft to transfer my license from my old PC to my new PC, and then have to pay $100 for the craptacular program known as Outlook anyway.

my lovely boxes

They have this neat glowy-on switch. I didn't really want the fancy schmancy case, but it came standard, so I went for it on the new boxes. They certainly look high tech with their card readers and glowy bits.

I am less than pleased with a certain custodian. I understand that the air conditioner had to get fixed, and I understand the HVAC guy was right there. However, UPS was also right there with (let's just say) a lot of money's worth of computers just laying on the sidewalk for God and man to behold. UPS was not gentle in throwing them on the sidewalk. However, the custodian was less gentle. He was so flustered about one of the guybrarians yelling at him about the PCs being here that he scooped one up, not very carefully, and the box gave way and crashed on to the pavement. I almost threw up.

I'm pretty happy with what I see thus far. Horizon opens actually somewhat quickly with a gig of RAM and a faster processor. Not real quickly, but somewhat faster.

I had to call the very patient and sweet systems guy at the network twice about installing Horizon. With a little bit of tweaking I got it working correctly.

One down, nine more to go.

I have to try the burning capabilities out. Fortunately, the Lite-On products come with Nero (yay!) not Roxio. I hate Roxio. We have Roxio on our suck computer at home and it's hard to operate, I think. I much prefer the clean operation of Nero on the ubercomputer. Actually, I much prefer K3b in Linux on the ubercomputer, but hey.

My computer is nearly set up, except that I forgot to bring my Pocket PC software in. I installed 1.1.1 because I refuse to pay that much for a Microsoft product. It's compatible, it works nicely, and it doesn't cost anything.

So now I'm up to my ears in PCs and don't have the time to put them together like I'd like. I worked through lunch today (don't tell my boss) just so I could get mine squared away.

Dances with Porn Stars

This tickled me:

Boy Not Allowed to Bring Porn Star to Prom

I don't know what's particularly wrong with bringing a porn star to the prom, so long as she keeps fully clothed (or at least as clothed as the other girls) and doesn't violate any laws in regards to sex with minors. Just because she's a porn star doesn't mean she will. So I wonder what the prom guidelines are?

He would have been one popular kid at my high school prom, I'll tell you.

restarting the process

Do I know our filter or do I know our filter? The network restarted the service and gave me a different IP address to proxy through that is somewhat more reliable than the original.

This is a big day for me. PCs for Everyone! Yay! I do hope they arrive in the morning, because I am on the desk all afternoon.

I do hope the filter is back

I do hope the filter is back when I get in today. Honestly, someone may have found a site that just got through the filtering software. But it goes down enough that maybe I should be testing them on a weekly basis. I suspect it's down now. I don't particularly like looking at porn at work, especially on the public floor. That's kind of nasty. I had an older patron right behind me when I was trying to shut down all the "teen booby" windows.

Today I called 911 for a good reason

Today, we came around the row in the parking lot to find a man lying on the pavement. We missed seeing him actually get struck by the woman pulling out by about two seconds. This is literally twenty minutes after I made fun of my husband freaking out because he forgot his cell phone at home.

I jumped out of the super white Prius and ran to the nearest store, where I called 911.

"I hate this library!"

It's funny how that statement gets different reactions out of me depending on who says it. I am amused when kids say it after I throw them out. I never throw out a kid without warning and without good reason. Sorry we don't allow for a free for all, kiddies.

Then we have Edna, who doesn't hate the library per se, but she certainly has a hatred for each one of our machines. Funny, though, because she always uses them. In her defense, the word processor is pitiful. That should change shortly, as getting out the new word processors is a priority in my book. As soon as I free up some machines.

Then there's a man who's got some problems. Or a chip on his shoulder. He doesn't like a certain member of our support staff. I have to say, on the floor, she is gruff sometimes. Just her mannerisms. That being said, she's not outwardly rude to the patrons, she just has a different sort of presentation that's not geared toward the public. She's a great person, a laugh and a half, and quite good at the behind the scenes stuff.

She asked him a legitimate question the other day, and he flew off the handle. Not unusual. He does this a lot. Then he had trouble printing at the print station and came to me. I heard how he disliked this particular library... Usually when people say that, I don't try to change their minds. I've found a lot of their reasons are unfounded. Then he told me briefly why. He didn't like our internet system, he said, but that's not my fault. I laughed to myself, because it's totally my doing. But he'd be complaining even more if he had to wait indefinitely while we tried to bodily remove someone from the machine for him.

Then he didn't like us because we don't offer complimentary printing, like the Xtown Public Library. Xtown is a suburb that's absolutely loaded. We are a community of people of mostly recent immigrants and the elderly. The money doesn't exactly flow from those two demographics. I told him briefly about funding. I also told him how to just print what he needed, not the whole document, to cut down the price of his print job.

Suddenly he was a new person. The prickliness went away, and he thanked me profusely. I've dealt with this guy before, and if you start out on the right foot with him, he's actually quite pleasant. I tend to be sickly sweet with people who give me the "I hate this library" line... but my motives are ulterior.

I like to make them feel kind of guilty for dumping that line.

Strangely enough, I've also noticed, most of the people who use this line are from out of town.

Though he didn't say he hated the library, I think there was a gentleman that hated me yesterday. I wasn't rude, but unfortunately he needed services from the library we just don't offer (namely, downloading of files and saving to disk off the internet terminals). The poor guy was in a bad way. He needed these documents badly and didn't have a car to drive to Kinko's. I called three local libraries and finally found one that would allow him to do what he needed. Then I found him a bus route.

I didn't have to do that. I hope he appreciated it. I think he did.

PCs for Everyone! YAY!

My new PCs will be arriving on our doorstep Tuesday. Where the hell am I going to put all the boxes, the joyful, love filled, boxes I haven't yet begun to hate?

Strangely enough, some librarians don't want new machines. I want so badly to replace all the IBMs. That's all that matters.

I think our filter needs to be restarted. They were having some server problems this week, and I think the service somehow stopped or aborted or something. Anyway, I got treated to a bunch of teens baring all on the iMac today. Honest to god, I like nudity and stuff as much as the next chick, but that's just sort of icky in a public library. Come on.

GregS has a nice point on my HTML classes theory... Although I've been thinking of maybe rethinking some of our policies. If I got a grant to do it, I would write in some computers with CDRWs and such, and probably have them dedicated to both word processing and internet when they were on the floor. I don't like the idea of people uploading or downloading on my machines, honestly. I think, though, we're going to have to yield to some of these things.

More discussion: Do your libraries allow saving to disk on anything other than word processing terminals? We don't allow floppies in our internet machines. I like it this way, sometimes. Sometimes I think it's a little unreasonable.

Honestly, if I were a patron, it would frustrate the bejeesus out of me. There are plenty of legitimate things people use disks for. Then, there are plenty of people that just want to fudge up your machine, too, and I spend a lot of time fixing machines. Fortres and Win2K are pretty good about not allowing execution of files on the desktop. But I worry.

Boy do I ever.

Today was a controlled sort of busy. It went quickly, which was nice. I got some stuff done, which was nice.

Today was one of those days I like my job. I like my job every day, but today was one of those days I was behind the desk thinking, "Damn, I like my job."

summer begins

Summer officially begins at the library this evening at six. We are switching to our summer schedule. Yay. As much as I like having Fridays off, it certainly sucks coming in on Saturdays.

Can I share with you my dislike for the (cough) iPac? Sheesh. I can not get the damned thing to work right from home.

so where do we go from here

I am giving serious thought, as I think we all are at the library, about how to handle our crowd control problem. The thing is, it's not just one group of kids. If it were, that would be easier. These kids we threw out yesterday are never on the computers. I rarely throw the kids that are on the computers out of the library (off the computers, yes). But even still, they too are a problem. They're better behaved than the ones yesterday, but the sheer numbers of them make it difficult.

Of course, the obvious answer is more staff and more space, neither of which are possible.

The problem is, we have a lot of kids with nothing to do. The computer crowd, though basically well behaved, never has homework, it seems. And there are no afterschool programs, nothing going on at the Y... There's nothing for these kids to do. The library is convenient and right near several schools. So they come here.

Of course, a program for them would be good... They'd enjoy something involving computers, I'd think, but I don't know how much they'd enjoy it if it didn't involve sending pictures of their girlfriends to each other, or playing games. Perhaps I'm not giving them enough credit though.

We have six computers upstairs for training purposes. We have more than six kids. Way more. So that would require, again, more resources, more space, and more staff than we have.

It might be fun to teach them HTML or something. They're basically good kids... mostly from immigrant families, and I rather like some of them. Sometimes they bring in friends that aren't so well behaved, but that's a rarer occurrence.

I also have to figure out how I'm going to dole out the new PCs. Fact is, everyone's not getting PCs. I want to replace mine, and the other three IBMs that are downstairs with me. So that's four computers. Information needs a new one, indubitably. Five. It would be good to give one to the cataloger, as her computer seems to be choking under the weight of all the stuff she needs to run. Six. Children's might like a new one. Seven. That leaves me three to play with. I suppose I could replace one for the support staff... Eight.

One thing I do know, the new ones are not going out to the public. Boy howdy.

I will take some of the old IBMs and make them Word Processing terminals. I have to desperately look for all the drivers I'm going to need to set up these new computers (and reconfigure the old). I am going to be one busy chick.

the fat lady's singing

Remember a few weeks back when I called the cops on those kids? Today they pulled the fire alarm... well, accidently, I'm sure, but they were doing stuff they weren't supposed to or the thing would never have went off. So, me, the assistant director, and a few others threw them out (there's a lot of them.) They needed to go back in and get their stuff. We let them, and they lingered. So I went to get them out. Again.

It was the usual crap. "I didn't do it." "It was so and so." "I don't know why you're blaming me."

Okay, is this bad? There's this one girl. I just hate her face. She gets this total whiny thing going on and tries to convince you that she's the perfect angel. When she senses you aren't buying it she starts talking back. But the look she gets on her face... ugh.

So today she went through this whole thing. And I told her point blank I didn't care, she was as guilty of pulling it as everyone else in that group out there.

So I'm talking to the assistant director in the lobby and I hear them say, "That fat woman is an asshole." I think meaning me, or possibly the circ staff woman who wouldn't let them back in. Either way. They get nary an inch with me now. The fat lady has sung.

It's sort of amusing. Now I'm ticked off at them, and that's good. I tend to be lenient. They seem to think that I'm the uppity up that runs the place. I seem to be the one that ultimately gets to throw that particular group out.

And I am the one that called the cops.

The rest of the day, however, went remarkably well. The switch caused a few minor interruptions, but not bad. There was a problem with the (cough) iPac. Network got to fix that though, I have no control, nor do I want any, of those servers.

I breathed one more breath of life into my desktop PC. I think it's just exceptionally easy to short out. After discharging electricity three or four times from it, it finally started again. Swearing and pretending to kick it helped.

I also found the iMac battery I needed. No thanks to the Radio Shack down the street. I wanted to just roll in and buy them, but of course they had no idea what I was asking for when I called. So I ordered them online.

I even got a good start on some bureaucratic stuff I need to take care of. Hopefully Saturday will bring a few more hours to devote to that.

Do I look fat in these pants?

The day of living switch

Okay, it might not be striking fear in your heart, but it's making me a little uneasy.

We're doing a hotswap, so any one PC will only be down a few minutes, and only the ones that are in the hubs presently. I wish I'd had time to go down and see exactly which ones those are, but they seem to be mostly the second floor.

Life got in the way of systems again. Sigh.

I am more concerned, however, about my Mac battery problem. It seems Apple makes only a few of that type of battery for that type of iMac, and they're a real bitch to get. I might get lucky and find some. I might not. I might be sticking our old PCs out for catalog terminals when the Macs finally give it up.

I know which ones I'd use... I'd use the Dells with no drives. Inconvenient for everything else, great for catalog terminals. I think I probably could install Linux on them with my handy dandy external drive... I don't think Linux actually needs to boot from CD. You know, I honestly don't recall. I suppose I have enough internal spare drives kicking around that I could hook those suckers up to one and install Linux as the only OS. Linux rocks for catalog terminals. Actually, my Linux experiment is ideal for that.

Local history really needs more than one microfilm machine that prints. I had some patrons getting surly (well, okay, one. The other was fine about it) because they had to share. They each got an hour total. I never thought I'd see the day I wished there was a timer on the microfilm machine. Crikey.

Today there is a lot of schedule shifting because of the switch. I'm hoping that the network arrives a little later... I'm the only one on the desk till ten. I suppose I could stall them.

Not like it's too busy, either, or circ staff doesn't know where to find me. I could take the pager. Heh, information has a pager.

See the Amazon plog feature? Not a typo... a personalized blog. Mine shows the world what I ordered and when and where it's going to be delivered. Amazon keeps adding all these sucky new features. KISS (Keep it simple, stupids). And has anyone discovered a way to simply log out of Amazon? I would greatly appreciate it... I searched high and low for a log out button, and there seems to be none.

End of rant, hee hee.

Damn you, Technology Gods!

There was a power outtage last night. It took my computer, an IBM P3, with it. Those new computers can not come fast enough.

I also have to buy the iMacs batteries. Easy, right. Yeah. Right. Try to find one of those little buggers anywhere.

Local history was crowded today. Between that and my computer giving up the ghost right on my desk, I didn't get much done. Blasted technology.


Subscribe to RSS - shoe's blog