everytime you make a powerpoint
edward tufte kills a kitten
(dataviz via heeeraldo)

The freelancer at work today made an icon that looks impressively like that bathroom guy pointing at a screen.

What’s going on with the guy in the chair in the upper right hand corner? Also, poor kittens.


What have I been up to?

In progress

Empty book trucks


When I got my job at Cooley, I said that I thought it would be neat to be on the ground floor of a new library – something that just doesn’t happen all that often these days. I didn’t realize that meant that I would be literally putting the books on the shelves. The books arrived on Tuesday, and I spent 14 hours between Thursday and Friday shelving. My hands are formed in leetle claws the shape of the ALR, though I’m sure my pain is nothing compared to my coworkers who were there all week.

On the bright side, I haven’t felt bad about not exercising because omg it hurts to move.  On the not-so-bright side, that means I’ve been too sore to run during the rare November weekend in the 60s.  Maybe today – if the Decennial Digests don’t beat me down.

IM transcript of the day

(5:26:21 PM) gelmaninfo@meebo.org/Home: what is your topic?
(5:26:35 PM) Patron: cow sharing in Maryland


(5:32:29 PM) gelmaninfo@meebo.org/Home: is there a synonym for ‘sharing’ that is used in the farm business?
(5:33:21 PM) Patron: i am not certain
(5:33:25 PM) Patron: its like buying cow stocks
(5:33:35 PM) Patron: not a stock but buying like the “shares” to a cow
(5:33:45 PM) gelmaninfo@meebo.org/Home: right.  I know they do that in PA with horses
(5:33:56 PM) Patron: really??
(5:34:01 PM) Patron: whats the purpose of that?
(5:34:21 PM) Patron: like the purpose of using cow shares is to get around the law that sales of raw milk are illegal.
(5:34:55 PM) gelmaninfo@meebo.org/Home: oh, my dentist just likes to ride a horse but can’t afford to own one alone… different!

Scenes from the Reference Desk

The worst part of tonight: the patron who tried to bully me into making a webpage for him for $300.  Now, it’s not that I don’t want your $300, dude.  It’s that you’re trying to pressure me into doing something that I have no intention of doing just because I’m nice and it’s my job to help people.  I attempted to make it clear that while I would help him find information about web hosting and site design, I would absolutely not make the website for him.  This went on for about five minutes, until I finally said “Look, I’m not going to make your website” and convinced him to make flyers to hang up so that he could hire cheap (aka student) labor.  Just because you’re from Africa and are computer illiterate (both things he told me) doesn’t mean I’m going to be a sucker.

The best part of tonight: a patron IM’d looking for data on social networking site usage amongst Gen Y/millennials.  Not only was I able to immediately help him – I knew which Pew report would provide the exact information he needed.  It also gave me a really good excuse to publish the still incomplete LibGuide I created.  I’m usually able to help patrons to some extent, but it’s really rare that I get a question that I can totally nail while at the same time having the patron be excited about the information I found for them.  Yay!

Grumpy pants

I thought I was going to get out the door on time, but was waylaid by prepping the marinade for dinner that took omg longer than I expected.  Thank goodness for SB giving me a ride, and I guess at least we’ll have dinner almost ready when we get home.

We changed our IM staffing model this morning, and the person who was supposed to relieve me at 1pm wasn’t seen or heard from until after 2.  The person who attempted to relieve me at 1:30 didn’t have the correct software installation set up.  Therefore, I was chained to my desk from 11-2, roughly, except for the times when I was running around trying to figure out other people’s technology problems and/or helping out at the desk.  This all takes the place of my plans to go to the gym at 1.

I decided to give the coffee man another try.  My coffee tastes burnt.

I still haven’t gotten my reimbursement check from my trip to Denver almost TWO MONTHS ago.

I am a grump.  Grump grump grump.

25 September 2008

The weather turned cool and rainy today, and SB and I had difficulty getting out of bed as a result.  The last few mornings have been deliciously cool – not so cold that you need a jacket, but cool enough that staying under the thin blankets curled up together seems like a good idea.  We had warm homemade cereal with chopped up bites of apple for breakfast.

I spent pretty close to all day in my office, making progress on assorted things.  This week I’ve had a lot of self-directed time which is a nice change from endless meetings – but also means that I struggle at times to keep motivated or focused or – something.  What’s the word I’m going for?  Yesterday I purged my desk of clutter and made piles organized by project = focus!  In case you’re curious, a few things that I’m working on currently:

  1. An evaluation of statistics tools and processes with the hopeful end result of implementing a consistent (and systematic) workflow in all the public service points.
  2. Transitioning to a different staffing model for our IM service, for which I have basically sole responsibility, having disbanded my committee last week.
  3. Working with other campus units to create library content for the modular University portal site (well, trying to do so).

I battled a throbbing headache all day, then came home a little early and sat with a cup of French press coffee for a bit.  Dinner was perfect for the weather – a sort of cassoulet with from-scratch tomato sauce and tarragon pork sausage.  Rich, flavorful, and filling, though we were snackish later on.  Next time we’ll have some crusty bread and it will be exactly right.

19 September 2008

I’m coming up on my first anniversary at the library, but there are still many, many days when I feel like I haven’t a clue what I’m doing.  Between 12-1 I was swamped at the desk – the phone was ringing and I was juggling multiple patrons in person and on IM.  Each question felt impossible, or was about something that I either had never worked with or never heard of.  I know it really wasn’t THAT bad – well, I hope it wasn’t  – but I was by myself, and I just felt overwhelmed and flustered.

I left early and walked home from the train, meeting Shane at Buzz for coffee and more work.  The weather was perfect – high in the 70s, breezy enough that I wanted my hoodie.  A woman had her baby in a Bjorn and seated him cross-legged in the big lounge-y chairs outside while she got settled.  Shane saw one of our neighbors.  We walked home together, had a disappointing dinner (despite good smells and prepping everything this morning, the recipe – questionable to begin with – just didn’t work), then spent a nice evening puttering, hanging photos, making zucchini muffins, and generally nesting.  After a year of feeling really out of place – this feels like home.

17 September 2008

Today I did the following things:

  • wrote some letters
  • went to EXTREME TRAINING and worked so hard that I felt like I’d throw up
  • wore a long-sleeved shirt for the first time in months
  • rode yellow bike
  • listened to The New Pornographers and also The Watson Twins
  • ate some soup
  • got embroiled in office politics
  • helped a deaf patron
  • drank a mocha
  • learned about fats

I’m too tired to form complete sentences.  Except that one, I guess.

5 September 2008

A long, tired day, and I’m ready for bed at 9pm.  Some good meetings and project planning, and other time just wasted trying to concentrate.  I missed the 5:02 bus and so took a meandering walk through our new neighborhood instead of waiting 20 minutes for the next one – and in doing so, found an adorable Greek restaurant (!!!) that I can’t wait to try.  Baked acorn squash and grilled chicken for dinner = yum.

Tropical Storm (Hurricane?) Hanna is supposed to hit this area tomorrow, which will directly get in the way of our farmers’ market routine.  It’ll be nice to not have to do anything.