December 28th 2006 Posted at Uncategorized
Tonight I’m going through a lot of bookmarks on this year’s China browsing. Oddly, there’s been a bunch of sites that haven’t thrown a 404, but just sit there not connecting. Now I’m connecting the dots: we heard on the radio that there was an earthquake in Taiwan, and some of the Asian blogs are mentioning possible connectivity problems (even Heather in Thailand mentioned it). I guess it’s not too much of a leap to connect those dots.
December 23rd 2006 Posted at Uncategorized
Not in blogging, but between terms. This is an epic winter break that will allow 2 seperate trips. We just returned from Chicago, and tomorrow we’ll head up to Seattle for family and iSchool-classmate goodness.
Once again Chicago astounds. And not just because of the unseasonably warm weather. And no Kramer, there was no culinary tri-fecta this time. Sure, kiszka was eaten, but other meals were more sedate:
- Seared tuna with wasabi mashed potatoes at Tomboy. This was actually my first visit to this Andersonville storefront after years of hearing about it, and it was very satisfying. Good company and a great meal, er, Great company. I was amazed at how posh this stretch of Clark Street has become. It was pretty nice when I left, now it’s downright upscale.
- Tapas was had with an old friend. In this case the company was better than the food, but it was respectable. This is perhaps the first time I’ve been satisfied with the Spanish small plates.
- Oddly, we had breakfast with our friend from Boston at a brand-new new breakfast joint in the South Loop (those high-rise residents seem desperate for breakfast).
- One intimate meal with just the two of us completed our 36-hour jaunt to the city: sushi at the sheik Bob San, on the recommendation of KevinG, who is astonishing us with his jewelry designs. The busboys’ continuous pacing of the room was a little offputting, but the food was damn respectable. We weren’t intending on having sushi, as we’ll be heading to Seattle for Christmas, but sometimes you just have to follow friends’ advice.
Other stops included the Neo-Futurarium, Clark Street Ale House, Prairie Avenue Books, and a World’s Fair-type look at our sustainable future at the MCA.
Oh, yeah, we went to a Cub Scout meeting too!
November 15th 2006 Posted at Uncategorized
Last week, I found this near approximation of a great bike becoming available:
This week, the real thing is appearing:
I’ve been waiting for these a long time. And remember folks, it was my idea to import them.
November 8th 2006 Posted at Uncategorized
This just came over the digital transom, and I think it’s fantastic.
Obviously, I am the only person left in the universe (well, the blogosphere anyway) that has any qualms about blogging from the office, because it took FOREVER to log in just now. I have an excuse: I’m on the reference desk.
Dance monkies, dance.
November 5th 2006 Posted at Uncategorized
Went to a small party last night that could have been an advertisement for the net society.
A good portion of the party was spent gathered around a widescreen monitor in the living room (set up with a cordless keyboard and mouse) looking for karaoke videos on youtube. However they also kept getting distracted by odd Japanese TV show clips, kittens-falling-off-counters videos, and other wacky stuff. Granted, other stuff was going on (including Chinese caligraphy scrabble!), but I was fascinated by the collective web surfing. Who says the Internet will lead to social isolation?
November 2nd 2006 Posted at Uncategorized
While the news is old (to me and my librarian friends, anyway), it probably bears repeating one more time that the Environmental Protection Agency is closing many (all?) of its regional libraries.
I’m a little surprised (but pleased) to see that even Salon.com is picking up on the story. Maybe I’ve become thick-skinned to announcements of budget cuts and reduced services in libraries. In my 15 years in libraries, it just seems like business as usual.
October 25th 2006 Posted at Uncategorized
Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, lost his voice about a year ago. Well, not his whole voice, but just the ability to speak in a conversation, a condition called spasmodic dysphonia.
It’s freaky in and of itself, but the story of his recovery is somewhat inspiring. Here’s the whole saga:
Life with the disorder. The odd things your loved ones never point out.
Getting imaged. The actual diagnosis. The cure.
An amazing story.
October 25th 2006 Posted at Uncategorized
Normally conferences are sort of exhausting: trying to keep up with e-mail remotely while juggling sessions, informal contacts, navigating food and drink away from home. This time I had keeping up with Chinese homework to contend with too!
Oddly, NACIS seemed to be a breeze compared with day-to-day life here in the library.
October 20th 2006 Posted at Uncategorized
Today I met the man that made the contemporary Chicago subway map.
I thanked him.
It’s a very good conference. While there’s not too many librarians (that kind of automatically makes it a good conference, doesn’t it? ), all of the attendees are my primary suppliers and consumers. I get to listen to both ends of my supply chain at the same time.
Here’s a scoop: the average USGS 7.5′ quad is 28 years old. Now THAT’S out of date. So let’s not complain too much about the move to print-on-demand.
Today at lunch, my good friend JB announced that he was having a corned beef sandwich in order to ‘break the sausage cycle’ that he has been in since arriving in Madison. I have no such qualms: I had bangers and mash.
October 17th 2006 Posted at Uncategorized
My wife. Who wrote me a lovely letter on our anniversary last week.
Spontaneously remembering a Chinese character a day or two after learning how to write it. I think this stuff just might stick.
Author readings. Especially Barry Lopez’s comments last week about the personal responsibilities of authors.
The Parthenon Gyros Shop where I will be eating dinner in about 12 hours.
My bike. One morning recently an acquaintance rode up next to me and complimented me on it, saying that his wife looked at the same model. Rather than asking, ‘how’s it working out?’ or ‘do you like it?’ he asked: “Does it make you happy?”