Archive for November, 2005

With some trepidation…

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

A funny thing happened on the way to the December Cites & Insights.

Finished the November issue in mid-October. Check. Posted it. Check. Took a couple of days to clean up the pieces (updating the volume index, etc.) and look at the burgeoning folders for future issues. Check.

Sort-of figured out what I’d probably write about for December: A piece (most likely a big piece) on the Open Content Alliance and Google Print Library Project, including some ©2 issues–that’s the thickest folder. Maybe a ©3 essay: Second thickest folder. After an interesting multiway email exchange, it seemed likely that I’d do a followup on the Net Media Perspective, probably a “mea culpa” (turns out I’m not in a good position to judge the presence or absence of Established Voices within the biblioblogosphere).

Two perspectives that I knew I wanted to write: A relatively short one on “Life Trumps Blogging” (no, I didn’t originate the term–a bunch of Christian/Bible bloggers were using “Real life trumps blogging” in 2002/2003, but I didn’t know about any of that) and another one about library and media futures, finally offering my comments on Blake Carver’s “Where do we fit?” essay at LISNews.

I started out with the last one. And wound up with around 16,000 words. Typically, a 22-page issue has room for around 16,300 words, and I definitely wanted the last issue of the year to be reasonably well-balanced, with four to seven pieces. Well, that wasn’t going to work.

So I set it aside and wrote the “Life Trumps Blogging” perspective. That went well, and came in at around 2,800 words–a good length.

I set both of them aside and wrote two columns with late November or early December deadlines–the next “PC Monitor” for Online and the next “disContent” for EContent.

Then I tried to cut the “Library Futures, Media Futures” perspective down to size (6,000 words at most). And utterly failed. Even though, reading through it, I can see that it will probably make me even less in demand as a hot speaker and more subject to the kind of dismissive “Luddite” / “curmudgeon” labeling that seems to pass for argumentation in some blogs these days.

So, with a mild amount of trepidation…well, see the next post. Addition: “Next” chronologically, which means you’ve probably already read it.

A sweet Halloween epiphany

Tuesday, November 1st, 2005

We live in a neighborhood with lots of kids (all of them pretty well-behaved, possibly because there’s a great local school system, possibly because it’s a real neighborhood, possibly because the working parents care about their kids).

So, of course, even though we don’t do Xmas decorations, we do at least minimal Halloween decor (just a big spider web and a skeleton, but we’ll look for those 5-foot spiders next year…), and we do have an adequate supply of candy to last 6 to 9 p.m. or so. (And we have a stupid “scary sounds and stories” CD, obviously digitized from an old stupid scary sounds LP with no extras–it’s one 57 minute cut, but it was cheap; we play it when kids are at the door.)

And, being sensible folks, we buy candy that we like; in this case, one of Target’s medium-sized bags each of M&Ms, KitKat bars, and Reese’s Cups. (“Medium-sized” equals 28 to 36 snack-size servings.) My wife–who doesn’t much care for candy, really–sometimes likes M&Ms, sometimes Reese’s; I have a fondness for KitKat, but only eat them in early November…

But my wife has also taken to eading Lindt bittersweet chocolate bars, one bar over the course of a week or so, and I’ve found my perfect level of chocolate–Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate (from Belgium, 58% cocoa solids, three 1.75oz. bars for $1.29; I eat one-quarter of a bar each workday, 57 calories worth).

So last night, we do the usual (the wife wears an all-black outfit and has a witch’s hat; I hang around in the background; we put a flashlight-lighted plastic pumpkin in the front window), drawing a pretty good crowd. The kids really go for KitKat, digging through the other two candies in some cases (offered in another plastic pumpkin)… But we wound up with maybe five KitKats, three Reese’s, and six or eight M&Ms. So I figured I’d have one KitKat last night and keep two for later (we take the rest in to work…where they disappear rapidly). She figured she’d have one Reese’s and save two or three for later.

A funny thing happened to both of us. We didn’t enjoy the treats. They were just too sickeningly sweet.

Who woulda thunk it?