Archive for March, 2009

It’s Wednesday somewhere…

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

This post will self-destruct in roughly 12 hours, if I can figure out how to do that…Not deleted because of a kind comment from my Australian reader.

I felt the fourth anniversary of this here blog, founded on April 1, 2005, deserved special attention. The post that will automagically appear at 1 a.m. (but in what time zone?) provides that special attention.

In the meantime…well, every blog needs some freshening of design from time to time, and I thought the auspicious nature of the 4th anniversary made it a great time to use more contemporary, designer-approved, typefaces and overall design–the kind that Real Web People just love.

Enjoy it while you can. I just might tweak it further…

Alfred Hitchcock: The Legend Begins, disc 2

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Rich and Strange, 1931, b&w. Henry Kendall, Joan Barry, Percy Marmont, Betty Amann, Elsie Randolph. 1:32 [1:23].

I’m not sure what to make of this, but I do know that without Hitchcock’s name, I’d write it off as a pointless, sketchy picture with mostly unlikable characters and a plot that makes little sense. It involves a married middle-class couple (with a blowhard husband) of little means who suddenly acquire an inheritance. They go on a cruise, in which he’s terribly seasick for many days and she befriends a dashing Commodore (Marmont). When he gets better, he’s befriended by (and takes a liking to) a supposed princess. (There’s an absurd “old maid” also [Randolph], interfering with everybody.) The princess is a gold-digger and after digging all his gold (there wasn’t that much), departs. The woman should leave with the dashing man who clearly loves her and will take care of her, but she’s devoted to her unfaithful, boorish husband. Then, on their return voyage (on a lesser vessel), there’s some sort of accident, they’re trapped in their cabin and abandoned, but they get out and are picked up by a Chinese junk. And wind up back at home.

Hitchcock makes heavy use of title cards as transitions. I found them reminiscent of silents but a poor substitute for some flow, in a movie that feels like a set of isolated incidents. Some IMDB reviewers call this a dark comedy, but I found nothing particularly amusing, unless it’s the annoying overplayed “old maid.” All in all, this was more irritating than enjoyable, but Hitchcock completists might enjoy it. At best $0.75.

The Thirty-Nine Steps (aka The 39 Steps), 1935, b&w. Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle, Peggy Ashcroft, Wylie Watson. 1:26 [1:23].

Now this is more like it. A proper thriller that plays fair with the viewer and is good, solid, well-directed entertainment. I won’t give you the whole plot just in case you haven’t seen this one, but it involves a female spy-for-hire, a mysterious alien protagonist (he’s Canadian!), espionage within Britain by foreign agents, police misunderstandings (quite understandable ones), feats of prodigious memory, and a lot of Scotland. You get murder (but no gore), shooting, trains and bridges, political humor, music halls…and charming innkeepers.

I could probably poke tiny holes in the plot, but no more so than any good thriller. The acting’s fine—low-key, which suits the plot. The print’s not perfect, but pretty good, and this one’s a classic–an easy $2.

Secret Agent, 1936, b&w. John Gielgud, Peter Lorre, Madeleine Carroll, Robert Young. 1:26.

In this delightful romantic comedy… OK, it’s an espionage thriller—although there is some comedy and some romance. Set in World War I, it involves a hush-hush British spy organization (but with “R” rather than “M” as the head), a returning soldier who’s conveniently “died” in the press as he’s being recruited to do a little counterespionage, a beautiful woman posing as his wife…and Peter Lorre being Peter Lorre, as over the top as you’d expect.

Well directed, lots of interesting camerawork and segues, well acted, suspenseful. The final third is action-packed, with much of it on a train (always great for thrillers). The climactic point seemed a bit contrived, but only a bit. Another classic, and another easy $2.

Champagne, 1928, b&w, silent (unrelated music). Betty Balfour, Gordon Harker, Jean Bradin, Ferdinand von Alten. 1:26 [1:25].

Another very early silent (this time with wholly unrelated classical music, some of it Elgar). The madcap daughter of a wealthy New Yorker flies off in his plane to meet up with her boyfriend (the father does not approve, thinking him a golddigger) who’s on a cruise to France. She gets over to the ship, apparently abandoning the plane in the process. They argue (he feels that she’s calling all the shots), he’s seasick a lot (Hitchcock seems to love mal de mer), she meets a sinister man…

Next, we’re in Paris, where she’s entertaining a bunch of young flapper-types, changing gowns every two minutes, generally living it up. Her father shows up and tells her he lost all his money; they’re penniless. Let’s see…she goes to sell jewels and has the case full of them (which she’s dangling like any other purse) snatched. The young man shows up, with a good job, and offers to take care of her and her father but she refuses. She’s sharing a dismal little apartment with her father. The sinister man shows up from time to time—especially in the club where she gets a job as a hostess.

It all winds up with a romantic-comedy ending (the father was just teaching her a lesson, the young man’s really OK, the sinister man…well, I won’t reveal that one). All in all, I found it OK as a bit of fluff. Not much more than fluff, though. There’s a problem shared with other Hitchcock silents: If you don’t lip read, you’re missing a lot; there are relatively few intertitles. Let’s say $1.00.

Blackmail, 1929, b&w. Anny Ondra, Sara Allgood, Charles Paton, John Longden, Donald Calthrop, Cyril Richard. 1:24.

At first, I wondered whether this was a mislabeled silent: There’s no real dialog for the first eight minutes, although lots of conversations take place for lipreaders in the crowd. I guess that’s a mannerism, as is the frequent use of old ahooga car horns in the music track. (Checking IMDB, this was apparently his first talkie, which may explain it.) The plot: Scotland Yard detective’s girlfriend is a little bored with him, goes walking with an artist, winds up in artist’s flat, stabs (and kills) artist when he misreads her intentions. She walks around in a seeming daze for some time—actually, she seemed to be in a daze throughout the picture, or maybe she’s just a very subtle actress.

Scotland Yard investigates the murder but come up with nearly nothing—and her boyfriend is one of those investigating. He removes a glove from the scene that he thinks (correctly) belongs to her. Next thing we know, a stranger who was nearby the murder scene is walking in to the shop where she works (and lives?), aiming to blackmail them based on having the other glove. But the stranger’s an ex-con, and…well, he flees, he dies in the chase, she wants to confess but there’s nothing to confess to, and the movie ends. Sorry if these are plot spoilers, but it isn’t much of a plot.

It also isn’t, to my mind, much of a thriller, despite some Hitchcockian visual devices. The actors seemed remarkably flat and uninteresting, the blackmail peril never really developed, she was—in fact—acting in self-defense and… I guess you have to be a Hitchcock fan. (Reading the first few of many enthusiastic IMDB reviews, it does seem clear that I’m insufficiently fond of early Hitchcock.) I’ll give it $1.25.

A note about copyright claims

It has been suggested that this set may not be legitimate, as some early Hitchcock films entered the public domain in the U.S. and later, in a remarkable case of repressive international law, were returned to copyright retroactively. All I know is this: Mill Creek Entertainment, which has been in business for some years and has a physical address and set of officers listed on its website, continues to produce and feature this set; Amazon and other vendors continue to sell it.

Notes along the way

Friday, March 20th, 2009

Spring is here, spring is here… (no, I’m not going to advocate doing anything to pigeons, for Lehrer fans). Time for a few updates on previous posts–in the midst of a muddled time and in lieu of anything definitive.

In other words, lots’o’links (mostly to myself), not so much substance. (“What else is new?” say some of you…)

Five alternatives

I posted five items on February 28, 2009, “seeking group wisdom, advice” on four possible fairly large research/writing projects. The introductory post noted that I thought I could do one of these (or one per year) along with C&I, PLN, my two columns and, well, life itself–but was totally up in the air about which one to do. Or, for that matter, whether the “fifth choice”–do none of them, and generally take semi-retirement more seriously–makes sense.

Based on feedback to date, here’s what I see:

  1. Balanced Libraries, second edition: Apparently no interest whatsoever. Which also suggests that, although Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0” continues to get ridiculous numbers of downloads as a freebie, I can predict that essentially nobody would be willing to pay for an updated book version. Good to know. (Andersonomics only works if there’s a market for “freemium.”)
  2. Blogging for Libraries – Replacing Public Library Blogs and Academic Library Blogs with a very different combined book about the reality of library blogs (including lateral metrics). The only positive feedback was a comment suggesting that “any book that gave concrete suggestions for better blogging would get snapped up by both the library school AND public library markets.” That might be true–but if that’s the reason people would buy the book, I strongly suspect they would buy Library Blogging instead–it’s by Jason Griffey and Karen Coombs, two brand-new Movers & Shakers (and highly knowledgeable librarians); it got a rave writeup on TTW; it’s from a real publisher. Look, if I had to make the choice, I’d buy the Coombs/Griffey book first–and might find it real hard to justify buying a second book, a self-published one at that by someone who’s not even in a library, on what appears to be the same topic. So as a basis for doing the new book, that one seems a little vague. The other half? No positive feedback.
  3. The Liblog Landscape Revisited. One positive comment about the current edition; zero positive feedback about redoing it. If you’re wondering: Two sales so far in March 2009, plus one each for the two library blog books. This is, admittedly, the project I’m most reluctant to abandon–but as long as I’m not independently wealthy (and thus happy to publish the results for free), it’s increasingly difficult to justify.
  4. Libraries and Publish on Demand. Lots of comments here–but only one actually favoring the project, and that primarily dealing with a tangent (future projections) rather than the core (“how to do it good”). Here again, as with #3, if money wasn’t an issue at all, I’m confident this would be a real service to the field and get used quite a bit–if it’s free. Maybe I’m too spooked by my experience with the desktop publishing workshop, but I get a similar feeling here–that is, this would be a lot of work to do right (including both OpenOffice and Mac versions of the template, the Mac version being especially difficult since I can’t risk $1,200+ on “oh, sure, there’s going to be LOADS of revenue”) and could very well result in a couple dozen book sales and one badly-attended workshop.

I haven’t made any decisions. Given the disruptions involved with possibly moving (amazing how 11 years has erased memories of just how long and severe those disruptions actually are!), I’m unlikely to make any decisions much before ALA Annual–unless other events and serious self-examination lead me to an expanded version of #5, the “dial back your professional involvement substantially” option.

The Rules

I’m fairly proud of this post. I’m delighted with the feedback that I got.

I suspect the post will have no effect. (Since this is probably true of 99% of all posts on 99.9% of all blogs, I’m not taking that personally!) I’m afraid too many of us (maybe most of us, and “us” doesn’t exclude me) experience a bit of schadenfreude now and then in finding others less worthy–and telling people they’re doing something wrong, even if it’s only wrong because you say so, must satisfy that “I’m better than you!” instinct. (Why isn’t there a good native English equivalent for schadenfreude? Smugness ain’t it. Neither is superiority. It may not even be the right term for this situation.)

The new Cites & Insights

If it seems as though large portions of this issue were written in February–well, yes, that’s true. See earlier regarding long, massive disruptions in daily life…I was afraid that might happen and wanted to leave time for it. With good reason.

But they’re all good essays, in my not-at-all-humble opinion.

What’s next?

As ongoing disruptions permit, I’ll get moving on the start of essays for the next C&I–with no promise as to when that might appear or what might be in it.

I’ll try to avoid making premature decisions on projects…or irritable decisions on professional activity and social network involvement.

Meditation and contemplation should be high on the list. Those are particularly difficult at the moment. (Yes, I really am a left-coaster.)

And I will try to avoid the desire to shout epithets at those who seem awfully eager to dance on the (not yet filled) graves of “old media” and other things that aren’t shiny enough for them.

50 Movie Comedy Classics, Disc 5

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

All four movies on this disc star the East Side Kids in various permutations. My tolerance for repeated doses of these charming JDs is limited, so I interleaved Hitchcock and East Side Kids movies.

Clancy Street Boys, 1943, b&w. William Beaudine (dir.), Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, Noah Beery. 1:29/1:06 [1:05]

Muggs’ late father used to brag to his brother that he had seven kids, slightly exaggerating from the one. Since then, the brother—a wealthy Texan—has been sending seven birthday checks each year. Now the brother’s coming to town… And Muggs’ uses the Kids to act as his brothers (and one sister). A slick local hoodlum somehow uses this as an excuse to kidnap the Texan. The kids save the day.

Not terrible, but nothing special. Huntz Hall in drag (as the sister) may be a highlight. I guess you have to be a fan. Some missing clips. Charitably, very charitably, $0.75.

Pride of the Bowery, 1940, b&w. Joseph H. Lewis (dir.), Leo Gorcey, Bobby Jordan, Kenneth Howell, Mary Ainslee, Bobby Stone, David Gorcey, Kenneth Harlan. 1:01 [1:00]

This time, Muggs wants to train as a boxer for the Golden Gloves—and his pal sets up a way to get him fresh air and lots of training. How? By signing the whole gang up for a Civilian Conservation Corps camp. After initial issues, Muggs and the gang take to the situation fairly well (the $22 a month going back to his mom doesn’t hurt). The movie involves boxing and honor, and portrays Muggs as a prince among kids, maybe too much so.

I liked this one better. Maybe it was the outdoors or the filming (which seemed more natural than some, although the print has some damage and a persistent flare in a lower corner). Maybe it was the plot and the acting. It certainly wasn’t a laugh-fest, but it was more enjoyable than I expected. As a one-hour second-feature, I’ll give it $1.

Smart Alecks, 1942, b&w. Wallace Fox (dir.), Leo Gorcey, Bobby Jordan, Huntz Hall, Max “Slapsie Maxie” Rosenbloom, Gale Storm. 1:07 [1:05]

The plot this time: The Gang wants uniforms to play baseball, but has no money. Older brother (or friend?) of one of them drops by in suit, offers money—but they assume it’s “dirty money” and they don’t take dirty money. Turns out they’re right—he’s a lookout for bank robbers. One thing leads to another, there’s a scene in which one of the robbers (Rosenbloom) grabs nearly half of a cake that a nurse (sister of one of the gang, played by Gale Storm) baked for the gang and Muggs retaliates by spiking extra frosting (and adding alum to coffee).

The rest has to do with loyalty in various ways. Probably fine for what it is, although unless you’re a big fan of Muggs’ malapropos and gestures, most of the humor is in the cake-doctoring scene. The print’s good and it’s over an hour, but I can’t give it more than $1.

Mr. Wise Guy, 1942, b&w. William Nigh (dir.), Leo Gorcey, Bobby Jordan, Huntz Hall, Billy Gilbert, Guinn Williams, Joan Barclay. 1:10 [0:58].

It’s clear that the only way I could make it through four of these is by breaking them up with early Hitchcock flicks—but it also works the other way around. Still, it’s a relief to get to the last one; if only I wasn’t aware that the next disc has two more.

Let’s see. There’s one good comic moment, very near the beginning: The gang are outside a bakery, a brick comes through the window, the cops show up and start to haul them in—and the baker says “nah, I’m just clumsy, that was me.” After that, the plot revolves around an escaped convict who supposedly drowned trying to swim to shore, a “stolen” truck that the gang gets blamed for—and all get sent to the reformatory, where they have spiffy uniforms and seem happy enough, a robbery gone bad that winds up with an entirely innocent older brother of one of the gang (who was forced to drive a getaway car) convicted of murder…and, of course, the gang saving the day.

I can’t think of anything particularly good or bad to say about this one. It just seems like more of the same old, same old, and you really have to love Leo Gorcey to much care about this group of semi-juvenile semi-delinquents. Charitably, $0.75.

Cites & Insights 9:5 available

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Cites & Insights 9:5, April 2009, is now available.

The 32-page issue is PDF as usual, with HTML versions (such as they are) for each essay available via the links below.

The issue includes:

Making it Work Perspective: Thinking about Blogging: 1

Do comments make a blog a blog? Is the “blogosphere” imploding? Have conversations moved elsewhere? And some offhand notes about blogs as a median medium, in an “interesting sweet spot in a casual media hierarchy of length, thought and formality.”

Perspective: Writing about Reading 2

Ignoring the Death of Serious Reading, which is as specious as the Death of Blogs, the Death of Print Media and even (in my opinion) the Sudden Death of Newspapers, we look at some other reading-related topics: Aliteracy and Online and Print Reading. A third topic somehow moved over into…

Library Access to Scholarship

The Death of Journals (Film at 11). That’s the overall title, and no, I don’t believe journals are nearing sudden death either…but the topics this time around do relate to journals: Are print journals obsolete? Should professional journals evolve into blogs?

Net Media: Beyond Wikipedia

It’s not about Wikipedia–or maybe it’s (indirectly) all about Wikipedia. After some questions as to why so many people seem to love monopolies so much, there’s a bunch of Knol knotes and some catching up with Citizendium–and a few brief notes on Wikia (which is not Wikipedia).

And that’s it for April.

Congratulations to new Movers & Shakers

Monday, March 16th, 2009

This year’s crop of Movers & Shakers has been announced–and it seems like even more of them are “virtual friends”–colleagues I respect, follow, discuss and sometimes argue with. (I’ve even met at least four of them in person.)

Let’s see…there’s

and, last but most certainly not least

Congratulations one and all

…and for those of you waiting for the usual “…on the other hand…”

you’ll have to keep waiting for a very long time.

One born every 100 minutes

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

I received a very odd “invitation” yesterday, in a stiff nearly-square black envelope with “Black Card” as its theme. (We’ve managed to stanch the flood of credit-card offers in general, which is good since they need shredding, but it’s not perfect.) As usual, opened it, if only to see which pieces included personal info and needed to be shredded.

Wowie zowie, what a card

OK, I’ve vaguely heard of the American Express “black card,” actually the Centurion card. I’ll never have one, I suspect, or much want one. I mean, $250,000 a year in spending to qualify, a $5,000 one-time initiation and $2,500 annual fees? The only times we’ve ever spent anything close to $250,000 in a year is when we’ve purchased houses, and those don’t go on credit cards.

But for the uberrich who travel a lot and like to pay full air fare, the card may be worthwile–once you’ve paid full fare, you get a freebie companion ticket. (The fact that full fare may be more than twice economy fare…never mind. These folks are flying first class anyway, and there the freebie is worth something.)

So wow, suddenly I’m eligible for a black card?

Not exactly

The Centurion is made of platinum (egregious excess is its own reward). This “black card”–offered in this case by some North American Barclays subsidiary–is a Visa made of carbon graphite.

There are some not-very-well-defined benefits, including rewards (but I already get 0.8%-1% rewards on my MasterCard and Visa) and “concierge service” (?). There’s clear snob appeal: It’s limited to 1% of the population (I’m nearly certain we don’t qualify in any case…)

Oh, and the annual fee is a mere $495–well, make that $690 for a couple who each have a card.

Hmm. If this offered 2% rewards, I’d only need to spend $69,000 a year before it started paying for itself.

Using one credit card.


Of course, it doesn’t say it will pay 2% rewards. Indeed, checking a little further, I find that it offers 1% rewards–plus unspecified “luxury gifts.” So it would take, let’s see, $690 divided by (1%-1%) equals…oops.

It’s all about status or stupidity

Well, maybe not. Apparently the 24/7 concierge service is a big thing. According to one positive review, this will help you find “12 Arabian horses for your daughter’s wedding”–the Concierge will have them flown in from Dubai.

Oh, and if you fly a lot, maybe access to Priority Pass airport clubs is worth it.

For us? Well, we’re confident enough of our net worth as people; we’re not about to spend $690 a year to show our status. And we’re lacking in sufficient stupidity to believe that this “exclusive” Black Card has anything at all to do with the Centurion card.

Your mileage may vary, if your lack of self esteem and income levels are both high enough, or if that concierge business really is worth it to you. I’m guessing the number of you who read Walt at Random is roughly equal to the denominator of the fraction above.

Ur doin’ it wrong = Fail?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

No, I’m not switching to either The Lolcat Dialect or leetspeak, except when the temptation is too great to avoid. But…

There’s something that seems to pop up a lot, whenever a new social networking thingie becomes popular–and probably in other settings as well. Let’s call it The Rules.

The Rules are frequently stated in other terms: “Getting it.” “The point.” Other formulations. In any case, they’re almost always ways of putting people down for Doing It Wrong. For example:

  • You shouldn’t make Twitter updates private.” I just encountered an eloquent explanation of why one Twitterer does exactly that–and why she feels the need to defend it, even though that need should never exist. She’s been told she’s missing the point of Twitter–which is to say, she’s not following The Rules.
  • Another The Rule for Twitter: “If you have Twitter followers but don’t follow anybody, you’re missing the point of Twitter, which is conversation.” (That one, stated differently, from a librarian.)
  • Oh, so many The Rules for blogs… “It isn’t a blog if every post doesn’t have links.” (that, apparently, from the original Weblogger) “If you don’t allow comments or trackbacks, you’re missing the point of a blog.” “Blogs are journals.” “Blogs need to be updated frequently.”
  • And for wikis, to be sure, including The Classic Rule: “Wikis can be updated by anybody.” So if you have a wiki that requires special permissions to edit some or all pages, you’re Breaking The Rule.

I could go on…but won’t. (This is a shorter version of a longer post with lots of links. Somehow, that post disappeared entirely mid-edit.)

The Counter-Rule

This one could be stated abruptly or gently.

The abrupt version: “Who died and made you king?”

The gentle version: “It’s a tool. How I choose to use a tool is my business–and, by the way, if the tool has features, it’s probably legitimate to use those features.”

So, for example:

  • Why would Twitter allow you to make updates private if that was inappropriate?
  • If you needed to follow other Twitterers in order to be a Twitterer, the software could (for example) automatically make relationships reciprocal (much as Facebook does for Friends)–but Twitter doesn’t, which means the software doesn’t care if you use it as a bulletin board.
  • There are reasons good blog software has overall and individual-post settings for allowing comments and trackbacks. There’s nothing inherently conversational about blogs.
  • I get around the “where’s the link love?” issue by saying that “blogs aren’t necessarily weblogs.” Maybe a log of web sites does need links. A blog doesn’t.

Here’s my rule: If a tool works for the purpose you need it for and doesn’t violate terms of service, you’re doing it right. If that purpose and your usage differ with someone else’s mental model of that tool’s “point” or “purpose”–well, that’s their problem, not yours.

Want to publish the plays of Shakespeare on Twitter, 140 characters at a time? I may think that’s insane (I do think rewriting Shakespeare into sms-style text is extraordinarily foolish), but that’s my problem. Want to build databases using Excel or spreadsheets using Word? You may not be using the optimal tool, and it wouldn’t hurt to hear suggestions for improvement–but, you know, sometimes the tool you have is the best tool for the job.

(Confession: I have one important table that I maintain on an ongoing basis–the status table for C&I, including most recent publication of standing features–that I maintain in Word rather than Excel, even though it has some “spreadsheet” features, and even though I use Excel a lot. Why? Because it suits one particular workflow.)

So there’s my rule on The Rule. If you disagree, you’re missing the point and just don’t get it. Right?

All quiet and a helpful hint

Monday, March 9th, 2009

If you were wondering whether I’d dropped entirely off the edge of the earth (landing, with luck, on one of the four elephants, not falling all the way through to the giant turtle…)

No. On the other hand, blogging has been slow (really?) and is likely to remain that way.

See, we’re getting our house painted–the interior, by the same people who did the exterior a year or two ago.

So I’ve spent much of my spare time the past two weeks, and we both spent all of our time (spare or otherwise) this last weekend getting ready to have the interior painted. It’s a lot like getting ready to move. (And if we’ve figured it out right–a huge “if”–it will take us 1/3 of the way toward the real thing, if & when we move…)

(We’re also having a lot of other stuff done as well, none of it nearly as disruptive, all of it requiring planning and effort. And, of course, all of it taking away from the thinking required to do half-decent posts. Fortunately, FriendFeed doesn’t require that much thinking.)

Cites & Insights will probably be OK for this round. I have four essays in place, enough for a solid issue once they’re all edited. Good, because concentration is shattered enough to discourage entirely new essays.

The helpful hint

Self-adhesive stuff is great–e.g., cabling channels to enclose and neaten wire runs, where you just peel off some paper and the channels stick right to the wall.

But, as with pretty much everything else, there are always consequences.

In this case–one cable run to an absurd tracklight that a previous owner installed Gaia knows how many years ago, but at least 11, and another cable run for a wall-mounted stereo system (probably 6 to 8 years old)–the consequences came when we removed the cable runs so the walls could be repainted.

Guess what happens with that wonderful self-adhesive stuff?

It adheres. Mostly to the wall, partly to the channels. To the wall in thick enough quantities that you can’t just paint over it; you gotta remove it.

See Walt, with a thin-bladed screwdriver, slowly removing adhesive from wall (and ceiling, in one case) while, preferably, not destroying wallboard. It’s not actually an incredibly slow process (I figure about five minutes per linear foot)–but it sure is annoying.

Would we use self-adhesive channels and the like again? You betcha. The convenience more than makes up for the eventual consequences.

That’s my helpful hint for the (day? week?). Now, back to comforting the cats who are in the room with me–one totally hiding, the other mostly hiding, both grateful for the closed door between them and the noisy strangers outside.

Oh, by the way, if anybody cares how further sales for The Liblog Landscape are going–they aren’t. Four sales (all on Lulu) in February, none since February 24. This does help my eventual decision-making, unfortunately…

Congratulations, Meredith

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Many years ago, I worked with the owner of Pierian Press (then publisher of Library Hi Tech) and the LITA Awards Committee to design the LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication in Library and Information Technology.

The award recognizes “outstanding achievement in communicating to educate practitioners within the library field in library and information technology.”

The slate of winners has, almost without exception*, been absolutely first-rate.

This year is no exception. Meredith Farkas has been named this year’s award winner–and richly deserves it. She has done and continues to do excellent work. I’m proud to consider her a friend and colleague, and have certainly benefited from her work–and learned from it.


*There was one oddity, in 1995, but we’ll leave that one unmentioned.