“Stone Cold” Steve Austin Gives a NSFW Defense of Gay Marriage

Hell yeah!

(h/t to JK or FB)

The Corporate States of America

Here’s an interesting map of the best known brand from each American state (with a handy list of all the brands-by-state so you can see the smaller states that are harder to make out on the map)…

Music Monday – “C’mon, C’mon”

Here’s a clip of the band we went to see last Friday night.

The name of the song isn’t given and I feel like my 17 year old self listening to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” trying to make out the lyrics so you only get the most basic of lyric excerpts as the title of this post.

Anyhow, here’s the clip…

“???” – Herb and the Humans

Hmm, What Should I Write About?

I have folders, both in my e-mail program and in my browser, that have dozens of sites bookmarked as potential blog fodder.

I have thousands of photos that I could easily turn this into a daily photo blog featuring nothing but photos of my kids every day (don’t get excited, grandparents – probably not going to happen!)

I have all kinds of random thoughts about what’s happening in libraries, technology, politics, hockey playoffs and about a zillion other areas I’m interested.

I often whip off posts after getting home from work, after supper but before bedtime routines.

But then, it’s Easter Sunday, I’ve had all day to contemplate what I could write or post.  The kids are in bed, Shea’s watching a streaming lecture for a course she’s taking and I’m sitting here, working my way through a backlog of e-mail (always a constant in my life.)

Yet I can’t think of anything specific I feel like posting – not even a joke about how Easter falls on 4:20 this year!

Saturday Snap – “Who Needs A God When You’ve Got Satan”


There’s a certain level of irony that I spent part of my Good Friday watching a band from just behind a guy who was wearing a “Who Needs God When You’ve Got Satan” t-shirt.

But I should probably back up a bit…

Shea and I spent Friday doing a bunch of spring cleaning with my parents who’d come up for a couple days to help us out.  Since they were already here, we were able to respond in the affirmative when a friend texted to see if we wanted to go see his son’s band, Herb and the Humans who were opening for another band that was in the midst of a Canadian tour.

Here are a few random thoughts from the evening…

  • That moment when you realise that you’re friends, not with people who play in bands, but people whose twenty year old sons play in bands!
  • I was also *very* relieved when my friend also brought and offered Shea and I earplugs – a definite first for me at a concert but instead of a week of ringing ears like when I went to concerts in my younger days, I could actually hear the next day which was nice.
  • I didn’t catch their name but the opening band reminded me of the type of music my MLIS classmate Paul Slater plays in his band, Monobrow.
  • I’m also a lot less self-conscious at concerts than I used to be when I was young.  For example, I could give two shits if anyone noticed I was wearing ear plugs whereas, when I was 20, I’d be anxious if I even thought I was standing wrong while watching teh band.
  • Psychobilly is a thing.  (What?  That’s what Reverend Horton Heat plays?  Oh, cause I saw that band play at Ness Creek like 15 years ago.  Music cred restored!)
  • Shea and I were able to get to Bushwakkers before the show for an appetizer and a pint.  It’s a kid-free pub so unfortunately, we don’t get there as often as we’d like to.  In fact, the last time I was there was when Shea was down in Weyburn and I stopped in for supper after work and happened to bump into the same friend who’s son plays in the band.  (That night ended a lot differently than a single pint though!)
  • It was an all ages show which, to my mind, means kids who are 16, 17, 18 (eg. just under the legal age for buying booze) are allowed in.  But there were a TON of really young kids – like, I’m talking Pace’s age – 6,7,8 years old!  (I really hope all their parents brought them ear plugs as well!)
  • The headlines had a flat tire so Herb and the Humans got to play a couple extra songs which was a nice bonus.
  • When I see people wearing shirts affirming their approval of Satan, I don’t feel fear or anger but more of a “oh, isn’t that cute?” no different than if he was wearing a clever nerd pun shirt.

Friday Fun Link – Bubble Football (Soccer)

It’d be pretty easy to leave some snarky atheist cartoon since it’s Good Friday.

But instead, I’ll just leave this here…

(Man, do I want to try this sport!)

The Only Thing We’re Consistent About Is Our Inconsistency (And That’s Okay)

A few posts back, I mentioned how I often feel like librarians are our own worst enemies.

There’s a lot of factors that feed into that feeling but one of the main ones is that we often get so bogged down in trying to enforce “consistency” when that’s both impossible and also impractical.

Even when you think about businesses that are held up as exemplars of “consistency” – McDonalds, Wal-Mart and the like – you realise that the “consistency” aspect only applies to certain core aspects of their business – the taste of the burgers, the blue smocks of the workers – but other things are completely customized – the decor of every McDonalds you go into is different, the product selection at each Wal-Mart is customized to the area it serves (I don’t know for sure but would imagine they have a lot more NASCAR gear in their stores in the deep south than they in the northeast US for example.)

The same thing applies in libraries – there are very broad “consistent” elements in that any public library in the world is going to have – books, CDs and DVDs for loan, computers for patrons to use, programs that people can attend, some rules around how many items people can take out, what fines are and so forth.

But after that, all bets are off.

How are we inconsistent in libraries?  Let me count the ways…

In my own system (as I would suspect is the case in most library systems) every branch has a very different collection – both in number and type of items.  Every branch, even when they offer the same program in title (“Toddler Storytime”) has staff who will deliver that program in often very different ways.  Each branch has a widely varying number of computers that patrons can use.  Some branches have things that other branches don’t have at all (four branches in my system currently have self-check machines while six don’t – although that’s going to come eventually.)  My branch is currently the only one in the system that loans video games.  Another is the only one that has laptops available for patron use.  All staff interpret and enforce the policies we do have in slightly different ways. Or occasionally, in ways that are significantly different.  (If you’re ever in Regina, go to our Central branch and ask if you can have a bit more time to keep surfing Facebook.  Then go to a branch and ask the same thing.)

Beyond that, even in areas you might expect a bit more consistency, there isn’t.  My branch happens to be one that waives fines very generously compared to other branches.  There are a variety of reasons for this – ranging from precedents established by previous branch heads to our demographics to a lack of set guidelines for what are legitimate reasons for waiving.  (And even if these guidelines come – as is the plan – there will ultimately still be a judgement call element on behalf of the front-line staff enforcing them.)

This inconsistency isn’t just part of front-line service.  At the higher level, there might be inconsistency in overriding vision and strategy – as management staff turn over or priorities change or new innovations are adopted or whatever.

It’s not a big revelation to observe that the reason libraries are inconsistent in their practices is that people who work in libraries are human.  And those humans are trying to meet the needs of the communities they serve in an ever-changing environment.

I keep thinking of the staff member at Edmonton Public Library who replied to my question about user fees in Alberta Public libraries by saying:

The main difficulty here, of course, is that the “policy” in regard to waiving the fee is likely not applied uniformly across the system — or even consistently by me from one week to the next.

That quote was in reference to waiving the user fee for patrons in the library.  But it might as well be a maxim for how libraries are inconsistent by their nature.

We’re inconsistent but that’s not a bad thing.  In fact, personally, I think that’s a good thing and that we should work on embracing inconsistency on a system-wide basis in the name of providing the best customized service on a branch-by-branch basis.

Happy First Birthday Sasha Basha!

Hard to believe it’s been a year since a very important milestone in my life.

Yes, it’s exactly one year ago today that I got my Most Liked post ever on Facebook!  (I posted a picture of Sasha immediately after she was born in the delivery room.  Okay, not *immediately* after she was born!)

When Pace was born, Shea and I kept a fairly regular journal of his first year – milestones and memorable moments – but for Sasha, we decided to do something a bit different.  Instead, inspired by other, much more professional versions, I resolved to take a photo of Sasha each day.

I didn’t always remember to do it, a number of these photos are blurrier than I’d like, and they’re not all from the exact same angle/taken with the same background so the “morphing” effect looks better.

But here’s my attempt…

For non-mobile users who want to hear a sweet Guns & Roses track as the background…

For mobile users who don’t want to support Axl Rose’s crack habit and/or like bouncy, copyright-free jazz tunes…

“10 Actors That Should Be Cast As Authors” and “Readers Match Their Bodies To Book Covers”

A couple fun book related posts I recently came across – 10 Actors That Should Be Cast As Authors and Readers Match Their Bodies to Books

Music Monday – “Every four way stop that I approached/Hey, I was on the right/When I drove past your house again/Hey, like I always do/I think about the one thing in my life that didn’t come true”

An entire hour and a half long Fred Eaglesmith concert, taped in Holland?

Man, I love the Internet for so many reasons…it eliminates time, distance and provides access to stuff you’d never see otherwise.

I can’t imagine what it’ll be like in 5-10 years when literally everything that’s ever been broadcast, everything we can see can be recorded and all of it is available to watch anytime by anyone…

“Live at the Paradiso, Amsterdam” – Fred Eaglesmith