Content from my old blog was recently merged to this one Unfortunately, that has left many internal links broken. You can figure out where the broken links should point by changing the URL (eg. /blog_archives/2012/01/01/123456.html to just the date - /2012/01/01).
Entries might also be a day off from where you'd expect. As well, links to sections such as the Fred Eaglesmith Tab Archive other documents (eg. a few library school essays) are no longer working. Apologies for any inconvenience - hopefully this will all be fixed eventually.
Fred Eaglesmith TabsIn my blog merge, I lost the Fred Eaglesmith Guitar Tab Archive. Until I find time to re-create it, you can find it at the Wayback Machine.
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An essay explaining how both “Corner Gas” the TV show and now the movie reflect the best of Canada:
In fact the entire movie, about a tiny town going bankrupt, is really about how we, in Canada, react to crisis. It’s about us at our best and worst. The humour is absurdist, never mean-spirited. The look and feel of Corner Gas, the show, the movie, is distinct from U.S. comedy – it feels Canadian, without everyone talking about being in Canada, and there’s genius in that.
Another Christmas classic…
“Oh Holy Night” – Eric Cartman
This is a great article on an important topic but my short answer is this:
“Beyond limits set by the existing laws of the land, no one should have right to tell anyone else what they can read/watch/listen to. Period.”
To expand on this a bit…
I’ve seen patrons watching things that are a lot more offensive than porn (to me anyhow) in public libraries – everything from beheading videos to videos of deer being gutted (more disgusting than offensive) to sexist rap videos.
And I’m rational enough to realise that just as patrons will have various reasons for watching any of those other types of videos, it’s not part of my job to make judgements about their information seeking behaviours. In fact, it’s the opposite – my job is to facilitate access to information – whatever that information might be.
As is pointed out in the article, that lack of judgement at the public library may be the only place a patron finds that – for example, a closeted homosexual teen in a conservative small town.
Anyhow, this is a topic that regularly bubbles up in public libraries and it’s a shame that there seems to be a growing trend of libraries/librarians caving on the subject by installing filters (which often don’t work) or developing poorly worded Internet access policies.
It wouldn’t put Clark Griswold to shame but I pulled up to our house the other day and thought it looked like something that might appear on the front of a Christmas card (one you get at the Dollar Store but still…)
Having the tree right in front of the window is something different we’re trying this year. And yes, I should probably make more effort to get our tractor Santa centered in the yard and to get lights right to the top of the tree on the left side of the house!
Oh, and if you look closely, that is indeed a stocking hung high in the top of the left side window – each window actually has a stocking hung up like that using existing hooks we have for our seasonal internal decorating needs. I put the stockings up high as an anti-Sasha defense mechanism – they’ll be back to a normal height on Christmas Eve.
(And on a related note, is there anything cuter than an 18-month old toddler walking around wearing two Christmas stockings on her feet?)
Hard to believe that this weekend will be the seventh RPL Christmas Party I’ve attended.
Here’s some pics from one of the first ones I attended back in 2009…
The assembled kids and parents watching a magician perform (I think this was the year he made my $20 bill turn into Canadian Tire money!)
The main event (and not even scared!)
I’m always developing personal theories to explain the world as I experience it. One of my latest is the concept of “Management By Blurt”.
What I mean by this is that I’ve increasingly noticed how many people have a very human tendency to “blurt” out an answer when questioned or pressed on an issue, whether our answer is right, wrong or a complete line of bullshit, just so we won’t look stupid or embarrassed in front of the person asking the question.
(Of course, in the moment, we don’t consider how we look if the person realises we’re “blurting” or if they later discover our answer was one we blurted out without proper thought and consideration or taking the time to find the real answer.)
Here’s a hypothetical example…
Say that my library has a lack of clarity around a policy relating to some aspects of how patrons borrow books. If a staff member asks me for clarification and I definitively blurt out “Well, what you need to do is…” even if I’m not sure myself because it’s a rare situation or relates to a policy that’s recently changed or different managers have given conflicting messages (possibly also due to “Management by Blurt”), I’m not helping anyone.
Fortunately, there’s a couple really solutions to “Management by Blurt”.
One is simply to be aware of the tendency that many people have to use this technique and to be skeptical of answers you’re given by known-blurters.
Beyond that, if you’re the one who realises you’re about to blurt an answer, a better response is “I’m not sure about that. Let me find out and get back to you.” The Internet age makes us feel otherwise (and frankly, is a big contributor to the problem in my eyes) but no one will hold it against you if you don’t always have the immediate, perfect answer on the tip of your tongue.
If you’re the person being blurted at (and you realise it in the moment), you can ask a follow-up question to ensure that you have the right information – “Can you tell me where I can find that policy so I can review it myself?” or even, depending on the circumstance, gently call out the person who is blurting: “Are you sure about that? Because last month, I’m sure you said that we should do it a different way and now I think you’re saying to do it the exact opposite way?”