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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Language of Love*: Weeding in the Secret Garden

I was handed a new project today: Weeding world language titles! Happy Happy Joy Joy!!!

I made the mistake of telling my supervisor I wasn't busy enough, so now I have the task of going through the foreign language collection, title by title, and checking for condition, circulation numbers, and value to the collection at large.  Never mind my last French class was during the first term of the Reagan administration.  The collection also houses titles in Spanish, Italian, Russian, German, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese.

<<<Putting on "patience of Job" hat...

My supervisor says that it's something I can work on a shelf at a time, and that's good, because I'm imagining that this will not be a quick and easy process.  I'll keep you posted.


*--Dan Fogelberg, Windows and Walls, 1984.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

La Bonne Cuisine, part 2: My visit to the Culinary Literacy Center at the Free Library of Philadelphia

Welcome Latvia (#59) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (#60)! Don't be a stranger! Comment early and often!.

Large number of readers this week, especially from the United States, still no comments.  Makes me wonder about how my blog gets used or read or if it gets read at all.  Personally I think my blog is a gateway to another dimension, but that's just me.

Had a great time today  at the Culinary Literacy Center of the Free Library of Philadelphia.  Made a tasty Indian chickpea stew along with my classmates.  I chopped onions (weep, sniffle) and my hand (OUCH!).  Seriously, the cut didn't start bleeding till after I'd stopped chopping, so no blood in the masala, thank God.  I think all libraries should have a working kitchen like this one. I've seen rural and small town libraries that weren't as big as this kitchen. It's huuuuuuge, with commercial-grade ovens, grills, stoves, and stainless steel from floor to ceiling--and cleaner than any commercial kitchen I've seen.

So I'll end this post with what they started with today--what is culinary literacy?  It would appear that there's no industry standard yet, so perhaps the FLP is on the leading edge of programming for this concept in the U.S.  What do you think?

--*Leonard Bernstein, composer, 1947. Full title: "La Bonne Cuisine: Four Recipes for Voice and Piano".

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What's New*: Another sea change in Scouting?

I'm reading about and listening to the kerfuffle about Scouting USA allowing girls who "identify as boys" to join Cub Scouts.  I think they could solve the whole problem--or at least minimize the impact--by making Boy Scouts fully co-ed, from top to bottom.  There's no shortage of female leaders in Scouting already, why not add female Scouts as well?  Scouting in most of the rest of the world is fully co-ed, and it's time that Scouting USA follows suit.

I'm the father of an Eagle Scout, and proud of my son.  His accomplishments thus far in life, including achieving Eagle, would not be minimized by girls being allowed to do what he did.

Obstinate parents who insist on putting their son in an all-male group can join Trail Mix Life USA, although I think those who do miss one of the salient points of Scouting organizations--to learn about and work with and come together as one stronger body with those who are different than you. That's a challenge, and one that American Scouting is up to--I hope.

*Bob Haggart (music), 1938 (originally entitled I'm Free); Johnny Burke (lyrics), 1939

Thursday, December 22, 2016

One Step Up*, redux

I was just reminiscing with my supervisor about Betamax vs. VHS format with the same nostalgic bent as my father used to talk about life on the farm and gasoline at 12 cents a gallon. Plus ca change...

*--Bruce Springsteen, Tunnel of Love, 1987.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Same Old Auld Lang Syne*, redux

Just had my first evaluation for work. Not great, but not awful either--and totally fair and honest.  The one significant glitch notwithstanding, one thing I've appreciated about my new place of employment is the professional way HR is handled here. Can't say the same about other places.

Take more notes, don't forget so much stuff.  They DO love my approach to customer service--unlike a former employer of mine who referred to my skills as "primitive" (This from a man who wouldn't hire African Americans--but I should have expected as much being in York PA as I was then).

Don't fall asleep in public view. My words, not theirs...zzzzzzzz... My health issues jumping up and biting me.

Had a note on my desk when I came in this morning--"Never Give In: Never Surrender 2016)"  I was about to chalk it up to an anonymous message of encouragement, but then realized that it was a film title request for our upcoming Midwest Tape order. Six copies ordered.

One more gig for the year at First Presbyterian Church of Ambler PA on Christmas Eve.  This year hasn't been as good for singing--fewer Masses at Annunciation BVM, but more playing, I think. Three different versions of Leroy Anderson's "A Christmas Festival" is enough.

Here's to a blessed, eventful, Spirit-led 2017.


*--Dan Fogelberg, The Innocent Age, 1981.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

As Time Goes By*

Welcome to my readers in Morocco! Country #56 heard from...

Feel free to comment on anything you see here.

So five weeks have passed since I started at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The things I've learned:

  • Many of my colleagues share my passion for food. I'm going to attend a "cookbook club" at one of the branches. This month's topic? Cookbooks of Marc Vetri. Don't know what I'm making yet--or if they're even having the meeting, they had a minor flood at the  facility.
  • Patrons can be warm and ingratiating, grateful for your help, or they can be cold, condescending, and grating on your nerves--or both, or inbetween. Wherever they are on the spectrum, I give the best service I can.
  • SIRSI, our integrated library system, leaves a lot to be desired in terms of creating reports. 
  • Not to take things so literally.  That's been a failing of mine over the years, and has held me back in some ways.  It's one thing to take things at face value--but I have to do so with eyes and ears wide open.
  • My current position isn't what I expected, but I am learning to bloom where I'm planted.
  • I have good ideas and have passed them on to people who are willing to run with them. Our participation in International Game Day was a big success, to hear all involved tell it
Time to go grocery shopping before The Game (Michigan-Ohio State). Enjoy the rest of your weekend.  Mine will be typically busy--shopping, singing, playing, taking care of family business and pleasure.  It's been nice having the kids home.  Sarah and DJ will go back to college tomorrow, and I'll go back to work on Monday.  Nice to be working again.


*--Herman Hupfeld, 1931; first recorded by Rudy Vallee, 1931.

Monday, November 21, 2016


Bienvenidos, Chile!

Country number 55 on the list. Feel free to comment, for or against, on anything you see here.
Not much to report. Learning new tasks, slowly...

*--Danny Flores, The Champs, 1958.