Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cracking the blinds...

Some weeks back when I set this blog up, I had left certain settings in place until I could look at them later. About a week and a half ago I set the blog to allow anyone to post mainly because I have friends and family who don't have google accounts and its not fair to tell them,"Well? Just sign up!" when they say,"But I don't wanna have a google account." In reality, this conversation never took place. Never fear, I'm not actually that much of a jerk. ;) My reasons behind having left the blog locked up tight is due to me never having ever been a very open person. In fact when this assignment first showed up as homework, I had to squelch a fast rising tidal wave of panic. Since then I've gotten to the point where I can babble on about things like I've never live with my best friend Phobia. Phobia, meet the public, Public meet Phobia. Oh good, we're all still grinning. ;) Keep in mind that this is a test run to see how this goes, and I will yank that priviledge the moment I start feeling uncomfortable, so bear with me.

In another comment by another unnamed individual, thank you for posting, they had asked if I ever get bugs inside the library. This question was probably spurred by the picture of my wonderful little green Praying Mantis who keeps my little planter box free of pests. The answer is, no I haven't seen any bugs like that inside the library. However, we did have one very angsty lizard run in and hide in the children's section. Once caught, the stowaway took up residence in one corner of its prison, and glared at me in consternation until I closed the branch and released the golden goofball into the nearby field. Was it at all thankful? No. It hustled into the tall grass, then came back out and glared at me for a while. More than willing to have a stare down with my reptilian antagonist I stayed for about 10 minutes, before deciding I should leave the little tyrant to his own devices and head home. I saw him lick his lips in satisfaction as I turned toward my car. Ingrate.

Notice that I said I had not seen any bugs like my Mantid friends inside my library. This does NOT mean I have not seen my fair share of bugs in libraries though. While working another branch some time back I ran across what I first took to be a wayward caterpillar. The fuzzy creature was undulating along the floor at a slow pace, its little head nosing to the left and right in search of munchies. In an attempt to rescue my little fuzzy friend I went and got a clear glass to I could contain him for the duration of the ride outside to a much more inhabitable place for his needs. He hadn't gotten very far by the time I got back, so I closed ground quickly and went to put the glass over him. This all was going wonderfully until I got close... and then the caterpillar stopped dead, lifted and swung it cute fuzzy little face towards me and looked at me. You ever been in a situation that could've been ripped from a First Contact Sci-Fi movie where you realize that you've wandered in the foggy unknown areas of reality? My first thought was, that is one aware caterpillar. My second though, much more accurate, was,"That ... is not... a caterpillar..." I watched it, and it watched me. I noted that what I had taken to be fuzz were actually legs scrunched up against the body to hide the fact that.. they were in fact legs. The long hairs I had taken for hairs were actually feelers. And the plump little head.. looked a heck of a lot more predatory now that I could make out a nasty set of mandibles and multi faceted eyes. My mind fired rapid stills of a certain episode of Star Trek TNG in which most of Starfleet is taken over by a hive like group of insects, the little intruders riding the brain stem to get what they wanted. Gee... this certainly looked similar. However that wild idea was quickly shot down when I moved the glass a little closer and the critter went from hover mode to hydrofoil mode, hitting MACH 1 as it literally became a blur of movement, disappearing beneath a wall mounted book case. My brain lamely informed me,"The bugs in Star Trek the Next Generation couldn't move that fast." as my eyes adjusted to the still lingering white line the bug had created when it moved. I have never in my life seen anything move so fast, and be that small and I spent most of my childhood catching Fence Swifts (a type of lizard).

If you aren't a bug fan, please be advised that there is a picture of a creepy crawly coming up in the near future. As in... now. ;)

What was it you ask? It took me about 4 days to track down a book that actually had a picture of what I saw. Sounds like I'm describing an alien encounter, and it was sort of like that. Anyway, before I tell you what it is, let me say that you actually want these in a library, because they eat the bugs that may damage a book. They aren't poisonous, they can't hurt you, and they are extremely fragile, needing a somewhat humid cool environment. If you catch them, and leave them captured they will die... and then fall apart. Delicate to the extreme! To most gardeners they're known as the House Centipede. They are also known as a Hairy Mary. I prefer the second identifier myself, because they do indeed look hairy. Dubbing them as a Mary however is beyond me. The picture on the left is not of the one that I came across, but I did nab this because it gives you an idea of just how small they are. With its long legs up against its body it really does look like a caterpillar.

Although its not late, I am going to fold shop for the night. I ran it very close to the wire last night, and as a result I'm straggling along at the speed of an arthritic turtle. So, I big you an early night. ;)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

So, I Jumped the Gun...

One of the assignments for my Library Science 25 class was to post a second blog message. Um. Ooops! I guess I got a little carried away with the blog thing. My second post to this thing was at least a week back, so hopefully whatever number this one is will do. ;) For those of you who read this blog (and I really have no idea how many that might be) the assignment which I already blew half of, is to make a second post to this blog, reflecting on how distance learning has either enhanced or complicated my life. In honest answer that can go two ways because I've got two different classes. Library Science 25 while sometimes tough, because I have a hard time reading non-fiction (I get distracted very easily when reading it) it is by far my favorite of the two. This class is easy to follow, and I understand the assignments given and while it does take up a lot of time, I don't consider it a complication, but something fun to look forward to. Yes yes, I will probably be grumbling when I have to do the midterm, but I grumble whenever I have to take a test. :)

The other online class... I'm not sure what to say that won't get me keel-hauled. I will leave it with its a big complication and I'm somewhat irritated with it. Irritated squared. On that note, the answer to the main question is that distance learning has both enhanced and complicated my life. Good and Bad. I guess everything needs to be balanced somehow. Online classes are great. I have time to do the work, get to my job on time, and also do my internship! In between all that I have managed to carve out a few hours to sit down and practice the gentle art of becoming a relaxed individual. Difficult to achieve in this day and age! The downside is that not all online classes work. Again, I will stop there. Counterpoints are interesting though.

In the two days that I wasn't able to post, for those of you who actually want to know, nothing spectacular happened to me. Tuesday was extremely busy foot traffic wise at work, but not so many checkouts as I had expected. Ultimately it was just a large amount of people who needed help with the computer. Others needed library cards, and when I hand out library cards I always try to do a short tutorial on how to use the online services. Time consuming, but a lot of people are totally blown away, and enthusiastic about using the branch, so I do it anyway. This morning, I had 4 kids for storytime! That's pretty good for me! :) We had fun with a couple of interactive books and then traditional stories. Hopefully everyone will be back next week. Other than that I've lead a very boring 2 days, which speaking from experience is a very very good thing. May you live in interesting times is definitely the worst curse ever to pass the lips of a human being. I speak from experience mind you. Too many natural disasters have landed on my plate already as well as the more mundane. I will take boring any day, thank you. ;)

Once again I find myself teetering on the brink of unconsciousness since its past my bedtime, so I hope and trust that my fingers which have been on autopilot since 9:30pm have done me justice and there are no glaring errors. If there are glaring errors please have no qualms about pointing a finger and laughing hysterically. I live to lighten other people's moods. ;) I shall now retire to my humble pile of blankets and pillow perched a top my rolling fortress. Aka, the metal bed frame on wheels. Every time the dog lays down at the end of my bed, it rolls to the window. I never wake up where I fell asleep. Disconcerting. I bid you goodnight. ;)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Picture's as Promised...

Finally, the long awaited pictures of chickens. Apologies for the wait, but I was battling with a class assignment (not for this class) and Mom had absconded with my camera to detail her work on the house. So, without further interruptions here are some of the chicks as adults, and a dog... and a couple of other things that I put in here just because a I felt like it. ;) First off we have one of the Brahmas, who we named Pastey for reasons I will not go into unless you really REALLY want to know. Its something of an unpleasant story, but as you can see she came through just fine to be a happy healthy... sort of blurry bird. She's got a sweet personality. I can still pick her up and walk around with her and she just sits there contentedly.

Next up is a collection of the goofy birds and only one of them has a name. The biggest white bird to the right is called Brutus, because.. well, she was and still is, enormous. However looks are deceiving because if you pick her up, she is the ipitomy of a skinny chicken. She's also not a bully although it might appear that way. Believe it or not, the top chicken in the group is a little bitty thing with all the charm of a malicious sledge hammer. She doesn't have a name either, at least not a consistent one, although we rename her at random with colorful metaphores every time she walks up to one of the other birds and does a reenactment of a harvesting potatoes or carrots. Charming little raptor.

Anyway, Brutus hangs out with Pastey, and the other three tend to tag along. The brown hen is a Buff Orpington, and the Black hens are Australorpes. All of them are fairly friendly. They'll eat out of your hands and everything. I was asking if I live on a farm, and the answer is no, but the area is zoned for livestock, so I have chickens. Other critters include two cats, one is 18 and skittish to the point of insanity, and the other is 24+ years old and somewhat senile. As in she forgets what she was doing, which sometimes causes problems. There are also two dogs, one is mine (here's a picture). She's mostly Border Collie and 1/4 Australian Shepard. Not a drop of Dalmation. Sorry. The other is also an extraordinarily distracted Siberian Husky. Yes, I'll get a picture... eventually. ;) Its hard to get him to hold still!

I guess I shall add one last picture before I crawl into bed and do an unnerving imitation of a the seriously unconscious. For some reason there seems to be a serious attraction for insects to the little planter box outside my library. Odd insects in some cases. I have pictures of a very large moth, but that thing looks like a reject from a 1950s Horror Classic, so I may or may not post the picture. For those of you who hate insects I suggest not passing this point because I'm going to put a picture of a Praying Mantis down here for people to enjoy. They come in all different colors. In this case it happens to be a wonderful green. Here you go.So, there you have it. From the Planter Box outside the library, a little Green Mantis. Later there will be shots of an Angst Ridden Skink and possibly the MegaMoth which had adhered itself to the bulletin board outside the library. Big bug. Anyway, on that cheery note, I will say that things are going alright in my classes at least for the moment, and I am retiring to my bed... which has been looking at me as if I should be asleep already. Soooo, Night! :)