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This Institute is really intense, and I don’t have a lot of time to write, plus I’m still processing and don’t yet know what I want to say about it. However, we had a guest speaker last night – Jennifer James – who blew my mind. I’m eager to dig into some of her writings and learn more. I will post more about her talk when I have time to synthesize it a bit. It was challenging and insightful and thoroughly entertaining – a great combination.


Watch this Clay Shirky video at Making Light – very thought provoking.

I’m heading down to San Diego today for the Eureka Leadership Institute, and I will be mostly incommunicado this week. Before I leave I wanted to ask those of you who read this blog to keep Cameron Piorek in your thoughts and prayers. Cameron is the grandson of my former boss and Pastor, Ed Piorek, and he seriously injured his spine in a lacrosse game last week. Updates on his condition are posted regularly here:


I don’t usually write a recommendation for a book until I’ve finished it, but I’m only 2 chapters into Clay Shirky’s book Here Comes Everybody and I’m really excited about it. I saw Shirky on the Colbert Report a couple of weeks ago and was intrigued by what he had to say. The book deals with technology, but that doesn’t begin to sum it up. What I really like so far is that he’s examining social changes and technology without relying on buzzwords and oversimplification. Also, his writing style is very engaging – the book is not the least bit boring. Anyway, I can’t wait to read more and will post again when I finish the book.

I meant to post about this movie awhile ago, but at least it’s still out in a few theaters. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day boasts a great cast (Frances McDormand, current it-girl Amy Adams, Lee Pace [yummy!] and the always-excellent Ciaran Hinds) and is a thoroughly enjoyable way to kill a couple of hours. It’s fluff, but it’s well-executed fluff. It’s a madcap, zany period comedy, but the main actors give it a depth that it would not otherwise have. Lots of fun.

kitchen wallWe are moving forward, slowly but surely, on our kitchen project. Most of the work to date has been done underneath the house or in the attic, so there hasn’t been much to show. But this is what greeted me when I came home from work on Saturday. Eric removed all the plaster and drywall from the wall that is going to come down. You can see that there used to be a pass-through, although that had been drywalled over by the time we bought the house. We’re starting to get a feel for what it will be like when the room is totally open. It’s definitely brighter now that you can see the light from windows on both walls and the kitchen skylight. Nice.

We’re making progress on our selections as well. We bought our cooktop and range hood (on sale at Sears). We found a floor tile we like. We’re still trying to decide whether or not to use the Ikea cabinets we like or go for a higher quality option that looks very similar but is of course more expensive. The countertops will depend on the cabinets we choose, but we are leaning towards Caesarstone.

Eric’s taking time off at the end of the month while I’m at the Eureka Institute to get the new beam installed, and then we can tear down what’s left of the wall and really get going with the new stuff. Progress is good!

I’m still in the throes of implementation for our new Integrated Library System software (we don’t go live until July). I’m really amazed at just how consuming it is. Even when I’m off duty, I’m thinking about it. I’m losing track of other details and things I should be or want to be thinking about. I missed the Masterpiece Theater Sense and Sensibility because I was going out and completely forgot to record it – both parts! I had it on my calendar and everything. Such a bummer. At a time like this I’d ordinarily be reading light, escapist stuff to take my mind off work, but I have assigned reading for the Eureka Leadership Institute, so even that is mostly work-related.

I needed some good veg time, so this weekend I brought home Season 1 of Dr. Who on DVD. I’d caught a couple of recent episodes on the SciFi Channel and liked them, so I figured it would be good to start at the beginning (at least, the beginning of the current run). I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s got spaceships, aliens, time-travel, and saving the world, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper are really good, although some of the supporting actors go overboard with the cheese. The episodes I saw on tv have another actor in the role of the Doctor, but I haven’t reached that point in the series yet. The production values are a funny mix of high and low; in one episode the Slitheen are computer-generated when shown from a distance, and they move with speed and agility. When shown in close-up they appear to be people in rubber suits, and speed and agility disappear. It’s awesome, and exactly the kind of thing I need to distract me from data profile evaluation.

It’s only mid-April, but it feels like summer is here. We’ve got temps around 90 in Capo Beach this weekend. You know it’s going to be hot when you wash your car at 8:30 in the morning and you’re sweating! (TMI?) But, the poppies are looking lovely and we’re enjoying the clear, gorgeous days.

Fafblog is back! After a nearly two-year hiatus, Fafnir and Giblets return. Woohoo!!!!

cubicleMy awesome and creative friends at work TP’d my cubicle this morning, so when I came in at noon, this is what I saw. They also hung a convenient privacy curtain. I could not stop laughing for about half an hour! Notice that this is an environmentally-friendly prank as they did not unwrap/unroll the toilet paper.