on/in wisconsin

Guestroom, Lacrosse WI

I went to Wisconsin. I stayed in the perfect B&B. I gave a good talk. I read a good book. I ate orange cheese. I had no idea that Western Wisconsin looked so much like Vermont, except for the cheese, of course. I had good bus karma; my flight arrived in Logan early and I caught the bus I was going to just barely miss. I got back almost before dark. I slept.

I am formulating a plan for dealing with the front yard. I’d like to just mow it with the push mower, but when I try to do that one of my neighbors will invariably hassle me to use their mower and then watch me (clumsily, ineptly) do it. Maybe I’ll sneak out at night with nail scissors. If it were up to me I’d just let the damned thing grow.


I’ve been away again and I did the usual get back super late at night (or early in the morning) thing so I could wake up in my own bed and start the day doing something other than driving or getting on public transportation. A little more about the Vermont Library Conference and the Berkman Center Tenth Anniversary maybe in a bit, but this is about today.

Being on the road is fun. I get to see people and talk to people and have meals with people and generally be social in a way that I’m not up here. Not that I don’t have friends up here or not that there aren’t people up here, but getting together for a beer with more than maybe two or three people if I’m not hosting a party myself is a bit of a challenge. I had food and drinks with twenty librarians one night. Big fun.

One of the things I don’t get to do when I travel is concentrate, on anything really. I give talks. I drive or fly or bus or subway places. I stay up late and get up early. I schmooze. However, I’ve gotten a little used to the big blocks of time I have up here for what I’ve always called (before the term was co-opted) getting things done. There’s always front burner and back burner projects and today the project was “Get all the music off the iMac and put it all on the Macbook and remove all the duplicate music and then back it all up.” Due to user error, I deleted an entire hard drive of MP3s at one point consisting of my entire music collection. I have basically an archival computer with my music collection from sometime before that (from Topsham), and my current laptop with everything I’ve gotten afterwards. They’ve needed merging for some time now and today was the day.

Over a few hours, during which I kept an eye on the progress and did a lot of small other things (bill paying, receipt organizing, spreadsheet filling out) I managed to import over 5000 songs of which about 18% were already duplicated in my collection. Thanks to iDupe without which this would have been agonizing. Yes, I paid my shareware fees. Yes, this is what I do for fun while I have a discretionary day. Yes, it’s good to be home.

owl barf

You might enjoy this story, explained by my friend Anil, about how a silly online contest and a casual comment about pubic hair turned into a Vermont school project owl pellet wish list fulfillment. And yes, I had something to do with it. I’d write more but I’ve got to go out and rake now that the iceberg is gone before the leaves start to fall. The window is so tiny.

Follow-up: everyone gets thanked on Donors Choose. Here was my thank you.

Dear Jessamyn,

I cannot even begin to express the thanks that I have, as well as my students, in hearing that our project was funded. Although we are surrounded by some of the most beautiful woodlands, it is not so easy to find food chains and food webs in action at this time of the year. Your funding will keep the love of science alive in both the girls and the boys and hopefully will continue to grow the awareness that is needed to keep our Green Mountains healthy, as well as our many other biomes on this Earth. Thank you for your donations!

resisting the upgrade

why I am a fan of interfaith prayer

I’ve been staying away from this blog for a few reasons, all of them surmountable. First, I haven’t upgraded to the new WordPress and I know I’m supposed to and every time I see my classically lovely custom CSS here I know it’s not long for this world and I despair. Second, I’m in Canada, Regina SK to be exact, for another few hours. I love Canada. Canadian people are so nice as a general rule, or perhaps it’s just the Canadian library faction, but man I’m happy every time I come here, looking forward to talking to people. Last night, after my talk, we sat around the bar and discussed who had learned to drive on a tractor [answer: almost everyone, including me]. Third, I’ve been spending a more-than-usual amount of time with a local-to-New-England-but-not-Vermont guy who takes up a lot of my available typing time and sends me off daydreaming when I could be working. Details will emerge eventually. Fourth, it’s Spring. This relates to several of the previous reasons, but it means I’ve been messing with the yard, staring in wonder at all the new-budding joy that is Vermont in May, and sleeping differently, getting used to new sheets and new allergies.

Anyhow, I should note that when I’m too busy to write in paragraphs, sometimes I put things up on Twitter. You are welcome to never pay attention to that, or this, or the Internet in general really, but if you’re Twitter-curious, I’m there under my usual name. Here’s the last few days of little things I’ve said there. Yes, a lot of it is pithy nonsense. I’m not advocating, I’m just saying…

jessamyn: Wondering if sleeping in comfy car in extended parking lot beats braving Albany nonsense late at night after much travel. If there’s wifi… 12 minutes ago

jessamyn: Moved to a top floor corner room because the octagenarian birthday party was threatening to go all night. Talk went great, Albany tomorrow. about 12 hours ago

jessamyn: Talking about the Weakerthans “I Hate Winnipeg” (One Great City!) song with Winnipeg public librarian. She likes it. about 21 hours ago

jessamyn: “Can you please send a band-aid to room 835? Yes, the same room you sent the sewing kit to 30 min ago….” about 23 hours ago from web

jessamyn: Tim Hortons will take US $ and turn it into Canadian $ and donuts. Now I have cab fare. F! T! W! @ezrakilty: will not need fedexed pelts, tx 08:38 PM May 02, 2008

jessamyn: Why, when I type “circulation interface” opac into google images am I greeted by my own face? 07:20 PM May 02, 2008

jessamyn: My ATM card expired Wednesday? And I am a country away from its replacement? I need to pay more attention to time. 06:22 PM May 02, 2008

jessamyn: I <3 prayer! http://flickr.com/photos/iamthebestartist/2460168064/ [note: link to the photo above, actually] 03:39 PM May 02, 2008

jessamyn: Oh Vermont, I keep thinking I could not love you more, but you have free wifi at rest stops? Saskatchewan-bound, I am! 12:55 PM May 02, 2008

jessamyn: 88 year old student learning to point… then to click… email is a distant horizon but the eventual goal. 05:48 PM May 01, 2008

jessamyn: Pervert Morris Team for May Day http://www.whiteratsmorris.org 12:54 PM May 01, 2008

jessamyn: I’m trying the write words first, find slides pictures later approach. Seems to be working well. Oh Regina, we will have fun. 12:15 PM May 01, 2008

jessamyn: Old man in post office: “would you like some candy little girl?” Then he hands me a tootsie roll and we both laugh like hell. 11:24 AM May 01, 2008

jessamyn: Stuffing birch bark into envelopes & putting it in the mail. 10:28 AM May 01, 2008