The stupid hurts

NC Considers Making Sea Level Rise Illegal

There is virtually universal agreement among scientists that the sea will probably rise a good meter or more before the end of the century, wreaking havoc in low-lying coastal counties. So the members of the developers’ lobbying group NC-20 say the sea will rise only 8 inches, because … because … well, SHUT UP, that’s because why.

That is, the meter or so of sea level rise predicted for the NC Coastal Resources Commission by a state-appointed board of scientists is extremely inconvenient for counties along the coast. So the NC-20 types have decided that we can escape sea level rise – in North Carolina, anyhow – by making it against the law. Or making MEASURING it against the law, anyhow

Trans-Aid and other tales for a Thursday night

I’m sorry, but every time I see one of these vans, I can’t help but think it’s full of people on their way to a giant benefit concert for people with gender identity issues who may also be suffering from famine or the loss of their farms.

More random thoughts for a Thursday “basement night” in Winston-Salem:

  • Some really great news at work and I hate that I really shouldn’t talk about it publicly until next week. I would be quite happy to brag privately to anyone who cares, though.
  • In case you were wondering, Trader Joe’s Punjab Eggplant over rice makes for a surprisingly satisfying dinner. This is part of my new meal strategy, which basically is “cook lots of rice on Sunday night and keep pouring different stuff over it all week.”
  • Have I mentioned yet how much happier I was back when my dad used to hate using the phone as much as I do?
  • I was reminded this morning (fortunately with ten days to prepare) that I have multiple speaking engagements this month. I’m not sure why anyone particularly wants to hear me do it, but I’m sure glad public speaking was never quite as frightening to me as it is to most people.
  • Three new used books from Amazon this week: histories of A&P, Loblaws, and Steinbergs. I sense a theme here. Maybe two.
  • I am really, really impressed by what the ex is doing this week. God knows I couldn’t do it. If you asked nicely, I imagine he would still accept donations. Just sayin’.

Back to Capitale Rock and writing my luncheon speech now.

Order through chaos

It’s hard not to love a bookstore with a “history of technology” section.

More random stuff for a Saturday morning, all of which would probably be more appropriate to some closed-system social networking platform, but fuck that:

  • This might explain so may aspects of my life, from my career choice to why my marriage state-unsanctioned relationship failed.  And why I always crave cookies but often don’t find them satisfying. Or it might not. (Thanks, Dan C.)
  • Much true, this. And it’s somehow related to the fact that I find knowing lots of stupid Excel tricks has helped me more as a librarian than any other tech skills.
  • I don’t shop at Penney’s (I mean “JCP“) as much as I used to, but I could start again, especially if it would piss off these morons.

The good news

A week or so back I mentioned some good work news. Since the announcement was officially made yesterday, I guess I can brag about it here now so…

I got my grant. The one I was working on back in January and February. You know: the $200K grant with the 106-page application (a real page-turner, it was). As a result, my group will be digitizing many thousands of documents, photos, and other materials related to local history around the turn-of-the-century. We’re the lead institution, collaborating with four other libraries and a museum, which frankly was no small thing to organize.

I’m really excited about it. This is pretty much the specific reason I pursued the career path I did. And…well…it sort of makes me look good career-wise, too. A nice thing to have in the old tenure package, after all.

I may have ice cream to celebrate. Come to think if it, I may have ice cream just for the hell of it…

Definitely an Order Muppet

Friday night. More than anything else I’m excited that I’ve finally determined how I will archive and organize all my digitized and born-digital home video and that I’m finally making some good progress with that project again after a long lull. Keep in mind that this is essentially the same thing I do as a large part of my day job.

Does that make me pathetic?

And do I care?

Not particularly. Putting the world in order is what I do. When I have the time and energy, that is.

Even if I can’t make sense out of my own life, I want it to be damned easy for someone else to write the finding aid after I die.


Would this be a good idea?

I don’t generally ask for content opinions since I’ve always stressed that I am the primary audience for this website.


I’m thinking of celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the famed Planet SOMA US Tour of 1997 by posting the actual video footage from that trip. Is there any interest? You’d see a much younger me carrying Mark’s Powerbook around the country, visiting random strangers, touring Route 66, and generally having fun with what was really one of the very early online road trips back in the semi-virginal days of the internet (when this site, strangely enough, actually had a much bigger audience).

I ask for this opinion because this really would be an audience-driven thing. I can watch this shit whenever I want to. I don’t particularly want to go to all the effort if no one else cares.

Opinions are solicited.

A dad I never met

In addition to recognizing how great my own dad is this year on Father’s Day, I’m feeling kind of inspired to recognize how very important someone else’s father came to be in my life.

Back in 2003, one of my oldest and closest friends lost his father to an illness that I assumed was either caused or exacerbated by smoking. I’d never met this man. Wouldn’t have known him from Adam if I’d seen him walking down the street. But the day he died, I decided that I would be one less person that my friend would lose to smoking. And I decided that very day that I was going to quit after almost twenty-five years as an addict. I set the date for about a week later and on 3 November 2003, I had my last cigarette. I never once looked back after that day and haven’t touched one of those disgusting things since.

So in a certain way, this dad that I’d never met saved my life–or at least significantly enhanced and lengthened it. I don’t think I’ve ever told his son this story and I probably should have before now, because the son obviously played a pretty big role in my decision too.

Father’s Day just seemed like a good time to mention it. So thanks to father and son…

Yeah. That.

Don’t Listen Here

You can spend $45 to go see Nickelback this week.

Or you could buy 45 hammers from the dollar store, hang them from the ceiling at eye level and spend an evening banging the demons out of your dome.

That $45 would also buy you a lot of pickles, which have more fans on Facebook than the band. It would also buy you an introduction to rock guitar video course that would allow you to surpass the band’s skill level in five hours or less.

$45 is also enough to see Men in Black III five times, buy a dozen Big Macs, do 10 loads of laundry or so many other experiences as banal and meaningless as seeing Nickelback but that come without having to actually hear Nickelback.

But if you must, the band is playing the Idaho Center on Wednesday, June 13, at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $45.

Did I mention that I really fucking hate Nickelback and can find no evolutionary explanation to justify their continued existence?

Rotten day

8:15 AM. (EDT): Arrive at Greensboro airport.

9:15 AM: Board United plane for Chicago.

9:45 AM: Leave plane due to equipment problems.

10:15 AM: Get in line for rebooking.

11:35 AM: Get rebooked.

1:30 PM: Board USAirways plane for Philadelphia.

3:05 PM: Arrive Philadelphia.

4:05 PM: Board plane for LA.

7:00 PM (PDT): Arrive in LA.

7:45 PM: Realize checked bag never made it to LA. Arrange delivery sometime tonight.

8:15 PM: Arrive at Fox Rent-a-Car.

8:30 PM: Informed that fox Rent-a-Car (from whom i’ve never rented a car) will not rent to me because I’m on their “do not rent” list for some transgression they can’t seem to identify or explain.

8:45 PM: Walk next door to Thrifty where I have to pay nearly a hundred dollars to rent a big-ass SUV (all they had left) for one day just so I can get to the hotel which is about thirty miles away.

9:45 PM: Finally arrive at hotel.

10:15 PM: Finally have dinner.

11:30 PM: Luggage still not here.

Am I being punished for something? That’s pretty much every travel nightmare you can have, all pressed into one day. The hotel was the only part without a glitch.

It will get better, right?

Better day

Things are looking a little brighter today, even though I didn’t get very much sleep last night. I was a little stressed.

This morning, though, I found a Mexican breakfast within walking distance of my hotel. I also yelled at someone at Fox Rent-A-Car…and will do more of that later because it amuses me so. I’ve made other car arrangements, I have my luggage, and I’m about to go have lunch with a friend. So there’s hope…


We did the presentation this morning and it went really well. I was amazed by the turnout, especially considering we were not in the main conference hotel and were part of a session held at the ungodly hour of 8AM on Sunday morning. So I’ve now done my first presentation at a national conference (which is nice) and I’m pretty much done and can start enjoying things a bit more (which is even nicer).

Coming up:

  • My third meal in as many days at a hole-in-the-wall tacqueria.
  • Maybe an evening trip to the beach with a friend who’s never seen the Pacific Ocean.
  • Freebies at the exhibits.
  • More Safeway diet grapefruit soda (I’ve missed it) when I get back to my room.

The actual vacation starts Tuesday.

For some reason, I’m having trouble uploading photos in the WordPress app. I may link to some stuff on flickr later today.

I always forget…

…how much I like San Diego. At some unspecified point in the future, I’ll have lots to say about things I do and don’t miss about California. But tonight is not that point.


  • Wound my way from Anaheim to San Diego.
  • Covered the El Cajon Blvd. and University Ave. strips.
  • Walked around Ocean Beach.
  • Had dinner in Pacific Beach.


  • A bit of laundry.
  • More strips and diners and motels.
  • Maybe downtown.
  • At least one used bookstore.

Wednesday night in San Diego


I think I decided this once before but I have to say that I find that San Diego–at least for me–is probably the most livable city in California. If I were offered a job that would allow me to live fairly well here (which is highly unlikely) I might actually consider it. That’s significant; I can’t really say that about any other city in California. More on that later, if I feel like it.


  • Breakfast by the beach.
  • Toured North Park, South Park, Normal Heights, downtown, and Linda Vista, among other areas..
  • Excellent Indian buffet for lunch.
  • Way too much sun.
  • Several used bookstores.
  • Fast food dinner snack.
  • Shot many vintage Safeways.

Right now I’m sitting in the room watching TV and considering whether or not to venture back out. “Not” seems to be winning. Tomorrow it’s up to LA for five nights.

Thursday night in Pasadena



  • Breakfast at Rudford’s in San Diego.
  • Drove to Pasadena and checked into the mid-century motel of my dreams.
  • Lunch at L&L Hawaiian Barbecue.
  • Took a couple of first-day drives around the city to soak in the essential LA-ness of it all.
  • I’m glad I still love it here.

Tomorrow: Who knows? There are many possibilities.

Friday evening in Pasadena


I think I’ve exercised considerable restraint, having taken only 570 pictures so far. It’s nice that the skies have actually been blue rather that that greenish-beige you often get in LA during the summer.


  • Breakfast at a diner in Eagle Rock that had orange booths, Sputnik wallpaper, and a moderately space-age sign. I like to fantasize that it’s where Bill Gannon from Dragnet (he lived in Eagle Rock) ate breakfast every morning.
  • Silver Lake, Sunset Boulevard, Venice, and Westwood
  • Remembered the sunblock today.
  • It was quite warm, but not as bad as at home, where it’s apparently still 90F at 9PM.


  • Twilight neon photography in Hollywood.
  • Dinner somewhere.
  • Plans open for later.

Tomorrow: The Valley. And other stuff.