Dad's been sending along some interesting pieces on Amherst from Business Week:
Amherst's "A" List: Affluence, Achievement, Athletics
"If you think this is a level playing field, forget it," says the admissions chief. Talent with a hockey stick helps, too
Cousin Peter is in the NY Times today talking about snowmobiles in Yellowstone!
Dr. Peter Rabinowitz a specialist in occupational and environmental medicine at Yale who assessed noise levels for snowmobile opponents, said in a December 2005 letter to the park superintendent that noise levels even from the newer snowmobiles were dangerous to riders, who risked "permanent hearing loss."
"It is important to emphasize this fact," Dr. Rabinowitz said, "since the public may have been led to believe that 'Best Available Technology' is synonymous for 'safe' (it apparently is not) and consequently may not be aware of the risk to their hearing from snowmobile use."
Thank you Mom for the tip.
Luckily Brian pointed out that I had missed this message -- congratulation to Hanna and John on the arrival of Albert John Schwartz on Sunday night, February 19th!!! Yay!!!!
Happy birthday today to Aunt Susan!
via Stephen's Lighthouse comes SnapShirts which will make a tshirt of the words found on your blog or in a favorite author's book! It creates a "word cloud", a visual depiction of content (words) used in a body of text. The word clouds they use at snapshirts.com are arranged alphabetically and depict more frequently used words in progressively larger fonts. I love that words like books and libraries and reading and refgrunt float to the top of my word cloud. I'm definitely going to order one (in the font color of chocolate of course!)
Just in case you didn't think we had enough going on in our lives right now, we put in an offer for a condo today! So keep your fingers crossed for us!
Jonathan sent me this very nice photo of him and my grandfather out for a walk this afternoon. Looks like most of the snow has melted there...
Another great environmentally friendly young YA book to go with Hoot (by the same author... and did you know there's a movie coming out soon? yay!), Tangerine, etc. Can't beat books with kids who go after the polluting bad guys!
There was a blood drive at work today so I checked to see if they had changed the elibility rules about Mad Cow -- and they had! Previously, I hadn't been able to donate because of my stint in France, but now the rules just say the UK or 5+ years in Europe (and I was only there about 9 months). I was SO excited to be able to donate again (though they made me site there extra long afterwards since it had been so long since I had donated and they didn't want me to pass out)
[eek, this entry got deleted so I'm trying to recreate it -- sorry!}
The number one song on the day I was born?
"Angie Baby" by Helen Reddy
For S, it was:
"Me and Bobby McGee" by Janis Joplin
via pop watch
Great quotes about Mom on Westportnow today as part of the promotion for the Playhouse's upcoming production of On The Verge (which we saw years and years ago and loved -- and I'll get to see this production when I'm there in a couple of weeks.)
“Joanne and Ann are very representative of the three exceedingly bold and courageous women in this play,” said Thompson.
“They are also ‘intrepid trekkers,’ who are unafraid of going against the wind and demonstrating their freedom to choose. They are both exemplary models of socially, politically and civic-minded citizens of Westport.
I found a great new source of Siegel Cooper photos and advertisements at the NYPL Digital Gallery. NYPL Digital Gallery provides access to over 415,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more.
(via NYPL's Best of the Web)
There's a big bike race going through SJ today (which to me means the roads around my office are all closed off again). Its the Amgen Tour of California and its supposed to be good for local economic development and "build on San Jose's growing reputation as a great city for staging outstanding sporting events." The tour features 128 cyclists from 16 international teams -- eight of which compete in elite races like the Tour de France -- and can be seen by the public free of charge; there are no tickets to view the event.
The web site has good online race coverage ("Using a combination of Adobe® Creative Suite 2, Studio 8, Production Studio, Flex and Flash® Media Server applications, visitors will be able to watch live video of the race, along with hourly updated photography, a live Google map of the course, real time text commentary and a profile map.") if you want to see where the group is currently.
Feb 21st was always a big day for my gang of friends in high school -- two of my favorite people shared a birthday! Happy birthday to Katy and Mark!
3 books to report on -- I feel like I haven't been getting any reading done at all but the last few days have been productive at least.
A Long Way Down
by Nick Hornby
This one took me a while to get through but I did enjoy it. Its a weird set-up of four very different people who meet on the top of a building on New Year's eve -- each with the intention of jumping off of it but finding themselves drawn together. I liked the voices of the characters.
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things
by Carolyn Mackler
which I had been meaning to get to forever (who can resist a title like that?) but once I started seeing reports that it was challenged in some school and once Emy blogged that she was reading it, I moved it up higher on my list. Definitely a good YA girl book.
Storky: How I Lost My Nickname and Won the Girl
by D.L. Garfinkle
a YA book with a smart, geeky, scrabble-playing teen facing divorced parents, teenage lust, and a looming driver's test... better than Adrian Mole and definitely a guy you want to root for.
I have a whole pile of other YA books waiting (I went a bit crazy with the holds when the new best books of the year lists came out). Luckily most of these YA ones are pretty quick enjoyable reads.
7 hours J plus an hour off-desk to make new signs for the children's music section... Here are some of the questions/requests:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Facts about Mexico
food in Ancient Rome
Guiness World Records
new book section?
call to be picked up by parents x3
Robin Hood video
Evil Knieval bio
other current bios
Foals in the Field
Calvin and Hobbes
MH history Golden Threads?
Pee Wee Scouts
Queen of Shaba (missing)
other leopard books
Accelerated Reader list
dragons, unicorns or animal JEs
how to draw cars
dragon stories for a girl who liked Eragon and couldn't find anything new that she hadn't read already (I gave her Dealing with Dragons because I had enjoyed it so much)
photos of cars
Old Man and the Sea
how to make the browser window bigger
Danny Kaye movies
filters were selectively blocking myspace.com oon some of the computers but not others
1st Nancy Drew (Secret of the Old Clock)
Found when weeding:
2 receipts and a sticky note (i know, not that interesting)
Ok, nothing like the three feet my family got in CT, but one of my colleagues just pointed out that the hills outside our office windows are covered with a coating of snow! And I of course forgot to bring my new snazzy camera to capture the moment... I bet the people who escaped to Tahoe for the three day weekend are enjoying their snow... it didn't even occur to me that there would be snow out the window -- last week it was in the 70s here.
Its quite sad that they're planning to cut down some of our lovely downtown palm trees to make way for the Grand Prix. "Sixteen of San Jose's signature palm trees will be moved off the Park Avenue medians closest to Plaza de Cesar Chavez because organizers of this summer's San Jose Grand Prix are widening that segment of their course through downtown streets."
The wonderful people I work with threw me a shower today after lunch. They apparently had a great time sneaking around planning it.
Two really yummy cakes -- one chocolate and one strawberry:
I loved this review of Alan's Hay site over at dalihouse
I thought for sure I’d found another excellent candidate for a “Weird Internet Sites” post when I stumbled across Hay in Art – “a collection of great works of hay” – while stalking Turner, but this three-year-old cyber-gallery by Alan Ritch of Santa Cruz, California, quite simply overwhelms any intent to ridicule with an astonishing range of lovely paintings and drawings (”currently 5,015 items in the database”) and a good dose of humour.
Happy Valentine's Day to you!!
Heather sent this informative Healthy Valentine link.
And today's word of the day is spoony meaning "Foolishly or sentimentally in love" -- a perfect Valentine word for my chocolatespoon site!
Aunt Susan is in town visiting (she was at a film festival in Santa Barbara and popped up to Norcal for a couple of days) so we used it as an excuse to head over to Santa Cruz after work and have dinner with Margaret, Alan, Annie and Harold.
There's an article on Westport Now today about the Westport Historical Society (including a really nice shot of the building in the snow) that quotes Mom. I've volunteered for various things there over the years and love the place. Its sad to see it having to fire the staff, but hopefully it will continue to do fun and educational things for the town.
Update 2/17: Now its in The Minuteman too.
Happy birthday today to Bill's Dad who is turning 96 today! And who still puts us all to shame by working out a couple of times each week at the Y.
6 hours J today, lots of weeding of the parent's section -- here are some of the questions/requests:
books for 1st graders
where is J fiction?
Black Ships Before Troy
science fair projects
anatomy for artists
power ranger videos
King Arthur comic?
I Spy games
Bluestars/ Pretty Ricky rap cd
RA romance for a 9th grader (wanted Nicolas Sparks, I gave her Weezie and Hard Love to try as well)
Pink Panther movie times
Famous Five on tape
3rd grade books
Thomas the Tank Engine videos and books
Rio de la Plat
Magic Treehouse books
Jawaharlal Nehru or other Indian leader bios
book about going to the doctor for the first time (which I had just seen while weeding JParent)
where are there nearby baby storytimes (Saratoga, San Jose branches)
CDs of books by Jean Craighead (George)
shelf check for a bio of John Adams for SA patrong
Katie's Angel (nope)
Clue Jr. series (don't have any)
President's Day x3
Valentine's Day x2
illustrated classic versions of Ivanhoe
Found while weeding:
1 hold notice
1 Reader's Digest subscription card
one letter to Santa: "Dear Santa/ I want pokenom COLOSSEUM for NINTONOO GAMECUECUBE. and Pokemon Box RUBY and SAFFHIRE for GAMECUECUBE. From Matthew,"
one full page drawing which we think is of a princess and a dragon with little mice running around... or something...
Tu B'Shevat, the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shevat, is a holiday known as the "New Year for Trees." (Jewish Year 5766: sunset February 12, 2006 - nightfall February 13, 2006) Apparently there are few customs or observances related to this holiday. One custom is to eat a new fruit (or dried fruit I guess) on this day, usually we think of planting trees.
It is a time to celebrate the beginning of new growth and the change of the seasons. Although it generally falls in January or February, in Israel this is the time when the first signs of spring are seen in the blossoming of the almond trees (its springy here too...)
Anyway, happy tu b'shevat!
Part of our homework this week was to put the stickers that came in the book around the house to label words we're supposed to be learning. So now all sorts of random things have yellow labels on them -- we'll see if it helps me learn them...
Look at the crazy snow photos Mom sent. Have I mentioned how much I like living in CA?
Apparently there's two feet so far and its still coming down...
Saw TheatreWorks production of The Clean House
Here's the official description from the web site:
There's a Brazilian maid who hates to clean but loves a good joke. There's a tidy house and a chaotic marriage, a brace of battling sisters, and a desperate doctor snowshoeing the Yukon in search of cures. And there's a unique wit illuminating this infectious dark comedy, offering laughter as an antidote for the mess we inevitably make of love. A boldly original tale of loss, change, and redemption, it features a gallery of beguiling characters learning to connect in the stress test of daily life.
Somehow I thought it would be funnier, but it was interesting and different and, as always, they do a really good job on the production design. I'm sorry I missed the discussion Wednesday (had to change all my tix because of my wednesday Hebrew class) because that often helps to make the weirder productions a bit more enjoyable.
Mom sent a link to the Weather Channel's customized wedding weather page.
My apologies to those of you expecting a big blizzard tomorrow, but it is so nice and sunny here that I just had to post some photos of the lovely flowers that are growing along our front walk. Even the strawberries that S planted for me are starting to turn red!
Oh, and the fence turned out quite nice!
It is a tradition to make giving to charity (Tzedakah) a part of one's wedding and in addition to an environmental group (Sierra Club) and a literacy group (First Book), I will be supporting the Human Rights Campaign Fund to support those fighting for expanded marriage rights. (we even registered for charitable donations to these group through the i do network)
Happy birthday today to my sister-in-law Karen!
A bunch of us went out to lunch (to that same Pita place S and I tried out a couple of weeks ago) and I ran into 2 people I knew! Ok, its different when you live in a small town and know everyone -- I never know anyone here (I also rarely go outside my office and walk around downtown). At the restaurant, Liz from the MH library was there with some friends (probably from SJSU) and then on the way back we ran into Bob L. from The Tech (less surprising I suppose since the Tech is right there and I do sometimes run into Tech people walking around -- especially since the volunteers park in the garage for my office...) But I was very very pleased with myself for knowing people, and award myself 2 points for the day (especially because points count more if you see people you know while you're with other people who don't know them, because then you can really feel connected and all that...)
Tonight I'm off to the volunteer appreciation dinner for KTEH where I'll see a few more people that I know (though you don't get points when you go to an event where you're supposed to know the people).
(and yes the governor was at The Tech today but we didn't stop in to say hullo)
Today's my office-mate's birthday. Happy birthday Janete!
I got an email today from "Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluations" with the subject "=?ISO-8859-1?B?U2FuIEpvc+kgU3RhdGUgR3JhZHVhdGUgU3RhdHVz?=" and I almost didn't open it because I get quite a lot of spam promising me instant PhDs and things and usually jibberish in the subject line means the message is in Russian (don't know why I get spam in Russian...). But I did open it and it turns out to have been the official notification of my real degree. "Your application for award of degree has been approved for graduating in Fall 2005. Your master's degree has been officially posted on your transcript. Your diploma will be mailed to you at a later time..." along with a note suggesting that I order an official transcript if I want actual proof of my degree for employment or school purposes. At least I assume it is the real degree since it did have the proper contact information for my school's Graduate Admissions & Program Evaluations department in the signature block and an html attachment with the correct letterhead (it'd probably have been apparent more immediately if I hadn't been checking my mail through a text-only web mail client...) But its getting pretty hard to know what email to trust these days...
A pretty busy Sunday -- 5 1/4 hours A, 1/2 hour J. I thought it would clear out for the superbowl, but it didn't seem to make a dent. Here are some of the questions/requests:
Catholic Saints videos
piano purchasing guide
The Moves Make the Man
Tien Phong magazine back issues
help reading from disk
tax form questions x4
new car so can't log in
book of The Last Empress in Chinese? Mingchen Huang Hou
English grammar videos
Bargain Network phone #
look up pin#?
Conversations with an Executioner (closest copy was Santa Clara)
cancel print job
CA college guides from Prowler Series
Webster's 3rd Edition
idioms - but not the expression kind, the one on the new SATs
help signing on
find 'able' in the dictionary
can't log into catalog
Alicia Keys book?
which one is computer #2 (really, it needs a new sign!)
Gun, Germs and Steel
CDs to learn Hindi and Spanish
Reinventing Your Nursing Career
biographies of scientists
A Thousand Days in Venice
talking books for toddlers
affordable housing research (there's some great stuff at huduser.org)
trick to get reservation on the 15 minute machine (press enter instead of clicking)
US Weekly from December
Uncle Tom's Cabin
are the career books reference only? (some are)
And I was looking for Tween program ideas and found out the following movies are coming out in 2006 (all based on books):
Alice (with Buffy as Alice -- is that cool or what??!?!?!?!!?!), Aquamarine, Charlotte's Web, Eragon, Hoot, and How to Eat Fried Worms.
I also learned that children's author Karen Beaumont lives here in MH! And the plog entries today when I log onto Amazon are by Donna Andrews and Sylvia Engdahl -- that's pretty darn cool.
Congrats to all my Pittsburgh relatives and condolences to the Seattle side of the family. Sigh.
Testing out a new database and learned a couple of interesting tidbits about Israeli weddings. These are from an article by Rebecca L. Torstrick on "Israel: Marriage" from Daily Life Online.
"Weddings can take place on any day other than Shabbat, a festival, a day of public mourning, or during the period between Pesach and Shavu’ot. They can be performed anywhere. Most Israeli couples choose to hire wedding halls or hotel banquet rooms, a few others may use synagogues, and still others have weddings outdoors in garden settings. Wedding invitations are distributed by hand to family members and mailed to other guests. Guests are not expected to respond, so invitations may arrive as close as a week before the event. It is not uncommon for 300 or more guests to be invited to the wedding. A wedding is a major event in Israeli society, and families spend considerable sums of money on them.
In the typical lavish wedding, the bride’s gown is rented and her hair and makeup are professionally done before the wedding. Most couples have a professional make a wedding video. Prior to the actual ceremony, couples in their wedding garb often pose in various key locations around town. The actual wedding and reception are then added to the video later to produce a professional film. On the wedding day, the families of the couple form a receiving line at the wedding location to greet guests..."
6 weeks from today we're getting married!
Also, special congratulations today to both Hanna and BobbiLynn whose baby showers I'm having to miss.
After work we drove up to SF for an awesome concert at the Eugene & Elinor Friend Center for the Arts at the JCC of SF. Ehud Banai gave an amazing, sold out concert with people dancing in the aisles. At the Israeli music awards in 2004, Ehud Banai made a clean sweep, winning best singer, best lyricist and best album of the year for his latest release, Aneh Li (Answer Me), which we've been listening to in the car. Lots of Hebrew overheard in the audience (with a word or two actually sounding familiar).
Today was my first in a series of every other Saturdays and it was great fun! 7 hours J, 1/2 hour A. Busy at times, quiet enough at other times to get some projects done -- a new display on Narnia read-alikes (I got to use the dye-cut machine to make the letters for "fantastic fantasy" plus a bunch of dragons and owls and things) and to check the collection against lists of recommended kids music choices. The new printing system seemed to work really well. Here are some of the questions/requests:
what's in a st. bernard's flask?
math for k and 2nd
Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (still a waiting list)
downloadable audio books
unlock DVD case
small claims court, wrongful eviction info
help with new printing system x4
cds to learn Japanese
can't log in (had a new card)
Tony Hawk biography, 4th grader
adult nonfiction videos on fire fighters
How My Private, Personal Journal Became a Bestseller
When in Rome (only had Spanish in)
Valentine day books to read aloud to a class
Along Came a Dog
questions from SLIS reference class including one on "inertial damping" (I gave her the Physics of Star Trek)
Goosebumps - I Live in Your Basement
Forest of Secrets
Warriors series (the one on cats)
where to pick up holds
Italian Olympic athletes
general Italy info
info for science project on how grapes turn into raisins
Indian in the Cupboard
Magic School Bus dinosaur video
Curious George books
I love the slogan for this year's Read Across America events (March 2, Dr. Seuss's birthday) from the California Teacher's Association -- "Happy Readers Come From California... got books?" (via the CLA Blog) Complete with very silly looking cows. (apparently it was the theme last year too but I completely missed that)
Brian's blogging over on Morph: The Media Center conversation about politics, the media, sausage, etc.
Presented by the Santa Clara County Office of Education, the Santa Clara County Library and the San Jose Public Library Foundation, Silicon Valley Reads is designed to promote reading and literacy, broaden the exposure to and appreciation of good literature, and build community.
I've read one of the two books so far, When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka. The other book chosen is The Souvenir by Louise Steinman. Both present perspectives on the effects of World War II on California families. There are study guides available too.
I don't think I'm going to be able to actually make any of the events again this year which is too bad. Unfortunately I'm working tomorrow when there's a big event right down the street from me. But if you're local, check out the event list and participate! I love the idea of the whole community reading the same books and discussing them!
Librarian in Black adapted a meme that's been going around to create a Four Things @ Your Library posting. Even though I wasn't tagged and am not actually working on my library's blog any more (since accepting my full time job elsewhere, being on the library's web team was sadly one of the other commitments I had to give up), I wanted to play along!
4 Library Online Resources to Know About
For more online resources from your library, take a look at their Databases, eBooks, & Research Tools page!
4 Great Free Classes @ Your Library
4 Websites We Really Like (or, more specifically, web sites linked in our library's list of recommended web sites that I've used recently while answering reference questions)
For more websites we really like, check out the Reference Sites page!
4 Recommended Reading Lists to Check Out
4 Upcoming Events to Attend
It turns out that Survivor is pretty much mandatory watching on my team at work (they're all participating in a pool even). I only was paying a little attention because I saw on am'erst that one of my classmates from college Bobby Mason is a contestant. So maybe I'll try to watch tonight and see what this season has in store, if only so I can participate in the inevitable staff meeting conversations on the subject...
February 3, 2006, is National Wear Red Day where people are encouraged tol wear red to show their support for women's heart disease awareness.
Apparently Punxsutawney Phil over the last 119 years has seen his shadow 96 times and missed it 14 times. There are no records for 9 years.
Zod Wallop by William Browning Spencer is one very strange book. I can't remember where I heard about it, possibly in a discussion about books within books (one of my favorite reading categories). This one is downright trippy though, when the horror story becomes reality, or perhaps drug-induced shared telepathic hallucinations... anyway, it leaves you upside down and sideways but is well worth the wild ride.
Apparently it is often compared to The Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll, which happened to be in at the library last night so its now waiting on my towering to-be-read pile.