It Takes … Balls

Posted in Blogging, Library, Technology on October 24th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: I was at the Netspeed 2003 conference today in Edmonton, and attended a number of interesting sessions, including ones covering virtual reference services, and PDAs in the library. One of the keynote speakers, Ian Whitten, currently the iCore Visiting Professor at U Lethbridge, and Director of the NZ Digital Library at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, discussed Greenstone Digital Library Software, a suite of open-source software used to build and digitize library collections. During his engaging and at time hilarious talk, he showed us examples of digitized collections created with Greenstone, including this page on castration from Basic Husbandry Practices and Veterinary Care. (The foreword of the book states: “The manuals are based upon experiences documented through a series of intensive field work activities over a one-year period with a group of livestock small-holders living and working in Cavite province of the Philippines.”)

Note the picture of the farmer tossing the animal testicles onto a roof of made of galvanized iron. This is an indigenous practice done on hot days, as the belief is that the testicles will dry up faster, and thus so will the wound to the animal.

The attentive crowd watching Ian, myself included, had just finished eating lunch at this point in time.

:: I’ve been playing around with Blogger sites again, ones I’ve created to keep myself familiar with how to set up an instant blog on that site. Among these sites is my original blog from July 2002. I need to maintain familiarity so that I might sound somewhat intelligent and coherent when G and I present blogging sessions in the not-too-distant future. As some of you might notice, I’m also experimenting with the font size and styles here as well.

Take Back Your Time Today

Posted in Observations on October 24th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Today is Take Back Your Time Day. This is something we could use in Canada too, if only to get people talking:


    Seattle, WA— Americans are working too much, according to 85% of the 7800 Americans who participated in a recent CNN poll. 4 in 5 Americans wish they had more time to spend with family, according to a poll commissioned by the Center for a New American Dream and half of all Americans even say they’d trade some of their pay for more time off. Their concerns are buttressed by the fact that barely half of all Americans took a week’s vacation this past summer, and that while millions of Americans have lost their jobs to the recession, many more are working longer hours and more mandatory overtime than ever.
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Out of Control

Posted in Random Thoughts on October 21st 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: The last few days have been a bit of a blur. The weekend was a trip to Calgary, featuring visits with good friends, including one who just had her second baby a week ago today. On Saturday night, I attended a gathering of old friends from my 1971 high school class – you can see some of the photos here if you like.

I’m too busy at work for words. Heavy G and I are coauthoring (yet another) article on blogging, and are preparing a presentation on “biblioblogs” for GELA, on November 13. (Geoff will deny it, but I think he’s doing most of the prep work, and I deal with my catholic guilt.) Otherwise work consists of putting out small fires everyday – lately, mostly to do with ordering much needed CSA standards for a mechanical engineering design project. My last big instruction session for 2003 is tomorrow afternoon. We are a couple weeks away from beginning our Winter 2004 instruction preparation.

Twice in the last three days I’ve misplaced my yet-to-be-paid-for hearing aid that I’m road testing. Each time I couldn’t find it for hours. Now I’m leaving it in its case, otherwise it is causing me too much anxiety.

Oh, what’s that? The World Series? Oh, right…The Yankees. Pardon me while I go back to sleep.

Baseball Blues, Part 2

Posted in Miscellaneous, Random Thoughts, Sports on October 18th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Dave Barry brilliantly summarizes recent baseball events, including the Cubs’ loss to his beloved Marlins, the arrogance of the NYY, and the (potentionally boring) World Series, beginning tonight. Reluctantly, I’ll pull for the Marlins – the lesser of two (boring) evils. (Via Derryl.)

:: It is a gorgeous sunny, fall day in Calgary. After two visits to Tim McKay, the best chiropractor on Planet Earth, my shoulder area is less painful, and my lower back feels fine. This morning I spent time with my dear friend Carole and her mom, and met her new, 5-day old angel, Grace Elizabeth. Later this afternoon I’m off for coffee with another friend, then a visit with my brother, Chris, and then on to my high school class Mini Reunion in the evening. Tomorrow morning it will be dim sum with – wait for it – another friend (it’s nice to have a lot of friends in Calgary!), and then either a movie, or head back to Edmonton.

:: Bill Maher makes an interesting case for the hypocrisy surrounding Rush Limbaugh’s addiction to pain killer medication and the ongoing drug wars in the USA.

Baseball Blues and the Pain

Posted in Sports on October 17th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: In my youth, I was an avid Montreal Canadiens fan, I lived and died by their Cup wins and losses. I was also a huge baseball fan, the Minnesota Twins being my team of choice. I was thrilled when The Twins won the 1987 and 1991 WS, followed by the Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993.

In my later years, hockey has fallen considerably as a sports interest, although the Habs remain my team of choice. I’ve lived in Edmonton since 1978 but maintain no allegiance to the Oilers. Strikes, idiot owners and greedy players aside, I still love baseball.

The possibility of a Cubs/Red Sox World Series loomed large two days ago. Today it will be a Yankees/Marlins World Series. The Yankees have won 26 WS, 4 since 1996, the last in 2000. The Marlins have been in the league for 10 years, and won in 1997. The Cubs last won in 1908, the Red Sox in 1918. You tell me which series would have been more exciting.

I think, for the first time in years, I will pay little attention to the World Series next week. The Yankees, a team fueled by 180 million US in salaries, are becoming as predictable and boring as the Atlanta Braves. The Marlins?? Can you name one player on the team? Their fan support this year was pathetic, averaging under 17,000 per game. The word was that Fox Sports was hoping that at least one of the two sad sack teams made it to the WS, so as to assure a large TV audience for the games. Now with the NYY and Marlins, chances are the ratings will match last years’ WS, the lowest in decades. The Yankees? It’s like a broken record. You need a better position player? Well, buy the player. Combine deep pockets with great management and media revenue that does not get redistributed to poorer teams, and your team, in this case The Yankees, will be there every year.

It’s no surprise that fans have turned away from the WS in recent years. The small market teams can’t compete without the income. But more importantly, in the World Series, there are few, if any, surprises. Some of the players on the Yankees are entering their sixth WS in eight years. It would be cool to see players from other teams get their once. But the Yankees, as players, are not to be faulted – they won, they worked hard to get there, they deserve to be there. At the same time, don’t fault the fans who are losing interest in the World Series each year because there are few surprises left for them.

:: Last night around 3:00 am, I woke with pain in my upper right arm, near the shoulder. It hasn’t subsided. I’m heading to Calgary in 2 hours, and will stop for a chiropractic check on the way in. I hope the chiropractor can help. I don’t know what’s wrong. I may have been sleeping on it or something, but it sure hurts like hell.

Album Covers, ConsumerSearch

Posted in Music, Reviews on October 14th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Do you think you know your (somewhat obscure) album covers? Take this test.

:: ConsumerSearch is a portal site, linking readers to consumer product reviews. It also provides reviews of the reviews, as it were, ranking them “according to how well they identify the category’s best products”.

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