Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wow, that's footballsy.

Cardboard Viking Ships

"I certainly think that taking a look at the Legacy money to fund a stadium is something that should be on the table," said Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, an assistant Majority Leader in the Minnesota House.

Wow, I just heard about this.  Let's fund a new stadium using the Legacy money.  You remember what that is, right?  We voted in 2008 for the Legacy Amendment here in Minnesota that added a bit to our sales taxes to help fund arts, parks, and conservation.  Around here, we got a chance at our libraries to offer tickets to museums and events that our patrons may not otherwise have had access to.  There's a certain formula for the proceeds of this 3/8 of one percent sales tax hike:  33 percent to the clean water fund; 33 percent to the outdoor heritage fund; 19.75 percent to the arts and cultural heritage fund; and 14.25 percent to the parks and trails heritage fund.  Libraries got some of that 19.75% going to the arts and cultural heritage fund. 

There is some discussion of how loosely that money has been distributed and how even more willy-nilly the money has been accounted for.  So, it stands to reason that instead of handing out free tickets to cultural events and museums at libraries; some legislators want to use that money to help build a new stadium for our professional football team.

Guess what I think about that?

I don't like professional football.  It's driven me crazy for years.  I don't like the celebratory cavorting after every just about every play.  If I acted like that every time I shelved a book I would get fired.  Maybe they aren't as bad as they were when I first became irritated by that, but I haven't given professional football a second chance.

But that's beside the point.  I understand that a lot of people would be affected by the Vikings moving to a different state.  Love them or hate them, they do produce revenue for businesses.  There are a lot of people who work for them.  That guy who walks up and down the stands bellowing his hot dog prices relies on sporting events (and the hungry people who enjoy them) for his living.

I just don't think it's fair to change the rules when the game isn't going the way you want it to go.  Robbing Peter to pay Paul is what the whole shifting of funding looks like to me.  And poor Peter didn't have much to begin with.  Does professional football qualify as arts and cultural heritage, outdoor heritage, or parks and trails heritage?  I suppose if they want an outdoor stadium it could count as outdoor heritage.

I don't know what you think, but if this doesn't sound like an okay idea to you maybe you should send off some emails to your legislators.  I'm thinking I might even send one off to the Vikings. 

Vikings.  Hunh.  They were looters and pillagers, weren't they?

 Baseball is what we were.  Football is what we have become.  ~Mary McGrory

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Lions, Tigers, and Bears, oh my!

Hold on, man. We don't go anywhere with "scary," "spooky," "haunted," or forbidden" in the title. ~From Scooby-Doo

I came to the realization today that Halloween is only a little more than a week off.  Yikes, how did that sneak up on me?  I don't have much time to get costumes ready for trick or treating.  Even less time to be ready for the costume party at the Calumet Public Library on Thursday (for ages birth to 4th grade). 

My youngest; Maeve, wants to be Dorothy.  Gingham dress, basket, red shoes and Toto all included in the mix.  I like to have a family theme, at least partly.  I haven't been able to convince my husband that the perfect costume for him this year would be Glinda the Good.  A month ago I brought home a pair of cowboy boots from a garage sale thinking Nora could use them as inspiration for her costume this year.  She's going as the scarecrow.  Since my husband may not go as Glinda, I think I will.  I have an old bridesmaid dress that I can turn over for good use.  Now to talk the 10-year-old to join the theme.  She told me that if she has to be part of the Wizard of Oz theme instead of Santa, she'd like to be one of the flying monkeys.  Yep, Santa it is.

I make the Halloween costumes at my house.  We don't buy them.  I may have to run out and get a few things to pull the costumes together, but it isn't the easy pick up a costume complete with mask thing.  I grew up in a make due with what you've got household, and have brought that attitude along with me to my own household (at least as far as Halloween is concerned).  You also get costumes that are unlike anyone else's.  I am a lover of things out of the ordinary, and home-made costumes often fall into that catagory.

Not that my costumes end up being that great.  I don't usually start working on them until a couple weeks or less (much less this year) before Halloween.  It is fun to take the kids trick or treating when the whole family is dressed up.  We live in the way backwoods, and in the first 5 years we lived there we got about 5 trick or treaters.  Total.  The most we ever got in one year was three.  So, we skip handing out treats and go out to get some.  We work for those treats.  And it's fun. 

I think my kids will fondly remember our Halloweens.  I may not be the mom who goes all out over birthday cakes and parties, but I'll go a little closer to all out to get them into a disguise.

Hunh.  I wonder what that says about me?

Clothes make a statement. Costumes tell a story. ~Mason Cooley

Friday, October 14, 2011

Changing seasons: Time to dig out the long underwear

A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand. I think, I too, have known autumn too long. ~e.e. cummings

the last leaf

It's really and truly fall.  It has been for many weeks, but we've kind of gotten used to warm and sunny days.  This chilly rain is a bit of a switch.  We shouldn't complain, we need the rain.  It is October, so it's not like days were you don't need a jacket are the norm.  It's been nice, and now it's time to accept the fact that it's going to get colder before it gets warmer again. 

Right now it's 49 and sunny(!).  The same temperature in March, and I'm putting on shorts.  Funny how the same exact temperature elicits different reactions in the same person.  It's all a matter of perspective.  It's hard to be sunny when the weather is so damp.  Seems like the immediate response is to put on a grumpy face and start complaining.  But, we really need the rain.  It's been several weeks of really nice weather where I've put off a lot of things inside.  (Not that I actually got anything done outside, but that's where I was.)  Today is finally sunny again, so maybe that will improve some moods.  That, and it's Friday.

Fall is not my favorite time of year.  The beginning of the season where the leaves are all dressed in their best colors and the sun is still giving off some warmth are wonderful.  It's once the wind blows the leaves off the trees and skies turn down their blue that I don't like.  At this time of year, it's all about getting ready for winter.  Hauling all the outdoor toys into the garage, raking the leaves, stacking firewood, putting all the summer clothes away, and digging out all the cold weather gear.  It's a bit of a transition time, and I'm not fond of it. 

I'm ready for the transition to be done.  Once all that work is taken care of, I'll be ready to don my snowshoes or make a snowman.  I'm ready for the bare branches to have a covering of the white stuff. 

But, I've got a lot of things to get done before that happens.  Here comes my grumpy face again.

Work is not a curse, but drudgery is!
~~Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future. -Yogi Berra

Librarians are almost always very helpful and often almost absurdly knowledgeable. Their skills are probably very underestimated and largely underemployed. ~Charles Medawar

Day 195/365 Y2 - Can he find it in a book ? (Searching for Themes 3/5)

For a few years now, there has been some whisperings that public libraries are on their way to extinction.  You can download a book to your e-reader, iPod, or what-have-you instead of picking up the paper version.  "The kids don't read anymore, they just come into the library to play games on the computer."  I haven't actually heard this statement in awhile, but I have heard it many times in my 13 year career here.  Now that we are so deeply entrenched in our electronic devices, there has been some concern (generally from people who don't know any better) that public libraries aren't good for anything anymore.

For those not very familiar with what libraries have to offer, it may seem like that.  But, public libraries are actually in tune with what their patrons need and want.  Libraries take the pulse of the world and anticipate what is going to be needed/wanted next.  We have what you want before you even realize you want it.  At least that's the goal.  Downloadable audio books?  We had them before you even knew what they were.  E-books?  Yep, we've got those too.  When DVDs were the latest thing, we had them.  Blu-ray?  Now we have those.  You need information on anything?  Yes, we have databases galore to help you find the information you're looking for.

Books come in more than just paper now.  You can listen to them, or read them on a screen.  If you have a library card you can download a book.  You don't even have to visit the library.  It's all available online. 

I don't think paper books will disappear in my lifetime.  Seems like a dangerous thing to take an electronic book into the bathtub.  It's frowned upon to read an E-book when the pilot has just announced that all electronic devices need to be turned off.  I don't trust children under 4 with electronic devices either.  So, no, libraries are not about to become extinct over the fact that just about everyone on the planet now has a screen to read from.  The great thing about a book is that it never needs charging because the batteries never go dead.

Day 131/365 - Bubblebath Therapy

What will the role of public libraries and the people who work in them be in 20 years?  I don't know, but I intend to stick around and find out.  We'll still be here waiting to help you find the information you need.  We'll still be anticipating what you will be asking for next.  We'll still be doing our best to get you what you want before you even know you want it.  The library of the future may look a bit different than the library of today in terms of what it has to offer, but look how far we've come in the past 10 years.  We're not going to be extinct, we're going to be moving along just as fast as everyone else.

Book Worm Bot

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.
-Mary Pickford