Monday, July 30, 2007

I enjoy cross-referencing.

I am in love with LibraryThing. The website allows you to catalog your library online. I came across it accidentally when I was doing a book-title search. It allows you to catalog up to 200 of your books for free--but I immediately sprang for the twenty-five dollar, lifetime, as-many-books-as-you-want membership. Absurdly reasonable! (No, I don't work for them...)

I have had such fun cataloging the books! And it's so useful--I have devised a code to let me know where the books are, so that (for example) if I need to see if I have a copy of Dante's Inferno at home, I just look for the tag "D" (for domus). I can figure out that I have way too many copies of Wheelock's Latin, in various editions. And (here's the most fun) I can see who else has the books I own, how many unique books I own (i.e. no one else on LibraryThing owns a copy) and other fun statistics. Of course, you can keep your library private, but what's the fun in that?

I also bought a little CueCat to scan barcodes of ISBN numbers --this speeds up the entering process considerably, although most of my books don't have a barcode as they are too old. So far I estimate that I have about 1/3 of the books in the office on campus entered, and about 1/10 of the home library done. I can sort by tag (currently I own six books on Egyptian hieroglyphs, all at school, one of which no other LibraryThingers own).

If this sounds like obsessively good fun, check it out! If not, well, I'm sure you are geekily obsessed with something else, so don't make fun of me.

Buffy: You're beginning to scare me, Giles. You need to have some fun. You know, there's this place you can go, right, and you sit in the dark, and there are these moving pictures, right, and the pictures tell a story.
Giles: Yes, yes, ha, ha, very droll. I'll have you know that I have very many relaxing hobbies.
Buffy: Such as?
Giles: Well, um... I enjoy cross-referencing.
Buffy: Do you stuff your own shirts, or do you send them out?

"Halloween," Buffy The Vampire Slayer, season 2

Friday, July 13, 2007

St. James' Cathedral changes its name: article from the Fresno Bee

By Ron Orozco / The Fresno Bee
07/07/07 04:29:11

St. James' Episcopal Cathedral in east-central Fresno has a new name -- St. James' Anglican Cathedral.

New marquee signs bearing the name change have been installed at the church, headquarters for the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, and just east on church property at Cedar and Dakota avenues. The church is at 4147 E. Dakota Ave.

The Rev. Carlos L. Raines, St. James' pastor and the cathedral's dean, says the name change is a statement to the community that St. James' and other diocesan parishes have differences with the U.S. Episcopal Church.

In 2003, the U.S. Episcopal Church elected V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire as its first openly gay bishop. In December, delegates at the Diocese of San Joaquin convention in Fresno voted to split from the U.S. Episcopal Church and align with the Anglican Communion over differences about sexuality and the Bible.

The Anglican Communion, which has 77 million members worldwide, oversees the U.S. Episcopal Church.

The Diocese of San Joaquin split will require a second vote in October, at the 2007 convention, to become official.

Of the name change taking place before the second vote, the Rev. Van McCalister, diocesan spokesman, says, "We're already, by association, constituent members of the Anglican Communion." So St. James' and other diocesan parishes have a right to claim Anglicanism, he says.

-- Ron Orozco, The Fresno Bee

A letter to the editor by Edward Brennan of Visalia in today's Fresno Bee notes, in part, that:

"The name change at St. James Episcopal Cathedral to "Anglican" is a wake-up call for Episcopalians. The bishop has been in disagreement with the Episcopal Church for years and at the last Diocesan Convention the constitution was purged of all references to the Episcopal Church.

The bishop also made clear his intention to place the Diocese of San Joaquin under the authority of the Anglican churches of the Global South. If you are curious about the future orthodoxy that the bishop will impose, ask your local minister to provide the congregation with the Resolutions Adopted at the May 6, 2002 Deanery Meeting."

Aghaveagh notes:
Holy Family Church in Fresno just installed new signs reading "Holy Family Episcopal Church" (Italics mine). They, however, have no plans to update these signs in the near future.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Another fun way to waste, be creative

Such fun! Not only does Dylan post the "10 least popular memory verses for Sunday school", she also provides us with a link to a site whereat you can create your own motivational poster using said verses! (thanks to Susie ad loc for the verse suggestion--by the way, she has a great blog and I love her Friday Fives!)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Cell Phone Anathema: A Rant

I loath telephones in general. I hate talking on them. I detest how they interrupt one's life.
I loath cell phones in particular. I hate how disruptive they are, and I hate what text-messaging has done to the spelling and literacy skills of my students. Why is it so hard to turn off your cell phone when you come into a class? How many times does one actually need to be in constant contact with the outside world for the 50 minutes or so that class is in session? Sure, if your wife is expecting a baby, or your dad is having surgery...I could, and do, understand. But don't those things have a vibrate function?

I'll never forget the time when, during an exam, a student's cell phone went off, she answered it and, after enthusiastic greetings were exchanged, said, "I'm sorry, I can't talk to you now, I am taking an exam..." WHY in the world would you answer a cell phone to tell someone you can't talk to them? Wouldn't the voice mail do the same thing? How could one think this is appropriate?

Perhaps this professor has the right idea:

Incredibly, there are some of us who are still cell phone holdouts.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Fourth of July

Every year, on morning of the Fourth of July, Liam and I emerge from our front door wearing newspaper tricorne hats with revolutionary slogans on them. Liam carries the flag and I precede him playing "Yankee Doodle Dandy" on my penny whistle. We march down the street in fine military fashion and return to install the flag in its place of honor. With a salute and such exclamations as "Down the British!" (Sorry, Mad Priest) "Up the Rebels", the ceremony ends. Just before sunset the procession (in reverse) is led to the strains of "Taps" and the flag is retired for the evening.

Inspired by the film "The Great Escape," it is one of our favorite rituals. Luckily we live in a neighborhood of eccentrics.