Nov. 28th, 2008 02:38 pm
electricland: (This Is Wonderland)
Attention fellow Torontonians with library cards! Complete OED online.

Proper post coming one of these days. We are all doing OK.
electricland: (Default)
I have a long list of things to do, most of which I don't feel like doing. But one of them is "Update LJ" (no, really). So here I am.

Via [ profile] spacing, interesting article on the future of suburbs.
In the first half of last year, residential burglaries rose by 35 percent and robberies by 58 percent in suburban Lee County, Florida, where one in four houses stands empty. Charlotte’s crime rates have stayed flat overall in recent years—but from 2003 to 2006, in the 10 suburbs of the city that have experienced the highest foreclosure rates, crime rose 33 percent. Civic organizations in some suburbs have begun to mow the lawns around empty houses to keep up the appearance of stability. Police departments are mapping foreclosures in an effort to identify emerging criminal hot spots.

The decline of places like Windy Ridge and Franklin Reserve is usually attributed to the subprime-mortgage crisis, with its wave of foreclosures. And the crisis has indeed catalyzed or intensified social problems in many communities. But the story of vacant suburban homes and declining suburban neighborhoods did not begin with the crisis, and will not end with it. A structural change is under way in the housing market—a major shift in the way many Americans want to live and work. It has shaped the current downturn, steering some of the worst problems away from the cities and toward the suburban fringes. And its effects will be felt more strongly, and more broadly, as the years pass. Its ultimate impact on the suburbs, and the cities, will be profound.
I'm in a bit of a slump at the moment myself, although not of epic proportions. I spent Tuesday home sick and I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and Februaryish and lacking motivation. Also, time has been behaving really weirdly; I keep being surprised by how much or how little time has passed since event X. But I'm chipping away at work, I bought lipstick and got a Clinique bonus (hey, whatever works), today is sunny and gorgeous, my dog seems to feel all is right with his world now that Jen and Tilde are home, and the family birthday is tonight. So life could be much worse.

It's been ages since I did a book update, so here's one, although it may be missing some items.

Cut to spare those who really don't care what I've been reading since the start of January )

Sheesh. I should be an Amazon affiliate.

Incidentally, the library's new hold/account interface is up and running. I have to say I hope they continue tinkering with it because, while the options to change the pickup location and put items on hold for a specific length of time are cool, it's missing some functionality that I really appreciated in the old version, specifically:
- items ready to pick up showed in a different section of the Holds page
- holds could be sorted by title or expiry date
- renewals showed up instantly (in the new version you have to log out and log in again, although it's possible this was due to startup bugginess)

It would also be good if its privacy certificate checked out properly. Just sayin', TPL.

What was interesting while they were switching over and the hold system was down was how empty the hold shelves in the branches got after just a couple of days. Really an impressive reminder of how many books cycle through there!

More lists of media consumed, just for completeness )
electricland: (Hufflepuff auryanne)
It's ready!

4029 holds.

I guess I know what I'm doing this evening.
electricland: (Default)
Potterwatch: 88 of 4040, still in transit. I also have to go in and ask them why, if they have 103 copies of Small Island, half of which are happily sitting in the library, they need MY copy back to fulfill a hold?

Jen and I took the GO train up to the cottage last night. Well, not right to the cottage, but as far as Bradford, where John picked us up. Not a bad trip, except for the chatty woman with the penetrating voice who was sitting in the next bank of seats. One of the nice features of the GO, I've always understood, is the groups of people that become GO buddies and always sit in the same seats and get to know each other. That is indeed cool, but the rest of us learned more than we needed to.

Anyway, it was a good thing to do in the grip of a heatwave. The lake is a perfect temperature -- I swam, and we admired all the ducks and ate shrimp and lamb and chocolate cake and raspberries, and then oohed and ahed over the slightly-past-full moon as it rose over the bay.

And then I got up at 6:30 this morning and admired the ducks again and we did the whole thing in reverse. Lovely, although if I do it again I'm making coffee.
electricland: (Hufflepuff auryanne)
Potterwatch: 111 of 4056. Still in transit. I bet it'll show up this evening, when I'm on my way to the cottage.

It is HOT. Yesterday was one of those weird oppressive days when it just seems to get hotter and more miserable as the day goes on. We went to Designer Discount Fabrics and I got some more swatches -- I think I'm zeroing in on a few fabrics, but these things take time. Actually, if I could just combine two of the swatches I got yesterday (the background of one with the accent colours and pattern of the other) it would be perfect for my window seat. I suppose they might have such a thing, they do seem to have most things.

John came over after Doctor Who and we loaded up the truck for a dump run -- the pile in the back is a little lower now, but we still need at least one more run and likely two. Tilde and I tidied (well, I tidied, and Tilde sat at my feet and hoped for treats which were not forthcoming because I am mean like that) while they were gone. As Jen says, it's sad that the Tour de France is over but on the other hand it's quite nice to have our lives back.
electricland: (Hufflepuff auryanne)
121 of 4073, and my copy is in transit!
electricland: (house plan)
Potterwatch: 125 of 4078.

House: We've finished the masonry! Did some backfilling yesterday afternoon. I dug for all of 5 minutes without gloves and got a blister. Apparently there's a reason I wear them. Next up: framing. And we're going back to Designer Discount Fabrics this evening -- with any luck I can focus sufficiently to actually buy something.

Books read this week: Harry Sue; The Android's Dream; Getting Rid of Bradley (reread, I have the original edition, the linked edition really is a terrible cover); The Moon-Spinners (reread; DUDE, least accurate book description EVER); Zorro.

Books returned to the library without finishing because someone else wanted them: Magic for Beginners.
electricland: (Hufflepuff auryanne)
144 of 4039. Any time now!
electricland: (Hufflepuff auryanne)
157 of 4004.

Any day now! And the pace of new holds seems to have slackened a bit. I suspect, though, that at least some of the holds that haven't been picked up yet were placed by people who went ahead and bought their own copies, then didn't cancel the hold. Tsk.


Jul. 25th, 2007 10:07 am
electricland: (Hufflepuff auryanne)
I am really touched that 3 1/2 people (counting [ profile] thebitterguy) have offered to lend me their copies of HP VII to save me from the library hold list!

You all rock. I'm kind of enjoying the wait, though.


Jul. 25th, 2007 09:28 am
electricland: (Rose Tyler)
Potterwatch: 167 of 3964. A bunch of people clearly haven't picked up their copies yet. Slackers. Also, there's a copy going begging on the Best Bets shelf at Alderwood branch! Nobody's touched it for 3 days! Get out there, people!

Tour de France: Vinokourov fails blood test, Astana out. This really disappoints me. While I'm not a year-round cycling fan, Vinokourov's Tour has been an incredible story of guts and determination after a bad fall early on. I'm dismayed to learn he was cheating. Dammit.

LJ: I thought work had finally blocked it because of my obsessive reloading. Turns out it was a power cut.

House: Jen and John rented something called an Oddjob, which is apparently of the awesome, and finished another row of blocks. Two partial rows left to go! Tonight: concrete floor. Then we can't work on it for two days while it sets.

Travel: I bought my ticket yesterday! England here I come. September 22-October 6. [ profile] mrs_cake and I can go to the airport together.

Entertainment: Went to see Ratatouille again last night. SO wonderful.

Trainwrecks: Apparently Lindsay Lohan has bet she can take Becks away from Posh? Honey. Sweetie. Go back to rehab and CALM DOWN. We all feel bad for you.
electricland: (Hufflepuff auryanne)
172 of 3853 holds. (Yesterday morning there were, I think, 3742 holds. Must write a user's guide to the library hold system.)

Yesterday, walking back up the street from the grocery store, I passed a woman going the other way who was carrying a baby in a Snugli and a diaper bag, walking two small dogs, and reading Harry Potter. I was impressed.
electricland: (Hufflepuff auryanne)
The library catalogue lists all its copies of Harry Potter as being in circulation (almost -- there are still one or two in process). So evidently they did bring in a special flying squad of librarians to process them all and get them out there extra quick!

This kind of fills me with glee. And yet, in their modesty, they haven't issued a press release.

(I am now at #181 on the list.)
electricland: (Hufflepuff auryanne)
So I am now 666 of 3372 on the hold list for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I'm pretty sure I started off around the 690 mark -- some people must have caved and ordered their own copies.

As the library has ordered 571 of the things, I don't anticipate being too far behind the curve. I have been wondering if they plan to have a special flying squad of librarians to pounce on them as soon as they arrive and get them into the system, or if they'll just get shunted into the queue.

hey, cool!

Jul. 9th, 2007 04:53 pm
electricland: (books ohi)
The library just added a Google Maps widget! You can enter your location and it shows where the nearest branches are. VERY nice.
electricland: (This Is Wonderland)
As many of you know, I adore the Toronto Public Library with every fibre of my being. However, I'm getting a little tired of the message FOR USE IN MERRIL COLLECTION ONLY. NOT AVAILABLE FOR INTERLIBRARY LOAN, which pops up pretty much every time I search for a moderately obscure work of fantasy.

However, now that Magic for Beginners has won a Nebula, perhaps they'll relent and buy another copy. (I hadn't made the connection. I really liked "The Faery Handbag". I suppose I could just buy my own.)

Other semi-random thought from the evening's wanderings: I have discovered where Event Sluts go to die! OK, not Event Sluts exactly, more the things they... don't... buy... Anyway, the second floor of the World's Biggest Bookstore (which really should have its own website, damn you Heather! and damn your deceptive bookmarks too!) has a clearance section, which somehow I had not noticed before now, and I swear to you, it has everything. Every overpriced amusing tchotchke you have ever admired in the Home section of an Indigo and thought either "Gee, I might buy that if it were, like, a tenth the price" or "Who in their right mind would ever buy that?" is there. (I think the second category accounts for the masses and masses of vaguely ovoid, bright orange ceramic... things.) Also, to give it its due, some quite nice notebooks. And if you're of the mind to stock up on photo albums (wedding, baby, or Other), Halloween or Christmas decorations, or the free world's supply of cucumber-scented candles, that's the place. I marvelled at it all for quite some time.


electricland: (Default)

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