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Thoughts on Life

Thoughts and Twitter Posts circa 2003 – 2011

I found the archive of when this site was an active blog, so I decided to put the posts back online. May do some light editing and link cleanup as well.

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Thoughts on Life

The last post here

Colorized St. Jerome woodcut

I’m not really that big a of online sharer anymore, I just post  silly pictures on Facebook.

Active site more or less from May 2003 to May 2011. Just around now because I like the name. Might return to posting if I have something interesting to say.

Site History…

Library Monk was started in May 2003. I chose the name Library Monk in part, because yes I have been known to dress as a monk on occasion. Ask anyone who in the summer 2002 Genre Fiction class at UT’s School of Information Sciences. The reason I was dressed as a monk then was to talk about my favorite book, A Canticle for Leibowitz.

Canticle tells the story of a post nuclear war world. People have turned against science and learning and life has reverted to a medieval existence. And as they did in the Middle Ages, Roman Catholic monks preserve what scraps of knowledge remain. It’s a very rich and complex work, as evidenced by this study guide.

The name Library Monk is a homage to that book and grateful acknowledgment of the fact that if not for those monks in the Middle Ages, libraries in Europe and the Americas might not exist. Western Civilization is built on the work of those monks.

In the acknowledgment to Canticle, Miller thanks, among others, Rev. Alvin Burggraff, C.S.P., a Paulist priest. John XXIII Catholic Center at UT is a Paulist parish, and thanks to Fr. Eric Andrews and Fr. Terry Ryan I officially became a Catholic there at Easter 2002. Tying back into the monk theme and further connecting me to Canticle , here’s a picture of me standing next to Fr. Terry dressed as a monk.

Images…

The logo/mascot for the site is a woodcut of St. Jerome and his lions by Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1533). This page uses a version of that woodcut that was colorized by Domenicus Rottenhammer around 1600. 

 

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Library Monk News Thoughts on Life

So it’s 2009…

And it’s taken me just over 3 full weeks to post anything. I find that most of my “what am I doing” type posts are now handled by Twitter. As far as LIS content goes, I’m not actively involved in LIS education anymore, I haven’t taught since 2005 or taken any classes since 2006. So my LIS content is limited to the occasional job related post.

On that score, my attempts at getting a tenure track library job have met with little success for various reasons. I’m geographically limited by choice, so those jobs are rare. Although I occasionally look at jobs in other states and ponder the possibilities.

In late 2007 I passed up an opportunity to leave library life for a much higher paying position with UT, all because I was chasing a tenure track job. It’s a decision that little over a year later I regret, given how 2008 did not work in my favor employment-wise.

So I’m left with a few questions for 2009. The first is: “What’s the purpose of this blog?”

I do work in a library but I’m not as connected to the happenings in LIS land as I once was. At one time I got a few mentions as a LIS blogger. (Thanks, Walt.) However,with the sparse postings around here, my readership is probably nil, and rightly so. The hosting costs of Library Monk are now essentially zero, so another than the domain names Library Monk costs me nothing to keep running. But does a sparingly read blog need to exist?

The second question is “Do I need a new job?”

I’ve had my current job for a about 2.5 years now. I’ve changed departments and gotten a couple small pay raises but with the current economy I have no idea when I’ll see another raise. I’ve recently picked up a freelance web design job and it’s made me ponder leaving the relative safety of my academic library staff job for a higher paying private sector job.

My only issue here is that while my take home pay stinks the benefits are quite good. The medical insurance benefit alone is worth several hundred dollars a month. So while I might gain take home pay, I’ll probably lose at least some benefits.

So that’s what I’m ponder here in the early days of the Obama administration. I guess Tuesday’s momentous change has me pondering changes of my own.

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Of Interest Online Politics Thoughts on Life

Watch, then vote

Ok, so blogging around here has been sparse lately, I’ve been a busy guy. In 2009 I’m planning to retool the site and get back into the swing of blogging. Now to your irregularly scheduled post.

I’ve already voted (for Obama) before last night, so the Obama TV spot didn’t influence my vote. But I think it will convince people still on the fence to vote for Obama.

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Libraries Of Interest Online Politics Thoughts on Life

Vote Palin? If that’s what you want to do sure

Palin intrigues me. I’m amazed that she has risen so far so fast. Her speech at the RNC really resonated with a lot of people. Among them is my friend Chrissie. She had the honor (?) a few days ago of getting quoted in an article that was picked up by AP and now it’s worldwide.

From the article:

But then there’s Chrissie Peters. The 37-year-old librarian from Bristol, Tenn. has always voted Democratic and supported Clinton. She assumed she’d vote for Obama — until she saw Palin speak. Now she’s voting Republican.

“She was so down-to-earth, a regular person,” says Peters. “She hasn’t been in politics her whole life, so she isn’t jaded or tainted. And I love that she’s a mom. Yes, I disagree with some of her positions, but that’s what this country is about.”

Chrissie tells me that she’s gotten some flak from Library Land and the rest of the online world. There is an expectation out here I think that librarian = Democrat. I’ve always thought that you should vote for the person and not the party. That’s exactly what Chrissie is doing so cheers you Chrissie for doing that. Can I vote for you for President? If not I’ll just vote Obama I guess. Although I’m not crazy about Biden…

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Information Technology Tennessee Thoughts on Life Work at Hodges

July jobs update

The paperwork for my job upgrade was been sent to HR, but it will be October before I see any salary increase. But the increase in pay will be retroactive until July 1, so it could be a nice payday. It doesn’t appear as though I’ve made it to the final interview stages of either of the jobs I applied for, although I could still be surprised.

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Information Technology Knoxville Tennessee Thoughts on Life Work at Hodges

Jobs update

Well I didn’t get a librarian job, if you hadn’t gathered that from Twitter. They hired someone for the User Education Technologies job but the Digital Media Technologies job was called a failed search and they’ll re-advertise it in the future. Better luck next time I guess.

On the brighter side my current position here at the library is being reviewed for an upgrade, and I’m in the pools for 2 other jobs elsewhere at UT and I’ve made it into the second round for both I think. Not that I want to leave the library really but in a money crunch you do what you have to.

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Information Technology Knoxville Tennessee Thoughts on Life Work at Hodges

Update on Cable, Interviews etc.

If you’ve looked at the recent posts here, you’d see that I’ve had issues with Comcast. I’m happy to report all is well. Setting up the Tivo again was a bit complicated, since this is the first time I’ve had a digital cable box. Having the Internet at home again is great, I was having withdrawal problems on the weekends.

Interviewed for a new job yesterday. Actually two, it was a combined search. Instructional Services Librarian for User Education Technologies/Digital Media Technologies. It went well, we’ll see what happens.

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Information Technology Knoxville Thoughts on Life

Comcast update – progress

Update 11:53 a.m. Cable will be installed tomorrow. Line run in the morning, cable installed in the house between 3 and 5 p.m. 🙂

Update 11:14 a.m It looks like we’ll be getting cable tomorrow! 🙂

Stephanie got a call from Comcast last night. Apparently all the phone calls Monday and anger associated with those calls didn’t go unnoticed. We should be on the road to solving our cable problems. If they haven’t called us back by tonight we have the direct lines of a couple of the higher ups in Knoxville. Thank you Comcast. Hopefully this will all be straightened out soon.

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Information Technology Knoxville Tennessee Thoughts on Life

Comcast doesn’t have the best command structure

Update: it’s in interesting tale, so feel free to read. Issues resolved, thanks Benny and Kirk and whoever else was involved for their quick work on this. Hopefully this situation won’t happen to anybody else.

So Stephanie and I got our new house built and we finally moved in in April. Our new house is a little over 500 feet away from where the cable line stops. We understood this might take Comcast some time to do so we first told them about it in February. At that point we didn’t think there would be any problems.

In March we call to check in. Comcast sends out a technician who runs a line from the closest electric pole to the house. He says he doesn’t know why they haven’t run the line yet and resubmits the request.

When we move into the house in the beginning of April we call Comcast and they send out the install tech again. Of course there is no line so there is nothing to install.

A bit later we go to Comcast’s local office in Knoxville and find out that our request has been moved into the second quarter budget which started April 1. We are told at that we should have cable in 4 to 6 weeks and we should cancel our service and re sign up when the new cable is installed.

May 12, which is 4 to 6 weeks after we were told 4 to 6 weeks, we go to Comcast’s office again and they say someone should be at your house today. No one was. We start calling. We are always told, after much time on hold, that “We have emailed the construction department, someone will call you back”. No one ever calls us back. Last week we were told that we missed several appointments for an install. Which is odd because no one has ever called us.

We are told that our cable would be installed yesterday, Monday June 2. I take that day off work and wait. and wait. and wait. Stephanie calls and is told our appointment was moved to an all day timeframe, someone should be there by 4 p.m. So I wait. No-one comes.

So Stephanie calls again and talks to a supervisor. The supervisor says that our request has been moved to the 3rd quarter of 2008 and we might get cable by October. They also say that the people have been scheduling things and saying people will show up are wrong and this should never have happened.

So Comcast never had any intention of giving us cable. And AT&T doesn’t offer DSL where we are. So satellite internet is our only remaining option.

Anybody have any opinions on HughesNet or WildBlue?

Stephanie and I really didn’t like getting jerked around by Comcast. Comcast if you’re listening we really want cable, just tell us what animals to sacrifice or who to bribe.