Monday, March 31, 2008


So this guy (university age) comes into the library yesterday ten minutes before closing. He walks up to me, as I happened to be out in the stacks, and asks if we had any books about bullying? And so I said, "Children's books?" And he said yes. So I showed him the relevant section in the juvenile non-fiction. And then he said, "No, stories about bullying". So then I said, "Well, that will take a bit longer, let me have a look." Then thank goodness I had the presence of mind to ask him what age range he was looking for. "Oh, Gr. 6 - 12". So not exactly children's books, more like teen books. So I madly typed away and found him a couple of titles, and then dashed off to the stacks with him to find them as it was now about 2 minutes to closing. And then he looks at them and says, "I need one more". And so then I said, "Well, if you come back tomorrow, I'll have more time to look." And then he says, "I can't. My assignment is due tomorrow."

You stupid git. You come into the library, the day before your assignment is due, 10 MINUTES BEFORE CLOSING, and expect miracles. Well, I'm pretty awesome, but not that awesome. What you need is a good smack upside the head. Allow me. *SMACK*

I was also weeding the children's poetry section and came across some poems by Dennis Lee, a rather famous Canadian poet. He's written a lot of cool children's poetry like Alligator Pie, and he also wrote the lyrics for the Fraggle Rock theme song, and was involved in the writing of Labyrinth (which as you know is one of my most favourite movies) so I had a fairly good impression of him. Then I decided to read a few of his poems and found out to my disgust that he was under the impression that "Saskatchewan" rhymed with words like "gone" and "lawn". Which of course it does not. But he is from Ontario. Of course.

So, to all those stupid, misguided dolts in Eastern Canada who NEVER pronounce the name of this province correctly: *SMACK* Say it right! *SMACK*

Ahhhh. That feels better.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Highs and Lows of Website Design

I know a little something about website design. I'm not an expert, but I can usually manage to create something that, if not fancy, is functional and reasonably attractive. I've been maintaining a few sites for the past couple of years, but it's been a long time since I actually tried my hand at designing from scratch. Lately I've been kind of thinking that maybe I would like to get more into the website design side of things, maybe get some more training and make it more a main part of my career. And then my current job suddenly presented me with an opportunity to start designing a new site. I was really looking forward to it. Until I tried to start. And then I realized that: a) I've forgotten a lot of my CSS, and b) What I do remember may be out-of-date.

So that was depressing. And then tonight I started fiddling with one of my sites and I suddenly remembered something else that I'd forgotten about designing websites: the emotional turmoil. The absolute frustration you feel when something isn't working, and you don't know why. You check and re-check your code until the screen starts to go blurry. And you curse your browsers (all three of them) for their stubborn contrariness. You agonize for hours, and then suddenly you find the problem. A forgotten quotation mark, a stray semi-colon... or maybe, as in my case, Firefox is behaving stupidly. And then everything falls into place. Relief and happiness wash over you as you look at your screen: finally, finally, you have managed to make the menu move 8 pixels to the left.

I'm telling you, it's an emotional roller-coaster. Remind me again why I want to do this more?