I still love you, I just don’t follow you.

Lots of people on twitter today are using a service that shows you your first tweet and tweets it. I used my downloaded twitter archive to remember mine. Which is, fittingly, “Wasting time at work.” And then I noticed that March 31 it will have been seven years since I’ve been on twitter. Seven! Started me thinking about how I used Twitter back then and how I use it now.

I didn’t plan on starting conversations or even friendships using Twitter. I was just following some artists I liked. Then a few librarians randomly started following me and I became friends with them. Sadly, only one or two of the librarians from 2007 still tweet. Interesting aspect of Twitter, unlike other social networks, is how organically relationships will grow. It’s much more similar to how friendships begin in real life. Unfortunately, unlike in real life when you begin to leave an old life behind, they don’t go away unless you unfollow them. Which is a harsh measure as anyone on Twitter knows. Unfollowing someone isn’t the same as slowly drifting away from them. It’s saying “I don’t want to be your friend” which isn’t necessarily true.

Today I unfollowed a bunch of cool people, not because I like them any less than the day I followed them, but because my life is different now and the conversations I want to hear are being drowned out by those that aren’t strictly relevant to me. If I unfollowed you it’s because:

1) I don’t remember who you are. This sounds worse than it is. I have a great memory for people, but not names. And names and faces on Twitter can change all the time.

2) Our paths of interest now run parallel instead of crossing. In most cases you are probably a librarian, and a very good one, and a librarian that tweets lots of news and information about your particular field of libraries. I…don’t care as much about that as I used to. This one is hard for me because I probably like the person, but their twitterfeed is more about the job than themselves.

3) A combination of the first two and laced with the fact that, to my recollection, we haven’t interacted on Twitter for a while.

Now to be clear: I unfollowed a lot of people. Some people I had been following for a very long time. I didn’t want to spend too much time deliberating over each person, I made a lot of choices using immediate reactions. Maybe you feel bad about it! Maybe I made the wrong choice. If you think so tell me! I’ll feel like a jerk and follow you back and years from now when I’m still following you we’ll think back on this day and laugh and laugh and laugh.

….but. Odds are good you’re not even going to bother reading this. Odds are good you won’t even realize I unfollowed you. I didn’t REALLY want to make a big deal out of this, I’ve done Twitter culls before, but this time I unfollowed some really excellent folk. To ease my guilt, I’m posting this option to have me follow you back by simply telling me to. If you are aware of it. If you aren’t, well then I don’t have to feel so bad, do I?

As a postscript: I am slowly starting to use Facebook. Bleh. As much as I hate it, it’s at least a good place to keep in touch with people that isn’t the ceaseless conversation of Twitter. Maybe for some it’s a better place to stay friends.

SECOND POSTSCRIPT?: So I feel I should better explain the WHY. While I already follow so many awesome people, there are still more awesome people I want to be friends with. But it’s hard to build relationships on Twitter, harder than it was a few years ago when the room was quieter. With the way my job and life has changed the past year, I’ve decided I need to become a better friend to the friends I have already and the friends I’m just now meeting. To do so I had to turn the volume down a bit. Not a single unfollow was void of a tinge of regret, I promise you that. Well unless you’re an internet cat or something.


#moviepants for march announcement


Okay okay okay. I suppose, it being March 6th, I should finalize this month’s #moviepants since Movie Pants Commissioner Elizabeth is taking off this month. I’m going to be doing something a little different. You’re my friends, you know me. You know that I love creating chaos, and that I am really bad at planning social events. I thought I could combine the two. Meaning there won’t be a survey, instead we’ll do this.

WEEK ONE Darcy(@bibliobotic)

Time: Saturday, March 8th, 6 PM Pacific/ 7 PM Mountain/ 9 PM Eastern

Movie: Spaceballs

WEEK TWO Tori (@torceratops)

Time: Saturday March 15th, 6 PM Pacific / 7 PM Mountain/ 9 PM Eastern

Movie: East is East

WEEK THREE Brenden (@brendanl79)

Time: Friday, March 21st, 7 PM Pacific/ 8 PM Mountain /10 PM Eastern

Movie: Miami Connection. [A Martial arts rock band? What?]

WEEK FOUR Heather @Lopielovesbooks)

Time: Sunday March 30th, 5:30 PM Pacific/ 6:30 Mountain/ 8:30 PM Eastern

Movie: Can’t Hardly Wait

WHaaaaat? What are you doing Seth? Why are you listing people? BECAUSE THEY WILL PICK THE MOVIE AND TIME FOR THAT WEEK. But there are two catches:

The first, it has to be a movie on Netflix. We’re going to try to accommodate for as many people possible this month. Now this doesn’t mean YOU have to have Netflix. But if you are watching on disc or via another service, that movie ALSO has to be available on Netflix.

Secondly, and this is the real trick, if a time is chosen and a poorly verified majority of #moviepants folk will be able to attend, the movie is automatically going to be Ghostbusters.

That’s right, the REAL movie for the month is Ghostbusters. Four people pick a time for their week, one time slot gets to be Ghostbusters. The other three become alternate #moviepants experiences. Historically this means that it’s very likely those other three #moviepants nights just won’t happen at all if not enough people are watching. They’ll just stall before anyone even hits the pause screen. But who knows? The #moviepants anniversary is coming up and I’m using this as an experiment…

As for why I chose whom I chose it’s not favoritism, they’re just a selection of consistent #moviepants viewers (And Darcy, who is exempt from scorn for slacking off this year because she is a founder).

Right then, let the discussion continue on Twitter.

Mary Has Terrible Handwriting: Round 2

Okay most of you know the drill probably. Mary has terrible handwriting, and I need your help to make sense of it. This time I have a whopping 19 that need translating.

Here is the link to the online version of the diary. I’ve added both page numbers that match the pages on the link, and also the dates which you’ll find useful if you decide to download a PDF of the diary. Did you know you could download a PDF of the digital materials? Well you can!

I made the highlights a little more subtle (maybe a little too subtle?) and the pictures a little smaller. But! You can open each picture for a bigger view.

1) Page 9/ January 9 : Solved!

Z.C.M.I. is what I am FAIRLY certain what that says. What that is, I have no idea. Do you?

Page 9 Jan 9

Zions Cooperative Mercantile Institution

Lucy Ruth figured this one out pretty quick. She had guessed it was a department store from the context clues and then with some search wizardry found it. I say “wizardry” to hide the fact that I probably spent ten seconds searching and gave up.

(Anna guessed it right too using insider knowledge, but Lucy was quicker on the draw)

2) Page 36/ Feb 5 : Solved!

That Y’s loop in the “yet” is causing issues but the name is a little squished together too.

Page 36 Feb 5

Liz figured out one from round one that made me go cross eyed too, and she says (and I can see it now) that this one is “Sperry’s”

3) Page 60/ May 29 : Solved?

It LOOKS like “lab” (doggy!) or “lal”, which isn’t a thing. But that trail on the final letter is confounding me. She’s never done that. A random outlier, or odd abbreviation sign?

Page 60 May 29

Elizabeth thinks she might have been writing “latch”. Because it’s a hutch or the like and that would probably impress Mary. It doesn’t explain why it’s written like that though, but I’m not sure there IS an explanation

Changing my mind. Initially one guess I had is that she gave up on spelling “Labrador”, and Matt came up with that idea independently. And comparing other “b”s in the middle of a word, it matches pretty close. Going with that now.

But then again Kevin guessed that could be where she was attacked, and Julie thinks she fell under her blanket fort.

4) Page 85/ March 24: Solved!

Here’s a tricky one. It’s both illegible AND split up! It doesn’t help that often when moving to the next line Mary will forget her place and reuse letters or put an entire word twice.

Page 85 March 24 A

Spliced together the full name if that helps any. The colored box is blocking a loop that’s part of the line above.

Page 85 March 24 B

I figured out this one all by myself looking at the stitched name. Going with “Pugmier”.

5) Page 111/ April 19 : I give up.

Another where it’s pretty legible, just nonsensical. What is a box of par?

Page 111 April 19

It’s clearly “par”. I was hoping someone would tell me what this MEANS but you have all failed me. I’m so disappointed in you. Yes you, personally.

6) Page 153/ May 31 : Solved!

Looks like “ous”. Could be “our”? Taking a scenic tour to their final resting place? Charming.

Page 153 May 31

Elizabeth says it’s “our”. Which makes sense but that is no “r” by any measure. Oh well “our” it will be.

7) Page 158/ June 5 : Solved?

“Indest” school. What is that.

Page 158 June 5

I few people have suggested she’s shortening “Industry” (and spelling it Indestry). Without any other ideas I’ll go with that.

8) Page 180/ June 26 : Solved!

The what brothers? Bogritron? That sounds like a robot family, but that can’t be because they wouldn’t have been killed in action if they were robots.

Page 180 June 26

Liz did the research and found out it’s Borgstrom. They don’t have a movie, but they do have a Wikipedia entry! And yet, still, “Borgstrom”? They’re totally robots.

9) Page 187/ July 2 : Solved!

Seems to be “lycons” which I’m guessing could be a brand. Didn’t turn up in my searches though. Except for the werewolves in Underworld.

Page 187 July 2

A couple people figured it must be a brand but couldn’t find it either. But nobody suggested it’s anything besides “lycons” so it’ll stay a mystery, but a mystery that doesn’t need solving.

10) Page 206/ July 21 : Solved?

She’s talking about berries here. “Rasp.” is obviously “raspberry” but I don’t know what a cot berry could be.

Page 206 July 21

Leona had a great guess that it could be apricots. She had mentioned them again the next day in full spelling so I think she’s right.

11) Page 225/ August 9 : Solved!

Primary doo? Is that a #1 #2? Ha ha get it? Cuz…well anyway.

Page 225 August 9

I think it was Julie that said it was “too”, which I suspected as well. I checked some other of her “t”s and tho’ it’s rare she does write them like that on occasion.

12) Page 234/ August 18 : Solved!

GET A GRIP MAN. Or. Whatever that says.

Page 234 August 18

Linda used logic to decide a “grip” must be a bag, and looking up the variant definitions of grip she’s right!

13) Page 237/ August 21 : Didn’t actually need solving!

This isn’t so much a thing that needs transcribing as me giving Mary and America’s late 1940’s culture a public shaming.

Page 237 August 21

14) Page 249/ September 2 : Solved!

PROBABLY “pickling”? But it doesn’t fit. “Picting” does but I don’t think that is a thing, is it? Unless you’re a nerd that tries to find the science in 80’s science fiction novels.

Page 249 September 2

Liz seconding my pickling theory so I’m going with that.

15) Page 252/ September 5 : Solved!

I almost don’t want to know the truth, because it looks like “Woofind” to me and if it’s anything else I’ll be disappointed.

Page 252 September 5

Liz says that Woofinder is a real name. Can we trust her? I say we trust her.

16) Page 292/ October 15 : Solved

It’s aaaaalmost outfit, but she’s spelling it…”outifitt”. Or something.

Page 292 October 15

Decided this is just “outfit” with very poor handwriting.

17) Page 294/ October 17 : Solved?

This is mostly a call out to any Utahn’s that follow me and know the geography. Is Millin’s Peaks a mountain? Or…oh maybe it could be a place of unspeakable evil or a bro restaurant. (Which I mean really is the same thing, isn’t it?)

Page 294 October 17

Nobody could drum up info on “Millin’s Peaks, so I’ll leave it as “Millin’s Peaks” and if someone wants to figure out where that is THEY can do the intense research.

18) Page 314/ November 6 : :Solved!

Heating affair? Heating offair? I understand neither of those.

Page 314 November 6

Julie thinks it’s “affair” and I do too.

19) Page 317/ November 9 : Solved?

She’s used “couns” for “counselor”. Could this be a variation?

Page 317 November 9

I’m gonna go with “counselor” because it’s the only thing that makes sense.

And that’s all, folks! Reply in Twitter to guess at your convenience or, for better archival purposes (or if you don’t have Twitter) reply in the comments any guesses you have. Your help is legitimately appreciated! (And I know you enjoy the distraction from the daily grind. Just tell your boss you’re donating your time to an educational institution if you’re caught.)

Storytime Craft: Doctor Bag

Nothing clever for an intro today, just enjoying ice cream and building up an archive of Flannel Fridays. SO LET’S GET TO IT.

Got yourself a boo boo? Well Doctor Seth will fix you up. You’ll have to get the medical kit together first, though.

Good old fashion coloring! For this craft you’ll need the medical supplies (seen above) and the doctor bag. Kids fold the bag, and they can either just keep the stuff in it (as I intended) or you can follow the lead of a smart mom in my storytime who didn’t want to chase around a bunch of paper and glue them down inside the bag. LINKS FOR PDFS BELLLLOOOOOOOOW.

Doctor Bag

Medical supplies

Now, I gotta say. I spent actual YEARS redesigning this. Years putting it off, one afternoon to fix it. The original was ugly and a pain in the butt to cut out. I hope this is much easier for you guys.

Need some books about injuries and whatnot? Check out my injury tag on Shelfari! I’ve got a few good ones (and one or two iffy ones) but I’d love suggestions if you have them!


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Editing History

I remember when I was much more active in photography there was always a controversy over processing photos with software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. I was always on the fence about it. While I hardly ever edited my photos, digital processing CAN make a GOOD photo look AMAZING. But, it also goes a bit too far (see HDR) where it becomes plainly a stylistic choice rather than “improving” on the “correctness” of a photo. Which I put in quotes because really no photo is a true recreation of reality, no more than a portrait is 100% accurate reflection of the subject.

But that’s art. What about history?

Take this scanned photo of a man and a dog on a horse.

It doesn’t show up so well so I tweaked it in Photoshop before uploading to Twitter.

Now you can see that adorable doggy’s face!

Is this an accurate portrayal of a historical artifact? Even the slight edits I made would be enough to get me disqualified from a nature or news photography contest.

For some random picture of a dude and a dog on a horse it probably isn’t that important. But what about important photographs? Governments have cropped and edited photos to better represent their interests or to erase traitors from history. And what about written material? Junior novelizations are a great way to get kids interested in classics, but let me tell you, the kids version of Moby Dick is WAY more interesting than the actual book. Also, if we were concerned about historical accuracy, shouldn’t someone paint old Greek statues just as artists and preservationists clean and touch up old paintings?

Perception is an important thing when it comes to learning from history, and it’s easily altered. We already bring personal bias into everything we observe, and usually what we’re seeing is a second or third hand representation, creating an endless game of nonfiction telephone. And when social media makes it so easy to share brief impressions of a topic, it’s probably rare for anyone to do the independent research, so the version they see last becomes the reality. And then it becomes a majority rules issue and your mom is sending you emails from her Yahoo account about the latest fictional political scandal she saw on Facebook. (Not MY mom. My mom is smarter than your mom. And she uses Gmail.)

The roundabout point I’m making is use caution and critical thinking when telling a story or when listening to a story, both from the past and in the present. There is no such thing as objective fact, and it’s up to you to decide what percentage of truth is in a truth.

Generally this would be the part where I’d ask your opinion, but people hardly comment on here anyway. And, to tell you the truth, my real purpose was to get a better look at the dog.

I mean. LOOK AT HIM.

dog on horse crop

Maybe I should make that my new avatar.