Friday, April 23, 2010

A step in the right direction

I have not read a new children's book in some time, and this afternoon had the dreaded question put forth by one of the resource center frequent patrons. "What's the best new book you've read that would be appropriate for sixth graders?" We talked for a few minutes, I copped to my reading transgressions, and I sent her to the collection blog to peruse new titles. Neither of us fully satisfied, but understanding that was the best option available.

Chagrined, this afternoon I quickly and quietly pilfered four titles from the cart of children's books awaiting delivery to the new book shelf; two graphic novels and two general fiction:
  • Bird House, by Vernon White
    The King has grown old and lonely and is ferociously hated in his Kingdom. When a servant attempts to poison him, an all-out search begins for those who resist his rule. Meanwhile, the King's only daughter despises her life in the castle. She dreams of returning to a town she once visited, but is forbidden to take one step outside of the castle walls. Her plans to escape strain her relationship with her fiance who has sworn to protect the King. Her only hope falls on an absent-minded servant hired within the castle to do construction. With his help, she hopes to recapture the freedom she so briefly felt. With a fairy-tale-like setting, combined with modern themes of isolation, obligation, and longing, Birdhouse is a magical debut graphic novel from new talent Vernon White. -- Amazon product description

  • Booth, by C.C. Colbert
    In a time when brother was pitted against brother, no family was more divided than the Booths.The United States has become violently polarized. Political fanaticism divides an embittered populace. A recently elected President—an energizing symbol of change for some, and a harbinger of the downfall of America for others—stands at the center of the turmoil. It is 1865, and John Wilkes Booth is about to assassinate the President of the United States. From the pen of American historian C.C. Colbert and the brush of French comics master Tanitoc comes a thought-provoking perspective on one of the greatest villains of U.S. History: a killer who was also an actor, a lover, a doubter, and, in his own mind, a patriot. -- Amazon product description

  • Once, by Morris Gleitzman
    Felix, a Jewish boy in Poland in 1942, is hiding from the Nazis in a Catholic orphanage. The only problem is that he doesn't know anything about the war, and thinks he's only in the orphanage while his parents travel and try to salvage their bookselling business. And when he thinks his parents are in danger, Felix sets off to warn them--straight into the heart of Nazi-occupied Poland. To Felix, everything is a story: Why did he get a whole carrot in his soup? It must be sign that his parents are coming to get him. Why are the Nazis burning books? They must be foreign librarians sent to clean out the orphanage's outdated library. But as Felix's journey gets increasingly dangerous, he begins to see horrors that not even stories can explain. -- Amazon product description

  • Alchemy and Meggy Swann, by Karen Cushman
    "Fans of Karen Cushman's witty, satisfying novels will welcome Meggy Swann,newly come to London with her only friend, a goose named Louise. Meggy's mother was glad to be rid of her; her father, who sent for her, doesn't want her after all. Meggy is appalled by London,dirty and noisy, full of rogues and thieves, and difficult to get around in--not that getting around is ever easy for someone who walks with the help of two sticks.Just as her alchemist father pursues his Great Work of transforming base metal into gold, Meggy finds herself pursuing her own transformation. Earthy and colorful, Elizabethan London has its dark side, but it also has gifts in store for Meggy Swann." - Amazon product description

Out of curiosity I checked; I haven't posted a juvenile book review here since early October, Angry Management. I hope one of these four books changes that sad, sorry, state of affairs.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

But, my blogs ...

Sure, this is pretty ... but I miss the goofy looking plumber who appears when the "pipes" are down. Now I am challenged to exercise patience and not check Bloglines every five minutes throughout the morning.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Blogging year four

Today is the four-year anniversary of my blog. I should have something thoughtful, clever, or unique to post commemorating the date, but am at a loss.

Here's a look at previous anniversary posts: Three year anniversary, Two year anniversary (date) & missed milestone, and the year one post.

This post is number 750; I like to think my writing has improved and admit I have fallen into the bad habit of posting videos if at a loss. I plan to return to book review posts in the near future and to that point have been perusing the new book shelf and preparing book orders this week. Blog on.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

More Pens ...

I love the Post-Gazette's sport blogs. I'm not the only youtube junkie.

I think these should have been Pens only highlights ...

The Pens are behind in the second period this evening, but it's never too late in hockey. Maybe Sid will get that elusive 50th goal tonight.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Pens last game @ the igloo

From the Pittsburgh Penguins web site: More Than 50 Former Pittsburgh Penguins Help Celebrate Final Regular-Season Game at Mellon Arena.

"The game marked the 1,667th and final regular season game played at the Arena before the Penguins move across the street to the sparkling new Consol Energy Center next season."

They won this evening with a good old-fashioned barn-burner against the Islanders; Crosby hits 50 as Penguins rout Islanders. Years ago that 7-3 score in favor of the home team would have been a "chili goal."

Let's see if they can get through round one of the playoffs and send the igloo out in style.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

More mini blogging

Today's netbook accessory purchase was a lime green laptop sleeve. I spent a great deal of time debating on a sleeve verses a traditional computer case; the sleeve will let me put the netbook into an already existing travel bag. Buying the 11 inch netbook instead of the 10.2 inch version meant having to move up a size for the sleeve. It's not much of an issue since now there may be room for my mouse and the plug.

On another topic, a new episode of NCIS meant I missed who got booted off of Dancing with the Stars! What happened to the results show being in the 9 pm time slot? Looks like it was Buzz.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Mini blogging

A quick stop after work garnered a logitech usb mouse and several 2 liter bottles of diet Pepsi, both on sale (thank you very much). The Pepsi was a nice compliment to dinner, and the mouse a necessary component for my HP mini. I've begun the process of adding bookmarks, what needs to be loaded and/or downloaded to this machine (without getting carried away), and considering other purchasers (case and maybe a cheap microphone). 

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Harry Potter & Celebrity Apprentice

Not a big fan of Celebrity Apprentice, I was oddly intrigued this evening when I happened upon the episode featuring The Wizarding World of Harry Potter scheduled to open at Universal Studios this summer. The task required players to create and present a 3-d exhibit to studio execs and HP fans. I thought teams both were a bit condescending when presenting to the fans and wonder how much they really knew, or even researched, the HP experience.

They are blathering in the boardroom as we await the "winner" and subsequent backstabbing and firing. I'm going to search YouTube for new HP movie trailers.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

It's here, it's here

Waiting for me when I arrived in the library this morning, after a two hour technology committee meeting, was a lovely box from HP! I had a few concerns when the box inside the box rattled, but a quick peek inside assured me all was well. I gleefully inserted the battery and connected to the jumping through set up hoops; registration, running system updates, anti-virus updates, and downloading Mozilla took more time than anticipated.

My initial impressions? After getting beyond the sheer fun of a new toy, I am having a few issues with the keyboard. I did not realize how heavy handed I have been, it's taking some time to adjust. I am happy with the various ports including USB, HDMI, and SD (allowing me access to upload this photo without problem). The true test will be it's first conference trip in a week or so.