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O Blog of Mine I have Not Forsaken Thee!  Forgive me for slipping out of my writing loop.  With so much happening and on my mind, I will return with many more postings.

12/14 No Words But Silence

A Time For Reflection

12-13-14. A time for reflection. The season of thinking of well wishes for all who have come before us in our professional lives. With the announced retirements of people like Penny Hazelton and Blair Kauffman, the shrinking of legal publishing, and the downsizing of law libraries, we count our blessings for all the good times we had and hope that the glory days of law librarianship will return.

MAZY MOUSE

Reading more than one book at a time is like being a mouse in a maze: you never quite know where you are going.

At the moment, I am bouncing back and forth between A Slip of the Keyboard by Terry Pratchett and Nora Webster by Colm Tóibín.

Terry Pratchett’s collection of nonfiction essays demonstrates his remarkable ability to write with humor and with humanity on topics as diverse as science fiction conventions and wearing hats.

In his ninth and latest novel, Nora Webster, Colum Tóibín dramatizes the life of a middle-aged widow coping with her family and friends in a small town in Ireland in the late 1960s.

Halfway through both, I am contemplating adding a third book from the maze that is my library.

Day of Reckoning

 

Ah, savoring my second cup of hot, steaming coffee – not!

Since my last entry, I have been confounded by more layoffs, buyouts, demotions, pay cuts, family breakdowns, facial pain, boxer’s ear, and dense asteroid hyalosis.

Today, before eight in the morning, I ate a breakfast of black coffee, orange juice, and an English muffin with jelly. I cannot eat or drink anything else until my scheduled three-in-the-afternoon vitrectomy to remove my dense asteroids.

For a long time I have peered out my right eye through a web of thin shadowy screen-like threads. The feeling is akin to having water droplets on glasses.

I had assumed that this was another revolting development I would need to adjust to for the rest of my life. I had, that is, until I went to an optometrist, ophthalmologist, and a retina specialist after experiencing an intensity of spots over the summer.

For the facial pain, I have recently begun to take another medication added to the others that I take for prior revolting mental and physical developments.

The boxer’s ear brought me to an ear, nose, and throat doctor who surgically removed the fluid gorged in my right ear a couple of weeks ago.

And this afternoon, I get to experience more of the wonders of modern medicine. Unfortunately, a vitrectomy assures the growth of a cataract, so I will be privileged to return for more operations in the coming year.

Fortunately, a beam of sunshine pierced these storm clouds.

My third grandchild, Charlotte Rose, was born a week ago. Elizabeth, the first, and Matteo, the second, and now Charlotte are the joys of my life.  Without them, my wife, children, family, soul-mate comrade, and professional and social colleagues, I would be reckoned a wreck.

The Land of Steady Habits, by Ted Thompson

Ted Thompson delivers an outstanding read in his debut novel, The Land of Steady Habits.

Eight years and several rewrites in the making, this coming of later-in-age story depicts a suburban Connecticut family going through the motions of disarray because of the main character’s search for a deeper something in his life.

As a young writer, Ted Thompson skillfully explores the fears felt by those who long for the good life only to find themselves disillusioned by what they have become.  See Steve Donoghue’s excellent book review in Open Letters Monthly: An Arts & Literature Review.

Whether the author chooses to return to the world of Anders Hill or to other scenarios, readers eagerly await for his telling of new tales.

Amazon vs. Hachette

NPR’s report  today on the Amazon vs. Hachette saga depicted Amazon’s mandate to sell all ebooks at the same low price.  While I appreciate Amazon’s efforts to provide access to material at an affordable cost, I fail to understand the logic, other than crushing one’s competition, in this matter.  Most other categories of goods from automobiles to zucchini are not priced the same.  Even dollar stores do not charge a dollar for every item sold.  Unless I am persuaded otherwise, when it comes to Amazon vs. Hachette, I side with Hachette, other publishers, independent bookstores, and the thousands of authors who have objected to the dictated terms involved.

Dear Committee Members, A Novel By Julie Schumacher

However enjoyable or “Payneful” it is for Julie Schumacher to be in Professor Fitger’s head, she would be well-advised to return to her fictional Professor of Creative Writing and English Literature’s academic world.  The cast of characters seen through Professor Fitger’s letters of recommendation resemble composites of many encountered by me in my forty years of librarianship in institutions of, and I use this term loosely, higher learning.  Julie Schumacher’s novel scores an A+ in my class.

Schumacher, Julie.  Dear Committee Members.  Doubleday, a division of Random House, 2014.

Dollar General Family Tree

All this talk of dollar stores battling to take each other over and change their genealogical compositions reminds me of other former competitors now joined at the hip.

To wit:

Costco + PriceClub

Exxon + Mobil

Jos. A. Bank + Men’s Wearhouse

Macy’s + Filene’s

Office Depot + OfficeMax

Sears + Kmart

TJMaxx + Marshalls

And on and on …

The commercial world shrinks like Alice down the rabbit hole.

Auto Peeves

Cars that crawl in left lanes on highways.

Cars that race by either side of one’s vehicle to jockey for position on clogged roadways.

Cars with motors running and radios blasting while others try to relax in state parks.

Cars with state handicapped tags that whiz by going far faster than posted speed limits.

These are few of my favorite peeves … autowise.