Saturday, December 31, 2005

N.J. prosecutor leaves job, takes down his blog

David Lat, who worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in Newark, left that post effective yesterday.

In an interview with The New Yorker in November, Lat revealed that he was the blogger behind "Underneath Their Robes," an unconventional and at times, humorous look at the members of the federal judiciary. In a November 14 post, Lat wrote that the blog has been taken offline.

Contacted by the Star-Ledger , Lat would only say that "You'll be hearing from me more." In an e-mail sent to his colleagues yesterday, he said he would be heading to Washington to work.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said Lat made the decision to leave and that his blog had nothing to do with that choice. The spokesman further stated that "There was no effort to force him (Lat) out of the office at all. He was very good at what he did."

* Update 1/3/06: Romenesko reports that Lat will begin blogging on Wonkette, taking over for Ana Marie Cox.

Walleye drop

Port Clinton, Ohio, located in Ottawa County near Lake Erie, has a unique claim to fame: it is the Walleye Capital of the World. This evening at midnight, to bring in 2006, the citizens of Port Clinton will drop a 600-pound fiberglass walleye. Mayor Tom Brown discusses this annual tradition on this morning's "Weekend Edition" on NPR.

Friday, December 30, 2005

The year in review

Yes, time for the obligatory look back at the past year.

I found these questions on a fellow library school student's blog a couple years ago and answered the questions at the end of 2003, when the landscape was much different for me than it it now. I thought it would be interesting to post those answers and then answer the questions again to reflect my current thoughts. Even I find the responses interesting and I lived it. It's so true how things can change so quickly and alter your feelings and perspectives.

1. What did you do in 2003 that you'd never done before?

2003: Private, sorry.

2005: Live in another state besides Wisconsin.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
: I quit making them years ago, because I never kept a one.

2005: Ditto.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

2003: Yes! Pam gave birth to her third child, Tatum, in April.

2005: Yes! Pam gave birth to her fourth child, Max, in June.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

2003: Yes, my wonderful Aunt Elaine died of ALS. I hate, hate, hate this disease!

2005: Yes, my sweet doggie, Chester.

5. What countries did you visit?

2003: Nada

2005: Zip

6. What would you like to have in 2004/2006 that you lacked in 2003/2005?

2003: My master's degree and a full-time job.

2005: To feel at peace with every aspect of my life. I'm thrilled to say I now have both my master's and a full-time position.

7. What date from 2003/2005 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

2003: April 24, the day my aunt died.

2005: April 3, the day when I realized Chester was asking for my help to end his suffering. It was so sad, but I'm also proud that I kept my promise to him that when his time came, I would be with him. He died with me holding him, which is exactly what I know he wanted.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

2003: Can't think of anything, I'll have to mull it over.

2005: Finding my first professional position and even better, being able to remain a news librarian.

9. What was your biggest failure?

2003: Not being able to get another part-time job.

2005: That it took me nine months after graduation to find a job.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

2003: Thankfully, no.

2005: No, I'm very lucky and thankful for that.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

2003: A laser printer.

2005: A new car.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

2003: My dog Chester, he never gives up.

2005: Not to sound arrogant, but me. The first six months of the year were very tough for me, with lots of upheavals in my personal life, but I survived and feel good about the direction my life is headed in.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

2003: W.

2005: The ex. I didn't realize he could be so cruel. I deserved much better than being blown off with the silent treatment.

14. Where did most of your money go?

2003: Tuition and rent

2005: Rent, car payment, credit card bill, electric bill, ridiculously high gas bills ....

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

2003: Movies

2005: Feeds

16. What song will always remind you of 2003/2005?

2003: "Bring Me to Life," Evanescence.

2005: "My Old Friend the Blues," Patty Loveless.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

2003: Definitely sadder.

2005: Definitely happier.

ii. thinner or fatter?

2003: About the same.

2005: No change here.

iii. richer or poorer?

2003: Poorer.

2005: Richer.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

2003: Exercise

2005: More exploring around Central Ohio.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

2003: Procrastinating

2005: Procrastinating. Old habits die hard.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

2003: Working.

2005: I spent this year in Madison, Wisconsin with my family.

22. Did you fall in love in 2003?

2003: I stayed in love, which is something to be proud of.

2005: I fell out of love with not only the ex, but the idea of love. As Greta Garbo once said, from now on,"I vant to be alone."

23. How many one night stands?

2003: Zero.

2005: I have to stop laughing before I'll be able to answer this one.

24. What was your favourite TV programme?

2003: Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Law and Order: SVU

2005: Law and Order, CSI and Nancy Grace.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

2003: Unfortunately, yes.

2005: Yes.

26. What was the best book you read?

2003: The Lovely Bones.

2005: In Cold Blood.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

2003: Evanescence.

2005: Johnny Cash, whom I rediscovered.

28. What did you want and get?

2003: My own apartment.

2005: A professional position.

29. What did you want and not get?

2003: Another job, more money.

2005: A promotion at my previous job.

30. What was your favourite film of this year?

2003: The Hours.

2005: Capote.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

2003: 33, I had a summer school class and then I went home and did nothing.

2005: 35, I worked, went out to dinner and then watched a DVD.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

2003: Finding an additional (and legal) source of income. (Seeing a pattern?)

2005: Being able to have dumped the ex before he dumped me.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2003?

2003: Comfort all the way.

2005: I still choose comfort every time.

34. What kept you sane?

2003: Routine. In many respects, school and work were my refuge.

2005: Work. It took my mind off what was going on at home.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

2003: Ioan Gruffudd.

2005: To tell the truth, no one. (Sorry, Ioan.)

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

2003: The upcoming presidential election.

2005: The talk of potential presidential candidates for 2008.

37. Who did you miss?

2003: Some of my friends.

2005: Chester.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

2003: One of my library school professors.

2005: A fellow librarian who has gone out of her way to make me feel welcome in my new surroundings.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2003.

2003: Life isn't fair.

2005: Love hurts.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

2003: "I've been sleeping a thousand years it seems, got to open my eyes to everything."

2005: "When the thought of you catches up with me."

For your listening pleasure

In the last several months, I've become a regular listener of NPR. I'm partial to "Talk of the Nation" and "Morning Edition," but all of the programming is wonderful and never fails to entertain and inform.

Here's some of the various shows and interviews I enjoyed this week and which you, my loyal one, maybe two readers, may enjoy as well.

December 29, "All Things Considered:"

"Possible Knight Ridder Sale Brings Unlikely Suitors"

December 29, "Talk of the Nation:"

"Recapping Notable Events of 2005"

December 30, "Morning Edition:"

"New Words of 2005 and Beyond" (An interview with the editor of the Oxford American Dictionary about the new words of 2005, one of which is "podcasting." (Yeah!)

"Frontrunners Unclear in Oscar Race"

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

There's no place like home

I just returned from four days in my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin and had a wonderful time. I got to spend time with my family, eat at my favorite restaurant and visit with my former boss and co-workers. (I miss working with them so much.)

That said, what would a vacation involving the airlines be if you couldn't complain? I will not bore you with the details, but suffice it to say that getting stuck overnight in Milwaukee and waking up at 3:45 a.m. to catch a flight home, after which you have to run home to change into your "work attire" and then work a full day, is not the ideal situation to find yourself in.

One of my colleagues remarked that "I didn't look tired," so score one for me. And I was very busy today, which helped immensely. But tonight, I'm taking a hot shower, eating my dinner and going to bed for a good night's rest.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christian Science Monitor virtual newsroom tour

Take a peek inside the newsroom of The Christian Science Monitor courtesy of this virtual tour and get an idea of the discussions and choices that are made each day in the course of creating the paper.

I had the pleasure of visiting the Monitor's newsroom last January when I was in Boston attending ALA's Midwinter meeting and absolutely loved it, from the way the newsroom is designed to its wonderful staff to its impressive library. I'm very grateful to one of my fellow news librarians for giving me the opportunity to spend the day with her and see the paper in action.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Has it been a year already?

One year ago today, I officially became a librarian when I crossed the stage at the Kohl Center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus and received my Master of Arts degree in Library and Information Studies.

Without a doubt, it was the proudest and happiest moment of my life. It was also a bit surreal. I had been talking for several years about going to graduate school and all of a sudden, there I was, decked out in my graduation gown and its accompanying white hood, hearing my name called as I walked across the stage to receive my diploma. I had finally done it!

I think in honor of the anniversary, it's Ok to stop referring to myself as a newbie.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A quote by any other name

Check out the list of Library, Librarian, and Librarianship quotes compiled by Dr. John Ellison, Assistant Professor in the School of Informatics at the University of Buffalo.

My favorite has to be one by Neil Gaiman and I suspect many of my colleagues will choose this one as well.

"We cannot have good libraries until we first have good librarians -- properly educated, professionally recognized, and fairly rewarded." (The Sandman. Line spoken by Lucien, Librarian of the Dreaming.)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Perceptions and stereotypes of librarians

j points to Librarians -- The Image and the Myth, a blog that deals with the many stereotypes people hold about librarians and how they continue to persist.

Unshelved and the blogging librarian

Today's Unshelved features a blogging librarian who has to wear sunglasses and dress incognito because her blog has made her famous.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Virginia newspaper debuts video-only Web site

The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia has unveiled a beta version of a video-only Web site. Contributions to the site, named, come from Hampton Road residents and will feature video of local news, sports, traffic reports and a detailing of the area's music and movie scenes.

Check out a one minute offering from the site, a clever introduction to information about where to send in your original video productions.

Read an article about the project at

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's official: I'm in love

Tonight I tried to check my blog several times and I kept either getting a dead link or the dreaded message that the blog address couldn't be found on Blogger's server. Even though logically I felt that everything would be fine, I was worried about my blog and when it would return to the blogsphere.

I guess it's time to admit that I've really grown to love my little 'ol blog.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

On Wisconsin

I received a message from the UW Foundation this evening hitting me up for a contribution for the 2005 Annual Fund. It was accompanied by a brief slideshow, showing scenes from the
UW-Madison campus, that I admit made me wistful for Madison and for all the wonderful times I shared with Amanda, Laura, Em, Mimi and Anu during our time together in library school.

Pursuing my master's degree was definitely one of the more challenging and difficult decisions I made, but even when I was depressed because I thought I was never going to find a professional position, I never regretted the choice. I made some wonderful friends and those three years brought me some of the best moments of my life.

On Wisconsin!

And by the way, the Foundation is certainly being persistent, because I received a letter via snail mail yesterday asking for a donation.

Well, their "ploy" worked. My check is in the mail, with the money going to the Second Century Fund at the School of Library and Information Studies.

Librarian suspended over squirrel

Today's Library Link of the Day points to an article in Friday's Chicago Sun-Times that tells of the suspension of a library worker at the LaPorte County Public Library in Michigan City, Indiana who, according to her superiors, was spending too much of her work time trying to rescue a squirrel trapped in the library's ceiling.

In the article, Cindee Goetz states that ''It's a real pickle to be in, all over me being compassionate toward animals ... I was paying more attention to the animal than I was my job.''

News Librarians weigh in on Wikipedia

j points to an article in today's New York Times regarding Wikipedia and the incorrect information that was posted in the online encyclopedia's entry on John Seigenthaler Sr. A healthy debate ensued on NewsLib, the listserv for members of the News Division of the Special Libraries Association and the article includes many quoted comments from my fellow news librarians. j also posted about the article on NewsliBlog, another product of the division, of which yours truly is a sometime contributor.

Taking the big one

Every winter, without fail, I manage to take a huge spill on an icy sidewalk or walkway. That happened today when I returned home from work and stopped at the central location where all the apartment complex's mailboxes are located. When I stepped onto the walkway, I saw that it was still quite slippery from last night's helping of freezing rain, so I stepped very gingerly. Returning to my car, I was equally as careful, but still managed to hit a slick spot and down I went on my you know what.

I'm happy to report that nothing is broken, I'm just a little sore. Hopefully this is the only fall I will take this season, but I wouldn't bet on it.