Well, when I resurrected this blog I determined that I would update it more frequently, so here goes…as the man said: “I’ve suffered for my art, now it’s your turn.”

We have had nearly a month’s worth of spring break at the ESU School of Library and Information Science…despite which, the transcript for spring semester has not been posted, only two of my three classes for summer term are live on the school website, and my financial aid appears to have fallen into the Black Hole of Calcutta. It seems a damn sloppy way to run an institute of higher learning and I can only conclude that the registrar is zonked out on a beach in Cancun, updating the distance ed server on a poor iPhone signal between margaritas.

Meanwhile, I am digging into the reading…my required class this semester is on research methods, aka “how to conduct a survey that’s actually scientifically valid.” After what passes for methodology in journalism, it’s good to see a little disciplinary rigor on the horizon…a further reminder that I am learning an actual profession. Journalism calls itself one, but it is a trade at best…at worst, the redheaded stepchild of the entertainment industry.

Getting ready for class this weekend, I decided to swap the Linux distro on my netbook. The subsequent Facebook update confused a number of my acquaintances, but to summarize: I bought the thing with factory-installed Xandros Linux. It came with a sucky interface, but I bought it knowing that I could switch it to a real desktop and promptly did so…but the result wasn’t really suited to a small screen, so when I suffered a system crash I took the chance to install Ubuntu, a different “flavor” of Linux…with a “netbook edition” much better suited for tiny screens. Or so I thought. I loved the interface, but it proved to be a serious drain on the battery life, so the most recent install is Easy Peasy, which is also Ubuntu Linux, but stripped-down and built to maximize battery life (it was originally my second choice after Ubuntu Netbook Remix).

So we’ll see how it goes! I’m still giving serious consideration to just saying “fuck it” and buying an iPad, if the financial aid office ever comes through…As someone once said, free software is only free if your time has no value, and I have come to see the wisdom of that statement. Speaking from my own experience, running Linux is rather like driving an elderly Italian sports car, inasmuch as it’s a fantastic experience when everything works…but when something doesn’t work, you’d better be willing and able to fix it yourself. And in both cases, the process of “fixing it yourself” is one that gets very complicated, very quickly! For this reason, I remain somewhat skeptical of Android…

Finally, still awaiting word from the Vancouver library. I begin to fear the worst…

P.S. the title of the post is a reference to these guys

Important News…

May 5, 2011

Thanks to a timely piece of information, not to mention dedication and finely-honed skills…it looks like I have a shot at my first real library job!

Oh, and Osama Bin Laden is dead. That’s cool, too… Probably more important in the grand scheme of things, and I wish I had some insight to share, but I don’t. I’ve been too damn busy with riding the bus back and forth across the river – because the opening is at the Ft. Vancouver Library District. (From St. Johns, I could just ride my bike but I didn’t want to risk getting lost/showing up late.)

The other reason is that I am no longer obliged to grind out pithy words of wisdom against the clock, every time some noteworthy event occurs…to look for some “local angle,” some tangential connection supposed to bring it home to the reader. I would have said “…no longer inclined to,” but the fact is that the want departed before the need…

Finally, I just don’t have anything to say on the topic that hasn’t already been expressed by real foriegn policy bloggers like Juan Cole or Dan Drezner… or by Spencer Ackerman and Conor Friedersdorf, both of whom I’m pleased to see are taking this opportunity to call bullshit on the idea that “we have to” torture detainees to win the War on Terra. Well, it wasn’t Jack Bauer tactics that finally got us bin Laden, and anyone who thinks this country should torture, or that it works, can kindly STFU.

Meanwhile, here’s a video of a man wearing mascara: