Best of 2013

While everyone was going on this year about Kanye West, Beyonce, Vampire Weekend, Haim and a bunch of other people I can do without (and Daft Punk, who I do like, but whose album has its moments but wasn't that great), there were some great albums released last yeat that seem to have been overlooked. Anyway, without further ado, my top ten albums from last year, along with a few honorable and dishonorable mentions, and a couple from last year that I didn't hear until late.

Top Ten of 2013

Danshui Sunset

Sunset in Sanshui

A brief interlude

My hiatus from this site was unexpected, but should be over soon. In the meantime, you can read my hockey writing over at Litter Box Cats.

The case of the disintegrating compact discs

I decided at long-last to finish ripping the final few CDs from my collection into my computer. After several passes at the collection the last few years, the only remaining titles left were the majority of my Live Phish collection. The main reason I put them off is because they're all multiple disc sets and therefore time consuming to rip.

The original set of twenty albums came in binder pages loaded into cardboard sleeves. As those sell, the repressings are in regular quad cases. I had noticed a couple of years ago that some of the binder pages had started to leave a little bit of goo on the discs. It was only one or two of the set and so I wiped it off and didn't think much of it. I pulled the full set off the shelf on Thursday, pulled the binder page out of the first sleeve to note that it was wrinkled. I opened it up and the plastic has begun to break down leaving a massive amount of goo on the discs, which when it has sat long enough, is eating through the discs and into the foil layer, making the discs unplayable.

Schedule Hacking Part Three: Design Adjustments and Networking

After designing the new entry forms, I went to work updating the other database forms. Most of it was minor adjustments, like changing the entry form for the old Professor table to new Contact table. A bigger change was the staff assignment form. While it was possible to assign staff to a setup or a pickup when the class was entered into the schedule, it wasn’t always possible to know who would be available. Also, staffing changes over time and someone scheduled to handle a class for a whole semester may be out for a day or more during that semester. The assign setups form showed all of the setups and pickups scheduled for a specific day and allowed the staff assigned to each to be set or changed.

2010 Eastern Conference Finals Game 1

When I found out that Public Image Ltd. was touring in the US, I was determined to make one of the shows. We ended up picking the New York show because we knew someone else who was making the trip for that show. For a number of reasons, we dropped our original plan to fly up and stay in a New York hotel for a full week and instead decided to drive up, make some stops on the drive and stay in New Jersey. At first, our plan was to leave on a Friday, drive up to Charleston and stay there for a day before heading back up towards New York.

Schedule Hacking Part Two: Changes

Since I was working quickly, I used the simplest relational database design I could. The main database structure was five tables, Event, EventStaff, Location, Professor and Staff. The Event table held all of the information about a class: class or event name, professor, location, date, time, what equipment or assistance was needed and information about how and when the request was made. The setups were assigned in the EventStaff table, which linked the Event table to the Staff table. In general, two links were made between the tables for each event: one for the setup and one for the pickup.

Schedule Hacking Part One: Building an Audio-Visual Schedule

As a librarian with a website, I don't write about work or libraries very much. I spend a lot more time writing about everything else I do, not because I don't have Big Thoughts on librarianship or because I'm not doing a lot at work, but because most of the time what I do isn't all that interesting.

As a public services librarian in charge of an understaffed, underfunded (aren't they all?) technology department, I spend very little time working on what I would consider "librarian" projects and a lot of time keeping equipment running, training staff, being a manager and generally trying to keep things working.

One of the things I've been working on during final exams is the Audio-Visual Department scheduling system.

Braised Short Ribs

Short Ribs
I made these short ribs to go with a bottle of Barolo sent to us by my James and Elizabeth at Christmas. I asked what went with it and they said, "something heavy, like braised short ribs." I thought those sounded good, so I made some a couple of Saturdays ago.

The B-52s - SunFest, West Palm Beach, FL May 2, 2010

The B-52s 2010-05-02
Setlist: Pump, Mesopotamia, Private Idaho, Give Me Back My Man, Funplex, Strobe Light, Quiche Lorraine, 52 Girls, Roam, Party Out of Bounds, Love in the Year 3000, Hot Corner(?), Love Shack Encore: Planet Claire, Rock Lobster

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