Saturday, May 30, 2009
I can't help but also mention I Love It When You Talk Retro : hoochie coochie, double whammy, drop a dime, and the forgotten origins of American speech or Mortal Syntax : 101 language choices that will get you clobbered by the grammar snobs-- even if you're right or... well I did say almost wordlessly.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Since then, I have also found the state's website that lists providers. There are four types of providers: listed family homes, registered child-care homes, licensed child-care homes, and licensed child-care centers. The main difference between the first three is the frequency of inspections by the state. From their frequently asked questions:
From: Melissa Jeffrey
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 1:56 PM
Subject: Child care
Sorry it took me so long to get back to you.
List of daycares from city’s website: http://www.ci.arlington.tx.us/health/pdf/list_cc_centers.pdf
Associations of home child care:
I believe by cross referencing the links I culled from the internet with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services database, parents can make an informed decision about their child care.
Licensed and certified operations must have at least one annual unannounced inspection. Registered child care homes must have at least one unannounced inspection every two years. Inspections may be more frequent than the minimum required based upon an operation's ability to comply with standard requirements. Listed Family Homes are inspected only if there is a report of abuse/neglect or if operating illegally. Agency homes are currently inspected on a random basis and when there is a report of abuse/neglect.
Monday, May 18, 2009
These days, I don't really have as much free time as I would like. My schedule doesn't always allow me to watch a movie all in one sitting. Here recently, I have really gotten into watching television shows on DVD. You pretty much know how long each episode is going to last, so it is really easy to limit your tube time in order to get other things done. A show that typically runs for an hour on network television can be enjoyed on DVD in about 40 minutes, and a show that typically runs for 30 minutes can be enjoyed in about 20. The best part about television shows on DVD is that there are no commercials!
I really like the TV show selection here at Arlington library because there is something for everyone. We have everyone's favorite classics such as I Love Lucy and The Twilight Zone, as well as everyone's current favorites such as Grey's Anatomy and The Office. There are even many choices for children, like Dora the Explorer and The Magic School Bus.
A couple of my favorites available at the library are as follows:
Veronica Mars features a spunky little high school private investigator - full time student, part-time crime solver!
30 Rock: Tina Fey at her finest.
Ugly Betty is an unlikely addition to Mode's fashion magazine staff.
Schoolhouse Rock!- I think this one kind of goes without saying.
Check out our library catalog to find your TV Favorites!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The Northeast Arlington Reading Group has taken on the daunting task of reading Ayn Rand’s 1,100-page opus Atlas Shrugged. It is a particularly timely pick, because although the book was published in 1957, the philosophy espoused has been cited frequently in recent months by conservative commentators and opponents of President Obama’s economic policies.
Atlas Shrugged tells the story of an alternative America in which the government manipulates the economy by directing resources and money-making opportunities to people with the most perceived “need,” at the expense of the most successful industrialists. The captains of industry, realizing that all their efforts are being spent to the benefit of others, stop producing and instead go into exile. The people who keep the world running, who hold up the world (read: Atlas), drop that responsibility (read: shrug).
The pied piper of the industrialists is a man named John Galt. A common refrain throughout the book is the line, “Who is John Galt?” It is used in conversation as a form of slang to indicate that the answer to a problem is impossible to determine or futile to consider. Through the character of Galt, Rand explains her philosophy of rational self-interest: if people are able to work for their achievement rather than for the betterment of others, everyone succeeds. (This is an overly simplified definition. Galt speaks for 60 pages about this philosophy in the book)
Parallels have been drawn between the government’s actions in Atlas Shrugged to the current government’s bailout of failing banks, insurers, auto companies, and other industries. Critics of the Obama Administration’s plans to raise taxes for people earning more than $250,000-a-year to a pre-2000 level and to help homeowners facing mortgage default make comparisons to the successful people in Rand’s book being forced to keep the unsuccessful afloat. Some people even talk about “Going Galt,” that is, abandoning their profit-driven enterprises to no longer pay for government programs they consider take advantage of their success. Or a more extreme option, by living off the grid.
But even some Rand acolytes see glaring differences between her vision and the current financial crisis. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who was once a member of Rand’s “inner circle” and wrote articles for her magazine, told a congressional hearing in October, “Those of us who have looked to the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity – myself, especially – are in a state of shocked disbelief.” Then in February he came out in support of at least temporarily nationalizing banks. Libertarian author and once-candidate Jerome Tuccille told The Washington Independent that Rand didn’t address the behavior of capitalists like Merrill Lynch’s John Thain who let his company falter while paying himself a huge bonus. On Forbes magazine’s website, economist John Tamny lamented the decisions of several entrepreneurial companies like Intel, Cisco and Microsoft to seek government grant money through the economic stimulus package. Libertarian columnist Will Wilkinson compared the “Going Galt” movement by conservatives to the “If Bush wins I’m moving to Canada” mentality of liberals.
The easiest way to Go Galt: attend the Northeast Arlington Reading Group discussion of Atlas Shrugged at the Northeast Branch Library on Tuesday, June 9 at 7 p.m. You can keep your job and your worldly belongings.
Other sites of interest regarding Ayn Rand and Going Galt:
Stephen Colbert on Going Galt
Ayn Rand’s Literature of Capitalism
‘Atlas Shrugged’: From Fiction to Fact in 52 Years
The Atlas Society
An Ayn Rand Dissenter
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Yeah, I'm talking about the books that keep you laughing all the way through. You may not have learned anything particularly complicated or discovered the meaning of life in their not so lengthy set of pages. But you remember the fun you had reading every word. How the book kept you coming back for every new laugh. The Lighter Side will suggest a new book or series to tickle your fancy and bring you hours of enjoyment.
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig.
Ah, the world of spies, espionage and...flowers? Welcome to the world of the nineteenth century, where a spy seems to grow out of every garden. Eloise Kelly is a Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University working on her thesis...and running out of time. She has traveled to not so sunny London to dig through the dusty tomes housed in the dark recesses of the British Library searching for some hint, scribbled side note, or random ink blob which might hint at the identity of one of England's most historically elusive nineteenth century spies...the Pink Carnation. Eloise has vowed, to herself if not necessarily her thesis committee, to be the historian who finally reveals the identity of the carnation.
However, when sneezing her way through the dusty tomes of the British Library only leads to a perpetual squint and a seemingly permanent hunched posture, Eloise goes for broke and appeals to the descendants of on of the known spies, Lord Selwick, the Purple Gentian. Who knows what treasure she might find hidden in the inaccessible reaches of the descendants' archives? Or what might lie in the heart of the descendant himself?
Follow Eloise's trail, as she winds through numerous letters and journals, seeking the Carnation's true identity and humanity.
If you like the first one, follow Eloise on more garden spy adventures with her next four novels.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
You can access WorldCat by going to ArlingtonLibrary.org and clicking on Research Tools on the menu to the left. There, you will find WorldCat in the first box called Database Quick Links. When you click on WorldCat, this is what you'll see:
Searching is pretty easy and, once you've found an item, you can click on the title to get a wealth of information about it. You can also see which libraries have the item by clicking "Libraries worldwide that own item." Pretty simple, really.
There is a fee of $2.00 for each item you order through the Interlibrary Loan service, but that's a much better deal than what you might end up spending at the bookstore for an item you don't necessarily want to own. For more information on our Interlibrary Loan policy, please click here.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
I have an engineering problem. While I am for the most part in terrific physical
shape, I have ten tumors in my liver and I have a few months to live. I am the
father of three young children and married to the woman of my dreams.....how to
teach my children what I would have taught them over the next twenty years....my desire to do that led me to give a last lecture....I was trying to put myself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for my children....So begins the remarkable story.
He titled his last lecture "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams."
Randy's dreams were:
- Being in zero gravity.
- Playing in the NFL.
- Authoring an article in the World Book Encyclopedia.
- Being Captain Kirk.
- Winning stuffed animals.
- Being a Disney Imagineer.
He has a chapter titled "Adventures and Lessons Learned", which goes more into the story behind his illness and personal details. And lessons learned such as dream big, don't complain, just work harder, watch what they do, not what they say, the lost art of thank-you notes, the $100,000 salt and pepper shaker and no job is beneath you.
I was fascinated to find out information about behind the scenes of his preparation for the lecture. On the day of the lecture he was sick from chemo. He was actually deleting and rearrranging slides up to the last minute before he was introduced to speak. As a visual thinker he had prepared a Powerpoint presentation with some text on certain slides. Once he was on stage they were supposed to remind him what to say. He did not have a written out text of what he was going to say. This made for a fascinating and entertaining from the heart presentation.
In conclusion he said the lecture was not about achieving your dreams, but how to live your life. And the lecture was not for the people in the room it was for his three children. His last slide showed a picture of him with his three children, Logan, Chloe and Dylan.
I recently watched the Last Lecture which is available from a variety of sources on the Internet. I had viewed it sometimes last year when it was broadcast on TV. I had forgotten how funny it was and how his sense of humor gave all who watched it wisdom of maybe how to handle our life and our "last lecture."
We may not be a professor and never give a last lecture, but we will have a last everything, including a last blog. Thus we should be mindful of our last things to ensure they have a enduring influence beyound our own life span. As Randy says, " time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think."