Calling an Audible

I became an Audible member about 4 months ago because I really wanted to read Andy Weir’s Martian but our copy was missing and I didn’t want to have to order a copy off of Amazon. I’m kinda lazy ok? Besides I had heard that you could get a free audio book just for signing up to Audible, so I did it. I downloaded The Martian. I think I listened to it over a weekend, great book! Then the next month came around and I got another credit. What do I do with my new shiny credit? I was like a kid in a candy store, only this store had a nearly infinite supply of candy. “Let’s be practical” I tell myself. I should use this to catch up on my nonfiction reading. But wait! This book looks really interesting, too many titles pulling my interest, I had to focus. I cannot waist these credits, they are precious… my precious. Too far? OK.

I looked into getting the discworld series because even though my friends have been after me for years to read them I haven’t. But Audible didn’t have the whole series. I didn’t want to start and not be able to finish. So I thought a bit longer. Finally I decided on Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”. I had seen a trailer for a movie that was coming out and we had just gotten the Audio CD version at work so I decided to use my credit on that one. It was a good book. I did enjoy it, not as much as The Martian, but a good “read”.

Here I am at the beginning of another month with another credit at my disposal. What to read? I think I’ve decided to go with Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. I haven’t checked to see if Audible has it. (I’ll do that once I’ve finished writing) My friend tells me its bad. But I’m interested enough to give it a try at least.  I’ve read very little of Stephen King, but I like what I have read so far. I think I’ve decided to spend my Audible credits on books that interest me…. But not enough for me to actually pick up the book and read it. Again, I’m lazy. If you have any suggestions let me know!

Metkaf

Metkaf

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Why So Serious?

I need to lighten up. Everything I’ve written lately has to be perfect, mind-blowing deep and inspiring and that just isn’t me. I’d like to think that at some point I have or will inspire someone to do something worthwhile, I’d like to say great but I’ll settle for worthwhile. I don’t think you can really plan those sorts of things, they need to happen organically.

I mean let’s face it, on my best days my writing is mediocre and the rest of the time it is downright abysmal. But I do see improvement. And really isn’t that all we can strive to do? Improve. Because if we do improve and we keep improving then one day we’ll be great at something. So I’m going to try to write every day, try to read every day and if I can manage, to exercise every day. If I can do that maybe one day I’ll be great a something too.

I’m still trying to figure out what this blog is going to be about. One day its photography and the next it’s about how boring my life is then I realize my life isn’t boring I have grand plans. It’s just that I’m stuck in a limbowie transitional period now where all I can do is think and plan which is amazing in my head… but not very exciting on paper or whatever the digital equivalent to paper is. Maybe one day I’ll share my dreams with the world but right now it is just the tiniest of flames which I must shield from everything for the fear that the world will try to blow it out for sheer spite.

Anyway, I’ve forgotten why I started writing in the first place. I think I’m starting to ramble…. So I’m going to leave it at this: Try to live everyday a little bit better than the day before it. If we can all do that then we should turn out OK.

Metkaf

Feral Librarian

I work in a library but I am not a librarian. In order to be a librarian you need a Masters in Library Science (MLS), which I do not have. I am what you’d call a feral librarian. Feral Librarian simply means someone who works in a library but doesn’t have a MLS. We have 6 full time staff only 3 of which have a masters. Our Director, Cataloger and Reference Librarians all have their MLS hence the title of Librarian. The rest of us are lowly Library Assistants. This includes the Public Services folks as well as the Technical Services folks. And by Technical Services Folks I mean me. My actual title is Acquisitions Assistant but I fall under the technical services umbrella. I order all the books and office supplies for the library. I stay busy. We go through a lot of paper clips, removable tape and surprisingly… staplers.

Every book added to our collection, unless it is donated, first has to go across my desk. This is both a blessing and a curse. I am the first one to see all the amazing books before they are ready for the studious engaged minds of our patrons which means I instantly want to read ALL of them. And I know what you’re all thinking. I’ve heard it a million times. “I’d love to work in the library! You guys get to read all those lovely books all day!” WRONG! We don’t have time to read them because we busy processing them cataloging them and making sure they go where they are supposed to. And what are we doing when we are not processing new books? Ordering new books of course!

This is not as easy as it sounds because being an academic library we have to be able to justify all of our book purchases. We must be able to answer questions like “Is this a valid source?” or “Is this information up to date?” Most of the time I rely on our Reference Librarian/ Collection development specialist to tell me what to order but she gets tied up with reference consultations and instructional classes so I end up having to use some super-secret library resources to help me narrow down the search results and then create a list of books to order.

These lists have to be checked against the catalog to make sure we don’t already own a copy. Once I’m happy with the list and it makes it through the approval process then books are ordered and the whole process starts all over again.

This is just some of what I do to fill my day. Being “Technical Services” also undoubtedly brings with it the occasional request from co-workers to fix a printer or unjam a copier but these interruptions are few and far between these days. I sometimes have to give the short Word or Excel tutorial. I always thought of myself as the Dr. House of the library.

A few times a year we also have to withdraw outdated or damaged material to make room for all these new books. I don’t have anything to do with these Weeding projects as they are called. I refer to the library as a living breathing organism because in order to stay alive we have to bring in new material and get rid of some of the old stuff.

I don’t write all of this to try to make it seem like I have it rough. I do not. Most of my days are spent looking at a computer screen where I create and evaluate lists, so it’s a far cry from splitting wood or working on cars for a living.

As for me being a “feral librarian” the only real difference is in the pay and advancement opportunities, there really are none for me where I am now and I’m ok with that at this point in my life. There are some things I need to take care of by the end of the year then who knows I may go back to school to get my MLS. Stranger things have happened.

Metkaf

PS: I know I keep saying books. We also have books on CD, a small dvd collection as well as an archives room and Baptist collection. As well as a growing graphic novel section!

Shameless Self Promotion

It just dawned on me that I haven’t properly promoted myself like a good millennial. Here is where else you can find me:

Twitter: @Metkaf

Deviant Art: http://met-kaf.deviantart.com/

Don’t expect too much from my twitter feed. As I’ve said before I really don’t have a whole lot of excitement going on through my day so I don’t tweet a lot. Also I’ve mentioned before I’m a wanna be photographer but I don’t post new work as often as I used to. I want to get a new camera which I hope to do in the next 2 months so I’m holding off on most of my photo taking until I can upgrade my camera. I am currently shooting with a Fugi Film Fine Pix S3000 circa 2002 it does great as long as you are in direct sunlight in June on a cloudless day. And even then you will sometimes get a blurry photo if the object is dark.

Metkaf

I thought I’d something more to say…

I’ve had a blog in some form or other for probably 10 years. One of my earliest posts was about when I first tried to bake. It was pretty much a very overly dramatic tale about how many times I had to go to the grocery store to buy forgotten items or replaced ruined ingredients, it was a mess, but interesting and tasty. I really wish I could find that one. It has been lost to the ether.

I Guess I have these delusions of grandeur where I’m going to write interesting and compelling stories about my life or this kick ass trip I took over the summer. When the reality is that I never seem to do anything worth telling. My day to day life is extremely uninteresting.  My days are normally filled with spread sheets and line items or activity reports. The highlight of my day today was receiving an email from a coworker who in my 6 years at that desk has never once emailed me. After lunch I had to sort the mail because the regular mail sorter was absent. *GASP Wow! I really shook things up today! I even had a voice mail when I got into the office this morning… ooooOOOOooo. So there is really nothing to talk about in my daily life.

I really almost have nothing to say, but for some reason I need a place to say it. I don’t have strong feelings about any particular subject. I’m not politically minded in the slightest. I’m not going to argue with you or anyone else for that matter because I don’t feel like I have the right or ability to try to make you see things my way. This is America after all and we are all entitled to think or say whatever we’d like.

I think my hope is in having a blog that I will write more and get better at it. One day I’d like to look back at these posts and cringe the same way I do today when I look back at that 9th grade geography paper. “Angola is on the continent of Africa. The primary exports of Angola are…” YESH! I feel like my voice changes throughout the life time of my writing which is I guess everyone’s goal right? To improve. Sometimes my voice even changes in the middle of a single post. I’ll sometimes start to ramble then I have to go back and edit until it makes sense. I think I’m starting to ramble again, so I’ll sign off for now.

Metkaf

guess everyone’s goal right? To improve. Sometimes my voice even changes in the middle of a single post. I’ll sometimes start to ramble then I have to go back and edit until it makes sense.

Commission Update

A couple of weeks ago I posted about a photo I took for my dad. He wanted me to take a photo of an old house that his friend, we’ll call him “John”, was born in. I took the photo with no problems. Getting it printed however, that is a different story. I use the local CVS to get my prints done. I do this mostly because I can upload my photo before I leave for work and usually pick it up on my lunch break. Its quick, easy and cost about the same as these websites who specialize in prints. Anyway I’m getting off topic. I was hoping to get a print made so that my dad could give it to him on his Birthday. And if everything had worked out as planned that would have happened. Things didn’t go as planned. That Sunday morning I uploaded the photo. Went into CVS Sunday afternoon only to find that the developer was out of order but “someone will be in tomorrow to fix it” an employee assures me. I wait until Wednesday before returning to the store. A different employee tells me that it will be at least another week because the CVS tech had given up and called in a Kodak tech who would be in at the beginning of the next week. So to make a long story short what should have taken 3 hours took nearly 3 weeks. I wanted to be mad but there was no one to be mad at. The machine broke. These things happen and there is really nothing you can do except order which ever part failed and wait for it to arrive. But again I’m getting off topic again.

Finally this past weekend I was able to give my dad the print he’d requested nearly a month earlier. He presented it to John on Monday. At first John didn’t believe my dad when he said the photo was for him. Then he nearly got emotional. I made an 80 year old man speechless with the press of a button but the story doesn’t end there. John took the photo home and showed it to his wife who also got emotional, I’ll explain why later. She ended up moving the family portrait over so that a photo that I took could stand front and center on their mantel in the living room.

Turns out John was born in the house but he only lived there for two or three years. After he and his family moved out they sold it to another family. That family had a daughter. That daughter ended up becoming John’s wife. One house, two families, all the stories and memories that happened within those walls came flooding back because of me.

I don’t know how to feel right now.  I just got off the phone with my dad. He called to tell me all about how happy I made this couple. I refuse to believe that I hold that much power in my hands but I don’t know how to rationalize it. It’s just a thing I do. I take photos. Every now and then the stars align and the picture turns out exactly the way I envisioned it, this was one of those times. I was hoping John would like it but I have no connection with him or this house and this is not the first time I’ve sold a photo but this feels different somehow. I guess I’ve always secretly wondered if people really like my work. If I really was as good as everyone kept telling me. I don’t want to say that this is validation but it is certainly different.

Metkaf

Feed Dump

I was planning to write when I got home from work yesterday. I was planning on reading when I got home from work yesterday. I was planning on exercising when I got home from work yesterday. I did none of those things. Want to guess what I did do? Sleep. Yep. I got home from work. I was probably asleep by 6:30 pm which means I did absolutely nothing worthwhile. It also means that I woke up at 2:30 this morning, a full 4 hours before my alarm clock went off. Instead of exercising (morning exercise leaves me dead on my feet by midafternoon) or reading (I was afraid it would put me back to sleep) I watched disc 2 of The Sarah Conner Chronicles. And in spite of my best efforts I still fell asleep somewhere around 6am which really made it tough to get up with my 6:30 alarm.

Anyway, I’m writing now and I’ll be writing in some for another hour. After which I will read more of “The Village Beyond”. I nearly stopped reading this book because it’s kind of boring. So far this is a story or a middle aged couple on vacation in Italy in the mid 1960’s, doing all the things couples do on a vacation to Italy, you know like checking into the hotel, sleeping off jet lag, going to a nice restaurant, having too much to drink and then getting lost trying to get back to their hotel. I keep reading it in hopes that the story will get more interesting, the last time I did that I got through ¾ of the book before I realized I had completely wasted roughly 10 hours of my life reading a pointless book. There was a bit in the beginning about him being stationed in Italy during World War II and falling for this girl, I’m hoping that she will reappear soon.

In other new one of my photos was submitted accepted and posted to a photography blog! I’m pretty sure the only requirement for approval is that you submit the photo on time but I’ll take it! You can see it along with many other wonderful photos at http://leannecolephotography.com/2015/01/14/mm45-monochrome-madness-45/

On the #BeardWatch2015 front my beard has reached the itchy like crazy stage. It’s the time where your beard is a lot like a giant mosquito bite on your face. It itches. And scratching it only makes the itching worse. Scratching too much causes my face to turn all red and look like I have a major skin condition. :/

Other than waking up WAY to early things have been going pretty good. I may get to hang out with a friend this weekend, one I don’t get to see all that often so hopefully everything will go as planned! I also need to upload some photos I took for work.

Metkaf

Fifteen Minutes to Midnight

I decided after one day to stop with #BeardWatch2015 mostly because watching hair grow is a lot like watching paint dry, it’s kind of boring. I’m sorry if that is a disappointment to all you beard enthusiast out there but I will say that it is coming along nicely. It is currently in the 60 grit sand paper range. Full beard hopefully by the end of next week.

In other news, I sold another one of my photographs! Woohoo! I have various photos on sale at the arts council building in my home town of Windsor, North Carolina. I received word today that my last one there has sold meaning that I now need to take them some more prints. I think I’ll go with some of my newer photos this time. The one that sold is one that I took in the spring of 2009.  I’ve gone on a few photography outings in the past months and have come up with some halfway decent photos.

I’ll make prints of 2 that I took over the summer and one that I took last month and get that to the arts council in time for their reopening sale in February. I think I’ll try to use Shutterfly to do my prints this time. I’ve been using the local CVS store with mixed results. I’ve never had problems with the quality of the prints it’s just that photography is not their business. Waiting in line for 20 minutes behind people buying meds to battle their varying levels of cold to get my prints can get old fast. Plus, the last print I made took them over a week to get to me because the developer was broken.

I’m also about 20 pages away from finishing Terry Brooks’ “Running with the Demon” (I took a break to let my brain rest and decided to write a quick post) but I think I like it. We’ll see how it ends.

All told this has been a pretty good day. Except for that 3 hour nap I took after dinner :/. Oh well, can’t win em all! Back to my reading

Heres a copy of the photo that sold:

Winding RodeIts called Long and Winding Road

Metkaf

To Beard Or Not To Beard

Classes start tomorrow so this morning I decided to trim my beard a little. I was just trying to clean up all the little stray hairs and what not since I hadn’t done anything to it since Christmas break. I made a SLIGHT miscalculation and trimmed too much off of one side. After trimming the other side to match I decided that the way my beard looked made my face took stupid (Well, More so than usual) so I shaved the whole thing off leaving the mustache. I’ve never shaved my mustache for as far back as I can remember.

After I got to work I went to the bathroom to make sure the massive downpour of rain hadn’t completely washed me of my dignity. Looking in the mirror I began to study my mustache. I usually keep it at sort of Fu Manchu level, I don’t know why, always have so I never put much thought into it. Anyway, after my mis-shavings this morning I ended up with something that closely resembled a Tom Selleck but not in a good way. It seems that having a thicker luscious mustache when you have a thick luscious beard works. Having a thick luscious mustache without a thick luscious beard makes you look like you are stuck in an 80’s country music video. So after dinner this evening I shaved the mustache off.

For the first time in 15 years there is no hair on my upper lip. It feels weird. I’m going to let it all grow back. I normally keep a full beard this time of year on account of it being cold. I didn’t realize how much warmth a beard provides until I didn’t have one. My face was freezing!

I expect my beard to make a full recovery in a week or two but until then I’ll be on #BeardWatch2015 Join me won’t you? I’ll be updating it every few days or until someone begs me to stop.

(Note: I was going to post a photo but due to razor burn and the general unpleasantness that is my face I’ve decided to spare you the horror)

Metkaf

Commission

Over the weekend my dad commissioned me to take a photo. One of his friends turns 80 today and he wanted me to take a picture of the house the man was born in so he could give it to him as a gift. He drove me past the house on Friday afternoon while giving me an idea of what he wanted. I only got a glimpse of the house as we passed by, it was dilapidated and on the verge of collapsing under its own weight. Dad wanted to get a picture of it while it was still standing.

Saturday I grabbed my camera, drove out to the farm and found the house. I walked around a bit trying to get the whole layout in my mind, my favorite part. The outline of what used to be a house stood before me. Boards were missing from the front and sides, a section of roof had been torn away by storms. Somehow the framework was still holding. It looked bad. Weeds were waist high all around, higher in other places, saplings had grown to be 6 feet tall.   After a few minutes of thought I began to take photos, eight in all, from three different angles. Happy with what I had I headed back home to begin my other favorite part, editing.

Editing may be my most favorite of all. I could spend hours making the tiniest of changes just to see how it effects the end product. I’ve even gone back to old photos to see how newly learned editing techniques can improve my less than stellar work. I’ve found that a lot of what makes a good photo can be done in the editing. My dad wanted either a black and white or sepia toned photo, so I made a few quick changes to the photos that I had uploaded and presented him with his options. He chose this:

1-3-15 008

I’m happy with the way it turned out and if everything goes well he will get a signed framed print by the end of the week (It would have been sooner but the developer at CVS was out of order.). One day I’d like to make photography a legitimate source of income. Until then this will have to do.

Metkaf