Random thoughts on a Saturday morning

Thanks to the puppy, I’ve been up for a long time already on this Saturday morning. With a second cup of coffee in hand, I’m enjoying the warmth and glow from our fake wood stove (photo below) while watching the snow fall and birds feasting on bird seed outside our living room window. So far, we have at least six inches of snow on the ground, with more on the way.

People who dislike cold and snowy winters really seem to overlook the beauty that I see in them. Of course, it’s hard to be so cold and of course, travel is treacherous. But there’s something about snow that never gets old. For me, it’s as restful and peaceful as sunny beaches apparently are to other people.

So far, I’ve spotted a downy woodpecker, several house finches, white-breasted nuthatches, a red-bellied woodpecker, and juncos at our feeders. I’m glad they have found a food source that will help them keep warm to make it through this weather.

Other random thoughts:

It was sad for me to read this morning that one of our neighbors where I grew up died a week ago.

My brother, Dan, is hoping to buy an older house near his work. I hope he succeeds because it looks wonderful, full of the character that comes with older houses (such as beautiful wood trim, hardwood floors, radiators) but with up-to-date touches as well.

All of the big projects at my work are becoming more real by the day. We finished moving out our bound journals (about 40,000 volumes) to remote storage, and are progressing with converting our Dewey classified materials to Library of Congress classification with a completion date of August or September. This is a highly complex process involving many moving parts, and is unsettling to some library people due to the extent of the changes. Then there’s work on planning for a library renovation/expansion as well as migration to a new integrated library system. Other big projects are also in the works although they get less attention and are smaller in scope.


After a break to let the puppy out again, and then to do some snow shoveling, here goes with the rest of my random thoughts…

A couple of the other big projects I’m thinking of include migrating from one archival description system (Archon) to another (ArchivesSpace), which we hope to complete by mid-March. And then we also hope to convince the powers-that-be to fund a new archival management system that will enable us to centrally ingest, preserve, describe, and allow patron access to our burgeoning digitized and born digital content for the first time.

In light of all of these things going on, I recently made the decision to cut back on outside professional involvement. As an example, I won’t be going to any conferences this year, including NASIG, which makes me a little sad. I’ll need to consider where else I can cut back.

Another longstanding project on my plate that I really need to get done is the work required to apply for promotion from assistant to associate professor. I’ve put that off twice before, and frankly, it looks bad. So there is that to take care of as well, and it will require a lot of time and attention (and a publishable paper on some aspect of integrating faith and learning, which is the hard part, at least for me).

Back to that fake wood stove…We can’t afford the real thing, but we bought this unit for a really inexpensive amount at a nearby Habitat for Humanity store, and I like it. Some day I hope to have a real wood stove but this will do for now.

Fake wood stove


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