Monday, July 25, 2011

Random observations

  • One of my projects at work is going through the biographies section and polishing up the catalog rec records there.  I've recently run into a lot of biographies of Grover Cleveland.  He was a big deal in the late 19th century, when he served two non-consecutive terms as President of the United States.  Between those two terms, he barely lost the election of 1888, in which he came in first in the popular vote but second in the electoral college - this would not happen again until the 2000 presidential election.  In spite of coming in first in the popular vote for President three times, he lost much of his popularity when the country was hit by a major economic depression during his second term as president, and he was largely forgotten in the 20th century.  It makes me wonder if even the most influential political figures of recent times - George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton, etc. - will be forgotten by almost everyone except historians in 100 years or more.
  • A few weeks ago, I bought the cheapest garden hose I could find.  I soon realized why it was the cheapest available.  It is basically impossible to roll or coil this hose up neatly.  Every few feet, the hose bends in a different direction, and when I try to force it into a proper coil, it springs back to its original position or folds up so that the water is blocked.  Every time I try to roll it up, I end up with a series of large knots that I need to untangle next time.   
  • I used to enjoy driving a lot more before I had my OCD-inspired fears of hitting people and animals.
  • Last week was damn hot, getting into the upper 90s for several days.  This is nothing special for people who live in the southern part of the country, but for us northerners it was unusual, and very unpleasant for someone like me who sweats a lot.  I was very lucky - the air conditioning in half of the office space where I work broke, but I was in the half that kept working, thank goodness.  More importantly, the AC in the stacks where we keep all of our books, newspapers, and other printed material, never stopped working.  Our collections are kind of like me - they much prefer cool and dry over warm and humid.