Saturday, November 3, 2012

Daily Thoughts 11/03/2012

Daily Thoughts 11/03/2012

I got back to work on Friday, but was incredibly busy.  This last week has been a week for dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane.  On Sunday we closed all the windows, made sure all the shopping and laundry was done, got some flashlights and led lanterns.

By Tuesday we lost power and internet access, but the phones were working.  We also had a radio which is on all the time tuned to 1010 WINS which is the all news channel.  Listening to the radio was harrowing, but necessary because of the reports on travel, transportation, and electricity.  They reminded us to clean out our refrigerators because there was no power and other tips.

I had to provide the access codes for social media to one of my colleagues because I had no internet access.

I spent a lot of time reading.  I had a chance to finishing reading Paradiso by Dante which was interesting more from a historical perspective than anything else.  I also finished reading a graphic novel, The Hammer and the Anvil, Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln and the End of Slavery in America by Dwight John Zimmerman, Illustrated by Wayne Vansant.  It was split into parallel lives, one the biography of Abraham Lincoln, and the other, the biography of Frederick Douglass.  It was interesting because as the story progressed, the parts of the book came closer together.  A lot of the story is about the abolition movement and the United States civil war.  The story has a lot of text in it with speech bubbles and text boxes in every frame. The Frederick Douglass story tends to have a blue background, and the Abraham Lincoln story has a light orange background.  I liked how the graphic novel was crafted.  It made for a different way to view history.  James McPherson gave the foreword.

Because I could not watch anything, I also read the paper every single day.  It was sobering to see how lucky I was compared to many of the things I saw outside.  At night, it was black outside.  Still, it was not far to walk, about four blocks before the lights came back on in the local shopping strip.  During the day, I could see where trees had fallen over, and some power poles had split in half.  There were lots of down trees.  I tried not to drive which is a good thing because right now, there are gasoline shortages.  We were not far from a supermarket, that opened after a couple days with back up generators.  It was odd.  One block would have power and the next would not.

I spent a lot of time reading books as well.  I read more of On Politics by Alan Ryan.  Right now, I am reading more about Augustine of Hippo's philosophy.  I am also reading The End of Business As Usual by Brian Solis.  One of the most interesting ideas I found in the book was that people now have audiences of audiences where a person can have followers who will write about what they are writing about.  He brings up the common happenstance of people tweeting in meetings or taking videos in meetings so that what is being said spreads quickly and is interpreted in new ways.  I am also reading True North by Bill George.  Bill George has a business philosophy called authentic leadership which focuses on finding out what makes an individual successful instead of trying to create cookie cutter methods of leading.

There has been a lot to do.  I started doing social media again.  I also checked the displays and the gift books.  I am also checking a list of missing items to make sure that they are not in the system.  In addition, I spent some more time ordering.  I have been looking at the Center For Fictions new acquisitions.  The Center For Fiction used to be called the Mercantile Library.  I also have been looking at some mystery titles, Latino fiction titles, and other new fiction books.

I started going through the lost items list which covers the last five years and selecting titles to reorder in nonfiction.  I am mainly looking at very popular titles like Rich Dad Poor Dad, What to Expect When You Are  Expecting, PCs for Dummies, Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, and other popular nonfiction books.

It has been busy.  It has also been a challenge to get to work using the subways and trains.  On Friday, I took a train got off and thought I should go outside and catch a bus.  The buses were free on Friday.  I stood in line for an hour while people ran at the open back doors and front doors of the buses packing them so full that people were standing in the doorways.  There were lots of people wandering around upper Manhattan.  it was like the whole of southern Manhattan made its way uptown.

After a while, I decided to go in one of the suvs that were driving people into Manhattan for ten dollars per person.  The drivers would wait until the suvs were full.  Learning a little bit of Spanish helped.  I got into Grand Central station that way.  It was easy from there.  Needless to say, it was impossible to read anything on the trains.

Today, Saturday, it was much easier.  The trains were still full, but not so hard to get around on.  One of the tunnels on the subway I normally take is full of water, so it only makes part of the trip.  Hopefully, it will be pumped out soon.

The library was very busy.  The library had wifi access today which I think drew in some people as well plugs for laptops and a well lit comfortable place to sit in.

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