Saturday, March 31, 2012

Keith's Magazine of Home Building: Big and Small

Aerial View of Connecticut State Capitol (Postcard Series)

March 31, 1991

Easter Sunday.  Grandma Nelson probably wonders if her older grandson is getting any religion yet.  No, and the outlook for the near future looks bleak, too.  Andy and I go to the park during the early afternoon.  A threatening sky cuts short our visit.  I attempt to work in the yard, but a brief rainfall sends me indoors.  What a strange day.  First it's overcast, then it rains, then the sun shines, the process repeats itself, all in quick succession.  Later in the afternoon, Andy and I go shopping for baking potatoes.  Sentry's closed; as is Kohl's. We trek to Cub.  JoAnna fixes ham, potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli, and a salad for supper.  Later she calls my folks but I don't get much of a chance to talk.

Friday, March 30, 2012

March 30, 1991

A fine family morning. We go to Perkins for breakfast, then Andy and I go to the grocery shop.  I spent most of the afternoon outdoors, or mostly outdoors.  I tidy up the garage while Andy naps and JoAnna and Eddie are out shopping.  Andy joins me and is a big help sweeping debris into a dust pan.  I start edging the driveway, but Andy decides he wants to go to the park.

JoAnna and I enjoy a change of pace, an evening out.  A movie and dinner with Barb and Chuck turns out to be dinner and a movie.  Imperial Garden and Guilty by Suspicion.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Aerial View of General Motors Fisher Bldg. and New Center Bldg in Detroit, Michigan (Postcard Series)

Historic Detroit: Fisher Building.

General Motors Building.

March 29, 1991

I plan to work a few hours in the morning as Deb is scheduled to attend an all-day workshop.  "On Good Friday?" I neglect to ask myself yesterday.  Once I realize there'll be more than adequate coverage, I decided I'm only there to pick up my paycheck.  I call JoAnna to inform her of my change in plans, and she requests that I stop by her office before going to the credit union.  After my visit there, I make my usual Friday biweekly rounds:  Pic-a-Book, a record store (where I buy a copy of Savoy Brown's Getting to the Point, and learn that my two Savoy Brown favs, Raw Sienna and Looking In, are scheduled for CD release next Tuesday) -- plus a bonus, a visit to Paul's Book Store where I make a thorough and successful search of the architecture shelves.  I pick up Andy at daycare and we walk to JoAnna's office.  We take the little guy to McDonald's for lunch.  Their filet of fish sandwich is still as unappetizing as ever.  I spend the afternoon doing laundry and taping 60s music.  Later on, we all go shopping.  We buy a TV-VCR cart and a mirror at Menard's.  I begin to lose patience with our outing at the mall.  Andy's all over the place.  I take him to the food court, mostly to avoid an argument with JoAnna.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 28, 1991

One day after a frustrating Automation Task Force meeting, my inspiration level has still not recovered.  I look at the long rang plan file folder sitting on my desk and think, "No, not today".  I'm not in the mood for anything taxing, anything that is going to force me to think critically about library service.  I work at the information desk during the afternoon and continue at my post into the evening.  Since Sharon is taking the day off, I plan to work until 7 or so, to cover the dinner hour and to allow myself some time to revise my ETN notes.  I expect Maundy Thursday evening to be very slow, but I'm fooled.  It's a steady, sometimes hectic, evening.  I stay at my post and finish printing my notes five minutes after closing.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mid-20th Century Aerial View of Falmouth Massachusetts (Postcard Series)

March 27, 1991

I make a donut run since Middleton is hosting the Automation Task Force meeting.  It's a long morning.  As the discussion progresses, it becomes obvious divergent paths are being taken.  As chair, I try to keep things moving without limiting the discussion, but my comments at 11:20 about how long people want to meet opens the floodgates.  From then on, all I can think about is relieving my bowels.

Just before I walk home for lunch, a tornado warning is sounded.  People stream into the basement meeting room as I'm washing cups and glasses.  I stay at the library late (til 7) to revise my ETN notes, rather meager for this session.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Downtown Detroit Between the Wars (Postcard Series)

Statler Hotel: abandoned in 1975, razed in 2005.

March 26, 1991

A rough night.  I can't fall asleep and it's my turn to get up with Eddie.  Again I have little time to review my ETN notes, but today my presentation goes wonderfully.  I feel completely at ease and comfortable with my material.  After class, I stop at the continuing education office to pick up homework assignments and then walk to GEF 3 (via the Madison Public Library to check the Montana entry in the new Encyclopedia Britannica) to drop off my LSCA rankings.  I share some follow-up comments with Frances and Peg.

In order to give Barb some more time on a gorgeous day, I take the afternoon off and watch Eddie, content to tape musical nuggets from the 60s.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Construction is Finished on This Stretch of U.S. 41

Park Tower, Madison Wisconsin

March 25, 1991

I'm developing a Monday morning routine at work that includes writing an article for the local paper.  This week I crib some fiction annotations for a major filler.  I take a long lunch and then organize the invoices for awhile.  While at the information desk from 5 to 6, I make the final revision for tomorrow's ETN notes.  JoAnna prepares spaghetti for supper, and then we watch the Academy Awards telecast.  I take some time out from the tube to play basketball with Andy.  I really need to be more giving and responsive at these times.  I would have loved to have my dad interact with me in such a way when I was 3.  Just knowing what a basketball was before I was 9 would undoubtedly have been a boost to my self-confidence.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

March 24, 1991

With most of the chores out of the way, Sunday is a time for enjoyment.  Around noon, Andy and I go to the park.  He enjoys himself immensely, even gets a chance to play with the big kids, three boys all of 8 or 9, but in Andy's eyes they are no doubt giants.  Everything is fine until he takes a tumble while pushing the merry-go-round.  He gets his hands all muddy and starts to fuss about that.  Suddenly my grown-up son is a 3 year old again.  I'm not much comfort to him since I have nothing I can use to clean him off.  What a difference from last year, though.  He would have never spun around on the merry-go-round like he did today.  Back home, Andy and I stay outside.  I turn over the soil in the raised beds, pick up branches, and then play basketball with Andy.  We're outside a total of three hours.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hulking Over Housing

Edison Memorial Fountain, Grand Circus Park, Detroit, Mich. (Postcard Series)

From the Historic Detroit website.  The Edison Memorial Fountain, located in the western half of Grand Circus Park, was created to honor Thomas Alva Edison and his achievements. The fountain is a circular structure made out of Indiana limestone with jets. The fountain had been operating in the east and was purchased by Allied Electrical Industries, which contributed $25,000, and the Detroit Board of Commerce which contributed another $2,000. The fountain was reassembled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Edison's invention of the electric lamp. 

Among those attending the dedication on Oct. 21, 1929, were Edison and President Herbert Hoover.

Old photos.

March 23, 1991

Housecleaning is today's focus and fortunately the view outside is depressing one.  The trees shake violently against a gray sky.  I tackle the laundry.  At noon, Andy and I go shopping.  We first stop at Menard's, where I inspect ceiling light fixtures (a replacement for the utility room seems to be no longer available, a discontinued style from the early 1960s), wall mirrors, and louver doors.  Next stop is Cub Foods, followed by Brennan's (for a chuck roast), and True Value Hardware for a replacement wing nut.  (And I would have asked for a butterfly nut!  Maybe that's what they are called in Two Rivers.)   Barry and Mary join us for dinner.  The conversation is supposed to focus on alternatives to working for the Broydricks, but it never proceeds to that point, and I'm hesitant to ask the $64 question.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22, 1991

I decide to work an abbreviated day -- five hours -- and spend all of my time reading and evaluating LSCA Title I grants in the Special Needs Public Library category.  Perhaps I don't take as much care as I should, racing through the narrative sections with abandon.  But I'm comfortable with the results and feel that even though I've been less than thorough, I've still been fair.  Most of all, I'm relieved to have this assignment out of the way.

I spend the afternoon taping the Rolling Stones before taking Eddie to the doctor and picking up Andy at daycare.  JoAnna goes out after work.  I fix supper for Andy.  Once she returns home, we order pizza out.  Eduardo's.

Signs of an Early Spring (March 2012)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

March 21, 1991

What could have become a somewhat contentious Area Leaders meeting turns into not quite a lovefest but certainly a very productive session. Earlier in the week, Liz raised a concern about the amount of programming we do compared to the paucity of coverage at the children's service desk. I presented a number of options to increase our ability to schedule staff when they are needed most. First of all, the LAIIIs will not work any evenings, always a slower time during the summer, and LAIs will provide double coverage at the circ desk from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. Then we decide when Apple may be used and reading slips exchanged for bucks.

I work late, until 7:30, due to Family Fun Night This gives me the chance to put the finishing touches on the revision of my ETN notes.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

1940s Downtown Albany, Georgia (Postcard Series)

The former Rosenberg Brothers Department Store (1925-1978)
(Photo:  Wikipedia)

March 20, 1991

I skip the PC Users Group gathering and focus on more pressing responsibilities.  I spend the morning revising and adding to my notes for the next ETN session, which I feel will be more enjoyable.  At least, my delivery should be looser and more confident.  During the afternoon, I work on Sharon's and Liz's evaluations, descriptive and evaluative narratives of their performances since moving into the new library appended with some long-range planning directives.  I pick up Andy since JoAnna has a meeting.

Monday, March 19, 2012

1940s Downtown Burlington North Carolina (Postcard Series)

March 19, 1991

I'm up no earlier than other Tuesdays.  With a shortened workday yesterday, I've cut into class-preparation and note-reflection time.  Does it matter?  I don't think so.  First of all, let me confess that I covered only two-thirds of the materials, but that's only because I tried to cram too much information into an abbreviated session. The growing concern that I have is the inappropriateness of the ETN format for type of class I'm teaching.  Sometimes I wonder how near to death I'm boring my students.

After class, I walk to Madison Public to confer with Julie about the Automation Task Force agenda.  I also visit JoAnna at her office.  Due to last night's row, we are still tentative around each other.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

1940s Downtown Wytheville, Virginia (Postcard Series)

March 18, 1991

The focus today is completing the transfer of the bedroom/TV room.  I take the afternoon off so as to get a head start but Eddie's demands for attention keeps me from making much progress.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

1940s Downtown Salem Virginia (Postcard)

March 17, 1991

Once again I'm contentedly on the sidelines.  Andy and I watch "Honey I Shrunk the Kids", or "Honey in the Shrunk", as he refers to it.  We eat a late breakfast and it's a feast:  eggs, fried potatoes, ham.  We leave for Middleton around 1.  JoAnna drives and I use the free time to start reading LSCA grants.  I get through 6 of the 18 and then Andy wants to join me in the back of the van.  I read to him and then during the last ten miles, we exaggerate the effect of the curves.  Back home, JoAnna watched "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" with Andy while I keep Eddie company in the bedroom.

Friday, March 16, 2012

March 16, 1991

We leave for Two Rivers at 9:30.  Barb, of course, stays behind.  Andy and Eddie sleep during most of the trip, and JoAnna and I take advantage of this free time to talk.  Leaving Eddie with Grandma, we go shopping for shoes in the afternoon.  Both JoAnna and Andy score two pairs apiece.  I come up empty, though I do buy five postcards which I hope to use to records some psychological insights about the weekend.  Back at Grandma and Grandpa's, Andy insists that we go to the park.  I'm always looking for an excuse to escape the claustrophobic house, so I'm more than willing to go.   Andy amazes me with his dexterity and bravery on the monkey bars.  We get back to the house in time for me to drink a couple of martinis before dinner.  I spent the evening with the boys, watching TV in the living room and then just lounging around in the bedroom while the other enjoy an increasingly rowdy round of cards in the basement.  Someone has to stay upstairs since we didn't bring the monitor along -- and guess who volunteers?  I'm not in a party mood anyway.  Spending the evening with my two sons provides me with a contentment beyond compare.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

March 15, 1991

With Liz working during the afternoon to make up for hours she missed on Wednesday, I take advantage of a perfect opportunity to get a head start on the weekend.  My first errand after leaving is to deliver Kitty to the Humane Society   I place her in an empty Leinenkugel case, the bottom lined with newspapers, and drive with the music turned up loud and the window rolled down to cover the sound of her pitiful meowing.  I don't let it get to me because my thoughts are focused on a home where hairballs will no longer make a regular appearance in the living room, and cat hair will no longer be found everywhere.  After this mission of selfishness, I drive to the credit union to cash Jo's and my checks and then bop along State Street for awhile, dropping some cash at Pic-a-Book, Exclusive, and the B Side before chowing down on a gyro with fries at Zorba's.  (The Parthenon's reconstruction is a couple of weeks from completion.)  Later in the afternoon, I take Eddie to see Dr. Ellis.  The diagnosis:  a minor ear infection.  Back home, I continue to tidy up the new bedroom suite while taping CDs.  I even paint the cold side of the door between the hallway and garage.  While JoAnna eats yogurt and watches TV, Andy, Barb, and I travel to Cub Foods for what turns out to be a minor shopping trip.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March 14, 1991

Last week's Area Leaders meeting included a discussion of proper library attire and a suggestion that I somehow address the issue at today's full staff meeting.  During the week, I consider a variety of approaches.  I successfully ward off any feelings of pain, even though I'm not pleased with the situation I've been manipulated into.  I use a teacherly approach, providing a review of the past year to focus on the increasing importance of a positive public service attitude, without mentioned the heart of the matter:  Deb's bib overalls.  Then I distribute a copy of "How Approachable Are You as a Public Service Librarian?" self-evaluation.  The spiel actually proceeds quite smoothly, although I do forget to use my out-of-body experience line that I expected to gain big laughs.  For the second day in a row, I stay late to work on various lecture notes.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March 13, 1991

An MS/DOS workshop at the Wisconsin Center allows me to volunteer to drive Andy to daycare, since JoAnna wants to get an early start on her workday.  The workshop is a disappointment, not nearly as intensive as I hoped it would be.  I walk with Jan Jensen to State Street.  Back at the library, I put some serious time into my lecture notes for next week's ETN and next month's collection development workshop.  At 5, I go into a mild panic when I mistakenly think I somehow deleted all my revisions.  Much to my relief, two hours of  intense brain cell activity do not go down the tubes.  I stay at the library until 7:30.

Monday, March 12, 2012

March 12, 1991

I still can't give myself much prep time prior to class. Today's session is abbreviated by one half hour.  I eliminate the discussion period and practically have to race through my notes to cover all of the topics I want to discuss.

After class I drive home and enjoy a leisurely lunch while reading the newspapers.   After a routine afternoon, I meet with the library board for 90 minutes.  Lorenzo is back cleaning the library and he sticks his head into my office to say hello on his way to the janitor's closet.

By the time I'm ready to go to bed, Eddie turns fussy.  I put him down twice without success, and end up pulling out the hide-a-bed in the family room.

1940s Downtown Waynesville North Carolina (Postcard)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 11, 1991

I realize I can't skip this week's contribution to the local paper.  Otherwise, storytime registration goes unannounced.  Since my Janesville workshop on collection development is only a month away, I decide it's time to prepare a set of lecture notes.  I expect to work a 12-hour day, but Liz and I had never confirmed a switch of evenings, so it's just as well.  I pause.  (The brain on automatic pilot.)  JoAnna's in Milwaukee for the day and wants to attend her evening book club.  I pick up Andy at daycare, and once we get home we watch videos in the new bedroom.  I feel an odd sensation, as though what we did yesterday wasn't a proper shift of living space.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

March 10, 1991

Yesterday Andy and Barb and I drove to Shopko together.  I bought a gallon of champagne (white) semi-gloss paint, 2-inch-wide masking tape, and two gallons of windshield washer fluid.  I spent the morning on two project, one obvious (painting the bedroom), one not so (taping the Hot Dogs on the flip side of the Boxtops. Even though I spill most of the paint onto the plastic covering, I am still able to finish the job in slightly more than an hour.  The rest of the day is spent rearranging furniture at JoAnna's insistence.  For an hour or so, I'm a snarling maniac, increasingly unsure about the wisdom of the project.  Once we finish, though, our new bedroom looks great.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March 9, 1991

JoAnna makes pancakes for breakfast and continues to lobby for a furniture rearrangement.  Sometimes I think she just wants to limit the traffic flow in the house so as to avoid prolonged contact with Barb.  Not a bad idea, if I may say so myself.

After a visit to Techline, where we decide that $578 is within our budget, JoAnna drops me off at the library where I await a group tour from Waupaca.  A former student of mine at Oshkosh is among the group.  Naturally, I can't remember his name.

Back home, JoAnna suggests we paint the bedroom, but all I can do is growl at her.  Later on, I agree it's the perfect Sunday project.  A slow night, TV-style, follows.

March 8, 1991

It's the end of the work week.  I feel as though I need an extension.  Most of my time at the information desk is spent revising notes for the next ETN session, ignoring such tasks as preparing an annual report and preparing evaluation reports for the library's four other full-time employees.  Hey, folks, I need more offdesk time; the library needs more staff.

JoAnna talks about supper-to-go in the morning before we leave for work, but when I return home she's preparing a tuna noodle casserole.  Explaining that she's already had tuna for lunch, Barb asks for a ride to Crandall's.

"Cant's she drive there herself?" JoAnna inquires.

With a touch of exasperation, I'm ready with excuses -- she's just getting used to driving again, she's not familiar with Madison -- but they remain unexpressed.  JoAnna continues to push for the bedroom-family room flip-flop.

March 7, 1991

I meet with Don in the morning to negotiate an extension of the cleaning service.  He's not even gonna raise the price.  Area Leaders is mostly a futurescape discussion.  I leave early as I have an appointment with Techline for a measuring and estimate of the current project.  While Barb is taking a walk, I play with Eddie and then reorganize my closet and drawer space.  Then I peel some potatoes and put them on the stove to boil.

1940s Downtown Rolla Missouri (Postcard Series)


...and now.

Downtown revitalization project finalized.  (10/1/2009)
More investment coming to downtown Rolla. (1/31/2011)
Rolla awarded $296,760 CDBG for downtown revitalization project.  (7/29/2011)

March 6, 1991

Andy and I stop at the library so I can inspect how well -- or poorly -- the rug has been vacuumed and pick up my materials for the LSCA reviewers workshop at the Concourse.   The rug looks fine, especially considering all the debris left behind the previous day.

After escorting Andy to the Puffin Room, I park the car in the McCormick ramp and then walk to Cleveland Lunch, picking up three newspapers along the way.  I order the usual:  ham and cheese omelet, American fries, bran toast, and coffee.  The waitress could have been Roseanne's retarded kid sister.

The LSCA workshop is informative.  Now to find time to review the 18 proposals.

Back at the library after a stop at Techline, I tread water until 6.  JoAnna and I are both beat, but Eddie won't let us go to bed as early as we'd like him.

March 5, 1991

Session number 5.  I go into it feeling confident and I suppose once it's over I have no major criticism of my performance.  I crave perfection, smoothness, articulation of library ideals beyond anyone's belief.  What are they thinking, I wonder.  If only I had the opportunity to be a full-time instructor.  Darlene, where is my offer?  Sometimes I think I just want to get away from the increasingly frantic pace of public library that's on the verge of becoming a teen hangout.

Part of today's list of things to do includes a review of my notes of next week's ETN session.  Dream on.  I barely have time for a review of the latest LJ and Booklist.  Have I created a monster or am I just the best public library director you could ever imagine?  Like the tour group last Thursday asked, "Do you have any openings?"  We are coveted.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March 4, 1991

A new work week and the focus is ETN, compiling new notes, revising old notes, reviewing everything I've put into print for session 5.  I stay late at the library, not to grab some additional planning time as intended, but to fill in for Liz, who is emphatic about some offdesk time to complete an unspecified project.  Just ask, Paul.  After all, you're the boss.

JoAnna's a late arrival, which helps to set up a 7 p.m. spaghetti dinner.  I eat a lighter-than-moderate portion, worried  about the 203 I registered on Dr. Meyer's scale last week.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

March 3, 1991

At first I think about staying home, sitting at my desk, reorganizing my personal materials.  But I crave a change of scenery, so I decide it'll be a family road trip to Milwaukee.  A sunny day is enough to give me the fever.  Listening to 50s and 60s Atlantic soul, JoAnna and I discuss our plans to flip-flop rooms.  We even decide to eliminate the pantry.  Less than 10 miles from our destination, I'm ready to make an 180 turn, race back to Middleton, and begin moving furniture.  It's only a fleeting thought.

Once I drop off JoAnna and Andy at the Bradley Center, I drive to a parking ramp just south of Grand Avenue and meander my way to the third or fourth elevation until I find a satisfactory writing place.  I change Eddie's diaper and then carry the fussy guy to the Spiesgarten, or whatever it is the food court is called.  I find a rest room, fill a plastic bottle with water and three measured scoops of formula to the six-ounce line, and find a seat with a dizzying view of the main level 60 feet below.  Once Eddie drinks his fill, he scopes out his unfamiliar surroundings with the most endearing set of bugeyes.  I strap on the chest carrier -- it obviously has a more descriptive name -- and circle the food court, stopping at Orange Julius to satisfy my thirst.  At this point, I begin to lose my enthusiasm for the day's developments.  Walking along level 3, I feel as though Eddie isn't enjoying our time together.  We return to the van, and I struggle to get him back into his car seat.  I suppose there were any number of more constructive ways to spend the afternoon out.  I decide to see what the planned city of Greendale looks like.  I drive west on Greenfield Avenue through West Allis, realizing the closer I get to I-894, the farther away from my intended destination I am.  I eventually discover a most interesting and unique community -- gotta read that book -- and even check out the new public library, all the time listening to the Bucks game on the radio to time my trip.  I return downtown with slightly more than a minute of game time left, find a parking place across the street from the Bradley Center, and scan the crowd for a familiar mother-and-son combo.  Earlier we had made arrangements to reconnoiter at Turner's.  When Eddie and I enter this place, I'm assaulted with a bass beat that would singe the hair off anyone unfamiliar with Stray Dog.  (Hey, Eddie's my son.)  I lose it anyway.  Andy's bouncing off any available surface, and JoAnna has obviously been pushed to the limit.  Surprisingly, the drive home is relaxing; our boys sleep peacefully while we listen to my Motown pick hits.

Once we get home, it's renovation time.  I remove the pantry cupboard and reorganize the kitchen cupboards.  JoAnna takes care of the utility room.  We are serious about regaining some privacy in our lives.

Friday, March 2, 2012

March 2, 1991

JoAnna has a meeting that takes up the morning and a part of the afternoon.  I fill in for Liz at the information desk for 2 hours, reviewing my ETN notes when I'm not helping patrons.

Otherwise I spent a lot of time reorganizing my correspondence and other writings.

JoAnna suggests we make the family room our bedroom and the bedroom into a TV/play room.  Initially, I'm lukewarm to the idea.

The major event of the day:  a call from Paul Stearns.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March 1, 1991

I remember the visit on this day SO clearly.

Andy [3 1/2 years old at this time] and I take the day off.  We spend the morning jumping in and out of the car to avoid the raindrops.  Our itinerary includes Walgreen's drugstore on the Square (more white ringbound notebooks), the credit union, GEF 3 (to drop off LSCA grants), Pic a Book, Lane's Bakery for a coffee break, and the Walgreen's store at the Westgate Mall (I reluctantly leave Andy in the car to look for more notebooks; he's in the driver's seat when I return), and Apollo Liquors.  After 2 1/2 hours of errands, Andy's on the verge of sleep once I pull the car into the driveway, but as soon as we're inside the house, he revives.  Take a nap?  Not today.  During the afternoon, I sack out, do the laundry.

Waunakee is Movin' On Up!