Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d have brought my umbrella because it’s continuing to rain a lot, but I’m still fine with it.

I’d say that I’ve just started two classes with University of the People (http://uofthepeople.edu ) towards an associate certificate in Computer Science. One’s on learning Python and the other’s a general College Success class, which I think I don’t need as I’ve completed three college degrees already and one was online, but oh well. Today I’ve slated my Python homework and I hope it goes well. I do like that University of the People is founded and led by educators with sterling credentials from top schools like NYU or Columbia. Also, it’s a tuition free school so while you pay for taking a final, the costs are minimal. I hope this experience is fruitful.

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W.C. Fields in The Bank Dick

I enjoyed the W.C. Fields film The Bank Dick, which could not be made today, but it was both silly and smart. It’s nice comic relief.

My sister came in town from Utah with her husband. Usually, her visits are brief and this one was, but she made a point of spending time with my parents rather than running around the city to see many different friends. I know they were delighted to spend time with her.

I went to another jewelry making class at the library. We made steampunk necklaces out of small Altoid tins that were torched, sanded and painted. The teacher had a wide array of gears, clock hands, old books, beads, inks and paints to add to the tins. It was fun to experiment.

We had another loss at the library. This one was pretty shocking. The manager of the branch library was fired. The director has been hounding her for every little infraction and had taken away her duties such as purchasing and programming so the writing was on the wall. It seems quite unfair and now all the full timers fear for their jobs. I think 12 people have left since December and I’ve learned that in the fall before I came more were let go. It’s just so unnecessary because the people I’m aware of were dedicated, skilled workers. Many are highly experienced and at a stage of their work life when its hard to find comparable positions.  Patrons have asked about the staff changes and we’re forbidden to give much information. It’s hard to tap dance when someone asks for so and so about a program they were planning or ongoing request. Of course, people want to know what happened and we can’t tell them anything. It’s silly because people will figure it out.

Did she quit? So suddenly I just saw her Monday.

No.

Is she sick?

No.

What happened?

We can’t say.

One of the “problems” it’s believed is that the branch gets higher reviews for customer service than the main library.

I’m delighting in the Hillsdale College online Aristotle’s Ethics course. I’m a bit behind, but just loved Unit 4 about Character. The professor is so clear and approachable, while being an expert. I highly recommend this free course.

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you about your Easter and how you’re liking the spring weather. I’d then tell you how happy I was to discover a new tradition, Polish Easter Basket Blessings, which I saw on Saturday. The Poles’ baskets contain symbolic items (explained here). The ceremony was short and a lot of people turned out in their finery.

I’d share that I had a nice Easter despite not getting to church early enough for a seat in the sanctuary. Later I had brunch with my brother and his family. Since the weather was warm and I needed to burn off some calories, I went on a walk at a park not to far that’s got a small lake.

On Wednesday I was amazed by the technology at the Amazon Fulfillment Center. If you’ve got one near you, you can go on a free tour.

Thursday afternoon I attended a fashion show at Talbots to see the spring offerings. They had wine, sparkling water, and some sweets on hand. If I hadn’t given up sweets for Holy Week I sure would have indulged. I satisfied myself with a glass of sparkling wine. The show was well done and though they offered a discount, there was not pressure to buy. Nonetheless I did splurge on a blue and purple dress for Easter. I needed something colorful.

I’ve been watching the DVD of an old (1979) British drama Flambards. I remember seeing it in the ’80s and loving it. While the production quality is low compared to what we see to today, the drama is every bit as engaging. Someone should remake it.

Dark Horse

The documentary Dark Horse shows how a rag tag group of friends in Wales agree to pool their cash and breed a racehorse. Jan, a cleaner at a grocery store cum barmaid, has a fascination with breeding a thoroughbred. As a girl she learned to breed birds and whippets from there father. How much harder could it be to breed a race horse?

Jan’s friends and husband agree to contribute 10£ per week to the horse’s upkeep. The film consists of interviews on how Jan and the group made decisions and supported their horse Dream Alliance. Every step of the way, the group makes clever decisions to make the most of their money. For example, when choosing a trainer, Jan convinced the others that they had to get the best because a good trainer can do wonders with an average horse, but a mediocre trainer can ruin a good horse.

Dream Alliance surprises them all with his performance on the track and the film is a feel good movie with a healthy dose of realism. It’s fine for family viewing and I loved how these working class folks made a splash in the Sport of Kings.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Drinks

 

Each week Cee challenges bloggers to share black and white photos based on a theme. This week she’s challenging us to share black and white photos of drinks.

For more black and white photos, click here.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Tools

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Each week Cee of Cee’s Photography challenges bloggers with a fun prompt. This week we’re to find photos of subjects that depict tools. I’m sharing my set of tools for my computer. I got them at a good price from iFixit.com, a site that not only sells computer repair parts and tools, but offers clear directions on how to fix your PC or Mac.

(I see today – Weds. – that Ceen’ s prompt urged using colors. Obviously, mine didn’t but black, white and gray are colors and I’ve got lots more to blog about this week so there’s no time form for a change.)

If you want to see more fun photos, click here.

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that I’m sad that Halloween’s over. Soon the decorations will be gone, as will the vividly colored leaves. The rainy cold of November is hard for me to take.

I had three job interviews last week. Two were for part time jobs, with low pay. One of these was at the library for my hometown. It’s small and cosy and would be a good place to start working. Alas, it’s only 18 hours a week. It galls me because in Illinois for government jobs if you work 19 hours a week you get benefits. This rule turns out not to help anyone and it just means penny-pinching organizations will not give more hours to part timers. They’ll get the most they can. If you are scheduled to work 18 hours, you wind up working over 19 as you come into work a few minutes early and leaving a little late.

The other part time job interview was with an Apple Store. The two people I met were personable and authentic. There weren’t any trick questions. I felt at ease. However, I wonder if they’ll opt for someone with an “edgier” look.

The full time job was as an Instructional Designer for a manufacturer. The company makes steel pipes and fittings. It was a pretty good phone interview and I was blown away by the salary range — about double what full time librarians make. I wound up not getting called in for a face to face interview, which I attribute to my lack of industrial experience. As an Instructional Designer, you don’t have to know the ins and outs of the subject matter, the experts on the team do. However, there probably were candidates who did have more familiarity with that. The experience has made me think that Instructional Design is worth pursuing.

Saturday I got to see a wonderful production of Jane Eyre at Northwestern University. They have such talented students and the set and costumes were great. More on that soon.

I also saw three compelling films on DVD, all recommended by Sharon, my film guru in the A/V department at Skokie Public Library. They are: The Rocket, The Cave of the Yellow Dog and Kedi

I’m so tired of the election campaigning and the ads. I believe in democracy and care about elections, but the campaigns drag on and the TV ads are unrelenting. Tomorrow I’m an election judge, which I enjoy. I’ll also be in a safe, electioneering-free zone! I so look forward to respite from the ads, punches and counter-punches. I think there should be a few days before the 2020 would-be presidential candidates start their barrage.

I have just finished my television adaptation of an old (public domain) novel that’s another delightful American Downton Abbey. The bigger challenge is getting it to see the light of day, i.e. get produced. Now I’m going to start on a contemporary series idea. If I can finish that soon, I’ll have three submissions, two that are new, for the Act One Upfront. I hope to submit these before the Early Bird session is over.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this Weekend Coffee Share.

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I loved the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Night of 1,000 Jack-o-Lanterns where they display probably over 1,000 carved pumpkins that fit a variety of themes like sea creatures, optical illusions, monster couples, horror stories, sports, etc. The event typically sells out and this year was no different. We lucked out on weather as it was neither wet, nor cold. The event was a delight for all ages. Kudos to the garden for hosting this event.

I’d also tell you that I finished the Coursera.org called The Manager’s Toolkit: a Practical Guide to Managing People at Work. I learned a lot about hiring, resolving conflict, decision making and performance management. The six week course, which is offered throughout the year and takes about an hour a week, featured substantive articles and video content. I did gain insights that I probably wouldn’t have if I just searched for articles or books. I took the free version as I don’t think the certificate would help me that much for job hunting.

I’ve started an adaptation of a novel for the Act One Upfronts, a program for alumni where selected writers get to pitch their ideas to producers and agents. My aim is to meet the early deadline in November.

I’d toot my own horn to say that with only a few glitches I managed to change my MacBook Pro’s hard drive and so it operates much faster. However, I’d add that this did not fix the problem of the computer just shutting down at random times, not something I relish as it means I can lose pages of work I’ve completed. Fixing that issue, is my next challenge. Wish me well.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this Weekend Coffee Share.