Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sasha is Out to Kill Me

Only he doesn't realize that if he is successful his meal ticket and chest scratcher also disappears. Why do I think he is out to get me? Let me build up my case. Three weeks ago, I was laying on the sofa with Sasha on my arm. His head was in my outstretched arm which put his back feet perilously close to my face. So close in fact when a motorcycle drove by and scared him, he used my face as his spring board towards safety. I received a nice slice in my cheek. I jumped up and ran to the vanity mirror, looked at my face to find that the bottom of the scratch had about an eighth of an inch of open flesh. Much to my surprise the room began to darken and I realized that I was going to pass out. I quickly got down on the floor to let the feeling pass. Gradually, I began to feel OK again--sort of. I decided that I needed to turn on the AC because I had a sheen of sweat coating me at that point. I got up and made it over to the thermostat before the second wave to darkness descended. Once again, I got down low into to child's position until the sensation passed. First a cold sweat, then chills and then nausea that sent me to the bathroom. Once, all this passed, I decided I might need to drive myself to Urgent Care for antibiotics, a good washing out, etc.
Urgent Care was pretty straight forward, I walked out with antibiotics and a script for the inevitable yeast infection following a course of antibiotics. Several hours later, I arrived back home. I was lazing on the sofa when I thought, "That's strange, I smell gas." I got up and walked over to the stove to find that one of the burners was turned about half way on. What? Sasha! He turned the gas on.
This on Thursday he got me again, this time in my calf and once again with his back claws again. The story this time is not quite so dramatic. Sasha was out on the balcony. I wanted to bring him in, he didn't want to come in. Sasha the angel cat wasn't using weapons at this point because he is a good cat. As I had him between my legs moving him into the living room, my arm brushed up against the trash can which happened to be at about ear level for him. The resulting rattle sent him in a panic, once again using my nearest body part as a push off point. My calf looks like it has a sewing machine running stitch with a very nasty bruise surrounding it.
I rubbed it with Neosporin as pondered if I should either wear cotton wadded clothing when handling the cat or invest in Neosporin?
Then last night it happened again, I smelled gas and found the gas on. Sasha looking very angelic denied getting on the stove. Since I really don't cook, Misha isn't that interested in the stove, Sasha loves to get up there and hang out, and I don't think I have a polergeist he is the likely culprit. I have since removed the knobs to prevent my from waking up in ghostly form one morning or entering into a fire ball because the friction of the key in the lock caused the gas build up to ignite.
If something happens to me, please someone make the police take investigating Sasha seriously.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Library Donations

This morning when I was doing book drop I got a couple of really good donations. One a new book with a long waiting list. I love these donations. I did a little dance of happiness this morning. The library really does depend on donations through being able to add items to our collection and the funds generated by the Friends of the Library book store and book sales. We are always happy to see good donations. However, not all donations are created equal and some really do generate a groan and sometimes cries of disgust. Lay your hand on a bug encrusted moldy book and listen to what pops out of your mouth.
What makes a good donation? Well the following:
1) DVD's are always welcome as are unabridged audiobooks. I try as hard as I can to get DVD's into the library. We also like popular children's books that are very gently used (this is hard to come by). Magic Tree House, Junie B. Jones, Captain Underpants, Geronimo Stilton--they all put a smile on our faces when we get these in good enough shape to add.
2) Books in good condition and I don't mean ones that were in good condition 20 years ago but have sat in a dusty garage for the last 18 years.
3) Books that are not out of date. No one really wants the 1999 college guide. Trust me on this.
4) Books that have not been eaten by vermin or left out in the weather.
5) Books that are not falling apart. A good rule of thumb is that if it is falling apart and is not a Dead Sea Scroll no one is really interested in it.
6) Donations that do not include encyclopedias, condensed novels or National Geographic. These things are heavy and take up a lot of space. Encyclopedias get out dated easily. Condensed novels have very low interest and everyone saved 30 years of National Geographic and wants to donate them. We have been saturated with enough of these items, the small market for these is just not active enough to justify back aches and space constrictions that they entail.
7) Donations that are reasonable in size--2 or 3 boxes are not a problem. But even pretty good donations can cause stress when they come in massive quantities. And beleive me the day that someone decides to bring in a big donation is the same day that at least 3 other people have decided the same thing. We like to go through the donations to see if there is anything that we can add to the collection, but when we have 20 boxes and a small amount of time, good things might get passed up.
8)Paperbacks that are not yellowed and with spines in good shape (uncracked is best)are welcome and may often find themselves in the collection.
9)Old books that are in good to excellent condition and might be able to be sold online as a rare book that can generate more than the average $1 or $2 that a used book usually fetches.

Sometimes we get donations and people want to see them on the shelf. We can't promise this--we have to evaluate the item and the determine if our collection actually needs it and if we have a record for it. When we add items to the library we have to link them to a catalog record so that they are searchable. If there is no record then it is difficult to link them because a record has to be created. This is time and money and one lone donation that is 10 years old and in questionable condition. Even if a book is new, that doesn't mean that I can add it to my collection. For example recently I have received 5 copies of 9 Dragons. The first 3 I was able to add but the other 2 I didn't because 3 copies meant that one would probably always be on the shelf and I don't have enough shelf space for a lot of duplicates. If I have a copy sitting on the shelf and it only goes out 3 or 4 times a year that means that I don't need two copies of the same item. Of course some things are season and we will keep extra copies--especially in the children's area because of cyclical homework assignments when we have a total run on things.

So feel free to bring in your donations but do look at them, if they are ugly, smelly, moldy and generally gross the best place for the item is in the recycle bin. Moldy items or items that hold insects can infect our collect and we would prefer not to have them in the library.