Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Last Ever Random Act

Today's is the last Random Acts of Information post, as tomorrow the author embarks on the journey known as retirement. What words of wisdom will I take from the vast resources the library has made available to me over the years? 
How To Nap: 
1. The best time to nap is between 1 and 2:30 PM.  2. The optimal sleep time is 20-30 minutes.  3. Napping is an art that must be learned.  Practice with meditation tapes.  4. If you are feeling loggy upon awakening, brush your teeth.  It's refreshing.
Thank you for taking time to read Random Acts of Information these past few years.  It has been fun!
Margaret Jane Scott, future member of the Olympic Napping Team.

Source:  How to Nap Real Simple, Dec2005/Jan2006, p215-221

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

1980's - Did We Just Imagine It?

We have a terrific set of books from your friends at Sears.  Take Fashionable clothing from the Sears catalogs : early 1980s.  Yes, the 1980's require more than one volume of coverage.  I'm surprised you had to ask.  So I was browsing this beauty for clothes that would look seriously out of place today.  Prairie style - nope, too ordinary.  Shiny jewel-toned dresses with abstract patterns - maybe.  Then I hit the Sportswear section - jackpot! Sweatbands with updos, check.  Legwarmers in 3 different colors with horizontal stripes!  What appears to be a one-piece swimming suit with a belt and for bonus points - the belt matches the periwinkle tights that are part of this ensemble.  Does it still take that much work to dress for exercise?  I have to ask because I don't. Exercise that is.  For an authentic glimpse into daywear from the decades this series can't be beat!  Nosiree bob!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Still Closed plus New Toys

All six locations of the Des Moines Public Library are closed today and will open regular hours tomorrow, Tuesday, December 27.  Do you know anyone who has a new e-reader of some flavor or other?  There are some I have never heard tell of in all my born days.  For example, a Kobo.  Kobo's web site assures us they are 5 million strong.  Guess whose web site has instructions for downloading our ebooks to a Kobo?  That's right, we are up to date.  Know it.  Visit our fabulous page for WILBOR eBooks and click on your reader of choice.  Our web genius even added pictures of readers.  I like pictures. They're easy to read.  You are so going to miss the sophisticated humor of this blog.  Har!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Closed Today plus 'My School's Older Than Yours'

There are some mighty old high schools in our United States.  Or 'secondary schools' as some call them.  Here are the 5 Oldest Secondary Schools in the USA and the years in which they were founded:

1.  Boston Latin School, MA   1635; 
2.  Hartford Public High School, CT  1638; 
3.  Roxbury Latin School, MA   1645; 
4.  Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, MA   1648; 
5.  Hopkins School New Haven, CT   1660.
I checked on the suspicious word 'Rindge'.  Is it some kind of esoteric language related to Latin?  Turns out it's a town, so Cambridge Rindge is just like Newell Fonda.  Only waaaay older.
Source:  Top Ten of Everything 2011

All six locations of the Des Moines Public Library are closed December 23 through December 26.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Upcoming Holiday Closings Plus Hideous Clothing

All six locations of the Des Moines Public Library will be closed Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, December 23-26.  I remember ... one year for the holidays my sister and I - we were just one year apart - received the following:  polyester pantsuits.  Or maybe pant sets, since there was no jacket. The top was a tunic.  Color scheme was navy and gray, houndstooth except for the collars.  Of course there were collars.  These were a solid navy color, and I believe they laced up.  I'm not talking nice polyester here, this was the slippery stuff.  Speaking of stuff, we thought we were the hot kind in our new duds.  No awkward phase for us!  Envious much?
Happy Holidays!
Fashionable clothing from the Sears catalogs : early 1970s / Desire Smith.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Scary. Just a Little.

Have you been watching American Horror Story?  Not me, man.  I couldn't get through the first episode and I like horror.  Wouldst care to try really old horror movies?  They are almost genteel.  Take Curse of the Demon.  Scared yet?  No?  How about Night of the DemonBOO!  Admit it, now you're scared.  To keep the adrenaline going check out our COTD-NOTD double feature DVD.  That's right; they are both on the same disc.  Of course they're the same movie, so 2 discs: totally not necessary.  "What the heck are you talking about", I hear you ask.  (There's a reason my ears are so big.  Elf blood.)  Night of the Demon is the original British version.  Curse of the Demon cut 13 minutes out so we Americans wouldn't get bored.  Whatever.  Either version is genuinely spoooooky. 
Night of the Demon/Curse of the Demon

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I am the lucky recipient of several bouquets of lovely fresh flowers.  Something to do with the fact I'm retiring?  (Did I mention I'm retiring? whoohoo.)  How do I keep these delightful arrangements alive?  A-live! Hahahaha...  ooops.  Ms. Frankenstein kind of slipped out there.  Anyway, Consumer Reports Magazine has the following tips:  use preservatives, either commercial preparations or homemade - such as "1 teaspoon of bleach and 1 tablespoon of sugar stirred into 1 gallon of water".  Huh. I'd probably stick with store-bought.  Get rid of greenery (not stems) below the water line.  Keep the vase out of direct sunlight and heat.  Plus other stuff too complicated to relate here.  For more details:
Consumer Reports Magazine February 1, 2005
access online through EBSCOHost, DMPL library card and PIN required

Monday, December 19, 2011

500 What?

500 is a card game and my family is mad for it.  Mad, I tell you!  Is it popular outside my immediate DNA group?  Well, I guess so, since it's the national card game of Australia!  There are 4 players, two teams.  Go around and everyone bids - 5 clubs for example.  Based on the bid your partner has to somehow divine what cards you have. If the winning bidder hates his/her hand, they get to pick up a set of cards dealt to a nonexistent player.  This is called 'the blind' by my family.  It is also called the missy, the kitty, the widow.  Apparently the game is quite addictive.  How else to explain Australia?

How to Play Card Games as Taught in Books

Friday, December 16, 2011

Leftover Gift Wrap

I finally ran across an idea for leftover gift wrap that's actually useful.  Make envelopes out of it!  Won't they be gorgeous?  You'll probably have to add a white label to write the address on, but it's worth it.  You say you don't write letters on paper and mail them?  Now, my friend, is the time to start.  If you want to thrill someone, getting a letter in the mail is infinitely more exciting than receiving a text.  And you will want to write so you can use the fabulous receptacles.  Want a template?  Just unfold an envelope you like and use that for your design.  Oh, man!  You could LINE your envelope with a sheet of different paper!  Your next rainy-day (snow day?) project is all ready to go.  You're welcome!