Saturday, May 31, 2008

Aliens among us

The cicadas are out in full force down in Lincoln county. We got to the in-laws in time for the emergence of Brood XIV in their backyard.

I didn't know it was time for cicadas, so when I was walking down by the nearly non-existent creek in the back, I was startled by the sight of countless blank-eyed brown hulls clutching at the undersides of the leaves around me. It was a little frightening at first, when I first registered the existence of those bodiless shells, so numerous the leaves were drooping with their weight, as it seemed the invasion of the body-snatchers was upon us.

Later that night, we went out to the buckeye trees and watched the cicadas rising from the ground and crawling up the trunks to find a spot to molt. There were so many, the surface of the trees rippled like a breeze whispering over a lake.

They seem remarkably dumb, content to crawl along your hand, oblivious to the dangers inherent in being so trusting. I guess that's how it is when you've reached the point of your life where your sole purpose is to carry on your line. Right now the males are singing outside, pining for females. It's the sound of summer--how strange it is that we associate the song of dying insects with the joys of this fleeting season.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Out of the ordinary

We are packing for the move to our new place.

This perplexes Pope. He doesn't know what to do with himself when he walks into a room and some large piece of furniture is missing. His eyes dilate and his ears start swiveling furiously and any little noise sets him off.

I've been seeing more of the bushy-tail Pope--whenever he's frightened, his tail bushes out as he turns so that the full length of his body is facing you while the hair raises on his back, making him look bigger than he is. He also does a strange stiff-legged skip backwards/sideways.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A name you can call your own

Jon's thesis is cataloged now.

Anyone can find the record, not only in UK's catalog, but also on Worldcat (see the link in the right-hand column). His name has an authority record now, which means that no other catalog record can have his name assigned to it unless he actually created the thing that is being cataloged.

Wow, that's lovely and amazing, and I'm sure this post reveals what a library geek I am.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Everything has its proper place

I came across a travel book on Spain that was classed in 919.604.

According to that number, Spain is located in the Pacific Ocean, near Australia and New Zealand.

It put me in mind of a scene from Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell where Strange is helping the British army in the Napoleonic War. They are about to be surrounded by the enemy, so the general cries out to Strange to do something, anything. Strange casts a spell that physically moves the land the British army is on to some place in America, where they wait a little while before Strange casts a spell to move them back.

I reclassed the book to its proper place, 914.604, and had this brief, amusing image, of Spain being wrested from the Pacific and planted back in its proper place.