Monthly Archives: June 2005

Dummerston Bridge, near Newfane VT

Get more details from the Vermont Covered Bridges site.

We took this bridge on the way to the wedding from Putney to Newfane. You go on East-West Road over a good-sized hill and at the bottom there’s a river with this lovely covered bridge over it. Make sure you put your lights on when you cross since it can be hard to see oncoming traffic.

There are swimming holes on the river this crosses but we didn’t get to stop in to test the waters.

Newfane itself is small and very lovely, there’s a courthouse on the town green and the Congregational church is right there.

It was hot, hot, hot – 98 degrees in nearby Brattleboro. But not so hot as it would seem in the church since it had thick walls.

Green Mountain Spinnery, Putney VT

They had lovely yarn (though that’s mostly Deb’s department), but what got me really interested was their mill in the main part of the building that took dyed wool in one end and produced yarn out the other.

The equipment was from 50 to 100 years old and though it was not actually in the middle of a batch while we were there you could see the whole thing start to finish. The wool goes into a mechanical carding machine where it is combed to soften it up, and then it goes into a roving machine to turn it into unspun threads. There are spinning machines to impart a twist for strength and some other machine to weave strands together. Finally it’s put into skeins or spools for actual use.

Having not seen many factories in my time I was looking carefully for signs of lean production methods. There were racks to store work in progress, but when too much work in progress filled up those racks additional work was piled up near the next machine. Some finished goods were being stored in the mill prior to shipment. They said someone had been on vacation for a while which may have explained a backlog.

The yarn was beautiful – we took home some that had been hand-painted (that was Saul’s choice).

My mom took a bunch of photos, I didn’t have a camera handy.

Northwest DTW->BOS->DTW, June 24,26 2005

Trip report for the flights.

On the way there we budgeted 2 hours from leaving the house to flight time and almost missed the flight. Taking a stroller through a busy TSA line is time consuming, and the lines were long. Fortunately the lines at the garage checkin for Northwest were pretty short or otherwise we wouldn’t have made it to the plane.

It was a mistake not to take the tram at DTW and instead to run the length of the terminal. That was hard on everyone.

DTW->BOS flight itself was uneventful. When we got to BOS they had conveniently not managed to get our car seat onto the plane, so we had to rent one from our rental car company. (Northwest blamed TSA screeners.)

Return flight was much harder. We budgeted almost 5 hours from the old farm house in Vermont to get to BOS, and some combination of poor planning, busy Masspike toll booths and slow lines in the airport got us to the front of the ticket counter only 15 minutes before the flight was supposed to take off. Fortunately the flight itself ended up being delayed more than 2 hours and when we finally got on board everything turned out fine.

BOS->DTW flight itself was fine, we were in the very last row of the airplane all together, and though it was noisy everyone was well behaved. All of our luggage made it to where we were going without incident.

In the future when travelling with small children and checked baggage I will allow for a lot more time on the ground to get to the gate. I am so used to business travel (one carryon bag, no carseat) that I forget sometimes how much coordination is necessary.

ALA study of PATRIOT act in libraries

on law enforcement inquiries into library records (NY Times):

WASHINGTON, June 19 – Law enforcement officials have made at least 200 formal and informal inquiries to libraries for information on reading material and other internal matters since October 2001, according to a new study that adds grist to the growing debate in Congress over the government’s counterterrorism powers.

In some cases, agents used subpoenas or other formal demands to obtain information like lists of users checking out a book on Osama bin Laden. Other requests were informal – and were sometimes turned down by librarians who chafed at the notion of turning over such material, said the American Library Association, which commissioned the study.

the ALA press release is here:

“For over half a century, the American Library Association has actively sought to protect the freedom of Americans to read without a threat of surveillance as part of their First Amendment rights to free expression,” said ALA President Carol Brey-Casiano. “This right to privacy of library patrons has been confirmed by 48 states that have laws that require a legal order to obtain library records. ALA believes the right to read freely is constitutionally guaranteed and seeks to protect it for the people we serve.”

Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the ALA Washington Office added, “We now know with certainty that law enforcement is visiting libraries and asking for information on library patrons. We must ensure that the proper oversight is in place to ensure that the government doesn’t conduct ‘fishing expeditions’ at America’s libraries.”

serendipity in book-finding

from if:book:

serendipity Post date 06.18.2005, 1:16 PM

the pinpoint accuracy of computer-searches, leaves those of us lucky enough to have spent time in library stacks, nostalgic for the unexpected discovery of something we didn’t know we were looking for but which just happened, serendipitously, to be on a nearby shelf. George Legrady, artist and prof at UC Santa Barbara, just showed a project he is working on for the new public library in Seattle that gave the first glimpse of serendipity in online library searching which lets you see all the books that have recently been checked out on a particular subject. Beautiful and Exciting.

which points to this:

http://www.mat.ucsb.edu/~g.legrady/glWeb/Projects/spl/spl.html

Making Visible the Invisible, 2005

6 LCD Screens on glass wall, 45″ x 24′, Seattle Public Library

A permanent commission for the Seattle Public Library designed by the architect Rem Koolhaas. The project focuses on data flow and the library as a data exchange center where the circulation of books can be made visible and expressed statistically. The installation consists of animated visualizations on 6 plasma screens located on a glass wall horizontally behind the librarians’ main information desk in the Mixing Chamber, a large open space dedicated to computer based research. The screens will feature visualization generated by custom designed statistical and algorithmic software that will map the flow of data received from the library’s Information Technology center.

Blackberry 7100t, T-Mobile, PocketMac

I now have a phone that I can do Google on and that I can read mail on. That is really cool. I’m wondering how quickly I’ll get to be utterly dependent on it and how soon parts of my brain atrophy to be replaced by transistors.

You may or may not note a slight change in this blog design – I moved a lot of the random marginalia to the right hand side of the screen so that the main blog entry would not be quite so hard to scroll through to. There may be a few more simplifying details before I’m done.

Working on a very small screen makes me wish Gopher was still around, the cell phone form factor is much better suited for gopher style menus than for web style random browsing.

A condensed for the phone Route 5 bus schedule for my regular route is pretty small compared to the official site!

Burns Park Run for 2006

Bprbirdseyeview-1

As I wrote earlier, I have a goal to run the Burns Park Run for 2006, a 10k at an 8:48 pace.

First steps first – I got a copy of the course map that you see here, stuck it on my phone, and went out on the course. I didn’t quite tackle the whole thing because it was getting late, but it’s a nice loop through a pretty and quiet neighborhood. I can’t run it all the way around, but half running and half walking took me around most of it today without pushing myself.

Now that I know the course better it starts to be a matter of how long it takes to go around and how you feel afterwards.

Any other Ann Arbor runner-bloggers nearby?