Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My Pixar Ranking


So, I am very generous when ranking these movies. All these movies are fun. I know this. I created and took my own survey to ensure that I answered as truthfully as possible. There were a few ties, I just picked the one I fancied that I liked better. I'm sure there's a scientific tie-breaker, but I didn't bother to look it up.

Remember, these are MY rankings. Though I tried my best to make it scientific, it's still just one guy's opinion. Enough methodology, here's the ranking!


I am surprised at my results. I didn't think either of the Monsters movies would rank as high as they did. Also, Ratatouille is outside of my top-ten! Crazy.

If you want to take my survey find it below. If I get enough responses, I'll post results right here! Thanks for reading.

Create your own user feedback survey

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Ranking Pixar


If you follow me on Twitter, you will note that I have been forwarding every Pixar Ranking that I've read. If you don't believe me—or you don't follow my micro-blog&mdashhere's a sampling of these posts:


Clearly, the release and popularity of Pixar's Inside Out spawned these rankings and suckers like me click on them. That's fine, I enjoy it. Further, my disagreement with these rankings caused me to think—how do I quantify my own feelings towards these movies? Clearly, I appreciate Pixar's work. The company is out of this world! Ranking these movies is an exercise in hair-splitting.

Yet, the idea has been planted in my head. I must pursue it.

As you could see from my tweet, I ranked the 14 Pixar movies based on based on Story, Characters, Feels and Originality. What does that mean? I tell you:
  • Story
    How was the plot? Did it leave the viewer satisfied? Is it a movie you could watch over and over again?
  • Characters
    Did you get to know the characters? Did you feel love, admiration, symathy?
  • Feels
    I laughed, I cried, it was wonderful! (Or maybe you didn't...)
  • Originality
    Is this just another story? Did this movie revolutionize the industry?


Will I agree with my own personal rankings? I have a feeling I won't. I'll try to post my results tomorrow. In the meantime, I'll ask you to take my survey! If enough people respond, I'll post those results too!

Create your own user feedback survey

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bossypants - Book Review

Book:  Bossypants
Author:  Tina Fey

This title is intriguing. At least, it drew me in. I am a fan of SNL and 30 Rock. Tina Fey played a large role in both. So why not?

Further, my previous boss teased me about this book without mercy. I remembered seeing someone whose look reminded me of Tina. (It's the classic librarian look, she says so in the book.) At the time, there was a huge display featuring Bossypants in Barnes & Noble. We got coffee every morning. So, of course, I got teased every morning.

So here's to my former boss. Thanks.

The Book

The prose was not great, so I'd have to give it 2.5 stars on my scale to 5. Right smack dab in the middle. A few grains of salt: I listened to the audiobook and did not read the traditional medium.

Yet, I don't think the format hurt my experience. In fact, I feel like it may have enhanced it. Tina writes in a conversational style. Though I assume editors made modifications to account for the medium. One liners. Jokes. Anecdotes. These all lend themselves to auditory medium.

Further, Tina Fey lent her voice talents to the production of this audiobook edition. Since the author was also the reader, the listener reaps the following benefits:
  1. Timing was impeccable. Granted, this could have been due to editing/work in the studio. Listening to certain chapters of this book sometimes felt like watching an SNL skit.
  2. Hearing the text read as the author would have it read. Again, directors could have changed the text for greater appeal. Please, leave me the pleasure of imagining that this is how she wanted it read.
  3. Listening to it in the author's voice. I might have done this anyways (in my head), but it's actually reinforced. This is an autobiography after all!

The Review

It is always interesting to learn about the people, places and events that shaped the lives of public figures. Tina Fey describes er breakthrough experiences in Bossypants.

Being a man, sections of several chapters described things to which I cannot relate. I feel that I could react to these moments in one of two ways:
  1. I could dismiss them and consider the book disappointing.
  2. I could learn to empathize with and gain respect for women in society.
Either way, I did not have the option to simply laugh or read for pleasure. Gender colored some of the jokes. Perhaps a late 20-year-old, professional man was not the target audience of this book.

Chapters of note were those dealing with Tina Fey's early experiences with Christianity, the cult following 30 Rock garnered, SNL (and Tina's relationship with Sarah Palin) and the description of Mr. Fey.

My favorite chapter was the last one described. Yes, the SNL/30 Rock chapters were fun and amusing. But the chapter on Tina Fey's dad was poignant and rich. Maybe I'm just being sentimental because I am a new father to two young girls. But it was nice to hear of the love shared between a daughter and her father--even with an imperfect relationship.

Bossypants was an easy listen. I suggest you pick it up and give it a try.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

George R. R. Martin's Character Development

A Quick Observation

This is not a full review. I plan to read these books and watch the HBO series and write a review on the entire saga once I have finished. However, after book two I needed to pause and express a bit of praise for a particular literary quality.

I found myself rooting for Renly Baratheon.
I found myself supporting Robb Stark.
I found myself backing Danaerys Targaryen.
Everyone hates Joffrey Baratheon.

I was engrossed in their stories and motives. I wanted them to succeed. Then I realized something, each of those characters are enemies of one another. For just one of them to succeed, the other two would have to fail. They even outright threaten each other.

Though they stood in direct opposition, I still hoped the best for them. It is an interesting dynamic that I have never felt while reading a novel before. Kudos to Mr. Martin for great writing!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Librarian Problem No. 562: Read the fine print

I have been a librarian for about two and a half months now, and I have solved several problems. From reference questions, to directional assistance to technical aid, I have done quite a lot under the motto, "All in a day's work." However, this one really had me going.

The Case of the Rogue Access Point

So I was asked if we could extend the library's WIFI for inventory purposes. The stacks are a dead zone and our fancy RFID Wand doesn't work too well back there. The only other solution involved moving Access Points (AP's) around and the whole plugging/unplugging thing scared everyone.

So I, the Electronics Librarian (touch me twice), gave my professional advice. I said, "We should be able to buy a couple cheap routers and set them up as AP's. We will place them strategically on the second floor to extend coverage." Piece of cake! I looked it up and everything! Just turn off DHCP and set the AP up with the same SSID/Password and you should be good. I sent the quote off to my Director and he approved the purchase of a couple lovely Linksys E1200s. Woohoo!

So I get these AP's sooner than expected. Awesome! I was busy at the moment and there was no rush, so I scheduled a day to work on them. The day comes and I unbox the first AP. Sweet! This looks just like the AP we have set up already, I'll just mimic the settings and everything will be hunky-dory.

It worked!
I am a techno-wizard!

I even took it out to the stacks for verification. I connected with no problem. (In retrospect, I probably should have tested more intensively to ensure that the network stayed up. But, in my mind I was done.) This second one will be cake!

The second one would not work.

Oh, I could get it to work in my office. I could see it. My devices would connect to it. It would load web pages. But when I took it upstairs, I got no connectivity. I must have set this thing up 8 different times which felt like 60 times over. What could be wrong? I set this AP up exactly the same. I change the static IP to one in the range. Why won't you work?

I ended that week in frustration. I got one working, but not the other. Ugh! Now let's add some pressure. The Director walks into my office and asks for an ETA on the AP setup. I tell him it should be up by the end of the week. (After all, I am Electronics Librarian and should be able to do these things.) He asks why it would take so long, so we end up with Wednesday as a fair compromise. I have three days before I'm exposed as a fraud.

Monday is all about figuring out what the heck could possibly be the problem. I looked at my network map, I looked at information from Linksys, I looked at my horoscope;mdash&anything that might give me an answer! I was resetting, reconfiguring, testing in my office, running upstairs to test, then repeating the process. Sometimes it would work, once, then stop working. Sometimes it refused to work at all. Always, the AP was frustrating me, mocking me, letting me know how much better it was than me. How I wanted to kick it in the face, but it was busy kicking my butt. Why would it work in my office but not in the stacks? Why, oh why?

Then, two minutes before the end of the day, I found it; I found the last possible solution.

On the aforementioned network map, in the middle of 6 footnotes. MAC locking port security is enabled on the switch that the network ports connect to in the stacks. Only one MAC address is allowed access to the internet from those ports! If I log into the router and change this setting, could it resolve my problem?

Yes! The answer is yes! Oh, thank God, YES! I change the setting and my AP's are allowing all devices to access the internet from all over the library all day and through the rest of the week and into this current week. I finished my project ahead of schedule (technically) and inventory is progressing and everyone is happy.

And all librarians everywhere should know better than to skip over the fine print.
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