No user ID, no password

"Excuse me, ma'am. Can you show me how to open this newspaper?'

The polite young man wanted to "access" the Dallas Morning News editions from April first and April fourth. He needed to write about Martin Luther King for English class, and cite the page numbers in his bibliography.

We found an empty space on the counter where we could unfold the newspaper and turn the pages. I explained he could either photocopy the news stories about MLK's legacy or scan them and email to himself. "Thanks, but I will take photos with my phone," he said. 

When he was finished taking photos he brought all the sections back to me to reassemble the issues and reshelve them in the Periodicals Room. I felt like a prehistoric flintknapper. What's black and white and read all over? Not any more.

© 2013-2018 Nancy L. Ruder


When ants can't shampoo

In the middle of the annual bathroom tiny ant invasion the apartment complex was sold. New owners, new management, same social insects. The new managers are tackling the foundation problems, the plumbing leaks, and quickly learning they are the proud owners of a large fixer-upper built atop a massive ant hill.

This isn't a luxury apartment community bursting with amenities, no matter how you spin it. This is just a reasonably safe and affordable spot in the city I've called home since 1990. So in springtime when the water is turned off to fix leaks, the ants and I can't shampoo. No Head & Shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes, knees and toes--ants have six legs, of course.

Ask me about ant-induced irritability.

© 2013-2018 Nancy L. Ruder


Straight talk from Our Nation's Capital

Washington D.C., no matter your political philosophy, is That Place Where Everyone's Thinking is Seriously Skewed. We can blame this misalignment on many things, but for the moment I am leaning toward the Washington Monument. Even if you back out into the middle of the street with red taxis rushing past, you will still not get a photo at 90 degrees, high noon. So most people, tourists included, just walk around looking at their phones until they suddenly find themselves encircled by a dangerous herd of Segways blocking the crosswalk. And that is why I am grateful for the Jefferson Memorial, a much easier shoot, just a tad off horizontally.

© 2013-2018 Nancy L. Ruder