All posts by nova_admin

Keep Hope Alive!

I am normally not one to circulate news about fundraising, but I really want to get the word out about my colleague and friend Deborah. Despite suffering for years from an auto-immune disease that has attacked her lungs, Deborah has always been an encouraging and positive influence during my studies at UNT and beyond. She is an inspiring and intelligent librarian and mother. Her catchphrase “Keep Hope Alive” has kept me sane during grad school and the ensuing months of job searching, and is something to be remembered for whatever trials I go through.

Deborah is currently raising funds for a lung transplant. In getting a transplant, she will not be dependent on oxygen and will have a better quality of life. The Georgia Transplant Foundation will match a $10,000 donation raised prior to receiving the transplant, which will cover medical expenses and treatment she will need during her recovery.

Her story and journey is captured in her blog at http://deborahgailsimmons.wordpress.com, and there is a PayPal link for sending donations. No amount is too small. And if  you are unable to make a financial contribution, please keep Deborah and her family in your prayers.

How to Train a Cat To Use the Toilet

For my Java class, our first assignment is to write out a list of instructions for simple everyday tasks, keeping in mind all of the contingency planning in case things go wrong. The idea is that a computer takes things very literally and will often not successfully complete a task since it cannot make an assumption.

Being my snarky self, I decided to write fictitious program instructions on how to train a cat to use the toilet. One day, I would like to make this into a flowchart so it can join the ranks of all of the other everyday tasks, such as The Grad Student’s Flowchart for Doing Laundry.

Warning: it is very complex. And I have never tested whether this works. But it is totally for humor.  Enjoy!

BEGIN:

1) Do you have a toilet? (Y/N). If Yes, Proceed to Step 2.

If no:

  • 1a: Go to Sears and talk to sales-person about purchasing a new toilet.
  • 1b: Proceed to Step 2a: Call a plumber.
  • 1c: Consult with plumber about what kind of toilet works with your plumbing
  • 1d: Go back to Sears and buy toilet.
  • 1e: Spend hundreds of dollars and proceed to Step 2.
2) Does toilet work? (Y/N). If yes, proceed to step 3.

If no:

  • 2a: Call a Plumber
  • 2b: Have plumber look at toilet and fix it. If fixed, proceed to Step 3.
  • 2c: If plumber is unable to fix toilet, replace it. Repeat Steps 1a-e and 2.
3) Do you have a cat? (Y/N). If yes, proceed to Step 4.

If no:

  • 3a) go to shelter and adopt a cat. If you are unable to adopt a cat, steal one from the crazy cat lady next door. Trust me, she won’t miss it.
  • 3b) Put cat in the bathroom
  • 3c) Put food dish near toilet so cat makes positive associations with it.
4) Is cat able to jump a vertical distance of at least 20″? (Y/N). If Yes, proceed to Step 5.

If no:

  • 4a: Is cat too old? (Y/N). If Yes, purchaes pet ramp.
  • 4b: is cat too fat? (Y/N). If Yes, put cat on diet.
5) Is cat currently using the litterbox? (Y/N). If yes, proceed to Step 6.

If no:

  • 5a: Did the cat go potty inside the house? (Y/N). If yes, give cat a stern “NO!” and proceed to Step 8.
  • 5b: Did the cat go potty outside the house?(Y/N). If yes, you probably have an outdoor cat, and really do not need to train a cat to use the toilet since you rarely have to clean the litter box. Proceed to END TASK.
6) Open first toilet lid
7) Place litter box on top of toilet.
8 ) Place cat on toilet
9) Wait for cat to go potty.
10) Keep waiting…

11) Decide that the cat’s evil glare as you wait for him to do his business is not effective, as he has made it clear through his death stare that he will not, under any circumstances, bow to your wishes.

12) Go to Sears and buy camera for bathroom (referred to from now on as CatCam.

13) Install CatCam per product instructions (refer to separate program entitled “Vague Instructions in 145 Different Languages”) and connect it to your wireless device. If you do not own a wireless device, END TASK, as you are therefore not a functioning member of society and thus unable to perform a complex task such as training an unyielding animal to effectively utilize a toilet.

14) Does camera set-up work? (Y/N). If yes, proceed to Step 15.
If no:
  • 14a) Find receipt (you never throw those away, right….right??!!). Since you totally threw it away…
  •     14a-1) Call geek friend and pray he can fix it. If so, proceed to Step 15.
  •     14a-2) If no, go to paint store and find colors that match your shower curtain. Skip Steps 15-17. Repeat Steps 9-10 and pray.
  • 14b) You have the receipt, which means that the planets have aligned, Jesus has returned, and you are existing in a transcendent universe where cats do, in fact, use the toilet. Therefore, proceed to END TASK.

15) Go to Starbucks.

16) Order an over-priced sugarbomb latte and turn on your CatCam. Repeat Steps 9 and 10 as your glucose levels spike to Pluto.

17) Rush home when cat finally does do his business.

18) Place a cat treat on flusher

19) Does cat operate the flushing mechanism by reaching for the treat? (Y/N). If yes, give cat another treat. If no, manually place cat’s hand on flusher and provide treat.

20) Hide litterbox and place catnip near toilet. If cat decides to go potty inside the house (which he will just to spite you) repeat Steps 5a, 6, and 8.

21) Continue repeating Steps 8-19 until cat finally gets it.

22) If you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and the cat is in there reading the Wall Street Journal, congrats! You have successfully trained the cat to use the toilet!

23) Smile in satisfaction as you hear the flush.

END TASK

Getting There

I’ve really been dragging my feet trying to get this site up and running, but luckily the template issue resolved itself. It must have been a fluke or a bug with WordPress. I am very excited provide a more customized look to this site. Spent most of the day Saturday creating the header and background images, and will probably do some more tweaking with the color scheme.

Hope to be posting more soon!

Where Do We Go From Here?

In case anyone actually reads this thing, I realize it has been months since I have posted. I am still trying to figure out what exactly I want to do with this site, where I want it to go, how I want to brand it, etc. It’s so hard for me to come up with stuff that is worth writing about. Frankly, a lot of it is personal and I don’t want to put it all up for the Interweb’s viewing pleasure. Right now, it’s just a web presence.

I want to share and write about so much but do not know where to start. Usually I am very organized, and do not just jump into stuff without a plan. I created this blog in 2010 mainly as a resume booster so I could show potential employers I was knowledgeable about my field, that I could put together a coherent sentence, and so on. However, I do have a vision for this blog. There are so many blogs out there about library science, and I just hate being put into a box and being forced just to write about that. Which is probably why you as the reader may have noticed the later entries have little to do with library science. Not that I will stop writing about the library profession, but expect a wider range of topics.

I switched from cloud hosting on WordPress.com and bought my own domain. Now that I have all of these options I can work with and plug-ins I can install, I feel very overwhelmed. I am one class away from completing my Advanced Web Development certificate, but what I learn in class really does not go far. I really want to do more with experimenting with different themes, but for some reason, I cannot get content to display correctly, despite scouring the CSS and PHP files for any possible reasons. It would probably be obvious to someone who is a pro at this, but I am still learning.

There is so much I want to do, to learn, and to explore. Yet I only have so much time. And when I do have the time, I feel very unmotivated. Trying to get into a creative swing when working a full-time job and wanting to have a social life has not been easy for me. When I do have free time, I usually crave the comforts of my bed :).