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John J Meier's Journal
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Date:2009-10-07 08:17
Subject:Sleep (dep) theater
Mood: amused

I had a few odd dreams last night all linked together with reference to lots of LJ friends from college.  It started out as a bus trip with other "students" to a science fair with mistergone as a fellow participant and it was pretty stressful for a dream (you know, the kind where you didn't do the homework or study for the test)  During the fair the entire group was lead through a choreography competition which is obviously inspired by kissmary 's show "So You Think You Can Dance".  Finally the entire group of us were chased from the campus by giant robots and fled into a large gothic manor.  This lead into a battle with tiny robots and werewolves, when I got caught by the werewolf princessdiablo but it turned out to just be a LARP, so we went to the storytellers random_vamp and mrwoolite who told me that my character was basically going to die.  So we wrapped up the LARP in a large auditorium where we watched a cartoon and music performance art organized by fizzbang .  He started off by passing around chocolate chips while we listed to "A Whole New World" and some pastoral animation then started throwing inflated guitars into the audience.  It ended around then as most of us disgustedly stormed out of the theater.

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Date:2009-03-16 09:58
Subject:D&D for the rest of us

With Players Handbook II coming out this week, I would be excited to actually play D&D.  Currently I am running an online game on Facebook, but like many DM's I am not actually playing in any games.  I would like to start here in Livejournal a Forgotten Realms game using all the 4th Edition books out to date (once the PHBII comes out)  The game will be "Open Table" which means no-DM, we will use a FR Adventure out of the box "Sceptre of Spellgard" and run it open book.  We can use Invisible Castle for open rolling and Flickr for maps.  I would like to have 5-6 players, priority (if necessary) given to those who are DM'ing a game currently (to give them a chance to play too!)

Let me know if you are interested and I will add you to the new LJ Community.

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Date:2009-03-09 09:39

This weekend the weather was good enough to go outside a good deal

1) Henry went to the park for the second time in a few days: the swing and the slide were used as well as walking about
2) We raked some leaves (pictures to come) and stirred the compost, both which really needed to be done
3) I figure that with the current interest rates going around it is a good time to refinance our mortgage, wish me luck (or give me advice!)

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Date:2009-03-03 08:38
Subject:Email and work

I haven't posted much about my job, which is very cool and always interesting.

1) I have redirected johnmeier.org to my professional portfolio
2) I put in my 2nd year tenure dossier this January, which means I am approximately 1/3 of the way to tenure
3) Our old library email is going away and I will dance when I am only meier@psu.edu and maybe jjm38@psu.edu but nothing else
4) I get to travel a good deal this spring and summer: Alexandria, VA from March 29-April 3; Washington D.C. from June 13-17; Chicago from July 9-14 (Mary is along every time.  Henry too except for maybe Chicago)

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Date:2009-03-02 08:44
Subject:Beer Can Chicken

This weekend was a busy one, considering it was only two days like any other (and still too cold to go for a walk or spend much time outdoors)

1) Made a beer can tandoori chicken from a recipe in a book I got years back (and have successfully tried three recipes from, which has this one as the best)
2) Installed a crib tent for Henry, because that boy can not only stand and walk, but he can climb.
3) Went to Best Buy for 50% off their in stock Anime, which is because certain stores are eliminating their inventory.
4) Still planning to got to OBX for DPB-con, but only with a "visitor pass".  We will be staying nearby with my mother.

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Date:2009-02-27 14:30

From my iPod

Not sure if I should microblog from LJ, Twitter, or Facebook. Right now a post to LJ goes to the others. However, Facebook has the most rich, social functions in their Status services.

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Date:2009-02-24 08:20

We have put up a few more photos of Henry who is now 10 months old.

1) I came home yesterday to the sight of Henry standing, unsupported, in the kitchen and when he saw me coming up the stairs he walked over to the gate to greet me.  Boggle!

2) Today is Fat Tuesday, the last day of Mardi Gras.  I have king cake and left over red beans and rice with sausage for lunch!

3) I can't stop listening to the album I just bought on iTunes, "Incredibad", which came with six SNL video shorts

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Date:2009-02-23 07:16

If I can stick to five short things every few days, maybe this will work!

1) Two very cool people got married to form one giant bastion of awesomeness.  Congrats to mr_mking  and alphabetically !
2) Henry's Opa visited this weekend, so kissmary  and I had a "date".  We went to Zeno's to share a beer (Winona's Big Brown Ale) and to the Diner for my first grilled stickey.
3) Happy Lundi Gras!

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Date:2009-02-20 11:01

I haven't posted to this journal in a long time, so I thought it would be a good time to get back into updates.  Five things to start:

1) Got to see the Director of Search from LinkedIn speak yesterday, and noted his comment "A librarian is a wonderful thing" on Twitter.
2) Watching lots of behind the scenes for Watchmen on my iPod Touch
3) Henry is walking better, three to ten steps between things and people.  Parenting just got more interesting!
4) Reading both science and science fiction by the same author at the same time is a good idea.
5) Lunch today includes some homemade yogurt

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Date:2008-07-23 20:36
Subject:Good night everybody
Mood: tired

Just wanted to post from my new bedtime.  Henry goes to sleep between 7 and 8pm and since he still gets up a few times at night, we go to bed as well.

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Date:2008-07-09 20:42
Subject:Multiclassing in 4e

So I was on gleemax today, reading up on "issues" with Dungeons and Dragons Fourth Edition multiclassing.  Since I don't have time to plan a playgroup, I have been trying out the rules by creating a few 1st level characters (one of each class).  My favorite was a Tiefling Paladin who had the multiclass Wizard feat.  I decided to advance him to see how that worked out in the new rules.  I started to get confused and disenchanted just advancing him to 11th level because I gave him all the multiclassing feats (3 total), which left him with few advanced Paladin powers and a pseudo-random wizard set.

Then I read a thread explaining that lots of 3.5 (and before) gamers had problems with the system (alright, it said Powergamers who exploited former multiclassing were winers), but it pointed out that the real power and point of this part of the system is to *dabble* or expand into another class, not get the best of both.  So I looked at the rules again, reflected on how the character would develop (due to the richer experience in 4e, you can't just advance characters as easily in my opinion).  He wound up with only one of the "power swap" feats and a paragon path (Battle Mage!), which seems to work so far.

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Date:2008-07-01 09:11
Subject:ALA Day 3 - All Work and Little Play

Two poster presentations.  On this Monday in Anaheim, I started by attending the STS program on Creative Trends that Further Science Learning, a great set of talks including Science Photography and Gaming (which was also a great place to catch up with fellow members.)  But I had to leave halfway through to set up my first poster session "Instant Help: Creative Approaches to Chat Reference" in the STS poster session.  I had a brief chance to get a snack, before the attendees came and I was busy (thankfully!) the whole hour and a half.  No time to rest, I immediately packed up and got downstairs into the Exhibit Hall for the ALA poster session VI.  "One Librarian, Many Jobs" was a bit of a creative experiment that got a great deal of complements from "that's cute" to "I want one of those", but it also got a few instances of the feedback on the research I was really looking for.  I may have had more action than the other posters since I was on the end facing out and had an eye catching display, but there were still fewer people than I had seen in earlier session.

I finally got to eat Shabu Shabu in a self-preparation way at Koji's in Anaheim with four friends (including duckmonsterand katieboyd) though we didn't sit around a table and each had our own hot pot it was GREAT.  I especially liked the beef.... no, not Kobe, just ribeye but very tasty!  My final event of the night was a meeting, yeah, but it was a bit fun since everyone was slap-happy at the end of the conference.  Tuesday is my departure day, so I hope I have better luck with flights than on the way in.

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Date:2008-06-30 07:59
Subject:ALA Day 2 - Food, folks, and fun
Mood: nervous

I almost missed my breakfast with the other EBSCO Scholarship winners, because I went to the Hyatt instead of the Hilton (H's!)  Then I spent a good amount of time in the exhibit hall with monkeys and beer.  Since that wasn't enough for lunch, Kevin and I grabbed some gyro platters.  The NMRT Committee meeting in the afternoon was productive for the Web Committee.  After that was the Book Cart Drill team which hopefully will be online in video like earlier years.  Next was the SIS and other library school event, which had some cool Pitt grads and some tasty food.  But we had to leave there quick to go to a Wizards of the Coast event with wine, cheese, and D&D.  It had a great presentation about RPG programs for public libraries with an example in the Fresno area.  The night ended with some time at the Best ALA Party, the 3M/NMRT Social.  It had some really good food, too bad it was our last stop.

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Date:2008-06-29 06:53
Subject:ALA Day 1 - The Longest Day
Mood: tired

The day started at 5:30am (PST) and ended at 1:00am (PST) the next day, today.  It was very good in many ways, connecting with friends and colleagues, doing some work for NMRT and ACRL STS, getting a "free lunch", loads of free books, and finally reliving a feeling of childlike wonder in Disneyland.  You can see some highlights on Flickr.

I got going early this morning too, so I will take a break as Mary suggested.

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Date:2008-06-28 05:50
Subject:ALA "Pre-conference" experiences

My conference started at 4:00am EST (time zones are important) when I woke up in State College, PA. By 5:00am I was at University Park Airport (SCE) and found half a dozen fellow Penn State librarians flying as well. By 6:00am we had cleared security (one seating area, like 3 gates) when they announced "mechanical failure" (what the late George Carlin referred to as "broken plane") which required a mechanic that was 45 minutes away. We waited and got free breakfast, I made some back up flights, but they told us another plane was rerouted (since there are a total of 9 flights out of SCE daily) by 9:30am.

Eventually both flights were canceled and they put some of us in a taxi (van) to Harrisburg Airport (MDT) just about a 2 hour drive.  There was free internet there and I got to enjoy an early lunch while waiting for the flight.  From there to Atlanta (ATL), which makes any flyer nervous, but where I was assured of a FIRST CLASS seat.  So I got to the next departure gate and the standby list is over 30 people, many looking pissed off, so I was very lucky to be on the plane.  We boarded and immediately I was treated to a Leinenkugel Summer Wheat!  I won't go into the other amenities I experienced apart from the "plebeian" coach classes, except the entertainment touch screen in front of me which had movies, tv, and Bookworm.  Bookworm is a word game and I thought it would be appropriate to play on the way to a library professional conference.  The results:

I achieved the rank of Senior Librarian (I passed by Assistant Librarian without even a tenure review!)  As a guybrarian I must protest the obvious gender bias in almost all the game's images.  Heh.

Finally my brother picked me up at LAX, which is a feat I thank him for, since I was originally flying into John Wayne (SNA) Airport about 10 minutes from his house.  We went to the Yard House for some beer and second dinner, which was pretty good but expensive.

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Date:2008-06-20 10:22
Subject:High Expectations
Mood: silly

I know that some parents have unrealistic expectations for their children, but when I see little Henry all swaddled up, I can't help but hope that some day he will be God Emperor of Dune.  Did Paul Muad'Dib ever consider this?

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Date:2008-06-14 09:51
Subject:D&D 4th Edition (as of page 166 of the PHb)
Mood: chipper

So far my favorite things about the new D&D rules are
1. Simpler math for attacks, saves and damage
2. The ability to CHANGE your choices of abilities later in character development (maybe best thing evar)
3. Cleric class is less cheesy
4. Powers for martial classes (to some extent)

My least favorite things
1. Most of the powers are attack and damage related, bleah, go utility effects (looking forward to rituals)
2. I can read World of Warcraft in almost every line (especially the Warlock class)
3. Despite that last comment, there seems to be less focus on skills and crafting, etc

Reading on!

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Date:2008-06-08 13:12
Subject:A day in the life 2
Mood: tired

Let me fill you in on another aspect of being a father.  Sleep.  Henry is actually a non-colicy baby (colic being a condition of unknown causes and many treatments that basically gives you a very fussy baby), so he sleeps pretty well.  In 24 hours, he sleeps:

1x 5-6 hours during the night (this has only recently happened)
1x 2-3 hours during the night
1-2x 2-3 hours naps during the day
3-4x 1/2 hour naps during the day

What I should mention is that before each of these "moments of peace", either Mary or I have to walk him around for 5-20 minutes to convince him he really has to sleep.  Often after eating he is a bit milk-drunk and can go right to sleep (yay at night!)  Otherwise this works out to a tag-team system on the weekends.  During the week, since Mary is stuck doing it all day, I get evenings and night duty mostly.

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Date:2008-06-07 12:44
Subject:A day in the life
Mood: calm

Actually this is just half of a day (12 hours) and on the weekend too, but it is a representative snapshot.

4:00 am - wake up Henry (I'm not kidding you) since he has been asleep for 6.5 hours, change his diaper, rest while he nurses
4:30 am - walk Henry back to sleep, this takes around 15 minutes or so
7:15 am - all three of us wake up, change Henry's diaper, wash hands ;) start making coffee and pancakes
8:00 am - leave Henry and mom inside, he will go to sleep in 30 minutes, while I water the plants, cut the grass with a trimmer and lawn mower
9:00 am - come in and shower
9:30 am - watch Juno with Mary
11:00am - just before movie is over, Henry wakes up and I change his diaper, we finish the movie while he nurses
11:30am - Mary starts her lunch, while I play with the happy little man (he sits in my lap, then lays in my lap, then lays on his mat)
12:00pm - I eat lunch, Henry gets more fussy, so we get him ready for a nap
12:52pm - writing this entry after Mary finally gets him down to nap

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Date:2008-05-20 09:32
Subject:I judged PJAS

I judged PJAS yesterday.  Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science for those of you who didn't grow up in PA.  Anybody a former PJASer out there?

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