Friday, October 12, 2018

Don't Forget Your Cucumber

Do you ever listen to podcasts? I've recently been listening to one called "Dr. Death," about a Dallas neurosurgeon who was at best incompetent and at worst a sociopath. He maimed and killed so many patients in such a short period of time that he was prosecuted, and is now serving life in prison! It's a crazy case, and unprecedented, apparently. If you want some interesting listening, give it a try. I'm also told "Serial" is out with a third season that I plan to begin ASAP.

I finished cleaning out the library's DVDs yesterday. I've found that getting rid of everything that hasn't been watched in the last five years -- which is the method I used for documentaries and instructional films -- doesn't entirely work in the fiction section. If I did that, I'd be keeping movies like "Cheaper by the Dozen 2," "The Lake House" and "Maid of Honor" while discarding "Birth of a Nation," "Lawrence of Arabia," "Gone with the Wind" and everything by Fellini and Bergman.

So I made a little pile of films I think we should discard, even though they were watched once in recent years, and a little pile of those we shouldn't even though they weren't checked out. I'll talk it through with my boss today and we'll see how she feels about the results.

It's interesting, because like all library weeding projects, this forces us to consider our mission. Do we keep what people want, or do we bring them significant films for educational or cultural reasons?

(Top: Hampstead Heath, last weekend. Bottom: Found on the sidewalk on my way home from work yesterday.)


  1. I enjoyed this post until a certain rogue word raised its supercilious and irritating little head right at the end! As for podcasts, I have never listened to a single one. I suppose this is one of the side benefits of not having a mobile phone (American: cellphone).

    1. Listen on your computer, Neil. My cell phone is too old and out of space to download podcasts on it.

  2. I put it in there just for you! In fact, I think sidewalk I'm going to start using it sidewalk even when it's not called for sidewalk.

  3. LOL @ YP and bigger LOL @ Steve :) I think we should all sidewalk do that just to sidewalk bother Mr. Pudding ...

    When I look at the small size of your first photo as it appears in Blogger dashboard, it looks like an evergreen branch backed by a nearly full moon! Up close, it's different but just as nice.

  4. About DVD choices, I think retaining those that actually have historical and artistic value is a good way to go. Most films can be found online one way or another, so you're really not depriving the students of anything that they can't get on their own. I've never listened to a podcast. And I'm confused by the sidewalk controversy here.

  5. If no one is ever going to check something out, it's worth thinking about tossing it, I guess.
    You could pile them up on the sidewalk in case anyone just passing along wanted to grab them.

  6. It's not easy weeding out material. It's like my long term downsizing project. But your title mystified me until the explanatory note at the bottom.

  7. It sounds to me like you have a very intelligent plan for the DVD library. Makes perfect sense to me. I love that top photo and I'm certainly puzzled over the note. Fortunately, I don't have a cucumber at the moment so I don't need to worry about forgetting it.

  8. I wonder if there's some sort of psycho-sexual meaning to that note. Or is it just a shopping reminder? It's a sidewalk conundrum.

  9. Isn't it lovely, the things you can find and observe from the sidewalk? The sidewalks of London seem to abound in content. If you take Ms.Moon's advise and leave a pile of DVDs on the sidewalk, just think what you'll be giving to your fellow strollers, saunterers, and questers. You'll be giving them a story to tell that night, at the pub, about the amazing thing they found on the sidewalk today.

  10. Sounds like a job I should do too, we have some we haven’t watched in eons but the moment I discard them, someone will ask for it, what to do, mmmmmm

  11. The sidewalk wars! A latterday American War of Independance - and we all know who won the first one!

  12. I don't listen to podcasts. just have never. and I have no DVDs to winnow out. we don't buy them, just rent or borrow.

  13. I listen to a lot of podcasts -- I love The New York Times' The Daily, and all the New Yorker podcasts of short stories and famous writers reading short stories. Have you listened you S-Town? It takes place in Alabama and is just the wildest, weirdest story. Also, I do a podcast every other week -- it's called Who Lives Like This?!, and we interview caregivers and people who support them.

  14. Jenny-O: Maybe it looks that way partly because the evergreen branch with the full moon is such a commonly seen image. Maybe your brain interprets it as that because it's familiar. Know what I mean?

    Jennifer: Yes, it's true, the absence of a phone doesn't negate the possibility of listening to a podcast!

    Robin: Well, that's true -- no matter what I discard it's not like the kids can't get it elsewhere. Neil always criticizes my use of the American word sidewalk (bewilderingly, since I am in fact American). He favors the more British term pavement.

    Ms Moon: And that's our next point of discussion -- what do we DO with them all? When we weed books we give them to charity. I suppose we could do that here, too, but I wonder who wants 200 instructional DVDs. I think the sidewalk is a perfect solution, LOL!

    Red: It takes focus, but I like it. I feel less burdened at the end!

    Sharon: I wouldn't think a cucumber would be the type of thing that is so essential one needs a note from a loved one to remember it. Like, what's the worst that could happen?

    Catalyst: I definitely took it as some kind of double-entendre, given that smiley face with the tongue!

    Vivian: Bravo! :)

    Laurie: In the unlikely event that they DO ask for it, there's always Amazon streaming. That's my theory. (Except for some TV shows or unusual films.) I don't mind paying a few pounds to rent it again if it means I won't have to kick around a DVD case for the next 30 years.

    Alphie: Ha! Revolutions have been fought over strange things, but this might be the strangest. (What do Australians say, anyway? Do you use the American term or the British?)

    Ellen: I used to occasionally buy DVDs, but Dave and his former partner owned a mountain of them. That's most of what we have now, although we managed to discard about half of them before we moved from the states. I just don't get the point unless it's a movie you really, really love. I could see owning "The Graduate," because it's my favorite movie, but why would I want to own something as mundane as "X-Men," which we both like but neither of us would consider a fave?

    Elizabeth: I've listened to your podcast! And yes, I listened to S-Town, too. I loved it. I've never tried the New Yorker ones -- I usually go more for the true crime types.