Saturday, October 22, 2022

Whitely, Discreetly, Quietly

I went out in the garden yesterday evening and was astonished to find a huge patch of mushrooms in the back corner by the shed. I mowed the lawn last Sunday and they weren't there at all, so they did indeed spring up pretty much "overnight, very whitely, discreetly, very quietly" as Sylvia Plath wrote in her famous poem "Mushrooms."

Looks like we've got a pretty good crop of moss growing there too. Good thing I'm not picky about my grass.

Yesterday I was enmeshed in one of my periodic library tasks, to gather and record statistics about the usage of our databases. In the past this hasn't been too onerous, but some of the databases seem to have changed the way they report stats to give greater detail -- and in some cases it's WAY more detail than we need. So I spent some time wrestling with the numbers and trying to make sure they are still comparable to our earlier stats, so we can track usage across time.

Plus, I have never been formally trained in using Excel spreadsheets, so there's a certain amount of trial and error in importing and displaying the data. In the end I made it all work, and it helped pass the day. (We had no students for the past two days because of parent-teacher conferences, so I haven't had my normal run of customers in the library.)

And now, the weekend!


Andrew said...

I had a look at Excel once and a friend gave me a book about Excel. It seemed complicated, like Wordle, so I decided Excel knowledge was something I could live without.

It is certainly a fine crop of mushrooms.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I’m searching those beautiful mushrooms for a hookah-smoking caterpillar. I love Excel. Took a professional course on it when I worked at UCSD. Didn’t have a use for it professionally until years later and of course I had forgotten everything. I use it now, but also with much trial and error.

e said...

Wow, maybe the mushrooms will improve the brains of the latest pack of politicians in your neck of the woods???
I'm watching the implosion day by day...

Rachel Phillips said...

When I worked for the local council they were mad on Excel so I bought a book on how to use it. It drove me crazy that we had to use it for EVERYTHING.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I wonder if the mushrooms talk to each other.
"It's getting crowded here mate. Can't you shove up?"
"I'll try but there's not mush room!"

You could approach a member of staff with better EXCEL skills and ask for a couple of training sessions. Maybe someone from the ICT department. Anything I know about using computers I taught myself so there are gaps in my knowledge. I guess that this is pretty common in my generation.

Bob said...

Carlos knows Excel.
I know Nothing.

Colette said...

I have a friend who hates mushrooms so much, she actually kicks them over when she sees them in the wild. So strange.

Sharon said...

Those mushrooms are amazing!

Ms. Moon said...

Lovely mushrooms! Wonder what brought their spores in. They are so mysterious.
Excel? Yes. Well. Also mysterious, to me at least.

Ellen D. said...

Excel can be very helpful if you can figure out how to use it! I found that YouTube videos explain a lot of the tricks of using Excel. I would Google what I was trying to do and could often find a clear explanation. I haven't used Excel since I retired, tho! :)

ellen abbott said...

That is a lot of mushrooms! I wonder if they're edible. No Excel knowledge here. I don't even fool with the spreadsheet that comes with Open Office though I used to try and keep track of my inventory at the different galleries at one time on a spreadsheet. Now that I only have one gallery keeping track is easy.

NewRobin13 said...

Many years ago when I was still working at UC Santa Cruz I used Excel everyday and had to teach the students who were the bookkeepers for the student newspapers how to use it as well. When I think about that program now and how it works I draw an absolute blank. Well, not exactly a blank more like an empty spreadsheet in my mind.
Love seeing those mushrooms there. it's definitely mushroom season. Here too.

Red said...

It always surprises me how quickly mushrooms appear. You can't watch them grow day by day.

Debby said...

It appears that this corner of your yard is especially well fertilized.=

Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing the Sylvia Plath poem. I love it!

Marty said...

Ah, Excel. Don't miss it all all now that I'm not fumbling around with it recording grades for students. Yay, retirement.

Ed said...

Once in a long time, we'll get a circle of mushrooms that will pop up in the yard somewhere. It is never in the same place time and probably ten years between events. I have always wondered what the trigger was that made them pop.

Wilma said...

Pretty little mushrooms and fine description of how they just appear.

I love to play with Excel. I use it in my daily life to keep track of sea turtle nesting attempts, rainfall, finances, maintenance projects, and inventory. Back in the pre-retirement days I used it at work to manage data from scientific experiments. I love me a good spreadsheet!

Jennifer said...

I hate Excel. HATE IT. I've taken a couple of work-based courses over the years and it still makes no sense to me. At my current job we do a lot of work through Google documents and spreadsheets. It's not great, but much more intuitive than Excel (for me at least).

Margaret said...

I had to learn a little bit about Excel in teaching although, thankfully, I didn't have to generate any spreadsheets. That is quite a crop of mushrooms!

Tasker Dunham said...

We've got the moss but no mushrooms this year.

Allison said...

In the mid-80s I used a lot of excel. That was back when they relied heavily on keyboard short cuts. Those went by the wayside over time. I use the Open Office spreadsheet a little, but really and truly hate it. HATE!

37paddington said...

I think you love those "enmeshing" tasks and are good at them, too!

Marcia LaRue said...

Check with Bev at Bee Haven Acres as to the kind of 'shrooms you have in your yard! She is quite the expert on those things and, whatever you do ... do not eat them and make sure Olga does not do anything with them!

Pixie said...

The same thing happened in my garden. All of a sudden one day, I found a huge bunch of mushrooms in my back garden. They are mysterious.

Steve Reed said...

Andrew: I can't imagine trying to learn it from a book. I learn by doing, especially when it comes to computer stuff.

Mitchell: It IS amazing what it can do, once you know how to make it all work.

E: The government here is a train wreck at the moment, no doubt about it.

Rachel: Excel monomania!

YP: I think I know enough to get by, for the limited amount of stuff I need to do. Which is kind of my goal in life. :)

Bob: Nothing is not a program I am familiar with.

Colette: We used to kick them as kids, though I don't know why. I don't think it harms the mushrooms much. (They probably manage to reproduce anyway.)

Sharon: SO weird, how quickly they appeared.

Ms Moon: Life is full of mysteries! LOL

Ellen D: I just don't have the patience to watch YouTube videos to learn stuff like that. I don't like sitting through all the extraneous stuff before I get to what I need to know.

Ellen: I'm not eating them!

Robin: An empty spreadsheet -- LOL! How quickly we forget these sorts of things. Which is just as well.

Red: No! They're just suddenly there!

Debby: I can't imagine why. OLGA! :/

Kelly: One of my favorite poems since I studied it back in high school!

Marty: Yeah, it would be wonderful to have the freedom to just forget stuff like that!

Ed: I remember seeing those "fairy rings" in New Jersey when we lived there. These grew more in clumps than in rings for some reason.

Wilma: It's cool that you still use it to track personal data. I like the idea of keeping track of rainfall. We should do that here.

Jennifer: Actually, we use Google sheets a lot too, and when I use Excel it's mainly just to download and prepare the data to import it into Google sheets.

Margaret: And I think they're twice as big already than when I took the picture.

Tasker: I've never had mushrooms to this extent.

Allison: I imagine that using Excel in the early days was more challenging than using it now. Seems like most of these programs have become easier over time.

37P: I do love an engrossing task, one that makes me lose track of time.

Marcia: Oh, I won't eat them, don't worry about that! Olga wouldn't eat them either, I'm sure. Dogs usually have a natural antipathy for mushrooms.

Pixie: It's so strange, isn't it? How they just appear?

River said...

I did a basic course in Excel way back in my late forties, it seemed easy enough and I could see where it would be useful, but I can't remember any of it now and never used it for anything. I thought it might look good on a job resume, but no one was hiring anyone over the age of about 25 it seemed.

Jeanie said...

I was very frustrated because I didn't see one single mushroom up north this fall and I usually have huge long posts about them all! I'm not sure if it was climate, lack of rain, what. But ZERO!