For DeNephew

For DeNephew

You guys! I got a nephew yesterday. I’m an aunt! I’ve never been an aunt before.

And I’m going to visit him and his mom for a week, leaving tomorrow.


2013 in Review

Ah, year-end recaps and reflections. Had enough of ’em yet? No? Okay, then.

On the social media front for me this year:

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

There was a lot of loss for me this year:

The busiest day of the year was June 17th with 250 views. The most popular post that day was Baba.

Not far behind were my posts about my mother-in-law’s passing, as well as that of my beloved Nuala.

So, you can see, it was kind of a crappy year for me and mine. (Interestingly enough, to me at least, is that in Facebook’s encapsulator of my year, it doesn’t have any of these events listed as one of my “20 biggest moments from the past year”, even though I linked to these posts on Facebook and they were more commented-on and shared than any other post of mine. Is it because Facebook doesn’t want to depress people, or is it because they were links to outside sources, rather than native status updates?)

Don’t want to leave 2013 on such a sour note, necessarily, so let’s look at some of my other stats, shall we?

I always find this information amusing:

Some visitors came searching, mostly for “shish odoshi”, “shi shi odo shi”, “i love her expression”, “agafya lykova”, and “tea kettle with train whistle”.

I have no idea what “agafya lykov” means.

Oh, wait, I just Googled it.

It’s the name of a Russian woman who had been living with her family in the forest, away from all human contact, since World War II. Did I blog about them? No, I did not. However, I did read an article about the family earlier this year and it was fascinating; you should read it. Still, I didn’t even mention the article in a “Saturday Evening Post,” so I’m not sure how people got to my blog with that search. Perhaps I tweeted the article and therefore it was in my Twitter sidebar?

Speaking of Twitter … wanna see my top 10 tweets? Lucky you!

Twitter top 10

You can view it here, too:

If you prefer a less static representation of my 2013 on Twitter, check out this little video, which is kind of cool, if I do say so myself. I am most popular at conferences, apparently. If you’re interested in the top tweets of my corporate alter-ego, check it out here. Nifty video for said alter ego here.

My top Instagram moments are lined up here. I won’t bore you with my top Pinterest or Polyvore moments, mostly because I have no idea what they are. And I’m pretty sure I don’t have any “top” moments on LinkedIn or Google+.

As for what 2014 brings …

I used to be big on resolutions, but I’m not so much any more. The only one I’m really making out loud is that I intend to floss more this year. (N.B., this is a resolution I make every year. Perhaps 2014 will be the one?)

Also, as someone who just (as I was writing this at 10:40 on Monday night) admonished her loudly yodeling and raspberry-blowing daughter with, “If you don’t be more quiet and try to go to sleep, we won’t go meet your sisters tomorrow” (note – her sisters, who live in the attic, are imaginary. As is the attic. And thus I have no idea how I would enforce this threat), I should probably try to be a better parent next year. (On the other hand, she quieted right down, so …).

More seriously, I hope 2014 brings joy, peace, happiness, and comfort to you and yours. And if you hear of a delicious tea, or an awesome tech gadget, or a gorgeous fashion trend, or a new-fangled way of looking at law librarianship or legal academia in general, let me know! I am honestly interested in these things, and I can always use blog fodder.

Finally, if you know of effective tips to get your kid to sleep (and to stop blowing raspberries) without threatening the disappearance of their imaginary siblings, I’d be grateful for the knowledge. See you all next year!

Saturday Evening Posts


Seeing if this clickbait works as well as the last one.

I starred a lot of things in my reader this week. Hopefully you will find some of them interesting!


Relaxed can connect to your Facebook or Twitter accounts and automatically send out to replies to let people know you are taking a break from social media.

I think, maybe, if you need this app, you might have a bigger problem. But, on the other hand, if you need this app, I’m glad it exists for you!

Another amazing recurring bit in the Arrested canon is the Cornballer, George Sr.’s popular but really dangerous invention. The Cornballer, of course, made Cornballs, likely delicious fried treats (probably spelled with a ‘z’ like treatz), but it also severely burned its users.

Totally want to make these.

If you want to get a little activity while you sit at your desk or your computer, the DeskCycle may be a good fit for you. It’s a tiny stationary bike that’s essentially just the pedals, small enough to slide under your desk at work or at home so you get some pedaling in while you work, chat, or play video games.

Where our beloved FitDesk is a full standing exercise bike, the DeskCycle does away with the seat and handlebars, and instead acts a bit like a recumbent bike. You sit in your desk chair, and you continue to use your computer normally, you’re just pedaling under your desk. When we say the DeskCycle is small, we mean it—it’s only about 20 inches across, 24 inches long, and the tallest pedal height is 10 inches. That means if you have two feet square under your desk, you can fit this thing under it and use it without issue.

Going to measure my desk in my office first thing next time I go in. I kind of want this.

This morning Pew Internet & American Life released its latest report on libraries in the digital age. “How Americans Value Public Libraries in Their Communities” reports on the value of libraries services to their community.

People who answer these studies always seem to say they value their libraries, but does it ever have an effect on what happens to public libraries?

I admit that I don’t understand how 3-D printing works, but are people clamoring for the ability to print lingerie?

Part 7 of my Top 10 Ed-Tech Trends of 2013 series

This is the third year in a row that I’ve chosen “data” as one of the “top trends” in ed-tech. (See 2011, 2012) If you’re looking for a sunnier view of data in education, read those. 2013, in my opinion, was pretty grim.

The idea being explored is worth revisiting every single gift-giving season. Little girls are confronted by strong messages about beauty and body image conformity very early. They are pushed into sexy images early as well. It’s not just Barbie and Bratz with totally unrealistic body dimensions. The Disney princesses, even re-worked for modern theories of empowered women are still worth discussing with little girls. Do you have to have a dainty little nose to be a princess? Do you have to be thin? Do you have to have little feet and elegant hands? How about whether you have to have swishy smooth lush shiny hair that swoops back and forth around you? Do you have to have big eyes with long lashes? What if your mouth isn’t small in a cute, pointy chin, with pouty lips? What if, maybe you aren’t a classic beauty? Does beauty mean you are good? Does good mean you are beautiful? These two things are sort of mixed up together in the Disney princesses, and in way too much of our little kid toy, AV and illustrated material.

This isn’t what the blog author is talking about so much here, but have you seen the imagined girl-appealing portraits of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Anne Frank, Harriet Tubman, et al that she starts this post with? I think it’s important to introduce children to these figures as role models in lieu of the Disney princesses, of course, but the drawings of the figures make them look like … Disney princesses. Which, of course, is part of the point – get girls interested in them. But they’ve got the waspy waists, giant eyes, low-cut gowns, etc. I think the sparkly clothes and “fairy-like” aspects could be kept – thus raising interest in girls – without making them have the same physical characteristics that we complain about with the Disney princesses (and Bratz dolls, etc., of course).

Do you have a great lesson plan or assignment that you’d be willing to share?  How about handouts or PowerPoint slides?  If so, then we need your help! The RIPS Teach-In Kit Committee is currently accepting submissions for the 2014 Teach-In Kit.  The Teach-In Kit is […]

Once our hybrid internet legal research class is all polished and shiny, I’m thinking of contributing to this.

Jane Merwin: January 22, 1947 – November 10, 2013

My mother-in-law passed away early Sunday morning.

Carol, Naomi, Jane, 2004

She had had various forms of cancer over the last eight years, but seemed to keep beating it. I guess I started to think she was going to beat it forever, which of course is stupid, but even after the last diagnosis I wasn’t overly concerned.

Jane and Ralph, 2006

She passionately loved the Packers, her cottage up North, her numerous friends of all ages in Wausau, Green Bay, Eagle River … all over Wisconsin. She enjoyed Fantasy NASCAR (I didn’t even know that was a thing until I met her); well, actually, she enjoyed telling her husband which guys to pick for Fantasy NASCAR, and then ribbing him if he didn’t pick the way she told him to. She was a gracious, energetic, and extremely generous hostess. She and my father-in-law were never happier than when entertaining in the bar they had in their basement.

Merwins, 2007

Above all, she adored her family, and she was completely enchanted with Aria.

Hospital visit from Grandpa & ma Merwin

It is so unfair that Aria and she only got to have four-and-a-half years together.

With a new quilt from Aunt Lori

I asked Aria what I should write about Grandma Jane in this post.
Aria and Jane at Aria's first birthday party

She said, “You should say, ‘Grandma Jane: I wish you could have stayed longer. I love you.’

Grandma Jane smooches Aria

That’s what you should say.”

After dinner


So do we all, Jane. So do we all.

Aria's 2nd birthday

Aria & Jane