24 December 2014 @ 04:53 pm
I was perusing the digital library and noticed something a little odd and honestly, quite ridiculous. If I'm logged in, certain covers are replaced with a gray generic cover, but if I'm not logged in, I see the cover.

For example:

Doesn't this seem (a) rather backwards, and (b) a bit of censorship? Any random person can see the image, but logged in users can't? Even if I click on a title for more info when I'm logged in, I still see nothing but the gray cover. This cover isn't even all that graphic in comparison to others that aren't grayed out. Even the non-skin showing covers of the Fifty Shades series get the gray treatment, and it's not in the ironic sense.
22 December 2014 @ 02:38 pm
We have new computers that we're getting ready to go out for the public to use, and since they're new machines, we're using new passwords. Each one is "color coded", and we usually use a combo of three letters and three numbers, and sometimes there's a hidden message in it, such as the one starting with GDC means (God Damn Computer). This time, we geeked out. Every letter and number means something. Can you figure them all out?

RED = RED005, Red 5 was Luke Skywalker's call sign during the Battle of Yavin.
BLUE = SUN202, Blue Sun, plus "two by two; hands of blue" is represented by 202, for a double Firefly reference.
YELLOW = DOC456, The 456 was the alien race in Torchood: Children of Earth.
GREEN = WHO042, Of course 42 is the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

The last set of three letters spell out DOC TOR WHO.

So what's 616? I could have really been a nerd and used MCU for the letters. (hint, hint, hint)
14 December 2014 @ 01:32 pm
I'm still not quite sure why this show was Americanized, other than to allow David Tennant to attempt an American accent and allow weird Americans who can't deal with other accents to watch it sans foreign accents. The main story beats are pretty much the same, with the only major difference is adding an "outsider" character who becomes a suspect mainly because he is an outsider. The ITV version was supposed to be 10 episodes, and due to funding issues, was cut down to 8, so I suspect this was the bit that was cut out to tighten the storyline.

TPTB promised there would be a different ending with a different killer, supposedly to retain the "shock factor". I was not shocked at all. I felt there could only be one other person, I just didn't know how they'd do it. Oddly enough, I think season two of Broadchurch could continue with this extra twist if they wanted.

[Spoiler (click to open)]In Broadchurch, we discover that DS Ellie Miller's husband, Joe, had killed his son's best friend, Danny. He strangled him after Danny ran away after Joe expressed an "inappropriate attachment" to him. In both series, it appears that Joe was "grooming" Danny for months, but that he had not actually molested Danny (yet), though it's done in a way to leave you questioning.

For Gracepoint, everything is the same, with Joe confessing to murdering Danny, and claiming to not understand why he was attracted to Danny and did not intend to hurt him. We see Detective Ellie Miller and her sons move into a hotel to get away from the small town scrutiny over how she could not have known what her husband was, and what he did. All pretty much the same, except when Ellie reveals to her older son, Tom, that his father killed his friend, Tom reacts oddly.

She presses him, thinking he may know more about what his father did, but then the full truth comes out. Joe was grooming Danny as had been revealed in his confession, but on the night of Danny's murder, Tom saw his father leave the house and followed him. He sees Danny running out of a beach cottage and his father chasing after him, begging him not to tell what has been happening and that things can go back to normal and no one needs to know. Tom picks up an oar (in both shows, part of an oar was recovered from a small boat that had been set on fire to destroy evidence), and uses it to defend Danny. He swings it at his father, but doesn't realize that Danny has approached him from behind, and hits Danny in the head on the backswing, killing him. His father sends him home, telling him it's ultimately his fault, so he'll take care of it.

Ellie visits Joe in prison, where she confirms what Tom told her, and Joe says to not tell anyone so he can take the full blame and protect Tom. He feels that if he hadn't had his unhealthy connection with Danny, none of this would have happened. Bringing it up would mean Tom might be put on trial, because the only people who truly know what happened have been covering it up for two months, which probably means the media will have a field day with it. Ellie agrees to keep the secret, and plans to move with her sons out of the community. Though I can't help thinking Tom's going to need some excellent therapy over what he did, even though it was an accident.

Tennant's character gets a different name in the American version, but the ending has him planning to attend his daughter's graduation, then finally have the surgery he's been needing for quite some time. At the end of the video call with his daughter, she says something about him finally getting the hang of his phone, and when he hangs up, he replays a video file he made of an interview with Joe and Tom when the police camera failed. He picks up that when he asks if anyone else besides Danny's father ever hit him, Tom looks at Joe before responding, "no one else struck Danny" which clues him in on the real killer. He tries calling Ellie, who doesn't answer, and we're left there.

Not sure if Fox will do another season, and if they do, it will bear any resemblance to series 2 of Broadchurch.
14 December 2014 @ 11:59 am

BBC AMERICA’s Broadchurch Returns February 4th at 10/9c – Season Two Trailer

For those watching on ITV, the series will begin January 15th. Here's their trailer.

i've also finished watching the American version, Gracepoint, and I'll make a separate post revealing the slightly different ending if you're curious but didn't/couldn't watch it.
11 December 2014 @ 11:24 pm
I've missed a few meetings due to have to attend work meetings (trust me, I'd rather go to book club), and tonight we had our Christmas party at my friend's house. She's got more space and it's a nice change for everyone else having to drive about 20ish minutes to get there instead of us.

There was a new member, and due to it not being a regular meeting, I didn't really get a formal intro, as I don't think the rest realized we hadn't met, but I got a bad vibe right from the start. We got some free books from a publisher, and her nose was turning up at anything remotely "sexy" looking, and we're not talking erotica, just romances with some relatively tame sex scenes in them. My friend was giving her a tour of the house since it was her first visit, while I was in my friend's office "accidentally" leaving some files on her laptop. ::ahem:: I kept hearing the new member asking my friend things like if she was married (no), did she have kids or grandkids (no), and it wasn't really her asking the questions, but her reaction to the answers that bothered me. It was as if was inconceivable that she's 45 and unmarried and unconcerned about it.

We had planned to watch the first episode of Downton Abbey, because about half of the members had not watched it, and those of us who had were curious to see what reaction we would have knowing what happens in future episodes, and also get us in the mood for the upcoming PBS run of the next series. I found it very interesting that all of us pretty much loathe Mary and hate how the show revolved around her love life. After one scene where she was being particularly bratty, I announced to the room, "Ladies, please meet the center of the universe."

I knew the gay kissing scene was in the first or second episode, but I couldn't remember for certain until shortly before the scene. My friend is a slasher, so I knew it would pique her interest, so once I realized it was in the first episode, I was waiting for her reaction, as well as any reactions from the others. Everyone who hadn't watched it before had a sort of, "Oh, that's why he was acting that way earlier. Okay." reaction. Not the new lady. She actually said "Ew. Is it over yet?" because she looked away. Another member who was new to watching the show said, "Well, sort of. They're not kissing, but they're still touching." So she kept looking away. I'm going to write it off to her generation, but other members of the club are around the same age and much more open minded. Just a reminder that no show can please everyone.

But it was interesting to see how things started knowing how things turn out (I haven't seen the newest series yet, I'm waiting for PBS next month), and I think all the new viewers were intrigued enough to watch more except our new member. My friend had checked out the DVD from the library, and decided to keep it so she could watch the rest, so that should be on convert made. :)
10 December 2014 @ 05:28 pm
I'm working on a small grant that is for the mystery genre only. We can get any format: books, audiobooks, digital, and even DVD or BluRay. It can be for any age as well.

One of the requirements is a bibliography of materials being considered for purchase. I went the easy route for the books and used the most recent Agatha Awards and Edgar Awards and whittled out the titles we have in one format or another. For DVD suggestions, I have some that would be new to us, others would be adding more seasons:

  • Elementary

  • The Fall

  • Inspector Lewis, Series 5+

  • Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Season 2

  • Murdoch Mysteries, Season 7

  • New Tricks

  • Vera

Relatively heavy on British series, but there's American, Canadian, and Australian representation too. What I'm trying to think of now are stand alone mystery movies. They're mainly wanting a detective, either professional or amateur, solving crimes. Legal stories, suspense, gothics, and espionage or international intrigue are specifically excluded.

Any suggestions? Can be new or classic movies. It's a bit hard to come up with ideas when you don't know exactly how much money we'll receive, though it does say it won't exceed $500. I can make that go pretty far in books because we have a good discount, but TV series can get expensive, so standalone movies might be a good alternate choice to stretch funds if we don't have much money for the video portion.
07 December 2014 @ 03:09 pm

"Think like a librarian. It may save your life."

"So pick up a book. Learn to read, it will open up a whole new level of fear."
04 December 2014 @ 12:02 pm
Interesting article for me in The Tennessean, in which I take some solace in a quote used from "Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?" by Jeanette Winterson.

"The librarian was explaining the benefits of the Dewey decimal system to her junior — benefits that extended to every area of life. It was orderly, like the universe.

"Whenever I am troubled," said the librarian, "I think about the Dewey decimal system."

"Then I understand that trouble is just something that has been filed in the wrong place …"

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30 November 2014 @ 06:47 pm
Thanksgiving day started out fine, lunch with the parents, a touch of food coma in the afternoon. But the food coma changed to feeling like crap before early evening, with a low-grade fever, sore throat, and a wicked cough. I just got over this crap! WTF! My father had it right about the time mine cleared up, and finally went to the doctor on Tuesday (sinus and ear infection, as well as bronchitis), but apparently it had already been passed on to me for round two.

This time is a lot worse, with the cough being so deep that my ribs are hurting, and sometimes I get some pain near the back surgery site because I can't control body movements and the muscles are getting tweaked. I'm taking an OTC med for the cough and congestion, but it can only do so much. The fever isn't high, but it's not going away. My normal work rule is if anyone's sick, stay home, I don't want it, but after being off for four months and still having... issues with the new administration in city hall, I'm so leery about taking off any time. But I don't want to make other people sick, especially since I have several immunocompromised regulars at the library.

I haven't decided if I'm going to try to see my regular doctor or go to a "doc in a box" (walk in clinic) Monday. I already know they can't give me a steroid, because I just got a shot the previous week to break a migraine, and finished a round of pills on Thanksgiving. Also can't do the breathing treatment my father is doing, because as proven during my hospital stay, it will set off a migraine. My neurologist was rather appalled that they gave me that treatment when it was in my chart that I suffer from my migraines, but it's just one of those "automatic" post-surgery things and I didn't know any better to say no until they came around for the third time.

In better news, I got to blow some library money on DVDs. We usually take advantage of Amazon's Black Friday sales and stock up on DVDs that we slowly put out to keep things "new" for a few months. So far, in no particular order, we've got:

  1. Pretty Little Liars: Season 4

  2. Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor

  3. The Nightmare Before Christmas

  4. Doctor Who: An Adventure in Space and Time

  5. Non-Stop

  6. White Christmas

  7. Rizzoli & Isles: Season 4

  8. Lee Daniels' The Butler

  9. The Bible: The Epic Miniseries

  10. Heaven is For Real

  11. The Musketeers

  12. Justified: Season 5

  13. Orange Is the New Black: Season 1

  14. Vikings: Season 1

  15. TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Holiday (Christmas in Connecticut / A Christmas Carol 1938 / The Shop Around the Corner / It Happened on 5th Ave)

  16. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

  17. Planes Fire and Rescue

  18. The Vampire Diaries: Season 5

  19. G.I. Joe: Retaliation

  20. I, Frankenstein

  21. Lone Survivor

  22. Ender's Game

  23. Legend of Hercules

  24. Noah

  25. Rush

  26. 21 Jump Street

Some of these are additions to series, a couple are replacement copies for those lost, damaged, or eternally checked out. I tried to get as wide a variety as possible with the rest. Other than the pre-order of Justified: Season 5, I don't think anything was over $15, and I won't be certain on that price until it ships. Some were in the $5 - 10 range. This will be an interesting test of the purchase order system we've been using since October 1st. Making purchases of materials that were at a discount for a limited time was specifically mentioned as something I can do without having to do individual POs and waiting for approval. They can be approved after purchase in such situations. We shall see, especially when they see the total.
29 November 2014 @ 08:07 pm
Just did a mini-marathon of all eight episode of Showtime/Sky Atlantic's Penny Dreadful. I'm still not quite sure what to make of it.

Definitely Gothic Horror, and at times I feel like it's fanfic onscreen with classic characters (read: in the public domain) tossed together into a single time period with original(ish) characters. Sir Malcolm Murray, formerly an explorer of the African continent, seeks his abducted daughter, Mina (yeah, guess where that's going). He's assisted by her childhood friend, Vanessa Ives, who is apparently has some sort of supernatural powers and/or is possessed by one or more beings and "The Master" is using Mina to lure in Vanessa as his bride. [insert Egyptian Book of the Dead meets the Apocalypse reasoning here]

As things progress, we meet Abraham Van Helsing, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, and Dorian Gray. Let's just say that Dorian Gray gets around like Captain Jack Harkness gets around, m'kay? I'm assuming there's fanfic of that, right? What am I saying? There probably was before this show aired. Also, appropriate icon is appropriate.

Since it's for a pay channel, of course there's gore and sex scenes, but the gore wasn't as bad as I was expecting. It's there, but you often just see the aftermath, though one quick and gory scene is also one of the best "reveals" I've ever seen. Though if you're at leery over blood and guts, this is probably not the show for you. Vampire headshots, resurrecting dead bodies, bodies discovered ripped apart, etc. Those aren't spoilers, they're the first episode.

The majority of the sex scenes are het (and at least one is uber creepy as something seduces a female character over to the dark side using a familiar face, but is not present in the physical world), but there is one of Dorian and one of the male regulars (not really explicit at all, though I understand some people got their knickers in a bunch when it first aired), as well as Dorian apparently presiding over an orgy with a naked woman on one side, and a man on the other. Though neither men are naked, they're wearing leather pants. It's the usual thing we get from pay channels; the focus is on the male gaze, so what little male nudity there is happens to be butt shots while they're having sex with a woman.

As for the plot, I'm intrigued, but some of the plot tropes bother me. Don't get me wrong, it's chock full of tropes that it both plays straight and subverts, and takes great glory in both, but certain tropes bother me by their very existence. We're left with multiple cliffhangers, but it's already been renewed for a second season, so there will be at least some follow up. There's even a few bits that appear resolved at the beginning might not be, such as a character assumed dead prior to the show's start, but then the person who was there having dodgy memories of the events. Might be nothing, might be plotcake.

One thing I thought they would reveal but did not is[Spoiler (click to open)]Dorian's portrait. He hangs out in a room full of portraits of other people, and is seen going into a secret room and unveiling a large canvas, but we only see it from the back. I really thought they'd show at least a glimpse  near the end of the season, to give us an idea of how old he really is, though since it's more a reflection of the corruption of his soul, perhaps it's best to wait for a Big Reveal moment?
Anyone else watch this and want to weigh in?