Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Bad Habits

Facing the music: After avoiding it for months, I went to my local public library and paid a whopping $32 in late fees. Yes, 'tis true: I am a library book slacker.

It's not all my fault. Instead of stamping each book with its due date, the check-out droids (always a sullen lot) give you a single receipt with the due dates of all the books, CDs and DVDs you check out. So unless you leave a slip of paper in each book stating when you have to return it, it's very, very easy to forget.

Which I apparently do a lot. Hence my tendency to pile up fines (25 cents a day for each late book, and I tend to check books out en masse) and writing a check every quarter to appease the Dewey Decimal gods.

Running Update: Haven't run in a week. I just cringed when I wrote that sentence. I finally feel strong enough to start running again after being struck down with a nasty bout of strep throat/sinus infection and god knows what else. I'm just feeling petulant that I worked so hard for the Las Vegas Half-Marathon, all for naught.

Welcome to the revolution: One of my old teachers at the Poynter Institute, Chip Scanlan, recently wrote a column about podcasting, audio blogs and how mainstream journalists can use them. Good stuff.

And one more thing: A friend of ours, and a mentor to me from a ways back, just got promoted to managing editor of the St. Petersburg Times, a Pulitzer-prize winning newspaper many times over and the best damn daily in Florida. (He offered me a reporting job at the paper two years ago, but I didn't want to move to Florida.) He's only 38. Congrats, Steve! It couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy.


  1. My wife takes out so many books that she uses one of those folding luggage dollies to carry them out. She does alot of renewals online and the local library sends you an email when books are about to become overdue.

    Still, despite all that, the overdue fines are ENORMOUS! One time we owed $60 and the woman felt so bad about it that she knocked it down to $40. We are such losers.

  2. I know exactly what you mean about those receipts, didnt they used to give cards with a stamp for each book. I borrow a few books at a time so I have to ping myself to get the books back or renew online.

  3. I love Chip Scanlon's columns. I have one I've used with my kids for years...I'll have to check out his podcasting work. Sorry about the will come back!