Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Paws to Read to Moi, If You Please

Click to Bigify Blurb

As you can see from this excerpt from the MPL Bookmark newsletter (June/July 2011), the Paws to Read! program is coming to my Library on June 4, July 9, and July 30, 2011 (11 a.m. to Noon).  Kids from grades K-6 read to a slobberdog or possibly another animal.  That's a bit vague.  Would this "other animal" be feline, perhaps?

Slobberdogs are Great Listeners, But Why Should They Have All the Fun?

Fine Literature Requires a Sophisticated Audience

Reading to slobberdogs is great fun, but you have to read at their levels, which, from our children's collection, would be the earliest "ready-to-read" books or possibly preschool.  For some slobberdogs (you know who you are), board books would be a challenge.  I, on the other paw, am prepared to hear the literary classics.  Make with the Melville!  Tolstoy is a snap!  Even Chaucer presents no problems for moi.

Of course, it may be difficult to work this into my busy schedule, what with all the roving reporting I am doing for the Library.  Well, I'll try to be there, but if not, then pull up a slobberdog and read-to!  You'll all have a wonderful time.

Readalongs Are Paws-itively Cool,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Read-To News Beat

P.S.  Paws to Read is all about friends sharing great reading.  Speaking of friends, here are James Taylor and Carole King performing "You've Got a Friend" (Nov. 1971 television performance).

Summer Reading For Everyone

Since last Friday's (5/27/2011) Summer Reading Kickoff Festival Bigbash was a huge slam-dunk success, we wanted to alert readers about the particulars of the various summer reading programs now underway at my Library.  The Decorinator has once again outdone herself with fabulous arts and crafts promoting the programs.

Little People, Big World
Baby Summer Reading Program
(Ages 0-3)

 One World, Many Stories
Kids Summer Reading Program
(Age 4 through Grade 6)

 Picture This... Back to the Books
Teen Summer Reading Program
(Grades 7-12)

 Descriptions of All MPL Summer Reading Programs
(Including Novel Destinations, for Adults, Ages 18 and Up)
(Click Image to Bigify, as Tober Says)

There are prizes to be won.  That alone is reason enough to read.  But there is also the sheer pleasure and adventure of discovering new ideas and exploring new worlds.  Put me down for a bundle of books.  I like to be read to, of course, but I can read myself, naturally.  I'm a pretty exceptional feline.

The Decorinator created some superb artwork based on the summer reading logos shown in the MPL Bookmark.  Some are shown above, but here are some others.

Summer Reading Critters

Who, exactly, is this, may I ask?

Who is Intruding Upon My Turf?
 Looking for a Horsey Ride?  Show Me the Money!
 Must Be Promoting Summer Reading

This strange kitty must be promoting summer reading, so I'm down with it.  But stay away from my supper dish!

That Goes For My Treats, Too, Tiger Tabby,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Summer Reading News Beat

P.S.  Looking for some good reads?  Watch our book trailers on the MPL YouTube Channel.  We have many playlists for different genres and subjects.  We feature lots of great books that are available in the Library's Evergreen Indiana catalog.

P.P.S.  Our musical closer promotes summer reading, too.  Here is Tracy Chapman singing "Telling Stories," from her album by the same name (2000).  If you've never heard this singer/songwriter before, you're in for a treat.  She is fantabulous.  You can thank me later with a treat for moi (tuna-flavored, if you please).

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Water Volcano is Completely Gone!

The water volcano in my Library's courtyard is gone--completely gone!  It is as if it were blown right off the face of the earth.  Am I exaggerating? You be the judge.

MPL Courtyard, as seen from just outside
the Indiana Roving Reporter Room

Zoomified Photo of Previous Location
of Courtyard Water Volcano

Compare this to how the water volcano looked until quite recently.

Water Volcano Four Months Ago (as Shown in Previous Blog)

Water Volcano from a couple weeks ago (as Shown in Previous Blog)

There's also a photo of the water volcano from the secret rocket transport blog post, but you get the picture.  It was there, and now it's gone, all gone.  What's up with that?

Could U.F.O.s from an advanced alien civilization have come and removed the water volcano for some nefarious purpose?  Perhaps it erupted like Krakatoa (1883), obliterating the water volcano's entire structure?  An eruption that large would have made an enormous noise.  I didn't hear anything.  Plus there's no water vapor cloud (like an ash cloud for lava-erupting volcanoes).  I'm convinced this disappearance was no natural phenomenon.

During last Friday's (5/27/2011) MPL Summer Reading Kickoff Festival Bigbash, which set attendance records, despite cool, overcast weather (way to go, Broadway Gal and company!), I saw two water kiddies playing around at the water volcano site.  The next day, as I dropped by the Library to turn in some stories, I saw the duo sitting atop one of the featured book displays.

Suspicious Water Kiddies Playing Atop
Book Display (in the Great Hall)

Perhaps these two pixies took the water volcano.  Okay, li'l rascals, where were you on the night of . . .

Just the Facts, Ma'am,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Water Resources News Beat

P.S.  The water volcano's disappearance prompted as our musical closer "Already Gone," by the Eagles, from the On the Border album (1974).

P.P.S.  For one of my photo captions, I borrowed from "Gone, Long Gone," by Chicago, from the Hot Streets LP (1978).

P.P.P.S.  We mustn't forget "Gone, Gone, Gone" by the Everly Brothers, shown here live on the television program Shindig! (November 18, 1964)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Et Itur Ad Astra

"And so, one goes to the stars."  This lyric from Enya's Afer Ventus, at least by my interpretation, points to a journey that people (and us non-peeps) since ancient times have considered a normal, daily (or nightly) experience for higher life forms:  dreaming and astral projection.

Are dreams only fabrications of a sleeping brain?  Could they be stylized representations of real experiences beyond one's physical body?  These and other questions are explored in Dreams and Astral Travel, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley (Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena Series; New York: Chelsea House, 2009) (ISBN 9780791093870).  Guiley, an experienced paranormal researcher and investigator, presents for young adult readers a balanced introduction to the subject, delivering the basics of astral projection, or out-of-body experiences (OBEs), as well as the fundamentals of dream interpretation.

When I flipped my paw against the front cover to open the book (felines are multi-talented, you see), it fell open at page 41, upon which I read the following:

"Do animals dream?  The answer to that isn't known.  Animals twitch and make noises during sleep as though they are dreaming.  Throughout history, people have assumed that animals dream.  The Greek philosopher Aristotle and the Roman historian Pliny believed so, and much later Charles Darwin said dogs, cats, horses, and the 'higher animals' can dream."

Actually, the answer IS known, if you're asking the right animals.  Those of us who dream (and we know who we are) experience a virtually identical range of experiences with human dreamers, although human dreams are much more focused upon verbal language, as this is a human preoccupation.  Non-human mammals (and the so-called "higher animals" generally) are visual thinkers, as were primitive humans; consequently, our dreams focus upon visual imagery rather than verbal interaction, although verbalizations are as important to us non-human animals asleep as awake.  [If you're interested in learning more about visual thinking, consider these books:  Arnheim, Rudolf.  Visual Thinking (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1969); McKim, Robert H..  Experiences in Visual Thinking, (2nd Ed., Brooks/Cole, 1980); and Edwards, Betty.  Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (Rev. & Expanded Ed., Tarcher, 1999)].

Guiley's book is engaging, entertaining, and enlightening, and it is written in a straightforward style bound to appeal to young adult readers.  There are more adult treatments of the subject--I recommend the works of Sylvan Muldoon and Robert Monroe, both of whom Guiley discusses in her book--but Dreams and Astral Travel has the advantage of presentation for its intended audience (teenagers).  To learn more about a couple of Muldoon and Monroe's books, please watch our book trailer below.

Dreams and Astral Travel is available at my Library.  Please consult our online Evergreen Indiana catalog to place holds or for additional information about Guiley's book.  We also have the two books featured in our book trailer above; check our E.I. catalog here and here.

Serving Up Readers' Advisory With Choice of Two Sides,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Young Adult Readers' Advisory News Beat

P.S.  Enjoy "Afer Ventus," by Enya, from her album, Shepherd Moons (1991).  For lyrics and translation, visit the official Enya website.  This is what celestial music on the astral planes must sound like.  The most beautiful music imaginable is heard there, so I've read, and Enya's is some of the most beautiful music ever created on the Earth plane, in my humble opinion.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Scooterbandit Raids Supper Dish

By Gracie ("Baby")
MPL Special Correspondent
Homeland Security News Beat

 Once again, supper dish endangerment has resurfaced.  This time the interloper was a scooterbandit.

Brazen Scooterbandit Heist of Supper Dish Stash

Surveillance Camera Captures Four-Pawed Criminal in the Actus Reus

Nowhere to Run to, Nowhere to Hide, Scooterbandit

Surrender to the law, scooterbandit.  We've got you surrounded.  By "we," of course, I refer to Feline Enforcers XIV.  It would behoove you to come quietly, scooterbandit.  We invented tough.

When will this supper dish endangerment end?  We definitely need better security around here, Lady With the Red Hair.  Two aging slobberdogs simply cannot secure the perimeters and patrol all vulnerable zones of incursion.  We need high-tech, electronic security devices.  Understand?

Not What I Had in Mind

This may take some tweaking.  Stay tuned.

Securing Suppers for Slobberdogs & Felines Alike,

Gracie ("Baby")
MPL Special Correspondent
Homeland Security News Beat

P.S.  Scooterbandits reminded me of "I Fought the Law," by the Bobby Fuller Four (1966), which has been included on a variety of subsequent compilation albums.

P.P.S.  For my photo caption above, I was thinking of the refrain to "Nowhere to Run," by Martha and the Vandellas , shown here performing live on the television program Shindig! (1965).  Not great video quality, but, hey, it was probably kinescope (i.e., filmed directly from a TV monitor using, e.g., RCA Kinephoto equipment).  Commercial videotape existed in the mid-1960s, but some TV studios still used the older kinescope method, because, in some instances, it was cheaper than purchasing videotape machines from the Ampex Corporation.

P.P.P.S.  No, the Shindig! recording is almost certainly videotape.  It was just poorly recorded or maintained.

Great Fun Was Had By All

Everybody who attended last night's Teddy Bear Sleepover had great fun.  I was present to report on the action as it unfolded, at least for the overnight portion of the event.  Scowl-Face took some half-decent photos during the caregivers' party--Wild Thang took better pictures later--and so let's post a few pix.

SAFs Making Some Pretty Cool Music

Although called the Teddy Bear Sleepover, all stuffed animal friends (SAFs) and their caregivers were welcomed.  Wild Thang led the group in some pretty nifty dancing--the highlight being the "partner-tossing" portion of the dance--and SAFs and caregivers showed some quick-stepping dance moves.  A banana snack, rolled in tasty treats, followed.  Apparently, Wild Thang forgot to save me a plate, but that's okay; we roving reporters are busy getting the facts squared away for our stories, so there's often no time to eat.

Next on the agenda was beanbag-bucket tossing.  This is a difficult task to master, but the young caregivers and their SAFs were ready for the challenge.  There was great excitement when a beanbag hit its mark.  We have photos, but we don't have parental permission to post them here, so we'll move along to the napping portion of the festivities.

Partying Tires You Out, For Sure

Unfortunately, we don't have sufficient space for all the photos, but these typify the proceedings.  Each SAF caregiver took home a custom-made bed and sleeping bag/blanket, courtesy of the Decorinator and Wild Thang, who carefully crafted each by hand.  That was pretty swell, I must say!

Pooh was on-hand to promote summer reading

Various celebrity bears, such as Winnie-the-Pooh, were present to promote summer reading.  They, too, enjoyed the festivities.

Overall, it was a most successful party and sleepover.  We're looking forward to more in the future.  Congratulations, Wild Thang.  Very well done!

Still, a Snack for Moi Would've Been Nice,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Sleepover Party News Beat

P.S.  A perfect party song is "Splish Splash" (1958), by Bobby Darin, from an undated television performance (which was probably 1958).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Introducing Historigal, SLIS Intern Extraordinaire

If you hail from these parts, as I do, you undoubtedly have personal memories of how your hometown (Mooresville, Indiana, for those who don't so hail) used to be, and how it has changed over the years.  There is a place in which to recapture the town's, and quite possibly your own, past.  Perhaps you've seen it at my Library; I've blogged about it before.  It is (drum roll, please) . . .

I Call It the Roving Reporter Room

Through mid-July my Library is fortunate to have a soon-to-graduate intern from the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at Indiana University-Bloomington.  (The Lady With the Red Hair is a graduate of this program.)  Our intern's name is Megan, but her "Cauli name" is Historigal.  ("Cauli names" are like the secret names of Native American islanders in the children's novel, Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell.  Unfamiliar?  Our book trailer will enlighten.)

Through mid-July you will find Historigal in the MPL Indiana Room, among other places throughout the Library.  She is ready, able, and willing to answer your toughest questions about local, county, and state history, and she will help with your genealogical research.  (Meanwhile, Scowl-Face, who used to live in the Indiana Room, is out wandering aimlessly somewhere.)  Since Historigal has roots in Martinsville, she knows Morgan County well.  Just try to stump her with your questions!  Not going to happen, let me tell you.  She is a highly trained librarian, with the coveted M.L.S. (Master of Library Science) degree under her belt.  That title, "Master of . . .," is not used lightly in academia.  It is meant to be taken literally.  An M.L.S. librarian is a Master of the Know.  If they don't know where the information is right off the top of their heads, they can track it down for you.  Zoom!  Just like that.

 MPL Indiana Room

Boss Lady, Broadway Gal, and Anime/Manga Gal, as well as The Lady With the Red Hair, already have their M.L.S. degrees; soon, so will Historigal.  Then, you had better watch out!  That's one tough group of gals, I hope you know.  They take their librarianshipping seriously.

So what will you find if you visit our Indiana Room?  Well, there's history about Mooresville, Morgan County, and Indiana; primarily local genealogy resources; and a public computer to access online genealogical and historical databases.  MERLIN awaits to bigify text (or other items) for your viewing ease and pleasure.  (Thanks to Tober for the word bigify.)  There is a complete set of Mooresville High School yearbooks to peruse.  We have thousands of historical photographs.  Local newspapers and genealogical materials are available on microfilm.  You may search local obituaries there or go to our online database, Legacy Links, which is under "databases" on the menu bar along the left side of our website's home page.  We have thousands of vertical files with loads of historical material--there's probably a file on your ancestors, if they lived in the area--and our local history handouts are available, either on displays in the room or online at our Indiana Room blog.  There are BOPs (or at least a sculpture thereof) and paintings by local artist Clifton Wheeler.  There are portraits of J.P. Calvert, local photographer and Civil War veteran; and Wanda Potts, MPL Indiana Room Librarian from 1966-2002 and the true town historian (Scowl-Face only has pretensions).  The Library's Indiana Room has it all.  If it has anything to do with our community's history, then this is the place you'll find it.

What are BOPs, you wonder?  Not post-World War II jazz-style music, at least in my meaning.  We have a sculpture of two eagles battling in the air--is that a sufficient hint?  Ordinarily, I call such flying fellows winged dinners, but eagles are ginormous, so they are hardly anybody's supper.  Instead, you could very well be their supper.  So best to give a wide berth, that's what I'm saying.

Come visit and give Historigal a hard time.  Just kidding.  Ask her some stuff; she'll be glad to help.  If you see Scowl-Face wandering around, point him in the right direction back here.  Your work doesn't do itself, you know, Scowlly.

Living Local History Every Day,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Local History News Beat

P.S.  When recollecting songs about personal history, I begin with "Old Days," by Chicago, from the album Chicago VIII (1975).

"Souvenirs," by Dan Fogelberg, from his Souvenirs LP (1974), might just be my favorite Fogelberg tune.

Then there's "Photograph," by Ringo Starr (co-written with George Harrison), from Ringo's album, Ringo (1973).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

MPL Program Registration Made Easy

There are more library programs scheduled for the summer than you can shake a stick at.

Some of our Library programs require advance registration.  So, how to?  (You may well ask.)  Three ways:

  • Visit the MPL Website Online Calendar and click the activity name for which you wish to register; then complete and submit the online form.  This will require your user ID number from a valid, current MPL Library Card (shown below).

  • Call (317) 831-7323 and ask for the designated staff or department (if any were listed in the promotional materials).  If not, then whoever you are speaking with may assist you.

  • Email with your name, library card user ID number, and the title and date of the event for which you wish to be registered, along with any other requested information.  (NOTE:  This option should be a last resort, since the other two are more direct and immediate forms of communication.)

MPL library cards look like this:

User ID numbers appear on the back of the cards.

Not so hard to register as it might at first appear.  So simple that even Scowl Face can do it.  Now, then, get cracking!  Space is limited, and time's a'wastin' (says Snuffy Smith).   (If I did that joke already, I apologize.)  Don't be left out in the cold!  It's cold out there!  Well, not right now, because it's late spring in Indiana, with pleasant breezes, interspersed with too much rain, and upper 70-degree temperatures (Fahrenheit, since we Yanks are out-of-step with the rest of the meteorological world, which uses Celsius).  Use this handy online converter to compare the differences between these two systems.  (Hey, didn't I talk about this F. vs. C. temperature thing before?  I thought so.)  I need some new staff writers, like Sid Caesar used on Your Show of Shows (1950-1954) and Caesar's Hour (1954-1957).  If your public library has DVDs of any of these television programs, check them out, watch them, and laugh aloud.  Plenty.

Registering Myself Online--It's That Easy,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Library Summer Programs News Beat

P.S.  Calling on the telephone to register reminded me of "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)," by Jim Croce, from the album You Don't Mess Around With Jim (1972).  Since this is such a great tune, here's a live performance from June 15, 1973 on the television program The Midnight Special.

P.P.S.  This is a cute sketch from a 1953 episode of Your Show of Shows.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Library Critter Passport -- Easier Download, Fewer Annoying Pop-Up Advertisements

I was getting tired of all those stupid pop-up advertisements on, which is an alternate website upon which my Library stores (primarily) MS-PowerPoint slideshows for patrons to download and view.  Enough with that nonsense, I say!  If I wanted non-stop advertising, I'd go to a movie theater.

Thanks to my feline ingenuity, I discovered another website, 4shared, upon which my Library may upload PDF and MS-Word files, at least--I just managed it, actually.

I've embedded my Library Critter Passport, about which I blogged earlier today, below (in PDF format). Click the image to begin the download sequence.  Below that is another hyperlink (textual) that should enable you to download an MS-Word version of the file.

Click Image to Begin Download Sequence of PDF Version
(Hyperlink Takes You to Our 4Shared Files)

Click Hyperlink Above to Begin Download Sequence of MS-Word Version
(Hyperlink Takes You to Our 4Shared Files)

There are still a couple of steps required to download the files, but at least you won't have all those annoying pop-up advertisements, although there are still plenty of ads visible.  That's the catch with these free online file storage websites.  But this one seems much less "in your face" with the advertising.

Pawtographically Yours,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Pawtograph Collections News Beat

P.S.  John Denver wrote the definitive autograph song.  Here is a live performance of "Autograph."  The song was originally released on the studio album, Autograph (1980).

Know Your Library Felines

Alert reader Ellie gave me a juicy news tip that I simply must share with you.  Ellie told me about the Purr-n-Fur website in the United Kingdom featuring fellow felines residing at libraries.  This is great news, especially since the apparent demise of the Iron Frog website.

Here is the Purr-n-Fur URL for American Library Cats:

There are two listings for Hoosier public libraries and their resident cats:

Miss Peabody retired from NMPL in 2008.  According to her library web page, she is now (or, at least, was hoping to become) a lighthouse keeper's assistant in the Forty Mile Point Lighthouse.

Purr-n-Fur has hyperlinks to the site's other web pages featuring library cats from the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

I wonder if Purr-n-Fur would include a listing about moi?  Won't hurt to try, I guess.  Minions, make with the petitioning emails.

Thanks again to Ellie for alerting us to this wonderful library feline website.

Plenty of Purr-n-Fur to Go Around,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Library Feline News Beat

P.S.  Thinking about the U.K. and felines, I was reminded of "Lucifer Sam," by Pink Floyd, from the album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967).

Bring Library Critters (Virtually) to You

Sparkle the Designer Cat made an interesting comment on yesterday's blog that gave me an idea.  Sparkle lamented that it was too far to travel to libraries with resident felines, which I thought was a brilliant road trip strategy.  This got me to thinking:  If you can't bring Morris to the Nine Lives Factory (as the feline proverb goes), then bring the Nine Lives Factory to Morris.

Why not provide my loyal readers with a "library critter passport" that they could email (as attachments) to libraries with resident (non-human) animals, and then those libraries could have their resident critters "pawtograph" the blank pages (where passport stamps would go), along with library logos, date stamps, etc.?  These could then be emailed back to the passport owner.  What a convenient way to collect authentic "pawtographs" of famous library critters!

Let's see the visuals.  Minions, make it so!

I've already included my authentic "pawtograph" in the graphic above (and the downloadable forms below).  The best should always be first, I say.

For the convenience of my loyal readers, I have prepared PDF and MS-Word versions of the library critter passports, which may be downloaded free-of-charge from my Library's web page.  It's a multi-step process, so I'll put up some signposts.

  •  Library Critter Passport (MS-Word Format)
  •   Library Critter Passport (PDF Format)

These hyperlinks above will take you to the Media Fire website.

Close the annoying pop-up advertisements.  Look for a yellow box to start the download procedure.  It looks like this:

Clicking this should cause either of the two pop-up windows to open (see below), depending upon which format you are downloading.

Click OK to download and open the files using Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF) or MS-Word.

Many thanks to Sparkle the Designer Cat for inspiring this clever concept.  It will revolutionize feline (or other critter) pawtography collecting from libraries around the globe.  Plus it should be loads of fun.

Hoping to Receive More Pawtography Requests,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Travelling Passport News Bureau

P.S.  Travel songs are a dime a dozen, but there are a few that stand above the crowd.  For your listening pleasure, consider "King of the Road" (1965) by Roger Miller, from one of his greatest hits compilations.

P.P.S.  "Last Train to Clarksville" was The Monkees' first number one single, from the group's debut, self-titled album (1966).  Glen Campbell is one of the studio musicians playing guitar.  The four Monkees themselves were relegated primarily to vocal roles on this album, thanks to the insistence of Don Kirshner, then head of Screen Gems Music.  Producers Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart tried to accommodate the group's desire for autonomy and greater creative control with Kirshner's desire to maintain commercial appeal for the project.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tober Hits 80,000!

Congratulations to Tober, the Thorntown (Indiana) Library Cat, for topping 80,000 viewers on his blog.  Way to go, Tober!   Biblio felines rule!

Although I could certainly improve upon Scowl-Face's blog post discussing Tober's grand achievement, I see no reason to reinvent the wheel.  Check it out.  Uncharacteristically, Scowl-Face has some cogent points to express and manages with surprising clarity and precision.  (Okay, I said the praise-stuff, S.F.; where's the canned tuna-in-oil for moi?)

Trying to Reinvent a Nap,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Library Feline News Beat

P.S.  Speaking of following blogs and such, here is John Denver singing "Follow Me" (1970) on Upbeat, a syndicated musical variety television program based at WEWS-TV in Cleveland, Ohio.  The series aired between 1964 and 1971.

Make With the Speed!

The Decorinator has done up my Library in an Indianapolis 500 theme, so I thought I'd show you a few quick photos to get you in the mood for the upcoming race.

Go, Slobberdog.  Go!

That last photo caption is an obscure joke, so I'll give backstory, by way of this book trailer:

Back to the Decorinator's handiwork.

Hank & Willie are Set for Vintage Speed

Vintage, of course, because the boys are decked out in 1911-style (sort of) race driving apparel, as you can see in this photo of Ray Harroun, the first winner of the inaugural Memorial Day race.

A Begoggled Ray Harroun Driving to Victory
in the 1911 Indianapolis Race

 Harroun's Marmon "Wasp" on Display at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum

Can you imagine driving at speeds of more than 75 miles per hour in THAT?  Those wheels look like they came from a kiddy wagon!  Train travel over open country could reach comparable speeds, but an early 20th century motor vehicle was quite another thing.  Remember, 100 years ago practically nobody, excepting professional race car drivers, had driven an automobile at such high speeds; most folks were lucky if they could manage 15-20 m.p.h. as a top speed on the best roads of the time.  A driver a century ago was as likely to hear "Get a horse!" from passing horse-drawn conveyances as his or her automobile sat broken-down alongside the road.

Hey, maybe that's not a bad idea.

Beats Walking

Just Horsing Around Here,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Racing News Beat

P.S.  Fast-racing car songs are plentiful, but "409" by The Beach Boys, from their Little Deuce Coupe album (1963), will fill the bill nicely.  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Big Surprise!

By Harley Quinn
MPL "Cub" Reporter
Upbeat News Bureau

My feline journalist mentor, Cauli Le Chat, has given me an extra special assignment to report at the Summer Reading Kick-Off Celebratory BigBash this Friday, May 27, 2011.  Ohboyohboyohboyohboy.  I just love these special assignments!  It is apparently quite hush-hush, which makes sense, because it involves our Library, where quiet is the watchword.

Cauli told me that I must sit still for a change in this super-secret chamber, upon which human patron types will try to hit a marked target.  This will automatically give me (or moi, as Cauli, who is a French feline, would say, by the way) a huge terrific surprise.  I love surprises!  Do you think it will be some tasty kitty snacks, like the ones Cauli wanted Payor Pal to put in the Library's vending machines?  Or maybe a laser mousey!  I just love to play laser mousey!!

Laser Mousey

Here's the chamber in which I'm supposed to sit and get my surprise.  What do you think it will be?

Waiting Patiently for My Surprise

Come to the Summer Reading festival at my Library to find out how this surprise thing works out.

Hard to Wait Nearly All Week, But I'll Try Really Hard,

Harley Quinn
MPL "Cub" Reporter
Special Surprise News Beat

P.S.  We can't talk about festivals, fairs, and whatnot without mentioning Simon & Garfunkel's "Scarborough Fair/Canticle," from their album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966).  "Scarborough Fair" is a traditional English folk ballad, while "Canticle" was Art Garfunkel's counterpoint.  "Canticle" was a revision of Paul Simon's 1963 song, "The Side of a Hill."

Special Bookmark For My T. Bear Pals

My T. Bear pals, who will be my overnight guests at my Library this Thursday (May 26, 2011), will receive lots of special take-home items, mostly care of the Decorinator and Wild Thang.  They each get a custom-made bed and blanket, among other things, and so I wanted to include something special for them from moi.  So I made a Teddy Bear Sleepover bookmark, with authentic Cauli pawtograph, of course.

Cauli_Pawtograph_Bookmark_TeddyBearSleepover -

I also revised my previously posted bookmark so that the front and back line up properly when you duplex the printing.  (Scowl-Face needs to learn to edit MS-Word bookmark templates.  Just saying.)

Cauli_Pawtograph_Bookmark_REV -

This pawtograph thing is a really big deal among critter celebrities.  I think my pal Tober should have one.  So should my friend Morgan the Library Bunny.  Get with the program, guy and gal!  Make it so, AB Karen at Thorntown (Indiana) Public Library.  You too, Morgan County (Indiana) Public Library Mommies.  Your number one celebrities deserve no less.

Love to Curl Up With Nice, Warm, Freshly Laminated Bookmarks,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Children's Program News Beat

P.S.  Expert Village has many excellent informational videos on YouTube.  Here's one about making unique bookmarks.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Another Local Landmark Has Flown the Coop

These are sad days in my hometown.  Another historic landmark business has said goodbye.  Well, Scowl-Face tells me that it wasn't officially a historic site, but there's plenty of history there, make no mistake.

KFC Restaurant Closed Recently
(After Over 40 Years at This Location)
(View Looking South)

The photo caption above says it all.  Kentucky Fried Chicken had been a landmark on South Indiana Street in Mooresville, Indiana, since time immemorial.  This was where The Lady With the Red Hair secured her first gainful employment, if you don't count babysitting.  It was upon this establishment's floor in the mid-1970s that fruit drink was spilled, removing the tile's finish.  Cherished coming-of-age stories have been exchanged over the decades about working in this hallowed edifice, when we lived in more carefree, prosperous times.  In those days, long ago, you could get fried chicken AND beef & ham sandwiches here.  Take a look at this vintage photo below, which Scowl-Face, who is, after all, town historian and good for a few laughs, and The Lady With the Red Hair, who, let us not forget, was born and bred here (or, maybe, "breaded" is a better word, since she worked with the chicken batter), have identified as circa 1973 or 1974 (circa means they don't really know precisely when, but T.L.W.T.R.H. was working there at the time, so she probably remembers; Scowlly is basing his opinion upon second-hand sources and an alleged knowledge of C-41 print photography color processing):

KFC Restaurant on South Indiana Street (circa 1973-1974)
(View Looking North)

I personally know several kitties who will miss dumpster diving for fried chicken wings.  Where will we find a skilled entrepreneur to fill this culinary void?  Who has the talent, the drive, and the popularity to appeal to the local dining feline and slobberdog public?  Well, now, that much should be plain as the nose on Scowl-Face's, well, face.

Hey, Fellow Felines & Slobberdogs!
 Cauli's is THE Place to Be
(Where Kittens & Slobberpups Eat For Free)

A Definite Market Need to be Filled by Moi

How can this business venture fail, I ask you?  If ever there were an unmet market demand in this town, this is clearly it.  But no longer unmet!  At long last, kitties and slobberdogs have a dining option especially catering to their palates.  It's about time, frankly.

Drop by sometime.  Use the drive-through.  You will get the same friendly service you would have received if you had visited a third of a century ago, when The Lady With the Red Hair dressed in something like this, and looked pretty darn fetching, I'll have you know.

Vintage KFC Uniform (circa late 1960s)

The Lady With the Red Hair Wore a MUCH Smaller Size (Still Does)

If you're looking for Scowl-Face, he's taking the trash to the dumpster.  Good help is SO hard to find.

Open For Business and Raking in the Dough,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Commercial News Beat

P.S.  Who better to be "Taking Care of Business" than Bachman-Turner Overdrive, from the band's album, Bachman-Turner Overdrive II (1973).  Hey, that's right about the same time as that old KFC photo above.  BTO was mentioned in one of my Library's videos.  You'll want to watch, naturally.