Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Saturday, July 30, 2011

More Than Summer Breezes in the Windy City

Buffalo Gal and Drawer Dude have been talking this week about taking a trip to see the many interesting museums and artsy attractions of Chicago, where, in an unrelated story, The Music Man has recently applied for employment in his area of expertise (music business).  So many of my Library's volunteers will soon be converging upon the Windy City.

What is there to see in Chicago?  Better to ask what's not to see.  Here's a short laundry list:  the Shedd Aquarium (a personal favorite, what with all those swimming dinners); the Field Museum (loaded with exhibits featuring contemporary and prehistoric critters, some of which would have you for dinner); the Art Institute of Chicago, home to the Thorne Miniature Rooms; the Museum of Science and Industry, final port of call for an actual German submarine (U-505) from World War II; the Chicago Botanic Garden (actually in Glencoe, IL), with plenty of green munchies for us felines; and so much more, there isn't room in my column for it all.

If I had to focus upon one attraction, I'd mention the Thorne Miniature Rooms, subject of a popular work of children's fiction, for which we, of course, have a book trailer, and Scowl-Face blogged about it.

If there weren't so many motor vehicles and people, I'd enjoy a road trip to Chicago.  I'll settle for some souvenirs from Shedd Aquarium, Buffalo Gal.  The little ones with the stripes taste the best look the prettiest.

It's Only a Whimsical Notion,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Travel News Beat

P.S.  Museums, galleries, and other educational attractions are ideal for stimulating one's imagination to mentally transport oneself to faraway times and places.  Borrowing my tag line from lyrics to "Rio," by Michael Nesmith, here is one of the first music videos from the pioneer of MTV, from his video collection Elephant Parts (1981).  The song appeared on the LP From the Radio Engine to the Photon Wing (1977).  "Rio" topped the Australian pop charts in 1977 but didn't make Billboard's Hot 100 singles charts in the U.S., which, at the time, were beginning to be flooded with disco.  If you haven't heard Nesmith's solo recordings, treat yourselves and give a listen.  He was always on the leading edge of something--country rock (in the late 1960s, as you can hear from several of his Monkees tunes); music video (late 1970s/early 1980s); use of online interactive websites as a writing and sales medium (mid-1990s); and a whole bunch more beyond the legacy of Liquid Paper, which his mother invented.  (Someday, I'll feature Peter Tork from the Monkees in a musical closer; he is a versatile musician and has much to say, intelligently and articulately.)

P.P.S.  It would be wrong to close this blog without including "Take Me Back to Chicago," by Chicago, performed live at Summit Arena, Houston, Texas (October, 1977).

Friday, July 29, 2011

Four Hundred, Fifty Times Over

Sometime today, my blog viewing counter should top 20,000.  I thank each and every one of my loyal readers, without whom this milestone would never have been reached.  I hope we have shared some laughs, learned some stuff, and generally had fun together during the eight months I've been blogging.

How may I best show my gratitude?  Well, there are head-butts, or ankle rubs, or tender love bites that I could bestow, but those are not easily given through cyberspace.  How about sharing a great gift idea for your favorite kitty?  Not as fabulous as canned tuna-in-oil, but, hey, they're mighty cute on that exercise wheel.

Your cat(s) would love this.  Hey, rodents exercise this way.  So do people in space--I saw it in two movies!  Wasn't one of the astronauts walking weightless on an exercise wheel in the space ship (or space station) in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)?  (Cut me some slack here--I haven't seen the film since four of my nine lives ago.)  Well, I know Mike Nelson was walking on an exercise wheel on the Satellite of Love in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996).  MST3K: The Movie is available in our Evergreen Indiana (E.I.) catalog.  The VHS copy may circulate to other E.I. libraries (besides the one that has the videocassette); the DVD copy probably may only be checked out to patrons of the E.I. library that has it.  Rent it, or buy it, if you have to, from your favorite video supplier.  You won't be disappointed.

Thanks again, dear readers!  Hope the next 20,000 viewings will be as fun, maybe funner.  (Funner is definitely more fun than more fun, albeit less grammatical.)

Watching the Wheel Turn 'Round and 'Round,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Stats News Beat

P.S.  That segue brings us to "Watching the Wheels," by John Lennon, from the Double Fantasy album (1980).

P.P.S.  Here is my Library's book trailer featuring 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne.  It is also available in the Evergreen Indiana catalog.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Weed N' Feed at the Library

Scowl-Face is currently weeding the adult nonfiction collection at my Library.  That means he has to evaluate about a gazillion books to see which ones should be "deselected," as the librarians say.  We from the "old school" call it "weeding," and it is necessary to maintain the general health of the library's numerous collections.  Mostly, it's a space issue.  Some of the bookshelves are wedged so tightly with books that you couldn't get a bookmark between them.  Something has to go, so let's start with anything written by Scowl-Face.

Before "Deselection,"
Tight Packing Makes For Some
Unhappy Campers on These Bookshelves

Freshly-Weeded Stacks With
Much More Breathing Room
(Making Books Much Happier)

Not Quite This Many "Deselected" Books Downstairs
(But Not Too Far Behind)

In collection development circles, librarians evaluate collections using an established formula, based upon physical condition, circulation frequency, uniqueness of subject matter, availability of the same item elsewhere in the Evergreen Indiana (E.I.) consortium, availability of similar materials at my Library (or at other E.I. Libraries), replacement cost, online or digital equivalents, and so forth.  It takes a first-rate library mind to handle the collection deselection and acquisition-recommendation processes involved in collection development.  Sadly, we have Scowl-Face, so we do what we can with such limited intellectual resources.

Flashy Sign Work!
Way to Go, FOL!

This weeding has been going along for several months now, and there are over a couple thousand books awaiting processing downstairs so they may be sold by the Friends of the Library (FOL), which has a bookstore by the Library's front entrance.

Drop by the Library and buy some of these fabulous books.  "Weed 'N Feed" at MPL means great savings on gently-preread books for sale to you, who are so special we'll give you a great bargain.  That's the Cauli guarantee talking, and that's like cash in your pocket.  Well, actually, it's nothing like cash, but it carries weight, nonetheless.

Ask for a special Cauli Le Chat bookmark. There's no better way to mark your place!  Better than slobberdog-earing the pages, that's for sure.  Hey, you can find my bookmarks here and here and here.  One of them should download.  My bookmarks at my Library are laminated, however, so they are extra keen.

Nonfiction Stacks From Dewey 001 Through 385 Are Breathing Easier, At Least,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Collection Development News Beat

P.S.  I mentioned The Weavers in a previous posting, but here's one of their covers that is particularly appropriate for library weeding, when one is sending "deselected" items to the FOL sale room.  It is "So Long, It's Been Good to Know You," composed by Woody Guthrie, and included on the LP The Weavers Greatest Hits (1957).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gotta Go Walkies, Says the Rhododendron

I can hardly believe this as my minion is typing this sentence.  (Why do anything yourself when you have minions?  Classic feline sense, there.)  Today (July 27) is "Take Your Houseplants for a Walk" Day.

"I've Gotta Go Walkies!"

Where to begin with this one?  We could start with some obvious observational preliminaries, such as

  • Houseplants don't have legs and are therefore non-ambulatory; and
  • Houseplants sink roots into the soil, which, in a natural environment, securely affixes them to terra firma, and, inside a building, solidly situates them in pots that they cannot move from place to place without assistance from an animal (human, canine, or feline, for instance).
Ergo, houseplants cannot go on walkabout.

Of course, I get what the holiday promoters are saying:  humans should carry their houseplants around outside so the plants can experience nature's wonders first-hand.  One website suggests that carrying houseplants around one's neighborhood "enables them to know their environment, thereby providing them with a sense of knowing, bringing on wellness."  I'm afraid I must disagree.  Awareness does not automatically equate health and well-being.  Just ask any meeces that realize they are within snagging distance of my claws.

A houseplant's environment is, by definition, the human structure in which it has been placed by its supervisory person.  Taking it outside would merely introduce it to an alien environment in which it doesn't ordinarily live.  This may afford the plant a "sense of knowing," but it could also be quite stressful as the plant attempts to adjust to the strange and varying conditions encountered outdoors.  Slobberdogs could rush up and relieve themselves on the houseplant (shocking, I know, but I've seen it happen).  Kitties looking for a bit of greenery to aid in hairball disposal could take a quick nibble.  Humans could drop the pot, with houseplant suffering an unpleasant soil displacement.

I can tell you that, for indoor-only kitties such as Junior (of Junior's Farm), going outside the house is downright frightening.  I can only imagine that a houseplant, which is accustomed to being rooted in more or less the same place (a pot, inside a home), would find being suddenly removed from its safe, familiar indoor environs to be threatening and confusing.

There is a counter-argument that plants communicate empathically or (for lack of a more precise term) telepathically, and therefore they would easily adapt to being carried in a natural outdoor environment amongst their exterior-dwelling kin.  You may be surprised to learn how conscious plants actually are--read The Secret Life of Plants, by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, if you have an objective mindset--so going walkies would probably perk-up your languishing houseplants.  I've been in your house, Scowl-Face, so trust me, it's a good idea to get some fresh air.  Just saying.

How could "plant walkies" be effectively accomplished?  If the human caretaker protected the houseplant and provided a safe and reassuring ambulatory excursion, then the plant would feel safe to absorb external stimuli from the outside world.  Exploring, after all, is a fun part of living--ask any cat--so sensing the neighborhood, however plants may perceive it, could be an invigorating encounter.

My advice to you home-bound houseplants:  consider yourselves lucky.  All the humans I know have butterfingers, and the slobberdogs--well, the less said, the better.  Take an umbrella or raincoat--that's all I'm saying.  Those slobberdogs can be quick, and they drink a lot of water.

Show Your Houseplants Some YouTube Videos About the Outside World, Instead--Just Saying,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Holiday News Beat

P.S.  A natural (pun intended) musical closer for this posting is "The Trees," by Rush, from the LP Hemispheres (1978).

Cub Reporter Press Kit for Old Settlers

I thought it might be nice if the kiddies had something special to pick-up at my Library's booth at Old Settlers.  While the grown-ups are signing up for a chance to win the free buggy basket, little patrons can enjoy an authentic, pawtographed cub reporter press kit, courtesy of moi.  Click the image below to open a PDF version.

Perhaps we could embed it here.  It might work.  Minions, make it so.

MPL Cauli Le Chat Games for Kids -

There are some fun games on the back (in Library lingo, the verso) of the cub reporter press kit.

Look for my press kit at the MPL Booth at Old Settlers.  It will be the most popular handout we have, I'm sure.

Lookin' Pretty Dashing in My Press Hat,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter

P.S.  Speaking of reporters and writers, here is a music video featuring "Paperback Writer," by the Beatles (1966).  Along with the music video for "Rain," which was the other A-side of the single, these were the first two promotional videos ever made for pop music (or, quite probably, any music).  Essentially, the Beatles started the concept that would become MTV, the specific idea for which was conceived by The Monkees' Michael Nesmith.

["Other A-side," you ask?  Many of the Beatles' single releases were two A-sides, rather than an A- and B-sided singles disk.  The double-A side concept took two "hit potential" songs and placed them together, rather than mixing one possible hit (an A-side) with a "lesser" tune from an album (the B-side).  Double-A sided singles meant fewer sales, because fans would probably have bought songs like "Paperback Writer" and "Rain" on separate, conventional A/B-sided singles, but don't lose any sleep over EMI's revenue flow from the Fab Four.  The record company made many a fortune, and then some.]

P.P.S.  A quick review of prior blogs revealed that I already used "Paperback Writer" as a closer to a previous blog post.  Well, it's a great song, so it's worth a second listen.  But I'll add another musical closer:  namely, "Newspapermen Meet Such Interesting People," by the Almanac Singers (ca. 1940), sung here by Pete Seeger in 2006.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Why Not You?

Here is yet another reason to visit my Library's booth in the Community Organizations Tent at this year's Old Settlers Picnic and Festival on August 7-9, 2011.  You could win a cool grand prize, if you sign-up there.  Why not you?

What's so grand about the prize, you may wonder?  Have a look-see.

Win This Authentic Buggy Basket
(a $150 Value)
(Includes Vehicle Items Shown--Click to Bigify)
Sign-Up at the MPL Booth
at the Old Settlers Celebration
August 7-9, 2011

Sorry, but MPL employees, trustees, and their families are not eligible to participate.

Since signing up is free ("no purchase necessary"), then you should spend a couple of minutes at the MPL Old Settlers Booth and plunk your name into the lockbox.  Somebody has to win; why not you?

Why Not, Indeed?

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Library Contest News Beat

P.S.  Here is the unofficial theme song for Old Settlers, used as the soundtrack for one of my Library's program trailers.  For the sheet music, click here.  For the complete lyrics, click here.  

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Never Too Early to Think About Dinners

October 14 and 15, 2011, may seem like forever into the future, but it's only twelve weeks away, so if you can recall what you were doing twelve weeks ago (i.e., early May), then you can see how fast time flies, only forward, not backward.

It's never too early to start thinking about your dinners, especially really good ones, with mysteries for entertainment.  We are not talking about mystery meats, either.  Do you have a taste for MURDER?  (Well, pretend homicides, anyway.)  Are you good at piecing together clues to find the perpetrator(s)? Can you do this while eating a scrumptious meal?  If so, then you won't want to miss the MPL Murder Mystery Dinners in October, presented by Programma Mama and the Friends of Mooresville Public Library.  The Adult Dinner is October 14; the Teen Dinner is October 15.  Everything happens at the Library, and we need you to enjoy the great food and catch the killer(s) before dessert.  Okay, eat the dessert first, but you need to catch those palookas, too.

Our revised program trailer, much improved over last year's version, will give you the skinny.

Register using my Library's online calendar.  More details will be posted on the online calendar as the event dates approach, so you should check back often.  Past attendees have raved about this extravaganza.  Be there or be square.

Is Your Dinner Burning, or Is That the Smoking Gun?  Just Asking,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Mystery Programs News Beat

P.S.  Since we already used Elvis Costello's "Watching the Detectives" (1977) as a musical closer to another blog posting, this time we'll turn to a popular 1960s spy song.  Johnny Rivers recorded his cover of "Secret Agent Man" (1966), which was the theme song to the British television spy drama Danger Man (1960-1962; 1964-1968), which aired in the U.S. as Secret Agent (1964-1966).  The song was composed by Steve Barri and P. F. Sloan.

P.P.S.  Robert Palmer sang "Looking for Clues" (1981) on German television, which explains the wacky costumes.  German TV is always ahead of the curve in pop entertainment.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Quackerwaddle Update

Long-time readers may recall my blog posting about a mama quackerwaddle and her chicksoons (or would they be ducksoons?  I'll call them waddlings).  Well, I checked their nest today, and I saw that only a couple eggs were left.  I think these didn't hatch, but I suspect the others did.  Mother Quackerwaddle and her brood have since left for more riparian quarters (I am using the scientific, rather than the legal, definition of riparian.)  Fortunately, the White Lick Creek is just about 1000 feet west of here.

White Click Creek (left) & Mooresville Public Library (right center)
(Click Image to Bigify)
(Courtesy of Google Maps)

It will seem kinda lonesome around my Library's Kinder Garden now that the quackerwaddles have moved to their new digs.  Maybe the waddlings will return next year to have nests of their own.  We are a family-friendly facility, after all.

Looking Forward to Next Year's Neighborhood Brood,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Zoological News Beat

P.S.  Sergei Prokofiev composed his opus, "The Ugly Duckling" (1914), as a tribute to his relationship with his lover and librettist, Nina Meshcherskaya.  The piece is based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen.  The YouTube video (above) is accompanied by an explanation in Russian, which I don't understand.  Come to think of it, I don't understand most human languages, even (sometimes) English, which my people colleagues at the Library speak, more or less.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kitty Cool-Down Strategies

When you're an outdoor feline roving reporter like moi, you learn how to beat the heat.  With the local heat index reaching over 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46.11 degrees Celsius), and shade temperatures hitting the century mark (Fahrenheit; that's 37.77 degrees Celsius) or higher, you know it's time to find a cool patch and lounge around.

We kitties have various strategies to keep cool.  We domestics don't usually like water all that much, but there are times (like now) that the heat is so oppressive that we have to choose between the lesser of two evils.

Pool Party!  That is NOT Dog-Paddling, By the Way

Since my Library's Pool Party is fast approaching, a quick dip in the swimming pool sounds like a nice way to cool off.

Hang Ten, Little Furry Dude!
 That's one brave kitten, let me tell you.  I probably won't be hitting the surf anytime soon, because my Library won't pay my way to Maui.  Cheapskates.
Even slobberdogs have sense enough to know when it's time to "pool the cool."

Swim Some Laps, Why Don't Ya? (Eye-Roll)

What if you don't happen to have a backyard pool handy, or what if the town swimming hole has a stupid rule prohibiting cats and slobberdogs from the premises?  Well, there's always a nice cool glass of your favorite beverage.

Hey, Einstein!  Use the Straw

Fortunately, my Library has lots of shaded areas with cool stone on which to stretch out and relax.  Remember to change your kitty or slobberdog drinking water frequently in this horrible heat.  Plant a palm tree for shade.  We like shade.
Better With Cool Ocean Breezes Blowing In

Of course, now that my Library's air conditioning is fixed, it's quite cool inside.  Time to let your roving reporter inside the building, Boss Lady.  No duh.

Not Complaining About Winter Cold Again (Well, Until Six Months From Now),

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Meteorological News Beat

P.S.  This heat can get you down, but a quiet beach can encourage you to lay down your troubles and bask in the peacefulness of incoming tides and breezes.  The experience moved Bob Dylan to compose a folk spiritual, "Lay Down Your Weary Tune," performed here by The Byrds, from the album Turn! Turn! Turn! (1965).

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Keep On Ugly Truckin' . . .

Today (Wednesday, July 20) is Ugly Truck Day.  Drive on proudly.  At least it's paid for, right?

Hey!  Use a Coaster.  You'll Ruin the Finish!

We Said Ugly, Not Repulsive

Way Past Ugly, I'm Afraid

(I just took a closer look at that first photo.  Hey, wait a second!  That's a trophy.  Boy, do I need a new computer monitor.)

Now, I don't really understand about the whole truck business, but I know that my human friends who have trucks are really, really emotionally attached to them.  So truckers wouldn't consider any truck to be actually ugly; rather, its rough-and-ready exterior would be an expression of its toughness, utility, and overall get-'er-doneness.  If they look too new, they must be sissy trucks.

I think we could beautify some of those ugly trucks out there.  Hmmmmmm . . .

Now That's What I'm Talking About!

That has to be THE most fantastic truck ever made.  Done deal.  That ride will take you anywhere you need to go in style, and then some.

Kitty Truck is So Pawsome, Man,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Vehicular News Beat

P.S.  My blog title today refers to "Keep on Truckin'" (1973), performed by Eddie Kendricks.  It was his first big solo hit after leaving The Temptations.  The song reached number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R & B singles charts.  It was Kendricks' only number one hit, but topping the charts is way-cool, so he had nothing more to prove (he passed away in 1992).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BigBash Fundraising Bookmark

Remember when I blogged about the bigbash library fundraiser at Zydeco's Restaurant on Wednesday, August 3, 2011?  Boss Lady wanted a bookmark to distribute to our patrons.  Make it so, I said, but not back to Boss Lady; I've got minions, you know.

In a flash, we had bookmarks!.

MPL Bookmark: Zydeco's Fundraising Night

The best part of the bookmark is on the back (p. 2), which is my part, of course.

Great work, Minions!  Here's a treat.  It's not so stale.  Try pouring some water over it.  Works for slobberdog gravy chow.

Where's My Seafood Dinner, Zydeco's?  Just Asking,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Fundraising News Beat

P.S.  "The Fishin' Hole" (1960), which was the theme song to The Andy Griffith Show, had lyrics, although viewers never heard them (the only vocal part was whistled.)  The music was composed by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer; the lyrics were written by Everett Sloane.  (Earle Hagen performed the whistling.)  Here is Andy Griffith himself singing the lyrics to what is probably the most famous television theme song of all time.

A Watershed Moment of Sorts

My Library's YouTube Channel has just passed 50,000 viewings.  For a site that has been up and running for only a year-and-a-half, that's not too shabby.

To celebrate this watershed moment, let's watch our first book trailer.

Compare that to our most recent book trailer.

Any improvement, apart from the waddleskiffers?

In between, my Library has uploaded 169 videos to the MPL YouTube Channel.  It has been a lot of fun.

Maybe someday I'll have 50,000 blog readers.  Stranger things have happened.

Not Obsessed With Stats,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Library Video News Beat

P.S.  Here's our most watched YouTube video.  I hope you enjoy it.  Great book.  I wrote a review, you may recall.  So did Scowl-Face, but mine's better, by far.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Get Your Geek On At Your Local Library

The Indiana State Library (ISL) has launched a Hoosier version of the promotional campaign.  Visit the ISL website for lots more information, and, while you're at it, click the image below.

Click to Bigify

Mooresville Public Library is participating in the excitement, and we have the promo trailer to prove it.

You can get your geek on at your local library.  There is much to geek at libraries, to be sure.  Why do you think I hang around mine?  Certainly not for the food, I can tell you.

Geeking Libraries Since I Was a Kitten,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Geek the Libraries News Beat

P.S.  "Weird Al" Yankovic probably built his reputation as music parody genius upon a certain geeky quality.  There is nobody better at this musical genre, and that's impressive, considering the many talented novelty songsters over the years.  Weird Al's music videos are supremely well-crafted and funny.  Here is the master himself being "White & Nerdy," from the CD Straight Outta Lynwood (2006).  Another great geeky tune (in the musical style of Devo) is Weird Al's "Dare to Be Stupid," from the album by the same title (1985).

Welcome Aboard, Historigal

We were introduced to Historigal in a blog post a couple months ago.  Well, I'm pleased to announce that Historigal has joined my Library's circulation staff.  That means she will get paid to work here, instead of just earning internship credits.  Sweet deal.

I'd post her photo here, only we don't actually have one.  So I'll do the next best thing.

Librarian as Super-Heroine

(Actually, this is Mary Marvel, a fictional character created by Otto Binder and Marc Swayze and originally published by Fawcett Comics.  The character is now owned by DC Comics.  Mary was associated with Captain Marvel and first appeared in 1942 in issue #18 of Captain Marvel Adventures.  Her alter ego was Mary Batson [Bromfield], twin sister of Billy Batson, Captain Marvel's alter ego.  Both Billy and Mary possessed the superpowers of Shazam, a wizard whose name they spoke to gain these abilities and become magically transformed into adulthood [a typical fantasy of young readers].  Gomer Pyle [played by actor Jim Nabors] also frequently spoke Shazam's name [as an exclamation of surprise] in the television programs The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.)

Librarians are truly super-heroes (and -heroines), what with all the information saturation out there in cyberspace and even the physical, "real" world.  This theme was explored in This Book is Overdue:  How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, by Marilyn Johnson (Harper, 1st ed., 2010).

Naturally, we have a book trailer.

Please welcome Historigal to the MPL Library Staff.  Ask her a tough reference question.  Better make it extra tough; she's pretty sharp.

Nice to Have Another Human Servant Colleague,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
New Hires News Beat

P.S.  Scowl-Face once sat about six rows behind Huey Lewis on a commercial flight (coach) from Missoula, Montana to Pensacola, Florida, by way of Salt Lake City and Dallas.  Since we're talking about working, why not enjoy "Workin' for a Livin'," by Huey Lewis and the News, from the LP Picture This (1982).

Chicken-Flavored Snow Cones! Sign Me Up!

Sparkle the Designer Cat is, in a word, simply brilliant.  (Okay, that's two words.  But it's true, nonetheless.)  In a comment to yesterday's post, Sparkle suggested that humans could make us kitties chicken-flavored snow cones using low- or no-sodium chicken broth.  That would be the perfect summer cool-down treat!

Who wants to be the first to make one for moi?  Lady With the Red Hair?  (Not Scowl-Face--he's helpless in a kitchen.)

N'yum, N'yum, N'yum,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Feline Cuisine News Beat

P.S.  Ray Stevens has enjoyed a long career singing parodies and novelty songs.  "Teenage Mutant Kung-Fu Chickens" spoofs the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series.  The song was included on the CD Ray Stevens: 20 Comedy Hits (1995).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

National Ice Cream Day Gives Most Felines a Bellyache

Today (July 17) is National Ice Cream Day.  I kid you not!  July, in fact, is National Ice Cream Month (signed by President Ronald Reagan, no less, in 1984).  Humans will doubtlessly do backflips over this exciting news, but many felines are lactose-intolerant, and so we're dubious about celebrating this holiday.

Fortunately, I have an alternative feline cuisine for the day's festivities.  If it's hot where you live, then you'll appreciate this.  Make with the kitty snow cones, minions!

Typical Snow Cone
(at least in America)

A Refreshingly Cool Feline Treat

Snow cones are ideally suited for kitties.  Our rough tongues are perfectly equipped to wear down the shaved ice, and there usually isn't too much syrup added, so we don't overload on sugar.  It's mostly just frozen water, which cools and refreshes in this sweltering heat and humidity.  Humans can enjoy snow cones, too, but they should be thinking of our hydration needs first.  After all, cats and first are synonymous.

Video of Sam, Who Loves to Munch Snow, N'ym, N'ym

Folks like to share their foods with their four-pawed friends.  It's only reasonable, since they are blessed with our companionship.  But there are limits to what's acceptable.

Excuse Me While I Barf

We kitties will leave the ice cream for our people pals, but the snow cones are all ours.

Make Mine Extra-Large With That Blue Stuff Poured On,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Holiday News Beat

P.S.  Fresh Aire IV, an instrumental album by Mannheim Steamroller (1981), is based upon a winter theme.  The first track, "G Major Toccata," employs the pipe organ to grand magnificence.  (The narration at the beginning, however, is not part of the original production, composed by Chip Davis; rather, it appears to be a fan's commentary, along with the religious imagery.)  The song is also abridged in this video (3:50); the original runs 5:06.  See if your library has any of the Fresh Aire CDs.  Evergreen Indiana libraries do.  You may also purchase them from your favorite online music seller, including Mannheim Steamroller's official website.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Great Food and Philanthropy

What better way to support Mooresville Public Library than to eat great food? Well, you have to pay, but it's philanthropy when a portion of proceeds go directly to support the Library.  I speak, of course, of the upcoming Fundraising Night (Wednesday, August 3, 2011) at Zydeco's Restaurant in historic downtown Mooresville, Indiana.  Our latest issue of MPL Bookmark, the official Library newsletter, has the goods.

Click to Bigify

This will be the premiere fun-raising event of the season, to be sure, so you won't want to miss it.  Maybe Boss Lady and Broadway Gal will do the limbo dance! Chiropractors will be standing by, Boss Lady.

Learn the Limbo Dance in a Few Easy (?) Steps

Actually, I don't think they'll be doing the Limbo Dance at the fun-raiser, but it would be worth seeing.  Eat great food, support your local library--what's not to like?  We hope to see you there.

Save Me Some of That Great Zydeco's Seafood,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Summer Funtime News Beat

P.S.  Here is one of our program trailers reminding everyone to support her/his local libraries.  There are three versions of this video (with three different soundtracks by The Music Man), but this is the most popular.  You may watch all three on the MPL YouTube Channel.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Where's My Blog Trailer, Broadway Gal?

Late last month, Broadway Gal held a library workshop in which she taught teens how to make book trailers.  You may have seen some of our book trailers on the MPL YouTube Channel, but if not, you'd better scurry over there without delay.  We have over a hundred book trailers, and, overall, something like 168 videos uploaded (but who's counting, right?).

We would like to see some of your teens' creations, Broadway Gal.  To-wit:  Videos about moi.  Did you have your students make any?  I can't imagine not.  A Cauli book trailer (or, more precisely, a blog trailer) would really excite our patrons out there in cyberspace.  Like, for instance, this modest offering.

I'm sure your class participants could do better, although I like this one fine.  Maybe we should hold a contest for the best Cauli Le Chat blog trailer.  Broadway Gal, you could give the winner some of those great prizes  you're so excellent at obtaining from library supporters.  You're good at writing grants; seems like a grant to fund a Cauli Le Chat project would be a paw-in (a feline version of a shoe-in).

In any event, if your teens created some cool book trailers, we'd like to upload them to the MPL YouTube Channel.  Send them to Scowl-Face, who will make it so.  I'll post them on my blog, too, so more folks will enjoy them.  (My blog probably has a faster growing readership than our YouTube Channel.  Well, and why not?)

Why Not, Indeed,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Library Video News Beat

P.S.  Talking about book trailers and other videos that my Library has posted online reminded me of The Beatles cover of "Act Naturally," from the album Help! (1965).  The song was written by Johnny Russell and Voni Morrison, and it was first recorded in 1963 by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, reaching number one on Billboard's Country Singles Charts.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We Are SO Not Going There!

It has been a rather hot summer in Hoosierland, as elsewhere, so far this year. This week has been plenty sweltering, especially since the air conditioning at my Library bought the farm.  We have all been trying to keep cool however we can.

But I'm drawing the line in the sand right now.  Don't even think about it.

Tomorrow (July 14) is National Nude Day.  Of course, we felines, slobberdogs, and every other of nature's critters wear our birthday suits daily, but most of us have hair, fur, plumage, or scales to cover up the naughty bits.  The way we four-footed creatures gadabout is perfectly normal and acceptable.  For humans, however, nakedness is quite repugnant to most of us more refined animals.  I'm no prude, and I'm not saying there's anything intrinsically wrong with nudity, but, for crying out loud!  Do we have to be exposed to everything?  Show some consideration, if you please.  Have you seen yourselves in a mirror lately sans apparel?  You know who you are.

(Okay, grammar police.  I know gadabout is a noun, and I used it as a verb.  Isn't it common parlance now to abusively convert nouns into verbs?)

We try to be a family-friendly blog, so we can't show any photographs celebrating National Nude Day.  Or can we?  This could get a little dicey.

A Warning Worth Heeding, If You're Easily Offended
by the All-Natural Look

If people want to celebrate their freedom of expression by vacating their clothing tomorrow, we can only hope that they will choose appropriate times and places.  My Library, by the way, is not one of them.  I have an extra lunch to keep down.

Have fun, nudists, but remember:  50+ SPF sunscreen will wash off, even through heavy perspiration.  Plus some of that nasty UV radiation sneaks around the blocking part of the lotion, particularly if you haven't spread it liberally on every square inch of skin.  Not that I've had any personal experience here, but I know some people who have.  Believe me, you don't want to know.

Why Are There Nudist Day T-Shirts For Sale?  Just Asking,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Bizarre Holidays News Beat

P.S.  I probably will never have another opportunity to musically close my blog with a song about nudity.  So enjoy "Lady Godiva" (single release, 1966), by folk-rockers Peter and Gordon, lip-synched live on the Milton Berle Show (1967).  Milton Berle had a TV series in the mid-1960s?  What channel was that on?  Must have been a summer replacement.  (No, it wasn't; the series ran during the regular 1966-67 season on ABC.)

Hard Work Pays Off, Big-Time (or Pig-Time?)

Have you ever been told you couldn't do something?  Few activities in life come easily at first, even for talented felines such as moi, and it helps to be encouraged over the early rough bits.  But our instant gratification society places a premium upon immediate results, and so we are often faced with what are perceived to be insurmountable challenges, either by ourselves (and so we give up) or by others (sadly, including those instructing or evaluating us), who tell us to give it a rest.  Either way, we try, we encounter obstacles (or do not achieve success straightaway), and so we move on to the next flavor of the moment.

This scenario applies to youngsters, too.  Olympic and world champion figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi drives home this point with good humor and grace in her children's picture book, Dream Big, Little Pig! (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, Juvenile Fiction/Picture Book, 2011) (ISBN  9781402252754).  The illustrations by Tim Bowers capture the moods beautifully.  Poppy's disappointment with the difficulties she encounters when she explores different types of personal expression, as well as the disappointment she feels when discouraged by others, are poignantly felt.  Finding one's talent niche isn't easy for anyone, especially for a pot-bellied pig, but Poppy perseveres, until she ultimately triumphs in discovering her passion and skill.  The plot is ably summarized in this book trailer by The Lady With the Red Hair.

When it comes to achieving your dreams, hard work pays off, big-time.  With the love and support of family, friends, and mentors, you can become anything.  I can't think of a better message for a children's picture book.

Keeping the "Im" Out of Possible,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Readers' Advisory News Beat

P.S.  There are more dream songs than you've had hot dinners, but "Runnin' Down a Dream," from the album Full Moon Fever (1989) by Tom Petty, is flat-out cool.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Watch Out For Waddleskiffers

If you have seen one up close and personal, then you know that a waddleskiffer is no kitty's swimming winged dinner.  Those dudes are huge--as large as you or I, if you're a typical, so-called "domesticated," feline--so I wouldn't suggest trying to capture one for a snack.  Those beaks are sharp and dangerous!  Word to the wise, my friends.

I thought you were bringing the fish!

Actually, these guys are quite friendly, and they are lightning-fast swimmers, although they are awkward waddlers on land, ice, or snow. They are well-behaved and always impeccably dressed in those cute tuxedoes, so they are fun at parties, particularly when any type of swimming dinner is served.  They also make great fictional characters.

Mr. Popper's Penguins, written by Richard Atwater & Florence Atwater, and illustrated by Robert Lawson, has delighted human children and adults alike since it was first published in 1938.  A Newbery Honor Book recipient, the story continues to stoke the imaginations of its readers.  There have been many different editions over the years, utilizing several illustrators, but the original seems most charming.  Our book trailer (above) summarizes the plot.

The intended audience is ages 9-12, but the book makes a great read-aloud for younger early readers, and younger young adults (ages 13-14) should find a wealth of humor and imagination in the Popper family's adventures with their waddleskiffer friends.  Sometimes the best reads may be found in the classics, and a book first published 73 years ago certainly sounds like one to moi.

How Do Waddleskiffers Wash & Press Those Tuxedoes?  Just Asking,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Readers Advisory News Beat

P.S.  Okay, I know Bob Dylan's "Quinn the Eskimo (Mighty Quinn)" (1967) involves an Arctic Eskimo (unless you prefer a more symbolic interpretation), and waddleskiffers are exclusively Antarctic, but it's a cute bit of folk-rock, and I'm not too particular which of the earth's poles we musically visit in these closers.  My favorite cover is by Manfred Mann (1968), whose version (entitled "Mighty Quinn") topped the U.K. pop singles charts and was a top ten hit on the U.S. pop singles charts.