A Couple of Interesting Things

Last night, I finished The Light Side of the Moon and started thinking about what to read next. I had three books on hold at the library, but my position in line, in each case, was about five times the number of books the library has. I thought about how much I enjoyed Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars, and decided I wanted to read something else by John Green. I saw that Looking for Alaska was on the shelf at Green Lake. I placed a hold.

Right after I placed the hold, I saw that one of my previous holds – Dark Matter, by Blake Crouch – was available for pick up. I canceled my hold on Looking for Alaska and wondered why I hadn’t received an email notification on Dark Matter.

Some time around the time I’d placed the second hold on The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, I changed my notification email to the email on my phone, so that I’d know if a book had come in before I get home from work. I happened to be in the library one day and found the book on the hold shelf. I hadn’t received an email notification about it.

So last night was the second time I hadn’t received a notification. I double-checked the email I’d entered into the library web site. It was correct. I checked my spam filter. It wasn’t there. Hmm…

This morning, while I was waiting for the train at Westlake Station, I saw a man with two very large suitcases approach a couple of Transit Security officers. I couldn’t overhear everything, but it was obvious that the man was asking where to buy train tickets. The officers pointed up the stairs. The man took a few steps toward the stairs, then turned back to the officers and (apparently) asked them if it was OK to leave his suitcases there. Apparently, the officers said yes, because the man disappeared up the stairs, leaving his suitcases on the platform.

A couple of things struck me as odd about that. First: Seeing that the man had two large suitcases with him, why didn’t the officers direct him to the elevator that was even closer than the stairs? Second: How does allowing someone to leave unattended items on the platform fit in with the frequent “Please report any unattended items to Metro employees or Security officers” announcements? (What if the man never returned? What if the officers got called away? Not to get paranoid, but what if there was something more sinister than clothes inside those suitcases?) I wasn’t going to criticize those officers in the post, but the more I think about, the more convinced I am that they should be criticized for a poor decision.

During my morning break today, I returned to the library web site to see how I could report not getting my email notifications. I found something interesting. There is a feature to have a test email sent from the library. (I suppose that’s for folks like me, wondering if their email notification is working.) The page said that the test email would be sent after 11:00 pm. I entered my library number and PIN and submitted the request.

I returned to work, and received an email notification on my phone. It was the library, letting me know my hold had come in. I guess I was too impatient.

I picked up Dark Matter on my way home from work. I’d found it on some recommended reading list, somewhere. I don’t know, from the synopsis, if it’s a mystery or science fiction.


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