Did not want… Blogjune 4/24

blogjune

ONE PIC FROM TODAY

The top shelf of a dishwasher with a lot of glassware, including shards of a 1 litre pyrex jug that has self-destructed.

ONE THING I DID TODAY

Dealt with the aftermath of a one litre Pyrex glass jug self-destructing in my 14 year old dishwasher, and the door seal tearing off in the intricate cleanup to remove shards from the filter and rubber pipes.

It took time. And money.

On the up side, I now have a three month subscription to Choice online, so if anyone wants me to look up reviews for any appliances, just let me know.

Miller’s Corner. Blogjune 3/24

blogjune

ONE PIC FROM TODAY

Long winter shadows of trees fall on an earthy building with a circular stone chimney. There is a narrow road around it, with a two storey dwelling in the background.

ONE THING I DID TODAY (well, it will always be yesterday, but you get the drift)

Explored a small Cohousing community about 30 minute’s drive from the city, Miller’s Corner.

I was part of a group from an inner-city eco-village being hosted for the afternoon, along with residents from the even-more-rural Aldinga Arts Eco-Village. A couple of years ago, we had invited people from the other two villages for a chat about how everyone went about living so closely; kept sharing well; built with alternative materials like straw bales or hempcrete; and dealt with practicalities like cats, parking and building funds. Last year, Aldinga hosted both groups, with Miller’s Corner returning the favour today.

Aldinga, near the seaside about 45 minutes away from Adelaide, is by far the largest community with around 320 residents and 181 lots. They are very self-sufficient with their own sewage works and a shared farm with vegetable crops, orchard, chickens and goats. There are arts studios, a climbing wall that the teenagers in the community persuaded a community meeting to fund, and a project to make and sell bio-char. There is even have a Natural Earth Burial Ground, which permits them to bury people who die in the village.

Miller’s Corner was long dreamed, but only recently built. On retirement, the couple who owned the land decided to build a community, rather than just sell up and move away. First came the circular(ish) community space in the centre of the village, with circular fireplace of stones to match the masonry of the house already there. Then, with guidance of the same architect, passive solar houses were built in a circle around the community room, with no front fences and rear yards. Community members are from 8 to 80, with eventually 13 dwellings.

She Speaks and She Shanties. Blogjune 2/24

blogjune

ONE PIC FROM TODAY

Five women with stripy shirts singing on a stage in a small pub space

ONE THING I DID TODAY

Long-form improv performed by an all-female sea shanty group anyone?

Yes please!

Totally unintended.

I HAD intentionally attended a concert presented by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra of conservatorium students performing contemporary classical works by female composers at 4pm, part of the She Speaks programme. You know, something like an incredibly rapid and intricate flute piece with trills like birdsong, or a composition for cello and eight terracotta flowerpots, or a toy grand piano frentetically accompanying a pre-recorded track of static on a computer.

I did intentionally share a fabulous Greek meal with friends afterward, eating too much fried cheese with no regrets at all.

BUT, this is Adelaide. Where the Fringe has finished. And the Cabaret Festival, of course, has its own Fringe. So, two minutes before the She Shanties show, instead of walking past, I popped in for a rollicking ride where the audience suggested a profession useless on a desert island (management consultant), something you would take on a ship (parrot) and a catchphrase (“Oh, my leg!”)… and then there was much call-and-response chorusing between audience and performers amid imaginary cannon-ball fights; Madame Pachinko’s Circus drumming up business; an failed canine dental hygienist…. concluding with a lover’s ballad extolling the virtues of being unsuccessful together.

Winter out there, spring here. Blogjune 1/24

blogjune

Back. Joining the decreasing gang who attempt to blog every day of June.

I’m going minimalist again this year. One pic and one thing I did today … and more if I want to.

WHAT I DID TODAY:

(I am cheating and pre-writing this on Friday 31 May)

Started a six week course through work for people who support communities of scientific researchers, run through the Center for Scientific Collaboration and Community . I am responsible for running an annual computational summer school and have this crazy idea that instead of people forming wonderful connections and mentorships over a three day event, then never seeing each other again…. we could build an online community around the event and .. like…. talk to each other before and after it. I love the idea of the first hour of the next summer school feeling like people who know each other finally catching up in person – rather than a room of strangers.

ONE PIC

It’s well and truly Winter out there, but on my balcony I have flowers and fruit and feel very Springish.

Flowers in a window box with a bare tree behind them. A cityscape is behind this. Three apples growing on a tree are in the top left corner

CO2 on a plane and in a taxi and an Uber and a concert

Uncategorized

I changed jobs in December to something where I travel a few times a year.

(And I work hard at interesting work, people are marvellously collaborative, I feel like I am working toward something meaningful… AND I get paid far more per *actual* hour worked than in academia. No more evening teaching or marking ever!!)

Preparing for my first trip interstate, I bought a CO2 meter to read air quality in different spaces. As far as I know, I have not had COVID. I want a firmer idea of when to mask up. Currently, it’s “see lots of people, especially indoors, mask up”.

An article about The COVID-safe strategies Australian scientists are using to protect themselves from ‘ the virus nudged me toward buying an Aranet4, although it had been in the back of my mind for a few years.

A small CO2 meter on a bedside table

Where there are more parts per million of CO2, there are more ppm of other airborne components, including viruses. If the air quality is clean, the meter obviously does not tell you whether you are actually sitting between two people who are actively infectious.

Here are annotated readings from a day of travel. Apart from seeing I had a very full day (which also included 2 hours test-riding a couple of e-bikes), there were a couple of surprises. Airports and aeroplanes good places to mask up? No surprise.

A couple of places, where I had thought masking was crucial, I could maybe be more relaxed. A concert hall with around 900 people? Just fine inside, although masking up in the lobby is a good idea. I previously felt nervous at theatrical events, so that was quite nice to find out.

My biggest surprise was the readings of the taxi compared to the Uber. The taxi from the airport had a driver who was masking, as was I, and who kept the windows open, unasked. The air stayed clean. In the Uber, which had another passenger plus driver the air quality spiked to a concerning level. The three of us were unmasked and the air conditioning was on. I opened a window a little. I was tired and just forgot to mask. It’s not a situation on my radar as an issue.

So – yesterday I learned I can still mask at concerts, but can be more relaxed about the air quality… and that masking up in air conditioned cars is a very good idea. And – choose taxis with their windows open. Good to know.

Broke it. Blogjune 21/23

blogjune

It’s minimalist Blogjune – one pic, one thing I did today.

Part of a browser window displaying the conversation with tech support. It has two screenshots of a blog commenting interface. One prompts for input. The other shows the message “Nonce verification failed”

What I did today:

Broke my blog.

Good and proper.

TL;DR CAUTIONARY TALE FOR OTHERS:

“Nonce verification failure”.

If you self-host WordPress and cannot comment on your own posts due to a “nonce verification failure” error, try fiddling with a setting in the Jetpack plugin. There is a parameter under settings > security > WordPress.com login. “Allow users to log into this site using WordPress.com accounts” and “Match accounts using email address “. If you turn those off and on again, it may fix it.

TL

A nonce is a once-off token that identifies my session. My blog was getting a different session token when I tried to write to it in comments. (You said you were Jan, but this token is from Lee! Go away.)

It was caused by Jetpack presuming I was Kathryn-with-the-Wordpress-account-that-is-linked-to-Jetpack, not Kathryn-who-is-logged-onto-her-own-site. Until I reset the comments prompt, it just couldn’t stop fixating.


I came up with a solution in the end, but not until I had:

  • Cleared all my browser histories
  • Installed and configured a good-enough new theme for my blog
  • Switched off all plugins except Jetpack (because it threatened to wipe all my site stats)
  • Tried to re-set my server cache with my usual brute-force kludge… changing the default format for post permalinks to something else, then back to the original
  • Halfway through the permalink reset, lost access to the admin screen and any other screen due to redirect errors.
  • Logged in to my web hosting account and checked my wp-config file.
  • Checked my .htaccess file while I was there
  • Saw something a bit odd in the .htaccess file, so started a live session with support because it was beyond my skills
  • Spent two hours on the phone to my hosting service, who were very nice., and I am pretty sure, human not AI. They solved the immediate problem (.htaccess had gone screwy so they rewrote it), but not the nonce error problem
  • Reinstalled my WordPress content and program files
  • FINALLY disabled Jetpack in case it was the issue, so deleted all my site statistics for the last few years.
  • Discovered that the nonce error was gone.
  • Made a very small, one minute change to a parameter in Jetpack, after 4-5 hours trying to solve this.

Somebody think of the psychosocial safety of council staff! Blogjune 19/23

blogjune

… or … The logical fallacy “Somebody think of the CHILDREN/ Lovejoy’s Law” updated for 2023.

Let’s state right off that nobody should harm children. Workplaces are often unsafe and employers need to fix that. Nobody should harm children or place workers in unsafe conditions. Hurting children is bad. Hurting workers is bad.

An ethical scenario

I teach ethics to people who will become librarians. Every study period I grab a scenario from last week’s news and give it to students before our Zoom class about ethics. It is a back up because I invite the class to bring their own examples. Many students are in industry, or have been library/archives/records users, and we usually use their far meatier examples.

This study period I used the example of Rainbow Storytime being banned in Goulbourn library in early June. In my imaginary scenario, the chief executive did not cancel the event because they were “unable to guarantee the physical and psychosocial safety of council’s employees”. In the fictional example the CEO actually expressed concerns about council employee safety, and asked the student, as library manager, how their professional regulatory framework, competencies and ethics guided the situation.

And I added another twist. The real Goulbourn Library included real Reconciliation Storytime among other storytime sessions in the same event registration package as their real Rainbow Storytime. In my scenario, BOTH storytimes had objections from the same group. In my imaginary scenario protesters complained that the events were adult content being forced on children, and made similar threats to council staff. I asked students whether the professional framework would guide them to act differently for each storytime.

What happens when a library runs Drag Queen Storytime?

Turns out, sometimes there are real-life impacts of running Drag Queen Storytime in public libraries. Totally booked out attendance. Large community support. Like last Saturday, when around 200 people turned up at Maylands Library in Perth to show their support and provide a counterpoint to a very small number of picketers at an event now entering its sixth year. In April this year, an online petition to cancel a Drag Storytime in Victoria’s Oakleigh Library was reported to have only a quarter of the signatures of a different online petition supporting the event (Austin & O’Meara, 2023).

It even results in libraries carrying out what their funders pay them to do, which is to provide a community service open to all, with an ethical remit to remove barriers to free access to information.

When we briefly touched my ethical scenario in class, I pointed students to the Australian Library and Information Association’s 2022 Statement of support for Rainbow Storytimes, which states in part:

Enabling an inclusive environment where differences are valued and all individuals are treated fairly and with courtesy, dignity and respect is part of ALIA’s Professional Conduct Statement.  ALIA recognises that for some groups in our community, such as LGBTQIA+ people, collections, programs and services have not always been as inclusive and representative as they should have been. It is in this context, that we reiterate our commitment to ensuring that libraries provide inclusive and safe environments for all individuals, including LGBTQIA+ people.

ALIA, 2022

Psychological safety and moral injury in the workplace

In the Goulbourn example, I thought “psychosocial safety” of council workers was an interesting turn of phrase. Especially in the context of the known psychological, social and health risks to workers placed in situations likely to cause moral injury. And the fact that library staff are council workers.

Moral injury is a psychological harm caused by the

strong cognitive and emotional response that can occur following events that violate a person’s moral or ethical code… [including]…a person’s own or other people’s acts of omission or commission, or betrayal by a trusted person in a high-stakes situation

Williamson et al., 2021

A recent example of moral injury is the impact on health care workers forced to compromise ethical standards of patient care and safety in circumstances of pandemic exhaustion and under-resourcing. Or, any academic who has to choose between using their finite time to mark all student assessments by a deadline, or to stop and spend several hours documenting a suspected academic integrity case for a single student, which is unlikely to result in more than the student name being entered in an internal database.


The “psychological harm” playbook extended

I am guessing that the Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Council, which runs Floreat Library, in Western Australia, also liked the phrase “psychological safety”. Because, you know, libraries are dangerous things. Causing harms. Harms that must be stamped out to fulfil legal duty of care to council staff.

So – no Drag Queen Storytimes for Goulbourn because we must think of the psychological safety of council workers. Well, SOME council workers.

In Floreat Library? The CEO ordered the library to stop stocking two local free newspapers that were politically critical of the council. Why? “criticism of Cambridge in the local press posed a psychological hazard to staff under the Work Health and Safety Act”.

I have a new backup ethics example for next study period.

I am interested to see where this playbook will further lead for libraries.


References

Austin, S., & O’Meara, J. G. (2023, April 28). Won’t somebody please think of the children? Their agency is ignored in the moral panic around drag storytime. The Conversation https://theconversation.com/wont-somebody-please-think-of-the-children-their-agency-is-ignored-in-the-moral-panic-around-drag-storytime-204182

Dickinson, B. (2023, June 17). “Dangerous” Post Banned from library. Mosman Cottesloe Post.

Williamson, V., Murphy, D., Phelps, A., Forbes, D., & Greenberg, N. (2021). Moral injury: The effect on mental health and implications for treatment. The Lancet Psychiatry, 8(6), 453–455. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2215-0366(21)00113-9

Walking the winter spiral. Blogjune 18/23

blogjune

It’s minimalist Blogjune – one pic, one thing I did today.

What I did today:

Gathered outside with a group of women to share thoughts on winter, drink warm spiced juice, eat freshly cooked damper, sit around a fire and weave creations from sticks and shells and locally spun yarn.

In honour of the solstice this week, we each made a rolled wax candle, then walked a spiral of leaves and branches to light it from a large candle at the centre, leaving our candle in the pathway as we exited.


But, today’s pic is another view of a stage. It’s my last Cabaret Festival event, An Australian Songbook from Robyn Archer.

I considered travelling to Melbourne for a couple of days on my week off – now being so physically close and not having any pause to take advantage of it before. Instead, I vacationed at the festival.