Michelle Hawkins Thiel

May 10, 2009

Thanks Moms for all you give us…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle Hawkins-Thiel @ 12:07 pm
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…including the powerhouses of life:  our mitochondria.  Here’s a cute little rock song about mitochondria, from ScienceBlogs:



April 8, 2009

Brandoodles game

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle Hawkins-Thiel @ 7:36 pm

I recently received a board game, Brandoodles.  I haven’t opened the box yet, but just the outside was amusing.  First, I noticed that they used a very nice font, one you don’t see often enough.  Although frankly I think it’s better for a headline, not a whole paragraph.

The into paragraph is optimistic:  you are “bound to have a lot of fun and fast paced excitement playing this game.”

Brandoodles intro

Brandoodles intro

A later paragraph discusses strategy:  “To win the game you have got to pick the correct letters…”  Really?  Got to?



I don’t know much about games, but the gameboard looks familiar — is that  Jeopardy rip-off?  The basic premise is that you are using letters to guess a product, such as “B-tty Cr-ck-er C-k- M-x” (Betty Crocker Cake Mix.)

It seems to have the potential to be fun.  I’ll have to remember to bring it to my party.  🙂

March 2, 2009

astute PR

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle Hawkins-Thiel @ 4:29 pm
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Brandeis University (my alma mater), like many colleges and universities, has been facing some economic problems, with more on the horizon. Negative PR swirled around when the administration discussed closing the Rose Art Museum and selling off the artworks. Last week, Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz sent an FAQ to alumni to reassure them that things are not as bad as they seem, but of course there’s still an uncertain future. He closed the letter with a very positive message, complimenting everyone and holding out great hopes for the future:

“With the guidance of our dedicated faculty, skilled Board of Trustees, committed senior administration, and devoted alumni and friends, the University will come out of this challenging period as a stronger institution.”

December 3, 2008

Thank you Lord, for bringing me food thru the left window of my car

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle Hawkins-Thiel @ 12:50 am
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After four straight days of nothing but turkey & stuffing & mashed potatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, last night’s quesadilla was a nice change.  And tonight’s flame broiled beef was delightful!  The over-salted fries really hit the spot, and the single onion ring hidden in the bag was a welcome surprise (although the grease did impact my ability to steer the car — thankfully, I was only 100 yards from home by then!)

Of course I am thankful for all the food you give me.  The portabella mushroom sandwich I had for lunch today at the campus coffee shop was, however, a waste of $4.99…  The tiny shroom was dwarfed by the faux-foccacia, and the pesto was nothing but a green schmear.  The whole sandwich tasted like nothing but a white dinner roll with mayo.  But hey, it wasn’t turkey!  🙂

Our Thanksgiving dinner was quite nice, Greg really made a perfect bird.  And I’ve come to really love his rutabaga-taters!  Thank you for sending us 2 guests to share the bounty, I hope they enjoyed the day as much as we did.  Watching “Big Trouble in Little China” was an odd end to the day, but hey it’s not that Christmas that I watched “Silence of the Lambs!”

November 15, 2008

desk organizer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle Hawkins-Thiel @ 7:17 pm
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My new workspace is more visible to the general public, so I *should* keep it tidy. My old “desk organizer” just didn’t seem appropriate anymore (and frankly, it never worked that well anyways…)

So I shopped around (see my previous post here for some ideas) and ended up finding something kinda nice at Target for $19.99. It’s really a “letter holder” but I figured I could adapt it to my needs. I always love a chance to be creative! (BTW, if you buy one of these, it says the photo openings are 2 x 2 inches, but they are more like 2.75 x 2.75 inches.)


The two compartments are rather wide, and I wanted separate areas for pens, pencils, and other stuff — so I made some impromptu dividers from my old business cards and stuck them in with double-sided tape.


top view of box - before

2 cards, folded & glued together

2 cards, folded & glued together

top view of box, after

top view of box, after

I think the final result turned okay…


But after looking at it for a few days, I feel the need to paint it a soft white with a pink-ish tinge… or go all the way pink!


The pink thing on the left is a magnetic dry-erase board I picked up at WallyWorld. Rather than attaching it to the wall, I put it on an easel from Joan Fabrics. To attach anything to the wall, one must fill out a requisition form and schedule a state carpenter to install it!

November 5, 2008

desk organizer envy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle Hawkins-Thiel @ 8:51 pm
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I have a new desk that’s more visible to the public, so I need to keep it quite tidy. I’m trying to decide between the following desk organizers… I wish I could just walk into Ikea and buy some of their cool stuff, but no, they won’t build one here — and the little things aren’t for sale on their website.


Richards Homewares spinning desk organizer in warm mahogany $26


Space saving message center in natural wood $34



Container Store organizer bin in silver mesh $5


Container Store desk station in silver mesh $8 (regularly $15)


Container store magnetic bins in silver mesh $5 – $7


Design Ideas “Ultimate” desk organizer in silver mesh $36


Design Ideas “Desk Station” in silver mesh $23 — hey this looks exactly like the $8 from the Container Store!


Design Ideas “Office Manager” in silver mesh $11


Office Depot “Metro” mesh angled desk organizer $16



Office Depot “Essential Elements” rotary desk organizer (with stapler!) $18


3M rotary desktop organizer $27


Staples All-in-one desk organizer $16


October 13, 2008

General Motors to close factory in Wyoming

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle Hawkins-Thiel @ 2:56 pm
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I didn’t even know GM had a factory in Wyoming! I grew up in a GM family in Michigan, and silly me, I thought most of their factories were in the Midwest. But one way out West, I had no idea…

Yahoo news 10-13-2008

Yahoo news 10-13-2008

…so I did a little checking, and the factory in question is in the city of Wyoming, Michigan. Not the state of Wyoming.

Nice clarity in reporting, AP!

August 1, 2008

change of venue

Filed under: Uncategorized — Michelle Hawkins-Thiel @ 1:47 pm

All my writings regarding libraries have been moved over to http://bulletedlibrarian.wordpress.com/

This blog ( https://michellehawkinsthiel.wordpress.com/  ) may continue as a personal blog.

July 24, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Library Technican: Tuesday

I’m writing this on Thursday, so I might forget a few things I did…

New emails to deal with:

  • new software “images” for scanner section & multimedia section are ready to test
  • problem with JAWS screen reader software in the new “image” for the InfoCommons area might be solved. Latest version of the “image” is available on 3 sections of patron computers.
  • am I going to Nevada Library Association (NLA) conference next month? let’s have lunch (from a friend in the UNT SLIS Nevada Cohort)
  • online version of a new encyclopedia in our collection which I used recently (Magill’s Medical Guide) will be activated soon
  • can I cover Computer Help Desk Friday 11-1?
  • can I cover Research & Information Desk Friday 3-4?

Major activity for this day was planning for the new Multimedia Design Studio space. My supervisor (Carmen) met with Alexis and I to discuss it. We came up with a lot of points that need to be covered before we move in, such as who will live over there, what hours will it be open, will it be staffed all the hours it’s open, etc.

I took a bunch of measurements and created a floor plan, to the scale of 1 pica = 1 inch. And I played around with lots of different possible layouts of the furniture & computers (I will try to attach some later.)

Kinda fun really. Except for the fact that I got so involved in it that I stayed til 10:15 pm! Boy was I hungry when I got home! I had only planned to work til 7, so I didn’t have any dinner with me, and my stash of snacks in my desk is sadly depleted…

July 22, 2008

A Day in the Life of a Library Technician: Monday

Our new mobile white boards arrived! And they’re huge! 6 feet wide by 4 feet tall (and that’s just the board — the frame makes the whole apparatus even larger.) Our department head Tom Ipri ordered 3 of them, as part of an ongoing project to provide more flexible spaces for groups to study together.

We only have 18 actual Group Study Rooms in our library, and students are always asking for more spaces to get together. Each Group Study Room has a whiteboard (actually we just replaced them earlier this summer, most rooms have 2 shiny new whiteboards instead of one old icky whiteboard.) See my flickr set “Group Study Room” for pics.

So my task was to make a sign to go on each mobile whiteboard. They are double-sided and can be flipped over to use the backside. I was wracking my brain trying to figure out a good way to word the instructions (it’s not completely obvious how to operate the locking mechanism.) And we are a little worried about people flipping the board over without looking to see if there’s a wall, table, or person in the way. So I decided to just write “This board flips over. Please don’t!” Of course that won’t be on the final sign, but it made us laugh for a moment.

I served 1 hour on the Computer Help Desk. I can’t remember what questions I answered (I’m writing this a day later), but I know there weren’t many.

In the afternoon I went into our new Multimedia Design Studio space and took some measurements. We have to figure out how to configure the tables and/or cubicles so we can get all our equipment in there comfortable and attractively (and hopefully still have room for new equipment, if some extra $$$ falls into our lap sometime)    🙂

It’s a very odd-shaped space, and my measuring tape is not very long, so it took a while. Then I drew a floorplan in Microsoft Publisher. I’ll try to attach it here later.

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