Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A trip to the library

Recently, Greg and I traveled to a branch of King County Public Library to do some research and enjoy one of the last vestiges of socialism in the US. Greg had legitimate research for an ongoing project on the human impact of war. I just went along for the ride because there's always something fun to see and do at the library.

I hit the magazine racks for eye candy, inspiration, and to admire the collection's scope and coverage in this well-endowed library system. But a dark side lurks in the stacks of this cozy suburb. In place of a number of notable titles, I noticed laminated signs alerting patrons that subscriptions to those particular magazines would be terminated if issues continued to go missing. What do these patrons need so badly that they're willing to break the public trust to steal from a revered public institution? Cosmopolitan, ESPN Magazine, Martha (gasp) Stewart Living. A few years ago, The American Library Association surveyed libraries to determine which items were most often stolen. Among them, police officer examination study guides. So much for socialism.

Sheep were my next stop. In spite of the fact that I only recently verified that lambs are baby sheep, I have a recurrent fantasy of living on a little farm to raise sheep. Our bucolic weekend on Lopez Island rekindled the dream, where I spotted three lambs frolicking in a field, bucking like tiny, white, fluffy broncos, bringing me to giddy squeals. Hoping to look further into a possible career in agriculture, and find some more baby lamb porn, I found a helpful primer, “Small Scale Sheep Keeping for Pleasure and Profit”. A few tidbits I learned:

  • Lambs’ tails are usually docked to avoid disease and soakage in urine and feces. This is accomplished by placing a tight band around the tail. It hurts until their tail goes numb and eventually falls off. A friend who used to work on a farm told me that she would find lamb tails laying around in the field. I'm pretty sure I would faint.

  • Donkeys are great for guarding the flock. Llamas are even better. Somehow I don't think the pug would be particularly effective.

  • Lamb is in high demand during particular times on various religious calendars. I think I'd stick to milk or wool. If I couldn't handle lamb tail detritus, slaughter might be out of the question.

Further research is in order. In the mean time, I'm looking forward to attending the Wild-N-Wooly sheep shearing fest in Bellevue later this month. And another trip to the library.

1 comment:

Tasha said...

Emily, you are so creative! I love following your hobby trail and community meanderings. Gee, if people are inclined to steal books, come steal them from the free shelf at Literacy Source. We have so many bibles come and go! And I do believe LS will become an official "Book Crossing Zone" drop point -www.bookcrossing.org - very soon. I know LS will also kindly distribute "Save the lamb tails!" bumper stickers if they get printed - nudge, nudge.