A couple of students took the bus this morning, because the Wolfline bus that serves this route is not operating this week.
A guy boarded at the Conifer/Gorman stop, and after the bus started moving again, he asked the driver:
- What time will this bus arrive downtown?
- What time will the next bus leave from there after this one arrives?
Needless to say—but you know I'm going to—I wasn't thrilled when the driver picked up a schedule sheet and started scanning it, while she was driving, to try and answer his questions.
Satisfied with her answers, he stood up with what looked like a few fliers in his hand, and it was at this point that I dubbed him high maintenance. He walked to the back of the bus and handed fliers to two African-American people, and then just before taking his seat again up front, he handed one to the driver, who was also African-American. What am I? Chopped Albacore?
At first I assumed the flier was about the imminent rapture slated for this Saturday, but you know I craned my neck as far as I could without spraining it, to see what the title of it was as our bus driver was reading it. Although perhaps I should have been watching the road, so one of us would have been.
But I digress... Anyway, I was able to read the end of the title, which was, "...Face and Hair." At that point, I decided it was an advertisement for some kind of fashion or beauty business, which I of course would have zero interest in. I could see the person giving out the fliers as being very interested in this kind of thing, as he was actually quite androgynous, and he sat with his one leg crossed over and wrapped around the other one so far in what—to me—seemed possible only in the absence of any scrotal obstruction. Not that there's anything wrong with not having a scrotum.
Speaking of the rapture, as a complete—but related—aside (if that construct can even be parsed), here are 5 Facts About The May 21 Judgment Day Predictor, Harold Camping, the most interesting of which is: He already wrongly predicted the rapture once before. Camping has written approximately 30 books, and "1994?"—which contains his infamous prediction that the rapture would take place sometime during mid-September, 1994—is perhaps the most well-known among them. Oops! A little bit of an ethos issue there, Harry.
I ran across the street to the university library to check out a Kindle with something on it that I'd like to read. The way the lending program works, each of their Kindles has a bunch of books on them, and I was hoping to check out one that had two or three books on it that I might be interested in. That way, if I started a book that I didn't like, I could just switch to another one that I'm interested in that's on that device.
So, I asked one of the librarians how I can see what was on which Kindle that was available, and it turned out there's not really a good way to do that. I could specify "Kindle" as a search argument, and then all the books that are on Kindles came up.
So, scrolling down the list of "book titles on Kindles that are available to check out" (which was a little over 700 titles), I further narrowed it down with "genre" and "topic" arguments and I decided that if I checked out the Kindle Reader 3, which showed "Available," there'd be at least three books on there I wouldn't mind reading.
I went back to the librarian who first helped me with how to search for the titles and devices to check out the one I wanted, and a lady who had replaced the guy who originally helped me said, "Oh you have to check them out at the circulation desk."
At the circulation desk, when I said, "I'd like to check out the Kindle Reader 3," the person responded with, "Do you have it reserved?"
"Reserved? No, the system shows that it's available, and the folks over there said that I had to come over here to check it out."
To which she replied, "You have to reserve it first," and she proceeded to show me, on the computer in front of her, where on the library website one reserves Kindles.
Annoyed, I went to the nearest kiosk, which was within view of the circulation desk, and when I clicked on the "Technology Lending" link, it said something to the effect of: "You can only do x, y, and z (and unfortunately, x ≠ Technology Lending, y ≠ Technology Lending, and z ≠ Technology Lending) functions on this kiosk. Other computers in the library allow access to all other functions." Grrrrrrrr!
I went to another computer, back in the section where those first two librarians helped me, and after logging in, I was able to access the Technology Lending area.
By this time, I was in a hurry, because it was taking way longer to do this than I anticipated. Seeing the "Device" dropdown list, I thought, "Oh good, I'll just select the Kindle Reader 3 from the list."
However, when I clicked on it to expose the dropdown list choices, this is what I saw:
My first reaction was disappointment that it wasn't what I expected. Then I got frustrated because, seeing the list was in alphabetical order, I went right to the Ks to look for Kindle, but it wasn't on the list. After a couple of scans, I noticed the three eBook Reader options, and clicked the Kindle one thinking, "Oh good, now I'll be able to select the Kindle Reader 3."
However, this is the next screen that was presented to me:
Arrrggghh! Fortunately, I remembered that one of the books that was on that Kindle Reader 3 was "Bossypants," so I put that in the title field and clicked on "Submit."
What happened next about put me over the edge. It said something to the effect of: "You are number 7 on the waiting list for a Kindle with that title on it."
WTF????? I had refined my original search to only titles that were on Kindles that were "available." Every title shown as being on Kindle Reader 3 had a status of "available" on it.
So let's recap all of the things that were unsatisfactory about this user experience:
- My "user task" was not represented in the system. The system design is based on the "old" way people check out books; that is, they have a book in mind and they go there to check it out. In this new way of reading, since there are multiple books on a device, it only makes sense (to me) that someone might want the one with the most books on it that they might like. And the system doesn't accommodate that.
- The system gives you the impression that you can check out a particular Kindle, since the Kindle that each title is on is noted with it. Why would the user care which Kindle a book is on if you can only check out by the title?
- Every time the Kindle Reader 3 was mentioned, its status was "Available," but evidently it wasn't. So that's either inaccurate information, or the system (i.e., the library staff) knows what that status code really means.
- I had to go to six different "stations" to complete this task: 1) first getting help from the adult services desk, 2) going to a computer to do my searching, 3) going back to adult services to check it out, 4) being sent to circulation, 5) being sent to a kiosk without telling me that getting on the reservation list task was not possible from just any computer in the library, 6) going back to the other section of the library to use a terminal on which I could enter my reservation request.
- The device list does not use parallel construction, and by that I mean most of the items are by their device type (e.g., camcorder, eBook reader, GPS, OCR pen scanner), but at least one, the iPod, is not, otherwise it would be listed as an MP3 player. And this is mostly significant, because iPod was actually the first thing I saw in the list, saw I thought, "Let me look in the Ks for Kindle," which I didn't of course find, because it was in the Es. If I'd've seen "MP3 player" first, I would have first looked for something like "eReader" to try and find the Kindle, and would have found it faster.
- I would never had tried to do this task in the short amount of time I really had alloted to do it if I'd've known how long it was going to take.
- I wanted to be able to leave the library with a device, and I ended up not being able to do that.
On the way out of the library, I stopped to use the men's room. Is it any wonder why there are Craigslist M4M Missed Connections like, "Hey, we checked out each other's junk in the DH Hill Library bathroom..."
In addition to the lack of privacy partitions, it would appear that the closest one is sporting evidence of the old adage, "If it's yellow, let it mellow..." Just Sayin'.
For dinner, I browned some ground hamburger and added it, along with some onions, into spaghetti sauce, pouring it all over rotini noodles.
I napped for an hour before heading to dancing at Flex. We had a good number of dancers, and I got in a ton of cardio exercise.
A guy named Chris, whom I really like, and who hasn't been out for quite the while made an appearance tonight. I guess if I was built like him, I'd take off my shirt to walk around the bar even if no one else did and it's not at all hot in there.