Saturday, July 6, 2013

A slow week

I haven't been at work all week, having gone to Tucson to get the van fixed. It is. I think. Time will tell. I had a power converter installed in place of the power inverter (you really don't want to know), a move that saved me about $1500 but still cost $500. Oh, the joys of home ownership.

Here's what had been going on at the park, now that the library work is more or less done, and I'm quite sure it's still waiting for me since I've been gone. I moved on to digitizing the Triassic Library. It has a more formal name with many multisyllable words like vertebrate and paleontology, so I just stick with Triassic Library. It consists of papers - published articles, theses, dissertations, manuscripts - that have to do with the Triassic Era which, if you've been paying attention, predates the famous Jurassic and is known as the Dawn of the Dinosaurs.

There are boxes and boxes of these papers. Many of them have already been scanned and turned into searchable PDFs by staff members, but lots remain boxed and still need the work done. This is the bulk of the work and I've already removed and processed several boxes, maybe six or eight:

In the boxes are these folders, each holding an article or other paper. This box also has an entire journal that needs to be scanned. That's the item at the front of the box.

More papers are housed in in these and many more binders still in the regular library.

When I remove the papers from the boxes and stack them up for scanning, I get several piles like this.

My job is to scan all the articles, either on a super machine that I can bulk load and which will save the scans to its own server, and which I can retrieve from my desk, or by hand on a desktop scanner, page by single page, depending on the fragility of the originals and other factors that would prohibit them from bulk scanning. Guess which one I prefer.

After scanning I convert them in a two-step process to PDFs and then to searchable PDFs. It's not the most scintillating work but it beats unemployment or cleaning bathrooms.

I have at least a half-dozen piles of work in different stages of completion stacked up around me in a system known only to me and God; if I'm hit by a bus no one would know what to do. So far, no bus, and the work is proceeding apace: as of a week ago, I had 388 articles converted, stored on the computer, and backed up to an external drive.

I don't know how many articles there are and it's a piece of information I have declined to have revealed to me. It's just best for my mental health not to know.

Thought of the day:

You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it. (Oprah Winfrey)