West Virginia:

West Virginny Ain't So Bad     
If anyone talks trash to you about West Virginia you may want to take it with a grain of salt.  Before my visit here I had heard from several folks that it wasn't such a great state to visit. Pshaw!  Maybe it was just good fortune, but my stays in the state were quite nice.  A fair percentage of the towns in WV are attractive, tiny little locales nestled in narrow valleys nearly swimming in trees.  

I know people tend to sort of  be on their "best behavior" when the "guy from the Gates Foundation" shows up, but despite that several things are very clear in almost every Library in every community I visit.  Don't get me wrong, I love living in Seattle, but like most folks that don't live in "the city" Librarians were interested, intelligent, practical and eager to do positive things for their community.  WV folks were no exception.

As this was only my second trip as a Trainer, I was still pretty green.  There was so just so much to learn!  I now knew what an IP address was for, but some of the inner workings and details of computers and networking were very hazy to me.

  Fortunately I had another wonderful teacher in my fellow trainer, Dale.  Dale was very patient and easy to get along with despite the fact that I was bombarding him with questions.  To my untrained eyes he sure seemed to know his stuff.   Being with Dale certainly helped when we had some major hardware problems!

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This is Ripley, WV.
All of it.
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Even the town around historical sites need a Public Library.  And a Gates grant or course!

Technical Difficulties
In our second library the motherboard was bad on one of the the machines.  After troubleshooting with help desk for what seemed like an hour, we just decided to send them a new motherboard.  Since all of the internal parts of the computer plug into this board we had planned to have a Gateway technician come an install the part.  Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on who you might ask) the new part came the very next day via, well, next day air. :)   After an hour or so we managed to get new part in and have the machine up and running as good as new.  This was a great feeling of accomplishment for someone who only two months earlier had never opened up a computer.  

Joe hikes up his pants as her prepares to climb the stairs to the top of the Washington Monument.  Fortunately we were forced to take the elevator.

The Public Libraries I worked in while in WV: Inwood, Berkeley Springs, Ripley and Ravenswood


Weekend I    
 WV weekend number 1 was spent in our nations capital, Washington D.C..  There is so much to see there that when you only have a couple of days you just have to decide you'll miss most of the town.  That's cool though because in addition to keeping you relaxed it helps you enjoy what you do see more.  We saw the National Gallery, the Washington Monument and the Natural History Museum.

Over this weekend Dale and Joe and I stayed in a nice D.C. Residence Inn complete with kitchens in each room.  This meant we got to cook!  Cooking on the road definitely makes you feel more at home and if any Trainer know how to cook, Dale is the one.  AS he is a fan of rustic Italian cooking (and good food in general) he prepared and taught us how to prepare putanesca sauce and and a delicious, simple bruscetta dish.  I now make these recipes all the time at home.  Thanks, Dale!

Louisville, KY

Weekend II
  WV weekend two was spent visiting my God-parents, Jack and Ruth in Louisville, KY.  This family totally rocks!  I had to drive all the way across KY to get there but it was well worth it.  Seeing dear, long time family friends is just good for the soul.  It was nice to stay in a familiar place too while starting to branch out on my own more while on the road as a Trainer.  Yep, between trips to flea markets, long familiar conversations, wonderful meals and tours of Jack's Simpson's collection it was an amazing weekend. 

     Other West Virginia Memories
Listening to:
Wham!-Make It Big
Afghan Whigs-1964
Everything But The Girl
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion