Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Other peoples' pictures


In a back area of our library workroom, books weeded from our collection are lined up on one to three carts against a wall, waiting for de-librarification, a process involving a status change in the computer, label stripping, and blacking out with markers elements that make books look like they're live in the system. I don't have much to do with these books other than to look at them and get sad that we are weeding them.

In case you don't know, most library systems, especially larger ones, work less on a personally curated collection model, and more on an "automatically" curated collection model. There are exceptions to this, but these weeded books are a perfect example of the "automatically" curated. These books have been pulled from the collection based on auto-generated lists of items that haven't circulated for, usually, a year or more.

I'm more of a personally curated sort of person. Just look at clerkmanifesto! Instead of being designed for what people would ideally like to read, and having millions of readers and making me rich and heralded across the land, it is designed to contain exactly the content that I think everyone needs to read, and thus has, let's see, a couple readers. Well, actually just the one right now.

Hi. It's so nice to see you!

Sometimes on these carts of to-be-weeded books there are books I am only too happy to see go. Sometimes there are interesting books, but I understand that we have sadly limited shelving space. And sometimes there are fantastic books and I get mad at our library, at the often indulgent and flawed profession of "Librarian", and at the cruelty of an uncaring humankind. Then I wander around the library for awhile giving speeches about all of this that my co-workers only tolerate because I also have many good points.

But sometimes I find a book to be weeded that is so gorgeous and amazing that I have to pull it off the cart, take 85 pictures of it, and then hoard it in some random pile of my own in some corner of the work area of the library.

I still give a string of vehement speeches when I find a book like this, perhaps even more so, maybe even like the one you are reading now.

I found this last kind of book, an incredible animal photography book, yesterday. Accordingly I took pictures of it. Here is my first set of pretty much altered, er, tribute pictures of the pictures in the book I admired so much. The original pictures in the book are of course much better, and range widely across the animal kingdom. They tend towards extreme clarity and intensely detailed close-ups. I have only increased the close-up nature of these pictures, and not being equipped to add to or reproduce the beautiful clarity of them, I have instead experimented with their textures, colors, and patterns.

This will be the first of probably two sets of these pictures of a $65 book in excellent condition that we madly weeded at my library. Tomorrow I will provide the name and author of the book which I only withhold now because I don't know what it is and I am not at work, which is where the book is.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Magic trick


When we were in Duluth on vacation I was awash in holiday cash. We like to be rich on vacation and be able to buy ourselves presents and wallow on sheets made of butterfly wings and gaze out over astonishing vistas full of water. It gives texture to the slightly less exotic rest of the year.

So when we were in a kitchen store, in our hotel complex, where they carried pretty water bottles that alleged to keep my water cold (or warm) for 18 hours I decided to buy one even though it was 35 dollars. It was blue, with flowers and various weeds on it. Like I said, it's pretty. It is sitting here by my left hand as I write. It holds about 2/3's of a quart of water.

I put cold water in it about nine hours ago.

Before we move on to the next detail about this water I would like to say that I don't have much experience with what was known back in the old days as a thermos. I might have used a couple back in elementary school, and some liquid or soup sent along for my lunch may have been kept warm by it, but I was surely not impressed because I am not particularly fond of warm foods. I was less likely to think "Wow, this thermos has amazingly kept my food warm!" than I was to think "This thermos is broken because it has kept my food warm!"

So what I want to say is that I put cold water in my blue water bottle nine hours ago.

It is still cold.





I've been doing this for a few weeks now, putting cold water in a bottle that, for all intents and purposes, and despite any conditions, keeps it cold forever.

And every single time I open my blue bottle and take a sip I am amazed all over again.


Monday, August 29, 2022

The weather


I was feeling too cantankerous to write about anything. Politics were once again infuriating me. My computer fans are making insane noises and nothing on the face of the earth will apparently allow me to simply turn the fans off! I have a tooth problem that is taking forever to resolve. And one of my soccer teams put in a frustrating performance this afternoon. 

Also it has been three days since I wrote a good blog post.

So what on earth could I civilly and sensibly write about?


I figured I'd better just talk about the weather today.

Today it was muggy and surprisingly warm. 

As I poured sweat and tried to clear my glasses of their persistent fog so that I could see, I told myself:

 "Appreciate any shreds of Summer because soon you will be ruing the ice slathered ground that will last for a bitter and treacherous six months!"

Apparently I am not in an appreciative mood. It didn't work. 

I decided I'd better not write about the weather either.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Recurring vowel joke


Clerkmanifesto apologizes for making a joke about omitted vowels for two blog posts in a row now. 

This was due to an unfortunate timing error. The fact is that we make some kind of a joke about needing vowels (ndng vwls) with some regularity around here, but we usually remember to separate those jokes by a couple hundred of other blog posts. This keeps the joke, if not fresh, then like a dear old friend it's a familiar pleasure to reencounter.

This begs the question: Why do we like this joke so much?

It's a tribute to our ancient Jewish heritage. 

The Torah was delivered sans vowels. That's right, the bible has no vowels at all! That almost seems like a joke in itself, but it's not. It's just consonants all the way from:

n h bgnnng gd crtd h hvn n t rth

clear to:

n n ll ht mghty hnd, n n ll tht grt trrr, Mss shwd n h sght f ll srl

Of course, that's a translation to English, which makes it look complicated.

Mostly in the Hebrew we all have it secretly memorized, so it's not an issue.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Clerkmanifesto is now organic!

Good news clerkmanifesto readers! Our certification has come in. We are now a certified organic blog. While it has been years since we used pesticides and synthetics here at clerkmanifesto, and we have always been committed to a healthy approach to blog posts, we are now officially organic. You can trust in healthy, natural, antibiotic and chemical fertilizer free writing here, as guaranteed by the full faith of the USDA!

Wait, you haven't been organic? I thought you were always organic.

No, we have been transitional here while the writing steroids we used to produce our early, muscular prose worked their way out of our system.

Is clerkmanifesto safe to eat then?

No, I think you are confused. That makes no sense. However, clerkmanifesto is fully inflatable in the event of a water landing.

Chemical fertilizers? So do you actually use fertilizers to produce clerkmanifesto?

This awkward. But. Yes. Clerkmanifesto, much like hallucinogenic mushrooms, are grown from, well, shit.



And the Unicorns eat...?


So what did the Unicorns eat before their, um, you know what, was organic?


I recently came across an old clerkmanifesto blogpost, from before it was organic or probably even transitional. Can I get cancer?

Oh no, that's not possible. The worst that could happen is that you come down with a case of stripes. Or you might start sneezing clover, which, if it's four-leaf, can even be more of a plus than a minus.

It must have been expensive to get organic certification. Can I help in any way?

N thnks. nlss, hmm, f y hv ny spr vwls?


Friday, August 26, 2022

Clerkmanifesto lite!


Welcome to Clerkmanifesto lite!

Fewer words!

Shorter sentences!

Simpler ideas!

More fun per post!

Lss vwls!

Thank you for trying our lighter, more digestible, Clerkmanifesto lite! Use Clerkmanifesto lite whenever your computer is feeling clogged! Use it when you need a quick dose of Internet goodness without all the complications!

Easy to use!

Easy to understand!

And easier than ever to forget!

Rbgh free!

All natural!

Omit uncommon letters from your reading!

Packed with 47 times more exclamation marks than other leading blogs!

Consult it constantly for continuous consonance!

Recommended for overly bright people!

Four servings per package!

*Not always safe for dog owners. Not to be consumed more than 14 times a week or five times in a single sitting. Consult your spirit animal to make sure it's right for you!*

*Spirit animal provided upon request thanks to a grant from Rhamnousia, the Greek God of Geese.*

*Your spirit animal may be a goose, but it has no connection to our sponsor.

Caution: May cause silliness. Not for the twee sensitive. Processed in a facility that has both nuts and vigorously pollinating flowers.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

The new "Autumn" exhibit is in at the library!

While some find it premature, and bemoan the dwindling days of Summer, the new Autumn exhibit is already up at my library!

I'll admit I am very excited about Fall this year, but must say that so far I am so far mostly answering questions about why our Autumn exhibit is up so early this year.

I don't have much of an answer.


Wednesday, August 24, 2022



A co-worker and I were discussing, one late afternoon, our low energy levels. We started talking about when we did have energy. I said "I guess for the most part my most energetic times have been between three and seven."

"In the afternoon?" My co-worker sensibly asked.

"No." I replied a bit sadly. "Years old."

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Explaining my work


I have been processing a lot of requested materials today.

You, who don't work at the library, may not really know what it means to have processed a lot of requested materials. I will explain:

It means that I walk around the library telling all my co-workers how amazing I am.

Monday, August 22, 2022

The Sibley Woods


If this were a blog followed avidly by millions, perhaps I would hesitate in telling you about my family's unanimously favorite trail in Saint Minneapolis. I wouldn't want this trail, which was typically quiet this late morning, even on one of the most brilliant late Summer Sundays of the year, to become buried under astonished admirers.

Luckily my readership is so tiny that I don't, on the other hand, even have to bother with the details of the location of this trail because you probably already know it, or it wouldn't be relevant to you out where you live a thousand miles away. Nevertheless I will say anyway that this trail is along the Minnesota River, in Mendota, which, curiously, is pretty much the first neighborhood of Saint Minneapolis and yet somehow never developed beyond that auspicious marker the first Governor of the State set down 170 years ago. 

Where one parks, one will find the first stone house of Minnesota, that Governor's, and something curiously like a small town nestled along the railroad tracks that divide off our trail below.

It is the best trail even if it takes less than two miles walking it downstream, for it to disappear into muddy, impassable bush.

As I usually go there with my dear wife, I don't take pictures, and so have none for you. Maybe one day...

And what makes this trail so lovely?

It winds through the woodlands, never ruining the surprise of the trail ahead by giving long, predicting views of it, but also never closing off your view except in extreme, exciting moments as one might walk a brief tunnel of greenery. One makes progress without having to try to. Vistas change relentlessly, with something new and surprising around every bend. Skirting a Rivers edge the trail regularly opens onto views of the equally historic and wildish Pike Island across the silver and ever fascinating water, but also our trail plunges us into tumbles of falling woodlands, haunted swamps, and astonishing fairy glens. It really is everything I like in a trail: closed and dense, constantly changing, wide and vast, mysterious, tricky and broad and simple.

We saw herons. A bald eagle. Squirrels. Wee birds. A mushroom. More mushrooms. A burrow of the Wee Free Men, a city for beavers, secret passages, the spirit world, imaginary leafs, the golden hoard of a sleeping dragon, and some trees.

It's a nice place to hike.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Simply respond to this email you are not receiving


Dear Reader,

It has come to my attention that most of you receiving daily clerkmanifesto posts in your email have stopped receiving them. This is very sad. But I want to assure you right away that this is not your fault. You have done nothing wrong. You are simply a victim of the same anti-clerkmanifesto conspiracy that has dogged my blog since its very first day on the Internet back in the early mid teens.

Naturally this causes you to ask some serious questions:

1. Who is behind this terrible conspiracy that has attempted to destroy, diminish, and marginalize clerkmanifesto at every step of its unreasonably obscure history?

2. How have they been so successful in their conspiracy? I try to conduct conspiracies all the time and have never been a billionth as successful as the anti-clerkmanifesto conspiracy! Do they have any conspiracy tips?

3. Is there any fix to how the evil Google Corporation and its oligarchical minions have maliciously blocked me from receiving the clerkmanifesto blogpost in my email, which was the highlight of my day and my reason for living?

4. Now that I know about the conspiracy will I be in any danger, and does this explain all the dead birds I've been seeing lately? 

Like, a lot of dead birds!

5. Does this have anything to do with the Malta Conference of 1945? How about the Nabisco Corporation? The mysterious disappearance of Ambrose Bierce? The abrupt and infuriating cancellation of Disney's "The Owl House"? 

Please tell me it is not connected to the Covid Vaccine as I have now taken four versions of it and have also taken 16 different, often illegally obtained, boosters!

6. I knew there was something up with the worldwide attack on this blog! How can I get even?

7. Is it true that you're not going to be able to answer any of these questions here because this isn't a secured space?

Don't worry! I have answers to all your questions!

Unfortunately it is only safe for me to answer your seventh question in this unsecured space:

To your seventh question: 

No, I can answer your seventh question.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Summer reading super excitement fun fun possibly part six


Dear Clerkmanifesto,

I feel you aren't applying yourself to your blogpost titles with a suitable vigor. Today's title is particularly lackluster.

My suggestion is that you change the title to something like:

"Summer reading super excitement fun fun possibly part six"

This would not only inform readers about the content to expect, but it would also provide a sense of merriment, soulfulness, and joy to the proceedings.

With all due respect,

A Regular Reader

Dear Regular Reader,

If you will consult the title of this post you will note that we have fixed it according to your suggestion. Thank you for your most useful input!


Here are the next two, actually penultimate, books in our summer vacation reading review:

Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud

Ivy Aberdeen is regular, non genre fiction, which is a genre I rarely read. But, BUT, it is written for 12 year olds, so we're good to go here. 

I read the whole thing!

When you were a kid, and first reading real books, did you have that sense of pride, accomplishment, and self satisfaction when you actually read a full, real life book?

I did.

I'm surprised to find I sort of still do.

I read the whole book! I should win something!

How about I win...

A free blog post where I can talk about it.

The book was about a middle school girl who loses her house in a tornado, goes through some crappy times with her distracted family, finds out she maybe likes girls, not boys, finds out she definitely likes girls not boys, and one in particularly at that. She realizes her longtime friend is actually really her friend and that the girl she likes isn't really sure about the whole "girlfriend" thing. Ivy becomes a bit of a better person. Her situation improves even if it isn't a super happy ending or anything.

Maybe this is why I don't read regular fiction?

It was actually mildly good though.

Empty Grave is the fifth and last book in one of my favorite series in the history of letters: Lockwood and Company. I have read the stuffing, no the binding out of these books and would not have bought this paperback copy in Duluth except for one reason:

This printing included a bonus Lockwood short story in it!!!

So I read that. 

I really liked it. It made me almost sad how much I liked it. Maybe because of how soon it was over.

Which, coincidentally, so is this blogpost.

Friday, August 19, 2022

I used to be a Christian!


I used to be a Christian. 

I always really liked Jesus and still believe he's the son of god and everything, but I'm sorry, I just can't!

 Jesus has gotten so political lately! I don't know why he had to go all woke, but I just can't go along with it anymore. 

I first grew suspicious when Jesus said "For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted" which is so obviously a dig at Trump. Now I'm no radical righty, but "Do not judge or you too will be judged" and so I can't help but now serve judgement! There simply isn't any reason to bring politics into this! 

Can't we just all worship the Lord God without having to have it all be about the Democratic Woke SJW agenda?

So I started digging. Check this out this bit of news about Jesus:

"Then Jesus went about all the cities teaching and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom and healing all the sickness and disease among the people.

First of all, I never heard Jesus was an actual medical Doctor. Second of all, once you start handing out free healthcare the quality goes down and you end up with something like Canada, or France where the doctors don't even wash their hands! And third, maybe this Jesus should stick to being God and not go around spreading propaganda about socialist healthcare and let people pay to get healed by trained doctors!

Of course Jesus is still Jesus, and sometimes I think his perfectly good and godly advice is misinterpreted for the woke agenda. Like, when he says "Love your neighbor as thyself." he's probably not thinking you're going to be living around the wrong sort of people, and if you have the wrong sort of neighbors it'd probably be best if you just moved or encouraged them to move, then go ahead and love thy neighbors at that point.

But that said, Jesus has a tendency still to shoot his mouth off. Saying "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go into the kingdom of heaven" is alarmingly unamerican. Everybody is equal here, with one vote per person (supposedly!), but maybe he doesn't know about that where he's living, possibly in Europe. I'm not saying some rich bigwig should get to buy their way into heaven or anything, but I hardly think Jesus meant that a bunch of shiftless folks should get some kind of free pass in either. Either way, I'm guessing Jesus regretted saying this for a while when the donations for his church went way way down. A rich person has a lot more money to do good with than a poor person, that's for sure.

Then, alas, Jesus said this:

"I was hungry, and you gave me meat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in jail, and you dropped by. Verily, inasmuch as you have done the least of these to my brethren, you have done it to me."

And I had had enough. I realized Jesus really had gone fully woke! 

Plus, he's kind of a bum!

Sure, he's god, but he thinks we can simply give everything away to everyone and it will all work out which is pretty na├»ve. 

If this happens, no one will work anymore and there won't be any food to give out cause the farmers will just watch TV all day. And then we'll have no food for anyone and we'll get weak and the Muslims will take over.

So I could no longer be a Christian in good conscience!

I would as soon be a Democrat, or an Atheist!

I believe. Praise Jesus! But I cannot be a Christian!

So I'm looking into being a Catholic, or maybe a Protestant.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Summer reading part whatever


The glorious plan was to run through my thoughts on my vacation reading right here on clerkmanifesto. So I let my vacation end, set down to work, and, like so many things, it was way harder than it looked!

But I'm no quitter!

Well, I mean, I am sometimes, and sometimes I'm not. Quitting is the appropriate response to so many things in life. Like, say you're a smoker. Smoking is bad for you. Exclaiming "I'm no quitter!" doesn't really offer much to anyone and might not be the personality statement you thought it was.

So I am a quitter. But sometimes I'm not. It just depends. And, as far as it goes with running through the account of my vacation reading I AM NOT A QUITTER!

I mean, not yet.

Here are the next two books on my list:

Encore Provence by Peter Mayle


The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt

Encore Provence was just the kind of cozy book I assumed I'd read on vacation. It unchallengingly tells of the author's continuing adventures of living in Provence as an English transplant. I started it. It seemed pleasant enough and I am pretty sure I had read it in the past at some point. But I was at a bookstore in Duluth and stumbled on some meaty Pulitzer Prize winner about a scribe/book collector during the time of Renaissance Italy who managed to find an old bit of Roman Poetry that went on to rock the world. It was called The Swerve: How the World Became Modern. This is usually the kind of thing I drag home thinking I'll read, but don't.

But then I bought it and took it to the hotel room and read it!


You're probably thinking it must have been great.

Well, I wanted it to be. 

It was interesting. I learned some things about Epicurus and Pope Culture and manuscripts in the middle ages.

But mostly I was just really keen to impress everyone when I came back here to report on what I'd read during vacation.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Your very first blogpost!


Where we last left it I was possibly going to be too stoned to write my blogpost and so you were going to do it for me!

"Me?" You say, surprised to be singled out when you thought you were sitting here anonymously on the Internet.

Yes. The Internet is a collaborative venture, even if this is an ethos that we all seem to have long ago forgot, allowing giant corporations to colonize our brains and destroy the world!

"Whoa." You say. "Easy on there. I mean, you do sound like you could use a break. I can maybe do a blogpost if you need it that much."

Thanks. I am not actually stoned, but I do feel strangely feverish.

"I don't want to catch covid." You say. "Do you have covid? Should you be on the Internet if you have covid?"

It's not transmissible online.

"Oh, right." You say. 

Unlike hate and corporate propaganda!

"Whoa, whoa. I'll take over from here." You say.

"Hello?" You venture uncertainly.

"Is anybody there?"


"Gulp." You add.

It's not as easy as you thought? Right?

"No. It wasn't." You say. 

You did really well anyway.

"I did?" You ask, blushing in delighted surprise. "Really?"

Yes, I enjoyed it.

"Did you even like the part where I ventured uncertainly?"

It was a triumph!

"Wow!" You say softly. 

You could really grow to like it here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

More reflections on Dan


I was out at the front desk of my library with a desk partner who was taking the lead on training a new employee. I was mostly shelving requested books and listening to Bruce Springsteen read his autobiography, but now I was all caught up on shelving and waiting for new request books to appear.

Appear they did! Dan came out with two oddly arranged carts.

"I could put these all crowded on one cart instead." Dan said, not meaning it.

"No this is fine." I replied. "As long as they're the first half of the alphabet on one cart, and the second half on the other, as opposed to two complete run throughs of the alphabet." I knew full well they were the latter. Then I said a few more absurd things to Dan and suddenly realized that our new trainee was soaking this all in.

So I turned to the trainee and said "Just so you know, I would never talk to a co-worker or a library patron like this. Dan is a very special case."

The trainee wondered about this so I endeavored to explain:

"Dan is on the axis between the most irritating person you can imagine and a dearly beloved stuffed animal."

Monday, August 15, 2022

Summer reading adventure chapter four: first attempt!


So, they legalized certain marijuana edibles in my state, just a nibble around the edges of full legalization. Intrigued by this, I bought a couple of different kinds of edible gummies when I was on vacation, and today, my first day off work since my return home, I'm experimenting.

I'm on drugs!!!!!!

I know what you're thinking: "Hmm. But he seems about the same as ever."

Seems that way to me too.

In the morning just after breakfast I took a 5 milligram gummi of Delta 9 thc. That's the stuff that gets you high. It was a pretty modest dose. It also had a lot of cbd oil (also derived from hemp but not psychoactive) which can somewhat inhibit the brain's uptake of thc. After two hours nothing had happened. Then I felt a susurration of pleasant heaviness. I would describe myself as barely high and kinda cozy. Also my back didn't hurt, which it usually does, partly because I think I was a little bit less tense than I usually am. Was it like I remembered being high was, back in my smoking youth? No, it was as much like being gently toasted on a medium to large glass of wine as any of that, but it was very nice.

Anyway, all of this didn't last too long, maybe a couple hours where I could really say I felt it.

So a bit less than an hour ago I took another brand of 5 mg gummi, this one without, as far as I can tell, any cbd in it.

I am so high!!!

No, just kidding. I am really not sure if I could write anything here if I were really high. 

I'm figuring since the first gummi took a couple hours to have an effect I have a bit more time to go here to see if anything much kicks in. Once upon a time Grape and I took dangerous amounts of Peyote in a beautiful natural area for bats in a bit of canyon near Grape's parents' house. We gave up after a couple hours that it would ever have any effect, and then we went bowling.

At which point we went out of our minds. 

It was a little intense and a something of a waste, washing us up in our respective parent's homes later in the evening to let us just burn it all off.  Grape did see a sepulchral figure on the side of the road while my brother drove us through some canyons before that though.

It is now exactly an hour since I took the second gummi. 

I will say this: It isn't much like in those Hunter S. Thompson novels, I mean memoirs, where he sees giant lizard people gulping down cocktails in lurid Las Vegas bars.

"Wait," You say. "While we wait for the giant lizard people to kick in, and for you to be unable to write, why don't you give us the fourth part of your summer reading adventure where you talk about the books you read, or the ones you skimmed and tossed aside on your vacation. We so enjoyed, for instance, your discussion of the book Wilding!"

"Great idea." I reply. "But I might get high at any moment so I'm leery of starting in on it." I pause, thinking. "You seem to be doing an increasing amount of heavy lifting on this blogpost though. Do you think maybe you could write part four of my posts about my vacation reading? You're very good with words!"

"Really? Thank you!" You say, blushing slightly at the unexpected compliment. "I could try. Let me consult my notes."

There is a long pause. 

You don't realize that you are on the air. 

And we are just waiting for your response.

I gesticulate to get your attention:


"Oh. Sorry." You say. "I didn't realize that this all happened in real time." You look down at some papers. "Can I get back to you tomorrow?"

"Absolutely." I say positively. 

It turns out that I am pretty sure this is a long enough blog post as is.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

The final part of the library desk retrospective


Here, finally, is the last of my retrospective pictures of people (and other... things?) at the desks of my library. This grouping is a bit smaller than the first three. I won't reiterate what sparked this retrospective as I feel that was only interesting enough to tell you about it three times. Four would simply be too much.

I will say something I didn't in the presentation of the first three collections, and that is what I think these pictures are: They are the library coming to life and being expressed by the secret myriad worlds that give it its reason for being. But it is presented in a way consistent with the feel of how it is to be in my library just as it is.

I hope you have enjoyed this retrospective review. It is nice for me to have the hundred or so of these specific kinds of pictures that worked out well all neatened up and organized. This in itself might inspire future retrospectives, but that is for another time.