Sunday, April 30, 2023

A visit to Bookstantinople


Many readers ask:

When Clerkmanifesto dreams, what does it dream?

No matter what happens, we always end up in Bookstantinople.

I have been working endlessly on photographs, but it's more like I am working on pieces of photographs. And then when I wonder what kind of photographs I am ending up with I search around on my computer and phone and I can't find very many that are actually finished. So I work harder. And then I become exhausted.

And I fall asleep.

And that is how you get to Bookstantinople.

From there it's easy. You just point the camera, and shoot...

Saturday, April 29, 2023

The river in flood, dream version


In yesterday's Natural History journey, we captured the river in flood. And though we larded it all up with all kinds of filters to make it dreamy and saturated, we did not stoop to the abomination of...

AI Photography!

We saved that for today.

"But Feldenstein," Some of you might ask. "Won't these artificially generated versions of your photos be inauthentic?"


Yes they will.

Friday, April 28, 2023

River in flood


No matter what the season, there's always something to photograph. And though maybe today I was thinking of going down to the Mississippi River bottom, to take long walks among tons of new hatched baby turkeys, the truth is that almost everything is under water.

Which, it turns out, is today's thing to photograph!

Did I say "No matter the season, there's always something to photograph"?

Perhaps I meant "No matter the day there's always something to photograph"?

Today it was forests in the water.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Clerkmanifesto branding of the season


Today I bring to you branding!

Have you ever thought:

"I love Clerkmanifesto, but how am I supposed to remember that if it's not advertised?"


"My pet kitty wants to hang a clerkmanifesto poster on his wall, but there don't seem to be any!"


"Sometimes I am reading a blogpost on clerkmanifesto and my attention drifts and I forget where on the Internet I am!"

You haven't thought these things?

Well, if you had, boy oh boy, let me tell you, I would have just the thing! 

Actually, good news! I have them anyway.

Here is a seasonal set of four vintage clerkmanifesto... things... that, um, say "clerkmanifesto" and, er, aren't really vintage.

So I hope this takes care of everything for you.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

I battle AI


As you may have noticed, a lot of the pictures I've been showing here lately have leaned heavily on AI. You may have also read my earlier analysis of AI that concludes it is not so much Artificial Intelligence as it is The Plagiarism of Everything

This would make an excellent book title: The Plagiarism of Everything.

But I will not be writing that book.

Nevertheless I am here today battling AI on its own turf.

Today's picture has absolutely no AI generation in it.

However, every part of it is plagiarized.

And yet the whole I consider to be mine.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Performance appraisal


We are working with a new Performance Appraisal system at my library. A lot of the fuss for that has died down, but now we are doing our important annual employee appraisals. Alas that bureaucratic labor like this is my Achilles heel. And so is marketing my Achilles heel. And I'm not so good at spiders either. So I might have an octopus-like collection of Achilles heels. But anyway, I have been dreading and procrastinating filling out this year's edition of appraisals, wherein we evaluate ourselves.

But once I got going on filling it out, I kind of enjoyed it. I wrote about myself in the third person feeling it would sound less self-aggrandizing in that perspective, and I am happy with the results. Plus, it made me think that you might like to see a fair and even assessment of my quality as a worker for the library and for the county. You read so many of my stories about my working here, but what, you wonder, am I really like as an employee?

And so with that in mind I provide for you the "self rating" portion of my performance review. I hope it can provide more insight (among those interested) into what I am like as a worker at this job. It should  be noted that the highest possible official rating for employee performance is "Consistently Meets Expectations", which is why you will see me refer to it so often.



Reminder: Refer to the Ramsey County Competency Model for detailed description of values behavior expectations.


Employee Self Rating:


Feldenstein exceeds expectations in this category in every way and is possibly the greatest employee in this regard that The County has ever employed. To use the technical terms of this appraisal, Feldenstein “Consistently Meets Expectations”, but this understates the extraordinary, frankly inspiring contributions this employee brings to the County and to its ambitious values profile.


Employee Comments and Supporting Examples: 


People, integrity, community, equity, and leadership. I’m surprised that these very words representing the values of the county, don’t, as an acronym, spell out F E L D E N S T E I N. So perfectly does he embody, in physical, working form, these glorious values of the county. Thoughtful, attentive, and fair with every person he meets, faultlessly ethical, honest, and consistent, a focal point that brings every single county stakeholder together in magnificent harmony and vision, tireless in his commitment to justice, diversity, and reparative fairness across every failure of our community’s past, and so inspiring as to be a guiding light for everyone who meets him, Feldenstein’s commitment and dedication to the county’s values is unparalleled.


A disenfranchised library patron recently commented “I have had my problems with institutions in the past, but when I come to the library and see Feldenstein Calypso working at the front desk of the library, I know that our county is doing great things for the community. He makes the library into a wonderful place. It is not just a pleasure to see him, but I know that he will do everything he can to help me.”












Reminder: Refer to the Ramsey County Competency Model for detailed description of competency behavior expectations.



Results Achievement: Employee Self Rating


Wow. Just wow. It might be expected that with his long years working at the library for the county, Feldenstein would be knowledgeable about his job, but it goes far, far beyond that. The results Feldenstein brings to his work (more of a “calling” than simply “work”) is inspiring. So, Feldenstein “Consistently Meets Expectations” according to the paradigm of this performance review, but again he, in reality, exceeds every expectation here, and he pushes the boundaries of what a person can bring to a job like his, into a territory where what he contributes becomes so extraordinary as to be almost magical.


Employee Comments and Supporting Examples: 



Feldenstein knows his stuff, gets things done, makes things better, and he finds solutions. A patron recently commented: “I don’t know how he does it. He’s a wizard!”. But despite all the discussions here about magic, the truth is simpler: Feldenstein works hard. He cares. He strives ever to improve. His commitment is unmatched. His studying is endless, and his inspiring visions that he brings to the library every day, ever endeavoring to improve himself, the library, and the county, are in every way a result of effort; tireless, endless, breathtaking effort, passion, and devotion to the people and institution of Ramsey County.










Model Ramsey County Values:




Results Achievement:              




Overall Employee Comments: 

Please provide a summary of your work during the stated review period. This can include your contributions, successes, areas where you learned through mistakes, etc. It should also include 1 – 3 values and/or competencies you would like to focus on for development in the coming year. 



What a year. Feldenstein has done legendary work for the library for almost 30 years, but it is possible that this was his greatest year of all and possibly the greatest contribution to the county in its history. He is the crown jewel of Ramsey County. He has brought books, justice, art, inspiration, insight, wholesomeness, vision, humor, diversity, integrity, life, wisdom, professionalism, heart, loyalty, soul, and genius to the library and to the county this past year. He has made the designation (in this performance appraisal) of “Consistently Meets Expectations” into one of the greatest understatements of all time, like saying “Messi is an adequate soccer player” or “Bob Dylan can write songs” or “Martin Luther King Jr. evinced an interest in justice". Feldenstein will do anything for the library he works at, for the people of his community, and for the county in which it all takes place. A patron recently said of Feldenstein (this happened merely five minutes ago, an indication of how often it happens!) “Feldenstein brings joy to the library.” This is a fair indication of how beloved Feldenstein is at the library.


In the year to come Feldenstein would like to work on embodying justice, skill, and wisdom in a way that helps him become an even greater agent of the county and the library.  Although one naturally must wonder if his work with the county can actually improve, since it is possible, with the quality of Feldenstein’s work being so high, this level of skill, vision, and contribution we’re talking about remains untested by any other worker in the history of Ramsey County.