Monday, August 4, 2008

My Favorite Mac OS Software

My favorite piece of Mac OS software is Library Books. JD introduced me to this marvelous piece of software maybe about a year ago. It has saved me time and many library fines in the last year. Let me explain how & why.

Once installed, library books appears in the upper right toolbar by the clock and battery as a little star with a number by it. (Also called menu extras to a Mac expert. :)) By clicking on the star, a pull down menu appears. If LB has your library system in it, you can enter your library card number and it will download your record for you. Amazingly, LB has numerous library systems in it for most metropolitan areas. It can do more than one library card at a time (you will see JD and I both have a record). LB will tell you what you have checked out from the library in chronological order that they are due and will also tell you when your holds are ready for you. It also allows you to click on "renew items" and automatically opens the library's renewal page for you.

The star in the menu is the real gem of the software--it changes colors when different actions are needed. Black--all is ok. Red--the day before a material is due. Green--a hold is ready. LB is a great time saver--I can just click on it easily to see what I have checked out and when it is due.

The only downside I have found and haven't figured out a solution for is that I have my library card registered at more than one local library (different county system). Because it is the same card number, it can't seem to load both of my records at the same time. It just errors out, but I'm still playing with this problem and trying to figure it all out.

Craving Indian Cuisine

By chance, the last two books I've read were about Indian culture and immigrants and also--Indian Cuisine. In fact, I am now craving samosas & chicken masala! Hmmm, maybe that will have to be our next adventure out to eat. But back to the books...

The Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan alternates chapters with 3 30-something Indian -American women and their 3 Indian immigrant mothers. Each chapter ends with recipes that coincide with the previous chapter. Food is big in this book. In fact, much of the action takes place eating or cooking. It's a fun book that might constitute a beach read or chick lit, but I gobbled it up (note the eating reference) in about a day. It deals with mother-daughter relationships, love and dealing with families that get along and must mesh 2 cultures into one.

Next, I happened to pick up Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins. MS is on the division 2 Maud Hart Lovelace nominee list for this school year and that is why it ended up in my book pile. It tells the story of 14 year old Jasmine. She spends the summer in India (monsoon time) because her Indian born/American adopted mother wants to give back to the orphanage she lived in as a little girl. Jazz must learn to find her place in her family and survive a long distance crush with her best friend, Steve. She also makes some Indian friends and learns to look Indian dishes. (Sorry, no recipes in this one.) Great conversations happen over the making of meals and the smells of India come through loud and clear in this one, too. This book will appeal to girls who want a light romance/coming of age book to read.

Bring on the samosas. :)