Lisa's blog

Bernie Krause and Music of the Natural World

NOISE, n. A stench in the ear. Undomesticated music. The chief product and authenticating sign of civilization.

~ Ambrose Bierce, in Devil's Dictionary (1911)

Mushroom Foraging: Not Just for Fun Guys

"Every mushroom is edible, but some just for once."

--Czech saying

As hobbies go, mushroom hunting is relatively inexpensive - all you need are some paper bags, a pocketknife, a soft brush, and an identification guide. And, in spite of our dry climate, Colorado is right behind the Pacific Northwest in concentration of mushrooms, and has 2,000 to 3,000 varieties.

Living Large in a Tiny House

Although some trace the beginning of the Small House Movement back to Susan Susanka's 1997 book The Not So Big House, visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright's Usonian houses could be considered the original inspiration. Designed for the middle class of the 20's and 30's, these one-story homes, with their open floor plans, connection with the outdoors, and simple materials also influenced the design of the ranch houses of the 50's.

Money Saving Maneuvers 2014 - Using Your Library Card Instead of Your Credit Card

400,000 people can't be wrong. If they are, then I don't want to be right, since that's about the number of people who own Denver Public Library cards.

In Money Saving Manuevers Parts I and II, we discovered some innovative ways to keep your money in your pocket. Next, we'll see how your humble library card can help you save big bucks where kids are concerned, since, according to a recent USDA report, it now costs nearly $250,000 to raise one. And that's not including college.

Money Saving Maneuvers 2014 - Part 2

In Part I, we looked at some simple ways to save money around the house, such as drinking tap water instead of pricey bottled brands and tackling DIY projects. But there are plenty of other areas where you can easily economize, like clothing, technology and travel.

Are you as tired of paying $650.00 for your Gucci jeans as I am? Designer jeans (along with movie popcorn, hotel minibars, and college textbooks) all have giant markups.

Money Saving Maneuvers in 2014: Part I

"I've got all the money I'll ever need, if I die by four o'clock."
--Henny Youngman

The start of a new year is the perfect time to start saving money, whether it's for a household emergency, your kid's college tuition, a new car, or simply to protect yourself from our murky and unpredictable economy.

Reference Services Roundup: 2013 in Review

Here in Reference, we never know what the day might bring - we may help someone find the best location to open a marijuana store, locate a book on slot machine strategies, or be asked if we carry the "WD40" tax form.

2013 started out on a high note with Reference receiving the prestigious Westword "Best Of" Award for Best Homework Help Concierge Service "Designed for middle-school, high-school or adult students, the Denver Public Library's one-on-one aid is the way to go when you can no longer fake it with quick Google or Wikipedia searches." Our student appointments team saw a 52.6% increase over 2012 through our assistance to students from

The Name is Fleming, Ian Fleming

"He had a small but comfortable flat off the King's Road, an elderly Scottish housekeeper -- a treasure called May -- and a 1930 4.5-litre Bentley coupe, supercharged, which he kept expertly tuned so that he could do a hundred when he wanted to.

 

"On these things he spent all his money, and it was his ambition to have as little as possible in his banking account when he was killed, as, when he was depressed he knew he would be, before the statutory age of forty-five."

-- Ian Fleming, Moonraker

Simple Ways to Simplify Your Life

If you Google the words "simplify life" your search will result in over 44 million hits. Although I didn't read them all, the general theme is to stop doing things that you don't want to do in order to leave time for the things you really enjoy.

The notion itself can provoke anxiety - how do you go about eliminating chaos, clutter and activities you'd rather not do? The answer is different for everyone, and there is no shortage of resources to begin the process. You could get inspired by reading Thoreau's Walden, learn how to take the drudgery out of housework (see video below) or see how one woman simplified her life by going "no poo."

How to Buy a Used Car Without Frying Your Brain

I knew it was time for a new (gently used) car when I drove by East High School and saw that my car, a seasoned Volvo wagon, was older and shabbier than all of the vehicles in the student parking lot.

The first step was finding out how much my car was worth as a trade-in. Although you can get a better price if you don't mind the hassle of selling your car on Ebay or Craigslist,  I wanted to trade mine in, so I went to the Kelley Blue Book and the NADA Used Car Pricing websites.  In addition to offering a detailed account of the worth of your car for trade-in, you can also find wholesale and private-party prices.

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