Family, Libraries, Three Things, Video Games




I like this a lot. I have long thought that libraries are all community centers that just happen to be called libraries because once upon a long ago our only function was to loan books and we’ve grown up a lot since then. Anywho: Te Takere Library is a library in New Zealand and while doing some research I noticed that their council calls them the Te Takere Community Centre and Library.


I walked by a public school today (a really great one!) and I saw about 30 kids playing at the playground. They seemed to be in very specific groups: those playing basketball, those playing on the playground equipment, and those around the teacher. They were all nicely fenced in by a giant 12 foot tall fence (I totally understand the need for this by the way) and it hit me: I wouldn’t change our lives as homeschoolers for anything in the world. I’ll eat nothing but ramen every day for the next 10-13 years of my life and be as poor as poor can be to keep this happening. I think about the past week that we had together and what we did and it makes me happy:

  • Wrote and drew a graphic novel (Finn)
  • Created his own guitar/keytar (Aero)
  • Went to swimming lessons (Finn)
  • Visited the library twice (Finn & Aero)
  • Worked on our gardens (Finn & Aero)
  • Went on some side quests in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Finn & Aero)
  • Did some dress up and role playing (Finn & Aero)
  • Read some books (Finn & Aero)

Learning happens all the time and I love being able to live a life with Haley, Finn, and Aero where we can explore this together at our own pace. There should be more freedom in our world. There should be less schedules. There should be more curiosity.



Even though we’ve really only been playing THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: BREATH OF THE WILD (combined playtime for Justin+Haley+Finn=over 125 hours) we have been having a wonderful time with the system. First up, Zelda: the game is amazing, fun, and sparks great curiosity and exploration in all of us at the Hoenke house. Every time one of us plays it we have discussions about what we’re doing and who we’re encountering. We’re telling each other so many stories about what we find in the game and in turn we’re inspiring each other to try new things. Second, the Nintendo Switch system itself is glorious. At times it can feel a bit more delicate than previous Nintendo systems. The amazing thing about is the ability to take it from the TV to wherever you want without any interruption. While Finn and Aero were inside using the TV yesterday afternoon after being outside all morning I spent my time in a hammock outside playing Zelda. It was glorious.


I wrote two articles about the Nintendo Switch for InfoToday recently and you can read those here:

Plan a Library Game Night With Nintendo’s New Console
Attention, Libraries: It’s Time to ‘Switch’ It Up



Simvastatin 40mg, otherwise known to Justin Hoenke as Poison.

In 2011 I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. I didn’t see it coming but it made sense: everyone in my family had high cholesterol and I was 31 years old and blah blah blah things start going downhill at around that age. You can read all about that right here if you want.

Going vegan, trying what seems like every cholesterol medicine under the sun, and being mindful about what I put into my body were always on my mind. I don’t wanna have a heart-attack when I’m in my 50’s (or even sooner). I also want to enjoy my life right now. I talk about balance all of the time and that applies very much so to this conversation as well. I want to enjoy a hamburger from time to time because they are delicious. I also want to control my cholesterol. I know that seems like a weird thing to say but it’s true. You can’t sacrifice the moment for something that may or may not happen. Balance!

The Cholesterol Levels of Justin William Hoenke, 2011-Present

In September 2015 I had to change my medication from Crestor 40mg daily (which was working really well as you can see by the chart above). My new insurance plan did not allow the use of Crestor and if I decided to continue the medication it would cost over $700/month. Let’s save the health care in America debate for another time please, but yes OMG I know. My doctor put me on Simvastatin 40 mg daily. It was the closest thing to Crestor that he could prescribe that my medical insurance “allowed”. I went with it and since then have been taking the medication.

Last week I ran out of Simvastatin 40mg. I called in and got my refill but was thinking way too much about Fidelia Hall and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time that I forgot to pick it up until three days later. At the end of those three days, I felt something that I had not felt in awhile. My body didn’t feel sluggish. My chest did not feel tight. My muscles did not ache. I was not having all of the side effects that come with Simvastatin use. Here I thought that it was just old age creeping up on my bones and muscles. It was Simvastatin and it was basically poisoning me. The drug that was helping me by lowering my cholesterol levels was also causing my day to day life to be full of pain and aches.

I am now faced with a task: I have to go back to the doctor, get my bloodwork done, and find an alternative. There will be another 1-3 months of testing happening to my body with the new drug recommended by my doctor. I’ll also be seeing an herbalist this Thursday. No matter what the outcome is, all that I aim for is balance. I will find it. This is just another step.


Libraries, Three Things, Video Games

THREE THINGS (1.26.15)

1. I am currently in the Atlanta airport on my way to Pittsburgh, PA for my first ever “I’m doing the business travel thing but I’m business traveling to my hometown” experience! I will be taking part in the Supporting Making in Museum and Library meeting happening in Pittsburgh, PA.  I am honored to be a part of this! Late last year, I met Peter Wardrip & Lisa Brahms from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and gave them a tour of the 2nd and 4th Floor at the Chattanooga Public Library. It was great to share ideas with them back then and I am looking forward to sharing more with them and many others over the next few days.  The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh was one of my big inspirations when I started on the 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Public Library. It’s neat that I get the chance to go back to that same place and learn and share more ideas.  Here are some photos I took the last time I was there.


The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in cooperation with the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) have launched a field-wide initiative to better understand, advance, support, and connect makerspaces in museums and libraries. This project, in partnership with Maker Education Initiative, Chicago Public Library, the Exploratorium and North Carolina State University Library is holding a convening to advance our efforts in supporting learning in these space and programs.

2. I can’t wait till Megan Emery blogs more about her ideas on libraries, programming, parallel programming, volunteers, and more.  I guess this is kind of my nudge to get her to write about those things!  Ha!  Seriously though, Megan is (IMHO) doing the best work in public libraries at this moment.  From Camp EtsyNooga to linking programming between Chattanooga Public Library’s 2nd and 4th Floor to writing a book on library programming, everything Megan is doing is inspiring and community first. Go ahead and think that I’m a bit biased because I work pretty closely with Megan…you’re right, I do work pretty closely with Megan. But read about her programs and ideas and you’ll see what I mean. Go Megan go.


3. I am currently on the sixth dungeon in The Legend of Zelda.  This time around I am playing it on my 3DS in little moments of inspiration. I almost forgot how good this game is.  I find the grinding aspect of the game to be quite rewarding. I haven’t played a game where I need to dedicate a good chunk of my time to getting rupees and preparing for my next adventure in such a long time. If you haven’t played this game in awhile and are looking for something to do, pick up a 3DS and buy it for a few bucks on the Nintendo eShop. You’ll find yourself quite happy!