Thursday, November 29, 2007
So let's see, goals of the month
1) Write for 15 minutes a day.
Failed bloody miserably. Haven't dug my journal out in well over a week, let alone worked on things I'm supposed to be doing. This is not good.
2) Start listening to podcasts.
Have discovered yet another way to feel behind, because I'm trying to listen to older episodes before I dive into the most recent. Great for while knitting, not so great for catching up.
3) Finish unpacking
Still at least two five-shelf bookshelves and a small filing cabinet short of that. And I still have more stuff at my mom's-- frighteningly.
4) Get holiday knitting underway
Have managed to finish one of the major projects I was working on, made decent progress on another one tonight, working on a third. So far, so good.
5) Christmas cards
They're written, they're enveloped, they're waiting on postage that the USPS refuses to ship even though it's available in one business day. Anyone else having this problem? I'm calling them tomorrow.
I was allowed to start my first acquisition order today. Not bad for a girl who hasn't yet hit 30 days. More on that separately, I need to do a post on my shopping spree.
I found an incredible portable hard drive that I am going to buy--after the next paycheck or so. :) It looks like a flask and will be a very very useful little business expense. I need to back up those databases somewhere. Thanks Popgadget!
I started a new Bzz Campaign. BzzAgents do word of mouth marketing in exchange for getting free stuff to try out and getting points that are then either turned into things like a Nalgene bottle that Roomie inherited (I really didn't need 3) and donations to various charities. Right now I'm checking out a Sonicare toothbrush. I'm a big fan of it--definitely helps with the "just left the dentist" feeling and it makes you brush an appropriate amount of time. If someone else is doing the timing, I'll brush as long as I'm supposed to. I'm hoping for positive results from my dentist in the less plaque and healthier gum areas.
I was going to go on a rant about who I think should be teaching the next generation of library students and how much experience I think those teachers should have before walking into the classroom. But then it was reinforced to me that the person sending me off on this tangent wasn't worth me getting my knickers in a twist over.
So instead I leave you with the knowledge that I have the coolest director on the planet: tonight she dressed up in fleece jammies and dragon feet slippers to read Jack Prelutsky's poems at an elementary school. It was quite a wonderful time.
Monday, November 26, 2007
The holiday knitting started a while ago but the holiday knitting could easily start on December 26 every year--so that doesn't count.
Now, I have to get shopping.
Have you kicked into holiday mode yet?
*No postal personnel have been given hernias by the weight of my Christmas card pile--yet.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
It's not a complete enough story to really get a clear evaluation but it seems to assume that all children develop and learn to read at the same age. I come from a family of three children. Sibling-the-Elder learned to read at three. Sibling-the-Younger at five. I being the middle child that I was, started at four. All of us are now avid readers--which probably has far more due to the fact that the Incredibly-Patient-Mother read to us and with us and encouraged us to read rather than the age at which she started teaching us our ABCs.
I'm not saying we should force literacy down toddlers' throats, but there is no reason not to start to encourage early literacy traits. And if read to and exposed to books regularly (twenty minutes sound familiar anyone?), many children will start pre-reading before the age of six. If I can learn cursive at six, is it so much to ask that a four year old be taught to begin to write his/her name?
It would be interesting to see more on this...particularly the study where Scandinavian children are proven to be better readers for starting later.
What Kind of Coffee Drink Are You?
Back to the beginning!
|You Are a Cappuccino|
You're fun, outgoing, and you love to try anything new.
However, you tend to have strong opinions on what you like.
You are a total girly girly at heart - and prefer your coffee with good conversation.
You're the type that seems complex to outsiders, but in reality, you are easy to please
Another Fun Quiz Located Here: (I scored a 72)
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
It has been an incredible year full of many blessings:
Health-- always an under appreciated thing when we it's good.
An incredible learning experience in my time at Chicago Public Library.
A new phenomenal job at La Crosse Public Library.
A family that has supported me through all of it--including moving me. (Much thanks to the Incredibly-Patient-Mother and Sibling-the-Elder)
Friends who have been there for all of the late night drama, midmorning coffee breaks and sanity saving emails/blogs/ims.
Freelance work that has let me be independent enough to take a lot of risks.
A roommate who understood that I had to make a change. Thanks for sharing Dinah with me.
And many more...
May you have safe travels and have a wonderful day tomorrow. May the food be excellent and the company enjoyable. Happy Thanksgiving.
While there was incredible hype leading up to the release of the I-phone and queuing up to obtain the phones--this seems to have exploded onto the shelves out of nowhere. Last week I'd never heard of a Kindle and couldn't care less-- today I'm wading in stories about it up to my cats-eye glasses.
Brief side note: Thank heavens for the Search function in Google Reader. I was trying to remember which all of the bloggers I read had commented on it and was getting a wee overwhelmed.
I see a lot of pros and cons to this tool and since 26 (what's in my blog list) just can't possibly be enough-- here is my opinion (supplemented with many other people's opinions).
1) Large print usage. I see a lot of potential if the print is big enough and many more titles (especially best sellers) being available to older readers. With the aging of our eyes, what a great advantage to have.
2) Smaller than packing Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon for all of those wonderful spontaneous vacations where I can only pack one bag (and that bag must include evening wear).
3) Useful for a constant traveler-- the Brunette worked as a flight steward and now is in a job where he travels a TON. He also doesn't collect books the way I do. I could see this on his Christmas list.
4) Saves trees!
5) Built in dictionary and wikipedia.
6) I don’t need a computer—as I would with Ebooks. (Unless I want to upload stuff to it—like Audible’s audiobooks)
7) “Library” on Amazon.com in case I buy more than 200 books.
8) Could be very useful for textbooks. I’d much rather carry this to school every day rather than the heavy texts—and it would mean I wouldn’t be looking at someone’s scribbles and highlights.
9) Battery life of up to 30 hours. Lots longer than my laptop!
1) I have a reasonably healthy fear that I'll break it. I don't do things with touch screens (e.g. large Ipod, Iphone) for the plain and simple reason that I'm very hard on my toys. I have a Sansa that I do enjoy using on occasion but I've already scratched up the screen. And my cell phone has had to stand trials of being dropped in puddles, being accidentally sent skittering across parking lots (and subway platforms) when it falls out of my pocket, being intentionally sent flying across the room when I get royally irritated and launch it at the bed. Both of those items are compact and have stood up to the test of being chucked under my laptop and three hardcover books in my carry-on bag. Could the Kindle do that?
2) Cost prohibitive. We're working towards a $100 web-enabled laptop (currently available at $400--where you get one and you send one to a child in a developing company)--explain to me the reasoning behind a $400 reader. Also-- $10 per book. I don't know about you-- but I'm a BIG shopper at used book stores. I can get a lot more for $10 bucks than one bestseller.
3) Forced RSS Feeds-- what do you mean they get to pick my feeds? Do you think I'm going to survive without my daily dose of Yarn Harlot?
4) I'm a tactile person... I love old books.
5) Needs recharging. My pocket sized copy of Pride and Prejudice never needs to reload.
6) I can't share with a friend. I'm a healthy consumer of Regency Romances--I get them from used book stores, charge through them and then (currently) toss them in an envelope and send them to the Opera Singer (not to be confused with the Blonde). I was taking them to her about once every two weeks in a small shopping bag but since the move--we've had to make some changes. Too—I borrow and loan books to family and friends all the time.
7) Charging to send files you own to your Kindle unless you connect to a computer and issues with copying various formats. Now doesn't that sound like a sneaky way to charge you more money. What if I send something to you to read--and I send it to your Kindle. Now you're paying for everything that I send you? I see potential for spam that costs me money.
8) Can you download from a plane? Or would wireless transfer be useless when you're in air?
10) "No monthly wireless bills, service plans, or commitments" --just the content bill every time you download something.
11) Not available outside the US and currently only works with a US credit card-- Hmmmm. Taking a cue from Apple, much?
12) Slightly big brotherish in that they hold on to information about everything you’ve read and bookmarked… yeah the circ desk is chuckling because I put every Regency romance in the consortium on hold but at least once I return the books no one is keeping a record of what I’ve read (except me…) What if a government asks for the reading records?
13) It's just not sexy. Why did they make it white? One does NOT carry white accessories after Labor Day people!!
14) No backlight. Which renders it useless for reading in the car on long night rides, reading in bed, reading it anywhere that there isn’t enough light. Mp3 Player screens light up for a reason…
15) They say that they have their own wireless delivery system. And that covers where exactly? Even cell phones have “out of range.” I should know—I’m currently hanging out on the Verizon Extended Network.
A nice comparison of book vs. Kindle is here.
Interestingly, it does show that we are still reading—or at least the hipsters with money are. And I will get a chance to play with one-- my director put in a purchase order.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Pathetic, right? Here I am, shoving my opinion of what a cute animal is on impressionable children. Fortunately--Jan Brett is here to lend a hand. Have you seen the activities page that woman has put together! Story time ideas EVERYWHERE!!! So many wonderful activities, coloring pages, craft ideas and things...
I'm going to be visiting this page a lot. And Hedgehog themed story time is currently scheduled for February.
Monday, November 19, 2007
1) My mini-mouse was lost at some point during the move from Chicago to La Crosse
2) The wireless mouse I bought to replace it has decided it doesn't feel like linking to my laptop.
3) It's 11 p.m. and I am not going to go to Walmart or somewhere else for another mouse
4) I HATE using a track pad.
That being said...I leave you with a little link from the Curmudgeony Librarian: How to Turn your Apartment into a Giant Ball Pit.
Hopefully more tomorrow when the mouse issue has been rectified or I just turn on the desktop computer that I'm avoiding. I am, however, making progress on the holiday knitting for ____ and my _____ and I did get the ____ in the mail but more still to do.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Obviously I couldn't resist a totally adorable elephant photo from a LOC exhibit.
We now return you to Friday.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Instead, it sent me to Verizon--whose online & phone customer service rocks. I've always gotten prompt assistance and easy rectification of problems with them. My favorite is that they text me when I'm about to exceed my minutes and offer to tweak my plan so I don't go into severe overages. Considering how much M and I talk some months on top of my various meetings-- this is very needed. Caveat--the store customer service is a little questionable--it varies greatly by store.
But anyway, back to the subject at hand. I had an email in my inbox when I got up this morning that explained a free service Verizon provides where I could block unwanted text messages. There are three options
1) Block everything coming from the web (including websites that allow you to text people)
2) Block everything from an email address
3) Block specific domains or specific email addresses (max 15)
Each text that I've received thus far (8 or 9 now) has been from a unique email address and domain--so while I would have preferred option 3--I've gone with option 2 for now. You can still find various sites to send me web based texts from but at least I won't be getting spammed.
I'm glad someone was on top of this so I could weed that out. How long do we think it will be before we have an Inbox, Mailing Lists, and a Junk Box for our text messages? Personally--I don't think it will be long.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I've got an email into Verizon and if I don't hear back in 48 hours I'll call (I do like their customer service people). Any suggestions out there?
Monday, November 12, 2007
Within the span of a couple of days, two library students posted--verbatim--the same assignment and asked for help. The assignment was about current resources being used by said specialty librarians, what they subscribe to, what kinds of issues they are facing, and other general questions. I've seen student requests that were basic details about the listserv that should have come up during the most rudimentary of search engine search too. This was slightly more specific than that but not much.
A couple of days later there was a thank you posted from one of the students (she has a memorable name--which may or may not be good considering current events). Then started the discussion-- when we we're approached like this, cold calling if you will, what is our responsibility as professionals? An interesting set of opinions came out from it. Generally, everyone who chimed in felt there was information that we could and should provide--if we had the time and felt we were willing to contribute. It was perceived as a type of interview. Then someone pointed out that while we could probably make the assumption that these were legitimately students, the open nature of joining the list meant that it could be someone doing market research and that we might be providing them free opinions. Not that we're against providing free opinions (actually--people pay us for our opinions, isn't it great?) but we like to know to whom said opinions are addressed.
Overall a firm opinion was not really declared--there were a few "just ignore it if you don't have time" and a few "but we're here to help" although I think the majority of the responses I saw fell in the middle in a category of-- please student, identify yourself, ask if you could interview a few of us off list for a class assignment, and go from there. I think it sounds fair.
It's a difficult spot for the relative newbie (mwah) and the seasoned professional. We're here to help. On a listserv we understand reaching out for information and I'm the first to admit I've posted a "HELP HELP NOW" question when I had a patron standing in front of me and I'd just totally blanked out on the subject matter at hand (determining the value of stock certificates anyone?). But like parents, we have to decide when "helping" means we end doing the assignment and the child (student) just copying without effort. It's easier to throw back when it's the "how many people are subscribed to this listserv and who does this listserv appeal to?" type of question (yes, another preposition sentence---darn it!). When it's a little more in depth it's quite the gray area. For the future though, I think I like suggesting that they request to interview a few listserv members off list rather than post their list of questions. Certainly after a couple of weeks on list they should have an idea of who some of the more vocal members are.
The final amusing touch to all of this came this evening. Someone tracked down the professor and said professor has already been speaking to these students because this was apparently not how the professor intended for them to go about this. His rather terse email was almost immediately followed by a lengthy explanation from the student with the more memorable name.
Back to my db's--Stephi sent me a ton of work today and I don't even want to look at the emails from VA
The Brunette and I have long had a history of sharing cynical emails back and forth and these usually tend to crop up on Sunday nights as I'm trying to face another Monday morning. I missed my email to him last night so instead this morning I thought I'd look at just how cynical I score.
Lower than I thought...
|You're Totally Sarcastic|
|You Are 40% Cynical|
Your Score: Oscar Wilde wannabe
You scored 49 Cynical, 57 Sarcastic, and 62 Intelligent!
You think that some people are stupid and you like to make fun of them but does not really want to hurt them emotionally. Full of potential!
|Link: The How Cynical Are You Test written by TheBloodyCynic on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
Sunday, November 11, 2007
My grandfather, deceased in 1991, served in two wars in army intelligence. He worked taking pictures but primarily studying pictures others had taken, trying to determine what was on the ground in war torn Europe. He passed away before I truly had a chance to understand what it was that he had done but my grandmother told as many stories as she could remember and made such paraphernalia as he had available to her grandchildren to be taken to school and shown. While I wish I had the opportunity to speak with him about his experiences, from what I know he probably would not have told me much.
My friend's husband was wounded last year in Iraq when a bomb blew up a car that he was 30 feet from. He suffered a brain injury and only after intensive research on her part was able to receive the care he needed. Every day was difficult and it is just only recently that she has been able to describe to me more normal daily life. He continues in an administrative capacity to serve his country--not formally a veteran of the military but certainly of the war in Iraq.
My pen pal in late elementary school was a soldier who was serving in Desert Storm. As part of my church group at the time, we wrote letters that were sent to a random soldier--offering encouragement. I heard back from a young man who received my letter and I think we exchanged a half dozen letters or so. Unfortunately I don't think I have any of them any more. As a result I do not remember his name nor any fact other than he described his hair as "sandy colored." It is my hope that when I get through all of the stuff at my moms, one letter might crop up again.
Finally, my best friend from high school has gone on two short voluntary tours in Iraq. He returned from both unharmed, though he mentioned some difficulty sleeping there because he was quartered next to a runway where jets were taking off and landing 24/7. As you can imagine, this was the closest to me and the most difficult. He probably got teased at the large quantity of Hallmark cards that followed him across the ocean as well as the boxes of crazy stuff. I sent everything from Kool-aid to candy, toys and crossword puzzles along with anything useful I could think to throw in. On return home from his first tour he told me they had been having a party for some of the children and he'd been able to take a lot of the things I'd sent--as it would not make much sense to pack home silly putty and MadLibs. His exception was the yo-yo that I'd had to search through three stores to find. He continues as a full time guard member.
Today my thoughts and my thanks are with you for the difficult and often thankless job that you do. For your dedication and your voluntary actions I honor you this Veterans Day.
Those listeners I've known to be most successful in implementation of regular podcasts are subscribed through I-tunes and have a medium length commute on which to listen to said pods. I have an old version shuffle somewhere around here but haven't ever downloaded I-Tunes.
I've always argued for RSS that to make someone a true adopter you have to find something they are legitimately interested in. So, I'm trying a dose of my own medicine and I'm subscribing (via RSS) to 3 knitting podcasts. If I can sit through the same Yarn Harlot videos on YouTube over and over and over again, perhaps these will spark some similar interest.
It's holiday knitting time again and I'm undertaking probably far more than I should. But that's kind of par for the course. The current goal is to turn on a podcast and see how much I can crank out during that 30 minutes. This, of course, assuming my computer will be cooperative in letting me download or stream. It's been having some issues regarding that.
Are there any podcasts you think I should be listening to?
Thursday, November 08, 2007
But then tonight, while actually searching for someone else, I did a CafePress search for Hedgehogs.
Great--how to ruin my checkbook.
Almost everything by this designer. Totally cute!
And for the holidays--I might have to get a few of these
So...when there is money again, after I buy books, food, and clothes, I think I'm going to get some cute postcards/notecards with Hedgehogs.
As soon as I saw this I realized that I had happened to pull a couple of those books today and had them on my desk. I hit print for the article and rounding up one of my aides set about rectifying the article. The printout was useful with everyone coming over to inquire why we were ripping pages out of the back of these books (perforated--they're supposed to be removable).
Branch staff has been alerted. Makes you wonder what else is lurking on your shelves.
**Veracity of phone number actually leading to a sex line has not been tested. I'd rather err on the side of caution on this one and I didn't think it would be an easy call to explain to the library director.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
This arose from a Publib discussion that moved somehow from providing wifi (a seeming no brainer to some; a big issue for others) to use of listservs by 21st century "young librarians."
I'm not 100% clear where Karen sees this trend coming from. She says email and social software, but I haven't seen that many of my listservs trend downwards in traffic based on new social software. Currently I read: MedLib, Music Library Association, PubLib, NGC4LIB, NewLib (when it doesn't give me an ulcer--more on that later), ALSC and I mod for NexGenLib. This is in addition to any ALA lists that seem rather compulsive and job lists that wouldn't push to RSS.
I'm mostly a list reader. I've chime in if I think it's worth it (and Brian doesn't beat me to the punch with a good point) but mostly it's passive. I skim a lot, skipping things if I don't find them particularly useful to me. It helps that I read very fast and have grown up on forwarded emails. For me, it's education well beyond the classroom. I'm still shy of thirty and right now--some of these voices are like having an extra set of mentors. I get to see the opinions not only of the people doing library service in a public library, but also in highly specialized libraries. I get to follow along on discussions of where our future insofar as new catalogs are going (although a lot of it is right over my head...which annoys me some days). I get to have an opinion right up there with the movers and shakers.
There are days when I just glut delete-- if it's really important, it will come back around. It's a listserv--not an email from my best friend. But it's also a social tool for me. I have a number of good friends who have become so via listservs. I collected tons of job information about Chicago before I moved there. I've even participated in a listserv meet up at an ALA conference. Insta-friends (shaken gently, with an extra olive)
Karen makes a point that many listservs are a few voices with varying opinions thrown in by a greater body. Publib is a perfect example of this--but there is enough variety in the voices that for me, while I'm gleaning tips from people I may never meet, I'm getting a handle on a number of personalities and viewpoints. There are a few of the more stringent voices on NewLib who--if pressed--I could probably identify blindfolded if we introduced a hot topic. And certainly I wish John Berry would provide a better look at the conversations we have rather than defaulting to quoting the most incendiary voice of the bunch. Seriously, John, most of us understood why ALA might not want an MLS in the usability testing-- do you recall that on the line up for required classes in near recent past? (Although--for some directors it might be a nice addition!) I like the conversation over at Jess's much better for that particularly topic.
Personally, I don't see myself leaving many of the lists soon. Certainly topics are repeated and occasionally beaten to death or point of ulcer. Of course there will be the one person who takes any post I make the wrong way and proceeds to completely spoil my afternoon (at least until I can find chocolate) but for me, it's a great way to find a discussion between people who are doing this stuff daily. Who aren't even professional writers. These are places I'm less hesitant to ask questions. And it's easier to watch from the sidelines than many of our other social networking tools, I think, where joining may restrict us to only those we know and can "friend."
So I, Karen, am a 21st century librarian, diploma still on the new side (has it really been 3 years?) and I listserv. See you on Publib!
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I didn't want to put on a sweater this morning and obviously I'm avoiding anything heavier than a jacket--though I made the grand concession this morning of a scarf.
What is wrong with me? Why won't my brain accept that it's November, officially winter and less than three weeks until Thanksgiving? (Not to mention both siblings and a parent's birthdays and Christmas shopping has to begin soon.) It's acceptable to start wearing my corduroys and my wool sweaters. I'm not cheating and getting them out in late September--even though the weather this weekend kind of felt like still late September, early October.
Also--I live in Wisconsin. People understand layering for warmth here.
*sigh*...it's going to be a long winter.
Monday, November 05, 2007
So there's a hedgehog there: this guy from my mom. He's very adorable. Along with that is some Diddl Maus stuff and two very cute animals from coworkers. All I need are some plants to round it out as well as an overstuffed pen cup and a dish of sugary pick me ups.
It's incredibly nice to have my own space there at work. I think sometimes we don't value personal space enough, yet even at CST they understood the need that everyone have a little two feet square of space to squish something into and leave it during the show. Here though, I can decorate and acquire cute things. I see myself taking tons of pictures with friends and liberally sprinkling my desk with them. Perhaps it's time for a new family photo...hmm-- my siblings may disagree with that.
It was also benefits orientation day. What's that you say? I actually had something involving an HR rep and orientation on various benefits? I was provided with detailed information about retirement account monies, health insurance, prescriptions, and things like that? I was? What a novel concept. It was 3 hours but you know what-- as my managing editor would say when she sent us rather unwillingly to hear about the updates-- that's a big reason of why we work. To make money and to attain these benefits. Very glad to have that orientation today, even if my head is reeling just a touch.
And I think I'm going to be taking up Runescape. I'll let you know when I burn my first shrimp.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
We had some really good wine at the restaurant last night and it got me thinking about alcohol quizzes. So without further ado:
|You Are a Strawberry Daiquiri|
You're a fun, playful drinker who loves to party.
You may get totally wasted, but you're always a happy drunk!
""Which cocktail are you?""
What kind of alcoholic drink are you?.
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Wine|
|You Are Beer!|
You don't need to get totally wasted when you hit the bars.
More of a social drinker, you just like to have fun with your friends.
And as long as the beer keeps flowing, you're a happy camper.
But don't mix things up: "Beer Before Liquor, Never Been Sicker!"
Friday, November 02, 2007
It'll be nice to get into a routine again-- while the vacation was truly needed to clear my head, I'm ready for some new challenges and a schedule and to get to work with some cool people. Have to be busy to make a hedgehog happy.
I also just got a contract with UCLA! This whole design thing is definitely taking off--I need to get some more classes under my belt soon.
Off to unpack more because apparently I'm expecting my-friend-the-lawyer tomorrow.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Review will be posted here and on LibraryThing. It's on my list for this weekend!
It's a prompt to start writing, a deadline to work towards. And in WriMo fashion, I'm going to try for a goal of my own this month. My goal-- write for at least 15 minutes a day. Blogging and email don't count but I continue to count my private journal, because I get a lot of great ideas from my own life. My hope is that by November 30, I'll have some ideas on paper, some directions to take and maybe, I'll have gotten through a few things.
They also say it takes 30 days to form a new habit and writing would be a good one for me to get back into.
Reports as I go--plan to hold me accountable.