Thursday, November 20, 2008


Okay, done. For now.
Just as one cannot simultaneously know an object's exact position and speed, one cannot complete the "23 Things" and say that one is now all nice and caught up. For in the time it takes to compose one of these blog entries, the technology has evolved, and one will find that what one has learned has morphed from new to now to then.
But we are librarians. Keeping up with the ever-changing universe of information is a constant struggle, and we are used to it. Of course, there is much, much, much more to keep up with now than there was back when I got degreed, but it is much, much, much more accessible.
Keeping up with all the various ways to access useful information is important, I think we can all agree. Is it equally important to know how to make your own jokey post-its or trading cards? Sort of: one need not be fluent in the more frivolous applications, but one must have a passing familiarity in order a) to impress those who might not know about them, thereby strengthening the conception that librarians are omniscient; and b) to avoid seeming clueless and out of touch to those already conversant in the area of silly, gimmicky web stuff.
So yeah. Now I got feeds, I got blogs, I got gmail, I got moldi, I got flickr, delicious, googledox, and on and on. Go, me. But ya know what? Still don't get twitter. Makes me think of an old joke: a kid grows up and never says a word, family thinks he's mute, until one day at dinner he says "Soup's cold." Family is astounded, demands to know why he went ten years without speaking, only now commenting that the soup is cold. Kid says, "Up until now, everything's been pretty much okay." The point is, I'm one of those who has trouble saying anything if I don't have anything worth saying. Even blogging is an effort. So put me on twitter, and I might say, "Soup's cold," but if the soup ain't cold, I won't take up my fellow twits' time. And to my twitter followers out there, ya know I love you all, but god help me it is a distraction that an easily-distracted person doesn't need. It's nothing personal.
Whew. Where was I? Oh, yeah, yeah, the 36 Chambers--I mean, the 23 Things. Much fun. Some I had already encountered, some were entirely new. Some I will continue to use on a daily basis, some not so much, but hopefully I now know enough to bring along the patrons. (I know, I called them "patrons." I think it's a classy word.) By this time next year, perhaps there will be a fresh 23 things. By this time next year, maybe I will be able to type these words by thinking them. By this time next year, Indiana will have a top-10 men's basketball team. By this time next year, I will have a kid in high school. By this time next year, Palin will be on a reality TV show. By this time next year, the economy will be in a shambles, there will be bread lines, and we will make tremendous strides in civil rights issues because people will have real problems and will realize that allowing dudes to marry dudes is not going to bring about the end of the world.
Ah, I'll miss this...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Running with Louis L'Amour

Turns out that "Ride You Tonto Raiders" is almost perfectly timed for an 11 mile run, including pre- and post-run stretching. I finally managed to download it from MOLDI. Not that it was complicated: it is actually pretty intuitive. But I didn't want the thing taking up space on my hard drive at home, even temporarily, and the computer at my desk at work won't allow the download. Something about being unable to authenticate a verifying numbery whosis. So I imagined I was a library user and got on an express computer. I was able to browse for the title, check it out, download the Overdrive reader/manager, and download the book to a flashdrive during that one 15-minute session. Later, I simply moved the files from the flash drive directly onto my mp3 player. So easy. I've noticed, though, that the mp3 audio selections are pretty limited compared with pc, wma, ipod. I want to keep my iTunes and 'Pod free from stuff that I'll only listen to once. I guess it'll be the nano for shorter, high-intensity runs that call for Descendents and Angry Samoans, and the muvo for LSD runs (don't freak out, man--Long Slow Distance), when a story about a lone gunfighter helping a strong-willed widow keep her ranch will serve to keep one's mind off of developing aches, cramps, and (Sorry, no way to soft-pedal that. Think I'd have learned by now: for any distance over 10 miles, slap on a couple bandaids.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

What? Sorry, I was listening to this podcast...

Whoops. Sorry, I didn't hear you. I mean, I heard you, but I was listening to this podcast, so could you repeat what you said? Hold on, let me turn this off. Pause, pause, ah here we go: Pause. Now, then.
I have issues, you see, with multitasking. I can't be doing more than one thing at a time, or at least, I can't be doing more than one thing well at a time. When I'm reading, I've gotta read and not, say, drive. When I'm composing a blog post, I've gotta think about the words I'm typing and not the voice in my earbuds. Today, the voice is a guy who calls himself Steve Runner, and the podcast it "Phedippidations," the "podcast for runners." Turns out it is the ruminations of a fellow in New England about life, family, stuff, and not so much about least not this latest one, the first I've heard. Or maybe it is and I'm missing the running content because I'm trying to think and type and, yeah.
I managed to find a couple (purportedly) running-related p'casts on Maybe there will be some with more of an emphasis on the sport, less of an emphasis on this guy's experience going trick-or-treating with his kid.
But you know what these would be good for? Listening to on LSD days. Whoa, whoa, now, all you non-runners: LSD stands for Long Slow Distance, a workout you do once a week or once every two weeks. The Long Run, the one you do to train the body to run, not fast, but for a long time without stopping. On these days, you don't load your iPod with Motorhead and Minor Threat. You do an audio book or something. Like a podcast. You put your legs on autopilot and focus on the words, and zone out for a couple hours. (Maybe elite runners can actually focus on form and turnover and breathing for hours at a time. Not me, bruh.)
Okay, okay, now the guy's talking about strengthening the core and how that is important to running. This I can use. But of course I missed the first part of it because I was writing this. Gotta go back.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Everybody is on YouTube

Even those who think they are not. If you're not featured, you're in the background somewhere. Seriously. Everyone with a camera or a phone can put content up there. That Motorhead show you went to at the Newport? Okay, you didn't go, but I did, and I was not the least bit surprised to see eight or nine pieces on YouTube the next day. I first became aware of YT's archival aspect when my brother sent me links to clips from the 70s kids PBS show "Zoom." I was speechless. The beauty is, you can spend hours (in fact, up to 3 a day, if you're one of our patrons) hopping from one thing to another using the related content feature. Enter a word in the search box, something outlandish, something you just know won't be on there...and it will. Amazing. I've had a funky vid on my blog page for a month now--there it is, on the right. Take a look and see if it don't blow your mind.
Oh, and viddy this.'s me, the scrawny one. Told you everybody was on it.

Mail for Gees

Whaddup, G? I've been looking at Gmail, and here is what I especially like. First, much much much more memory. I have a "secret" yahoo mail account that I use for things like sending test emails from library patrons I'm helping, or saving a copy of a patron's document as time ticks down to zero, or entering silly contests, things like that. Free email services like yahoo and safemail seem to be much more limited than Gmail, and the user is constantly hit up to upgrade to a premium, non-free version of the service. (Will that happen with Gmail? We'll see.) Also, the organizational and search features are pretty nifty. I actually like it better than Groupwise. Finally, Gmail has the same clean and uncluttered look as other Google pages. I've created an account for my heretofore email-less son Sam. Later I will create one of my own and try to "migrate" the stuff from my yahoo account as Gmail suggests.
Now I feel like such a G.

Monday, November 3, 2008


This is a good site for troubleshooting...anything. You can search for a specific product or category of products, or you can browse brand names. Once you find the troublesome product, you can browse the lists of solved problems to see if any match the problem you're having. If not, you can browse the list of unsolved problems to see if someone has already asked your question, and if not, you can submit it. Someone out there knows the answer--either how to fix it, or that it can't be fixed and that all or part of it must be replaced.
Maybe you can be the expert: if you see a problem you've dealt with in the past, you can pass on your wisdom.
Everything from large and small appliances, to computers and other electronics, to video games, to cars. Especially in the case of electronic gadgets, I think there is a tendency to think of them as disposable, so if your Nintendo DS touch screen is acting up (say), you might think, well, might as well get the newer model rather than try to get it fixed. That is, unless you are unbelievably cheap. Like me. Ask my children.

Friday, October 24, 2008


I get it...It's like a gigantic "shared work" folder. Instead of having a folder in the branch's or cmlinfo or youth services folder on the v-drive, you've got a depot out there somewhere that anyone with the appropriate password can edit. Marvelous!
I can see how this would be much more flexible, being able to work and collaborate from anywhere. I'd imagine that compatibility issues would not be completely vanquished--for instance, if one wanted to save the document into a file on one's own computer? Have to play around with it a little more...

...Maybe after the election. I am totally distracted these days. I keep refreshing msnbc to see if the poll numbers have changed. I'm giddily anticipating the election night party. Oh-Bam-Ah! Oh-Bam-Ah! It has been so long since I've voted for a winner. I'll be glad when we can look back and laugh, and when we can tell our grandkids that, yeah, this Palin woman was actually on the national ticket. ("No! Seriously?" "Yes. Oh yes." "You're making that up, gramps. There's no way." "I kid you not, sonny boy." "You guys must have been freaking out!" "Yup. It was hilarious and terrifying at the same time. Now run along and fetch grandpa a cold one.")