Sunday, January 02, 2011

Reader backlog & a blogging resolution

A two-week hiatus from my computer (I did not even turn on my lap top over break) means I am now digging out from my Google reader backlog; there were 1000+ feeds collected. It's taken me half an hour to weed it down to 567, now I need to go back through and find things I need to actually read, mostly job openings and library specific blog notes.

Looking back through my statcounter statistics and blog post numbers for the last three years, both have lagged significantly; actually, combined posts in 2009 and 2010 (123) don't equal the output for 2008 (169). There are a number of reasons for this lag, the most significant being an increase in my online teaching load and technology responsibilities in the library resulting in less time reading children's literature and blogging for pleasure. I hope to have both of those things under control for the upcoming spring term. Time will tell.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

no more bloglines

I was somewhat distressed to see the above announcement regarding my Bloglines account last week. Sure I posted about downtime on more than one occasion, but I like using Bloglines and still find RSS feeds useful for following sites and other blogs. I had the account for four years, a lifetime on the web, and liked the simplicity of the layout and functionality. A statement from Bloglines was available on the Blog post Bloglines Update (9-10-10).

With trepidation and annoyance and because I already have a Gmail account, I moved my feeds to Google Reader. I've been using Google Reader for a week; I am not particularly impressed. This is partly due to having to make the change - and a feeling that big brother is taking over the world.

It's only been a week.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11, 2010

Each year this anniversary arrives and each year it is as difficult to fathom as it was that day. As I scroll through TV channels on this bright fall-like morning, stations are marking events taking place in and around NY, the Pentagon, and PA. For me, the most difficult to watch is MSNBCs archived telecast from that day running in real-time. I'm listening to former First Lady Laura Bush's remarks at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville,PA and will pause today to pray and remember.

Friday, September 03, 2010

What happened to summer?

Today we finished week two of the new academic school year. The ease with which everyone settled back into a familiar routine of homework, meetings, and finding a favorite library work spot, makes it is almost like summer never happened. I'm once again working as an adjunct for our COE teaching sections of an online technology course, always a great opportunity for me personally and professionally.

One of the course assignments is working with emerging technology, I'm able to explore new resources and adapt them into the library online presence. In the last few weeks I've had fun working with Animoto and Screencast-O-Matic, great resources for instructional videos. There are free versions of both that are web-based, no download necessary (yeah). Though both have advertising (embedded logos) and time limits in the free version, however neither is detrimental to the finished product. Both also offer reasonable pricing for additional functions and the removal of the advertising. I've created projects and embedded them in Angel, LibGuides, and blogs (oh, my).

Week three, here we come ...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blogger comments

After consistently deleting (and deleting and deleting) more spam comments today I was thrilled to see this news announcement on my blog dashboard yesterday; "We have enabled automatic spam detection for comments on some blogs. You should occasionally check the comments in your spam in-box." - Blogger Help

I am not sure how wide-spread the spam detection is, but this blog and several library profession blogs I author had the option available to use. On one blog the comment spamming was bad enough I set it to moderate, so this is a welcome update. For more information, read the Blogger Buzz post, New Comments System on Blogger (8-10-10).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Veil of Night

In Linda Howard's,Veil of Night, wedding and event planner Jaclyn Wilde is deftly juggling a series of six weddings in five days for Premier. When Carrie Edwards, a particularly difficult and demanding bride (one who puts the 'zilla" in Bridezilla, bless her heart) becomes unmanageable, Jaclyn is able to salvage her reputation and the bill - at least until the bride-to-be is murdered. One of the last people to see Carrie alive, Jaclyn becomes one of many viable suspects investigated by Detective Eric Wilde. Complicating matters, Eric and Jaclyn shared a passionate encounter the night before Carrie was murdered. As the investigation widens, Eric learns few mourn the bride's death and now the killer is focused on one potential witness - Jaclyn. Brimming with intrigue, passion, suspense and seasoned with characters who have humor and wit, this is one eventful night.

Veil of Night is what I consider vintage Linda Howard; Mr. Perfect, Open Season, Dream Man, and Killing Time, feature strong characters, humor, great dialogue, mystery and plenty of sizzle. Jaclyn's father was left a bit adrift towards the end (easy for me to say) and I was not particularly surprised by the killer's identity, but the characters make this title well worth the time and a second read is imminent.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Random thoughts ...

My netbook got a bit cranky this evening, taking a good fifteen minutes to run various updates and a bit longer to fully re-charge.  Guess that's the penalty for letting it sit inert for over ten days.

I waffle between using blogger in draft and regular blogger. I like blogger in draft for it's realistic preview option, especially in conjunction with the new templates, the stats because I just love that stuff and can compare them with feedburner, statcounter, and I especially like the 'undo' button. I like traditional blogger because I can drag image size to suit me instead of having to choose a preset size, the simpler link options are easier to use, and it loads quicker.  Guess I'll just keep alternating to suit my moods.

A new season of Project Runway premiered last week! It will take time for a favorite to emerge, at least for me, but I already question the judges decision to keep some of the bottom players last week.

I am really disappointed in the 'apprentice-like' look to the new season of Design Star.  I have seen two episodes and miss Clive and the overall kitchiness previous seasons featured.  It's too slick for my taste and I don't care about the designers.

Warehouse 13 and Eureka are off to great starts this season.  Last night's cross-over event was well done.  But I have to wonder, if the Eureka characters to go back in time again then return to their old reality, where does that leave the cross-over events?  The Warehouse 13 episodes happened in their new reality - Fargo even said he was running GD.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Personalizing Firefox

I spent a happy twenty minutes or so this evening fiddling with the header of my Firefox browser using their new persona option. After the automatic download of the latest version of Firefox, 3.6.8, loaded a second tab opened tempting me to personalize the look of my browser. There are a significant number of options available, including film and television, music, nature, and sports.

I quickly narrowed my search to film and tv - Despicable Me minions, Toy Story 3, and Harry Potter - and sports - most notably Pittsburgh Steelers. After applying several personas, I went with the HP book cover for Deathly Hallows. Why? I liked the colors, so many options were dark and made it difficult to locate and use browser options. This option is significantly better than the recent Google personalization because it covers only the browser header as opposed to the entire open window. Additionally, there is no lag time when Firefox opens for use. All and all, I like their persona and will probably change my mind more than once.

Monday, July 19, 2010

ALA 2010: ARCs from the Stacks

My bag of books from last year's ALA Annual in Chicago remains unread (and I promise this photo is new). This year my plan was the same, take no more than a one bag of books I would read. I was lucky enough to get two titles autographed and stuck to my plan. Of course, traveling by car made it a bit simpler as there was a serious lack of room in the trunk for our return trip home.

The autographed titles? I happened to be walking past a booth where Nikki Grimes was signing ARCs of her latest, A Girl Named Mister. and in the next aisle was Janet Mullany and her ARC Jane and the Damned. Both authors were extremely gracious with a smile and friendly word for each person in line.

Other ARC's included:

It remains to be seen how many I read, but the list is definitely more varied than ARCs from past conferences. There is one title missing, a book I read waiting for a session to begin ... if only I could remember the title.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

ALA 2010: Book Cart Drill Team

A trip to ALA Annual is not complete until the Book Cart Drill Team competition! View the rest of the videos, including the opening and closing "ceremonies," on the Demco YouTube Channel.

ALA 2010: The Hotel

ALA Annual 2010, Washington DC, is here and gone; I'm still unpacking my small bag of goodies and uploading pictures. For the first time, I was able to not only stay at an official ALA hotel, but also reserve said hotel through the ALA web site.

As is often the case when preparing to attend ALA annual, my blog narrative begins with procrastination; I waited to register until I knew funds may be available from work.  I waited to find a hotel until I knew family traveling with me to the conference could finagle time off work. The chain of events worked well for registration, I got in the final day for advance registration, but not so well with my initial hotel search.

Several evenings of searching usual travel sites (Travelocity, Orbitz,, AAA, and Expedia) returned single hotel rooms starting at $250 and I needed two rooms for four days.  I checked the ALA conference site for available hotels on a whim and half an hour later had reservations - two rooms, plural, at the Holiday Inn Capitol at a significantly lower conference rate. Not as grand as my hotel accommodations while at ALA Annual in 2007, this hotel was one block from the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, an open air pool on the roof (pictured above), and free Internet access. Even better, the Gale shuttle bus picked up right outside the lobby doors throughout my conference stay.