Wednesday, September 26, 2007


We've all been invited to events. Sometimes, we may seem nervous about attending. The inviter notices this and says, "Don't worry. It's not big deal. We're not going to sing 'Kumbaya' or anything."

What gives? What did "Kumbaya" ever do to you? Just sitting there being a song about togetherness, prayer, community, and peace. Suddenly, you make it out to be some sort of evil practice--eager to take an otherwise fun event and making it into Cap'n Creepy's House O' Yeesh!

As I continue to find a focus for this blog, I discover that I can take the "Kumbaya" phenomenon and share other examples with the reading audience. I will find instances where someone or something somewhere was doing nothin' to nobody and was suddenly caught in the middle of something and sullied because of it.

Like human growth hormone. There it sits pleasantly making folks who do not meet the "you must be this high" cardboard-hand criteria high enough so as to meet the ride requirements. Suddenly, some folks start taking large amounts of HGH so more baseballs--which "must fly this far" to be a home run--are now flying far enough to be home runs. It's not HGH's fault people are abusing it; yet the term "HGH" alone can cause shaking fists among the most peaceful sports enthusiasts. Let it be known that HGH has been kumbayaed.

HGH, my Lord, kumbaya


I get the claim-to-fame of making Kumbaya a verb

Fighting for slightly more justice


Not another verbized non-verb! It's too much!

(Uh oh -- looks like "verb" has been kumbayaed!)

Yet more work

And have a good day.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Libraries 2.0: Week 12: pictorial portfolio

Melodrama what ain't quite right

Here are all my pictures if you'd like to see them.

It was difficult to find pictures to add since I don't take pictures very often. But I found a few.

The benefit to something like Flickr is the ability to tag. Otherwise, I don't see much difference than putting pictures on a web page or in a gallery. Of course, that's assuming the pictures would be posted privately or semi-privately. Do you really want the world to see pictures of you at work? (I suppose you would if you're a supermodel or celebrity, I guess.)

We had a set of rules we were to follow before we uploaded pictures to Flickr (and to the best of your knowledge, I did follow those rules). One of the rules was to not post someone else's pictures without permission. However, one of the things we've discussed earlier was adding pictures of book covers to the library catalog. Does that mean we'll need to ask permission for each image we add to the catalog? If that's the case, I'm not certain it would be worth the effort to add them.

I've done a lot of negative in this post. Here's a positive: I hope the library does post pictures of me at work. That way, I can prove to my father that I really do have a job.

And have a good day.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Libraries 2.0: week 12: Totally YouTube-ular!

I chose the first video because I was looking for a Demetri Martin bit on people in glass houses throwing stones. I couldn't find it, but I saw this bit he did on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart about social networking. It seemed vaguely relevant. Watch at your own risk.

Like so many other 2.0 "things," a big positive with youtube is the ability to tag items. That would be great for the library. Link it up to online AV and the patrons can find the material they want with user-friendly searches (as opposed to, say, "Medical Grand Rounds Feb 14, 2007"). They'd be happier; we'd be happier. Everyone would gather in happier workplace.

One thing I didn't like was my search on Jonkunoo (again, as a non-librarian, I have non-librarian interests which I use to help me understand these things). My favorite album cover has what I thought were Jonkunoo images. Unfortunately, the videos I saw of Junkunoo dancers didn't quite look like the same thing. It would almost appear as if I'm wrong. So, if anyone knows what the costumes are on this album cover, I'd be glad to learn about it.

As long as I'm here on these subjects, I'd like to add a video I tried to add earlier, but didn't know how to go about it. Again, watch at your own risk:

And have a good day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

TV Guidance

I noticed that, as I've tried to find a focus for this blog, that I've concerned myself only with me. Maybe I should give helping others a try.

We've all seen it. You walk into a business and notice a television on. Or you're at the gym and there is a television on. Or you're sitting in your family room and there is a television on. In each case, you may wonder, "Why is it on this channel?" You ask the employees/family members. Typically, the answer is something to the effect of "we didn't know what channel to put it on and didn't want to spend time surfing," or "Mark, you know your son likes watching the Wiggles!"

So, it occurred to me to use the blog as a helpful resource to solve the problem of what channel to watch when no one is watching any channels. Fortunately, this involves two of my favorite pastimes : the internet and watching television. (Of course, my favorite pastime is working, but they only let me do that so many hours each day. Take THAT, you employers, 83% of whom use the internet to check on job applicants and the 45% of those who cowardly reject an applicant based on those findings!) I also enjoy fact checking.

It's pretty simple. I put the choices I've made for tomorrow's television viewing on the blog. You check the blog and put all of your televisions on said programs. I suppose if someone were to ask for a specific channel other than the one I've chosen, you could change it to the requested channel. But make sure you sigh, roll your eyes, look at your watch, and, after changing the channel, say, "THERE! Are you happy now?"

On a tangent (of, if you like music, on a coda), those of you who know me probably know that I find it fascinating that they show radio programs on television--past and present examples include Howard Stern, Don Imus, and "Mike & Mike in the Morning". Isn't that what radios are for? When I'm on a treadmill in the morning, I watch television but don't listen to it as I fear what earphones will do to my hearing. So, if the channel has a radio program, like Mike & Mike, I am watching (and only watching) a radio program on TV. This morning, I was noticed that the treadmill I was using AND the treadmill in front of it had Mike & Mike on. So, I was was watching (and only watching) a radio program on TV in stereo!

See below for the first day's schedule.




Helps solve a problem

Always something good on the TV when I'm walking through a room with a television


So far, no one seems overly concerned about my thoughts on what should be on TV

The problem isn't big enough to necessitate the time spent

If I had any authority, this would be autocratic

Might be easier just to point people to a TV listing web site

Hopefully, my unselfish efforts will make publicly-placed televisions more enjoyable for everyone.

And have a good day.


Let's start with September 19th.

0000: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (COM)

0030: The Colbert Report (COM)

0100: NOVA (TPT2)

0200: In Living Color (BET)

0230: In Living Color (BET)

0300: Babe Winkleman's Outdoors Secretss

0330: Happy Days (WGN)

0400: Happy Days (WGN)

0430: Are You Being Served (TPT2)

0500: Brief History of Disbelief (TPT2)

0600: The Wiggles (DIS) [Liam! Get away from the keyboard!]

0630: M*A*S*H (TVLand)

0700: Cheers (TVLand)

0730: Beverly Hillbillies (WGN) (it was either that or paid programming)

0800: Spin City (FX)

0830: All in the Family (TVLand)

0900: Ellen DeGeneres (WCCO)

1000: Scrubs (COM)

1030: Scrubs (COM)

1100: I Love Lucy (TVLand)

1130: Married ... With Children (FX)

1200: Twins baseball (FSN)

1500: NFL Live (ESPN)

1530: Cosby Show (WGN)

1600: M*A*S*H (Hall)

1630: Pardon the Interuption (ESPN)

1700: O Brother Where Art Thou (CMT)

1930: M*A*S*H (TVLand)

2000: Mythbusters (DISCOVERY)

2100: M*A*S*H (TVLand)

2130: M*A*S*H (TVLand)

2200: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (COM)

2230: The Colbert Report (COM)

2300: Cribs (MTV2)

2330: Cribs (MTV2)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Libraries 2.0: Week 11: Mash ups

I'm having a little trouble with mash-ups. I get the general concept of taking information from two or more sources and combining them together: a map and a band's tour information, a book record and an image of the cover, a YouTube video and a cease-and-desist order. I suppose the part I'm not taking into consideration is the automated part. Any web page can have parts from other web pages. This feature automatically combines parts from other sources working together to create an original part on a new page--kind of like online baking. You take one part Google map and 4 parts news feeds, mix them, and soon you have a map indicating where politicians have promised great things to the locals. That opposed to a regular web page which might have a map, the names of politicians, and what the politicians have promised. However, those are more like a salad than a baked good because the items, though in close proximity, are not working together.

So, how would this help in a library?
  • Updating information pages. Rather than saying "We have 100,000 plus volumes," the web page could tell the reader in real time exactly how many volumes the library owns--or how many people work there (with names and pictures), how many items are currently checked out, and how long it has been since a patron asked "you got any books?"
  • Finding books. Put an RFID in each item, throw in some GPS and a map of the library. The web page could tell the patron exactly where to find the item, even if it is at the circulation desk, by a copier, or in the trunk of someone's car. ("I can't find the book you say I have overdue." "Did you check in the car parked at 825 3rd Ave NW?") This could also work to help find books what "walked out" of the library.
  • Trans-site book information. Searching our library's OPAC could bring up the book, the location, availability, a picture of the cover, and comments from online bookseller sites, and book reviews from published periodicals.

Those are some thoughts on mash-ups. If any of it is incorrect, I hope someone tells me because, as I said, I'm not sure I fully understand mash ups.

On the bright side, after all this time, I've finally added "blog" to my Outlook dictionary. Yeah, I'm totally into this 2.0 stuff.

And have a good day.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Libraries 2.0: Week 10: Vodcasts and Podcasts

There's a saying popularized by self-improvement folk: "Any tool can be the right tool."

Not so in podcasts.

The first podcast I heard started with a guy reading the table of contents to a journal. WRONG TOOL! (but he did have a Boston accent)

Another one I heard had a monotone bored person giving an interview. RIGHT TOOL! (but the wrong cast--making it the WRONG TOOL)

Another one had folks sharing their family stories on how they ended up in Sunnyvale. RIGHT TOOL! (and the right cast)

My point that podcasting is a tool which needs to be done just right or it doesn't work. I think the reason for this is that you cannot skim podcasts. You can skim blogs. You can skim RSS feeds. You can skim wikis. But you can't skim podcasts. And if you're expecting to get something from the podcast and, after listening to a slow talker for 45 minutes, the information doesn't present itself ... someone becomes quite cranky.

Generally, I'd prefer just to get the transcript of the podcast. You can miss inflections and such, but you still get the information. However, sometimes you need to hear the voices--like the Sunnyvale storytellers. Or maybe a podcast on heart murmurs. Or a comedy routine. Or if you're vision impaired. Exceptions are there, but, in general, podcasts are too tricky to warrant their use.

Much like hair pieces, there are times for podcasts--but those times do not occur as often as too many people seem to believe.

And have a good day.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Understanding more of the World 2.0

For several weeks now, we've been learning about web 2.0 as it pertains to libraries. Libraries 2.0 it is called.

Well, all week, this week, one of the characters in the comic strip Doonesbury has been updating her facebook profile. In Sunday's paper, a committee meeting turns into a discussion of web 2.0. Also in Sunday's paper, a Doonesbury character describes the progress he's made due to his efforts on Second Life. (I'm not sure if our course will cover Second Life; it's a 2.0 site I happened to learn about just before our 2.0 course started.)

In short, if I take nothing else from Libraries 2.0, at least the funny pages are more funny. Thanks, Libraries 2.0.

And have a good day.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Physics of Web Surfing

It dawned on me this morning that I have not yet posted anything about Star Trek. I believe every web site is required by Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) to share something about Star Trek. (That may change in IPv6 what with commoners having more access to the internet, but I don't know yet.)

So allow me share this with you. Why is it that so many space vehicles, like the Starship Enterprise, are aerodynamic? There is no atmosphere in outer space. Aerodynamics are useless. (I would have said "pointless," but since so many aerodynamic objects physically come to a point ...) That was one of two great things about the Borg. First, it/they is/are called The Borg which, at least at that time, was funny. The second is that the Borg ship is a big cube. No travel physics whatsoever--just a big crate putzing through space.

There is one thing missing on fictional spaceships, however: cowcatchers. If you're traveling at mach 7 (or whatever), you never know when you might happen upon a space object (like stars, asteroids, John Glenn, etc.). At mach speed, you won't have time to change course. You need apparatus to knock away any objects which might cause damage. A cowcatcher is perfect for that.

So there you have it. I've solved another of life's problems.

And have a good day.