Sunday, January 24, 2010

All of my failures are epic

Inspired by many others in their efforts to chronicle and analyze their stories of failure, I finally got around to making this shirt at Cafe Press. More shirt styles (and a coaster and mug) can be found here:

Putting white lettering on a dark background was tricky--fortunately, I was able to download Gimp, a free program that allowed me to put lettering on a transparent background. This tutorial really helped me put this together.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Do you do reference work in your spare time?

Last week, at home, I fielded two reference questions for friends:

1. Rutgers has a program for donating your body to science--can you tell me more about this?

Eek--this question got me off my duff to record some of the stories that this 80 year old neighbor has been entertaining me with for years. And digging around for the information was interesting--turns out that this body donation program has moved to The Robert Wood Johnson Medical School:

2. Have you ever seen decorative concrete, ceramic, plaster, or whatever cats on people's roofs? They may be tacky, I don't know for sure, but I want some for my roof...I remember seeing them as a kid, and they were usually painted black and white and looked like they were scrambling across the roof. They were usually put up in pairs. Anyhow, I want to get some, and I can't locate them. I've "Googled" roof cats, roof ornaments, decorative cats, plaster cats, concrete cats, ceramic cats, etc... but I still can't find them.

It really helped that my friend told me what he had done to try to find these kitties. Indeed, I could only find one source for these rooftop cats, and this source is in the United Kingdom:

Not only do I enjoy doing reference work for my friends, I'm flattered that they come to me.

Just a question for those of you who work in Information Services all day--are you the unofficial reference provider for your friends and family? If so, do you like doing your "work" on your off hours?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thing 23: Wrapping Up

My favorite part of Web 2.0 has to be Listen NJ. I'm very likely to use this again, since it was so easy! Even better, since I'll probably be listening to books with my husband, instead of me having to pick an audio book here in the library, my husband can browse through titles online.

My least favorite part of Web 2.0 would be the din created by the sound of millions of bloggers clogging up the Internet. While I appreciate reading blogs by pundits or experts in a particular field, Technorati revealed an inane world of people who'd do better to spend their time reading than posting...

I hope the library gets more involved in RSS feeds--especially regarding new materials. I also think that being able to perform a federated search of the library's catalog and databases would be VERY useful for customers.

As for what Web 2.0 applications I share with my family: much as people in the past made their guests sit through slide shows of their vacations, I make my parents watch when videos of me have been posted to YouTube (but only when they are visiting me, as Dad is too paranoid to download software to his computer...). Unfortunately, it doesn't look like State Library of Pennsylvania offers a service comparable to ListenNJ, or I'd try to help my parents set that up (although that conversation would probably be short and unsuccessful, as Dad would object to downloading the software...).

Overall, my favorite part about completing this Web Challenge has been reading everyone else's blogs (yes, yes, I know I just called most blogs inane, but that's only when the authors are people I don't know). Its been interesting to see the pictures posted by others--especially here in Lacey. I'm glad that the blogs OCL's Web Challenge participants will remain posted for a few more weeks, as I look forward to browsing through the ones I haven't read yet.

Thing 22: ListenNJ (Part Two of Two)

Not only was it very easy to download the audio software to my home computer, it was quick! Needless to say, we had a great time listening to Linda Greenlaw's True Tales From the Dry Dock Bar last night. As we listened to her tales of stormy seas, accidents on deck and shipwrecks we wrapped three new hula hoops (Captain America, Goth Girl II and The Panda). Tonight we'll listen to the other half of Greenlaw's fishy tales and wrap more hoops (I'm planning on Peace in Ireland and Orange Crush).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Thing 22: ListenNJ (Part One of Two)

We've been pretty busy here in Lacey, between getting ready for SAIL and Reading Buddies as well as preparing for a Great Stories Book Discussion at the State Juvenile Detention Facility, so I'd been putting off this task. But today I thought I'd try to tackle it, and am halfway there.

Since I don't yet have an MP3 player, I was interested in finding a book that my husband would enjoy, since we'll be listening to it on our computer at home. He tends to favor nonfiction, and sure enough, while browsing through the non-fiction titles available on ListenNJ, I found this book that Paul, a semi-retired commercial fisherman, might enjoy (or at least enjoy complaining about):

All Fishermen Are Liars
True Tales from the Dry Dock Bar
By Linda Greenlaw

"All Fishermen Are Liars brims with true stories of the most eccentric crew member, the funniest episode, the biggest fish, and the wildest night at sea."

While we've been instructed to use a PC Plus computer to complete this exercise, I'm going to try to download the actual book at home. Not only is our PC Plus usually being used by customers, but I think it would be nice to listen to a book while Paul is tying jigs and I'm wrapping hoops. Stay tuned for my description of how that ended up working out.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Thing 21: Finding and Listening to Podcasts

My husband and I typically build our Sundays around being able to listen to Ira Glass on "This American Life", one of the best shows on National Public Radio. But festival season is now upon us, so we're unlikely to be able to gather around the radio in the afternoon. Fortunately, let me subscribe to weekly podcasts of "This American Life", which they describe as "first-person stories and short fiction pieces that are touching, funny, and surprising." It was great to hear what I missed this past Sunday, as well as being able to look up past programs I enjoyed. Now we can gather around the computer to hear this program, anytime we want!

My wonderful, rainy, weekend