Monday, November 12, 2007

I can't go, but YOU can

I'm detecting a pattern in the schism of my social life here....

I MOURN that I cannot attend the Antje Douvecot concert on-line at Whole Wheat Radio because Antje is such an incredibly talented singer/songwriter besides being just, plain lovely.

What's more, listening to live concerts on-line with Jim and sharing the experience with others in chat is such a fun time - Jim makes it fun, filling listeners in on the action in his own enthusiastic way. I highly recommend that you tune in and at least get a taste of this virtual time sharing, if for no other reason than to add it to your 2.0 experience.

Here's Antje:

It's Antje's birthday on Thursday. Jim's brewed a special beer in honor of her concert. The enchantment will be infectious. Don't deny yourself. I will be working - trying to keep an eye out for hooligans who are seeking all night refuge in the library. Somehow it has happened that I've become a cop in some horrid twist of irony.... but I will attend this concert in spirit, you can be sure.

Thursday, November 15, 2007, 6pm, Bellingham time. . Enjoy.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Live music alert!

Hello All!

This is a very important post informing you all that my dear friend and artist, Esther Golton is coming to Bellingham to start her tour promoting her CD “Unfinished Houses”.

Esther is a mountain dulcimer player and singer/songwriter…but she is so much more. Please read about Esther here. I think you will agree that, besides being talented and industrious, Esther is a marvelously interesting person. Her engagement with and passion for life is clearly captured in her music. I hope you will take a look too at her schedule. She will be touring between Bellingham and the San Francisco bay area. If you know anyone who many be interested in attending these events, please spread the word.

Independent artists only have the love of music to carry them through. It is more than just “making nice” to go see a grass roots performer, you are making history as the music comes back from corporate America to the people who love it.

I thank you for your kind attention and I hope you will get a chance to see Esther. I work in the evenings so she’s out there on here own, poor darling! …So if you are out and about and/or you fancy doing something interesting in the evening, do stop by and tell her hello.


Wed. October 17th8pm (open mic)

Wild Buffalo

208 W. Holly

Thur. October 18th 8pm (opening for the Can’t Hardly Playboys)

Green Frog Acoustic Tavern

902 State Street (near to Terra Barganica)

Fri. October 19th - 12pm (playing for the lunch bunch for an hour)

Old Town Café

316 W. Holly

Here is a sample of Esther’s music….


Friday, August 31, 2007

Extend Thyself

OK...I'm all over the map! Jumping from one assignment to the next. It's like someone threw me into a blender, for crying out loud! I installed my first regret last week and that broke my stride. Worse, I can't figure out how to get rid of it. I assumed anything that would simonize Iguana's socks must be quite splendid. So I uploaded Zotero right away without, uh, doing the research on it and reading carefully. I was wrong. I will never use this. It is clutter in my life. It leers at me from the bottom of my screen like a giant dust bunny. It seems like a superior tool for academic research, however... meanwhile, if anyone can help me get rid of this thing, I would be very appreciative!

Holy cow! Look at all the toys to add to my browser!!! This really more my speed.

Thanks to Library Laughter for turning me on to Google calendar. I had a group calendar but I did not realize what a great organizing tool this was until I took time to look into it closer. I can have calendars from everyone (groups, kids, friends etc.) all in one place and turn them on and off at will! This is really great for me because my schedule changes all the time and my people never know where I am at and when! It is also great because I really was getting tired of carrying around a day planner and I've no patience for gadgets like Blackberry and such. Google they name is Savior, I'm becoming a believer.... I have a lot more to learn about these extensions and I'm planning on investigating more. In fact, the Usage Counter might be prudent....

Saturday, August 18, 2007

It seemed like a good idea at the time....

I missed Bob's House warming party this Saturday. I had commitments that involved painting my ceiling with a new paint that goes on one color then magically turns to white. You see this impeccable white ceiling the next morning when you are quietly gazing upward, sipping your coffee in your $300.00 white, terrycloth bathrobe. This is how it works - I know this because it is exactly how it was shown on TV...

It was prominent in my mind, however, that I was missing the festivities while I was working and I thought, "Why don't I make Bob a nice card on my ceiling with this big, long roller
thingie sos he knows that I was wishing he and his family well even though I was not physically present!" I balanced the roller up over my head and painted the words BOB IS HOME! ...a rather sophomoric effort, admittedly, and I apologize for that but...well, my arms were getting kind of tired. I took the picture and then set about getting back to work finishing the painting.

It was about 4pm when I was admiring my handiwork that I noticed that as the ceiling dried, you could actually read my housewarming message to Bob even though I painted over it! oops. Well, the writing is right over where the little fireplace is going to go so I guess when I sit down to relax this winter, I can look up in divine repose and enjoy the sobering reminder from above that Bob is Home and not at work thinking up some new technical gizmo for me to learn about!

Welcome to the 'Ham, Bob!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Wanna Wiki Radio, Part II

...anyway! The point I wanted to make about Wiki's is this...and it is going to sound corny so put on your foil hat now....

I have experienced in my fifty plus years in the United States a slow and somewhat disturbing waning of opportunities along with what I consider to be affordable tools at my disposal - whether it be tools for survival or or inspiration, I feel a squeeze - a palpable loss of personal space. Much of what was valuable when I was younger is no longer available. There is something that has happened in my country that I find troubling. Something beyond the obviously twisted and horrible political situation. There has been a loss of ingenuity and inspiration. It is as if, as individuals, we have been beaten down and dis-empowered by advertising and speculation and fear.

I was adjusting to all of that loss as a cruel inevitability until I was thrown into the world of Wiki. Suddenly I'm faced with democracy, of all things! Someone is being naughty and we all have to figure out a decent way of dealing with the situation. We are all working on the project so there is sharing and suddenly I need manners, too! Mistakes are made. Now I have to have compassion for my co-wiki when they flub?!

Being hurled into a democratic microcosm has made me think along different lines regarding the Internet. My surfing, dipping and doodling about on-line this past decade has made me aware of how empowering it is. Now that I am in a virtual relationship with people I can't help but wonder if this isn't the one empowering tool that will allow people in the United States to regain their balance. People are communicating and sharing and growing in their passion for each of their little projects, whether they are involved with a wiki or just "into rating things". What I find astounding and different is that everyone can participate - meaning that all of the people who may be oppressed or timid or disenfranchised in one way or the other can have an equality. They may need guidance with the tools but it exists with a minimal amount of effort. New ideas and perspectives can be utilized once again in a brand new way in America. This is what I always expected my country to be about and it is the one thing I miss about my modern world...ingenuity and inspiration. I think the Internet is as big as the advent of the printing press and will be just as threatening to the status quo, at some point. One can only hope.

Democracy is hard..actually, it's a huge pain in the backside but it is also food for individuality and it begets freedom and fantastic opportunity. Who among us does not live a fuller and more meaningful life as a result of democracy when it works well? well, who among us doesn't enjoy the occasional joy of sporting foil hat? ...You know you want to.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wanna Wiki Radio, Part I

I came to know a bit about the wiki format because it was forced on me. A streaming radio station that I have been affiliated with since 2002, Whole Wheat Radio out of Talkeetna, Alaska became too unwieldy for it's creator, Jim Kloss, and it was transformed into a wiki format.

Over the years CD's flooded in and needed to be added to the library. As word got out that Jim played only RIAA safe (unsponsored and independent artists) the job grew considerably and that wasn't all. The listenership was growing and house concert production and streaming was also building to a crescendo. Jim gave a courageous stab at keeping it all up. Still, he yearned to plant flowers and do stuff he loved - things he did before he decided to design a radio station from the computer at the foot of his bed in 2002. It was either shut the streaming WWR down or devoted listeners where going to have to learn to love wiki. Of course, after years of listening, it was threatening to consider life without WWR so the website was transformed and we all began to learn how to help maintain the station so Jim could do other stuff.

In many ways I've already gone through the "AWWWW I've gotta to do THAT, too??" stage of wiki awareness...the little html bits! and I can no longer just load a picture into the chat room with a copy paste, I have to format things! hoo...that whining has long since faded into history as the website has been wiki now since January 2006....The picture of my cat, Saturday, looking at the monitor on the header of this blog is a shot of the pre-wiki Whole Wheat Radio chat room page - WWR received honorable mention from the 2007 Web 2.0 Awards and because we are wiki we can all take some of the credit for that success (though, of course, it is our benevolent dictator, Jim, who is truly the heart of Whole Wheat Radio).

If you have a love of music, especially live music, I hope you will enjoy the clip that I have added from a house concert held at WWR in Talkeetna last winter. This is a clip from a concert that was broadcast (streamed) live over the Internet, besides the people in the audience, there are maybe 50 people listening on-line and a handful of the on-line listeners are communicating in the chat about their experience to each other while they are listening. They also leave messages that are read to the performers later and can call in to leave an adio message for the performers, the listeners or the audience.. Also, on line, during the concert there is the ability to instantly purchase all the recorded material the artist has to offer that will be delivered by mail and signed by the artist (even with your name, if you ask!)
There is a tip jar for the on-line listeners to add to, if they wish, during concerts with all of the proceeds going directly to the performers. I can't tell you how much fun these concerts's one of those, "you had to have been there..." sort of situations. The videos don't do the live experience justice but you can get the idea. If you like this video, there are a few more video clips of WWR house concerts here.

How does Jim pay for all of this "labor of love", you might wonder? It is supported by donation. There is tally observable by all in the upper right corner of the chat room of all of the money needed to make the monthly bills. At other parts of the site all the disbursements are openly recorded for anyone to see. Jim insists it is to be like this and I think it is honorable of him to do it this way.

I want to make a statement about what I have discovered about my personal experience with wikis and experiencing them but I'm going to save that for another post....this one seems too long already. For now enjoy the music by Ann Pence, Robin Hopper and Radoslov Lorkovic among others......

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Feast

Where have I been????? Stuffing my and my Library Thing and every other 2.0 orifice I've been introduced to this past few weeks! It's like a great, bottomless maw of information!!!

First's yummy. I say this BECAUSE when I was much younger two years ago, I had the horrible misfortune of loosing my mother board. A complete meltdown. I managed to hire someone to retrieve most of what I had on my hard drive but do you know what was like a stake into my heart??? Loosing 10 years of BOOKMARKS!! ARRRRGHHHH I thought to myself, "Self, there ought to be a way to have my bookmarks FOREVER!!!" Well! From my lips to the ears of the powers that BE! Voila!!!!! For anyone who's lost their mother.

Next Library Thing. I was so bummed! I don't own books. I work in a bloody library! What do I need to own BOOKS for? I have 6+ floors of books plus the consortium!!!! (I can feel my co-workers recoiling! Hands flying up to their mouths...gasps... Blasphemer!) Well, it's true. My name is Night and I have no personal library....well, none to speak of... So, well, I cheated when it came to Library Thing because I'm a Virgo and I can't resist a list! I thought of a few books that I really have enjoyed in my reading history and I listed them....if some stranger emails me and and wants to borrow my copy of Dharma Bums, I will direct them to their local library. Having said that, I'm not real clear about how all the sharing thing works and, frankly, I'm not totally comfortable with it yet. I need more time with that to decide.

Now you now know my dirty little secret about books. Please don't judge me harshly. There's only so much do-
re-mi to go around and my nickels go to non-RIAA, independent musicians...the poor gypsies, anyhow....

I can't imagine either one of these features
NOT being important in one way or the other to our library.

PS: Thanks for bringing in Anne Marie to talk to us last week, oh, technical ones......

: Photo credit to Stacey Nightmare. I found this wonderful photo of hers on Google Images. I hope she doesn't mind that I used it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Let Your Freak Flag Fly

I have to say one of the really great things about being able to read peoples feedback about these assignments is stumbling upon the one thing that makes the whole thing sing. That happened to me when I was reading the article in Positive Change blog. The article was by Stephen Abrams. He talks about all of these tremendous technical abilities that seem to be already hardwired into our young when they are born - among other things. At the bottom of his article, he listed the web sites of everything he was refering to.
It was here that I started using my spidey sense and one thing led to another until I found myself watching YouTube vidoes of a fellow named Torey teaching people how to make stuff in his Second Life world. I watched several clips (at home - no audio/video or time at work...sigh). Initially I was fascinated with Torey's enthusiasm for what he was doing. He cracked me up! Soon I realized, however, I had enough technical knowledge to actually figure out what he was doing! Then I kinda got jazzed! What if there was a Wilson Library in Second Life? For one thing it would be so new, every student would be on it like love itself - at least the gamers! No body was interested in having a virtual personality page on social sites just a few years ago except a few designers.
I predict all of these young people raised on Harry Potter fantasies would fall all over themselves eventually for a virtual library that had cool stuff in it. All the service desks could have alter personalities of wizards and gnomes or talking trees! It would be a hoot and, of course, the students could run through the library with their flags and what not. Students could come into the library as a guest personality or actually develop themselves an avatar and flounce around finding information! They could take their avatar to their social site and bring even more people to the library. They could meet them on a skybridge in Wilson Library that really WAS in the sky!
I am already designing my Second Life personality in my mind....I hope you enjoy Torey's tutorial as much as I did!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Face Space Book

I have a MySpace account and I rather dislike it. It’s too BUSY…there are people shaking their booties at me and saying they like me….if they only knew! What kind of Maynard thinks that is cool, anyway? It may be MY space, but it’s not a good fit for me, personally. I keep it up, however, because I find it is a good way to keep contact with students.

I started the account because I was curious as to what the appeal was. Also I had students here handy to help me set it up (a big PLUS). I really liked the concept but I was soon to turn sour on it for any part of my social life. It continues to be an excellent way for me to say "howdy" to my students without the implied need for an answer that an email suggests. If I'm thinking of Suzy Jones all I have to do is go to my own MySpace and click on her picture. Perhaps I will find out she's just back from hiking the Appalachian Trail. I can leave a little message about that for her. A pleasant way to interchange niceties....

After reading others blogs about Facebook, I opened an account but was really upset when I was asked for my personal email password. This was to check if there was anyone in my contacts list that had a Facebook account so they could search their data base. I tentatively gave that information only to have a list shoot back that had every name checked in the list. If you went too fast through this screen, it would "appear" that the checked boxes were all people who had Facebook accounts but if you read the fine print you see that it defaults to sending everyone in your address book and invitation to open a Facebook account... ergo it sends SPAM!!! I happened to notice my deceased mother's name on the list and that's when I pulled up short of clicking on through! I'm sorry but I closed my Facebook account then and there. That is just sneaky and uncalled for in MY mind! If I would have clicked on that I would have been VERY embarrassed to have sent that sort of thing to my friends in-boxes! Too close for comfort.

I suspect I will always keep my MySpace account. I don't go there often but when I do, it is nice to see a little greeting from someone. They are like little cyber postcards the shout outs, pictures, bulletins and announcements.

The library could easily have a library MySpace. There are some students besides the ones who work here who are regulars that might be interested in being "friends". Interesting things could be posted on there regarding events here. Also links to things library related like events could be posted. I'm not at all an expert on this type of site but think we should be careful not to try and make it a web page. It is really only used on the fly for most people with the intent for some sort of contact or the possibility of contact through some extra curricular activity (read: party/gathering) least that's MY take on it.....ok. MOVIN' ON....

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Got film?

Isn’t digital photography grand? I’ve already long forgotten how to fill out a film submission envelop at Costco! I'm wondering....what else did I put in that extra real estate I acquired in my cranium?

For 10 years I had a MSN Groups photo album and it did not change much in that decade while I had that account. In that time, I managed to get about three of my relatives to figure out how to look at pictures there… (There are at least 150 people in my immediate family.) I switched to Flickr when I explored the site and became intrigued by fancy things like “slideshow” Hey! …there’s no slideshow in msn groups…so much for loyalty!

I have had a Flickr account for quite awhile. I even subscribe. Simplicity was important to me in photo sharing with my rather analog-inclined family members. Either they are finally getting up to speed with technology or the site is superior - perhaps a little of both. I also keep a Shutterfly account for printing pictures and put my favorites there so the family can order prints if they want to hold something in their hand. I found Shutterfly’s printing quality exceptional.

I use this Flickr account, too, to link up with graduated students who are shutterbugs. As well there is a feature for groups, which would be nice for the student assistants to link to, if it was set up properly for the library. I have a lot more exploring to do in Flickr and I think it could be a fun tool in the library as a Student Supervisor…could all the assistants have Library Assistant Cards to put on their MySpace??? I’m going to try and make a badge tonight!…but I'm behind in my assignments!

and I’ve got to MOVE ON!

Monday, July 9, 2007

(R)andi (S)anders (S)ervice

Needless to say, living on “spidey-sense” can inevitably take one away on time-consuming adventures revolving around crime and injustice and all of that. Let’s just say, "I been busy"….all the while I have been plugging away at the Learning 2.0 tasks. I really enjoy reading everyone’s blogs and even if I slack on an assignment, I rarely miss a blog entry!

I started a Bloglines account and put all of my Learning 2.0 blogs and faves from around the globe in there. I wrestled with RSS feeds but I still default to asking Randi about current events and I don’t really know if there will ever be a better interactive news source for anyone than turning around in your chair at your desk and asking your friend sitting behind you. The woman’s BRILLIANT! She knows everything! So, the RSS feed is a hard sell for me. Maybe later, I’ll try again. I’ve got to MOVE ON....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Go web. Fly. Up, up, and away web! Shazam!"

I have been learning about the RSS feeds this week and it was a little hard for me to figure out. I finally realized that my difficulty was nested in the fact I don’t seem to use the web the same way other people use it. I don’t know why that hadn’t occurred to me before. Perhaps because this is the first time I’ve ever really been able to examine and compare my surfing habits with others in a controlled setting. Suddenly, I’m not sure what the internet really is.

I had an Ah HA moment superimposed on a state of extreme disorientation….don’t stare!

I use the web like Spidey. I rarely read news or articles on the web. I don’t watch American news on television and I don’t have cable or NetFlix. If it didn’t pop up on the MSN homepage as newsworthy as I headed into my hotmail account, I didn’t hear about it. Now if something surfaces of great interest to me, I will shift gears…. (Usually I will ask Randi about it when I get to work….) No, really… I will Google the item for additional information and check Wikipedia (if that is pertinent) because news is compiled so efficiently and in a manner in which I find easy to follow.

This made me wonder, how did this happen that I am so different from everyone else? I think it is because I came into an interest in what the internet could DO by virtue of accidentally finding a chat community. My web-jones is the spawn of socializing on-line. Just about all of my skills (or lack of them) sprouted from interaction within that chat room, in one way or another. When the SYSOP would add something new to the site or a chatter would get excited about an innovation, they explained it to us and we all went and investigated it, if it interested us. Is it any wonder why I have enjoyed this summers Learning 2.0 project so much!! This is SO my sandbox!

Prior to that experience I used the web much like I would use the Encyclopedia as a child: Start out looking up one thing and find a bunch of other stuff that was thrilling, then Mom calls me for dinner….oh, and I used the web for shopping, of course. I like to shop on-line.

So when it came time to line up things to put on a RSS feed there was not much for me to put on there, really. Who needs Bloglines when you have Spidey-Sense? I did find it efficient for putting everyone’s Learning 2.0 blogs in a handy spot so I can see who is currently posting. Otherwise, until my research habits evolve, I’m going to just continue using my favorites.

Perhaps when I learn a little more about the tools a newsreader can provide, I will press myself into more sophisticated internet habits. I look forward to that.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Blogging: the wheat and the chaff

I found this link in a favorite blog of mine called "As Time Goes By" and I want to share it with you because I found it valuable in explaining to me the importance of understanding blogging in terms of how information is processed these days. It is about freedom of speech in the form of blogging and how it has sometimes supplanted a rather cumbersome mass media in America.... among other things...

"....On Tuesday, Jay published a story on (reprinted from Huffington Post) titled, “A Blog is a Little First Amendment Machine.” Due to blogs and the emerging two-way nature of the web, Jay explains, media is no longer a one-way street from producer to audience...."

We have the good fortune to be born in a time when we can be empowered to express ourselves and communicate in innovative ways, if we choose. We have the additional fortuity to be employed in a library during these exciting times.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


“…Let’s be like David Dangeli, let’s pray on our knees in privacy – Let’s say 'Oh Thinker of all this, be kind'- Let’s entreat him, or it, to be kind in those thoughts – All he has to do is think kind thoughts, God, and the world is saved – And everyone of us is God – What else? And what else when we’re praying on our knees in privacy?...I’ve said my peace.”

Jack Kerouac
Desolation Angels

I've been reading a lot of Kerouac lately and so when something in my day happens...or doesn't happen, I'll open up my reading material and there will be something there for me - What else?

...thats all I have to say about that.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Those on the front will be bringing up the rear

First of all, this is a wonderful idea. Kudos to all who have organized this.

Second of all, please be gentle with us service desk folks! We rarely have large slots of time that we can dedicate to technical problem solving with the people needing help at the counter and the phones and gates get the idea. So be kind and spare us the, "Haven't you done that yet?" and consider some patience and perhaps an, "Oh! you've done that already? ...and with all that interruption? Well DONE!" Okay...I guess that's a bit much to ask for but thanks in advance for your consideration.

See me for help with your rubber spatulas.