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.