Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Auld Lang Syne

Kenny G's mellow sax to accompany wishes for a happy and prosperous new year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Another Christmas Ornament

You can make your own ornament with MakeSweet's Christmas ornament generator.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My Interests Graphically Depicted

I thought it would be interesting to use Wordle to compare my delicious cloud tag with what I've been blogging about lately.

Here's the Wordle of my delicious tag cloud:

Compare it to my blog rss feed here:

It shows in a very graphic way that while I've been continuing to look for useful web tools to include in our upcoming More Things on a Stick, my personal interests lately have been focused on photography, photos, sharing and enjoying them. It's pretty clear from looking at my blog recently that graphics, in one form or another, have been occcupying my interest.

Friday, December 19, 2008

All Lit Up for Christmas

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thinking of Peggy and Clyde

I used dumpr's Christmas ornament application to create this greeting with our camp picture on it. It reminds me of the beautiful handpainted Christmas ornament we were given by friends Peggy and Clyde Cilwa some years ago which featured much the same picture on it. It's a treasured keepsake that gets placed where it's always visible on the Christmas tree each year to remind us of friends who are now far away during the holidays.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Home & Camp in winter

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Photo Collages

I've always enjoyed making collages and remember making them for an art class. My grandmother had lots of pictures of family and places that collected in boxes and discovered the fun of making collages by cutting them up and putting them together for family members as gifts (much to the horror of my genealogy buff cousin Andy who viewed it as desecration of valuable historical evidence for family history).

There's a certain pleasure in taking the photos, sharing them, and keeping them around you. You're surrounded by pleasant memories in a more physical sense.

I've bumped into a free software download that uses your photos as collages on your desktop allowing you to select your choice of photos you want to include on your Windows desktop. It's called Photojoy, a very apt name for the application, because that's what you feel as your desktop loads and changes your selection of photographs. There are a variety of desktop styles to download and you can choose what folders you'd like Photojoy to look in with contents to include in your collage. You can also include photostreams from Flickr.

Photojoy advertises:

Wallpaper Collages – The perfect way to relive your favorite moments
3D Screensavers – Make your photos look spectacular
PhotoToy Widgets – Display your photos in fun ways
Professional photos – 1000’s of them
So much fun and so easy to use

And it really is fun and easy to use. I showed it to my assistant Pam who likes to have photos of her loved ones around her and she immediately was entranced by it. Visitors to our office have noticed it and its use seems to be spreading like a virus in the building. So it obviously hits upon something that is an attraction to many. Photojoy is a joy!

Here's a screenshot of my current desktop selection from Photojoy:

Enjoy those digital pictures you've taken by downloading Photojoy and adding them to your desktop environment where they'll give you pleasure each time the display changes.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Wishes

My Christmas Card

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Libraries & Tough Economic Times

Brian Williams had this feature about libraries on the NBC Nightly News. Librarians already know libraries get used more in difficult economic times. It's nice to see the news media pick up on it. But will it stop governments trying to balance budgets from cutting library funding?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hey Santa

I really like the song, but this video just doesn't seem to work with it. But do close your eyes and enjoy the tune.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Snow Wonderful

Create Thumbnails

Thumbizy allows you to create a thumbnail of a web page. You can save it to share or store as a reminder. Just to see how it works, I plugged in my blog address and this is the result of selecing small, full page, no effect:

Besides size and visible page or full page, there's an option to choose a reflect for the image. Text along the top which gives you scrolling directions indicates a new release is coming which will offer more options.

Below is an example of medium, visible page, reflect effect:

The process was very easy to use, took a bit of time to produce the results so be patient (probably my slow internet connection), and was easily saved as an image to share or save for reference. The only things missing on the thumbnails were flash applications which don't show up in any other screen grab apps either. This is a useful tool to add to a blogger's toolbox.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Creative Commons, Culture and Community

Does copyright get in the way of creativity and web2.0 tools?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Another Snowglobe by Chance

Now if this snowglobe creation application would work as it should, that would be fun. However, despite the choice of three pre-made versions and the supposed opportunity to make one with a picture of your choice, the only code produced is for the silly reindeer. I did manage to create one with my picture, but the code is not produced up front so unless you visit my page on the Pyzam site, you could not see it. Another visit to Pyzam after clicking the verification link sent via e-mail and creating a profile (minimal)then creating the snowglobe and clicking get this toy finally saved the toy to my profile. After it is saved, you can go to the my toys section,see the toys you've created (but only the ones made after you set up the profile),and get the code for each toy you've created. I can't tell you how frustrating this process was until I stumbled on it by chance. It was not intuitive for me, anyway. But I finally did have success. This snowglobe has the drifting snow, and you can click on it to shake it like you would a real snowglobe.

Snow Globe Toy & MySpace Layouts at


Remember the fascination of snowglobes when you were a child? I do. My grandmother had one we loved to shake and watch the flakes drift gently down. It always seemed to finish too fast.

I bumped into a web site that allows you to make a snow globe with your own photo so that I'd try it with that favorite picture of my grandson.

Image created at

It's missing the drifting snowflakes, but it brings back the memory of that childhood fascination.

Web 2.0 , Connectivity, and Possibilities

This YouTube video "The Connected Student" has me really exhilarated. Presented in the style of the Common Craft videos, it demonstrates very effectively how Web 2.0 enables connectivity and excitement to be added to education. While this video demonstrates the experience of a high school student, imagine it carried through into lifelong learning! Libraries need to figure out how they can be a part of this.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Where in the World?

This is a test of the use of kwout to see about using it to quote from something found on the web that one might want to share with others. In this case it is the MapLoco data on places my blog has been visited from today. Kind of interesting to see a list; don't know what made me think of using it for the test. But anyway it seemed to work like a charm.

It's simply a bookmarklet you drag to your toolbar. When you click it, it opens,lets you select what you want to quote, and then gives you options for posting or sharing the portion you're interested in:



Thanksgiving Memories

Memories of Thanksgivings past are associated in my mind with aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, and brother gathered around a graciously set dining table and sharing the same menu of holiday dishes each year. Real fine china was used for those dinners, not the disposable "fine china" we sometimes use today to save time on clean up. Following dinner everyone helped to clear the table, wash and dry the dishes, and return them to their assigned place in Gram's pantry.

Then we all gathered in the living room to visit and watch the annual telecast of The Wizard of Oz. Wonderfully scary yet entertaining, both children and adults watched with enjoyment the good witch, the wicked witch, flying monkeys, lessons learned by the wonderful group of pilgrims following the yellow brick road looking for help from the all knowing and powerful Wizard of Oz. And who can forget the satisfaction of the house landing on the wicked witch, allowing Dorothy to gain those magical ruby slippers?

Oh, those ruby slippers! Highly prized by memorabilia collectors, one pair of the original ruby slippers loaned to the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota (birthplace of Judy Garland who played Dorothy in the movie) was stolen in 2005. They have yet to be found although occasional rumors surface that indicate authorities may be close to recovering them. One might wishfully hope that the thief would suffer the same fate as the witch--it would be fitting to have a house fall on the perpetrator.

These thoughts came to mind recently when assistant Pam's sister brought in a quilt she'd made for another sister who's a fan of the film as well. Barb Mayer made the quilt in a really short time as a gift despite an injured shoulder so it really was a labor of love. We had to take some pictures as we all have such wonderful memories of watching the movie with rapt attention as children.

If wishing could make it so, perhaps that house will fall on the thief and the ruby slippers will be returned to their rightful owner.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Exploring 2D barcodes

They're ubiquitous, those little squares with funny markings inside them. I've seen them everywhere and often wondered about them. What are they for? What do they mean? But I've never taken a step further to find out more about them. I recently bumped into their name, 2D barcodes, and finally decided to find out more about them.

They can hold a lot more data than the single numeric barcode we use to identify library books. They're generally read from the center out, rather than the linear right to left of the barcodes used by libraries. They grow in size depending on the amount of data encoded and are based on a square grid.I chose the Aztec code for my example, but there are many others. And I suspect we will be seeing them more and more as the code is well suited for display on cell phones and other mobile devices.

I found a free barcode generator online and just to experiment put in my name, title, organization, city, state and ZIP code. Here's what it looks like along with a plug for the generator's company.

TEC-IT Barcode Software

TEC-IT Barcode Software

Barcode generated by TEC-IT

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Me as the Dewey Decimal System ?

It was just too fortuitous that I bumped into this little quiz which purports to show you as the Dewey Decimal System. Your name is converted to a class in the Dewey Decimal System; That's right... somewhere between 000 (Generalities) and 999 (Extraterrestrial worlds) you have a place, and through the magic of internet this quiz can find it through random arbitrary letter decoding. Plus this gives a chance to mention how wonderful libraries are... don't forget to go read something, yes?

So I just had to take the test and find out where I'd be classified on the shelf by Dewey. The beauty of this quiz is that it gives you three choices and you can take your pick of the one that you like best.

Where do I Dewey? Here's the first result the quiz gave me;

Linda Wadman's Dewey Decimal Section:

864 Spanish essays

Linda Wadman = 29441314314 = 294+413+143+14 = 864

800 Literature

Literature, criticism, analysis of classic writing and mythology.

What it says about you:
You're a global, worldly person who wants to make a big impact with your actions. You have a lot to tell people and you're good at making unique observations about everyday experiences. You can notice and remember details that other people think aren't important.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Or I kind of liked this third selection:

Linda Wadman's Dewey Decimal Section:

638 Insect culture

600 Technology

Health, agriculture, management, public relations, buildings.

What it says about you:
You are creative and inspired to make the world a better place. You can work hard on something when it catches your interest. Your friends have unique interests in common with you.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fire in the Old Downtown Mountain Iron

My husband and I had just come back from grocery shopping and were putting the groceries away when we observed some smoke coming from the young neighbor couple's chimney. At first it looked like the wood fire was being stoked, but it quickly became apparent that it was more likely a chimney fire. After I called 911 to report it, I grabbed my Flip video camera to record the events.

Neighbor AnnMarie, with all too vivid flashbacks of the fire which burned her garage two years ago, was on hand with hugs and some warm gloves for Kate who got out of the house with pretty much only what she was wearing. I can only imagine the shock such devastation has brought to their lives.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

DJ as another puzzle

DJ as another puzzle
Originally uploaded by linda_wadman
I used that favorite picture to turn grandson DJ into another puzzle using Dumpr, an online photo effects application. You don't need to sign in to Dumpr to create your project.

What was really cool about Dumpr what that you could not only easily save your project to disk, you could just as easily save it to your Flickr account. After doing that you could use Flickr to post it to your blog. All this was pretty much seamless except for giving permissions to each application to access your accounts to do so which worked very smoothly. It looks like I will have to edit the blog post to insert the link for Dumpr, because I can't see any way to do it in Flickr's interface, but how cool is that anyway. Great the way these apps can work together.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Make It Special - Book Gifts for Kids

Having loved books myself ever since I can remember, it's often what I turn to when selecting gifts for others. When giving the gift of a book to a child (or anyone else for that matter), you can make it special by adding a personalized bookplate to it.

There's a lovely selection of bookplates of all types and sizes at My Home Library. The bookplates can be used any way you like (except for commercial purposes). There's a lovely and growing selection contributed by well known illustrators of children's books. You're sure to find something suitable to make your gift of a book unique for that special person from among the many sizes and styles, color or black and white.

I found this simple one by Joan Aiken that appealed to me.

Where Kids Can Learn to ' Be'

While I was reading blogs several days ago, I ran into a blog Carrie and Danielle: How to live an inspired life, be true to you, and make a difference in the world where this question was posed: What is your favorite cultural activity that doesn't cost money?

There were lots of answers to this post, but the one I liked best was from Frances who gave this reply:

"It's the Library for me! I can travel the world, explore new science, learn any craft or skill right from our little Town. Any one can jump on the web super highway with access to special data bases paid for by the Library.

The Library is a meeting place; a place of arts/crafts; of meeting authors and it's the first place our kids can learn how to 'be' in our community.

Libraries aren't the stuffy, hear-a-pin-drop kind of places any more. They are vibrant, engaged inclusive places.

They are communal places that are built by and for the community and reflect the community's history and taste."

I love that idea the first place our kids can learn how to 'be' in our community.

That perfectly describes my rural library and many more like it that I know. How does yours measure up?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Best Practices in Fair Use

American University's School of Communications Center for Social Media has made available the full report of The Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education as a PDF download. It is meant to help educators using media literacy concepts and techniques to interpret the copyright doctrine of fair use. This code of best practices was created by convening ten meetings with more than 150 members of leading educational associations, including signatories to this document, and other educators across the United States.

This video has some interesting commentary on copyright law and the rapidly changing technological landscape and what it potentially means to teaching media literacy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Readability Test

blog readability test

TV Reviews

That blog readability test has cropped up again in many of the blogs I follow. Being as curious as the next person, I decided I would plug in my blog address and see how my blog fared as far as readability goes.

I'm not sure if the result is a compliment or an insult as far as my writing goes. If it's a compliment, all the credit goes to Jim Klein, the best high school writing and composition teacher ever. He's even excused for being totally a Green Bay Packers fan in Detroit Lion territory.

Hello Again

It's been several months since I've seen this logo come up on Twitter, their Fail Whale, meaning they are over capacity.

Things had been percolating along quite nicely with no problems for quite some time, but my reading has indicated that tweeting is the new "In" thing, replacing blogging for many. They say blogging has lost the unique, immediate and intimate feel it began with in the early days and that Twitter is being adopted as it seems to have that same unique quality.

I'll have to wait a bit to stop following one app as it is throwing out too many tweets that do nothing for me. Kind of an annoyance, but hopefully I can log on soon to slow down those tweets.

An Impulse Purchase

It gets dark so early these days that we'd been talking about getting some solar lights to light the walk in the yard. My husband was looking at utilitarian lights or lanterns. I saw these "Christmasy" ones at Sam's Club and liked the more decorative look, not to mention they are LED, change colors, and can charge even on cloudy days. Perfect for NE Minnesota where we need all the cheerful light we can get in winter months.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Life Lessons

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mashable's 2nd Open Web Awards

I was so impressed with the Lifesnapz application, both idea and implementation, that I nominated them in the photosharing category of Mashable's 2nd Open Web Awards which runs from November 5- November 16, 2008.

Have you checked out their application? If you have and liked it, feel free to use this widget and submit a vote for them. I want them to be around for a long time.

See my post for my take on their wonderful photo, family,history, sharing application. The hardest part in nominating them was to decide which category to do it in.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Google's Take on Election Day

Those clever folk at Google have a way of recognizing special days by tinkering with their logo.

I love their Election Day version which popped up on me quite suddenly while doing some verification searches for interlibrary loan items.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

DJ Is Sometimes a Puzzle

Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Keeping in Touch

We live in a mobile world. We raise great kids in rural communities and then are forced to see them have to leave to make a living because there are no jobs available to keep them close to home. Older folks in the northern climes seek the sun in winter and travel south and west to more temperate and warmer places, leaving other family behind. With families scattered far and wide, how can they keep in touch and share experiences? Technology has given us some tools like phone and e-mail and now web 2.0 has given us more ways to share our life experiences with those we love.

Today I bumped into a very cool new application Lifesnapz while seeking out projects for our upcoming "More Things on a Stick" that looks to be a winner.

This description is from their web site: "LifeSnapz is a free, easy and secure way for people to record and organize important events, milestones and memories in their lives.

Users of LifeSnapz, can contribute text, photos, and video to describe these events, share them with self-designated groups (like family members, colleagues, schoolmates or youth sports teams) and explore these events using dynamic timelines, maps, and lists.

Our vision is a site where users and groups can keep their memories alive and vibrant so that they can be relived for many years thereafter."

Once signed up, the site itself was easy to navigate, very intuitive for users. You can create a group, then create an event, upload pictures and/or videos, and caption and tag them. Inviting others to join you and giving them either full or view only rights was simple as well. There is a discussion and comments feature. You can list those present at the event by name and they are listed on the page. Photos can be uploaded or imported from your computer, Flickr, Picasa, or Youtube.

Multiple events can then form a visual timeline for you. You can map the location of the events as well with the integrated Google map feature. You can sign up for e-mail notices of updates to your groups and events too. Privacy settings allow you to share only what you want with those you trust.

Simple, but oh so cool. It took me less than fifteen minutes to get started with my first group and event and invite family members to join. I had planned to start a family blog to help us all stay in touch, but LifeSnapz seems like it would be much easier for non-techies to use.

Of course, it's not the same as being together in person, but at least we'll be able to keep up with how everyone looks and share the events that are important in each other's lives.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Trying out Animoto

Test run to see how it works. Not hard to do, but the selection of tunes is limited. If you're going to use it, it would be good to be prepared with your own music.

Jack O'Lantern

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Now It's Fall, Just the Nicest Time of All

I loved pulling children's books out for special displays, be it seasonal, holiday or just because. The tiny Lois Lenski book Now It's Fall was always tucked far back on the deep shelf with larger books, out of sight. When it was put out on seasonal display, tiny hands quickly plucked it up to take it home and have it read aloud, short snippets of fall activities in equally short rhyme, snapshots in time of the season.

In looking for More 23Things I found a Web2.0 application which could be used to make your own little storybook, Showbeyond. According to their web site Showbeyond is a multimedia slidecast creator, online publishing platform, and story sharing community. With Showbeyond you can easily grab your images, and then add your sound and text to create your stories. You can then share your story with the world, or just a few chosen friends. It would be a great tool to use with a class of any age.

I found one shared story which reminded me of the spirit of fall held in Lois Lenski's lovely little book. The title is Autumn Leaves posted by Aseret41 on September 29, 2008. It would make a lovely picture book to share with little ones, and would be great in a story time.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Superior Reading

It seems like I have been reading Nevada Barr's Winter Study for a long time now. This is the second book she's set in Isle Royal National Park. I picked it up because it incorporates information about Rolf Peterson's ongoing study of the wolves on the island and as a Yooper, I've read many newspaper accounts of the wolf study in the Houghton Daily Mining Gazette over the years. While the book is as good a story as her others, I guess I'm not really wanting to be reminded of the winter conditions at the end of summer. It's all too soon that the landscape will resemble frozen tundra and we'll all be exhausted just getting bundled up in our winter wear before we can head outside. I have strong recollections of reading another of her books during an outbreak of temperatures ranging down to forty below zero. Her all to vivid descriptions of spelunking in narrow passageways below ground gripped me with a panicky claustrophobia. The tiny house where we stay in Minnesota suddenly seemed the size of a matchbox and I needed space and air. I don't recommend standing outdoors in pj's and robe at midnight when it's forty below..but I had to gulp in huge breaths of fresh cold air and not feel so confined. Now that's GOOD writing!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Labor Day 2008 in Ontonagon

The 51st annual Labor Day celebration in Ontonagon will not soon be forgotten. Early Sunday morning a fire of yet undetermined origin broke out taking with it almost an entire block of buildings. Strong south winds carried embers across the street, gutting another business, and damaging several others. The embers carried for blocks, raining down on tinder dry grass in yards of homes east of the river from River Street back as far as Amygdaloid Street. (It brought back to me disquieting memories of the blaze which burned the Elk Hotel in the sixties where the old jail in which we resided two blocks from that fire was cascaded with large chunks of pine embers still blazing as they landed on the roof.)

In a strange twist of fate, author Henry Kisor had only several days earlier taken some striking photographs of the block which burned, showing the false fronts of the buildings, popular when they were built. You can view the before the fire pictures on one of his blogs, The Whodunit Photographer. His other blog, The Reluctant Blogger, has some wonderful photos and commentary on the aftermath of the fire.

My father tells me that Joan Volek Gersten, coloratura soprano, lived upstairs in the pink building on the left growing up. My great-grandfather, Ira Dowd, had his shop in the Connie's Place building (ice cream shop), and Uncle Walter Scott's barbershop was next door (video store) according to local genealogist (and cousin) Andy Lockhart.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My Virtual Greenhouse

Perhaps it's the thought of the recent frost warning and impending Minnesota winter that made this little web application seem attractive. After enjoying the green and growing things this summer, the thought of the drab, long winter without color seems too much to bear; so I signed up for a virtual greenhouse where I'll be notified of new bouquets and when to water the flowers in my greenhouse. I can also send bouquets. And the embed code is supplied for blogs or web pages. I put the fresh flowers delivered daily code in my blog sidebar just to see what happens. You don't have to register for that particular feature.

This should be a little glimpse of hope during the long winter that's coming early by all signs from Mother Nature.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Do You Think You Know Web2.0?

Do you think you know web 2.0?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pam has The Book of Answers!

NCLC's administrative assistant, Pam, checks out The Book of Answers by Carol Bolt, borrowed from Jennifer, to find the answer to any question.

The idea was such fun that I thought I'd blog about it and in the process found the Original Book of Answers website where you can find out the answers to your burning questions too.

The book or any of its successors would make a fun gift for any hard to buy for person or any librarian you know. (We all know librarians know where to find all the answers.)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

23 Things on a Stick Postcard Cat

With about one month left of Round 2 of 23 Things on a Stick, NCLC had 30 signed up for this round. Seven of those 30 have either finished the 23 things, or consider that they have completed the 23 things.

Those completing all 23 to date are: Dolce Libro, Inkdrinker, Laura's 23 Things on a Stick, Library Landing,
Sarahs23StickThings, and The German Experience. Rangegurl53 considers herself done; you'll have to read the blog and see what you think. Did she do the 23 Things or not? You be the judge and let me know what you think.

Quite a few others are about at the halfway mark, so I hope they are motivated to complete the program. The average completion rate has been about one-third. Perhaps this group will be above average at the rate they are going so far. It's been fun and educational to read all the blogs.

Congratulations to those who have completed the 23 Things on a Stick so far. I like the one word summary expressed by Dolce Libro on the experience: Empowerment.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Finally ALA on the Image Generation Bandwagon

As I've been playing with easy to use image generators online, not to mention free, the thought had often crossed my mind that ALA was missing out on a great opportunity by only offering their READ cd for sale. Since it also required some expensive Photoshop software to create the READ posters in addition to the READ cd , which was not inexpensive itself, the average librarian, operating on a shoestring library budget, would have to think twice about making a major investment for PR.

Imagine my surprise when I came back from vacation to find that they had finally hopped on the bandwagon and placed the ability to generate READ mini-posters online.

If you'd like to try it out for yourself, you can do it here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer Sipping

The Minnesota multitype directors met earlier this week in St. Paul. Several of us met the evening before the quarterly meeting for dinner and conversation at the Big Bowl in the Rosedale mall. We enjoyed some great food as well as some very good homemade ginger ale. The last time we met there, I enjoyed the ginger ale (even though it wasn't Vernor's) so much that I went home and looked for a recipe to make it myself. I told the group about it this week and they expressed interest in having the recipe shared with them since it turned out to be so simple.

So here it is:

Simple Syrup for Ginger Ale

3/4 cup sliced ginger (no need to peel it)
2 cups sugar
1 cup water

Sparkling water and ice to taste
Lemon or lime for garnish

Combine the ginger, water, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to
a boil over moderate heat. Lower the heat, simmer for 10 minutes,
then let cool to room temperature. Strain and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. To serve, put ginger syrup to taste (about 2 Tbs
per serving) in a glass and add sparkling water and ice. Garnish
with lemon or lime slices. Makes about 16 servings.

I've absentmindedly reversed the sugar and water measurements and that turned out fine as well, so if you wanted to decrease the amount of sugar in your homemade drink you could use 1 cup of sugar to 2 cups of water; it isn't quite as syrupy, but it still makes an excellent sipping drink even if it isn't Vernor's.

If you don't know what Vernor's is, you didn't grow up in Michigan. I even found a photo on Flickr.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Playing with Images Again

Inspired by JD's blog where she cartoonized some beautiful roses, I decided to try cartoonizing Miss Kitty and another photo to see how they might turn out. Miss Kitty isn't really easy to see, but the teapot photo showed more of the result. These two were done quickly, but I'll have to keep this app in mind and experiment more to see what it can do with other photos.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Get with the 2.0 Program, Any 2.0 program...

School Library Journal is jumping on the 2.0 bandwagon with a program beginning on July 21, 2008. Their program, titled "All Together Now: A 2.0 Learning Experience," is bringing in a big gun (Michael Stephens) to guide the experience. So if you've resisted joining either of the 23 Things on a Stick opportunities, here's another chance to try some of those 2.0 applications as part of a group. More information will be forthcoming on the School Library Journal website.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Celebrate Independence Day - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more Fireworks, parades, picnics, barbecues..however you choose to celebrate it's all about the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

This is my life!

Just bumped into a nifty app, Wordle, which creates a cloud based on text you put into it. Just for grins I put in my username and got the result below. How does this thing know that this is MY LIFE most recently?

Or here's a link to it in the Wordle Gallery.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm Feeling Stifled

I thought I would be able to at least use Google Reader and look at my RSS feeds and keep up with possibilities for a New 23 Things program the multitypes are developing for this fall/winter. Well, I can look at my RSS feeds all right, but anything that is a Web2.0 application is completely blocked by the hospital filtering process. Every one of the things that I wanted to look at has brought up this nasty, intimidating message: You Are in Violation of Hospital Policy

and/or other network access agreements.

Read the policy below very carefully.

NOTE: This Site is being blocked by content filtering software according to standards set by Hospital Administration. A third-party vendor maintains this database. MGH makes no claim on it's validity.

Apparently, if you chose to interact with a screen and use some brain power, instead of sitting passively with your hands in your lap and your brain disengaged, you must be doing something wrong.

I now so do understand the frustrations of the many school media center employees who are similarly crippled by filtering policies that are not well thought out and who were unable to do so many of the first 23 Things on a Stick.

At least in libraries, you can ask to have the filter turned off if you are an adult. I see no easy way to do this with the hospital connection. It' s quite frightening, if you think about it, to have some outside entity have that much control over what you are allowed to see or not.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Censorship Rears Its Ugly Head

Because of the illness of a family member, I am currently in Marquette, Michigan spending my days first in ICU, then Intermediate Care/Cardiac, and now the Medical unit of MGH. Thought I'd be able to use my laptop to keep up with work and in touch with the library community with whom I work. However, despite the availability of wireless connections anywhere in the hospital (GOOD!) I have found that many of the avenues that I use to keep in touch are blocked by their filters (BAD!) I am not able to load my Google Home Page completely because Facebook is verboten; same for Twitter. I brought the laptop up for my dad to check his e-mail now that he is able to, and he was unable to access a joke sent by a friend. That also was a n0-no. I guess I was lucky that I can log onto Blogger and post this message. Access to technology-Great! Ability to get where you want to go-we've still got a long way to go! Crippled by censorship! Not allowed to listen to podcasts from Fox News either when I tried that as Dad wanted to listen to Chris Wallace's program.

If any of my NCLC bloggers happen to read this post, I have not been able to read your blogs for a week. Sitting and waiting for doctors and test results is just wearying. I hope to get back to reading your blogs soon. Thanks to Ann Walker Smalley for responding to one of my bloggers for assistance with editing Zoho docs when I was not able to do so right away.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Image Play - Embossing Revisited

I revisited the Sporkforge embossment generator after looking for a RGB values chart to get some color values I liked better than the brown toned parchment that was the default there. The results are above.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In Appreciation

The NCLC Governing Board met today for its final meeting of the fiscal year. Board members attending their final meeting were Marge McPeak, Carol Hauck and Brad Snelling. We're sorry to lose them and want them to know we appreciate their capable service.

Rear: MaryBeth Kafut, Carol Hauck, Sandy Johnson, Cindy Miller, Marge McPeak, Brad Snelling.

Front: Virgil Schuck, Lucina Phillips, Leonard Sobanja

In honor of the occasion we ordered a cake "In Appreciation". Who knew it was spelled "T-H-A-N-K-Y-O-U"?

Monday, May 26, 2008

In Memoriam

Memorial Day, a holiday to honor all those who served in the military, and are serving now. We honor all who have served our country both in war and in peace. We think of those who are currently serving in harm's way to keep us safe.

This is the first Memorial Day since 1999 that I have not listened to the Memorial Day radio broadcast that has been re-broadcast annually since 1999 to honor veterans of the Vietnam War as I return to work in Minnesota. The broadcast, LZ Reflections, has reflections of veterans' experiences and names those soldiers from Upper Michigan and Northern Wisconsin who lost their lives and are listed on The Wall. Each time I listen to it, it still brings me to tears. All the promise of those young lives lost, remembering them on Memorial Day just doesn't seem enough. They should have had more time, more life. My son's best friend should have been able to know the uncle he was named for.

Since I'm not traveling this holiday weekend, I thought I'd see what I could find online. And it was there - LZ Reflections. Listen.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Image Play - Embossing

I took a poster made in Flickr Toys in Thing 8 and used another free application to create the image above. I want to go back and change the color, but that will wait for another day. The sun's out and it's time to get outside after a very long winter and cold spring. Today one might believe that summer will actually arrive and I intend to get out and enjoy the sun while it's still shining.

Round 2 Begins

By popular demand, Minnesota's multitype regions are running a second round of the 23 Things on a Stick program. Registration for the second round began on May 15 and ends on June 15. Those who completed the first round felt a real sense of accomplishment on completion.

For those who are just beginning their 23 Things on a Stick journey:

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Learning, Education, Government Disconnect

Learning To Change. Video by Pearson's for CoSN for use in public advocacy.
There's a lot to think about here. What are we doing?

I saw this right after I read a CNET article about a congressman who wants to ban Second Life in schools and libraries.

All these great tools to make learning exciting, fun, relevant to a student's modern life and learning skills and they don't want us to use them? What's wrong with this picture?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

In honor of Mother's Day, wishing my very special Mom a happy day!

Friday, May 9, 2008

More Image Play With My Favorite Photograph

(Click on the picture for a better, bigger view of the textorize effect in the photo.)

I bumped into an application called Textorize while looking for more "things" for the more 23 things project being planned by the multitype directors. It looked intriguing (reminded me of a graphics project we had to do in a business class in high school that involved a lot of counting and typewriters) and I thought I wanted to try it out. Textorizer is a tool that transforms a picture into another picture made up of chosen words.

There are actually two versions of Textorize. I used the web version of Textorize II to create this effect of a favorite picture of my grandson reading. I got the image link (the second box with the url from Flickr when you look at the photo and select size) from my Flickr photostream. I pasted that url into the appropriate box in Textorize II, and added the text I wanted used: DJ reading picturebook fun Flotsam by David Wiesner. I adjusted one setting (how many lines of text to use) to increase it, and hit the button at the bottom of the page. Shortly afterwards the image you see, but larger and in a svg format appeared on my Firefox browser screen. The tricky part was trying to grab the image, save it in an image format usable for my blog, and sharable. I spent way too much time last night fiddling around with that, and not very successfully. However, I finally found that I could print the image in a large size and did so. Then I scanned it to a jpg file and saved it that way, then resized it. I know, cheating, but I just couldn't get the screen capture add on to Firefox to work for me, wasn't satisfied with printscreen in Windows. I'll go back to it later to resolve at another time when the frustration has faded. In the meantime I have yet another version of the photo that warms my heart every time that I see it, this time composed of letters and words, rather appropriate for a photograph of a child reading.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Radio Waves

While reading blogs for the 23 things program, I noticed that several of our bloggers had added a badge to their blogs for last. fm. Toward the end of the project, with many bloggers cramming to make the deadline, I had a lot of reading to do. I thought music might make the task more enjoyable so spent a little time investigating last. fm. Much as I didn't want another login and password, I wanted some music other than top 40 so I broke down and signed up, downloading the small application necessary, after a preliminary test.

What a treat! I heard some music on TV that I was in the mood to listen to, plugged in the artist on last. fm after setting up my account and had several hours of enjoyable oldies beginning with the Righteous Brothers and had nothing hit a sour note all night. I told Pam about it the next day and we both enjoyed the background music as we worked that day. She added herself to their network and downloaded a quilt badge of her favorite group. Since I have eclectic taste, I opted for a badge that showed my listening list.

Since that time I've plugged in different artists depending on what I feel like listening to and haven't been disappointed. The only disconcerting music is Christmas tunes that are occasionally in the mix when it's nowhere near Christmas...even so, good tunes.

Being able to listen to a mix of music based on your listening habits, personal to your taste, is a real joy. There are many other facets to this musical social networking site, but I haven't really spent much time exploring that. I've just been enjoyed being able to choose the tunes I want on demand, sometimes old rock and roll, sometimes blues, sometimes jazz.

Learn about scrobbling. Scrobble songs you listen to on your computer or iPod automatically. Start scrobbling yourself, and see what artists you really listen to the most. Songs you listen to will also appear on your profile page for others to see. This scrobbling helps last fm organize and recommend music to you. You can also see what other people are listening to and find friends. Tune in, it's great!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

It's Spring and the Birds Are Twittering

The birds are twittering in the morning and it is such a lovely sound after the long winter when all we heard was the lonely whistle or deafening roar of the north wind. Not only are the birds twittering, but so am I. I just didn't really get what Twitter was all about so I decided it might help if I tried it myself. I signed up and invited some folks to join me. Two of them did, and I found another 23 things participant who was twittering as well. It's a challenge to say what you're doing now in 140 characters or less, so it has some of the challenge of a puzzle. ( I love puzzles.) I added my Twitter updates to my blog using their widget which was pretty plain. In the course of reading my RSS feeds I stumbled upon another widget which added a cute little bluebird to the Twitter updates.

Twitter is kind of a good way to touch base with those you don't see often. It gives you a reassurance that all is well in the world with them even though they are far away. And it's also a good quick way to keep in touch with those who have the same interests as you do and get to know them too. It's a habit to be cultivated as far as I am concerned.

I really couldn't see any use for Twitter in a library setting, until I stumbled across a blog post mentioning the use of Twitter in the Luria Library. So I clicked on the link there, looked at the tweets from Luria Library and it just clicked. It all made sense--an easy, quick, short way to keep their users informed of library alerts and events. I was so excited I just had to share it with someone else and another Twitter library person would probably the only one who might be as excited as I was with the revelation. So I sent a direct message to the writer of CKG's Blog, who in turn shared it with the writer of 23 Things by Chris. Quicker than you can say "Hibbing Public Library" they were using Twitter to announce events and alerts to keep their patrons informed.

If you'd like to see their tweets, you can look here.

It's also been added to their blog; check the right hand column for Twitter Updates.

Now I get it! Tweet tweet!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Image Generation Possibilities

The same photo as a sketch, charcoal sketch with slight color, and charcoal sketch with more color as generated by the image generation utilities.