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!