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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

ImageChef.com

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 pYzam.com


Snowglobes

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 GlassGiant.com

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:


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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