Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


Out of the Blogging Habit

Buddha on the rocksLife is just chugging along and I’m finding that writing things out just isn’t top on my priority list.  I’m communicating but in different ways, mostly Twitter and Facebook and actual voice and people contact.  Shocking, isn’t it?

Distraction #1 – Football and nephew Rob.  The family is busily sending links back and forth to each other for articles, blog posts, team updates, and even a YouTube video.  Rob is working extraordinarily hard to learn the routes, plays, and patterns that the Eagles use, soaking up as much information he can to earn a place on the regular season roster.   My mom and I have learned tons about football players on a team we’ve never followed, as well as looking at Wikipedia’s diagrams of scrimmage lines to figure out where people actually ARE so we can follow them on screen.

Distraction #2 – I am facilitating a small group working on the Web 2.0 Challenge 2009.  It’s a five-week class organized and presented by the Computing Services Special Interest Section of my national association.  Over 100 people signed up to be participants, with additional facilitators like me + instructors + administrators who did all the course management and set up.  Trust me, it’s a lot of work.

Each week we have two topics to learn about using screencasts, links and examples.  We then discuss what we’ve learned in online chat groups of 7 people, and then there are assignments to be completed.  Facilitators then have 2 days to read and grade assignments and participation, and to add notes for feedback.  Topics have included social networking sites, Twitter, blogs, RSS feeds, social bookmarking, Flickr and now this week, wikis and LibGuides.  My brain is very full.

Distraction #3 – General overload at work with people on vacation just before we run around like crazy people doing last minute ordering for course reserves, and scrambling to meet subscription renewal deadlines for hundreds of titles without hearing from the decision makers because they are on said vacations or getting ready for orientations.

Distraction #4 – My balky left knee that seizes up at the least provocation.

Distraction #5 – Thinking about WLS and wondering what I’ll hear at the group session next week with the surgeons and other surgical candidates.  In the meantime I’ve hit another milestone – I’ve now lost 30 lbs and am almost at my 10% goal.

Distraction #6 – My hair is driving me crazy.  I’m growing it out because it seemed like a good idea at the time, but right now it just looks kind of unkempt.   I need remedial hair help and someone not the hair dresser to tell me how it would work the best.

I really am following your lives via your blogs but mostly through an RSS feed reader (one of the things we had to practice in the Challenge).  It’s convenient but distant since I just read words and don’t see your pages as you created them with images and stuff.  And there are no ways to leave comments.  Hmmmm. I need to rethink the technology 😉


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Learning to Read my Kindle

Kindle E-ReaderMy mom, who is very technosavvy, gave my father a Kindle for Christmas.  For those who haven’t encountered one yet, a Kindle is a wireless reading device developed by Amazon.  They took 3 years to work out the kinks and get just what they wanted, and it’s really slick.  But my dad is not as much of a techie as Mom is, and she got annoyed with it, too, so they ended up giving it to me as an early birthday present.

I am a happy camper, being something of a geekette at heart.  And the Kindle was on my Amazon Wishlist as soon as it was announced, though I never expected anyone who actually give me one.  As a librarian, I’ve been following developments with e-book readers which parallels the famous VHS/BetaMax or BlueRay/HD DVD battles in other technology arenas.

This little Kindle is a winner in my book.  The non-glare screen is clear and easy to read, with adjustable font size, logical navigation buttons, and a tiny little keyboard at the bottom.  There’s also this kind of funky navigation wheel and an option to search for text, add highlights and comments, and look words up in a stored dictionary.

There’s a built in wireless feature that lets the Kindle connect to a network without a computer, special accounts or monthly billing.  Using this wireless connection, the Kindle can download new books (up to 180! – that will last a nice long trip) or access subscription newspapers such as the NY Times or Washington Post.

Right now I have only managed to read the instruction manual.  But hey, it’s a good place to start.  My parents loaded two books, including the very long Pillars of the Earth, and today I downloaded a sample of something else to see how that downloading worked. Fast, very fast.

We’re talking in my work place about a switch from focus on format to focus on content. Really, what matters here is what I’m reading and ultimately I don’t really care if it’s in a book with a cover or an e-book with screen and buttons.  As long as it’s easy to hold and navigate, it sure is a lot more convenient to have one little device hold everything I might want to read for a while all in one place.  I can take it with me on a plane or to the beach, read (and synch) it on the train or sitting in a hotel room, giving me content at my fingertips.

I like it.  The future is charging up in my living room.  Pillars of the Earth awaits.