Thing 14 (and a brief PLA recap)


A few words about PLA. Exhilirating. Exciting. Exhausting. I can't believe the high feeling of learning and meeting people from all over the world, to the completely whipped feeling I had each night I came home from the conference (or from my 2nd job right after the conference). It's Sunday night and I had a 9 mile run this morning and am still just fatigued beyond words. That said the conference was completely amazing, and the decision to close the festivities with Paula Poundstone was awesome! I have loved her Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me! appearances (ahem, she was on this week, and yes, the Podcast is a free download. Just do it.), and have actually loved her since my high school days.....she was completely hilarious, esp with a room full of librarians, and she played off the crowd in amazing ways :) Oh, and Paula has 9, NINE, cats. And my good friend Heidi just emailed this to me. For all you cat folks out there.... CLICK HERE. (Thanks YouTube). So thanks PLA. You kicked my butt, but in the best of ways...and I'm very much hoping to try new things, and experiment with what I've learned at work very soon....

LibraryThing is fun to play with, easy to use, and can be super useful to libraries, if those libraries allow their staff to use blogs and other 2.0 things on their website. I'm not trying to get fired, or reprimanded by my higher powers that be, but at press time , we the staff, are not allowed access (ie posting or linking via our website ) to such things in our system. Very sad. (fwiw, of course I understand the want to keep all of the library website safe & secure). The good news is I keep hearing we're getting closer to being able to link such useful resources to our library's website. I strongly believe patrons would really enjoy & benefit being able to tap into the library web site, and look up what the children's librarians are reading and recommending in terms of new titles, topics (ie potty training or going to the dentist), or popular themes that are constantly asked for (trains, dinosaurs, princess books, etc). Right now we share booklists by paper only. The standard 12 or 13 colors (brights, pastels, etc) for parents to select from via a brand new display on the wall in the kids room in our branch. The display and the handouts are both very nice. However, I still want access, like the rest of the world it seems, esp when it comes to library websites full of blogs & other 2.0 hotties, to putting these lists online somehow. LibraryThing would definitely be a great, and current, addition to the paper handouts...I will do my best to wait patiently......(man it's hard though, esp coming off of PLA).


So, I've added some titles to my bookshelf, some of my recent favorites, some of my old favs, and I hope to play around with this more as time goes on (in terms of adding my humble reviews to what I'm reading or have read). Both adult and children's books are on my list, at the moment, in completely random order. I'll do "the librarian thing" and organize them super soon....so happy week and, like a Finish line, I hope to get at least 3-5 Things done this week since the deadline of completion is fast approaching, and I *am* starting to feel like this is a race......~jd

time for some more favs...




*good* cooking, quality food, local businesses = happy me. I love supporting the little guy. And I've grown to love Top Chef based on it being a) addicting reality TV, b) my working in a small upscale restaurant for almost 5 years, and c) learning a ton about food and how that plays into TV shows such as Top Chef. I've worked with many chefs, and it's amazing the passion that this field of work has. And it's *tough*. Try going into a job where you are expected to please every single person every day with every thing you make and serve. I also give much credit to my hubby for introducing me to an entire world of food, both upscale and completely mac and cheese-downscale, since meeting him 11 years ago. folks seem to think all we do is eat shi-shi hoity toity stuff all the time. SOOO not the truth. Come scope our cabinets and fridge. the farthest thing from hoity toity let me tell you.

*Izzy's Ice Cream. DA BOMB. If you live anywhere in St Paul, you must go. MUST. I ran an 8K race 2 weeks ago. First stop after the race? Thought about Jamba Juice. Then meandered to Izzy's for a pint of homemade goodness (Mexican Chocolate Fiesta baby! Ole!) for that week. I can NOT recommend this place enough. And for you Foodies, Bobby Flay took on one of the Izzy's owners about 2 years ago in a Throwdown! No lie.

*Ursula's. My 2nd job. Sadly I think I will always have a 2nd job. I have for almost 17 years. But this place has taught me much about food and wine, and I have come to know and love many of my regular customers. So for those that think White Bear Lake is sooooooo far away, pishaw. It's not. It's about 20 minutes from St Paul, 30 from Mpls. Come see me and eat some great food. And of course drink some good wine. On the budget, or if you've won Powerball, we do have a reserve list with bottles that number in the $300 price range. :) Me? I'm a solid $30 or less a bottle girl ;) I *am* a county employee after all. Don't get me wrong. I love my job. But I'm by no means wealthy....hence the 2 jobs. and I have gotten to work with one of the most amazing people on the planet for 5 years now...the one and only Sara Jones...this girl can paint, has a rock solid work ethic, & can find the fun in life like almost no other. Oh, and she's married to a bonified chef at a very well known spot in the Cities...

So support those little local businesses and keep them busy :) Need more info? Click the icons above, folks. I'm here to help spread the word...~jd


Thing 13. online productivity....irony to me...

considering i'm feeling very underproductive about the 23 things lately. okay, diving in now.....all focused with a goal to finish 13 & 14 by tomorrow...

chapter one: webpages and widgets~ my dh at home has his own webpage as our start page, therefore, I'm not really seeing that I need one of my own. They were fun to play aroud with however. iGoogle was easy to use, as are most of the Google-Land products. But I felt that PageFlakes was just a bit more organized and more to my style of page layout. I really never have been much of a fan of Yahoo! Not for any really valid 'bad' reasons, just that I am a Gmail girl, I have almost always preferred Google products and Yahoo! (at least back in the day) was full of spam and advertising, neither of which are my cups of tea. So after playing around with this part of 13, if i was to have a web page of my own, I've found a few sites worth bookmarking for later..


the widget part of this thing took me *eons*. sad but true. the one recommended through the fine 23 Things folk wouldn't work. no idea what I was doing wrong, but it wouldn't count down. So I went with a good ol' Google search and found this site...ps i apologize for the spelling error in buongiorno. it's not super simple to edit at this point :( But now I know exactly how long until I jet off to Italy with my dh and his singing posse in June ~ And seeing as Lake Como in St Paul is about a mile from my house, I felt it worthy to post the other, bigger, grander Lake Como on my counter.....oh, and thanks, LibraryGuy, for helping me navigate that whole HTML thing. good to know for future posts....you're a stellar teacher...

chapter two of Thing 13: Calendars~ okay here's where i'm going to sound rather aged. I really really *really* like my paper calendar. (for work *and* play bookings/meetings/events) the one that i tote around with no problem. the one that is this whole planner thing that weighs a solid few pounds. the one that if i want to leave it at home and go away for four days, i can and i don't care that i can't access it from some remote location on my cell or on my laptop (both of which are at home as well i might add if i leave town; I mean for real....WHY do some folks just feel the absolute need to bring work with them on holiday?? if i'm trying to enjoy the quiet of a great little coffee shop in a small town, the last thing I need is some yahoo in his best Ralph Lauren vacation wear yakking away about how impt this meeting is he's missing while he's out of town >:-( The world is NOT all about you dude! You're polluting my solace!) whoops! sorry for the soap box moment....


Did i do this part of Thing 13? well, sort of. I did monkey around with Google Calendar, Scrybe, iCal (which is on my Macbook at home) and 30 Boxes. All four worked similarly. As with many other comparitive studies I've done for these Things. Google was grand. Scrybe was okay. iCal is something I would only access from home, and 30 Boxes had a nice clean layout that was appealing.

As with other Things, I really am tired of signing up for free accounts, that at this juncture, I'm just not going to use all that much. And as stated, I really am not wanting to give up the paper calendar yet, so while it was educational to play around with different calendar tools, I prefer my colored pens and big clunky wonderfully archaic sprial planner in front of me. I should admit at this point that 2 years ago I basically asked for a Palm organizer for Christmas from dh. Who was wonderfully nice and did get me one. the Palm rode around with me for about 6 months, I sort of used it now and again, but still pined for my paper calender. Remember Trapper Keepers? I think I just got really sucked in to having a planner all the time as a student. And that carried over somehow to my grown up years. So do I think the calendar tools would be handy in the library field of work? yes, if all staff had access to the same one. yes, if you really don't like paper calendars. will i use one anytime soon? doubtful.

Next, this whole notion of to-do lists, including Backpack. Again, post-it notes were invented here in St Paul at 3M years ago and for good reason. They work. They don't need plugging in. I don't need to be logged on to anything, and my inexperience with having something like and iPhone or a Blackberry or any other techno-toy to keep track of my life on that lights up and sings and does all other amazing things is showing more and more as I type up this Thing. I *did* try Backpack for a little while, and it seems like a really quality product. Yet another thing to tuck into some small crevice of my brain in case I want to ever go back to it to try out for more than a little while. I will admit I use the Post-Its on our Mac often (a built in software option that yes, is handy).

So off into the wild blue yonder I go with my paper calendar, that doesn't need plugging in or turning on, my colored fine point Sharpies and my post it notes full of things I need to do in the coming days ~ jd



they're coming....

all 10,000+ of them...librarians. i know! can you stand it?!?! this is the most recent quick Google attendance stat I could find that would back up my ref skills on just how many librarian-folk are going to infiltrate downtown Minneapolis for the week....quote from a 2006 libraryjournal.com article: "The Public Library Association's (PLA) smash 11th National Conference drew 11,029 attendees to Boston—the largest group ever for an American Library Association (ALA) division meeting, and a 27 percent jump from the 2004 PLA meeting in Seattle, which drew 8,691 people." I think this is going to be a very eye opening experience. I'm really interested in the topics to be discussed, the vendors (who have been inundating every mail source available to me, whether it be electronic or paper junk mail, at home or at work), the wine & cheese 'welcome to my booth' parties and the general population of who comes ...

i have to say, i wish i could just crash in a hotel for 3 nights to prevent the drive and be able to have a close-by homebase to drop stuff at, veg out during lunch hours, and be able to hang out longer for those enjoyable cocktail hours, but such is life. I think it's going to be an awesome, but somewhat exhausting, week. I expect to learn a ton, network with folks locally and nationally, and i would love to score a PLA hoodie :) (which i'm sure doesn't exist) I'd wear it proud. I'm not ashamed of my career choice. Ribbing or no ribbing from my friends.....i believe in what i do. and i hope that shows....~jd

thing 12.....social & media just don't mix...

hmmmm, well here's my two cents after reading the prompts for Thing 12.

I like being social. I like my news. I do not necessarily like them both together. Oh sure, it leads to interesting discussions 'around the water cooler' as the saying goes...and yes, I agree with the point in the 23 Things site that librarians need to be in the know, and that patrons will read things online, become curious and come to the desk asking about such-n-such. Fine and dandy. That's what Google is for. My view is that I don't need to be signed up for RSS or site feeds on social media news sites to know or find such things. And what I read is pretty specific to certain sites. Local & national news. What I want to read in news may not be what others want to read, and the way I scope out my personal amt of news is a system I rather like....I'm not usually one of those 'I don't like change' people, but when it comes to Internet news & social sites, I'm happy with my way. I will say that the de.licio.us site is something I've grown to like and use from Thing 11 related to Thing 12...

Out of the 4 sites recommended to look at, I liked Newsvine best. I preferred the layout looking more 'newsy' like a CNN or a Star Tribune site with photos. Not just link after link after link...blech. boring. I think these can be helpful for the right people. I'm just not convinced I'm one of them. And imho, I think they can be productivity detractors as there's quite a few of them, and even if a person worked with just one, it's easy to get sucked into headline after headline after link after link and then, *poof* 30 minutes of non-productivity have gone by (whether at home or at work).


So onto Lucky Thing 13 on this snowy gray cold St Patty's Day ~ See my post from Wed Mar 12th about snowfall in March if you missed it ;) and all I can say today is thankfully my race was *yesterday*...

nothing like a smokin' adrenaline rush....


first race of the season today! The Human Race on Summit......8K (5 miles). Gorgeous perfect running day.....little wind, warm sun, lots of runners, crazy St Patrick's Day themed wear and hats abound.  And shaved some good minutes off of last year's results....sweet~

I had my first really strong finish where I didn't feel like lead feet at the end as I crossed that finish line. Saw Coach and teammates cheering Claudia and I on as we came to the end, and it felt amazing to just finish really well (okay and yes, admittedly, the downhill on Summit was very nice too!).....makes me look forward to the upcoming challenges in Fargo and Duluth for half marathons and how rockin' that is going to hopefully feel~ And finishing strong makes me feel like the running all winter long and the cold lonely treks to the gym with mindnumbingly endless miles on the 'dreadmill' made it pretty worth it. For you non-runners, I realize most folks think runners are just crazy. "Who's chasing you?" is probably the most common sarcastic question asked. But until you've *become* a runner, (and yes, it's work, and no, it's not always fun), you just don't know. So like anything else in life, to each their own, and don't knock it til you've tried it (and in running, tried it means giving it at least 3-6 months. for real.) The feelings of what your body *can* do and the accomplishments later are like a high I've never felt.  And the health benefits on both the body & mind are not bad either....imho.....

I can not thank my absolutely amazing teammates and coaches enough for all they've taught me in the past 6 months ~ So to Ruth, Val, Duana, Kim, Claudia, and all of the rest of my team, you all rock and mean the world to this runner and friend.....I look forward to the coming months, road trips, and finish lines with each of you, one race at a time.....and to my long time friend who might stop by this blog, thanks for your support and advice from across the miles. you are a part of this journey as well....rock the Shuffle!!   I so know you will.......~jd

a little work a little play...




enough work...i'll get to Thing 12 later in the week...
it's spring break around our area, so this means a few things.

*busier library business this week, and the next 3, due to 'rolling' spring breaks over varying districts and the fact that we are the busiest library in the state...

*the warmest day since Nov 14th yesterday.  49 and sunny.  today about 42 and cloudy.  but the snow is melting, it seems to be puddle-palooza everywhere, and even if we do get nailed with a 10" snowfall in the coming weeks, it won't last long.  spring really *is* almost here...the birds are singing their spring tunes (they no longer need to conserve valuable energy by keeping their little beaks shut), & the earth is slowing starting its muddy rebirth back to what will be green grass in less than 5 or 6 weeks....to me fall & spring are the two 'quicker' seasons...they just don't seem to last long.  everything melts, and all of a sudden it's 80.  winter and, yes, even summer, seem to be around for a good 3 months.  that i'm okay with :)

*daylight savings time occurred last Saturday night...gotta love being able to have one more hour of daylight that's waxing every day between now and June.  Finishing a run in the evening light is way better than icy darkness.  Esp when one of my training teammates broke her leg on the first run of the season due to ice :(  

*Easter is super early this year.  Which makes all of those adorable little girl fancy dresses just silly since there's no way they'll be warm enough in their Easter best.  Poor kiddos....

 So bring on the lilacs, returning birds, fresh cut grass, the sound/smell of rain showers &  oh yes, baseball season~  Now, absolutely nothing against the Twins....they are my 2nd hometown team... but I am a devout Chicago Cubs fan all the way.  It's in my blood.  Gramps rooted them on all of his 78 years.  My dad worked for WGN for 20 years in helping televise from Wrigley Field almost every home game...and sometime in my lifetime I hope to see what the Boston fans have now seen twice in just a few years.  A World Series with the Cubbies :)  winning hopefully....

Thing 11...del.icio.us tagging....


not exactly the most intriguing things ever but here's my two cents...

tagging.  been there done that.  super easy.  i really didn't feel like going back and retagging every post i've made, so i did the last 3 or 4...I don't think i need to tag in blogland as much as i do in sites like Flickr, where i have many more things to organize. at least so far.

del.icio.us....well, i have a laptop with 2 browsers i prefer.  the one i use the most often wasn't really 'delicious' friendly.  safari worked okay, but honestly, i already have bookmarks in my browsers of my favorite sites, so this really isn't something i'd use on a personal level.... unless i was travelling and checking email quickly from, say, a place where i don't speak the language and hijack an internet terminal quickly in a library  until i get caught and literally apologize profusely in english and broken spanish and hightail it outta there;)  which, yes, did happen in the past year.  but it would work just as slick from, say, my dad's house in Arizona.  all of my favorite links conveniently packaged in one handy little link.

now from work.  well, as was mentioned by a coworker, they kind of frown on us keeping track of our 'favorites' and there's plenty of work to do that's not necessarily related to my favorite things.  and those sites are already kind of ingrained into the URL bars (like B&T, amazon, B&N.com, BWIBooks, etc).  now if i was a prof or worked in a class capacity where i needed to keep track of syllabi, etc, i can totally see how this is super useful for that kind of job...

Wikis or Wookies?? Thing 10...


in our suburban public library system, we do have a reference wiki (which every time i hear that word it takes me a millisecond to realize i didn't just hear 'wookie', as in star wars, and all i picture is Chewbacca for a flash) but honestly, i'm not sure how much it's used. or in my case i guess i just outed myself in that i do not use it. am i allowed to use the old 'there's just not enough time in the day' excuse to do reference work, ordering, selecting, related projects *and* serve the public at the desk?

i can see how wikis can help make communicating and working together on one common project easier by having a central location by which all people work from and give and receive information. as in the camping example in that little video we were asked to watch.... email is already one tool that it's easy to get bogged down or behind in and if there can be one wiki to prevent having to forward, reply and write many original emails for, then i'm for it.

i can totally understand teachers or profs banning the use of wiki information in research reports, with the whole angle of where is the information coming from and is it really credible. this is one more exercise for me to wonder what i'd really think of being a student in this day an age versus the last time I had to turn in any kind of research, which was 7 years ago.

After learning more about wiki's, i hope to use them more as i find them apropos to my work and i can see how they would be great tools in planning a camping trip with four or more friends.....(hint hint ya'll!) and having 7 children's librarians in varying buildings and having projects we all work on at times would make a wiki very handy to have around. or a wookie for that matter....he'd be a great hit at storytime! may the force be with you.....~jd

'um, mom, this is *my* couch....you must share....'


dogs have been called 'man's best friend' for years and years and years.

as most of my friends know, we have two greyhounds.
common myths about them:
* Myth: they need running every day. Reality : i have never seen such a lazy dog breed in my life. think 75 lb cats. for real. in fact our cat Ellie *is* way more active than either of the dogs. and ironically fatter ;) go figure...
* M: they are mean or extrememly shy due to how they are treated at the tracks. R: Not true. again, *amazingly* loyal and they are so very happy to be 'retired'. who doesn't look forward to retirement?? they are not really allowed the opportunities at the tracks to bond with humans, they are just there for sport. hence the big time loyalty they grow into once they are adopted into a home....
*M: They're too skinny and underfed. R: They're naturally built for speed and they *are* fed high protein racing diets at the track that keeps them very slim... our dogs are fed Eukanuba food, along with Quinn's affinity for paper...whether it be newspaper, magazines, paper bags, $20 bills or firestarters. no, those last two are *not* made up. sadly.

that's a few things....now, attached is a news report about a cowboy's dog named Skidboot....god bless Texas ~ (um, trivia of the day, I was born in Houston). This clip proves what so many of us with dogs know. (and those with cats, you are not discounted one bit. you are wholly included as well. The cats got one of the first clips on the blog ;)....animals and humans have a bond like no other. unconditional love they call it. no matter what kind of day or life you have going on, your pet's love for you is the same every day. they don't care if you didn't pick up your clothes. they don't care if you had either a bonus day or horrendous day at work. they want to be fed. they want to be loved. they purr and snuggle with their thanks and affection.....and they reciprocate with absolutely no hesitation. what on earth could be better than that kind of love? which is one reason that I chose to have a tattoo of my grey Cora on my ankle....peace to you all, and scritches to all of your pets...~jd
video

Thing 9....Google reigns supreme..


Thing 9.....collaborative tools. well, as has been mentioned in some of my other posts, I'm a Google fan 98% of the time. (ps this has been in the corner of my brain for a while now. for those who might be offended or annoyed by my lackadaisical use of lowercase letters and lack of capitalization, my deepest apologies....yes, i know when i *should* capitalize words. typing is faster without the shift key very often.....)

okay so Google Docs was easier for me to play with, and after initially thinking Zoho was a decent site, the fact that that Thing wasn't able to display in a format other than slideshow, I was kind of disappointed in it. Sorry Zoho. no hard feelings...but there was one person i wanted to actually give the recipe to in that exercise and it failed. Grrrr.

I went to try and edit the Google docs version of the Declaration of Independance and my Gmail address wasn't valid. "click here to validate this address"....okee dokee.....so here i am expecting immediate gratification with a return email and thinking i'm golden. (as that's usually how things like that work)

but silly me. it's friday night, about 10pm (for those who might surmise i lead an exciting life, LOL) ~ and apparently even the Google folks are out at the bars enjoying a night out while i do oh so exciting library work and enjoy an *actual* night off..... plus I'm starting to read this author's new title and very happy about diving into a book with more than 32 pages and no pictures in it in my hands for the first time in a quite a while~ that said, please don't ask me for at least a few weeks what I thought of it. I'm a slow reader. Really. Kind of embarrassingly so. For a few reasons. and it *is* training season now for running with two half marathons upcoming....plus work, chores and all of those other fun aspects of life...

Google still wins. Zoho, kinda clutzy. Lots going on on the page. and again, yet another think to log into or join in order to work on a "Thing" for this list of homework. And a girl can change her mind from one Thing to another. ;)

guilty pleasures...

i, like anyone, have a few:

*ben & jerry's ice cream (or Izzy's here in st paul if i'm in that area)

*people magazine

*wine

*good coffee

*this link
someday i just might add my own...(not for the easily offended...head's up)

*travel

*and for the work related, checking in requests. yes really. it needs doing anyway and, yes, i *do* have librarian-y things to do (which is why this is kind of my 'saturday' task with my colleagues at the desk)... i love that it helps keep me in the loop and it's hard to resist fresh new ideas to request on my own.

thing 9 to come soon...


Thing 8....recipe included~


Some of my friends and neighbors have been happy to learn that my husband really enjoys baking when he has time (well yes, as have I!) Scones are one of his favorite treats to make and included in Thing 8, through Zoho Show, is a favorite recipe. I'm playing with Zoho to see if there's a better way to display the recipe all at once besides a slide show...

For my 'work' part of this project, I looked at the 3 recommended sites (Thumbstacks, Zoho Show and Slideshare) and found Zoho to be the most 'Google' like and easy site to navigate. I don't have PowerPoint on my MacBook (by choice) and this works pretty much identically. Fairly user friendly (but it crashed more than once on both the Mac and the work PC which = very annoying). That said it was easy to navigate, and pretty basic. For someone who's not familiar with doing a slide-based presentation for work or play, this worked pretty well. Happy baking :) ~jd

zoho link...



for the love of bacon....or green eggs & ham


it's Sunday morning March 2nd, 2008....Which means it is Dr. Seuss's birthday! That genius of a man who rhymed like no other , had a brilliant imagination and has helped teach millions of kids to read. I sincerely hope he remains a classic in kids literature for another 104 years :)

Sunday morning also means coffee, newspaper time, and a good ol breakfast....with bacon. at least in my ideal lil world...i would eat it in a box, i would eat it with a fox, i would eat it here or there, i would eat bacon anywhere.....

which reminded me of this bit that a friend emailed a while back. Jim Gaffigan

time to hit the road for a 7 mile LSD run....training season is here....Things 8-10 are this weeks goals....peace, ~jd

non-sequitur wondering...

why is it fairly common to see ONE shoe on the side of the road? either in a total urban area like the Cities, or in the middle of nowhere on a highway.....who does that??? who throws one shoe out the window or randomly loses a shoe off of their foot? maybe i have mad skills and i actually know how to keep my footwear where it belongs. i have never understood this occurence let alone with some frequency. clearly i notice some really weird things in the world.....

one week til daylight savings time :) woo-hoo! bring on the sun! bring on the warmth! happy march :)

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