Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Why I'm not Reading

I haven't been reading much lately, too much going on. And I have been watching a bit of TV. I am loving Rain Shadow, on the ABC. It's finished now, but maybe it will return. The scenery is beautiful and the story line interesting. It presents country Australia struggling with drought, and the performances are wonderful.

One piece of technology I have come to love is the hard disc video recorder, I can set it to record programs I want to watch, and then watch when I have time. This of course results in more TV watching than I should do.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

#24 I haven't Stopped Learning!

Posted by Picasa
I have very fond memories of visiting the Botanic Gardens with my mother as a child, and then of taking the boys when they were little. So one recent Sunday morning, Grammy & Grandad took Bram. It turns out you aren't allowed to feed the ducks any more, but it is still a lot of fun.
I uploaded these photos into Picasa and then published them directly into my blog from there. It's taken me an hour - but I'm very pleased with myself for doing it!
I often get inspiration from my colleagues - Chellie suggested visiting the swans. Thanks Chellie, we all had a great time.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

More on podcasts

AND I can get podcasts of The Book Show. I love listening to the radio but I often miss out on my favourite show. Now I can just download them, and listen whenever I want to.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

#23 Is This the End?

Well, obviously hopefully not!

I have enjoyed this program. I have found out how some things that I was interested in work (youtube, podcasts), found some very useful things that I didn't know about (, and generally had some fun.

I think I will continue to use Flickr and the image generators,, IGoogle and Bloglines. And let's not forget Library Thang!

I have found that as I have looked into some things, I have been lead down paths towards others. I have found some very interesting blogs (Steve Abraham, James Oppenheim).

Some of my colleagues have found it hard to complete the course. Not everyone has the time or the equipment to do the work at home. I think that I have done more than 90% of the work at home on my own time. I am fortunate that I am able to do that. If I still had children at home, or if I was studying it would be much more difficult. Our lives are already very busy, and it's hard to find the extra time to complete something like this, no matter how interesting and valuable it is.
I have had help, encouragement and inspiration from my colleagues. Maybe we could all get together and swap stories and hints some time!

Photo of the New York Public Library taken by Dr. DeNo.

#21 Podcasts

Again, what fun. I looked through some of these, and then I went to look at two of my favourite radio programs. This American Life and Prairie Home Companion and found that I can download both of these as podcasts. Then (I am reliably informed by my resident computer guru) that I can load them on to my mp3 player and listen to them. There are lots of great radio shows out there, I was aware that I could listen to podcasts (John Faine keeps on telling me), but I didn't know it was actually so easy.


I will certainly book mark the podcast sites, and use them to find information about particular authors. Should come in handy for book talks!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

#22 Downloadable audio books

I am an enthusiastic audio book user, and have been using for some time. I love listening to audio books, I listen when I'm walking sometimes, when I'm doing boring things around the house and when I'm travelling. Having an audio book on the mp3 player is great when you are in that exhausted state about twenty hours after you have left home, and you're still in the airplane and you can't read, and can't sleep and the movie is stupid.

The Lord of the Rings read by Rob Ingles is truly wonderful - I encourage everyone to listen to it.
A year ago when I was still working in the States downloadable audio books were just starting to become available in public libraries. I'm waiting for them to be available here. Maybe something that Gulliver should look at?

More thoughts on ZOHO writer

It's certainly easy to use, and posting is not a problem, adding tags within ZOHO adds the tags to Technorati, which isn't what I was expecting. I have trouble in getting the formatting the way I want it though. I would like all of my blog posts to look the same and I can't quite figure out how to do that.
O, well back to the drawing board!

Monday, November 5, 2007

ZOHO Writer revisited

After looking through some of my colleagues' blogs, particularly Jules the Xmas blog (, I decided to give ZoHo writer another try.
I would like to be able to put some nifty little animations here,
and I'm jumping for joy because I did!
Now can I publish into my blog?

Technorati Tags ,,,

Sunday, November 4, 2007

#20 YouTube

This is fun, it was done in Maine, notice the pine trees? Posting is easy, but a bit restricted. I can't figure out how to add tags.
I could become addicted to YouTube though. Lots of things I haven't looked for yet!

#19 Web 2.0 awards

I've been playing around a little with this list. The fare watcher looked interesting, but not only doesn't deal with fares outside the USA, but doesn't deal with any of the biggest cities in the US. A work in progress. The city guides are all for the USA also, and the one I looked at seemed to be full of reviews put on by college students that listed where to get the cheapest beer (useful information for some I'm sure).

I tried the games site, since I'm somewhat of a computer games junkie, and looked around at Ning (who knew there was a network of gay nudists in Melbourne?)

I will go back to the start page applications, at first glance I quite like Netvibes, since it automatically came up with Australian news, one of the things that I have been thinking about since I started this class is to set up a home page for myself. I have had a My Yahoo page for quite some time, but I want to do something different. I will play with Netvibes a bit more I think.

I did a Google search for Web 2.0 awards and restricted the search to Australia thinking I might find some Australian sites, but no luck so far.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What I'm Reading #2

This week I took a holiday from Perdio Station, I haven't given up on it yet and I will probably finish it, I'm still not sure what I think about it.

Meanwhile I read Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney. I saw it in a Horizon Books in Traverse City (which by the way is a truly wonderful independent book shop, and well worth a visit), and my sister-in-law pointed out it was Australian, and asked if I had heard of it. I hadn't heard of Monica McInerney at all, but made a note of the name so I could look out her books on my return. Well, I DID read it, not my favourite kind of read. Why in books like this (three sisters torn apart by a terrible fight, feisty grandmother, romances, etc, etc) does someone ALWAYS have to get cancer and die in a very elegant and beautiful way? Everyone is very sad, but they get over it in a heart warming fashion and go on with their lives. Maybe I'm a bit jaded and twisted, but I find it all a little light weight and tedious. That being said, she is compared to Maeve Binchy, and I can see why. Enough said, I would certainly recommend her books to others based upon what sort of books they like to read, but not for me.

I also read Friend of the Devil by Peter Robinson. Much more my thing. One of the Alan Banks series, this is a thoughtful and well written police procedural. This being said I don't think it is the best in the series, a bit too much time spend on the lives of the two police officers and a bit too little on the actual crimes. I do enjoy the sense of place in his writing though, a quite different view of the Yorkshire dales than that seen through James Herriot's books!

The book I enjoyed most this week was Beneath the Bleeding by Val McDermid. Another police procedural, featuring Tony Hill and Carol Jordan. Having seen the TV show I always see Robson Green in my mind when I read about Tony Hill, and that's not a bad thing! A good book, a complex investigation that certainly kept me guessing and enough character development to keep the series going along. We do learn a little more about Tony Hill's past life, and find out what has helped to make him the strange person he is. Maybe that's why I like him so much!

ENOUGH! Using Google Docs to create blog posts

Well, I decided that I liked creating posts in Google Docs. However... if you create in Google Docs, you lose the automatic formatting that Blogger applies to the post, and you don't have the possibility to add tags. I need to fool around with for a bit. I think the formatting thing can be overcome, but I'm not sure about the tags.
Grr! Well, I've been fooling around with this long enough to do two loads of laundry and put it out, so I"M DONE!
Maybe I'll go back and try to figure out how to format my Google Docs to keep my posts looking the way I want them to, but NOT today.

#18 On-line Productivity Tools

Google docs. I already use Google calendar to keep track of comings and goings in my house. I've been using it for a couple of months now, and find it helpful. It's great to be able to check it at work when I want to see what's happening.

I tried Zoho also, and created a nifty to-do list (time to make the Christmas pudding and refine the address list for writing Christmas cards). I think I will keep the list up, it's possible that being able to access it quickly from any computer might be helpful. I'll see (ask me after Christmas if I feel more organized!)

While I think that these applications could be useful for people who don't have access to the commercial products, I think that most people who are savvy enough to know about them and use them undoubtedly have Microsoft Office also.

I will keep them in mind if I need to have a document that other people could collaborate on with me (I needed this last week when I was working on homework for the ABS training!)

Posting to my blog from Google Docs is a snap. It's easier to work with images with Google docs, but uploading from a file on my computer doesn't seem to work. Somehow in the process of uploading the .jpg gets removed, and then of course I get a message saying 'the file is not in the correct format'. All of this is somewhat frustrating and time consuming, but then this often happens while exploring new applications. One of things I know about exploring all of these wonderful things is that you have to expect it to be frustrating sometimes, and not everything will work the way you expect it to. AND, you have to expect to spend a little time with it to get it right.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

#17 Playing Around in the sandbox

By now this wiki is somewhat unwieldy. I don't think anyone will be searching for my entry about favourite places to eat in East Brunswick, but just in case you want to know

The Gelo Bar
A Minor Place
The Lomond Hotel

I do intend to play around with a wiki to share with some friends as we plan a trip. It seems that this will be a better way to share information than circular emails.
Posting and editing were easy.

Why I work in a public library

I encourage everyone to read the post 'Thoughts on Customer Service' on Icarus, the Santa Fe Public Library blog. This is so well put, and echoes many of my thoughts.