And She’s Out of the Gate! (Almost)

So I see here that I haven’t posted since 2007.  Typical.  I’m glad I fit right in with those statistics detailing how many people leave their blogs for dead.  This blog was started for a class at the beginning of my Master’s program in library and information science so it’s appropriate that the occasion of my return is a class assignment toward the end.

But, before I get to that, let me just tick off the box labeled “Ongoing Personal Data” and say that I have passed my comps.  After this summer, I have two classes in the fall which finish my program.  I recently read that the graduates of 2009 will have the hardest time finding a job since they started tracking such things.  I choose to believe that they are referring to UNDERgraduates with no experience who live on either coast.  We’ll see if my blatant and willful denial translates into a confident and charming impression on my prospective employers.  🙂

Now on to the reading I did for this week and my thoughts on it.

I read out of Joseph B. Miller’s   Internet Technologies and Information Services.       There were 2 chapters on connections technologies and TCP/IP.  To be honest, I already was familiar with most of this material. 

If I read this before and forgot it .. or whether it was new info – the detail about ISDN being favored because of it’s swift handshake… it seemed new to me.  Interesting tidbit.  And that providers are re-evaluating the option with the large files of streaming media.  Particularly salient to me because I have Netflix and tried to get movies over my Netflix-partnered Blu-ray DVD player.  That’s when I discovered how woefully inadequate my internet speed is.  I will soon upgrade (the sound of Beyonce Knowles strangely fills my head every time I say that word) to the higher speed.  Just as soon as I get that great job with the luxurious salary.  🙂

The mention of WiMax was intriguing.  I hadn’t heard of that before, I’m sure.  It seems so simple I wonder why someone didn’t think of it sooner.  I’m sure that’s completely NOT the case, but I certainly appreciate the potential and will look for further news about it.

I have two things that come to mind about TCP/IP.  One is Star Trek.   You know, the whole beaming thing.  That is honestly how I pictured the process when I was first learning about it.  The visual helped tremendously. 

The second is more exoteric.  As I was thinking about the TCP/IP standard and what it has meant to the development of the interent, I am aware that some people think of the internet like they think of God – sort of a polymorphic mass of basically benevelant energy somewhere ‘up there’.  Witness the ‘cloud computing’ label.  But, actually, the internet is ALL of us.  Your computer and mine – HP’s (somewhat bigger) computer and my grandmother’s.  ARPAnet was the spine at first .. but like some mythical mutant, the internet finally grew so many spines it had no need of one.  In fact… one spine would have crippled the internet. 

 (I have a point – I’m working up to it.)

As a web designer, I know there are many, MANY different machines out there – with many different settings.  Making a web page work for all of them is tough.  Something aided incalculably by the HTTP protocol.  In the same way, TCP/IP allows all these disparate entities to coexist and form something much bigger than any of them.  And so much more powerful.

It’s still hard for me to get my head around something as simple as an agreed-upon standard connecting the world as it has. 

I know this hasn’t addressed the more technical aspects of the text.  But, darn it all, they’re boring.  I’ve heard the details so many times both during this program and before that I honestly would rather talk about the philosophy.  It’s a shame the library program teaches more internet protocols than it does anything else.  But there you are.

Thank goodness for work experience and intellectual curiousity!

I think passing comps fulfills the detail about becoming a librarian in today’s post. 🙂

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Say hello to my Little Kindle!

So.. read the article in the Nov. 26 Newsweek about Amazon and the Kindle.  About six people I know (outside of school) had asked me about it before I even got the issue in my mailbox.  (Yes – I get it in hard copy.)  My family and friends know I’m in Library School and often forward e-mails with all manner of things to do with libraries be it architecture (the new Seattle library is awesome) or the Kindle business.  I particularly liked the NYT article about the new ‘hip’ librarian last summer.  Made me feel especially cool for about a week. heh.

But this was really interesting.  Seems they have incorporated a technology that makes the print VERY clear and easy to read, defeating one traditional problem of e-readers.  And they’ve included all the expected things… hyperlinking, searchible text, the ability to buy a book right on the screen and have it instantly….

Bezos, Amazon’s head man, is said to be a great reader in the article.  His wife as well.  It’s interesting to me that he would be so passionate about creating and perfecting a device that so clearly aims to destroy the book as we know it.  He talks about buying books in the future with the idea that the author could make ongoing changes and immediately download them over time.  Of course, this would be ideal with reference works.  But Dean Koontz?  Robin Cook?  Nope.  Uh-uh.  Count me out.

And I’ll illustrate why.  Recently, J.K. Rowling, in her tour promoting the last of the Harry Potter books, has been spouting some really unfortunate gossip.  She’s been going about telling people at book signing, lectures and the like what happened to characters after the series ended.  She’s also been filling in what I thought of as completely unnecessary details about other characters.  Sure… the first time I finished The Lord of the Rings when I was 11, I wanted the story to have gone on for 20 more volumes.  But, it didn’t.  There was only The Simarillion… or however you spell it.  And so I was left to imagine…. well.. full stop.  Left to imagine.  J.K. Rowling, in her impertinent tampering with a perfectly great story, has taken that out of the readers hands.

This is precisely why I do not want my fiction copy to be editable after it is published.  Okay, so maybe Stephen King’s extra 200 pages of the re-issued The Stand was awesome beyond words and I was greedy for every page of it as a true fan should be.  In my defense.. it was his original story restored.  He has always had to cut reams of content from his books to please the publishers.  But by and large, when I get to the end of a book, it should be over.  Like any decent ex-boyfriend, it should respectfully and politely drop off the face of the planet when I’m done with it. 

Now, if Bezos had his way, he’d have them all lined up in my driveway every morning to re-issue their final statements or edit some particularly galling diatribe they’d delivered on how it’s a man’s God-given right to leave the toilet seat up.  And just as I was about to finally pull into the street, I’d find out that Margaret Mitchell’s estate had decided to have Rhett come running back out of the mist and sweep Scarlet up in his arms.  Which, of course, would deprive the world of any grounding when they uttered, “Tomorrow is another day….”

I know I’m harping on this one aspect… but I can’t help it.  You’ve read here how I feel about publicly editable copy such as you find on Wikipedia.  I just can’t swallow the bitter pill of having John Q. Public rewriting what was otherwise perfectly engaging, informed, and credible copy.  I can see publishers deciding that John Grisham’s books would play better if they didn’t always end with a discontented ‘hero.’  As the movie producers of his books made into films obviously did.  Since they ‘own’ it, they could.  Ever see idiocracy?  Yeah.  Scary.

So, Bezos… give me a wall full of books in my backpack… sell me volume upon volume of easily transferable literature… let me put off buying those glasses for an extra five years…but please, please.. for the love of, well.. you know… do NOT make copy already sent to me and purchased AS IS into anything else.  Thank you and amen.

And here I’ll let you in on one of the biggest things that contributed to me becoming a librarian… I got a job – by complete happenstance – in a library.  The lowliest of jobs – library assistant.  I shelved, I processed, I checked out.  But I got completely invested in it.  The service of it, the minutia, the processes.  The books… ahhhh, yes.  The books.  But after six years, I learned something else… I wasn’t getting any younger.  Strangely, adulthood had caught up to me and gotten a running lead.  I had to pick a lane.  Serendipitously, I was already in one.

FRBRized

OK.  So FRBR wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.  Hardly anything is in LibraryWorld.  I had expected FRBR to be a formalized system laying out the exact rules for the actual cataloging of an item in a library. 

Something along these lines… First, *here* is the list of types of items that it is possible for a library to acquire and what their formal names and codes are.  Second, *here* is the list of fields that you will need to fill out for each of the above items.  *This* is where to find the information that successfully completes each of those fields and *this* is why each of those fields are important to fill out.  Finally, *this* is how both you and a library user can locate the many items in your catalog.

…. And, to be perfectly honest, the part about the user being able to locate items wasn’t even part of my thinking before I read about this stuff.   I had simply assumed that if I did my job properly and well – if I was knowledgeable about my collection – then any user in my library would be able to find anything by simply asking me. 

In my own defense, I have to add here that this attitude – the one of being the omnipotent deity in my LibraryWorld – doesn’t come from an unfortunate but pronounced God-complex.  It’s simply a result of being a carpenter, a web designer, a seamstress, a cross-stitcher, a landscape designer, a fixer of things broken, and a start-to-finish designer and implementer of grandiose bulletin boards, ten-foot-high construction-paper trees, and flip houses.  I’m just used to being the one that knows where everything is, what it looks like, and how it works.  Of course, now that I read this back, I guess it could kind of look like a God-complex.  But only of the little part of the world that I’m in charge of.  I digress.

Of course, if you already know what FRBR (Functional requirements of Bibliographical Records) is, then you know that is NOT what I found.  What I found was anothermodel.  A theoretical model of how we should think about items, their expressions and manifestations and, most abstractly, their originating Work.  FRBR, put simply, gives a framework of thought about objects and the relationships between them and the different manifestations of themselves.  After reading a dozen or so articles and papers on FRBR, I got a generally good idea of where this was headed. 

To King User, again.  Not that I have anything against the library user.  I’m one myself.  And so is my Tutu.  But, see… Tutu calls up the librarian and asks her about the information she’s seeking.  The nice librarian, who has been taking calls from my grandmother for 15 years, takes notes, looks whatever it is up, and calls Tutu back.  Tidy.  Considerate.  Human.  My grandmother sends that nice librarian a Christmas and birthday card every year. 

Now I don’t think there’s anyone who could say that my grandmother isn’t being treated like a Queen (User) by her librarian.   And don’t think that I don’t see the flaw in this (model) over the long term.  I know it’s expensive and impossible to service every library user in this personal a way.  But let us consider together the example set by Lowe’s, Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

As I have said, I’m an extreme DIYer.  I visit the big home stores on a weekly basis – daily if I’m in the middle of a project.  (Yes, this shows bad planning skills on my part but let’s not go there.) I’ve asked hundreds of questions over the years of the different CSR’s about everything from wiring to space planning.  Those stores are big and the items available for purchase are varied, awkwardly shaped, and usually heavy.  There’s a lot of walking involved.  They are also often humid and noisy.  When you finally reach the end of your list and head toward the checkout, you feel a sense of relief.  A big, internal Sigh that you did what you came to do.  As you walk towards the front of the store, you begin to think about all the work ahead to complete the project.  As the nice lady checks out your items, you let your mind wander for a moment, enjoying this brief but pleasant eye in the storm of your day.

About a year ago, my favorite stores introduced a new area at the front of their stores – the self-checkout.  At first, they were only one or two.  They were quaint.  They had a checker assigned to each and every one to guide you through the process.  But there were ALWAYS several other lanes open with (real) checkers.  In the last six months, though…. I can count at least 7 times that I’ve been in a big home store where they had ZERO checkers available.  The only way you could leave the store with your stuff is if you navigated yourself through their self-check lanes! 

So… are they going to pay me for the time I spend working for them as a checker?  And where is the discount I should receive for less service?  When they stopped carrying groceries out to your car, you got a discount.  I am not seeing the discount – or a better product.  I still have to buy a new drill every couple of years.  I have to tell you – this is really starting to tick me off.  I’ve been a loyal customer for years.  I’ve given them God knows how much of my time and money.  And this is how they repay me?  uh-uh.  Not this lady.  Ace Hardware may be higher, but I’ve never seen a self-check lane in one of their stores.  Less selection, too.

So, is this the choice that everythingnow comes down to?  We must sacrifice either choice, cost, or service?  A library, supposedly, is different from Home Depot.  Though less so as we march into the brave new future.  Libraries are no longer allowed to rest on their laurels as bastions of community service and scholarship.  No longer is it sufficient to allow the world’s knowledge, ideas, and creative literary spirit to flow, unimpeded, into the minds of men, women, and children, regardless of economic, religious, or racial orientation.  It seems that libraries, after all, are the Home Depots of tomorrow. 

Just as more and more people (including myself) have learned to do more things for themselves to save a few bucks, so, too, have the Home Depots and libraries of the world.  Home Depot no longer has to pay the extra 22,000/year for every checker that once stood waiting for me at the front of the store.  And my grandmother’s librarian told her last month that she is retiring.  The last two times Tutu called, she was told she could fill out a form online and e-mail her request.  She would receive a reply within 10 working days.  Or, she was told, she could come into the library and search the catalog using their new system.  Which no doubt cost a year’s salary for TWO professional librarians. 

So… back to FRBR.  It occurred to me while I spent the several days reading about it, that perhaps I was missing something.  I read several accounts of different experiments with FRBRizing existing collections.  I gather that it would be most helpful in video/dvd/audio collections.  It also appears that it would be VERY expensive to go back and re-rig the records to be able to search them using FRBR principles.  And all this to basically give a different display to users when they search.  A dumbed-down, very specific display.  Super-smart, super-expensive search tool for dumb users. 

I see two problems with this.  One, today’s user isn’t that dumb.  Two, today’s (and tomorrow’s) librarian thinks he has to cater to a user that is not only dumb – but fickle and cheap as well. 

These are the two opposing tides in the information ocean right now.  One is the tide of the information providers.  They are working, working, working to best put information in the hands of the people looking for it.  They are searching for the easiest, least complicated, most accessible way to do this.  They want to be the source of choice for the information seeker and they are making assumptions along the way of who that information seeker is so that they may achieve their goal.  The opposing tide is that of the information seekers.  They want what they want when they want it.  They are increasingly sophisticated as to how to go about getting it.  The generation coming of age now has been entirely raised in the Internet era.  They understand most of the basic rules of computer system interfaces.  They have done hundreds, if not thousands of searches before they ever get to the library’s search tool.  Some librarians think FRBRizing their records will help these people in fundamental ways to find information better.  But it doesn’t seem to me like they’ve thought about who these people are likely to be.

There are studies, sure.. and trends.  But all of it (in my humble view) boils down to three types of information seekers. 

The first is the academic.  these are the scholars, students, and scientists who are on an unending search for all of the planet’s accumulated knowledge.  These poor souls cannot be helped.  They are, as were the Blues Brothers, on a Mission from God.  They will find what they are looking for – if it exists – because they must.  A better search tool would be nice, but it would also probably cause them to lose sleep trying to absorb yet another new system of looking for that elusive article.  Yes, this first type, like all others, appreciates being able to access things online.  But they have more of a problem getting full-text results than they do with deciphering a page of possible hits.

The second type is the single-fact seekers.  These would include my grandmother.  She usually wants to know what countries are contiguous with Nigeria or how many people live in Houston.  Or perhaps, even, whether ‘lie’ or ‘lay’ is appropriate in an e-mail.  I have known her to call and give the librarian a line from a long-forgotten poem and ask who the author was.  These people are after very specific information.  They want it quickly and with as little fuss as possible.  In other words, they want Google from their phone, from their office desktop, from their laptop in the coffee shop.  A new search tool for the catalog isn’t going to help them.  If they are going to be made to do it on their own, they might as well do it from the convenience of their own space.  If my grandmother was better with the internet (and she’s getting there), she would have little use for her library other than the hot new summer fiction she places on reserve every April.  Or the audiobooks that she checks out for my uncle for his long drives for his work.  Which simultaneously places her in the third category.

The third category is that of browser/borrower.   This is the person that wants to wander the stacks.  They want to see what books are in the self-help section.  Or see how many books by a certain author are available to read right now.  This is the person with some time to spend.  They see reading as an important addition to their life of the mind and are willing to invest in it.  These are also the people who merely want to borrow, and not buy, a given item.  This could be because they can’t afford it.  Or maybe because they live in a small place and don’t have room for the collection they’d like to have.  Maybe they move a lot.  Or maybe they just like to support their local library and the ideals it stands for.  This third type really isn’t going to change their habits because of a better or worse search tool.  You will never find someone who browses the stacks that will tell you they equally enjoy browsing a search engine.  It’s just not the same.  And if you’ve ever watched a library over a day, you will see how many people just go wander into a section that looks appealing.

So…. academic, single-fact seeker, and browser/borrower… I think the LibraryWorld must concede that they are going to lose the single-fact seeker to the internet.  But the academic is theirs for life.  He may come, in the future, exclusively through their portal into online databases, but he will come.  And he will never truly forsake the stacks, the rare documents collections, and the government archives.  He knows how to interpret search results because he has been interpreting information for all of his academic career. 

But the browser/borrower…. now HE is the crux of this matter, really.  Will FRBRizing records make him tip his scales towards continuing to frequent his local library?  I just don’t think so.  I think whether a library has a large and varied collection will.  And if they have books by his favorite author.  And whether they are clean, pleasant places in which to spend an afternoon.  I think an excellent staff, helpful and knowledgeable, will help him tip his scales.  I sometimes even think that a venerable-looking building and the smell of old books can do the trick.  But FRBR….

Today’s OPAC user enjoys keyword-search capability.  This searches everything in an item’s record.  How is that not adequate to find what you wish?  Why do I need some anonymous nonprofessional person’s ideas about what tags it should have to be able to find it?  Are their ideas about what’s important about something the same as mine?  The ESP Game tells me they’re obviously not.  So will it help me find something if it has so many tags that almost anything will produce a hit on it?  I think not.

So…. FRBR.  An interesting and complex model that took a lot of people a lot of time to come up with.  Does it really help me find what I want to find more easily?  I suppose, in certain types of collections, it could.  Would it determine whether I’m going to use my local library or not?  not really.  And isn’t THAT what all this is really about?  Worrying if libraries will exist, have a constituency, get funded? 

I’d have to say that turning my local library into the literary equivalent of Home Depot, with a self-check (albeit FRBRized)  stall where my knowledgeable and friendly librarian used to be isn’t the way to keep me coming back.  I may have to buy my 110 wire at Home Depot, but I have alternatives for where I get my read on.

And on the subject of Becoming a Librarian in 40 Years or Less….. I’d have to say being a Do-It-Yourselfer has contributed heavily.  🙂

Wiki Punk

  Color me slacker-grey.  I have a second class this semester that is condensed and started two and a half weeks ago.  It has large reading requirements and is stressful.  I also bought a house, destroyed an existing kitchen and floor, and started building it back.  Other than that, it’s been pretty dull.  Except, of course, for the return of Heroes and Ugly Betty.  But let’s not linger on the new fall line-up (Life is my favorite so far of the new ones). 

I have come today to discuss the wonderful world of wikis and my chosen contribution.  Let me begin by saying, quite firmly, that I do not like the wiki concept.  I understand Wikipedia is the seventh most visited site on the internet right now.  Porn is also very popular.  My feelings about both can be summed up as follows:

1. Just because somebody thinks their thing is compelling, doesn’t mean it is to everyone else. 
2. Not everything you see on the Internet should be believed.   
3. The level of quality varies wildly.
4. Your favorite thing may not stay just because you’d like it to.

That being said, I understand the prevalence of the form and bow to its success.  (Particularly since I can’t seem to get through a conversation with one of my friends without them linking me some arcane thing from WP.)  So, I’ve delved into the Doc’s list of potential treats and come up with my own arcane little topic.

The wiki I’ve chosen is LISWiki.  Not particularly creative, I know.  But certainly up to the task.  I looked at a list of topics there that had nothing written about them yet and came across this:

Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records

See, the thing is, I really know next to nothing about cataloging.  Sure, I did the cataloging in a rural elementary library for 6 years.  Yes, i had rudimentary instruction on which fields to fill and the form I should use.  And, yes, I’d go looking at the LOC website to fill in blanks – or the Sears catalog of subject headings… but I always felt like I was winging it.

Let me state, flatly, that I am NOT a ‘winging it’ type of woman.  Uncertainty, lack of order, and unestablished lines of authority make me nervous.  Hence, my dislike of wikis.  And though there were many things about my job that I loved – MANY things – cataloging without a real basis in what I should be doing and the principals behind it – was not one of them.

Which is why, when I came across this, I knew I had hit home.  I NEED to learn about this myself.  Or at least get the basics down before I come across a professor who will someday quite soon blithely refer to it as FRBR and expect me to know what they’re talking about.  And I don’t mean just what the acronym stands for.

So, I’m off on my journey to read and learn about bibliographic entry standards.  Not terribly sexy, but a must-read.  With any luck, I might even be able to put it in layman’s terms.  Though I’m not certain that’s a good thing in ‘scholarly’ circles.

Nothing against scholarly circles or people or articles… it’s just that I keep coming across these articles that are meant to convey the weighty grey matter of their authors with the gravity, breadth, and vocabulary of their text – which could be much more accessible and enjoyable if they’d have employed your average Newsweek writer.  Or even one from The New Yorker in a pinch.  Though those guys like the sound of their own keystrokes a bit too much as well. heh.

That business taken care of, we’re off down our travels again…

Let’s see… ahhhh, yes!
I was the girl with blue hair in high school.  In a sea of izods.  I wore T-shirts when they weren’t permitted (eeewwww, aaahhh).  I listened to punk when punk was still grimy.  I was, in a word, a loner.  I had friends – don’t get me wrong.  But they were isolated, one-on-one types.  Never in a crowd or co-mingled.  I never liked crowds, really.  I liked quiet.  I liked reflection.  I liked things in their place.  (Never mind that my room as a girl looked like chaos).  I remember imagining the perfect job as one that would be on a cloud, much like those characters in video games.  (I was a teenager, gimme a break) 

Just bask for a moment in the irony… I’ve grown up to find out that a librarian has to deal with people ALL THE TIME!

fortunately for me.. and my future co-workers and customers.. I’ve grown a bit more comfortable with the whole ‘crowd’ thing.  Bring it on, question-askers!  Give me your best shot, tech-newbies! Have I got a brand-new bag for you!

The Tao of XML

  I’ve been doing this and that kind of code here and there for years.  When an idea pops into my head that I want to execute in a page that I haven’t done before, I just go do some fishing and figure it out.  I’ve never actually taken a class (that I attended) in a programming language so I missed the underlying theory that I can only guess would have revealed to me …. the Tao of XML in the way that Hot Text does.

 I’ve never read anything about the concept of object-oriented languages that sounded quite so.. philosophical.  The way Lisa and Jonathan Price spoke of a whole new way to look at the relationships between objects and the precision and order that XML brought to the internet and our relationship to it, both financially and interactively, was, um…. a little glowey around the edges.  *sniff*  Seriously, I really enjoyed the narrative.  Great intro for people who’ve never coded.  I wish I’d read that first.

As for a tidbit on the Great Path ….

My grandmother was one of six children born in a very small town in Oklahoma.  She’s told me of how she and her sisters picked rotten pecans off the porches of the neighbors so they could have something to eat.  She was literally the little girl who had a dress made of the sack-cloth that the local store threw out.  She’d hate that I’m repeating this, but it’s relevant. 

Her father was a very intelligent man, but had no education.  So was she.  But, like so many of the other very poor girls, she would have ended up having many kids and staying in that little town her whole life.  Except for two things.  One, she was very bright.  Two, she had a teacher who took an interest in her.

The woman’s name was Annie Blanche.  She mentored my grandmother all through school, helping her take the right tests and fill out the right forms.  She was the woman who, in the end, was the only one who could drive my grandmother to Norman and find the small room that she stayed in while she went to college.  This woman gave my grandmother her first toothbrush, showed her how to read a bus schedule, and stayed her very close friend until she died, shortly before my grandmother’s 79th birthday, two years ago.

It was this woman who I credit with my grandmother’s education, her travels, her full life that produced two children.  One, my mother, grew up middle-class, went to college, then graduate school.  As I grew up, the question I was asked wasn’t, “Are you going to college?”  It was “Which college are you going to?”  I have always felt from my family this immense sense of respect for education.  And teachers.

The Big Wik and the Painted Lady

It’s interesting to me, as I read posts, to see how comfortable people are with the ‘fast-and-loose’ character of Wikipedia.  Apparently, it’s perfectly fine that it may not be accurate or organized well.  The acceptance of this stems from it being on the internet, it seems.  And that it is sacred due to its user-generated-content status.

This thinking strikes me as being very similar to the idea that, if we are on vacation, it matters less who we sleep with.  Or how we do it.  Like.. “Well, I’m in Jamacia, what the heck.  Who will ever know?  And if they do, it will be like it doesn’t count because it’s in Jamacia.”

So, in essence, Wikipedia is like vacation sex, is it?

I say thee, nay.

It does matter.  And, forgive me here for taking a stab at the heart of 2.0, but user-generated does not necessarily mean good

Just because ‘the people’ are making themselves heard, doesn’t mean it’s inherently good.  Just check out who’s president at the moment.  The ‘people’ did that.  Twice.  Or, well, at least once, anyway.

It’s strange that I find myself on this side of this argument.  I was always quite the rebel.  And still am in many ways.

I can have tremendous problems with authority in certain situations.  But, as events in the country have shown in the last few years, the rule of the vocal mob is not necessarily going to give way to a bright future for all. 

Mainly, I blogged about this here so I wouldn’t take up the discussion forums of my class with this unpopular position.  I suspect it would have just sat there, uncommented upon, as a scathing indictment and silent protest.  But, I still wanted to get it off my chest.

As for something in my past that led me here.. how about a pic for you today as a special treat since I’ve been so cantankerous…

FACE-PAINTED GIRL

I was a teenager and this was something a girlfriend painted on me.  I wore it for three days.  Because it made me feel like a character in Lord of the Rings, a set I first read when I was 13 and have read every few years since.

the power of the bloggers

really interesting article by the guy tha came up with the phrase web 2.o … http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/oreilly/tim/news/2005/09/30/what-is-web-20.html?page=3

particularly fascinating is the take he’s got on blogging … how personal web pages and online journaling have been around forever but that the RSS feed technology has made journaling 2.0 (blogging) so important in the model of today’s internet .. the echo of blogger’s and their link-posting .. the trackbacking … the references to other bloggers’ posts “to infinity and beyond.. ond.. ond.”

all making bloggers inordinantly responsible for search engine results .. which fuel everything.

Just a small one since I’ve done this three times already today… My librarian is the only teacher i can remember in elementary school (all 6 of them that i attended) dressing up for halloween.  I know this must be wrong.  But the fact that I remember it that way says something.

  • Playing God

    I wrote in one of my posts here that I thought of authors as God when I was a kid. And now I'm putting MY random thoughts out there for general edification. heh. Karma. As a job, being God is kind of intimidating. Thank (God) only adults are reading this. (I hope.) That way, I only have to be intimidated about being, say, a lesser cherub.