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Offtopic: First snow of the year in Vancouver, WA

We moved to the PacNW to get away from the hot/cold extremes of Philadelphia, and we didn't expect to see much winter snow here either (Vancouver, WA), just rain. Well, the weather people predicted rain, rain, rain today, but the weather turned a little colder. We posted a few pics to our personal website at http://www.cheesegoblins.com/firstsnow2003. My daughter can't wait to get out into it before it melts.

A new source for office toys

OK, I've gone through ThinkGeek, Despair.com, and Archie McPhee. But now, in the low-rent office toy category is American Science & Surplus.


It even has the drinking bird!!! OMG. Even if I don't buy anything, I could easily waste a half a day just browsing through all the categories!

How the SPAM is being generated

So, I just received two SPAM messages, and the subject lines for both started with:

Re: %RND_UC_CHAR[2-8],


So, somebody's perl isn't quite up to snuff in their random email subject generation subroutine.

"Metadata is stored in the DIVA document format"

This month's D-Lib has an article on the DiVA Project. The name is reason enough for me to want to know more.

Have you attended Mid-Winter? C'mere ...

I have reg'ed and I've bought my plane tickets and I'm *this* close to formally requesting the time off work. But I haven't found a hotel room yet. All of the ALA hotels within walking distance are booked. And I've been too overwhelmed with other things to start looking off the beaten track yet. But there's one thing I need to know:

How is the social life at Mid-Winter?

This is my first ALA conference ... but I've been to a couple of SLA conferences. And as a member of the News Division, I've learned: be close to the hotel the Division suites are in. At SLA, I'm almost never back in my hotel room before 10 pm and a couple of nights, it's after midnight when I stumble back (because of my shoes, not the booze, thank you).

If there are going to be all sorts of receptions and open houses and gatherings after-hours, I want to be within walking distance of them. But if Mid-Winter is a business-only, daytime-oriented conference, I might just bite the bullet and stay out in the (relative) boondocks and do the ALA Shuttle, with an occasional cab for unofficial fraternizing events.

Your guidance/experience would be much appreciated ...

Updating website

Well, I spent most of the afternoon tweaking my website. Mainly colors, content, and some image adjustments. I originally used a flash menu because it was fun, but just try to get flash to work properly under linux. Tried, tried, tried.

Least common denominator is best.

The Numbers Game

Slashcode comes with a nifty little stats area that spits out some interesting graphs. I'd love to be able to make them all public, but I fear the added load the scripts would add, so I'll try and post some of them here from time to time.
This all deal with moderation and comments for the past few months.






Tired of all these IM clients

I really, really like Jabber (open source IM client), but I still have to open the others (AOL, MSN, etc.) when there are incompatibility problems. I still don't get it. Why do these companies not come to an agreement on a standard? Focus on getting subscribers by value-added features. I'm tired of it all. I'm going to delete these other clients and just stick to Jabber until the world determines the best way to implement the whole thing.

RIP

Art Carney died yesterday, may he rest in peace.
A friends comment upon hearing of his death --
"I'm surprised he was still alive." I think Art would've chuckled at that.

I am Dewey

Yesterday's Overdue strip is all about me. In so many ways, I can barely keep track.

I'm responsible for tabulating the statistics every month in my library, but there's also the



  • pedantic,
  • sarcastic,
  • and coffee

going with it.

Makes Adsense to Me!

I've been stealthily running Google Ads on the old LISNews pages (e.g. here or Here for about a month now, just to see what happens.
I'm suprised at the results, and so far I think it may let me run LISNews on a server alone. I only need to make $6 a day to have it pay for a decent server, and by just running the ads that may happen. I feel like less of a sell out running those ads for some reason. I guess because I don't actually sell the ads, I just make a few cents every time some does a clickity-click through.
With the number of pages we server, and the same click through percentage, LISNews could be a free service for me for the first time! Getting LISNews off of LISHost would make life much easier for me.

Anyone have any problems with Google Ads on LISNews?

11-12-03 7am: To answer tangognat & mcbrides questions below, yes, I've thought about Text ads ala Mefi or K5, my experiment started by reading Matt's Blogging for Dollars. I've often thought about selling text ads, but opted not to for one reason or another so far. Seems like alot of extra work?

Anybody got a stamp?--counting our blessings

I just returned from a training session for an ALA/National Video Resources grant program in Oakland, CA where 25 librarians and their 25 partner/scholars got tips and support for a new video/discusssion program on the Sixties. It's always good to get out of the home office and see what's going on in the larger world, but it was pretty stunning to talk to folks in different situations.

I'm a pretty experienced programmer and talked to a couple folks who were new to programming. I offered what I thought was pretty good advice about our standard practices for publicizing any sort of programs or services. But what my library considers basic PR is next to impossible for some (many?) libraries out there. I spoke with a librarian who said "we don't have a postage budget," after I told her about our mailing lists. When I gave her ideas for shagging flyers around town she said, "we don't have a paper budget." There were similar stories, all of which shouldn't have, but absolutely blew my mind.

I read, and even post the horror stories on LISnews.com. It was only after talking to people who live these stories that I made a connection to what's really happening. The training itself was fine and useful (and just plain fun). But I also left with a sense of sheepishness over any bitching I may have done about what happens (or doesn't happen) in my library. Like many libraries, we've been scrambling for funding, cutting corners and worrying about future budget cycles. It's damn sad that any librarian feels the need to offer a prayer of thanks for being able to print a flyer and having a stamp to mail it out with.

A LISNews success story

Hey journal readers!

I have great news, last month I accepted a full time position as a librarian for a library vendor. When it came time to give a presentation as part of the interview process, I decided to use my LIS article I had authored on Library Advocacy! The feedback from the topic and presentation was great. The audience found the topic unique and interesting, a welcomed break from the the usual fare of search strategies for the world wide web.

Thanks LIS News and LIS news readers for being a great sounding board!

Yes! We are Having no Wires!

The techs are here testing our wireless hub. I'm not sure when it's supposed to be installed, but when it does, the whole building should be a hotspot, and they'll be installing ethernet ports in the study rooms with wireless boxes behind them. This should be very exciting!

Dissatisfied with your search results? Help us improve.

Am I the only one that uses that "Dissatisfied with your search results? Help us improve." link on the first page of Google search results? I find myself strangely motivated to tell them what's wrong with the really bad search results. I also find myself being disappointed more often than not lately. I wonder how many of those they read?

Back In The Saddle

I just lost 5 hours and about 60 degrees going from Hawaii to Buffalo. So I'm back, the pain in my wrists is gone, my skin is tan, and I seem to be able to remember all my important passwords, so I should be back up to speed in no time.

LISNews/LISHost held up pretty well thanks to Joe, Aaron, and everyone who let them know it was down.

Thanks to all the authors, the stories kept flowing. I've always dreamed of the day LISNews ran itself, it seems we've reached that point!

Despair.com

Man, I so want some despair.com gear.


In fact, I would almost kill for a Cluelessness
poster. Of course, it would have to be for home. It's not exactly appropriate for work, even if that's the way I feel some days.

RedHat update

RedHat seems to be performing pretty well. Had to do some funky reconfiguration, as the system kept mis-identifying my network card. All's happy now. I just need to get some addtional software to make it complete, although you would be amazed at all the software that comes with the basic install, all open-source. If anyone has an extra PC lying around, it would be worth your time to try out one of the linux flavors. It's a nice change of pace from Windows.

The Myth of Patron Confidentiality

Actually, it's not a myth, mostly. Unless you actually work in a library.


The other day, I requested a book transfered from another library in the university system to my library. The usual sort of thing. Now, this means that everybody in the circulation area (which for us is the whole library) knows that I want this book. Of course, it was Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things, which looks at classification, and the creation of categories from a cognitive science basis, so it's not very concerning.


The problem is that it came with, for some odd reason, a book on Schizophrenia, also putatively for me. Too bad I didn't ask for it.


While regular patrons have some semblance of confidentiality, in the sense that we'll know the regulars and what they take out, but we would never tell anybody, it's different when it's your coworkers that know what you're reading, for at least some subject areas.

Shall we - blog - (da da dum)?

Shall I or shan't I? I found myself asking my college-aged son about the pros and cons of blogging. When/if he gets back to me (not that I'm waiting for his approval), you may/may not hear from me again! ps - don't hold your breath folks.

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