29 December 2009

I haven't written anything in this blog for months. In fact, I haven't even thought about this blog in months. I still play around with some of my "Things." MySpace isn't the cool place to be any longer and everyone I knew on that site is on FaceBook now. I use that a lot to find out what my kids are up to and to send messages to people and I play Farmville. I wish I didn't, but I do. It takes up more of my time than I have to waste but I enjoy it and I send cows and trees to my FarmVille Friends and plan my harvests around the times I will have access to a computer. I usually try to use my time more constructively, I read or knit while I watch TV. I love to watch TV but I feel like I can't justify watching it without doing something else at the same time. Time is so precious. There is never enough of it to do everything I'd like to do and to learn everything I'd like to learn.

05 October 2009

Twin Cities Marathon

Yesterday was the TC Marathon. My husband ran (but we won't talk about that, it wasn't a good run) and I got to get up early with him and drive him to the start of the race and then wait at the finish. Thank God for Caribou where I could get free coffee at seven in the morning on a cool and cloudy day. I actually enjoy marathon days. Last year it was colder and rainy besides, so cool and cloudy and just a few sprinkles is better. I arrived at the end of the race an hour before the marathon even started. There are samples at the many vendors and, of course, there's the free coffee (thank God for Caribou) and plenty of people to talk to, after all there are about 10,000 people running in one of the day's races and most have someone at the end waiting for them. I brought home freebies to give my grandbabies, usually things that make noise that I give them when I visit their homes so I don't have to listen to the gifts for very long.
The day was cold but not rainy and cold like last year. I met my husband after the race with warm clothes and a cane. Some runners still have lots of energy after the race. My husband does not. The vendors have no interest to him, nor does the after-race party. We slowly made our way back to the car and drove home, with the heat blasting, I might add, to warm up his weary old bones. There was an eighty-one year old man who broke four hours last year. This year he was considerably slower and my husband, who didn't break four hours this year, beat him. Of course, the old guy had to stop along the route to insert a catheter so he could pee. My husband didn't. After all the work and pain, while he limped to the car with the help of his cane, my husband began planning his training program for next year. And next year I will again thank God for Caribou.

14 September 2009

I Love Football

The official pro football season started. I've always followed my Vikings but four years ago when my son started playing football, the game became our obsession. Every Sunday at noon, when the Vikes usually play, I would call up the stairs to my son, "Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?" and he and his brother and I would watch the Vikings play. Of course, we would also watch whichever game followed and then there was the Sunday night game and, of course, the Monday game and soon we started watching the college games on Saturday. My boys and I would make our Super Bowl picks before the season start and follow those teams in addition to our Vikings. Actually, the Vikings are more my team than my sons'. I think they are Viking fans too, but won't admit it.
My youngest son went off to college this year. I miss the time we spent together watching those games (and the baseball games, Olympic games, track meets, etc.). Sports talk is the way we communicate. We can discuss anything if we do it with sports. We've covered honor, endurance,
perserverance, morality, dishonesty, you name it, athletes demonstrate what to do or what not to do. Someday, when my son is a father and Sunday noon comes around I hope he'll remember for a moment the time we spent together over football and maybe even hear a distant voice in his mind, "Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?"

24 August 2009

Empty nest

I took my baby to college last weekend. I am going to miss him. I love him as a son and I like him as a friend and the house will seem emptier without him. I find myself starting to call him to report some baseball score or football news or the like and I stop myself when I realize he won't answer from his room. To top it all off, my husband left in his truck for two weeks and my cat is at the vet's for three days. I am totally an empty-nester. Thank God, I can still talk to him or e-mail him and I have his brother text him regularly with those scores and football news.

07 July 2009


I have been playing around with my blog today. This "Things" stuff has been a lot of fun for me and I plan to finish even though I've missed the deadline both times. I've done it on my own, too. My co-workers and I planned to work on the 23 Things at the same time so we could help each other if necessary, but I ended up being the only one to do it. Everyone else got their blog and avatar and stopped. Same thing with More Things, but I am glad I kept on going. Frankly, I don't know that I'll use much of this stuff at the library or even just for me, but at least I learned some things I'll use and I became familiar with things I had heard about and, until this program, had no clue what they were. And who knows, maybe the experience I've gained will help me in the future in ways I can't forsee now.

23 June 2009

Thing 45

The idea of the cloud seems reasonable if one wants to keep all their files in one easily assessable place. I've seen commercials where people are devastate to lose all the info stored in their computers and I think to myself, "Why not just store the files on a website?" That's what I do because I don't have my own computer although I don't store very much. If I had anything I worried about losing I would use a backup system (my son bought me my own flash drive so I can store all the grandkids' photos).
I still worry about computer security. Just doing these "Things" programs has put me on so many sites and my information is floating around out there in cyberspace. I have done a little banking on-line and some shopping but it makes me uneasy. I know my information is already on bank and merchant computers whether or not I use the computer because they put my info in their computers, but I still try to be careful. I use a computer every day at work and I have been learning about all these tools but I still do not trust it for my personal business. And I really don't want anyone knowing about every website I visit and reading every e-mail I send or receive.

22 June 2009

Thing 44

This one was fun and discouraging all at the same time. The economy is in a mess and I see more trouble ahead. I did enjoy the money saving sites. I like feedthepig. Through this and other similar websites I have increased my gas mileage and am finding other small changes I can make in my daily life to save money. And I have used Craigslist a few times myself. My son uses it a lot and highly recommends it. We have sold a couple of cars and purchased some through the site. I don't use it much, though, because I don't need to buy anything. I have enough! I checked out the chicken raising sites, fun, but our town won't let us have chickens. The little almost-rural towns want to pretend to be big-city, while the big cities allow them. Go figure.
I also looked into the information sites and the on-line banking sites. I do not want to bank on-line but I can see the appeal of managing all one's accounts in one place. I also checked out the coupons (too much trouble and most of the coupons were for stuff I don't buy anyway) and the thrift shop locations. I will probably visit these sites again in the future, especially if something happens to my job and I need to trim the budget even more.

15 June 2009

Thing 34

The future of libraries is definitely changing. I can see why people like to take their questions to the web instead of to the library. At the library it may take time to get books or other information. I help people on a daily basis navigate the web or locate books or movies but my help isn't always immediate. And it isn't anonymous. Sometimes people don't want to face someone and ask for information about personal or embarrassing topics. I don't share anything about my patrons. What happens at the library, stays at the library. Sometimes I feel a little voyeuristic because I know who is on a diet and who is expecting and who is having trouble with their teens and on and on and on. On the web, these patrons would not even have to face one person with their problems.
Working here at the library I meet people when they are vulnerable. Sometimes they come in really needing help. We have lots of patrons these days that are job searching or applying for unemployment. I've helped patrons do on-line banking and purchasing because a computers and websites are hard to navigate. It is very special that they trust me with some of their personal information and I only have a couple of years computer experience on them. I used the internet for the first time at the library where the librarian showed me how to go on-line and how to get an e-mail. Now I have five e-mails and have registered on so many sites I can't keep track of them all. Anyway, the library is a safe place for people to come for people who need help and don't know where else to find it. And as technology increases, there will always be those that lag behind. The library may adapt but it can always be a place to go for some personal help finding what is needed.
I also doubt that people will completely give up print media. Sales of fiction is currently rising. With all the choices for entertainment, people are still choosing to read and read old-fashioned books. They are my preference.

10 June 2009

Things 40, 41, 42

I am trying out so many new things doing this program. I looked through the music sites on Thing 42 but I am not a music listener, a music lover, yes, but not a music listener. I only listen in the car and there I have a favorite AM oldies channel and I am not in the car for long periods of time on a regular basis. I am happy to listen to my cassettes over and over and over again without bothering to change them. I have a favorite Chopin tape. The piece containing "The Death March" is not somber but triumphant and I can listen to it again and again, unless, of course, I have passengers with me. Anyway, I read up on the music sites which I know are very popular with everyone but me and I'm glad to be more familiar with some of those sites, but I have neither the equipment nor the inclination to use them myself at this time.
The mashups have been fun. I signed up with Lifestream and added several of the sites I use. I just did that today so I don't yet know if I'll like it or use it. I'll give it a month. It sounds good on paper, or should I say computer?

I have been checking out mashups. I found some interesting ones and have been playing around a little. Some of them are cute but not worth checking again. The Lunchbox and the Wheel of Food were two I looked at. The Wheel of Food was fun to play with but that's about all and the Lunchbox only listed two places to eat in town. There are many more, but that's okay because I don't eat out anyway. I definitely want to learn and do more with mashups later when (if) I have more time but I really want to cover all these things. For now I will be happy to have some knowledge of many things and later, gain more specific skills.
I heard an interview with a professor of media relating to journalism. I don't remember her name, college, or the exact title of the class she taught, but she said than in her last class of 80 some students, only four of them used twitter and most had not even heard of delicious and she named a lot of other sites that I have been investigating through the "Things" and found her students were unaware of most of them. I know more than the average college student that has grown up on computers and I don't even own one. That amazes me.

19 May 2009

Thing 33

I do not travel, ever. That is unless you include trips to other small towns for track meets or my regular visits to my mother in Minneapolis. None of these excursions involves overnight stays. We used to take day trips into Wisconsin to visit my mother-in-law but she moved to California. The last overnight trip I took was in 1989. Oh, I almost forgot, we spent the night in Wisconsin in 1996 when my father-in-law died. As I said, I do not travel, ever.
I did check out some of the sites suggested. Some of the blogs were a way of traveling vicariously and some of the sites would be useful to people who planned to travel, particularly those who were going abroad. We have many library patrons who check out books on various travel destinations and many use our computers to book transportation and lodging. I would probably recommend some of the suggested sites to those patrons that I know will be traveling and also to my friends. I probably will not use these sites myself. You see, I do not travel, ever.

Thing 32

The maps and mashups had some fun stuff on the sites. I sent my son a crop circle message, although the aerial map of our town had too much cloud cover so I had to site the circle south of town instead of on the football field. I played around with some of the other sites and I have decided I will eventually bookmark all the sites I find useful through these "Things" on my del.icio.us page.
I don't really like Google maps. I find other sites are more useful when I need directions here in Minnesota. I haven't tried maps for out-of-state locations because I never go anywhere except here in the area. In the past I tried to get my husband's running route measured on one of these sites and found it difficult to use and we didn't find the distance anyway. I tried it again today and it is no better than when I used it the first time. I usually use MapQuest or Yahoo maps. MapQuest is familiar, even if I usually get the scenic rather than the direct route. Yahoo maps is okay but I haven't used it as much.
I started making my own map and I am finding it more difficult than the direction video made it seem. I'm not sure yet how these maps and mashups will be useful here in the library. I do know we are regularly asked by patrons for help in getting directions to different places but no one has asked for help to make their own map yet. We have had a few patrons ask about aerial and satellite maps of the area, however. I can find my house on these maps.

Thing 30

I have spent my afternoon reading upon RSS feeds, how to streamline my use of them. I set us some RSS feeds in the first "23Things" but I have to confess I am not using them at all right now so I have no need to filter them in any way, though that may change in the future. I can definitely understand some of their uses. My del.icio.us account is getting fuller and this has been the perfect time to organize it, of course, if it weren't for this program I would have nothing to organize and my life would be much simpler. I choose not to share my bookmarks on my blog. Of course, no one reads it so I suppose it doesn't matter, but the openness of the internet is of concern. My name and information is out there everywhere. I even hesitated to add an RSS feed from the government. Paranoid? Maybe, but while I love all these sites and have signed up for most of them, I would like to keep my life and interests private.

18 May 2009

Memorial Day

Tomorrow is Memorial Day so I have the day off, at least from my library jobs. I have a ton of work to do at home. I love to go to work for many reasons, one of which is to rest up from the work at home. My husband is an OTR trucker and comes home every other weekend. He also has multiple allergies so he is probably the only trucker out there that doesn't eat truck stop and fast foods. The weekends that he is home are spent getting him ready and stocked to leave again. That means lots of cooking and laundry and shopping. He has a little home on wheels with his cooler and crockpot and his pantry of home canned meals and safe snacks. All our kids try to stop in on those weekends to visit with the grandkids. The weekend passes in a blur.
On the weekends when he isn't home I do all that home canning so that he has allergy- and gluten-free meals. Forget housecleaning. Besides taking care of the feeding and cleaning of the two kids I still have at home, I also make a run to the natural foods co-op and other specialty stores so he can stock his pantry. I see the grandkids, too, when he isn't home. I spend time with mu kids and I help them take the kids to their check-ups and help them shop and garden and all sorts of other chores. And, of course, I babysit, in fact, that's what I'm doing right now. My daughter has a computer and when I babysit, the kids get to bed on time so I can work on my "Things." For these particular grandbabies, I'm the tough grandma compared to their other ones.
So, tomorrow is a holiday. I have to get some groceries in the house. My last two babies are 18 and 20. One's a high school athlete and the other is a bodybuilder. I need those groceries. I also have more babysitting duty. It's a lot of work, tougher now than when I was younger, but grandchildren are a wonderful thing to have and they seem to like me even though I'm the tough one.

Thing 28

Today I made myself a home page. I will continue to tweak it as there are so many gadgets to explore. I used igoogle and am having a little trouble editing my weather gadget, but after reading user comments I realize I am not alone. I am having fun with this one, reading jokes, playing games, etc. This is one "Thing" I want to continue to explore and utilize.

Thing 36

I had a lot of fun with this one. Some of the sites were already familiar to me. Some of the sites suggested seemed silly to me. I don't need help generating passwords, I need help remembering them. I did enjoy playing around on these sites, however. I made Hollywood signs for my co-workers and I made newspaper headlines. I can see a lot of use for these here at the library and especially, for my personal use. I used the newspaper generator site, fodey.com

16 May 2009

Thing 43

I have seen TV ads for Hulu so checked it out and looked into Joost also. It was great to know that I can catch up on NCIS. I miss the new episodes because I am working. My probem, however, is that since I do not have computer acess outside of work, I would have to watch my favorite shows here at the library and TV watching on company time is frowned upon. I did like the fact that I could find old shows (a trip down memory lane for this baby-boomer) and these sites will be great to recommend to our classic TV fans. We have quite a number of patrons who enjoy the oldies and usually get them on DVD. I also like to watch Bones but I've missed it lately. Now I can catch up.

Thing 31

Okay, okay, so Twitter has a lot more uses than I thought. I read through the info on Twitter and find it is much more versatile than I expected. I don't know yet if I'll use it, however, as I have trouble just keeping current on my e-mail and facebook page.

15 May 2009

Track Mom

Yesterday was the conference meet. It was the best of days. It was the worst of days. The day was sunny and windy and the familiar road to the school was long but pleasant through miles of farmland. I've been there many times before yesterday. I resisted the urge to follow the many garage sale signs along the way. The school where the meet was held is the site of many memories over the last four years, some of them good, some not. The host team is our favorite (?) rival. This meet was a bit of a grudge match between us and them, the other seven teams were insignificant. So, there we were for the last time and the day started off badly for my son and teammates. There were bad jumps and worse hand-offs and even the best of our boys posted less than their best times. My son left his last event alone, walking around the track, head down, disappointed at his performance. He almost caught that guy in the final leg of the relay. The relay team came in second by a fraction of a second. There were no team hugs and celebrations, just discouragement. I felt the agony of defeat for my son. It's tough being a mom sometimes.
The mood changed when the boys team won the conference title. The victory margin was slim but it's not how much you win by, but that you come out on top that counts. A win is a win is a win. There was joy at the end. And my son ran a personal best and he knows that his time goals are definitely within his reach. And to top it off, I left his car at the school for him (and walked home) so he and his teammates could go out and celebrate and plan and dream for the next meet, the sectionals. There is still disapoinment but there is also hope.

14 May 2009

Sill No Time

I am trying to get through as many of the "More Things" as possible but it is a struggle for me. I know I am learning things for my own use as well as helping our patrons but I am really doing this program as library training. I work in a small-town library, well, actually I work in two small-town libraries, and though we have slow times, like when the weather is good or there are other activities going on in our towns, but we generally are very busy. We have too much work and not enough time. I have piles of work sitting here waiting for me and I am trying to do these "Things" as well. I know I could be doing this in my free time and I have done some of it when I can find a computer to use away from work as I do not have one of my own at home, but I find I am doing a lot of library work in my free time already. We all do. I spend time off doing work-related reading, research, and program planning. Don't get me wrong. I like coming to work most of the time and I like, maybe even love my job, but the library isn't my life. So, I will learn what I can from these "Things" and I will use my time at work when I can and I will eventually get through them all and maybe even be better at serving our patrons because of it. I know the value of finishing what I start even if I finish last.

12 May 2009

Thing 29

I checked out some of the Google tools. I have a shared calendar already and I already use the maps and directions. I started my library and looked at some of the other tools. I have some of the same tools already on other sites so I didn't try out everything but I loved learning about the Google411. I can use some of these tools to help patrons here in the library which is the main reason I'm doing these "Things" anyway.