Saturday, January 19, 2008

"Singin' in the bathtub..."

"...happy once again, watchin' all my twoubles go swimmin' down the dwain..."

Tweeting on twitter always makes me think of Tweety Bird of Looney Tunes fame.  By acknowledging that here, I hope to make Tweety's song go away for awhile.  It has joined the "songs that are stuck in my brain" list.

Twittering can be a little addictive, depending on who you're following or who is following you, and what kind of riveting events are going on.  If you're new to Twitter, be encouraged - it  makes more sense the more you use it.

The big astonishment: when I first clicked Find And Follow, Twitter went straight to my Gmail address book and picked up anyone in there who had a Twitter account.  My immediate  housekeeping job was to clean out some of those addies.  I do not want to follow the Alaskan realtor who, three years ago, helped sell my mom's condo in Juneau.

Most of my recent twitter entries were whines about my ulnar nerve, and I'd like to note that I received many sympathetic tweets in return.  Tweeters are kind and really do pay attention.  By the way, we've named the nerve - Neville. Neville the Nerve.  Neville the Nasty Nerve.

Following the tweets of others has been surprisingly fun.  Shannon's tweets from ALA were great, as were Shirlee's regarding the vagaries of technology.  Kitsaplibrary is interesting reading as staff explore the wonders, and mysteries, of tweeting. 

I am tweeting as dulcigal.  I decided early on to use the identical username/password for everything in krl2.0.  Since dulcigal was already my gmail name, I just stuck with that.  And a good thing, too, since so many web 2.0 applications require setting up an account.  Yikes.

This post has been a bit disjointed, hasn't it?  Blame it on Neville.

That's all, folks!  Next time: the humorous side of web 2.0 for students.  Stay tuned.

Monday, January 7, 2008


I have a Facebook site, to the amusement of my college-age kids.  (I did not ask them to add me to their Friends list.)  I created it in mid-summer 2007, before krl2.0.  I had heard that non-college folk were now allowed and I thought it might be possible to find other hammered dulcimer players or library groups.

I read the article Social Networking in Libraries.  This article was written in May 2006, before Facebook opened up membership to the non-student public.  I enjoyed reading it and I'd like to comment on two of the points that I believe are particularly important.

First point - "If you want to prevent all the problems of MySpace and Facebook, the key is educating the parents and making them get involved in their childrens' online lives."  Um, making them get involved?  How about helping them get involved?  One major role KRL could potentially play in all of this is offering classes on the many kinds of sites and web tools that are out there.  The Click! program, with its focus on learning technology, would be a reasonable place to offer training and information about social networking sites and Web 2.0.  Create a class and invite the parents/public to come on in.  Or utilize our web-savvy teens to teach workshops.

Second point - "I do not think that there is anything inherently 'cool' or useful about having a (library) profile on these sites.  Just like any social software tool, it's what you do with it that matters." (my emphasis.)  Amen and amen!  Our challenge is choosing the best tools to engage the public with the library, and using those tools deliberately and creatively.

One thing I've noticed - students are intrigued when they discover that I know what these sites and webtools are, and how they work.  We've had some great conversations when I've asked them how they use these things; I've received tips on using my Facebook more effectively, and they've learned some things from me about other online stuff.  Having a working knowledge of all that we're covering in krl2.0 can give us opportunities to connect with many of our patrons.

And now, since this is a humor blog, I'd like to mention a recurring thing that is happening to me:  I find myself humming incongruous tunes at odd times.  Let me say here that I'm a humming person.  I hum all the time.  (Just ask the PT staff.  Ask my husband.)  The difference is in what I'm humming.  Maybe it's due to watching far more television than usual in the last month, because commercial jingles figure heavily in the tune list, especially from car commercials...He's a maniac, maniac...  I even found myself  humming the Beethoven bit from Hyundai duh duh duh duh.  Duh indeed.

Other tunes I've caught myself humming?  Basketball jones, I've got a basketball jones...  Where did that come from??  I was a junior in high school when that was on the radio.  Why did my mind dredge that one up from my murky brainy depths when there are so many others to choose from?  I'm no longer on oxycodone, so I can't blame drugs.

Next time: perhaps more riveting thoughts on the effects of too much free time.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Ow Ow Ow

It's January 6th already??

My New Year's epiphany:  I am a big wimp.  I had some significant surgeries between age 3 and 16, with months spent in the hospital, so I thought a broken arm would be relatively easy to endure.  However, as I've learned from some who've had broken arms, it all depends.  It all depends on where it breaks.  It all depends on what kind of break it is (my break was more of a shredding.)  I landed on my elbow, seriously annoying my ulna nerve, and it will continue to be annoyed for months while it heals, and that is why I'm a wimp.  May I whine?  It feels like I've just bumped my funny bone, 24 hours a day.  

I've tried many distractions.

Ineffective distractions - jigsaw puzzles, most television shows, crosswords, sudoku (although WebMD has a very nice online sudoku), writing thank you notes and letters, and reading.  Reading anything is worse than not reading.  That's a first, believe me.  My current checkout list has four things on it.  It hasn't been that small since I was seven years old.

Somewhat effective distractions - browsing Blogger, browsing staff blogs, watching Judge Alex and Judge Marilyn, trying to play my hammered dulcimer (mostly one-handed), and household chores.  My doctor would have something to say about those last two.  I'm not telling him.

Best distractions  - cleaning out my office (shred, shred, shred) and watching DVDS of my favorite funny people.  Four of those DVDs are what's on my checkout list.  They have kept me from going mad.

In the last two posts I promised that I would visit the subject of Comedians.  It's mighty handy that my sanity has been preserved by them for the last couple of weeks!  Here's my viewing list so far:

The Marx brothers.  I love 'em, and I've revisited all of their films.  They didn't always hit a bullseye with a film - Groucho often referred to the 'turkey' they were making - but there are inspired moments in all of them.  Night At The Opera has the most cohesive plot and the stateroom scene is not to be missed.  Duck Soup?  The "mirror" scene (they all look like Groucho when wearing a nightcap and mustache), 'Hail Freedonia', and the lemonade vendor.  Harpo (harp) and Chico (piano) are always showcased somehow, and there are additional songs for Groucho and the ubiquitous romantic couple.  I never tire of hearing "Hooray For Captain Spaulding" or "Lydia The Tattooed Lady" (you can learn a lot from Lydia).

Monty Python's Flying Circus.  Modern-day Marx Brothers.  I watched all fourteen discs.  Oh my.

How To Irritate People.  Courtesy of Graham Chapman, John Cleese, and Michael Palin.

Eddie Izzard.  "Dress To Kill" and "Glorious".  I've mentioned before that I deplore his exuberant use of a certain word.  However, we lived in Scotland for awhile and we heard that word all the time.  It was eff-effity-eff, so I give him some slack.  He is funny.  He is Darth Vader getting no respect in a cafeteria line on the Death Star.  He is a steward on Church Of England Airlines.  Heads-up if you decide to watch his DVD - Eddie

Rowan Atkinson.  I'm halfway through Mr. Bean (the series).  I'm awaiting Blackadder.

Wodehouse Playhouse.  I saw this series on PBS a couple of decades ago and was delighted to discover the DVDs on our library shelf.  This is the best of both worlds, P.G. Wodehouse done by BBC Television.  John Alderton and Pauline Collins bring those characters right out of the books.  If you haven't seen these, you must.  Put them on hold at the library or go to Netflix.  Do it.

Bill Cosby.  We still have his LPs.  He was funny then, he is funny now.  Maybe funnier, because his monologues explore the joys of growing older and having unexpected adventures (like a proctologist visit.)  Alas that I'm old enough to relate to a lot of his observations!  There's a Facebook group, Gettin' Old Ain't For Sissies, and Bill Crosby's humor affirms it.

Frank Caliendo.  I watch him on Youtube.  He's an impressionist, which sort of understates it because he can be anybody.  He goes from George Bush to Bill Clinton seamlessly.  He does everybody from Seinfeld except Elaine.  I have laughed out loud at some of his stuff.  We don't have cable, so I can't watch his show on TBS.  I must depend on the kindness of strangers to put excerpts on YouTube.

Smothers Brothers.  Loved this show way back when.  Now I sing along with them (Black is the color of my love's true hair...)  I owned all their records, so the words are engraved into my brain.  I still have my Pat Paulsen For President button.

That's my list.  Those are all the folk who have helped me ignore my arm for awhile, and I'm grateful.

Next post?  Probably a whine.  Stay tuned.