Wednesday, January 14, 2009

National Hat Day... tomorrow, January 15.  I've encouraged our staff to wear one to our staff meeting.  It's fielder's choice as far as how fashionable the hat may be.  I tend to opt for the more exuberant, like a giant sombrero or a Cat-In-The-Hat hat.  (I wish I had a Viking helmet with horns.) Wearing a hat at unexpected times is a playful and non-threatening thing we can do at the library.  Our patrons are getting used to us, though.  They hardly blink when something odd is going on.

I'm home for a couple of days with a grievous medical thing.  I can hardly move and have a lot of time on my hands, which leaves a wide open space for mind-wandering.  Pondering hats brought up a memory of a household from many years ago.  There were five of us.  Four of us were of the spontaneous sort, ready for anything.  The fifth, whom I shall call Madge, thought we were...well...silly.  I suppose we were, some of the time.  She once suggested that we were people who needed attention.  I took a serious look at her suggestion but decided that it wasn't really the case, at least for me.  I could live for days (quite happily) with no human contact at all.  Still can.

Thinking about Madge brought up other roommates of my past.  One of the most memorable came about as a result of an ad in the newspaper.  She was seeking a roomie for her established apartment, I was in search of a place.  We met, spoke, and seemed compatible, so I moved in.  Once my stuff was settled, she came to my room, gave me a list of 'shared expenses' that had not been part of our rental conversation, and headed out to an appointment.  It was a lengthy list.  Some of it was reasonable.  But the further down the list I went, the more questionable some of the items became.  The one that sent me over the edge was lightbulbs.  She planned to charge me a percentage of the use of all the lightbulbs in the apartment, since I hadn't been there to share the original cost.  Hm.  This list indicated some potential, and significant, problems.  I called my friends, the ones who had just finished moving me in, and asked them to help me move out.  That afternoon.

It speaks to the depth of friendship when people say ok to a request like that.

Besides hats and roommate memories, my thoughts have been engaged with websurfing.  I received an email from a 2.0 application, Stikkit, in which it was announced regretfully that Stikkit was shutting down in 30 days.  That's one of the vagaries of Web 2.0.  You just never know if an app will be supported enough to stay put.  Doggone.  I used Stikkit a lot - it allowed me to put a virtual sticky note on a website, a handy tool for reminding me why I went to the website in the first place and what I found useful there.  It was kind of them to let everyone know, giving Stikkit users time to gather their stickies and mark the sites in other ways.  It's more the norm that apps simply (poof) go away.

But as one app goes out the window, another takes its place:  Etherpad.  I tried this with a friend.  I'm not sure when I would use it, except perhaps to plan a travel list with someone, or write a group notice, or something.  Maybe it could be used at work in lieu of a meeting, when collaborating on writing documentation or training materials.  Hmm.  The primary hurdle would be getting permission to download Skype.

To finish up, I revisited some of my favorite videos.  Font Conference is wonderful.  It took a couple of viewings before I got the joke with Wingdings.  If you go there, be warned - you should pause it after it starts, to give it a chance to load.  To find the pause, put your cursor over the lower left corner of the video screen and it will pop up.

Next time:  something odd, no doubt.  Stay tuned.

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