Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Technology Wars? (not yet.)

What a wild week is ahead!  The technology is taking a back seat, mostly, to many other things that must be done before week's end.

In other news, Ken has begun something new - he's going back to college with the goal of becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse.  He has to take some preliminary courses before he can apply to the program at O.C., getting them done one per quarter so he can still work full time.  He started his first class yesterday, Psychology, with professor Dan Dunlap.  

We think Ken is going to have a grand time this quarter, as evidenced by his professor's website.  It should be an interesting introduction to being a student again.  (He earned a B.A. in Political Science/International Affairs in 1980.)

Overheard on Twitter:  Like finding the hat of a missing predecessor deep in the Peruvian rain forests, I've just discovered faint evidence of a dog-ear on pg 79.

Next time:  well, it probably won't be Technology Wars.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

While web surfing...

...overheard on Twitter:  If my dog could smell his own breath, I'm pretty sure he'd want to roll in it.

Next time:  technology wars.  Stay tuned.

Technology Fun

Just playing around with backgrounds today.  I've had this blog since October 2007, begun with krl2.0, and I thought I'd try a new look.  It's only semi-new, since the Posts section still looks the same.  Resizing the Reverbnation widget is a work-in-progress, too.  (It shouldn't be this hard, she muttered.)  I'm having a lot of fun with html.  Really.  I am.  I love coding but haven't done much of it in the last couple of years, so the rehab has been a great refresher.

There are so many other things I should be doing, like posting more grandmother items on Etsy, but I needed a minor creative break.  Rehabbing the blog turned out to be a little more than minor, but that's the way it goes.  At least I'm learning something new.

And speaking of Etsy, my next technology challenge will be learning how to make digital collage sheets.  I became a Friend of the Port Orchard Library in order to help them with a load of donated vintage books and ephemera.  It struck me that we could get more bang for the buck if I scanned the ephemera and made it into collage sheets, then sell the sheets on Etsy.  I made a shop section for that purpose, so anyone who may actually purchase these will know that all the proceeds go to the Friends.

The donations sparked quite a few ideas for things to sell on Etsy and in the Book Harbor.  Some of those vintage books are falling apart and worthless, others are worth (at most) $2.  I've found that there is a high demand for collage and scrapbooking materials, particularly one-of-a-kind materials, so we're bundling loose pages and selling them in sets of 20.  (Collage artists value the old fonts and aged paper.)  A lot of pages are in rough shape, so I've die-cut them into circles, ovals, and rectangles to sell in packets.  It's an experiment, certainly, but worth a try.  It's better than just tossing or recycling them.  Actually it is recycling them, right into art and jewelry.

We'll also use the die-cut shapes for some things to sell during Month of the Book, things I'm not going to reveal here quite yet.  It's going to be a busy crafting summer, getting ready for October!  We've recently had a large influx of volunteers and the Month of the Book items will be there for them to work on if we run out of things for them to do.

Next time:  collage sheets - can she or can't she?  Stay tuned.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Whither a Widget?

Technology can be a delight or a fickle mess, sometimes a little of both.  Although this blog is primarily for musings, it's occasionally used to test something.  Today's test:  adding a widget to the blog.  The trick now is figuring out how to resize it, a trick which won't happen this morning.  I must go to work!

Next time:  widget fun.  Stay tuned.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Folklife Festival Debrief, condensed

Attending Folklife is a family tradition.  Actually it's more than a family tradition, since I had a craft booth there for a few years (late 70s, pre-Ken).  My booth was always among the trees that line the western side of The International Fountain.  In those days, I liked to design peculiar things out of fabric and, fortunately for me, Folklife attendees enjoyed buying them.  The hottest item one year was my Stuffed Nose pillow.  The pillows were in the shape of famous noses and included J.R.R. Tolkien's, Machiavelli's, and C. S. Lewis's.  I wonder how they've held up and if any are still around.

This was the first year I was able to attend the whole weekend (sans booth, that is.)  So much fun!  We heard the Mandolin Orchestra, Whamdiddle, Croatian a capella, fiery Norwegian fiddlers...ate the traditional Apple Dumpling and roasted corn-on-the-cob...signed up for harp lessons with Magical Strings...so many wonderful things.

I also had a mission:  find someone to lead sea chantey singing at the library.  The City of Port Orchard hosts an annual Pirate Mystery Weekend and I've wanted to have a community sing-along to be part of it.  The bad news:  the event is the same weekend as Port Townsend's Wooden Boat Festival and guess where all the sea-oriented people are?  Last year was close - I nearly snagged someone who was willing to lead a sing-along but it fell through (Tugboat Bromberg, where did you go?)

So.  This year I talked with Folklife performers who were leading sing-alongs.  One group didn't know chanteys, another was already booked elsewhere.  I was considering giving up when I noticed a lovely group of pirates.  I stalked them to the Northwest Stage Beer Garden and boldly spoke with The Captain, explaining my mission.  He said yes, he thought his group, the BOOM Pirates, could join the Pirate Mystery Weekend and they would be delighted to organize and lead sea chanteys.  We exchanged business cards and went into the beer garden, where he and his group led a sing-along.  They were terrific!  I jubilantly went on my way when the sing-along was done.

It wasn't until I got home and looked at the Boom Pirates website that I realized what a treasure I had found.  And I wondered if they would really come all the way to Port Orchard (for not-much-money) because these pirates were well-known and from Portland.  And it turns out that, yes, they really will.  They only ask reimbursement for gas and gunpowder (gunpowder!)  The BOOM Pirates will do much more than lead a family-friendly sing-along, including a demonstration of pirate weaponry (which explains the gunpowder expense.)  They'll happily camp at Manchester State Park.  It is almost too good to be true.

Summing up, I noticed that:

- the best place for people-watching is The International Fountain (find a spot with your back to the sun and and prepare to be entertained.)
- the food lines are shorter at the booths near the crafters' Marketplace.
- marijuana is not in short supply among folkies, evidenced by its unmistakeable scent on the wafting breezes.
- mandolins are epic when there are over twenty of them in one place. They are awesome any time, but en masse...wow.
- a kilt and an unadorned t-shirt is the fashion choice for young men at folk festivals.
- folk humor is rampant, an observation that deserves a posting all its own.

Next time:  Hm.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Folklife Festival Debrief?

Nope. Not yet. But...

Here's a Coke Ad, set in a library.

Next time:  Folklife Festival debrief.  The pirates are coming!  Stay tuned...