Monday, March 29, 2010

I still have to share the mac.

I thought I would have a little more access to our computer now that Ken is finished with his English class and has moved on to Biology. I was wrong. It looks like he will be online even more, so posts will be erratic. Thursday nights may be open. We shall see.

I follow a few humor-connected celebrities on Twitter, just because. They're a quiet group, tweet-wise, probably because they are busy elsewhere doing interesting things. But once in awhile one of them shows up with a tweet. Stephen Fry strayed online just long enough to direct people to Dan & Dan's youtube post, The Daily Mail Song. If you've ever been in Britain and actually seen The Daily Mail, you'll know that those are real newspapers.

I also follow people who occasionally post links to serendipitous photos that they've taken. The best one this week: A Children's Guide to Splattered Bugs (found at a local 76 gas station.)

One recent Twitter development that I could do without is retweeting. I'll admit it, retweeting can be a phenomenal tool when spreading important information. An example is the Phone Number That Went 'Round The World when the earthquake struck Haiti. The phone number was for people to call if they had relatives in Haiti. It was pretty cool. But, apart from emergencies, retweeting drives me nuts. If Tweeter #1 enjoys a tweet from Tweeter #2, Tweeter #1 can retweet Tweeter #2's tweet so all of Tweeter #1's followers can enjoy it too. Viral tweeting. My first thought when I see these retweets is "Who are these people?" Those whom I truly like to follow get lost in all the excess conversation. Aargh.

Overheard on Twitter: Can you tell I'm home alone? Medium to low-brow tv and tweeting at the same time (and I have wine and chocolate)

Next time: humorists old and new. Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Twitter!

Twitter is officially four years old today, as of 12:50 p.m.

I learned this, appropriately, from a tweet this morning. Twitter has been responsible for a number of smiles as I've followed people through the last three years, and the application has given me grist for blog posts.

No Overheard on Twitter today, just a hearty congratulations.

Next time: those library tales I mentioned on Wednesday. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Google Fame

If you're interested in performing an intriguing search on Google, search for yourself. This was an email suggestion from one of our reference staff. Our family had done that years ago (we altavista'd back then, rather than googled) but I hadn't done it since, so I typed in my name. If you have a name as common as mine, you will end up with a long, long list of results. My results were fun to scan. I share a name with women who serve in government, who are musicians, who are in Code 911 columns for various crimes, even a woman who is on The Wall Street Journal's editorial board. I went deeply into the search results and didn't find anything related to me at all.

Then I tried searching something more unique to me: dulcigal. The top 18 results were me, with other dulcigals salted in among the remaining links. What was included in my top 18? A few of them were accounts I had set up during krl2.0. One of them was this blog but, oddly, the link was for an entry from January 2008 rather than a more recent post.

There were also things I've set up beyond krl2.0, like my "band" on Reverbnation, established so I could learn the process of recording and transferring music from GarageBand to the Web. I have a myspace page, too, set up in order to contact other musicians. You'd think musicians would want to be easily contacted but some of them, like Tugboat Bromberg, are only contactable through their myspace pages. So I signed on with myspace. Good ol' Tugboat.

One of my staff, curious about the whole Google Yourself exercise, typed in his social security number and experienced a momentary panic. His ssn showed up on someone's facebook page, in Spain! After a closer look, it turned out to be a telephone number and his deep concern changed to relief.

In other news, nonfiction has been the ticket for my reading over the last few years. I'm still working my way through the Humor subject search in our library catalog. I toyed with the idea of reading every humorous book in the library, inspired by J. A. Jacobs of The Know-It-All, but I had to rethink that project because there are 1,474 items in Humor and, frankly, I'm not single-minded enough to carry it out.

I have ordered a few to read, though, and enjoyed every one of them so far. There's no rhyme nor reason why a title might look interesting enough to place on Hold. Sometimes it's because I've read something similar and enjoyed the subject. That was certainly the case for Born to Kvetch: Yiddish language and culture in all its moods. This was a Hold slam-dunk, since I still reread Leo Rosten's The Joys of Yiddish. My favorite section in Kvetch was chapter 6, You Should Grow Like an Onion: The Yiddish Curse.

Another hit was Cake Wrecks: when professional cakes go hilariously wrong. That one was a happy discovery on our New shelf. I look at frosting with fresh eyes now. Yikes.

And although I won't read every book, I might look at every catalog entry because some of the titles have made me laugh, titles like Snark: a polemic in seven fits. I had to Look Inside that one.

Overheard on Twitter: I worry that we are the last generation to really care about Gary Coleman.

Next time: library tales. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sad news...

...if you live in the United Kingdom and care deeply about cheese. Especially if you care so deeply about cheese that you would be willing to risk your neck chasing a small wheel of Double Gloucester down a steep, slippery hill. According to the BBC, the annual Cheese Rolling has been canceled for 2010. Alas.

Overheard on Twitter: I think workplaces should do Spring Break. Who's with me?

Next time: something equally silly. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Unhappy Hipsters

It's feast or famine with blog posts. The recent famine is courtesy of a husband taking his English prereq this quarter. He has done nothing but write, write, write on the computer during the last two months. Next quarter is Biology so there's hope that I'll be able to post more regularly.

Hipsters come into family conversations once in awhile, mostly due to our son. He lives in Seattle (aka Hipster Central) and has stories to tell about hipsters he has met. What is a hipster? The Urban Dictionary has several definitions; I think #2 is probably the closest. Alden isn't a hipster per se - he doesn't have the attitude - but he does look like one. This became uncomfortably clear to him last summer.

If you've visited the Seattle waterfront in the last several years, you've probably seen a Duck, a large, white, double-deck vehicle full of tourists. There is the requisite tour-guide-with-a-microphone describing the sights. The guide occasionally invites the tourists to quack loudly. The company motto is "You haven't seen Seattle until you've seen it from a Duck!" (I have yet to puzzle out the whole duck thing. How does a duck represent Seattle? Eugene, Oregon I could understand, but Seattle? Ah well, back to the story...)

Alden was standing on the sidewalk near Coleman Dock when a Duck pulled up. The Duck's passengers were clearly enjoying themselves, a real rambunctious group. Alden was waiting for the crosswalk light, hoping to get across the street and away from the Duck (he holds Ducks in high disdain) when he heard the tour guide say, "To your right is a classic Seattle hipster!" Loud responses ensued and he finally looked around to see who they were talking about. It was him. They were taking pictures of him and waving, calling out "Hey, this is cool! A hipster!" My (usually) polite son responded...silently and inappropriately. The crosswalk sign indicated safe crossing and he went on his way. I can only imagine the stunned reactions on the Duck.

I was browsing around Tumblr a few months ago and found Unhappy Hipsters. I visit Unhappy Hipsters every day. The site routinely posts photos from Dwell magazine and adds a caption beneath them. Most of the photos are of Extreme Modern architecture, both indoor and outdoor shots. There is usually one person in the photo. I can only describe it as The Far Side Meets Architectural Digest.

And that is that, for now.

Overheard on Twitter: Just deleted my snarky ending before sending an e-mail. Sometimes being a grown-up is no fun at all.

Next time: a little catching up. Stay tuned.