Archive for Learn and Play

The Bonus Round

Posted in Learn and Play with tags , on December 4, 2008 by moamcm

OK, so I know this is late, but it wasn’t part of the official L&P so I thought it could wait.  Here then are Ten Random Things About Me:

1)  A friend once told me, “You’re a type A personality very well disguised as a type B.”  I would be insecure, angry, and aggressive about this, but I am just too relaxed to care.

2)  I once worked on a casino gambling boat on the Mississippi River.  Life as a casino employee was the closest I have ever come to living the Goodfella’s life.  It was good.

3)  Does #2 give this away?  I am a huge fan of crime/caper films.  Bank robbery (at least in the movies) is excessively cool.  And no, I am not planning anything.

4) I passed the United States Foreign Service Written Exam on my first run.  I made it to the second round and ranked around the 250th candidate (out of 20,000).  I’m kind of proud of this one (forgive me the moment of immodesty).  They only hired 200 that year though.  This was crushing at the time, but later positive for me since I found out that I get the same feeling I was looking for at the library (“I make a difference”) with far less risk (usually).

5)  My suite at the University of Iowa was one of the only all 21 or older suites in the 8 floor, 2 wing building.  We were a popular hang out spot.  The recycling people at the dorm would sometimes have to bring a cart just for the bottles in our room.  I swear, I spent most of my time at the coffee shop studying.  At least, I cannot recall being involved in this.

6)  I immediately become nocturnal whenever I go on vacation.  I am perfectly happy to not see the sun for days on end.  Science supports me in this lifestyle.  The sun is not your friend!

7)  I once had a dog named Neko.  He was a very small terrier pup when I got him.  Neko means “cat” in Japanese.  He never seemed to have any identity issues with this.  He did have a very strong love for seaweed though.

8)  I have never seen an ocean up close and personal.  I have flown over it, but I have never been East of the Appalachians or West of the Rockies on the ground.  Perhaps with global warming, the ocean will come to me someday.

9)  Fun family fact I enjoy: my grandfather when he was a young man drove cross country as a freelance delivery driver of certain liquid refreshments.  Later this option of making money dried up due to a Constitutional amendment.

10)  Caffeine in all forms is wonderful.  I am not addicted to caffeine.  Addiction requires the possibility that one could quit.  I would say that death will end this, but my current plans involve avoiding death through staying awake and fidgeting… forever.

23 Things – The End

Posted in Learn and Play with tags on December 2, 2008 by moamcm

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?

Delicious was a cool find.  I think it is the one I am most likely to use.  I also discovered I enjoy blogging, though I have nowhere the time needed to do it on a routine basis.  And of course, I also have to give a nod to Google Docs as a very useful addition to my toolbox.

How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

It’s made me pay more attention to many things online that I never really noticed before.  I now am far more likely to take seriously any new trend and at least check it out to see what it is about.

Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

I guess if I had one big surprise it is how absolutely insignificant and useless the vast majority of web 2.0 tools are.  Sorry, but that’s just the way I felt.  I mean really stop and think about this and most of these tools are at best fun diversions.  Don’t take this the wrong way.  Maybe this is the first step and over time these will grow up in to useful tools that serve a purpose, but right now most of the things we looked at are at best interesting.  Given time and thought we may be able to turn these in to real useful tools.  I had expected to be more impressed.

What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

I think the format worked fine.  I didn’t really have a problem with the way anything was set up and I think the L&P team did a great job overall.

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you again chose to participate?

Definitely!  I do think the program was useful and interesting.  I would enjoy the opportunity to learn more about what’s out there.

Not Enough Time

Posted in Learn and Play with tags , on December 2, 2008 by moamcm

Saved this one for last.  I really wanted to do something fitting with the blog theme, but in the end I just do not have time.  So instead I will go with a simple image ran through the Hockneyizer.  Enjoy.

CSM

MOLDI

Posted in Learn and Play with tags , on December 2, 2008 by moamcm

Tried out Moldi.  Downloaded a few books and movies.  Interesting and I definitely like the books.  I don’t mind reading on screen, so this is an interesting way to get materials.

I was not a fan of having to install extra software to see the movies however.  I already have programs that can manage digitally protected media just fine and I don’t really need another one.  I tried it out, but in the end I will be probably be removing the Overdrive Media Console from my PC.  From what I can see at first glance, it really isn’t all that useful of a program except to the MOLDI site.  So I wish they would have done what they did with the eBooks and went with a more multi-use program (many of the eBooks come in Adobe formats which we all know is worth having since it is useful everywhere).  But I did get to download Tattooed Life, so I cannot complain too much.

Overall though, I like MOLDI.  The access to full text books online is something I may from time to time find useful.  It’s nice to know that I have an option to look for a book in this format.

Podcasts – Listening to Dolphins

Posted in Learn and Play with tags , , on December 1, 2008 by moamcm

Took a look at all 3 directories and discovered that I liked the search feature better on Podcastalley.  I did a few quick searches and came across in short order 3 things of interest that I will need to check out more.

The first is of course game related.  If you like games, these guys seem pretty fun (in a gamer geek sort of way – a compliment one gamer to another).  Yeah, I know this is huge geek factor, so we will move on quickly.  Roll 2D6

Then I decided to scope around for another thing of interest and I ran a search for customer service.  That’s how I found Ed Horrell’s podcast called Talk about Service.  I listened to a couple of his calls to companies and was hooked.  Telephone call nightmares: proof positive that the concept of customer service is nothing more than lip service to most companies.  Talk About Service

As for library podcasts, I found one that seemed to have some fun content.  I mean let’s face it, if I want something educational from this I’ll get a book.  But a fun podcast by a librarian is worth the occasional listening maybe.  The Mr. Nice Guy Show

How do we use this?  Maybe a weekly new book show?  Or a weekly review show done by various staff?  Seems like library podcasts are an idea some people would like. 

While I understand the format, I am not particularly thrilled with listening to podcasts.  Just not my thing.  I prefer video or reading to listening (I tend to fall asleep when I try to listen to books on CD).  Like I say, just not my thing overall, though I can see that some people love this.

And the official link to the bloglines account to make this excercise complete (see under “podcasts”).

“Podcast,” by the way, has to be one of the dumbest terms to ever enter the English language.  Straight and simple we have a word for this already folks – it’s “broadcast.”  We don’t need another to distinguish people speaking online.  Instead, we use a simple adjective to modify the word as in: online broadcast – wallah!  No new jingle slogan words created and no dictionaries harmed in the usage.  What moron originated the word Podcast?  Maybe I should call that in to infoline?

YouTube – Hours of Pointless Time Wasting Fun

Posted in Learn and Play with tags , , on November 24, 2008 by moamcm

YouTube, this I know already.  This is the place to go waste hours of ones life.  How quickly it can suck you in and take your time.  The only thing I have seen worse than this is video games.  But like video games, I love it.  Where else are you going to find an assortment of everything from music videos to old commercials, television and movie clips, cartoons, and user made videos (some good, many bad).

Training seems like the best way we can use a YouTube style idea internally.  It seems to me that many training materials would fit well in the short video format.  We could easily post these through our own site.  As for using YouTube itself, why not go the Amazon route and allow users to link video reviews to our catalog?  We could post tutorials for our users as well (such as how to use the catalog, how to search premium resources, etc).  This one just seems obvious to me.  We should be doing more with video.  ‘nuff said.

Grabbed some random links for stuff that I like.  Enjoy.

Log from Blammo (Ren & Stimpy – nostalgia)

Fascination Street by the Cure (more nostalgia)

Funk Fujiyama by Kome Kome Club (it helps if you speak some Japanese, but the video is fairly clear about the joke)

A favorite scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (not all is at it appears)

Flippy from Happy Tree Friends (HTF is only for the brave who enjoy the contrast of cute cartoon animals doing horrific things to each other.  It’s twisted, but fun!  – Oh, and it’s his fault I know about this)

WordPress.  Sheesh.  It wouldn’t let me embed!

CML’s Toolbox

Posted in Learn and Play with tags , , , on November 20, 2008 by moamcm

I actually use the library catalog search plug-in for IE already.  I did use the Firefox toolbar when it first came out, but it kept crashing Firefox after I installed it, so I had to lose that unfortunately.  This is no way a reflection on the usefulness of that tool.  The CML FF Toolbar was cool, but I suspect it was incompatible with some element of another plug-in I had running (I run a pretty loaded version on my home PC).  Either way, it’s cool to be able to search our catalog directly from the browser though.

I did however discover Book Burro though while doing this exercise.  Book Burro, I like.  I have since added it to my FF plug-ins and I use it when I am cruising Amazon.  Since I work at a library I don’t actually buy books from Amazon (though they get my hard earned cash in other ways), but I do cruise there constantly looking for reviews and titles to reserve.  Book Burro puts me in instant touch with CML catalog (through WorldCat).  So now I can instantly see without leaving the page if CML has what I want.  Yes indeed, I like this a lot. 

Now if someone would just create a tool where I could submit all the things I want that we do not own!  You know, like a one click “submit this to Collection Development Division” button.  I just know the people at CDD are looking forward to that day.