Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Despite it's peculiarness, it is a relatively benign condition. According to the to Medline Plus and Mayo Clinic websites, it starts to get better in a couple of weeks and is pretty much gone in 3 to 6 months. There's not much that doctors do to treat the disease--possibly prescribing anti-viral medications or steroids. I've treated mine by reading about it on the Internet.
This doesn't sit well with some people. My brother--who first tipped me off that I might have Bell's said, "Do you want to go to the Emergency Room? It's right across the street." My co-worker, Norma, said, "Maybe you should go to the clinic." One patron asked "What doctor did you go to?" Others have expressed incredulousness that I haven't "gone to the doctor."
I'm not sure why I have avoided medical care. I don't have health insurance, but I don't think that's the only reason. As my husband says, "We can afford it if you want to go to the doctor." At my stage of life, I have grown leary of the authority of doctors. I have been to them enough to know that they are human and fallible. I trust my own knowledge and I know that doctors do not have any magical powers. I trust mostly in the human body to heal itself.
Americans may have to come to grips with this as they go about reforming their health care system. Too often we believe that more is always better and that doctors must do something. It is the great faith and value that we place on doctors and their tools--surgery, drugs, physical therapy--that have spent us into these excesses. Being "under a doctor's care" has such status to us that those of us who opt out of this system are shamed and pitied. The uninsured are even blamed for the high costs of health care. I just wish that the stakes weren't so high with health care. I wish I could go into a clinic and not wait for hours and spend hundreds of dollars on treatments and tests. Although I know modern medicine has something to offer, I also know that our ancestors lived long and healthy lives without it. For now I'm treating my Bell's with rest and aspirin.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I just finished reading Julie and Julia--now a popular movie--about a woman who decides to cook every recipe in the book Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julie Child. It got me thinking about how much a book can be a life inspiration. Another example is an article I'm reading by Ian Frazier (The New Yorker) and his travel across Siberia. Several times in his narrative, he refers to writers who have traveled across Siberia before him. How could these people have undertaken such wonderful and difficult life journeys without the help of a book?
Books are like time travel--they can take you to places you'll never go on your own and introduce you to people--to the point where you feel an affection and closeness to them even though you've never met them. The real Julia Child didn't think much of Julie Powell or her blog about cooking her recipes, but never mind, it was the book itself that was the guide and impetus. They whole experience also changed Julie's life in positive ways, giving her fame and (presumably) fortune.
Next time you are looking for a way to change your life, look in a book. Or write one.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I am listening to Pandora music--like John Mayer--so far so good. I've liked the first three songs. My daughter Alice has been telling me that I ought to try this site, so now I finally have. I have also put a jazz station widget on my blog--at leat I hope that I have. I have used radio on-line previously. My other daughter, Livia, was a d.j. on a college radio station so I listened to her a few times. It was hit and miss as far as whether I could get her or not, but the last few times I was able to get her through Quicktime--have a Mac at home. I think this on-line radio and music is certainly the wave of the future. Both my daughters have their laptops with them constantly, so that seems to be one of their modes of listening to music, along with their i-pods of course. Not sure how this will affect libraries, except maybe that people will be listening to the radio while they are doing Internet business. Most of the kids who come in request headphones. We've gone through many pairs in the past few years.
I also signed on for Livestream.fm, but not sure how it will affect my life--didn't have too many things to put on it--Twitter, blog, facebook and delicious. I don't know anyone who uses this service, so that will affect my usage also. Trying to rush through the last few things--definitely wanted to try the music and it has been fun, but I could do more experimenting with radio stations.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
|Make a Smilebox scrapbook|
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I can see many uses both personally and at the library for the photo sites. I opened a flickr account and ECRL has photos on flickr, but I still have to ask someone at headquarters how to add my pictures.
We just received a Lumix digital camera for our library as part of an LSTA grant, so I am very happy and excited to have the use of that. Mainly we will use it to highlight our programs, but it is fun to take pictures of patrons and Friends of the Library also--Friends meeting starts soon, so gotta go.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Although there is some talk about the demise of reading and books, I see a few more fat years for popular writers and publishers. In my library, as is probably true elsewhere, the older generation are big readers. Once the baby boomers start to retire, they'll want to spend some of their leisure time in the relaxing pursuit of reading. I see parents who want the best for their children and so they encourage reading. Even though they love their computer games, there are still kids who come to the library to check out books. Library circulation keeps going up gradually. And one way to get rich is to write a popular book--just read about John Sandford in the Star Tribune.
The book tools can only enhance reading. If you are obsessed with your library, Library Thing is a good way to organize your materials. I have too many books and not enough time to pursue that site. I do like the "Daily Lit" site and have signed up to get a James Joyce book on a daily installment. Some other favorites include "What should I read next?" and "What's next?" These sites offer answers to questions I am asked on a daily basis. I will definitely turn to them if I am stumped in what to offer a patron. I also enjoyed some of the children's book sites. It was cool to read stories from 1890 in the International Digital Children's Library. I also read a great book about a pig on Sillybooks. I will recommend these sites to parents who are looking for educational computer sites. I also liked the Book Browse--seems like it had some good reliable reviews. Reading Group Guides is a site that I have used a lot and will continue to use both at work for reading groups and in my personal book club.
The only other site that I can recommend is "bartleby.com". It's been around a long time and it has full text of classic works from Shakespeare, the Bible, etc. There are also quotes and a dictionary. I've used this site if someone is looking for a classic work of literature and they only want to look something up, not read the whole book.
Computers nowdays are big competition for books, but books still offer a richer, more complex world than can be portrayed with mere images. Books still offer more depth and they are more portable. I feel a little fried after using a computer all day, but reading a book feels wonderful--a great luxury.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Travel 2.0 has the potential of being even more helpful--as it involves more interactive and detailed information. I checked out some of the travel blogs and there was interesting overall travel information--lots of personal descriptions and pictures of trips. I checked out a gal's site who had traveled to Columbia, South American. There were plenty of good tips for those who wanted to try such an adventure. Another fun site was "The Cranky Flier" who related her nightmarish flight to Paris--complete with sitting on the tarmac for about an hour and a long line for customs and rude Paris officials. My favorite site was"tripadvisor". I've used it before to get information about hotels--often there is good information, but just as often there is a little note that says, "be the first one to write a review". The advisor sites are only as good as the people who use them. I like the idea of making my own trip site--seems like a fun way to share the trip with friends and relatives, like an on-line combination scrapbook and trip description. I tried some of the mashups, but again, not totally complete. I tried to find some green businesses in Winona, MN, where my mother lives, but came up with nothing. I did discover that there are lots of winerys around the Twin Cities area--might be fun to check a few out.
My advice is to check out sites that relate to what you want to see on your travels. My husband was able to find a rare "elegant trogan" by checking out birding sites in Arizona.
Although Travel 2.0 has a great deal of potential, it will take a few years before these sites are fully realized.
I think that these sites can be used like a travel guide would be--to help people find out more about the places they want to visit. Nowdays many people have the Internet at home, so the library may not necessarily be involved.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
View Biking/Bird Routes in Mille Lacs area in a larger map
Saturday, April 18, 2009
I do have two twitter reports
1) Britney Spears is now following me. I'm sure she'll be thrilled to learn the gossip around the Mille Lacs Lake Community Library, picking up book recommendations and whatnot.
2) Roland Hedley's twitters about traveling with Pres. Obama etc. in New Yorker were hilarious. (What can I steal as souvineer from Air Force One?)
I like Twitter, but am about at the preschool level with it. I know of no real people who use Twitter--just celebrites and other librarians involved with this project. If it ever becomes as popular as facebook, I will be prepared to jump on the bandwagon.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Hans Mayer will be giving a concert for parents and preschoolers on Tuesday, May 12 at 11:00 a.m. at Mille Lacs Lake Community Library. Mayer is a gifted musician who has played for children all around the country, especially at libraries. East Central tried to hire him for the summer reading program, but he was totally booked. Because of this, he has offered to do a free concert for Mille Lacs in his slower month of May.
Mayer has written and recorded eight CDs. He has won a Parent's Choice Approved Award for his 2008 CD "Funny Little Creatures." According to his website, he has appreared on the Today show, Austin City Limits, and written music for the PBS special "Songs of the Spirit". Mayer plays guitar, mandolin, and Native American flute. He has opened for Willie Nelson, Tori Amos, Pearl Jam and the BoDeans.
I asked Hans, who lives just north of Isle, how he got his start as a children's entertainer. He told me that his band broke up in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. He played various places around town, and was asked to write the theme song for a radio show that was sponsored by the LaCrosse Public Library. It was also there that he met his wife Carol, who is a librarian. Hans has been writing music and lyrics for a new CD and he said that he will be playing some of those songs at the Mille Lacs concert.
John is a delightful person who is a patron at the Mille Lacs Library (he favors books on CD) and I look forward to hearing the songs he has composed for children. Please stop by on May 12 and hear this local treasure.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
In the past week I've read two books that were both set in the impossibly small location of Bogus Brook Township near Milaca, Minnesota. The first, World Gone Beautiful by Linda Buturian is a memoir of a woman who comes to live in a sort of modern commune. A group of four couples pool their resources to buy a patch of land along the Rum River. Her book describes incidents on the acreage but also memories from her past. The second book, I Come to America, is a short memoir of Mina Anderson who bought a piece of land in Bogus Brook in 1894 as well as academic analysis of how her situation typifies other Swedish immigrant women.
Though written over 100 years apart, similar themes inhabit their pages. Both women come to the country mainly to raise their children. Buturian has a strong connection with her fellow commune members, but each family has their own house and her strongest alliances are with her daughters and her husband. Anderson has immigrated to America from Sweden. Though she spent a few years working as a domestic in St.Paul, when she marries, she and her husband, Jacob Halgren decide to move north. An economic downturn was part of the motivation, but it also seemed a healthier place to raise children than the city.
Both families need to commute to the city to sustain their life in the country. Buturian describes various jobs that she has had, but mainly is a writing teacher in the city. Jacob Halgren is a tailor and he lives in the city for months at a time while Mina runs the farm.
Both books describe the hard work that it takes to live in the country, including building houses, raising animals and keeping gardens. Both authors appreciate the beauty of their surroundings and are proud of the work that they have done to maintain their place in the country.
Both writers reflect back on their youth, trying to discover how they came to be where they are. Finally both writers seem to be satisfied that they have made a good choice by moving to Bogus Brook. Check out these books through East Central Regional Library.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I don't really have enough feeds to organize, or filter, so I haven't really investigated that aspect. I did add a weather link to my delicious account. I'm not sure that I have enough experiences to recommend a specific site or feed. I'll give myself a very low C or perhaps high D on RSS and Delicious.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Google has many fun applications besides just an A+ search engine. Actually I think Google Image Search has been the best invention that I have used. Before I could set up a "Google Alert", I had to set up a G-mail account because I am getting too much excess e-mail. I know it isn't entirely junk--so that's why I was happy to set up a G-mail account. I hope that I can change my twitter and facebook e-mail. At home, I have been sharing an e-mail account with my husband. Now I can start giving out my g-mail account. I haven't quite made the transition. I can't just announce that my e-mail is changing, because it isn't as far as many organizations and people are concerned. I will just be adding a further e-mail, so that means remembering to set up the address on new accounts and also more importantly to check it on a regular basis. I like the appearance of G-mail--I made mine into an ocean scene and the fact that it filters spam. I set up a calendar, but I'm not sure if I should make it public or not. There is a calendar feature in the e-mail that I use for ECRL, so I probably don't need another one.
I set up a google alert for "Yoga in Minnesota" and "Birding in Minnesota". I've gotten a few days worth, but the information seems largely happenstance or useless as though I accidently picked up something on the web that coincidentally had these words in them--like blogs or news stories or announcements. Not sure that this is useful. I think the "reader" feature is more helpful. I have the StarTribune set up, so I can scan the headlines and then click if I want to read more of the story. I had something set up during "23 things" that gave me only the health news in the StarTribune, which helped to filter things more. I still have to figure out how to get exactly what I want out of the reader and alerts.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
I have set up a pageflakes page over the past week or so. It is a personal homepage. I can make it into my homepage with just a click. I haven't yet because this computer is mostly used for the library. I did have fun working with pageflakes. I had many choices as far as background pictures and colors, so I chose a bright green and pink with flowers. I put my facebook and twitter account on immediately. I also added del.icio.us. I was hoping to be able to add my blog, but I couldn't figure out how to do that. Maybe I need to have a google homepage to add my blog. I added the weather, CNN (default), to-do list, calendar and a sticky note. I was unable to figure out how to add my e-mail--perhaps because it wasn't yahoo or gmail. I have a flickr gadget of pictures of books and a quote of the day. I'm not sure what to recommend. I didn't dig extremely deep into the different choices. The beauty of the homepage is that you can set up the sites in one place that you visit often. It can be tailored to individual interests. I was frustrated that I was unable to figure out how to do some things such as add blogs, RSS feeds and my e-mail. Maybe this is something I should work on at my home cpmputer.
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Twitter is the newest type of internet blog. Now that I know what it is I have heard a few news stories about it. One was about a congressman who was on a top secret trip to Iraq--at least it was top secret until he twittered about it ("Now entering the green zone"). Silly. I read through the mountains of information about twitter before I signed up and I have to admit that the Twitter dictionary was the point where I quit reading. I'm not sure what to think of Twitter--is it like facebook? I don't have any friends on Twitter so I feel like I am reading mini news.
I did enjoy putting on a new background. It was not without difficulty though and I now have a kente cloth background on my computer as a result.
I have to say that I am totally ambivalent about Twitter. I liked the way that the Hibbing Public Library uses Twitter--just as an announcement board--storytime, board meeting etc. The Library of Congress twitter has some actually interesting links to articles (how big is the library of congress?) The MPR uses lots of abbreviations--might have to go back to that dictionary. Al Gore tells me that Antartica is melting and Britney Spears is having a great tour.
I still don't know how to interact with Twitter. Is there a conversation going on somewhere about the posts that I'm not aware of? I did reply to the library of congress saying "Wowee" or something lame.
I think the best use of my library twitter is to post events--Storytime Tuesday at 11:00, or information--get your MN tax forms. Not totally sure what a badge is but I do have a link from my blog to my twitter.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
View my page on 23 Things on a Stick
I have been navigating around a web network called "Ning". I joined it in the first round of the 23 Things, but I haven't used it since. I was able to see a few familiar names on the site--Sue of Olivia and Patricia of CMLE. I joined the CMLE group and joined a discussion about revealing identity (I'm all for it). I also requested that Sue be my friend.
I can see some use for the discussion forums as it relates to library business. I recently received a string of e-mail from the public library division of MLA about how to handle inter library loan requests. I'm not sure that I appreciated it on my e-mail. It could have been a great Ning discussion.
I already use "Facebook" to network with friends and relatives so I don't think I need one more site for that.
As a site like Ning gets used more, it will have more value to the librarians who use it.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
I have rejected things that are too complicated for me to add. I tried to add some audio components and picture editing but they involved a download--which I did, but then I was lost after that--how do I get it into my blog and what do I do with it once I get it there?
I have probably spent a total of about 2 hours between checking out,checking in and shelving books and helping people. I have been learning a lot, but obviously I have a long ways to go. In looking at the few other CMLE bloggers, I find my blog to be the most canned and least relevant--no good advice about books to read or websites to visit. I attribute this to being a total amateur when it comes to new technology.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
I have posted to this blog about a dozen times since the program ended. It has been a fun place to share things at the library and I have to admit in my own life. I put up a picture of my lovely daughter in her prom dress as well as an article from the local newspaper about my husband. I also posted pictures and narrative about a trip I took to Seattle. My latest blogs have related to library events, but I also have a few opinion pieces. When I get frustrated, my blog is a good place to vent. My best blog was a description of what goes on at the library after school called "I want one of the faster computers". I probably will continue to blog during and after this program because I'm finding it kind of fun.
I am not good about checking other blogs, so that is definately something I could improve upon. The few that I have looked at are the blogs of local writers who work for the Mille Lacs Messenger. The blog I have read the most was my daughter's when she was in Scotland for a semester. That seems to be a very good use of a blog--a letter to everyone when you can't see people in person.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The impetus for the program was a collection of 40 poster-sized copies of famous American works of art. Picturing America is the name of the program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. By taking the posters, we agree to provide some programming related to them.
Although we met for 1 and 1/2 hours, we really only got through 5 of the pictures. The first that we looked at was of George Washington. The 15 attendees to the program and 4 parents looked in the library for a fact about our first President. Children searched the Internet, encyclopedias, almanacs and biographies. All were able to come up with something. We studied his famous portrait by Gilbert Stuart. Paul Revere was another famous subject. We looked at John Singleton Copley's portrait of this silversmith/patriot and then read Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous poem "Paul Revere's Ride".
Two different landscapes helped to show the changes in America. from a rural to an industrial society. We compared and contrasted a "View from Mount Holyoke" by Thomas Cole (1836) with "American Landscape" (1930--a scene from the Ford motor plant near Detroit) by Charles Sheeler. The Migration Series #57 by Jacob Lawrence (1940 -41) was the final poster we looked at. We found a book in the ECRL library that showed the entire 60 paintings and also told the story of how blacks left the south around the time of World War I to come up to northern cities.
It was great fun working with the homeschool children. I think they enjoy the paintings and also being able to be around other children. I hope to have 3 more of these programs this spring and also try to incorporate more library skills in addition to showing children these classic American works of art.