Saturday, April 25, 2009

Thing 33 -- Travel 2.0

Travel has been made much easier with the Internet. We've been using it to plan trips for the past few years. My husband and I go to various web sites to check flight prices and schedules--Orbitz, Travelocity, but also going on to the specific airline--Sun Country etc. It is also great for finding hotels and restaurants. The Frommer's and Fodor's sites can also give information about sights to see at that location.
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

Thing 32 My Google Map

I made a map of two bike routes that start from Onamia and offer good birding opportunites. The lines aren't exactly straight--but I think people will get the picture. I like to use google maps to find restaurants near a theater where I am going to an event. ECRL might use a google map to show their branches on a website. They could put in a picture and hours over the little dot.

View Biking/Bird Routes in Mille Lacs area in a larger map

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Thing 31 -- More Twitter

Twitter is already a little too much for me. This "Thing" is a few miles long and I really don't have the time or interest--even on a deadly slow Saturday to go through the whole darn narrative with about 20 links--so please don't give me any credit for this one.
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

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

Inspired by Bogus Brook

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

RSS and Delicios

Well, I might as well get this blog report over with. I really haven't absorbed all I need to know about RSS or Delicious, but unless I start moving, I'll never make it through this latest round of "Things". First of all I can't say that I do use RSS. I have a few sites marked, mostly the StarTribune lifestyle section, but I don't check it on a regular basis. I have some bookmarks on delicious, but again, it is not something I have checked since the last round of Things on a Stick.

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.