Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This is not the end...

It is only the end of the beginning!
Betty Blogger summer school taught me many things, the most important of which is that I may actually be a closet-blogger. I don't mean that I want to blog about my closet, or any closet - NOT that there is anything wrong with that should someone else want to blog about their closet - It's just that I don't. My closet is shy. And not very interesting. And may be hiding a monster that is very shy. But we don't talk about that. Or blog about it. ever. except now.
right! The most challenging part of the Betty Blogger summer school was my inability to control the stream-of-consciousness style writing. Like now. Stop that! STOP! or it could be my tyops, tpoys.... typos. The actual assignments and web-plorations were easy! (see what I did there...made a word up using "web" as in World Wide Web and "explorations" as in what we did in this course. Not a typo. It's a made up word and that IS how it's spelt. Did I mention the stream-of-consciousness thing? No? Maybe?
The style of the course was great. "Self-directed" was easy to accomodate into both my schedule and in my tendancy towards procrastination. This was somewhat surprising given my poor sense of direction. Still, even I can find my way to the computer. I totally knew that I placed the laptop in the laundry basket. And eventually I even found the laundry basket. Hey! That's it. I'm not a procrasonator, I'm .........{The Absent Librarian will get back to this sentence later, we think}
I would happily recommend this course to a friend. Even a non-friend. It was fun, enlightening and non-stressful (I like that part too!)
I learned a lot! I found out that I knew more than I thought I did. And that is always a welcome, if seldom felt, surprise!

Thing one...Thing two........Thing 97 thousand 4 hundred and &$% I LOST COUNT!

Thank goodness for Library Thing!

I really like LIBRARY THING. Of course I am already using something similar on Facebook. Adding a title is like getting a badge or credit for doing what I love to do..read. It is really helpful when I can't remember which book by one of my favorite 47 authors I have already picked up from my trusted holds shelf at my local branch.

I may eventually switch to Library Thing...but the thought of reentering all those titles...ACK! I could of course see about using the import feature...but I'd rather read. Like my recipe book...one day I will get to it. For now the titles will be shoved in a file on Facebook, kinda like my recipes are shoved in a binder..um, somewhere. Pizza anyone? I'm dialing-- cooking. I meant cooking.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

FEED ME...you and the RSS feed

o What RSS feeds have you subscribed to?
I subscribed to some feeds concerning authors Marian Keyes, Jane Green and Janet Evanovich. (yes, I live the fluffy stuff...got a problem with that?!?!) I also decided to add the Burlington Public library feed and Canadian actor David Hewlitt's page http://dgeek.typepad.com/ because he makes me laugh all the time.

o Did you find Google Reader easy to use?
The search function was easy enough...BUT...wading through the sites is a bit daunting. Finding just the right feed was a bit of a muddle.

o Will you continue to use the aggregator, Google Reader?
Probably not. But you never know...perhaps one day.

Wiki - ticki - teeki - tack...Wiki's on the right track

o What dish will you be bringing to our family meal?
I will bring some spicy veggie and meat samosas...mmmmm

o How was your PBWiki experience? Was it easy to use?
I like it. Using the Wiki was simple and stress-free. It was very easy to use. me likey that.

o Do you have any need for your own wiki?
No, not right now, but it is good to know about in case I do for the future.

The Barefoot Shlep Chef


The Barefoot Shlep Chef...


The first cooking experience that I can recall involved a ridiculously small pan and a light bulb.  I was about 6 and had my very own oven - no doubt my mothers exacerbated response to my finicky palate.  I thought it was the greatest thing ever!  And when the mini packages of cake mix ran out...well I just added water to a large bowl and dumped in the BIG box mom had in the cupboard.   I mixed for hours.  Filled the tiny pan over and over for days and baked for years.   Oddly, only a few made it *wipes crumbs from mouth* to the decorating table where mom's leftover icing in a rainbow of colours awaited.  Mom made and decorated cakes with all kinds of fancy tubes and stands and sugar flowers.   For some reason i was only allowed to use a spatula, not the fancy things that made all kinds of pretty shapes.  Maybe the towering technicoloured icing mountain I created while she was on the phone was a threat to her sensitive cake decorator's ego.  Still I had sprinkles.  WHAT?  no sprinkles either????  MAAAWWWWmmmm! 


As years passed I was allowed to re-enter the kitchen.  I could mix scrambled eggs.  I could mix potato salad.  I could mix meatloaf...hey!  when do I get to COOK??


Finally the day arose when I, now mature and knowledgeable, could use the stove.  This time I would not only mix the potato salad, I would get to cook the potatoes.   I carefully read the instructions from mom's handwritten recipe.  Wash and peel skin from potatoes.  Cut each potato into 6 bite size pieces.  Cook the potatoes in a large pan. Place heat on high.  They are done when a fork passes easily through them.


Mom...stop yelling at me!!!

Dad!  stop laughing!!!!!!

And I AM trying to open the window...it's stuck!!


I maintain to this day that the recipe card said absolutely nothing - no where on the card (I even showed it as evidence at the trial that had me banned from the kitchen) - no where did it mention adding water to the pot.  Hello?  You taught me to bake using a light bulb!!   SO-o-o-o not my fault!   

Friday, August 7, 2009

Gaggled by Google Docs ACK!

hmm..can't seem to find that "post to blog" button. All my info is there in settings...but, Will try again later.

my doc...The Barefoot Shlep Chef

EDIT: Whoo hoo...got it to work! But I'm keeping this post up anyways...as a celebration of three days of not noticing the obvious error I made in trying to link it. typos are the devil's plaything.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Picture This

In exploring Picasa I found that I enjoyed the site. It was easy to use. I may use it in the future but quite honestly I am more likely to search for images under google-images. I chose to search for a picture of an unusual cake. I used the search term "art cake" and found this vibrant towering creation from "Simon"'s European Vacation post.
It was tagged with: art, europe, foodndrink, vienna


Ahh, Facebook. One of my favorite AND most hated sites.

I have had a FB (Facebook for the FB-ers out there) for over a year now. I think it is a great site for social networking. Keeping in touch with far away family is now easier (and they don't overstay this way), sharing photos and chatting without needing an immediate response are my main reasons for using it. Oh, and, um, maybe a game or two. OK the addiction to a game, uh, games may play a part too. But being able to send a "hi" and "miss you" and I SAW that picture!!!! out to family and friends without worrying about time zones, travel prices and phone bills is a wonderful option. It can be a lot of fun. It has also inspired some creative videos which express some of the not so great parts. A few are included next.

The downside
Etiquette and Netiquette are not mutually exclusive. Unfortunately this seems to be a foreign concept to many.

And those people you didn't keep in touch with because you didn't want to? Well, a reunion may be just around the corner.

Facebook is a TOOL not a replacement for social interaction. See the difference? I don't believe people really have 518 friends or that those 518 "friends" need to know everything about you. In fact I think that it can be very dangerous. You wouldn't stand up in a packed football stadium and pass out those snapshots of you drunk at the pool party...would you? Or announce your intent to divorce to your soon-to-be former spouse and kids over the mall P.A. system...would you? Or hand out you phone number and house address to everyone at Disneyland...would you?

This is a public site...assume no privacy. I am amazed at what even my own family have posted apparently unaware that I can see it. I have opened the site to find 15 status updates from the same person detailing their stomach flu. I have receive a wedding invitation on a public wall message.
Despite all that...
If people take the time to find and use privacy settings and assume that nothing is "secret" online then Facebook is a great site to visit. I use it almost daily to send non synchronized chats to distant family and even to nearby friends and co-workers. And, um, to play those games .

MMMMmmm Yummy Bookmarks

I am a big fan of bookmarks. I have them all over the house and they consist of everything from (unused) Kleenex to bill envelopes to sticky notes to pens. So naturally I was excited to use them on my computer!

I played around with it and bookmarked sites I visit frequently such as BPL and OPL and my work related sites such as the absence reporter, library page and workshop listing. I used simple tags such as libraries and work stuff. I did look at several interesting sites under "popular tags" such as humour and photography but didn't find anything I wanted to bookmark.

The idea of Del.icio.us is a great one. So great, in fact, that I have already got similar function on my computer already. I don't think that I will continue to use Del.icio.us, but not because there is anything wrong with it. It is instead a repeat of what I already have with my favorites list (I use folders to "tag" similar items). Had I found it first, I may have preferred it.

Streaming Consiousness

YouTube, I Tube, Everybody Tubes!

Originally YouTube was the bane of my Email existence. Daily I would receive multiple forwards of cats flushing toilets, flash mobs invading transit stations and stand up comics whose vocabulary was not appropriate for my lunchtime viewing at work. should gasping in surprise and slamming-down-the-mute-button-before-the-bad-word-finishes become an Olympic sport...I am Gold Medal material.

I can see why it is so popular. There is something out there for everyone. The tags used to help with searching are great too. I was able to find things very easily...even topics I was sure wouldn't be on there (see grotesque below ). Easy to use, wide variety of topics, and something everyone can post to...makes this site a thumbs up for me.

YouTube has some real gems for those seeking a chuckle. Or perhaps looking to view that interview everyone is talking about this morning. But what surprised me is that it can also be instructional (how to say the word Beijing) and horribly grotesque. I am amazed at the personal and embarrassing moments people post about themselves for the whole world to see, copy and save. The lack of control over who has access to your posts makes me reluctant to post anything myself (and the belief that no one would want to watch me cook or cut my lawn. Apparently I am not nearly clumsy enough. I will work on that.) I have discovered something of a voyeuristic streak using YouTube. I think I will feed the beast for a while. Here`s what I served for dinner...

Blog?? Is that Klingon?

I told my family that I was taking a course on blogging. The responses hit both ends of the spectrum. "yeah? SO?" came from the lips of the prepubescent, ever confident in their technological superiority. "What is that? You speaking Klingon now" came from a certain unnamed individual wearing a Dr. Who shirt. (I thought of demanding that he change his wardrobe before making fun of me) And finally the unexpected technophobic exclamation "but won't they find out everything about you?!?" from a parental unit.

So why did I sign up for Betty Blogger? Because it was offered. Well that and so that I could say I am a little bit less uncool when it comes to that "tech-stuff".

Online and blogging,
Your Absent Librarian