Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Grrr..to firewalls that keep me from doing things. This isn't our library's firewall but the city's firewall that is outside ours. It blocked me from making a comment on slideshare. Oh, I could make the comment, see it on the page and then see it disappear when the little message window popped-up. Now I'm attempting to embed a presentation. We'll see. http://www.slideshare.net/cranefarm

I did enjoy using slideshare otherwise, uploaded one presentation I had done for our library, and marked two favorites. Viewing some of the slides made me want to hear the spoken presentation that went along with the slides.

Who Moved My Cheese
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: cheese change)

Exploring Delicious.com makes me think of fresh baked bread!

I like bookmarks and I think the ability to tag them will be incredibly useful. At home, I try to organize my bookmarks into folders, but often am lazy and just bookmark them. For library use, I will probably check what NLC has bookmarked when I'm doing a reference question before starting a search myself. Why do the work when it might have been done already? I created a delicious.com account under the name of cranefarm, of course, and added the NLC_reference to my network. I like the tagging aspect so I added all my current computer favorites and added tags. I explored the NebraskAccess tags and thought that I would have added full-text and peer-reviewed as tags.
Ok, delicious.com reminds me of food so I added a photo of my sourdough bread. My son gave me the starter last Christmas and I've been enjoying sourdough bread ever since. Making sourdough bread reminds me that patience does have its rewards!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I'm still not sure about Twitter. I definitely like following the NLC reference questions on Twitter-do you ever post the answers to some of the questions? As far as personal use, I'm not sure what I'm doing minute by minute is of much interest to other people. The search feature wasn't functioning so I couldn't play with that yet. I had created my twitter account back in July and have followed Michael and last night I added Allana. I had previously added a link on my blog page to my Twitter page, primarily to check the NLC reference questions.

I had an interesting comment on my LibraryThing post. I mentioned Visual Bookshelf and I got a comment back from Adam L from Livingsocial.com, the site behind the Visual Bookshelf. It reminded me that our public blogs are searchable. In August when I was searching for more information on Bammental, Germany, our primary destination for our September trip, my google search hit on my niece's blog about her 2007 visit to Bammental.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thing #12: Using Librarything

http://www.librarything.com/catalog/cranefarm is the location of the beginning of my book list on LibraryThing. I think it could be a good place to keep track of the books that I've read and the odd assortment of books that we own. I primarily use the library as my source for reading material and the library book sale for paperbacks I can take on vacation without worry of loss or damage. Today I took a brief look at Visual Bookshelf from a Facebook link, another way of sharing what you read with friends.

As I add memberships to the various things, I do wonder where I will find the time to keep up with them. I'm squeezing in time to look at this at home today, but I really want to go do other things-like read my current book. I'm sure I will eventually make choices of what I like and don't like, but it is good to at least explore all of them and be able to know which things I can recommend to our computer-using public at our library. I spend most of my hours in our computer center but we don't tend to get into book talks with our patrons up there as much as when we are on the circulation desk or shelving.

Once I decide If I will use LibraryThing on a regular basis, I want to link it to my blog. I like going one place and finding my social networking links all there for easy access and quick checks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Farmer or Farmer's Wife and a little more about my life

We went to the annual Farmer Rancher Banquet last night in North Platte. The banquet is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and tables are hosted by various businesses in the county. At one point, the emcee asked the agricultural producers in the audience to stand. I stood with Tim, but was surprised to see several wives remain seated while their husbands stood. Maybe there are women that are able to completely stay apart from their husband's agricultural operation but it's hard to imagine, especially if you live right on the farm. I honestly think that most "farmers' wives" are truly farmers too.

From day 1 of our marriage, I have been involved in one way or another, filling in when another "guy" was needed for harvest, milking cows, cleaning the barn, etc. etc. I didn't always smell very nice after a day of working with cattle, but they were "our girls" and our primary source of income. I don't think I would want it any other way.

We kept our farm small, using the land that has been in Tim's family for decades. Tim wanted to be a farmer, not an employer. It's a way of life, living on a family farm, managing and caring for the animals and land in your care. Our kids learned to help on the farm as well, making sacrifices sometimes because of farm work and sometimes because of fluctuating farm income. It's not an easy way of life-you can't get away unless you can find someone else to do your work and we don't live in an area of lots of dairymen-even a few times of not milking the cows correctly can effect their production. The rewards by far outweigh the sacrifices. There is such a sense of closeness with nature as you watch the birth of a new calf or kitten, or even seeing the first plants pop up in the field. You learn a sense of responsibility-you do what has to be done, no matter how unpleasant it sometimes is-that carries over to other parts of your life. Maybe that's why I can work with our more "fragrant" patrons at the library. One time our daughter had to help deliver a calf that wasn't quite in the right position to come out. Yes, that means sticking your arm into the cow. She said she wondered what some of her classmates would say if she told them how she spent her morning. Of course, now she is on her way to becoming a doctor. We always strove for balance in our lives-we were married to each other, not the farm, so we found ways to get away with our kids when Tim's parents were able to do all of the chores, sometimes with supervised helpers. Later, the kids took over to allow the two of us to get away.

Last year we sold our cows that were already milking and yes, I cried to see our "girls" leave. It wasn't an easy decision. High fuel and feed costs and the need to remodel our milking parlor prompted the decision. And yes, we were ready for the freedom to travel a little more, and get to special events of family and friends. We kept our younger animals to raise to sell when they were ready to enter milking herds. We changed what crops we raise and are on the look out for other agricultural niche markets we might enter. My library job with insurance benefits has taken on more importance. We fully intend to keep our family farm for the younger generations to enjoy, even if just for visits.

Change is healthy and keeps life interesting..I wonder what's next!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My walk through technology history

I'm just over 50 and I'm sometimes in awe of the technological changes that I've experienced. In high school, we weren't allowed to use calculators and our exposure to computers were punched cards that were taken out to the college computer. In college, we could use calculators so I got a really cool Texas Instrument calculator that could be programed for certain functions-ouch!-it set me back over $100. Unfortunately, it also quit working after 1-2 years-wiped out by STATIC ELECTRICITY! Replacing it cost me half the money and it could almost do twice as much. Unless you were going to be a computer programmer, about the only thing we did with computers in college was use dumb terminals to connect to the university computers for a few assignments.

Now, I like technology-we got our first computer in 1987, a Tandy, that required a 3 1/2 in. floppy inserted in the a: drive to run its desktop operating system and a b: drive to store things on another floppy. One of our teenage babysitters made a simple superman computer game using DOS for our kids, although soon there were computer games such as Wheel of Fortune that could be played on the computer. By about 1991, I was volunteering at the school and they had access through the ESU unit to the Internet. I remember using Gopher and later Veronica to access information on the Internet. I questioned my memory about these names so I looked and found this interesting website; http://www.webreference.com/authoring/search_history. Sure enough, Veronica had followed Archie and Jughead got involved too. (I read Archie comic books in my younger years)

We had promised our kids a new computer the summer of 1995. Windows 95 had been delayed a little so we went ahead and bought a Windows 3.1 computer. We accessed the web, first through AOL, paying long-distance charges since local numbers stopped at Grand Island and skipped to Cheyenne WY. Then we went with AT&T before our little Hershey Cooperative phone company contracted with a IP in North Platte to get us dial-up access without long-distance. We bought our next computer in 2000, having to get Windows 98 because some important software we were using for our dairy farm hadn't progressed past Windows 98 compatibility (this sounds a little like Vista and XP, doesn't it). That computer had a standard 5 year warranty with no extra surcharge. We progressed to a DSL connection when it was offered, mostly because our modem died and the new modem didn't seem happy either. Our kids appreciated the speed because they could more easily access their assignments from their college network during holidays and for online classes in the summer.

And now, we are on Windows XP and our DSL has dropped considerably in price; we have wireless for our relatives that come visiting with their laptops.

Having gone through my personal history of computers, I ponder, however, that our new and improved technology, is going the way of other things-they aren't made to last (my daughter's laptop had issues from the start)-so we will be forced to either increase our spending to include extended warranties or count on replacing these much more frequently than we had to in the past. Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wow, my own motivational posters!

http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/motivator.php is the image generator that I played with. I've played with some before and I know that I will be playing again. Here's a few of the images I created using pictures I've taken.

White on white

Originally uploaded by Mark Strozier
I used Flickr color pickr to find this interesting photo. There was a macro photo of a flower that I loved, but it had all rights protected so I couldn't blog with it. I also explored the Flickr Montager-it opened to making a collage of faces, but also had a Flickr image next to it-a word cloud-for Obama's acceptance speech-how timely. Clicking on the image, opened the original Flickr photo page. I then uploaded the photo to my computer so I could add it to this blog, rather than start a new blog with it.

This makes me hungry

Originally uploaded by remotezygote
I already have a free Flickr account but had filled it up so I haven't worked with it for awhile. Today, prompted by by Nebraska Learns 2.0 assignment, I deleted some older photos and then went exploring. Isn't this a delicious photo. I actually found it when I was searching for Germany pictures. I have a few photos from NLA conference that I will upload and tag when I'm home. later.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thing #7-more feeds

Ok, I had so much fun exploring feeds that I didn't get my post done until this week. Of course, I also spent Saturday at work, preparing class material from CustomGuide for teaching an MS 2007 Excel class, but that's another story.

I decided to search out feeds for food related items as well as exploring some of the news sites. I discovered a "bakers challenge" that was geared more for Vegan cooking so I passed on that one. As I explored, I added feeds to Google Reader which I will eventually organize. I think my favorite will be a blog I found when doing a search for sourdough bread: http://feedingmyenthusiasms.blogspot.com/2008/11/go-vote-if-you-live-in-usa-then-have.html. You have to love even the title. This posting had a great recipe for herbed sourdough bread, so guess what I may make the next time I bake bread from my sourdough starter.

As I gather feeds, I think I will probably put those that are specifically blogs onto my blogger Dashboard "blogs that I am following", rather than in Google Reader, especially if they are more for my personal use. I think that will be handier.

I think blogs are great for so many purposes. Jen, my son's fiancee is using a blog to keep us current on her trip to China this week.