Monday, March 21, 2011

Ól, ceol, bia agus craic

For good food you can't beat tapas at The Blue Dog Bakery and Cafe on Frankfort Avenue in Louisville. They're only open Thursday - Saturday evenings, from 7:00 pm until 10 or 11:00. Wine list and full bar, plus a variety of meat and veggie tapas and outstanding pizzas.

Need something good to listen to? How about some Arturo Sandoval. Try the free music player at Even people who think they don't like jazz are going to find their hips starting to move when they hear what this guy is doing.

And if you need to slow it down and read a good book while you're sitting on a beach or at poolside, for Summer reading I highly recommend Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez. This is a novella about demonic possession or intellectual obsession, or both. Beautifully translated from the original Spanish, it's a lyrical and mesmerizing storytelling turn from one of the great masters of our era.

[Insert non sequitur about wikis here:]
I can see where wikis can be really useful in some settings, and I've actually used and helped create at least one for that sort of thing. But I am one of those old fogeys who also doesn't think that a wiki is quite right for some endeavors. I don't think that the so-called wisdom of the collective mind is the equal in terms of authority and expertise a credentialed, focused, peer-reviewed body of research.

(18 - 19 -- in case you couldn't tell.)

Thursday, March 03, 2011

So much information, so little time.

There are so many resources available through local public libraries these days. From the web site of my own local library I have access to a complete online "library" of useful and valuable material. There's Morningstar, the searchable New York Times, and full text of thousands of magazine and newspaper articles. The Heritage Quest database has Census records up to the 1920 census--no more wandering around looking for the exact reel of microfilm you need. And I also really like the Novelist site for those "What book should I read now?" kinds of questions. And the thing is, that without a library card you can't get to any of that content. But with a card, it's all free and accessible from home. It's like something out of science fiction.

What do I wish more people knew about?

What would I keep before everything else?
That's a really hard question, but the thing that seems most useful and hardest to duplicate in print are the full-text magazine and journal databases like Ebsco Academic Search premier. In addition to academic journal content, it also includes full text from things like "Smithsonian" and "People Magazine."


If this makes no sense to you, then ignore it.

It's a work thing:

10b: 3-18-2008, 4
10c: Telos, no; Brit Journal, yes (Ebsco Acad Search Prem., FT with 12 mo delay); Clin. Medicine, yes (Ebsco Acad Search Prem., FT from 2004-).
11a: Duane F. Kelly; B; 4-stars
11b: Yes, from Ebsco Masterfile Premier, from August 2009. (Probably ought to be something that references C-R on the Consumer Info page.)
11c: I found 94. You'll probably want to select another specialty.
Highland Coffee will annihilate you.
12: See above

Facebook? Nobody goes there anymore . . . it's too crowded.

The more people there are in a place, the less attention anyone pays to people. This seems to be as true in virtual places as anywhere else. Facebook has been a really powerful thing for me since it has helped me renew some friendships with friends that I'd lost touch with and even some family members that I don't see very often. But over time, and especially over the last few months, it's become increasingly difficult to maintain interest and devote energy to keeping up with it. There's a reason why before Facebook we didn't stay in touch with everyone we ever knew. In fact, there are a lot of reasons. So, I'll be watching to see what happens with Facebook now.

Twitter? Well, what can be said about Twitter that hasn't already been said? I read or was told by someone once that Twitter was where you followed the people you wanted to know, and Facebook was where you followed the people you do know. I can see that being a useful way to use the two sites together to be better informed and better connected personally and professionally. But like Facebook, it reached a saturation point for me where there's maybe a 25% chance I'll see something posted to Twitter by someone I follow. Unless of course they happen to be one of a very small group of people whose posts to Twitter I have forwarded to my cell phone. So, if I don't ever look at what they've posted on Twitter, am I really "following" 200 people? I don't think so.

That said, for an organization like a library or a university or even a small local business, Twitter can be a power tool for maintaining public awareness and communicating with customers or your community. So at this point in the evolution of the two, I'd say Twitter is the more useful to me as a one-to-many way of keeping in touch with a sort of "inner circle" of people, and as a way for that smaller group of people to share things with each other that they pick up from elsewhere.

So that's it. Nothing creative or insightful here, just an assignment completed and some thoughts recorded. I'll be back in a few weeks to delete this post.

(5 - 7)

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

My Flickr Bicker

I've had an account on for a really long time--so long I don't really know how long. The oldest picture I have on there is from 2006 . For backing up, sharing, and ordering prints of photos I usually use Google's Picasa web service. Recently I had occasion to revisit Flickr as part of a staff-training exercise where I work. Here's what I was reminded of.

I like the layout and features of Flickr better. And there are people I know who use it and that I have connections too. And they've really evolved some great tools that I wasn't aware of like the ability to search for photos based on geography. So, if I like it so much, why no just use it? Well, because Google is free. I've got about 175 photos up on Flickr. From time to time I'll go through and clean out the ones I'm tired of, and upload some different ones. Because unless you pay for Flickr you can only upload 200 photos. Technically, that's not correct. You can upload more than 200--you just can't actually view them. And isn't that the point after all? I'm not sure why Flickr has stuck with the archaic 200 item limitation for their free accounts. I guess the business model is successful enough that they can. But I don't care. I want to upload more than 200 photos. Even if there's still a limit, 200 just isn't enough. And I know they won't listen, but that isn't the point of a gripe session anyway. So, flickr, loosen up on the disk space and let me upload more than 200 photos for free.

(8 & 9)