Sometimes my body is safe at home and my mind is elsewhere. That’s sort of been the last week since I got back from a few weeks mostly gone. I did some things that I was pretty happy with. Here are some links to some of them.
- I was interviewed for a short bit on public radio, Future Tense, talking about “user revolts” on community websites.
- I finished up an article about user revolts for SXSWorld magazine. It will be in print… sometime. Are you noticing a trend here>
- I did a “web conference” about Library 2.0 stuff. I’ve always been a bit skeptical about this method of content delivery, but I decided to give it a try. Since my talks are generally in the form of HTML slides, talking into a telephone while I screenshared my desktop just to show people a browser window seemed a little convoluted, as did the fact that this technology didn’t work on a Mac, at all. So, I spent my usual “polishing” time trying to scare up a PC (number of operating systems on functional computers in my house hovers around nine at this point) which derailed my usual flow. So, I think it went okay, but now I’m a bit better prepped for next time when I speak about collaborative information systems.
Other than that, as everyone else seems to be getting their Spring on, there was snow here this weekend. I had a friend up from points South and it made for some dramatic Vermont show and tell. “Here is my favorite lookout. Wow, it’s snowing that’s crazy looking….” It didn’t stick though, and as the iceberg in my backyard melts (it’s currently blocking all non-snowshoe backyard access) I supposed I’ll get back out in it. Soon.
I got back from the super-techie (as opposed to super-tetchy which can sometimes describe library conferences) SXSWi conference in Austin Texas, drove home through the snow, went almost immediately to sleep and woke up today to a few things.
- The realization that the porch had not actually collapsed in my absence. Yay team!
- A toothache that I need to deal with soonish, one that I had successfully ignored with a steady application of Shiner Bock and distraction.
- The espresso machine that I had left on for six days which still made decent espresso.
- Three hours of work in rural Vermont teaching, among other things, the moderator of my town meeting how to open attachments and how to back up his memoirs to a USB drive, presuming he buys a USB drive that is.
- My Getting Started with Excel class complete with “oooh” noises when I showed people how to format a date and right-click to change tab colors.
- The fourth, I believe, request for the article about me to be deleted from Wikipedia.
- More snow.
I have been putting off writing this in the hopes that the whole Wikipedia debate would be closed and I could link to it without appearing to be shilling for people to vote against the article’s deletion. Believe it or not, I sort of trust in the Wikipedia process and figure it will be deleted if it’s supposed to be deleted.
I expect you’re all sick of my re-entry stories anyhow. They’re mostly the same. “Oh hey, I was someplace populated and then I came home and it was unpopulated and the night was dark and starry and I slept….”
My trip to Texas was a joy from start to finish. Flew out of Boston, so I got to have dinner with my sister on the way out. Arrived in Austin and was picked up by my puzzle hunt buddy who put me up (and put up with me?) for nearly a week. He then went to Houston for the weekend and left me to my own devices in his house with his girlfriend who I had not yet met, and an assortment of charming pets with amusing names. SXSW was a blur of friendly faces from the recent and distant past. The panel I was on went really well; my co-panelists — Gina, Annalee, Jeska — are amazing, hilarious women. I spent a day not in conferenceland visting libraries and got to see another Gutenberg Bible (my third!). I played kickball for the first time in I have no idea how long. I lost my camera. It was recovered. I went to a MetaFilter meetup. I went to a few parties. I attended several dinners involving more than fifty people and a few that were five or less. I ate lots of delicious foods including Mexican, TexMex, BBQ, and combinations of those. I went out for croissants at 2 am. I played with OLPCs. I took taxis. I listened to interesting speakers and met interesting people. I sat around with my laptop and people came and talked to me, or I walked around and talked to people sitting around with their laptops.
It was really the just-right conference for this time of year and my frame of mind. I’m really glad I went. You can see a few photos here.
Every so often I rue the fact that this part of my website is really more of a journally thing than a bloggy thing. Sometimes I have internet things that I want to refer to that don’t fit on librarian.net. This is one of those times. Here are those things.
- I made a post on MetaFilter about a chapter in the excellent book my friend Matthew gave me. The book is called Amazing Rare Things, about the history of nature illustrations with tons of lovely drawings, and the chapter I found links for was about The Paper Museum
- My friend Adriana made a few great posts on her blog about the poetry of ASL. You may want to read Flying Words and Good Things. A while ago I also made a post on MetaFilter about my favorite at-the-time YouTube trend of people who spoke sign language doing signed versions of popular songs. I guess it’s standard fare for ASL classes, and some of the people whose songs I enjoyed were clearly hearing folks, but I had a good time watching people signing songs I was familiar with and perhaps you will too. And, amusingly, my favorite of all these is a Mexican Sign Language version of Hips Don’t Lie (originally by Shakira) who is a singer Adriana turned me on to originally.
- I am speaking on a panel at SXSW next weekend. My panel is called Social Network Coups: The Users Are Revolting. It’s amusing because the name of the libraryland book I co-edited has the word Revolting in the title too and yet has nothing to do with this. The panel is on Saturday at 5 pm at the same time as seventeen other SXSWi events. If you’re nearby, stop on in, but I’ll understand if you don’t.
- Someone else on MetaFilter helped me remember a book that I loved from when I was a kid: The Animated Thumbtack Railroad Dollhouse and All-Around Surprise Book! by Louis Phillips and Lynn Braswell. As I related to someone, I can remember going to visit my great grandmother in Pennsylvania and she had this book, among other things as distractions for us kids while the adults did that boring “sit around and talk” thing they always did. I loved it and its wacky humor and think it went a good ways towards my love of Donald Barthelme later on in my adult life.
I can’t remember what else there was I wanted to show you, but I may add it here at some later date if I remember.