Friday, February 13, 2009

Cooking with The League

This one is pretty close to how things go down at League HQ on a crazy weekend night. And also fits neatly with how I think about food.

In Brightest Day....

in case you hadn't heard, there's all kinds of colors of Lanterns these days, not just Green ( I also HIGHLY recommend the Green Lantern titles right now). Which color are you?

Go to Quizilla and then report out. Simon and I are Indigo, FYI. Or at least how we see our heroic selves.

I did try it again, and I got "Green", which is awesome, but... anyway, its fun, and its a quick primer on the corps as they stand today

Harry Potter

I am not a "book design" geek, but found this interesting. Stolen from Marshall's blog.

It's just someone goofing around, but its neat.

Hot Velantine's Day Tip

If its getting late and you forgot to get something for that special someone, who doesn't love a good e-Card and a few sticks of Spearmint gum?

Happy Friday the 13th

to my brother!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Still in Aggieland: Day 2

Today's symposium was really, really good.

I have to go to Minnesota to present, and I had no idea how I was going to frame my presentation, but now I think I know. I'll make KP write it, but whatever.

I remembered today that it can be both a great pleasure and incredibly frustrating to sit in a room full of academics/ scholars and discuss technological applications. However, the climate has changed inexplicably since 1997, when I first started working with faculty to implement technology into their teaching. At the time, e-mail addresses were just becoming common among instructors (they didn't want them, because then students would, you know, TALK AT THEM).

The purpose of the symposium was to discuss the transitional period we're in where traditional print forms of scholarly communication (ex: journals) are coming to an end, and the era of open access (ie: free and Google-able) scholarly communication will be the norm for faculty/ academics/ scholars. Printed journals have always been the mode of communication for presenting research, but higher ed institutions have been shy about what it will mean to have that material exist outside of expensive journal subscriptions that usually only wind up in libraries or professional collections. In short, it means people might actually find and read their work who are not researchers. It means its a lot more likely that in five years that when you Google, say, "Thermopylae", you might get legitimate, peer-reviewed research just past the Wikipedia entry.

Good stuff.

And that's sort of what my organization does, as well as preserving other tools for scholars to use for communicating with other scholars. And, of course, we're a library, so hosted repositories for all this stuff.

Faculty tend to be a bit uneasy about giving up on traditional communication. And they're in a unique position to be as slow to adopt as they like, because they're really their own self-policing organization. But when a top-tier school like Harvard throws down the gauntlet, and they have, it means everyone else will soon fall into line.

What I learned today, which had left me very confused about how all this works, is how the financial picture works. And the reality is, there's a lot less money changing hands in all this journal printing than I'd assumed, so the opportunities for going digital are a lot better than I'd hoped. Which also raises some questions about a possible adoption of an open conference and open manuscript system.

So, anyway, that's what I'm doing for a living these days. Beats digging ditches.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Behind Enemy Lines

I'm at TAMU. That's Texas A&M University for those of us in the university collaboration business.

It's very... open here. The buildings are very far apart. Neither UT nor ASU were designed with so much... openness in mind.

The dinner tonight was very nice, and the folks we met were friendly (we being me and Kristi from my office), including a special guest who was sort of accidentally seated with us.

I guess Kristi worked at the TAMU press in undergrad, and so she ran into old work colleagues and family friends. It pays to bring KP with you on trips. I will remember that.

I am tired.

Have a good one.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Things that College Students Do

1) Try to just walk into my office. It's weird. The light is on, there are no study lounges on my floor, but every once in a while, they start just pulling on my door and trying to get in. The door is always locked because I use the main door to the office suite, not the door in my office that empties to the hallway. My door isn't really marked except for a number, but... I guess I mostly get creeped out at what they might be doing in there if they found the door open.

2) Talk loudly on their cell phones about @#$% that doesn't matter. Which, yeah, no kidding... But, Leaguers, I work in a library. You understood how a library worked when you were in school, no? Apparently, that particular people skill went away with the invention of the iPhone with its goofy cable microphone dealy-o. Which they all hold to their faces and shout at the mouthpiece. Also, that makes you look stupid. Which is just slightly better than wearing the blue-ttoth earpiece and looking like a maniac walking down the street yammering to yourself.

3) Make liberal use of the public bathrooms. I was a little confused when informed we had an employees bathroom tucked away around the corner. But more than once, I've entered the public bathroom to find people bathing in the sink/ using the bathroom as if it were in their apartment.

4) Not press the button at the crosswalk so that when the light changes, the indicator says "walk" and you get the right of way. I don't think this should be a part of primary education, along with "how do you exit a bus", but how does one reach college age and make it into the top 10% of their class and not understand how buttons or cross walks work?

5) For some reason, Asian female students always travel in pairs. Always. Just an observation. But somehow these pairs don't hit the button at the crosswalk between the two of them, either.

6) Not seem to know how to order a cup of coffee. The menu is up there, where its been the ten minutes we've been standing in line, sir.

7) Dress up the first week of school in all their new clothes they got for Christmas, and then its back to sweats.

8) Get the hell out of your way when you step off the elevator with any conviction.

9) Either they don't check the weather before they leave, or they take seasonally inappropriate dress as some sign of machismo. Even if its 32 degrees outside, there's always some dudes running around in nothing but shorts and t-shirts. It kind of makes it seem that given ample evidence, these young minds still cannot make an appropriate decision and makes you believe they really DO need their mother to dress them.

10) Stand around talking, loitering in odd places, having lengthy, important conversations, using $0.25 words they just learned in class having the sorts of discussions that, once they're actually working for a living, that they will never have again. That's actually fine. Someone's gotta do it.

special bonus item for Valentine's Day: I see a LOT of dudes walking a half-step behind some young lady, talking entirely too much, sort of following around a co-ed (often who are out of their league) who seems like she's only half-listening. These poor dudes seem to believe that as long as their mouths keep running, the girl may not like them, but she can't get away. And maybe, just maybe, they'll wear her down. And they will find love... *sigh...*

Monday, February 09, 2009

Off to TAMU

On Wednesday I am off to Texas A&M University for a few glorious days of symposiuming (I made that word up. If you use it, you owe me a dime.). As you may guess, the symposium is work related, so I will need to be on my best behavior.

I hope to catch up with some College Station-bound work buddies while I'm there, and I guess I'm going to a couple of dinners sponsored by the event. Which should be... rocking?

I haven't been to a conference in a while, especially not one so laser-focused on my current work. Should be fun, says I.

When I disappear mid-week from blogging, you'll know why.

Jon & Kate Plus 8

There's this show on basic cable about this couple who had twins already, then went on fertility treatments to have another kid and wound up with six more, for a total of eight.

My fascination with the show is somewhat morbid, as I sort of wonder not if, but when the show is going to fall apart because the titular Jon will finally decide he has had it with his wife and runs off to Tahiti with a dancer named "Tanqueray".

Initially, I think Jamie believed I was being a jerk about the whole thing, but upon further inspection, she too learned that "Kate" has decided the show is her public platform for slowly eating away at the poor dude's soul. One certainly gets the feeling Jon is used to his wife's humiliating treatment, but... seriously, Leaguers. It's pretty frikkin' rough. And while they've saddled themselves with 8 kids, were Jon to seek a legal conclusion to their marriage, he'd have hundreds of hours of video to turn to as Exhibit A as to why a divorce is a pretty good idea. No court in the land would be on her side.

On a cute TLC show about the trials of an oversized family, one shouldn't wonder if you're crossing a line from "sassy" to "emotionally abusive". Because, seriously, if that were Jon talking that way to Kate, people would be up in arms.

I look forward to the day when we all find out Jon fled on a very special episode of "Kate Plus 8 (minus Jon and his Income)".

But I will watch the spin-off series "Jon and Tanqueray Minus a Vas Deferens Flee to a Non-Extradition Nation".

Comic Fodder Column up.

Miss Melbotis

As good a company as I find Lucy and Jeff, its tough to replace Mel's editorializing and personality. While generally in an excellent mood, he also wasn't afraid to let you know what he was thinking. I think I need that to keep me in line.

Anyway, its been well over a month now, but you find you still miss him in small ways all the time.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

laaaaaazy weekend

I've been sort of tired since, oh... New Years. So this weekend I vowed to take it terribly easy. And let me tell you, Leaguers... when you set your sites on not doing anything, its not always as easy to achieve as you'd think. Somehow doing something always seems to crop up.

But after my pre-planned busy Saturday morning, I think I more or less achieved my goal of not doing a whole lot. Including an accidental nap when I saw down with Lucy to read some comics. Sure, I tidied some and worked on my taxes (my portion is usually just entering my W2 info), but today was sort of a day of epic puttering.

We did watch two different movies this weekend. "Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay" and "Dark Knight". "Harold and Kumar" was pretty much what you'd expect if you saw the first movie, and "Dark Knight" holds up stunningly well on a third viewing. In fact, some of the dialog regarding the final conclusions drawn by Batman and Gordon made significantly more sense this time around (even though I basically caught the gist of it the first two times). I think the difference is that I didn't feel like I'd just walked off a horrendously turbulent jet ride when they reach that point in the film this time around.

I think I'm still a little bitter that Dark Knight didn't wind up with more awards-show attention, but whatever.

Anyway, I'm off to putter even more.