geekery

one post every 6d10 days

1

[Old Spicy voice] These are words; words that have been typed using a computer keyboard. I have not added words to this blog in two months, but that does not matter. This blog is ultimately for me, myself, and I. I am sharing bits of my life with readers, yes, but if I don’t feel like writing or have the time for writing, then all of you, dear readers, will just have to be happy with what you get when you get it. I mean that in the most loving way possible, man. [/voice]

I often say I have too many hobbies. Various hobbies are usually what keep me from blogging (so I guess that makes blogging a lower priority hobby). Since my last post my free time has been consumed by knitting, reading, or gaming in various forms with Rob and our friends. I also attempt to exercise on a regular basis. (Okay, I struggle to exercise on a regular basis but I consider it a triumph just to get in one serious workout per week.) Blogging has also been trumped by company—we’ve had company at the house two of the last three weekends. The weekend that we didn’t have company was consumed by four glorious days of gaming and geekery at Gen Con. So I’m not on the computer often at home and I don’t see this as failing at blogging.

Speaking of Gen Con…I met Wil Wheaton! I have been a fan of Wil since I was in the single digits. He was one of my earliest celebrity crushes (maybe the first? I can’t recall any others). My sister and I still occasionally break out into a little tune referencing Wil’s character on Star Trek: The Next Generation that she and I composed when we were still playing with stuffed animals. It’s not a tune that should ever be shared with anyone else as its squeaky cuteness will induce gagging or bleeding from the ears, but it’s our silly ditty and a treasure of our sisterhood.

I’ve been a reader of Wil’s blog since 2002 (maybe 2003?). I think he’s good people. It was well worth the nearly three and a half hours I spent waiting in the autograph line to meet him. The wait was only as long as it was because Wil was actually listening to and chatting with people. He didn’t just take their money, scribble a quick autograph, and push them along to get to the next person. I was able to chat for a few minutes—to tell him how long I’ve been reading his blog (since the Soapbox days!), tell him how much Rob and I enjoyed his talk earlier that day, how I’m a public librarian and several months ago I had made sure that my library owned a book he talked about (Family Games: The 100 Best), how I organize National Gaming Day each year at my library, and so on. I also gave him a variety of dice from our collection (he had asked his blog readers to give him a die if we saw him at Gen Con–he ended up with about ten pounds of dice). I think I was able to walk away from the encounter without coming across as a super obsessed crazy fangirl. It felt like Wil had rolled a natural 20 on his Perform check to Inspire Greatness. It’s too bad we didn’t get to play Munchkin or D&D with him. Maybe next year…

A few choice fugly dice from our collection given to Wil

shiny, shiny toy

1

For those of you who don’t know, I am a public librarian. I work at the reference desk at a medium-sized library in central Indiana. And today…

My library bought an iPad.

It’s for staff use. I’m part of a team that will be learning to use various personal gadgets, such as the iPad, to download the audiobooks, e-books, and videos that are available to our patrons for checkout. After we’ve learned the process on all of the gadgets, we’re going to teach the rest of the library staff as well. We decided to purchase a Sony Pocket Reader, an iPad, and a Zune video MP3 player. This decision was made roughly a week after I had attended a webinar on gadgets in the library, which was informative and exciting but prompted me to lament to my manager because I didn’t foresee the library’s equipment budget allowing for such purchases any time soon. Luckily, several managers felt staff needed to know how to use these new fangled things if we’re to have any hope of assisting patrons that have them.

I’d been curious about the iPad since I first saw it, wondering how this new device would perform compared to a smartphone or a laptop. It’s true that I secretly want one for myself even though I’ve never really wanted an Apple product before, and I’m not sure I can justify needing one. I do have a desktop and a laptop computer, after all. Although, the laptop is about five years old now and becoming sluggish…

Anyway, the techie in me was doing an Irish jig on top of the world when one of the managers brought the iPad to me this morning. Aside from the staff member that slapped the inventory sticker onto it, I was the first person to behold its shininess. I was the first person to start smearing my fingerprints across its pristine screen.

I am intrigued. I cannot wait to see the future of touch interfaces and how they will be used in libraries of all kinds, beyond their obvious uses as media readers/players. Will a touch interface become the new library catalog, allowing patrons to explore a library’s collection in new, interactive ways? The touch interface is so intuitive, as many users of the iPad have demonstrated with their videos of their two-year-olds and savvy cats. This could be a major advantage over some traditional catalog interfaces that patrons find clunky and hard to navigate.

I was bummed that I couldn’t bring the iPad home with me to continue learning and exploring over the weekend. Fortunately, some friends who are staying at our house this weekend bought their own iPad today! “Everything’s shiny, captain!”

might, magic, LibraryThing

8

I haven’t made any progress on the quilt front yet, other than moving the ironing board/iron into the crafty room. (I need to start fusing the interfacing to the squares I’ve already cut from the t-shirts.)

The lack of progress is due to several things, but mainly:

  1. I found the disc for Heroes of Might and Magic III on Sunday and promptly reinstalled it. I have effectively wasted more than eight hours vanquishing evil since Sunday night.
  2. I ordered a CueCat barcode scanner from LibraryThing.

Being a librarian, I’m probably a bit late to jump on the LibraryThing bandwagon, but I’ve enjoyed going through all of our books over the last three days, scanning the ones that will scan and manually inputting the ISBNs for the books that either predate barcodes or don’t appear in any major database known to man (fie on thee Games Workshop and your Warhammer 40K books!). I’ve found a lot of books I still need to read, a lot of books I forgot I owned, and a lot of books I didn’t know Rob owned before we combined our collections.

Plus, LibraryThing tells me nifty stats like “Dead or Alive?”

How many of your authors are dead?
Dead: 59 / Alive: 150 / Unknown: 118 / Not a Person: 16
Percent alive: 71.77%

So cool.

Scanning setup

Valdez likes the barcode scanner as well.

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