November 2006 Archives

not-so-wintery weather


novweather.gifWhat a strange day. Nearly 70 degrees at the end of November.

Our front door is wide open, as are the bedroom windows. Across the street, our neighbors are washing and vacuuming their cars. As is their wont, they've got a radio blasting music loud enough that we can hear it in the kitchen--and today the radio is playing Christmas songs. It's almost surreal to hear Blue Christmas blaring through open windows on a balmy afternoon.

making moo tins

| 1 Comment

Moo Tin Supplies
Originally uploaded by mamamusings.
I bought a bag of plain slide-top tins, which are a perfect fit for 20 Moo minicards. Then I tried a number of approaches to decorating them, with this one winning out.

I printed out the image from the Moo cards on an inkjet printer, then cut it out to fit the lid of the tin. I used some no-primer metal paint to prepare the tin surface, then used spray mount artist's adhesive to place the printed image on the top. (It might have worked without the paint, but I didn't want to chance it.)

After the adhesive set, I sprayed the lid with a digital photo protectant, so that the inkjet ink wouldn't run or smudge.

Now that it's dry, it's perfect. Just enough texture on the top to make it easy to slide the top open. And no need to guess what's inside. :)

giving thanks

| 1 Comment

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is learning to see the world through new eyes, with a focus on the things to be grateful for rather than the things to resent. So these days my gratitude list is far too long to fit into a blog entry.

There are high points from this year, however. On the big picture level, I'm so grateful to be back in Rochester, surrounded by family and close friends. I'm grateful that our house is full of people and love and laughter every day. I'm grateful for my family's good health.

On the micro level this morning, I'm grateful that we have enough food to keep Lane sated (he's growing at the rate of an inch a month right now, and his appetite has grown along with that). I'm grateful that I got to sleep late this morning, that Alex seems to be getting over his cold, and that Zicam seems to be keeping me healthy. I'm grateful that I remembered to buy eggs yesterday. And I'm grateful that my mom's making a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner for all of us.

Last, but not least, I'm grateful for you, all of you who read and comment on this blog. Thanks for keeping me connected to the web in a way that matters. Best wishes to you all for a happy, joyous, and free Thanksgiving.

sidebar photos fixed

| No Comments

If you don't just read this site in an aggregator, you may have noticed that a couple of months ago I replaced the "most recent five photos from Flickr" sidebar with one of their Flash widgets. I did this not because I liked the widget better (I didn't), but because the 5-photo badge had somehow stopped working.

Happily, the badge seems to be working again, so I've put it back in the sidebar (click on "Recent Photos" to reveal it).

okay, so maybe youtube is the best thing ever


science fiction book meme


Via Dorothea.

"Below is a Science Fiction Book Club list most significant SF novels between 1953-2006. The meme part of this works like so: Bold the ones you have read, strike through the ones you read and hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put a star next to the ones you love."

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien (yes, yes, I'm a heathen. love the storyline, loved the movies, but reading the books was not fun for me. just don't care for his prose style)
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein* (yes, I know, Heinlein was a sexist pig. but I loved this book.)
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin*
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson(
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey*
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card*
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams*
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin*
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon*
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith (I have read other things by him, though)
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson*
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

bitten by the crafting bug

| No Comments

When the weather gets colder, my thoughts tend to turn to my stash of yarn. I love doing crochet projects in cold weather--particularly afghans, which keep my lap warm while I work!

I've finished three afghans this fall already--two for baby gifts, and one whose destination cannot yet be revealed on the blog. I've also started making long, thin, super-soft scarves--one for me, one for Erin, one for Alex, and yarn-a-plenty for making more for gifts. They only take about an hour, so they're a great TV-watching activity.

With a two week break ahead of me, I'm starting to think about more ambitious crafting projects. I think Alex and I will be getting some ceramic paint this week to do custom mugs (we did this years ago when the boys were really little, and the mugs turned out beautifully). I need to figure out where to buy the cheapest possible "blank" mugs to work with.

And I'm also about to order a bunch of these metal tins, which are the perfect size for Moo MiniCards. I'm going to place a new order of cards to use as gifts, and I want to decorate the tops of the tins using some kind of decoupage technique

I've also fallen in love with the Etsy web site, where I've found some wonderful, unique items to give as gifts to some of the people I know who are most impossible to shop for--and gotten some great ideas for things I'd like to make myself, too.

history translated into IM speak

| 1 Comment

Last night, Lane showed me a project he'd done for his social studies class. He had created a fake chat room transcript in which the participants were America, England, France, and Spain during the events of colonial times.

Gerald and I both loved it, so I convinced Lane to link to it from his blog.

Go read it, and if you like it, leave him a comment!

happy dance


Screen shot of the RIT grading site showing my grades have been submitted.


| 1 Comment

No, that's not misspelled. It's the Spanish-language version of Enrique Iglesias' song Hero (and how freaking cool are those Google music links? I'd never seen that before. Very useful.) I'll admit that I really liked the English version when it came out, and bought the CD because of it. Hadn't listened to it in ages, though.

Today, through the magic of Party Shuffle in iTunes, the Spanish version popped up while I was listening on headphones here at Panera (my favorite grading spot). In Spanish, the emotional power is much greater. Yes, yes, it's still a silly love song. But it made me happy to listen to it.

And now, back to grading projects. <sigh%gt;

aging eyes


I went for an eye exam yesterday, because I could literally feel the strain on my eyes and the headaches it was causing. It appears I can no longer avoid the dreaded bifocal lens. :( And omg...glasses seem much more expensive these days than they used to, and adding bifocal lenses to my blind-as-a-bat nearsightedness makes for a mighty pricey pair of specs. (My rx is so strong that I have to buy the super-light/thin lenses in order to wear most frames, and my vanity is so strong that I opted for the progressive lenses so that it's not quite so obvious that they're bifocals.)

I'm also going back to contact lenses, at least part time, so today I started pairing those with reading glasses. And while these glasses make me feel old beyond my years, they're awfully helpful with little things like being able to read text on a screen (as well as on paper).

completely bearable lightness of being


For the first time in I-don't-know-how-long, I'm not feeling overwhelmed by commitments this week. I've said no to some things that I really wanted to do, but knew would add too much stress, and it feels sooooo good to not be struggling with overload now.

It's finals week here at RIT (we're on a quarter system). Student projects get turned in today, and I've got until Thursday to get them graded. The final exam is Thursday morning, and it's mostly opscan graded, so I should have that all done by the end of the day. That means starting Friday I'm completely done with this quarter, and have 2.5 full weeks of break time before the winter quarter begins. More importantly, I have no conference travel or presentations until the end of February.

So what will I do with all that free time? I've got afghans to finish, and TV episodes to catch up on. And since Weez just started playing WoW, I've got lots of collaborative playtime planned for the break.

Oh...and I need (really, really need) to get my flabby flat ass in to the gym.

It's all good.

pre-trip frenzy

| 1 Comment

I've been running around all day like a chicken with my head cut off, but have still managed to:

  1. Finish the slides for the CSCW tutorial, identify some good articles to include, turn everything into PDFs and use the wonderful little free OS X utility "Combine PDFs" to turn them into a single document that I could print on our copiers.
  2. Hand-staple the color covers onto the 25 packets generated by the above process.
  3. Grade 32 student websites, then take advantage of the wonderful integration between Excel (where I do the grading), Word (where I create the nicely formatted gradesheet to give students based on the Excel fields), and Entourage (which, it turns out, Word can "merge print" to, making it possible to send each student his or her own gradesheet with a single click! w00t!)
  4. Spend far too much time in an email exchange with a student who refused to accept that he could lose a point for not including a link to his assignment in the place I expected it to be.
  5. Made a reservation for the shuttle from Calgaray to Banff tomorrow (thanks to a reminder from my co-presenter).
  6. Attended a two-hour training session on diversity that's mandatory for people serving on search committees
  7. Wrote two practical exams for my two sections of intro to multimedia, printed them out, and got them to the office for my TA to pick up Monday.
  8. Met with four students who wanted help prepping for the practical exam.
  9. Bought the rest of the yarn I need for a gift afghan I'm about to start on.
  10. Found out a paper deadline that I thought was this Monday has been extended to the 12th! Yes!!

All that's left for me to do now is pack, which is pretty manageable. My flight leaves tomorrow at 8:10am, and I get back to Rochester on Wednesday at 8:15am (redeye flight...ugh). Since I'll be in Canada, my Verizon broadband card isn't coming with me...I'd have to pay roaming data charges. I'm expecting the hotel (which looks incredibly beautiful!) will have high speed access. If not, you'll have to wait 'til next week to see the pictures, and hear about the event.

(And yes, I plan to post the handouts from the tutorial, but probably not until after the conference is over.)

tagging vs folksonomies


Is this a reasonable statement to make?

  • Tagging is the process of adding descriptive terms to an item, without the constraint of a controlled vocabulary
  • Folksonomy is the aggregation of tags from one or more users

Yes? No? Discuss.

(Full disclosure: You're helping me prepare for a tutorial on folksonomies that I'm presenting at the CSCW conference in Banff this weekend.)

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from November 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

October 2006 is the previous archive.

December 2006 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Category Archives