Blog maintenance and moving prep

I was able to get WordPress installed yesterday afternoon and now have a default WP blog in place.

Tomorrow evening my friend Kurt is going to help me try and get this one imported into WP.  Wish us well!

Toward that end, I intend to do a little maintenance and prep around here.  When I first started this blog I used TypePad’s extended post feature for a few months on the longer posts [about 27].

I am going to go in and hopefully change all of them to single body posts.  That means all of you reading this via RSS will see them all again.  Feel free to ignore them.  I am not sure, but I may have to republish the site, too, to force some changes.  That’ll also mean more repeats in your feed readers.  I do apologize.

Assuming all goes well with the import into WP, I don’t foresee a lot of new stuff here.  So it may be safe to ignore most of what comes into your feedreader from me for the next 2-3 days.  Once I get the blog in the new place, I will make a final post here to point folks to it and provide the feed URL. 

Feel free to ignore most, but keep an eye out for the new address and feed.  Of course, if you weren’t reading this blog between Feb and May 2005 you may actually want to check some of these posts out.  Some of it could have been much better, but then some of them are my "classics."  And comments are still open on all of them, if you feel the need.

Just don’t say you weren’t warned.  🙂

Update:

Well, I find this very interesting.  None of the 30 or so posts [missed a couple yesterday when making the list] I updated have refreshed in Bloglines.  This is good.  Maybe they didn’t in other feed readers either.  One can only hope.

No longer imminent, just ugly

…and hopefully only temporarily so.  While I was waiting on my domain to go live today I threw together a quick page or two, borrowing some CSS from across the web.

Now seriously, this is just a placeholder so please don’t judge me too harshly for an hours work.

marklindner.info

I am extremely pleased that I actually managed to get this much uploaded using only the basic instructions Blake sent with my hosting order.

The next major step is to get WordPress installed in my domain.  Then comes the massive step of getting this blog imported and hopefully working correctly in WordPress.  Wish me well, and feel free to contact me with any suggestions or tips.

Imminent domain(s)

Or perhaps "eminent."  Or maybe even "immanent."  But then they’re not really imminent either.  Just "empty."

I just registered marklindner.info, marklindner.net and marklindner.name.  Their mine, all mine.  Bwaahaahaa.  I passed on .org for now, and someone has .com parked.

Since it is after my bedtime, tomorrow I’ll finish ordering my hosting from LISHost.  [Thanks for the timely response Blake!]  After that I’ll have Kurt help me try to get this blog moved over to my own domain.  He already has an exported copy, fresh as of yesterday, to try importing.  Hopefully he’ll learn all we need to know or at least be prepared for when we move it for real.

Will the thoughts remain broken?  Or will they be retired?  Stay tuned; and cross your fingers they don’t get even more broken in the move.

Welcoming the LEEPers

A few months ago, one of our then soon-to-be new distance ed students contacted me via this blog to ask some questions about the program, which I thought was really kind of awesome actually.

Thursday the 1st cohort of this year’s new students began their 10-day Boot Camp odyssey here on campus.  I remembered the email conversation but was completely unable to find the email to help remember just who (out of about 120 new students) it was that contacted me.  Bummed I was. 

Luckily, Lisa (who is in the 1st cohort) contacted me and offered to buy me a beer sometime in the next week.  Turns out tonight was possibly the best time.  She posted it at school to invite anyone else in her cohort who needed a bit of downtime and I posted it electronically to the "locals." 

We didn’t get a lot of takers because by this point they are pretty much all "deer in the headlights."  They are stressed, confused, overwhelmed and just plain fried and freaking.  Dave did join us though, as did my fellow on campus student and friend, Kurt.

We stayed nearby and had dinner, a bit of beer, and nice conversation.  We got to know each other and talked about various aspects of librarianship, GSLIS, professors, advisors, spouses, kids, undergrad schools, places lived, jobs, etc.  It was a very nice time.

Kurt and I are a tad concerned that maybe we went too in depth on some topics, but we doubt we did any lasting harm.  🙂  While neither of us were LEEP students and thus did not have the Boot Camp experience (well, I did, but that was long ago and far away and vastly different), we can relate to the feeling of being completely out of our elements and not knowing what anyone was talking about.  OK.  Maybe I had that feeling far less than some having been "in the field" for 6 years before coming here.  But there were certainly topics and occasions in which I did have those feelings, and I’ve definitely been there in many other circumstances in my life.  So I know the feeling well!

Anyway,  I think we all had a good time.  I certainly hope so.  So, while I only got to know 2 of the new LEEPers much better (Lisa and Dave), I’d like to extend another very warm welcome to all of LEEP Cohort 11.1.  Maybe I’ll get a chance to know a few others better over the next week.

And this coming Thursday, LEEP Cohort 11.2 arrives and I get a chance at making friends with another 60-some odd new students.

Service with a smile.  That’s my mission.

Need suggestions for a domain name

Hi all!  Ready to win cool prizes and be forever esteemed? 

I need help with finding a domain name.  One of my local friends (far more talented than me in these matters) has volunteered to help me move this humble blog to WordPress.  Not exactly a small undertaking, let me tell you, based on my research.  I have two hosts in mind, LISHost and DreamHost.  Anyone wanting to comment on either of these hosts should feel free.  I already take Walt Crawford’s recommendation very seriously [he’s made it more than once].  One possible reason to consider DreamHost is that my friend uses it and thus has experience with it.

Either way, I need a domain name.  I have already checked bookmark, brokenthoughts, metadater (only as a joke, which most won’t get), and marklindner in both .net and .com.  Of those, only marklindner.net is available.  marklindner.com is currently parked.  thoughtsarebroken is available in both .net and .com.  But do I really want that for perpetuity, or at least for a long time?  I’m not convinced that I do.

So what is it going to be?  I love witty word play.  I really do, but I’m not sure that’s what I want for my primary domain name.  I could always set-up subdomains if needed and then be as witty as I want.

So please, send any suggestions along in the comments or via email.  I’m not ruling out wit; but I’d prefer something more "normal" for the primary domain name.  I had so much trouble with an IM name….

Ooh. Ooh.  Speaking of IM names, markthoughts is available in both .com and .net.  Hmmm?  I don’t know.  Any other suggestions?  That may be my best bet.  Let me know what you think about any of these that are available or others.  Would you intentionally visit any of these domains explicitly, even if you didn’t know in advance that it was me?

All thoughts on domain names or hosts will be greatly appreciated.  Not sure what I’ll give as a prize for the best suggestion/most help, and it is a little late for the whole first-born thing, but feel free to contribute.  Often even.

Update 16 Jul 06:

Thanks CW, Richard, Michael and Walt for the suggestions [see comments].  I had briefly thought about .info but hadn’t looked into it at all.  Now I have, and marklindner.info is available.  I, too, like Richard’s suggestion of Off the Mark, but more along the lines of Walt’s thinking.

Thanks for the info on DreamHost Michael.  They are still on the table, but I’m leaning towards LISHost.  I really cannot overempasize the value of Walt’s recommendation, nor that of the many others who use it whom I respect.  I have sent a message to Blake asking a couple questions.  Assuming I get the answers I need I will proceed quickly I believe.

In the meantime, feel free to toss out more suggestions.  I can always use something for a subdomain, a blog title, or a website, or something else entirely once I have my own domain.

Thanks all!

Recent stuff

The vast interweb has not been my friend lately.  It has failed me 3 times in the last few days.  Maybe that means the end of failure for a while.  I can only hope….

Budget

The other morning I completed an online reservation for a Budget truck for my impending move.  Shortly after I completed it, I realized that I had made it for a day earlier than I needed.  I waited a couple of hours to make sure it propagated through whatever back end system it needed to.  To change my reservation I had the option of calling either the local dealer or the national 866 number.  I chose the 866 number and tidily got my reservation shifted one day for the correct days.

The next day I got a call from the local dealer saying that there was "absolutely no way" he was honoring that reservation.  He started giving me a lecture about what a busy time it is locally, how the computer should not have let me make that reservation, blah blah.   No crap, dick!  I’m not one of those egghead academics that doesn’t know what goes on around him.  I’m moving because my lease is up just like 1000s of others.  And, Christ dude, I’ve lived in major college towns for 8 years now!  I think I know when the busy time for moving is.  Especially since almost everyone of my friends and/or coworkers are also moving around this time.

Anyway, no use arguing over it as he has the truck I need.  We worked it out, but I ended up with the same equipment for half the time at a bit over the original price.  So internet convenience is not always what it’s cracked up to be.

TypePad

While our TypePad blogs were up and available all day Wednesday, our host was completely hosed!  No posting, not even their main page was available.  At least I didn’t have Liz Lawley’s problem

I have my doubts about the availability of commenting or trackbacks also.  And while it isn’t really a big deal, stats were clearly hosed.  In fact, as of an hour or two ago they still seem to be hosed.  My numbers haven’t changed at all since I 1st got back in and just a bit ago.  Hell, I viewed my blog at least 5 times since TypePad was back on line and no change at all.  [Stats seem to be back as of about 10 PM last night and I see they are claiming that comments and trackbacks have been fixed, but I still have my doubts about them working during the outage; not that I think it affected me.]

I am going to have to figure out how to move this puppy soon.  Does anyone know how easy or not it is to move from TypePad to WordPress?  My friend Richard recently moved a blog from Blogger to WordPress and found it quite easy.  Anyone with experience moving a TypePad blog to WordPress please contact me!  [I did a bit of research last night and it isn’t looking easy at all.  Doable probably, but not for me by myself at this point.  I have no doubt I could learn all of the stuff needed to get it done, but not quickly.  And from all the info I saw, no one has migrated a blog as big as mine successfully.  Crap!]

Ani tickets

Yesterday morning I found out Ani DiFranco is playing the Chicago Theatre on 13 Oct.  I tried to get tickets but ran into various issues even knowing how to use Ticketmaster.  Don’t even get me started on the freaking thievery that is Ticketmaster!  I tried a few times and finally just gave it up.  I was successful at one point later in the day but said "Screw it!" when 2 tickets ($70) came to over $95 after Ticketmaster, taxes and whatever other thievery they applied.

But my son had already bought me tickets anyway.  I’m not sure how many and it seemed rude to ask.  But I will get to see Ani this year!  Yay me!  And thank you so much son!

Some may wonder why I care so much, but Ani’s music has literally been one of the very few things (3 or 4 maybe, including real flesh and blood friends) that has kept me alive the last several years of living with major depression.  That is not hyperbole or exaggeration; it is a simple truth. 

I have also cited her songs as references in most of my major academic writings prior to coming to library school (philosophy—ethics, epistemology, philosophy of science; sociology ex1, ex2, …; history, anthropology).  Hmmm?  Why not LIS writings?  Maybe because we rarely write anything of real substance.  What a shame!  [Put that on the to do list boy—find a way to work in an Ani reference in the fall.]

BCBC reference and lack of analysis

Wednesday night while broadcasting LIS578LE Technical Services, the Calhoun Report came up again.  Reference was made to the Bicentennial Conference on Bibliographic Control for the New Millenium (2000) (BCBC as I lovingly call it).  Steve mentioned how it had generated the Calhoun Report among other reports and how the proceedings had been published.  I immediately set off to get the reference to send the students.  I mean, I am currently reading said proceedings after reading so many of the reports to have come about due to it. 

Well, of course I had options.  But I also knew that it is linked on my blog in my Current/Recent Reads.  So, why search?  I knew where to find a working link to a reference.  Well, TypePad TypeLists only use Amazon data, which IMHO is a major failing.  Not much I can do about it though.  For what it’s worth, I always use Open WorldCat in the blog itself when I can [See.  Also see previous two links.].

Well, Steve and a few students immediately picked up how I had sent an Amazon link instead of a catalog link.  I have to admit that on a (very) shallow level it seems to support Karen Calhoun’s (and other’s) point.

But it does not support their point at all.  Well, it does maybe; but only if you use the same level of extremely shallow "analysis."  That is to say, that you use absolutely no analysis at all.  I must say in Steve’s defense that he realizes this; although I have no doubt he’d say it in a more "friendly" way.  He said, and I believe him, that he was not picking on me.  I also believe he understands the limitations of my blogging software.

The analytical part comes from realizing that I already have, and am well aware that I have, an easy link available to me for some bibliographic data to this work.  Why the heck should I go search it elsewhere when I have a known good link to some data for it?  Especially when there is a very short timeframe involved.  It is not because I think Amazon is better or has superior bibliographic data.  I do not!  It was just easy as it was already in place.  And if TypePad allowed me to link to Open WorldCat data in such an easy manner I most certainly would!  Even if that took more work initially.

This sort of extremely shallow analysis of user behavior (of which I am not accusing Steve) is what drives me most crazy with the Calhoun Report and others of her ilk.

Yes, I use Google.  But I also use my library catalog and other library catalogs, to include Open WorldCat; which I only hope becomes even more user-friendly and useful.

Movie

Wednesday night I watched Around the Fire.  It was a fairly decent movie about growing up.  Great soundtrack!  Any movie that opens with Dire Straits’ "Down to the Waterline" "Water of Love" has me hooked [16 Jul 06 Just realized I put the wrong song title in even though I wrote it down correctly.  <sigh>]

Crane Alley [picture]

Last night I went to Crane Alley for dinner and beers as a soon-to-be moving away present (and I had a coupon).  I had some absolutely heavenly pork tenderloins stuffed with mild feta and fresh spinach, with potato pancakes and asparagus.  I also found out my favorite waitress, Alea, is moving to Denver to attend pharmacy school about the same time I move.  I wrote a note to the manager about how much I appreciate Crane Alley, but especially about how much I appreciated Alea (and I decided to do this before I learned she was leaving).  Seemed like the proper thing to do.  Also gave her a very nice tip.

Sara MySpace invite

When I got home from the Alley I found a request from my daughter to be friends in MySpace.  Of course I approved it.  As I’ve said, I only joined MySpace when my son invited me in.  I knew my daughter had an account and took a peek once, but I did not go back after that as I figured she needed her own space and that it wasn’t "proper" for me to be hanging out without her explicit permission.  Now I seem to have it; and I couldn’t be happier that both of my children have given me explicit permission to be involved in this way in their lives.

That’s all for now.  Off soon to offer more help and handholding to our great new students as we teach them basic web page skills today, but more importantly (for some of them anyway) to show them that there are people here who believe in them and their ability to suceed in this adventure.  Man, do I have a great job!  Too bad it isn’t what I want for a career….

TypePad is hosed still!

TypePad.  Listen up!  You are still freakin’ hosed up!

And I will be moving my account.  You have lost a customer as soon as I can figure out how to get my stuff moved off of your non-truth admitting site.

I might be more tolerant if you would fully admit to all of the issues you are facing.  But clearly you are not doing so.

So I will be moving.  Soon.

Sorry friends, I have a post completely written out (in a text file) about several different things—some gripes and some very nice things—but TypePad is still being ignorant after being completely offline for most of yesterday.

Stay tuned.  Maybe I’ll get some of the service I have already paid for soon.

“Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.”

"Shine on you crazy diamond."

Pink Floyd.  "Shine On You Crazy Diamond."  Wish You Were Here.

Syd Barrett dies at 60.

Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett was a founding member and the guiding light of early Pink Floyd, although his influence has been felt ever since he left the band after their 1st album.

I have both of his solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett.  I have listened to both a couple times today after seeing the news of his death at 3 Quarks Daily.  Right now I am listening to Floyd’s Wish You Were Here.  The opening guitar work is so fucking incredible as it brings tears to my eyes.  And certainly not for the 1st time either.

"Come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr and shine."

Songs such as "Love You," "Here I Go," "Feel," and "Late Night" from The Madcap Laughs and "Baby Lemonade," "Love Song," "Gigolo Aunt," and "Effervescing Elephant," from Barrett, along with the rest, form a wonderful backdrop to my earlier years. 

I put "Love Song" on the 1st Valentine’s Day compilation I ever made in 2000 and said, "What a pretentious title for such and unpretentious little song."  Quite possibly one of the best love songs ever written.

And then there’s "Effervescing Elephant," which I told in Storytelling almost a year and a half ago.

Barrett has influenced so many musicians over the years, and still continues to do so today, despite his rather short musical career.

BBC Obituary

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year.
Running over the same old ground.  What have we found?  The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

Pink Floyd.  "Wish You Were Here."  Wish You Were Here.

Shine on, wherever you’re headed Syd.

More moving and some reading

I started my day by packing up some beer glasses from the kitchen, but quickly ran out of packing paper.   So I headed out to the local storage to get some boxes with packing paper in them.  Seeing as how this storage area has a leak (discovered recently) and I was unable to use about a 1/4 of it (and had to buy and put a tarp over stuff near the back) I made another inquiry re when it would be fixed (8 days now). 

I pressed the point a bit and was given the area right next door.  So I headed home with the boxes and packing paper.  Then I loaded up all the book boxes in yesterday’s photos and headed back.  I moved everything out, placed the boards down to keep stuff off the floor, and moved everything in taking full advantage of all the space.  I put the tarp over the stuff in the back, just in case.

When I got home I took a shower and then headed to campus to get some already paid for lunch at HOG and order another book for book discussion group (Love and Garbage) [Another failed Open Worldcat search!  See below.]. 

While there I used my last two movie rentals and got Brokeback Mountain and Walk the Line.  When I got home I watched Brokeback Mountain.  I have to say that I wasn’t all that impressed.  It was pretty good, but it just didn’t ring any bells with me.  There are far better movies, IMHO, about the search for love.  Another small complaint I have is that I made sure that I picked a wide screen version but the one they gave me was not.  Seeing as I was highly interested in the cinematography I was a bit upset about that.

After the movie I decided to finish filling the box I started this morning.  Then I had to rinse off again.  I ate the leftovers from lunch and then headed to Crane Alley for $2 pints.  I deserved dinner from Crane Alley but am far too broke for that right now.  Which, of course, really sucks to no end seeing as I am moving to the other town soon.  I should be fully enjoying my last moments in the Alley, but don’t have the money to do so.  <sigh>

I read two articles out of Saving the User’s Time through Subject Access Innovation (Papers in Honor of Pauline Atherton Cochrane).  First, I read Donald King’s "Blazing New Trails: In Celebration of an Audacious Career."  Then, I read Raya Fidel’s "The User-Centered Approach: How We Got Here."  King’s article is basically a historical reflection of a portion of Dr. Cochrane’s career and, as such, can’t be argued with by me.  The Fidel article is good, but I have an issue with it.  She repeatedly makes comments on the user-centered approach along the lines of, "[I]t is likely that we can find patterns in seeking and searching behavior that are common to all users of a certain group. Once these behaviors are discovered, one can design a system that accomodates the behavior of users from that group" (84).

Yes.  But. 

There may well be patterns in user groups, and user groups are different from one another.  But.  User groups are not monolithic.  They do not all search the same!  Do all of us school trained librarians seek (or search) the same?  No!  [Speaking of which, I got my diploma in the mail today.]

We read an article by Fidel in one of my required courses [LIS501] and I think I read another in Collection Development.  I need to go back and see what I thought of them.  Anyway, I certainly mostly agree with the user-centered approach.  But.  I have big issues with an approach for each user group.  If each group is statistically defined down to one approach then we will be causing serious issues for many info searchers within each group.  Statistical norms have serious limitations in most any endeavor.

At this point, I switched to reading a few more chapters in The Joke by Kundera. [Sorry for the Amazon link, but Open Worldcat failed me miserably here!  Not sure what search algorithm is being used here, but this is a pitiful result.  And for once, Amazon gives the exact manifestation, much less the correct work, for a search on The Joke.]

Now it’s time to relax here at home.

What have I been up to?

I’m not even sure I remember much myself.  Really, nothing too outstanding has been going on.  I have been having some fun in between all of the monotony and labor, though.

In the interest of prepping to move I have given up on many of my summer goals.  I have been reading though, and have even finished 2 books.  I hope to have reviews of at least one of them up soon.

As for the possible job, it has been morphing somewhat and I have no idea how or where it stands now.  But I was asked to submit a resume, so I’m still a bit hopeful.

I enjoyed a nice relaxing 4th with Basil and friends at Basil’s 1st Cookout.  I came home just in time to watch the fireworks from my ‘backyard.’  I was so far away that I couldn’t even hear them, although there was plenty of fools lighting off stuff in the area.  My pictures aren’t so great since I was so far away and had the camera’s optical and digital zooms maxed out.  There was also a streetlight in most photos and a bad angle for all.

I really felt pretty disconnected from it all during the fireworks this year.  But I will take that any day over watching them with my child deployed to a war zone.

I got a new phone recently as my contract was up soon and my the battery in the old phone was quickly dying.  I can work some parts of it, but not others yet.  I also got a new camera as the external shutter on the one I got in January got dorked.  Luckily, I had bought the extended warranty so I got a new Canon A530 in place of the A520.  It was an even price swap so it only cost me a trip to the store.

In the middle of the week I testified in an atbitration hearing about our graduate benefits.  It may be a few weeks before we hear how it works out though.  It’d be really nice to know now though because part of it is about whether or not we can cash in any unused vacation.  I’m enjoying my time off, but I could really use some ‘extra’ money too.  It’d be nice to know before I burn most of it up.

I’ve been prepping for moving.  Lots of shuffling stuff around at the local storage, packing up stuff in the apartment, buying more boxes today, etc.

Friday night I went to the Harvest Moon Drive-in in Gibson City, IL with a gaggle of fellow students and friends.  The drive-in was celebrating their 52nd anniversary and had fireworks.  I didn’t get to bed until after 2:30 AM.

Last night, I went out with basically the same group for sandwiches and beers.  Then we went to Sonya & Jason’s apartment for gaming.  I actually played Guitar Hero (on easy), but luckily most of them weren’t paying attention at the time.  🙂

Eventually the ladies played karaoke and the boys played a zombie dog game.  I forget the name but it was an expansion pack for another zombie game.  Somehow I failed to take any pictures of the game, although I did get some karaoke shots.  I didn’t get to bed until after 3 AM this morning.

Oh well, it is summer and I am a student.

Last weekend I went to Normal and spent some time with the ex and her boyfriend (and paid the storage bill there.  Yes, I do have 2 rented storage areas.).  I borrowed 10 movies from them and have watched 8 so far.

Foxfire; Pitch Black; The Chronicles of Riddick; Dark Fury; The Italian Job (original with Michael Caine); The Bone Snatcher; Mercury Rising; and Unbreakable.  The two I have yet to watch are Donnie Darko, and Around the Fire.

This week the 1st of 2 new LEEP cohorts arrive on campus for their Bootcamp.  Next week the 2nd arrives.  So I’ll be working a bit more than just Wednesday evenings for a couple weeks assisting with workshops on LEEP classes, general technology, and web page creation and management and getting to know a lot of great new students.

At some point this summer, I’ll be accompanying my friend and usual ISF mate, Jenna (and another friend of hers this year), to the three plays of the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.  This year’s plays are the so-called Roman plays, The Comedy of Errors, Pericles, and Julius Caesar.

I think that’s it.  And now a word from our sponsor, Personality Pickle.