Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dewey Debate

Huzzah for the idea of moving away from Dewey, that's what I think, though I know the idea is still hotly contested.

Build the Open Shelves Classification

linked from the comments here at "Do We Dewey?" where there are a range of interesting comments, including one pointing out that Dewey is easier for young children to learn. That may be, but I don't think it's a good enough reason to stay with a system that is completely outmoded in its world view. In the Enlightenment*, Western scholars, including Melville Dewey, thought they knew just about everything there was to know in the world, and created a classification system accordingly. They couldn't have been more wrong - and in current times we need a system that can embrace and fully accommodate world cultures and non-Western/Christian thought; one that provides a framework but leaves some flexibility for the future.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Look Ma, No Twisting!

After wrestling this lovely, soft, fussy yarn into a ball at last, I've started the wristwarmers that I've been planning for ages. And now that I've re-trained myself to do the stitches properly... there's no more twisting of stitches.

You can't really tell easily with this yarn, or from this crappy picture, but trust me. It's working!

Friday, July 25, 2008

DRM funtime

This, THIS is why I still buy my music on CD. Seriously, people.

This week, Yahoo Music e-mailed customers who purchased music from their site and let them know that as of September 30, 2008, Yahoo Music will go dark.

And they will take the DRM key servers down with it.

That means that anyone who legally purchased tunes through Yahoo Music will lose the right to transfer that music to other devices or computers, even though they paid for that right.

Sucks to be you if you choose a service, put down your money, and then something happens to the service.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Moving Forward (in Ripples)

This week, I faced up to the fact that I've been knitting incorrectly. I taught myself to knit out of drawn pictures in a book, so it is perhaps not surprising that I made some misinterpretations; however, I've been figuratively sticking my fingers in my ears and saying "la la la" instead of trying to confirm and fix the problem. The items that I've made in the past are fine; the fabric still looks nice and holds together perfectly well. It's just hard, if not impossible, to progress past the simple knit-and-purl no-pattern rectangular projects that have been my hallmark without standardizing the way I create the stitches to align with the accepted method.

But my ear-fingers days are over now. KnittingHelp.com has been invaluable in helping me track down my mistakes (a little "enter from the wrong side of the loop" here, a little "wrap from the opposite direction" there) with the use of the video library. Actually seeing the stitches being created is so much easier to understand than sketches with arrows.

And so - with corrected stitches, yesterday I took a pattern out of the "101 Ripple Stitches" book that I've had for YEARS, and finally started trying it out. You can see the results above - there's definitely some ripple there! And I'm following a real pattern, complete with "cast on in multiples of" and scary stitch abbreviations.

Having the time and energy to sit down and sort this out is one of the reasons I'm happy to be where I am right now. There are lots of little things like this that have been holding me back because I didn't have the energy to face them. I'm trying to use this time to deal with things that need fixing, so that when life returns to normal, I'm better prepared to meet it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Personal Reading History

From the LISNews feed, a link to Art Garfunkle's website, where he has listed every book he has read since 1968. What an interesting idea... while amusing for other people, it would be most useful for one's own perusal, not just for memory lapses but to look at the reading trends in one's own life.

I confess, I broke out a text document to start doing the same... when I remembered that I signed up for GoodReads aaaaaages ago, and never did anything with it, because the prospect of documenting my personal library that way was just too daunting. So I may try to remember to use it going forward. We'll see how the exercise goes.

My first completed book in the system: A Pickpocket's Tale: The Underworld of Nineteenth Century New York.

I have several other books going at present, but I shan't enter them into the system until they're complete:
Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie
A Year in the World by Frances Mayes
Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky

That's actually balanced more towards non-fiction than is usual for me. Anyway, we'll see how this idea pans out. I might have more luck with the text document, if anything. But I'll try GoodReads for now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Feeds and 'Casts

Today has been new media day - I've subscribed to several podcasts (mostly of the crafting variety) and added feeds for several new blogs (from some of the ladies featured in the 50 Most Influential 'Female' Bloggers article that Christine pointed to via Twitter).

The podcasts I'm listening to while crafting - a great way to multi-task in my current television-and-Netflix-impaired world. The feeds... we'll see how I like the new sites and whether I'll keep them. I like the idea of following more sites, but the LISNews feed is SO busy, it makes it hard to keep up as it is.

I've thought about dropping LISNews, but it's so useful for keeping up with what's going on in the library world - if I could subscribe to a "half-feed" sampling, I totally would. But I can't, so I just have to resign myself to occasionally marking the backlog as read without getting to them. It is painful, but less painful than looking at 50+ unread posts.

Saturday, July 5, 2008


After ages of not taking, much less uploading, any pictures at all... lately I've been snapping like mad and this afternoon I uploaded at least 30 of them. Beer drinking, flower admiring, wine tasting, Getty garden strolling - it is all now represented in my Flickr stream. Go see!

A preview: