Baby Techies

My youngest grandson is growing up a techie and he doesn’t even know it.  His favorite baby toy was an iPhone and he loves the iPad.  He skypes with us on iPad and loves to carry us around his house with him… quite a dizzying experience and not recommended for weak of stomach.

I grew up dreaming of this technology, wanting to believe that we would all be living like the Jetsons one day.  If you aren’t familiar with them Google them, and that word (Google) was not a verb, let alone a word.

Shredding and Tossing

Last summer my husband, sister-in-law and I flew to AZ to clear out my mother’s house.  We had to move her to a dementia oriented nursing facility and the house needed to be cleared out and sold.  It was something I would never want to do again and never want my kids to have to do.  With this in mind we have been shredding and tossing. (BTW – I intentionally made the b&w photo blurry… in my mind it was old technology… therefore blurry black and white. 😉 )

The local library had a shredding day so I convinced my husband we could throw away 30+ years of his sales reports, taxes predating 1990, grocery receipts and other items taking up huge amounts of room in the basement.  The local high school was also collecting electronics so out went an old tv, computer, monitor, speakers and wires.  I didn’t stop there.  I went through the toy closet.  Not to throw away.  My grand kids would have a fit.  I have an amazing collection of Playmobile, Brio and Legos.

I spent the afternoon sorting through the pieces and pulling out old crayons, wrappers, broken matchbox cars (oh, forgot to mention those… lots and lots), lost puzzle pieces and more.  Some of the Lego sets were still intact and other in chunks and pieces.

It brought back many wonderful memories of children’s voices as they vocalized the story line of their play.  I can’ wait for the grand kids to visit and plow through the organization of my afternoon and make a creative mess.  It’s been too long.

(All photos were taken with my iPhone using Instagram and Photo+.  Obviously, they looked better on the small iPhone, but you get the picture.)

Move over George, make room for Scotty!

When I grew up television was young, there were no computers to speak of and one’s imagination was a wonderful tool.  Books were a ticket to another world or just over the rainbow.  But then TV went from black and white to color.  The Flintstones arrived on the scene followed closely by the Jetsons.  I was entranced by the Jetsons.  Push button living, flying cars, sky high vistas and tv phone!  Jetsons had Skype!  I didn’t even know then what Skype was, it wasn’t invented, but I wanted it! I have it now and I love it.  Every long distant grandparent needs Skype and the iPhone.  We have spent many a Saturday morning talking with our kids and grandkids and laughing just like we were there with them.

Still no flying cars and robots haven’t taken over the cleaning duties, but we’re moving closer. Technology is moving quickly and I have to say I can’t wait until air travel is replaced by the simple command, “Beam me up, Scotty!”

Pinterest – A great new picture filing system for the memory challenged

“Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.”

 – Michel de Montaigne

The last few months I have been working on a relatively new product called Pinterest.  At first it was an addiction.  It was like easy scrap-booking with no paste, no paper, no expense and no mess. I was pinning everything on the web I loved.  Cute animal photos, funny comics, wonderful quotes, homes I can’t afford, items I would buy if I ever won a really big lottery.  Wow!  It was wonderful.  I soon realized it had become a time hog.  It was sucking up hours of my time with no real purpose.  And then the lightbulb went off!  I discovered it’s real worth.  It is a fabulous organizer, sorter of valuable information with links to tutorials, important facts, books I want to read and more.  It was going to be my saving grace to organizing my desk and my mind.

The epiphany really came when my boss agreed with me that Pinterest might be a really cool thing for the library to have.  He asked me to make a mock up copy.  Gleefully I set to work.  I was a pinning machine.  I started creating boards that would be useful and fit things that we offered.  As I arranged and rearranged I realized I should be doing this with my own.  So I did.

I have a tech position in a library and need to stay up on all the latest changes.  Every other day they are changing the eBook downloading procedure, updating apps that we use at the library, changing databases that are in use, coming up with new ideas to make life easier.  So much to read and so little time.  To give you an idea… this how I start my work day:

  • Pour myself a cup of coffee – so important
  • Log in to the network and company email
  • Log in to personal email
  • Log in to gmail account and open Google +
  • Pour another cup of coffee
  • Log in to Twitter
  • Check FaceBook and see if OverDrive Media has made any announcements that would change our downloading procedures. (and maybe peek at a few status remarks from people I know, used to know and have no idea who they are)
  • With Windows 7 and my wide monitor I can split my screen in two and work on the left side and monitor my stream of techie/librarian/life hacker/authors/Pioneer Woman and a few other tweeters on the right hand side.

Now I’m ready to work on no less than three projects at a time and still keep up with all that is important in the technical world.  (I followed the NEW iPad intro on Twitter and Google + both!  Should I be embarrassed to admit that?)

  • Pour my last cup of coffee.  Sigh.
Oh, a Tweet just came across with a new online photo editor that is free and is better than Picnik!  This is where the beauty of Pinterest comes in.  I follow the link from my Twitter feed and it leads me to PicMonkey!  I don’t really have time to play with this at work, but I take a moment and determine, yes, it realy is cool!  I need to spread the word…. later.  So!  I pin it in my Neat Photo Ideas board in Pinterest!  I now have the picture seen below and the link to the website.  It isn’t written on a random piece of paper, placed in a bookmark I will never find, copied and pasted in a document that will be lost in the mass column of random docs in my multitude of folders.  It is in Pinterest and others can see it and share it too!  I am spreading the word and keeping my sanity.  Now I can find it easily this weekend when I have time to play with it.

Click on the picture and it will take you to the website.  Just like on Pinterest!

Gratuitous photo and my start on the technology path

I tripped and fell head first into technology.  Nobody would ever label me a geek, but I would willingly label myself curious.  In fact, that is one of my traits I value highly.  It all began at Ball State.  Stretch’s (significant other) daughter was in freshman year and called in a panic because she had to turn something in on a computer in a lab somewhere on campus.  The year is 1986.  I look to my former IBM salesman husband and, as is typical of an IBM salesman, he said he knew how to sell them not how to work them.  So guess who drove to Muncie and helped out.  Gene wrote using the no fail technology of pencil and paper and I typed away on a terminal.  After many trips back and forth to a little glassed in room to find out how to center, double space and other formatting tricks, we were finished.  On the way home I decided we had to get a computer.  We needed to know how to use these darn contraptions.

Buying a computer in ’86 was crazy.  Once again, the sales people wanted to sell them without showing you how they worked.  After much study and frustration I bought an AT&T 6300 with dual 5.25 floppy drives, an RGB monitor and no hard drive.  And the printer was a state of the art Epson dot matrix printer.  I won’t even tell you the price… ugh!  It was a very scary piece of equipment.  It sat on our dining room table for at least 45 days before I gathered the courage to use it.  If it hadn’t cost so much it might still be sitting there.  Anyway, from then to now and the phone I carry in my pocket is more powerful than that monstrosity on my dining room table.  (My husband still doesn’t quite get how computers work, but he loves his i Pad which I keep updated and loaded with all the apps he will love the most.)

You will find I have very mixed feelings on technology, but one thing I love about technology are the book sites.  I belong to two sites.  Shelfari and Goodreads.  I have recently switched to Goodreads and have to admit to preferring it over Shelfari.  It is very possible I like it better because I know more people on Goodreads, but I also find it easier to find out about genres of books I enjoy and the reviewing and record keeping is not as long and convoluted as that of Shelfari.  And with that I will end this piece with a book recommendation for the child in all of us –
David Wiesner’s FLOTSAM.  If you follow the link you will find the author’s site.  I saw him present how he conceived and created this book.  I know there is a video on YouTube.  It is wonderful.

And the author and his making of Art and Max.