Saturday, October 11, 2008

Web who.0 - Journeys end?

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step

Well, after this long journey, I must admit to feeling rather like a mama polar bear, emerging blinkingly into the spring sunshine from the winter hibernation, new babes in tow. The first days of this exploration did indeed seem a long time ago, and I know there were a number of us questioning the wisdom of the quest. But persevere we have, and we have learnt much along the way. Helen Keller once said "Life is either a daring adventure - or nothing."

It's hard to pick highlights, so maybe I'll start with the lowlights, as they are quite fresh in my mind. I can't see that I'll hurry back to places like bebo, facebook or myspace for more explorations, apart from taking a peek at the NSL community there. Rollyo is also something I can't see a great deal of use for, personally, as well as finding it a bit clumsy to use.

RSS I still haven't come completely to grips with, but as I have moved on and done more exploring I have used it a little more, and can see the possibilities and usefulness of it as a way of keeping up-to-date with various topics that are of particular interest, and which you won't necessarily have a chance to seek out yourself. So not quite singing it's praises yet, but... (and you can guess where my quest here will focus on).
Exercises I did enjoy were much like some others whose comments I have read - Generators and YouTube were a lot of fun, places you can too easily while away hours and hours of time, being quite unsociable in the process if you're not careful. LibraryThing I will also probably continue to use. E-books was more enjoyable than I thought it would be, although this isn't a format I can picture myself using for my reading pleasure. I will have to remember to revisit Zoho and master some more of it's tools. I may be doing this the wrong way, but I have difficulty dropping images to my posts in the place I would prefer them, something Zoho is good for. Yet another skill to work on. Flickr and wikis are also places I will remember to come back to for some more exploring, once I have got over the fact we don't 'have' to anymore.
Some things I am still not convinced about are technorati and Clever sites, and I can see their usefulness, but not for me I feel. Mashups are something I still need lots of practice with, but I can't imagine returning here just to 'play'.
So what have I learned? Life truly is a mystery. What gives sense to it is learning - learning that leads to insight and then to understanding. Irrespective of how long in the tooth we may be, all of us must be prepared to learn. Challenge assumptions - explore beliefs. Discover new trails; revisit old ones, and where needed - make fresh tracks. Let the pack sing out a collective howl of thanks to our alpha leaders, aka the NSL Web 2.0 Admin Team, who have marked out a path through the snow, mushed the way ahead and kept the pack (mostly) on task.
However, there are those among us who have ranged the rugged wilderness of cyberspace, on edge. Cautious and ever watchful - hackles up, neck ruff raised, noses lifted to the four winds. On guard - alone and independent. The lone maverick wolf - fringe guardian of the pack, curious but mistrustful of the material, and alert to all - seen and unseen - that flows by.
Just as wolves have been reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, this Web 2.0 experience has reintroduced me to a professional landscape and convention I thought I knew well. However, on occasions I have felt like a recently released wolf might, liberated at last and left to fend for myself in an environment culturally familiar, yet disconcertingly foreign - all at the same time. I sought to avoid traps that could waylay me on the journey - and have only lost a little bit of fur along the way.
So - has it been worth it? Sometimes. I've really enjoyed the creative process week by week, thinking about the images and quotations I've used to illustrate my ideas - an acknowledgment to the innate and intuitive wisdom of the Great Spirit, and the connectedness of all things - a trait also inherent in canis lupus. The duties to consider the great drifts of information along this trail has been exhausting at times, and not entirely rewarding - akin at times to when the alpha leaders return to the den after the hunt - unrewarded! Owhoooo - no meat on the bone there! As H D Thoreau so aptly said - "In wildness is the preservation of the world". Which leads us to a question - will lupi not the olive oil continue in the blogosphere, or fade back into the timberlands? Now - that's a mystery.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

All aboard the Social Wave @ the Library

"You might as well expect rivers to run backwards as any man born free to be contented penned up"

Well - what can be said about all these social network sites that our younger generation(s) can't seem to get enough of? I've looked at a few of the library sites but none have really invited me in. Some didn't link, others hadn't been updated for some considerable time - nothing like information about events that are a year or more old to make you shut the door on that one! Others had so much, it made your eyes blur. Like anything in this tech-age, the tools - and we have discovered what a wealth of these there are - are great if they are used well, but you do need to spend time and effort into making these work for your site. I didn't see many comments on the several library myspace and bebo pages I visited, and I admit to feeling jaded over my explorations. There is just too much out there, and after dipping in to places that hold no appeal, you begin to see what a challenge it is to create something that will grab and hold the attention of the net-kids.

I did find Beth Evans' article "Your space or MySpace?" an interesting read, and I learned some new words - Millennials; "screen-agers" - and I do agree how easily we librarians can suffer "paralysis by analysis" - refusing to move forward into new ventures because we overthink. For any library thinking of setting up one of these network accounts, you need to decide why you are doing it, and have a clear idea of what you want to do with it, and how you will use it to interact with your younger patrons. Don't just do it because everyone else is, and you think it's 'a good idea'.There are endless possibilities as far as what and how you can attract these "screen-agers" to your site, but with so much competition out there in so many forms, you need to have some goal in mind when you begin. Once you do begin - don't forget the on-going needs of resourcing such a project. Libraries and librarians have never been afraid to jump on the next wave, but we sometimes struggle to stay afloat for the journey, or when it moves to the next chapter. So yes, I think there is a place for libraries to have a presence on bebo, Facebook, MySpace, etc, sitting alongside our more traditional roles - it gives another means of entering our "community living-rooms", but in a rather more "virtual" way.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Exercise # 21 - HELP - all this socialisation

"A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses".Proverbs 27:19 (The Bible)

I will confess I hadn't been looking forward to this 'Discovery Exercise' with much enthusiasm, and my journey here has done little to change that feeling. Unlike countless millions, I don't feel an urge to sign up to one of the 'social networking' sites - I prefer to keep my profile somewhat anonymous (or as anonymous as one can be around the NSL community). The world has became voyeuristic enough with mobile phones, YouTube and various other means and modes of technology that we all seem to be hooked in to now, whether we want to be or not. I didn't find myspace very appealing - I tried looking up a few things, mostly of a musical nature, but admit to not being drawn to voyage any deeper in to this space. The peek at Facebook was indeed no more than a peek, as it looks like you have to sign up before you can go anywhere? - a big turnoff for me. To top this off, I was very disconcerted on my dip into Auckland City Libraries bebo page, when I went to follow a lead that looked interesting - and behold, 2/3 of my 'true-life' name was already staring at me from the screen - and I know I had not typed it there. Talk about "Ghost in the machine" - what happened to Privacy here? Needless to say, this promptly halted any further excursions for this exercise, when earlier I'd thought bebo could be the most appealing of these "networks". Maybe it's a generational thing, but my enthusiasm rather too quickly waned. Since embarking on these '23 exercises' I have already felt neglectful of my 'actual reality' social network, small as it is, yet at times I've also experienced the "thrill" of getting caught up in what often seems like a "virtual reality" world. I can see just how easy and totally addictive this can become, without you even realizing it. It all helps to reinforce my thoughts that you can never truly "hide" from the world - "You can run but you can't hide" definitely rings true here. Or should that be "you can click but you can't hide" - add another can of worms to the ever-expanding network of global sharing. Not forgetting the matter of once you are joined - how do you go about "un-joining" - I've heard that is no easy task, if it's even possible at all??
I feel I have woven all manner of threads through the Web, and left many trails over these past weeks, signing up to this and that - all those usernames and passwords - I was truly beginning to wonder who I was. Perhaps the idea of assigning everyone with a barcode at birth isn't such a silly idea after all! I have now got to a point where I need to reconnect with my 'Flesh and Blood' social network - including a recently retraced friend from nearly 20 years ago - tracked down through the rather more conventional online means of the telephone book. Thus, I will take time out to ponder my joining the 'virtual' social space. I'm not ruling out a return to do some more explorations here, but it's not "myspace" right now. One small step for this lupe at a time...

"It's said that Crazy Horse had the power to dream himself into the real world - and leave the illusion behind"

J.D. Blackfoot, from his album "The song of Crazy Horse" (1973)
(You can click the album cover and see a YouTube clip of the long version - 20 minutes, the complete side 1 - of this song. There is also a shorter 10 minute version on YouTube)

Friday, October 3, 2008

e-book - see/hear/read - Where's the Book?

"...each day mankind and the claims of mankind slipped farther from him. Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and as often as he heard this call , mysteriously thrilling and luring, he felt compelled to turn his back upon the fire and the beaten earth around it, and to plunge into the forest, and on and on, he knew not where or why; nor did he wonder where or why, the call sounding imperiously, deep in the forest."

The Call of the wild (Jack London 1876-1916), 1903 - Chapter 6 "For the love of a man"

Well for the last half-dozen or so years at least, there has been talk that e-books will herald the death of the book as we have known it for the last millennium or so. However, after delving into the world of the 'alternative format' book, I don't think we need roll out the black arm-bands, or light the fires, just yet. The written word is still at the heart of all these formats, and as long as people continue to write, and there are still eager-beavers waiting to share in their tales of wonder and imagination, that flag will continue to wave. Having said that, though - it is amazing the choice we now have in how we read the wealth of literature that exists, and to be reassured that these various formats are contributing to the preservation of, and extending the reach in ways probably never ever considered in the wildest imaginations of some of the ancient scribes who first penned those works.

I had forgotten just how long Project Gutenberg has been going, and this was my first real look right "into" it. I searched for Jack London, as he is the first author to really make an impression on me when I first discovered reading. I devoured "Call of the Wild" and "White Fang" back then (perhaps that explains why I have such a bent for dogs wild cousin the wolf?), before digressing to "Robinson Crusoe" and other such classics. I hadn't realized Jack London had such a catalogue of works, and browsing the "pages" of these old favourites has rekindled my interest in his writing, so it will be a visit to the "Stack" to search out some of this wonderful stuff. I was also curious to see if under "language" there would be an entry under 'Maori', and was heartened to find one title there. It is the story of "Hinemoa" and the information that is given with entries is well presented, although I would have liked to have known a little more about the provenance of this particular text. Mention of the assistance by Victoria University of Wellington/Te Whare Wananga o te Upoko o te Ika a Maui reminded me of that institutions own project, which is well worth exploring for New Zealand texts. Among their ever-growing catalogue, you can find the 54 works that make up the "Official history of New Zealand in the Second World War, 1939-1945', and the latest addition is volumes 1 & 6 (vols 2-5 will follow at a later date) of the Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Volume 1 "Wellington Provincial District" weighs 5.1 kilograms in hard-copy - imagine if that fell on your toe! Small mercy then that this is available for perusal online - one small triumph for "Health and Safety" in the library stacks.

I have rambled on enough now about this, and there is still Google Books, Kindle, LibriVox... I have dipped into these as well, and am impressed by the array of ways to access/view/listen/download. But for me, nothing can yet beat curling up with a lovely cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate - sadly a glass of wine would put me straight to sleep - with puss (1, 2, 3 & 4) for company, reading text and turning the page of a tree long since pulped, and floating off in to dreamland (some might call it dream-er land, but what's wrong with that). On that note I will bid goodnight, and get off home to afore-mentioned Puss 1, 2, 3 & 4, who have been known to masquerade as 'wolf in sheep's clothing'. ..

"...there was about him a suggestion of lurking ferocity, as though the Wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept."

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Something in the (podcast) air

Call out the instigators
because there's something in the air
We've got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution's here,
and you know it's right
And you know that it's right

We have got to get it together
We have got to get it together now

(John 'Speedy' Keen) from the album Hollywood Dream by Thunderclap Newman, 1970
Well, I think I can understand why "podcast" was chosen as the 2005 word of the year. Not quite a revolution, but Podcasting seems like the next step beyond radio - and you can customize it so much better to your own particular foibles than just switching the dial. I can't wait to get my "reward" of an MP3 player once I complete these exercises, so I can put it to work searching out some podcasts that I'd like to listen to at my leisure. That will be yet another experience figuring out how to master the loading involved in that process, no doubt - hopefully not too difficult?? Will my brain be able to handle all this techno-overload? I looked at a couple of the podcast directories, and chose the subject areas relating to animals/wildlife/environment. I was very pleased to come across a podcast of a presentation given by Douglas Smith, the Yellowstone Wolf Project Leader, in 2005, talking about the first 10 years of the project, and what the future might hold. It was a long presentation, and was broken into 2 streams, so I definitely want to come back to this. I revisited my bloglines account, but it still doesn't make much sense to me, I'm afraid. I must figure out how to add an RSS feed from The Greater Yellowstone Coalition Press Room, where I came across this gem, to my account there - it surely can't be as difficult as I appear to be making it! I will persevere and/or seek the guidance of one of our ever-so-patient tutors on that task - obviously I still have a major block regarding RSS. Thank goodness you can usually also subscribe to receive email updates - I have no problem with signing up to those and reading them! I will come back some time and look for some library related podcasts, as well - looking forward to hearing what other libraries around this big wide world are getting up to.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chasing The Pack through the 'Tube'

And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell
and I understood more than I saw;
for I was seeing in a sacred manner
the shapes of all things in the spirit,
and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.

Black Elk (1863-1950) Medicine Man of the Lakota (Sioux)

You would have needed to have been living in the Land of the Lost, in hibernation or deep frozen over the past several years not to have heard of YouTube. I've never done a major exploration here myself, but am glad this exercise has given me the excuse to do so at last. I've been a bit hesitant to get hooked in to this site, but can certainly see it's merits. You can choose to be entertained, educated, informed, etc as well, of course, as being a provider of such things. Like anything, it is viewer beware, remembering not everything necessarily follows the "seeing is believing" maxim. Great resource when you're feeling nostalgic for seeking out those old '60's & '70's westerns, or similarly vintaged music video clips. However, surprise surprise, I chose to focus my quest on canis lupus - my spirit friend The Wolf. I found some here that tell about the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park and how they have changed the landscape there - in some opinions not for the better; there are others dealing with an aerial campaign being waged against them in Alaska, with US Vice-Presidential wannabe Sarah Palin at the forefront.
However, the clip I have chosen to display here is one about the recent discovery of wolf pups in Washington - the newest members of the first confirmed wolf pack in the state since the 1930's, believed to have ventured down from Canada, where there are still healthy wild populations. They haven't faced the same type of persecutions north of the border as the Lower 48 wolf populations have, and this film shows that given space and time, Mother Nature will find her own way of putting back some of the balance we have, sometimes deliberately, destroyed. There is also a clip giving the pups howling - I hope you enjoy some of these wonderful sights and sounds.

Monday, September 22, 2008

And the Web 2.0 Gong goes to....

"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of our technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it."

President Lyndon B. Johnson, upon signing The Wilderness Act of 1964

Well - is there ever a healthy helping to choose from here! As ever, I could spend way too many hours exploring all the sites associated with this exercise. I'm amazed at the wonderful efforts of some talented folk to entice others to explore their world. I was intrigued by what I might find under the "Philanthropy" heading, so decided to do my "Discovery exercise" there, and was not disappointed by the "Gong-getter" here - Incorporating petitions, donations, groups and tips, Care2 is an online hub of people who care about their world and want to make it better. Nice to see an organisation I am already familiar with, Defenders of Wildlife, has a presence here as well. This is a site I'll return to, and add to my bookmarks. Chances are I probably wouldn't have found it if it hadn't featured in the Web 2.0 Awards. The awards site could be a useful reference source for discovering websites which are considered to be "a cut above the rest" amongst the web community, and linking through to them from on-line library resources like pathfinders.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Zoho explore - where have you gone?

Zoho Explorations with el lobosurprised

This looks like it could be a lot of fun and quite useful. As with everything we are discovering on this tour around the vast Web 2.0 world, it will be a matter of continuing on with the explorations and using the various things we like the look of. Then once we have mastered those ones, we can go back - maybe - to the ones we still struggle with.

I'm going to see if I can insert an image I've tried to get off my new digital camera. I'm not quite sure where it's gone to though as now my nano has gone walkabout somewhere on (although it looks like off would be the more appropriate word at this point) or in my computer. Just something else to try and get my head around. Here goes...tongue_out

wolf crossing sign

What is man without the beasts?

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit,

for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to man.

All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth.

Seathl, Duwamish chief (Chief Seattle)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rollyo Rolling, rolling, rolling

Rollin', rollin', rollin'.
Rollin', rollin', rollin'.
Rollin', rollin', rollin'.
Rollin', rollin', rollin'.
Hah! Hah!

Keep rollin', rollin', rollin',
Though the streams are swollen,
Keep them dogies rollin', rawhide.
Through rain and wind and weather,
Hell bent for leather,
Wishin' my gal was by my side.
All the things I'm missin',
Good vittles, love, and kissin',
Are waiting at the end of my ride.

Move 'em out, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em on.
Move 'em out, head 'em up:Rawhide.
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in,
Ride 'em in, cut 'em out,
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in:Rawhide!
Hah! Hah!

Movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them dogies movin', rawhide.
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just rope an' throw an' brand 'em.
Soon we'll be living high and wide.
My heart's calculatin',
My true love will be waitin':
Waitin' at the end of my ride.

Move 'em out, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em on.
Move 'em out, head 'em up:Rawhide.
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in,
Ride 'em in, cut 'em out,
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in:Rawhide!

(Rollin', rollin', rollin'.)
(Rollin', rollin', rollin'.)
(Rollin', rollin', rollin'.)
(Rollin', rollin', rollin'.)

Yet another "tool" I've spent too much time on, getting more frustrated and confused the longer I spent on it. Sites like Rollyo, which to me look "cluttered" because they have so much - some might say too much - I find confounding. I always thought myself quite logical and practical, but yet again I've found myself going around and around and around.... Creating more when I was desperately trying to delete - why is it you can delete some things far too easily (usually when you don't actually intend to) and when you do want to delete something, it almost seems impossible to do? Anyway, once I figured out how to consign some rolls to the trash heap, I did end up with a search roll I thought was okay, and I've added that searchroll to my blog. One site I just couldn't link here, and I can't figure out a reason why. Murphy's Law, it's a site I've used myself for a while, as well. I probably won't revisit Rollyo often, but I think I understand how it works. I'll now store it away in the recesses of my organic computer to draw upon in the future if I feel it could be useful. I may do some more "playing" sometime to see if I can figure out some of it's mysteries which have so far eluded me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A WonderfulThing is this LibraryThing

Read the best books first,
or you may not have a chance to read them at all
Henry David Thoreau

I can see I may definitely continue adding to my catalog on LibraryThing. A great idea, very easy to use and I can see it could actually be useful to have a link to this from our own library OPAC. Like an extension of your reading history, LibraryThing allows you to peek into other people's lists, and catch up on titles you may not otherwise stumble across. After all, we can't all be cataloguers, and while I certainly appreciate the need for good accurate catalogue information - I also realize to most people (myself included) the rules of cataloguing are, and will always remain, one of Life's great Mysteries. The added joys of simple tagging!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Generating the hours (and hours) away...

Perhaps unless the billboards fall,
I'll never see a tree at all
Ogden Nash

Well,my goodness - you can spend hours on this exercise. It has been fun, but I'm beginning to feel the more we explore, the less we find out we think we know? It's quite scary the time you can so easily get trapped into spending at some of these clever and amazing sites. With so much being added to the blogosphere every second, there's no way you could ever hope to find enough - just as well there are "real people" always at hand to drag you back to reality! I enjoyed playing with a couple of generators. Would love to keep going with more, but my brain (and my body) needs a rest. Hope you enjoy my efforts. image
Henry David Thoreau, 1854

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Wiki Qwicki = edit (write) save link

The Beginning
In the beginning there was nothing. Only water, darkness and The Raven.

He flew through the darkness with a bag that hung around his neck. He had been flying for a long time, and was starting to get tired. So while he flew, he removed a rock from his bag and threw it into the sea. This rock became the first land. He sat down upon this land to rest, while resting he took other rocks from his sack and threw them into the water. Thus The Raven made the land.

Rested, The Raven picked up his bag and continued to fly. After a while he became tired, so he sat on a rock and took more items from his bag. He removed the fir, the pine, the spruce, the redwood and all the trees of the world. He also removed the huckleberry bush, the wild strawberry, the grass and all of the plants of the world, including the plants of the sea. These things he scattered across the land and the water, so that they may grow.

Again The Raven took his pouch around his neck and flew through the darkness. And again The Raven became tired so that he sat upon a rock. This time he removed all the animals of the world. The wolf, the eagle, the salmon, the bear, the dear, and all the animals of the land and of the sea.

The Raven looked around him at the world he had made, it was a good world, every one was peaceful and happy. But before he flew off he looked into his pouch and saw that there was one thing left. So he removed man from the bag and placed him upon the earth.

(Mythology told by the people of the West Coast of North America)

The Raven and the Wolf have an often symbiotic relationship - when the wolf hunts you will always find the raven present, but Raven is also known to lead Wolf to prey - a wonderful relationship where both can (usually) end up getting their bellies filled! The way in which Raven built his 'community' in The Beginning, and the co-operation that still continues amongst that community, has a wiki ring to it - "edit - save - link" - as noted in the best video I've come across so far in connection with this Web 2.0 experience. There are some useful and interesting library wikis, especially the ones listing subject guides and new books. You could spend so much time just exploring these wikis, you recognize how great it would be to have a well resourced library IT department to create these for us. Not forgetting the possibilities of library training wikis, either! Another extension of the already co-operative community that exists amongst libraries and librarians? Power to us all, and a reminder of The Wiki Prayer

Please, grant me the serenity to accept the pages I cannot edit,
The courage to edit the pages I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference

Monday, September 1, 2008

Library 2.0 - not the world's biggest cemetery

He who rejects change is the architect of decay.
The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.

Well, I don't think we need have any fears that we are in imminent danger of becoming a giant cemetery, but there was certainly some interesting reading with this exercise. The article that gave me the most hope was To a temporary place in time. The thoughts and ideas here I can identify and agree with "Libraries are not just collections of books, they are conversations, they are convocations of people, ideas, and artifacts in dynamic exchange. Libraries are not merely in communities, they are communities; they preserve and promote community memories; they provide mentors not only for the exploration of stored memory, but also for the creation of new artifacts of memory." North Shore Libraries has made a great start on this path with the recent official launch of our Local History Online. While Library 4.0 sounds like a virtual reality dream, there must still be room for People. As the video showed - "WE are the web; the machine is US" - just remember to watch out for icebergs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Web crawling the Technorati blogosphere

"Man did not weave the web of life - he is merely a strand in it.

Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself"

I haven't got too adventurous with Technorati yet - there is just so much to weave through. Slowly, slowly at the moment is my motto. Some things I like here, and would probably use the "Popular" button should I venture here by choice. If you were looking for something specific, using Tags or the Blog Directory would certainly give you a more manageable result. It is absolutely mind-boggling what is floating around, and I hesitate to add yet more to this already vast web. If we're being really honest with ourselves, I'm sure we'd all be flattered and delighted to be discovered by the wider blogging community, yet we're also hesitant to open up too much of ourselves. So good on those who have no such qualms, and have joined the Technorati family, but for myself, I think I'll keep slumbering on quietly for a while longer here in the nsl community, honing my skills and gaining more experience.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Howling at the ( moon

I'm feeling a bit lost in space on del-icio-us. I must be missing the point here because I can't make sense of this one. I thought it looked pretty straight forward after watching the video clip, and feel I understand the principles of it - but this is where I seem to hit the proverbial brick wall. And no amount of howling at the moon has so far managed to lift the fog. Like RSS, it's something I will come back to but for my own sanity tonight, I will take a break here and maybe when I come back with fresh eyes next time, the light will be a warm glow. It's almost like the more you think you finally understand - the less you actually seem to know, if that makes any kind of sense. I feel a bit dim as others embarking on this exercise appear to be really enthusiastic about del-icio-us, but each to his own oar is how I justify this. Time to trot back to my wolves, and park this exploration for a brighter day.
Howlin At The Moon, Tonight by Mr. Ed
Tonight, will be a very special one for me
It’s the night of the ‘Sturgeon Full Moon’
It is also National Homeless Animals Day
And tonight, we’ll be howlin a birthday tune
Ancient Native Americans of the Great Lakes
Named this Full Moon – the Sturgeon’s Moon
Since by the light of this moon, they would hunt
The Nahma,¯ while listenin to the cry of the loon
Today is also ‘National Homeless Animals Day’
I’ve found a few of my critters, on this very night
I was bitten by an ancient werewife, many moons ago
But homeless dogs and cats, bring me back to the light
And, it’s Pee Wee Wolfman’s Very Ancient Birthday, Today
I’ll be out on the lake, in the moonlight, slurpin down some brew
The fish, and loons, and wolves, and other critters, always join me
But if you’re a normal human being, I’d be stayin home, if I were you
¯Nahma – The Ojibwa Word for Sturgeon,
The Monster Fish of the Great Lakes.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

RSS - Random Subjective Selectivity Sux

I haven't found this exercise particularly easy, and personally RSS is probably not the way I would choose to have my information presented to me. Call me archaic, but I like traditional media to get my news and information. C'mon people - there's nothing quite like the smell of coffee wafting through the air as you sip a leisurely flat white while turning a page perusing the "Green Pages" or Metro sections of The Granny Herald, with the scrunch of newsprint in your ears and the slip of ink on your fingertips. What more could you want? So while it is truly fabulous to be able to receive feeds from recognised media organisations like BBC, CNN - not to mention keeping up with Major League baseball results from the USA as they happen - it's already a struggle to keep up with everything I'd like to read, without adding even more sources to information avalanche.

Snow worries? Turn on the heater.

Friday, August 8, 2008

#6 - An Exercise in utter futility...

Well - I feel like I've spent the last hour going around and around and around and.....
I thought I'd managed to figure out something clever involving exercise #5, but when it came to add said "cleverness" to my blog - it's disappeared somewhere into the ether! No doubt it's sitting forlornly waiting to be uploaded to it's intended place in the world, but for the time being it will have to remain 'parked' until I can gather the energy again to try and retrieve it from wherever it's hiding. There is sure some cool stuff out there, but you either need one of those god-like (?) Tutors sitting at your elbow to lead you down the path of "Right-way" - or you just cross your fingers and toes and hope like mad that when you hit that last "Enter/Go" key, it does GO. Sounds like I'm in desperate need of Auntyof3!
I may just change tack completely and get to grips with my new Sanyo digital camera. Not one to be beaten, I am looking forward to that exploration, although the 50-page manual is a bit of a daunting prospect. "Where to begin", I say?? However, just like my friend le loup/el lobo/il lupo - I will survive and come back even stronger!

Canis latrans (barker)

Death Valley, California.
I spotted this coyote wandering along the side of the highway.

Also called the American jackal, Brush wolf or Prairie wolf. Death Valley is an amazing place and any living creature that can survive in this environment deserves admiration. The temperature on this mid-March day was over 100F (38C), and a group of 3 coyotes were merrily trotting along, which in itself was quite lucky, as they are generally a solitary animal. Not as formidable as el lobo, but at this stage, this is the nearest I've come to seeing a wolf in the wild.

Wolf (1105a)

Wolf (1105a)
Originally uploaded by Geyser Gary

Gray wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, when 14 individuals were relocated from Canada. Another 17 were added in 1996, and since then they have slowly but surely restored Nature's balance, increasing their own numbers and adjusting the imbalances that had been allowed to flourish in the absence of this top predator.

Thanks to photographer "Geyser Gary" for this lovely photo of a Yellowstone wolf. You can see more at

Monday, August 4, 2008

Flickring Wolves

Well, this is proving to be a very time consuming exercise. I always knew how much "stuff" was floating around out there, and how easy it is to spend hours longer than you intend exploring it all. Now that we have to venture into this wilderness with a definite "end product" in mind - i.e. Week 2 exercise #4 of Web 2.0, so we can once more be awarded the 'tick of genius' - it becomes even more wild! Whoever set 15 minutes a DAY for this as a guide has obviously been at creating this an awful lot longer than me? It's certainly fun, but when you aren't "hooked up" at home, it becomes a real challenge to take the time whilst at work. Hence I'm already falling behind, but will raise the tail and ensure the paws remain trotting to keep up.

I've found so many lovely images of wolves while trolling through flickr, it's tough deciding which/what/how/IF I'm able to use them. This may have to wait for another day for more extensive ogling - it can be frustratingly addictive because you feel like you're never finished! Currently, I am in awe of someone who has posted a heap of photos of - you guessed it - canis lupus on flickr. So many in fact I can't decide which one I like the best. Many of them were taken at a place called Wolf Park in Battle Ground, Indiana, which is somewhere new to me and yet another place I'm going to have to explore
I'll save that for another day, and in the meantime you can view some of this photographer's amazing gallery for yourself

I will keep a'huntin' and exploring - while trying to stay focused on the exercise. I'm constantly being reminded how much we now have such "easy" access to. However - I still have a few trusty books I constantly come back to on this subject, so will ponder on how I will share these...

In wildness is the preservation of the world ...

(Henry David Thoreau)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Surviving with wolves

Away in the forest all darksome and deep,
The wolves went a-hunting when men were asleep;
And the cunning old wolves were so patient and wise,
As they taught the young cubs how to see with their eyes,
How to smell with their noses and hear with their ears,
And what a wolf hunts for and what a wolf fears.
Of danger they warned: "Cubs, you mustn't go there -
It's the home of the Grizzily-izzily Bear."

(W-o-o-o-o-o-ww! by Nancy M. Hayes.)

I feel like I should call this "Surviving Blogger", as I have had several attempts at trying to make some sense of this. But - I believe I've now turned the corner! Not exactly being pulled kicking and screaming into cyberspace (do we still use that expression?), and somewhat reluctantly adding more to the vast expanse of "stuff" out there, I am nevertheless looking forward to the exploration. I have already learned how to delete your blog - I must stress it was intentional. With my new cyber "identity", over the coming weeks I hope to share stories and other tales - true and false - about a creature dear to my heart that we share our Mother Earth with - Canis lupus. So let's share the journey among the real and unreal, as I'm sure many of us often contemplate the great unknown out there in the vast ether that is the blackness of IT. No guarantees we will be wiser or happier with the outcomes - but at least we're walking the path, and librarians are certainly not afraid of this big bad wolf!