Saturday, May 31, 2008

Refresher course

So, there are a lot of new people to my blog ever since I got engaged. Because I think it would be cruel to make y'all go fishing through this massive blog to figure out what all of my regular blog topics are about, let me bring y'all up to speed.

If the title is a date during the summer of 2007, you are reading a really out-dated catch up of my trip to Jerusalem last summer. I actually started this blog as a way for me to keep everyone at home updated on exactly what I was doing (so no one could get upset that they didn't know anything about my trip) as well as keeping a journal for myself. These posts are chock full of details and thus are very, very long. I will never hold it against anyone if they don't want to read these ginormous posts. They are as much for me keeping a record as anything. Also, I have found that I tend not to read really long blogs. Yes. I'm a hypocrite this way. However, I don't regret these really long blogs in the slightest, since this blog is what first got BJ thinking he should get to know me better. I figure it has more than filled its purpose. Also, I am only documenting up till July 14, 2007. So there are only a few more blogs to go.

ALA #_. I am a member of the American Libraries Association. Every week they send out a newsletter with a bunch of links that I found largely fascinating. (Actually, typically only about 1/4 of them even remotely interest me. I narrow it down a lot for your viewing pleasure.) I kept sending various links to various people, just because I thought they were very sharable. Finally I decided that it'd be better to just blog them. Then the people who wanted to read them could, and those that didn't care could just ignore them. Also, I would never have to know the difference.

So there you go. 90% of my posts in a nutshell. Now you know... (Whether you read that as GI Joe or Bill Nye is up to you.)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

ALA #7

Brace yourself. Today is going to be a long ALA post. Not only are there about a billion links for today (what a great week this newsletter was), but I have something to say about several of them.

Going green with vending machines. Ok, so the link itself isn't anything to brag about. It's more of an advertisement than anything. I think the thing that drew my attention to this one was simply that there is one more thing out there going green. I never would have imagined myself as much of a tree hugger (and I'm not really... don't worry, I shan't be glowering at anyone who doesn't recycle. Heck, I don't even recycle, really.... well, if it's there I do. I just don't go out of my way). Something about saving energy and going natural and such just speaks to me. I keep getting on eating healthy and food storage kicks.

To-do Tattoos. Wow. I might need these. Wedding present, anyone? :)

Facebook To Open Source Facebook Platform. For all of you programming nerds out there who might care.

Why don't you back up your computer? Michael, this one is for you. :) Also, for those of you who don't know how to back up, I have two words for you. Time Machine. (Yes, it requires you buy a Mac. I vote that you do it.)

Microsoft closes Live Search Books. This one speaks to me because it's exactly what my job entails. I digitize books. For years now, this has been my life. I have been interested in both Google and Microsoft trying to digitize the books of the world. Secretly I've been rooting for Google to win, just because it's Google vs. Microsoft. Is it really a question? The only part of me that cringes is that is because Microsoft had teamed up with Kirtas and they guarantee a much higher rate (90%) of accuracy than does Google (70%). Yes. 30 pages of your 100-page book can be missing and they will just smile and move on. Cross your fingers that it's not the last 30 pages of your Harry Potter 7. Anyway, looks like Google won by forfeit.

Using technology for balance instead of guilt. Ok, I'll be honest, as I read this one, I thought the guy was obsessed. Seriously, he has his friends' facebook status updates texted to his phone so he's sure never to miss one. Weirdo. But I liked his last paragraph about how just because you have a cell phone doesn't mean you have to be dependent upon it, and how you can choose to not answer. I think self dicipline is good here.

The 100 best tech products of 2008. Ok, sure, I haven't heard of many of them. (The #1 slot is for Hulu. I have no idea what hulu even is...) But there are a lot that I do recognize. Please laugh with me that Windows XP made it, but not Vista. Also, please note all of the Apple products on that list.

9 Firefox extensions to protect your privacy
. Thank you Firefox for protecting us.

Google: Viacom lawsuit "threatens net"
I had no idea Google even owned YouTube. Learn something new every day.

X-rated content infiltrates library's story line for kids. Seriously. It makes me sick that there are people like this in the world. There are simply no words for the disgust I feel about this.

This one doesn't have a URL. (Well, it did, but the URL doesn't work.) So here's the blurb I got:
Ministers launch PR campaign to stop Bush library
Praying for a last-minute miracle, some Methodist ministers are launching a public relations campaign to try to stop George W. Bush’s presidential library, museum, and think tank from being built at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Rev. Andrew Weaver said the goal is informing people about the partisan think tank, which won’t be under SMU’s control and will promote the Bush administration’s policies....
Associated Press, May 21

Which was followed by Archivist says Bush library will be an asset to SMU.

Library planetarium stalled by money concerns. I just think it's awesome that a library is getting a planetarium.

Group wants public library in area known for polygamy. Over the many, many years, when a government wanted to oppress the people, they took away literature. If people can't read, or can only read what the government says they can read, then the people stay ignorant and can't free themselves of oppression. If people have the opportunity to read, then they have the chance to make their own decisions. God has given us agency and we have no right to restrict it. I think everyone should have access to a public library. If they still choose their way of life after that, so be it. So long as it is their own choice. But no one, and I mean no one has the right to take away choice from another person.

STanford faculty weigh pros and cons of ebooks. Again, welcome to my job. For the record, I am pro digitizing the books of the world. And no, I don't think that will put libraries everywhere out of business. When I want to quote a book, or quickly look something up, I will use the digital book. When I want to find books of a specific topic or that contain a specific quote, I will use the digital book. When I want to read a novel, I will get the paper book from the library. When I am doing research and want "20 books open on my floor," I will get the paper books from the library. I will use the digital books to find what I need quickly, without having to leave my bedroom, then when I actually know what I need, then I will go to the library and check out those books. Think of this as an intense library card catalog.

In Google we trust--but should we? May I just say that I love Google? Favorite quote from this article: "Nearly all of Google's products from search to document storage are free. What kind of monopoly is that?"

Library theft suspect arrested... at the library. Seriously, why are people idiots?

ACLU files suit in Harry Potter librarian case. Ok, this one makes me mad. Really, really mad. Sure, I think people who think Harry Potter causes children to believe in the occult are idiots. However, it is their right to believe that. I love Harry Potter, but those who don't are allowed that right.... I don't care what their reasoning is. I may not agree with them, but I still respect their rights. "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." How could they possibly suspend her for asking to not work after-hours for a Harry Potter opening against her religious beliefs? The thought just angers me.

Parade of Bookmobiles held during 2008 ALA Annual Conference. If you're like me and have no idea what a Bookmobile is, turn to another favorite site of mine, Wikipedia!

Visit the Campaign for America’s Libraries exhibit space and write a personal thank you note to Julie Andrews. Just cuz I think it'd be cool to write a personal thank you note to Julie Andrews. :)

Congratulations. You have made it through the longest ALA posting of my life. I am so proud of y'all.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Monday, May 5, 2008

ALA #4

This week we have some great stuff. Enjoy!

- The Office for Accreditation has created a Google map that shows the locations of all ALA-accredited LIS schools. The map includes main campus locations as well as other locations where the entire degree can be completed, and it offers links to each school’s entry in the office’s directory of accredited programs....
- Anne of Green Gables still enchanting
- Bucksport Librarian Probes 110-year-old Murder
- 'Monotonous' page turning helps digitize books for Google. Because I've been there, done that. I feel their pain. Also, because it's exactly what we do at work. And this secretive scanner they're talking about is most likely something we've seriously looked into. Or maybe that's the scanner that Microsoft is using in their attempt to digitize the world. I wonder who will win this race, Google or Microsoft. I'm rooting for Google.
- Free web reference questions answered by cellphone
- Top 10 Strangest Keyboards The last one is my favorite. I really want to see someone using it.
- Wii! In the Library?

Friday, May 2, 2008

The real ring

The engagement ring:

With the wedding band:

Isn't it beautiful? I love it. It's everything I've ever hoped for and more.

And now a shout out for Wilson's Diamonds. They were amazing. First, their display cases were organized by style, so Jerry (the guy who helped us) was able to lead me to a display case that had many wonderful options. I ended up picking the same ring twice, so apparently I must like it. After we picked the band, Jerry sat us down and gave us freshly baked cranberry cookies and water while we looked at diamonds. The guy was great. He spent well over an hour with us, teaching us the four C's and showing us where the flaws were in the diamonds we looked at. He wasn't pushy at all, rather he encouraged us to take our time and really get what we wanted, even if it meant a less-expensive ring (and I'm sure, a lesser commission for him). He even took us back into the lab and showed us how they determine the different grades. We asked if we could go home and compare prices. He didn't even bat an eye. In fact, he encouraged us to go compare prices and was confident that we would be well pleased with their prices. We were. The next day BJ and I went out to lunch, stopping at Wilson's on our way to place our order. Jerry met us with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and more water while we placed our order. (I'm convinced he keeps cookie dough and an easy bake oven in the back. Which is awesome.) He even told us we could come back at any time for freshly baked cookies. :) As we left, he promised us that the ring would be ready the next day by five. The next day I spent fretting that it wouldn't be ready in time because we were going to Bountiful and I was going to have to wait yet another day for my ring. By 3 o'clock they had called BJ and he picked it up. I have been admiring it ever since. Thanks, Wilson's! We feel much more educated and very pleased.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The Fiancé

Name: BJ Homer (short for Branton John)
Favorite Color: Blue
Age: 24
Mission: Spain Malaga

BJ is an amazing pianist. He's played for 16 years, under the tutelage of people like David Glen Hatch. His freshman year he was a Piano Performance major, but on his mission decided that he would rather do something that would let him support a family. So now he's doing Computer Science and loves it. I love listening to him play pieces he's memorized, is making up from memory, or is simply making up as he goes. Also, he's got a knack for transposing hymns into minor, my favorite being In Our Lovely Desert. Amazing.

He loves working with computers. He's forever fixing other people's computers, which is quite lovely. He's working this summer for the Google Summer of Code, which is really exciting. He'll be working on testing Adium (the chat program for Mac that we both use) while going to school, working as a CS TA and also possibly working on a research team.

BJ is very wise in that he loves Apple as much or more than I do. This proves to be very healthy for our relationship. He's constantly teaching me new things about my Mac, including more keyboard shortcuts, which I love.

The thing I cherish most is the way we're able to talk about everything. We can watch a movie that turns me into an emotional basket case and he will pull me aside, hold me, and we'll talk about what's scaring or hurting me. By the end, I always feel better about life. He has this wonderful way of making things all better. Often people would ask me why I would hang onto hope when we weren't dating... when it seemed there was no hope. Why would I keep spending my time with him when I should be focusing on dating other guys? Really, I think it's because he's the one that I felt the most comfortable talking to. I wasn't afraid to tell him my dark secrets. He knew me better than most people. We even talked about Hard Things—things neither of us wanted to talk about, that neither of us wanted to hear, but things that needed to be said. I never worried about if he viewed our relationship differently than I did, because we talked about it. I never had to over-analyze or second guess what he did or said, because he told me. I never had to wonder if he was being honest because if he told me the bad things, why would he lie about the good things? I developed such a level of trust and open honesty with him long, long ago. That level of friendship doesn't die very quickly. Prodded on by the fact that neither of us had any desire to lose our friendship, we stayed amazing friends. Which made it really hard for me to let go and move on to other boys. Turns out I didn't need to. :)

Since BJ has one more year of school before he graduates from BYU, we'll be sticking around Provo for awhile, then who knows where we'll end up. (Though, if anyone knows of any married housing around here that has room for a piano and will let us have a cat, let me know. Esp. if it has a nice price tag on it. Nice as in small.)

BJ loves games, whether it be Ticket to Ride and Settlers or Myst, Super Smash Brothers, or Mario 3. He's very caring and respects other people. BJ doesn't get offended easily, nor is he quick to judge. He's got an immense amount of love and tolerance. He's a bit of a perfectionist at times, so if he corrects your grammar, don't take it personally; he does it to help you be better, not to criticize you.

I firmly believe that BJ can fix anything. Whether that is true or not may be a different story, but if it is, I can't see it. Whenever life explodes and my emotions take over, BJ is right there to hold me and talk me out of hysterics. He takes whatever is causing me distress and either fixes it or shines it in a light that doesn't seem so bad. He has fixed my computer (not to mention my roommates' computers several times), he has miraculously found several GBs of space on my computer when I was certain there was no hope left. He helped me create a DVD menu for a movie I was making when it stopped working for me. He rubs my neck and shoulders when I have a headache. He helps me cook and has promised me that he'll do dishes. Just the other night I was fixing a ribbon on my niece, Bailey's, dress for a dance recital she's in. I was sewing on two hook and eyes and was not doing a very good job. By the second time I had to unpick both of them, I was just about in tears, though trying as hard as I could to hide that fact. BJ was not fooled and next thing I knew, he was helping position the hooks and finding ways to attach it before I actually stitched it on. With every stitch I took, he watched to make sure it stayed in the right place and moved it as necessary. In my eyes, he can make anything all better.

Hmmm... I keep thinking of things to write about him, but I'm realizing that this post is getting rather lengthy. And though I know how much all of you just love reading my novels [rolls eyes] ... I probably shouldn't gush too much about how wonderful and perfect he is for me. Just rest assured that he is.