Midweek greensFor the past few days I've been considering a lot of what I've written recently regarding goals and next steps and enjoying receiving the emails and words of encouragement from friends and family about what I said. While I haven't come to any conclusions or had any epiphanies, some other stuff has been going on around me that I've just had to stop and consider. I'll tell you a bit about it...
The first was an email from a coworker, a graphic designer, in which she related to me how one of our freelancers had a stroke. This man, Dan, is so incredibly sweet and giving. I worked with him recently when he was making the cool 3D flash banners for our web site here at work. Throughout the process, he was very kind to me and always quick to both instruct and encourage. His stroke, his wife speculated, was in part caused by the stress he endured when he wasn't working (as he looked for work) and the hours he worked when he did work (so that he could keep his customers loyal). So, all the time he was self-employed, which was a quality of life decision, he was simultaneously injuring himself. He is in his middle fifties and is in a sort of post-stroke coma, I think. His life will never be the same again. We sent flowers, which seemed trite and, to quote Holden Cauffield, "depressed the hell out of me."
A second thing that's been occupying my time was in invitation from the current president of the Special Libraries Association, Southern California chapter, to attend a working session of the SLA-SoCal board to help plan SLA events and strategy for the coming year. I was extremely honored to receive the invitation but remiss in the fact that I was unable to do any prework. Despite this, the folks from SLA were very kind and welcoming, and I made a concerted effort to be as useful to their planning as I could. I felt confident in my contributions as a professional Communicator and as librarian about to enter the profession as a professional, not a student. We had a very productive meeting and the networking was very valuable. I was thrilled to be able to contribute to a group in which I felt treated as a peer. Thanks to Sue and Christian for inviting me to participate and yes, I promise to join SLA-SoCal and maybe consider one of the newly created chairs (Maybe Virtual programming?).
The last thing that's been pulling me from my blog, besides work, is school. I have three assignments due in the next five days and I just feel slammed. I can't wait to get this session behind me. I'm on the cusp of A's in both classes and these assignments will make or break those marks. It is basically the difference between graduating with honors and as part of the MLIS natl honor society (3.9 gpa), and just graduating with a 3.7 gpa. I know that it doesn't matter a hill of beans, but to be blunt, I care. We'll see what happens.
SO, world at large, that's the skinny. I think I'll close this post with a few neat things that have caught my attention lately:
- Yahoo bought Konfabulator and made it free. I will explore this tool later -- I want to make some Widgets that I've been thinking about recently.
- I bought Wil's pre-release "white box" audio book the day it came out (for too much money - c'mon Wil, I know you're trying to live off this, but $35 for a self-produced e-book?) and it was really, really great. I listened to it to-and-from work for four days straight and really enjoyed hearing the actor read the author's words. Very nice.
- A couple of days ago, Google enhanced what I like to call, GIG, or Google's new personalized home page. It's had mixed reviews on Slashdot and in "the community," but I like it. A lot of people don't see the need for portals but I like them because I'm rarely on the same computer all the time and a portal is a web-based version of what I'd do on my machine if I only used one. Check it out if you care.
- I've been using Open Office for three weeks now and I'm starting to really enjoy it. I love that it's a small, tight program and that it works well with Office file formats. I like that it saves things in XML and it is beginning to fool me into thinking that if I get smarter at programming, that I may be able to configure it to meet my needs better than I have been able to do with Word in the past 10 years I've been working with it or it's MS variants. I also love that it's open source and that I didn't need to pirate Office on my new compy (because it's insanely expensive -- bastards). Yay Sun!