Tuesday, May 27, 2014

One month to go! #alaac14

Okay, let's try this again - I just deleted the first post, so now I have to rewrite the whole darn thing - how do I manage to do these things?  It is a mystery.  The Google Hangout last night went well, if not a little disorganized on my part, and I definitely learned what NOT to do with hangouts, like try to pause the broadcast, which essentially ended the scheduled one I had been advertising for about a week.  So I had to create another hangout on the fly, got the time wrong, and started later than intended.  I'm sure I lost a lot of potential views because of that, but all I can do is try again with another hangout.  I think what I will do is synthesize the information that folks generously gave during this last one and then present the information at the next one.  Or I'll just post it on the blog.

Hey, and a big shout-out to those who attended and generously supplied their time and expertise to the topic of attending a huge conference like #alaac14.   I am truly appreciative of the people involved in building community online and in person, and it encourages me to keep on keeping on.

Will have to post on some of the activities outside of the scheduled events.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Today I put out our flag for Memorial Day - yes,  I am a super-duper patriot besides being a most excellent librarian.  I'm thinking about my dad and my first Zen teacher, Russ, who both fought in WWII in the Pacific and in France, respectively.  Both came back artists - after the war my dad immediately headed to NYC and attended NYU on the GI bill, taking courses in photography.  Russ went into the war a math major in St. Louis and came back an art historian and artist.  I am proud and honored to have had the gift of knowing both of them.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Cool T-shirt makes me want more!

I got this fan art t-shirt that has Totoro dressed as the Buddha and holding an umbrella - it's very kawaii and as I was wearing it yesterday I had the sudden urge to buy another one, even though I just got this one and I would pay almost twice the original price.  But I stopped myself and thought, "why would I want to buy another of the same kind of t-shirt?"  It didn't make sense until I thought about how easily we fall into grasping, wanting, needing when we don't expect it.  So, I've been thinking a lot about desire and how that spirals into neediness and greed.  So what do you do?  We live in a world where we're constantly bombarded by illusory images of money and power and the things it acquires, and it's hard to turn those messages off, no matter how destructive we know them to be ultimately.  Solution?  Not sure, but it has something to do with NOT trying to turn off the messages that we're forced to cognate - cognition is thought, so being with this thought of "want-to-have" is like giving it all the energy it needs to hamper your life and possibly deplete your wallet.  But what if we acknowledge it as a thought, and then move on?  This is what we're taught in Zen Buddhism when meditating - any thoughts go in an out and we just observe them and keep going without attaching to this or that notion.  This is a great technique for when you're not meditating, as well, so when I was able to back up from the thought of "want-to-have" I saw that it was just thinking and was able to let it go.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

ALA Mobile Scheduler is the bomb

You'll remember when I discovered the ALA Scheduler for Annual and immediately over-booked myself 5 times over.  Well, I was able to figure out how to add the ALA scheduler to my phone, and now I can access all the events and keeps track of all the events I'm attending.  You will see that it is fairly complete with a button to access all the sessions or just the items you signed up for. It has information about the Uncommons, which I'm looking forward to visiting (meaning I will bother the people at the Uncommons desk) and possibly using their equipment to live stream on the exhibit floor.  This is a recommended app if you like using your phone for scheduling, which I do.  Everything is very well organized but the real test will be when I'm juggling between the scheduler, Voice Memo, Notes, Facebook, and Ustream.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Google Hangout May 26th from 9-10pm EST

I decided to do an online Google Hangout this coming Monday to get together with folks who are old and new to ALA conferences (or any conferences) to come hangout and talk about strategies for navigating such a huge event.  I've never done one of these Google Hangouts online so it'll be interesting.  Come join me!

Bird is here

Where does the sound come from when we hear it?

Friday, May 16, 2014

Woo-Hoo! I'm a stringer!

Just got the first email from George Eberhart to the people chosen to be stringers for ALA 2014.  While it looks like live-blogging might be a problem because the wifi might be poor (or nonexistent), I now know how to submit blog posts to ALA Direct's blog, The Scoop, where we'll be posting all the news and views of ALA in Las Vegas.  Really looking forward to it!  I'm hoping to still do a lot of photos and short video interviews with attendees, as well as longer, U-Streamed, events like the ALA Think Tank's pub crawl on Thursday night.  I'll work with the limitations and do the best I can!

Sweeping Zen site

If you have a favorite Zen teacher it's probably on this site!  I looked up Charlotte Joko Beck, whose book, Everyday Zen, really helped me when I first started practicing.  I'm going to set up library and Zen blog rolls, so keep an eye on this blog!  #alaac14

Also, I'm tagging everything I write with #alaac14.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Apply with confidence

Although confidence wasn't the word I was searching for earlier.  I've been practicing putting on eye makeup so I can look like a newscaster during my interviews and live feeds on ustream.  The liquid eyeliner is the hardest part, because you have to apply it in a single, even stroke.  It made me think of how Zen is like applying liquid eyeliner.  You just do it.  Zen is being in the present moment without fear or anger.  Just do it!  So you apply the liquid eyeliner without thinking good or bad, it is what it is.

And the best teaching on this I have ever received came from the woman who worked at the l'ancome counter at Dillard's - she was the person who finally showed me how to put on makeup in colors that suit me, but the big teaching was when she was telling me that the eyeliner had to be applied in one steady stroke.  "And," she continued, "if you mess up you can always do it over again."  No anger or frustration.  Just do it, and if you mess up, do it again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Case 7: Joshu Washes the Bowl

A monk asked Zhaozhou to teach him.
Zhaozhou asked, "Have you eaten your meal?"
The monk replied, "Yes, I have."
"Then go wash your bowl", said Zhaozhou.
At that moment, the monk was enlightened.


My fascination with 3D printed dice has come to an end

As all good things must end, so does my interest in 3D printed casino dice.  The upshot?  Can't use these in a casino and a friend just told me that they are apparently very hinky about the use of cell phone cameras in the casinos anyway, so I wouldn't be able to talk to any of the dice dealers about using them while on camera.  Dang.  Well, I can decorate them with nail polish in any case and bring them along, just in case!

Love/hate the ALA 2014 Scheduler

I saw the handy-looking scheduler on the ALA Facebook page and they weren't kidding when they said "over-schedule!"  Case in point:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Finally! Video of the 3D-printed dice!

Denise Bennett makes an appearance as she explains what happened to the first set of dice that went kablooey on the MakerBot.

Dice are done

After a first NG event printing my casino dice in a 3-D printer, I was able to get video and a conversation with Denise Bennett, Engineering Librarian.  Denise just emailed to let me know the dice are done so I'm going to run down there soon before I start my day at Library West.

No Video!!!

I had this great video of the MakerBot at Marston Science Library making my set of dice, and I cannot upload it to save my life!  I am despondent!  Well, I'm going to collect the dice today at some point so I will update then with a measly photograph or two!  Dang!!!!11!!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Cheap souvenir problem solved!?


MakerBot is go!

I've got video that I'll post later since the phone app won't let me!

Cannot Believe...

...I went all the way to Marston Science Library to print out my casino dice and didn't bring my phone to take pictures!!!  Well, it will be ready about 4:00pm or so, so I'll update with pictures then!

Haha, and I was talking to one of the engineering librarians who helped me submit the model and she said, as if preciently, "I wouldn't use these in a casino or anything, because they're not the same weight."  D'OH!

Zen and Life

So, I talk a lot about my trip to Vegas and how I am totally going to run the black jack tables and what-not, but I haven't really spoken about the other half of this blog, which is my association with Zen Buddhism and The Kwan Um School of Zen.  The truth of the matter is that I'm a pretty shoddy Zen practitioner - a kasa hangs up in my office, and eventually I'll get a chance to wear it to my local sangha practice, if I can get my butt over to the sessions!  But while I meditate every day and try to live the 5 precepts (although I know when to break them an awful lot) I'm still really up in the air as far as my religious beliefs and preferences.  I'm also a Catholic, although I am very much removed from the spiritual life of Christianity.

I'm hoping that my trip to Vegas will give me a chance to live and practice with a sangha for a week, and hopefully give me some insight into where I'm going spiritually, especially where I'm going with my Zen practice.

Casino Dice and 3-D Printers

So I totally decided that I'm going to try out Marston Science Library's Makerbot 3-D printer, and decided that I am going to start practicing my dice-throwing skills with a set of 3-D printed dice.  Will update soon!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

15 best buffets in Vegas (ALA)

American Libraries Direct has an article in this week's issue regarding where to stuff oneself silly when you get to the land of never-ending shrimp cocktails and prime rib.  So it redirects to another site where it reviews 15 of the best buffets in Las Vegas, which is pretty great except for the fact that they only reviewed nine.  Did a Google Map showing the location of the all the buffets.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

My first Pre-Party! The ALATT Vegas All-Conference Pre-Party, that is.

I was invited to attend a pre-party pubcrawl the night before ALA Annual begins.  I paid a whopping 42-bucks for this so it better include champagne and a limo ride!  No, I'm expecting lots of fun and chance to see many places on the strip I probably wouldn't have gone to, otherwise.

The party is being hosted by Patrick Sweeney and JP Porcaro of the American Library Association's ALA Think Tank, or ALATT.  They are busting their butts to set this up so I don't want to disappoint.  A ton of people are going to this thing so get your tickets now!

Here's the link to the facebook page for the event.  I'll be looking around for more all-inclusive parties and will post about them here!

Interactive Exhibitors Map for ALA 2014

This interactive map of all the exhibitors at ALA 2014 is a great find!  I was able to find the ALA Games and Gaming Round Table area which I'm looking forward to visiting.

Splash bag

It's summertime and you know what that means!  If you are like me you'll be looking for some watering holes to cool off soon, and you know what coming into contact with water means?  Wet electronics!  So I saw this neat little device at Walgreens today and decided I needed it for my on-the-go, information professional lifestyle.  It's even got an external audio port for headphones.

I'm now blogging from inside the splash bag - cumbersome but will work on the water slide!
This is how the camera works from inside - I feel like this phone is so protected now that I want to throw it in the toilet to test it out (haha just kidding!  I'll wait until I get home!).

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Cheap souvenirs

Going to ALA does not mean you have to give away precious swag as souvenirs to loved ones back home, but you also don't want to break the bank on pricey trinkets that are the warp and woof of tourism.  Save your money for the black jack table, I always say!

While I'm live blogging at the convention, there will also be posts on issues like cheap/free souvenirs, best hotel pools (haha, like they're going to let me in their pool), and some other stuff I haven't thought of yet.

Monday, May 5, 2014

So much for sleeping

Good thing I'm going to Vegas, a place like my home town in that it never sleeps!

Maybe I'm still totally stoked from finding out that I will be a stringer blogger for American Libraries for their coverage of ALA 2014 in the happiest place on earth - no, wait, that's Disney World.  Anyway, I can get to sleep to save my life tonight so I'm blogging today about what I just spent the last hour researching, mass transit in Las Vegas. 

I CANNOT believe they are charging peeps 65 dollars for a thirty day pass to the las Vegas transit system - who rides the bus for thirty days straight?!  Oh wait, that would be people with normal, everyday jobs in Las Vegas.  Still better than a car, cost-wise, but ends up costing me 4.05 each way between the convention center and the zen center!  A super friend offered to let me stay with her, but I really want to stay at the zen center.  Who needs in-room cable when you've got the Las Vegas strip?!  And the zen center looks like it has a pool , but that could just be ornamental - I'll have to see!

Plus, as always, cycling seems to be the middle path, here, as far as time spent in transit.  The longest, of course, being the bus.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Exhibits (a.k.a. Swag Central)

Totally going to blog the ribbon cutting and opening ceremonies for the ALA Exhibit hall, taking place from 5:30pm to 7:30pm on Friday.  Not only because it is a massive exhibit experience, but also because there is going to be SO MUCH LOOT!  And probably tote bags and t-shirts, I hope!

Hello! Meet ALA's newest blogger!

Yes, that's right!  I just got the good word from the editor of American Libraries Direct, George Eberhart, that I will indeed be blogging to my little heart's content at the ALA annual!  Live blogging, pool blogging, casino blogging -- every meaty blogstuff that's ready to be blogged for you, dear readers/viewers!  I can't wait!  I've got to start coming up with more blog features.  I'm supposed to look at the conference schedule and decide which things I'm going to blog - DEFINITELY blogging Stan Lee!

05/06/14- corrected to include George Eberhart's correct title, which I erroneously reported to be the editor of American Libraries, which is actually Laurie Borman.  Details, people!