Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nothing like a little dead air...or, how I turned into a PodPerson

Nothing can stop me when I'm determined to do something really stoopid! I am all over stoopid. I have been trying for a week to get my insanely entertaining podcast working. Ta da! Finally!

If you listen to these (so far) two podcasts, the first one has some actual dead air because I couldn't figure out how to turn off the recording. Doh.

The second one starts out REALLY LOUD. Oops! Once I stop hollering into the headset, it turns out to be not too bad.

These are really around two minutes long, so they are painless! Try them!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Dripping Dagger: A Mystery Book Club

As an experiment for a class I'm planning for fall, I created a discussion forum on Ning called The Dripping Dagger: a Mystery Book Club

Modeled after the Mystery Group I attend each month, it is a one book a month discussion.

The forum is public so anyone can join in the discussion.

The May selection is Nobody Lives Forever by Edna Buchanan. This happens to be the selection for our real world group as well. It came out in 1990 and it is a tough book to find. Consider locating a copy to read to be your own first bit of detection!

Friday, April 16, 2010

DOA Podcast Maybe

I'm working on a podcast for this site that will combine content from all three of my blogs. It is a tricky business!

I found a hosting site called PodBean that I thought would let me record and publish it, but they only host your podcast.

I did some reading and found what I thought was free software to record and edit called Audacity but it appears to be a trial that lets you record but not edit. As a trial it also puts into your recording a genuinely creepy, major CREEPY robotic woman's voice that drowns you out. Eeewww.

Although I tried modulating my voice, ack ack, what an awful voice I have. Talk about eeewwww. Still the podcasts are planned to be only two minutes long so maybe I'll get used to hearing my own crudball voice and just go for the humor and all will be well.

Man, having nothing but problems adding this podcast here. Carumba.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

California Girl by T. Jefferson Parker

Our mystery group selection for April was California Girl by T. Jefferson Parker.  This 2004 Edgar Award winner follows two families over time and at its center is the murder of a girl from one of those families.

At first it seems like there is a "good" family and a "bad" family, but for me both families were just awful.  The rest of the book group did not feel that way.

We did agree that the book was more about the setting and times (late sixties for the most part) than about the crime.  It was one of those novels where there are many possible suspects, and much time is spent on each of those people, but again as reflections of the political and social upheaval of the sixties than about how they might be capable of committing a grisly crime.

I had a few recommendations for others authors the group might like if they enjoyed this novel:

Sarah Lovett
James Patterson
Ridley Pearson
Kathy Reichs
Robert Crais
Dennis Lehane
David Baldacci

I also thought they would like a list of other Edgar Award winners.  Here is a list from the Mystery Writers of America Edgars Database

Winners for Best Novel for All Years

Year Award Category Title Author's Name Publisher/Producer Notes

2009 Best Novel Blue Heaven C.J. Box St. Martin's Minotaur

2008 Best Novel Down River John Hart St. Martin's Minotaur

2007 Best Novel The Janissary Tree Jason Goodwin Sarah Crichton Books/FSG

2006 Best Novel Citizen Vince Jess Walter Regan Books

2005 Best Novel California Girl T. Jefferson Parker HarperCollins - William Morrow

2004 Best Novel Resurrection Men Ian Rankin Little, Brown

2003 Best Novel Winter and Night S.J. Rozan St. Martin's Minotaur

2002 Best Novel Silent Joe T. Jefferson Parker Hyperion

2001 Best Novel The Bottoms Joe R. Lansdale Mysterious Press

2000 Best Novel Bones Jan Burke Simon & Schuster

1999 Best Novel Mr. White's Confession Robert Clark Picador USA

1998 Best Novel Cimarron Rose James Lee Burke Hyperion

1997 Best Novel The Chatham School Affair Thomas H. Cook Bantam

1996 Best Novel Come to Grief Dick Francis Putnam

1995 Best Novel The Red Scream Mary Willis Walker Doubleday

1994 Best Novel The Sculptress Minette Walters St. Martin's Press

1993 Best Novel Bootlegger's Daughter Margaret Maron Mysterious Press

1992 Best Novel A Dance at the Slaughterhouse Lawrence Block Wm. Morrow

1991 Best Novel New Orleans Mourning Julie Smith St. Martin's Press

1990 Best Novel Black Cherry Blues James Lee Burke Little, Brown

1989 Best Novel A Cold Red Sunrise Stuart M. Kaminsky Scribners

1988 Best Novel Old Bones Aaron Elkins Mysterious Press

1987 Best Novel A Dark-Adapted Eye Barbara Vine Bantam

1986 Best Novel The Suspect L.R. Wright Viking

1985 Best Novel Briar Patch Ross Thomas Simon & Schuster

1984 Best Novel La Brava Elmore Leonard Arbor House

1983 Best Novel Billingsgate Shoal Rick Boyer Houghton Mifflin

1982 Best Novel Peregrine William Bayer Congdon & Lattes

1981 Best Novel Whip Hand Dick Francis Harper & Row

1980 Best Novel The Rheingold Route Arthur Maling Harper & Row

1979 Best Novel The Eye of the Needle Ken Follett Arbor House

1978 Best Novel Catch Me: Kill Me William H. Hallahan Bobbs-Merrill

1977 Best Novel Promised Land Robert B. Parker Houghton Mifflin

1976 Best Novel Hopscotch Brian Garfield M. Evans

1975 Best Novel Peter's Pence Jon Cleary Wm. Morrow

1974 Best Novel Dance Hall of the Dead Tony Hillerman Harper & Row

1973 Best Novel The Lingala Code Warren Kiefer Random House

1972 Best Novel The Day of the Jackal Frederick Forsyth Viking

1971 Best Novel The Laughing Policeman Maj Sjowall, Per Wahloo Pantheon

1970 Best Novel Forfeit Dick Francis Harper & Row

1969 Best Novel A Case of Need Jeffery Hudson World

1968 Best Novel God Save the Mark Donald E. Westlake Random House

1967 Best Novel The King of the Rainy Country Nicolas Freeling Harper & Row

1966 Best Novel The Quiller Memorandum Adam Hall Simon & Schuster

1965 Best Novel The Spy Who Came in from the Cold John le Carre Coward-McCann

1964 Best Novel The Light of Day Eric Ambler Knopf

1963 Best Novel Death and the Joyful Woman Ellis Peters Doubleday

1962 Best Novel Gideon's Fire J.J. Marric Harper

1961 Best Novel The Progress of a Crime Julian Symons Harper

1960 Best Novel The Hours Before Dawn Celia Fremlin Lippincott

1959 Best Novel The Eighth Circle Stanley Ellin Random House

1958 Best Novel Room to Swing Ed Lacy Harper

1957 Best Novel A Dram of Poison Charlotte Armstrong Coward-McCann

1956 Best Novel Beast in View Margaret Millar Random House

1955 Best Novel The Long Goodbye Raymond Chandler Houghton Mifflin

1954 Best Novel Beat Not the Bones Charlotte Jay Harper

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Blogger in Draft

Wishing you had a new template to jazz up your Blogger blog?  Blogger in Draft allows you to easily try out some new Blogger templates and add in colors and backgrounds that are all new.

Adding links is simpler (no annoying Pop Up Window for adding links to your post.)

Change text background colors for emphasis.

My only problem was that the new templates removed my cartoons or made them invisible, and in some cases there was overlayed text from the post on the sidebar.  This is likely because I'm using the stretch type template now so I can fit those things in, but it is annoying. 

I was also not pleased to see that I could not switch back to my original plain vanilla template.  So try it out but be aware you can't go home again.

This a work in progress, however and they are likely working on a fix.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Things on a Stick for 2010

That wildly popular library learning 2.0 program has made a comeback in an unusual way.  Instead of an all new program that you can work through for fun rewards and certain glory, the Things are now a "news archive" called Things on a Stick News Archive: the 2010 version of Things on a Stick.


The news is sent out to you via email as they have some new site or 2.0ish skill they'd like to highlight.  The blog itself just archives those new pieces.  Still it gives you a handy way to keep your skills up.

I'm going to go ahead and leap into the new Things as if I were doing the Things for fun and profit, because I surely don't want my skills to get all rusty like the rest of me.

The current (April 5th) subject is "Hyperlocal Sites".   According to the Stick: "what many of these sites are doing is providing that local (town, city, neighborhood, or even block) information source that many small town daily or weekly newspapers have always provided".   This is of interest to me professionally because I'd like another venue to promote some of the excellent programming for adults in my work community.  Any new way to get the word out would be great.

The first site is EveryBlock: a News Feed for your Block which is owned by MSNBC.  As of this writing, there are only fifteen large cities covered.  Let's pretend I lived in San Jose, California.

I can enter my address and get news about my immediate neighborhood. 

The featured neighborhood is Willow Glen.  Eeek! 

"Missing elderly woman's car discovered in wooded roadside", "Worst fears realized at the bottom of ravine" and "San Jose school briefly locked down after report of partly naked man".  Who knows how they pick the featured neighborhood?

There is a clickable map that shows which neighborhoods have been in the news.

I can see what police calls, restaurant inspections, liquor license status changes and locations in the news have been posted for the last 30 days.
Now that is dynamic!  I guess it isn't a vehicle for program promotion though, it's more like a community rap sheet.   Most fascinating.  Wait, there is a spot for Announcements where you are able to post your own news.  There we go.

The other local news congregator featured is Patch.

There are only a few states in this one.  Once again I'll pretend I live in sunny California rather than arctic Minnesota.  San Jose isn't available here so let's live in Manhattan Beach.

Patch is very community oriented, but in a more newsy homey way.  The clickable map in Patch shows where the local PTA meeting is, for instance. 

Lots of local sports news, obituaries, wedding announcements, just the kind of thing you would want to have at hand to truly know your community better.  Also this would be an excellent place to promote those library programs, letting me bypass a certain local newspaper which used to be really good about covering our programming, but alas it now will never run anything, whap whap at the SWR.  Hehe.  So much for maturity.

Check these out, and hope they both come to a neighborhood near you very soon!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

LIS 10 Librarian Blogs to Read in 2010

Once again the wily folks at LIS (Library and Information Science) have chosen their must read blogs by librarians.  How they keep missing me I dunno.  It is probably my lackadaisical posting habits that keep me from being cutting edge.  I can think of nothing else that might keep me from fame and fortune.

Congratulations to their winners in any case.  It is nice to see that some of us are out there writing about the dreamy world of librarianship.  And the winners are...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Librarian D.O.A. found DOA...now we know why she hasn't posted...

Our intrepid librarian-on-the-desk Librarian D.O.A. has been found in a bony pile. Her head bone WAS NOT connected to her neck bone! And her hip bone was nowhere NEAR her thigh bone. A most grisly yet curiously bloodless situation.