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"You Two! We're at the end of the universe, eh. Right at the edge of knowledge itself. And you're busy... blogging!"
— The Doctor, Utopia

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Darth Vader vs...

...Hollywood executives. Guess who wins. (video)


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bye bye miss American pie

I've made the pilgrimage to the site of the plane crash that ended the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Vallens, The Big Bopper and their pilot. When people say that it's out in the middle of a corn field, they're not kidding. The small memorial is a half-mile off the road across what, today, was a plowed under, muddy field under very overcast and at times heavily rainy skies. Around the memorial you'll find flowers and other mementos (some of very intriguing origin) as you'll see in my photos of the site. Despite the rain, cold, and mud, it was worth the hike.
Buddy Holly memorial


It seems that the SonicWALL filter doesn't like ConvertIt.


I've posted two new albums on Ofoto. The first is Buddy Holly related locations in Clear Lake, IA. (just the Surf Ballroom as I post this but I'll be adding photos of the crash site in the next 24 hours.) The other is photos from Mason City, IA including the Mason City Public Library and Marion Wilson-related locations.

On a really cool note, The Clumsy Lovers will be playing the Surf Ballroom on May 20th. Noticing that I'll be teaching only 92 miles away in West Union that day, it looks like I'll be able to attend that show. Iowa will be the third (or is it fourth) state that I've seen a Clumsy Lovers show in.

The Surf Ballroom
The Mason City Public Library
76 trombones

Monday, April 25, 2005

Clumsy Video

The Clumsy Lovers have two videos available on ZeD. (RealVideo) Take my word for it, they're much more animated in real life.


Testing Computer Literacy

This morning I taught my "Librarians' Internet Toolkit for Kids" workshop in which we discuss the Internet as it related to Millennials and libraries. Interesting enough, NPR's Morning Edition had a report this morning on a new computer literacy test for college students from the makers of the SAT. You should listen. It starts with an interview of a third-year biology major at SUNY Albany (my alma matter) who is for the first time in his college career visiting the campus library. Maybe what we assume about what the next generation knows isn't exactly right. Additionally, is this kind of test something that actually needs to be done?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Blogging at 30,000ft

It sounds like Lawrence Lessig has done it.

Episode III: The Lost Hope

Here's a funny Episode III parody. (QuickTime)
via Siva Vaidhyanathan


DIA Security

Why doesn't weird stuff like this happen when I'm at the airport. Then again, maybe I should be glad it doesn't as it probably held up the security line.

It's official!

I've been everywhere, man
I've been everywhere, man
Crossed the deserts bare, man
I've breatherd the mountain air, man
Travel - I've had my share, man
I've been everywhere
— Johnny Cash

Which way to Phoenix

If you're not sure, check out this directional aid in Apache Junction, AZ.

Mmmm, coffee...

Today's Unshelved is nothing less than perfect.


Saturday, April 23, 2005


Here's a few details regarding the forthcoming beta of IE7.

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RE: Lack of posts

For those of you wondering why I've not been posting much this week, here's some of the story.

To be honest, this has been a very rough week for me. I've put my house up for sale despite not yet having another job lined up. I've done that for a couple of reasons. Mainly for the fact that I'd rather be stuck in an apartment for an indefinite amount of time before finding a new job than to find one in another city and be stuck with a house back in Aurora.

The situation is stressful enough. In addition, I've had to rearrange my house, pack up 99% of my Dean Koontz collection, and 75% of my CDs to make the house "more appealing to buyers". Trouble is, it no longer feels like my home. I'm out on the road for 10 straight days, and I'm not sure I'm looking forward to going back to the house that doesn't feel like mine any more. Technically it is, but it doesn't feel like mine, and I feel like I'm not allowed to touch anything for fear of ruining the chances of someone buying it.

So, I'm in a bit of a funk right now. If you've e-mailed me and have not yet received a reply, it's nothing personal, I'm just trying to wrap my head around some major changes and don't have much energy for other things right now.


The Dark Side

Here's an intereresting article from MSNBC on why the Dark Side is more powerful.

Got 14 hours?

I'll admit to going to see a marathon of the original three Star Wars films when they were re-released as special editions, but I"m not sure that I have the stamina for all six.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

RE: Selling my house

Here's the details & photos if you're interested.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

File under "Appartment-warming ideas"

I stopped playing Tetris when I woke up after the third straight night of dreaming in falling blocks, just waiting for the our-block straight piece. However, I'd love to store some of my most prized books on these Tetris shelves.

Hidamari No Tami

Are you not one of the 2,000,000 of us that has a Hidamari No Tami? If not, you've got an opportunity to purchase a special edition celebrating the sales milestone.

Elbow Etiquette

Seeing as I'm getting on yet another plane this morning I felt that sharing this piece from SimpleBits was appropriate.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Wanna buy my house?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

'Nuff said.

Firefox protection
courtesy of Spread Firefox


Friday, April 15, 2005

Find anyone online

Yeah, we've all read that headline before, but with it actually looks to be easy and low-cost.

Blogging national secrets

Someone forgot to tell this guy, or Google for that matter, that Area 51 is supposed to be a secret.

iPods in libraries

Michael Stephens has written an article on iPod experiments in libraries. Go Michael!

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Its only money

In the past 48 hours I've spent $75 fixing a leak in my toilet plumbing, $350 on a new dishwasher (to replace the one I spent $200 fixing a few months ago), and $829 on a new water pump and radiator for my car. So much for picking up season four of The West Wing this weekend.

Thursday, April 14, 2005


The trainers at BCR are getting laptops. Since I already have my Tablet and use it to train I figured I'd play with the new company one. I'm planning on making it dual-boot WindowsXP and Fedora. (It'll be my office computer so I'm not yet ready to ditch Windows completely.) If anyone out there has any warnings/suggestions for me I'd be happy to hear them. I'll be doing this the first two weeks of May so I've got prep time.

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Mac Tiger

Are you a Mac user wanting to upgrade to Tiger? Better have a DVD-ROM drive else it's going to cost you $9.95. (Scroll down to "Media Exchange Program" on right.)


Realestate market

With local competition like this selling my house might not be as easy as I hoped.

Download next month's show

I know it's a typo, the linked page says the show is from April 5th, but it still was funny when I noticed it.
Funky date

Move those tabs

As a Firefox user who sometimes has a dozen tabs open, I wish I could rearrange them to get a certain few next to each other. The miniT allows me to do just that.


Bored Canadians take it to court

According to this article "A group of amateur hockey players is taking the NHL to court to determine whether somebody can play for the Stanley Cup. The 'Wednesday Nighters' filed a claim in Ontario Superior Court on Wednesday asking it to clarify the terms under which Canadian Governor-General Lord Stanley donated the Cup in 1892."

Ban on lighters starts today, finally.

Starting today lighters are banned from anywhere on planes. "The ban does not include matches. Passengers still may carry aboard a plane up to four books of safety matches, which must be struck on a strip of friction to light. Not allowed on planes are strike anywhere matches, which have an extra chemical tip that allows them to be struck using any abrasive surface."
via ABC News

Screen cleaning

Is your monitor a tad dirty? Get it cleaned online.
via SEB

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Books Price

I've been a fan of sites that run price comparisons on books for a while now. However, this new one, Books Price, stands out for two reasons. One, for it's shopping cart feature. Two, for its ability to access Amazon Wishlists automatically.

National Library Week

Cynicism just isn't what it used to be.

Graphics created by Molly Knapp

XPsp2, ready or not

Today's the day that Microsoft Turns Off XP SP2 Blocking. So, if you haven't upgraded yet, you're out of time. For what to expect you can read my article "Installing Windows XP Service Pack 2: One Librarian's Experience" on WebJunction.


Acid Test #2

Does your browser pass the new CSS Acid Test from WaSP?

New annoying Web ad type

Check out this little wonder on the InformationWeek page. It literally peeled back, then rolled up after holding for about five seconds.
peeling ad

Fark Headline

"Microsoft warns of five new software security flaws: Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook"


Tuesday, April 12, 2005


A few days ago Lisa pointed me to YaGoohoo!gle (personally) and today the Librarian in Black pointed me to Search the 4 (via her blog). YaGoohoo!gle lets you do one search and presents results from both Yahoo! and Google side by side. Search the 4 works the same but presents you with a screen showing results from Google, Ask Jeeves, MSN, and Yahoo! Both ladies seemed impressed with these sites. My thoughts: what's the point!

Back in the early days of meta-search, I was severely unimpressed because those first meta search engines basically did just what these are doing. (Hell, even those didn't use frames.) Eventually, meta search tools impressed me enough to not only use them (irregularly) but teach them (often.) Why? Because they added features like aggregation and de-duplication of the results.

What's the point of these two tools? Granted, if you're someone who teaches searching and you'd like to compare and contrast the results of two, or four, different search engines to see what kind of results they cough up, then I can see some usefulness. However, what users don't need is a screen divided up showing multiple lists of results, many of which are repeated in each frame.

Doesn't this sound like we're going back to the early days of meta search tools. Me, I'm back to unimpressed.

Early review of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" pronounces it 'Major Suckage.'

Today SEB reviews a review of the new Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy movie and includes links to a short, non-spoiler, and a long, full-of-spoilers, version of the review. The bottom line: the film sucks.

Stephen Abram

I've mentioned Mr. Stephen Abram of CLA & SIRSI before. If you're wondering what all my hoopla's about, check out his articles and presentations page @ SIRSI.

Technology's 10 most inexcusable failures

From C|Net, here's a well-written article on 10 technologies we should have by now but don't.


Monday, April 11, 2005

Satellite images

Inspired by the Google Sightseeing blog I did some hunting for some Denver area landmarks to submit. Unfortunately that blog's do popular that it's currently reporting "bandwidth exceeded". So, for your viewing pleasure I present Coors Field, Invesco Field at Mile High, the Denver International Airport terminal, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
If you click on one of the links and the image doesn't seem right (or shifts after a few seonds) click on the "recenter" button (the one with four arrows) in the upper-left corner of the image.

Snow photos

The Rocky Mountain News has put up a slideshow of photos from around the metro area.

On request

Snow people

M&M's Chocolate MPire

If you've not seen the online "trailer" for M&M's Chocolate MPire you're missing the spoof of the year.
M&M's MPire

Note to self...

Next time, check to see if there's 8" of snow in the alley preventing you from getting your car out of the garage before bothering to shower and dress.

Do you have what it takes to be a Librarian?

When this job posting came through my aggregator via Feedster and saw Tempe, AZ the location I got excited for a moment. Then I realized that it was for The Library Bar & Grill. I don't think I'm qualified to be one of their "librarians".

Sunday, April 10, 2005

April snow showers kill April flowers

This is what I woke up to this morning. Ah, springtime in Colorado...
Update: Seems that the storm was worse than it looked from my front door. snow snow snow snow


Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Gospel According to Scrabble

What's the single highest scoring word in Scrabble? Find out in this humorous short film.

Friday, April 08, 2005

It seems that the folks lined up (at the wrong theater) for the opening of Episode III have a blog and are raising money for charity.

Dean Koontz news

The new paperback edition of Hideaway (shown right) is scheduled for a July 5, 2005 release. I'm assuming it will include a new afterword by Dean as the other re-releases have.


Follow-up #2: say goodbye (again) to pop-ups!

I received an e-mail from Asa this afternoon informing me that he'd updated his pop-ups must die! extension for Firefox "that is much less strict on wanted pop-ups". I've installed this one and it seems to solve the problems I mentioned yesterday. Thanks Asa!


I'm just a bit, yes I'm only a bit

If you haven't heard yet, Hitachi has announced "perpendicular" hard drives will allow for terabyte drives, without a size increase, by 2007. Lucky for us, they've put together a flash cartoon, a la Schoolhouse Rock, explaining the technology.


Fark Headlines

These Fark headlines are just too funy not to pass along:

  • "Thief steals 25 left shoes. Police say thief has no rights"
  • "Truck unleashes 37,000 pounds of cheddar cheese on Iowa highway, briefly making the state somewhat interesting"
  • "Japan hosts M.C. Escher exhibition. Stairs leading into building confusing fans"

A country code without a country

It seems that the .ps country code became active for sites run by The Palestinian National Authority.

How to blog Anonymously

The EFF has published an article giving advice for those wishing to blog anonymously. All of the advice, and warnings, are solid and informative.

The definitive Robert A. Heinlein collection

According to SciFi Wire, a new 5,000 copy limited edition series dubbed The Virginia Collection will be published containing everything Robert A. Heinlien ever wrote. The SciFi Wire item states that "the price has not been established" however further research on the publisher's site does state a $2,500 price tag for the 46-title set.

An Ode to Librarians

Now this is the kind of press we need! Here's two lawyers pointing out the importance of librarians in thier profession. The interesting part is that most of what they say applies well outside of the legal profession.

"Simply having access to the appropriate research tools is not enough. Librarians are also skilled at using these resources and are often responsible for training attorneys on what resources to use and how to use them... Instead of reinventing the wheel every time you have a research project, ask a librarian."

Baggage handler dons passenger's camel costume

Don't worry about my shoes, worry about the Baggage handlers.

Join the Mile High Club for just $250. (Date not included.)

In other travel news: San Antonio Air Tours is now offering private cabins on some of their flights so couples can join the mile high club. At least one airport has said that they don't want this "service" as their airport because "We're a family-oriented airport". (As opposed to the "adults only" airports?)

EzTree Reborn

EzTree has been reborn as EzTorrent v0.4.1 courtsey of

XHTML/CSS book update

I've received the outside review of the 2nd draft and it's positive overall. Most of the suggestions are regarding some of my statements in the introduction. The reviewer and I have some disagreements over the status of HTML. (I say its dead, s/he says its not.) I'm going to mull over the comments this weekend and then take another look on Monday. At that point it's talking with my editor at Neal-Schuman and then making some minor changes. Woo Hoo! There is a light at the end of the tunnel and I'm pretty sure it's not a train.

Encyclopedia Britannica via RSS

Jenny has reported that EB is now offering their daily updates via RSS. Trouble is, I can't find the link to the feed anywhere on the EB site. Can we say design problem? Jenny does offer a link to the feed if you want to subscribe but why doesn't EB?


Thursday, April 07, 2005


Can't make it to the Vatican? View the pope via steaming media from the Vatican Television Center.


I'd love to try the feedbeep service which sends RSS feed items to your cell via SMS, but they charge so I'll be taking a pass.



Steven Cohen showed me this @ CIL and I'm just getting around to it. In technical terms, this is an interesting application of the Web services (XML). In non-technical terms, amaztype allows you to search and presents the results as book covers in the form of your search terms. Not clear? Try this search on Michael P Sauers as an author.

A tale of $2 bills

Years ago I tried to pay for my entry to a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show with two $2 bills only to be told by the cashier "I can't take those." Luckily in my situation, the manager quickly appeared and decided otherwise. When a gentleman in a Baltimore Best Buy tried to pay his bill with a stack of them, he was handcuffed and taken to jail.
registration required, use and bugmenot

Bad Blogger...

Yes, Blogger's been acting up and it's getting press. Here's the view of the Blogger Dashboard that I received earlier today.


Follow-up: say goodbye (again) to pop-ups!

I posted about the new Popups Must Die! Firefox extension yesterday and it did sound like a good idea at the time. Earlier today I uninstalled it because it was too strict. For example, Bloglines' BlogThis! bookmarklet no longer worked since it causes a a pop-up. In order to use it, I had to create an exception to every site I wanted to blog about.
Recommendation: install only if you want no pop-ups at all, no exceptions. For you, it'll work exactly as advertised.

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Building a better alarm clock

I previously posted about an alarm clock that slowly crept toward the ceiling every time you hit snooze. This one, designed by an MIT student, rolls away and hides in the corner.

Joss Whedon to helm ‘Wonder Woman’

First Buffy. Then Angel. Then Firefly. Next, Wonder Woman.

RIP EasyTree has fallen to the lawyers.

Portable Firefox

Yes, you can take Firefox with you! Now, when you're at a computer that only has IE, you can just plug in your jumpdrive and run Portable Firefox thanks to John Haller. I've tried it and it works. Just be sure to follow the directions on the site. They're not difficult, just important.

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Seven weeks ahead of time, fans are already lining up for the opening of the last Star Wars film in L.A. Trouble is, they're at the wrong theater.

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Wednesday, April 06, 2005

How much would you pay?

This just can't be right:
Snipped from
Created on my TabletPC with the new Snipping Tool

Longmire does Romance Novels

As someone who's ex read romance novels and not much else these covers with revised titles are just way too funny.
Thanks Rosario

Missing the point

Headline: TiVo to Insert New Ads into Recordings
"TiVo and Comcast are jointly developing an advertising system that inserts up-to-date commercials into previously recorded programming. The announcement follows news that TiVo has begun testing new advertising format that will appear as users fast forward through commercials on its digital video recorder service."
via BetaNews


Build your own TabletPC

If you like my tabletPC, here's a parts list you can order from. A geeked-out version (sans modem because you don't need one) will run you just $2560 + shipping.

New article published

My latest article, "10 Reasons Why Your Library Should Be Using Firefox" has been published on WebJunction. (No, I had no input on the layout. I'll be tray to get it fixed shortly.)


Say goodbye (again) to pop-ups!

Asa Dotzler has released a test-version of an improved pop-up blocker for Firefox that blocks plug-in-based popups. I've been using it for the past few days and it does work.
via Stupid Evil Bastard


Boondocks on Broadband

Today's The Boondocks takes on Bush's call for universal broadband.

Loop ('Ring' series, Book 3) & redesign

In discovering that the third 'Ring' book, Loop , is scheduled for a May 25th release, I also discovered that Amazon is playing with a significant redesign of product pages, as this one shows. It's not on every page yet but I like it.

Live manga

The Uzumaki books are some of the best horror manga available today. Someone who's very patient decided to get this woman (second image) to model a scene from the story. (I don't really know if this was the point of the photo as I don't read Japanese, but it instantly reminded me of the manga.)

Planet of the Apes... funkified

Longmire has also "funkified" my favorite movie series, Planet of the Apes.

New Monk-Coltrane Performance Discovered

The Smithsonian has discovered a new collaboration between Monk & Coltrane which has never been released. No, it's not online.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

NeoTokyo awaits

Here's a Japanese dude who built his own Akira bike, a mod of a Honda Bick scooter.

Moleskine Hacks

I love my Moleskine. Today I stumbled over a few hacks worth sharing.


Pictures of your house

GoogleMaps has added satellite photos. Just search on an address and click on the "Satellite" link in the upper-right corner of the results page. Here's my house which will be going up for sale shortly. The pointer has me on the other side of the street but it's close enough. (I'm actually the second house from the end on the West side of the street.)

Monday, April 04, 2005

Find non-corporate coffee

Just plug your zip code into the Delocator and receive the addresses of submitted independent coffeehouses. (Starbucks locations are also listed so you can know what to avoid in the neighborhood.)


Job market

With job postings like this one, why are people wondering why it's taking me, with 10 years of experience, this long to find a new job?

Second New Season of Dr. Who Confirmed

The BBC issued a press release a few days ago announcing that there will be a second season of the new Dr. Who series. Unfortunately, Christopher Eccleston will not be returning as The Doctor. That will make the next actor officailly Doctor #11. (Hey BBC, don't forget that The Doctor runs out of lives with #13.)

College kid takes on Microsoft

As someone who's had an auction cancelled reselling MS software on eBay I wasn't prepared to take on Microsoft.

Bart's Chalkboard

I'm not the biggest The Simpsons fan in the world but this list of everything Bart's ever written on the chalkboard in the opening credits is amusing. My favorite: "'Bewitched' does not promote Satanism"

The difference between right and left

The right lane is for driving, the left lane is for passing. Learn this. Live this. Don't forget it while on the highways of Colorado.


Blog: Understanding the Information Revolution That's Changing Your World

Despite having been warned by Steven Cohen over at LibraryStuff, I decided to start reading Blog: Understanding the Information Revolution That's Changing Your World by Hugh Hewitt. Steven gracefully implied that this book was a bit right-leaning so instead of purchasing my own copy, I figured I'd check it out of the library first and buy one if I found it useful in the long run.

Well, I made it through the 12-page introduction. When I got to the following paragraph on the ninth page I decided that this book wasn't for me.

People don't trust the old media with anything like the old level of confidence. There are plenty of books out there that explain what happened, but it basically comes down to the left-leaning ideology that was always there and increasingly became so widespread, transparent, and arrogant as to repel half the country. If you wan to argue the point, this book isn't for you. Go watch your DVD of Fahrenheit 9/11 again. Trot down to the coffee shop to expound on corporate ownership of transnational media conglomerates. You don't have a clue, and you won't when the night is over. But you will be further behind.

I can read books with agendas as long as the agenda is up front. However, there is no need to make me feel like an idiot for my beliefs, especially in a book about technology! I've put the book on the pile to go back to the library. This is one book I'm glad I didn't spend my money on. (Those that know me know that this is a very rare occurrence.) I'm off to watch my DVD of Fahrenheit 9/11 at my local independent coffeehouse. I think my $19.99 will be better spent on a latte and pastries.


Saturday, April 02, 2005

Obscenity in the library?

"Oklahoma state legislators are calling a popular children's book about a gay prince 'obscene' and saying it should reserved only for adults. Seventy members of the legislature have signed a petition calling for the book to be removed from the children’s section and placed in the adult section of libraries."

Ah, the folks writing the laws show their cluelessness yet again. If something is "obscene" then it's illegal for even adults to own/see/etc. Never mind that fact that only a judge can declare something "obscene" not a legislator.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Google Gulp

Google is branching out with their new "smart drink".
Googel Gulp!.