Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Thing we made today: raised vegetable bed frame.

June 15, 2014

Four pieces of 3.3 metre decking from the scrap yard for $10 each. Each made one end and a side. It was nice as the top and bottom were rolled and so not sharp. We used some Dexion that we had down the back shed for legs cut into 4 lengths. Felt virtuous using recycled materials. Ian got to use his nibbler attachment that we bought a while back to cut the decking.

Planned to make 2. Got one done. And it’s bigger than I had in my head. It still needs washing down and the bolts painted to rust proof them a bit better. The Dexion sticks out at the top so I can potentially use it for netting or reticulation and at the bottom so we can drive it into the ground.

I will put cardboard underneath to mulch out the lawn then fill it lasagne style. It may need repositioning yet. I will see how the sun strikes it for a bit before we fill it in case it needs to be shifted.

Design process

Measure and cut

Pieces to assemble

Final frame in place?


Why I work where I do

June 10, 2010

I have been in my current place of work 3 years now. It is a good fit with me as my first degree was a BSc and I am married to a geologist. The clients here are a mix of geologists and engineers but with a fair sprinkling of chemists, physicists, software developers and others  mixed in. It means that, although I do everything from circ to ILL to shelving, I also get to do some  meaty literature searches which keep me on my toes.

The last couple of weeks have been difficult and we are coping with some hard changes. I needed reminding of why I like working here and yesterday I got it.

There is simply some VERY COOL stuff going on which I like being part of and like being able to support. But this stuff doesn’t sometimes pass the selection filter of the main stream media. So I am going to talk about work but nothing that isn’t already part of a media release or two…

You may have heard of the SKA Radio Telescope project and it’s pilot the Pathfinder (ASKAP). Well the “quite large”  data centre (named the Pawsey Centre) that will receive the data stream from the Pathfinder is being built right next door. I will be able to watch it progress. And it will require a large energy input so they will build a geothermal plant. Right next door. The people that are doing the research and project management to build these things are my clients. And I get to help.

Yesterday the Prime Minister was on site to announce funding for the geothermal plant and a “hybrid solar storage and generation plant” in the Murchison. Part of my “other duties as directed” for the day was to be in the audience for the announcement and, I although I am not a fan of politicians, the not so closeted greenie and geek in me thought it was just very cool.

My view


June 8, 2010

I have learnt that I should post in the morning. (I am accumulating these learnings for an eventual “Things that I have learnt doing this challenge” post). Anyway this morning was spent catching up with the news re the iPhone so I ran out of time. Excuses, excuses.

Today at work was particularly discouraging and dispiriting for reasons I can’t even post about. And it has sucked the coherence from my mind.

So this image that I was pointed to today by my Friendfeed network seems apt in more ways than one:

30 things for 30 posts

June 1, 2010

I am also joining in the 30 posts in 30 days challenge posed on Libraries Interact.

It’s easier to stick to this if I have a theme, so inspired by another tweet from @flexnib and a email from her and @sirexkat I have:

“30 things I wish (special) librarians knew”

I will focus on Special Librarians as I know that area best but as I haven’t compiled my gripe list yet if you want to nominate something – a tool or a skill- that you wish your librarian colleagues just knew, feel free to nominate it in the comments and I will do my best to construct a post for it.

However – I wont be including MARC 🙂

Reflections 01/01/10

January 1, 2010

This blog is not usually a place for personal reflections. However there is a meme on twitter this morning  #10yearsago. Looking at many other’s microposts of where they were 10 years ago naturally led me to reflect on whether I should post my own and what I would/should say. I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t compress it into 140 characters. Also I turned 50 last month – it is time for a bit of reflection on where I was, where I am, and perhaps, where I might be going.

Firstly a lot of people that I follow seem to have had a LOT of change in their professional lives in the last 10 years compared to me.

Ten years ago I had chosen my new profession, had graduated 2 years before and was working in my third job as a librarian. I was to stay in that job for the next 7 years. So in the last 10 years I have changed jobs but not careers. Also I saw my last job change as a progression- building on my experience and getting back to my core subject specialty. Advancement wasn’t a consideration.

The others that I follow have had much more career progression but, on reflection,  I follow them BECAUSE they are high flyers and I can learn from them. Of course high flyers will undergo more rapid change than I.

My periods of rapid change were in the eighties and nineties. My twenties and thirties. We moved house and changed jobs frequently.

However ten years ago I was living in this house, with this same lovely man and I had an eight year old in primary school and a soon to be five year old about to start. Any changes in that time have been from the natural progression of kids growing up. On reflection our lack of change is not because we are old and staid but because we are happy with how and where we are. And we have been lucky. It’s been a decade of consolidation. The kids have grown, we have done some renovations, we have both changed organisations but not careers. We have had a lot of different pets. We haven’t traveled much. We haven’t had very significant health issues. No-one significant has died. [Updated: stupid sentence. Some members of my family did die in last 10 years] The potentially large upheaval that came from my husband being retrenched last year was offset as we had been financially well off for the decade previously. It was scary at the time but, in hindsight, we have mostly done well from it.

I have been thinking about where I might be going lately professionally because for the first time I am in an organisation where the structure might allow for a librarian to do something different, change paths and do interesting things without leaving. With opportunities come choices. I like this organisation and its goals. My clients have similar interests to me, are bright intelligent people and mostly I can speak their language. I hope that in ten years time I will still be working with them. However I can’t forecast exactly what I will be doing. I know and hope that it won’t be exactly what I am doing now. I think our structure, my interests and the current strategic directions of  the internal organisation and the external science research environment, that any future role will be something now regarded as much more IT related than traditional librarianship. To prepare I need to do some skill building. In the short term I need to build my project management skills and extend my IT knowledge and cred. I definitely need to learn to code. In the long term I need to keep current and open to change.

Personally I am also forecasting larger changes for our lives in the coming decade than the preceding one. One kid has all but moved out. The other will also be likely to. Our parents are getting aged. Things are unlikely to stay the same. But that is how it ought to be. We can only be as prepared as possible.

Happy New Year to all. Thanks to my family, clients, colleagues and RL and online friends for making life interesting. Here’s to looking forward.

99 things meme

December 22, 2008

I haven’t done a meme before and this one care of Ruminations seemed relevant given the time of year.


Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to – leave in plain font.

1. Started your own blog.

2. Slept under the stars.

3. Played in a band.

4. Visited Hawaii.

5. Watched a meteor shower.

while sleeping under the stars- as a kid.

6. Given more than you can afford to charity.

7. Been to Disneyland/world.

8. Climbed a mountain.

9. Held a praying mantis.

10. Sang a solo.

11. Bungee jumped.

12. Visited Paris.

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.

15. Adopted a child.

16. Had food poisoning.

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.

18. Grown your own vegetables.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.

20. Slept on an overnight train.

21. Had a pillow fight.

22. Hitch hiked.

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.

24. Built a snow fort.

25. Held a lamb.

26. Gone skinny dipping.

27. Run a marathon.

28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.

Been to Venice but the price of a gondola ride seemed excessive (regretted the decision)

29. Seen a total eclipse.

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.

31. Hit a home run.

32. Been on a cruise.

Been sailing for a few weeks on a yacht but a cruise on one of those large ships seems boring.

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.

England- Cornwall

35. Seen an Amish community.

36. Taught yourself a new language.

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.

Are we ever really?

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.

39. Gone rock climbing.

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.

41. Sung Karaoke.

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.

44. Visited Africa.

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.

46. Been transported in an ambulance.

With a kid- not to be desired

47. Had your portrait painted.

48. Gone deep sea fishing.

49. Seen the Sistene (sic) chapel in person.

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling.

52. Kissed in the rain.

53. Played in the mud.

54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.

55. Been in a movie.

56. Visited the Great Wall of China.

57. Started a business.

We are always making plans for tourist things in rural locations but reality keeps us in the city

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia.

60. Served at a soup kitchen.

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.

62. Gone whale watching.

63. Gotten flowers for no reason.

Well it was one flower- nicked from a neighbour’s garden but it was a rose so that counts right?

64. Donated blood.

65. Gone sky diving.

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.

67. Bounced a cheque.

Entirely in error of course.

68. Flown in a helicopter.

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.

71. Eaten Caviar.

72. Pieced a quilt.

73. Stood in Times Square.

74. Toured the Everglades.

75. Been fired from a job.

But I left one after one day on the understanding that it just wasn’t going to work out.

76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.

77. Broken a bone.

A very small one- in a toe. I had almost forgotten.

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.

80. Published a book.

81. Visited the Vatican.

82. Bought a brand new car.

83. Walked in Jerusalem.

84. Had your picture in the newspaper.

A local paper – as a kid

85. Read the entire Bible.

86. Visited the White House.

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.

88. Had chickenpox.

89. Saved someone’s life.

That would be that someone needed saving- not  to be desired

90. Sat on a jury.

Was called but not selected.

91. Met someone famous.

Define famous – would Mark Oliphant be close enough? Famous in science and South Australia

92. Joined a book club.

93. Lost a loved one.

94. Had a baby.

95. Seen the Alamo in person.

96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.

97. Been involved in a law suit.

98. Owned a cell phone.

99. Been stung by a bee.

There are many things that I would like to do that are not on this list. Perhaps I should start a bucket list.

On the size of the biblioblogosphere

September 10, 2008

I was looking at this list. it is the list of librarian blogs that Walt Crawford has compiled for a survey/study on librarian blogs. I say librarian blogs rather than library blogs as Walt excludes official library blogs in his criteria.

The thing that struck me was despite the criteria being quite high (a Technorati authority of seven or higher) there are still 587 blogs on the list (thanks to LIS news– I wasn’t going to count them). I have 50 odd librarian blogs in my reader and usually feel overwhelmed by my unread feeds.

If everyone of these blogs are posting original content what hope have we to keep up with it all? I wonder what the number of similar blogs in other professions would be? Is this a high number? I have nothing to relate this to at the moment. But someone is sure to have done a study.

Thanks to online social networks, such as Twitter, Friendfeed, we don’t actually have to read every post of every blog to keep up. “Friend” a few gurus with similar interests and all that content gets filtered and feed to you automagically. The amount of content that you are keeping in touch with greatly enlarges with every connection that you make. It helps that our profession naturally shares information. That is what we are trained to do.

Talent in Libraryland

August 24, 2008

Today I bring you evidence of the ways that social networking and blogging can bring together amazing projects.

I saw David Lee King and Michael Porter’s call for contributions for a project go out on Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook and their blogs. They wrote a song and asked for everyone else to contribute clips of themselves singing the chorus. The final video including the clips was posted yesterday.

My friend and organiser of unconferences, Kathryn, had the idea to get our unconference participants to sing but we never got around to doing it on the day (probably because the not so able MC forgot to include it in the program).

She not only filmed herself singing, but piped it into Second Life and danced to it as her avatar. Very meta Kathryn.

See the video and Kathryn’s full clip on her post. Also the video, back story and the lyrics and credits on Michael Porter’s blog. Be warned – the song will give you an ear worm for a  while.

Its hard to explain

August 15, 2008

It's hard to explain

Loved this.

Hello world

June 11, 2008

After much nagging to start a blog I finally thought up my own motivation. I have been thinking up possible Web 2.0 solutions to some of the issues with MPOW lately and I need a place to document the processes.

So this isn’t a place necessarily for others but for myself – so I can list the projects, play, brainstorm and look back on progress (hopefully).

I am not going to make any promises to be active here or to post regularly or to write beautiful prose.

And yes Kathryn I am now regretting not doing it earlier. I have been actively experimenting with online social networking sites for just over a year and I wish now that I had documented the process. It would now help me lead others down the same pathways. However, somehow, blogging to me was a much more personal and exposing activity and it has taken me a while to be comfortable with being online.

Because this space is part of the experiment it will change often. I will be trying out themes, widgets, changing things around and playing without notice.