Working for the Sally-Ann

So, I volunteered to handle a Salvation Army kettle for two hours at a liquor store. (For those non-Canadians out there, in Canada, all alcohol is handled by government-managed “liquor commissions” or, as we say in Halifax, the “LC.” Side note: if you listen to Sloan’s “Underwhelmed,” they make a reference to “the LC.”)

Well, I didn’t exactly volunteer — my wife volunteered and got sick, meaning I had to take over.

Anyway, I’m no Salvationist, but as I understand it, you don’t have to be to manage a kettle for 2 hours. And I think the Salvation Army can use some kettle-watchers this year. So, there it is. Why not 2 hours of your time to watch a kettle for a good cause. How’zaboutit? Go ahead and give them a call.

It was pretty amazing to see how well-received the SallyAnn is in the community. It was good fun and all I had to do was smile and say “Thank you” here and there. And actually, I have seen some of the work these folks do. Really, they are like a freakin’ army! If something needs getting done they do it on time and with hardly any budget. Putting a dollar there is like putting a fiver anywhere else.

The Critical Pastafarian: My Article in IMSA’s Information Fluency Project

IMSA, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, has published an article of mine that I called
The Critical Pastafarian: Evaluation by Authority in a Web 2.0 World (You may asked to create an account to access the article). Broadly, I try to tackle the issue of understanding authorship when you look at social software.

Check it out and please let me know what you think!

Ideas for Next Year — What I Would Like to Do in 2007

Sometimes you have to publically announce what you would like to do so that you can be accountable to yourself. Although it’s a little early for New Year’s resolutions, I thought I’d just list out the things I would like to do, both professionally and personally to make my world just a little bit better.

  1. New Website: I will have a new library website in the spring and I am very excited. All the planning, and architecture and look is done, we just need to build now. So far the people who are in the loop on this seem very happy with what we’ve proposed so I can’t wait. Finally, I will have a tangible accomplishment to show people!
  2. Contribute to or Create an Open Source product: I am learning some coding pretty fast and quick these days and I have an idea for an application that could do good things for non-profits I think.
  3. Have Visible (to my Wife) Abs: Confession — I hit 30 and my food is sticking to me in unpleasant ways. I used to be one of the lucky folks that could eat and eat and never gain. Not so anymore. I need to make a commitment to myself on this. For gosh sakes this is my health, life and family!
    1. continue playing floor hockey on tuesdays
    2. walk, walk, walk whenever possible
    3. maybe buy a bicycle
    4. force myself to turn off my computer and go outside at least once every two days
    5. do more sit-ups.
  4. Do Something Along the Lines of a Learning 2.0 for MPOW: theft is a good thing when it comes to knowledge sharing. I have some ideas to build on the project as well.
  5. Reduce my consumption of meat: This is not a crazy PETA thing, but I just feel that people eat too many animals in this world. This will be hard, because I love a burger as much as the next fella. But it’s about time I got more healthy and more animal-friendly with my food consumption.
  6. Publish something scientific in a journal: I always have these ideas to measure something somewhere somehow, but never seem to come through. That’s partly because us public librarians don’t really get that much credit for research-related stuff. But my ideas are good (I swear!) and I need to find out the truth about the world around me, if only in a small way. I am exploring some ideas with the brilliant Kathryn Greenhill.
  7. Go to a good tech-related conference — hopefully meeting some of the “blog people” in the mean time. Maybe there’s a presentation I can do.
  8. Be a once-a-month Second Lifer — I don’t know if this is possible, but I’d like to try and meet a few more folks in the Second Life world. But I also have a family and don’t want to take too much away from them either.
  9. Go to One or More of the Following Places: Cuba, Quebec City, London UK, Killarney IR, Savannah GA, Chicago IL or San Francisco CA.
  10. Go Out with a Friend once Every Two Months min — Fatherhood really put me into isolation the past three years. I don’t want to grow up to be the typical male who has no social network in his seniors years, and frankly, the way things stand now that’s exactly where I’m going to end up. Marriage and family is great — it just can’t be everything.

That’s that. Someone remind me of these promises come December of 2007!