What started out as an idea to help out some colleagues stranded in state by travel restrictions will become a reality. Kyle Banerjee and I hatched our plan in late March – since really no-one from the west coast was able to attend code4lib in providence (and won’t next year as well) – we figured we would bring it to the PNW. And thanks to Oregon State University, the University of Oregon (who is providing facilities in Portland) and the Orbis Cascade Alliance – it’s on. At present, there are just over 50 people registered (it’s capped at 60 due to the location) and I think we have a pretty good schedule of speakers. We’ll have lighting talks, 9, 20 minute presentations, and a raffle (with secret prizes) that would make the formal Code4Lib conference drool with envy (thank you Karyle and OSU). Whether or not we can record the sessions (we might) is still up in the air – but the closer we get, the more I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, this will be the first of many meetings in the PNW, with an eye towards maybe trying to bring the main conference back to its unofficial home, Oregon :), in 2 or 3 years. I’ll post more after the conference wraps up next Thursday.
What a fantastic movie. I love Pixar movies because I know that I can take the kids and they will enjoy it and there’s a pretty good chance that I’ll like it too. However, after last year’s Wall-E (which I loved), I had pretty high expectations going into the theatre this afternoon when my wife and I took the kids and I wasn’t to be disappointed.
Up! is exactly what you’ve come to expect from Pixar (but in Digital 3-d). First, the story. Up is a sweet story about an old man keeping a promise to his wife – and along the way, he meets a number of new friends. Now my wife, she will tell you it’s a tear jerker (she shed many a tear) – as for my boys and they will tell you that it was hilarious. With my boys, I can always gauge how good a movie is for them by how involved they are. For this movie, they were laughing, hollering at the screen and having a good time. I’m not sure my oldest every really sat in his seat (he gets fidgety when he’s engrossed) and my youngest was telling me all the time how bad the villain in the story was. By the end, they were walking out the movie telling me how much they would like to get it when it comes out on DVD.
Anyway, I won’t talk at all about the plot, etc. – but if you have kids – especially young kids (mine are 4 and 7) – they will like this movie. And as a bonus, you will too.
So, last week (May 20th), I had the opportunity to meet with about 56ish folks in Columbus, OH to talk about MarcEdit. I don’t give MarcEdit workshops very often, though I have always enjoyed doing it when I have. (The main reason I don’t is the time – I simply don’t have the time to organize them– so the times that I do provide these workshops, it’s really for much larger organizations that can handle all the logistics for me.) This particular workshop was much more lecture style (so I spent more time talking than any one person really wants to hear), but I thought that it went really well. There were some good comments and some enhancement requests (which I’m working on) – and, I had a good time in Columbus – even if I did forget to pack clothes (and I’m talking pretty much nothing – had to do some shopping the first night I was there).
Anyway, this is the first of two public workshops that I’ll be teaching over the next month. The second will be in the Washington DC, though I know that this session is already full. The session in DC will be more hands on (less lecture) and I’m really interested to see what kind of feedback about the program comes out of it.
Lastly, slides. You can get the slides from this workshop here:
So over the last weekend (Sat – Mon., May 16-18), I was at Timberline Lodge near Portland, Oregon for the annual Timberline Acquisitions Conference (9th annual anyway). The conference is one that I would generally not attend (what do I know about acquisitions other than you buy things) – but this year I had been approached with giving the Keynote. The group was looking for someone to give a talk on Open Source/Open Data – and that I can talk about. :) Overall, I think that the talk was successful. I’ve posted the slides from my talk into the OSU IR and will update the URL as soon as it gets it’s way through the submission process, though honestly, my slides are generally desolate of information – I like to use them primarily as a place holder.
From the conference, there were a few gems that I came away with. One came from a presentation by the folks at BYU discussing the VLC media player/server for setting up your own home grown video streaming service. It was an interesting talk – primarily because I’d primarily associated VLC media player use with folks that tend to utilize unofficial copies of media. Its very popular with that crowd due to its ability to pretty much read any media format (including some fairly rare codex). And while the folks from BYU did comment that by requiring the student body to utilize the VLC media player has resulted in an increase in what you might call, questionable media use by their students, it also provided an infrastructure for setting up high-quality streaming video.
For me, much of the remainder of the conference was getting to meet new people, talk to folks about issues related to the licensing of academic content and spending time with my family on the mountain. Unlike many other conferences that I attend, since this one was in Oregon, my wife and kids accompanied me to Timberline. For the boys, the trip was one that they had been looking forward to for months. They were really excited about the possibility of getting to play in the snow. And I think that Alyce was looking forward to getting to have a bit of a miniature vacation (especially since I was travelling to Columbus right after my time at Timberline).
So a couple of things about Timberline. Most people, whether they realize it or not, have likely seen the lodge. The Timberline lodge stood in as the hotel for The Shining (at least, for the outside shots of the lodge in the movie). I’ll admit, when I found out, I was wishing I would have brought the movie, and was, somewhat disappointed that I didn’t see the river of blood getting off the elevators. Oh, well. Timberline is also the only place in Oregon where you can ski year round. The lodge is located at the base of one of the many glaciers that reside on the mountain year round. Though, at this point of the year, there is still probably 120 inches of snow on the mountain around the lodge.
Back to the fun. I was able to do a few things with Alyce and the boys. We played in the pool (yes, there was snow around it), had snow ball fights and just played. I’ve attached a few pictures below for anyone that is interested.
Playing in the pool – yes, that is snow in the background
From above the lodge on the mountain
From the top of what is known as the Miracle Mile – around 7500 ft.
Burying Kenny in the snow
So, I’ve been a little neglectful keeping up with the blogging due to a number of other outside activities. Over the past couple of months, I’ve done a good deal of writing and publishing. In order, I’ve had the following articles published:
Reese, T. (2009, April). Automated Metadata Harvesting: Low-Barrier MARC Record Generation from OAI-PMH Repository Stores Using MarcEdit. Library Resources & Technical Services, 53(2), 121-134. Retrieved May 26, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.
Reese, T. (2009, April). How Libraries Can Win in Today’s Web 2.0 Environment. Readex eNewsletter, 4(2). Retrieved May 26, 2009, from http://www.newsbank.com/readex/newsletter.cfm?newsletter=237
Reese, T. (2009, Spring). LibraryFind™: The Development of a Shared Library Platform at Oregon State University Libraries. OLA Quarterly, 15(1), 17-19. Retrieved May 26, 2009, from http://data.memberclicks.com/site/ola/olaq_15no1.pdf
Coming: Article in the OSU Messenger
I’ve also been doing a bit of grant writing, helping the OSU libraries sheppard two grants (one an LSTA grant and one a joint NSF grant with MIT, Georgia Tech and Rice University) through the writing and submission process and a little outside consulting, including putting on a handful of MarcEdit workshops this spring/summer.
And finally, I’d mentioned this on facebook, but this month I was notified this month that I have successfully navigated the promotion and tenure process here at OSU, meaning that in July, I’ve joined the ranks of the tenured academic community. It represents a lot of work by many – especially my wife who sacrificed much in terms of time and patience.