Monday, December 31, 2007

Another year over...

New Year's Eve: A time for those of us who aren't getting wasted to take stock of the year that has passed and contemplate new opportunities in the coming year... or something like that. I'm far too lazy to write anything profound tonight, so I'll settle for a photo-laden romp through the highlights of 2007:


I rang in the new year at a club in Santa Clara. Y & T was on the stage, Kristy and I were in the front row, and life was good (and loud!). At midnight a bunch of balloons came down, and the band launched into "Midnight in Tokyo". 2007 has potential, I thought.

A bit later in the month, I was off to Seattle for a business trip.
Space Needle greeting


Not much of interest happened in February, and that was just fine with me. I'm not a superstitious person, but February historically has been an unlucky month for me. This year, it was just another 28 days of winter.


I made up for a boring February in March, with a concert, my 40th birthday, and a trip to Disneyland.
Jars of Clay in Vancouver, WA:

40th birthday dinner cruise:

40th birthday party with co-workers:

Chillin' with Mickey in Disneyland:
It wouldn't be a trip to Disneyland without a pic with Mickey


The annual church plant sale! We raised over $1500 for preschool scholarships and had a great time selling plants.
Christ United Methodist Church plant sale 2007


Back to California for a business trip and some R&R, including a trip to Santa Cruz to ride the Giant Dipper:
Empty Dipper train... a rare sight


Summertime -- and the beginning of our summer travel season!
Camping at Wallowa Lake, OR:



Off to the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, DC:
US Supreme Court

And Jerry's 9th birthday party:
Tony and Jerry at Jerry's 9th b-day party


4th of July fireworks:
Let's play with fire!

Since Tony didn't have a very good 40th birthday in '06 (he was recovering from a knee injury), I decided to take him somewhere cool for his 41st -- Universal Studios!

Harry Potter is practically a member of our family, so the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was a big deal at Camp Crum. Tony went to the midnight release party at our local Border's dressed as Lord Voldemort:
Lord Voldemort goes to the Harry Potter release party
I went to sleep early but spent the next day reading the entire book.


August began on a sad note, as we watched our dear feline friend Bubbles grow weaker and weaker. We said goodbye to her on Aug. 9th, and we still miss her.
Bubbles, 1988-August 9, 2007

The rest of the month passed quickly. First, a Night Ranger concert:

Next, a family reunion, where Jerry met a couple of his cousins for the first time:

And finally a weeklong adventure in Alaska:



September = Def Leppard month! Three concerts over about three weeks!
Def Leppard at White River Amphitheater, 9/26/07

Oh, yeah, and Tony and I celebrated our 16th anniversary with a trip to the Oregon Coast:


Like August, October began on a sad note, when one of Tony's high school friends died. We drove down to Eugene for the funeral, which turned into a mini-reunion of family and friends.

About a week later, we headed back to the coast for our annual church retreat at Camp Magruder.

Then of course there was Halloween.
Kristy, Matt, Tony, and me at John's party:

Trekking through the San Joaquin Delta the day after the party:

Goofing off at a pumpkin farm on Sauvie Island:

And Halloween night:


Finally an uneventful month.


Black 'N' Blue concert

A quiet Christmas, followed by a trip to Mt. Rainier to enjoy some snow:

And that's about it for 2007. It was a pretty good year, and it passed much too quickly. It doesn't seem possible that it's been a year since Y & T melted my eardrums on New Year's Eve. I hope 2008 goes a bit more slowly, but somehow I doubt it will.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A white Christmas in Portland!

What with holiday preparation, celebration, and recovery, I haven't managed to post much lately. Christmas was hectic but fun... and white (sort of). It snowed most of the day here in Portland, and a dusting of the white stuff stuck around for a few hours. Those of you from places that actually get real snow may laugh, but for us that counts as a white Christmas, the first one since 1990, I think. Here are a few pics:

Looking down from my back deck:

Front yard:

Snowy primroses:

My son managed to scrape together enough snow for a few good snowballs, so he was happy.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Among the trite and true notions about human nature, none is more so than the fact that the majority of people care more for what they do not have than for what they do have. This legacy of our original parents is the foundation of progress. It supports all such improvements in living as the discovery of the spear, America, and the garbage compacter. It subsidizes credit cards and divorce lawyers."

Michael Malone in Dingley Falls

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Top 30 Failed Technology Predictions

Ah, hindsight... Listuniverse's Top 30 Failed Technology Predictions are quite funny now, but many of them were made by the leading men of the day. It just goes to show that predicting the future is more difficult than we might think. When I was a kid, we heard predictions about flying cars and space stations on Mars, but I don't think anyone ever imagined a worldwide network of computers that would bring people together, help old friends reconnect, and enable an average person like me to post her words for the world to see. I still want my flying car, but I'm pretty impressed with the miracles that have taken place in the last 30 years.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Black 'N' Blue reunion show

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Instead of staying home twiddling my thumbs, I actually went out Saturday night. My friend Amy came up from Springfield, and she, Tony and I went to see Black 'N' Blue with Karen and her friend. They played at a club downtown off Burnside, which turned out to be a pretty decent venue. When we got there, people were busy milling around and drinking, so we were able to stroll right up to the front, where we settled in for the night.

Sugarcookie was up first. They're a local band that plays mostly classic rock covers--Billy Idol, U2, and quite a few others I don't remember. They sounded good, and Amy found the guitarist especially entertaining.

Then it was time for the main event--Black 'N' Blue! All the original members were there, and you'd never guess they hadn't played onstage together in four years. Their set included the usual favorites--Hold On To 18, Miss Mystery, Nasty Nasty, Wicked Bitch, I Am The King, Rockin' On Heaven's Door, etc., plus Violent Boy and a cover of the Sweet classic, Action. The sound wasn't mixed well, but they sounded great anyway. And since we were in the very front, we got to experience rock 'n' roll the way it was meant to be--loud, raucous, and even sweaty (thanks, Jamie, for sweating on us and even accidentally spitting on us once). There were a few other benefits too, like shaking hands with various band members, watching Tommy Thayer play solos about six inches from my face, and having Jamie St. James knock on my head during "Rockin' On Heaven's Door" "School of Hard Knocks." Have I mentioned that I love front row?

For those of you not lucky enough to be there, here are a few souvenirs from the evening:

Video I shot of "Action":


Amy helps out with the fundraising raffle:
Amy struts her stuff

Jamie St. James, who now sings with Warrant:

Tommy Thayer, who's now with Kiss:

Patrick Young and Jeff "Woop" Warner:

Pete Holmes:

After Black 'N' Blue's set, various band members jammed with some of their special guests.

Mark Ferrari of Keel:
Mark Ferrari of Keel

John Thayer (Tommy's brother):
John Thayer

I posted a bunch more pictures in my Flickr account.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Online Class: Social Bookmarking Resources

I don't usually blog about work stuff, but I'm going to make an exception. Some colleagues and I are teaching an online class for library staff on Web 2.0 tools and resources. The content is divided into modules, each one lasting a week. I've been teaching for the last couple of weeks, and I have a couple more weeks to go. Because of the online format, I've created quite a bit of written documentation for the students, stuff I would normally cover with face-to-face instruction. I'm going to share some of that material here on my blog, in case someone might find it useful.

My first module dealt with social bookmarking services:, Furl, and StumbleUpon, as well as the social news sites Digg and Reddit. For that module, I created the following materials:


  1. Goals and Schedule:
  2. Introduction to Social Bookmarking:
  3. Social Bookmarking Exercises:

Presentations and Other Materials

If you're a librarian or trainer and want to use these materials in your own instruction, you're welcome to do so. Just please give me credit and link back to the original documents.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Pretty flowers to brighten the long nights

This time of year, when the days are short, dreary, and wet, I look for color wherever I can find it. Luckily I don't have to go far, since the orchids in my kitchen are blooming. I wrote a complete blog post about orchids in my garden blog, Rainy Day Gardening, but I'm posting a few pictures here too, because they're so cheery and colorful. And after the storm this weekend, I appreciate cheery and colorful more than usual.

I don't know what species this one is. I got it on sale after it had finished blooming, and the tag was missing.

Oncidium Mtssa Royal Robe 'Jerry's Pick'

Cymbidium, variety unknown. I forgot to bring it in from the unheated greenhouse before the cold weather started, so it developed some brown spots on the blooms. Normally it's pure yellow.
Yellow cymbidium with some ugly brown spots

I hope y'all are warm and dry, wherever you are.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The case of the missing Firefox extensions

I'm something of a Firefox evangelist, quick to exhort any Internet Explorer users to accept Firefox as their browser of choice. Today, however, I encountered my first-ever serious problem with Firefox. I feel betrayed. Firefox, how could you? After all I've done for you, all the IE-using heathens I've converted, and this is how you repay me?

It all started when I tried to save a bookmark to my account. My extension was gone. Huh? I looked at my add-ons and saw it listed, but when I tried to edit the options for it, Firefox froze. Not good. Then I noticed Zotero was gone. Zotero, home of my burgeoning online library of gardening articles... gone. Uh, oh...

After snooping around on the web for a bit, I learned that a recent Firefox update, to ver., caused some users to lose their extensions. The next upgrade, to, doesn't fix the problem. I tried several suggestions found on various message boards, but nothing worked until I took drastic action. So, fellow Firefox users, if you encounter this problem, get yourself some junk food for sustenance and try this:

  • If you have any data in Firefox that you want to save, back up your current Firefox settings. To do that, copy the folder containing your Firefox data someplace safe, like a USB drive or CD. On my Windows XP box, my Firefox application data can be found at C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Mozilla.
  • Uninstall Firefox (use Control Panel -> Add and Remove Programs). Delete the Firefox folder from step 1 (not your backup copy, just the one on your computer).
  • Restart your computer and [gag... sputter] launch Internet Explorer.
  • Download a fresh copy of Firefox and install it. Install your favorite extensions and verify that they work. Close Firefox.
  • Copy over the data from your backed-up Firefox folder. Do NOT copy everything! You may overwrite your new extension info and possibly restore corrupt data, leaving you right back at step one. Instead, look through the folder and copy over only what you need, e.g. your bookmarks or data associated with important extensions.
  • Launch Firefox and verify that everything still works, and your data is there.

I still think Firefox rocks compared to IE, but this incident is a good reminder that even we Firefox users need to back up our data.