Daily Thoughts

Self-Portrait of the authorMy focus today has mostly been on the semester’s final assignments. I did come across this post at BoingBoing People really, really suck at using computers, which reports on The Distribution of Users’ Computer Skills: Worse Than You Think over at NN/g. The summary makes the overall point of the article clear, “Across 33 rich countries, only 5% of the population has high computer-related abilities, and only a third of people can complete medium-complexity tasks.”

Every day librarians help users with computer-related tasks, and we’re starting to do much more. The article makes another crucial point not included in the summary, “In total, across the OECD countries, 26% of adults were unable to use a computer.” A quarter of adults are unable to use a computer.

Librarians provide a key resource to help the 95% of users that lack high computer-related skills. This next week I’m planning to share a plan to provide more opportunities in our libraries.

Planet of the Apes

I’ve always enjoyed the Planet of the Apes movies (except for the terrible ending of the Tim Burton version). I’ve enjoyed the recent series of movies and was excited to see the trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes.

I plan to be in the theater to see this one! The new Spiderman: Homecoming trailer looked like a lot of fun too. We don’t tend to go to the theater often. With the improvements to our local theater’s seating and operation, it’s much more enjoyable to go see a movie than it used to be. I’d like to get over to see Fantastic Beasts, and we’ve got to see Rogue One (of course)!


No, not the video game. The quakes in Oklahoma that I’m studying as part of my final for this data analysis class. I thought I’d share this quick visualization graphing the magnitude and depth of earthquakes each year. It’s pretty boring until 2010—and then watch out! One more tiny piece in this final project.


Daily Thoughts

Author's Self-Portrait Went out tonight to lock up our surviving chickens, and only Patty was in the coop. I put on boots and tromped up and around through the woods looking for Third without any luck. No sign of her. Nothing visible in the snow to show any sign of intruders. I got back to the coop, knocked the ice out of the water and took the empty bowl to the house to get it filled.

On the way back my light flashed across something by the back corner of the house—wait, what was that? Third!

She’d roosted on a tomato cage leaning against the wall. Snow covered her back. With the black and white feathers, in the dark with the snow, she was nearly unnoticeable.

Kate said that they’d been hanging out by the back door. We figured that when it came time for them to go to the coop it was already snowing hard. They probably walked along the back of the house until they were close to the coop, at which point Patty walked on through the snow and into the coop. Third, having never been in snow (she’s several years younger, we haven’t had snow like this since she’s been around), must have chickened out. Instead of walking through a few inches of snow she decided instead to perch on the very thin—cold!—wire tomato cage.

I picked her up and carried her to the coop and put her inside to keep Patty company. Crazy chickens.


Cover art for Definitive XML SchemaI’m finishing up my final for my XML class tonight. Nearly done with the test, but not the subject! Comments aside about the class (I’ve submitted my evaluation), I have much more to learn. Next up on this topic is a big book, Definitive XML Schema by Priscilla Walmsley.

Daily Thoughts

Self-portrait of the author I’ve been having trouble with the website lately, hopefully, it’ll get resolved. I’m getting 504 Gateway Timeout errors doing normal functions, like trying to access the dashboard and create a post. I’ve tried a few different hosts and I’d rather not switch again! Thanks to SiteGround’s excellent support I have a number of things to try out for improving the site. For now, I’ve disabled just about all of the plugins and will work on other options from there.

Earthquakes in Oklahoma

Waste water injection in oil wells in Oklahoma has apparently contributed to an increase in the incidence of earthquakes, as well as stronger quakes.

Graph of Earthquake magnitudes in Oklahoma

This graph summarizes both the increase in earthquakes and the increase in the magnitude of quakes. I’ll have a lot more in my final paper for this class.

Glittering Throng Press

Since I don’t have content right now at Glittering Throng Press, I’m going to use it as a test case for some new website work.

Multiple full-time jobs

When I look back over the past week I can see that I’ve been fairly busy. Most of what I’ve been occupied with has been work, writing has mostly focused around school work, and I’ve done some brainstorming around the revamp of tools for writers that I want to create.


The suite of tools that I’m looking at creating will be used to track progress on various projects, such as word counts, and much more than that. I’m also considering the possibility of creating an editor and features to track submissions and publishing tasks. This is all still very preliminary. Obviously I need to learn much more about coding webpages and web-based applications before I can create what I have in mind. It starts that with creating the tool that I want to use.


Outside of my day job, my other full-time activity is going to school. As a student at San Jose State University’s iSchool I’m taking three classes right now, for nine credits. With all of the studying, discussion posts, readings, lectures, and assignments — it ends up taking about 30 hours a week. It’s very interesting. I’m learning a lot of material despite having been working in libraries for a quarter of a century. It is keeping me busy though.

Writing and Art

One of the things I have been doing this week is practicing more with this speech-to-text software. I’m using it right now to write this post. I find it works really well to have the microphone plugged into the computer. I’ve a lot more control this way versus using the digital voice recorder during my commute. Of course it’s also time that I could be using the keyboard, but I can type pretty quickly just dictating. As I improve I expect will get better about using the dictation and he can be faster than my usual typing speed.

Ultimately that means I’ll have more opportunities to get my writing done. Despite work and school I do plan on getting more writing done. And more art. And more publishing. Right now those have taken a bit of a backseat to everything else in my life, I also need to watch my health and make sure that I don’t end up depressed again. I have been better about exercising each day. Have been alternating between lower body and upper body exercises each day. Today my upper body exercise had some variation as I went out side to move our chicken coop and all of the rocks and wet logs that anchored in place. The coop is a geodesic dome and without the anchors it tends to blow away if the wind gets too strong. The chickens don’t like that.

There is so much I want to do with my writing. There are books I want to get reissued, I want to finally be able to create the cover art that I dream about, and there are new books that I want to write. I also have some books that haven’t been released. Right now I just have to manage my time and see how much I can get done.