Centralparker’s Weblog

January 4, 2009


Filed under: Uncategorized — centralparker @ 4:32 pm

What did we ever do before Google??  It is the best.

A few thoughts on exploring Google as our final Great 8 adventure —

I asked a question “what is twitter?”  I had seen this term and was clueless about it.  I was sent to a YouTube video “Twitter in Plain English” by the same people who explained Wikis for our Great 8.

I use the feature Books under the dropdown “more ” for my personal reading bibliography.  It is just great.  You can add labels, ( I use Irish fiction, memoirs, 2008 among others).  Also, viewing the cover of the book is so helpful when I forget that I had read the title!!!

Last summer I downloaded Google Earth and was able to view the house we had rented in Ireland.  It was really almost whoozy feeling to watch the world spin by while moving overhead from Evanston to County Kerry. WOW

Google Maps allowed me to view the house I lived in until age 12 – the same house in which my mother was born in – very nostalgic to view this block on the West side of Chicago.

Our Evanston house is pictured incorrectly and the address comes up across the street so beware when answering reference questions or warn patrons about this.  BG and I tried to picture Barack Obama’s house recently with no luck.  This week I read in the paper that security factors removed the street view from Google.

Google images is a tremendous tool.

I enjoyed Lifehacker.

Thanks Great8 committee for this most valuable learning experience.


December 18, 2008

Peanut Butter Wiki

Filed under: Uncategorized — centralparker @ 3:44 pm

I was able to add to the WPL wiki!!  I added a book review and a restaurant review.  At first I was able to sign up but then was unable to compose my reviews.  Betty to the rescue!  It seems that popups were disabled on the computer in the Reference Office which stopped my ability to review.

I enjoyed reading all the reviews  on the Wiki.

November 24, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — centralparker @ 9:00 pm

Today I ventured into new territory.  Podcasts, although I knew what they were, have not been something I have tried.  First I listened to two men talk about the Onion.  I love this rag!  I laugh out loud at it.  A recent favorite issue reported that due to the downturn in the economy, NPR’s “All Things Considered” will now become “Most Things Considered”.  So, you know I am a fan.  Well this podcast was so boring I wanted to scream – stick with PRINT!!!  Next, I listened to a podcast at my bank’s website.  I forced myself to choose “Preparing for next year’s Taxes”.  You can only imagine how that one was.  Luckily it konked out in the middle.  My latest try was a link to National Geographic’s video podcast about the elephant refuge in Thailand.  I think this might be the place Lyn recently visited.  Well my WPL computer would not let me access this site without Quick Time so I decided to check it out at home.  I’ll report on this later if I have success.  On the whole I feel podcasts are very useful but are not something I would use.  (I also don’t use audio books.)


Filed under: Uncategorized — centralparker @ 5:13 pm

This morning I practiced IM’ing for the Great 8 experience.  I am familiar with IM from using it with my family and friends on AOL.  However, I had not actually used Ask Away.  I had two great experiences and would not hesitate to mention this service to patrons.  My first question was “I saw a black and white bird in a bush at my home in northwest Evanston.  What might this be?”  Librarian Laura from Falmouth, (Massachusetts??)  immediately responded with a .org site after searching “common backyard birds of Illinois! ” I think my avian friend is a downy woodpecker.

Next I requested info about attending a City of Chicago City Council meeting.  Librarian, “River” sent me a link to the City Clerk’s office with the date of the next meeting and how to reserve a seat.  I also learned that I could skip traveling downtown and watch a live webcast.  However, I still want the experience of watching aldermen in person.


November 15, 2008

Nobody puts Baby in a corner !

Filed under: Uncategorized — centralparker @ 7:14 pm

We saw the new musical “Dirty Dancing” last night at the Cadillac Palace Theater.  It was fun – long at close to 3 hours – but I enjoyed it almost as much as the movie which played many times at our house when our daughters were teenagers.  Penny is a sensational dancer who hails from the Joffrey Ballet.  I couldn’t take my eyes off her.  She is just beautiful.  Johnny is no match for Patrick Swayze ( who could be?)  The sets are very elaborate – everything moves.  The audience was filled with enthusiastic groups of girls and women.  The last scene, “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” was terrific and had people on their feet.  The choreographer was named Champion and we wondered if she is Marge and Gower’s daughter or granddaughter.

An interesting part of the evening was seeing the security around the Federal Building for President-Elect Obama.  Even after hours the curb was ringed with black vans and Homeland Security guys.  This is something to see – kind of gives you chills.

Cadillac Palace Theater

Filed under: Uncategorized — centralparker @ 7:13 pm

Count The Lights!

Originally uploaded by heyjude1764

This is really a special place to see an event.  Gorgeous marble in lobby, two sensational chandeliers in the theater, wide aisles and good sight lines.   I think it was once the Bismarck Theater, part of the Bismarck Hotel.

November 13, 2008

Databases A-Z

Filed under: Uncategorized — centralparker @ 1:09 am

As a Reference Librarian I have some familiarity with our online resources.  (I don’t think Betty would be too happy if I reported to never having used them!)

Some really useful ones are RefUSA for phone numbers and OCLC for books not available in our library catalog.  If I could only pick two favorites I would select Infotrac and the Chicago Tribune current and historical.  Infotrac is a magazine and periodical index.  I always use it when planning a trip to see articles that I might want to read about places to see, restaurants, museums, and of course, shopping.  Many articles are full text.  It is indispensable – when telling patrons about it I start with, “Do you remember using Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature?  This is the modern day form.”  Great for book reviews also.

I love the Chicago Tribune indexes.  Wow – how far we have come.  I remember reference questions such as “I saw a recipe for squash soup in the Trib.  Can you locate it for me?”  Now we can in no time.  The Historical Trib is fascinating.  I recently looked up my brother’s and father’s obituaries.

Random thoughts on other databases:

Heritage Quest is great for quick census searching.  I found out my paternal Grandfather was a “mail order fact checker” in 1920.  I am fairly certain he must have worked at Sears at Homan and Arthington as he could have walked there from his house on the West Side.

Consumer Checkbook is just OK in my opinion.  I tried to find a chimney sweep and none were close to my area.

I am trying to use Novelist more.  In the past I was not happy with their read-alikes but now they seem to be doing more than just matching up subject headings.  I was impressed that they had reviews of a new book I am reading that is fairly obscure.

We are so fortunate to have these tools.  Patrons are often amazed at what they can do for themselves online.

I would love to see us get a subscription to an art appraisal service such as Ask Art.  I think this community would value such a database.

October 30, 2008

Chicago History Museum

Filed under: Uncategorized — centralparker @ 12:15 am

The former Chicago Historical Society at Clark and North Avenue has a new name and a remodel, The Chicago History Museum!  www.chicagohistory.org   This has been my favorite Chicago Museum since my girls were little and on free days from school we would visit here – especially enjoying the Pioneer Life exhibit in the basement.  We would then purchase the handmade beeswax candles made by volunteer “pioneers” in the gift shop.  For years these were my hostess gifts.  This exhibit is no longer but you can still see the bed that Abraham Lincoln died in!!

Two current exhibits are just terrific.  They did a great job on “Catholics in Chicago”.  This is a multi-media presentation with an audio tour also.

On a much different note – see “Chic Chicago” – a beautiful display of gowns wore by Chicagoans through the ages.  The museum proves that although our city was known as “the hog butcher to the world”, its wealthy female shoppers did not miss a trick in their appreciation of fine couture fashion.

I am posting the butterfly dress from flickr.

Charles James
“Butterfly” ball gown, 1954
Silk chiffon, taffeta, and net

James originally designed the Butterfly for Mrs. William Randolph Hearst Jr. at the price of $1,250. Made of pleated silk chiffon and twenty-five yards of nylon net, this version weighs eighteen pounds. Its most notable features are structured side wings and a back bustle skirt. Only five examples of the Butterfly are known to exist.

This gown is one of more than 60 couture pieces featured in the exhibition Chic Chicago: Couture Treasures from the Chicago History Museum

Charles James “Butterfly”

Filed under: Uncategorized — centralparker @ 12:04 am

Charles James “Butterfly”

Originally uploaded by Chicago History Museum

This gown in unbelievable!!!

Click on the picture to see more views of this dress and other gowns from “Chic Chicago” at the The Chicago History Museum.

October 23, 2008

How to….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — centralparker @ 5:09 pm

Crab stitch or reverse single crochet is a very popular stitch for finishing an edge of knitting or crocheting.  It has texture and it provides a stable, finished edge.  It can be tricky and just reading the directions from a book it might come out looking like a backwards single crochet.  This video shows the “twist” needed to achieve the correct stitch.  Thanks YouTube!  I will save this for future reference and will show it to my daughter.

This was my first video upload.  Jo and I plodded along and then had a tutorial from Lisa. Thanks, Lisa!

Next I want to learn to upload some videos of my grandsons that are on my computer at home.

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