make your own manga avatar

August 15, 2008 at 3:39 pm (Uncategorized)

I’m not usually into the cool new thing that everyone is doing, but I had to make a manga avatar after seeing lots of my Flickr contacts creating one. Just go to (you may have to update your browser’s Flash player) and piece your manga self together. I’ve been delighted with how much some of these look like their real life counterpart.



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photo digitization

August 15, 2008 at 3:35 pm (Uncategorized) ()

I am really into scanning and preserving photographs.  I scanned tons of historic photos from both sides of my family and Flickred them, but I still have lots from my childhood and adolescence that I plan to scan someday.  (Ah, yes, the ever elusive someday when I will have all that free time….)  I just read a NYT article about ScanMyPhotos – they will scan 1000 photos for $50.  Check the article for the fine print and more information.  I’m still very interested.
Dad and "punk" girls, halloween [1982?]

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new myspace navigation

June 18, 2008 at 12:35 pm (Uncategorized)

new myspace navigation
Originally uploaded by webchicken

MySpace launched a new top-level navigation bar today. Usability has never been their strong suit – in fact, the site was designed very poorly from the beginning. I use this site often only because I have so many friends on here. (Flickr is still by far my favorite social networking tool, even though I’m a novice photographer.)

I am happy with the recent MySpace updates, saving me several clicks – allowing the user to go directly from any page to basic functions without having to first go Home.

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changes, shopping serendipity

May 12, 2008 at 3:25 pm (Uncategorized)

Once the “office” upstairs at my house officially becomes the nursery, the computers, books, and files (and gerbils!) will need to find a new home. I plan to give away tons of books (gasp!). [If you are interested in feminism or women’s studies, I’ll load you up for free!] I also want to get a new, larger filing cabinet that I can keep in the bedroom that won’t be too atrocious. My iMac will be moving downstairs, but I really wanted a new computer desk that matches the downstairs decor.

David told me on Saturday he had seen a nice computer desk at Staples for $69. I went on their Web site and found the same desk – with an attached bookcase (extra shelves) – for the same price, including free shipping! I ordered right then and it arrived this morning. When looking for an image on their site today, I see the price is now up $60 from that. Great timing!

Z-Line® Onyx Computer Desk and Bookcase, Clear Glass with Black Frame

Now I just need a black vertical filing cabinet that is higher than 2 drawers. Or maybe I should weed some of my files, too…

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May 5, 2008 at 1:46 pm (Uncategorized)

I believe I have gushed before about how much I appreciate my job and my boss, but allow me to do so again. It is an indescribable feeling to know that I am trusted completely to make the right decisions and that I will always be backed up.

I have worked for my library system for 10 years as of yesterday, and all of the positions I’ve had here have been pretty flexible. I enjoy being able to take on new challenges, test new technologies, and try new things.

There have been some tempting job openings in the last couple of years, but knowing how good I’ve got it currently makes me want to stay in my current situation as long as possible.

Speaking of staying in a current situation, when I got pregnant I decided to opt of teaching in the fall semester (I’m due in October). However, the more I reflected on it, the online nature of the course I teach makes it ideal and I’ve decided to continue for a fifth semester. I have tweaked the course each semester, but am pretty happy with the current setup. This semester I began using a wordpress blog to primarily run the course management, using the ‘official’ course management tool for private discussion board postings and grade keeping. This worked out extraordinarily well and will allow me to set up the entire semester ahead of time.

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my first moblog

April 28, 2008 at 8:55 pm (Uncategorized)

emailed from my new phone! It worked!
Originally uploaded by webchicken

My PDA died last week and I received a replacement phone today. My PDA had an onscreen (and slideout) keyboard, so I was used to qwerty typing to enter info and send text messages. This new phone is a “regular” cell with standard features. I now have to thumbspell everything — I’m surprised at how quickly I’m learning to do it well. This phone also has a camera and I never was able to email properly from my old phone. I’ve now discovered how to email photos directly from my phone to Flickr. I can’t wait to explore the other stuff I can do!

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public library bans MySpace, Facebook

March 18, 2008 at 8:48 pm (Uncategorized)

Mishawaka PL Bans Social Sites by mstephens7

No MySpace, Facebook at Mishawaka library: Director blames behavior of teenagers using Web sites

I’m at a loss as to how to even respond to this. As I commented on Michael’s screenshot, I use myspace and facebook to communicate with my friends, family, and students. I’m an adult, a taxpayer, a college instructor, and now – a saddened and angered librarian. I’m happy to report that I don’t think most librarians in our system would allow this happen on their watch.

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February 19, 2008 at 3:30 pm (Uncategorized)

I am a big fan of the Golden Compass. Iorek Byrnison was one of my favorites. (You can barely see him in the display above Dean’s head – on the right.)

@ Golden Compass
Originally uploaded by webchicken

I was doing some reference work today, using the CIA’s World Factbook (my choice for up-to-date country information) and I noticed that Svalbard actually exists! It even includes Bjornoya (Bear Island)!

I always thought it was imaginary. Well, I suppose the bear castle and gateway to other worlds may be imaginary, but I didn’t know there is a geographical place in existence called Svalbard. I love my job. Learning cool stuff all the time!

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I hate captchas

February 18, 2008 at 7:48 pm (Uncategorized)

Dude. Can I tell you how much I hate captchas? You know, the “type the letters you see into this box so we know you’re not a robot” action. When I’m signing up for an account, sure, I can take it. I’ll enter your captcha so you know I’m legit.

But when I’m trying to leave a comment on a blog, logged in as a Blogger user? Dude. Please don’t make me decipher the damn captcha.

captcha, I hate thee
Originally uploaded by webchicken

If I follow your blog, maybe even leave comments, do me a favor, would ya? Turn off captchas. Do you think it really cuts down on spam comments? I allow anonymous blog comments and have not had a spam problem as of yet. I may love you, and love your blog, but I gotta say – I hate captchas.

(Typing “captcha” repeatedly in this post has reinforced how much I loathe them.)

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go green! how high?

February 18, 2008 at 1:28 pm (Uncategorized)

I would say I’m an environmentally minded person. I am mindful of unnecessary water usage, I recycle, and try to not use “things” when I don’t need them. When I can, I carry my few groceries in my pockets in lieu of getting a bag. I refuse to buy disposable cleaning wipes when I can use a rag. But flossing got me.

Yes, flossing. I have never been a good flosser, even though my awesome dentist and hygienists tell me it’s the best thing I can do to keep my mouth healthy. I went to the dentist a couple of weeks ago and am determined to finally be a better flosser. And I’ve been very good – flossing every night, with the exception of just a couple of times.

Originally uploaded by mstephens7

But I can’t stand regular dental floss. It is much harder for me to use and my fingers always turn all purple from losing circulation. I use the little plastic thingies and have a much better success rate. But I feel terrible about the waste I’m creating. I wonder if they make them biodegradable?

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