Growing up?

I suppose I can start off this post with an apology for staying away too long.  There has been a recent death in the family, which is why I was unable to…I believe, do anything at all on the computer, yesterday (now that I think of it).

Actually, no — I did finalize my class schedule for Summer (if all goes well on their end, I am good to go), although I am hoping that this is going to be a class that I really want to take.  I still have yet to do anything about the required books, which I should get on as soon as I can, but until yesterday, I hadn’t been committed.  Right now I’m on a break — M said that going in to work would be helpful in getting my mind off of things.  I’m not sure if that’s correct (for me), but I only have a little more ways to go, anyway.  Right now, though, I’m skipping lunch to write this.

I am wanting to post some of my photos from the other day, under a Creative Commons license.  Basically, my hesitance to post anything at all has to do with not wanting to be ripped off or have to go to court to prove that I took the photos, therefore they are my intellectual property.  Creative Commons kind of works around that issue by acknowledging that anyone (including me!) can use them.  I’m not really a litigious type, but the concept of intellectual ownership of images (“I looked at it, it’s mine!” [?]) is kind of…well, a bit scary.  I don’t have the photos with me at the moment, but I can look them over once I’m back at my normal workstation.

It was actually really peace-inducing to go out, the other day.  The thing with photos, especially photos of flora, is that the light is never going to be the same again, and the plants are never going to be the same again.  It applies strongly to images of blossoms — they’re so temporary.  I have been giving thought to photographing the people in my life as well, though my life has been so full of staged photographs of loved ones that maybe it turned me off.  Most of my photos are of natural things (my aunt was telling me that one of the counters used in Japanese depends on whether something has blood or not, heh — I take pictures, mostly, of things “without blood”).

In any case, I’m doing probably better than would be expected.  It’s kind of difficult to know what to feel in these situations; I’ve been advised to just let myself feel what I’m feeling.  Of course, there is the fact that it’s hard to know exactly what happens when someone dies.  I’m just hoping that the person who is gone is in a better situation now than he was, before.

There is also the fact that I’m in my mid-thirties and not entirely independent, yet; which makes the prospect of my own family no longer being able to help me, be a scary thing.  I do have people around me who would help me out, though, even if one or both of my parents died.  I’ve been told that the conversations have already taken place, so not to worry.  It is weird, though, having memories from when my parents were half their current age!

I suppose I have lived a long time with them.  The time I spent in student housing at college was the only time I’ve lived alone.  It was…an experience, I guess?  😉  I was at a relatively strange school, so…

Right.

Right now, I suppose, all I can do is hold down my current job or get a new one, and try my best to graduate actually with the Master’s.  The good thing about taking a technology-oriented track is that there are some things I’ll be able to carry away with me, even if I somehow end up failing.

But, it’s hard to learn without taking risks.  And my Vocational program plus the grant I got last year are defraying the monetary risk, somewhat.  I’m still thinking that maybe I should be actually applying for scholarships, and engaging more with the school.

For instance, I have worked out a system under which I’ll be able to take everything I will need to, for the Digital Services track (though I am not sure this applies to my County’s Virtual Library positions — I might want to make some inroads to speak with the new person in charge of that).  However, I’m not sure it’s optimal — I have four semesters remaining during which my classes will all be valid — two Spring, and two Fall.

I know what to take in the Summer following this one, as well.  I’ve got the course rotations somewhat in hand, so I know what is given in only Fall, or only Spring.  I also have searched out what I can of course prerequisites, so that I should be taking one of the only courses I need which will open up new courses to me, this Fall.  The major issue is whether it’s optimally arranged.  As best I can envision it, I would have to email a copy of my spreadsheet to a Counselor.

I just…am shy, have been shy, that’s part of the reason I’m in an iSchool (besides the fact that doing otherwise requires relocation).  I mean, I didn’t even want to get the social media accounts that I had to, for the program.  This is the major reason why I’m not hot on being a Public Librarian — I’m ordinarily withdrawn, not gregarious, and some of my more outgoing coworkers even get strained by working Reference.

The Virtual Library sounds more like my style (I do worry about being attacked, at times — one of my coworkers in the past knew someone whom this had happened to), but I am not certain how many shifts they take, answering phone calls and chats.  And as technology continues to improve, the barrier between myself and my clients is likely to somewhat fall (for instance, video chat could become a norm).

Anyhow…I should get back to work.  And after that, it’s sure to be reading.  *sighs*

Growing up?

It’s so nice to get a day off…

Well, vacation (by which I mean my one extra day off between scheduling) is almost over.  The good part is that I am nearly entirely caught up with my work, from the time in which my main workstation was out of commission.  This is mostly due to marathon reading, yesterday.

It’s nice to know, at least, that my study and cognitive skills aren’t as diminished as I had expected.  Earlier this week, as well, I had a 4-6 page paper to turn in which turned into a 9-page paper because I did not read the requirements well enough (double-spaced! not 1.5-spaced!!).

At least the good majority of the work is out of the way.  I was seriously behind in my readings for my Database course (and still have yet to break into the optional ones).  I have one more reading to go, a late Discussion Topic on that reading, and then I can move on.  (– At least, so far as grading goes.  I’m fairly certain that I just got a 0/2 on the other Discussion Topic I missed, though I can probably still do the work, just for myself.)

Looking forward — I have the assignment to assemble a kit for (hypothetical) distribution within my Library.  Because the topic is a bit sensitive (but not forbidden) where it comes to publicly-funded libraries (well — I’d expect that anything catering to a minority audience would be, but especially if it falls within politics/religion/sexuality/gender/race [it’s not all of those at once, don’t worry]), I probably won’t broach the exact subject of my kit here.  I basically just picked the topic I did because of one of the newer under-served populations I’ve seen pop up, plus my own knowledge on the topic in question.

As regards anything having to do with Art or Creative Writing…that’s been, basically, on pause.  I have managed to make some headway in design on the mandala I wrote about, earlier, but have not reinstalled either Photoshop or GIMP2, without which — I don’t know how to reduce the DPI and compress the file size for Web publishing.  Nor do I know how to enhance photos without the help of a powerful image-editing program.  I can still take photos and upload them, but until I reinstall at least one of these programs, showing them to you all will be one of those things that probably just isn’t going to happen…

At least my data itself is secure, though.  (Backups.)  I’ve just spent a good bit of time looking through the folder where I keep the particularly nice photos — a bunch of them are higher-quality than I remember.  This is the first time I really let them fill the screen, though.  (A larger display size has a much different impact than a smaller one.)  I’m thinking of utilizing one of them instead of what I had settled on before, for my large canvas.

Do I wish I had taken more time out for art or writing, recently?  It probably would have been a more productive way to fill the hours I spent in bed, worrying about my computer — and I got nothing done then anyway, so I might as well have!

I am finding that the Database class is…interesting.  It’s creative work, but then it’s also very technical.  (Library work in general has been described as “socio-technical;” there are obvious questions that come up for me, like what we’re actually talking about when we’re talking about statistical correlations among members of a racial group.)  I’m planning on asking about the work of designing and constructing databases; it’s kind of fun for the “puzzle” and logic aspects of it.  I haven’t formulated my question, though; the concepts are still too fluid and fuzzy for me to get a good grasp on them.

I’m also new to design work that isn’t visually-oriented.  I kind of wonder what part of my psyche I’m utilizing in organizing surrogates (like catalog records), or in grasping what is meant by NT (narrower term) or BT (broader term) or RT (related term)…

I’m still not grasping all of it, by the way; but I have another three years to pin down the basics, so it’s not so bad.  😉

The farther in I get to the LIS field, though…the less certain I become of an ideal path.  I certainly have more respect for Public Librarians at this point than I used to, after gaining more insight into what their work is actually about (fulfilling community information needs).  Will I want to become a Public Librarian?  Probably not (although the job openings are less hidden), but I still respect them.

I also did come across an example of someone painting with gouache on top of gessoed cardboard; I believe this means that it is possible!  Heh.  I still need to try out my new colors, too.  Maybe I can make some time for it tomorrow, before I have to go to work and continue on with this week’s assignments…

 

It’s so nice to get a day off…

Taking a short break:

I have realized that I have only been awake for about five hours, today.  And I just realized that I left a load of clean, dry, unfolded laundry on the couch for about an hour and a half…

Well.  I didn’t open my blinds last night to get the sun this morning, because I was concerned about losing heat through my window…so I was only able to get the will to rouse myself at about 2:15 PM.  I don’t know why, other than the lack of light in my room…and the cycles of regeneration that come with being physiologically female.

I’ve just counted, and though I only have ended one reading tonight, I have seven pages of notes to show for today’s work, so far.  I’m going to have to get two or three more notebooks for my database course, at this rate.  It doesn’t help that the textbook won’t allow me to highlight the text in any meaningful way (programming error).

AND…I have found that my Learning Management System did not delete the two discussion topics I skipped over yesterday, meaning that things now are looking fairly unwieldy when I sign in.  (Overload is one of those things I don’t deal well with.)

Kind of makes me want to RAR and throw oranges at the wall.

But.

In any case, I do have a break from this, tomorrow.  It’s called work.  And then I’ll have two more days to immerse myself in trying to catch up.

*sigh*

I do have some thoughts on metaphysics that keep coming up, but right now I have the will in me to get back to work, so I think I will do that, and maybe write about whether or not anyone has a “soul” when I can’t stand it anymore.

Taking a short break:

Recovery

I’m so tired that I can’t really think really well, right now.

I am about a week behind in classwork, due to the system failure and my own freezing up during and after the system failure.  The good part is that I completed the work I needed to do…what is left are all the readings…and assorted other stuff.  I’ve decided just to let the two 2-point discussion prompts go, for this week.

Otherwise…I did make it out to pick up paints.  The store I went to was out of Holbein Flame Red; so I got Winsor & Newton Flame Red (which looks much more vibrant than any of the color swatches I’ve seen…not sure why, except either fading and/or resolution quality).  I also got Holbein Peacock Blue and W&N Intense Blue.  It came to me later that maybe I should have gotten a Phthalo Green instead of Peacock Blue, as the latter shade is a mix of Phthalo Blue, Phthalo Green, and Titanium White.  That is, if I got Phthalo Green, I probably could have mixed some variant of color close to Peacock Blue…and mixed a bunch more other colors with it, as well.

I did just get the one I did because it was gorgeous, though.  Plus, I needed a decent green-leaning blue to make intense greens (Intense Blue is also a Phthalo color, but apparently there are different shades of Phthalo Blue, even when it’s unmixed.  Thus you get Red Shade [which competes with Ultramarine], Green Shade, etc., for starters).

I haven’t gotten the chance to try these out, yet, though it might be a good thing to do when I’m too tired to do much, as now.  I could be working on my reading, and I don’t know exactly why I’m not.

I have showered already, though.  Maybe I should just get ready for bed.  I want to stay up, and I haven’t been up for that long.  I’m just sleepy, though.

Maybe it has to do with getting into the first actually cool Fall days…

And, I nearly forgot to mention:  I did reach out to a couple of people working in Information in a nearby Museum.  I don’t know why it occurred to me to do it today, but I took some time out of reading and just drafted a letter and sent it.  Yay me.

The thing is, I’m still not certain whether I should work as an Art Librarian or as a Cataloger.  Maybe they’ll be able to shed some insight…

Recovery

Computer failure

I am not thinking that many of my group members are checking this blog:  but last night, I realized that being locked out of the Start Menu on Windows 10 meant that I had no access to MS Word or WordPad, either.  (Searching was disabled.  Cortana was disabled.  The freakin’ date and time function was disabled.  The Action Center was disabled.  But I could still get online!–)

We tried various fixes we found online which were meant to work around the Start Menu not functioning; none of them worked.  We ended up reinstalling the OS from nothing, because I didn’t make a recovery disk, because I didn’t think that one day I would get an update which would disable key functions of my machine.

Until I hit the lack of access to any text-recording programs (meaning I had to switch to Google Docs for note-taking — I accidentally wiped out most of a response by accidentally hitting Ctrl+W, then intended to Copy+Paste my working document into a text program…UNTIL I COULDN’T FIND ONE…), I was planning to just try and deal with it until a fix became available.  But I couldn’t even pin an icon into the Taskbar.

The good part is that I still have all my files, but I now have to reinstall all my programs — and hope that the installs are clean.

From what I can tell, this was the effect of the Windows Update I got two days ago, corrupting my system files.  I had a Windows 10 machine which was upgraded from Windows 7.  The other Windows 10-native machines weren’t as negatively affected.

If Macs didn’t cost ~3x as much for a comparable system, and no one in my immediate family could help me AT ALL if something screwed up with it, I’d be looking more seriously at Apple.

And, yes, I have heard that there is another Windows Update going on right now, indicated by the fact that I got a notice on my secondary device, that I was almost out of disk space and did I want to delete the prior version of Windows 10?…(wait, and what OS was I supposed to use after this took place?)

Anyhow, I haven’t worked on school stuff all day because I’m kind of scared to access school using my mobile device…as it is not definite that the system failure was NOT a result of hacking, viruses, or malware.  I have found no evidence of any of the latter three options, however.  And I’ve been told that I’m not the only person with this problem.

The good thing is that I think I have until early next week before anything is due.  Gah.

Computer failure

On multimedia books

I’ve been using an e-reader to view new books.  It’s very convenient…it also brings to mind the possibilities of reading when one can, say, hyperlink to a different point in the book.  This has got to be one of the best things about having an e-reader — in addition to having the dictionary capability (easy lookup of unknown diction has the capacity to greatly influence literacy rates for the better).

Recently I downloaded a book on colored pencil art.  It has these hyperlinks within the text, kind of netting the book together.  That couldn’t have been in the paper version.  This means that the copy I downloaded was especially made for my reader — it wasn’t simply transcribed.  Another benefit that did surprise me, though…is that the images in my e-reader are sharper than the images in the printed book.  This is as though they used hi-res photographs that were not in the paper version.

I did look inside a print version of the book I’d downloaded, soon after I downloaded it.  There must have been some kind of feathering of ink on the page or something…I do have an HD display, but still.  I wouldn’t expect the photos in the digital copy to be higher quality (better color saturation, crisper delineations, even possibly larger size, though I didn’t directly compare) than in the print one!  In comparison, the print book has muddy colors, and the colors kind of mash together and make the image relatively blurry.  I’m not sure how much the backlit display on my reader is contributing to the clearer image, though.

I also found a sample comic to view on the e-reader.  I’m not sure this is wholly preferable, because I don’t have a tablet which accommodates a full-sized comic page.  This means that the images are smaller and the text can be hard to read.  But tapping on an image will magnify it; swiping will lead to the (chronologically) next image, magnified.

All of that to say, I’m curious to see where technology is headed, where it comes to interactivity, at the very least.  A giant dissuading influence which has kept me online and not reading paper books is the interactive nature of electronic media.  Most print books don’t have this.  But it’s why, in the past, I’ve played video games or gone online rather than watching TV or movies.  I don’t like being a passive observer — which the margins of the books I have read, can attest to.

Sometimes I can be reading things I don’t agree with and have a retort every two or three sentences (or every sentence, in the worst case I can think of).  It’s really hard to put up with — I almost feel like I need line numbers and a notebook next to me so I can argue at length against the text line for line, or insert thoughts that came up because of it.

In any case, an e-reader platform makes it so that — it would seem — maybe it will cost less to create books in color.  I’m not sure, because comic books and non-literary magazines and the like do take up a lot of memory because of their graphic nature.  Plus, one has to pay the artists.  But color printing seems really relatively expensive as compared to a book which is all black and white.  (I have had the chance to see offset color printers, which leads me to that conclusion.)

And then there’s the question of whether interactive books will still be books, as versus, I don’t know, something closer to a Web site.  Maybe there would even be social media functionality in there, which is something that I would like to do if I ever got into Web Programming…then that blends over into an experience which is multimedia, interactive, and social.  In that case, reading may no longer be an isolating experience, and it may no longer be passive.

I don’t know, it just got me thinking.  Kind of like I’ve been thinking about technical applications for skill in Animation.  I’m still not sure, given the above vision, what skills I’d need to make headway on it…nor am I sure that my best idea would be to gain the skills myself, more than start up a small company (or join a small company) and hire programmers, writers, artists, user interface specialists, etc.  If I wanted to do that…well, then, I’d need someone to manage the thing, wouldn’t I?  Would it have to be me?

It shifts me back into Business (as an entrepreneur), and Web Programming, when I’m trained as a writer and have been intending on illustration as a vocation.  I really think I’d be better off approaching an established corporation with this, though.  And it’s probably not a new idea…

I should probably try and get some sleep.

On multimedia books