Tuesday, April 30, 2013

the luddite has returned

So  I spent this last weekend at a library conference in Jasper Alberta.  The question most often asked after, who are you and where are you from was..."Why are you here?"  Well I am here to learn and get ideas on the future of libraries and how we can connect with students who think the staff sits behind their computers because they are busy doing 'something' and have knowledge of where the stapler is.  Both of which are technically true.  But sooooooo limited in its understanding.  So, I went to this great conference with a bunch of really great, if puzzled, Albertans.

The last session I took was on social media, by Wendy Hodgson-Sadgrove of Westlock Libraries.  Wow, informative to a luddite.  That, combined with the sea of tech and digital 'come on, join in, it's easy, it's great" that is going around these days, and a rental car so new it hadn't seen 200k when I picked it up, lead me leap into the technological age.


So, I am driving my amazing techno car toward Edmonton to catch my afternoon flight.  I get onto the loop de loop which I have viewed on Google maps (21st C marvel).  I follow the luddite signs, and go around, and round and round and am careening along at 110k in a 110k zone, virtuous me, when it dawns on me that there are no signs saying 'this way to the Edmonton International'.  No plane icons, nada.  Well thinks I, what a great situation to use the much vaunted On Star.  I reach fatally for the small blue botton on the rear view mirror.

"Am on on the right road to the Edmonton International Airport?" "Yes ma'am you are on the right road.  Do you want me to send the instructions to your car?"  Well, what the heck. "Okay."

Bong, turn right 100 yards south on X street.  Yards?  Yup, America has landed in the car and we are going south in yards, and miles.  Miles!  Okay, I can do this.  I turn on the street and see the city looming up before me.  Hummm.  If I really was on the right road, why am I being sent into the city?  The Anthony Henday should shoot me right past the entry way to the airport.  Perhaps I got on and was heading north, not south and this is the fastest way.  She said I was going the right way, she's got the car located through some high up satellite or something.  Hummm.  Then I see it, ahhhh, an airplane icon on a sign, yes yes come this way.  Bong turn right, here.  Here?  I can't the cars are tight beside me, the intersection is, was, right thereeeeee.  Humm.  You have gone off the assigned route, do you want to reroute?  Say yes..... YES.  Execute a legal and safe U-turn.  Uturn?  Are you nuts, here?  My flight is leaving now in one hour and fifteen minutes and I still need to return the wonder car.  Bong.  I see another airplane sign.  Oh good I can do this myself....Edmonton City Centre Airport.  Aaaahhhhh.  Press the blue botton again.  Oh, ma'am I am so sorry.  Let me send you the correct directions.  Bong.  Turn left here.  Not in the correct lane?  Too close to the intersection before I alerted you this was the one you were suppose to turn on?  Execute a safe and legal U....My thanks to the kindly elderly couple who gave me directions.  My thanks to the WestJet crew who got me on the next flight and the airport staff who where very good with me in my frazzled state.  And especially thank you to the East Indian doctor selling chewing gum in the airport store who knew her drugs and loaned me her phone so I could confirm with a pharmacist.  Can we get that woman her Canadian credentials please.

So, I return home a confirmed luddite.  Give me a paper map and keep those kindly Americans away from me.  I am quite taken with kindly Albertans though.

Friday, April 5, 2013

signs of spring...or sanity

I am processing the new books. I think the women in cataloguing have been hording, for suddenly I cannot find the surface of my desk, or the chair, or sometimes even my work station.  But amid the pile, and as you might know I have moved from Law (one college) to Natural Sciences (ten colleges) so the topics I have pass before me are much varied now, I found a small but hope filled pile:

Handbook of Green Information and Communication Systems
Harnessing Green IT
Energy-efficient Distributed Computing Systems
Green Networking
Green Communications and Networking

Oh joy, someone other than little me has noticed this new marvel has a toxic underbelly that needs dealing with.