Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Concept stores will have digital centers where customers can mix and burn their own CD's, download books and music, publish books, explore family history, and create photo books. They will of course continue to sell books, music, and movies but will focus on popular topics such as travel, cooking, and childrens books by having kiosks set up throughout the store with large flat-panel LCD screens and expert staff. The new stores will be a little larger than their traditional bookstores, will carry over 170,000 items, and employ over 75 people. They will also be more environmentally friendly by using energy efficient light bulbs, skylights, enery efficient HVAC equipment, low-flow toilets, and by using earth friendly cleaning products.
The Decider in TS told me about these new concept stores because several people in our area have been downloading music and burning CDs for the iHCPL project.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I didn't get choosen for a jury but had a nice time anyway talking to the people sitting by me. One woman was from Crosby and said how much she liked to read so I asked her if she used the Crosby branch of HCPL. She said she did but that she had read everything in the library that she liked. She didn't know that she could request books from other branches and that she could do it all online. I also told her that a lot of the books she likes are also availabe on CD. She seemed very happy to learn all of this so I suspect the Crosby branch will be seeing a lot more of her.
It's an exciting time in Houston with all the presidential candidates and their families campaigning here. Bill Clinton spoke this morning at the Fiesta very close to where I work. I would have gone before work and heard him if I had known in time, even though I voted for Obama yesterday. McCain will be at Rice sometime this week to speak to the students. Hillary, Chelsea, Barack, and Michelle have all spent a lot of time here the last few weeks.
Monday, February 25, 2008
MOG is a MySpace style site that tracks the music you listen to and puts you in touch with other people with similiar tastes. There is also information and blogging about concerts and favorite albums, songs, and websites. I'm not interested in social networking but found MOG good for music news and for searching songs and artists.
Imeem is similiar to MOG but allows user to interact with each other through blogs, photos, audio, and video. It also has a playlist feature that allows the user to collect and play content from several sources and have it rated (like Youtube)
I had a lot of fun playing around with JamStudio which is a free online music studio. It was pretty easy to use and could be addicting. I didn't create anything worth saving but did have fun trying out all the different instruments and sounds. After creating the song there is the option of sharing with and being rated by others.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Everytime I vote I remember voting with my mom when I was really little. I believe it was at Mark Twain Elementary. The booths were large and had black curtains which you could close with a lever. When we got inside the booth and closed the curtain she let me pull the levers to vote. I probably voted for republicans. Sigh.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Liberals believe in reading actual books, going to war as a last resort, separating church and hate, and doing what Jesus would actually do, instead of lobbying for upper-class tax cuts and fantasizing about the apocalypse.
Liberals believe in civil rights, the right to privacy, and that evolution and global warming aren’t just theories but incontrovertible scientific facts.
Liberals believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment that (1) prohibits another Bush from ever occupying the White House, and (2) prevents George W. Bush from ever becoming baseball commissioner before he does to our national pastime what he did for America.
Liberals believe in rescuing people from flooded streets and rooftops, even if they’re too poor to vote Republican.
Liberals believe that supporting our troops means treating our wounded vets like the heroes they are, and not leaving them to languish in rat-infested military hospitals under the outsourced management of incompetent cronies who think they’re running a Taco Bell franchise.
Liberals believe in pheromones, sex ed, solar panels, voting paper trails, the common good, and that, no matter how fascinating a story it may be, a president should never sit around in a state of total paralysis reading "My Pet Goat" while America is under attack.
And above all, liberals believe that it’s time to come together as a country and put a collective boot in the ass of shameless conservative fearmongers, hate merchants, and scapegoaters who are sucking the freedom out of all our souls.
"Colgate-Palmolive and Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation have teamed up this year to help children with Sickle Cell Disease and their families cope with the pain, fear and isolation of this terrible disease. By providing FUN CENTERS in hospitals, these children can forget about their illnesses for a moment and remember how to have fun."
Children's Memorial Herman Hospital in Houston is one of the places in the running for a Fun Center. We are currently number one, but by a small margin so every vote is important. Click on this link below to vote. You can vote once a day through the end of the month.
How nice that he wants to wait until all the facts are in before lynching Michelle Obama. Certainly anyone who feels that this nation is flawed deserves no less.
This is probably the most hateful thing O'Reilly has ever said on the air, and that's saying a lot. He should be fired but he won't be because there are people who still believe the sh*t that he spews out nightly. These are the same people who would never vote for Obama, or any African American for president. If this country is bad or flawed, it's because of people like O'Reilly and his followers.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
What a great example of democracy in action. Cheers to all the students and their supporters for standing up for their right to vote, despite all the attempts over the years by Waller County officials to stop them.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Here is what some Africans and people who work in Africa have to say about him and the Pepfar program:
"This is the best thing that ever happened to the poor people I work with. It's one of the few times I've seen US government money really reach down to the poorest of the poor. It's kept a hell of a lot of people alive."--Edward Phillips, a Catholic priest who distributes HIV medicine in Nairobi.
"I look at all the blood this man has on his hands in Iraq and I can't quite believe myself but I would say it's a bold experiment from the last people in the world I would expect to do it, and it is saving a lot of lives. To intervene on such a scale and make such a difference is huge."--Dr. Francois Venter, head of the HIV Clinicians Society in South Africa.
"The scale of the money coming in has really changed everything. If someone in a household has HIV it used to be we only focused on them. Now we look at the health of everyone in the household because if a parent has HIV that has implications for their ability to provide and care for their children. We can now treat the children for other diseases because that is a consequence of HIV in the household." --Anne Smith, head of CHF in Kigali.
"Then they said they could make us well, they have these drugs. So I got tested and I have the drugs. George Bush has helped us live."--Linda, a prostitute in Kigalia.
The program has come under attack because of it'e emphasis on abstinence and because of the use of religious organizations in the program, but it is clear from the article I read in the Guardian, where I got the information for this entry, that Pepfar is working.
Finally, something nice I can say about Bush. And yes I do know he didn't do any of this for humanitarian reasons, something he knows nothing about. And I also know it's not a perfect program, but it is something.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
2. I still listen to CD's and will probably not get an MP3 player any time soon. I just, 2 years ago, switched from a cassette player in my car to a CD player.
3. Thoughts on file sharing. I think it could help some artists who are not as well known as others by allowing consumers to sample music before buying. That was the case for me when I happened upon the free download of the day from music.download.com. The price charged by legal download sites such as iTunes is cheaper than the price of one CD so hopefully enough people will use these sites and not download illegally. With so many people sharing files and downloading music it would be impossible to stop the practice anyway.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Odwalla (Coca Cola)
Morningstar ( Kellogg)
Horizon (Dean Foods)
Boca Foods ( Kraft)
Earth’s Best (Heinz)
Cascadian Farms (General Mills)
Naked Juice (Pepsi)
It's a good thing that organic brands are becoming more mainstream and available in stores other than health food stores. I'm a little leary about eating foods owned by Kraft or Pepsi though. My favorite brand, Amy's, I'm happy to say, is not owned by a large food company yet, as far as I can tell.
Monday, February 11, 2008
After a few months off, the next step of the HCPL learning 2.0 program is back with iHCPL the Next Generation. The first assignment is all about sound.
For this assignment I looked at several types of sites for music downloads. Napster has over 3 million tracks which you can listen to free up to 3 times. After that it is .99 per download or a $15.00 monthly fee. iTunes features roughly the same number of tracks for .99 each, with unlimited CD burns.
I also looked at a free site, music.download.com which offers a different album each day for free. I ripped a song by Iron and Wine to my computer and then put it on an MP3 player that I borrowed. I did this a few times with different songs from this album so that I would feel comfortable with the process. I had to listen to the songs to make sure they were really on the MP3 player and in the process discovered a new artist I like. Here is what entertainment said about Iron and Wine and Sam Bean, the artist: "Based in Miami, of all places, [Beam] launches balloons of sweetly whispered regret over trance-inducing backwoods string arrangements and watches them float away, his heart in tow."
I have listened to several radio stations on my computer at work including KPFT and KUHF. Most radio stations I have looked at have website listening. I also opened up an account on Pandora which is a customizable internet radio service. It is part of the Music Genome Project started in 2000. Pandora recommends songs and artists based on other artists or songs that you like and then plays them for you.
Thanks manic elegies for help with the MP3 player!
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Friday, February 8, 2008
I know it's just one poll and polls are often wrong but I'm convinced even more that Obama needs to be the nominee.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Mitt Romney withdrew from the presidential race today saying: "In this time of war I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror. Because I love America, in this time of war I feel I have to now stand aside for our party and for our country."
What a nobel man and what a nobel gesture. He's taking himself out of the race because he would rather support McCain who will keep us in Iraq for years and years to come than have a democrat in the White House.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
You can find out more here: http://fundrace.huffingtonpost.com/
I just went to this web site and it's pretty neat. Here is a description:"FundRace makes it easy to search by name or address to see which presidential candidates your friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors are contributing to. Or you can see if your favorite celebrity is putting money where their mouth is."
I checked my name and didn't find anything although I have given money to Obama. I found out that contributions have to be over $200 for them to show up on the database.
These pictures show what a diverse background he has.
I wish he had won more states/delegates last night. The upside is that Texas may play a decisive role when we have our primary in March and my vote won't be wasted. I heard this morning that there may be a debate here before the primary which I would love to attend.
According to the people who study these things, as an older white woman I should be suppporting HRC and not Obama. For me it's all about the war. Her vote in congress was wrong and she knew it. She voted that way because she thought it was the best thing for her politically. Even now she won't admit her mistake. I don't want another person in the White House like this.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
Here is a list of the choices:
Traditional Texas. The plate features blue highlights with a gold Lone Star, and bold, red “TEXAS.”
Natural Texas. The entire plate is covered with wildflowers. (fourdogmom's favorite)
New Texas. This red, white and blue plate features a composite of modern landmark buildings from several Texas cities.
My Texas. This is the current general-issue license plate that was introduced in 2000. It features icons of the state, including a horse, space shuttle, and oil derrick.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
How often is Phil's prediction correct? 100% of the time, of course!
How many "Phils" have there been over the years? There has only been one Punxsutawney Phil. He has been making predictions for over 120 years!
Punxsutawney Phil gets his longevity from drinking the "elixir of life," a secret recipe. Phil takes one sip every summer at the Groundhog Picnic and it magically gives him seven more years of life.
On February 2, Phil comes out of his burrow on Gobbler's Knob - in front of thousands of followers from all over the world - to predict the weather for the rest of winter.
According to legend, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.
No! Phil's forecasts are not made in advance by the Inner Circle. After Phil emerges from his burrow on
The celebration of Groundhog Day began with Pennsylvania's earliest settlers. They brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day, which states, "For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May..."
Punxsutawney held its first Groundhog Day in the 1800s. The first official trek to Gobbler's Knob was made on February 2, 1887.
So the story goes, Punxsutawney Phil was named after King Phillip. Prior to being called Phil, he was called Br'er Groundhog.
Friday, February 1, 2008
Harris County sends more people to death row than any other prosecutor's office in the United States and it has been clear to the African American community in Harris County for a long time that they receive different treatment than white people. The racist emails along with the problems in the crime lab should convince the rest of this problem.
It was good to see all the protesters at the courthouse. There were more than 150 religious, community, and political leaders and I was happy to see that not all of the protesters were African American. This is an issue that we should all be concerned about, regardless of race. Everyone benefits if the right person is prosecuted and incarcerated for a crime. I was glad to see Councilman Peter Brown, a man for whom I have a lot of respect, outside the courthouse with the other protesters calling for the resignation of Rosenthal. Rosenthal refuses to step down but is not running for re-election. It's time for him to go. Several assistant DA's including Kelly Siegler should go as well.