Friday, April 25, 2008

Still Playing With the Toys

Well, the Twins lost to Cleveland last Friday night, 4-0, but it was still fun to visit the Metrodome and get my first glimpse of the new edition of the Twins. Watching the game was a little tricky as I was in the first phase of a weekend prep for one of those medical procedures one needs to go through when they hit a certain age. (I won't go into the details--it's probably not the kind of thing one talks about in polite society--but it did involve drinking a lot of fluids over a three day period and then looking forward to a Monday morning visit to a clinic that included, thankfully, a bit of sedation and a designated driver to get one home.) A friend of mine once said that "after 40 its just patch, patch, patch." But this was an important screening (all right, it was a colonoscopy) and one that everyone should have done to catch anything more serious. I wouldn't rank it up there with life's greatest moments, but I'm thankful it was done and that, barring anything else, I won't need to repeat the experience for another ten years. One web site that I find myself going to again and again when I have a medical question is WebMD. I'm sure there are others out there that provide similar useful information, but this one has been very helpful to me in answering any questions I might have. Another site that I stumbled across just now is from the Mayo Clinic. I've added it to my site and want to come back and explore this site some more. But enough on the medical front.

It's a little over a week since the deadline for the 23 Things On a Stick experience and I'm still having fun with the stuff I learned. I've added a number of new feeds to my RSS reader, put a few more books on my Shelfari shelf, added more web sites to my page (and edited a few more tags on same). I'm looking for a larger chunk of time to play around some more with my Flickr and Picasa sites. Given the weekend forecast (which includes the possibility of snow!!!) I might have some good "inside time" to do just that. I feel like these tools are really adding to both my productivity and knowledge base. One blog that I added to my reader is from RLG/OCLC. I knew about this blog earlier, but really hadn't explored all it had to offer. This is a valuable site, and one that will be very helpful in my work.

Closer to home on the professional development front (and the reason why I posted an image of Sherlock Holmes, as conceived by the artist Sidney Paget) is my celebrating the receipt of a grant from the University of Minnesota Friends of the Libraries. The award was presented at last night's annual dinner and will allow me to travel to England sometime in the next year to do some research on Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes. I am deeply appreciative of this award and look forward to sharing the results of my labors at some future date. I'm also celebrating the completion of a paper I'm popping in the mail this afternoon. I wrote it in response to a call for papers for a symposium on Doyle to be held in Canada later this year. I'm hoping the paper will be accepted for presentation at the conference, but won't know until sometime in the near future.

The Friends annual dinner was tied together with a most amazing event, the NOMMO African American Authors Series at which we had the honor and delight to listen to a reading by poet Lucille Clifton and be a part of a conversation with Ms. Clifton and U of M faculty member Alexs Pate. It was an extraordinary evening and made me want to read her poetry. My thanks to the Friends and the Archie Givens Foundation for making this evening possible. It was truly wonderful!

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