Google Has Nothing On Us


What our Staff Intranet looks like today (since we are closed on Thanksgiving Day).  The pilgrim is our Network Administrator, Luis Salazar and the cornucopia incorporates our logo (designed by Danny Bouman our web programmer).

Happy Thanksgiving one and all.


It’s the Hi Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

Our web programmer, Danny Bouman, and I got our Staff Intranet ready for Halloween.  Wish I had had time to change all the blue images (wish it had been css instead much easier to change) but alas I could not.

Staff Intranet just before final changes:

After a few more cosmetic changes had been made:

No Woman is an Island

Forgive me John Donne (1572-1631) for taking poetic license.

I’ve been training staff members over the last 3-4 years (maybe more my memory ain’t what it used to be). It was something I stumbled into and found that I not only enjoyed but actually good at (or at least according to comments and evaluations). With each class that I taught, I’ve gained some insight. I love the give and take of training, the flow of not only energy but information. I believe that training should be a two-way street. It isn’t all about ME passing on information. I can learn a lot as well. I can learn what does or doesn’t work for a particular curriculum or for a particular learning style. I can sometimes learn a new way or shortcut of doing something even thought I thought I knew them all. To me it’s important to keep on learning as I help others to learn.

Recently I gave my first training for the public. What a great unknown that was for me. How computer savvy would they be? How do you create a training not knowing the skill level of your auidence? It was a good thing because I had gotten comfortable with training the staff and sometimes comfort can equate to being stale. The last thing I want to be is stale.

Most importantly this series of Web 2.0 classes wasn’t all about me. I wasn’t alone. No woman is an island or at least this woman wasn’t. So far the series has been pretty much a big success. I’ve been encouraged to offer this to staff and again to the public since we had such good turn out. But I could not have done this alone. So taking a nod from the Oscars….

I’d like to thank the academy:

  • Luis Salazar for diligently working to get me a viewsonic that gave a clear picture and worked with our Ubuntu laptop (at one point we had tried Ubuntu, Windows and Mac before we realized it was the viewsonic not the laptop)
  • Donna Metcalf for her support (attending a class) and helping Luis w/viewsonic issue.
  • Dennis Wood for being my AV man. He not only got me setup correctly on the sound portion but also tried to get the viewsonic working for another instructor in the Web 2.0 series.
  • Amy de Groff for allowing and encouraging me to do this. Also for her flexibility with my schedule (being boss and all).
  • Ruth Vargas and Danny Bouman for also being flexible and allowing me to switch my morning duties so I could present these classes at night.
  • Kim Ha for willing taking on a class on wikis (her passion) by herself.
  • Katie George for an outstanding job during our social networking class. I honestly couldn’t have done a better job and she was a hard act to follow.
  • Brian Auger for being willing to share our mutual passion of music and help me with tonight’s class on music social networking.
  • Fritzi Newton, photographer extraordinaire, for sharing her passion of photography and allowing me to sneak in a few moments about YouTube and Veho during Tuesday’s class.
  • my hubby for dealing with the dogs and dinner without me there – yes, dear we are a team
  • and most importantly the public for embracing this series so far

If I left anyone out it is not intentional.  I thank you all for helping me with this endeavor and I’ve learned a lot from each one of you.

Just Your Average Ordinary Kind Of Friday

…or maybe not.  Today was International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Who knew.  Obviously a couple of my co-workers, Danny Bouman and Donna Metcalf, did.  After a bit of bantering back and forth about it I logged into Friendfeed or should I say Frrriendfeed.

Oh the posts today on Friendfeed and Twitter have been quite amusing.  A lot of Arrrrr, Aye, Ahoy and Matey being bantered about.  Danny even got our Staff Intranet into the act

At first I thought this had all escaped Google’s attention but I should have known better.  They didn’t make it the main search page but they did include Pirate as one of their language pages.

It has been annoying (at first because everyone has changed their screen names so it was hard to figure out who was posting what), a bit fun (taking the pirate quiz gave me more than a few good chuckles), and a little musical (what else does one listen to today than Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance“.

Be grateful that I didn’t write this all in pirate speak.


Dirty Bess Flint

More than skin, skin, skin, skin deep

Title is a nod to Crack the Sky‘s “Skin Deep”.

Ah, beauty is a thing to behold. Beauty, they say, is only skin deep. Well “they” are wrong. In this case the real beauty is more than skin deep.

On May 28th at 5:30 am, Howard County Library launched their brand spanking new web site.

A much cleaner style, easier navigation than our previous site, quick easy pop-up contact forms as well as integration of Amazon and Google maps makes this something to behold. But what most people don’t get to see is it’s inner beauty. Danny Bouman our web programmer/architect/code monkey extraordinaire wrote the whole backend that we use to actually add the content to the web site.

Deep down this baby really rocks. He wrote the admin side to make it easier for our Marketing/Public Relations and Human Resources departments to add information. These folks are wizards at their jobs but most of them have no html, css, or php experience. Now they can add pages, put up front page blurbs (that highlight our classes & events), and add job openings with ease.

As someone who brought over content from the old site to this one I can attest to how easy and beautiful the backend is. I am extremely proud of what our web programmer has done. Many can’t see the real beauty but that doesn’t take away from the skin deep beauty of the site. WordPress has a quote “Code is poetry” so I’ll borrow that and add “Code is beautiful poetry”.

Note: And for those who want to know, yes – it is open source. We hope to have it out and available to the open source community sometime soon. If you can’t wait and want the source contact me and I’ll put you in touch with Danny.