Monday, January 28, 2008

Blue 2.0: wiki work

Part of Blue 2.0 this week is to create a wiki. We were asked to use PBWiki as our platform.

So tonight I started playing with it. I had a hard time coming up with something to use a wiki for. Some of my thoughts were to use a wiki as a place to store and easily revise cataloging procedures. I could also make a page of Music Subject Headings, but I don't know enough about subject headings to do it justice. Finally, I decided that a wiki would be a great way to keep track of a family tree. So that's what I did.

It's kind of small right now, only a few pages, but I hope to add more soon and let other family members add pages as well. You can check it out here: Kerri's Family Tree. I made this wiki private, I don't know if that restricts access or not even if you have the link. I may have to actually "invite" you to the page.

Setting up an account on pbwiki was pretty easy. Trying to figure out what to put on the pages was a little trickier. Also, I decided to delete a page that I created and it took me a while to figure out how to do that. But I think I got it now.

I can see that using a wiki would be beneficial for collaborative work. I know that the music librarians in the Chicago area set up a wiki for themselves for planning the national Music Library Association meeting to be held there in 2009. I don't know how that is working for them, but it seems like a good way to facilitate communication between a group of people. Probably better than a blog. However, I do kind of wonder if a forum would be a better way to conduct discussions than on a wiki. I'm much less familiar with wikis than I am with blogs and forums. So I will investigate some of the others and play with mine and see how I like them.

Next session: Tagging and online applications.

Blue 2.0: RSS Feeds

This is another post on the Blue 2.0 program I am participating in at work.

One of our topics for this two-week session is RSS feeds. I have been using Bloglines for RSS feeds for a while now. I forget when I first set it up, but I believe I've had it for at least a year if not longer.

The best part about using Bloglines is that I can keep up with news and weather plus my favorite blogs all in one place. And I can organize the various fields in folders by topic. I have four folders: Catholic blogs, Friends blogs, Library blogs, and News.

One of my favorite feeds is my feed to the top headlines. Although the entertainment headlines are annoying, so I've been toying with the idea of deleting that feed and subscribing to the international headlines and national headlines feeds only. With this feed I did change the order they show up in. Rather than the newest one on top I reversed it so that I can scroll down the headlines in the order in which they appear. I also like the feed I have set up for the Weather Channel, I check it regularly to see the temps at any time.

My Library feeds include: Inquiring Librarian, The FRBR blog (a great place to go to get regular updates in the world of FRBR), Catalogablog (a great cataloging blog), and, of course, the Blue 2.0 Blog!!

I have several other blogs that I subscribe to through Bloglines, mostly Catholic ones. Of all of those, I have one that a seminarian from the Diocese of Lexington keeps as well as many others from around the nation. It's a fun way to meet other people from around the country (and abroad) who have similar values as you.

That's about all I have on this topic. I'll get to the wiki topic later!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The March for Life, other Links, and a New Project

Today in Washington, D.C. was the March for Life. The reason for the March is because of the anniversary of Roe v Wade, 35 years ago today. This March has taken place every year on the anniversary of the decision that has allowed an entire generation of children to be killed. The first March for Life was on the first anniversary in 1974. I was born in 1974 and the more I learn about the pro-life movement the more I realize that there is a huge number of unborn children who would be about my age now if it were not for abortion being made legal in this country.

I was not always pro-life. It took me a long time to come to understand how wrong abortion is. This was one issue that, as I came back more fully into the Catholic church about 7 years ago, I really had to work hard to understand. Now I can't imagine that difficulty, it is just so obvious. To think that somewhere around 50 million children who would all be around 35 years old and younger now never got a chance to experience life is just sad. Being pro-life is speaking up for those who are unable to speak for themselves.

That hundreds of thousands of people, many of them young people, would gather yearly to peacefully protest this decision is remarkable. It speaks very highly of the fact that many more Americans are pro-life than our politicians realize. And do you know what happened to "Roe," the woman who was the main part of the Supreme Court case in 1973. She has since regretted what she did, converted to the Catholic faith, and become a leader in the pro-life movement. What an amazing story!

Life begins at the moment of conception. There is no disputing that. Abortion kills a life already formed, regardless of how old the child is. This is also why my husband and I have chosen to follow the church teaching regarding contraception. This seems very radical to some, but when you look into all the whys, it makes perfect sense and we can't imagine doing anything different.

I wanted to also use this post to provide some links to some other resources. There are tons of websites on pro-life issues on the Internet. Here are some worth checking out:

First, this is a commentary on today's March for Life at It's kind of long, but go read the whole thing!!

Also, Priests for Life is an organization that promotes life for all people. There website has a ton of other links on it. Scroll down to the list of links on the left side of the main page and find the link "Links to other Sites" for a huge list!!

Another site worth pointing to is the 40 Days for Life site. This is an awesome campaign of forty days of prayer nationwide in support of life. A very cool thing to check out.

And most importantly, in 1968 Pope Paul VI wrote a papal encyclical that now looks prophetic. His Humanae Vitae is so very important for understanding the Church's pro-life stance on all life issues form conception to natural death. Read it!!

Finally, in my post yesterday, I alluded to a project I have been thinking about taking on. It has been on my mind for some time that I want to do something to help people who choose not to have an abortion when faced with a crisis pregnancy. For these brave people who choose to give life to another human created by God and either keep the baby or give the baby up for adoption, there are crisis pregnancy centers out there who help these girls/women/couples. One of them is Birthrite and we have an office here in Lexington. At the beginning of December, Chris and I were out at a church dinner. The dinner always has a "split the pot" lottery (you put in a dollar and get a ticket and if your ticket wins you get half the money and the other half goes to help continue funding the dinner). Well, at the last one of these I actually won!! I got $98 and I haven't used any of it for anything yet. Do you see where this is going?

Birthrite of Lexington (as well as other chapters around the country) is in need of donations. I went looking on their website to see what donations they needed specifically. So, specifically, they need donations of maternity and baby clothes as well as monetary donations. I plan on calling them and finding out if they have other particular needs, such as other baby items (bottles, diapers, etc.). I plan on using the $98 I won in December to buy some things they need. I also want to collect donations of items or money from anyone else interested in helping with this. I need to call them first, but I wanted to let everyone know what I am planning on. If you're in the area (or even if you're not) and want to help, let me know. Email me or leave a note in the "comments" link below.

Thanks for reading!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Preparing the townhouse

Wow! What a busy weekend. For me, it is still the weekend, for a few more hours anyway. We spent a lot of time at the townhouse Saturday preparing it to put on the market. I cleaned and Chris painted. The walls look sooooo much better than before!!!

Sunday we took a break: went to Mass, had a nice breakfast, read the paper, did the grocery shopping, and relaxed.

I was off from work today for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, but Chris had to go to work. I had my adoration hour this morning at 6am and then came home to have breakfast with my husband before he went off to work. Then, I started my very busy day.

I actually cooked dinner for us tonight!! I ran to the store and grabbed a pork loin which I then prepared for the crock pot. So while that was cooking I headed over to the townhouse to begin the major cleaning. I was there for 5 hours and did not get everything done I needed to get done. But, what I did do looks great!! I spent most of my time on the kitchen and the rest of the main floor. I dusted light fixtures and fans, cleaned the tops of cabinets and other high areas, and washed down the entire kitchen. I also managed to clean the kitchen window and the sliding glass doors and vacuum the living room. Oh, and I cleaned, dusted and washed, alll the baseboards!!! Not a whole lot left now: bathrooms and bedrooms mostly. We should be able to get those done in a few hours.

I got home tonight after doing all of that and I was exhuasted. Dinner was great and we're going to use the leftover pork for another recipe later in the week. I love this cookbook!! It's all slow coker recipes, except for the leftover recipes. Some of the really large recipes tell you how to store the leftovers and then use them in other (quicker) recipes. Very cool!! I think this is going to be my new favorite cookbook.

Regarding the townhouse: it's going to look great once we finish the cleaning, get the carpets cleaned, and I add a few little touches to make it look pretty. Know anyone looking for a house? It's a perfect first house! Especially if you don't like doing yard work!! Let me know!!

Tuesday is the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. There is a huge pro-life march in Washington, D.C. tomorrow, but you probably won't see it on the news or anything. It happens every year and it is always really big, but it doesn't get much press. I'll try to post something here tomorrow about the march as well as some links to pro-life sites. Tomorrow might also be a goood time for me to start a little project I have been thinking about lately. I'll save more info on that until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Yes! I am Catholic!: Session 2

Tuesday night we went out to the second session of Theology on Tap. I've mentioned before that this is a young adult ministry based on a book of that title by Beth Dotson Brown. I looked up the book tonight on Amazon and it is a series of interviews geared toward teens. She interviews several famous and not so famous people. One person on the list I recognized was Catherine Hicks from the TV show "7th Heaven." I read an interview once with her in a magazine I get and she's a very devout Catholic. Anyway, the book looks like it'd be good for anyone interested in the Catholic Church, anyone trying to rediscover their Catholic roots, and for teens who need good Catholic role models.

Tuesday's guest speaker at ToT was Bob "Righteous B" Lesnefsky. He is a Christian rapper and he performed some of his songs throughout the night. I'm not a fan of rap, but I was surprised at how some of these songs had some melodical parts to them and even the more "rap" like parts were interesting music. He did his songs with guitar and he obviously has had some good training or at least has a great ear. His lyrics were good and very honest.

He was also very honest about everything he talked about. He talked about his wife and his four kids, how when he met her she had plans to be a nun, and, most importantly, how he found his Catholic roots again after falling far away from the Church. Now he not only performs as a rapper, mostly doing teen retreats and talks like ours around the country, but he also runs an inner city youth ministry. Because most inner city churches are very poor and can't afford to hire a youth ministry this group provides that kind of ministry, working as a non-profit. They currently have one Catholic Youth ministry set up in Steubenville, OH and are planning on opening two others in the next year (in Queens, NYC, NY and Rochester, NY). You can find out more at their blog called Dirty Vagabond Ministries.

Next week's session will have two speakers: the youth minister from my parish and the director of the youth and young adult ministries for our diocese. Hope you can come out if you're in the area!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Theology on Tap: Tonight!!

Come out to Theology on Tap tonight for a very interesting talk. We'll be at O'Neill's Irish Pub on Richmond Road in the Idle Hour shops from 7-9pm. Get their early to get a seat.

Tonight's speaker is Christian rapper Bob "Righteous B" Lesnefsky, who was also interviewed for the book "Yes! I am Catholic." Theology on Tap is sponsored by the Diocese's Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and by Real Life Radio 1380 AM.

For more info about this ministry, click here: Theology on Tap.

Monday, January 14, 2008

An End, A Beginning, and a New Patron Saint

This past Saturday we finally took down our Christmas decorations. I know some are amazed that this late into January we still had our Christmas decorations up. But we had a very good reason.

Chris likes putting the Christmas decorations up as soon as Thanksgiving is over. I was totally against this, but I also knew that I couldn't make him wait until 2 weeks into December. So I told him he could start putting things up once Advent started. So everything went up the first weekend of Advent.

The only thing that was not complete was the nativity scene. We have a very large nativity set and we put it on the top of the entertainment center in the family room. When we first set it up we left the manger empty and the wise men were placed in a cabinet. The baby Jesus was placed in the manger on Christmas Day (although in our case, about 3 days after Christmas since we were in Atlanta). But the wise men weren't placed with everything else until Epiphany, January 6. Well, who wants to take everything down the same day that the wise men finally make an appearance?

So we left everything there another week. This past weekend was the Baptism of the Lord. The Gospel reading was from Matthew 3:13-17--in a nutshell: Jesus comes to the River Jordan and is baptized by John and the Holy Spirit descends upon Him. This past Sunday was considered part of the Christmas season. The Church still had all the wreaths and trees and lights up and they had the full nativity scene on the altar. So we were in good company.

Now that Christmas is over a new season starts, but only for a short time. We are now in Ordinary Time for a few short weeks. Ash Wednesday is on February 6 this year, so Lent starts very early. With the start of a new season is a good time to start reflecting on what we can do to improve our own lives.

This morning during my Adoration hour I spent time reading about prayer and I spent time praying about being a less judgemental and more accepting person. That's when I remembered the Patron Saint of the Year. I had recently seen someone refer to this on their blog and remembered seeing it last year. If this was something I needed to work on, maybe a saint would choose me this year who can help me work on this attribute! So when I had a free moment today I went looking for the recent post I saw to find the link I needed. Guess what! The Patron Saint of the Year Ministry has grown so much they created a blog devoted to it. I added the link to my sidebar so if you are interested in a patron saint go visit the blog and check it out.

By late this afternoon I found out which saint selected me and I was totally surprised. Not by who the saint was, but because I had never heard of him and it took me a while to find any info. St. Aelred is my patron saint for 2008. The Catholic Church has not named him a patron saint of anything in particular, but apparently he us "unofficially" the patron saint of friendship.

Over the course of the year I hope to learn a lot more about this saint nad I'll share what I learn here. I do hope and pray that this is the perfect saint to help me with those areas that I most want to work on in myself. From what I've read so far this seems to be the case.

Blue 2.0: IMing

Another Blue 2.0 post:

I reacquainted myself with my AIM screen name. I can't remember the last time I used it. I don't like using the AIM Express, thus I never do. AIM Express is very clunky. I prefer using AIM with the software I have downloaded on my laptop at home. It is much more friendly.

I do prefer the MSN Windows Messaging. I set up an account there a long time ago and use it at work often. I have used it to communicate with coworkers in our offices here are the Fine Arts Library. Even though we have an open office space here, it can get very noisy in here very quick with people on the phone, students and faculty coming in, and conversations between you and your neighbor. So using the chat MSN chat for quick questions helps keep the noise level from getting out of hand. And it is sometimes faster than email!

Blue 2.0

This post will be dedicated to some "Web 2.0" stuff I'm doing at work. To my family and friends who read this blog, you can safely ignore this post.

I set up my blog in August of 2006, so I've had it a while. It was easy to set up then and when Blogger updated their programs it was easy to convert over. I think at that time I also changed my background and when I did I lost all my little customizations (added links and so forth). Not sure why that happened, but it was easy enough to re-create them.

Hope everyone else enjoys creating their blogs. For all other Blue 2.0 stuff I will add a link to this post on the left side. From there the tag/label for "Blue 2.0" can be used to get to this and other future postings. (I don't currently use tags much, so haven't had a need to display a list of all my tags which may be up to 2 now!)

Friday, January 11, 2008

"Yes! I am Catholic" session 1

Tuesday evening we went to O'Neill's Pub for the first session of this winter's Theology on Tap series. This series is based on a book called Yes! I am Catholic by a local author. Tuesday night a seminarian for our diocese spoke about his journey toward entering the seminary and why he is a Catholic.

It was very interesting to hear from a young man who was open and honest about his life that led to Seminary. He surprised me and probably everyone else there by beginning with the subject of death. Sounds like kind of a strange way to begin a story about finding your faith and entering the seminary. But he explained how thinking about death gave him the focus he needed to change his life.

He talked about how he lost his faith in high school and then during his senior year he had an experience that made him realize how much God loved him. I believe that this is a common experience for young people. We grow up in the Catholic faith, believing what we are told to believe. But somewhere around high school we start thinking for ourselves more and start questioning these beliefs. We need something to make us "own" our religion ourselves. "Own" may not be the best word to describe it, but it's the only one I can think of right now.

After having this revelation, he said he got more involved in the Church and he became a youth minister. But he said he didn't really change his life. He realized after a while that he was a hypocrite. He taught one thing, but in his personal life he still wasn't following the kind of life that he should have been. Again I felt that I could relate to this. As he said, it's easy to say one thing but it's hard to change what you do.

As you can probably guess, he did finally change his ways. He then kind of explained what brought him to consider the priesthood and his first couple years of seminary. Most importantly it was contemplating death that brought him the most focus, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post.

The only sure thing in life is death. We all know that no matter what we do throughout our lives, we're all going to die. That's non-negotiable. So do we live our lives thinking about how we'll be remembered when we're gone? Or do we live our lives in such a way that we can get to heaven when our time comes? That's a good question. It reminds me that I need to go to confession more often, that I need to keep this kind of focus when I get frustrated or stressed, and that I need to keep the saints in mind as role models in my life because they are already in heaven.

A lot of food for thought. I'm sure the remaining 5 sessions of ToT will be just as interesting. Next week: Christian rapper Righteous B. If you're in Lexington, try to come out next Tuesday night for what should be a great session.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Week Ahead

As the weekend comes to a close and the next week begins to loom I start to think about all the things I have to get done. Last week was a short work week, only three days. It was very nice and very quiet. Classes haven't started yet so campus is pretty deserted. Also Wednesday was a snow day for the public schools (we got less than an inch) so traffic was almost non-existant going to work that day.

This week things will pick up. The students will all start trickling back to campus in time for the first day of classes on Wednesday. They'll have the short week this week. I spent a good deal of my time last week just scheduling meetings. But that should mean that I'm ready for the next two weeks or so.

Work will be busy, but other things will also start picking up. Tuesday night will be the first of a six week series called Theology on Tap. This sessions looks very interesting, it is getting its inspiration froma book titled Yes! I am Catholic by Beth Dotson Brown. I haven't read the book, but it sounds intersting; I'll have to post about it more once I start attending. Wednesday evening we're hosting our Young Adult group at our house. We're having a movie night; we'll be watching The Third Miracle. Otherwise things are pretty normal around here.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year!! I hope 2008 has many blessings and nice surprises for everyone!! We're looking forward to a year full of many new beginnings.

We celebrated New Years last night in Bardstown. We went to the 5pm vigil Mass at the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. After Mass we headed to Chris' brother's house where we visited with family, had lots of snacks, and enjoyed a few drinks: Chris had several, so I drove home. He was very happy!

Tomorrow we both head back to work after a very long vacation. I'm sure there will be lots waiting for both of us when we get in.

Happy New Year!!!