Thursday, August 30, 2007

Database and Gaming Fun

I've found a new and more fun way to procrastinate - er, spend time with my son. I did get that project done, by the way, so it's all good.

This is an awesome video game available free from Yahoo Games, though my son and I enjoy it so much I went ahead an purchased the game. Basically you have to bake complicated cakes quickly for impatient customers. It's actually tons of fun. I love it when my four year old is telling me "Mama! You forgot to give her a menu!" or "That frosting was supposed to be purple." We all have our ways of bonding.

He and I actually baked blueberry muffins in addition to our virtual cakes yesterday, from the Muffin Lady cookbook. I don't believe I've had anything turn out badly from that one.

There is another great shopping bag in my office today of cookbooks from my coworker friend Nancy, God Bless her. It includes a scrapbook of recipes and pictures from her mother, with lots of personal notes. Another treasure trove!

I had to look at STDL's databases today. We advertise our e-references as a third branch, that folks can use 24/7. I was only a bit naughty in my work on this project today...

First, we had to browse Netlibrary to look at classics. I found the Cliffsnotes for Heart of Darkness. I 'read' that in both high school and college and still don't know what happened. I know someone had shrunken heads on sticks, but perhaps that was just the movie. Then on to My Media Mall, where I discovered lots of YA books 'checked out', including ones from John Green, who is coming here in early October. Then I had to look at Tumblebooks, which I have played with my son before, but in the interest of being thorough on this project, I played one of the puzzles for one of the books. This was fun until I couldn't do it! I will have to have my son help me.

Safari is a great product for folks who need quick computer reference, and even has books on how to get certification on computer projects. Frankly I couldn't even understand the titles on some of these. Then on to the Virtual Reference Library which does not seem to have recipes but did have lots of info. on Aricept, a medication my father takes for Alzheimer's.

Then I had to find three community organizations of interest. I found the Alzheimer's Assoc. for Greater Illinois and the Northwest Suburban Quilters Guild. Then I needed to find the Chidren's Advocacy Center for info. on donations for a teen project this month and found that as well. So far so good.

We have a truly wonderful database of pictures and info. on Schaumburg Township history, which was surprisingly interesting. We all had to find a series of reference questions on this product. I found that the church on Rodenberg that I pass daily, St. John's, has been in existence in some form for about 140 years. I knew it was old from the state of the graveyard, but had no idea how old. Then I learned that John Redeker, son of Mina (Bolger) Redeker ran a peony farm in the 1920's which is now Spring Valley. I do have to wonder how the designers of this course came up with these questions. Lastly I learned that a house at 112 Arlington St. had a plane crash into it in 1964, but no one was hurt. It made me think of Blast From the Past - one of my favorite movies.

I then had to answer more questions from the "Research Any Topic" section of our online services. Here is where I began to deviate a bit. I had to find the value of an antique pincushion sold in 2004, and it was $402, but then I typed in 'cookbooks' to find that one was almost $10,000 in 2005. It was from the late 1800's, but I wonder what my entire collection is worth. Not that I could ever part with any of them, but still...

I read a truly strange Haitian folktale in another database and learned that crabs and long pine needles were used to teach 'aunty' a lesson. Trust me, you don't want me to explain this one.

Then I found a fabulous database on real estate transactions. I was scared to learn that a couple in Long Grove paid $2,025,500 for their home in 2002. Sheesh. Then I looked up all my friends and family, and called my husband to discuss my findings. Yes, I am getting a lot from this technology work here now!

Finally, I went to the live Ask a Question. Now, I've filled in as the librarian on the other end of this so this was fun. I asked how many Underground Railroad sites were in IL, and was asked what grade I am in. I said, personal learning, and got a website that did not list all the sites but rather talked about how over 500 are in disrepair! We are going to Graue Mill this weekend which is part of the IL UR and the site of a Civil War encampment with our Unit, the 10th Illinois, this weekend. We have not dressed in a while, and will again when Josh was older, but my teen novel (when hopefully it sells) is about a girl who is embarrassed by her reenacting family. She goes to this site, though I give it another name.

Not much time to read, but perhaps if I stopped playing a certain game...

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

Nice job with the writing, writer girl. A pleasure to read.