Sons are useful for… making icons

Calendar in Chrome icon

Or: Mothers and sons learn together

Can I?…

My calendar is in Google calendar. A shortcut on my desktop lets me open it in Chrome with one click.  Of course, then I decided I wanted a special calendar icon for it.  I wanted a calendar in the middle of a chrome icon. Yes a calendar icon would have been simpler but I had a notion of it needing to look similar to the shortcut I have at work.

Would you?

This is where my digital-media-trained and his Photoshop skillz comes in.

That’s great but …

Unfortunately his beautiful combinations looked fine in photoshop, but the first opened at my end with a black background, another had a white background, and when we tried to save as .ico in bmp or png formats (because Photoshop CC did not seem to be able to save to .ico) some showed no image at all.

Trial and error

Some of the clues we tried:

  • Ryan at StackExchange suggested that we must first save the .png files to the computer, and then open them with Photoshop (during copy paste techniques Photoshop converts the transparency to black).
  • Although my issue does not involve WordPress as did Mike Lee’s 2012 issue with the black turning up when he resized images, I wondered from his problem statement whether I might eliminate resizing as a possible cause by using images that were already the desired size. That appeared to help, but we were working through ideas so quickly I am not sure if it was required, because for the one below Mr 17 did resize one of the source images.  I’d have preferred a blue calendar, but could not find one the right size licenced for reuse.
Calendar in Chrome icon
Image (pre-iconised) I use for shortcut to Calendar in Chrome

Source images are from Wikipedia: (Calendar) and (Chrome).

#blogjune: “Babies born with the help of science are NOT miracles.”

That’s the topic my sister set for me when I proposed sharing the #blogjune challenge. So all complaints can go to her.

Where could one find fun in this one?  It’s an obvious lure. She is annoyed by terms like miracle birth or perhaps even miracle of science, but had we found it in a newspaper over breakfast, I’d have gone on a rant and she’d have been all: “well what do you expect? its a newspaper!”

Couple's miracle baby thanks to Facebook
Creative Commons License Howard Lake via Compfight

However, I’m all blissful at having finished an essay, so I’m feeling forgiving (and disinclined to write a thesis). You’ll all be grateful, I’m sure, if I avoid the religious line … . There’s still plenty of cause to forgive such declarations even by the non-religious:

It’s just laziness.

“an extraordinary and welcome event … (that’ll do who wants to read/think any more?)”

Or people using a shortened definition, a colloquialism?:

short definition of miracle is a remarkable event or development that brings very welcome consequences

Besides, it’s a baby – so who cares about hyperbole?

If you want a discussion about science and miracles you could visit Professor Dutch who explains why science can’t accept miracles (even if they exist).

Here I shall grant a miracle: I’m going to keep this post short!

So, sis — your topic for tomorrow:

Letting go.

A is for Arbitrary

Want to play a game? Tell me what you think of when you hear “Arbitrary”?

Where did that come from? Read on…

Con’s “C is for…” post in my Twitter Stream (thank you echofon firefox plugin) made me curious (which gives me a good word for C) so I investigated the A-Z Blogging Challenge. Unfortunately Discipline prevents me from opting in to the challenge at this time.

Even so, her beginning Awesome post made me ponder what my A would be. Ambition was the first word I thought of – both for the challenge (it clearly represents a strategy for keeping up the practice of writing for those who have writing/publishing as an ambition), and for one of my goals in blogging Anyway: to be seen. But that would be too introspective and, like Con, I don’t want to write again about why I (would again if I had time) blog.

(And) then a neural connection fired from my Upwords game this with Cecilia this morning, and the random blogging I did a few years ago inspired by words from scrabble games: I could narrow the field of the challenge: look for an obscure (A-Z) word in a dictionary – and tie it somehow to some current matter that might interest my potential Audience.

All of these Words for which I have emboldened the initial fired off ideas I might blog sometime.  Would I use A-Z as a category or a tag?

Upwords board at end of game

Aside from the ‘random obscure dictionary words’ (t)heme what other themes could I choose?

Professionalism? Librarianship – or perhaps a theme on my notion that little of what our field calls librarianship is occupationally or professionally distinctive, so much not a field in which ‘we’ are the experts? Would that be tactless, career suicide? Or just arbitrarily non-constructive?

So how do you feel about “Arbitrary”?

I feel proud :-)

cue game winning moments

… over the mountain …

Tonight, despite the lingering dizziness from Saturday’s pain medication…

… through the woods …

CSS? Div this? ID that? sweep it all aside, I go back and wrestle with html.

… face to the sun …

I worked out how to line up the social media icons in the text widget in my sidebar, without messing (yet) with Child Themes.
(Social media icons are courtesy of the Responsive Theme where they normally, and still do, appear in the footer)

At least, I thought it was an achievement (turning a vertical ul into a horizontal one); but maybe I could simply have placed them there side by side, considering I was handcoding anyway? And yes that means that if/when I add others as they become available I will need to hand-alter the widget 🙂

In any case, I achieved what I wanted 🙂

Not only that, but I’ve (hopefully, all going well,) puzzled my way through the details of the WP to Twitter plugin so that I can autopost this blog to my secondary Twitter account. This involved setting up a Twitter developer account and finding my API. I’d have gone for because it has one less character but already had a account of which I had not yet made full use.

cue game winning moments
As proud as when I achieved status of “Supreme Chief of all Hospitals” in the game Theme Hospital.

I could tie this in to the whole INF2506 learning thing, by associating it with the discussions hither and yon about tying social media accounts together or the value of coding skills … but honestly, I learned that before this subject too. And right now feels too glorious to go chasing up references.

Motivational Helen Keller Quotes via kwout

Oh my literary friends …

Please, shower me
with better quotations
to express the
pride and joy
a being feels after
plowing through
to exhult in
deserved glory
of tiny achievements.

Writing in social media

Writing for the profession will be very different to writing for an online learning journal (OLJ).

  • Objectives will be different: while I try to write as if someone might visit my OLJ (because it is also on my own site), assessment criteria take precedence. Using social media for a professional information service position the priority would be to engage with communities, or at least inform and invite.
  • Audience will be different: In an OLJ (at least in this subject), the pixels, silence and the echoes of my mind are my audience, possibly other students, and for a brief time an assessor. Later I will identify different audiences through offline sources, searching and interacting in other online spaces — much as I did out of personal interest with my moonflowerdragon blog.

I wonder whether the online journal as assessment task reflects a teacher-librarian bias in the creation of this subject – an experiment in how teacher-librarians might use blogs with students?  I would find more value in practical exercises learning how to write in social media for client/stakeholder engagement.

That topic of how to engage through social media will probably arise from readings as a theme within the proposal we prepare for one assessment task.  Which is nice, theoretical ‘understanding’–but on my first glances through the modules, the activities suggested do not seem to lend themselves to conversation (they require a range of topical statements) – so I wonder why we’re using social tools?


I’ve been looking for a nice little image to accompany this post. Compfight, for writing in social media, included:

Customer Service is the New Marketing
Mark Smiciklas via Compfight

… which, though not a new idea for me, could be handy for representing such an argument if proposing to optimise WOM through social media.

I think I will stop my search with the image below, upon which I pondered a physical social aspect to writing in social media. With laptops and mobile devices people can write in social physical spaces. How social is that?  If I reflect on my study visits and conference – at which I saw tablets and a few laptops in use:

  • Although focussed on their writing, laptop users were visibly among people. Conceivably interruptable; they could easily look up and around, to switch from writing to interacting with people.  Does that reduce the quality of either?
  • It calls to mind the network events – at which I put my new Evernote Hello to work, and people tweeted about meeting each other.  I may have done that too, but I typically find the “at xxx with @####” kinds of tweets like hair in the drains.

A non-Apple laptop being used in a cool park full of cool people
Creative Commons License Ed Yourdon via Compfight