Text Messaging is taking over the world!!!

 Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Text messaging is taking over the world!!!  I did think that honor was unofficially bestowed to Facebook, but text messaging may actually usurp Facebook, which is a high honor, indeed.  Case in point: we all know that we can send text messages to our family and our friends, or get free promo codes by text from companies like Redbox, but now text messaging has gotten a foot in the door in the library and information science field.  This foot in the door phenomenon may revolutionize customer service as we know it.

Tonight I was searching my local public library catalog by utilizing their iPhone app.  I had a question about a library item that I desired.  Thus, I clicked on “contact us” in the library app and saw the normal phone and e-mail contact information for my local library.  However, my interest was piqued when spying “text” as an option to answer my question.  It is important to note that I am a text messaging convert (i.e. I was against text messaging for a few years before I finally gave in, changed my phone service plan, and began text messaging).  Now, I think text messaging is amazing, and I find it quite helpful in a plethora of ways like sending friends encouraging messages, for social planning, for information sharing, and for various functional purposes.  So it may come as no surprise to you that I used text messaging as my happy and instant solution to my library query.  Within minutes a library staff member answered my question, and I was moving forward with my library request.

I must say that this whole experience has made me wonder if text messaging is taking over the world? 

Text a Librarian Booth Artwork

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2012 Flashback (a.k.a. Personal Reflections on this Past Year)

How is 2012 quickly drawing to a close?  Yes, it is true what people say: the years go by faster and faster the older you get.  This past year was a mix of hardships and saying good-bye to several friends who left my area, as well as various events and activities that shaped the year for me.  This list is a personal reflection of the past year, rather than a list of current events or a political piece, with dates as close as possible to the real month of occurrence.  I enjoy reflecting on the past before starting a new year.  It is good to have new goals and aspirations.

January

  • I began blogging on WordPress.  Yay!
  • A mild winter in Illinois. That’s awesome because I walked a 1/2 mile each way to work due to the scarcity of close parking at my job.

February

  • My birthday month.  Why does it feel like the last 5 years or so are gone in a blink?
  • I attended my second ever University of Illinois Basketball game.  It was a nice family time with my Dad, and Illinois beat Iowa, so that was exciting.

March

  • It was fun to co-coordinate a faculty/staff service outreach at my job.  We volunteered at the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, a foodbank that helps provide food to hundreds of soup kitchens and food pantries in the central Illinois area.
  • I become the proud owner of a iPhone 4.  It is super cool, but dislikes when I try to use it as a PHONE from my apartment.  However, the apps, being able to easily check and write e-mails, and the camera are all great features.
  • Winter Jam Tour at the Assembly Hall with my friend, Sabrina

April

  • My church purchases our own building after the building we rented was damaged by a fire.  My church had been dislocated to a hotel for around 3-4 months, so the purchase of our own building was exciting.

May

  • My friend Carolina moved to Arizona when her husband graduated and expediently got a great job.

June

  • Summer= swimming (in my attempt at fitness).
  • Around this time (ish), I become a poet who publishes on poemhunter.  I enjoy writing poetry, especially about love, heartache, and God/faith.

July

  • More swimming.  Summer seemed to go by at warp speed.  I did get to go see the New Amazing Spiderman on the Fourth of July.
  • I covered many job duties for my co-worker who was off work for 3 weeks due to an accident.  I also spent around 4 months (off and on)  for my co-worker typing forms, scanning forms, e-mailing people (some out of state, out of country, or no longer with my department), and playing Nancy Drew with solving discrepancies in legal check-outs of equipment loans, mostly for laptop.  This was to get forms for approxiately a few hundred pieces of equipment updated for legal check-out.
  • My co-worker who was my back-up was promoted, so it was challenging during the 6 weeks before her replacement was hired and started.

August

English: Script logo of the Chicago Bears

  • I took a min-vacation to see my family in my hometown area.  We took a one day road trip to see the Chicago Bears training camp at Olivet Nazarene University.
  • My friend Amy moved out-of-state in order to complete her degree in Art.

September

  • I spend around $300 on an oil change and new brakes when I am told that my brakes are 95% gone.  I am glad this was found before winter, but sad to try to figure out how to pay for that in my tight budget.
  • My friend Melissa moves to Champaign for a new job.  I was blessed by that fact, but I also got a $100 rent credit when I referred her to my apartment complex.  Yay!

October

  •  After 2 years and approximately 3 months, I got into a close parking lot by my work building.  If you know the ordeals that I went through before this time, you will know why this was a HUGE positive for me (I even paid around $70/month for a few months for a private gravel lot in order to be able to get a break and actually get to places on time after work).
  • I join Pinterest and become semi-addicted.
  • My first ever 5K!  My friend Melissa encouraged me to do it.  I am not a runner, but I loved walking the 5K.   It was a fantastic experience.
  • I voted for my clerical union contract.  We had been without a contract for 14 or 15 months which was pretty discouraging, in spite of my union’s persistent negotiations.

November

  • I paid off my 5 year loan on my 2006 Ford Taurus!  Woohoo!
  • The Woodfield Mall bus trip that I was attending with my Mom got cancelled, but all was not lost when my Mom visited me and we spent the weekend shopping at a outlet mall and many great local places.
  • My first laptop that I have ever personally ordered was stolen when FedEx left it unsigned for outside of my apartment the day after Thanksgiving.

December

  • Old-Fashioned Christmas at my church.  I got to go on a horse and carriage ride!  It was amazing!
  • I bought a new laptop  after my laptop that I ordered online was stolen.
  • E-mail day of action that I participated in (off work time, of course) since my signed union contract giving all clericals a small raise and pay-back got stalled by my University when there was no real follow-through and months of stalemate.  Justice is important.  I will note that the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) can locate information that can be quite discouraging, such as discovering that “snack bar attendant” and “helper-kitchen” earned more pay than I did, until recently.
  • I reach over 100 likes on my WordPress blog.  Yes, sometimes I am addicted to my Stats!
  • Christmas with my family, after a two-day delay when my car would not start, got jumped twice, and eventually resulted in me paying $420 for a new alternator and serpentine belt.
  • My first ever pedicure, that was at a spa with my Mom, twin sister, and niece,  It was part of my Christmas gift from my Mom.  It was amazing!

Flashback- Me (on left) and my twin sister, Jody (on right), when we were little

Pinterest Top Ten Tips (a.k.a. Pinterest is more than just Home Decor and Party Ideas)

For the last few months, I kept hearing about Pinterest.  I went to a baby shower and the creative and innovative food ideas were taken from Pinterest, and then at a good-bye party, one of the good-bye gifts was a blow-pops sucker knick-knack with a sign saying “You’re leaving here blows.  We will miss you.”  Thus, I sufficed that Pinterest was a hot new social networking site devoted to home decor and party ideas, and it essentially was a digital bulletin board (or pinboard).

However, it was only about 2 weeks ago that I realized that Pinterest had a much broader basis.  My friend, Amber, told me that she was on Pinterest, and she showed me a glimpse of her site.  She had a really pretty hairstyle that she had pinned that was inspiring for a wedding she was a bridesmaid for.  However, she explained more about Pinterest, but I have to admit that I was sold when she told me how she had repined a pin called “Books Rory Gilmore read.”  I used to be a huge Gilmore Girls fan, and I loved to watch the show, especially the early seasons.

Gilmore Girls (season 1)

As you can probably see from where this blog is going, I am on Pinterest now.  I find it inspiring, fun, artsy, cool, hip, interesting, and thoroughly diverse.  Here is my mini-tutorial on Pinterest, with personal insights gleaned from over two weeks of being semi-addicted to Pinterest.

Top Ten Helpful Tips and Info for Getting Started with Pinterest:

Pinterest: Why should we be interested? [infog...

1. Please note the name is not pronounced Pin-interest, as I keep trying to pronounce it.  It is Pinterest.

2. You can get a free app for it or use it on a desktop computer or laptop.  However, the Pinterest website has a great deal more features than the iPhone app.

3. It is possible to login with Facebook or Twitter, but for those who are not connected that way (me and two other people), you can login with e-mail, which makes it more inclusive, in my opinion.

4. Fun things about it: you can follow people and have followers, like Facebook and MySpace.  You can comment.  You can like things. (Important tip from my observation and what a friend told me: when you “like” something on Pinterest but do not pin it, then you are AUTOMATICALLY signed up to follow the creator of that pin.  I had wondered how I ended up with over 60 people I was following initially.  I believe automatic followers may have also come from the pictures you Pinterest has you like at the beginning when you are creating your account.

5. You can add a profile photo or info about you.  The iPhone app does not have this capability (unless maybe it syncs with your Facebook profile pic?), but on the website for Pinterest you click under you name, then click settings, and then upload an image.

6. You create thematic electronic bulletin boards, and you pin things onto your bulletin boards.  You can repin other’s content (always with a link back to the original site for credit), download items like photographs, or pin content found on the internet.

Pinterest

7. It is possible to change the comment under something you repin.  If you just repin, then the comment is automatically the same comment as the person you repined from.  I find this slightly confusing and potentially problematic.  I felt like I was plagiarizing other’s comments, so after a while I started specifying something like “original pinners comment” to clarify.

8. One fun thing about Pinterest is you can explore many categories when you click explore, such as DIY and Crafts, Films, Music, & Books, Geek, Home Decor, Kids, Photography, Quotes, Technology, Travel, and Women’s Fashion.  Note: you can lose hours surfing around categories and repining things, so be careful.

9. You can set the cover of your bulletin board by editing it. This is helpful if you have a photo/pin that you particularly are fond of.  Otherwise the cover is the latest pin for that bulletin board category.

10. Finally, here is the link to my Pinterest site. Feel free to check it out and see what Pinterest is all about or for getting started ideas.  I only have 3 followers, so followers are appreciated, as well.  Happy pinning!

https://pinterest.com/hopeandheart/#

A Pictorial Snapshot from my iPhone

Life, thoughts, and journeys are expressed well in pictorial snapshots.  An eclectic mix of random moments full of mundane things, fun adventures, emotions, and the fascinating color of life all combine to create the kaleidoscope of our lives. Since I seldom use actual photographs that I have taken in my blog, I decided to make a short pictorial snapshot of photographs that I have taken in the last few months from my amazing iPhone camera.

This is the view of the Mississippi River taken out the window of the Figge Art Museum (formerly Davenport Museum of Art).  I saw the only known self-portrait by Grant Wood (artist of American Gothic fame), plus other art from the museum’s permanent collection when I visited this museum with my Dad recently.  I especially liked an Andy Warhol painting of the American moon landing that was part of a travelling exhibition.

This photo was taken when I was looking for the fitness aisle at Wal-Mart, but I was drawn to the toy aisle first.  I am a kid at heart, truth be told.  As I perused the toy aisle, I couldn’t help but ponder why there were no cool Lego’s like this for girls when I was a kid.  I appreciate how today there are many girl-oriented Lego’s with fun colors and scenes showcasing various career options.  Definitely awesome and progressive.

 Beautiful sky at my favorite park.

Pretty flowers.

Chicago Bears Training Camp that I went to with my family on my vacation.  I like Illinois and Chicago sports teams, but I am not a die-hard fan by any means.  This was a fun family time, which is what I was most excited about.

Majestic fountain that fondly reminded me of Scotland, a country that I would love to visit again.

This is pretty decor at my church.  One of my Pastor’s has a good eye for decoration.

This picture is of pretty furnishings at my church after our recent remodel.  A fire damaged the building we were renting last November 2011, and we were displaced to a hotel for 4 months.  However, a beautiful blessing is that this past Spring we were able to buy our own building.  We did a remodel of the building since it used to be a publishing house and a Moose lodge.

Here is a link to the recent story about my church’s restoration after the fire:

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/religion/2012-08-26/less-year-after-fire-church-its-new-home.html

Things and People Who I am Thankful for

Inspired by David Kanigan, I also decided to write a post about things and people who I am thankful for.  If you are not familiar with David Kanigan, check out his Thankful post.  I follow him, and he is always very inspiring and positive, plus he also regularly has interesting charts and cute +/or funny photos in his posts (re:  http://davidkanigan.com/2012/04/15/thankful-sunday/).

Without further ado, here are the Things and People Who I am Thankful for:

1. God.

2. Nature- our Creation is so beautiful, and I am a particular fan of the sky, ocean, beaches, sunsets, and the moon and stars.

Sunset at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. The im...

Sunset at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. The image was taken at negative low tide that happens just a few times per year. One could see how far away the ocean went back exposing the bottom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3. My family.  I love being from a HUGE extended family.  Also, being an Aunt of my niece and nephew adds a special joy to my life.  I love being a twin, also.

4. I am thankful for my brother Kevin’s new job.  He was doing some freelance writing and finding it challenging to break into a more steady job since he graduated from college.  The economy is still weaker than I think we all would appreciate, but honestly, I am so grateful for Kevin’s new job (IN HIS FIELD) at a newspaper.

5.  I am thankful for WordPress.

6. Taco Bell. And Starbucks. LOL.

Taco Bell

Taco Bell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

7. Redbox free promo code that they sent me by text today.

8.  I am thankful for my friend, Amber.  She fixed a maintenance issue in my apartment that was incredibly frustrating, and it was stretching out into almost a week.  I shouldn’t have to beg for maintenance, and I think I disagree with my landlord about what constitutes a maintenance priority (or border-line emergency).  So, kudos to my friend Amber.

9. Music.  Sometimes when I am riding in the car with friends and family, and they are driving without music, then I ask them to turn on the radio.  Seriously, I can’t imagine a world without music- it would be a dull world, indeed.  Music brings color to life.

10. Art.

11. I am thankful that my work blessed all of our front office staff this past Friday by giving us the afternoon off to go celebrate Office Support Professional Day a bit early.  I went to a nice restaurant that I normally could not afford (they donated money for us!), and we saw a movie.  I got popcorn, too (movie theatre popcorn is the best).  Also,  THREE of our Deans in the academic program where I work even volunteered to cover the front desk, so we could be off.  Is that cool, or what?

12. I am thankful for the new building for my church.  Last year, right before Thanksgiving, my church caught on fire.  Actually, the investigators said the fire appeared to be arson.  It was a horrible time, and we were displaced for about the last four months and meeting in a hotel.  We couldn’t have almost any of our normal church activities, and we lost all our of children’s ministry toys and items due to smoke damage due to the fire.  But, the awesome part of the story is that my church recently purchased a building (we had been renting the church building where the fire was and sharing it with another church).  Now, while we often have yellow construction tape at various places in our building and work is still in progress while we meet there, however, it is coming along.  It is a fixer-upper, but the building is our’s.  We even have some pretty flowers planted outside.  It has been a long road, but things are finally looking up.

13. Spring.

14. My new iPhone.  It is really cool.

Leave a comment.  I want to know what are you thankful for???