Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Guttering showing signs of needing attention


This would be the first clue that this guttering is close to pine trees.  Thankfully, this is their yearly healthy shedding of needles.

Austrian pines, the source of these needles, so far have been resistant to the pine beetle disease.  The outlook isn’t good.  We can only hope.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Virtual Library changing

Last week I placed the titles of all the books I’ve read this year on a virtual bookshelf.  There are 14 books so far.  As most of you who follow my ramblings know,  I mostly listen rather than read.  It seems, especially since I’ve retired if I’m working around the house more likely than not I’ll have ear buds in listening to a book on my cheap little mp3 player.  Right now I’m about half done with  “Audition” written by Barbara Walters.  It’s amazing how many current titles are available.

I’ve been noticing when I go to the State of Kansas Audio Books and More site that there is a notice that all books, including holds, will no longer be valid as of December 5th.  This is also the same site that loans eBooks to readers in the state.

After a little research, I found that the Kansas Libraries contract with Media Overdrive, which is the company that handles the Kansas  audio and eBooks, ends at the end of the year.  The state will not renew this contract primarily because Media Overdrive increased its yearly fee for this service 700%.  Interestingly, the past two years use of the service increased 200% each year probably mostly due to increased loaning of eBooks to more and more people with devices to read them.

Thankfully, the state has found an acceptable new contractor.  As of January 1st, we will check our books through Recorded Books, 3-Ms new Cloud based platform.  It sounds as if the new service will be more user friendly.  Overdrive certainly did have a learning curve. 

For those who aren’t familiar with how “checking out” an audio book works, I check it out, download it and when two or three weeks is up, depending on the length of time I set,  it is gone.  If I haven’t read it,  I then have to go to the back of the line to wait to recheck it.   It is the same for eBooks.  Interesting technology that I don’t try to understand, but just glad it is available. 

Thank you Kansas for continuing to provide this service.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Gift suggestion for a young person or a person young at heart


Adam happened onto these one day  and decided to spend his money on them.  Kim helped Adam order them online.  I don’t know if they are in stores—perhaps a specialty toy shop.  They are educational and challenging, although a bit pricey.  In Adam’s case, they are money well spent. 

The web site contains a line up of impressive endorsements.