Saturday, June 30, 2012

Storm damage, many branches down, still a lot of power outages

Internet out, power still holding

Friday, June 29, 2012

Smithsonian Libraries (@silibraries) and media team win an Emmy!

Smithsonian Libraries Director Nancy Gwinn and Lockheed Martin VP Linda Gooden with Emmy won for forthcoming Smithsonian Libraries video developed by the LM Creative & Strategic Services team ( Lockheed Martin; Judah Houser; Jason Reinhardt; Dana Jensen; Linda Gooden; Nancy Gwinn)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wonderstruck ... posing with Brian Selznick at ALA12

2012; ALA; AnaheimHad a great conversation with the amazing author of Wonderstruck and Hugo Cabret. In the small world category ... he even has a Smithsonian connection. I can now really impress my daughter!

June presentations: 5 presentations, 4 cities, 3 countries, death by PowerPoint!

June was a busy month for presentations. Final tally ended up being 5 presentations (at least one a pinch hit for the sidelined Chris Freeland); 4 different cities (Berlin, Pretoria, Cape Town, Anaheim); 3 continents (Europe, Africa, Asia); 3 countries (Germany, South Africa, USA); 2 time zones (Central Europe, Pacific); and 1 ... uh, can't think of the one!

True hotel bathroom origami for @outtacontext

Residence Inn, Anaheim

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lizz Winstead at #ALA12

Paula Poundstone at ALTAFF at #ALA12

@lrainie talkin' data about eBooks and their users

"I come to bring you data." Love it how data and facts can slay preconceptions, opinions, and HiPPOs.

@Gluejar talkin' on the need to bring eBooks into the public sector

Need to radically rethink how ebooks should work

@naypinya talkin' books from @InternetArchive

Scanning, lending, general observations on ebooks now and in the future

Maura Marx talkin' #DPLA at #ALA12

ALA carpet: soft and comfy vs hard practical

Which is which?

Squirt, since 1938

Don't think I've had a Squirt since 1938 ... maybe more like 1975

Dog Tacos, not Taco Dogs, a book for @isalara

A skateboard novel

ALA Presentation on Linked Data: Thinking of Linking #ALA12

Thinking of Linking: A random series of ideas, concepts, Platonic ideals, a yeoman's miscellany, and nonesuch guide to Linked Data, especially as it relates to libraries, archives, and museums. Martin R. Kalfatovic. American Library Association Annual Meeting. Anaheim, CA. 23 June 2012.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rock Bottom Remainders @ ALA

Final performance of the Rock Bottom Remainders at the American Library Association 2012 meeting in Anaheim. Dave Berry led the band along with Stephen King, Amy Tan and others. Special Guest Roger McGuinn jingle jangled through a number of Byrds/Dylan songs.
Martin R. Kalfatovic | | @udcmrk

Friday, June 22, 2012

Angels Stadium: Only Jesus can save, the rest go 9 innings

Anaheim fro the 14th floor

A little hazy

72 F, sunny and blue in Anaheim, sorry DC friends

Hotel origami, for the @Outtacontext museum

Incredible shrinking Internet Cafe at ALA

I remember in the old days the huge rooms and lines for Internet access.
Wonder how many more years we'll see this?
Welcome to the world of ubiquitous personal mobile computing

Me and Duke Wayne, SNA, in the O.C.

AA 459: DFW to SNA

Gate C29

AA 2433: DCA to DFW

Gate 32

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A trip to the Ceres, or, Animals of the more exotic sort seen in Africa

2012.06.17-IMG_4260 The Inverdoorn Game Reserve was quite nice. We were picked up by Richard (our driver) promptly at 0900 and were soon on the road. We were soon out of Cape Town and headed towards the mountains. I wasn't really expecting to go through the mountains, instead imagining a slow transition from the more grassy areas of Cape Town to the more dessert-y areas. 

The roads instead started to climb and turned into the twisty two-lane roads familar from the Sierra foothills. At near the peak of our climb, we paused for a scenic overlook that was quite spectacular.

Going down the other side of the mountain, we stopped in a small town, Ceres, for a bio-break and shopping (if you needed anything). We picked up some sundries and a bottle of Klipdrift South African brandy (which would serve us well in the coming days).

Arriving at Inverdoorn, we were met in the outdoor reception and signed a long, small print indemity release. Then, we were taken to our chalets. Very nice stucco buildings, two people to a chalet. Local decorations included springbok rugs and a native crafts. Best part was a rooftop patio where we could later scan the horizon, watch the stars and see the sunrise.


Lunch was at one and we ate out in a big patio. A very nice buffet and then some time to get ready for the first safari.

So, let me first off say that calling a ride in a Land Rover in a game reserve a "safari" was a bit of a stretch for me, but that was the term used. So be it. We had our group of 5 plus a mother daughter from Brasil (daughter and her German friend studying English in South Africa - which, again, in my opinion, was a strange choice!), and a Cape Town couple on a short holiday.

Our guide was guide was Alex, youngish fellow, very engaged and knowledgable. Drove around for about 2.5 hours. Bright and sunny at first, but then got pretty chilly. Stopped at one point for a little picnic with hot tea/coffee/cocoa.

So, we saw:
Cheetahs, Lions, Springbok, Rhinos, Ostrich, Zebra, Wildebeast, Cape Buffalo, Giraffe (maybe some other horned antelope types - started to loose track of them).


Back to the lodge, went to the rooms, freshened up. Doug brought out the brandy and we sat on the roof and sipped a bit before going off to dinner. Met up at the fire pit; chatted with the others in the group (the 10 on the safari were the only people around). Doug, Christine and Alex (the guide) fiddled with the fire for a bit. Sipped more brandy.

Dinner time. Sat at the "Giononni/Holland" table. Lots of little appetizers brought. Ordered a bottle of Chenin Blanc. Four pork dishes and 1 fish (William); some troubles with the order and not enough pork. Lots of chatter with the wait staff. Eventually more pork arrived.

Went back to the cabins and then up on the roof for a final nightcap. Lots of bats flying around, stars a bit obscured by the clouds, but overall quite nice. All to bed.

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Woke up around 7:00 am the next day. William and I went out to rustle up some coffee. Hoping to get some in a takeaway cup, but instead were given a full coffee service. Met up with the rest of the group at the main lodge for breakfast. Cereal, crepes, yogurt, an option for bacon, eggs, and sausage. Back to the rooms to finish packing; over to reception to check out. Also got the wifi password that they were having trouble with on Saturday, but only had time to sign on for a quick few minutes. 

Back to the meeting point to hook up with Alex for the 10:30 safari. We gave him a BHL button, cards and lecture. The Cape Town couple bailed out on the safari, but two Indian fellows joined us. Away we went.

Took a different route this time. Today, the lions were more active and we got very close to the rhinos, Cape Buffalo, Zebras and cheetahs. Hippos were added today and also a "walk with the giraffes" (who didn't cooperate and ran off).

Back to the lodge by 12:30, freshened up in the rooms, finished packing and were debating what we should do (get lunch or go) when the van and driver arrived and said we were going. So we went, packed up the van, headed out. French owner woman stopped us at the gate to wish us farewell and also ask for 30 Rand for the wifi vouchers.

Took a different route back, everybody fell asleep in the van and before you knew it, we were pulling up at the Cape Town Lodge for our last night in South Africa.

So, in terms of animals we saw quite a few. Ok, so I admit that the main sighting occured in a game preserve, in an area of South Africa where many of these animals are no longer native, but all in all, these species all pretty much lived in the same general area at one time or the other.

So, in more or less in the wild (around Cape Town):
  • Cape Zebra
  • Bat
  • Seal
See on the game reserve safari:
  • Ostrich
  • Cheetah
  • Wildebeast
  • Zebra
  • Lion
  • Rhino
  • Oryx
  • Kudu
  • Impala
  • Springbok
  • Antelope
  • Hippo
  • Eland
  • Cape Buffalo

Some notes on the Starbucks of Berlin

2012.06.03-IMG_2673 I was staying in the area of Berlin around the old Checkpoint Charlie. Friederickstrasse, home to many fine stores, was also home to a number of Starbucks. I was able to visit 2 of them (and missed a third). Also had a chance to catch one over near Potsdamer Platz and one near the Brandenburg Gate. 

I was a bit embarressed for my country in the Potzdamer Platz Starbucks. It was right next to a giant Marriott and the two guys in front of me were 30-something business types. The one guy was on his cell phone the whole time he was ordering, snapping off his order between shouting at the person on the other end to email him some documents ASAP. In my book, there's nothing ruder than to be talking on the phone when you're dealing with service people. Put the phone down, ask the person on the other end to wait a couple of minutes or whatever, but please give the person serving you some consideration.

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Overall, they were your basic Starbucks, I had some particularly good service at the one near Checkpoint Charlie (that I visited a couple of times) and the staff at Potsdamer Platz were also good. My one complaint, however, was the hours! They didn't open til 7 am on weekdays and 8 am on Saturday. And then they closed early (at least the Checkpoint Charlie one did - 730 pm!).

KLM 651: AMS to IAD

2012.06.19-IMG_4529 by martin_kalfatovic

2012.06.19-IMG_4529, a photo by martin_kalfatovic on Flickr.
Last leg of the trip!