Category Archives: life

Bibliographic Software- what do you use?

I did this quick review for my Academic Ladder group.
I USED to use Endnote.  Got too cumbersome and tricky.  I stopped more than five years ago, so I can’t even recall details.

My U switched to refworks.  This was very nice at first.  It is an online database.  So, you have an account.  With most search databases and our catalog, it was one click importing.  It supports “descriptors” you edit, like tags.  Like, all known biblio outputs for every style.  Your database lives in the cloud, so you can be at ANY COMPUTER with internet and get to your library.  You can have folders, lists and stuff.  It ALSO has a plug-in for word that allows you to add citations as you write.  So you write, you think “oh, smith 1987 here.”  You then search in word your library, find smith,and stick it in.  It adds some code to your paper. At the end you push a button and all code becomes correct citation and a bibliography is made.

Issues.  1) My library has gotten so big, it is a bit sluggish at times.  2) It does not capture web-based metadata as nicely as Zotero.  3) The word plug in was buggy for awhile, like 2 years, which irked me.

I am romantically a sucker for open-source stuff.  I started using Zotero ALSO.  Very similar to refworks except it is free, designed by academics for academics.  Your library lives in a cloud.  You can sync it to a local program, zotero standalone, for when you are NOT on the web (I think refworks can too).

Pluses for zotero: it is VERY GOOD at getting metadata.  So, say I need a book that is not in my refworks library.  Rather than got to catalog, search, export, etc, I go to amazon, or catalog, and in firefox, there is an add-on such that with one click Zotero grabs the citation.  Also, it can make citations of webpages, blogposts and so on.  Plus in firefox, you can open a window and edit the citation or ADD NOTES easily.
2) It seems to support networks or communities of schoalrs more readily to share libraries.  I have not done this a lot, but could imagine so.

Me today: hybrid refworks and zotero user.  If I were starting over, I’d be all Zotero.  I haven’t switched all the way as it looks like a lot of work and so far my patchwork approach works.

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Filed under Information and Communication Technology, life, writing

I miss old tech…

From Skype chat:

I’m in USA now…
[6:52:24 AM] Jordi Comas: Dreading the long task of sorting, organizing, cataloging, printing blogging, blog-to-booking all the photos.  And then the videos.  Oy Vay!  Fuck it….  it was easier when you just sent a roll of film to the shop.

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End Applause at SOTU Speech

Through BeyondPod, I can get the official White House feed of speeches.  That is more political geek than CSPAN.  Still, I wish that someone could pass a law banning applause during the SOTU until the very end.  It is SO tedious to listen to.

Brad Tuttle, in this 2010 blog post, counted 18 minutes (!) of applause in that SOTU.

Maybe the White House could start an online petition center to allow this kind of pressing issue to be aired.

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Filed under humor, life, Politics, Power, Activism

Your Friends Know You Better

Funny, odd, touching chat with an old and dear friend….

FROM CHAT

 
how are you?
 me:  today good.  Overall, pent up ambition of 20 years trying to fit through the small nozzle of what can be done….
friend:  have you ever seen a sea horse penis?
 me:  ?? auto correct damn you?
are you getting fresh with me?
no
Friend:  i imagine your flow is something like that
 me:  oh…
that is a touching and icky compliment
END
LOL- later- I think he meant cuz the male carries the eggs…  and is “impregnated” by the female…
"Two sea horses mating"

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Plunging Rules (Life Observation Series)

Being a minor or XX chromosome-d seems to impede developing the life skill of plunging.

A low flush toilet (Gerber Toilets, I’m looking at you), that requires five flushes for every #2 is a pile of shit.

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Morning Safari

Particularly good observation, I think:

Virginia, this morning, I spy from the corner of my eye; V is hunting in the wild tupperware drawer. She self-narrates: “The female of the species stares at the drawer, hoping a wayward lid will meander to its (bottom) mate. Finding them near by makes her job easier. No luck.” She paused, taut. Her hand darted out fast as a cheetah. She had her prey.

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Personal Project Management, Launch

I am on UFL (Untenured Faculty leave) this year, that is, Bucknell gives me part of my salary in exchange for the expectation that lots of work will get done.  Sounds like a good deal.

I have many projects in midstream.  I struggle with how to prioritize which project to work on, and within a given project, what tasks are needed, how long they will take, and when to do them.  Add to this my tendency to think locally and globally at the same time.  So, for example, with a qualitative study of virtual worlds, the local is to review some data.  At the same time, I am aware that I never set up what I consider a satisfactory system for handling qualitative data.  it needs to be stored, to be accessible to my collaborators, to be searchable and to be able to be handled and combined flexibly.   How to do that?  So, the local and the global tug at my attention.  Meanwhile, a third mental routine starts to count how much time I spend worrying about local vs global and madly trying to calculate cost-benefit.  At about this point, it all seems too much trouble and I go read Huffington Post or something.

So, perhaps there is a software app that will enable me to more simply look at multiple projects, add tasks, prioritize and reprioritize, and then fit it into a calendar.  And, isn’t UFL a good time to retool my work systems and invest some time in self-improvement?

Any regular readers of this blog (if you exist) will recall “the grid”, a simple table for tracking scholarly work in different stages.  I take no credit for it, it is something I learned from colleagues at Bucknell I met in a writing group.  What I am looking for would allow me to go within each line (a project) on the grid and do at least three things: 1) establish tasks and subtasks and 2) assign amount of time and schedule when i would do those things and 3) establish levels of priority to help me figure out when to do what.

So, instead of spontaneously trying some application, or improvising with OneNote and other MS products, I decided to be more rational.  I asked some friends and on Facebook for suggestions.  Many came in!  Yeah friendsourcing! (like crowdsourcing, but with friends).

I will review the different options in further posts.

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Summer 2010

This is the beginning of our combined leave year.  Virignia has sabbatical and I have UTFL (untenured faculty leave).  We are relocating to Barcelona, Spain, to be in Europe, to let the kids have a deep cross-cultural immersion, and, of course, to be with Spanish family (and food!).

Family blogging about our travels and adventures will be over here.

I will be on-line in general.

Our itinerary:

11 June                        Depart Lewisburg

11-25 June                   Red House Cabin, Yancey County, North Carolina (Time zone = EST)

25 June – 8 July          Annandale, VA, 22003 (EST) with Mary

[28 June – 4 July]        Jordi at EGOS conference in Lisbon (EST+6

(America Diamonds Hotel)

8 – 21 July                   Oregon (EST-3)

9-16 Newport;

16-21 Corvallis

21 – 27 July                 Annandale, VA again (EST)

27 – 31 July                 Reykjavik, Iceland (EST+4)

31 July – 18 August    Cuckfield, UK (EST+5) with our good friends Jo and Debbie in their delightfully named home, Southern Breech.

18 – 19 August           Travel by Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Santander, Spain

19 August onward      Our piso in Spain (EST+6)

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Where am I (summer 2010)?

Here is an overview of where we will be this May and summer as we embark on the zim-com caravan of fun!

Zimmerman-Comas Family Caravan of Fun – Summer 2010

Please let us know if we are ever near you!  We would love to see and visit with lots of dear friends and family.

Throughout our travels, we can be reached by e-mail. Until 31 July, we can be reached by cell phone.

May 10-14 JC in Knoxville.

May 14-16 Multifamily camping trip in RB Winter

May 17-June 11 Lewisburg

11 June                        Depart Lewisburg

11-25 June                   Red House Cabin, Yancey County, North Carolina (Time zone = EST)

25 June – 8 July          3928 Lincolnshire St., Annandale, VA, 22003 (EST)

[28 June – 4 July]        Jordi at EGOS conference in Lisbon (EST+6)

8 – 21 July                   Oregon (EST-3)

9-16 Newport; 16-21 Corvallis

21 – 27 July                 Annandale, VA again (EST)

27 – 31 July                 Reykjavik, Iceland (EST+4)

31 July – 18 August    Cuckfield, UK (EST+5)

18 – 19 August           Travel by Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Santander, Spain

19 August onward      Secretari Coloma 114-18-1, Barcelona 08024, Spain (EST+6)

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Frank Vilanova Comas, 1926-2010

This is the obituary for my late father. I re-posted it here with the correct paragraph breaks.

Frank Vilanova Comas, born Francisco Comas i Vilanova, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Monday, March 22, at home.  He was a research and clinical physician in Oak Ridge and Knoxville ending his career as the Director of Radiation Oncology at UT Hospital in 1994.  At that time, his colleagues initiated the “Frank Comas Annual Cancer Oration” to honor his “relentless pursuit” of medical excellence and his “wit and wisdom” in driving his fellow dedicated colleagues.

He was born on February 16, 1926 in Barcelona, Spain, to Josefa Vilanova i Montiu and Francisco Comas i Durall.  He grew up with his sisters, Rosa and Pepa (Josefa), during a time of tumult that included the Spanish Civil War.  He enjoyed music, sports, and spending time with his uncle, Pelayo, on their farm in Premía D’Ált.

After entering the pre-medical university program at the University of Barcelona, he endured a terrible accident that would shape his whole life for better and for worse.  On March 13, 1945 he lost both legs in a traffic accident on the streets of Barcelona.  Continue reading

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