Heart Walk 2019

Heart Walk 2019

I enjoyed participating in Heart Walk 2018, so when the event was announced for 2019, I quickly signed up. Last year a Hunt Library team was formed after a few of us had already signed up for ERAU, so this time I immediately created the Hunt Library Team and invited my colleagues to join. Due to previous commitments and other reasons, only my boss Suzanne and I could walk. However, Hunt Library staff donated a total of $320 to the American Heart Association.

One of the reasons I like this event is that I get to drive into the infield and even on part of the road course of the Daytona International Speedway, where the event takes place. After parking in the garage area, we signed in and gathered in the Fanzone for snacks, photos, and instructions.

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A Day with the Porsche

Porsche Boxster by the Ocean

The time has flown since I purchased my Porsche Boxster on June 26, 2019. In the two months since then, I have greatly enjoyed driving and also just looking at the thing, to be honest. I drive it to work on sunny days and have taken the Boxster on a few short trips.

But in that period I haven’t taken the time to do some of the basic things you’d do with a new car. I added only one radio station to the ones preset by the dealership and didn’t activate the satellite radio. I hadn’t paired my mobile phone with the car. I hadn’t changed any of the default settings on the displays or configured its optional features. I hadn’t even taken the Porsche on an extended drive just because. I barely tested the Sport mode. Although I actually did RTFM.

So on August 26, exactly two months after bringing the Porsche Boxster home, I decided to devote the day to getting to know my car.

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50 Hikes: #45 Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve

50 Hikes: #45 Doris Leeper Spruce Creek Preserve

This is Hike #45 in the book 50 Hikes in Central Florida, started on August 22, 2019. Will complete at a later date.

Due to the hotter Florida Summer weather, I had not hiked in three months. But I had a day off and this park was nearby and sounded promising. I didn’t get a really early start, arriving to the park around 11:40 am after a 20-minute drive.

The book lists two hikes in the preserve. The first is Spruce Creek Bluffs, a 5.6-mile loop trail, which is what I did. The second is Spruce Creek Park / Rose Bay, a short out-and-back plus a loop, for another 2.6 miles. The total hiking distance is 8.2 miles.

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MINI JCW Coupe vs. Porsche Boxster

MINI JCW Coupe

Porsche Boxster

If you know me or have browsed my website, you’ll already know that my most recent previous car (in addition to my older MINI Cooper) was a MINI John Cooper Works Coupe.  While I like the sporty, yet practical, hatchback MINI Cooper, I have always preferred the two-seat sportscar.  I don’t have a family or the need to haul many people or large items.  This preference is why I bought the MINI Coupe in 2011 and the Porsche Boxster this year (2019).  Despite the Porsche being a convertible, the two cars have several similarities. Continue reading MINI JCW Coupe vs. Porsche Boxster

My Porsche Boxster

Porsche Boxster

After I bought my loft in December 2017, I began thinking about buying a new car. After researching the new car market, including MINI, I decided that nothing in my price range really interested me. Since the time I was a kid, I have always wanted to own a Porsche. So, about a year ago I started doing some research on the Porsche Cayman. The reviews of the car were excellent and I decided to try to find a recent (Generation 3 or 981 in Porsche-speak) with low miles. I had one requirement: the car had to have a 6-speed manual transmission.

In early June I spotted a 2015 Porsche Cayman in white with low miles that seemed perfect. But it was an automatic. I decided to go have a look at it at Porsche South Orlando and maybe test-drive it. Maybe it would change my mind. When I arrived, someone was just taking it out, so I went inside to speak to a salesman. I gave him my preferred specifications and he told me about a 2013 Porsche Boxster with a manual transmission that had just been sold to the dealership. Did I want to have a look? I hadn’t really considered a Boxster, which is the convertible version of the Cayman, but I thought it was worth viewing. So I followed him up to the large parking garage at the back of the building.

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World Goth Day

World Goth Day

Did you know May 22nd is World Goth Day?

Goth Day started in the UK in 2009. BBC Radio 6 Music DJs Cruel Britannia and Martin Oldgoth started the annual celebration of goth music and culture.

While not really a goth myself, at least not on the outside, I have enjoyed listening to “goth” music (and its rougher mate “industrial” music) as my favorite subcategories of classic alternative music. I am a longtime listener of Sunday Night Vinyl on Orlando’s 104.1 which plays all of these genres of music.

Below is a sample of some of my favorite goth bands. Please enjoy in a low-key, introspective way.

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50 Hikes: #17 De Leon Springs State Park

50 Hikes: #17 De Leon Springs State Park

This is Hike #17 in the book 50 Hikes in Central Florida, completed on May 19, 2019.

I arrived at De Leon Springs State Park just before one o’clock to find the park was full, so I had to join the queue of cars waiting to get in. As cars left, the seven or eight cars ahead of me were let in. After waiting for about fifteen minutes I paid my $4 entrance fee and alerted the ranger that I would be hiking the Wild Persimmon Loop trail.

To reach the trailhead for the Wild Persimmon Trail you first have to walk up a short paved trail. From this trail, the book recommended taking a quick side boardwalk trail to see Old Methuselah, a bald cypress tree that’s more than 500 years old. So I did.

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Google Featured Snippet

As you may have seen elsewhere on my website, I created and maintain a library technology website called Library Technology Launchpad. On that site I write about various topics relevant to librarians such as websites, online resources, open access, and others. My most popular series is the Basics and Resources Series. In this collection of articles, I have covered topics such as APIs, Discovery Services, Linked Data, OAI-PMH, proxy servers, and more.

While searching for some sources for an article posted today, I was pleasantly surprised to see my own work as a featured result. I entered the search terms “library discovery services” (without the quotes) into Google and got back a screen of search results. There at the top as the “featured snippet” was a description from, and link to, my Library Technology Launchpad website.

Google featured snippet for library discovery services

So from a search that resulted in 324 million results, Google selected my article as the top source for the topic. In order to see whether Google was basing this ranking on my searching or browsing history, I asked a colleague to perform the same search. She confirmed that she also got my website as the featured snippet.

Anyone who posts articles to the Web hopes to get listed on the first or second page of Google search results. Although I’ve frequently found posts or pages from my Library of Motoring website high in Google results, this is the first time that I have had, to my knowledge, an article featured on Google. That it is a professional library article makes it more satisfying. Hopefully this inclusion indicates a high search ranking for my Library Technology Launchpad site as a whole.

50 Hikes: #19 Black Bear Wilderness Area

50 Hikes: #19 Black Bear Wilderness Area

This is Hike #19 in the book 50 Hikes in Central Florida, completed on April 22, 2019.

This hike was supposed to happen on Easter Sunday but it was changed to the next day. The thought was the trail might not be as crowded on a Monday. This turned out not to be the case. The Black Bear Wilderness Area trail is a single loop trail of 7.1 miles near Sanford, Florida. It’s recommended to hike the loop clockwise, saving the best views for the last half.

All of my previous hikes from the book had been solo. My companions on this hike were A. and her dog Freida.

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50 Hikes: #46 Lyonia Preserve

50 Hikes: #46 Lyonia Preserve

This is Hike #46 in the book 50 Hikes in Central Florida, completed on April 14, 2019.

My wonky left knee was bothering me before this hike, so I chose to make a short one. The book said the suggested hike in Lyonia Preserve was only 2.1 miles. It is a home for the Florida scrub-jay, the only species of bird endemic to Florida, so my goal was to spot (and photograph one). Another bonus was that there was an Environmental Center and the Deltona Regional Library at the trailhead.

I set off down the trail which passed behind the Environmental Center. At the first loop trail, I turned left onto the Rusty Lyonia Trail (orange blaze). Almost immediately I passed a den of Cub Scout Webelos coming the other direction. I worried there would be lots of others on this suburban trail, but they were the only people I passed.

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