Wednesday, 13 August 2008

A Shed is Built


My name's Jack, some people call me Jacko and I don't mind.

Well I'm having a go at this new Library 2.0 so I can start me own blog about books for blokes, and I have to tell you it's not that bad. The first thing I had to do was get me old computer out of the shed where the chooks had been roosting on it and give it a good clean up and it must have worked because I'm writing this. Then I had the bloke from the PMG, or whatever they call it these days, come round and plug me into the internet, and that must have worked because here we all are and she's rosy!

Now week one was alright, I did that in me lunch break, me and Black Beauty, she's me dog; well we brought a mob of ewes and lambs in for drenching so we took a smoko, not real smokes you understand because I had to give them up, more about that later; anyway I have to tell you it's marvelous what they can do these days. The videos were pretty good, not Chips Rafferty you understand, more like some of the training films we had in the army about staying clear of social diseases, but pretty informative they were just the same.

So here's what we started with:

1. What do you write about?

Well I think it's time we had something about books worth reading for ordinary blokes, blokes of all ages and backgrounds so that's what this'll be and I'd appreciate all the help I can get; so I'll be calling on some of the younger folk in the district as well as codgers like meself to let us have the benefit of their experience, and what they've been reading lately and why you wouldn't be wasting your time getting along to the library, next time you're in town at the farmers' co-op or the mobile pulls up out the front.

2. What do you hope to learn from the program?

Learn! Cripes what isn't there to learn? It's like when I first started shearing and you had to get to grips with the machinery before the Boss'd let you near a sheep. Well as you can see by this here blog, I'd like to pass on some of me thoughts about books and reading to other blokes, and any sheilas too, that might be interested. And I wouldn't mind having some of those mini videos in it as well because they might make it interesting, especially for sheep shearing instruction and so on. And the way you can link to other blogs - well that's all to the good, especially if they're better ones than your humble effort.

3. What do you think about Lifelong Learning?

Well I'll tell you, when Grandad Russell first started shearing with the old hand shears, that was just before the big shearers' strike up in Barcaldine in 1891, he was there you know, and he shore with the great Jacky Howe in 1892, Jacky set the hand shearing record of 321 with the tongs then that still hasn't been broken, they reckon a blade shearer opens and closes his hand an average of 410 times while shearing one sheep; anyway he reckoned the old clippers were all he'd ever need to make a quid, but what happened - along came the mechanical blades, and then you got them wide combs and before you know it you're back to square one! A bloke can never stop learning, that's what I say, and if there's a bloke out there who thinks you can, well he needs a good boot up the rear, pardon my language, because things are never the same from one day to the next.

4. What other blogs have you discovered? What do you like about them?

Well one of the first blogs I found is by a bloke called Merryjack, there's plenty of stuff on fishing, which is always good, some nice photos, he covers the great writers - Shakespeare he's there, he's a thoughtful sort of cove and doesn't mind who knows it:

Now I've always been fascinated by the words we use, even Black Beauty can understand at least a dozen, and this isn't too bad:

I'll be keeping you posted on new blogs and so on as they come to light, so keep an eye peeled.

5. Can you see a use for blogs inside the Library?

Use them? How can a library live without them! I've always used the public library, in my day it was the Mechanic's Institute next to the billiard room, "No Loitering" the sign said. Anyway I'll be looking out for blogs by some of me mates to see what they've come up with; I'd like to get news about activities in the library for kids so me daughter can take the kids to town for an outing; I'd like to hear what some of the other blokes, and this includes some of the very fine lady farmers and graziers in the district, think about developments in the live sheep trade for instance and I reckon the library could be linking us to the latest livestock prices and market reports via their subscription services and we could find them in a one stop shop without having to wade through a whole lot of web pages like I've seen the kiddies do for their homework.

Some of the young folk in the more isolated properties could do with an informal point of contact with the library for their own interests and to hear about new books and services. And then you have the folk who can't get out for one reason or another, maybe they're in a wheel chair or have difficulty getting around - well they might like to be able to discuss things with each other and find out about new library books and services while requesting a book from the book mobile.

6. How about blogging for a client audience?

I'm careful how I used that word client because it takes me back to some of the army training films we use to see but I won't go into that here. Anyway I checked out the IBM guidelines, now they're a firm with a good reputation, the Missus learned to type on one of their typewriters so I've heard, and if a bloke was working for the Council and I don't mean leaning on a shovel, he'd be wise to follow their advice if he was setting himself up on a blog from the library.

Well that's about it from your mate Jacko this time around.


Jack Russell said...

Hello there's been a blip, crow must have hit the wires and the internet has gone haywire so I can't get me page layed out properly, so I'll hve to come back later!

paxpixie said...

Hello Jack, nice to see you've got yourself a hobby seeing as you spend so much time in that shed of yours...and what happened to that call you promised? Ah well...all the best, Pixie xxx

Jack Russell said...

Here's one from me mate Johnno, he's the bloke with the Wild Ephemera blog.
This shed-living, library-loving old agricultural reprobate sounds like one very interesting bloke. I wonder how his sheep, dogs and other farmyard companions respond to all those classical 'classics' he reads to them! A true grassroots intellectual!! And, I am honoured to be referenced by him as a blog worth visiting!
Looking forward to seeing what books he recommends. I bet there are a few surprises hidden away in the shed.

Diamantina said...

Blimey, the pressures on! I'm not a bloke, and how I have the temerity to comment on this blog is anyone's guess. I must be very liberated.
I love this blog. As Mr Wildephemera himself says, a true grassroots intellectual is before us here! Move over, Tom Collins.

All the World

Jaques -
All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts...