Now scrolling: The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

On This Day in 1863, a Proclamation was Issued

Happy New Year. On this day in 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. He had informed his cabinet as early as July, 1862, that he intended to free the slaves in the Confederate states. However, his cabinet persuaded him to wait until a Northern victory because it would seem less like a desperate measure. Antietam served that purpose. Five days afterward, on September 22, Lincoln issued the first, or preliminary, Emancipation Proclamation.

The final proclamation, issued on January 1, 1863, freed the slaves only in the states that had rebelled: Arkansas, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and parts of Louisiana and Virginia.
The president issued the proclamation under the powers granted during war to seize the enemies’ property. Ironically, Lincoln only had the authority to end slavery in the Confederate states, and then the slaves were freed only as the Union armies made their way throughout the South. In the states remaining loyal to the Union, slavery was protected by the Constitution. Slavery was only completely abolished in the United States by the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which was ratified in 1865.
Many see the Emancipation Proclamation as a political statement only, since it did not immediately free any slaves. However, it is questionable that the 13th amendment would have come about at all if the the goal of the Civil War had not been so eloquently redefined by this single most important document.
In its wake, black soldiers were accepted on an equal par with their white colleagues. By the end of the war, some 200,000 freed Blacks had enlisted as soldiers and sailors in the Union army and navy.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Lincoln White House, even if it is 140 years too late

This portrait is actually Lincoln's last reception at the White House and has nothing to do with Christmas. But isn't it festive looking? I like it a lot.

It's never too late to celebrate Christmas with Abraham Lincoln. He lives in our hearts forever, like the baby born in the manger on this day. May the joy and peace of the season be yours throughout the year.

And if you're looking for a terrific Lincoln place to visit, try the Logan County Courthouse. It was placed on the National Register December 24, 1985, and here is a great website about it.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Lincoln's address at Cooper Union targets the expansion of slavery

The Cooper Union Address was among the earliest of Lincoln’s speeches denouncing slavery and its expansion into Western territories. Not as popular as his other writings because of its length and detailed examination of the Constitution (Herndon compared it to a lawyer’s brief), it is perhaps the least understood, yet most politically crucial speech of Lincoln’s career.
In it, Lincoln examines the views of the 39 signers of the Constitution and notes that a majority of 21 of them believed Congress should control slavery in the territories, not allow it to expand.

Exposing the inconsistent positions of Senator Stephen Douglas and Chief Justice Roger Taney, Lincoln urges fellow Republicans not to give in to Southern demands to recognize slavery as being right, but to "stand by our duty, fearlessly and effectively."

Though he delivered the speech in February of 1860, Lincoln accepted the invitation to write it in October of 1859. It was originally intended to be a lecture at Henry Ward Beecher’s Church in Brooklyn, but the Young Men's Republican Union, which assumed sponsorship, moved its location to the Cooper Institute by the time Lincoln arrived in New York.

The Union Board included members such as Horace Greeley and William Cullen Bryant, who opposed William Seward for the Republican Presidential nomination. As an unannounced presidential candidate, Lincoln attracted a capacity crowd of 1,500 curious New Yorkers.

Though Lincoln disappointed spectators at first with his almost too-tall appearance, he soon electrified the crowd with his passion for all things anti-slavery. Some recognize that the long road to emancipation, which ended January 1, 1863, began here, February 27th, 1860, at Cooper Union.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln

Happy Thanksgiving. Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday in a special proclamation.

This year it falls on the exact day Kennedy was assassinated, giving us all the more reason to explore the Kennedy-Lincoln connection. So, as promised, here’s the Kennedy-Lincoln blog celebrating the many and strange similarities between the two presidents and all things surrounding them. I’ll start with the numbers because I think they’re the coolest:

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846. John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Lincoln failed to win the Vice Presidential nomination in 1856. Kennedy failed to win the Vice Presidential nomination in 1956.
Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860. John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960. Lincoln defeated Stephen Douglas who was born in 1813. Kennedy defeated Richard Nixon who was born in 1913.
Lincoln's Vice President, Andrew Johnson, was born in 1808 and served in the House of Representatives in 1847. Kennedy's Vice President, Lyndon Johnson, was born 1908 and served in the House of Representatives in 1947.

Oswald was born in 1939. If you're going to say that Booth was born in 1838 – you’re right and you’re no fun.

And here’s some name stuff: The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters.

Both assassins were known by their three names. Both names comprise fifteen letters.

Lincoln was shot at Ford’s theatre. Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln made by Ford.

Booth ran from a theater and was caught in a warehouse. Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.

Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln who warned him not to go to Dallas. Lincoln had a secretary named John who warned him – you guessed it – not to go to Ford’s Theatre.
Okay, there's more:
Both presidents were shot in the back of the head, in the company of their wives and another couple, on a Friday.

Lyndon Johnson had a rare pancreatic condition which was mistaken for cancer. Andrew Johnson had the same pancreatic disorder. (I can't prove this one but I know I read it somewhere. Can someone help me with this?)

And here's one more thing:
Lincoln was involved in a civil war between the north and the south in America. Kennedy had plans to withdraw American troops from yet another war between the north and the south – in Vietnam.

Several websites mention that Lincoln was in Monroe, Maryland two weeks before his assassination, and Kennedy was with Marilyn Monroe two weeks before his death. But not many people know that Marilyn Monroe was not only Kennedy’s mistress, she was an avid Lincoln fan.

Had enough yet? Does evil repeat every one hundred years?

For more coincidences than you ever wanted to know, check into the following websites: Lincoln-Kennedy Coincidences ; The Kennedy-Lincoln Connection ; Linkin' Kennedy.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Happy Veterans' Day from LincolnFreak

After all, Lincoln was a veteran of two wars. He was Captain of Volunteers in the Black-Hawk War for thirty days, then re-enlisted two more times in other units.

In the Civil War, he was Commander-in-Chief of the Army of the Republic, and the only president to come under fire in active battle at Fort Stevens.

He was so fond of visiting the soldiers' home that a kidnapping plot was designed to take place there. When it failed to materialize, Lincoln became one of the final casualties of the Civil War at Ford's Theatre.

The Gettysburg Address, his most famous speech, was as much about the common soldier as it was about the Nation's destiny.

Lincoln once said: "This extraordinary war in which we are engaged falls heavily upon all classes of people, but the most heavily upon the soldier. For it has been said, all that a man hath will he give for his life; and while all contribute of their substance the soldier puts his life at stake, and often yields it up in his country’s cause. The highest merit, then, is due to the soldier."

So if you're planning to visit the war memorials in Washington on November 11th, don't forget to stop by the Lincoln Memorial and say hi to an old veteran.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

That fabulous face

Lincoln's opinions of his own looks were self-effacing enough. Once during a campaign, when accused of being two-faced, Lincoln remarked "if I had two faces, do you think I'd be wearing this one?"

But what did others think of Lincoln's face?

Poet Walt Whitman, often observing Lincoln on the streets of Washington, thought that the uniqueness of the President's face was never adequately captured with its "wonderful reserve, restraint of expression, fine nobility staring at you out of all that ruggedness..."

Democratic friend Orlando B. Ficklin recalled: "He could tell a story to make a group roar with laughter, but when his face was unlit by pleasantry it was dark, gloomy and peculiar. The pictures we see of him only half represent him, as they can only show him in repose."

Adjutant-General James B. Fry remarked: "His expression in repose was sad and dull; but his ever-recurring humor, at short intervals, flashed forth with the brilliancy of an electric light."

Biographer James G. Randall observed: "In Lincoln's eloquent face and in his manner of meeting there was the appeal of a friendly and magnetic personality."

Novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, who visited the President in March 1862, said "the whole physiognomy is as coarse a one as you would meet anywhere in the length and breadth of the States; but, withal, it is redeemed, illuminated, softened, and brightened by a kindly though serious look out of his eyes, and an expression of homely sagacity, that seems weighted with rich results of village experience. A great deal of native sense; no bookish cultivation, no refinement; honest at heart, and thoroughly so, and yet, in some sort, sly."

Robert B. Stanton, who as a teenager often saw Lincoln at the White House, remarked about his features: "There was a something that came out from behind them, and spoke not in words, but shone and spoke through them by means of them, and turned them all into real beauty. And in all these moods, first or last, that spirit of beauty which I saw spread over his whole countenance and drew one to him as by the power of magic."

Want to hear more about Lincoln's face? Check out "Lincoln's beautiful face" at the Lincoln Classroom.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I've been working on the railroad: the fighting in Maryland

Keeping the railroad running was crucial to the success of Lincoln’s agenda. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was the Union’s main supply line to Wheeling on the Ohio River and to the West.

Lincoln’s "silent partner" in all this was none other than Johns Hopkins, founder of the university and hospital at Baltimore. Hopkins, Financial Director of the B&O, along with its President John Work Garrett, went to great lengths to keep the Railroad running during the Civil War.

A Maryland banker and financier, Hopkins was also an abolitionist and supporter of Lincoln in a state which did not vote for Lincoln as the US President. One of the first campaigns of the Civil War was planned at his summer estate, Clifton. At the beginning of the Civil War, Hopkins wrote a letter to Lincoln, requesting the President to keep troops under the command of General John Ellis Wool stationed in Maryland. Johns Hopkins signed this letter "your servant" and "friend" and it can be found in the holdings of the Library of Congress.

It’s no coincidence that much of the fighting in Maryland followed the B&O Railroad stops: Cumberland, Havre de Grace, Union Mills, etc. Realizing its crucial importance to the Union’s success, no fewer than nine Confederate military leaders sought to capture or shut down the B&O, including Stonewall Jackson, Jubal Early, Turner Ashby, John D. Imboden, Albert G. Jenkins, William F. Jones, John S. Mosby, Major Harry Gilmor and John H. McNeill.

Famous raids involving the B&O included "The Great Train Raid of 1861" ; the "Martinsburg Train Raid" and "Leesburg Train Raid," both in 1861 ; the "Romney Expedition" in 1862, the "Jones-Imboden Raid" in 1863 ; and the "Battle of Monocacy," and "Gilmor’s Raid," both in 1864.

Whew. No wonder those railroad men were tired.

To find out more about the life of Johns Hopkins, check out this great Wikipedia article: For info about John Work Garrett, see:, and for more about the B&O Railroad, check this out:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Battle of the Monocacy makes for "Desperate Engagement"

I’ve just finished reading a terrific book about the Battle of the Monocacy by Marc Leepson, called "Desperate Engagement." The battle, fought between Jubal Early and Lew Wallace of Ben Hur fame, took place four miles South of Frederick, Maryland. Early, who was on his way to threaten the Union capital in Washington, D.C., was ordered to engage Wallace at Frederick to divert Union troops from Lee’s advance. Early did not want to fight this battle, but he won it.

The controversy was that Jubal Early, after his victory over Wallace, should have advanced toward Washington without delay. According to Leepson, Washington was poorly defended at the time by "invalids and bank clerks." Instead, Early chose to rest his army which had been on the march since June 13th, allowing Grant to send thousands of reinforcements to the capital. When Early did attack, he was defeated.

Lincoln, who was visiting Fort Stevens in Washington at the time, became the first and only President to come under fire in active battle. Standing on the parapet of the fort, his tall frame an easy target, he was enjoying the spectacle of bullets whizzing past him until an officer in charge chewed him out and insisted he take cover. Check out the picture I found of the plaque dedicated to Lincoln for remaining at Fort Stevens under fire. I think it’s all pretty cool.

Leepson makes a convincing case for the early advance of Early. However, since being an armchair General is every history buff’s right, here’s LincolnFreak’s take on the subject: Early’s army had been thinned out by hundreds, and those remaining were wounded, exhausted and ill-fed. I think if he had attacked Washington without resting his men, he would have lost that battle anyway, bank clerks notwithstanding. Of course, there’s no way to know now.

Anyway, an interesting aside if you live in Baltimore – at one time Confederate troops were within 7 miles of Cockeysville. Today they’d be stuck in traffic on York Road. Also, if you visit the Monocacy battlefield in Frederick, you’ll see lots of impressive monuments, but the Lincoln plaque is at Fort Stevens

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Wisdom from the Mary Todd Lincoln School of Finance

If you’re the type to worry about budget cuts, take a tip from Mary Lincoln on how to survive rough times. While Abe was scrounging for funds to put coats on the backs of Union soldiers, Mary was playing her own version of ‘flip that house’ by redecorating with French wall paper and personalized china purchased on shopping trips to New York.

By 1864, she was in debt to the tune of $27,000 and pressuring officials for personal loans by sharing political secrets with them. Spies used to get shot for doing this kind of thing. When this tactic failed, she tried to acquire the salary of an employee who had left the White House by assuming her responsibilities and also assuming she would be compensated for her work – an early case of identity theft. When this failed, she simply started padding the expense account until her husband could be re-elected.

Abe’s methods of earning money were a little different. While Mary was away, he wrote her, "You’ll be happy to know I’ve put money into the treasury at 5% interest." How dull.

Actually, I love Mary. She gets a lot of bad press, but no First Lady was more colorful. By the way, if you’re wondering what Abe was doing while Mary was away, check out this undercover tape submitted to me, courtesy of Hammer28.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

September Song in the Life of Lincoln

The month of September offered many challenges for Lincoln during the Civil War. On September 2, 1862, Lincoln put McClellan in charge of defending the city of Washington. Putting McClellan in charge of anything was always risky business.

The Battle of South Mountain began on September 14, 1862, as part of the Maryland Campaign, with Antietam well overshadowing it in casualties on September 17, 1862.

Lincoln prepared the Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, many months before its signing on January 1, 1863.

One bright spot in the Civil War was the presentation of a Bible by a committee of African American citizens from Baltimore on September 7, 1864, in Washington. The inscription read: "To Abraham Lincoln, President of the United Sates, the Friend of Universal Freedom, from the Loyal Colored People of Baltimore, as a token of respect and Gratitude." The donors said "since our incorporation into the American family, we have been true and loyal." This must have been a consoling word to hear, since Baltimore was considered so volatile that the inaugural train would not even stop at the Calvert Street Station in 1861.

Of course, the Lincoln-Douglas debates were held September 15, 1858, and Lincoln advocated the repeal of the Kansas-Nebraska Act on September 2, 1854 in Jacksonville, Illinois. Still interested? No? Just wait 'til October gets here.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Weird Lincoln Facts: Lincoln and Booth Can Be Seen in Photo of Second Inaugural

There are many little known facts about Lincoln. He was the first president to be born outside the original thirteen colonies. His favorites sport was wrestling. The scar over his right eye was the result of a fight with a gang of thieves. But some facts are downright bizarre. For instance, did you know...

Lincoln once had a dream right before the fall of Richmond that he would die. He dreamt that he was in the White House, he heard crying and when he found the room it was coming from he asked who had died. The man said the President. He looked in the coffin and saw his own face. A week later Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theatre.

Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. The same play was also running at the Maverick Theatre in Chicago on May 18, 1860, the day Lincoln was nominated for president in that city.

He was the first president to be photographed at his inauguration. John Wilkes Booth (his assassin) can be seen standing close to Lincoln in the above picture of the Second Inaugural. Booth can be seen in the crowd at the top and accomplices David Herold, Lewis Powell, George Atzerodt, John Surratt and Edmund Spangler in the bottom crowd. Frederick Douglass commented on that day, "I was present at the inauguration of Mr. Lincoln, the 4th of March, 1865. I felt then that there was murder in the air, and I kept close to his carriage on the way to the Capitol, for I felt that I might see him fall that day. It was a vague presentiment."

Robert Todd Lincoln arrived too late to stop three separate presidential assassinations. He met his father, President Abraham Lincoln, at the theatre after John Wilkes Booth had fired the shot. He went to a Washington train station to meet President Garfield, arriving only minutes after he was shot. And, he traveled to Buffalo, New York to meet President McKinley, but got there after the fatal shot had already been fired.

Where did I get all this stuff? Check out "Lincoln Site Tours: Trivia" at

Friday, August 24, 2007

Lincoln and His Pets

Fido Never Made It to Washington

Lincoln loved animals. The count of exactly how many wound up at the White House varies. When Lincoln was elected president, the family dog, Fido, was left at Springfield with the Roll family because of a fear of loud noises. Lincoln also left his favorite horsehair sofa with the Rolls to make Fido feel at home. Another dog, Jip, replaced Fido as Lincoln's frequent lunch companion at the White House.

When asked what Lincoln's favorite hobby was, Mary replied "cats." He had a special love for them and adopted two kittens in the White House. Treasury Official Maunsell B. Fields remarked "Lincoln was fond of dumb animals, especially cats." Now there's an ignorant statement. Anyone who's held a conversation with a cat knows they're anything but dumb.

There were also two goats in the White House, Nanny and Nanko, and a pony which Tad refused to ride after Willie's death. Old Bob, Lincoln's favorite horse, became the riderless lead horse in his funeral procession. Add to the mix a variety of rabbits and you have a picture of the White House menagerie on an average day .

To read more about Lincoln's pets, check out the websites: Mr. Lincoln's White House : Pets ; and Abraham Lincoln's Classroom: Pets and Children

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Week 9, Thing #23: Course Summary: Moving toward a Library without Walls

Ah. The course is finished. The race is run. The flag is flying, the text is scrolling. All is right with the world.
My favorite discovery was checking out the blogs of co-workers and seeing the different ways they used the technologies on their blogsites. My favorite exercise was reading about the impact of Library 2.0 and Web 2.0 on the future of libraries, and how all the technical innovations I explored might be useful in creating a library without walls.

My lifelong learning goals have always included keeping up with technology in one form or another, and this course has enhanced those goals by providing hands-on experience with such innovations as Flickr, Wikis, and RSS feeds from sources like OCLC and ALA. Where I once thought of technology as a necessary but challenging aspect of library work, I now think of it as a positive form of social networking and information sharing through sites like Merlin.

One unexpected outcome of the course was that I enjoyed blogging and would like to keep it up. The idea that a blogsite like Technorati would have a place in my life or in a library setting was once foreign to me, but now seems natural. I now see libraries as sources of information in virtual formats, not just physical materials.

I can’t think of any changes in the program to improve it. I found directions and instructions easy to understand. Dividing the course into weeks and sub-things was a helpful way to organize progress. I also appreciated the generous timeline.

If offered another discovery program in the future, I would definitely participate. I have already opened an account with Merlin as a way of keeping up with ongoing discussions about technology. I would also like to create a page or become part of a discussion group at the Library 2.0 site.

My view of a library has changed from being one of a physical building with a repository of tangible collections, to being a virtual world of shared information and pooled resources on a worldwide level. And while both aspects of a library are important and one cannot replace the other, there seems to be no limit to the possibilities of a library without walls.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Week 9, Thing #22: Overdrive vs. Project Gutenberg

Exploring audio ebooks through Overdrive was a learning experience. First I had to install the Overdrive Media Console, then upgrade Windows Media Player before I could check out a title. Because Baltimore County Public Library offers Overdrive titles through their website as well as their catalog, I needed only a library card number to access the account. Some titles are listed as "always available." Others need to be put on hold.

One of the titles always available was "Jefferson's War" by Joseph Wheelan. It could be downloaded as a total volume, or in parts. Once I was able to download this book, it was great to hear Patrick Cullen reading the narration. I can see why people prefer audiobooks in this format. They can be accessed from home and do not have to be returned. After 21 days, they expire.

Project Gutenberg has a better selection of titles on Lincoln, including the biography by John Hay and John Nicolay. Gutenberg offers an option to download in Plucker format, which apparently can be sent to a cellphone. I chose to use the online reader. It was very convenient to be viewing the original text of this biography in a PDF-type file.

Project Gutenberg is free, but asks for donations to keep the project going. Their selection is worth it. They also offer the opportunity for readers to proofread some of their texts.

Both ebook libraries are excellent, with Gutenberg having the edge for more academic volumes. I would recommend Overdrive for popular reading, and Gutenberg for searching harder-to-find works.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Week 9, Thing #21: Podcasting Lincoln

Of the three search tools, and Yahoo Podcast gave me the best results, and pretty much the same results. I've added three new podcast feeds to my blogslines: "A Few Appropriate Remarks," a 24-episode series from, "The Abraham Lincoln Logs," from the website of the same name, and "100 Word Short Stories," a series of podcasts which include "The Wacky Adventures of Abraham Lincoln." That one didn't sound promising to me either, but I subscribed to it anyway.

"A few Appropriate Remarks" from, is a series of elaborately produced podcasts with visual effects and background music to the narration of historical facts about Lincoln. They actually did a very nice job on these.
"The Abraham Lincoln Logs" are political satire. Lincoln comments on AT&T iphones, talks to Dick Cheney, samples the latest videogames, and says something to offend everybody. Usually Lincoln impersonations leave me cold, but these grew on me.

"The Wacky Adventures" are 100-word short stories created by Laurence Simon. They have very catchy punchlines and are accompanied by the text so that you can read while you listen. Caleb Bullen's narration is better than Simon's. By the way, you can submit your own entries to the "100-word" site on any topic.

One thing I've learned about podcasts -- the delivery is everything. Like audiobooks, the voice is all you have to go on, so the narrator can either make or break a podcast. There are many fine ones out there, including a short series on the Civil War from the Pritzker Military Library through lib.worm, which I also saved to my blogslines.
The future of podcasting in a library setting has already taken the form of NetLibrary audiobooks. NetLibrary has had some trouble with their links, but ideally, when conveniently accessed through a website, or updated through RSS feed, these podcasts can actually replace the physical audiobook collection. It's one more step toward the library without walls.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Week 9, Thing #20: YouTube and all that jazz

If you have never visited YouTube, you are in for a treat. I opened an account and started adding favorites right away.

First of all, I thought it was about time this blogsite had its own Zapruder film, so I found a great video of the Lincoln assassination from the movie "Birth of a Nation" and posted it to my blog. There are over 1,000 Lincoln-related YouTubes, but frankly, if Lincoln isn't really in it, I'd as soon watch Cab Calloway singing "Minnie the Moocher." So I wandered over to the jazz section and got into all kinds of trouble.

If you love early jazz as much as I do, you'll love the music section of YouTube. I've already saved original performances by Ray Charles, Ethel Waters, Lena Horne, Fats Waller and George Gershwin. Three jazz videos are now in the jazz section of this blogsite. (Yes! There is a jazz section on this site!) Scroll way, way down in the right-hand column under "Singing Jazz at LincolnFreak" to see Billie Holiday and Cab Calloway, and hear Johnny Mercer's song to a tour of Savannah's historic houses. Johnny, by the way, is Confederate General Hugh Weedon Mercer's great grandson. Wow. You never know where you'll wind up.

There are four YouTubes on this blogsite now, but I can remove some if that's too many. Adding them was easier than I thought. The codes are very user-friendly and can be adjusted to fit a narrow space.

Anyway, I think YouTubes have great possibilities in the library setting. Every instructional video we've seen so far has been a form of YouTube. Also, they could be used on library websites to give virtual tours of buildings and collections, televised book reviews and lectures, even storytimes online. There is a personal touch to watching a person give instructions rather than just reading them. Whoever smiled back at a PDF file?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Week 8, Thing #19: Web 2.0 Awards: I Love Lulu

The Web 2.0 award winners are impressive. I checked into the short list and noticed several websites we've already used -- Technorati, Blogsline, Flickr, LibraryThing, Google Docs. I explored 2 sites: The Broth, a collaborative, creative visual arts site, and Lulu, a self-publisher. Both sites offer free registration.

On The Broth, you can establish a room, move mosaic tiles and brush strokes around, and look at the artwork others have exhibited in the gallery. You have the option of posting your work so that anyone in the world can add to your canvas, kind of like a visual wiki. On the homepage, they tally the number of tiles moved and brush strokes used so far. It is in the millions. I haven't registered with The Broth, but I did register with Lulu.

I love Lulu. It is a virtual book publisher for both adults and children. You can submit a book manuscript online, choose a binding for it and a price, and summarize it for others to purchase. If it is ordered, you can have it printed out and sold. No overage. No waste. Lulu also publishes calendars, music, information in all formats. So if you have written a novel and Random House has rejected it, go see Lulu. She just might have another answer for you.

If Lulu were available in a library setting, it could serve the purpose of providing online zines or privately published material to patrons. It could also be used by Collection Development as an alternative source for ordering titles not otherwise available from major publishers.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Week 8, Thing #18: Exploring Zoho Writer

Yesss!!! I successfully published a blog written on Zoho Writer to my blogsite. See the article below this one? That was actually written on Zoho Writer and moved at lightning speed to my page. I resolved my differences with the "publish" function. I actually had the wrong username. Once I realized that, things moved quickly.

I also composed a document on Google Docs, but I like Zoho Writer better. The toolbar is glitzier and the options for moving the document seem clearer. You can insert html, table of contents, pictures, charts, and run your own publishing house. Going online is as easy as publishing to your blog.

What a great way to package writing materials for a global audience.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Greetings from Zoho

Greetings from LincolnFreak at Zoho. Zoho Writer is a great online publishing tool. I can see where entire novels could be written, edited and posted online by authors, bypassing publishers and agents to reach audiences which might otherwise be overlooked.

If Thomas Paine had had Zoho Writer, who knows how many "Common Sense" pamphlets he could have turned out in a day, and what response he might have gotten.

The toolbar options on Zoho are as complete as any WordPerfect program I've ever used. Pictures can be added and text colors changed.

Let's see if I can post this blog to my site. If so, I will have accomplished a great task, since the publisher function keeps telling me it doesn't know who I am.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Week 7, Thing #17: Sandbox

Maryland Libraries Sandbox is a great way to get comfortable with wikis. I enjoyed looking through the variety of pages people created. My favorite was "Best Breakfast in NYC," probably one of the smallest. What a great way to find out about the B&H Dairy on 7th Street and 2nd Avenue.

I added a book review to the "What I am Reading" page, and then added my own blog to the Baltimore County Public Library list on the "Favorite Blogs" page. I was nervous doing this, but it worked out. When I added the book review, the page editor even recognized it as a Word document and offered to 'clean it up' for me. I didn't know what that meant, but I said yes and it gave me a great looking paragraph.

You really can alter these wiki pages after signing in, and at first that can be intimidating. Sometimes it seemed too easy just to place your cursor somewhere and start typing. But after a while, it became second nature. Anyway, check out my book review on "Murdering Mr. Lincoln" (what else?) and I hope you enjoy the Maryland Libraries Sandbox as much as I did.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Week 7, Thing #16: All Manner of Wikidness

What interests me most about a Wiki is the diversity of perspectives contributed. In the academic world, this used to be called “eclectic sources.” In a library setting, I think Wikis have their greatest potential for subject guides, book reviews and internal department manuals.

I also like the idea of setting up a library community website to feature “about town” restaurants and tourist sites within the area. Residents usually know the best places to frequent and can give you off-the-record advice that official travel sites may not be willing to offer. People love to contribute information about their community and usually are responsible about not submitting inappropriate comments.

Amazon’s book reviews are very helpful and for that reason I think a local, library book review site would be ideal. I’m interested to see what OCLC has to offer in the near future about including book reviews with their bib records. They have already done this to some extent with URLs linking to descriptions and publisher info.

Some department manuals are already set up so that members can add to them or alter them, and I know this has saved supervisors a great deal of time.

My only concern with contributing research work to a subject guide is that inaccuracies can result. I still say you are more responsible when you have to sign your work rather than submit it anonymously, although “Diary of a Librarian” reminded me that they can always trace your IP address.

Bring on the wikis.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Week 6, Thing #15: What Web 2.0 Means to Me

To me, Web 2.0 means a further expansion of technology to better serve library patrons and to give them more personal freedom and options in accessing materials without the need to enter a library building, or request a librarian. This does not mean that a librarian's skills will become obsolete, only redefined.

Some thirteen years ago, Baltimore County Public Library made a decision that it was in the information business, not just the book business. The library redefined itself in broader terms as a prelude to installing internet computers for public use in the branches. At the time, it was considered a gamble. Now those computers are constantly busy, with patrons waiting in line to sign up for them.

At about the same time, we started an online catalog, gradually phasing out the physical card catalogs in the branches while retaining only one main card catalog at Administrative Offices as a "backup." Again, it was considered a risk. Now even the card catalog "backup" is gone. We have been fully online for years and have never looked back.

So when I read Rick Anderson proposal that libraries might one day eliminate most or all physical collections in favor of a totally online environment with Web 2.0, I am open to the idea, though again, it seems like a risk.

Already certain reference works are strictly online-accessible through websites, with cumbersome books disappearing such as Valueline, Lexis Nexis and some Maryland State reference sites. Such sites are easy to update on a daily basis, and now with cell phones able to access the internet, are more available than ever. So Web 2.0 seems to be the inevitable outcome of a long series of decisions to pool information online.

I especially enjoyed reading Chip Nilges’s updates on OCLC’s future as part of Web 2.0. I have watched that database grow from a simple supplier of bib records to an online conglomerate providing everything from translation services to Interlibrary Loan. I was especially impressed with the ability to use tags and place delimiters in subject headings to create a kind of Mappr graphics for patrons. The possibilities are endless.

There are, of course, always setbacks to technology. E-books and audiobooks have had some access problems. Also, the social environment of the library could suffer, as discussed by Dr. Wendy Schultz, or it could simply change to meet computer-based needs. Current computer popularity at the library might also mean that many still don’t have computer access at home, and might be overlooked as patrons in a library without walls.

Nevertheless, I am optimistic that libraries in general have a keen sixth sense about when it is time to discard print collections and shift to complete online resources, based on the community they serve and the funding at their disposal. I am hopeful that a library without walls, making use of the many options Web 2.0 offers, and flexible enough to provide service to users at home or anywhere, will be just as welcomed and even more widely accessed than the physical libraries of today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Week 6, Thing #14: Claiming Lincoln on Technorati

Four score and seven blogs ago I said I probably would not be using Technorati because of the extensive information pulled in on keyword. Now I've claimed my blog on Technorati, tagged it, and I have a great looking Fave button on my blogsite. Unbelievable. I wish all my predications were this accurate.
This has been one of the most adventurous, informative and social exercises so far. Checking out the favorites on Technorati was easy and great fun. Boing, Boing, YouTube and Engadget seem to be popular everywhere I look. I can see why. YouTube was my favorite. Of course, I had to stop and watch the cat video. Thanks to BluffingWildly, I also saw great jazz performances by Cab Calloway and Billie Holiday on YouTube. No wonder this thing is so popular. Amazing.

I have yet to fill in a picture and profile. My site is still "under construction" on Technorati. But hey, there are over 49,000 hits for Abraham Lincoln in this database and I've only started exploring them. Tag is still the most concise search, bringing up some 16 hits for Lincoln bloggers as opposed to the 49,000 keyword haul.

So stay tuned to the blog directory for everything in the world about LincolnFreak. I saw some colleagues and friends on Technorati as well. Yes, Periodic Frippery, this means you.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Week 6, Thing #13: Playing tag with is the greatest resource I've worked with yet. I set up an account with them and downloaded their button and tag to my Explorer toolbar. Then I searched Lincoln and started bookmarking some very fine websites from the database. I stopped at 11, but intend to add more as soon as possible.

The great thing about is that you connect with sites chosen by others who have the same interests as you. When you click on the "saved by 5 other people" tag (the number varies), you get the webnames of those people, and the lists of sites bookmarked by them. Hence the social aspect of this resource. You can copy URLs of special interest from their lists. You can narrow your search by selecting only the "history" tag on somebody's list and getting even more specific hits. It really is a wonderful way to expand your own research. It's as if somebody else has done a lot of the work for you before you even start doing your homework.

I liked these new Lincoln sites so much, I added them to my Rollyo list. Then I moved the Rollyo search box to the top of my page, just under Lincoln's picture, which one person thought looked like Leonard Nimoy.

I also added three or four of these websites as new links on my page. And I'm going back to to get more. What a great idea to have a simple button available at the top of the Explorer page, rather than scrolling through a "favorites" list each time you want to find something.

I hope others will check into my list and share some of my bookmarked sites. I see this as a powerful research tool, because the information retrieved seems more specific in nature than the average internet search, and the choices increase when new members join.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Week 5, Thing #12: Run over by a search engine

I learned a lot with this Rollyo exercise. I opened yet another account, chose five great sites I trusted, one of them Abraham Lincoln online, and started testing them out. The specific searches brought up good information (e.g., Ford's Theatre, Mary Todd Lincoln, Springfield). I was very pleased with Rollyo's results.

The more general word searches like "biography" brought up all kinds of sites I didn't want. I'm not sure where these other sites came from since my choices were specifically Lincoln, but who knows. Many thanks to BluffingWildly for convincing me not to ditch the whole thing and start over. I really like the sites I chose.

I also added the Rollyo search box to my blog, just above bookzilla. I thought red would dress the page up nicely, but had to settle for plain because I kept getting an error in the html whenever I chose red. I think the plain looks fantastic.

The possibilities with this kind of search are endless. You can literally create your own mini-internet taylor-made to your interests and find specific targets not as easily found on the bigger web. Also, not only can favorite websites be added as a link on your blogsite, but now they can be searched for information that may not be obvious on their homepages. Many websites contain their own links-ups with similar sites and all of these sources seem to come up in the Rollyo searches.

There were a lot of challenges to getting this search engine working, but it was worth it. Rollyo would be great for homework assignments.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Week 5, Thing #11: Lincoln booklist emerges from LibraryThing

Compiling a booklist using LibraryThing was a lot easier than searching an average online catalog. Even if I couldn't remember the exact title of a book, LibraryThing would pull it in for me from an approximation.

I chose the Amazon database instead of Library of Congress and obtained wonderful pictures of book covers along with titles. The list, however, was quickly becoming monstrous, so I limited my choices to 24 titles. I could have picked so many more. There is just so much on Lincoln worth reading.

So check out Bookzilla and Son of Bookzilla in the righthand column, just under the weblinks. Bookzilla will connect you with the complete display of my list on LibraryThing. Son of Bookzilla provides a random feed of 5 titles from that list to my blogsite.

LibraryThing is very user-friendly and provides not only the book you're looking for, but similar titles you may not have read. It's a great way to expand your future reading list.

Also, don't forget to check out "Reading the Man," a newly published collection of Robert E. Lee's letters, as well as Kwesi Mfume's book on the Emancipation Proclamation (not yet released).

Monday, July 2, 2007

Week 5, Thing #10: Roflbot says it all

Behold Roflbot, an online image generator designed to create a picture and text mock-up. Choose one of their own random photographs -- from adorable cats to Washington crossing the Delaware -- or pick a photo from the web, or -- as I did -- choose a picture from your own computer and write your own text to go with it. You can then position the text anywhere on the photo that you like and save it. Voila! An impatient Lincoln waiting for the end of it all so that he can be left in peace. Here is the Roflbot link Or, you can find it on the great, endless menu provided by the Generator Blog. Look for the picture of George Bush watching television.

P.S. I created a meez. To see it, click on this link. I hope it is still alive and well. I had to install Javascript to activate it.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Week 4, Thing #9: Merlin and Other Wizards

Trying to find Lincoln-dedicated newsfeeds has been an education and an adventure. Many history websites feature a page on Lincoln, but their RSS feed is usually on the homepage, and is very general in content, not focused on Lincoln at all. Even a great quote site I found wanted to offer me several authors, not just Lincoln. So tracking down a dedicated newsfeed was not easy.

Feedster and Technorati are extremely powerful search engines. Typing in "Abraham Lincoln" gave me over 86,000 hits on Feedster ; over 57,000 on Technorati. Not since Veronica have I seen so much information pulled in on one search. Because keyword is inclusive rather than selective, I got every single website even mentioning the two words Abraham Lincoln. So I probably won't be using these servers in the future. was just the opposite, bringing up only three RSS feeds on Lincoln. Only one of the blogsites was "approved" by Signet8, and none of them featured what I was looking for.

My best resource was Blogsline, which brought up about 370 searchable sites. I added four more sites to my reader by searching Lincoln on Blogsline. But I had my best luck simply typing in "Abraham Lincoln RSS feeds" on Explorer. This is how I tracked down HighBeam and the New York Times.

Anyway, I also added Merlin to my Blogline reader and opened an account with them. I like that page very much and almost registered for the geocaching teasure hunt. These days you can go anywhere in the world without leaving your desk. Geocaching is very lively and offers lots of activities for students.

I also explored and found it user-friendly, with lots of appealing graphics. Plus, news can be searched by city.
I did find one great blogsite on Technorati about the Kennedy/Lincoln parallels. I've always loved this topic and would like to devote a future blog to it. There are over forty parallels total, not all of them mentioned here. Some similarities between the two Johnsons as well as Booth and Oswald are very chilling.

In general, I enjoyed exploring the various ways to track down newsfeeds and would like to keep practicing and expanding on these methods.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Week 4, Thing #8: RSS Lincoln

If you look to the right and down a little, just above the picture of Ford's Theatre, you'll see two RSS newsfeeds on Lincoln -- one from HighBeam and one from the New York Times. You'll also see a link to my blogslines where I've chosen 16 feeds -- 10 from the list, 3 from the library URLs provided, and three "harvested" from other participants. I borrowed one from Ellen's 2.0 page, and two from Anthony's Sports and Technology Fan site.

The "Feed Me" tutorial by Palinet was the most helpful to me. So was Anthony's RSS write-up on his blogsite. Once I learned to recognize the button or xml tab on websites, the process went a lot faster. Finding websites offering strictly Lincoln RSS and nothing else was a little more challenging.

Using Blogsline was a great experience. I never knew there were so many newsfeeds to choose from. I've opened more internet accounts in the past 3 weeks than I have in the past 10 years.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Eight Things about Me

Anthony tagged me. So here goes - I hope I can think of 8 things/facts/habits about myself.These are the rules: Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1. Obviously I'm a history buff with a special interest in Lincolniana, which I think is a strange word.

2. My favorite sportscaster is still Al Michaels, despite the Oswald Rabbit trade.

3. My favorite music is early jazz.

4. I used to work at a newspaper when they had lead type, and yes, I saved a sample of it.

5. I also worked at a seminary, writing for their development office. You didn't know seminaries had development offices.

6. I once had a beach house on the Eastern Coastline which went down in a storm and made it on the AP wires.

7. My favorite book in Scripture is Revelation. Lincoln's was Job. I guess that's understandable.

8. And yes, I have a cat. He is my proofreader. So if you see mistakes on this page, blame him.

Give me a while to think of 8 people I want to do this to.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Week 3, Thing #7: Technology article: Alexander Graham Cell

State of the art technology during the Civil War was the steel point pen and the magnetic telegraph. Every day Lincoln could be seen crossing the White House lawn to the telegraph office to check on messages from his generals. He often spent hours there and actually composed the Emancipation Proclamation in that office.

But unless a telegraph wagon was available in the field, some dispatches could take days to reach the White House, often after battle situations had changed drastically.

Wait now, suppose cell phones had existed during the Civil War? It’s not such a far-fetched idea. Bell was working on the photophone, a form of fiber optics, 15 short years after the surrender at Appomattox.

Would cell phones have made a difference? Instead of crossing the White House lawn, Lincoln might have been standing out in front of it, trying to get a signal, or worse yet, leaning out a window to better hear his generals. Even then, you know how those signals can get garbled. The drama of Sherman’s ultimate message may have played out something like this – Sherman: "I beg to give you as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah." Lincoln: "What? You broke your leg on a skiff and you’re sitting in Louisiana?" Sherman: "No, no. I give you Savannah as a Christmas present." Lincoln: "You sang Oh Susannah at a Christmas pageant?" So much for progress.

Plus, you know that if Lincoln had carried a pocket phone, it would have gone off right in the middle of the Gettysburg Address, probably blaring Dixie, which he said was his favorite tune. Oops.

And wouldn’t McClellan have loved a cell phone. Instead of keeping the President waiting for hours in an outer room while he chatted away with friends, George could have just stuck his head out the door and said "leave it on my cell."

And how about Jeff Davis, sitting in church, quietly informed by a messenger that Richmond was under attack? No need for that anymore. His cell phone would simply have gone off during the service, probably also blaring Dixie.

Now text messaging – I think Lincoln would have preferred that. Just think, no more scribbling speeches on the back of an envelope or blotting ink on crucial documents. He could have text messaged the entire Emancipation Proclamation, 160 words at a time, to every cell phone in the Confederacy, and for less cost than the average teenage conversation.

The only trouble with text messaging is, you can be erased. That’s right. Lincoln’s most important human rights document might have disappeared forever into microspace. Oh well. Maybe there’s something to be said for pen and ink after all.

If you agree with me, share your thoughts on how Lincoln might have used modern technology during the Civil War. If you disagree with me, leave it on my cell.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Week 3, Thing #6: Flickr Mash-ups and Third Party Sites

Lincoln Sightings Across the Nation

Not really. These are Lincoln sites, not sightings. But I thought the headline was catchy. I chose six locations pertinent to Lincoln's life and career-- again from a website -- and uploaded them to Flickr. This was successful. Then I had to transfer them to Mappr.

Mappr almost killed me. I misunderstood the whole tag issue at first. When they say generic, they really mean generic. "Ford's Theatre, Washington, D.C." was not accepted. "Building, Washington, District of Columbia" was accepted. Once I renamed all my tags and sent them back to Mappr, the next stage of placing them on the map went quickly enough. The map has to be "zoomed" in to a size big enough to recognize the states, or again, you will be told "Wait, don't you want to make this map larger?" or something like that, I forget the exact prompt. I got beeped often in this process, but once the map came together, it really was fantastic. I can hardly believe a program like this exists. To see my map, try this link. It was still working for me as of yesterday and I hope it is still live. Anyway, enjoy Mappr as much as I did. This whole exercise was a great adventure. Also, look for my technology article, forthcoming.
P.S. What I really love about Mappr is how unfailingly polite it is. No curt, one-word commands here. An entire page is devoted to telling you what you did wrong. The prompts go something like this: "Mappr thinks there is a low possibility that this picture was really taken in Washington, D.C. Is there something missing from your tag? Mappr could be wrong, but we can't find this location." Imagine, an interactive program implying it might be wrong. Well you know darn well Mappr isn't wrong. So that leaves you. If you want to feel right about the world today, check in to Mappr and make a few mistakes. Some engineer went to a lot of trouble programming manners into this thing, so you might as well enjoy it.

Week 3, Thing #5:Explore Flickr

Exploring Flickr was great fun. I set up an account and went to work creating a composite from a Flickr trading card template. For the results of this, see my example several blogs down titled "My Friend Flickr." The Lincoln White House I.D. Pass was made using a web photo from my picture file. Filling in the text and hitting all the right keys was no problem. My next attempt was Mappr. That was another story.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Week 2, thing #4: Register blogsite and track progress.

I registered my blogsite at night and of course, had to wait until the next morning to see the link appear on the list of participants. I found the online registration form easy and concise, and the whole process took only a few minutes.
I also downloaded the tracking log and I am getting more comfortable with post permalink URLs. Clicking on them makes all the comments appear. That is so cool. I even printed out the personal learning contract and signed it. Look to the righthand column and down a little to see my signature. My "work arounds" include consulting with 3 or 4 key people who are fearless in technology (including my liaison), working at night using my home notepad in case the work environment gets hectic, and taking a few breaks during the process, rather than get writer’s block...or blogger’s block.
My tech toolbox includes a good printer, speakers and earphones, an attachment for saving materials to a disk if necessary, and 2 computers: one at work and one at home. My home computer is dial-up, but the speed and capabilities seem more than adequate.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Week 2 Thing #3 : Set up the account, start blogging

Setting up my own blog and adding my first post was great fun. Creating an account, choosing the template and deciding on a topic and name was no problem. I knew if I could find a theme powerful enough to hold my attention for 9 weeks of heavy technology training, I might make it. A great deal of my reading has been about Lincoln (more than I realized), so I figured sharing information about him would be an interesting way to develop technological skills. Remembering to register my blog was another issue. But that comes next.

Week 1 Thing #2 : 7 1/2 Habits of Lifelong Learners

Of the 7 1/2 habits of successful people and lifelong learners, I like the first one best. I enjoy beginning a project with the end in mind. There's something about a long-range plan that creates a sense of security and I can better enjoy the smaller details along the way. I also like to play, so I guess habit 7 1/2 is my favorite, too.

The most difficult habit for me will be #3, seeing problems as challenges, and #4, having the self-confidence to turn them into positive learning experiences. I'm hoping habit #5, acquiring a tech toolbox, will help me to do this and become more comfortable with new methods in general. I'm looking forward to this whole experience because of the "step" nature of it. One skill builds on another, and self-pacing is a big plus. It also helps to know that assistance is available from co-workers and liaisons. It should be quite an adventure.

Week 1 Thing #1: Introduction to blogging

Okay, it's time for accountability and observations. My motivation for taking this course was to update my web skills and literacy. Podcasting, RSS newsfeeds, tagging, wikis and image hosting are all terms I've heard about but have found intimidating. I'm expecting RSS feeds, Mappr and podcasts to be my biggest challenges, but you never know. A simple image hosting could be worse. I'd love to learn to run a scrolling marquis. Will settle for an animated flag. The Javascript option on my dashboard seems not to be able to run motion on a website. Will consult more about this later.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

My Friend Flickr

Look at this perfectly awful thing I made using a Flickr template. Instead of a trading card, I created a White House pass for Lincoln. I think the photo looks very "driver's license." And it's not a profile, so you know he's over 18.
Somebody commented that I had assassinated him all over again. That really hurt.
My next project will be working with Mappr, and maybe some great Lincoln sites across the country.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lincoln's opinion of blogging:

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Did you hear the one about the letter at National Archives written by Lincoln, urging his generals to pursue Lee after Gettysburg? The war might have been very different if Lincoln had been in the field.


Was Lincoln dizzy at Gettysburg? Too late to ask him now, right? Medical sources claim Lincoln was ill with smallpox while delivering one of the greatest speeches of his life. If so, he did a better job with smallpox than most of us do without it.

Tell LincolnFreak what you think of these latest news developments in the ongoing saga of Lincoln, a man who has had a longer life than Elvis.

Friday, June 8, 2007

All Lincoln All the Time

Okay, I admit it. I'm a Lincoln freak. And since nobody's going to check out this blog to write a history paper, I'd rather post and share fun stuff about one of America's best known presidents. Hey, it doesn't even have to be researched. Rumors made this country great and I never reveal my sources.

Great advice from Robert E. Lee: "Don't waste your time reading novels and always accept a promotion."

Great advice from George Patton: "Never fight for the same real estate twice."

Great advice from Abraham Lincoln: "If you think a quorum is forming, jump out the window."

I think Lincoln's advice is the wisest.