Newsletters, a 2014 project of mine

One day this winter when the weather gets savage, I am going to sit down with a cup of tea and make a list of all the newsletters I have worked on over my years. The first was InformED, a newsletter published by the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Information Centre (library) at the Mowat Block around 1979-81 and today The Pot, the quarterly newsletter of the Huronia Chapter of the Ontario Archaeological Society. Newsletters may be going the way of the dodo, replaced by blogs and Facebook pages. Still for non-digitally inclined members of volunteer organizations they represent a value of membership and are still viable. The real battle for the editor is to hunt down content and fresh view of rountine information and somehow to get member to contribute. I have never found the secret for the latter. But with desktop publishing and digital photography and the net, making content is relatively painless and inexpensive. After I make my list I will likely create “a newsletters i have known” section of my blog gnawledgewurker.com – stand by for more on this topic in 2014.

database prototype built while getting my blood cleaned in Dialysis run

built a simple prototype database in the first hour or so of my dialysis treatment this afternoon…so built one hand  ed in Microsoft Access 2007….to hold information for an archaeology/heritage inventory for townships in Simcoe County.

I am the “long” guy on my dialysis shift, four and a half hours.  Most patients have their blood cleaned and excess fluid removed for  3.5 to 4 hours.  I go three afternoons per week. I Started dialysis in November of 2008.  Dialysis patients sit in a chair that resembles an easyboy recliner. Patients are given access to individual small television sets with earphones.  Some watch TV, some read, some nap. I use my laptop a couple of times per week.

I dug in on this after a presentation last night to the heritage committee of Springwater Township.   Jamie Hunter, curator of the Huronia Museum, and me, a member of the Huronia Chapter of the Ontario Archaeological Society and a semi-retired technical writer and Access Database systems analyst ( that is a little bit puffed up but not too outrageously), made the presentation which I had built in Powerpoint.  The two of us did wel and the committee seemed sold on the idea of gathering this information about First Nations archaeological sites,  early Euro-Canadian properties and still-standing heritage buildings.  A lot of information has been recorded but it is somewhat scattered.  A database is a good way to gather and share this information.

I am a little rusty in Access and need to brush up on a few things like  one to many relationship table linkage.  Today I built a primary table, one query, one online entry form, and two reports…..with a single test record.

I screen captured the form and the one columnar report and placed them in the revised Powerpoint slide show for use with the next township heritage committee.

It is always best to have a specific project to achieve when trying to learn or relearn software.