Saturday, August 23, 2014

I Been Workin' on the Timeline...All the Live Long Day

No snickering allowed!  Yes, I made the Cheets into a meme.
But it's not even relevant to this post anymore. Once I got 
going I had plenty to say.  But,'s still funny!!
It's definitely a slump writing week when all I have to write about has to do with work.  I guess I'll just chalk this up to an I have nothing terribly interesting to talk about at this moment...umm, moment?  I know.  It's weak.

So, here goes with my weak, hopefully not nap-inducing work-related topic.  I've been working for one of the local Alaskan Native tribes in a grant-funded position for the last 9 months, and the gist of my role there has been helping the organization build a digital archive of their tribal history and governance records.

One of the projects I tackled was creating a tribal history timeline of some of the major events and challenges the tribe has faced since their re-establishment in 1987.  I have to admit it was a full on geek alert throughout the whole project.  I was digging it.  Digging it in a this research into their history is super interesting and hey, it might be fun to learn more about HTML, CSS and web design kind of digging it.  Yeah.  It was nerd-tastic.

Technically, I shouldn't be using this photo.
I'm pretty sure they won't sue me, though.
So, I ended up using an impressively high quality timeline generator - for being open source.  Which basically just means free.  It's called and the final product looks pretty damn good!

It goes to show how much of a newb I am with code though, because I struggled with figuring out how to embed the timeline right here in my blog. The conventional iframe embed code method wasn't working, but I figured it out - and was feeling freaking triumphant when I did!

It's pretty cool. You can either click the right arrow on the timeline to go to the next event chronologically, or you can click on specific events you want to read about along the list at the bottom of the timeline. Have a look:
(If for some reason you can't see anything below, click here.)

Take a few clicks for a little peruse through my blood sweat and tears of research, research, and more research. I guarantee you'll learn a thing or two about the history of the Shoo-nak-ians.  That's a joke, by the way.  Tribal members aren't actually called Shoo-nak-ians.  That's me just being funny at best and disrespectful at worst.  Let's go with funny. -  And possibly helpful for those who may not know that the pronunciation of the tribe name does actually sound like Shoe-nack.

Partial screen shot of the home page of the digital archives.
That's a patented Peg sunset shot I took here in Kodiak
The site that the timeline is hosted on is the other half of what I've been up to at the tribe over the last 9 months. is basically a digital archive I designed from a template and then used to catalog their hundreds upon hundreds of governance records.  Mostly just bibliographic records - you have to come to the tribal center to view the actual documents because of copyright and privacy issues. 

It's not all boring bibliographic records, though. There are some fun parts to the archive, too. - Like the Tribal History Timeline and the Coho Salmon Exhibit.  There are 5 pages to the Salmon exhibit with lots of info about the project & some cool pictures, some of which were taken by yours truly.

The process of putting this archive together was interesting and engaging, and I learned a ton of new skills during the whole rigmarole.  Well, besides the heavy-hitting data entry portion of it.  That part was kind of meh.

Hopefully you weren't channeling the teacher from the Peanuts cartoons with all my work talk...Wah, wah, wah. If you're still even with me at this point, that is.

Alright, I think I'm done with my humble-brag post for the week. Here's hoping I don't come off as too "Look at MEEEEE!" in my sharing of work stuff. No one likes a Flaunty Mc-flaunts-a-lot, but I like to share things, especially when it's something new I've learned how to do.  And it helps that the end results didn't come out half bad.  It's been a good experience working for the tribe, but the grant expires on September 30th.  So, that means the money that paid my salary - and my position - expires along with it!  Onward to wherever the wind takes me.  I'll keep ya posted.

Ta-ta for now.

P.S. - I added a new page to my blog with a timeline of where we've lived so far.  I told you I was digging the software!  Check it out along the tabs at the top of the page, or click here.

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