Thursday, September 30, 2004

Telling it like it is...

This is pretty funny... and i really am in awe of the techies who were able to hack.. :)

The Sun (UK) reported that either a malicious customer or a disguntled employee hack into NTL's (a cable company) phone system. Callers to the company were told,
"You are through to NTL customer services. We don't give a (expletive) about you. We are never here. We just (expletive) you about, basically, and we are not going to handle any of your complaints. Just (expletive) off and leave us alone."

What kind of message would be good for the users of the libraries?


"You have reached XXX library. If you have fines on your account... you deserve it. That's for returning your items late/ damaging the items / losing the items. Other than that, if you can't find the items on the shelves, that's cos YOU don't put it back properly or stole from the library. Quit complaining and do something constructive."

Oh well... might not be the best.. but that's the best i can come up in 3 mins.

On a more serious note.. on a blog?? How can it be?? har har... It's the Banned Book Week in the States... They celebrate it to remind themselves of the freedom of speech, freedom to choose and to voice opinions... and to ensure that even the unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints is available to all who wish to read them...blah blah blah...

Anyway.. what i found really interesting were the type of books that were frequently challenged or banned.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Witches by Roald Dahl
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

Some of these books are my favorites... Where's Waldo's banned?? It's just a simple and fun puzzle book... oh well..maybe there's some hidden pictures that i couldn't spot. Sometimes i really don't understand how people can be so uptight about stuff... does it mean that reading about it will cause a reader to emulate the protagonist/antagoist in the story? Eating fried worms is a great source of protein.. haven't You heard?

Reminds me of how i used to try to grow a money tree by putting, planting and watering coins in a flower pot cos i really thought that it could grow into a money tree.. Damned that Standard Chartered TV ad.. for giving me such false hopes!!....

BTW... the MPH warehouse sale was on over the weekend.. and i spent over $100 on books books and books... it wasn't as good as the Penguin book sale which had lots of great classics and novels on your must-have lists (or books that you have to read so that you'd be seen as an intellectual)... but you still get to get hardcover children's books for $10 - $15. Shel Silverstein's The Missing Piece, A Giraffe and a half and Lafcadio, the Lion who Shot Back, each costing $15.. great buys!!!

Can't wait till the next book sale!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Neil Gaiman's Journal and other stuff...

Just wanna share something really cool..

Neil Gaiman's journal is something that he updates daily. sometimes more than 1 entry a day. I really wonder... where does he gets his time to do it. Given that he is such an accomplished multi-award winning author.. wouldn't/shouldn't he be concentrating on his books and stories instead? Where does he gets the time?

This actually reminded something that i read recently... in order to get the creative juices flowing.. it is recommended that you sit down and write in your journal approximately 1000 words a day.. Wow... that's one-third of my assignment.. har har har..

Wait till my assignment is done.

On a different note.. i'm really drooling over some of the designer blogs. . so... kinda just feel that maybe if i get a cool looking one.. i'd feel more inspired to write more witty and clever entries?? hee hee hee.. so right now.. am in the mist of working out something new over here. No.. i can't afford to pay for one from my favorite blog designer, Moxie.

One suggestion was to collect for donations. Haven't you heard of the girl who put up her website for donations so that she can increase her boob size?? FYI, she did get people to donate money and she did get new and bigger boobs. Any kind souls out there who's willing to donate so that i'd get a new blog look?? Donations??? Please!!!??? The other way is to design and set a blog up by myself. So i'm actually trying set it up with the help of a friend. (YES! You know who you are and you have been suckered to help me do my blog up!!!) If it works out.. you'd get to see it right here?? Or.. i might shift this blog to another host. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Meanwhile.. check out this really cool website based on Spy vs Spy.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

First of its kind?

Well well handphones are banned from the library... this includes texting (smsing as we know it here in Singapore), talking and ringing tones. First-time offenders would be warned and subsequently, they'd be fined... sounds very Singaporean.

Seems that the Library Director at Huntington Beach Public Library tried all sort of ways to ask patrons to refrain from using the phone during reference interviews and when using the terminals. But obviously all in vain.

i am wondering if it would it work? How do you keep track of repeat offenders?

i know how handphones can be a pet peeve of some librarians... same here... i would always advice the patron to go outside the library to talk on the phones.. since it's MOBILE anyway.. har har har har..

Let's see if our libraries going to do that too... note to myself: Add to ban list :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Can i ban YOU?

Only in the states you get great stuff like this... Carlos Hernandez filed a federal lawsuit after he got banned from the Hawaii State Library for visiting a pornographic gay and lesbian website.

Apparently, in the United States, there are state laws that allow authorities to ban people from public spaces after a written request or warning has been issued. Aimed at removing squatters from public campgrounds, parks and beaches, THE LAW prevents the offender from the public space for one year.

No doubt that there would be cases of abuses... but but but..wouldn't it be great for us? i definitely know how relieved and happy some of my colleagues would be if we could just banned certain trouble makers from the libraries...

List of people i'd ban.. (work in progress.. will add on to the list. Keep a look out)

  1. Love struck stalkers... yes yes.... we do have good-looking and attractive people working in the library.
  2. Peeping Toms/Janes... have to be politically correct, you know?
  3. Prostitutes... who solicit their business in the library... Com ' ON!! Go somewhere else! And maybe that's the reason why the Peeping Toms are in the libraries..
  4. Perverts.. such as those who masturbate to cookbooks in the library.
  5. People who think that librarians are really dumb... just today someone asked if i have a "balain"... i figured she was trying to say 'brains'. Yes, i have brains, else i wouldn't have figured out what she was saying. :)
  6. Real wackos... who tears up books and claims that he found them in the dustbin (we couldn't catch him in action).
  7. Sickos ... who swapped the Britney Spears disc with porn. imagine the poor kid who saw it.
  8. Eaters, Snoozers, and Whinners.
  9. Parents... who can't discipline their children and keep saying, "Librarian will scold you." Man.. that's YOUR job.. not mine.. they don't pay me enough for me to do your job.
  10. People who can't see the book when it is exactly where it is supposed to be.
  11. People who are forever asking, " Where's the toilet?"
  12. People who don't read the signage.
  13. People who don't follow library rules and regulations.
  14. People who abuse us and think that they can get their way by being unreasonable, loud and nasty.
Sigh.. if only we could... most of the time, our hands are tied and the police can't do anything about it at all.

Given a chance.. whom would you ban??

Grammar vs style?

Thought that i had to address something else it'd bug me out of my mind. Someone read my post and doubted that i was a real librarian cos i write with incomplete sentences and don't capitalise my "i"s.

Never thought that some people would be so particluar about stuff that is written on a blog, to be honest. i always thought that what make i so great that you constantly have to CAPITALISE I I I all the time.. isn't it a little self pompous? What makes YOU less important that it has to be in small caps?? hee hee hee... anyway... got some really good advice from friends.. and maybe i'd just like to share some tips... as published by by Mark Bernstein on 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web.

An excerpt from point 10:

Relax! Don't worry too much about correctness: Find a voice and use it.
Most readers will overlook, and nearly all will forgive, errors in punctuation and spelling. Leave Fowler and Roget on the shelf, unless they're your old friends. Write clearly and simply and write quickly, for if you are to write often you must neither hesitate or quibble.

Don't worry about the size of your audience. If you write with energy and wit about things that matter, your audience will find you. Do tell people about your writing, through short personal email notes and through postcards and business cards and search engines. Enjoy the audience you have, and don't try to figure out why some people aren't reading your work.

Don't take yourself too seriously.

Do let your work on the Living Web flow from your passion and your play, your work life and your life at home. Establish a rhythm, so your writing comes naturally and your readers experience it as a natural part of their day or their week. But if the rhythm grows onerous, if you find yourself dreading your next update or resenting the demands of your readers, if you no longer relish your morning web routine or your evening note-taking, find a new rhythm or try something else. Change the schedule, or voice, or tone. Switch topics. Try, if you can, to resist the temptation to drop things entirely, to simply stop.

Don't worry about those who disagree with you, and don't take bad reviews to heart. The web is filled with caring and kindness, but thoughtless cruelty can and does cloud every writer's spirit from time to time. Ideas matter, but name-calling doesn't, and petulant critics wrap tomorrow's virtual fish.

In closing, just like to share with you this from Jack Lynch:

Arguments over grammar and style are often as fierce as those over IBM versus Mac, and as fruitless as Coke versus Pepsi and boxers versus briefs.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

MoonCakes and LanTerns!

Today is the first day of the eighth month in the lunar calendar. So what's to look forward to? Mooncakes and lanterns and little piggy baskets. Had a preview tasting of some really good mooncakes last night. That's why i couldn't resist putting mooncakes into my shopping list. i simply love snow skin lotus paste mooncakes. i used to like baked skin red bean paste with pumpkin seed. However, over the years, i kinda didn't like it so much cos it became too sweet for my taste.

kinda funny cos when i was studying, i couldn't afford to buy mooncakes and my mum would send a box of mooncakes and little piggy baskets to me. Pretty cute. And when i got them, i'd have to share it out with over 20 people. Each would only get 1 miserable really thin slice. That's not enough to eat, especially when you are looking at someone who can eat a single big round mooncake with double yolk in one sitting. Talking about mooncakes gonna start my craving. i was so tempted to make a detour on my way home to grab some mooncakes to eat!

And of cos, with mid-autumn festival, you can never be without lanterns and candles. hrrmmpp.. got to start shopping for my lantern this year. Last year i got a huge goldfish, the year before i had a few.. 'Xiao ding dang' Doremon, and Power puff girls. Har har har...

Did you know that you have to burn your lantern after the festival (told to be by one of my dearest friend)? This is so that you'd have a new one the following year! Duh.. with a burnt lantern.. think that you'd definitely need to get a new one!! :) Tell that to her!

There's also this light-up at the Singapore River that i'm really keen to go and take a look. That's what festivals are all about ain't it? Lots of festivities and noise, crowd and bustle. Will try to post some pictures when i get the chance. In the meantime, here's a piece of news on the light-up.

Can't wait to hang around with a bunch of friends, get together, eat mooncakes, carry lanterns.. and not forgetting the all important, candles and sparklers!

Cheers for the Mid-Autumn Festival!!

Best Selling Librarian?

Got to share with you guys something interesting. i'm sure that most of us have heard of the book, Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. What's interesting in today's news is that a librarian actually helped Dan Brown in his research for his books. Excerpts from The Athens News:

Stan Planton, an Ohio University librarian is quietly enjoying the fact that he contributed to the summer's New York Times' bestseller. "It's been very satisfying," said the head librarian at OU's Chillicothe campus, on the book's success. Planton assisted in researching topics for the book's author, Dan Brown.

Planton said he considers it part of his job as a librarian to assist in research no matter who is asking for help. "You never know who is going to come through the doors asking for help, either an author or a graduate student," he said.

Wouldn't it be great if your expertise and assistance as a librarian contributed to a best-selling book?

Things that i found out today

Went to the bookstore today. It's been quite sometime since i last went there. Been pretty busy. i always like going to the bookstore to check out all the new books, immerse in books. don't think that it is too strange. i know that it might sound a bit crazy to people. YOU ARE ALREADY SURROUNDED BY BOOKS EVERYDAY!! Guess that it is different. At work, you can't browse and take your time. it's always rush, rush, rush. Do more with less time and more effort. Does it sound familiar to you?

Anyway.. so there i was in the bookstore browsing.. and guess what i discovered? One of my secondary 1 (grade 7/8?) literature text was made into a movie starring Ben Tibber and Jim Caviezel. And a pretty good one from what i heard, winning several film festival and best actor awards already. i don't know if the movie will be out in Singapore.. but i really hope that it will. Most films in Singapore make it here only if they are viable commercially.

Hands up to those who have read I am David (movie link) by Anne Holm.

To think that i almost threw that book out when i was packing my books just last week. Did a flip through and decided to keep my worn and tattered 15+ year old book.

I will probably do a re-read of the book one of these days.. but just to pip your interest and for me to try to do a fuzzy recollection - the book is about this boy called David who was locked up in a concentration camp till he was 12. With the help of a guard, he manages to escape and coupled with a compass, he is to travel north, from Eastern Europe to Denmark. Having lived in isolation, he has to cope with life outside of the concentration camp, first learning to survive and finding food to eat to trusting dogs and people. Knowledge of things that we take for granted is unknown to him. Stuff like how you can't eat an orange peel etc. (Spoiler ahead) i know that i always cry when i reach the part where his dog gets killed at the border.

Something else too... Avi was a librarian for 25 years before he become an author.. and you can become a published book author by writing blogs (see Mimi Smartypants). So there's still hope for me despite of my numerous rejection letters from various publishers such as HarperCollins, Simon&Schuster etc etc... Or, i can start a collection of rejection letters? How's that for a new hobby? What do you think?

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Secrets that Librarians Hide...

Seems that you can't judge a book by its cover.. nor a librarian.. hee hee.. bit of old news here... (see below) Hey.. but i love it.. keep them coming!! Honestly... what secrets do you have in your closet?? Secrets that you wouldn't want your employer, supervisors, colleagues or friends know? Guess all of us have secrets and try to keep work and private life separated. How long can you hide? And the best part... should your employer be concerned with what you do in your free time outside of work? Even so, how much/will/should/ your promotion and rise up the 'corporate' ladder be judged on what you write on your personal blog? What happens when your hidden identity is unraveled? Point to illustrate: The Demise of Nineteen97

Toronto librarian accused of being wanted Panther (Not an animal found in the zoo!! )
By JEFF GRAY AND JONATHAN FOWLIE Thursday, July 29, 2004

He worked as a researcher among the quiet stacks of the Toronto Reference Library for more than a decade, supporting a wife and children. But 55-year-old Douglas Freeman -- whose real name is Joseph Coleman Pannell -- is accused of hiding a secret, violent past.
Mr. Pannell, police in Chicago say, is a former member of the Black Panther Party wanted for attempted murder in the shooting of a police officer four times at point-blank range in 1969 at the height of the radical group's notoriety. To read more

Cracks me up!!

Since i put up a picture of my dog.. here's something about a cat!

What happens when you:

1) have nothing to do

2) own a sharp knife

3) have a large lime

4) own a patient cat

5) drink too much tequila

6) and it's football season?

Feeling Mixed-up

Barely 6 weeks into the new term, the exam timetable's out. And this is in view of the fact that I HAVEN'T completed any of my assignments!!! Start to plan study time table?? Time to start reading all my readings. Haven't done any of that to be honest. *start running in circles with arms failing everywhere*

Pretty ok spacing between the papers.. with a very long the break between the first 2 papers. Good or bad? Am up for a conference after my exams..Can't remember when it is. Just hope that the timing is such that I'm able to make it.

Tori and Munchy

Something on a totally different note. Read about how someone lost her dog to a stroke. Totally unexpected. i can relate to that. i lost my dog of 10 years over 1 year ago and i still miss her. Never knew what happened to her. She just passed away in her sleep while i was at work. I never got to see her wagging her silly tail and wearing that silly grin again. I buried her with her collar and tags. She never liked being without her collar and i never want her to get lost. Wearing that to doggy heaven will ensure that she knows that i belong to her and her to me. we'd be together again soon enough. Meanwhile.. i'd still be meeting her in my dreams.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Meeting Blues

This poem is really cool. Out of the blue. This guy emailed me saying that he used a picture that i took to illustrate his poem..about meeting blues... think that almost everyone can relate it it. so here it is. Enjoy!

p/s: wondered how he found my picture :)

Meeting Blues

Words! Words! Words galore!
Sitting here has become a chore
Droning words, can't take no more
Words from this microphoned bore

I've sipped the coffee
I've sucked the candy
That happended to be handy
Still I fade to drowsy
Still to be known
How long he will drone
My limit soon shown
When I end up prone

Blurring words repeating
Overpowering, defeating
Many in the comfy seating
Of another useless meeting

'Meeting Blues' Copyright © Tom Brock

I want ONE!!

AAArrrggh... this is the third time that i'm posting this same blog.. anyway.. was just ranting about how i can't sleep due to all the stress that's going on.. being very resentful of the 12 work day week that i've been putting in over the past months... and that i really don't know how much longer i can last. It's ok with working once a month over the weekends.. but having to give up free time on sat and sun TOTALLY SUCKS big time... and the best part is that you can't just replace a weekend with a weekday.. the value is didn't.. family, friends.. etc.. most of the time you can't get to enjoy their company on the days that you are off during the week.

Given that all were making sacrifices during the opening of the new library.. it's acceptable.. but now that it's been stablised... isn't it time to do something before everyone get burnt out??

Anyway.. since i'm awake.. just thought that would do some posting.. and also.. check out some sites. Found some that I really like.. do check these sites out
Little Miss Attila

hrrmmpp... got to pay for the design though... maybe.. just maybe...

Oh.. and
I got gmail
hee hee hee...