The Self Defense Workshop on Wednesday October was attended by a fellow librarian.

This blog post is a guest commentary by my colleague. The self-defense training was conducted by Billy Hofacker, who has a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Billy said we should adopt a confident posture in our daily lives, keeping our heads up, shoulders back and a purposeful stride. Would-be attackers are looking for easy marks, so if you look like you’re strong and would fight back, they won’t single you out! We began by doing gentle stretching exercises. Then the group paired off to actually practice the moves ourselves. Billy stressed that you don’t have to outweigh or be taller than your attacker, and you can still prevail. Then Billy showed us how to defend ourselves from an assault from the front, like a shove. He also showed us how to defend ourselves against a bear hug from behind. He showed us how to fend off kicks and how to deflect a wild punch. We also learned defensive moves against a choke hold and someone pushing us into a wall. We learned the correct protective stance, which is similar to a boxer’s. We stood with our lower arms raised, arms close to the body, and chin tucked in. Repeated practice of these moves would be advisable, so that they would become second nature to us. Overall, I feel more assured that I can defend myself, and have gained a sense of empowerment. So treat the mall and anywhere else you are walking with a herd mentality, that is, the weak, old, and infirm, get singled out first so always be aware of your surroundings. And if you need help, yell, “Fire!”. Most people ignore “Help” cries but cries of “Fire” still gets a response. For further information, please see Essential Krav maga : self-defense techniques for everyone by Christophe Philippe ; Krav maga [videorecording DVD] produced by Skymeister Productions Inc. with Krav Maga Productions ; Krav maga : an essential guide to the renowned method — for fitness and self-defense by David Kahn ; Krav maga : how to defend yourself against armed assault by Imi Sde-Or (Lichtenfeld) ; Krav maga for beginners : a step-by-step guide to the world’s easiest-to-learn, most-effective fitness and fighting program by Darren Levine ; Self defense [videorecording DVD] : real life situations produced by Independence Productions ; Vital point strikes : the art & science of striking vital targets for self-defense and combat sports by Sang H. Kim ; Women [videorecording DVD] : learn how to master self defense produced by Minh-Minh Ngo.

The Crime Prevention Seminar presented by Marc Fraiman and hosted by the Half Hollow

Hills Community Library took place two evenings ago on October 14th. Marc Fraiman, an account executive with ADT, shared some Crime Prevention Tips with the library community. He spoke with the knowledge gained from his years in the field as both a fireman/EMT and ADT personnel. The talk covered many aspects of what you can do to protect your house and person. For instance, if you like greenery, make sure that the greenery is not providing coverage for someone with bad intentions. If you want and need shrubs near the door and/or windows, make sure that they do not obscure the doorway from sight. In the instance of the windows, make sure the shrub stops at the sill and does not obscure the actual window pane. On your entrance door, install a lock and a deadbolt. Most regular locks can be circumvented with a credit card but as yet, no criminal has beaten a deadbolt. A peephole is a good way to increase your security level. Motion lights or solar floodlights will cast more light on the situation. Window locks are a good idea. The speaker also recommended stopping the mail and/or newspaper delivery if you are going to be gone for an extended period. If you are considering purchasing or have purchased a new appliance, computer and/or television, cut the
box small and bundle the pieces with the labeling facing inwards. If the thieves can’t see that you purchased a new toy, they won’t want it. The same is true for snow removal. If you can’t shovel very much or want to wait until the next snowstorm has passed through, don’t. Thieves may see the unshoveled snow as an indicator that no one is at home. Fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have a born on date when you purchase them and this is the date from which you can track the usefulness. Fire alarms are good for ten years and carbon monoxide detectors for five years. A good rule of thumb, Mr. Fraiman, said is when you flip the clock forwards or backwards, change the batteries in these devices. The newer model fire alarms are photo-electric and much better at alerting homeowners to danger. Fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on each level of your home with the carbon monoxide detector being eight inches from the floor. Carbon monoxide rises while smoke sinks so you want as much warning as you can get. Traditional Christmas lights may provide a hazard also in that they generate more heat than LED light strings and if you forget to water your real Christmas tree, the branches become dry and brittle adding to the fire risk. ADT provides a free, humanitarian service entitled ADT Canopy, which is a smartphone app to ensure your personal safety. You do not need to be an ADT subscriber to take advantage of this service. ADT Canopy is connected full-time to ADT. If you are walking through a parking lot and feel
unsafe, you can access ADT and they will stay on the line with you and, in addition, can contact other services should you need them. Mr. Fraiman has taken advantage of this service himself. Another extremely useful safety tip concerns unmarked police cars. If you see an unmarked unit, you have two options. If it is safe for you to do so, you may call the police and confirm that a unit is in the area or you may proceed to the nearest police and/or fire station before pulling over to accept the warning and/or the ticket. Be sure to maintain a steady speed so that the police do not assume you are interested in evading them. Stay aware and stay safe.

It’s here again — yes, that’s right, it’s Crime Prevention Month.

To further our patrons’ safety, we have organized two events at the library in addition to hosting a Forensic Science Quiz at the end of our new bibliography. There are so many factors involved in both Crime Prevention and Crime Detection that this year’s bibliography focuses on the beginnings of Forensic Science and the many individuals involved in furthering the science of criminal apprehension. However, let’s return to the classes we are offering. The first instructional session is entitled Crime Prevention Workshop and it offers patrons “some easy ways to protect your home and family without having to invest in an expensive alarm system.” The second class is a Self-Defense Workshop being offered at the Dix Hills branch of the Half Hollow Hills Community Library on Wednesday October 22 at 7 pm. “Learn practical and easy to use self defense techniques to protect yourself. Wear comfortable workout clothes as there is a learn by doing component to the workshop.” The quiz is attached to the end of the new bibliography and there is a prize. For those of you interested in the quiz, here are the questions: 1. If you are suspected of committing a crime and taken in for questioning, the police must first read you your _______ rights. 2. The Fifth Amendment protects you from _____________. 3. Ted Bundy was a(n): a. burglar b. arsonist c. embezzler d. serial murderer. 4 Jeffrey Dahmer was both a serial murderer and a ____________. 5. Serial murderers are most often a. men b. children c. women. 6. What is/are the name(s) of the men credited with discovering DNA? 7. The study of the number of bumps on your head is called ________ and the results used to be said to be correlated with the individual’s violence level. 8. What careers did Emil Vidocq have? 9. When investigating a crime scene, one should first: a. walk through and around the crime scene b., secure the scene to prevent contamination of evidence c. sell tickets d. take photos to document everything. 10. The Body Farm in Tennessee is used to document various scenarios which would affect _______________. Bonus question: Sherlock Holmes was created by whom? His creator was forced to bring him back to life. How did his creator manage this? Only genuine Half Hollow Hills cardholders are eligible to win prizes. You can either come in to the library and submit a paper copy with the Forensic Science Quiz answers or you can text your answers along with your email address and phone number where you can be reached to (631) 213-7927. Good Luck to everyone.

Dewey Decimal has built a nice, neat number for sibling relationships, which is far from the truth

about most sibling relationships. It starts with 306 which denotes Culture & Institutions, 306.8 equates to Marriage and family, 306.87 to Intrafamily relationships, 306.875 to Sibling relationships. Brother and brother relationships are shelved at 306.8752, Brother and sister relationships at 306.8753 and Sister and sister relationships at 306.8754. If only we, as humans, could bundle our sibling relationships so neatly. Siblings, whether brother and brother, brother and sister, or sister and sister, can be seen and experienced as blessings and/or curses. What is the key to establishing or maintaining a successful sibling relationship? Does it have its roots only in shared blood and shared experiences or can it flourish in adulthood if it didn’t have an existence in childhood? Some books which might prove insightful for brothers are as follows: The boy who fell out of the sky : a true story by Ken Dornstein; The history of swimming : a memoir by Kim Powers; Honeymoon with my brother : a memoir by Franz Wisner or Three weeks with my brother by Nicholas Sparks. For brother/sister relationships, you might want to read Apples and oranges: my brother and me, lost and found by Marie Brenner. For sister/sister relationships, try Satellite sisters’ uncommon senses by Julie Dolan et. al.; The sister knot: why we fight, why we’re jealous, and why we’ll love each other no matter what by T.E. Apter; Sister to sister : women write about the unbreakable bond edited by Patricia Foster; or Sisters: shared histories, lifelong ties by Elizabeth Fishel. So try to keep those sibling relationships strong so that someone is always in your corner when push comes to shove.

Newsday’s Wednesday edition, September 24th, 2014, included an article touting “Free Museum Admission Saturday.”

The blurb continued with “if there are museums your family hasn’t ventured to on Long Island,  Saturday may be the day to do it. For one day ONLY in honor of Museum Day Live hosted by Smithsonian Magazine, 15 museums in Nassau and Suffolk are offering free general admission for one person plus a guest. It’s one ticket per household for two people, order at www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday. The ticket will be emailed to you and is good for only one of the participating museums …” If this special offer is not conducive to your schedule, please come to the Half Hollow Hills Community Library and sign up for one of our museum passes, which are able to be reserved for a day convenient to you and/or your group. The Newsday article prompted me to look at Chase’s Calendar of Events which lists two days of significance: May 18th and June 10th. It is too late for participation in these events for this year but something to bear in mind for the coming year(s). May 18th is International Museum Day, a day in which to pay tribute to the museums of the world. “Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding and peace among people. International Museum Day has been observed annually since 1977. June 10th is the day the Museum Mile Festival occurs in New York, New York. On the second Tuesday in June each year, ten of the country’s finest museums — all ones that call Fifth Avenue home — collectively open their doors from 6 pm to 9 pm for free to visitors for a mile-long block party and visual art celebration. Festivities begin at the steps of the landmark National Academy Museum building at 5:45 pm. For information regarding this festival, visit www.museummilefestival.org. Again if the Newsday offer is not conducive to your visiting a museum, stop by your local library and check what passes they have available and then plan an outing to enjoy one of the many museums which surround us.

I am sure I have mentioned my furbaby before but here is her backstory.

My first cat or furbaby, Velvet, was a calico and not actually mine. She preferred my mother’s  company to mine and heaven forbid, you twitched or had a muscle cramp and disturbed her rest because then she was gone. At eighteen and a half, she developed a stomach tumor and though it pained us greatly, we sent her on to her forever sleep. If she had been eight years or younger, we may have chanced the surgical route but at such an advanced age, the surgery would have been torturous for Velvet and her chances of surviving anesthesia not good. It took us two years to mourn. Near the end of the second year, we began to discuss the possibility of welcoming a new furbaby into the fold and so it was that on my birthday in October 1997, we acquired a new furbaby. This furbaby, another calico female, either never read or discarded the feline rule book as unnecessary. The first three days of being owned by Lady Lilly, were iffy, to say the least. Cats, as we all know, have staff or servants. You do not own them, they own you, heart and soul. However, after being in a cage, I am not sure for how long, our house must have seemed like a kingdom to her. Lady Lilly raced up and down the stairs and seemed to race up and down the walls, too. She was a wild thing and then, all of a sudden, a switch seems to have flipped because on the third day, there was calm. This was now her realm and she knew it. The cat came by her moniker in an unusual way in that we were debating what to rename her and absolutely could not decide. My Mom queried, “What did the shelter call her?” I answered, “Lady Lilly,” whereupon my Mom repeated the name loudly and the furbaby came running as if to say “Why haven’t you been using my name?” Lady Lilly is one of the family and to that end, she wants to sit with us at the dinner table. If we don’t have a chair ready for her, she sits between my parents, blinks her eyes and meows until someone provides her with a chair of her own. She is a very affectionate furbaby and breaks all the accepted feline rules. She comes when her name is called, she loves to sit with the family and will not hide when visitors stop by. In the winter, when it is exceptionally cold, she likes to curl up under the bedcovers with me. In the evenings, after the news hour, Lady Lilly sits in her basket on the couch between my parents. She makes sure to spread her love. She is going to be seventeen and a half soon and I hope we have her a few more years. However, I do realize that any time with your furbaby, feline, canine, or other, is too short for the staff/servants (the human).

Thanks to all who sign their license willing to donate organs.

Roughly two weeks ago I celebrated my twenty-seventh liver anniversary. Seems like a funny thing to celebrate but it is the day that my life began again. I had been sick all my life and my Mom and I were in Pittsburgh again. We had been there in April or May for evaluation for inclusion on the organ recipient list. At that time, it was judged that my condition was not severe enough because even though I was missing some classes I was still mostly mobile and healthy. The panel of doctors informed me that I would most likely need to wait a year to a year and a half for a suitable organ to be found. We went home. In August, I was feeling quite poorly and my Dr. gently refused treatment stating that he would prefer I return to Pittsburgh for further testing. My Mom and I traveled to Pittsburgh, where on August 16, 1987, I was admitted. On August 23, 1987, at 7:30 pm when they entered my hospital room, I thought,”OK, they haven’t found anything to warrant an upgrade on the list and we are going home.” Instead I heard the words, “We found a liver for you.” My reaction to this pronouncement was different than my mother’s. I was a teenager and considered any treatment outcome a better one than where I was currently. My mom was probably thinking of all the things that can and do go wrong and of all the people she would have to contact, mainly my Dad and brother back on Long Island to let them know the surgery was taking place. I was taken downstairs to the OR (Operating Room) and I do not remember past 8 pm though the surgery started at 9 pm. I woke up on Wednesday in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and the first thing that hit me was the stillness of my hands. My hands had never been still before. During the school day and while performing other activities, my hands were not scratching but at night when my body had nothing to concentrate on, the bile made itself known. The other minor miracle is that the lesions on my legs were well on their way to gone. A working liver is an amazing thing. Bile is toxic and because of the liver’s malfunction, it was free flowing underneath my skin. Most nights I scratched myself raw until I finally wised up and cut my nails short and began wearing gloves. This dulled the damage I could inflict. By Friday I was upstairs in a four unit room meaning four beds, one nurse. Time just sped by after that and two and a half weeks later I was discharged from the hospital. However, I did not have a free pass to go home just yet. There are some weeks of Clinic which you, the patient, must attend. Most important, however, besides taking your medicine regularly was the acquisition of a Medic Alert bracelet. Two weeks of Clinic and I was cleared to go home. Nothing can ever prepare you for that feeling of health and when people ask what is the difference in feeling, it is hard to encapsulate in words if you have never been well. I thank that young man quite often in my thoughts for his donation. At the time, it was not a common practice to thank the donor directly. You, the recipient, could write a letter which was handed to an intermediary, who judged when the time was right to hand over the note. In twenty seven years, many things have changed with the transplantation process but I still see it as a miraculous procedure.