Secrets to managing your Half Hollow Hills Library Account

Your Library Account is meant to serve you and in order for it to do so most efficiently, here are some tips you may need to know. Yes, I know, it’s hard to believe but your library card does have an expiration date which is displayed when you log in to your account. The information is displayed in this sequence: Holmes, Sherlock 221 Baker Street London NW1 6XE England ( ) 000-0000 sholmes@baker streetinvestigations.com. It then displays CUR CHKOUT: 8, followed underneath by any Money Owed. The last piece of personal information in the column is your expiration date. Your Account then goes on to list the number of requests (holds), __ ready for pickup. Underneath that information, in the following order appear Preferred Searches, Reading History, My Lists, Change contact information, Change password. Back to the expiration date, which on the older yellow cardboard and white plastic cards, used to be listed. On the purple or blue library cards, depending on your color definition, the date is no longer listed and you will need to sign in to your Account to access the information. Another option is to ask the library staff on your next visit when your card is due to expire. For the general library population, their library card is good for several years. It is always a good idea to have your Library card or at least the number on the back handy when you call to check on an item’s availability. If you are reserving an item through your PC, tablet, or other device, try to pick a record that has multiple libraries/items attached as this increases the probability of you receiving the desired item. Items newly printed or produced may not be lent from other libraries. Please bear in mind that while items can be borrowed from any Suffolk County Library, the individual libraries have the right to retain certain collections as being for their patrons only. If a particular item is not available in any Suffolk County library, you, the patron, or we, the library staff, may now attempt to reserve a Nassau County copy. Well-placed reserves are happy reserves.

I am amazed by all the fireworks displays but most especially by the

professional ones where everything is timed perfectly to the second or minute and unrolls as scripted by firework magicians. Fireworks are not just the ones you see up in the air, they could be the fireworks generated by a kiss or touch or an argument. Nature has some fireworks of her own and they are displayed through thunder and lightning and the occasional volcanic eruption. Some dogs and cats are especially sensitive to both manmade and natural fireworks, which when you consider the issue, makes perfect sense. I am surprised more pets are not sensitive since their hearing is so much more acute than ours. “Because of the close relationship of fireworks to incendiary devices and other weapons, the manufacture and use of fireworks were under military control throughout Europe until the 18th century. The Italians were the early leaders in the staging of fireworks displays, under military auspices, for religious festivals, coronations, royal weddings and births, and military victories,” according to Encyclopedia Americana. Guinness World Records states,”The largest fireworks display consisted of 66,326 fireworks and was achieved by Macedo’s Pirotecnia Ltd. in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal on December 31, 2006″ while the “largest chocolate firework measured 9.8 ft. (3 m) in height and contained 132 lb. (60 kg) of Swiss Cailler chocolate. It was released at the Hechtplatz, Zurich, Switzerland, on December 31, 2002.” The largest firework rocket, according to Guinness World Records, weighed “29 lb. 8 oz. (13.4 kg.)” and was “produced and launched by Associacao Nacional de Empresas de Produtos Explosivos (Portugal) at the 12th International Symposium on Fireworks in Oporto and Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal on October 13, 2010.”

Saturday, June 21st, marked the official arrival of summer

though the ice cream trucks arrived a few weeks earlier. I remember saving my allowance and anxiously awaiting the melody that would signal the ice cream truck’s arrival on our block. Ice cream was not the only thing sold from the truck. They also had candy lipsticks, Ring Pops, Lik-M-Aid, and many other sweet treats to delight children. Now I only occasionally listen for the bells because it is no longer as easy to burn off the calories but oh, how, I enjoy that ice cream sundae with crushed cherries when I allow myself. There are so many flavors, enough to please the pickiest palate but the most popular flavor is still vanilla. I wonder if that might be because it could be considered a blank canvas, something to which anything can be added without competing for attention. “Ice cream is a frozen dairy food made of milk products, sugars, corn syrup, water, flavorings, and sometimes egg or egg products, stabilizers, and emulsifiers. Air, which is incorporated into the ice cream during the freezing process, is also an important component. The physical structure of ice cream is a complex 3-phase system consisting of a liquid, air and various solid materials. Crystals of ice and air cells are dispersed throughout the liquid phase, which also contains solidified fat globules, milk proteins, and other substances.” This definition was taken from Encyclopedia Americana, volume 14. “The ice cream cone is an American invention, said to have originated at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, MO in 1904. Charles E. Menches, a young ice cream salesman, gave an ice cream sandwich, as well as flowers to the young lady he was escorting. Lacking a vase for the flowers, she took one of the layers of the sandwich and rolled it in the form of a cone to act as a vase. The remaining layer was similarly rolled to hold the ice cream, resulting in the invention of the ice cream cone. Similar claims have been made by other concessionaires.” This information was taken from Famous First Facts, International Edition: a record of first happenings, discoveries, and inventions in world history edited by Steven Anzovin & Janet Podell. National Ice Cream Day is July 20th, almost in the middle of National Ice Cream Month which is July. ” According to Guinness World Records, the largest ice cream cone is “an ice cream cone measuring 9 ft, 2.6 in. tall which was created over a period of 30 hours by Mirco Della Vecchia and Andrea Andrighetti (both Italy) at the Rimini Fair in Rimini, Italy, on January 21-22, 2011.” Half a year earlier, “On June 6, 2010, Andrew Ross (UK) made a liter (just over one quart) of ice cream in 10.34 seconds in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK. The ingredients included cream, vanilla, sugar, and liquid nitrogen.” One last fun fact is that the average person will have eaten 113 gallons of ice cream in their lifetime, hopefully, not in one sitting.

Stress comes in many forms. Workplace stress, environmental stress, etc. and my biggest

stress occurs when we have long-stay guests. The idiom “Fish and visitors stink after three days” is defined as an old truism that comes from founding father Benjamin Franklin, who penned it for his Poor Richard’s Almanack. The idea behind the statement being that fish start smelling if left to sit around for a while and that visitors, who keep prolonging a visit, can get to be really annoying, fast. An example of “Fish and visitors stink after three days” is when visitors come to stay overnight, but end up spending two weeks. Most people who visit, unless retired, cannot prolong a visit, but there are those rare exceptions. Depending on your nature, you can be either a laissez-faire personality or a more regimented one. I have more of a regimental nature and like my life to flow a certain way. I have, over the years, improved certain aspects of my nature to be more accommodating and more apt to go with the flow but there are certain truths, certain tenents to which I will always adhere, such as being early rather than late for an appointment, remembering important dates and sourcing the correct gift but I digress. I currently have company from a distance and the company is complicated by the existence of a medical condition. This makes the visit more exhausting for the host/hostess. A friend of mine has a neighbor who demonstrates Franklin’s idiom. He is not company and not staying for three days but his home life must not be the best because when he comes over to share in a cup of Joe, he does not exit in a timely fashion. He is a skilled raconteur and could entertain for hours but sometimes the host/hostess has other commitments and this neighbor is still glued to the chair. They get up and start other activities and finally he will get the hint to pack it up. For those of you, like me, who sometimes suffer from stress, maybe some of this will help. Meditation for starters by Swami Kriyananda; Mayo Clinic guide to stress-free living by Amit Sood; Stress cure: a simple 7-step plan to balance mood, improve memory, and restore energy by Vern S. Cherewatenko; Stress management made simple : effective ways to beat stress for better health by Jay Winner; Stress management sourcebook by J. Barton Cunningham or Stress-free in 3 minutes by the English Sisters Violeta Zuggo and Jutka Zuggo. So take a deep breath, a long or short walk, and try to let the stress flow from your body.

Penn Hongthong made a return appearance at the library.

Last Thursday evening, Penn was at the Half Hollow Hills Community Library cooking her native food. She is from Laos and was demonstrating Chicken Lob (Laab), Beef Lob (Laab), and sticky rice. Penn is a very entertaining and informative cook. Her mother accompanied her on this evening and Penn was quite often referring to her mother’s cooking style and saying that her mom maintained that there were no shortcuts when preparing Lob (Laab), whether it was beef, chicken, fish, or wild game Lob, while Penn is of the belief that there are shortcuts. According to Penn’s words and handout, “Lob (Laab) is a traditional Laotian dish. We serve Lob on holidays and special occasions. It is one of the few dishes served with wine. The most common Lob is beef. It is always served with sticky rice and accompanied with fresh and bitter vegetables such as lettuce of any kind, green Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, bok choy, cucumber, cauliflower, radish, long green beans, watercress, mustard greens, broccoli rabe, escarole and grilled bitter melon, endive, radicchio …” Penn Hongthong is the author of two cookbooks to date: Simple Laotian cooking and Healthy Lao cuisine: tasty and easy to make. Some more Asian cookbooks are as follows: 30-minute Asian meals: 250 quick, tasty & healthy recipes from around Asia by Marie M. Wilson; Asian flavors: unlock culinary secrets with spices, sauces, and other exotic ingredients by Wendy Sweetser, photographer, Ian Garlick; Asian grilling: 85 satays, kebabs, skewers, and other Asian-inspired recipes for your barbeque by Su-Mei Yu; Asian noodles: deliciously simple dishes to twist, slurp, and savor by Nina Simonds; Asian vegetarian feast: tempting vegetarian & pasta recipes from the East by Ken Hom; Asian wraps: deliciously easy hand-held bundles to stuff, wrap and relish by Nina Simonds; Classic Asian cakes and desserts: quick and delicious favorites by Rohani Jelani … [et. al,]; Essentials of Asian cuisine: fundamentals and favorite recipes by Corinne Trang, black and white photographs by Corinne Trang and color photographs by Christoper Hirsheimer; Everyday Asian: from soup to noodles, from barbecues to curries, your favorite Asian recipes made easy by Marnie Henricksson; Far East cookbook: more than 175 tantalizing recipes from the Far East; Simply Ming: easy techniques for East-meets-West meals by Ming Tsai and Arthur Boehm, photographs by Alan Richardson. Enjoy and if none of these meet your requirements, we will discover something else for you.

What is courage? What is heroism?

In my view, it is acts of courage which lead to heroism. It does not always have to be a big act of courage to be recognized as heroic. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines courage as the “mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Synonyms for courage are given as: mettle, spirit, resolution, tenacity” while heroic is defined as “exhibiting or marked by courage and daring; supremely noble or self-sacrificing.” Mettle is one of my favorite synonyms, conjuring for me, as it does, an image of a young woman fighting for her rights. Mettle, for me, is personified by Elizabeth Cady Stanton or Anne Sullivan and Helen Keller. So now that another Memorial Day is around the corner, let’s take a moment to honor those who display the virtues of courage and heroism. Some websites which may of interest are, as follows: www.myhero.com; www.hireahero.org; or www.websitesforheroes.org. Some books which may be of interest are: All available boats: the evacuation of Manhattan Island on September 11, 2001 edited by Mike Magee; Heart of a soldier: [a story of love, heroism, and September 11th] by James B. Stewart; Highest duty: my search for what really matters by Chesley Sullenberger; Living with honor by Salvatore A. Giunta with Joe Layden; Pere Marie-Benoit and Jewish rescue: how a French priest together with Jewish friends saved thousands during the Holocaust by Susan Zuccotti; Quiet strength: the faith, the hope, and the heart of a woman who changed a nation by Rosa Parks; Standing up to the madness: ordinary heroes in extraordinary times by Amy Goodman and David Goodman. If you desire to learn about courage as an emotion, see one or all of the following: Courage: overcoming fear and igniting self-confidence  by Debbie Ford; The courage to be by Paul Tillich with an introduction by Peter T. Gomes; and Why courage matters: the way to a braver life by John McCain with Mark Salter. On a slightly less serious note, hooray for the animals who display courage and heroism, most recently the cat who body-checked the dog in defense of her autistic master.

Music has always been an integral part of my life.

I am not a musician but I do appreciate all forms of music and the musicians who are able to create these sounds. I grew up listening to Classical, Opera, Ethnic, Rock and Jazz in my house. My Mom prefers Opera and Classical musical pieces while my Dad appreciates Bill Haley and the Comets, Duke Ellington, Wynton Marsalis, and Louis Armstrong, to name a few. They both occasionally enjoy some Ethnic (Germanic) music. While I enjoy music, I do have my preferences and they are Country/Western, perhaps as an offshoot of my fascination with horses and cowboys, Musicals, Popular Music, and some Ethnic (Germanic) music. I do also share in and enjoy some of my parents’ musical selections. Songs which have a story or message attached are appealing to me because I believe that sometimes those messages reach a wider audience. Among my favorite message songs are Janie’s got a gun by Aerosmith; Single ladies (Put a ring on it) by Beyoncé; Thunder rolls by Garth Brooks; Strawberry wine by Deana Carter; Independence Day by Martina McBride; Fancy by Reba McEntire; and White horse by Taylor Swift. We all have a tendency, in my house, when one is alone, to blast the music of choice. They say music soothes the savage beast and sometimes it is the right remedy for us homo sapiens, too, in that if the music is blasting, no one can hear you cry or scream or otherwise vent your emotions. Oop, sorry, turns out that the original phrase has been corrupted. The phrase was coined by William Congreve in The Mourning Bride, 1697, and the actual phrasing went: “Musick has charms to soothe a savage Breast, to soften Rocks, or bend a knotted Oak …” Here at your local library, we offer The Quarter Notes, a music blog, and Freegal, a music database which has both a streaming and a burning component. You can burn three songs a week to your computer. For those of you interested in learning more about music, here are some resources: Classical music for dummies by David Pogue and Scott Speck, preface by Zarin Mehta; The Encyclopedia of country music: the ultimate guide to the music compiled by the staff of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum; Opera for dummies by David Pogue and Scott Speck, foreword by Roger Pines; This will end in tears: the miserabilist’s guide to music by Adam Brent Houghtaling. Whichever type of music floats your boat, we can help you broaden your knowledge and enjoyment of it.