January 6th, 2006

krazy koati

Some people started singing it not knowing how it ends

I have to expect that the library could, if they wanted, determine exactly when I was away because those seem to be the only times that I actually have all my books returned. Ever since I found out the limit for faculty was forty books at one time I've been creeping ever-closer to it, although I don't believe I've yet broken 25. Mind you, some of that's strictly needed for work -- a couple of books for courses, a few for the textbook writing, and a few for miscellaneous other research can give me 15 books out before I know what's going on. It's not all recreational reading that I don't get around to returning.

However, I did get all my books back before going home for Christmas, since I have this fear of books being recalled the day after I go home and then working up the extortionate overdue charges that universities get away with. Last I checked I think it was five Singaporean dollars per day. However, they do only charge per complete overdue day (so the first day after the due dates is free), and they send a warning e-mail two or three days before the due date, so they do make things pretty safe overall.

Now, though, while picking books out for use for my courses this term, I discovered the library closes early in the evenings between terms, and that about fifteen minutes before closing they start playing Muzak over the speakers. It's a very generic, very droning sort of Muzak, instruments being played so that every bar of music is a coherent and not unpleasant piece, but so that there is absolutely no melody, or direction, or theme, or anything to the music. Clearly the goal is to drive off everyone at the end of the day, but I was so fascinated by the phenomenal tunelessness of it all that I lingered, in the hopeless effort to hear enough that my brain could process the music. No luck, but boy, it's an experience.

And happy 14th birthday to World News Now, and slightly less than that to the World News Polka.

Trivia: Ed Gardner moved production of the radio sitcom Duffy's Tavern (which he created and starred in) to Puerto Rico in 1949 to save on taxes. Source: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, John Dunning.

Currently Reading: In Search of Planet Vulcan: The Ghost in Newton's Clockwork Universe, Richard Baum, William Sheehan.