Wednesday, September 19, 2007

This Blog Has MOVED!

Hello people, I'm writing this entry to let you know I have started a new, a bit more personal blog, at

This blog is musically oriented, so be prepared for music geekdom, but please I recommend it of course, even though its about music, and leaves social/political issues completely out, It is still very personal and you can figure out what is going on in my life just through my involvement in music. I welcome you to read and comment on it!

peace to you all

Monday, August 27, 2007

Thats no moon...

Behold, the Death Library, capable of destroying planets and punk skateboarders with a single shot.

This is an amazing looking building. It is in Minsk, Belarus. Close to Chernobyl. I doubt the radiation made it grow so big though.

Teachers and students of the local schools had to bring in money every week to contribute to the funding of this bohemoth. The beast will hold 15 million items. 15 million. Think we could get some direct loans and ILLs from them?

I'm just imagining with that large of a collection, they will need a separate for each dewey number, not just ranges. I don't mean to poke fun, but I have seen documentaries on Minsk and children in the orphanages due to having birth defects from Chernobyl. I have to ask if this is a good use of the money.

Anyways on to brighter topics. I went shopping this weekend, picked up a Dreamtheater and Yngwie J Malmsteen CD. Both of them featuring some amazing guitar work. Yngwie though is incredibly arrogant of a man, and I won't buy another one of his CDs but I had to own one. Dreamtheater is quite amazing in my opinion, and am waiting for my concert DVD I ordered on Amazon to come. I also got the Ishao Tomita CD I ordered, "Snowflakes Are Dancing". Its some of Debussy's best piano work orchestrated for synthesizer. It is quite amazing. Its interesting to hear Debussy's twisting counterpoint to be on different timbre's and not all on piano. You hear new things. New melodies, new harmonies. Arabesque no. 1 (common ringtone and theme from the old late night show on PBS called Stargazer about watching the night sky for different astrological events, it used to come on right before the national anthem and then snow. I have been a night owl since about 10, just recently did it turn into insomnia.) is quite memorable on this CD, not just because its one of my favorites by Debussy, but it is really an interesting interpretation. My friend Chet used to play it on piano all the time, it was a really good player, just wouldn't admit it.

Also, I'm getting better, almost dangerous with my iPod. Figured out how to reduce the rip time for DVDs muwhahahaha.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Week #9 - Who needs a boob tube, you got Youtube!

Hello world!

As my loyal readers have realized and known for awhile. I have a Youtube account where I post videos of myself and friends, normally doing some pretty stupid and offensive stuff. Its the performance artist in me to display my "creative" side.

In all honesty, Youtube has helped me greatly as an artist. It has stemmed me to look into learning more about amateur film making. Also it has helped me as a musician. I find clips of trumpet players performing and compare techniqes because not can I just hear them but I can see what they're doing too. Suggesting this tule to anyone that comes in a library looking for video footage of anything can normally find it on youtube. For instance:

This Video is the composer Igor Stravinski conducting the Finale from his Firebird Ballet. This is extremely helpful considering I have an audition this coming week and what do I have to play? The trumpet part from the Finale from the Firebird Suite. This video is very interesting, as most interpretations of this piece (brace yourself for some music geekdom) do not have the brass so staccato in the fast part in 7/4. The composer, who also has total control of the orchestra in this case asks for it to be that way. In the notation of the section, it doesn't specify to play the notes short either. This gives me a major heads up going into an audition, as this performance clears up any vagueness in the interpretation of the piece.

I will wrap up my youtube section of this entry with a video of me playing trumpet on my Senior Recital from April of 2003. I am performing a piece titled "Kryl" by the contemporary composer Robert Erickson. It was inspired by a famous cornetist by the same name, Kryl. The piece is considered one of the most difficult 20th century pieces due to the wide use of extended techniques such as falsetto singing, screaming, and removing pipes from the trumpet. Enjoy!

Now for some talk on podcasts. I like them a lot, mainly because I use them to listen to my favorite radio show that come son 1am-5am here called Coast to Coast AM ( It is hosted by George Noory. After 105.7 decided not to be a talk station anymore, Baltimore lost its affiliate for this amazing show. I had no choice but to listen via podcast from WDEL, Wilmington Delaware's AM talk station. I could then listen to it anytime I wanted, not at 1am! Though I am a night owl and prefer to listen to this show from bed due to the amazing positive energy this show contains leads to a sounder sleep. This show is amazing, by the way. It covers topics from UFO's to paranormal activity, current events, and even celebrity initerviews. The show always keeps a positive attitude and approach. During 9/11 and the recent bridge collapse, they allowed relatives and friends of possible victims to call in and plead for their loved ones to contact them. It was touching. Anyways, this podcasting technology allowed me to listen to my favorite radio program until the show got a new affiliate on WCBM AM680. Thats right, I'm 27 and listen to AM radio, deal with it.

This audiobook thing is pretty cool. I have a few friends who use OverDrive, and openly discuss it with me. It is a great asset from their reviews. I'm sure it can help those who can't get into the library. I haven't had time to try it myself, my schedule doesn't supply much time to listen to something that long. I do have an iPod now that I could use for it. Maybe I will look into it. I plan to keep this blog going once I finish this program for the kick of it. I enjoy having someplace to write.

I must say I enjoyed doing this program and assisting my coworkers with this program as well. I did learn some fun things and I think this program will assist me in my future with BCPL. I did have a few issues though. It got a bit tedious by the end registering for all these accounts for things. I fear spam. I have worked hard to keep my staff e-mail account spam free for 3 years and running. This program for the complete noob is quite comprehensive and hopefully did its job in helping our staff get caught up with the ever changing scene of Internet media. The world has changed. When I'm bored at home, instead of putting a dvd on, I go on to youtube and type in a name and follow it from there for a few hours. I haven't read an actual newspaper in years, but I always check news pages like and I go straight to the National Hurricane Center's webpage ( to read the forecasts for tropical storms and such (I'm a closet amateur meteorologist, I wanted to major in it but I couldn't handle the physics, that stupid musician adage of I can only count to 4 is painfully true). The Internet is an amazing tool (duh) but for it to be useful, you need to know where to look, and this program is a great start.

Sincerely and with much peace and meditations to you,
Rich Sigwald, Catonville

Friday, August 17, 2007

Week 8 - Who needs office? I guess Microsoft does...

Well Well Well, look at what we have here. Google Docs, what a fascinating little tool. The ability to create documents and spreadsheets on the go! Its about time these fairly basic concepts in modern technology are accessable on the web. This is great for a PC with low resources or for library customers who want to work on a document mutiple places and wants to trust Google with their document. It can even upload a file you have with you into its editor in cace the PC you're on doesn't have MS Office. This service, combined with OpenOffice, should open the eyes of admin's everywhere to the possible wasted cost of purchasing every version of MS Office, unless extremely complex documents need to be created. (It is so not worth the money just to get that awesome, and over used resume template). This tool though, great for libraries, and i think its obvious why.

So browsing the "Web 2.0" awards, I saw craigslist won. I guess that woul dbe the place to go looking for a fellow "Furry"(if you watch Entourage on HBO, you know what I'm talking about). But I have little experience with it. The one on that list though that hits me is is a website that handles Instant Messaging for multiple platforms, all through your browser. Its secure, works with firewalls, and runs pretty effortlessly. It will even keep log of your conversations if you sign up for one of their free accounts. Not to mention, since they are still developing tools for it, when you log in, you see their blog telling you what they did that day or week to try and improve it. Also the entries will sometimes contain pictures of office parties. Those are always funny. I love pictures of people i don't know doing something stupid for the ability to be popular at a party. If the librarians at the information desks ever used IM to communicate between branches, this would definitely be a tool to use. it avoids spyware and malware, and has no annoying ads or anything. They also just introduced meebo chatrooms, wher eyou can make your own chatroom on the site and people can come in and talk to you, and have multiple people talk to each at once in one window. Thats the other thing. This website keeps all your IM windows inside one browser window, it makes a fake desktop where you can close, open, drag and minimize and resize IM windows within it. Also if you accidentally tell it to navigate away, it will ask you if you meant to or not. I am a big fan of their work over at and love their tool.

Never thought I'd say that I love someone's tool...What a Friday...Have a good weekend and Peace. I leave you with this...A movie my friends and I made about the job interview process. All of us were interviewing for new jobs around the same time, and I'm sure, thanks to the prep of this movie, we got the jobs. Btw, we do a lot of improvising. This was all on one take.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Week 7 ... but Why do I get a wiki out of you

The first thing that comes to mind with wiki, besides it sounding kind of dirty, is its resemblance to oral history. Anybody can say anything, and is only as accurate as the storyteller. This isn't a necessarily bad thing, just it needs to be under constant surveillance and double checked, and of course, never cited as an official source. The use that immediately came to mind is that of local histories. Each branch could have a wiki page, dedicated to local hostory, that library patrons can contribute to. In communities where generations of families have lived, such as Catonsville and Towson, I imagine these wiki's could become quite loaded. Local geneologies could be posted, along with first hand accounts of different events in the town. Just a thought...

Libraries can use this of course as an open forum, synopsis of books, book reviews and such. They could post this or have patrons themselves log into a wiki and type up what they thought of the book.Librarians could also post to a wiki answers to reference questions they had to research, so these possibly odd or unusual answers would be stored in one spot for quick reference in case someone else asks the same question.

So enough of the wiki stuff. I watched my first football game on my high definition LCD tv last night...holy crap. I'm a football fan again. I had sworn offof it last year, but I think this has me back in. I could see blades of grass...A BLADE OF GRASS!. I could see Joe Buck's big dumb forehead sweating in the Texas heat. I hate Joe buck, hes a moron, and I loved seeing him sweat. Anyways, HDTV + Football = Amazing. HDTV + Shark Week = FLIPPIN AMAZING. HDTV + Planet Earth = I crapped my pants its AMAZING. They are worth the money if you want more than 2 minutes of tv a month on cable. I got my 37in about 4 months ago for $700 at sams club. Thing only weights like 20 lbs, its a dream.

My iPod continues to dazzle and entertain me. Yes, a straight man just used the term "dazzle". Its the best way to put it. The accessory market for iPods is a huge racket, its as bad as instrument cases. I wanted a case for my iPod. I go to the mac store. They have cases that fit the 30 and 60 gig ipod, and the 60 and 80 gig ipod. Look at that again, if case A fits the 30 and 60, and case B fits 60 and the 80, wouldn't you think A=B? OOOOOH NOOOOOO. Too logical. The 80gig iPod is about 5 millimeteres thicker than the 60, causing the 60gig case I bought for it to shatter, yes SHATTER in my hand when I tried to put it on. So I bought one for an 80gig, and it fits...Why? How? What the hell...Ok, so I got an awesome case for the awesome iPod. I have now watched a 3 hour queen concert on it on one charge, its down to about half life. I watched the Blues Brothers and it used a quarter of the battery life. The thing is a very nice portable "I'm bored and don't like the other people in the room" toy. I am glad though I held out til the 5th generation of iPods.

Wiki Wiki...the sound of old school rap.


Monday, August 6, 2007

Week #6 - Delicious? Disgusting

Alright, so I looked at this thing. Don't like it, don't get it. Its for the slacker on the go. Sure it can help you find some useful links like the eBay typo search, but really...I am having a hard time seeing how this can assist a librarian in finding ANYTHING.

The discussion of tagging is very important though. Every page needs and uses tags for search engine reasons. Technorati simply uses technology that has existed since the birth of the web browser and search engine. Meta Tags are what tells search engines what your website contains, and in order of relevance. This also resulted in the fake pages filled with advertising and your keyword inserted into the websites generic layout but some handy little javascripting. Tags are the reason why you never put something on the Internet you don't want other people seeing (naked pics, recordings of you singing, private journal entries, personal bank records). Knowing how these things work is great knowledge for a librarian and can help get around loopholes in the search world (typos, multiple spellings, multiple names, foreign languages).

This Web 2.0 stuff is really the need for integration, as people rely more and more on portable devices as they make their lives busier and busier, or as I like to say "turning japanese" (reference to the song by The Vapors, though the song is supposedly about pleasuring yourself). Libraries can take advantage of this with a few ideas. Branch to Branch instant messaging, pocket PCs with direct access to the catalogs, a streamlined, mySQL and PHP based cataloging database to simplifly and speed up the circulation processes that would operate through web browsers, that could even even allow check out of items with the pocket PCs while still in the stacks. Customers could actually use GPS devices to find RFID tagged items in the branch. RFI could be used with GPS to diagram on a grid of the library where titles are located. One system to do it all, one system to crash to bring it all to a halt. What we must look at is the need of the library visit to be fast, efficient, and reliable. The library is not the place where people go to sit and read for hours anymore. The 1900's mindset needs to go. The library is nothing but an errand on the list with going to walmart, buying gas, taking the kids to practice, and stopping by the grocery store to get dinner. The only people that sit in the library for extended periods of time are the homeless and those without babysitters. Falling technology prices has placed a PC in every house, services like Netflix and TV OnDemand has taken out the need to go to the video store or the library, and sites like has made it easier to simply buy books. Barnes and Noble, and other big box bookstore chains provide a calmer, nicer, more comfortable environment to sit an read. The library has a lot of competition, and looks to be losing. The library can win this, some simplification combined with actually upholding policies, and paying attention to services provided vs time required elements, and of course, education and fighting the fear of technology. Really I think it boils down to a simple fear and intimdation from technology developing. It is important that the computer doesn't make jobs easier or faster, but streamlines processes and allows for multitasking. It only does what you tell it.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Week 5 - Let a playa play!

Hello sports fans, welcome to another... (Bob Uecker cracks me up Major League btw)


Well this week presented some very interesting things. Before I get to the one that triggered my curiosity the most, i must do a shameless self-promotion

This is a motivational poster I made using one of the image generators. Its promoting my group, a friend and I make some interesting stuff and just finished recording our first CD. is the link, btw. Ok enough of that.

I really found the rollyo create-your-own search engine very cool. I made one myself,

It will search some of my favorite fact gathering and headline pages. I can imagine this being very useful to everybody, whether its the chronic online shopper and wants to search all their favorite online stores for the same product, or a librarian wanting to maybe poll multiple system catalogs through one spot. Very cool, very fun, very simple too. I do wish they had a tool that would actually upload your bookmarks in your browser to their search engine generator to make the process even more awesome. This was far more usefull than the bloglines page.

So this week I got myself an iPod. 80 gigabytes. Its amazing so far. I have put the entire Queen live from Wembley Stadium dvd on it. Also the movie "Airplane!". I don't know why I didn't have one of these before, but I am glad I waited for the video iPod and such a massive size. I also plan to put all my CDs on it. I am still learning through all of its ins and outs. Heres to crazy portableness. We watched airplane on it last night in the orchestra pit, kept us out of trouble.

Peace to you all