Earth Hour

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pinoy Quirk 1: The Dash for the Turnstiles

The past week, I've been taking the MRT to go to meetings. I take this rail transit system to and from the area where my meetings were held because it saved me a lot of time.  Besides, it was convenient because the station is just a few steps from the building where I have my meetings.

The trips were usually humdrum.  The most exciting part usually was upon reaching the station where I usually disembarked.  At first I didn't notice it because my concentration has been on getting to the meeting on time. But one afternoon when my mind was completely relaxed, my attention was caught by the sudden movement in the cabin I was in when it was announced that the train was approaching the last station.  The men in the cabin started for the door, and when we reached the station and the doors opened, all hell broke loose. The men ran as fast as they could towards the turnstiles where  queues have began to form.

It wasn't until the third day that I realized what the commotion was all about.  The passengers were running because they wanted to be first to pass through the turnstiles.  In fact, they were running so fast they could compete with Usman Bolt for 100 meters sprint record!

Actually this quirky behavior of wanting to be first in line does is not limited to MRT riders.  One could easily observe this in the roads.  Motorcycle riders in particular have this attitude that they should always be ahead of the pack. Just watch them weave through the traffic without any care, throwing all cautions to the wind just to be in front of everybody.

There's even a pamahiin or folk belief among Filipinos that when a child is baptized at the same time with other children, the parents should make sure that they bring their baby out of the church ahead of the other kids.  This would ensure that the child will grow and succeed better than the others.

Is this the reason for the strange behavior of my fellow passengers in the MRT?  I could only guess.  But I hope this desire could be put to better uses, like being ahead of the pack in doing good and making our country better.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Earth Hour 2010: 60 Minutes of Darkness for Mother Earth

I have just switched back the light which meant that Earth Hour 2010 has just concluded.  I was supposed to spend the past 60 minutes at the SM City Baliwag upon their invitation but earlier commitments prevented me from going there.

In fact, I got home five minutes after the start of Earth Hour and the lights inside the house were already out.  Even the dogs seemed to be observing Earth Hour because they were silent outside the house.  I turned on my laptop using battery power and monitored what was happening at the website.

I walked outside to check how my neighbors observed Earth Hour 2010.  The moon which was still waxing floated in the starless sky and illuminated the mango tree in the garden.  Sadly, just like last year it appeared that we're the only one in the neighborhood that participated in the event.  Our neighbors did not bother to turn off their lights.  There was even a karaoke singing party down the street.

Sixty minutes passed quickly and before I knew it, it was time to switch on the lights. On the television, the lights at SM Mall of Asia were back and the giant globe in front of the mall showed a message thanking everyone for participating in Earth Hour 2010.  Meanwhile,  I promised myself that I will do this again next year.

UPDATE: News reports indicate that the Philippines has once again topped the participation in this global event.  Some 1,076 cities and municipalities around the country switched off their lights for 60 minutes for Mother Earth. Mabuhay!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

First Solo Exhibit -- Aimee Bernardo Photography

Seasoned female photographer Aimee Bernardo introduces her work to the Philippine market in her very First Solo Exhibit – a showcase of diverse digital images inclusive of her best work.  The First Solo Exhibit will be held on March 25 and 26, 2010, and will show Aimee B.’s wide creative range as it features scenic landscapes, bustling street lifemodern architecture, sleek figures and personalities in motion, and still objects, among other fascinating subjects.  Aimee B. worked in the Middle East, and now specializes in Jewelry, Lifestyle and Food photography.

Aimee Bernardo's First Solo Exhibit will be held at the Hexagon Lounge, 4th Floor podium, RCBC Plaza, Ayala Avenue, corner Gil Puyat, in Makati, with the opening reception on March 25 (Thursday) at 8 to 11 pm.  For inquiries, please call +63 908 181 7811.  People with an appreciation of creative arts, and those with an interest in photography are encouraged to attend the two-day exhibit which will be open to all.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

John Mayer in Manila Tickets Now Available

For everyone who's been asking me about tickets to the John Mayer concert here in Manila, I am posting the downloadable poster from Ticketworld for your reference. Early birds will get discounts until April 15.

The website said that the VIP, GOLD and SILVER sections have reserved seatings.  BRONZE section will also have seats on a first come first served basis.  General admission tickets are standing room only.

Ticketnet also listed on their site the things that are prohibited inside the venue.  Alcoholic drinks, weapons, firecrackers are definitely out but seriously, there are people who watch concerts carrying LARGE CHAINS? Whoa!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Earth Hour 2010 at SM City Baliwag

SM City Baliwag invites everyone to turn the lights off and shed light on climate change and its adverse effects. as SM Supermalls join the rest of the world for Earth Hour 2010  on March 27, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
As part of its observance, SM City Baliwag,will hold a ‘Youth towards Climate Change’ Pep Talk to tackle and exchange ideas on issues dealing with climate change. Aside from youngsters who will lead in the discussion, there will be guests from the Bulacan Provincial Environment and Natural Resources.
A live countdown will take place before pulling off the Giant Switch that will turn off the mall’s signage, as well as lights in the facade and other areas. All lighting in-stores will be placed at minimum levels to maintain a safe environment for customers. Hundreds of fire lanterns will brighten up the whole stretch of SM City Baliwag and a ceremonial release of the flying lanterns will follow to be participated in by mall affiliates, tenants, employees and guests.
Talentadong Pinoy’s Hall of Fame Champion, the Tribal Dancers will be at hand to entertain the participants with their fire poi dance performance.

Kindle for Mac Now Available

After being labeled as "Coming Soon" for months, Amazon finally released its Kindle application for Mac this week.  It is a free download from the site.

The application has the same functionality as the PC version and only runs in Intel Macs and requires Mac OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard.  Download took less than 10 minutes and just like any Mac OS X application, the user must drag dmg file unto the Applications folder.

Kimdle for Mac OS X has the same functionality of its PC sibling.  The user can change the size of fonts for easier viewing.  However, it also does not give the user the ability to right down notes and annotations.  I hope this will be one of the features promised to include in its future release.

My favorite feature of course is the Whispernet which synchronizes all Kindle applications across platforms.  When I downloaded and opened one of my books, I was immediately brought to the page I was reading on my Kindle for PC application.

I don't know if timed the release of this software just before the iPad becomes available in the market.  The iPad of course has the iBooks e-book reader application which has a more appealing GUI than the Kindle.  However, iBookstore won't be available here in the Philippines so I would be sticking with both Kindle for PC and Mac OS X for now.  Or until my Kindle arrives.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Neil Gaiman in Manila: The Nightmare

If you've been following this blog, you've probably noticed that I have several posts on the Neil Gaiman book signing event sponsored by Fully Booked, a local bookstore chain. Well, it happened last night March 18 and it was anything but a dream date.  It was a nightmare.

In fact, the nightmare began even before we got to the venue.  We had to change taxis because the first one we were in hit a van it was following.  My initial reaction was to tell my friend that this could be a sign of what would happen that night.

My friend and me got there a little late because we have to attend a meeting before going there.  We registered and were assigned the number 380 & 381.  We looked at the crowd and some were standing and others were sitting and the floor.  The organizers after milking us with PhP2000 did not even have the decency to provide some sitting implements for their customers.

Time ticked and the crowd was getting rested.  An announcer who was trying to put on a phony British accent kept reminding the crowd to take care of their number stubs and prepare their books for signing.  He also told the crowd to fall in line once their numbers are called.

I watched the crowd entertain themselves by re-reading their books.  One little girl dropped a bottle of water smack into the table where Neil was suppose to seat.  Security guard shooed off the people in the area.  Had Neil been there, he could be heading home with a bump on his noggin.

All of a sudden, the staff of the bookstore started screaming excitedly and DJ with phony accent tried to work out the crowd by saying that Neil Gaiman has arrived.  Indeed, Gaiman appeared from the side of the stage  in a black shirt under a black blazer.  The girls in the crowd started screaming and the boys started screaming too as he climbed on the stage. My friend and I looked at each other, wondering if we somehow lost our way and wandered into a rock concert.   The special guests, well that's how I see them because they were the only ones sitting on chairs while we all waited standing or squatting, started taking photographs, obstructing our view of Mr. Gaiman.

Gaiman went into action and directed the clueless staff how the line would move and flow.  From where we were, I could see him showing where he wanted the people to stay .  Then he started signing books.  It was 5 in the afternoon, the skylight roof of the Rockwell North Tent was still lit by the sun.  First to get her book signed was a girl who squirmed in delight when Gaiman hugged and kissed her.

It went on and on, after around thirty minutes, Gaiman has not even finished signing the books of the first 25 lucky patrons.  My friend and I decided to go around the mall separately and told each other to come back by 7PM maybe it would be our turn by then.

I went back at the venue to find out that Gaiman was signing books of patrons 51 to 75 and it was almost 2 hours since he started on this.  I looked around for my friend and he was no where in sight.

By this time, some people who were probably office workers on their way home looked curiously at the crowd.  Perhaps they don't know Neil Gaiman and were wondering what the commotion was all about.

I decided to go around the mall again and have a sandwich. I ate my sandwich on a bench at the 2nd floor while watching the event unfold below me

The initial thrill has evidently died down.  Either that or fear has started creeping in on everybody that this gig will last longer than expected.  The kids who were awhile ago screaming their love and devotion to Neil Gaiman were just huddled in one corner, staring at each other's blank faces.  Maybe they have been worn down by the non-stop playing of Everything but the Girl's "Walking Wounded" CD which appeared to be playing on a loop since the time we arrived there at past 3 in the afternoon.

I was about to drink my cola when the can slipped from my hand and created a puddle at my feet.  I was reminded of the taxi mishap earlier and I started thinking that could this be sign number 2?

Anyway, after getting bored watching the signing from above, I went down to the venue again and started browsing the books on sale.  I looked at where Gaiman was and noticed that he already took off his blazer.  A pregnant woman approached him and a look of distress swept through his face.  He stood up and started giving directions again, at times pointing towards the pregnant woman.  After a while, DJ with phony accent called on all pregnant women to go in front of the line.  Some of the girls squatting on the floor screamed, "I'm pregnant! I'm pregnant!!"  But they all looked like they were still in high school.

By 8PM, everybody seemed to have been drained of his energy.  Even Neil had to leave and everybody guessed he must have taken a leak or something.  After all, he's been drinking from a dark sports bottle all the time.  Maybe the summer heat was getting too much for him plus the fact that at that point, he must have signed some 500 books.  I was worried that if he washed his hands after taking a leak, he might get pasma but my friend said that he should wash his hands because he wanted to shake his hand when his turn comes.

We continued browsing the books on sale and Neil came back to sign more books. My friend pointed at something on the counter and I almost choked.  Staring straight at me was Neil Gaiman's cardboard face on a stick.  It was supposed to be a fan.  But it must be the most expensive cardboard fan ever because it was priced at 150 pesos each!  My friend commented that the picture looked more like Bob Dylan than Gaiman.  It was creepy to me because it looked like someone decapitated Neil and placed his head on a barbecue stick

Then there was an announcement that Neil will not put dedications anymore.  He will just put our name and sign our books.  My friend's eyes widened.  The girl at the counter explained that the dedications were slowing things down so they have to be eliminated.  Our jaws dropped in disbelief.  After all, we spent a few days thinking what to ask Neil to write down our books.

Neil continued signing his books but he seemed to get irritated everytime someone took a picture of him and the flash hits his face.  He signaled not to let the flash hit his face.  By this time, the shops inside Rockwell started to close for the day and the lights in some hallways were dimmed.  There were still 75 patrons to go before us and we have resigned to the fact that we would still be there by midnight.

We were finally called and we gleefully fell in line.  We were still thinking what to tell Neil when we finally stand before him when this guy started getting those yellow strips of paper where we were suppose to write our name.  He was acting like an SS guard barking ""Let me have these papers, no more personalized signature, no more flash photography, Neil Gaiman is already mad!"

Everybody was shocked and angry.  One dude in spectacles approached us and in a tone that reminded me of my Math teacher told us, "We have to rush this because my priority right now is to make Neil Gaiman happy."

Whoa! We told him how about us who paid 2000 pesos to get our book signed and waited six hours, we are not their priority?  His answer was even worse than the first one, "If I can't make him happy tonight, I might not be able to make him come back!"  He then arrogantly stepped away from the simmering crowd.

I didn't listen to the other things he said because my ears were hot as lava.  My friend was clenching his teeth and murmuring something in my ear that I can't understand.

When I finally got before Neil, he asked me how I was doing that night.  All I could say was, "I waited for six hours and I am being rushed by these people." Neil looked at me and said, "Oh I am sorry for that.  You see they said we have to do this quickly because the mall is closing for the night."  I shut my mouth because I wanted to tell him that I've just been told that HE was the one who wanted this rushed because he's getting mad.

Neil signed my books without even writing my name on it.  He handed me my books and smiled before signing the books of my friend which were literally shoved in his face.

My friend and I left the place huffing and puffing in disappointment.  When we looked back, Neil was still busy signing books, the lights in the mall dimmed and only those in the area were lighted.

My friend reminded me about the earlier mishap we had with the taxi.  He seriously thought that something was trying to stop us this afternoon to go here and this was what we got for not heeding the warning.  His idea was so surreal it could make a good Neil Gaiman short story.

Neil, if ever you decide to come back to our country, please do not deal with those people from Fully Booked.  They made you into a money making venture.  I have nothing against you and I will still continue to read your books.  But this would be the last time I will go to your book signing because I can't let myself be trampled upon again like what happened last night.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The X-Mini II : Big Sound in a Small Package

I just bought a second generation X-Mini Capsule Speaker for my MacMini today.  I wasn't too  happy with the sound output of my Mac Mini so I checked the Internet  to see what speakers would go with it.  I was intrigued with the X-Mini's promise of "sound beyond size" so I thought of giving it a try.  It's good that it's available locally.

I was skeptical when I first saw the X-mini.  It was too small and I thought that with that size, it wont be able  to deliver sound any better than the built-in speakers of my Mac Mini or even those on a laptop. But when the sales clerk tried it on a Macbook,  I was pretty surprised by the volume and the vibrant sound that was not at all metallic. 

It also performs well with my Mini.  The sound is loud enough to fill my room while the bass is quite decent considering the size of the speaker. Sound distortion only occurs when volume is set way too high but still, it is not grating.   However, the sound produced by the speaker is not stereo but only monoaural.  Perhaps this is why the makers of this gadget decided to include a feature called buddy jack.  Two or more X-Mini capsules can be interconnected through this jack to make it a chain of speakers, thus extending the sound.

The speaker has a short connecting cable that can be neatly folded into the base.  It also has a USB connecting cable for charging the internal rechargeable battery and for the sound jack of any device.  The manufacturer claims that the speaker coulld run up to 7 hours when used on a portable device like the iPod or a laptop computer. I haven't tried using it for that much time but maybe I would next weekend. I am just a bit worried with the cables because they look a bit flimsy.  Hopefully it would withstand the heavy use I subject most of my gadgets to.

Overall, I am happy with this X-Mini in terms of the sound it produces.  It's size and design are quite impressive too.  It even comes with a pouch which makes this tiny wonder a great companion for my portable gadgets.

Friday, March 12, 2010

American Idol Season 9 Top 12: What were they thinking?!?

After the performances of the remaining 16 finalists, the top 12 American Idol hopefuls were revealed tonight and I guess I am not the only one who was shocked at the results.  Two of the better singers were dumped by the American voting public in favor of those who performed below par in the last two days.

Alex Lambert and Lilly Scott, are now out of the running.  What a tragedy,  Alex has one of the most unique voices in this year's competition.  He was just starting to show what he could offer but sadly, he won't be able to show more of what he's got.  Lilly is one of my favorites since Hollywood week.  I wanted her to be in this competition because of her Indie sounding style.  I guess that's what spelled her doom because the show does not attract the Indie music crowd.

But even more shocking was the fact that instead of these two performers making it to the top 12, two of the weakest ones got in.  Tim Urban, the replacement finalist who had to reshoot his reaction shot as a one of the top 24 guys will come back next week, and Paige Miles, whom Simon boldly predicted to leave tonight, miraculously survived.  Paige Miles! Believe it or not, after what she did to Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" and after making all judges simultaneously frown at her performance made it to the top 12.

 The guys behind are jumping in joy right now and congratulating themselves after their two picks made it.  They just couldn't believe their luck over their double victory.

If this would be the trend this season I can't blame those naysayers when they say that the Idol franchise has reached its breaking point.  The only bright spots I am seeing this season are Crystal Bowersox and Siobhan Magnus for the girls, and Casey James and Big Mike Lynche for the boys.  I can't even remember the name of the others who would soon be eliminated starting next week. Oh yes, there's Andrew Garcia, but he's become boring singing all those songs.  He's now even in the reserve list of

To be fair to everybody I got from the official site the name of  the rest of the top 12.  They are Aaron Kelly, Didi Benami, Katie Stevens, Lacey Brown, and Lee Dewyze.  Next week the lucky dozen will be doing songs from the Rolling Stones.  Let's see whose head will be the first to roll...

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Numerati.

In The Numerati author Stephen Baker tells us that we are slowly being reduced to algorithms which will make it easier for business, government and even the medical field to target us in the future.

With the help of powerful computers, the Numerati, - mathematicians, computer experts and analysts are digging into our data and slowly creating a mathematical model of humans.  Baker divided his book into seven chapters. In each chapter, he explained how this model could help employers optimize their workforce, advertisers to put the right ads on our emails, help government identify terrorists, make political campaigning more effective, and help medical practitioners identify people with Parkinson's even before the onset of the disease. In the last chapter, Baker and his wife acted as guinea pigs to an online matching company.  

Our online behavior is a rich source of data, according to Baker.  Every click we make on Internet sites, every email we send and membership to social networking sites will enable the numerati to put us into "buckets" or categories and make us even more identifiable by those who wanted to make us their audience.  Even as I write this blog, there is a possibility that some data miner is already scrutinizing my past entries bit by bit.  

In another chapter of the book, Baker reveals how our data will be obtained in the future.  Medical scientists are already trying out magic carpets and walls that monitor subtle changes in the way we walk, talk and move in bed to identify signs of sickness.  We could even end up like the cows in one form where microchips are implanted in their guts to identify them in case they produce bad meat.

While the book expounded on how our data are gathered and the many possible uses of the algorithms that can be made out of them, it did not fully explain how the numerati go about their tasks in transforming our data into mathematical models.  Perhaps, Baker assumed the process would be too complex or even intimidating for the average reader.  Another reason I could think of is that maybe Baker thought that one whole chapter on this process would slow down his narrative.  However, anybody interested in math and wants to know more about the subject matter of modelling will be frustrated that the book didn't have that much information.  All he could tell us is that data are fed into a computer which does all the computation following the set of instructions given by the computer programmer.  Then numerati then looks at the computations and draw conclusions.

In the conclusion of the book though, Baker readily admits that there is still a long way to go before a mathematical model of ourselves could be developed.  Human behavior is so complex that scientists are still unable to fully grasp it in spite centuries of studies.  I think I agree with him that in the end, it will be us who will determine who we really are and whether or not this elite group of mathematicians really get us right.

The Numerati is available from

Sunday, March 7, 2010

John Mayer in Manila on May 16

It's official: John Mayer is bringing his Battle Studies Tour 2010 to Manila on May 16.  Barring any unforeseen incident, the concert will be at the SM Mall of Asia Grounds.

I first go wind of this great news from a Twitter post by Tim Yap in February.  Yap posted that Channel V, an Asian music channel, is bringing Mayer on May 15.  At that time, there was no official word on his site yet but there was a big gap between John's last stop in Australia and his next stop in Portugal.  Everybody was crossing hoping the tweet was true.

While waiting for confirmation of his schedule, news broke out about Mayer's racy remarks about his girlfriends and his sexual preference on Playboy Magazine. I guess you have heard or read about his online apologies for said interview.   There was still no word, however, about his stop in the country.

The official announcement came out just yesterday on his website that for the first time ever, John Mayer will have a show in the Philippines.  It will be after his two night stand in Japan.  No information about ticket sales was posted yet so I will have to monitor this one.

I am definitely going to this one.  I didn't see some great foreign acts before because their concerts were at the SM MOA grounds but this one will be an exception.  In fact I am already preparing myself for the concert by filling up my iPod with all the albums of John Mayer.  

Friday, March 5, 2010

Alice in Wonderland 2010

In 1951, Walt Disney produced an animated version of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.  Many of my generation grew up knowing this version of the story of a girl who fell in a rabbit hole and met a menagerie of creatures that could only exist in a child's dream.

Half a century later Disney produces another film based on Carroll's enthralling tale, this time using the technology available to them.  They also asked Tim Burton to direct it for a new generation of moviegoers. However,  after watching the movie I got the feeling that people of MY generation who grew up with the animated film are in fact the target audience of this film.  

The film is set a good 13 years after Alice's original adventure.  She's now 19 years old and she has the vaguest memory of her past after being convinced by his father that it was all a dream.  She goes to a party, which unknown to her is her engagement party.  When the stuffy young man proposes to her in front of the crowd, Alice runs away and followed the white rabbit which has been bugging her and motioning the time with his watch.

She falls into the rabbit hole and her adventure begins as it was before.  She had to eat the cake and drink the magic potion to get into Wonderland, which has been transformed into Burton's vision.  In fact, some of the landscape in the film reminded me of The Nightmare Before Christmas. Burton made use of CGI effects to create a visually stunning world that is so full of details that I thought if I blinked, I'd miss some of it.

I read Carroll's original story and its sequel, Through the Looking Glass before watching the movie thinking it would be re-interpreted by Burton.  Instead, a new story was written by Linda Wolverton borrowing some elements and characters from the two books.  Unfortunately, much of the wit and profoundness of the original story was watered down if not entirely lost, especially in the case of the Cheshire Cat.   In fact the viewers cannot be blamed if they ask the same question some characters asked when they first met the adult Alice, "Is this the right Alice?"

The new storyline turned Alice's adventure into a  fantasy film in the mold of  Dungeons and Dragons. It is now a journey of Alice's self actualization and The Mad Hatter's retrospection and self-redemption.  It is also about women empowerment, with women deciding the fate of Underland.

As for the performances, the film belongs to Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen. Although much of her body was transformed into CGI, they kept her face and voice so it was still her we see.  Without even trying, she upstaged everybody else in this film.  Most of the humor in the film came from her interpretation of the bratty, ill-tempered Red Queen.  Watch out for her first scene and the one where she's doing a hat fitting.

Johnny Depp is funny but disappointing at times.  I was expecting him to make full use of his quirky acting as the Mad Hatter.  His acting here looked like a cross between Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean and  Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Not even his body twisting dance number moved the people in the audience.

Mia Masilkowska played Alice as an adult convincingly.  She was able to convey the need for Alice to become someone she always wanted to be.  There were times though that she looked like confused especially in her scenes with the Mad Hatter. For a moment  I was even afraid that they would end up as a couple

The character that confused me most was the White Queen played by Anne Hathaway.  What was that all about?  Why was she moving like a fairy traipsing in grass or worse, a drag queen?  Maybe it was because of inhaling the fumes of all those potions she prepares when she moonlights as an apothecary.  Poor Anne looked like an actress in a silent movie, she couldn't tell when to act serious or to go over the top.

Some CGI characters though lost their original personalities.  Alan Rickman's Blue Caterpillar sounded so much like Professor Snape snapping at Harry Potter and his friends.  The poor Cheshire cat was reduced to a mere extra.  The sleepy dormouse was completely changed and became a female martial artist.

What saved the film is the use of current film making technologyThe movie took advantage of 3D technology to further enhance the CGI and make the viewing experience better.  The scene where Alice was falling down the hole was so good that I felt like falling myself too.  It was also used very effectively with flying rocking horse and the butterfly which dart in front of the audience in some scenes.

So what is my final verdict?  Go watch Alice in Wonderland for its GFI and great use of 3D technology.  It is a visual psychedelic ride. However, this isn't the Alice in Wonderland we grew up with although we could be its target audience as well as those familiar with Carroll's tale.   This a new take on the same story but this tale has been told before and in a more effective and delightful way.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Date with Neil Gaiman

My fellow Neil Gaiman fan in the office and I finally decided that we will go to the Neil Gaiman book signing event on March 18.  This afternoon, we went to Fully Booked Store, the sponsor of the event, to buy 2000 pesos worth of Gaiman's tomes.  This purchase gave me a pass to the book signing event.

I picked up three books namely, Signal to Noise, The Graveyard Book and M Is for Magic.  Unfortunately, Mr. Gaiman will only sign two books per pass holder and I have several books by him in my collection.  I must decide before the appointed time arrives.  Whoever said that life is full of tough choices was not lying.

Since March 18 is a Thursday, my officemate and I could only wish that we will have an official business outside of the office that day,  Unfortunately, we have to be at the event before 2 in the afternoon to register and get our number for the event.  With only 17 days to go, we must really come up with a plan on how to go there.