Category Archives: Travels

Frozen in DC

I attended the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) conference in Washington DC 2016. Stayed at Capital Hilton which was quite near the White House. Weather wise: Freezing cold but no snow.  Flight in was good with no delays.

Before the conference started, I had the chance to discover DC.  But due to time constraint, I only managed to walk to the White House and the nearby streets.  It was not like in 2010 ALA conference where I had the chance to visit the mall and the nearby Library of Congress.  One incident which I won’t forget is the hotel evacuation due to a fire incident sometime during 4 am.  It was freezing cold.  Had to stand with the others in the streets, watching the Fire Brigade or Battalion in action.  However, the hotel informed us that we could wait in the nearby hotel lobbies or chill@Starbucks.

Back to the conference stuff.  There was a bunch of interesting project briefings given by various universities.  The ones that I attended were:

  • Research Software Preservation/Sharing
  • Cost of Open Access: Pay it Forward
  • Scholars@Cornell: Visualizing Scholarly Record
  • Expanding Research Data Services
  • The Future of Finding at Oxford
  • Institutional Learning Analytics

Below are some of the CNI conference videos:

The Cost of Open Access to Journals: Pay It Forward Project Findings from CNI Video Channel on Vimeo.

Makerspaces, Virtual Reality, The Internet of Things at alia Stories from CNI Video Channel on Vimeo.

In the nutshell: It was my maiden conference for CNI.  I found it useful as there was a lot of takeaways as well as insights topics new to me.  Given my interests in Web Discovery and Virtual Reference, there were several briefings that caught my attention.  One of which was “The Future of Finding at Oxford”.  They have published their report online.  It’s very comprehensive, outlining their aims, objectives, project methodology and related matters.  (I am still reading this).

I also googled for previous CNI briefings in Youtube and discovered an interesting talk on Virtual Reference:

One more thing: I should have listened to my wife on bringing just a few clothes for the conference (I was there for about 4.5 days). The custom officers were looking at my ‘huge’ luggage and decided to take at look at it.  Out came the Nescafe coffee bottle, sugar sticks, 4 sweaters, biscuits and so forth.  Before clearing me, the officer commented that I should be well insulated during my stay there 🙂


What I have been up to….


It had been a whirlwind period – Dec 2016 till Jan 2017.  I was not able to post due to lots of stuff that had taken place recently.  In the nutshell, here’s a quick overview:

  • Attended CNI (Coalition for Networked Information: CNI) conference in Washington DC in early Dec 2016.  One of the nights, me and the other hotel guests had to evacuate due to a fire. Spent more than an hour in the freezing chilly DC morning
    (4 am).
  • Flew back to Singapore to close the deal for our new home. Yes, as last, I got a house. (Alhamdulillah).
  • Down with flu for most of my vacation leave in Singapore Dec 2016 – Jan 2017.
  • 2017: Preparing for my panel session as well as paper session for SLA AGC 2017 inshaAllah
  • Completed the first phase of the electronic resources management system project, now leading the implementation phase.

Stay tuned for my upcoming posts.

Beyrouth, 2011

One of the interesting places that I have visited.  Unforgettable places, people, and historical sites.  Spent 5 days there and stayed @  Le Vendome .

Check out these places:

There are others as well.  Here are some of my travel pics:

Flight, Food, Zzzz


Cable cars, Cedar Trees, Local Food

Pre-historic stuff

Cedar forest


Cravings – Singapore

We came back to Singapore for Eid / Raya celebrations 2016.  The journey took us more than 15 hours on the road: starting from the time we left home to the time we reached Singapore.  Flight was delayed by an hour.  To top it up, the airport was full due to other flights being delayed as well.  Journey was uneventful but most importantly, we arrived safely.

(Btw, I recommend travellers to use the porter services whenever you’re flying off from the Jeddah airports.  They can help you with the checking-in of your baggage and know their way around the airport especially when it’s crowded.)

Touchdown and one of the things that couldn’t wait was ‘Murtabak’ – a local food. Something that all of us were craving 🙂


Murtabak – close up

One of the highlights of our vacation: Food. Yes; local food that is.  The list sounded something like:

  • Murtabak
  • Durian
  • Chicken Rice
  • Nasi Lemak
  • Mee Siam
  • Mee Rebus
  • Tulang
  • Indian Rojak
  • Mee Hoon Goreng
  • Laksa
  • etc etc

Here are some of the food pics:

Here are some of the foodilicious places (my personal fav)

Other sites on Singapore food worth checking out:

Apart from that, places in Singapore worth checking out:

Travels: A visit to Neil Armstrong’s university

IATUL 2010 presented me with an opportunity to visit the university where the first man who landed on the moon studied.  Being my first trip to the States, I was excited to check out what US of A was all about.  Took off from Jeddah; landed in Chicago; transited at Frankfurt.  Roadtrip from Chicago to Indiana.


Purdue University

Stayed at Hilton Garden Inn at Lafayette, which was close by to Purdue University where IATUL 2010 was held.  During the downtime, I took the time explore the university town which was pretty quiet.  Saw this interesting sign in one of the shops:


Cycling fun

Some other sights of the town:

Met some of the library directors who were there to attend IATUL 2010.

And not forgetting Purdue Uni shots which I took during the conference walk-abouts:

Congrats, NCSU Library

Just read an article in Library Journal:

James B. Hunt Jr. Library | New Landmark Libraries 2016 Winner .

Reminded me of my visit to the library back in 2015.  Awesome.  Had the opportunity to attend the library orientation.  Was shown around the various areas, services and unique features of the library.  I still haven’t forgotten the number of seat types in the library as well as the enormous book bot.

Here’s a link to my blog post on my visit.

Congrats NCSU Library.

Malaysian Escapade 2016

We had a short family vacation to Kuala Lumpur during our recent home vacation in Singapore last July-August 2016. Visited relatives on my wife side.  Been more than 5 years since we last met them.  Took AirAsia. Journey was OK until we were about to land at KLIA 2 terminal. Lots of clouds and it was a little bumpy with an air pocket to go along with it.  The flight was OK but my wife who wanted to taste the Nasi Lemak was disappointed as  it was unavailable for both flights. Lesson learnt: If you want to taste some of the food on AirAsia, it’s better to make the order online prior to the flights 🙂

The walk from the aerobridge to the immigration counters at the airport was far as well.  For those who are travelling with elderly passengers, I recommend getting the wheelchair services.

Prior to the holidays in Malaysia, my wife recommended me to get a private driver to bring us around KL city.  I’m not keen on driving in the busy streets and getting lost and stuck in the traffic jams. I agreed to her suggestion.  We stayed at a hotel very close to the old Pudu Prison – Berjaya Times Square.  We like the location of the hotel; close by to eateries and easy to get around.


Our driver (second from left) with the van that seats more than 6 passengers.

The main event for this trip was the visits to relatives whom we have not seen for a long time.  Enjoyed meeting them; food was great and the moments spent were priceless.  Here are some of the pictures:

My wife managed to eat one of the fish dishes that we could not get in Singapore – Terubuk fish.  We got them at Kampung Baru.

And getting those elusive “jeruk”


Managed to met up with my cuzzies for a dinner at one of the restaurants in the hotel.

To top it up, my son loves to take pool-dips at hotels.

and below are the rest of the pics that we took during our stay there:

Last thoughts:  Some of the advantages of using a local driver are

  • knowledge of local roads; the lanes
  • style of driving
  • if you’re lucky, they take the initiative to get some of the stuff that you crave due to their local contacts
  • advice on where to go and best buys

By the way, If you are visiting Mid-Valley Mega Mall, they have a complimentary wheelchair service for the elderly.  We took advantage of this service as we were travelling with a senior citizen (my mother in law).


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