The last month was rather depressing. Same old, document.write(“”); tiring and annoying job. Grey and very cold weather. I feel that we live in a world that is increasingly absurd and selfish, where people don’t respect anything or anyone anymore (and that’s beside all the Trump crazyness). Also, I just realized that, although I have been “writing” all my life (probably since age ten or twelve), I have been involved with publishing ‘zines for about thirty years and it has been already ten years since I’ve stopped publishing the magazine. Jeez, time really flies. Quite depressing. Finally, I also realized that I had read only twenty books last year! I really need to read and write more. Unfortunately, lately I’ve been lacking the stamina and motivation…
After a brief spring-like interval, the cold and snow are back. Like the Hobbits’ second breakfast, this is our second winter. Or maybe the Indian winter. But spring is in sight. We just have to be a little patient. For now we get freezing rain again.
On the bright side, I solved most of the problems with my new Bell Home Hub 3000 router. Since I have lots of devices using wi-fi (nearly forty!), I first decided — in order to ease the transition — to create a guest network with the same name and password as my previous network. Unfortunately, the guest network uses just one band and therefore less antennas so its reach and power is a little lacking. I was able to get most of my devices to finally work properly by switching them one by one to the main network (which uses two band — 2.4 & 5.0 GHz — and several antennas). At first, many devices still didn’t want to log into the main network so I had to resolve into forcing them with MAC filtering.
As for the phone line always dropping after ten to fifteen minutes due to some problems between the D-Link VoIP Gateway and the Bell router, it eventually stopped. Strangely just after a Bell technician rudely told me over the phone that they were not supporting VoIP and couldn’t alter the router settings. I suppose they purposely don’t support VoIP so their customer are forced to use Bell own phone system (at three time to cost of my current phone provider). Unfortunately the problem came back after a few weeks (just after I received a rebate offer in the mail for a Bell phone line — a possible argument for the conspiracy theorists). I tried to bypass the problem by creating a DMZ for the VoIP Gateway and, so far, it is working. All this unfortunate situation confirmed my previous experience with Bell (and what I’ve been hearing from friends and on the internet): the Bell customer service is excellent up to the point where you sign up with them; once you are a paying customer they don’t give a damn about you. Sad.
Finally, another reason for my late melancholic disposition is the fact that my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer just a little before Christmas. In January it became apparent that it was a very aggressive form of cancer and that metastases had spread to the liver and bones. In February, she started having difficulty breathing and the bone cancer was quite painful. Oxygen and strong pain-killer helped her for a while but she lost appetite and strength very quickly. In the end, she was sleeping most of the time. Yesterday, she peacefully passed away in her sleep, at home. The strain of her laboured breathing was probably just too much for her heart. I cannot forget her lifeless face but her expression was peaceful and I am glad that her suffering has ended. She took care of my father, who had Alzheimer’s, for several years (until his death, last year) and we were hoping that she would have many more years to enjoy life after that, but it wasn’t to be. She was eighty-seven year-old and has had a good life. I try my best not to be sad and rather choose to celebrate her beautiful life, preserve her memory and be thankful for all the greatness she gave me. May she rest in peace.
Despite all this, I managed to stay acquainted (a bit) with the affairs of the world. Here’s some notable news & links that I came across this month and that I’d like to share with you, after the jump (in both french and english):