Difficulté élevée de stationnement…

La mairesse de l’arrondissement VSP annonçait récemment “un chargement partiel de la neige“ (car la “quantité de neige accumulée au sol ne justifie pas un chargement complet”) en vue de  “minimiser les contraintes de stationnement” !

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Comment vous appelez ça devoir se stationner 2 pieds dans les air sur une pile de glace pcq la neige a pas encore été ramassé une seule fois depuis le début de l’hiver? C’est beau économiser un peu d’argent mais tout même! Et on parle pas des trottoirs casse-gueule…

Dans un autre billet FB l’arrondissement recommandait aux citoyens de stationner leur véhicule à un pied (30 cm) du trottoir pour faciliter les opérations de déneigement (et protéger vos rétroviseurs!). Avec toute cette glace et neige pas ramassée encore faut-il trouver où est le trottoir! Dans mon coin certains ont plus l’habitude de se stationner un pied SUR le trottoir…

Étrangement, je ne retrouve plus ce billet: apparemment, il aurait été enlevé car il contredisait la réglementation municipale (qui stipule qu’un véhicule doit être stationné «à au plus 15 centimètres» du trottoir) !! Bravo VSP!

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Flickr F*ck

It’s the Dropbox rip-off all over again!

I’ve just been reminded today that my picture albums are about to be taken hostage. Not long after Yahoo had sold Flickr to SmugMug, they announced drastic changes in their policy. Their offering was too good and not profitable enough so they decided to jack up their price and radically reduce the advantages of free accounts. By doing so they are seriously screwing up their existing customers in what amounts to nothing less than corporate highway robbery!

The free accounts will be reduced to 1,000 photos and videos (instead of 1 Tb). Customers can update to Flickr Pro to have unlimited storage for C$65.88 (C$5.49 / mo) in a scheme that is basically upgrade or die! We have until January 8th to decide, after that our accounts will be frozen until February 5th, when the excess pictures will be DELETED! That’s outrageous!

This puts me in quite a dilemma. Since it has been one of the best sharing photos sites, I’ve been using the Flickr free account a lot for a while—although I’ve almost stopped using it since I upgraded to MacOS Mojave because the Photos app doesn’t allow us to easily upload to Flickr anymore. However, I still have 57 photo albums on it, which contains over 3000 pictures (0.6% of 1 Tb). 

So, should I upgrade or not? If I don’t I will lose my albums—but it doesn’t really matter since all those pictures are still in my Photos libraries anyway. It is just that there, I cannot share those pictures. And I don’t really want to pay yet another subscription service (I am already paying for several of them) and I am already using other services that could serve as Flickr alternative — although not as good… What are the photo sharing options that I already have?

  • Adobe Portfolio included with my Adobe Creative Cloud Photography plan (US$137.83 for 20 Gb, Photoshop, Lightroom) but seems to double the use of WordPress. Although the whole Adobe Creative Cloud offers A LOT of potential that I still have to explore…
  • Amazon Photo unlimited photo storage (plus 5 Gb for video and files) already included with my Amazon Prime subscription (C$79), but you can share only links and is not web-based like Flickr was… (Ex.: Cats 2017-18) 
  • Dropbox free (using 37% of 6.8 Gb) but not able to easily share files anymore (unless I pay C$129 for 1 Tb or C$279 for 2 Tb & Showcase)
  • Facebook free, but not very practical (any limits?)
  • Google Photo free (using 6.3% of 15 Gb) but not practical because you can share only links (ex: Blogger album or Flower 2018 [from Flickr])
  • iCloud I am already paying $3.99 for 200 Gb (so far using only 40%) to host my pictures, but there’s no real option to share pictures or albums…
  • Imgurfree, no limit (sounds great! But doesn’t look very elegant)
  • Instagram free & cute, but again not very practical for photo albums
  • Photobucketfree, slow, offers only 2.5 Gb (2% used) with very intrusive ads (or pay $48.36 for 25 Gb)
  • Pinterest free, but not very practical for photo albums (good to pins pics from other sites though)
  • Vimeo250 Gb included with my Plus subscription ($108), but it’s for video only and would be superfluous and redundant if I go with WordPress Premium…
  • WordPress included with my Personal hosting ($48) I already have 6 Gb (using only 48%), but I am considering upgrading to Premium for 13 Gb ($96 but it also includes advanced social media, simple payments, site monetization and video support), but no nice way to share large albums. But I am sure I could work out something… (there are widgets for Gallery or Instagram)

After testing (again) all those alternatives (wasting an entire afternoon of writing doing so) I sadly report that none of them seems totally satisfactory. However, I refuse to pay the ransom that Flicker is asking for my picture albumsF*ck you Flickr !

I’ll probably workout something on WordPress, either directly or create a page that forward to a subsidiary site (Amazon, Google or Imgur) through links… We’ll see.

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CAM Construction

Entre novembre 2017 et juin 2018 nous avons fait faire des travaux de réparation sur la maçonnerie et le balcon arrière de notre duplex. Ce fut un vrai calvaire parce que la compagnie choisie pour effectuer les travaux, CAM Construction, s’est beaucoup trainée les pieds, n’a pas toujours tenu ses promesses et n’a pas été très honnête dans son interprétation du contrat sur un ou deux point. J’en ai parlé à plusieurs reprise sur le blogue (dont dans cette entrée sur le fait que les services à la clientèle des compagnies ne sont plus ce qu’ils étaient)…

Chose amusante, ce matin, j’ai reçu un appel téléphonique d’une dame de la Régie du Bâtiment. Apparemment, la compagnie en question est sous enquête (je ne sais pas si c’est par routine ou si c’est parce qu’il y a eut des plaintes contre eux) et la RBQ contacte des gens qui ont eu des contracts avec eux ces dernières années pour effectuer des vérifications. Je lui ai un peu raconté notre calvaire et, comme j’ai tenu un journal détaillé de l’évolution des travaux et des problèmes rencontrés lors de nos rénovations, je lui ai proposé de lui faire parvenir mes documents. Suite aux travaux j’avais également rédigé une évaluation des travaux effectués dans l’idée de la faire éventuellement parvenir au BBB ou à des sites qui suggèrent des listes d’entrepreneurs (ce que je n’ai jamais pris le temps de faire). Je lui ai donc aussi fait parvenir cette évaluation. Je suis pas mal content d’avoir l’occasion de repayer cette compagnie pour tout le temps qu’ils m’ont fait perdre et tout les soucis qu’ils m’ont donné! Karma pay back time!

J’avais d’ailleurs l’intension de mettre ces information disponibles sur le blogue mais je ne l’ai jamais fait. Je vous épargne le journal des travaux (qui fait douze pages!) mais voici mon évaluation des travaux effectués par CAM Construction:

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Notable News (w42-w53)

It has been a little more than two months since the last entry of our journal. The weather has been relatively gray, since we’ve had very little snow so far, as it was—more often than not—rain and freezing rain, and lots of ups and downs in the temperature. The most notable events on the domestic front included a strange saga over the video of a panel at the book fair, where I also attended the launch of Solaris #208 and did a capsule interview with Catherine Sylvestre. We had again a problem of flicker in our electricity (strangely only on one side of the house), so bad that one night I thought my apartment had become a disco! Finally, we found the source of the problem (old wirings) and hired an electrician for a temporary fix but we will have to change the electrical entry in spring.

Somehow my sister’s cats managed to start the shower while she was on vacation. It lasted about twenty minutes before we realized that water was dripping from my bathroom’s ceiling. Luckily this small flood was relatively contained but we had to mopped the floor for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. The damage is limited but we will have to redo our bathroom’s ceiling…

The work-place was not too much a strain on my mental health, beside the continuing problem with the ventilation and heating system (strangely when this happens at another library of the borough they close immediately while we have to endure and work in very unpleasant conditions—that’s so unfair!) and some dubious decision on age classification of some mangas (Bride Stories, Nausicaa & Mafalda for kids! Are you joking?)!

readings2018Apple announced new Macs and iPads. We attended the vegan fest again, visited the Book of Hours and the Calder exhibits. I reached my reading goal for the year (fifty books! But, as usual, it was mostly comics and mangas). This allowed my to comment on  a few books (C Comme Cthulhu, Le Chat du Rabbin 8, Isabella Bird 3, Nous rêvions de robots, Pline 6, Ross Poldark, and a book about the New Yorker’s cartoons). I also wrote about the works (bande dessinée) of Philippe Gauckler: Convoi, Prince Lao and Koralovski. Unfortunately, I still watch too much TV and movies (A place to call home season 6, Mars season 2, Murder on the Orient Express, Outlaw KingPicnic at Hanging RockRBG, Solo, Transformer: The Last Knight, Traverlers season 3). Finally, I took some time to reminisce about the fanzine era and the old Protoculture days.

2018blogstatsI just completed my first year with WordPress.com so I don’t have much basis to compare this year’s statistics (although I remember that with Internic’s hosting I had ten times more traffic so either they were calculating it differently or I lost some followers in the switch or WordPress is not promoting the traffic as well). There is also a slight difference between WordPress’ and StatCounter’s numbers. Anyway, in 2018 I posted 319 entries (a 16% increase), acquired 68 followers and received (if we round up a little) an average of a thousand views per month or 350 visitors per month (about 135 returning visitors per month). It is not as much as I would I’ve liked but it is a beginning. The most important is that it keeps increasing from month to month. I’ll keep improving the blog and (hopefully) writing more so it will be at its best when I retire and make it my main occupation (in about 3064 days!). 

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Doonesbury (2018/10/21)

On the world stage, the months of November and December had their lots of typhoon, floods, wildfires, tsunami, and violent protests in France, but it is mainly the U.S. Mid-term elections that retained the attention. In reaction to Trump’s insane White House, people went to the ballot with numbers not seen in nearly a century allowing the Democrats to retake the House by electing many young candidates, including several women (95), members of racial minorities (two Muslim and two Native Americans) or of the LGBT! Space exploration was also in the news as we landed another probe on Mars, explored more asteroids and mini-planets, and China landed a probe on the far-side of the moon.

All in all, 2018 was a very challenging year for everyone, so let’s hope that 2019 will be much better.

Through all this I tried to stay acquainted with the affairs of the world and gathered a few notable news & links — which I now share with you (in both french or english, slightly categorized, but in no particular order — note that, to save on coding time, the links will NOT open in a new window as usual), after the jump.

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Bonne et heureuse année 2019

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En ce dernier jour du cycle solaire, je souhaite à tous que la nouvelle année vous soit meilleure et favorable en tous points. Que Janus veille sur votre passage vers cette 2772 ème année ab urbe condita (ou l’an MMXIX CE du calendrier grégorien, ou l’an Heisei 30 [平成30年]). Puissiez-vous vivre longtemps et prospérer…

On this last day of the solar cycle, I wish everyone a better and favourable new year in all respects. May Janus watch over your passage towards this 2772 nd year ab urbe condita (or the year MMXIX CE of the Gregorian calendar, or the year Heisei 30 [平 成 30 年]). May you live long and prosper …

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Happy Holidays to all !

Gratin assaisonné à tous

🌲☃️ 

Season’s greetings to all

Happy Holidays!

 🎁   🙏  🍀

A défaut de vous souhaitez la paix dans le monde (soyons réaliste!), je vous offre à tous, amis et lecteurs, mes voeux de quiétude et d’ordre, de bonheur et de joie, de santé et de prospérité tant pour ce solstice qui clôt un autre cycle solaire que pour la nouvelle année qui s’amorce et que nous espérons meilleures (Pour nos amis américains, je souhaite également une destitution sans peine et un prompt rétablissement 🤪). Peu importe ce que vous célébrez (Noël, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, Saturnales, etc.) je vous souhaite tous de joyeuses fêtes!

For want of peace in the world (let’s be realistic!), I offer you all, friends and readers, my wishes for quietude and order, happiness and joy, health and prosperity for this solstice which closes another solar cycle as well as for the new year that is beginning and that we hope better (For our American friends, I also wish a painless impeachment and a speedy recovery 🤪). No matter what you celebrate (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, Saturnalia, etc.) I wish you all happy holidays!

🏛    ⛪️    🕌    🕍    🕋    ⛩

عطلات سعيدة للجميع

祝大家節日快樂

Feliĉaj Ferioj al ĉiuj

Frohe Feiertage für alle

Ευχάριστες διακοπές σε όλους

Happy Holidays nan tout

חג שמח לכולם

सभी के लिए खुश छुट्टियाँ

Buone Feste a tutti

すべてにハッピーホリデー

Beatus festis in omnes

Счастливые праздники для всех

Felices fiestas a todos

Chúc mừng ngày lễ cho tất cả

 

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Fanzine reminiscence

Like most people, I had many different periods in my life, each corresponding with the major activity or fancy of a specific era. I had my “childhood” period (spent stupidly frolicking, questioning the universe and learning to be a decent human being—of which I have very little recollection), my “academic roman” period (where I worked on my Master degree and PhD in roman history dedicated to an obscure roman emperor and the impression that was left of him through a biographical compilation), my “SFQ” period (where I published — in collaboration with a few friends — a fanzine on Quebec Science Fiction, as well as a few anthologies and short stories compilation), my “anime & manga” period (where I published a fanzine-turned-magazine about Japanese popular culture, as well as a translated filmography of the first thirty years of anime in Japan) and, finally, my “library” period (where, as a library underling, I do my best to help promote the love for books and knowledge). I am proud of everything I’ve done, but sometime I feels like my curriculum reads as a list of failures…

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Cover #16, by Pierre D. Lacroix

I was recently googling to kill time and ended up searching entries about my old SFQ fanzine, Samizdat. That’s the period of my life where I think what I wrote, published or did had the least impact on the universe. However, I was surprised to discover it was mentioned in quite many places. Of course, it is one thing to have SFQ insiders like Yves Meynard, Jean-Louis Trudel or Claude Janelle mentioned it when they talked about the history of the genre in Quebec, but I was impressed to see it mentioned in a couple of British academic publications like Science Fiction Rebels by Mike Ashley (Oxford University Press) [Amazon, see extract bellow] or New Directions in Popular Fiction edited by Ken Gelder (Palgrave/MacMillan) [Amazon, extract].

Science Fiction Rebels by Mike Ashley

Science Fiction Rebels by Mike Ashley, p. 342 [ actually, it ran for 25 issues until November 1994 ]

Now, I am more proud of that work and, maybe, those years (the “good old time”, like I was recently reminiscing with Yves at the book fair) were not wasted after all. I feel better already. Like Hippocrates said, Ὁ βίος βραχύς, ἡ δὲ τέχνη μακρή, or, to quote Horace, Exegi monumentum aere perrennius ! 😉

All I need now is my own entry on Wikipedia !

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