Blogging at the time of Corona



I am now on indefinite leave
It would feel like staycation
If it was not for this doomsday vibes

The coronavirus (COVID-19) unleashed itself on an unprepared world. Now, we are all in self-confinement to create the social distancing necessary to slow down the onslaught. Therefore the library is closed. We worked for about a week without the public (it was quite fun), but now they have sent us back home (with pay!). I am glad because I was worried that travelling everyday on the bus and the subway would put my family at risk (one of my siblings is immunosuppressed). The governments (both federal, provincial and municipal) asked us to stay home, so we do. I don’t know how long it will last; it might be anything from two weeks to two months. 

I will take advantage of that time to catch up on my reading and movie viewing, do a little clean-up in the house and maybe (if it last for a while) start gardening. I will definitively blog more during this period, mostly to post my reading or viewing comments but also to try to entertain you with bits of knowledge and wisdom. I have already post a list of activities everyone can do during this confinement period.

Hopefully everything will be well. In the meantime, please stay all safe.

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J’ai déjà traité de ce sujet dans mon article “L’Art subtil du commentaire-critique” (ou sa version antérieure, en anglais, “The controversial art of reviewing”) mais comme on me demande de temps temps la signification de chaque valeur de mon système de pointage je le répète ici en rappel.

I have already dealt with this subject in my article (in French) “L’Art subtil du commentaire-critique” (or in its previous version, in English, “The controversial art of reviewing”) but from time to time I am asked the meaning of each value of my point system so I repeat it here as a reminder.

stars-0-0 0 / .5

Nul / Pathetic

Un navet (Indice à n’utiliser que très rarement) / Don’t even think about this title (You should use this rating quite rarely)

 1 / 1.5

Pauvre / Poor

Ne mérite pas d’attention (Indice à utiliser rarement) / It’s not worth wasting your time and money on this title (Use this rating rarely)


Passable / Fair

Décevant, comporte de l’intérêt surtout pour les mordus ou les curieux / Disappointing, but if you’re curious you can always check it out or flip through it at the library


Moyen / Average

Ordinaire, à voir mais sans plus / it’s a title worth watching or reading, but maybe you should just rent it or borrow it—from a friend or the public library


Bon / Good

Intéressant / An interesting title that I recommend purchasing


Très bon / Very Good

Très Recommandé / A great title that is definitely recommended

4 / 4.5

Excellent / Excellent

À voir/lire absolument ! (soyons aussi parcimonieux avec ce genre d’indice) / An absolute must-see or read title (use this rating rarely)



Chef d’œuvre !! (ce genre d’indice devrait être très rare) / It’s a masterpiece or instant classic worth collecting (such titles are exceptional and therefore this rating should be used parsimoniously)

J’évite de donné des évaluations en dessous de 2.5 ou au-dessus de 4. Quand je transfert un commentaire vers un site qui n’utilise pas de demi-point (comme Goodreads) j’arrondi généralement vers le BAS (donc un 3.5 deviendra un 3).

I avoid giving ratings below 2.5 or above 4. When I transfer a comment to a site that does not use half points (like Goodreads) I generally round it down (so a 3.5 rating will become a 3).

Warning ! Alerte ! 警告 !

In this blog I often comment on books I’ve read or movies that I have seen and, in order to do so, it is sometimes necessary to talk about the story and possibly divulge plot elements. Lots of people don’t like that; therefore it is necessary to warn them beforehand. Unfortunately, putting a warning at the beginning of every comment can be annoyingly repetitive or sometime I simply forget about it. So, here it is: Consider yourself warned!

⚠️ WARNING: The following comment MAY contain traces of spoilers! People allergic to the discussion of any plot’s elements before seeing or reading the story themselves are strongly advised to take the necessary precautions for their safety and should continue reading cautiously! ⚠️


Dans ce blog, je commente souvent des livres que j’ai lus ou des films que j’ai vus et, pour ce faire, il est parfois nécessaire de parler de l’histoire et éventuellement de divulguer des éléments de l’intrigue. Beaucoup de gens n’aiment pas ça; il est donc nécessaire de les prévenir au préalable. Malheureusement, mettre un avertissement au début de chaque commentaire peut être ennuyeux et répétitif ou parfois, je l’oublie tout simplement. Donc, le voici: Considérez-vous prévenu !

⚠️ ATTENTION: Ce commentaire pourrait contenir des traces de “divulgâcheur” [a.k.a. spoilers] ! Les personnes allergiques à toutes discussions d’une intrigue avant d’en avoir elles-même prise connaissance sont vivement conseillées de prendre les précautions nécessaires pour leur sécurité et devraient continuer de lire avec prudence ! ⚠️

Playlist revisited

I have updated this blog post (Memorable music) with the complete playlist of my top 50ish anime & J-pop soundtracks, with lots of informative links including to a full version of each titles on Youtube (save for two that I couldn’t find)! It’s a basket of nostalgia for the fans and a good introduction to this great musical genre for the novices. I think this post is worth being revisited (or checking if you haven’t read it yet). Music lovers, what do you think? (let me know which are your favourite anime soundtracks). Follow the links and enjoy!

J’ai mis à jour ce billet de mon blog (Memorable music) avec la liste de lecture complète de mes 50 (ish) meilleures bandes sonores d’anime et de J-pop, avec de nombreux liens informatifs, y compris une version complète de chaque titre sur Youtube (sauf pour deux que je n’ai pu trouver)! C’est plein de nostalgie pour les fans et une bonne introduction à ce grand genre musical pour les novices. Je crois que ce billet mérite donc d’être revisité (ou ça vaut un coup d’oeil si vous ne l’avez pas encore lu). Amoureux de la musique, qu’en pensez-vous? (laissez-moi savoir quelles sont vos bandes son préférées d’anime). Suivez les liens et amusez-vous!

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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Découvertes littéraires du moment


Screen Shot 2018-10-08 at 17.31.18D’abord, ne pas oublier que le Salon du Livre de Montréal se tiendra la Place Bonaventure du 14 au 19 novembre 2018. L’entrée sera gratuite le mercredi pour les détenteurs d’une carte de bibliothèque de Montréal ou de la BAnQ. J’y serai sans faute soit le mercredi ou le vendredi (journée des professionnels), pour faire mon survol annuel du marché du livre (et tenter de faire quelques contacts utiles pour le blog, comme glaner des services de presse ou rencontrer des collègues blogeurs), et sûrement le samedi (pour rencontrer mes amis d’Alire et de Solaris, dont ce sera le lancement du #208).

Au hasard des livres qui me tombent entre les mains au travail ou du bouquinage chez des libraires locaux, il m’arrive de faire des découvertes intéressantes qui vaillent la peine d’être ajoutées à ma (déjà longue) liste de lecture. Voici donc une quinzaine de titres (Eh oui! À une exception près, ce n’est que de la BD ou du manga…) que j’ai découvert récemment et que j’espère lire dans un futur proche (ha!):


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Sick leave

The posts have been a little more sparse in the last few days because I was hospitalized due to sudden health issues (those can be a real pain in the ass sometimes). Because of the needed convalescence (and necessary post-op care) I will take a three-week sick leave from work. I will, document.write(“”); of course, rest but it will be an unexpected occasion the catch up on my viewings and readings (and hopefully writings).
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Unfortunately, because of this brief hospital stay, I also missed the initial preorder of the new iPhone 6. So, I won’t get it next week like I wanted, but only next month. Too bad, I could have done a lot with it during my sick leave. Now I’ll get it only after I am back to work…

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