The sunflowers saga / La saga des tournesols

The sunflower theft” and “The sunflower case” continue into a real saga… There was no theft on the third night but in the morning the suspect, while walking his dogs with his partner, strolled down the street to survey his future targets! Many sunflowers are about bloom and I am afraid that he will be back soon! I don’t have much hope that the police will do anything soon, so what can we do to stop him ? (I mean beside welcoming him with a two by four — we must not take justice into our own hands; maybe scare him by telling him we are on to him?). We have a better view during daylight. It’s definitely the same miscreant. I noticed he had the right leg in a cast (no wonder he was walking funny). [la version française suit le vidéo]

My wife went to have a look near the lair of the suspect and positively recognized her flowers and pots. There is very little doubt in my mind now that he is the one who stole and vandalized our property. Here are pictures of his front and back yards and we can clearly see sunflowers and many flowers in pots (mostly in the backyard).

To be continued?

Le tournesol volé” et “L’affaire tournesol” se poursuivent en une véritable saga… Rien n’a été volé durant la troisième nuit, mais au matin le suspect, tout en promenant ses chiens avec sa conjointe, a descendu la rue pour repérer ses prochaines cibles! Plusieurs de nos tournesols sont sur le point de fleurir et je crains qu’il ne sévisse à nouveau très bientôt. Je n’ai pas grand espoir que la police fasse quoi que ce soit de sitôt alors que peut-on faire pour arrêter l’hécatombe dans notre jardin? ( à part, bien sûr, le surprendre avec un deux par quatre dans la face — mais ce n’est pas bien de se faire justice soi-même; peut-être que lui dire qu’on l’a à l’oeil lui ferait peur?). On le voit mieux durant le jour et c’est définitivement le même scélérat. A noter qu’il a la jambe droite dans le plâtre (ça explique sans doute sa démarche bizarre).

Ma femme est allé faire un tour l’autre soir près de l’antre du suspect et elle est positive qu’on y trouve ses fleurs et ses pots. Je n’ai plus beaucoup de doute qu’il s’agit bel et bien de la personne qui a volé et vandalisé notre propriété. Voici des photos de ses cours avant et arrière; on peut y voir clairement des tournesols et quelques fleurs en pots (principalement à l’arrière). 

À suivre?

The Sunflower case / L’affaire tournesol

Following “The sunflower thief”, this video shows security footage of the thief coming back the very next night (2018/07/14, 3:02 am) to steal more sunflowers! Two days in a row! What a real scoundrel! Nobody respects anything anymore, that’s sickening! [ la version française suit ]

This time, I noticed the rascal seems to have a slight beard and a man bun (also he sometimes walks funny). If you know this scumbag, please contact me or the police (a police report has already been filed at station 30 — although the clerk didn’t seem enthusiastic). The varmint is plaguing the whole neighbourhood and I am not the only victim (as seen on the video; I also heard some neighbours complained about it). This type of theft / vandalizing of our property (flower or vegetable gardens) MUST NOT be tolerated no matter how small it may seem! I also think I might have localized the bastard: a neighbour looks A LOT like him; more so he had yesterday a sunflower in his backyard in a pot that looked quite familiar and a few more pots and sunflowers appeared today… Citizens of the neighbourhood, lets act to protect not only our properties but also the greenery that embellishes our environment!

Suite à “Tournesol volé”, ce video montre une séquence de caméra de sécurité où le voleur revient la nuit suivante (2018/07/14, 3:02 am) pour voler plus de tournesols ! Deux jours de suite! Quel vilain gredin! Les gens ne respecte plus rien, c’est désespérant!

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Disparu ! / Gone!

Cette fois, j’ai remarqué que le voyou semble avoir une légère barbe et un chignon (il a aussi une démarche bizarre). Si vous connaissez ce salaud, veuillez communiquer avec moi ou avec la police (un rapport de police a déjà été déposé au poste 30 — bien que le greffier n’ait pas semblé enthousiaste). Cette vermine sévit dans tout le quartier et je ne suis pas la seule victime (comme on peut le voir sur la vidéo, j’ai aussi entendu des voisins s’en plaindre). Ce type de vol / vandalisme de notre propriété (jardins de fleurs ou de légumes) NE DOIT PAS être toléré, peu importe son importance! Je pense aussi avoir localiser l’ostie d’BS: un voisin lui ressemble beaucoup; de plus il avait hier un tournesol dans sa cour arrière dans un pot qui avait l’air assez familier et quelques pots et des tournesols de plus sont apparus aujourd’hui … Citoyens du quartier, agissons pour protéger non seulement nos propriétés mais aussi la verdure qui embellie notre environment!

Sunflower theft / Tournesol volé

My wife finds solace in gardening. Last night (2018/07/13, 2:42 am), some miscreant stole her first blooming sunflower of the year from our front yard in St-Michel borough. It was about 1.3m / 50″ tall, in a 25cm / 10″ green pot. The suspect looks like a white male, skinny and medium height, smoker, waring baseball cap and shorts. If you have any information please contact me. It’s really a shame! People nowadays definitely have no scruples!

Ma femme trouve du réconfort dans le jardinage. La nuit dernière (2018/07/13, 2:42 am), un scélérat a volé son premier tournesol à fleurir cette année dans notre cour avant de l’arrondissement St-Michel. Il mesurait environ 1,3 m / 50 po de hauteur, dans un pot vert de 25 cm / 10 po. Le suspect ressemble à un homme blanc, mince et  de grandeur moyenne, fumeur, portant une casquette et un short. Si vous avez des informations s’il vous plaît me contactez. C’est vraiment une honte! Les gens de nos jours  n’ont décidément plus aucun scrupules!

Customer service is dead!

It seems that wherever we go these days companies don’t care about customer service. Either they have a quasi monopole and it’s irrelevant or, despite a competitive environment, nobody seems to pay attention to the need or satisfaction of the customer. It must be really bad in my area — or I am a VERY unlucky customer — because I keep having those horrible experiences with customer service.

Beside the notoriously bad customer service of telecom companies like Bell (about which I have talked many times — their Fibe TV is superb but their wi-fi is quite shitty and their tech service doesn’t seem to care — unless they can sell you extra service or device that supposedly would improve the situation) I can easily mention three or four companies that gave me bad service just in the last couple of weeks!

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*Phew*

I seems now, after nearly a week, I am finally done with the computer set ups. Of course, it wasn’t without pain and efforts.

First, despite the promises of the “Genius” that served me at the Apple Store, the technician had installed the *previous* macOS (10.12) instead of the latest one (10.13.3). It speaks volume on the heaviness of High Sierra when Apple’s own technicians want to save time (and cut corners) by avoiding its installation! Therefore I had to spent the first evening with my brand new/refurbished MacBook Pro (June 2017) updating the operating system. To add injury to the insult, Apple pushed the 10.13.4 update the *very* next day, so I had to go through the whole updating process AGAIN!

The next step was to order a stand, a bunch of cables and hard drives to install the MBP at my desk, with a larger monitor, wireless keyboard & mouse, as well as a Time Machine backup and a clone of the hard drive (just in case…). Finally, I had to install all the necessary software for my work (Norton Security, MS Office, LibreOffice, Photoshop, GIMP, VMware Fusion, DropBox, iMovie, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, etc.) and set up iCoud (because the 250 Gb SSD storage of the MBP is a little tight for me; from now on I will store all needed (texts, images) files in iCloud (200 Gb) and be able to access them from ANY devices!).

Then I moved the old iMac from my desk to the salon where it will become the new, more performing, media center. I needed a new HDMI cable to hook it up to the TV and had to install all the necessary software needed to perform that task (VLC, Kodi, Transmission, RipIt, Flixter, PopCorn, Toast, etc.).

The Mac-Mini was then moved from the salon to the bedroom to serve as secondary media center, along the Apple TV, for late night viewings. Not much install needed there besides hooking it up to the TV and to a wireless keyboard and trackpad (instead of a mouse).

It was a long process and I encountered only ONE major problem. At some point, and without any obvious reasons, all the pinned notes (the most important of course!) in the Notes app simply disappeared without a trace. They were not deleted. They just disappeared. And I couldn’t recover them. Very annoying! I had to performed a convoluted recovery process where I isolated the iMac from the internet (to prevent Notes from synching) and copied all the vanished notes into TextEdit in order to recreate them in Notes. Then the MBP Notes refused to synch with iCloud, so I had to turn it off and on, causing it to erase and re-download all the iCloud content again. Nothing more was lost and now everything seems to work (but, still, now I’ll maintain a backup of the notes, just to be sure).

And voilà! Now I can finally write.

Unfortunately (since I also tested my new media center by catching up on my viewings [The Walking Dead S08 eps 13-15, When calls the heart S05 eps 5-7, Homeland S07 eps 4-8, The Durrells S03 eps 3-4, Little Women eps 1-3 and The Terror ep 1], did the laundry and took at least one walk in the park) I don’t have much time left to write anything… As usual.

The next step: solving the damn weak and spotty wifi problem, do many projects around the house (spring cleaning, prepping the backyard for the summer, start gardening, etc.), read more, and, of course, try to catch up a little on my writing!

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*whimper*

Just to recapitulate: in the last month, I’ve been locked out of my blog a couple of times (it seems to have been a browser issue but a computer reboot solved the problem), fluctuation in the electricity made the lights flickers like all hell was breaking loose (called Hydro Q and so far it has stopped), the WiFi keeps being weak and spotty (it just Bell; I tried just about everything [like extenders and Bell’s pods] without success) and sometimes just stops completely (until I reset the marvellous Bell Home Hub 3000), my computer became slow and unresponsive until the hard drive completely died (I had the HD changed but nevertheless bought a MacBook Pro to replace my aging iMac), the toaster-oven caught in fire (had to replace it) and my absurd and insane work place is making me nuts (but I’m dealing better with it)!

As a result I’ve spent the last three week-ends trying to solve problems and not at all relaxing (like sleeping, writing or watching TV). I don’t sleep well, I have various digestion’s problems, it hurts all over (my back, my knee, my ankle — as well as in unmentionable places — as the stress piles up). I am exhausted, fed up, at my wits’ end… 

I need to rest!

Hopefully an extra day off spent doing a little writing, TV watching and tending of the yard will do the trick.

Happy Fish Day and Holy Rabbit to all!

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Aauugh!

(The entry’s title is a quote from Charles Schulz’ Charlie Brown)

The lights keeps flickering… The WiFi is often spotty and unreliable… And now my iMac is a zombie! Isn’t there anything working properly anymore ?!!

Ever since the last major OS update, the iMac started freezing now and then. Actually : almost every hour! So, I was suspecting a problem with Time Machine (it was freezing just as TM was about to start an incremental backup). I turned TM off, which didn’t totally solved the problem but considerably reduced its frequency.

Then, yesterday night, out of the blue, the iMac started to freeze again every few minutes. It slowed down to a slow pace and all applications refused to start and giving a “this application is not responding” instead (well, Safari was painstakingly loading).

My computer is a late 2012 iMac, with a 21.5 inches screen, 2.9 GHz processor, 16 GB RAM, 1.12 TB Fusion Drive and it is running MacOS 10.13.3. I admit, it’s already more than five years old. Any suggestion to solve this problem?

I unplugged all peripherals and restarted several times with no change. Finally, I decided to restart in Safe Mode and ran a few diagnostics, repaired the drive, checked for virus with Norton Security, but everything seemed normal save that the problem was PERSISTING even in Safe Mode !

Therefore, could it means that’s an hardware problem rather than software? Maybe the last update didn’t play well with the Fusion Drive, like I’ve heard on some board?

Until I fix this (or replace my iMac with something new — not better, you can’t get that these days), I am stuck working on my even older Mac Mini (Mid 2010) or on my iPad ! I guess I know now where this year’s tax return will go…

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