metawidget: close-up of freewheel of a bicycle (bicycle)
Some things starting with the letter B, as suggested by [livejournal.com profile] rottenfruit:

Something I hate: Broken promises: personal, political, whatever — with a particular disdain for broken promises of amends. Hey, Kelowna Accord!

Something I love: Bicycling! I am looking forward to the season being in again (for me, I know there are hardcore year-round bicycle users).

Somewhere I've been: The Biodome, although it's been a while. I hope to bring the kids sometime soon, maybe this year.

Somewhere I'd like to go: Aside from the Biodome, maybe Boston, to soak up some of the great intellectual history and wander about the U.S. equivalent of Montréal (in terms of student concentration).

Someone I know: Beatrice at work. We're not super-close but she's been helpful and kind in career and getting-to-know-people spheres.

A film I like: The Birdcage was fun, probably of its time but when I watched it I liked it and found it had some substance.

A book I like: The Burning House, by Jay Ingram, one of my favourite science-explainer writers. Hemispheres! Awareness! Braiiiins!
metawidget: Co-sleeping kid taking up as much space as possible between co-awake parents. (co-sleep)
Yesterday was Elizabeth's and my sixth wedding anniversary. Woo for crazy married adventures and making things up as we go along!

Vivien composed her first three-word sentence today: "Doggie likes juice!" She was dipping her toy dog in her juice at the time. Earlier this week, Oscar decided I was like a Christmas tree. Why? Because I go around and around. Like a Christmas tree. I'm not sure where that came from...

Also, there is an "I am still here" meme going around LJ. I'm still here!
metawidget: a basket of vegetables: summer and winter squash, zucchini, tomatoes. (food)

Take the following list, and: Bold items you have, and use at least once a year. Italicize the ones you have, but don't use. Strike through the ones you had, but have gotten rid of.

pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese knives, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels (Elizabeth does), meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic crushers, martini glasses, tea strainers (often not for tea, more for fishing things out of stuff), bamboo steamers (largely for kale, it seems!), pizza stones, coffee grinders (daily), milk frothers (Oscar thinks they're neat toys, though), piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers (the nice heavy pot part is nice, though, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, food processors, ice cream makers, takoyaki makers, and fondue sets (it's been too long; we should again!)
metawidget: My full geek code.  Too long for DW alt tag, please see profile if interested. (geek)

[livejournal.com profile] stalkingsilence provided me with seven questions:

What is your current favourite song?
I think "Shake it Out", by Florence + The Machine. It's ludicrously catchy, anyway.
What is your ultiamate comfort food?
Galumptious Mac and Cheese, or maybe a bit too much Bridge Mixture. But there is lots of good comfort food out there, so it is hard to choose.
What book are you currently reading? Or what book would you like to read but haven't yet?
I just finished The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood. It was a fun read; I think the characters were more relatable and had more interesting problems than in Oryx and Crake, but Atwood was still having the same sort of parody-dystopia-building fun.
What's your favourite part of being a dad?
Being a toddler amusement park is pretty fun, and so is realizing that my learning curve is starting to catch up with his (for now).
Favourite Canadian museum that you've visited?
I have a soft spot of the National Gallery. When I didn't live here, I would take a couple of hours to visit it almost every time I came up. I should go back more often now that I live here. It's too bad it isn't free like it used to be — it's a bit of a disincentive, particularly if I may be with an awake toddler with a short attention span, to pay by the visit. Maybe they could charge by the hour!
Describe the best holiday you ever had.
I think our cross-country train trip (wow, I didn't really blog that — here are some pictures, behind Facebook security in Elizabeth's account) may have been a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
What does a typical day off for you look like?
Breakfast could be the usual toast or baked goods, coffee and juice, or Elizabeth might make biscuits or pancakes. I'll manage to get some unstructured time to myself for reading or Internetting while Elizabeth and Oscar take a nap. I'll take Oscar with me on some errands to give Elizabeth a break to practice music. We may go as a family off to some happening out of the house, and we'll almost certainly get some Oscar playtime. I'll catch up on laundry, cat boxes and other chores, and Elizabeth will probably clean a bit and get the dishes under control. It's usually a pretty low-key sort of day off, but it's a nice change of pace.

If you want some questions to get your writing juices flowing, let me know in the comments!

metawidget: A plastic wind-up teeth thing with a googly eye. (chatter)

The holidays went by pretty fast — it felt like we were doing something social nightly for about two weeks. It's a good thing Oscar generally seems to like parties!

Christmas eve, we went over to Elizabeth's parents' place for the traditional nut loaf, cookies, rum balls and gifts. Christmas day, we drove to Ormstown and joined 17 or so family at my parent's place, feasting extensively and helping the new people get names straight. I had been a little sniffly on Christmas eve, but by Christmas day, I was full-blown sick, so a bit subdued. Boxing Day was sort of quiet, but three generations of my parents' next-door neighbours walked over to admire Oscar and say hi. The 27th was the annual Christmas bash with white elephant gift exchange (aka "steal the present") — last year there was one kid there, this year there were three and we were all starting to feel a bit grown-up. We got together at my friend A's parents' place, about 20km past civilization — Enterprise was out of compact cars and gave us something with four-wheel drive, which got some use as we were whacking through snow drifts to get there. On the 28th, we celebrated [personal profile] dagibbs' birthday with food and drink and cheer at his place, and on the 29th we celebrated [personal profile] frenchzie's housewarming and birthday. On the 30th was our mostly-weekly D&D game at our place, and on the 31st we stayed in and rung in the new year with the upstairs people from House of Flail, Ticket to Ride: Europe and Dominion, and some mead from 1999.

The most memorable presents this year were Ticket to Ride: Europe from Elizabeth (a rather addictive little game), a huge jug of Beau's Nightmärzen from my cousin Erica, and a medieval-looking Garden Weasel from my parents.


I've had two tasty gift beers lately. Most recently was Nightmärzen, from my cousin Erica, which is a bright amber beer, Beau's hoppiest beer and fall offering. It reminds me a little of a darker Grolsch — same fresh, sort of pungent hoppiness, with a bit more sweet, and kind of light and easy-drinking. It's got a nice fizz to it and a modest head. I think it would be most excellent on tap when I'm expecting to stay for more than one pint somewhere. A little before that was Fuller's 2010 Vintage Ale, from [livejournal.com profile] the_arachne — it's supposed to be a prime candidate for ageing, and I may get another bottle to stash away. Consumed at a few months old, it was like a light-ish, sweet barleywine (despite a lower alcohol content than most barleywines), with notes of somewhat rough port. It had big malty flavour as well, but definitely tasted kind of young and almost unfinished.
In resolutions and plans for the year, I'd like to build a trellis and get some peas and beans up this year, and maybe even manage to get pumpkins into our squash mix. I also would like to not buy stuff made with water that I could've reconstituted myself — juice from concentrate, any sort of tea in a bottle, and bottled water. This is inspired by seeing chai syrup for sale in our local fancy grocery store. I would also like to bike up into the Pontiac sometime this year, and get out on the bike sometime in every calendar month. To this end, I should really clean and lubricate my chain before I need a new one.

Places I've slept in 2010:

  • Eganville, ON.
  • Gatineau (Hull), QC. A lot.
  • Gatineau (Gatineau), QC.
  • Montreal, QC.
  • Mont-Tremblant, QC.
  • Ormstown, QC.
  • Ottawa, ON.
  • Quebec, QC.


In a little bit of rantiness, I've been fuming slightly over Google's ranking of restaurant pages. When I search for a restaurant, I probably want the official page (with menu, hours and phone) somewhere in the first hits, and failing that (or to help me decide), a review written by a real human with as much of that information as possible. The last thing I want is a listing scraped from the yellow pages, with Bing's best guess at where it is located, in which I can be the first to write a review or add information.

metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)

[livejournal.com profile] teinm_laida gave me some random questions:

if you had a time machine, what time period would you be most tempted  to relocate to?
I think the future, definitely, to see how it all turns out. Say, 2210, under the assumption that my English may be quaint but not entirely useless, and some serious history will have happened by then.
what was the last film that really moved/disturbed you and why?
I think the most disturbing one lately was The Idiots, by Lars von Trier — cultiness, mental illness and black comedy are always a disturbing mix.
what is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?
It's hard to sort out a ranking of them, but my elementary school teachers — Mrs. Lawrence, Mrs. Lang and Annick stand out — and our awesome ahead-of-his-time principal Mr. Rennie really went out of their way to put lots of stimulating stuff in my path. It can't always be easy to be long-time elementary school faculty, but they were awesome anyway.
least favourite vegetable? ;)
Probably Brussels sprouts, but even they can be saved with black pepper and butter.
would you bungee jump?
No, I think the days when that made any sort of sense for me are past — I'll take my life-and-limb risks doing yard maintenance and bicycle commuting, now.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
A meeting ate my afternoon at work today, but I think I planted some seeds of good ideas and solid methodology.

We planted a couple of potted basil plants on the weekend. Alas, something seems to be nibbling on their leaves that isn't us. The peas and leafy greens are doing very well, and both irises are in bloom!

I think we now have a plan for the floor upstairs — there will be ripping-out in our future followed by levelling, sub-flooring and a nice hardwood floor.


Some questions from [livejournal.com profile] fuzzyila:
  1. What is your favourite vegetable? To grow, kale. To eat, asparagus.
  2. What do you believe will be the most rewarding part of fatherhood? I'm sure my understanding of fatherhood will change drastically once I'm there, but from where I am now, watching our kid get good at things I've taught them, and branch off in new directions, will be pretty incredible.
  3. When you're sick, do you prefer to be left alone or do you want company and babying? I prefer to be stoic and cocoon for the most part.
  4. If you were in a museum and it caught fire, and you have the choice to save either a Van Gogh painting or a small yipping poodle with an overbite, which do you choose? I think I can run faster from the flames carrying a small poodle.
  5. Have you ever stolen an object larger than your hand? What was it? When I've stolen things, they've been small, intangible and/or debatable.

These question memes traditionally have an offer of contagiousness; if you want questions then comment and say so!
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I'm writing from the couch with Pixel the Relatively New Cat lying on my legs. She's kind of the Ernie to Noisette's Bert: sociable, talkative, stripey and drives Noisette a little crazy. They're getting along a bit better than they did at first, though.

I'm in my second week of a two-week vacation: Elizabeth's music school shuts down for two weeks in the summer, and my projects are all long-term enough that two weeks in the summer without me won't kill them, so we co-ordinated. Happily, Kaleioscope Gathering was also on, and so we hopped on our (fully-loaded with panniers and a trailer full of gear) bikes and went out to Planatagenet or thereabouts to camp under soft pines, participate in a communal camp kitchen, learn about partner yoga, thai massage, herbs, relationships, vocal techniques and esoteric stuff, hang out with fun pagans and pagan-friendly people, acquire a thumb piano, and attract most of the security on duty to our campsite — with rumours of chocolate fondue. Like [livejournal.com profile] teinm_laida was reporting, people there for the most part have their guard down and are their genuine, enjoyably weird selves.

The garden is doing really, really well. The exciting bits lately are red Russian kale coming up where the spinach was, and a zucchini patch that wants to take over the world. Also of note are the beginnings of a blackberry patch behind the compost!

I commented with "words" over at [livejournal.com profile] stateofwonder's journal, and she gave me five words to riff on:

biking • Quebec • Scrabble • Mathematics/Statistics • home cooking )

Well, it seems that this time last year is still on the first page of my Livejournal — I guess I'm a little uncommunicative on here. I hope a few more meaty updates will be in the near future, as well as the traditional good/blah table for all your point-form needs…
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
If you feel like it, consider yourself tagged; if not, don't!

1. I have lived in Quebec for all my life except for four months in Ottawa.
2. I have had over two dozen roommates over the years.
3. My great-grandmother was a radio personality, cookbook author and newspaper columnist who advised young wives to save their potato water for starching shirts.
4. The worm bin I started has now travelled with us through four different addresses, and the worms are still alive.
5. There are seven keys on my keychain, not counting my USB key and a RFID thingie for Communauto.twenty more... )

meme bis

Jul. 7th, 2008 10:56 pm
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I got [livejournal.com profile] gregorama to review my interests list and pick out the seven most interesting ones (to him). Here are the explanations-of-sorts:
boop
… is something I picked up from [livejournal.com profile] denkizero, I guess mostly a greeting/handshake thing sort of like coucou, which I also find fun.
fnord
it's a marker of the conspiracy
generative design
I worked on a project dubbed Generative Design for several years in university — it was about shape grammars, symmetry and cataloguing traditional pattern. I think it's sort of dormant now, but it was good fun and was the backbone of my M.Sc. thesis.
sibboleths
A shibboleth is a code-word which is unpronounceable or unknown to the out-group: "sibboleth" is how the out-group pronounces it. I got the out-group note here (in the footnotes), and have been sort of piqued by political shibboleths, left and right, of late.
useful trivia
Better than useless trivia! I'm pretty full of the useless stuff, and sometimes it does turn out to be useful, or at least pertinent.
whimsy
I like running with the joke (and remaining smiling).
verbosity
I read a fair number of blogs, and some of my good friends are academics.
metawidget: A plastic wind-up teeth thing with a googly eye. (chatter)
[livejournal.com profile] raccoonbonapart chose these interests as interesting:
formative chess breakdowns
Everyone I know with this interest got wrapped up in a game of chess one time as a youth, their game collapsed, they couldn't take it, and they cried when it was over.
go-betweens
Being a bit interdisciplinary, I'm kind of interested in translators, guides, interpreters and folks who have to read specs written by folks who may or may not have a clue.
honey glazed babies
The name of a zine with two issues (making it longer-running than 40% of all zines or something) by my wife [livejournal.com profile] rottenfruit and one of her high-school friends and accomplices, [livejournal.com profile] silverspar. Also a neat mental image.
vermicomposting
We have a bin with worms in our kitchen that turns vegetable waste, eggshells and shredded confidential documents into compost. I think that's really cool and take some interest in how my invertebrate minions are doing.
masculinity
I'm a man, sometimes the baggage of that sits well with me, sometimes it doesn't. I'm quite interested in what good bits of traditional masculinity are keepers and which ones should be fed to the worms.
the decline of civilization
In all of recorded history, some people have been convinced that civilization was falling apart (whatever that meant to them). I have a tag where I grouse once in a while about people in positions of power or esteem whose social leverage seems to me to be in use tipping us over the brink into spiralling stupidity and/or rewarding people for doing bad things.
standards
I'm interested in the negotiated or dictated standards of interoperability, whether they're Web standards, grammar, laws or jargon. I feel they're pretty central to any useful idea of civilization, and as such, good ones are very good and bad ones lead to the previous interest!

Contagious part: If you want me to pick seven of your interests for you to explain, leave a comment and let me know.

Husbandry

Jun. 7th, 2008 08:52 am
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Who knows just how well this translates into modern terms:

101

As a 1930s husband, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!



Due to the advent of modern role flexibility, I bring you this, too:

60

As a 1930s wife, I am
Superior

Take the test!



It seems a lot pickier. I bet I lost points for walking around the house in sock feet.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
... )
39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"Get onto the bus!"

miscellany

Nov. 12th, 2007 02:51 pm
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Had breakbeat-piano-and-harpsichord musician John Kameel Farrah crashing on our couch last week, and went to his show at Avant-Garde Bar. It was a good show, if he wanders through where you are and you like energetic electronic avant-garde stuff or renaissance harpsichord, he did both on Thursday. He exudes enthusiasm about it, too.

This weekend Ellie and I zipped through Montréal and Ormstown, meeting up with a few people, celebrating [livejournal.com profile] loupdebois' birthday eating lots of good food and attending my second convocation.

In the week to come, I'll attempt to prove to StatCan that I'm reasonably bilingual.

I've been thinking of writing a reasonable-accommodation post at some point.

[livejournal.com profile] femmusic wants to know…
35 questions )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
1. which places would you like to travel to in your lifetime?
I would like to see Boston and area and San Francisco and area as cradles of knowledge in the disciplines I do. I'd like to travel across Saskatchewan at a leisurely pace, checking out Saskatoon and sleeping in bed and breakfasts and campgrounds. I'd like to see Victoria and skip stones in the Pacific. I'd like to see Mumbai and Perth, Australia, partly to soak up the commonwealthy vibes. Mumbai is another nerve centre of geekiness (and by the time I get there, I'll probably admire someone from there as much as some denizens of Boston and SF), and Perth would be a chance to see [livejournal.com profile] big_red_dave and family.
2. pick one thing you could have everyone on the planet do to help the environment
I think if everyone flatly refused to buy overpackaged stuff and opted for reusable whenever possible, we'd be a few steps ahead (and I think it'd be the kind of gesture that would get easier as demand changed what was available).
3. favorite kind ov cookie :)
Buttery oatmeal cookies, textureful not too sweet.
4. what was your second school option had you not gone into the one you did?
I only applied to one graduate program, but in undergrad my second choice was honours in statistics. Funny how things work out, eh?
5. top 5 movies ov all time
I'm terrible at ranking movies, and my rankings change all the time.
Five movies I've liked a lot for a reasonable amount of time: The Never-Ending Story, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2001: A Space Oddyssey, Silence of the Lambs and 21 Grams (possibly the most harrowing movie I've seen).

If, in a comment to this entry, I feel a question-me vibe, I will come up with five questions for you.

Also, I've been pecking away at creating one of those lists of 101 things to do in 1 001 days… but unfortunately my list-making skills are bad enough or my productivity is good enough that it's coming together slower than things get crossed off. I guess I won't try too hard to overtake my doing with my listing for a while.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
2006:1This is it, last YIR entry for at least ten months. 2I am officially adding David Emerson to my Peter Mackay club. 3It turns out, Bell, when I cancelled my account, charged me $2.68 for "tolerance". 4He likes mini eggs, and likes to think about stuff while not being stared at. 5Been a bit spacey lately, as the summer gets going. 6The first half of last week involved getting ready for a big night of sponsors, partners and company visiting the lab, then actually doing the night. 7I'm at my freshly almost-organized desk in Verdun8I have arrived, luggage and all, in London. 9I'm listening to FRNK and posting by instant message. 10Apparently somebody thinks that 90% is the new 50%, at least when it comes to pillaging. 11Student politics continues, but is on "simmer" for a bit. 12I knew already that this was going to be an insane week, but it got insaner earlier today. 
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Bush said that before the [Guantanamo] camp can be closed, however, a plan to relocate detainees and bring them to trial would be needed.

Maisonneuve Media Scout, Thursday

What, you mean they didn't already have plans to bring them to trial, sometime this decade? Naw, couldn't be. Perhaps with Canadians participating in this new NATO offensive, our elected representatives should be asked some questions about whether our soldiers should be handing these guys our prisoners.

A bunch of stuff has been up, but that news commentary and this meme have been sitting around for way too long.

from/for sol_rei: T )

F

May. 13th, 2006 12:00 am
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
0) [livejournal.com profile] fuzzyila:
She gave me the letter F to work with in this now-familiar-to-most-of-you meme. If you know what I'm talking about, you're welcome to a letter from me. If you're [livejournal.com profile] plautus, you're pre-emptively challenged to do something with Ψ.
more effing meme )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Real posts evade me. Life is pretty intense.

Tomorrow (Friday) at 8 PM: come see [livejournal.com profile] rottenfruit play at the Yellow Door (3625 Aylmer, 144 bus or metro Place des Arts ish) $6 at the door, bring optional nonperishables for the food bank and spending money for coffee and CDs.

Next Tuesday at 3:30 PM: come see Godfried Toussaint talk about crossovers from bioinformatics techniques in rhythm analysis of flamenco and other music. It's in the EV building (1515 Ste. Catherine), room 2.184. It's aimed at all levels of geekery, and he's a fantastic presenter. Refreshments afterwards, free admission.

at the request of a ninjaaaa )

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