metawidget: Oscar in a bucket, smiling (oscar in bucket)
The rest of August went by quickly, but left some evidence behind. With the help of Oscar and the neighbour kid, I built some garden boxes out front. We still need some dirt and then to transplant a few things in, but the boxes look good.

I've been taking the older two out to bang in campaign signs for our local MP, who we'd like to keep. We've ring doorbells and knocked on doors, learned about politeness, chatted with friendly Hullians, been fed and watered, tried a stair elevator and talked nicely with dubious landlords — along with learning how to watch and march in political marches, I feel we're starting their civics lessons early. Oscar and Vivien also like hammering stuff and tightening zip ties, so it's interdisciplinary learning. In other learning activities, Oscar isn't totally reliable on spotting house numbers yet, but he's keen to try.

Elizabeth and I (and Ada) got out on a date to Les Promenades de Gatineau, where we ate food court food and acquired nice underthings at the newly-opened Simons. Shameless fun in getting things is okay sometimes, I hope :)

We had some fun park time with [ profile] lady_phi and her family, swapped tomatoes and had tea and scones. She also brought some baby stuff for us to rifle through — yay, less-ratty cloth diapers!

Oscar had his last library story time — Dominique looked a little weepy wishing him well in kindergarten. Oscar has been going since before Vivien was born, so she's seen him grow up quite a bit. The fall is going to see a lot of me getting Viv alone to activities. I think she's ready to graduate to star attraction at kid activities!

Tomorrow Oscar hits Kindergarten — just an hour and with Elizabeth hanging out in the background, but whoa, our firstborn just made it to school! We're grappling with the fact of it, and the list of stuff, all labelled, and the un-Waldorfy discipline and pedagogy, and will he learn French and will he decide to play the game by getting along or with all his rogue skills… well, we made it and he made it and school and Oscar will happen to each other starting tomorrow at nine.
metawidget: (hand points up) "this!" (this)
Ada is now over two months old! She has been camping, is starting to stick her hands in her mouth, babbles a bit and still sleeps pretty well.

lots of entry )

I feel pretty content lately and settled into the new normal of three little ones and parental leave. I hope the next few months continue this!
metawidget: A traffic cone and a blue chair sitting in the parking lane of a city street. (art or moving)

There were a few once-a-decade snapshots of living situations out there in blogland lately. In Canada, we have a census twice as often. Here are a few details of what my living situation was around each Census time that I've been alive (including a projection for this year — early May is coming fast!)

Living in an upstairs flat with my parents in Notre Dame de Grâce, a neighbourhood west of downtown Montreal that almost every English speaker just shortens to NDG (and NDG had a lot of English speakers at the time). Chewing on doors and, at least at census time, the only kid in the house.

Counting myself in… )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Exciting discovery of yesterday: Marché Jovi, which is the Marché Joannette of Hull, it seems: a grocery store run by someone excited about beer and good food.

Christmas has snuck up on me a bit, with my epidemiology course running to the last Thursday, but I think we'll have a good holiday. I've got the week between Christmas and New Year's off, and we'll have a couple of out-of-town guests who I'm looking forward to seeing: one of my prodigal co-workers is in from Missouri, and Elizabeth's cool cousin is coming down from Winnipeg. We've had plenty of opportunities to get out and be festive to date, and taken many of them, including [ profile] amazon_syren's solstice gathering last night, which was fun and very tasty.


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 [ 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.

[ profile] femmusic wants to know…
35 questions )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
People notice what pen they're using, and the pen supply at work is made up mostly of good pens (not Rands' favourites, but I like them).

  • The new place is not really so new, anymore, and it feels nice.
  • The thesis is marked as accepted on my transcript. Convocation next month!.
  • Work is good, I'm producing stuff and soaking up how stuff works.
  • Work is paying me regularly. I splurged a little this week and got a little red iPod so I can bring my music and podcasts to work.
  • There are enough interesting people at work to keep me busy.
  • One of Ellie's colleagues and and her husband came over last night for supper, chatting and Catan, which was really nice.
  • New D&D game up and running!
  • Pumpkin carving party next Friday (details to come).
  • Looking forward to the wedding, and thinking, "we can pull this off".
  • Cat, laundry, worms and dishes are all doing fine. Laundry's being done in a machine we own, even, and Noisette is enjoying being alpha cat in the apartment.
  • Last little bits of freelance just don't seem to end.
  • We're bracing for an expensive Hydro bill as things get colder.
  • The GSA is apparently now run by the same idiots who gutted the teaching and research assistants' union, and the first thing they did was purge the competent committee appointments. At least I did my best over my term.
  • Lots of my friends are still in Montreal. So is Metro Joannette.
  • Push buttons at intersections still suck.
  • Had to replace my back wheel due to a broken spoke that went unnoticed for too long. Boo.
  • Spent the last week kind of sick.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Today is September 26th, Petrov Day, celebrated to honor the deed of Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov on September 26th, 1983. Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, take a minute to not destroy the world.

In other good news, I'm starting to get the administrative details (like getting paid) of work worked out, and understand at least the little delta-neighbourhood around my readings and the people I work with (all the cool kids are using either Bootstrap of Jackknife variance estimation, for instance, and I kind of get the gist of how they work now). Also, the hippie-looking café-to-be nearby has changed its sign from "ouverture bientôt" to "overture 1er octobre."

Things are a bit of a blur, still. Lots of loose ends flying around and lots of things happening every weekend for a couple weekends yet. Most of the loose ends are fun, though.

Ellie is playing at Irene's on Bank, on the night of the 8th of October. There will be cake :)

I'm convocating on the 11th of November. I think I'll go to the ceremony and get my diploma in hand.
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 [ 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)
I'm on the sidewalk, soaking up wifi vibes from Petit Chicago. We went there last night for a drink, the beer there is pretty good, and cheap on Tuesdays. It's a little grey, with a nice breeze out here.

Two policemen with funny hats just walked by. They're without a contract (and have been for a while) out here, but they haven't given up on the somewhat sketchy area around Place #1. Good on them.

Things are coming together: thesis is progressing (and ratio of stuff that falls under "know it, did it, just have to write it" as opposed to "don't know it, have to figure it out, beat it into submission, then write it" is nice, considering that I have to be done by the fall); we have appliances coming, Verdun stuff arranged for moving, paint colours almost picked and several nice people offering to help us lug what stuff we have at Hull Place #1 to Hull Place #2..

I look forward to taking a break from writing to illustrate some stuff. Maybe I'll give my recently-downloaded copy of Inkscape a spin. I know I'll be hammering away at GraphViz, which is a very cool free program for drawing stuff connected to other stuff: OmniGraffle for poor people who like editing text files and dislike making layout decisions. Seeing that I'm using LATEX for the text, it's a logical choice for graph drawing.

In other news, I had a nasty cold before that seems to be going away.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Celebrated two years with [ profile] rottenfruit on the weekend with chocolate, wine, golden coin eggs and... housework. We had a nice week leading up to that, with Shortbus at the Cinema du Parc on Sunday (go see it, and not just for the general sexiness) Final Fantasy on Tuesday and the Wet Spots on Wednesday (where we sat with long-time fan [ profile] feygele and I was happily lumped into the "family" heading by Cass).

Feeling a little overwhelmed these days: school and work and politics and things breaking and family birthdays (November/December is a popular time among my family and friends to be born)... I've been taking steps to trim and focus. Ellie's been really understanding, sane and supportive this last little while.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
If you're a gradutate student at Concordia, you're cordially invited to the GSA open house this evening, from 4 PM on: live music from Elizabeth Bruce, Shane Watt and Tasha Cyr; food (vegan goodies from Blue Monday and pizza); drink; GSA execs and councillors; information; beautiful GSA agendas and most importantly: tons of grad students from across the university.

Where: GSA house (T annex, 2030 Mackay)
When: 4 PM 'til midnight or when people wander away (whichever comes first)

x-posted: [ profile] concordia_u
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Programming a little distractedly for some contract work, trying to get a big PHP form done before drifting off to sleep. I don't think I'll go much past two AM, and progress, as always, will be in spurts. It's coming together, though.

The week's involved programming and planning this thing, some math, more thinking and talking, the last official class of TA-ing (although there'll be a make-up test this week, right before [ profile] rottenfruit sings in the opera recital at Oscar Peterson (that's Wednesday night, 8 PM, $5 or free for students, by the way). Last Sunday was my third birthday celebration of the weekend: this time for [ profile] obskura. I was pretty zonked, and mildly hypnotized by the movie, but enjoyed the people and the yummy bruschetta.

Next week, I'm presenting some stuff on the individual ergodic theorem, working on take-homes and preparing to set new directions for the summer's research. One of our high-powered programmers is leaving for work in Kitchener-Waterloo, so we've got to sort out baton-passing and wrap-up.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Got that perl/sh confusion sorted out with some help from [ profile] pphaneuf, [ profile] hub_ and [ profile] swestrup. Thanks, guys! It has resulted in a repackaging of some work stuff so that it doesn't require too much geek-fu to play with.

Godfried Toussaint's rhythm/computation talk on Tuesday was good and pretty well-attended. I hope we can draw more of this kind of thing to Concordia (or that I can get out to see more of it this summer at Subtle Technologies).

I've got lots of work to do, still, but I think I'm getting up a head of steam. Take-home final season starts next week.

I may get off the continent again this summer. Still very up in the air, but we'll see.

Oh, and I just missed International Dadaism Month. No matter, it resumes on Saturday.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
[cross-posted to [ profile] concordia_u]

Hi, I'm Eric Hortop, and I might be your candidate in the GSA elections... voting is tomorrow through Thursday at

Read more... )
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
It turns out, Bell, when I cancelled my account, charged me $2.68 for "tolerance". Yes, I know what it means, but still, it's a nice illustration of telco manners.

I got to sleep until I was more or less naturally awake with my beloved last night. Not being a slave to the alarm clock feels very good.

Lots to do as usual: coding, administration-y stuff, studying... the end of the term is coming, though. I'm a little exhausted, but stuff is falling by the wayside a little more gracefully than it has in the past.

I'm having a funny relationship with the future right now. It's pretty unreal, even though I'm looking forward to, dreading and just acknowledging some fairly real things.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Finished my rat-sitting and moved everything back home... this week is UdeM break and Concordia back in session, hence my second "light" week (wherein regularly scheduled classes make way for everything else). My UdeM combinatorics prof urged us to enjoy this week, and I'll do my best. I'm looking forward to being reunited with [ profile] rottenfruit, a "hot date" with [ profile] vierge_en_trop, payday, Carlo's cooking on Thursday at Mother Hubbard's, the return of my regular yoga instructor from vacation...

It shouldn't be too hard to enjoy this week.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Feeling a bit whomped with work and school of late. I'll get what I can get done done, and try to do enough sanity maintenance in there too. Going to Ottawa Friday night can't come soon enough. Travel Scrabble, talk and "reasonably priced snacks" on the train are calling to me.

I've been putting in some time helping out with a paper on shape grammars as design tools, marking, and not doing quite enough problem sets. Tonight, babysitting a roast in the oven (some people I know do turkeys, I have beef from home to keep me up all night), and alternating procrastinating with stuff I need to be doing.

The weekend involved a bunch of communal time with [ profile] rottenfruit: Saturday Dim Sum with her and my folks, gaming with her and the usual suspects, and on Sunday we went to monthly Scrabble as thrown by [ profile] feygele (in nifty rainbow kippah) and [ profile] vierge_en_trop (who made said nifty rainbow kippah). Saw the kippah in question through a basement window today at Concordia, debated pressing my nose up against the glass and gesturing "hi", but I was late and the head under it looked to be concentrating on something deep. I had fun, and got some stuff done — not as much as I should have, but there was progress. Today was long, and isn't over.

I think I'm slowly growing up.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Still straightening out my peer support schedule... it's the one thing that still feels like the beginning of the semester, two and a half weeks in. Everything else has settled down, I think: students, classes, work (sort of). Meeting on Monday evening, so I'll be straggling in to the election results party a little late. With a good stiff drink handy.

Went and gave blood with [ profile] rottenfruit today. Here's to over a year of blood donation dates! The intake nurse recognized my name and chatted me up on what my dad was up to: it turned out my dad had trained him in the fine arts of liver palpation for hospital transport teams, in 1988. I had a nice speedy donation, as did Ellie. The trial location in Centre Les Ailes is cozy and pretty: whereas at Globule out by Radisson there are lots of photos of platelets and red trim, here there are more photos of happy people and a blue-and-wood colour scheme. It's a little easier on the blood pressure for a mildly squeamish donor... Afterward, we picked up train tickets for our trip to see her folks, skate the canal and spend some time in a recording studio (she'll be recording, I'll be staying out of the way and beaming). That's something to look forward to, for sure.

I'm reading up for some serious paper-pitching this week, and getting ready for that work meeting. Life is pretty good, and rather busy.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
Attended my first class of the year at UdeM today: we're starting off gently in combinatorics, going over relations and functions. So far je comprends bien, et j'essaiera de m'exprimer bien quand quelque chose ne marche pas. It'll be good for me: the last truly geeky regular French I've been exposed to was at StatCan, with some arty/geeky French here and there since. There's five of us in there. Yay for small class sizes.

Had a pretty laid-back weekend, hanging around in Verdun a lot. Got up in the early afternoon on Saturday. Went on a brief yet tenderizing sliding trip with [ profile] fuzzyila, [ profile] rottenfruit, [ profile] dzuunmod and [ profile] denkizero. Hit Blue Monday after an hour or so on the slope. Helped [ profile] dzuunmod break in his new Trivial Pursuit game with my sliding compadres.

I'm not feeling entirely up to speed yet. Another class begins tomorrow, Peers is now officially feeling underway (although where's my shift partner?), I have TA-ing time and have returned to the research office. I won't really have a midterm break this year: UdeM is has a different week off than Concordia, so I'll really have two lower-franticness weeks in late February/early March. Maybe I'll hit my stride soon. My supervisor seems to be off and running: it's been nice to sit down with him and get a sense of what we're doing this term, course- and research-wise (and get tidbits of his past and outlook on life).

I really need to go on a domesticity binge soon. Or maybe just wash dishes and make something in sufficient quantity to have a few microwave meals.
metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I'm doing a project in Processing and I think it'll push me over the edge into learning Java for real.

I miss associative arrays, things-you-can-stuff-Objects-into... goodies from Flash and PHP. It's nice to work in a language that seems to be the standard at school. I'm sure I can get those goodies from java.util or someplace.

Maybe this holiday season I'll get a book and a pressing project and cram my brain.

Meanwhile, Processing isn't really bad, but it does feel a little awkward for what I'm trying to get it to do.

It'll be over soon enough!


metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
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