Friday, August 31, 2012

Hawthorne bush?

Des cenelles d'une aubepine!  Haws from a hawthorn!
Our house in RDP was surrounded by fields which were filled with hawthorn trees.  In French I remember the neighbourhood kids calling them in Quebec slang what sounded like 'des snells". Of course because we don't pronounce some syllables. I learned today for the first time that it's spelled "cenelles" or "senelles". The tree in French is called une Aubepine. 

I happened upon one in Parc Plaisance last week-end and decided that I would do some research. I never ate the berries, we used them as ammunition for our slingshots when I was a tween.

UEFI Growing pains

I like the theory of UEFI and it's about time that GPT standard gets more widespread. It was available with windows Vista and server 2008 but the way it was done in those OS does not seem compatible with Windows 8.  I tried setting up a drive several times with Vista 64, server 2008 64, Windows 7 64, Server 2008 R2, Windows 8 64 and Server 2012. In theory it should have worked. In practice it did not.  I could get vista and Windows 7 to play nice together, I can can windows 7 and windows 8 playing nice together. But all 3 was a no go.

Switching booting between legacy and UEFI mode is painful. I'm not sure if it's worse on a Dell because I don't care for Dells, and I've been arguing with dells for several days now. I had setup one Dell T1650 with one drive in UEFI mode for Windows 7 64, Server 2008 R2, Windows 8 64 and server 2012, the other drive had all legacy OS, all 32 bit OS and of course that vista 64 and server 2008 64 that were not compatible in UEFI mode. This second drive was in legacy mode and of course MBR. I use XP to partition the drive.   I had switched back and forth between both drives without any issues, and the system went - when it came back it was no longer booting on the UEFI drive. Kept saying no boot device found.

Then there's the Dell T1600 where I had a drive with all OS between XP and server 2008 R2, in leagcy mode, and I setup Windows 8 and server 2012 in UEFI mode. It was working fabulously until I lent it to a less tech savvy colleague. Now it will boot into it's drive if I'm using the onboard graphics card, but won't boot using an add-in card to a hard disk. It will hang. Since I need to test it with add-in cards it won't be particularly useful to the intern who's supposed to have it as a test machine.

It;s weird too when you switch between UEFI and legacy mode on the T1600, it tends to lose all boot devices and goes to this weird  default legacy mode, and if you want to set it in UEFI you cannot go between you have no options. It's just really weird. It's like no one thought it through.

HP seems to handle the switching between both better.  My Lenovo can be incredibly bitchy as devices appear and disappears as well in 'UEFI" mode. 

Another interesting discovery one of my interns made with build 8441 of Windows 8 is that if you were configured in UEFI mode and ran Worldbench 6, it would trash your hard disk.  I've since confirmed it with Windows 8 RTM. It trashed my hard disk.  I wonder what other software will also trash my hard disk in such a way that I can't reghosted it using the 'partition' method. So far that method has worked really well for me.  You can run worldbench 6 in non UEFI mode and it won't trash your drive but it may not run particularly well.

Something tells me that my near future will be filled with me restoring drives that get trashed in GPT mode. So far it's happened several times on a fairly small sampling.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Alice Moran and I have something in common but she's so much more eloquent

I'm sure I wasn't the only woman who was mortified by  Ms Ford's comments who tweeted “stay alert ... take self defence classes and don’t dress like a whore.” It reminded me of that Toronto police officer who told university students not to dress like sluts.....

As a rape victim I feel it's important to share Alice's articulate letter with all.

This is Alice Moran's letter in full:

Dear a lot of people, but specifically Ms. Krista Ford,

In advance I’d like to say I am sorry. This is not the ideal situation to first acquaint oneself with someone and I am mortified. Sorry! However, under the circumstance, I feel like you owe me a moment of your time, even though we’ve never meet.

The circumstance being you called me a whore.

I should clarify: I’m one of the victims of the recent string of sexual assaults in the Annex. ‘Sup? It’s nice to make you acquaintance.

So, you’ve called me a whore. Here we are. This is awkward now, isn’t it? You’re probably wondering if I’m going to challenge you on having been a member of Lingerie League. I’m not, because I’d never slut-shame another woman. I believe you have a right to your body and regardless of how you do or don’t dress it I believe you have a right to respect and personal security. I guess that’s the key difference in our thinking. You could wear a t-shirt that says “I’m literally asking for it” and I’d still advocate for your security.

That’s what I’m asking for this brief moment of your day, for your edification. You’re a woman and you should know that your body is yours and yours alone. No matter how you dress it, you have a right — an actual Charter of Rights and Freedom right — to not be sexually assaulted. You are entitled to life, liberty and the security of person. Welcome to Canada — you live here! If you weren’t aware of your Charter rights, other Canadian things you may have missed out on are double-doubles, good maple syrup, and Beachcombers*, so check that s--- out.

For the record, I was sexually assaulted while wearing a knee-length polka-dot dress. The last time I wore that dress, it was to Easter dinner at my Gran’s, where I’m fairly certain I could make little to no money whoring.

With due respect / sorry,
Alice Moran
Canadian / Comedian / Beachcombers Enthusiast
*I love Beachcombers.
Torstar News

Must you marinate in it?

It was my bi-annual checkup at the dentist yesterday and I was impressed. I did not get much traffic to get there, even on Decarie. I had no problems finding a parking spot. In fact I was 10 minutes early.

That's where my luck stopped. The hygienist was late seeing me because my dentist was a chatty Kathy because his next patient had yet to arrive.  This woman arrives and she fills the entire waiting room with the smell of her perfume. They called her in pretty quickly and I had an asthma attack because of the excessive amounts of perfume this woman was wearing Thankfully because the hygienist was still preparing her office, by the time she got to me I wasn't coughing as much, but we had to stop 3-4 times for me to cough while getting my teeth cleaned.

I was a bit miffed. Usually if I have asthma I call to cancel my appointment because it's hard to be head down with someone playing in your mouth if you cannot fucking breath!!!!  It's the next morning and I am still coughing up a lung.  The sad part is her perfume smelled nice but did she had to marinate in it?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Look my daughter is on that ship!!!!

Taken on July 30th, by someone into ship spotting. This is the HMCS Moncton entering the port of Montreal, and my eldest daughter was among her crew! IF you want to see more photos from this photographer, go here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Surprise visit

I was muddling through papers after I got home from camping Sunday night when I heard the door bell. I was not expecting anyone, so I peered out the window and noticed another car in my driveway, a Volkswagen, a black Volkswagen and then I knew who it was.  And much like a child of six, I ran down the stairs enthusiastically and opened the door and had to watch to not throw myself and hug them :)

Les Tarots des gnomes
My friends had a gift for me, and it's incredibly cute, as you can clearly see from the picture. So in the future there will be the "Gnome of the day".  Just because it will make life just that much more interesting.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Parc Provincial Plaisance

Parc National Plaisance sunset Saturday August 25th, 2012
 One of my favourite photos taken from Parc National Plaisance in the Outaouais region.

I really love the effect the waves with the sunset and the very yellow/red split sun.

Friday, August 24, 2012

On the list of things I'd like to ask my mother

I remember asking my mother why she gave me my given name, which is one of the most common French names in Quebec for women between 40-50 years old.  She answered that she had chosen to call me Thais - after the main character of one of her favourite opera's.  But on the day of the baptism apparently between my grandma and the priest they found a name that was less unique and more common. Since I was born near Christmas, my name means birth and Christmas. 

To get back to Thais, after reading the synopsis I just confused And since I abhor opera, there's no way in hell I will try to find a way to watch it and perhaps get to understand.  Why did this character in this opera move her so much that she was going to name me after it? 

It's also too bad that she was completely overridden and I didn't get Thais as a middle name. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Windows 8 - a Catastrophe!!!

I gave my feedback about Windows 8 a few weeks back, and apparently I'm not the only one who has that feeling. This is what an Ex-Microsoft employee has to say.

Comme to think of it

This virus started Wednesday. I remember falling asleep between 9-10 pm. I fell asleep really early which surprised Debbie, since she figured she'd hang out with me when she came back from Peel. It was not even 11pm and I was fast asleep. THursday I remember having what I think were cluster headaches. Some parts of my head would pound. Then Friday it was a migraine. By the time I got home everything was too bright. And the tummy ache came out once I had a nap Friday night and then woke up to the tummy ache, but the head ache was gone.

Either way it sucked and it still sucks because the tummy still hurts and I find the office too bright still. Those NEONS are doing nothing to make me feel better. ARGH.

Pain in the stomach

Not sure what hit me but I've been mostly bed ridden with the mother of all stomach aches. Felt like someone was trampling my innards. Been spending lots of time since Friday afternoon lying down and wrapping my stomach in layers of wool.  It's been sucking the energy right out of me. Wasn't even able to leave the house to get groceries done. There's nothing to eat at home.

I've also been in so much pain I haven't bathed other then sponge bathing myself since Friday. The thought of immersing in water or having water drop on me just acerbated the stomach pains. It's truly amazing how debilitating stomach pains can be. This seems to be viral because my companion was complaining of similar pains and our diet while having some similarities, have a lot of disparities so it's not the food.  I seem to be more susceptible to stomach viruses this year then anything else. This is the 2nd or 3rd one that has me miss at least a day of work. One earlier this spring had me miss a whole week.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Friend goes home today

Hockey Playing Gnome
As I write this, my friend in somewhere on the road probably just entering Edmunston, New Brunswick. She was in Riviere du Loup an hour ago. 

We had a great time during her visit. We shopped at Ikea, we went to MegaMall Vaudreuil or whatever it's called last Sunday and shopped still we dropped. She came to lunch with the gang from work last Thursday. We went to Ottawa earlier this week. It was fun :) I could have joined her at Peel last night but decided that I would rather work late to make up the Tuesday I took off to go to Ottawa. 

I took a photo of this gnome at the Canadian Tire in Ste Dorothe back in June. Adding it to this entry is completely gratuitous.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What were they thinking?

That's a question I often ask myself when I get new hardware equipment. For instance with LCD's.  Most of the new LCD"s I end up buying for work are displayport.  I've ranted already how the company who fixes our monitors did not have even a displayport card to test out monitors they fixed. They expected the client to send them a board to try out the monitor!

Then there's the guy in our IT department, who's worked there for at least a year, who could not tell the difference between displayport and HDMI. One of my employees went to get a displayport cable and was offered 4 different types of HDMI cables. In the end the IT guy asked my employee if the monitor had other ports, when my employee said yes, he suggested to use another port.  I can see it now a client calling tech support complaining our displayport boards don't work with displayport monitors and we answer "Sir our IT guy suggests you use another port!!!!"

Then there's stupid features that are developed for monitors. This is the 2nd brand of LCD where I spot what I call stupid features.  My Benq periodically tells me "your eyes deserve a well-timed rest". I kid you not.  I'm sure my boss would love it if each time my monitor told me my eyes need a rest, that I would go home. Like WTF? 

I have these new Philips displayport LCD's that I just got last week. They look very nice and sleek. And after you turn it on for about 4 minutes it goes into low power mode. So in an office with neon's, you can't see anything on your display. I had to hunt down the feature that does that. I mean  you're sitting there clicking away and suddenly your monitor goes dark. They call this feature a "power sensor". I'm not sure what it senses but seriously having these features turned on by default for shipping is kinda stupid.  I can figure out it's a feature of the monitor, but I wonder how many neophytes would return the monitor because it goes dark? 

I often wonder what the people who design these things are thinking... or maybe they aren't thinking.  I've met a lot of gifted engineers, but I've also met some who design some of the stupidest and most useless features into products. Things that you have no need for and would never see the need for. Like spamming the user with messages on his LCD that his eyes need a well-timed rest!!!!!! Please!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Photos from Ottawa

On the road to Ottawa Monday night

Mural from Heaven's to Betsy on Wellington street corner Stirling, Ottawa

Monday, August 13, 2012

Some men do ask for directions!

I was walking in the parking lot of Aliments Naturels Tau, in Pointe-Claire when I see a car coming at me. I ignored and proceeded to put my purchases in my truck. 

I hear an "excuse me miss" so I turned to see 2 older gentlemen in a grey car. They ask me the name of the mall we're currently in. That's something I have no idea. So I responded I didn't know but if they are looking for a particular mall maybe I can help. They tell me they are looking for "Pointe-Claire". I asked "Fairview-Pointe-Claire". They both nod. So I told them how to get there by getting back on the highway. I noticed as they left that they had Ontario plates.

Apparently some men do ask for directions!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

More photos from Mastigouche - Lac du Sorcier

Lac du Sorcier - seen from the beach at top of the lake

Tiny rock island in Lac du Sorcier

Dusk approaching in Lac du Sorcier

Dusk near the Campground on Lac du Sorcier.

Solidarity with the Syrian people - August 11, 2012

Last night I attended a night demonstration in solidarity with the Syrian people that were killed and slaughtered. Seventeen months after the beginning of the uprising of Syrians asking for dignity and freedom, the response was and still is massacres, massive killings, destruction, arrests and torture and ignorance.

We met at Cote Vertu Metro starting around 9:30. The group was about 100-150 people strong.  The March got on it's way around 10:15, and went for only a couple of blocks before a torrential downfall came down. It did not dampen the spirits of the participants, just drowned out the candles. The singing of songs and slogans was strong even while hiding next to a public building to get some cover from the rain.  Walking back towards Cote Vertu Metro on the sidewalk, I noticed our group covered 2 city blocks.

We got back home around midnight after leaving the group a little bit past 11. We stopped to gas up the truck on the way back home, since the gas is 2 cents cheaper in Ville St Laurent than near my house. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Abu Garcia spinning reel fishing rod

Today I went to 2 Canadian Tires before I managed to buy the Abu Garcia fishing rod. Last week at the Canadian Tire in Kirkland, the clerk admitted sheepishly that while tehy showed 7 in stock no one could locate them. This week when I came back I got help from a different clerk and she too, came back sheepishly to say that they could not locate any of the fishing rods. That's when I went to the Canadian Tire on Sources, and then had just received 3 so he was able to fetch one for me from the stock room.

I like the name. Abu in arabic means father of. And Garcia reminds me of Jerry Garcia and the Grateful dead. Somehow it makes me think the fishing rod will be very zen. 

It's a spinning reel and I have no idea how to us it. I did a piss poor job of putting the line on, but I figure I need to learn how to do it. I looked at videos but it wasn't helpful. I can't follow. Yay ADHD! 

Reading the instructions doesn't help either because I get confused by the names and the way instructions are written. AGHhhh.  I did the reel twice. The 2nd time was much better then the first, but I'm sure it wasn't good enough. And at the same time I just wanted to go out in the rain [and we all know I hate being outside in the rain. I feel like I'm going to melt if I get wet], and try the new rod out, even in the back river. 

All dressed up and nowhere to go!

So yesterday I stayed home and did absolutely nothing. I had worked all my hours from Monday to Thursday, so I could take Friday off. My gf was going up to Ottawa for the day and offered to take me up. I figured I'd visit my friend. Apparently it was not to be. He had 3 doctors appointment that day. The only day in the month where he had any plans!

So I figured I had the day off we could go canoeing. But I checked the weather at the park I was planning to go to, and it was going to drizzle in the morning followed by thunderstorms in the afternoon. Since it's not safe to be on the water during a thunderstorm and besides, I don't like being outside in rain in general, we did not go canoeing. 

I also messaged my friends I went canoe-camping with last month, knowing it was last minute, but they had already made plans. But I've learned over the years that it's better to ask and be told friends are busy, then to find out in a few weeks that they were free that day and could have enjoyed your company! 

In the end I stayed home and decided to watch "Without a Trace" all over again. The weather was not appealing at all and after the cleaning lady had left, I had no motivation to do anything or go anywhere. It probably didn't help that I couldn't sleep till about 4am and I woke up at 6:30am like I would if I had work that day!

Maybe today I will go to Canadian Tire to see if they have the Abu Garcia fishing rod in stock. I was going to pick it up last week-end however the clerk told me rather apologetically before giving me a rain-check "We list having 7 in stock but no one has been able to locate them at this point".  The rod is normally $79.99 and was on sale at $29.99 and has excellent reviews. I need a new fishing rod. I love mine, but I got it I was 10 years old. I need one that is a bit sturdier :)

Went to Ikea with my gf last Wednesday night. I impressed myself, by spending only $25 there, and for that price, other then light bulbs for my little star lamps in my bedroom, I got a LED flashlight, and a small broom/dustpan set to use camping.  There tends to be lots of sand that accumulates in the bottom of the tent. would be good to get it out just before putting tent away. Now equipped to do so.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

It's a small world - even though I woulnd't want to paint it.

Today I was talking at work with one of the new engineers in the software department. She's one of 2 women out of a team of 50 men. They often enjoy to talk to me just because they are surrounded by men. 

She was telling me how she was looking forward to going home and playing with her new baby Poodle, as well as mentioning that she was missing her bf. So I asked her where her bf was. She tells me Halifax. So I asked her if he was in the Navy. He was. 

It turns out her bf is in the same Navy reserve unit as my eldest daughter. In fact it turns out that the bf is one of my daughters best buddies from her unit, and they met back in March.

As my title says, it's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Religions and Philosophy

Taoism: Shit happens.

Confucianism: Confucius say, "Shit happens."

Buddhism: If shit happens, it isn't really shit.

Zen Buddhism: Shit is, and is not.
Zen Buddhism #2: What is the sound of shit happening?

Hinduism: This shit has happened before.

Islam: If shit happens, it is the will of Allah.
Islam #2: If shit happens, kill the person responsible.
Islam #3: If shit happens, blame Israel.

Catholicism: If shit happens, you deserve it.

Protestantism: Let shit happen to someone else.

Presbyterian: This shit was bound to happen
Episcopalian: It's not so bad if shit happens, as long as you serve the right wine with it.

Methodist: It's not so bad if shit happens, as long as you serve grape juice with it.

Congregationalist: Shit that happens to one person is just as good as shit that happens to another.

Unitarian: Shit that happens to one person is just as bad as shit that happens to another.

Lutheran: If shit happens, don't talk about it.

Fundamentalism: If shit happens, you will go to hell, unless you are born again. (Amen!)
Fundamentalism #2: If shit happens to a televangelist, it's okay.
Fundamentalism #3: Shit must be born again.

Judaism: Why does this shit always happen to us?

Calvinism: Shit happens because you don't work.

Seventh Day Adventism: No shit shall happen on Saturday.

Creationism: God made all shit.

Secular Humanism: Shit evolves.

Christian Science: When shit happens, don't call a doctor - pray!
Christian Science #2: Shit happening is all in your mind.

Unitarianism: Come let us reason together about this shit.

Quakers: Let us not fight over this shit.

Utopianism: This shit does not stink.

Darwinism: This shit was once food.

Capitalism: That's MY shit.

Communism: It's everybody's shit.

Feminism: Men are shit.

Chauvinism: We may be shit, but you can't live without us...

Commercialism: Let's package this shit.

Impressionism: From a distance, shit looks like a garden.

Idolism: Let's bronze this shit.

Existentialism: Shit doesn't happen; shit IS.
Existentialism #2: What is shit, anyway?

Stoicism: This shit is good for me.

Hedonism: There is nothing like a good shit happening!

Mormonism: God sent us this shit.
Mormonism #2: This shit is going to happen again.

Wiccan: An it harm none, let shit happen.

Scientology: If shit happens, see "Dianetics", p.157.

Jehovah's Witnesses: >KnockKnock
Jehovah's Witnesses #2: May we have a moment of your time to show you some of our shit?
Jehovah's Witnesses #3: Shit has been prophesied and is imminent; only the righteous shall survive its happening.

Moonies: Only really happy shit happens.

Hare Krishna: Shit happens, rama rama ding ding.

Rastafarianism: Let's smoke this shit!

Zoroastrianism: Shit happens half on the time.

Church of SubGenius: BoB shits.

Practical: Deal with shit one day at a time.

Agnostic: Shit might have happened; then again, maybe not.
Agnostic #2: Did someone shit?
Agnostic #3: What is this shit?


Atheism: What shit?
Atheism #2: I can't believe this shit!

Nihilism: No shit.

Narcisism: I am the shit!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Friend lucky in her bad luck

My gf had scheduled an oil change at her favourite Montreal garage, the Midas on the corner of St Charles near the 40.  They also do an inspection with the oil change, and the mechanic noticed that one of her tires was beyond bald, the metal was sticking out. 

How she made it from Oromocto to Montreal in the psychotic weather, with the construction holiday traffic on those tires is a mystery to all of us, but we are all grateful that none of the tires decided to have a blowout on the highway.

She was planning on shopping in Montreal, but I doubt she planned to shop for tires!  She found a good tire sale at Canadian Tire, buy 3 get the 4rth one free! Either way, her vehicle now has 4 new summer tires, that won't risk going "BOOM, boom, boom, all through the town..."

Monday, August 06, 2012

Visiting friend arrives with torrential rain

My gf who now lives in New Brunswick will be with us for about 10 days. She's decided to come and hang out in Montreal for a bit while hubby is working and has the company of his grand-pa. My gf and her kids don't seem to appreciate grand-pa all that much and I don't blame them.

She was supposed to drive down on Friday but was sick with a head cold and did not think driving 8-9 hours would be a good idea until her head cleared. So she drove down on Sunday. Not only did she get the psychotic weather, which included rain, thunderstorms, hail, ice pellets, storm winds and could develop tornadoes, but she had the misfortune of driving to Montreal on the last day of the construction holiday. Everyone, their mother, and their dog, was coming back from vacation. 

I can foresee shopping in my near future :)

Sunday, August 05, 2012

If it wasn't for the gutter, my mind would be homeless

Casualties of rising against the regime

Not only have over 20,000 Syrians lost their lives, and hundreds of thousands more have been in jail, and equal amounts have seen family been killed, or brutally tortured. But that isn't all. Syria was a country rich in history, with old sites, almost untouched. I remember visiting the Umayed Mosque in Damascus and the tomb of Saladin and being in awe at it's age and how well it was preserved. I was so looking forwards to going back and seeing many old castles and mosques. 

Sadly there might be nothing left to see. Rebels who hid inside old buildings hoping the army wouldn't attack them, were wrong. The army has left incredible destruction behind.

I keep praying but it looks bleak, the future of Syria not unlike that of Iraq or Lebanon.  My mom-in-law, God bless her, had as a Facebook status the other day "it might be easier living in hell, then life in Lebanon" or something to that effect.  And at least it's reasonably safe in Lebanon compared to Syria. But she must still watch what she says around her, and life is still so much harder then life in Canada. I so wish she was here in Canada. 

I don't know if hubby started the process, but with the news that they want to delete over 280,000 applicants does not give me much hope that we will be seeing her here anytime soon. :(  If anything Canada should process family of people living in Canada in reasonable amounts of time.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

I hadn't noticed before

But the episode of NCIS guest starring Bob Newhart in season 8, also features Gibbs, and several agents singing "The Wheels on the bus". 

Just saying.......

Friday, August 03, 2012

Kofi Annan quits and finger points

No surprise that Kofi Annan quits. It's not like anyone can agree on what to do with Syria, and even though there's yet another vote at the UN, I'm sure Russia and China will veto again, because it serves their interests to sell more and more weapons to the Syrian government.

It's not going to end well for those poor Syrians. I feel for them. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. I firmly believe that many Syrians want to be rid of the Assad clan as their leaders, but others believe that Assad is the only one who can keep this country together. 

Personally I keep wishing that they will find peace and a democratic government, but the more things get out of hand the less likely this will occur anytime soon. Sadly Syria seems to be drifting into similar terrain as Lebanon and Iraq [Thanks to US intervention]

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Rich crooks like Conrad Black gets free pass

It's disgusting how Conrad Black, the rich crook, managed to get a visa back into Canada. Didn't he forgo his Canadian Citizenship?  So why did his application to come live in Canada get fast-tracked while Steven Harper's government wants to delete a backlog of 280,000 immigration applications.

We're talking about people who followed the RULES and put themselves in the immigration queue. They are going to get their file deleted and get 'reimbursed' by the government, so they can start the process again. I'm sure many of these people will be delighted to start the process again, though they might have been waiting for the past 5 years.  Brilliant !!!!

He gets to spew his vitriol in the National Post, while 280,000 applicants wonder if they are going to be the ones who get deleted. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

They like to hang out together

Jethro and Ziva like to hang out on the bed.