Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Photo taken October 28, 2012, at  a viewing of Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Love fishnets. :)


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

To my daughter who feels clumsy

It runs in the family. I'm absent-minded and clumsy. And very randomly too. Last night I put my dinner in the microwave for 2 minutes. When I took it out I managed to drop it on the kitchen floor. At least it was not as epic as the curried eggplant of a few years back.

So I had to make myself some form of dinner and there was a giant cauliflower I'd picked up that was screaming to be eaten, so I made grilled cauliflower for dinner. I thankfully did not drop this, or burn myself taking the dish in and out of the oven.

Oven grilled cauliflower

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cows Bouncing on a Trampoline.

My favourite all time screen saver in a Linux one with cows seeming to bounce off a trampoline. It's not any kind of cow, but it's a dairy cow, as stipulated by the co-worker who grew up on a dairy farm.

My Linux guy knows I get a kick from this screen saver so whenever he borrows one of my display walls, he leaves this screen saver running at night.

I've been wishing for years now that someone recompiles this screen-saver and makes it work under windows. I'd LOVE to have bouncing cows.  I would let them bounce all over the place.

Of course the other option would be for me to install Linux at home.

This is useful for next summer

I was sent a great link on how to portage a canoe, and I wanted to make sure I find it again next summer, so it's here.

Didn't go canoeing as much as I would have liked this summer. Went the first time in August at Rideau River Provincial Park in Ontario.  Then again Labour day week-end 4 day canoe camping trip and then one last time in Riviere des Milles Isles on a Saturday in September were it was exceptionally hot.

I hope to start canoeing in May next year. So many places to visit so little time!

Monday, October 27, 2014


[Sing to La La La Bamba....]

Currently craving mangoes and the company of a particular man who likes mangoes.

Just sayin....

Vigil for the fallen soldiers in Montreal Tomorrow. at 6pm

Some of the Muslim women with whom I used to protest what was going on in Syria last year and the year before, are having a vigil for the fallen Canadian soldiers of last week. I think it's especially significant that it was organized by Muslims, to point out to those around them that not all Muslims are extremists and that most love their adopted country and some have even been here for generations.

I want to go, not sure I will find the time. Here are the details.

I'm not going to say much on the political cartoon in the Journal the Montreal which had a ceinture fleche as a headscarf, under an arabic banner that says "There is only one God". The two French guys who adopted the radical Islam as a religion were not Metis and they were mentally unstable. They could have chosen any other radical movement. I bet in the 70's they would have been part of the FLQ!  However political cartoons are often incredibly offensive and this one was no different.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Two dresses made this morning.

Felt really worn out yesterday so spent part of the day in bed. I napped from 10-3pm . .. longer then a night of sleep, but I seemed to need it because despite that I was asleep by 11pm last night.

This morning of course I was awake at the crack of dawn around 5:30. I started to sew two dresses I cut Saturday night, and finished them before noon today.

Butterick B5313 with a Rayon knit
Butterick B5313 in Rayon knit

McCalls M6957
McCalls M6957

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Project of the week

McCalls 6315 and some starry print.
Constellation dress
I made most of this dress last Sunday but finished the hemming over the week and the last finishing touches on Friday afternoon after work.

I love this pattern. This is the 2nd dress made with this pattern and I made 2 dress/pants back in the day. this pattern is back from the 90's. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Home Grown Terror

My first experience with home grown terror was with the FLQ. I remember like it was yesterday, the kidnapping of Pierre Laporte in October 1970. I wasn't quite 8 when it happened and I was never the same again.  It was the first time I became aware of something outside my immediate environment.  I lost innocence that day. I realized how scary or dangerous the world could be.

Of course what followed included the Wars measures act, and having the army deployed in Montreal. To this day I'm still a little suspicious of mailboxes.

This week, there was 2 attacks on Canadian Armed forces personnel on Canadian soil. One in St Jean du Richelieu Monday, and the one in Ottawa yesterday.  Terror attacks meant to scare the fuck out of us. Perhaps ISIS incited. After all no self-respecting Muslim would ever join the likes of ISIS. They are nothing more then a terror group and a cult, that kills real Muslims. [70% or so of Syrians are Muslim, mostly Sunni] Canada is supposed to join the US fighting against ISIS in Syria and Iraq and ISIS made threats against Canadians, that we wouldn't even be safe in our own beds.....

For the record, I still support the Syrian people in their quest to not be led by murdering fools. Whether it be Assad or ISIS, neither are good for Syria  or the Middle East. 

I'd like to give my sympathies to the families of the 2 dead Canadian soldiers. They both did die serving their country but they didn't have to die. Gunned down or mowed down by  a car for no good reason except someone was a fucked up dick who instead of giving himself a good swift kick in the ass and getting on with life decided to kill someone else. Cowards really.

My daughter in the Navy called me yesterday to tell me that she was ok, and also that she could be deployed in the next 48 hours and was worried she would have to leave her cats without anyone to take care of them.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Some cute for Hump Day

What's so interesting on the laptop anyways, Am I not cute enough?

You sure you wouldn't rather use this camera?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

If you love someone with ADD/ADHD

This article is to the point.  The one line I've heard way too much in my life is "control your emotions".  Though I must admit that since I stopped getting angry over things I have no control over, I've been in a better place and less likely to blow up.

Three Years later and it finally gets it's day in court.

I blogged nearly 3 years ago about the UV tagging of protesters removed from Square Victoria.

There was an article written nearly 3 years ago as well, about the same topic. 

My friend who got UV tagged was in court yesterday. The city was trying to say the group action should be thrown out of court.

I'd love to find something about the court case but googling brought me nowhere. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

A dress with a blue Ponte type knit.

McCalls M6889 and a blue Ponte type knit

Dress made with blue Ponte type knit and McCalls M6889
I got this knit on St Hubert street in a store where every fabric was $1.99 a meter. I took whatever was left on the roll, which was a little less then 2Ms.  I decided that I was making this knit dress with this blue fabric a month ago and cut the pattern pieces. When I started to sew it Saturday I realized I was missing 2 panels. I had to improvise the last 2 panels with the fabric scraps remaining. I also had to wait till Fabricville opened Sunday at noon, to pick up a zipper for it.   I managed to still make a nice dress. Really like the pattern. I had to make a few adjustments, the back neck was gaping.  Will be making other dresses from this pattern.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I now have five

My sarong collection has reached 5. It was my first fruitful trip to value village in over a month. In fact there was 3 Sarongs at value village yesterday. One was black and white, obviously never used. One was royal blue, but with an obnoxious print. Then there was the one I bought. the cheapest too, at $2.99, but with a really nice print.

Sarong picked up yesterday.
Purple Sarong picked up in September
I've already worn the purple one I picked up in September, when I canoed in Riviere des mille iles to avoid sunburn on my legs.

It's Sunday, it's all about cute!

All the clothes are mine, mine mine.....
I'm a pretty boy!


I like your fabric, All the fabric is mine!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Great-granny Clara's French Quebecois Meatball and Pigs Feet Ragout

I was asked to post my Pig feet stew recipe. It's one of the few recipes that was passed down to me that I have mastered. Go to this entry for photos.   I associate this recipe with Christmas dinner at my grandparents. This is a very traditional meal.  I love the smell of  the stew cooking.

Great-granny Clara's French Quebecois Meatball and Pigs Feet Ragout
[Ragout de pattes de cochon avec boulettes, selon la recette de mon arriere grand-mere,Clara]

Preparing the Pigs Feet

- 4 or 5 pieces of pig's feet, the large part of the hock should be about 4-5" (roughly 3-4 lbs)
- cold water, 10 cups.
- salt/pepper to taste
- 4 large onions minced finely
- 1 garlic clove minced finely
- 1 teaspoon of sage

Cook at low heat until the all the meat detaches itself from the bone.
Throw out everything but the meat and the broth. You should have about 8 cups of broth left. Refrigerate.
Once it's gotten cold, you can scoop off excess fat for those of you who like to keep their meals as low-fat as possible.

Preparing the Meatballs

- 2 1/2-3lbs lean ground pork (will make 40-50 balls)
- 4 large onions minced finely
- 2 slices of bread, finely crumbed
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- salt/pepper to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon of savoury
- 1/2 teaspoon of marjoram

Mix everything together and use flour to roll your meatballs. Fry the meatballs in a pan until they are well browned on all sides.

For the sauce, you need to brown some flour. According to Clara use 3 tablespoons of flour to one cup of broth. At low heat brown your flour until it's a uniform color and not burnt.
Mix the flour into the heated broth and stir until the texture is uniform. Add the meat balls into the broth. Add salt and pepper.

Take 1 cinnamon stick and 10 cloves, put in a fabric scrap and tie together with string that will be attached to the pot handle and let the herb bag soak in the mixture.

Cook at low heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. By then the sauce should be rich and thick.
Remove and discard the spice bag before serving. Cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

Too much heat in Middle East

I sometimes follow a blog from a articulate Yemeni, she blogs about women's rights in Yemen

This past month's sewing projects

McCalls 6642

My friend modelling the PJ pants

McCalls 6642

MIL modelling the PJ pants I made for her

Friday, October 17, 2014

stress sucks

Here I thought I left work at work, that I'd learned to handle my stress and  so on.

Wednesday when my friend picked me up from the train station and asked how I was doing and explained that my lower abdomen was in a knot and I had waves of nausea, she suggested it was stress and then perhaps that it was my date tonight that was doing it.

Well no. While I do get nervous before a date {usually in the 30 minutes before it happens} never to this level. However today was the major release that has probably been the source of my lower abdomen distress.

I had stomach issues also about 3-4 weeks ago. Also before the beta release. This project has been particularly stressful. I'm used to working with a team of engineers who can generally fix anything I throw at them.  If the software issue I find, turns out to be hardware or ASIC, we can find a work-around. Our engineers are really creative at circumventing windows limitations even.  Sadly because this is a joint effort with another company, well some problems will never get resolved.  I'm not used to having to live with what I consider nasty bugs, and which I feel lowers the quality of the product.

So essentially this release has really stressed me.  And of course the nasty pains came out MONDAY after 3 idyllic days spent with my friends in Kingsbury. In fact the stomach pains came out pretty bad the last afternoon I was supposed to be there. 

Today finally I woke up without my tummy in a knot. Sure I made the packages for web release yesterday and by quitting time, nothing catastrophic had been found. One wrong string that I suspect is stuck in cement, which makes things look inconsistent, but certainly not a show stopper!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bin hanging

Toby is a week shy of 6 months and he's big.

Thursday humour

Everyone once in a while it good to laugh. I giggled long and hard reading this.  I've always been tech savvy  but as I could see it's not the case for everyone's mom!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


I've been a feminist since I was a little girl. Not one of those women are better types, but I have strongly felt that women can do anything they set their mind to.  Also strongly feel women should get equal pay for equal jobs.

I've seen how women are affected by media. Most women I run across have all sorts of hang ups related to how society perceives how we should look or feel or act.

 I don't spend a lot of time looking at ads. Try for the most part to block them out. Certainly most of the ads featured in this clip would not get me to go out and by the product.

Women and Islam.

This woman is very articulate and explains why as a feminist she converted to Islam. People seem to find it ludicrous that a western woman would convert to Islam but she makes a good case for it.

I'm not looking for a new religion, and my research into Islam was done back the summer of 2006. However I had concluded back then that Islam was not the issue when it came to women's rights or treatment.

I've met articulate intelligent independent women who embrace Islam, both here in Montreal and in my travels in the middle-east.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Toby and the week-end trip

I had decided to bring Toby to visit with my friends. Cats generally don't take well to car rides or new places, but Toby's personality suggested he might be different.

He did meow most of the 2 1/2 hours going to my friends place. Maybe because the only car ride he'd ever had took him away from his parents and the family he knew.

Toby and Teyha hanging on the couch near the fireplace
Once at my friends place he seemed to adapt well. Many cats will hide under the bed for days when taken to a new location, he was willing to explore and make new friends.

They have 3 pets, Teyha, the Husky mix, Spock, a  male tabby cat, and Pixel, a Tortoiseshell/tabby  female cat.  By the time he left Toby was friends with Teyha, who's very pleased as she likes cats and wants to play with them.  And with Spock who's generally friendly.  Pixel hates all other animals and merely tolerates Teyha, and Spock. She was more mellow with Toby then she originally was with Teyha and Spock. So he's doing well.

Toby and Spock hanging out on the futon near the fireplace

By the time I left their house, he was wandering around the house, finding the water bowl, kitty litter and food dish. He knew how to walk to not have the dog bug him too much. He seemed to have figured out his place in the pack.

Toby asleep in a patch of sun on the kitchen table.
Before I left I put all my bags next to the door, to pack them in the car. Along with the bags was the cat travel carrier. Slowly over the span of 2 hours I put bags  and belongings in the car. At the end the last items was the cat carrier and the laptop bag. It was so cute, when I came back in to get laptop in bag and cat carrier, Toby had gone into the cat carrier on his own. Like he was afraid I'd forget him.

Once we were in the truck together, I opened the carrier, took him out, put him on the dash, he didn't feel comfortable. He jumped on top of the carrier, then went to the side of carrier and try to get under it. So I encouraged him back into the carrier and closed the door. He seemed to agree that it was probably the most comfortable place for him while nervous.  And I always put carrier so he could see me and I could touch him a bit while driving. 

Toby in the car just before I got home
 It's how I got above photo. I was stopped at a red light and noticed him all asleep against the carrier door. He didn't howl as much on the way back. He only tried to open the door once, and it was cute. It's like he knew it was futile to howl, but he had to do it periodically to remind me he hates car rides!

I have to take him on car rides just around the block with no carrier and see what happens. Perhaps if he realizes car rides can be fun, he won't howl when in the car :)

Once he got back into my home, he got greeted by Jethro, who was his usual friendly self. Ziva hissed at him some, but she hisses at him sometimes even when they play.  He didn't need any time to re-adapt, he found found, water, litter and was fast asleep on the bed in no time. 

A way to describe POF

Just had to post it, since I've been saying it for months. Though to all rules there are exception. I've met up 3 times with the last one and so far so good   :D

canoeing in the Kingsbury March - Part II

Photographer: Nina Haigh
We got back on land around dusk. We expected to see a lot of geese but they seemed to have moved on.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Canoeing in the Kingsbury marsh

So we spent from 2pm to 7pm exploring in the marsh.
We canoed in canals went to a beaver dam...fished some.
Felt nauseous most of the afternoon.  It went for a while but now it's back with a vengeance

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Toby and I

Like cuddling in front of the fireplace half asleep

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Crazy furniture for cats

I want to build an outdoor walk for my cats when I move to Cape Breton.

Here are some awesome furniture for cats,  and here's another with more awesome furniture and designs for cats.

Probably a great idea in a house with dogs. Cats can climb up and wander around without having to deal with big dog.

Hanging out in Kingsbury

My friends dog really hates me. She finds me to  cuddle.

I brought my kitten along to see if i could get him adapted to travelling and while he howled most of the 2 hours in transit,  he does much better at being somewhere new.

So far toby has interacted with the dog and while hes apprehensive because shes hyper and a spazz he was interacting just a few hours after arriving at a new place

Some cats are so paranoid they would still be hunched under a bed in a deep dark corner.  Toby has investigated most of the 4000 or so sq ft of the multiple floored  turn of century cottage.

I think to help toby deal with car rides will start doing daily car rude with him around the block. With no cage
I think its the carrier he hated.  Like i cant leave him alone in a closed room. He HATES being alone.  Hed even rather be with the dog. Lol.

This is probably the longest blog post i make from my Android

Friday, October 10, 2014

Can't help some things

I was all excited to go canoe-camping one more time this season but alas it is not going to be.  Originally we were supposed to be at least 5 and possibly up to 9 people. Then it was just my friends and I, so 3 people and now not at all.   My friends have a funeral to attend on Saturday.  Smack in the middle of the weekend.

So instead I'm driving down to Kingsbury to go hang out with them. We can still go canoeing in the pond across the road. I still get to spend time with them. But still pretty disappointed. Though there has been talk of going to the Canadian Tire in Drummondville. I hear its epically big, and also mention a trip to Fabricville.  How to get my blood percolating

It will be beautiful too with the fall colours to drive down to the townships.  I'm bringing my kitten along, to introduce him to Teyha. She loves cats and I want Toby to be comfortable with dogs.  We'll see how he handles the road trip. I hope he doesn't howl the entire way.  

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The fire in the sky

The past 2 days I regret not having  my dslr with me as the sky has been spectacular and I've been leaving at sunset.

  There was also a rainbow tonight, that would have come out better on my camera.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Really a beaver

Saw a beaver on the front lawn at work when I was leaving

Beaver from Bois de Liesse
 I showed up about 10 minutes late for my therapist appointment and I told him, it wasn't a squirrel that distracted me but a BEAVER.Yes there was a beaver on the front lawn at work when I was walking out. It was almost dark so the photo isn't very good, but it's definitely a beaver. So of course I had to take pictures and put it up on Facebook and my blog.My therapist was amused and asked to see the photo :)

.NET hell

I don't know what MORON at Microsoft thought that:

1) it was a good idea to not make .NET 2.0 and 3.5 available for windows 8.1 downloadable separately.
2) it was a good idea to not include it to be easily installed VIA a USER INTERFACE, that end users REALLY like using DISM to install .net 3.5
3) it made sense that when you install it via the add/remove windows programs - THAT IT GOES TO THE INTERNET and then promptly fails.
4) it was a good idea to push an update that makes the .NET 2.0 & 3.5 no longer install ??!?!?!?!

Because we all know how stable going to a website goes. Never mind that many big companies have proxies that aren't that friendly to install updates or applications over.

Today I spent most of the day trying to get .NET 2.0 and 3.5 installed on a FRESHLY installed Windows 8.1.  I think my BIGGEST mistake was installing all the updates BEFORE trying to install .NET.  If I ran DISM from the install CD, it told me the source for the software was missing. I checked the CD, the path was correct.  I ran the DISM from another install CD, that a colleague had used and it worked for him. Did not work.

I tried the install via the add/remove which tells you it's going to download from Microsoft but then tells you that you have no internet, and when you click on the help for the error it gives, it loads a page in IE from the INTERNET - which it COULD NOT FUCKING FIND!!!  BUT it can always find it when creating a USER account, FUNNY that

I tried on a direct connection, where there is no proxy. It failed the same saying I had no internet.  Then I had a colleague with more patience then I, attempt 3 different ways to fix/restore to get the "DISM" way to work, and that failed as well.

Now re-installing Windows 8.1, after reformatting the hard disk,  this time I did not install the 60+ updates that came since the BIG UPDATE from April and .NET 2 & 3.5 did end up installing successfully.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Song for today....

Another Monday another dollar

I'm sure I've mentioned I hate Monday mornings. It looks dreary but that maybe just because the sun hasn't risen high enough to look light yet.

This week-end was too short, what with all the cooking. I did manage to sneak away for a few hours to go walk in Bois de Liesse with my new friend. Was nice, despite fact it rained buckets on Saturday we managed to walk during the dryest part of the day. We mostly walked in an area of Bois de Liesse that I'm not familiar with. I usually walk at the other end of  Ruisseau Bertrand.

My dinner was a success. Way too much food to feed everyone :) Now tonight I have to freeze some of the food for later consumption to make sure it all stays ok.

I so don't want to go to work today. I will spend all day recabling my benches. I also have to remember to wear shoes that aren't slippery on waxed floors. On the positive side, if I get bored I can always slide on the floor.
I'd like to go back to sleep like Toby. Awwwww

Saturday, October 04, 2014

I love the new Lenovo 4K monitors

Though I have no need for a 4K anything, the product I'm working on supports 4k panels and this means they have to be tested. So we bought several models. The Dell UP2414Q, the Samsung  U28D590D, and the Lenovo Thinkvision Pro2840m.  I kept the Lenovo ones to put on my bench. They are fussy, but once you get them going they are gorgeous. In DP 1.2 at 3840x2460@60hz  :D

I'll quantify. The Dell panels are dual glass. The Samsung panels have really crappy stands, no VESA mount, external power supplies, and I could go on.  The Lenovo's in comparison are just gorgeous aesthetically and work well once they warm up.

Bottom 3 are Lenovo Thinkvision Pro2840m in 4K mode, running 4K videos
Thursday and Friday I moved the top 8 LCD's on this bench to the top 2 shelves so I could add the 4K Lenovo's.  And also had to raise cables of my 2 displaywalls and my other 2 benches because this week-end was the floor waxing week-end, which happens every 3-5 yearsi. You can't have anything below 6inches from the floor otherwise it gets caked in wax. We had to take out all the chairs and all the 3drawer cabinets my employees have to store stationary, paperwork and random hardware.  We found 4k sized dust bunnies under some of the benches.  I was so exhausted when I got home from work yesterday.  Floor waxing is really taxing for employees of test departments, where we accumulate enormous amounts of equipment.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Sad news

On Thursday I found out that the guy who built the supports for my original displaywall and my 2nd displaywall, had passed away. He was one of the maintenance workers, who made all sorts of shelves, trolleys, wooden spacers and built many of our displaywalls. He was known as a grumpy Frenchman, because he mostly had a scowl on his face, but he was a sweet man with a twinkle in his eye and a wonky sense of humour.  I'm not sure how many years he worked with us, but I was always happy with his work.  He left us 5 months ago because he had ALS and he was no longer able to do much.  He's been exposed at a funeral home this week-end in Mascouche. He will be missed, but not forgotten. Little parts of him are all over my department.

Top 4 monitors have mounts that go on an angle, since the top 4 were hard to see from my chair

Above is my first displaywall, after it was re-adjusted to handle all Dell panels. Originally I had 8 Philips and 8 Acers. The Philips were larger because they had built in speakers so my wall was slightly lopsided. It was well built, because it was easy for the current maintenance guy to adjust it so I could put all Dell panels. The technology still needs some tweaking. It was hellish getting this working originally. I went through so many cables.

Original wall layout with mismatched monitors, and before I got different mounts for the top 4

 In case you're a curious geek, I'm driving 12 displays using 2  Graphics cards, and using only 2 display cables per card, though each card has 6 inputs.   I'm running these Dell U2413's in MST [Daisy chain]. The system is a Gigabyte GA-F2A85X-UP4, with 16 Gb of ram. 

4 sets of 3 Dell U2413 in MST [Daisy chain] driven by 2 graphics cards
It takes getting used to, having monitors that have inputs and outputs.  I've labelled all the DP outs with a big OUT, to avoid some confusion. Or to avoid my team returning LCDs to me telling me they don't work in displayport, and the only reason they aren't working is that they are trying to get an "in" signal out of an "out" port. It's happened a few times. I've also spent an hour debugging why my LCD wasn't working and I was using the wrong port on the first one but not on the 2nd one. Yep. True story.