Saturday, March 25, 2017

A new beginning

I am in the process of switching my blog from Blogger to Wordpress. This will happen in three phases:

Learning :  during that phase not much will happen on the new site (clodjee.com) and I will continue to blog mostly here. I'll post on Wordpress only to experiment with the settings and features in order to learn how it all works.

Transfer : while I slowly transfer the whole blog to the new site I will probably continue to blog on both sites.

Finalized : when the transfer phase is completed I will blog only on Wordpress.

I have no idea how long each phase will take. Please bear with me for the duration of this process.

Thank you !

Monday, March 20, 2017

Weekly notable news (W10-11)

The last couple of weeks were so busy that it felt like months.

Strangely, after getting temperatures up to 10℃ in February, we had nearly -20℃ in March! And, as it warmed up a little and all the snow we had received during the winter had almost melted, we got hit by the biggest snowstorm of the year! This mid-march wallop left us with almost two feet (sixty centimeters) of snow in one night and one day! It felt like January again! Today, Spring has officially arrived and it is above zero again, but I have the feeling that this roller-coaster is not over. There's really no seasons anymore…

It was the sixth anniversary of the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami disaster (as well as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster), but lately the news were dominated by the various scandals rocking the Trump Presidency, mostly the Russia Dossier and allegations of Russian interference during the electoral process. Despite Trump doing his best to distract our attention from it, it become increasingly clear that his campaign has had contacts and possibly collusion with Russian interests. We can only wonder how much his Presidency is politically and financially compromised by this. Lately, I've started watching MSNBC and it is fascinating. It gives me a brand new perspective. Now, considering that it took only ONE blow-job to put Clinton on the impeachment path and that Trump has been plagued already with numerous questionable business deals and sexual misconduct allegations, I am wondering how much more it will take to remove this evil clown from office !!!

Another notable event was the fact that my Jawbone fitness band broke and that I replaced it with a Fitbit. It's my third Jawbone fitness band that breaks (first a UP24, then a UP2 and finally a UP3 and in all cases it was the rubber of the band that broke apart) so, that's it, I've decided to never use that company again (too bad, I really liked their app). Considering the reviews and quality/price ratio, I chose to replace it with a Fitbit Flex 2 band. Since I already have an Apple Watch, I decided to go with a simpler model and I was impressed with Fitbit's clever concept of the device itself being separated from the band so you can switch band at will for fashion reasons or if it breaks. I am a little disappointed with the app but I am sure I'll get used to it. So far, it is working quite well.

I also discovered that I had been screwed by Dropbox — which I used to host all the images for this blog. They changed their policy and now all the image links are irreparably broken. I've already taken temporarily measures to keep the most recent or important entries of the blog illustrated, but I am considering to eventually switch to a Wordpress blog (with the same web hosting service that was used for the magazine). The transition will probably be slow and incremental since it is a lot of work.

However, the last couple of weeks were mostly dedicated to preparing for my mother's funerals. I took a week off from work not only to help my sister preparing the funeral (book the hall, choose and order the buffet, shop all the stuff that was needed, contact people, make appointments, fill paperwork, plan the ceremony, etc.) but mainly to prepare the music medley and produce a commemorative video that would pay hommage to my mother's memory (it is now available in two slightly different versions, on both this blog and my Vimeo page). Strangely, the funerals for the father of one of my dear friends were on the same day…

I was hoping to take advantage of this little time off also to catch up on my reading and writing, maybe go see a movie and visit a museum, but it was so busy that I couldn't do anything. I even got behind in my TV shows watching.

Unfortunately, I also barely managed to stay acquainted with the affairs of the world and gathered only a few notable news & links — which I share with you nevertheless (in both french or english, and in no particular order), after the jump.

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Saturday, March 18, 2017

In Memoriam Laure Gauthier

Hommage à Laure —
Faire le tour de sa vie en 180 images
Pour honorer sa mémoire


Après lui avoir rendue hommage avec des mots, voici un hommage en images à la vie de ma mère, Laure Gauthier, décédée d'un cancer le dimanche 5 mars 2017. Elle avait quatre-vingt-sept ans et a eut une belle vie bien remplie qui mérite d'être célébrée et commémorée. Puisse-t-elle continuer à vivre dans nos souvenirs…


Continuer après le saut de page >>

Image du chat-medi

A Cat and a snail with hydrangea
Un chat et un escargot avec des hortensias
A Cat and a snail with hydrangea
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album
Voir d'autres peintures par mon épouse sur cet album Flickr

Friday, March 17, 2017

Screwed by Dropbox

You are wondering why there are no longer pictures in this blog?

Simple: most pictures were hosted on Dropbox and “As of March 15, 2017 the Public folder in your Dropbox account has been converted into a standard folder. By default this folder is private to your account. (…) If you're a Basic user, and you created a website that directly displays HTML content from your Dropbox account, it will no longer render in the browser.”

Of course, for a while, it would continue to work if your are Dropbox Pro or Plus users (at minimum $129 per year). It is tantamount to legal ransomware!

I thought that re-doing a share link individually for each picture (for all my 1345 posts !) could solve the problem but a quick test was a failure. I don't have much time to dedicate to this right now (having spent the last week and half working hard to prepare for my mother's funerals, which is later today). I'll try to contact Dropbox later, but for now it will remain that way.

I'll try to figure out an alternative solution as soon as possible. Anyway, I was thinking of switching to a Wordpress blog with a web hosting professional company that will also locally host the files. That would solve the problem but will also take time to implement. We'll see.

I apologize profoundly for the actual state of my blog. But keep reading, it's the words that count.

Update: another quick test (at the suggestion of this guy) made me realize that I can host images with Blogger itself, although I don't know the limitation in space or bandwidth. I'll probably just do that for the most important or recent posts while I prepare for a more permanent solution.

Update 2: Of course, I can also use Flickr to temporarily host the images. At least, there, the limit is known (1 Tb of which I am currently using only 0.4%). I might use a little of both methods, but no matter what it will be time-consuming and a hassle. Argh! I hate Dropbox for dropping this on me at a time like this!

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Mid-March storm

It seems that snow storm time-lapse videos are in fashion so I decided to make my own. This time-lapse video of the mid-March storm was shot between 3 PM on March 14 2017 and 3 PM on March 15 2017.


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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Image du mer-fleuri

Cat & butterfly with yellow violets
Un chat et un papillon avec des violettes jaunes
Cat & butterfly with yellow violets
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album
Voir d'autres peintures par mon épouse sur cet album Flickr

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Image du chat-medi

Cat in the countryside with a butterfly and clover
Un chat à la campagne avec un papillon et du trèfle

© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album
Voir d'autres peintures par mon épouse sur cet album Flickr

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Image du mer-fleuri

Rabbit and butterflies with cosmos in a meadow
Un lapin et des papillons avec des cosmos dans un pré
Rabbit and butterflies with cosmos in a meadow
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album
Voir d'autres peintures par mon épouse sur cet album Flickr

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Laure Gauthier (1929-2017)

Ma mère, Laure Gauthier, est décédé paisiblement dans son sommeil dimanche le 5 mars 2017 d’un cancer sauvage des poumons. Elle avait quatre-vingt-sept ans et a eu une belle vie, bien remplie, qui mérite bien d’être célébrée et commémorée. Je lui suis reconnaissant pour toutes les merveilles qu’elle m’a transmises.

Elle est née en octobre 1929 à Maskinongé de Lucien Gauthier (1905-1944), tailleur, et de Lucia Ricard (1907-1991), qui doit reprendre son métier d’institutrice après le décès de son époux afin de pouvoir s’occuper (avec l’aide des parents) de sa famille de neuf enfants. Laure, qui est la deuxième enfant, épouse Claude Eugène Pelletier en octobre 1953 à l’église Notre-Dame des Sept-Allégresses de Trois-Rivières et ils ont quatre enfants qu’elle doit élever pratiquement seule car Claude, qui est preneur de son pour l’Office National du Film, est souvent parti en tournage. Ils s’établissent d’abord à Hull, puis aux Iles-Laval en février 1956.

En septembre 1970, alors que les enfants commencent à être un peu plus autonomes, elle entreprend des études en bibliotechnique, qu’elle complète en 1977 par des cours en archivistique (et paléographie). Cela lui donne les outils nécessaires pour appuyer Claude dans sa passion pour l’histoire et la généalogie. Elle devient membre de l’Association des Archivistes du Québec et s’implique, avec Claude, auprès de la Société d’Histoire de L’Ile-Jésus (contribuant, entre autre, à l'inventaire des archives de paroisses de l'Île Jésus et à la sauvegarde de la Maison André-Benjamin Papineau), puis de la Société de Généalogie (ils sont parmi les premiers à devenir des maître-généalogistes agréés au Québec) et, finalement, de l’Association des Familles Pelletier. En plus d’avoir collaborer avec son époux à l’élaboration d’une série de recueils généalogiques des Familles Pelletier (du Perche [2 vols], de Beauce, du Poitou) et d’un bulletin spécial de la Société d’Histoire de l’Île Jésus pour son 25e anniversaire, elle a écrit deux ouvrages: une biographie d’André-Benjamin Papineau (Cahier d’Histoire de l’Île Jésus #2, 1985) et une histoire de famille intitulée Le tour du Québec en 70 ans (qui demeure inédite).

Même si Claude était à la retraite de l’ONF depuis 1983, ce n’est vraiment qu’en 2004 qu’ils prennent du repos en diminuant leur engagement auprès de diverses associations et en vendant la maison des Iles-Laval pour s’établir plutôt dans une maison de retraite. Ils feront plusieurs voyages pour des colloques et ralliements généalogiques ainsi que des croisières dans le sud. Comme Claude est atteint de la maladie d’Alzheimer, Laure doit beaucoup s’occuper de lui, jusqu’à son décès en octobre 2015. Malheureusement, elle ne peut guère profiter de cette nouvelle liberté, car un peu avant Noël 2016 elle découvre qu’elle est atteinte d’un cancer du poumon. En janvier, il est devenu évident que c’est une forme très agressive de cancer et que les métastases se sont propagées au foie et aux os. En février, elle a commencé à avoir de la difficulté à respirer et le cancer des os est très douloureux. L'oxygène et de forts anti-douleurs l'aident pendant un certain temps, mais elle perd l'appétit et de la force très rapidement. À la fin, elle dort beaucoup. Elle est morte paisiblement dans son sommeil, chez elle. L’effort d’une respiration laborieuse fut probablement un peu trop pour son cœur. Ou peut-être qu'elle était juste prête à se laisser aller. Je suis heureux que sa souffrance ait pris fin. Puisse-t-elle reposer en paix.

Laure Gauthier était l’épouse de Feu Claude E. Pelletier (1928-2015), la mère de Feu Johanne (1954-1983), de Luce, de Francine et de Claude J., la belle-mère de Miyako Matsuda, la grand-mère adoptive de Sébastien Chartrand (Sonya Godbout-Gaucher). Elle laisse également dans le deuil sa sœur Micheline (Jean Morissette), ses frères Jacques et Marcellin (Marie José Hamelin), plusieurs belles-sœurs et beaux-frères.

La famille recevra les condoléances, en présence des cendres, le vendredi 17 mars de 15 h 30 à 20 h à la résidence funéraire Laval (salle Opale) de la Coopérative Funéraire du Grand Montréal (2000 rue Cunard, Laval, Qc). Un buffet sera servi vers 17 h et sera suivi à 20h d’un hommage en sa mémoire et d’une cérémonie de la parole. L'inhumation des cendres se fera ultérieurement en privé.

Les détails sur les funérailles sont disponibles sur le site de la coopérative funéraire et dans les pages d’avis de décès du Journal de Montréal du 11 et 15 mars.

Au lieu d'envoyer des fleurs, si vous désirez faire un geste en sa mémoire, nous vous suggérons de faire un don à la Société Canadienne du Cancer.

Si vous désirez écrire des messages de sympathie ou d'hommage, vous pouvez le faire sur la page Facebook de Laure.

Un diaporama commémoratif est aussi disponible (sur mon blog et sur Vimeo).

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Monday, March 06, 2017

Monthly notable news (W4-9)

The last month was rather depressing. Same old, tiring and annoying job. Grey and very cold weather. I feel that we live in a world that is increasingly absurd and selfish, where people don't respect anything or anyone anymore (and that's beside all the Trump crazyness). Also, I just realized that, although I have been “writing” all my life (probably since age ten or twelve), I have been involved with publishing 'zines for about thirty years and it has been already ten years since I've stopped publishing the magazine. Jeez, time really flies. Quite depressing. Finally, I also realized that I had read only twenty books last year! I really need to read and write more. Unfortunately, lately I've been lacking the stamina and motivation…

After a brief spring-like interval, the cold and snow are back. Like the Hobbits' second breakfast, this is our second winter. Or maybe the Indian winter. But spring is in sight. We just have to be a little patient. For now we get freezing rain again.

On the bright side, I solved most of the problems with my new Bell Home Hub 3000 router. Since I have lots of devices using wi-fi (nearly forty!), I first decided — in order to ease the transition — to create a guest network with the same name and password as my previous network. Unfortunately, the guest network uses just one band and therefore less antennas so its reach and power is a little lacking. I was able to get most of my devices to finally work properly by switching them one by one to the main network (which uses two band — 2.4 & 5.0 GHz — and several antennas). At first, many devices still didn't want to log into the main network so I had to resolve into forcing them with MAC filtering.

As for the phone line always dropping after ten to fifteen minutes due to some problems between the D-Link VoIP Gateway and the Bell router, it eventually stopped. Strangely just after a Bell technician rudely told me over the phone that they were not supporting VoIP and couldn't alter the router settings. I suppose they purposely don't support VoIP so their customer are forced to use Bell own phone system (at three time to cost of my current phone provider). Unfortunately the problem came back after a few weeks (just after I received a rebate offer in the mail for a Bell phone line -- a possible argument for the conspiracy theorists). I tried to bypass the problem by creating a DMZ for the VoIP Gateway and, so far, it is working. All this unfortunate situation confirmed my previous experience with Bell (and what I've been hearing from friends and on the internet): the Bell customer service is excellent up to the point where you sign up with them; once you are a paying customer they don't give a damn about you. Sad.

Finally, another reason for my late melancholic disposition is the fact that my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer just a little before Christmas. In January it became apparent that it was a very aggressive form of cancer and that metastases had spread to the liver and bones. In February, she started having difficulty breathing and the bone cancer was quite painful. Oxygen and strong pain-killer helped her for a while but she lost appetite and strength very quickly. In the end, she was sleeping most of the time. Yesterday, she peacefully passed away in her sleep, at home. The strain of her laboured breathing was probably just too much for her heart. I cannot forget her lifeless face but her expression was peaceful and I am glad that her suffering has ended. She took care of my father, who had Alzheimer's, for several years (until his death, last year) and we were hoping that she would have many more years to enjoy life after that, but it wasn't to be. She was eighty-seven year-old and has had a good life. I try my best not to be sad and rather choose to celebrate her beautiful life, preserve her memory and be thankful for all the greatness she gave me. May she rest in peace.

Despite all this, I managed to stay acquainted (a bit) with the affairs of the world. Here's some notable news & links that I came across this month and that I'd like to share with you, after the jump (in both french and english):

Saturday, March 04, 2017

40th Japan Academy Awards (2017) winners



On March 3rd, in a televised ceremony held at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa in Tokyo, the Nippon Academy-Sho Association awarded the 40th Annual Japan Academy Prizes (第40回日本アカデミー賞) for the best Japanese movies of 2016. In This Corner of the World won in the best animation category (but Makoto Shinkai's Your name still got best screenplay and best music) and Shin Godzilla was a big winner with seven awards (including best picture, best director and best cinematography)!

Discover all the winners (highlighted in yellow) after the jump:

Image du chat-medi

Cat with Narcissus
Un chat et des jonquilles

© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album
Voir d'autres peintures par mon épouse sur cet album Flickr

Friday, March 03, 2017

Bookface d'Hemingway

Dans le cadre du Festival Montréal Joue, les bibliothèques de Montréal ont décidé de participer à un défi de bookfacing. C'est une phénomène populaire (apparemment surtout dans les bibliothèques) depuis quelques années et qui se définit par des “images publiées sur les médias sociaux qui montrent des couvertures de livres se fondant dans des paysages tridimensionnels” (parfois confondu avec “facebooking,” qui se définit lui simplement par une interaction sur Facebook). Notre bibliothèque y a participé avec enthousiasme.

Vous contemplez ci-contre une photo (prises par Olivia Viveros) où votre humble serviteur usurpe l'identité du grand Ernest Hemingway pour quelques instants.

On s'amuse comme on peut!


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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Image du mer-fleuri

A dog and a snail with hydrangea under a platane
Un chien et un escargot avec des Hortensia sous un platane
A dog and a snail with hydrangea under a platane
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda

See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album
Voir d'autres peintures par mon épouse sur cet album Flickr

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Printemps précoce ?

Cette semaine on a eut des températures avoisinant les 10 ℃ même si on est seulement à la fin février ! Aujourd'hui, malgré la pluie battante, j'ai pris ma marche de santé, ce qui m'a permis de voir des paysages étranges…

eerie landscape 1

eerie landscape 2 eerie landscape 3 eerie landscape 4

(iPhone 6s, Parc Champdoré et Parc Frédéric-Back, 2017-02-25)

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Cat-urday's picture

Spring indeed! / C'est le printemps !
Spring indeed!
(iPhone 6s, 2017-02-22)

Image du chat-medi

A cat (orange American shorthair), with a butterfly, looking into a pond (water hyacinth)
Un chat, avec un papillon, regardant dans un bassin (Jacinthe d'eau)
Cat looking into a pond
© 2017 Miyako Matsuda
See more of my wife's art in this Flickr album

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Absurdité du jour (#02017054)

Je viens juste de réaliser, avec tout mes problèmes du changement de Vidéotron à Bell, que j'avais un meilleur téléphone quand j'étais avec la compagnie de cable et que maintenant j'ai un meilleur service télé avec la compagnie de téléphone! Go figure

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Absurdity of the day (#02017053)

Yesterday, an Hydro-Québec press release announced that their “customers are increasingly satisfied”! Is that so? It is strange, because the customers are paying increasingly more (year after year) for the same damn service (on average each year more than the Canadian consumer price index). Why should they feel more satisfied with that, I ask you!

I guess the quality of the electricity is good (if anyone could quantify that), the service is more reliable, but hydro-electricity is amongst the cheapest energy, most of our infrastructure is already paid for and the company is already making huge profits (over $3-billion). So, where's the need to increase the rates? Of course, the argument for an increase is that customers from Quebec are paying one of the lowest rates in the country so they shouldn't complain if H-Q tries to bring them closer to the national average. Also, H-Q blames “an increase in supply costs and the costs resulting from the harsh temperatures of the past two winters” and the fact that production cost for wind energy is much higher. It sounds like corporate excuses.

The last couple of time I had to deal with their customer service I was quite disappointed. When they started installing the new “intelligent” meters, it took a good six months to arrange an appointment for the installation. And, with the next-generation meters, they promised customers would be able to track their daily electricity use and it took over TWO YEARS for that option to become available on their website through the “My Consumption Profile” page! So, no, it would be really absurd for me to be “increasingly satisfied” at all!

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