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Electronic Invasion

It's been sort of a busy week, but in a good way, for the most part.

There was an unusually high amount of the tygrbabe this week, having been to her DJing night at the Katacombes, her visiting us at home, then her birthday, then more of her birthday (which involved a bunch of hot people hanging out at my place, so yay!)... That's cool, I think. We've got bait for more visits, in the form of tons of Torchwood and the Dieux du Stade DVD (which might also work very well with archdiva, hehehe!).

In her most recent visit, she left me some computer hardware to fix up, which is kind of amusing, because we're currently being invaded by electronic equipment already! I got a new television delivered Wednesday, got all sorts of cabling to hook my computers to it (gotta be able to watch the Torchwood!), and we got a PVR cable box (I'd do without broadcast television myself, but azrhey is a fan, and there's got to be something on?). This means that the place is a bit of a disaster area at the moment, while I try to put all this together in a sensible way.

For anyone looking to get some audio/video cabling, I'd like to point out something rather weird. As you may know (well, if you're still reading past the previous sentence), there's some serious price-gouging going on with A/V cabling. In some cases, it can be understood (analog signals are sensitive to interferences of all sorts, better shielding and conductors do make a difference), but in the modern world of fully-digital HDMI cables, WTF? Unless you have a freakin' ion storm in your living room, the very cheapest digital cable will get you the best possible quality (unless it doesn't, in which case it'll either be very obviously horrible, or outright won't work). Stores liked to sell high-margins cabling, though, so they're still at it anyway. So, I set out to find the cheapest digital cabling possible.

You'd think that Apple would be in on the price gouging, no? Well, apparently, Apple is a bit schizophrenic in that regard. Future Shop had this 4 feet HDMI to DVI cable, which is the cheapest of that type they had (there were some cheaper HDMI-DVI adapters, but with the cable, came out more expensive). At the Apple Store, they have this 2 metre (6.56 feet) HDMI to DVI cable. As I said, as long as they'll work, the image quality will be identical, and the one at the Apple Store is longer. The Apple Store one is also only $19.95, compared to $70.99 for the (shorter) one at Future Shop. That's less than a third the price!

So, less than a third of the price for better stuff? Uh, a bit out of character for Apple, but keep it up, I could use more of that (if only as an "inspiration" for other stores)!

Nouvelle Vague and a Canadian in Toulouse

I went to see Nouvelle Vague (with Mansfield Tya as the opening act) last Wednesday, in Tournefeuille.

In traditional pphaneuf style, I had barely any plan on how I'd get there or back. I biked from work to there, and figured I'd have dinner there. Turns out Tournefeuille is confusingly small village, with nary a café or small restaurant. I managed to get a sandwich from a bakery. After this happened for the second time in two shows, I'm now getting the message: the hour listed on tickets here is not the time the show starts, but the time doors open. They, of course, start the show whenever they feel like it, in classic French style.

The show was pretty damned good, including the opening act, which kicked some vigourous dike ass (seriously, when one of the three girls in front of me turned around to the other two and made a "OMG, she's so hot!", I literally laughed out loud, it was so cute!). They did a duo "chanson française" type of show, with one of them singing, playing guitars, piano, portable organ (!!!) and drums, and the other playing violin, piano and the portable organ. They had some wonderful stage presence, with the singer coming right at the front of the stage and singing without the microphone, still managing to be heard well. I'd certainly look forward to picking up a CD from them.

Since I'm silly like that, I own Nouvelle Vague's newest album, "Bande à part", but still haven't opened it. So I had surprises at the show, which is nice, when they're good surprises. And they were! For example, their take of Bauhaus' "Bela Lugosi's Dead", with appropriate scene theatrical, of course. But I'm afraid Nouvelle Vague might be a once, and maybe twice kind of thing, not an ongoing thing. In that sense, the opening act did a better job of seducing me, getting me to think about what else they have done, having a future. Oh well. I had a good time, that's what counts.

I returned home thanks to bumming a ride with a guy I chatted with at the show, leaving my bike in Tournefeuille. I was a bit worried for a while, but was relieved to find my bike still there and in one piece on Friday, when I returned to pick it up (I attempted on Thursday, but failed due to the lateness and darkness).

In other news, we received the visit of Pat this week (our first guest!), as he was in Toulouse for some business. We went to the Qjelt, chatted, drank szarlotka (was the first time I tried that, it's quite nice!), walked around Toulouse, visited a museum (where there were pieces from the Romans living in Toulouse two thousand years ago), took nice photos, and other such things.

I hear the couch is decently comfortable. I might just try it tonight.

Good and bad

Today, we received the delivery of our couch at home, and it's got a secret trapdoor, pretty cool!

Also, I saw a QString used as a boolean. I must admit it had me pretty damned confused for a while.

Which, of course, reminds me: musicdieu (or anyone else with some clue), what's some decent vodka to have at home? I'm looking at both one for the occasional straight drinking, and some for mixing. I've seen some Żubrówka for the former, and there's a few options for the latter, but I've only heard of Wyborowa (or I might just sin and mix Żubrówka?).


I can fly! Oops, no, I can't!

Had a massive going away party for azrhey and I last Friday at the office. Although I came in rather unfashionably late, the party then went quite nicely, with excellent food, some booze (can't really say my booze was excellent, but it was French!) and, of course, excellent company! At some point, I discovered that I couldn't fly. I'd like to thank sfllaw and gorbash_dragon for organizing it (they had some helpers too, I think, thanks to them as well!), and to all in attendance.

The next day, I woke up with a hangover, quite appropriately. Wasn't so bad, but just enough that I took an Advil (which I only do very rarely). Thankfully, that shooed it away successfully. After some breakfast at azrhey, I drove back to my place to meet with my mom, with whom we then dropped by the Blue Monday to say hello to tygrbabe and introduce them. One of my co-workers who lives in the area (and was at the party the day before) passed by and dropping in to say hello as well. Then went back to my place with my mom and helped her with some online car shopping. When she had to leave, I went back to pick up tygrbabe and did some hanging out downtown (after picking up a few forgotten items at the office from the party!).

Sunday was a bit loose. azrhey and I were supposed to go out and do some photography in the park near her place, but we both couldn't scrounge up the willpower to scrape ourselves up and go out, so we hung out at her place for the afternoon. Both being slightly fried, we decided that going to see Mission: Impossible III could be all right. Yeah, well, it was okay, but not all that impressive. Thankfully, we went in there for less than $2 (for the both of us), due to some coupon.

Monday, there was some brief drama, but it wasn't something bad as much as needing to talk and hold each other for a bit, in two different cases! But I really know some good people, it seems. After work, lady azrhey came back to my place, and we took it easy, watching some CSI: NY episodes. She corrupted my resolve to cook with pizza. Okay, I didn't have a whole lot of resolve to start with, but oh well...

Tuesday, I went to the poly cafe. Which is to say I went to Blue Monday, sat on the couch, and looked like a zombie, as I had a pretty hardcore day at work which left me just about brain-dead.

Wednesday, azrhey and I unlocked our cell phones. Cute, eh? We then felt the blah, as we gave up on doing some semi-active things and decided on lying in bed watching TV and cuddling instead. Not an altogether bad choice, all things considered! I also snagged a remote shutter release for my Canon EOS-20D (essential for night photography, and the one I already had for the EOS-300 and EOS-30 wasn't compatible, bastards!) cheap from my friend Jean. Nice!

Thursday (hey, that's today!), I bought another bloody bag. This one is for the tripod, and I like it already, as liberation_now and I have gone out to do some urban exploration, hoping to catch some nice photos. This expedition wasn't all that successful, unfortunately, but we managed to have some fun anyway, and went for coffee later on, talking politics and partying (related subjects, no?).

Today was also taxlady's birthday! Happy (now belated, ugh!) birthday!


Sleepy Head
After getting my electricity more or less sorted out (I have a high-capacity wall outlet right above my kitchen sink, nothing can go wrong with this, can it?), the lady azrhey and I went out to the Superclub Videotron of Death in Ville-Émard, and rented a few flicks to cuddle up to.

We started off with Les Sous-doués, which is something the lady said I had to see. Can't say I didn't like it. It was stupendously dumb, yes, but quite funny in its own style. Maybe my weakness for teenage comedies helped, there! This is definitely not exactly for everyone, though!

For something entirely different, we then watched Immortel (ad vitam), a movie based on a trilogy of graphic novels by Enki Bilal, and directed by the same. While it wasn't the greatest movie ever, it definitely had the visuals of European graphic novels to it, with a sometimes rather clashing, but always stylish mix of real actors and computer-generated characters. The Egyptian gods playing Monopoly while waiting for Horus' sentence to go through, for example, was a nice touch. It also helped that the two lead actors were rather hot. :-)

Started feeling a bit icky between then and Thursday morning. Blast. Nothing too serious, but I expect a wave of sickness and pestilence at the office (sorry guys!).

Thursday evening, visited blacksquiggles and xipetotec with tygrbabe. Their creepy kids called me creepy again, blacksquiggles high fived tygrbabe, to everyone's (including the kids!) amazement.

I was actually planning on getting up early to get solid work done, but I was feeling icky again, so I decided to sleep it in, in the hope of keeping it at bay rather than stretching myself thin and breaking down. Oh well.

There's a day-trip to Ottawa in the works this Sunday, if there's any suggestions of fun things to do in the capital, send them over!

Quote of the evening

"I had more porn than I could burn!" — ryss_rhiannon

An excellent evening, all in all. :-)

You? Again? Cool!

Had a chance encounter with ryss_rhiannon yesterday at the Eaton Centre, while I was gobbling down cheap sushi. That made it much more enjoyable, despite nearly choking on wasabi. I mean to see more of her, and *poof!*, there she is! Excellent!

In the evening, curled up at home with azrhey and watched The Brothers Grimm (for free, thanks to gregorama!). Frankly, rather disappointed, for a Terry Gilliam movie. There were a few funny parts, but we're far from a Twelve Monkeys or a Brazil. There wasn't nearly enough Monica, although Lena Headey was rather tasty. Thankfully, I had most excellent company.

Tonight, visited ryss_rhiannon (her, again?!? well, why not?), where we ordered in some crazy Copoli burgers (which had more to do with pizza than with burgers, if you asked me) and watched both Inosensu: Kôkaku kidôtai (Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence) and Armitage III: Poly Matrix. Dropped by the office on the way home, as I left my laptop there, in my hasty departure. Oopsie.

This allowed me to try to fix my music. Since I killed off iTunes' database in the process of getting this in order, I can't really use iTunes, so I wrote myself a tiny Perl music player (less than 13 lines!), using ogg123. I love being awesome. :-)

jwz is at it again. I am purple with envy! Brushed aluminium (optionally anodized), satellite time source and Nixie vacuum tubes, oh my!

Edit: Seems like I'm not alone in my musical sufferings, jwz too. *grunts*

My life as a crime-buster

Today, after helping out archdiva taking boxes back to his place (with the vested interest of wanting to steal them for my own move right after his!), I laboured at the office, a bit mind-numbingly. Interest is a bit lacking, even leading to myself volunteering for a merge between branches (not the most thrilling thing), in order to distract myself a bit without being too unproductive. Well done.

Discussed some issues related to the move to France, as I'm having a phone meeting with my potential employer tomorrow. While it only feels barely under control, there is a plan, and I think we'll live to see it through! :-)

At some lateish time, I left to have dinner with cpirate, at Dunn's. I then followed up by some hanging out with gregorama. Quite enjoyable evening, I must say. Yes, my social calendar is filling back up again, but this time, it's on my terms. No "automatic yes", I'm the one extending proposals, or when I'm accepting an invitation, it is carefully considered. And while it's looking busy again, it's also looking quite awesome, so woohoo!

After leaving gregorama, while going back to my place, I was walking in front of the SAQ on Atwater. There was broken glass, one of the windows of the sliding doors had been shattered, and there was an unmarked car in front, with the engine running. I discretely took mental note of the license number, kept walking, and once I was at a safe distance (wasn't going to ruin my evening over some stolen bottles of booze!), called the police. Was kind of odd, but I'm happy to have done my share as a citizen.

Oh, and before I go to sleep, here's some evil, by way of jwz.
Sleepy Head
Friday, hanging out with the ryss_rhiannon person. Dinner, catching up on what's been happening, movie (Four Rooms, a sleeper of a good movie!) and popcorn. It was quite the awesome time.

Saturday was made of doing as little as possible (except the strict necessary), in bed. Watched more movies, while azrhey got herself a new mission in life.

Sunday, there was partying at sfllaw. Whee! That was some good partying! I was well surrounded, hehe!

This night, I had a weird dream. I dreamt that I was helping gregorama build himself a huge house in the shape of a barn, out of wood, while it was on a trailer rig, on the road. The point being to save time, right? There was a bunch of other friends helping out, which we zoomed the (impossibly large) thing on the highway. I was getting tired, so I went ahead and built the bed (yep, we built everything, down to the furniture!), so I could use it later. I think I woke up when I went to bed.

Kissing isn't something I do a whole lot of, or have done a whole lot of for, well, years. It feels kind of weird when I do, and I sometimes wonder if I'm just not doing it right or something. Not a worry of mine, just an amusing thought.

There's a crane outside my office window, hoisting stuff on the roof of the building next door.
Okay, so yesterday was made of a great many fuck-ups, leading to a few strings of muttering swears on my part. Timing for watching the Grundstück DVD was a bit messy, which caused quite a few stalls in my brain and dramatic cutting on time I wanted to spend with a certain favourite person. Another favourite person's brain was also on the brink of self-destruction and had to be fixed with evil medication.

Then we thought of having food, and that we could treat musicdieu to thank him for having us over (considering how he feels about this!). A roommate offer pizza. I thought this wouldn't fit the plan, even that's what I would have done normally. So we figured out a restaurant to go to. This was fairly long and painful. We ended up heading to the Mongolian Grill. It was stuffed with people, with a 15-20 minutes wait. Okay, let's do Jane Bond instead. But upon arriving there, azrhey realized it was a vegetarian place, when she was really requiring some kind of meaty sustenance. We knew that, but she didn't, as she had been busy contemplating the menu earlier from the Internet, which featured meaty-sounding things such as tacos, burritos and pizzas. So we headed out once more, to where the evil lurks (that's Kitchener), to a Korean BBQ that is, quite adequately, named "Korean BBQ". But they were out of rice, as well as of various side-dish things, which just as well meant that they were out of food. So we ended up hitting up the very closest Vietnamese restaurant (the one we had parked in front!).

The ordering happened at 8:30pm. I had told the favourite person that we would be joining up for hanging out at 8ish. Crap. This was really frustrating and annoying me massively.

When all was said and done, and all the shit together, we hooked up at 10:30pm, and she was already exhausted (that stupidly long game of Munchkin cutting on sleep time didn't help either!). But damnit, we did hang out, and I have to say that getting some time with both my favourite people will get a stupid smile on my face pretty quickly!

– Get closer to her.
I move my chair.
– Get a little bit closer.
I move my chair some more.
– Turn a bit to your left.
Turning a bit.
– Ok, perfect. Now, poke him!
Other favourite person starts poking me savagely!
– Didn't you suspect anything when me, of all people, told you to do stuff?
– Yeah, I did figure there was a trick, but getting closer, I liked that plan anyway!

Drove her back to her place, and chat one-on-one a little in the car, which, while wasn't the bestest thing ever, was much enjoyed. I like my hugs.

I think I should really drop a few words about elliptic_curve's omelette here. Apparently, it tasted a bit like... old dog. She even told both the waitress and the manager that. Ahh, the joys of food in Waterloo!

For breakfast, we of course went to the same place, with elliptic_curve, again (as well as sh8der_boi and libertinette, who were also there the night before). No, she didn't have omelette. I explained some photography principles to elliptic_curve, in preparation of her trip to Thailand, and then headed off back to Montréal.

There was some Arby's again, of course. azrhey's parents also greeted us with food, because you know, I think they assume we never eat when we're out of their sights, LOL! We made it in a bit more than 5 hours and a half this time, not nearly my best, but plenty efficient still, and a fair amount of speeding. The moon was awesome.

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March 2009


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