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Smiling
Ok, so I've got this bunch of shows I want to go to, but going all by myself is kind of sad (although I've done that a few times in Toulouse, and it was the source of just about an equal number of crazy adventures!)... Anyone care to join me (or is already going) to any of those? The links are to the Last.fm event page, with samples of the music and further details:


I'm sure there's already people intending to do the Nuit Blanche, I'm just hoping to slip in a visit to the Metropolis in there. I'm also rather keen on the Trail of Dead show, since it's at La Sala Rossa, and I've been missing that venue something fierce.

Finally, if there are other suggestions or things I've missed, do recommend!

Edit: Added Peter Bjorn and John, as well as Animal Collective, as per cpirate's suggestion. The full list is the authoritative source for this, feel free to check it out (and I welcome the use of Last.fm's "suggest this event", as well).

Of Pride, Biking, and Rain

Shy
Went to the Montreal Pride Parade last Sunday, which wasn't all that much to speak of, this year, in my opinion. There were some good floats, but they were few and far between, and there's a lot of ads, it seems. Some of them have a decent float, like that bank one, but some were so utterly boring and out of place, it was stunning. There was a juice ad, and really, there's no other way to call it, that was just one of those trucks with ads on the sides. That's it. Nobody walking along with it giving out samples or flyers, or even just waving, and, you know, being alive. Nope, just a guy driving a truck with big signs on the side. Nice. Thankfully, the company was much nicer, and liberation_now led us through some very nice alleys, good to know!

I also found out that my awesome new mini U-lock is only bare millimetres too small for those parking markers that replaced parking meters. The problem seems to be that plastic covering. Argh. But I think this is still vastly good in its lightweightness and ability to fit easily in my mini-messenger bag (or my jeans back pocket, in a pinch). It works just fine with "no parking" signposts, and there's no shortage of those around Montreal. ;-)

The after-parade barbecue at archdiva was much more fun than the parade itself, in fact. Met some fun people from as far as England, and apparently managed to have a conversation about where Ubuntu is going these days. The latter doesn't sound very surprising for me, but considering the locale, it was rather unexpected. There was burgers, and as per archdiva's requirement, big fat sausages.

I spent most of Monday cursing at the sky for being so sunny when I had left my bike home because of severe rainstorm warnings, but no worries, I got the rainstorm all right by the end of the day, just as I had to walk home with a heavy piece of hardware. How convenient!

But the weather was good yesterday (even took some detours, blazing down University and taking in the view along the Lachine Canal), and it looks very promising today as well!

Craziness in Frisco

Enlightened
So I went for a weekend in San Francisco... I was planning on that already, so I had packed a light raincoat and a few long-sleeved shirts, so I wouldn't look like a tourist, but as it turned out, I forgot them in Mountain View and looked like a tourist anyway! After obtaining a lender bike for the weekend (thanks Noé!) and deciding to leave my laptop at the office so I could travel light, I hopped on the Google shuttle and managed to get the wireless Internet they have onboard working on my iPod touch. This was already kind of cool, but I was totally amazed when I thought I would consult the map and I pressed the "go to my location" button, just for the heck of it, and it actually got it! I was then further amazed at how it seemed to do a kind of pseudo-tracking, updating my position every ten seconds or so... So I didn't feel quite as lost as I did the last time.

After getting together with morethanreal, dropping off my stuff at her place and inflating the bike's tires (I quickly found out that the brakes were not working well at all either, which was a bit worrying, considering how hilly San Francisco is!), we headed to some show she had heard was recommended that night. It was in a small but pretty cool art gallery, where they had a good number (maybe a hundred or so?) of speakers embedded in wooden sculptures, hanging by wires from the ceiling. The curator later told us that this is an art installation and that they are actually operational, seemed like this could be pretty cool in itself, but as it turns out, the main attraction of the night was a DJ. He was pretty competent, I have to say, and enjoyed his set, despite the fact that we had just missed a part of his performance where he donned a dinosaur suit and hugged everyone in the audience, I was a bit disappointed having missed that! It's funny how people recognize my accent, including in particular the bartender, whom I was asking for a beer. He pointed me at the menu with just two beers available (this was a temporary setup), and I told him that, well, I had no idea what either of those were. So he apologized quickly, asked me if I knew about Unibroue, to which I responded in the affirmative, and he then told me that I would find the first one horrible, and that the other one, well, wasn't nearly as good as Unibroue, but would probably not offend me too much. Heh!

After getting back to morethanreal's place, there was some inevitable discussion about music, of course, and I introduced her to the new Apple Remote application for her iPhone. She fell in love at first sight, it would seem, she even moved her iPhone dock to put it beside her bed! We were pretty tired, but she had put on Black Eyes's eponymous album, and it is quite good, we just had to finish it before going to sleep.


Tour de Fat
Originally uploaded by Pierre Phaneuf.
The next day, I wasn't feeling too sore from sleeping her couch, which was good, because we were heading out to Tour de Fat! There was a brief stop for chocolatines and cappuccinos, of course, it wouldn't have been civilized otherwise. There were crazy bikes, crazy bands, and crazy beer! Much fun was had, including bouncing around with (very) limited success on a pogo-stick. I then accompanied morethanreal to a tattooing session (hers, not mine!), which was pretty cool, including a pretty classic Californian laid back surfer artist. I then headed back with her to pick up my stuff, had some (spicy!) burrito on 16th, then headed to jbdeboer's place, where I elected to stay that night (thanks, by the way!). That place is up. Very, very up. Like, on top. Yowzer. I had some idea of taking a cab from there to the DNA Lounge, but I was too wiped and gave up (fail!).

On the upside of being at the top is the good view (hmm, there's the view to Lafayette Park, which can be interesting according to the "near here" feature of some random iPod Flickr app!), although it was a bit cloudy. Biking down Gough was mental, though! I realized at some point that with the intersections being flat, that I couldn't see past them! All of that while going upward of 40 kph, of course. That led me eventually to a nice breakfast at Cafe Petra, since there was too many people at Ritual (and I don't think they have food either). I biked around the Mission, dropped by Good Vibrations (got myself a book), then back up around Market and Stockton, where I resisted the siren call of the Apple Store. I managed to get some excellent coffee at Bluebottle Coffee, once more, and then eventually got lost in the Tenderloin without realizing it, while I was taking photos. It was very sketchy, especially with my big SLR camera hanging from my neck.

Monday, the excitement level was much lower as I went to Barefoot Coffee Roasters with a team-mate who is a fan of good coffee. It is also very good, although I preferred Bluebottle's. As it is customary in Mountain View, we were back home before 10pm.

The next day, we went for dinner on Castro (in Mountain View) at an Italian restaurant with a very colourful owner, who seems to be a big George Michael fan. Excellent service, though, setting up a table just for us (my other team-mates are known there, it would seem), and of course, singing at the table by the owner. There was some ice cream after, and some of us were rebellious and went home past 11pm!

Now, I'm about to be taken out to In-N-Out, which I'm told I just have to go to. Sounds questionable, but hey, I've done worse.

A shoe, the other shoe, and it's other half

I Like Beer
So I went for a ride last Sunday with cpirate and dfcarney. I'm not sure fate didn't really want me too, with a series of bad lucks that culminating with the aluminium sole of one of my biking shoes to let go. But it was fun, ice cream was had, and it all ended up on the roof terrasse with a beer. :-)

Monday, as it was my birthday, the lady azrhey took me out to PortusCalle, which was quite nice! There was some white Port, some rosé, fine food, lovely fondant au chocolat, and, of course, a nice espresso. We then headed down to the Katacombes for a few drinks with liberation_now and tygrbabe.

Wednesday, azrhey, slajoie and I went to play some pools at iStori, followed by a demonstration of my awfulness at Rock Band. At least, I didn't sing, or else we'd have been in trouble with the police, I think.

Yesterday, slajoie and fuzzyila joined me to attend Nista and The Human Kind, at Zoobizarre, which is a pretty cool venue (it's kind of weird, a stone cellar on a second floor?!?). The bands were pretty good, I think, worth getting the CDs for, although Nista doesn't have a CD at the moment. There were a few of my co-workers (and their friends) there, as Nista's guitarist is also a Montreal Googler. There was a song about angst at the supermarket, allegedly inspired by the Super-C near my place, heh!

Tonight, the grand celebration for my birthday! There's a number of people who have been making special efforts in order to be there, so I'm quite flattered! It should be awesome. :-)

Bourget, The New Decarie!

I Like Beer
Uh, there was a traffic jam on my small street today when I left for work?!? Complete with no less than two city buses, trying to work around the cranes and other construction equipment currently cluttering the street... Weird.

Oh, man, I've been meaning to post for exactly two weeks, yet didn't. I did this thing where I thought about hypothetical posts that I'd be writing while on the metro and biking, then forgot to actually post it.

It helps that there has been a fair deal of biking going on, beginning with what I called the Weekend of Doomed Awesomeness for a bit (if only in my head). This started by going to Mutek's Nocturne 3 with tygrbabe on the Friday. Then, went to the Mondial de la bière with azrhey in the afternoon, after which tygrbabe joined us to go to Mutek's Nocturne 4. How to follow this best? Sunday, I showed up at cpirate's place almost in time (9am-ish, after going to bed at 5am!) for, you know, a little Tour de l'Île (with scjody as well), after which we stopped for well-deserved poutine at La Banquise (and a coffee, so I could stay conscious). Then (the same day!), azrhey and I met with rezendi for a quick pint before catching Le Salaire de la peur at Cinéma du Parc. In case I might have survived, tygrbabe invited me to see She Wants Revenge for my birthday (got me brownies too, woot!), on the Monday evening (we were joined by fuzzyilla too, ahoy!).

While I thought Nocturne 3 was quite excellent (Millimetrik and Modeselektor were awesome, Kid Koala very good, although I've seen better sets from him, and the other bands were quite fun too), Nocturne 4 let me a little bit down. Most of the bands didn't "click" with me much, and the whole programme was running late, which combined with the act I wanted to see most (Deadbeat, was excellent!) played last, made for leaving the place extremely late. Still, it was nice too, I just wish I could have slept in the next day!

I'll have to agree with tygrbabe, She Wants Revenge was good, but they'd have to put out a killer album for me to go to their next show. Some of their opening bands were really wacky and not all that good either, including a "punk" band that sounded like Avril Lavigne on speed.

So after that, I, uh, didn't do much for the two last weeks, as you might have guessed. I did bike to work a lot (for which there was tremendously good weather!), played with my own early birthday gift to myself (a new top-end 24" iMac, Core 2 Duo 3.06 GHz and GeForce 8800 GS, smokin'!) and coded (mostly on Quadra, more than 20 commits just this weekend!). There was a visit from musicdieu and cpirate, watching of Euro Cup games, and Munchkins.

azrhey and I went out on the city last Saturday, was quite nice, and I got myself a nice watch (Danish design and titanium? sign me up!). We ended up going to the cinema and watching You Don't Mess with the Zohan. Yes, I know, I know, but it's actually pretty funny, mostly due to the weird cultural references (fizzy bubbles and hummus, baby!), and was saved because I have a small idea of what's going on in that culture, and would probably have been even funnier if I was actually part of it. I don't really expect it to do well, although there's a fair share of stuff that a lot of North American would find funny (silly fight scenes, sexual jokes), but I laughed really hard at the hacky sack, fish and hummus jokes, myself.

On a closing note, I've had a weird email recently from OkCupid (which I do find entertaining, for various reasons). I often get the "come back to our site so you can see and click ads" emails, but this one was different, telling me that there was one particular user I should message where there was some sort of category 5 crazy outlier match. Apparently, the love of my life is in New York state, which is too bad, because I'm not, ha! It then showed the usual "you might be interested in those people" bunch of people, but as opposed to the usual, this morning it was a bunch of my friends, so, well, I guess it sorts of works? I do like my friends, they're nice and everything. :-P

Where I exhibit restraint

Smiling
It was extremely brief, and you had to pay very close attention, but the sugar season's passed now, and thankfully, azrhey and I managed to catch some sugar shack action, thanks to my dad inviting us over to his annual thing (which went better than the last time, as I wasn't dying this time!). It was what, azrhey's third time in a sugar shack in her life? How do they manage over there? ;-)

I went for a lightning trip to New York City, where I thought it'd be a good idea to get a room at the Hotel Chelsea, since, you know, the office is in Chelsea, that'd be convenient, no? I did listen to punk music, but I don't remember stabbing anyone. I didn't write a novel either, but I did write a small piece of code, related to my most recent ranting, where my hack gets similar latency on event handling as busy waiting on the event queue, while using less CPU (and much lower latency, by multiple frames!) than SDL's built-in SDL_WaitEvent.

This last item results in myself restraining myself very hard from going off and making a high-performance game library. Add it to the list of things I could do very well, but that I shouldn't be doing because it's useless. Argh.

azrhey and I went to see Iron Man, which was pretty damned good, I think. I think that it was a good introduction, although the battle at the end was a bit contrived and short on time. I think Justin Hammer might have been a better choice, with multiple supporting bad guys, but Iron Monger does make for big badaboom. I liked the hints at War Machine, and the small (in that movie, at least) involvement of S.H.I.E.L.D..

I'm now about to register for the Bike Fest, which inconveniently overlaps with MUTEK. The day ride doesn't pose a problem, but I really like the night ride, and that will obviously mean that I'll be missing out on something else... We'll see.

Electronic Invasion

Smiling
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)!

Of Bunnies And Chocolate

Smiling
So, Sunday was Stuff Your Face With Chocolate Day, so we did. There was rabbit for dinner, appropriately, and I discovered that adding Frangelico to chocolate mousse turns it into a very tasty, yet boozy version of Nutella.

On Monday evening, I headed out to see (well, listen, really) to tygrbabe's set at the Katacombes. But before doing so, azrhey and I (well, mostly me, really), in the interest of saving ourselves from the dangers of the eggs in the mousse going bad, dived into the mousse leftover. Tasty! Once there, I was surprised at the amount of computer geekery going on, between a sticker on the toilet stating that "Your Computer Suck", and meeting crybetty, whose dream is to own a Macintosh LC 475 once again and obskura exclaiming that she's surrounded by engineers or something. That's kind of weird.

But it was an especially nice outing for me, because it has been almost two years that I haven't been able to do this kind of thing, going out on a week night, having a few drinks and a bunch of fun. So it's all special and awesome, yay for that!

After going back home, I finished the rest of the chocolate mousse.

The next morning, I learned that it is apparently possible to have a chocolate mousse hangover.

After some more wackiness, I'm finally on the couch watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off with azrhey. Pretty awesome, all in all!

Crane Lifting a Jackhammer

Smiling
So, there finally was proper partying at our place, which was quite the housewarming! Thanks to our guests for an awesome evening!


Crane Lifting a Jackhammer
Originally uploaded by Pierre Phaneuf.
Some people were a bit incredulous of the, uh, interesting method that the demolition crew has been using on the other buildings of our complex, but you can see a picture of them in action right here. No one seems to have been hurt up to now, but when swinging a jackhammer from a crane, it can't be too long...

I discovered that a new add-on to our garbage can that azrhey picked up shares a trait with Superman: it gains its powers from the Sun! Add that to the list of our home appliances that are candidates to take over the world.

After hosting a gaming night (we don't stop for nuthin'!), now it's one of those times where we stuff ourselves with chocolate and other things, as azrhey's parents, my mom and my sister come to visit. Hopefully, our toaster oven won't kill them or something...

New Year 2008

Smiling
So, a new year again, eh?

There was (in alphabetical order) Apples to Apples, Doctor Who, drinking, flashing (getting to be a NYE tradition!), kissing, making out, and so on. This can't possibly be all that bad, now, can it?

I went to the party of maery, Patrick and iangurudata with azrhey, liberation_now, obskura, scjody and tygrbabe, which was pretty cool. There was this thing with a clove orange going around, which was kind of fun, but provided me with ample occasion to face my shyness. I tried to do good, but I mostly fumbled and ended up feeling rather dorky, it seems. I reflected on the delta of going from partying in Barcelona to partying in Verdun for NYE, but while the venue might be a bit sketchier, being in good company more than makes up for it!

azrhey and I went back to liberation_now and tygrbabe's place after the stroke of midnight, for a nice evening of hanging out and playing games (Apples to Apples!). There, it was eventually discovered that Bailey's and wine are actively evil when mixed together. Very evil. As in, we all ended up sick, to various degrees. Eurgh. Still, a pretty awesome night.

We were going to go to my dad's for dinner the next day, but as it turned out, the snowstorm (combined with a nasty hangover) put a stop to that.

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