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Long time no see?

I really should write more, be it here, or elsewhere, no matter. I should be saying more about myself, not really because people need to know (well, ok, some people do!), I used to be so public and saying everything to the four winds, and now I feel a bit closed and inaccessible. I'm not sure why it turned out that way, but I have some good ideas, and they're all bad ones.

Maybe it shouldn't be as much as it used to be, that there's a happy middle to be reached. But this nothing, it's just another extreme. It's also not so much for my "readership" as for myself, more of a personal diary than a regular kind of blog, it's only public because of some strange personal convictions of mine, not because I'm trying to draft an audience. Would there be nobody reading this, it still would accomplish its goals.

For that reason, I'm thinking of separating this journal into a bunch of distinct ones (well, two, at the very least). I have some technical postings that I would actually like to disseminate more widely, and for which a readership of zero is a bit of a failure, and for those, the personal posts are just so much drivel to skip over. I also suspect the converse is true of those few who actually follow my personal posts, too!

That also gets me thinking about the people who are deleting their accounts on LiveJournal. I'm not sure I understand. Why don't they just not write (see, I was doing an excellent demonstration of that!)? This way, you can still read restricted posts, comment (and get notifications), etc... I can understand making all their posts private, or maybe even deleting them (although the archivist in me finds the information attrition saddening), turning off all the email notifications, but deleting the account? What's the harm in having the account at all?

In the meantime... I dreamt I was cheating on azrhey, just a simple kiss (not even a sloppy snog!), but something I knew full well I wasn't supposed to do, which I told her in the dream (waking up right after that), but I just felt tremendously uncomfortable, even when I woke up, I was feeling it, being all confused... Eurgh.

My God, It's Full Of Photos!

I'm going to go see Bran Van 3000 with Max-A-Million, Kim Bingham and John Kastner tonight, at the Jazz Fest. Who wants to go? Get in touch with me, we'll go together!

My laptop seems a little bit unhappy this morning. On top of the battery being on its last leg (it keeps only about 30-45 minutes worth of charge now), when I opened it up this morning, it was just off (I only closed the lid yesterday evening, it should have been suspended), and it had lost the time! Wacky.

I finally, after much procrastination, organized my photos sensibly. I have more than seven thousands photos in there, which always surprises me a little bit, because I'm both not very constant with my shooting (reminds me, I should take my camera bag tonight!), and having started out with film, I often end up shooting not too much (although I'm "better" now).

It struck me recently that while I don't feel all that depressed, I'm really having a bad case of being a shut-in, and it's not a very good sign. I think I changed in some ways I don't entirely like, while I was in France. For some things, I think it was for the better, but for others, not so much! I feel like I'm permanently out of the loop, somehow. One thing I miss is the Tuesdays at Grumpy's, it was a nice, mixed crowd, friendly, and was a regular thing, so it was the perfect time to go "hey, so-and-so, there's this thing Friday, wanna go?". Screw Facebook, that was the real thing! ;-)

Rode my bike around a bit yesterday, not so much in distance, but did a few silly things, like go up to the top of Peel, then down (whee!).

Might be just spring, but I'm in a bit of a... "rawr" mood. This is very much unlike the same moment last year, but I was rather depressed at that time. Combined with Montreal being apparently built upon a very large deposit of hotgirlsonium, made the ride yesterday trying on my concentration. Yay for Montreal? I'm not depressed, so I'll die in a horrible traffic incident? Hey, that might just explain all those observations of bad driving!

Where I get a Danish mailbox up my ass


We're at the right place
Originally uploaded by Pierre Phaneuf.
After a smooth flight, azrhey and I arrived in Copenhagen Wednesday evening, greeted by skjalm, who's kindly keeping us safe from the elements, even kicking himself out of his own bed! Not to mention use and abuse of his Internet, booze, food, and what-not! He made us a very nice dinner of home-made lasagna, accompanied with some of the tasty mead that he's made himself. And a solid eggs and bacon breakfast the next morning.

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Photos from that trip can be found here.

Ah, France!


For a brief moment, I thought there were Disney brand condoms in France, and I was rather disturbed.

New Year Eve 2007 in Barcelona

Better late than never, as they say... ;-)

azrhey and I got up at some ungodly hour in order to catch the bus at 7:00. Seems like we took off a bit late, and missed the city bus going downtown, so I called up a cab. This, in Toulouse, is always an adventure in randomness. In a metropolitan area of half a million inhabitants, at 6:43 in the morning, on a Sunday, of New Year's Eve, no less, there's probably four cabs in town, I would estimate. No such thing as hailing a cab here, if you see one (and really, you never do except at the airport and the very few cab areas), it's already busy. The driver was, accordingly to our rather high level of urgency, the slowest and most indecisive you can imagine. But I must not be in the right head-space for this place, because once we arrived, the bus driver wasn't even there and we really only left at something like 7:20.

Upon departing, the driver promptly took a wrong turn, right in Toulouse, but managed to do a quick recovery. This was better than what he managed when he took another wrong turn in Barcelona itself, oh well. Arrived at Plaça de Catalunya a bit after noon, just in time for some quick luncheon on the plaça.

We walked up the Passeig de Gràcia to head to the Sagrada Familia basilic, seeing crazy houses and the Weirdo Museum on the way. One will quickly notice that there is not much carpet in Barcelona: I suspect the architects smoked all of it, sometimes around the beginning of the 20th century, the carpeting never fully recovering after even a century.

Sagrada Familia
Originally uploaded by pphaneuf.
The Sagrada Familia is quite impressive. You're probably not considering how impressive it is, but I assure you, it is quite the building. Amazingly huge. I'm not really a religious person, but I'm fairly sure god talked to me there. What he said was "you should get yourself a wider angle lens". Okay, that might not have been god, but still, wow, it's incredibly big. Now, if only they could freakin' finish it so I could take a decent picture (once I get a wider lens, of course!)...

We then took the metro toward the beach. Buying the tickets was a bit funny, because the automated ticket vending machine used one of the classic Mac "alert" sounds. Okay, haha, but it wasn't just at the end when it tells you to get your tickets, no, it's when you press any button! Toot. Toot. Toot toot. Toot. Toot. And there was a newspaper stand right beside it, the guy working it has nerves of steel, let me tell you! The metro itself is kind of cool, on rails. The first one we took was pretty modern and had fully connected cars, rather neat. The second one was pretty old and was a bit like taking the old TER train, just underground.

Originally uploaded by pphaneuf.
Then, the Barceloneta, the most famous of Barcelona's beaches. I had this plan of taking my shoes and socks off, roll up my pants and walk a bit in the sea, but I decided against, mainly because I had no towel. The water was surprisingly warm, though, I could totally have done it (the Crotch Threshold, though, might have been quite difficult!).

Barri Gòtic
Originally uploaded by pphaneuf.
We walked along the promenade, toward the Cap de Barcelona and the Ciutat Vella. From there, we walked into the labyrinthine Barri Gòtic, where we found strange things, such as a empty Dunkin Donuts box (proof!) and a restaurant held by a Québecois, called "Quebec" or something similar (being a wordplay on "what to drink?"), unfortunately a bit too expensive.

A beer and some walking later, we reached La Rambla, on a search for dinner. We found the Museu de l'Eròtica instead. After that, walking some more demonstrated that there was indeed a lot of people in town that night, and they were filling the restaurants. But we found the Dunkin Donuts!

We eventually managed to get a table in a not-so-cheap restaurant, having crazy sangria and steak. We bought some sketchy Spanish sparkling wine from an equally sketchy street vendor, then headed up to the Plaça de Catalunya for the stroke of midnight. I popped the cork of our bottle high in the sky, a German girl gave us streamers, we cheered with a group of English, and there was rejoicing. I dropped a quick call to a favourite person, then we headed down La Rambla again, where the celebrations kept going.

After a while, there was some sitting in a café, having some beer, where it was getting clearer to me that I didn't drink quite as much as I once did. Whee! Another lesson was that when embarking on this kind of trip, one should take a roll of toilet paper with him. Also, to withdraw more money before festivities kick off (and ATMs are dried up).

Eventually, we went back to bus stop, where the bus showed up after some more confusion and lateness. I was sleeping soundly through the whole thing, but azrhey tells me the driver got lost again so badly that he stopped to get his GPS device from the holds. Why he was keeping that in the holds rather than with him is up to your imagination...

While I didn't dare bring my DSLR there, some others did, including this guy, who took some nice photos that give a good idea of the mood. He had been to the NYE party at Times Square the year before, and says "the night was definitely wild compared to NYC and was a nerve-steeling sight to see".

Cards and cuddling and cake and shooting

Got an e-card from archdiva! Thanks!

Someone dreamt of me cuddling with them. Some possessive asian girl tried to stop her from doing so, but she blew her off and resumed the cuddling. Apparently, it was nice, so good for her! Hehe!

azrhey made me cake! Chocolaty goodness awaiting me when I arrived from work! Yay!

Saw some footage of the Dawson College shooting on the French news, azrhey and I switched over to the CBC eventually to get more info. Apparently a woman has been confirmed to be dead? Crazy. Good luck to anyone involved, or knowing someone involved...

Worry or not?

Tomorrow morning, I'll be having my three-month interview, for the end of my probation period. I do feel a bit insecure about that.

I've been applied on projects that aren't exactly my forte, but where I think I still did adequately, just because I rock so damned much (but there's severe wastage!). I've "suffered" from what apenwarr called the pphaneuf syndrome, where it looks like I'm doing nothing and really, I'm figuring hardcore stuff out, and at the end, the solution is so simple that people are tempted to think I'm a slacker (but if they had tried the same, they'd know I'm not). At NITI, I'd do a lot of code cleanups, where there wasn't too much of a scheduled attached to it, so that I'd be doing something useful with that idle time, or I'd be doing project management, which sucks in lots of time, but isn't too brain-intensive that I can "think in the background". Also, I've been missing all the clever task management tools we had at NITI.

At lunch, there was something I found curious, where during conversation, the prettiness of girls in some place came upon the subject, and at which point I mentioned that Toulouse wasn't treating us too badly in that regard, people looked at me and I was reminded of "having a, uh, roommate". Uh, never mind this being me and my "funny things", I'm just talking about having pretty girls to look at? I've heard comments like this before, but I found it very surprising coming from French people.

Oh well.

The sound of days whooshing past...

Sleepy Head
Ahem, having to catch up a bit! I don't know if I'd say that I'm being lazy, but I'm not writing much, anyway...

Monday morning, I dropped the Linux Mobile at the garage for regular maintenance and changing the tires. Although I'm rather happy to have the grippier four-season tires on, there was a bunch of tiny details that made this a rather expensive visit. Nothing bad, but it was time for one of those more thorough inspections, supposed to change the brake fluid at 50,000 kilometers, and so on... When the guy at the garage called me to tell me what needed to be done and how much it'd cost, he almost forgot to mention that the rear-window wiper was worn out. Worth $12, at that point, it didn't really matter. :-)

Monday evening, tygrbabe had the genius idea of taking a laptop and an Invader Zim DVD, and go watch it in a park. We stopped by Pho Lien on Côte-des-Neiges and Côte-Ste-Catherine for some food first, which sort of pointed us at the goodness of the Mount-Royal Park as our selection. As we were cuddling near the Beaver Lake, bats were swooshing above us and we had a very nice sunset, as we were laughing our asses off. The deep blue of the sky outlined the building on the edge of the lake very nicely, as it has bright orange panels, would have made a very nice photo. The ducks quacked at us a bit, and we told them... MONKEYS!

Tuesday, I had the lady azrhey over. We were supposed to look for apartments, but it seemed like our willpower was all but exhausted. We watched Kinsey instead, which was rather funny. It was rather funny that the very stuck-up Thurman Rice character was played by Tim Curry (who, of course, is remembered as having played Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away), or Clyde asking Mac whether she'd like to have sex with him (and then Kinsey calling out for her while she's in bed because they're going to be late for a dinner with a guy from the Rockefeller Foundation). Some of the things people asked were quite hilarious, but at the same time, it's amazing how badly America was in a kind of sexual dark ages (some would argue they still kind of are, but really, that's nothing). Watching that movie was a lot of fun, in any case. Maybe I should buy it.

Yesterday, I fixed a really subtle bug in a quite wonderful way, at work, I was rather proud! azrhey and I finally did some apartment searching, and we did find a place that has a number of temporary apartments for rent that seems very nice (rooms and studios), I hope they'll have something for us. Watched some "CSI: NY" and cuddled. Cuddling is good. I like cuddling with the lady.


Tried to take a more scenic route to the office today, but man, this was way more scenic than I was looking for. Blocked streets, detours, traffic, the works. Oh well.

Went to see my friend Jean today, with the lady azrhey. He's still as much fun as ever, with his distrust of Germans and carrots. He'll be hooking me up with a remote switch for my camera, which I've been meaning to buy before leaving, as they're so much more expensive over in Europe.

Tomorrow, trip to Ottawa!

I'm not ridiculously sick, I'm doing all right, but interrupting everything to blow my nose all the time is getting on my nerve, though.

The review goes on!

Sleepy Head
Okay, some catching up to do, before I just drop the ball! What was my last week like, you may wonder? Well, okay, you probably don't, but here it is anyway!

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March 2009


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