Sunday, 30 January 2011

Oh, Good Grief....

My apartment is looking more and more like a cross between Video + Books and a computer warehouse every day.

(Video + Books is the best music and DVD shop in Stratford, btw -- well, they are great for DVDs and CDs, but theyère not really a bookshop....)

Now, why, when i typed theyère there, did an e with an accent appear rather than an apostrophe....

Oh, no, donèt tell me i have to re-map the keyboard....


Saturday, 29 January 2011

Technophobia Part x

So, that's it, there to the left: my new laptop.  An IBM ThinkPad 42. And i discovered something interesting.  Although the Internet connection on my desktop PC is crap, when i plug the modem in to the laptop's network card, the connection is 100% ok.

So, tech support and i have been barking up the wrong tree, apparently.  It's not the modem, or the 'phone line:  it's the PC.  I'll be giving them a call on Monday....

Anyway, i installed Linux on the laptop, to heckers with Microsoft, who needs 'em -- so that is going to be a learning experience, familiarising myself with a brand-new operating system.  I'm having fun with it already.

(I also enjoyed discovering that my two favourite pubs are wi-fi hotspots!)

But, on a serious note, i truly believe that when you stop learning, you may as well curl up and die.  No, really.  Keep the brain active:  it's a muscle and will atrophy if you don't use it.  In my job, i have no opportunities to learn new things.  Now i have a project!

I have to go now.  I was at work at five o'clock this morning....


Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Technophobia Continued

I must be a masochist: i went out today and bought a new laptop, with wi-fi.  I know nothing about wireless -- when i took my computer courses all those years ago, it wasn't very prevalent, and i don't use it at home, so i've never seen a need to learn about it.  I will now!  (Actually, a new laptop has been in the back of my mind for a while now; my old Windows 98 laptop, while it still works, is pretty much useless for any serious computing, with its 2 gigabyte hard drive and no working modem.  The connection probs precipitated the purchase.)

Anyway, i pick the machine up on Friday; i intend to uninstall Windows from it altogether and install Linux, and then hang around wireless hot-spots;  but, further, i also intend to hook it up to my modem; if i can connect properly using it, then that will mean that the problems lie with my desktop PC.  But if i can't, then that would seem to me to indicate that Bell Canada is, indeed, the culprit. 

By hook or by crook, i'll be back!

My Love/Hate Affair With Technology, Part 187

Someone once said that, the more complex a system becomes, the more that can go wrong.

Last Tuesday, my Internet connection started going up and down like a whore's knickers ... or, like a yo-yo, if you prefer.  It had been fine, it just decided to act up, i dunno.  On Wednesday morning (my day off) i was trying to listen to online radio (, of course!) and, between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., the connection failed every five minutes (very disconcerting, as it usually failed in the middle of a song i liked). After that it was fine, but i was so frustrated i called my ISP's tech support (for the umpteenth time)....

(Perhaps a bit of history -- i've had connection problems for a while now, my ISP has replaced my modem a couple of times, and they now think that the problem is with my telephone line -- excess noise or somefing.  They actually placed a trouble ticket with Bell Canada for me the last time -- apparently a Bell techie showed up a few weeks later, when i was at work, received no answer and cancelled the ticket, grr.)

So they replaced my modem again and now my connection is ok, but ... i am unable to send e-mails or log on to my accounts at encrypted web pages! I can receive e-mail fine (god knows i'd hate to miss out on all the spam and phishing attempts) and ordinary web pages load ok (if a bit slowly).

So i called tech support again -- twice.  Half an hour on the 'phone each time, to no avail, so now i guess we have to place another trouble ticket with Bell Canada....  Things may be back to normal in another few weeks, unless of course the Bell techie shows up when i'm at the shop....

Honestly, this has been so annoying and now, just to make my life even more miserable, both my digital camera and my DVD player's remote control have quit on me (and no, they don't need new batteries).


Tearing His Hair Out In Stratford

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Ryan Russell 1976 - 2011

I'm doing something very different today and i don't often write in a serious manner, but this was something that i couldn't leave unmentioned.

On January 12th, Sgt. Ryan Russell of the Toronto police force, husband of Christine and father of Nolan, 2,  was trying to stop some dirtbag in a stolen snow plough when said dirtbag ran him over and killed him. (He was the first Toronto police officer to have been slain in the line of duty since, i believe, 2002.)

Yesterday, 13,000 people attended his funeral service at the Toronto Convention Centre -- both civilians and police officers from all over North America.

I'm not quite sure why i'm feeling so much sadness over this; it is many years since i lived in Toronto.  Maybe it's more of a respect for the Toronto police in general --  ordinary heroes.

Someone, i forget who, once remarked that one thing that Toronto policemen have in common is their size -- a big and tough buncha dudes for sure (they have to be). But i never had any problems in my (rare) dealings with them -- i treated them with respect (as i would anyone), and they reciprocated.

Here's a pic from yesterday's ceremony:

Rest in peace, Sgt. Ryan.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011


And that, my friends, was the view from the smoking section (i.e. outside) of my local pub, Kelsey's ( yesterday.  You learn to smoke quickly in this climate!

Year End Wrap-Up, Part 3 -- Film

Quote of the day: Max Kauffman -- He's very superstitious -- he thinks it's unlucky to walk under a black cat.

As i said, i'm a list freak, i'm also a film freak and here's the list of every DVD i've watched this year:

Jan. 20: Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Jan. 21: District 9
Jan. 26: Threads
Feb. 6: United 93
Feb. 16: Inglourious Basterds
Feb.17: The Hurt Locker
Feb.18: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince
Mar. 1: The Eagle Has Landed
Mar. 2: American History X
Mar. 3: A Handful Of Dust
Mar. 4: Miss Congeniality
Mar. 14: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Mar. 18: Firewall
Mar. 30: 2012
Mar. 31: Deconstructing Harry
Apr. 2: Carry On Dick
Apr. 24: The Last Boy Scout
Apr. 29: Monty Python And The Holy Grail
May 3: Lethal Weapon
May 8: Lethal Weapon 2
May 9: Footlight Parade
May 13: Lethal Weapon 3
May 23: Red Cliff
May 24: Thelma and Louise
May 26: Broken Embraces
May 27: Body Of Lies
Jun. 2: Mad Max
Jun. 8: Year Of The Dragon
Jun. 9: Kika
Jun. 10: Last Man Standing
Jun. 20: Die Hard With A Vengeance
Jun. 21: 88 Minutes
Jun. 28: The Enforcer
Jul. 8: Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Jul. 25: Lethal Weapon
Aug. 5: The Road
Aug. 18: Green Zone
Aug. 19: The Rachel Papers
Aug. 26: The Last Boy Scout
Sept. 7: Live Free Or Die Hard
Sept. 13: Pushing Tin
Sept. 14: Love Actually
Sept. 15: Blow-Up
Sept. 16: From Russia With Love
Oct. 17: Fargo
Oct. 20: Analyze That
Oct. 21: Lethal Weapon 2
Nov. 3: Oceans
Nov. 28: Four Weddings And A Funeral
Dec. 7: Robin Hood
Dec. 8: Notes On A Scandal
Dec. 24: The Ninth Gate
Dec. 25: Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Dec. 31: When Harry Met Sally... 

And which was my favourite (i hear you ask)?  I dunno, maybe "Fargo,"  i love that film.  The problem i have is that i have so little time....  It can sometimes take me four evenings to watch a two hour movie.  And i haven't been to an actual cinema since, well, when was the first of the "Lord Of The Rings" films released?