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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

standard sundays

permalink Sunday, 04NOV2007:

alas, my poor neglected bloggy - has facebook completely taken over my scant spare time ? while scrabulous has indeed become a pleasure over the last month, i have also been spending some late hours at the office to clear up some of the detritus that has built up over my 6 years working there. why the sudden flurry of organizational piety ? well, tomorrow i start a new job as a policy analyst, so i wanted to leave my successor without too much cause to curse me in the dark of night.

anyway, besides that, october was taken up by the start of broomball season where i oversaw a couple of equipment orders. new shoes really do make a huge difference and made the last few games truly joyous. i unfortunately missed a couple of games, however, as i had to head down to montreal for a conference and board meeting. when friend stef saw that on my facebook status note, she compelled me to spend my sunday layover with her in ottawa. despite tumbling head over heels outside the world exchange, the impromptu tour of ottawa was worth the 5-hour round trip bus journey.

the day started off with a deluge of homemade pancakes. after stuffing ourselves, we swung by a scenic spot behind parliament hill before checking out the kitty refugee camp. from there, it was on to an organic food shop for a snack (and to allow me to recover from my tumble). we then returned to the world exchange to take in 'the darjeeling express' which was pretty much what i expected. to close the evening, i got to sample a new-to-me sushi joint where i had to beg off of the green tea ice cream due to my recently discovered allergic aversion to ice cream *sob*.

kenojuak ashevak's 'owl's bouquet'

when i got up today, i wandered over to the museum to check out the 2008 cape dorset print collection. the kenojuak ashevak 'owl's bouquet' was my fave of this show, but at a cool $1000, i'd have to cash in some of my recent stock gains to pick it up. the much more affordable 'huit huit' by ningeokuluk teevee would more likely find its way into my collection at a mere $500.

ningeokuluk teevee's 'huit huit'

the following description comes from the guide book:

"'huit huit' is the command used to keep the
dogs running, usually with a crack of the 
whip for encouragement.  in this image the
whip is held by the moon, and the image is
inspired by the legend of Kaujjajuq, an 
orphan who was mistreated by his community.
the moon takes compassion on the young
Kaujjajuq and whips him to give him strength.
Kaujjajuq grows with each lash and is able to 
exact his revenge on his tormentors."
i still mean to put up some pix of the latter bit of my irish tour, but that will have to wait for another day as i will try to start my new position in a timely fashion.

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MAME games restoration brings :) to face

permalink Monday, 12NOV2007:

so, it was saturday nite and i had gotten a call about a poker game after broomball was done. competing for my attention was also a coffee house at the high school, featuring karen, who i still haven't seen perform yet, though i've heard great things about her musical talents. instead of either of those tantalizing possibilities, however, i spent the evening restoring my MAME classic video game collection which i had lost due to my system crash last year. i was horrified to see that many of the games which i had painstakingly found over the past few years were missing as i had neglected to do backups of the roms required.

screencap of rallyx arcade game

with a few hours of downloading and testing, i was able to re-acquire most of the games that i had spent many hours playing on in my youth. sadly, 'robotron' and 'robocop' (among others) had either gone awol since my last downloading frenzy or weren't compatible with my old version of MAME which i didn't want to mess with in case i lost access to the games i already had. luckily the essentials were still intact, including 'wizard of wor', 'tutankham', 'time pilot', 'hang-on' and my all-time fave, 'rally x'. this fondness for 'rally x' springs from the time in the mid-80's when we still had a machine in the corner of the family restaurant prior to our extensive renovations. the machines rotated thru every few months or so, but 'rally x' was my fave and i suspect that it might have been left with us for an extended tour due to the amount of quarters which i fed into its hungry maw.

i did make up for saturday's poker absence yesterday, tho, as i showed up at todd's for a late-afternoon round of omaha. while i bubbled out in 3d place thanks to terry's uncanny luck, when we then turned our attentions to a couple of hold'em tourneys, i quickly redeemed myself by coming in first and then chopping for first with peter in the final tourney. when i got home, i used a feature of MAME to take a videocap of a game session but was frustrated to see that there was no sound. turning to google, i was able to download a shareware copy of 'Dubit' and, using my sound card's recording feature, was able to sync up a wav audio track with the video. however, since the video files are nearly a gig each (i did ones for 'wizard of wor' and 'i'm sorry' as well), i won't be able to share them online :(

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they say time heals everything

permalink Tuesday, 20NOV2007:

i woke up this morning just a minute before my alarm. normally this never happens, but i had been up pretty late last nite, so i gave myself an extra hour to snooze. if i rushed, i could still have probably made it into the office pretty close to 8:30, but that didn't happen. instead, upon turning on the radio, i was enraptured by the song playing on the cbc north morning show.

since cbc doesn't always name the tune that they're playing (and didn't again in this case), normally i'm not awake enough to even note the lyrics down to do a google search. this morning, however, i was sufficiently lucid to scribble a couple of lines and was impressed enough by the song to rush over and boot up my pc. a few clicks later and i had tracked the song down - 'not ready to make up' by the dixie chicks. my research also turned up the fact that they won a grammy for this tune a year ago, but somehow that had evaded my attention and this morning was the first time that i had ever heard the song.

sidetripping over to youtube, i then found a video with lyrics attached and began to record the audio to a wav file. as i began to loop-play that track, i ran across the 'official' sony version which had better sound (surprise, surprise) and thus re-traced my recording steps to save a higher quality file. i added the cd and the documentary 'shut up and sing' to my amazon wishlist and bemoaned the fact that sony is notorious for DRM abuses. if it wasn't for the existence of lyrics websites and youtube, the mystery cbc radio track would have been one less conversion for them.

anyway, i wasn't certain why this song struck me so much today, other than my yen for political anthems. the fact that a fellow high school graduate passed away from cancer over the weekend came to mind after a few moments of mulling. now, to most of you, that wouldn't necessarily be a big deal, but in my graduating year, in our small town of 500 folks, our grad class had a mere 30-40 members. my fellow grad was a resident of the local first nation, which in small-town saskatchewan was a rare thing. we had a dozen aboriginals in grade 10, but by the time we all got gussied up to stroll into the gym to collect our diplomas, only he remained to stand with us. he was the fighter, the iconoclast, the one who would never let the system shake him down.

our relationship had its ups and downs, but out of my high school class, he was the only one who i kept in touch with more than a couple of years. he went on to go to law school at the UofT and after graduating from there, he worked to beat the system with its own hoary tools. i lost touch with him after i went south of the border, but i had actually tried to google him last week. it's funny how this world works, but maybe the lyrics of the dixie chicks song that i heard this morning reflect the views that i suspect he held to his dying breath:

Forgive, sounds good
Forget, I'm not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But I'm still waiting

I'm through with doubt
There's nothing left for me to figure out
I've paid a price
And I'll keep paying

I'm not ready to make nice
I'm not ready to back down
I'm still mad as hell and
I don't have time to go round and round and round
It's too late to make it right
I probably wouldn't if I could
'Cause I'm mad as hell
Can't bring myself to do what it is you think I should

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