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senatorhung's pad
ramblings of an information troubleshooter

anniversary restlessness

permalink Sunday, 27NOV2005:

as promised, here is a photo of my fave photo from the museum's current exhibition 'encounter' by norwegian photographer patrick huse.

patrick huse photo on display
at nunatta sunnakkutangit museum
i kind of like it's openness - the way that you can't tell what the subject is looking at, or what is being fenced in, or the purpose of the fluttering canvas.

next stop was gaby's place where we were joined by orla and christa to try a few improv games. much hilarity ensued. we scheduled another playback rehearsal for next sunday to prep for some public appearances the week after.

finally, i sat down to read 'bone sharps, cowboys, and thunder lizards', a graphic novel that semi-fictionalizes the historical feud between dinosaur hunters edward cope and othniel marsh, as filtered thru the bystander charles knight, one of the foremost dinosaur painters. light on dinosaur detail but rich in human folly, the tale pulls in luminaries like p.t. barnum, buffalo bill cody, alexander graham bell and john bell hatcher, finding connections that are as plausible as the historical reality. as a true measure of the book's success, i submit the fact that i eagerly scanned the bibliography to find a couple of books that i could read to learn more.

this week marks my 4-year anniversary in the north. it's hard to believe that this is the longest that i've stayed in any one place other than t'ford, which at 8 years isn't a record that i'm likely to beat. it's almost valid to wonder whether i even have it in me to develop roots towards a place. i've always said that 'home' is where my stuff is, but while there are still a few items left on my northern checklist, iqaluit is feeling less and less like someplace i want to stay.

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there the dragons dwell

permalink Monday, 28NOV2005:

for having a productive day at work, i rewarded myself by taking in the evening show of the latest harry potter flick. having never read the books, i can't say that the first film endeared me to the world of hogwarts, but the previews had looked plausibly interesting enough for me to give HP a second chance.

the special effects were indeed spectacular, with not too much fancy editing to cover up digital boo boos. ralph fiennes was superb as voldemort. the story moved along at a reasonable pace and didn't feel like a coles notes version of a book like the first flick did. thankfully, the wyrd sisters were ultimately unsuccessful in their attempt to halt distribution of the film in canada - i can't imagine how anyone right in the head could mistake the band on screen, fronted by jarvis cocker, as a female folk band from winnipeg. and they sued for $40 million as compensation !!! how sad that artists have succumbed to IP greed. you'd almost think they had a corporate record company lawyer shilling for them >:(

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sculpting the mix

permalink Tuesday, 29NOV2005:

last night, i had selected a bunch of tracks to set up an initial playlist to review for my latest theme mix. tonight, with a mood and a tentative story in my head, i listened to each song and slotted them in where they seemed to work best, punting the ones that just didn't quite fit. the gem of the mix was still sitting in its source rock, waiting to be sculpted out.

still, the rough draft came together pretty quickly and playing it thru revealed a few serendipitous connections between some tracks that i either reinforced by placing the tracks adjacent to each other or made less blatant (and hence possibly more clever) by separating them. the exercise felt just like working on a draft of a poem, where certain words just fit and flow together, while other words, which sound good in your head in the context of the poem, just don't look right when they're put onto paper.

anyway, a few tracks just didn't seem to want to play well with the others. however, i had a cd that i've been playing in the office for the last week and one of its refrains hit me and i realized that it was perfect to replace the problematic songs. a quick rip later and the mix playlist is shuffled around a bit to make room for the new track. so now the mix is like a rough cut jewel, waiting to be polished up to perfection. i've thrown the current playlist onto my teardrop mp3 player to take into the office and see if it survives a few days worth of looped play.

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rinks and rootkits

permalink Wednesday, 30NOV2005:

went to the frob for a supper of arctic char pizza with a group of folks who were showing a guest from the south around town.

iqaluit broomball chronicle:

team black: mark, siobhan, jacques, sebastien, kerry
team white: JF, marco, julian, kevin, me

for some reason, team white dominated the play for much of tonight's game. however, the score was still pretty even most of the way thru until JF made a couple of breakaways late in the game. mark tallied a hat trick for team black, with siobhan and jacques getting singles. for team white, JF was the superstar with 5 goals, while marco was the master playmaker with 2 goals.

kerry and kevin were stalwarts as usual between the posts while julian streaked down the sidelines and i tried to patrol the slots. sebastien made a successful debut appearance, showing us that he knew how to use his shiny aluminum stick. after the game, i distributed some of the broomball equipment that had arrived the evening before. since my screw up had delayed the order so long, i decided to absorb the shipping costs myself.

  • IP idiocy link of the day: if you want to see how 'easy' it was to remove the insidious digital rights management malware that sony-bmg used to protect it's cd's, check out mark's sysinternals blog and the barrage of comments from other concerned users - posted on hallowe'en naturally - are you scared yet ?
    [after much tweaking ...]
    At that point I knew conclusively 
    that the rootkit and its associated 
    files were related to the First 4 
    Internet DRM software Sony ships on 
    its CDs.  Not happy having underhanded 
    and sloppily written software on my 
    system I looked for a way to uninstall 
    it.  However, I didnít find any 
    reference to it in the Control Panelís 
    Add or Remove Programs list, nor did I 
    find any uninstall utility or directions 
    on the CD or on First 4 Internetís site. 
    I checked the EULA and saw no mention of 
    the fact that I was agreeing to have 
    software put on my system that I 
    couldn't uninstall.  Now I was mad.
    I deleted the driver files and their 
    Registry keys, stopped the 
    $sys$DRMServer service and deleted its 
    image, and rebooted.  As I was deleting 
    the driver Registry keys under 
    I noted that they were either configured 
    as boot-start drivers or members 
    of groups listed by name in the
    subkeys, which means that they load 
    even in Safe Mode, making system 
    recovery extremely difficult if any of 
    them have a bug that prevents the system 
    from booting.
    When I logged in again I discovered that 
    the CD drive was missing from Explorer.  
    Deleting the drivers had disabled the CD.  
    Now I was really mad.
the lesson is that you may be able to hoodwink joe blow consumer, but there will be at least one techie in the blogosphere who has the skills and knowledge to blow the lid open and make you rue your underhandedness. of course, in this instance, sony-bmg appears to have survived this fiasco relatively unscathed. the sheep shall inherit the barren earth ...

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'hurry up and wait' productivity

permalink Thursday, 01DEC2005:

when i started the day, i had a hectic schedule of work tasks and meeting laid out before me. however, as the day went on, two of my meetings and an appointment were cancelled, so i ended up getting way more accomplished than i had expected. one of my library patrons even surprised me by sending me (and my boss !) a glowing comment about my work.

after a brisk museum meeting, followed by an extended chat about elements of web usability with a couple of the other board members, i wandered over to the northmart to pick out a gift for the toy drive that our workplace hosts every year. chatted with andrew and sarah while i tried to decide what to buy, and almost got sidetracked by the array of poker paraphernilia. sadly, my better instincts kicked in and i picked up a 'simpsons wheel of fortune' game rather than some not-quite-tourney-ready stacks of poker chips.

when i got home, i found a message from vinnie on my answering machine, inviting me to assist with qaggiq theatre's production of 'nuliajuk' this weekend. i had my reservations, but swung by the nav to pick up some supper before heading to the legion cadet hall to scope out the project.

now, normally having a cue-to-cue the night before opening night is an extremely ominous sign. however, there had been some difficulties with shipping the lights up and they only arrived in iqaluit yesterday. there was another delay putting them up today due to the need to satisfy fire safety regulations. given these kinds of difficulties, it was a credit to the professionalism of the crew that they were staying 'til past midnight to get the cues straight.

the set looks amazing underneath the canopy of lights and from the bits of costumery that i saw, those will be fabulous as well. the music was composed specifically for the production and sounds appropriately cool. i'm going to swing by tomorrow afternoon for one of the run-thrus to assist with monitoring the levels of the wireless microphones with the idea of settling in to that role for the rest of the run.

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the tools of the trade

permalink Friday, 02DEC2005:

i informally agreed to sell my snowmobile today, which is a little bit weird, seeing as i have never even started it up since buying it from morgan this summer. however, this way, i do save on buying gasoline all winter and don't have to bother with all the insurance details.

i decided to splurge the proceeds on getting my own set of poker chips. after a bit of online research, i decided on the '500pc shiny clay high roller chip set (13.5g)' from i accepted the advice that you should probably only ever have to buy good-quality chips once in your life, so i was ok with spending a few more bucks for ones that will last. i can't wait !

i got off a few hours early from work in the afternoon to assist with the nuliajuk production. i took notes while the 2d run-thru of the day took place, trying to get a feel for how everything fit together with the cues. i worked with the stage manager / lighting-rigging maestro steven and diego, the composer for the show.

the extent of my task ended up being to hit play and pause on the cd player on cue while diego fiddled with the volume and eq levels on the sound board. however, my task was more of a backup as the music was still being pumped out thru diego's pc. since diego is scheduled to depart on sunday, the expectation is that we will run off of the cd then, so i'll have to be prepared to be in the driver's seat.

the play went over very well and the opening night crowd was enthusiastic. afterwards, despite a looming headache, i made it over to ghislain and sandra's farewell party. half of the broomball squad was also in attendance, so i was still able to socialize in between eavesdropping on conversations held in french.

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double the run, double the fun

permalink Saturday, 03DEC2005:

this afternoon's matinee run of nuliajuk went fairly smoothly. this time, my work on the cd was the main tool, with diego's pc following along as a backup. of course, i didn't find this out until after steven called the cue and everyone sat around in the dark waiting for something to happen. it painfully reminded me of the last time i did sound, back at the UofS when i took my stagecraft class.

on the closing night of that run, the 2d last sound cue was supposed to be a gunshot that played from a reel-to-reel tape that had most of the cues spooled in order. the cue was called and i hit play and we all waited ... and waited ... in a panic, i scanned all the equipment and realized that i had neglected to unmute the reel-to-reel channel from a previous cue and that i had no separate monitor channel so that i could rewind the tape and re-set it to the correct location without letting the whole theatre hear the process. in the end, another cast member shouted out a loud 'bang' from the wings and the actor, who had been frozen staring down a gun-wielder, gratefully toppled over. it was probably only about 20 seconds, but it seemed like an eternity at the time.

anyway, to get myself more 'in gear', i made some notes so that i could mock up my own cue sheet so that i will be ready for my solo showcase on sunday.

iqaluit broomball chronicle:

team white: JF, yoan, jacques, daniel, me
team black: kevin, mark, marco, kerry, julian

it was daniel's first time out and he was playing in team white's net with only street shoes on. he performed valiantly and can not be held responsible for the lopsided result, where team black overwhelmed team white. defence was the key factor in today's game, with team black playing solidly in their own end, in contrast to team white's laggardly backchecking. even when we did have a man back, both mark and marco successfully bypassed the defender by pausing and then spurting past as the defender slowed.

JF and yoan scored singles for team white, while mark and marco both scored hat-tricks for team black. kerry popped in a final cherry for team black. even julian tried to get into the act, kicking the ball in once, and batting my hand into the ball (which then went into the net) another time. luckily for team white, neither of these counted, so the final tally ended up being 7-2 (infamous as the worst hand in poker).

the evening run of nuliajuk played to an almost full house. my rough cue sheet held up well, tho diego did get irritated when i cut off one of his musical fades. the price of having the show composer working onsite :) afterwards, i swung by the legion for a round before heading on to vinnie's place to help celebrate his pa james' birthday once the clock struck midnight. i also took the opportunity to raid vinnie's music database on his pc. i burned a mix cd of good old stuff like 'life is life' by opus, 'islands in the stream' by kenny rogers and dolly parton, 'queen of hearts' by juice newton and 'back in black' by ac/dc.

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