November 30, 2007

cordonnier mal chaussé

catherine @ 9:20 pm

Question : Vous embauchez un plombier pour faire des travaux chez-vous. Vous vous entendez sur un taux-horaire et sur le moment où il passera pour effectuer ces travaux. Trois jours ouvrables avant le rendez-vous, il vous rappelle pour confirmer et en passant comme ça, il vous informe que vous devez lui fournir ses outils. Vous trouvez ça normal ? Moi non plus.

Eh bien, la Coopérative de solidarité Novaide, une entreprise d’économie sociale qui œuvre dans le secteur des travaux ménagers, trouve ça tout à fait normal et, vu le monopole qu’elle exerce dans plusieurs quartiers de la ville de Montréal, on peut dire qu’elle est morte de rire.

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Filed under: ironie, irony, rant
November 24, 2007

what the frak ?! (bis)

catherine @ 8:42 pm

In a few minutes, I will be settling comfortably before the tv to watch the much hyped BSG prequel Razor (yes, I am a nerd but also hey, Steve Bacic! need I say more?). And I hope it is worth it because, as I found out tonight (what can I say, “late to the party” is my middle name), the last season of BSG will not start airing until April 2008! What?! Almost a full year after airing the last episode of season 3? Have they no compassion?

Update: Well, what can I say? A lot of stuff I liked, actually, most of it and a few things I did not like, namely the fact that they unceremoniously killed off Steve Bacic’s character in what?, the first half hour? Seems like a big waste of talent, not to mention eye-candy, to me.

Anyway, I am not going to write a long geeky review but I will mention a few things:

  • I liked the back-and-forth between the three time frames. I thought this made the pace more interesting and, despite what I have been reading in some of the reviews, it was not confusing at all. Use yor brain, people.
  • I love Michelle Forbes and although 87 minutes was really not enough time to get to know her character beyond what we already knew, we did get a few insights, like why she hated that cylon prisoner so much. I mean, wouldn’t you be beside yourself with rage if you found out that the super-babe you have been sleeping with is actually a toaster?
  • That girl playing fleet officer Kendra Shaw had a really nice accent.
  • I am really sick of reading these things where BSG is actually just an allegory for the Irak war. When I watch BSG, the war in Irak is the last thing on my mind. And besides, just in case y’all forgot, there are other conflicts going on all over the world.

So basically, this was a nice little interlude in the meantime but it definitely does not make up for the fact that it will be another five months before we see a new episode.

So say me all!

“watch me”

catherine @ 5:50 pm

A friend sent me the link to what I must admit are some of the cutest ads (Flash required) I have seen about disability. Produced by Leonard Chesire Disabilty, a voluntary sector organisation in the UK that provides services in support of people with disabilities, these ads are not only visually beautiful but, I am sure, will do wonders to give people a warm fuzzy feeling about disability.

But you know, being me, I can not help but wonder about some things. I mean, all that is really nice when you are in the comfort of your own living room, watching the late evening news, your feet all warm and cozy in your favourite phentex slippers and a nice cup o’tea by your side when an ad flashes briefly across the telly screen. “Ah, look at that, dearie”, you will say to the wife sitting next to you, knitting you some phentex mittens, “such a sweet doggie!” (a sweet doggie just about to go bungee jumping, by the way). But would you feel the same if you encountered a 52 year-old man drooling on his shirt who can not use the loo without a bit of help, let alone skydive? (And please, do not get all PC on me, I am just saying, and I know what I am talking about, disability is not always cute, and sometimes, for all sorts of reasons, it can actually be quite, euh, discomforting.)

Continue reading “watch me”

November 19, 2007

the end of public access?/la fin de l’accès public ?

catherine @ 12:42 pm

The Community Access Program and its Youth Initiative, which provide affordable access to the Internet and training programs for disadvantaged populations in Canada, are in grave danger of disappearing. If you care about public access to the Internet (and you should), please write to Industry Canada’s minister Jim Prentice (ministre.industrie@ic.gc.ca), the Prime Minister of Canada (pm@pm.gc.ca), your Member of Parliament and your local mayor and tell them.

For more information, see the full press release below.

Le Programme d’accès communautaire à Internet et son Initiative Jeunesse, qui permettent l’accès abordable à Internet et offrent des programmes de formation aux populations desavantagées au Canada, sont en grand danger de disparaître. Si vous tenez à l’accès public à Internet (et vous devriez), écrivez au ministre d’Industrie Canada Jim Prentice (ministre.industrie@ic.gc.ca) ainsi qu’au Premier Ministre du Canada (pm@pm.gc.ca), votre député et votre maire et dites-leur.

Pour plus d’informations, veuillez consulter le communiqué de presse ici-bas.

Continue reading the end of public access?/la fin de l’accès public ?

November 18, 2007

“think big, decide small”

catherine @ 1:21 pm

I do not read 37signals’ blog very often; it falls into the “blogs for work” category and there are so many of those, I usually have to limit my reading to the directly-related-to-what-I-am-working-on-right-now sub-category. Anyway, today I had more time and I found this little gem:

The problem with big decisions is that they’re hard to make and hard to change. And once you make one the tendency is to continue to believe you made the right decision even if you didn’t. Big decisions are full of Pride, Politics, Posturing, and Persuasion. Changing direction after making a big decision is admitting you made a big mistake. Humans don’t like admitting that — especially when jobs, careers, and mortgage payments are on the line.

And:

Making tiny decisions doesn’t mean you can’t make big plans or think big ideas. It just means that we believe the best way to achieve those big plans/dreams/ideas is one tiny decision at a time. Tiny decisions allow for easy course correction. Changing your mind about something small is a whole lot easier than changing your mind about something big. (…)

The last part talks about some unavoidable big decisions they had to make, blablabla, but the first few paragraphs are definitely the best advice I have come across in a while.

Filed under: divers, stuff
November 17, 2007

I hold these truths to be self-evident

catherine @ 8:23 pm

Last night I dreamt of a strange appartment building. The structure was very bizarre and dangerous but that is not surprising; I often dream of weird, defintely not up-to-code buildings where you can literally kill yourself by just milling about. In my dreams, I am usually living in them, often alone, or looking around because I am thinking about moving in. Anyway, in this dream, things were slightly different because the building was occupied and I knew a couple of the tennants (people I know in real life). And although I was not moved in yet, I had been invited over to dinner by some other tennants I did not know and spent most of the evening spilling my wine on the tablecloth (ok, that is not really different; I spill stuff on a regular basis).

Before I left, my hosts showed me photos of various parties that had been organised in the building over the years. As I looked at the photos, I remember thinking that was a lot of parties and a lot of people. I was also rather baffled to note that Leonard Nimoy was in almost all the photos, invariably standing alone yet surrounded by dozens and dozens of people, his arms folded across his chest, a look of astonishment on his face. When I asked about him, I was told he had been asked to move out but that he was not very happy about it and insisted on taking all his stuff with him.

What struck me the most about the dream was that when I left to go home, I was using my power wheelchair. This is kind of strange because, notwithstanding that I have not used it in over two years, in most of my dreams, if I am not vaguely walking, how I get around is usually not emphasised. But this time, I distinctly remember slipping into something familiar, comfortable, comforting even. I remember putting it into fourth gear, like I had so many times before when I was just about to take off. As I turned the first corner, I landed on Saint-Laurent Blvd and came to a sudden halt as I viewed the throngs and throngs of people on the sidewalk. And, as I often have, I remember thinking, quite annoyed, “man, I gotta find a side street fast because there is no way I am going to put up with all those mindless bipeds walking into me every few feet”.

Continue reading I hold these truths to be self-evident

Filed under: disability, handicap, la vie, life
November 10, 2007

encore 25 dodos (more or less)

catherine @ 11:01 pm

In about three weeks, I will be getting the keys to my new appartment. And by new, I do not mean “brand-spanking” but just “next”. This will be my 13th appartment since I started living on my own at the tender age of 17 (and no, despite being a magnet for bad luck, I am not really superstitious). So, according to my calculator, that is an average of living 1.8 years in every appartment.

Ok, I will concede that spending less than two years in any given place may seem a bit euh, unstable but, not withstanding that as a child I moved around much more than that so I suspect this kind of runs in the immediate family, it is only an average. There were actually a couple of places I lived in up to three whole years (because I was probably in a relationship at the time) and some I did not make it past six months (because, you know, nothing says “get the fuck out now!” like cockroaches or redneck-drug-dealing-biker neighbours, among other things). Not that I have anything against rednecks, drug-dealers or bikers but having them all rolled up into one scary package and living in the appartment across the hall is kind of overwhelming.

Continue reading encore 25 dodos (more or less)

Filed under: change, changement, stuff
November 7, 2007

dog day… euh, day

catherine @ 9:57 pm

This morning, while being shuttled to work by paratransit services (”shuttled to work”, what a nice way of putting it), I saw a dead dog on the street.

He had most probably been hit by a car a little while earlier and he (she?, but never ever it) just lay there on his side in the street, abandoned and alone, while morning traffic drove around or just plain over him. I must admit, “ça m’a rentré dedans” as we say here, it just… got to me (inadequate attempt to convey that expression in English but somehow, it just does not seem to do it justice).

I just felt so bad for this poor creature who obviously had not been properly supervised in some way or another if, among other things, he could still be lying there and, more importantly, who probably had no idea what was happening to him at the time and why he was in so much pain, however fleeting it may have been (and since I have been there and done that, this is something I know a fair amount about so believe me when I say that, like a child, he could not understand what was happening beyond pain and bewilderment).

As he sped past, my driver tried to reassure me, told me that he had seen someone go to pick him up but I knew it was not true. I saw the same thing he did, just a dead dog on Saint-Zotique street, cars weaving past in their rush to get to wherever.

And strangely enough, as the rest of the day revealed, life goes on.

November 2, 2007

saturday, in the park

catherine @ 8:49 pm

Well, actually not in the park but at the third edition of BarCamp Montreal, held at la Société des arts technologiques on Saint-Laurent, which I personally find is a really crappy venue but hey, they have wi-fi and geeks just love their wi-fi, n’est-ce pas ?

I had been once before, I think it was for the first one I have been informed it was actually the second one, and I find the format euh, intriguing (kind of satisfying and kind of not but certainly different from what I am used to in my field where people can just go on and on and on when really, they could make their point in 10, 15 minutes or, more often than not, less).

Continue reading saturday, in the park

Filed under: BarCamp Montreal, stuff
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