Archive for November, 2005

Why XBox?

I see the XBox came out this week with all the attendant hype and crowds lining up outside stores to grab the limited number that are available before Christmas.

I wonder what the X in XBox stands for. X can mark the spot, but it also can indicate ‘Not acceptable’. Apparently that’s what a few of the purchasers are finding. Their XBox can seize up and some have even had games that ‘melted’. Not to worry, it’s covered by warranty and defective units will be replaced. The big But there is that there are no replacement units available before Christmas. That certainly sounds like an X. Oh, if only it had been called TickBox.

You know you’re a Montrealer when…

Absolutely hysterical.

I especially loved that one since it makes a lot of sense but I had never heard it before:

You know that your city’s reputation for beautiful women is the result of centuries-old couplings between French soldiers and royally-commissioned whores (aka Les Filles du Roi).


Today, I will take my parka to the dry cleaner

Montreal metro information easily accessible

My alarm is my television. I can set it to go on at a certain time, on a certain channel and off again later. So this morning it was set for 10h. So it went on. On the LCN news I heard something about terrorists that had the Montreal metro map on thier computer. I got out of bed quickly and came to the living room to watch the news piece. But I was still half asleep so I didn’t get much of the story. So I just found the online article (in French).

Ok, here’s my best at a little translation of the article. According to LCN, the Spanish police has found detailed Montreal metro maps on the computer of a man questionned about the Madrid March 2004 bombing which killed 191. Abdelhak Chergui and his brother were arrested back in May 2005. The police think they provided the bombers with technical help in the preparation of the attacks. Apart from Montreal metro maps, there was also information on the type of metro wagons used, the seat plan inside the wagons, the number of people using the metro as well as how the wagon doors operate. The Spanish authorities could lay new charges on the 2 men in light of this newly gathered information.

Yet most of the information the media say these terrorists had can easily be found online. For example on this Wikipedia page they say the type of wagon, this extensive Montreal metro website also has a ton of information, this website with detailed information on the wheels of the wagons, the tunnels, etc, and even footage of the metro running on Radio-Canada’s website. Is it a good thing to have all this information out there??

It took me 5 minutes to find all these websites. Terrorists probably have more ressources than I do. Imagine the information they can gather! It’s a bit scary when I think about the possibility of an attack. But then I really hope the Montreal authorities are prepared to prevent to such an event. I think they are…

Update, 15h48: “The federal Liberals are directing $110-million to improving transit security in Canada’s six largest cities. Transport Minister Jean LaPierre […] says Ottawa knows that Canada has been targeted by foreign terrorists and the new measures will go a long way towards improving not only security, but the readiness of emergency agencies. […] LaPierre says the program has been in the works for months and has nothing to do with the flurry of pre-election spending that’s been going on this week.” – from Montreal Gazette website

Roque the Vote

The nominations for the Canadian Blog Awards are now closed and now it’s up to you to vote for your favorites. A few of our authors are up for awards along with some of our loyal readers including the king and la reine du/of Montreal bloggers. Usually I would urge you to vote for the best quality blogs, but screw it, this is going to be a popularity contest, so we might was well vote accordingly (read “local”). You are allowed one vote per day, so everyone gets a maximum of seven votes in each category. So you have the chance to vote for different blogs if you like. The top five in each category move on to the next round. Voting starts tomorrow and runs until next Wednesday. Here is an incomplete list of locals and my favorites for the awards. Please chime in if you know of some other locals.

Best Blog:
Blork Blog – If you have not heard of these two blogs, you haven’t been around Montreal blogs much.
Ni Vu Ni Connu – It’ll be interesting who comes out on top.

Best New Blog:
The Other Blokes Blog – Our very own Barry Welford.
Midnight Poutine – Hasn’t been around long, but has diverse content.

Best Group Blog:
Qarrtsiluni – A literary and artistic collaboration.
Reading Montreal – Andre just posted on this.
Midnight Poutine – See above.

Best Humour Blog:
Immutably Me – One of my favorites.

Best Photo Blog: Tough category. There are some excellent entries.
Digital Apoptosis – None other than our captain.
Anthropy – Great black and white work. Also another Montreal Metroblog contributor.
Monday Morning Photo Blog – Blork’s images.
Daily Dose of Imagery – Extremely crisp photos from Toronto and Oxford.
Wideangle – Not local, but some excellent panoramics.

Best Culture Blog:
Zeke’s Gallery – Our very own Chris Hand keeping us up on the local art scene.
Qarrtsiluni See above.
Ni Vu Ni Connu – Commentary on screenwriting and related arts.
A Good Beer Blog – Hmmm… Beer. Blork has also contributed to this.
Midnight Poutine – See above again.

Best Personal Blog:
Immutably Me – Observations from a stay-at-home dad.
The Cassandra Pages – Another of my favorites. Very insightful.
Blork Blog
Ni Vu Ni Connu

Best Business Blog:
The Other Blokes Blog

Best Blog Post:
The Other Bloke’s Blog: What Do You Call An 800 Lb. Gorilla
Blork Blog: On Writing and Reading

And Best Blog Series:
Blork Blog: Manifest Destiny in a Cup

If they are good enough for the Olympic committee…

…they certainly deserve their very own Metroblogging page. Let’s plant a big wet one on the sweet-smelling baby head of Metroblogging Vancouver.

Reading Montreal

While going over some of the first round nominees for the Canadian Blog Awards, I came across a new local community blog named Reading Montreal. Described as “an online community dedicated to the design, culture, and politics that shape our city” this site has been around since October 1st. Maybe a tad young for such a “prestigious” award but their contributions to date have been quite interesting and certainly worth a spot in my list of rss feeds.

A move is in the cards

Following an unfortunate tarot reading, a fellow yulblogger is now looking to move East, to the Mile End / Plateau area. Ideally she would like to pay a maximum of $600 a month for a non-high rise apartment.

I have cats so I need a pet-friendly landlord and access to a back something, an alley or a yard.

I’m quiet, busy and pay my rent on time every month. I am GOLD. I’m willing to move whenever in the New Year and will even take a lease transfer as long as there’s the option to renew.

Miracles can happen. Spread the word, I need a miracle!

Graffiti and drugs

Alright… Today I went to work. I was passing by a fairly new community centre this morning at 7h. And although I was still half asleep I was awake enough to notice this huge ugly graffiti. I usually like graffiti as a form of art. But on ugly old decripit dodgy buildings. Not on new community centres! They have some surveillance cameras installed around the centre. I sure hope there is some footage available to identify who did this!Graffiti

So I arrived at work. My assignment was downtown with 7 other of my coworkers. It was quite fun. But I did see some shady things… Involving drugs. Our group was near Berri metro station, near Place Emilie Gamelin which is a hotspot for drug dealers. Well two white guys came to see our group to offer us dope. Just open and direct… And then later walking on a side street we saw two black guys in the porch of a building entrance exchanging dope for money. Though I’ve been in Montreal for a few years now I don’t remember being exposed to this before! And one of the things I found strange is that it was all during the morning (around 10h or so) and in broad day light!

Renaud Bray

Today I went to do a bit of shopping.

I first wanted to stop by at the Renaud Bray store to get a nice pen or two… I like good pens. And now I’ve only got some with almost no more ink in them… Because of the long semester at uni! But the Renaud Bray employees were demonstrating in front of the store. This Radio-Canada article explains more about their strike. They were chanting the usual slogans like “so so so solidarit

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