Michaelwclark.com

Just my stuff


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Jennie Brownscombe says Happy Thanksgiving!

Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, 1914 – Click image for fullsize

Looking thru the web for a good Thanksgiving pic, I discovered Jennie Brownscombe. Those deep artists eyes of hers stopped me cold.

Really quite a good painter. I advise checking her out if you’re into period pieces.

Jennie Augusta Brownscombe (December 10, 1850 – August 5, 1936) Wikipedia

We’ve already had our Thanksgiving in Canada. But with Global Warming the two countries may eventually sync. Maybe, maybe not. Our Daylight Savings time recently synced. Ours used to be a week or two ahead. We changed to km in the 70s while the US still does miles. A childhood memory for me. A nice one, mind you.

 

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Cold Season

Image – MaxPixel

The past few days I’ve been under the weather so doing a bare minimum at Earthpages. But my time hasn’t been wasted. I tried out Linux again. And again decided that with my older hardware, I still prefer Windows.

Also been updating, reconfiguring all my old computer stuff into a new synthesis that inspires me to work. Latest addition which I like is Libre Office.

I tried it out years ago and didn’t like it. But this time around it’s great. I feel a bit like a French social worker using it… although they probably all use the most expensive corporate stuff they can get their hands on.

So I’m working on an entry for earthpages.ca today. Been a while. I even considered pulling the plug on Earthpages altogether.

I get that way every now and then when I feel like I’m getting nowhere or just blowing lots of hot air.

Libre Office – image tweaked at pixlr.com

This new entry is going to be more raw and realistic. It’ll probably take a while. Still lots of sniffles and I’ll have to sleep this cold off.

But just wanted to say I’m still here… 🙂

 Tor Browser May Have Been Leaking Your Real IP Addresses – macOS & Linux Users Need to Update ASAP (wccftech.com) – Disgruntled stalkers probably hate TOR

 Researchers discover WiFi vulnerability affecting basically every device on Earth (businessinsider.com)

Diagnosing a Linux-only unit test failure (codeblog.jonskeet.uk)

 News Roundup from Microsoft Ignite (r-bloggers.com)


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Time Cop

Here’s a tune I’ve been working on for a few weeks. Sort of a synthesis of several old themes from the 70s. With a new twist. The image is Toronto downtown 1972. Looks quite different now.


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Eat…

Image via Tumblr

Animation created automatically by Google Drive without my directly asking it to! GD seems to take liberties in that sense. I back up my pics there and it sends notifications about different kinds of filters and animations it has created. Maybe there’s an opt in / opt out button somewhere. But at least one can screen before saving, making public, etc.

This is Cherry Beach, Toronto. It is one of the scungier downtown beaches. I don’t like any of the Toronto beaches too much. Dogs are permitted and, even though people “poop and scoop,” does one really want to sit in sand that has been pooped and scooped? Yuck. Also, the Lake is a toxic nightmare. I’m amazed people go in that water!

By way of contrast, Georgian Bay is a huge freshwater reserve. It used to be that we would drink directly out of the Bay (also called the 6th Great Lake) back in the 60s, early 70s.

It might be hard for some people outside of Canada to imagine such a thing. (Oceans are great but they are salt water). And the American lakes I’ve seen were just gross little mud ponds (not surprising considering the sheer density in the USA).

Sadly, mankind is doing a good job of fouling up Georgian Bay too. I don’t go there any more. But I have pristine memories.


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My ‘Frankenstein’ Computer

Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster

Frankenstein: Through the Eyes of the Monster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of you may know that I like messing around with old computers, trying to squeeze every overpaid penny out of them that I can.

In Canada we pay more than in the US because of our devalued dollar. But there are also more taxes. And on top of this, an amorphous “environmental handling fee,” which to me looks questionable (I’m skeptical that tax dollars and ‘fees’ always go where they are supposed to go, but that’s another issue).

Some years ago I paid almost a thousand dollars for an Athlon processor computer. Because it is an older Athlon it cannot run Chrome extensions, no matter how much RAM I inject. And I like extensions.

The other day this old computer died. There was a brief blackout and when the power returned the computer wouldn’t light up. The fact that I wasn’t using a surge/spike protector probably didn’t help.

Luckily I had another old computer lying around in the basement. It was not completely dead but in a deep coma—that is, inoperable.

Because I know next to nothing about hardware, I was apprehensive about trying to mix and match the two into one working machine. But since I really had nothing to lose, yesterday I spent the better part of the day doing just that.

It all went fairly smoothly, figuring stuff out by trial and error. And I now have one working desktop that is better than each of the two previous!

Because this hybrid was born just before Halloween, I think I’ll call it my ‘Frankenstein Computer.’ 🙂


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Rolling thru the years

Image via Tumblr

Just discovered that I’d backed up this old pic of me at our piano on 222 Rose Park Drive in Toronto. I loved that piano, even though some of the keys were broken.

I once told my parents that if I inherited one thing, I would want the piano. Sadly, when they moved to a smaller place, there was no room for the old beast. I still hanker for real pianos. I have lots of VST stuff but it’s not the same.

There are two pianos at a downtown Church that I go to. But I’m not formally registered there, and it seems like a bit of a club (to be able to actually play it). I suppose there’s the library, which has five piano rooms. But something tells me I’d be worried about picking up germs there. Turning into a clean freak in my old age… maybe the spirit of Glenn Gould is influencing me. Apparently he covered his face with a handkerchief to keep out germs.


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Only in Toronto…

assbackwards-01.jpg licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Click image for source.

Toronto sports fans are rejoicing that the Leafs finished dead last in the NHL season this year.

Why?

Because this dismal season made them eligible for a lottery to get the first draft pick for the upcoming season. And they won the lottery. So theoretically, Leafs get to choose the best new player. I say theoretically because there’s no guarantee their pick will actually turn out best.

Many fans actually wanted the Leafs to lose their final games so they could get this pick.

To me this is the same kind of ass backwards philosophy that runs through much of Canada: Keep the dollar low so we can attract foreign business and, especially, customers for exports like good ol’ Texas Tea (Alberta blend). Meanwhile, tax more so we can (supposedly) get better services.

It’s a loser’s game… in sports and life. Far better, I think, to always do your best rather than skulk around in the mud.