Archive for the ‘Personal’ Tag

Me On Canada 150   Leave a comment

Since I live in Saint-Lazare-de-Vaudreuil, Québec, Harper sort of arm-twisted me — uh, make that “sweet-talked”; I can feel Harper staring at me as I write this, and she’s across most of a continent — into writing about Canada on its sesquicentennial birthday.  I don’t know if I’m really the right person for this; I may live in Québec, but I’m not native Canadian.  (I was born in upstate New York, and then my parents moved here some years ago.)  But I’m the closest thing to a Canadian on hand, so I suppose I’m anointed.  (I was also supposed to publish this on July 1, but Second Life must wait for the RL working schedule.)

And there’s really a lot to be proud of as a citizen of a country as great as Canada is, even if I wasn’t raised on hockey and poutine.  Harper actually said a lot of good things about us last year, when she happened to write a piece in this blog for our 149th birthday.  And she got it mostly right.  But there’s always a few exceptions to quick observations, some missed at the time, some which slip in later.  For instance, our eminent publisher didn’t really catch the ambivalence of many here in Québec toward being part of a country whose original rulers kicked out the king and government that founded us years before — specifically, France.  A separatist referendum back in 1995 was defeated — by only 1.16%.  Stresses exist to this day between Québec and the other provinces, and Québec has never approved the 1982 Constitution.

And then there are the relations with the First Nations peoples, who in the US are called Native Americans or Indians.  There have been few wars of “pacification,” along the line of the Indian Wars of the American 19th century.  Great efforts have been expended in modern days to work with tribal leaders.  But there have been many rocky moments as well, with promises broken by the white man; the British and Canadian governments of the 19th and early 20th centuries did have a history of land dispossession, Indian residential schools and forced assimilation.  A “reoccupation” tent was raised on Parliament Hill by an indigenous group in the days before the Canada Day celebration in Ottawa, as a reminder of these past blots on the Canadian copybook.  In a politically shrewd move, the tent was not ejected, but moved closer to the Centre Block Peace Tower — and the celebration stage.  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited it as a gesture.

And things like this are actually a sign that gives Canadians hope for their country.  In the long run, Canadians have tried to live up to the more noble aspects of their country and culture.  The country itself (more properly, the Dominion of Canada) was confederated in 1867 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, on the principles of “peace, order and good government,” and the full patriation of its Constitution from British control (in 1982) included a Charter of Rights and Freedoms that codifies constitutionally Canadians’ protections — aside from one interesting “notwithstanding” section that can be invoked, but rarely is due to political costs.  Outside of, perhaps, the House of Commons and the provincial legislatures, there’s usually a real attempt to find dialogue and consensus between sides of a question.  And the old chestnut about Canadians being just plain nicer than other peoples has a lot of truth to it.  (Aside from, maybe, Stanley and Grey Cup championship games.)

So yeah, I’m glad to be a Canadian in many ways.  It’s not the perfect place to live; but what country is?  And it strives to be better than many other places are around the world.  Canadians have worked hard for 150 years now to hold their place among the other countries of the world, and we’ve made our contributions, to politics, science, medicine, economics, and entertainment.  We’re gonna keep on working hard, and we should be here in some form or another for a few more decades.  Maybe we can even help keep the rest of the world from destroying itself, if we can export a little “Canadianness” to other places around.  Our children will find that out for us.

Recuperating

Oh, good Lord, what a headache that was! Lots of nice cold towels to help ease the pain; I wet them in the river cutting across my property, and I kick back in the lower gazebo.

If you take any looks at my Flickr stream, you may have recently seen a picture of Doctor Evil, saying “The I. T. Department is ‘working on it.'”  I know the I. T. department I’d like to have working on it right now….  The only thing I can decide, based on recent evidence, my repairman and my own limited experience with computer hardware, is that the last Big Update to Windows 10 decided it didn’t like my video card.  Or that it was incompatible driving a Windows 8 video card — which was fine with Windows 10 until a week after said Big Update hit.

Any road, I’ve been down for several days.  And the only way to bring it back up, since the crash seemed to kill the boot sequence for the computer, was to unload every single program.  Oh, and I also, of course, don’t have the video card anymore — which was running on an HDMI cable to the monitor.

And I no longer had a standard VGA cable.  We didn’t discover that until I’d gotten the computer home — 35 miles from any stores that carry supplies.  Of course, once I got a cable, I had to start reinstalling everything; and Second Life clients, in this case, rank somewhat low on the priority scale.  I’m still getting stuff reinstalled, and I’d have needed to do without Office until my next machine, since I no longer have the serial number to activate it, except that my daughter (a lovely young lady who alternately delights and infuriates me with being almost exactly like my sister-in-law) is willing to let me borrow a license slot to her university-installed Office 365.  I could get by with OpenOffice, except for some serious differences between Word and OpenOffice Writer .docx files.

But I’ve finally had a chance to experiment, and it looks like I can run with high graphics and shadows without that video-card memory, at least for a limited time.  It’s probably time for a new tower, though, and I’ll tackle that within a year.  For now, until I can get rid of other priorities, this seems sufficient unto the cause.

Posted May 11, 2017 by Harper Ganesvoort in Personal

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Never Hunt Alone!

we-win

MLS soccer season is on us again, and the Lions opened at home once more — three years in a row!  You can’t beat that luck.

Well, actually, we did — WE WON!!!  No nerve-straining, pull-it-out-at-the-last-minute draw this year; it’s a clear win, and a full three points on the standings — and we did it before a sold-out house once more, in a brand-new, LOUD stadium all our own.  I only wish I could have attended this year, but schedules didn’t work out in my favor this time.  I’ll have to hope that I can get down to Orlando sometime during the season, so I can scream my lungs out for another year.  And watch for when Orlando City drives up the Interstate to Atlanta to play United there.

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Posted March 6, 2017 by Harper Ganesvoort in Personal, Sports

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A Fast Correction — YS & YS Skin

I want to make a fast correction before I go in to work this morning.  In the OFPC Update 3 article, I said that I wasn’t happy with the YS & YS skin I had on in there, because of the shine on my face.  I just couldn’t seem to dim down the gleam anything I did.  Well, since then, I’ve tried the Akeruka stock skins as well, and I still seem to be awful shiny under high-quality lighting setups with WindLight and shadows engaged.  It may be the shadows and materials are what’s creating the situation.  The strange thing is that Jem was using the same settings, and her face didn’t shine like that.  We’ll need to experiment some — and I can foresee a lot of lindens going to skin people, or at least a lot of questions.  In any case, I want this on the record, along with an apology to YS & YS for my mistake.  I’ll be leaving this piece up for about two weeks, and I’ll go correct the referencing article right now.

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Posted February 28, 2017 by Harper Ganesvoort in Personal, Meta, Retractions

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Amazing Photo Shares

If you’ve been to my Flickr stream, you’ll see that I put up most of my photos under Creative Commons sharing allowances.  As long as you attribute who took the photo, I’m usually cool with the use.  Well, Cajsa Lilliehook added a plurk tonight, talking about some of the…interesting…uses her own photos have been put to.  Someone apparently illustrated an article on food spots in Palos Verdes, Calif. with a photo of a kale burrito she took one time.

That made me wonder where my own photos have been to, so I Googled “photo by Harper Ganesvoort”, and this is what I’ve found:

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A Bitch of a Year

Just the latest —

2016

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Posted December 28, 2016 by Harper Ganesvoort in Personal, Real Life

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9 Down and 1 to Go

9th-anniversary

Nine years.

That’s not a record, and it probably never will be.  Hamlet Au’s been writing New World Notes for years longer, I’m sure.  But it’s still something of an achievement, and definitely one for me.  My old RL poliblog, which I wrote during the second GWB administration, went only four years, and I ended it with Barack Obama’s inauguration, and I was terribly sputtery by the end — because I’d started writing this blog.  This one has been written continuously, if irregularly, since before Obama was elected the first time!

WordPress nicely breaks down the total number of articles to indicate how many I wrote — by far the lion’s share, of course, since I lured (or is that lulled?) Jem and Conan into writing with me only a year or so ago.  But in nine years, I’ve done 1,266 pieces, counting this one.  That works out to a little under 12 articles a month, or just under three articles a week.  The quality I leave to your judgment, as always; but I will claim determination at generating all those words, if nothing else.  How many words?  Well, if you assume 500 words to an average article, that would be over 600 thousand words in nine years!  It won’t be that many, I’m sure; many have been shorter, especially the pure poetry or lyrics pieces.

In the end, it’s all up to you, my readers, how well I’ve done in all that time.  As I ever wish, I hope I’ve entertained you, informed you where it was a news piece, given you something to think about once in a while, and introduced you to good art, fashion and photography across all of that time.  Many of you have been generous with your praise, for which I thank you most gratefully.  I hope I continue to justify your following me.

I’m looking forward to next November 20, I promise you.  When that one comes along, look for a new header to celebrate our tenth anniversary!  In the meantime, I haven’t given up on the plans I’ve made for a radical change or two, and you should watch following Christmas for our yearly tradition, as Oscar voting season kicks off and the Oscar Fashion Photo Contest opens up.  (That will be the eighth edition when that opens, and there’s another thing that just may be a record; has any other photo contest run so continuously in Second Life, or given away so much money?  L$166,500 over seven years, and there should be at least another L$40,000 come next February.  Time to start thinking about finding a good gown….)

As always, especially in these parlous RL times, peace be with you, and I hope you’ll stay with me for another year.

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