Friday, September 28, 2007


Bit of a crazy time last night, due mainly to my stupidity.

Actually, due totally to my stupidity. Remember that I mentioned that I was planning on reinstalling the system software for my computer (see yesterday's post if you don't know what I'm talking about). I came back from sending my SSHRC application in the mail and dropping something off at McGill, and checked a few things and went about reinstalling the OS on my computer.

After all of that was done, I thought I would restore what I had backed up. So I copied my music over from the external hard drive where the data was. I then moved the pictures over. Then I moved my most important stuff over - my documents.

Or, actually I didn't move them over. Because I hadn't backed them up. No backup of my program of work (a.k.a. proposal) for FQRSC applications, no paper for Association for Canadian Studies conference at the end of October, no paper on Feist for possible publication, no recently completed and Ph.D.-earning dissertation.

Now, my dear readers, before yelling at me for being stupid or irresponsible (both of which I felt), I did have a backup somewhere - online, and ... um ... 38 days old.

And I had a paper backup of the most important stuff, that is, the program of work. But that was in the recycle bin. Shredded.

So my wife and I spent a while putting strips of paper back together with scotch tape. It's probably one of the first times that I was happy to have a cheap and ineffective strip shredder rather than a cross-cut shredder. If I was more worried about identity theft and privacy, I would not have been able to reconstruct this stuff from the confetti.

Anyway, as of now, I've found some other older documents that I lost, but I'm not sure if I have everything. I'm disappointed because (as my wife reminded me last night) I should know better. I lost a nice calendar for our trip to Disney that she worked hard trying to put together, and for that I am very sorry.

So I'm working on getting a proper backup system up and running. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know. The new mac OS that comes out next month will have automatic backups as part of the operating system. I WILL be using that.

I thank God - it could have been worse. And, I suppose, I thank God for the prosperity and provision that we have to be able to experience trouble like losing computer files that are products of higher education, instead of trying to find something to eat and safety for ourselves and our family.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The SSHRC application goes in today

So my first postdoctoral application for this year will be mailed out today by Canada Post Expresspost, and should arrive in Ottawa tomorrow. I hope this is the one. As for other exciting events in my life, there are none. I'm rushing to get a bunch of applications out before we leave the country for our little vacation south of the border.

There is a new Douglas Coupland book that I'm looking forward to. I've ordered a "deluxe" version on Amazon - not sure when I'll receive it.

A couple of days ago, I received a second collection of Firefly/Serenity essays called Serenity Found: More Unauthorized Essays from Joss Whedon's Firefly Universe. I have yet to take a serious look at it. I enjoyed the earlier collection (called Finding Serenity) and I suspect I will enjoy this collection as well. There is nothing like a sci-fi western television series (and movie) with asian elements to bring out intelligent analysis and writing. I'm serious.

It's raining today. I can't think of any more mundane things to say.

I mentioned to a friend yesterday that I should post scans of various political autographs that I have (all from the Canadian Liberal Party - as if I'm really overly political!). Maybe I'll do that. It's almost like a gallery of shame in the present context of Canadian politics.

Lots to do today, so I'm off to the post office.

P.S. I might have to reinstall the system software on my iMac. I installed Logic Studio yesterday (the new Apple Pro Audio Suite) and I deleted it because it looks very complicated (in other words, powerful, but I don't have the time to learn the ins and outs now). I might have made a bit of a mess with files in my system.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Guess who I met yesterday?

Yesterday, I was at McGill to pick up a reference letter for my post-doc applications. In one of the green spaces, there was a Young Liberals event with Justin Trudeau. There were a small number of people there, and I thought I would listen in. I then went in and picked up my letter, and returned to the event where even less people were now gathered (I suppose it was drawing to a close). Justin was talking to a few of the people standing around, answering questions and letting girls take his picture (no joke - they were all starry-eyed). Anyway, I'm a sucker for this kind of thing, so I asked for his autograph.

When I told my mother about this chance meeting, her response was, "He's a good looking boy." My further comment to her was that he certainly has the complete package: good looks; obvious intellect; a mastery of the official languages; and a pedigree of being the son of Canada's most prolific prime minister.

I was glad to meet him, and to hear him speak in such an intimate venue - on a lawn with a group of 20 of us or so.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Wanting a new desk

I wonder if the desire for a new desk stems from the fact that I bought a new computer, or that I think a new desk will make me work. It's funny that buying things makes one think that perhaps productivity will ensue. It's partially true, though. A new purchase seems to make the potential of work much more promising. And I think that I approach the computer in a different way than I did before. In one way, the new computer is a real workhorse, a prosumer machine for a person who likes to experiment with video work and would love to learn music production on a computer. I've read in multiple places problems with this computer's screen, and, although I recognize those symptoms in my computer, I don't feel justified in returning the product (unless, of course, the company recalls them). So, will this computer make me work harder? Not sure, but there's certainly a potential for it.

In some very recent discussions with someone very close to me, it came up that there is a possibility (though remote) that I might not be working in September of 2008. If that were to be the case, I suppose that a career change would have to be a distinct possibility. While I need not worry about such things right now, I worry if I will be needing to worry about them in the future.

This internet connection keeps going down on me (wrong choice of words, I know). I will have to correct this, I think. I've been waiting until I purchased a new computer to get a new wireless router, but I was hoping it could wait a bit. I suppose not. Now I have to cycle the power on the thing just to be able to post this message.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

You know you've made it when ...

You know you're in the big leagues when a company like Apple uses your song and video in an iPod commercial, especially when the company is marketing its brand new iPod Nano (see the video above). Feist must be feeling that right about now. She's featured in the new iPod advertisement! If I say so myself, I think the marketing folks at Apple have made a fine choice (not sure about the colours, but I think I thought the same of the old ones, so we'll see).

We're back from a nice time in Hamilton to a new couch, a bit of a rearrangement of working and living areas in our apartment, and a trip to WDW in October. Might as well.