Archive for October, 2009

A stable and unobtrusive OS from Microsoft – dare I hope?

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Windows 7 was rolled out a few days ago, and I’ve been hearing some good things about it, such as:

What if a new version of Windows didn’t try to dazzle you? What if, instead, it tried to disappear except when you needed it? Such an operating system would dispense with glitzy effects in favor of low-key, useful new features. Rather than pelting you with alerts, warnings, and requests, it would try to stay out of your face. And if any bundled applications weren’t essential, it would dump ‘em.

It’s not a what-if scenario. Windows 7, set to arrive on new PCs and as a shrinkwrapped upgrade on October 22, has a minimalist feel and attempts to fix an­­noyances old and new. …

(Harry McCracken, PC World)

I’m one of the many PC users who resisted Windows Millenium before upgrading  from Win 98 to Win XP, and have likewise given Win Vista a pass.   If it’s true that Windows 7 stays out of the user’s face (yes I realize I have unused icons on my desktop – let me worry about that) and lets the applications do their thing, and if it’s true that it’s more stable than previous versions, I’m allowing myself to move from cynical to cautiously optimistic.

Wangerinian weather

Monday, October 26th, 2009

It has been many years since I read Walter Wangerin Jr.’s novel The Book of the Dun Cow, and I have forgotten many details of that Christian allegory.  However, something that I do remember  is the dark, bleak mood created by the leaden sky, incessant rain and  soaked earth – a literary device as background to an epic struggle between good and evil.

That novel has came to mind often this month.  This is weather of Wangerinian proportions.

And it looks like it’s not about to end.

weather20091026

I know that in some parts of the world this kind of fall weather would be considered normal, but this is Saskatchewan, for Pete’s sake.  It’s supposed to be dry and sunny, and my farming brother-in-law should have more than half of his harvest completed.

By the way, I realize that Walter Wangerin, Jr. is not a household name, so this may not be something to boast about, but I think that I’m the first to use the adjective Wangerinian, if Google can be trusted.

The Deep Dark Woods

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Hey I really like this Saskatoon-based band.  I like their folk-roots sound, I admire their facial hair, and I respect them for doing a video dressed in their long johns.

More Deep Dark Woods here.

Prime Minister Harper gets by with a little help from his friends

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Since returning from a week in the bush, I’ve been catching up on the news, and was delighted to find this clip of Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  I think he does a fine job of singing and playing piano.

Stephen Harper often comes across as cold and distant, which doesn’t endear him to the voters.  The blue-sweater ads from the last election didn’t do a lot to dispel that image, but I think this clip helps.

However his make-up department should have done something about his corpse-like skin colour at this event.  Were they aiming to attract the Goth demographic?

And speaking of friends, it seems that Harper has more of them recently, according to the latest EKOS opinion poll.

Got the no moose blues

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

You can sing a happy song if you’re glad

sing a protest song if you’re mad

but if you want to sing the blues

then boy you’ve got to learn how to lose …

… seems like I always lose

you’ve got to suffer if you want to sing the blues …

If David Bromberg in that song is correct, after our moose hunt I feel qualified to sing the blues.

This was the most brutal hunt that I’ve ever been on, for a number of reasons, including:

  • We were skunked.  Not only did we not get any moose, but we didn’t see any moose.
  • The weather was lousy.  It rained every day, except for the last day when it snowed.
  • The quad trail into our area was badly rutted and passed through some black spuce bogs, resulting in stuck ATVs.  Luckily the winches on both quads eventually worked, after Marv did some electrical work.
  • The moose must not have entered the rut yet, because the only calling we heard was from the other hunting party down the trail.
  • Because of the rainy weather the moose were not on the move, preferring to stay hunkered down.  Or maybe they just have left the area – though we did see some old sign.
  • And to top it off, Glenn developed kidney stones and Marv drove him out to the Preeceville hospital, from which he was sent to Saskatoon for further treatment.

But enough grumbling.  It was great just being out there.  I’ll be posting some pictures to a gallery (none of moose unfortunately).  Meanwhile here is one of Marv on our return trip yesterday.

Marv quadding back from the moose hunt

Marv quadding back from the moose hunt