William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

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17. cold rain coming in


Good news for me: I have wheels again. I got the call this afternoon and went down to pick up the car, with a new blower switch and a half-hour's labour put in. Could have been worse. The wait was a bit on the long side, but it's the only game in town and they'd suddenly gotten busy with locals that had more serious problems.

I also figured out how to charge my phone. The regular cord's presumably on its way, but when I got in Mom's truck for her to take me down to the garage, I saw the USB ports on her portable-charger thingy and I realized that I had a USB cable for my phone with me, tucked away in my laptop back, not used in years. I got it for transferring photos, messages and contacts via BitPim but it's really hard to set up with this old LG phone and I haven't had it working in years. But I could probably try it on this newer computer, having at least a bit of a clean slate. Probably little hope of finding Windows NT 6.0+ drivers, but who knows? I'd love to rescue my old messages because my box is almost full (it can only hold 50) and I have to selectively delete old ones.

Yesterday I joined Alex and his friends in bringing in Robert's wood. They fed and beered us well and it was a pretty good time although you get a bit sore here and there. What's more, in my dreaming state last night I kept trying to pick up logs and my arms would give out. (Of course they would, because you're paralysed when you're dreaming.) Anyway, here are the ligneous statistics in numerical order (done this way as a memory aid):

It took 5 hours.
The wood cost $170 per cord.
We were 8 people.
There were 9 cords.
Alex's friend Matt put 13 km on the lawn mower,
which we used to haul 68+ cart loads of wood.

That night I went down to Andy's and Mike joined us. It was the first time he'd really spent an evening with us this summer – he's been somewhat busier this year compared to last year. Later on, after he left, we watched a movie on Netflix:

The Ramen Girl: This is a very low-budget film that barely merits the term. I'm surprised it even has a Wikipedia entry. But it's entertaining. The lead actress is competent, but her material is questionable: How loony can you get? There are stretches of the movie where you don't want to watch her, it's so unbelievable. Some of the supporting roles are dead-ends, and you wonder what the point was, though I suppose they're amusing when they're on.

It was really neat, though, to see an American-made movie to kinda sorta show Japan as it really is, with Japanese people actually speaking Japanese. There are also plenty of moments that make you laugh out loud. And lots where you want to cover your eyes. 6

This morning Grampy and I got into a little tiff about my having breakfast in front of the TV (where I like to watch sports talk, in the absence of good live sports). After he was saying things like, “Why aren't you having your breakfast in the kitchen on the table where it belongs?” I said that I wanted to watch this, but since he had the remote now (taken over when I was making my toast) I ended up eating in the kitchen anyway. Then he came by and said, “I didn't mean to drive you out.”

“Well, what did you expect?”

Probably wasn't the most diplomatic thing for me to say. “This is where I leave.” He stormed off in a huff, muttering, “I guess it's not my house anymore. I can't deal with this shit.” Then when he came back it was about when the car would be ready so I could drive to Bedford, maybe having to get the car fixed in Bedford, and his locking up and going to Cape Breton.

So Mom talked to him and got stuff sorted out a bit. For my part, I realize now that demonstrating that I think something somebody says is stupid is not a good idea, even though it is stupid. The stupid thing that's said often isn't said to be true, it's said to try to defuse the situation – he might have been saying, behind “I didn't mean to drive you out,” something like, “Look, I was just expressing my opinion. Times have changed, I guess. You can go eat in there if you want.” and I responded with indignation. So I'm looking like a bit of an ass too, when it all comes down to it. My long-held principle of “giving people the consequences of the things they say”* is self-destructive and it doesn't allow people any grace, and you must allow grace.

It's true: I've got to think twice when people are talking to me. For me, the instinctive part is a truth-testing / fact-checking on what they say. Then after that I have to process the context. Oh man, is this ever gonna be a ton of work. I'm probably going to lose 20 pounds by doing this for a month.

* - I reserve the right to give people, who ask for change for the bus, bus tickets. ;-p

Mom wants to hook up the Internet down here, even just for the times when she is here. I was going to wait and see how the job search, starting semi-seriously tomorrow with a visit to the employment counsellor, would go. But if she wants it for when she's here and given that the other folks want it too, I guess there's no time like the present. Now I'll actually have to learn to confront my social media addiction, though. I'll actually have to work at shutting off YouTube and reading books instead. Anybody can be pious without temptation. And I care about this partly for the stigma reason but also because I believe that my mind is freer and produces far more elegant ideas when it's not jacked into the neural net. Any wonder why I can churn out whole blog posts without Internet, but only Tweets with? “Everything bad is good for you”, but that doesn't mean “Only bad things are good for you” or “Having only bad things is good for you”.

Grampy rightly pointed out that nobody cleaned out the little pullcart we were hauling wood on, and I should have done it because I was the one who brought the tractor and cart back. I'd noticed the leavings were still in it, but it never occurred to me to sweep out the darn thing right then and there. So I took care of that after making the phone call to get Internet set up. (And that won't include wi-fi, will it? So that's an excuse to go to Antigonish to buy a router, and perhaps access point repeaters for use up at the cottage. Okay, it does include wi-fi, so just the range extenders, then.)

Tuesday Night

Went up to the cottage and joined Alex and his friends in watching Casino Royale (2006):

Casino Royale (2006): As 007 movies go, I think this is more character-driven than most. The script and the quips are exquisite. But it's not a movie I wanted to see again – I would never have elected to do so on my own. I'm just that way. I left on the high note. 9.5

FWIW, the 1967 “comedy” gets a 2 from me – it was something I endured rather than enjoyed.

I came back after I figured the movie was over and then we decided to go down to Andy's. We formed a jolly walking party. We got down there and things were fine until we started arguing about what particular belief, if any, pigeonholes someone irrevocably into one and only one particular religion. It was a poor act in the Gong Show of philosophical debate, but without a gong. I don't want to talk about the particulars; it would be a waste of perfectly good brain cells. Where's Socrates when you need him?


This time, I actually made it to the employment counsellor. It was only her outfit's second time in Sherbrooke – they just started testing the waters for it this month. They might eventually want to have a full resource centre but they're doing the second-and-fourth-Wednesdays thing for now to gauge demand.

We went over my resume and I'm in their system. She did, though, suggest I try an office in Antigonish – a lot of Sherbrooke people go there for business, rather than go towards Guysborough. It's the tyranny of the counties – the Antigonish people won't set up a branch office in Sherbrooke, because it's a different county. But it's not that big a deal because people from here go to Antigonish all the time anyway, and I'm sure I'll be up sometime soon.

Going Postal: I pretty much devoured this book. (I'm also reading Alistair MacLeod's very fine Island collection, but it couldn't compete: it's sat unopened all through Going Postal.) It's full of memorable new characters and loaded with ingenuity. There's exciting action in it, too. I very much look forward to reading Making Money, the following Lipwig book. (I also need to finish Hogfather.) The forthcoming Raising Steam got me on to the idea of reading this book / subseries. 9.5


At some point on Tuesday I think we made the calls to get internet set up, but it won't be installed until next Thursday. It was originally going to be installed next Wednesday, but Mom called up to say they called her to tell her there'd be an additional day to wait.

There was a choice between a 1.5 Mbps service and a 7 Mbps service. We got the 7, as it's only about $10 more per month, and 1.5 isn't really fast enough for high-quality steaming video. Cable would kick its butt, but the ancient cable system here doesn't have internet or any digital services.

I'm really starting to notice the shorter days. It's also getting colder. Before going down to Andy's tonight, I closed the windows in my room – there's starting to be a chill at night instead of a persistent heat.
Tags: sherbrooke 2013

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