Tuesday, 30 September 2014

I'm a cryptkeeper (again)

I did it back in 2012, officially, did a countdown to Halloween with fellow bloggers at the invitation of this blog.Well the countdown starts again tomorrow and I have decided to become a crypkeeper again. I say decided, but in fact it is officially, as I do a countdown to Halloween officiously every year, regularly in October when I blogged about the holiday at least once a day (when I can blog) and pretty much every other day in the previous weeks and even months. But anyway, this year I'll be an official cryptkeeper, with the logo and all, which has the face of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, which you can see in, well, that movie. A classic I have seen once. But anyway, watch this space, I will blog more on my favourite holiday.

Gelée de pommettes

Mon père m'a envoyé, à ma demande, cette photo de la gelée de pommettes maison qu'il a faite. Délicieuse sur des toasts pour déjeuner le matin. Les pommettes, c'est pour moi le fruit méconnu de l'automne et celui que j'associe le plus aux récoltes. Et je mets la photo ici juste pour vous donner faim.

Musing on the last day of September

Today was busy and hellish at work, I was busy like I had not been in months. Because it is the end of the month and thus it is as usual busy and because September is a busy month. I was feeling dazed and confused, to a colleague from IT who always wears weird, geeky t-shirts, I asked him: "Is this the second t-shirt you have been wearing today?" He said no, but he looked as confused as me and said: "You know you are the second person today that asked me that question." I did not say what I wanted to say: "It is reassuring that I am not the only one turning mad here." An unsaid great unknown line, if you ask me.

But something else did not escape me: almost everybody, including me, is wearing t-shirts. At this time of year. It has been, or so I have heard on the news, the driest and warmest month of September in recorded history. No wonder I am turning mad: September for me is and should be autumnal, the temperatures should cool down and the clothes I wear should be heavier. Instead, we have been having an almost perpetual Indian summer. And I am not used to it. Too warm, not enough autumnal colours, it has been a very disappointing September. Far more than most of the ones I lived so far here and I usually find them underwhelming. But it is supposed to change soon, according to the weather forecasts. I am looking forward to it. There is one thing, however, that shows autumn is here already: the sun goes down earlier.

Septembre et Vraie Fiction

Une fois que j'aurai cliqué sur "Publier" (enfin "Publish" dans mon interface), j'aurai publié 73 billets ce mois de septembre, alors qu'il se termine. Depuis hier, septembre est déjà le mois où j'ai le plus publié cette année. Morale de cette anecdote: l'automne m'inspire particulièrement.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Bedtime Procrastination (a new Tale of Mere Existence)

I don't watch these little animated gems as often as I used to, but I just saw this recent episode of Tales of Mere Existence. This is very exaggerated and I am not nearly that bad, partially because even I understand that I need to get as much sleep as I can, but I have to admit: I do spend far too much time on YouTube, especially before bedtime. Even tonight, looking for some music to upload here. Instead, I watched this video. So here it is. You know you have been there before. Tell me I am not alone.

Lundi des damnés

C'était (c'est encore pour quelques heures) le dernier lundi du mois de septembre aujourd'hui. J'ai déjà blogué sur le premier samedi de septembre cette année. Le dernier lundi de septembre, c'est un peu le contraire: une fin infernale, en tout cas quand on travaille. Et aujourd'hui c'était en effet infernal au bureau: le rythme était infernal, la quantité de travail et en plus j'ai un rhume qui n'en finit plus de finir. Les fins de mois sont souvent endiablées, septembre est un mois occupé déjà. Alors j'avais l'impression d'être un damné en train de subir son tourment. Et ça risque d'être pire demain. Misère...

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Reading ghost stories in the train

This picture was taken in the steam train between Totnes and Buckfastleigh during my last holidays in Devon. Not the most impressive picture, but I took it because of the unique setting and because I was even then thinking about this post. The steam train journey was one of my favourite moments of all the holiday there. I posted about it here. But I digress... I have uploaded it because this is what I read at the moment in the train. Not this particular book, but ghost/horror stories. In the upcoming weeks leading to Halloween, which is only a bit more than a month away now, I read plenty of horror stories, old and new. And I often read them in the train. While it is not as romantic an experience as reading it in an old steam train or an old train station, it is still an atmospheric setting for such readings. Supernatural literature and railways have developed simultaneously, almost hand in hand, and trains and ghosts sometimes met in fiction, if not, for those who believe in them, in real life. I do not believe in ghosts, but I do think that if I was to write a horror story featuring them, or any supernatural creature really, I would seriously consider using the train and/or a train station as a setting. In any case, as a reading place for horror stories, the train is great.

Mafalda aura 50 ans demain

Je l'ai déjà mentionné, mon frère PJ me l'a rappelé avec cet article dans La Presse, la plus grande petite dame de l'Argentine fêtera ses 50 ans demain. Vous ai-je dit à quel point j'admire Mafalda? Je veux avoir une fille comme elle, c'est bien simple. Alors voilà, lisez des gags de Mafalda demain, pour célébrer.

David's Tea's designs

I love David's Tea, but sometimes I wonder if it is not more for its tea accessories and more particularly the aesthetic of its mugs than the teas themselves. Maybe I am a complete slave of fashion. Take these Perfect Tea Mugs for instance, from their new autumnal collection. I found the picture on their Facebook page. One with migrating geese, one with autumn leaves, the last one with apples. Lovely. And there are other ones too, which I might mention in another post. I already have my autumnal mug from David's Tea. I have actually two perfect tea mugs already. There is no room for more. Yet I would love to own the flock of geese mug. Because the geese are beautiful and they change colours. I mean how cool is that? I look at their designs, and they keep getting better and better. Especially since tea is such an autumnal drink, these designs simply fit the drink so well. I wish I could spoil myself, even though there is no room for more mugs here.

Marcher dans le Parc Lafontaine

Je ne sais pas si j'ai déjà téléchargé cette photo, mais qu'importe. Il faut trop chaud pour une journée d'automne aujourd'hui. Comme d'habitude ces temps-ci, en fait. Ca m'énerve un peu. Ca me fait penser à l'année dernière, lorsque j'étais allé à Montréal et qu'il faisait un temps estival en octobre. Sommes-nous dans un été indien, donc? Enfin bref, je pense beaucoup à l'automne dernier t l'expérience que j'en ai eu sur le Plateau. Je me promènerais bien au Parc Lafontaine. Même en plein été indien, le Parc Lafontaine est toujours agréable à traverser. Je m'en ennuie beaucoup. Il y a bien des parcs ici et de très plaisants, mais ça serait bien une balade à marcher sur les feuilles mortes (tout en évitant la merde de chien) dans un parc dont la verdure commence à roussis avec l'automne qui s'installe.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Heron Valley Organic Apple Juice

Tonight, I am plugging a drink I discovered in Devon: the apple juice from Heron Valley. I have been waiting a long time to promote it, now it is the right time: it is autumn, the season of harvest, apple may be the most autumnal fruit there is. Almost the same time last year, I plugged another brand of organic apple juice. I don't know which one of the two is the best, but what I love about both is the taste of apples, which is pretty much pure, untouched, simply liquefied. It might sound silly, but too often the taste of the fruit changes when it is turned to juice. Not here. It is pne the most refreshing, tasty apple juice I drank.

Les orignaux

Ces orignaux ont été pris grâce à une caméra infrarouge par mon père, il y a un an. C'est la saison des amours, et donc la saison de la chasse. L'automne, c'est aussi ça. J'ai donc décidé de télécharger une photo des orignaux, juste parce que c'est un aspect de l'automne que je n'avais pas encore mentionné cette année.

The Detective Tales cover for September

The month is almost over, and I had not yet uploaded a cover from Detective Tales. It is time to follow the tradition again. So here it is. The cover from September 1937. I am wondering about its story, because there is something ambiguous about it, or one of its character. Most of them are easy to identify: the blonde heroin, the square jawed hero at the center. In periphery, two thugs: one holding a butcher's knife, in butcher's clothes looking every bit the brute he is, guarding the exit the heroes are trying to get through, and one further away, being gunned by the hero. But it is the figure that the blonde is holding that makes me wonder. The tall, thin, ageing man with white hair. He has been hit on the head and is unconscious. But was he kidnapped by the thugs and the heroes are rescuing him, or is he a villain that the heroes are kidnapping? The tuxedo is often the suit of choice for criminal masterminds in pulp fiction, always more elegant than their minions. Yet he could be an innocent victim. So tell me what you think.

À propos du Salon du Livre du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean

Mon frère PJ m'a refilé cet article du Devoir sur le Salon du Livre du Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean. Il bat son plein en ce moment, jusqu'à demain inclusivement. Je plogue encore une fois: allez-y. Mes compliments au Devoir pour faire découvrir à tout le Québec un Salon du Livre rérional et montrer sa pertinence et son mérite. Deux anecdotes afin de finir ce billet: 1)Hervé Bouchard y est. C'est l'un de mes anciens profs de cégep. On avait vraiment (et il y a encore) une équipe d'enseignants de qualité en Lettres au Cégep de Chicoutimi. 2)J'ai gagné le prix du Lecteur de l'année il y a presque vingt ans, ce qui me donne un laisser-passer gratuit pour le Salon. J'apprends dans l'article que le prix d'entrée est de... 2$. Il n'y a pas de petites économies. Cela dit, à ce prix-là, allez-y, c'est comme qui dirait donné.

Friday, 26 September 2014


This picture was taken at the Natural History Museum. It shows rooks, a member of the corvids family. Well, stuffed rooks really. I particularly like stuffed animals, I think they have some kind of old-fashioned charm. I thought about this picture this week as I saw a few crows here and there and maybe even some ravens. I used to dislike corvids as a child, but not anymore. Anyway, I do not know much about rooks, but I know that like all corvids they are smart. Anyway, I wanted to upload this picture for a while, so tonight I thought I would do it, for no particular reason.

Quoi ne pas faire en fin de semaine

Parce que c'est vendredi, parce que je veux que l'on se dilate la rate, parce que c'est un clasique instantané, voici Quoi ne pas faire en fin de semaine, chronique de LFDMEÀ7H. Absurde et génial.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Crossing rivers and casting dices

My brother PJ wrote on his Facebook wall, for an unknown reason (to me at least): "Alea iacta est", the immortal line attributed to Julius Caesar. Somebody asked him if he crossed the Gatineau river. Which PJ does every day. And the Ottawa river. So I said: "It is not as classy as crossing the Rubicon and far more mortifying." I still don't know what my brother meant by it, but I think I wrote another great unknown line. Not nearly as great as Caesar's line, but this one is all mine, not merely attributed to me. And it cannot be truly great referring to the Gatineau and Ottawa rivers. But great unknown lines are not meant to be truly great, if not they wouldn't be unknown. Anyway, I find it funny that crossing the river can be something usually very banal, yet it can take such a dramatic importance and has such symbolic ring to it. Moral of the story: I miss Caesar.

Une lager de McAuslan?

J'ai découvert ça sur leur page Facebook, d'où j'ai pris la photo promotionnelle. Alors bon voilà, la Brasserie McAuslan brasse aussi de la lager. Ils l'ont faite pour l'Oktoberfest. Je ne sais pas quoi en penser: ma brasserie préférée, qui brasse mes bières préférées... Et qui maintenant brasse la sorte de bière que j'aime le moins. Oui, oui, je sais, la lager quand c'est pas le truc insipide américain, c'est supposé être très honorable. Mais ça porte quand même le nom de lager, cette étiquette qui est devenue synonyme de ça goûte rien. Bon, c'est McAuslan, alors je boirai, et ce sera sans doute même très bon. Mais de la lager? Enfin bref...

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Paris again

It has been confirmed today: as I am the French speaker of the team, I will go on a conference held by my company in Paris. Again. Not only has it been confirmed, but tickets and booking has already been done. I am not the biggest fan of Paris and this will be a short stay, so no time to truly discover and rediscover the city. On the plus side, I think I found a far better hotel than last time, and the venue will be in a nicer neighborhood. However short my stay, it might actually be enjoyable. In any case, it will be nice to speak French in a French speaking city.

Question existentielle (239)

Cette question fait un peu écho à la 216. J'y pensais depuis mon billet de samedi sur Kanuk. Alors là voilà:

-Est-ce que Kanuk, c'est une marque pour les snobs en général et les habitants du Plateau Mont-Royal en particulier?