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De retour de l’Atlantique

wp-1468929378151.jpgwp-1468929386485.jpgMon voyage à Halifax tire à sa fin et je dois admettre que j’ai relativement apprécie mon séjour, en considérant que les accrocs ont été relativement mineurs en vertu de mes craintes suite au voyage de l’an passé à Vancouver (anecdote intéressante, ma mère a même mentionné qu’elle était non seulement intéressée à répéter l’expérience l’an prochain mais, elle a même parlée d’un retour possible à Vancouver!!!).

Pour ma part, j’ai beaucoup apprécié mon séjour dans ce joyau des Maritimes et même si les circonstances ont fait en sorte que j’ai limité mes activités (sciemment ou non), je n’ai que très peu de regret et je n’hésiterai pas à revenir ici dans le futur.

 

wp-1468929390986.jpgPour ma seconde visite dans les débits de boisson de la Citadelle, j’ai décidé de me pointer au Lion & Bright, un café/bar à vin/cocktails. Encore une fois, je me suis retrouvé dans un endroit qui aurait très bien pu se retrouver dans la Cité avec une clientèle hétéroclite, allant de jeunes professionnels branchés (ou pas) à des vieux habitués. Mais l’accueil aux nouveaux visages reste enthousiaste surtout quand j’ai commencé à parler au barman que je venais de Montréal.

 

wp-1468929379174.jpgJe ne sais pas s’il y a un lien, mais comme je que j’avais remarqué au Field Guide,  la carte des cocktails est relativement courte, bien que l’on invite les gens à ne pas hésiter à commander quelque chose qui n’est pas sur le menu (ce qui est toujours intéressé pour moi). Par contre, le Lion & Bright possède un grand nombre de bières en fût en rotation, la plupart venant des Maritimes et touchant presque tous les registres. J’étais d’ailleurs intéressé à essayer une bière aux parfums de fraise et rhubarbe, mais j’en est été dissuadé quand j’ai entendu les 2 barmen en discuter en indiquant qu’elle goûtait comme de la Budweiser – qui de mémoire ne contient aucun de ces 2 fruits…

wp-1468929390574.jpgEn lieu et place, j’ai dégusté à la place un bon cidre houblonné de la brasserie Bulwark, avec juste assez d’astringent pour l’apprécier (je reste quand même un grand fan de la Strongbow). Du côté des cocktails, j’ai essayé un Fosco, une variation du Negroni (d’ailleurs le nom du cocktail vient de Fosco Scarselli qui a inventé le Negroni). Le mélange de Gin, Vermouth, Amara, Amers à l’Orage et de Zeste d’Orange est un heureux mariage pour votre humble serviteur du Negroni et de l’Amaro, 2 produits que j’ai appris à apprécier depuis que je m’intéresse plus assidûment à la mixologie. Pour terminer, j’ai décidé de prendre un cocktail qui était sur l’ardoise. Quand je pense au Daiquiri aux Fraises, j’ai malheureusement l’image d’un cocktail au mixeur qui a tout le goût d’un mélange de jus en poudre – C’est pour cela que je commande presque uniquement mes Daiquiri et mes Margarita sur glace. Mais quand j’ai vu un casseau de fraises fraîches traînant sur le comptoir, je n’ai pas hésité une seconde à commande ce cocktail (et aussi peut-être pour compenser l’occasion manquée précédemment de commander quelque chose aux fraises…)  Je reste (et resterai) fidèle au Papa Doble (ou Hemingsway’s Daiquiri), mais il est difficile de ne pas se délecter d’un breuvage aussi rafraîchissant où les fruits frais ne font que ressortir en bouche. D’ailleurs, je me suis acheté des fraises de l’Île d’Orléans à mon retour pour pouvoir reproduire à mon tour cet élixir.

Bien que d’un point de vue de collecte de données, la récolte a été plutôt faible (d’ailleurs, par une série de petits pépins, j’ai laissé tombé ma collecte de données à l’aéroport et mon dernier “souvenir” de la ville d’Halifax est les images d’un émission sur une chaîne marocaine présentement en débrouillage sur le réseau de la BigMediaCo où on voit quelqu’un se dandiner sur Gangnam Style), je vais sûrement m’inspirer officieusement de mon séjour.

star-trek-themed-beerParlant de l’aéroport, j’ai peut-être été infructueux en ce qui à trait aux données, mais je pense avoir trouvé quelque chose d’intéressant pour mon ami, le Raven. Comme la fête de celui-ci approche à grand pas, j’avais prévu lui acheter un cadeau (surtout que celui a eu le “culot” de m’en remettre un cet année, LOL). Idéalement, j’aurais aimé mettre la main sur une liqueur de canneberges, mais sans succès. Imaginer ma surprise de tomber sur une boutique à l’aéroport qui se spécialise dans les produits alcoolisés artisanaux qui ne sont pas nécessairement disponibles ailleurs que chez les producteurs. Imaginez ma surprise quand je suis tombé sur une bière brassée par Garrison à l’effigie des Klingons. La Warnog est la version Néo-Écossaise de la boisson favorites des Klingons (qui est supposément assez proche d’une Dunkelweizen) et est produite avec le sceau des gens de Star Trek. Bien que je doute que mon ami va apprécier le goût légèrement épicé de cette bière de froment, je suis certain qu’il va apprécier quand même cette pièce de collection.!!!

X_Movie_PosterBien que je sois de retour que depuis quelque jours et que je suis encore en vacances pour une semaine, je ne peux me reposer car Fantasia est là!!! Bien que j’ai manqué les premiers jours (je regrette de ne pas avoir vu le documentaire d’Adam Nimoy sur son père “For The Love Of Spock”), je suis fin prêt à voir ma dizaine de films trié sur le volet.

Mon premier est un plaisir coupable car c’est Ultrman X The Movie, le retour au grand écran de l’autre franchise de science-fiction quinquénaire, qui s’est (un peu) adapté au goût du jour. Bon l’histoire tient sur une napkin (un Indiana Jones de bas étage trouve un sceau qui libère un kaiju et Ultraman (devenu des 1 et 0 après s’être sacrifié en se jetant avec son ennemi dans le soleil) revient parmi nous. Mais on ne voit ce genre de film pour en apprécié les dialogues, les effets spéciaux ou son impact transcendant sur le cinéma. On se laisse imprégner de l’attitude bon enfant tout en espérant que les gens travaillant sur le retour au grand écran des Power Rangers ont pris quelque note. Bien que je lui donne seulement 3 ramens sur 5, l’aspect divertissement à lui seule en vaut bien 2 de plus.

Jace's ArchivistToday’s MtG Tarot is JACE’S ARCHIVIST

Feels like: Hungry

Playing on CJFL: Don’t Let Me Down – The Chainsmokers

 

 

Et pour terminer quelques cliches pêle-mêle d’Halifax

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Et quelques tableaux à l’hôtel

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Posted by on July 18, 2016, 09:00, EDT in Vox_fr

 

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Hill-O, Halifax!

BombshellI first visited Halifax in the summer of 1984 during a cross-Atlantic camping trip with my father that took me across New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton. I have little memories of this trip, only snippets (like my father hooking with 2 guys from Newfoundland and smoking pot, losing a boot in the quicksand hiding under the grass in Charlottetown and finding a beat-up Insecticon in a New Brunswick rest stop – as close to Pokemon Go, I’ll ever get)

 

 

 

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wp-1468929380760.jpgAs for Halifax the only things that stands out was visiting the port and getting my pictures taken with Brazilian sailors on leave and seeing Prince Charles at the Citadel from an otherwise closed-out area, just a couple of feet from where they made the 21-gun salute…(Flash forward 30+ years and one detail I had not noticed at the time was how the city is really built on a very hilly area. I felt that that I was going uphill both ways, no matter where I was headed. (a slight exaggeration). This situation has been a bit of a buzzkill for my mother as this severely limits where she can go, although at this point, I have to admit that had this not been the case, I’m pretty sure my mother would have found something else at fault as her level of tolerance is very low.

wp-1468929388952.jpgwp-1468929381288.jpgHaving said that, I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by our accommodations. I had chose the Hilton’s Homewood Suites as it seemed to provide the best service for its price and it was relatively centrally located near the downtown area (see above). I had never heard of this chain before and I was a bit apprehensive as they seem to promise a lot…

…Boy, did they delivered. Not only the suite was almost perfect (one minor nitpick on the bathroom from my mother’s POV, but hardly Worth mentionning) with spacious rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, with stoves, fridge and dishwasher, but the rest of the accomnodations were also top notch. A breakfast buffet in the morning with eggs (rotating each day from scrambled to omelets with spinach and peppers), one side of meat (bacon, ham, sausage and even peabody bacon), fruit salad, yogurt, cereals, pastries, orange AND Cranberry juice and a coffee station available all day.

The website also mentionned a “Complmentary Evening Social” where I expected a couple of bites but instead, it turned out to be just a touch below their morning offerings. Each evening (from Monday to Thursday) had a different theme ranging from Happy Hour (a selection of your typical bar snacks) to Poutine, a Salad Bar or Chicken Tenders. While, we did eat out a couple of nights, we didn’t have too…

wp-1468929387052.jpgFor my first visit on the Halifax bar scene, I went to the Field Guide HFX,  the establishment that won last year’s Best Cocktail Bar in Halifax as voted in by readers of The Coast, a local weekly… I admit I was pleasantly surprised in stepping in a nice little bistro atmosphere  and although I did not try the menu, just looking at the other patrons’ plates of gnocchi and snow crab or pork belly and carrots was mouth-watering.

 

wp-1468929377312.jpgwp-1468929382434.jpgInstead, I decided to try out their cocktails, trying first from their Summer menu, the Clockwork Robot, mostly because of the name but also because the mix of Bourbon, Dry Vermouth, Cynar and Grand Marnier reminded me a lot of a drink I tried back in La Cité, the Last Mechanical Art. It was the perfect drink to sip in as I took a look at my surroundings.

I ended with an Imperial Buck, a refreshing twist on a Dark & Stormy where Dark Rum, Ginger Beer and Lime is mixed in with Rye and Pineapple. All that was missing was a Tiki glass! Of course, it seems to be cheating to start with what is considered the best in the land, but since my options are limited… Nevertheless, this bodes well…

Life&Style_160718From a data gathering standpoint, my expectations were set very low. I had already determined that I would use Chapters as my main RPG source but imagine my surprise to see that there was a store just a little bit closer that I could have used…

The Monster Comic Lodge is in a non-descript building and only the neon symbols of Batman and Green Lantern gives out any indication on what it is. Inside, I found that it was your typical Comics Book shop that evolved into providing lots of other products from hard-to-find anim/ figures or Transformers to RPGs. It s too bad that I didn t come across this place before but I m keeping note of instead if I return. Instead, I decided to use a mundane source and visited the local Lawtons drugstore, which is one of the largest chain in Atlantic Canada.

It feels weird to use gossip mags as a source while on vacation, but I admit that coming across yet another shocking development about the Duggars makes me wonder whether, I could turn them into something straight out of G R R Martin, especially with Halifax having the perfect feel for a city of intrigue. Who knows, maybe I’ll add in dragons just for fun…

 

wp-1468929385036.jpgwp-1468929377318.jpgIn closing, here s a bit of Illuminated content that I came across while taking a walk around the hotel.

Coming across the Propeller Brewery (which is conveniently located just in front of a Salvation Army centre – or is it the other way around) I noticed a Freemason symbol just above one of the entrance, hmm, ponder, ponder…

 

Library of LengToday’s MtG Tarot is LIBRARY OF LENG Hmm, i’m getting an interesting mental picture of what alt-Halifax will look like…

Feels like: Good

Playing on CJFL: Domino Dancing – Pet Shop Boys

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2016, 07:00, EDT in Vox_en

 

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Le Quartier Des Infâmes

Cela fait bientôt une demie-heure que j’attends en ligne à la Porte Céleste, le nom grandiloquent que les autorités locales ont donné au seul point d’accèes pour le quartier des réfugiés.

Sans surprise, je suis la seule personne dans la file qui n’y réside pas. Aprèes tout, qui voudrait pénétrer de son propre chef dans un quartier miteux et pauvre où seuls des citoyens de seconde zone s’y trouvent?

D’ailleurs, les gardes me regardent avec un drôle d’air me toisant d’un air moqueur que je dois être un habitué de la “cuisine locale” (bel euphémisme pour les différentes activités illicites qui s’y déroulent) et m’indiquent que ma sortie du quartier n’est pas nécessairement garanties.

Si seulement ces idiots connaissaient la véritable raison de ma venue ici…

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2016, 20:00, EDT in Vox_fr

 

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Les ripoux

NB Non, je ne parle pas ici de la situation aux États-Unis, où 2 hommes noirs ont été abattus par la police, Alton Sterling à Baton Rouge en Louisiane et Philando Castile dans la banlieue de St-Paul, Minnesota.  Ce qui est le plus édifiant dans le cas de Castile est que la petite amie de celui-ci qui était dans la voiture avec sa fille de 4 ans a diffusé un vidéo sur sa page Facebook qui montre sa détresse sur une attaque insensée et totalement injustifiée.

Malgré tout, ceci ne justifie en rien l’attaque par un (ou des) tireurs embusqués qui ont pris pour cible des policiers à Dallas qui encadraient une manifestation qui protestaient contre le traitement des policiers envers les minorités. Il serait tentant d’expliquer cette attaque comme l’œuvre du mouvement “Black Lives Matter“, mais c’est un raccourci intellectuel dangereux.

On peut dénoncer le traitement des minorités sans nécessairement être contre le Police, comme on peut vouloir vivre dans un état de droit sans nécessairement justifier que des citoyens de cet état peuvent être traitées différemment selon leur race, religion ou identité sexuelle…

Non, Je parle plutôit de ces quatre policiers du SPVM épinglés. C’est peut-être sans surprise que les 2 enquêteurs qui ont été identifiés (Faycal Djelidi et David Chartrand) travaillent dans unes escouade qui s’occupaient de moralité, alcool et stupéfiants, un endroit où les tentations sont fortes et constantes…

Ce qui est le plus bizarre dans cette histoire est que, le tout est sorti au grand jour parce qu’un policier de la Gendarmerie Royale avait demandé à Djelidi de justifier sa présence à une certaine adresse qui était sous surveillance par la Gendarmerie et que Djelidi aurait demandé à Chartrand de le couvrir. Ajouter à cela une histoire d’informateur factice et vous avez un directeur du SPVM qui ne peut qu’être exaspéré d’avoir de ces troupes qui décident de passer du côté obscur…

Dragon MageToday’s MtG Tarot is DRAGON MAGE

Feels like: Blah

Playing on CJFL: On Your Time – Black Honey

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2016, 06:56, EDT in Vox_fr

 

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Status Quo is the new Black

Given that the Metro was feeling a bit wonky this morning, here’s a rare edition of “Blogging from home during the week” A couple of work-related news.

The ongoing drama with regards to the telecommute “project” has reached a détente of sorts as we were met jointly by the Union reps and our boss to tell us that, due to “some” confusion (sic) on what the project entailed, they have decided to temporarily separate the obligation that was implied by our boss that people on telecommute had to start early to work on the implementation until they can hammer a new version of the letter of intent where hopefully the whole team will be consulted for input. This is basically the interpretation that I had come to naively expected that it was supposed to do…

As for my future assignments, I’m in a holding pattern for now, the prospects of me working on the website reboot is pendant on whether it’s going forward or not. At the urging of my boss, I e-mailed the people in charge of the project to see if my services were required. All I got was radio silence. Hopefully, this will be clarified by the time I get back…

X CorpsGiven that I don’t plan on going out before leaving, I decided to make one quick stop at the Jack of Hearts.

I came across a French translation of the X Corps First Contact RPG, a hodgepodge setting that can be used for different type of campaigns from full-blown “Independence Day” through “V” to low-key “X-Files” type of adventures. One thing of note is that the default campaign setting starts as the Chandra (the aliens) lands on Earth and they provide a handy timeline. For example, here’s the July 11 entry (which is the date I’m leaving) Several communication satellites show interference and intrusions of unknown origin,causing chaos in terrestrial communications, complicating the return to normal. Well, nothing to worry about, besides the actual invasion is not due until mid-August… LOL

 

Cranial PlatingToday’s MtG Tarot is CRANIAL PLATING Oh, that really brings the theme together, Bravo! Illuminated Fates!

Feels like: Bouncy

Playing on CJFL: Can’t Stop The Feeling! – Justin Timberlake

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2016, 17:00, EDT in Vox_en

 

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Pyongyang Vice

The past week has been one for the ages, One that started tiptoeing in a crime scene to end sipping Mojitos in a Cuban restaurant.

First, let me tell you about my Sunday morning routine. I will usually wake up at around 7AM, take a quick shower and head out for breakfast at a nearby greasy spoon then groceries. I’m usually done by Noon and then it’s on to other stuff…

Last week, started a bit different. As the past few nights were hot and humid, sleep was hard to come by, so I woke a bit earlier  6AM than usually and taking a leisurely pace, got out of my apartment at around 7AM. As I got out the lift and step into the lobby, imagine my surprise to see a trail of fresh blood, leading from the other elevator to outside.

As I gingerly step around it and got out, I saw a guy holding his side as his t-shirt was already soaked with blood with 2 other girls. To be honest, I don’t think they noticed me as the guy was kind of freaking out because of his injury, and they looked a bit under the influence.While the trio argued vociferously between themselves with the guy stating that yes, he was in pain (well, duh!), I exited stage right and when I got to the terminal, making sure no one was hanging around, I called 911 to give an anonymous tip about a guy bleeding out near the terminal …and then I went to get breakfast.

It might sound a bit callous but at the time, I just thought that it was just a couple of people high to their eyeballs and not quite aware of their surroundings. Still, I had a nagging doubt and chose not to get my groceries. Which turned out to be an astute decision as, in less than an hour, the building was surrounded by 3 or 4 patrol cars, a couple of ambulances and a mobile command post. Needless to say, there was no way to get in.

I decided to take the Metro and head to La Cité for a couple of hours. As the story began to come out in the media, I started receiving calls from friends & family wanting to make sure I was not one of the victim. After a couple of hours, I came back to check a little over Noon and saw no change, I decided to head to the park and soak some rays. When I returned at around 4, they started allowing people to get in through the garage, where I chanced upon the super who told me that he was still waiting for the detectives so they could clear access (they finally left during the night as they were still there when I went to sleep only to be gone when I woke at 5).

It’s only a few days later that I got a clearer picture as to what actually happened. It seems that there was another guy that was even more seriously injured along with a girl (not sure whether it was one of the 2 I saw) and that they were a lot of electronics in their apartment.

To tell you the truth, I was more annoyed than anything about the whole ordeal, the only tangible worry I had was how this would translate on the data gathering front (thankfully, I did not have to test that particular situation). In the end, I just amended the rules to treat this as an Act of God (like the Ice Storm a few years back that forced me to stay away from Home for a couple of days).

Speaking of data gathering, I did take some time this week to plan my next few weeks on that front, what with Halifax coming soon and BigMediaCo’s workload probably increasing on my return. A couple of intriguing trends came up in regards with that trip. First, I don’t plan on doing my next session while over there since I’ll only be there for a week and I already planned out until the end of August.

On the data front,  I’ll only make one visit while over there, so unless I visit the library before leaving, I’ll probably stick to mundane sources, not that there’s anything wrong with that… On a similar vein, I’m holding on to some of the mundane stuff I picked in New York adding some new context to it. And I’m trimming some of the items I’ve taken from Warhammer as I don’t feel it fits anymore.

And I’m still running ahead of pace, which is a welcome change from previous years. The Stars are aligning…

Kiki-Jiki Mirror BreakerToday’s MtG Tarot is KIKI-JIKI, MIRROR BREAKER Intriguing pick, which might relate to having to have a new “frame of mind” perhaps?

Feels like: Sleepy

Playing on CJFL: Light It Up – Major Lazer & Nyla & Fuse ODG

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2016, 15:00, EDT in Vox_en

 

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Robbing Peter to feed Paul

Sometimes in Life, the best you can hope for is a Zero-sum game…

On the one hand, you have the provincial government running a chain saw and cutting limbs left and right in order to reach the artificial achievement that is a “balanced” budget, on the other you have other instances trying to pick up the slack and patch things through.

The latest to date is a 25 millions over 5 years program set up by La Cité in order schools in underprivileged areas in order to set up after school activities, set up Breakfast Clubs and tutelage for school work.

While I admire the initiative from Mayor Coderre, it’s just too bad that it’s basically just a patch to compensate the cutbacks made by the Couillard government.

On the other, it seems that the odds of me setting up shop away from my current working grounds after Halifax has diminished a bit. It seems the (not so)new and (barely) web site project that I was to be loaned to as yet to be started, making it already 3 months late for what was already a tentative September launch date. Had a meeting yesterday with my boss and the team working on the project, in order to see what was the implication that was required from yours truly.

Let’s just say that aside from coming in and try to build it from the ground up, there’s very little that I could do. Not that I don’t have the expertise, but I don’t think that my bosses would be too keen to send me over there without any clear mandate.

As it stands, the only thing definite would be that I would start full-time in September on the other project I was assigned to and maybe in mid-August, I would lend a hand to the website project if the timetable still stands as my bosses don’t want to send someone else (considering that we are “losing” 2 other people in September for yet another project…). In a way, I’m disappointed but I think it’s for the best, as I’m not that interested into going into a project that as all the chances of flaming out and get my good name tarnished along the way by having it linked to such a potential stinker.

Tower of CalamitiesToday’s MtG Tarot is TOWER OF CALAMITIES aka the Buena Ventura office

Feels like: Blank

Playing on CJFL: Like I Would – Zayn

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2016, 07:11, EDT in Vox_en

 

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