So Long, Mr. L

The Quad is probably my oldest friend. We started hanging out together back when I was in Grade 7. I just found out that his father died this morning and that the funeral will be in Moncton on Saturday morning. The Quad’s dad was quite remarkable in an unassuming way. Back in the days when many people would hide away their kid if he or she was in a wheelchair, he would include the Quad equally in all family activities, including mundane trips to the grocery store next door to where they lived.

The Quad’s dad wasn’t one to speak much, but he was the salt of the earth. When the Quad’s dad got very ill a few years ago, the Quad would go from Fredericton to Moncton on weekends to be by his father’s bedside. Upon noticing his son entering his hospital room on that first visit, and while he was in a state that could only be described as “near death,” his first question to his son was, “What are you doing here? What?! …Do you need some money?”

No, the Quad was never in the habit of hitting up his father for money. It was just another instance of his dad looking out for his son. “No, Dad,” the Quad replied, “I came to see you!”

I’ll definitely be going to the funeral, except that BeeGoddessM is not well — not deathly ill, thankfully, but possibly ill enough to warrant a trip to the hospital. I’d normally take care of her cats while she’s gone. Mind you, I’ll probably only be gone 24 hours or less, so while not ideal, the cats can probably be left that long provided they’re given plenty of food and water beforehand.

It seems a lot of bad things are happening at once among my friends right now. I just received word tonight that BeeGoddessC‘s employment status has taken a sudden, immediate and negative turn. Mind you, it seems BGC is always on the verge of falling off the precipice, but something always comes along at the last minute to pull her back. Not easy on the nerves, though…

Is It Such a Good Name? And Price?

I got into my line of work slowly in 1997. I still remember the late-summer days when I grabbed an HTML tutorial; I immediately knew that, given my temperament, I would end up coding pages “commando” style, not with some WYSIWYG editor. When I found out that my ISP at the time provided space for a personal website, I figured it all out: FTP, HTML tags, and so on.

Least of my concerns at the time was the ugly URL for my site — something like “www.isprovider.com/~babylon”. However, by the following summer, I realized that I was definitely going to try to make a living from creating and managing websites; therefore, I had to get my own domain name. Of course, in 1998, the first top-level domain (TLD) that came to mind was .COM. Besides, then, it was difficult to qualify for a .CA domain name which, at any rate, was perceived as a bad spinoff of .COM and hadn’t earned the respect it enjoys now.

Unfortunately, I waffled. In July/August ’98, I didn’t feel quite ready to get textstyle.com. Worse, I didn’t think anyone would register the name while I waited a bit to give the new information I was gathering on domain names time to sink in. By October, though, having found my first Web host, I was ready to take the plunge …only to find that, on Aug. 20, 1998, someone did scoop up textstyle.com. However, the page you see if you follow the above link has not changed in about 4 years.

In April 2001, I wrote the British owners of the domain name and got this response:

Yes, we do have plans for the textstyle.com web site (and the textstyle email address is used extensively), but other areas of our business are taking precedence at the moment. However, go ahead and make me an offer — if the price is right.

Cheeky bugger, isn’t he?!

As a result, I looked for and found a tool to come up with an estimate for the domain name, and figured I should offer about $1600 (CAN) — $1315 (US) — £700. Today I got to thinking again about that domain name, which expires this coming August, and while I wasn’t able to find the tool I had used in ’01 to come up with an estimate, I did find this for textstyles.com (note the terminal S). Consequently, I wonder if it’s safe to assume that my ’01 estimate is still on target.

Moreover, I’m wondering what I should do at this point. I would love to hear what you think. I avoided getting into such a mess with textstylem.tld, having registered .com, .net, .org and .ca without hesitation. And while I never really cared about having textstyle.org, tonight I decided to register it after all. Now the questions are:

  • How much is textstyle.com really worth to me?
  • What would be a reasonable bid?
  • Should I be coughing up that much money for a domain name?
  • If so, should I start a Help Maurice Get His .COM fundraising drive? 😉

Confession: I’m a Closet TechnoBoi!

First, I already told you that, when I work, I can’t even stand having the radio on. But second, I don’t believe that I ever told you that I really, really, really like — are you sitting down — European Trance Techno!

I know! I know! I’m the last person you’d think would like techno, but I do and always have. Unlike in Montreal, no bar in Halifax plays that stuff; there’s way too much hip-hop in this town, which I find despicable. So I get my fill of techno whenever I go to Montreal, be it at a gay bar or the Presse-Café in the Village on Sainte-Catherine.

I think what I find compelling about techno is that it’s playful, for while it poses as music, it has in fact an ephemerality and shallowness that borders on the absurd. Like hip-hop, techno tunes are forgettable since they’re practically devoid of melody, meaning I won’t wake up in the morning humming a techno tune. But unlike hip-hop, techno is not meant to “tell” you anything. It merely pumps you up, artificially, so that you feel good or even empowered, not depressed as a result of being scolded by some angry (or, at least, angry-sounding) hip-hop “artist.”

Never in a million years did I think I would want to listen to techno at home, mind you. I always associated it to being out and about in The Big City. But last night I had to update my copy of Winamp, which comes with many features that didn’t exist in my antiquated, previous version. One of those features is Internet radio. For 3 hours now, I’ve been working while tuned to a European Trance Techno “station” and, obviously, I’ve been loving it since it’s still on. Granted, if I were doing some heavy-duty programming, I would probably turn the damn thing off.

So right now as I write this blog entry and prepare to go to bed, I’m looking out my window once in a while to stare at the brilliant full moon, all the while in some kind of dreamy trance — dreaming, perhaps, of getting my act together sufficiently to make Montreal my home and Halifax my escape destination…

Transition, Phase II (Updated Mar. 28/05)

I temporarily reactivated the old incarnation of aMMusing so that I can refer to it and fix the broken links in this new version. I know it’s crazy to worry about linkrot for a personal blog, but, given what I do for a living, I don’t think it reflects well on me to have so many bad links. So I’m taking a bit of time here and there — whenever I reach a mental block with what I really should be doing — to write the .htaccess file from hell. This transition shouldn’t affect your reading of the new aMMusing except that you’ll start noticing pictures and links reappearing (and working as they should), while those who stumble on the old version of the blog will be brought to the right spot in the new version, no matter what link they follow over there.

UPDATE, Monday, March 28, 2005: I have set WordPress so that:

  • Before a comment appears:
    1. An administrator must approve the comment (regardless of any matches below)
    2. Comment author must fill out name and e-mail
    3. Comment author must have a previously approved comment

This shouldn’t affect most of you who have already commented in the past at aMMusing, unless you enter a different name, address or URL than before. However, for those of you who haven’t yet commented, please do not let those settings discourage you. I love hearing from new people when they’re legitimate readers, not spambots.

Password-Protected Posts Coming Soon
WordPress offers the possibility of setting a password for each post. I’m thinking this would be a good way for me to start posting stuff that I would normally not post at aMMusing. These posts might:

  • refer to situations I only talk about with some friends, or
  • not be “G” or “PG” rated as has roughly been the case so far.

If or when I decide to write such posts, I’ll set things up so that you can easily obtain the password(s). Of course, the decision to give out the password to any particular individual will be entirely mine. You’ll also have to decide if you want to “go there.” Some things about Maurice you might prefer not to know about… 😉

HIA Best in Americas

It’s flattering, but I find it hard to believe. A survey conducted by Airports Council International and the International Air Transport Association has found that Halifax International Airport is the best in the Americas (for its size, I assume). It is a very functional airport and the renovations it has gone through in recent years have certainly made it attractive, but I would never have guessed that it stands out that much.

Good on Halifax, I guess! 🙂