Anthony Greene

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Written by anthonygreene

October 13, 2010 at 1:12 am

Posted in Uncategorized

MSN Spaces – I am outta here.

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I looked on my Msn space today to notice the last note I’ve written was to say that I am "Checking out Facebook".  Well, in the time since I wrote that note I’ve gone from a timid adopter, to a rabid, proselytizing fan.

Facebook is the best thing since Google and Wikipedia.  If Facebook was a movie, it would be Fight Club.  It would be Edward Norton beating the tar out of Jared Leto, putting a bullet in the head of every panda that wouldn’t screw to save its species.  It would breathe smoke.  I digress. The thought of Facebook and Fight Club together is just too much for me to to handle.

There is a lot about Msn Spaces that I’m really going to miss, like the Byzantine security settings which block me and my friends from ever seeing each other’s content, even when we do try to magically line up the right tumblers of Microsoft’s security scheme.  My heart aches at never again seeing the ubiquitous "This Msn space is currently unavailable.  Please try again later".  Most of all, I’ll miss the painfully obvious fact that nobody else is really using this site.  Facebook will just need to find a way to cushion the blow.  I’m sure it will.

I used to think that Msn Spaces’ Windows Live Messenger integration (the shiny little twinkle next do your friend’s name on your contact list whenever they update their space) was a killer application, which may have carried it to some levels of success.  Alas, I can’t help but get the feeling that whomever at Microsoft is funding the Msn Space initiative is just not 100% committed to the product, and nay is not actually even using it themselves.  Msn Spaces has the distinctive feel (much like a Yahoo Portal page of old) of a product which the developers themselves choose not to use.

So, for those few not already in the know, Msn Spaces is officially dead to me.  If you ever want to socially network with me, you’ll just have to sign yourself up on Facebook.  (Unless, you choose to use one of those horribly out-of-date applications, like email, or instant messaging, or God-forbid the telephone — how very last-millenium of you.)

Now I only need a way to painlessly import posts from my two Msn Spaces (anthonygreene.spaces.live.com and demiurgency.spaces.live.com), and then I can do some housecleaning and delete them.  I’m currently importing them by aggregating the two sites through a free aggregator (http://feedblendr.com) and then importing that RSS feed into my Facebook notes.  I would feel much better, though, just having all that information natively on Facebook, so if anyone has any good ideas how do to that, I’d appreciated the tip.

Written by anthonygreene

June 12, 2007 at 12:12 pm

Checking out Facebook

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A friend sent me an invite today to check out Facebook.  I have not had much luck getting onboard with social networking phenomenon, which is plainly evident by this anemic Msn Space.  So far, though, I am impressed with the features and ease of use of Facebook, and I hope to keep using it.
 
I’m really just writing this post right now to check out a feature on Facebook to import a blog, via RSS feed.  I’m curious to see how quickly an updated Msn Space Blog will get updated onto my Facebook.  It’s just the geek inside shining through!
 
If you’re looking for a fun way to kill some time, I recommend you check out Facebook and add me as a friend! 😀
 

Written by anthonygreene

March 29, 2007 at 5:09 pm

Posted in my digital life

Something cute about cats

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Ok, I’m not really into cute stuff, but I am really into cats.  I stumbled across this link on some guy’s sig on a forum post, and it’s pretty cool.
 
And anyone who knows me, I mean REALLY REALLY knows me, will know exactly why I found the last slide in this show to be the FUNNIEST THING ON EARTH.  (Well, I’m sure Dennis will get it at least).
 
Cat lovers, enjoy.
 
 

Written by anthonygreene

January 19, 2007 at 10:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Six Feet Under – five seasons in two months

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Well, I’m in my fifth month here in Montreal, and things, though still a little tough, are going better.  It’s strange that in all this time, with meeting such great people and doing interesting things, that the first thing I feel compelled to write about in four months is, of all things, a television show.

Back a few months ago, a friend and I were comparing notes on our favorite tv shows of the past couple years.  While I couldn’t shut up about Battlestar Galactica (which still has my vote for the best thing currently on tv), JP’s vote was for Six Feet Under.

This surprised me.  I had heard all the critical praise for the series, and when it moved over to Showcase a couple years ago, I gave it a try.  I watched an episode, but made the mistake of not starting with the first episode.  I really didn’t see what all the fuss was about.  It didn’t do anything for me, and I dismissed it out of hand as, well, just not my thing.

JP’s comments were really particular, and tweaked my interest again.  He said the last episode was "the best final episode of any television series, ever."

High praise.  And with a more than a little doubt, I started into Season One.  I’ve been watching about two episodes a day for the past couple months now.  I was pretty much hooked from the first episode.  I found it very enjoyable, but not especially moving or profound.  It probably wasn’t until about the third season that I started to realize that "this show is really under my skin."

So it was with some mixed emotions that I set down today to watch the final episode.  And I can say that JP was absolutely right, and didn’t exaggerate at all.  Would I say the final episode alone is worth sitting through 60+ hours of the rest of the series to get to it?  Yes.  I would most definitely say that.

Looking back on the series as a whole, I have nothing but the highest praise to give.  I’ve always felt that the best art has the ability to change the viewer, to leave an impression so strong, that it lingers for months or years to come, and in its wake shapes attitudes and even influences life decisions.  Great books, profound films, moving songs:  these have traditionally been the ripe grounds for this kind of experience.  I feel like we are moving into a new age, when television is not only able to match these other mediums for emotional depth, but to trump them.  There is a very real emotional pain involved in saying goodbye to a cast of characters you have watched for sixty or more hours.  Film, no matter how good the film, cannot match this feeling over a two hour period.

For those people completely unfamiliar with the series, I won’t tell you any details.  Enough to say the show is about life, and death, and how life is constantly changing.  There’s highs, and lows.  People come together, they break apart, and often come back together again.   I’d say more than anything, the show is about the inseperable ties of family. 

Long story short, if you’re looking for something significant to take up the next couple months of your life, I can’t recommend Six Feet Under strongly enough.

Now I need to go to bed, and tomorrow start figuring out how to start living my life more fully, because it is so vey short.

Written by anthonygreene

January 15, 2007 at 1:24 am

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Montreal – Week One. (Life is hard in the big city).

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I’m midway through my first week here in Montreal.  When I moved back home to Moncton three years ago, I was overwhelmed with a sense of everything in my day to day life had become so much easier.  Over the past years I’ve kept the fading memory that somehow, life in a big city was more difficult, but I had forgotten all the details.  This week has brought all of that home, and much, much more.
 
I moved into the apartment Sunday at midnight, after driving up from Moncton with the cats.  The drive went 100% better than the last time I made it, when I drove them down from Hamilton three years ago.  I’m happy I went with the decision to buy two large-size cat carriers, instead of putting both of them in the extra-large carrier.  It was much easier to take each one out, clean them up if needed, and put them back in, during my semi-hourly pit stops.  The drive went by much better with the peace of mind that the cats may not have been happy, but at least they were comfortable.
 
I had all day Monday to unpack and sleep, before work with CGI began on Tuesday.  I’ll be up front and honest about the apartment.  I’m terribly disappointed by it.  From the ad, and Chloe’s description I was hoping to move into a very upscale place.  It’s not.  It’s crappy.  And, it’s my life for the next year, at least.  To be fair, it’s along the same standard as most of my not-so-nice apartments in Toronto, so I know I will adjust.  My disaspointment probably comes mostly from being spoiled by my house back home, which is far, far nicer than any apartment I have ever lived in.
 
The hardest thing has been living with no internet.  I pop into an internet cafe once a day to check my email.  Having no internet access from home lends more to the feeling of my place being barren and empty than my having no furniture.  I would take internet access and no furniture over furniture and no internet.  Of course, right now, I have neither.  Talk about getting back to basics.  Me, two cats, and an air mattress.  (Something about that combination sounds like a bad idea).
 
Work has not been a whole lot of help either.  While my orientation day was useful and informative, I have since spent the past two days without assignment, and without a laptop.  There’s a hiccup in the supply chain, and no one seems to know where my laptop is supposed to be.  What a tragedy it is, that I am working for the largest software consulting company in Montreal, and I have to step out to a corner internet cafe just to check my email.
 
The part that strikes me as funny, though, is that not a soul here at CGI seems to notice or mind that I presently have no work to do, or any means to do that work if it should come my way.  And since I’m not able to check my email, I suppose even if I were assigned something to do, I would have no way of knowing  These past two days I’ve been feeling less like a highly experience developer, and more like a carboard manikin hired to fill out a desk.  I know this will all pass, at least, since starting Monday I should be working full time at the client’s site.
 
I know Montreal well enough to get around by foot.  Getting around by car is a whole other matter.   Yesterday, I excused myself from work early (no one noticed) to start cheking into places where I can park my car.  (More on that in another post, the pure ignorance of the Montreal Parking authority is a rant in it’s own right).  Since right now I’m living without the finer luxuries or life (like dinner plates, or glasses) I decided to head up to Loblaws with the car to get a large load of groceries and household items, before I park the car for a month.
A Loblaws or Provigo would do, anything that carried President’s Choice products should be fine, since I have my mind set on getting the exact same dish set that I have in Moncton, only didn’t want to bother shipping up.  It’s only thirty dollars for the set, and not really worth the trouble packing and risk breaking them.
 
Sadly, that Loblaws didn’t have a housewares section that even a modest grocery store in RIVERVIEW, New Brunswick might have, so I needed to locate another Loblaws and try there.  The cashier was nowhere close to helpful giving me directions to another Loblaws.  I got the very distinct feeling that she was trying to get rid of me.   That feeling has been the predominant one I’ve gotten this first week here, that if I ask someone a question, they might answer me, but only in the hopes that I will then go away, and no longer be their problem.  This, I believe, is the mantra of most of the civil servants of this city, and they go home every night and meditate upon it.  I can only guess what the chant would be.
 
(As addendum to that last comment, I just received the first good customer support I’ve yet to receive this week from, of all places, Bell, while ordering my internet connection.  So now I know somewhere along the way I walked into Bizzaro World since coming here).
 
The Loblaws cashier’s directions led me on a wild goose-chase for a Holy-Grailesque, elusive Loblaws around St-Croix.  If I learned one thing yesterday, it’s NEVER drive around Montreal hoping that you will randomly bump into a Loblaws.  It’s a frustrating, fruitless, exercise.  And, as I learned from my Google search today, that store doesn’t even exist anyway.  I’m sure that vile, teen-age cashier had an awfully good laugh at my expense.
 
Which reminds me of a second point of infinite wisdom when trying to negotiate the streets of a big, unfamiliar city.  Get a cellphone!  Wow.  I remember how much I loved having one back in Toronto, but I forgot how utterly helpless I feel driving around a large city without one.  So getting a cellphone is next on my priorities list.  I don’t condone driving while talking on a cellphone.  In fact, my best roadrage fantasies usually feature a crowbar, and some jerk yabbing on his phone talking about yesterday’s football score.  But when you’re lost, and frustrated, and you need to call someone for help or directions, a payphone is never around.  Or… it’s just around the corner of that street you’re not allowed to turn left onto, and you’ll drive 25 more blocks before you are finally allowed to turn that way.
 
Well, I suppose that’s enough of a rant for now.  Today I’m already feeling much better than I have all week, knowing I have a place to safely store my car where it won’t get towed (even if it’s in the exact opposite side of the city as me), and knowing that while I might have to wait a week, eventually I will have an internet connection at home.  Life, slowly, gets put back together.
 
Now I’m off to go find some dinner plates.
 

Written by anthonygreene

September 7, 2006 at 5:27 pm

Posted in the wondrous tao

Looking for a home remotely

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Preparations are being made for my move to Montreal.  I’ve found my place to live for the next year.  Though I’ve moved across the country several times now, and I couldn’t count how many times I’ve moved in total, this is definitely a new experience for me.  I’ve never had to find an apartment while not having the liberty to inspect places myself.
 
You can check out the original Craig’s List Ad for my apartment for my apartment.  It has a few pictures of the place.  If you follow the link and check out the ad, you’ll know absolutely as much as I do right now about the place that I’ll be moving into this Sunday.
  
I decided to get a 2 bedroom place.  Either I’ll start hunting on Craig’s List for a suitable roomate once I get up there (hopefully someone who can keep an eye on the cats when I’m gone at work), or just keep the whole place for myself so that I have a spare room for when guests come in from out of town.  And I really do hope you guys will come!   I’m trying right now to think of this Montreal move more as a one year working vacation, than as a permanent move to a new city.
 
I have to extend out a big, warm thanks to my friend Chloe for taking the time to go look at the place for me.  All I was looking for a was thumbs up.  So, when she said the place checked out, I signed the lease.
 
Maybe I should be a little more careful when making life decisions like these.  It seems that as I grow older I should become more cautious.  Instead, making life decisions with little information becomes easier every year.  I’m really hoping this makes me either enough of a Taoist that I simply trust the universe will place me exactly where I aught to be, or enough of a Buddhist that I just don’t worry about it.
 
The rest of my week here in Moncton is tying up loose ends, and figuring out what stuff I can fit into a car that is the most essential for my life in the next few months.  It’s an excercise of minimalizing and prioritizing that I would recommend to anyone to try regularly, whether you’re moving cross-country or not.
 
 
 

Written by anthonygreene

August 29, 2006 at 3:46 pm

Posted in the wondrous tao