On Summer… and upcoming Autumn

It’s been some time since I’ve written, Summer is closing in on its last few weeks and as I look back on what has been a tumultuous Summer, I can only hope that the Autumn brings some much needed emotional rest. My plans are simple really, enjoy the Fall colours, meet with some friends and simply enjoy the more simple things in life and get back in touch with nature. You would think Summer would have been good for that, but in fact what happens more often than not is our Summers get so busy. So although everything starts back up in the Fall, busy with children going back to school, and businesses ramping up for the upcoming busy holiday season, I usually sit back and actually take a breather and calm down. So here’s to the upcoming Fall and saying good-bye to Summer 2017, one that for reasons I can’t go into this blog, will go down as one of the most memorable on record for yours truly.

#audiomo June 29, 2017 – Software for writers

Do you have the next great novel brewing? Are you a reluctant Hemingway, Tolkien or Rowling. Today’s #audiomo entry explores a couple of software titles that could help you in the your next literary quest.

The first is a nice lightweight contender, but not light on features.

ywriter5 at http://www.spacejock.com/yWriter5.html

The second software title I mention, called Celtx, is geared more for screenwriting.


Unfortunately it looks like Celtx has gone all cloud-based on me, so no more downloading and using a desktop application. They still offer a free stripped-down version, but I haven’t checked out the latest version, but will do so and get back to you.

June 24th #audiomo swapping out our water heater

Most home experts and insurance companies recommend changing your home water heater every 10 years to prevent possible leakage as units get older. our hot water heater was only one year old when we purchased our home, but that was some 15 years ago, so it was time to swap it out. In this #audiomo entry I briefly discuss changing out the heater. In the photo below you see the new heater on the right by Rheem next to the older one

#Audiomo June 19th entry – Workshop and Model kits

Here is my #Audiomo entry for June 19th, I haven’t been very regular in my audiomo entries for lack of time and perhaps things to say. Yeah, imagine that me being reticent 🙂 In any case, this audio entry delves into an old passion of mine that has resurfaced recently, that of plastic model kit building.

In the recording I mention my “new” workshop, it’s really not much more than an IKEA table with adjustable legs, but with a bit of organization, a light magnification lens and some tools it will be nice little work area to do some model building and electronics work.

In the picture below you see my work table with the Raspberry PI computer monitor and at the left the saucer part for the USS Reliant with the warp nacelles.

In the audio I also mention fixing a friend’s JBL Elite 700 Everest Noise Cancelling Bluetooth headphones. JBL sold these things for $300 US or so and after having had them for about 6-7 months the left earpiece stopped working. As I had told them I dabbled in electronics and repairs he asked me to take a look at them and I brought them home to my work bench and proceeded to take them apart to see what could be the problem.

When I first opened up the unit, this is what I saw, note the four small screws, removing these revealed the interior of the speaker driver enclosure.

Once I had the unit opened I was able to troubleshoot and figure out if the problem was with the speaker driver OR if the actual small internal amplifier was the problem.

With access to the small wires on the internal speaker driver, I hooked up to test leads and fed them to a hobby speaker I had lying around.

I eventually discovered that it was indeed the speaker driver and after a few minutes search on eBay bought a pair of drivers for $35 CDN shipped that matched the JBL drivers almost perfectly.

Here are the two Star Trek models I would like to build in the Fall.

The USS Enterprise D from the Next Generation TV show.

and the USS Voyager

AudioMo June 6, 2017 – Technical writers and Piazza Mino Italy ambiance

AudioMo entry June 6

AudioMo is a month-long event held in the month of June where participants record audio and post it up with the hashtag #audiomo.

My little contribution for today June 6, 2017 is the recording below. I had no set subject and kind of just rambled on for 20 minutes. Enjoy 🙂

Piazza Mino Soundscape Ambiance

I mention seeing a photo/soundscape installation at the International airport here in Montreal, Canada and my trip to Italy in the Autumn of 2009 with my mom and visiting and recording the ambiance of Piazza Mino in Fiesole, Italy. Check of the picture below. For best effect listen with headphones and click the image to open in another tab/window.

Photo of Piazza Mino in Fiesole, Italy showing the piazza at night with lights and a church off to the right
Piazza Mino in Fiesole, Italy.

Update on the flooding in Montreal

It was a crazy weekend watching and monitoring the flooding on the Western part of the island of Montreal. Thankfully our house is in a higher part of the neighbourhood and therefore is not at risk, but I feel for so many people who have had damage to their homes and their lives flipped upside down.

This is an intersection a 4-5 minute walk from my home. The road you see ahead of you leads up to a bridge to go to the island of Ile Bizard, that has witnessed some of the worst flooding. In fact there is a small island adjacent to Ile Bizard which has been completely closed off and the entire island is covered by water.

The most detailed map of our Universe

We live in a very very very big Universe and this past week my sister sent me a link to a Youtube video featuring the most detailed map every created of our Universe, it is stunning. The video is actually on Laniakea, the name given to the supercluster or huge group of galaxies in which our own Milky way lies. The video has started doing the rounds in social network circles and I’ve already seen it on Facebook and Twitter.

As you watch this video remember that what is pictured here is so immense as to be almost incomprehensible, the distances mentioned so vast that crossing them could be akin to traveling forever to our puny little lifetimes. What boggles me even more is that scientists and cosmologists have postulated that there may actually be an infinite number of multi-universes. So as you ponder what this video describes, wrap your head around the idea that there could be in fact an infinite number of other indescribably large universes, an infinite amount of them… that’s just like forever.

So as I sit here watching Winter storm Wally, what I’ve decided to baptize what I hope is the last storm of the Winter of 2016/2017, slam into the city of Montreal I realize how small my little problems are when put against the immensity of the Universe. Some people I know don’t like to talk about, what shows or ponder about the Universe and its size, they say it makes them feel small, insignificant. I see it quite differently, I find that looking at these videos and pondering how immense and overwhelming our Universe is makes me feel that there are potentials out there for everything and anything to happen. Whenever I doubt any kind of spiritual side or wonder about life after death, I simply look at videos like this and realize there is sooooo much we don’t know, so much we just can’t imagine. It re-assures me to some extent and I realize that the sheer fact that I can think about the Universe and ponder the distances makes me more significant and not less.