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shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 08:13
So, uh. This happened at work.

The University's been facing a tough time with declining enrollment. To make the books balance for next year, they had to cut eight staff positions.

I got called into the Dreaded Uncomfortable Meeting with five other staff members yesterday afternoon, where we learned we were being laid off. They went to great lengths to say that these reductions were a strictly financial decision that had nothing to do with our individual performance.

While I'm understandably annoyed that my position is winding down, I'm not bitter about the situation. The current leadership at AlgomaU has a lot going for them, and I truly wish them well in meeting the challenges they face. The University has the potential to be a profoundly important institution for all of Canada, and a crown jewel of our local community. I hope I see them turn that vision into a reality.

That said, I'm taking this as an opportunity to springboard on to greater things. =)

Because of our family situation, I very strongly prefer to stay local (Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada), but at this point I'm open to substantial travel -- say, 25%, possibly even 40% or more depending on how it's spread out? So if there are any cool places out there who could use a *nix nerd in Software Development, QA, or Systems Administration, right now I'm all ears. ^_^
shadowspar: Audio cassette tape with crossbones, made to look like a jolly roger (tape pirate!)
Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 15:34

I really wish all the story headlines, tweets, etc, floating around about how the administration at UofT and Western knuckled under to Access Copyright could be rewritten from

Canadian Universities Submit to Completely Dumbass Copyright Agreement


Two Canadian Universities Submit to Completely Dumbass Copyright Agreement

We are not all cowardly dumbasses, and in fact, I would venture to say that the majority of us are quite wroth with the doubtless small number of administrators who approved this deal at a small number of admittedly major Canadian universities.

shadowspar: Profile shot of Kurama's face (kurama - profile)
Thursday, October 20th, 2011 16:13

Home sick today. (No, not that kind of sick. Strongest thing I drank yesterday was root beer.) Thankfully only "stay home from work and don't make everyone else sick" kind of sick, not "flat on my ass incapacitated" sick.

As much as I was tempted to curl up in bed and try to get into reading h/c fic, closing up the computer and sleeping through the morning probably did more for my aching head, throat, and stomach. =)

shadowspar: A viola on a purple flamed background, with the text "viola hero" (viola hero)
Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 14:45

Decent lesson today despite not having had much of a chance to practice last week -- spouse and one child elected to get sick over the weekend, so taking care of them trumped viola practice. (The nerve!)

Continuing to work on basic coordination stuff (lh fingers always above the fingerboard -- don't let the third and fourth fingers sneak underneath; don't pull fingers far away from the fingerboard even when they come off the strings), cleanliness of bowing / purity of tone (good contact, adequate pressure, using enough bow), and timing (resisting the urge to cut half notes short; using large swaths of bow and bowing more quickly for quarter notes and more slowly for half notes).

My intonation is still far from perfect, but is definitely getting better. It's still shocking that every now and again, I can put my fingers down on the fingerboard without even looking at them and have notes come out in tune! It's pretty wild.

My supervisor keeps musing about possibly taking up the violin. I'm trying to encourage this, since two of our staff have children who play violin and cello, respectively, and that would give us a string quartet. Maybe we could serenade the patrons from the mezzanine of the library; I'm sure that would go over well. =)

shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 21:27

We screw up so many things when it comes to education. Everything from universities to elementary schools is underfunded. Archivists work through getting and paying for a graduate degree only to find that we don't care enough about preserving our history to pay them to do it. Librarians fight an uphill battle against administrations who don't see the value in libraries, publishers who busily corral all knowledge into walled gardens, and even the occasional peer who seems determined to restrain the profession until it passes into irrelevancy. Access to higher education sucks; being poor, native, disabled, or just plain far away from a school will make it needlessly difficult to pursue a degree or diploma. Teachers sometimes cultivate repetition instead of learning. Much of society only recognizes institutionalized schooling as "education" and ignores any learning that's not accompanied by a framed piece of paper.

Given all this, it's practically a wonder anyone ever manages to learn a damn thing. Sometimes it seems as though only the resolve and the goodwill of the people involved -- students, educators, support staff, everyone -- that keeps the lights on at all.

shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 10:14

While the best improvement is probably not having any, Esther Derby's piece on improving meetings is very constructive and helpful.

Sometimes, stronger measures are called for, though. A favourite from a former workplace was the sound clips that made the rounds to be played on conference calls -- most notably, the one that'd be heard whenever discussion got sidetracked onto stuff that should really be dealt with outside the meeting ("♪♬ Rrrrraat Hoooooole! ♫𝅘𝅥𝅯")

Personally, I'd like to see meetings required to use Parliamentary rules of order and address. It'd reemphasize what a waste of time the meeting is repeatedly throughout its duration; possibly best of all, anyone can move to end the meeting and if a simple majority agrees -- done! Besides, wouldn't your meetings be more tolerable if they were punctuated by bits like "Mme Speaker, I rise on a point of privilege!" and "The Hon. Leader of the Database Team has the floor"? =)

shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Tuesday, April 24th, 2007 23:44


The great folks over at SingleFeed have decided to bring me on for a trial contract, going to long-term if they like me. I'm soooooo amped! The pay is decent, the work sounds interesting, and the people are really awesome judging from the phone conversations I've had with them so far. Possibly the coolest thing so far: I care a lot about the code that I write and the work that I do; it's a reflection on me, so I want it to be the best it possibly can. The folks at Singlefeed picked up on the line in my resume that says "An artisan, not just a technician -- technology is my passion" and totally grokked that. Super good!

All right, I am tired and must now retire to bed.

Yaaay job!