Updates from May, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:51 on 2020-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

    Aaron Derfel delivers another analytical multi-tweet, this one about how the Jewish General has had to clear its psych ward to make room for more COVID‑19 patients. He covers the same subject in more detail in this Gazette piece.

    Early on, François Legault looked like a calm, paternal presence at the helm. Not so much any more, as deadlines keep getting changed when the virus refuses to obey the needs of Quebec business.

    • Kate 16:33 on 2020-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

      The reopening of schools, daycares and businesses in Montreal has been delayed till May 25.

      • Kate 14:56 on 2020-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

        Les Perreaux posted a video of the Snowbirds from Jeanne-Mance park. I didn’t hear a thing from Villeray.

        Also, video from TVA.

        • Blork 14:59 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          They did a circle around Longueuil with chez moi right in the middle, so I felt like we were getting a private show. Passed by the front twice in fact.

        • CE 15:43 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          I heard them twice from different directions but wasn’t able to see them from either of my balconies.

        • Blork 17:34 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          I’m surprised I haven’t seen any claims yet that the Snowbirds smoke trails are spreading Coronavirus.

        • GC 18:47 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          HA. You probably could, if you poked around enough on Twitter :/.

        • Tee Owe 09:53 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          Cool video – next time they should do it in Antonov AN-225 cargo planes

        • Kate 11:45 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          If they had more than one, it would be époustouflant to see them fly in formation.

        • Blork 13:32 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          I’m waiting for the video of the Snowbirds flying INSIDE the AN-225…

      • Kate 14:55 on 2020-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

        Google ads were bugging me. The page on Google Adsense that’s supposed to let you block certain ads or advertisers has been AWOL for weeks, and I felt if I saw that damn earwax ad again I was going to throw something. So now there’s a Patreon button at right.

        Patreon is quite insistent I should produce special content at least twice a month for patrons. I will be doing that, but some of it may be photos, not writing.

        It slightly annoys me that Google will eventually keep the $29.02 I’d collected since the last payout, but them’s the breaks.

        • jeather 15:08 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          Your patreon button should probably link to your main page, not the payment checkout page.

        • René 15:23 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          Been reading your site for so long through a RSS reader, immediately decided to become a member of your Patreon.. Thanks!

          Just a head’s up to prevent surprises, Patreon will start adding PST to Patreon subscribers living in Quebec so 9.98% more starting in July.

          More info here: https://support.patreon.com/hc/en-us/articles/360043054911-New-Sales-Tax-Requirements-effective-July-1st-2020

        • Kate 15:29 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          jeather, that’s the button link they give out. I may change it after I’ve got more of a handle on this – it’s the first time I’ve done one.

          Thank you, René.

        • Clément 17:29 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          Smart move Kate. So happy I can finally contribute directly.

          Here is a suggestion for Patreon content: Quebec city content. Yeah, just kidding, now I’ll go back to listening to racist radio jocks while I miss real Phở and smoked meat. Sob.

        • Kate 18:14 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          Clément, if it helps, we can’t get hold of Phở or smoked meat right now either.

        • A 19:14 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          Just signed up for a monthly Patreon contribution. Your page has been an essential resource since I moved here from the States so thank you!

        • Alison Cummins 00:22 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          I can’t see the button—or a sidebar—on my iPhone. But if I go to Patreon directly I can look up mtlcityweblog.

        • Tee Owe 07:13 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          As a non-resident I keep up with things ‘back home’ via your blog – have done for many years – so I am happy to make a contribution. Thanks!

        • MarcG 13:22 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          How’s it going so far? Are we collectively covering your domain name registration and hosting fees at least?

        • Daniel 13:53 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          Glad to see you do this. I hope you post an occasional reminder — every month, every two months? — because people may not see the button (either because of fatigue or technical issues), or their bank accounts will change, credit cards will expire, Patreon may have a billing glitch, etc. etc. Or they may simply need a nudge! A bit of occasional reminding may go a long way. 🙂

        • Patrick 15:05 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          Before I sign up with Patreon, as a less-than-savvy tech person I’d like people’s advice on the pros and cons of signing up with Google or Facebook (on this or other sites). Can you minimize having your data captured?

        • Clément 16:22 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          It’s always best to avoid using Google or Facebook to sign in. You’re opening a gate between the site’s (e.g. Patreon) and Google or Facebook; and that gate allows your personal data to travel back and forth.

          So now, Facebook knows you like left-leaning Montreal-themed blogs and it will then tailor the ads it shows you. And Patreon now knows you tend to like Facebook posts about hiking or pineapple pizza and so on.

          It’s easy enough for online companies to paint a pretty good picture of your preferences, don’t make it easier. Keep things siloed.

        • ant6n 10:10 on 2020-05-11 Permalink

          I just noticed the Patreon button and that the ads were removed, had missed this post. This is good news, I signed up for a small direct contribution as well.

      • Kate 12:12 on 2020-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

        I mentioned it below in a comment, but since this is usually planting season, it’s worth taking note that we have a frost warning again for Thursday night into Friday, and a wave of cold over southern Quebec. The forecast shows temperatures at or near freezing every night till at least next Tuesday. We could even see some May flurries.

        • MarcG 12:23 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          Here are some edible plants that don’t mind a bit of cold: spinach, swiss chard, kale, mustard, potatoes, beets, peas, leeks, onions, parsley, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, collard greens, some lettuces…

        • DeWolf 12:36 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          I haven’t planted anything yet, but all the perennials in my garden are coming up nicely, and I bought a palm tree the other day (I know, I know, but it’s a summer tradition). This is the third spring in a row that has been unusually cold and despite all the frost warnings, there has never been any spring frost in my garden, so I’m thinking that in densely-built areas like the Plateau there is a warming effect that helps keep things a bit toastier than in the suburbs.

        • Ian 13:32 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          It’s definitely usually about 5 degrees colder in Sainte Anne de Bellevue than it is in Mile End…

          I’ve only got peas and onions in so far, everything else is still growing indoors in starter pots. And here I thought I was late with my garden.

        • MarcG 13:49 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          Microclimates are definitely real and weird. There’s a sunny spot on a south-facing slope (normally indicating warmth) near my place that always has a patch of snow on it long after it’s melted everywhere else.

        • Kate 15:06 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          MarcG, I think it’s different when you’re planting in planters and containers rather than in the ground. The roots are probably more vulnerable to the outside cold in a pot, so I’m holding off planting till sometime next week.

        • MarcG 16:33 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          If you’re planting seeds I wouldn’t sweat the difference. If they’re tomato seedlings you definitely want to wait. Some people fashion little cold frames out of 2L soda bottles if you’re into that.

      • Kate 12:10 on 2020-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

        A man and a woman were arrested overnight north of town for setting seven fires at telecommunications towers. Other countries have been experiencing similar vandalism of their towers.

        There’s a conspiracy theory that the 5G cellphone standard is a cause of COVID-19, but the irony here is that none of the local towers have been emitting 5G. The prime minister tweeted this week that “vandalizing cellphone towers does nothing but threaten emergency services.”

        • walkerp 12:38 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          It really does appear that our society is being undermined by internet brainwashing. Humans are so stupid.

        • Kevin 13:26 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          All these morons were around previously. The internet just lets them band together — and lets us hear about them around the world.

        • EmilyG 16:07 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          And on the internet, people with harmful opinions or beliefs can always find material to support them.

        • qatzelok 18:54 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          First the media made us all move to the burbs, then it convinced us all to buy massive SUVs, then it had us watching Superbowl and the Oscars in our bungalows, and finally the media has everyone sheltering at home scared. And now it is telling people to burn down telecom towers.

          Mass media is a harsh and sadistic mistress.

        • Uatu 10:40 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          More like the death of critical thinking.

        • Raymond Lutz 13:12 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          My mom talked to me about chemtrails lonng before the internet… And before Youtube, there were side channel distribution networks: I remember seeing an home made VHS copy of Falardeau’s “Le temps des bouffons”. Nowadays difference? Scale? maybe, essence? Nope. Les lignes ouvertes à la radio étaient le déversoir de la connerie de l’époque. Now it’s web2.0

        • Michael Black 13:41 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          But one difference is that “in the old days” most people had no access to distribution. So someone wanting to say something needed money, to produce a newsletter or vanity publishing, or making home movies. An individual might think up something, but it’s contained by limited reach. Even if someone had the means of distribution, it wouldn’t go much further than people receiving it.

          Now anyone can speak. They can create an illusion of “authority” by a flashy website. Others can propagate the ideas, they have as much reach as the original now.

          It isn’t helped by people giving up old media, so they can get stories without context, and no.counterpoint.

      • Kate 11:43 on 2020-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

        Plateau borough has won the final throw: the Supreme Court has refused to hear the plea of advertisers who wanted to overturn the borough’s anti‑billboard law.

        This comes at a juncture where the borough, and indeed the city as a whole, might be glad for some advertising tax revenue, but so goes the irony of history when faced with pestilence (see also the law against face coverings).

        • walkerp 12:39 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          You think they would get much revenue?

        • Dhomas 13:04 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          My brother works in OoH (Out of Home) Media and they are hurting. People don’t advertise outdoors when no one is going out.

        • Philip Miresco 05:18 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          Face coverings are okay, as long as they’re not religious in nature, so it’s totally cool.

      • Kate 10:35 on 2020-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

        The Grande Bibliothèque, noted here as a formidable réussite québécoise, is marking its 15th anniversary, closed and locked down. According to Wikipedia, it opened on April 30, 2005, so I’m a little surprised Le Devoir waited till May 7 to run this story – or maybe the first date was the ceremonial opening only.

        Has anyone here succeeded in borrowing ebooks from the big library? I’m not entirely inept with electronic devices and methods, but its requirements flummoxed me completely, and now I can’t pass by with my iPad and ask advice.

        • Alex 10:57 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          If you download the app ‘Libby’ the process is a lot easier 🙂

        • Daisy 11:02 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          I do it all the time onto my ancient Kobo ereader. I have to download from Overdrive to Adobe Digital Editions on my PC, then connect the Kobo to the PC. But apparently it’s simpler with newer devices.

        • Blork 11:22 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          My sweetie borrows books from the Big Bib all the time on her older Kobo, although it’s buggy AF. The new Kobos have Overdrive built-in and are supposedly much easier to use and more reliable. AFAIK it’s almost hopeless with iPads, largely due to problems with Adobe Digital Editions behaving like a rabid cat with a mousetrap on its paw whenever it shows up on an Apple product.

        • Ephraim 11:37 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          You also have access to https://www.hoopladigital.com/ though only a small subsection. You can’t access most of the video. You can borrow 6 titles a month from the music and comics collection.

          Some of the other libraries have more access.

        • Kate 11:49 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          Blork, good to know I’m not the only Apple devotee having trouble.

          Mostly I’ve wanted to borrow the occasional book in French, because while it’s easy to acquire books in English that you want to have a look at, French is another matter.

        • Joey 11:55 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          @Blork and @Kate – borrowing ebooks from the GB is super easy with the Libby app, as Alex noted. You feed it your GB credentials and can easily access the catalogue – borrow books, place holds, etc. You can also access other libraries – the Mtl library network has a smaller but still solid catalogue of ebooks. You can also use Overdrive (certain older ebooks are available there but not via Libby – must be a formatting issue). Borrowing ebooks has been a game-changer for me…

          TL;DR download the Libby app, enter your GB digital credentials and you’re good to go.

        • Kate 12:13 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          Joey, that was too easy! Thank you.

        • Mark Côté 12:42 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          Libby works with the Montreal library network as well!

        • John B 13:28 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

          You can also browse & borrow on Libby, then sync your newer Kobo and have the book there. That gets me around the problem of the Kobo having some issues remembering my library card, (maybe because I have both GB and Montreal Library cards set up).

        • Margaret 08:11 on 2020-05-08 Permalink

          I borrow lots and all the time and am still using my first (or at least early) generation Sony E-reader.

      • Kate 09:45 on 2020-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

        QMI looked at cases of COVID-19 at the STM and concluded that bus drivers have proportionately more cases than others, which isn’t too surprising given that they’re still working in enclosed spaces with random people. Makes me wonder how much they also risk cross-infecting each other at the bus garages.

        • Kate 09:26 on 2020-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

          A man who was arrested after three random attacks on women last winter – he hit them on the head from behind with sticks, in at least one case a goalie stick – has been declared not criminally responsible because he was in a psychotic fugue at the time plus on a mixture of bad drugs. Simon Coupal Gagnon is still locked up.

          • Kate 08:57 on 2020-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

            The city has once again extended its state of emergency, this time till May 11.

            • Meezly 12:13 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

              How telling that the CAQ has not extended the school reopning date and instead has suddenly changed its tune saying it’s “safe” for teachers over 60 to return to work. It’s so obvious that there is a severe shortage of teachers and they are scrambling. This has nothing to do with public health and safety! I was surprised to learn that our neigbourhood elementary school will have a capacity of 65%. The principal even admitted that it’s going to be an immense management challenge to maintain safe distancing.

            • Kate 12:22 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

              I know. This sudden shift of policy on workers 60+ is disturbing.

            • Dhomas 13:09 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

              The schools reopening has nothing to do with public health and even less to do with child welfare or education, despite all the claims by Legault et al that “it’s for the children”. The short and simple of it is that they want babysitters to watch over the little ones so the parents can go back to work.

            • Meezly 13:24 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

              Exactly, Dhomas. Not to mention women make up the majority of these “caretaker” fields. Just heard on the radio that school reopening date has been delayed until May 25th. That leaves only 4 weeks of “school”.

            • GC 13:24 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

              65%? I’m really surprised that many parents want to send their kids back right away, but I suppose some don’t really have much choice, either.

            • Meezly 13:34 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

              Yes really! I too was floored. I was expecting 50% at best. But 65% will be impossible if the limit is 8 kids per group.

            • Ian 13:35 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

              Not 65% going back, a capacity of 65% – and that depends on the school’s physical setup. We were told by our school that class sizes can be no larger than 12 kids to maintain social distancing.

              Of about 80% of parents that responded, 60% said they would send their kids back – but even with those numbers they will still have to break up most classes.

            • Meezly 13:47 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

              Based on parents response, I was told that 65% of students will return. And our school is small, so 8 kids max per group to maintain distancing. Maybe some parents will change their minds, but I assume many won’t have a choice. I’m very grateful that I can opt my kid out, but I’m also hoping that parents who had decided to sent their kids to school and who can still exercise a choice will change their minds to prevent a wave of hospitalizations down the road.

            • GC 15:23 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

              Thanks for clarifying, Ian.

          • Kate 08:47 on 2020-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

            Justin Trudeau announced last week that the Snowbirds aerobatic squadron would be crossing the country as a show of good will. They’re expected over Montreal between 1:30 pm and 1:45 Thursday.

            Interesting insignia they have.

            • CE 13:43 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

              Was anyone able to see them? I could hear them at around 1:30 but being in the centre of the island, I don’t think there’s anywhere I could get a good look from my balcony.

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