Friday, December 31, 2010

2010... Culmination & What to do in 2011

On this last day of 2010, it's time to look back on the goals I had set myself at the beginning of the year. This is essentially looking back at the three ((1), (2), (3)) posts I made in January where I noted what I wanted to accomplish during the year.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

[One-day late] Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas 2010

« The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. »
---Burton Hillis

See more on Flickr

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Musical Holiday

As much as I said I was going to post again, I was shocked at "La voix des jeunes" 's schedule for the Holidays.

As you should know, "La voix des jeunes" is my father's youth choir where I play the Flute, Whistle, and now the Bodhrán. Needless to say that outside of work, it's the thing that keeps me busy.

I don't have a lot of time for anything else except work and music lately, with an event every single weekend until Christmas. It's fine, but it has a consequence: I'm not going to be able to fulfill the professional goal I had set myself for the year.

I'm not worried. 2011 is another year

Saturday, November 13, 2010

XML with PHP - Distraction & Relaxation...

I'm putting this project on hold until next week. It's not so bad, I'm taking the four-day weekend to relax. There are two reasons for this. First, I need to write a flute partition for the Advent theme this year.

Secondly, and the biggest, I'm being sidetracked by a massive project in Minecraft. A sudden idea that sprouted from two others.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

XML with PHP - Intro

I'm giving myself some homework in this long weekend (for me). I haven't given myself WebDev-related work for quite some time now since I was busy, besides the usual, working on all the design work for the "La voix des jeunes" album (with about two months before things started to slow down again).

It's not necessarily a hard task in terms of logic, but it involved a lot of research/learning from my part before I apply it. It is quite simple. I want to make a PHP application that writes/edits an XML file then renders it.

My goal is to learn an alternate method in dynamically generating content when you don't have the option of a database access. It does happen in local/internal applications.

I'm not going to be the first one in figuring this out, but I will post how I do certain things and dissect the logic behind the madness. I will also post the sources of the information I'm learning as I go along.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Goat Skin Tickler...

I just discovered I have a Blog [not really... lame, I know!]

For the past several weeks I've been extremely busy. The one time I wasn't really busy (Monday), I was taking care of the flu.

For four weeks now, I've been "tickling the goat skin" - I started taking Bodhrán classes. I've been curious about the Bodhrán for some time, and I'm glad I decided to try it. It's been a long time since I had so much fun playing over music.

Then came last weekend. A weekend pretty much dedicated to "La voix des jeunes", my dad's youth choir. The choir has been invited to the second edition of the "Récolte" (Harvest) show of the Moisson d'Art festival in my hometown. The show was on for two nights.

On top of that, we finally launched our album "Tout simplement" (Simply). The album that we literally give away. Yes, we're giving it away. We don't want to make money out of it. The goal of the album for the youth in the group to live the experience of recording an album and to leave the group later with a physical souvenir.

At the time of writing this, 85% of our first batch has already been giving away. We're very proud of this accomplishment. Then the hectic weekend took its toll with the flu I mentionned earlier.

Photo credits: Brigitte Cladère and

Once things start to get back to normal, I will start posting more regularly again.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Laptop Surgery - Recovery

Success! Not only I didn't break my laptop, but my keyboard no longer has any sticky keys!

Re-assembly was far easier than opening it up. Even the ribbon-cable (*see image) for the keyboard was easy to reconnect.

This is the nightmare connector. Image from

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Laptop Surgery - Keyboard Cleaning (Part 1)

There was a freeze-pop accident this summer. Some keys got sticky to the point where it was annoying to type. It took weeks for me to gather up the courage to open my dear laptop up... tonight was the night.

It was not an easy task. At one point my heart just stopped. I thought I snapped (broke) the ribbon-cable that connects the keyboard to the laptop. It ended up just being a snap-lock connector. I'm not looking forward to putting that cable back in place. It's going to take some patience and a few extra sets of hands.

Tomorrow I was put it back together and hopefully everything will be fine.

*Disclaimer: My laptop's warranty expired two months ago.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Edit CSS in Google Docs

Since I changed my email to Google Mail (GMail), I slowly started using the other Google applications. In time, they have become essential to the way I work and I organize my time. Syncing my Google Calendar to my iPod Touch is just awesome.

One of the things I've been using a lot if Google Documents. I love to be able to create a document at the office, perhaps just a brainstorm idea or a draft from something and without managing any files being able to continue from home. I also love the collab. features.

My favorite feature of Google Documents was the ability to edit the style of the document with CSS (Edit CSS).

When Google launched New Google Docs in April, their was an immediate uproar - they removed Edit CSS and Edit HTML. My favorite feature gone.

Recently, I was randomly searching to see if Google was turning back or if they explained why the removed it. Instead, I found a way to revert to the old Google Documents editor which includes the Edit CSS. Here's how to do it
  • In Google Documents, in the top-right corner of the screen click on Settings then Documeent Settings.
  • Click on the "Editing" tab
  • Uncheck "Create new text documents using the latest version of the document editor"
  • Save
There you have it. I posted this because it's not widespread knowledge. Some people are still complaining about the fact they can't edit their styles in an efficient way because of the lack of Edit CSS in New Google Docs editor.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

PSP RPG-gasm!

Who says the PSP has no great games?... These all came out within a month.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Late-Summer Shots

Late-Summer Sun Autumn Echinacea

I have just posted two new shots on my Flickr. They were taken in a park next to where I live. Even though it's so close, I have just yesterday stepped foot in it. I was drawn to go then because I saw a sunflower in the Community Garden while driving back from the store.

See more on Flickr

Monday, September 6, 2010

Diary of a Personal Shoot (Part 2)

Oats at Dusk

Sometimes, you're at the mercy of multiple factors. Last night, they all fell in place perfectly.

Weather, timing, light, location... everything was perfect to try my experiment.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Diary of a Personal Shoot (Part 1)

Whether you are an amateur, a hobbyist, a serious, or a professional photographer, there is one constant: personal work is an important aspect of exercising your creativity and gaining some technical experience. There are several approaches to personal shoots and shots. Having a camera everywhere you go is the most common. You can often push yourself to find interesting shots where it’s not really obvious, or find another perspective of a place you pass by every day.

There is an approach that I personally like but don’t use much at all. You can have a very technical approach to some personal work. Not all personal work have to be candid or “on-the-spot”. This approach exercises the technicality of some shots and can teach you how to plan some shoots from a technical stand-point and then execute them.

There are multiple planning and technical approaches to execute a photographic vision. The following post is one of mine.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Little World

Little World

A coworker of mine almost scolded me because I didn't bring my camera everywhere I went, including just going to work. This morning I decided to start. I have no regrets, otherwise I would've missed this.

See more on Flickr

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Shots on Flickr

I have finally posted some shots to Flickr taken during my vacation, including the full-version of the Sugarloaf Panorama I posted in the previous post. Campbellton-Gaspésie Pano

Check out the rest.

Pure Rosa Synapse Netted Light Peaceful Tao Duck Lounging Reaching for the Sun

Clear Sky Whatcha Lookin' At? Gothic Altar Tri Pattern Red Dragon U.F.O. - Unidentified Field Object

And my favorite of the whole three weeks:
Mirrored Dusk

See more on Flickr

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Achievement Unlocked!

I am still alive, now more than ever. At least I feel more alive. I've been on vacation for the past three weeks, therefore not blogging. Amongst other things, I've been to Montréal for a whole week (I will post a creative synopsis later this week). But that's not why I feel so alive.

One of the many things I've done was one of my goals this year – Break down my own physical limits. What did I do? I hiked up a mountain.

The beautiful panorama seen from the top

With minimal training but with the essential preparation, me, Stéphanie and our best friend Georges set up to hike up the Mt. Sugarloaf in Campbellton. It stands 350 meter (1,000 feet) above sea level with a 900 meter climb. The complete hike is over 4.3 kilometers long (half of the Terry Fox Trail around the mountain and the climb, back and forth).

Friday, July 23, 2010

Ys Seven Limited Edition

One of the games I'm looking forward the most this year is coming out next month, in limited edition form too. I got it pre-ordered! It comes with
  • The game (duh!)
  • Soundtrack CD
  • 60-page art book for Ys Seven, Ys: The Oath in Felghana and Ys I & II Chronicles
  • 12.5" by 34" cloth map
Ys Seven is one of three Ys game coming out for the PSP in the next 6-months or so. I'm probably going to get them all. They rock!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer's Gaming Objectives

Summer vacation is at my door, so it's that time to define some gaming objectives. Many great PSP are going to start to coming out starting in August with Ys Seven, so to help the wait, I'm attacking a bunch of my non-completed games. This also goes in the direction of my 2010 Gaming Resolution. Hit the jump for the list.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Three More Photos

Trail Guardian Path Late Field

See more on Flickr

Monday, July 19, 2010

More Flickr Love from new D-SLR

Here's the first set of photos I have taken with my new D5000.

Dream in Purple "Vert ou Faux" Youth and Experience No Entry to Dreamland

Yellow Wink Reach for the Sky Green Retro Welcome

The first shot posted (last taken last night) is when I realized that when a moment clicks with an image in my head, I can now take it without anything holding me back.

See more on Flickr

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Photography Frames Part 3 (of 3) - Final Action

As promised, here is how to put both Actions previously created (here (1) and here (2)).

This step is critical into making the frame and logo/signature placement truly automated for Batch Processing.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Well, it's official. I'm part of the Nikon D-SLR club. This is one of the reasons of the planned Flickr re-upload and one of the reasons I spent so much time designing and developing a signature gallery frame for my online pictures...

Speaking of which, Part 3 is going to be up tomorrow... I promise...

It's a Nikon D90 lite D5000 with the Nikkor 18-105mm... very nice lens for a very nice camera. Expect my Flickr to start booming in a few weeks.

Time for me to get back on reading the booklet. The monster is 256 pages!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Photography Frames Part 2 (of 3) - The Signature

Here is the second part of the... uh... I guess you could call this a "tutorial"... Photography Frames.

This time, I'm going to cover the exact method on how to create the Actions that's going to insert a Logo or Signature and position it at the bottom-right corner of a photo.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Photography Frames Part 1 (of 3) - The Frame

As promised, I'm going to post an easy to make a frame that's a bit higher than wide in order to have some place for a signature or logo.

The basics of the method is borrowed from an old Layers Magazine tutorial. I'm just going to cover the bare bones of the technique. You will probably adjust the parameters for your own needs.

This post is only going to cover the actual frame. Following posts are going to cover the signature and then how to put it all together and why.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Frame" Saga Success!

I've done it. Regardless if a picture is landscape, portrait, or a 4:1 panorama of any size, I have a set of Actions that, during a single Batch automation, creates the frame and place/position the watermark signature at the exact place it needs to be. The images above is the proof.

During the weekend I will post about how I made the frame and how I automated the whole watermark-signature placement.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ongoing "Frame" Saga

Wondering what I've been cooking up for the last few days, read on...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Recovery Miracle

Over a week ago, there was an event where I had to take pictures. Nothing complicated. I ended up the event with 96 shots taken throughout the afternoon, but one series of shot (4 shots) was especially important. It was a group picture.

A weekend passed. The following Monday, I came to the office and started sorting through all the pictures. Close to the end, I noticed that I didn't see the group shots. I started looking through everything I sorted, the Recycle Bin... essentially everywhere. They were nowhere to be found.

Could they have been accidentally overwritten by the camera? Were the files truncated/corrupted? So many possibilities, but all with the same result: I did not have the important picture.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

No Updates? No Worries

If you're still here expecting an update, you must either not know me and my job or you have no access to a calendar.

We're in June. Not only it's half Spring half Summer, but it's also time for the Annual Report at work. Yes, that time where all the important information for an important document always arrives three weeks late and only days before it actually goes in front of the board. It's the same for every organisation or corporation. At this point, I believe having information arriving late for graphic design or printing is part of the general definition of an annual report.

That said, we always make it on time anyway. It's just part of the show, just like the fireworks at the end of a Shakespeare piece... ok, that's off, but you get what I'm saying.

That's why you're not getting any updates recently. There will be one tomorrow with details of a miracle from the computer-gods. Then it's another blogging hiatus until I can a bit of free time.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's Official, I'm Hooked...

After last week's first Geocaching experience, me and Stéphanie have pretty much gotten hooked to it. We're up to 7 Caches so far without a GPSr.

The GPSr should arrive this week, so don't be surprise if I add another post Category to the list.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Accidental Cache...

I know I haven't been posting for a while. Those following me in real life know that last week I was on "vacation"... you know the type where you need more vacation to recuperate from the first vacation?

I haven't really been doing anything "blog" worthy, unless you consider getting a repair-guy for a dryer interesting.

Even with this 'activity' drought, me and Stéphanie have stumbled into an interesting game/hobby by accident, and we're loving it.

Geocaching! The Cache we stumbled upon was called "Arret et pense" (Stop and think), so we did...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Album and Smurf-Mobile Update

Two very small things. The first is that the "La voix des jeunes" album artwork and design elements are about 85% completed. Actually, strictly-design speaking it's more 98% but there's a bunch of text to write and insert.

The other, the Smurf-Mobile needs a medic.

The chip on the Smurf-Mobile. on Twitpic

I got the stick of touch-up paint and will get right on it once it's stops raining for more than 4 hours (to make sure it really dries well).

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I haven't worked so much as I have lately. If I wasn't working at the office, I was working home for the design material for the "La voix des jeunes" album. For this, I decided to take it easy for tonight and the upcoming weekend.

Not only will I take it easy by playing a few video games (I have finally finished the first playthrough of Borderlands), I have also decided to dust off my Korg Electribe MX-1 (the pre-SD one, first-generation).

I just felt a bunch of you guys shiver in disgust and outrage. Don't worry, it was covered safely and there's not a speckle of dust anywhere close–it was a figure of speech.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bucket-load of Game Impressions

It's been a while since I posted anything related to a game. Since there's "posting drought", I decided to post a bunch of mini-reviews of all the new (for me, not necessarily by release) games I played since last September, just like I did in the old days. Some of the games I purchased, some were rented, and one was borrowed.

I'm going to try to keep each one in no more than two paragraphs. Hit the jump to see those mini-impressions.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fighting Division, Together

(This post is to make you, and I, think and reflect on ourselves)
Unified diversity
Functioning as one body
Every part encouraged by the other
No one independent of another
---Lyrics from "Beautiful Bride" by Flyleaf
There are two songs I've been listening over and over lately, one has the above as its starting lyrics.

We are divided in so many aspects of our lives, to other people, other groups and even to ourselves. We need to stand up and fight this division. We need to unite within ourselves and unite together. When we all function as one, we accomplish great things.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

And Now, A New Wallpaper...

While browsing old photos I took in the past, Stéphanie challenged me to make a wallpaper out of a picture I took in 2006... so I did...

It's available in a variety of fullscreen, widescreen sizes... including one in HD. Check out the DeviantArt Page to download it.


After almost five years, my launch-day PSP-1001 was starting to get some signs of aging. The left and right button on the D-Pad were starting to feel sticky, the battery, A/C adaptor, and faceplate had to be changed, the screen felt a bit dimmer... it's still very functional, but lately I've been thinking of getting a new unit. I wasn't expecting to get it so soon.

We came across an excellent deal on the Limited Edition Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines bundle with the Pearl White PSP-3000. The bundle was not only cheaper than the other PSP-3000 bundles, but it was also the same price as just the PSP-3000 pack (no bundled games or bonuses).

The screen is gorgeous and so is the pearlescent white coating. It shimmers like my car does!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Three Weeks

No, I haven't fell off the surface of the earth. Although it sometimes have felt that way in the past three weeks. Outside of being really busy at work, there's a bunch of stuff that happened and I'm really emotionally tired at this point. That explains why there hasn't been any updates in three weeks. Currently trying to rest as much as possible physically, mentally and emotionally.

On the upside, I have finished the cover art for the "La voix des jeunes" album. I just need to work on everything else (CD label, back and side panel, all the text, etc). I don't have much to post about so it could be several days until I post again.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fixed Liquid Layout

As promised last week, I worked out the basics of Matthew's fixed width layout. Most of the changes are in the CSS.

I am not going to cover the complete code since that was covered in in the other post. If you're coding from scratch, you may want to refer to that post first.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The True Holy Grail of Web Layouts

I'm way over two years old on this, but I stopped doing Web development before the following was posted. Last time I touched anything Web related at work that wasn't related to content management, I was working on a liquid layout prototype. All the research I did back then refered to workarounds and hacks in order to make it work on all browsers.

In 2007, Matthew James Taylor posted something on his Website that changed the way Web Developers and Web Designers approached the development of layouts. He came up with a truly pure liquid layout that worked perfectly on all browsers, used no hacks nor workarounds, and was XHTML valid.

As an exercise in diving back into Web development, I decided to code his Perfect Liquid Layout (Holy Grail) from scratch. The following is nothing really advanced, but a great refresher.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Not All Prisons Have Bars

Last night I went to bed early. I was proud of myself (I'm lacking a lot of sleep) until an inspiration flux woke me up in the middle of the night. I had to write, I had to design...

Here's the first piece. The one that woke me up.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tweaked Again

Don't you just love when the titles I use sound strange or bad without context?

I tweaked the blog template again. The box at the bottom of each post had a solid background that made it way too bold against the rest of the design. Background removed, border-top added.