Ed Bilodeau

This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Caffeine withdrawal recognized as a disorder :
"The research also showed that avoidance of caffeine withdrawal symptoms motivates regular use of caffeine. For example, the satisfying feelings and perceived benefits that many coffee users experience from their morning coffee appear to be a simple reversal of the negative effects of caffeine withdrawal after overnight abstinence."
Plants will not save us from greenhouse gases :
The research, led by McGill University biologist Graham Bell, looked at the response of algae to high carbon dioxide concentrations. Their findings showed that the plants could not adapt to high carbon dioxide conditions. This disproves the previous assumption that plants can take up extra carbon dioxide in the environment. According to Bell, these findings may be applied to other plants species. Over the next century we may see a dramatic change in all plants (including agricultural species) as our use of fossil fuels increases and generates increased carbon dioxide levels.
IE--embraced, extended, extinct? : Both Microsoft and Apple are building browsers that provide OS-specific functionality. Web developers will be able to take advantage of these features only if their intended users happen to use that specific OS/browser installed.

As long as these new browers support the W3C specs for XHTML, CSS, etc, I see no problem with Apple and Microsoft introducing OS-specific functionality. However, what is more likely to happen is that each vendor's implementation of the W3C specs will remain incomplete, while they focus their energies on the new bells and whistles that will encourage users to upgrade their OS.
Paperless e-voting gets thumbs down from ACM :
"Voting systems should enable each voter to inspect a physical (e.g. paper) record to verify that his or her vote has been accurately cast, and to serve as an independent check on the result produced and stored by the system," ACM said on its Web site. "Making those records permanent (e.g. not based in computer memory) provides a means by which an accurate recount may be conducted."

Some transactions just cannot be fully automated. The need for a permanent record of each vote should have been a requirements/constraint on any voting system from Day 1. The fact that it wasn't illustrates that the U.S. government is more interested in other effieiencies the system might bring, and is willing to overlook fundamental requirements in the process.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

What the Bubble Got Right :
Now the pendulum has swung the other way. Now anything that became fashionable during the Bubble is ipso facto unfashionable. But that's a mistake-- an even bigger mistake than believing what everyone was saying in 1999. Over the long term, what the Bubble got right will be more important than what it got wrong.
School Cellphone Bans Topple (You Can't Suspend Everyone) : I have no problem with students carrying cellphones and using them outside of class. But students should not be permitted to (a) talk on their phones in class, nor (b) have their phones ring in class. Offenders and repeat offenders should be appropriately reprimanded.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Offshoring == Co-sourcing == Global sourcing : Call it what you want, companies are always looking for ways to reduce their costs, which often means having the work done wherever the labor is cheapest.
Trellis project using grid computing to assist medical research :
A University of Alberta professor has harnessed the power of 4,000 computers across the country to condense 20 years worth of computing work into 48 hours.
Getting more return on the money Canadians invest in research : I agree that publications that come out of research work that is funded by the government should be made available through open journals. If private, for-profit companies want to make money off of publishing research results, let them fund the research. The system as it currently stands is a massive syphon off the public purse.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

If US companies are outsourcing development work to Canada, can it still be only a cost issue? : The Globe and Mail

Friday, September 24, 2004

Google Local Canada : Looks interesting. Added to my bookmark toolbar.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Speak :


Car-Free Day in Montreal : Ed Hawko provides a nice set of pictures. I walked back through the downtown core on my way back from lunch yesterday, and there was a *lot* of people on the street. I'm not sure if it was the regular volume freed from the sidewalks, or if the event brought more people out then ususal.
Good Experience: You DO Talk to Customers, Don't You? :
By definition, any customer experience project must involve real, live,
actual customers. It's not adequate to operate solely from pre-defined rules,
reams of quantitative data, or hypothetical (and fictional) stories of users.
Customers themselves must be the focus of the research, and their experience on
the site must be the basis of the resulting strategy.

The difficulty with this approach is that you cannot observe all the customers, so how can you be sure that the ones you do observe are representative of your customer population. Having said that, that may not be an issue at all.

What Hurst is proposing is that quantitative means of assessing customer experience is not enough to get a proper understanding of how customers actually interact with your site. He is advocating a qualitative approach, which means that you are worried less about how representative your sample is, but rather, if that your sample provides a rich insight onto the widest range of possible behaviours.

There are volumes of information written on this subject in case anyone is interested in using this method for evaluating their customer experience. Done properly, this research can provide valuable insights into what is happening and what people are thinking. It allows you do develop hypothesis, but not to test them. It is also a *lot* of work. See: qualitative research, grounded theory (I know, I know...), mixed methods, etc.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Sony to support MP3 : Finally.
Internet withdrawal anguishing :
According to a study sponsored by Yahoo and advertising company OMD, Internet detox makes people feel emotionally vacant and lost in life. Twenty-eight participants were asked to record their thoughts and feelings during a two-week period of no Net usage. From studying the subjects' video and written diaries, researchers noticed that two weeks of Internet deprivation affected social lives and left many feeling bored.

Not surprisingly, the study's sponsors said the results provide a good opportunity for marketers.
Pay for Sun's Schwartz jumps 56 percent : Have you noticed how Schwartz seems to be replacing McNealy as the voice of Sun? Probably for the better.
A glass of red wine a day may keep prostate cancer away : That's it: I'm going to start taking my drinking more seriously (and more often).
Busy today : Meeting at 10. Lunch off campus. Back to the office to finish preparing for tomorrow night's lecture.

Yesterday I took on two new responsibilities: Ph.D. Representative for MLISSA (GSLIS student council) and head of the communications committee for the Connection 2005 Information Studies conference that we are hosting in May 2005. Let's just say that I like to keep busy and involved.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

The Secret Behind the iPod's Scrollwheel : Interesting look at a key piece of interface hardware. Hopefully other audio player companies will one day get a clue and start producing nice products like the iPod.
CSI updates : Rory Cochrane (Speed) didn't renew his contract for the new season, hence the departure (which stinks, IMHO). His replacement will be Jonathan Togo. Meanwhile, on CSI:Vegas, George Eads (Nick) was eventually re-hired on, and will be back for the new season (a good thing).
Fixing a busted IT research system :
It does not make sense to become a programmer. [...] I think the trend of pure programming jobs will continue to go offshore, because in many ways, our computers and communications technologies enable that to happen. [...]

The key is big-picture design--what you would call system architecture or system design. It's understanding end-user needs and translating them into the detailed specifications, designs and architectures that can and will be shipped offshore.

It's what we call the user-facing, or customer-facing, aspects of computing, which is sometimes characterized as "computing plus X." We are emphasizing a lot more with our students that they need to understand something besides computing--like business, biology, chemistry, mapping, geography, information retrieval or history. Like anything in addition to computing, because the big win with computing is that you use computers to do things. And to be a creative computer architect or computing systems architect, you need to understand "X" as well as computing.

Multiple Vulnerabilities in Mozilla based Web Browsers : The news is about a week old, but just in case you thought it was only IE that has security problems.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Wikipedia fundraising campaign : $46,769.64 USD short of the 50k target as of this post.
Evening update : Today was a busy day. This morning I plowed through my email, updated a document with review notes from a meeting last week, and put the final touches on a small (~10 slide) deck for a presentation in the afternoon. Met Nathalie for lunch, during which we walked up to Thompson House to take care of our health-care opt-out forms.

I got my PGSS associates card renewed while I was there as well. That's a longer story. Not the process of getting the card (which was handled with ease and grace by the PGSS staff), but the fact that I need one at all. The problem is I have two identities at McGill: faculty and student. My ID card says "staff" on it, since that was my only status when I started at McGill. Even if I get a new card, I can't get once with both "staff" and "student" printed on it. Not a problem for information systems, since my ID number is properly attached to both identities. For the doorman at Thompson House, however, its a problem (grad students only). Hence, my need for a separate piece of paper that authenticates me as a grad student. A minor hassle, but a hassle none-the-less. (I suppose if I went more often, the dorrman would know me and I wouldn't have to always fish out my card. But that would involve the consumption of coffee and/or beer. Actually, that sounds like a better solution then getting the associates card!)

After lunch, I met with Erica to go over the slide deck. We were presenting the KMCoP to Kim's taxonomy class at GSLIS. After that I rushed back to my office to put together a handout for the presentation (always give them something to walk away with), print out 20 copies, and make it back in time for the presentation. The presentation went well.

After that I picked up Nathalie at the library, and we headed to my office to get my junk before catching the 4:50 train home. Lasagna for supper, coffee afterwards over homework, which for me consists of reading and note taking: Pavalko's Sociology of Occupations and Professions, and Krauss' Death of Guilds (the work). CSI: Miami premiere at 10 (the reward).

(I know this is the kind of "blah blah" post that most people hate to read, but it is what I felt like writing... and the last time I'll apologize for it!)
This Morning's Music : Operation: Mindcrime, one of the best albums ever made.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Home PC repair a success : I've installed the new HD on our home PC, along with Windows XP Pro (+ all updates), Office XP (+ all updates), Norton AV (90-day trial... I'll pay for it in December), Acrobat Reader, Quicktime, and iTunes. I still need to set up the printer and scanner and clean up the mess I made in our office. But the core system is up and running. Rather nicely, I might add!
US to rejoin International Coffee Organization :
“There can be no solution to global economic problems without the US,” said Phil Bloomer, Head of Oxfam International’s Make Trade Fair Campaign. “We look forward to seeing the US play a constructive role at the ICO to develop programs that can help alleviate the crisis for more than 25 million small coffee farmers throughout the world.”
Garret is blogging in verse : Check it out.
11th OnLine Audiovisual Catalogers Conference 2004 : Oct 1-3, Montreal, QC.
Not everyone is happy with Firefox RSS support : The original post and following comments on Don Park's site uncover a number of issues, none of which seem too critical, IMHO.
DiamondMax Plus 8 Hard Drive : I purchased a new hard drive this AM to replace the one that died on our home PC. 40GB, 7200rpm, $89.99CND. Purchased at the Camelot in PVM.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The world's most connected place :
South Korea is the most connected, high-speed Internet country in the world -- and the technology is having a broad impact on society, providing hints of what may come in North America as speeds and use increase.
Whiiirrrr...clickclickclickclickclick...griiiiiind : These are the sounds that you never want to hear coming from your computer's hard drive, the sounds our home PC started making last night. I'm assuming the data on the drive is lost. The last backup is a few months old, but thankfully we didn't use the PC too much over that time. Still...

The plan is to purchase a new hard drive (I priced out an inexpensive 40GB model this AM) and install it over the weekend.

The PC, a Dell Dimension 4100, is just about three and a half years old. The warrantee, if I remember correctly, is about 3 years. Which is how it goes with electronics, I guess. I'm going to dig up the original paperwork to see if maybe the hard-drive had a longer warrantee. I may also see if the hard drive's data can be recovered, but it isn't critical data, so we don't plan on spending any significant amount of cash on it.

If we weren't doing our studies, I would think seriously about not bothering and just doing without a PC at home. Then again, if we had the cash, we would probably just go out and buy a new system.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

2005 International Conference on Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering :
The conference aims at bringing together experts in software engineering and knowledge engineering to discuss on relevant results in either software engineering or knowledge engineering or both. Special emphasis will be put on the transference of methods between both domains.
Too bad this conference isn't more local.
Foo Camp: Where's Aaron? : http://foocamp04.smugmug.com/gallery/200471/1/8450136
Busy : Meetings at GSLIS all morning: GSLIS speaker series, KMCoP, Ph.D. comp exam policy. Lunch with Nathalie. Buying textbooks at the bookstore (makes hardcover novels look downright inexpensive). This afternoon I'm prepping tomorrow night's lecture class, among other things.
Firefox > Delicious > Firefox : At the bottom of the explanation of live bookmarks (essentially RSS incorporated into Firefox's bookmarking system) is the idea that you manage your bookmarks in delicious, publish them from there using RSS, then subscribe to those RSS feeds using Firefox. Sounds like a neat idea. It will be interesting to see how useful it is in practice.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Royal Navy will run on Windows for Warships : Professional responsibility now took hold. Those of us who understood the implications of trying to use Windows as a foundation for a command system saw the risk. As loyal officers of the company, we were obliged to attempt to convince management about the risk. Acting as spokesman for a phalanx of concerned engineers, I compiled a dossier to document the problem. The dossier provided a management summary, reinforced by some fifty pages of detailed analysis and rigorous argument; The dossier explained why Microsoft Windows could not form a safe and secure foundation for anaval command system; [...] The company's action was swift, but disappointing.

This is a position that software engineers will continue to find themselves in: caught between the values of their profession and the values of their employers. In other types of engineering, there is a legal context that helps to align the two. In most if not all cases, software engineering doesn't enjoy that same benefit.
Software engineers need discipline :
The software engineering industry is in need of some tough love, the kind of attention more commonly known as 'bondage and discipline' to pull it into shape and transform it into a serious profession.
Giant pickup truck :
The new CXT -- short for commercial extreme truck and built from the same platform as the heavy-truck maker's typical tow truck or cement mixer -- will be sold starting this week by Navistar's International Truck & Engine subsidiary. [...] Buyers will also have to have a fair amount of money to fill it up -- it's projected to get between 6 and 10 miles per gallon of diesel fuel.
I swear to god we're all going to hell in a handbasket.
Firefox Preview Release : I'm going to wait for 1.0 (0.9.2 is working fine for me), but this new bit looks interesting:
Live Bookmarks: You can now subscribe to and read RSS feeds in your Bookmarks. When you visit a page that advertises a RSS feed by using a tag, a RSS icon will appear in the status bar. Click it to view a list of feeds the page is offering. Click one to subscribe - this adds a Bookmark Folder that contains all the recent posts from the feed.

Who Cares About the Truth? :
Recently there has been a revival of interest in George Orwell's 1984. But discussions of the book often miss the point. The most terrifying aspect of Orwell's Ministry of Truth isn't its ability to get people to keep people from speaking their minds, or even to believe lies; it is its success at getting them to give up on the idea of truth altogether. When, at the end of the novel, O'Brien, the sinister representative of Big Brother, tortures the hapless Winston into believing that two and two make five, his point, as he makes brutally clear, is that Winston must "relearn" that whatever the party says is the truth. O'Brien doesn't really care about Winston's views on addition. What he cares about is getting rid of Winston's idea of truth. He is well aware of the point I've just been making. Eliminate the very idea of right and wrong independent of what the government says, and you eliminate not just dissent -- you eliminate the very possibility of dissent.
Canada's ranking falls in funding for schools :
Once a leader in basic education, Canada has cut its support of elementary and high schools over the past decade as a result of demographic change and provincial governments' increasing interest in universities, a new study finds.
David Anderson and Feature Driven Development : At some point I need to spend some time reading up on FDD. I've been getting interested in Agile methods, which David is a proponent of. At the same time, I advocate a user-centric development model. Focusing on features is at the root of many pieces of botched, crummy software applications, or of software that isn't aligned with business and/or user objectives (i.e. failed software). So to hear David advocating feature-driven development caught my attention. Again, I am not familiar with the details, so I'm suspending judgement until I have a better understanding of the methodology. The name alone, however, was enough to send up a red flag for me.
More and more email : I keep archived folders of all the email I recieve, dated to correspond with when I started here at McGill. Keeping in mind that there is probably some email that doesn't get archived (like some spam, some listserv posts, etc), it still shows a general trend in the amount of email I receive:

oct 2001 - sept 2002: 3800 messages
sept 2002 - sept 2003: 4478 messages (+678 over prev year)
sept 2003 - sept 2004: 5626 messages (+1148 over prev year)

I'd have to look closer at the actual messages to get a feel for the kind of email I receive, and to see where the email is coming from. I'm fairly certain that it isn't due to spam, since I don't get much of that to begin with, and in any case it isn't kept and archived by my mail rules.
Excerpt from "100 Photos that Changed the World" (Life) : Many powerful, disturbing images. I would be interested in seeing the rest of the collection. I wonder if change can only occur in the face of horror? Couldn't you get change from pictures with a powerful but positive message? (There are one or two in the 30 pictures shown here. Not enough for me.) (via Kottke)
Flickr slideshow, tag=mcgill : A much smaller collection of shots (only 5 or so at the time of posting). I'm sure I have some in my archives that I could post here. I'll save that for later when I really need a reason to procrastinate.
Flickr slideshow, tag=montreal : I haven't really been paying much attention to what has been happening over at Flickr (mostly because I still haven't replaced my digital camera and seeing all the photos burns me), but it sure does look interesting. The link above goes to a slideshow of all photos that people have entered and tagged using the keyword "montreal." Very nice. (via Michael)

Monday, September 13, 2004

Natural health books, as recommended by Steve Howe : Interesting. I wonder if any of them are available through our libraries?
TBIT 04 : David's redesign in progress. Nice.
Thinking about work : I spent a few hours this evening thinking about and writing up notes on what I want to accomplish at work. I'm feeling more motivated regarding my job these days then I have in a long time. Its a great feeling, although I need to make sure I don't loose sight of my studies.
Best. Weblog. Markup. Ever : This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics is a weblog-like site that provides terrifying content while laughing in the face of markup standards. I love the contrast. This is exactly the kind of focus I think more weblogs (mine included, of course) should have.
Distributed Categories: Something's in the Air :
"One way or another, it looks like distributed categorization is going to really take off, and soon. There’s just too much chatter going on about how to implement it for it not to happen pervasively."
The challenge is going to be to find the balance between individual, ad hoc categorization and full, professional cataloging of information (see: library studies). Today's applications (delicious, flickr, etc) are letting people share their personal, ad hoc categories. Sooner or later, people will start to complain that because people are not using the categories in a consistent way, it is very difficult to make use of that metadata. While this might be the case across the entire data set, I think we will see pockets of consistency emerge, and that these pockets will form around social networks. Then we'll just need the tools to allow users to define their universe and share definitions of thier universe, and well be set.
The slacker's new bible :
"An anarchic antidote to management tomes promising the secrets of ever greater productivity, Bonjour paresse is a slacker's bible, a manual for those who devote their professional lives to the sole pursuit of idleness."
Schools, offices button down dress codes :
"Tired of staff members who they see as pushing the limits of professionalism and good taste, a growing number of employers are issuing lengthy dress codes, some with photos to illustrate the do's and don'ts. More schools also are getting stricter about student attire."
We could use a good dose of this on our campus and in our offices as well. In the offices the problem is mostly with student/casual workers. I don't expect them to have to wear a suit, but business casual would be nice. It is very hard for an organiztation to maintain a professional image when the employees are dressed like clubbers.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

CBC clueless on reason for Iraq violence : Love this quote from a Sept 12 CBC news piece:
"Insurgents clashed with U.S. forces in the capital where nearly 40 died. The American military has also reported that fighting in Tarar in eastern Iraq, wich began on Thursday, has left 51 dead. There is no explanation, so far, why the fighting has erupted in the city."
Hmm. Let's see. Why would 'insurgents' renew their attacks against US troops just after Sept 11...?
Finished updates to work web site : I just put the changes I've been working on for the CMS web site live. Unless you already spend a lot of time on the site, you probably won't notice much. The main gist is that the content has been reorganized around programs, independant studies, courses, exams, and contact.

Like with all web sites, this one is a work in process. Because I usually have to work with others to get content and get it approved, changes take time. I've drawn up a list of the top five changes I want to get done this semester. Tomorrow I'll pitch them to the director and get some executive support. Small, incremental improvements is the plan.
coolweblog.com/bilodeau is back : My other weblog appears to be functioning now, although I still can't log in to make any changes or post new material. Not a big problem, though, since this Blogger site is working fine.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

A thread on motivation : Recovering from a morale slump: "If you look at fantasy art, you see the picture of the wizard at his desk, spellbook open, skull on the shelf. The skull is to remind him that the time he wastes comes out of a very finite amount."
Working from home : Today I spent a few hours working on our departmental home page. Mostly mindless markup work that consumes a large amount of time but doesn't require that I get too wrapped up in deep thought. Perfect for home work, since I can drop it on a dime and pick it right back up.

None of the work is live yet. I'll probably spend some more time tomorrow looking it over and making a few more tweaks. I think it will be a major improvement as far as the kind of information we have available and how it is organized. There is still a lot more that will need to be done, but this is a big piece of it.
Three years at McGill : Three years ago yesterday I began working at McGill full-time as a faculty lecturer. It is easily the longest I have ever stayed at a single job, and the most I have ever enjoyed myself.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Moving away from the lecture format : Last night I made some more progress in moving my teaching style away from the straight lecture format to a more inclusive style.

(Note: I have a small class this semester, a dozen or so students. I'm sure the approach I'm taking would be a bit more difficult to manage in a larger class, but not impossible.)

I started the class with a brief introduction, then assembed the students into groups so that they could discuss the assigned reading. I listened in on the discussions as they were occuring, in case they seemed to stall or go too far off track, but they didn't. Although it was difficult to not jump into the discussion, I resisted. My feeling is that the moment I were to join the discussion, the whole dynamic would have changed. The discussion would no longer have been among peers, but would have included an authority (me). I think that would have reduced each student's engagement in the discussion. Besides, they were doing fine without me!

Another factor that I believe helped the discussion was that the week before I had asked them to write up their reflections and thoughts on the reading and submit it to me at the beginning of this class (for marks). This forced them not only to do the reading, but to think about it in a deeper way then they might normally have done. This helped to prime the in-class discussions.

Listening in to the discussions, I made a few notes on points I wanted to come back to later in the class. I also made note of the apparant knowledge and experience levels of the various students, something I will take into consideration when I form the discussion groups in future classes.

After the group discussions I brought the class back together and asked the "reporter" in each group to share some of the points the different groups had come up with. Here I jumped in with my own perspective on things, clarified points, answered questions, etc. By the time we were done that, it was time for the break.

When we got started back up again, I lectured for about an hour or so (only a dozen slides!), going into more depth on this week's material, adding stucture and pointing out the key ideas. Just before the end of class, I gave out the next assignment (reflection paper on the assigned readings), then called it a night.

The class over, I felt satisfied and energized. I had lots of ideas for next week's class, and for the final project as well. Although we're still in the honeymoon period (i.e. that time between the start of the semester and the first big evaluation), I'm feeling good about this group and the course as a whole.
Why the upcoming US election matters : Laurie Pringle (guest posting on Matthew Good's weblog) sums up the situation nicely:
The USA has entered into a military situation which is often regarded as illegal and immoral. American foreign policy has long been regarded as arrogant, ignorant, and inconsiderate. The overwhelming perception of American government as selfish, inconsiderate and lacking any sense of being a “world citizen”, has increased exponentially since the invasion of Iraq. Many people around the world are looking at this election to discern whether or not these horrendous attitudes are representative of the American people.

McGill mourns death of student : The official univeristy press release also contains a copy of Kathleen Currier's obituary that ran in the Burlington Free Press.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Tragically Hip : In Between Evolution is growing on me. Perservere, and you will be rewarded.
Good morning! : Wet, rainy day, the remenants of Frances, or so we are told. My kind of weather, although I wish it was a bit cooler. Perfect for studying, though!

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Daily Summary : Today was a good day. GSLIS was abuzz with new students starting their orientation, including Nathalie, who begins her MLIS degree this fall! :)

I spent the first hour of the day in the library, where I found a good book on the professions, Pavalko's Sociology of occupations and professions. He presents a conceptual model of the occupation-profession continuum that is based on earlier studies and research. From what I can tell, this is going to save me a fair amount of reading, at least at this stage of my research.

Having achieved that small victory, I headed back down to GSLIS and dropped in on the orientation session just in time to give the new students a 5-minute summary of my research. After that we broke for coffee, snacks, and socializing. I spent some time talking to Stephanie about the GSLIS speaker series, and with Erica about KMCoP. More general "How was your summer?" etc. Had a longer conversation with one of the profs and a few other students. All very good.

Back to the office for lunch. Advising was dead, thank god. Spent the time catching up on email and working on my slides for tomorrow night's lecture. They should be ready to post in the morning. Ah, I guess that will be the afternoon, since I won't be in the office until noon. Oh, well.

Nice quite evening, relaxing, a bit of TV, a bit of work. All good!
Foul play ruled out in McGill student's death : CBC: "Just three days into her first term, Kathleen Currier, 19, was found dead in her residence. [...] Kathleen Currier was both an honour student and an athlete. She played varsity field hockey, ice hockey and lacrosse in high school."
Main weblog down (server relocation) : The server hosting my main blog is being moved today. I'm guessing it will be down until the weekend or so. In any case (according to the admin) I seem to have done something to corrupt the MT installation, so it might be a bit longer before I can login there and post new content. In the meantime, this site will do fine

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I only got through 1 of the 7 books I wanted to look at this morning. Not so good, but I expected the first books to take longer (with the later books being more repititious). I'm not discouraged, although getting through all 7 would have been a pleasant surprise!

My 2-hour stint at in-person registration was fairly uneventful. There aren't that many people needing advising today, mostly students signing up from language classes.

My plan for the afternoon: get some coffee and prepare Thursday's lecture.
There was enough cloud cover for me to have my morning coffee on the front steps of the Arts building. At around 8:00, the students started to trickle by. By 8:30, there was a steady flow of students heading to class. My coffee finished, I headed over to the library, where I checked my e-mail and wrote this note. (The URL for my MT blog's admin interface is bookmarked on my laptop, so it is easier when I'm at a remote machine to post to this Blogger blog. I also prefer the posting interface, for some reason.)

My objective for this week is to get back on track with my research, which for the moment means lots of time reading. I've set myself some rather ambitious goals in terms of the number of books I need to get through each day. I've scheduled off a few hours each day to be spent in the library (since I'm not confident I'll be able to get any work done in my office). All that's left now is for me to do the work, so I'd better get to it.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

del.icio.us/ebilodeau : I've started playing around with del.icio.us to store bookmarks, whcih you can view here.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

I've decided to use this as a 'backup' blog, for those cases where my main weblog isn't available. I made a few alterations to the sidebar to make it feel a bit more like home.