2018 Reading

It occurred to me that it might be a good idea to actually track all the books I read (or listen to) over the course of the year, rather than just the ones that I read while on vacation.  Basically, once I run out of podcasts for the day, I switch to a book and once I’m done that, I listen through the podcast backlog, then cycle repeats.

2017 Vacation Reading

A quick gallery of what I read during this year’s great vacation.

Algonquin Park to Ottawa at 16,000 KM per hour – or, how to beat an erroneous YouTube Copyright claim

As we were leaving Algonquin Park at the end of August, I decided I would try the time lapse feature in iOS on my nifty new iPhone SE to make a short video highlighting the drive home.

I used my trusty hand-held tripod and phone mount and turned it on and off at various points on the trip. Next time, I’ll see about some kind of mount so I don’t have to hold it.

Initially, this was going to be done real quick. Then I crashed into the wall of reality at Mach 13. There was WTL confetti everywhere.

I decided on a minute long video to make it quick and digestible, then started looking through my library of music that I have rights to use online.

After an hour of flailing around through my collection, I couldn’t find anything that met my… acoustic vision, so it occurred to me that I had a copy of GarageBand installed.

After a few minutes of reacquainting myself with GarageBand, I started clicking on samples and began to build the piece. Forty minutes later, I had something I was happy enough with, and finished under my self-imposed one hour deadline.WTL-2016-Algonquin-to-Ottawa-Background

I exported the video with the music mixed in, uploaded it to YouTube, and made a note to myself to write up a blog post for the following Monday to release it.

Later that day, I received notification from YouTube that there had been a copyright claim made against my freshly-uploaded video.YouTube Copyright Claim notification

I read through my options, and decided I would dispute it; it *was* all my content after all.

Fortunately, I tend to keep things, so I re-opened the GarageBand project for the tune and made a quick screen recording video explaining how I made it, and played the song through, commenting on a few parts, exported it and dropped it into my Dropbox public folder, and wrote my response:
The video was shot on my iPhone. The music was composed by me in
Garageband using the default samples installed by Apple. Here’s a video of the Garageband project:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/xxxxxxx/Garageband-of-Algonquin-Park-to-Ottawa-2016-09-23.mp4

This part was pre-written:

I have a good faith belief that the claim(s) described above have been made in error. and that i have the right(s) necessary to use the contents of my video for the reasons I have stated. I have not knowingly made any false statements, nor am I intentionally abusing this dispute process in order to interfere with the rights of others. I understand that filing fraudulent disputes may result in termination of my YouTube account. I understand that my video will be viewable by the claimant(s) so that they can review my dispute.
YouTube Copyright dispute filing

Satisfied, I clicked Submit and waited. Four days later, I received an email stating that the copyright claim to my material had been released.YouTube Copyright claim released

In the scheme of things, I think it went pretty well – I’ve read of other folks having a nightmare of a time. I’m glad I thought to make the video documenting the GarageBand project showing how I arrived at the final piece.

The song is available for your use licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License and can be found on the audio samples page. I’ve even included the Garageband project to make changing it easier.

If enough people would like, I’ll whip up a quick tutorial on how I made the tune in Garageband (basically a lot of clicking and listening).

Algonquin 2016 Reading material

Rather than write out the list of the thirty-three books I read (dead tree and audiobook) while camping (that’s about a book and a half per day on average), I took photo/screenshots of the covers so I could get them in order:

Follow up on the events of July 10, 2016

Flowers and candles for Tarique LegerThis post is a direct follow up to my previous post
The blood on my hand, so I suggest you start there if you haven’t read that.

It’s been a bit over two weeks since Tarique Leger lost his life after he was shot leaving the Flatbook unit in our building, becoming Ottawa’s ninth murder of 2016.

One thing that we’d like to be clear about; neither of us considers what we did “courageous”, “heroic”, “worthy of a medal” or anything remotely like that; as some people have suggested to us. There are people who deal with this level of tragedy day in and day out – for years; the police, paramedics, firefighters, emergency room doctors, the 911 dispatchers – they’re a massive team of people who work to keep us safe and help us when our lives are at their worst, and they suffer greatly for it. Those people are heroes.

We did what we thought was the right thing to do; what we’d like to think that others would have done if they’d been in our place.

I’ve said it to a few people; one of the worst things that could have happened to me is if I had done nothing – then the mental repercussions of not having tried; not done anything; that would have been horrible. We tried. We did our best, and eventually I’ll be okay with that.

If you are the kind of person to turn away, I’d like you to take a few minutes in a quiet place and reflect on that. What if it was you? Wouldn’t you want someone to come out and help you? Then you should do the same, because someday, it might *be* you.

Don’t have confidence in your first aid training? Take a refresher. Even if you don’t have any training, the 911 dispatcher will walk you through step by step until help arrives.

Tracey and I have received a wonderful outpouring of support from friends, family and strangers. Thank you all – it’s meant the world to us both. Some of your comments have literally moved me to tears (the good kind, that make you feel loved).

Many have suggested we seek post-trauma counselling; I’ve never been good at talking about things with strangers – I tend to internalize everything, analyze it myself, and deal with it.

Honestly, Tracey and I will be fine. If for any reason we are not, we have each other, our friends, and the ability to reach out for support if we think there is a need.

Aftermath;

The Tuesday afterwards, I left home to meet a client, and came upon people gathered out front of our place; Tarique’s sister and friends. I spent about twenty minutes with them answering heart-breaking questions before I had to head off for a meeting. As I left, I handed them my card, told them if they needed anything to let me know.

Shortly after my meeting wrapped up, Tarique’s father called me to thank Tracey and I for our efforts. I’d planned to spend the rest of the day working at “my office”, but packed up and went home. I arrived, spoke at length with Tarique’s parents – and my heart broke again; they’re the ones who are really suffering – they lost their son, and they don’t know who or why.

Talking with them and Tarique’s friends reminded me of how differently white people and black people see the police, how they’re treated, how the general public understands the machinations of a major investigation, and how it might be possible to improve communication for all involved. I did my best to explain what I understand to be the process, which I think helped, but… I’m going to have to think about this a bit more before I send off the email the Ottawa Police Service about that.

They left flowers and candles; it will be a long time – if ever – before I can walk out of the place and not think of Tarique, his father, mother, sister, and friends I met that day, the dead connecting the living.

We finally managed to get our follow-up video interviews scheduled early Friday morning (eight in the morning is really, really early for me). We went down to the police station, met with the detective and were interviewed separately, which is about the extent of our official involvement in the investigation unless there is a trial, in which case one or both of us may be called upon to testify.

Questions;

I’ve received a fair number of questions since the post, so I thought I’d gather them up and get them out of the way in one bunch.

Do we feel less safe now?

No. We’ve lived in the neighbourhood for going on twenty years, and the character of the area hasn’t changed; if anything I think it’s gotten safer. That said, I did have a conversation with the owner of FlatBook about improving safety and security of their bookings.

How fast were the police there?

I checked my phone log today; the 911 call duration was seven minutes. I’d estimate the first officer arrived in four minutes or less.The call ended (I believe) once I had been relieved by the police officer.

Why didn’t you just stay in your place where it was safe?

Technically we both violated the first rule of first responders; make sure the scene is safe. In the scheme of things, I think it was the correct decision.

Has this changed your position on gun control?

No. I’ve been in favour of restricting access to firearms greatly, registering every existing weapon, and requiring extensive background checks & training for a long time. Tarique’s murder reaffirmed to me that my position is correct.

I received a couple of questions about “the gory details”.

No.