The title is a song lyric; it means "the story that starts now," and that's more or less where I feel I'm at. A lot has happened between mid-November and now, and I'm hoping that this will mark a boundary or change in the conditions around me.
The latest evidence regarding the Conservative Party's fraudulent activities in the last Canadian federal election hits close to home for me because I live, and voted, in Winnipeg South Centre, one of the ridings subject to a court challenge by the Council of Canadians. The affidavit of Annette Desgagne is quite damning; people are calling it a smoking gun. One small ray of hope is that it's pretty clear this was all coordinated centrally, and probably by a small conspiracy. Much as I dislike the Conservative Party as an entity, I think there are some decent people within it, and it's likely a whole lot of them didn't know about the fraud and are as shocked by it as the rest of us. Most of the checks and balances of Canadian democracy have been emasculated under Harper, but it still remains that we can try appealing to the decent people within the Conservative Party to weed their own garden. Below is what I'm mailing to Joyce Bateman, CPC Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre.
It's the end of 2011, and I'm writing this from my parents' home in Nanaimo, where I'm visiting over the year-end holidays. If you ask me how this past year has gone, I'd have to say it's been mixed. Some good things have happened; some not so good; and my current situation is what I'd call metastable.
Here are a few notes on the current state of my life.
Last time I checked the windchill, it was -44. That's the level where if you go outdoors, you come back encased in a three-centimetre layer of ice, like in that scene from Excel Saga. Inasmuch as I don't have a hyperactive redhead to warm me up afterward, I'm cancelling or at least postponing my plan of going grocery shopping today. If I'm lucky, it'll be a little warmer in the afternoon.
The firewall box does seem to be dead. It's quite possible that some parts of it are salvageable, but it appears that I can also reconfigure the MTS DSL box to do most of the firewalling I would like, and that doesn't cost me anything in replacement parts. Given that I'm already over budget on such things as the movers' fees, and doormats, I'm going to go that route and keep the firewall box for parts. More moving-in notes below.
MTS telephone and DSL up and running. I have to say again that they were a lot easier to deal with than Bell or Execulink. I am typing this on the laptop - just plugged it in and grabbed a DHCP lease and it worked. A little worrying that it hasn't yet asked me to enter any kind of authentication information; I don't know if that means it's the box labelled "Actiontec" (probably a router plus modem, but not labelled as to its function) doing the authentication, or if I'll have to figure out the authentication protocol once the current lease expires.
Normal mail delivery, and things like the chart service, won't resume until I get my main computer unpacked and set up; but at least now I feel comfortable transferring big and sensitive information with the laptop in a way I didn't want to do while I was a guest on my neighbour's wireless. (Thank you, neighbour!)
ETA: Shortly after the MTS installer left, the apartment management put my completed lease papers under my door, and that enabled me to finally go pick up the package that Canada Post has been holding for me since December 31 (I needed the lease to prove I really live here). The package turns out to be a DSL modem from MTS. So now I have two.
ETA: Desktop machine up now. Not networked, and the firewall isn't up yet, so I'm still typing this from the laptop. There was a scary moment there where I couldn't remember my own password on the main user account (it is, naturally, a password used nowhere else, and I hadn't had a chance to use it since taking the machine down in December); but I still had root, and remembered the missing password before I needed to seriously think about setting a new one anyway, so that was okay.
ETA: Bit of a snag here. The firewall machine doesn't want to boot, at all. When power is applied, the power light doesn't come on; neither does the power button work. But the power supply is producing what look like the right voltages, and if there's a USB key inserted, the light on that flashes, so there's definitely some power getting through. It's possible that the bumping and temperature cycling of the move dislodged something and I can fix it by carefully re-seating all connectors. I sure hope that's the issue, because I'm not sure of much else that could cause these symptoms while still being fixable.