Author: tiphane

Good bye, facebook!

I have asked to delete my facebook account! I hesitated a lot, you know, for fear of missing out, but here’s how I realized it was the right thing to do: 1- after clearing the cookies in Firefox (you do use Firefox as your browser, right? Start with that, if you don’t), I realized I had to log into Facebook, so I decided to do it from a Private Window (it will save you from collecting data from the sites you visit, and you’ll notice a difference in targeted ads that give you the feeling of being spied upon). 2- Given that I was going to Facebook in a Private Window, I reduced my number of visits because of the added effort… It worked! I was down to a weekly visit. Facebook sent me lots of e-mails about what my friends were doing and how I should come for a visit, but that only confirmed that I was not that interested. 3- I had more free time and worried less about “the world out there.” …

My Library Thing

I wanted to share books that I liked by donating them to the Pacific Center’s library, but I was told they no longer could fit more on their shelves.  Sadly, they hardly had any titles relevant to trans people, so I thought I’d make my own, catalog them on Library Thing.  I may end up adding all the books currently in my apartment…  But for now, I may lend a book if you write to me and we can use Berkeley Espresso or Au Coquelet as our exchange site.  I don’t have a front yard to build a little library! Access my Library Thing here…   I get my books from Bookshop Santa Cruz or Pegasus mostly, and I find the book reviews from Almost, Almost very useful (you can find many of the reviewed titles at the Berkeley Public Library).    

les vaches folles

Inspired by an actual dream, so is it Fiction or Non-Fiction? Photo Essay: the view from inside a bowl of cereal. The dream: my father on the other side of the table from me and my mother; he says something, a comment about us on the other side, alluding to how mad we may be, like mad cows (except it’s in French, and in French the cows are feminine, which is their gender, grammatically that is, as the cows haven’t expressed even their madness to be labeled mad).  I end with finding comfort inside my bowl of cereal, which is very realistic: it is my bowl, it is my cereal, in which I find comfort.  

Old Slide: just a plane at the airport

The photo is not even framed properly. I would have discarded the old slide from my father’s boxes that I tasked myself with sorting out. Many of these slides were the source of our family’s entertainment, back when the only channel on black-and-white TV had the hockey game on Saturday nights, and none of us cared for it. This photo of an Air France Boeing 707, apparently taken at Orly airport, was part of the family show after my parents came back from their trip to France in the Spring of 1964. Many of the photos show street scenes, and sometimes there’s my mother sitting on a rented chair in the Jardin des Tuileries (I’m making this up, I don’t remember what jardins they were, but I remember she mentioned having to pay to sit on the chair). It must be Sunday, and they might have attended Sunday Mass at Notre-Dame, because she’s wearing white gloves… Otherwise, my father was interested in documenting his trip with his group of professors, and we saw a hydroelectric …

Water and Stones of Glendalough

There were little man-walking-with-a-cane icons printed around the Wicklow Mountains on an old Michelin Map of Ireland, prompting my search for a quiet place to stay on my way down the east coast of Ireland. There was a daily bus from Dublin to the Medieval site of Glendalough, and both a hotel and a hostel nearby. Well aware of the uncertainties of late winter travel, I chose it as my “pillow” destination: I would not make reservations, and I would skip it, should I be significantly delayed. Little did I know it would become my favorite place to visit in this trip. Serendipity started with on-time arrival and, only carrying a small backpack, easy passage through Customs. It continued with a coffee shop serving espresso only a step away from the St Kevin’s Bus Stop to Glendalough, and the comfortable bus showing up on time. Soon we were traveling a narrow road with the sight of lamb grazing in green fields. The rain greeting me upon arrival at the visitor center was not a deterrent, …

IBM 360

In this photo I think I just mastered the art of changing a disk pack and putting a magnetic tape on. They said never to touch the red emergency shut off button, even in an emergency. I found no interest in reading the blinking lights, but oh, the thrill of using a keypunch! My favorite key, I think, was REL – releasing the punched card and causing it to move to the stack. Smart people drew an arrow on the edge of the deck with a felt tip pen to help in case they dropped the stack on the floor. Which happened surprisingly often. Some people spent hours drawing Jesus on punched cards to print his image in EBCDIC characters and the printer had trouble turning its wheels fast enough so it looked like the mileage on a car when you have not yet reached an integer. Some people who didn’t draw Jesus printed hundreds of blank pages. I taught students SNOBOL that summer, they were thrilled. That’s when the brakes failed in my old …