Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Cats

Crick

Watson

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Hockey

Played my first (and second) game of hockey since my injury! As previously mentioned, my physio told me that once it felt OK to skate *and* it felt OK the next day after I skate, I was allowed to play hockey again. And since I felt OK on Friday after skating on Thursday night, I was approved to play today! My lower division team had a game at 2 pm, so I played that and it went fine – I’m definitely not as strong on my right leg as I’d like to be, but that will take some time and continued strengthening exercises to get to, and I wasn’t able to go as all out as I usually go, but I was actually surprised that I managed to have some jump in my step and didn’t suck wind too hard. My slightly higher division team had a game at 6 pm and since I felt OK after the first game, I stuck around and played that game too1. Game #2 also went well – I even got knocked down at one point and it didn’t hurt my hip (which was something that I worried might hurt). Afterwards, I came home, took some naproxen (an anti-inflammatory), took a long hot shower and did a bunch of stretching. I can feel that my back is definitely a bit tensed up, but that’s pretty typical when I haven’t played in a while – and it’s been three months since I last played!

Anyhoo, I’m going to see how I feel in the morning, but I’m cautiously optimistic that I might actually really be functional again!

  1. I brought some work to the rink with me so I could get work done in between the two games.Wasn’t a long enough break to make it worth going all the way home and then all the way back to the rink, but was long enough to get something to eat and get a bit of work done. []

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Inventory

“Inventory is evil” is what my supply chain management prof always used to say. Inventory is your money being tied up so you can’t use it. Inventory is risk – risk that you’ve put your money into making that product, but maybe you won’t be able to sell it or it will get stolen or eaten by rats or go past its expiry date or become obsolete. Inventory costs you money because you have to store your inventory somewhere. “Inventory is evil” is something I’ve been experiencing vis-a-vis Pokémon1.

In the Pokémon game, you get 250 storage spots for all the little pocket monsters that you catch (or hatch or evolve). But when you live and work in heavily Pokéstopped areas, you end up catching lots and lots of Pokémon – way more than 250, though lots and lots of them are multiples of ones you have2. Since the objective of the game is to catch each different type of Pokémon, you need to have enough room in your inventory to store all the different types, but given how often you just keep catching the same type you already have, you quickly run out of space! You can “transfer” your Pokémon to the professor in exchange for candy (which frees up a spot in your Pokémon inventory) but (a) that requires the hard work of tapping icons and words on your screen, (b) many of the Pokémon are sooo cute and I don’t know what the professor is doing to them (but it can’t be good), and (c) my pack rat tendencies. It’s actually mostly (a). I tend to catch Pokémon as I go about my day – walking to the Skytrain station, on the way to the grocery store, etc. – so it sort of fits with the flow of my day, but cleaning up my inventory requires concerted effort just focused on playing the game, and since I’m not typically a gamer, this is not something I’m used to. Once you fill up your storage, you can’t catch anymore Pokémon until you either transfer some out or pay money for more storage spots. This is where my cheapness overtakes my laziness3!

I mostly do my Pokémon inventory management on my Skytrain ride. I sort the Pokémon by name so that I can see which ones I have multiples of, check out which one is the most powerful (or which two if I’m keeping an extra one around to evolve4.), and then transferring the superfluous to the professor. It’s a lot of work! Also, while doing this important work, I’m often interrupted by my phone vibrating, which signifies that a new Pokémon has spawned where I am so I have to get out of my inventory box and go catch it. Since my Pokémon are sorted alphabetically by name, I often clear out my extra Caterpies and Drowzees, but less often get to my Spearows and Zubats. Case in point, I seem to own all of the Tauroses5:

All the Tauroses

Or I did. After I took that screen shot, I transferred a bunch to the professor and now I have a tonne of Tauros candy – I used as much of the candy as I could but apparently cannot power him up anymore until I become a stronger trainer.

In addition to my Pokémon storage, I also have a limited inventory for carrying around items in your bag – Pokéballs, Megaballs, and Ultraballs used to catch , plus Revives and Potions used to heal your Pokémon after you force them to fight at a PokéGym6. This used to be a problem for me, as my I kept getting messages that my bag was full – again, you could pay for a bigger bag, but I’m way too cheap. I often throw out Revive and Potions, because I don’t fight at PokéGyms that much, so I’d rather have room for more balls7. But in the past week or so I’ve found that not having enough inventory room is not my problem – my problem has been that I keep running out of PokéBalls! Which is probably because I keep running into situations like this one:

All the Pokémon

I ran into this gaggle of Pokémon outside my pet store when I went to buy food for the kitties. I ended up catching 11 Pokémon in a row there! Hence why I keep running out of Pokéballs!

So, yes, it seems it’s feast or famine when it comes to PokéInventory – either too much or too little. Inventory really is evil.

  1. Yes, I’m still playing Pokémon, even though everyone else is so over it. Because I have a bad case of completism and I’ve still got 38 Pokémon that I haven’t caught yet! []
  2. You have to catch multiples of the same type of Pokémon because (a) catching Pokémon gives you experience points (XP), which is how you level up (which makes you more powerful, lets you catch more powerful Pokémon, and gives you useful objects) and (b) it also gives you candy, which you need to evolve or level up a given Pokémon. []
  3. My friend Cath and I (the only two people I know who are both still playing, made a solemn vow to not spend any actual money on this game. We only get items through either getting them for free at Pokéstops or getting them for free when we level up or earning PokéCoins for free by putting our Pokémon on gyms. []
  4. Or extras if I’ve given them a particular name, like my Meowths, which I named after my kitties – an idea I stole from Cath []
  5. I appear to have a Tauros nesting ground right outside my home and right outside my office so I catch them all. the. time. []
  6. If this is your first time at PokéGym – you *have* to fight! []
  7. Although, I have this feeling of guilt for throwing away perfectly good Revives and Potions because it feels wasteful….. even though I’m entirely away that they are *imaginary* and I got them for free at PokéStops! []

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Elsewhere

I wrote a posting for the blog of a conference for which I am a co-chair of the program committee. You should totally read it, if you are interested in reading a blog posting about how many people submitted abstracts to that conference. Also, it contains a loathed pie chart, but also an infographic that I made. Hooray for infographics!

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Pool

So I finally, after years of living in New West, went to the Canada Games Pool last night. My physio recommended that I try water running1 as a way of being active while my hip isn’t 100% ready for real running yet. It allows you to do the motions of running and get some cardio, but without putting weight on the injured joint.  Plus it’s also just a good workout because of the resistance of the water. Also, there’s a hot tub right next to the pool.

Water running was definitely a good workout and because I’m new to it, I was really paying attention to my form, which I’m hoping will help me once I’m back to non-water running, as it will hopefully get rid of the bad form that I had due to the sprained ankle which lead to the borked hip.

Tonight I went skating to see how that would feel. My physio said once it feels OK to skate *and* it feels OK the next day after I skate, I’m allowed to play hockey again. The skating felt OK today, so I guess I’ll see how I feel in the morning and then make a decision on whether I will play hockey on Sunday!

In conclusion: progress!

  1. Yes, water running is exactly what it sounds like – running along a swim lane in a pool. []

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PhDiversary

Can you believe that it was a decade ago that my PhD was bestowed upon me? A *decade*!!

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I just cannot believe it has been 3,653 days since I walked across the convocation stage in my fancy shoes, my garish pink robe, and my puffy hat and officially became Dr. Beth. A lot has happened in those 10 years. I went from being an unemployed couch surfer with $72K of student debt to a job having, home-owning, cat-owning, student debt-free published author and absent-minded professor(ish) who added five more letters after my name beyond the PhD.

Also, would you believe that in all that time I’ve only once been called “not a real doctor”1 and that was actually just last week? True story.

  1. Not counting times someone said it in jest. []

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Secular

Happy Openly Secular Day!

What is Openly Secular Day, you ask? Good question, fictitious reader! From https://openlysecular.org:

The mission of Openly Secular is to eliminate discrimination and increase acceptance by getting secular people – including atheists, freethinkers, agnostics, humanists and nonreligious people – to be open about their beliefs.

I can’t think of any times off the top of my head that I’ve been discriminated against for being an atheist or a secular humanist, but then again I’m not sure how many people even know that I’m those things, so I thought that Openly Secular Day would be a good day to be open about that and see what happens. Also, while I haven’t experienced discrimination based on being secular, many people have. The idea behind Openly Secular Day is that people are more likely to be accepting of something when they know someone who fits the description: “For example, 68% of those who personally know gay or lesbian people favor marriage equality, compared with just 32% of those who don’t know anyone (Pew Research, June 2013).” (Source). So if people like me “come out” as secular, perhaps it might make things easier for others.

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Busy

I knew that one of the days this month I was going to phone it in on a blog posting. And today is that day. Too busy finishing up tomorrow night ‘s lecture to write anything substantive here. But I have something to write about tomorrow, so hopefully I’ve have the energy to write that one up after class!

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NYC

Hey, remember yesterday when I said of my mother: “Who knows where her world travels will take her next?” The answer was me and my sister. We knew where my mother’s world travels would take her next because we’d already booked a trip to take her to New York City as her birthday present! We wanted to do something extra special for her extra special birthday and we figured that her first trip to NYC would fit the bill1. She’s never been to NYC before and it will be all decorated up for the holidays, so that’s pretty cool. I’ve also never been to NYC before, so it’s also kind of a gift to me too! I also think it’s cool because my sister went to NYC for her 40th and now my mom is going for her 70th and it will also be just weeks before my 40th!

We’ve got tickets to a couple of shows (Wicked and the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular) and reservations for a couple of fancy dinners (I can’t remember where. My sister booked them because she’s the good daughter who does all the work of planning and suchlike.). We are very excited to see the big Christmas tree and the big skating rink and Central Park and countless other NYCesque things! If you have any suggestions on must-see/must-do things while we are there (keeping in mind we are only there for 3 days), let me know!

  1. The recent thing that happened south of the border made us a bit less excited at first, but I would like to point out that Obama will still be the president while we are there, so there’s that. []

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Mom

Today my mom is having a milestone birthday! I’m not going to say which one as the number, according to her “makes me want to throw up”. But as I always reply, “Turning [number redacted] is better than not turning [number redacted]!” Besides, it’s not how old you are, but how old you feel! And my mom is young at heart, enjoying a life of fine wines and world travels!

Here she is in Milan1:

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And in London:

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And here we are in Ireland:

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Who knows where her world travels will take her next?

Happy birthday, Mom! I love you!

  1. Photo shamelessly stolen from my Aunt Eileen’s Flickr account []