Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Happy 10th Blogiversary to Me!

Number 1010 years. A decade. One-tenth of a century. Whatever way you look at it, it’s an awful long time. Unless you are looking at it in geological time, in which case it’s not even noticeable. Thankfully, neither me nor my blog is a rock.

Obviously things have changed a lot during that time. In fact, blogging itself has gone from “You write a what? A “blog”? What the hell is a blog?” (when I started in 2005) to *everyone* is blogging (in maybe 2007 or 2008) to “You write a what? A blog? How antiquated. Can I Instagram a photo of you? #OldLady #GetWithTheTimes”1.

I obviously don’t blog anywhere near as often as I used to – the days of the 231-day blogging streaks are over2. Even at my peak, I never had a tonne of comments on my blog postings, but the comments section has been a veritable wasteland for years now, with the few people who choose to comment doing so on the Facebook posting linked to my blog posting.

I don’t think it’s very difficult to figure out why me – and pretty much every else – is blogging so much less these days. There are just so many more ways to publish your ideas online now. Back in 2005, Facebook wasn’t yet open to the public – you had to have a university-affiliated address to join back then – and Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and the myriad other ways we have of sharing our ideas online weren’t even invented. And it’s a lot easier to write 140 characters or copy-and-paste a link to something than it is to sit down and think enough to write a coherent blog posting. And, likewise, it takes a lot more attention to read a blog posting than to flip through a bunch of tweets and Facebook statuses. As Mitch Joel said in his blog posting Blogging is Dead (Again):

Blogging is hard because writing is hard. Writing is hard because finding the time to do real critical thinking and then to put those thoughts down in writing is even more complex. Reading, research, critical thinking, writing, editing and publishing isn’t like posting a picture to tumblr or texting off a tweet. They’re different beasts and they deserve different forms of metrics and comparison.

When I used to not have those other outlets, I channeled all of my creative energies into blog postings. Now it’s much easier to post a funny one liner on Twitter and go on about my day.

But the thing is, I’m still constantly thinking of ideas that would  take more than 140 characters to write, and I often find myself making a mental note about something that I want to blog about3. I currently have 63 draft postings sitting in my blog in various states of being written (from just a title to remind me of something I wanted to blog about to some half-baked postings that I haven’t found the time to finish baking), not to mention other ideas jotted on my whiteboard and still others floating around in my brain. But, as Joel says, finding the time to actually craft a blog posting is the real challenge. It’s not just that other social media platforms are competing with blogs, it’s that all the other stuff I do in my life is competing for my time.

Anyway, after all this talk about needing to spend time to think critically to write blog postings, I’m pretty much just rambling on at this point. So I should probably find some way to wrap this thing up. But now I can’t think of a good ending. Gah! The pressure is too much. Oh wait, I know! How about a quiz to see if anyone is actually reading this. 1000 points to anyone who actually posts a comment on this blog posting (and you lose one million points if you post a comment on the link to this blog posting that appears on my Facebook).

10th Birthday Cakey

Omg, why didn’t anyone make this cake for me today?

Image Credits:

-Number 10 image osted by draml on Flickr with a Creative Commons license4.
-Sheep cake photo posted by darkdwarf on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

Footnotes:

  1. See here for a report on how blogging is for old folks… and this was back in 2010! []
  2. Though you may have noticed that I’m currently on a 6-day blogging streak, which I started when I noticed “blogiversary” in my Google calendar. []
  3. Something that frustrates me is that I never seem to get a blog posting written on current events because I need to take my time to learn about them, to think critically about them, and to decide what I’d even want to say about them and by the time I’m done all of that, everyone will have stopped posting links to that news story on their Facebook, having moved on to the next big thing. []
  4. While searching for an image for this blog posting, I searched Flickr for “number 10” and got a lot of photos of the house of the British Prime Minister. []

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Nerd Stats 2014

Here is a quick summary of my blog and Twitter stats for 2014, in delightful Google spreadsheet form:

My blogging and tweeting stats are continuing their downward trend, which is not at all surprising, given that my blogging was very inconsistent this year. Case in point, I only blogged twice in the entire month of November – and I didn’t even remember that November is National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) – the month when I usually blog every day- until the past few days when I was writing up my year in blog postings! Ah well, apparently I was having too much fun this year to spend my time blogging! And it’s quality over quantity, right?

Also, if you are interested, you can also check out my blogging annual report from WordPress.

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Happy 9th Blogiversary to me!

I’m coming in just under the wire on this one, but Happy 9th Blogiversary to me!

Number 9 Sign

When I started this blog nine years ago, it never even occurred to me that it would become such an integral part of my life. It’s my archives of my experiences and ideas (which I really need since I have such a terrible memory!). It’s a connection to family and friends who live both near and far. It’s a creative outlet. And although blogging seems to be much less popular than it was – and the comments section of most blogs are all but dead (damn you Facebook and Twitter!), I still think I’ll be keeping mine going for years to come. Happy birthday, my little blog!

Image Credit: Posted by Ted Eytan on Flickr.

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Happy 8th Blogiversary, Not To Be Trusted With Knives!

Eight years ago today, I started this blog. If my blog were a person, it would be in grade 3 right now. Someone should probably bake my blog a cake.

OK, so I was totally kidding about the cake, but then I just looked on Flickr and people have seriously baked cakes for their blogs. Now someone really needs to bake me a cake!

IngridK1

Jen1

Meg1

Beth2

Cake on fire

Aislinn1

Image Credits (all with Creative Commons licenses):

  1. Green cupcake posted by watsoncake on Flickr.
  2. Chocolate cake with “blog” written in marshmallows posted by wastsoncake on Flickr.
  3. Row of cupcakes spelling out “blogiversary” posted by watsoncake yet again on Flickr
  4. Happy B’day Blog osted by watsoncake on Flickr.
  5. The one with the guy’s face drawn on it posted by watsoncake on Flickr.
  6. Caroline on crack posted by Caro Scuro on Flickr.

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Nerd Stats 2011

Here is a quick summary of my blog and Twitter stats for 20111:

2008 2009 2010 2011 % change from 2010
Blog postings: 423 357 344  380 +9%
Tweets: 2,227 1,815 2302 3,6252 +57%
Visits to my blog 32,410 45,153 44,689 60,560 +36%
Average number of blog visits per day 933. 1264 122 166 +36%
Busiest day on my blog: Sept 26, 2008 (460 views)5 July 25, 2009 (1,181 views)6 Feb 9, 2010 (233 views) Oct 10, 2011 (374 views)  +61%
  1. to see previous years’ nerd stats postings, click the year in the table []
  2. note to self: You started blogging in 2008, so you get these totals by simple subtraction, not by some fancy pants program or anything. I hope this helps you when you write your “Nerd Stats 2012” posting when you think “how the hell did I figure out how many times I tweeted in a given year??” []
  3. not sure why this value is not equal to the number of visits to my blog divided by 365 days. Probably some some of rounding error []
  4. ibid []
  5. thanks to the Hockey Hotties posting []
  6. thanks to the Blogathon! []

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Vote for Me (again)!

For the second year running, I’ve made it to the finals of Cath’s blog’s Comment of the Year competition! Basically, she picks the top comments from her blog over the past year and then lets her readers vote on the overall winner.

I think you know what to do.

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B2K

MILLENNIUM 2000This is my 2000th blog posting!

In celebration, I thought I’d share some blog stats. Because stats are the best way to celebrate things, right?

  • # blog postings: 2,000
  • # of days this blog has existed: 2,301
  • average # of blog postings per day: 0.86
  • # of blog comments: 6,518
  • average # comments per blog posting: 3.3
  • average # of blog hits per day1: 135
Here’s to 2000 more postings about spider conspiracies, shenanigans, hockey hotties, and radicalized geese!

Image Credit: Medallion osted by Leo Reynolds on Flickr.

  1. This is only since January 2009, when I moved to my current URL []

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Go Get Yourself A Copy of The Lastest Issue Reader’s Digest

Not too long ago, Airdrie mentioned that excerpts from Derek‘s blog were going to be published in the November 2011 issue of Reader’s Digest. So I went out and got myself a copy.

Reader's Digest with excerpts from Derek's Blog

Reader's Digest with excerpts from Derek's Blog

I think it’s really awesome that Derek’s powerful writing is being recognized and that an even wider audience is being exposed to his work.

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Blog Action Day – #Food #BAD11

Today is Blog Action Day, a day where bloggers, not surprisingly, take action. They take action, not surprisingly, by blogging, but on this particular day they all blog about the same topic, thus calling attention to said topic. This year’s topic is “Food.”

From the Blog Action Day website:

This year Blog Action Day coincides with World Food Day, a time that focuses the world’s attention on food, something we all have in common.

There is so much to say about food.

We use food to mark times of celebration and sorrow. Lack of access to food causes devastating famines, whilst too much is causing a generation of new health problems. It can cost the world, or be too cheap for farmers to make a living.

The way we companies produce food and drinks can provide important jobs for communities or be completely destructive to habitats and local food producers. Food can give us energy to get through the day or contain ingredients that gives us allergic reactions.

Food can cooked by highly skilled chefs with inventive flair, or mass produced and delivered with speed at the side of road. It can be incredibly healthy or complete junk and bad for your health. It can taste delicious or be a locals only delicacy.

Food is important to our culture, identity and daily sustenance and the team at Blog Action invite you to join us to talk about food.

Now, I blog about food all the time – it comes with the territory when one is both a foodie and a nutritional scientist – so I’ve been wracking my brain to figure out what I should blog about today. And then I remembered that I’ve been meaning to blog about a book that I read that changed the whole way that I think about food and eating. It’s called “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch and you should totally read it. Here’s why.

Intuitive Eating Book

First of all, this book is written by two registered dietitians – R.D. being the protected title for those who have gone through a rigorous post-secondary program and internship in nutrition, food, and eating1 – and these two R.D.s happen to have many years of experience working with people and through that experience have learned a lot about people’s relationships with food. Second, unlike “diet books” (think Atkins, the Zone, the blood type diet, etc.), this book doesn’t promise a quick fix. Because there is no quick fix when it comes to nutrition. It doesn’t promise you that you’ll lose 20 lbs in a week while eating copious amounts of every food you ever wanted to eat – because that’s just not how bodies work. So, right away this book is different than a lot of others on the market that purport to be about nutrition. OK, now that I’ve told you what the book is *not* about, let’s look at what it *is* about.

Key Take Home Messages From This Book

  • Essentially, this book is about mindfulness brought to eating. When we are born, we eat when we are hungry and stop eating when we are full. Somewhere along the way, we develop messed up relationships with food and eating and lose our ability to respond to hunger and satiety cues. The simple act of paying attention to what we eat while we eat it goes a long way to preventing us from over eating.
  • The idea of “dieting” is all about deprivation. But you can only deprive yourself for so long before you lose it and scarf down an entire cake! The worst part of this is that you don’t even get to enjoy that cake you are eating because you are shovelling it into your face so fast in response to having deprived yourself. And then you feel guilty about having “failed” – and not recognizing that “dieting” is just setting yourself up for failture.
  • There’s no need to deny yourself the things you like to eat – but there’s also no need to eat copious amounts of them either. I mean, think about it: have you ever had a lovely meal or a scrumptious dessert in front of you and you wolfed it down so quickly that, afterwards, you realized that you barely even tasted it? Or finished off a giant bag of Doritoes in front of the television without even really being aware that you were eating them? If you actually make a conscious decision to eat, say, some chocolate mousse, wouldn’t it be better to be present in the moment, paying attention to the taste and the mouthfeel, savouring each spoonful, than to down the whole thing in 5 seconds, not really tasting it at all?
  • Eating “everything on your plate” when you aren’t actually hungry is just as wasteful as throwing it out. A lot of people were raised to “eat everything on your plate” because to do otherwise means you are wasting food. But eating more food that your body needs, eating past the point where you are satisfied – you are still “wasting” it, but instead of it going into the garbage or the compost, it’s just adding unnecessary weight onto your body.
  • Do you really need to lose that “last 10 lbs,” or are you already pretty awesome as you are? This is probably the hardest part of the book for many people. We tend to focus on what we see as our physical “imperfections” – things like, “my thighs are too fat,” rather than “my legs get me around, let me go for a walk, let me run, or play hockey” or whatever else it is that you do. I mean, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being fit, with striving to run fast or be stronger. But is dieting to get rid of those “last 10 lbs” really going to make you happy? Or would that effort be better expended on being happy with who you are?
Reading this book really had changed the way I think about food and eating. I feel I have a much healthier relationship with food, just by being more mindful of what, how and when I eat. I no longer scarf down my meals like there is no tomorrow. I no longer agonize over eating particular foods – I just ask myself “Do you really want to eat that, or are you eating just because it’s there?” Sometimes I think, “No, I don’t actually want that junky food, because I know that when I finish it, I’ll remember that it doesn’t actually taste that good. But if I really want to eat it, I do. But I don’t eat crazy amounts – just savouring a few bites is usually all I need to satisfy me. And I really feel that I’m much healthier and happier because of it.
Of course, all this is just my take on the book. You really should read it yourself.

As per usual, I have no affiliation with this book or these authors. I don’t get any money if you buy the book – in fact, I got it from the library myself. But I really do think everyone could benefit from reading it@

  1. As opposed to “nutritionist,” which pretty much anyone can call themselves. []

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Apparently blog postings about Oregon are not popular with my blog readers

the blog readers have spoken

The blog readers have spoken.

Despite blogging every day while I was away – a vacation first for me, I might add – my blog views took a hit during my trip to Oregon. I still have a few things that I want to blog about from my trip but (a) we all know I have the attention span of a carrot and the memory of a goldfish, so I’ll probably lose interest/forget what those things were pretty soon anyway or (b) I’ll intermix those blog postings with the hard hitting news that you’ve come to expect from this esteemed blog. I will, I’m sure, be writing more posts about my upcoming Longest Game of Hockey That Anyone Ever Dared to Play In the Whole History of Life, the Universe and Everything because that game is only 16 days away OMGWTFBBQ!

Also, have you donated yet?

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