Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

By

10 Things

So you are probably wondering if I survived my first weekend back at school since mid-December, given that I blogged about heading to class and then disappeared for a week. As I’m sure you’ve now figured out, I am, in fact, still alive. Just got buried under a bunch of homework, as well as assignments that I had to mark, and suddenly it’s Thursday night!

As usually happens in such situations, I have a bunch of ideas of things I’d like to blog about – if only I had the time! So now, in no particular order, I give you 10 random things! Hooray!

1. While flipping through an issue of Canadian Living at my massage therapist’s office today, I saw this ad:

Untitled

Translation: We at Starbucks hear that you Canadians like Tim Horton’s coffee, so we watered down our own in the hopes that you’ll drink it. And we’ll call it “mellow, easy drinking” in our ads, but we really mean “weak.”

2. Speaking of Tim Horton’s – it’s Roll Up the Rim to Win time again. I’m almost tempted to get a coffee or two there, despite the fact that I know that I’m not going to win.

3. In our ongoing search for craft brewed soda pops, Devon and I discovered that Phillips brewery, which makes my favourite beer, also make pop:

Untitled

Intergalactic Root Beer. Its taste is out of this world (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)! I know it’s in a Guinness glass, but it is, in fact, root beer.

5. And speaking of beer, this is freaking delicious:

Untitled

Innis & Gunn. It’s a Scottish beer and they serve it on tap at the lounge that’s just a couple of blocks from our place.

6. And speaking of Scottish beer, we made an even more rare discovery – Tennent’s lager on tap:

Untitled

Devon’s brother-in-law has been searching for Tennent’s since he moved here years ago from Scotland and has never been able to find it. And, as it turns out, they have it at the St. James Well in Port Moody, a fantastic little pub that makes stuffed1 yorkshire pudding appies and various other delicious things. Subsequent to finding it on tap at the Well, we also found it in cans at Legacy Liquor Store in Vancouver, which Devon bought and sent up to Kelowna for Mark. Needless to say, Devon has won the most best brother-in-law points in the history of ever.

7. And speaking of beer, the discovery of these wonderful beers is *not* helping in my quest to lose the weight I gained since starting school. So I think it might be time to lay off the delicious beers and other such caloric beverages!

8. But not until after Saturday, as we are having people over and it wouldn’t be polite not to partake of the beverages with my guest.

9. Also, I really should activate my next yoga Groupon, as I’ve fallen off on my yoga since my last one expired. The next studio that I’m planning to try out has a hot yoga class on Monday mornings, which I’m very excited about!

10. I received my T4 slip for my day job today; I now have almost all of the slips I need to do my 2012 taxes. Most importantly, I got my T2202A slip from school – that’s the one that says how much of the tuition I paid is eligible for tax deduction2 and how many qualifying months I have for the education and textbook credits3. I’m *very* excited to do my taxes this year!

  1. Stuffed with roast beef, that is. []
  2. $17,861.63, to be exact. []
  3. 12 months, part-time. []

By

Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini

Espresso Martini

By

Serious About Coffee

Serious Coffee Whenever I’m on the Island, I always go to Serious Coffee1. It’s a local chain with some pretty decent coffee – both the drip coffee and the espresso-based drinks. Since I am on a workcation 2 right now, it’s also a nice place to spend an afternoon, being able to enjoy the sunshine while doing some homework – the atmosphere is cosy and it has free wifi3,4.

I do have to say, however, that the location I’m sitting in right now has terrible music! I guess you can’t win ’em all.

And now back to work!

  1. Again, no association with this company. I just like them! []
  2. Working on both homework and on my top secret project! []
  3. We are staying with Devon’s family and they don’t have wifi, so I’m in a bit of withdrawal! []
  4. Also, my legs are *killing* me after yesterday’s hike, so I can’t do anything too strenuous! []

By

Happy 1st Birthday, Baby Thomas!

Today, my adorable nephew turns 1!

For your birthday, Thomas, we made you this video:

Hope you like it!

By

Rolling Up The Rim To Actually Win

Despite my coffee snobbery, I’ve started drinking Tim Horton’s coffees of late. It started when I was in the hospital for my Dad’s surgery. The coffee shop in the hospital1 was a Timmy’s. And my Dad *loved* his Timmy’s, so drinking it makes me think of him. I had one at the airport on the way home from Ontario. And when Devon texted this past weekend when he was on the way over to my place informing me that it is Roll Up The Rim to Win season and offering to pick up coffee, I said “Yes, please!” And when I rolled up the rim on that coffee, I actually won!

Roll up the rim to win

Of course, now that I am 1 for 1 on RUTRTW this season, I’m wondering if I should quit while I’m ahead…

  1. As an aside: the hospital also had a Colonel Sanders Wing. Like as in the Kentucky Fried Chicken guy. Apparently he lived in Mississauga at some point and gave a bunch of cash to the hospital and they named a wing after him. It was called something like “The Colonel Sanders Family Care Wing” or some such. I thought it should have been the Cardiac Care Wing, personally, but perhaps that is a bit too obvious. []

By

All Things Coffee

As I’m sure you know, I’m a coffee-holic. So I thought I’d share the follow two coffee tidbits with you.

First, ThinkGeek has a grown-your-own-coffee-plant kit! Seriously, it comes with everything you need to grow coffee plants on your window sill. How cool would it be to drink coffee that you grew yourself? Sadly, they don’t ship this product outside of the U.S. =(

Second, did you know that people drink coffee made out of cat poo? True story. Apparently coffee berries get wonderfully fermented while traveling down the digestive tract of civet cats and then people pick the coffee beans out of their poo and roast it and then charge a crazy amount of money for this coffee. Did I mentioned that this coffee is made from pooed out coffee beans? I think I’ll stick to my regular feces-free coffee, thank you very much.

By

A plague on both your retinas

I had my annual eye exam yesterday and, happily, everything is exactly the same as it was a year ago. In fact, I just read over my blog posting from last year’s eye exam and I could pretty much copy and paste it and it would be accurate for this year’s exam – my optometrist did all the same tests and said all the same things: my vision is still great, more than two years after my last laser eye surgery, my retinal latticing is still there, but hasn’t changed and she doesn’t really expect it too, but is keeping an eye on just in case. And I took another photo of my dilated pupils:

dilated pupilsMy optometrist showed me the pictures she took of my retinas, where you can just  make out  my retinal latticing – it’s slightly worse in the left eye than the right eye. Oddly, my right eye is also better in terms of vision – it’s 20/20, whereas my left eye is slightly less than 20/20 – even though the retinal latticing and the vision are in no way related. Fortunately, I’m right eye dominant, so if one eye has to be weaker, it’s good that it’s the left.

In related news, since my optometrist’s office is in my old ‘hood on the west side, I popped into Stong’s grocery store to see if they had any of my favourite coffee, as I’m running low. The last few times I’ve been there they didn’t have it in whole bean form, only in ground form, but since I’m running low I figured it was better than nothing. However, to my surprise, they not only had it in whole bean form, but it was on sale for $3 off! And they also had the decaf coffee I like1 on sale for $3 off! Needless to say, I stocked up on as many bags of coffee as I could get. Translation: I spent an unholy amount on coffee beans today, but I save $27 (!) and now have coffee supplies to last me well into next year!

  1. I use it half and half with the regular stuff so as to cut down on the amount of caffeine I consume. []

By

Hey Lady, Step Away From The Caffeine!

Shortly after signing up for the Longest Game of Hockey for CF, I came to a stark and unwelcome realization: I have to stop consuming caffeine! Playing hockey all day, every day means I won’t have time for such things as drinking coffee. And I know that whenever I go a day without drinking coffee, I get a caffeine withdrawal headache. From what I’ve read, those last for several days – unless of course, you go back on the caffeine, which I won’t have the option to do given the aforementioned playing of hockey all day, every day. Since the last thing I want is do is suffer through several days of headache while I play hockey, I figure I should stop with the caffeine already.

Day 273 Consuming less caffeine – ur doing it wrong.

I have been a caffeine addict1 for my entire adult life. It started when I got a job in a coffee shop at 14 years of age. Having to be up at 5 a.m. to get the store opened + access to an unlimited supply of free coffee = one bad coffee habit. University didn’t help, with its several all nighters per week in undergrad and its round-the-clock lab sessions in my doctoral studies2. Thus, coffee has long been a staple in my life. In addition to coffee, I’m also a big drinker of diet Pepsi. And black tea. A typical day of caffeine consumption3 for me looks like this:

Item Amount of Caffeine
pot of coffee in the morning4 (800 mL) 450 mg
Diet Pepsi at lunch5 (355 mL) 38 mg
Pot of tea at night (1000 mL) 224 mg
TOTAL: 712 mg

To put that into context for you, Health Canada’s recommendation is:

For women of childbearing age, the recommendation is a maximum daily caffeine intake of no more than 300 mg, or a little over two 8-oz (237 ml) cups of coffee. For the rest of the general population of healthy adults, Health Canada advises a daily intake of no more than 400 mg.

Holy crap. I knew I consumed a lot of caffeine, but I didn’t realize I was getting more than TWICE as much as is recommended6. And this doesn’t even count days that I go to Starbucks or Esquires7 for an afternoon cup of joe.

Day 275

Coworker came into my office with chocolate covered espresso beans. Mmm, chocolate covered espresso beans!

Obviously, I need to do something to bring my caffeine consumption into check. My first action on this front has been to mix my regular coffee beans with decaf ones8. This brings my daily total down to a mere 487 mg. Still too much, but it’s a start. My initial plan was that I would gradually up the decaf-to-regular ratio over the course of the spring/summer, and switch to decaf Diet Pepsi9 and decaf tea in order to gradually wean myself off caffeine. But now I’m wondering if it wouldn’t be better to just go cold turkey, suffer through a week long headache and be done with it. I guess I still have some time to decide. But I’m curious – anyone out there have any experience with giving up caffeine? Any thoughts/recommendations for me?

  1. Technically, I should say that I’m “dependent” on caffeine rather than addicted, as my requirement for caffeine does not really fit the definition of addiction, primarily in that I don’t “compulsive[ly] drug seek[…] and use, despite harmful consequences.” []
  2. When we had experiments running, our schedules were totally dependent on the circadian rhythms of the rats – we needed to weigh and feed them in the afternoon, take blood samples at midnight, and be back in the lab very early for the morning sampling, which would last until it was time to weigh and feed them again. []
  3. Source of these caffeine contents data: Centre for Science in the Public Interest. It was easier to Google it than to get up and retrieve one of my textbooks. []
  4. I drink one mugful while I’m getting ready in the morning and put the rest in my travel mug to take to the office []
  5. Or sometimes at dinner, if I don’t have one at lunch []
  6. Even if I go with the fact that I know I’m not knocked up and use the “regular” healthy adults recommendation, rather than the one for “women of childbearing age,” I’m still consuming 178% of the recommended amount!! []
  7. Which are rare, thanks to my cheapness. []
  8. This was something that a naturopath recommended to my ages ago. []
  9. Or, really, just cut out the Diet Pepsi altogether. []

By

Coffee Teepee

Coffee Drive-Thru Teepee

When I was doing my month of hot yoga, every day on the way from the yoga studio to work I woud pass a teepee where they sell coffee. Seriously, there’s this little building that looks like a teepee on King George Boulevard (of Broken Dreams)1  and with a sign that says they sell organic coffee. And I’d always think, “I wonder if their coffee is any good.” Today I decided to find out. On the way from my morning yoga class to the office, I drove up and purchased a large coffee for $2.25.

Day 212

For the record – the coffee is pretty decent.

  1. King George Boulevard used to be, until quite recently, called King George Highway. When they renamed it to a Boulevard, Kalev and I found it quite amusing, since it really doesn’t have that “boulevard” kind of feel to it, and when he came to Surrey to embark on our Seattle road trip this summer, we started calling it the “King George Boulevard (of Broken Dreams)” and I can’t stop calling it that! []

By

I Also Heart Coffee

Coffee Beans So, we’ve all heard that buying coffee is one of the big ways that a lot of people blow huge amounts of money without even realizing it.  Drink a coffee a day? If it’s simple $2 coffee, that’s $730 a year… and if it’s a $5 fru fru Starbucks drink, you’re talking $1,825 a year! That’s enough to cover my car insurance for the year… or almost three months rent1!!

So, how much cheaper is it to make coffee at home?  Well, being the scientist that I am, I decided to do some fancy pants maths to figure that out.  Where by “fancy pants maths” I mean counting how many pots of coffee I can make from a bag of beans.  Now, I’m a bit of a coffee snob, so I won’t drink cheap, crappy coffee.  My coffee of choice is Fair Trade Organic Bolivian from Level Ground Trading2  A 300 g bag of this deliciousness makes ~500 fluid oz of coffee.  If you divide that up into 12 oz3 cups, that’s 42 coffees.  And though a 300 g bag of beans officially costs $15, I always stock up on it when it’s on sale for $114.  That works out to 26 cents per 12 oz cup.

Let me me say that again:

  • 12 oz cup of coffee at a coffee shop = ~$2.00
  • 12 oz cup of coffee at home = $0.26!

That’s EIGHT TIMES cheaper!  Even if I paid full price for the beans, it would still only be $0.36 per 12 oz cup!  And remember, I’m not talking about some crappy tasting coffee – this is fair trade, organic and absolutely delicious!  In fact, I actually like my homemade coffee more than stuff from a coffee shop!

Given my cheapness, I’ve been pretty good about not buying coffees out since I’ve been on my budget, but even *I* didn’t realize that that making it at home was so much cheaper! Now that I’ve done the math, I have a really, really hard time buying coffees!

Image Credit: Posted by Refracted Moments on Flickr using a Creative Commons license.

  1. granted, I do have pretty cheap rent []
  2. as usual, I have no financial interest in this company.  I know it’s surprising, but they haven’t paid me off for this endorsement.  Though, for the record, I’d *totally* take a bribe in the form of free samples.  I’m just sayin’. []
  3. or a Starbucks tall []
  4. and on very special days, it’ll be on sale for $9, and then I *really* stock up! []