Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Falsifiability is the new hot pink

About eleventy bazillion years ago, I did an invited guest lecture in Dr. Dan’s class. I had such good intention of blogging about it at the time. Better late than never though, right?

Picture it! The course is Dr. Dan’s graduate level Experimental Design course. The location is a classroom in the hallowed halls of my alma mater #2 of 3, the University of Guelph1.The topic is The Scientific Method. Which is awesome because it allowed me to wax poetic – and engage in discussions with the students – about such things as philosophical world views unpinning research, qualitative/quantitative/mixed methodology approaches to research, falsifiability, and “what is an experiment, exactly?” In case you are interested in such thing, here’s my Prezi:

Now, the Prezi doesn’t really stand on its own, given my belief that one’s visual aids for a presentation should be a visual aid that compliments the person yammering at the front of the room (i.e., me) rather than replacing them. After all, if the Prezi was a complete package without me, then no one would want to pay me the big bucks to do these invited guest lectures2. Also, I’m a big fan of getting the class into a discussion about the material3, so that isn’t really captured in the Prezi either. In conclusion, you had to be there. Which you weren’t4.

*Note: The title of this blog posting was shamelessly stolen from Rick’s comment on Dr. Dan’s blog posting on this very topic.

  1. To which I had not been, I will add, since I finished my Master’s back in August 2000!! []
  2. For the record, I was paid no bucks, as is customary for guest lectures, but I may or may not have been paid in Americanos and coconut milk ice cream. And an offer for a Dr. Dan guest lecture in one of my classes. []
  3. The class was maybe not so into that at first, but I find that if you leave enough silence, they’ll get talking. And they did! []
  4. Unless you were, in which case, how the heck did you find my blog? []

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Writings on the subway

I wrote this on my iPhone on the subway many, many days ago and then haven’t published it because I’ve been having way too much fun for such things as publishing blog postings. But now it’s Boxing Day and we are all so full from three days of non-stop eating that we can’t do anything more than lay around watching a marathon of Jurassic Park movies, so I’m actually sitting still long enough to post it.  Did you miss me?

I’m on the subway1 heading out to see my friend Jen, hanging on tight to my toque2 and lamenting the lack of Internet access. I’ve gotten used to the Canada Line and its blessed, blessed cell phone receptivity. Usually on a transit trip, I’d pass the time catching up on blogs, or Twitter, or reading the news online. All of which I’m hopelessly behind on, since I’ve been spending all my time interacting with real live human beings in the real world! I’m not complaining – having a blast actually – but it definitely an adjustment from my usual life of sitting at a desk 7.5 hrs per day and being on computer or iPhone most of the rest of the time. Since I can’t read stuff on the Internet as I transit, I decided to write stuff to put on the Internet instead. In draft form – FSM bless the WordPress app.

Since I last blogged3 we had the annual Snow Christmas Bakestravagnza. I’ll blog in detail, with photos, about that later, but suffice it to say we baked 11 different things – several of them in double batches – in just 6 hours. It was thoroughly exhausting and an absolutely fabulous time.

Then we watched the season finale of Dexter. Because my sister and her bf always watch it with my mom and this was the first time my mom had been over since it aired.

The next day we went to my cousin Lori’s place for brunch. The last time I saw Lori, her oldest daughter, Imogen, was a wee tot and her youngest, Beatrice, was a newborn. Now Immy is in kindergarten and Baby Bea is not a baby at all! Lori lives in Milton, the town we grew up in, where I haven’t been since, to the best of my recollection, 2004.

After brunch we headed to Guelph for Christmas with Jeff’s family, where we were treated to much delicious food and more adorable children than should legally be allowed in one house.

—————————————–

And that was where I got to my subway destination. But I forgot to post this last night and now it’s the next day (Dec 20) and I’m on the subway yet again, this time on my way to meet Dr. Dan, who is coming to Toronto to hang with us Snows. So I figured I’d continue writing this post.

After I arrived at the Royal York station yesterday, I met up with Jen, a friend I went to high school with, and she took me to the Cheese Boutique, a place that now rivals the Deifenbunker for the place I’ll be talking about as the most amazing of places ever in the history of ever. The Cheese Boutique is a foodie’s paradise – all of the fanciest fancy pants foods you can imagine and some that you never would have thought of. Like a 5 ft long cannelloni – how would you even cook that?? We picked up some stuff for a party Jen is having on Wed4, and I grabbed some fancy jams for a present and despite my tiny purchase, they gave me an awesome C.B. bag. Seriously, between my sister’s place and the subway this morning, I got three comments from complete strangers about my bag – one person who just thought the bag was awesome and two others who commented one how the C.B. is the greatest place ever.

After the Boutique of Cheese, we headed to Dr. Generosity, where we met up with our friend Jody for dinner. And Jody gave me an awesome button that says “left wing pinkos” right off her jacket! The story behind the button, of which I was not aware until Jody and Jen enlightened me, was that at the inauguration of Toronto’s recently elected uber right wing mayor, Rob Ford, Don Cherry wore a pink jacket and said it was for all the “left wing pinkos” who hate Rob Ford. You know, “pinkos”‘ who want things like transit in their city and for human beings to be treated like human beings.

—-

And that was where I got to my subway stop on that trip.  More to come, eventually.

  1. which I keep wanting to call the “Skytrain“ []
  2. as this is actually a replacement toque for the identical one I lost on a Toronto subway three yeas ago and how terrible would it be to lose this one in the same way []
  3. as far as I can remember about when I last blogged, given that I can’t check the Internets right now! [Note: given that I’m posting this waaay after I wrote it, this does not make much sense anymore] []
  4. which I don’t get to go to because I was already booked to go to the spa with my mom and sister []

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Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve and my wee niece is trying to go to sleep, but how is a six-year-old supposed to sleep when SANTA IS COMING?? My sister and my dad are both upstairs with her right now, ostensibly trying to get her to go to sleep, but putting two Snows in a room with a child that’s all hopped up on sugar and Christmas excitement really doesn’t seem like the way to go now, does it?

I’m having an absolutely fabulous – if exhausting – holiday with my family, despite the fact that I’m sick from Toronto germs1, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve hardly blogged since I’ve been here, and I really do have many, many things I want to blog about! I have a half written blog posting on my phone – I wrote it on my iPhone in the WordPress app while on the subway, since the subway doesn’t have cell reception, and thus I can’t read stuff from the Internets, I figured I’d write, but then never got around to posting it. And now I’m pretty much in a food coma from our Chrismtas Eve dinner – which isn’t even our big Christmas dinner, it was “just hors d’oeuvres” and yet was somehow enough food to feed an army – and I’m thinking that it’s time to get ready for bed, even though it’s not quite 10 p.m.2, because I’m sure my niece will have me up at the crack of dawn to see what Santa has brought. Which is how Christmas morning should be, imho.

So, yeah, good night, Merry Christmas, and I’m sure I’ll be back to blogging once I get home! I hope Santa is good to y’all!

  1. boo-urns! []
  2. in Toronto, remember []

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Off to the Dominican. Don’t Wait Up.

Beth’s off on a plane flying to the exciting destination of Regina, Saskatchewan.  Oh no, wait, that’s just the stopover.  She’s actually off to Punta Cana.  Like last year’s vacation, she doesn’t plan to be writing anything on the blog while she’s gone, but she’s scheduled some postings to keep you amused while she’s away.  You’re welcome.

First up, here’s a photo of where she’s leaving:

Image Credit: Posted by penmachine on Flickr.

And this is where she’s headed:

Image Credit: Posted by vanwas on Flickr.

Oh wait, that’s a posting to amuse her, not you. That probably just made you jealous. The next posting will be amusing.

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Malaria Mondays!

In preparation for my upcoming trip to the Dominican Republic, I went to the Travel Clinic to see what sort of delightful diseases I might come into contact with in the DR.  I came away from the appointment with:

  • hepatitis A vaccination – since I haven’t done much traveling, I’ve not been in the position to get this one before. This shot isn’t covered by public funding1, so I had to pay $65 for this one and will have to go back in a year (I think) for the second shot (another $45)2.
  • polio vaccination – apparently there have been cases of polio in Haiti, so this vaccination is offered to people going to the DR.  And it’s free! 3.
  • ciprofloxacin – an antibiotic to use in the case of travellers’ diarrhea
  • chloroquine phosphate – an antimalarial drug.  This drug has to be taken once a week, starting the week before the trip, continuing for the duration of the trip and for four weeks after your return.  The travel clinic doctor suggesting starting my regimen today, which will make it easier to remember to take my pills on “Malaria Mondays”!  4.

In addition, there are recommendations about not using the tap water, even to brush your teeth and even if the resort says the water is purified, and to use DEET-containing mosquito repellent (even with the antimalarials, it’s still better not to get bitten by the mosquitoes, especially given that dengue virus, which is also passed on by mosquitoes and for which there isn’t a vaccination or drug to prevent it, is also a possibility in the DR).

Upon telling my mother about all this, she thinks we are crazy for going on this trip!  But I’m thinking a relaxing week on the beach will make it all worth while!

  1. With the exception of, I believe, when someone who works in food preparation is found to have hep A – in that case, there is a hep A vaccination clinic for those who ate the food that person prepared.  I remember a few years ago this happened when a local grocery store had one of these clinics after it was found that a person who made some salad dressing there has the disease []
  2. And this on top of the $40 consultation fee required to talk to the doc []
  3. My mom told me afterward that I had this one as a kid, but I couldn’t remember so I figured it was better to get it again rather than not get it and find out that I hadn’t had it before []
  4. My extended medical doesn’t cover vaccinations, but it does the drugs, so that’s good []

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Products That I Just Don’t Understand III

In transferring all my files from my old computer to setting up my new MacBook Pro1 and playing with iPhoto2 I discovered some pictures that I clearly scanned from pages that I clearly ripped out of the SkyMall magazine on some trip – I’m guessing it was my trip to Mexico last Christmas, because I don’t think I’ve been on any other flights to the US since then.  Because any time I go on a flight to the US now, the first thing I do is flip through the SkyMall catalogue to find out what kind of insane products they are trying to sell now.  And it appears that I haven’t blogged them yet so, for your blog reading pleasure I give you: Products That I Just Don’t Understand, Part 3:

As always, there has to be a “world’s largest” something in SkyMall.  In this case, it’s the so-called “World Largest Write-On Mural Map”:

stupidly large map

But really, how do they know that it’s the largest map that you hang on a wall on which you can write on in the whole world?3.  And how do they know that it’s the “only accurately detailed, eight-colour 2006 mural of the world”?  Maybe someone else with way too much time on their hands also made one of these.

But what to write on your world’s largest mural map?  Maybe you can trace the route you drove in your fancy new car…. which lives in a car bubble:

car bubble

I’m sure if you have a really expensive car, this product might make sense, but owning this product would make you look like a douchebag.

Next up is the “laser guided pool cue”:

laser cue

Now, if the laser showed you where your ball would go after you hit it, like what angle it would come off of the wall and thus allow you to line up your shot so that you’d know your ball would hit the wall, bounce of and strike another ball, which would then go into the hole – well, that would be awesome. But it appears that this laser just shows you where you pool cue will touch the cue ball when you hit it.  Um, isn’t it obvious? Can’t you just *see* where you are going to hit the ball??

Have money burning a hole in your pocket?  Why not buy this totally useless product?

drink-o-matic

“With a touch of a button, you will have an ice-cold can of soda or beverage.”  Or, you know, you could just put your pop in the fridge like a normal person.  And why, exactly, did they choose “10 cans” as the limit?  Don’t pop and beer come in 12 packs?  What are you supposed to do with the extra 2 cans?

Also in the realm of products that really aren’t needing, here’s a microwave for people who are too lazy to walk to their other microwave in the kitchen:

personal microwave

And speaking of products that fill a need that doesn’t exist, how about this clock that only tells you what day it is?

clock

Stressed out?  Well, stress no more – it’s the “emWave Personal Stress Reliever” to the rescue:

stress relief

Why waste your time with exercise or mediation or other such silly de-stressing strategies when you could just press that button and *poof* all your stress is gone and your “emotions balanced.”

And for the germ phobes:

paper towel

And speaking of hands:

Do It Yourself Accupuncture

Why hire an actual acupuncturist when you could “diagnose and heal yourself and your family”?  You can’t afford not to buy that, really.

Ever wonder what product you could buy that would tell that world “I’m a freak”?  How about this “I kiss my dog on the lips” bracelet?

bracelet

Or this:

head massager

Or this:

For instant cool

“Instant cool”?  Really?  Because if I saw someone wearing that, “cool” is probably the last thing I’d be thinking.

This next product itself isn’t so bad (I mean, I wouldn’t buy it myself, but I wouldn’t think you were a total freak if you owned it), but the caption leaves my questioning:

Peanuts

Crack the whip?  What is this, S&M Peanuts?

And speaking of cartoons, you know the person who “invented” this product was under a deadline to come up with a “new” product and just happened to be watching an episode of The Simpsons:

star baby

These next two products really made me laugh:

dogs

And this next product made me ask: does Senator Al Franken get royalties?

you look fabulous mirror

And finally, this product requires comment mostly because I knew a guy who had one of these:

neck traction

And if you think it looks weird with someone in it, imagine seeing that contraption hanging from someone’s door.  Awk-ward!

Previous editions of Products That I Just Don’t Understand: I and II

  1. which, did I mention, I totally love? []
  2. which I love so much that I would marry it, were such a thing legal []
  3. I had to look up “mural” because I realized that I didn’t really know what it meant, but it just means “executed on or affixed to a wall” []

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101 in 1001 for my 1000th post

So, for my 1000th blog posting I wanted to do something special. And I decided that the something special would be a “101 things to do in 1001 days” list.  The first time I saw one of these was on Dave’s blog and I may or may not have soon after written a parody version called “102 things to do in 1,000,001 days” on a satire blog that may or may not have been removed from the Internet for possible libel issues. Anyway.

The idea behind this list is to come up with 101 things you want to do – things you’ve always meant to do but haven’t gotten around to,  things you want to challenge yourself to accomplish and, let’s be honest, a few things that sound good but you are pretty sure you’ll do so that you can gain the satisfaction of checking at least a few things off your list.  As well, it’s important that the goals are clearly defined/measurable (or, as we say in the Research Methods world – you need an “operational definition” of each) so that you know whether or not you’ve done it.  Props for this idea go to triplux, who appears to be the creator of this idea (or, at least, is the first Google hit for “101 in 1001”).

So, after much thinking and pondering and reflecting and considering and deliberating and contemplating and ruminating and reading the thesaurus, I have come up with the following 101 items that I intend to do in the next 1001 days:

  1. go to New York City
  2. leave the continent
  3. live above ground
  4. run another half marathon1 [accomplished: 3 May 2009]
  5. run the full marathon in Sacramento (i.e., the net downhill one!)
  6. assemble my last 7 years worth of photos into scrapbooks2
  7. give something a cool name (i.e., not just adding the letter “y” to the end of what the thing is a la “froggy” or “puppy”)[accomplished: by naming my car Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car. Also: named my new MacBookPro Chloe. I think I’m on a roll with this one. The secret – steal names from books & TV.
  8. get my blog onto WordPress.org [accomplished: 25 Jan2009]
  9. participate in a political campaign
  10. attend Women’s Campaign School
  11. conduct some kind of education research project
  12. conduct another systematic review for the Cochrane Collaboration
  13. publish a paper in a scholarly journal on the training program that I [used to] run [Completed. Sometime in 2011 – don’t actually know what the exact date was!] 
  14. write something creative (e.g., a story, a script or a poem)[Accomplished October 5, 2011]
  15. change a life [accomplished: Jan-Apr 2009, I taught a Research Methods course in which I required students to write a research proposal. One student did her proposal on a topic related to the place she volunteered at and after the final exam she told me that because she learned so much doing that project, she had become the expert at the place she volunteered at on that topic and they hired her for a summer job!]
  16. write a book [Actually, this is in progress! I can’t say more than that, though]
  17. teach a course at a college [Completed. Taught Stats 100 at the Justice Institute of BC; January to April 2011]
  18. ski at Whistler 3
  19. ski at Big White
  20. ski on Grouse Mountain
  21. learn to snowboard (or at least try it)
  22. go surfing & actually stay up on the board
  23. skate at GM Place[Accomplished: 8 February 2009 – Thanks for raising more than $150 for the Skate for A Cureskate at GM Place! fundraiser, I got to skate at GM Place!]
  24. coach a hockey team
  25. hike Black Task
  26. hike the West Coast Trail
  27. write a computer program[Accomplished: October 5, 2011
  28. start a business
  29. learn French (at least a little bit. Like more than just what’s on the cereal box)
  30. write a blog entry entitled Word to Your Moms, I Came to Drop Bombs4[Accomplished: 26 July 2009 – Done]
  31. read something by Salman Rushdie5[Note: I have acquired The Satanic Verses. One step closer to actualizing this item! w00t!] [Note 2: Read the first few pages of this book in December 2010. Wasn’t super excited by it, but I’ll push through][Note 3: It’s now July 2011 and I so have not pushed through]
  32. visit Macchu Picchu6
  33. for one week, go to bed at 9 and read non-work related books7
  34. read The Last Spike by Pierre Berton8 [Note: I own this book, courtesy of Sarah, so I’m one step closer to this one!] [Note 2: Started reading it on my flights to Toronto/back to Vancouver in December 2010 and so far I’m liking it!][Note 3: I have so dropped the ball on this one!]
  35. take pole dancing lessons. Like, a whole set of them, not just the intro class.
  36. beat my current record of 10 points in a hockey season (which I achieved on the Blazing Blades team in both the Winter 2007/08 and the Spring 2008 seasons)[Note: I ended the 2009/2010 season with a meager 6 points. But I have high hopes for the 2010/11 season and am even currently being courted to join a second team!)][Accomplished March 2011].
  37. teach the same course at UBC twice9 [Accomplished Sept-Dec 2009: taught the same course in the Winter ’09 term as I did in the Winter ’08 term. Then I taught it *again* in Winter 2010!]
  38. participate in the “365 Day Challenge”. This involves taking a self-portrait every day for 365 days and posting it to the 365 Day Flickr group. [Completed 21 June 2011: See here]
  39. make a list of 100 things that make me happy[Note: I’ve started this one, but I want to make a really genuine list, so I’m taking my time to come up with things that really, truly make me happy. So far I have 25 63 items on the list.][Accomplished 10 October 2011]
  40. buy a Smart Car[accomplished:15 May 2009. I honestly thought this one was going to be a long shot!]
  41. buy an iPhone[Accomplished: 6 November 2009!]
  42. skate on the Rideau Canal
  43. take Tod to a Vancouver Canucks game [Accomplished: 13 January 2009, Canucks vs. NJ Devils. Next time I should try to take him to a game when the Canucks win!]
  44. take Tod to a Vancouver Giants game
  45. go to a BC Lions game. [Accomplished: 3 October 2010]
  46. go to a Vancouver Canadians game
  47. see a Vancouver White Caps game[Accomplished 15 August 2009 – Alicia & Paul took Tod and I to a game! Then Alicia & Paul took me to another game in spring 2011!]
  48. start composting
  49. keep a plant alive for a whole month[Accomplished: June 2009 – note: it’s still alive a whole YEAR later, as of May 2010 Note 2: Sadly, the plant is no longer with us.]
  50. write in my journal every day for a month
  51. go kayaking
  52. camp at Joffre Lake
  53. visit Galiano Island
  54. visit Salt Spring Island
  55. visit Bowen Island
  56. save $500 in coins10 [In Progress: I have a lot of change in a jar. Not sure how much, but it’s got to be on its way to $500! Note: rolled it up and I have about $60. That’s not $500, but it’s also not nothing.]
  57. deposit that $500 worth of coins into my 40th birthday savings account [Note: this will be more difficult now that I will needs coins for the laundromat]
  58. write 10 friends real letters, on paper, with a pen and snail mail them[Accomplished October 8, 2011: #1 – letter to Kalev for his (belated) birthday, May 2010. #2 – Wrote a letter to Madeline, Jan 2011]. #3 – Wrote a letter to Dan, May 15, 2011. #4 – Wrote a letter to Sarah that I sent with her soy creamer voucher, July 25, 2011. #5 – Wrote a letter to Dan that I sent with his soy creamer voucher, July 25, 2011. (OK, I know these last two are lame, but they still count) #6-10+ – I mailed out 60 thank you cards for the Longest Game for CF and far more than 4 of them had very long notes in them, because there were so many people who provided me with so much support that I needed to thank them for. So that totally counts, as they were long enough to be letters and were written on paper with a pen and snail mailed!
  59. follow Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating every day for 1 month11
  60. go to a Bikram yoga class [note: I went to a “hot yoga” class on 22 May 2009, but I don’t think it was officially “Bikram.” Plus, the place wasn’t really hot enough, imho. So, yeah, I haven’t done this one yet, but I’ve come close!] Went to TWO Moksha Yoga classes (or “practices” as they call them) in January 2010 (it was the place that wasn’t hot enough the first time I went, but was plenty hot enough these times! Then I did a month of hot yoga at West Coast Hot Yoga. So, yeah, I think I’ve got this one covered. Accomplished]
  61. go to a spa for a facial [Accomplished: 14 April 2009 at Heavenly Soul in Kerrisdale. I give it a resounding “meh.” Didn’t help that the stuff they used smelled very perfumey. I hate perfumey.]
  62. visit 5 new American states12[I went to Oregon in July/August 2011. So I 1/5th completed this one!]
  63. visit Newfoundland
  64. visit Nova Scotia
  65. visit New Brunswick [Accomplished:17 June 2009]
  66. visit the Yukon
  67. visit Nunavit
  68. do a 24 hr blogathon[Accomplished on: 26 July 2009]
  69. do 15 minutes of yoga every morning for a month
  70. sort through my many boxes of papers (most of which contain papers from my thesis), recycling the papers I don’t need and filing the ones I do need [Update: went through a lot of them when I moved in February 2010, but still have more to go through!]
  71. find out my credit rating [obtained a copy of my credit report – wondering if I really need get the credit rating, which costs money!]
  72. determine my net worth[In Progress: Sarah has given me a handy-dandy Excel spreadsheet to calculate this, but I need to figure out how I determine how much my car is “worth,” as well as how much money is in my pension in order to get a “net worth” value].[Accomplished – 2 January 2010.  I actually accomplished this a little while ago, but forgot to write it down here and don’t recall the actual date. I’ve been tracking it monthly and this is the month where I went from a negative net worth to a positive one. w00t!]
  73. buy a bike. Completed 16 July 2011.
  74. bike to work every day for two months [Note: now that I work in Surrey, this is very, very unlikely to happen!] [Note 2: now that I’m moving to Surrey, this is again a possibility!]
  75. record a cooking show (at least 5 episodes)
  76. publish said cooking show online
  77. participate in five research projects (as a subject/participant, not as a researcher)[Accomplished. 1 – Jan 23, 2009 – completed a study on sex & cognition that had something to do with dopamine (I think). I had to spit in a tube and play computer games; 2 – enrolled in a Pap smear study. TMI? 3 – May 19, 2010 – completed an online survey for a dissertation for a PhD candidate at ]; 4 – completed two surveys for research being conducted by a PhD candidate at http://sexresearchandthecity.com/ 5+ – I’ve participated in a bunch of surveys conducted to learn more about evaluators as well as one that was a needs assessment for evaluation workshops for Public Health leadership.
  78. sell counter top dishwasher on Craig’s List13[Accomplished: February 2010]
  79. see at least one Bard on the Beach performance14
  80. put up a Christmas tree and decorate it with chili peppers15[Note: I did put up a Christmas tree for 2009, but totally forgot about the chili peppers!] [Accomplished 27 November 2010]
  81. live blog something [Accomplished  22 September 2011].
  82. go to bed every night for a week with all the dishes cleaned [Note: I’ve managed to string 3 or 4 nights of this in a row, but still haven’t managed 7! Note 2- now that I have a dishwasher, this seems a lot less meaningful][Accomplished on Jan 5, 2011!]
  83. achieve inbox zero and maintain for one full week (where “maintain” = by the time I go to bed each night) [I haven’t actually done this yet, but I have a plan for it.  This plan, in fact] [Another update: I’m following the plan and go to bed most nights with my inbox at zero, but I haven’t actually counted them, so I’m not going to check this one of the list until I count them to make sure].[Accomplished on Jan 8, 2011!  w00t!]
  84. up my blog readership to an average of 200 readers a day16 [In Progress: I’m up to an average of 116 readers a day for 2009 (as of 24 June). I haven’t actually done anything to try to get more readers.  They just kinda showed up. Note 2: Now up to an average of 158 so far (as of July 13, 2011) in 2011!]. [Note on 10 October 2011. Fell short on this one. 2009 Average = 126 readers per day; 2010 Average = 122 readers per day; 2011 Average So Far = 161 readers]
  85. break my current record of 460 blog views in a day17 [Accomplished: 678 blog views on 26 Feb 2009. Then blew that out of the water with my July 2009 Blogathon – 1,181 views]
  86. write a blog posting about the Car Co-op18[Accomplished: 4 October 2011]
  87. go sky diving
  88. resurrect my teaching blog
  89. see the Dresdan Dolls in concert
  90. see Groove Coverage in concert
  91. see a show at Richard’s on Richards before it closes down – Update: FAIL! Dick’s on Dicks closed. I attended nothing there. I suck.
  92. devise some sort of proper back up system for my computer files[Accomplished: Signed up for Back Blaze on 15 July 2009. So not so much “accomplished” as “agreed to pay $5 per month for”]
  93. get my ring from my great Auntie Bernice re-sized to actually fit my finger
  94. buy a pair of brown dress pants19 [Accomplished:11 Feb 2009. Bought a pair from my friend, Jen, who had a pair she didn’t want anymore. Of course, I wanted to buy a pair to wear with my brown heels, which I now seem to have lost!]
  95. bake at least one thing per month for 12 months in a row, without baking the same thing two months in a row20[Dec 2009 – tonnes o’ Christmas baking; Jan 2010 – baked some Lava cakes (sure it was from a box, but it still counts!; Feb 2010 – Grandma’s potato cakes (never made those before!) (also made cornmeal muffins and banana chocolate chips muffins, but those are old standby recipes) Bollocks! I seem to have missed baking something in April!  And so it’s back to the drawing board.  May 2010 – peanut butter & chocolate squares from the Rebar cookbook], Gah! Missed June 2010! Do over! July 2010 – homemade granola, also bread (though I didn’t blog it ‘cuz it was a bit too dry. I baked better bread in August); Aug 2010 – bread pudding; Sept 2010 – Sin-Amen Buns; Oct 2010 – Cheese & Herb Bread & Spooky Halloween Eyeballs; Nov 2010 – chocolate peanut butter surprise cookies & brown sugar cookies; Dec 2010 – chocolate amaretto cheesecake and a tonne of Christmas baking; Jan 2011 – mocha cupcakes with mocha ganache and mascarpone cream; Feb 2011 – pineapple & bran muffins; April 2011 – ?, March 2011 – ?, May 2011 – apple bread, June 2011 – brownies (for my Hanky Panky party), July 2011 –
  96. go zip cording
  97. make homemade vegetarian marshmallows
  98. go on a polar bear swim[Accomplished: January 1, 2011!]
  99. recycle my old Sony Vaio desktop and my old Palm Pilot that are now just taking up space in my apartment! [Accomplished – Feb 2010, I brought them to Free Geek. Nothing like moving to motivate one to get rid of stuff!]
  100. scan all the photos from my pre-digital camera days
  101. publish a blog posting for each of the next 1001 days! [Note: this one is now impossible, given that I have missed some days of blogging, but I’m going to try to see if I can at least get 1001 blog postings in during this 1001 period, as some days I post more than one posting.][Note on 10 October 2011: I didn’t even managed to do 1001 postings – only 983, so I’m short by 18. And I’m too damn tired to write 18 postings today!}


End Date: Monday, October 10, 2011 (thank you dateandtime.com!)

Ya, this one is totally cheating, since I’m already training for another half. But it’s hard to think of 101 things!

Um, ya.  I have seven years worth of photos in boxes, waiting for scrapbooking.

Can you believe that, having lived in Vancouver for more than eight years, I’ve not yet skied Whistler?

This one is stolen from an homage to Dave’s 101 things in 1001 days list. He didn’t actually manage to do it, but I think I can. I think I can.

Also stolen from Dave’s list. I’ve been wanting to read something by Rushdie, so here’s an extra push.

This is the last one I’m stealing from Dave’s list. Promise.  Also, Dan said I should go there.

Stolen from Triplux.

Which Sarah’s been telling me to read since forever. And which she just gave me for Christmas, so if I fail to accomplish this one, well, that would just be sad.

I always seem to get a course for one term only.  I taught Nutritional Assessment last year as a sessional, but the department hired a new prof and he chose that as one of his courses to teach, so I don’t get to teach it this year. And then, this past term I taught another course as a sessional because the usual sessional needed a break from it for one term only, so I probably won’t get to teach it next year. Now I want some consistency!

Just because it would be difficult.

i.e., meet the recommended number of servings for each food group every day and consume no more than one unhealthy “other” food per week.

i.e., ones that I haven’t been to before. Or ones where I’ve only been to their airport/airport hotel (I’m looking at you Texas, Oregon and Arizona), if I actually go to somewhere other than the airport/airport hotel.

since it doesn’t fit in my kitchen. =(

I can’t believe I’ve lived in Vancouver for 8+ years and not once have I been to see Bard on the Beach. I like Shakespeare (I even have a minor in Drama that included a whole course in “Acting Shakespeare”). And I like beaches!

Inspired by the tree at the Mexican resort I stayed at this Christmas.

My 2008 average was 93 readers per day.

Which occurred on Friday, September 26, 2008 as a direct result of my list of the hottest players in the NHL

Which I have partly written and can’t seem to get around to finishing.

I’ve been trying to find a good pair of brown dress pants since forever! Hopefully I’ll find them in the next 1001 days.

Because I really enjoy baking and I never seem to do it anymore.

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2008 – My Year in Review

Wow, it’s the last day of 2008. How did that happen?  Seems like only yesterday that it was New Year’s 2008 and now New Year’s 2009 is upon us!

So, in a blog posting that fits perfectly into my “rampant narcissism” category, I give you my personal 2008 summary:

The Good

  • I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress
  • I got to hear Gloria Steinem speak
  • Got laser eye surgery
  • I saw Madonna in concert
  • I saw Chris Rock live
  • I taught two courses at UBC (Nutritional Assessment & Topics in Food, Nutrition & Health)
  • I got hired to teach another UBC course (Research Methods) and my first SFU course (Human Anatomy) for the upcoming term
  • Tod got the greatest cat EVER1.

The Bad

The Ugly

Travels

Accomplishments

Books Read3

  • Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall
  • The Pleasure’s All Mine by Joan Kelly
  • What to Eat by Marion Nestle
  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  • The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
  • Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn (just started)
  • Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti
  • Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind The Pay Gap-And What Women Can Do About It by Warren Farrell

Textbooks

  • Principles of Nutrition Assessment by Rosalind Gibson
  • Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches by John W. Cresswell
  • Best Practices for Teaching Statistics and Research Methods in the Behavioral Sciences, edited by Dana S. Dunn, Randolph A. Smith, Bernard C. Beins
  • Philosophy And The Sciences of Exercise, Health And Sport: Critical Perspectives On Research Methods, edited by Mike McNamee
  • Brain-based Teaching For All Subjects: Patterns To Promote Learning by Madlon T. Laster. (only a bit, because it turned out to be about elementary school teaching, whereas I was expecting it to be about university teaching)
  • Conducting & Reading Research in Health & Human Performance by Baumgartner & Hensley (only partway through)

Misc

And what year in review blog posting would be complete without some nerd stats:

Nerd Stats 2008:

  • Blog postings: 423
  • Tweets: 2,2274
  • Visits to my blog in 2008: 32,4104
  • Average number of blog visits per day: 934
  • Most popular blog posting: Hockey Hotties (1062 views)
  • Busiest day on my blog: Friday, September 26, 2008 (460 views, thanks to the Hockey Hotties posting)
  • My first guest posting on a blog as a correspondent for Miss604 at BlogHer

1OK, I realize that *I* didn’t get the cat and this is supposed to be *my* personal summary. But he’s the best freaking cat ever and he’s sitting on my lap as I write this, so it counts.
2A “letter of intent” (LOI) is an application to be allowed to submit an application. Anyone can submit an LOI, but only the people whose LOIs get accepted are allowed to submit the full application.
3I’m sure I’ve read more than this and am just forgetting some of them. This list is based on ones (a) I can actually remember without prompting, (b) appeared on my blog and so I saw them when I went through my blog to write this year in review, and (c) I still have out of the library, so I saw them when I checked what books I have out of the library.
4At the time of writing this blog posting.

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OMGIHateUSAirways – The Final Chapter in the Saga

And now the conclusion of our harrowing tale of trying to fly on US Airways.  When we last left the story, our heroine and hero had spent SEVEN hours waiting in the San Jose del Cabos airport, been flown to Tuscon to walk through Immigration/Customs only to find out their luggage had been lost, then flown to Phoenix where they were put up in a hotel and given coupons for a horrible, horrible breakfast.

So.  Comparatively speaking, our flight from Phoenix to Vancouver was not nearly as bad, but still involved the following screw ups:

  • The pilot went to the wrong gate. Seriously. We were originally supposed to be at Gate B28 and then they announced that it was changed to Gate A23, so everyone started to walk over to the new gate. But then the person on the PA system said, “Wait. The pilot appears to have gone to Gate B23 instead of A23, so we’ll just have your flight to Vancouver board there.”  The fact that the pilot can’t even go to the correct gate does not give me confidence in the competence of this airline.  Not that I had much confidence left in them at this point.
  • Yet another maintenance “issue.” We were delayed an hour at the gate because, apparently, the maintenance people didn’t fill out the paperwork correctly.  The pilot announced, in a very annoyed tone of voice, “Maintenance has to come on the plane to straighten out some paperwork.  The TSA is really picky about having paperwork filled out correctly.” Oh yeah, those darn safety people wanting you take the safety seriously, how dare they?  I also find it rather suspect that it took them an hour to “straighten out the paperwork.” An hour? Really? Again, this did not fill me with confidence.
  • They didn’t have anyone at the lost baggage desk at YVR. They had lost baggage there – plenty of it.  Just sitting out in the open where anyone could have walked away with it.  We waited for 20 minutes for someone to show up.  We called their support line and the person we got on the phone tried calling someone to figure out why no one was at the desk, and then claimed that they couldn’t make any outgoing calls when we suggested that they get the airport to page the missing lost baggage person (you may recall from earlier in this sentence, they had already made an outgoing call).
  • They left forms with people’s confidential information on it sitting right out on the desk for anyone to see. Seriously. I saw six forms with people’s names, home addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, flight information, signatures and the approximate value of the contents of their lost luggage1. Eventually, someone showed up at the American Airlines desk next to the US Airways one and, after repeatedly telling us “I don’t work for US Airways. I don’t know what the other airlines do,” looked behind the counter and found our luggage, which apparently had been put on an earlier flight to Vancouver than us.  The person from American Airlines refused to put the forms with people’s confidential information out of sight, despite the fact that I asked her to do so very nicely three times, again with the “I don’t know what the other airlines do” line. Like, seriously, would it have been that hard to take the forms and put them under the desk?  At that point, I gave up on the whole thing and we left the airport, finally home in our beloved Vancouver.

So, to recap, here is a list of all the ways that US Airways screwed up on one trip:

  • FOUR planes with “maintenance issues,” including two that were unfit to fly altogether
  • a total of ELEVEN hours of delay2 (not counting the two hours delay waiting to leave Vancouver, which was due to weather (i.e., the need to wait for the de-icer), which is not their fault; and also not counting an overnight stay in Phoenix, which was their fault3)
  • They lost our luggage
  • They don’t have a person at their lost luggage desk
  • When luggage does eventually arrive at its final destination, they leave it out in the open where anyone could steal it
  • They left several people’s confidential information out in the open, also available for stealing

Additional things that suck about US Airways:

  • They charge you if you have ANY checked bags.
  • They charge you for a can of pop or a bottle of water on the plane.
  • They don’t have any food at all on their plane. Not even the over-priced crappy sandwiches or bags of chips that other airlines carry.

In conclusion, I will never, ever fly US Airways again and you shouldn’t either.  I feel lucky to have arrived home alive after that trip, quite frankly.

1In fairness, this desk was also for a few other airlines and there were forms from people who flew on Air Transat & Continental sitting on the desk as well. So whoever had been at that desk for all those airlines totally sucks. And I bet it was a US Airways employee.
2One hour of them fixing our plane in Phoenix, waiting to go to Cabos; seven hours waiting for our plane in Cabos as they had to replace two non-functional planes in a row; about a two hour detour to Tucson because our flight was so late that we couldn’t clear Immigration in Phoenix; one hour of them “straightening up the paperwork” waiting to leave Phoenix to get to Vancouver; plus having to stay overnight in Phoenix
3Ironically, the only flight segment of our entire journey that didn’t have a delay was our originally scheduled Phoenix to Vancouver flight, which we missed because we were still in Cabos. It left Phoenix right on time.

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OMGIhateUSAirways!

So. I’m in friggin’ Phoenix.

After waiting for SEVEN hours in the San Jose del Cabo airport, we *finally* got a flight to Phoenix. Most people on the flight had bailed by this point, with only 17 passengers remaining to take the flight. This was an Airbus A320 plane, which seats 179 passangers, and it had been full. Until we had to wait SEVEN hours.

By this point,we were kind of starving. Because, of course, everything in the airport had closed down. And we asked the flight attendant what there was on the plane that we could buy and she said, “Oh, we don’t carry any food.” (US Airways, by the way, sucks.) Um, what? No food on the plane? I remember from the flight down to Cabos that you have to pay for your lousy can of pop (did I mention that US Airways sucks?), but you can’t even buy food on their plane? wtf? Then we asked what kind of mechanical problems they had that had delayed us for SEVEN hours and the flight attendants said, “Which one?” Apparently there were two non-functional planes (the first one wouldn’t pressurize, the second had some door locking problem) before they got this third, functional plane. So, counting the mechanical problem on the way from Phoenix to Cabos (which caused a few hours delay), that’s THREE major maintenance issues in one trip. Somehow,this does not give me confidence in their ability to maintain their planes.

The next ridiculous thing to happen was that they announced that we had to fly to Tucson to clear customs before we could go to Phoenix. Wait, what? Apparently, our flight was so late that the Phoenix customs people had all gone home. So we had to go to Tucson (which has 24 hour customs), get off the plane with all our luggage, clear customs, go back through security, get back on the plane and fly to Phoenix. No, really. And then we get to Tuscon and find that they have lost our luggage. Lost. Our. Luggage. They had SEVEN hours to get our luggage on that plane. SEVEN! (Did I mention that US Airways is the suckiest airline ever? Did I?) I have never, in my entire life, had my luggage lost. I was starting to think that lost luggage was just a myth. But no, US Airways lost our luggage. Way to go, US Airways!

Once we got to Phoenix, they put us up in a hotel (14 of the 17 people from our flight were on the shuttle to the hotel) and gave us little coupons for their horrible hotel breakfast buffet. And I’m not even making this up, the coupon said it was for an airline “distressed” passenger breakfast.

OK, I’ll have to continue this story later, as I need to go board my plane. Keep your fingers crossed for us to actually make it home before 2009!