Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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How to be a Vancouverite

You’ve probably already seen this, but that last posting about stand up paddleboarding totally reminded me of this video1. If you’ve already seen it (which I’m sure is pretty much everyone), feel free to move along. If not, enjoy:

  1. Which Alicia first introduced to me when we were talking about going stand up paddleboarding for her birthday. []

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Paddleboarding!

So this posting is very, very overdue. Way back in the days of yore – i.e., September – a bunch of us went stand up paddleboarding for Alicia’s birthday1. Our guide was Kathleen from WazSUP Stand Up Paddleboarding and Surf Shop2. She taught us the safety rules and the basics on how to get around and then we set off from Yaletown and paddled all the way to English Bay and back!

Here’s Alicia, starting out first on her knees:

Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013

Here’s the group of us starting out:Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013

And here we are standing:Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013

Once we were all standing, we managed to group together and hold paddles to form a group so we could listen to Kathleen tell us about more advanced stuff, like turning:Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013

And off we go:Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013

It was very cool being out on the water – the water was calm and it was very peaceful floating along like that. Also, it was an interesting experience to be going along False Creek on the water, as Alicia and I often go running along the paths on either side of False Creek – the Kits side or the downtown side – where we run and look out on the water, but with this we were going along the water and looking out onto the path – quite a different perspective! We also got to see a baby seal… or was it an otter? I can’t remember – this was a long time ago, after all. But I do remember it was a baby and it was barking. So cute!Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013

Paddleboarding for Alicia's Birthday 2013The fearless crew of paddleboarders!

Thanks for much to Kathleen from WazSUP for being such an awesome guide and taking us out for such a fun trip!

  1. You might remember Alicia from such adventures as the Fall Classic Half Marathon 2013, the Edge-to-Edge Half Marathon 2013, Victoria half marathon 2010, Scotiabank half marathon 2010, Vancouver BMO Half Marathon 2009, and surfing in Tonfio 2007. []
  2. I only just now as I was writing this post clued in that the “SUP” stands for “stand up paddleboarding.” []

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Some New Ornaments for my Christmas Tree

And speaking of blog postings I wrote a while ago, I apparently forgot to finish this posting, which I started last week!

I’m one of those people who have an eclectic set of ornaments for my tree. Rather than having a coordinated set of decorations that would make Martha Stewart proud, I have a tree full of ornaments that I have collected over the years… a tree full of happy Christmas memories, as it were. Each ornament has a story1. Like the gingerbread girl who has a tray full of freshly baked gingerbread cookies that I got in 1988 – a fact I only know because it says “1988″ on her apron. My sister got an identical one and so I put a sticker on the bottom of my gingerbread girl’s cookie sheet because it was very important that I be able to distinguish which one was mine and which one was Nancy’s…. even though they were identical, so I really can’t fathom why it would matter whose was whose, but it was very important to us at the time. Or the Flying Spaghetti Monster ornament that I made with my very own hands – one for me and ones for a few special friends who I know love the FSM too. Or the mouse that was given to me by my first grade teacher, Mrs. Morley. Or the ones my niece made out of peanuts. This year, I decided to add a beautiful set of ornaments that have a special story too. I first heard about Tradeworks on my friend Paul’s blog. From the Tradeworks website:

We work with inner city women and at-risk youth with multiple barriers to employment. We provide training in life and employment skills, and hands-on work experience in the of trade carpentry. After finishing our program, our graduates are ready for steady gainful employment.

The intricately designed ornaments are handmade from BC blue-stained beetle kill pine wood. I bought the Twelve Days of Christmas set and they are absolutely gorgeous:

Having the set of 12 is really awesome, because it ties my whole eclectic tree together and because I know that I got to support a really cool organization too.

  1. Well, I do have a set of plain blue Christmas balls whose story is basically that I didn’t have enough ornaments to fill up my tree because I got divorced and my ex took his half of the ornaments and so I went to London Drugs to buy a Christmas tree and got this set of blue balls to fill up space. Tee hee – blue balls. []

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Half Marathon #9 – Oh So Fine

Half marathon #9 complete!

Here’s Alicia and I after the race:

Fall Classic Half Marathon 2013

If we look a little out of it, it’s only because we are. Thanks to the aforementioned not training enough, both of us wanted to puke. But we did it and our time was better than the last two halfs that I did, so that’s something. Official time: 2:17:25. Not great, but I’ll take it.

We also lucked up in that it turned out to be sunny instead of rainy. And the route was relatively flat, so that made me happy. And I saw fans holding up two signs I’d never seen before – one had a target on it and said “hit here for power up” and you could hit it as you went by. The other was a “1 Up” super mario mushroom. Both of those brought me much joy!

Also, another medal for me! Hooray!

Fall Classic Half Marathon 2013

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Support Independent Media AND maybe win a weekend in Tofino!

So remember when I told you that you should support the Tyee, the award-winning Vancouver-based independent news magazine, to go national? Well I hope you have been procrastinating on actually doing that because have I got an offer for you!

If you go to this link to sign up to support the Tyee, then both you and I get entered into a draw for:

  • Two nights for two at BriMar Bed & Breakfast.
  • $150 gift certificate for Tofino’s popular Sobo restaurant.
  • A daytrip for two to Hot Springs Cove from Ocean Outfitters.
DSC02093

This is Tofino. Isn’t it gorgeous? Don’t you want me to go to there? Or maybe you could win the trip and then you could take me there!

Seeing as I’ve only been to Tofino to (1) jump into the freezing cold ocean in January and (2) run the most hilliest of half marathons ever, I think I really deserve a relaxing weekend there, don’t you? Of course you do. That’s why you are going to go to this link to support the Tyee.

So go to this link. Go there now!!

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Help @TheTyee Go National!

First of all, watch this video:

Canada needs more independent voices from The Tyee on Vimeo.

So, I’m sure you can see why this campaign appeals to me. Facts – I’m a big fan of those. In depth, well-researched investigations into news stories instead of sound bites of 140 characters or less – that sounds pretty cool to me. The world is complicated and nuanced and I appreciate having a news source that gets that. And yeah, maybe there’s a bit of BC pride in there – we’ve got something pretty cool, and it’s time the rest of the country got to join in too. And supporting The Tyee to go national is something where I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is.

They are trying to raise $100,000 and are well on their way, but there’s only 14 days to reach their target. I hope you’ll consider support them and/or spreading the word!

And there’s an added bonus for any Canadian politics nerds out there that’s not mentioned in the video, but that you can see if you go to their campaign page: if you sign up to support them at a level of $15/month or more, you get paper dolls of the Canadian political party leaders, complete with multiple outfits. (Spoiler: Yes, the Stephen Harper one comes complete with kittens!)

In related news – expect to see some blog postings featuring those paper dolls here on NTBTWK sometime soon!

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My First Vancouver Canadians Game

Thanks to a Groupon, I went to my first ever Vancouver Canadians game tonight, thus knocking item #65 off of my 101 things to do in 1001 days list!

For the uninitiated, the Vancouver Canadians are a baseball team that plays in the Northwest League1, and are an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. I’d never been to a game before and had heard they were a tonne of fun, so Cath and I decided to go. And we choose tonight because it was free beach towel night, and Cath and I are a couple of hoopy froods who really know where their towels are.

Vancouver Canadians game

Cath and I, with aforementioned free beach towel.

The game was pretty fun – the pace was just slow enough to allow us lots of opportunity to catch up with another, but also fast enough that there was some excitement in the game. It’s been a while since I really watched baseball and though I was fine with all the rules and play, I found that I really had no idea why the crowd was boo’ing when it did. Sometimes they boo’ed when the umpire called a strike that was clearly a ball, but often times where was booing for no discernable reason. As for the game itself, the Canadians were winning for much of the game, but then the Hawks tied it up by scoring 3 runs in the 8th inning, and then the Canadians answered back with 1 more run in the bottom of the 8th and managed to hold the Hawks off in the 9th to squeak out the win.

Oddly, there was a foot race between two pieces of sushi and some wasabi, but apparently this is a common occurrence at Vancouver Canadians game.

Vancouver Canadians game

For the record, Ms. BC Roll won the race. Here she is with her first place ribbon:

Vancouver Canadians game

 

Only in Vancouver.Vancouver Canadians game

Loving my new beach towel!

  1. No, I didn’t have to look up the name of that league. I can’t believe you’d even suggest that! []

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Transit It!

Since the conference that I’ve been at this week is in Vancouver, I’ve been taking Skytrain. And I have to tell you, I so much prefer taking Skytrain to work instead of driving! I can read and drink my coffee and not have to worry about terrible drivers like I do when I’m driving!

Granted, it’s been beautiful and sunny these past two days, so it’s been great to walk between the Skytrain Station and the conference hotel – a little bit of exercise that fits nicely into my day! – and it wouldn’t be quite the same if it were cold and rainy. But still – better than driving. Also, the trip home this afternoon was in peak rush hour so I was sardined into the train so tightly I couldn’t even get my textbook out of my bag to read. But still – beats driving!

Tomorrow is the last day of the conference and since I have to go out to UBC afterwards, I’m driving instead of Skytraining it1. Driving into Vancouver during morning rush hour is craptacular, so I’ll probably go in extra early to avoid the traffic and work at a coffee shop until the conference starts. Because if I have to be sitting around, I’d rather sit around a coffee shop and get work done than sit in traffic!

But never fear, I have to go to Vancouver both on Thursday night and on Saturday, so my transit pass will continue to get a workout

  1. As getting home from UBC afterwards would take one million years if I were taking transit. []

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Run It!

As you know from my constant yammering about it, I’m training to run the Victoria Half Marathon and my IT band is not happy about it. I had to run 18 km today – my second last long run before the actual race – and since the hilliness of New Westminster seems to be what’s being kicking my ITB’s ass, I decided that I should trek out to my old non-hilly stomping grounds to do this one. So I headed off to Vancouver to do a nice seaside run along the seawall that runs along the south side of False Creek, starting a bit east of the Cambie Bridge and going all the way to Jericho beach – and back! My knee definitely wasn’t 100%, but it was better than it has been the last few weeks1.

What wasn’t as successful, though, was my Runkeeper app. As I’ve mentioned before, I use the Runkeeper app on my iPhone which uses GPS/cell phone towers to track my runs; it periodically notifies you of things like how far you’ve run and how fast you’ve run while you are running by having a voice come over your headphones with said information. I usually set mine to notify me ever 2 km, but since this run was an 18 km one where I wanted to run 9 km (i.e., an odd number of kilometers) out and then turn around and do 9 km back, I set mine to notify me every 1 km instead. And it worked just fine until about 12 km, after which it went totally insane and told me every minute or so that I’d just done another kilometer. Now, as much as I’d like to, I really don’t run a kilometer in a minute. And its really super annoying to be trying to listen to your music and enjoy your run when a voice pops up every minute and a half telling you such lies. It also *completely* defeats the purpose of helping you set your pace when you have no idea how far you’ve run or what your pace is.

Essentially what’s happening is that the GPS/cell phone tower tracking is getting confused and thinks that I’m somewhere that I’m not and then finds where I actually am and thinks that I’ve run that distance in a split second. Here’s a section of the map it produced with its idea of where I’d run:

The run I didn't do

I can assure you that I did not, in fact, go for a swim through False Creek at breakneck speeds.

The run I didn't do 3

Notice that my pace is completely reasonable and consistent until about kilometer 12, at which point it goes apeshit.

I’ve had this issue on a few runs recently, but I thought it was because I was out in remote – and presumably cell phone tower-less -areas of Vancouver Island or because I was running under the Skytrain and my iPhone couldn’t “see” the satellites/cell phone towers properly. But this is a route that I’ve run many, many times in the past without incident2. What I also don’t get is why it was able to track my run along this route just fine on the way out, but on the way back along *the exact same route*, it suddenly can’t see the satellites/cell phone towers properly. Can any tech nerds explain this to me – or, even better, tell me how to make it work?

For the record, here is the section of that route as I actually ran it:

The route i did run

  1. This is probably also due in part to the magic of the foam roller! []
  2. Or with one incident like this on a run, not dozens of screw ups []

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Eat It!

After a long day of class today1, I rewarded myself by buying a foam roller2 and then dinner at La Bell Patate, a Québécois restaurant on Davie Street. I had bought a Social Shopper (i.e., fake Groupon) deal for 2 poutine and 2 hotdogs at L.B.P., a place that I had only heard of when I’d Googled around to try to find if you can buy spruce beer anywhere in Vancouver.

The hotdogs – or “steamies” as they are called there (all dressed with sauerkraut and onions and mustard) – were nothing to write home about. Then again, I never had steamies when I was in Montreal as a kid like I did Montreal smoked meat or spruce beer, so I don’t have any nostalgia associated with it. But the poutine was divine:

Poutine

And they did, in fact, have my beloved spruce beer!

Spruce Beer

It was even better than the stuff I had picked up the last time I was in Montreal. At least 87% more sprucey!

  1. Macroeconomics, followed by a double dose of statistics, then managerial economics. That be *a lot* of math. []
  2. Which will be the subject of an upcoming blog posting []