Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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It’s time for a bulleted list!

As usual, I have so many things I’d like to blog about and so little time, mostly because all of the aforementioned things taking up all of my time1. So, in the interest of getting all these things out of my brain, I give you this brain dump in the form of a bulleted list:

  • After a year and a half, all the hard work of the organizing committee (of which I was a member as a program co-chair) led to a highly successful Canadian Evaluation Society conference at the start of May. I’ll be writing up more specifics on the conference content on my other blog2, but I do have to say that I am so happy that the conference was extremely well attended and everything went off without a hitch. And also that I’m relieved to have a lot fewer meetings in my calendar going forward!
  • The week before the conference my team and I had to make a surprise move to a temporary new office space3. It’s just four blocks from my old office space, but it’s surprising how many new restaurants there are to discover that I never realized were so close by4! Also, one of my coworkers brought a breakfast sandwich maker to the new office and now I live in heaven.Breakfast sandwich maker
  • The temporary new space in which I’m working lacks a phone, so work is getting me a Blackberry. So now I live in 2006. Even more sadly, Pokémon Go is not available on BB (at least not in a very functional state from what I’ve read) (or else I’d be able to double my productivity when it comes to evolution binges when I have a Lucky Egg!).
  • Speaking of Pokémon, I have caught all of the Pokémon from the initial release in Pokémon Go that are available to catch in North America, plus the Australia-specific one5 + all the babies. The last of the originals that I caught was the one I wanted the most: this Flying Spaghetti Monster Pokémon: Tangela
  • Of course, before I caught all the originals, Niantic released a bunch more Pokémon, so I still haven’t caught them all! I have caught a fair number, including this tree: Pokémon
    This communist6 teddy bear: Pokémon and this thing that really needs to pee (both male and female editions. You can tell she’s a girl because she’s wearing lipstick) UntitledUntitled
  • And one more thing about Pokémon. Among the new group of Pokémon that were release, there were two that allowed me to test the question of “If there were a Pokemon that looked like a spider, would my fear of spiders or my love of catching Pokémon win?”
    Pokémon
    Pokémon Given that I’ve caught 151 Spinaraks and 15 Ariados, I think I have my answer.
  • I took a sewing class with Cath and Stephanie as my thing that I learned in April (towards my goal of learning 12 new things this year). There’s a whole blog posting on that which I have partway written, so stay tuned! I’ve also learned something new in May, so that will be another blog post!
  • I’m co-teaching a class in the summer intersession (read: a 12 week course that’s taught in 6 weeks, so I’m extra glad to be co-teaching it!). I don’t really have anything to say about it, but it’s taking up a bunch of my time, so I thought I should probably include it in this laundry list of random things.
  • I’m still loving Strong Side! I’ve just started my third program. The first program was 5 weeks of building a foundation, then there was 5 weeks of hypertrophy (i.e., building muscle), and my new program is 5 weeks of intensity that is probably going to kill me. I’ve only done the instructional week, where the trainers teach you all the exercises in your new program, but you don’t have to do nearly as many sets as the following four weeks. Thursday is my first day on my own for this program where I will have to do eleventy billion sets of all kinds of things that will surely make me exhausted. But I can really see some significant improvements in strength since I started going there, so I’m going to trust the program!
  • There was a provincial election in BC on May 9 and it ended up in a hung parliament. The BC “Liberals” (which I put in scare quotes because the party that goes by the name “BC Liberals” are not liberal at all – they are conservative) won, on the initial counting of the ballots on election night, 43 seats in the legislature m, which is one seat shy of a majority. However, there are more than 170,000 absentee ballots that weren’t counted on election night and some ridings had very slim margins that could easily flip based on absentee ballots – including one riding where the NDP won by just 9 votes! They’ve started the count of the absentee ballots and the NDP are now up by 101 votes in that riding, but there are still more that have to be counted tomorrow, so it’s still possible that the “Liberals” could win that one. If that flips to the BC “Liberals” and none of the other ridings change hands, there will be a majority government and things will continue on as they were before the election, but with fewer MLAs in the ruling party7. But if everything stays the same as the election night results, or if seats flip to the NDP, we could end up with BC “Liberal” minority or, if more seats flip to the NDP, we could end up with an NDP minority, and in either minority scenario, the Green Party holds the balance of power. Needless to say, we’ll be waiting with baited breath for those absentee ballots to be counted!
  1. In fact, as I’ve sat down to take these notes from my phone, where I’ve been writing this blog posting in bits and pieces on my Skytrain commute, I noticed that I haven’t posted anything March 31 and it’s somehow the end of May now!! []
  2. Which I am sure are far too boring for anyone to want to read! []
  3. I actually have two offices and to clarify, this is for my non-hospital office. []
  4. I bring my lunch to work most days, so it will take me awhile to try all the ones I want to try []
  5. I caught the kangaroo one that you can only catch in Australia when I was there last fall. I did not catch the Asian one when I was in Hong Kong (due to not having a data plan and there being very limited free wifi around) and I haven’t been to Europe since Pokémon Go started. Clearly I need to book a European vacation! []
  6. I keep calling that bear a communist because the crescent on his reminds me of the sickle on the Soviet flag. Scott thinks it’s more of a Turkish teddy bear. []
  7. Unless a BC Liberal MLA dies, crosses the floor, or resigns due to a scandal, and a riding is subsequently lost in a by-election. []

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Trip to Newfoundland and Labrador

Except I didn’t actually go to Labrador, but the province is officially called “Newfoundland and Labrador”, so it’s technically correct to say I went to Newfoundland and Labrador without setting foot in the Labrador part. It’s kind of confusing, but there you have it.

Canadian Provinces and Territories

Map of Canada highlighting the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The island is Newfoundland and the part on the mainland is Labrador. Image source: By TUBS

The reason for the trip was to attend the Canadian Evaluation Society’s 2016 conference being held in St. John’s, NL from June 3-6. I won’t bore you with all the conference stuff1, but I will tell you that my sister and I did a pre-conference workshop on a project we’ve been working on together, along with her partner, Jeff, and it got a fantastic reception2. As well, I did a presentation on my big project at work that also drew a good sized and much engaged audience, which made me happy.

The most exciting non-work part of the conference was the screech in ceremony at the closing reception. Screeching In, for the uninitiated, is a Newfoundland and Labradorian tradition whereby people “from away” (i.e., not from NL) take a shot of screech3, say some NL phrases, and kiss a cod and are then declared an honorary Newfoundlander and Labradorian. Everyone was quite excited by this event and I have to say I quite enjoyed it, though the screech was probably the worst rum I’ve ever had and kissing a cod is disgusting!

Screeching in ceremony at CES 2016 conferene

My sister and I with our shots of screech

Screeching in ceremony at CES 2016 conferene

Me, just after kissing the cod (Didn’t manage to capture the kiss on camera). It was truly disgusting.

Screeching in ceremony at CES 2016 conferene

Official certificate to provide that I have, in fact, been screeched in. I will frame it and hang it next to my Official Irish Whiskey taster certificate.

Since we’d flown such a long way to get there and neither Inor my sister had been to Newfoundland before, we decided to tag on a couple of vacation days to check a bit of it out. NL is actually quite huge, so we only got to explore a tiny fraction of it, but we did get to:

  • Dildo: Seriously, there is a town in NL called Dildo and I made my sister drive there just so I could take this picture:

    Dildo, NL

    There is nothing in the town of Dildo. You pretty much just go there to take a photo with the town sign.

  • South Dildo: Somehow, I think South Dildo is even funnier than Dildo. Sadly, we did not see a town sign when we drove through South Dildo, but I took this screen shot of Google Maps as we drove through it to prove we were there:South Dildo, NL
  • Harbour Grace:My Great Granny Snow (my dad’s dad’s mom) lived in Harbour Grace when she immigrated to Canada from England, so my sister and I decided to go check it out. We had no idea where exactly she lived beyond the fact that it was a house on the water near some trees, which describes pretty much every house in Harbour Grace4. It’s not a very big town and we drove along the aptly named Water St, so we think we probably drove by where her house would have been. The day we went to Harbour Grace was my dad’s birthday. While we were looking around we saw a big church that we wanted to check out, but it turned out to be under renovation and had a gate with a “no trespassing” sign on it. Anyone who knew my father will tell you that he viewed a “no trespassing” or “do not enter” sign as not so much a notice that you should not go to that place, but as an indication that you probably should. “They wouldn’t put a sign up saying to “stay out” unless there was something good in there that you would want to see!” he used to say. So I decided to take this photo in his memory5.
    Trespassing in Harbour Grace, NL

    Me, trespassing in Harbour Grace, on my Dad’s birthday. He would be proud!

    My sister said she was spending her vacation driving around taking photos of me for my blog. She was not wrong in this statement.))

  • The Easternmost Point of North America: which is in a place called Cape Spear, which is quite close to St. John’s. Though, as my friend Linda (who was the first person to mention this place to me as a place to go) pointed out, you aren’t *actually* at the most eastern point since this viewing spot that says “You are at the Easternmost point of North America” is not actually at the shoreline, but I think this can be considered the easternmost point of North America that you can safely go to, as that ocean looks scary! So I say it still counts. I took a selfie of me there because of course I did.Me at the eastern most point in North America, at Cape Spear, NLCape Spear also has a cool old lighthouse that you can visit and learn about how the light keepers lived in the old timey days (as well as a new, functioning light house that still provides signals to ships that they are getting close to St. John’s Harbour and also don’t come over this way because it’s super rocky) because GPS can fail you sometimes.

    Cape Spear, NL

    This is the new lighthouse. I didn’t get a good photo of the old timey lighthouse, though we did go into it.

  • The Eastern Terminus of the Trans Canada Highway*: While we were meandering around NL, I got a Facebook reminder that three years ago today, I was at the Pacific Terminus of the Trans Canada Highway.
    Beth at the Pacific Terminus of the Transcanada Highway

    Three years ago

    So I thought it would be super cool to go to the Eastern Terminus of the Trans Canada Highway on the same date! Unfortunately, there isn’t a marker anywhere to show you where the Trans Canada Highway ends in St. John’s – it just sort of ends out of nowhere:

    TCH eastern terminus

    So I took a bunch of selfies as my sister drove through that section and so one of these photos has to be correct. They basically all look like this:

    Driving through the eastern terminus of the Trans Canada Highway

    At the Eastern Terminus of the Trans Canada Highway. Probably.

  • Snow’s Lane: While we were looking for the eastern terminus of the Trans Canada Highway, we noticed on the map that there was a street called “Snow’s Lane”. So naturally we had to go there. The road itself was nothing much, but at least we can say we’ve been there!Snow's Lane in St. John's, NL
  • Signal Hill: This was the hill upon which Marconi received the first ever trans-Atlantic radio signal6Signal Hill

Other random things about our trip:

  • Every restaurant we went to in St. John’s was fantastic! My favourites were Yellowbelly – a brew pub that makes the best french fries I’ve ever eaten and a pretty solid wheat ale – and Oliver’s – a fancier place where we had amazing sea scallops, I had a bourbon chicken and risotto to die for, while my sister had Atlantic salmon7, and we shared a delicious creme brûlée. Other great restaurants included the Celtic Hearth (my sister got a turkey soup that was like homemade, I got an excellent club sandwich on the freshest of breads, and I tried Quidi Vidi Iceberg beer, which is made from water harvested from icebergs! At first sip, Iceberg seems like a meh lager, but then a fraction of a second later it hits you with an outstanding flavour8. I highly recommend it!
  • It was bloody cold in St. John’s, to the point that on Wednesday it felt like biting winter cold. We were told it was unseasonably cold and it wasn’t helped by the knowledge that I was missing out on 30 degree9 weather back home in Vancouver!
  • I took this photo for my Uncle Harry. Don’t know what Harold Snow of Newfoundland was advertising, as this sign literally just said his name:IMG_2720

When I set foot in St. John’s, I officially completed my quest to visit every Canadian province. Now I just need to visit the two territories that I haven’t been to yet (Yukon and Nunavut) and I’ll have been to every part of the country!

  1. If you are interested in reading about that, you can check out my professional blog where I will be writing about that in the coming days – I’ll update the link to the specific blog posting once I post it. []
  2. I’ll probably blog about it more once it’s ready for prime time – right now it’s in a beta phase. []
  3. i.e., crappy Newfoundland rum/ []
  4. Not to mention that it’s entirely possible that the house isn’t there anymore []
  5. And, of course, to add to my collection of me doing things that signs say not to do. []
  6. For some reason, I always thought he sent the first trans-Atlantic radio signal, but he did not – he received it. []
  7. I’m a bit of a salmon snob, in that I much prefer Pacific salmon. I tried some of my sister Atlantic salmon, just in case the Atlantic stuff is better when it is fresh (which I don’t get in Vancouver), but it just isn’t as good as the Pacific stuff, imho []
  8. I’m sure the water harvested from an iceberg thing is gimmick rather than being what makes the beer awesome, but it really is an awesome beer. []
  9. Celsius. []

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I’m not actually FaceTime-ing with my cats

So I’m on vacation now until the new year. My last day of work for 2015 was actually Monday – it was a bit weird to work a one day work week, but essentially, what I did was take how many vacation days I had left to use this year1 and counted backwards and that’s what I landed on.

In honour of my vacation, I wanted to share this photo that my co-worker Diana took of me. She thought it was very hilarious how relaxed I looked:

Me at work

In my defence, I was reading a bunch of journal articles and this was just way more comfortable than sitting normally at my desk. Also, my office is a bit chilly, so I had a blanket on my lap, which makes me look even more cosy.

When I looked at the photo later, I realized that it kind of looks like I’m FaceTime-ing with my cats. In truth, I just have a photo of my cats as my desktop photo. I’m a crazy cat lady, but I’m not *that* far gone!

  1. As we were encouraged not to carry over and vacation days ’til next year, as things are expected to be crazy busy on our project… even more so than they have been already, which is saying something []

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Random Things I’ve Been Thinking About in No Particular Order

Here are some things that are too long to tweet, but too short to make into whole blog postings on their own.

I like to be annoying

One of my favourite things to do when I play hockey is to screen the goalie. I like to get right in her way so she can’t see, which means that when one of my teammates gets the puck, they can take a shot and the goalie will have a hard time seeing it (and I’m also right there to pick up a rebound, should one occur). Obviously goalies don’t like this and they often call their defenceman to come and move me out of the way, which is, to their surprise, difficult, since I’m so little. My little size is misleading though, because they totally think they should be able to move me, but since I have a low centre of gravity, I’m harder to move than you’d think. Which then means there’s both me and the defenceman who is trying to move me screening the goalie. The more the goalie and/or defenceman expresses their frustration, the more I know I’m doing a good job, and so it only encourages me to do it more. Anyway, I recently realized that I have an office equivalent of this – arguing with one of my coworkers for the sake of arguing. Things we’ve argued over recently include (1) this study (which he holds up as a reason to not to go out running – and to warn me that I’m probably going to die when I go out for a run on my lunch (he also enjoys being annoying) and I provide a critique of the methodological issues with the paper that makes me question the conclusions) and (2) what time of day does “evening” start.

The Bus Lane Bandit

One of my other coworkers got his first ever ticket – it was for driving in a bus lane. He was in an area he’d never driven before and he didn’t notice the bus lane sign and he was very offended that the cop didn’t just let him off with a warning. I have now dubbed this coworker “The Bus Lane Bandit” and refer to this incident as his “crime spree.”

Google Translate

I am currently working on the revisions to a journal article for which one of the reviewers suggested a few papers that I might find helpful to refer to in my paper – and one of those articles was in French, which, of course, I can’t actually read (beyond some basic high school French I learned more than 20 years ago). So I put the paper through Google Translate and was mostly able to get the gist of the paper, but there were some obvious errors. One such error was Google’s translation of a subheading in the paper that read: “Rencontres après les entrevues semi-­dirigées”. Based on my understanding of the journal article, this should be translated to “Meeting after the semi-structured interviews”, as that section of the paper talked about a meeting that was held after the researchers conducted semi-structured interviews. Instead, Google translates it to this:

Which has a whole other connotation entirely.

Another error I came across in Google translate is its translation of “I love my cats” into French. If you ask Google to translate just “I love” it gives you the correct “j’aime”. “Je” means “I” and “aime” means love and since “aime” starts with a vowel, you replace the “e” in “je” with an apostrophe to get “j’aime.”

But when you ask Google to translate “I love my cats”, you get “Je aime mes chats”.

Why Google Translate gets it right in the first instance but not in the second instance is a mystery to me. And it doesn’t matter what word you put at the end of the sentence – you can ask it to translate “I love my frogs”, “I love my mom,” or “I love job”, it still gives you the incorrect “Je aime”1. It also gives you “Je te aime” instead of “Je t’aime” for the translation of “I love you.” WTF, Google?

Octopus!

And finally, I saw this over on The Bloggess’ blog and it is the coolest thing in the history of ever:

  1. And I did check this with Daniel, who speaks French, to make sure that this isn’t some weird quirk of the French language – it’s actually that Google is crazy. []

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Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning’s End

Last week was a bittersweet one1. Sweet, because I started my awesome new job. But starting my awesome new job meant first saying good-bye to my awesome co-workers at my old job. I don’t generally talk about my work here on ye ole blog, but I will tell you that for the past five years I’ve had a really good job where I’ve done some meaningful work that I’m very proud of and I’ve had the pleasure of working with some really fantastic people. I’m really going to miss seeing those guys every day!

As my final day of work approached, the admin assistant in charge of timekeeping annotated my last ever timesheet:

Timesheet

On my second last day of work, my coworkers threw me a little farewell at the pub near our office. They also showed that they really know me well, as they gave me a farewell card in an envelope addressed like this:

Farewell Card

Which included a gift certificate for a brewery tour for two:

Brewery Tour gift cert

Like I said, these guys know me really well!

On my last day of work, I decided it was time to finally wear my “I am not an epidemiologist” shirt to the office. I had this tshirt made awhile back after being introduced as an epidemiologist one too many times2.

Last Day of Work

At the end of the day, after I’d handed in my ID badge and my keys and made my rounds of the office saying “bye” to everyone, my coworkers with whom I shared an office – a room affectionately known as “The Observatory” – played this song for me:

I managed to avoid crying. Barely.

photo 2

Final farewell photo with my Observatory buddies! (Left to right: Christina, Salman, me, Geoff, Diana, Rahul).

My last day of that job was Tuesday and since there is no rest for the wicked, I started my new job on Wednesday.

When I’d told my mom that I’d gotten a new job, the first thing she said was that I needed to have a new pair of shoes for my first day at a new job. And who am I to argue with my own mother? I went out and bought this pair and then had to wait very impatiently for nearly a month to wear them3:

New Shoes for a New Job

They were totally worth the wait. Both comfortable *and* stylish!

My first three days on the job have confirmed that I made the right decision in taking this new position. The project that I’m working on is a major one – it’s going to be fast-paced, challenging work and it’s going to be having a major impact in the lives of a large number of people. I spent my first three days in many meetings to meet many people working on the project, getting the lay of the land and figuring out what pieces of work I’ll be needing to do and thinking about how I want to build my team to do them. All the people I’ve met have been fantastic – a brilliant group doing some amazing work and all so friendly and helpful! So exciting!

I also spent some time doing the usual administrative things one needs to do when they get a new job – setting up email accounts, ordering a laptop, completing copious amounts of paperwork to ensure I get a paycheque, and getting an ID badge. To do the last item on that list, I had to go to a location that wasn’t at either of my offices. In fact, I had to go to this building:

Doctors Residence

And, of course, I couldn’t resist snapping that pic! It’s my residence! (Also, shouldn’t it be “Doctors’ Residence”?)

And, yes, I did say “either of my offices”, because I have two of them. One of them is technically a cubicle, but it’s so much bigger than the desk I was sitting at in my old job, that it feels like an office. And I even have a view of the mountains:

View from one of my new offices

…if I lean back and look around my cubicle wall.

My second office is an actual office – with walls and a door and everything! The view isn’t quite as nice as office #1, but I’m honestly happy to have an office *and* a window!

View from my office window

If you look close, you can see the pigeon spikes on my window ledge:

Pigeon spikes

I haven’t yet had a chance to decorate either office, but I did make sure to bring this to put on my desk:

New Beginnings

My friend Sarah gave me that when I left Ontario for BC and it’s seen me through a number of new beginnings these past 14 years. I have kept in on my desk in every job I’ve had during that time and it continues to make me smile to this day.

Footnotes:

  1. According to the all-knowing Wikipedia, the quote I used as the title of this posting, which I know from the song “Closing Time”, is actually a quote from the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger. Which seems much more sophisticated than being from the lyrics of a song about being kicked out of a club at the end of the night. []
  2. Not that there’s anything wrong with being an epidemiologist. Some of my best friends are epidemiologists. But, for the record, I’m an evaluator. Which is a completely different profession from epidemiology, though it shares the similarities of (a) starts with the letter “e”, (b) deals with data, and (c) no one outside your field knows what you do. []
  3. I had to give a month’s notice at my last job. []

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I Have A Shiny New Job!

Hey, remember that time I got an MBA? Or that time I got my Credentialed Evaluator designation? Apparently those things were both worth the effort – I’m happy to announce to the world that I now have a shiny new job!

As a general rule, I don’t talk about my work here on ye ole’ blog1, but I can tell you that my shiny new job is still in the realm of evaluation, but it’s at a higher level and with a different health organization. Starting in just over a week, I’ll be Skytraining into Vancouver to one of my two offices there to do Very Important Evaluation Work on a Very Important Health System Project. I’m really excited by the project and the people with whom I’ll be working.

Of course, this new beginning also marks an ending and I truly will miss the wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of working with over the past five years in my current organization. The healthcare world is small in the Lower Mainland, though, so I expect I will cross paths with a number of them in the years to come.

Also, given that I’m going to be working back in Vancouver, I can’t resist breaking out this poster again:

Escape From Surrey

Happy weekend, y’all!

  1. If we are linked in on LinkedIn or if we know each other IRL, you’ll hear about it soon, if you haven’t already. []

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Tough to Come Back, Eh? (The Answer May Surprise You!)

After three weeks vacation, the inevitable refrain from many colleagues upon my return was, “Tough to come back, eh?” But the thing is, every time someone said that, I thought, “Not really.”

Now, don’t get me wrong – I had a super fantastic vacation and am already dreaming up ideas for my next trip. But at the same time, I’m not devastated to be back. I love Vancouver – it’s so gorgeous here and there’s tonnes of things to do – not to mention all my friends are here and I miss them when I’m away1. And I know this might sound heretical, but I actually love my job. I’m working on all kinds of interesting projects, I have really nice co-workers, and my new commute rocks2. And I’m even excited for the courses that I’ll be taking this semester3.

Prior to my vacation, I was definitely burnt out – non-stop work and school for such an extended period of time is not a good idea. So while I still liked my job and most of my courses, I was running on empty. But now that I’ve had three weeks to disconnect from work and school, my batteries are re-charged and I’m feeling rested, rejuvenated and ready to get back at ‘er. There really is something to this whole work-life balance thing.

  1. And my frogs! []
  2. And now I’m looking into buying a rack and pannier for my bike, so I can bike to work, making my commute even more awesome []
  3. Especially since (a) there are no accounting courses in the mix, and (b) I’ve devised a course schedule that will allow me to finish the MBA in December, instead of next May! I think that will require a whole blog posting – once I get through all the vacation blog postings. Which require that I get through uploading all the vacation photos to Flickr and labelling them! []

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Movin’ On Up To A Deluxe Cubicle In The Sky!

OK, it’s not actually a cubicle, but a desk in a room with a bunch of other desks. Regardless, it’s on the 13th story of an office tower where our corporate office is located. At a location where I can ride the Skytrain or bike to work, so it’s pretty freak awesome. As well, I’m now co-located with a lot of the other people with whom I work, which makes things easier. I’ll probably save a few hours a week that I used to spend driving from my old office to this building, as most of my meetings are located here anyway. The commute is virtually identical in length of time it takes me to get to work – 20 minutes door to door by Skytrain compared to 20 minutes door to door by car to my old office, but it’s way better because I don’t have to sit in traffic and drive over the death-defying Patullo Bridge. Instead, I get a nice little walk to the Skytrain Station, a Skytrain ride that is the opposite direction to the way most people are going so I always get a seat, and a nice little walk from the Skytrain Station to my office building. Additionally, my drive home from work from my old office always took longer than getting there in the morning, as the traffic was always worse, so it often took 30-40 minutes instead of 20, whereas the commute home from my new office is always just 20 minutes. All around better location.

Of course, moving offices is like moving house, in that I had to go through a big purge of stuff that I’d been accumulating for the past 4 years since I moved into this office.

This is just the stuff that I didn’t have in drawers and filing cabinets:

Packing

Packing

I managed to purge enough to get everything into these 3 small boxes, plus my two drawer lockable cabinet filing1:

Packing

The office had a going away tea for my and my co-worker, Katie, who was also making the move with me:

Packing

And here’s my new desk space:

New Office Space

Marty the Moose and my robots with flames on them feel right at home:

New Office Space

New Office Space

And here’s the view from our lunchroom:

New Office Space

New Office Space

New Office Space

The pictures don’t really do it justice – it’s disorientingly high up there!

Also, I saw this in the hallway and while I hope we never need to evacuate, I have to say that looks kind of fun:

New Office Space

  1. Which I need to keep my research data in, as per ethics rules []

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I finally have something to blame all my absentmindedness on!

I’ve long been absentminded, but I can now add “Professor” on to that, for, as you will already know if you are linked in to me on Linked In, I have a shiny new title to add to my resume: Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health Science at Simon Fraser University.

Adjunct Professor, unlike the regular kind, is a title that signifies that one is associated with the university through their professional work. For me, that includes collaborating with researchers, supervising practicum students, and hopefully doing some teaching as well1. So I’m not quitting my day job, but rather awesome-ifying it2 as one of the things that I really like to do is bridge the academic world with the world of health services, and this title signifies that bridge.

photo

Dr. Snow, Absentminded Professor

  1. I don’t have anything set up teaching-wise as of yet, but I have some ideas! []
  2. Well, I should say “further awesome-ifying it”, as it’s already pretty awesome. []

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And Back To Work I Go

And so ends my glorious, glorious vacation. Before my vacation started, I knew that I was in need of this time off, but I don’t think I realized just how much I needed it. I’d been going pretty much non-stop since the beginning of January – with work and school and teaching and top secret projects and moving and losing my dad 1 – well, it all took much more of a toll on me than I’d realized2. Now that I’ve had some time off to decompress and smell the roses and do my homework in various exciting new locations after not having worked at work all day, I feel so. much. better. I realize that in the weeks (months?) leading up to my holidays, I was really just getting through the days. I wasn’t able to be as efficient as I normally am3 and I was just all around run down.

Frustrated Computer User
Me, before my vacation

But now I feel rested, exercised, mentally alert, and excited to get back to work and tackle the many awesome projects that I have on the go4 ,5! I’m excited to plan out my meals for the week6, and pack my lunches7 and pick out my outfits for the week8! Speaking of which, it’s 9 pm – I better go pack my lunch and pick out this week’s outfits!

Image Credit: Frustrated computer user image posted by Proposed Solution on Flickr.

  1. I still think about him every day. []
  2. I hadn’t really thought about how that was more than half a year of insane levels of busy-ness and stress without any vacation! []
  3. Meal planning? What’s that? Let’s just throw a frozen pizza in the oven! Deciding what I want to wear in less than 20 minutes? That’s not possible! I just can’t figure out what to put on my body! And omg, why do none of my clothes fit? []
  4. Both the A.W.E.S.O.M.E. project itself and other projects that are awesome in the conventional, as opposed to acronym, sense []
  5. Though I am a bit terrified to see the state of my inbox. I’ve resisted the urge to check my work email while I’ve been on holidays – and I’ve had the urge several times – because I really, truly wanted to have the break that I knew I needed. It was at Inbox Zero when I left two weeks ago- I’m betting it will be in the few hundred range when I arrive at the office tomorrow morning. []
  6. Nerd alert! []
  7. Rather than end up wandering the grocery store on my lunch break thinking, “What should I eat??” []
  8. Also heading back to work tomorrow is my friend Sarah, though she’s been away for two YEARS rather than two weeks. However, she’s far more organized than me – she always has been, but having two small children means that she’s taken organization to a whole new level! I’m curious to see though, Sarah, how many unread emails you have in your inbox! []