Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Zaphod Has A Boo-Boo

So it turns out that my car isn’t leaking windshield washer fluid like I though it was; rather, the rear window appears not to have been sealed properly, so rain water has leaked inside the piece of the car surrounding the window (what the hell would you call that piece?) and when you flip up the window (as you do to open the trunk), the water all runs up that piece-that-I-don’t-know-the-name-of and leaks out1. I found this out because Mercedes2 has a mobile fix-it guy who will come to your home or office to check out if he can fix your car – if he can fix it on the spot, great, and if not, then he calls the dealership to let them know they need to order parts/book an appointment with you. And he checked out Zapod, determined what was happening but knew that he couldn’t fix it on the spot, but got me an appointment to bring her in to the dealership after work on Monday. He seems to think that they will need to repalce the whole window+ surrounding piece.  Anyway, it basically means I have to take Zaphod in to the car hospital for surgery and they will give me a loaner car to drive around until it’s fixed. It’s supposed to be sunny all week – maybe they’ll give me a convertible!

1I realize that this makes no sense, but I have no idea how else to explain it.
2Smarts are made by Mercedes.

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Happy Birthday, Kalev

IMG_3694 by you.Today is Kalev’s birthday.  You might remember him from such as adventures as my half-birthday free Slurpee advernutre and the fixing of my b0rked blog.

Kalev, aside from being one of my closest friends, is also the man behind the scenes of NTBTWK who keeps it running when things get beyond my skills set. You know, like if turning my computer off and then on again can’t fix it.  Kalev installed WordPress for me, he figured out why my blog sometimes disappears and how to make it reappear and he did a whole bunch of magic when some vile hacker b0rked it.

So, for his birthday, I decided that Kalev really needed a title on my blog.  Actually, I decided that he needed a title quite a while ago, but could never come up with something good. So, for his birthday I decided that I would come up with a title.  And I called in reinforcements.  I emailed the other titled members of my blog, the Official Statistician & Tattoo Consultant and the Resident Historian and Chief Political Correspondent, the latter of whom then called in Titleless Dave as a consultant.  And this is what we came up with:

Overseer of Deb0rking and Keeper of the Nerdery

So, Kalev, happy birthday and I hope you enjoy your present1 – this title on my blog!

1Don’t worry, I also got you stuff.

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My First Tank o’ Gas

So, I fill up my tank with gas for the first time yesterday! And, because I’m a nerd, I’m going to be keeping a spreadsheet to track my fuel economy.  Here’s what the numbers look like:

  • Distance driven:   414 km1
  • Volume of gas at fill-up: 26.1 L
  • Cost of fill-up: $30.13
  • Cost per km: 7 cents
  • Fuel economy: 6.3 L/100 km

So, this first tank of gas didn’t quite get the fuel economy listed on the smart website (which lists 5.4 L/100 km for combined city & highway driving).  But I’ll keep a running spreadsheet and let you know how things progress when I can average out a few tanks of gas.

Also, I just noticed this evening that my rear window is leaking window washer fluid (!), so it looks like I will need to call the dealer to have that looked at. Thank the FSM for warranty!

1I spoke to my dad yesterday and he proudly informed me that he’d put more than 2000 km on his new truck, which he got the same day I got my car. And I thought I’d driven a lot!

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This Is What Greeted Me In My New Office Today

Welcome by you.

Random facts about my new job:

  • It took me & Zaphod about 40 minutes to drive to my new office this morning and about 50 minutes to drive home.
  • There are 31 people in my office, 30 of whom are female.
  • I was introduced to pretty much everyone who was at the office today. I think I can put four names to faces. Which for me is actually pretty good.
  • Everyone at the office was very friendly and welcoming (as evidenced by the above photo).
  • Tomorrow there will only be four of us in the office, as everyone else is going to be at a big meeting off-site.
  • It was one women’s last day working at this office, so she brought in some really delicious cinnamon buns.  My new officemate informed me that although they claimed these were because of a special occasion, pretty much every day someone brings in cake/cookies/sweets of some kind or another. I may need to up my running to account for this1.

1And by “up” I mean “resume.”

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Looking Forward, Looking Back

workbeth.jpg by you.Today is my last day of work at my current job.  It seems like just days ago that I gave my notice, but it’s actually been a month!  Where did the time go?  I have a full day ahead of me – first to the office to wrap up a few last things (such as printing out the operations manual I wrote for my successor, forwarding email to the person who will deal with until my successor is hired, a last few HR things), then to UBC run a focus group, record a few videoclips for a conference presentation that I’m giving next month and coordinate a workshop.  Then to my program’s year-end dinner1.  So I’m sure the day will fly by and then tomorrow me and Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car head out for our first day of commuting to the new job!  I’m very, very excited about the new job2 – the co-worker with whom it seems I’ll be doing much of my work sent me a very nice email this past week letting me know that although he’s away for much of this week, he’s arranged for the office coordinator to get me set up on my first day, he’s left me some background reading and set up some meetings for me to get to know the people and programs that I’ll be working with.  And I *can’t wait* to get to all that!

But I think it’s also a good time to reflect on the job I’m leaving.  I’ve been with this job for just more than two years and there are a lot of things I’ve gained from the experience.  Off the top of my head, some of those things include:

  • a chance to learn in detail about:
  • developing skills such as:
    • managing people
    • creating budgets and financial projections
    • creating Flash files and more advanced web design that I knew previously
    • grant writing
    • program evaluation
  • networking – including opportunities for some consulting work
  • and, most importantly, some really good friends!

I’m really going to miss the people I’ve been working with.  I spent many of my evenings last week having dinners with work friends and coming to terms with the fact that I will now have to make an actual effort to keep in touch with them. No longer will I be able to stop in at Bryn’s office on my way down the hall to catch up on our respective weekends or to rant about the various bureaucratic hoops through which we were required to jump; Patrice won’t be be crossing the hall to my office to share frustrations and stories and high fives and victory dances; I won’t be able to pop downstairs to Amy’s office to collaborate on grant applications and compare notes on careers and personal lives; my regular lunch dates with Shalu are now at an end.  I’m sure I’ll meet lots of wonderful people at my new job – the ones I’ve met so far are fantastic – but I’m truly going to miss my current co-workers!  I’ve been collecting non-work email addresses and cell phone numbers (and have plans to cook dinner at Patrice’s (I’m going to teach her some vegetarian cooking and she’s going to teach me some Jamaican cooking!) and for Bryn and I to avail ourselves of some coffee shop patio wifi in order to get her into Gmail (I’ve been harassing her for the past two years to abandon her hotmail account!)). While it will take some actual work to make plans to stay in touch, I’m feeling it will be well worth the effort!

Anyway. I guess it’s time to head out and enjoy my last day of work!

1Yes, my last day of work is conveniently the day with the party.
2It doesn’t hurt that every time I tell someone the name of the organization for which I will be working, they say, “Oh, they are a *great* employer! I (or my friend so-and-so) have had such a good experience working for them!”

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My Apartment Clones Things

You may recall that my apartment eats things.  Well, I think it was doing that because it needed the nourishment for its latest endeavour: my apartment has started cloning things.  Seriously. I woke up the other day and saw this on my couch:

Pen Cloning by you.

Thing is, I didn’t used to have two of those pens.  I had been using one the previous night to mark the last final exam for the course I taught (that I’d received later than the rest of the exams. I was using that pen because it has four colour options and so no matter what colour the student wrote their exam in (and I swear this is true – some of them write in different colour pen on each page), I’d have a different colour at my finger tips for marking). But I’m reasonably sure that I only had one of those pens. Yet when I awoke, there were two of them!

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I Think Monica Is Trying To Tell Me Something

I have all my notices from Facebook forwarded to my Gmail, because I’m way too lazy to actually check Facebook everyday.

Today I saw this in my inbox:
I Think Monica Is Trying To Tell Me Something by you.

I think Monica is trying to tell me something.

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Happy Graduation to Kalev And Various Other Things Of A Celebratory Nature

Congratulations to Kalev, who graduated with his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology today!  He now has a “B.A.” to join the “B.Sc.” after his name.   I went to his grad ceremony today and I have absolutely no photos of it to show you since I took photos on his camera instead of mine. D’oh!  I can however, show you this photo of his present:

IMG_4878 by you.

Special thanks to the Twitterverse, who answered my “where do I get chocolate letters?” tweet with many, many responses that it is the Dutch who love them some chocolate letters and, more specifically, that Dutch Girl Chocolates on Commercial Drive1 is the place to be.  I’d previously found chocolate letters at Chocolate Arts on W. 4th, but they only had milk chocolate ones and everyone knows that milk chocolate is for suckers. Also, they charge $100 million per letter.  Dutch Girl’s were much more reasonably priced and they had them in dark chocolate.  Yay!

Oh yeah, and what’s wrapped up in the present is this. Because Kalev is off to grad school in September. I think he wants to get the M.A. and the Ph.D. just so he can have more chocolate letters!

Also of a celebratory nature today was my going away lunch at work. Most of my coworkers are away at a conference in Kelowna tomorrow and Friday and my last day is Monday, but I’ll be out of the office at events most of that day, so today was really my last day in the office when most people were going to be there.  So we all had lunch together and my boss and another manager both said a lot of very nice things about me. And I got a card that everyone signed that was really cool because everyone wrote very thoughtful things – quite a reminder of all the good friends I’ve made there.  And then we ate this ridiculously delicious chocolate cake from Capers:

IMG_4877 by you.

And the final thing worth celebrating was this wicked awesome parking spot2 I got at work today:

IMG_4876 by you.

There is *very* limited free parking around the perimeter of the site where I work. *Very* limited. And whenever you try to park there, there are always these spots between cars that are just a teeny tiny bit to small to park a normal car in (it’s what my one coworker calls “asshole parking”).  In the past, everytime I saw an example of asshole parking I would think, “I bet you could fit a Smart Car in there!”  And now I know that you can!

1Dave, I thought of you when I drove up Commercial Drive. I didn’t see any hippies there. But, on a related note, the valedictorian at the grad ceremony WASN’T WEARING SHOES!!
2Yes, I was so pleased with the parking spot that I actually took a *photo* of it!

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Beacuse Apparently I’m On A Kick Of Buying Adorable Things

First it was this.  Then it was my Smart Car.  And now it’s these guys:

IMG_4870 by you.

Tod bought himself this little mini-frying pan and flipper set.  And it was just too cute, so I had to get one too.  Too. Freaking. Cute.

And it’s tiny – just the right size to fry up a single egg for my Egg McMaster!  Because cleaning big frying pans is for suckers!

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Congrats To Alicia & Paul!

Saturday was Alicia & Paul’s wedding.  It was lovely – everything was beautiful and it is was so obvious how much in love they are. Even the minister pointed out that they had the most passionate kiss he’s ever seen in a wedding!

IMG_4846 by you.

My pictures aren’t all that good, because my camera is just a crappy point-and-shoot and I’m not a particularly good photographer.  Believe it or not, but the fuzzy picture above is probably the best one I got of them!  But this one (below) is one of my favourites of the pictures that I took: Alicia & her mom, Georgina, walking down the aisle.

IMG_4832 by you.

I really liked Alicia’s dress!

IMG_4866 by you.

I also, if I do say so myself, loved my own dress:

IMG_4865 by you.

IMG_4868 by you.

So, congrats to Alicia & Paul, who are in St. Lucia on their honeymoon, so won’t see this posting for a couple of weeks anyway!