Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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I Like To Build Stuff

Not really big stuff – I’m not nearly that skilled1 – but the assembling of Ikea or Ikea-like furniture is right up my alley!

First up for assemblage this evening was my new little table to put by my front door. I really like to have a small, but tall-ish, table by my front door. A place to throw my purse and keys when I first get home (otherwise, I lose my keys. Guaranteed).  You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to find a table like this.  Nothing in any of the thrift stores I went to, nothing at Ikea, nothing at the many, many furniture stores I went to.  In fact, when I asked a salesperson at a furniture store if they had anything like this, he laughed at me!  “You aren’t going to find anything like that in a *furniture* store! You have to go to the mall2 to one of those *accessory* stores. Not a *furniture* store.”  Apparently, tables other than of the end, coffee or dining variety are beneath him.  In the end, I found one at Walmart (*hangs head in shame*) – and not even at just any Walmart. I had to go to the freaking “Super” Walmart in South Surrey.  The biggest friggin’ Walmart I’ve ever seen.  Ridiculous big.

Anyway, here’s what the pieces of the table looked like prior to assemblage:

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And here’s what it looked like after I assembled it:

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Next up was a small bookshelf, which I also bought at Walmart while I was there3.  I was so excited to get it assembled that I completely forgot to take the “before” picture! I did remember to take a “during” picture:

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And here’s the “after” picture – as you may recall, I have a propensity to sit in or on things:

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Also, the instructions that came with the bookshelf specifically said not to allow “children to climb on this unit,” and that just sounded like a challenge to me.

  1. my sister took woodshop in high school, so she’s got much more in the way of building skills than I do, as I chose “typing” as my business or tech credit (can anyone say “easy A+”?). I learned the basics of building stuff – e.g., how to hammer a nail and that screws go tighty right, lefty loosy – from my dadm but that’s pretty much the extent of it []
  2. where “mall” was said with a hint of disgust in his voice []
  3. it was only $20 and, though I was expecting it to be made in China, it was made in Canada. Go figure []

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Seems A Little Pricey For Gummie Worms

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EnviroFAIL

Saw this at the grocery store the other day:

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Is it really environmentally friendly to create a disposable version of something that isn’t usually thrown out?  Their website shows a comparison with regular pans – their product is made from Eucalyptus trees and sugarcane, which are “renewable” and “biodegradable,” while regular baking pans aren’t made from”renewable” resources and aren’t biodegradable. But how important is it, really, that a metal baking pan isn’t biodegradable since *you don’t throw it out* anyway?  Also, the last time I checked, we don’t grow Eucalyptus trees or sugarcane in Canada, which means that the materials to make this product have to be shipped here *using fossil fuel-powered vehicles* from far away countries *every time you want to make a cake.* Not to mention the energy costs of producing a new pan and transporting it to the grocery store *every time you want to make a cake.*  Forgive me if I’m not jumping for joy over this “green” product.

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Presents!

Today I received a surprise package in the mail!  It contained house warming presents from my niece, my sister and her boyfriend.

This is a jar that my niece made for me1)

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Here’s the pattern on which the painting is based2

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And here’s the other half the gift, which Nancy admittedly did not make herself, but is pretty awesome nonetheless:

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The awesomeness lies in the fact that Dr. Pepper was a popular drink in the Snow household when we were kids. Our dad liked to drink it, which meant we liked to drink it. I have fond memories of be allowed to drink Dr. Pepper on Saturdays when Dad was taking care of us and we were hanging out at the pigeon coop3.

Thanks for the presents, guys!

  1. with a bit of assistance from Jeff. M drew it, but Jeff had to trace the drawing with paint because the paint bottle was super difficult to squeeze the paint out 0f. Pretty impressive for a five-year-old, eh? (The five-year-old being my niece, not Jeff. []
  2. can you tell her Mom is an artist and teaches at art college? I can just see her telling M she needs to draw a model of what she wants to do first, just like she does with her college students! []
  3. What? Doesn’t every kid hang out at the pigeon coop on Saturdays?  In our world, Saturday was pigeon racing day.  Our mom worked on Saturdays when I was really little – after I was in school full-time she went back to working full-time, but before that she worked Thursday & Friday nights and Saturdays – and so Saturday was Dad’s day to take care of us, so off to the coop with promises of Dr. Peppers it was []

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Public Health Achievement #3: Healthier environments

March great public health achievement badgeSomehow it’s almost the end of March and I’ve just realized that I completely missed posting about the public health achievement for February1.  Yikes! Anyway, here’s March’s:

Healthier Environments

Usually when we think of “health” we think of medicine, nutrition & physical activity.  But things like water and air quality are tremendously important to health as well.  Just think of the seven who died, and thousands who were sickened, by the E. coli-contaminated water in Walkerton, ON in 2000.

Some random interesting facts about healthier environments

  • the regulation of sewage and the water supply was first started in Quebec in 1894. This type of work reduced diseases such as cholera, diphtheria and typhoid fever which used to be common because drinking water would get contaminated by sewage. Shockingly, some cities still do not process their sewage today (!) including Victoria, BC, Halifax, NS and St. John’s, NL.
  • community water fluoridation – which helps prevent tooth decay – was first started in Canada with a pilot project in Brantford, ON in 1945. Today about 45% of Canadians have access to fluoridated water, though the rates vary from none to very little of the populations in Yukon, Nunavut, BC & NL to the majority of the population (~75%) in Ontario & Alberta.
  • the Environmental Protection Act was passed (reducing the contribution of vehicles to air pollution in 1988).
  • 20%-30% of the bacteria in water samples from urban watersheds (i.e., where we get our water from) can be traced to dog poop!

Stuff you can do:

We all know about the things we can do to be kinder to the environment (like walking, biking or taking transit instead of driving; or using reusable mugs and shopping bags rather than disposable ones). But here are a few other, less commonly thought about things you can do to make your environment healthier:

  • Pick up your dog’s poop! Not only is dog poop left in yards or on sidewalks just plain gross, it can be a health hazard too!
  • Use Health Canada’s Hazardcheck website to check your environment for (and learn more about how to deal with) hazards!
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
  • Use a dehumidifier if your house is damp to prevent the growth of mould2
  • Pay attention to consumer safety warnings/recalls to make sure you don’t have any hazardous products in your home.
  • If your community doesn’t already have them, advocate for fluoridation of water and for sewage treatment3.
  1. I’m going to write it after this and back date it. Because clearly I’m not above such things []
  2. being a basement dweller, I know all about the nastiness of mould! []
  3. I’m looking at you, Victoria, BC []

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Hockey Playoffs

Today was day 1 of 2 of hockey playoffs.  And despite the fact that we lost both of our games, I have to say that we played really damn well.  Here’s hoping tomorrow we translate playing well into winning!

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Does This Wool Sweater Make Me Look Like a Prostitute?

So I was in Langley for a meeting today and since I was there a bit early, I decided to walk down the street to the 7/11 for a diet Pepsi. As I’m walking down the street, there’s a guy trying to get into a pawn shop, but it appears to be closed. As he turns to leave, he sees me, smiles creepily, and says, “Are you looking for some company?”  I’ve seen enough Hollywood movies to know what he’s getting at.  My reaction: laughter, followed by “Uh, no.” And then more laughter.  And then I tweeted it.

‘cuz seriously, do I really look like a prostitute?

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I mean, I know my boots are hot and all, but I’m wearing a totally respectable work dress1 and a freaking wool sweater!  Do Langley prostitutes typically wear wool sweaters and walk down major streets at 2 in the afternoon?

To top it all off, after I acquired my diet Pepsi and headed back to the office where I was having my meeting, three people came up to me and asked “Do you smoke weed?”  Because apparently I also look like a pot dealer. W. T. F.?

  1. in fact, I purposely chose this dress because earlier in the day I was at an event where I knew the Directors and Executive Director were going to be and so I made a point of wearing what I thought was one of my more professional looking dresses. Apparently I had mistaken what kind of a “professional” I was going to look like []

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My New Mattress!

My new mattress was delivered today! It’s very, very comfy – I’m really looking to going to bed tonight (which I’ll be doing as soon as I click “publish” on this posting!)

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Every time I walk into my bedroom now, I have the urge to jump on my mattress!

I also got my couch today1.  And my new bed, night stand and armoire will arrive on Tuesday.

So I’m well on my way to making this into a grown up apartment!

  1. long story about that one – but it will have to wait until another blog posting []

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How Do I…

While uploading the screen shots for yesterday’s blog posting to Flickr, I noticed that I had also taken this screen shot:

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I guess you do the second Google search after you realize that following the advice from the first Google search was a bad idea?

I have a vague recollection that I was reading a blog posting where someone was talking about the funny things that come up when you do a Google search and I decided to test out one of them and that was what I got. Which I thought was hilarious. 1. And now I share it with you.  You’re welcome.

  1. Hilarious enough to take a screen shot, though not hilarious enough to post immediately, apparently []

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You Heard It Here Last

I’ve never claimed to be one to break any news.  In fact, I’ve been known to say of this blog: “you heard it here last.”  For as much as I like to blog something every day1, I’m not exactly timely with writing about stuff.  Which gave me the idea for a new Twitter account:

http://twitter.com/hearditherelast

I just started it the other day, but have used it for such tweets2 as:

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and

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and

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This is what happens when I get bored.

  1. and have done so for the last 90 days and counting, btw! []
  2. props to Jeff for inspiration for the second one there and for writing the third one []