Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Executive Decision

Day 19So, I was planning to run the Vancouver BMO half marathon in May. But I’ve made the executive decision that I’m so not going to be ready to run a respectable half by May 1st, what with the lack of training due to subzero temps and torrential rainstorms.

Instead, I’ve convinced my friend Kim that we should run the Scotiabank half marathon, which happens a full two months later than the BMO, meaning that we get to essentially push to “restart” button on our training and thus, instead of missing my last three long runs, I don’t need to do them until several weeks from now. Go me!

The side bonus of this is that we can now run the 8 km at the Vancouver BMO marathon, which is the only 8 km race I know of where you get a finisher medal. Ostensibly, I’ve suggested the 8 km as Kim has never run in a race before so I think that she should get some race exposure before her first half marathon, but in truth it’s all about my desire for medals.

Kim’s husband may run the BMO half, as is Dr. Dan, so I figure Kim and I can run the 8km and then cheer on Lance & Dan as they run the half. And then we will laugh at them for running 21.1 km to get a medal that is virtually identical to the one we’ll have received much earleir for only running a measly 8 km. It’s called “efficiency.”

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BC Premier #32 – Canada’s First Indo-Canadian Premier

So BC has a new premier! The BC So-Called Liberals chose Christy Clark, former Deputy Premier and former radio show host on WGYY1, to replace lame duck Gordo as the leader of their party and, thus, our new premier. And it reminded me that I never did finish my series on BC Premiers that I started eleventy thousand years ago. Hence today’s posting on the 32nd premier of BC, Ujjal Dosanjh.

Ujjal Dosanjh Name Ujjal Dev Singh Dosanjh
Born: September 9, 1947 in Jalandhar, India
Died: hasn’t
Party: NDP
Held Office: February 24, 2000 – June 5, 2001
  • 1964: left India to get his education in the UK
  • 1968: immigrated to Canada, living in BC with his aunt
  • 1976: earned his law degree at UBC
  • 1979: opened his own law practice (family & personal injury law)
  • other stuff he did: “taught English as a Second Language at Vancouver Community College; worked as an assistant editor of a local Punjabi newspaper.” Involved with “community organizations included founding the Farm Workers’ Legal Information Service (later Canadian Farm Workers’ Union), serving on the board of directors for BC Civil Liberties Associationand the Vancouver Multicultural Society, and the Labour Advocacy Research Association, as well as volunteer work with MOSAIC Immigrant Services Centre, and the South Vancouver Neighbourhood House”2.
  • 1979: ran in the provincial election for the NDP party, but lost to the So-Cred candidate
  • 1983: ibid
  • 1985: attacked outside his office by an assailant opposed to his speaking out against “against violence by Sikh extremists who advocated Khalistan independence from India”3; Dosanjh is a “prominent moderate Sikh.”
  • 1991: won the Vancouver-Kensington riding as an NDP MLA
  • 1993: “chaired the Select Standing Committee on Parliamentary Reform, Ethical Conduct, Standing Orders and Private Bills”
  • 1995: become Minister of Government Services and Minister Responsible for Sports in April, then also the Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism and Human Rights in July and then in August his portfolio was changed to Minister Responsible for Multiculturalism, Human Rights and Immigration and he was appointed as the Attorney General. I’m guessing he was pretty tired in 1995.
  • 1996: won the Vancouver-Kensington riding as an NDP MLA again
  • 1999: his “constituency office was broken into and a Molotov cocktail left burning on a table.
  • Feb 24, 2000: Won the party leadership and thus became the Premier. This made him Canada’s first Indo-Canadian Premier. He was also the first Canadian Premier to march in a gay pride parade.
  • other stuff he did: “gave priority to issues of health care, education, and balanced budgets.” and “increased spending was mostly directed to renovations of hospital, public schools and higher education institutions, as well as building cancer treatment centers, lowering post-secondary tuition fees, and creating significantly more new spaces in the province’s apprenticeship program and post-secondary institutions… “the provincial government adopted the Definition of Spouse Amendment Act which extended equal rights to same-sex couples.the Legislative Assemblyadopted the Tobacco Damages and Health Care Recovery Act which permitted lawsuits against tobacco organizations to re-coup associated health care expenses, the Sex Offender Registry Act, and the Protection of Public Participation Act which prevented lawsuits against citizens who participated in public processes.”
  • 2001: Despite the fact that Dosanjh polled as much more popular than his competitor, Gordon Campbell of the So-Called BC Liberals, in the run up to the election, the NDP was very unpopular after Glen Clark and the NDP were trounced in the 2001 election. Dosanjh lost his own seat in Vancouver-Kensington and the So-Called Liberals won all but two of the 79 seats in the provincial legislature
  • 2003: “awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman (Expatriate Indian Honour) from Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in New Delhi. The award recognizes individual excellence in various fields for persons of Indian origin across the world.
  • 2004: recruited to the federal Liberal party by then-Prime Minister Paul Martin as part of a campaign to bring “All-Star” BC candidates to the party. Dosanjh won his seat as the MP for Vancouver South in the June 2004 election. He’s done a bunch of stuff in federal politics, but I’m not going to summarize them here since this blog posting is meant to be about him as BC Premier4.

In summary, he was the first Ind0-Canadian Premier, which is pretty cool. He also did a lot of stuff. Writing about him makes me tired, that’s how much he did.

Image credits: Accessed from Wikipedia. Creative Commons License. w00t!

References:
Wikipedia, the reference of champions

Footnotes:

  1. White Guy (Or Girl, in this case) Yelling At You Radio []
  2. all from Wikipedia ‘cuz I’m just that lazy []
  3. again from The Wikipedia []
  4. and also I’m lazy. If you are interested, you can check out his Wikipedia page. That’s all I do anyway []

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Kale – It’s Not Just For Wearing Anymore

Now, we all know that kale makes an excellent fashion accessory. But did you know that you can EAT kale?  True story!

My favourite way to eat kale is toasted into crispy deliciousness.  The recipe I use is here, but it can be summarized into five easy steps.

Step 1: Wash the kale and rip it up into little pieces (getting rid of the inner ribs):

Day 249

Me and a bowl of kale

 

Step 2: Coat with a bit of olive oil (essentially, you want to massage the kale with the oil to soften it up a bit).

Step 3: Sprinkle with a bit of red wine vinegar1.

Step 4: Spread on a cookie sheet and cook at 300 degrees F for ~35 minutes, until the kale is crispy.

Kale Chips

Step 5: Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy your kale chips!

Kale Chips

They are tastier than they look in this photo!

  1. you can experiment with other vinegars too. The recipe called with sherry vinegar, which I don’t have, so I usually use red wine vinegar. But it’s good with balsamic vinegar too []

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Why Did No One Tell Me That Jeff Tambellini Is Such a Hottie??

As you know, I like me some hockey players. Especially if they are hotties. And especially especially if they play for the Vancouver Canucks. Which is why I am so stunned to have discovered that there is a hottie Canuck that has slipped beneath my radar!

As long time readers may recall, I have a habit of naming certain, um, electronic devices after Canucks players. And I recently purchased one of those particular devices, so I needed to come up with a name to give to it1. And ever since Taylor Pyatt left the team, I haven’t had a particular Canuck that I’m in love with, so I went on over to Canucks.com check out the Canucks roster. At first I went to take a good look at Manny Malhotra, as my friend Jane oft laments that we stole the man she refers to as “Manny Sweet Lips” from her beloved San Jose Sharks. And, admittedly, he’s pretty cute.  But then I caught sight of this man:

Want.

 

This, my friends, is one Jeff Tambellini. I mean, sure, it’s not like he’s the number one player on the team – in fact, they didn’t even dress him for last night’s game. But that’s because he’s too busy being smoking hot! Seriously, check out a few photos of him on Google Image Search and tell me you aren’t in love?

Added bonus: he has the word “bellini” in his name. I think I’ve found the name for my new, um, electronic device. Also, I think I may need to marry him. The man, not the device.

  1. Previous Canucks names that have already been used include Taylor (Pyatt), Brad (Isbister), Trevor (Linden), and Bobby Lou (Roberto Luongo). Not that I think Bobby Lou is hot – far from it, in fact – but because he’s just *that good* of a hockey player []

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Teleconference Yoga. It’s the lastest craze… in my office.

So I’m taking this bioethics course1 at work2, which involves a 1.5 hr teleconference almost every week from January to April. The teleconferences involve the course coordinator, a guest ethicist, and a group of students chatting about the readings and lecture-on-DVD that we were assigned for the week. With that many people on the line, I find I spend a lot of that 1.5 hours listening and only a little time talking. Not a fan of sitting still if I don’t have to, I decided early on to do the only reasonable thing that one could decide in such a situation: yoga.

Seriously. I put my phone on mute and do yoga poses as I listen to the conversation, jumping up to unmute when I have something to say. Granted, I’m not getting my meditative zen on during this particular form of yoga practice, but it is a good long time to get some stretching in!

Here I am doing downward dog on today’s teleconference:

Day 248

Thankfully, I have my own office. I think this might be a bit more difficult to pull off in a cubicle.

Here I am doing dancer’s pose3:

Dancer's Pose in my office

It’s not my best dancer’s pose ever, in part because my camera’s timer only gives me 10 seconds, which isn’t long enough to get into my best dancer’s pose position4, and in part because I can’t lean very far forward due to my desk being in the way. Also, I’m wearing dress pants and a dress shirt instead of my usual yoga attire.

A by-product of this whole thing is that I’ve discovered that the cleaners do not do a very good job5 of cleaning my office, because my floor is dir-ty!. I think I need to get myself a yoga mat to keep in my office. You know, for teleconferences.

  1. At the end, I’ll be able to do ethics consultations for our portfolio. Case #1: Is it ethical for me lord my ethics expertise over you? []
  2. There I go talking about work again. What is wrong with me?? []
  3. which I believe is also known as “standing bow pose”. Any real yogis/yoginis out there, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that! []
  4. In the yoga studio, when I’m fully warmed up, I can get my back leg higher than my head, so that I can see my foot above my head in the mirror at the front of the room []
  5. where by “a very good job” I mean “any job at all” []

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This and That

I have a whole bunch of things to say, but nothing that’s worth an entire blog posting. Hence, I give you this bulleted list1:

  • I went out for a run after work for the first time in about a gajillion years. Seeing as I’m claiming that I’m going to run a half marathon in May, actually running is a pretty good idea.
  • Related: I bought a new pair of Sugoi running pants, courtesy of a Groupon for Forerunners:

Day 246

  • The factory where my friend Kim works making freaking delicious fake meat products was on City TV. Check out the “tenders” (i.e., fake chicken fingers) that they are making in that video. So. Freaking. Delish.
  • I went for my consultation with the dating headhunter on Monday evening and they called yesterday afternoon with info on my two matches. They told me some info about each of them and took info on my availability – the next step is for them to find a time that I can go out for drinks after work with each of them and then they’ll send me the date/time/place and a photo so I know who I’m looking for. Oh yeah, and my prize includes a session with their dating coach, so that will get set up soon too. I’ll keep you posted.
  • I was Facetiming with Dr. Dan last night and, at the exact same time, my friend Patrice called on my cell and my sister & Jeff called me from Vegas on Google Voice. I hardly ever get phone calls2 and somehow I got three at the *exact same time.*
  • I totally want to make a Baked Alaska.
  • I’m contemplating playing hockey for 10 days straight in late August/early September.
  1. who doesn’t love a bulleted list? Hitler, that’s who []
  2. in part because my cell phone doesn’t get much reception at home and in part because people never talk on the phone anymore []

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I Am An Evaluation Groupie

When people ask me what my blog is about, I usually say, “It’s about everything except work.” Well, today I’m breaking that rule1 because I just *have* to show you this:

Day 245

Day 232

Yesterday I went to an workshop on Developmental Evaluation2 being run by Michael Quinn Patton. M.Q.P. is sort of the grandfather of evaluation and, being that I’m an evaluator, I was stoked to get a chance to hear him speak. I’ve never seen him before and had heard that he is a very engaging speaker. And he totally lived up to the hype – he conveyed a lot of complex information in a very understandable way, he told a number of wonderful stories that highlighted the concepts he was discussing, and he even did a rant on the term “best practice”3.

At the end of the day, because I’m totally an evaluation groupie, I got him to sign my copy of his Developmental Evaluation book. In case you can’t read what he wrote in the photo above:

“Beth,
In celebration of the complex journey,
Best wishes,
Michael Quinn Patton
Vancouver
Feb 21, 2011″

I can smell your jealousy from here.

  1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s my blog and I’ll prevaricate if I want to. []
  2. to make a long story short, it was about applying systems and complexity theory to the field of evaluation []
  3. I love a good rant!! []

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Check Out What I Won

In what I consider a hilarious juxtaposition with yesterday’s blog posting, I have to tell you about the prize that I’ve won.

I’m a big fan of entering contests. Thanks to weekly contests at Videomatica and the Georgia Straight, I’ve probably seen more movies via free passes to sneak previews than I have actually paid to see movies. Sure, you end up seeing some less than-stellar flicks such as Touristas and Piranha 3D, but hey, free is free. Anyway, I regularly enter any contest1 that doesn’t require me to actually do any real work2. But I digress.

So on Friday I got a phone call from Executive Search Dating – a dating headhunter service – that I’d won their Valentine’s Day prize pack. I go for a “consultation” this week and then they are going to match me up with two “high quality” matches. No low quality troglodytes are getting a date with me on their watch! In addition to setting you up with the matches, they also arrange the dates for you – making reservations at one of their “partner restaurants” and finding a mutually convenient time for both of you.

At any rate, I figure it can’t hurt to try. I’m sure not meeting anyone in my day-to-day life, which isn’t surprising given that I work in heath care (where almost everyone is female), I play hockey with women, I go to a yoga studio with mostly women3. Honestly, I don’t know where Vancouver is keeping all the men. So, really, why not try this headhunter? And if the dates go really, really terribly, then that will make for excellent blog postings4. So it’s a win either way, right?

IMG_1804

In related news, I've tried the Blenz Red Band - you put this red band on your coffee cup to tell the world that you are single and approachable - twice now and not a single person talked to me. One time I was with another single friend and we both had the red band on our cups and the other time was a Saturday afternoon where I was working in the coffee shop for a couple of hours. Nothing. Fail. I also went to the launch party for Tingle, a new iPhone app for singles, on Friday. And the only people who ended up talking to my friend and me were three married guys who worked in software and were there for the app-ness, not the singleness. Triple fail.

 

  1. right now I’m trying to win a trip to Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day from the radio station I listen to in the mornings. I now listen to it at night so that I can get their hourly password and enter it into their website for more chances to win! I’m such a sucker for these types of marketing schemes []
  2. lazy > desire to win contests []
  3. and even on the rare occasion that a guy shows up, you aren’t allowed to talk in the yoga studio anyway []
  4. you have been warned , potential high quality matches! []

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I Needed A Screw

Inexplicably, a screw went missing in my kitchen. One of the cupboards in my kitchen has a jointed door, because it’s the door for the cupboard in the corner. I’m probably not explaining that right, so I’ll show you this picture, what with pictures being worth a thousand words and all:

IMGP2212

So, yeah, that cupboard. And one day when I opened it, the door sort of flopped funny and I saw that the joint on the bottom had a screw missing. And I couldn’t find the screw *anywhere*. It wasn’t on the floor and it wasn’t in the cupboard. Where the hell could it have gone??

At any rate, I didn’t have any screws of the appropriate size to fix the door in my extensive screw collection1. So, as the title of this blog posting suggests, I needed a screw.

And it was the dollar store to the rescue:

IMGP2208

And now my cupboard door is fixed!  I’m so handy.

IMGP2211

Wait, what did you think this blog posting was about?

  1. note: my screw collection comprises a few random screws that I keep in my toolbox and which, for the most part, I have no idea where I got them []

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My Dissertation Haiku

Three days ago, Darren pointed out this site to me: Dissertation Haiku. On this site, people write a single haiku that summarizes their PhD dissertation.  Since then, I’ve been trying to write a haiku to summarize my dissertation and failing miserably. As it turns out, I suck at haikus. So I did what any self-respecting scientist would do – I hired my statistician to do it for me1.

And now I give you my Dissertation Haiku, written by Dr. Daniel J. Gillis:

Boozing rat mommies
Make baby rat bones so weak
Poor baby rat bones

If you’d like to read the longer version, my dissertation is here.

Incidentally, at this exact moment, Dr. Dan has also posted his own dissertation haiku. Coordinated simultaneous blog postings. Yes, we truly are that cool.

Update: My dissertation haiku is now published on the Dissertation Haiku site! Go there to read it in all its haikuy glory! Also, if you happen to be one of my friends who also has a dissertation, you should submit your own dissertation haiku there too. Submit, I say!

  1. where by “hire” I mean asked him nicely and gave him no money. Not unlike his day job, except for the asking him nicely part []