Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Fact Check, Much?

So I was reading an article on the CBC website the other day and I noticed something curious:

contradictory!

Now, unless the 2nd Canadian on death row was executed between the time that the first sentence was written and the time the photo caption was written, one of the two statements I’ve highlighted has to be wrong. It’s bad enough when a story has incorrect facts in it – but, seriously CBC, conflicting facts in the same article?

And then I saw this:

Tired of Being Referred To As MacKay's Wife

Now, in the first article is a bit surprising that they didn’t fact check from, you know, earlier in the article. But this – this is just a slap in the face. They quote Nazanin Afshin-Jam MacKay, a human rights activist, as saying that she’s tired of being referred to only as MacKay’s wife… and then refer to her as MacKay’s wife in the headline of the same article1.

Fact checking pro tip: Start with the article you are writing. You’d be amazed at all the facts in there. Ideally, these facts should not contradict each other. You’re welcome.

  1. And, yes, I realize that they throw the adjective “activist” in front of the word “wife,” so technically they aren’t referring to her as “only” MacKay’s wife. But, seriously. []

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Work-cation

I am a mere 5 days away from my summer vacation! Which is a really a work-cation1 because omg, look at all the crap I have to do:

More To Do

Granted, that is my “to do” for school up until October, but just seeing how much is on there – and knowing that a bunch of it is due in early September – is enough to freak me out/motivate me to try to get ahead a bit, as come September we are going to be swamped! I’ve already started on some of it – and my group and I have been working pretty hard on our business plan project2. But I’m realizing that some of this school work is going to have to come with me on my trip.

Wait, what trip? I hear you asking. Well, I’m glad you asked! Because every hard working girl needs some R&R3, I have taken two weeks vacation from work. Because I have to be able to attend my weekly teleconference calls with my business plan group and need to have Internet access to do work on said business plan project, we decided not to stray to far from home, but just to go with some road trips for our vacation: Washington state/Oregon, Vancouver Island, and the Okanagan to be specific.

My first order of business once my vacation starts is to be chased by zombies. Yup, just 5 days from now I’ll be competing in the  zombie obstacle course race down in Washington state. I’m very excited and positively terrified! After enjoying my post-race beer at the Apocalypse party, we’ll head down to Portland. Other than the zombie race, we haven’t made concrete plans of what to do when, but we intend to spend a few days exploring the Oregon coast, eating Voodoo Doughnuts, drinking local microbrew beers, and traipsing through Powell’s Books. After we’ve had our fill of Oregon, we’ll head back north, where we just might make a jaunt over to Mount St. Helens, because volcanos are awesome. Then we intend to take the ferry from Anacortes, Washington to Vancouver Island, just because neither of us have taken that ferry before. We’ll stay on the Island for some as-of-yet indeterminate amount of time, then head on over to the mainland and, at some point, make our way to the Okanagan, to visit wineries, play with Devon’s wee niece4, and look for Ogopogo.

But before I get too excited about my freedom from work5, I still have 5 days of said work, in which I have insane amounts of things to get done. This includes:

  • three teleconferences
  • two meetings
  • one job description to write
  • several evaluation plans that I at least need to make some significant progress on
  • a progress report to finalize
  • a manuscript to submit6
  • a report to release
  • a bunch of qualitative data analysis to get done
  • a professional development workshop to attend7
  • various paperwork to complete8
  • and probably a bunch of other stuff that I’m forgetting

I also need to, at some point, buy a camera, organize my various piles of paper from school so that I can even find the stuff I need to bring with me, and pack anything I might need during a vacation of indeterminate length, and do the 10 km long run that I was supposed to do yesterday, but didn’t. I think I’m going to need a vacation from preparing for my vacation!

  1. Credit to Kalev for coining the word “work-cation”. []
  2. The stuff I have listed on my white board under “B-plan” is just a few of things I wanted to remind myself to do beyond that which is on our group’s Gantt chart. I didn’t have enough whiteboard space to include all the other stuff we have done/are doing. []
  3. Where “R&R” = rest and really-lots-of-school-work. []
  4. Who we haven’t seen since Christmas! []
  5. Job-related work, at least. []
  6. With any luck. Waiting on someone to review it. []
  7. This one is actually for school. We have to do 5 hours of pro-d stuff during the 28 months of our program, and one of them is being held on Thursday evening. []
  8. Like a timesheet, to make sure I get paid. And a mileage claim form, to make sure I get paid for that. And an expense claim form so I can get reimbursed for stuff. I suppose I really shouldn’t complain about the paperwork, since it all ends up as money in my pocket. []

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Applewood

Apparently this was a weekend for trying out new places to eat, because this afternoon I found myself at Applewood1. A coworker of mine had told me about it recently – it’s a little teashop in Delta where you can get fresh baked goods and fancy tea. It’s totally tucked away where you’d never see it, but apparently gets a lot of their business by word-of-mouth. Their tagline is “just like Grandma’s” and I have to say, they aren’t far off. Assuming your grandma was British or at least loved all things British. I was easily able to convince Devon to go there by telling him that they have scones with Devon cream, something he has been missing since he moved back from the UK. Devon also forbid me from making any jokes about “Devon’s cream” here on ye old blog – but you know how good I am at obeying the rules2. But then I realized that I don’t actually have a fully formed joke about it. Just saying “Devon cream” makes me giggle.

Since we hadn’t eaten anything before we got there, we decided to have lunch. The lunches themselves3 were OK, but the tea and the baked goods were divine! My lunch came with a cloverleaf bun:

Cloverleaf bun

It was still warm and it was freaking fantastic.

We had the Queen Mary tea – which was awesome – and we shared a scone with raspberry jam and Devon cream for dessert4.

Scone

The decor was everything you’d expect from a little British tea shop – bone china cups and collector spoons (just like my Granny used to have!) . They even had tea cup themed wallpaper5.

Tea cup

Sugar Bowl

Milk

I’ll definitely be going back there for those scones. And the Devon cream. *Snicker*

 

  1. I know I sound like a broken record, but I again have no affiliation with this place. Just blogging as a blogger is want to do. []
  2. That is to say: I am not good at obeying rules. []
  3. I had chicken and mushroom crepes and Devon had a tuna melt, both of which came with salads that were nothing to write home about. []
  4. Snicker. Devon cream. []
  5. Kicking myself for not taking a picture of it. It was hilarious! []

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Dear UrbanSpoon Commenters – I Don’t Care About Your Life Story, Just Tell Me About the Mac & Cheese!

Drink Urban Lounge (New Westminster)

Ever since we moved to New West, we’ve been meaning to check out Drink Urban Lounge1. It’s just down the street and anytime we walked by the place we said, “That place looks cool. We should go there sometime”, but for some reason, we never remembered it when trying to decide on where to go for dinner. In a fit of indecisiveness about where to dine last night, I pulled up Urbanspoon to see what was around and it reminded “Oh yeah, that place!” And then I looked at the reviews.

Here are just some of things mentioned by people in their reviews:

  • I came here because I was out walking my dog.
  • I came here because I was out shopping with my mom.
  • I was worried that leaves would fall into my beer because I was sitting on the patio.
  • I dropped my garlic bread on the floor.
  • I don’t like to make huge commitments, so I get appies and drinks.

You know what all these things have in common? I don’t care about them. I want to know if the food is good and if the drinks are good and for the love the the FSM, I really don’t care about what you were doing with your dog. If you want to talk about the minutiae of your day, get a blog.

Annoyed, I then checked it out on Yelp, which provided marginally better reviews, though they also contained some of the same type of crap (e.g., I went here because the other place I go was showing UFC; the waitress is moving back to Alberta at the end of the summer). The one thing that did appear in several reviews, however, was that the mac & cheese was to die for. And so went there.

As it turned out, the mac & cheese was, in fact, to die for. It had three kinds of cheeses and short rib in it, and came with garlic bread. And I would punch a baby dolphin in the face to get me some. They also scored points from Devon for having Guinness on tap. I had a Sam Adams Boston Lager2, which I’ve never had before and which was pretty freaking delicious. The atmosphere was cool, the wait staff were great, and did I mention that the mac & cheese was to die for?

Other than the mac & cheese, the menu was pretty standard pub fare, but the drinks menu was quite extensive and the prices reasonable, so I imagine I’ll go back and try some of those at some point.

Image Credit: Posted by Raul P. on Flickr

  1. As per usual, I have no affiliation with this business. Just blogging about it ‘cuz that’s the way I roll. []
  2. For the record, I went on a 16 km bike ride earlier in the day, which totally entitled me to the calorific meal! []

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101 Check In

Time for a check in on how I’m doing on ye ole 101 more things to do in the next 1001 days list. Since my last check in, I’ve managed to knock a grand total of one thing off my list. But it was a big one!

1. Paid off my students loans!

Done and done! But this reminds me – I’ve been meaning to write a blog posting summarizing how much it costs me – complete with pretty graphs, of course!

Other ones that I didn’t actually finish, but about which I have something to say:

2. host a lavish “I Paid Off My Student Loans” party

I’ve become ambivalent about this one. Before I paid off my student loans, I would dream of a lavish party with all my friends from far and wide, celebrating the momentous occasion of getting the $72K monkey off my back. But now that it’s been paid off – I’m just no longer motivated to throw such a gala. It feels so… anticlimactic. Devon and I are talking about throwing an espresso martini party – perhaps that will be lavish enough to count for this one? Perhaps I will even bake a cake!

20. host a dinner party

I haven’t hosted a sit down dinner party as of yet, but we did have a housewarming party. And people ate things. So I’m halfway there, right?

23. go skydiving

There are perfectly good planes I could be throwing myself out of, so why the hell haven’t I done this yet??

25. bake at least one thing per month for 12 months in a row, without baking the same thing two months in a row

I made a valiant effort to start on this one in Oct 2011, but broke my streak in February (because February was horrible). I re-started in March, but got tripped up by my oh-so-busy June. Currently, I have a 1 month streak going.

50. run a sub-2 hour half marathon

Given how my current training is going (i.e., I. Am. Slow.), I’m not holding out much hope that the Victoria marathon in October will be the face where I crack this one.

91. run in a zombie obstacle course race

Registered and ready to go!

 

At this rate, it’s going to take me 1,000,001 days to complete my list!

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Books, books, books!

Book 8Now that I’m on summer “break”1, I’m actually allowing myself to read things whose titles don’t include words like “Financial Accounting”, “Organizational Behaviour”, or “Corporate Finance”.

So far, I’ve managed to knock back:

I also have  some books that I started before the start of school, but never managed to finish:

And then I have a few other books I’m wanting to read:

Just to name a few.

Now comes the part of the blog posting where I claim that I’ll write blog postings about the books that I have read, and the books that I will read, for the duration of the summer. Chance of this actually happening = 0.01%.

Image Credit: Posted by Brenda Starr on Flickr.

  1. Where by “break” I mean I’m only working full-time, updating the course I teach (note to self: send email to admin peeps re: updating course), working on my business plan and a couple of assignments for school. []
  2. I knocked back the first two books in the series – The Hunger Games and Catching Fire – over the Christmas break []
  3. Started reading this on my summer vacation last year. []

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No Admittance, Eh?

As you well know, I cannot see a sign telling me not to do something without being compelled to do the thing it’s telling me not to do and take a picture of me doing the thing that it’s telling me not to do. Like my dad always used to say, “They wouldn’t write “Do Not Enter” on the door unless there was something really good on the other side!” And thus I give you:

No Admittance, eh?

Admittance in Progress

Admittanced!

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Trees Are Awesome

And while we are speaking of Julies and running, yesterday Dr. Julie re-tweeted a message from the David Suzuki Foundation about how Rona will plant a tree for every kilometer you run, so long as log those kilometers on their “Support our Canadian Olympic Athletes by Running Together from Coast to Coast” website. So, of course, I went to the website and logged the kilometers I had run since the start of the promotion – which, for the record, is 18 km since July 5, 2012. Because I love trees.

Cartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-TreeCartoon-Tree

18 trees and counting!

Now, there are a few things I don’t understand about this promotion, including:

  • How does planting trees support Canadian Olympic athletes? Are the trees being planted at the homes of Olympic athletes? Are the trees being planted by the Olympic athletes (thereby giving them jobs to support themselves)? What, exactly, does this have to do with Olympic athletes?
  • Why does it say “running together from coast to coast” when it’s a bunch of people running in completely different places at completely different times and then putting their kilometrage into a website? I fail to see how there’s any togetherness.
  • The legalese page says, “Trees are to be planted in the provinces of Ontario, or any other province determined by the reforestation program administrators.” So, (a) when did Ontario become plural? and (b) if it can be in any province, why say in Ontario or another province? Why not just they will be planted somewhere in Canada at the discretion of reforestation program peeps?

Regardless, I’m going to be putting my numbers into this website because trees are awesome.

TREES!

Image Credit: Posted by megabanjo2017 on Flickr.

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OMG ZOMBIES ARE CHASING ME!

Well, they will be on August 4.

After much talking about it, I have finally got around to officially registering for the Run for Your Lives zombie obstacle course race, being held about halfway between Seattle & Portland on the August long weekend. Special props go out to Dr. Erika, who brought this race to my attention! I’ve joined my friend Julie’s team – the Apocalyptic Avengers. And I’m taking costume suggestions1.

Zombie Triple Attack

I’m terrified already!

Image from the Darlington, MD Zombie Race in 2011, posted by Rob Swatski on Flickr.

  1. The only caveats are that (a) it can’t include any weapons, real or toy, and (b) it can’t weigh me down, because I’m going to be running from zombies, FFS! []

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Dr. Grumpypants

I was talking to my sister on the phone today and asked, “How *are* you? The last few times I’ve talked to you, you’ve sounded down. Are you OK? Or are you just tired?”1 And I was all “Oh, I have been really tired, which just doesn’t make sense because since classes ended, I’ve actually been getting decent amounts of sleep and some exercise. And how could I be down? I have an awesome life!” And then I proceeded to name a bunch of stuff that has been getting me down lately.

My immediate getting-me-down was that today would have been my parent’s 41st wedding anniversary2. I miss my dad every day, but I’m finding that when significant days – his birthday, Father’s Day, my parents’ anniversary – approach, I think about him even more. And it makes me sad.

My other pile of getting-me-downs is a recent series of rejections – first a grant application that I’d written was rejected3. Then I didn’t get a scholarship I’d applied for from work4. And then I found out that the Letter of Intent that Dr. Dan and I had written for a grant was not successful in getting us invited to the full competition. We were super duper excited about our project idea, as were our other co-applicants, so this was the suckiest news.

Now, I don’t like being a Dr. Grumpypants. Being grumpy is no fun at all. But now that I’m thinking about all these grump-inducing things, I’m grumpy!

There is, of course, only one solution. I had to re-watch the Cookie Monster Call Me Share It Maybe video:

Grumpiness solved.

  1. When my brother-in-common-law heard my sister ask this, he said in the background, “Oh no, what’s wrong? Does she miss me?” LOL! []
  2. Crap. I just looked at what I’d posted last year on their anniversary – it said “Happy anniversary, Mom & Dad! Here’s to 40 more years!” But they didn’t even get one more. []
  3. And it was one that I thought, based on previous years’ competitions, I’d have a decent shot at. And then it turned out that 200 other people also thought the same thing, and they cut the number of funded projects down to 5. It doesn’t take a mathematitian to tell you that those are not good odds. []
  4. I spoke to the people in charge and it turned out that there wasn’t another wrong with my application, but they took into account that I already have a big ole’ scholarship and that I already have a PhD. And, of course, there are more applicants wanting money than there is money to be had, so I totally understand why I didn’t get it. But it still makes for a sad Dr. Beth. []