Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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On a Skytrain

And this is my 213th blog posting of the year. It wasn’t the one I intended, as I was working on a posting about my goals for 2014 but got side tracked by a couple of phone calls, and so I didn’t have time to give that posting the time it needed. But they were good phone calls, so I regret nothing. Tomorrow is yet another blogging day. And tonight, I’m on the Skytrain on my way to a New Year’s Eve party. I hope you all are having a wonderful evening and may 2014 be filled with joy and awesomeness for us all!

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2013 – Year In Review

I feel like I can summarize my year with two statements1:

Honestly, I scrolled through my blog postings for the year, and other than the aforementioned, plus the stuff in my reviewing of my goals, there’s really nothing remarkable. I must have used up all my epic-ness on my vacation. And on this typo, which was the most epic typo in the history of typos.

I feel like I need to start making some plans for something epic for 2014!

  1. I suppose I should add a third one in there: had a break up. But I don’t like blogging about that, so I’m certainly not giving it its own bullet point. Moving on. []

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Nerd Stats 2013

Here is a quick summary of my blog and Twitter stats for 20131:

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 % change from 2012
Blog postings: 423 357 344 380 201 213 +6%
Tweets: 2,227 1,815 2302 3,625 8752
945 +8%
Visits to my blog 32,410 45,153 44,689 60,560 63,844 46,665 -27%
Average number of blog visits per day 93. 126
122 166 175 128 -27%
Busiest day on my blog: Sept 26, 2008 (460 views)
July 25, 2009 (1,181 views
Feb 9, 2010 (233 views)  Oct 10, 2011 (374 views) Feb 13, 2012 (350 views)
Sept 4, 2013 (721)3,((Note to self: You get this information from the “annual report” that WordPress.com sends to you.)) +106%

My blog readership took a big hit this year, but that’s not surprising as my blogging was fairly inconsistent. Case in point: 32% of my blog postings for the year were in the month of December, when I went on this crazy blogging spree to hit my goal of 213 postings. Moreover, blogging is a social activity that requires you to engage with others to build community, and I’ve not done much to do that, so my blog readership is generally people that I already know (or who already know my blog) and continue to follow along. Given that I’m done classes now (boy, I’ve been saying that a lot lately, haven’t I?), I expect to blog more consistently – and engage with others more – in 2014, so we’ll see if there’s any merit to this hypothesis.

Also, if you are interested, you can also check out my blogging annual report from WordPress.

  1. To see previous years’ nerd stats postings, click the year in the table. []
  2. note to self: You started Tweeting in 2008, so you get these totals by simple subtraction, not by some fancy pants program or anything. I hope this helps you when you write your “Nerd Stats 2014″ posting when you think “how the hell did I figure out how many times I tweeted in a given year??” []
  3. Thanks to my blog posting “Why You Should Always Proofread“, with Cath posted in a comment on another blog. []

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Reviewing My Goals for 2013

2013 Goals Achieved(y/n) Comments
Lose the 15 lbs that I gained since starting my MBA N I’ve lost ~7 lbs, so that’s something.
Pay off my car. Y I’m now completely debt-free!
Run a sub-2 hour half marathon. N I didn’t even come close, but I did manage to reverse my trend of doing worse on each half marathon by actually improving my time on the ones this year, so at least I’m heading in the right direction!
Do 2 half marathons. Y Edge-to-Edge in June and Fall Classic in November.
Run 600 km. Y Boo-yah!
Bike 500 km. N Epic fail
Do 1,300 pushups. Y 107%!
Go on a fabulous vacation! Y England, Ireland, France, and Monaco. I’d say it was pretty fabulous!
Make 10 meals that I’ve never made before. Y Deliciously complete!
Redesign my blog Yes-ish I didn’t redesign this blog, but I did redesign my other blog. When I set the goal, I was thinking of NTBTWK, but technically my other blog is still *my* blog. I’m going to give myself a 0.5 on this one.
Knock 13 items off my 101 list of things to do in 1001 days Y 14, actually
Make $113,000. N Considering that I had no plan whatsoever as to how to make this one happen, this is not surprising. I did the same as last year income-wise (day job, teaching gig, scholarship) and started getting royalties on my textbook (which ended up being more than I thought, but not enough to make it to this goal). Now that I’m done classes, perhaps I should start looking around for some freelance stuff in 2014.
Publish 213 blog postings Y Including this one, I have 4 to go, but I know what they all are going to be about, it’s just a matter of writing them out. Should be able to do that between now and when I have to get ready to go out for the night if I hurry1!

So that’s 8.5/13 or 65%, which is much better than last year’s 44.5% or 2011’s 40%. So I’m improving! Of course, the point of these goals is to do some planning, set some targets that will be challenging, and other things happen along the way. Like, say, finishing my MBA classes more than four months early. And I’m OK with that!

  1. And if I don’t get all four done, I’ll write something hurriedly on my iPhone while I’m Skytraining to tonight’s festivities to hit my target []

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101 Check-In

One of my goals for 2013 was to complete 13 items from my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. To help facilitate this, I actually picked a goal for each month and set forth on those goals that required a long-term investment (e.g., do a 365 photo challenge, do exercise every day for a year, write in my journal every day for a month). For months where I didn’t complete the goal I’d originally set out, I added a goal to an upcoming month to catch up. In the end, I completed 14 of my items! They were:

January
78. Clean up my boxes of papers!

March
66. Write in journal every day for a month!

June
25. bake at least one thing per month for 12 months in a row

July
65. go to a Vancouver Canadians game
36. incorporate the word “growlery” into my vocabulary
16. buy a pantsuit
99. make Baked Alaska

August
55. leave the continent
12. re-read Momo
13. re-read Johnathan Livingstone Seagull

September
100. print eight photos and put them in the photo frame that I bought ages ago that has been handing on my wall with the stock photos in it, because that really looks quite ridiculous the way it is
52. cook a decent tasting Eggplant Parmesan

October
98. drive the entire length of the King George Boulevard of Broken Dreams with Kalev

December
26. do some kind of exercise (anything really, even if it is just a set of pushups, as long as it is beyond just incidental stuff like taking the stairs or walking to a store) every day for a year!

So I have now completed 23 of the 101 items on my list. And I only have 190 days left to go! Looks like I better set a 2014 goal for completing a bunch of items if I want to at least get a passing grade! Or at least surpass my success rate of 39% from my first 101 list.

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Books I Read in 2013

Because of school, I didn’t get to do as much fun reading as I would like to have in 2013, but I did manage to read a few during my breaks (i.e., before classes started in January, over the summer, and this Christmas). For school, I did a lot more reading of journal articles than textbooks (which my bank account is very thankful for!), but for those classes that did have textbooks, we did tend to read almost the entire book.

Here’s the breakdown of what I read in 2013, as far as I can recall1

Fiction

  • The Passage by Justin Cronin
  • The Twelve by Justin Cronin
  • World War Z by Max Brooks2
  • Momo by Michael Ende
  • Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach
  • Bridge to Teribithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (in progress)

Non-Fiction – for school

  • Essentials of Negotiation by Lewicki, Barry, Saunders, & Tasa
  • The Leadership Moment by Michael Useem
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Concepts and Practice by Boardman, Greenberg, Vining, & Weimer
  • Business Ethics in Canada, 4th edition, edited by Deborah C. Poff

Non-Fiction – for fun

  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
  • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
  • The Myth of the Garage: And Other Minor Surprises by Chip and Dan Heath
  • Systems Concepts in Action by Willsions & Hummelbrunner (in progress)
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (in progress)
  • Born to Run by (in progress)
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (in progress)

So that’s 14 books read completely, with another 5 in progress. Not bad for a year where I was in school in addition to working!

  1. I wasn’t tracking my reading, so I’m probably forgetting some. Will be able to do a better job of reporting on my 2014 reading as I’m going to track everything on Good Reads! []
  2. I might have actually read this at end of 2012 – I can’t quite remember. []

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Can Someone Explain Instagram To Me?

I joined Instagram in April 2011 and have posted a grand total of 4 pictures to it so far, including the one that I posted just now to take a screen shot of this for this blog posting. I just don’t get the point. I put all my photos on Flickr and if I want to share photos with friends, I tweet and/or Facebook them. To use an annoying b-school phrase – what’s the value add? I mean, sure, you can apply a filter to the photo, but is that worth having to manage yet one more social network?

instagram

Tell me, dear blog readers, what am I missing?

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More Adorable Things My Nephew Said

Before I went to visit my family, my sister Facebooked something adorable my nephew had said. She’d told him that it was time to go to Vaia’s (Vaia is the lady who runs the daycare that Thomas goes to) and he told her “I am not going to Vaia’s. I am going to a meeting. I am big”1. Apparently this is a strong association in his mind, as he told me the same thing the other day. “I am big. I am going to a meeting.” I was unaware that being big is a pre-req for going to meetings. I’m surprised they let me in.

When Jeff suggested that we leave some carrots out for the reindeer on Christmas Eve, along with the cookies for Santa, Thomas told him, “No! Carrots are for bunnies and I don’t like carrots!”

And in other vegetable-related shenanigans, Thomas calls potatoes “tomatoes”, so at dinner the other day, Jeff was trying to teach him the difference, since we had both vegetables in our meal. The conversation went something like this:

Jeff (pointing at a tomato): Tomato.
Thomas: Tomato!
Jeff (pointing at the potatoes): Potato.
Thomas: Tomato!
Jeff (pointing at the potatoes): Potato.
Thomas: Pa-tomato!

Christmas Eve dinner

A delicious bowl of mashed pa-tomatoes!

  1. Little does he know that all the big people would happily trade places and go to daycare and he could go to their meetings. Daycare has nap time. I’m just sayin’. []

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Would I Ever Go Back To Being A Vegetarian?

This is one of the suggestions for a blog posting and my answer to it is “I don’t think so.” Since becoming unvegetarian, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with trying (and cooking!) different meals that I hadn’t ever had before, as well as eating a few things that I remember enjoying in my pre-vegetarian days1. I’ve found that I quite like spicy tuna and salmon sushi, scallops, and lamb, but I still don’t like most shellfish2. I still eat vegetarian meals quite often and when I do eat meat, I try to get non-factory farmed type stuff. I haven’t eaten a McDonald’s burger since become unveg, and I don’t intend to.

So, I’m pretty sure I’m going to stick with my unvegetarian ways, but I guess only time will tell!

  1. See: Mini Wheats, marshmallows, Montreal smoked meat sandwiches, and, of course, bacon (which I’m actually cooking right now for breakfast!) []
  2. See: lobster, shrimp, which I remember not liking before I became a vegetarian. Haven’t yet tried oysters, but I’d like to. []

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175 of 365

So 175 days ago I started doing a second 365 photo challenge when I realized that I had it on my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days and I only had 365 left of those 1001 days, so it was now or never. As with my previous 365 day challenge, a lot of the photos are pretty mundane, as I often only remember to take a photo of myself at the end of the day when I’m at home and doing something boring1.

Here are a few of my favourites so far:

Day 21

Day 32

Day 35

Day 40

Day 44

Day 47

Day 49

Day 55

Day 97

Day 128

Day 135

Day 138

Day 153

  1. I use brushing my teeth at the end of the day as a trigger to mentally go over my day to see if I’ve (a) taken a photo for the 365 day challenge and (b) done some kind of exercise. So I often find myself doing a few pushups and taking a photo right before bed! []