Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese


The glorious, gloriousness of a gloriously long weekend. Now with 100% more sleeping in!

Ah, the four day long weekend. The most glorious of all the long weekends, what with the four days and all.

Friday, I had a wonderful sleep in. I didn’t intend to sleep quite so long as I did, but it was so great to get a good long rest and not wake up to an alarm. I had intended to get up in time to go for a 12 km run before heading out for the day (as Friday was supposed to be the only non-rainy day of the weekend), but I didn’t get up early enough to do that, so I opted to do a few chores I needed to get done (mostly getting all my tax papers together and writing my kitty quarterly report), then I headed out to hang out with Kalev. We did such adventurous things as Indian buffet for lunch, going for a walk1, seeing a very important documentary on the latest developments in artificial intelligence2, drinks and poutine3.

Saturday I got to sleep in again (hooray), but then I went to my accountant’s to deal with my taxes. By which I mean, I gave my accountant a bunch of papers and told her what’s gone on this year and then she works magic and will tell me how much money I’ll get back4. Then I spent much of the rest of the day watching hockey and episodes of Cosmos that I hadn’t yet seen (since it was raining out anyway, seemed like a good day to not be outside too much). Since my beloved Canucks didn’t make the playoffs this year, I’ve been forced to watch other teams play. Was happy to see the St. Louis beat the evil Blackhawks, but sad to see Pittsburgh go down to the BJs in OT. For the record, I’m cheering for Montreal to win the East5 and San Jose in the West. Go Habs! Go Sharks!

Sunday I slept in again (I know you are surprised) I finally went for my 12 km run! Except it ended up being more like an 11 km run because I hadn’t eaten very much breakfast and my legs turned to lead6 Also, I was just running up and down the Quay7, as it was cloudy and threatening to pour, so I didn’t want to run 6 km away and then be stuck in a torrential downpour. However, it ended up that the 11 km mark ended up being right by the entrance to the Quay and I just didn’t have it in me to keep going. Lesson learned – fuel up next time! And perhaps plan a better route!

After that I did some tidying8. And then I went over to my friend Heather’s place for Easter dinner. Because Heather is super sweet and takes in orphans like me on holidays. Heather’s family is super fun – though I’m not surprised given how much fun Heather is. Also, the food was crazy delicious – and I got sent home with leftovers! I’m so spoiled!!

Monday (today), I slept in yet again (hooray!) and then Alicia and her girls came out to visit. We went for brunch and then the girls came over to meet the cats. The girls were very excited to play with the cats and, surprisingly, the cats didn’t seem too freaked out by the kids. A couple of times they retreated to the safety of under the bed, but only for a few minutes and then they came back out. They are very much people cats! Also, Alicia’s older daughter built an epic fort out of the cats’ boxes, and the cats were pretty happy about that, as it seemed like they quite enjoyed hanging out in their fort! And then the rest of the day involved more organizing – I managed to clean up various things that had been piling up in my office, which makes me a happy camper! I’m still behind on my my organization quest schedule, but I’m much further ahead compared to where I was at the start of the weekend.

And now, sadly, the weekend has come to an end. And I think it’s time for me to hit the hay, as I don’t get to sleep in tomorrow!

  1. Because we were stuffed from Indian buffet *and* because it was supposed to be the only sunny day this weekend. []
  2. Spoiler alert: It was a terrible movie! []
  3. Which I blame entirely on the drinks. Also, Indian buffet and poutine in one day made me really regret not having gone for a run. And I wonder why I haven’t lost the MBA weight yet? []
  4. Hooray for giant tuition tax credit! I mean, the giant tuition fees suck, but at this time of year, at least we get the tax credit. []
  5. I’m cheering for Montreal because (a) they are the only Canadian team who made the playoffs, (b) it is the place my parents grew up, and (c) it is the home of spruce beer. []
  6. I have a terrible habit of thinking that 12 km isn’t that long of run, so I’m not properly mentally or physically prepared for it, but it totally is a long run and then I struggle. I find 14 km a bit easier and 16 km fine – I think my brain can comprehend that those are long distances and so is ready for it, but it stubbornly refuses to accept 12 km as long. []
  7. Also, since I was running the same route, back and forth, I ended up running by a guy with a video camera who was interviewing a couple (not sure what about, since I had my headphones on and couldn’t hear what they were saying. They were blocking the only way to get to the end of Westminster Pier Park (the east end of the Quay) – which I needed to cover or else I’d have to do even more laps of the rest of the Quay) and since they had another guy with them who was watching but he wasn’t stopping anyone, I ran by them. They didn’t say anything, but about a half an hour later when I ran by there again, they were done interviewing and looked to be wrapping up their shoot, but when they saw me, they started filming me running. It was weird, because I couldn’t tell if they were just trying to take stock-like footage of “person running along the pier” or if they were trying to freak me out, like “You ruined our footage, now we’ll creep on you!” If the former, they got a fair amount of useless footage of me staring at them looking puzzled as I ran []
  8. As I’m waaaaay behind on my organization quest! []


Kitties Report, Q1


The cats were acquired by Snow Industries on 18 January 2014, such that the initial cat fiscal year runs from 18 Jan 2014 to 17 Jan 2015 (henceforth referred to as fiscal year (FY) 2014. This report covers quarter 1 of FY2014.


A capital investment1 of $225 was made to acquire said cats. Other fixed assets included a scratching post, litter box/scoop/mat, food and water dishes, and cat carriers. These non-biological capital investments are categorized as “supplies” for accounting purposes, because our accountant is lazy. See Figure 1 for a breakdown of expense by category2

Figure 1

Operating Expenses

Primary operating expenses for said cats comprise food and litter, with additional variable costs including treats, cat nip, cat grass, and toys3. Cost savings have been realized for food by the R&D department’s discovery that First Mate Cat Food and First Mate Dog Food are identical products4, but the dog food costs 34% less (see Figure 2). A consistent feeding program results in highly accurate forecasting of food consumption, allowing for optimal inventory management.

Figure 2

The R&D department is actively investigating suppliers for litter. Initially, pine pellets were used, as this was the litter the cats were using prior to the acquisition and using the same product was recommended as the cats acclimatized to the organization. That product performed well on the characteristic of not smelling bad, but performed poorly on the sawdust-getting-tracked-all-over-the-apartment characteristic. The next supplier to be tested was Natural Cat, which is grain-based, clumping, and flushable. The product does not appear to perform quite as promised, it is more sticky than clumpy, retains a slight ammonia-y odour, and though it tracks less than the pine pellets, it does tracks across a large mat in the litter box area. An external consultant conducted an independent audit5 and has recommended investigation of World’s Best Cat Litter. The R&D department will be conducting further research on this topic in Q2.

Our innovative sustainability program includes re-purposing packaging from our suppliers as cat containment/entertainment devices, resulting in significant cost savings (see Figure 3).

Dr. Watson, The Cat

Figure 3

Risk Assessment

Major risks for this endeavour include claws and teeth, but the sweet nature of the CATpital assets mitigates this risk. However, CATpital investment Watson loves to rip the crap out of cardboard, causing a minor inconvenience for the janitorial staff. The anticipated risk of the cats eating the Frog Department seems to have been quelled, as the cats rarely pay any attention at all to the tank, unless the CEO is interacting with the frogs, at which point both cats stare up at the interaction.

Social Media Marketing

The cats have embarked on a social media marketing campaign by handling their own Twitter account. (See Figure 4 for monthly Twitter activity). In addition, the cats are regularly featured on the Snow Industries Twitter account, and were highlighted during the CEO’s reign as the Curator of the People of Canada Twitter account. Market research indicates a strong positive reaction to Watson & Crick, though this is not surprising given the overall trend of appreciation for cats on the Internets.

Figure 4

Return on Investment

ROI was strong in Q1, coming in the form of cuddles, cuteness, and love. (See Figures 5 to 8 for representative examples of cuteness). Forecasts anticipate ongoing positive returns for the foreseeable future.

Dr. Watson, The Cat

Figure 5: Dr. Watson, The Cat


Dr. Crick, the Cat

Figure 6: Dr. Crick, The Cat


Crick is helping me blog

Figure 7: Dr. Crick and CEO Snow in the social media command centre



Figure 8: Dr. Watson in the trademark purple chair at Snow Industries headquarters



Figure 9: Drs. Crick & Watson, tired out for a long day of being adorable

  1. Or should I say CATpital investment? []
  2. Get it. CATegory! []
  3. Watson is also a huge fan of any green vegetables – lettuce, asparagus, green beans, and especially cucumber, but these come out of existing Snow Industries inventory and are sufficiently small as to be ignored for cat accounting purposes. Crick, on the other hand, looks at the supplier as if she is crazy when offered lettuce []
  4. Including the addition of taurine, which is a required amino acid for cats. []
  5. Thanks for cat sitting, Steven! []


Half Marathon #10 – Milestone Achieved!

I was stunned as I crossed the finish line of the Hollywood half marathon yesterday – I finished in just under 2 hours and 10 minutes! As you may recall, my hope going into the race was to beat 2:17 my time from the Fall Classic – and so I was thinking that I’d be really happy with a 2:15 finish. Though my training started off strong with the running study from Nov to early Feb, my training over the last month left a lot to be desired, thanks to darkness, snain and having the plague, to the point that though I did all the long runs, I really didn’t do much in the way of speedwork or hill training. But it turned out to be fantastic conditions for running, a great race atmosphere, and I guess I hadn’t lost all my training from the running study after all.

My race bib

The race started at 6 am yesterday, so after we arrived in Hollywood on Friday, we took it relatively easy – walked around checking out some sites, had some lunch (at what turned out to be a rather lacklustre pub), walked around some more, noticed that The Book of Mormon was playing at the Pantages Theatre, so we popped in there and were able to score tickets for the Saturday night show, went to the race expo to pick up our race packages and take advantage of the free massages1, walked around some more, went for dinner at the Hard Rock (where our waitress was an aspiring actress from Montreal2 – and so recognized that we were Canadians when she saw Alicia’s CIBC Visa card3!), found our way to Trader Joe’s4 where I got some dark chocolate dipped marshmallows (made in France) and, if you can believe it, maple cookies (made in Canada!)5.

Barry Manilow's star on the walk of fame

Mom, I took this photo for you!

Then we headed back to the hotel to get to bed at a reasonable hour – and we set 4 different alarms just to be sure we’d wake up early enough to have some breakfast and get ready for the race. Fortunately, our hotel was about a 3 minute walk to the start line, so we didn’t need to get extra early for travel time, and we didn’t even have to check any gear. With a 6 am start, we were lined up before sunrise, but I decided to wear running shorts and a T-shirt, as I figured once the sun did come up, I’d be pretty warm given all the running. I was a bit concerned that I might be freezing before the race got going, and though it was only 12 degrees C, it didn’t feel that cold and I was very glad that I didn’t have long sleeves or pants once the race got going, as it was reasonably warm and I was pretty sweaty by the end. The race was packed and we were in corral 8, so it was a nearly 15 minutes after gun time start that we actually reached the start line.

Alicai and I before the race

The quality of our pre-race photo is subpar because the sun hadn’t even risen yet and iPhones don’t take very good photos in low light. But here we are, ready to go!

The race was so packed that the first ~5 km of the race involved a lot of looking for gaps in the crowd and trying to squeeze through them. Pretty soon into the race, my GPS pinged off something far away, so my Runkeeper app thought I had run much further than I had and since I use Runkeeper to tell me my pace, I had no idea how fast I was running – as it was calculating my pace based on the wrong distance. I knew I was running faster than I’m used to – which has been about 7 mins/km for the last several long runs – but was pretty sure I wasn’t doing a 4:23 minute/km that it said I was doing. We did notice that were we well ahead of the 2:15 pace bunny, but I thought that she must have been mistiming her pace, because I didn’t think we were that much faster. I mean, I felt like I was running faster than normal – we were concentrating on running strong and in order to focus our energy on running, we weren’t even talking to each other like we usually do on our training runs and in many of our races, but I didn’t feel like I was on pace for a 2:10! I actually felt great – the sun was out, there were lots of bands playing music along the course, and lots of fans on the road side cheering on the runners, I felt strong and had a big smile on my face. There were a few points where I started to feel like I was slowing down a bit and had to dig a bit deeper to get my speed back up, but then I’d hit a small downhill stretch or band playing a great song and I felt good again. As got to what I think was around the 16 or 17 km mark6, I decided I needed a bit more help, so I turned on my music7 and it totally gave me a burst of energy to keep up the pace for that last 5 km. As I sprinted towards the finish line, I saw that the clock said ~2:24, and I thought, “Yeah, that 2:15 pace bunny (who was still quite a ways behind me), must be wrong,” as I figured it had taken us maybe 10 mins to cross the start line (there was no clock at the start line – or if there was, I didn’t see it). But immediately upon crossing the finish line, I stopped my Runkeeper app (though the distance was wrong on it, I knew the time would be correct) and was flabbergasted to see my time was just under 2:10! My best time ever was a 2:07:23, followed by a 2:10:48, so instead of just my hoped-for slightly-better-than November’s 2:17, I shave SEVEN MINUTES off my time and registered my second best of my 10 half marathons! I’d been starting to think that a 2 hour half was just out of my reach, but now I’m questioning that. I think that if I drop the remaining 8 lbs to get back to my pre-MBA weight8, and did some serious speedwork and hill training, a sub-2 hour half might just be possible for the Scotiabank half marathon in late June!

Hollywood Half Marthon 2014 medal

The really nice thing about a race starting at 6 am is that it gives you the entire rest of the day to do other things. After collecting our beautiful blingy Hollywood star shaped race medals and some delicious, delicious post-race food, we strolled leisurely back to our hotel9, where we showed and got prettied up and then headed out for some sightseeing.

Alicia and I after the race!

I think we look pretty good for having just run a half marathon!

We decided that we wanted to check out the Santa Monica pier, which was about 50 minutes away by bus. That turned out to be a perfect amount of time to rest our legs and see the sights along the way – we went through West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and a few other places that I can’t remember at the moment. By the time we got to Santa Monica, we were pretty hungry, so we were delighted to discover that they had way more – and much better – restaurants than were available around our hotel in Hollywood. We decided on a French bistro where we had a cheese board that was to die for and one of the best eggs benny I’ve ever had.

Post race brunch in Santa Monica, CA

Enjoying a well-earned post-half marathon brunch in Santa Monica, CA.

Fully satiated by this, we strolled down to the beach and walked on the warmest, softest sand you can imagine. I think that walking on a warm, soft, sandy beach might be the best thing ever after running a half marathon! After that we checked out the pier, then did a bit of jewelry shopping, and I think it was quite possibly the most perfect, leisurely afternoon in the history of ever. We headed back on the bus and then stopped off at a Target for some of the most efficient shopping ever. Like with Trader Joe’s, this was the first time I’d ever been to a real Target (the Targets in Canada are really just Zellers with a different logo). I picked up a new briefcase-ish bag for work, a new wallet (as mine was falling apart) and a birthday present for my nephew! Alicia also got a new bag, plus a bunch of stuff for her kids. By the time we got back to the hotel, it was almost 6 pm and since we knew we had a 30 min walk to the theatre, we quickly changed into our theatre-appropriate dresses, touched up our makeup, and decided on which our many jewelry purchases from Santa Monica went best with our outfits and headed out to grab some dinner before the show, which started at 8 pm. What we hadn’t counted on was that our walking speed would be considerably slower than normal, given the half marathon plus a full day of walking after that, so it took us about 45 minutes to get to the theatre. Happily, we found a nice restaurant where we could get seated right away and had appies (spinach and artichoke dip, plus truffle parmesan fries!) for dinner, so we got to the theatre with time to spare.

Tickets to Book of Mormon

The show was absolutely amazing. Both of us had heard that The Book of Mormon was great (and, really, they don’t give 9 Tonys to a bad show, right?), but didn’t really know anything about the plot. The show really did the live up to the hype – the songs were fantastic, the cast was unbelievably talented (I could not believe the range of the guy who played Elder Cunningham) and the entire thing was so freaking hilarious. Absolutely worth every penny! After the show, we grabbed a cab back to the hotel (the theatre was pretty much where the finish line of the race was, but our legs really were done and it was rather late and we had to get up early to catch the shuttle to the airport), quickly packed our bags, and hit the hay (again setting four different alarms to make sure we wouldn’t oversleep!).

When going through security at the airport, my race medal caused a bit of consternation in the xray. I could see that a few people were looking puzzled as they examined the xray of my bag and I knew immediately what the cause was. So they had to search through my bag to try to find it and, of course, since I’d hastily packed the night before I couldn’t remember exactly where I’d put it. After emptying my whole bag10, they eventually found it inside the bag I’d bought at Target! So it all went through the xray again, this time with the medal in its own plastic bin and then finally we got to be on our way.

All in all, it was pretty much a perfect trip and I think Alicia and I now have a taste for destination half marathons. At brunch we discussed several options – Rome, Paris, Hawaii, and Iceland were ones that came up, just to name a few. But that won’t be until next year, so we’ve got time to think about it.

Also, for the record, my official finish time was 2:09:57.3, making me 162nd out of 607 in my age/sex category – that’s the 73rd percentile11. Not too shabby!12. And as you can see, this new addition to my graph of half marathon times looks pretty awesome (remember, it’s race finish time, so shorter is better!):

Graph of half marathon finish times as of 5 April 2014

  1. The race expo was fairly small, given the size of the race, and didn’t have much in the way of free samples – which was disappointing as power bars from races is how I stock my earthquake preparedness kit. Also of note at the race expo was something that you’d never see in a race expo in Canada – in addition to booths for other races, sportswear, and hippie foods, there was booth where you could buy stun guns and pepper spray. *Pink* stun guns and pepper spray. I mean, just because you are fending off a would-be assailant does *not* mean you shouldn’t be coordinated, ladies! []
  2. So, yes, the aspiring-actress-as-waitress is totally a thing. Similarly, on our shuttle from the airport there were people from Vancouver who were heading down to some industry event and talking about having scripts they were going to be shopping around. I think we may have been the only people heading to Hollywood who weren’t trying for their big break. []
  3. She was actually the second person to recognize us as Canadians based on this! []
  4. Believe it or not, that was actually my first trip *ever* to Trader Joe’s! I’ve had tonnes of stuff from there before, as friends and co-workers are always popping down to the one in Bellingham and bringing stuff back to share, but I’ve never actually been before. []
  5. I was standing in Trader Joe’s, deliberating on how ridiculous it would be for a Canadian to buy maple cookies in the US, but another shopper told me, “Buy the cookies. I’m from Canada too – these are really good! []
  6. I’m not exactly sure as they only had mile markers, not km markers, and they weren’t very noticeable, so I probably only saw half of them. []
  7. I figured since Alicia and I weren’t chatting anyway, I may as well listen to some tunes! []
  8. I gained 15 lbs in the first 5 months of my MBA program and have only managed to lose 7 of those. []
  9. The finish line was further from our hotel than the start line and we’d originally thought we’d be too tired for that much of a walk after the race, so planned to grab a taxi, but the weather was so nice and it turned out to be really nice to stretch out our legs with a walk. []
  10. Hope everything in LAX enjoyed seeing my bras and underwear. []
  11. I.e., I ran faster than 73% of people in the race. []
  12. I also came in 2,098th out of all 5,726 people who finished the race (63th percentile) and 843rd out of 3,371 females in the race (85th percentile). []


LA Bound

I’m at the airport waiting for my flight to LA. Being at the airport means I have to write a blog posting about being at the airport. It’s the law of the blog. The blog law or blaw, if you will. Of course, there’s nothing tremendously exciting to write about while being at the airport. It’s pretty standard – go through security1 go through customs2 – and also when the security guy is cute. And he’s chatting you up. I mean, of course he’s chatting you up for security reasons, but it’s still nice when a cute guy is chatting you up!)), get a coffee, wait. But I’m not complaining about the lack of excitement – all that going smoothly is fine by me!

So there you have it – I’m sitting in the airport waiting for Alicia, who will be meeting me here, and then it’s off to sunny California3. I’m looking forward to a nice weekend away, a race in the sun, and a big blingy Hollywood star race medal to add to my collection!

  1. Since I checked in for my flight online yesterday and since I have no checked bags, there’s no check in at the airport – just proceed right to security. []
  2. The border guy didn’t think I looked like my passport photo… until he told me to stop smiling. But it’s hard not to smile when you are going off on vacation – even if just for 2 days []
  3. But be warned, potential thieves out there, my apartment is filled with vicious attack cats, vicious attack frogs, and a cat sitter who is big and can kick your butt. So no thieving while I’m gone! []


Official Proof That I Can Count to 20

Hey, remember that time that I finished my MBA? That was pretty spectacular, if I do say so myself. But, because I’m me, I’m paranoid that I’m going to get to convocation day and someone will say “Actually, you only did 28.5 credits of post-core modules, but you were supposed to do 30 credits. No MBA for you!” I mean, sure I kept meticulous track of my courses (especially given that I messed around with the schedule, taking things from various different programs that I was interested in, instead of just the ones laid out for my cohort). I know without a doubt that I needed to do the equivalent of 20 post-core modules, worth 1.5 credits each1. Sure, I’ve counted all my credits up 17 different times. I’ve added them by hand and on a spreadsheet. I’ve had a fellow classmate count them for me. And I’ve had the MBA office double check that all my credits actually count. But what if we all made the exact same counting error and no one noticed? It could totally happen. Well, the other day we got an email about all the glorious things that await us when we become alumni2  and in said email it told us that we could ask the MBA office to produce a letter certifying that we have completed the program3. And thus I give you:

MBA Letter of Completion


And, since I already have it handy, here’s the spreadsheet listing all the courses that I took. You know, in case you were wondering (a) what I’ve been doing for the past two years, (b) what topics you can now ask me for my expert advice on, or (c) you happen to be thinking about doing an MBA and want to know what some of the stuff you might cover could be4:

So now that I have my proof (and all of you can count my courses in that spreadsheet, just to be sure), I’m pretty content that come May 28, I shall be crossing the stage to receive my MBA. And so today I placed my order to rent my regalia for the ceremony. And, as I was informed by the robe guy5, because I already have a PhD, I get to again wear the pink robe and puffy hat that is reserved only for those special people who have a doctorate from UBC – because one always wears the robes of their highest degree when at a graduation ceremony. Long live the puffy hat!

  1. Two of the course I took were 3 credit courses, so they count as two modules. []
  2. Of course, I’m already an alumna of UBC. But what does it make you when you are a double alumna? An dalumna? An alumna2?. []
  3. Such a thing might be useful if, say, one was getting a job that requires an MBA and one needed proof before our graduation ceremony, which isn’t until late May. I’m not in that situation myself, but I want proof to prove to me that I can count! []
  4. Come on, you *know* you want to do an MBA! All the cool kids are doing it! []
  5. I totally have a robe guy. []


A Familiar Face

Hey, remember that time I played hockey for 10 days to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis? Well, yesterday when I picked up a copy of the Royal City Record (my local paper), I saw a familiar face from that game: Bill Markvoort. Mr. Markvoort was a great supporter of our game. His daughter, Eva, was an amazing young woman who died four years ago from Cystic Fibrosis, but her legacy lives on through her work to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and organ donation, and through the ongoing work of her family to carry on her legacy. The family generously allowed us to use Eva’s striking image for promotional material for our hockey game:


According to the article, Mr. Markvoort turns 65 this year and he’s taking part in the GearUp4CF 1,200 km bike ride from Vancouver to Banff, with a goal of raising $65,000 for Cystic Fibrosis! I don’t know Mr. Markvoort, aside from having met him at the hockey game, but I feel like I have a sense of what he’s putting himself through – a nine-day bike ride sounds comparable in its level of gruelingness to 10 straight days of playing hockey! And I know that it really helped me out to be supported in my efforts, by both friends and strangers alike, so I figured I should pay forward all the support I got by contributing to his fundraiser.

Won’t you join me in supporting this worthy cause?  You can donate at his blog: