Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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My favourite Tweets of 2017

It’s been a year since the last time that I shared my favourite tweets with you – so here are my favourite tweets for 2017! I’ve put them into a few categories (so, for example, if you aren’t interested in politics, you can skip the political ones), and added a few comments to provide context for some of them. Otherwise, they are in somewhat of a random order.

Cat tweets:

Cinnamon roll cat

Istanbul cat

Cat logic

This one was posted on the first work day after the 2016 holiday season:cat butlers

cat marking

how was your day?

cat sisters

cat logic - food

cat vs grantwriting

cats are awesome

if it fits

cat tweet

cats on sheep

purmaid

Egg cat

cat falling off a table

angry cat

reading with cats

Helfpul cats

Mondays

cat statues

Nerdy tweets:

Santa math

Achievement Unlocked

dunning-kruger club

 

social construction of time

serenity

pi day

Epigenetics Spice

clever student

 

knowledge, wisdom, philosophy

Academic Halloween p value

Academic Halloween

unsuccessful self-treatment of writer's block

for the herd

Political tweets (American politics):

the future liberals want

Never Moore

 

Any Functioning Adult 2020

After Trump’s White House made a rule that women that work there have to “dress like a woman”:

dress like a woman

dress like a woman 2

dress like a woman 3

perfect score

looking for the real killer

 

FBI

job creation

fake president

Hoping not

Scooby Doo villian

 

Millennials Are Killing The Racist Statue Industry

more Pokemon than white supremacists

the sun never went out

perspective

As a Daughter of a Father

Political tweets (BC provincial election):

BC poli

all the votes

blue BC "Liberals"

Better BC

Local tweets:

On Oct 25, there was a traffic nightmare in the Lower Mainland, with a fire on the Patullo bridge and major accidents on other bridges and one of the highways. Despite the fact that I didn’t need to cross any of those bridges nor drive on that highway, all the people who would normally use that routes ended up on the route I take home from my work – my usual 30 minute drive to more than 2 hours! Hence this tweet made me laugh:

EVERYWHERE!

The big W art piece referenced in this tweet by the New West mayor is made of shipping containers:

not to scale

This from a sandwich shop across the street from me. They heard Liam Neeson was in town, so they put out a chalkboard sign to attracted him. To their surprise, it worked:

Liam Neeson Eats Here for Free

The mayor replied with this:

no free sandwiches for mayors

Does your mayor ever referee professional wrestling matches in a mall? Mine does:Mayor Ref

 

My own tweets:

international symbol for sexist bullshit

histper Quatchi

hockey stick

A KFC romance novel

science craftsperson

I went to my first ever lacrosse game, which prompted these two tweets:

Lacrosse 1

lacrosse 2

spam

Rorschach test

EHR

how's the pot situation

how to Fahrenheit

spam

Tweets that I found amusing that don’t fit into the other categories:

child of wealthy parents

regret

Clue movie

risque advertising

Is German real?

Gateway Chicken

hated this park

deadlines aren't suggestions

the flash

iphone battery

millennial falcon

pickles

I don’t actually follow Laureen Harper’s twitter account, but this one got re-tweeted a lot:

Laureen Harper's tweet

I like that she had to clarify that she did, in fact, tweet the above:

Laureen Harper was not hacked

nav bar

Franklin

free food

hold my beer

escape room from you life

privacy breeches

reasons he's not texting you

millenials

it's personal

NASA tank tops

RCMP bear

bear bear

 

robotic spider apocalypse

Tell Cersei

beauty

ducking asshomes

sunblock in the eyes

During one of the hurricanes this year, there was a raft of fire ants floating towards an exploded chemical plant:fire ants floating toward an exploded chemical plant

favourite slide

boring superpower

 

it's my actual job

spammer

hack

Eevee on a TV

French for zombie apocalypse

Ottawa Senators

free food

dating

brevity

280 characters

KFC's twitter

Donut costume

dinosaurs in a bar

Wingdings in the sheets

Apple added facial recognition to the iPhone:apple

Vancouverites say

detox

a small fiction

best case scenarioA couple of thought-provoking tweets:

things white people should do

change the future

And to end of a positive note, this heartwarming tweet:

first day of kindergarten to college move in

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Donations

My charitable giving “strategy” has typically been to wait until one of my friends is doing a fundraiser, or someone passes away and the family suggests a donation in their memory, and then to donate to those. I do have a few charities that I give to at least once a year without prompting from someone I know doing fundraising – Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association (VOKRA) (from where I adopted my beloved kitties), Centre for Inquiry (CFI) Canada (which I believe does important work), and the Wikimedia Foundation1 (because I think it’s important for knowledge to be freely available to all). I also have some money that I’ve leant out through Kiva ((Props to Sarah and Dave who introduced me to Kiva many years ago by giving me a gift card of funds to start loaning through Kiva)), which I just re-lend to new borrowers as existing borrowers re-pay their loans.2 This year I also gave to the BC NDP during the provincial election, because I thought it was really important to get the BC so-called “Liberals” out of power3. But this year it seems like not very many people I knew were doing fundraising, as I’m looking at my 2017 charitable tax donations and I haven’t donated very much at all. So I’m thinking I should probably come up with a better system than just waiting to be reminded to give.

I recently heard about Give Well, which makes recommendations for charities to donate to that are “evidence-backed, thoroughly vetted, and underfunded”, so you know that your donations are doing the most good. As someone who values evidence, this appealed to me! However, this is an American website and being that I am selfishly interested in getting a tax deduction when I can, I tried to find a similar one for Canadian charities, but the only one I found was Charity Intelligence Canada, which does give charities a score for the impact they have, but doesn’t include it in their rating of the charities, which seems weird. Then when I was playing around on their website, I discovered that to get some of their ratings, you have to subscribe! And the only other stuff I could find was articles rating charities based on things like how much of the money they raise goes to overhead vs. how much goes to the services for the cause itself, and other articles talking about how that’s not a good way to rate charities (because does it matter if all the money goes to the “cause” if it’s not effective in making a difference?)

Anyway, I guess all this is to say that I still don’t have a solid charitable donation plan for the new year, but I’m thinking about how to come up with one. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

The other thing that I really should be donating is blood. I’m needle phobic, especially when it comes to someone taking my blood (more so than I am about, say, getting a vaccine injected into me) but I feel guilty about not giving blood when people whose need is much greater than my mere queasiness at the thought of a needle poking into me and my blood pumping out of my body into a bag4.

Image Credit: Posted by Jamez Picard on freeimages.com.

  1. I really wish there was a Canadian arm of the Wikimedia Foundation, as when I give to this charity I don’t get a tax receipt since it is American. []
  2. I also started supporting a podcast through Patreon, but I that doesn’t count as a charitable donation, since you are technically supporting someone to create something, but if feels a bit like one, since one could just listen to the podcast for free. In case you are interested, the podcast is called Onlightened and it’s by one of the former hosts of Caustic Soda, a podcast that I loved but only discovered as it was ending. It’s just getting started and I’m hoping that in 2018 there will be more regular episodes! []
  3. And donations to political parties give big tax deductions – except if you are donating to municipal campaigns, which don’t give you any tax deduction. But that’s a story for another day. []
  4. Oh man, just typing that makes me want to hurl. []

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Apologies in advance for deluge of tweets my blog is about to unleash!

So I’m about to post a bunch of blog postings today in my typical year-end fashion. And my blog auto-tweets all my postings (since I know that most people don’t typically go to blogs anymore unless they see it mentioned elsewhere, such as in Twitter)- and all my tweets automatically show up on Facebook (since I know that not everyone that reads my blog goes on Twitter). So apologies in advance for deluge of tweets my blog is about to unleash! You have been warned!

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Baby Mr. Moveable Bear

My mom found this teddy bear from my childhood and gave it to me while I was in Ontario for the holidays:

Baby Mr. Moveable Bear

My sister had one like this that was bigger – his name was Mr. Moveable Bear, because you can move his arms and legs at the at the joints1. Mine was named “Baby Mr. Moveable Bear”, for obvious reasons2. I need to mend his paws, as the stuffing is starting to come out. Interestingly, his stuffing is made up of old nylons! Note to self: I’ve now found a use for my nylons once they get runs in them!

  1. My mom didn’t find Mr. Moveable Bear, so we think he’s likely long gone. RIP, Mr. Moveable Bear. []
  2. Did I mention that I was terrible at coming up for names for things as a child? []

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New Foods I Made in 2017

So I guess now is that time of year where I do all my year-end wrap up postings! Decided to start with one of my 2017 goals that I actually accomplished: Make 17 new foods and/or drinks that I’ve never made before.

In fact, not only did I achieve this one, but I surpassed it by 8!

  1. chicken parmesan casserole
  2. pork tenderloin in bourbon – this was bourbon-licious
  3. cedar planked salmon – thanks to cedar planks that I got from Costco
  4. cedar planked chicken – because I got the cedar planks from Costco, there were eleventy billion of them
  5. oat fudge bars
  6. BBQ pizza
  7. zucchini chocolate chip muffins – these were a big hit when I brought them into the office
  8. maraschino cherries – I made these from cherries I picked up in the Okanagan and a cherry liqueur that I also got in the Okanagan1
  9. amaretto cherries – I decided to try making these in the same way that I made the maraschino cherries (i.e., soak berries in booze). When I tried then after about a week in the booze, the maraschino cherries were delicious, but the amaretto ones didn’t seem like they’d absorbed any of the amaretto yet, so I’ve now left them for
  10. tarragon vinegar – with fresh tarragon from High Garden
  11. BBQ Chicken with Sweet Chili–Peach Glaze – I had some fresh peaches and made a pretty delicious glaze to go with BBQ chicken
  12. cauliflower tots
  13. broccoli tots
  14. Garlicky Butter Chive Parmesan Pork Chops – not gonna lie, I did not leave these
  15. pita bread – my friend Steph made these when I was at her place and they were so good that I asked for the recipe. And she was like, “these are so easy, I don’t even use a recipe.” So I tried making some (with a recipe I found) and they were, in fact, really easy!
  16. raspberry jam
  17. figs pickled in balsamic vinegar – with figs from Tig & Pat’s annual fig party
  18. fig infused balsamic vinegar – this may or may not have been the left over balsamic vinegar from when I pickled the figs
  19. pickled spicy beans – sooo good
  20. pickles – nor these
  21. pickled beets – haven’t actually tried these yet
  22. sautéed beet tops – since I had the beet tops from the beets that I pickled, I tried sautéing them, because I read that was a thing to do. Didn’t love them, but they weren’t terrible, so would probably make them again should I be in possession of beet tops
  23. jalapeño jelly – nor these
  24. bitters – from the “make your own bitters” kit my sister gave me last Christmas
  25. vanilla sugar – from vanilla beans that had previously been making vanilla extract
My first ever batches of spicy pickled beans, pickled beets, and pickles!

Spicy pickled beans, pickled beets, pickles

Making jalapeno jelly

Making jalapeño jelly

Cedar planked salmon

Cedar planked salmon

Cedar Planked Chicken

Cedar Planked Chicken

Oat Fudge Bars

Oat Fudge Bars

BBQ Pizza

BBQ Pizza

Zucchini chocolate chip muffins

Zucchini chocolate chip muffins

BBQ Chicken with Sweet Chili–Peach Glaze

BBQ Chicken with Sweet Chili–Peach Glaze and grilled peach and veggies

Broccoli and cauliflower tots

Broccoli and cauliflower tots

Sauteeing beet tops

Sauteed beet tops

  1. So they aren’t technically maraschino cherries, which should be made with maraschino liqueur, but I figure they are close enough. []

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Dr. Snow Goes to Washington

Hey, remember that time that I went to Washington? Since I’m on holidays right now, I actually managed to put all my photos into Flickr so now I can show you some of the cool stuff I saw.

I spent the lion’s share of my day that I had for sightseeing at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, where I saw mummies:

Mummy at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

including this mummified bull:

Mummified bull at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

And these mummified cats (though some of the mummified cats didn’t actually contain any cat remains! (read the signs below the mummies)):

Mummified Cats at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

This lion that was shot by Theodore Roosevelt. Poor, sad looking lion:

Lion that Teddy Roosevelt Shot in Africa; at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

I watched a movie about evolution at the Evolution Theatre:

Evolution Theatre

Where I also took this selfie:

Me and my new friend at the Evolution Theatre

Over in the gem section, I took a picture of the supposedly cursed Hope Diamond:

The Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

Hope Diamond Sign at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum>

After leaving the museum, I took a quick jaunt through the sculpture garden outside the Smithsonian National Art Gallery:

Sculpture Garden Outside Smithsonian Art Gallery>

Sculpture Garden Outside Smithsonian Art Gallery

After that, I went to see the Lincoln Memorial, which involved about a half an hour walk along the national mall in the pouring rain. Walked by the Washington Monument:

Washington Monument

The WWI Memorial:

WWII Monument

WWII Monument

The reflecting pool (you can see the Lincoln Memorial at the end):

Reflecting Pool

Abraham Lincoln Memorial

Once I got there, I actually couldn’t get a good photo of Abe – it was too dark and gloomy out! I did, however, get this photo of what Abraham Lincoln would be looking at if he weren’t just a statue:

View from the Lincoln Memorial

When I’d Google Mapped the directions to the Lincoln Memorial, I saw on the map that just up the street was an Albert Einstein Memorial, just outside the National Academies of Science. Despite the fact that I was cold and wet, I decided to tough it out and go see it, since it was my only day for sightseeing (as the conference that I was in Washington for was starting the next day):

Albert Einstein Memorial

Albert Einstein Memorial

And that was the extent of my sight-seeing, as the next day was conference time!

Welcome sign at the AEA Conference

There were soooo many things that I didn’t see, so clearly I’m going to need to go back to see such things as:

  • the Holocaust Museum
  • the other 16 Smithsonians in Washington, including the zoo
  • National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia (which I was told was even cooler than the National Air and Space Museum that’s in DC)
  • the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
  • the White House
  • the Capitol

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Merry Christmas!

Snowflake n.2 13-Feb-2017

I hope everyone is having a lovely festive season, filled with family, friends, and lots of good food!

Image Credit: Posted by Alexey Kljatov on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

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Christmas Eve

Putting aside all critiques about Uber and their various bad practices, this made me laugh tonight:

Reindeer Uber

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Christmas Baking 2017

This year’s Christmas baking was a low key affair. We’d decided to do our baking on Friday, because we had a party to go to on Saturday and wanted to bring some baked goods with us. But then my sister got booked into a meeting all afternoon because Friday was still technically a workday and we were already scheduled to go to see Star Wars that night, so me, my mom, and my niblings just did the baking without my sister1.

I made my old stalwart, shortbread cookies from my Great Granny’s recipe that was taught to me by my Aunt Wendy:

Shortbread Cookies

And then I made fudge because (a) it’s easy, (b) who doesn’t love fudge?, and (c) it involves sweetened condensed milk, which means that I get to lick the lid of the can of sweetened condensed milk!

Chocolate Fudge

My niece made peanut butter snowballs, from a family recipe that she got from her grandfather:

Peanut Butter Snowballs

My nephew made Rice Krispie squares with festive rice krispies:

Rice Krispie Squares

My mom was the most prolific baker, as usual. She made butter tart squares:

Butter Tart SquaresApricot almond squares:

Apricot Almond Squares

And Eggnog Meltaways:Eggnog Meltaways

  1. Sucks to be her because baking >>>> meetings. []

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Stuff I Learned This Year: Make-Up Expiry Edition

So after more than a quarter of a century of wearing makeup, I recently learned that this symbol exists:

Makeup expiry symbol

It’s not on all makeup, but when it’s there, it’s a symbol of how long the make-up is good for once you open it.

This mascara is good for 6 months after I opened it.

Mascara
And this moisturizer is good for 12 months after I opened it.

Moisturizer

Now I just need to actually know when I opened all my make-up and I’m good to go!