Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese


I Also Heart Coffee

Coffee Beans So, we’ve all heard that buying coffee is one of the big ways that a lot of people blow huge amounts of money without even realizing it.  Drink a coffee a day? If it’s simple $2 coffee, that’s $730 a year… and if it’s a $5 fru fru Starbucks drink, you’re talking $1,825 a year! That’s enough to cover my car insurance for the year… or almost three months rent1!!

So, how much cheaper is it to make coffee at home?  Well, being the scientist that I am, I decided to do some fancy pants maths to figure that out.  Where by “fancy pants maths” I mean counting how many pots of coffee I can make from a bag of beans.  Now, I’m a bit of a coffee snob, so I won’t drink cheap, crappy coffee.  My coffee of choice is Fair Trade Organic Bolivian from Level Ground Trading2  A 300 g bag of this deliciousness makes ~500 fluid oz of coffee.  If you divide that up into 12 oz3 cups, that’s 42 coffees.  And though a 300 g bag of beans officially costs $15, I always stock up on it when it’s on sale for $114.  That works out to 26 cents per 12 oz cup.

Let me me say that again:

  • 12 oz cup of coffee at a coffee shop = ~$2.00
  • 12 oz cup of coffee at home = $0.26!

That’s EIGHT TIMES cheaper!  Even if I paid full price for the beans, it would still only be $0.36 per 12 oz cup!  And remember, I’m not talking about some crappy tasting coffee – this is fair trade, organic and absolutely delicious!  In fact, I actually like my homemade coffee more than stuff from a coffee shop!

Given my cheapness, I’ve been pretty good about not buying coffees out since I’ve been on my budget, but even *I* didn’t realize that that making it at home was so much cheaper! Now that I’ve done the math, I have a really, really hard time buying coffees!

Image Credit: Posted by Refracted Moments on Flickr using a Creative Commons license.

  1. granted, I do have pretty cheap rent []
  2. as usual, I have no financial interest in this company.  I know it’s surprising, but they haven’t paid me off for this endorsement.  Though, for the record, I’d *totally* take a bribe in the form of free samples.  I’m just sayin’. []
  3. or a Starbucks tall []
  4. and on very special days, it’ll be on sale for $9, and then I *really* stock up! []


There Is Such A Thing As A Free Coffee

There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but I seem to have won myself some free coffee!  As you know, I heart free stuff, so when I saw that one can have their name entered into a draw for a free gift card by tweeting @BlenzCoffee, you know I was right on top of that one.  And then I promptly forgot that I’d tweeted about it.  And later I got this message:

Screen shot 2009-10-12 at 4.08.37 PM

And shortly thereafter I received this in the mail:


Now if only there were a Blenz coffeeshop anywhere near my home or work!  Ah well, I’m pretty sure there’s one on Broadway that I’ll end up at sometime in the near future.

Anyhoo, thanks Blenz!


Random Stuff On My Cell Phone Camera!

It’s time for another round of “random stuff on my cell phone camera”1.

It’s always funny to see Windows error messages out in public and now that I’m a Mac owner, doubly so:

Photo_091909_001 by you.

Saw this on the wall of a Starbucks:


I think they mean to say that their coffee is made from the top 3% of coffee beans in the world. But when I read “Can you spot the coffee made from 3% of the world’s best coffee beans?” that sounds like there is a pool of the “world’s best coffee beans” and then Starbucks only uses 3% of that pool – meaning that someone else is using 97% of the best coffee beans in the world.  Am I off on that?

And speaking of coffee:


“Best of BC” coffee?  What, exactly, about coffee from “Indonesia, Columbia and Central America” makes this “BC” coffee?

Saw this in Chapters one day:


And all I could think was “yeah, $1 for the Leafs. That’s about what the team is worth.”

Also saw these two displays in Chapters:


And all I could think was “It’s A Guy Thing”? “It’s a Girl Thing?”  How about “It’s a Sexist Thing”?  The “girl” display had romance novels, and books about dieting, relationships and celebrities – none of which I would read, although I am most decidedly a female.  The “guy” one contained books about business, politics, sports (all of which I would read), plus heavy metal and, of course, “How Do You Light A Fart?”

Next door to Chapters was Winners, where I saw these stamps:


Seriously, how many sick people do you have to know to make buying a “Get Well Soon” stamp worth the money?  Like, you just find yourself writing”Get Well Soon” so freakin’ often that you really need the stamp?



This stamp says, “I’m thinking of you, but not enough to write “Thinking of You” by hand.  I think about a lot of people, OK?”

This next photo is clearly one I took a long time ago, ‘cuz it’s at a bus stop and I haven’t taken a bus in ages2:


Ah, young love where the young “lover’s 4ever” have the same unisex name and don’t understand when not to use an apostrophe.

And finally, I just loved what the artist who made this sign thinks slipping looks like:


  1. which is just stuff that I’ve photographed thinking “I totally have to blog that!” and then it sits on my phone for months on end until one day I’m flipping through said photos, usually to show someone a photo of Tod’s cat (cutest cat ever, btw), and see them and go – oh yeah, I *totally* meant to blog that! []
  2. since buying my beloved Smart Car []


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OMG, this coffee is delicious!


Tweet 800

Yesterday I hit my 800th Tweet. In commemoration of this momentous occasion, and because I am putting all my mad writing skillz into writing this big ole report from my recent work in Yellowknife and thus have none left for blogging so I decided to steal my previous writing from Twitterland, and besides, everyone loves a list, don’t they?, I give you a list of my favourite Tweets:

  • Nutrition pop quiz: What would be worse for me to get for a lunch: a Tim Horton’s cheese scone or a Häagen Daaz ice cream bar?
  • Had a meeting this morning, followed by a post-meeting debrief meeting. Now, to change things up a bit, I’m going to go run a meeting.
  • Rest in peace, green pen I was using to mark exams. You will be missed.
  • Just knocked half a cup of coffee onto the floor, on top of a pile of papers. Awesome.
  • Summarizing a 500 page Senate report. You know you are jealous.
  • Parts of me that hurt: groin injury, neck, left triceps.
  • My amount-of-work-to-do to motivation-to-do-work ratio is waaay out of whack.
  • Flickr search for photos to use in my nutrition lecture reveals a surprising number of cats are named “Scurvy”
  • Best line from the meeting I was at tonight: If there’s one thing that this group needs to do, it’s… something.
  • @touchyoulast When is the movie marathon? What movies are you watching? Crimetime? Crimetime? Have you thought about watching Crimetime?
  • Not enough hours in the day. And my thigh highs are being less than cooperative.
  • I dropped my earring in my coffee this morning. And my very first thought was “I need to Twitter this.”
  • The Canucks *finally* listened to my advice to use a Sedin in the shootout. And by “advice,” I mean “yelling at the radio.”
  • Drowning Canuck-related sorrows with chocolate chip cookie dough.
  • Feeling pressure to Twitter something now that I’ve joined. I have Twitter block!

In an attempt to prove that I’m only partially, and not completed, ego-centric, here are the three Tweets written by other people that I’ve favourited:

  • touchyoulast Currently taking care of business. Every day, every way, it’s all mine, and working overtime. Also: work out.
  • todmaffin BREAKING: Parliament recommends funding increase for CBC. In related news, pigs have been reported flying and a cold snap in hell begins.
  • audihertz Aww… Adam Foote hurt his arme

Also, I just wanted to show y’all that I have 69 followers. Tee hee… 69.


Happy Earth Day… sort of

I went to Starbucks at lunchtime for a wee bit o’caffeine to get me through the afternoon and when I handed over my travel mug and asked for an Americano, the dude¹ said, “But it’s Earth Day. You get a free drip coffee.” My response, “But… [long pause]… I don’t like your coffee.” The long pause was because I was trying to decide if it would be too offensive to say “Your coffee tastes like you burnt the coffee beans in the seventh level of Hell for a few millennia before you brewed the coffee. I would rather eat poison than drink your coffee.” And so I got, and paid for, an Americano in my travel mug.

Anyway. If you like the taste of burning, go to Starbucks with a travel mug today and you’ll (probably) get a free coffee. A free coffee that you’ll sweeten with tiny packets of sugar or sweetener (since they don’t have a bowl of sugar) and then stir with a disposable wooden stir stick (since they don’t have reusable spoons for stirring) throwing out the packets and stir stick into a plastic garbage bag.

Also, for every Starbucks card you buy today, they’ll donate 5 cents to some eco-charity. Every plastic Starbucks card.

I mean, I’m totally down with raising awareness and having people use travel mugs and such, but I think, for the most part, “green” and “earth” are just marketing buzz words to many people.

¹I can’t bear to call them “baristas.” I’ve only just recently been able to order by saying “tall/grande/venti” instead of the proper words: “small/medium/large.”


Ramblings about Coffee

As I grew up in Ontario, and even spent a few years in Hamilton, home of the original Tim Horton‘s store and more Tim Horton’s per capita than anywhere else¹, I have a special place in my heart for Timmy’s. Many a high school class was skipped so that my friends and I could hang out in one of the local Timmy’s, of which there were several nearby, with Sarah inevitably spilling her double-double down her white Catholic school² uniform blouse.

But now that I’m a Vancouverite, having spent the last 7+ years deep in the heart of Starbucks-land, where there are also wonderful independent coffee shops in every store that isn’t a Starbucks or a sushi joint, I’ve finally come to admit the truth. As hard as it is for me to say this… Tim Horton’s coffee just doesn’t taste that good. Heresy, I know, but it’s true. I still purchase, and enjoy, a Timmy’s coffee now and again, especially on my way to play hockey, but I know that I enjoy the nostalgia of it, not the flavour. Now, that’s not to say that I like Starbucks coffee, because I don’t. It tastes like someone burnt the coffee beans in the seventh level of Hell for a few millennia before they brewed the coffee. But an Americano³ from Starbucks with a little bit of vanilla sugar in it sure tastes better than a cup of Timmy Ho’s. Even better, though, is a coffee from Beantown Coffee House on Dunbar, poured with a smile by the owner, Jeff, who always remembers that I get my breakfast bagel with no meat or mayo, or a cup of the fair-trade organic Bolivian Cafe La Paz that I buy, on sale4, from Stong’s and brew at home myself.

OK, wait, now I don’t even remember where I was going with this. Oh yes, I went to get some breakfast this morning and picked up an Americano at Starbucks, only to discover that they were out of their veggie breakfast eggwiches, so I had to go across the road to get a Timmy’s breakfast bagel. Here’s a comparison of what it cost:

  • Starbucks Americano: $2.15
  • Timmy’s Breakfast Bagel, no meat: $2.09

So my *meal* at Timmy’s cost less than my *drink* at Starbucks. And I got one of the cheaper coffees – not a $5+ venti, extra-hot, half-sweet, non-fat soy, caramel vanilla honey, easy foam, double caffeinated, extra shot, mochacino macchiato with whip.

In conclusion, I’d like to share with you this photo that I took at one of the Starbucks on campus yesterday. Pot Doughnuts. Only in Vancouver.

¹Anyone who has ever lived, worked and/or gone to school in Hamilton, Ontario is required, by law, to know and tell anyone and everyone that will listen, this ever important fact.
²Yeah, I went to a Catholic school. Kind of hard to believe, eh?
³Which is, in truth, just watered down espresso in what I’m sure is a European joke on the weakness of American coffee.
4And it’s *always* on sale. I’ve been buying it for over a year now and have never seen it being sold for the regular price.


What’s Up With Receipts?

Why does the default on cash registers seem to be “print receipt,” even though most people don’t want one?

Cash registers everywhere I go seem to just automatically spit out a receipt.  I see it when I buy something at the caf at work or at the Tim Horton’s or the Starbucks or… well, you get the picture.  In fact, at the caf, the cashiers automatically assume that you don’t want one and so they just grab the receipt from the machine and throw it a big pile unwanted receipts without even offering it to you.  If they know that most people don’t want them, why not set the machine up so that it won’t print receipts automatically and only print them when the customer asks for one?

What set me off on this rant today was this receipt from Blenz.  This receipt isn’t even a real receipt in the proof-of-purchase sense of the word.  This is a receipt that just lists what you bought.  Because, you know, it takes about 2 minutes to make that steamed vanilla milk and in that 2 minutes, you might forget what you ordered.  So when they put the steamed vanilla milk up on the bar and say “steamed vanilla milk,” you’ll be able to look down at that receipt and know it’s yours and not someone else’s.  Except THERE WAS NO ONE ELSE IN THE STORE!

Perhaps they think we have too many pesky trees here in Canada and this seems like a good way to thin out the forests?


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I hate numbers. I hate crunching numbers. I hate writing reports, with minuscule page limits for the actual report and multitudinous pages of appendices, to be submitted in triplicate.

I am SO glad that I have vacation days next week! You have NO IDEA how excited I am about that.

Also, I don’t care what my waistline says, I need a mocha. NEED!


OK, so THIS is the least useful email I’ve ever received

So, I get into work this morning and the hallway is abuzz with the fact that our computers aren’t working. No email. No Internet access. No access to the one drive where everyone in our Centre saves all of our files. Nothing.

Two and a half hours later, when they finally got around to fixing the problem, I find this email in my inbox:

From: IT Services


Who is affected? All XXXXX clients across all XXXXX agencies.

What has happened? A power disruption occurred sometime this morning in one of the server rooms at XXXXX.

What is affected? Access to Outlook email servers may be intermittent.

However, the following applications are currently unavailable: X, Y and Z.

Other applications may be affected. XXXXX IT is currently in the process of identifying which applications are affected and will provide a further update as soon as more information is available.

You just emailed me to tell me that my email isn’t working? Seriously??

So, without access to the Internet, email or any of my computer files, I did the only thing I could. File all the paper that’s been piling up all over my office since the last time the computers weren’t working.

This computer outage lasted so long, however, that not only did I file everything, I also wiped down all the coffee spills on my desk (of which there were many) and took apart my keyboard to get the crumbs out. Seriously, it was disgusting the amount of crumbs and dust and unidentifiable gunk that was in my keyboard.

While I had my computer apart, I took this photo for y’all: