Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Books I Read in 2017

As I mentioned recently, I’ve done absolutely abysmally on my goal of reading 17 books in 2017. I did managed to finish off two of the books I was reading when I wrote that last posting1, so I upped my total number of books read in 2017 to four instead of two, but it’s still pretty sad.

2017 reading challenge

For the record, the four books were:

my 2017 books

And here are some stats that Good Reads gave me on those books:

books stats 2017

I have high hopes that 2018 will be a better year for me for reading because (a) four books is a pretty low bar to set, (b) my book club is getting rebooted, so that will give me several book reading opportunities/motivation, and (c) I’m hoping that my office will get moved to a more transit-friendly location soon in the new year, so that I’ll have more Skytrain book reading time in 2018 than I did this year.

Anyone have any good book suggestions for me?

  1. I did read a chunk more of Better Angels of Our Nature over the holidays, mostly on during my flights too and from Toronto, but I didn’t manage to finish it off. But I’m sure I’ll finish it soon in the new year, so at least that will get me off to a good start on my 2018 book reading goal! []

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Transcription FAIL

So I was asked to call a friend’s Google Voice number and leave a message, because he wanted to see how well it would be transcribed.  Google Voice, for the unintiated, is a super awesome thing where you get a phone number where people can call you and you can have that number forwarded to whichever of your phones you want at any given time, plus you can screen voicemail messages as people leave them, and any voicemail messages you get are transcribed and sent to you. It’s all amazing and wonderful and FREE, except for the minor fact that you can’t have it if you live in Canada.  Anyway, I was asked to leave a message and then my friend sent me the transcript that they received from Google Voice.  And the transcript is full of awesome:

And I did leave a message after the tone. This is Dr. At no
Marian is dead. No calling you from Vancouver,  British
Columbia 3, British Columbia, but we don’t tell anybody,
calling from my  computer. Men for rent today. Well, me
saint call me on the plane and so.

Anyone care to guess what I was *actually* saying in that message?

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Running App FAIL

A few weeks ago I mentioned that my run tracking app, which uses the iPhone’s GPS to map out where you run as you run,  occasionally has crazy ideas about where I actually ran.  In the comments, extragoode mentioned that it was possible that sometimes the phone might lose its GPS connection for a second and jump to using cell towers instead until the GPS kicks back in.  I’m guessing that’s what happened on tonight’s run (planned route in blue, “actual” route in red):

Running route FAIL

because I’m pretty sure I did not traverse False Creek like this!

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Facebook doesn’t understand Canadian politics

Facebook doesn't understand Canadian politics

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Telus DOUBLE FAIL

So, remember last week when I told you about how Telus had generously” offered me a service that I already pay for in honour of my birthday on a day that isn’t my birthday? Well, every time I post something on my blog, a tweet is automatically generated with a link to that posting.  And within 10 minutes of my tweet, I had received this reply from Telus support:

Screen shot 2010-06-10 at 9.36.55 PM

Wow, I thought, seems like Telus is actually listening to customer complaints and trying to do something about it – even though, in truth, it wasn’t like it really needed “fixing,” since they weren’t actually *doing* anything.  But nice to know they are paying attention, right?  So I followed the @TelusSupport account and sent them a DM.  And then – THEY NEVER FREAKING CALLED ME!  Seriously.  Why on earth would you ask someone to give you their phone number so they can call you to fix the problem they are complaining about, but never call??  That makes them look even worse that if they’d ignored my complaint!  Guess I’ll just chalk it up to yet another case of lousy service from Telus!

So, yeah, thanks for nothing, Anthony from Telus Support!

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Yet Another Reason For Me To Dislike Calgary

So, the car that we rented at the Calgary airport had a GPS in it.  The hilariously named “Hertz Never Lost” system.  Which got us lost both on the way to and the way back Kananaskis. Several times it told us to “stay left at the fork” when the was no fork,told us to take a “slight right” at what was in fact a 90 degree right turn and for much of the drive believed we were driving through a field.  When we returned the car we told the rental people about it and they said, “Were you on Stoney Creek Rd1?  Because the GPS system doesn’t recognize that road exists.”  Thanks for letting us know that *before* we left with your GPS system, asshats.

  1. or mabye it was Stoney Field Rd.  Stoney something, anyway []

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Thanks for Nothing, Telus

I received this text message yesterday:

Thanks for nothing, Telus

First of all, my birthday is not on May 30.  Second, May 30 is a Sunday and my cell phone plan comes with unlimited evenings and weekends.  So yeah, thanks for nothing, Telus!

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Seems A Little Pricey For Gummie Worms

IMG_0433

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EnviroFAIL

Saw this at the grocery store the other day:

IMG_0421 IMG_0422

Is it really environmentally friendly to create a disposable version of something that isn’t usually thrown out?  Their website shows a comparison with regular pans – their product is made from Eucalyptus trees and sugarcane, which are “renewable” and “biodegradable,” while regular baking pans aren’t made from”renewable” resources and aren’t biodegradable. But how important is it, really, that a metal baking pan isn’t biodegradable since *you don’t throw it out* anyway?  Also, the last time I checked, we don’t grow Eucalyptus trees or sugarcane in Canada, which means that the materials to make this product have to be shipped here *using fossil fuel-powered vehicles* from far away countries *every time you want to make a cake.* Not to mention the energy costs of producing a new pan and transporting it to the grocery store *every time you want to make a cake.*  Forgive me if I’m not jumping for joy over this “green” product.

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Wiener FAIL

So, I go into Save On Foods1 and they have this little kiosk thing that says that if you swipe your “Save On More” card2 they will print out your very own “personalized” coupons based on your shopping habits.  Being the curious type that I am, I had to swipe.  Now, mind you, I haven’t done much shopping at Save On, as there weren’t any Save Ons close to my place in Vancouver.  I’ve really only shopped at the Save On near my office to buy food for lunch on days when I’ve forgotten my lunch at home/not had time to prepare a lunch3. So basically the only things I’ve ever bought at Save On are carrots, avocadoes, apples, hummus and these delicious flax seed buns you can get at their bakery.  Oh yeah, and diet Pepsi.  So, it shouldn’t be hard to tell what I’d like based on my “shopping habits.”  Here’s what my “personalized” coupons were:

Wieners? All beef OR chicken?  Wow!  I can’t think of anything this vegetarian-of-more-than-a-decade would want more! I have never, ever bought a wiener anywhere in this *entire province*. EVER!

As you can see at the bottom of that photo, the second coupon is for hot dog buns. To go with the wieners that I will never, ever buy.

The next coupon – Purdy’s Ice Cream – is the only thing I might even possibly buy, but I have absolutely never bought ice cream at Save On, so this definitely wasn’t based on my shopping habits.  And then there’s Nestle Chocolate Bars.  Sure, I’m a total chocolate snob who won’t even look at chocolate if it’s doesn’t have at least 70% cocoa and who believes that “milk” and “chocolate” have no business being anywhere near each other.  But yeah, give me that coupon for cheap crappy milk chocolate candy bars.

Tod assures me that they never had any intent to *actually* give me coupons based on the stuff I actually buy4, but rather they are just trying to sell me things I wasn’t going to buy, but I say “bollocks!”5  If they just want to give away coupons, why not have a bunch of coupons on the wall, a la Superstore, so you can just grab the ones you *actually* want instead of printing out a bunch o’ crap that I don’t want!

  1. a grocery store we have here in BC []
  2. it’s their discount card they use so they can Big Brother your shopping []
  3. so much cheaper and healthier than buying take out! []
  4. as I may or may not have been ranting about this to him []
  5. that “bollocks,” by the way, is in honour of Sir Kalev, who became a British citizen today! []