Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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NaBloPoMo – Day 30 – On A Roll

And so endth another National Blog Posting Month. As predicted, I mostly blogged about inconsequential minutiae, but at least it got me back in the habit of writing everyday. I just looked at last year’s end of NaBloPoMo posting to see what I wrote about and it reminded me that I should probably check out how I’m at writing blog postings relative to my 2017 goal:

  • when I hit “publish” on this posting, I will have published 68 blog postings1 so far this year
  • my goal for 2017 was to publish 117 postings
  • that mean I’ve only reached a mere 58% of my goal
  • and I will need to write 49 blog postings in December to meet my goal

So that would require me publishing 1.6 blog postings per day, or just a little more 3 postings every 2 days. It would be a lot, but it’s doable2. I’m kind of on a roll with writing now *and* I do have two weeks off at the end of the month, so I think I’ll give it a go!

  1. that means nearly half of my blog postings for 2017 were written in November! []
  2. I wrote 40 blog postings in Dec 2015 and a whopping 69 blog postings in Dec 2013. []

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NaBloPoMo – Day 29 – Playing D

" Go Habs Go "A few weeks back, I had to play defence in my hockey game. I usually play forward and haven’t really ever played defence1 and quite honestly, I find the notion of it a bit scary. It’s too much pressure! You are responsible for stopping the people on the other team from taking shots! And if they score, you feel bad. Playing forward, on the other hand, is all about the glory. Scoring goals or making a beautiful pass so that your linemate can score a goal – all about the glory.

Of course, I realize that hockey is a team game and even when I’m playing forward, I can screw up and feel like it’s my fault if the other team scores2. When the defence3 from the other team that you are supposed to be checking gets away from you and scores a goal – you feel bad! When you can’t get the puck out of your own end and the other team scores, you feel bad! But overall, I feel like the pressure is more on the D. So I’ve always steered clear of it.

However, one of my teams this year is a bit short on players who play D on the roster, so, depending on who shows up for a given game, occasionally some of us forwards have to go back on D for a game. And a few weeks ago, it was my turn. It was against a really strong team (they got moved up a division a few games later because they were winning so much in our div) and someone suggested I should play D because I’m a strong skater (which was a really great compliment! I feel like I’ve worked a fair bit on my skating over the past few years, so it’s nice to know that it’s helped!) and I knew I was going to have to work my butt off! And also have to figure a lot of things out on the fly – when I play my usual position (left wing or centre), I can go a lot on instinct since I’ve done it for so many years. But as D I really have to think about where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing! So much pressure!

Anyway, I actually thought it was a good experience, because playing defence gave me a totally different perspective on the game. I was able to experience the game from the D’s point of view and it helped me see how I can be a better forward. Often defence will tell us that in our own end, when the D get control of the puck, make sure to get open, keep moving, give them someone to pass to. It’s no use passing the puck to someone who is standing still, right next to an opposing player who is poised to swoop in and grab that puck, so the forwards need to get moving! And while that makes perfect sense, it’s one thing to hear someone say that, and it’s a totally different thing to experience being that D who has the puck and there’s no one to pass it to to get the play going in the other direction. And then to experience when the forwards are moving to the open ice, ready for the pass, and the you see how much of a difference it makes. It was so useful to see from the D’s point of view how the game unfolds when the forwards are doing different things and it really makes it real what you need to be doing as a forward. So in the end, I’m actually really glad I played that game as defence – I think I’m a better forward for having done it.

I’m pretty sure there’s an analogy in here to life – how it’s really worthwhile to see things from someone else’s perspective once in a while. Maybe even someone who is very different from you. How you can learn something about what their experience is like and maybe even learn something about yourself. But it’s past my bedtime and thus too late for me to get into such deep thoughts, so I’ll leave it up to you, dear readers, to give it some thought!

Image Credit: Posted by Guy Mayer on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

  1. Other than in the 10 day long hockey game when everyone just played wherever position because we only had one sub at any given time, but playing was more just like trying to survive on the ice for *another* four-hour shift. []
  2. As we like to say on the ice, the puck has to get past all 5 of us before it ever gets to the goalie! []
  3. So it has just occurred to me that we sometimes call the defensive players “defencemen” – I usually use just “defence” because I play in an all-womens’ league, but  “defence women” just sounds weird to me. But it’s just occurred to me that we never say “forward men”. It’s just “forward”. You say “centremen” on occasion, but far more often you just say “centre.” But you never ever say “forwardmen.” I wonder why that is? []

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NaBloPoMo – Day 28 – It’s All Over But The Marking

Tonight was my last class of the course I’m teaching this semester. On my drive home from campus I was a little sad, because I know that I’ll not see any of my students again1! Despite having a class of 90 students, I actually got to know a fair number of them through in class discussion and chats on the break and after class.

The class is an intro to business concepts for students in food, nutrition, & health majors. The major assignment is writing a business plan together and we spent the last two classes having student presentations – which are Dragons’ Den style pitches where the students pretend they are pitching their business plans to room full of investors. Like last year, I was blown away by the creativity of both their business ideas and by their presentations, by the tough questions the students asked each other, and how much work and thought had gone into these projects, as evidenced by how well they dealt with those tough questions.

While I will definitely miss the students, I won’t be sad about getting my Tuesday nights back. And my Monday nights (when I did class prep). And my weekends (when I also did class prep). Teaching a class is a freaking lot of work. Well, once the marking gets wrapped up, that is.

  1. The trials and tribulations of being a sessional instructor who only teaches this one, fourth year course in that Faculty. []

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NaBloPoMo – Day 27 – WTF Photos

I have a bunch of photos that I’ve taken with the thought “I should blog this!” And since I’ve been an utter delinquent when it comes to blog posting this year (up until this month anyway), most of them have just been sitting in my Flickr account gathering virtual dust1. Well, today seemed like a good day to dust some of them off for your viewing pleasure!

First, up the Golden Girls colouring book, which I spotted in Michael’s craft store:
Saw this Golden Girls colour book at Michael's craft store

Wtf? Who buys something like that?

And speaking of WTF, next up is a bathroom stall that Kim and I saw at Steamworks pub in Vancouver. It has two toilets in one stall, separated by a little half wall:

Bizarre two-person bathroom stall at Steamworks Pub

We were initially alerted to the fact that something weird was going on when Kim spotted an oversized stall door with this sign on it:

Bizarre two-person bathroom stall at Steamworks Pub

So we peered inside the stall and saw the shared toilets. Which I’m reasonably sure have never been used by two people at the same time, because WTF?

Next up is the light switch in my current (temporary) office space, which is in a 70 year old building that is slated for demolition:Light swtich at my new office

1000 points to anyone who can figure out how that contraption works! We had to ask the facilities guy, who showed us and then said “Be careful with it. They don’t make those anymore, so if you break it, you can’t turn your lights on anymore.”

Speaking of my office, shortly after we moved to this space, one of the facilities people told us there was a delivery of a large box that was sitting in Stores (i.e., the place where stuff like packages that get mailed to the facility get stored) and they thought it might be for us. It was large – like big enough for me to easily fit in, was addressed to the Human Resources intern who had helped coordinate our move, had been shipped by a courier, was still sealed when we opened it, and when we opened it, all that was inside was a single piece of bubble wrap:

This giant box arrived at my new office

This was months ago and we have still not figured out who sent this, or why!

Speaking of things for which I could not figure out a reason, why would something put their McDonald’s coffee in the fridge? Is McDonald’s coffee really worth saving for later?

Someone has left this partially consumed McDonald's coffee in the fridge at work for days

This might be my favourite one – it was spotted at my previous (temporary) office and yes, it does speak to the quality of the coffee made by that office coffee maker:This sign in my office does, in fact, reflect the quality of the office coffee

And finally,no Autocorrect, I did not mean “asshomes”:

Stupid autocorrect. I did not mean "asshomes"

  1. Some of them I may have tweeted, but tweets disappear into the abyss, so I figured I’d get them here on ye old blog for posterity. []

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NaBloPoMo – Day 26 – Happy 50th Birthday to the Arts Council of New Westminster

Today was the Annual General Meeting of the Arts Council of New Westminster, followed by its 50th birthday party! For the past 50 years, the ACNW has been bringing community of New Westminster together through the arts and I’m proud to have been a small part of that.

Name tag. Arts Council of New Westminster

I joined the board of ACNW back in June 2014, at the encouragement of my friend, Tig. It was shortly after I finished my MBA and it gave me my first experience of being on a board of directors. For the past year, I served as the secretary on the board. I got to work with a fabulous group of people, got to contribute to an organization that supports artists in the community and runs many of the amazing events that makes New West such a cool place to be. I learned a lot, made some great friends, and am proud of what we’ve accomplished over this time. I made the tough decision to step down from the board after 3+ years – with my day job getting busier and busier and my new role on CESBCY, I felt like I should not spread myself too thin and that it was a good time to make way for some new blood on the Arts Council board. I will continue to be a supporter of the ACNW, but now as a cheerleader on the side rather than as a member of the board. Looking forward to seeing what amazing things the ACNW does in the next 50 years!

Happy birthday, ACNW and thank you to all the artists, art enthusiasts, donors, staff, volunteers, board members, and ACNW members who make it all possible!

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NaBloPoMo – Day 25 – El Presidente

Yesterday I was elected at the President of the Canadian Evaluation Society’s BC & Yukon chapter! Yay!

We have a really amazing group of people on our council and I’m really excited about continuing the great work of this organization. Here we are (minus a few people on council who weren’t able to be at the AGM yesterday):

CESBCY Council 2018 at the AGM

I hope I’m better than that other President Snow.

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NaBloPoMo – Day 24 – Happy Birthday, Madeline!

Birthday Girl

Today is my niece Madeline’s 13th birthday. Thirteen! A teenager!! Amazing!

I hope you have a fabulous birthday, Madeline! Wish I were there to celebrate it with you! Can’t wait to see you at Christmas time!

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NaBloPoMo – Day 23 – Adulting

A few weeks ago, I noticed that there was water dripping underneath my garburator. I looked, but I couldn’t tell exactly where it was coming from, so I decided I needed a professional. Fortunately, my friend Linda has a friend in New West who is a plumber, so he came over to check it out. Using his high-tech plumber equipment (i.e., his phone), he took a picture of the back of the garburator and showed me that it was corroded.

Corroded garburator

And a piece of plastic just crumbled right off!

This piece crumbled off my garburator

As best we can tell, it’s likely that the garburator was original from when my building was built in 1998, so I supposed 19 years is a pretty good lifespan for a garburator. And so I got him to replace it and now I’m the proud owner of a shiny new garburator:

New garburator

And then last week I went to bake something and when I tried to turn the oven one, I saw this:

Oven error

Google informed me that this means the oven temperature sensor probe is b0rked and lots of people in DIY forums will tell you that all you need to do is have a bunch of technical skills and equipment that I don’t have in order to fix it. And so it was time to call another professional. This time I went to the Twitters for a recommendation and a couple of my tweeps suggested a local company, so I gave them a call. They only do service calls Monday to Friday during the daytime and they were pretty booked up and I had to wait until today for a day when they were available and when I could also be home to let the repair guy in1. The repair guy opened up the back of oven and did some sort of testing that suggested the sensor probe was actually OK, so he rebooted the control board and that made the oven work again. And now it’s just fingers crossed that it only needed the old turn-it-off-turn-it-back-on treatment and everything will be fine. If the error message comes back, it means that the control board is barked, which will cost me ~$400 to repair. So, fingers crossed.

  1. Fortunately, I have a toaster oven and a BBQ that allowed me to cook things that I would have otherwise cooked in my oven in the meantime. []

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NaBloPoMo – Day 22 – A List

Here’s a(n incomplete) list of a bunch of things that I want to blog about, but I’m too damn tired tonight:

  • my trip to Washington – the sightseeing that I did
  • my trip to Washington – the cool conference stuff I experienced
  • my next 101 things to do in 1001 days list (but I haven’t even finished the list – though if anyone has suggestions for things I should add to said list, I’m all ears!
  • where should my next trip be? (Given that I didn’t have an epic holiday this year, I feel like I should have one next year. Where should I go?)
  • strength training and mindfulness
  • the time I played defence in a recent hockey game
  • my favourite tweets
  • a bunch of photos that I’ve taken by I don’t think I ever got around to blogging about
  • sleep deprivation

Perhaps I’ll get to writing some of this stuff this weekend.

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NaBloPoMo – Day 21 – Parking Dilemma

So I was at UBC this evening to teach and when I was parking in the Health Sciences Parkade, this is what I saw as parking options:

Parking meter’s ridiculous options

Gee, I wonder what the better option is for parking until 12 am?