Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese


I’m not actually FaceTime-ing with my cats

So I’m on vacation now until the new year. My last day of work for 2015 was actually Monday – it was a bit weird to work a one day work week, but essentially, what I did was take how many vacation days I had left to use this year1 and counted backwards and that’s what I landed on.

In honour of my vacation, I wanted to share this photo that my co-worker Diana took of me. She thought it was very hilarious how relaxed I looked:

Me at work

In my defence, I was reading a bunch of journal articles and this was just way more comfortable than sitting normally at my desk. Also, my office is a bit chilly, so I had a blanket on my lap, which makes me look even more cosy.

When I looked at the photo later, I realized that it kind of looks like I’m FaceTime-ing with my cats. In truth, I just have a photo of my cats as my desktop photo. I’m a crazy cat lady, but I’m not *that* far gone!

  1. As we were encouraged not to carry over and vacation days ’til next year, as things are expected to be crazy busy on our project… even more so than they have been already, which is saying something []


Movin’ On Up To A Deluxe Cubicle In The Sky!

OK, it’s not actually a cubicle, but a desk in a room with a bunch of other desks. Regardless, it’s on the 13th story of an office tower where our corporate office is located. At a location where I can ride the Skytrain or bike to work, so it’s pretty freak awesome. As well, I’m now co-located with a lot of the other people with whom I work, which makes things easier. I’ll probably save a few hours a week that I used to spend driving from my old office to this building, as most of my meetings are located here anyway. The commute is virtually identical in length of time it takes me to get to work – 20 minutes door to door by Skytrain compared to 20 minutes door to door by car to my old office, but it’s way better because I don’t have to sit in traffic and drive over the death-defying Patullo Bridge. Instead, I get a nice little walk to the Skytrain Station, a Skytrain ride that is the opposite direction to the way most people are going so I always get a seat, and a nice little walk from the Skytrain Station to my office building. Additionally, my drive home from work from my old office always took longer than getting there in the morning, as the traffic was always worse, so it often took 30-40 minutes instead of 20, whereas the commute home from my new office is always just 20 minutes. All around better location.

Of course, moving offices is like moving house, in that I had to go through a big purge of stuff that I’d been accumulating for the past 4 years since I moved into this office.

This is just the stuff that I didn’t have in drawers and filing cabinets:



I managed to purge enough to get everything into these 3 small boxes, plus my two drawer lockable cabinet filing1:


The office had a going away tea for my and my co-worker, Katie, who was also making the move with me:


And here’s my new desk space:

New Office Space

Marty the Moose and my robots with flames on them feel right at home:

New Office Space

New Office Space

And here’s the view from our lunchroom:

New Office Space

New Office Space

New Office Space

The pictures don’t really do it justice – it’s disorientingly high up there!

Also, I saw this in the hallway and while I hope we never need to evacuate, I have to say that looks kind of fun:

New Office Space

  1. Which I need to keep my research data in, as per ethics rules []


Teleconference Yoga. It’s the lastest craze… in my office.

So I’m taking this bioethics course1 at work2, which involves a 1.5 hr teleconference almost every week from January to April. The teleconferences involve the course coordinator, a guest ethicist, and a group of students chatting about the readings and lecture-on-DVD that we were assigned for the week. With that many people on the line, I find I spend a lot of that 1.5 hours listening and only a little time talking. Not a fan of sitting still if I don’t have to, I decided early on to do the only reasonable thing that one could decide in such a situation: yoga.

Seriously. I put my phone on mute and do yoga poses as I listen to the conversation, jumping up to unmute when I have something to say. Granted, I’m not getting my meditative zen on during this particular form of yoga practice, but it is a good long time to get some stretching in!

Here I am doing downward dog on today’s teleconference:

Day 248

Thankfully, I have my own office. I think this might be a bit more difficult to pull off in a cubicle.

Here I am doing dancer’s pose3:

Dancer's Pose in my office

It’s not my best dancer’s pose ever, in part because my camera’s timer only gives me 10 seconds, which isn’t long enough to get into my best dancer’s pose position4, and in part because I can’t lean very far forward due to my desk being in the way. Also, I’m wearing dress pants and a dress shirt instead of my usual yoga attire.

A by-product of this whole thing is that I’ve discovered that the cleaners do not do a very good job5 of cleaning my office, because my floor is dir-ty!. I think I need to get myself a yoga mat to keep in my office. You know, for teleconferences.

  1. At the end, I’ll be able to do ethics consultations for our portfolio. Case #1: Is it ethical for me lord my ethics expertise over you? []
  2. There I go talking about work again. What is wrong with me?? []
  3. which I believe is also known as “standing bow pose”. Any real yogis/yoginis out there, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong on that! []
  4. In the yoga studio, when I’m fully warmed up, I can get my back leg higher than my head, so that I can see my foot above my head in the mirror at the front of the room []
  5. where by “a very good job” I mean “any job at all” []


My Wise Owl

My office is in a different building than the Director to whom I report.  A little while ago he was in my office building for a meeting and dropped into say hello.  Jokingly, he said that he was going to put on my performance report that I need more artwork on my walls – my office is too bare!  Although I do have some photos on my desk and one piece of art on my bulletin board, the giant wall that my my desk faces was blank as blank can be, so he did kinda have a point.  And so it got me on the look out for artwork.  Now, I have to admit that I’m not much of an art connoisseur – basically, I just look at picture and think, “hey, I like that” or “eww, that’s ugly”1.  But I finally found a piece that I really liked – I actually bought it when I was over on the Island visting Dani:

It’s a print of a commissioned artwork by artist Jason Hunt.  He was selling his work at a farmer’s market that we went to when I was in Victoria and I got a chance to talk to him about the piece.  The image is of an owl (at the top) that is being chased home by the rising sun (bottom). Jason explained to me that in Kwaguilth culture, mice are considered messengers and owls are wise because they “intercept” those messages.  The image really struck me when I saw it and since, in my job , I talk to a lot of people/explore a lot of literature as I conduct evaluations on a variety of different programs and to try to take all these “messages” that I’m “intercepting” and piece them together into a coherent whole – and, as I do this, I’m building up knowledge that I can then impart on my future work – I felt like this was an especially appropriate image for my office.  It reminds me to take good care of the “mice” I’m collecting.  Every evening when I turn off the light in my office at the end of the workday, this piece of artwork makes me smile.

You can learn more about the artist, Jason Hunt, at his website2

  1. my sister got all the visual art genes in our family []
  2. he shares his works in progress on the blog there! []


Babe for Obama

Sorry. Couldn’t resist that title after the title of my earlier post.

As you can see, I wore my democratic blue shirt today, in honour of Barack!

Just over half an hour left ’til the first polls close in the eastern United States and the results start pouring in.  To my American readers: thanks to all of you who voted for Barack Obama!!

In addition to the results of this historic presidential election, the results of a number of items on the ballots, including Propositions 8, 2 and 102 in California, Florida and Arizona, respectively, which, if passed, would ban gay marriage in those states, and Amendment 48 in Colorado, which would “define all fertilized eggs as full human beings with constitutional rights” (Source) are of interest to me.

Am hoping to get out to an Obama victory celebration tonight, but work is crazy busy, so we’ll see how productive I am in the next few hours!  Otherwise, I’ll be working this evening with one eye on the Internets!