Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese


Dream Images

While I was searching Flickr for an image to go with yesterday’s blog posting, I saw a whole bunch of cool photos1, so I decided to use today’s blog posting to share some of them!


849 Last Day Dream 50

Her Tangible Dream
i had a dream and you were there holding my soul


bob's cheezy dream

Image Credits (all have Creative Commons licenses):

  1. Posted by Agnes on Flickr.
  2. Posted by negojsa mladjensovic on Flickr.
  3. Posted by Felipe Morin on Flickr.
  4. Posted by Jonathan Emmanuel Flores Tarello on Flickr.
  5. Posted by Alessandro Pautasso on Flickr.
  6. Posted by Robert Couse-Baker on Flickr.
  1. which I guess shouldn’t be surprising, since I was searching for “Dream” []


Happy 4th Birthday, Thomas!

Saturday was a lovely day for an Ironman-themed 4th birthday party. My nephew, Thomas, has recently become obsessed with Ironman (which he pronounced “eye-ron man!!!”), so he decided that he wanted an Ironman cake instead of his previously requested Superman cake. My sister had borrowed my aunt’s Superman cake pan, and fortunately, it’s quite easy to cut the cape off of the cake to turn it into basically any other superhero. So there was an Ironman cake, complimented by a giant Ironman balloon, and Avengers table cloth, Avengers Happy Birthday banner1, Avengers plates, etc. Sadly, I didn’t get photos of any of that because although we decorated inside the house, everyone went outside because it was a nice day out, so the whole party ended up taking place in the backyard.

My Aunt Eileen got some great photos though2:

Ironman cake. The icing didn’t turn out quite as red as we would have liked, despite putting in a full container of concentrated red food colouring (!). Thankfully, it was the no-taste red food colouring:

Thomas, taking the candle off the cake:

Thomas, with his entire piece of cake on his fork:

My niece Madeline, and my mom:

The only decent photo of me from the entire party, which I’m posting just to prove I was there. Uncle Harry and his dog Frosty also look good in this photo:

I like this photo because it looks like that glass of wine is Madeline’s. (For the record, it is not.):

My Uncle Harry & Aunt Arlene’s dog, Frosty:



Happy 4th birthday, little buddy!

  1. Thomas is very into reading out any letters or numbers he sees, so upon seeing the banner, he proclaimed “H-A-P-P-Y-B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y! That spells Avengers!” []
  2. All photos in the posting are courtesy of Aunt Eileen. Used with permission – All right reserved! []


Ice Storm!

So, there’s been an ice storm in the Greater Toronto Area for the past couple of days. My aunt and cousin who live in Ajax, like countless others in the area, have been without heat and power, as heavy ice has brought down trees and powerlines and crushed cars and all sorts of craziness. We’ve been exceptionally lucky at my sister’s house, as we lost power for only ~10 mins (and that happened before I even woke up this morning). We didn’t go out at all yesterday, as the roads and sidewalks were a skating rink. My mom and I went out to the store this afternoon and we saw some big piles of tree branches that were down and traffic lights down the Danforth weren’t operating and there was tonnes of icy patches on the sidewalk, but overall it’s been not too bad. I forgot my phone when we went out so I didn’t get pictures, but I found some pretty cool pics on Flickr (hooray for people using Creative Commons licenses on their photos!

Dangerous – but beautiful!

Toronto Ice Storm 2013

Toronto Ice Storm 2013

Toronto Ice Storm 2013

Toronto Ice Storm 2013

Ice Storm Toronto

ice storm


Frozen out

Image Credits:


And speaking of my 101 list…

In addition to the epic road trip I told you about yesterday, there are a few other things that I’ve knocked off my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days.

52. cook a decent tasting Eggplant Parmesan

Thank goodness I said “decent” tasting and not “outstanding.” Because I finally gave Eggplant Parm a try and I think it turned out solidly in the “decent” realm, but I’ve had better. But it’s done and it gives me a baseline to compare when I try out other recipes!

Draining water from the eggplant:

Eggplant Parmesan

Coating the eggplant in breadcrumbs:


After frying1:

Eggplant Parmesan

Layering – layers of fried eggplant with homemade tomato sauce and various cheeses. How can you go wrong?

Eggplant Parmesan

The finished product:

Eggplant Parmesan

81. participate in five research projects

  1. I joined the BC Generations Project
  2. I completed the “Experiences of Exercise” study (three-part survey; Nov 18, 2012; Jan 10, 2013)
  3. Participated in the Equity Lens in Public Health project (12 Sept 2013)
  4. Mindfulness & Authentic Leadership study (13 Sept 13);
  5. participant in a project that is researching researchers with a particular type of research grant (2011-13)]

I’m also on the verge of signing up for a super cool studying on running, but that will be worth its own blog posting (or 7) if I end up joining (and as I participate in it – it’s 13 weeks long, so I figure that’s gotta be worth a few blog postings at least!).

100. print eight photos and put them in the photo frame that I bought ages ago that has been handing on my wall with the stock photos in it, because that really looks quite ridiculous the way it is

I’m particularly proud of having done this, since it was so ridiculous that I’d not done it for so long!

8 pictures in an 8-picture frame.Photos: Top row from left to right: My dad; Me, my mom, my Aunt Lynn, and my Aunt Eileen near a Tim Horton’s sign at a Spar gas station in Ireland; My niece holding my nephew on the day he was born; Nancy, Jeff, me, and Dan doing the CN Tower Edgewalk. Bottom row from left to right: Me and Dan about to embark on the Grouse Grind; My niece and I in Portland; My mom, Nancy, and me at the Empress Hotel in Victoria; My niece and nephew in Portland. 

For the record, this means I’ve now knocked 12 items off my 101 list in 2013. And you may recall that my goal for the year was to knock 13 items off my list, so I’m 12/13ths of the way there, and it’s only 5/6ths of the way through the year! Go me!

  1. This picture makes me think of this clip from the Simpsons. []



As part of my “take a self-portrait every day for 365 days” challenge, I took today’s photo while sitting my beloved purple chair. I figured it was nice and sunny and you can see a bit of my beloved river view in the background. But when I saw the photo afterwards, I nearly fell over. My profile in shadow looks exactly, uncannily, hauntingly like my dad. I can’t stop looking at it.

I’ve searched through my photos and can’t find any photos of him in profile, but for those of you who knew him – don’t you think that looks a lot like him?

Day 16

I miss you, Daddy.


Photo Shoot

Last weekend, I got to star in a photoshoot. I needed to get a headshot done for a super secret project that I’m not yet ready to blog about1. One of my classmates recommended Vivian of and I have to say: best. recommendation. ever!

As part of her deal, Vivian brought her hair & makeup artist, Tracey, who is awesome, and her husband/photography assistant/location scout, Carlin, who, not surprisingly, is also awesome. Tracey did a fantastic job on my hair and makeup – and taught me a few hair & makeup tricks to boot – and then we set off around my neighbourhood to snap some pics. Carlin had located some good backdrops and I had a lot of fun having my photo taken. Felt like a total celebrity as people walking down Columbia kept stopping to stare, clearly trying to figure out who the heck is this person getting photographed by a team, including a makeup artist doing hair and makeup touch ups between shots.

In the end, these are the two photos I selected:

Dr. Beth Snow

Dr. Beth Snow

I think you’ll agree – Vivian’s work is fantastic! I’m so pleased with the photos – and so thankful to Vivian, Carlin, and Tracey for putting up with my pickiness and vanity2!

Update: I forgot to add my usual disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Viv’s Photography, other than that I paid for her services and was really pleased with them, so I wanted to tell you about it!

  1. But I will be able to fairly soon, so stay tuned! []
  2. Which mostly consisted of me saying “OMG, my face looks sooo fat! Still struggling to lose the weight I’ve gained, but I think in the end Viv did a great job of hiding it for me! []


FaceTime With The Doctors

I’m doing a presentation at an All Staff meeting at work next week on “A Day in the Life of the Evaluation Specialist”. I figure since most people have no idea what I do and about half the time I get introduced as an epidemiologist, this might be a neat opportunity to spread the word about the profession and all the wonderfulness that is evaluation1.

I am not an epidemiologist

I am not an epidemiologist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Some of my best friends are epidemiologists.

So I’ve been thinking about all the cool stuff I do and, more specifically, what cool visuals I could use to represent said cool stuff2. Well, one of the cool things I’m doing is collaborating on a grant application with Dr. Dan. And when one collaborates with someone who is thousands of kilometers away, one must avail themselves of modern conveniences. Like FaceTime. And so today I badgered Dr. Dan into a Facetime photo shoot.

This is the shot I’m going to use in my presentation:

We look like we are engaged in, and enjoying, talking about our science-y brain thoughts!

But, of course, a photo shoot with the likes of the two of us couldn’t help but go from reasonable shots of us FaceTiming, like this:


… to something like this:


Dr. Dan, deep in thought


Dr. Dan, even deeper in thought


Trying to actually capture a picture of Dr. Dan’s deep thoughts by photographing his brain through his eyeball. That’s totally scientifically possible.


Dr. Dan highly approves of our grant application plans.


The science is so bright, we need sunglasses!

Of course, I’ll post my Prezi once I have it finished, because I know that you are all dying to know how an Evaluation Specialist spends her days!

  1. Also, I’m an attention whore. []
  2. Because I have a hate on for text in presentation slides. []


Random Photos and Suchlike

Here’s a bunch of random pics and screenshots that I’ve taken lately to blog about, but then promptly forgot, and then recently discovered.

Saw this in a pharmacy:


I can assure you that they were not selling a lack of movement in this aisle.

I tweeted this next photo a while back, but figured I’d share it here for people who aren’t on The Twitter. I saw these two books next to each other in Chapters:

Harper totally wants to eat that cat.

Harper is clearly thinking: “That kitten looks DELICIOUS!”

Not sure how autocorrect came up with this one:

sexist cupcakes

And this I found amusing – apparently the Daily Deal sites have really got my number:

beer and economics

Klout, however, seems a bit confused:
Klout 1
Klout 2I can see how it would think I’m influential about hockey and coffee and Vancouver (or, at least that I talk about them a lot), but homosexuality and babies? What the what?

Here’s an example of a spam email that wasn’t very well thought out when it was sent to Gmail addresses:

Is your Gmail active?

Validating “packages”? Tee hee!

validating packages

I’m glad to see that this washing machine is “in sock”:

this product is

This next one is a screen shot from a survey – I took it so long ago, I can’t be exactly sure, but I think it might be from the Georgia Strait’s Best of Vancouver survey. The auto complete of commonly given answers made me laugh:

edu institute

And this one is a screen shot from a very, very long time ago. I know that because it’s from an online dating website survey where you have to fill in what you are looking for:

Who the hell finds

I can see how people might find dishonesty or vanity might be unattractive, but intelligence? Who the hell find intelligence unattractive? “I really like that guy, but he just wasn’t stupid enough for me to date!”


My Hotel Room

Perhaps this is just a sign that I don’t get out much, but boy do I love hotel rooms. Of course, the best part of hotels, imho, is the hot tub, but I like the room part too.

Here’s a little tour of my hotel room in Ottawa  for the next couple of days. (You’ll have to excuse the crappy photos – the batteries in my camera died, so I had to use the craptastic excuse for a camera on my iPhone, a lowly iPhone 3GS!)

First off, instead of key cards, this hotel uses keys instead of key cards, which I haven’t seen for ages in a hotel1!

Hotel keys

Granted, if you look closely, it’s actually a programmable key – so basically, the shaft2 of the key has magnetic stripes that they program for your room. Essentially, it’s a key card that looks like a key. But it looks like a key!

Bedroom and living room – pretty comfy:


living eoom

Cute little kitchen – not that I’ll be using it beyond the fridge-as-Diet-Pepsi-storage-area – but I can see how this would be handy if one were here for a more extended stay:


The room is rather lacking for workspace, as there’s no desk to work at. There’s this little side table to put stuff on:

side table

And here’s the table that I’m working at – definitely not ergonomically set up!


The bathroom is pretty standard:


Though this “luxury vanity kit” made me laugh:

Its contents:

Three cotton balls and two Q-tips.

I think their definition of “luxury” and mine differ!

And speaking of luxury, I’m off to the hot tub!

  1. When I mentioned the keys to one of the other workshop participants, she said it made her feel like she was supposed to throw them into a bowl at a party to see who she’d end up going home with! []
  2. Is that the right word here? If not, let’s just saying I’m using that word for it hilarity. []


You May Be “Here,” But Don’t Ask Me Where Anything Else Is!

Is it just me, or does the “you are here” map become a lot less effective when *nothing* else on the map is labeled?