Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Happy Birthday, Watson & Crick

It’s been another trip around the sun for my kitties, Watson and Crick – today they turn 71 Being cats, their lives aren’t that exciting, to be honest. But in the last year…

Watson has done some reading:

Watson doing some reading

Crick sat in the sink for the first time ever2:

Crick in the sink

And the two of them seem to be buddies more often – I seem to have more photos of them sitting together than in the past:

Watson & Crick on a pizza box

Cats in a box


Also, Crick has a new favourite spot to sit – Scott’s office chair:


And Watson was a bit confused by this file holder:

Watson exploring a file holder

To celebrate their 7th birthday, they got a new cat tree, because their old one was getting pretty ratty3

Watson & Crick got a new cat tree for an early birthday

Happy birthday, Watson & Crick! We will celebrate with some tuna tonight!

  1. According to the internets, that’s 44 in people years. []
  2. Or at least, the first time I’ve seen it. []
  3. Plus I got my condo painted this summer and when I’d pulled the old cat tree away from the wall for the painters, I noticed that there were black marks on the wall where the cat tree was leaning against it (the old cat tree was black) and since I didn’t want that happening on my freshly painted walls, I figured that a lighter colour cat tree – and one that was more sturdily built than the old one – was in order. []


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. []


NaBloPoMo – Day 17 – Cat Photos!

Went to the gym after work today for the first time in more than two weeks – I’d put my membership on hold for two weeks as I was away for a week in Squamish doing data collection and then away for a week in Washington for a conference – and then I’ve spent most of my evening uploading photos to Flickr because I hadn’t uploaded photos for ages and I have ever so many. Anyway, now it’s nearly 11 pm and I’m still not done uploading photos and my brain is too tired from a hectic week of work to think of anything good to blog about, so instead I give you these pictures of my adorable cats!


Crick and I Snapchatting to Scott

This is what I see when I open the bathroom door

Watson on the fridge

Crick in a laundry basket

Me & Crick


Watson & Crick on a pizza box


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. []