Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese



Elevator buttonsThe elevators in my office building are very, very slow. It’s only a 7 storey building, so I’m not sure why it takes eleventy hours to get from the ground floor to the floor on which my office is located but it does. You often have to wait several minutes for the elevator and it’s super annoying when you just want to get to work – or you just want to leave! The other day, as I walked up to the elevator and the doors were closing, I pressed the button to get the doors to re-open, knowing that if I didn’t it catch it, I would be stuck there waiting for several minutes. Someone from my office was in the elevator, saw me press the button and *pushed* the “close door” button. I mean, the doors were closing, I pushed the button and they started to open again, and she pushed the freaking “close door” button and the doors started to close again! So I pushed the button again, and the doors opened and I got in. And this person does this big exaggerated sigh at me. I was stunned. So I said, “I really didn’t want to have to wait 5 minutes for the elevator to come back.” And she’s like “Well, I just wanted to get going.” Seriously. She didn’t want to be delayed by 12 seconds, so I should have to be delayed for 5 minutes! I figured I won that round, because she actually ended up costing herself more time by not just letting me get in the elevator the first time I pressed the button.

Elevator ButtonOne of the two elevators in my condo is broken, with just a sign telling us “We are waiting for parts to be shipped to us to fix the elevator and we have no idea when they will arrive.” So there’s also a bit of a wait for the elevator when I’m at home. But funnily enough, I’ve not had anyone try to close the door on me. What’s more, I’ve had some variation of this conversation several times since the one elevator broke down:

Me: Thanks for holding the elevator! I can’t believe what a big difference in wait time it makes having just one working elevator.

Other Person: Yeah, it really does. On the plus side, I’ve met so many more of neighbours because it seems like there’s alway someone else in the elevator with you!

“I get to meet more of my neighbours!” is *such* a New West thing to say.

Elevator ButtonsSo I wrote the above two parts a few days ago and hadn’t had a chance to post them… and then the elevator situation at work got weirder. Yesterday, the elevators would not come to the floor my office is on. They would go to all the other floors, but not mine. I may have been listening to too much of the SAYER podcast, but I’m pretty sure I have offended the elevators – probably by complaining about how slow they are – and now they are plotting against me! And then today the office admin person sent around an email saying that they were aware of the broken door handle on the first aid room and maintenance had been called to come and fix it. So basically the elevators are out to get me and they’ve sabotaged the first aid room so that when said elevators attack, there will be no way to save me.


Yes. I’ve definitely been listening to too much of the SAYER podcast

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    I Was On A Podcast

    Caroline & Brian doing soundcheck for a live podcast at the Canadian Evaluation Society 2018 conferenceA few weeks ago, I went to an evaluation conference and at said conference there was the live recording of an episode of a podcast that I listen to: Eval Cafe. It’s hosted by a colleague of mine, Carolyn Camman, and her colleague, Brian Hoessler. The theme of the conference was “co-creation” so Carolyn and Brian thought it would be cool to co-create a podcast with whichever conference attendees decided to show up to their thematic breakfast session (which are sessions that are held on the last morning of the conference where the “presenters” suggest a topic of their table and people discuss it. So Carolyn & Brian brought their podcasting equipment and recorded the discussion of what we’d all experienced at the conference). And I was one of those conference attendees!

    It’s pretty specific to evaluation and nerdy, but if you are so inclined, you can listen to the podcast episode here. (For the record, it is quite different from the last time I was on a podcast!)


    My First Podcast Appearance

    It’s Thanksgiving weekend, so I thought I’d give y’all something to be thankful for. Specifically, I’m giving you this link to the latest episode of the S&M Rants on which yours truly makes a guest appearance. You may recall the S&M Rants from such blog postings as My New Favourite Podcast. I haven’t actually listened to it myself yet – it was just recorded last night and it’s already up on The Internets and on The iTunes! – so I hope I don’t sound too terrible!

    In related news (and this will only make sense once you’ve listened to the aforementioned podcast episode), I made the following edit to the Wikipedia page on Yahtzee last night (click the image to make it big enough to actually read!):



    My New Favourite Podcast

    I’ve recently become addicted to a new podcast called The S&M Rants. Get your mind out of the gutter! S&M stands for Shane & Monica, the hosts of this show where they, well, rant. They rant about weird things they find on the Internet. They rant about news stories that are just so insane they make your head explode. They rant about bad writing and bad music and bad dates. They rant about whatever crazy stuff they feel like ranting about. Most of it is dirty. Oh, I guess you can put your mind back in the gutter now.

    Now, Monica happens to be a friend of mine and though I’ve never met Shane1, after listening to a few episodes, I feel like I know Shane. Both of them, imho, are freaking hilarious and I just felt the need to share this little gem with all y’all. If you have a sense of humour like mine (i.e., that of a 12-year-old boy), I suggest you check it out. Check it out long time.

    1. At least, I don’t think I’ve met Shane, though I suppose now that I think about it, it’s entirely possible that I’ve met him at a blogger’s meetup or Northern Voice or some such place where geeky types like us are wont to hang out []


    Northern Voice 2010

    Apparently I’ve caught the conference bug, because here I am at yet another conference.  I know I promised to blog about something actually interesting to my usual readers after all those conference posts earlier this week, but it’s my blog and I’ll prevaricate if I want to.  But for my *next* blog posting, I’ll talk about something that doesn’t involve me yattering on about conferences, k?

    Not Dead Yet… Blogging by Alan Levine, Chris Lott and  Brian Lamb

    • hashtag for this session #BlogsAreDead and #BlogsAreAlive
    • Alan talking about how when he started going to NV, he would blog every single thing that happened, but now at the end of the day he tries to write stuff up – there’s Twitter, etc. to say stuff that we used to say on our blogs
    • people comment on his blog in Facebook, completely detached from his blog – I hate that too!  I wish there were a way to disable comments on my blog postings in FB and a way to direct people to comment on my blog instead
    • “I won’t ever delete my Facebook account because I’m endlessly fascinated by what’s happening in the lives of people I went to high school with” </sarcasm> Brian Lamb
    • companies like commission ultracheap articles on topics that are searched for on Google to drive traffic to their sites
    • blogs are dead because they’ve become uninteresting – Chris Lott
    • divided attention – FB, Twitter, YouTube  “Life is just what we concentrate our attention on” (I missed who it was that said this)
    • “blogs are an artistic medium” – Chris Lott [cool. I’m adding “artist” to my resume]
    • Derek commented: My blog is still there. I have control over it.  I treat Twitter and Facebook like they are disposable.  They could be gone any day.
    • Alan: blogs are a record – for those of us with bad memories, we can search our blogs to see what we were interested in a month ago, a year ago
    • people use WordPress as a web publishing medium (e.g., businesses, artists)
    • Tris: confusing the technology (just a way to quickly write on the web) with the activity (e.g., we can use it for a variety of things)
    • bavatuesdays – “a spot of genuine lunacy” – it’s *his* space
    • Brian: If I have a good conversational exchange on Twitter, I can’t go back and find it. Twitter search = no good
    • From the audience: “But is it [blogs] as durable as paper? Will they find it in 1000 years?]
    • From the audience: “I’m writing blogs for my young children but by the time they are on the web, the web will be completely different” – Brian:  you can easily export your blog from most blogging platforms
    • Chris doesn’t care about durability – “I never see a fireworks display and think “wow, I wish that fireworks display could last forever and I could share it with my kids.” [I disagree with this analogy – although he probably was intentionally being flippant. I  use my blog as a sort of repository for my thoughts that I do go back to.  Hell, I’m blogging this so I can remember it later!]
    • “yesterday, Brian made a very cogent argument that bloggers are always trying to conform” because everyone wants to get traffic, so they blog about what everyone else is searching for –> a very homogeneous set of blogs – Chris Lott
    • “If Scoble says “blogs are dead,” that means they are alive” – Chris Lott
    • the Internet is being built by corporations into a “commodified sewer” – “Program or Be Programmed” (from SXSW – can find it on YouTube)

    A Four-Letter Word Called Sex by Danielle Sipple, Monca Hamburg and Steffani Cameron

    • Monica: it’s ok with society if a company commoditizes women to sell a product, but if a woman commoditizes herself (e.g., sex work) it’s considered horrible/she’s a slut/she’s stupid
    • Darren (the moderator) is Googling the stuff that the speakers or audience members are talking about on the screen – I need to steal this technique sometime, ‘cuz it’s very cool
    • abstinence porn – fetishizing anything, including not having sex

    A Bridge Too Far? The Uses and Misuses of Social Location Sharing Sites by Travis Smith, Noah Bloom, and Ian Bell

    • Travis – “these tools let me go out and experience the world” in a way that’s more community than just on one’s own
    • Ian Bell – launching a location-based dating app soon [at first blush, this sounds like a straight Grindr to me]
    • more FourSquare users than Gowalla (at the moment) – though varies by location (true for Vancouver, but Gowalla more popular in, for example, Holland)
    • Facebook is talking about updating your status with your location (and probably will do this automatically and you’ll have to “opt out” – if you know about it)
    • we don’t really know why people check in on these services
    • experimentation, we don’t know what the value will be
    • safety – example – the 15 year old who was sexually assaulted by an older man who connected with him on Grindr

    Awesome-izing Your Podcast: Secrets From Radio by Tod Maffin

    • Poll – freaking cool – lets people text their vote and the poll shows up on your slide
    • good radio shows and podcasts just have “it” – “it” is hard to define – but Tod’s going to deconstruct it for us
    • the art had to confirm to the medium (e.g., Ethel Murman had to belt out her songs because it was in a big theatre; radio came on the scene and the family would sit around the radio and listen to it; when transistors came on the scene, big singers belting out their songs would blow transistors –> crooning)
    • then TV came only – smaller families than previous generations sitting around the TV
    • now when you listen to the radio, you are driving your car or doing chores – radio shifted to background (you don’t sit around the radio and listen to a show anymore)
    • now podcasts – shifting from giant theatre audiences to a single person listening to a single individual – increased intimacy
    • “when you are podcasting, you are *literally in someone’s ears”
    • so if you say “hello everyone” in a podcast, it’s not intimate – it’s a mismatch between you (as a podcaster) thinking of your audience as one big group to a bunch of individuals each listening to you on their own – you can say “you” instead of “everyone”
    • you don’t want your podcast to be background
    • “it” = intimate
    • Vin Scelsa – intimate  – feel like you are there with him
    • Ira Glass – leans right into the microphone (not projecting his “broadcaster” voice)
    • “it” breathes (often podcasters edit out every breath and “um” and “uh” and the result is frenetically paced and doesn’t sound natural.)  Breath is emotional punctuation.
    • “it” seeks the universal truth – tries to find the overarching message or greater meaning of the story you are sharing – something people can connect with
    • flipping back and forth between the narrative and the universal truth is useful
    • “it” takes time – may need to interview someone for hours to get the good stuff
    • lapel microphones are good because the person forgets they are being recorded
    • “it” is everywhere – keep your recording equipment with you all the time (can even use your iPhone – broadcast quality audio) – “it” can happen anytime, anywhere
    • “it” does not abuse music – we identify music with things, so if you use music that your listener has already identified with something else, you will lose them – use music like movie scoring – simple music
    • “it” is phony – it’s a performance/production – but that’s OK


    Beth Can’t Come To The Blog Right Now

    She’s on a plane heading to Mexico.  She’ll think about you while she’s laying on the beach.

    She left this link to a podcast that you can listen to while she’s gone.  It’s a WNYC Radiolab show about sperm. She especially liked the part about the sugar room in the fallopian tube. That was not something she knew about prior to listening to that podcast.