Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

By

NaBloPoMo Day 2 – My eyeballs are tired

Been doing some field work this week, so my team and I have been working hard at collecting lots of data and entering it into giant spreadsheets. This has involved very long days of staring at a computer screen – like, longer than my usual 8 hour day of staring at a computer screen and my eyeballs are so very, very tired. Right now I’m typing this without looking the screen (and just proofreading it afterwards so as to minimize looking at the screen right now!). I have at least eleventy billion emails that I should be answering (as I’ve been unable to do my usual emailing since I’ve been so focused on data collection), but I think they may have to wait until my eyeballs feel less like they are going to fall out of my face.

In tangentially related news, it snowed in Squamish today! Here is Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car covered in the white stuff:

Snow in Squamish

By

Whistler!

“Ski at Whistler” was on my very first list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, which I wrote in the old timey days of 2009. Somehow, I went through those 1001 days without managing to ski at Whistler. Then I totally thought I put “Ski at Whistler” on my second list of 101 things to do in 1001 days, but now that I look at it, I totally didn’t. At any rate, I managed to go through those 1001 days without skiing at Whistler either. Thinking that “third time’s the charm” (because, as you may recall from earlier in this paragraph, I thought I’d put it on my second list), I put it on my third list. Happily, Daniel perused my third list and got me a pair of Whistler lift tickets for Christmas! And then, capitalizing on the momentum, we decided to book a couple of days there to make a nice little trip out of it1. Which brings us to Tuesday, January 21st, the day that I finally skied at Whistler2.

We spent the morning skiing on Blackcomb Mountain. For the uninitiated, Blackcomb Mountain is right next to Whistler Mountain (you’ll often here the whole place referred to as Whistler-Blackcomb) and both can be accessed from Whistler Village, which is where we were staying. Pretty awesome to just walk out of your hotel with your skis and right onto a couple of gondolas that take you up two spectacular mountains. The conditions were fantastic – apparently they had just got a big dump of snow on the weekend, but by the time we were there on Tuesday, it was nothing but sunny skies on the hills.

On Blackcomb Mountain

On Blackcomb Mountain

We skied all morning, had an overpriced lunch (they really have you captive up there when it comes time for eating) and a chance to warm up (it was -7 degrees up there!), then skied a bit more on Blackcomb, and then headed over to the Peak-to-Peak. For the uninitiated, the Peak-to-Peak is a gondola that connects the top of Blackcomb Mountain with the top of Whistler Mountain so that you can easily ski on both mountains on the same day3. Given that taking the Peak-to-Peak is also on my 101 list and given that it was “ski at Whistler” on my list rather than “ski at Whistler-Blackcomb” and I didn’t want to be called out on a technicality, doing this ensured that those two items could be definitively crossed off my list.

On the Peak-to-Peak Gondola

Daniel and I on the Peak to Peak

The conditions on Whistler were equally spectacular and we enjoyed the rest of our afternoon of skiing there. I was surprised to learn that the lifts stop running at 3 pm as there are no lights on the mountains and since it takes half an hour to ski down from the top of the mountain back to the village, they stop the lifts that early so everyone gets off the hills before nightfall. As someone who took skiing lessons at night in my youth, it didn’t even occur to me that there would be no night skiing! We took our last ride up the lift around 3 pm and it took nearly a half an hour to ski all the way back down to the Village. After a day of skiing, a dip in the hotel hot tub, watching the Canucks game, and having a nice dinner a pub in the Village rounded out a perfect day.

Something not so nice happened at our hotel, but we didn’t hear about it until we got back to Vancouver. Apparently on Tuesday morning, someone died in after an altercation in the east wing (we were staying in the west wing). There was a cop car out in front of our hotel on Tuesday morning when we went out to go skiing4 and Daniel commented on it still being there when we came back at the end of the day, but we really didn’t think too much about it. But it wasn’t until we got home on Wednesday that we found out why. Apparently this is only the third homicide in the history of Whistler!

Anyway, despite that unusual circumstance, we had a great trip and I definitely want to go back again!

  1. And then he got us a nice hotel room to stay in for my birthday. I’m so spoiled! []
  2. For the record, from the time I moved to Vancouver until the day I finally actually went skiing at Whistler was a mind-boggling 5,254 days! The first many years of that I blame the fact that I was a starving PhD student, and then there were several years of being a starving student-loan-paying-off-er, and then I was just lazy for a bit, and then there were two years of being a (non-starving) full time worker + MBA student who had no time to do anything. And then I was lazy again for a year and then Daniel came to the rescue. []
  3. You may have heard of the Peak to Peak when some guy forced open the gondola door and base jumped out. Which, of course, is totally illegal. And then he posted the video on Youtube, showing both his own face and that of his accomplice. []
  4. If you click on the link to the news story, you’ll see that cop car in the photo. []

By

Manning Park

Yesterday I went with my friends Rachel and Peter on a top secret mission to Manning Park. Manning is a provincial park located about 3 hours east of Vancouver1.

After our top secret mission, Peter continued on into the Interior, while Rachel and I made an ill-fated attempt to go for a hike before we headed home.

Day 334

Rachel and I at Lightning Lake. It was sunny, so we are squinty

I say “ill-fated” because, despite it being the May long weekend, Manning still has a fair bit of snow. We were just going to go for a walk on the Lightning Lake trail to check out Rainbow Bridge, but it turned out to be full-on snow covered and since we only had our running shoes on, we decided maybe it wasn’t the best idea to follow that trail. Of course, this was after I’d already gotten trapped in some snow!

On our way to check out the trail, we had to cross a stream. And sure there was a bridge over the stream, but did we take the bridge? Oh no, of course not. We decided to walk over the snow pack that had formed a natural bridge. Good idea, right? Yeah, great idea – that is, until the snow below my feet collapsed and I sunk knee deep into the snow! I managed to get one foot out, but the other one was stuck! In the end, I had to wriggle my foot out of my shoe and then Rachel had to dig down to retrieve said shoe2. So awesome. Thankfully, I’m very short, so even sinking knee deep into the snow, my feet didn’t hit the icy cold stream. I’m sure if I were a taller person they would have!

The other excitement on our trip was four bear sitings on our drive! We aren’t entirely sure if we saw four different bears or just two – as we saw two on the way up and two on the way back, in roughly the same spots. So it’s entirely possible that it was the same two bears, but since it was several hours apart, they could have been different bears. At any rate, it was easy to spot the bears because there were several cars pulled over to take pictures. Including one guy who was *out of his car* and shockingly close to the bear. Craziness!3.

  1. You may recall it as the place that we shipped all the snow in from for the Olympics. []
  2. And she broke a nail rescuing me. What a good friend! []
  3. Note to self: check the news to see if any tourists were eaten by bears at Manning Park this weekend []

By

Snowmageddon!

So this is what Zaphod Beeblebrox the Car looks like under a foot of snow:

IMGP1980

After crying “SNOWMAGGEDON!” several times this month, the meteorologists were finally right and we got a big dump of snow on the night of my birthday. Thankfully it waited until after I got home from the Indian buffet I went to with a few friends to celebrate my being born1, because I hate, hate, hate driving in the snow.

Also, yesterday I learned that my dashboard flashes a warning light when my car starts to slide on ice/snow.  In case you don’t notice, you know, that your car is sliding. Guess the bag of hockey pucks I keep in my car in the winter was not sufficient to weigh down Zaphod and prevent sliding. Fortunately, it was only the side streets that were slippery – the main roads were completely clear by the time I left for work yesterday and now even the side streets are mostly clear. And the forecast is calling for rain and 7-8 degrees C for the next week or so. W00t!

  1. this was just a low key dinner on my birthday. I’m having a big birthday bash on Saturday, since my actual birthday was on a school night, but I like to do something special on the actual day []

By

The Grouse Grind…. again.

Yesterday marked my first Grouse Grind of the year! The trail didn’t open for the season until quite recently due to the super heavy snowfall we had this past winter – they don’t open the trail until enough of the snow is gone. And apparently there was too much snow until June. Craziness.

Also craziness is the idea of climbing 2800 ft… for FUN! But that is, in fact, what Kim and I decided to do with our Friday morning.

First up, taking the requisite pictures at the start of the trail:

And then we climbed for 1.5 hrs and then took this photo.

The End.

By

Yes, it really was.

By

Longest. Busride. Ever.

My bus ride to work took an hour today, after waiting half an hour for the bus to show up.  It’s usually a 15 minute ride and the bus is supposed to come every 10 minutes.  This city needs to invest in a snowplow.

By

Can’t Blog. Skiing.

Will report in later.

By

Choose My Own Adventure, Ottawa Style!

For my Christmas present, Sarah and Dave offered me a “choose my own Ottawaian adventure.” In the interest me not having to carry a bunch o’ stuff back on the plane, they gave me some options of fun things to do in Ottawa, including:

I chose: most of the above. I’m unable to go to the National Gallery due to the fact that they have sculpture of a giant spider outside. And you know how I feel about spiders. Museums of Civilization and/or War are out because, um, I’m neither civilized nor war mongering.

Today, Dave had to work today in order to keep us in the style to which we have become accustomed while Sarah & I picked up the cats from the cat spa3, then went to the Canada Science and Technology Museum. The C.S.T.M. kinda made us feel like Canada hasn’t done a whole hell of a lot in science and technology that isn’t related to snow and/or hockey. Although we did learn that Ernest Rutherford did the work which earned him his 1908 Nobel Prize while in Canada. Which, you know, you think they would have mentioned when we learned about the Rutherford model of the atom in high school and university chemistry classes, given that we went to high school and university in Canada. But whatevs.

After the C.S.T.M., we came home and Sarah made us some super delish veggie sushi. Just like The Eatery, but with much better service. We chain smoked the first four episodes of Veronica Mars, which Sarah has been telling me about forever, but which I had never watched before. Now I’m totally into the mystery and need – and I mean NEED – to find out whodunit. Then we watched the Sens game, followed by the Canucks game – both which had happy endings. And now I be tired. But before I head to bed, I give you me, in a stupid large snowbank. With a pink hat on:

colour_corrected_for_beth

1although not live, since it’s sold out. But with PVR-y goodness, we can watch it without pesky commercials
2I can’t link to this site, because I am afraid that a picture of the giant spider will be on their site.
3Where they had been living a life of cat luxury while S & D were away for a few days of family Christmas visiting.

By

12 Bars of Christmas – the Sequel

So, I was wondering all day why no one commented on my engaging tale of the 12 Bars of Christmas. I get the comments on my blog emailed to me, so I didn’t look at the blog itself – just didn’t get any emailed comments. And just now when I went to write a new posting, I discovered that, although I finished writing the posting yesterday, I didn’t actually click “publish.” D’oh! Guess that kind of absentmindedness is a sign that perhaps one shouldn’t go to 12 bars in one night. Anyway, here’s the posting:

So, I have a confession to make. I did not successfully complete the 12 Bars of Christmas this year! *hangs head in shame*. I made it to all the bars. I sang all the verses of the 12 Days of Christmas at the appropriate times and in the appropriate locations, as per the rules of the 12 Bars. But I was not able to drink a drink at every bar! Well, I suppose I would have been able to, so I probably should say I was unwilling to given that my body was telling me that I needed a break after 8 drinks1.

I think part of the problem as that I couldn’t stick to the same game plan I had last year – which was to stick with a specific drink2 for most bars, with the occasional shot when we got behind schedule and needed to get in and out of a bar really fast. Why couldn’t I stick to that game plan, you ask? Because the 12 Bars got waaaaay too popular! Last year, we started out at Erika & Paul’s place with something like 7 people and then ended up with about 30 by the last bar, as people joined us along the way. This year, we had somewhere around 30 people at the first bar!! By the end, we have no accurate count of participants as friends of friends had joined up and no one really knew who was with us and who were just randoms in the bar. But there had to be over 50 of us by the end. This resulted in two things: (a) we didn’t get to meet as many new people, as you sort of had to stick with your little group in order to not get totally lost in the crowd, and (b) it’s really hard to get a drink at a bar when 30-50 others are also all trying to get a drink in 30 mins3 – somehow always seemed to be the last people served and so had to take a few shots off the start because there wasn’t enough time to drink an actual drink. I think this set a poor tone for the evening!

My night went something like this.

Bar #0 – Erika & Paul’s place (UNOFFICIAL START) – Vodka & Sprite. I agreed to have a drink here. This was my first mistake!

Bar #1 – Las Margarita’s – OFFICIAL START – Jolly Rancher shot. I wanted a margarita here, but by the time we got to the bartender, it was pretty much time to leave, so we had to do a shot.

Bar #2 – Room 18Polar bear shot. Bar #2 was supposed to be Hell’s Kitchen5, makers of the best Amaretto sour at last year’s 12 Bars. When Hell’s Kitchen was called early in the day and asked if they would be open at 4 p.m., they replied “yes.” Apparently “yes” means “no” at Hell’s Kitchen, because when we go there, they weren’t open. So we improvised and went to Room 18 instead. They didn’t want to let us in at first, saying they couldn’t handle 34 people with just one bartender. So we promised that we’d all get the exact same shot and be out in her hair in life 15 minutes, probably the fasted $300 that bar will ever make. So another unplanned shot for me, but a great photo opp!

IMG_2991
Bartender at Room 18 makes 34 Polar bear shots.

Bar #3 – Brown’sAmaretto sour. Finally! Although this one wasn’t like any Amaretto sour I’d had before – it was brown rather than green. Weird.

Bar #4 – Kitsilano RestaurantWhite wine. This is the place where we stop to eat. But it counts as a bar, so we have to drink their too. So I enjoyed a much too full glass of wine with my yam rolls, veggie tempura and teriyaki tofu. About halfway through the wine was when my brain took notice of the unnecessary amount of alcohol to which it was being subjected.

Bar #5 – Tatlow’sSpiced rum & diet Coke6 – I don’t think I have anything special to report about this bar.

Bar #6 – Darby’sAmaretto sour! Yay! Darby’s makes a tasty A.S. And it was green. Making for a very Christmasy photo of red and green drinks.

IMG_3000
Casey shows off our Christmas coloured drinks –
Vodka cran + Amaretto sour.

Bar #7 – Nevermind Spiced rum & diet Coke6 – Unlike it’s sister restaurant, Hell’s Kitchen, Nevermind was open. Unlike last year, where we convinced a #84 Express bus to pick us up and drive us to Nevermind despite the fact that Nevermind is not where the #84 bus is supposed to stop, this year we had to walk all the way to Nevermind. Which, by my calculations, is 872 blocks from Darby’s.

Between bars #7 and #8 is where I officially decided to wuss out. My tummy was telling me that it was sufficiently stocked with alcoholic beverages at the moment and any further deliveries would be returned to sender. So, in the interest of not puking, I decided to skip the drinks at the next two bars.

Bar #8 – Gargoyles – No drink!

Bar #9 – The Fringe – No drink again!

Bar #10 & #11 – Coppertank Spiced rum & diet Coke. We were supposed to go to Elwood’s for Bar #10, but they told us that brinigng 50ish people would put them over capacity, so they wouldn’t let us in. So we decided that Coppertank could have more of our money and decided to stay there for an hour instead of the usual 30 mins, having two drinks (and sing two verses of the 12 Days of Christmas) instead of the usual 1. I felt better enough to have one drink, but decided that I didn’t really need two.

IMG_3009
Beth and Kalev tell us that we are at Bar #10.
Unfortunately, Coppertank counted as 2 bars, I forgot to take a “Bar #11” pic.

Bar #12 – Regal BeagleSpiced rum and diet Coke. And thus ended the 12 Bar

s.

Bar #13 – Lola’sSpiced rum and diet Coke – In celebration of not having died, we went next door to Lola’s to dance, and make fun of the other patrons fashion choices behind their backs.

IMG_3011
Hooray for Bar #13. Go team!

You can view all the photos here.

1In my defence, I would like to remind everyone that I’m somewhat on the small size. I don’t think 115 lb people are meant to drink 13 drinks!
2In my case, Amaretto sour.
3And the 30 minutes includes travel time between bars. And, given that we were having a blizzard4, travel time was somewhat slower going than one would like.
4To my readers out east: “blizzard” in Vancouver vernacular means “it was snowing out.”
5You may recall Hell’s Kitchen as the location of my brief but celebrated career as a coat check girl.
6I think. If memory serves me, they didn’t have Amaretto here so I had to improvise. But I could be misremembering – memory started to fuzzy for some unidentifiable reason.