Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Year in Review 2016

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was mostly the worst of times, but there was some good stuff in there too.

The worst of times1

On a global scale, the US election makes 2016 the worst. I probably don’t even need to say anymore than that. Also, Brexit. Also also, all the celebrities dying2.

On a personal level, I was sick and/or injured for (and this is not an exaggeration) about 3/4 of 2016. I started the year with a horrible cold that led to the 100 day cough, followed by food poisoning, followed by zombie eyeball disease. I also seemed to have developed seasonal allergies, which I’ve never had before. I was OK from mid-March until mid-June (that was my 3 months of health for the year), when I sprained my left ankle and then got bursitis in my right hip from running on the apparently not fully healed ankle. The bursitis was eleventy billion times worse than the sprained ankle and all the people who told me that I probably shouldn’t run a half marathon on my very tight hip will fortunately never let me forget that I should stop making such poor life choices. And just to put a nice bookend on my year, I caught a cold on my last day in NYC3. My mailbox got smashed, which means I have to go across town to pick up my mail for the next month and my glass shower doors got smashed, which are going to cost me a fortune to replace.

The best of times

This was an outstanding year for me for travel, as I completed my quest to visit all 10 Canadian provinces with a trip to St. John’s in June, I knocked 3 travel-related items off my list of 101 Things to Do, visited two continents that I’ve never been to before and, most impressively if I do say so myself, went somewhere that Dr. Dan has never been before4!! As part of this travel, I got to visit the easternmost points of both North America *and* Australia, I have officially been to both ends of the Trans-Canada Highway, and I visited an above average number of lighthouses.

My mom and my niece visited me in June, which was pretty super fantastic.

There’s also been some potential progress recently on three things that I’m not prepared to blog about just yet #VagueBlogging. You’ll either hear about them in my 2017 year-in-review blog posting or they will amount to nothing and I won’t even remember what I’m referring to when I read this posting this time next year.

My hockey team won our divisional championship at the end of the 2015/16 season, which was awesome, but then the team folded for the 2016/17 season because we couldn’t get enough players to come back. Which really seems to sum up the year. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

In conclusion, F – -, would not 2016 again.

  1. OK, it wasn’t actually the “worst” of times. That was hands down 2006. []
  2. Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, George Michael, Prince, David Bowie, Alan Richman, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Leonard Cohen, and Muhammad Ali, to name a few []
  3. On a happy note, while my throat was wicked sore on that last day in New York, it felt substantially better the next day and the cold has persisted as mostly a runny nose, some sneezes, and a slight scratchy throat, which I take to mean that my immune system is actually geared up to be functional for 2017. []
  4. Dr. Dan being one of the most travelled people I know []

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Reviewing My Goals for 2014

Since it’s the end of the year, which means it’s time to check in on how I did with my 2014 goals!

2014 Goals Achieved (Y/N) Comments
Complete Rick’s 90-Day Fitness & Accountability Challenge! Y I appear not to have actually blogged about this after the fact, but I did manage to complete 85% of my goal for the challenge (my goal was 6 workouts per week, which was a stretch goal from my usual 4 days per week at the time). I was happy with that, because it was a lot more than I’d usually do at that time of year, so I’m counting this one as a success.
Run two half marathons. Y Hollywood Half Marathon (April) and Scotiabank Vancouver (June).
Run a sub-2 hour half marathon. N Sadly, I yet again did not achieve this one. But it’s totally going on my 2015 goals list and I’m making it a priority to go after this one!
Run 800 km. N I was doing really well on this one thanks to being in a running study at the start of the year, then training for my two half marathons and then for a couple of 10 kms at the end of the year. But then I had no races left to train for and it got really cold and I totally wimped out. So I ran a total of 661.2 km or 82% of my goal, which really is a fair bit of running – and an improvement on last year’s 604.5 km. So while I didn’t reach the goal, I’m still happy with the amount of running I did.
Bike 800 km N This, on the other hand, was an abject failure. I biked a mere 105.4 km
Lose 10 lbs. N I’ve lost 5 of the 10 lbs I wanted to lose, so at least I’ve been moving in the right direction! I’m not quite down to the point that I can fit into all of my pre-MBA clothes, but I can fit in a few things that I couldn’t get on at the start of this year.
Return to freelance work. Y This one happened without much effort on my part. I got offered a contract for a cool little project out of the blue, which was very exciting.
Set out a new investment plan. Y I did set up and implement a new plan in March, but since my financial situation changed both with buying my place and getting a new (and better paying) job, it’s actually time to reassess my strategy yet again. So I guess I know what’s going on my 2015 goal list!
Write 314 blog postings here on NTBTWK. N Not even close. In my worst blogging year ever, I only managed 88 posts in 2014 – a mere 7.3 postings per month or 1.7 postings per week! Obviously, I was having far too much fun doing all sorts of other fun things to be blogging much this year!
Write 52 blog postings on drbethsnow.com. N Another epic fail. I only managed 19 postings and pretty much all of them are just me having a place to keep notes on webinars/conferences I’ve attended and stuff that I’ve been reading for work (i.e., probably not of interest to anyone but me)
Knock 28 items off my list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. N  With only 16 items completed, this one was a fail.
Make 14 new food items that I’ve never made before. Y This one was a solid success, with 19 new items made!
Find a reliable cleaning person. Y Got a recommendation from a friend and I now have someone coming in regularly to clean up after me and my cats!
Find a solution to my spice situation. Y  Check.

So that’s 7/14 or 50%, which is worse than last year’s 65%, but better than the previous years’ – 2012 at 44.5% or 2011 at 40%). Given that I achieved a whole lot of other epic things that weren’t even on my radar when I made my list of goals, I’m still pretty satisfied with 2014!

And now I’m sure you know what’s coming next…

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2014 – Year in Review

Just had a look at last year’s “Year in Review” blog posting for inspiration for this year’s “Year in Review” blog posting and saw that I ended last year’s “Year in Review” blog posting with: “I feel like I need to start making some plans for something epic for 2014!” I had been commenting on how my 2013 was basically one amazing trip, but everything else was just lots of school1. Well, I didn’t actually plan a bunch of epic things for 2014, but they just sort of happened2.

I started the year off by completing my MBA, which had been my primary focus for the past two years. In fact, I got word that my final paper was accepted – meaning my MBA was 100% complete – on my birthday! That was a pretty spectacular birthday present and a great start to my year!

Then I got my kitties, the awesomest kitties to ever have kittied. They are cute, smart, funny, and very loving and they make me happy every day.

IMG_0744

 

Other epic occurrences included my MBA graduationbuying a condo, and getting an amazing new job. And then, as if all that epicness weren’t enough, in July I met an amazing new guy. Like 100% made of  awesome. You may have noticed him on such blog postings as this race and this race. And he makes me happy every day!

And while minor by comparison to the above, I also won a hockey championship (and came within one game of winning the summer season championship too!) and ran a total of 5 races3, including achieving my second best ever half marathon time in Hollywood and my personal best 10 km at the Rock’n’Roll Vancouver. I worked on a successful political campaign, improved my hockey game by taking lessons and started salsa lessons. I’ve also started on a top secret project with a friend of mine that I’m hoping with turn into something awesome, but that will be revealed in due course.

So, long story short, 2014 = best year ever… so far. I’m anticipating 2015 will be pretty epic too!

  1. And work, which I didn’t even mention, basically because it was just status quo. []
  2. Well, except for finishing my MBA. That was definitely planned. []
  3. Hollywood Half Marathon, BMO Vancouver Marathon’s 8 km race, the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon, the Night Race 10 km, and the Rock’n’Roll Vancouver10 km []

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Twelve Months of NTBTWK

As I’m doing a bunch of year-end type postings, I figured I’d do the “twelve months” one where you post the first line of the first blog posting of each month of the year (and the name of the month is a link to the full posting). But I like to post the first *two* lines of every posting, because it’s my blog and I’ll post the first two lines if I want to.

January 2014

As you know, I love setting goals. And what better time than New Year’s Day to do some goal setting!

February 2014

For the next week, I’m going to be curating the @PeopleofCanada Twitter account! From the @PeopleofCanada Tumblr blog:

About

A rotating crew of Canadians sharing their lives in with Canada and the world.

March 2014

So, I totally thought that I’d written a blog posting about this before, but apparently not. Sometimes I compose blog postings in my brain when I’m not in a position to write stuff down and then forget that I never actually wrote them down

April 2014

Hey, remember that time I played hockey for 10 days to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis? Well, yesterday when I picked up a copy of the Royal City Record (my local paper), I saw a familiar face from that game: Bill Markvoort.

May 2014

Today marked the first time since before my MBA program started that I *wasn’t* in class during the BMO Vancouver International Marathon. Since I just ran a half marathon less than a month ago, I didn’t think it was wise to run another half marathon so soon, and thus I registered for the 8 km race instead.

June 2014

Last Wednesday, I attended my fourth – and final – university convocation as a graduate1, receiving my hard earned MBA2. It’s hard to believe that just 28 months ago3, me and 50 other brave souls embarked on the intense and life changing journey that is the part-time MBA program at UBC.

July 2014

Hey, remember that time I bought a condo? That was pretty awesome and also stressful but mostly awesome.

August 2014

Apparently I’m really into theatre all of the sudden, as last night I saw Red Rock Diner at the Arts Club Granville Island Stage.

Here the trailer.

September 2014

Last week was a bittersweet one1. Sweet, because I started my awesome new job.

October 2014

Photos of my running shoes tend to be some of my most favourited photos on my Flickr account. So my all the running shoe aficionados, here are some photos of my newest pair of running shoes.

November 2014

So here I find myself on a plane heading to Toronto and I realize that I haven’t even mentioned a thing about my trip here on ye old blog! But now I’ve got 4+ hours on a plane and, sure, I have work I could be doing, but my brain is pretty fried from all the work I’ve been doing of late, so I figure I’ll write this blog posting now and leave the work for later, as there will be plenty more flights and sitting around in airports in the next week!

December 2014

My going away present from my coworkers at my old job was two tickets for a tour of three breweries – obviously, my former coworkers know me very well! The tour company,Vancouver Brewery Tours1 picks you up at Waterfront Station, takes you around to tour three different breweries – going behind the scenes to see all the cool equipment and learning about all the cool techniques of how they brew their beer – and then drops you back at Waterfront, so you can enjoy all the beery goodness – a flight at each brewery – in a responsible fashion.

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A Few of My Favourite Tweets, 2014 edition

It’s been a year since I last shared my favourite tweets here on ye ole blog, so I took some screen shots for you. It seems that more of my fav tweets were related to politics than in the past, which makes sense given that 2014 was a municipal election year, but there’s still quite a few funny ones in there. (These are in reverse chronological order, because Twitter). Enjoy!

Twitter Favs 2014 - 01

 

This reply by my friend Cath to the Prime Minister really made me laugh:

Twitter favs 2014 - 02

Twitter favs 2014 - 03

Twitter favs 2014 - 04

Twitter favs 2014 - 05

Twitter favs 2014 - 06

 

Marcy’s dress reminds me that I could always be crazy cat lady-er.

Twitter favs 2014 - 07

Twitter favs 2014 - 08

Twitter favs 2014 - 09

 

Yes, those are McDonald’s coupons on my fridge. I have a weakness for Egg McMuffins.

Twitter favs 2014 - 10

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Books I Read in 2014

Making this year’s list of books that I read was much easier than last year, since I started using GoodReads to track my reading1

Fiction books I finished in 2014:

  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card
  • Xenocide by Orson Scott Card
  • Children of the Mind by Orson Scott Card
  • The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh2
  • We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo3

Non-fiction books I finished in 2014:

  • The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall4
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot5
  • A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout6
  • Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Catalan7
  • Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi8
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Books I’m currently reading:

So I read 14 books this year with 5 more in progress – the exact same numbers as I had last year 11 – which surprises me, since I was still in school in 2013 and I figured that in 2014, with both not being in school and the addition of my Skytrain commute to work, during which I do a lot of reading, that I’d have read a lot more books this year. Perhaps I’ll make one of my 2015 goals to read even more books!

  1. If you know me and we aren’t yet friends on GR, feel free to friend me! []
  2. A book that I read with my book club. []
  3. Final book club selection of the year – for January 2015’s book club meeting, but I finished it a couple of weeks ago. []
  4. This was a Christmas gift from Sarah and Dave a few year’s ago, but which I didn’t get around to start reading until last December thanks to all that pesky school I was doing. Finished it early this year. []
  5. Another Christmas gift from Sarah & Dave. They know me well, as I loved both this and Born to Run. []
  6. Another book club selection, but this was a memoir rather than fiction, which all the other book club books have been. []
  7. Borrowed this one from Daniel. Totally fascinating! []
  8. This is an amazing book and everyone should read it. []
  9. I went to the book launch for this as Kalev is friends with the author, so I have a signed copy! []
  10. This book was funded by a Kickstarter – the first and only Kickstarter I’ve ever taken part in. []
  11. Though I suppose there are still a few more days in the year so I might complete some of those “in progress” books in 2014. []

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2013 – Year In Review

I feel like I can summarize my year with two statements1:

Honestly, I scrolled through my blog postings for the year, and other than the aforementioned, plus the stuff in my reviewing of my goals, there’s really nothing remarkable. I must have used up all my epic-ness on my vacation. And on this typo, which was the most epic typo in the history of typos.

I feel like I need to start making some plans for something epic for 2014!

  1. I suppose I should add a third one in there: had a break up. But I don’t like blogging about that, so I’m certainly not giving it its own bullet point. Moving on. []

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Reviewing My Goals for 2013

2013 Goals Achieved(y/n) Comments
Lose the 15 lbs that I gained since starting my MBA N I’ve lost ~7 lbs, so that’s something.
Pay off my car. Y I’m now completely debt-free!
Run a sub-2 hour half marathon. N I didn’t even come close, but I did manage to reverse my trend of doing worse on each half marathon by actually improving my time on the ones this year, so at least I’m heading in the right direction!
Do 2 half marathons. Y Edge-to-Edge in June and Fall Classic in November.
Run 600 km. Y Boo-yah!
Bike 500 km. N Epic fail
Do 1,300 pushups. Y 107%!
Go on a fabulous vacation! Y England, Ireland, France, and Monaco. I’d say it was pretty fabulous!
Make 10 meals that I’ve never made before. Y Deliciously complete!
Redesign my blog Yes-ish I didn’t redesign this blog, but I did redesign my other blog. When I set the goal, I was thinking of NTBTWK, but technically my other blog is still *my* blog. I’m going to give myself a 0.5 on this one.
Knock 13 items off my 101 list of things to do in 1001 days Y 14, actually
Make $113,000. N Considering that I had no plan whatsoever as to how to make this one happen, this is not surprising. I did the same as last year income-wise (day job, teaching gig, scholarship) and started getting royalties on my textbook (which ended up being more than I thought, but not enough to make it to this goal). Now that I’m done classes, perhaps I should start looking around for some freelance stuff in 2014.
Publish 213 blog postings Y Including this one, I have 4 to go, but I know what they all are going to be about, it’s just a matter of writing them out. Should be able to do that between now and when I have to get ready to go out for the night if I hurry1!

So that’s 8.5/13 or 65%, which is much better than last year’s 44.5% or 2011’s 40%. So I’m improving! Of course, the point of these goals is to do some planning, set some targets that will be challenging, and other things happen along the way. Like, say, finishing my MBA classes more than four months early. And I’m OK with that!

  1. And if I don’t get all four done, I’ll write something hurriedly on my iPhone while I’m Skytraining to tonight’s festivities to hit my target []

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Books I Read in 2013

Because of school, I didn’t get to do as much fun reading as I would like to have in 2013, but I did manage to read a few during my breaks (i.e., before classes started in January, over the summer, and this Christmas). For school, I did a lot more reading of journal articles than textbooks (which my bank account is very thankful for!), but for those classes that did have textbooks, we did tend to read almost the entire book.

Here’s the breakdown of what I read in 2013, as far as I can recall1

Fiction

  • The Passage by Justin Cronin
  • The Twelve by Justin Cronin
  • World War Z by Max Brooks2
  • Momo by Michael Ende
  • Jonathan Livingstone Seagull by Richard Bach
  • Bridge to Teribithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (in progress)

Non-Fiction – for school

  • Essentials of Negotiation by Lewicki, Barry, Saunders, & Tasa
  • The Leadership Moment by Michael Useem
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis: Concepts and Practice by Boardman, Greenberg, Vining, & Weimer
  • Business Ethics in Canada, 4th edition, edited by Deborah C. Poff

Non-Fiction – for fun

  • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
  • Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
  • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
  • The Myth of the Garage: And Other Minor Surprises by Chip and Dan Heath
  • Systems Concepts in Action by Willsions & Hummelbrunner (in progress)
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (in progress)
  • Born to Run by (in progress)
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson (in progress)

So that’s 14 books read completely, with another 5 in progress. Not bad for a year where I was in school in addition to working!

  1. I wasn’t tracking my reading, so I’m probably forgetting some. Will be able to do a better job of reporting on my 2014 reading as I’m going to track everything on Good Reads! []
  2. I might have actually read this at end of 2012 – I can’t quite remember. []

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Twelve Months of NTBTWK

While looking for old blog postings to link to on some of the postings I’ve been writing, I came across this meme that I did in 2010 and it seemed like a good time to do it again.

The idea is to post the first line of the first blog posting of each month of the year (and the name of each month is a link to the full posting). But I posting the first *two* lines of every posting, because that’s just the way I roll.

January

Tonight marks the end of my holidays – for tomorrow I head back to work. My clothes for work tomorrow are selected and hang waiting for me to put them on in the morning.

February

How, exactly, is it February? It seems like just yesterday I was finishing up my lovely restful Christmas holidays and *poof* it’s February!

March

Note: I wrote this posting on March 11 and totally thought I’d posted it (and I was wondering why no one had commented on it), but I just discovered it in my drafts, so apparently I had saved it rather than posting it.

Things have not been going well in the tank.

April

So the fine people over at Farm to Fork are in need of your help. Farm to Fork, for the uninitiated:

… began with a simple question: in a culture that wastes nearly 40% of all food produced, how do we connect the people who have fresh food to give to those who need it most?

May

I’ve long been absentminded, but I can now add “Professor” on to that, for, as you will already know if you are linked in to me on Linked In, I have a shiny new title to add to my resume: Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health Science at Simon Fraser University.

Adjunct Professor, unlike the regular kind, is a title that signifies that one is associated with the university through their professional work.

June

Because I am crazy, I decided to sign up for a half marathon that occurs on the only weekend I have off in a month1! Yet despite the fact that I am robbing myself of my only chance to sleep in for 32 days, I’m still pretty excited about a weekend trip to Tofino – which is beautiful.

July

Don’t you just love when a holiday falls on a Monday? And don’t you extra super duper love it when it falls on a Monday and the entire long weekend has been super hot and sunny?

August

Apparently my blog was down for a bit – I think leprechauns got in the tubes and messed thing up, but thankfully, unlike me, Kalev, the Tsar of the Geekery and Overseer of Deb0rking is not on vacation from overseeing the necessary deb0rking and my blog was returned to its fully functioning form, just in time for me to write a quick blog posting from Ireland!

I’m taking most of my photos on my real camera (as opposed to on my iPhone or iPad), so won’t be able to show you them here until I get home, as I didn’t bring my laptop and have no way of getting them off the SD card.

September

This is the first of a bunch of blog postings that I’ve been putting together from my trip. Rather than going through chronologically, as I’ve already done a quick chronology of the trip, I’ve done these more detailed postings by themes.

October

So it’s that time of year again – National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), the month in which bloggers blog every. single. day. I was seriously considering skipping NaBloPoMo this year, because omg so busy, but then I thought “how many years have I done NaBloPoMo?” and it turns out the answer is the last FIVE YEARS.

November

Yesterday I totally wrote and posted a blog posting about how I’m going to do National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) again this year, for the sixth year running. It was a fairly reasonable sized post and I put the NaBloPoMo badge into it and everything.

December

So I posted for 29 of 30 days in National Blog Posting Month (missing the full completion only because of a technical glitch)… and then disappeared for a week. Typical.