Not To Be Trusted With Knives











So, I had a big fit at the cell phone company today. I tried to activate my phone and they informed me that I can’t have my good deal on the Treo I bought unless I get a dataplan along with the cell phone plan. Which is funny, because I bought the Treo for the sale price and was not sold a dataplan. And the guy on the phone was like “Well, you can just buy out the phone at the regular price.” And I was like “no way in hell! I only got this because the sale price was so good!” And he was like “we have to recover the cost of how much you saved by making you have the dataplan.” “So why did you guys sell me the Treo with only a cell phone plan if I’m not allowed to have it? And why should I pay for your mistake?” This conversation went around circles for a while and so I finally demanded to talk to a manager. Who will apparently call me back within 24 hours. Apparently this is a technique they use that is supposed to be a “cooling off” period so that I don’t talk to a manager while I’m in the middle of a freak out. Little do they know that making me wait a whole day is only making me more and more pissed off! Hell hath no fury like a Beth who thought she had a cell phone and then didn’t. Gah!

In happier news, we had a softball game today! It’s fun to play a team sport where people are not too super competitive, where they are more interested in having fun and supporting each other than in winning. We cheer for each other even when we get thrown out at first, or drop a ball or whatever. It’s just for fun. Another case in point – we walked off the field with only two outs, because we totally thought we had three. The other team let us get away with it, they just laughed it off. Granted, they were slaughtering us at the time, so it really didn’t matter.

Also, a few quotations from today’s game:

  • “Being drunk is a kind of winning.”
  • “We lost 20-3.” “Oh, we’re improving!”
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I joined a softball team. It’s mostly people from Shalu’s fiance’s work – he’s a computer guy, so most of the team are also computer guys. Being a team of computer guys, they had some difficulty finding girls at their work to join the team – thus, Shalu and I were recruited. We were told that the team was called “The 13th Step,” we had me totally befuddled when I read it the email… on the way to our first practice tonight, Shalu and I were discussing what this could possibly mean – we were sure that it had to be some computer term with which we aren’t familiar. When we remembered, part way through practice, to ask about it, it turns out we couldn’t have been further from the truth…. apparently, the “13th Step” is a reference to 12-Step Programs… where the 13th step is relapse. Which I suppose is appropriate for a beer league!

When I got home from practice, my Treo was here waiting for me! Unfortunately, my service provider figures that no one ever needs to activate a phone after 9 pm at night, so I can’t get service until 10 am tomorrow when their phone answering people get back to work! They also figured that I didn’t need a working CD to install the Palm OS to my laptop. They sent me a CD alright, just not one that can be recognized by a computer. And you can’t download the most recently version of Palm OS from their website either – they only have an old version. Boo!! I have my new toy and I don’t get to play with it!

Anyhoo, I will activate my phone tomorrow and I will send out my new phone number to those people who I deem worthy of having my phone number. And the first person to call me on my cell phone and say “13th Step rocks!” will win BTNaNN points. You know you want it to be you!



{May 29, 2007}   I <3 the Giants!

A (belated) shout out to the Vancouver Giants, Memorial Cup Champions 2007!


Let us savour the sweet, sweet victory over the Medicine Hat Tigers. From Medicine Hat, Alberta. And you know how I feel about Alberta.

This season was the first one where I really took much interest in the Giants. Remember the time I went to a Giants game and got to see 5 simultaneous fights? Or the time I went to the game and saw them play a team that was named after me? Or the time that the Seattle Thunderbirds backup goalie smiled at me*? Yes, we certainly had some good times this season. Congrats boys! I’m looking forward to cheering you on again next season!

*upon searching my blog for a link to this, I discovered that I did not, in fact, blog about the time that the Seattle Thunderbirds’s backup goalied smiled at me. But rest assured, it is true. He had a mohawk and, I believe he is 20 years old. Which substantiates my claim that
this team was named after me.



Guess who is *finally* getting a cell phone?

And not even just a cell phone. I’m getting a Palm Treo 700p Smartphone. My current Palm Pilot is totally on the fritz (for example, it won’t recognize the correct date – for some reason it seems to think that every day is May 8… which makes it rather useless for alerting me to when things are happening), so I decided that rather than getting a new Palm and a cell phone, I’d get one gadget for both purposes. I was able to get a really good deal on it by signing up for a 3-year plan… and since my plan is to stick around Vancouver, I figure that that’s OK.

I was able to get a sweet, sweet deal on my cell phone plan by virtue of where I work. Interestingly, though, I didn’t have to prove that I work where I said I worked – I just said, “I work for X and I want to get on the corporate plan” and it was done. I recommend that anyone looking for a new cell phone provider should find out which employer has the best corporate plan and then just claim to work there.

With the aforementioned sweet, sweet cell phone plan, I’m actually going to be paying less than the cost of a landline. When Dani and I were splitting the cost of the landline, it was fine, but now that I’m paying the whole thing on my own, it’s cheaper for me to have the cell phone*. Which also has voicemail, so when you call me you won’t get my antiquated answering machine with the weird voice than neither Dani nor I knew how to program.

So, to everyone who has lamented my lack of cell phonery (whether those of you who have tried, repeatedly, to text my landline and those of you who have stressed over trying to meet up with me somewhere since not only was I phoneless, but all the payphones in the city have disappeared so I couldn’t even call you on your cell phone) – rejoice!

*I’ll be using Skype for long distance. Which reminds me – everyone who is not in my local calling area – get Skype already!



I’m spending my “day off” volunteering at a science competition for grade 6-8 students. Just on a break between the quiz show and lunch right now, so I thought I’d fire off a quick blog posting. Sitting with a group of grad students during the quiz show and watching the competition was like a real life version of that show that was on TV a little while ago* “are you smarter than a 5th grader?” Except it was 6th-8th graders. And the answer is “no”. In fairness, the kids had been studying a book on science from which the questions were taken, and we had not. Yes, I am justifying why the kids knew more about math than I do.

Had you been sitting in that lecture hall at my table, you would have heard things like this:

Question: A question from the physics and astronomy section. Name the three components of the exterior of a space ship.

Grad Students**: Um… windows… doors…. and… and… um…. fire coming out the bottom?


Question: This is from the math category. What is 7 + 14 medulo 5.

Grad Students: [looks of stunned incomprehension] Medulo? wtf???***


Question: A physics and astronomy question. Why do the icy comets live in the outer part of the solar system, while the rocky ones are in the interior?

Grad Student #1: oooh ooh! Because it’s colder! YES! We are so smart!

Grad student #2: I protest that question. Comets aren’t alive.

Grad student #3: Who are you to say that? Are you an comet? Comets might have feelings!

Grad student #2: Do they reproduce? Do they metabolize? Do they??

Grad student #4: This is why we don’t invited to the cool parties.


*I didn’t actually see the show, as I don’t have cable, but I seemed to be all over the media at the time.

**I’m counting myself as one of the grad students here, even though I’m not really a grad student anymore. I have trouble letting go.

***After the competition, we asked one of the kids if we could see her science book to find out what a medulo was. Even after reading it,w e still didn’t understand!



{May 24, 2007}   Things That Bite

I’ve always thought that sharks were super cool. Today I saw a news story that made me like them even more.

This got me thinking about how, generally speaking, I like things that bite.

Sharks. Snakes. Vampires. Zombies.

But interestingly, not spiders. Especially not the black widows that live in my shed. Ick. I saw one the other day, sitting above the door to the shed when I went to put Danielle’s bike, which I had borrowed, back in the shed. Needless to say, I have a little meltdown and Dani put the bike away for me.

And now, for no particular reason – an alphabetized list.

Movies I Like That Feature Things That Bite:



Sometimes I have stuff I want to post, I jot down the idea in a draft posting and then, for some reason or another, I don’t get around to posting it. Sometimes it’s just a quick snippet and I figure I’ll have something to add to it at a later date. Sometimes it turns out to be an idea that just doesn’t work, and it ends up deleted. The following two snippets were from conversations back in March when Sarah was visiting Vancouver that I guess I just got too busy having fun with Sarah to actually complete a post on. I came across them today as I was cleaning out my old, unposted draft items and they made me laugh, so I thought I’d share them:

Sarah: Do you know what the first state in the union was?
Me: Nope.
Sarah: It was Delaware. Do you know how I know that?*
Me: Because you know everything.


Etienne: But my English is terrible!
Everyone Else at Dinner: Are you kidding? Your English is great!!
Etienne: Sometimes I have thoughts in French and I just can’t articulate them in English.
Me: That happens to me all the time. But I don’t speak any other languages.

*I can’t remember now what her reason why was she knew that. But anyone who knows Sarah will know that she really does know everything.



{May 23, 2007}   What the F is That?

I’ve decided to start an irregular* feature here on “Blog That Needs a New Name” – a feature called: What the F is That?

In this feature, I will put up a photo and the first person to correctly identify what the f is in the photo will win valuable BTNaNN points**.

OK, are you ready? Here’s the first entry. Who can tell me what the f this is:

<img src=”http://farm1.static.flickr.com/200/505148556_a2c42f2278.jpg” alt=”Align Center

And it is so not what you are thinking it is.

Any guesses?

*irregular in that it will not be a daily, or weekly, or monthly feature, but rather will show up based completely on my whims, the availability of weird photos and/or my lack of other ideas of things to blog about.

**those in possession of Thesis Writing is Hell (or Thesis Writing was Hell) points can transfer them to BTNaNN points upon request



When I was a kid, my sister had a Lite Brite, which provided us with hours and hours of endless fun. And now, thanks to the magic powers on the internets, I can have such fun again at this Lite-Brite website.

Of course, 99 times out of 100, this is what I’d do with Lite Brite:


I think I may have an ego problem.



{May 21, 2007}  

I think this site speaks for itself.



{May 20, 2007}   Identity

Since I’m now sure I’ll be staying in Vancouver, what with the having of the job and an apartment and other such necessities, I decided it’s time to actually get settled down a bit. In addition to unpacking my stuff, I’ve actually found myself a family doc who was willing to take a new patient*, found the eye doctor that I used to go to and really like (who had moved offices and the optometrists she used to work with weren’t too forthcoming with where she had moved to… but I found her new office, which turns out to be way close to where I live), so I made an appointment with her, and found myself a dentist**. Since I only work four days a week, I have Fridays off to run around and do such things as going to appointments. And that’s what I spent yesterday doing.

At the doctor’s office, I was just having an initial “meet & greet”***, where I got to meet the doctor and she took my history, height, weight, blood pressure and such. And I would like to tell the internets that my blood pressure is:

90/50

For reference, “normal” is 120/80. So mine is lower than “normal”, which is a good thing. When I first found that I had low blood pressure (mine has been like this for years), I tried to find out if there was a clinical cut off for blood pressure that is “too low”****, but from what I could find, as long as you aren’t fainting, you are probably OK.

In the afternoon, I went to the optometrist. Apparently my eyes are very healthy for someone who is pretty much blind. She put the drops in to test for glaucoma and the drops that dilate your pupils… she took some pics of my retina and showed them to me (retinas look pretty cool, FYI). I talked to her a bit about laser eye surgery – she recommended the surgeons who did her laser eye surgery and I think that when (not if, but when*****) I get it done, I’ll go with those guys. I think that if my optometrist goes to them herself, that’s probably a good sign.

Here’s a pic I took later on, because I thought my eyes just looked so freaking creepy:

eye

The other thing of note from this appointment (and the thing that prompted this blog posting’s title) was, since it was the first time I’d been to this office, they took all my info… name, address, phone number, family doctor’s name, occupation. Occupation. What is it that I do, exactly? I had run into the same issue at the doctor’s appointment earlier. How do I explain what I do in less than 1000 words? I started to explain it, but then changed course… “Oh, it’s hard to explain… just put down “scientist”.” The optometrist happened to be walking by the reception desk at the time and thought this was quite funny. Then I felt the need to justify myself, “Well, I am a scientist…. I just, don’t exactly do science right now.”

I don’t do science right now. I don’t do science anymore. I’ve been identifying myself as a scientist for many, many years now and it just sort of hit me that I’m not a practising scientist anymore. That’s going to take some getting used to.

On the plus side, when the receptionist inquired, “Ms? Miss? Mrs?” I got to say “Dr.” This seemed to fluster her a bit: “Oh, I’m so sorry!” It’s amazing to me the level of respect that is automatically afforded to you the moment you inform someone that you are “Dr.” It seems rather silly to me, but I totally take advantage of it any chance I can get.

*which is no easy accomplishment in Vancouver, let me tell you!

**gee, let’s guess who now has medical and dental coverage?

***that’s what the receptionist called it.

****the cut off for high blood pressure (hypertension) is above 140/80, although I believe there has been some debate about that recently.

*****the “when,” of course, being related to whenI can find a way to make a few thousand dollars to cover the cost.



This delightful piece of spam somehow escaped my spam filter and ended up in my inbox. I usually just ignore things like this, that are obviously spam, but for some reason I read this one and couldn’t help but laugh:

Dear Sir/Madam,

RBC Financial Group always looks forward for the high security of our clients. Some customers have been receiving an email claiming to be from RBC Financial Group advising them to follow a link to what appear to be a RBC Financial Group web site, where they are prompted to enter their personal Online Banking details. RBC Financial Group is in no way involved with this email and the web site does not belong to us.

RBC Financial Group is proud to announce about their new updated secure system. We updated our new SSL servers to give our customers a better, fast and secure online banking service.

Due to the recent update of the servers, you are requested to please update your account info at the following link.

https://www1.royalbank.com/english/netaction/sgne.html

RBC Financial Group
Security Advisor
RBC Financial Group

The spammers have now taken to trashing spammers in their spam. And you just know some people get this email and thought, “Ya, it’s about time the bank warned us about spammers trying to get us to go to false websites where they steal our banking info! Now I’m going to click on this link and type in all my banking info! That’ll show you, spammers!”

For the record, that’s not actually a link there… I took out the link and just made it blue & underlined… those spammers will be getting no link love from the likes of me!



{May 18, 2007}  

Did we really need someone to do a study to tell us this?



{May 18, 2007}  

Me: My hair isn’t working today. It keeps doing this flipping out thing.

Dani: That’s OK. Some people try to make their hair do that on purpose.

Me: Really?

Dani: Yes. In the 80s.

Me: đŸ˜¦

Dani: It’s ok. Sometimes styles come back. You never know.

Me: Hmm… I hope leg warmers come back. They were so cool.

Disclaimer: For the record, I would like to point out that the last line was said with much sarcasm.



I came home on Sunday and Dani was in the middle of packing. She’s almost done her summer course and will be returning home to work for the summer before heading out to her internship in the fall. I’d been trying to avoid the fact that my roomie will be leaving me soon, but it’s hard to ignore that when the boxes are stacked up and the cupboards that were formerly stuffed are bare. I’ve started to unpack my own things (predominantly kitchen things which I couldn’t bear to part with during the Purge of ’06), which I had left packed up since I moved in here, as we’ve been using all of Dani’s kitchen things and there really was no need to use two toasters/kettles/sets of cutlery/etc. at a time. It’s been fun finding some of the things that I forgot I even owned, but it’s got an overtone of saddness, because it’s another reminder that Dani’s leaving**.

I went into the bathroom the other day and saw a lineup of vitamin supplements. Dani always puts her vitamin supplements out on the counter for the week. When I looked at them, it hit me that those supplements represent the few days left before she leaves. And that made me sad.

All I can do now is enjoy the last few days we have. We are going out for dinner tomorrow and on Tuesday, her last day here a bunch of us are going to go out to some as of yet undetermined location for drinks and chilling. And possibly crying. Boo.

*with my apologies to the Crash Test Dummies.

**it also doesn’t help that some of the things remind me of my past life, which I’ve been doing a good job of relegating to its proper place (i.e., the past)



et cetera