Not To Be Trusted With Knives

Saw this in Shopper’s Drug Mart earlier today:

I don’t know about your father, but I don’t think blush would suit my dad.

{May 30, 2008}  

I was saddened to read that Canuck defenceman Luc Bourdon died in a motorcycle accident yesterday. He was just 21.

I remember being quite excited when we drafted him (10th overall) three years ago, because he was quite a talented hockey player. My condolences to his family and friends.

People from all around the world have been sending donations to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in his name, many for $28 or $28.28 to honour his jersey number (28) and the person who won his jersey at the “Jerseys Off Our Backs” event (where people win the jerseys that each of the Canucks were wearing during the last game of the season) contacted the Canucks to give Bourdon’s last jersey back to his family, which I think is a very generous and thoughtful thing to do. (

My sister warned me. “Don’t go see it! Just don’t!” she told me. I usually try to avoid spoilers before I go to a movie, but I had noticed a few Tweets and G-Talk statuses expressing that pretty much everyone hated this movie.  But I just had to see it for myself. And so tonight Kalev¹ and I went to see the new Indiana Jones movie. Ugh. Just… ugh.

The movie did have one redeeming quality: despite all the cobwebs and the movie being set in Peru, there was not a single spider in the movie. So at least that’s something.

¹And being that tomorrow is Kalev’s birthday, I have to say that taking K to this movie was the WORST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!

{May 26, 2008}   She Scores!

Last night we finally won a game in spring league hockey and guess who scored the game winning goal? Go ahead, guess. No really, guess.

If you guessed “Dr. Beth”, give yourself a gold star! We won 8-0 and the first goal was scored in my patented picking-up-the-garbage-off-a-rebound style. We’ve started calling the act of going to the net to wait for the rebound “being in the doctor’s office.”¹

Also scored this weekend were Madonna tickets! Props to my friend Rachel for getting us tix to Madonna’s Oct 30 concert in Vancouver! Yay!

¹And I just checked the league website to see if they counted my goal and it appears that they credited me not only with my own goal, but also with a goal that someone else scored. Because I don’t remember scoring a goal at 15:47 of the 2nd period, but the website says I did. Now I feel kinda bad because someone isn’t getting credited for their goal!

Today’s installment of my prime ministerial series was generously written by guest blog writer and our resident Canadian historian here on Not To Be Trusted With Knives, Sarah. Which explains why, unlike the ones I write, this posting contains more than just a rip-off of the Wikipedia entry. Thanks, Sar!

John George DiefenbakerCommons.jpg

13th Prime Minister of Canada

Born: September 18, 1895 in Neustadt, ON

Died: August 16, 1979 in Ottawa, ON (buried in SK)

In office: June 21, 1957 to April 22, 1963

Nicknames: “The Chief”, “Dief”, “The Prairie Populist”

The Essential Dief

Previous Occupation: Criminal Defense Lawyer

Federal Ridings: Lake Centre, SK (riding abolished in 1953) and Prince Albert, SK

Best Known For: Bombastic speeches (which MP Eugene Forsey likened to “loud detonations in a dense fog”); enormous jowls

Famous Quotes:

“I’ll have my place in history.”

My baby cows will soon know how to shit.” – delivered in French, while attempting to say “I hope my wishes will be well-received.”

Most Famous Quote:

“Canadians have an appointment with Destiny!” – said with great fanfare to cheering throngs. “What did it mean? No one knew, but it didn’t matter. It was Destiny! And we had an appointment!” – Will Ferguson.

Early Political Record, by the Numbers

Local politics

  • 1 win – alderman, 1920

  • 2 losses – alderman re-election, 1923; mayor of Prince Albert, 1933

Provincial Politics

  • 0 wins (though became leader of SK Conservatives in 1936)

  • 3 losses -1929, 1933 and 1938 as leader, where the Conservatives lost every single seat

Federal Politics

  • 1 win (finally, in 1940)

  • 2 losses (1925, 1926)

Overall Record over 20 years: 2-6, .250

Attempts to assume leadership roles with federal Conservatives

  • 1942, party leader – Loss

  • 1943, house leader – Loss

  • 1948, party leader – Loss

  • 1953, house leader – Loss

  • 1956, party leader – WIN

  • 1957 federal election – SURPRISE WIN (due to general displeasure at long-standing Liberal rule)

  • 1958 federal election – Largest majority in history (only surpassed by Brian Mulroney in 1984)

After 47 years in the wilderness, Dief had arrived. However, as Peter C. Newman wrote: “[He] came to the toughest job in the country without having worked for anyone but himself, without ever having hired or fired anyone, and without ever having administered anything more complicated than a walk-up law office.”

Prime Ministerial Career Highlights

  • Extended right to vote to First Nations (then known as “Status Indians”)

  • Appointed first francophone Governor General: Georges Vanier

  • Repealed discriminatory immigration barriers put in place by Mackenzie-King and maintained by St. Laurent

Prime Ministerial Career Lowlights

  • “15 % Promise” to Great Britain

Basking in the rosy glow of his first Commonwealth leaders’ meeting, Diefenbaker decreed, without consulting his advisors or his Cabinet, that Canada would divert 15% of its total trade to the UK. This 15%, apparently chosen on a whim, represented $625 million a year, and stood in direct violation of the 1947 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Even his supporters were aghast, and insisted he back down. To salvage something, the UK proposed a Free Trade Agreement. Diefenbaker’s Cabinet strongly recommended against it as well, and the 15% figure never came up again. Relations between the UK and Canada were strained for years.

  • Canadian “Bill of Rights”

Viewed by Diefenbaker as his crowing achievement, this bill was introduced in 1960. Though a noble idea, the bill was an ordinary federal statute (and not part of the yet-to-be-patriated Canadian Constitution), and was unenforceable in provincial courts. As one provincial official quipped: “It’s great, unless you live in one of the provinces.”

  • Canceling the Avro Arrow Project

The Avro Arrow, a super-sonic, Canadian-made fighter plane, was designed by A.V. Roe Canada of Malton, ON. Magnificent and expensive, it was intended to protect Canada from Soviet Missile attacks via the Arctic. Cancelled on Friday, February 20th, 1959 (“Black Friday” in the Canadian aviation industry), it led to a mass exodus of Canadian engineering ingenuity and signaled the end of home-grown military development.

  • Bomarc Missile Debacle (as per Will Ferguson in Bastards and Boneheads)

“[Diefenbaker] accepted nuclear weapons onto Canadian soil by accident. Having cancelled the Avro Arrow, Diefenbaker purchased American Bomarc surface-to-air missiles in its stead, without realizing that (a) Bomarcs were designed to carry nuclear warheads, and (b) he had vowed to keep Canada a nuclear-free zone. Once these simple facts were pointed out to him, Diefenbaker frantically tried to come up with a solution. He ended up stuffing the Bomarcs with sandbags of ballast, making them the world’s most expensive blanks: $685 million worth of duds. His defense minister quit in disgust, and in the ensuing election, Diefenbaker was defeated.”

Links: (most unflattering photo ever)

Image credit: From from the Library and Archives Canada, copyright is expired.  I could only seem to find copyright free photos of young Dief, so be sure to check out the “most unflattering photo ever” in the link above).

{May 23, 2008}   She Has A Name!

It’s just a week shy of her 1st birthday and I’ve finally given her a name.  I hadn’t thought about her lack of name in a while, but yesterday morning as I left for work, the perfect name just hit me, right out of the blue!

She’s full of useful information and constantly gives me reminders of things I should be doing.  And so I have decided to name my Palm Treo Smartphone: Hermione.

{May 22, 2008}   Best. Graduation Card. Ever

Click here.

Oh well, it’s better than the times I accidentally stabbed myself in the finger with hypodermic needles in the lab.

{May 22, 2008}  

As if it isn’t bad enough that I can’t eat delicious, delicious Mini-Wheats due to their gelatin-containing (and my gelatin non-eating)  ways, now they are tempting me with a free Indiana Jones “Adventure Spoon”.

And I could really use an “Adventure Spoon” to liven up my breakfast, what with the no Mini-Wheats in my bowl.

OMG, I just ordered the *coolest* new shirt. I can’t wait for all y’all to see it.

Well, in truth, I *have* to wait. 11- 21 days, to be specific¹.

But I’m sharing this info with you so that now you, too, can be thrilled with the anticipation of my new shirt. I promise that photos of said shirt will be produced here on NTBTWK. And in much better time than the last time I bought a cool new shirt.

¹Damn you, international shipping!

{May 19, 2008}   Hello Aloe, My Old Friend

I may not have brought home the gold from hockey provincials, but I did bring home a lovely sunburn. Which, I suppose, is to be expected when one sits poolside from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in 30+ degree weather and has subpar sunscreen applying skills. You can actually see finger marks where I managed to apply sunscreen and burnt flesh where I didn’t. I’m awesome.

{May 18, 2008}  

Wrote this last night, but then the crappy hotel wifi wigged out, so I couldn’t post it. So here it is now:

Hey y’all.

Just wanted to let ya know that I have not, in fact, died. I’ve just been in Kelowna. As you may recall, my hockey team qualified for provincials in Kelowna. So, ya, that’s where I am. And, despite the fact that our team name is the “Blazing Blades,” we are listed on the schedule as the “Blazing Bisons.” ‘Cuz that makes sense.

Why do we always go to places with 30+ degree weather to play hockey? ‘Cuz that’s the way we roll.

I’d love to tell you the scores of our games so far but you know what they say, “What happens in Kelowna, stays in Kelowna.” (I’m sure someone says that.) Suffice it to say, we’ve come in second in both our games.

Other highlights of the trip so far include:

  • a $10 block of 3 -year-old cheese
  • a very long cucumber
  • conversations about gay porn

{May 15, 2008}   Good luck, Raul!

It’s a big day for very soon-to-be-Dr. Raul of Hummingbird604 fame.  Good luck on your defence, Raul!

{May 14, 2008}   Update from the Mountain

SFU campus is…. confusing. But wifi works great¹!

¹Knock on wood.

  • Busy-ness necessitates point form notes, incomplete sentences.
  • Busy writing grant, planning year-end extravaganza for my program, various other tasks
  • Next two days = conference at SFU
  • Presenting at said conference tomorrow – presentation ready?  Hells no.
  • Friday = heading to Kelowna for the long weekend for hockey provincials
  • Purchased hockey bag with wheels yesterday = w00t!
  • Starting tomorrow, supposed to be sunny and 1,000,000,000 degrees outside; right now = pouring rain
  • Gotta run to catch a bus now – SFU = a land far, far away

et cetera