Not To Be Trusted With Knives

As you may be aware, I went to Madonna’s concert at BC Place last night.  After much discussion about what to wear, my friends and I had decided that wigs are the new black – we would wear jeans, nice shoes, nice tops and wigs.  Really, I just like any excuse to wear a wig.

We started the evening with drinks and appies at Rachel’s, where her dad, who is visiting from Ottawa, was chef, bartender and incorrigible flirt.  Here we are in our awesome wigs, our sparkly eyeliner and our dancing shoes1.

Gwen, Rachel, Beth & Donna getting ready to go see Madonna!

Gwen, Rachel, Beth & Donna getting ready to go see Madonna!

The astute reader may recognize my shirt – it was the top from my Halloween costume from last year.  Because, you know, when you spend a whopping $11.99 on a costume, you want to make sure you get some good mileage out of it.  I’d had to sew up a small rip in the seam on the right side, and put in some reinforcements where the plastic rib of the top was poking through, but I figured that this use of my mad sewing skillz was well worth the effort.

Once we were all glammed up, we headed out to the concert. Which, apparently, was at BC Place.  I totally thought it was at GM Place2. And then, just to confuse things even more, Donna directed our driver, a friend of hers who generously drove us because every cab in the entire city was booked, to Canada Place, which she believed was BC Place.  Note to the City of Vancouver: you need more creative names for venues.

Anyhoo, we made it to the concert with plenty of time to spare, helped along by the fact that Madge was about a half an hour late starting and not, as we heard on the radio on the way there, starting half an hour early.  We got plenty of compliments on our hot wigs.  And, frankly, I was surprised there weren’t more people dressed up.  For sure there were some cool outfits – people dressed as 80s Madonna in particular – but most people were wearing what they’d wear to head out to, say, Starbucks.

As for the concert itself, our consensus was that it was good, but not great.  It probably would have been great for anyone who had floor seats, but up in the nose bleeds, not quite so much.  This was our view:

So when Madonna finally came on stage, she looked like she was about a millimetre tall. Even with binoculars, she was maybe 2 cm tall.  And the big screens they had to be able to see the show in the cheap seats weren’t really all that big – you could see what was happening, but the screens should have been about three times the size that they were.  I also wasn’t overly impressed with the choreography – the dancing seemed really repetitive and there was an inordinate amount of time where Madonna looked like she was using a thighmaster, just without the thighmaster.

All of this, of course, did not prevent us from dancing and singing along for the whole two hours.

To add to the excitement, before the show even started, I had a bit of a wardrobe malfunction.  As I was sitting there, not doing anything at all, the seam on the left side of my top split completely open.  And I mean *completely*:

I guess sewing up the slight tear on the right side was sort of like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.  Who knew a cheap ass costume would self-destruct on the 3rd wearing?

1Dancing shoes not shown.
2As did a co-worker of mine who also went to the show.


{October 30, 2008}   Madonna

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I’m so excited about tonight’s concert that I’m even willing to overlook the glaring (and repeated) grammatical error in Superpop.

{October 29, 2008}   True or False

I was named after this song:

Geek neophyte question: Does anyone know how to make that poll centred?  Right now I have <p style=”text-align:center;”>POLL CODE</p>, which is how I have the YouTube video centred, but it doesn’t appear to actually make the poll centred =(

Update: Via Twitter, Raincoaster suggested trying <div style=”text-align:center;”>. This works in Internet Explorer, but the poll remains uncentred in Firefox and Sarafi.  Weird.  But thanks to Raincoaster for getting me part of the way there!

{October 28, 2008}   Resident Expert

I seem to get a lot of requests for advice.  And on a lot of different topics.  Often things I know little to nothing about.  Things I’ve been asked for my “expert” advice on in the last week alone include:

  • statistical analysis
  • relationships
  • grammar
  • copyright law
  • directions
  • fashion
  • PowerPoint
  • Photoshop
  • website design costs
  • authorship
  • hockey equipment
  • spas

I’ve managed to diagnose the cause of two different people’s nausea (iron overdose in both cases) and provided expert opinion on weight loss strategies (No, that supplement won’t make you lose weight. And, no, neither will caffeine.  Have you considered exercise and looking at what you eat?  Also, you totally don’t need to lose weight).

And all of this doesn’t even include either of my actual jobs, both of which involving teaching things to people and advising them about things on which I’m actually an expert.

Lest I get an oversized ego re: my brilliance, I have to share this story with you.  Ihad an IM chat with one of the people asking me for advice and it took me a full NINE minutes1 before I realized I wasn’t talking to the person I thought I was talking to.  My friend Theresa (with an “a”) IM’d me on Google Talk to ask some questions about a budget for a grant she was writing. And I fully thought I was talking to my friend Therese (with an “e”). Theresa lives in Vancouver. Therese lives in Toronto. In my defense, the picture in Google Talk was a full body shot, so all I could see that it was a person with long dark hair, which could just as easily have been a picture of Therese.  And the questions that Theresa was asking were completely things that Therese could feasibly have been asking.

Anyway. This post appears to have no actual point2.  But I just felt the need to share. So, um, yeah.  Got any questions on which I’m not an expert that I can answer for ya?

1I have the IM chat transcript, so I know that it was actually NINE minutes before I clued in.
2I say that like my posts usually have points.

Good news for the federal Liberals – Ujjal Dosanjh1 retained his Vancouver South riding, which he has held since June 2004, following a recount. A former Premier of BC, Donsanjh won his federal riding in this month’s election by a mere 33 votes, prompting a recount. After the dust settled, he still won but with a vote margin of only 22 votes!

Donsanjh retaining his seat makes me happy for a few reasons (1) if he’d lost the recount, the seat would have gone to the Conservative* (and you know how I feel about the Conservatives*), (2) had the Conservative* won the recount, this would have given an urban Vancouver seat to them (and one of the small consolations of this election had been that the Conservatives were yet again shut out the 3 major cities), and (3) I like Ujjal2.

I also noticed in the CBC article about the recount that Donsanjh has “not ruled out a run for the party leadership.”  And as I read that, it kind of hit me – we’ve never had a Prime Minister who wasn’t white. I mean, you hear so much about the issues of race and gender in the US presidential election (what with the US being on the verge of electing a black president who beat out a women for the Democratic nomination). But what about us? Aren’t we supposed to be this great multicultural country? We’ve had one token female Prime Minister – who wasn’t elected as such but became PM very briefly when the rat left the sinking shipBrain Mulroney resigned and Campbell won the Tory party leadership. And we’ve NEVER HAD A PRIME MINISTER WHO WASN’T WHITE. In this election, there wasn’t a single party Leader who wasn’t white3. Same goes for last election – all white party leaders. What is up with that Canada?

It made me wonder if we’ve *ever* had a federal party leader – like one with a real shot of becoming the PM – who wasn’t white. I couldn’t think of anyone off hand. I even consulted with my Resident Historian, Sarah – and she didn’t know of any either, at least in recent history.  Does anyone out there know of any?  And if not, why not?  What gives, Canada?

1I don’t think he has enough Js in his name.
2At least what I know of him. I’m hesitant to say I really *like* a politician for fear that they will just let me down later (John Edwards, I’m looking in your direction.)
3I’m talking about the five big parties here. I suppose it’s possible that the leaders of the Marxist-Leninist Party or (formerly the Rhinoceros Party) weren’t white, but I’m only talking about people with even a remote chance of becoming a PM.

Photo credit: Photo by Roland Tanglao, posted on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

Now we enter the era of Premiers whose names I recognize because they have Vancouver Streets named after them. At least, I assume Smithe St. is named after this guy.

Name William Smithe
Born: June 30, 1842 in Matfen, England
Died: March 28, 1887 in Victoria, British Columbia (he only lived to be 44 years old!)
Party: none
Held Office: January 29, 1883 – March 29, 1887
  • settled on Vancouver Island in 1862 as a farmer
  • his first public office was the appointed position of road commissioner for Cowichan in 1865
  • ran in BC’s first provincial election in 1871 and won a seat for Cowichan
  • he was actually born as William Smith, but added an “e” to the end of his name, presumably because Amor De Cosmos was also oringally named William Smith and he figured the “e” would stop people from being confused as to who was who.  I’m guessing that the latter William Smith changing his name to Lover of the Universe did more to help people distinguish between the two of them than the former adding the “e”
  • in the Legislature, he maintained “an independent stance”1 by not supporting Premier McCreight or his successors, Premiers De Cosmos and Walkem
  • in 1873 he married Martha Kier, daughter of an important Cowichanian, which added to his prominence in the region
  • re-elected in 1875, campaigned on Walkem’s failure to build a road from Victoria to Cowichan
  • I like to say the word “Cowichan”
  • he was the leader of the opposition when the Leglislature opened in 1976, but as the Walkem Government fell, he handed over the opposition leadership to Andrew Charles Elliott, who then became the Premier. And didn’t include Smithe in the cabinet. Which I find a little ungrateful, no?
  • Smithe was added to cabinet as minister of finance and agriculture in July 1876, however, when the “erractic” Thomas Basil Humphreys was canned2
  • managed to retain his seat in the March 1878 election despite not really doing anything too exciting as a cabinet minisiter and in the face of most everyone else on the “government supporters” side of the floor being kicked out
  • yet again became the leader of the opposition against Premier Walkem (we was reinstituted as Premier)
  • became the Premier in 18 when Walkem’s successor, Beaven, couldn’t muster up the support of more than 8 of 24 MLAs; this gave Smithe the biggest majority since BC joined Confederation
  • at this point, BCers were still pissed off over the long-standing issue of Canada not building the promised railway, as well as mainland BCers being pissed off over a really expensive dock being built on the Island. Dock-gate, if you will3.  Smithe struck a deal (the Settlement Act) that made both mainlanders and islanders happy:
    • the feds got “3,500,000 acres in the Peace River district” of BC<5
    • the feds would “open the railway lands in the south to settlement, assume construction of the graving dock, and advance $750,000, for the building of the island railway”5.
  • As with several other of the Premiers we’ve looked at so far, Smithe’s government implemented a number of racist policies aimed at Chinese-Canadians and Aboriginal people, including:
    • preventing Chinese people from acquiring crown land
    • a $10/yr “license” fee for Chinese people over the age of 15. If I’m reading that correctly, that’s a license to be Chinese?
    • trying to implement an act forbidding Chinese immigration. This act was stopped by the feds, but the feds did implement a $50 head tax on all “Oriental” immigrants to appease BC
    • “severely limited Indian lands […] arguing that because Indians did not cultivate much land they did not need much”5.
  • won the 1886 election, showing support from the public on his policies, including the racist ones,
  • when asked by an “American newspapermen […] if British Columbia might one day annex itself to the Union in response to natural trading interests, he replied that British Columbia might instead annex Washington and Oregon”5.
  • died of nephritis in office in 1887.

In summary, Smithe appears to have settled that whole railway kerfuffle that all the previous BC premiers seemed to have being fighting with the feds over.  So here’s hoping that we will be reading about more non-railway issues in future editions of my BC Premier Series!

Image credits: Accessed from Wikipedia. In the public domain. w00t!

1Which I still find funny, given that there were no political parties at this time
2No idea what made Humphreys so “erratic” as Wikipedia doesn’t have an entry for him. And I’m too lazy to search any further for that as my interest-level:willingness-to-exert-effort ratio on this one is pretty low.
3Not to be mistaken for Deck-gate.

4Wikipedia, the reference that shall inherit the earth
5Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

Disclaimer: Dan, you probably shouldn’t read this posting. I know you will, but you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Scene: I’m walking down the street and see a toy shop and remember that there is something in said shop that I want to buy.  I also notice that there are an insane number of really large spider decorations in the window.  Some of which have yellow stripes on them, which somehow made them a thousand times worse!  But I really, really want to buy something in that store.  It’s like a galactic battle between my desire to shop and my arachnophobia1.  Score one for shopping. I go in the store.  But I run in with my eyes averted.  And I discover, to my absolute horror, that there are more giant spiders hanging from the ceiling. Like right above my head, ready to jump on me!  Trying to keep my terrifying squealing to a minimum, a scurry to the back of the store, where the product I want will be. I find said product.  But I have a question about it.  And both the salespeople are standing at the cash register… which is right in front of the window full o’spiders!  Do I go up there to ask the question?  Do I wait until one of them comes out from behind the cash.  No, I can’t wait all day.  So, I make my way towards the cash but… I can’t do it. I can’t stand that close to that many horrible, horrible spiders.  Even if I have my eyes closed, I’d still know they were there.  Hell, if I had my eyes closed, I wouldn’t be able to tell if these inanimate monsters suddenly came to life and started crawling at me! *shudder*

So this is my solution: stand within view of the salespeople, try to look at them without looking at what’s just behind them and… ZOMG, that salesperson has a spider ON HER HEAD!  OK, OK, don’t panic. Look at the other salesperson. Get her attention.  Shout across the store, “Can I ask you a question about this… but over here, away from all those spiders?”  Try not to be too ashamed in the face of their laughter.  Fortunately, the salesperson is willing to humour me, including coming over to answer my questions and taking my credit card over to the cash register, ringing up my purchase there and then bringing me the receipt to sign, far, far away from the den of evil.  And then yelling “run, run quick” as I left the store.

And that, my friends, is why I shouldn’t leave my house around Halloween time.

1I think it’s a bad sign that even seeing the word “arachnophobia” on the screen kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies.  Or the screaming habdabs. The howling fantods, if you will.

{October 24, 2008}   The Five Things Meme

After a crazy 9 hour workday where I had way too much actual thinking work to do and not nearly enough time in which to do it, which occurred after staying out until 2:30 a.m. at Shower Power at the Odyssey last night (which is always a good thing to do before a day when you have a tonne of things to get done right?), I came home to discover that Rebecca had tagged me with this meme.  And I’m like “Score! Me no need think for blog tonight! Blog idea be hand-delivered!”  Because apparently grammar goes right out the window when my brain is mush.

So. I’m now supposed to fill in the answers to the headings in this meme:

5 Things I was doing 10 years ago1:

  • Completing the last year of my Honours Biochemistry degree, with a minor in Drama, at McMaster University.
  • Rehearsing my role as Desdemona in a scene from Shakespeare’s Othello in the park with my friend Jen (she was playing Othello)  (see “minor in Drama” above).  And saying “We are practicing Shakespeare in the paaaaark.”
  • Applying to med school and thinking about applying to grad school (see “Honours Biochemistry” major above).
  • Driving my beloved little white 1989 Honda Civic.
  • Watching WWF (the wrestling, not the Wildlife Fund) at Copps Coliseum. No, really.

5 Things on my to-do list today2:

  • Attend a workshop at UBC.
  • Participate in a WebEx meeting with a group of people with whom I am writing a paper.
  • Phone meeting with one of my trainees.
  • Work on my grant application.
  • Cook myself a proper meal.

5 snacks I like:

5 Things I would do it I was3 were a millionaire4:

  • Pay off my student loans.
  • Put a down payment on a house in Vancouver.
  • Travel somewhere outside of North America (which I’ve never done!  Isn’t that pathetic?).  Maybe Ireland?  Somewhere in South America?
  • Buy tickets to the 2010 Olympic hockey gold medal game.
  • Invest. ‘cuz the stock market is always a sure bet, right? 😉

5 Places I’ve Lived in (for various lengths of time)5:

  • My parents’ home in Milton, Ontario (18 years).
  • Moulton Hall Residence at McMaster University. In the Penthouse. (8 months).
  • Apartment6 on Main Street in Hamilton, Ontario (~2 years).
  • Apartment in Burnaby, BC (when I first moved to BC, lived there for about 6 months).
  • Point Grey area of Vancouver, BC (in one basement suite for ~5 years, and now in a different basement suite for the last 2+ years).

5 Jobs I have had:

  • Sessional Faculty, University of British Columbia.
  • Research Assistant, at both McMaster University & UBC.
  • Factory worker, Brake Parts Inc. (I worked on a line with asbestos-filled brake pads that were being cooked in an insanely hot oven.  Graveyard shift.  That was a tough job!7)
  • Telephone operator, Halton Answering Service.  (That was a fun job!)
  • Donut store employees8, Baker’s Dozen Donuts8. (Baking was fun. Servings customers, not so much.)

5 People I tag:

  • Stacia – because she’s pregnant and due any time now, so I’m sure she has nothing better to do than this meme.
  • Almost Dr. Jacks – because she always complains that it’s hard to come up with things to blog about. And it’s not like she has a dissertation to write, post doc apps to compose and job talks to give.
  • Dave – because he doesn’t blog nearly enough and I miss his writing. And it’s not like he needs to fix up his blog template, which he managed to royally fack up.
  • Jorge – because he also doesn’t blog enough and I miss his writing. And it’s not like he has an adorable little daughter that he’d rather spend his time with, like, rather than doing this meme.
  • John McCain. What? He has a blog. I don’t read it, but I’m willing to bet he hasn’t done this meme yet.

1I have to admit, I had to look in my photo album to remember what the heck I was doing 10 years ago. Because I’m old and my memory, she’s not so good.
2These are 5 things that were on my to-do list, that I actually did, since I’m writing this at night.
3Yes, I really am that much of an uppity grammar snob. It’s a problem.
4I’m taking “millioniare” literally here. Meaning that I only have $1 million dollars. But I’m also assuming that that is after tax.
5Now I feel like I have to list the one other place I’ve lived, since I’ve only lived in 6 places and this list just feels so incomplete without it! Apartment on Ontario St. in Milton, Ontario (~2 years).
6Wow, I was just proof-reading this posting and I’d written “apparently” instead of “apartment.” That is, I wrote “Apparently on Main St. in Hamilton, ON.” Because I guess I couldn’t remember those two years?
7On the plus side, I got to work two weeks on day shift and the lunch truck that shows up on day shift rocked. And one time I got to spend my shift painting a picnic table with a hot boy.
8My friend Jody would affectionately refer to me as “the Donut Hut Slut.” Has a nice ring to it, eh?

Does anyone know of a good place in Vancouver to buy a wig that (a) is relatively inexpensive and (b) doesn’t look too cheap?

Because, you know, it’s Halloween coming up. And I’m going to a Madonna concert next week.  And wigs are fun.

Photo credit: Miss Wendy in the Flickr Room with a Creative Commons license.

{October 23, 2008}   The Rick DiPietro Report

My recent investigation on hotness levels of NHL players1 has opened my eyes to the fact that there are apparently hot NHL hockey players that *aren’t* on the Vancouver Canucks2. (Who knew?)  Through that research, I became especially enamoured with His Hotness, Rick DiPetro of the New York Islanders3. So, I’ve decided that I will institute a semi-regular4 Rick DiPetro update, wherein I’ll check in on how His Hotness is doing this season.

In this inaugural Rick DiPetro Report, I am pleased for first bring you two videos. First, I give you a clip of His Hotness talking at the 2008 All Star game:

You can pretty much watch it with the sound off – he’s just yammering about how it’s good to be here and blah blah blah – but isn’t he adorable?

Second, a video of His Hotness punching5 Sean Avery:

And now the actual hockey part.  As it turns out, DiPietro sat the first four games of the season with a bad knee, as he had knee surgery in June and just wasn’t ready for prime time yet.  His first game of the season on Oct 18 – which was also his first game since March when he had to have hip surgery – was a 2-0 loss, despite his valiant effort making 34 saves. Hmm… perhaps I should just go back to my ogling of Ricky D and reserve my actual hockey fanship for my beloved Canucks.

1This reminds me – the last I mentioned here on NTBTWK, there was going to be a virtual hockey pool draft in which I was going to use my hottie hockey player research to draft a team of super hotties. And then I left y’all hanging. As it turned out, the virtual draft was canceled due to unforeseen circumstances that caused the draft organizer to be unavailable. Which may be for the best, as now I can love all the hotties on my list and not just the ones I managed to get in the draft.
2Canucks GM Mike Gillis, if you are readinga, I highly suggest you consult my list when it comes time to consider trades.
aI know you are reading.
3Fortunately, he plays in the East, so I don’t need to be worried about being conflicted when the Canucks play his team, given that we only play each Eastern team once per decade.
4by which I mean “whenever I remember to” and/or “when I’m suffering from blogger’s block and can’t think of anything else to write about.”
5I would like to state that I take exception to this video being titled “Rick DiPietro slaps Sean Avery.” I mean, he’s pretty clearly punching Sean Avery. Yeesh.

{October 22, 2008}   Battle of the Gum Packages

For some unknown reason, I’ve been a wee bit enthralled with gum packages lately.  Both of these, in particular, caught my eye in the grocery store:

I’m not sure what the “5” is supposed to mean on the “Cobalt” gum packages. And is it coincidence that “5” and “S” look so much alike?  Um, probably.

When you open up the package of the Cobalt gum, it’s got funkalicious circles inside. And it kind of opens up like a cigarette package, which I like, although I know I shouldn’t.

Cobalt gum scores points because I like the funky blue colour and the intense minty goodness, but it loses points because it was the culprit in my recent tongue injury.

The Stride package also kinda feels like a pack of smokes when you open them:

But see the part on the inside of the package that says “A ridiculously long lasting idea”?  Makes you think that this will be gum with long lasting flavour, no?

No. This gum loses its flavour more quickly than any other gum1. Longevity FAIL!

And thus concludes my thoughts on gum packaging.

1except Double Bubble. But Double Bubble loses its flavour notoriously fast. Plus, you are happy when Double Bubble loses its flavour, because its flavour is barfy.

{October 21, 2008}   Third Tuesday

Went to Third Tuesday tonight!  I’ve missed the last few due to having other events that I was committed to on those nights, but I managed to get out to tonight’s 3T at Republic1.  Which was good, ‘cuz I was quite interested in the topic: Marketing New Media to Traditional Decision Makers: Overcoming the Challenges.  I work a lot with what you might call “traditional decision makers” – people who aren’t overly familiar with social media and I was eager to hear more about ways of convincing them that engaging in social media would actually help them meet their goals!

The speaker, Mhairi Petrovic, gave a list of 10 common barriers she runs up against when trying to convince “traditional decision makers” to use social media and some of them totally related to what I’ve seen.  Stuff like people saying “I already use social media” and really they just have a static website with their email address on it. I’ve talked with a few people recently who have asked for my advice on what it would take to “set up a podcast”2 and when I dig for future details, it turns out that they want to record one audio file and then put that on their website and figure that their target audience will find it there.  So I find I’m often having to explain that podcasts are not one-offs and that if you are trying to reach a new audience, you have to get out and engage with them over time – people won’t just randomly show up at your website on the off chance that there will be an audio file to listen to.  It seems that because I’m pretty involved in social media – even though it’s for fun, not work – I forget that many other people I work with aren’t and so it was cool to hear about some of the barriers that the less tech-savy perceive, as well as some ammo with which to address these concerns.

For more, check out the liveblog of the event over on Raul’s blog.

Thanks to Tanya & Monica for organizing the event. Also, props to Miss604 who collected donations for the Food Bank and arranged for prizes to encourage people to donate to the Food Bank.  She collected a lot of food and also is still collecting money in the form of a raffle for Canucks tickets for Saturday night’s game”3.  Good work, Rebecca!

1I’ve only been to Republic once before and I have to say I like this venue much more for a Third Tuesday event than I did for a night of clubbing. It’s too small for clubbing and has a feel like you are in someone’s basement. For 3T, it felt cosy! Also, I liked being in Republic without having to pay $18 cover.
2Which is kind of funny, because I’ve never done a podcast in my life. Not even as a guest. But I’ve listened to podcasts, which makes me the resident expert in podcasting at my work.
3Ooooh, I hope I win! They are lower bowl tickets and the ‘nucks are playing the Oilers. Fingers crossed!!

Tonight I baked a most delicious batch of “Go To Hell Stephen Harper” Apple Crisp:

Fresh baked Go to Hell Stephen Harper Apple Crisp

Fresh baked "Go to Hell Stephen Harper" Apple Crisp.

I got the recipe from my friend Rebecca, who baked (and, I believe, invented?) this delicious delicacy on election night.  In her words:

“Go To Hell Stephen Harper” Apple Crisp is made like normal apple crisp, but with added funding for the arts, social programs, and sensible health care reform 🙂

“Go To Hell Stephen Harper” Apple Crisp is best served warm from the oven with a scoop of “Don’t Vote for John McCain” ice cream.

So, I’m going to the Madonna concert on Oct 30 with some friends.  And we’ve been trying to decide what one wears to such an event.  And don’t think that both 80s fashion (think leg warmers + side ponytails) and cone bras havne’t been suggested.  But what do you think?  What should we wear?  Pictures, of course, will be forthcoming.

The 5th Premier of the Province of British Columbia – Robert Beaven.

Name Robert Beaven
Born: January 20, 1836 in Staffordshire, England
Died: September 18, 1920 in Victoria, BC
Party: like it’s 1899
Held Office: June 13, 1882 – January 29, 1883
  • family moved from England to Toronto because he dad, the Reverend James Beaven, received an academic appointment there
  • came from Toronto to BC. Like many people, he came to BC because of the gold rush.
  • became a businessman in Victoria (specifically he was a “commission agent, the local agent of the Florence Sewing Machine Company, and, with a partner, a retail clothier and outfitter.”1)
  • became the secretary of Amor De CosmosConfederation League (which was pro-Colonies of BC & Vancouver Island joining Confederation)
  • upon the colonies joining Canada in 1871, he was elected to BC Parliament
  • served in the cabinets of De Cosmos and Walkem
  • he was accused of “corruption and incompetence” (although an investigation by a royal commission found no proof of this), and was criticized for such things as not opening up land for settlement quickly enough, mismanaging Native land policy, running up provincial debt,  the escalating cost of the Esquimalt dock (apparently mainlanders didn’t like how dominant the Island was and Islanders were pissed off that transcontinential railway was going to exclude them)
  • became the Premier in 1882 with one of those minority governments where there’s no political parties and majority/minority status depends on how many MLAs say they are with ya, and how many say they are against ya.
  • he offered to make Princess Louise the Queen of Vancouver Island during a visit to BC.  Louise was the 6th child of Queen Victoria and wife of then-Governor General of Canada, the Marquess of Lorne.  Seeing as technically Louise’s mom, Queen Victoria, was Queen of all of Canada, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have gone over too well if Beaven had separated Vancouver Island from Canada and made Louise the Queen, even if he could have.
  • brought down by a non-confidence vote in 1883
  • in total, he served 23 years in the legislature until he lost an election in 1894
  • was also the mayor of Victoria from the 1892-1894 and 1996-1898
  • after being out of the legislature for 4 years, he was asked by then-Lieutenant-Governor Thomas Robert McInnes to form a government after McInnes dismissed then-Premier John Herbert Turner.  Other MLAs were pissed, refusing to support a Beaven government and that pretty much went nowhere.

In summary, he was a politician for a long time. Then he wasn’t.

Image credits: Accessed from Wikipedia. In the public domain. Boo-yah!


Wikipedia, the double-shot, half-sweet, extra hot Venti of references.
1Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

et cetera