Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{November 16, 2008}   BC Premier #9 – Theodore Davie.

Theodore Davie was the 9th Premier of the Province of British Columbia.

Name Theodore Davie
Born: March 22, 1852 in Brixton, England
Died: March 7, 1898 in Victoria, BC
Party: alas, still no parties
Held Office: July 2, 1892 – March 2, 1895
  • brother of Premier Alexander Edmund Batson Davie
  • 1867: went to Victoria  to join his father; studied law
  • 1874: he married a 14-year-old, Blanche Baker; she died 2 years later.
  • 1877: called to the bar
  • built a reputation as a very able criminal lawyer1
  • 1882: elected to the BC Legislative Assembly (seat = Victoria)
  • supported Premier Smithe‘s government, and then his brother‘s government
  • served as Attorney General under Premier Robson
  • 1884: married Mary Alice Yorke, with whom he went on to have 7 kids (4 boys, 3 girls)
  • 1892: became Premier when Robson died
  • you have Davie to thanks for the Parliament buildings in Victoria, as it was his decision to build them despite opposition from the mainland
  • continued to practice law while serving as the Premier
  • 1895: resigned as Premier to take the post of Chief Justice of BC
  • 1898: died of heart disease

In summary, Davie is kind of boring. Except for the part where he married a 14-year-old and was then widowed when she died at 16. What the hell is up with that?

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

1To clarify, that would be a lawyer who defends those charged with crimes and not, as it sounds, a lawyer who himself commits crimes.

Wikipedia, the reference that really doesn’t have much to say about Theodore Davie.
Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

{November 15, 2008}   It’s election day, again

Today is the day that municipal governments hold their elections in BC.

Across BC general elections are held every three years for mayors, councillors, regional district electoral area directors, school board trustees and Islands Trust trustees (

In Vancouver, we have to vote for a mayor, 10 city councillors, 7 park commissioners and 9 school board trustees.  That’s 27 people I need to vote for! Plus there are other questions about “whether to allow the City to borrow money for major construction projects (for example, re-build certain community centres, or extensive re-construction of water or sewer lines)” (City of Vancouver).

To be honest, it’s election day and I’ve only just now read1 through the candidate profiles.  The sheer number of candidates to consider has seemed overwhelming to even think about up until now – and I know that just reading the 150 words or less candidate bios isn’t really sufficient to make a truly informed vote but, given that the election is today, I think it’s the best I’m going to be able to do.  It helps that I’m a bit familiar with the major parties, but of course this means that the independent candidates are getting the short end of the stick.

For my non-Vancouver readers, the major parties in Vancouver politics are:

I mean, given that “partisan” means “of, pertaining to, or characteristic of partisans; partial to a specific party, person, etc.” (, doesn’t this mean that the Non-Partisan Association are the “Party that is not partial to itself”?

For school trustees, Airdrie just twittered a recommendation that people check out who their local teachers associations are endorsing and, as it turns out, both the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers’ Association and the Vancouver Secondary Teachers’ Association support the Vision and COPE candidates, which was in keeping what I was planning to do after pursuing those short candidate bios, so that makes me feel a bit better about my lackadaisical approach to this.

Darren also posted about his “near-complete apathy” towards local politics and now, in the spirit of the theme of phoning-it-in-edness of this posting, I’m going to totally steal his question: “Who are you voting for, wherever you live (assuming, you know, that you live in BC)?

1OK, skimmed.

Image credit: Photo by Theresa Thompson on Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

{November 14, 2008}   Research Methods Rule!

So, I’ve picked up a new class to teach next term: Research Methods. I am stoked because I *love* research methods.  This may or may not be because I’m a nerd.

Thus far, I have two issues with this course.  One is trying to find a good text book.  As you can see from the photo, I’ve got quite a sampling of books (plus I have a number of other evaluation copies on their way to me).  I haven’t reviewed them all in depth yet, but from scanning them, I haven’t found one that gives me what I want.  The problem I’m having with a number of them is that they overwhelmingly focus on quantitative methods and barely even touch on qualitative methods.  I should clarify here what I mean by “Research Methods,” as I’ve discovered from talking with people, “research methods” means different things to different people.  I’m not talking about library research (which was a number of people’s first impressions when I said I was teaching RM); I’m referring to designing scientific and social science research projects – experiments, quasi-experiments, survey research, qualitative interview type research, etc.)  It includes things like the philosophy underpinning different research approaches, research ethics, research writing and a bit about analysis of research results (but not super in depth as there is a separate statistics course).   I’d been hoping to get a kinesiology methods text (as this is a Kin Research Methods course), but so far the books I’ve seen have really skimped on the qualitative.  Like, a 400 page textbook will have 20 pages on qualitative research.

The second issue I’m having is that, while I’m super stoked to be teaching this course because (did I mention?) I love research methods, but everyone keeps telling me that it’s a course no one wants to teach because students don’t like it.  I even got a book on “best practices for teaching stats & research methods” and the whole intro was all “Students hate taking research methods. It’s like torture to them!”  And I’m all “*gasp*! How could anyone not love methods??” I think methods is super interesting and can be readily made interactive (hello! create a research proposal! hello, critique a research paper! hello, conduct a research project!) and relevant (even if you aren’t going to go to grad school and do research yourself, you need to be able to critically assess research that other people have done to, say, know what the best evidence is for any given situation).  And making things interactive and relevant, in my experience, is key to catching students’ interest and helping them learn.  But, seriously, I’ve been told by multiple people that students are really resistant to research methods course.

So, I’m putting the question to you, dear blog readers: Have you ever taken a research methods course?  If so, what did you think of it?  What would you recommend?

Yesterday’s posting got me thinking about a blog posting that’s been kicking around in my brain for quite some time, but that I’ve never gotten around to writing.  Here, in no particular order, are some of my favourite lyrics (I think you will sense a theme):

From “What’s My Age Again” by Blink 182:

Then later on, on the drive home
I called her mom from a pay phone
I said I was the cops
And your husband’s in jail
The state looks down on sodomy

From “Holy Virgin” by Groove Coverage1:

I am your holy virgin,
Be gentle all the time
I am your holy virgin,
I’ll blow your mind

I am your holy virgin
And if you touch me right
I’ll be your nasty virgin

From Alice Cooper’s Poison2:

I wanna hurt you just to hear you screaming my name.

From “You” by Groove Coverage:

My emotions getting strong your heart be close to mine,
If I can be your girl tonight across your soul I’ll sign.

Would you say my name when I’m sleeping next to you,
And would you say it loud when I’m lying over you.
No one does it better no one loves the way you do,
As long as there’s eternity believe me there is you.
Would you say my name when I’m sleeping next to you,
And would you scream it loud when I’m lying over you.

From “Animals” by Nickelback3:

You’re beside me on the seat
Got your hand between my knees
And you control how fast we go by just how hard you wanna squeeze
It’s hard to steer when you’re breathing in my ear
But I got both hands on the wheel while you got both hands on my gears
By now, no doubt that we were heading south
I guess nobody ever taught her not to speak with a full mouth

From “She’s Not Me” by Madonna:

I just want to be there when you discover
When you wake up next to your new lover
She might cook you breakfast and love you in the shower
The flavor of the moment, cause she don’t have what’s ours

From “Cemetery” by Headstones:

Went down to the cemetery looking for love
Got there and my baby was buried
I had to dig her up
There’s only one point that I’d like to make
These kinds of things deteriorate
It’s the gospel truth man
She’s embalmed in love juice

From “Drugs Are Good” by NOFX:

1-2 fuck off, drop out, never trust a fucking hippie4
And for that matter don’t trust anyone.
Drugs are good, they let you do things that you know you not should.
And when you do ’em people think that you’re cool.

And when you do ’em people think that you’re cool.

From “My Alcoholic Friends” by the Dresden Dolls:

I’m trying hard
Not to be ashamed
Not to know the name
Of who is waking up beside me
Or the date, the season or the city
But at least the ceiling”s very pretty

From “White America” by Eminem:

(As you’ve probably noticed, most of they lyrics I like are just dirty.  But Eminem constantly amazes me with his talent with language.. here’s just two of many examples).

Until I met Dre
The only one who looked past
Gave me a chance
And I lit a fire up under his ass
Helped him get back to the top
Every fan black that I got
Was probably his in exchange for every white fan that he’s got
Like damn we just swapped
To spit liquor in the faces of this democracy of hypocrisy
Fuck you Ms. Cheney
Fuck you Tipper Gore
Fuck you with the freeness of speech this divided states of embarrassment
Will allow me to have

From “Tap That” by Megan McCauley:

I’m gonna teach you how to scream my name
You’re never gonna get away from me
Yeah, I kinda like that
I wanna tap that
You can bet I’m gonna get you (YOU)
Come over here and play with me
Let me be your dirty fantasy

I’m pretty sure that video got the lyrics right, but clearly the people working at various other lyrics websites didn’t see this particular video and resorted to a lot of guesswork as to what Megan was saying in this song.  A few examples of where two song lyrics websites disagree:

From Metro Lyrics From Lyrics Mania
Don’t play dumb you know you wanted to
feel my cup, that’s what we came to do
Really? Well, I guess maybe he does want to
feel your cup.
Don’t play dumb you know you wanted to
fill my cup, that’s what we came to do
I’m the boss, keep that in your head I’m no monster keep that in your head
Let me be your dirty fantasy Let me be your tiny fantasy
“Tiny” fantasy? What? Like a midget fetish or something?
Head to toe priceless Heads are so priceless

This is my favourite misheard lyric EVER!

1I would like to point out that this video appears to have nothing to do with this song. But I was worried that no one was going to rescue that poor singer who seemed to be inexplicably stuck in that phone booth, so at least they paid that off in the end.
2I’ve included the video of the Groove Coverage cover of Poison here for your viewing pleasure, because I like it better than Alice Cooper video. And it’s not as weird as the GC video for Holy Virgin.
3That is quite possibly the worst directed video in the history of music videos.  And the guy in the car just looks like a is a total douche nozzle, doesn’t he?
4That one’s for you, Dave.

{November 12, 2008}   I admit it. I like Nickelback.

Apparently, at least according to the radio station I listen to most, no one will admit to liking Nickelback1, but yet somehow their songs always do really well.  Well, I’m here to admit to a dirty little secret.  I like Nickelback.  With the notable exceptions of Rockstar2 and Photograph3.

Here’s their latest song, Something in Your Mouth.  (And yes, it’s exactly like it sounds).

I mean, I know that the lyrics are stupid. (Seriously, if you saw a girl in a club dancing around sucking on her thumb, wouldn’t you be concerned for her? Like, you’d check to see if she was having a brain hemorrhage or something?) And I don’t even know what “if Hollywood hadn’t caught her she’d be gunnin for ya holler” means. Seriously, can someone help me out on that?4

But the tune is catchy. And it makes me want to dance.  And to gun for ya holler. Come on.
1zomg, Nickelback’s site makes me angry. Apparently you can only access one page for their site right now, a giant ad for their new album with links to buy it on iTunes, Amazon & WalMarta. All the other links to their site return an error message. Even though they have a little site map (I think that’s what it’s called) when you Google them, all the links there = FAIL. Nickelback make Beth angry.
    azomg, I hate Nickelback’s site. I wrote most of this blog posting yesterday and what I wrote above was true. And now that I’m finishing the blog posting, I went back to the site and now it’s different. Still can’t get to the lyrics page, so it’s still a FAIL. But it’s making me look like a liar.
2That song makes me want to puncture my own eardrums so that I never have to hear it again.
3I think Dave says all that needs to be said about Photograph.
4At least, that’s what the majority of lyrics sites claim the fourth line of the song saysb. One site listed it as “if Hollywood had called her she’d be gone before ya had her,” which at seems to make more sense, although when you listen to the song, it really doesn’t sound like that’s what they are saying.
    bAnd since Nickelback’s freaking site is pooched right now, I can’t consult *their* lyric page to find out for sure.

{November 11, 2008}   Babies Galore!

It seems like everyone I know is having a baby.  My cousin, Andy, and his wife, Cristine, just had their second a few weeks ago.  My cousin, Lori, and her husband, Eugene, are expecting their second any day now (theirs was due Nov 8).  My good friend (and resident historian), Sarah, and her hubby, Dave, are expecting their first in January.  Then her friend Deepa, and her husband, David, are due in February. And then my friend Clayton, and his gf, Jodelene, are having one in March.  (Interestingly, Sarah & Dave refer to their wee one as “humpy,” while Clayton & Jodelene’s is known as “bumpy.”  No relation.)

And my blog friend (my bliend?) Stacia is having a baby.  Like right at this very moment, as I type this, she is having a baby!!  How freaking exciting is that??  Stacia & Wes – best wishes for a safe and quick delivery. Can’t wait to see photos of your little Navy Bean!

Updates on 15 Nov 2008:

#1 My cousin, Lori and her husband, Eugene, had actually had their baby when I original posted the message.  Little Beatrice Dale Anne, a baby sister for Imogen, was born at 8:30 p.m. on Nov 10.  Everyone is doing well.  I’ve gotten pics via email, but I’m sure they will put some up on their picture blog soon and then I can link to those.

#2 Little Navy Bean was born on Nov. 11, 2008 at 9:43am.  Check out her pics – she’s adorable!

{November 10, 2008}   Time for a New Hockey Stick

The ref in last night’s game1 noticed a slight imperfection in my hockey stick:

Yeah, I kind of have a huge chunk missing from my stick blade. I’ve actually been playing with my stick like this for a few weeks now, knowing that I really, really need to replace my stick.  And, the thing is, I *have* a brand new stick (the identical model to this battered old stick2) that I could use.  Why haven’t I switched to the new stick, you ask?  It may or may not have something to do with the fact that I forget how to tape the other end of the stick to make the knob at the top and the nice groove thingys, like this:

Of course, I just took the new stick out and it already *has* the knob and groove thingys made out of tape on it.  D’oh!  Ah well, at least I just have to tape the blade for next week and it’s good to go!

1Which we won, 2-0, btw!
2I have two of the same sticks because this one time, my ex-husband, who wasn’t my ex-husband at the time, was in Toronto and bought a stick to play ball hockey with his brother while he was there. Then he brought it back to Vancouver (it still has the Harmony Airways luggage sticker on it) and it was too short for him to use for ice hockey, so I inherited it. And it just happened to be the same stick that I already had.

{November 9, 2008}   BC Premier#8 – John Robson

The 8th Premier of the Province of British Columbia.

Nice beard.

Nice beard.

Name John Robson
Born: March 14, 1824 in Perth, Ontario
Died: June 29, 1892 in London, England
Party: none
Held Office: August 2, 1889 – June 29, 1892
  • Robson Street in Vancouver is named after him (as is Robson Cove in Burrard Inlet and Robson, a town in Kootenays)
  • 1859: moved from Ontario, where he was a merchant, to the Colony of BC, to try to capitalize on the Fraser Valley Gold Rush, leaving behind his wife, Susan, and their 2 kids (Susan and the kids didn’t move to BC to join him until 19641864)
  • apparently he sucked at prospecting, so instead he helped his brother, Ebenezer, a minister, build a Methodist church in New Westminster
  • was known as an advocate for responsible government, became the editor of the British Columbian (a newspaper)
  • he was “briefly imprisoned” by Judge Matthew Baillie Begbie for publishing a letter that suggested Begbie took a bribe; this didn’t do much for Begbie’s popularity
  • served on the New West town council and was later elected to the BC Legislative Council (the Council had some elected, and some appointed seats, and governed the newly united Colonies of BC and Vancouver Island).
  • moved his paper to Victoria, where it was bought out by De Cosmos paper Daily British Colonist (which still exists today as the Victoria Times-Colonist)
  • became an advocate for BC joining Confederation and so, along with De Cosmos and Robert Beaven, he founded the aptly named “Confederation League” which lobbied for BC to become part of Canada
  • 1871: was elected to BC’s first legislative assembly (seat = Nanaimo)
  • opposed his former ally, De Cosmos and the subsequent Premier, Walkem
  • was ahead of his time by advocating for female suffrage: “Although in 1873 he had claimed “respectable women didn’t want the right” to vote, he later had second thoughts, and by 1885 he was championing the enfranchisement of women because of their good work in voting for school trustees and their support of morality. Almost every year thereafter Robson introduced a private member’s bill to enfranchise women; each time the legislature rejected it.”1
  • like most of the politicians of his time, he supported racist policies against both Chinese and First Nations people; “He had been one of the first to call for a special tax on Chinese because they were “essentially different in their habits and destination,” did not contribute a fair share to the provincial treasury, and competed with “civilized labour.”” 1 and “Despite his belief that the native peoples would become “utterly extinct,” he argued that in the mean time the government had a responsibility to civilize and Christianize them. Thus they should be removed from the immoral towns and cities, protected from whisky traders, and made aware of the force of the law. He recognized Indians’ rights as the “original ‘lords of the soil’” but demanded that treaties be negotiated and reserves established so that Indians should not have more land than they could use well.” 1
  • received a patronage appointment with the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) for his support of Alexander Mackenzie in the 1874 Canadian federal election
  • 1882: returned to the provincial legislature (seat = New West)
  • advocated for constructing the CPR terminus at Granville, and he got the legislature to name the Vancouver as “Vancouver” when it was incorporation in 1886
  • during Premier Davie‘s long illness, Robson served as the acting Premier and, in 1889, was appointed Premier when Davie died
  • switched from representing New West (a really busy, growing riding) to representing a riding in the Cariboo to reduce his workload, as he was worried for his health
  • 1892: died of blood poisoning in office after he hurt his finger in the door of a hansom cab, becoming the third BC premier in a row to die in office

In summary, he died of hansom cab door-related mishap.

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

Wikipedia, the reference that rhymes with ickipedia.
1Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online

{November 8, 2008}   Some of my favourite tweets

Over on Dave’s blog, he put up a screenshot of some of his favourite Tweets.  Always one to steal Dave’s ideas recognize a good thing, I’m stealing Dave’s idea going to show you some of my favourite tweets:

I was reading this new story about some dude who wrote a book about “kids these days” and this sentence caught my attention:

Don Tapscott says those weaned on the Internet — people born roughly between 1977 and 1997 — are more politically savvy, socially engaged and family-centred than society gives them credit for.

1977?  Really?  *I* was born in 1977.  And as much as I like to think of myself as “young,” I don’t really think I can say I was “weaned on the Internet.”  Sure, I’m a netaholic now, but I grew up in a home with a Commodore 64, I typed all my assignments in high school on an electronic typewriter and didn’t get a “real” computer, or an email address, until first-year university.  Hardly an age I’d refer to as “weaning.” Anyway, I think I’ll get the book: “”Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation Is Changing Your World” once it comes to the library1, as it sounds kind of interesting. And I’m down with reading a book that refers to me in the same breath as “kids these days.” =)

1Because I am cheap. And the library lets you borrow books… for free!

OK, I have to say this because it’s been driving me crazy.  The election of the first African-American president is an historic event.  I can’t count how many times I have read and heard in the last two days that it was an historical event.  Now, technically it is true that it was an historical event, in that it occurred in the past. But the people saying/writing this are trying to convey that it was a signficant event in history, not merely an event that occurred prior to today.

Historical means something that happened in the past.  So, yeah, the election of the first African-American president was an historical event because it happened last Tuesday. I also drank a cup of coffee on Tuesday, so that’s an historical event too.

Historic means something that happened in the past that is significant.  Like, say, the election of the first African-American president.    The fact that I drank a cup of coffee on Tuesday, while historical, not so much on the historic.

The American Hertiage Dictionary notes:

Historic and historical have different usages, though their senses overlap. Historic refers to what is important in history: the historic first voyage to the moon. It is also used of what is famous or interesting because of its association with persons or events in history: a historic house. Historical refers to whatever existed in the past, whether regarded as important or not: a minor historical character. Historical also refers to anything concerned with history or the study of the past: a historical novel; historical discoveries. While these distinctions are useful, these words are often used interchangeably, as in historic times or historical times.

But just because they are often used interchangeably doesn’t mean they should be used interchangeably.  People use “it’s” and “its” interchangeably, but that doesn’t make it right!

The only reason I even know the difference between these two1 is because of Grammar Girl’s recent podcast on exactly this topic.  If I hadn’t heard that, I would never have known the difference. But since I do, it’s driving me crazy!


1Historic and historical, not it’s and its. I’ve know the difference between it’s and its for a long, long time. Also, there, their and they’re! And to, too, and two!

{November 6, 2008}   Price of Snail Mail About to Rise

Starting in January, the price of stamps is going up from 52¢ to 54¢.  Yeah, I still send things via snail mail. My entire family and many of my friends live out east and there are some things that you just can’t fit through the tubes of the Internet.

In preparation for the rise, I bought a whole roll of permanent stamps.  Permanent stamps cost you whatever the current value of a normal stamp is when you buy them, but they become worth the current value of a stamp whenever you use them. So I bought these at 52¢ and when I use them after the end of this year, they will be worth 54¢.  A roll has 100 stamps, so I paid $52, whereas this would have cost me $54 if I’d waited ’til January.  I know, I’m a savings demon!

And if you think that a 2¢ increase per stamp is bad, get this: the price of mailing a large envelope is going to double!

Why the increase?  According to the CBC News story I read:

The postal giant blames costly decisions by the federal government in 2006 to maintain existing levels of rural mail delivery and to continue a postal subsidy for magazines and periodicals.

It also cites soaring fuel costs.

Why it’s taken from 2006 to 2009 to make the change?  No idea.

Why am I writing a blog posting about this?  To give you time to go buy a roll of P stamps.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Also, when I was buying my big roll o’stamps, I noticed these:

$1 is added to the cost of this package of stamps and that money goes to mental health research and patient support.  And here’s something I didn’t know: mental illness is the “cause of choice” of Canada Post. Which is pretty cool, given that mental health is such an important issue, touches so many people, and is surrounded by so much stigma.  Good on ya, Canada Post.

Props to Kalev for telling me about this whole postage shakedown 2009.

{November 5, 2008}   Gender Analyzer FAIL

Apparently, I write like a man:

Dave brought this to my attention yesterday.  He thinks that it’s all the “bawdy talk going on” that makes GenderAnalyzer think I’m a dude. I think may have to do with all the talk about hockey.  Although I’m not sure how to reconcile all the talk about the hotness of male hockey players.  Perhaps they think it’s written by a gay man?

Before I got around to actually posting this, I noticed that Gillian had just posted her discovery that she also writes like a man!  I tried a few others, and have to say that this site isn’t very good at predicting the gender of the writer.  It correctly figured out that both Dave and Darren are boys, but it thinks that Tod writes like a girl.  But my favourite one was that GenderAnalyzer thinks that Miss604 is written by a man.  I guess the *Miss* in Miss604 wasn’t a tip off.

Wikipedia is quick.  I took this screenshot just as Obama was starting his victory speech:

Also, I like that Obama promised his daughters a puppy when they move to the White House!

{November 4, 2008}   President Barack Obama!

Looks like my democratic blue shirt worked. =)

et cetera