Not To Be Trusted With Knives











Just when y’all got comfortable reading me here in WordPress.com land, I’ve decided to pack up and move. To a new home of my very own at the aptly URL’d drbethsnow.com.

I’ve picked a pretty theme and then screwed around with a bit to make it even prettier.  Why don’t you head on over there and let me know what you think?



{January 21, 2009}   I Think I Need A New Watch

I looked down at my wrist yesterday and this is what I saw:

IMG_4506 by you.

Seriously.

My watch has been coming apart for quite some time now, but it’s finally come to the point that the main part of my watch has fallen completely out and I have no idea where it is.  I could have lost it anywhere, really.  I think I will use the birthday money that my sister sent me to buy a new one. Maybe I’ll even get one of those fancy ones which I can use to control Marla.

I do know one thing for sure: my friend Alicia, with whom I go running, will be glad to see me get a new watch because my old one, with the strap all unattached like that, kept shutting the timer off when we were runing as the loose plastic of the strap would hit the timer’s off button. So when my watch was supposed to beep so that we’d know that we had done our 10 minutes of running and could take our 1 minute walk break, it just wouldn’t beep. And then we’d have a totally screwed up run schedule. So, yeah, a new watch is definitely in order.  Also in order, emailing Alicia to set up a running date, which we haven’t done since before the holidays… I think we only have a 100 days left to train for our half marathon. Eep!



It’s my one year anniversary of moving from Blogger to WordPress.com.  So, now I’m moving to WordPress.org. It’s true what they say: WordPress.com is just a gateway platform to the harder stuff.

In fact, I’m all set up to make the shift.  I’ve got a domain (which I’ve actually had for a while), I have a server, and WordPress.org has been installed (thanks to Kalev, who rocks).  I’m only lacking one magical ingredient: time.  This semester is insanely, insanely busy.  In addition to my day job, I’m teaching two new courses: the UBC one and one at SFU1 and I’m playing on two hockey teams.  Oh yeah, and I’m supposed to be training for a half marathon. So I won’t be making the shift until I get a few minutes to breath2.

In the meantime, I need all you techies to answer this question: What are your favourite WordPress plugins?

Kalev has suggested this one, which, among other things, allows commenters to preview their comments before posting them.  What other ones should I get?  You know, for when I stop being insanely busy and get a chance to make the jump.

And speaking of being insanely busy, I’ve decided to prorogue my BC Premiers series until after the end of the semester.  Writing the BC Premier series postings, which I usually do on Sundays, takes up a fair bit of time since I know pretty much nothing about BC Premiers.  Unlike my usually postings where I just blather about whatever is spinning around in my brain, I actually have to read stuff.  And I know that I just don’t have time to do that until the semester is over.  So I’ve asked the Governor General of my blog3 for a prorogation of the BC Premier series and she has graciously agreed to allow it. Expect the series to start back up in late April, at which time I’ll present a budget.

1Which, mercifully, is online (so I don’t have to go up the mountain) and has a TA (who does tonnes o’ work and also rocks)
2Perhaps over reading break?
3As it turns out, I’m the GG of my own blog. What a lucky coincidence!



{January 12, 2009}   101 in 1001 for my 1000th post

So, for my 1000th blog posting I wanted to do something special. And I decided that the something special would be a “101 things to do in 1001 days” list.  The first time I saw one of these was on Dave’s blog and I may or may not have soon after written a parody version called “102 things to do in 1,000,001 days” on a satire blog that may or may not have been removed from the Internet for possible libel issues. Anyway.

The idea behind this list is to come up with 101 things you want to do – things you’ve always meant to do but haven’t gotten around to,  things you want to challenge yourself to accomplish and, let’s be honest, a few things that sound good but you are pretty sure you’ll do so that you can gain the satisfaction of checking at least a few things off your list.  As well, it’s important that the goals are clearly defined/measurable (or, as we say in the Research Methods world – you need an “operational definition” of each) so that you know whether or not you’ve done it.  Props for this idea go to triplux, who appears to be the creator of this idea (or, at least, is the first Google hit for “101 in 1001”).

So, after much thinking and pondering and reflecting and considering and deliberating and contemplating and ruminating and reading the thesaurus, I have come up with the following 101 items that I intend to do in the next 1001 days:

  1. go to New York City
  2. leave the continent
  3. live above ground
  4. run another half marathon1
  5. run the full marathon in Sacramento (i.e., the net downhill one!)
  6. assemble my last 7 years worth of photos into scrapbooks2
  7. give something a cool name (i.e., not just adding the letter “y” to the end of what the thing is a la “froggy” or “puppy”)
  8. get my blog onto WordPress.org
  9. participate in a political campaign
  10. attend Women’s Campaign School
  11. conduct some kind of  education research project
  12. conduct another systematic review for the Cochrane Collaoration
  13. publish a paper in a scholarly journal on the training program that I run
  14. write something creative (e.g., a story, a script or a poem)
  15. change a life
  16. write a book
  17. teach a course at a college
  18. ski at Whistler 3
  19. ski at Big White
  20. ski on Grouse Mountain
  21. learn to snowboard (or at least try it)
  22. go surfing & actually stay up on the board
  23. skate at GM Place
  24. coach a hockey team
  25. hike Black Task
  26. hike the West Coast Trail
  27. write a computer program
  28. start a business
  29. learn French (at least a little bit. Like more than just what’s on the cereal box)
  30. write a blog entry entitled Word to Your Moms, I Came to Drop Bombs4
  31. read something by Salman Rushdie5
  32. visit Macchu Picchu6
  33. for one week, go to bed at 9 and read non-work related books7
  34. read The Last Spike by Pierre Berton8
  35. take pole dancing lessons. Like, a whole set of them, not just the intro class.
  36. beat my current record of 10 points in a hockey season (which I achieved on the Blazing Blades team in both the Winter 2007/08 and the Spring 2008 seasons)
  37. teach the same course at UBC twice9
  38. participate in the “365 Day Challenge”. This involves taking a self-portrait every day for 365 days and posting it to the 365 Day Flickr group.
  39. make a list of 100 things that make me happy
  40. buy a Smart Car
  41. buy an iPhone
  42. skate on the Rideau Canal
  43. take Tod to a Vancouver Canucks game [Accomplished: 13 January 2009, Canucks vs. NJ Devils. Next time I should try to take him to a game when the Canucks win!]
  44. take Tod to a Vancouver Giants game
  45. go to a BC Lions game
  46. go to a Vancouver Canadians game
  47. see a Vancouver White Caps game
  48. start composting
  49. keep a plant alive for a whole month
  50. write in my journal every day for a month
  51. go kayaking
  52. camp at Joffre Lake
  53. visit Galiano Island
  54. visit Salt Spring Island
  55. visit Bowen Island
  56. save $500 in coins10
  57. deposit that $500 worth of coins into my 40th birthday savings account
  58. write 10 friends real letters, on paper, with a pen and snail mail them
  59. follow Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating every day for 1 month11
  60. go to a Bikram yoga class
  61. go to a spa for a facial
  62. visit 5 new American states12
  63. visit Newfoundland
  64. visit Nova Scotia
  65. visit New Brunswick
  66. visit the Yukon
  67. visit Nunavit
  68. do a 24 hr blogathon
  69. do 15 minutes of yoga every morning for a month
  70. sort through my many boxes of papers (most of which contain papers from my thesis), recycling the papers I don’t need and filing the ones I do need
  71. find out my credit rating
  72. determine my net worth
  73. buy a bike
  74. bike to work every day for two months
  75. record a cooking show (at least 5 episodes)
  76. publish said cooking show online
  77. participate in five research projects (as a subject/participant, not as a researcher)
  78. sell counter top dishwasher on Craig’s List13
  79. see at least one Bard on the Beach performance14
  80. put up a Christmas tree and decorate it with chili peppers15
  81. live blog something
  82. go to bed every night for a week with all the dishes cleaned
  83. achieve inbox zero and maintain for one full week (where “maintain” = by the time I go to bed each night)
  84. up my blog readership to an average of 200 readers a day16
  85. break my current record of 460 blog views in a day17
  86. write a blog posting about the Car Co-op18
  87. go sky diving
  88. resurrect my teaching blog
  89. see the Dresdan Dolls in concert
  90. see Groove Coverage in concert
  91. see a show at Richard’s on Richards before it closes down
  92. devise some sort of proper back up system for my computer files
  93. get my ring from my great Auntie Bernice re-sized to actually fit my finger
  94. buy a pair of brown dress pants19
  95. bake at least one thing per month for 12 months in a row, without baking the same thing two months in a row20
  96. go zip cording
  97. make homemade vegetarian marshmallows
  98. go on a polar bear swim
  99. recycle my old Sony Vaio desktop and my old Palm Pilot that are now just taking up space in my apartment!
  100. scan all the photos from my pre-digital camera days
  101. publish a blog posting for each of the next 1001 days!

So, there you have it.  I expect I’ll be posting updates when I get stuff on the list accomplished and possibly some excuses about my abject failures.

End Date: Monday, October 10, 2011 (thank you dateandtime.com!)

Footnotes

1Ya, this one is totally cheating, since I’m already training for another half. But it’s hard to think of 101 things!

2Um, ya.  I have seven years worth of photos in boxes, waiting for scrapbooking.

3Can you believe that, having lived in Vancouver for more than eight years, I’ve not yet skied Whistler?

4This one is stolen from an homage to Dave’s 101 things in 1001 days list. He didn’t actually manage to do it, but I think I can. I think I can.

5Also stolen from Dave’s list. I’ve been wanting to read something by Rushdie, so here’s an extra push

6This is the last one I’m stealing from Dave’s list. Promise.  Also, Dan said I should go there.

7Stolen from Triplux.

8Which Sarah’s been telling me to read since forever. And which she just gave me for Christmas, so if I fail to accomplish this one, well, that would just be sad.

9I always seem to get a course for one term only.  I taught Nutritional Assessment last year as a sessional, but the department hired a new prof and he chose that as one of his courses to teach, so I don’t get to teach it this year. And then, this past term I taught another course as a sessional because the usual sessional needed a break from it for one term only, so I probably won’t get to teach it next year. Now I want some consistency!

10Just because it would be difficult.

11i.e., meet the recommended number of servings for each food group every day and consume no more than one unhealthy “other” food per week.

12i.e., ones that I haven’t been to before. Or ones where I’ve only been to their airport/airport hotel (I’m looking at you Texas, Oregon and Arizona), if I actually go to somewhere other than the airport/airport hotel.

13since it doesn’t fit in my kitchen. =(

14I can’t believe I’ve lived in Vancouver for 8+ years and not once have I been to see Bard on the Beach. I like Shakespeare (I even have a minor in Drama that included a whole course in “Acting Shakespeare”). And I like beaches!

15Inspired by the tree at the Mexican resort I stayed at this Christmas.

16My 2008 average was 93 readers per day.

17Which occurred on Friday, September 26, 2008 as a direct result of my list of the hottest players in the NHL

18Which I have partly written and can’t seem to get around to finishing.

19I’ve been trying to find a good pair of brown dress pants since forever! Hopefully I’ll find them in the next 1001 days.

20Because I really enjoy baking and I never seem to do it anymore.



{January 6, 2009}  

From the T-Shirt Hell.com e-newsletter that was sent out yesterday:

As you may know, T-Shirt Hell opened a sister site called Torsopants last year, that was basically a clothing company geared towards retards and undesirables. Well, Torsopants closed its doors on Dec 23rd and most people didn’t care.

But there were 2 people that were upset (Beth and Steve)…and because EVERY LOSER IN THE WORLD matters to us here at T-Shirt Hell, we’ve decided to bring Torsopants back! That’s right, each week, along with our regular new shirts, we will be adding new Torsopants as well, which will be located in their own section on the site. [emphasis mine]

Um, ya. So I was pretty sure that “Beth” was referring to me.  Because I *did* blog about how upset I was over the demise of Torsopants.  And if you Google Torsopants, I am the sixth hit.  And then I thought that maybe it was just my rampant narcissism kicking in, but then Chris tweeted @ me that he thought that was me, so I’m pretty sure that must be me, right?

So, yeah. T-shirt Hell noticed me.

I am not a loser.



{December 11, 2008}   Googling Google

Am I the only on who finds it odd that “Google” was one of the top ten words searched for in Google in Canada in 2008.

Who the hell is Googling “Google”?  I mean, if you are ALREADY ON THE GOOGLE WEBSITE, why do you have to search for it?  I mean, sure, it’s hard to remember that Google can be found at http://www.google.ca (or .com… as if you mistakenly type “google.com” and you are in Canada, it will automatically switch it to .ca for you).  Such a difficult URL to remember.  But you are ALREADY ON THE GOOGLE WEBSITE!!  And it’s not just like a few randoms were doing this.  It was in the top ten searches conducted this year.

This is what I imagine an individual’s thought process is when this happens:  “Man, I sure would like to search for information about Sarah Palin.  I wonder how I can find such information?  Hmm, I hear that Google is an excellent search engine and can surely direct me to photos of Sarah Palin in a star-spangled bikini, but the Google URL is so hard to remember! I know, I’ll Google it!”

Also funny: another one of the words in top ten list of words searched in Google in 2008 – Yahoo.



Because apparently my blog is now just a vehicle for memes…

Today’s blog posting is the 56/5 meme. It works like this:

  • Grab the closest book to you. Now.
  • Go to page 56.
  • Find the 5th sentence.
  • Write that sentence as your status.
  • Copy these instructions as a comment on your status.
  • Don’t go looking for your favourite book, or the coolest one you have – just grab the closest one.

So, yeah, the sentence I got was:

“Thus, the crux of such models is the attempt to refute or falsify their predictions.”

You know you wish you read the books I read.  Seriously.



{December 2, 2008}   Six Things Meme

Apparently it’s meme week here on NTBTWK.  First Raul tagged me with a photo meme, and now Rebecca hit me with the six things meme.

First, da rules of da game:

1. Link to the person who tagged me. (That would be Rebecca)
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog. (Actually, if they’re regular readers of your blog, then #4 should do the trick.)
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

OK, now I have to write six random things.  Crap.   Hmmm… what can I tell you that I haven’t told y’all before?

  1. I was born with a dislocated hip (a.ka. congenital hip dysplasia).  As a baby I underwent surgery, was in traction and then had to be in a half-body cast.  My maternal grandmother had the same thing, but they didn’t know how to fix it when she was a baby, she always walked with a limp.  Thanks to modern medicine, I’m 100% fine in the hip department.
  2. Tonight for dinner I made a recipe that I got from a virtual stranger on Twitter.  I call it my Twitterecipe.
  3. I would love love love to have my own cooking show.
  4. I’m currently obsessed with the goings on in the federal government and the possibility of a Liberal-NDP coalition government.  I’m checking the CBC and CTV news websites even more than usual, have been watching CSPAN and am delighted that so many Canadians (myself included) are learning about how the Parliament works (No folks, you don’t elect a Prime Minister in Canada – you elect 308 members of the House of Commons and they get to decide who will be the P.M.!)
  5. It looks like I get to teach a course at Simon Fraser University1 next term!  I’m still waiting for my contract, but I’ve been offered an SFU course to teach.  I’ve never taught at SFU before, but I’ve only heard wonderful things about the place from everyone I’ve me that has gone there, so I’m pretty happy about that.

Now I have to tag six people, eh?  Well, I’ll go with the same five people who I tagged for the Five Things Meme2, plus Tod (who is totally dying to be memed).

1Well, technically it’s not at SFU as it is a distance ed course, so I’ll be teaching it from my living room rather than up on Burnaby Mountain. But it’s an SFU course nonetheless.
2Because I can just copy and paste those and I really am that lazy.



I just replied to a group email and received a number of “out of office” replies.  Most were of the standard “I’m not in the office, contact my assistant if it’s urgent” variety.  But the last one was awesome.  It said:

I am out of the office until Monday December 15th.  In the meantime, feel free to tell Jodon you don’t approve of his coding standards.



{November 29, 2008}   Photo Meme

Raul tagged me with a meme and this gives me an easy out for today’s post (thanks Raul!). For this, I have to post the 6th photo on page 6 of my Flickr photostream.  Unfortunately, this picture is BO-RING!

IMG_4086 by you.

It’s a picture of my shoe.

Now I’m supposed to tag 6 people. But… meh.  Feel free to do the meme if you want.  I leave it up to you, yo.



{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.



{November 3, 2008}   Thank goodness for Akismet!

The other day when I logged in to WordPress, I noticed that I had exactly 3333 total comments1 on my blog:

That’s a nice number: 3333.

But then I realized that 550 were spam. Boo spam.

And then, on top of that, Akismet has saved me from a further 6741 spam comments!  That’s 2.6 spam comments for every legit comment.  On the Akismet website it says that “86% of all comments are spam,” so I guess it’s good that I have below average spam levels at mere 72%.

Now, this whole thing has prompted me to actually look in the Akismet spam folder – I’ve never looked in it before. It’s pretty much what you’d expect – a lot of links, followed by a list of dirty words and phrases. Although one in particular caught my eye – it had the title “Anal,” which was followed by a link that I shall not reproduce here, and then a list of phrases, starting with:

korea sex net
free anal sex web site
wedding photography essex

Wedding photography essex? Really?
1It was a few days ago when I took this screen shot. When I just now logged in to write this post, I had exactly 3400 total comments.



{October 16, 2008}   Unfortunate Truncation

So I’m clearing my browser history before class yesterday, as I was going to be showing my students this YouTube video, given that I was doing a presentation on how to give effective presentations, which is pretty gutsy, if I do say so myself, as you really have to do a kick ass presentation if you are talking about how to do kick ass presentations, and… where was I? Oh yes, I’m clearing my browser history because I think it’s generally a good idea not to put one’s browser up on the big screen in front of 40 students just in case you start typing a URL and then it brings up other websites you’ve been to and maybe you don’t want to be explaining those to said students. Not that I would ever look at any untoward sites.  But I digress.  As I was clearing my browser history, I notice something a little odd on my Delicious toolbar:

It’s actually a link to my site of awesomeness: http://drbethsnow.isfuckingaweso.me/

But it appears to have been unfortunately truncated.  Anyway, glad I caught that and was able to hide it so that I didn’t go to class and put up “drbethsnow is fucking” on the screen.  ‘cuz that might be awkward.



From Terry at UBC.



{October 7, 2008}   I am awesome

And not just awesome. Fucking awesome.

It says so on the internets:  http://drbethsnow.isfuckingaweso.me/

Props to Miss604, on whose site I saw the awesomeness that is isfuckingaweso.me



et cetera