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?

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{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!



{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.



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 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!



{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 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 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!!



{September 8, 2008}   My hockey muscles hurt

Latissimus dorsi.pngYesterday marked the first hockey game of the new season! It was nice to have a few weeks off to rest and, you know, shoot laser beams into my eyes. Last night’s game was an exhibition one, which we won despite a rather short bench1. The increased amount of ice time that comes along with having fewer players + a few weeks off from playing = my back is killing me! Specifically, my latissimus dorsi are killing me. This always happens when I haven’t played in a few weeks – I’m relatively certain that the only thing I ever use my latissmus dorsi for is hockey.

I’m going to be playing on two teams this year – my usual team out in Coquitlam, plus I’m playing UBC Rec once a week as well. With two games a week, my latissimus dorsi are going to be the fittest latissimus dorsi ever!

On a related note, does anyone know of a good podcast on beginner’s yoga? I found one that just shows examples of different yoga poses, but I’d prefer one that takes you through a routine.

1We have a small roster as it is, and are looking to recruit a few more players, but we had the added pressure that three of our regular players are out of the country this week, so we really didn’t have a lot of players!

Image credit: Christer Johansson, posted in Wikipedia under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.



{September 5, 2008}   I can has votes?

I’ve been trying for a while to think of a good caption for a lolcat. I finally came up with one that really amuses me:

For the uninitiated, lolcats are pictures of cats with captions in a form of broken English, called lolspeak. These pics are created by whoever is hit with the desire to create a lolcat and posted to the icanhascheezburger website. Interestingly, a number of story lines have sprung up around lolcats, including their deity, Ceiling Cat, and their devil, Basement Cat.  If a lolcat gets enough votes, it goes up on the main page of the site.

You should *totally* go and vote for my lolcat!



{August 26, 2008}   My New Desk

As promised, I now have photos of my cool new desk. And, even better, I have pictures of the various stages of setting up my desk1!

When we left off yesterday, the desk was sitting in the middle of my living room, with its drawers piled up hither and fro, and my computer was sitting on Rubbermaid buckets in the spot where the desk needed to be. After moving the computer and eleventy billion boxes from the place I wanted to put the desk, and then vacuuming2, I was able to move the desk into its rightful place:

IMG_4022 by you.

Desk, with the drawers yet to be put into it.  Note that the desk is so wide that it’s wider than I am tall.

Then I put the drawers back in.  And moved my mega-sized printer on to the desk.  The gigantic printer didn’t fit on my old desk, so I used to have it sitting on my filing cabinet.  This is much better, as the printer is now more out of the way, so I can use the top of the filing cabinet to store things like stationery items that I need to access more regularly.  Stationery items are currently stored on my kitchen table, so needless to say this will be an improvement.

IMG_4024 by you.

Desk, now with drawers. And a gigantic printer.  Note that even with the gigantic printer on it, I can still fit my entire body on the desk.

And, finally, I put the rest of the computer onto the desk:

IMG_4036 by you.

Note that even in the presence of my gigantic computer, mammoth-sized monitor and the computer tower, I can still fit on the desk.

A couple things of note:

  • While my desk looks all nice and tidy, I should point out that I have humongous stacks & boxes of papers to sort through, which aren’t shown in these photos.  I probably don’t really need to keep every draft of all the papers I wrote in grad school, do I?  But seeing as those are intermingled with things that might be important, like tax returns and  gift certificates I keep forgetting to spend, I can’t just throw the whole mess into the recycling like I want to.
  • I noticed while dancing around and arranging my computer, that my next door neighbour has taken to leaving their kitchen blinds open. Their kitchen window being directly across from the window directly behind my desk.  I didn’t see anyone in the kitchen, but I did notice that they have a large number of hockey sticks in said kitchen.
  • I would get a lot more done in an evening if I didn’t spend so much time trying to capture photos to blog about my various activities.

1It’s that kind of value add that keeps you readers coming back, isn’t it?
2It’s not very often I get to vacuum there, since I have no intention of moving a desk to vaccum under it, I figured I should take the opportunity.



et cetera