Not To Be Trusted With Knives

{September 10, 2007}   And so the fairy tale ends…

In my ongoing1 coverage of this story, it is my duty to inform the public that Belinda Stronach and Tie Domi have broken up.

You heard it here first. Unless you’ve already heard it somewhere else.

1And by “ongoing” I mean the two times I mentioned it a year ago.

{September 2, 2007}   The Chief
Yesterday, I did the Chief. For those of you not from around here, that’s a mountain in Squamish. I’ve been wanting to do the Chief for years, but carlessness, among other things, have meant that I’ve never done it before now.


It was a wonderful sunny day (likely the only one we’ll get for the whole long weekend) meaning we were rewarded with some great views once we got to the top. And I have to say that I like the Chief more than the Grind – better scenery, less annoying stairs1, and you get to climb up with ladders and chains at parts. Who doesn’t love ladders and chains?? Also, more shirtless boys.

Speaking of which, Rachel made an observation. Boys don’t get up early. We went in the morning and most of the people we saw on the way up were female. On our way back down, after eating our lunch at second peak, all the shirtless boys were climbing up. Good to note for next time.

On the hike, I got a lot of smiles and comments on my new T-shirt. – including the comment “that is the best T-shirt I’ve EVER seen!!” Unfortunately, it seems that you can’t read what my T-shirt says in any of the photos I took. I’ll have to get the ones from Rachel’s camera and see if you can see my shirt in them. In the meantime, there’s still 25 points up for grabs if anyone can guess which one I bought2, 3!

I was going to do the Grind today, but decided not to as my muscles are a bit sore from the Chief. I was kind of expecting them to be since, unlike on the Grind, where you have a cable car ride down the mountain after the hike up, you hike back down the mountain on the Chief. And hiking down means eccentric muscle contractions, which are more damaging to the muscle than going uphill. I learned that in OAC4 Phys Ed class, 12 years ago. And I still remember it. No idea why that one little fact stuck in my brain so well. And why useful things like, say, where I put my keys five minutes ago, or the fact that my bluetooth headset is in the pocket of the skirt I just threw in the laundry, don’t.

So, instead of the Grind, I decided to do some tidying and organizing and cleaning today. September’s not too late to do my spring cleaning, is it?

1they keep putting more and more stairs in on the Grind and I find the stairs far more difficult to hike up than natural terrain. I think, being a shorty, my gait just doesn’t match up well with the stairs
2I had a few guesses in the comments section of where I import my blog postings into Facebook, but no one guessed right yet.
3And no one who has seen it or who I’ve told what it says gets to guess.
4OAC = Ontario Academic Course (or was it C for Credit) – a.k.a. grade 13.

{August 29, 2007}   Scattered Thoughts
  • For the third time in as many weeks, I’ve managed to forget to put on my mascara while getting ready in the morning. I put on my eyeliner. I put on my eyeshadow. I blend the shadow. But at some point between the putting down of my shadow brush and the picking up my mascara, I get distracted somehow, and completely forget to pick up that mascara wand. I don’t know how I manage to do this on such a regular basis.
  • A geek-cute1 boy smiled at me when I got on the bus today. I sat down in the seat in front of him and when I looked out the window, I could see out of the corner of my eye that he was glancing my way. When I got up to get off the bus, he looked back at me not once, not twice, but three times – and looked away really quickly each time when he saw that I was watching. This is a good way to start the day.
  • I really shouldn’t have to wear a sweater to keep the chill off when going to work in August. I. just. shouldn’t. Why did you bypass us this year, summer, why?
  • I’m coming to the realization that open wounds in the jaw don’t like having coffee poured into them. I’m not going to do anything about that, but I have made the observation.
  • Speaking of coffee, my coffee maker may look like a spaceship, but it doesn’t make my coffee hot enough
  • Earlier, when writing a note, I wrote today’s date down as “28 July 2008”. wtf?
  • Despite being unable to get to sleep until 2 am (which may have had something to do with becoming distracted by a neat website that I was goofing off on until I seemed tired, combined with a general feeling of unwellness that kept me up thereafter) and despite what this posting (and its title) may lead you to believe, I was actually feeling really alert today. It’s the first day since getting my wisdom teeth out that I’ve felt like my brain was functioning at above 75% capacity, where I haven’t felt the overwhelming need to fall asleep at my desk all day and where I actually had the strength to walk the 4 blocks from the bus stop to my building and make it up the 6 flights of stairs to my office. This level of vim and vigor lasted until shortly after lunch.

1“geek-cute” is one of the many forms of boy cuteness of which I am fond. Other types include “young-cute,” “pretty boy-cute” and “smoking hot-cute”.

Amidst all this hoopla about being a Vancouver socialite*, I have been remiss in my objectification of the Canucks duties. Meet the two newest Canucks:

Bryan Smolinski:Brent Sopel:

I’m sure you’ll agree that these two are no Marc Chouinard. In fact, I think Brent may be giving the Sedin twins a run for the “ugliest Canuck” title. I know, I know, I’m harsh…. harsh, but I think you’ll agree, fair.

Also, a bit of useless trivia for you – both these guys have the same initials as me – B.S. Coolest. Initials. Ever.

*Also, I may have had some actual work-like things that I needed to get done.

{February 27, 2007}   Final Thoughts on Northern Voice

So, I’ve looked at my notes and collected my thoughts from Northern Voice. And pretty much this is just a literal collection of the notes that I took (well, the interesting parts anyway), unprocessed*. Sort of a glimpse into the mind of Bethy at a blogging conference – I’m sort of using my blog as a “brain dump” (and a record of my notes should I want to go back and re-visit them) so feel free to skip this post if you find it less than interesting….

Day 1 was “Moosecamp” – the unconference.

At the end of the session called “Mashups for Nonprogrammers,” I made myself the following note:

Wow, this session is going way fast – lots of info in a short amount of time. I’ll have to check out these sites** to see what they actually do, because I can’t really follow at this rapid speed.

That was my first indication at the conference that I’m a veritable neophyte in the ways of computers.

At “Photocamp” and “Videocamp” I just made a bunch of notes of technical stuff that the pros were suggesting for taking better pics/videos for the web. Nothing really interesting enough to blog about***, but definitely useful stuff for me to use. Highlights included the fact that someone had a waterproof digital camera and someone else had a shiny red camera that takes 8 photos at the same time. Also, the idea of having a pocket camera that you always have with you was stressed… if you don’t have the camera, you don’t get the shot.****

The “Vancouver Transit Camp” session was quite interesting – the presenters talked about a barcamp event held in Toronto where the community of transit users came together to collaborate on ideas for a new website****. The idea was to start discussing the idea of having a “Vancouver Transit Camp,” or, as someone pointed out, a “Greater Vancouver Transit Camp,” as, unlike in T.O., Translink is responsible for transit in the GVRD, not just Vancouver proper. It seemed to me that a key point that seemed to come out of the session was that Vancouver is not Toronto, so a transit camp here would probably evolve into quite a different event than Toronto Transit Camp.

Stats: The Forbidden Love“, IMHO, should win the “best title of any session I attended at Moosecamp” prize, if there were such a prize. Which there was not. But I digress. This session was a discussion on how we don’t need to be ashamed of our obsession with how many people are reading are blog, and when, and from where, and how they found us, and… well, you get the point. The group was a lively bunch and I got a learned about a whole bunch of different stat counters I can try out.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Blogs” provided me with some tips for, not surprisingly, optimizing my blog for search engines. As well, I learned that Google used the concept from academics where how many times you are cited by other authors determines your reputation (i.e., searches are based on who is linking to whom and how often).

Other random thoughts from Day 1 that I felt it necessary to record in my notes:

everyone here seems to be using a mac. either that or writing in a notebook.. like with a pen. on paper.

also, there are a lot of people here using a lot of words (or more often, acronyms) that i totally don’t know. i feel like the least techy person here.

Onto Day 2… the more formal conferency day. First up was an interesting keynote talk from Anil Dash, whose job title of Chief Evangelist at six apart tends to be problematic at Customs.

Then I went to “Blogging 101,” where I could actually keep up with what was being talked about, what with being a techy neophyte and all.

How to be a Citizen Journalist” was a cool session on what journalism is and what makes something “news.” I learned that “reporting” requires you to (1) gather information, (2) filter it, and (3) distribute/publish. Missing any of these keys steps = you are not a reporter (you are either a plagiarist (or writing opinion pieces) (missing #1), a transcriber (missing #2) or a snoop (missing #3). Also cool: with the “Access to Information Act” – Canadian citizens/permanent resident has the right to information for any record under the control of the federal government (and there are provincial equivalents of this act). It only costs you a stamp (and maybe a photocopy fee). And they have to tell you. And they have to do it within a certain time period. Cool. Also cool to know: you can buy a microphone that plugs into your iPod and use it as a recording device, should you ever need to. Also discussed, and echoing what was discussed at a previous session: there are 2 rules of photography – (1) have your camera, and (2) take the picture *****. As well, if anyone is interested in Canadian law as it pertains to photography (like, hmmm… I wonder if I can legally post that pic I snapped of that random at the conference/party/protest/change room the other night), check out Apparently it has a lot to do with whether you can have a “reasonable right of expectation of privacy”… for example, if you are at blogging conference, it’s pretty fair to say you do not have a “reasonable right of expectation of privacy” and so someone can take your picture and post it… if you are in the change room at the gym, however, most reasonable people would expect some privacy.

The “Legal Rights & Liabilities of Bloggers” session taught us all about such fun stuff as defamation, copyright infringement and the like. Good times.

I found the “Why Do We Blog” session to be particularly interesting… there was a presentation by Alex Waterhouse-Hayward on why he blogs and then Darren Barefoot showed the results on the survey he conducted that I told y’all about a while back. And I have to include this photo montage thingy of his presentation, taken by leftantler and posted on Flickr, ‘cuz it’s just too cool for words.

And the last session of the day was a lively panel discussion about “Online Dating,” which drew a big crowd and generated lots of Q&A. And the woman who recruited me to her Ph.D. research study was able to recruit more subjects at this talk, so that was cool.

My random thoughts on Day 2 that I felt it necessary to record in my notes:

There is a lot of multi-tasking going on here. People uploading to Flickr, checking out Flickr, writing posts, etc. while listening to the keynote. Only at blogging conference would that not seem rude!

I ❤ technical difficulties at techie conferences. Blue screen of death on the projector, rather than the slides that the presenter probably spent a long time working on.

Why is everyone using the word “granular” all of the sudden? They are using it to mean like “very subtle differences,” which I suppose the word “granular” does invoke, but I’ve only heard it in the last, say, 4 days, but I’ve heard it about 70 times over those 4 days.

Whew, that was a super long post. Did anyone actually read it? 25 points to anyone who claims they actually read the whole thing.

*I know I promised processing. But I also promised Jorge that I would start using his Footnotz soon. Just goes to show that you shouldn’t believe everything you read.

**these sites = all the sites that they were talking about… which have all been added to the wiki for the sessions, so follow the link “Mashups for Nonprogrammers” if you are interested.

**But apparently the fact that I’m not going to blog about it is interesting enough for me to blog about.

***as I discovered, much to my dismay, at this Vancouver Giants game!

****apparently the TTC currently has an atrocious website and the transit users were like, “hell, we can make a better site than that with our eyes closed!”

*****of course, as learned on my run yesterday, “bring your camera” implies that you should have your memory card in your camera. So, for example, if you take your camera on your run because you know you are going to run by a cool sign that you want a photograph of, it really sucks if you carry your camera there and then can’t take the pic ‘cuz you left your memory card in your jump drive on your desk and so you carry your camera for 10 frigginkilometers and can’t take any pictures. I’m just saying.

  1. It’s very cold and icy at 6:35 am in Vancouver and my friends who would get up at that ungodly hour to catch a bus to the ferry to the 3 hour drive for my birthday trip totally rock.
  2. Ice cream products in the vending machine are extremely cold.
  3. BC Ferries have a vegetarian breakfast special, even though it’s not on any of their signage.
  4. Tim’s Horton’s veggie sandwich combo costs $4.23 after tax.
  5. Port Alberni is not nearly as remote as I had been lead to believe.
  6. Surfing is very dangerous and my heirs cannot sue Pacific Surf School should I die while using the equipment that I rented from them.
  7. There is a lake along the drive between Tofino and Nanaimo for which they have been unable to find a bottom.*
  8. My friend Sheila is warm and cuddly.
  9. If you arrive at the ferry terminal at 7 minutes to sailing time, rather than 10 minutes to, they will not let you board and they will make you wait 2 hours until the next ferry. For 3 freaking minutes. Bastards.
  10. Knowing where your surfboard is and thinking you know where you surfboard is are not the same thing insofar as they apply to the duck and cover method of not getting hit in the head with your surfboard.

*At least this is what one person told us on the drive. And we believed him. And I don’t remember where the lake was and no one knew the name of the lake. And yes, this is totally a legit thing that I learned.

The other day I happened across this site: Dave Wear*.

And it got me thinking about how I’d been meaning to write a posting about all the Daves I Know, I Know.

Of course, I have to start with none other then Dave, of Touch You Last fame**. I went to high school with Dave, although I can’t say that we really knew each other very well back then. He’s married to one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world, so I know him much better now. As I’ve said before, Dave introduced me to the world of blogging, so anyone who likes my blog has Dave to thank.

Dave B. He was my first… um, something that I shouldn’t be putting on the record, seeing as it’s illegal in most places***. I met Dave B when I taught him how to teach PBL. He also plays on my ball hockey team.

Dave S-J. He’s also on my ball hockey team. Sometimes he and Dave B. play on the same line — the Double Dave line, as it were.

Dave K is a colleague of mine and he promised me a birthday drunk for my upcoming b-day. I thought it was a typo and he meant birthday “drink,” but no, he did, in fact, mean “drunk.” Dave is from Newfoundland.

Dave N is another colleague of mine, who also happened to teach a course I took. He runs this website and his email address is “db@…” where the “db” stands for “drinking buddy.” And that’s his work email.

Another Dave N – my little cousin, he lives in Montreal. Dave S. was a prof that I worked with on a number of projects; Dave H. is married to one of Sarah’s colleagues and I met him the last time Sarah was here, as he and his wife were here on a house hunting trip. And then there’s another Dave B. who once got really mad about a comment on my blog, so let’s not talk about him.

And, of course, there’s the Dave from whom I’m divorced****.

Hmmm…. it seems like I know more than just these Daves, but I can’t seem to think of any more. So, who are the Daves you know, you know?

*You’re welcome, Dave.

**Also known as Daav.

***No, it’s not what you are thinking. But good guess.

****effective as of today, actually. Please refrain from making comments on this Dave.

{August 17, 2005}   Interesting fact

The pig “is the only species, other than human, that has a preference for alcohol” (Cudd, 2005).

et cetera