Sunday, 14 October 2018

Oh, And I Have Voted

So, another quick follow-up to my municipal election post: I voted.

Jason and I went to the advance polls, which close this evening so you probably missed them - make sure you go out on election day, October 22!! We got our voter cards in the mail and they had our polling location info on it - stopped over at a nearby community centre to cast our ballots on Thursday. We are away on the main day, doing a short little trip to Alberta.

Fun Fact: There are 35 mayoral candidates in the Toronto election this year and at least two of them are neo-nazis. (Actually, not a fun fact, frankly a disgusting reality.)

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Really? That Many?

Decided to check out the statistics for Always Standing since I haven't done so in a while and I was blown away by what I found.

Firstly, I just used the little Stats tab on the Blogger homepage instead of going through the full on Google Analytics route so I don't get as much information as usual.

Secondly, as has been true for the past few years, Puns For Anna consistently gets tons of visits. I don't know how or why people find it but they do.

Alright, onto the shocking thing, in the past week my post about the municipal election got 45 page views! I did post about it on Facebook and in the past that has meant a decent uptake in views, maybe double the normal amount but nothing close to that number.

I have about 244 Facebook Friends (I think I need to cull that down) so does that mean that one fifth of them clicked the status update? I hope they decided to become (or return to being) regular Always Standing readers.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

TB - September 2007

Throwback Thursday - Scroll to the bottom of the month and read up. Or click on the earliest post in the month (to view the post and the comments) then keep clicking Newer Post until you finish the month.


Settling into a full-time job, at GeoConnections, and going to school in the evenings (I am going to meet Erin AH and Jenn soon ... pretty sure they are both in the class I mention attending.) Looks like I signed up to help Kristen at The Charlatan and that I quit Subway, did I end up going back to Subway later? I have a hard time leaving that chain.

There is a quote from my dad! I don't exactly remember where or when or the context in which he was saying it but totally sounds like something he would say. Probably was on the phone. Sadly, I can no longer hear how his voice sounds in my head, it left quickly and I hate that it is gone. 

Noted Post: The I Can See!! post describes one of my favourite personal anecdotes, I remember it happening and I still laugh about it to this day.

Monday, 8 October 2018

Just Like Us

Driving home today, yesterday we visited Harvard and MIT campuses in Boston, just across the river from Chicago. (We also went kayaking on that river and had a picnic lunch in Harvard Yard.)

Harvard Students - They are just like us!
Seen on campus: 
Student with an armful of obviously stolen toilet paper.
Overheard:
"Yo, if a girl matches you on Tindr means she is go to go!"

MIT Students - Less like us
Seen on campus: 
A juggling club practicing in a hallway with a variety of materials.
Overheard: 
"When you amplify the sample size, you decrease the error rate."

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Salem In October

Yesterday we went to Salem, which is just north of Boston. (It is actually on their commuter rail system it is so close, but we drove.) The town is really busy in October and was so beautiful. I definitely want to go back. The historic homes are incredible, they have houses dating back to the 1600s. There was a lot that we didn't get to see, just being there for a day. It is a harbor town and we didn't even make it down to the waterfront area. We were mainly there to learn more about The Salem Witch Trials.

If you don't know about this strange point in American history, I really suggest you look it up. The Wikipedia entry linked above gives a decent overview but I am sure there are other sites as well. Both Kristen and I consider this a common knowledge point but there are so many historic events in the USA it seems it isn't as known about as I had assumed. There is also a lot of miss information, and the Salem Trials get confused with facts from those that occurred in Europe.

Here are some things I was surprised about:
- Not as many deaths as I had thought, they 'only' executed twenty people
- Trials are well documented, there are surviving transcripts from witness interviews
- They relied on spectral evidence, which was a thing
- It all ended when the Governor's wife got accused
- They didn't 'test' the women in water, might have been a European thing
- Starts with accusations from afflicted children
- Along with sexism issues, racism was a factor too

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Road Trip!

Jason and I like to travel to the US during Canadian Thanksgiving. This year Kristen and Noah were interested in joining us. We have planned out a pretty intense road trip over to Massachusetts. We knew you can get there for a weekend, since we had done it for the playoff game in April. That had been a lot of driving but with an extra day I hope to be able to see some cool things, going to visit Salem and Boston. We are used to being in the car together. Besides the playoff road trip, the four of us have also driven together to Pittsburgh this past summer, well just outside of it, to go White Water Rafting. Road trip!

Friday, 5 October 2018

A Tiny Advantage

I won't get into how horrible it is that Premier Doug Ford, in the Provincial Government, has cut the size of Toronto city council. Basically it is a terrible idea, but on top of that doing it in the middle of an election is unethical. However, because The City is now 25 ridings instead of the previous 47, Vote Compass has been expanded to include city councillor races as well (maybe it was always going to do so for this election but I really like thinking there is some tiny silver lining in the disgraceful city council meddling.) In 2014 they had information for the mayor stuff, but the ward details are a great addition.

Vote Compass is an amazing tool, I love it so much and use it every election. So glad that I used it because the incumbent councillor (from my section of the ward, since there have been mergings) visited the house and I enjoyed talking to her. However, she isn't at all progressive and I didn't fully know her voting record. She voted to cut transit routes! So, good to get an idea of a more appropriate candidate for our neighbourhood. Here are my results:

This didn't tell me anything new for the mayoral race, I knew that I aligned more with Jennifer Keesmaat, she is an urban planner and I thought she was awesome in the role of Toronto Chief City Planner when she did it a few years back. I will be voting for her. However, I think John Tory is doing a good job and I will not be disappointed if (when) he is elected.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Grrrr Two

The cat has cost us over $1,200 this month! That is just medically, not even looking at food or litter.

It started early in September with a scheduled surgery - she has these strange Cutaneous Horns on her paw pads and they had reached a size that I decided to get them cut off/back.

Cutaneous horns are composed of keratin overgrowth. They may affect one or multiple footpads. Often thin and horn-like (hence the name), they may appear like second "nails" close to the nails on the digital pads. If not on a weight bearing surface, these lesions usually do not cause lameness. Cutaneous horns may be spontaneous, and this is often the case on the footpads. If the horns are not causing lameness the lesions are often ignored. The horny growth can removed by trimming, however, the horns will often recur. Horns causing discomfort should be removed and, if it is possible to do so without causing a large pad defect, the base of the lesion should be excised to prevent regrowth. -- DMV360 

They have be growing for years and were never something I felt comfortable trimming myself. This summer they reached a length that was bothering her when we were trimming her claws. I decided to have her into the vet for surgery and get them cut them down (they weren't able to dig everything out to prevent regrowth and they are already regrowing, but it helped). Also had them clean her teeth at the same time. That was $585 and she went in for it about a month ago.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I got concerned about a mark I noticed on her bum, because Binx had an abscess issue once that was awful. After a $85 examination it was determined to just be a scratch and I was told to watch it for the next couple of weeks but that it would just heal up and go away - it did.

Last night she tore a claw - another trip into the vet. She did it back in December too but I don't think we caught it right away back then because the fur around it was all clumped together. In December the vet had a hard time determining the issue, having to cut back the fur first. Last night we noticed it quickly (just by chance because both times she was walking fine) and I took her in this afternoon. They treated it and it cost $610. In December, it had been $470. The difference was that they didn't sedate her last time. I guess by the time they had trimmed and cleaned the fur she was in enough distress that they just cut back the claw, cleaned it up and gave her antibiotics. We weren't given a choice in the method at the time, she was taken to another room and treated. This time the vet explained that style to be a bit more 'down on the farm' and while it was an option since this time he could see everything and knew what needed to be done - sedation and pain killers were recommended. Of course I agreed, I hate pain why would I make the cat suffer.

Basically this rant isn't about the cost of veterinary services - because while they are more expensive in The City, it is an understandable increase for more expensive rent etc. Across all vet practices I find the costs are almost always worth it - I value the expertise and care. Mainly this is a rant at the fact that my particular cat keeps costing me money, or that it has all been concentrated recently. Luckily she is cute!

Follow Two's life in her own words with photos on Instagram - @twodeecat