Friday, 29 August 2008

Final Thoughts On The Gov

As I sit here after my final day, I feel the need to pass on some wisdom to any public servants who will come after me. Take my advice with a grain of salt though, since I have decided that a future in government is really not for me. I had a great year. Here are some things I have learned about working for the Government of Canada:
**Everything takes forever, plan for at least ten times longer than you think to get anything done
**Computer solitaire can save your sanity
**Things need to get approved, probably by multiple levels above you
**You can really only count on yourself and other who you know well to do an efficient and effective job
**It takes forever to get in and it is hard to leave
**Competition for jobs is very official in the effort to be impartial, meaning it takes a long time and is often very intense and more than a little stupid
**Once your in you can move around to literally thousands of different positions
**The pay, benefits, hours, and time off is amazing, it is hard to walk away from such a great union
**There is a big focus towards career development, lots of money is put into training, always take advantage of this
**People get jaded quickly, many are bitter and unmotivated
**There are people who care about tax payers money, they work hard, manage budgets, and care about Canada
**There are meetings about meetings
**Policies, processes, and definitions are discussed, documented, and approved, only to be reopened and changed a few months later
**No one gets fired
**Like any job there will be people you love and people you hate, those you don't like aren't going anywhere anytime fast, so just deal with them
**While it is idealistic, it is important to always remember that Public Servants serve the public, government workers work for Canadians

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Not An Expert

I don't think that I have enough directed passion or specific enough education, so as to contribute to most of the everyday discussions around me. I have gradually noticed this over the past couple of years, it is especially prevalent at family gatherings where people spend long periods of time talking about Jazz, Canadian Theatre, Financial Matters, Sailing, Retirement, or Travelling. I am not informed enough to give very good opinions on these topics, and when I try, I end up looking like an idiot because everyone knows I don't know what I'm talking about. When I try to ask questions to get clarification about the more obscure references, everyone seems a little annoyed to be teaching said idiot and not just talking amongst each other. As I can't seem to successfully play the role of Respected Contributor or Keen Learner, I end up just being an Avid Listener, which slows my learning about the topics. It isn't even just the topics that crop up at these family gatherings, it is most conversations with people who are over the age of 12. I just don't know enough about Music, Cars, Politics, Science, Current Issues (the list goes on) to really add much to a conversation. I can pretty much hold my own when talking about Movies, but even then I haven't seen that many, and can never remember actors names. My degree isn't helping me become as well read as I had hoped. It is hard to have a literary discussion because I just haven't read enough. I feel I am just not knowledgeable enough about anything. For the most part, any conversation I'm having, I'm the person who knows less about what we are talking about. How did I become such an idiot? I know people care about me and love me, but how can they stand to listen to me talk about stuff I just don't know anything about?

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

My Wiki Cherry

I made my first ever Wiki edit. I was on the wiki page for 'Labour Omnia Vincit', because while I knew it was PDHS' motto, I did not really remember what it meant. (Hardwork conquers all.) While I was on that page I noticed that there was a list of schools across the world that use it as their motto and PDHS was not mentioned. Everyone says how easy it is to edit on Wikipedia and I figured I would give it a shot. Not only did I add it but also was able to link it to the schools wiki page as well. I was happy that you didn't need to create some sort of account to do this but it did say some scary stuff about editing without logging in will cause my IP address to be recorded publicly in the page's edit history. That would normally worry me to a certain extent, but I did it from my work computer so I don't really care.

Monday, 25 August 2008

My Future Life?

What do you do with a B.A. in English
What do you do with a B.A. in English,
What is my life going to be?
Four years of college and plenty of knowledge,
Have earned me this useless degree.
I can't pay the bills yet,
'Cause I have no skills yet,
The world is a big scary place.
But somehow I can't shake,
The feeling I might make,
A difference,
To the human race.
From Avenue Q - Book by Jeff Whitty. Music and Lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. The original Broadway production opened on 31 July 2003. Avenue Q is a Broadway musical comedy about a charming yet rundown outer-borough neighborhood where both puppets and humans deal with everyday New York challenges.

Sunday, 24 August 2008

Unfortunatly Bad Science

Dr. Masaru Emoto and a number of other scientists have been studying water's reaction to thought. Emoto is known for his controversial claim that if human speech or thoughts are directed at water droplets before they are frozen, images of the resulting water crystals will be beautiful or ugly depending upon whether the words or thoughts were positive or negative. Emoto claims this can be achieved through prayer, music or by attaching written words to a container of water. For example, he typed out words on a piece of paper and pasted these written words onto a bottle of water, froze it overnight to see how the water reacted to the words. The crystals that formed were then photographed using a microscope. Those given positive words, like 'Thank You', produced beautiful snowflake crystals, while those infected with negative thoughts, like 'You Make Me Sick', turned out looking gross. As we are 65-90% water, the extension of this theory is that by pure thought we can change ourselves. The entire concept is just amazing and mind blowing. The problem is that Emoto's science is more than a little bit shoddy, and he has been criticized for his lack of experimental controls. He even admits he is not a scientist. In the day-to-day work of his group, the creativity of the photographers rather than the rigor of the experiment is an explicit policy of Emoto. Photographers are instructed to select the most pleasing photographs. When given that much freedom, and when looking at something at a microscopic level, even within one bottle a number of different images could be found. As you can see the experiments were designed in ways that leave them open to human error which influence the findings. Sad, because the thought of it all is so cool.

Saturday, 23 August 2008


Anne left tonight to go back to Calgary. She was supposed to only be here from January until April but ended up staying for a second co-op term. Her friendship made work so much better and we had some awesome times traipsing around the city together. I will miss her greatly, she is so much fun. I know that friendships ebb and flow, people fade in and out of our lives, but I really hope I get to see her again. Bye Anne, Ottawa will miss you!

My Geography

Sliding across barren land
A dessert, deep and red
Dust, heat, fear

Hear volcanoes erupt in the distance
The earthquakes below
Shudder, crack, fear

Instability surrounds
Rushing through the panic
Earth, alone, fear

Great pillars of rock
Land breaking away
Tremor, scream, fear

Waiting for the aftershock
The erosion of sand
Wind, life, fear


Thursday, 21 August 2008

Too Organized

The Girl's Washroom at work has a official system for the identification of stalls that have run out of toilet paper. (This is because apparently looking before you lock the door and sit down is too complicated for the public service.) Each of the three stalls has a magnetic clip on it. Hanging from this clip is a thin strip of paper. (Yes, of course, this is laminated and includes the liberal use of ClipArt.) On one side it says 'This Stall Is Out Of Toilet Paper' and the other is blank. After you use the last of the toilet paper in a stall you are to go out and flip the laminated sign over and clip it with the writing facing out. In the morning someone must flip them all back to show the blank side, or maybe the evening cleaning crew does it when they refill the toilet paper. Mind you this was not designed or initiated by the cleaning crew, just an overzealous administrative assistant. (There was a memo sent out over e-mail to everyone detailing the system and how it worked when it was first implemented a few weeks back.) The entire thing is just so insanely ridiculous I can't stand it.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008


"I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy. Come on, Squishy Come on, little Squishy ... Ow. Bad Squishy, bad Squishy." -- Dora (about a jellyfish) in Finding Nemo

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Stuck At The Crossroads

I have writers block. I haven't been able to think of something to post here for a while. What is crazy is how much stuff is going on in my life, yet I still can't figure out what to write. I'm leaving my job, going back to school, good friends are going away, other good friends are returning soon, my brother has headed off to start military training, my parents are close to retirement and selling the house I grew up in. Everything is happening around me, but I can't grab onto any of it to make sense of it all, or to help feel grounded in anyway. I'm just so tired and the words really are not flowing.

Saturday, 16 August 2008

Friday, 15 August 2008

Bovine Economics

World Economic Models Explained With Cows
(E-mail Forward, Author Unknown)

You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour.
You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.
You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.
You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you.
You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away...
You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.
You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market it worldwide.
You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.
You have two cows.
You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.
You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.
You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 2 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.
You have 5000 cows.
None of them belong to you. You charge the owners for storing them.
You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them. You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity. You arrest the newsman who reports the real situation.
You have two cows.
You worship them.
You have two cows.
Both are mad.
Everyone thinks you have lots of cows. You tell them that you have none. No-one believes you, so they bomb the shit out of you and invade your country. You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of Democracy....

Just in Time

Little Brother Mike left today to go to New Brunswick for 7 months. At the end of last year he started to think that the Brantford factory life might not be for him and his band wasn't really on the fast track to fame. He looked into the Canadian Military and did the smart thing of joining the Reserves first to see if he liked it. Throughout this year, he has been working and training with the Reserves and has really enjoyed it. It took a long time to get through the paperwork to switch into the Regular Force. He received notice a few weeks back and everything has pulled together rather quickly and is going to be in Gage Town, NB for the rest of the year. Turns out because he has done his Basic Military Training and Soldier Qualifying Training in the Reserves he is skipping ahead. He is going to be bumming around the base for a bit before starting Military Occupation training for Combat Engineering which takes just over 5 months, starting sometime in September. He flew out there this morning, luckily I got a hold of him on the phone right before he boarded the plane to say, "Goodbye, Good Luck, and I love you." My Dad drove him to the airport and my Mom was going to say goodbye in person before he left. I asked if she was going to cry and she said she didn't know. I don't know either. We have lived far enough away from each other for so long that I'm used to not seeing him. He is also hard to keep in contact with in the best of times anyway, so I doubt I will notice much difference. Also he still has a ways to go in training before he departs for any tours, so there isn't a huge threat to his safety at the moment. I haven't really figured out how I feel about it all. It seems to be happening so fast and I haven't wrapped my head around it. No matter what though, I'm very proud of him.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Painfully True

"I will not wear high heels. Because heels are a male invention designed to make women's butts look smaller... and to make it harder for them to runaway."
-She's The Man by Ewan Leslie


I have always loved what an old co-worker from Subway used to call soft alternative rock. 'Theory of a Nickle Creed', a great combination of bands that pretty much all sound the same. I love them all. I was watching some old SNL clips and Amy Poehler talked about the fact that they are trying to come up with an updated version of the old show Beverly Hills 90210, she joked that they would call it "One OC Gossip Tree Creek". Interestingly, I only like some of the shows mentioned in that combination, despite how similar they all are. "Pretty white kids with problems."

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Not Swan Lake

This YouTube clip is insane. Jeska sent it to me in an e-mail and the acrobatics in it are so amazing. Watch it all the way through as at one point the girl does an arabesque on pointe on the guys shoulder muscles, insane. Mind you it is not actually Swan Lake, it is the music from it, but obviously not the correct steps.

Confused Not Inspired

The following quote was on my local Running Room's window:
"A 8-minute kilometer is just as far as a 4-minute kilometer."
I don't get what it is trying to say. Is it saying that it is a good thing that you are out there and running and be proud of the distance gone despite times? Or, if you are out to go a certain distance you might as well push it and improve your times? I'm just not inspired, I'm confused.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Ignoring The Cravings

I don't know why but I'm really craving fried potatoes. Either chips (ideally Ruffles Sour Cream and Onion) or fries (ideally McDonald's with Sweet and Sour Sauce). I rarely get really strong cravings for things and I tend to believe that when they happen it is your body telling you something. In this case I think my body is wrong. I am doing fine for starches, fats and salt (which is pretty much all I would get from eating chips or fries, not a lot of nutritional value there.) What I really need to more fruits and vegetables, since I'm out of fresh ones and have not had as much as I should these past few days. So this time, I'm going to ignore my body to a certain extent and have some canned veggies, either corn or green beans.

Monday, 11 August 2008


I got this 'Little Black Dress' a long time ago. The picture is from three years ago when I wore it to Charity Ball. I can't even really remember wearing it since then but I'm sure I have. I love it, it is really pretty, but not too fancy. It fits great since it is fairly flowy. I don't remember where I got it but I do remember it being a really good deal. It is a great dress, made of the material that doesn't wrinkle. I used to keep it in a roll, I can remember that. Now I totally can't find it, and I don't remember moving it into the new place. I would not have gotten rid of it and I can't think of any reason why I would have had to throw it out. I also don't tend to lend my clothes to people so I can't think of anyone who would have borrowed it. I'm totally stumped.

Saturday, 9 August 2008


I'm on Teri's MacBook and I can't seem to do anything. I am such a PC girl. There is no 'right click' and only one 'delete' button, which is basically a 'backspace'. Also I keep hitting the Capslock. I am having a hard time. I can totally see that it is more natural then Windows and other Microsoft programs, but when you have been using a PC for the past 20 or so years, nothing on this thing makes any sense. I'm sure if I got one (not that I will be able to afford one in the near future) I would figure it all out and love it, but right now I'm just totally lost!!

Thursday, 7 August 2008

It's A Big Boat

I have finally been able to get out on Meridian, the new sailboat. My parents just bougt it this year with my aunt and uncle. I had seen it last time I was down, but only very quickly and we didn't go out on it. This time, we took it out for a causal sail with Steph, Dave, Jer and a bunch of other people on Sunday just to cruse around and have a good time. I also raced on it last night. The top picture shows just how big the sails are, also most of the time it sailed with two, which is different for me and adds new wind dynamics that I haven't quite figured out yet (Picture by Stephanie Beach). It is much larger then I'm used to. The other two shots, give a sense of how big and beautiful it is (Pictures by Carol Sweeton). Although I'm fairly comfortable on our little Laser, and I have spent some time on both daysailers as well as other boats this size, I don't know much about how to sail it, so it really is an overwhelming boat at times. I wish I had more time here to learn.

Friday, 1 August 2008


I'm off this afternoon for a week at the cottage. If anyone is looking for me this is where I will be. I can't wait!!