UBC lockdown

You may have heard there was a police incident at UBC today. Here's the news, which essentially says nothing. And we, the students and denizens of UBC, also know nothing. How's that for necessary communication?

The "unspecified threat" occurred in the Biological Science building. AERL, my building, is adjacent, and the building we were holding our workshop in this afternoon is kitty corner across a parking lot/access area. Here's a pic:
We still haven't heard what happened but my guess is someone called in a bomb threat and that it turned out to be a hoax. I'm super glad no one was hurt (as of current reports) and annoyed that the police tried to deny us entrance to my building when we were wheeling a cart full of workshop supplies back to AERL. Our building was near by the site but not in any way involved with the incident. We waited until the police were out of sight then ducked under the police tape. Yes, we broke the rules in order to return a flip chart and some laptops. Oooh, deviants!

If it does turn out to be something horrible that went down on campus, I'm going to feel terrible that I've been so flippant. So far, I've only heard that it was a false alarm so this post is premised on that account.

27! Egads!

Happy Birthday to my lil' sis!
I thought this comic was appropriate for an Albertan birthday, low-carb or not. Now go out and treat yourself to a big birthday STEAK!


Saving the day

Yes, there's so much for me to catch up on for the blog. Sorry I've been AWOL, but as Dawnald pointed out in an e-mail yesterday, she knows I'm busy busy busy when the blog gets neglected. I love that a conversation has started in the comments section about Alberta weather. You guys need my blog! That feels so good! :-)

I just had to stop what I'm doing for a minute and describe the moment for you. This should satisfy your need to read something/anything and will get me off the hook for a couple days about updating the blog with everything, and there's a lot, that's been going on.

Right this second (well, when I'm not blogging about it) I'm sitting at my desk in my pod at school, doing the tedious tasks associated with preparing surveys and handout packages for our workshop tomorrow. I'm ripping out staples, recycling large stacks of old surveys, emptying and refilling envelopes, IDing consent forms, surveys and envelopes, and trying desperately to avoid giving myself too many paper cuts. I'm also watching a cooking show on my monitor with my headphones in so as not disturb other students around me in the open plan office. Oh, who am I kidding? The headphones are mostly there to disguise the fact that I'm watching tv at the office. Ha!

Besides this, the snow is falling gently outside my window and Vancouver is really getting a blanket of the white stuff. This morning, as you can imagine, the city was a shambles of accidents, stuck buses, and messy sidewalks. My bus ride to UBC this morning ranks among my Worst Bus Rides Ever. I won't fill you in on what constitutes such a ranking because I have to get back on the bus to go home later on, which will be impossible if I don't actively repress this morning's experience. Watching this cooking show while my hands are busy is truly saving my sanity.

For those of you also looking for something to watch while you do mundane tasks, I recommend The Everyday Dish. It's a vegan cooking show this woman films in her own kitchen but it has a surprisingly high production value. She's fairly annoying but the food and recipes are worth it. Right now I'm watching her make vegetarian sausage from scratch and it looks damn tasty.

Ok, back to my staples and envelopes. I promise to update the blog soon!


The scales will fall from my eyes

Remember the health assessment I was kind of dreading and kind of excited about? I finally managed to reschedule it with the UBC trainer so 9am tomorrow morning will see me in sports bra and tight pants being measured and assessed. I'm glad it's finally going to happen but I managed to poorly schedule the rescheduled appointment.

Because ... tonight is the first of three reservations we made through
Dine Out Vancouver. I'm sure I've blogged about this before: restaurants around town sign up with a set three course menu that they offer for either $15, $25, or $35 from January 13th to February 3rd. Some of the restaurants you could almost eat there more cheaply any day of the year but some of them are high falutin' snotty places with divine food that is normally absurdly priced. Dine Out Vancouver is a chance to try their fare at a reduced price, and we take the opportunity to invite people to dinner that we either don't know well or don't see often enough.

Tonight we have a four top at
Cru and we've invited one of Rocco's colleagues and his girlfriend. They're young and fun and I'm sure it will be a good time. Unfortunately, for the health assessment I'm not supposed to have alcohol or coffee for 12 hours before the appointment. Our reservation at Cru is for 8:30pm (you take what you can get as Dine Out Vancouver books up very quickly) so for one thing I shouldn't have any wine with my dinner (gasp!) and even if dinner runs late, which it will, I can't have a coffee until after the assessment (double gasp!).

Well to this I say Kaphewey (
\ˈka-fü-ē\)! I'm damn well going to enjoy at least a glass of wine with dinner, even if I limit myself to only one, and I can wait an hour or so for a morning coffee, it's just not going to be pleasant. I'll probably be so distracted by the calipers pinching the inches and my heart rate soaring while on the cardio machines that the absent caffeine won't really be missed.

I'm not sure if they do any blood work in the assessment (doubt it) but if they do I can just imagine the trainer's face when she looks at the results. "Do you normally eat
Butter lettuce Salad with marinated beets, mustard vinaigrette, cherry tomatoes, Wild Mushroom and Truffle Risotto with pea shoots and parmesan curls, followed by dessert of Grand Cru Chocolate Truffle with raspberry mousse and coulis? Egads!" Heh heh heh!

Edited later:
Bah, did it happen? NO! The trainer was 15 minutes late, then she discovered the body composition machine is out of order. We need to, yes, reschedule. ARG! Pretty soon I'm just going to demand my money back but I'm still really interested in getting the analysis done. I guess I'll hang in there for a few more days. We'll see if she actually calls me about it.


Blog find

Found a cute blog called Bent Objects. Terry, from Indianapolis, Indiana, makes funny little creatures from funny little pieces of things and bent wire. He poses them in situations and photographs the results. Some pretty fun pics!

Here are a few of my faves:

Title: Rejection

Title: Peanut Mourning

Title: They Know Best

No Title


Procrastination karma

While away in Southern Alberta for the holidays I intended to fit in a long run, something around 17 or 18km. Well, it was cold (with the windchill), and there always seemed to be something better to do (like run inside on a treadmill - lame!), and there was always enough good cheese and wine to keep me sedated and glued to the couch. I had the best intentions, but they really fell flat.

So, back to BC and the long run absolutely had to be accomplished. My next race is in 5, make that 4 (!) weeks, so there's no time to lose in training. I did a shorter run during the week to get my sea-level legs back and thoroughly enjoyed the elevated red blood count thanks to celebrating the holidays at 910 M (2,985.6 FT), but the long run was yet to come. Last night I had a lot of trouble sleeping, probably because I had become a bit nervous about the long run planned for this morning. It had been put off and put off...how would it feel after a hiatus from more serious distance?

As it turns out, I really shouldn't have been worried about my performance but I definitely should have paid more attention to the weather report. I started the run at 9am, intending to run about 17 or 18km, meeting up with a friend partway. If I hadn't arranged it with my friend, I really doubt I would have left the house. Rocco was all warm and slumberous in bed still when I left, and only groggily asked where the hell I thought I was going at what to him was an ungodly hour for a weekend. The rain was pelting down and had been all night. Luckily, I thought, the wind had mostly died down. Well not for long.

It's funny what running will do to you. Even in shorts (yes, stupid, stupid shorts since my longer pants are filthy and stinking in the laundry pile), running will warm you up in any weather and keep you pushing forward because to stop is to get cold and to fully realise your misery. I ran from step one in driving rain which was somehow always driving into my face even though the route changed direction many times. I ran through four episodes of hail. Hail! In Vancouver! Small pellets, but hail all the same. And four times! I ran through the river that people call the Sea Wall (no, it's a flowing river. I promise) then listened to the squelch of my shoes as I carried extra water weight up the hill from the Sea Wall to more elevated areas of Vancouver.

I finally arrived at my friend's house and thumped on his door with my frozen claw hands. [Aside: Dad, those windstopper gloves you gave me are awesome but they were simply not up to the task this morning!] He opened the door with great enthusiasm and was totally ready to run - until he saw me. Yes, yes, I was fine, I just needed to rub my hands a little before we headed out again, I explained through blue lips and chattering teeth. We ran together for about a half hour then split up to run to our respective houses, dry off and warm up, then get dressed for brunch. The warm shower water made my nearly frost-bitten skin scream! Maybe it wasn't frost-bitten, but hailed and rained upon, beaten to a pulp! I now feel fine, though still a little chilled.

Let me just say this. As the weather gods demonstrated today, it does not pay to procrastinate! If I had done the long run in AB it would have been a cold but sunny morning, light breeze, back roads with little traffic and NO precipitation. Here in Vancouver, the morning was suited to almost anything you could imagine doing more than it was suited to running. And still, my first answer to Rocco's concerned question, "How was it?" was Fun! Now I have some bragging rights and the mad runner's gleam in my eye, and I enjoyed a gluttonous portion of huevos rancheros for brunch without a drop of guilt.

What have I become?


The old slice and dice

Rocco gave me an amazing gift, a Wüsthof santoku!
6.5 inches of precision-forged tempered steel with a hollow edge for hair-splitting k-nifing. Shazam! I tried it out yesterday and it was doing such an impressive job of slicing and dicing the garlic and onions that I just couldn't resist trying the blade on flesh and bone! I made a valiant effort to add my finger tip to the spaghetti sauce but sadly failed. I also failed to find a bandaid so Rocco found me dripping hemoglobin when he got home a minute later.
Oh well, they say a knife is not truly yours to use until you've baptised it with your blood. Who is they? I don't know, They, capital T. Well, me, anyway. I say that. I say that now.

My finger's fine, thanks for asking. And the knife is awesommmmme! It cuts like buttah. Like buttah!