Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blast From The Past

You know how they say you can never go home again? Well I've proved that wrong at least once in the past year or so, and then again a couple nights ago: I went to my 10 year high school reunion!
Gosh I can't believe I actually went. Ten years ago I said I wouldn't go unless I was married and/or successful. Yeah. Not so much. I'm so glad I went though! It was weird at the beginning, and cliquey, but by then end I think everyone was comfortable enough to talk to anyone. It was just...nice. I saw a bunch of people I hadn't seen for 10 year (obviously) and it was just nice to catch up (even though Facebook has been facilitating that superficially for a year or so now). I love friends who you can just get right back into talking too, and even I hadn't seen those people for years, it was like time hadn't passed. So, yeah, it was nice. I might even attempt to keep in touch with a few people.
I guess maybe you can kinda sorta relive old memories, or at least create hope for new ones.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vacation Time!!

Technically I'm not on vacation until Saturday. I've got three 12hr work days, one 10 year high school reunion, and an empty suitcase to take care of first. Yikes! Oh, but it'll be bliss to not work for awhile, and especially to see some far-off friends again. I'm off to Portland, Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Seattle and of course the Edmonton Folk Music Festival.
At some point, my adventures will find their way onto my travel blog if you'd like to follow along.
I can't wait...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Word Of The Day

treatise - a formal and systematic exposition in writing of the principles of a subject, generally longer and more detailed than an essay. (Oh gosh it's been a long week, sitting in front of my conversationally-challenged computer, in my freezing 'office' cataloguing all these interesting books. Interesting is most definitely not the word of the day.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Patience Is A Virtue

Today's inspiration comes c/o the Rolling Stones:
"You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need"

Friday, July 11, 2008

Go Green

I'd like to think I'm kinda a 'green' person (eco, environmentally friendly, granola, whatever the word). I try to do my bit. I do think I could do more though. I came across this great blog by a National Post writer: greenasathistle.com. For an entire year, she did one thing each day to help the environment. That's 366 things (plus a book deal, not too shabby). I'm currently making my way through the post archive (and some of those things I am just not doing, green or not, but others I'm going to try for sure). She's condensed it all in this nice green list, now that's what I call inspiration!

Monday, July 07, 2008

A Bookish Sort of Day

Today I went on a field trip with some of the girls from the law library to the Atlas Book Bindery (whose motto is 'Bound To Last', so funny). It was a really interesting trip, for a bunch of librarians anyways. First the woman showed us examples of all the different types of bindings (sewn, glued) and covers (leather, cloth) and graphics (silk screened, stamped). Then she gave us a tour of the 'factory'. It was like I imagined, mass chaos: books (in many different stages of processing) and boxes everywhere, noisy, warm and a bit chemically smelly. The whole process wasn't as mechanized as I though it would be. Machines of course did most of the work, but there was a lot of human manual labour involved. And there were so many steps! Sorting, ordering, binding, cutting, labeling, covering, and finally sticking it all together. Once again, it was just really interesting! Their servics seemed to be very in demand, but they had a small staff (although that is once again due to Alberta's labour shortage) which meant they were really behind. The amount of books that go through that place though, my goodness. I definitely was neat to go behind the scenes and see how it all happens, and it made me appreciate the effort that goes into each and every book on my shelf (and floor!) and in my libraries.
On another booky note, my June charity donation (yes, I'm a bit behind too) went to Eco-Libris. The concept is to balance out the environmental impact of the books you buy. You donate money per book and they plant a tree for you, mostly in South/Central America and Africa, where the biggest impact can be made. I think it's a brilliant idea. I like the thought of doing something little in order to make a big impact our environment.
Oh, and did you know, using a library is also environmentally friendly? Visit your local library today!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

It's about time I wrote a post about the newest, coolest geek-thing on the internet:
Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is Joss Whedon's latest project (you know, Joss Whedon, of Buffy and Firefly fame?!). Apparently during the writer's strike, Joss Whedon started writing a three episode (10 minutes each) superhero musical series for the internet. It's co-written by Joss’ brothers Zack and Jed and Jed’s FiancĂ© Maurissa Tancharoen (of Apartment 4B fame).
“It’s the story of a low-rent super-villain, the hero who keeps beating him up, and the cute girl from the laundromat he’s too shy to talk to.” says Whedon.
Check out Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog to view the trailer and other fun stuff (such as a Captain Hammer Comic!). Online release dates are July 15, 17 and 19 for free viewing (after July 20th the episodes are only available for paid download or on DVD).
Spread the word: can't stop the signal!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Weird Wiki Word Counts

You've got to check out this article, c/o 'Head Tale', it compares word counts of Wikipedia articles about various semi-related things.
Examples:
- Pokemon (5,721) vs. Poker (1,857)
- Batman (10,818) vs. Human (10,385)
- Legend of Zelda races (10,611) vs. European Ethic Groups (4,282)
You wont believe the numbers for Knuckles (from Sonic the Hedgehog) vs. God. Wikipedia is a weird and twisted little world. Although quite normal compared to uncyclopedia.
(Thanks to Gary Larson and gamesradar.com for the cartoon. The Far Side rocks!)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

What Came Before

Today's nugget of knowledge comes via my night working at the law library. Thus it's completely different that yesterday's post and probably of no interest at all to anyone but me (as a potential law librarian, I'm supposed to be able to tell which one the client wants). PRECEDENT - 1) Legal principle, created by a court decision, which provides an example or authority for judges deciding similar issues later. Generally, decisions of higher courts (within a particular system of courts) are mandatory precedent on lower courts within that system--that is, the principle announced by a higher court must be followed in later cases. 2) That which is to be followed or imitated as a model; a pattern or copy, such as a completed court form to be used as an example for one who is filling out such form. The first may be obtained from case reports (free, go to the library or check online). The second is only available if you pay a lawyer. How stupid. Precedent forms are not published in books or online, but closely guarded by law firms, not to be shared with rival firms or for free to the public. One day I'm going to write a book full of precedent forms which will help the general public deal with the complexities of the law and the court system. I'm all about sharing the love.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Grossed Out

I found a worm/caterpillar in my salad at lunch today. That's just great. Just freakin' great. The spinach came from the garden (so at least it was an organic worm?) but the whole episode ruined my appetite and completely grossed me out. Unfortunately, Bob the Ulcer wasn't too happy about the lack of lunch, so basically I just felt sick all day. Today's horror isn't really that shocking, because the same thing happened about a month ago. I found a worm/caterpillar in my dinner, that apparently came from the package of mixed frozen vegetables (which was almost finished). At least that time Sobey's gave me a $10 gift certificate. Now, for a girl, I'm pretty hardy when it comes to bugs. While in England I lived through a house moth infestation, and numerous wood lice encounters. I also slept with bed bugs (not fun) and carpet beetle larvae (which didn't gross me out until I actually found one in my bed, as opposed to inside the mattress where I couldn't see them). They're good stories, you should ask me about them sometime. Anyways, bugs in my food is not cool. I know most of the world eats bugs, heck, I've even eaten a chocolate covered cricket. It's just not the same thing. Knowingly putting a bug in your mouth is way different than doing it unknowingly (it's estimated the average person eats a pound of bugs each year unintentionally and if you think that's bad, check out this Food Defect Action Level chart), which is way different that discovering it at the last moment and then living with the psychological trauma (which, by the way, can't even be remedied by legal action unless there is evidence of physical damage). I'm thinking about giving up vegetables. And I'm not even thinking about adding a picture to this post. Gross.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day, eh!

It's July 1st, and that means it's Canada's birthday! This year Canada turns 141, and it's my first Canada Day back home in four years so I'm extra excited.
Here's a few random Canadian facts:
- There are 42 national parks in Canada (5 in Alberta). Banff was the first, established in 1885, and still draws in more visitors than any of the others.
- Lester Pearson (Canada's 14th prime minister, 1963) was run over by a London bus while he was stationed overseas during World War II. (I always said you weren't a Londoner until you got run over by a bus and crapped on by a pigeon.)
- Of the 10 provinces and 3 territories, only Alberta and Saskatchewan are landlocked.
- It takes 8-12 birch trees to make a single birchbark canoe.
- Even though we are officially a bilingual country, only 17.7% of people consider themselves English-French bilingual (a rate which has increased over the past 10 years, except in Manitoba and Saskatchewan).
And now, for nostalgia's sake: I AM CANADIAN
Hey, I'm not a lumberjack, or a fur trader....
I don't live in an igloo or eat blubber, or own a dogsled....
and I don't know Jimmy, Sally or Suzy from Canada,
although I'm certain they're really really nice.
I have a Prime Minister, not a president.
I speak English and French, not American.
And I pronounce it 'about', not 'a boot'.
I can proudly sew my country's flag on my backpack.
I believe in peace keeping, not policing,
diversity, not assimilation,
and that the beaver is a truly proud and noble animal.
A toque is a hat, a chesterfield is a couch,
and it is pronounced 'zed' not 'zee', 'zed' !!!!
Canada is the second largest landmass!
The first nation of hockey!
and the best part of North America
My name is Joe!!
And I am Canadian!!!