Archive for March 2004

Cross stitch

You know how I said life was perfect? That was before Cory started running a fever. He’s in bed right now sleeping and doesn’t seem as feverish as last night when he was quite hot, but complaining of chills.

For Vancouver residents, both Shoe Warehouse and Ronson’s Rack (their discount store) on Granville between 12th and 14th have great deals right now. I picked up a pair of leather Rockport slides for $40 yesterday (regular $125) and there’s also a healthy selection of Clarks’ shoes too. I came home very happy!
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when life is perfect …

1. Your team wins the hockey game, and round 1 of the playoffs, in overtime after being down 4-1 at the start of the third. This is the first time the Giants have ever advanced beyond round 1 and they were so excited at the end of the game, the crowd gave them a standing ovation, but I honestly think they didn’t notice, as they were too busy celebrating themselves.

2. You get an email that says: “I am pleased to accept ‘…’ for publication in …. require no additional revision.”

3. You go on a 35km bike ride in Richmond, starting and finishing in Steveston and find out that you’re not in as bad shape as you thought. You end the bike ride with Blenz hot chocolate and then Cory flies kites at Garry Park.

4. After dreading the possibility of running out of Bewley’s tea for morning breakfast since both Meinhardt’s and British Home were sold out, we tried a new shop “The Celtic Treasure Chest” and found that it was a treasure! Not only did I get three boxes of tea, the owner promised me that they would always have both Bewley’s and Barry’s in stock. Last time we ran out we tried other teas (1, 2, 3) but I love Bewley’s best and at the rate we drink tea, we need something affordable (Bewley’s is 7.4 cents per bag), everything else decent, including Twinnings, is much more pricey.

5. You get home from bike riding and get invited to a bbq at your friend’s place. Life is perfect.
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Back at work today, my congestion is decreasing and I could actually sleep lying down, instead of propped up last night, lovely! Just the ability to lie down without feeling like I’m choking seems a huge blessing right now… we probably get sick to keep ourselves grounded.

I’ve taken a break from the analytical (ie theoretical & mathy) model I’ve been developing to go back to the numerical model (less mathy and on computer) to estimate some values. I’ve requested another committee meeting for May so that I can get some feedback about how this all fits together and figure out how much needs to be done before finishing. Honestly the thesis is a lot easier than trying to figure out how to get a research position in Canada these days. I’m much better at doing the research and contacting people about research than asking for work.

On the bright side, it’s doughnut day today at work when they provide fat-laden morsels for us to munch on to keep us happy. It doesn’t take much. If I can think of anything more exciting to talk about than melt rates, I’ll post it later.
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things to do while sick

No, I’m not feeling better, in fact I’m currently producing enough stuff through my nose that I could keep kleenex in buisness for the next two years. I’m also rather bored, because lying on the couch feeling yucky is actually dull compared with interacting with other people. So far today all I’ve done is:

  • have some tea and toast
  • have a nap
  • read a paper for work
  • read a section of my thesis
  • think about that section for a while
  • update the website

    that wouldn’t be so bad except it’s already 2pm, and the nap was the highlight of my day. Still, it’s just a bad cold, nothing serious, so sympathy isn’t needed (but kleenex donations might be).

    I just realized that today is also the four year anniversary of this site at this domain and the date of the second entry ever to the journal portion of the site. No bloggiversary contest though, too sick! Back then the site looked like this (thanks to, I think this was my favourite design).
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  • another volleyball wkend

    Cory’s in a volleyball tournament this weekend, so I’ve got time to myself and I’m realizing that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to spend a lazy weekend at home. I’m working on a quilt, making myself lots of lattes, and trying to get some exercise. Not a bad way to recover from a cold at all.

    This tournament, like the one he played in last summer is run by the Vancouver Gay Volleyball Association, which seems to run great events and has been welcoming of people from outside the gay community (from their website, their goal is to provide “..volleyball play in a comfortable and fun gay positive environment to any person regardless of their gender or sexual orientation.”) Apparently C’s team played well yesterday, and he seemed happy this morning when he got up at the early hour of 6:30 (on a sunday) to head back to the courts.
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    Rockies 2004: after the fire

    When we drove to Panorama back in August we were forced to travel through Golden to avoid the forest fires in Kootenay National Park. Cory drove back to Panorama on Monday, and took a few pictures of the mountains.

    The mountains here by the road are lower than their neighbours, and normally tree covered. This year they sit naked, with endless rows of burnt tree trunks waiting for their roots to decay before they can topple down. Some of the smaller trees have survived, those closest to the road are often still green and growing without competition. In other parts, large swathes of the trees appear now to be a deep red like decidious trees in autumn. I don’t know why this is so, but it’s strangely beautiful.

    There will probably be more large forest fires this summer, more swaths of trees reduced to poles, and more hype in the media. Fires are a natural thing, and these pictures Cory took of the aftermath are breathtaking.

    I’m off to work now, a late start this morning because of my cold. I’m not getting better very quickly and I think I need to take more care of myself. I’m quite excited about what I’m working on these days, it’s a analytical model that uses lots of fun and new-to-me equations with a big dash of common sense and as it all comes together I’m getting more and more intrigued by the whole problem. After working on a much more computer simulation and observation based problem for the first part of my thesis, it feels good to branch out into a new area and learn new skills.

    That being said, I’m getting more and more stressed about finding a job after I finish up. Almost all of the jobs I’d be interested in are situated in America, and we’re not interested in moving there. Finding a job in Canada or the UK is looking like a non-trivial task, and all the uncertainty about what will happen next year is unsettling. I do like risks, new adventures, and trying something new, but I also like having options, having plans, and knowing where I can go. Right now everything’s a blank and it’s left a little knot of worry off to the side of my tummy.
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    I’ve been trying to call Jen (in bristol) to chat about her wedding, but the phone lines aren’t been cooperative. That’s often a problem with the cheap long distance providers that I use, but phoning on a regular phone line is far too expensive to contemplate.
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    Celtic Heritage Week

    Saturday was Vancouver’s first annual St. Patrick’s Day parade, one of the events for Vancouver’s (first ever) Celtic Fest 2004, a week long celebration of celtic culture. Along with Irish culture, there were bagpipes and highland dancers, a dragon boat organized by Gung Haggis Fat Choy, a Brazilian band, and even members of Stomp, in town as part of a North American tour. One of the bars had made stickers that said “Everyone’s Irish during St. Paddy’s week”, and it seemed pretty accurate.

    Cory took a full card of pictures during the parade and we’ll post highlights throughout the week, this parade was a wonderful addition to Vancouver’s cultural and festival scene and made for a perfect Saturday morning. Of course the beer and coffee and Steamworks afterwards didn’t hurt either…

    We also made an important upgrade to my bike this weekend, I’ve had trouble reaching my shifters (and brakes) while down in the drops. That’s not suprising since I’ve got small women’s hands and the shifters normally come in one size only. We were thinking that we would have to dig deep to pay for the astronomically priced ($425) adjustable short reach shifters Shimano makes, but stopping in at a local store, the salesman took one look at my hands, pronounced them not too small at all. He sold me a new (and better) handlebar ($80) and re-setup my shifters so that I know have no problems reaching the shifters. Wow.

    It’s great that all this cool stuff happened this weekend, because my allergies seem to have morphed into a full blown cold. I’m sneezy, drippy, and exhausted from congestion induced insommnia and I’d be tempted to drift too far into grumpy-dom if my beautiful new handle bar didn’t cheer me up…
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    declaration of spring

    I rode my bike in today against a headwind, struggling to maintain a decent cadence up the hill. I’m tired from staying up late working on some theory, and I’m out of shape from a winter of commuting by bus. Still, the sun is out and everything is green and I’m realizing that summer (and my thesis deadline) is not to far away.

    With work ramping up, I’m finding that I need to prioritize my spare time better. If I work late I don’t have the option of going to the gym, cooking dinner, and then relaxing in front of a DVD, one or two of the above is all I can fit in each evening. This prioritizing is great though, because I’m learning what it is I really like to do. Given the choice, I choose needlecrafts over fancy cooking, and reading over TV. I would rather go for a walk than a drive, ride my bike than golf, and watch WHL hockey than go to a bar. I guess I’m getting to know myself better, and as long as these increased work hours don’t eat up all of my spare time, I’m not resenting them at all.
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    surviving the mall

    Yesterday was a momentus day for us anti-suburbanites. Due to the deluge we decided not to spend the day at a local music festival (I doubt that anyone could hear the music over the sound of rain hitting the tents) and went to the mall to pick up some very needed new pillows and clothes for Cory.

    Normally we last about 30 minutes in a mall before running frantically for the exits. The large numbers of people, the crappy music and forced air, and the endless racks of cheap clothing that all look the same drive Cory batty almost instantly. Yesterday though, we were on a mission, and we managed to successfully buy a pair of khakis and three shirts for Cory as well as undies for me and the lovely new pillows.

    I know that most women enjoy shopping, and there are definately times when shopping is great. Strolling along 4th avenue and stopping in at Lululemon for yoga wear, or browsing through the racks at MEC, I love that! It’s the mall that sucks all joy out of the process. Who really wants to sort through a messy table covered in well-pawed clothing just to get a shirt at $10 off? However, we couldn’t have found clothes for Cory in our price range without subjecting ourselves to the Bay and it’s endless stretch of smelly perfume counters and he sure looked nice this morning as he headed out the door to work.
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