Friday, July 31, 2009

The very definition of irony

Today while working I managed to spill a toxic chemical (3,3-diaminobenzidine if you must know) all over a happy orange tshirt covered in flowers and peace very wrong.
I spent the rest of the day wearing my ratty old scrub shirt I keep tucked away in my desk for such occasions...I was very aware of the irony.

But on the plus side, after doing 2 days work in one day (sheesh), all I have to do is crunch some data now that I'm home in the comfort of my own home and can put m work brain in a box as I'm done working for 2 whole wonderful weeks. I just had to post to celebrate my victory after setting up our new modem from our cable provider...I just got it working after I mucked with it last time and, I didn't want to muss with seems to work better than the old one actually. J is working so I have time to catch up on the mundane things like this.
Ah, I'm avoiding my numbers...should go. Time for some nibbles, a fizzy drink and some ELISA data.
Swinging friday night wouldn't you say?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Genuinely unusual

A friend of a friend of mine has had a baby boy...that's not the odd part.

His name?


Thing is, my actual name is rather common. I have 2 close friends with the same name (can be confusing and has led to the development of some nicknames for our sanity). I honestly never ever thought I'd know another Geo though...not unless it was my next cat or something equally obscure like that.

It's just all genuinely unusual...the me that is me in the wisps of neurons and widgets that is the webosphere now has a infantile partner in crime. And Geo couldn't have happened to a nicer couple. Add to the fact that one of his middle names is Jedi and he's either gonna be one very cool or very messed up kid. I'm hoping he settles for mildly eccentric...somewhere nicely in the middle :)

Happiness is a warm Geek

Since my knee has been healing from it's random damages and I'm not yet able to do morning workouts (just worked up to biking to work so far) I've taken to lazily eating a bowl of cereal sprawled on the living room floor up on my elbows while reading the news on my lappy before heading out in the mornings. Geek hovers, as he knows he can lick the cereal bowl when I'm done.

This morning as I typed, the Geek walked in front of my face between me and the keyboard (very common) but instead of doing the "hey hey ignore that-look at me!" thing he began to purr very loudly and turned about in a circle to snuggle in a big furry ball, resting his chin on my arm in the little cavity between me and the floor. I stopped surfing and hugged him and had a nice 10 minute purry cat snuggle fest (Geek pillow!), while Gavin snuck in and licked the cereal bowl. Geek didn't even move to defend his precious milk bowl - he just stayed with me, all squinty and purry. I stayed until I realised I had to leave or I'd be late for work.

It was a very nice way to start my day...all warm and fuzzy :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sunshine addict

The drudgery of the week of work before 2 weeks off work is becoming ploddingly dull.
Not that I don't have a lot to do both before and after work, (I'm swamped) but the fact that I am more concerned about finding tile backsplash patterns to order for my kitchen than my work shows you my state of mind at the moment. A week off in the sunshine was just enough to get me addicted to it...I crave more...

I'm going out at lunch today to lie in the sun on the bak grass and soak up some warmth.

Monday, July 27, 2009

One Of These Mornings - Moby

Woke up with this in my head this morning for some reason...and now you can have it in yours.
I love the train sounds in the background...
Stuck in there now?
Heh - No use trying to throw things at me...I'm wearing my tin foil hat! You can't get me. No one can!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bears in the Mist

Last week we went away for a week of frolicking in the woods - our yearly bit of outdoor madness - Motion Notion. It's a 4 day electronic outdoor festival in Drayton Valley, Alberta. Always a great time.
This year some friends of ours were in charge of the second stage and we came up a day early to help them with some last minute stage decorations. Mel is a force of nature and can make anything out of her head come to reality...she's the official "Minister of Visions" of the Grumpy Old Men collective from Edmonton - they put on great shows and events. We have gotten to know them pretty well over the years and had many great times with them - they're great. Mel and Bari (and their cat Pasha MD) are great people. :)
After weeks of Mel's weekend work the woods stage went from nothing to look like this:
Then the weekend began.It's always a good time - the event happens on a camping ranch, and there are lots of great places to camp. We were back in the woods by the second stage and I spent a bit of time making sure we were well tarped off in case the rain came...good thing I did! A few times over the weekend it rained hard - once was a full out thunderstorm! We got to listen to the storm in the tent...beautiful...loud. We could hear the thunder calling and answering and hear the rain fall all snug and dry :) I've never been outside in the middle of a thunderstorm before. Having all our new rain gear was great. We wandered about and did whatever we pleased regardless of the weather.
There was a whole day of hot hot hot sun when we swam in the (very high) river and I convinced J to ride down the river with me on an inner tube - haven't done it in years and first time ever for him. The way the area is set up you can hop on at a small beach and float down the river for about 20 minutes to the main beach, where they had a stage set up playing funky music on the beach. Great way to spend a sunny afternoon...
And the DJs at night were great - there were 2 stages of music and some great psytrance and breaks were played. The main stage is draped with UV reactive art, and there was an interactive dance floor, as well as a video projector shone on to a disco ball, sending dozens of images all over the trees...I tried my hand at capturing video on my camera with my new gorilla pod - here's a little taste of what our woods stage was like once the nightly music began:

(this only took 2 h to upload...sheesh) You can't tell to much from the video I grabbed, but hearing electronic music outside is really the way to hear it - no echo, no distortion, just very very loud very crystal clear sound to dance to. My knee gave me no trouble at all so I danced up a storm :) I even remembered a few costumes - one night I had my bellydance gear complete with a furry black vest (thanks Value Village!) and the last night was a dance costume complete with bear head! There were some amazing costumes this's so interesting what people come up with.

The reaction to the bear head was great as always...convulsions of laughter, photos, people wanting to wear it - so much fun. About 1 in every 30 people were really weirded out by it - I find it funny that a yellow cartoon bear head could weird someone out, but I guess it takes all kinds. I got to practice my poi and dance like a monkey - the bear head is the warmest hat imaginable...the perfect thing when the night cools off :) As the sun came up on the last night J and I went for a walk and stumbled across a great little clearing full of mist, sparkling as the sun came up. We took some great this one...

Yes - it was a good time.
We stayed overnight and helped tear down a bit, and then it was (*sniff*) back home to unpack and spend a day being lazy and napping and barbecuing and unwinding before we had to go back to the real world. It just wasn't long enough...just a few more weeks and then it is time for Shambhala.

What are *your* plans for your holidays?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Seventy Sevens - Friday Favourites by default (can't get it out of my head!!!)

I've had this song in my head all day - thought I'd send it your way.

The 77s are a band from my youth that I still pull out every once in a while, blow off the dust and have a listen to. At times soulfull, at times just good solid rock & blues...full of sorrow and regret and joy. I keep trying to pick songs to link to, but I think you should track them down and have a listen for your self...
Drowning With Land in Sight and Pray Naked are two great albums, along with their live album....Mike Roe's solo stuff was rather good too...I was lucky enough to see them back in university-one of their last shows together before one of the band members passed away.

If you ever run across their albums in a used music store grab them...grab a beer and have a listen. They still put out stuff every once and a while, but as they are largely printing their own stuff, I've never had the change to pick any of it up...erhaps after today I will.

All I know is I'm counting the minutes until I can go home.
Have a good weekend all :)


Some days life is sarcastic...

They just paged a Mr. Harry Dickwad over the intercom system.

So help me, the other techs and I have not been able to stop snickering...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Back to work blahs

So help me I'm bored out of my mind...


Just been back one day and already on grand adventures :)

Last night we went on a canoe excursion, complete with delicious food in the middle.
What a way to start back after holidays :)

The Meewasin Valley authority has 2 hour canoe excursions starting from the nearby Beaver Creek Conservation Area that go up the South Saskatchewan river in a 10 person canoe, and stop briefly at the Berry Barn for supper and dessert before canoeing back to Beaver Creek. The weather was sunny, clear and beautiful. We went with some people J works with - they were shooting a segment on the Meewasin valley summer canoe education program. They take non-profit groups, school trips, and private bookings on educational canoe trips on the South Saskatchewan River...and it is a fantastic way to spend an evening.

The Saskatoon area set up the Meewasin (the Cree word for beautiful) Valley Authority many years ago to conserve the natural and cultural heritage resources of the South Saskatchewan River Valley in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and area. It's a non-profit group has programs and projects in river valley education, development and conservation. Meewasin is based in Saskatoon and runs approximately 60 km along the river through Saskatoon from Pike Lake in the southwest to Clarke's Crossing in the northeast. It encompasses conservation areas, parks, museums, interpretive centres, the university lands, canoe launches, community links, and over 60 km of Meewasin Trail. Including the South Saskatchewan River, there are 25 square miles in the Meewasin conservation zone.

We drove out about 20 minutes to Beaver Creek about 5:30 and after some shooting and interviews we hiked down to the river basin to pick up our paddles and life jackets and hop in the canoes. This year the river is extremely low - it's about 3 metres lower than usual - there has been very little runoff from the mountains this year and not a lot of rain to make up for it, so it was a bit of creative canoeing to get across and down the river to go around all the newly formed sand bars in the river. We had an informative hike on the way there and then a beautiful relaxing canoe ride upstream. It was about a 40 minute canoe ride up to our destination - the beach at the Berry Barn.

I've never been canoeing on such a big river before - as a kid I went on canoe trips in the Qu'Appelle Valley river system and far up up north by La Ronge and Missinipe and Otter Lake through some old friends of my parents ...we have a canoe at our cabin too, but I've never been on such a big was beautiful. It was easy paddling with 10 people in the canoe (9 of us + a guide) - there were 2 boats full of us. We got to see the nests of swallows burrowing in the riverbank, beaver dams and the occasional happy gopher hopping around on the river bank. We also saw a few of the rare slowly extinguishing cottonwood trees on the prairies...since the Diefenbaker Dam was built the cottonwoods have been dying off on the prairies...they need a minimum level of water at their base to produce seeds, and the water levels are not what they once were slowly they are dying off. A few remain along the riverbank and there are initiatives to try and get them to seed by altering the water levels in the areas where some clusters of them remain, but it is just another case of man mucking about too much with nature before considering the will be a shame to someday not see them on the horizon. The Meewasin authority exists to educate people about this kind of remind us how to be better stewards of our home.

After our ride up river we stopped at the Berry Barn for dessert/ was delicious. The Berry Barn is a little pick your own fruit place a little ways outside Saskatoon with a "charming" little restaurant and gift shop with beautiful greenspace and picnic areas...the kind of place my parents would go gaga over. It was a beautiful evening...we sat and had yummy food and watched the river. I had cheddar mushroom chowder in a bread bowl...MMMMMM. Some of us had pie or dessert...others had supper. It was all yummeriness. Then after a little walk about, we hopped back in the canoe and paddled back to Beaver Creek.

The way back was nice, as we were paddling with the current. The sun was setting over the riverbank and the colours spread out all over the water and the sky...I can't even describe how beautiful it was. We got back to Beaver Creek to drop of four paddles and jackets just as the sky got quite dark, and we were on our way home by 10. The guides and staff at Meewasin had so much information to give us about the area, their program and even the odd pirate joke here and there to lighten the mood. It was a great evening :)

And sadly - do I have pictures? No. My camera batteries are dead from the camping trip we just got back from. I know - I know. Noone else remembered a camera either...just the progear got shots. If J grabs any stills from the segment they cut together I will post them. If you peek at the Meewasin website there are a few photos, but it doesn't begin to do the area justice. I live in a beautiful place...watching the sunset over the calm river is indeed a beautiful way to end the day...

(Yes I know I've used the word beautiful about 60 times...but really-it was)

And yes, when I can get a few minutes and get some photos off the camera I'll post about my wonderful holiday in the woods too. Oh yeah-it was all that and a cupcake. I just had such a good time last night I had to pop in and say hiya and tell you all about it.

Now....back to the lab. :)

Have a great day :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Exactly right

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary.
I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and to be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. "

Walden or Life in the Woods
- Henry David Thoreau

Rain rain go away...

I've finally got good rain gear.
Seeing as it's been a wet crappy spring I thought I'd better have it for know, the old "if I bring it then I won't need it" idea. Hope it works.
Right now it's pouring, but it's supposed to dry up and be warm all weekend. I can only hope.

It's been a "fun" few days of working ~12 hours at work and then come home and bake and then play "find the thing" while gathering our gear up.
I need to get away and dance in the woods for a few days...away from work, pestering people and the like...just relax in the sun with no worries except where to sit on the sunniest patch on the riverbank.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Eyes on the prize

Knowing I'll be going camping in a little bit to where there will be a nice river, kind people and all the great music I could ask for is making it really hard for me to concentrate on my work right now. Beacause there is a LOT of it...and I should care...yet it is getting increasingly harder to do so :)
Thing is, I put in a 13 hour day friday. Plus it will be a few more hideously long days to get enough done that I can walk away for just a few days of camping goodness.
But I will.
Oh yes.
We started gathering up gear and baking good things on the weekend and now I have the buzz...I'll try and be good...

Focus on the prize Geo focus on the prize...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Freestylers - Weekend Song

It's friday...Zipadipeedoodahday!

Have a listen to a great friday song and a great day!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Gene Kelly ALTER EGO 

WOW...1944. He did this himself in 1944.
No stop motion. No computers.

Just wow...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

On a lighter note

Just realised my last post was a bit of a downer. Sorry 'bout that.
Have a laugh on me to make up for it K?Toothpaste for Dinner

Too young for this crap

Apparently I have patella inflammation - Chondromalacia to be specific.
My right kneecap is inflamed on the underside, causing a rougher surface that rubs on the tendons of my knee leading down from my quads, causing twinges of pain only when it bends a certain way in a fluid motion. Walking is fine, most things are fine...just prolonged bending or going up stairs or (the worst) pedalling my bike will cause random twinges when the bits of my knee that are not supposed meet rub past each other. A few fridays ago I tripped while running. A very minor fall, but I scraped my knee and hit it a bit. It's not clear if this or just randomness was the cause...but now my knee is sore...sometimes.
The best part: there is nothing I can do about it really. I can try and ice it and take antiinflammatories like advil, but other than stretch out a lot and try and find exercises to strengthen my quad muscles, I just have to NOT do anything that hurts it until I feel least 2 weeks. Then I can start back slowly, and in the meantime do things like swimming to increase strength and try to find some therapeutic exercises for my knee.


The thing about exercising is I like it. A lot. I don't think I was overdoing it, but perhaps I'm trying to do what I'd like to do too soon...this year I've been pretty slack compared to other years so I'm surprised I would cause an injury this year. It's the sort of thing that only happens when you're active...perhaps the inconsistency this year was the issue. Or the tripping-who knows?

All I know is other than going for walks I'm pretty much screwed out of exercising for a while. I've done a bit of reading and it seems that I should be finding certain exercises to strengthen muscles so that this doesn't happen again. I'm hoping a little research will help me find out what they are so I can get back to being active.

I'm only 35- I'm too young for this crap.

Monday, July 06, 2009


I've noticed where I work that the summer, when I am not here consistently (I seem to take a few days off here and there over July and Aug for holidays), is when everyone has complicated and interesting projects to do...but that I often can't do with delays and interruptions like holidays. When I do take time off I am swamped in the interim. Yet my bosses all have time as they aren't teaching...
I'm currently very frustrated at trying to get all my work done around my holidays after only a few days off. I look like I'm lazy when it's actually just my lack of ability to bend space and time to my every whim that gets in the way of my successes.
Just because I have no life the rest of the year...:)
Add to that a buggered up knee (no clue what I did to it but it hurts) and you have a cranky me on a monday morning...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Celebrate good times come on

Ah what a night :)

Last night we managed to get in to see Moses Mayes opening up for the one and only Kool and the Gang at the Jazz Festival. I've seen Moses Mayes before and they're super high energy funk and dance everyone riled up....and then...Kool and the Gang. Mee hee...

Man - they know how to put on a show. They had the crowd dancing and singing and even pulled out moves and choreography - it was a really fun show. Very odd to *see* them singing songs I've heard on the stereo and radio since I was a wee sprog. Loved it :) They did Jungle Boogie...Celebration...all the hits. They seemed to be having a fantastic time along with the crowd. And the crowd was's cool to go to shows where you see people from all ages strutting their funky stuff :)
And all this at the main stage in the Bessborough Hotel back gardens - our city's equivalent of a castle...the sort of place they just don't make anymore. In the back gardens at sunset... listening to legendary funk and soul. Seriously. Legendary. And I'm not just saying it. I'm TYPING it :)
Really great way to spend an evening :)

We have one last day with our company and we're going to make delicious pancakes and then hit the Jazz Festival for a final day of music and relaxing in the sunshine...can't wait. Hope you're all having a fantastic weekend!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Getting down with my bad self

I hope hope hope I can get in to see these guys tonight.
How can this be anything other than a good thing :)

Cunning Plans

 Life is wierd ya know. It seems a lot of things have been hitting me hard lately. Been distant from people, including my partner who is dea...