Monday, June 30, 2008

The word "spoon" has lost all meaning

You know how sometimes you thing "that's odd" and then go on with your day, only to realize later that it was in fact odd & you should have done something about it?

Maybe it's just me.

Anyway, today I ate yogurt with a grapefruit spoon. This was not intentional. Here are the steps required for this to happen:
1) See spoon out of place in the cutlery drawer (but not really by the normal spoons), wonder briefly why it's there, and put it in the spoon section;
2) Grab spoon (& fork & knife) out of the drawer to put into the lunch bag;
3) Think "gee, that spoon is pointy". Put it in the lunch bag.
4) Go to eat yogurt & realize that the pointy spoon is, in fact, a grapefruit spoon.
5) Briefly consider walking to the kitchen at work to get another spoon. Reject it, and just eat the yogurt with the grapefruit spoon.

I have to say it was a little distracting - the serrated edges don't seem right with yogurt.

Sadly, I don't have my camera at work, so I can't provide a picture.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


Allow me to provide a little background, since many of those reading this don't live in Ottawa.

The city of Ottawa does garbage pick up every week. They also pick up recycling once a week, but it alternates - one week it's blue box (plastics, glass, cans), the next it's the black box (paper).

As well, in the summer they pick up yard waste (i.e. compost materials) every 2 weeks.

There are rules for all of this. Yard waste must be in paper bags (which are sold at Home Depot, Canadian Tire, etc.) or else in a reusable container. Since I'm too lazy (and cheap) to keep buying yard waste bags, I have a large garbage can that I use for yard waste.

The other piece of info that those of you not in Ottawa need to know is that June has been rainy this year. On the 19th, it had rained 16 of the days in June - and it has rained most days since then. Unlike the snow this winter, we're not setting records for rain because it doesn't usually rain much, but it has been raining about once a day all month.

Getting back to the yard waste, since I keep it in a garbage can (and the lid isn't always on the can because there can be branches, etc. sticking out the top) and it has been raining a lot (see? I was going somewhere with this rambling story) it has been known to collect water. That makes it really heavy - not to mention smelly if water has been sitting with decomposing yard waste for 2 weeks.

I'm been meaning to do this for a while, but today I (finally) drilled holes in the bottom of the garbage can so that water will drain out instead of collecting.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Today I made hummus. I used a recipe my sister gave me. However, I went a little crazy with the garlic. I like garlic, but even I have limits.

Hopefully the garlic will meld a bit with everything else & be a little less strong.

The recipe in case you were wondering:

1 can (19 oz/540 ml) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup light sour cream

2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1/2 tsp each salt and granulated sugar

1/4 tsp ground cumin and ground coriander

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and whirl until smooth.

Friday, June 27, 2008


I've been asked to be a reference for people before. Usually it's been for people I know through volunteer work. Often I don't get called, but a couple of times I have been.

However, this week I was asked to provide a reference letter for a former co-worker who is applying to do her master's.

Today I finally got it completed and I provided a reference letter for a colleague and submitted it online. The process was pretty easy, although in the e-mail I got about how to submit the reference, it would have been useful it they mentioned that you had to have a letter typed up in Word format before hand.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

No, it's not straight. Why do you ask?

For some reason - let's call it laziness - I've never actually used the sticky shelf paper. (I usually have the foamy stuff that you don't have to worry about getting straight on my shelves.) However, that stuff doesn't work everywhere. The cabinet under the kitchen sink, for example, contains my garbage can and tends to get messy, so today I put shelf paper down under the sink.

It was a little tricky to detach the backing and get it kind of straight, but I figure anyone who sees it will be looking for the garbage can and probably won't care too much about how the cabinet looks.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Some people have too much time their hands

Case in point: , which I visited today.

It's kind of entertaining, but odd.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Breathe in

Work was a little crazy, so I decided to try some desk yoga.

It was quite relaxing, although one of the poses involved sitting on the floor and bending until my head touched my chair. I'm glad no one walked in during that.

I think my favourite was chair twist 2. I skipped Warrior 2 because first of all, my chair has wheels on it, and secondly, I tend to hurt myself during the warrior poses.

Overall, it didn't take long & was definitely relaxing.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Technically, I may have done this years ago

Let's see. It's Monday. That means I got up, went to work, and then left work & went to a weight lifting class at the gym. Oh, and upon leaving the gym, I purposely put my shoes on the wrong feet to go home. It made me very aware of every step that I took.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

When life gives you lemons...

Yesterday I was down in the market (which, for those of you unfamiliar with Ottawa, is downtown and features shops, restaurants, and stalls selling seasonal food, jewellery, clothing, etc.). While I was there, I bought some fruits and vegetables. I also picked up some lemons, so today I used lemons to make lemonade. It's quite good.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Over the canal

When I moved to Ottawa, it was made up of 11 municipalities. There was also another level of municipal government that dealt with region wide things.

At some point the provinicial government decided to make Ottawa a mega-city, and they forced the amalgamation of Ottawa. As a result, the city is now huge geographically, and it includes urban areas as well as areas that are quite rural.

One of the first controversial issues after amalgamation was a footbridge over the Rideau canal. It is a big benefit to the downtown area - it links the University of Ottawa with the residential and commercial areas on the other side of the canal. However, some people who live on the outskirts of the new city (and who aren't on municipal water, etc.) were against spending money on something else that they wouldn't use.

Anyway, today I walked over the footbridge over the canal.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Today I tried a pluot. It's a cross between an apricot and a plum, and is definitely closer to the plum side.
The verdict? The taste was fine, but it was far too juicy, and difficult to get off the pit.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

For some reason, this makes me forget the actual order of the alphabet

Today I memorized the phonetic alphabet. I've always thought this would be useful.

From memory:


You can check my accuracy here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


When I was a kid, some of my sisters (who I will not name, because I can't remember which ones) used to like peanut butter and cheez whiz sandwiches.

I was always too sensible/chicken to try them, but today I ate an almond butter and cheez whiz sandwich. (I much prefer almond butter to peanut butter, but the principle is the same.)

It actually was much better than I expected.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I think I've hinted before at how I dislike banana flavouring. I like bananas, but not dried bananas or banana-flavoured anything.
Anyway, today I was very brave and I tried banana-strawberry yogurt. It was actually quite good. I suspect it contained real bananas and not something else pretending to be bananas.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dinner party

Today I learned to fold napkins. It was much easier than I anticipated. Here are three of the successful ones.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Third rock from the sun

Today I learned a little about helioseismology. I am definitely one of those people who is skeptical about things like "the sun is made up of X" unless I understand what the basis for the remark is. It was interesting to hear the answer, although I have no plans to learn any more about it.

Note: I also changed the list of other thing a day blogs to a blogroll. This should make it easy to see when they were last updated.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Accidental festival

This morning I was running a few errands and headed to Westboro. When I got there, a detour was in place Richmond Road was closed off for a festival. So today I accidentally attended Westfest. It looked like it had potential - a lot of booths and a stage for entertainment - but I didn't actually see too much of it as it was still pretty early when I got there.

Friday, June 13, 2008

An apple a day

If you go back and look at my January entries, a few of them were various vaccinations for my trip to Botswana. The thing is that some of them require booster shots 6 months or a year later. I had an appointment for one of those next week, but it got changed to today.

If you combine that with a minor foot problem that started bothering me more yesterday, that leads to the day where I had two doctor appointments, with two doctors, in one day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I do a variety of classes at the gym. Thursday it's Body Combat.

My regular instructor has been training a new instructor so today I did an exercise class that was being filmed. It was being filmed strictly to evaluate the new instructor, it will not be publicly available. That is good because otherwise you'd be able to see how often I'm going in the wrong direction. It would be embarrassing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Another work thing today.

Since I work as a software designer, once a product has been released, I often have to keep track of bugs that need to be fixed as well as future changes to the problem that aren't bug fixes but would make it better. My "new" job (which isn't actually so new anymore) uses Bugzilla to do this.

The product I've been working on is finally ready, so today I used bugzilla to record some enhancements for future releases.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I scream, you scream

So yesterday I mentioned the warm weather Ottawa has been having. The humidity has been crazy for the last few days, and every day the forecast has been for rain. (The rain finally arrived late this afternoon, so it's more bearable now.)

Anyway, this afternoon one of my co-workers brought in ice cream sandwiches for everyone, so today I had a neopolitan ice cream sandwich. It was quite enjoyable.

Monday, June 9, 2008

So then I stepped out of the air conditioned car and my glasses fogged up

It's a little warm here in Ottawa. Currently my thermostat reads 28.5 degrees celcius (about 83 F).

Today was also my last Irish dancing class before the summer. (I am very much looking forward to having more free time this summer).

Anyway, to celebrate the end of dance, I got a frosty at Wendy's on my way home. It was chocolate with M&Ms. It was definitely enjoyable.

In a completely unrelated story, rabbits are very common around my house. Lately I've been seeing young rabbits as well - it is spring after all. However, today for the first time I saw a groundhog in my backyard. He was very cute but hard to photograph. If you look closely, he is in the upper left portion of the picture.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Toeing the line

Summer has apparently arrived. This weekend the forecast was for rain. Instead, we got two hot days. (Note that I'm not complaining.)

Anyway, since I wore sandals this weekend I noticed how chipped my toe nail polish was. Obviously, this could not go on, so I gave myself a mini-pedicure and used homemade exfoliant made from olive oil and sugar. It worked well, but left my feel feeling oily.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Doors Open

Every year various places in Ottawa (churches, embassies, private companies) spend a weekend allowing the general public to visit & find out more about them.

This year I went to Doors Open Ottawa .

I visited three places - the Ottawa Main Mosque, the Hindu Temple, and The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral .

In all three places, there were tours. There was no waiting - basically you arrive & someone is available to greet you immediately.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Yes, I am proud of myself. Why do you ask?

A few days ago (Tuesday, I think), I noticed that one of the traffic lights on my way home had a burnt out bulb in the green light. There are actually three signals at that intersection and the green was working on the other two, so it wasn't a big deal.

Wednesday it was still burnt out. I thought of calling the city to tell them about it, but it was too late in the day.

Thursday, still burnt out. Again, too late to call.

This morning I remembered and I called the city to tell them the light bulb was burnt out. And on my way home tonight it was fixed.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another quick & easy (stolen) idea

Today I went to I have to say I am somewhat skeptical about whether sites like this are really doing anything good or whether they just give the user the illusion of doing something good. However, as long as they are doing something marginally good, I do not see anything too wrong with the idea.

This one is different from the ones I have used in the past - every so many questions one of the questions was essentially an ad. Not too annoying, though, as you just answer it with return to quiz and go on.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


This morning I left the house, walked down the steps and down the walkway to the trunk of the car. Then I put my gym bag in the trunk, walked up to the driver’s door, and drove to work.

Tonight I drove home and literally reversed my steps. I walked backwards to the trunk to get my gymbag, walked backwards to the steps, walked backwards up the steps, and went into the house.

I walk faster forward - in case there is any doubt.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Today’s new thing is not what I expected it to be. It kind of evolved from the original intent.

Anyway, the end of the story is that I uploaded videos to flickr. It started with me trying to send my mom a video of my niece’s visit, and involved creating a new yahoo account, making it friends with my account, uploading the videos, and then sending detailed instructions on how to access it.

This way I can control who accessess some of my pictures & videos by sharing one yahoo account with everyone who should have it, and I don’t have to force them to create their own accounts.

Monday, June 2, 2008

More walking

Today some colleagues and I got lost on our lunch walk. Not lost as in send out the search party, but we were a little unsure about how to get back to work without backtracking.

On the map above:
1) Sure, let's walk through the park.
2) Let's turn left instead of right & see where we end up
3) We seem to be getting farther & farther away. Maybe we should walk along this path by the ravine.
4) We are saved! We know where we are again. (OK, step 4 doesn't appear on the map, picture it back where our red path meets the yellow road. )

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I'm not really into sudoku. At my previous job (where I was very, very not busy) I was part of a committee organizing an Amazing Race teambuilding event. One of our challenges was a sudoku puzzle, and after that I would occasionally do one online.

However, today was the first time I played sudoku on my Nintendo DS. (Specifically, it was part of the Brain Age game). I suspect this would be a good way to waste a lot of time.