25 June 2010

The British Are Coming

More specifically, The Queen. She'll be in HRM for a few days next week. It's a huge deal. And she'll be coming to where I work ever so briefly. That is, honestly, kind of exciting. Especially for an Anglophile such as myself. What's even more awesome is why she's coming to my office. It's the 100 year anniversary of the Navy, and Halimouth/Dartfax is very much a Navy town. We've been hosting a bunch of events to celebrate, the biggest of which was this huge military game (er, "exercise") and the International Fleet Review.

The Fleet Review is what I'm most interested in, because lots of foreign military vessels will be in port and the public is allowed to get tours of some of them. Also, for the review, these 22 ships will be lining up in neat little rows in the basin and the Queen will be sailing around, inspecting them. That's why the Queen is coming here, she's using our jetty to board the ship that will be doing the inspections. We've been told not to expect to really see her. But we will be able to see all the ships. In fact, I can see them from my desk! The one down side is that the two American aircraft carriers are going to be anchored in the narrows, so I won't be able to see them from my desk. Look back next week for pictures of all the boats in formations.

I decree...

...that anyone who visits me is required to go tidal bore rafting. I went last Friday with some friends and it was incredible. I really didn't know what to expect. I've never done rafting of any kind, and I was told this was not like white water rafting. We were told to bring old clothes that can get wet and dirty, and shoes or sandals that strap to your feet.

24 June 2010

Winnipeg is on fire!

Shout out to Deb for sending me this pic, which she described as "cloudy, with a chance of campfires." I prefer to think more literally, and will continue to operate under the assumption that Winnipeg is currently aflame. I wonder if they have a little ark icon for flooded regions? And what would they show for the ON-PQ earthquake? Little movement lines? A toppled building?

While on the topic of burning, I saw this on the HRM website this morning:
Which just floods my mind with jokes about how some [wrong] people think Hali is like Hell, and even in Gone With the Wind, Scarlett O'Hara tells people she doesn't like to "Go to Halifax" as a more respectable replacement for "Go to Hell." So yes, I suppose it is possible to burn in the HRM.

22 June 2010

Pay attention, Ahab

There is a country, let's call it, I don't know, "Sapan," which thinks that commercial whaling should be legal again (which is quaint, considering Sapan never really stopped whaling in the first place). Obviously, Sapan is still living in the 17th century, back when there were whales left to kill.

It's just so...frustrating. Take the Right Whale as an example. I see the effort of people I know: years of research and data collection. All that work so that in the end, a small area of critical habitat can be identified and labelled an "area to be avoided." All that work so that ships can be asked to please stay away from that area to reduce the probability of them hitting and killing the whales. All that work so that one species has a slightly better chance at survival.

And Sapan wants to go make killing whales for profit legal? There is no sense in that.

Sign the petition if you haven't already. Please.

15 June 2010

If you have a short attention span, this post is for you

I saw Zombieland on Friday. I was looking forward to it, especially since someone told me they thought it was better than Dead Snow. It was so not better than Dead Snow. Frankly, I thought Zombieland was lacking in that fundamental zombie-movie ingredient: zombies. Seriously, where were all the zombies? The zombie threat felt so weak. There seemed to be entire areas of the countryside that were zombie-free and I’m surprised there weren’t more survivors. There was one awesome scene after they arrived in Hollywood (I don’t want to spoil it), but it felt like the entire movie was written just so they could have that one scene. More than anything, it made me yearn for Shaun of the Dead.


08 June 2010

Anybody Can Be Cool... But Awesome Takes Practice

My mom is a big fan of AbeBooks. I’ve ordered from them a couple of times, they’re really good for out of print, harder to find books.

I was browsing the site the other day (looking for, of all things, stats books) and I came across their page dedicated to weird books. Weirdy, weirdy-weird books. The first thing that comes to my mind when I see books like these is not who reads them, but who the hell paid for the rights to publish them?!

What will happen to arcane books like these if the publishing world goes digital? (and, while on the topic, what will happen to my love of giving and receiving books as gifts? Will you just email someone a link to a download and say “Happy Birthday”? Down with e reading!)

My favourite titles, in no particular order, are:

Anybody Can Be Cool... But Awesome Takes Practice (I should know)
Blessed are the Cheesemakers (Here here!)
50 Ways to Use Feminine Hygiene Products in a Manly Manner
Jewish Chess Masters on Stamps (Is there enough there for a whole book? Shouldn’t that be, like, a pamphlet?)
What to Do When the Russians Come (Useful, should the DEW line fail us. Also, is the use of "when" just the author being alarmist? or confident?)
50 Sad Chairs
Nuclear War: What's in It for You?
The Pop-Up Book of Phobias (What if your phobia is things jumping up at you from the page?)

And the award for Best Cover Art. Ever. Goes to: Soldier Bear

Isn't he cute? Helping out at the front, carrying ammo for the other soldiers. I'll bet during those long nights in the trenches, he keeps spirits up by performing funny little bear-dances. But, really, shouldn't he be wearing a helmet? With holes for his ears? Don't you just want him to lumber off the page so you can give him a hug?

01 June 2010


I tried to give blood again yesterday. I suppose it’s good that I can’t donate more than once ever 56 days, or y’all would be getting sick of hearing about my bloodletting woes. This was only my 4th time. To recap, the first time went okay (ish), the 2nd time resulted in my now infamous healing trip to the library, and the 3rd time was awesome and I felt okay, and Alej walked me back to my cubicle afterwards to make sure I did hurt myself.

I was totally optimistic about this time. This was going to be anther positive experience to add to my list. After this I wouldn’t even need to worry about the presyncope of my past, it would just be a funny story to tell people when blood donation came up as a topic at dinner parties. My conscious brain, however, seems to hold no sway over my physiological responses. This time, I didn’t even make it through the entire donation. They pulled the needle out of me after only a few minutes.