Monthly archive for July 2010


I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but my older brother Darren is the super smart, super sciency type.  He is a PhD in Chemistry and doesn’t even make us call him Dr. Anderson.  I took grade 11 Chemistry, got a fairly respectable B (mostly thanks to many panicked phone calls to my long-suffering brother at university) and have not spent any time since then advancing my knowledge of elements and other details relevant to that subject, so I tend to turn to him for answers to my Most Pressing Science Questions, such as those inspired by the time Chris and I were on our way back from a client meeting and passed a tanker truck carrying, at least according to the giant sign on the side, MOLTEN SULPHUR.  This was surely the most interesting/dangerous cargo I have ever passed on the expressway around Kitchener-Waterloo and I had visions of the tanker overturning and us being engulfed in a lake of fire.  Darren happened to call later that evening, so I relayed this experience to him and waited expectantly for him to share my terror/excitement.  (more…)


Mike and I celebrated our anniversary yesterday, which means I drank a celebratory margarita and ate celebratory chicken across the table from a man who has somehow been happily married for seven years to the sort of person who would change her mind three times about where she wanted to go for dinner, a man who cheerfully and without complaining went online and changed our reservation when I discovered the restaurant we had finally decided on had changed the menu and no longer served blue cheese with their beef tenderloin, a man who never even commented on the fact that I didn’t even ORDER the beef tenderloin with blue cheese when we arrived for dinner at the restaurant I had specifically selected for that very reason.

It was a very good day.   It’s been a good seven years.

One stop shop

There are a lot of Mennonite farms around here, many of which sell their farm-related wares right from their barns.  They often have large hand-lettered signs hung on their gates, advertising which produce or meat they sell and letting people know they’re not open on Sunday.  We drove past one on our way to St. Jacobs this weekend that said “GOLDEN DOODLE PUPS” in large letters on the top, and “BEANS” in equally large print at the bottom.  I will admit that I thought about this for quite a while and I’m still not sure which item would likely be the impulse purchase in this case, and whether people are more likely to need beans and then realize they ALSO need a puppy, or plan to buy a puppy and then think that beans sound really good for dinner, or happen to need BOTH beans AND a puppy and are delighted by the discovery of one convenient location to make both purchases.

Doggy paddle

Mike and I don’t have any direct involvement with any babies at this point in time (which is to say we know some babies and quite enjoy those babies but are not responsible in any way for those babies’ food, shelter, or general well-being) so we’re certainly not experts on the subject, but Mike and I are constantly discovering ways in which babies and dogs are very similar:  they both slobber on you, they both love to play with brightly coloured squeaky toys, they both require consistent training if you’re going to expect them to learn anything, and they will both eat Cheerios off the floor if you allow them to.  (more…)

Spoiler alert

I think I’ve mentioned before that I like to run.  I’m not really sure why I like it, because it’s painful and my body doesn’t always respond well to it and it requires expensive shoes, but I do enjoy it and as far as sports go, it’s a much better fit for my lifestyle and abilities than baseball or tennis or football, all of which require hand-eye coordination, the ability to focus on more than one thing at a time, and the patience required to perform a repetitive action frequently enough to actually get good at that action.  Throw “natural ability” onto that list and you have a fairly exhaustive collection of reasons why I have never been picked first for any team, ever.  But running!  Anyone can do it!  All you have to do is stay upright, and sometimes carry stuff.  (more…)

The outside of the asylum

I read voraciously as a child, but it was only a few months ago that I finally got around to reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, primarily because my brother really liked that series and at that time in my life anything my brother liked was automatically super lame in my books.  (I have since come around, and I quite like a lot of things that he also likes, including nanoparticles, his girlfriend, and the notebooks, bits of fun paper, and dessert-shaped erasers he brings back for me from his world travels.)  Anyway, I had had enough of my literate friends haranguing me thrice-weekly with loud exclamations of “You’ve NEVER READ the Hitchhiker BOOKS?!” so I set out on a mission to read the whole series.  (more…)

Ms. Clean

Mike, of course, does a rather large share of the cleaning at our house, but I’m doing my best to take on the greater share of it since I work fewer hours than he does and also I’m generally around a lot of the time when the mess is actually being created and could theoretically prevent that from happening.  I’m not likely to win any awards for my housekeeping any time soon, but over the past few years I have gotten way better at keeping our house in a state that wouldn’t cause a gaping black hole of shame to open up in the living room if we had unexpected guests show up at our door.  I’ve also gotten better at actually completing the tasks I start, like returning the vacuum cleaner from whence it came and actually moving the wet laundry from the washing machine into the dryer.  Sometimes I have to set a timer to remind myself, but it gets done.  I am feeling pretty good about my newfound ability to keep on top of things, because we have three pets who collectively eject enough hair from their bodies for us to fashion an entirely NEW pet about every three or four days, and I’m sure once we add kids into the mix it will be even worse, unless I can convince the dog that she really likes to eat floor Cheerios.  (more…)

Lou Diamond Phillips

Mike and I like to watch a show called Numb3rs.  Yes, there really is a 3 instead of an e, and yes, I felt like an idiot typing that, but what are you going to do.  Anyway, the basic premise of the show is that the nerdy sidekick from 10 Things I Hate About You helps the FBI solve crimes in really improbable ways that are entertaining if not entirely believable, and often involve long explanations of complicated mathematical concepts using painful analogies to snakes and/or sprinklers and/or prisoners on death row who are being hanged AS A SURPRISE.  (Yeah, I know.  Apparently these things all had something to do with math.  I tend to spend a lot of time playing Angry Birds on my iPhone while this show is on.)  Mike likes it because of all the math, and I like it because of the FBI agents and also it allows me to engage in my TV-watching hobby of guessing in a creepily accurate fashion exactly who committed the crime before the first commercial break.  (See also:  Castle.  Entertaining but predictable.)  (more…)

Proper planning

Because you are all very loyal readers, I am going to reward your loyalty and devotion by talking about pudding some more.  (I KNOW!  You’re welcome.)  I emailed Mike to tell him about my pudding failure (it eventually did sort of thicken in a disgusting, congealy sort of way, but it tasted like it smelled, and sadly it did not smell like a delicious creamy treat with notes of cinnamon and vanilla) and the conversation went down sort of like this:  (more…)

Pudding science

I think I mentioned before that one of the things I accomplished (or “accomplished” since we’re talking about mixing liquids with solids and pouring them into a frozen cylinder here) on our 4-day weekend was making birthday cake ice cream.  Our friends Chris and Pam were coming over for dinner on Canada Day since we discovered a while ago they hadn’t been to our place since they bought a giant t.v. (which may or may not have been at least a year and a half ago), but it was Canada Day and we couldn’t find the ingredients for lamb burgers so they ended up supplying most of dinner, which is rather embarrassing, but Pam likes birthday cake ice cream and I did have the foresight to buy the supplies for that, since I can be counted on for nothing if not to prioritize dessert over the rest of the meal.  (more…)