Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I get paid for this?

Well, summer has arrived at the Ice Gardens. In other words, the hockey camps have started. The hockey camps run during the daytime Sunday to Friday each week, and one Guest Services staffperson (who am I kidding...lady...there are no guys in Guest Services...though there are gals on the Facilities crew) is scheduled for a day shift on each of those days. Today, that lady was me. I got to work a day shift on a weekday for a change (I've worked day shifts on Saturdays before but never on a weekday, seeing as they weren't available on weekdays before), working 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Now, I should explain one thing at this point: the only people at the Ice Gardens from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. other than staff are the people who are there to participate in the camps. The people who are there to participate in camps were confined to 2 rinks today (adults on one rink, kids on another) and hence had no need to ask me for directions. It seems their dressing rooms don't get locked, either, so they had no need to ask me for dressing room keys. In fact, absolutely no one from the camps interacted with me at all today, other than one person who came real early and wanted to know if the camp people were going to be out to check everyone in again like yesterday (umm...I don't know, I wasn't here yesterday, and you're the first non-Facilities and non-Tim-Horton's person I've spoken to here today), and two of our staff who didn't interact with me for very long. My interacting with other people today was limited to some people (well, mostly one guy) from Facilities who kept stopping by to chat, a few people who wanted to know where they could find the payphones/real estate college classrooms (yes, there is a real estate college that runs some classes at the Ice Gardens and some classes at the nearby tennis court known as the Rexall Centre at which the Rogers Cup takes place)/washrooms/cigarette vendor (you want to buy cigarettes at a sports facility? do you sense any irony in this?)/etc., a dozen or so people who called on the phone and needed transferring to other people or to know when their game time was, the staff at our facility's Tim Horton's where I got lunch, and the mailman. Oh, and I got greetings/quick small talk from a few other random staffpeople, such as the general manager, one of the league coordinators, a couple of the financial people, and our marketing person. It's nice to be in a facility where the higher-ups like the general manager know the name of the Guest Services girl and stop to chat with her, and where the staff is small enough to pretty much know each other.

Okay, so here is what I did at work today that was work-related:
  • clocked in
  • checked the phone messages and forwarded them as appropriate; continued to answer the phone as needed throughout the day...it wasn't needed much
  • checked my business (internal) e-mail
  • checked to see if we had all our keys
  • registered some spare players for some teams by entering their waivers (left from last night) into the system (don't remember how many, but I could count 'em on the fingers of one or two hands)
  • entered the 7 game sheets left from last night into the system...rolled my eyes when I saw that one team of guys, when signing in, decided to sign their names as things like "Ray Borque" and "Bobby Hull" (yeah, you're not that great, buddy, and this is a legal document you're signing)
  • counted the float (twice, because it was an odd amount...and I had nothing better to do)
  • ensured I was signed off from the computer and the front window was locked any time I left the office (but that the door was propped just a little bit open so I could get back in without having to get Facilities to unlock it...common albeit admittedly silly way of doing things at Guest Services)
  • got the mail from the mailman and gave it to one of the financial ladies (all without leaving my seat)
  • at the end of my shift: counted the float again, checked to see if we still had all our keys, e-mailed my report to my boss ("Everything was fine this morning. Thanks, Joy." I don't know why, but we have to e-mail her every shift to tell her how things went), took one payment over the phone (left it for my coworker to log), and signed off the computer
  • clocked out. Yep, pretty sure that was everything.
Here is what I did at work today that was not work-related:
  • surfed the Internet to remember how to do half-double crochet and treble crochet stitches without bugging my mom
  • two rows on my current crochet project (and I could have done more except I needed to change colours and had only brought one colour with me)
  • checked all my non-Hotmail (and non-maiden-name, but I think that account has totally lapsed now anyway) e-mail accounts; also checked into some of my Yahoo! Groups groups
  • surfed the Internet as a coworker was trying to show me on Bell's site the cell phone he wants to get
  • briefly surfed the Rogers site to see if there is a cheap-but-not-crap phone I can get through them to replace my now-near-crap phone
  • read the paper, including the comics
  • re-read parts of the paper (I went ahead and read some stuff I skipped before)
  • considered doing the Sudoku and Jumble and Crossword in the paper; resisted (though I do think I got the first Jumble word since I did look at it just long enough to do so)
  • tried to log into Blogger and learned that I no longer know my password (as my computer fills it in for me automatically when I go to the Blogger site now); pushed button to get it to remind me of my password; was informed that it would send me an e-mail with a reminder
  • kept checking e-mail occasionally to see if the password would arrive...no dice
  • pulled out Palm and "Office in a Bag" (Flylady's name for a zippered binder cover with a binder and paper and pens and all that good stuff in it) to keep working through an organizational system I've implemented
  • looked at clock and hoped coworker wouldn't be too late...I was managing to keep myself entertained, but didn't know how much longer I could keep it up.
Yep, it is well-known around the Ice Gardens that while it is nice when you're a Guest Services gal to get a day shift since it means you can go out at night or otherwise have the evening to yourself (though I am odd among my coworkers in that I would rather use that opportunity to get to bed at a decent hour rather than go out and party), it does mean that you will have a very quiet and boring shift unless you come prepared. I had been warned of this, which is why I came with a couple books and the paper (we get the Toronto Star free at York, so I picked it up on the way in) and my crochet project and my "organizational" project. Even the lady who is acting as our report-to person while our boss is on vacation said she didn't know why "they" made us come in and that it was a waste of money (but she said this nicely; it wasn't a dig at us or anything, but it is more or less true that it is useless for us to be there other than for us to provide a front-end customer service presence during the camps...not like anyone is there to see us doing so). I don't mind having the down time; while on the one hand it would be nice to get some housework done or something rather than just sit there and do nothing, on the other hand this does force me to be away from World of Warcraft and focusing on other things, even if it's just having the better kind of relaxation that comes from crochet and reading (yes, I know that a clinic has been founded in at least one country to treat video game addiction, which goes to show that the stimulation of video games like World of Warcraft really doesn't provide the same kind of relaxation as the other activities I mentioned do). I just can't believe I get paid to do it.

New phrase I learned today: camera knee: the wet spot that results from taking photos of a hockey team from a one-kneed kneeling position on the ice. Heard from a coworker explaining the condition of his pants to me. This explanation came after he had extended his arm to me and told me to feel how cold it was because he'd been taking said photos in the cold (duh) arena. Those of you who know me well know my hands are always freezing anyway so I really didn't notice him feeling that cold, but as he'd been taking said photos while clad in a T-shirt I could still appreciate the sentiment (though those of you who know me also know I tend to have a sweater with me in case of cold conditions--like too-cold A/C in a theatre--so you may figure I wasn't completely sympathetic, but still).

Sigh...alright, must go to bed soon so I can wake up early and get in the "please help me with my OSAP application" line at York before it gets too long. Ciao...

The problem with having a blog is it's so easy to get tagged.

Apparently Kef knows all too well that if I get tagged with something like this, I will have to respond, even if it means having to go and check car trunks and such at approximately 5 a.m. So, in answer to "the chain letter of the blogsphere"...

5 things in my refrigerator:
  • orange pepper
  • green pepper
  • bagged salad that I hope is still good (yes, I've been trying to eat more veggies)
  • aged provolone cheese (the next stop on my cheese tour...which is nothing more than my decision to try different kinds of cheeses for fun and in the spirit of healthy snacking...though the fact that I forgot we had this means I'm not always real intentional about this ;))
  • hubby's .5 beer (he's not allowed to have the real stuff for now due to medication and other medical issues)
5 things in my closet:
  • a light blue hamper...very full of coloured laundry
  • a white hamper...deceivingly un-full, so that you wouldn't think I desperately need to wash our whites
  • the dress I wore for grade 8 grad
  • the dress I wore for high school grad
  • a closet organizer for jewellery I hardly ever wear :P
5 things in my pockets:
  • oxygen (21% by volume)
  • nitrogen (78% by volume)
  • argon (0.93% by volume)
  • carbon dioxide (365 ppmv--parts per million by volume)
  • neon (18 ppmv)
5 things in my car and/or trunk:
  • a set of jumper cables in a case
  • a set of horseshoes (the game)
  • a snowbrush that converts into an emergency shovel (yes, I know it is June)
  • hubby's Steve Miller Band CD
  • a spider (at least, it was there at about 5:40 a.m.)
5 people to get tagged:

Hmm...I'm not even sure who reads my blog these days. Most people I know don't actually have a blog, even if they do read mine, so that kind of limits the list...especially as Kef has already claimed "no touchback" rights.
  • Emma? She has a blog.
  • Voin? He has a blog. He's also not in the country at the moment, though, so that could interfere with his ability to respond for the time being.
  • Jen? She's only made one blog entry so far. Maybe she needs inspiration ;).
  • Karen? I know she loves to blog.
  • Tracy? She hasn't blogged in a while...I could see her doing this.
There, I'm done. No more "getting to know you" chain letters for me. At least not before I start work today.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Not just for tree-huggers.

Please consider seeing the movie An Inconvenient Truth. Yes, it's about the environment. Yes, it's a documentary and not one of those Hollywood-imagines-environmental-disasters movies like that unscientific train wreck of a movie, The Day After Tomorrow (okay, some of the science was good in that movie, but if you think you can keep out cold like that by closing a door...hmph). Yes, Al Gore is your host. However, this documentary is not your boring "oh, there's going to be a substitute teacher next class; I'd better leave a movie for her to show the class" fodder. It has received multiple standing ovations. It is "surprisingly stirring." Even Al Gore is allegedly good: "Here he is seen as never before in the media -- funny, engaging, open and downright on fire." Please watch the trailer. Please seriously consider seeing this movie. I am going to see it with Martin tomorrow. I'll let you know if I still recommend it so strongly after that.

After all, Superman Returns doesn't start until Tuesday.

God-relationship musings (and my new approach to de-stressing)

I've been reading the book Experiencing God by Henry T. Blackaby and Claude V. King. It's a revised edition with a revised text and study questions. I really like the book and the way it deals with how to know the will of God for your life. However, it has me realizing (again) that a lot of the time I do a crap job at listening to God. On the one hand, I want to know and do the will of God because that means doing what I was designed to do--and doing what I am designed to do rather than fighting my own design and the way the world works can only lead to fulfillment and peace and relief from the stress that comes from said fight. On the other hand, I so easily get sidetracked with distractions or doing things in a self-centered way, even though it is better for me not to. I am at a point in my spiritual walk where I feel that the calls I have received in the past have been served out effectively and that I do not have a call to anything at the moment, which means that either a.) I am at a point where I simply need to wait on God for a new call, or b.) I should still be doing something in relation to one of my "old" calls (which is really my current call). I need to be in a place where I am able to hear the new call when it comes...or I need to be in a place where I am able to hear God reminding me of my "old" call (which is really my current call)--because if I thought that I'd finished the work, or gotten distracted from it for a long period of time, I well could have forgotten it, as powerful as it was when I first received it--and teaching me how I need to adjust my life to align myself to that call again. I need to take some time to review how God has been working throughout my life in the past and where He is leading me now...a time of reviewing the road map, so to speak. Perhaps this is the reason for this time of isolation from others--it gives me some time and space to work on my most important relationship of all.

By the way, here are "Seven Realities of Experiencing God" that the authors present, though they act only as a summary of what the book says and so much more could be said about them (this list is given in chapter 5, after all, and chapters 6 through 19 deal with clarifying what is meant by each point and how each can have an impact on one's life):
  1. God is always at work around you.
  2. God pursues a continuing love relationship with you that is real and personal.
  3. God invites you to become involved with Him in His work.
  4. God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church to reveal Himself, His purposes, and His ways.
  5. God's invitation for you to work with Him always leads you to a crisis of belief that requires faith and action.
  6. You must make major adjustments in your life to join God in what He is doing.
  7. You come to know God by experience as you obey Him and He accomplishes His work through you.
Interesting, huh? Anyway, I'm off for now; going to take time for my quiet time. After that, the plan so far is to take some action on some of the things that have been on my mind lately so that I won't be stressed out any longer by thoughts of having to deal with them (I have mentioned to people before that I have realized in recent months that my tendency to try to de-stress by playing on the computer or whatnot for a while is really just procrastination and does not remove the source of the stress, which is the task which must be dealt with; de-stressing through taking action on the issues bothering me rather than by procrastinating is the new approach I am going to try, and really the one that I think makes more sense)...but we will see if God has anything to say about how my day should go.

Oh, one more thing: those of you using RSS feeds to read my blog, please let me know if you get alerted to the presence of new comments on my blog entries (I suspect the answer is "no" but I'm not sure as I'm not yet an RSS-feed user myself). I added a few comments to my previous entry, for example; does your feed-reader tell you that? Just curious. Oh well, bye for now...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I think I have an RSS feed already?

So...I think I have an RSS feed already? Since some lazy reader of my blog requested a feed, I looked at the "Site Feed" tab of my blog's settings, and as far as I can tell I have it set up to provide a feed...also, when I am on my blog's homepage, my Netscape Browser shows a little "RSS" icon beside the URL in the location bar. So...I think I am set up so that if you like RSS, you can use that with my blog? I don't even really know what it is so y'all will have to have a little patience with me if you use such things and want me to get on the ball.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Update on my "green earth" quest

I haven't yet given you an update on what I'm doing in my efforts to be more environmentally-friendly, so I thought I'd take a moment now to tell you what I've been doing so far. I mentioned in my first entry in the "environment" category (see links to categories of entries on the right-hand side of this page) that I'm reading a book that's giving me some tips. Well, I'm only reading a short section at a time and I'm not reading it every day, but here's what my reflections have been so far:
  • The (six-page...nice to have a short intro for a change) introduction focused on a brief coverage of different ways Christians sometimes approach caring for the environment, from the extreme that says, "Well, the world's just going to hell in a handbasket anyway, so we don't need to care for the earth," to the other extreme that tries to re-create Eden. The book briefly presented a more balanced viewpoint that I agree with; I won't go into it here, but if you want to know more we can talk about it.
  • The first section focuses on recycling. Recycle paper at home, it says: newspapers, cardboard, magazines, brown paper grocery bags, paper towels, message pads, junk mail, class notes, and envelopes (if envelopes are allowed in your area). Okay, I said, I already do all of that. Oh, except for the brown paper bags...we don't generally get brown paper bags here for groceries...we tend to get plastic bags...oh, but I use any of those that we get to line garbage pails or to carry lunches to work, only throwing them out if they have holes in their bottoms that mean I can't use them for those purposes, so that's reusing...oh, and we use canvas bags and backpacks or a "bundle buggy" when we go to the store now, so that's reducing...though sometimes we get cardboard boxes at the Price Chopper to put groceries in instead, but they get recycled, so s'all good. I was struck when I saw "paper towels," though. I don't think we can recycle paper towels here (I could be wrong). I don't use a lot of paper towels, but I do use a lot of Kleenex, and I have always felt guilty looking at the garbage can when I've been sick. Dirty Kleenex definitely can't be recycled...ah, but they can go in the Green Bin, as can paper towels. Hmm, but I didn't want to have to go to our "rot bin" every time I used a Kleenex to wipe my glasses or blow my nose (for one thing, I hate the sight and smell of the stuff in the "rot bin"). Okay, I can find a way around this...what I have done now is taken a paper bag that I got McDonald's in one day (I actually got fast food for the express purpose of getting a paper bag I could save, believe it or not), since it is a standing container (unlike a flimsy plastic bag) that I can put my Kleenex into as I use them. (I could have set aside a special garbage can for this instead, I suppose, but this works for me.) I keep this out-of-sight-but-handy beside my computer desk. My rule is Kleenex and paper towels used with "natural" substances can go in there or in the "rot bin," so if I wipe my glasses, blow my nose, or clean up foodstuff in the kitchen with them, they're ok, but if I use Windex or coloured markers with them (I use some checklists in sheet protectors with overhead pens), they go in the garbage, just because I don't know how good or bad it is to introduce Windex or other chemicals into a compost pile. When garbage day comes, I can empty this paper bag into the Green Bin and continue to use it. If it somehow gets soggy or whatever, the soiled paper bag can go in the Green Bin, too, and I will either get another one or find another container to use.
  • Recycle plastic and metal and glass, it says. Okay, well, I already do that at home. Hmm, but it also says to try and reuse containers more. Well, we did save margarine tubs and so on for a while, but they build up so quickly, and we already have more than enough Tupperware. Maybe I should be looking at how to reduce our waste in these areas instead...I'm sure there will be tips on that further along in the book.
  • Recycle paper and other recycleables at work, it says. Hmm, this is harder; as far as I know, the Ice Gardens does not recycle, so I have to take the initiative. What I do now is take any paper that we would normally throw out at Guest Services that doesn't contain sensitive information and take it home to recycle. Likewise, if I have a Pepsi at work, I bring the bottle home. I am only there for the summer so I don't really feel right going the next step and organizing looking after the recycling of paper waste and so on produced in the office upstairs (maybe they already do recycle up there, but I don't know), though. I guess I'm a wimp that way. I was struck by the book's mentioning the metal recycleables you don't usually think of, though--filing cabinets, metal desks, and so on. Something to keep in mind if I ever get rid of something like that, or if I see them in the disposal pile in my workplace (when I eventually get to my goal of becoming a teacher, especially); recyclilng things like that takes effort, but it's worth it...and like the book says, if you can sell them to a scrap-metal dealer or whatever, there could be some $ in it.
  • Make sure the oil in your car is changed when it needs to be, it says. Ouch. Our car is used infrequently, so maintenance on it has been neglected. It could use an oil change. I'll look after that shortly after I get my G2...hopefully, that will be soon. Also, take your old oil to a place that will recycle it, it says. Hmm. We have always taken our oil to Canadian Tire or some place that we trust to dispose of it properly--we never dump it down the storm drain like people used to do--but do they recycle it? I'll have to remember to inquire when it's time for that oil change.
  • Something else we're doing that I haven't read in the book yet is changing our lightbulbs for those fluorescent ones that use less energy as the old ones burn out. I think it works out that for 25 watts you can have the brightness of a 100-watt incandescent bulb if you make the switch to fluorescent. This will also save my DMIL ("dear mother-in-law," for those of you who don't know that type of 'net lingo; we rent her basement apartment) some $ on the energy bill...and with today's energy prices, every little bit helps. I'm also getting better at only having lights on when needed and only in the area I'm in at the moment, too, I think (no leaving the light on in the bathroom just because I have a feeling I'll have to visit it later, no leaving the bedroom light on because I'll have to put clothes away there from the dryer in 45 mintues, etc.).
  • The last load of laundry I did, I hung it to dry rather than sticking it in the dryer. This is new for me and I felt like an old washerwoman doing it, but really it does make a lot of sense. I still can't bring myself to hang our underwear out on the line, but I can adjust to hanging out our jeans and shirts and socks and so on. This will also save on energy, which is good for the planet and good for DMIL's bank account. DMIL did bring in our laundry when she needed to hang her own stuff, though, so we might need more clothespins and to see if there is room for both our stuff at the same time (but maybe she just brought it in because it was dry)--I wondered about that when I hung our stuff--though we were able to share the dryer okay before (like in the winter when hanging stuff didn't get done because noone wanted to trek out there to do it, I think) so we should be able to share a clothesline tree now.
That's it for now, but I haven't read the book for a while and will be going back to it. I'll let you know what else I do in the future.

Warning! Warning!

I was just thinking about something that really bugs me. I hate it when people blindly pass on information without thinking about whether that information is good information and/or whether the source of the information they're being fed is a reliable one for that type of information or not.

Let's say, for example, that a friend you'd known for years told you that microwaving water on its own (i.e., without a hot chocolate or soup mix or anything else in it) was a bad idea because she had read about someone who did that who ended up with bad burns all over his face because the very hot water "exploded" all over him when he took it out of the microwave. This friend might then give you a scientific explanation involving the way that microwaving water to boil it can end up "superheating" the water, and how that "superheating" can lead to the water essentially jumping out of the cup when given the right conditions. She might then tell you precautions she had heard about, such as putting a wooden spoon into the cup or heating the water with something else in it (such as sugar or the mix of whatever it is you're trying to make). How would you respond to being told this?

Most people that I know immediately take this warning-complete-with-scientific-warning straight to heart. The next time that they use a microwave for anything related to heating a liquid, they remember what their friend told them. They also pass on the warning to others. The first time I came across this warning, it was when someone had taken an e-mail they had received containing said warning, printed it out and posted it near the microwave in the kitchen at Tyndale College (now Tyndale University College), where I was in residence for a semester. That was in the winter semester of 2000. The most recent time I encountered it, I was sitting in the senior science prep room at my old high school (where I was doing some volunteering), listening to one of my old chemistry teachers pass on this warning to a physics teacher. That was in the winter semester of 2006.

Let us consider a couple of things about this "jumping water" warning. First of all, where is this information coming from? As far as I can tell, everyone who has been passing this warning along has received their information through an e-mail. Let me ask you this: when you get an e-mail telling you that you should buy a particular stock because its value is going to be going through the roof on Monday (I get at least one of these e-mails every weekend, and I suspect the rest of you do, too, though if you have a good spam filter you might not see it), do you go out and buy it? No! Most people know enough to be skeptical of such an e-mail. However, I have seen that most people seem to take as fact any e-mail that contains a warning like the "jumping water" warning...or one that tells you to beware because there is a group of people drugging people's drinks in bars and harvesting their kidneys...or one that tells you that if you see someone at night who is driving with their lights off that you should not flash your highbeams at him/her to tell him/her to turn their lights on because there is a gang doing such driving and killing anyone who flashes their lights at them...or one that tells you not to open any e-mail with the subject line "A Virtual Card for You" because it contains a virus that will burn up your hard drive.

Why are people skeptical of one type of e-mail, but not of another?
  • Is it because no money is involved in heeding the "jumping water" warning, but there is in heeding the one advising you to "buy this stock now"? In response to being shown that a particular e-mail is not to be believed, people tend to tell me, "Well, it's better to be safe than sorry." It didn't cost them anything to believe or heed the information they were given, so why not be cautious, in other words. Okay, I guess that is fair enough, but why choose to live in fear when such fear has no basis in reality? "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind," says 2 Tim. 1:7 (NKJV).
  • Is it because the "jumping water" warning claims to have science behind it, or because that e-mail warning you about the computer virus claims that CNN has done a story about said virus? Well, just a minute: it is easy for someone to say that CNN has done a story about something...it is harder to back it up, and not so hard to find out if the claim is true or not. It is easy to make up a scientific-sounding explanation to back up a claim you are making...it is harder to back it up in the face of good research.
  • Is it because you are receiving the warning from a good friend, who you feel would have no reason to lie to you, and whom you trust to have your best interests at heart? Well, I am glad that you have good, solid, trusting relationships with your friends. Keep in mind, however, that good intentions are only that...and that your friend did not write the e-mail warning they are forwarding to you...and that he or she may well fully believe the contents of said e-mail warning, but that doesn't mean that they haven't been duped, however intelligent a person they may be otherwise.
Of course, bad information doesn't just come to us through e-mail; it comes through the spin doctors hired by cigarette companies, through the media, and through word-of-mouth. The media are sometimes treated skeptically; the spokespeople of cigarette companies, thankfully, usually are. So why do we trust information that our friends give us on which they have no authority to speak? I am not restricting you to speaking only on areas in which you work and/or study in school or professionally, either, here; if you have done your research on a particular topic or at least done a basic checking-out of the information you are passing on and found it to be valid, then by all means, share it and enrich our minds and lives as a result. If, however, you are just repeating what you read in an e-mail and are merely trusting that forwarded e-mail to be valid and accurate, I'm sorry, I'm really not interested in such information. In fact, in repeating it to me, you run the risk that I will be interested enough to do my own research to see whether it is valid or not, and letting you (and others you passed the information on to) know if the "information" turned out to be wrong. If you don't mind being wrong, then I suppose that is fine. If, however, you would be embarrassed or otherwise upset by my responding to your e-mail forward to me and 10 more of your friends with an e-mail telling you and your 10 other friends not to worry about such-and-such (and to see such-and-such for more accurate information), then please do not get me involved in the first place. Okay, I can hear you now: "If you don't like my e-mail, then just delete it and ignore it." Rest assured, I do use that policy when it comes to the "forward this e-mail to 10 people to tell them that you value their friendship"-type e-mails when I am not in a sappy mood (I think it is far more valuable to show a friend you value them by sending them a piece of real correspondence to catch up with how they're doing or by spending time with them than by sending them a cutesy "yes-I-love-you-even-though-I-never-talk-to-you" e-mail forward, after all). However, when it comes to the hoax virus warnings and so on that you are passing on to me and 10 of your friends, I don't get why you would want me to use that policy...why would you want your friends to believe lies and live in fear rather than have the truth?

Yes, I admit it, I am not fully guilt-free of this myself; I do avoid diet soft drinks even though I have not looked up the paper that I have heard has been published in a scientific journal documenting research through which scientists have allegedly found that drinking soft drinks actually does cause you to gain weight (i.e., it's not just that larger people drink diet soft drinks, but that said drinks actually contribute to their problem even though they have few calories and these people are drinking them instead of regular soft drinks to try to lose weight). I do try to avoid aspartame even though I haven't taken time to look into the issue of whether it causes problems in the body or not (I did ask a friend who is a biology major what they are taught in their classes on the subject in the hopes that that information would be better than word-of-mouth, but that is hardly enough). And I do generally read the paper without taking time to question bias (though I don't really trust film critics' reviews anymore). However, I can tell you where to find information confirming or denying the information in pretty much any e-mail forward out there, and some rumors that come through other channels as well. Is it the scientist in me that makes me question things so much? Perhaps, but other (non-scientific) academic disciplines emphasize research as well, such as history. "Garbage in, garbage out"...the information we take in influences our worldview, our interactions with others, and the way we live our lives. I am very glad because of this that I am not the only person who likes quality information...I just wish a few more people preferred it, too.

I have a couple of links here on my blog page that deal with "urban legends"; you can see them in one part of my "Links"section on the right-hand side of the home page of my blog. The one that is labelled "Good article on urban legends" links to a critical thinking bit posted on the website that acts as a companion to my first-year psychology textbook and includes discussion of the claim that "On average, men think about sex every seven seconds." The other link is to Snopes.com, a great resource for checking out whether a particular rumor is true. I trust the Snopes site because they put references to the materials from which they get their information at the bottom of every article (check out some of the articles I give links to below for some examples). Using the Snopes site, I can give you some well-researched answers on many of those rumors you've heard, including the following:
  • To find out more about the "jumping water" warning, read http://www.snopes.com/science/microwave.asp. I found this by using the search box on the Snopes site to search for "microwave water" (without the quotes).
  • To find out more about the e-mail warning you against e-mails with the subject line "A Virtual Card for You," read http://www.snopes.com/computer/virus/invitation.asp. Originally I found this by doing a search for "Olympic torch" (without the quotes) due to the version of the e-mail I received (which you can read about on that page).
  • To find out if you should worry about someone trying to harvest your kidneys, read http://www.snopes.com/horrors/robbery/kidney.asp. I simply searched for "kidneys" (without the quotes).
  • To find out if it really is a bad idea to flash your highbeams at a motorist driving at night without his or her lights on, see http://www.snopes.com/horrors/madmen/lightsout.asp (easily found by doing a search for "flash lights," without the quotes and comma).
  • Oh, look, they do have an article on aspartame! I haven't read it yet, but here it is: http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/aspartame.asp. I simply did a search on "aspartame" (without the quotes).
  • The links I've given so far in this list all refer to the rumors I mentioned ealier in this blog entry. As a little bonus, however, here is a link to all the stories about Coke that Snopes covers (including the rumors that "Coca-Cola used to contain cocaine," "A tooth left in a glass of Coca-Cola will dissolve overnight," and "Coca-Cola's name was translated into Chinese as "bite the wax tadpole"): http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/cokelore.asp. Enjoy!
Oh, I have also heard about http://www.truthorfiction.com/ , but I haven't used it myself (the Snopes site is enough for me); still, you could check it out if you're interested.

Phew, it feels good to get that out of my system (or maybe reading some of the "Coke lore" is what made me feel better). Ending rant now :).

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Now *everyone* can comment

Update: Kef pointed out that I wasn't allowing anonymous (non-Blogger-member) comments, so I've changed my blog settings to allow them (I didn't realize I had blocked them, sorry). Pretty much everyone should be able to comment on my blog entries now, though you do still have to go through the word verification process (which really is quite painless, and I am not removing that due to concerns about spammers that I've mentioned before).

Saturday, June 17, 2006

More grad photos...

(Yes, this is my 4th entry today. Deal with it.)

Here are some more photos from my graduation this past Wednesday. My scanner isn't working a.t.m. so all the grad photos I'm posting for now are my edits of the scans my mom did of the photos they took. The editing I did involved rotating the photos somewhat (I don't mean a quarter-turn or anything, just fixing the fact that most of them were crooked) and doing some cropping. Here you go; enjoy!

Categories are your friends.

I don't know how much any of you pay attention to the right-hand side of this blog, but if you look down a bit on that side, you'll see a "Categories" area. I now assign categories to each of my blog entries. If you read my blog every day (or every time I made a new entry) and have a good memory, you may have no need to look at that feature. It could come in handy, though, if, for example, you wanted to know how my quest to become more environmentally-friendly is going, or if I have talked about my fitness life in a while (which I haven't yet on this blog, though I did go for a half-hour walk yesterday...there you go, that's the first mention of the fitness side of my life in this blog), or if you forgot where that cool link to the musical version of pi was. It's certainly a lot easier to find things in than the "Archive" section down at the bottom. Anyway, I know I'll be using it, so I just thought I'd point that out. I've noticed that I do have to refresh my page after updating the categories of things to get it to recognize new/changed links, though, so if you want to use that feature I suggest you do a refresh (or, as Netscape puts it, reload) as well every time you visit my blog; this is easily done using one of the buttons at the top of your web browser.

Comment away :)

Oops, sorry, I didn't know I had unmoderate comments to look at...I'm too used to the system on my old blog, where in the post list for the post owner it showed comments listed under each post (plus the comments weren't moderated...you could edit them, but I think comments got posted by default...but then, it's been a long time since I played with my "My MSN Space" blog's settings). I have turned off comment moderation here now...hopefully I won't get any spam comments, since I activated word verification right from the get-go, and I can still edit any spam comments I do get (AFAIK I can edit them, anyway). I am not naïve enough to think that people don't spam guestbooks and comments; I ended up getting rid of the guestbook on my main website because every time I got a notification that there was a new entry requiring approval, it was spam. I just didn't to go through that process (of getting excited about getting a new comment, then being disappointed because it was just spam) anymore. Anyway, I'm talking way too much about this: let's just say that for now, the doors are open for you to add your comments unmoderated to my blog entries (though you still have to go through the word verification process)...let's just hope no spammer comes along and ruins that for everybody.

Edit: now I just have to figure out if I really need an RSS feed...feel free to post your votes as comments on this entry.

Edit 2: I have decided to go ahead and add the "Recent comments" feature available through Blogger to my blog, so you will notice that appearing on the right-hand side of this page. I'm hoping this will help me know when people have posted new comments to my blog entries, so I won't accidentally overlook any, although I have also enabled e-mail notification so that I will get an e-mail whenever one of my fine readers posts a comment. Please note that this only shows comments that are on entries on the page you are viewing; at this point (around 3 pm EST, June 17, 2006), only one entry on this page has comments on it, so only one link shows in the "Recent comments" area, but if you scroll down and visit the link to the June 2006 archive (via the "Archives" section, believe it or not), you will find 3 comments linked, since more entries show on that page than on this one. When you visit pages for individual entries the "Recent comments" area won't show up because there will only be one entry on that page and the comments for such pages automatically show up at the bottom of those pages anyway. I promise not to assume only as many people read my blog as post comments on it, since I know at least three people have read this even though only one person has posted comments at this point--I know not all (if any!) entries call for comments and not everyone will feel inclined to comment in the first place--the ability to comment is just there for those who wish to take advantage of it.

Alright, enough geeking out and more Father's Day shopping...

People are dumb.

During my shift at work yesterday, we had "one of those days." One of those days where:
  • my coworker was already very grumpy by the time I started
  • some of the referees didn't show up on time
  • some of the timekeepers (t.k.s) didn't show up on time
  • because some of the t.k.s weren't there, one of our two convenors plus our "superconvenor" (i.e., the guy that works in the league office but comes downstairs and makes sure everything happens right during the games and tournaments) each had to do timekeeping until the t.k.s showed up...my coworker turned to me and said, "This is not going to be a good day"...
  • because one of the senior-level games ("senior" being the seniors of the kids league, so we're talking 12 year-olds and early teenagers) only had one referee and because one of the coaches felt that referee was being "selectionist" and/or blind, one of the coaches got all upset and came and yelled at us at Guest Services for quite a while, didn't give us a chance to say anything before walking away, came back and yelled at us some more, told us he was going to protest this game, yadda yadda...for future reference, this game was on rink D...oh, and I loved it when he said something like, "this is supposed to be a fun game"...and he got ejected from the game for telling the coach where to go...
  • one of the hockey moms came up to us and said (nearly whispering) that there was a crazy man in the building and that she felt he should be barred because it seemed like there was something wrong with him...and that he was protesting the game...we asked her, "you aren't on rink D by any chance, are you?" and of course she was...she mentioned that the kids on his team were goons, and she said no wonder given the example he was setting for them, that the kids were tell the referee to f*** off, etc....anyway, she was really nice and not yelling at us...it was nice to have someone agree with us that this customer was crazy :)...she ended up with a small group of parents around her (a little ways away from our desk) talking about this coach (with me hoping that the crazy coach wouldn't walk by them and a brawl wouldn't ensue)...yeah, it's supposed to be a fun game...and it stops being fun when some of the adults get so upset...
  • later, the crazy man told me that some of the kids had had money stolen from them...oh, no, he didn't take a key for the dressing room from us and therefore didn't lock the change room during the game...oh, he knew it was his fault that they didn't take a key...but he said the only person that went into the room during the game was one of our sweepers, and he said it's pretty low to be stealing from kids...well, yes, I agree that it is low to steal from kids; I don't really think any of our facilities staff would do that, but I made a (mental) note of the incident and mentioned it to a convenor...and groaned inwardly about how well the day was going...at least the crazy man wasn't yelling, though he was obviously still upset and still not really listening...I secretly wondered if he was making up this incident (or if he had stolen the money...how uncharitable of me) out of spite to create havoc...my coworker was thankfully not at the desk at the time, as she (had) said (either before or after this part) that if one more person complained to her, that she was going to be doing some talking back, and that the person would not be liking the talking back...
  • a couple hours later, another parent called to report a theft that he said had happened a few hours later, and that only one non-team-member had gone into the room during the game and that they had a good description of this person, so after getting some info from him (not the description) I transferred him to the general manager's voicemail (he won't be in until Monday) and told him I could also transfer him to the person running the league that night if he wanted to call back. Well, he didn't call back as far as I know, but then I wouldn't have heard the phone ring if he went through the phone directory when he called (since the call wouldn't have been transferred to our desk so we could help him)...
  • after a while, I noticed a group of people standing around the crazy man, I guess other parents of kids on the team...I continued to hope that angry mobs would not develop...
  • after a while, a man came up and introduced himself to me as the man that had called me earlier (the man who'd called about the theft) and said something like, "This seems to be quite common in your establishment, hmm? there's a whole group of parents over here talking about it." well, this is the first theft I have heard of happening since I started at the Ice Gardens (I had been told that thefts do happen, but like I said, none had happened since I'd started that I'd heard of), and ya think the reason there's a group of them talking is because one whole dressing room was affected, not because it happens often? anyway, not the kind of comment that you can respond to properly at all...thankfully one of our convenors(the one who hadn't done any timekeeping that day...oh, our t.k.s did show up eventually and the other convenor and superconvenor had been freed up from timekeeping at this point) was nearby and soon took over the situation...
  • this group of people talked to this convenor for at least an hour and a half about the theft incident, within sight of our desk, with my coworker grumbling the whole time about how it was their own fault because
    1. they didn't take a dressing room key and lock up their stuff
    2. there are signs posted in a few different places (in at least two places at our desk and I think elsewhere, too) that dressing room keys are available at our desk and not to leave valuables unsecured
    3. there are signs in the dressing rooms stating the same thing
    4. the waivers that they signed for their kids at the beginning of the summer season (and they did sign them, 'cuz the kids aren't allowed on the ice if a waiver has not been signed for them) clearly states that basically losses due to theft aren't our fault (among other things...it is a few very long paragraphs that essentially say, "if something bad happens, you can't blame us)
    5. they saw someone not on the team go into the dressing room during the game and didn't challenge them? hello??? even if you thought the person worked for us, there is no reason why any of our employees should need to go into a changeroom during a game unless the team brought up an issue with the room (there was an incident with a broken light bulb once and one involving an electrical box that I've seen since I started, but the team had brought it up in both cases and therefore knew someone would be going in)...the facilities crew clean up the rooms after games, not during.
  • the man that had called me called the police, as did someone else (and eventually the man had his and the other person's cell phone on, one on each ear)...
  • the "good description" that they had of this person was that they were wearing a light-coloured jacket (though our convenor was originally told that the person was wearing a black jacket) and had a walkie-talkie on their hip (I think that was it)...okay, so they weren't wearing a red Ice Gardens sweater, which all our facilities crew were that evening, and none of our facilities crew have walkie-talkies these days (only the t.k.s and the referees get them, and they don't put them on their hips), and even back in the day when the facilities crew did have walkie-talkies (this is before I started working there), they would clip them to their collars so that they could hear and answer easily--so basically, it wasn't one of our people, and the "walkie-talkie" must have been a cell phone (maybe one of those Blackberry devices that have a walkie-talkie function built in)...and what kind of description is that? and it was hours ago that the theft happened, so the person is gone by now...
  • the police actually did show up, pretty much just as we were closing up the Guest Services area...thankfully they didn't need to talk to us and didn't keep us from leaving...
  • my coworker and I had thought ok, maybe 10 kids in the room had money, maybe (given their ages) they had $20 each, so maybe $200 got stolen (an amount I didn't think the police would care to do anything about other than file a report...I certainly hadn't expected them to show up)...but I overheard the cop talking to our facilities supervisor before we left...one kid had about $140 stolen, another had about $120 stolen, and another had a smaller-but-still-sizable amount stolen (and I assume any kids that had even only $20 in their wallets also got robbed)...what are kids that age doing carrying money like that around? I don't even carry more than $40 around unless I am on a trip or need the $ right away for a largish purchase that must be made in cash (such as a $32.75 adult ten-ride ticket between my local mall and York, when I also want to have $20 or so left over for lunches and other smaller purchases). If my kid felt the need to have $140 in his wallet, I would start worrying whether he was buying drugs...ok, not likely what's going on here, but why would you keep that kind of cash on you? why would you not worry about it being stolen (like by leaving it in an unlocked dressing room)?
Please understand that I did feel a little badly that the theft occured, and I don't think the robber's actions should be condoned. However, the events of the day turned the chipper mood I had at the beginning of the shift (oh, when I was chipper I made sure to keep quiet and not bug my coworker too much, because I know that one of the most annoying things when you're grumpy is when someone else is chipper around you) into something not so pleasant, and my coworker and I left chanting the mantra, "People are dumb." The headache I gained didn't help much, either. I did try to be friendly and helpful to people anyway--that whole "choose your attitude" kind of thing--but it was not a happy day. Anyway.

I have the day off today, thankfully; the rink is closed due to a scheduled power outage in the area ("for an estimated period of 6 to 8 hours beginning at approximately 8:00AM" according to an e-mail I got from my old boss' secretary...I still get the e-mails relating to the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry--which is fine with me for now--of which this was one). Today I get to go out to a birthday party for one of my nephews at my brother's place, so I will get to see family, eat good food and eat cake; hopefully this means today will be a good day. I do have a bit of Father's Day shopping to do (Father's Day is tomorrow; I have baked some cookies for my dad and plan to go out and buy him something as well sometime before we get picked up for the party, but I'm still not sure what we're doing in terms of visiting people as we have to sort out what we're going to do with Martin's dad, too), but hopefully that will not be too stressful.

Okay, I think I am done venting for now. Have a good weekend, everyone!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Clarification (formerly "Correction.").

I just added this to the "Are you a nerd?" post below, because at least one of you said you didn't get it: you need to have your speakers on to get what amused me about that site. Sorry for the confusion; I should have mentioned that in the first place.

Lessons learned

Well, there you go. I am now officially a York alumna. The ceremony actually wasn't nearly as excruciating as I'd expected, as it moved quicker than I had thought it was going to, up to the point where it was my turn to cross the stage and shake everyone's hand (once I was seated again after that my fellow chem majors couldn't wait for the ceremony to be over and continually used the program to figure out how many more people had to cross the stage and how much longer we had to wait..."Okay, we're on the third column on page 63 now" etc.). The speaker to receive his honorary doctorate at our ceremony was a Dr. Ling who apparently made a great breakthrough in the cure for cancer, and what I could hear of his introduction and speech (my group was in a bad spot for hearing stuff) was actually pretty interesting. I was also very interested to see that both the Chancellor and this guy made references to God in their remarks--God at university? Really? Hooray! Even the two-hour pre-ceremony prep period wasn't nearly as bad as I'd expected; I arrived at the gown rental area early and was in the first group to do our pick-ups once that area opened for business, and the procedure was pretty quick. When I got to the marshalling area, I was able to see friends in three different groups (math majors--including two friends who had been fellow "I want to be a teacher" people in my early math classes, one of whom got into York's concurrent education program and one who didn't get into that program and decided not to teach in the long run--physics majors and chem majors) and kept moving between the three groups until more people arrived and we had to get serious about being in the right place according to the numbers on our name cards. Oh, guess what number I was? 123! I thought that was really funny but noone else seemed to get it. Oh well.

I'm still in learning mode (and likely will be for the rest of my life...that's one of the marks of a teacher, after all), and I learned some things from all that transpired yesterday. I am making plans now for my final graduation ceremony (that I have planned at this point, anyway) that will occur when I (D.V.) graduate with my B.Ed. next year. Here are some things that will happen:
  1. Martin will have the day off, not just my dad, so that there will be no worry about whether everyone will be able to find each other and/or arrive on time.
  2. I and all attending on my behalf will have a good-sized lunch (not necessarily together)prior to the ceremony (depending on the timing of the ceremony, "lunch" may be a different meal, but whatever) so that we are not starving by the end of the ceremony and only interested in hitting a restaurant.
  3. All attending on my behalf but Martin will be free to leave once we have taken the usual daughter-and-parents/wife-and-husband/etc. photos of me in my academic regalia; if they are starving, they can hit a restaurant on their own. I will be sticking around to enjoy at least some of the reception (including some of the reception food and refreshments) and congratulate/mingle with fellow grads, faculty, etc. (assuming I build relationships enough with my fellow B.Ed. students and faculty next year to care about doing so). If Martin is starving and won't be appeased by reception food, I guess he can leave with my other guests, though I will be more lonely at the reception if that is the case.
  4. I will host a dinner and/or party in honour of my final (planned at this point) graduation either the next day or the weekend following my graduation. Family and friends will all be invited, including those who were unable to attend my graduations due to the four-guests-per-graduand limit. Everyone will be free to come and leave as they choose (well, if people arrive in the middle of any sit-down meal, that could be an issue, but otherwise), including those who feel party time is over when the meal is over; I will still have friends who know the party ain't over sticking around to continue to celebrate with me. Maybe I will have a BBQ, maybe I will plan dinner at a restaurant and have everyone back to the house afterwards, who knows; we'll have to see. But we will celebrate, darn it. Feel free to R.S.V.P. now and I'll make sure you're on the guest list ;).

Lest you be alarmed by the list above, I did enjoy a lot of yesterday; there were just some things that could have gone better (and there were some things that upset me). Next year will be better. It has to be. As in school, so in life: live and learn.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Are you a nerd?

Your response to this might tell you: http://pi.ytmnd.com/ (stick with it for a while).

I know I am :).

Edit: you need to have your speakers on to get what amused me about that site. Sorry for the confusion; I should have mentioned that in the first place.

Graduation Day

Well, today is one of those special days. Today York is going to let me graduate from my undergraduate program and I will officially have an Honours Bachelor of Science degree with a major in chemistry and a minor in physics. Today the chapter containing all the hard work I put in over the last 5 years (as well as all the slacking and worrying I did) will be brought to a close. Today I will attend a long and boring ceremony (after 2 boring hours of waiting around in the robe rental line and marshalling area) for the sake of getting to the point where the Chancellor will say "admittis vos ad graduam" or some such thing (my Latin is very rusty...haven't touched it since OAC, or maybe even grade 12) and the president of the university will say "you may now place your hood on your shoulders." Yes, all the Bachelor and Master graduates have to hood themselves; I watched a group of them doing this in last year's video and it was a funny sight...the whole class seemed to be fumbling around and asking each other, "Do you know how to put this on? Does it look alright? Let's see, I guess I put my arm through here...oh, maybe not..." Today I get to be one of those fumbling people, though I am promising myself that I will figure out proper hooding procedure before the ceremony starts so that I will get to savour the moment that that hood descends on my shoulders when it comes. When the ceremony is over, I'll get my photo taken by my parents (so we'll have some cheaply-reproducible photos for the extended family and won't have to pay an arm and a leg for the studio grad photos York had us do earlier in the year), return my robe, pick up my degree, get it framed, get my photo taken again with the framed degree (I really want a photo of myself with the framed degree and my robe/hat/etc., but you don't get to have both at the same time 'cuz York wants to make sure they get their robes back), eat snacks at the reception, maybe connect with some of my old profs and classmates (and reserach groupmates? I doubt any but those who are also graduating will be there), and get outta there. I think most of the day will be boring, but I'm not going to not attend (though you can still get your degree without attending); I am going for the sake of the two moments I mentioned above, and because it's the thing to do (and for the ceremonial chapter-ending feel of the thing), and because it's the thing to do for family (yes, making them sit through a long and boring ceremony is the thing to do, I keep telling myself).

Then in September I will go back to school, and then in June I get to graduate again (assuming I successfully complete the B.Ed. program I'm taking this coming school year, but I see no reason why I shouldn't)...fun fun fun.

I'm off for now; hopefully I will have pictures to share later.

Monday, June 5, 2006

What's on my heart today? My friends. (Pardon me while I whine.)

As most of you know, my current job as a Guest Services representative at The Ice Gardens has had me working a lot of evenings since I started, mainly because there currently is no day shift; during the school year, people really only come to play hockey when they are done school or work for the day. At the end of the month, the hockey camps will start up and a day shift will be put on the schedule, but that is a couple weeks away yet; for now, if I am working, I am working in the evening. This is having a side effect on me that I hadn't expected to be as bad as it is: I am feeling isolated from my friends, from my family, and from having a life in general. See, most people out there work during the day and get together with or talk to their friends in the evening, when work is over. Right now, though, when I get the urge to talk to someone, they are generally at work and it would be inappropriate to call them, even if they were able to take the call. Now that I have asked to have my Wednesday evenings off and have always asked to have my Sundays off, I am scheduled to work more Saturdays, which further cuts down the chances that I'll be able to get together with my friends (though not having my driver's license yet contributes to that problem, too). Working late also causes me to sleep in more than I normally would, and then the non-work time that I do have has to be used for the domestic and church ministry duties that fall by the wayside far too easily when I am tired and need a lot of catching up on as a result, further reducing the time available to me for social interaction. On my days off, I am happy just to be able to see my husband, and feel a certain obligation to spend some "just us" time with him rather than make him share me with other people. Of course, most of my friends are busy people themselves, so even when I do get a window of opportunity to see people, there's no guarantee that it will work out. I can't even remember the last time I got together with friends outside of Bible study night; even the invitations to do things have pretty much stopped since people are used to me being unable to attend things (or maybe they think I'm unwilling). I think you can see why my MSN Messenger message was "I don't have a life; I work evenings" for a while recently.

Oh well, things will be getting better soon, hopefully. Like I said, the hockey camps start at the end of this month, so hopefully I will see more day shifts soon. There's also a Bible study group I'm going to be attending starting June 14 (I've booked off my Wednesday evenings from work so I know I'll be able to attend), which isn't the same as getting together with friends just to see each other but is good nonetheless. I'm also supposed to be seeing the movie version of The Da Vinci Code with a friend this week, so as long as that is still on that will help, too. Still, I hope y'all understand that if I haven't seen you or talked to you for a while, it's not because I don't love you and not because I'm antisocial; I'm missing the love myself as well.

Saturday, June 3, 2006

Because I believe in doing my part.

For the sake of those who were unable to view my previous blog, and since I am hoping to give updates on this sort-of-new endeavour of mine, here is the content of my entry on my previous blog from May 26, 2006.

For Vancouver!

Because I like my planet, I am choosing to use this space to permalink Kef's blog entry of the day on Global Coastal Flooding: http://westsidekef.blogspot.com/2006/05/global-warming-sounds-kind-of-nice.html.

Time for me to go pull out the "500 tips on what you can do to save the planet" resources that are around here and on the 'net and elsewhere again...I am certainly not perfect in doing my share. I will admit it, though: this past election, I did vote for the Green Party.

Bye for now...

I also mentioned on May 31 that I have begun to read 50 Ways You Can Help Save the Planet by Tony Campolo and Gordon Aeschliman. I am reading it little tiny bit by little tiny bit, since I am looking each day for something I can look at implementing. I won't be able to do it all, and of the tips I do find that I can use, I won't be able to implement them all right away, but bit by bit I hope to become a more environmentally-friendly human being. I'll try to keep you posted.

Jumping on the wagon

Moving from an MSN Space to a Blogger blog seems to be a new trend. I have decided that I, too, want people who aren't MSN contacts and aren't interested in getting a Passport account to be able to view my blog, so here I am. However, it is only about 5:30 in the morning and I have to get ready for work, so tweaking this to suit me and more actual blogging will have to wait. Until then...