Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No Man's Land

As some of you (*ahem* Allan *ahem*) have heard a few times lately, I am firmly of the belief that "Green Fields of France" should be THE Remembrance Day song. It covers both sides - the issue of "never again" and how much of a waste war is, while still (in my opinion) managing to be very respectful to the boys (and men) who died in the war.

I just found an improvement, in terms of covering both sides.


There are two sides in any war. One more thing to never forget.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Minor Problem

So I need to go see the psychologist on Hallowe'en. (I could have this Monday, but I wasn't willing to skip enough class to make it). Does this mean that I can't wear a costume? Or maybe I can wear it, and just take the beard off then... Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Favourite Course Again...

I'm seriously thinking that some of the readings for my women's studies course should have "not suitable for women" warnings on them, because there is no WAY that they should be expecting me to get through these without sufficient academic training. The article I'm currently reading is talking about how new technology and pregnancy loss interact. What makes it a real kicker is that the author of the article lost 7 children this way herself. And trust me, it comes out in her writing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Clothes Make the Woman

So I think I may have figured out why it's such a big deal to me that I actually have a jacket, and will be dressed all fancily, rather than just throwing a shawl over my shoulders and saying "good enough". Logically, it would induce less guilt to dress well enough with a new dress than to buy a new jacket AND a new dress to be dressed well.

Now that I have the basics that everyone agrees on, here's where I will start being confusing. I had been really distressed by the idea that I wasn't going to be dressed well. And yes, the fact that I care that much about my clothing is quite sad. I was distressed to the point where I had, for a while before ordering a bolero, been looking for a jacket to wear. And the lace shawl really is ok... I wear stuff like that all the time.

I think that the key idea here is that if you're going to do something questionable, then make it worth while. Yes, normally buying a new jacket when it's not actually necessary is bad. And yes, obviously buying a dress that I might not wear more than once or twice (with that knowledge when I buy it) is obviously horrible. However, while logic might say that doing both is going to be worse than doing either, it doesn't quite work that way in this case. It's as if I was going to buy some fruit from South America. If I buy apples, which are easy to grow and nothing fancy, then that's worse than if I buy a mango, which I can't get any other way, right? (I sure hope so). I'm aware that it doesn't really change the fact that I bought foreign fruit, but at least I got something worthwhile out of it. Same idea with the jacket. Buying it doesn't change the fact that I bought a new outfit (from overseas at that), but it at least means that the new outfit is more worth it than it would be otherwise.

Now, even if this does make me stress less about caring about that, I still have to accept the fact that I am far too concerned over my clothes...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Hey, I get it!

Ok, so I finally understood some of what we were discussing in Women's Studies! That's not to say that I'm not getting anything from the class. It's more that I tend to think it's utter BS. The idea that started to make sense to me was the idea of "the gaze". As far as I can tell, the idea behind it is that women always feel they're being watched (more that they are always being watched) by men, because women are "other".

Now, I still think that is somewhat BS. Yes, I have been aware of a sensation like that, but it's not as a woman, it's more as a woman in engineering. Occasionally in soccer too, but frankly, a guy who was one of 3 in 20 or so would feel just as out of place. However, it occurs to me that the fact that a lot of guys have odd reactions to whistles or yells might qualify under this. The odd reactions to which I'm referring is that a lot of guys don't seem to see anything wrong with accidently giving some sign that they heard the yell, etc. Actually a lot of them don't see anything wrong with reacting at all.

Now, I'm not going to say that the only reason someone would whistle out the window to get my attention , or make patronizing remarks when the light changes, is because I'm a woman. However, the fact that society makes it quite clear that yes, it's because I'm a woman, that people behave like jerks , I tend to assume that I'm the target of that sort of immaturity. (Note the difference between me being the target, and me assuming I'm the target because I've been told that I am). And that, I think, is the idea of the gaze.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


So I'm currently supposed to be reading an article for my Women's Studies course. (As Allan points out though, "feminist" thought doesn't really seem to be connected to women per se). This one is about how make up came to be acceptable. Ever hear the term "painted lady"? That used to be a really horrible thing to be.

I've reached the point where makeup became acceptable - where the "commercial beauty culture popularized the democratic and anxiety-inducing idea that beauty could be achieved by all women - if only they used the correct products and treatments."*I would definitely argue that this is the perspective that is around today - and most people (and here I break with my complaints against "women's studies" to say that at least women are, I'm not sure about men) are aware of the fact that looking good is mostly what you do.

My complaint is that it's the only way to look good. The Dove "Campaign for Real Beauty" ads do not, in my mind, in the least act against societal impressions of beauty. They argue that anyone can look good. We should all be using cosmetics, because they can make us all look like the models actually do. Can someone tell me how this is any different from what they're supposed to be opposing? Oh, and if you can tell me how that fits with the advice given in the self-esteem workshop booklets for girls that they don't need to wear makeup if they don't want to, that would also be great. (I'd like to point out that telling the girls they don't need to wear makeup isn't actually a great idea, because it really is necessary, in the same way that brushing hair and dressing up are).

Ok, I think that's out of my system.

*Peiss, Kathy. "Making Up, Making Over". p 323. The Sex of Things: Gender and Consumption in Historical Perspective, ed Victoria de Grazia (UCP, Berkeley, 1996)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

OK, so I'm lazy

I suspect that "I'm asking about Asperger's, I can get away with writing this e-mail only once" really isn't a good argument to use on oneself. (Especially not when it works).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


It's not a good sign when I think "we've been on the road for a while, I wonder how close we are to Toronto", look up, and discover that we haven't even hit the 401.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Yeah, so my camera batteries are currently in my bike light. I need to get new batteries, and being able to ride after dark trumps taking pictures of my shawl(and I'm too lazy to dig out a screwdriver to get the batteries out of my camera. I just grafted 40 stitches in cobwebweight lace. I have an excuse).

The shawl isn't actually done, just the knitting and grafting. I still have about 7 or 8 ends to work in (actually I think there's more than that, because there is a loose part in the centre which I'm going to cut and tie and work the ends in). And there is still the herculean task of blocking the shawl ahead of me (taking the shawl out of storage and smoothing it out is projected to take 1/2 hour by the pattern. Blocking sounds slow and painful).

But the knitting is DONE!

Pictures when I get power for the camera.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

So apparently it's not all their fault...

I suppose that when I try to compile my code as I'm going along (as a check) instead of waiting until I'm done I really can't get upset with the computer for giving me error messages when there's nothing wrong. (I was going to close those braces! Just... later). Nor is it the computer's fault when I spend two + hours trying to fix a bug which wasn't what I was interested, not even when it turns out that I was right, and there wasn't anything wrong with the code that was being complained about. Well... nothing except the braces...

So the gist of the matter is I'm beginning to think that it's less that computers hate me and more that I hate them.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Like not letting the peas touch the potatos

So I understand that it's neccessary to have both languages on the label, even when it's something that we all recognise. (After all, the reason we know "lipides" is "fat" is because we see it all the time, especially if we didn't have to take bio.)
And I can even understand why they need to say both "protein" and "protéines". It would look bad to omit one language every time, even if you don't actually need to have any idea that there's another language involve to be able to read the word. It would imply that one language was better than the other.
But WHY on EARTH aren't more labels printed like cereal boxes, where they can share words which are the same. Because honestly, "Calories/Calories" looks really stupid.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thanks, but...

Why is it that everyone who discovers Allan's existance by hearing me refer to "my fiancé" feels the need to congratulate me? I am not someone you know who just got engaged, I am an engaged person you met.

I feel really sorry for people who end up with really long engagements. It's even more of a fact of life for them than for me...

Friday, April 18, 2008

I like Waterfalls

I, however, tend to consider them toys which are played with at the bottom, not at the top. (At least not anywhere with lots of water and/or high drops. 1m falls on the Madawaska are fine at the top). According to Snopes.com, there's a lot people who disagree with me.

Apparently at the top of Victoria Falls there's a natural pool where people go play. Pictures show people basically sitting in the water, looking out over the edge of the falls and down. Honestly, they look quite believable . The only reason I'd doubt would be if these were some other falls, or maybe there's another pool a little ways down from here.

Either way, I'm NOT trying this one.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Nothing to see here, move along.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Do Nut Sorters Dream of Mechanized Squirrels?

Ok, interesting question: why do we respond the way we do to bugs. I'm still not quite sure how much of me not squishing them is from the fact that it's a lot easier to trap them than clean up after them, and how much is from other aspects of being a city kid. Opinions?

Oh, and if you don't get the title, my ME 380 project (nut sorter) is the closest I've come to making a robot. If you still don't get it, you haven't read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? recently enough.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Love Your Neighbour

It's amazing how much more of a burden that becomes when one realises that it's intended to apply to smokers too.

Friday, March 28, 2008


You know, running back and forth between Lever and E3x is a really good way to test if you're in shape. Of course, for a proper test, make sure you do it late enough at night that the hallways are empty.

And let's say I got a 50% on the test.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

"My God! It's Full of Stars"

While this might be an appropriate title for a blog in this season anyhow, (and I know I haven't been blogging Lent very much), that's not what I'm talking about.

I just wanted to say my own small good-bye to Arthur C. Clarke who passed away early Wednesday. In my mind, this is the end of an era: the last of the greats has gone. I might not always (often?) agree with their world view, but the writers of the golden age of science fiction are hard to completely dislike.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Things I Learned Today

1) John in the shop wasn't trying to play pranks on the undergrad who didn't know how to work with metal by suggesting use of the punch

1a) The clearance between the handles of the punch once you finally apply enough force to go through the metal is less than the height of my thumb.

2) Using the density of water instead of the density of air with a height difference in a water-filled manometer makes your calculations much more accurate

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wish I'd had a Camera

Across from Kitchener City Hall is the Public Utilities Building.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I start toe-up socks using figure 8 cast on. On 5 dpns. I am either really crazy, or else effortlessly skilled. Either way, you should all be scared!

Friday, February 01, 2008


There is nothing quite like realise that the last couple hundred stitches were done in knit when they should have been purl.

Tinking lace is not cool.

Winter Term

Ok, so the winter term is officially the least productive one around. Not only has the senate decided to saddle us with a full week of no class (yes, I am still incredibly bitter that they never gave us a reason for giving a full week rather than getting rid of the half week), but we get snow days. At least this time I don't think anyone's going to ask us to make up the missed lectures.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

What You Don't Want to Hear The TA Say

"What did you DO to it?"

This was while looking at my SolidWorks lab. The really depressing part is that not only did I not know what I had done to it, but I had called him over to help me fix it.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Ok, next ceili is on January 19th, Victoria Park Pavillion. Who all is coming?

Sunday, January 06, 2008

One Course Down, Five to Go

When I have to do exercises all day,
I feel worn out
because they require a lot of thought and concentration.
I would like to not have to do them.