30 April 2010

Blue Nose Update

This was Allison and I last year a few minutes after we crossed the finish line. It felt amazing and it was great to be greeted by Bryan and George who promptly snapped our sexy post-run glow.


With the Blue Nose just around the corner it's going to be a bit more challenging this year without my trusty running pal. Hopefully my iPod will keep me company this year as I can't keep up with Greg - speedy, speedy!

Yesterday I went for a run with George and about 10 minutes in I was absolutely soaked. So after about 15 in I turned back and half way home down Robie St. I was hailed on. Overall, not a good run. So tomorrow...tomorrow will be better! It's calling for sun sun sun! 

I also officially registered for the race yesterday, one step closer. Blue Nose here I come!

Potentially Great Weekend

After seeing a few of these posters around town on a run I finally found one while walking and armed with my trusty camera here it is:

After doing a quick search I found the site for the festival and here it is: Long Live The Queen.

They have a great line up and it's the same weekend as the Blue Nose Marathon which might pose a problem but hopefully I can choose my shows wisely and still be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the run on the Sunday!

29 April 2010

April in Student Areas

Always has this type of a look to it doesn't it?

 A gem in the mix:

Cape Breton Vacation in Pictures - Part II

One more from the top of Franny, lots and lots of snow! Greg is just so photogenic so I can't resist posting so many photos of him :) 

I will eventually have a few of Greg's photos to post snaps of me - I was there, I promise, photographic evidence to come!

Nothing like starting a day where you'll be on the road with a big hearty breakfast!  

 We stayed at the Knotty Pines Cottages in Ingonish Ferry, I apparently thought you needed a sign shot:
It was a great place with a wonderful view and an incredible amount of real and fake wood - on the walls, the floor, the ceiling, definitely living up to its name.

An important item in this room - the TV! Although we were all about hiking last weekend the playoffs are on so it's great to be able to take it in as well. 

View of Franny from our cottage, I think it's the middle bump - maybe?

At the top of North Mountain we stopped for a photo op of the crazy amounts of snow on the sides of the road. It was actually higher than the car!

Again Al and Janice, I'm SO impressed with your bike trip!

On the way home - a pit stop in Cheticamp made for a nice snap of an old shed. Greg was taking a photo of Farley Mowat's boat which was just hanging out (sunk and neglected) in the river - well done Cheticamp!

It was an awesome trip, super glad we went when we did we had wonderful weather and I hope to get back to Cape Breton to get in a few other hikes in the future! 

I posted a few other photos on my Flickr account (see the right menu) as well.

Cape Breton Vacation In Pictures

We set off Saturday morning and made a stop outside of Wagmatcook for lunch at the Herring Choker (after thinking we passed it or that it had vanished since it was much further down the road than I remembered!). 


 Apparently they are looking for hungry people, it's a good thing we showed up. 
This fantastic comic was in the bathroom at the Herring Choker. 

We stayed in Ingonish Ferry at the Knotty Pines Cottages and just before we got there we hit the first big mountain on the east side of the park - Cape Smokey. I can't believe that Allison and co. biked this - I'm amazed!
This is a peak of Cape Smokey from a hike later on that day, it was a short (1.5 hrs) trip out past the Keltic Lodge with a killer view of Ingonish. Take a peak down at the second map for trail #26 I believe.

We stumbled upon a seagull colony at the cape, I was terrified of them crapping all over my head. Then I looked up and promptly put up my hood and ran into the woods!


Sunday morning we tried to hike #16, but it seems it's been closed. So we started out with 17 and continued on to 18, the bottom half of 16 and the 15 loop. It took 3 hours and the weather was great other than a 10 minute rain shower. The rain made everything a little bit slippery but it was a nice cool down.

The 15 loop had lots of information posted throughout - I learned a lot about Jack Pines since there was a fire in the 1920's in this area. They pop up after a fire since they need heat to open their seed and start growing. Go Jack Pines, the save the forest tree!

Here's a shot of the beach along the 16 coastal hike. The sea is harsh on lobster traps!

After lunch we ventured to Franny Mountain (#23) and hiked to the top! It goes from 95m (you drive up a dirt path and hike up) to 450m with a proper hiking path on the way up and a cart path on the way down. The path was filled with snow (about 4 feet or more) and made the return hilarious - lots of sweat but surrounded by snow.

This tree was a bit worse for wear about 3/4 of the way up Franny. Poor o'l tree.

27 April 2010

Cape Breton Update

After a successful hiking filled vacation in Cape Breton this past weekend I'll be posting a full update with lots of photos after work today. 

I'm happy to announce that Operation "Don't Get Eaten By Coyotes" was a success. 

22 April 2010

Word Up Mother Earth

Happy Earth Day!

While I think things like Earth Day and Earth Hour are kind of useless on their own I do like the idea of them. I know they are more about awareness and public education but just like throwing a non-perishable in a donation bin at Christmas (to reference the Matthew Good, 2003) it's not going to do much on it's own. 

I'm not a perfect greeny by any stretch but I've taken steps to be more conscious of what I'm putting down the drain. One of type of those things are the cleaning products I use on me! I'm a big fan of the products that Kiss My Face makes. They are natural and therefore better for me and the environment. Their packaging is fairly minimal and recyclable from my experiences. They also smell REALLY yummy which is a bonus. 

Another kind of product I use is Nature Clean. Their laundry detergent might not be as fragrant but it gets the job done (really well) and all the while with ingredients that are safe for the drain. Another great cleaner is my smelly pal Vinegar. On CBC Radio 2 this morning I was instructed to check out the many uses of acetic acid, you can check them out and how distilled vinegar is actually made here.

Switching gears and getting away from the irony of buying things to be green (which is growing in popularity everyday) I need to take a minute and point out one of the favorite things in my apartment - the powerbar. Now it's probably because I live by myself in a bachelor apartment but each month I have challenged myself to use less and less energy. I'm keeping track of my use through my power bill. So far so good, I've even managed to keep up this trend throughout the winter with its cold days and less light. I give much of this credit to my wonderful power bars. 

My 'electronics hub' which consists of speakers (with sub), TV, external harddrive, laptop cord and occasionally a iPod charger is all hooked up to a power bar. Every day before I leave for the day and before I go to bed I make sure my power bar is turned off. With one simple flick of a switch I've turned off up to 4 things. Success!

I'm also pretty nut-so about unplugging things when I'm not using them, but again this isn't that hard since I'm in a bachelor apartment. It includes lights, coffee maker and umm, anything I have in the bathroom (hair drier/straightner). I think my diligence towards turning off and unplugging electronics comes from my dad's stingy-ness growing up combined with my personal power bill challenge. 

All in all I'm trying my best to minimize my footprint and while it's nice to have a day to remind everyone that the earth is something we should take care of it should be at the forefront of our minds all of the time. 

Thanks Earth for tolerating us for so many years especially when things like this happen. We are a gross species. 

Personal Challenge

I found this idea in a magazine (I can't remember which one) which had a large section dedicated to organization. They highlighted closets since they are are an easy out when it comes to weeding things out - close the door and the mess is gone!

My issue is that I have a lot of clothes that I've collected over many, many years and I have a hard time parting with them. 

The magazine recommendation was to:
  1. Start with all of your hangers pointing in one direction (hook facing towards/away from you)
  2. As you wear your items and hang them back up just put the hanger in the opposite of how you started.
  3. I'm also putting all of the clothing that I've worn since the beginning of my challenge at one end of my closet just to have a better visualization of what I'm wearing.

I started my challenge about a week ago, and it seems that I only wear 5 pieces all of which are all hoodies or cardigans. This could have a lot to do with the lack of 'dress up' opportunities that I have had lately or that I have definite 'go to's'. Perhaps this could also be attributed to the amount of jeans and t-shirts I wear which are kept in drawers.
My goal is to have a large chunk of my wardrobe ready to donate or sell by the time I head to Fredericton in September and that this will help me make those difficult decisions  - to keep or not to keep.

Cape Breton's A Go!


With a cabin booked, car rented and weather being cooperative Greg and I will be spending Saturday through Monday in Cape Breton. Success!

 Coyotes watch out, I'm coming with hiking poles!

Another Exciting CD Release

Sarah Harmer is putting out a new album (Oh Little Fire) this June. It's been 5 years since her last album, which I had to look up since I didn't think it wasn't that long ago. CBC Radio 2 really likes playing her music so maybe that's why it doesn't seem like such a long time. 

Anyway, she's posted her new single (Captive) on her website, www.sarahharmer.com and it's nothing out of left field but rather a solid Sarah Harmer tune. I highly recommend a listen.

Adventures In Silk Screening

After being inspired by the many beautiful wears at the Halifax Crafters Market I'm going to take a stab at silk screening. I've dabbled in making stencils from cardboard or wax paper and acrylic paints but those haven't always turned out the way I imagined and there is no way to get images as detailed as I would like.

I was doing a bit of research on how to silk screen last night and came across lots of text explanations but I learn by seeing not just reading. So I went on a YouTube hunt, I found some tutorials but nothing complete which is a bit frustrating. Then I came across this amazing (but very gear centered) video:

This set up is way beyond my means, but you can't go wrong with screen printing wolves, and then putting lights in their eyes AND making them howl! It might be a bit of creative overkill but I still thought it was awesome.

So my silk screening adventure will continue with more research and perhaps a trip to DeSerres for some hands on browsing and pestering of their staff.

To Be Continued!

21 April 2010


This is one of my favorite houses in Halifax, actually, ever.

I think it has a lot to do with the cute old lady that lives here, does it make me creepy that I know that? Anyway, I've stared at this house while walking particularly slow several times, trying to take it all in.

I couldn't stand in front and snap pictures all morning but I did suck it up and backtrack a little just to get this picture:

Highlights of this sharp house are: the covered veranda with lots of windows, the flower box under the other window you can see, it's kept VERY tidy, the paint is in tact, the garden looks like someone is out there everyday clearing up, on the veranda there are hooks on the wall and a place where a sun hat (I'm assuming for gardening) is kept with other gardening tools.

That last one might make me appear to be borderline stalker, but I'm not - I promise!

Anyway, those are a few of the things I enjoy about this house. There are more but I will stop before I'm arrested the next time I walk by.

Second Hand Gems

On my walk to work this morning I decided to take some snaps of three lovely second hand shops on Queen Street. The sun was out and since the buildings are bright it made the situation even more appealing.

CBC, Why So Blank?

After many months of the CBC sign only showing us the time (rather than the temperature and the time) it's finally peace'd out and is now showing nothing.

Don't blame Haligonian's if they are both late and not dressed for the temperature!

Om Nom Nom

After cleaning my cupboards on Monday I found out that I had the proper ingredients to make cookies and then some. So what would any reasonable human do - MAKE COOKIES! Tragically I made WAY too many of them and will inevitably eat myself sick more than once (this happened just yesterday). This is one major downfalls to making cookies, you can't just make two of them. It's also a shame that cookies don't come with a side of will power, that would also be handy.

Regardless, here are the yummy (and highly addictive) cookies I made:

They are chocolate chip-coconut-walnut-pecan!

Shad, HUGE!

As I mentioned before Shad has a new album coming out next month. In the meantime here is one awesome song and a pretty cool video to keep me (and you) in eager anticipation of the full album.

PS. I'm loving the end

18 April 2010

Halifax Crafters, Spring Fling

This weekend the Halifax Crafters held their spring show, hopefully the wet and cold weather didn't keep away many crafter admirers since there were lots of lovely goodies to see and buy.

A view of the floor at the show:

After first seeing these woolly hats with little ear flaps this time last year and then again at the winter show last year I was determined that if I saw them this weekend I would pick one up. After taking one loop around I didn't see them so I took a second just in case. And there they were! The girl who makes them had just put them out, just my luck! After trying on a number of sizes and colours and seeking the advice from a couple of strangers I decided on a hat:

Nothing like the advice from complete strangers to help you make a decision. I also picked up a screen printed shirt, I really like the print and for $22 it was a great deal. Very happy with my purchase!

A zoomy view:

I also picked up what I thought was a card with the right image on the front since they were advertised as "cards". Turns out they were more like prints so I opened the package when I got home and there were two prints as you can see:

I'm not a huge fan of the mustache sporting, hat wearing guy, but the CBC/beaver is awesome!

More about the Halifax Crafters.

Snow, In April

Turns out we just had good luck on the weather front a few weeks ago. Now it's back to wet, cold and snowy. A view into Greg's backyard:

Bring on the spring weather for next weekend please! There is hiking to be done!

Oh My Goodness!

Since I have the best boyfriend in the world he decided to make a super yummy lasagna that I could eat, hooray!

Adding to it's yummy-ness was the fact that I haven't had lasagna in 3 years. It's possible to make lasagna with lactose free cheese but it's the ricotta that's been the hurdle. So being clever (and looking up recipes) Greg used tofu mixed with egg (and something else I think) to make something that has the same texture as ricotta. It turned out to be nice and light and perfect for seconds.

Just a Regular Friday

Big cleaning part two in the office went down this past Friday. There is very little left in the storage room other than a gross amount of dirt and because of the dirt I made sure my lungs were nice and safe:

After all of that cleaning I decided to take a science break to test a new bottle of H2O2. I think the Manganese Dioxide was a bit stale since it took way too long for this reaction.

15 April 2010

It's A Dietary Miracle!

Could it be? Can I eat yogurt after 3 years of being jealous of yogurt eaters?

This yogurt (Astro Balkan Style) was suggested to me yesterday since I carried out a science experiment on myself with positive results.
I had lunch at the Wired Monk yesterday and I got a sandwich and asked for no cheese (as I have since January 2007) and after waiting for about 20 minutes it showed up but with a thin layer of cheese at the bottom waiting for me to complain.

But I didn't! Greg had told me only the night before that some cheeses have very low levels of lactose. So I took this lunch time moment as a sign that I should experiment with my digestive system. It helped that I was really hungry and I didn't want to send my sandwich back with the potential of it going straight into the garbage can. An hour after the sandwich I was still feeling okay, full, but okay. Success! It turns out that I didn't really like the cheese on the sandwich, it made it taste strange but that wasn't the point of my experiment.

After telling this story to someone yesterday evening, she suggested I try this yogurt since it seems to be easier on the o'l digestive system. I bought some yesterday and diced up banana, tossed in some granola and chowed down on something stricken from my diet for far, far too long. It was amazing! I was hoping it wasn't too good to be true, and it doesn't seem to be....so far at least.

My breakfast consisted of the same thing - yogurt, banana and granola. Maybe I'm pushing it, but I just couldn't resist! I'll have to take a yogurt break, take a few days off and resist yogurt overkill...yogurkill?

So this leads me to believe that I'm not lactose intolerant, and just have some sort of dairy sensitivity. I'll just keep on experimenting, but I won't be holding my breath for these days:

This awesome print is available on t-shirts through Threadless!

That Person On The Bus

This morning I was that person on the bus, you know the one that as soon as they sit down you regret your seat choice. For me 'that person' is usually someone who put their cigarette out on the bus as they got on and are ripe with fumes.

But today I smelt like burnt coffee and hard boiled eggs. This is not a smell anyone will be profiting on, ever.

For a workshop today with 22 grade twos I needed to boil eggs in coffee so they could make their own toothpaste and try to brush the coffee stains off the egg. I normally bike to work, but the thought of hopping on my bike this morning with those eggs wasn't something I wanted to pursue.

So it was the bus for me. Since I was completely aware of how awful I smell I tried to sit in the seat the furthest away from people, but that wasn't much of an option and so I was that person.

Sigh. All in the name of science education?

I put together a few photos of the process and where the eggs currently are - hanging out on the window ledge in the office in hopes that they will cool down a bit. This will no doubt result in the entire building smelling like sulfur, whoops!

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