9:36 PM, Sunday 3 April 2005
You can start us off if you want…
11:48 PM, Sunday 3 April 2005
Holy shit, Klopp, grad school is the toughest thing you will ever do in your life, bar none. Right now I am in the beginning stages of an all-nighter trying to pump out an essay on migration for an independent study course worth 100% of the course mark. Tomorrow I have to go in front of my supervisory committee and defend my thesis proposal; their job is to completely deconstruct my entire work plan and all of the theory behind it, it will be annihilation. The goal, of course, is to see whether or not I have the balls to stand up there and take and say some coherent in return that makes it sound as though I am ready. I also have a 30-page report for a rural and small town studies course due Thursday that I haven’t started yet. I don’t know how it will be done and I am sure I will be working on it right until the deadline but I will finish it and it will get done, there simply is no other option but to do so. Grad school is very much a high risk-high reward venture. I have almost broke down a few times and thought about quitting but, damn it, there’s just too much riding on this. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done but it’s also the best thing I’ve ever done and I don’t regret it for a second. Just all the people I’ve met up here makes it worthwhile.
If we were having our conversation last week, I probably would have said something like, “It’d be nice if the Pope would just die already so that we wouldn’t have to go through all this bloody media coverage anymore”. Be careful what you wish for. He’s dead! we get it!
Watched that charity game in Hamilton last night. Pretty funny to see all of those guys trying to play in driving sleet. Good stuff for what it was, though.
There are two sides to Canmore: there’s a vibrancy and culture there that’s very surprising to see in Alberta. It also reeks of overdevelopment and environmental degredation. It’s what Whistler would be like if it was allowed to mutate and fester. Just the idea of golf courses as wildlife corridors makes me sick but yet it’s still hard to hate the place.
I think a weekly caramel Dairy Queen Moolatte is going to become ritual from now on.
Burton hockey has outgrown us. We left, it didn’t die, it grew. One day very soon it might not even be ours.
It’s official, I think I’m going to wake up at about one in the afternoon tomorrow, just enough time to wake up, shower, get to my office at school, run through my presentation once or twice, grab the computer/projector, take it to the meeting room and start praying.
Get any chocolate for Easter? We had at potluck at my friend Sarah’s house. Nothing like a bunch of 30-year-olds running around a house looking for Kinder Surprise eggs.
Giants are out (ha, ha, Brule!). Eerything is shaking down nicely for a Kelowna-Cranbrook semifinal. As long as either Kelowna or kootenay win the Memorial Cup I’ll be happy. I guess one good thing about living halfway between them is that you get to adopt both of them as your team. Hockey bigamy at it’s finest.
No one tried an April Fool’s joke on me this year. Well, unless you consider grad school an unnecessarily cruel joke.
Sign on the College Heights Baptist Church: ‘God loves you – whether you like it or not.’ I’m not usually one for religious sloganeering but that one was pretty good.
Unless we get lots of hockey in or Lee and Seamus are around a lot I honestly have no idea how I’m going to spend 10 days at home this month with no one else coming in without getting ridiculously bored like I was at Christmas. Thank God (or Bell) for satellite television.
I have one of those ‘Perfect Pancake’ pans that cook on both sides and flip easily. Good idea, except who in the hell makes ONE pancake?
Mitch Hedberg died this week, one of my favourite comics. Do you remember him from Just for Laughs? Check Shaun Majumder’s website, it’s pretty funny.
Brian Wilson’s SMiLE is stuck in my head. Not as good as Pet Sounds (what is, really) but certainly better than anything the Beach Boys did as a group in the past 37 years.
Well, this entry was obviously a product of excessive caffeine use. All it takes is one Pepsi nowadays to get me friggin’ buzzing. Probably a result of not drinking thirty cans a day like I used to, plus I’m not used to being this small (I have ribs?) so I guess my body can’t handle quantity like it used to.
How is the office atmosphere down there at Car Rental Express? Seems pretty laid-back, probably right up your alley. Are you happy there? Any complaints? See yourself there for a while or are you getting the travel bug again? I’ll leave you with a shot from a recent travel of my own, this is a photo of our delegation to the WDCAG conference in Lethbridge standing in front of Crowfoot Glacier: http://web.unbc.ca/geography/whatsnew/misc/WDCAG_2005_Glacier(HiRes).jpg Note 1. my pretzels, and 2. Roger Wheate (one of my committee members) with his aviators on doing the bunny ears on a couple of the profs.
Adios for now, I must get back to work while I’m still wired.
7:49 PM, Monday 4 April 2005
We have a guy who works part time for our company and he says Law school is also the toughest thing you will ever do. You are always behind in your reading (no hope to ever keep up), you have to balance your work, your studying and everything else. Anyway I imagine grad school is quite the same. Does it piss you off when you have to mark assignments or deal with students when you know you should/could be working on your thesis?
I think you will do well on your presentation Kusch. Just stay calm, despite what they are saying and take a second or two before responding to think over your answer so it comes our clear. BTW yo usay you are defending your thesis proposal, so basically you haven’t started your thesis yet then? How does grad school work then? you come up with a proposal, then you propose it to the head teachers, then if they think it is good you can actually do the thesis?
Other than seeing a bunch of articles regarding the pope on my yahoo, I really didn’t get too much of the news buzz. Granted everything is kinda like that these days. Probably because I don’t read the newspapers in town, nor do I watch the news on tv.
What the hell were you doing in Canmore? and when did you go there? Nice picture btw, damn you are getting skinny. In that picture you look kinda like Forrest Harding, just night so bright red hair! haha.
Yeah too bad about Vancouver. I was hoping they would go through just so I could see another game or two. I really enjoyed the game, can’t believe it was the only one I have seen this year.
When I make pancakes I can only cook one at a time as well, I put the finished ones on a plate in the oven to keep them warm. Granted I don’t see the need for such a device. If you can flip your own damn pancake I don’t think you should be making pancakes. I love all these new contraptions that are suppose to save you time and energy and all they do is cause you grief and waste time. Like those sidekick meals. Wow eat our special rice (which tastes exactly like riceroni) which is made in minutes. Well guess what I can make a bowl of fucking rice in the same amount of time and it will probably taste a hell of a lot better and be a lot fucking healthier. The only two devices I use is a mixer for making cookies and cakes, and a popcorn blower, and I have been considering replacing the blower with a old school stovetop one. Popcorn comes out a lot less dry that way!
You know the one thing that has really stood in my way from going forward with a brand new site for burton hockey (besides lack of time) has been that exact fact, hockey HAS outgrown us. I barely even read over the recaps or the stats anymore, as sad as that sounds because I don’t even know half the people who are playing anymore. I suppose if I still lived in the valley it would be pretty fun as it sounds like they have a lot of people to setup sessions with but alas I live in Vancouver and the reality is I will probably play at most 3 sessions this year (and that is being overly optomistic).
Our office atmosphere is pretty excellent Kusch. It is a tiny company (like 6 people in our office, 1 remote, and 1 dog and 1 puppy) with an almost family feel to it. I am happy here, mainly because I get heard, I am in a position to grow, and am doing what I really like. Some days when I am overly tired it is hard to concentrate on a screen for 8 hours, but sitting by a windows gives me the opportunity to take a break and look out at the park, or laugh at our resident thug. The job itself I think is pretty long term. The owner comes from a bricks and mortar background and values dedication and commitment. When he hires someone it is for the long term. As for me and my plans? I don’t really know, I want to ride this out a bit, I think we have an opportunity to do some really cool stuff, and for the company to do even better. I have been getting a bit of an itch to go travel, and haven’t really been taking too much vacation time. Maybe next spring I will goto East Africa for a month or two, not sure need to discuss it at work first. However Pearl Jam is likely to tour soon and I might just have to do another tour. Either that or do 5 or 10 weekend shows, if I can afford it.
Well again best of luck tomorrow, and let me know how everything turned out.
11:07 PM, Monday 4 April 2005
Seeing as how law school IS a type of grad school, then, yeah, it’s exactly the same. I am lucky in that GIS is pretty by the book, so questions are best handled during the lab time when people can actually see what they’re doing right in front of them. Marking is straightforward; you can fit it in in an evening easily. As far as TA jobs go, it’s pretty slack as far as the out-of-class stuff goes; it’s the barrage of questions and constantly slow servers during class that fuck you up. I have friends TAing biology classes spending up to thirty hours a week performing TA duties so I don’t complain about twelve, especially since I had a lot of the same students this semester I had last semester so I’ve spent so much time with them that they actually became friends and I looked forward to going to lab. The labs actually broke up the monotony of thesis work.
Did my defense today. It passed with minor revisions, which is the best you can ask for. I was very lucky to only be in that room just over an hour. After five years at the Infocentre I am a fairly decent public speaker. Summer with be busy, though. How does grad school work? Here it is in a nutshell: The year before you want to start, you start contacting various professors performing research in areas you’re interested in. You give them your credentials and background and express your interest in their research, giving them a few topics of study you’d like to delve into in any work you might do. Once a professor agrees to take you on, you meet and discuss the feasibility of those topics, refining your ideas ito something basic. The first semester is course work and the compilation of your literature review to familiarize yourself with other research in your field (a good review will have about 50-80 references). The second semester is when your lit review is completed and you have a better idea of what is feasible in a two-year Master’s program. that’s when you work on your proposal. My proposal was about 35 pages plus a bibliography, budget and timeline. Everything must be taken into account right down to the amount of money you’ll spend on labels for folders. Summer and early autumn are your field seasons where the actual research is completed. In fall you compile your results, in January you present them, and the rest of the semester you finish off the actual thesis (which you would have started writing as soon as you get actual results in back in June or so). A thesis will clock in about 200 pages or so. I am expected to defend the thesis before August 2006. As far as my defense today, I was in a meeting room with my supervising prof and the two others profs on my committee. They had a week to read my proposal. I gave a 15-minute talk and then they threw their comments and questions at me to make I knew what I was doing. It went well.
We stopped in Canmore on the way back from the Lethbridge conference (the same conference we took the photo). Yeah, I can’t even bring myself to buy a belt because in the back of my mind I still wonder if I’ll gain the weight back one day. I would guess I’m about 130 lbs. or so.
In my world everything revolves around the Foreman and the toaster oven. Anything that can’t be toasted, grilled or nuked just won’t be made, that simple. My favourite new device is the Thunderstick Pro, the hand-held blender. It’s so fast it actually can whip whole milk into a light froth you can eat with a spoon. That’s nuts.
I’m very interested in what will happen to Burton hockey. One, because I’m in charge of stats and so I’ll always be a part of it in some convoluted way. Two, it’s not like no one we know plays anymore. Lee, Seamus, Chris and Ollie are still there and it’s failry evident they’re going to be around there for awhile. But I’m sure for the likes of you and Joern it isn’t the same with the young chaps as it is with the original group. What do you think of Lee’s website?
That sounds like an excellent workplace. I only hope I wind up somewhere half as cool as CRE sounds. I get very jealous of people who travel even a quarter as much as you do. Since my research is right around here in PG, I’ll be here while a lot of my friends get to travel to lots of crazy places. My friend Mahrusa (from Crescent Valley!) is going to northern Russia while my friend Sarah will spend two months on a houseboat researching grizzlies in the Khutzeymateen. One day, my time will come! If I stay in academia, that’s almost guaranteed. Of course, I’ll then be so busy ‘ll never have time to enjoy it when I do travel.
10:37 PM, Tuesday 5 April 2005
Well congratulations on passing your defense today, sounds like you were well prepared for it. Was there any questions that stumped you, or threw you off at all? When you TA do you get paid for it? and how much do you get paid? How does UNBC compare to the rest of BC in terms of TA’s pay?
Yeah it is not as if nobody I know is playing hockey but I think almost all the originals are gone now. Not to mention that there is basically nobody left from either Burton or Fauquier who actually plays anymore, unless of course you count Chris but he I would consider a Nakuspian now. I remember way back when I was lik 8 or 9 learning to roller blade at the Fauquier rink, playing hockey with Brian Coates, Shawn and Ryan Struck and a few other local kids. Good times. Then the sessions we would hold in Burton up on the school basketball court, everytime you shot and missed the net you would have to chaise the ball down. Or the time we had our first super session down in Fauquier like in grade 10 or something. Joern drove his truck down with a bunch of stuff with lorne steve and andrew. I think we even taped our game. Man I must have spent hours at the Fauquier rink playing hockey either by myself or with the Strucks and Coates and Jim Cameron. Good times… Actually I even remember our first import player (ie nakuspian). It was during a Fauquier session, Ryan Struck since he played goal for the Nakusp hockey team had invited his new friend Logan down for the weekend. So technically I think Logan was the first ever import. Granted that was Fauquier hockey which was a whole different world from Burton hockey. Burton had it’s games, almost every Friday actually, it was always a competition of who was playing and who wasn’t. At least we could always say we had the better rink, and laugh at those Burtoners for having to play on a basketball court. Jealousy then took them by storm and through the help of influencial parents a burton rink was spawned and the rest is history. The Fauquier rink was forgotten, Nakuspians could be forced to drive the extra 10 minutes to Fauqiuer and eventually that became the death of Fauquier hockey and the birth of Burton hockey. Ohh and not to forget our statistician, who ultimately created the motivation for a lot of the people to want to play (except of course a couple of the originals who simply play for the sake of playing hockey). Who actually was the one to invite you to Burton hockey Kyle? I can’t even remember if I was at the first stats session.
Today in the mail I received a nice booklet from Mr Campbell, blowing his own horn about how good the Liberals have done in the last 4 years. “The next 4 years will be focused on Education and Health care”, well that is easy to say after you have closed schools and hospitals, raised tuition and started the wheels of privitization. I think you mentioned this in one of our installments in the past that it is easy to create massive job growth if you first lay off hundreds of higher paid workers first and replace them with underemployed workers. I think same goes with these statements of focusing on health care and education. Wow you just took everything away from me, and now you are giving me back a few crumbs and telling me that these things are getting better? How Orwellian is that. Sadly I think my riding is of Mr. Campbells which according to this website (http://www.thetyee.ca/Election/Battleground/) is a likely win. Either way I shall cast my vote, if only to get a vote in for SVT… Hey how long does one have to live in BC to be able to vote? My brother just moved back from Germany start of February, is he able to vote, or is that too soon?
What do you think of all this sponsorship scandal stuff? aparently these media block testimonies are blowing the roof off the liberal party. I am actually a bit worried now. Despite how terrible the crime the Liberals did, if they go down in flames that means the conservatives are a shoe in for government, which would not be a pretty picture…
Anyway I best be off.
9:48 AM, Wednesday 6 April 2005
I didn’t go a great job of addressing the difference between central place theory and migration theory. Everything else I did well on but I fell short there, hence the pass with ‘minor revisions’. Other than that it was great! I finished an enormous essay last night as well so I’m feeeling good.
The whole point of a teaching assistantship is to help pay for school. UNBC TAs get $4,000 a semester. Based upon 192 hours a semester, TAs here average $21.33 per hour which is incredibly low compared to the rest of the country. UBC and SFU get around $26; U of A and Calgary make well into the $30′s. Tuition has gone up 60% since the opening of UNBC in 1994 yet TAs make the same $4,000. Unfortunately the government is more focused upon building new buildings here than paying attention to the students. UNBC gets per-capita funding slashed every year. That’s unfortunate because it’s a good school. Luckily research assistants make $6,000 so my summer will be a bit more profitable.
Why, it was yourself and Joern who invited me to Burton back at Christmas 1999. I kept stats but they weren’t formal. I remeber you actually had me play a couple games in the hall and I hated playing. Luckily Bernadette and Logan showed up and took my spot. I remember the Koth-Kappii, Watty, Lorne and Chris being there as well. When you guys played the first session of the new year (2000), Joern brought me along, I kept a detailed stat log which I put on the web the next day and the rest is history. You were definitely there that day if you look at the shots on goal.
You have to have lived in BC continuously for six months previous to the election date so unfortunately your brother will miss out this time. He’ll get to vote in the next federal election, though, once the government collapses, ha ha. I am very excited for next week when the official campaign starts so that we can get some real opposition advertising going. The province is still quite polarized, with the Lower Mainland, Peace River and Okanagan aligned with the BC Libs and the North, Vancouver Island and Kootenays aligned with the NDP. These numb ers have been entrenched for quite a few years and probably won’t change drastically unless something huge happens. Say, if you live in El Gordo’s riding, can’t you sneak onto his property and plant some syringes in his garbage or something?
Well, the Liberals are now disassociating Kyoto from the budget, which sucks for the future but allows the budget to get passed and staves off an election. The federal political scene is so depressing right now. I just hope the NDP gets their shit together long enough to start assaulting the media channels like the Conservatives are so good at and start building some momentum for themselves.
9:16 PM, Wednesday 6 April 2005
Ahh I remember that session dude, you sat back on defense for most of the time you were playing, and kind of shyed away from the puck. Very Kyle of you to do. Anyway you make a better stats man. I do remember our first burton session too, I can’t believe how many shots I had on goal. I think I must have had Cherry in my mind or something “Just put it on net, you don’t know what will happen”. Well a 12% shooting percentage is what happens. At least I was top 3 in scoring. If I came back and played right now I doubt I would crack 10 points a session. Hell even Ollies point production has dropped quite a bit.
So next week the campaigning starts hey? well about fucking time. The Liberals have been promoting for the past 2 months it seems, indirectly I suppose. I hope the NDP comes out swinging. However there is one issue the provincial (and federal for that matter) NDP need to address, the issue of money management. There is this stigmata about the NDP that they are incopetent with money, and that any government under the NDP would be helplessly in debt. The NDP needs to go back to their roots of old Tommy and his years of balanced budgets and full health care. If the NDP could every get passed that hurdle of money management I think you would see a lot more votes going there way.
Too bad you’re not going to be able to make it back in March Kyle. I think I am going to take an extra day or two and head back over the long weekend. Bernie, Lorne and me have been talking about aranging a session for the Friday, and then another for the Saturday. Joern is also considering coming in that weekend as well so it would be back to the original mix. I think most of the people who play hockey are realizing how shitty may days has become and would jump at the chance to play. Plus they could still go party wild on Saturday night after the session if they wanted. What days you going to be back again, you will be home this month right?
Last email you asked me what I thought of Lee’s website. Well I like it. I mean it is a standard deviantart website, which is more of a blog/art posting playground, but like you said, it gives him a creative outlet, which is a good thing to have. Helps a person vent frustrations, and otherwise just be an outlet to the world.
Anyway got an new dedicated server today… or rather I order the damn thing almost 2 weeks ago, it was finally setup properly today. Once I get it all setup and I have moved all my sites over to it I will have a LOT more freedom over my sites as I have access to the server they are on, which hopefully means big changes to some of my sites. More specifically Okanagan Auto, and possibly a new site for those damn Burton Socialists.
Tomorrow night I will be going to David Usher. Next Monday I will see Wil. Next Wednesday I will see Queens of the Stone Age. The 28th I will see U2. Turning out to be not too shabby a month.
9:53 PM, Wednesday 6 April 2005
Yeah, I wasn’t too excited that you guys made me play; I was having plenty of fun watching when you guys dragged my onto the floor. Luckily the other people showed up so I didn’t have to be out there long. According to Lee Oliver’s been quite good this year, just concentrating on defense.
Yeah, the NDP has to try and position itself as a populist movement, OF the people. They have the socialist stigma and the Glen Clark union blow job stigma to deal with. If they drive home the issue of money management they will be looking a lot better.
I think you meant May, not March. It will be impossible for me to come back then (it would be especially impossible to come back in March, ha ha). I am housesitting for one of my profs until the 20th of this month so I will probably leave then and stay until the 30th. When you guys play, it will be in Fauquier, of course; the Burton rink will be in use. Hopefully you won’t get any bitching about a 10-minute fucking drive like last July. That was sad. Are you going to try to make it a supersession with nine or ten games under the lights?
I still find myself checking out Okanagan Auto for no reason at all except for the fact that it’s a Klopp thing and it’s fun to look at Klopp things. Is your brother pleased with how it’s been going so far? It’s been about a year or more since it’s been up so I’m wondering if it’s lived up to expectations.
I had (I guess I still have) the oppotunity to go to a Blue Rodeo/Matt Mays bill tomorrow night. I really don’t feel like shelling out $40 for MOR country rock. My buddy Mike’s excited because he grew up with Matt Mays back in Cole Harbour, NS and a fair amount of my friends are going but it’s just not my style of music. Speaking of music, I love Audioscrobbler/Last.fm except for one thing. When I use the Last.fm radio my pop-up player never shows the title of the song. Once the second song starts it’s fine and I can listen all days with no problems, but then my Recently Played Tracks list shows a completely different song for that first one than the one I listened to, which means once in a while my profile gets filled with crap like Iron Maiden or Belle and Sebastian. Does this happen to you when you stream Last.fm?
My buddy Dave’s band the Cutbank Cats plays here in PG on Friday, then a grad potluck on Saturday and a camping trip to help send off my friends Leah and Simon on their way back to North Van after the school year’s out. Things are looking good up here, too.
7:29 PM, Thursday 7 April 2005
Yes I did mean May. Hopefully we can make it a super session. I think if we get support from guys like Joern and Bernie everyone else will be into it, seeing as they haven’t seen those guys in a while. So yeah 9-10 games under the lights I would look forward to. Realisticly though if we could get 6-8 in that would still be pretty good. Too bad you are house-sitting, would have been cool to see the Kuschmiester. You should make it out to Vancouver one of these days dude. How long a bus ride from PG is that? Maybe if there is a really really good concert you can come down, or something.
Okanagan Auto is doing quite well right now. On google if you search for “Kelowna ” we usually show up in the top 10, which is pretty money. It means my search engine marketing is working. Once I get my new server I have a few other tweaks I am going to do to get it firing at 100%. We are actually looking to start branching out now as well. Maybe start a Vancouver Auto, a Calgary Auto, possibly a Kootenay auto. We shall see though. would need people to run those sites for us.
Well looks like the LIberals ship is sinking very fast, and rightfully it should. I mean fuck they stole directly from the taxpayer. Not much worse a thing a political party can do then steal from the people it is suppose to represent. I really want to see the LIberals fall for this, however in the back of my mind I know all too well what a conservative government can do in 4 years. I wonder if disgruntled Liberal supporters would more likely vote conservative than NDP? probably both, which would probably mean a conservative majority. yikes… Regardless this sponsorship scandal is deep it seems, and runs all the way to the top of the liberal party. Don’t know how Martin can get out of this saying he knew nothing. “Mr Martin where did that extra million come from in campaign donations.. Humm I am not sure… “.
Anyway off to the show.
11:39 PM, Thursday 7 April 2005
I’m housesitting THIS month, moron, read your emails properly! I won’t be coming in my because that’s my field research season as I’ve mentioned about fifty times. Still, it would have been awesome to get together with yourself, the Hornster and Bernman. Alas, it cannot be. I would love a Vancouver trip, but the only way that could happen would be if I had to make a trip to the BC archives in Victoria or something reasrch related, be a one-way bus ticket is about $100 for a 12-13 hour ride, plus it would eat up a lot of time I simply don’t have (hence why I can’t come home for May Days). Perhaps if I hitched a ride down in early July or something with my friends when they move back to North Van, but my supervisor probably won’t be happy with me taking off for a few days in the middle of field season. If it was a long weekend, though, who knows, I could pull it off. But it’s very doubtful.
Good to see OK Auto doing good. I, for one, would loves to see the mass assortment of pickups and old vans that would be posted on a Kootenay Auto website. If the world was just, Paul Martin and Stephen Harper would be living in vans right now.