Tag Archives: rant

Thoughts About Star Wars

This is going to out me as a real nerd but that’s okay.

Mr. Bean and I watched “A New Hope” the other evening and had a few very interesting discussions throughout.

1. There is very little difference between a “freedom fighter” and a terrorist.  By blowing up the Death Star, Luke killed thousands of people, yet he is hailed as a hero. From the empire’s point of view, he’s a terrorist with “weapons of mass destruction.” It’s like bombing – I assume that the person in the plane doesn’t think about how people beneath them have lives of their own: who’s life is more valuable?

An example that is a bit closer to home is that some amazing person/people in North Eastern British Columbia has been bombing natural gas pipelines in an attempt to get a petroleum company to leave the area. There have been six explosions thus far and thankfully no one has been hurt. But, there are sour gas wells in the area – they’ve already targeted a line that leaked a small amount of sour gas – but what happens when the bomber targets a pipeline with really sour gas?

I’ve been following some of the stories and there has been much debate as to whether this/these person/people are terrorists or not. Are they terrorists or “freedom fighters” against the “tyranny of the oil and gas industry”?

The ironic thing about this bomber is that they want Encana to leave and restore the environment within a certain amount of time, however they are willing to cause a lot of damage and potentially kill a lot of people to do it. How does that work?

2. One reason (of many) why the newest three Star Wars sucked is because the Jedi are Mary Sues. They’re perfect, awkward, never really make the “bad” decisions and as flawed humans, we can’t really relate to them. In addition, all the bad characters are “all bad” – this is one reason I like Darth Vader so much as he’s bad, but he has redeeming qualities like normal human beings. I’ve read various stories with “black and white*”/”perfect and evil”/”super human” characters such as these and it’s really hard to get into them. It’s ironic because Obi-Wan says in movie No. 3 that “only the Sith deal in absolutes” – well, look in the mirror, buddy, because with that logic you’re a Sith too! (An interesting discussion on absolutes and philosophy in Revenge of the Sith can be found here.)

Apparently, this is also one of the main themes of Watchmen (but I wouldn’t know as I’ve never seen the movie/read the comics.) If you like Lord of the Rings, this story does an excellent job of making fun of Mary Sues.

What are your thoughts about both these topics?

*black and white as in absolute thinking.

(Haha. I guess I’m pretty special as I turned a discussion about star wars into discussing the oil and gas industry.)

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Gum Paste Gong-Show

Michaels is out of gum paste. How is that even possible? Apparently it’s because there are 15 people in my class who all need gum paste. Last week there were 5 people including myself – I wonder where the magical 10 people come from?

Anyways, this leaves me with somewhat of a problem as I need gum paste for tomorrow’s cake decorating session. I have a few options: I could go way down south and hope that one of the other stores has some (unfortunately me & wild goose chases are only friends at work or school), go to Walmart and hope that they have some or make some. The latter is the only apparent option as I have my own personal trade embargo with Walmart – but I don’t have all the ingredients for either of the 2 recipes I can find. (It’s too bad that Planet Organic doesn’t sell gum tragacanth.)

So what can I do? I “adapt” the recipe found on the can of gum-tex I have. This is how:

Bean’s Hopefully Working Gum Paste

Mix 3 cups of icing sugar with 1 Tbsp. + a little bit of gum-tex, 1/2 tsp xathan gum (it’s a gum, I hope it helps :P) and 1/2 tsp. of cream of tartar. Put 4 Tbsp. of warm water and an overfilled Tbsp. of clear corn syrup in a glass measuring cup. Nuke the water mixture for 30 seconds then poor into sugar mixture. Mix with hand until smooth and slightly less sticky. Now you’re supposed to put the paste in a sealed plastic bag for 8 hours then add an extra cup of icing sugar. I needed carnation bases, so I put most of the gum paste in a bag, added a bit of sugar to the rest of the paste, and made my bases.

I can only hope that it works.

Here’s what they look like:

DSC_1369

DSC_1368

Now I feel a bit accomplished as my gum paste didn’t appear to be a fail right away. But it still was a gong show as I really had no idea what I was doing.

Have you come up with any creative solutions lately?

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Filed under Baking

The Registrar’s Office

Remember going to the registrar’s office for the first time? You’re a bit nervous  and you need to get something signed or straightened out. You have high hopes (they deal with lots of people – they should be pretty fast!) until you see the room full of people waiting. Unfortunately, today I needed to venture there again to change my name from Miss Bean to Mrs. Bean. I got there at 12:39, took  my ticket and sat in a chair to wait.

Just so you know, my university in its infinite wisdom joined all the different service areas into one big one. Sure, before it meant you had to go to different places to get different things done, but the person doing it could actually do things pretty efficiently. Now? not so much.

When I arrived, the registrar’s office had two people working – one seeing students and the other dispensing tickets and playing with scissors. (I kid you not.) The rational part of me knows that “hey, it’s lunch hour, so maybe the people are all having lunch.” But at 1 o’clock (when most lunch hours are over) everyone disappeared. For 10 minutes. Then one person came back and took his sweet time getting organized. Finally at 1:30 everyone else decided  that perhaps it was time to show up and start working.

Finally, it was my turn! I filled out the appropriate form, the guy photocopied my ID and marriage certificate and then attempted to change my name. But it wouldn’t. Here I’m thinking “it’s not that difficult to change my name is it?” Apparently so – their database (peoplesoft *grr*) kept on giving him error after error with every attempt. Really, my new last name isn’t that hard to spell – it’s easier than my other one!

The good news is that 80 minutes after I arrived, my name was officially changed. 80 minutes to get through 20-25 people? That’s only good time at the registrar’s office. I know it could have been a lot worse – I’ve been there in August.

What is your worst registrar’s office experience?

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Filed under Life, Thoughts

Alberta Healthcare really needs to be improved…

…because:

  1. You’re impressed that you get a room in less than an hour (the crazy person’s room – go figure) and the ER doctor actually comes and talks to you.
  2. You’re really impressed that you’re in an out of emergency in 6 hours even though you found out there is nothing else that you can do that you haven’t already done to prevent another episode.
  3. That the nurse was shocked that you got an appointment with a  psychiatrist in less than two months.
  4. After the 6 hours, you still didn’t see the on call psychiatrist.
  5. That there is a poster in the waiting room saying: “In a room or in the hallway – your treatment and care is first to us.” But why should people be treated in a hallway?

I know I shouldn’t complain as we have universal health care, but there are so many ways it could be improved. Some ways that I can think of:

  1. Have nurse practitioners in clinics – it allows the doctors to do things that can’t be diagnosed from an untrained eye. (ie. sinus infections, shots, stitches, colds, broken arms, etc.)
  2. Have a walk-in clinic at hospitals, so people without a GP aren’t taking up space in the emergency waiting room.
  3. Put extended care patients in an extended care centre so they aren’t taking up valuable resources.

At least Americans, if they  have money, can get the treatment they need when they need it. If I were more serious, I would definitely go down to the Mayo Clinic.

What are your thoughts on healthcare?

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4am Ramblings

Yes, unfortunately it is 4 am in the morning. I woke up after a bizarre dream at about 3 and haven’t been able to get back to sleep since. So, I thought that I would come and write some random things (hopefully) for your reading enjoyment. Or at least have a semi-good rant to get some things off my chest.

Theoretically my new lappy is going to be in today. I’m not really keeping my hopes up after my other previous experience.

I’ve determined that any type of sleeping medication and myself = very bad day. For example, this weekend I took the latest medicinal attempt to get me to sleep and I ended up almost fainting, with extreme low blood pressure (ie. I couldn’t get out of bed without pretty much collapsing) and the stomach flu. So I guess that means that I’m going to have to find other ways to make myself relax and sleep. Any suggestions?

I have also determined that I want to be heard and held, not fixed. That does mean that it’s going to be a painful next while and I deal through emotions and events. But I guess it’s worth it to find out who you are and to actually live instead of just survive.

I guess one of the main thing that is bothering me at this moment (except perhaps that I’m dealing with a lot of denied and repression emotions) is that I’m having to do this presentation to potential future interns about why they should want to work at my work. I’m finding it really difficult because my experience at my work hasn’t been the best and so any positive experience is seemingly a lie. I do understand that other people do and can really enjoy working there, I just don’t. My counselor suggested just to fake it, which I’m usually quite proficient at doing, but this time it just seems to hard. It’s easy enough to lie to one or two people but what about 20 or 30? And then you have to keep up the lie. But on the other hand, I do want to give my work a good review as other people could find it really rewarding and I want to keep my job.

It probably doesn’t help that all I can think about when I’m brainstorming for this presentation is the President of the company asking me after my final presentation why I don’t want to come back and work for this company. (I don’t know if he will, but I’m pretty sure that he asked one of last year’s intern’s that when she didn’t decide to come back.) What would I say? “Yes, Mr. President of Company, I became severely depressed while working here and I’d really love to relive that whole experience in a year from now!” I think I do a good enough job of putting myself through mental torture and I don’t need that again. Ugh.

So, does anyone have any suggestions on how to fake my way through this presentation without turning into (more of) a basket case? Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Filed under Life, Thoughts