It's OK, I'm a Chemist

Friday, September 30, 2005

Hello to all my loyal readers, it's been 6 months now today that I've lived in Halifax! Another six more changes of the moon and who knows where I'll be next - maybe begging for food on your front door or living the high-life in Dubai! Stay tuned for all the exciting (and sometimes tedious) updates!

Friday, September 23, 2005

So I was walking home from downtown earlier this week and the smell of bread wafted into my nostrils. Dreams of home-baked rolls pranced through my head (note to my readership: do NOT google search "big buns" to get a picture of larger than normal bread). I contemplated baking my own bread for a while but then I thought who was I kidding. Despite buying a large bag of flour when I first moved here, I hadn't baked anything. Like the smell of fish oil, the idea of baking my own bread followed me during the week. As fate would have it, the food science lab had prepared extra bread dough and knowing my infatuation with all things bread I was offered some. As excited as a kid running through a field of dandelions I accepted the gift and put it in my backpack. My intention was to bake the bread after coming back from my ultimate frisbee game that night. Of course, I had forgotten that it was the night that Kayhan was to have his going-away dinner. We all went to My Other Brother Darrel's for some peanut butter hamburgers and milkshakes. With my belly full and my body tired, I returned to my apartment and immediately fell asleep. Well I opened my backpack yesterday to wash my ultimate clothes to find the bread dough fermented and all over the inside of the backpack. The moral of the story is, as my father used to say, he who hesitates is lost. I'm sure he meant it in a more meaningful context, but as I cleaned away the alcoholic bread dough nothing seemed truer.

Addendum: I succesfully made a delicious fettucine carbonara last night and am planning a vegetarian chili next.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

I have always admired the comraderie among smokers. If a smoker should find themself in need of a fix and they don't have a cigarette, all they need to do is find another smoker (easily distinguishable by their yellowed teeth and fingernails) and ask them for one. And almost always the smoker will give the other one a cigarette. It's like a socialist system for smokers. The cigarette-rich give to the cigarette-poor. And should one day the cigarette-rich become the cigarette-poor, then they too can bum a smoke. In this way, everything evens out in smoker world.

Also I can barely count how many times I've been asked by an attractive girl if I had a lighter (probably somewhere between 3 and 5 times). Because I have no reason to carry a lighter (well I suppose I could use it to light firecrackers or something), all I could do was give them a sheepish shrug ...and a firm slap on the rump as a goodbye. All in all, it's a good life being a smoker. Well except for that cancer thing.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Pretty busy weekend so I was able to catch only one lobster...

The Keith's Lobster
Image hosted by

Friday, September 09, 2005

One of the pleasures of living downtown, especially living in a high student populated area, is the sound of the street from 1:00 am to 3:30 am (coincidentally around the same time people come back from the bars). The past two weeks or so, there has been a sharp increase in noise outside my apartment as the students make their way back to Halifax after their summer away. So far, I've been an aural witness to two relationship fights (though I don't know if it was the same couple both times. If so, just dump him already - he's clearly a man-ho), some mild fisticuffs, broken bottles, and a brouhaha. Last night though there was a first (and hopefully a last). In one of the apartments next to mine, there was someone playing the ukelele. Images of Elvis from Blue Hawaii haunted my dreams once I managed to return to them. Tonight though, I join the noisemakers in drunken revelry... my apartment neighbours need not worry - I left my harmonica at home.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I had my haircut on Saturday and I thought to myself: what distinguishes a good barber? Some thoughts on the matter:

1) They are Italian or Greek or from some other Mediterranean country.

2) English isn't their first language.

3) They don't comment on how soft your hair is (that was an akward hair cut).

4) They have hair on their knuckles.

5) They don't style your hair like it was the 1920's no matter how it was styled beforehand.

6) They use a straight-edge razor to clean up the shave around the neck and behind the ears.

7) They don't press their groin up against the seat so as to rub against your hand resting on the armrest.

My barber on Saturday scored a 6/7. Unfortunately it was point no.7 where he failed but I can forgive him this one time because I am pretty pleased with the cut.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Some more pictures from Lobster Hunting:

I'm not sure how much I would trust a map drawn on a lobster.

Image hosted by

Plaid Lobster found at the Airport

Image hosted by

Fish on a Lobster... and seafood fanatics' wildest dream comes true

Image hosted by

This lobster is in it for a good cause at least

Image hosted by

Surprisingly this one wasn't found at the hockey arena

Image hosted by

Mr. Piping Hot

Image hosted by

Flower Power Lobster a.k.a. Guy Lafleur

Image hosted by

Global Lobster

Image hosted by

And... another piper

Image hosted by

His name is Tyler because he's made out of tiles. Get it? Tiles. Tyler. Tiles. Tyler.

Image hosted by

This one is called Historical Lobster. To me, it looks like a mummy lobster

Image hosted by

The Acadian Lobster

Image hosted by

Friday, September 02, 2005

Hey everybody! Although I didn't get to see everyone I wanted to, I had a blast back in Montreal. As it turns out, it was great timing as the day after I arrived it was the going-away party for Ian, a post-doc in the Lennox lab (where I worked for 11 months before coming to Halifax). I got to spend one more night in Thomson House with everyone before Ian took off for Guelph and then to University of Saskatchewan to start his career as a professor (that's now 5 people that I worked with in that lab who have jobs as a professor; one at each of the following schools: Mount Allison, Dalhousie, Calgary, Syracuse and now Saskatchewan). Also, I got to hang out with some old football buddies, even got into a theological debate with one of them at Cheers South Shore - probably the most intelligent conversation there in a long time. On the Friday night, I hit up Le Pistol, Buddha Bar, Tokyo Bar and Cheers downtown with Ashley, Liz, Sarah and Kevin. Then Saturday was the wedding of Agatha and Chris. It was a really nice wedding and the reception and dinner were great fun. I had my dancing shoes on and I had a blast. I left back home on Sunday night, and as it turned out going from the Halifax airport to my apartment took longer than my flight from Montreal to Halifax... damn you shuttle bus driver and your lack of a driving plan.

The next weekend, it was the play-offs for my Thursday league and Sunday league teams. Unfortunately, my Thursday team (Disco Inferno) didn't submit for the playoffs so we weren't scheduled for any games but I was able to pick up with another team. My Sunday league team (Heavy Backhand) ended up placing a respectable 6th place (exactly where we were seeded coming in) out of 13 teams. Not bad considering the majority of the team were first year players.

On Monday, Gillian and I broke up. It sucks and I wish we had tried more to work things out but that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. We'll see how things play out over the next couple of weeks. If there is a bright side to this story, it's that if it had to happen, it was pretty good timing-wise. I have a friend coming into town, Nicole, who just moved here to start law school. It's the long weekend and so I'll be able to chill with her, which I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise because I'd be in Port Hawkesbury.

In other news, a girl that works with me in the analytical lab, Kim, is quitting. This has thrown our group into a bit of a tizzy because we're not sure how we're going to compensate for her loss. It's pretty clear that I'll take over her work but then who'll take over mine? The company seems pretty adamant about not hiring someone else right now, so it'll be interesting to see how things work out. Also, because of this development, Jonathan (my boss) put out the option of making my position full-time. I doubt I'll take it, but it's good to know that they respect my work enough to make the offer.

Next post, I promise to make it more interesting and less a data dump. Take care, everyone!