September 16, 2006

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Wow. Statistics can be fun.

I have a new favorite statistics textbook. Not that I had one before. Who knew that a statistics textbook could have a sense of humor? Discovering Statistics Using SPSS is infinitely cool. It’s funny, it’s solid, it’s detailed, it’s good. Get it if you ever need to do anything with statistics. Heck, get it even if you just want to get over a fear of statistics.

Props to Mark Chignell, my research supervisor and the professor teaching the statistics course I’m taking this term. He’s hilarious, too. This is going to be such a great term…

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Self-portrait with vintage hat

One of the things that surprises people is that as high-tech and
plugged in as I am, I still have an appreciation for old ways. I send
hand-written notes, write with a fountain pen in a little black
notebook, hardly ever swear, and occasionally pick up quirky styles.
Such as this hat, for example.

I’ve been told by quite a few people that I wear hats well. I picked
up this vintage hat during the Cabbagetown festival. It was CAD 18 or
so. I didn’t know when I’d have an occasion to wear it, but I decided
to get it anyway and find excuses to wear it whenever I could. It so
happened that I was wearing flowing black plants and a black velvet
top at the time that I bought the hat, so it fit perfectly, and a
number of people stopped to compliment me on the ensemble. It made a
few people wonder if I was in mourning, though.

Why should elegant hats be restricted to such occasions? Women of
breeding used to never go out without something on their heads, and
some cultures maintain this tradition to this day. I’ll continue
playing around with this idea, and perhaps I might fold it into my
style.

I’m not used to thinking of myself as stylish, but I do like being
distinctive. This isn’t the harsh uniqueness of piercings or dye, but
rather a hint of something old, something different.

(Look, dad! I’m also getting better at taking self-portraits. The
cheap tripod I bought has been working out. Now all I need is a
full-length mirror that I can use for clothing and that I can set up
behind the camera…)

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Twice-baked potatoes

One of the simple joys in life is waking up (relatively) early on a weekend morning and preparing a proper breakfast. I made myself a twice-baked potato that was pretty decent, although it wasn’t as good as the ones I enjoyed in childhood. The idea is to scoop out the insides of a baked potato and mash that up with cheddar cheese, then bake it again until the cheese browns. I settled for microwaving the potato for 7 minutes, mashing it up, mixing it with grated cheddar, and broiling it for a short while. I also cooked bacon bits on the side.

Ah. Happy girl.

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Networking party in New York that I really, really want to go to

The Greater IBM Initiative is having its first party in New York City on Thursday, Sept 21. I really, really want to go and meet all these people in person. Why? Because I can do really really well face-to-face, and because I’d love to make those deeper connections. How can I make it happen?

First, let’s set that up as a deal I make with myself. After I finish
five articles about networking that I can post on the Greater IBM
blog, I’ll give myself permission to go on this trip.

In the meantime, I need to plan ahead. How can I keep my costs down?

  • Transportation: I’ll keep an eye out on rush flight ticket prices. Can I hitch with anyone driving down from Toronto?
  • Accommodation: Maybe one of the IBMers at Corporate HQ will let me crash on their couch.
  • Party: How can I make the most of the event? Is there a program that I can get onto?
  • Events: What other events should I hit at that time?

How can I raise money for this? (Hah. Maybe a donation jar at the event!) Ideas?

Let’s make this happen!

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