Toronto Spartan Race 2012

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Nursing Shoes

Nursing Shoes

This weekend was the Spartan Race in Toronto, which Alain and I did with Pickles and with a bunch of old friends. The Spartan Race is a 5k obstacle course that actually happened in Barrie on the 24th. To measure your personal performance, the organisers tagged each participant with a little microchip attached to the shoe. That way, it’s easier to identify the body/foot afterward, in case it gets lost, I guess?

In preparation, I took my old nursing shoes and cut grooves into the soles (they were completely smooth before) and wore those for the race. I’m glad I did this, because one of the obstacles was wading through 200m of waist-deep mud with barbed wire overhead. By the end of the race, I (and my shoes) were filthy, of course. I threw them out once we got back. I paid $25 for those shoes last September, and they were worth only $25. This is the most honourable death they could have had.

A wheelbarrow

A wheelbarrow

The actual race wasn’t so hard. I even did the climbing-up-a-rope thing (which I had never done before). In fact, I did all the obstacles correctly without having to do the penalty (20 burpees). Pictured to the right is me carrying a wheelbarrow with concrete and sandbags.

Murph over flames

Murph over flames

What was difficult was waiting for the bus at the end. We got in line for the bus and waited. And waited. And then the clouds came in and the sky got dark and it started to rain, and the temperature went down. Alain and I went under the towel that we brought to try to conserve our body heat, since we were wet and cold and stationary (being in line for the bus). It took an hour for the bus to arrive. They probably could have thought that through a bit better.

Now it's Alain!

Now it’s Alain!

The day after, we were informed by the Spartan Race that due to an electrical problem, about 1000 participants’ times were lost (including my time and the times of everyone I knew). I’ll never know how I did! That might be for the best, because I stopped for about 10 minutes at the beginning of the race to help a poor woman who broke her leg on the very first turn of the course. I felt so bad for her!

Hay bales!

Hay bales!

Weird thing to think about: my friends and I are now in the background of dozens of people’s Spartan Race photos on Facebook, and we have no idea.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2012-2933,
    title = {Toronto Spartan Race 2012},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2012-06-28,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2012/06/28/toronto-spartan-race-2012/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Toronto Spartan Race 2012" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 28 Jun 2012. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2012/06/28/toronto-spartan-race-2012/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2012, Jun 28). Toronto Spartan Race 2012 [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2012/06/28/toronto-spartan-race-2012/


The Morty’s Driving School Car

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Morty's Driving School

Morty's Driving School

I kind of wish that I was learning to drive again.

It’s the Morty’s Driving School-mobile, in all its glory!

Morty, my friend, your secret driving school in Montréal is an inspiration to us all.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2011-1685,
    title = {The Morty’s Driving School Car},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2011-04-26,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/04/26/the-mortys-driving-school-car/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "The Morty’s Driving School Car" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 26 Apr 2011. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/04/26/the-mortys-driving-school-car/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2011, Apr 26). The Morty’s Driving School Car [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2011/04/26/the-mortys-driving-school-car/


Monstrosity and me in New York

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Monstrosity is something that Pickles made for me for my 20th birthday, and I take him with me when I go places and photograph him there. He’s been to China, Thailand, South Korea, Panama, and now, thanks to the Quidditch World Cup, he’s been to America!

While this post isn’t really about the World Cup, I have two last things that I should mention about it, in response to some questions I have been getting.

  1. We do use the brooms for flying, although if you are a muggle, it may appear that we are running along the ground.
  2. Surprisingly, Hogwarts did not enter a team this year.
Monstrosity and me at the Chrysler Building, NYC

Monstrosity and me at the Chrysler Building, NYC

Monstrosity and me at the statue of Atlas, NYC

Monstrosity and me at the statue of Atlas, NYC

Monstrosity and me at Times Square, NYC

Monstrosity and me at Times Square, NYC

Monstrosity and me at the World Cup

Monstrosity and me at the World Cup

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-1012,
    title = {Monstrosity and me in New York},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-11-19,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/11/19/monstrosity-and-me-in-new-york/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Monstrosity and me in New York" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 19 Nov 2010. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/11/19/monstrosity-and-me-in-new-york/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Nov 19). Monstrosity and me in New York [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/11/19/monstrosity-and-me-in-new-york/


Movember moustache

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I just got an email from an old friend of mine from London named Chris. He’s doing a fundraiser for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer. I’m normally morally opposed to moustaches, but in this case, I actually made a donation. Now, I’m a grad student, so you will all almost certainly have more discretionary income than me, so should all feel really guilty about it and make a contribution yourselves.

I’m actually kinda curious to see how Chris’ moustache turns out. I’ve never seen him with more than just some scruff.

Here is the link:

http://ca.movember.com/mospace/550042/

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-995,
    title = {Movember moustache},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-11-3,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/11/03/movember-moustache/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Movember moustache" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 03 Nov 2010. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/11/03/movember-moustache/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Nov 03). Movember moustache [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/11/03/movember-moustache/


A taxonomy of sarcasm

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An old friend of mine once explained this to me, and now I will pass this precious wisdom to the rest of the world. Here is how to identify what degree of sarcasm you are using or experiencing:

  1. First degree sarcasm: Saying what you don’t mean, and saying it insincerely.
    E.g. “Oh! Now that was intelligent!” [said sardonically after something stupid is done]
  2. Second degree sarcasm: Saying what you don’t mean, but saying it sincerely.
    E.g. “Oh, now that was intelligent.”  [said in a complimentary way after something stupid is done]
  3. Third degree sarcasm: Saying what you mean, but saying it insincerely.
    E.g. “Yeah, you’re a good friend.” [said in a mocking tone of voice to a true friend]
  4. Fourth degree sarcasm: Saying what you mean, and saying it sincerely.*
    E.g. “Yeah, you’re a good friend.” [said in a matter-of-fact tone of voice to a true friend]

Or in tabled form:

  Say it insincerely Say it sincerely
Say what you don’t mean 1st degree sarcasm 2nd degree sarcasm
Say what you do mean 3rd degree sarcasm 4th degree sarcasm

The first degree of sarcasm is the least subtle. It is the easiest to use in conversation and the hardest to misunderstand. It is also not very funny.

Metasarcasm can occur when someone realises that first degree sarcasm is undesirable, but makes a statement that is, on the surface, first degree sarcastic—saying what one doesn’t mean, and saying it like one doesn’t mean it. This is done in full knowledge of the comedic limitations of this degree of sarcasm, and as a mockery of first degree of sarcasm itself.

The second degree of sarcasm is slightly more subtle, and depending on timing and other contextual factors, it can be very witty or very harsh. The power in this degree of sarcasm depends on the contrast between the sincerity of the statement, while actually conveying the opposite meaning.

Third degree sarcasm can be used when first or second degree sarcasm are too coarse or obvious. Imagine that your friend is obviously working very quickly at some task. You could use first degree sarcasm to say, “Wow, you’re working really slow.” That would not be very funny at all, unless it is an example of metasarcasm, so instead you might try saying in a matter-of-fact tone, “Could you pick up the pace a bit?” which would be better—a good example of second degree sarcasm—but that might seem obvious. Another option is the use of third degree sarcasm. You might say while rolling your eyes, “Yeah, that’s impressive.” You actually are impressed by your friend’s industriousness, but you say so in a way that seems to convey the opposite meaning.

The third degree of sarcasm is also sometimes used to express vulnerable truths in a way that protects the speaker. The speaker is protected by the ambiguity of the statement. Coated with a thin layer of sarcasm, the speaker can, in subsequent sentences, make the third degree sarcastic statement appear to be either an attempt at humour or alternately, a heartfelt expression of feeling, depending on how the speaker feels it has been taken.

The fourth degree of sarcasm is the most subtle, and many deny that it is sarcasm at all. Indeed, by its definition, “a sincere expression of what one really means,” it is not hard to see why it is often missed. I leave, as an exercise for the reader, the task of coming up with some examples.

[ * I have put an asterisk after this definition because this definition gives the necessary, but not the sufficient conditions for a statement to be fourth degree sarcastic. That is, not all members of the set of statements that are sincere expressions of ideas that one means to convey are also members of the set of fourth degree sarcastic statements.]

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-895,
    title = {A taxonomy of sarcasm},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-08-29,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/08/29/taxonomy-of-sarcasm/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "A taxonomy of sarcasm" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 29 Aug 2010. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/08/29/taxonomy-of-sarcasm/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Aug 29). A taxonomy of sarcasm [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/08/29/taxonomy-of-sarcasm/


I had a visitor

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A visitor

A visitor

On Saturday, I had a visitor. An old friend of mine from my undergrad days at Western came to town. Old friendships are a wonderful thing, and I’m very proud to call this man my friend.

On an unrelated note, you’ll notice also that my eye is pretty much healed. You’d never know that I have a metal plate in my head, would you?

In fact, when I went in to work to claim my last two paycheques, which I missed due to the surgery, it must have been very suspicious that I didn’t have a cut or an eye-patch or a bruise or even much swelling or redness. I just had surgery, I swear!

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-877,
    title = {I had a visitor},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-08-18,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/08/18/i-had-a-visitor/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "I had a visitor" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 18 Aug 2010. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/08/18/i-had-a-visitor/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Aug 18). I had a visitor [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/08/18/i-had-a-visitor/


A lot can happen in a year

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I arrived here in Montreal one year ago on Friday.

A lot has changed.

Sometimes it’s good to sit back and take stock of all the things that have happened, and to think about all the things that one has to be thankful for. Things are generally pretty good now: I had a great job for the summer, I have great friends living in my building, and I was just talking with Pickles today and thinking about how much I appreciate her. I even have a TA-ship and an RA-ship lined up for this school year.

I’m TA-ing the introductory ethics course in the philosophy department this year, which will be exciting.

Things are different from the way they were a year ago. They’re different from what I expected, and certainly different from what I wanted, but I’m okay with the way things are.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2010-788,
    title = {A lot can happen in a year},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2010-07-26,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/07/26/a-lot-can-happen-in-a-year/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "A lot can happen in a year" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 26 Jul 2010. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/07/26/a-lot-can-happen-in-a-year/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2010, Jul 26). A lot can happen in a year [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2010/07/26/a-lot-can-happen-in-a-year/


My bassoon teacher

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My former bassoon teacher

My former bassoon teacher

On Christmas Eve, my former bassoon teacher was featured on the front page of the Beacon Herald, the local newspaper in Stratford.

I remember the giant inflatable penguin, but she seems to have gotten her hands on a bunch of other inflatable decorations since I moved away.

I have a lot of fond memories of bassoon lessons with her. I remember when she taught me to make my own reeds, and the times she would threaten to hit me with knitting needles when I messed up. When I went away to university, she traced the outline of her needles on one page of my orchestral excerpt so that I would remember not to mess up my audition. I also remember the time she smuggled me into the orchestra loft at the Festival Theatre and all the cats that lived with her.

I like to think that much of what I know about teaching I learned from her.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-577,
    title = {My bassoon teacher},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-12-26,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/26/my-bassoon-teacher/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "My bassoon teacher" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 26 Dec 2009. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/26/my-bassoon-teacher/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Dec 26). My bassoon teacher [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/26/my-bassoon-teacher/


The Redpath Museum

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A dinosaur in the Redpath Museum

A dinosaur in the Redpath Museum

The Redpath Museum, on McGill’s campus, has free admission. And there are dinosaurs, and geodes and lots of taxidermied animals, and a meteorite, and a mummy too.

This photo is from the end of November, when an old friend of mine came to visit me.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-534,
    title = {The Redpath Museum},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-12-18,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/18/the-redpath-museum/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "The Redpath Museum" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 18 Dec 2009. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/18/the-redpath-museum/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Dec 18). The Redpath Museum [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/12/18/the-redpath-museum/


Morty’s driving school

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I never knew.

I never knew.

We have a friend who goes by the name “Morty.” I can’t believe he’s been keeping this from us. I like the use of clip-art in the sign.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-423,
    title = {Morty’s driving school},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-09-16,
    url = {http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/09/16/mortys-driving-school/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Morty’s driving school" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 16 Sep 2009. Web. 29 Mar 2017. <http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/09/16/mortys-driving-school/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Sep 16). Morty’s driving school [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/09/16/mortys-driving-school/


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