Thursday, 31 July 2008

Into the Oven

My thesis is "done" for now. I have handed in the review copies to my committee members (did it yesterday, due at the latest tomorrow - yea early) and now I study for 3 weeks. My defense date is August 22 - I may have already mentioned this. There were a few scary moments on Monday when I found an error that could have taken a long time to fix - but it ended up being just a day and a half of hard work and long hours. I'd taken a few days off here and there but never slept in very much - maybe 9am on a good day, even when I knew the whole day was not going to be spent working. I guess it was the stress because after Cory left for work I fell back asleep until noon!

This past weekend we were in the Okanagan for a wedding. One of Cory's high school friends was getting married. Mom let Cory drive her car to the wedding and now Cory has the bug for a fast porche car... oi! I still don't care much for cars, I like ones that don't break down, are good on gas, and are new-ish. Hence, I love our car which is a 2006 Honda Civic. His name is Miracle Max (Princess Bride reference).

Saturday, 19 July 2008


I'm late posting the pictures but we managed to remember to have someone take our photograph on our anniversary - woo hoo for remembering 2 years in a row (anniversary = July 8th)

I took part of the day off and we got a picnic from a very nice restaurant (The River Cafe) and watched Shakespeare in the Park on Prince's Island. It was the Tempest. I loved it, Cory liked it well enough - especially seeing as he didn't understand most of it.

I have a date for my thesis defense: August 22, 2008. Cory says I that the best defense is an offense and I should call mine the thesis attack... On Thursday I handed in my first draft of my thesis to my supervisor. Good thing as it turns out he is away on vacation this coming week... It was a relief and a bit scary. I put a lot of heart and soul and sweat and tears into that thing.

We got out of the house today - amazing. You see we live in a really really beautiful part of Canada - about an hour and a half outside of Banff. On clear days you can see the Rocky Mountains from Calgary - not our house, we don't have a view of anything - but on the bus route there are a couple of places. And we seldom go out there. So we went today, and stopped where we liked. We'll definately do it again, possibly soon-ish too. Next weekend we head out to the Okanagan Valley - another really beautiful place that y'all should visit if you have the chance. It is where my parents live and I lived for the 9 years before I moved to Calgary. We have a wedding to go to, yea - I love weddings. The atmosphere is so great, everyone there is so happy for the couple. That was one of the most amazing feelings at our wedding. Knowing that everyone there was so happy for us and supporting us. It was so thick in the air that you could almost feel it. Anyway, back to amazing nature places in our back door - I took pictures, landscapes, water, grass...

We stopped by a lake on the side of the road - it was cold...

We threw rocks in. Cory played a game where he would throw a rock and then try to hit it with a second rock.

I took pictures of the splashes that rocks made in the water. This is just one of several - they look really cool

We took time to relax and just lay down and look at the sky (my knees are purposefully in the picture... Cory tried to put his finger in the picture but I avoided it :)

There were the requisite flower pictures.

Cory took off his shoes for awhile, when we came back we learned a truth about butterflies - butterflies like salomon... There were 3-4 butterflies on his one shoe...

And there were more mountains. These three are called the Three Sisters and are right outside of Canmore.

When I got back I checked my email and found a message from my supervisor. He had read my thesis, liked it and had a few small changes to recommend. So I called him (he leaves tomorrow - and talking is way easier than emailing multiple times). There is a hard copy in the lab with some things written on it and then there are a few changes to make. The biggest one is to move a section from my intro into my discussion and make an appropriate linking comment. Oh and I have to make a few extra figures. So other than formatting, and these changes - 5 figures to make and then it is off to the committee. Yea! Considering it is due on August 1st (3 weeks before the defense it needs to go to them) I am right on track and on time. So relieved. Not out of the woods yet, I don't know how to make those 5 figures... but getting closer by the minute. I may even get caught up on my blog reading soonish. Lately I've only been able to keep up on a few.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

I'd like to set up an appointment with the people in white coats and to book a room in the padded hotel for this weekend. Does anyone know who I should call?

Tuesday, 15 July 2008


No officer, I have no idea why my cat is blue.

ETA: if anyone knows how to cite the observed statistical power of a test in APA formatting please let me know. I'd really appreciate it.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Tip #14 for a Successful Thesis

Do parts of your thesis months in advance, save them in a logical spot with a logical name on your computer, then forget about them. When you go to write that part of your thesis a little bell should (hopefully) go off by seeing the file name and presto wammo - you have a section done that you thought you still had to do. It is best gift you can give yourself, second only to starting really early to give yourself a lot of time... But we all know that that happens once in a blue moon.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Academic ramblings

Just a brief note. If you or a loved one have a traumatic brain injury (TBI) please make sure that they are fed within a day.

I'm reading an article and it seems that the nutritional needs of individuals with TBI are increased relative to those without injury (you and me) and that this need is not being met early enough. The article states "patients who were not fed within 5 and 7 days after TBI had a 2- and 4-fold increased likelihood of death, respectively." (5% were not fed within 7 days) No kidding - you don't feed them and they are more likely to die eh? I didn't know this was an issue. And a review cited in this paper found that early feeding may be associated with a trend towards better outcomes after TBI. Well, I'm glad the paper has been published so that protocols may change. Obviously they didn't randomly assign the patients to the feeding and no feeding conditions because of ethics so this is a correlational study - thus it doesn't say that lack of food causes an increase in mortality, but rather that they co-occur. But still...


Hartl, R., Gerber, L. M., Quanhong, N., & Ghajar, J. (2008). Effect of early nutrition on deaths due to severe traumatic brain injury. J Neurosurg. 109, 50-56.

Back to reading.