this is my life now

I’m getting ready to move into a more permanent home, when I meet the neighbours who are chatting in the long, gravel driveway next door.

only a little bit of a stretch…

New Neighbour Dave: “It’s a busy road.”

New Neighbour Gerald: “Yup.”

Me: “Oh, it’s ok, I’ve lived on main streets in Toronto and New York… I’m not sure busy for you is the same as busy for me.” (*wonders retroactively if this point is in my favour or not… shuts up hastily*)

NND: “Second busiest highway in the Valley”

NNG: “Yup. The busiest one is Highway 1.”

Me: (quietly, not sure if it’ll gain me any points…) “That’s where I live now.”

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farewell tour de france: bordeaux and the rest

Bordeaux, the star of my whole trip.

Deep in the throes of procrastination, I realize it has been three months since the events in this post have taken place. Fortunately I’ve gotten the afternoon off work today due to a nor’easter hitting snowy Wolfville, so it seems like a good time to curl up on the couch inside and write something. Sorry in advance (I am definitely a Canadian!) – I insist this blog follows the stories in chronological order, so I will not talk about my move or new job until the next post. It’s worth the wait, I promise! For the moment, I am rewinding to the middle of December, where the last post left me (slightly warmer) in the Loire Valley.

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farewell tour de france: the north

Do you remember 15 years ago, when calling someone still mostly meant using a landline? Video calling was just being invented; Skype was established in 2003, using peer to peer technology used by Napster and Kazaa, but did not become mainstream for a good 5 or 6 years. Fifteen years ago, I could never have imagined delivering a master thesis defense virtually (Mounting a thesis defence? Are catapults involved? I never seem to know the right terminology…). I’ve had meetings over Skype, even interviewed for jobs over Skype. I had the option of defending my thesis via Skype, rather than flying back to France, but all the technology in the world cannot replicate the experience of being there, so I chose to do it the old fashioned way. Come on, the virtual wine and cheese study sessions just would not have been the same!

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stick it to the man(ual)

I failed the first statistics test I ever wrote. It was open book (insert sad trombone sound).

This is the only test I’ve ever failed. I had no excuse other than that I firmly believed the material refused to get inside my head. (IT was stubborn… not me. Of course this is not an excuse that any self-respecting professor will accept, so I do not recommend it.) In the end, I just barely passed the course, but I don’t remember the exact details of how I managed that as I’ve buried the experience pretty deep. Or at least I had. This program, and in particular this thesis, have caused many of my previous apprehensions about statistics to resurface.

Things that keep me up at night: am I actually seeing patterns in the data? Is the dataset big enough?

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slow and steady wines the race

…or so they say. Though it doesn’t feel like we’re winning any races as we wait for the grapes to ripen. (The wining, however, is well underway!)

Proof that we’ve had lots of rain this year; this data shows the rain this year (green) compared to the five year average (grey), as well as temperature ranges for this year (yellow) and the 5 year average (blue).

We’ve had a lot of rain through the summer, nearly twice as much as the average rainfall during April to August. Temperatures have been close, but not quite as hot, and the cooler days have been a little more frequent than usual as well. Fortunately for us, September is proving to be slightly drier than usual (quick, knock on wood, the month isn’t over yet!), and we’re all holding our breaths that the weather holds out long enough for the grapes to ripen nicely without any diseases. Read More