The House of Knives; the Double Edge Safety Razor

I reached out to the folks at The House of Knives because I wanted to see how a brand new double edge safety razor would feel compared to the vintage ones that I typically use. I have to admit, the shiny new travel kit double edge safety razor they sent me is a beautifully crafted, precision piece of hardware!

Update – I forgot to mention in my video that the razor I reviewed was an ICE brand razor. ICE personal grooming care supplies like razors, tweezers, and pedicure tools (nail clippers) are exclusively available at the House of Knives.

Here is my video review with commentary –

  • Disclosure – the folks at The House of Knives sent me this travel kit razor and badger hair shave brush at no cost to me. However, as is my usual practice, my opinions and all editorial content on this site are my own. 
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Best Practices for Social Media Background Checks

Using social media background checks to screen prospective employees is becoming more common. In a recent study conducted by CareerBuilder, nearly 60 percent of employers used social media to vet prospective candidates in 2016. That translates to a 500 percent increase since 2006.

The same study found that nearly half of all employers who used search engines to research candidates found negative material about those candidates. This included provocative videos and photographs, drug use, and discriminatory comments and posts regarding race, religion, and gender.

While social media is an effective tool for HR professionals to gather information about prospective employees there is something to keep in mind.

Increased Risk Of Hiring Discrimination

Because people are so open on social media it is easy to find sensitive information about candidates. You can easily get their age, ethnicity, sexual preference, political beliefs, and religion. You cannot legally ask about these in an interview but you can get it from their social media profiles.Once it is seen, it will be difficult for you to prove that it had no influence on your hiring decision. Once it is seen, it cannot be unseen.

Best Practices

In order to stay on the right side of any legal action, you need to keep a few thing in mind.

  1. Have Social Media Background Checks Performed By HR Or A Third Party

All hiring managers and supervisors should not be involved in any social media background checks. In fact, the best practice is to use an outside vendor to conduct the search. Companies like Fama can keep you on the right side of the law and only show you relevant information you need to make a hiring decision.

2. Conduct Social Media Checks At The End Of The Hiring Process

Conduct social media checks near the end with all other background checks like credit history, criminal background, and education.

3. Look At “Public Information” Only

Many people have decided to keep their social media profiles private, opting to share with only close friends and family. If their profiles are set to private, a prospective employer cannot ask for passwords in order to see what they are posting. In fact, many states have made it illegal for employers to do this.

4. Determine When Conducting A Social Media Check Is Required

Performing a social media check on all employees may not be necessary. Perhaps you will only want to conduct a check on those employees who engage with customers or are in a public position, like a spokesperson.

5. Document Any Negative Information

Employers are allowed to disqualify a candidate who exhibits any illegal, harassing or dangerous behavior on social media. However, it would be prudent to document each of these incidents just in case any prospect who was not hired decides to sue based on some form of discrimination. It has been known to happen and the more documented proof you have, the better off you will be.

Social media background checks are here to stay, but at the moment there is no hard and fast rule on how to conduct them. Going forward, smart companies will develop a process as to when, how, and who will conduct these checks.

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Nearly Wordless Wednesday

The Austin Fish House; massive fish and excellent fries cut fresh from potatoes on site. More later.

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What Do Canadians Know About the USA

Canadians often take glee in how ignorant our American neighbours are of all things Canadian. Perhaps the highpoint of our glee in American ignorance of Canadian politics was when a Canadian tv program punked an American president by asking him a question about our Canadian “Prime Minister Poutine”.

However, let’s turn the camera around for a minute and focus on Canadian’s knowledge of all things American. Without googling the following six simple questions, how many of these can you answer:

  1. What are the three American states that border on BC’s southern border?
  2. What are the names of the capital cities of those three states?
  3. Canadian provinces have a Premier as head of state. What do our American neighbours call their head of state?
  4. Can you name one or more of the heads of state of the three American states that are BC’s neighbours?
  5. In BC we have the New Democrats, the BC Liberals, and the Greens (some may disagree with calling the Greens a main political party) as the three main political parties. What are the political parties in our American neighbouring states?
  6. Again in BC we have MLAs – Members of the Legislative Assembly. What do our American neighbours call their government “assembly” and the people who are elected to that assembly?

Six questions. How many can you answer with resorting to Google? To be honest, I cannot correctly answer all six questions.

Posted in Life Musings | Tagged , | 1 Comment

National Sandwich Day

Basically every day there is a “day” for some food item or another. Today was National Sandwich Day.

Here’s my nod to the Sandwich; a smoked turkey with Swiss cheese on multi grain bread from my friends at the Blue Moose Cafe in Hope BC.

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National Bison Day

The first Saturday in November is National Bison Day. The day is meant to commemorate the economic, cultural, and historical significance of the Bison to North America. 

I’m not sure if eating Bison is an appropriate way to commemorate the majestic beast, but wow, this bowl of Bison soup from my friends at 293 Wallace Restaurant in Hope BC was delicious and warmed me from my insides out. 

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Peanut Butter Bread; Cabin Cooking

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The BC Storm and Winter Driving Preparedness

Many of the weather prognosticators are now saying that we should prepare for another long, cold and (shudder) snowy winter in the Metro Vancouver region. Ugh. Get ready for hashtag #BC Storm to start trending as we get a dusting of snow.

BC Storm
If we are in fact in for a snowy winter, and you are planning on continuing to drive through the snowy season, there are a few practical things you should do to prepare for driving in the winter weather.

  1. First thing, slow down when you are driving. It doesn’t matter if you have a four-wheel driving Marmaduke-sized SUV and you grew up back east where you always got snow. Slow down.
  2. Next, get snow tires for your vehicle. Don’t kid yourself, all season tires are not good in the snow. Get snow tires.
  3. Another consideration if you are driving in snowy conditions, always be prepared whenever you go out in your car. That means don’t go drop the kids off at school wearing your fuzzy slippers and pyjamas under your ratty old housecoat. Wear footwear that you can wear in the snow just in case you get stuck and have to get out of your Marmaduke-SUV. And wear a coat over top of your pyjamas.
  4. You also want to keep some cold weather supplies in your car. For example, a warm blanket and a couple pair of warm socks is useful in case you get stuck somewhere wand have to wait in your car for any length of time. The socks can be used to replace wet socks on your feet or as mitts to keep your hands warm. In the winter I always wear a toque or as our American neighbors say, a wooden knitted cap. If you don’t, make sure there is one in your car – just in case.
  5. As well as warm clothing you should make sure you have some “emergency” rations with you in the car. When I was a kid I remember my parents having “truck cookies” in the car or truck. If you get stuck somewhere they will keep a hungry tummy at least a little bit at bay. Another food item to consider keeping in your car are hard candies.
  6. Equally important as food items, keep a couple candles and a lighter in your car glovebox. A burning candle can offer a bit of light and warmth.
  7. There are also a couple of tools you should consider keeping in the trunk of your car. Most importantly, keep a short handle shovel in your car. You never know when you will need to dig your or a friend’s car out of a snowpack.
  8. Another must have item to keep in your car or truck for winter driving is a bag or two of sand or kitty litter. The sand adds a bit of weight to keep your car stable on the road and can be broken open and used to give your tires some traction on a slippery surface.
  9. The final “must have” item to keep with you if you are traveling ANY distance, make sure you always take a bottle or two of water with you.

That’s it. My list of considerations you should make before doing any more winter driving. But please, most importantly SLOW DOWN when road conditions deteriorate. And watch the hashtag #BC Storm for a laugh.

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Another Vitamix Win

Another Vitamix soup win. I got home from work, steamed up a half bag of frozen veggies and then poured them and the half cup or so of boiling water into the Vitamix container. I added a half cube of bouillon, a teaspoon of corn starch and then – going way off script, I added a cup of Kefir milk to the container. 

I cranked it up to full throttle and let it rip for two minutes or so. 

Then I poured it into my bowl, added six or eight sliced up cherry tomatoes, a big pinch of Asiago cheese and dinner was served. 

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The Leaf Experiences Part 2

As I write this blog post I am sitting in the parking lot of the Burnaby Central Secondary school in the borrowed Nissan Leaf while it is charging.

I have to admit, I’ve been a little negligent and perhaps a more than a little impatient with charging the car.

For example, early yesterday morning I was at a charging station in Port Moody where I charged the car for about an hour. That hour added about 40 km of range to the car batteries. In hindsight, I should’ve charged for 2 hours knowing that I was going to be doing quite a bit of driving during the day. Oops.

Later in the day I realized I needed more charge so I returned to Rocky Point. The charging station was in use and there was another Leaf waiting to use the charger once it was available.

So I headed over to the Port Moody Rec Centre where the PlugShare app told me there is another charger. It too was in use.

Plan C – head over to Ikea on Lougheed Hwy. Both chargers in use. Fortunately this time the owner of the Leaf being charged was in his car. So I asked him to plug my car in once he was done. He obliged.

I’m not the kind of person who can stay in Ikea for more than an hour so again, I only added about 40 km of range.

And, I’ve discovered that going up really steep hills like the ones coming out of Port Moody really suck the juice out of the batteries thereby significantly lowering the range of the car.

Later in the day yesterday I went back down to Port Moody to see about getting some more charge. Again, both stations were in use!

I returned home thinking that I’d get an early start in the morning to add some juice to the batteries. Again both stations were in use!

I figured go big or, well, don’t go anywhere and I headed over to Burnaby Central.

My gamble paid off. Both charging stations were available and I’m now charging. But really, I should leave the car charging for 2-3 hours so what to do, other than write a blog post?

So my thoughts on the EV – if cities are committed to supporting the transition to EVs, there really needs to be an increase in the commitment to adding charging stations.

When building a charging station, don’t put in one. Make it for two vehicles. Add charging stations at all sorts of public buildings – libraries, rec centres, sports fields and schools. Make the stations accessible 24/7 and yes, make users pay for the electricity they take.

Bottom line, driving an EV has really forced me stop and think about how much juice the car has on the tank before I hit the road. In many ways it is like doing long distance riding on a motorcycle. You need to know where your next fuel stop is before hitting the road.

But, it has been a very cool feeling driving by gas stations and no caring how much the price of gas has gone up that day!

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