Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Get Smart

It's sad to hear that Don Adams passed away. The doorway into the Foothills hospital from the medschool has a motion detector sensor that picks you up from a good distance, and the door swings open extremely slowly, just in time to let you through. Just last week, I was telling people that I felt like Maxwell Smart arriving at headquarters, every time I walk through that door. :(


So, as I said I would, I went to Edmonton on Sunday. The purpose was seeing the finals of the Ice Bowl medschools hockey tournament. Chihiro, Christine, and Shuntaro came along in my little green car. First we hit the West Edmonton Mall, former 'largest mall in the world'. We rode the roller coaster, which was a blast. A lot of G-forces going on there, more than my neck remembers from Six Flags New England. That was a lot of fun. WEM has a spectacular-looking indoor water park, that must be awesome in mid-February. We'll be back then, bathing suits at the ready...

Then, we went downtown to the provincial legislature, where all that Alberta oil money ends up. There was some kind of Mountie event, so I took a photo of Chihiro and Shuntaro with a guy in full Scottish regalia, and another guy in the traditional Mountie crimson. Reminded me of the mountie on horseback that I had as a kid.

Anyways, after all that, we went out to the arenas in the east end of town, to watch hockey. Unfortunately, we had decided to skip the men's competitive finals, and just go to the women's and mens 'noncompetitive' games. Of course, U of C didn't make the finals in those two divisions, but they did win the men's competitive division. So, we had just missed the relevant game. No probs, though, WEM was worth it. A fun drive back to Calgary was followed by a 'guiltless' vegetarian burger with broccoli at Chili's, and then poutine at midnight, back at the medschool.

Oh, I picked up running again, to combat the curds and gravy. I'm training for an 8 k in November up in Banff. Running along the Bow is awesome. I haven't run on dirt through the woods for so long. Also good is running along the CPR tracks; what a rush when a train goes by, 250 wagons or more in tow. I was thinking the other day, when I was a kid in Ottawa, at night you'd always hear the train running way off in the distance, south of Blackburn Hamlet, and I loved that sound. Now, I have that back, with the trains running on the south side of the river at night. Why would that sound be so comforting?

Saturday, September 24, 2005


I ended up completing my research on the availability of Vachon products here in Calgary. Six-packs of Jos. Louis and Passion Flakie are available for $3.89, which is 65 cents each. Not bad; that US$0.55 each.

I went ahead and bought a six pack of each, along with a big bottle of Pepsi. Passion Flakies remind me of the summer of '87, when I took grade 13 Relations and Functions in summer school, out in the southwest of Ottawa. Got 100% in that, with not a single error on any of the midterms or on the final exam. I was on fire. I ate my first Flakie in the first week of that course, during the morning break, and after that, I must have had one a day for the duration of the course. I've rarely eaten Flakies since that summer...

Oh, by the way, I verified that the hospital burger joint (the garden cafe) does, in fact, use real cheese curds in its poutine. So, I'm very happy about that. I've picked up the habit of late-night poutine during breaks from studying; a Montrealer in my class (Marcel) and I are now called the 'Midnight Fryboys'. You can get poutine 23.25 hours per day here, thank God. There are, in fact, many Quebecois around, but I am not sure whether they consistute the majority of the market for poutine. Eastern Ontarioans, after all, have just as much poutine history as the Quebecois, but they're harder to spot in a crowd.

I'm going to Edmonton tomorrow to watch the finals of an inter-medical-school hockey tournament. Hopefully, U of C will dominate.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The stars

I came in to work tonight for a bit of extra haematology studying. The northern sky was crystal clear, with the great bear bright over the hospital. A satellite crossed Andromeda.

The Bow valley is beautiful from the ridgeline, a mix of golden desciduous trees with evergreens. We're about to reach the peak of fall colours here. The fields are covered in frost as I walk to work in the mornings... ah, I'm back in Canada.

I promised Alex a report on the availability of Vachon products out here, but haven't gotten around to doing a full study yet. The local 7/11 (the post office inside it is actually open from 7 to 11) stocks *Super* Jos. Louis and *Super* Passion Flakie, although I haven't tried either. I don't need *Super* products. What am I to do? Well, the answer is easy. Safeway has the normal Jos. Louis and Passion Flakies in larger boxes.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


I've been spending a lot of time at Ikea recently. On Saturday, the desk that I bought there last week was delivered, a Galant corner desk, with an 80 cm extension on the skinny end. It's awesome. Nice and solid feel, telescoping T-style legs that I have at maximum height, it's just great. Beech, with dark grey legs. I put it together Saturday evening, and man, it wasn't easy flipping the thing over once it was all assembled. But, I managed to do it all without scratching it, thanks to my carpets; I got my carpets out of storage; they haven't been unrolled since I left Toronto. Two semicolons in one sentence is definitely a faux pas.

On Monday, labour day (originated in Toronto, btw), I hit Ikea again, but it was so busy that I didn't feel like waiting in line. So, this afternoon, as I had the afternoon off, I headed back over there, and bought two Billy bookcases, again birch. Ikea here rents vans, so you can bring stuff home, if it doesn't fit in your car. It's CAN$19.99, plus $0.10 per kilometer as a gasoline charge (you don't have to gas it up), for two hours. I was thinking, 10 cents per kilometer is probably less than the current cost of gas, which is $1.14 per litre here in Calgary at the moment. Anyways, I rented a van, and brought my bookcases home, no probs.

My point? Any city worth mentioning has an Ikea. If a city doesn't have one at this moment, it means that the city sucks bigtime. Take that, Boston.

I don't have net access at home at the moment, so that's why my postings are currently non-existant. I have to go to school to connect to the net, which sucks. At the moment, I'm sitting at my beautiful desk, listening to Godspeed you black emperor, and I'll head in to school later to actually post this thing. I'll put together one of my shelves before I head in, though... peace out.

P.S.: I'm happy to report that my favourite instant noodles, neoguri, are only CAN$0.634 here, which is US$0.534. They were 75 cents US at the Japanese place by Central Square, and US$1.25 at the Starmarket in Fenway. So, I'm doing well.