Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Welcome Back, Talls

I got back into town right around 3 o'clock in the morning on Monday. It took a good 45 minutes for my luggage to show up, so I was pretty tired when I got in my car and headed home. I was the only car on the road as I headed south on 19, cruising (crawling) along at a city standard of 45 km/h (gotta stay under the speed limit). Well, eventually a car pulled up on me very fast, and hugged my bumper. What's up with that, I thought to myself... it's a cop. After a minute and a half, her lights come on. Speeding? No. She ran my plates, basically out of boredom, and I wasn't registered. $115. Welcome home. Be careful, the streets are pretty slick tonight. Thanks.

Earlier that night, in Vancouver, it took me 45 minutes to check the bottle of duty-free vodka I'd bought for a classmate. Lucky the plane was almost two hours late, otherwise I'd have missed it. Well, it gave me something to do. I was surprised that a glass bottle in a plastic bag actually survived being checked.

Happily, Monday was redeemed when Rococo called me to go for a late lunch at Moxie's. The thing is, while the atmosphere there is great for a slow mid-afternoon meal, the menu has become tiresome. A new restaurant to hang in is needed, but none is evident.

Anyways, to (almost) quote Bruce:

Nineteen Street Northwest
Ridin' on a snowy night
'Neath the refinery's glow
Out where the great black rivers flow
License, registration, I ain't got none
But I got a clear conscience
'Bout the things that I done
Mister state trooper, please don't stop me
Please don't stop me, please don't stop me


I went to L.A. for the weekend. The Man finally convinced me to come down, and since I had a free weekend, I went for a day and a half. Kind of a short trip... It was good to see The Man and his wife; it's been a few years now. This was my first trip to the US since moving back to Canada in 2005.

Highlights included strolling the beach in Santa Monica and going to In-N-Out Burger, not to mention seeing The Man's CalTech lab, and the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens.

I am told that 'The Grand Lebowski' (sic) is the quintessential L.A. movie.

Civilization there is very different from here. It's so not Cowboy.

Now, I'm back home in the cold and the snow, back to school. I shall return, though; I still need to meet up with my Enders floppy management partner.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Emulating a Life

Wednesday we had our last class of the year, and Thursday was our last exam of the year. Technically, we have three more, but they're all 'formative'; id est, they don't count. A bunch of us hit Nellie's post-exam, but considering that we're done with the classroom part of medschool, you may have expected a bit bigger celebration.

Friday, I thought I'd go to ACH for the m&m and a bit of surgery, but found that I needed a break from meds for a few days. So, instead, I got to playing with Virtual PC 7 on my Mac, which I picked up on Wednesday. I managed to install NT 4.0, and more excitingly, DOS 6.22 with Windows for Workgroups 3.11. I then installed Serf City under DOS, and lo and behold, it worked.

Why? Well, I was playing Serf City back in 1995, when I upgraded to win95 and ran into compatibility problems. So, I never finished the game. Fast forward twelve years, and it looks like I will finally get to do that. Who says I never finish anything I start?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


It's been snowing a lot here recently. I swear, it fell almost continuously between Friday and today; it was always a light snowfall, but it just wouldn't stop. Anyways, since it's Valentine's Day, and I've been listening to the Trashcan Sinatras straight for two weeks, I offer you 'Snow':

snow...fills the fields we used to know
and the little park where we would go
lies far below
in the snow

gone...it's all over and you're gone
but the memory lives on
although our dreams lie buried
in the snow

sometimes the wind blows
through the trees
and i think i hear you calling me
but all i see is snow

everywhere i go
as the cold winter sun sinks low
i walk alone through the snow

I dropped off my car at the local Canadian Tire on Monday afternoon, to have new tyres put on my car. My old ones were worn right down, and two of them had 'slow leaks', and by slow, I mean they would go completely flat over the course of a week or so. Anyways, I ended up walking home from the shop, through the snow, which took about 45 minutes in -20 ˚C weather. Not smart, but it reminded me of my youth. :)

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ah, Good Times

This was one of those great weekends that make you happy to be alive... and in medschool. With Friday being the peak stress day for medschool so far, it felt great to suddenly have (almost) no worries whatsoever. Saturday was breakfast at Nellie's with Magic Pants and Rococo, at 1:15 p.m.. Today the three of us went to see 'The Queen', followed by dinner and a mile-high mud pie at Montana's.

Oddly enough, I'm a bit of a monarchist, so this was a bit of a 'Passion of the Queen' for me.

Anyways, we had a journal club over dinner. I assigned a paper for the group to read, and we discussed it a bit. We didn't read papers like that in science! We then moved on to the subject of the role of orientation week activities in setting expectations for student behaviour throughout medical school, something that Magic Pants has been thinking about a lot recently. At the moment, a frat-boy mentality seems to dominate in this kind of thing, and the times, well, they changed years ago in the rest of Canada.

Sitting around, enjoying some decent food, and having some great conversations, all in a background of pushing your physical and mental abilities to their limits, that is what has made this last year-and-a-half such a pleasure. Meds, there is nothing like it.

Friday, February 09, 2007

And... break

I just came through the crunch with flying colours. I was up all night writing and making figures, but got my last big project of the year done. Not only did I finish it, but I went totally over the top, with every single figure accompanied by a stereoscopic version. I didn't stop at just sticking in parallel stereographs; no, I went for the full-out cross-eye/parallel triple image combo. Yokochi would be proud.

In other school news, yesterday I also got the electives I was hoping for in March/April. Four weeks of thoracics, then two weeks of neurosurgery.

It's cold here. Last night when I drove to Wendy's to get dinner, the inside of the windows iced up, and I had to keep scraping the windscreen to get some vision. Funny enough, that reminds me of my youth, and gives me a deep feeling of contentment inside...