Saturday, December 20, 2008
So it was a week of shopping for two new hard drive and a rapid update on the state of computer technology. Who knew there was a Core 2 Quad now? New 1Gb RAMs were installed into the remaining office computers as well. How exciting it is to be working at warp speed again.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Last week, for Dad's birthday, we went to The Host, an Indian Restaurant. Between the goat curry, Tandoori chicken and prawns, aloo gobi, butter chicken, and the spiced and garlic nan, it was a feast to behold and to savour. Still salivating about the memories.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Movies seen today: Burn after Reading, Blindness, Rain, Ghost Town, Miracle of St. Anna
Movies recommend to date: all in the above list.
Movies highly recommend: Blindness. The movie was dramatically re-edited from its previous screening at Cannes (where is was poorly received). However, now that the voice over has been lifted from the movie, and other scenes more tightly woven, the movie comes together well. Strong performances from Julianna Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Gael Garcia Bernal, Danny Glover and stellar cast. The movie captures the essence of the book: the descent into hell of a nameless society loses its sight literally and metaphorically (morally). The graphic nature (murder, rape) of many scenes were portrayed with restraint. There is really too much to content to be adequately portrayed on film by Don McKellar's script does a respectable job.
More reviews to follow in the coming days.
Friday, August 29, 2008
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you've eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
10. Baba ghanoush
13. PB&J sandwich (stable for breakfast still today)
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (apple, strawberry, gooseberry)
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries (strawberries literally in a field in Newfoundland)
23. Foie gras (thanks to my sister)
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi (mango not salted alas)
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (Med school graduation party)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (eaten in Bangkok and paid for this later that night)
43. Phaal (also paid for this later)
44. Goat's milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth US$120 or more
47. Chicken tikka masala
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
60. Carob chips
66. Frogs' legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (absolutely not....not sure if I would even if I was dying of hunger)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
79. Lapsang souchong
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
90. Criollo chocolate
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
I have eaten/drank 71 of the items which is not really surprising as I am food obsessed, willing to try anything once (except Roadkill), grew up on two continents and love to travel. The best thing is I have another 28 items to try!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
The Pulled Chicken was the easiest to assemble by far (and I did two full meals). The best smelling pre-cooked dish was the Korean Orange Spice Flatiron steaks. As a wicked thunderstorm raged outside, we sipped on our glasses of wine and snacked on shrimp dip as we put together our meals. Then, the inevitable happened, the lights went out and did not come back on.
This led to measuring ingredients by flashlight before the staff of Supperworks lit the towers of candles which I suspect had been use primarily for decoration until this night.
Checking to see if the ground beef was properly mixed as the greatest challenge even by candlelight. Of course, the proof of the meal quality is in the eating which I'll be checking out (and reporting on) in the next few weeks.
Monday, July 28, 2008
I have done mostly what men do,
And pushed it out of my mind;
But I can't forget, if I wanted to,
Four-Feet trotting behind.
Day after day, the whole day through--
Wherever my road inclined--
Four-Feet said, 'I am coming with you!'
And trotted along behind.
Now I must go by some other round--
Which I shall never find--
Some where that does not carry the sound
Of Four-Feet trotting behind.
--- Rudyard Kipling ---
Sunday, July 27, 2008
At about 11 pm, the city of Hamilton municipal crew came along and started the clean up. One crew chain-sawed the branches while another crew fed the pieces into a wood chipper. The noise was horrendous and lasted well into the early morning hours. Since we could not sleep, most of my house neighbours came out to watch the clean up with a few glasses of wine.
By morning, this was all that remained of the Great Oak and later, another truck came to take the trunk away as well.
The Argentina couple stared in disbelief at the state of their car. There was significant structural damage that the car was deemed a write-off by the insurance. In fact, they used copies of these pictures to get their full claim.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
B: Really, well the last time I was here, the bag was done in 5.
A: Squeezing or no squeezing
B: No squeezing
A: Let's get the nurse to watch the timers today.
B: You're on.
A: Who would think blood donation could be a competitive sport?
B: You realize we're talking about how fast we could exsanguinate, eh?
A&B are both health care professionals too.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Another benefit of the conference was catching up with old friends from residency, medical school and other conferences. With the absent provincial sales tax, there was plenty of incentive for shopping (and plenty of success too). There were some splendid meals at "Catch" and the Belvedre. These oysters at "Catch" were quite yummy as was the steamed snow crab and Dungeness crab legs drenched in chilli butter which I had for the main course.
Calgary itself was also in prep mode for the upcoming stampede. Faux rodeo stalls and straw on 8th Avenue as well as the ever increasing number of men and women in cowboy garb. We got out of town just in time before the madness was to begin. A quick but relaxing trip out west.
Friday, June 20, 2008
It had to happen of course on my vacation but thankfully on the last day of diving in the Red Sea. With my full scuba gear on, I stepped from the MY Fraser into the Zodiac. Poof! That was it, the last remaining shreds of my right ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) were gone as my right knee collapsed. A moment of brief pain followed by a few hours of numbness and swelling.
As I suspected and confirmed by my orthopedic surgeon and my MRI last Wednesday, I have completely torn my ACL ligament. There are some strain on the collateral ligaments but no fractures. After two weeks of physiotherapy, I can walk reasonably well but limp a little after long hours of ambulation especially after call.
What awaits me, possible surgery to reconstruction of the knee particularly if the mensical tears worsen (manifested by increased pain and grinding in the knee) and if the knee becomes more unstable over time. Arthritis is more likely in the right knee over time.
As I hobble about last Thursday night during a 3am delivery, the husband of one of my patients asked me what was the matter with my knee. I pondered about the extent of my answer....ACL tear, how it happened, prognosis but my immediate answer was "I've got Tiger Woods' injury." Of course, Tiger is a world class golfer and I am at best an avid diver. My injury was sustained after a relatively minor and low impact activity (walking into a Zodiac) as oppose to repetitive high velocity drives that probably left Tiger with his injury.
This husband replied "So, do you get to take the rest of the year off too?"
My retort was "No, sadly, I'd be lucky to get a month off to rest after the surgery!".
Thus perhaps illustrating the greatest difference between Tiger and myself.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I love the clownfish/anemonefish too. At Daedalus reef, we chanced upon a cluster of anemones at about 15-17m at one particular spot dubbed "Anemone City". Loads of the residents were about as well as few of their babies.
Daedalus reef is known for its large pelgaic creatures and at this time of the year, the hammerheads were in full swing. In fact, at Daedalus reef, we saw sharks on almost every dive and one day, on all four dives. This ranged from the oceanic white tip sharks (accompanied by their pilot fish) to Gray fin reef sharks to a rare thresher to the famous hammerheads (which are quite often seen at this reef at this time of the year). The above (and video clips on next posting) are from the first day of diving at Daedalus. This began with a 5am wake up call to our dive briefing on this day and we were in the water just after 6am which quite a feat for a non-morning person like myself. As we hovered in the ocean blue a few metres away from the sight of the reef, we saw our first hammerheads swimming ABOVE us bathed in the glow of the morning sun. Now that's a site with waking up for! This was just the start of a glorious day of diving.
The Brothers are two islands in the Red Sea which are so named for their similarity in shape. The large of the two, Big Brother has a lighthouse it. Both are renowed for their fabulous soft and hard corals, marine life (large and small) and clear waters...simply the best diving anywhere with the concentration of things to see! Big Brother also has two wrecks on it: The Aida and the Numidia.
This shot was taken at Little Brother. It is of several masked butterfly fish and as one of my friends has commented, it appears to have been taken in an aquarium. The reef that day was indeed awash in radiant beams. This is what much of the diving was like....in the fish bowl presay with the other marine life.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Today, as if we weren't mummied out, it was off to a special King Tut exhibit at the new O2 venue out near Canary Wharf. Less is more is the theme here and thankfully so. Choice pieces of the boy king's tomb were on display with excellent presentation marks. Gorgeous jewellery, be welled daggers, very rare portable chests, an engraved car touche chest and so many incredible treasures made this exhibit a highlight of the trip. Strangely, the elongated skulls of Nefertiti and other members of Ahkaten's family (King Tut's alleged father), resembled the crystal skull of the new Indy IV movie.
It was off to explore the sites of Westminster city including the Abbey, Parliament buildings, Jewel tower and the views from the Embankment. The meal of the day was a traditional greasy fish and chip lunch (delicious from Fryer's Delight) To walk off this meal, we headed down from Inns and Temples of the Law courts to the South Bank. Taking the Tate Museum (newly graffiti ed by design), the Shakespeare Globe and then a few ales/Guinness at The George (an inn which was entertained Shakespeare and Darwin).
Dinner on our first night was a thali meal at a local curry house (actually a good restaurant) called Marsala Zone. The meal consisted of butter chicken, chicken Marsala, chapattis, two curried veggies, Dal and a yogurt dessert....delicious washed down with a splendid mango lassi.
Now it is off to the land of ancient Pharaohs!
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Monday, March 31, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Sunday, March 02, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Thankfully, there was Trimacet, an excellent analgesia which was coupled with warm and loving back massages from Mr. Hippo and cold compresses. Mom provided the requisite comfort food of rice porridge/congee with pork, chicken and preserved pickled vegetables.
I did get a lot of movie watching done.....Brick, Air Guitar Nation, Eastern Promises, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Assassination of Jesse James and Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street....as well as finish more than half of Bel Canto. Alas, as with all illnesses, the end comes.....at the start of Monday, the beginning of the work week.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
During this past holiday season, I finally completed Deepta Mehta's trilogy. Having seen Fire on CBC a few times and renting Water last year, I have had to find Earth. But it was in Rogers' Video this week and what a movie. Unconventional and complicated in its depiction of love and betrayal amongst a group of Hindu, Sikh and Muslim friends during the last days of pre-partition Pakistan's Lahore. The only film where I dislike Aamir Khan's role but what a grand performance. Then there was Wong Kar Wai's masterpiece, In the Mood for Love. The music, camera angles, costume and dialogue were in vocative of a time and place that is lost and almost forgotten....Hong Kong in the 1950s. Maggie Cheung's hair and cheongsams were so meticulously constructed, it was not surprising to learn that her makeup, hair and costume took hours. The plot slowly evolved in quiet, pensive and simple scenes. His last film was 2046 that I found far more abstract as 2046 may have been a time or a place or both. His trilogy started with Days of Being Wild which I have yet to see.
Of course, January is the run up to the awards season. So I have been catching up on loads of great movies. The Romanian film, 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days, depicted a gritty and bleak world of terminating a pregnancy. This films seeks not to be pro-choice or pro-life but focuses on a totalitarian world run by a heartless bureaucracy where only the work of a true friendship saves the day at a huge price. Filmed with a hand held camera to convey a near documentary style, it brings home the fear and urgency of the plight of the protaganists. Not surprising that it won the Palme d'Or this year.
Against my better judgement, I did see Charlie Wilson's war. The true story of a Congressman who managed to raise the budget for the largest covert CIA operation in history. Charlie Wilson raised money to buy and train the mujahideen against the Soviets. I had mixed feelings about this storyline for as we now know, the defeat of the Soviets and the fall of the Cold War, has brought more problems out from the rise of capitalism in the former soviet republics and of course, the rise of the Taliban. Anyway, the only good reason to see the movie is the fabulous scene stealing Philip Seymour Hoffman as the CIA agent with a name that sounds like a fruit.
I'll skip over Atonement altogether save to comment on the gorgeous performance from James McAvoy. I found, however, the relationship between he and Keira Knightley's character lacking well passion. My favourite pick of movies though is No country for old men. This Coen Brothers film delivers award winning performances from both Javier Bardiem and Josh Brolin. The tense interplay between the two lead characters is the key to this film. Quirky like Fargo but accompanied by a sharper and surprisingly funny dialogue, the film's tense and suspenseful direction leads to its unexpected and unconventional end. However, all this talk of award season but be for nought. Neither the Globe Globes or the Academy Awards may occur....you see these award shows needs writers too and well, you see the screenwriters are on strike.