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Monday, July 28, 2008

Babu goes to the happy hunting grounds....


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

Another fallen tree story

My cousin's recent post about cutting down a tree in her neighbourhood: gave me cause to reminisce about a dark and stormy night nearly 9 years ago when the Great Oak in front of my house apartment in Hamilton finally came to a end.

It had been raining for most of the month of April and most of us who lived in the apartments of this old 100 year old house noticed that there were a few green leaves and twigs on the Great Oak in the front yard. The rest of the neighbour trees appeared to springing to life with light green foliage or flowers. On this dark and very rainy night, I returned to my home after dinner with some friends to find that the streetlights on my street were off and the police had block off the road.

I parked on an adjacent street and as I approached my home, I saw the fallen tree which crushed one of my house neighbours. They were a couple from Argentina who were doing their PhDs at McMaster university. I learnt later that they had just returned home as well and as they entered the front door of the house, there was a loud crack. The couple turned around to witness the crush of their car by the dying oak. It was naturally quite fortunate that they were not in the car itself.
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


A: Hey, I can fill that in about 10 minutes.
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

Western Skies

It was a great idea having the SOGC conference in Calgary this year but I was thinking it would have even been better if it was in Banff! However, with scenery like this, everyone may be staring at the outdoors and no one would be at the lectures and workshops.
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.