Monday, March 23, 2009

It's the meds, alright....

I've got this little head cold. The kind where everything I do feels like slow motion.

Couple that with this allergy pill that I took last night, and it was a TKO at 9 p.m.

I think the women at Shopper's Drug Mart think I'm a junkie who doesn't know how to pick the right meds. On Saturday, I went in for anti diarrhea pills. Yesterday was sore throat meds, and today was Vicks vaporub, and sinus pills. Talk about an awesome pill party!!!

Anyway, aside from that, it's finally warming up here. I can see greenish grass poking through the remnants of the winter ice, and we enjoyed a walk in the plus 4 weather.
On a side note, why does liquefied dog poo decide to stay on the sidewalk, while everything else just washes away?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Flood watch 2009

It's that lovely time of year again here in Manitoba.
As the snow and ice melts, it brings tons of water from the rivers and the surrounding area.
Our neighbours to the South in Grand Forks ND have the same experiences every year.

Our Province bought an additional "Ice buster" this year. It's a modified back hoe with inflatable platforms, and it goes out and breaks up the ice before the dreaded ice jams begin.

I wonder why people continue to build and live along these flood ways. I guess it's the same reason why people rebuild in tornado alley. Stupidity.
I agree that maybe after you fix your house and property after the first flood, you may decide to stay put. My question is - if you know that it's going to happen again, why would you not begin sand bagging around your house and set up pumps before the shit hits the fan?

There were a few people interviewed on the news tonight. They said that they are not worried about the flood, and they are not preparing for the worst case scenario. These are people who have already suffered lots of damage from the first flood. Stupid. I hope these people do not get insurance coverage for their laziness.

During the devastating flood of 1997, I was volunteering here in Winnipeg while I was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces.
They put us up in an Armoury with about 500 other military personnel, and we alternated from sand bagging duties, to delivering supplies, and manning the radios.

One particular night, I was driving with my commanding officer to a Southern part of the city.
We were on security patrol, as there was no power in the community, and the residents were ordered to evacuate.
I had directions to get to our command post, but all I had to go on was a light on a generator set off in the distance.
The river had swelled well over 10 feet past the banks, and by this time, my headlights were under the murky, cold, fast flowing water.
In our military "Iltis" jeeps, there are fording plates which we fix to the front of the vehicle. As long as the air intake just below the windshield stays dry, the jeep continues to run - even being submerged.
The water was pushing the jeep to the left, and by this time it was almost up to my armpits. I continued to head straight for the lights ahead, with the theme from "Jaws" playing in my head. I was picturing that ride in Disney World where Jaws comes up and bites the boat.
It was an eerie feeling, not being able to see anything ahead of you, your headlights under water, and being tits deep in spring melt water.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, as we were sand bagging later that night, the Labatt brewery truck pulled up.
They started off loading cases of beer, free for anyone to take. We were quickly reminded that this was a "dry exercise", therefore we could not have any alcohol. All of the civilians who were out helping dropped what they were doing, hoisted as much beer as they could carry, and continued to drink all of the beer while we continued to build up the temporary walls of defense.

Oh, I also got some mystery immunizations while on exercise. To this day, they never told us what the shots were for, or what possible long term effects they may have on us.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Eagles review

On Friday night, I had a chance to see a North American iconic band.
As the lights went out, and the announcer said "Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats. The show is about to begin."

And what a show it was.

Glenn Frey took to the microphone, and greeted the sold out crowd. "Hello Winnipeg Manitoba. It's summer in here tonight!!."
After the show, I heard that the band requested that the heat be turned up - to a modest 23 degrees Celsius. Add 15,015 people, and that heat just keeps going up. They wanted it warm to save their voices.

Is it just me, or could Glenn be a long lost twin to Huey Lewis?

It was a two set show, with the band playing mostly older stuff for the first set.
Of course, I was waiting for Hotel California, which began by a guy cast in a red hue, playing a slow sultry trumpet solo.
Don Henley played the drums for this song, and the next three or four songs. I always give a guy credit when he plays the drums and sing at the same time. (See Phil Collins)
Before the show, a guy was telling me that the band has opened with that same song since 1971. Not tonight.

My personal favorite of the evening was "Love will Keep us Alive". Timothy Schmit is hard to look at, but wow, does he have an awesome voice.
Mr. Joe Walsh was also here, gracing us with some kick ass guitar solos. I love how he would get up onto his tippy - toes for those longer high notes.
The band never played "Rocky Mountain Way", as I was hoping for, but Walsh still had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand with "In the city".

For a band that has been feuding for many years, they played very well together.
I found out before the show that all 4 members arrived and left at separate times, with each member having his own dressing room and attendants.

There were even arena staff assigned to keep two of the band mates split up during the intermission.

The view from our seats was amazing. We were to the right of the stage, about 60 feet from the band.
At an average price of $250 per ticket, the Eagles treated their fans to a show worth every penny.
It has been 30 years since they were in Winnipeg (they played an outdoor show in 1978), but they sound as good as they did back then.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I'm speechless...has "Hell Frozen Over?!?!"

I have gotten to know one of my patients pretty well this week.
As he was sitting in his room with his wife last evening, he stopped to ask me a question.

Patient: "Don't feel obligated to say yes, but we were wondering if you would like to accompany us to the Eagles concert tomorrow."

Me:"Uh, YES!!"

Patient: "A good friend of ours is the V.P. of marketing at the local arena, and said that we can bring you along. I'd also feel better if a nurse were to escort me there."

Me: "Uh, yeah, let me talk to my wife, although I'm sure she'll be fine with it..."

Patient: "This will be the first time I've left the hospital in 7 weeks, and I would feel better if you were to come with me. I want you to have fun too."

Can you believe that? He was the one stuck in a hospital bed for the last two months, and he wants me to have fun.
I consider myself to be a casual Eagles fan (my dad is the die-hard), but I want to go just for his sake, so that he can relax and enjoy himself. As he was talking to me, his eyes were filling with tears, and it was hard to say anything, except "I'm flattered that you want me to go."

I will be in a private suite with my patient (now friend), his wife and a bunch of his associates.

I will also be at his beck and call tonight. It has been a long, hard 7 weeks, and I'm going to make sure he can escape from reality for a little while. It's nice to know that there are still genuinely nice people in this world....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I wear my sunglasses at night.....

Title credit to one of Canada's treasures, Mr. Corey Hart.

While on my drive home from work tonight, I was waiting to turn right on a red light.
A woman exited a nearby money loan place - wearing sunglasses. Uh, it's 8:00 p.m. and it's dark outside. Why the hell are you wearing shades?

I had my window open a crack, since it is a balmy 0 degrees Celsius, and I think I said something along the lines of "Why are you wearing shades, you f'ing moron?"
I guess she heard me judging by the glance she directed my way, then picked up her pace to cross the street.

Pet peeve #5 - people who wear sunglasses at night, or in the bar. This includes you, Mr. Hart....

Monday, March 2, 2009

An alternate universe where my phone doesn't receive phone calls

One thing that really get to me, is when people don't return phone calls.
I leave them a message or two, and expect a call back.

I called my mom on Sunday (her birthday) and said Happy birthday, blah blah, call me back. Nothing.

I call the Nursing agencies that I work with about my availability. They never call back.

I repeatedly call our leasing office to remind them of our broken stove/carpet needing to be cleaned/hole in our bathroom ceiling. No calls back.
Finally, I went in to pay rent today, and reminded them that we are still waiting for a guy to come clean our carpets. The lady (who sports a 1960's beehive hairdo - I shit you not) looked up and said "Oh, he still hasn't done that? He was here yesterday....."

I said no such guy entered our home, so she jotted our suite number down on a piece of paper, and told me that it "may be a while, because we don't have anyone else on the list."
How about US, who have been on this "list" for almost 6 friggin' months!!

The lady did call back about an hour ago to tell me that a painter will be in to look at our bathroom. Here's a quick question - how does paint help hide a hole the size of a quarter in a ceiling? Plus, I really could care less about that right now, I want these carpets cleaned.

I swear to you, we don't live in the slums. I think they get better service. And returned phone calls.