Archive for February, 2003

Welcome Home, It's -35º

I said “do you speak my language?”
and he just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich

Down Under

Men At Work

Since my plan (almost as fictitious as the Canadian immigration policy) is to go back and review the vacation and write up what happened, I will only cover here the few days between our return to Canada and our return to work on Monday.

The flight home was a nightmare from the perspective of potential peril. There were no seats at all free on any of our flights which meant that I was sitting upright for a total of 23 hours. Of course I had a weight belt to stabilize me but still even without any injuries of any kind, it was cruel and unusual punishment. As we got closer to Toronto, the skies were clear and bright and the temperature so they said was only about 1 or 2 degrees above freezing… perfect or so we thought. What they didn’t tell us was that the following Monday would be the coldest March 3rd in about a hundred years with a temperature of -21º and a wind chill of -35º. Yeah, sure we are happy to be here instead of laying by the pool or frolicking in the surf…

As for my physical state, I am tanned. That of course doesn’t really make up for the fact that I walk with a cane in case my leg crumbles beneath me but at least I am not a ghost against the snow. I am wearing a weightlifting belt, something I haven’t done even at the gym for many many years since I stopped squatting, but now I wear it as support and am told by my physio that it actually encourages the muscles to contract, and that it will not cause the muscles of my back to become reliant and lose their tone. Apparently there have been studies done.

Nicole is well, she is far more tanned than I and has enjoyed the results of daily running and walking many miles and is looking fabulous (not that she didn’t before, but how can you compliment a woman for improving without implying that she was sub-par previously?) Anyway, she is well, covered in new clothes and almost completely blonde. The cats are just wonderful, we were both over the moon to see them again and unlike most cats I have had up to this point, they were not sulking and moody with us for the next few days. In fact, they were obviously relieved to see us and slept with us over the next few nights, something they have rarely done to this point. So we are back into the home groove, we rested all weekend in preparation for work and were seemingly not much worse for wear for the Jet Lag we had. Our sleeping patterns returned to normal after only 2 days which was a little surprising even with our sporadic and, I am sure, completely inappropriate use of Melatonin.

Oh, and I threw out the piece of pizza that was left in the box on the kitchen table from before we left.

And finally welcome home to war… at least we can laugh at it:

A truly Canadian Apology to the USA…
Courtesy of Rick Mercer from “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” CBC Television:

On behalf of Canadians everywhere I’d like to offer an apology to the United States of America. We haven’t been getting along very well recently and for that, I am truly sorry.

I’m sorry we called George Bush a moron. He is a moron but, it wasn’t nice of us to point it out. If it’s any consolation, the fact that he’s a moron shouldn’t reflect poorly on the people of America. After all it’s not like you actually elected him.

I’m sorry about our softwood lumber. Just because we have more trees than you doesn’t give us the right to sell you lumber that’s cheaper and better than your own.
I’m sorry we beat you in Olympic hockey. In our defense I guess our excuse would be that our team was much, much, much, much better than yours.

I’m sorry we burnt down your White House during the war of 1812. I notice you’ve rebuilt it! It’s Very Nice.

I’m sorry about your beer. I know we had nothing to do with your beer but, we Feel your Pain.

I’m sorry about our waffling on Iraq. I mean, when you’re going up against a crazed dictator, you wanna have your friends by your side. I realize it took more than two years before you guys pitched in against Hitler, but that was different. Everyone knew he had weapons.

And finally on behalf of all Canadians, I’m sorry that we’re constantly apologizing for things in a passive-aggressive way which is really a thinly veiled criticism. I sincerely hope that you’re not upset over this.

We’ve seen what you do to countries you get upset with.

Thank you.

What Choice Do I Have But To Believe?

The space shuttle Columbia,
carrying a crew of seven,
broke up Saturday morning
200,000 feet above Texas.

CNN e-mail alert

February 1. Saturday.

Pain 9
Mobility 1

It is amazing how pain can reduce the size of the world to fit you as snugly as a cheap suit. To the exclusion of everything and everybody, even the powerful and addictive narcotics can’t divert my attention from my own tiny little world of hurt.

The pain is now absent from my back, but has progressed from the exterior quadriceps to the medial area, and is moving down towards the teardrop above my knee. I cannot stand without pain, there is no delay, no respite, just mind-numbing acid-fire flowing through the wasting muscles of my thigh.