Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Female Physician

The Female Physician
-by William Hay

I was in London at the time. My young wife and I were dancers. We had just bicycled across Europe. Now we were studying dancing in the dance capital of the world, working during the days to pay for night dance classes.  Both our teachers were world champions. Hers was Bill Irvin, world champion  of classic dance. Mine was Doreen Key,  Latin American world champion.  

We were young  athletes then. In top physical shape.   We moved like young animals.  She was a cat. I was more a wolf. Lithe. Powerful. In America we’d appeared on television. Individually, together, and chorus line.  Here the  rumour was dance was the next Olympic sport. We wanted to compete.  

She’d been a ballet dancer all her life . I’d come to dance as a teen ager from gymnastics,  martial arts and theatre stunt work.  Here we were, young,  in love, at the height of Mod.  It was the time of The Beatles and Rolling Stones.We shopped the boutiques on Oxford Street  We drank black and tans in English pubs, house wines in pate bars and cafes.  We didn’t do drugs.  We’d dropped acid in Toronto and smoked hashish in Morocco. The drug scene wasn’t where we were in London.  It was all about the  music and the dance and theatre.  

The  dark side was the IRA.  They were bombing fairly regularly.  The Queen spoke out against them.

We heard her on the radio.  We didn’t have a tv in the flat.  We were living  sparse. Tiny furnished flat, no kitchen, bath, sink and tub,   little table, 2 chairs, bed. The loo outside, across the entrance.   

“My throat hurts something fierce, “ I croaked one morning.
“You should see a doctor.” she said.
“Do you really think so?” I asked, hardly audible.
She put the back of her hand to my head.  
 “You’ve got a bloody fever.  Phone in sick and go to the clinic.”

This exchange happened in the bed.   It was winter.  We had to feed the meter to get heat. Mornings were always coldest.  Feeling sorry for myself I watched her get out of bed, her sweater over her short lingerie.  She fumbled about in the bottom of  her purse,   finding a coin for the meter.  She came back to bed.  I dozed.

There was warmth in the room and she was dressed when I got up  and got ready. We were always pretty quick getting ready. We didn’t like to spend money on heat.  Out on the street we joined the  the throngs of others heading towards the city trains.

I stopped at the telephone booth, hugging and kissing her before she continued on her way.  She looked back once and waved, giving me that incredibly beautiful big mouthed smile photographers loved.  She had on tan high heel boots that enhanced  her strong dancer calves,   dark tights, short  short blue mini skirt.  Above that  she wore the warm white sheep skin coat we'd brought back from Morrocco.  She always looked good.  Heads turned wherever she walked.  Sometimes she stopped traffic.

Now she was gone, lost in the streams of others heading up to London. 

I stepped into the red telephone booth, the kind that Clark Kent changed out of his journalist clothes into his Superman underwear in. I didn’t feel like Superman. I felt punked.  I phoned the office where I worked temporary letting them know I’d not be in today.

The clinic was further along, down a side street.  We passed it on the way to the our local pub.  Many an evening we’d gone there  for a pint.  There was always a crowd of friendly locals glad to hang out, glad to include us, glad to chat.  They served cheese and onion sandwiches or steak and kidney pies. The local pubs closed at 10:30.    I liked guiness.  She liked shanties. The double decker bus stopped across the street. We’d taken it once to a near by  theatre with a local group doing something modern. We preferred the West End. Whenever we could we’d stay after work in the city to take in a play Friday night.

“Can I help you?” the young girl asked me at the desk.  She wore a crisp white uniform and sat at an Olivetti manual type writer.  A couple of others were already in the waiting room. A couple of  old ladies. Frail, sitting together like white haired birds clutching their bags and brollies on their laps.

“I’ve a sore throat,”I croaked.

“And a cough and fever,” I added, to give  substance to my complaint.  

“Do you have identification?” she asked. I’m sure she could tell I was Canadian by my accent. The English were very good at hearing where you were from even in their own country or their own city.  Just by listening to a sentence or two, they seemed to know right off where hailed from, geographically as well as class.  Class was important in England.  We got lumped in the category, “colonials’, up some from ‘foreigners’.

I’d remembered to bring my passport. I gave it to her along with my other papers.    She set it down beside her manual typewriter and began efficiently punching and pounding the keys    She had flax blond hair  and what the English called a ‘peaches and cream complexion.”

“Here,’ she said, giving me back my passport and papers and handing me a  form,  “take this and give it to the doctor when she calls you.”  

“I took a seat beside the old ladies who smelt somewhat “old”. I imagined that if was my normal self it  it might  be an even more distinctive scent.  

I’d also heard the  girl say ‘her’ and thought about that. I’d never seen a female doctor. The doctor I’d had growing up was a man.  I’d not seen a doctor more than once or twice. I was usually very fit and not one to go to the doctor.   That was how sick I was. 

A moment later a mother and her child came out of the inner office at the end of the waiting room.  The  boy was licking  a red lolly pop. The mother thanked the woman doctor.  She followed her  little boy as he made a wide berth around  the old ladies as if fearing they might steal  his candy.

“Come along now,” said the taller than I’d imagined woman doctor. She wore comfortable shoes , black mini skirt, white lab coat.  The old ladies  moved quickly into her office showing more agility and speed  than I’d have thought.  They carried their bags and brollies with them.

Time passed. I  sat there listening to the sound of the traffic outside,  the rat tat tat tat of the girl’s typing. 

Finally the door opened.   The ladies leaving, thanked the doctor, profusely.  They each clasped prescriptions and managed still to carry their  bags and brollys.

“Come in,” she said, looking at me.

I stood and walked in.  A  big cluttered executive oak  desk dominated the room.  A rotating leather cushioned wooden chair sat behind the desk.  A couple of bare wooden chairs in front of it.   To one side was an examining table half hidden by a ceiling hung curtain. A glass and metal cabinet with drawers, some white gauze and stainless steel instruments just visible too. Otherwise the room was bare.  No pictures.  Sterile. Clinical.   

She took the form from my hand sitting behind the big desk and and gesturing for me to sit in one of the wooden chairs in front of the desk.  I felt it still warm from one of the last occupants. 

She looked down at the form, then up at me, 

“Sore throat?” she said. “When did it come on?”

“I think It began last night but it  was really sore  when I woke this morning,” I croaked.

“Nothing else?”  

“A cough?”

“Dry or wet?”

“Dry , I guess, “  I said, not certain.

She was in her late thirties, early 40’s.  Old to me then. Crow’s feet around her eyes.  Slight forehead wrinkles.  A somewhat sallow complexion.  Indoor sort.  A pleasant enough face. Thin lips.  No make up. Sensible looking.  Intelligent. Brown hair. Brown eyes.  

“Stand back there”  she said. I rose and stood where she’d pointed , directly opposite her desk, a few feet back from  the chairs. She remained seated.

“Take off all your clothes.” she said looking directly at me. She had an almost whimsical look in her eyes.  Serious enough enough but different. 

I removed my over coat and sweater. I didn’t know where to put them. There were no hooks apparent.  No coat hanger.  I piled them on the chair I’d just vacated.   I took off my white shirt and put it on top.  I didn’t wear an undershirt.   I stood there then  naked to the waist.

“Take off the rest. The pants and the underwear. I have to examine you.”  she said emphatically,  taking her eyes off me,  looking back at the form on her desk, making a notation with her silver pen. I continued to undress feeling her eyes back on me. I felt  awkward.  Very awkward.  I was glad for my loafers. They’d been easy to kick off.  Getting my tight jeans off had been difficult. I’d had to balance on one leg and pull.   Slipping out of my white briefs had been easier.  I left the socks on. The floor was cold.  

I stood there then.  A neat pile of my things on the chair in front of me.  She was still watching me.  She had glasses and a silver pen in her hand.   She twirled the pen  as she appeared to  study me.  I was completely  naked. I was embarrassed at my exposed genitals.  I hung my hands at my side, awkwardly.   Standing there , sort of at attention. Waiting.  Not knowing what else to do.  I’d never experienced anything like this.   She continued to look me up and down. She put her  pen down and brushed a strand of hair behind her ear.

Rising very slowly from her desk, leaning forward so her  cleavage showed at it’s best, framed by a touch of black lace bra.  She walked around her desk coming to stand close by my side.  She touched my arm with her hand as she listened with her stethoscope to the front and back of my chest asking me to take deep breaths. She moved  directly in front of me,   very close, her lab coat brushing my naked body.  Taking a wood tongue depressor from the lab coat side pocket she looked in my throat shining a light she’d taken from the  front coat pocket. The buttons on her white blouse were  undone. Her black bra and  cleavage apparent.  She was rather slim and tall. I’m 6 feet and she was almost as tall as I was.   

Her breasts were almost touching me as she put the tongue depressor in my mouth.  She said, ‘say ah “.  I said “ah."  She shone the pen light in my mouth before putting it back in her breast pocket.  She dropped the tongue depressor in a waste basket beside the nearby examining table.   Still very close , her breath sweet on my face, she slowly felt my throat with  fingers of both her hands. All the while she was looking me directly in the eyes.  Her eyes had a kind of twinkle.  It was if she was thinking of a private joke. If there was something funny , I was  missing it.  

She walked around behind  me then and stood for a time looking at my back side. I felt she  was looking   my buttocks and legs.  Then almost suddenly she again came around in front of me.  Looking me in the eyes, her face so close to mine, she reached down, touched my gonads and  stroked the  the underside of my penis with one long finger. She wasn’t wearing gloves.  I became immediately erect.  I’d been just hanging there. Now I was fully upright.. I felt my face go instantly red. 

She smiled smugly then. Up close and personal.

“You can’t control that, can you,” she murmured, tauntingly.  Judgementally.   She was still so close her clothes touched my nakedness. I stood at attention. Hands at my side.  A big boner between us.  My face blushing.  A moment passed. 

She gave me a look of utter disdain.  Then she turned her back on me.  She returned to sitting at her desk, crossing her long bare legs, staring straight at my erection.  I was looking away but felt her eyes studying me. 

“Get dressed, “ she commanded, finally  

I scrambled to do just that, as quickly as I could.  Gangly , awkward. embarrassed.  It was hard to get my feet and legs into my tight jeans standing. I did up my shirt watching her writing out a script.  I didn’t bother putting on my sweater or coat, just tucking them under my arm. 

“Take this,” she said, slipping the script into my hand, standing very close to me as I passed out of that room.   

I was really  glad to get out.  Glad for the prescription.  

It was Amoxicillin.  I pulled on my sweater and put on my coat on the street. A little further along I took the prescription into the apothecary.  I waited as it was filled. I paid for the prescription.   I took the first Amxocillin pill with tea I had at the corner cafe.  I sat there awhile wondering about the visit.  It felt wrong. Not good.

I walked back to the flat still feeling punk.  I put another coin in the meter and climbed  into bed with my clothes on.. I slept the rest of  the day. I don’t remember anything but getting up to pee and taking more antibiotics.

When she came home that evening I was feeling better. My throat wasn’t nearly as sore.  My voice was better too. 
She’d brought along fish and chips wrapped in newspaper bought from a  street seller.  She knew it was my favourite.

“I hoped you’d be able to eat,” she said, handing me the newspaper wrapped bundle.  

I thanked her  hugging her,  enjoying the scent of her.  She only wore perfume going but the natural scent of her never failed to excite me.  She just always smelt so good.  I didn’t kiss her because of my throat.   I hugged her close nestling my face in her neck and hair.  Whenever she was in my arms I felt I was home.

I appreciated it so much that she’d brought back the fish and chips.  I was hungry but hadn’t  paid any attention to it. We were often hungry in London.  Food was expensive. We didn’t have much money and counted every shilling.  With rent,  heat,  train fares, the cost of group and private dance lessons,  and our trying to save every pence to go to theatre on the weekends,  we never anything left over. We livd We both worked in offices temporary during the week. She took whatever overtime she could get. I worked as a bar tender weekends.

“You sound better.” She said.  “You looked so sick this morning I was worried.”    

“Did things go well at the doctor's?”    she asked

“Okay, I guess.” I said. “She gave me amoxicillin. I’m feeling better since I’ve taken it. I slept all day.”

“Did you get anything to eat.”  

“No, just the tea. I really appreciate the fish and chips” I said, eating with my fingers..

“You said, “She”.  Was it a lady doctor? And you said, I guess”. what did you mean.” she asked.

She was always astute. Sensitive, insightful, attuned to any nuance, picking up on every little shift in mood. It was like living with an emotional telepath.  A times it was  annoying.  Right then I appreciated it.

She’d sat down on the bed beside me and waited as I ate the fish and chips. 

I told her the whole story. The old ladies.  The mother. The little boy.  The office. The stripping naked. The doctor looking  in my mouth and then her stroking my penis. My erection.  What she said. My dressing. The apothecary and my coming home.

“Do you think that’s odd?” I said.  

“It’s most peculiar! “ she said.  “Was she good looking?” 

“Okay, Nothing like you.” i said.She smiled.

“Older lady, slim,  tall,  comfortable shoes, not bad looking.”

“Well she certainly was getting off on you.  I think she wanted you to fuck her and when you didn’t she was miffed.  Crazy horny English bitch.  I hope I never become like that.” she said.

“Do you have to go back to see her.” 

“She didn’t say so.”


After that we settled down to read our books. We loved reading novels together. Made trips weekly to the library.

" Do you think you’ll go to work tomorrow.”  she asked.

“I think so”

I don’t remember when I fell asleep. Early, I think. I do remember her crawling into bed beside me. Her body was something incredible. Every curve and crevice special.  She flowed like warm lava.   Feeling her next to me, the two of us spooning in that little bed, in that chilly  room,  in that foreign city, all was right with the world.  She made me feel like home  wherever she was.  It was indescribable how comfortable and good I felt with her.  My life was perfect when she was with me.

it was many years later. Long after the divorce.  We’d come back to Canada. She danced out east. I’d gone west.  I  spent a life time studying medicine, living in laboratories, surgeries, call rooms  and libraries.  I had learned all the clinical medicine and skills a doctor must learn before it  dawned on me.

I think I was an intern doing a routine examination for a sore throat when it all came painfully tumbling back. I remembered her smug words , the disdainful look. “You can’t control that, can you?"

My skin crawled. For a moment I felt physically ill.  Dirty, humiliated.    Ssed.  It was a sudden.  An exact realization.  The opening of an old wound. An abscess popping. Pus leaking out. I don’t think I cried. Men don’t cry.

There was no way that examination had been ‘normal’. There was no ‘justification’ for what she’d done. There was simply no way in hell that any doctor could consider such an examination when presented with those symptoms. There was no way that was the way anyone was taught to do examinations.  I had to become a doctor myself to know that.  I knew. Beyond any doubt I knew.  All those years I’d given her the benefit of the doubt.  No more. I was angry. Crazy horny English bitch!

More years passed.  I delivered alot of babies, did surgery and examined countless bodies.  I worked in universities, hospitals,  my own  practices.  Another divorce.  The psychiatrist I was seeing for psychoanalytic training asked me in passing. 

“Do you think your marrying a female physician was ‘identification with the aggressor?” I’d told him about England. I’d  told him about my shame.  We’d talked for hours on end for several years about relationships, family,  love, lust,  work. He knew me better than I knew myself in some ways.  

There was no couch. Just comfortable chairs in a low lit room.  He was a soft spoken older man. I’d chose him for his brilliance and wisdom.  I’d admired his work with patients. His compassion. I wanted to be the kind of psychiatrist I knew him to be.

“Identification with the aggressor?” I asked.

“Yes, like in the Stockholm syndrome. You know.”

“I do. But I just never thought about it like that.  It was never that important.  Just a passing thing.  I told you my wives were brilliant and  beautiful.”

“I know. I don’t doubt it.” he went on.     “But there was the shame. The humiliation. You remember it . You talk about it. Not just once. It’s come up again. “ he said, looking at me, 
intently, caringly.

“I guess so.” I said.  There was silence then.

“It wasn’t that big a deal.” I said.

I tried not to think about it again.  I’d already told him my divorces were all my fault.  There were no extenuuating circumstances. I was a man. I was responsible.  I was always to blame.  That’s what being a man was. Being accountable.  Adults were accountable.  Life served lemons. Make lemonade. 

“Are we done for today,” I asked.

“If you wish,” he said.  I left then.  I took my jacket and the sweater I’d taken off  under my arm. I  didn’t put them on  until I  was out in the street.  I didn’t want to think about this anymore.  I didn’t like being reminded of it either. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Betrayals, Leaks, Gag Orders, Transparency

Loose lips sink ships. We’re at war again.  Government demands that even doctors be silent.  Everywhere there are gag orders, paranoia, overbearing dominance, control freaks.
I read Fire and Fury and feel how had sad it must be to not know who to trust.  Lewinsky comes to mind and the people who used her. Not just Bill Clinton, in that age old two backed beast, but the competition.  Now Donald Trump moves into a nest of the enemies partisans and must somehow survive in the changing of the guards.  It’s happening not just in Washington but all over the world , over and over again. So much faith required. So much bravery and trust.  Then so much deceit and dishonesty and media like vultures.
I can’t help but ask what Weinstein did that he was sacrificed. Out of a high density of perverts pedophiles drug addicts and down right contemptible Hollywood animals, why is he put on display. And even worse all those who now bite the hand that feeds.  Was he the toughest to be martyred or did he hurt some one worse. Is he merely a token scapegoat.  Or is this just business as usual.  Scandal sells news and movies.
Here in BC the police said they flew their helicopters over Vancouver Island and found and caught a marijuana grower.  Since the whole of the island was a divided up gang run grow operation we all concluded that yes in deed one could be caught for growing marijuana but only if you insulted the police chief personally.  Drug dealing in BC is Billions in business and countless officials remain uncaught.  The rush is on to legalize marijuania.  So many children put through school with the avails of crime. So many criminals.
Even Jesus couldn’t choose 12 good men who would not betray him. Judas for the paltry sum of 20 pieces of silver betrayed God to the authorities.  For a day in the limelight women and men reveal or make up stories of sexual indiscretion. The truth is unimportant.  The ratio of fake news has shifted so far.   The lies merely muddy the waters.  Lawyers for both sides buy stories like Hollywood producers. But this is Washington and Moscow. There’s no decorum.  Politics isn’t pretty.  There’s just fibs and false accusation and rumors and rumors of war.
I am here thinking of the abortions I have known.  Happy with my dog and cat and wondering about her killing our baby.  How different life would have been.  And always the guilt that I couldn’t have done more. At least to have been arrested and jailed like all those other men betrayed I know. I did all that could be done within the law. I trusted the government. I trusted the system.  Then there was death.  A child no more. I live with guilt and shame.
I was so naive when I was young. I thought killers were another species. I thought those who betrayed and lied and made up stories were only psychopaths and sociopaths. I didn’t know how little people sold their honor for. I never realized the cheapness of life till I was so much older.
I’m thankful to my parents for that.  I am so thankful to my friends and neighbours.  When I was young we could rely on each other.  There was the farm too and Grand dad and the uncles. There was the whole extended family, a great army of family and friends that somehow in some way could be relied on. There was also the belief in the law and the government.
I was so naive.  It was years before the true disillusionment set in.  Seeing so many with addictions and knowing how little they’d sell their souls for, for the next hit.  The diseases of the heart. The diseases of the mind. The diseases of the soul. I read Job and just watched Noah on TV.  The question of purpose and truth are always there’s.
So many people angry at so many groups so that taking a swing at anyone might land a strike against oppression. Oppression is the buzz word. Halcyon cries.  Everyone is offended. Everyone is entitled. There’s violence in the air. There’s blaming and shaming.
Comic books with super hero’s abound.
I’m amazed each day though at the thousands of people who drive their cars between the lines.  I am moved by all those who simply show up for work.  I’ve set the alarm and will soon shower and shave  and dress. I’ve fed the dog and cat. A half century of doing no less.
There’s all these people who don’t betray, the steady eddies. Those folk who just go about their business. The lights and water are working today because of them.
I love to see the cranes in the sky line. There are women showing humps. Springs not here yet but if I just look there’s so much proof of the basic goodness of so many.  There’s all this evidence of hope and faith. People who are not like Judas.  People who don’t make false statements.  People who live for more than to be another critic, another ‘deconstructionist’, another arrogant, privileged ‘know it all’. There were 11 disciples who served Jesus.  More joined.
The governments in Washington, London, Moscow, Beijing, Victoria all continue to run because there’s good people.  A new dawn will come and there will be again transparency in Canada. The deals behind closed doors will grow fewer. We will know peace. A new day will dawn. These things cycle like the days of the week.
It’s Monday. I’ve just to get to Friday then I’ll have another weekend to recuperate.  Now off to the front lines. Off to face the lottery.  I don’t even know if my heart or brain will fail me but best be on my way.  It’s so hard to worry about ‘leaks’, ‘betrayals’, ‘theieves’, ‘psychopaths’ and ‘sociopaths. All the people who bite the hands that feed.
And we say , ‘some are sicker than others’. So we pray for those in government especially the cowardly beurocrats who nonetheless ‘suit up and show up’.
Thank you Jesus that I’ve awoken another day so can see what the Gods and Goddesses of Government will be up to day.  Help me to do my little bit, to serve you and to do my job. Help me fulfill my part. Help me play the kazoo in this symphony of life with as much sweetness and skill as is possible. And thank you for the dreams of sailing you gave me last night.  Fair winds and falling seas today.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Fire and Fury, Michael Wolf - the fog of war and old men talking at MacDonalds

Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolf is an amazing read.  What a truly creative writer.  A great novel.  Whether there’s truth, who can tell. It’s mostly a smattering of facts and a whole bunch of impression but written like a Tom Clancy or Harlen Coban blockbuster.  Truly a great drama.
One of the great compliments of the Trump Clinton campaign was that it was the first time in years that Americans and the rest of the world actually paid attention to American politics sometimes even switching off the NFL games to watch the debate.  After years of closed doors and back room dealings, corruption and cover up with both the Democrat and Republican administrations of late here was definitely something new. The press debate/roast with Donald and Hillary will remain for me one of the best entertainments I’ve seen in years, quite a contrast to the posed regular debates which nonetheless had more appeal than anything happening in Canada and elsewhere in the world.  European politics has long become snooze fests and politics in dictatorships and communists countries and Muslim religious fiats are simply ‘fixed’.  America remains the free world.
Fire and Fury reads like the beach scene of Saving Private Ryan.  It’s all action reaction and happening in real time. I really think Michael Wolf, like the Private Ryan directors and photographers, has transcended the genre of the day to truly capture in his style of writing the reality of politics.  Competing personalities, last minute decisions, reversals, left fielders and end runs, it’s all the fog of war. Who could have guessed the media would be so ‘fake’, or the security agencies so entrenched.  No one, including Donald Trump saw himself as winning.  And Michael Wolf captures this well. The true novelty of the occasion.  It’s Churchill and Kennedy and Breznev.  It’s Mao and Stalin, Napoleon, Disraeli,  all  great leaders of the world , not necessarily admired, nor ones we would choose, but still, there’s that magnificence. History if full of eccentricity and character.  Rivalries and personality. There’s the eccentric and the individual.  It’s an amazing romp.
What I believe is true, is that all the presidents who have gone before have had much more of the chaos and personality that Michael Wolf captures so well, than the decorum and spin doctoring the Bush /Obama years and before demanded.  Prior to Saving Private Ryan’s beach scene, veterans felt that most depiction of war were ‘staged’ and often  ‘sanitized and white washed’.  In the actual conflict there’s body parts and bits of brains flying about,  utter horror and a cacophony of noise and general chaos. It's been dubbed, ‘the fog of war’ because no one knows what is going on literally. Further whatever plans one had are lost the moment they encounter the reality of conflicts.  It's messy.  Elections are the psychological equivalents.
I’ve sat in meetings of doctors where all were equal, more or less, and the arguments took on the flavour of the kitchen table home discussions between parents and teen agers.  Lots of emotion and lots of talking over each other. The contrived 'Robert's Rules of Order' were developed like the regimental parades of 19th century war fare but have no place in the modern day world of ambush and subterfuge.
I’ve also gone to government meetings where everyone has known before what the outcome will be. We’re only invited to confirm the decisions that were made behind closed doors. Watching the Canadian parliament is so much like this. Justin Trudeau poses for a selfie.  Then comes he  out and says his ‘script’ of ‘platitudes’ and meaningless self aggrandizing jabber. Occasionally the leader of the opposition Andrew Scheer jousts with him like a schoolboy in a debating club. There’s something terribly lame about the whole thing.  It’s posed.  Polite. The one reality hit was when a hung over or stoned Justin Trudeau shouted 'get the fuck out of my way in parliament' then titted a pretty NDP lady with his elbow imitating his father's famous 'staged' outrages of 'fuddle duck'.  All rather Canadian soft ball compared to American hard ball politics.
In 1965 Johnson grabbed Liberal Canadian leader by the lapels and shouted, "Don't you come into my living room and piss on my rug!"  American politics has always been 'dancing with the big boys' something that Putin and Xi Jinping know if others forget.
Politics is  normally not at all authentic like the ‘plain speatk’ ‘twitter account’ which is obvious ‘post rational’.  The genius of Mr. Trump the politician is that he is fighting the political war in  the emotional moment by moment reality of a digital age. Trump was on the right side of history to the shock of all the 'losers' who were caught with their pants and skirts down.
The electorate and media have attention spans less than minutes on average.  Obama’s speeches, wonderful for future lawyers and grad students to read, for writing academic dissertations, to be read only by their advisors and families, are seriously ‘boring’ . They were ‘tedious’ and truly ‘contrived’.
There’s authenticity here in the Trump home that really reminds me of all the gatherings of old men I’ve known sitting about MacDonald’s restaurants.  They're there  early in the morning or late in the day, discussing politics, poking fun at each other, knowing each other’s stories, knowing where each other is coming from,  yet having coffee together and meeting and talking together.  I have the sense that there’s a lot of women meeting in the kitchens too with Ivanka and Conway. Out of all this  there’s the groups getting together and working together. It's a time of barn raising.   It's what's attractive about retirement conversations. Yet that's how the real world works  too. Michael Wolf captures that quality of relationships, the harmonies and disharmonies, the compromises.
Somehow it works.  It’s an amazing dance.  Dictatorships, especially the pseudo committee dictatorships of socialism look so much more ‘professional’ on the outside. With their back door dealing before the public presentations.  There's the illusion of consent and agreement.  Everyone is together in a dictatorship. The opposition is removed as often as not by assassination.
In the US the opposition is right there in every party, in the family, in the media. It’s a ‘free for all’ fight to the finish.  Michael Wolf, probably better than anyone before him, has captured just how downright human democracies are with all their personality, ego, emotionality and insanity.  The humor too is this administration with Kushner and Trump and family and friends like Guiliano and Murdock is so reminiscent of the Kennedy family and friends in power.  What a riot a Michael Wolf writer of that era of  scandals and bed jumping brothers and wheeler dealer father would have made.  All the same dynamics of dysfunction and function.
President Trump's Washington is definitely a new Camelot.  However Trump is both King Lear and King Arthur.  There are Quinvere’s galore though.  Melania and Ivanka are incomparable beauties while Conway and Haley are brilliant stars.  So far thankfully there are no dead ladies.
I like that Michael Wolf has given me some back grounds on the individual players. There are cheat notes on  characters like one would want for a  Tolstoy novel.  It helps.  The action and events certainly transcend the characters. Everything in Trump Tower and Washington is bigger than life.
The reformer is the enemy of anyone who benefits from the status quo. Whereas Obama was teflon , Trump is the master of dodge and duck.   Every sniper in the world is taking pot shots at him. The bets were on that he wouldn't literally survive the first hundred days in office before being assassinated.  It's no wonder he’s eating at MacDonald’s afraid of being poisoned. This really is too rich. There was a time when no one wanted to be Czar in Russia because of the hostility against leadership. Japan went through such a horrible time too.  These are the days of terrorism, drug epidemics and general anti social and anti authoritarianism. Mr. Trump is amazing.
He reminds me of my grandfather and the other cattlemen who sat about arguing cattle prices, wheeling dealing in farms and real estate, complaining about harvests and regulations.  Michael Wolf has caught America in a way that no other government in the world could be portrayed.  Only in America today is there still such ‘freedom of speech" and 'freedom of press".
This is a story of a man, his family and friends, a nation, that truly is great, and the immensity of forces of envy and jealousy that circle the presidency likes sharks in a feeding frenzy.  It’s amazing anyone survives. I'm amazed anyone would dare or want the job.  You have to give American presidents credit, despite the excellence of the Secret Service, they are truly courageous men. Anyone who stands up makes themselves a target!  It's obvious Mr. Trump is very brave like Mr. Obama before him.
A great novel.  Whether true or not. Who knows?  I do think it’s probably more true in it's way than all the ‘scholarship’ that has been ‘concocted" before. This is the first 'You Tube Take"  of a digital presidency. This is a post rational world. This is an ultra modern time. A multi ethnic world seeking a new culture.  This is competing realities.  This is what Conway called ‘alternative facts’.  Hollywood versus New York. Beijing versus London.  Truth is somewhere in the mix.
There’s a succulent dish being made.  It has a  great flavour.  The smells are tantalizing.  But who knows yet if it’s a soup, a curry or a chilli It’s certainly spicy.  There’s equally great substance.  America is great.
Michael Wolf has done well to capture the dynamism and fluidity that is so far removed from the heavy handed entrenched power of insufferable pompous European and Asian politics.  No such great writer or great book could survive in the middle east where ignorance is the norm and slavery reigns.
As usual, even America's old men and old women are still full of the youth of this still young nation.  It is vibrant and full of surprises. It is has such vast potential and the flexibility to capitalize on it..
Thank you Michael Wolf for showing us some insight into the fog of war.  The beach that is Washington looks like a beach scene,  Saving Private America.  I believe veterans will thank you for getting some of it right.  No doubt like Mr. Trump you're get as much flack on every side. Which will also mean in some same sense you got it right.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Shit Country as translated by Justin Trudeau

As the master of ‘bafflegab’, ‘legalese’, ‘beurocratese’, Justen Trudeau, known the world over for his dramatic selfies and unctuous flare for double speak, avoiding direct questions, blaming others but mostly his endless platitudes, was recently asked , what he understood Donald Trump, ‘master of plain speak’ meant when he called a country a ‘shit Country’.;
“That would be a country that was financially challenged, poorly administered, with massive corruption, lacking respect for diversity, dominated by cronyism, lacking law and order, abusing theLGBT community, abusing women and children, with high rates of crime, and general disrespect for law and order.”
Everyone understands “Plain Speak”.  Everyone understands President Trump.  Even Justin Trudeau knows what he means , but that’s the problem.
Justin Trudeau and the other globalist elites want to speak in a language which excludes the majority of people.  They want the focus the attention on the  ‘fashion’ , not the “ substance “of conversation.  It’s called ‘court speak’.  It’s the ‘fashion language of the day’. It’s so old it was referred to by Shakespeare was referred to by King Lear. It’s not new, this politically correct ‘court speech’.
“And hear poor rogues talk of court news, and we’ll talk with them too — who loses and who wins, who’s in, who’s out.”
 It’s a rapidly transforming language that only those in the know know.
It’s the language that can get a paper published in the university.
The word ‘sustainability’ was necessary for funding. It didn’t matter what was ‘sustainable’ but if the application for the grant used the ‘code word’ sustainable it got to the right ears and was automatically got funding. The same was true for ‘diversity’.  These terms are called ‘virtue signalling’.
They are the true substance of Justin Trudeau’s speech and reflect the ‘brain washing’ that has been done by CBC, tv and various other communication venues.  They are the essence of brain washing.
 I first learned to use these when I trained in hypnosis and did surgery on people after hypnotizing them. They were called ‘post hypnotic’ suggestions.
Justin Trudeau lulls his listeners by pouring out this verbal Valium whenever there’s a tough moment.
It works.  Especially on young people. And even better on people smoking marijuana.
The trouble with Plain Speak is it’s jarring.  Shit is real. Shit is not easily both black and white at the same time.
Plain speak is what I as a doctor was taught to do because its best for a patient to know exactly what is wrong with them so that they have the greatest chance of addressing the problem and surviving.  If I tell you you have cancer then you can wake up and address the problem with the seriousness it deserves. Whenas if I say you just have a little ‘lump’ it’s easy for you to be lulled into denial.
 When a person knows the truth they can deal with it and can cure the problem. When it’s sugar coated they can continue to lie to themselves or be lied to.
All the studies in medicine have confirmed that ‘plain speak’ is in the best interest of the patient whereas ‘double speak’ serves administration.
I hope this helps people understand a bit better the ‘shit’ that is going on. I’ve personally  been advised that it’s better that I say ‘merde’ if I want to get funding in Canada today.  Doctors in general are being told that they must no longer say ‘shit’ but rather use the word ‘faeces’. Henceforth doctors, if they want to continue to keep their licenses to practice medicine in Canada under present administrations, would be advised to say that the Canadian Health Care System is going to faeces under Justin Trudeau.
My favourite study of this phenomena was done by separating elementary school classes formerly named by merit, A, B, and C classes  into turtles, dogs and penguins.  At the end of the year the young  students all said they didn’t want to be penguins because penguins were slow and stupid.
But that’s okay.
In Canada as Justin Trudeau destroys freedom of speech and democracy , we can still say ‘merde’ and  even ‘faeces’. No shit.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Podcasts and Automobile Auto pilot

Commuting has for me been ad tedium. Once I’ve shaved, dressed, read my emails and answered my texts and read Facebook I’m often left with nothing else to do driving to and from work.
Sirius radio was a salvation for a year with excellent classical music which unfortunately occasional played Brahms that puts me instantly to sleep.  The Gospel music was however excellent and gave me pause to consider the concept of sin.  Drivers who do not use their turning signals are sinners.  There is a special place in hell prepared for them.
I have liked my hands free telephone but found after a while until strangers and distant family members came to recognize that I was only phoning them to talk because I was particularly bored in traffic congestion.  I don’t think it was considerate of me to say, “gotta to go, traffic moving so no need to talk to you anymore.’
What has saved me most are the Pod Casts, I university and Audio books.  I really do need an automobile auto pilot and do appreciate all the effort that various inventors and engineers are putting into developing such.  I like to read when I’m commuting and find that when I’m sitting in the back seat reading and there’s no one driving the car doesn’t move or swerves about erratically on the freeway.
The pod cast I’m most enjoying now is Ancient and Medieval Church History by Covenant.  I just learned the seven Sacraments yesterday, though St. Francis said there were some 30, 7 seemed the agreed number, Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist/Mass, Ordination, Marriage, Last Rites. I’ve missed one but having married 3 times I expect I’ve made up for that and done sufficient penance as well.  Ordination obviously isn’t for everyone and my doctor has suggest my girth gives reason to lay off the bread and I passed my life’s share of wine decades back so am beginning to look forward to the last rites as probably not something to sneer at.  I’ve listened to some thirty or so of these and they’ve all been incredibly informative teaching me all manner of things about Wycliffe, and Acquinas, Murder in the Cathedral, various Creeds and Popes and much the average Christian doesn’t know a thing about. It’s equally true that Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Pagans and Aetheists are wholly ignorant of much of this material and would do well to listen.

The University of Arizona Medicine Grand Rounds are particularly good. The Neurology Grand Rounds from the University of Arizona are the best but it’s hard to pay attention driving to the MRI’s and CTScan’s presenters are pointing to with all the bad drivers one encounters on the Vancouver freeways these days.  The Psychiatry Grand Rounds from the University of Arizon are indeed very detailed and informative but being a psychiatrist I find I’ve tended to know most of what they’re talking about and have momentary bouts or road rage because I disagree and begin shouting at the presenters.

The Seattle Pacific University podcasts have been very well put together with the Sex ones particularly hot.

The Stuff You Missed in History podcasts are a blast with all manner of dirt and detail that really is entertaining.  I love these as much as I like the Why Factor by the BBC World Service.  The Why Factor series dealing with shaving and high heels and other fashion matters was especially entertaining.

I have listened to the Oxford University pod casts but so far they’ve been less appropriate for driving and seem more made for listening in a lecture class.  The material is good but they could learn a trick or two from the Boston Blackie Old Time radio shows.

These are just some of the pod casts I’m enjoying this last month or so but the material on any given day is so much better than the increasingly propagandistic and stupid CBC news material which is aired during commute time for maximum Cultural Marxism brainwashing and other Liberal cowshit.
Further the music on AM/FM radio is as bad today as my father found the music I listened to years past.

IUniversity also has superb podcast material even is the art presentations and art history presentations have the most interesting visuals that make driving a major distraction.  Audiobooks are good too but whereas podcasts are commonly a half hour to an hour an audio book is often 10 hours. Recently on a long drive we so enjoyed Evanovitch’s Hard Twenty Four novel because it was light and fairly fast moving.  I wouldn’t think Dostoevsky would make for a good audio book experience. In the past driving all night I’ve found war and sci fiction written in a kind of comic book manner all I could manage as more intelligent pieces tend to put one to sleep on long drives.

I miss commuting on trains in England when I had a seat and could write and read while glancing at the beautiful country side.  Riding on buses standing isn’t at all enjoyable by comparison so one gets the impression that the designers consider moving people as a kind of freight rather than consideration of the experience.

Hence the need for Automobile Autopilots.  I can’t wait!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Driving Home on the Oregon Coast, Mini Cooper, Laura, Gilbert and Me

I loved driving the serpentine roads of Northern California and Oregon. The roads and ocean views are indescribably terrific.
We stopped several times as we’d had on the way down to let Gilbert enjoy running free on the beach. Seeing this little blind dog run freely was such a joy for us.  Crashing surf,  walking in sand and happy dog running full out, unafraid of colliding with a wall.  Thanks to his memory he knew he was safe on the beach and could enjoy his freedom and motion.
In Oregon they have a rule against ‘self serve’ fill up at gas station.  It was pleasant to have an attendant to chat with while he or she did this. This took both Laura and I back to the day of real personal care by gas station attendants, when they actually knew about cars and maintenance,  checked oils, tires and cleaned windows. They even could give directions and knew their neighbourhoods as a rule. I really liked the gas stations in Oregon.
There was also a Cannibis sign even bigger than the Oregon sign as we entered Oregon.
 I was envious of the motorcyclists we passed on these roads. What a great motorcycle ride. Like a never ending Duffy Lake run.
The views of the ocean and the rock formations were constant eye candy.
We had stayed in Coos Bay at the dog friendly Best Western there. It was one of our favourite motel stays because of the excellent staff and facility.  I got Thai food take out and feasted on the best of the best spicy creations while watching yet another enjoyable episode of Big Bang Theory. I love Coos Bay since I first sailed into the harbour and stayed overnight their tied to their dock. I've come back on motorcycle as well.
We stopped at a few of the little shops along the way too.  We loved best the Bandon shops where Laura got some eucalyptus lotion and I got us coffee mugs.  Laura got me a Myrtle Wood cutting board in Myrtle. She also got me an Oregon fridge magnet, "to remind us of Gilbert running on the beaches."
Our trip was coming to an end so it was nice to have some touristy fun time before the last push to get home.
Laura was looking forward to getting off the American freeways. Her idea of speed is 80 km/hr in her little red Smart Car.  The slowest speed on the highways we were on was 55 miles/hour but mostly it was 65 mph or 120 km hour plus.  On major interstate highways the speed is 70 mph or 144 km/hr (1 mile = 2.2 km roughly).  Having driven these often on my Harley Electroglide I found the Mini was a match for the freeways and the speed and loved the driving overall especially the incredibly picturesque coastal highways.
If all went well we would have been crossing the border at 6 pm.  As it was Murphy had different plans. The flat tire warning went off in the Mini right in the middle of the Seatle Washington just at the beginning of rush hour.  In the middle of the freeway I had to find a way off the I5 at high speed. The tires are the new 'ride slow' kind that allow you to get to a gas station at 50 km/hour.  The trouble was everyone was going 120 km/hr and not at all pleased with me trying to stay at 80 km/hour till I could find an exit which took forever.
Eventually, I found an exit and was blessed to find a gas station with air hose.  I checked the tires.  One was 35 while the rest were 40.  Probably just a matter of 5000 km of driving on that tire. Nothing too serious.  I filled that tire up to 40  and was thankful for the old fashioned tire pressure gauge I’d had the foresight to put in the glove compartment.
The trouble then was finding out way back to the I5. We took another freeway forever before being able to get off that and come back to I5 now in the middle of rush hour just as a crash was being cleared off the road.
Bumper to bumper slow going north I was then desperate to pee. Getting old isn't bladder beautiful. When you have to go you really have to go.  With traffic not moving I suggested I'd pull to the side and piss in the ditch.
"You know everyone has an iPhone and you've go viral on You Tube as the crazy old Canadian guy pissing on the side of I5 in Seattle. "  Laura said.  I held on till the next exit. That meant leaving the freeway yet again. I was thankful for another gas station. Leaving much relieved I bought some beef jerky which Gilbert and I shared. Unfortunately  the I5 signs were misleading to return us to the freeway.  First off a tree branch concealed the sign and then the sign pointed in one direction while the exit was in another.
The attendant had kindly told me that I had to pass three red lights but when we saw the south I5 sign was well marked but not the I5 north we knew we'd missed it.
I pulled over to turn around and fired up my Tom Tom asking for directions to Burnaby.  But even with Tom Tom I missed the turn off coming back and seeing the ramp  as I was passing it. I couldn't look away from the rush hour chaos of speeding angry traffic and I couldn’t hear the Tom Tom girl voice with my deafness and loud traffic noise, so Laura was repeating the Tom Tom messages.   This caused moments of delay.
When she said turn around,  I turned around doing a U Turn, only to have the slightly longer turning radius of the new Mini confound me. I’d have easily made the turn with the Miata. In my full box F350 Ford truck I'd have driven over sidewalks, across the lawn and taken off the front of the houses.  I really did think I'd make it with the Mini. I was less than an inch off.  That wouldn't have been a problem except for the idiot behind me whose helpfulness was coming up on my bumper honking, making it impossible now for me to reverse that one inch I needed.  While he was  honking obnoxiously, as if this was going move things faster, Laura was assisting further by telling me I was such asshole to have missed the ramp. She wanted me to pull over and let her out, a total impossibility in the middle of that intersection.
Laura can't see at night, I'm deaf, and Gilbert is blind.  I love the Mini.  I floored it.  It drove off the curb, not even needing to mount it, to complete the turn, more like a richochet. I saw the unlighted I5 north sign half concealed by untrimmed branches.  The helpful honker stopped honking.    I got on the freeway ramp.
Laura wanted to stop for the night but I certainly didn’t want to get off the freeway again in rush hour.  I’ve driven the I5 north at night dozens of times on motorcycles, or in cars. I love the I5.  Just don't get off the free way at night.
I really was also looking forward to getting back to Canada.  I really could use good nights sleep in my own bed before returning to work.  The border crossing was a breeze, very nice man, welcoming us home.
"Happy New Year!" I said. He waved us through.
8 pm we arrived home. Mack was there to welcome us.  When we told him we’d been all the way to Mexico,  he said, “You went to Mexico for the sun and heat and left me here in the snow. I could easily have fitted in the back of the Mini with Gilbert..” We laughed.
The electric heat was fine but I had to change the propane tank to make it toasty.  Laura  figured out why the furnace wasn't blasting full  I'd had the stove on to bleed the air out of lines but once I'd done that I needed to turn the stove off to let the furnace get the propane to start.  Once the furnace was on the stove could be used again.
George the Cat made a dramatic entrance, suddenly jumping down from the highest cupboard where he’d been hiding.  We'd been looking for him everywhere all the while he was plotting his show stopping entrance.  Laura hugged and cuddled him.

It’s good to be home. 5500 km. 7.1 km/l fuel consumption, about $40 a day while driving. Motels were on average about $80. I did spent $180 a night for a couple of nights.  This was without planning and just dropping in.  I thought we'd done well considering.   Fortunately I'd had an American visa which I'd put money in last year for the New York trip but hadn't used because of a PIN problem. In a sense this trip was done with that 'saved' money.  Hence Justin Trudeau's ruining Canada's economy paying off terrorists damage to the exchange rate didn't affect us too badly.

Motel 6 and Best Western were best dog friendly motels and hotels for this road trip.  We’d made the road trip with Gilbert in the 2017 Mini Cooper S .It had been a whirlwind.  Laura said she’d never before got out of Vancouver for the winter. I just knew I needed a break from the drudgery of bureaucracy and politics and opioid deaths.  Driving had got my mind off work surprisingly.

I feel re invigorated. I don’t like the tail end cough of this cold but it was wonderful to breathe dessert air in December. I liked revisiting places I'd been to before. Lots of good memories of California living there, sailing there. A renewed love of Oregon where I'd sailed and motorcycled and driven the coast.
I’m now looking forward to meetings and church and driving my truck with it’s snow tires. The Mini Cooper performed perfectly. What an amazing car. Gilbert had the time of his life being continuously with his two favourite people, MacDonald’s burger paddy’s, and runs on the beach.
Laura was as always a lovely companion but would not like to spend more than two days driving in the car. She only called me an 'asshole twice' twice while driving which may reflect well on her character and God's grace. Other than those couple of ten minute city freeway night time anxiety provoking moments she really was delightful companion and did seem to enjoy the trip.
Gilbert made everything special. It was his road trip and he really did have the greatest time. I'll never get over seeing him running full out on the beaches.  It was the first time since his blindness this year he experienced 'speed'.  Gilbert lived for 'speed' and 'ball' but now despite his blindness he's got his old life back. Loved watching his little tail was wagging so much of this trip.
We found it was warm south of San Diego, so if I did it again, I’d plan to get a place along the coast a couple of hours south of San Francisco. Once we got past San Francisco the weather was great. Southern California is a great destination for Canadians at Christmas.
We'd originally planned to fly down but with Gilbert's adjusting to his blindness we decided against that.  The road trip was decided mostly with Gilbert in mind. It really was Gilbert's Road Trip.
I certainly would recommend the Mini Cooper for any road trip. Not surprising it was such a successful rally car.
It is great to be home though.  I always appreciate my home so much more after I’ve been away.