Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Journal, Aug. 23, 2015

There’s still smoke in the air.  Fires are burning in the interior.  Campfire restrictions.  Concerns this summer about tourism. Firefighters from all over.  Many out of their houses. Whole communities destroyed.  In addition to the smoke, I can smell  Fall  in the air.  The nights are cool.
Wednesday my throat became raw.  Poor sleep that night.  Thursday my voice going by noon. Afternoon work cancelled.  I didn’t feel particularly infectious.  More like environment.  My patient has TB. I was in the radiology department getting X-ray.  Everyone snivelling. Laura said she’d had three days of headache and sore ear. Her waiting room was sore throats galore. Maybe it was viral.  I’m just seeing all the asthmatics having difficulty breathing. I’m tired too. Fatigued.  Run down.  Getting older. Don’t seem to rebound.  Whine a lot.
Seeing my chiropracterDr. Richard Cho these last two weeks the neck and back pain eased with more strength in right arm.  I was having difficulty lifting a cup.  Trying to ignore it.  Denial my first go to defence.  Using my right hand to drink coffee in public to conceal the tremor.  Thanks to my doctor friends in Virginia got the message of self care again. Phoned Richard.  Sure enough all the tension has taken it’s toll.  Running helps.  Getting to the hot tub.  Wading through the immense increase in work that follows and precedes a week off.
Dr. Smokey Bear. Stamping out forest fires.  All the beaurocratic demands for paper from doctors, exponentially increased a thousand fold.  Everyone now thinks the physician can be used as an extension of their organization. I was glad to hear the Ontario doctors refused. I wish the BC doctors would set minimum standards and stop demanding patients pay.  Despite the signs up to discuss with staff they bring work into the office and feign not seeing the signs. I learn they are trying to get a better deal than the gp offered.  Horrendous waste of health care resources.  Waitlists and double doctoring.
I spent 2 hours with a patient last week, it was a 20 minute paid visit, but I was concerned.  Concluded they needed an emergency Neurology and MRI visit and was beginning to pull favours when the patient told me the MRI they had last month was norma. They then complained the previous doctor hadn’t been any good. Pulled out some disability forms.   He wanted disability.  I’d asked him every which way about seeing other doctors about his problem.  He’d insisted no one had done anything and that no one took him seriously.  Even told me he had tried to sue one of his doctors but the lawyers wouldn’t take the case.  In the end he was just "Double doctoring".  Wanted disability.  Patients daily complain about waitlists but no one holds people like this accountable.  Yet the doctor police are multiplying exponentially as well. More and more doctors are afraid to see patients because of the threats to their licenses so become doctor police instead.  Of course no one polices the doctor police.  The last bastion of professional security.
I am tired today.  Another difficult night sleep. But great run yesterday.  5 k or more.  Along the river.  Furthest I’ve run without walking.  Walked a lot on the way back with Gilbert. He enjoys this all though fears that when running,  the territory isn’t being marked as often as canine standards demand.
Laura and I began watching Sons of Anarchy season finale.  I bought it at London Drugs when I was getting a set of AudioEngine 2+ speakers for the computer.  These plug in the wall and are awesome. Laura and I  watched an iTunes rented Rob the Mob movie which was terrific too. Loved the theatre quality surround sound. Then we got out the Sons of Anarchy DVD.  Of course we had heard he killed his mother.  It wasn’t something that the world could keep from getting out.  It wasn’t a ’spoiler’. In fact I wanted to watch the season to see how Sutter the writer killed off his wife Katey Sagal.  We’d heard Katey Sagal talk at the Turning Point gala so loved her.  “What’s going on between her and Sutter?” everyone was asking.  Okay, I bought the series to be in the loop. It really is  good.  Laura and I watched the first three seasons when we were up north at the first Sturges North Motorcycle Rally in Salmon Arm.  I’d driven up in the truck pulling the RV with my Honda 250 CRF strapped down  in the truck bed.  The whole weekend was so memorable with Steppenwolf and the Animals.  Laura and I rode in from the campground at night on the 250.  Then I joined the Veterans Ride with the smallest bike there and somehow kept up going Full Open Throttle without burning out the engine.  In those next months we watched all three seasons.
Then synchronistically, after I’d just told Laura I had to ride my bike this morning, Dave shows up to tell me the East Vancouver Show and Shine was going on Saturday at the Waldorf.  It couldn’t be better.
Dave usually rides with Emory his little dog.  I ride with Gilbert.   Today we left the dogs at home.  Gilbert would rather hang out with Laura. She spoils him.  Body rubs massages, treats.
Dave’s Harley is a red Heritage Softail. I’ve got a black Electraglide.  “They’re supposed to have a bikini contest,”  he told me on the way. “Even better”, I said.
Great sunny hot day.  Not too much traffic.  Good to ride in tandem.  Dave rides in shorts and t shirt.  I’ve got to have jeans and jacket armour.  At least my jacket is webbing. Too hot for leather.  When we got to the Waldorf there was a hundred or more bikes around.  It’s not like Gastown though where the bikes are congregated.  Here they were ranged around the block and in parking lots nearby.  Only weakness of the show. Half the fun is looking at everyone’s bikes.  In the actual venue there were only a few dozen, albeit some really fine choppers. Hot rods were in the venue.  Beer gardens.  Leather sale booths.  T shirts. Entrance by donation.  Dave gave them $5 for each of us.  I certainly didn’t complain.  All around fabulous young women showing a lot of skin.  Something about leather bras that speak to the inner animal too.  Lots of tattoos.  Great bikes.  One especially had silver skulls everywhere.  A couple of the cars and one of the bikes could have been right off the set of Mad Max.  Dave and I just walked about talking engines.  There was a souped up mustang.  Both Dave and I reminisced about our Mustang days. He’d had his in the 70’s and I”d had mine in the 80’s   One of the chevy “classics’ was a car my friends father owned when we were 12.  The ford truck on display looked a close proximity to my uncles truck from the Manitoba farm.  Dave told me his grand daughter was 20. He’s younger than I am.  “She says her friends like to tell the old guys they don’t have ‘daddy issues’.”  We’re laughing about that sad as it might seem.
We ride back to Burnaby taking Knight to Marine Drive.  There’s not much traffic this time of day on a Saturday.  I realize I’m normally only driving during the Vancouver rush hour so my view is skewed.
“I’ve been catching my limit up by Squamish,” Dave says. "The salmon are pooling in the ocean because the rivers are too dry to go up yet.”  It’s the salmon run time of the year.   After we get back he comes by bringing a lovely salmon.  Laura and I and Dave chat awhile while Emory and Gilbert play ‘he who pisses on something last wins”.  They’re dehydrating fast.  Dave’s got fish on his barbecue so can’t stay.  I use salmon rub on this and pack the centre with garlic butter before wrapping it in aluminum foil.  15 minutes on the barbecue and it’s perfect.  Incredibly tasty and melt in your mouth moist. So fresh.  Unbelievable good salmon.  Thank you Dave!
Laura and I had it with potatoes we boiled up and served with sour cream and salads.  We watched more episodes of Sons of Anarchy.  So many people getting shot in the show I’m sure it’s what affected Whalley Surrey this year. Gangland shootings galore.  Monkey see, monkey do.  So many young people smoking dope they lose connection between what is real and what is fantasy.
This morning Laura tells me she’s had dreams of being chased by motorcycles on her little bike.  My sinuses have been stuffy.  I had the couldn’t find a clean toilet dreams. Shit everywhere.  Sons of Anarchy doesn’t wake up the best part of the brain.   I remember the second last season when I found myself almost nihilistic after watching an episode but then counteracted it with watching an episode of Blue Blood.  Gives new meaning to the “Feed your Brain”.  Katey Sagal playing Gemma is an incredible actress. After years of fake feminist unidimensional ‘victim’ women with the ‘activist feminist’ saving the little girl, Gemna is playing a multidimensional sociopath with Oscar award winning complexity.  Unfortunately no Hollywood would award this Eva Braun performance. Lies that kill a nation.  And as usual no one is ‘pure’ in sons of anarchy. Everyone in Charming is corrupted somehow.  But that’s this slice of reality.  Even the ministers they know are into the sex trade.  In the methadone clinic I meet people who were raised in gangster families and this is their reality.  Not the sanitized CBC yuppie think.  Real ugly.  Maybe it’s why I dream of being unable to find a toilet which isn’t covered in shit with nowhere to stand and nowhere to sit.
Thankfully the Show and Shine Bikers are the norm. Good guys who like to ride. More and more people going two wheeled to enjoy the wind and freedom and save on gas.  When I was in europe and asia there were 10 times the scooters and motorbikes so there’s a long way to go here before the field is saturated.  Cars will always have a place like trucks but the motorcycle has a special place of it’s own. The ultimate commuter.  And there’s nothing that beats it for two people getting away with a tent.  Laura and I have had some wonderful times with the two of us on my bike and the tent and sleeping bags and cooking gear in the saddlebags.  Modern cowboys.  We stopped this since Gilbert and I got Laura a bike so the three of us could continue this only she’s anxious on her own.  That leaves the Miata which is almost as good but seems to suit staying in motels more than tenting.  The truck and RV are certainly the way to go. I can put the Harley in my toy hauler garage but I don’t want to do this for a weekend.  It’s perfect for a month or more vacation though. I’m the same with the big boat. I don’t want to take these out for a weekend anymore. Too much trouble whereas the motorcycle is perfect for the simple quick getaway and overnight camping.  We loved our rides down to the US too.  Maybe I need to get Gilbert his own trailer.  I just don’t like towing.  Defeats the purpose.
All of these are ‘cadillac problems’ and nothing that needs solving for today.  I’m still trying to figure how to mount the speakers in the RV but keep them portable so I could take them elsewhere.
I’ve been having fun with FITBIT - I do more exercise than I thought. My diet is still excessive, really good food but too much night snacking. That second portion of ice cream is the waist full  event.   I sleep better with 9 restless night events versus 30 when I use my CPAP machine.  I have to get the fittings fixed. Laura says I snore and shallow breath when I’m not using it.  It’s a bother but I see the benefit. When I first got it I really noticed the difference in my energy and alertness.
I finished Wilbur Smith’s Dessert God, a great historical fiction novel about Egypt during the time when the Hyksos took over northern Egypt, Nimrod was king in Sumeria and Crete was ascendent on the waters. I really enjoyed reading it.  This summer, partly because of the plane flights, I’ve been reading a lot and enjoying it.  Mostly fiction, though I was reading the Nady el Guebaly and Gallanter Textbook of International Addiction Medicine and the Teenage Brain, by the neuroscientist mother.   I read inspirational literature every day but haven’t been reading as many textbooks as I have other years.  I would love to get back into the study of Biblical Hebrew. I was astounded at how dynamic the language was compared to English translations.
It’s hard to believe it’s the end of August.  Hunting season opens for bow in 2 days on Vancouver Island. I’ve taken a couple of days off for a long weekend when rifle season opens here on the mainland.  Next weekend I might get the ATV out for the long weekend since it’s bow season.  I’ve got the bow but for bow hunting you really ought to sit along a trail where theres fresh spore since you need to be close for a kill.  Dave’s fish got me thinking of hunting. I don’t have the patience for BC fishing but I am so looking forward to having venison for the pot this fall.  I love venison stew.
All the reports I have to do are burdensome but somehow I find the time. Unfortunately they’ve interfered with summer and are likely to mess up the fall. I don’t mind extra work in winter and spring but I’d like less work in summer and fall.  My colleagues all share that this summer there’s been no slack.  The shortages of services are backing up with aging population meaning more patients and increasingly the ‘workhorses’ like me retiring and no one replacing us.
There’s an election year with each party claiming to be better able to spend our tax money and me increasingly disappointed by government giveaways.  30 years and more of working and taxes and more and more I see people not working and being paid by government and under the table.  But my mind is such it can always come up with the negatives. I have to actively focus on the positives, give my head a shake, show the right gratitude. I’m blessed with today. Outside the weather is lovely. I walked Gilbert this morning and it’s truly beautiful.  The luscious green of Burnaby is something I still remember finding so attractive when Baiba and I came here 1971 and stayed with her family friend. Coming from Winnipeg I couldn’t believe how luscious and green the trees and shrubs were.  Now I’m looking out of my RV at the green forrest. It’s truly a blessing.
I’ve this lovely mobile home with a great dog and girlfriend and full fridge. I’ve had spectacular coffee and porridge. I’ll not make it to church today.  I’m taking it easy.  A winter christian.  Hope to make a meeting later.  But the weekend like so many is a recuperation time for getting ready for work.  I think of work as the ‘front’.  So many angry people.  I was only verbally abused a few times last week.  But I’m tired of it.  It wears on me.  I find myself thinking death is better.  Then I listen to the media and it’s all skewed and merry with no grasp of the reality of drug addiction.  I’m the only lucid moment is some peoples days.  Meanwhile the authorities are into Chamberlain appeasement without the realization that’s there’s never enough and everyone demands more until they turn to violence.  I know. I’m on the front lines. The ‘authorities’ are so far removed they may as well live on the space station.
But its Sunday.  Day of rest.  Sabbath.  Time for prayer and thanksgiving.
Thank you God for all your blessings. Thank you for the sunshine and greenery. Thank you for the wealth and wellness, family,  friends and pets. Thank you for this day of rest.
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