Eh-team Menu

31 January 2009

Rock on Edmonton!!

Tonight Tom had a few people over to play Rock Band on his PS3.  I had never played before and it was a blast.  You can see some pictures of it here.

In more serious news, it looks pretty good that our condo is sold.  There is an offer on it now with sale date of Feb 20.  The buyer has been approved for financing, but he still has a bit of paperwork to do before it all becomes official.  Hurray.

25 January 2009

One Week Down, 33 to Go….

I have now finished my first week as a medical student. And no, it still doesn't feel quite real yet.  We had yet more "welcome to the program...blah, blah, blah".  But we actually got in about 5 real lectures as well.  Almost everything we take up in lectures and practical sessions springs from a learning "case" that is presented in small groups of about 10.  This week we are dealing with a drunk driver that has hit a tree and is spurting blood from his left thigh.  This brings up the anatomy of the femoral triangle and cardiovascular system, the physiology concepts of homeostasis and shock, and the legal aspects of duty of care, and lastly the treatment with IV fluids.  We are also into histology pracs which, so far, are dealing more with tissue types than anything else.  I'm sure they'll find a way to tie it into the case later.
We are generally out of the flat by shortly after 7 am, and get back by 5:30.  So a fairly long day by most undergrad standards, and then there is the expansion of concepts that has to happen after that at home.  But it's not all work.  Brady and I are currently caught up with BigBangTheory, and have moved on to Corner Gas, season 5.  I also bought a TREK 70 bike on Tuesday, and hope to be riding to classes regularly.  The last few days it has been raining wombats and 'roos, so I have been sticking to the bus.  Speaking of kangaroos, the gov't of Australia is actually encouraging people to eat more of them, as they have a lower grazing impact and methane production than cattle, and thus promote sustainability.  So we ate some this week, mainly out of curiosity.  Very good stuff.  tastes milder than beef, but close to that texture.  Also very lean, like bison. Here's the link if you think I'm making this up:,23599,22562846-2,00.html.
Yes, I am a heartless wench.

17 January 2009

The Death and Resurrection of the Destroyer

Wednesday was the official orientation to Medicine for the international contingent.  There is about to be 430 people in our first year class- 88 from Canuckland, 23 from USA, 2 from Malaysia, 1 each from Singapore, Nigeria and Tobago.  Yikes!  The morning was mainly welcomes and then the school hosted a BBQ for us, followed by a trip to Mt (read:hill) Coot-tha.  The afternoon continued at the Regatta, a drinking establishment.  I wasn't in the financial or tummy mood for alcohol, so I went home at this point.  Then more waiting, as the real classes don't begin until Monday the 19th.
So on Thursday I went for a job interview and later had coffee with Gillian Moses, one of the ministers at the Cathedral I attend for church.  Friday Brady and I had been invited by J3 (James/Janet/Jacob) out to Ipswich to enjoy the pool and have supper.  We headed out about 2 pm in the hot sun.  About 20 km into the journey, on the M2 motorway.  The engine just stopped.  I pulled over (on the right side- some reactions die hard).  The engine would turn over, but would not engage. The Destroyer had died, he has ceased to be, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile! The Destroyer was an ex-car, for all practical purposes at that moment (for those that did not catch the reference: YouTube- "Ex parrot")
Hmmmm...this had never happened to me before.  I had no clue who I should be calling.  Fortunately for us, they were doing road work adjacent to us, and a kind fellow ran over and said "So, she's completely stuffed, then?"  He called a tow truck for us.  It was 35 degrees and the poor fellow was in coveralls, probably cooking from the inside out.  Shortly, a nice towtruck, not the appointed one, arrived to check out the scene, and stopped to pull us off the freeway (there were no shoulders, so we were effectively blocking the fast lane) From there, the driver recommended calling RACQ (Royal Auto Club of QLD)and gave us the number.  I can now report that I am the proud owner of a 2 year membership, as this was only reasonably more than the minimum for a tow and inspection for a nonmember. Oh Geez!  So we waited for the next tow truck.  We had failed to bring any waterbottles with us (as THAT would have been SMART), and the heat was pretty intense.  Our tow truck driver arrived about 20 minutes later, and hauled us off to "Larry's Pitstop" in Wachol.  There we met Maggie, who offered us an aircon space and a drink. Apparently cars had been expiring in the heat all day and arriving via a parade of tow trucks.  Larry hypothesized that the heat was enough to vapourize the fuel, which then was not making it into the combustion chambers.  He put some gas in the carborator, and the Destroyer revived! He said there was no electrical or other mechanical faults that he could see. On top of that, the shop didn't charge me for the work!
By this point it was 4:30, and starting to cool off a bit.  As we were half way in between home and our destination, we decided to continue on.  Narry a hiccup from the car. We had a lovely dinner and hung out in the pool until well past dark.

Brady has decided to stay on and share the house (and rent) with me until November.  It will be good to have company, somebody to cook for, and a study buddy.   Apparently in Australia, sharehouses are extremely common among working people as well as students, as rents in the city are fairly high.
Tonight we are having supper with a 2nd year student from Ontario who was matched up with us as a mentor.  Should be enlightening.  We are also marching through episodes of "Big Bang Theory" in the evenings.  Everyone I've talked to including me is just so eager to get going.....BRING IT!!!!!

10 January 2009

Waiting Game

Well, it's now 2009.  Hopefully everyone had a relatively uneventful holiday season.  Apollyon and I had a quiet Christmas, with midnight mass at St John's.  Christmas dinner was a picnic on the riverbank with a family from the Gold Coast.  One of the oddest Christmas Days I have ever had.  New Years Eve was similar, just me and my cotton-fluff-with-teeth.  Rob let me wake him up at 6:50 am his time to ring in my New Year, and then I made sure we were on the line together for his.
I have been looking for work, somewhat unsuccessfully.  The double-rent-mortgage-carpayment is getting quite pinchy finance wise. And no, the house still hasn't sold.  Our contract with our agent expired while we were gone, so Rob is currently setting up the next one.

On the 6th, UQ had a Getting Started seminar, which a lot of the Oztrekk people (the company I applied through).  We then had a BBQ.  It was good to meet some of the other Canadians, and reconnect with a few that I had met before in Calgary.  Most everyone is in quasi-panic trying to find housing.  Glad that headache is dealt with at least. The night before, I had James and Janet Purnell over for supper with their little guy, Jacob.  It was really great to have some company and cook for somebody besides just me!  Apollyon wasn't so sure on this idea, and spent most of the time hiding from Jacob under the dresser.
I finally had a chance to ride the CityCat (a ferry service on the river).  It is a very nice way to travel the city.  I just have to remember that it takes a while to get from here to St. Lucia, as I was late for the seminar.
On the 7th, I helped J&J&J move their stuff out to Ipswich.  They found a very nice place with a pool.  However, when Aussies advertise an unfurnished place, they MEAN unfurnished.  My friends still have to go shopping for all their appliances on top of furniture. Oddly enough, there is a built in dishwasher.  But that's pretty much it.  Poor Jacob has been without a regular routine for at least 3 weeks now, and is driving his mother crazy (Most kids thrive on routine and act out when it's thrown out of wack).

gr200timtams.jpgAnd TimTams.  I know they are available in Canada- you must get some!  They are divine with coffee.  Or tea. Or a glass of milk. Or Draino. Just get some.  A peculiar Aussie ritual is the "TimTam slam".  A bite is taken off of each end.  then you suck up coffee through the cookie.  When the liquid gets all the way to your mouth, down the hatch goes the TimTam.  Yummy! has several demonstrations, if you need to see all the gory details.
  Rob and I had the opportunity to kinda do something together.  The Oilers were playing the Canucks on the 7th, and I listened in on streaming audio to 630CHED, while Rob watched the game on TV at home.  We MSN'd comments back and forth as things happened.  Unfortunately, CopperandBlue lost, but it was nice to be experiencing the same thing together at the same time.