warriorsavant: (Wedding/Romance)
We were almost too tired to go away but wanted to break up the period of "kids off from day care" and of winter cold. Also we'd already booked the 5 days away, so off we went. Any doubts about that's being the right decision were erased when we got to our hotel and stood on the outside walkway looking at the ocean (well Gulf of Mexico to be precise). In the warmth. Had sudden urge to change careers to "inspect sunsets through bottom of beer stein while sitting on a beach." Unlikely to actually happen anytime soon, but very strong urge. (On the other hand, summers there are unbearably hot and humid, so beginning to understand snow birds.) Since not actually moving anytime soon, do need to make sure the kids know how to skate and ski and other activities that make one enjoy winter (at least until they go to Med School at UBC (or possibly U Hawaii).

Downside was the long traveling (basically first and last day spent in transit) and that we all came down sick and spent most of the last day sitting around the hotel feeling miserable and puking. Upside was warm and relaxing and beautiful.

Impressions )

Some specifics )

L'envoi. “Goodbye ocean, goodbye palm trees, goodbye warm weather"
warriorsavant: (Meh)

This weekend is the Grand Prix in Montreal. Grand Prix racing is even more boring than NASCAR. At least in NASCAR you can see the entire circuit as cars go 'round and 'round in an incredibly boring and predictable fashion. And if there is that one moment of interest (aka a life-threatening car crash) you will certainly see it. In Grand Prix, if you are there, you only get to see your one little corner of the track… as cars go 'round and 'round in an incredibly boring and predictable fashion. And if there is that one moment of interest (aka a life-threatening car crash) you will only see it if it happens at your one little corner of the track.

In the week leading up to it, there are various festivities designed to stimulate interest (you can see how well that works on me) and snarl downtown traffic. There is also the predictible moralists and feminists complaining about the increase in prositution (as opposed what happens during any other sporting - or rather "sporting" - event or convention that comes to town).

Yeah, so downtown was snarled yesterday by displays of cars with pretty woman standing next to them. Fortunately I was walking, so wasn't frustrated by the traffic jams. Unfortunately, I was walking, so I had to see the displays. Maybe I'm elderly and jaded, but I know what cars look like, and I know what women look like. If I really feel the need to see the one standing by the other, I'll ask Nom to come down to the garage with me. At least that's a woman I care to see.

warriorsavant: (Chimerae)
Was going to do one post with short follow ups and cleaning up stray questions, but started writing this and it got away from me, so is it's own post.

Read more... )
warriorsavant: (HHG-Throne of fruit)
One of the few problems with having been born and raised in the 19th century is the occasional attack of gout, one of which I seem to suffering from right now. (The offset of actually living in the 21st century is that the naproxen is starting to kick in.) I never had a joint tapped to analyze the fluid, which is the actual sine qua non for diagnosis, but the first major attack met the classical clinical findings of podagra, and the Rheumatologist & I agreed to just treat based on clinical findings rather than sticking a needle where I didn't need one stuck. (Which IMHO is any part of my body - I prefer being on the back/non-pointy end of needles.) Had a bit of ache yesterday morning, but it went away. Today full-blown, even if not at base of great toe. Might not be gout, could be some other arthritis/arthralgia. Could just be general I'm-achy-because-I'm-old-and-falling-apart. But I'm going with gout.

On the more positive, spiritual side of things, "Happy St. Patrick's Day." (Yeah, the day was yesterday, and the parade is tomorrow, so I'm splitting the difference.) The most important part of the day (yesterday, the actual day) for me, beyond my being pseudo-Irish, is that is the anniversary (5th anniversary this year) of when I met that wonderful woman who is now my wife-and-mother-of-my-children. (Yes, Nom, for those of you not keeping track.) We'd "met" and dialoged on line for weeks before that, but as [personal profile] ravensron  (and other lesser intellects) frequently points out, you haven't really met anyone until you've bet them IRL. Spekaing of the kids, they are adorable and all the other adjectives that doting parents say, and you're all probably tired of reading, even if entirely true in this case.

At the hospital the other day, someone was selling candy to help raise money for her son's high school something-or-other. I bought a box of chocolate mints (or minty chocolates, if you prefer). In my mind, that goes well with St. Paddy's Day. When I lived in Portsmouth NH, at one point I lived over a bakery. I was living with an exotic older woman musician, in one of the few true urban lofts in that small but lovely city. I forget the name of the bakery; it's not there now, although Ceres Bakery, my other favorite from that era, is still there. Anyhow, said bakery would do Leprechaun Brownies every year for 1-2 weeks leading up to St. P's Day. I adored them, often had one every day. After I'd moved up to Montreal, I was doing the long-distance relationship thing with the lovely lady for over a year. (That worked out as well as most long-distance relationships work. In the end, just as well, because (see 2nd paragraph) I'm now married to Nom.) I was down in Portsmouth the weekend before St. P's and decided to buy a whole tray of Leprachaun Brownies to bring back with me. I ended up scarfing down the entire tray in the course of 2 days, and then couldn't abide the taste of chocolate mint for over a decade. (No residual objection to exotic women, or even older ones, although Nom is in fact, much younger than I am.)
warriorsavant: (Three Musketeers)
Like all parents, I think ruefully of the many phrases I heard my parents tell me, that I swore I would never utter, and now find myself saying.

The phrase my childhood self found the most ridiculous was, "I'm cold, put on your sweater." Now that I'm a parent... I still find it ridiculous. I NEVER say that. Alas, Nom, lovely and intelligent as she is, still believes in it. I guess she has no choice; it's in chapter one of The Mothers' Manual: Things You Absolutely Must Say And Do.

The other day, I took Hedgefund out for a walk. It was a bit cool, so I put her jacket on her. At some point, she decided she didn't want to wear it and took it off. I, negligent parent that I clearly am, made no attempt to stop her, even though I was wearing my jacket. After a few minutes, she realized that she was cold, and put her jacket back on. Let me repeat the key point for those Gentle Readers who might not have caught it (eg the mothers in the crowd): she realized that she was cold and took appropriate action.

Putting on my scientist hat, allow me to point out that all organism regulate their homeostasis, which in the case of humans and temperature, includes adjusting one's clothing-wearing. Here endeth the sermon.
warriorsavant: (Composite)
To understand my use of the term "magpie," see 2nd paragraph of http://warriorsavant.livejournal.com/2008/08/15/ and for fuller discussion, see  http://warriorsavant.livejournal.com/2015/10/29/.

Was at BIL's over the weekend. He and SIL have 2 daughters (11 & 6). SIL's sister* and her family were visiting from France with their son & 3 daughters (various ages from child through late teen). Hedgefund adores visiting with her cousins, mostly because they dote on her, and now there were five girls doting on her. At one point, I was in the dining room holding Wallstreet, and all these young females were in the adjacent kitchen, talking at once. He looked at them, then looked at me with a bemused expression on his face. I just explained that women were like that, and he'd have to get used to it.  I might even have used the term magpie.

He's clearly the strong silent type. Actually, not all that silent, but relative to HF, very much so, and very calm. He sometimes gives me that same bemused look when she is carrying on about something, and I give him that same explanation. At one point while at BIL's, when HF was carrying on about something, I told 11-year-old neice that HF was rather a drama queen.
"But she's only two-and-a-half," she protested
"She was a drama queen when she was two-and-a-half weeks."

*Which would make her my sister-in-law-in-law-in-law?
warriorsavant: (Cafe)
Let me start out by saying I love all of you. Not the same way I love Nom, of course, but definitely all of you both as a group and individually. Well, not all of you, but most. Well some. Well, in theory could be any of you. This is not the same as liking you, because frankly, you're mostly pains in the butt (except, of course, Nom, who is perfect and wonderful and stuff). Y'know all that stuff you do that you think is charming and attractive and all feminine mystique-ish? It isn't. It's annoying. Oh, and the annoying things that you think we secretly like? No, we don't. Not even a little. However that's not the point of this post.

The point is that women can be beautiful and sexy and feminine and sensual (none of which are the same thing) at almost any age. However, you do have to understand that it is different at different ages. Twenty is not the same as thirty, which is not like forty, which is different from fifty, which should not be confounded with sixty, which is… well you get the idea, and I'm running out of easy synonyms. More to the point, what works at twenty is not the same as thirty, which is not like forty, etc, etc. Frankly, by eighty, you'll have to give up on outward beauty and sexiness, but can still do sensual and feminine. However, it all has to be age-appropriate. Really, sex kitten doesn't work after a point. Frankly, to a worldly man, sex kitten doesn't really work for a twenty-year-old, but at least it's sorta cute. By forty it's worn very thin, and after that it's pathetic. If you're wondering, this post is inspired by two women I saw recently in my office, one sixty-five, one eighty, who just didn't get it. In their minds, they were still the little sex kittens, and used to men hanging on their every word not matter how long they babbled on. Rather a pity, because both could have been quite attractive, but their techniques didn't match the hardware, and they were just annoying and a bit pathetic.

So, yes, the only things that are infinite are feminity and uses to which it can be put,* and yes, The Feminine is eternal and eternally attractive, but make it age appropriate.

*Points if you get the (not especially situationally appropriate) reference.
warriorsavant: (Infantry haircut)
No, not Pica pica, nor even the Australian "magpie" Cracticus tibicen (which, as you know, is actually in the family Artamidae, not Corvidae). I'm referring to Homo sapiens, subspecies female, sub-sub-species nurses.

Back when I was more warrior, less savant, and not at all daddy, I did a training exercise in August 2008 at JRTC (Joint Readiness Training Center) as Brigade Surgeon for a Medical Brigade. JRTC is supposedly the Army's premier training site, but that is for gun bunnies; it was near worthless for us, and Louisiana is Summer is a tad warm (okay, hotter than the hobs of hades).

I was sharing an office with the Chief Nurse, Assistant Chief Nurse, and Chief of Preventive Medicine. All good people, good at their jobs, and I liked them, but they talked non-stop. I told them it was like sitting in room full of magpies on LSD. My iPod with earphones was the only thing that saved my sanity.

About a year later, when I was leaving my then Command, just after the last formation, the senior nurses insisted that they needed my input for a nursing services meeting. Yeah, right. I sat down, and 7 nurses piled into the room, informed me that they had reorganized as the Nurse Mafia, with Lady Maytag (my chief nurse - a long story) as the Capo. We had just finished the awards ceremony, but they said there were some other awards/certificates that needed signing. They had printed out "Magpie Association" certificates, and had me sign them as Commander (they were all Magpies, except Lady Maytag who was HMIC [Head Magpie In Charge] and the new nurse who was an MIT [Magpie In Training]). Then they all started talking at once, as fast and as loud as they could. I almost fell out of my chair laughing.

At my next Command, I had "official" signs printed and posted in my office.

"Official" U.S. Army signage )
warriorsavant: (Wedding/Romance)
There's something I don't understand about women. Okay, there's more than one thing. Frankly, there are a number of things. Well, a lot of things. Okay, I don't understand jack about women, which makes me on a par with every man who ever lived.

Now that we got that out of the way, there's one item came to mind recently that I can't even comprehend understanding. I mean all that other stuff I accept might make sense and be understandable in some parallel universe, but not this one item.

Socks. What's the deal with them? Why are women fascinated by socks? Why are socks regarded as wonderful, romantic presents? And why do women put on socks to go to sleep knowing that after a few minutes they will take them off?

Don't get me wrong, I wear socks. I even have a range of colors. For special use: white for exercising, white kilt hose (to wear with my kilt). For everyday wear: black, a few black with grey highlights, and even one all gray one (hey, I'm a rebel). No: flowers, snoopies, planets, dinosaurs, clever sayings, emoji, or any other such folly. It would be unmanly. If I'm gonna wear those, I might just as well wear fishnets. I could carry it off fishnets and still look manly. But not cutesy socks. I don't do cutesy. But even serious-minded, professional women and business women, who would cut your heart out for daring to suggest they'd like My Little Pony swoon over the thought of My Little Pony socks.

Bill Cosby

Nov. 29th, 2014 09:14 pm
warriorsavant: (Time)
I’ve been putting this off for a while, because it’s such a hard one to write. An idol, a role model, down the drain. Had his special on Comedy Central on tape, and watched it the other week. I mostly watch things while exercising to take my mind off how boring exercise is. This didn’t do the trick. Some was his very slow delivery is getting a little too slow even for me, but most was the allegations hitting the news. One or two I could blow off, over a dozen separate allegations is hard to doubt. Yes, some is getting their 15 minutes of fame (I’m mostly thinking here of the security guard who was shocked – yes shocked – when he realized a Hollywood star was bringing girls up to his room), but these are too many to blow off. Could they be faulted for not coming out 20 years ago? Maybe, but things were different then; it’s still not easy for the accuser, but it’s easier. Maybe our society has grown up, and such things are not excused or winked at even for the great and famous.

It is painful. We’re talking The Cos. Mister Fatherhood. America’s idol of parenting. A strong and positive memory from childhood. It is painful. I’m not so naïve to believe the actor and the role are the same person, but this is so far over the line that you can’t see it in the rearview. Not going to be watching him any more, not going to use that icon on my LJ (too difficult to remove all the ones already there). Yeah, I know my second-hand emotional disturbance about this is nothing compared to those who first-hand went thru it, but this is my blog, so discussing my feelings.

I remember seeing him a few years ago live in Montreal at Juste Pour Rire festival. He was amazing. It was amazing. This old man, sitting in a chair for two hours, talking slowly and quietly, no obscenities, sex, or potty humour, telling jokes that were lame 20 years ago, and I was falling out of my chair laughing. At one point literally fell over. The sort of laughter most comedians can’t get from a drunk audience at 1 AM while swearing and telling sex jokes. I’m usually fine separating the art from the artist, but can’t this time.
warriorsavant: (Infantry haircut)
Language issues. The problem is that I speak English, and Nom speaks English. (We both also speak French, her better than me, and she also speaks Vietnamese, but that’s all beside the point here.) I speak Man English, and she speaks Woman English, two very different dialects. As in any dialectal difference, there are subtlies in one that do not exist in the other.

Today, Nom sent me out to bring home the bacon. Well, actually lamb chops, salad, and other victuals. I did go to work in the morning to earn money, but the afternoon was food shopping. While out, she asked that I get her sanitary pads. No, not for Hedgefund, she’s growing fast, but not that fast; the pads were for Nom herself. Hadn’t needed in a while, what with that pregnancy thing and all. Realizing that to a man, “sanitary pads” are mysterious and I would not be versed in all the intricacies, she got specific. Apparently they come in thin, extra-thin, regular, extra-regular, heavy, extra-heavy, and I-didn’t-know-the-human-body-had-that-much-blood-in-it. She was very specific which brand and thickness she wanted, even specifying that it came in a lime green box with a dolphin on it. Since it is well-known that even the brightest boy friends are rather dunces, she repeated that several times. I stopped her from finding a color chart or drawing a dolphin for me, and toddled off to the store.

Found the store. Check. Found the aisle with feminine products. Check. Found the sanitary pad section in that aisle. Check. Found her brand. Check. Found her thickness. Check. Found… that one has to sub-specify day, night, short, regular or long. All of them in lime green boxes, none of which had dolphins on them. Fortunately she called me just about then to say they were going on sale tomorrow and I should hold off buying any.

In another related rant: lime green? What’s with female color names? No lime ever grown is the color known as “lime green,” either inside or out. I’ve seen limes (preferably perched on the side of glass of something nourishing). As a Dermatologist, I can distinguish very subtle color differences. Further, as a highly articulate and well-read person, I actually understand the difference between, say, cerulean and azure. Well, understand it intellectually. Deep in my soul, colors, real colors, have names like red, yellow, or blue. Peach is a fruit. (Orange swings both ways.) Persimmon is likely a fruit, although I have no personal experience with one, and wouldn’t recognize it if it were on my plate. Puce simply doesn’t exist in nature. If I saw a puce on my plate, I’d call Ghost Busters.
warriorsavant: (Venice)
Yes, today is Hallowe'en. That day when we celebrate by decorating everything in images of bloody body parts, extort presents, and otherwise strike terror in the hearts of men. ("men," not "people") I'm sorry that Nom is physically uncomfortable these days (what with being 10-11 months pregnant), but at least I get out of having to go out for an over-priced and ridiculously-themed restaurant meal. I've already bought the chocolates (see post last weekend) and will make her a nice meal at home, and suffer thru some chick flick. Not great, but beats having back surgery which is what I did last year to get out of it. Maybe I'll get really lucky and Hedgefund will come early. Probably won't happen. Kids! Never do things at convenient times.


Sep. 30th, 2013 09:11 pm
warriorsavant: (Sword & Microscope 1)
This is in answer to Gentle Reader, [livejournal.com profile] michikatinski, who asked: "I've been wondering it--are you a U.S. citizen, then?  I'm confused about your origins."

My origins? I thought as a mom she'd understood the process, but if an explanation is needed: IVF didn't exist back then, so my mom and dad were in bed one night... sorry, I'm blushing now.

Oh, you mean my nationality!

Yeah, okay, I'm born and raised American. Moved to Canada to do my Residency (specialty training) at McGill, where I met my future-ex-wife. Got married and stayed. Well, stayed in Canada; didn't stay married to GoTV, but as you know, I'm now fortunate enough to be with the lovely Nom. (Ahhhh, these Montreal women...) Due to a quirk in the licensing laws at that time, I had to apply for citizenship, otherwise might have stayed as permanent resident (less paperwork). That is not to say that I'm not proud of my Canadian citizenship, because I am, but my first is US. Canada formally recognizes dual citizenship. The US doesn't; their attitude is that I'm a US citizen, and if I want to think I have some relationship to some other country, that's my business (as long as the other country is, say, Canada, and not, say, North Korea), they just aren't going to take that seriously.
warriorsavant: (Signpost Ft. Benning)
We had some of all today. (More serious and thought-provoking things happened last night, but that will be another post or two.)

First, coming up the elevator, smelled something acrid, like burning plastic. A few minutes later the fire alarm rang, and we trooped down the stairs to wait for the fire department. Fortunately it was a pleasant day, and we chatted, while Evil Secretary and the other women ogled the firemen when they arrived.* One of the other women down there mentioned that she was the one who pulled the alarm. She’d smelled the smoke, phoned the fire department, who told her if she smelled smoke, she should pull the alarm and they’d be right over. They are doing renovations on the ground floor (new street level business going in) and someone left something turned on. It smolder, but in a non-dangerous fashion. Still, with a commercial building, they take no chances: evacuate, bring in the firefighters, and let them sort it out. Since there are few true high-rises in Westmount (my building is 8 stories), it works more easily than trying to evacuate an entire skyscraper.

Later in the day, we had a patient who is, as they say, a “guest of the province.” These come in cuffs and leg irons, escorted by two correctional officers. Whenever I get one of these gentlemen, scenes from Silence of the Lambs and half a dozen other movies flash through my head briefly, then I ignore it and get on with business. I’m really not worried, few offenders are seriously violent, plus there are the cuffs, leg irons, and burly armed escorts. (The geek in my takes note of the careful procedures they follow with the prisoner.) The visits, like for all residents of Quebec, are paid by the provincial Medicare system. We don’t give them special appointment (and unlike military who get appointments sooner than anyone else). When they come up, by their protocol, they wait in the hall (not the waiting room) until we have an exam room open. At that point, we do put them right into the exam room, no matter if other people are waiting, but that’s the extent of “special treatment” on our part. After that, I give them the same care as anyone else. Plus ES gets to ogle more men in uniform.*

If only had military same day, would have had a trifecta of uniforms.

*Really, women can be such pigs.
warriorsavant: (Sword & Microscope 1)
Spring has sprung for real now, and got out the road steed again, pedaling merrily on my way down the Lachine Canal Bike Path. This was a better trip than the last: the weather was warmer, I went farther, and the flower of athletic young Montreal womanhood was out in tight outfits enjoying it as well.*

*Uh, so someone told me. In order to personally know, I would have to look at other women besides Nom, which I don't.**

**Uh, that is, if there were any other women on the planet beside Nom, which there aren't.
warriorsavant: (Meh)
I'm confused:
- Is this an international day for women? If so, how does that differ from every other day?
- Or is this a day for international women? If so, what defines an international woman?
- Or a day where one can internationally get a woman (mail order- or as it might be male order - brides)?
- And what about visiting extraterrestrial sentient females? Do they get to celebrate also?
- Or human female astronauts in outer space - "international" no longer applies.

Clearly "someone" didn't think this through.


Nov. 12th, 2012 09:15 pm
warriorsavant: (Venice)

Evil Secretary is Evil - Story as promised. There’s a drug rep we are friends with. Most of them are interchangeable, but a few are special. Actually, we’re down to the last one like that; the others have moved or retired. This woman had confided in ES that she had a thing for men in uniform (apparently there were firemen at her house one day…) Not the she was ever going to act on it - happily married with two kids - but does have a “thing.” (BTW: where were all these women when I was wandering around in uniform all those years.) Anyhow, coupla weeks ago, had a young patient from Canadian Forces in the office, who needed a return visit around same day said Rep was due. Nice-looking in a wholesome boy-next-store kind of way, pleasant manner, well-built, etc. So…. he’s talking to ES when the Rep comes in and sits down. I’m in the next room, I hear this happening, I laugh to myself, I walk out to the reception area, looking innocent.  ES is behind the reception desk. Young Soldier in uniform standing in front of desk talking to her. Rep sitting behind him, mouth open, eyes wide, almost drooling. She knew we’d sandbagged her, but enjoyed the show anyhow.

Weather. Actually warm today. Mid-November, in Montreal. Should be snowing by now. I’m not complaining.

Buddhism. Buddhists don’t keep any special day as the Sabbath, but going with the flow in a county where Sunday is the traditional Sabbath, that is when they often go to temple. Nom is Buddhist, used to go to temple regularly, but Sunday is one of the few days we get to see each other. Feel bad about her not going because of me (almost). Considered going with her, but not really going to sit and listen to people chanting for 2 hours in a language I don’t understand. Yesterday we did go briefly, so she could pay her respects to her ancestors. We stayed for lunch, which was remarkably good vegetarian. That was the first time I ever had tofu that I actually liked. Still, the cliché about “an hour later you’re hungry again” did apply. Fortunately we “happened” to have some pastry we’d bought earlier (Buddhism and pastry - is this a great city or what).

Other vegetarian. In my further adventures of veggie sandwiches, made an almond butter and honeycrisp apple sandwich on a slice of pain miche. Yum. Never used to be able to eat almond butter, because although my brain said “almond butter,” my eyes said “peanut butter,” and my taste buds got confused. This time it all came together.

Exercise. Going well. Finally getting back up to good cardio level workouts. Between that and the better diet, weight has finally come back down below 196 (okay, only by an ounce, but below is below).

warriorsavant: (Venice)

Was going through my shirts to see which were too worn to keep. Had already done my dress shirts, was going through the casual ones. Nom was kibitzing (I admit she has way better fashion sense than I do, but as a general rule, I actually manage to dress myself without outside help). There were two shirts that she immediately homed in on as “have to go.” They were maybe a bit worn, but still quite serviceable. “No,” she insisted, “those look terrible on you.” These were two that I bought at an upscale men’s clothing store that another woman (whom I dated twice) had taken me to. A store that that woman felt was the epitome of men’s fashion and which shirts she thought looked great on me. Without (consciously) knowing this history, Nom was adamant that I should give those two shirts away.

warriorsavant: (Infantry haircut)

Worked out with GymTeacher today. He’s back from vacation, not tanned (good boy!). Went for bike ride afterwards (rather slowly, after the workout with him). Had just gotten the bike tuned up, it was a glorious day, so had to get out. There were several things of interest along the path:

  1. No snow.
  2. The ladies, God bless them*
  3. A raccoon, taking its ease.
  4. A cyclist ditto. He’d brought a hammock with him, rode as far as he’d felt like, and strung it between two trees for a rest.
  5. The fresh air, the gentle sun, the kindly wind.

*Ladies, may I take this moment to thank you for existing. Especially the more athletic members of your half of the human race, but frankly you are all beautiful. Not entirely sure I want one of you in my life mucking it up (that is a much longer and more complicated discussion), but thank you for making the world a more attractive place.


warriorsavant: (Default)

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