canoe day and oversized ducks

well, our internet has been down for while now so we have been unable to post. telus is (hopefully) coming around tomorrow so we should be back online soon. kylie was just commenting on how entrenched highspeed internet access has become in our lives. we used to use phone books, and city maps, and encyclopedias and pen and paper, and photodeveloping shops; however those things have slowly receded from our lives and now that we no longer have internet access we are finding ourselves inconvenienced by simple things like not having an abbotsford phone book, or a readily available map of wherever we happen to want to go.
kylie also mentioned that it felt like a mental wall had been put in place in her head. previously she had access to almost any piece of knowledge she wished, as well as effortless social connections through both email and blogs. we have grown accustomed to having the world's knowledge base at our fingertips and now that it is temporarily unavailable our mental space has been truncated.
it is a wierd modern (post modern? neopost modern? information age?) phenomenon. how can part of my mind be missing when the change that has taken place is external to my skull? i often hear people in medicine talking about their palm pilots as their "peripheral brain" or "external brain" and it is true. we take all the info that we need to know but do not want to memorize (drug dosages, treatment algorithms, due dates) stick it in a portable device and forget about it until we have need to access it again. if i forget my palm pilot when i am on call i too feel like there is a wall in my head and part of my available knowledge is missing. the internet is the same thing but obviously waaaaay bigger. consider how this is similar to my (or your own) memories of grade 3. they are tucked away in my neural networks, unavailable to my conciousness unless stimulated by intentional recollection or a picture or a smell or somebody's speech patterns. i file them there where they do not clutter up my working memory and then dredge them up when they are needed.
soon i will be able to jack my peripheral device directly into my organic neural network (perhaps that is my sci fi influenced wishful thinking, but the technology exists today, it just needs serious refinement) and then the lines will become even fuzzier.

anyways, all of that was just supposed to be a quick reason for our posting absence... the following is the actual reason for this post.

chilliwack just had our annual canoe day (which i planned) at hicks lake near harrison lake in the fraser valley. the weather was gorgeous and the bbq was a huge success (thank you very much - actually thank you matt for helping me out in a pinch) with lots of docs and their families and plenty of residents showing up to splash around in the water. sorry i do not have many pics b/c i feared to take our camera in the canoe with niko, but i needn't have worried. he was calm in the canoe and loved the whole experience. part of the experience kylie did not love was me going off a rickety rope swing that swung out over a nasty rock and dropped you about 35 feet into deep water. the scary part was that there was about a 1 sec window to let go of the rope that would result in you landing in the water. any error on either side equalled falling on bare rock. from kylie's angle my first try looked like i was going to die, and i took the occasion to yell something like "holy shikee!" as i realized how high i really was and that i had to let go or get seriously injured. needless to say this yell did not make her feel any better and my life flashed before her eyes. the second time she was much calmer, although niko was more worried once he realized what i was up to.
i also really enjoyed the opportunity to hang out with the other doc's kids.

in other news, our friends matt and monique and liam came by for a fun dinner and we put the duck towel that julie made for kylie to good use. cute kid eh?

one more thing. our friend lisa recently came back from living in guatemala. while there she had many amazing experiences including living in a heavily political clown collective, living with a women's collective and making a gigantona (giant puppet) from scratch. these are pictures that need to be seen and so i am linking to them.


banquets and hiking and bears, oh my!

we attended my grad banquet last friday. every year the first years, the second years and the preceptors all put on skits. if making the skit happen was anyone's responsibility this year it was mine, but only 2 of the second years were even in town. the night before the banquet i was starting to get a little stressed about being able to pull this thing off. my friend shawn and i ended up tooling around chilliwack filming footage with my office digital videocamera until about midnight so we would at least have something to show. fortunately 3 other residents showed up the morning of, and we quickly wrote something up. it had the potential to be quite slick, but we ran into AV probs and had to shut down for 10 min to figure it out, and then still had to stop a couple times. huge bummer b/c it was a lot of work and we ended up looking like idiots. i had a song to finish off with though, and that was received really well.
the exciting news from the banquet was that my family preceptor (who is crazy busy all the time) put a huge amount of thought and effort into a video lampooning me and my "relaxed" approach to clothes, self hygeine and life in general. It was almost 10 min long and absolutely hilarious. my preceptor displayed a knowledge of comic timing that i had never guessed at, a dramatic flare for capturing and accentuating my mannerisms and speech patterns and a depth of knowledge of my personal foibles that i had no idea he possessed. It was spectacular, unexpected and strangely moving. kylie and i havent laughed so hard since kylie's realization involving genitourinary anatomy on mayne island (different story).

i am still enjoying emerg. last night was great for procedures. i repaired an extensor tendon on an electrician's index finger, dissected a barbed nail (nail guns are dangerous) out of a welder's thigh (vastus lateralis to be more specific), stitched up a few people and put on some casts and splints. i am still scared about the cardiac stuff and major trauma though.

here are some pics of a hike we did with our friend ang on sunday. note niko's pretty flower garnish.

this is a new place we found to take niko. you have to walk along the dyke for about 500m then you can access a network of hiking and game trails along the vedder river. to the east of the dyke (left of kylie) is the great blue heron reserve and from the dyke you can see one of their nesting areas with around 50 nests in a stand of 10 trees. noisy.

while we were by the river niko suddenly smelled something scary and put on his big tough dog voice and wouldnt let us past until he deemed it safe. he has used his "manly bark" before when he feels threatened, but saturday was the first day he put on a whole display. he would stand as tall as he could, puff his chest out and bark, then sprint forward, dash back, jump as high as he could (which is getting pretty high these days) and land snarling in a tense crouch, all ready to pounce. he did this several times until he was satisfied that whatever was bothering him was gone. then we were allowed to proceed. kylie and i were just laughing at him, but our friend ang told us that there have been a few bear sitings on the rotary trail about a kilometer from where we were hiking in the past week, so maybe he was doing his job. sorry niko.


people seem to dig wedding shots

oh, and i put the wrong pic of lisa up before. this is the one that i feel captures the lisa that we know.


Shareen and Craig

Well I am suppossed to be cleaning the office today and I am about 5 minutes in and procrastinating. I thought it would be a great time to post some pictures of Shareen and Craig's wedding since we are allowed now. :)

We sure had a wonderful wedding weekend - visiting with friends and family and Marc's 10 year high school reunion too!
Marc did an amazing job in photoshop of the picture of Shareen and I but unfortunately blogger won't let me post it. So you have to settle for the original for now, I will post it when it lets me. Kylie


bridge shots

while in lethbridge with a digital camera it is customary to take several perspective shots of our (not really) namesake bridge. even though our weekend was crazy packed with wedding stuff we managed to take 2 (count them... 2) trips to the high level bridge and combine them with visits with old friends (carmen and lisa). naturally such bridge visits led to talk of the preconceptions of our youth and our newfound awareness of the prejudices built into our unconcious data processing through the efforts of our parents, teachers, pastors, catechism leaders and friends.

for those of you not familiar with lethbridge i will tell you that our town is not named after our most famous landmark (pictured below), it is named after mr. william lethbridge.
the bridge is called the high level bridge and was constructed 1907-1909 before the advent of welding. the whole thing was put together with manually tightened bolts on giant steel nuts. It is 96m high and 1.6 km long.

coming back to the preconceptions thing, kylie and i are both currently reading "blink" by malcolm gladwell. its a great book so far, i'll let you know what i think of his overall thesis once we're done. he has a link to a website where you can take an implicit association test to measure your own automatic preconceptions about race and other topics. very cool and a little scary and worth checking out.

note the train hurtling across approx 94m above us.
i have been instructed to wait on posting wedding shots until after the bride has presented you with her chosen first impressions, but i figure i can get around that by posting a couple shots of non central wedding personages.
for those who where not aware, my sister shareen got married to her boyfriend of several years named craig last weekend. kylie was the flowergirl and i was the ringbearer. i pulled her down the aisle in our trusty red saskatchewan wheat pool wagon (given to us kids by my grandpa rose) and kylie scattered rose petals quite effectively. are rose petals still allowed in today's clutter concious church you might ask? we didnt, so i cant tell you.


mt baker is huge!!!

flying from abbotsford to calgary you get an idea of how big mt. baker really is. this peak is surrounded by what look like large craggy mountains, but when you get above the clouds you can see just how small those other (wimpy) mountains are in comparison. this just reinforces my need to get up this peak before we leave the fraser valley (probably just wishful thinking though).


weekend in edmonton

june is already shaping up into a whirlwind month. this coming weekend is my sister shareen's wedding, last weekend was my grandma's funeral and i only have 10 er shifts, some committee meetings, a research presentation and a graduation banquet left in my residency. kylie only has 5 more school days and a few exam supervisions and then she is done as well.

the funeral was last weekend in edmonton. it was a happy time, as my grandma was 97 and died in bed while 2 of her daughters sang hymns at her side. our family gathered from all across the continent, got together for a private dinner after the funeral and spent the next day at my aunt and uncle's sheep ranch. grandma was survived by her 8 kids, 30 grandkids and 50 greatgrankids plus all the signifigant others. when we all got together under one roof it was quite a brood.

watching everyone together really underscored my grandma's influence as the matriarch of a family that she helped bring to canada from holland. she prayed for every one of us every day, wrote cards and letters to family and friends with astounding regularity and pertinence, kept herself busy reading her bible and other religious books (some written by her sons), was a great cook (although i learned at the funeral that she perfected this skill later in life after practicing on her children) and a loving, accepting and welcoming person. kylie and i will always miss her.

everyone seemed to have a fantastic time at my uncle and aunt's ranch afterwards. it was a beautiful alberta day (kylie and i had forgotten how big the sky is there) and we visited, ate, played bocce, played soccer, went on a hayride and wandered around making speeches to the newborn lambs and their attendant (raptly attentive) mothers.

kylie also shot a gun for the first time and was 3 for 3 on a coke can at 20 meters.


Fraser is here!

Fraser is here visiting us this weekend and we went on a great hike to Harrison hot springs. The weather was very cyclical, it started out pouring rain, the sun came out and then we ended our day with the pouring rain in the car again. I am trying my hand at taking pictures of foilage.