Saturday, 19 May 2018

Away From It All

Escape To The Beach
Long Point, May 2018
Photo by me, taken on my phone

Sunday, 13 May 2018

No Enough Of My Mother

After spending the last few months in Spain, and now visiting Mike, Aimee, Avery, and Maya in Edmonton for a few weeks, it seems like I haven't see Mom much since our Africa trip in January. I wanted to make a Mother's Day post and went looking for a photo on my computer - I only have the shots from Africa, and I didn't take many of people. I understand the thrill of the animals and wanting all the amazing pictures of them, but it is sad that I don't have many of us - the time spent together with friends and family is really important and I am just not documenting it as much as I should. (See photo on right that I got - Mom taking photos at Blyde River Canyon.)

So, Happy Mother's Day Mom! I love you and I miss you, and I am so glad we got to spend our first big visit to Africa together. In honour of that, here are some baby/parent pictures from that trip.

Unless noted, photos are taken by me (and not edited) please click to see larger. All from our trip in January 2018:

Parents and Baby African Penguins
The young ones are fuzzy, not as cute as expected, 
fully grown is adorable though.

 Two Little Dassies with Their Mommy
Cute rodent thing found on Table Mountain, closest relative is an elephant.

 Baby Baboon Runs to the Grown Ups (By Jason)
It was estimated that this little guy was only a couple of days old, so tiny.

 Young Impala Nursing (By Jason)
They very violently nursed! 
It did not look pleasant, the mothers were not pleased.

 Mother Peacock Watches Over Her Baby (By Jason)
Never seen a baby peacock before, 
there were a bunch, very interesting and quite cute.

 A Wee Elephant Stays Close For Protection
The baby elephants were the best, most large herds had at least one.

 A Zebra Foal (By Jason)
My Mom has better shots on her blog, he stayed close to his mom.

 Two Tiny Black Velvet Monkeys and Their Mother
These were 'my monkeys' because I often saw them from the bus 
and no one believed me.

Saturday, 12 May 2018


My event is six weeks away!

We did get some things done in advance this year, but it doesn't feel like we got enough things taken care of. There will still be a mad rush over the next month and a half to finish everything in time.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

Doctor Numbers

Flying home today and I still keep thinking about the intercom call for a doctor that happened on our flight down. It seems like such a strange policy. And for sure it is some type of policy because airlines have procedures for everything. I decided I wanted to look at the numbers:

Cooling My Feminist Jets
So, I had been very happy/surprised that it was a female doctor answering the call. Turns out, not that rare. There is probably still a wage gap, and possibly still a 'senior position' gap, but the gender gap for Canadian doctors has shrunk considerably. 41% are female; 59% are male. Two thirds (64%) of family physicians under age 35 are female.

What About Specialists
Almost half of the over 83,000 Canadian doctors are specialists of other disciples, instead of Family Medicine. Students in medical school in Canada will experience many fields of medicine and decide on their specialty during 3rd or 4th year. After that choice, residency training can be anywhere from 2 years (Family Medicine) to 6 years (Neurosurgery). Most specialties are a 5 year program. So they have the medical base, but a specialist can really be pretty specialized, and there are 37 specialties available in Canada. Would a urologist be that much help to someone who fainted in a plane?

Seems Like A Long Shot
Based on the total population of Canada there is only about 1 doctor for every 500 people. The plane we were in seats 100. That is a 0.2% chance there would be a doctor on board. When looking at people who fly, mainly those who can afford to fly, than doctors would be more likely to be on board a plane while the general population less so - this increases the chance. Often planes would be larger than the jet we were one, increasing the passengers to maybe 200. Huge planes can have more than 600 seats (in a two-tiered class configuration. Actually 800 in single-class, but I have never seen that.) I still don't like the odds, or many I don't like the fact that they are relying on odds.

Improve Your Odds
If they had asked "Is there a doctor or nurse on board" that would really improve the chances of a generally trained health care professional. There are lots of different types of nurses, including those in advance nursing practice, like nurse practitioners and clinical nurse specialists. There are 4 times as many nurses as doctors in Canada.

Source information:
Look at me citing things like a good girl who went to university and grad school!
- Canadian Institute For Health Information
The Canadian Medical Association
- University of British Columbia Medical School
- AirBus Corporate Site, Aviation Blogs

Further Reading:
I am like my own Wikipedia article here. If you found this as fascinating as me, the likelihood of that might be small, then these are some interesting international articles on the same topic:
- July 2017 - ABC News (Australia) - Is there a doctor on board? What happens during a mid-air medical emergency
- March 2017 - The Telegraph (UK)What really happens during a medical emergency at 35,000 feet
- January 2017 - Singapore Medical JournalWhat to do during inflight medical emergencies? Practice pointers from a medical ethicist and an aviation medicine specialist
- April 2013 - Quartz (USA)What it’s like to be the “doctor on board”, and why airlines shouldn’t be relying on them

The Warmest Water

I cannot believe how warm the water is here!! We went out on a sailboat trip yesterday, that included kayaking into a mangrove tree island thing - totally looked like what I pictured the floating island in the Life of Pi book to be. We also went snorkeling but I didn't really like it so took off the mask and just floated/swam around in the water.

I have never been in natural water this warm in my life! (However, after saying that Jason reminded me that I have been to quite a few hot springs, but let's not count those.) The people crewing the boat kept saying it was 27, degrees Celsius, and then everyone else on the boat complained about how cold that was. At the time all I could go by was the fact that it felt like bath water, and I knew that one year we did a Toronto Try-Tri in 19 and the Azores was 16. Looking it up online now, it seems that the super quick swim that Kristen, Noah, Jason and I did in the Indian Ocean near Durban in South Africa probably had water temperatures close 27, but it was very wavy and windy, so didn't feel that warm. I found a website that details sea temperatures around the world - so cool! The great lakes don't ever get much over 20.

Unrelated - Here is a bird photo inspired by Mom's Blog, which now even features bird pictures on her 'at home' posts. Jason and I did a short stroll along a boardwalk in The Everglades named after this bird. There were quite a few of them, some making quite the racket as they did mating displays. I preferred the quiet ones that just hung out on logs near the water. Saw one trying to eat a fish, that I think was way too big for it, greedy bugger.

An Anhinga in The Everglades
Photo by Jason, with his phone, April 2018

Thursday, 26 April 2018

A Flying First

My birthday falls almost exactly one month before our major event at work. I don't really feel comfortable taking any time off leading up to it, in fact often I work over the weekends on top of Monday to Friday. So, Jason wanted to plan a surprise for me and the end of April would be the last possible time I might feel comfortable take a couple of vacation days.

I didn't know where we were going, which turned out to be Florida to explore The Everglades and Florida Keys. I found out in the UP Express on the way to the airport. It was a very exciting last-minute reveal.

As any regular reader of Always Standing would know, I have flown quite a bit (it has its own tag.) But last night on the way down something happened on the plane that I have never experienced before - They called for a doctor!

Near the end of the three hour flight, an elderly women a row or two behind us got up to use the washroom and fell down. (What what I heard afterwards it was more of a 'passed out' than a 'fall' so I guess the proper term would be she collapsed.) The man that was with her, a few other passengers and a flight attendant were taking care of her.

I thought it only happened in the movies, but I soon heard someone ask over the intercom, "If there is a doctor on board please identify yourself to the nearest flight attendant or ring the assistance bell." Right away a bell chimed in front of us, in first class. Soon after a woman can striding through the curtain. (I was quite happy that is was a lady-doctor.) I think the doctor was helpful since it wasn't long before the passenger was back in her seat and everything was back to normal with the crew.

I was surprised that they do this, as the population ages it might sense to have at least one attendant on each plane that is also a nurse, so that there is accreditation beyond First Aid and CPR. Also, calling for a doctor is fine, but what is their specialty is way off from general medicine? An orthopedic surgeon is a doctor, technically so is someone with a PhD in Art History.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

A Very Toronto Commute

Sat beside a man with no teeth on the bus home today, who was fairly blatantly drinking from a can of Laker Ice. He had a rat on his knee. I had instinctively smiled and said, "Oh, so sweet" before I noticed that most people around him were some variation of annoyed/disgusted. It was really obviously a trained, loved, tame rat - truly very sweet - brown and white.

We chatted a bit about the rat, 5-months old and named Ruby. Then American cities (and their rat populations) and then somehow about hockey. Then had a really enjoyable conversation about The Leafs for the rest of the 20-minute ride home.

Despite the final score, he didn't think that they had played that badly during the game I saw in Boston and we both expressed frustration that the first penalty had been from too many players on the ice. We had different opinions on the new Las Vegas team, but acknowledged how well they are doing. It was one of the best hockey conversations I have had in a long time. He got off the bus a few stops before mine, with the rat tucked up behind his neck (she was snuggled there most of the ride actually).

I hope The Leafs make it to the second round of playoffs so I can keep talking hockey with strangers!

Much Nicer!

Fun staging tip - Use boxes under a blow-up mattress to give the appearance of a bed. (The suggestion online said milk crates, but we didn't have those.) Obviously you can't sit on it, and we used a king-size sheet to cover the boxes. I looked into renting things from a professional staging place but it was all really expensive. I figured that using ideas from the internet and borrowing from friends if we didn't have the right stuff to use would work out just as well. Luckily we have friends with awesome taste and were able to use some really great pieces to highlight our basement.

Also, this picture below is perfect for the end of our demolition photo reel that shows the progression from inspection to the end of the tear-end.

Staged The Apartment -- Posted To Rent
The Bedroom
April 2018