Saturday, May 26, 2007

Me and My Dad

He was still in the hospital where surgery had been performed, but the other day he was finally moved to a rehabilitation hospital where he can do more work on learning to live without that right foot, and where they can work up the best prosthetic for him.

When this picture was taken he was almost done his antibiotics (you can see the shunt on his left arm) and was certainly much perkier than I recall him being for some time. I loaned him some books that weekend and he read five chapters of one the first day, which is an excellent sign, since he wasn't able to read so much as a Post-It note just a few days before.

Before he can be fitted with the prosthetic, he also needs to have his stump shaped. They wrap it with special bandages and mould it so that it fits better. There are also a whole swack of staples holding the graft in place (when they amputated, they left the skin from the back of the calf and pulled it up. Interestingly, this may be where some so-called phantom pains come from, as he can feel nonexistent muscles pulling whenever he stretches out, likely from nerves that were left in the skin), as well as a wound that needs to recover.

The trick for all this will be for him to be able to deal with the loss of muscle mass from lying around in bed so much (and they've had him doing some physio already, to get him back in shape), and he'll also need to work around his ruined joints in his hands and fingers (if he needs crutches) and his other foot, which is also severely buggered up, to the point where he kind of has a reverse arch that does a U, which requires a special orthotic boot.

So, 6-8 weeks of rehab before he can come home, or at least that's the latest I've heard. Now that he's there they'll know better soon.

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Time For a Family Photo

This was taken last week in Peace River, from the top of the hill where 12 Foot Davis used to be buried. That's obviously the Peace in the background, and down to the right is where Jo's parents live, on a hill overlooking the river. On nice days it's a great place to sit and watch the world float by.

For those who may not know or don't remember (or haven't seen them since they were wee little things), that's Brennan in front, and Aidan to the right.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Thirty Years Ago Today

Yeah, I was at Star Wars on opening day. I was 14, it was at the Meadowlark in Edmonton (glorious big screen there), and my idiot friend Don Jessop didn't tell me he was going to skip school to see the afternoon showing. So there I was, alone, not really sure what I was going to see, and the first ship crossed the screen from top to bottom, being shot at, and I thought, "Yeah, that's cool," and then the second ship crossed, and crossed, and crossed, and I, along with everyone else in the theatre, went nuts.

It's still a defining moment in my life of movie geekery.

That said, I can't help but agree with most of what John Scalzi has said about Lucas and the whole Star Wars pantheon. Yeah, we own all the DVDs; the kids love the movies. But they (and more specifically, VI, I, II, and III) were a major letdown. The man got rich using a few sleights of hand and some smoke and mirrors, not with any significant storytelling skills.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Why the People at Global BC Television are Buttheads Part Two

I never used to watch Survivor, but the boys got me hooked. So tonight we're watching the big finale, which is a CBS show but, according to the rules set by the CRTC, since Global also has the show, they're allowed to simulcast it. Which means that once again we're at the mercy of people who apparently don't know or don't care what they're doing.

You know where this is going. Just before the vote to establish the final three, and only a minute or so after the last commercial, they cut to commercial again. And then they stayed in commercial for several long minutes. When we came back, it was to see the last three walking back from tribal council and talking about the big surprise that had been pulled.

I know it's only a TV show, but this is nonsense. It drives me nuts already that we are prisoners of this CRTC rule, and worse, prisoners of a company that doesn't give a damn about their viewers. And since nobody returned my call of complaint over the Heroes debacle, I would guess that not giving a damn is standard.

Contact info for Global BC is here. CRTC is here. I'll contact both, but I anticipate nothing from either.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

SFWA Election Result

I didn't win, which comes as no surprise. Even if people wanted me to win, I threw my hat into the ring late enough that plenty of ballots had already been sent in. Unlike John Scalzi, I have nothing else to say on the matter.


New Tunes to Enjoy

We've picked up a couple of new CDs here at Casa Murphy, both of which I'm keen enough about to mention here. First up is the new Joni Mitchell tribute album, titled (ironically enough), A Tribute to Joni Mitchell. The lead song, a version of "Free Man in Paris" by Sufjan Stevens is bizarre and catchy, alternately peaceful and breathy followed by catchy, early-Chicago (the band) style. I'm calling this one of my favorite songs so far of '07. There are some other excellent songs on the disc, some more faithful to the original than others, and I'll say that my number two pick for the CD would be Emmylou Harris' version of "Magdalena Laundries."

The other CD, which I got for Jo for Mother's Day yesterday, is The Story by Brandi Carlile. Go to her Myspace page and be blown away by the title track. When you hit the point just between 2:50 and 3:00 where Jo said, while listening to the tune for the first time, shouted (wearing headphones, dontcha know) "Oh, my," I dare you to no be affected by the wonder she works with her voice.


Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Foot Stops Here

Yesterday afternoon, after more than a decade of seeing this coming, my father had his right foot amputated. It was a below-the-knee amputation, and the doctor figures that in the long run this will improve his quality of life. One can only hope, although he'll be stuck in hospital for the next 6-8 weeks (including rehab time), which will probably become a tad irritating after awhile.

His mood and health are apparently both excellent. I'll be talking to him tomorrow, and head out for a visit over the long weekend.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Why the People at Global BC Television Are Buttheads

I don't ask for a lot in my life, but one of my pleasures as of late has been the series Heroes. It has been a remarkable run this season, certainly with some bumps along the way, but the show has me hooked but good. The same goes for Jo. And last night, with about ten minutes left in the episode (and three eps left in the season after that), Jo turned to me and said, "I want this to end right now!" She said that because she's so worked up about things, and wants to know everything that's happening, and wants to know right away.

For those of you who watch the show, last night took place in the year 2012, where the heroes are either being hunted by Homeland Security or else working for them. As things worked to a head, with heroes fighting each other left and right, two of them killed right there (and others killed earlier in the show), and all of a sudden we were down to an awesome duel about to take place between Sylar and Peter. Sylar flicked his wrists and both arms turned a fiery orange, Peter did the same and his hands turned a screaming blue/white, and I put my hands on my head and shouted "This has so much coolness my head is going to explode!"

All of this was during the 9pm showing on NBC. At that very moment, the asshats at Global down in Vancouver decided this was a good time to switch over to their simulcast feed since they air The Real Wedding Crashers alongside NBC, and we peons up here have to of course watch the Canadian commercials. And so, instead of seeing the culmination of this amazing battle, and seeing what Hiro Nakamura manages to do in trying to get back to his own time, I'm seeing frickin' ads for some bogus Global programming. Hell, the next show didn't even come on for another couple of minutes.

At first I blamed this on Shaw, but after some talking with a gal there today I learned that Global gets to do that themselves. When I phoned them today, I got transferred to the complaints line, which (surprise, surprise) was a voice mail. I'll update if I ever hear back, but unless plenty of other people are equally pissed (and the smart ones probably watched the 8pm showing on CTV; me, I missed that because of the boys), I suspect they'll right me off as just another crank.

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