Archive for May 2003

a slight accident

No picture on this one. I mean I could take a camera to the doctors this afternoon and get documentary evidence, but I’m assuming you’d rather just believe me when I say that there is no skin left on my right knee.

I fell off my bike yesterday on the way to work and verified one of Newton’s Laws of motion (that of inertia) as well as the concept of friction. Funny how much messier that is to test in person … I was really flying in, about 35km/hr, when I hit a bump and unclipped out of both of my pedals at the same time and found myself still hanging on to my handlebars but no longer attached to the rest of the bike. I did manage to somehow steer around a parked car, which probably saved my noggin from a nasty bump, and then slid about 20 m across the road scraping my left elbow and shoulder as well as really damaging my knee. Yuck.

The thing I’m trying to focus on (besides how much I hurt today, even after a double dose of painkillers) is how nice strangers were to me, phoning cory, waiting with me until he arrived, patting me on the (non-hurt) shoulder and providing comfort. One older man stayed with me practically the whole time and even offered to drive my bloody self to the hospital if I wanted. It’s nice to know that we are all good people, even if it takes a minor emergency to bring that out.

beaches and buffy

Two weekends ago we had a rare low tide in Vancouver and Cory had the brilliant idea of heading down to the beach at Spanish Banks and seeing how far we could walk out. The beach was amazing, it stretched right out to the navigation markers that normally appear to be in the middle of the channel. I spent a lot of time photo-documenting the creation of a channel cut into the sand by the water running off the newly-exposed beach; the erosional processes were very cool and the occasional crustaceans exposed to air when the sand around them crumbled away were fascinating. There’s so much to see at a beach, so many physical processes acting on timescales that we can see with our own eyes. I’m teaching coastal oceanography next week in my course and it’s always easier to teach because the students can verify what I’m saying against their own experience, something they don’t have an opportunity to do with global ocean circulation.

Teaching is still taking up too much of my time and I need to devote much of my energy to research in the next few weeks to stay on track. It’s an exciting time for my research as it’s all coming together in a cohesive package. I’ve been working on the same project for 18 months, and I could be finished it as soon as July (there’s still more work to do on my PhD, but it would be nice to have one piece of it all finished up).

During the past few days I’ve moved into a new office at work, we’ve entertained Cory’s dad who’s visiting from Regina, and drank too much beer (relative to my lack of practice, I seem to now have the alcohol tolerance of a well-behaved 15 year old). In between work and beer though we did happen to have an A-list star sighting, Sarah Michelle Geller was shopping at Lululemon on Sunday while I was there picking up a pair of pants I’d had hemmed. While she wasn’t making a real effort to disguise who she was, it was rather odd to be that close to a ‘famous person’. It felt wrong to be looking at her, like staring at a train wreck inappropriate, so Cory, Des, and I settled for a quick glance of the side of her head and then went up to Kits coffee to enjoy the sunshine.
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Skye 2002: a friendly face, part II

Noel wasn’t the only friendly face we met on our honeymoon, we also had the delight of spending an evening in the pub with Neal. We were staying in a small inn on the Isle of Skye in a hamlet called Stein, and we wandered down to the pub for supper and a few drams. It turned out to be the most lively night of our trip (and one I paid for the next morning). We talked to just about everyone in the pub, tried a few new whiskys, and enjoyed a bottle of wine and a plate of prawns courtesy of Neal.

Neal’s one of three veterinarians on Skye, and this makes him so well known that he told me to write him a postcard from Canada at “Neal the Vet, Isle of Skye”. Thinking he was pulling my leg, I asked the bartender if that really was all the address I needed. Quite seriously, he replied that it might help to add “Scotland” to the end of the address if I was to mail it from Canada, but it would arrive quite fine.

Nights like this made our honeymoon the wonderful experience it was.

Inverness 2002: a friendly face

When we were travelling in Scotland and first arrived at Inverness, I was a little down. The wiper fluid wasn’t working in the car, forcing us to go and get a replacement rental car and the first B&B we looked at staying in turned out to be an overly-Christian place complete with pamphlets behind the door of the room we were shown to. I was worried that we’d made a mistake in leaving the wonderful hospitality we’d found in Craigellachie.

We walked up to one last B&B to look for a room before calling it quits and heading to a hotel. It turned out that we were lucky enough to have found Noel’s B&B, and he made us feel very welcome. He took extra special care of us (including buying us a bottle of wine to celebrate our honeymoon and refusing to let a couple guys stay in his other rooms because they looked noisy and he didn’t want us disturbed) and turned my first negative impression of Inverness into one of my best memories of the trip.

Not only that, but five months later, tired and slightly cranky, flipping through pictures of our trip and coming across this one really made me smile.
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