Archive for March, 2011

Pro pro choice

Yesterday I happened upon a pro choice rally at the corner of St-Laurent and St-Joseph.  This made me happy because I walk past that park on my way to work and there’s been a “40 days for life” protest there for the past while.  The pro choice women got a lot more public support and seemed to be having a lot more fun!

Obviously I support the pro choicers… banning abortions seems like a complete anachronism to me, something from the dark ages.  I wonder if next month, these people are going to protest womens’ rights to vote or own property?

Playa del Fuego!

I’m planning on going to PDF (Playa del Fuego) this spring… if you’re curious about Burning Man but can’t justify the expense or the week+ away from work, you should consider joining me. It’s May 26-30 this year, in Delaware.

PDF is what’s called a “regional burn” – it operates on the same principles as Burning Man and attracts the same awesome people but it’s smaller (limited to 1000 people) and shorter (4 days.) The big advantages are it’s cheaper ($50 tickets) and closer (9 hours driving, so feasible in a day.)

There’s a whole pile of information here – way too much if this is the first time you’ve heard of PDF so don’t worry about reading it all :) The important things are the Ten Principles of Burning Man, which are followed at PDF as well.  These are the main things that set burns apart from all the other summer festivals – that and lots of fire.

I’m going, and if there are at least 5 of us interested I’ll bring the fryer and do Midnight Poutine. I’m going to drive down in my van, so I can take whatever gear anyone wants plus 1 passenger. My plan is to leave on Thursday morning (to get there Thursday evening) and drive back on Monday.

It’s also possible to fly, if you have more money than time (as I did in 2009.) The site is about a 1h drive from PHL, the US Air hub. There are about 5 direct flights every day from YUL and it takes about 1.5 hours. So: fly out of Montréal on Friday afternoon/evening, go to PDF for the weekend, then fly back as early as you dare on Monday morning.

Tickets go on sale on March 26, so think fast :) Ask me if you have any questions – I’d love to talk your ear off about PDF, Burning Man, Midnight Poutine, or any related things :)


I spent last night in the hospital, recovering from emergency surgery to fix a testicular torsion. Feel free to google that if you want to know what it is. Short version: it’s about as painful as it sounds.

WordPress doesn’t have a good way to hide parts of a post, so the somewhat gory details are on my old livejournal if you want to read them.

It was my first visit to a Montréal emergency room, so here’s some stuff I wish I’d known:

  1. The CHUM (U de M) hospitals are very French.  All the doctors I saw spoke perfect English but the nurses had varying abilities.  It’s a good thing my French is serviceable.  If yours isn’t, it’s probably best to head to a MUHC (McGill) hospital.
  2. 811 won’t tell you this.
  3. If you have a specific problem that is likely to require a specialist (e.g. testicular pain requiring a urologist), try to go to a hospital that has that kind of specialist.  Hotel Dieu didn’t, so they had to transfer me to Saint Luc.  If I’d gone there in the first place (or to a MUHC hospital with a urology department), I’d probably have been treated a lot more quickly.
  4. Again, 811 won’t tell you this.

Other than that, the emergency room was professionally run but very understaffed with long wait times.  I wasn’t surprised by the wait times, as apparently all Montréal hospitals have this problem.  Welcome to our underfunded medical system!

I’m doing fine now, but I’ll be taking it easy for the next while (no exercise for the next 2 weeks, boo.)

Go to Top