Monday, November 30, 2009

The Heat Is On

Well, I made it to late November before turning on the heat in the apartment.

I came home late one night to find the place at a chilly 55 F = 13 C. That's rough. I can sleep in 60s F with my famously warm bedroom gear, but it is hard to brush one's teeth below 60 F.

Strangely, 2 days later it was a breathtaking 70 F and sunny in St Louis. One of those days where it felt like a true moral imperative to go outside. (Which I did, running around CC Lake just like the old tri days.)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Across The Miles

You may want to join me in sending love and prayers out to Binky. See his blog to understand his loss.

wishing you peace, my friend

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Still Brown

The title of this post comes from a comment on Facebook. Binky told me his daughter (5 years old?) said that I cannot be 40 today as I am "still brown". We believe she means the hair.

She's right. (Though I do have flecks of silver in my goatee, which may be the only attribute I have in common with Brad Pitt.)

Anyway, the comment made me laugh out loud. She is a sweetie, even if she does think I grew up in the United States (nothing wrong that -- if you did).

40. Vic is anticipating, with justification, some brooding blog post that intersects age, wisdom, and national identity. Sounds like work to me. Granted, it is definitely a toned down birthday, with wretched weather (November Rain indeed), but I think I have everything in perspective.

I'm really lucky and blessed. So far, so good.


ps. I must say the 'party' over on Facebook has been enjoyable. I've had birthday wishes from many corners. Elsewhere, I've received some email and a massive, heart-warming card blitz from my Mom's side of the family. Some of them had glitter, but we forgive.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Where Are Islanders?

Check out this great idea by the CBC! I'm not on there yet, but will have to snap a pic.

Naturally, the Maritime area is a bit flooded with virtual pins on the map.


ps. The pic in Chicago is the Old Abby, a ferry that ran from PEI to NB for years and years. Many readers of this blog have been on it. It is now the club-house for the Chicago Yacht Club.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This is an interesting piece on microbiology and superbugs.

It is especially interesting for me, because at my client gig, we talk about these bugs all the time. The device is used to identify and treat these infections.

I don't work on the actual biological computations (this is somewhat painful, given that I won math and biology awards in high school; don't get me started on French fluency), so I'm not doing any true science per se. However, our staff microbiologists talk about these things all the time. This is our domain, in every sense of the word.

Staph. Aureus is like an old friend, in a weird way. And extended-spectrum beta-lactamase -- well, that's just fun! MRSA is not, though, that's for sure.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I don't have a lot of words this year for November 11th.

I'd simply like to say that I am eternally grateful that I will (hopefully) not face war. I will (hopefully) be buried on Prince Edward Island.

In addition to my perennial link to Flanders Fields, I invite readers to read the series of postings over on Binky's blog. It sure puts things in perspective.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Unseasonably Pleasant

It is 9 pm in November and I have the windows open! Today was a balmy 78 F, and had people raving all day. Very sunny.... In fact, a local website says it is 70 F now.

The seniors back home would approve. To an individual, the elderly hate winter with a passion. If you have experienced a real winter, you know why.


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Wikipedia And Forty-Fives

I am routinely astounded by Wikipedia. Here is the latest installment.

Back home, trump card games are popular. The two big ones are Auction and Forty-Fives. Both use a trump-scheme (card ranking) that is, simply put: insane. I remember being in the hospital at age 11(ish) and having my father teach me the scheme. (As an example, from the top down: 5 of trump, Jack of trump, Ace of Hearts, Ace of trump, and so on... i.e. You really want the 5.)

Since I left the Maritimes, I have never met anyone who was familiar with this crazy setup. I have often wondered about its origin.

Well, Wikipedia to the rescue. Even though Auction has a different description, the background on Forty-Fives (click here) is amazingly accurate.

The history is impressive:
Forty-Fives is a descendant of the Irish game Spoil_Five, which in turn is a descendant of a game that King James VI of Scotland popularized in the 17th century called Maw. Maw was first seen being played in 1511 and the earliest written rules come from 1576 Scotland.
Neat stuff!

ps. Our version of Auction uses the same trump-scheme as that of Forty-Fives.