Apparently I don’t have a doctor

I dropped my parent’s hot tub cover on my toe on Saturday. It hurt a lot at the time. My toenail turned purple.

When I was a kid, my dad’s toenail would do something to his toe (he used to jog a lot) and his toenail would turn black and fall off. This was kinda gross, but it would grow back and he seemed generally resigned to it. So I sort of resigned myself to the same fate. Ew. It takes a year or so to grow back.

It doesn’t really hurt anymore. It just feels weird. And it’s annoying wearing shoes.

But then I decided to go online and see what I could find out. Along with a thorough squicking, I found out that I could drain the pressure and maybe save the nail. I could even do it at home! But a little voice inside my head told me that an infected toenail was even would be even worse than what I had. But hey! I have a doctor! I phoned them up this morning to make an appointment.

First I get a busy signal. Then they hung up on me after I make it through the pre-recorded message (I’m pretty sure that was an accident…). Then I phone back, sit through the message again and wait on hold for a while and eventually get a friendly receptionist.

I make my appointment and give her my name. “Do you sometimes go by another name?” she asks. Uh oh. I give her my OHIP number. Nope, not there either. Yes, I’d seen him before. Oh.

Somehow, I no longer have a doctor. Fortunately, they’re still taking new patients! I just have to show up for an interview next week. For my toenail, though, I get to go to the ER (ugh, no) or a walk-in clinic.

I don’t know if I should go back to these jokers. I didn’t like the main doctor guy much the one and only time I’d gone to see them. I never get the impression they want to have much to do with me, besides collect money from OHIP. On the other hand, I doubt there are any other doctors accepting patients around here who are really any better.


In Belleville

I’m in Belleville for the weekend. Which is nice, since tomorrow’s Father’s Day and all. My dad’s not around, though. He’s working most of the weekend.

I was supposed to come up last weekend, but I ran into difficulties. I took the car into the shop for what I thought was a quick oil change and tire change (I hadn’t gotten around to getting it off the snow tires, and figured that might be a good thing to do before I embarked on a long highway trip). They were backed up, though, and it took about two hours just for them to get around to start working on my car. And then, after the quick oil change and tire change, they pointed out a bunch of stuff that needed work (although not urgently). I decided it was probably a good idea to take care of a couple of those things, but that meant I wouldn’t get my car back till the next morning.

So that scuttled my going-home plans last week. It worked out, though, since it gave me the opportunity to go to Toronto for Rin’s birthday and hang out with Stela. These are good things.

Anyway, here I am, sitting it the living room of my youth. My parents seem to still be clinging to their Bulls paraphernalia. There’s a “Zellers Go Bulls Go” towel on the armchair opposite and my mom was still wearing her “more cowbell” t-shirt this morning. I don’t think they’ve quite accepted reality yet.

Part of my plan was to phone up a bunch of bed and breakfast places and see if there were any likely candidates for Ellen and I to stay at for my sister’s wedding that I could go check out while I was here. But after getting nearly no sleep the night before last and then driving home through a typhoon last night, I’m not eager to phoning around a bunch of places today. That may be an excuse, since if I’m honest, I’m never eager to phone around to places.

I just sent my first-ever letter to my MP

You can read it too:

> June 13, 2008
> The Honourable Andrew Telegdi
> House of Commons
> Parliament Buildings
> Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6
> Dear Sir,
> I am a constituent who is concerned about copyright and intellectual
> property issues. As a member of Waterloo’s high tech community, I
> make my living from my intellectual property. I understand the need
> to balance the interests of all stakeholders.
> I do not believe that [Bill C-61](, the amendment to the Copyright Act
> tabled by minister Prentice yesterday, strikes that balance.
> As has been noted, copyright is complex and nuanced. Time and care
> are needed to make sure changes to this important piece of
> legislation do not result in consequences that are damaging to
> Canadian culture and industry, and that Canadian citizens (ie.
> “consumers”) are treated fairly and with respect.
> I am [concerned]( that the provisions to protect technological
> protection measures trump all hard-won protections for consumers and
> render illegal activities like device-shifting, time-shifting and
> back ups that are legal and common practice today.
> I am concerned that the technological measures protections may have
> far-reaching consequences beyond the above, stifling Canada’s
> high-tech innovation. I also do not believe that these protections
> have rendered any real protection to artists in jurisdictions where
> they have been put in place. There may very little benefit for a
> change to law that comes at a very high cost.
> I am concerned that the “making available” provision could open
> Canadian citizens to indiscriminate and extortionate lawsuits like
> those seen in the United States.
> I am [concerned]( that strengthened “moral rights” provisions could
> stifle Canadian culture, particularly a thriving remix culture and
> Canada’s long, but unprotected tradition of parody.
> Most of all, I am very concerned that all of this will be enacted
> without due consultation with Canadian citizens: Canadian artists,
> Canadian consumers, Canadian industry and Canadian institutions.
> This is a complex matter that requires considerable deliberation.
> This is not a bill that can be railroaded through the House.
> I sincerely hope you take the time to review these issues and vote
> against any bill that does not truly balance the needs and interests
> of Canadians ahead of powerful international lobbies.
> Sincerely,
> Darcy Casselman

I’m sure there’s more, but this is about the best I can do at 6 in the morning running on about 3 hours’ sleep.

You might want to [write]( too.

*Edited to add:* I’m now a supporting member of the [Electronic Frontier Foundation]( in support of [Online Rights Canada](

Also, if you can’t bring yourself to do anything else, you should probably join [the Fair Copyright for Canada group on Facebook]( if you’re on Facebook. I know, that’s not many of you, but maybe you could pass it along to your Facebook friends. The size of this group has been referenced on the floor of the House of Commons to demonstrate that Canadians actually care about intellectual property issues (bizarre, I know).

Deep thoughts

[Whenever]( someone says “[netizen](”, the first thing I think of isn’t “citizen”; it’s “denizen”.

I just [looked that word up]( I’d always assumed it was related to [den](, but apparently it’s not.


I decided that this weekend would be all about gardening. A little bit about getting my computer network back up and running like it should be too, but that’s boring, so I’m going to talk about gardening.

My plan was to go around a bunch of garden centres and things yesterday. I only ended up going to two.

I first went to [Native Plant Source]( in Breslau (that link doesn’t go anywhere terribly useful at the moment. I’m linking it in the hope that it’s fixed some day in the future). It’s a neat little place down a back road off Highway 7. It all looks a little bit scruffy, but the lady there was very nice and helpful when I described the currently day lily-infested area of my backyard and how I’d like to work towards making it more like a natural forest glen type of area. So I now have a few plants to start with there (along with the few trilliums and [jack-in-the-pulpit]( that are already there.

I haven’t planted those yet, though. I’ll have to get to that this week sometime.

I also went to a more conventional garden centre. I was going to go to a bunch, but since it’s after Victoria Day, their prices weren’t bad and I just picked up what I was going to get and headed home.

I got a flat of petunias and a bunch of giant marigolds.

I pulled out one of my cedar bushes in the front. It was in pretty rough shape. Not quite dead, but too ugly to live. The other bushes are getting scraggly too and keep getting smushed by the snow in the winter. They’re probably going to come out soon to, but not this year.

Speaking of pulling things out, one of my trees died in the back. This is really sad. It was the one that was being strangled by a clothesline. It had buds in the spring, but I guess it decided it wasn’t worth making another go of it. I’m going to have to get it removed.

Anyway, petunias and marigolds.

I suppose I could be a bit more adventurous, but I know how these plants work, and they’re cheap and pretty low maintenance. Hopefully by the end of the summer, the marigolds will be taller than the bushes they’re currently hiding behind and I’ll have a blanket of petunias.

Planning all this stuff out is what makes gardening fun, really.