Waiting at the door

Since Simone has left for Nambour, Jack has taken to doing this rather cute thing when I arrive home. I’ll switch off the car, get out, and be greeted by a little “mroowww” and a furry little face poking itself around the corner of the fence, before he follows me inside.

It’s almost as if Jack’s decided that since Simone’s not around to ask me how my day was when I arrive home, he’ll take on the responsibility (and extract a few belly rubs while he’s at it).

Good food migration

It’s been quite funny around Logan for the last week and a bit, because a week and a bit ago a Subway opened within lunchtime walking distance from the hospital, and while the hospital canteen serves OK food, it has something of a leaning towards pies, battered fish, chips, and other grease heavy offerings, and the volunteer staff, while being well meaning, are not not necessarily the most efficient.

So having a healthy(-er) option with the variety you get in Subway opening up 5 minutes walk away has resulted in something of a daily lunchtime staff exodus across the road.

Pretty much the same thing happened when a stairbucks opened in the food court at the PA Hospital (say what you will about Starbucks’ coffee, it’s still better than hospital tuck shop coffee, which as often as not comes out of a large tin with the word “instant” somewhere on the label). While they didn’t sell meal food (rumor has it that this was because the hospital administration made it a condition of the lease, as they did not want Starbucks competing with (and presumably thrashing the pants off of) the hospital tuck shop) they must have been making a fortune off of all the coffee they were selling the staff.

It always makes me wondner whether the economics would be better from leasing an area out to something like starbucks or subway, rather than trying to make a profit out of a hospital run food shop (with all the spectacular ineffciencies that are inherent in any public sector organisation).

Trial separation

After 14 months together we are having a trial separation.

Now before you all go getting startled, this is simply a stupid work thing.

Both being doctors on career paths, we knew and had discussed even before we got married the probability that at some point we would be sent to different places apart from one another for some period of time. It’s a sad reality, and it’s just a little irritating that it’s had to happen so soon.

Simone has finished her job doing paediatric surgery at the Mater, and is now set to spend the next 6 months doing general surgery at Nambour hospital, about 2 hours north of our house.
I’ve been scheming constantly for most of the last week, trying to figure out a last minute way out of it, since I frankly rather like having my girl around to come home to in the afternoons, do stuff with in the evenings, and snuggle with at night (and while Jack is admirably fluffy, friendly and cuddly, he isn’t quite up to the task of substitution).

It’s close enough that we can spend weekends together, and as it involves significantly less on call than the Paeds job did, we will hopefully be able to have good quality time on those weekends, but it still kinda sucks.

On weekdays however, since I no longer have a moderating female influence around, there will be frequent parties, poker nights and keg offs. Jack tells me he’s got a huge one in the works for wednesday already, and all his biker mates are coming, so if you don’t have other plans, drop in, bring some vodka, and don’t forget your pool cue for the inevitable end of party front lawn fight.

And when that’s done I’ve heard rumors about teddy organising jelly, handcuffs, and a limosine load of strippers – frankly I’m afraid to ask. Still, Jack and teddy do throw the most happening parties, so perhaps I shouldn’t question, and just go with the flow. 🙂


One of the dubious features of being a doctor are our pagers.

When you’re a med student you can’t wait to get one.

After having one for anything longer than a week you spend significant amounts of your time alternately cursing it’s existance and thinking whether you could get away with flushing it (or smashing it, or burning it, or…).

One thing can be said about them though: They do provide some interesting insight into how some hospital staff view doctors.

Firstly you get paged all the time about quite ridiculous things (“The patient has a slightly low temperature, but feels fine, and feels warm when I touch them”, or “Can you come and finish filling out this paperwork” – “I’ve already done it” – “No you haven’t” – “Yes I have, here it is” – “Oh, sorry”).

Then you arrive at work in the morning or on monday (I leave my pager in my locker when I leave work) to find that people have paged me at 5:30pm. And 9:30 pm. And 2:00am. And on sunday when I’m not on call. And on public holidays when I’m not rostered on. I can never decide if they honestly think I live at the hospital, or if they’re just being hopeful (and they’re probably lucky I don’t take my pager home, because the best they could hope for was to be yelled at down the phone for waking me up at 2 in the morning).

It seems when I read what I have just written that I sound like a nasty grumpy bastard, but I have found recently that I have very little patience for people who waste my (now quite limitied) time, and you come to appreciate that a little bit of common sense goes an awfully long way, especially many of the people you deal with seem to fail to use any at all.

Joining the lads

I had my interview for surgical training, and although it probably didn’t go as badly as I currently feel that it did (if you must ask, ask me in a day or two when I’ve had time for some introspection and a few more glasses of whiskey), I did make something of an uncomfortable realisation while I sat in the waiting room: almost all the other applicants that I knew from medical school fell into what I would have called the “Lad” category. They were the guys who played rugby, drank beer, and in many instances if you didn’t know better you would suspect of dragging their knuckles on the ground.

Now the reason I find this disconcerting is that I wonder whether I fall into that category, only I just don’t realise it myself. Is that how other people view me? If they don’t see me that way now, will they begin to view me that way simply by guilt of association?

It’s all a little unnerving really.

Simone can’t come to the phone

She’s off hanging with the cool people now.

On saturday (after a week of tech troubles, the details of which I won’t bore you with) Simone bought herself a shiny new white MacBook macintosh laptop.

It does everything her old computer did, just without her having to know anything about settings or configurations or the like.

And of course since all the cool people have Mac’s, she’s been getting invites to avant garde poetry readings, exclusive coffee tastings, and other understatedly cool social events since then.

Don’t know what Jack and I will do while she’s off at these. Maybe there will be a bland movie on TV for us… 🙂

(Of corurse the other thing is that as it has been a while since I last used a Mac to any great extent, I will be ringing all my Mac user friends and relatives to find out how to do all the tricky and fiddly little things I can never remember how to do. Mac owners – you have been warned).

Stupid shopping

Yesterday I went shopping for clothes.

I have some jeans that, now that I think about it, are probably the better part of 4 years old, and are starting to look it too (as does much of my casual wardrobe).

Now I usually dislike clothes shopping anyway (there are so few clothes shops that cater to my tastes, and designers seem to asume that if you are as broad in the shoulders as I am, then your arms are a foot longer than mine are), and as I discussed with one of my friends a few weeks ago, when I go shopping I have the other problem of not really wanting to look for anything new, but merely wanting to find a replacement for the item which has just worn out. If it’s worn out it’s usually because I like it and have used it a lot.
So going shopping yesterday was dumb. Not only do they not have a replacement for my old jeans, but the current trend in jeans seems to be to sell you new jeans (at new jeans prices) that look like old jeans, with designer holes and scratches and wrinkles in the fabric.

To me this seems a bit stupid. If I wanted old and fashionably beat up jeans… well I’ve got them already. They’re what I’m trying to replace. If I buy new jeans I want them to look nice…. and, heaven forbid… new.

Very uncharacteristic

Historically, I have had… how should I put it… something of a nack for turning my computers (individually or collectively) into very expensive paper weights for short periods of time, while trying to do things that wiser people would avoid (usually involving playing with bits of operating systems in ways they probably weren’t designed to handle).

I play with the registry, and then have to reinstall my computer.

I resize partitions, and when it fails (as it usually does for me) I have to reinstall my computer.

Sometimes I don’t even do anything particuarly exciting, like upgrading software, or moving files, or upgrading hard-drives, and.. well I think you’re probably sensing a theme by now.

Now my family and friends know this is how I do things, and just point and snigger that “Dave’s done it again”, while I find it a (generally) a combination of a great way to learn about how operating systems are set up, and a pleasant little activity to keep me happily amused for a period of time usually equivalent to an afternoon (if you ignore the irritation when my efforts cause me to loose old emails or files or the like).

To quote Douglas Adams “I have a well-deserved reputation for being something of a gadget freak, and am rarely happier than when spending an entire day programming my computer to perform automatically a task that it would otherwise take me a good ten seconds to do by hand. Ten seconds, I tell myself, is ten seconds. Time is valuable and ten seconds’ worth of it is well worth the investment of a day’s happy activity working out a way of saving it.”
So to get to the actual point of this blog entry, I have (and I should probably touch wood right now, although the fake veneer on my desk will have to do) somehow managed to navigate my way through a veritable mine-field of re-install-your-computer prone activities this afternoon, and have somehow managed to come out the other side without having to reinstall anything.

Having finally gotten a computer with a large enough hard drive for me to reasonably run two operating systems at once, I decided to install Linux to dual boot on my machine (ie. my machine can load Linux or Windows, depending on which one I select).

Now to set this up I had to resize the partition that Windows is currently installed on, create 3 new partitions, and install Linux, making sure it didn’t do anything stupid (like putting the program that allows you to choose which operating system you want to load onto the same drive as Windows – apparently windows really really doesn’t like that).

Any one of these things could have (and historically would have) gone wrong and required me to delete everything and set everything up again from scratch, and yet strangely they didn’t and here I am, writing this blog from within Linux.