Monday, October 30, 2017

No News is, well, No News

I'm going to stop updating people on my brain / surgery status, because my operation has been delayed twice and has a likelihood of being bumped again and again. As such, I'm just going to live my life and post bikey stuff on this blog instead. Right after this.

I have repeatedly sung the praises of the Canadian health care system and will continue to do so. Some of my friends have pointed to these delays saying "see, this is what free health care gets you; long waits. If you were in the States (USA) you would have been done by now (if you had the insurance or money)".

I take issue with that idea in my case. We have spoken with my neurosurgeon's office at length and we now understand a little more about this situation. The surgery I require can be done by very few people. Neurosurgeons who do what I need are very few and far between and the surgery itself requires a large team and lots of time, such that my surgeon does about 4 big operations a month. I have not been back-burnered as a less urgent case. I am a Priority 2. The only higher priority is assigned to people who will die without emergency surgery. These emergencies happen, and bump me and every other priority 2 down the calendar as needed.

If I were to "shop around" in other countries, I would not find vascular neurosurgeons specializing in AVMs just waiting to take my money, or if I did, I would have to wonder about their qualifications. What I need just isn't like that. It is way more uncommon than even complex heart surgery. People as rare as myself just have to wait; that is the whole story. There is nothing to be gained by being the squeaky wheel or looking further from home; I am lucky enough to have one of these rare specialists right in my city. I remain blessed in many ways, by my country's health care system, by my geographic location, and on and on.

So that's it. No more updates on this stuff will be forthcoming. Also I still want a fat bike but can't justify the expense among all the other stuff we should be spending any spare cash on. If you loved me, you would send me a fat bike. Fat bike please. C'mon, I have a weird thing in my brain. So give me a fat bike.

Fat Bike.

PS - If one of my dear readers sent me a fat bike, I would not accept it. That was supposed to be a joke. If you have cash to throw around please give it somebody in real need. On the other hand, if some Bike Company with a soft spot for weirdos knocked on my door with a fat bike, how could I say no? (See above for wink).

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Are You #%^1n' Kiddin' Me #11

Have you seen these? I'm sure you have if I have here in conservative, boring old London Ontario. I try to avoid being a hater, you know. I'm no better than anyone else; I have no particular right to hate these cars. But I do. I just do. My Mother always told us that hate is a very strong word, to be used with great reluctance. She was, of course, correct. I will therefore downgrade my previous statement to "I find these cars terribly distasteful". I think you can tell from my spontaneous reactions...

But come on, cars that intentionally create a contact patch the width of a bike tire by tilting the wheels in a way that surely puts all kinds of wrong stresses on the car, sacrifices traction and likely destroys tires? Are you #%^1n' Kiddin' Me?

Yer Pal,

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Strokie Joe No Go

For anyone who's been seeing me post recently who thought, hey wait, I thought he was gonna be in brain surgery, my operation has been postponed until October 26. One feature of Canada's health system is that those in greater need can bump others. I'm sure this is a feature of even more privately funded systems, since triage is a fundamental principle in all health care as far as I know.

I was not given a reason; I'm assuming somebody with a more urgent need for a neurosurgeon got my spot; although I'm disappointed, if that person had been someone I loved I would have said, "hell yeah, bump that rantwick guy".

Anyway, October 26 is the new date to expect this blog to go silent for a bit.

Yer Pal,


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Rantwick's London Ontario Bike Routes: Not Highbury

I'm calling this bike route "Not Highbury" because cyclists in London currently face a bit of a challenge moving from north to south or vice versa in the east end of the city. The west side too, I think, but I've had to deal with that less often, and so don't have an answer for it yet.

Most of Highbury Ave is a scary waste of time for cycling. Here, for your viewing pleasure, is my favourite way of riding from North London to South London on the east end; not used is a great little route between Dundas and Oxford behind the London Psychiatric Hospital. There are cool abandoned buildings, a peaceful setting, the works. I think I might map that piece all by itself, it is very much worth riding and knowing about, but connections on either end of it are kind of clunky.

Speaking of clunky, this route works better heading south than north. When you're northbound you have to do this at Fanshawe College:

This doesn't come very naturally, which is why I'm highlighting it.

Now here's the route, from north to south. People can access this route from either the North Branch of the Thames Valley Parkway, or as recorded here, Fanshawe Park Road. I've noted where the TVP hits this route in the video.

Here's an overview map to go with... click it for full size

Hey, do you have a little-known or really useful route I should chronicle? Please contact me. I'll do the video and mapping work if you'll tell me where to ride. Of course I'll be happy to credit any contributors both here and on youtube, which will make you famous with like, 15 people maybe. I'm also interested in cataloging sweet little connecting bits that "nobody else" knows. Send them to me and I'll make them part of the info I'm trying to share and spread! 

Yer Pal,