Saturday, August 30, 2008

Defining "Slow Pandemonium"

1. pandemonium - a state of extreme confusion and disorder (The Free Dictionary)

2. Slow pandemonium - this summer, now mercifully almost over.

Restaurant window, Vancouver. With reflections from across the street.

I have been blogging a bit irregularly for a while, and skipped yesterday entirely. I haven't lost interest; it's just that slow pandemonium thing. A brief explanation may be in order.

It all started, as far as I was aware at the time, back in June, when Laurie fell badly on the rocks at Kwomais Point. He injured both legs, knees and ankles. No broken bones, fortunately, but the swelling and pain lasted all through July and half of August. So our hiking and walking was drastically curtailed.

Then came the burglary, and the theft of Laurie's wallet, keys, and vacation cash, and our car. The police found the car the next day, but it was damaged beyond repair. (And as long as I don't get on the topic of young punks who think they're hard done by if they get slapped on the wrist, this won't turn into a rant.)

We've weathered that ok. Most of the ID has been replaced. The locks have all been changed. We've dealt with the insurance people and spent hours on the phone, pressing "0" to speak with a human and listening to "Please continue to hold. A service representative will be with you shortly." And we're getting around, for now, on buses. We're managing.

But the sore feet and the lack of transportation made the next event much more challenging. A routine appointment to replace Laurie's glasses turned into a series of visits to doctors. In Vancouver, in Surrey, back in Vancouver, etc. By bus and SkyTrain and sore feet. This Wednesday, he had cataract surgery on one eye. The next will follow in a month. (He's fine; he can see, his eye doesn't hurt.)

Orchids not in an old truck. (Double reflection: house window/truck window.)

An interesting summer, certainly. But not one I want to repeat.

Window, Strathcona. That twisty yellow thing is a kayak on the roof of a car.

Some tidbits of information I picked up along the way:
  1. SOC police are politer than traffic cops.
  2. Never try to remove leftover fingerprint powder from walls with a damp cloth. It immediately turns black, black, black, and glues itself to everything. It also covers much more area than is apparent: may as well plan on dusting everything in the room, and washing all affected areas half a dozen times.
  3. The police are terribly Biblical; the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing.
  4. Credit card companies will get you a new card in days. Government agencies take several weeks.
  5. From here to the closest beach by bus involves two transfers, and an hour and a half on the bus. That doesn't include the time walking at either end.
  6. A bag that doesn't weigh anything at all at the beginning of a trip somehow weighs half a ton by the time you're home.
  7. The doctor who developed the first plastic intraocular lenses, Sir Harold Ridley, got the idea from his experience with WWII aircraft pilots. He noticed that splinters of perspex windshields lodged in their eyes were not rejected, and had lenses made of that same material. He implanted the first one in 1949. (Laurie's ophthalmologist told us about it.)
  8. A 15-minute operation takes 4 hours of prep and paperwork.

Outside of a door with glass window. The pathway, reflected.

And I'm tired. Exhausted. But there's light at the end of that tunnel; another month of rounds of labs and doctors' offices, and we're done! And next week, I'm determined to find a car. So that we can get back to the beach; it's been far too long, already.

(Meanwhile, I'll go back and re-read Hugh's post on the lugworms of our favourite beach, at Boundary Bay. Amazing critters, they are!)

The pictures: Laurie has been taking photos of reflections, in mirrors, car windows, houses, and water. A Lewis Carroll universe.


  1. I see what you mean by pandemonium, slow or otherwise! Problems add up to be so much more than just the sum of the parts.

    It's great that things are getting better.

    And now I need to start a conversation in which I can reveal my new-found knowledge about perspex and lenses ...

  2. I remember how bad the fingerprint dust was. It totally sucks to be robbed. Hope things keep getting a bit better for you two.

  3. Oh my, you've had a summer and a half! The victim has SO much to deal with in red tape and paper work and these hoodlums .... ok ... I won't get into a rant either!

    Hugh's posts are a hoot ... I just read the latest one to D. The trials of the interpreter!!! My, my!!!

  4. Thanks, all!

    Snail; "Every cloud has a (perspex) lining."

    Foo; So you must have been robbed, too. It's the pits.

    Cis; "... a hoot ..." is about right. "What's the plan for lugworms?" :D

  5. I'm sorry to hear of your difficulties --how very disheartening-- and I hope Laurie is fully healed, out on the mudflat again. His reflections are fantastical.

    Thank you for the link/plug (plink?).

    And thanks to Cis too for the nice words.

  6. Hugh;

    Thanks. The first place we head for, as soon as we find a car, will be those mudflats. Rain or shine.


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