Legal cannabis

Yesterday was the day cannabis was legalized in Canada. While I think it is largely a good idea, I never thought I’d see the day. What really drove it home was when I came into work this morning. Attached to my pay cheque, was a company cannabis use policy. The first paragraph is:

This memo is being provided to remind all employees that possession or use of recreational cannabis and cannabis products in the workplace is prohibited. Although recreational cannabis is legal, impairment on the job can pose serious health and safety risks. Cannabis at work can become a distraction to others; therefore, employees should refrain from bringing cannabis into the workplace and keep their cannabis products at home to store and consume. To ensure a safe and healthy work environment, [company name] reserves the right to restrict what items and substances are being brought on to company premises.

It is entirely reasonable, but having such a document applying to me certainly makes the whole thing more real!

Another indicator of the reality of the situation is this tweet from my MP:

Legislation made law by any party but his Conservatives is a terrible idea, of course. I asked him to post his proof that legal cannabis will be a disaster for children, but of course he won’t because he would rather pedal fear than have a fact-based discussion about an issue.

Wait, what am I saying? He won’t even answer.

Clueless

My Federal Minister of Parliament posted again on Facebook today. This one is incredibly tone-deaf, even by his standards:

Pro tip: If your sole citation for your point is 38 year-old legislation, you’re doing something very wrong.

When I was reading Twitter, I saw what it was all about. The Conservative leader tweeted about trade. Rob needed to be seen so he Tweeted too. He’s like the little kid at the back of the class frantically waving his arms to get some attention, not realizing how embarrassing it is.

I followed him on Twitter and Facebook because I want to know what he’s doing for his constituents. It seems that most of what he does is praise the Conservatives and bash the Liberals. The people he is supposed to represent only appear when he posts photo-ops or has conferences, the results of which are never posted.

Good work if you can get it.

Backyard bunnies

For the second year in a row, a mother rabbit has used Julie’s backyard as a nursery. She has a few plantings of decorative grasses and the rabbit made a nest in one of them for her litter. She must have liked it as that’s the same place she prepared for her babies last year.

20180425-154235 iPhone8 IMG_0530.jpg: iPhone8, back camera @ 3.99mm, 1/30, f/1.8, 32 ISO

File: 20180425-154235 iPhone8 IMG_0530.jpg
EXIF: iPhone8, back camera @ 3.99mm, 1/30, f/1.8, 32 ISO

And just like last year, her dogs alerted Julie to the presence of the little ones. As a precaution, the dogs are no longer allowed out there until the kits are grown and finished with the yard.

She and her daughters go out there every day to check up on them and see how they’re growing, and they sure do grow quickly! It was my privilege to see them Wednesday, and now you’ve seen them too. Lovely, aren’t they?

Mom’s recipes

The other day, my mom got ants in her pants and decided to make her lemon chiffon cake in a bundt pan. Except she left out the lemon and added chocolate! Chocolate chiffon? Maybe. What really surprised me is her recipe book. I’ve seen it every time she’s baked ever since I can remember, but for some reason, I saw it with new eyes this time.

20180408-130233 4m6c4703.CR2: 5D Mk.III, EF 17-40mm 1:4L @ 40mm, 1/80, f/4, 1600 ISO

Isn’t that something? Talk about a relic. I just love it.

I’m sick, but it could be much worse…

I feel terrible. I’m sick of feeling terrible and I’m upset that I haven’t written in a while so here I am, against my better judgement.

This winter has been terrible in terms of illness. Most people I know have been sick multiple times. I can’t remember if this is my third or fourth time.

It started with a sore throat. The next day it got worse. I described it as a raging sore throat. The day after is was somewhat better but I thought it best to get things checked out. Happily, it wasn’t the throat infection I was expecting, but rather it is 98% likely to be some unknown viral thing that my immune system would take care of in a week or so.

So what is the other 2% chance? Strep! The dreaded streptococcal pharyngitis1. They took a throat swab and told me that if it was strep throat, they would be in touch in a day or two. Happily, that time has expired.

What blew my mind is something else the doctor told me about strep. He told me that not only is strep throat miserable, but it can lead to much more serious things. Chief among them is acute rheumatic fever2. This is particularly nasty because it can lead to rheumatic heart disease. The body attacks the strep bacteria of course, but this can cause an autoimmune reaction resulting in the body attacking the heart itself. According to Wikipedia,

Chronic rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is characterized by repeated inflammation with fibrinous repair. The cardinal anatomic changes of the valve include leaflet thickening, commissural fusion, and shortening and thickening of the tendinous cords. It is caused by an autoimmune reaction to Group A β-hemolytic streptococci (GAS) that results in valvular damage. Fibrosis and scarring of valve leaflets, commissures and cusps leads to abnormalities that can result in valve stenosis or regurgitation.3

So you catch a bacterial illness and it damages your heart! How messed up is that? Even worse is that rheumatic fever is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in India and sub-Saharan Africa4. That’s astonishing to me.

Happily, I’ll be having none of that since what I have isn’t strep. Thank goodness!

And a word of warning … if you follow those links to Wikipedia, be ready for photos of infected throats. I don’t recommend it.


  1. Wikipedia, “Streptococcal pharyngitis,” retrieved April 8, 2018
  2. Wikipedia, “Acute rheumatic fever,” retrieved April 8, 2018
  3. Wikipedia, “Streptococcal pharyngitis: Rheumatic heart disease,” retrieved April 8, 2018
  4. Wikipedia, “Streptococcal pharyngitis: Prognosis,” retrieved April 8, 2018