CSN:AFU Week 17 In Review

Doug & The Slugs: Canadian

“Makin’ It Work“; ‘Music For The Hard Of Thinking’ (1982)



CSN:AFU Week Seventeen


Change Of Name… And Back Again:

So I changed my WP “nickname” from… ‘[redacted]’ to ‘senators in six.’ for the NHL Playoffs. But the Senators lost in Five to the Anaheim Ducks (mostly) thanks to the gigantic mental cramps of Chris Phillips who, otherwise and generally, is one of the top defencemen in the National Hockey League. I believe the Official Score in Game Five was: Ottawa Senators 2; Ducks 2; Chris Phillips 3; Anton Volchenkov’s Ass 1. So I’m back to ‘[redacted]’… oh, and I’ve changed my avatar’s colour to black and red on a field of green and black, mostly because of “why not” and “hey, that’s pretty cool.”



The Lists:

Five Strangest Search Terms Used To Find CSN:AFU

4) neked militari
3) ottawa senators suck stuff
2) fuck humanity
1) why does Yashin play hockey

Honourable Mention: omega planet ocean serial number locatio


Top Five CSN:AFU Posts Since Last Friday:

2) Short Cuts: The Duck Hunt Is Over OR The Senators Were The Wind Beneath Their Wings
3) Ottawa Senators: Tearing My Family Apart OR Does Anyone Have A Recipe For Roast Duck Or Fried Wings?
4) Short Cuts: Senators In Six OR Box Seats For Game Three Baby, Box Freaking Seats
5) CSN:AFU Week 16 In Review

Honourable Mention: Greatest Hits: Canadian Inventions — ‘Radio’


The Five Blogs I Visited Most This Week

1) Dead Robot
2) Second Thoughts
3) A Wide Angle View Of India (Nita!)
4) Sex In Canada
5) Joan Tintor



This Week In General:

I spent nine hours in the Emergency Room… because I kicked a 30 pound table halfway across my living room, that’s how This Week In Snafu’s started. The kicking part anyway, I waited four days before getting to the ER. Here’s a quick example of how bizarre Canada’s Health Care System is… I also had a filling lose its grip this week, so there was a jagged and very sharp — albeit relatively small — piece of metal in my mouth. I called a dentist, one I hadn’t used before, and they booked me in for an appointment the very next day — they would have seen me that day but I didn’t have a ride and I couldn’t pay for a cab because a walk to the Bank Machine was impossible because of my foot being so swollen from kicking an end-table halfway across my living room.

After filling out a quick medical form — no allergies, three medications — the dentist’s assistant took an X-Ray of my tooth, a few minutes later I was sitting in that weird chair with my head inches from the ground (short dentist), my cheek was numb and she was fixing my tooth. In and out in forty-five minutes, then off to a Chip Stand for an all-dressed hotdog, some fries and a chocolate milkshake. The entire cost was covered by my insurance plan, which is very cool because Dentistry is Private Health Care in Canada. WHAT?!? Yes, Canada has Private Health Care, and has always had Private Health Care in the form of Dentistry. 

A day later I decided my foot, ankle and knee had been swollen long enough to warrant a trip to the Emergency Room. Having experienced ER’s quite often (15 sprained left ankles, 22 sprained right ankles, eight sprained right wrists, four sprained left wrists, one dislocated knee cap, two torn knee ligaments, two chipped ribs, two chipped (neck) vertebrae, six sprained ligaments in my neck, and so on and so on…), I knew the best time to get in and out is late in the evening… so I entered one of Canada’s fine Government-run Health Care establishments at 7.30pm. With a large book. After registering with the front desk the “triage nurse” called me in for my primary exam after aboot thirty minutes. Without examining my foot, ankle or knee and based only on my suggestion that “there may be something broken, I’m not sure” she wrote “broken foot” in the appropriate area.

Five hours later I’m called in to meet Dr. Whatthefuck for the first time, where he takes my shoe off, grabs my foot and shakes it like it’s a Pepper Mill and he’s an unemployed actor. Then he looks at his (stunning) intern, tells her “I know all aboot ankle injuries because I’ve read everything on ankles”, then he turns to me and says “it’s up to you if we do an X-Ray.” At this point, and I am not exaggerating, I can actually see my ankle swelling. Veins are disappearing, and I’m just a little too stunned otherwise I would have hit him. I tell him I’ll take the X-Ray. Three hours after the technician manipulated my foot into positions it was never meant to be in, in order to get the X-Ray, Dr. Holyfuckletgoofmyfoot calls me into an exam room where he looks at the inside of my foot and says “I don’t see anything here… the person who examines the X-Rays isn’t in until tomorrow so if there’s anything wrong he’ll call you.” I ask him if maybe, maybe — perhaps — my ankle, foot and knee might be sprained… you know, cause they’re all swollen and hurt and shit. He looks at the registration form and says — with a tone like I’m taking him away from his date with the stunning intern — “it says here you complained of a broken foot. If there’s anything else you’ll have to re-register.”

Good times. Somehow I also managed to write more this week than I have in months. Two posts on [my other blog] and four here on Cultural Snafu. I also bought a pair of very nice running shoes… they’re white and shiny. I haven’t used them yet because I kicked a really heavy end-table halfway across my living room.

And, Lastly, I Changed My Headers on both Cultural Snafu and [my other blog]. They give me a little more room to put photos… I’ll be changing the header photo on [sigh, my other freaking blog] on a regular basis. I like them, they’re not so dark what with being all white with lots of empty space and the other ones being all black and full of stuff. Funny how that works out.



This Weeks New Posts:

Six Canadian Movies You Need To See That Don’t Suck
— Part Three: Heavy Metal
Heavy Metal is an animated movie which inspired movies such as the “Alien” franchise and “The Fifth Element”, as well as classics like “Akira” and “Bladerunner.” It’s an anthology of eight parts told in sequence by a little green orb called “The LocNor,” which is the manifestation of all that is evil in the universe. None of which makes any difference because two key segments were cut out. Consequently the movie was turned into eight separate movies, each starring a green orb of evil. One of the segments, called “Neverwhere Land” — which included the Pink Floyd classic “Time” — was cut to reduce the run time. The other segment was edited back because of a scene of a dude’s full frontal nudity (an animated John Candy). Despite the almost constant sex, violence and blood-letting, it was a dude’s limp cock which almost got this movie an X Rating. The Soundtrack features the music of Sammy Hagar, Nazareth, Blue Öyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Black Sabbath, Stevie Nicks and Grand Funk Railroad.


Short Cuts: Senators In Six OR Box Seats For Game Three Baby, Box Freaking Seats
The last playoff game I managed to get myself into was back in 2003 when Ottawa beat up on the Flyers in the Conference Semi-Finals. Despite the Flyers hanging their goalie, Roman “the bipolar goaler” Cechmanek, out to dry — then blaming him for the loss — it was a pretty good game… but, Holy Fuck, what an atmosphere. I’ve been to a lot of NHL hockey games, but nothing like that. My step-father has season tickets in a private box at ScotiaBank Place, and he brought me to the game in 2003 and he brought me to Game Three this year.


Forty minutes before the game — no, not the game, the shoot-around before the game — the ScotiaBank Place / Corel Centre / Palladium was packed. Twenty minutes before the shoot-around the announcer came on to tell us aboot the regulations on smoking and drinking and whatever and the crowd started screaming and we couldn’t hear him. The lights dimmed a little and music got louder and the crowd, 20,000 people, started screaming and we couldn’t hear the music. There was some feedback over the sound-system and the crowd screamed. Then the kids hanging over the glass separating them from the hallway where the Senators march out to the ice leaned down with their hands outstretched and Ray Emery appeared leading the Senators to their practice and the crowd went fucking crazy… it was in intense evening. And the Senators won… YAY. Sigh. Good times.


Short Cuts: The Duck Hunt Is Over OR The Senators Were The Wind Beneath Their Wings
Fuck fuck fuck fuckitty fuck fuck.



Next Week:

Global Warming And At Least One Short Cut.

My sister’s coming to visit, so I have to do some dishes and laundry and maybe have a shower so my schedule may be a little tight.


-30- banner


About Gabriel

I’ve lived in more than fifty places. I've been paid to pick stones out of fields, take backstage photos of Britney Spears, and report on Internet privacy issues. My photos have been published in several newspapers, and a couple of magazines.
This entry was posted in Canada, Canadian Movies, CSN:AFU Weekly Review, Hockey, Humor, Humour, Ottawa, Pot, Punk. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to CSN:AFU Week 17 In Review

  1. Nita says:

    I am quite shocked at what your hospital experience. I always thought that in developed countries the public health system was really good.

  2. Gabriel says:

    It depends on where you are and what time you’re there. The American system of Private/For Profit Health Care allows for higher technical achievements and greater investments into treatments… if I was sick, and I had the cash, the only country I’d trust with my health care is the United States.

    The level of health care a person receives in Canada is determined, primarily, by what region you live in. If I have to have a transplant done, or treated for AIDS or cancer I want to be in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary or Vancouver… I don’t want to be stuck in the Atlantic Provinces (no offence) or in the Northern Territories (no offence). Going by the Constitution Health Care in Canada is operated by the provinces and partially funded by the Federal Government. Which would be great, if all the Provinces were equal. But they’re not. Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia are all rich with huge (for Canada) populations. Newfoundland, PEI, Nunavut, the NWT Territorities are poor with tiny populations so their Health Care systems, while adequate and up to the job generally, are not on par with those in the richer Provinces.

    These discrepancies can also be seen inside the richer Provinces. For example, the region I live in is the poorest in Ontario, so we get stuck with doctors who shake feet to see if they’re broken and long waits for X-Rays. However, the waiting times for surgeries and major tests like MRI’s and CAT Scans (I don’t think Ontario has an FMRI machine yet) can be months to a year and even longer. It took eight months for my grandmother to have her right knee replaced, and another eight months to have her hip repaired. These kind of waiting periods are common across Canada regardless of income level.

    Michael Moore is in the process of releasing his latest opus, “Sicko”, which examines and compares the Health Care systems of the United States, France and Canada. Apparently he gives Canada’s system the Big Thumbs Up, but he doesn’t talk aboot the waiting period for treatment, or the high cost to taxpayers to fund the system… in Ontario a little more than half of our (very high) collected taxes go to fund the Health Care system.

  3. Nita says:

    I am still trying to understand it…even people who are willing to pay have to wait for 8 months to have their knee replaced?
    Here it can be done in a few weeks.
    MRI is instant. You just walk in and get it done. An MRI costs about Rs 5000/- which is about $125. But again I am talking of cities. But if a person in a village goes to town he can get it done quickly too.

  4. Gabriel says:

    No, there is no “Pay For Surgery” option in Canada. There are “private” MRI clinics opening up in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and (I think) in Calgary, but you can’t pay for surgery’s here (there are some limited exceptions). There’s no (official) line jumping. If I, someone with pretty much no income, am diagnosed on Tuesday as requiring a heart transplant, and some millionaire is diagnosed with the same on Wednesday, I get priority. He can’t buy his way up the ladder.

    If my doctor prescribes an MRI and I can’t afford the “private” clinic then I’m put into a queue and I might have to wait many weeks, even months, to get it done. It’s actually easier and quicker to get your dog an MRI here because Vets are considered “private health care” and they can buy time on MRI machines when they’re not being used… like at night.

    There is a growing phenomena in Canada and America where people who need surgeries are, instead of waiting in line here, they’re booking flights to India to take advantage of the exchange rate and the high quality of health care our dollars can buy. I think they’re referred to as “surgery vacations”… something like that. There are actual Vacation Packages, tours, that you can book around your surgery. It’s starting to be a real money-maker for India.

  5. Nita says:

    Nothing is free here, not even in government hospitals. The doc might not charge his fee as he is getting a salary from the hospital, but the patient has to pay for all medication and it can turn out to be quite expensive.
    There are hundreds of private hospitals though and often even those who can’t afford it tend to scrape up enough money for those, as waiting can be long in govt. hospitals.
    What I still don’t understand is why there are no private hospitals? Here there are far more private clinics than govt. ones.
    I guess the govt. is pretty good there…but still, why not private enterprise? Here every doc wants to start his/her own clinic and he usually does.
    And yeah, medical tourism is becoming big here.

  6. Yes, health care in Canada is still looked upon as being a “really great system” but it’s going down the tubes–or has gone down the tubes. I’m not sure which yet. I’m still in celebration mode over finding a new psychiatrist yesterday so I’m feeling more positive about it. However, we are talking about emergent services. That’s a little different?

    I’ve had both good and bad situations but on the whole of it, I think my ER trips have been okay. A little on the long side as I hadn’t severed a limb or anything but not that bad.

    I would never want to fully privatize things and copy the US. Oh dear, we already have so many people here without (financial) resources…and still so many problems with the system. Even with these “private clinics” opening up for relatively simple procedures such as MRIs etc… it’s not going to alleviate any waiting times! Mark my words!

    I had an EEG/MRI for my seizures (standard.) The EEG took about a week (odd…) and the MRI took about a month. I live in a large city. The MRI was a little strange in that, I had to have it done at 2300hrs–yes pack us in around the clock. I guess there weren’t any dogs around that needed to use the machine?

    I’ve also heard of these “vacation packages” to various places…how strange, indeed!

  7. Gabriel says:

    The problem with the Canadian system is the insistence by Canadians that the entire system be free of private money. The government can’t sustain the system because the costs keep increasing because there’s no investment into the system… if the government, since 1940, had been the sole supplier of homes to the Canadian people we’d still have lead pipes…

    There is also the Provinces inherent need to prove to the federal government their need for additional funding… the Provinces have to underfunded the health care system in order to prove it doesn’t work in order to prove to the federal government they need more money to make the health care system work…

    Everything is free here, every surgery, every hospital stay… the problem is the Provinces stop putting drugs onto the “Freebie” list because they’re expensive so Canadians miss out on treatments available to Europe and the United States. Then the waiting times push people who can afford it to take trips to India, the United States and/or Europe where they can receive quick treatment while those of us who can’t afford it have to wait six months to a year to have our knee or kidney replaced. This, of course, creates that “Two-Tiered System” that Canadians didn’t want in the first place…

    So the problem with Canada’s Health Care System are the ideologues who insist Canadians must continue to suffer in a pure public system rather than be tainted by corporate money.

    The thing we keep hearing aboot the American System, aboot how there are 40 million or however many people who don’t have Health Insurance… well, it’s a fallacy. It’s wrong. The American system does include Medicare (age 65+) and Medicaid which operate like the Ontario Health Insurance Program and the Canadian Federal Medicare Program, so — despite what certain ideologues will tell you — there is a Two-Tiered system in the United States… yes, if I have to have a transplant I want it done in Canada because it’s free and I won’t go bankrupt. However, the doctors and facilities and treatments and aftercare facilities are all superior in the United States so, if I had the money, I’d want it done there — which, actually, I can do if I am Canadian and have the money.

  8. Nita says:

    I get it now! I never knew that govts. like yours existed! Well, I guess its an ideal but unworkable system. Aboot time your govt. fixed it.
    Here in India, even though people don’t have money and health insurance, there are so many private clinics that because of sheer competition, prices are pushed down. After a little borrowing, even poor people can manage a treatment as long as its not something like cancer treatment. The main concern here is that the kind of doctor to go to. The poor sometime land up going to ‘fake’ ones who ‘buy’ degrees! Before I go to a dentist (because we have moved so much) I ask about a dozen people in the neighbourhood. Even if the doc has the right degree, I have a distrust of docs (thats another story!)
    Docs are being churned out by the thousands in India every year as this is the most coveted profession. My cousin and her husband who are a doctor couple are millionaires and plus they get a lot of respect from people.

  9. Gabriel says:

    Honestly, I think we’re the only country that insists on this level of public / non-private health care service… other than Cuba, China and some of the recently non-Communist countries. The idealogues used to use Europe as an example of like-minded non-private care, but then most of Europe started moving towards a mixed system, so now their position is strictly “we don’t want an American-style system”, which is fine — neither do I — but I wouldn’t mind a Swedish or French or German or Dutch-style system where Private Clinics can operate openly within a publicly funded system.

    One of the main problems, within Ontario, is the lack of doctors. We don’t have enough positions available in the schools, and after they’ve graduated there aren’t enough positions available for interns and graduate students to learn their craft. A significant number of our doctor and nursing graduates move to the United States, which means we have to recruit doctors and nurses from India, South Africa and the Philippians — among others. Which, in turn, leaves countries like India short of properly trained doctors.

    The current system in Canada, in the medium and long term, is unworkable. Health Care is too expensive for a government, with its huge operating costs, to maintain. A few years ago there was a small movement in Ontario to introduce “Private Public Partnerships”, where private firms would pay for parts of new buildings for hospitals or university/colleges. The public backlash against the 3P initiatives prevented hospitals from being built and some university expansion… the last significant hospital to be built in Ontario is aboot a decade old, and it was the first one built in almost a decade.

    It isn’t that Canadian doctors are using broken needles and rusty blades, in most of our hospitals we have one of the most modern systems in the world… kind of. It’s what’s happening behind the scenes. A large number of Canadians don’t have a “family doctor”, so more people have to rely on Emergency Services for ear aches and rashes. Plus the level of care, the number of treatments available through our Provincial Health Care Plans, is shrinking due to growing costs…

    And, believe me, the worse it gets here the worse it will get in India as we suck all of your doctors into this country and we send more “Surgery Vacationers” into your system.

  10. Wow. Uh, lots going on.

    Just wanted to wave a good “see you later” before I disappear for a bit.

    “Aboot” rocks. It’s the reason (I say this with great pride) many Americans I meet think I’m Canadian. :-D

  11. Nita says:

    Well, I am not too worried abt our docs going out, because of our billion plus population. :)
    Anyway, the family doc system is thriving here. A doctor at every corner, thats what we have! Surfeit of them in the cities. The problem is in the villages. You see, docs want to make money so they avoid the villages. we city people have no problem really. The problem in India is the attitude of doctors. They are so money minded, it sucks.
    The govt. medical schools (which are also considered the best) make it compulsory for its graduates to serve for a certain period in the villages (subsidized education) but people get around it. My cousin went and met the minister and lo behold, her daughter got exempted from it!
    One good thing abt medical education here is the practice the trainee docs get. So many people!

  12. Pingback: CSN:AFU Week 18 In Review « …cultural snafu.

  13. Pingback: Some critical reasons for growth in medical tourism « A wide angle view of India

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