Saturday, July 28, 2012

benign paroxysmal positional vertigo...

but more on that later.

two weekends ago, I was wandering around the waterfront taking some pictures.



the oft-shot lighthouse island


apparently this Cunard guy is big in town

another delightful evening view

back at work - one of our talented electricians decided to express his squirrely feelings

benefit of having a 2nd level in the library of citadel high... get to look down on people :)

the scorpion-twins line up a couple of shots...

guessing that the hairdressers in the building behind us are fans of the trailerpark boys (local series)

someone had fun with the video monitors


time for an income-update...

I'm still without pay.

that is all

nah, that's not all - but it certainly feels like it!

we were scheduled to work friday night, giving me the morning to head over to the dartmouth office of service canada and battle bureaucracy again.

it was fun

explained the entire sorry-saga to yet another staff member (this guy was quite helpful) - and we came to the conclusion that the payroll company should accept that the Social Insurance Number will be valid (as its expiry date is based on the valid work visa), and they should just suck it up and pay me.

we also came to the conclusion that I won't get a valid SIN card, until my file is listed as active on the internal system... which won't happen until I'm able to be found on the inter-departmental-snore.... everyone else as bored with this as I am?...

that was over a week ago - and things still haven't really progressed. Though I was handed a cheque THIS friday covering half my travel expenses ($2116.29 CAD for anyone who's counting), so at least I'm not broke...

Saturday the 22nd July 2012

started like most weekends - I woke up late, and a little sleepy.
was a fair bit less stable than usual though... had a second coffee to try and right my balance, and continued with my days plans
To go and see the dark knight rises in IMAX.

at this stage I had no idea if the cinema out at bayers lake was a LIEmax, or the real deal (15perf/70mm)
but I booked my ticket for a 1445 screening, and planned a bus trip.

the first bus was smack-bang on time, and stayed right on schedule - things were looking good (except for my head, which was still feeling a little dizzy, and the cold-sweat which had just started).

waiting for the 2nd bus, I really didn't feel too good - but stuff it, I'm off to a possible REALmax screening - which will be awesome!

2nd bus starts 10 mins behind schedule, and only gets slower, as EVERY-FREAKIN-STOP is utilised by the ever increasing number of passengers...

arrive at the theatre stop at the start time of the screening - there's still hope (thanks goodness for trailers and ads?)

hmmm, i'm genuinely having difficulty walking in a straight-line... but I can see the theatre, and there's still time...

straight into the theatre (love the online ticket in conjunction with an iphone = super easy)

cinema is PACKED (to be expected) and the prologue which I saw at the head of Mission Impossible 4 back in Sydney in December, is playing FLOOR to CEILING = YAY! it's a 15/70 film projection

luckily there's a single seat in the middle of the back row. I excuse myself and jump over the seat to settle in for 2-1/2 hrs of cinematic awesomeness.

as the movie progresses though, I'm overcome with the increasing urge to hurl/barf/throw-up/yes, even chunder...

at this point I am contemplating whether to stumble back over my seat, blow-chunks over the next three rows, or sit tight and focus on internal calming.

I choose the latter.

by the time the film has finished - I CAN'T MOVE.

wait for the credits to play, and SLOWLY, make my way to the exit.

as is expected the bathroom is completely full (and there's a line), so I head for the nearest exit and try to get some fresh air.

I make it outside the back of the theatre just as I start to dry-heave...

the next 5 minutes are spent attempting to A-throw up, and B-not pass out.

ok... what do I do now? should I REALLY cash-in on my travel insurance and call an ambulance?

nope - suck it up Ian, you're not dying, just get some food into you (low blood sugar?) and re-right yourself.

nearest food = dairy queen.

order a small hamburger meal, and eat exactly one and a half french fries, and half a bite of the (now cooling) burger - time taken = 2hours...

have resigned myself to calling an ambulance before passing out in a fast food restaurant.

stupidly check the bus schedule on my phone - hmmmm, there's a bus in 10 minutes - If I can make it home, I'll ride it out over the next day and not have to incur a whole bunch of medical expenses and paper-work bullshit.

lets do it!

head for the bus, keep-it-going mate, you can do this...

get off the bus just in time to throw up again... hmmm this is weird, there's literally nothing coming out...

make the transfer... nearly home...

bus stops almost directly outside my building (nice!), and I get to the bathroom of my apartment just in time to hurl one last time...

ok - just cool-down and sleep it off.

1900 saturday - 1200 sunday = fitfull sleep... still dizzy.

ok, that's it, I've waited long enough, it's still not getting any better - time to call in some favours.

Zan (my sound mixer) is enlisted to drop me at the emergency department of the local hospital.

by local, I mean local - it's less than 6 blocks away.

Triage takes 15 minutes, then another 20 before hitting the registry, and divulging as much financial info as I can (hi world nomads travel insurance, hope that the canadian health system contacts you directly). it's then an hour and a half before I'm seen by another medical professional. all in all it's not too bad to be honest.

Carrie, my nurse is a 34yr veteran, and has pretty much diagnosed me based on the initial examination/questions, but respectfully waits for confirmation of the doctors assessment.

my doctor is brief, pleasant and decisive.

I have Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo - the tell-tale sign is an inability to keep my balance when turning my head in one direction compared to the other. (Left, for those of you who were curious)

in short - there are crystals in your inner-ear... normally they're static and out of the way, but sometimes (usually with advanced age or a sharp-blow-to-the-head) they dislodge and cause massive balance issues.

I'm given some instructions on how to right the crystals (effectively re-settling them), and since I haven't been able to eat or drink in over 30 hrs, an IV infused with some anti-nausea stuff, along with a prescription for some more anti-nausea pills...

apparently my left wrist had "tricky" veins, Nurse carrie actually said "looks like we've got a runner" - which to a guy who hates needles instantly made me think that my vein had burst, and my blood was gushing all over the place... (I should mention that I had my eyes closed)

the right wrist was much more compliant.

post I/V I really did feel a little better, still can't turn left; but I could walk.

call Zan, let him know I'm walking home (less than 6 blocks) as I'd need to stop off and collect a prescription on the way (no pharmacy on-site at the hospital?)

fill the script and make it back safely.


Work as per usual the next day - meds prevent my need to throw-up, but do little for my left-turning issues...

...oh well, let's set a bunch of radio mics and keep me off the ladders for a bit.

Tuesday is slightly better, and by Wednesday I'm starting to feel normal. Thursday is great (even try a ladder again), and Friday finishes with a little bit of a relapse in the arvo (still have plenty of pills though)

that takes us to today...

I feel pretty good

Other photos.

Dean has been violated!
we know who did it.
they shall pay.

random newly-wed-couple on the way home from yet another successful day of swinging a big stick

okey dokey, I'm done.

none of the above has been proof-read (quite rare for me), so apologies if it doesn't read as slick as usual.

next week - back to the usual, some photos and the week that was.

all the best


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Another week...

...another blog-post.

My weekends are falling into a regular rhythm.

Saturdays are filled with a massive sleep-in, followed by quite literally nothing. (more sleep or reading, perhaps catching up on some TV)

Sundays are for getting out and about.

last week was all about the local trail that I'm attempting to use as my fitness-outlet in Halifax

Sure, I haven't been running as much in the last 2 weeks due to my inability to deal with minor sicknesses - but as you can see from the title photo, it was just too nice a day to NOT go for a walk.

So I strapped-on the camera, and headed-off to show you some of the local area.

first up was a little tour past the old studio from season 1.

This may be one of my favorite shots from 2012 (and I have a few to choose from this year!)

another angle on the storage silos

it takes around 12 minutes to run to the park from my accommodation

it's probably the closest place to go running on non-pavement, with surfaces varying from sandy gravel...

...right through to wood-chip/stone

anyone know if this is a Blue-Jay?

seems to be the right colour and size


they're just so jittery...

...I know that the locals think of them as rats, and would like them to all just go away... but seriously! they rock

lighthouse view.

mmmmmmm industrial...

rock-stacks, oh how I've missed you... (people seem to make these on EVERY trail in BC)

beach-y cove thingy... with the port in the BG

pine onto birch, via maple?

semi-disgusting swamp-lake-thingy

flag on a train.

worlds saddest beach patrol location...

By wednesday there was still no word of reply from the Vancouver Airport immigrations office - so I sleuthed a phone number to the payment office from my receipt, and bluffed my way into another more accurate and direct number...

I managed to actually SPEAK to someone, who was as confused as me - so they placed me on hold, and found someone a little more senior...

...who was extremely abrupt and rude. (guessing that sensitivity training isn't a priority with these guys)

Apparently I'm a complete fool for accepting the decisions made by both my payroll company and service canada. The work visa is LEGAL AND VALID, and they're not going to print me another one.

ok... great, it's becoming a little bit of "he said, she said"... I don't care who's right and who's wrong - I just want it sorted.

the office of my show called back the payroll company and told them what's going on; they are now happy to accept the visa (WTF! thanks for making us jump through un-necessary hoops)

next-stop... getting Service Canada to recognise the visa, so I can have my Social Insurance Number re-validated.

Which means taking time off-set and going BACK into the dartmouth office; forcing them to pick up the damn phone and call vancouver...

who'd like to place a bet on whether or not the drones behind the counter will comply this time?

at least the weather's been nice.
see you next week

Saturday, July 07, 2012

O' Canada...

...your immigration dislikes meeeee!

more info about that later.

first up, Canada Day.

I'd been offered the chance to join in some festivities on the SW coast of Nova Scotia (about 1+1/2 hrs away) and gladly tagged along with my camera.

apparently there's an on-going generational feud between two families in the local town...

...each year, on canada day...

...they pelt the crap out of each other with water-balloons...

...and water-pistols...

...given the temperature of the day, I was tempted to join in...

...but it was brutal, and I was hoping that my international status afforded me immunity (thankfully no-one was targeting journalists)...

...nothing like a victorious (or cowardly) dive off the pier. To be honest, I didn't see any clear winner - guess it'll have to be settled next year...

post-war fishing results... less than 20 seconds casting off, this squid took the bait... no kidding, under half-a-minute... wasn't too happy, but thankfully he didn't ink 'till getting back into the water

appropriately themed footwear... and toe-art

dog-goes for a swim in the local lake...

...he was retrieving a stick... and never got bored...

BBBQ, the extra B is for...

nice view

Sound-mixer vs his girl-friends-father square-off

thought it'd be a quick game, but they both take it fairly seriously - and the game was still going several hours later... never found out the winner to be honest...

just watchin' some fishin boats...

alt angle

another flag shot (it's canada day, what do you expect?)

kicking back with a chocolate stout (looking at aforementioned boat)

awesome textures

cool cove lighting

even cooler colours (thanks picasa auto-contrast)


local island

at sunset = awesome

another gull

what would a national holiday be without fireworks?

next morning view from my overnight accom.

impending storm...

...caused some traffic snarls (or was it just the post holiday "rush"?)

...bit of both

didn't last too long, post storm view somewhere in south halifax

another view off my balcony

D season two, shot on RED ONE MX

Weekly WTF

license plate is awesome, how does one get so beat-up... and on such a new vehicle

actress waits in the sun

afternoon substantial meal (subs) involved a hotdog, and some horseradish mayonaise... 'twas simply amazing.

especially as I was in the midst of a fairly severe man-flu.

yup, I'd managed to avoid it for a few days (several crew members getting hit just before the long weekend), falling victim right on our return to work...

...decided to get my yearly sunburn out of the way mid-week as well (first one since deciding to start shaving my head) - so I finished the week as one congested-stuffy-burnt (and burnt-out) sniveling-mess of an excuse for a human...

...who is unable to be paid right now, because; surprise, surprise... the payroll company won't accept my work visa either! (services canada - SIN being the other)

numerous phone conversations later...

I need a re-print (technically a first-time-print)

there's no phone number to call? but a fax number to send a cover letter and photocopies of my stuff...

basically, the Vancouver international Airport office has failed to enter me into the system, and I need to deal with them directly.

oh well...

catch you all next week.


P.S. had a rough decision; which 3D mega-movie to go and see? in my current state of feeling "under-the-weather", thought i'd take a punt on the new pixar film as being a more uplifting choice than revisionist-presidential-history, or web-slinging angsty-teens... BRAVE is pretty darn good, so I'm happy with the choice.