13 July 2007


Back home and moving slowly

I'm on my living room recliner couch now, after a week in the hospital (as you saw) that included:

  • Wonderfully adept surgery from Dr. Phang and Dr. Gourlay, who saved both my anal sphincter and my left kidney, which I thought I might lose.
  • Excellent, friendly, and caring treatment from all the nurses, doctors, and other staff of St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver who took care of me after that.
  • Very fast recovery to start, so that everyone thought I might come home Wednesday, after only five days, rather than the seven to ten days originally expected.
  • A big setback when my intravenous drip was disconnected, when I went into full-blown morphine withdrawal that had me shivering and twitching and groaning in pain through a whole night and morning.
  • Getting a handle on that problem and beginning a plan that will bring me off the morphine as I recover at home.
  • Having a visit from my great friend Simon, and then visiting him again as he recuperated in the same hospital from his own planned major heart-valve operation.

We could not share a room, since Simon's on the cardiac ward, but we remain PKBF (pain-killer buddies forever). Simon is still there for a few more days. Across the ocean my online cohort Jean-Hugues is also recuperating in a hospital in France after colon cancer surgery three days ago, so send them both your good vibes.

Thanks to my dad for posting updates, and to my wife for getting a few photos and the video up here (as well as for being generally wonderful, of course). Thanks to my kids for visiting and bringing stuff to help me feel better. I think my crazy wacky web guy activity will remain slow for the next while, but I'm back, baby.

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29 May 2007


Building a fortress with medieval techniques

Jean-Hugues pointed me to this fascinating project in France, which he describes as...

...the incredible building site of the castle of Guédelon, in Burgundy. A non-profit organization is building a 13th century fortress, using only middle age technology. They started in 1997 and they hope the work will be finished by 2025. Around the building site, there is a little medieval village with the workshops of the craftworkers: carpenters, metal workers, rope makers, potters, and even a farm, with authentic middle-age pigs. Amazing!

The thought of taking nearly 30 years to construct a building is so antithetical to modern life—even the Empire State Building went up in little more than a year—that we forget that all sorts of big structures used to take that long.

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