James McGill

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The statue of James McGill on the McGill campus

The statue of James McGill on the McGill campus

Here is James McGill. Or rather a statue built on the McGill University campus in his honour. After his death, his money paid to found one of Canada’s oldest universities by royal decree. While this statue isn’t actually James McGill, his real body is kept only a couple hundred metres up the hill from where the statue is, along with half of his accountant’s body.

That’s not a joke, actually.

Back in the seventies, when DNA was all the rage, some science students at McGill decided to test James McGill’s remains, which were kept on-campus, in front of the Arts Building. What they found is that there were actually two men’s bodies there, which is in fact, double the expected number. The best explanation that anyone has been able to give is that when McGill’s body was exhumed and moved from what is now the train station to what is now the campus, the people who did it had a hard time distinguishing where one man’s body ended and the body of the next man’s began.

What they should have done is have James McGill taxidermied, and then, when the technology was developed, motorised. That would have certainly prevented the mess-up that ended with him having to share a grave with half of his accountant until Jesus comes back.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-218,
    title = {James McGill},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-08-13,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/13/james-mcgill/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "James McGill" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 13 Aug 2009. Web. 22 Mar 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/13/james-mcgill/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Aug 13). James McGill [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/13/james-mcgill/

Bad day

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Here is what a passenger-side window looks like when it's broken

Here is what a passenger-side window looks like when it's broken

Sunday was, without qualification, a bad day.

For a few days in a row this week, Pickles has been waking up with a fever, which goes away by the afternoon. It got as high as 104.7ºF on Saturday and so that night, we decided that if she had a fever the next morning, we would skip church and go to the Emergency Room at Montréal General Hospital instead.

When we first arrived at the Emergency room on Sunday morning around 9h30, it wasn’t too busy, but after a few hours, there were a few more people there to wait along with us. The nurses took some of Pickles’ blood, and put an IV in her with saline. Then when that was empty, another nurse eventually changed the bag for one with some sugar in it. A doctor came to see her, and ordered a CT scan of her bowels, to see what’s going on in there.

While we were waiting, I periodically went out to the car to put more money into the parking meter. I was parked right outside the hospital, within view of the hospital doors. Sometime between 14h15 and 15h35 someone came and smashed the passenger-side window, rifled through our glove compartment, and took our GPS. I know it happened during that time because the parking meter prints out tickets that indicate when exactly you pay and how long it lasts for.

Back in the hospital, a doctor finally came to see Pickles again, to follow up her CT scan. I guess they forgot to call Pickles for her CT scan, or perhaps they didn’t tell the CT scan people about it, because Pickles hadn’t had one yet, which was surprising for the doctor. Pickles went to radiology, where I found her, and told her about the car.

I called the police, who told me to take the van into the police station. This was something of an adventure, as we had become very reliant on the GPS to tell us how to get anywhere. Fortunately, the thief hadn’t stolen our trusty map of Montréal. I only went the wrong way on a one-way street for about thirty seconds. After filling out a report, I went home and vacuumed the shards of glass out of the passenger seat, making it much safer even for me to drive in. This way, I don’t have to worry about pieces of glass going flying every time I make a turn or stop too quickly.

Pickles' elbow, after a long day at the hospital

Pickles' elbow, after a long day at the hospital

Pickles phoned me to tell me that they wanted her to stay overnight. “For observation,” they told us. What that means is that she had to stay in the hospital, and they took her temperature in the morning. I packed a backpack with a blanket, her toothbrush and some clothes for Monday morning and brought it to her. A GI doctor came by in the morning when I came to pick her up.

The only thing that gave the doctor any hesitation about releasing Pickles was that he said they really ought to have done some blood cultures, considering that she came in complaining about a fever. What was strange about that is that the nurse did take Pickles’ blood for a blood culture earlier. As proof, Pickles pulled up the sleeve of her shirt and described the pop-bottle shaped vials that they put her blood into when they took her blood.

The doctor went to a computer to try to find out where the blood went, to no avail. It’s still a mystery, but fortunately the doctor let us go anyway. After a 25-hour visit to the hospital, I took Pickles home and we had a nap for much of the morning. Sunday had been an extremely stressful day.

On the upside, while we were waiting in the Emergency Room, I got to re-read the first 130 pages of Hursthouse’s On Virtue Ethics, which is helping me to clarify my thoughts on some of the bioethical issues that I expect to face this year.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-208,
    title = {Bad day},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-08-10,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/10/bad-day/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Bad day" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 10 Aug 2009. Web. 22 Mar 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/10/bad-day/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Aug 10). Bad day [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/10/bad-day/

Creepy statue

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Creepy statue in downtown Montréal

Creepy statue in downtown Montréal

I went to the gym by Métro on Monday, and on my way there, I came across this statue. It’s supposed to be a crowd of people. I didn’t read the plaque that explained what it meant. I prefer the sense of mystery.

What is the man pointing at? Why is there a little gremlin person, crouching at his butt? Why is everyone standing so close together? Why are they all white people?

Creepy statue in downtown Montréal

Creepy statue in downtown Montréal

Creepy statue in downtown Montréal

Creepy statue in downtown Montréal

Another interesting thing: This statue was pristine. There wasn’t a bit of graffiti anywhere near it. Maybe this is because it’s right in the middle of downtown Montréal, and people would notice. But still, I see lots of buildings around there that have been vandalised.

Anyway, I like the contrast that the white crowd of people gives to the dark glass buildings behind them. And how creepy those gremlin-people are.

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-144,
    title = {Creepy statue},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-08-5,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/05/creepy-statue/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Creepy statue" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 05 Aug 2009. Web. 22 Mar 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/05/creepy-statue/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Aug 05). Creepy statue [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/08/05/creepy-statue/

Sketchy U-Haul place

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What we found at the sketchiest U-Haul place ever

What we found at the sketchiest U-Haul place ever

My parents rented a U-Haul truck to help me and Pickles take our things from London to Montréal. This was fantastic. We couldn’t have done it otherwise. Seriously. Hooray for U-Haul!

But when we tried to return the truck, some weird things happened.

First, I tried calling a local U-Haul location to ask if I could return the truck. They told me to call the 1-800 number on the contract, which I did. Several times. No one ever picked up.

So I tried calling the “roadside assistance” telephone number. Fortunately, there was an option for talking to a U-Haul representative about non-emergency issues. I spoke to an operator who told me to take the truck to a particular place that I won’t mention by name or give the address for, in case it’s a drug front or something. I will refer to it from here on as “Sketch-Land.”

Pickles and I drove to Sketch-Land, and walked into the side of an auto-repair garage. In it, there were a couple of boys working there who appeared to be 12 years old. I approached the only adult there and asked him if this was a U-Haul location. He shook his head, and said “No,” as if he were offended or something.

We left, and walked around the side of the building, where we saw a door with a couple signs on it, one that read “Ouvert” (“open” in French) and another that read “U-Haul.” Seeing these signs, we immediately thought that we must have just gone in the wrong door. We opened the door and found an empty office with a piece of paper on the desk that said, “Be back in 10 minutes,” followed by a phone number.

We waited a few minutes and looked around the office. Taped to the side of the desk was a card that said, “U-Haul Authorised Dealer” and then, presumably, identified the name of the man in the garage and that it was valid from December 2008 to December 2009. (I took a picture of this with my camera phone.) I called the number on the note, and asked if I had reached a U-Haul location. The all-too-familiar voice on the other end of the phone told me, “No,” in an increasingly annoyed tone of voice. Pickles noticed that she could hear the man on the phone through a doorway out of the office that led into the garage that we were in beforehand.

The man whom we had spoken to earlier was the same man who was on the phone, and he entered the office a few seconds later, and started yelling at us for coming into his office uninvited. I gestured to the “Ouvert” sign, which, in my experience, means that a business is open for customers to enter. I asked again if he was sure that he was not a U-Haul dealer, indicating the “U-Haul” sign on his door, and the card that we found taped to his desk, but that only made him more angry.

We left when he started to raise his voice in broken English, and phoned U-Haul again, who gave us the address of a local U-Haul dealer that was remarkably legitimate-looking in comparison to Sketch-Land.

If you’re ever trying to return a U-Haul truck in Montréal, let me know and I’ll tell you what place to avoid.

Update: I emailed all this to U-Haul, and they sent me a gift certificate! Hooray for U-Haul!

BibTeX

@online{bgcarlisle2009-13,
    title = {Sketchy U-Haul place},
    journaltitle = {The Grey Literature},
    author = {Benjamin Gregory Carlisle},
    address = {Montreal, Canada},
    date = 2009-07-27,
    url = {https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/27/sketchy-u-haul-place/}
}

MLA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. "Sketchy U-Haul place" Web blog post. The Grey Literature. 27 Jul 2009. Web. 22 Mar 2019. <https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/27/sketchy-u-haul-place/>

APA

Carlisle, Benjamin Gregory. (2009, Jul 27). Sketchy U-Haul place [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.bgcarlisle.com/blog/2009/07/27/sketchy-u-haul-place/

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