Carbon Fiber Reinforced … Cornea

Saturday afternoon I got something in my left eye. Initially I thought it was just an eyelash.

The discomfort continued through the evening and the night. Sunday morning we got some Visine and I started irrigating. This didn’t really help much, but it didn’t make it worse either. I figured I’d scratched my cornea.

This morning I called Dr. Dame and made an appointment.

Dr. Dame put some flourescent dye in my eye and had a look. He saw something right in the middle of my cornea. To remove the foreign object, he froze my eye. Using a small piece of sterile sponge, he gently moved the object away from the middle of my eye. I was doing a pretty good job keeping my eye open, but it wasn’t easy.

Once the object was closer to the edge of my eye, Dr. Dame was able to extract it more easily. He showed it to me, but I couldn’t see it very well. My left eye was frozen, and both eyes were filled with tears. But there was a tiny little black speck on the end of the sponge.

“It looks like a piece of carbon fiber.”

“But we don’t own anything that’s made of carbon fiber. Could it be a hair?”

“No, it’s not the right size and shape to be a hair.”

Eventually tissue would have grown over the object — after about 48 hours. So I guess I was pretty lucky. Dr. Dame gave me some drops to put in my eye hourly, and sent me on my way.

My eye has been extremely sensitive to sunlight. It was a little better without the object, but not as good as I would have liked. But by the time I’d come home and had supper, it was feeling quite a bit better.

My left eye is still pretty blurry, but it feels much better now. I expect my vision will be mostly normal tomorrow.

Trail Appliances has Fixed Our Fridge?

I don’t know whether to say this, but Trail Appliances thinks they’ve fixed our Amana fridge. We’re a little skeptical, since they’ve been to our house five times for the same problem.

Raj the service tech brought a piece of high-tech equipment to monitor the temperature inside our fridge. It’s called a CR-87 Temperature Recorder.

CR-87 Temperature Recorder

I don’t think I’m as old as the CR-87 Temperature Recorder. I think I’m more reliable.

Raj asked Corinna to leave the temperature probe of the CR-87 inside the top compartment for 24-hours, then put it in the freezer compartment. All the data would be recorded in analog form on the paper chart. Using Pen and Paper Technology.

One feature of the CR-87 Temperature Recorder is its sensitivity to shock. If we didn’t close the fridge very carefully, the pen would shoot up to full-scale, as shown above. Our fridge was not actually 60 degrees F when I took this photo.

After 24-hours in the fridge, we moved the probe to the freezer. The next day Raj was supposed to come retrieve the data (in the form of Pen and Paper Technology).

Thursday morning arrived (July 26th) and our fridge was once again warm — it was 8 degrees C when we noticed. Corinna phoned Raj immediately, and he came out to have a look. He was already coming back for his CR-87 Temperature Recorder.

Because the fridge was actually in a failed state when he arrived, Raj was finally able to fix the problem. We hope. This time, it was a loose wire — the fridge would go into its defrost cycle, never to be cool again.

Moral of the story? I’m not sure whether there is a moral. Raj did mention that our Amana was easy to diagnose compared to a Sub-Zero. It still took five service calls to fix our fridge — how badly does it suck if you have an obscenely expensive Sub-Zero? Maybe that’s the moral.

Our $500 Sears Kenmore fridge has been solid as a rock ever since it arrived.

Our Amana Fridge from Trail Appliances — Not Working… Again

For the fifth time in about 6 months our Amana Fridge from Trail is not working. The cooling coils in the freezer compartment are frozen solid, so they no longer provide any cooling.

Corinna is on hold with the Trail Appliances Service Department … and has been for twenty minutes now.

Because the fridge was at 10C, we’ve had to throw out a bunch more food. We’ll have to rely on the Kenmore fridge we bought from Sears.

Alice on the Beach

Much to our surprise yesterday, Alice had no desire to walk through the rainforest. After quite a bit of coaxing we got her to come down to the coffee lounge on the beach level. There we had a wonderful view of the Pacific Ocean crashing onto Chesterman Beach. It was a beautiful sunny day with a high of 27C.

I had another cappuccino and Corinna ordered a fruit plate. The latter came with a delicious fresh-made yogurt, infused with cherries, strawberries, and blackberries.

Alice had a little snack and then we got her out the door and onto the beach. We fully expected she’d head straight for the rainforest.

Much to our surprise, she played happily on the sand and even got close to the water. We explored the beach, and Alice was quite taken with a little tidal pond. It had some small barnacles, tiny little snails, and some sand. Alice pretended she was feeding fish — she’d take a handful of sand from the beach and drop it into the pond. Pretty cute.

We slowly worked our way onto some rocks. Alice liked that too, though the rocks were pretty slippery and she needed us to hold her hand. On some of the rocks there were more tidal ponds… and more fish feeding.

As we got closer to the waves there was more marine life to see. Small hermet crabs, small fish — yes, we ‘fed’ them sand — lots of sea anemone, and even a big purple starfish. By this point Alice was sufficiently engaged that she was actually walking in the water. Our little girl walking in the Pacific Ocean!

After a little more beachcombing, Alice took off across the sand headed straight for the rainforest path. I thought for sure she’d take us through the usual guided tour, but alas, Alice was starting to get homesick. She walked a meters into the forest, stopped, and wouldn’t go any further.

“I don’t want to go to rainforest.”

I carried Alice back across the beach and into The Wick. We went back to Beachcomber Suite 49 and finished packing for the return trip.

Our return trip was uneventful. Alice slept from Tofino to Port Alberni, where we stopped for a bathroom break. We then continued on to Cathedral Grove for a quick 20-minute walk.

Cathedral Grove

Then it was back into the car and off to Comox.

We got to the Comox airport about 65 minutes before our flight. Since it’s such a small airport — only two gates — we had plenty of time to check-in and clear security.

On the tarmac

Alice enjoyed the flight. There was a young boy (maybe 4 years old) sitting right behind her and they entertained each other quite a bit. Because she had a window seat, she also played quite a bit with the window blind. Alice also watched a Backyardigans movie — Samurai Pie.

We were back home by about 10PM MDT. Corinna gave Alice a really quick bath, and gave her a snack. Alice was asleep by 11 and didn’t make a sound until 10AM today.

Come on, guys, follow me!

Alice has really taken to the rainforest walk here on the grounds of The Wickaninnish. We cross Chesterman Beach to the rainforest trail.

Crossing Chesterman Beach

We often cross the beach at full speed. We still haven’t touched the ocean.

Once we’re into the rainforest, it’s very important that Alice lead the way.

“Come on, guys, follow me!”

Come on guys

Alice is really good at walking the path by herself. There is one part where you have to walk across a streambed on a plank. Alice can do this without help.

Walking on a plank

There are some stairs over old nurse logs — Alice handles these by herself.

Stairs over a nurse log

Sometimes the nurse logs are too small to require stairs. Our fearless rainforest guide traverses these without any assistance.

Small nurse log

We’ve seen many interesting things on the rainforest walk. There are flowers, bright red bugs, caterpillars, wild raspberries, and birds.

This rainforest walk has become quite a regular routine. We did it once on our first day, once Saturday, and twice yesterday. Today we’ve already done it twice.

Alice is having a nap on the cot while Corinna is at the Ancient Cedars Spa. As soon as Alice is awake, I expect we’ll go on our walk again.

Tonight a babysitter is coming to our room to stay with Alice while we go to The Pointe for supper. Alice is having a Kid’s Night In — pizza, homemade cookie, popcorn, and a movie (The Little Mermaid). We hope she has fun.

Alice has been pretty well behaved for this visit. Last night we had supper at The Pointe but ate on the patio. This worked really well for Alice, since she didn’t have to sit still and be as quiet as would have been required inside.

Singing on the patio

Alice sang us a song before supper. It was another of her original works, and was acompanied by a little dance.

Our waiter, Ali, was kind enough to bring Alice an appetizer of her own: a small grilled-cheese sandwich with ketchup. It was perfectly prepared, and must have been no more than half a slice of bread in total. A very nice touch.

Grilled cheese appy

Our return flight was departing Comox tomorrow at noon. Since it’s a three hour drive from Tofino, we’d have to leave her very early in the morning. Corinna suggested we change to a later flight, and WestJet has put us on a 7PM instead. This should make our return trip much more enjoyable.

The Ocean’s Talking to Me

The first day of our Tofino vacation was a pretty big one.

Alice, Grandma Barb, Corinna and I packed up our luggage — all 10 pieces — and got to the Calgary airport in good time. We had done the WestJet Web Check-in, which helps streamline the process a little.

We parked the Element at the Park-n-Jet and caught a bus to the terminal. We had so much luggage we occupied an entire shelf on the bus…. Alice had the largest suitcase, but that’s expected when you’re a toddler. I had a suitcase, a laptop, my camera bag, and my tripod bag. So I’m clearly the problem.

The security people at the airport were surprisingly friendly. Maybe it’s because there isn’t an Alice Murray on any Canadian no-fly list.

A very nice lady asked Alice to put Tiger on the conveyor belt so he could have an X-ray. Alice didn’t seem to mind. We all walked through the scanner — Mommy carried Alice. Once they were through, Alice started to become upset. She really wanted Tiger, and he was in a plastic tray, freshly scanned.

Another very nice lady took an interest in Alice and Tiger. She even took Alice around the other side of the X-ray machine to see Tiger’s picture. It was a surprising departure from the security horror-stories you often hear in the media. We all very impressed.

Our flight to Comox was very smooth. Alice enjoyed the flight much more than Grandma Barb — Grandma doesn’t like flying, and kept her window closed the whole time. Alice did her best to comfort Grandma, loaning her Tiger, Cocoa, blanket and pillow, snacks. It was pretty cute. I don’t think it made Grandma much more comfortable, but it was nice to see Alice thinking of others.

The Comox airport is comfortably small. We got to walk down a staircase to the tarmac when we arrived. I think I enjoyed this more than Grandma Barb. All of our luggage arrived in Comox too, which is pretty handy.

We rented our Mazda 5 and went to A&W for lunch. I drove from Comox to Tofino; it took about 3 hours. It was partly cloudy but there wasn’t any rain. That made the drive much less stressful than it’s been on previous trips to Tofino. We usually have lots of rain; those narrow, twisty BC roads are pretty treacherous.

It was good to be back at The Wick; we stayed in room 49; we’ve been in room 47 on our previous two visits.

Alice made herself right at home, first trying out the couch.


That wasn’t quite right, so she tried our bed.


That was nice, but still not quite perfect. Just like our trip to Auntie Wanda’s, Alice settled into her suitcase.

Suitcase bed

Our room is really nice. There are French doors separating the king bed and bathroom from the couch/TV room. Alice slept on a cot, and Grandma had the hide-a-bed.

After supper at The Pointe, we all went down to the ocean. Alice liked it very much, though she didn’t get her feet wet.

The ocean's talking to me

At one point Alice announced, “The ocean’s talking to me.”

Rainforest Walk

We went from the beach to the rainforest walk on the grounds of The Wick. Alice liked the rainforest quite a bit too. She liked leading the way on the walk, “Come on guys, follow me.”

Going to the Ocean

We’re flying to Comox, BC today, then driving to Tofino. Back to The Wickanninnish — this time with Alice too.

Corinna’s cousin Jason is marrying Stacey in Port Alberni on Saturday. Since Port Alberni is pretty close to Tofino, we couldn’t resist staying there again.

Alice is very excited about this vacation. We’ve been telling her about the ocean and the beach. Most mornings lately have involved the following conversation.

“I not going to Donna’s today.”

“Where do you think we’re going?”

“To ocean.”

It’s difficult to explain the passage of time to someone who’s not yet 3.

Alice is also very excited because Grandma Barb is flying with us today. Grandma doesn’t like flying, so Alice has been telling her all about the plane ride.

“The plane goes up up up. Then there’s a really big bump.”

It’s not clear whether this is helping Grandma.