Thursday 2 December 2010

Working in Ottawa today --Short walk of shame

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today, although I came one ID check away from ending up on flight 402 to Montreal.  The ID check was followed by the walk of shame out of line and off to the correct gate and flight.
Humbled, but in good spirits,

On 2010-11-25, at 9:49 AM, "Daniel Puckett" wrote:
Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

Sent from my iPad

On 2010-11-18, at 9:07 AM, "Daniel Puckett" wrote:
Good morning folks,

I will be in Ottawa for the next two days.

Sent from my iPad


Thursday 11 November 2010

Working in Montréal today --Boy scout preparedness

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

I have my cell, iPad, a pen, 68 unused pages in my notebook, $100, and a keen sense of direction.  Wish me luck.

Sent from my iPad

Thursday 30 September 2010

Working in Ottawa today --A deluge of prostitution

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today

Things that I heard today:

"The sound of Dolphins laughing is the happiest sound on earth"

"50 smiles a day is therapeutic, but 90 will make you go insane"

I think the person that said it recently ate a morsel of a particular fungal variety.

..Read today:

In the Globe and mail, ".. effects of a landmark ruling that decriminalized prostitution in Ontario.. ..neighborhoods fortifying to fend off a possible deluge of sex-trade workers.."

Well, the reporter could have reported what the ruling actually was instead of being misleading.

Prostitution was not and is not illegal in Ontario nor Canada for that matter.  The ruling was in regard to Communicating for purposes of, Living off the avails of, and Operating a common bawdy house.

On to the worry of neighborhoods facing a deluge of sex-trade workers,  I doubt that this ruling will increase demand for such services nor do I think that more women will choose that particular career path, since the remote threat of arrest for communicating likely not what dissuades.  Moreover, having sex in public remains illegal, for professionals or the amateur.

What it may result in is a whole new bureaucracy, a growth not in prostitution but rather in prostitution registration and audit specialists.  Perhaps the unemployed PST auditors can be brought back to work.

Be sure to look for new certificate programmes at Sheridan College this fall.

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Thursday 16 September 2010

Working in Ottawa today --Engineering Terrorists

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

On the terrorism front, a curious footnote: Of the hundreds of individuals involved in political violence, nearly half of those with degrees have been engineers. This finding, first published in 2008, has been substantiated by two years of additional research by Oxford sociologist Diego Gambetta and political scientist Steffen Hertog, of the London School of Economics.

Interesting, a London School of Engineering study determined that the other half with degrees were in the field of economics :)

Have a good day, watch out for men wearing pocket liners and carrying sliderules.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld -- Envoyé de mon sans fil portatif BlackBerry

-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Puckett
Sent: Mon Sep 13 16:44:34 2010
Subject: Away tomorrow

Hi Folks,

May 18 of this year I told you that I was taking a day off to play a round of golf.

Tomorrow I am doing it again.

Monday 6 September 2010

Ontario's non-unionized nurses

I just read in the Mississauga News that the province's non-unionized nurses are steamed that they are not getting the same increases in wages as the provinces unionized nurses.  As I understand it, the province has about 50,000 nurses that are members of the Ontario Nurses’ Association union and there are several thousand nurses that are not unionized working at non-union hospitals, 2000 at Mississauga's Trillium hospital for example.

This sounds like a 'no - duh' moment for the non-unionized workers (NUWs).  I find it a bit incredulous that these NUWs honestly believe that management has any obligation to bestow upon the NUWs the contract provisions negotiated by their unionized bretheren.  There is but one way to enjoy the protection of the union, join, pay your dues, and participate.

One must ask, "why would my employer pay me a fair wage?"
Here are the only reasons I could think of at 11:30 P.M.

High employment demand, low availability of workers;
Retain specialized employees from external recruitment;
Reduce likelihood of staff to organize (that means to unionize);
Contractually bound to a contract, union or otherwise;
To prevent job action (that means to go on strike).

There is no other legitimate reason of which I can think.  The 'high moral fibre' argument that you might be thinking of, where management recognizes the value of the individual and pays fairly because it is the right thing to do, actually does not exist.  It cannot exist in a corporate/capitalist system.  As a vice president/director I cannot pay employees more than the market dictates as I have a first obligation to the shareholders of the corporation.  It would be unethical to pay more in wages than the market dictates, if I did so, I would be using shareholder funds for my own use, for my own agenda.

The province will not pay the non-unionized workers any more than it needs to based on the above 4 reasons, they will not get the 3% increase because the province has no compelling reason to pay it.  The unionized nurses will get it because they locked the province into a contract no doubt under the threat of walk out.  The province has weighed the risks and alternatives and determined that the NUWs are too comfortable to shell out for union dues and actually join a union or to organize a non-union walk out;  they are too comfortable to seek employment elsewhere; and we already know, they have no contract.

It sounds like to me that the province has set the market value. 

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Working in Ottawa today --Dr. Evil

Same same.
'cept the part about the hand gestures.
So India's Home Secretary G.K. Pillai (like our Deputy Minister) is worried, very worried, that para-gliding terrorists will attack the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
Did I mention para-gliding?  If memory serves me correct, these are rectangular parachutes about 4 times wider than a minivan.  So if someone was going to attack you from the air riding one of these, you should be able to see them coming almost 10 minutes away.
Now granted that is not enough time to order a pizza or samosas but it should be enough time to take defensive action.  
Perhaps security forces flying motorized ultra-lights ala James Bond style?
Have a good day, watch out for Dr. Evil.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld -- Envoyé de mon sans fil portatif BlackBerry
-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Puckett
Sent: Thu Aug 26 09:35:54 2010
Subject: Working in Ottawa today
Good morning folks,
I will be working in Ottawa today.
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-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Puckett
Sent: Thu Aug 12 07:58:51 2010
Subject: Working in Ottawa today
This email contains 60% recycled material.
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
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-----Original Message-----
From: Daniel Puckett
Sent: Thu Aug 05 09:24:43 2010
Subject: Working in Ottawa today
Hi folks,
Working in Ottawa today.
Cell, email, hand gestures, vocal utterances and strong telepathic signalling should all work.
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Thursday 24 June 2010

Working in An Earthquake Zone

I understand from many Ottawa staff today that several persons evacuated the building during yesterday's earthquake.  This includes one 3rd floor individual that reportedly performed a George Castanza special and leapt over colleagues during his express exit.
Our staff should be informed that leaving one's desk and heading outside is the worst possible action one may take.  The risk of injury from falling debris, building materials and glass is much higher than being injured inside the building.
The best action to take is to position yourself under one's desk.  The desk top and sides will be strong enough to withstand all but the heaviest of falling debris.
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Working in Ottawa today --Tectonics

I want a t-shirt that reads "Stop plate tectonics now!"
But I don't have one, so instead I will be working in Ottawa today.  
Have a stable lithosphere day.
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Thursday 10 June 2010

Working in Ottawa today --Just Arm Everyone

Good morning folks, I will be working in Ottawa today.
If you see me, we can share a rant about the ever increasing costs of the G20 summit.
We're now building a fake Lake Muskoka in Toronto for the reporters that can't travel up to see the real one.  Ever hear of a photograph?
Combine that absurdity with hiring extra security to keep an eye on the cooks that were hired to make sandwiches.  Here's an idea, fire the untrustworthy cooks and have the security officers make the sandwiches!
And what the hell, fire the guy that hired the cooks too.
Don't get me wrong, I think the idea and practice of getting together and discussing solutions to common problems is grand, but let's not spend our way into more problems.
Current cost, about $35 for every man, women and child in Canada.
Of course this pales to the ridiculous cost of the U.S.'s war on terror, would have been more economical to have just equipped every American with body armor, a side arm, health care and an education.
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Thursday 3 June 2010

Working in Ottawa today --Lucky Larry

Good morning folks,
I will be working in Ottawa today.
Let's dive right in this morning, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon should have his pen taken away.
Bill C-26 was introduced by Lucky Larry (I don't know if that is his nick-name, but they have to start somewhere) last month to stem the flow of bulk water sales to our thirsty U.S. neighbors.
Sounds good so far, but wait.. the law specifically limits its scope to preventing bulk water exports of water to that of rivers that cross into or from the U.S.
If the U.S. would like any water from such waterways, would they not simply divert any water they wished prior to the water flowing into Canada in the case of rivers originating there, or wait for the water to flow into the U.S. in such cases as Canadian origination.
The reason for excluding the vulnerable waterways and water bodies such as Canada's lakes and wholly contained rivers and streams, Larry was reportedly hesitant to wade in on matters of provincial domain.
So rather than seeking consensus from the provinces or even just being bold or just writing a good law with wording like .. except where a province wishes to assert jurisdiction or object.. Instead Fire-From-The-Hip Larry tabled a useless law.
Take a bow Larry, everyone else, have a good day.

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Thursday 20 May 2010

Working in Ottawa today --Quantum Optics

Good morning folks,
I will be working today in Ottawa.
More fun than the dentist, but a pale comparison to being on a golf course.
And a special news item for propeller heads: Physicists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have created a system based on a single atom that they’re calling a ”quantum optical transistor.” The transistor could someday serve as part of a quantum computer or as a node of a quantum data network.
Their process relies on a complex light manipulation technique called electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT). In EIT, one beam of light controls the properties of another, much as the gate voltage controls current through a regular transistor. The researchers demonstrated EIT through the mediation of a single atom, which is a first; previously the technique was applied to hundreds of thousands of atoms in a gas.
Normally, laser beams don’t interact with one another, but under certain conditions, you can force them to. The German researchers started by placing a rubidium atom in an optical cavity—two tiny mirrors spaced just half a millimeter apart. They aimed a laser into the cavity, tuning it so that the atom inside reflected it. They then fired a second laser of a different frequency, called the control laser, into the cavity at a right angle to the first. Tuning the second laser just so let them ”create the condition of transparency,” says Figueroa: The first laser’s light sailed right through. That gave the cavity system two states, transparent and opaque, analogous to the on-off states of a classical transistor.
Yes, very cool beans!
Have a good day, interact often.
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Tuesday 11 May 2010

Working in Ottawa today --Suicidal Chicken

Good morning folks,
I will be working today in Ottawa along with several other management team members.
When I went to sleep last night it was with the plan of waking at 6 or so to leave my house at 7 for an 8 A.M. flight.
I woke at 10 minutes to 6 --not with an alarm clock but through a great sense of dedication and responsibility :) and it's funny how clear one's mind can operate in that brief moment as consciousness takes the reigns of your mind and body from slumber...
Holy crap! or some other suitable expletive emanated quite audibly from my lips --much to the confusion of my doggy Molly.  It was at this waking moment that I remembered that I was on the 7 A.M. flight.  
I'll spare you the details of extremely fast showering, shaving, teeth brushing and dressing and conclude with the information that yes, I made the flight on time.
So.. I really only have time to share a single joke with you.
Why did the chicken kill himself?
Answer is written backwards:
edis rehto eht ot teg oT
I am not sure how much of that joke will be lost in language or cultural translation, but if you didn't find it funny you may appreciate my pancake joke.
I'll be sure to tell it to you sometime, in the meanwhile, have a good day.
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Working in Montréal today --Olfactory Musings

Ignore the first email, too itchy with my trigger finger.
Good morning folks,
A bit of a delay this A.M. as Air Canada's check-in system checked out for an hour or so.  The only annoying part was the P.A. announcement that routinely reminded us that because of a network issue and there was 'reduced' check-in capability.
By categorizing it as merely 'reduced' they created this anxious aire amongst the panicky public that they were standing in the slow moving line, and they may miss their flight if they didn't try the kiosk or their BlackBerry or look at the counters again.
Just once a company should come clean.  Something like, "folks, we're damn sorry but despite raid arrays, and redundant power supplies and error correcting ram, we think we have a bad ethernet cable somewhere and we can't find the keys to the IT closet.  Grab a coffee, relax and we'll get you going as soon as Jim's uncle gets here with a crowbar".
Would that be so hard?
Onto the main feature.  This is from the "I bet you hadn't ever thought about this" department.  
Most of you have thought about the distinct advantage having two eyes gives us in determining distance of viewed objects, seems to it is referred to as the parallax principal.   And no doubt a smaller yet still substantial number of you have also thought about the auditory tracking benefit of having two ears, although I can't recall the term for the principal, it is not dissimilar to the visual.
So what about smell --the advantage of having two olfactory organs?
I read this A.M. that a team of researchers at Rockefeller University genetically manipulated flies to express odorant receptors in one of the fly's olfactory organ or both.
The researchers have shown that the brains of Drosophila Melanogaster larvae not only make use of stereo cues to locate odors but also to navigate toward them --a behavior called chemotaxis.
Isn't science fun?
Have a good day and smell good :)
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Thursday 15 April 2010

Working in Ottawa today --Word-up Bitches

Good morning folks,
I am off to Ottawa today.
Today I read two shorts in the Globe and Mail, the first explaining that because economic recovery is underway we will see more cheesy pop music.  Please say it isn't so.
The second was about Republican Rapper Brian Bergondy.  No doubt Bergondy wants to rap and grief about the U.N., taxes and health-care reform.
Now I can't really complain if the changing economics results in new art form, but it is always very weird when someone takes an art form and tries to separate it from its roots and culture and then supplant a message that is hoped to be meaningful to the original art form's audience.
When Keith Richards punched out the angry fuzzed out overdrived licks in 'Satisfaction' it underscored the Rolling Stone's general distaste for America and more specifically American advertising and consumerism.  It just would not work if Richard Nixon had used the licks as background music to his 'I am not a crook' speech --well it would be mildly amusing.
Remember when Pat Boone released his rock album?  It was very disturbing to see the usually clean-cut Boone (think white shoes and a matching belt holding up a light blue leisure suit) sporting a few day's beard growth and a black leather jacket on the record cover.  He explained that he was trying to reach the young rock listeners with his messages of church attendance, and drug and sex abstinence --it only annoyed his target audience and made his regular fans think he lost his mind --I never did hear any of the tracks, but imagined 'Jericho Road" to the melody of Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid'.  Too terrible disturbing.
Let's all hope that Bergondy reconsiders, we've all already had to look away from the TV screen when some establishment type hammers out some staccato strung lyrics that he thinks is some west coast south central rap.
Have a good day - word up bitches.
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Thursday 8 April 2010

Working in Montréal today --Not worth Printing

Good morning folks,
Started writing a morning missive on the plane but it spiraled in and dove to new lows --the missive, not the plane.
Thankfully my BlackBerry has a delete key.  Have a good day anyway.
I'll be working in Montreal today, I'll likely see some of you, others I won't.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld -- Envoyé de mon sans fil portatif BlackBerry

Thursday 1 April 2010

Working in Ottawa today --Keep Running

A different feature today --In an email conversation with a friend today, I was asked this question just prior to takeoff:
"..why do men get mad when a women beats them in a race?  You can even sense anger inside of them.."
I can't fully comprehend it, but have seen that myself.
Such a man may be delusional about some perceived superiority of man over women, but then should he not be most upset with himself since he let down all men by being beaten by a mere woman?
Perhaps he is and like the car driver that cuts you off, their embarrassment causes them to lash out and flip YOU the bird.
Or perhaps he believes that a woman should be subservient to all men, and therefore is quite miffed at she or you for daring to overstep (no pun intended) your place and pass in front?
Even more interesting about the experience is that such a fellow thought he was racing against you or anyone else for that matter.
Any run I have ever engaged in was a timed event, that is the runner is running against the clock, against the runner's previous time, training, stamina, preparation and state of mind; running against and with the road, the wind, heat and being one with endeavor.
His loss.
Have a good day, keep running.
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Thursday 11 March 2010

Working in Montréal today --Who is minding the store?

Good morning folks, I will be working in Montreal today and looking forward to a nice spring day, albeit a bit early.  Now don't misinterpret this as the return of the featured weather reports, filling those balloons took way too much time.
Just a short set of musings in regard to out-going Toronto mayor David Miller.
It was with a bit of fan fare that Miller with budget chief Shelley Carrol and mayoralty candidate deputy mayor Joe Pantalone that $104 million was announced as 'found'.
Just to be clear here, they didn't run off and make 100 million for the city and were ready to receive their deserved accolades, no no no.. they first lost it, misplaced it, failed to account for it, left it in a desk drawer, whatever.
One question that leaps into my mind is, "did they look in the other drawers of the desk too?".
The other question, no doubt on the lips of you that are familiar with balance sheets, income statements, cash flows and trial balances is .. "Who is auditing the city's books, just who the hell is in charge?".
Have a good day, and balance your chequebook.
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Tuesday 9 March 2010

Working in Ottawa today --An Old-Fashioned Foot Burning!

Sarah Palin made news again Saturday evening.  Speaking in Calgary Palin explained that growing up in Skagway, Alaska it was routine for her family to cross the border into Whitehouse to partake in Canada's socialized medicine.  She specifically recounted how one day he brother burned his foot in fire (?) and off by rail to Canada they did trek.  She stated that she thought that it was kind of ironic now.
Two things were somewhat interesting about her recount of this foot burning.  
The first is that she already used this story back in 2007, explaining that her brother burned his foot in a fire and her family traveled by ferry to Juneau and that she then pledged to improve ferry service to Juneau.
I won't comment on the traveling by rail from Skagway to Whitehorse it seems unlikely to me that there is a rail line between but not impossible.  Perhaps one of you could check and report back to this group.
The second is her use of 'ironic'.  There may be an irony to this story, but probably not what she intended.  I actually have no idea at all what she meant by saying it was ironic since an irony is one of two things.
The first is an occurrence that runs counter to what was planned.  For instance a girl falling in love with a weatherman after being so impressed with his weather predicting abilities and having him pick a day for the nuptials and it rains.  Perhaps that is what Alanis meant since no other complaints in her song are ironical.
The second is a theatrical device where the audience is aware of something that the actor's character is not.  The audience observes the young lover taking a potion that will make her body appear dead and escape the clutches of her family, but the young male lover is unaware and believes her deathlike trance to be the real McCoy and takes some real poison (no, not fish) and succumbs never knowing what the audience does.
So, Palin's irony?  Was she stating that it was ironic that she was "Zooming across the border, gettin' heath care from Canada" and now she is zooming across the border to raise Canadian money through speaking engagements to fund her 2012 U.S. campaign?  That's not ironic, a bit odd, but sans the irony.
Perhaps that her family zoomed over to use Canada's heath care and Palin now speaks against it and our evil death-panels, and having to have your doctor appointment approved by a bureaucrat first.  Again, not really an irony just hypocritical and misinformed.
Perhaps she is suggesting that now Canadians are no zooming over the border to receive U.S. heath care, no irony there either, just a rare occurrence that we eat up any time we see it in print.
Perhaps the irony had to do with her brother repeatedly burning his foot --maybe the audience knows.
Have a good day, and wear asbestos socks.
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Thursday 25 February 2010

Working in Ottawa today --Faux Fur Fashionista

Good morning folks,
I am working in Ottawa today
So many possible topics, such a lack of enthusiasm.
We have the Italian court convicting the 3 Google executives of being complicit in the violation of the bullied Down Syndrome school boy's rights, I imagine that the camera manufacturer was also complicit..
How about that 50 year wait for an Olympic victory over the Russians as last night the Canadian men's hockey team topped the Ruskies 7 to 3.. Way!  As good as Paul Henderson's winning goal in '72 against the same guys?  Nope, not quite as sweet if you ask me..
And then we have U.S. figure skater Johnny Weir.  Gosh, what words can describe Johnny?  Flamboyant, faux fur wearing fashionista?  Don't get me wrong, Johnny is free to share his french fries with anyone he chooses, but a faux fur stole with black jeans and top?  A bit trashy yes, but you can't deny the stylin'.
Have a good day.
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Tuesday 23 February 2010

Working in Montréal today --Curling Is Not A Sport

Good morning folks,
I am working in Montreal today.
I'll stick with some more Olympics musings and let's see exactly how many people I can get riled first thing in the A.M.
Is Curling really a sport that should be at the Olympics?
Now don't get me wrong, it's a great game, much like Scrabble is, and the roar of disappointment when the Skip flubs an easy shot that would have clinched the 4th end is pretty much equal to the disappointment I felt on Saturday night when my friend Debra put down "END" for what.. 6 points, preventing me from putting down "PHONE" for a triple word score of 30 points that would have effectively guaranteed a win over my other friend Dave whom I am not overly competitive with and I don't know why everyone keeps bringing it up, but in the end I was down by 2!
But I do digress.  While I was playing Scrabble I did not have a beer or smoke any cigarettes, because for one, I don't smoke and Saturday didn't seem like a good day to start, and second, I was tired and didn't want to drink and be stupid when I later would drive home, but if I was an Olympic Curler, I could smoke and drink beer while I played and belligerently yell at some subordinate to sweep!
Perhaps if we combined Curling and Football, imagine the thrill of the same Skip lining up the shot while trying avoid getting sacked by 6' 3" 250 lb running-back Joey Porter traveling at 12 mph --getting hit with 1160* lbs of force will surely knock the smoke from your lips; Now that's sports!
Have a good day,
*Don't try to do the math, while the foot-pounds of force of a 250 brick wall falling at 12 mph is greater than 1160 foot pounds, that is the force recorded on a crash-test dummy when hit from behind by Porter.  The dummy also suffered whiplash.
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Thursday 18 February 2010

Working in Montréal today --2 Gold!

Good morning folks,  I will be working in Montreal today.
Here's an interesting question: is it better come in third, than second?
More specifically, since by definition second place is better, are third place winners generally happier than second place winners?
Andriana Barton of The Globe & Mail suggests that If Olympic Bronze Medalists are any indication, and let's hold Shannon Bahrke (Bronze Women's Moguls) up as an example, they display much more joy on their face than the Silver Medalist.
I guess the theory is the Bronze winner is thing something along the lines of "holy smokes I squeeked in and I WON A OLYMPIC MEDAL!" whereas the Silver winner is thinking something along the lines of "holy crap if I just pushed off a bit harder I WOULD HAVE WON GOLD",  
Meanwhile of course I'm sure the Gold winner is thinking something along the lines of "holy Jeez Mary and Joseph, I did it".
Have a good day
Canada stands at 2G,3S and 1B
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Thursday 4 February 2010

Working in Ottawa today --27,000 ft and no phone

Good morning folks,
This was my morning.
I slept in.  Woke in a start, dragged a razor, brushed teeth, etc.  Got dressed and went downstairs to the main floor where I realized that I was wearing a horizontally stripes shirt with vertically striped pants.
Now even I knew that just would not do.  So returned to my closet and picked out a solid colour shirt and proceeded to put it on as I returned to the main floor.  And then.. The button from my pants yearned to be free and hastily exited.  Back up stairs where I chose another pair of pants.  Returned to the main floor, grabbed my briefcase, coat keys, glasses, coffee and made my exit in haste.
The observant reader may have detected an item missing.  Yes --my cell phone is sitting somewhere where I am not.
So if you need to reach me today, send an email, I will check with some frequency, and if you need to speak with me more urgently, perhaps call Sophie, she may be able to locate me.
Have a good day, and keep track of your pants.
Sent from my laptop at 27,000 feet.
Cancel that.  The internet on the plane was not working and the coffee was cold.