Thursday 19 January 2012

Working in Ottawa today --A Slick of Politicians

Good morning good people I will be working in Ottawa today.

Not much time to write today, have a busy, short day ahead of me.

People, unlike water and soil, is a collective noun, where as water and soil are mass nouns.  That may seem totally unimportant to you, that is until you try to express how much water.

Mass nouns require a unit of measure, you could not say, "I have 15 water which will mix so totally well with my 6 tons of soil." --well, you could but you would sound like a recent immigrant that hasn't quite figured out English; much like the bar patron on that commercial for some unknown product, "Yeah, and the price of these drinks is so reasonable at six dollars 40.".

People, on the other hand are easily quantified, "There were 7 people present, but no person was wearing argyle socks!".   

What does this have to do with a group of Slick Politicians you might ask?  Well, group itself is a catch all collective noun that works with near all constituent nouns, but for many nouns there are specific collective nouns for our convenience.

We are all familiar with the most popular of them, a gaggle of geese, a pride of lions, a school of fish.  But who is is charge?  Who do I speak with about the introduction of one and the replacement of another?

I don't know if there is a collective noun for politicians, but a Slick or a Stain of Politicians could do very well.  Now the collective noun for Owls is a Parliament, but I would like to speak to someone, to whom ever is in charge about changing this to an Inquisition of Owls.  Who? Please tell me Who?

How about an Obfuscation of Lawyers?

A Racket of Squirrels
An Entrapment of Constables
A Vacancy of Liberals --that one is funny twice
An Indulgence of Mayors
A Flounder of Economies?

Thursday 12 January 2012

Working in Montréal today --The Marriage Trap!

Good Morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.  Although will be arriving late, as it is hard to board an aircraft that was accident not fetched from a hangar.

In today's Globe on page 1 at the top, in very large letters are the words, "THE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE TRAP" oh yes, all in caps, yelling even.  Followed by the sub-heading, "Thousand of gay couples who were legally web in Canada aren't legally married.."

This would be a travesty, if it were true.

The case that sparked the headlines.. I will digress a bit.  I think that the Iranian assassinations that are occurring might be more headline worthy, these may escalate the US and Iran into a new gulf war.  Gulf War III, Revenge of the Clerics?  Sort of a prequel and sequel all at the same time.

But no.  Just another headline designed to cause unnecessary fear and confusion in the minds of thousands of gay couples that were married, and are married.   Shame on you Globe and Mail!

The case in question is not actually a question specific to gay couples, but any couple that travel to a jurisdiction apart from their actual domicile and enter into a marriage or seek a dissolution into divorce.

A marriage contract issued in Canada requires that the participants reside in Canada for one year prior to the marriage.  If a couple that live in Florida flock up to Canada and obtain a quickly marriage and then return to the land of Oranges and (the late?) Anita Bryant, there is no marriage on which to enact a divorce.

That is where the problem is.  In order to obtain a divorce in Canada, one must demonstrate that there was a valid marriage.  That is a test that is part of the divorce process very early on and it matters not that there is a piece of paper that proclaims there to be a marriage, but the marriage must be found to be legal in the jurisdiction of residence or in a jurisdiction of a prior residence and that the Canadian court has proper jurisdiction to issue a divorce decree.

The problem is similar for a couple from Toronto (straight or gay) race down to Peru and obtain a quickie divorce and then return to Canada and attempt to enter into a new marriage (yeh, I mean with other ppl).  The Canadian authorities will likely find that the couple is still married since the residency requirement would not have been fulfilled in Peru.

So, those that live in Canada and were married in Canada, straight/gay or otherwise are married, don't fret.  But if you ran up to Canada to get a piece of paper because your own land would not issue it, you are not married in the eyes of your land nor this one.  Sorry, but at least you have a cool souvenir, better than a "Vote For Ford" t-shirt.

Have a good day, when in doubt get legal advice before signing stuff.

Saturday 7 January 2012

Heading to Montréal --Return of the Squirrel Prince

Hi Folks,

I am on my way to Montréal to attend the staff Winter Party.  While I am looking forward to hanging with some Montréalers and one Ottawan (plug for my friend Don) my mind is really on the invasion of my house by 4 footed creatures, by rodents!

It is rare for me to post a follow up Pulp.  I think there has been two previous.

One was an explanation on why the world had not ended despite Harold Camping's mathematical certainty: Working in Ottawa today --The end of the world part deux, redeux -or- why Heisenberg was a dick

And the other was a follow up to the ethical question of when it's okay to punch out a monkey: Stay with the boat. Always stay with the boat

Now today.  In a follow up to Working in Alberta this week --Mouse Hunt many of you wondered,  "Hey, what happened to the mouse?".


That weekend on my return from Alberta I did go shopping for some Victory (tm) mouse traps and while at Home Despot I saw that also for sale was an electronic mouse trap that essentially electrocutes the unsuspecting mouse upon the little fella entering a chamber that one laces with peanut butter.

I also purchased and installed a new dryer vent that has metal pest proof screening.  I installed securely and injected expandable foam and attached a locking collar ring.

Following is my log of attempts at securing my house from unwanted rodents, be they squirrels or mice.  Absent from this log is my outside interactions with Skunks, Raccoons, Rabbits (I don't mind the rabbits), and some non-rodents, several Ducks and one Fox.

This missive was to be about last night's encounter with a damned lucky mouse, read "Free Pass" a bit further down, but this AM, the Squirrels are back!

Rodent Log

Oct 29/11 Invasion!  Sharlene has called from upstairs, a noise in the attic.  I hear what may be an Elk or a small bear.  I placed a Ghetto Blaster on 107.1 full volume to drive it out and called Carlo the Pest Control Guy. He arrived with Bob and attached a one-way door to the hole that the little squirrel made.  Came back 10 days later and covered over the hole with some sheet steel.  Problem solved.
Nov 27/11 detection!  Mouse droppings in the kitchen.  blegh, yuck, ew.  Scrubbed down kitchen. Set Humane Traps.
Nov 28 trip - no catch, but a thank you note was left by some mouse with a full tummy.
Dec 4/11 First Kill, between 2 AM and 7 AM, cardiac arrest due to electrocution.
Dec 10/11 trip - no catch, between 12 AM and 7 AM, charge fired but no body.
Jan 2/12 kill, between 2 AM and 4 AM, internal decapitation.
Jan 6/12 kill, between Jan 2 and Jan 6. severed low numbered thoracic vertebrae.
Jan 6/12 live catch, evening Jan 6 around 11 PM. rear foot hold, no injury.
Jan 7/12 kill, between 2 AM and  8 AM. crushed base of skull.
Jan 7/12 The squirrels are back! 8 AM auditory detection.  Re-engaged Ghetto blaster, but they seem to enjoy Pink Floyd, I hear what sounds like construction --who gave them power tools?  9: 25 AM Have called back in Carlo and his tactical team.

Free Pass

"Clawack!"  I looked up at Sharlene..  "contact", I said softly.  "I guess we have more mice".  "Clawack!"  "eh?"  The second trap firing puzzle me a bit, I thought it very odd that a second mouse would feed on some peanut butter so soon after his buddy getting got wacked by a steel bar 12 ms. after that critical trigger tripping nibble.

But there had been a distinct second Clawack.

I ventured downstairs to Rue de Souris and prior to peering into the dog proof barricade that I had fashioned I heard the sounds of a mouse trap flipping over and over.  The mystery was solved by sounds alone, the mouse was still alive and its thrashing about had pitched the first trap into the second.  A cascading firing.

Upon my examination of the trap, I observed a very much alive mouse that was was held by one rear foot in the trap.  Not the clean kill that one desires.  The bar striking just at the base of the mouse skull is preferred.  Quick, clean, painless.   This situation is horrible, a worst case scenario.   With a captured foot, the trapped animal is likely to chew its own limb off in a desperate attempt at survival.

I now had to act quickly, this animal had performed no act that justified a continued torture.  So what method of summary execution?  A block of wood to its head resulting in quick death?  I didn't want to accidently use too much force and result in a bleed out on my floor.  A feed of propane gas to induce a coma and ultimate death?  Nay, more likely to cause nervous system disorders and liver damage than quick death, and if I really screwed up I would blow up my house and be written up in someone else's blog.

Drowning?  I had flushed one of his kin down the toilet, could do the same for him.  There it was, his fate planned out, not likely that any governor's reprieve could save him now.  So off he and I went to the bathroom.  But then under the bright light of the powder room I realized that he had suffered no real damage to his foot, no discolouring, no sign of breakage, just held firmly to the platen.

So.. I figured he had a free pass.  I walked him out the front door to the front garden and released him.  He seemed a bit surprised as I dropped him to the ground.  Sat up on his hind legs looked at me, turned and looked away, and then ran off.

It is possible that he will find his way back into my house and if he does, I will hunt him down with extreme prejudice but for now, good luck to him.

Return of the Squirrel Prince

What the hell.  During my re-arming of the Victory mouse traps this AM, I heard what sounded like a team of contractors in the rear guest bedroom.  I ventured upstairs and cautiously opened the door and peered into the room.  No one in overalls or tool belt, yet the noise was louder.

Coming from the attic space was the distinct sounds of construction!  The Squirrel Prince had returned.

I plugged the Ghetto Blaster back in (I had left it up in the attic after the last encounter) but this time the construction continued.  Apparently he has gained an ear for Pink Floyd.  I do have some concern that someone has provided this prince with power tools and a bit more concerned that he is proceeding with some construction up there with out permits or code inspection.

As such, I have called Carlo back in.  Carlo is CAIN Pest Control 416-726-2964.  Have known him for years, always good service, be it ants or neighborhood kids, Carlo will take care of it. (Blatant Commercialization of this Missive? Yes).

"Hello, CAIN Pest Control, Carlo speaking."
"Hi Carlo, Daniel Puckett calling.."
"Let me guess, the little suckers came back?"
"Well, I was going to use a slightly different word, and it rhymes.."

What Now?

The fun doesn't stop.  Sharlene suggested to me that the Raccoons may be back under the deck..

Have a good day, and watch out for home invaders.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

Not working this week --I think I'll colonize Mars

Hi Folks,

I will not be working this week, instead I am in Kelowna visiting with my daughter Christine, her husband Ryan and their son, my new Grandson Ethan.

While I am away perhaps I should give you some food for thought..

According to some pop psychologist that I heard on some on-the-plane TV clip, by mid July 94% of people have forgotten what their resolution was that they made at the start of the year.

I think that this was just some number that she pulled out of thin air or some bodily orifice, but none the less, what does this say about us? Are our resolutions just trivial fluff that aren't worth remembering or our memories just that ill suited to the task?

I think that it is likely for former and a bit of the latter as a self defense mechanism.

I imagine there is plenty of the standard self improvement items, promises to quit smoking, lose weight, get in shape by actually using that gym membership and I imagine there is even a smattering of relationship changes. Perhaps this is the year that she will drop the loser boy toy and find a guy that doesn't need to go home early to wash his mother's hair and has a real job and not a paper route. He will find a new girlfriend that isn't such a control freak.

I think the problem with most resolutions is that we are generally a product of our years of experience, and it is damn hard to make a January 1 about face or a hard left turn, so we may give a day or two of attention to the new plan, but quickly fall lock step into our own history.

So what can we do?

I suppose since the resolution is likely doomed to fail we could be really grandiose in our plan..

Really go for Gold.. "This year I will cure the world of hunger by mid March". Better to fail at that then fail at trimming 10 lbs off of your waistline. We could all meet during Spring Break and compare how magnanimous our resolutions had been. "I was going to bring about world peace", "huh, that's nothing, I was going to colonize Mars!". "wow, you are the man.".

The better approach may be to set realistic goals, that are specific, measurable and attainable, and most important, to have an execution plan.

If you want to quit smoking [and you really should, the evidence is in and has been for a long time, it does cause cancer, stresses your heart and lungs, makes your clothes stink and yellows your teeth and fingers] then you need a plan, if you are strong willed you might be able to go it on your own, but there is no loss of face to consult with your doctor for assistance.

If getting into shape is your goal, schedule your workouts, put together a routine of exercises, load up your iPod or non-Apple MP3 player with some fav tunes and Get Physical!

Bad boyfriend? Trade him in today, I understand eHarmony has matches for you standing by. Domineering girlfriend? Grow a pair and send her packing, there is no greater sense of self satisfaction than accomplishing a goal that you have set out for yourself.

My self? Going for the grandiose, just striving to be a better me.

Have a good day, a good week, and good resolutions.

Hey, a P.S. note. We betrayed Air Canada and flew out to KTown on Westjet. What the hell is with Westjet's oh so cutesy and aren't we funny crap when they are giving out flight information over the PA? Planes travel real fast, and really stinking high and the are made of aluminum about 6 gauges up from the foil roll in your kitchen drawer -- I want the flight staff to be serious. Cordial, yes. Conversationally pleasant, yes. But serious. After 4 hours, some canned corporate sponsored cheesy humour is just irritating.

"Please turn off you cellphone sir, didn't you hear the announcement?"

"Oh, we're you serious about that? When you said, in your announcement, that no one listens to you I figured there was some tacit approval and allowance for me to get an extra 5 minutes of typing done. I have an important email to send to my staff."