Thursday 25 October 2012

Working in Montréal today --Truth in advertising

Good morning folks, I will be working in Montréal today.  Am heading in on the 7 AM flight as I am returning a bit earlier than usual on the 5 PM flight.

Unfortunately for today's email, I am working on some work stuff so won't be able to entertain, irritate, inform, or bore you.

Well..  maybe I have a minute or two.

If you were a real ugly duckling and spend some serious coin to reverse the effects of a long line of questionable gene traits in your family line, brow, nose, lips, breasts, belly and butt, the works.. do you have a moral imperative to inform your bedmate?

Perhaps not if you are merely a lumber-camp plaything or if you rent yourself out by the hour, but if you are likely to produce an offspring from your sweaty acrobatic exchange of body fluids?

A man in China has sued his wife after she gave birth to their, reportedly ugly, baby.

Jian Feng is real ticked.  The baby that he and his wife produced is.. ghastly unattractive, I mean breathtaking.  Seems Jian's wife spend a small fortune reversing and augmenting and the resultant attractive features weren't hers, as she apparently had none.

Neither did the baby.  

And the courts reportedly sided with Jian.  Awarded him $120,000, such is the going rate for ugly babies I suppose.

Have a good day, to thine own self be true.

Thursday 18 October 2012

Working in Ottawa today --The 13th B'ak'tun

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa this today.

Natasha wants December 21st off.  I thought her a wee bit ambitious to make plans for that day in particular since popular myth has it that the world as we know it will cease to be a pleasant place and instead turn into something that only food hoarding, AR-15 armed civilians spewing witty reparté can save humanity from.

But why on that day?  You may recall earlier end of world predictions from me, and why even the Schröd's cat was alive, dead, and also heaving up a fur-ball and how intersected with String Theory there stood an excellent probability that we, at least the readers of my missives, would all survive just fine.  It is true that it is unlikely that non-readers would fare that well, but that is well beyond our control isn't it?  Poor bastards.   (

But again, why on that day?  It's because of a very selective interpretation of the Mayan calendar.  Selective such as if you looked at this October calendar and screamed in terror, "October ends on the 31st, it's the end of the calendar, the printer must know that the world will end Wednesday the 31st".

Damn.  October isn't even named after a Roman god or Emperor, just octo, eight, what a crappy month to end the world on.. (January and February are new months inserted into the old Roman calendar, in case you ever wondered about the number named month all being an offset of two, bet you didn't know that).  Oh wait, I know, just flip the f..'ing page there Spanky!

And we're back.. now it is just dumb to look at a single data page in a calendar to predict such an important occurrence on so let me give you a very crash course in Mayan calendars.

The smallest calendar component is the day or the k'in, also refers to the Sun.

A Winal is 20 K'in
A Tun is 18 Winal.
A K'atun is 20 Tuns.
A B'ak'tun is 20 K'atuns (144000 days or about 394.25 years).
A Pictun is 20 B'ak'tuns.(2,880,000 days or about 7885 years)

There may have also been C'alab'tun, K'inchil'tun and A'lau'tuns also all 20 fold of the previous.  So rough and dirty an A'lau'tun would be what.. 3,154,000 years?

Yes, it helps to be a nerd.

The current Pictun started on August 11, 3114 BCE which corresponds to around a millennium prior to the start of the Mayan Empire and will end on October 31 4772.  We are just now nearing the end of the 13th Baktun.  So why do we care?

Beats me.  I mean, yeah I know.. keep reading.

The answer lies with Frank Waters.  Author and U.S. gov't propaganda analyst (really).  Frank wrote several books, one particularly is relevant to this email - Mexico Mystique, I think in 1975 (I need to hire a fact checker) within he identified the 13th B'ak'tun as the Mayan Great Cycle, screwed up on the math (see previous missives on end of world calculations and why checking calculations is so damned important and pegged the destruction of all time to be some time last year.  Fiz.

Over the last 30 years other cash strapped authors entered the Mayan Calendar Destruction books for cash drive and predicted devastating occurrences for 1987, 1989, 2004, 2010, 2011 and of course this December.  You may recall the 1987 Maya-Galactic "Harmonic Convergence.".  You may also recall that the world was not torn apart by focused gravitational forces, however it is true that exactly 10 years earlier Elvis died at 42.

Have a good day, Natasha won't be in on December 21.

Thursday 11 October 2012

Working in Montréal today --Malala

Good morning folks,  I will be working in Montréal today.

Sometimes you have to call things what they are.    Malala Yousufzai is a courageous 14 year old Pakistani girl.

Malala thinks that girls should have equal access to education and is critical of the Taliban and its position against girls being educated.

So a Taliban member shot her.  Of this there is no doubt.  Moreover, the Taliban claims responsibility and vows to shoot her again.

I often wonder to myself why is it that it is so common that the fundamentalist, religious extremist movements seem to share the common trait of relegating women to mere property, to possessions, that are required to obey their male masters' every word and wish?  Why these cultures like to marry off the women young and uneducated?

Do these male members suffer from deep seated feelings of inadequacy and by reducing half of the population to sub-person state, their status automatically raises?  I don't know.  It is odd that males that are already the physically larger and stronger of the species also demand to be educated, own land, and be free to show their face in public.. just have to have it all eh guys?

Young Malala will likely recover from the bullet that was removed from her neck and it is my sincere wish that she continue her efforts in the cause for girls and women to reach an equal footing with their male counterparts.  

I challenge her fundamentalist opponents to defend their beliefs with words instead of violence, surely your religious elders can out debate an uneducated 14 year old girl.

Have a good day.  Say Malala's name. and again.

Thursday 4 October 2012

Working in Ottawa today, tomorrow --Got Milk?

Good morning folks,  I will be working in Ottawa for the next two days, but will only make it into the office for a quick cheque signing.

This past weekend my daughter Christine with her son, my grandson, Ethan participated in a public breastfeeding awareness event at Orchard Park Mall in Kelowna.  By Christine's account there were 65 babies latched on and having lunch.  Yay.

I did find it odd though, I mean --we have been on this planet a damn long time and our biological systems are specifically designed to feed our babies this way, so why do we need such demonstrations?

The answer is two.  One is that many a young mother may feel a certain lack of confidence in her ability to feed her baby this way, and no wonder.  Companies like Nestlé have made a fortune convincing mothers that if they really loved their baby they would use formula.  Nestlé markets using this strategy in the first, second and third worlds, even where there is a shortage of clean water with which to mix the formula.  Bastards.

The other is the ill informed.

I have a short story for you.  A few years back Sharlene and I visited Niagara Falls with a friend of Sharlene's from NY along with her friend's niece.. perhaps 25, college educated.  After a few hours of doing the tourist thing.. and having seen one too many naval lint museums, both the niece and I opted to remain out of the sidewalk instead of entering the next tourist trap du jour.

I was shortly afterwards as the niece and I chatted about the mundane that a bare breast caught my peripheral vision, left side, back about 10 feet.  It's just the way men are, a bare breast can be detected by a blind man in a dark room.

My head turned for a quick gaze, where I saw a baby latch on.  Oh..  non-sexual breast, resume convo.

That's disgusting!, the niece bellows.  The breastfeeding?, I query.

N: Yes.  Why is she doing that here.
Me: Because here is where she is (a minor tautology).
N: Yes, but why isn't she in a bathroom.
Me: Do you eat your lunch in a bathroom?

N: It should be against the law.
Me: I believe your attitude may lead to behaviour that is against the law.
N: There should be places out of the public for things like that.
Me: I agree, but for the mother and child's comfort, not for yours.
N: Well it should be against the law.
Me: Why as a woman are you so quick to have the state pass laws about your biological processes?

I think right around then then conversation ended and all that remained was a scowl on both our faces.

A moment later Sharlene and her friend returned and on Sharlene noticing the scowls simply asked, "Making friends honey?".

Have a good day.  Got Milk?