Thursday 19 December 2013

Working in Montréal today --Christmas Miracles

Hi folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.  Today, December 19 and a mere 6 days till Christmas.  I think a good time to pass on some revelations of some true Christmas miracles, 8000 actually!

Recently uncovered by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health conducted by the University of North Carolina and published in the British Medical Journal (they like to keep up on what's happening in the colonies, even the ones that broke away) is that the U.S. reports that around .5% of their births to young women are.. absolute MIRACLES, virgin births.

Say what?  oh yes.  Now I remember from chats with my dad and from grade 7 sex-ed that in order to make a gal preggo one needs to have some spermatozoa fertilize an egg.  There is an extremely easy way to accomplish this and does not require extra equipment, special training, nor Devine intervention.. yep, teenagers having intercourse.  no not debate and discourse, but rather, the fun kind.

And yet the respondents to the aforementioned study seemed content to answer that they were virgins and also with some regularity, pregnant or had been pregnant.

Hmmm...  how about this, 30% of those virgin birth mothers reported also that they had taken chastity pledges.  Ever hear the axiom that there are three kinds of lies, lies, damned lies, and statistics?

How could it be that 8000 young women with an average age of 19 actually expect the survey takers that they had all become pregnant without the requisite activity?  I can understand the young gal getting all twisted in lies trying to explain to her parents that she didn't have sex and yet they notice that she's waddling around and eating pickles with her ice cream, but this was an anonymous survey.

Were they lying to themselves?  Could it be that these 8000 women have never been taught how their bodies work and that like the gal on Seinfeld actually think that one can get an STD and get knocked up from riding on a tractor in a bikini?

Damn.  I have nowhere to go with this and the flight is on its descent into Montréal..

Um.. the virgin birth respondents were more likely to have parents that were more likely that the non-virgin birth respondents to indicate that they did not themselves know enough about sex and birth control to speak to their daughters about the subject.

So, perhaps not a set of 8000 true Christmas miracles just 8000 examples of how ignorance is not bliss.

Have a great day.

Thursday 12 December 2013

Working in Ottawa today --Now with 7x more bioavailability!

Working in Ottawa today --7x more bioavailability

Good morning folks,

It will be working in Ottawa today.

I don't recall getting any feedback from any of you that tried constructing the homemade Geiger Counter ( from almost 4 years ago, but you may want to refresh your self on the theories.  You see, this is the IRRADIATION special.

Oooh.. Scary.. IRRADIATION.  Yeh.. No.  Not so scary.   Let me share how we got here this morning.  I recently purchased an herbal anti-inflammatory.  It features BCM-95 and 7x MORE bioavailability, also featuring Boswella and .. Olive-leaf! I must say that if it works half as well as the designer of the label thinks it will.. shoulder problems will disappear in no time :)

I am sooooo happy that it has 7x BIOAVAILABILITY!  I was reading the label some more this morning and it states that it is NOT IRRADIATED! I thought Excellent!  It is safe for my cat.  If I had one.

huh?  Safe for a nonexistent cat?  That's rather non-sequitur Uncle Daniel.

Well. Maybe, but what I immediately thought about was Australia.  Need more?  Ok.  In Australia just like just about everywhere else on the planet, food processors has been using food irradiation to make food safer, stay spoilage free and pest free longer.  This is done by subjecting the food with X-rays.  The X-rays cause ionizing radiation damage (Two cell nuclei talking.. Damn, I just lost an electron.  Are you positive?) to some of the DNA and RNA in both the food, food borne bacteria and any pervasive pests, this prevents or slows down reproduction of pests, further ripening and spoilage.

Ok.  Sounds like a good thing yes?  Yes, you would think but detractors say they don't want to eat radioactive food.  They also say that it creates nuclear waste stock piling problems, ground water radiation contamination and masks unhealthy conditions in meat processing plants.

um..  No.  First of all X-rays are generated by firing electrons at a tungsten rod.  You don't need uranium, cesium, cobalt or plutonium and making X-rays does not create radiative waste water.  Not every use of the word RADIOACTIVE means an impending meltdown and China Syndrome.  Masking unhealthy conditions.. sure, just like cooking does?

Subjective food to X-rays also does not magically make the food radioactive and now capable of emitting Alpha, Beta, Gamma or X-ray radiation.  That only happens in comic books.  (See for a briefing on cartoon physics).

Uh.. Australia?

Yes yes , I'm getting there.  Back in 2008 about 40 cats does or were euthanized after experiencing paralysis after eating a particular brand of cat food.  No one was sure what happened to the cats, but a few cat food company scientists (makes for a funny business card) speculated that elevated levels of irradiation caused a vitamin A deficiency in the food, thereby causing paralysis in the cats.  This was however just mere speculation and no causal connection, nor any repeatable experiments were made.  BUT..In a nice bit of reactionary legislation, no cat food may be irradiated in Australia.  The dog food which is irradiated has labels to specifically not feed it to cats.  I don't know if steaks bought at the butcher shop for humans have the same label.


Still have a few minutes.. Do you recall my rant (I think that was the trifecta of bullshit rant) regarding Canada Post back in August? ( I was particularly irritated with Canada Post failing to fund its pension obligations and instead pushed the debt into the future.

That future is here.  Failing like only a monopoly can, Canada Post has announced that stamps will go up by 1/3 and in exchange for higher prices.. door to door delivery will be stopped.  PM Stephen Harper applauded the move and his Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said that Canadians are sending fewer letters than ever before.   Of course that is also bullshit.  While there was certainly a spike in mailing in 2007 and 2008 with around 11.5 billion pieces, today's level of mailing at close to 10 billion pieces is about the same as 2003, I don't know when she meant by ever before.


Do we have time for one more?  How about that sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's funeral service..  seems that no one could understand a single word that he bluffed his way through.  Seems by all accounts an absolute fraud, he used a bunch of nonsensical clapping and hand gestures that have never been seen before.

I personally liked it when during U.S. President Obama's speech the imposter showed us the church and its steeple and opened the doors and showed all of the people, weeee!

That's it for me folks, Have a great day and beware of faux science, faux economics and faux interpreters.

Thursday 5 December 2013

Working in Montréal today --Free the NY chimp!

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

A society can be measured by how it treats its weakest members..   Fyodor Dostoyevsky?  Mahatma Gandhi? Oh wait, when Gandhi said it he said how the society treats its animals and when Dostoyevsky said it he said it about how society treats its prisoners.

So in New York a suit has been filed seeking to have a particular chimpanzee released from its small cage it what has been described as horrible, isolated conditions.  The prisoner chimp.

I am all for this.  I have no wish for any animal to be treated poorly.

Oh but wait...

The filing attorney and his clients an animal rights group is seeking not only the release of the chimp, but also for the New York courts to recognize scientific evidence of emotional and cognitive abilities in chimpanzees and to grant the animals “legal personhood” so that they are ensured better treatment.

This is where the needle skips back across the record so we can hear that again..  gzzzzzt.

"Legal personhood". You have got to be sh:tting me.  Legal Personhood??!?  Does the filing legal beagle know what that means?  Before I continue the beration and belittling of the filing counsel's case I will mention that if he wishes to use my Dostoyevsky / Gandhi juxtaposition of Jesus' how you treat the least of my brethren verses in his opening remarks he may, he has my release.  just sayin'.

There are three 'personhoods' under the law.  Moral, legal and constitutional. They may be confusing Moral Personhood with Legal Personhood, beats me. let's examine. A Moral Person is that being capable of knowing the difference between good and evil and is capable of making judgments based on this knowledge and therefore be held held responsible for those judgements.

No.. That's not right either, since a chimpanzee is NOT capable of knowing the difference between good and evil, a chimp is simply by all observations the Id.

Sidebar.  The Id, the selfish beast within the mind, concerned with solely satisfying the pleasure sensors. The Ego strives to satisfy the Id's desires through interactions with reality, and the Super Ego tempers the whole process with a moral compass.  There, one need not take out student loans and spend 3 years pursuing a Psych degree, this is all you need to know.  That and  all women have Johnson envy and all men have castration anxiety.. (!) In other context, Rob 'crack smoking, kittie eating' Ford is the Id, his brother Doug 'the enabler' Ford is the Ego and City 'gonna strip them powers' Council the Super Ego.

And we are back.

So Moral Personhood does not fit the chimpanzee, how about Legal Personhood?

A legal person is an entity that is recognized and protected under common law or statutory law. A legal person is an entity (human, corp, govt) that can, under common law or statutory law, hold and sell property, and sue or be sued.
Does the lawyer and the animal rights group suggest that If I were the recipient of a flying turd tossed by some impudent chimp that I could sue the chimp?  Or that that same chimp could enter into a contract to buy my car and rent a garage?
I think we can agree that the chimpanzee lacks the cognitive abilities to enter into a contract  and lacks the moral compass to honour it.
Cruising at 31,000 feet here and it's pretty choppy up here, and I am running out of time, what's left.. constitutional person.  That is the status of a human being or legal entity with some or all constitutional rights.   Since we are talking about a U.S. legal question, let's examine the U.S. Constitution.  How about the first words.. We the people.  ah screw it, let's jump to the best part..  the second amendment and the right to bear arms.
Remember Charlton 'you can have my gun when you can pry it from my cold, dead hands' Heston in the '68 Planet of the Apes?  Yes, that's right, it wasn't good for the humans when the apes had guns.
Right, Charlton not Charleston.  Thanks for the spellcheck Sherri :)
Let's wrap this up, a chimp knows neither right nor wrong, can't be trusted to enter into contracts and should not be armed.
If the petitioning party is actually concerned with the welfare of this particular chimp then it should explore its options under animal cruelty laws.
For other pulps about our primate cousins..
Scientific dilemma: how to fling a monkey into space.
Have a great day, enjoy your opposable thumbs.

Thursday 28 November 2013

Working in Ottawa today --Banality

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.  

Although apparently booking flights has become so.. banal?  I was going to write, pedestrian as its adjective def. but then the whole juxtaposition of its noun def. and the fact that I am flying seemed rebellious although not especially recalcitrant to the rules of English.  yeah, I know, the knee slapping humour of English never stops.

Back to the banality of booking fights.  I arrived at the gate this AM to catch the 8:10 to Ottawa and the name of the gate agent's screen for seat 1D was not mine.   How can this be?  Cause I booked the 9 'stead of the 8.  Whoops.  But fear not, I was able to still grab a seat on the 8 albeit economy (had upgraded to biz) but I figure on the plane beats not being in the plane.

Ottawa.  I must comment that If Ottawa wants to improve its image on the world scene it needs to branch out and and create some controversy.  I read this morning that city council unanimously approved the 2014 budget yesterday. The $3 billion plan will see residents' taxes go up 1.9 per cent — below the two per cent cap set by council in May 2013 and the lowest tax hike in seven years. 

Yawn.  meanwhile in Toronto our crack smoking Mayor and his front man brother are duking it out with the deputy mayor over Toronto's budget increase in a war of words extending even to Fox News.   btw, did anyone else catch Doug Ford explaining to Fox that Rob is a real socialist and a fan of Obama, and Rob explaining to Fox that he is not a lefty, not a fan of Obama, but a righty like them.

Geez guys, at least get your media bites in sync.  A wee bit embarrassing to watch.

More on Canada's drug scene..

New Brunswick RCMP Cpl. Ronald Francis serves with J Division in New Brunswick and smokes pot on duty.


Yes.  Seems the armed and uniformed corporal suffers from post traumatic stress disorder to the degree that anti-depressants just fail to address, so he has been prescribed medical weed.

wtf folks.  If he was prescribed medical vodka would he drink on duty? With a gun?  The man carries a side arm and drives a cruiser.  If I wander about, smoke some pot and get behind the wheel I would be guilty of impaired driving.  If I handled a firearm in that state I would be an idiot and anyone that allowed me to would be as big or bigger since they in theory would not be high.

I find this absolutely absurd.  If this man is incapable of functioning in his job as a peace office, an armed peace officer without partaking in mood and perception altering drugs, then he is incapable of being a peace officer.  He should be placed on medical leave and if his condition has no reasonable chance of recovery then a medical discharge.

The world must think that we have lost our minds.

Hey, did anyone else watch the Grey Cup?  I was a bit nervous to watch the half-time after last year, was absolutely terrified that someone from the Justin Beiber genre would show up with semi naked dancers and lots of glitter.. But no.

We had flying snow mobiles!  I kid you not.  I loved it.  The backup dancer gals were all wearing coats and pants and grooving to the tunes of Hedley without twerking while large flame throwers cast orange fireballs into the sky as snow mobiles flew off ramps performing flips in the air and perfect landings..

Yay!  A show better tailored to the Grey Cup audience rather than catering to 13 year old gilds.  Well done.

Have a great day, do something to attract international media.

Thursday 21 November 2013

Working in Montréal today --How to make friends and influence people

Hi folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

Don't worry this is not about Rob FF Ford.  You could just skip down 3 paragraphs if you like.

Alright, the Ford saga is done for now.  Unless they charge this guy with murder.  No, I don't have inside information, but gosh, what the hell do you think the police investigation is about?  No one really gives a turd (this is a family channel)  if some local boys is Rexdale are smoking crack, but ppl generally care when someone that claims to have a video is subsequently killed.

But I digress. Unless they charge Ford with murder or conspiracy to commit or accessory before or after the fact, then the whole Ford story is dead.  Why?  Because the headline today is that the guy that may or not be Ford's new personal trainer (at 336 lbs, he is a walking coronary incident) was convicted of trafficking in steroids several years ago and had a sports coaching ban imposed.  Yeah?  So?

Friends, this is a headline in search of a story.  Next we may find that the guy that cuts his grass shoplifted a Playboy magazine from a 7-11 when he was 15 -MORE HEADLINES!

So instead of regaling you with Mayor FF Ford stories, I have short recount of a round of golf in Raymond, Alberta some 30 years ago.

At the time I was gainfully employed with the Lethbridge Community College, and a colleague and neighbour of my, Brian.. (!) nope, can't recall his last name.. went off one Satuday morning to play a round of golf.

When I arrived at the course, Brian introduced his friend Biff or something that had asked to join us.  The usual greetings were exchanged.  Biff, Daniel.  Daniel, Biff.  Hi Biff.

In short order we were checked in, and on deck for tee at the first hole.  "So what do you do for coinage Biff?"  

Sidebar here.  If you want to make friends, you need to make an effort to engage in conversation, one of the best ways is to ask someone about themselves..

and we are back.

"I am a piano tuner", he answered with great pride.  It was like.. "I <short pause> am <emphatically> a piano tuner".  "Really, a piano tuner, sounds interesting", I replied.  You see by making comments about topics raised by the other party in the conversation, it shows that you are listening and engaged.

Now I know very little about piano tuning, but picture an old craft where the master tuner can feel the resonance through his finger tips and uses his worn wooden hammer that was passed down from his father and his father before him.  Armed with a tuning fork, felt, damper and an ear that can hear a perfect 440 Hz and the derivations therein he sets about his craft.

"So, where did you study?", I inquired.  "Correspondence school.", he answered.

Damn. I lost it.

"Wow" I exclaimed, "the postage must have been a bitch."

Funny thing about being on deck for the first tee is that often there are other groups hanging about waiting to tee off as well.  This resulted in a bit of an audience for my one liner response.  the audience was not disappointed.   Much guffawing and laugher ensued.  Maybe even a snort or two.

Bif was not amused.

We did not become friends.  The first and the next 17 holes certainly dragged on :)

Have a great day.  Be nice to others.

Thursday 14 November 2013

Working in Ottawa today --She don't lie; she don't lie

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

Blues, R&B, Rap, Punk, Funk, I have some familiarity with them all, but I confess, I just don't know any crack tunes.  In fact I am really only familiar with Gary Louris' Cocaine, recorded by a few but notably..

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Eric Clapton -

If you wanna hang out you've got to take her out; cocaine. 
If you wanna get down, down on the ground; cocaine. 

So even Santa has jumped on the down with Mayor Quimby, I mean Mayor Rob Crack-Whore Ford, bandwagon.   Seems Santa and the Mrs. believe that the drunken stupor Mayor of this fine city is a bad seed.. a bad example for children and want him to not walk in front of this year's Santa Claus parade.

She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie; cocaine. 
If you got bad news, you wanna kick them blues; cocaine. 

The Mayor, in a moment of simultaneous contriteness and belligerence, says, yes he has made mistakes (one of the largest understatements of recent memory) but will be walking in front of Santa as his right as Mayor.

When your day is done and you wanna run; cocaine. 
She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie; cocaine. 

Meanwhile.. city staffers.. at least the ones that haven't been fired for telling the stuporesque mayor to get help (say.. how soon before the city is sued for wrongful dismissal... I predict substantial settlement costs) tell of drug and alcohol use in the Mayor's office and a penchant for Poutine..

If your thing is gone and you wanna ride on; cocaine. 
Don't forget this fact, you can't get it back; cocaine. 

And last night we've heard that the Mayor has admitted to buying drugs while in office and being a general EF-up.  Reportedly he also has also been entertaining paid escorts in his office and as one city staffer put it, and she was sniffing something.

She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie; cocaine. 
She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie; cocaine.

Have a good day, keep your noses clean.

Thursday 7 November 2013

Working in Montréal today --Carry on

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

Mayor Ford is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

Ex-Premier McGuinty is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

Premier Wynn is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

Senators Wallin and Duffy are the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human beings I've ever known in my life.

The mayors of Montréal and surrounding cities are the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human beings I've ever known in my life.

Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.

There.  Now I don't need to write about the continued corruption in our elected and appointed officials, nor the low standard by which they are measured.

Have a good day.  Carry on.

I was going to write something more inspiring but I was in a drunken stupor.

Monday 4 November 2013

Working in Ottawa today --What Legacy will you leave?

Good morning folks,

I am working in Ottawa today, and Montréal later this week.  This Pulp is a catchup from last week's non-travel.  Yes, I also failed to publish anything the week before while I was away in Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna, and briefly Vancouver.

A close friend of mine laid his mom to rest last week and Sharlene and I went to the service, internment and shiva.  Interesting, my friend's mom had prepared her own eulogy.

Now one can make quips about a good Jewish mom always maintaining control and order (actually the quips work for all ethnic and cultural groups' moms), but I think that this was a great idea, for all of us.

If we all were to sit down right now with pen and paper would we be happy with what we wrote, this short narrative of our life?

Maya had a wonderful life and much to be proud of, she pursued education, her private practice, motherhood, authorship, and spirituality all on her own terms and near as I or anyone else could tell, achieved what she set out to do.

But what about the rest of us?  What legacy do we leave to our community, our family, our friends?  I have much to be pleased with as anyone, a loving wife, 2 wonderful daughters, a handsome grandson, a small set of good friends, a well ordered garage and an oasis backyard and finally a carbonated mineral water recipe that I find damned tasty but what legacy?  Years from now and someone researches telecom in Canada will they find my picture, name, or even a footnote?

Certainly we achieve a certain immortality through our children and their children, just as my great-great-great grandfather that left Scotland years ago has.  But is there something more than a continued blood line diluted by half with each new generation? 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64 -- that's even enough to make a bit of cheese on your burger Kosher.

It is said that we all die twice, once with our last breath, and once on the final uttering of our name. To achieve immortality, you need to have done, said, or wrote something particularly memorable, whether judged good or bad, immortality.  Just ask Benedict Arnold or Plato.

Since the start of man's (the non gender specific term) time on earth, there has been 107 billion born and 100 billion dead (yes, 7 billion still alive).  Even if we read and know of 5,000 notable persons the sheer probability that anyone has achieved that immortality is 5/100,000,000.  May as well buy lottery tickets (I don't usually except as stocking stuffers - they are a tax on ppl with bad statistics skills).

So what is left?  I am not interested in this to becoming a debate on creation/heaven/hell/void, but rather centering the thoughts on this planet, this realm of existence.

It could be that in the end, all that we can hope for is that when we judge ourselves that we meet our own standards and that we have been true to ourselves.  Hopefully those standards that we set are for the betterment of all.

Have a good day, start on your own eulogies.

Thursday 17 October 2013

Working in Ottawa today --Live better through chemistry

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

Get back to work!  Yes, that's right folks - the U.S. has has ended their bickering for now and have passed law that will provide for paying of the bills.  Yawn.

U.S. Federal employees are to report back to work this morning.

But what the hell was this about you ask?  (You did, it wasn't very loud, but you were asking).

Sigh.  The U.S. has private health insurance.  And a huge number of folks there can't afford it.  A family of four could pay 7, 8, 9, $1000 per month easily, moreover the insurance companies invariably rule persons uninsurable if they have prior conditions.

The Obamacare plan is to level the field, make all persons insurable and to subsidize (ooooh evil scary word) those that cannot afford the full pop.  The Tea Party anti-care plan is to thwart the implementation.  This of course despite that Obamacare was a campaign item, was proposed in law, was voted on and passed and signed into law.

If you ask me, those Tea Party folks are just plain UN-AMERICAN! They don't seem to believe in the democratic process of the U.S.  

Incidentally, they raise the invalid argument that Obamacare puts a bureaucracy between citizen and his doctor, and involves the gov't and corporations in healthcare.  yeah?  So?  That is the system that you have -- I notice that you bastards weren't giving up your own health insurance!  Seem quite satisfied to have Kaiser Permanente involved in your own trips to the G.P.

After all, this is really about NOT sharing the wealth, about NOT having tax dollars help out those most in need.   Ah screw it, I don't have the energy to write about it.


Anything else Interesting in your life there Pucky?

Uh. Yeah!  I have been working on water recipes.  Since starting down the road of making my own carbonated aqua (, I had come to conclusion that my tap (and filtered) water was boring.  

it is not very hard, low calcium, low magnesium, low total dissolved salts in general.  

Side bar here.  Not all salts are the evil heart stopping sodium chloride.  Salts are a class of ionic compounds, NaCl being just one of them.

My first plan was to raise the magnesium content of my water into the 50 mg/L range and the calcium above 200 mg/L.  This required a shopping trip. I figured the best way to raise the magnesium was through magnesium sulphate heptahydrate, should be cheap, easy to find, and generally considered safe, After all MgSO4-7H2O is better known as Epsom Salt.  As long as you find USP rated, it is safe to consume.  Bear in mind that at couple of teaspoons quantities it will increase you washroom activities, but I as using WAY less :).          

The next was the calcium.  Yeah.  I first tried calcium carbonate.  Bad idea.  I had tried to shop for Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) but was generally unsuccessful as apparently pharmacists are not aware that this stuff is about as dangerous as Jello and I was met with very suspicious looks and much typing into their computers.   

One pharmacist did offer that she had calcium carbonate (CaCo3), and while at first I passed, I reconsidered.  After all, calcium carbonate is calcite.  Calcite is what deposits around natural springs, and what the hell, I was trying to make spring water.

It was in the trying that I understood why the calcite deposits are there.  Water deep in the earth is under high pressure.  There are also large Co2 deposits, spring water is often naturally carbonated.  This highly pressurized Co2 charged water has a fairly low pH (carbonic acid is formed when carbonating water) and is able to dissolve the calcium carbonate.  Upon the water exiting the spring and as the pressure falls rapidly, the Co2 exits the water (Le Chateleir's principal), the water's pH raises and the calcium carbonate precipitates, that is, it falls out of the water much like rain falls out of clouds.

Try as I might, I could not create a strong enough carbonic acid even at 55 PSI to dissolve the 200 mg/L that I aimed for.  Only about half of that, and just had this annoying 'rainfall' of white particles in my water.  Not appetizing at all, although it did look a little like of one those snow --- ???  What are those things called, the Christmas scene in a plastic bubble with white flecks... maybe even calcium carbonate snowing down?

Back to shopping!  It was after searching unsuccessfully for a chemical supplier for calcium chloride (at less that 100 Kg quantities) that I found that a product used by home pickle makers, Pickle Crisp, has but one ingredient.  Calcium chloride. Yay!

The long and short of it is that I know have 2 liters of delicious carbonated mineral water in my refrigerator with around 220 mg/L of calcium and around 60 mg/L of magnesium - about the same as San Pellagrino but with less sodium.

I know, not very exciting, but next I plan on adding potassium chloride and perhaps some iodine and selenium!  I can barely contain my own anticipation!!

Have a great day.  Drink up.

Remember, I am not a chemist but have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.

Thursday 10 October 2013

Working in Montréal today --Zen and the Art of Panhandling

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today

Friends.. I must share with you the teachings of Chinul.  Chinul is Jinul, also Bojo but was born Jeong.  Yes, more name changes than a Boris Pasternak novel.  Jinul was from the early 12th century, a Korean Buddhist monk and the only reason that he is mentioned here is his fundamental teaching that for all of us, becoming a Buddha is within our reach and that our true nature is always known to us, even when it is not, but discoverable in a single moment of clarity or epiphany.

Okay Uncle Daniel, you have our attention, we liked the duality of the 'is/is not' thing but don't wander too far..

Don't worry, I won't. But it's not really a duality, since the two states are not divisible, it really is a dichotomy wrapped up in a Gestalt.

But I digress, this morning I read a note that a friend of mine from high school sent me and within she explained that: 

"..The campground job is over for the season. I am back on the job hunt - again. I could teach yoga but I'm feeling like I have more to learn about myself first. So I may just sit downtown with a cup and take in alms. I'll let you know how lucrative that is.." -- M

This is where some persons would attempt to dissuade her from the life of squeegee kid and to pursue the theatre or other arts but I say, embrace the career path that may unfold.  Experience the Zen in becoming the best at what one does, regardless of what one does.

And what is good, Phaedrus, And what is not good -- Need we ask anyone to tell us these things? --R.M. Persiq (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

Um.. Thanks Uncle Daniel, but how does this quote help us?

Well.. I could tell you, but it would not do you any good, Zen is not an intellectual discipline you can learn from reading a Pulp or be taught by or from the likes of me but rather it is a practice of studying one's self and seeing into one's own nature. The main tool of this practice is zazen.

Zazen Uncle, like Zazeen, the new IP TV service?  No.  Not like Zazeen.  May I continue now with less interruption please? It is a short flight and I have still much to write.

Consider that the most successful rusty cup supplicants (don't bother googling -I just strung that together) have the best affectations; ticks, twitches, and Tourettes are nothing to turn one's nose up at and if done well can maximize returns.  Seasoned pros of course can fake an amputation, not much else has more of an effect than raising up a cup tied to a dirty bandaged stump where a hand may once have been, "please sir, I have 3 hungry children at home and I need new bandages too".  Best for the suffering, the Dukkha, to be worn where others can see it and enjoy it too.

Have we considered the inner peace the knowledge of one's self gained by these cup shakers?  Zazen is a meditation form where there is no clear objective nor goal nor path, can be done singly or in a group and through which one may gain enlightenment or they will not.  Can you propose a craft, a trade, a vocation which provides any greater opportunity for such goalless sitting than this?

But Uncle Daniel, isn't the meditation part really quite optional and that all is really required to achieve enlightenment is to be able to recite koans?

I could answer you, but that would be like showing you the peak that cannot be seen.

Uh.. Thanks, that was very .. illuminating and at the same time annoying.  Do you have any other tips to maximize the spare change pursuit for us Uncle Daniel?

Yes, but just one.  Please do avoid chasing people down the street screaming that you want spare change for some soup -- it hurts the entire industry and brings about contempt by the other corner coin cup claimants.

This last proviso must be said, as two nights ago while downtown at the ROM for the Chilean Wine Festival, walking around to the side of the ROM looking for the secret entrance (I could tell you more, but it's a secret) when a woman called after me and when I turned she screamed that she wanted soup.

I considered stopping and discussing the matter, but was concerned that it would lead to lengthly discussion over the merits of the tomato over cream; cream over broth bases as well as could lead to a comparative analysis of Eastern European borscht.  I quickly explained that I had no soup. 

She stopped in her walk, and simply terminated the short lived discussion with.. 'oh'.

It was then that I considered the answer to my friend lay within her question (yes I know you read no question, but does not the question not queried remain to be yet answered?)

The Dukkha, the Zazen, the Enlightening, Nivana, the Buddha are all one.

My friend should teach Yoga, should learn about herself and yes, she should sit downtown with a cup.

Street corner Yoga for spare change and enlightenment.

Have a great day.  Peace out.

Thursday 3 October 2013

Working in Ottawa today --Small town hero makes good!

Good morning folks, 

I will be working in Ottawa today.

A few updates..

Alun (the Welsh guy to whom I gave a black eye last week) is near fully recovered with just a hint of his black eye, just a wee line of bruising along the Zygomatic bone.  So after game play at the pub last night, I did the right thing.  I bought Alun a Guiness.  This prompted two things.

a) Alun was quite surprised that I had picked up his tab.  I explained that it is an easy rule of mine.  If I give you a black eye, I will buy you a beer.

b) Leo, sitting at the end of the table became rather agitated.  "What the hell!", Leo exclaimed, "Daniel breaks 3 of my ribs and takes me out of the game for five weeks and didn't buy me a beer!".  Yeah.. Sorry about that Leo, but you see, you ran into me and subsequently hit the deck.  Whereas I fired a line drive into Alun's eye (albeit protected by safety equip).

The bottom line, if you had blackened your eye on the way down, then I would have bought you a beer, better luck next time :)


Next out of the gate..

Mayor Rob F. F. Ford's friends.. what a bunch.  You can headline a newspaper with that and not even bother writing an article.  Allesandro Lesi, described by friend Ford as "a stand up guy, following the straight and narrow" was arrested yesterday for a variety of drug trafficking and conspiracy charges.  This same guy claims that he supplied drugs to Ford.  The F. F. needs a better class of friends.


Anything else this fine Thursday morning?

Obama vs The Tea Party?  Much ado about nothing if you ask me.  Obamacare is too little and will not do the job.  While yes, it eliminates ineligibility so all can buy health insurance, it is still for-profit insurance.   So I am sure that the insurance companies will still shaft it to the sick and injured.  CLAIM DENIED!.  The Obamacare plan does nothing to provide universal coverage, nothing to provide equal care, and nothing to provide any cost containment.  Don't worry it will be a profit hay day for the insurance companies.

Why is the GOP/TeaParty against it?  Well it is a Democrat party initiative, therefore by fiat it must be bad, and although a thousand miles from an actual Socialist program, the Right thinks it is.

Dumb, dumb, dumber.


Lastly, Small rown hero makes a comeback!

Yes, after three years since his likeness was torn down and removed from his birth place, Losif Dzhugashvili will once again stand proud in the town square of Gori, Georgia.

That's right kids, that fun loving guy better known as Joseph Stalin will have his six meter statue once again erected.  It's been 60 years since his death, but Stalin still provokes conflicting emotions in Georgia.  Murderous dictator or hero that defeated Hitler?  Creator of the Gulag prison system and horrific 'purges' over three decades, or bringer of idealism and stability?

In the words of Gregory Shvedov (on the Board for Memorial - Human Rights org), "Maybe he was evil.. [but] everyone respected us.. everyone was afraid of our country". Effectively I think he is trying to say, Yes he was a son of a bitch, but he was their son of a bitch.

okay then.

Have a great day.

Thursday 26 September 2013

Working in Montréal today -- Ocular Blunt Trauma

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

Hey kids,  ever wonder what happens to your eyeball when it gets hit with a speeding ball?  

First thing, as the energy of the ball is imparted into the eyeball, the cornea starts to flatten out turning the eyeball into a flatter ovoid shape or into a disk, this results in the intra-ocular pressure to rise rapidly.  This is largely because the eyeball has nowhere to go.  Immediately behind the eye is the Sphenoid bone, it's the back and upper outer side boundary of the socket.  To the inward side the Lacrimal bone sits, and the lower outside in bounded by the Zygomatic bone.

Yes, the same bones that are there to protect the eye and brain can hold it in place like your big brother holding that kid the stole your bicycle when you were 9 so you could punch him, but then in your debut as 'Flailing Arms Puckett' you ended up punching him in the ear.  The right hook that wasn't.  Yeah, that's right -you read correctly, a bit of street justice.  Word up.

Back to the eye.  And yes, another bone of note, the Supraorbital Process which forms your eye brow and the upper boundary of the socket.

Now as the eye's anterior chamber is compressed the pupil rapidly dilates like high school student's on pot, so rapid that tearing may occur, not so funny now is it Stoner?

The damage continues.. The aqueous humor (the liquid that nourishes the front of the eye) is pushed peripherally damaging the drainage channels which can result in secondary problems like Glaucoma (not for dipping tacos).  The increased tension and pressure on the peripheral iris can cause separation from its root, and what the hell, while we are at it, severe bleeding - the hallmark of any good intra ocular blunt trauma.  But there's more!

Detachment of the retina, secondary hemorrhaging, corneal and optic nerve damage, that's if the eyeball actually stays in place!  Consider the vacuum effect of a compressible ball such as a racquetball, as the ball shape deflects into the eye socket, a vacuum can form and as the ball return to shape on its rebound exit from the socket, can pull the eye free from the confines of connective tissue and eyelids.  Ew.

But all of this can be prevented.

Eye protection, sports safety equipment, goggles aka glasses.

And yesterday Alun (it's like Alan, but Welsh) demonstrated the handiness of such.  Tony (playing front) and I (playing back) were playing against Alun (playing front) and Larry (playing back) when I played the ball with a forehand shot after it came off the back glass.

For some reason..  Alun had just looked back.  Whack!  He took the ball cleanly and directly into his glasses.  The force pushed his glasses into his eyebrow, compressing the flesh between glasses and his Supraorbital Process, rupturing some small internal blood vessels along the way and also pushed into his nose, cutting the skin layering his Nasal Bone.  Ouch.

Brian had been standing, watching the game from behind the back glass and rushed in to take Alun and get the blood cleaned up.  Not because Brian is an humanitarian, but because he says that fresh blood on the wood court floor scares off new players.  I disappeared for a moment and returned with a chem-ice bag to help Alun control the inevitable swelling, and to relax my guilt a bit.

The great news, after 30 minutes on the bench with the chem-ice, Alun looked almost good as new.   Yay safety equipment.

Have a great day -- play safe. 

Thursday 19 September 2013

Working in Ottawa today --keep the sticks in the air

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today (tomorrow too).

Every now and then I write a Pulp that just plain pisses off some identifiable group of ppl.  This is not the same as me promoting ire against an identifiable ppl, to be clear I have been known to generate ire IN an identifiable group of ppl :)

I distinctly recall when I wrote a critique of whether or not curling was a sport, that I received a flurry of email from Thunder Bay, which apparently considers itself the Defender of Curling and Virgins and all things Pure, oh wait.. that's St. Joseph. Except the Curling part.

And now.. I may feel the wrath again, this time from twirlers.  Twirlers? Yes.  You thought for a second I would write about Twerking, yes?  No.  Baton twirlers.  The other evening, perhaps around 1 AM I was laying in bed pondering if I should try counting sheep, had a very brief evaluation with whether 'sheep' was both singular and plural like 'fish' but not like 'cattle'. So I turned on the TV and the Miss America pageant.. I mean scholarship award program was on.  My first thought was damn, popularity is an all time low if it was kicked out of the 8 PM time slot.

And then.. The talent show.. first a violinist, very nice, then some gal sang a song - also well done, and then it happened.  Baton Twirling! Yes, the gal from Florida took the stage with some good ol' fashioned baton twirling!  And this caused me to think..

Does baton twirling, as an endeavor, have any appeal to anyone not in a beauty pageant? I mean scholarship award program?  The whole thing reminds me of Stewie on MAD TV, "Look what I can do!" followed by some half hearted joint bend and body hop to the right.  Is the sport.. er.. activity usually practiced by anyone older than 15?  To be clear, the 20 year old from Florida, Myrrhanda Jones, is a real trooper.  She was on stage doing her twirling thing with her knee in a brace after she had a fall during practice and tore her anterior cruciate ligament (you've heard it called the ACL). My friend Rob cried like a baby and had to have his girlfriend come get him from the club when he damaged his :)

But does anyone twirl as late as 20? Are there 30 year old gals proudly stating, "I scored 3rd in my majorette competition on Saturday and then hit the bar for some brewskis!" All of the feeder sports that I know of, t-ball, ring hockey, touch football, are all part of the transition to REAL sports, but what does twirling transition to? Tell me, does twirling require more skill than a YoYo?

To be clear, this is a stick with rubber ends.. in theory to prevent putting your own eye out.  What can you do with a stick to impress your friends?

You could hit a ball with it. Either one that someone threw at you or just one laying on the ground.  You could throw the stick.  Or failing all of these things you could twirl the stick.  Yay!

Does it come up during job interviews like semi pro ball does?, "yeah, I tell you what, I could have gone pro, but I tore up my ACL when I was with South East Redskins --Shout out to home boys in Florida State!  Now I think I would like to sell cars". "And we want you to sell cars!  Welcome to the TEAM!".

Doesn't quite work with twirling does it?, "Sports? YES-- I twirled a baton, I wanted to be the next Hollie Neilson but I tore my ACL, then I wanted to be Miss America but that biotch from New York won, now I want to sell cars."  "Oh. um... hey thanks for coming in, and uh.. be sure to get your parking validated, we'll call you..".

But Uncle Daniel, don't you usually give some kind of history of stuff like this?  You told us where the baseball cap came from, why not this?

Okay, fine, but I am really out of time and didn't really have anything to write about today and was grasping at straws.  Uh, let's see.  Armies march.  It used to be common for a marching army to have a skilled rifle twirler up front, I don't know.. some major's daughter wanted to be at the front of the parade?  Too small to twirl a rifle?

"Right shoulder - arms!" "Left shoulder.. oh, she's down again."  Bill, can't you give her something smaller?

I do know that the first baton twirling training came to the U.S. when Major Millsap started Millsap college in the great state of Mississippi after the U.S. Civil War.

That's all I have.  Have a great day, keep the balls sticks in the air.

Thursday 12 September 2013

Working in Montréal today --Be Happy

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

Canada slips to 6th place!  Meanwhile Finland has tumbled ass over vodka glass down to 7th from their previous high of 2nd, and they are displeased. And the Dames?  Still sitting in their smug number 1 spot despite that their cookies are stored in tins and are always stale - I hope they are happy.

Yes, it's time for the [Second] Annual United Nations World Happiness Report, the time for all nations to put their best grin forward and try to convince the rest of the world how bloody happy their citizens are.

At the opposite end of the scale the African nation of Togo is in last place at number 156, you must be damned unhappy to be worse off than neighbour to its west, Sierra Leone at 127th (3 or 4 countries over, I don't have a map handy and that part of Western Africa south of Sahara has a large number of small countries).

But how confident should we be in these ratings?  Are the Mexicans really happier than the Americans? At 16 and 17 could it be that Mexico is thankful that the U.S. is erecting the Trans American Freedom Fence (I don't think that is its name, but it fits in well with the global American disinformation campaign), the fence will surely hold back the barrage of Americans fleeing their unhappiness and heading south?

The study measures life expectancy at birth, social support, purchasing power, freedom to make life choices, generosity, perceptions of corruption.  This attempts to bring about a meaningful measure to the question of happiness.  It would be a fairly meaningless study to measure how happy people were yesterday. The day after Crosby fired one into the Olympics net I imagine the ol' Happiness rating of Canucks way dammed high where as the day after the last election and ppl realized we would have a wooden PM for another 4 years.. dammed low.  Instead the study attempts to measure how happy people are with their life on the whole.

The report does raise some interesting human oddities, cash strapped counties often have citizens awash with positive outlooks for the future, cash rich counties can have very unhappy citizens.

Meanwhile in Quebec, the province wants to extend its new Beige Policies to private workplace as well.  "Beige Policies uncle Daniel?" Yes, in an effort to strip all citizenry of any individuality that they may have, all workers are encouraged to leave any evidence of their religious beliefs or backgrounds at home thank you.  The next logical legislation would be to do the same with other cultural and heritage evidence.  Soon..  we will all be dressed in ill fitting beige jumpsuits

A strange paradox coming from the province that has strived to maintain its uniqueness and individuality from being integrated away into the rest of Canada.

Have a good day, be happy.

Thursday 5 September 2013

Working in Ottawa today --This explains the smell

Good morning folks,

I will be working in the Ottawa office today but will be a few minutes late getting in.

I had dog poo on my shoe this morning.  This caused a cascading failure in my morning travel schedule only rivaled by 3 Mile Island..  Okay, maybe an exaggeration :)

A few days ago I took my Ecco Nubuck and suede shoes into the shoe repair guy across from the Toronto office for a cleaning and a stitchover a small tear in the trim.  After I picked them up, I felt obligated to wear them for a few days.  This meant that I did not wear my Ecco black leather shoes for a few days.  

Sidebar here.  On my way to a certain wedding 2 weeks back I was wearing the same shoes in the airport and thought I would have the airport shoe guy clean them,  yeah, not a great idea, ended up making the grey trim blackish.  The shoe guy across from the office stated that, 'the airport guy tried to clean them?  You should kill him.  This is special material that needs to be cleaned a certain way.  What was his name?", yeah --nice guy but a wee bit intense.

And we are back.

Molly the dog has had an upset tummy for the same days in question.  A few mornings ago as I walked downstairs, in the dim light I detected a smoldering deposit on the landing.  Ew.  But I repeat myself, Ew.  So I cleaned it up, fired up the small carpet spot cleaner and thoroughly cleaned the landing and step.  Of this there was no doubt, very clean.  Then I detected more deposits on the front door rug.  No problemlo.. Sharlene tossed into the washing machine.

But then I had this nagging feeling that something was missed.  If I was outside in the fresh near Autumn air and walked in through the front door...  there was a certain something in the air.  Something just not quite right.  I think my exact words last night were, "what the hell is that smell?"  Molly shrugged her shoulders, Sharlene said, "I can't smell anything, sinuses are bugging me."

Damn.  And then as I was leaving my house this morning at exactly 7:10 for my 8:10 flight, I put on my Ecco black leather shoes and then in the dim light I saw it. Egads!

Dog poo! Dog poo on the toe of my shoe.  My shoe.. my shoe had poo.  Sharlene zipped off to the kitchen and grabbed me a wet paper towel and I began remedial steps, specifically, cleaning the dog poo from my shoe.  I wasn't initially too bothered by this as I often have the airport shoe guy polish these shoes, and since they are simply black leather, I wont have to kill him, nor collect his name.  On cleaning success, out I went.  But this delayed me 5 minutes.

An important 5 minutes, as there were 5 more minutes of backed up traffic at the construction, and then 7 more minutes of traffic on Eglington and then 10 more minutes of traffic on Renforth... then the parkade entrance was down to one working in gate, followed by a horde of confused travelers at security.. 

This left no time for airport shoe guy to polish my shoes on the Toronto side.  But instead I needed to run for my gate.  Not a full "Run Forest, Run.." type sprint, but more of a lazy, yet still deliberate slow run.

This leaves me in my seat right now with all poo removed from my shoe, but leaving my shoe rather dull and in desperate need of polish.  As such, I will have the Ottawa airport shoe guy polish them up on arrival, and that is why I will be 5 or 10 minutes later into the office than usual.  Thank you for being understanding.

Have a great day, keep the poo off of your shoes.

Thursday 29 August 2013

Working in Montréal today --VOCs, Gas, Crosses and Debt

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

Kind of tired today, contractors at my house yesterday requiring me to be in multiple places at once, in an eCare conference while watching a guy using the wrong tool to close a pail, while another guy sprayed chemicals containing volatile organic compounds without a respirator.  I suggested to him several times to wear one, but he claimed he was immune.  Right, dumb.

And now I am just skimming the newspaper.  I see that the U.S. and Canada are gearing up to inflict some kind of retribution on Syria for the gas attack, Syria claims that it wasn't them that it was the rebels.  Interesting, that would mean the rebels carried out a 'false flag' attack to invoke this retribution.  If true, not a bad tactical move.  I have wondered why Syria would be dumb enough to launch a gas attack with the world watching, but that's just me.

Meanwhile in Quebec, the move is underway to ban religious symbols in gov't institutions...  odd if you ask me, does this mean that the nuns and priests working in the schools and hospitals (they are funded by the gov't and usually fall under such legislation) won't be recognizable as nuns and priests?  I am certainly a fan of banning symbols of oppression disguised as religious symbols, but it never bothered me that Sr. Alice wore a cross,  Question?  Will the Crucifix be removed from the Quebec Legislature?

A recent Transunion study shows that Canadians swelled their consumer debt up to $27,000.  I for one am disappointed.  I think with some concentrated effort, consumers can spend themselves further into debt and reach the Canadian standard set by the folks in BC with their $38,000.   Come on Canada, we can do it!

There, found something to write about.  I was going to fill the Pulp with hundreds of lines of "All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy".  That would be more meaningful for fans of The Shining.  :)

Have a great day.  Spend spend spend.

Thursday 22 August 2013

Working in Ottawa today --Keynesian Revisited

I don't usually throw back into our collective faces what I have written in previous Pulps (okay, sometimes :).

Back a short eon ago when I had moved the publishing on these missives to this Pulp site away from a simple email distribution group I published an email written to Don ( about the <bullshit> disparity between North American and Japanese automakers.  Yep...  Like the past always comes back to haunt the present, I bring you...  Canada Post.

In that missive I explained Keynesian economic theory a bit.  The theory runs a bit like this, and this is extremely simplified... do not pay Paul what you owe him today, merely pay the interest, the principal will shrink on its own by the going rate of inflation.  Instead go out and spend the monies that you borrowed from Peter, the debt to him will shrink too.  I read this back in the very early 80s and it scared the shit out of me then for the very reason I will explain.

bullshit bullshit bullshit. Yes, the trifecta of bullshits.

What I realized 30 years ago was that if corporations, banks, and institutional debtors in general adopted the logical strategy and did not fund their debts, then they would continue to push them forward into the distant future and make them someone else's problem, but eventually the debt will need to be serviced and if the entity's growth had not matched the going rate of return, someone would get shafted.  Moreover if it became a widespread practice it could spell an economic crash that no Glass Steagal style legislation could touch.

I had discussed with my friend, the late Hughes M., at the time (we both worked at the Lethbridge Community College -- shout out to my friend Andy that used to work in Environmental Sciences and now works for the man at some TV station, Yo, Andy!  Hughes downplayed the risk really for two reasons.  One, he'd rather shoot hoops, and two he didn't have any interest in economics.

When corp execs realize this bit of flimflammery they may (and often do) put it together that they need not worry about things like employee pensions.

Um.. Uncle Daniel, you were mentioning Canada Post?  Yep.  Buried in the back pages of the Globe last week sometime was an article written by someone that actually read CP's last financial statement.  And..  Surprise surprise, Canada Post projects that it has enough cash flow to meet its obligations until the early part of 2014. 

This means Canada Post will in all likelihood be seeking help from the Gov't in meeting its pension obligations.  That means you and I.  So while you and I are saving our funds into our RRSPs, TFSAs and mattresses, these bastards were spending the money that should have been banked to meet the future payroll obligations.  It makes no sense to believe that you could pay a Postie to walk down my street with revenue from today's mail postage and also pay the pensions of all previous Posties.

Do you know what happens if we didn't pay our employees?  Our employees could go after the officers and directors of the company, because even in a limited liability corporation, although ordinary creditors can't go after the shareholders, officers, and directors, employee wages are an exception.  So I ask the question, how are pension funds any different from wages?  I see no difference, they are merely deferred wages that arose from negotiations between the Posties and Canada Post.  Let 'em go cap in hand to the Gov't, but let's see some accountability for those that made the bad decisions.

Have a good day, plan for your own future.

Thursday 15 August 2013

Working in Montréal today --Keep your receipts

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today and will not be working tomorrow.  Friday will see me head off to Calgary to see some family and participate is a family event.  Distributel accounting staff will not see any travel or accommodation expenses for tomorrow's trip.  I do not find it confusing.

This is a cheap and easy way to fill the Pulp this morning.

Quick follow up on Pamela Wallin and her creative bookkeeping, or is that pronounced bookcooking?  Seems Wallins calendars were altered prior to turning them over to the auditors, some 400 changes.  Now Wallin claims that they were merely 'formatted' to show the relevant items to the auditors, but I ask you, does altering items like adding an awards dinner that she did not attend and deleting a flight that would prove that she was not there constitute formatting?

The auditing firm, Deloitte, has identified some $120,000 in 'expenses' that have been identified as non Senate related, and a further $20,000 in questionable items. What does that mean?  It means that the Canadian taxpayers were bilked out of these funds that were used to pay for Wallin's activities related to her free enterprise activity, or her personal activity.  I will save you trying to figure out what crime that is.  It is fraud over (well over) $5000. It is embezzlement of public funds, it is a series of indictable offenses.  It is also a contravention of the senate act.  Pamela, you need a team of lawyers, but please don't submit expenses for them.

Wallin has issued the statement not unlike, "it's not fair, there are so many numbers and its so confusing.."  

I would be much more sympathetic if the auditors found that she had missed expenses, but no.  Why is it that whenever someone claims simple errors that the errors always seem to favour them?  One last tidbit, the audit cost taxpayers in the neighborhood of $128,000.  aw crap.  Like I said before, the Senate should have its own full time audit staff.

Have a great day, keep your receipts.

Thursday 8 August 2013

Working in Ottawa today --Bolsheviks R Us

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

I may be a Bolshevik.  Maybe not a card carrying member of the Russian Democratic Workers' Party, but certainly a believer in Social Democracy.   Yeah, I know what you are thinking, "gosh Uncle Daniel, nothing in your writings would have suggested that :p".

What prompted the invocation of the 'B' word?  This morning I was reading an account of President Obama in a Jay Leno interview from yesterday, where the Pres made the statement, "There is no spying on Americans, we don’t have a domestic spying program".  WOW what bullshit.

You see The POTUS was playing a bit of a word game, trying to make a distinction between gathering up banking, phone, email, browsing, purchasing, records of ordinary citizens and the separate process of looking at the records.  Obama's little word game with the outmatched Leno reminded me of a game of cat and mouse.

And then I remembered Tommy Douglas.  And the mice.  And the cats.  Douglas told a story of Mice and Cats to demonstrate the illogic of continuing to elect Black Cats or White Cats to administer and enact laws over the Mice of Mouseland, and how one mouse had the idea of not electing cats, but mice to administer the land and enact laws.  It was a great idea, of course the Cats called the mouse with the idea a Bolshevik and locked him up.  See prior pulp on Sedition (

So to continue on what this Black Cat is up to and also to continue on with the domestic spying program, Obama has cancelled a planned meeting with Russia's Putin 'cause he's ticked that Russia granted Snowden temporary asylum.

Snowden.  You may recall the pulp that announced the exposure of the domestic spying program starting with the news that Verizon was providing phone records to the U.S. gov't ( Snowden, through an act of conscience revealed to the world the domestic spying program.  What you may not be aware of is that the majority (thin, but none-the-less a majority) of Americans see Snowden not as a treasonous bastard that the White House has labelled him but as a whistleblower.

And that is very interesting.  The U.S. gov't has lied to the population about there being no domestic spying, moreover the U.S. Constitution specifically provides against it (Obama should know that since he is a Constitutional Lawyer, whereas I just blog about Constitutional Law), and Snowden reveals the lie, and the ppl see him as a whistleblower and none-the-less, the POTUS risks diplomatic relations with Russia (another member of the UN Security Council I will add).

For the People, by the People?  No.  By Black and White Cats.

Have a good day folks, you Bolsheviks too.

Thursday 1 August 2013

Working in Montréal today --Senseless

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today, and not working tomorrow (more on that in the second Pulp item).

First in today's Pulp, the senseless and outragious shooting of Sammy Yatim by Toronto Police.  I have watched the videos and read the accounts reported to date.  Unless Yatim was an evil super villain with magical powers there was absolutely no reason to shoot the young man once let alone nine times and then half a minute after his dying body lay on the deck to punish it with six seconds of Taser discharge.  Just for you if unaware, there was no one on the streetcar except for Yatim, there was no one at risk with the exception of Yatim.  Accounts place Yatim exposing himself and that he was armed with a three inch knife. The police could have just isolated him for hours if necessary and used their words to resolve the situation.  As it was the police were on the scene for about a minute and committed by all accounts was seems to be a senseless killing.  Civilization is was disappears when we need it most.

Next, more joyfull news.  I am not working tomorrow.  Neither is Sharlene, and neither is Jennifer.  Phil too is taking the day off (Phil is Jennifer's fella).  And the reason for this wave of job skipping?  Because my daughter Christine is flying into Toronto this evening from Kelowna along with MY GRANDSON ETHAN!  and tomorrow...  We are going to the Zoo!  .. unless it is going to rain all day and we'll go Saturday instead.  This is it folks.  A Grandpa taking his Grandson to the zoo is the reward for just about everything that a guy has ever put up with... all roads led to here, a great deal if you ask me :)

Last item on the docket.. Our Federal Gov'ts is adopting a 'Nudge' Program.  Nudge? You may ask?  Go ahead, I'll wait.

"Nudge?, Uncle Daniel"

Yes.  This is a program modeled after Britian's program with a name that Orwell would approve, "Behavioural Insights Team". The goal of the program is to nudge the citizenry into behavioural patterns pleasing to the gov't by using techniques learned through psychological research into behaviour modification.  The initial goals are economically motivated, nudge ppl into paying taxes on time, insulating their attic.  But soon, and don't worry, it will happen, the techniques learned and refined by this program will be used to nudge the citizenry, the electorate, into shifting its political views into those of the gov't.  Yes, it's very easy to forget that the electorate is suppose to impose its will on the gov't not the other way around.

Have a good day.

Thursday 25 July 2013

Working in Ottawa today --Free trade, locked up citizens

Be afraid, be very afraid.

But first an apology.  I really set up my readers, last week a satirical (and dammed funny according to you) look at home reno and self help TV shows and then this week, BAM! Back to scary political shit.

Under way right now are negotiations that will sell your soul to the multinational corporations or at the very least sell away all of your rights to privacy, anonymity, and perhaps even your freedom.  Oh yeah, and guarantee profit to corps when they can't pursue activity because its been ruled as dangerous to the environment or human health.. boo hoo.

The TPP.  The Trans Pacific Partnership is a 12 nation free trade and corporate rights partnership spearheaded by the U.S. and includes Canada, Australia, Japan, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Interesting it is called a trade agreement but only 2 or 26 chapters of negotiation have to do with trade, the rest deal with things like the criminalization of copyright infringement.  Also things like holding ISP executives (like me) criminally liable for customer and third party content and copyright infringement.  Wouldn't it be nice to lock me up because customer Billy threatens his ex-wife in an email where he also included a jpeg of Itchy and Scratchy?

I suppose holding ISP accountable is cheaper than dealing with the root issues of copyright infringement of Intellectual Property which is that the movie houses and other content producers have failed business models and although they pay no property tax on IP, they want the cops (funded by prop. tax) to chase down infringers (see: .  ISP executives are easy to find, society can just hold them accountable and have them develop (and pay for?) systems to stop copyright infringement and let Disney benefit from 120 years of copyright protection (yeah, the TPP provides for even more years of protection).  

Is 120 years enough?  I mean without 120 years of copyright protection we risk actors saying, "oh the hell with this, why should I act if someone can copy me in 70 years!".  Same thing with poets and musicians. :p

Carefull if little Johnny starts drawing crayon pictures of Mickey Mouse, that blantant disregard for the intellectual property rights of Disney can land him straight into Juvie!

To continue.. The TPP would eclipse the current the North America Free Trade agreement and constrain democracy in the interests of the multinationals.  We are already seeing this with the secret negotiations by Harper and what remaining staff he has (lost a few to resignations lately :).  The Canadian trade negotiator has stated that he would not say how the agreement will cause changes to Canadian laws.

This is a very dangerous treaty that will impose a corporate globalization on Canadians without a single vote from the electorate.  The TPP will allow the transfer of your private information including banking and tax data without regard to our current privacy laws.

I cannot stress enough how much Canadians should be against this selling off of your rights to the U.S. and the multinationals all so the U.S. can block China into a corner and impede alternative and sustainable laws and business models.

Have a good day.

Thursday 18 July 2013

Working in Montréal today --Girl mad as hell!

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

National Post front page story:  Girl 'mad at wind'.   Isabelle Webster is mad as hell and she isn't going to take it anymore!  3 year old Isabelle and her family left their home in Regina on Monday and on their return later that day Isabelle found that her playhouse assembled in the yard had been blown apart by the wind.

Was it the actions of the big bad wolf? The Wicked Witch of The North? Nope.. according to the story a tornado, albeit quite localized, may have been the culprit.  The girl's father takes it all in stride and promised to rebuild what was a $300 kit house from Costco.

TV's Mike Holmes however isn't quite so relaxed, claims that this is the result of unlicensed builders not following the building code and risking the safety of the occupant's lives and those in neighbouring communities..  "The gov'ts need to step up to the plate and crack down on these unlicensed, uncertified weekend builders before someone is killed!  Come on now!".

Holmes assessed the damage to the one room playhouse and explained that the main house will also have to be torn down as there was some loose shingles and an unknown amount of internal damage.  The girl's father has protested Mike's decision and has blocked the access road to his property.

"I don't know who this Mike guy is, but his workers have started demolishing my house!  There is nothing wrong with it, it wasn't even touched!"

Not to be outdone by Holmes and his crew, Ty Pennington and his band of hammer wielding TV personalities from Extreme Makeover had a tear filled interview with Isabelle where she explains, "I'm mad, somebody broke my house.".

Ty has secured corporate sponsorship to build Isabelle a new 5000 sq ft multilevel playhouse with an indoor pool, game room, music studio and live petting zoo.   Ty explained, "this little girl and her family have gone through so much already, it just breaks our heart to see her standing out among the rubble of her once beautiful home.  She and her parents need our help, they deserve our help.".

Isabelle's father has pleaded with local authorities to have the TV crews removed, that he will fix up the playhouse and repair the loose shingles.

The local authorities efforts were thwarted when late in the day Gail Vaz-Oxlade arrived. "Well it's no wonder that Isabelle has got her self into troubles, she been relying on her parents to pay her bills and hasn't even started paying back the $300 for her house or saving anything for her retirement!" .. "If she continues this way, in a few years she will be half a million dollars in debt."

Isabelle stood her ground against Gail and explained she was only 3 and likes jelly beans.

Have a good day.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Do It Yourself Soda Water Carbonation

Daniel's Soda-Water Machine

I drink a lot of carbonated water.   I enjoy the fiz and the bubbles bouncing off of my tongue.  Don't judge me, it is the way that I am.

What I don't like is filling our Blue Box Recycle bins with plastic bottles or aluminum cans after a binge night of hitting the ol' bubbly.  So.. I decided to make my own bubbly and reuse PET bottles.  Poly-Ethylene Teraphthalate, those clear or green, rarely blue plastic bottle that soft drinks are sold in.

Now one can buy a machine to make soda water, but these tend to require non-standard CO2 cartridges or tanks that are expensive to buy or refill, or worse.. disposable.  So I decided to make.

This is a practical DIY item, similar to my Homemade Geiger Counter from January 2010.

This is my new Water Carbonator.  I slowly gathered the requisite parts over the last year.  Bought the 7 1/2 lb CO2 bottle last year, then the regulator, then the food grade beverage tubing, ball lock connector and finally the ball lock connector -> PET bottle cap adapter.

Caution to others: do not use reinforced tubing.  You really want the tubing to be the weak component.  In the event of a defective regulator dumping 900 PSI into your line, a split tubing line is a non-event in the safety world, whereas an exploding PET bottle will effectively redefine for you the words 'exciting' and 'shrapnel'.

I have seen others where the maker used a tire chuck at the end of the tubing instead of a ball lock connector and set tire fill Schraeder valves into PET bottle caps.  Problem with that is the black rubber seal bits breakdown and can end up in your water (ew).  Also, the tire air chuck and valve stem are not made of food grade metals.. also (ew).

Ambient air == no fun, squeeze it out!
The ball lock connector is the standard for connecting a CO2 supply to beverages, what was tough was finding an adapter to connect a PET bottle to a ball lock connector.

Fortunately a company in the U.S. makes just such an adapter. Search the web for Carbonator Cap PET and you should find any number of online suppliers willing to sell you one for anywhere between $12 and $20.  The come in red or blue.  You usually do not have a choice. I like the blue.

To use: Fill a PET bottle with dammed cold water.  You can use kinda cold water, but you will fail at getting much fiz.  You can take my word for it or Le Chateleir's Principal.  "When a chemical system at equilibrium experiences a change in concentration, temperature, volume, or partial pressure the equilibrium shifts to counter the imposed change and a new equilibrium is established".

Remember in school when you asked your Physic's prof why you needed to learn this stuff and when would you ever need it?  This is why and magically also the when.  Water down at near freezing will absorb CO2 at the most successful rate.  I caution that if using 0 degrees Celsius water that you use CO2 pressure at less PSI then warmer water levels since the PET bottle pressure will increase dramatically should that bottle be left on a room temp counter.

Carrying on..  squeeze the bottle to force out the ambient air mixture as nitrogen and oxygen will interfere with our process.   Attach the PET bottle adapter and give the bottle one last squeeze as you press down on the valve on the adapter to 'burp' out any remaining air.

CO2 absorption
Now the FUN!  Connect the ball lock connector to the PET adapter and open your CO2 supply line.  I have set my regulator here to 25 PSI.  Others recommended 10 PSI and others 40.  I figured 25 was a good starting point.  As the pressurized CO2 is applied, the bottle immediately inflates and a shaking motion back and forth allows the water to surface contact the CO2 and absorbs it.

How much CO2 can be absorbed is limited by Henry's Law.  That law states: "At a constant temp, the amount of a given gas that dissolves in a given type and volume of liquid is directly proportional to the partial pressure of that gas in equilibrium with that liquid".  The more pressure, the more will be absorbed.

Continue to shake for 30 seconds.. rest for 30 shake.. for a couple of minutes.  There is no set routine, really damn cold water will take on CO2 faster than cold and surface area is a factor.  The nice thing about this set up is that I can deliver constant CO2 pressure to the solution whereas the air chuck guys need to keep topping up their bottles during the shake and dance phase.  DO NOT allow your solution to flow up your line.  That would be bad form as you would contaminate your line with your beverage.  Not a huge deal when just carbonating water, but messy when you start to make your own fizzy lemonade or gin :)

Let the bottle rest for a bit under pressure, and then release the ball lock connector.  You need not close the regulator exit barrel valve (the small red lever pointing straight down in the open position in the pics above) prior to releasing the ball lock, the ball lock will maintain line pressure all by itself.  But if you are done for the day, then close your main tank valve.

Put in the fridge with the PET bottle adapter in place for an hour or so to complete the carbonation and then remove the PET bottle adapter and replace the PET bottle cap, toss back in the fridge.  That's it.  Enjoy your bubbly!