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.