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.