Wednesday 13 August 2014

Working in Montréal today --Don't be that guy

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

Didn't I write a Pulp about queuing up? I think so.  You think we would know how to do it.  I mean it's very close to the first thing we learned in grade 1.  That and not to eat the glue and not to push the crayons up one's nose.  Or anyone else's nose.

But alas, this Pulp is dedicated to the guy in the boarding lounge of gate 31 of Pearson this A.M. wearing the yellow shirt.

Despite the fact that I was first in line to chat with the gate agent and patiently waiting (really, I was patient, just waiting for the agent to log-in and get his desk in order) when Yellow Shirt walks up, cuts the line and sort of 'hangs' at the corner of the counter.

Excuse me sir, I began, the line is behind me.

Yellow Shirt countered with, Yes, but I only have a question -- it's important.

I challenged his assertion with, I and the others appreciate that your particular concern is important, but do you think that the rest of us are here to order sandwiches?  We too only have questions, and I would rate mine at a minimum, as important as yours.

He remained.

When the gate agent was ready for passenger inquiries (an oh-so-fancy word for questions) he promptly ignored Yellow Shirt and asked how he could help me.

As agent and I discussed my particular need, Yellow Shirt strolled around behind me and to my right to stand a mere 3 inches from my right elbow. 

I turned slightly and said quietly to Yellow Shirt, 'go away'.

At this point the agent asked Yellow Shirt to please stand over there, vaguely pointing to a place that could only be interpreted as anywhere but at my side.

But did Yellow Shirt get it?   Nooooo..  Instead countered with a claim that there was something wrong with his ticket, with the seat number.

I wondered to myself, wrong with the seat number?  Was it comprised of Roman Numerals? Was it an Irrational number, a fraction?  Seat 23 1/2 B,  IV D? 10.999999999999999 F ?

And then it happened.. the agent asked to see his ticket!  Was this validation that Yellow Shirt's question was indeed more important than that of the rest of the passengers in queue?

But before I could ponder this peculiar turn of events, the agent simply said, you don't have a seat, you have a stand-by ticket.  Go away until we call you.

The sad thing is, this buffoon will barge into another queue at his next opportunity, having reached his goal of getting to ask his oh so f&cking important question.

Have a good day, don't be that guy.

Thursday 7 August 2014

Working in Ottawa today --Antipods

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today, jumping back to the Thursday timeslot, and keeping you guessing when the move to Tuesday may occur.

Hey, first a quick public service announcement, Go change your banking password.  And your PayPal password, Apple if you have it, eBay, Gov't Services, Email, Corp login, what ever you have, change it.   The Russian underworld has reportedly stolen over a billion online identities affecting 420,000 websites.  Don't wait for them to make a dozen Interact transfers out of your accounts.  Go change your passwords now.   Well.. after you read today's Pulp.  Priorities, you know.

Fictional character Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin in Ender's Game (2013 film, 1985 book, 1977 short story, Marine Corp Professional Reading List -methodology, leadership, ethics) found humour in observing Colonel Hyrum Graff float through the weightlessness of space with his roll and pitch axes about 45 and 30 degrees off those same axes of the recruits still buckled into their seats.  Ender found humour in that since there are no up nor down directions in space, from the Colonel's perspective it was the recruits that were off axis.

Hmmm?  A clip?  oh.  I thought we had a clip.  Johnny, when we go live can you arrange to have a clip.. thanks, I'll leave that with you.  Oh, and wasn't Burt Bacharach working on a theme song for our proposed new timeslot?

This brings me to this planet.  Earth.  Where there is also no up nor down from the from the perspective of our north - south axis.  We just typically orient our maps with north, good and pure on top, and south, undeveloped and chaotic on the bottom.

Whoa!  Uncle Daniel, what's with the good and pure north rhetoric?

Well simply that maps have the potential of strongly influencing our political perceptions.  A simple slight of hand in the presenting of a map of planet Earth typically shows those land masses close to the equator as disproportionately small compared to the land masses of the north, resulting in Greenland appearing to be larger and more dominant, important than the continent of Africa, whereas in reality, Africa is 14 times the size of Greenland, let alone big enough to easily encompass the U.S.

If you live in Canada or the U.S. you likely heard the expression growing up that you could "dig straight down to China".  Of course that falls apart immediate when you consider that both Canada, the U.S. and China are all in the Northern Hemisphere so an antipodal (the direct opposite side of things like spheres) path from Toronto, through the centre of the Earth could not possibly take a turn and end up in China.

In fact there is no place in North America that is an Antipod of anywhere in China.  For that you would need to be in Chile or Argentina (yeah South America is quite BIG and just Chile and Argentine cover about the size of China).

So Uncle Daniel, this is a bit interesting, not sure what your point is yet, but since we're here.. what is the Antipod (cool word. Thanks for sharing it with us) of Canada?  What about the U.S.?

Yes, Antipod and Antipodal are both cool words.  Alright, ready?  Near all of Canada is diametrically apposed to the Indian Ocean west of Australia.  The most northern parts of Canada scrape along points of Antarctica, but of course if you thought about it, you kind of already must have known that.

And Hawaii, is set diametrically opposite the land locked country of Botswana which is in the southern part of that huge African continent.  Huge?  You bet.  Despite those maps that you used in grade school geography class, the African continent is large enough to engulf, encompass all of the U.S., China, India, the UK, Eastern Europe, Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and have enough room left over for Japan, the Netherlands and Greece.  And still have some room left over.

The point of all of this is while having a beer the other day, someone made the comment that with the 800 cases of Ebola in West Africa, no should travel anywhere in Africa.

I thought this odd.  At the time, the current Ebola outbreak was in the West African countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone, to exclude the entire continent from travel.. meh.

Of course now the outbreak has spread to Nigeria (also West Africa) but also Saudi Arabia which is way over to the east.  S/A is to the east of East Arica on the South West part of Asia, the Middle East.

If it continues spreading then we may see cases in Pakistan and India.  If that occurs, I may consider traveling in a hazmat suit.

Have a good day, avoid people.