Tuesday 23 December 2014

Not Working Today --Merry Christmas

Good day everyone,

I am now off for the holidays, and while I will be taking care of a few odds and ends I will not be in the office the balance of the week.

I have received received several emails from acquaintances of how despite objections from a politically correct world the author would continue to wish a Merry Christmas and not be bullied into expressing those most feared of words..

Happy Holidays, the Jim Belushi of Christmas season greetings.

I suppose the only worse fate for such victims of bullying is being sold a Holiday Tree by the guy in the mall parking lot when the kids were so looking forward to a Christmas Tree.  For those unaware of the difference, the a Holiday Tree has uneven branches, never looks quite right no matter how it is rotated and the lights continue to burnout or simply refuse to light at all.

But is any of this actually true?  Never have I ever been told not to wish people a Merry Christmas, although at times I have certainly chosen not to.  I figure wishing someone that is Hindu a Merry Christmas is like sending him a gift bottle of steak sauce.  They may appreciate the effort, but in the end just end up with an unused bottle of steak sauce.

The challenge is to know who celebrates Christmas and who may celebrate Ramadan, Hanukkah, Yule, or Kwanzaa.  Who may be Hare Krishna, Hindu, Buddhist, Javeh's Witness or even Scientologist?  Wishing Merry Christmas to an Agnostic should be okay, since he doesn't know if you are right or not and a great way to screw with his head; and wishing Merry Christmas to an Atheist equally okay since she has no holidays of her own she may as well celebrate Christmas and get the day off.

So here we are, 3 days before Christmas and this really is the best time for me to offer a heart filled Merry Christmas! to those that celebrate.  Hanukkah ends on the 24th, so still time for me to offer a Hanukkah Sameach to my friends that hail from Gefilte corners.   Kwanzaa starts on the 26th, Joyous Kwanzaa -What's happening! to my friends of African heritage.  Happy Shalbe Yalda -celebrating light and goodness! to our Iranian friends.  Happy Pancha Ganapati!  to my Hindu friends.

Have I missed anyone? Is Malkh already over?  I think Yule still is to start, Happy Yule? or is it better to yell out,Yule Ho!  I just don't know, and then there is Soyal but do I even know any Hopi or Zuni?  I call myself a Utilitarian but that is more a pragmatist philosophy than a theocratic position, but am I a obligated to celebrate Chalica?

How about this, Happy Holidays everyone.  I hope that you all have a chance to share time with your family and friends, and that you have left over turkey so that you can enjoy a good sandwich.   Except you vegetarians of course.

Oh yes, and unless you observe a non-Gregorian calendar.. Have a Happy New Year!

Monday 8 December 2014

Working in Montréal today --ad hominem refute

Good morning folks,

I am working in Montréal today, Ottawa on Wednesday and not working at all on Friday.  Please be sure to mark in your calendars, I may quiz you later.

Have you ever woke up and realized that you lost an argument that you didn't know that you were in?  You may have been the victim of the best of conversational terrorisms, the fallacious and unfair arguments.

Top of the food chain is the ad hominem attack, literally against the man.  This is where the opposing side does not address questions of fact or applicability but instead attacks the speaker.

Yeah, well you wouldn't understand this, it is way above your head even though you think you are an expert on everything.  Moreover, you are a big doo doo head.

There are many variants of this, but you get the idea.  The next are the slight of mind tricks.  These could be arguments against the structure of your data and method of presenting, the context or introducing a new argument from somewhere past the short stop in left field.

What precisely do you mean by ending your argument with 'of'?  You mentioned circumcision how long have you been antisemitic? 

There are the straw-man arguments as well, this is where the speaker presents an argument that you did not actually make and then attacks it.  If they are careful they can even lure you down a road that is close to hell.

You stated that you believe in free elections but in this country our right to vote originates in land ownership.  I don't see how any system that purposefully excludes citizens that cannot afford to buy a house and must rent from participating in our elections is at all fair and I question your logic on that issue and this and put it back to you how it was fair to exclude and marginalized such a large segment of the population.

You have no doubt been the recipient of the bombastic refute.  This usually involves an amplified response involving much hand waving and a litany of previously undisclosed facts or fictions that if they were true or relevant should have been part of the original argument.

It's like a cop arguing for a warrant with only vague circumstantial evidence but countering the denial with claims of dozens of witnesses.

The brain seizure is always fun as well..

Well what you have implied is different from your inference,  I suggest that you decide if we are going to discuss this in a procedural or structural framework or at the very minimum agree on the dialectic rules, does that sound fair?

Damn, there are so many more invalid argument types, but the plane is on final approach, out of time.   Please feel free to post your own in the comments section.

Have a great Monday and a great week!

Thursday 4 December 2014

Working in Ottawa today --Trapped like caged abibsnk

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

This is the first day back traveling to and fro in a couple -three weeks.  I was away for a bit having some surgery to correct a design problem.

Design problem?  Yes, whether you are a follower of evolution or creation it is a design problem.  Men are 37% likely to experience an inguinal hernia during their lifetime and women I think are around 22% likely.   I have bettered the odds for one of you, as I had twins.  A bilateral inguinal hernia.

Yay.  The surgery itself is quite simple, starts with shooting the patient up with morphine.. a hazy high where time stands still and while you still feel pain, you just don't really care.  Now I suppose that some prefer and have a general anesthetic, I strongly prefer a local, and now having tried morphine, am eager to have more :) 

Yes.. Back to the surgery.  The Doc sliced me up, about 5 1/2" on each side (one side one day, the other two days later) and then 'rearranged' the four layers of muscle to eliminate the gap and stitched them together with some stainless steel wire to keep them oriented just so.  I could not actually see what they were doing, there was a sheet over a bar in front of my face so I could only look up at the anesthetist.  Hey, s'up?  Hey, I feel that cutting.. ah.. More morphine.

They told me that as soon as that was done, I was technically 'cured' of my hernias, but then there was the nasty openings, so glue and clamps were applied.  Really.  They glued me together and attached 17 little clamps to each side.

So Uncle Daniel, does this mean you will beep when going through airports?

Good question, but no.  Although I did ask the Doc what type of stainless steel he used, he simply said non-magnetic.  I figure it must be type 304.  About 18% chromium, 10% nickel and the balance of centre faced crystalline structure iron.  Yeah, way TMI.

So no.  No beep, and should not rust :) So while I was randomly selected for a pat down and extra screening at the airport this AM, I did not beep.

What is particularly amusing is the text messages that I sent in the first 4 hours of each procedure to family and friends.  Here are two gems.

"here to the room around nine waited for several hours before I can trenchedf"

"Had the surguy aroun 7. Went well.  Back at rolom since 9. Trapped like caged abibsnk"

There were others where Sharlene said that I had just sent single letters as whole words.

Hah!  Well, good to be back among the able-bodied,  have a great day!