Thursday 5 November 2015

Working in Ottawa today -To meme or not to meme

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

To meme or not to meme that is the question.  Any meme of yours is a meme of mine?  I left my meme in San Francisco?  We will meme you.

Bah..  I may have reached the point of boycotting all social media as the meme waves are just so damn boring and an insult to my brain.

Um.. Uncle Daniel what are you going off on? And what is a meme?

More bah!  Meme is a term originally described in Biologist Richard Dawson's book The Selfish Gene.  In that '76 book he defined a meme as a cultural unit of transmission, imitation or replication such as a catchphrase, melody, fashion, and other learned items of culture.

Enter.. The Internet.  Memes on the Internet and in Social media are all of the copycat drivel of both format and content.

Any video involving twerking; posts that claim the post itself is under attack; any email, tweet, post, message that asks the reader to repost -if they have the guts.

You likely have read infinite counts of FaceBook posts where the author claims.. "Be sure to Share this right away, Facebook is trying to take this down!" But of course Facebook doesn't even care about whatever Bif was sharing.  Meme.

Or the picture of some random child patient with a bald head, "Only the heartless will ignore, comment 'Amen' if you care."  As if any supreme giant invisible man/woman in the sky is so petty and trivial that he/she would only help the child if 1000 Facebook users comment?  Absurd and offensive, what about the child whose photo is not posted, does that child get to simply die?  Meme.

The "People say that a quadriplegic crossing guard/soldier in uniform/priest with a tattoo can't get 9999 likes, If you have the courage, 'like' this, 99% of you won't have the guts."  Nice attempt at social manipulation, who exactly are these people that say this?  Does this ever work Sparky?  Meme. 

The latest to get my goat, was the "This is Canada and we say Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays or Seasons Greetings". Really folks, NO ONE CARES if you say Merry Christmas.  I have never been told by anyone ever not to wish anyone Merry Christmas or that we should not call it a Christmas tree.  Pure fiction, people just trying to create a cause where there is no cause.  Christianity is not under attack by Holiday Tree salesmen wearing turbans.  Meme.

Speaking of goats.. videos of goats.  Oh wait, no. Those I like.  Young goats bounce around like they are made of springs wound too tight, and goats of all ages will answer you, often in unison, if you "bah" at them.   "Bah?". "Bah bah bah bah bah". Hilarious.  Meme.

Have a great day.  Please be original.

Thursday 29 October 2015

Working in Montréal today --How to convert Barleycorns to Gunther's Chains

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

I haven't travelled in the last two weeks, maybe three, so am a bit out of practice in the Pulp department.

I was driving to the airport this morning and it is fairly typical for me to rely on Waze to give me the heads up on the best route to drive from home to airport -it's always straight down Eglington to Renforth and then up Silver Dart Drive, but I use Waze just in case some morning an A320 incorrectly lands on Eglington Ave and blocks all traffic.

Scratch that, there is likely no way to correctly land an A320 on Eglington Ave.

Waze is a Smart Phone app that utilizes the location and direction and driving velocity of its users to assist all other users in picking the best route from point A to B.  But this is not a Pulp extolling the virtues of Waze.  Just go get it, 'nough said.

No, an A320 did not land on Eglington Ave this morning.  The drive was fairly non eventful.  But Waze did direct me to an alternate route actually heading south for a bit before resuming a general North-East heading using the highway.  I am generally unaware what it was navigating me around although to satisfy my own curiosity I did check the arrival boards at the air, and none said gate: Eglington Ave.

I will mention is that after installing Waze, I left it set to Imperial measure, did not change it to Metric.  So I get instructions like "proceed for 1.1 miles and then turn left".

This got me thinking this morning..  Canada is a Metric measure country, as is just about every country on the planet other than Burma, Liberia and the Good Ol' USA.  But we didn't finish the job.  In 1970 when I was in grade school, then PM Pierre Trudeau passed legislation to convert us to Metric.  10 years later, when US pres Ronny 'Ray Gunz' Reagan reaffirmed that the US would stay Imperial, then PM Brian 'Irish Eyes' Mulroney halted the Canadian effort.  Actually that is not quite right, since it was already a law to convert to Metric, Reagan simply cut all funding to the process as did Mulroney. So technically the US and Canada are still in the process of converting, there is simply no progress. 

As I mentioned, I was in grade school when Canada changed from Imperial to Metric and I must say it was with huge relief.  With Metric one must only remember a few things.. for all practical purposes micro (1/1,000,000), milli, centi, deci, 1, deka, hecto, kilo, mega (1,000,000) and then a few base measure systems that are interrelated using water, meter, litre, gram and one heat scale based on water state changes.  Simple.  Whereas with the Imperial in order to successfully drive a car one must consider how many Sheep Heads of fuel are consumed per Furlong of travel and what time of year you need to convert from Sheep Heads to Rusty Gates squared.

A brief guide to distance in America. There are 4 Poppyseeds in a Barleycorn.  3 Barleycorns in an Inch.  12 Inches in a Foot.  5280 feet in Mile except at sea where there is 6080 feet in a Mile and of course 3 nautical miles in a League. So if you were keeping track, there are 760,320 Poppyseeds per Mile. On land.

You can divide a Land Mile into 8 Furlongs or 80 Gunter's Chains or 880 Fathoms or 8.8 Cables or .88 Nautical Miles but if you ask me how many Roman miles in a Land Mile I get confused as I would need to first reduce the Land Mile to 5280 Feet then multiply by 2 to Shaftments then divide by 5 to Paces then 2 to Grade Steps then by 4 to Ropes then by 5 to Ramsden's Chains then by 50 to reach a Roman Mile..

HEY!! That's it: 1 x 5280 x 2 / 5 / 2 / 4 / 5 / 50 = 1.056 Roman Miles in a Land Mile.

Folks, you are one of a very select set of people on this planet that know this number and how it's calculated :)

Wait a second Uncle Daniel, I read Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, how could Captain Nemo take the Nautilus what you say would be 60,000 miles deep, the earth is only 6,400 kilometers to the center so .. what .. 3,900 miles to the centre of the core?  And the deepest part of the Pacific at the Mariana Trench is only 1,580 miles deep.

Yeah.. It wasn't 20,000 leagues deep under the sea.  They travelled 60,000 miles or about 2 and a half times around the earth while in a submarine.. under the sea.  

Now since Canada didn't finish the job of converting, but did get a lot further than the U.S., there some items we continue to measure in Imperial.

This is not a definitive list, but here goes.  Almost anything to do with the human body.  Height, weight waist, inseam, shoe size, bra size but not watchband size.  Pool temp stayed in F. but strangely not air temp in the same sentence.  It was only 19 outside but we cranked the pool to 88!  Spirits outside of the bottle but not inside.  I poured an ounce of Scotch into a glass from a 750 ml bottle.

Most building materials.  All structural lumber, plywood width and length but not thickness, fence boards, doors, drywall sheets, copper and plastic plumbing pipes, even toilet flange placement (12" to the flange centre from the finished wall).  Window width, but oddly not the glass thickness, that's in mm if I recall.

Car tires are a wacky mixture.  The inside diameter is in inches, the tread width in mm, the pressure in kilopascal and the sidewall height in a percentage of the tread width.  Inflate that 17x60R235 to 220.  Oh yes, the R is for Radial.

I think everything you put in the oven is now in Metric, except the oven temp is still in F, whereas the refrigerator makers just gave up and gave us a setting from 1 to 10.  Oh, almost forgot TV and computers computer screens are in inches diagonal, and harddisk form factors in inches wide.

Perhaps Justin can put some effort into finishing off one of his father's legacies while he is restoring the Constitution, another one of his father's legacies.

Have a great day!

Thursday 17 September 2015

Working in Montréal today --Puppy Love

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

So I had a bit of a harrowing morning making my flight.  All my fault, as I actually hadn't checked in and didn't realize this until about 30 minutes before the flight.  Of course the flight closes 45 minutes before the flight and they give away all of the unclaimed seats.  Mine included.  However, the Air Canada SE Concierge saved the day for me and I am comfortably sitting in seat 15F.  I just hope the fellow sitting more comfortably in my 1D seat appreciates his good luck.

So staying on the Air Flight topic.  I read this AM about an Air Canada flight that was diverted from its Tel Aviv to Toronto route to make an unscheduled and reportedly a bit costly landing in Frankfurt, Germany to transfer a French Bulldog to another flight.

The $10,000 exercise was due to a heater in the cargo hold malfunctioning.  Without the heater the cargo hold would get pretty cold, certainly in the sub zeros as the air outside the aircraft at 40,000 feet is around -60 C.  It is pretty much certain that if the flight was not diverted there would have been a frozen bull dog landing at YYZ.

So that's all fine but for $10,000 I have imagined a slightly different solution and my first screenplay.

The plane just hits cruising altitude having lifted off on time out of Tel Aviv when the captain played by Peter Graves, who played opposite Leslie Nielsen in the 1980 movie Airplane, bursts of out the flight deck door and says..

"Folks, we have a problem."  .. removes aviator sunglasses .. "Down in the cargo hold is a little dog, and that little dog will die unless we can find a brave man to do the impossible!"  .. "Sure, we could spend $10,000 and delay you fine folks for 75 minutes, or we can be bold and save that little doggie and not miss our connections too." .. "What do you say people, who can I count on?"

And then it happens.  Slowly, out of his seat, the unlikely hero rises, played by Kurt Russell reprising his Army Specialist role of the 1996 movie Executive Decision.  Inexplicably he is wearing the same tuxedo.  "Now I'm not much of a hero, and I don't think you folks want me, but I don't want to have a frozen Popsicle of a pooch on my conscience either."

Now some of you are expecting Halle Berry to make an appearance as a flight attendant, but frankly, I hear she a bit of a gem to work with, so not on my film thank you very much!  No I am thinking about Jennifer Garner as the by the book flight attendant that only likes cats, that is actually a undercover CIA operative.

Captain Graves explains "Okay hotshot, it really isn't that dangerous, one access panel down through the floor in the galley and then through a somewhat narrow but manageable passage and through a rubberized canvas zippered panel and you can grab onto that dog carrier.  Don't drop it, hang on for all you're worth and pass it back up through that access panel" .. "Can you do this man, do you have what it takes?"

Kurt reassures Captain Graves, "I'll try not to let you down Cappy"

Dropping down into the cramped passage below, the camera close up shows his breath fogging in the cold.  A few deliberate steps and he's at the zippered panel.  The zipper is jammed!!  The music volume increases.. heavy on the base drums, another camera on a thermometer showing the mercury plunging fast.  Will it be too late?

Where is Agent Garner?  At the hatch! With a pair of fingernail clippers, special CIA fingernail clippers with built in anti-zipper jamming technology, she tosses them down to Kurt, "Use the clippers Kurt, unjam that zipper!"

Success! Kurt slips effortlessly through the opening in the panel where he sees the dog carrier.  the camera pans back to Agent Garner, the tears well up in her eyes.. too late.  The violins play a soft minor E melody, the passenger exchange pained glances for the camera.


What was that?  Up from the cargo hold Kurt emerges with the rescued doggy, Kurt and Agent Garner fall into each other's arms and as the camera pulls back the familiar singing voice of Mr. Paul Anka carries us out with..

And they called it puppy love
Oh, I guess they'll never know
How a young heart really feels
And why I love her so

And they called it puppy love
Just because we're in our teens
Tell them all it isn't fair
To take away my only dream

I cry each night my tears for you
My tears are all in vain
I'll hope and I'll pray that maybe someday
You'll be back in my arms once again

Someone, help me, help me, help me please
Is the answer up above
How can I, how can I tell them
This is not a puppy love

Have a great day!

Thursday 10 September 2015

Working in Ottawa today --The gods hate trailer parks

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

Do the gods hate trailer parks?   Last night after racquetball at the pub the conversation turned to weather anomalies.   It was right about then that I remembered where I was in the afternoon of July 31 1987.

Damn.  Okay, gotta change topics for a second.   Why are all of these parents protesting the new Ontario sex Ed curriculum without having read it?  I read it over briefly and it doesn't have all of the evils that the protesters say it does.  There is no teaching of oral sex to kids in grade 3.  In grade 1 yes there is a 'name that genitalia' lesson, but shouldn't little Billy know that his appendage is called a penis? He knows what his foot is called, why not his John Thomas?  This knowledge will not curve his spine nor cause hair growth on the back of his hands.  Even the kindergarten kids in Kindergarden Cop knew what penises and vaginas are.

In grade 3 they should know about same sex marriages, and that's why Mary has two moms and it's perfectly normal.  Give me a reason that they shouldn't know this.  In grade 7 the curriculum calls for education in understanding sexual relationships and that maybe they should wait until they are older be it digital, oral, genital, anal contact.  Seems reasonable to me, and the talk that parents should have with children, but a huge number do not.  Interesting, I bet it is the same parents keeping their children out of the school that fail to have those chats with their children.

Reporter, "have you read the curriculum?"  Woman, "why would I read that filth?"   Ignorance, the root and stem of every evil. -Plato, hanging out in Greece around 370 BCE (yes, well before the debt crisis).

Okay, back to weather anomalies.  The afternoon of July 31 1987 found both myself and my friend Andy K. both of us up at U of A in Edmonton for some courses on labour relations and that fine Friday afternoon heading back to Lethbridge in my green pickup.  Yes, a fine Alberta lad.

As we made our way to highway 2 south, I believe when we were on 51 ave nw, the sky became extremely upset with all those mortals on the ground.  The sky's turned not black but a strange dark grey with blue and purplish hues and then it unleashed a torrent of hail upon our persons and vehicles.   The noise of the hail on my truck's roof and hood was absolutely defeating.  I decided, that then was a great time to pull off the road under a gas station canopy and fill my tank.

While standing there filling my truck with very combustible liquid a bolt of lightening damn near blinded me when it struct a tall metal pole on the side of the gas station lot and eradicated what looked like a perfectly good air-raid siren.  The horn crashed to the ground with a trail of sparks and debris.  

Air-raid siren?  Yeah, they used to be scattered all over left over from the the nuke scares of the 50s and 60s.  I don't spot them around much, but there are still some.

So as my vision restored from tunnel panic, I noticed that the fuel pump had shut down.  And then restarted. At Zero!  Whoohoo, free fuel!  The celebration short lived though, when I went in to pay the attendant, he had both receipts waiting.  Oh well.   

And off Andy and I went.  Now as we made our way the several more blocks to highway 2 the man on the radio was explaining that Edmonton was being struck by tornados and you would think that would stop a few Alberta boys from heading to the highway.   Nope.

The wind was buffeting us around quite a bit, several unexpected lane changes, but continue we did.  Now I was relying on Andy to navigate, but what And was speaking was not directions.  Oh no.

No, instead Andy was rattling on about the path of righteousness is beset by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men, and blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children!

Um.. Andy, Am I that shepherd?  I am doing the driving, or are we the weak?  Then Andy headed off into the Lord testing the righteous and raining snares, fire and brimstone upon them.  I think Andy finished up with the four horsemen of the apocalypse and the earth being cast into a lake of fire.

(Yes I know that I didn't quote Ezekiel, Psalms and Revelations correctly, but cut me some slack, I'm at 27,000 feet and don't have King James with me)

It was a surreal experience driving through what really looked like the end of days to the voice over of Andy giving a great sermon.  Yes, Andy knows his bible and exactly when to liven up a conversation!

That tornado attack on Edmonton took 28 lives, and ended its one hour rip through the city shortly after it demolished the Evergreen Mobile Home park.

I saw Andy a year or so ago, had dropped in to Lethbridge and had dinner with him and another friend from there.  We recounted the drive but I don't think I remembered to ask him, but I figured the gods don't like trailer parks.

Have a great day.  Watch out for the weather.

Thursday 3 September 2015

Working in Montréal today --Line Girl and Staci

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today,

"Me and Staci have a special friendship, it's an ionic bond."  'scuse me?  The girl in the security line seemed to be speaking to me but I had no idea who Staci was nor why they had an 'ionic' bond.

I also don't know if Staci spells her name that way, but I figured the ending with the 'i' was fitting for the odd conversation.  Line Girl ignored my query and carried on blindly speaking with someone behind her.  That or she was speaking to me and she simply ignored my question.

Yes, I also was irked by the poor grammar.   Staci and I have a special friendship.  You can quickly determine when to use I and when to use me, by removing the second party.  I have a special.. Me have a special... See, it's easy.

She continued, "We've been friends forever, there's not nothing we wouldn't do for each other."  I thought, perhaps she meant they share a covalent bond?  This friendship of double negatives that she has had since the earth cooled.

I mean, why would she choose the weakest of the atomic bondings to characterize her friendship?

Okay quick break, there are three types of bonding, covalent, ionic and metallic.   Covalent is the bonding of two non metals where the atoms bond by sharing at least one electron.  Is a strong bond and has a high boiling point.  Ionic bonds are between one metal and a non metal and as the non metal is generally stronger it robs an electron from the metal and the two maintain a bonding that is the result of electrostatic attraction, a +/- thing.  It is a weaker bond than covalent and has a low boiling point.  Metallic bonding occurs between two metals and is the electrostatic attraction between positively charged ions and the valence electrons which are delocalized -not associated with any particular atom.  The greater the sea of delocalized electrons and cation ions (more protons than electrons) the higher the bond, the higher the melting point.

Sodium Chloride (metal - non metal; is ionic and easily broken)
Carbon dioxide (non metal - non metal; is covalent and hard to break)
Brass (metallic; alloy -the bonding of metals zinc and copper)
Staci and Line Girl (ionic -low boiling point)

And we're back.  

This may trouble me the rest of the day.  Maybe she meant Ironic or Iconic.  I wear a Rob Ford for PM Tshirt, but I only wear it ironically. I am not sure what an Ironic friendship would be, Staci thinks they are BFFs but Line Girl is plotting Staci's demise?  Iconically like Ren & Stimpy?  Line Girl is now as famous as anyone else ever mentioned in a Pulp, so maybe this will be the start of their icon status.

Line Girl and Staci!  Has a catchy feel, no?

Maybe it was Isometrical -their friendship for each other exerting and having an equal quality of measure?  Or Insular -they both share a disinterest in expanding their understanding of cultures, ideas, philosophy or vocabulary?

Bah, nowhere else to go with this.  But I may resurrect Line Girl and Staci in some future Pulp.

Right about now Brent from Racquetball is fuming, he has read through this Pulp wondering where the Hell his shout-out is.  It was somewhat promised.  Not by me, but by Brian.  Yes the same Brian from the Pulp -I was wrong, Brian was right -from a few years back.

Brent is a man with a few extremely specific skills.  He has a good serve in the court and he knows the population of Switzerland.  It is an odd specific set, Oh! and he knows coffee.  I must warn you though, given the opportunity he will swing the conversation, or will enlist a shill to swing the conversation, to Switzerland, when he will triumphantly explain that the population of Switzerland is 8.081 million.

Watching a Blue Jays' game a few Sundays ago at the pub.

Brent: "So Jose Bautista is from Dominican Republic right?"
Me: "Why, yes Brent he is."
Brent: "A lot of players come from the DM don't they, what do you suppose the population is of the DM?"
Me: "Oh, about 10 million, why do you ask?"
Brent: "Well, I am just wondering with Switzerland having 8.081 million people, why isn't there at least 80% as many players coming from Switzerland?"
Me: "That's a good question Brent, you're a worldly knowledgable guy."
John U sitting at the same bar table: "What the F*** are you guys talking about?!"
Heather our favorite bartender: "You guys are weird."

Have a great day and choose your words carefully.

Thursday 27 August 2015

Working in Ottawa today --Local and Global Convergence

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

In life and everything (yes, it is not too early in the AM for sweeping generalizations!) a convergence of balance and harmony is required.

Is this a planetary thing Uncle Daniel?  

No.  But yes.  but no.  That which you are referring to is no doubt the Harmonic Convergence which occurred on August 16 1987 when there was the world's first synchronized meditation event that coincided with a grand trine of alignment of the Sun, Moon and six of the eight planets.  Or is that nine?  Is Pluto back in good graces?


Is it an economic thing?

Sure, but no.

That would be the economic theory of global convergence which theorizes that poorer economies will grow at a faster rate than wealthier economies and after sufficient time all economies should converge to a common level of per capita income.  I think that was from the only class I attended in Macro Economics.  That or from The Wealth of Nations -Adam Smith.

A math thing?

Ah.. Closer.  There is that Local Convergent thing in numerical analysis where by an iterative method successive approximations result in a convergence on the solution.  Like yesterday when I was asked to make a donation to a charity for the social committee with cash they raised.  I figured sure, but it would be unfair for me to benefit from the tax credit.  So I should donate a grossed up amount to shed the tax credit back to the charity,  Doh!  That creates another tax credit.  So it too would need to be donated.. Repeat ad nauseam.. the answer is .. assuming a .46 nominal tax rate and assuming that you already have at least $200 in charitable contributions so that you qualify for the best tax credit.  For each $100 raised and handed to me, I need to contribute $185. So that only the charity benefits from the fund raiser.

But still no.

Well.. You are flying today (right now actually), is it a plane thing?

Yes and no.

It is not a plane centre of gravity thing.  A quick note on that.  A plane has three axis.  The normal axis, running through the fuselage from tail to nose; the vertical axis running exactly that, vertical through the fuselage right at the centre of gravity from to back and side to side; and lastly , the horizontal axis running approximately wing tip to wing tip also through the fuselage.  That sweet spot is certainly the convergence of balance of these three axis on the plane, but not quite the subject of today's Pulp.


When I boarded the aircraft, my colleague Mark was already sitting in his seat, 2C and on seeing me he stated that he was not sure what it meant when he arrived and saw some other traveller sitting in seat 1D.


Folks.. seat 1D is my favorite seat on the short haul flight from Toronto to Ottawa or Toronto to Montréal and the return flights.  Most people don't like it as sure, it's in biz class, but it is right behind the galley bulkhead so it's just a little inconvenient for traveling with a bag (which I rarely do) and a little hard to reach the TV screen, but it has one distinct benefit.  You get served first.  On a short flight a few minutes is the difference between eating quickly and not getting a chance to enjoy your coffee and having time to languish in opulence and an enjoyable cup of coffee.

So others that I travel with regularly know, Daniel is in seat 1D. It's his signature move.

But not today.  When I booked, someone else already had my spot!

Marked expressed concern.. "This will set the whole day off wrong.. Is the plane safe?"  Ha, just a mocking question in jest, sure, I laughed it off, but secretly the anxiety level was already raised. The perspiration already running down my brow, the tingling spidey sensation on the back of my neck.  I needed to be prepared for the worst.

What might happen, everything will be wrong by an offset of 4 seats!   And then it happened.

I received my tray.  Fruit plate, yogurt, a slice of a sweet loaf and my coffee.  And...

My fruit had a bug!    

Someone clearly had a special order breakfast and I got theirs!  Guy in 1D was enjoying my bug free plate, my cup of coffee, folks.. he was using my linen napkin!!

Oh wait..

It's a seed.  It just looked like a bug.

Alright, disaster averted, and.. I still do have time to drink my coffee, albeit a bit rushed.

So Uncle Daniel do we understand this correctly, you just wrote a Pulp on the calamity of you not getting your favorite seat in business class of a flight today and a bug that wasn't even a bug but a seed?  Such a first world problem.

Well..  Sure.. when you put it like that.. Yes I did. But there is no time to write a new one.  The Pulp must be published, Our wheels are only 50 feet from the runway. No time! 

Have a great day, I hope that your problems today are all minor as well.

Thursday 20 August 2015

Working in Montréal today --Exodus 20:12

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

I worked late last night, got home and answered the day's emails extending the day well past midnight.   So this morning I dug up a Pulp idea that I had tucked away for a tired morning.

The original impetus was a Huffington Post blog titled something like "6 Things I wish I never told my children".  I no longer have a link to the original blog but it was along the lines of telling junior that he is special can create a false sense for Johnny that the sun rises and sets in his derrière.

But what my mind quickly raced to was to certain infamous Johnnies and Janes and things their parents may have said.. and regretted.

Without much further ado here is my quick list.

Nero my boy, find a nice girl, settle down, why you could even become Emperor.  just please, don't get involved in scandal, it would just kill me.  - Agrippina

Lyle, Erik, your mother and I are loaded and we're leaving everything to you in our wills. - Jose Menendez

Lizzie, I found your hatchet in the back garden and left it on the kitchen table for you. - Abbie Borden

Oedipus,  you're a fine looking young man.. and you have beautiful eyes. - Jocasta

Patty sweetheart, just find something that interests you and do it.  I'll be proud of you no matter what. - William Randolph Hearst

Charles, maybe you should go to LA, maybe rent a small farm, make some friends, hang out, have some fun and just do your own thing. - William Manson

Jeffrey, eat all of your food and clean your plate and put the leftovers from the oven in the freezer. - Lionel Herbert Dahmer

Cain, be sure to keep an eye on your more handsome and talented brother. - Eve

Oh Carrie, don't be such a drama queen, go to the prom.  - Margaret White.

Yeah, I know.  I tossed a Stephen King character in there.

Have a great day.  Please feel free to write you own!

Thursday 13 August 2015

Working in Montréal today --Worn out cassettes of The Grateful Dead

Good morning folks, 

I am working in Montréal today.

Sometimes the world conspires against a good Pulp.   Last night at racquetball in game 1 I experienced a 'twang' in my back, mid left, middle of the pack of the Latissimus Dorsi, like a stitch but more like a knife stabbed in almost to the lung.

This was irritating as hell, as Bob and I were down 10-2 against Tony and Larry.   So played through I did.  Some magic ace serves, several high arc heartbreakers, a few pinch kill shots and we tied it up 10-10.  Now just so you know, play is to 11 but you need to win by 2.

We got up to 11-11, but then it just became brutal. Side out, side out, side out, side out, no points ether side, and then finally during my serve I just.. quit.  I could not move another inch.

Tried hitting the stretch room, felt a bit better after 20 minutes of stretching figured I'd be able to at least drive home, sat in the steam room for another 20, went home, popped a couple Ibprophin, had a way hot Epsom Salt bath and slept.

Woke up late, hot shower and shave, had a very interesting time putting my socks on, back is still sore, but it's survivable. Left the house around the same time that most ppl on flight 402 were at the gate.  Made great time on the drive, parked, tossed some seniors, small children and one guy with a walker out of my way at security and promptly went to the wrong gate.

Now in fairness to me, I did receive a text msg from a colleague that told me the flight was at gate 31 so I did not check myself, but nonetheless.. VITAL Pulp topic picking time was lost.

After a brisk walk to the correct gate, board, some banter with colleagues and here we are.

The newspaper is less than inspiring.  Oil is down, election bullcrap is up, Former President Jimmy Carter has cancer and the Chinese yuan has dropped value.. again.

Yawn.  Except the cancer part, sorry to hear about that Jimmy.

Oh, the Conservative ads that claim that legalizing pot will result in high use among teens, will result in addictions, and causes mental illness are all bunk.

This while the latest Conservative word is that the majority of Canadians don't want pot legalization (yes, they do, more than 60% want it), Harper will spend even more $$ in fighting pot and will seek stiffer penalties.  Yeah, spending tax payer money on something the tax payers clearly don't want and turning 1 in 5 high school students into criminals.

The Toronto based International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) released a report of 11 campaign myths.  Seems there is no correlative increase in mental illness despite the global rise in pot use, less than 10% of users will ever experience addiction as apposed to 20% for cocaine and 67% for tobacco, and the claim that pot today is 300% stronger than the stuff we smoked? Yeah.. No it's not.  And.. In Colorado, since legalization, pot use has dropped in teens from 22% to 20%.

I can explain that last number, it might be less cool to smoke pot in the park when the seniors are grabbing all of the benches, smoking doobies and listening to worn out cassettes of The Grateful Dead.

Have a great day, practice good posture and eat healthy.

Thursday 6 August 2015

Working in Ottawa today --Don't let the bunnies get you down

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

Some people ask questions in their seeking of enlightenment.   Others.. not so much.    This morning in an online q/a forum I read the question, "if we all are going to die, what is the point of living?".

Bah! A shitty question asked by a pseudo intellectual.

Assuming the op was sincere in his question, one may be tempted to substitute a cup of coffee for life, and re-ask the question.  If the cup of coffee will be soon all drank, what is the point of having the cup in the first place?

Swap in pecan pie, a racquetball game, a walk in the park, a kiss from your sweetheart, the sun on your face, the culmination of a plan at work, a dog's wagging tail when you come home.

Maybe life and the pursuit of its meaning is to be enjoyed, else what is the point?

And that includes work.  Whether you have a strong connection to society through your work and see the effect of your effort on other ppl's lives, or you flip burgers in a windowless room for ppl that you will never see, it is up to you to find the meaning and the enjoyment in what you do.

Our dog Molly has this mastered.   She has assigned herself the role of Defender of the House and all things Good and Pure.  This is under the theory that every visitor to the house is hell bent on murdering everyone within, starting with the little white dog.

So of course any time someone walks in front of our house, she may not bark, but she will definitely clear her throat, 'erf' a few times and get the hair on her back standing on end a bit.

I should point out that she is about 10 inches tall, so she needs all the height illusions she can get.  Oh.. It need not be a person walking by either, I swear she can hear an ant fart and immediately goes into 'something is happening, I don't know what, but it is an EMERGENCY!' mode.

How does this tie back to the meaning of life and the enjoyment thereof?  She has found meaning to her life, an important role and really enjoys her work.  After her bark and superior attitude chases away demons, wizards, intruders, assassins and the little bunny that looks at her through the front bay window, she struts around the house with a lifted spirit, more bravado that should be able to fit into a 10 inch high dog, and a clear sense of purpose, pride and yes, enjoyment in her work.  Hoo-wah!

Um.. Uncle Daniel, a bunny looks at her?

Well.. Yes, it is her nemesis.  The bunny knows that Molly can't get out, so it hipity hops past the window where Molly hangs out and has been know to stop and just look at Molly while she goes into full panic mode on the other side of the glass.  A short bunny yawn, and then a slow hipity hop under the pine tree.   You see.. the bunny I think also enjoys his work.  Being a shitdisturber.


Hey, we still have time, only just starting our descent into Ottawa.  Do you suppose PM Harper felt a bit like Molly does when she is tormented by the bunny when this past week at the Trans Pacific Trade deal talks in Hawaii he learned that the U.S. had already brokered a secret deal with Japan to screw over Canada's automotive industry?

Yes, I see the irony, the whole TPP has been conducted in secret without any mandate from Canadians and then Harper is the victim of a secret deal.  Interesting that the U.S. told Japan, yeah, don't worry the U.S.'s northern neighbours will agree to it.

More irony, Harper had asked manufacturing including automative to loudly support the TPP trade deal to drown out the complaints from hard hit groups like Canada's dairies.

Okay, out of time, on final approach.    Have a great day, don't let the bunnies get you down.

Thursday 30 July 2015

Working in Ottawa today --Nauseous verbs

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

I saw a commercial this AM advertising Gravol, where within, a character says, ".. feeling nauseous? Take Gravol liquid caps.." or something to that effect.

This caught my attention as my understanding has always been that nauseous meant causes nausea and that persons suffering the effects of such a nauseant were feeling nauseated or suffering with nausea.  Now I figured I could be wrong, since I would expect a company like the makers of Gravol to know a thing or two about nausea as it is their raison d'état.

Oooh.. a bit of French tossed in at 8 AM, very fancy there Uncle Daniel!

Thank you gentle reader.  So look into definitions of nauseous I did, and in a moment resulting in total distraction found a reference that provided two definitions.  That which causes nausea; and affected with nausea.

I am not sure when nauseous came to mean both, but it may be a case of the ever evolving English language and how the meaning of words has become descriptive rather that prescriptive. 


The distraction: the example in one online source did give an example of "She laid down as she felt nauseous".

This caused me untolds (well I guess I am telling you) of grief as I could not readily determine if the author used the correct verb.

Let me explain.

Lay is a transitive verb and it means to place something down. It requires an object.
Lie is an intransitive verb and is used for something or someone moving on their own or something or someone that's already in position.

Of course there is also the deception verb, Lie. Also intransitive if I remember correctly.

The verb principal forms of each is:

Lay, Laid, Have Laid, Laying.
Lie, Lay, Have Lain, Lying.
Lie, Lied, Have Lied, Lying.

So what did the nauseated women do?

I don't think she laid down since there is no object in that sentence, only a subject.  She.  I suppose she could have laid her self down, "She laid herself down as she felt nauseated.".  But it sounds wrong to say, "She lay down as she felt nauseated.".

Maybe "She was lying down as she had felt nauseated." But that is past tense!  What is she doing now?

"She is lying down."


That must be it.

She told a lie about feeling nauseated just as she had lied before so that she could lay down as she had laid down before just and now was lying while she was lying about laying.

English as she is spoken.

Have a great day.  Keep all of your verbs in check.

Thursday 23 July 2015

Working in Montréal today --Anouncing... The Walkerator!

Good morning folks,

This morning in YYZ (Toronto's Pearson airport) while walking towards gate 37, or more specifically, walking towards the shoe shine guy near gate 35, I opted for the travelator, the moving sidewalk.

A young girl walking behind me with her mother's hand in firm grasp exclaimed, "look mommy, another walkerator!".  Folks.. I have never heard an autopedescalator called a walkerator, and yet, it seems totally natural.

I have heard them called moving sidewalks (blegh), autowalks (more blegh), moverator (that's okay), horizontal escalator (absurd since escalate means to raise rapidly), and this girl nailed it.  A quick search on the web revealed.... NO matches.  However Google did present me with 10,000 pages on the deceased actor Paul Walker, well on his way to becoming Saint Paul the Divine.

The latter is a pet peeve of mine, the beatification of dead celebrities and the associated recreational mourning of the same followed by hagiographic one hour TV specials on the life and times of dead celebrity and how their life was taken all too soon with b-roll footage of crying fans putting flowers on the gate outside some other dead celebrity's house.  Bah!

Okay, end of rant, back to the Walkerator.  Yes, I have switched it to a capitalized trade name.

It is now a mission of my life (albeit a minor one) to spread the word.  Walkerator.

I guess that's it for today.

What's that?  Sorry, my producer is yammering in my earphone about something.. we still have time, we've gone to dead air.. Quick dammit write something else!

Okay, how about this, both Princeton University and Ohio State University independently studied the question of whether or not mechanized walkways result in a time savings for the partaking traveller.

Both said no.  Walk instead.  The problem is that you have a high degree of risk that your pathway on the Walkerator will be blocked by fellow travelers whose legs have mysteriously failed to function or are the victim of a Crazy Glue prank are are then stuck and paralyzed directly in your path.

Moreover, the studies determined when your path is not blocked and you are free to walk on the Walkerator with wind blowing in your hair, you will save an average of a mere 11 seconds when traveling the length of a football field.  I should clarify, a 110 yard Canadian football field.

I will also mention that the Princeton study was purely on mathematical modeling, whereas the Ohio State study was field measurements at the Cleveland airport, and then someone yelled "road trip" so they went to the San Fransisco airport and measured there as well.

I try to minimize the risk by looking ahead on the Walkerator prior to making that committing step onto it and look for how many non-walking riders standing two abreast and in how many sets.  One or two, and you can walk up behind and with a quick "excuse me" they will shuffle and scurry out of your way like rats startled by a flicked on light, but too many and they get jammed up and you will be sunk.

Yeah, I thought that was odd imagery as well.

But we successfully used up the time, up next is the lovely Candice with the weather followed by Ted with sports.  This was another segment of Puckett's Pulp!

Have a great day, go for a walk.

And yes, I can write about just about anything.

Thursday 16 July 2015

Working in Ottawa today --Don't surf dumb

Good morning folks,  I will be working in Ottawa today.  

Woke up this AM and read about the Calgary couple the lost $20k out of their bank account to fraudsters that used an email transfer to a bogus account.

They can't understand how this happened and they find it notable that the bank "wasn't surprised" the woman half of the couple said "I thought they would be more shocked".

No, the bank was not surprised as this is a fairly typical theft.

I works like this.  Either Binky or his wife received an email (known as phishing email) from persons unknown purporting to be their bank.  The email would be either very well crafted and would include branding and the look and feel of communications from his bank, or it would be a horrible attempt at branding with mixed fonts and spelling errors.  Both are tailored for different types of vics.

Within the email there would be some reason why the vic needs to login into their online banking.  Need to verify the last few transactions, need to reset the password because of 'suspicious activity', what ever.  But for the vic's convenience a link to the bank's online portal is right there in the email, just click...

The link of course leads to a fake bank site that is there steal the vic's login credentials.

Um.. Uncle Daniel, the reason for well crafted emails and ones that suck?

Oh yes, the well crafted ones are meant to fool the more savvy yet distracted user, and the poorly crafted ones to fool the less intelligent, gullible folks.  It is actually quite clever.  If you as the fraudster fools someone with the poorly crafted one, then you know that you have a good chance at bilking them into the distant future.  You could follow up a theft with a fake email from a gov't agency that promises that for a $100 registration fee, the monies can be recovered and additional compensation provided.  Depending on the gullibility of the vic, the bilking can continue for months, eventually draining all funds, assets, from the vic.  Fool someone with the well crafted one, and the perp probably wants to make one hit, and recede into the shadows.

So what can one do to protect themself?


Seriously.  Even if you believe the email is from your bank and you have a burning desire to log into your account.  Just open your browser and log in as you normally would.  Same for PayPal, eBay, CRA, FaceBook, whatev.

I have also seen phishing attempts where phone numbers were listed to call gov't agencies demanding payment for tax arrears or fines.  Of course these numbers route to a call centre of fraudsters who are more than happy to take your credit card or banking information.

If you need to contact CRA, go to their website on your own and get the number.

Have a great day, surf smart.

Thursday 9 July 2015

Working in Montréal today --The gullibility edition

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montreal today.

This might be the gullibility edition or the conspiracy edition of The Pulp.  Not sure, let's find out.   In the last few days I have had a variety of email, facebook, twitter and other social mediaesque messages that all are just.. wrong. Untruths, false conspiracies and pure wastes of time.

The first was the dire warning, that the gov's is spying on us.  Well, yes they are but tell me Binky, what revelation do you have for us?  That the Samsung phone battery has a secret hidden circuit wrapped around it under the label and it is used by the gov't to read everything you have in your phone, and here is a video explaining how to disable it.

Um... I wrote my Alberta friend back.  The guy in the video demonstrated how to destroy the Near Field Communications antennae on his phone, and now he will be unable to share contact info, links, photos or whatev with other close at hand Samsung phones.  It's not a secret, Samsung ads and instructions all explain their NFC and how great it is. Except video conspiracy dude's -his is now broken.  BTW, I am not saying that NFC can't be used by someone to spy on you, depending on your settings it could happen.  But the g-man would need to be hanging out pretty close to you.  There are much better (read: more efficient) ways to spy on you.

Then there was the RCMP alert, please pass this on if you care about the children!  There are gangs wielding guns kidnapping teenage girls off the streets in Grande Prairie and forcing the girls into prostitution.   Odd I thought.  For those not in the know, GP is north of Edmonton, has a population in the mid 50k and while fast growing and know for some spectacular bar fights (at least back when I was younger) is not know for gun toting gangs.  A quick check revealed that a couple years back a 6 year old girl claimed that a car pulled up to the curb with a couple in it that asked her some questions like, do you live alone?, do you want some candy?, does the East Witch live nearby?, and 'implied' that they were going to steal her and sell her to Gypsies or that is what the girl 'inferred'. The RCMP are still looking for the light grey coupe.  The girl is now 8 and has her own reality TV show.

And then there was the Petition.  Sigh.  Okay, this one is just dumb.  Before I reveal the nature of the petition I will provide some back data. China has 1.34 billion people,  give or take a few hundred. Canada is about 1/38th of the population and with Djibouti having less than a million people is about 1/38 the population of Canada.

in China there is a celebration of the summer solstice aka the dog-eating festival. During this festival there is perhaps 10-15,000 dogs eaten, mostly nureongi (yellow animal) along with lychees (soapberry) and grain alcohol.  The latter tastes a lot like diesel fuel thinned with acetone.  It hits you like a ball peen hammer in the forehead, but strangely you do desire more almost immediately.

About a week ago I was send a petition to sign to demand the Chinese celebrants halt this practice and eat something else instead, like chickens.  Really?  This would be a lot like Canadians receiving a petition signed by a few Djiboutans (I am guessing that what they call themselves, that or Djiboutians) asking me not to eat beef.  Although there are more than 40 million cows eaten each year so it's not really a fair comparison.  It is unknown how many were named Bessie by their rancher handlers, but safe to say none of the nureongi were named Spot.

I do not know how many chickens are eaten each year, but I do have concerns that there are more wings being sold than chicken feet.  Should there not be the same number - where the hell are all of the chicken feet going?  Please pass that question around.

I remember during the birth of the Internet as we know it, then it was easy public access to a an existing university network (yes I know, and the military industrial complex, thanks conspiracy-antiestablishment dude).  As I was saying, I remember that this would usher in a new Age of Enlightenment, the free sharing of knowledge and wisdom, that it would be like the Renaissance.  New development in the sciences and the arts, our children would grow up in a world of immediate access to the great works, to culture, history, leaps in medicine and human rights.


We have instead, photos of Walmart fashion faux pas, Nigerian bank scams, fake news, celebrity gossip, and online surveys of who is hot, and who is not.

Yeah.  Have a great day.