Thursday 26 February 2015

Working in Ottawa today --If you see Harry, tell him I said Hi

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

This morning started out a bit jagged.  I broke tooth #46, lower right mandibular first molar.  Joy.  I then needed to grab a file and smooth out the sharp edges a bit using a dental mirror to see what I was doing.  Spit please.  The procedure went okay, but I had a hard time understanding what I was saying about holidaying in Barbados.  And.. rinse and spit again please.

I will attempt to nevertheless remain my usual jubilant self.

At the gate I lost my upgrade for the flight as the scheduled A320 was swapped out for a much smaller plane with fewer bus. class seats.... Oh never mind, as I just typed that, the gate agent boarded the aircraft dragged me out of 13F and back up to the comfy seats.  Wonder if she does emergency dentistry?

On with the Pulp.  

Last night was a slow TV night, sometime around midnight I found myself actually watching a show about some men running around a forest looking for Big Foot.  Sasquatch.  In Louisiana. oh yes.

Now usually people look in the U.S. north west, just like many look for Ogopogo  in B.C.'s Lake Okanagan and Nessie in Scotland's Loch Ness but I hadn't heard of anyone looking for the creature of the woods in the Gulf Coast.  Had they thought he lost his way and we're going to put him on a bus back to Washington state?


They were going to kill him.

"Dead.  On a slab", the fellow with the Winchester 1200 snorted.

Now why, might you ask.   Why kill a bipedal hairy hominid who by all reports keeps to himself, lives off of a diet of roots and berries and shies away from any modern appliances and Hollywood gossip?

Two reasons.  The one fellow explained in the us vs. them scenario.  "Are we going to wait until it breaks into someone's house and seriously hurts or kills someone?".

Well..  with that kind of logic, I have a strong desire to do the same to him before he ends up on another TV show and seriously harms more of my brain cells.  I will remind all that no reports of attacks exist except 100 years ago some miners claimed that some large beast men ran them off throwing rock and growling at them.  So a claim-jumping beast wanted their gold.  Yeah.

And secondly, to prove the big guy exists.  Sort of: to prove he is alive, they will kill him.  "Those scientists want a body!" Well no, no scientist wants a dead big foot body, but rather most scientists assume that the few reports of our friend Harry are mis-identifications, confused observers, etc.   All very friendly terms used in place of stating the observer is likely a loon.  However, true that, show me the body, or better yet a live one and I too will become a believer.

But Uncle Daniel, isn't there one that was caught on film?

No.  There is a film that was made in 1967, the Patterson-Gimlin film, shows a tall guy in a fur ape suit (Bob Heironimus, friend of Patterson confessed that it was him) lumbering around near the edge of a clearing near Bluff Creek California.  Every time a show is made about Big Foot, that film is shown as "evidence".

I didn't watch the entire show, and instead opted for sleep, but I did mention to Sharlene that it will be a small miracle if one of those Louisiana boys don't end up killing one of their own.  They were all in the woods at night wearing Gillie suits armed with loaded weapons.

They all looked like a throwback to early man lumbering around the forest.

Have a good day.  If you see Harry, tell him I said Hi.

Thursday 19 February 2015

Working in Montréal today --Don't point and please don't stare

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Montréal today.

"Please kill me, smother me with a pillow, end it for me", I asked Sharlene to promise, "please snuff me out should my existence serve only as an amusement for others".  This might be measured if during my more senior years and venturing out in public some stranger fawns over me with references to me in the third person like, "oh, he's so cute, he looks like Methuselah" or something to the effect.

Yes, kids, it's the "Let's infantilize our seniors" edition of the Pulp!

On the weekend Sharlene and went out for Valentine's Day dinner at a restaurant that is priced high enough that usually the socially disruptive are weeded out.

Fail, this weekend.

Yeah, I know, those words sounded like they emanated from such an elitist <expletive redacted>, but I'll have you know that I earned somewhere around $14.80 last year from the Google Ads in that column on the left so I'm doin' okay, can enjoy the exclusive restaurant scene now and then, 'specially with my best gal. Feel free to click on one, will help my retirement fund.

:) you're a funny guy Uncle Daniel

Thanks, let's get back to the table and what occurred next.

At the head of fairly large assembly of other patrons nearby was a woman well into her nonagenarian years celebrating a birthday.  At the table next to ours a woman carried on to her date, the table behind me, passerbys and everyone in earshot, "Oh she's so cute", and continued, "she looks like Hazel.. maybe she's her sister.. she is so cute!".

Please just put a fork into my brain.  There were so many problems with the fawning.. Let's dive in.  The woman did NOT look like past Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion.  The only similarity that I saw was both women are topped off with white hair.  This particular woman had a much narrower face and oh never mind, she didn't look like Hazel! Moreover she was a grown woman!

And it continued. "Don't you think she looks like Hazel?", the fawner was asking someone sitting behind me, "She is so cute! Isn't she so cute?".  Sharlene rolled her eyes a bit and grinned a bit.  I assured Sharlene, "Don't worry, I'll smother you with a pillow too, we'll take each other out before it's too late, double mercy killing, murder-suicide by pillow if necessary.", I promised.

"How would that work?", Sharlene wondered out loud, I explained "We'll need an automatic self propelled smothering pillow, it'll work just fine".

I suppose this woman thought she was being outgoing, engaging and interested in her surroundings, and she was.  Much like a 3 year old before her mother explains that it is impolite to point at and speak about stranger's physical attributes.  Especially using your outside voice!

I did wonder at the time what response I could have provided to make the situation halt.  If my response escalated it, then it would only draw more attention to the woman who was otherwise minding her own business having birthday dinner with her family.

I feared that if I said something then this adjacent table buffoon might have challenged me with a loud voice, "what?!  you think she isn't cute?!".  No, that would not do.

I amused myself with imagining how a very quiet, "madam.." and then a finger to my lips with a "shhh... inside voice please", might work. But then I reconsidered, it would only work if I used my Sean Connery voice.  "Madam.. inside voice please."  

Ultimately she and her date made their exit prior to me deciding which voice and which arrangement of words might suffice; and the nonagenarian --she enjoyed her birthday dinner with her family.

Have a great day, don't point, don't stare, and please.. use your inside voice.

Thursday 12 February 2015

Working in Ottawa today --The law and the undead

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today

The law and the undead.

I took some mild grief from some readers over last week's comments on the unearthing and the posthumous lynching of Walt Disney.  Not because I had offended Disney or Mickey fans, but rather because some claim that Walt wasn't buried, but rather frozen, TV dinner style, in hopes of reanimation --let's let that sink in for a second.. reanimation.. Disney.. reanimation.  Okay, I find that funny ;) 

Yes, reanimation -once medical science catches up to being able to solve being dead.  However, I can assure all that the reports of Disney on Ice is a rumour only and that Walt is decomposing into dust just fine at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California although his copyright protection will live on.  The latter as Congress and Parliament explain it is to ensure that the dead are still motivated to engage in creative works.

A few weeks back I was engaged in discussion with Tamer, a colleague, over the subtly of whether it was best to use 'responsibility' or 'obligation' in a particular contract change notice.  Tamer's motivation was a strong desire to have a good notice, one that included high quality copy that communicated the precise contract requirements.   I suggested that when specifying required conduct of a party in a contract that obligation was closer to concepts in Justinian civil code identifying the obligated, the obligator and the obligation.  Responsibility is best to describe those requirements that stem from a moral duty or imperative not stemming from a contractual.. obligation.  both are very good words none the less and have a place in legal text.  Tamer agreed and off he went.

Stay with me here.

It had been sometime since I had even thought about the dramatic effect that the Justinian civil code, more precisely Corpus Juris Civilis has had on modern civil law.  Prior to the Justinian effort there lacked a cohesive collection of civil laws and jurisprudence. That Justinian collection formed Roman law in 534 AD and was adopted into the basis of Western European law in the early 2nd century.  It continues to be the founding principals in jurisprudence and was the last greatest revision of will and probate laws.

Yay, ya fine, Uncle Daniel, you are losing us.  What about the undead?

Hang on, I'm gettin' there.  I read this morning about U.S. citizen-deceased Donald Miller Jr.  Donald disappeared back in the 80's owing his ex-wife thousands in support payments and was declared legally dead in 1994.   He is now trying to be declared alive so that he can obtain a drivers license among other attributes of the not yet dead.

The courts however are hamstrung by the law.  The only provision in the applicable law requires a reversal to occur within 3 years of the undead being declared dead.  So.. Donald is still dead.  This is actually a good thing, as it relieves the state and his ex-wife from trying to figure out how to reconcile things like Social Security Death Benefits and estate distributions that might have occurred and the associated transfers of legal title.

Now what if Donald's grief wasn't part of a fraud but part of the reanimation of a Cryosnoozer?  Or what about a mind converged with artificial intelligence, I believe in a prior Pulp I referred to convergence of mind and computer akin to being kept occupied by a silicon hamster wheel.  If someone downloads his mind into a computer system what legal claim could the silicon marionette make on the estate of the downloaden?

What if the owner of the mind both downloaded a copy of his thoughts into Big Red but also became a reanimated Creamsicle?  Which abomination would have greater claim to his name and assets?

Recall above, the last time we revamped will and probate law and jurisprudence was in the year 534 AD (see,there was a point to the blathering) the only thing we have done since is engage in minor tweaks; establishing new laws and jurisprudence dealing with the undead would be a substantial change.

Some points to ponder should you be considering the cryosnooze route.. Any life insurance that was paid out on death v1 would likely be a claim in a suit launched by the insurance company on your thawing.  Your heirs would be severely annoyed if you want you house, car and record player back.  The Barry Manilow records however are already waiting for you. You will likely need to file back tax returns for your 'death years' if any reclaimed property appreciated in value, especially if it was a PFIC (that's a joke for U.S. expats).

Hey, sidebar:  not a legal question, but how many funerals for the same guy would you be socially obligated to attend?  Jack is dead? Again?  That makes the 3rd time this year.  Well, I'm not going.  Gotta draw the line.

..And we're back

I suspect that it is highly likely that you would also suffer from some pretty severe discrimination. this would be due to the gangrenous waft that even showering with Dial won't fix.  Your skin would have definitely lost any youthful glow and likely you would have lost some pieces due to freezer burn, but don't worry, I am sure you'll be able to locate a 'doner nose'.  Such discrimination would likely not be illegal since human rights codes don't extend to dead humans.  I for one will only frequent restaurants with strictly enforced sections for those with necrotic tissue.  Either that or No shirt, no shoes, no pulse, no service.

I will close with suggesting that the the shuffling, moaning undead with the indeterminant stare aren't that way because of mental deficiency, but is because they saw how large of a retainer their lawyer wanted.

Have a great day, stay frosty!

Friday 6 February 2015

Working in Ottawa today --Lemming Sunday

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

Cold Ottawa.

Warning, today's Pulp may contain coarse language, adult situations, suicide and violence.

My friend John had not heard of Lemmings not committing suicide en masse --no.. Just because I invoke non-English words in a double negative sentence it does not mean that this will be a Pulp about some philosophy du jour.  Although tossing in some philosophical bon mot now and then is de rigueur, this will not be introducing any Lemming-based truths, idioms or ideology.

Maybe.  Let's wait and see.

Back to my friend John.  A week or so back, prior to taking last week off in sunny yet annoyingly expensive Barbados, while in the locker room after a few games of racquetball and continuing at our favorite pub a discussion of lemmings ensued.  It was during this discussion that it became apparent that my friend John was generally unaware that we had all been collectively hood winked by Disney's docu-farce White Wilderness (1950 something) into believing that lemming over-populations dive off high cliffs during migration to their deaths en masse.  Now to give equal billing, my friends Brian and Brent also claimed to be unaware of the suicide reports being myth, but I suspect that Brian was merely trying to egg on what had rapidly becoming an absurd bar table discussion and Brent had joined the conversation late and thought lemmings themselves were mythical.

It was during the egging on at which point Heather, our favorite bartender, joined the discussion -only to regret it quickly.  She inquired as to what was a lemming? Brian explained it was like a mouse that lives in the great white north and has been known to take its own life. I clarified that they resemble fat hamsters and while I personally respect their right to choose, they themselves are Pro-Life and do not take their own lives.  To which Heather may have remembered that conversations at our table often descend to the absurd and exclaimed that hamsters themselves look like fat hamsters and stormed off.  She did return with a fresh Guinness for me, so I figure all was forgiven.

I attempted to appeal to John's sense of logic alone, of course I first derided him a bit for being a school principal and not knowing about the lemming myth, and I asked the question:

Is it more likely that this species of animal actually commits a collective suicide and in a demonstration of brilliant timing the Disney cameramen were there but only with only closeup camera lens -no full field coverage shots were taken- to catch the flailing lemmings hurling themselves off of a cliff - some even hurling themselves backwards or doing summersaults and colliding in mid air OR is it more likely I ask the good men and women of this jury isn't it more probable on the preponderance of logic and evidence that what we actually saw were the victims of a heinous crime against rodentdom, a staged flinging from a macabre spinning hamster wheel of death the unsuspecting and peaceful fat hamster like herbivora caught by the guilty eye of those same Disney cameramen?

Later when they make a film of my life, Al Pacino will play me, and the observers in the gallery will have leapt to their feet demanding the unearthing and posthumous lynching of Disney and Canadian Supreme Court Chief Justice Beverly McLachin played by Heather Locklear with a few too many buttons popped open to be tasteful will be sitting at the next table slamming her gavel down and demanding order or she will clear the pub.

Wow.  Um.. Uncle Daniel, does that really go on in your head?

Sometimes.  Other times I just hum a little tune.

Hey.. we still have a few minutes before we start our descent into Ottawa, I had most of this written during de-icing on the ground at YYZ.  For those curious, there are some suicides that occur in nature that aren't human and that aren't lemming related.

We have all seen footage (although now all docu film footage is suspect) of whale pods beaching themselves in what appears to be mass suicide, but that is likely one whale that didn't ask for directions and a pod of followers.. followed.  I have also read about some one-offs.. deer or dogs leaping to death, I figure in a panic and not thinking clearly.  But no mass animal suicides AFAIK.

But a regular occurrence is Carpenter ants and some termites will invoke an autothysis (self sacrifice) by causing an explosion of a mid thoracic gland that releases a sticky and corrosive chemical cocktail to disable attackers to their colony.   Also in colony defence mode, the pea aphid can explode on will much like a claymore and kill an attacking ladybug.

Really.  If they ever get nukes our back garden could end up a wasteland.

So out of time, no coarse language, but I did deliver some suicide and violence. Yeah, no adult situations either.  Oh wait.  I went back and mentioned the opened buttons.  Yay, adult situations!

Have a great day.  Defend the colony.