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.