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.