Saturday, May 30, 2009

Stop. It.

You know how I've written some entertaining, some deep and some significant stuff here in the blogosphere?

Well, this isn't one of those times.

Nope. This isn't witty, deep or politically aware. This isn't a poke at the moral compass of our fair country. This isn't social commentary.

This is not a request. It's a demand.

Stop. Spitting. In. Public.

When you are in a parking lot, walking down the sidewalk, driving down a residential street or wherever you happen to be, please try to restrain the urge to fire a big, sticky, yellow, warm wad of phlegm and tooth-grit from your gaping maw.

It's gross. If you live in the country and have a patch of land that you spend time on by yourself, please, by all means, turn it into a fetid pool of saliva and throat-snot. However, when you are around people, in a public place, please understand that we don't want to dodge your little germ-ridden stalagmites as we go race into Starbucks - wearing flip-flops.

It should not be your mission in life to build a fortress or sputum around your car door every time you park and get in or out.

To quote your mother: "Were you born in a barn?"

If you were, well then Jesus, you sure as hell aren't there now so clean up your damn act.

That is all.
For anybody interested... I want one of these:

Not so much the mug. I just really like the vampire Jesus fish.

Let's see... what annoyed me today. Nothing I guess. Must be something in the air.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Just a quick break between study-topics.

Here's the thing. I've just about had it with companies that don't empower their employees to make a decision on their own or to exercise judgement. In the same vein, I'm sick of employees who blindly follow "the rules" and are incapable of thinking for themselves.

Case in point. Tonight I went to the Greyhound station to pick up a package that had come in (pre-paid). In their defense, the cargo area was closed. However, upon finding the closed door, I walked into the terminal and asked the ticket lady if she could grab the package for me. The cargo area was wide open and lit, and she had just returned from there, having done something on the phone involving waybills. So, it didn't seem like a stretch to me to make a simple request.

"Hello, I didn't realize the cargo area closed at 6:00. I thought it was open until 9:00. Is it possible to pick up a package that has come in for me; please?"

"Cargo is closed and cashed out"

"Well, that's ok. The package is pre-paid, I just need to pick it up and sign the form that says I've received it."

"If I do it for you, I have to do it for everybody."

At this point I mentioned that the terminal is empty and that there is nobody else, she'd have to do it for.

"Cargo is closed"

"Yeah I know, but the package is probably my daughter's birthday present and her birthday is tomorrow. It is pre-paid, so all you'd have to do is give it to me and get me to sign the form."

"Cargo is closed."

Some grumbling from me and I leave.

Now, I get that the area is closed and that I should have checked the hours etc... I get that But, if the lights in cargo are on and the ticket lady has just been working in there... should she not be able to either a) make a decision for herself as to whether or not to help and b)come up with a better explanation than "if I do it for you, I have to do it for everybody."

I mean seriously. Use your damn brain. Look at the person in front of you, decide whether or not the request is reasonable and then act on that request/judgement. Don't just blindly follow "the rules" without being able to give a coherent explanation of why you can't help.

Business owners, listen up:

1) Encourage your employees to think for themselves and interpret "rules" to fit the situation.
2) Retailers, allow your staff the leeway to give a small discount if it will keep your customers happy.
3) Don't hire mindless drones who will end up costing you business because they were "just following the rules". Innovation and critical thinking will win everytime.

Three simple ideas. Nothing earth-shattering. 

Friday, May 1, 2009

Insert Loud Profanity

The Alberta gov't has decided that learning about evolution and gay people is bad for our kids. So, they have a bill before the legislature - supported by the Education Minister - that, if passed, would require parents being notified before their kids were exposed to evolution (in science class) and the concept of homosexuality (presumably in health class). And, parents can pull their kids from those units if they choose. Here is a link to the story:

Evolution is valid scientific theory. We can actually watch it happen. We live in a country that keeps church and state separate. Public schools are government institutions. There is no place in them for swapping out valid, accepted science. 

What else might we choose to shield our children from? Should we require parental notification in order to teach the theory of relativity to Physics students in highschool? How about asking the parents of kids taking a highschool communications course if it's ok that they learn the theory of Social Interactionism? Where do we draw the line? Grade 11 Geography and the theory of Plate Tectonics? Should we notify parents that their kids will be learning about a theory that postulates continents are constantly shifting around on an imperfect crust; contrary to biblical teachings?

Please note, I am not taking on or hammering against religion here. Not at all. Religion, belief and spirituality are very private expressions of how we view the world, where we come from, where we may be going and what it all means. The world has a varied and colourful spiritual landscape, As such, these issues need to kept out of a science classrooom. Science cuts across boundaries, belief, culture and religion. It is neither better nor worse than metaphysics; it's just different and it's teachings are just as sacrosanct as those of the church(es). We wouldn't presume to bring science into a religion class or to require notification that Religion 30 may study Buddhism as a point of comparison to Christianity. So, why the double-standard with evolution in a science class? 

And, don't even get me started on the issue of homosexuality. Seriously? Are we still at this point? There are gay people in the world. Lots of them. Your kids are going to meet them. Chances are, they already have. Get. Over. It. Requiring parental notification that kids are going to learn that the world has gay people is like requiring notification that the seasons are changing. It's a big, interconnected world out there. Fostering trust, acceptance, reverence and love for all people is hardly the worst thing we can expose our kids to.

So, while you may not be as passionate over this as I appear to be, if you feel that teachers should be able to teach valid science and that our kids should be encouraged to explore and embrace all facets of society, please write to the AB Government and to Minister Dave Hancock. His website is:
You should be able to email Education Minister Dave Hancock at or try

Thanks for listening folks.