The Logical Philosopher

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Fake Traffic and self-important business cards

I ran into an old "acquaintance" this week that I had not seen for about 12 years. We briefly spoke, politely asking about each others kids and current state of life. Then he gave me a business card and said "Keep in touch!"

WTF? After 12 years that's the best you can do? What's the point of that? Why not just say the truth - "see you in another 12, assuming the law of averages works and we randomly cross paths again." In retrospect I think he was trying to impress me with his job title. Good thing I told him I didn't have a card to trade, even though I didn't bother to look to see if I did.

It reminded me of a blog post at Gaping Void that I read back in January:

Most bloggers are assholes, we just pretend to like each other because it's good for traffic.

<start blogging plug> Well said Gaping Void! They have lots of other good things at their site, don't forget to check them out!!! <.end blogging plug>

Putting these 2 together I think I am going to try a social experiment: I'm going to get a bunch of Logical Philosopher business cards printed up with a really important title and start handing them out downtown to all old "acquaintances" I can possibly track down. I will attempt to dupe them with inflated self importance with my firm, SPERTA Management Consulting.

Any takers on joining the experimental firm? I'm going to get business cards printed next week. And yes Sandritia, you will get automatic partner status.

As Napoleon Dynamite would say, this is going to be SWEEET!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Sarah's bum smells nice

Last week on the bus a group of very excitable special education young adults got on. Just then I knew I had good material coming up so I readied my black spiral bound blogging book....and as usual I was not disappointed.

"Ohhh, man, smell this!" the tall lanky one exclaimed as he pulled out a wallet and passed it around to the group. They all huddled round him, eager to catch a whiff, like new puppies clamoring for their mother's milk.

"Yeah, it's gooooood," one said as he grabbed it from Lanky and took a huge sniff. "Where did you get it?" He seemed to sink back into the seat as he closed his eyes, like he had just took a toke from the biggest doobie of his life. It was a Cheech & Chong moment...

"It's Sarah's wallet. Derek asked me to take it back to school because she forgot it at the bowling alley," Lanky noted to the group. "AND she keeps it in her pocket by her BUM!" His face broke into a huge grin as he said the word "bum" as they all snickered in unison.

The next thing I know they were all passing their wallets around, each taking turns smelling them, revelling in the moment. The consensus was Sarah's wallet smelled the best, because it had been by a girl's bum whereas the rest of them were by guys bums, and smelled worse. Except for Jerry, who kept his wallet in the front of his pants.

"Woah, hold up" I thought. I stopped writing at that point. I really didn't want to remember the rest, and trust me, neither would you if you had have been there.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Overheard downtown today

"Hey K, how you doing? You look cute in that outfit!"

"Cute? I was going for more sluttish..."


"I guess that's ok because it's what I wore to work, and I probably should be more cute than sluttish there."

"Yeah, I bet that whole elementary school teacher thing can be a drag sometimes..."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Do your own frickin' work

I now will take a break from my regular posting to provide this educational lecture on university ethics:

Judging by the huge amounts of recent google searches for SABRE Simulation that have shown up this week on my blog, some MBA program out east is using the Simulation in their classes. All those hits pointed to an older post I wrote about Business Simulations and the future of MBA programs, with several of the searches googled on "Sabre Simulation takeaways".

To those that have come here searching for take-away points for your business course: Dude, do your own frickin' work! Searching the internet for answers to a case study is a sure fire way to piss off your classmates.
I had a friend going to Rotman who was doing his MBA at the same time as me. During one particularly crazy week of group case study take-home finals he was lamenting to me that all one of their group members did was surf the net for "answers" to put into their case. He basically wasted the allotted 8 hours emailing friends and googling for online discussion or commentary about the case....and still came back with nothing useful. He was pissed at him for wasting his time when he could have been helping further their assignment. "No future reference for him!" was the phrase that I recall hearing.

I had a similar situation happen to me during my MBA and sure enough, when time came to form groups later on during classes that really mattered, lazy classmates that needed the internet to do their work for them unexpectedly (for them) found themselves without a group and had to do the work on their own. Boy, was he surprised that we didn't want his "help" in our group. He called it "valuable research" but one prof called it "plagiarism".

To my usual readers, regular posting will commence shortly.

To those still looking for MBA case study takeaways, look here.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Costco Scam

The following scam warning was emailed to me this week. Although I don't shop at Costco frequently I found it useful to know about, 'just in case'.

I don't know how many of you shop at Costco, but this may be useful to know. I have become a victim of a clever scam while out shopping. This happened to me and it could happen to you.

Here's how the scam works: Two seriously good-looking 18-year-old girls come over to your car as you are packing your shopping in the trunk. They both start wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts almost falling outof their skimpy t-shirts. It is impossible not to look. When you thank them and offer them a tip, they say 'No' and instead ask you for a ride to another Costco. You agree and they get in the back seat. On the way,they start having sex with each other. Then one of them climbs over into the front seat and performs oral sex on you, while the other one steals your wallet. I had my wallet stolen last Tuesday, Wednesday, twice on Thursday, again on Saturday, and also yesterday.

Man, next time I go to Costco I'm going to pack my wallet with Monopoly money so it looks like a bigger target!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

My turn

It's 3:31 am and I am taking a small break from the stomach flu to blog. It's easier this way as I don't have to wake up to get sick, I'm already up so I have a head-start when I get "that feeling". Yes, those extra few seconds do count.

All this time spent hovering over the toilet in the past few hours has given me some time to really think about life & relationships. Somewhat appropriate if you really think about it.
What does it mean to really love someone? you ask. Well, as of last week it was defined as changing sheets on the kids beds and doing laundry at 2am for a formula spewing 1 year old while trying to block out the 3 year olds cries of "my tummy hurts too!". Sounds like parenting, you say. Yes, but there is more that kicked it up a notch to true love. It really exemplifies love and commitment when you're doing that while carefully working around your spouse who is sleeping on the bathroom floor because it's closer to the toilet.

I thought I missed it but guess what, it looks like it's my turn.. uhnnnnng.

Originally I thought the flu had made her delirious but now I know what she meant when she said "This fuzzy bathroom mat doesn't make a comfortable pillow."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Chemicals for kids

After painstakingly emptying, refilling, balancing and testing the water in my hot-tub I used up all the necessary chemicals, and was in need of more. And, because I was near Wal-Mart when I remembered to pickup more, I thought “May as well try there, because they do try to stock everything”. And I was right, but in a really wrong sort of way.

I wasn’t exactly sure where they would be so I enlisted the help of Darcy, the Greeter. She helpfully suggested I try the Housewares Department and said she would take me there herself, but she couldn’t leave the door. Looking about 95 years old I’m also sure she would have needed a walker to leave her post. As I stood there listening to her slow instructions on how to get there all I could wonder was Is this were people go to work when they get a day pass from the old folks home?

Dodging in and out of meandering shoppers I made it to Housewares, where Jill the associate saw me looking slightly helpless and intervened to help out. “Hmm, I think those are in Sporting Goods dearie, try there.” I think this was Darcy’s sister, but must have been the younger one as she was looking much more spry - but definitely on a day pass from the old folks home.

Across on the other side of the store was Sporting Goods Department, so off I trekked. In retrospect should have carbed up for this: I could see finding chemicals in Wal-Mart was turning into a sport. I finally arrived there only after a 6 minute brisk walk. Now I see why Wal-Mart has a McDonalds in the middle of their store: It’s for when their sales associates send you all over the store looking for something and you need a food break just to keep on going. All I could think was Must….save…energy…for…actual…hot-tubbing

There I was, only for a brief moment, when Marcie the sales associate stepped in to help out. “Pool chemicals? Oh yes, they are in the Toy Department,” she cheerily announced as she pointed back towards another side of the store I had not yet walked through. Argggggg! I stared to think Wal-Mart should change their logo from “Always low prices” to “Come for a walkabout to get low prices”.

“Toy isle?” I asked with some puzzlement in my voice. “Pool chemicals? A grown up pool, not the 3 inch inflatable ones?”. I glanced across the store. Maybe it was going to be a McDonald’s day after all…

“Yes, they are down along the back wall,” she added helpfully.

Bereft of any comfort in the success of my next destination I still decided set off to the Toy Department. Finally, I arrived (after another 6 minute walk) and sure enough, just as Marcie promised there they sat. Nestled between My Little Pony and Star Wars trading cards were the pool chemicals, the corrosive skull and crossbones looking slightly out of place. WTF? I could just see this in a Stephen King novel - you know where the little kids grab the pool chemicals and the My Little Pony dolls, melting them into some mutants that terrorize the Wal-Mart greeters. Or maybe that was a new plot for the forthcoming Gremlins 3 movie Wal-Mart was setting up for.

Can someone please explain that one to me?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I'm fine, thank you very much

The music is different,
The people are different,
The vibrations are different,
Something different radiates...

I have always felt that along with my family, my work and school also defined who I was. It shaped and fueled my passions; connected me to parts of the community I would otherwise not; gave me something to talk about when I met a distant work associate out of the office. I still feel that way, but with my recent time off work, now something seems...different. "It" is, without a doubt, slowly shifting with the sands of time.

Opinionistias was right in her Defining post: People are labeled by 'what they do', and when that is removed, things can get boring at parties unless you start saying things like "I'm the girl in the giant banana suit passing out smoothie coupons on 51st and Lex." I need to come up with some good lines...but I digress.

I was at work last week during the day to pickup some documents. I hadn't been to the office during the day in 3 or 4 months. Usually it's just a stealth mission, undertaken in the glow of the computer screens and flickering status indicators: in, pickup paperwork, out. I am covert... But not this time as it was daytime. Although I had a premetiated clandestine insertion plan, it was hard to duck for cover in my office when I discovered my office had been boxed up and packed away into several random cubicles. Crap. So there I stood, deciding what to do as the new tenant, oblivious to my presence, toiled away under my still hanging Lance Armstrong poster. At least they left that up...Maybe they will unpack it for my return, or maybe they just felt they didn't need to add to my worries. As I said last month in my Epiphany of the S-factor, this was small in the scope of life so I moved on to find a free office.

I headed down the hall, in search of an empty office to blitzkrieg for the next hour, when one work associate called out to me "Hey Geoff, good to see you!". Nice, but my name is not Geoff, not even close actually.

Someone else saw me and stopped me, "Hey LP [note real name used accurately here], been looking for you. Do you have the X flies in your office?" She had her usual clipped tone of "I'm going somewhere and you are my critical path, so get on with it so I can be important elsewhere."

"Don't know, why don't you ask M? He is taking care of that in my absence."

There was a slight pause before she continued, unsure of what that actually meant. "What absence?" she slowly responded. I saw some small 'potential danger' lights flickering in the back of her head, but I decided to use my energy elsewhere...although in hindsight it would have been much more fun to string her along with something like "Didn't you hear? I got promoted to a VP and I'm away for training to take over your job!"

I opted for the nice route: "Don't worry about it, just talk to M."

"Ok, thanks" she cheerily replied (fake cheer at this point), heading off oblivious only as senior management can be. I'd been gone for 7 months... guess she missed the memo.

It's funny how when you work in a place for seven years,
people can be so superficial, desensitized to the real meaning of their words.

Where "How are you?" is a greeting, not a query.
Where "Fine thanks." is expected, else upsetting the flow of the conversation.

Yes, this visit something different radiated. Maybe I am treated differently now due to my absence; or maybe I have too much time to think about it; mabye my re-reading of Thoreau is really starting to sink in this time; or maybe I have slowed down enough to see things for what they really are.

I always say "so tell me how you are today" to my Acupuncturist. With weekly visits over the past several months we've gotten to know each other much better. He says the phrase is different and it stands out, mostly because he knows I'm asking because I want to know, not just to be nice before he sticks some needles in me.

I'm looking forward to getting back to work to ask people "Tell me how you are today." I wonder if anyone will notice. Probably not.

If not, their loss, not mine...
because sometimes realizing what the "different thing" is,
so you can really appreciate all that is happening around you,
can be a good change.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Panhandler conversation overheard downtown

This one's for you Little G: Americans, please come and enjoy our Canadian downtown culture. You won't be disappointed. Besides, we need your money to distract the panhandelers from us.

The sweet smell of spring washed ashore into the downtown streets this week. Swept in by the warm weather the now ripening, or some say thawing, downtown transient population swarmed with excitement as the tourists and downtown workers ventured out into their claimed territories.

"She wouldn't give me any!" she bemoaned to her group of friends. She was enveloped in black from head to toe, with only glintings of steel spikes emerging from her complexion...out of her cheek. It's always interesting to see where the next choice du jour of steel ornaments is moving with today's fashion trends.

One of her companions replied, "Why'd you ask her? These Canadian are cheap fucks. You need to find American tourists to ask!"

"ohhhh." Her dazed look gave way to a more dazed look.

I guess that means just because you have a steel spike in your cheek it doesn't mean you automatically are intelligent enough to panhandle.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Big Brother took my kids away.

Out of the blue, with no warning she matter of factly asked me: "Do you want more kids?"

Isn't that the type of question that you usually warm your spouse up to? No Wasn't little Jonny cute today in the bath? No Look at the adorable curls on little Sally.

With not so much as a drop of verbal foreplay, I was totally thrown off guard. Like a tidal wave, hundreds of images invaded my thoughts all at once. My kids first walk, first laugh and first time they said "da", asking for me. Restlessly sleeping on a cold hospital floor in pediatrics ICU for a week, teaching them how to make snow angels in the winter, helping them master all the animal sounds from Baby Einstein. Would I do it again? Grow the family? How could I answer this question so quickly?

My thoughts were shattered instantly as she continued on "Because Big Brothers is coming by tomorrow for household donations and I put out all my maternity clothes."

What? Flooding thoughts give way to the eye of the storm...calm and collected, but unsure what I was really in the middle of.

"And that means...?" I said, now really confused as to where this was going, and where it came from.

" that means no more, because I will have nothing to wear."

"Well," I slowly answered. "I guess that's it for us then."

[Long pause]

"And you better not blog about this!" Good thing she doesn't read it too often... but even if she does and I don't get any because of it, that won't matter because we're not having anymore kids anyways...

Friday, March 03, 2006

Thanks Bob

Today I stopped at a local 7-11 for a chilled beverage. The cashier was quite patient with me as I counted out my change to pay for it. His nametag said “Bob, Senior Sales Associate.” That made me perk up because Bob was a little on the older side…well, a lot on the older side. How old you ask? I think I saw him greeting at Wal-Mart last week. That old.

Anyhow, I sat there wondering of Bob was a “Senior” Sales associate, as in Senior Citizen? Or “Senior” as higher rank than a “Junior” Associate.

As I finished counting I thought he must be the latter but really wasn’t 100% sure. However, all thoughts were quickly halted when he pointed to the line that had haphazardly accumulated behind me and said “Move to the left! Move to the left! Please form a line to the left! There’s too many of you to keep track of who’s next.”

There were only two people behind me.

Make that "Bob, Senior Elderly Sales Associate."
Thanks Bob, and have a nice day.