Saturday, November 27, 2010

What Happened?

My work at the school board is complete, at least until the next time they call for some assistance. So now I can get back to writing about World of Warcraft. For the last two weeks or so the Pilgrim Bounty was going on. It spanned the old world and the "Shattering", and for me was the one my biggest noob moments. I haven't done any of the Pilgrim Bounty quests for the last couple years (ever since I did it on my main), I didn't think it necessary. That was of course until my daughter (and I guess, Nebz) opened my eyes.

You see, I totally forgot that you could use the "bounty" quests to totally get your cooking leveled. From zero to about 330ish in about an hour. I had a smattering of alts at 80 that still had cooking level 1. This would be a God send, you don't now how embarassing it is when your resident cook (I use my main - a rogue to do all the farming for fish feasts.) sends a stack or so to my other toons and they can't actually set up the fish feasts. You then have to PST the raid leader to see if they will do it for you.

So I figured I would get my toons up to the 330 mark really quick then spend some time getting them up the rest of the way (I really only dreaded the 0-300 trek). That said, I started to do the quests. I had 6 80's, a 60 and a level 8 (yes my daughter started a troll druid) to take through. What do you do on a Friday night? I decided to cook - virtually.

Around 10:00pm after a couple of hours of cooking I was getting a little peckish. So I went down stairs to make a sandwich. I made a hot salami on Italian bread sandwich. I also noticed that my wife had opened a bottle of 2008 Cabernat Merlot from Pillitteri Estates Winery, so I decided to finish off the bottle. Which would be about a half bottle (we have big glasses).

So here I am, back up in my office making stuffing, turkey and sweet potatos. Things are getting a little blurry. Next thing I know, I wake up on my office couch at 3:00am, feeling like I had the worst bender of my life, with my shirt untucked (Seinfeld dentist episode). Not only am I a WOW noob (when it comes to understanding my special events), I am a wine drinking noob now.

Well Christmas is coming up. I better start training.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Statement of the Day

Well I am still doing the inventories for the school board for their high schools. The school I was in today had two storage areas I would have to work through. The first area was in an actual class, so in order to inventory in this area I would have to be very quiet while I went through the chemicals. Things were going well, at least for the first half hour. Then the school went into lockdown. Twenty minutes of sitting in the dark, smelling fear and urine. Only to receive the all clear that it was a drill. The funny moment in lockdown was when one of the nerd kids whispers to one to the hotter female students, "If this is the end, do you want ta...". That almost made my day - however; my day had barely started.

This batch of chemicals wasn't too bad to sort out. During this time however; Nebz called to inform me that he had sent me an email. It was regarding a chemistry class lab accident in Windsor. You can read the article here .

I personnally like the line from the story,

"It was a typical lab experiment," said Braido. "Who knows today why there was a reaction?"

Hmmm - let me see:

Potassium Chlorate - A very strong oxidizer

Manganese Dioxide - A very strong oxidizer

Glycerine - An organic liquid (consistency of corn syrup)

Sugar - A carbohydrate (organic)

Plus the teacher added some heat.

Usually you get a strong fiery reaction when you mix oxidizers and organics - What a moron. "Who knows today why there was a reaction?"

Anyway, I finish the first area and go up to the preproom. Ugh, I remember this room now. Absolute nightmare. Usually I focus on the oxidizers first, since it is usually the worst. Remember last week, the oxidizers were causing the labels on the jars to smoulder? Well I open the cupboard that appeared to have the most oxidizers in it and began taking out what shouldn't be with them. I end up removing approximately 20 jars of various organics. Can you imagine what could have happened if the reaction started. Apparently teachers can't - remember the shrug from last week as well. I can see the line in the newspaper article, "Who knows today why there was a reaction?"

Around this time I was getting hungry. This is when I came up with the statement of the day:

"I have to eat now, I am getting whoozy from all this stupid."

In addition to all of the oxidizer issues was the cabinet full of acids, bases and flammable organics, but that is a rant for another day.

Before I talk briefly about WOW I have to make one more comment about the chemistry lab accident. In one of the newspaper articles I read regarding the accident it prominently stated that, "the teacher and students were all wearing safety goggles." I have to call BULLSHIT on that. In my Health and Safety Audits from May and the inventorying I have been doing the last month, I have been in these 15 schools twice for extended periods of time for which I have observed approximately 90 classes. Even if a third of these classes were doing labs, I only recall one class where the students were wearing goggles. That is 1 of 30. So highly unlikely - nice PR attempt, but you already stated you had no idea why something like that would happen.

WOW Stuff - 4.0.3

I am still reeling from the patch yesterday. I got my few alts re-talented that had their talent points reset. I also flew around using the flight paths to see the devastation. I thought it amusing that Deathwing chose to destroy the park in Stormwind. Where are all those little gnome babies going to play - Gnomer? Isn't that still suffering from radioactivity? Please no NerdRage emails because I don't have the lore correct.

I really don't have a clue what I am going to do in-game tonight. I was thinking of picking more herbs. You see my Worgen that I am rolling on expansion day needs to be an alchemist. So I want to give him a leg up, so to speak. (Leg up - you see they are Canus lupus (wolf) like creatures. Stake out a fire hydrant, you will figure it out.)

I am hungry again, must be the stupid. CYA

Friday, November 19, 2010


Its the end of the week again. Thank goodness. Vodka Sodas for everyone. I am still doing the school board inventories with one more week to go. In my last blog I discussed going back to school to get my teachers certificate. I think I would be somewhere in between the "Shut Up" teacher and the "Basic Instincts" teacher in teaching style. I really don't think I could crop my testicular hair short enough to do the "Basic Instincts" style justice.

Other than the schools having much more inventory this week, only one situation really stands out. I arrive at this one high school and immediately have the feeling of "impending doom". The naked statue out front reminded me of their corrosives cabinet. You see I visited all of the schools in this school board a few months ago to do a comprehensive health & safety audit. Part of my focus was to assess chemical storage safety and at this school there was literally everything in this one cabinet.

There was:
  • Concentrated Hydrochloric Acid (HCl)
  • Concentrated Sulfuric Acid (H2SO4)
  • Concentrated Nitric Acid (HNO3)
  • Glacial Acetic Acid (CH3COOH)
  • Concentrated Ammonium Hydroxide (NH4OH)

There was even a bottle of Ferrous Sulfide (FeS) in there.

As a review for all you teachers.

FeS + 2 HCl = FeCl2 + H2S

H2S if you do not know equals DEATH.

Why would you put Ferrous Sulfide (any sulfides for that matter) in a corrosives cabinet filled with acids?

Anyway, flash forward to this past Wednesday. I enter the chemistry prep room with my chaperone teacher and say the first thing that comes to mind.

"Do you smell something burning?"

"No, it just smells like a chemistry prep room in here.", he exclaims.

After some searching through the cupboards, I open the oxidizer storage cupboard to find a whole array of materials stored together: nitrates, chlorates, organics all sharing the same space, with most bottles having loose caps or no caps at all. Many of the labels were in various stages of combustion.

I take action. Defuse the issue and make everything right in world.

Now the rant.

WTF (I say in my head). Outside my head I give the teacher the lesson.

"OK, when you come into the prep room and you see the 'white' labels staring back at you, things are good. When you come into the prep room and you see that the labels that were once white, now a shade of brown -> black (with wisps of smoke) there is an issue and it needs to be investigated.

A shoulder shrug, a FREAKING shoulder shrug.

"When am I going to find time to 'investigate'. I don't have enough paid prep time as it is.", he states.

/facepalm (inserted WOW reference - I am already off my WOW topic when I said I was going to get back to it)

Anyway, the impending doom of the corrosives cabinet. They actually heeded the warning and it was cleaned up really well. Now if they could only keep the smouldering labels under control.

WOW Stuff

The elemental stuff is happening with 4 bosses. Unfortunately, I don't think it is going to last longer than next Tuesday. That is when 4.0.3, I think is going to happen. Shame, I have a few alt toons that could really use some of the gear that has been dropping. Unfortunately, the gear is dropping when the wrong toon is in the instance.

I am staying strong. I am sure the odds will finally work in my favour.

Final Thought

Remember, fire in a chemistry prep room is bad. Shrugging shoulders makes it all better.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Title

I literally sat staring at my computer screen trying to come up with a title for this article. I thought to myself, "If I am having this much trouble coming up with a title, how am I going to actually write anything?" It has been a strange couple of weeks. I believe I had mentioned that my main line of work is in the environmental management field and the company I work for has been contracted by a school board to do some health and safety/risk management assessments.

That being said, we did the first part of the work a few months ago. This consisted of the health and safety assessments. Now I am back at each of the schools to do a chemical inventory and to rearrange their chemical inventory so they are properly (safely) stored. Needless to say that when we did the H&S assessments, we found that most of the high school chemistry, biology labs we visited were anything but healthy and safe. Heck in one of the biology labs, I witnessed the class doing fetal pig dissections and none of the kids were wearing gloves, let alone eye protection. When the bell rang for lunch all of the kids left the class without so much as washing their hands.

So now the inventories. My work has led me to believe that in order to be a high school teacher you need the following:

1) No actual teaching skills

2) No actual understanding of the topics you are to instruct on

To demonstrate this I will give several examples.

No Actual Teaching Skills

The first school I was at had me situated in the chemistry prep room. There was access to the teachers office area through one door and to a couple of classrooms through two other doors.

In one classroom the class was rather boisterous. I think I counted the instructor yelling (yes yelling), "Shut Up!" 58 times in the one hour that he had the class in session. How is he getting anything done? I am not hearing any lecture materials being taught, only the constant drone of, "shut up!".

In the other classroom the instructor was discussing the principles of pH. The class was dead silent "taking" it all in. I was curious, how was she doing it. I positioned myself so I could catch a reflection into the classroom from the glass in the door. I chuckled to myself. Here she was, sitting on her desk with her legs slighty apart wearing a mini skirt. Ah the, "Basic Instincts" method of teaching.

In both these methods, I am not sure how much information is actually being retained . I do know that the "Shut Up!" teacher needs a sabatical and potentially a life review to see if this is the job for him.

No Actual Understanding of the Topics

This may require a bit more set up. At a different high school, we went to do the health and safety/risk management assessment back in May. At that time we quickly reviewed some of the chemicals and I was asking some questions of the staff member that was left with us. To my chemical questions he replied, "I am just the gym teacher, I don't know anything about chemicals." I asked what he did in the department, to which he replied, "I teach grade 12 chemistry to fill up my schedule. The rest of the time I teach Phys-Ed."

Fast forward to this past week. I am back at this school to do the chemical inventory and the safe rearranging of how the chemicals are stored. I dreaded this school so I never bothered to look up the contacts name (The contact was female back in May and she was a "joy" to work with - can you see that statement dripping with sarcasm.). When I arrived at the school I took out the email I had printed of the contact names, looked up the school and moved my finger across to the contact column. It was the name of the gym teacher. "What?", I asked myself.

I go into the school's office and ask for my contact. He comes down, greets me and tells me how happy he is to see me again. I ask him where my other contact is.

He states, "She did what all new female teachers do. They teach their first couple years and then get knocked up so they can get the next couple off on maternity leave (you see the teachers union is king in the province I live in)."

"Wonderful", I exclaim, "and what do you do at the school now."

He responds, "I am the new Science Department Head. When she left they posted the job and I applied for it and got it."

In my head I am screaming - "BUT YOU ARE THE GYM TEACHER!!!" On the outside I say, "So how is your teaching schedule."

"Grade 12 Chemistry in the morning and the rest of the day is Phys-Ed.", his answer.

With more prodding I basically realize he still knows nothing about chemistry. He leaves me to inventory the chemicals.

Some time passes and another chemistry teacher comes into the room carrying a cup of chemicals I guess. I watch him as he goes over to the "waste containers". These containers are labeled: flammable wastes eg organics, caustic wastes eg hydroxides and finally acidic wastes eg inorganic acids.

He ponders each of the labels and finally asks me, "What does caustic mean?"

"Basic", I answer.

He shakes his head and stares at the flammable waste container, he shakes his head as well. Finally he mentions to himself, "acidic, that's it", and he pours what I now know as waste into the acidic waste container. He then goes over to the sink to rinse out his cup.

I notice that his cup is leaking, the bottom then falls off and I state, "There's a hole in your bucket." (I try to put a plug in for Newfies as often as possible.)

"Yes there is.", he replied, "I don't understand why, this is a new cup, I just got it. I will have to call the manufacturer to complain."

I said, "Before you do that, you do know that the acid you had in your 'metal' cup probably had something to do with it." He's puzzled, I continue to explain that acids are corrosive to metals and that the acids probably weakened the cup to the point the bottom fell off.

He drops the useless cup into the garbage can and states, "You learn something new everyday." and leaves the room.

I literally collapsed onto a stool and began rocking back and forth. Apparently you don't have to know anything about the topic to be put in front of a class to teach "said" topic.

Teacher's Union Rules - did I mention that. So when a kid dies, the Teachers Union will be the first to bash the government over it.

How does this relate to WOW?

I did promise to get back to a WOW oriented blog. Well RL (real life - for my non-gaming followers) is way more funny. But, I can relate it to WOW. When you play WOW you have your toons. Those of us with alts, I think for the most part try very hard to learn, know our characters so we can play them to the best of our ability. We learn our rotations, study our different spells and abilities and watch the videos in some cases on the 'Net' to be able to play our toons better and not be called a "Noob". We want to be able to play these "alts" as if they were our main toons. Just the other day, I was playing and one of the others in my group asked me what my main toons name was. He said that he used to be in my guild and couldn't remember seeing my name. I rattled off a list of 4 or 5 names and he goes - Oh I remember you. You are the guy with 10 mains.

I smiled.

What am I going to do in real life? - apparently I am going to look into going back to school to become a teacher. I apparently don't need to know anything about teaching, just look good in a mini-skirt, and I also don't need to know anything about the topic I am to teach. Win - Win