Sunday, May 29, 2011

Does Someone Have to Die...

Good morning everyone. For those of you that read my blog as part of your normal routine I must apologize. I will not be funny (at least funny HaHa) nor will it be about World of Warcraft. I promise I will write something lighter next week. For those that know me in real life, it will be about my pet peeve. Over the last two days this topic has been keeping me up at night. I no longer can keep it in.

I usually start this rant with the question - In Ontario what do you think are the most dangerous jobs? After some guiding I usually get them to say miner, steel worker, high altitude construction worker. Yes they are dangerous jobs, however; there are rules and regulations that police these occupations and violating these rules can get an individual person a fine of up to $100,000 and a couple years in jail.

"No", I say, what I was looking for was "High School Teacher". Their faces tilt like a Doberman Pincher. I give them a moment to try and figure it out. I then help them out by saying, "It is the occupation that routinely ignores all of the various safety legislations and inserts untrained individuals into situations because they feel they are above the law." "The occupation that feels that nothing bad can ever happen to them because they are in a school and that their Union is awesome."

I have touched on schools before in my blog, if you cannot remember my pearls of wisdom you can re-read them. My suggested order is 'What a Week', The Title', 'Smouldering' and finally 'Statement of the Day'.

I have been in the environmental manangement industry for 24 years and my job function has evolved to where for the past 10 years or so I have been consulting with customers on health & safety matters, fire code concerns and yes even environmental management legislation. Over the past 5 years I have been working with a couple of school boards because they realized that they were so far behind. The problem is the teachers are fighting any proposed changes to make them compliant tooth and nail. "Why?" they ask, "We shouldn't be subject to this." "We are teachers, this is outrageous."

Wow, what I have seen would get a normal business fined and potentially shutdown, but in a school it will go totally undetected. Why? Because the Ministry of Labour or the Ministry of Environment won't go into a Ministry of Education governed institution. That would make the government look bad.

Christ, I have even been reading a document from the Science Teachers Association of Ontario that blatantly tells teachers they can dump hazardous waste down the drain. Any other company caught doing this would be crucified. But it's ok you see. They have a disclaimer stating that all of the opinions are those of the writers and not the association and you shouldn't necessarily follow what they are saying. I have witnessed it, I was at a school picking up some other waste when I saw a teacher pouring a tray of liquid down the drain. I asked what he was doing and he replied, "The STAO guide tells me this is OK."

We have tried to get into other school boards to handle their hazardous wastes and are told they don't create any. That they treat it and pour it down the drain. Hmmm, any other company that does that needs a Certificate of Approval (license) for both the treatment of the waste and the discharge of the resultant material to the sewer. Why are they any different? They are not. They are governed by regulations. They are considered an industrial establishment. They consider themselves - above the law.

Why now? Why am I ranting again on this subject? Oddly enough last Friday I was at my favourite school board for an update. My contact is valiantly fighting what I think is a losing battle. She wanted to implement some more procedures and the teachers are saying, 'no'. God, I feel like I am the Jamie Oliver of safety. I am trying so hard but nobody gets it. She said I will have to go back into the schools in the fall to do another inspection. She then says, we will probably have to extend the inspections to the shop and art departments.

"Why?", I ask. She tells me about the death in Ottawa of the shop student. She says, "You were right." I hadn't heard, I have been so busy the last week or so I usually do my news catch up on weekends. My heart sinks. I remember last summer in the midst of the threats from the teachers regarding my reports on their unsafe practices, I told my contact, "Does someone have to die before they will change?" Now someone has. My heart goes out to the family and friends of the student that passed away. To the other students that witnessed the incident and were hurt.

So now the Ministry of Labour is involved. However; my gut feeling is that nothing will become of this tradegy. They will chalk it up to an unfortunate accident. The chance to send a message lost. That poor student will have died in vain. Sure the Board will say it is going to review procedures and nothing will change.

From what I have seen in some schools, this is what should happen.

The teacher should be charged with criminal negligence causing death. Cutting into a used drum is one of the stupidest acts on the planet. However; instructing someone to do it is negligent and criminal.

Then the Ministry of Labour should inspect every school in the province and fine the teachers, the Union and Boards like they would any other business in Ontario. The debt of the province would be gone with all this extra cash. Oh wait, my tax dollars would most likely be paying these fines and I think this is an election year. So again I fear - Nothing will change.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Good Day - Shot to Hell

Ok, today is going to be my WOWcentric blog post. I am sure when I regale you with the details of my questing from last Monday you will easily be able to relate this to a person you actually have daily dealings with.

First some background info:

I have a few alts, many of which are 85. I am in a small guild, maybe a dozen individuals in total with only five or so active participants. We have worked our way up to a whopping guild level 2 powerhouse. We managed to coordinate our schedules in order to actually pull together a 5 man, however lopsided it is. So far it is 4 lowbies being blasted through an instance by an 85.

I do have a few mid level toons available and decided to work on my level 60 Enhancement Shaman. First off, I haven't played him in ages and when I went into my first instance of the day my DPS totally sucked. It was like 250. Now, something has to be wrong. I talked to my buddy to verify my gear (which at 60 included a smattering of level 55 pieces), my priority list, my weapon imbues and my totem selection. I reviewed my favourite Wow Insider articles. What was wrong?

When I do select a talent layout from WOWpopular I tend to print it out. So I figured I would check my talent selection. Now my talents were not refunded but there was a discrepancy. Apparently 2 talent points were in a talent on my print out, that no longer appeared in the tree. They were part of a "new" talent - Seasoned Winds. OK, time to fix the talent tree. Check

Well the DPS started to go up but not as good as I had hoped. Time to instance and quest to replace my crappy pre-BC gear I still had. By the time I was done Monday I was level 67 and had some new gear.

So that was the background. Now the problem - I did about 10 instances that day. All of the pug groups were pretty good. No complaints really, except for the last one and this is where my story begins.

Sethekk Halls

DK Tank
Enh Shaman (me)

Menagerie of beasties that either fear or mind control.

So here we are, DK Tank thinks he is all that, decides to run through the first room and collect everyone. Enh Shaman (me) drops totems including - Tremor Totem

FYI - If you don't play a shaman the Tremor Totem IMO is broken (I am just used to the old way it worked and apparently this "tank" was under the same impression). Only breaks one "fear" then is used up. There is then a one minute cooldown before it can be dropped again.

But the problem, there was 4 creatures that could fear. Well let the chain fearing begin. We managed to survive but of course began the 35 word expletive filled sentence from the tank. Now I have the parental controls - language filter on for when my daughter plays with only the words "retarded", "shaman", "tremor totem" actually being legible.

I begin to write my response - Dude (I begin), I understand there is a need to over compensate especially when there is the saying, "the bigger the pulls, the smaller the penis", but you should really understand the mobs you are pulling and your group make up.

I explain, the changes in the Tremor Totem.

I explain that the rest of the group could help as well (now these interrupts may or may not have worked). DK's have at least 2 silencing type spells each, the mage has counterspell, I was trying with my wind shear.

So in addition to my tremor totem there were 6 other "fear" interruptions available. Why were "you/they" not assisting in this obvious poorly thought out "pull".

I hit the return key...

Time passes - the response.

FU (and the Tank leaves group)

I did however get an apology from the rest of the group and the new tank we got from the queue was awesome. So maybe this was a good thing. But for a while afterwards I was a little "hurt", what was a very positive leveling day, this incident started to bring me down.

Have you run into this type of situation? Has someone tried to slam you for not knowing your own class?

Let me know.

Finally, I think we had 2 dry days this week - I saw a big yellow ball in the sky today. What is that?

Prayers go out to Manitoba and Quebec (flooding) and the US Midwest (tornadoes).

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I was truly blessed today. I went to church and I came out of it enlightened. I was able to come up with this truly inspired blog article. Now, I go to church from time to time, my daughter is even in the midst of preparing for her confirmation. So I am no stranger to going. Although, the congregation does seem to be a little surprised when I show up. All these jokes about wanting me to sign the guest book.

Maybe it is all the time I get while my daughter is in her "chat room" with the other kids that I get to reflect in quiet solitude the past weeks events. Maybe, it is a sign from the "big guy" that he reads my blog too. Maybe.

When I wrote last weeks article I forgot to include one thing. Which, might be because I didn't go to church and that is why it didn't come to me. So I am going to lead off with it today.


Now Bluetooth is a rather remarkable invention, it allows us to connect with our computers and cellphones wirelessly. Which, keeps us from getting fines, especially with respect to the latter device while driving. But why is it when you sit in a mall some guys are still wearing theirs? Dudes, Bluetooth is so you can use your phones while in your cars. When you get out of the car leave your headset and take only your phone.

Guys, you look retarded. Chicks will NOT be attracted to it and finally, judging by the looks of the guys that seem to wear their headsets all the time - How many calls do you expect from your mothers?

Zebra Hair

So during the week I had a rather exceptional sneezing fit. Of course it had to happen while driving. I must have sneezed about a dozen times. My hands were covered with phlegm and of course, not a napkin or tissue could be found. Needless to say, those pants went into the laundry, as soon as I got home. I was concerned, so I went to the bathroom and decided to look up my nose to see what was going on in there.

First question: What colour is nose hair suppose to be?

When I took a look I saw both black and white hair. I truly looked like I had snorted a small zebra. Really, I understand the whole going grey thing, but I thought it was isolated to the head (including beard and moustache), not nose hairs and nether regions. I can hardly wait to start using "Just for Men" crotch colourant.

Second question: What is the average length of a nose hair?

These couple of hairs were bugging me. Tickling actually, to a point that I grabbed a pair of tweezers and pulled them out. Holy crap, they were almost 3/4 of an inch long. I don't think that is right. More research is needed.

Flash Point of Baileys

Now I don't want a pile of negative feedback on this. I have been known to, from time to time, to spike my coffee with Baileys, pour it into a travel mug and then enjoy sipping it while receiving the Word of the Lord on Sunday mornings. This morning was no exception, however; when I arrive in my pew and dialed open my cup, the Baileys vapour coming out was almost overpowering. I was so happy there were no ignition sources close by or it may have FLASHED. I guess I need to be a little more awake when I am making my coffee in the morning.

Baileys is my back up to bacon, since I am not quite sure how I would smuggle a pound of cooked bacon into church. So for today and every Sunday. I think we should allow the phrase, "Everything is better with Baileys."

Roommate Agreement, S15 P4 - Unknown Women for the Purpose of Coitus

So - are you interested so far? Are you trying to figure out how I went from church Baileys to unknown women coitus. I am going to tell you.

Last night my son was a little out of the ordinary. He laundered his clothes, showered (I started to think he was ill), brushed his teeth and asked if he could borrow the car. That he would only be out for a few moments. I said, "sure", I think because of all the hygiene that was thrown at me all at once. Well out he goes. A few moments later he returns a "friend" in tow. He paused at the rec room to see how my movie I was watching was (I had the lights off so visibility was poor). His friend said 'hi' and made a comment. I was unfamiliar with the tone. My son's friends are all short, or more round. This one was not matching up to my internal database. It wasn't until they were in his room and the door closed that I registered the pitch to be that of a female.

I was caught in a place that was new to me. The 'two thumbs up' dad moment. Or that of concern that it would turn out to be a mid-operation transgender and I should warn him. You see my son seems to be "blossoming" a bit late. Which is a good thing considering he always has money squirrelled away. Having a girlfriend doesn't usually afford you that luxury.

Any way, I inserted a cat into his room as a spy, in as much to have an excuse to open the door to see them watching TV, the cat you see likes hanging out in his room, so the perfect door opening excuse. I then go up to do my WOW research for my next blog article (which was going to be todays - but now that I am side tracked with this gem I am going to save it for another time).

Fast forward to this morning.

I am sitting waiting for church to start, trying to avoid being detected as having alcohol in my coffee or bursting into flames due to Baileys vapour flash, when my mom asks. "Did Dustin (honestly - not his real name) have to work this morning? I saw him leave really early in the car?" (My parents live in the home next to ours -she is I think the neighbourhood watch committee as well)

"Hmm" (pause for effect) "He didn't take the car to work because I drove it to church this morning." In my head I figured, he had to sneak the girl out early and take her home, come back and drop off the car, and then walk the 5 minutes to work. Thanks mom, you always want the "ace" when it comes to parenting.

The best part of this whole incident was when I got home from church and told my wife (she doesn't usually come with me - she can't hold her liquor). You could see the dawning on her face the phrase, 'what goes around comes around.' She was probably the worst offender when it came to this stuff when she was younger.

"I don't know if I can approve of this!", she exclaims.

'Hypocrite', I think in my head. (That was one of them fancy terms I learned in church today)

I think we both can't wait for my son to come home from work. Have a great afternoon, I know I will.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pint of Mer - Lot Please

This past weekend was pretty busy, mother's day and my wife's birthday on the same day this year. My daughter going gliding with her Air Cadet Squadron. Having to go on a training journey and my wife wanting to come along. I guess she thought Coburg, ON was going to be somewhat equivalent to a couple of days in Las Vegas.

I started this journey by taking my wife out for dinner last Friday night. Pretty fancy restaurant (they have cloth napkins), when a buddy and a few of his friends and their wives come in. I have participated in several LAN parties with them, it starts with several COD games and then deteriorates into a drunken Wii Bowling Event (thank God everyone remains clothed) and who can get the most consecutive gutter balls after drinking a dozen Russian Vodka shots. One of his friends travels to Moscow a lot and usually brings something back for us to kill brain cells with.

Well he can't see me from where he is seated, so I decide to send his wife a drink. I think it was a $15 martini. That almost caused a ruckus until he realized it was me and I was jerking his chain. Interestingly enough I still got him in shit with his wife. Apparently, I am the only person who has ever sent her a drink. He was beaten for it not being him.

I am lingering too long on that evening. I will fast forward. Sunday, I make breakfast art for my wife and daughter. For those of you that view my blog by following the link from my Facebook page, my wife posted the hashbrown pattie and bacon flower growing out of toast in front of a big round egg sun that I made her for Mother's Day/Birthday. For my daughter I carved a glider out of hashbrown patties using toast for the ground and little bacon birds. I never got a photo of that one. I am :(

After the breakfast festivities we dropped our daughter off at the airport and my wife and I headed to Coburg. We took the scenic route. It was nice. We checked in and started looking for a restaurant for dinner. We went to one place and it looked like it was going down the horrible road. So we decided to go to another. Dinner was good.

Now we are at the part of the trip that this article is titled after. Now I am always making a bit of fun of the area whenever I come out here to do some training. I think I have several articles that describe the locals as hill billies. Well, I never saw them since they were in the booth behind me.

The waitress comes up and...

"Can I get you any drinks?"

(In your best hill billie drawl)

"Yes, I would like some of this here $5.95 a glass Mur-Loc."

(My wife laughs and asks me if she was referring to the WOW creature. "I don't know", I exclaim.)

The patron rephrases, "Make it a pint of the MER - LOT?" (I would have to say the waitress was pretty cool, she even said it back to the patron by pronouncing the "Mer-Low" as "Mer-Lot" in order not to embarrass the patron. Not that the damage wasn't already done.)

A PINT glass of Mer-Lot, that there is culture.

WOW Stuff

Only played a little this week. Still afraid to try and heal (especially on heroics), because the PUGS I have been in the last couple of evenings have been absolutely horrible. I am tempted to actually do an article specifically on WOW in the coming days to rant about Pugs and few other WOW related things. We will see.

Have a great evening.