Glad to have you here but remember, you could be spending your time more wisely. Family, friends, maybe even your job if you are really pushed for something to do. David also writes the Building Our Home Blog as well as the wildly popular Dave’s Mindscape

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Retailing Marijuana

With the recent change in our federal government, it seems as though we are moving closer to legal retail marijuana.

No longer will you have to know a guy who knows a guy. 
No more hanging around a disreputable pool hall. 
You won’t have to go to that seedy bar, but you will ‘cause who doesn’t like a seedy bar.

Soon may come a day when you can get your weed from a government regulated outlet.

I originally thought this to be a positive move, you know, give the people what they want and instead of arresting them, which costs we tax payers a poop load of money, tax them. 
Make money for the government. Stop wasting police and court resources. This whole thing could be worth millions or even billions in revenue and savings.

Would it Benefit the Consumer

Right here in Canada there is a company that is growing 50 or more strains of marijuana for medical use.
It is legal and there is no reason that their knowledge and technology could not be applied to the recreational market.
Just as with alcohol, the strains have different tastes and feels, and different strengths.
There are oils and pills and maybe even tea for those who really don’t want to or can’t smoke anything.
(Should I have a cup of Monday Morning Calm or a mug of I Can’t Believe It’s Another 2 Hour PowerPoint Presentation)

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario has put forth the view that grass be sold in their outlets as they have the infrastructure and experience.
In retailing recreational substances, I guess.

I do see some potential for strife between the traditional LCBO customer and the new clientele. Especially before a long weekend.

I wonder if they would have displays of the product and a representative asking if you would like to try today's featured brand. You would have to take a taxi home after stopping by the no name whiskey* table for a taste and maybe stop for a toke of Pineapple Express.
*I was going to link to a Canadian whiskey that just won some world whiskey contest but it seems that you have to enter your age and country probably due to governments regulations so here is a link to a story about it.

Others I have spoken to suggest that the government and their agencies are not fit to regulate. Anything.

Tobacco started out as a leaf. A natural product that ended up as a chemical plague the government was unable or unwilling to protect its people from.

The government would just tax grass beyond reason anyway.
Marijuana can be turned into a fuel so there would be a fuel tax.
It burns so there would be a carbon tax.
It can be made into paper, clothing, plastics and building material. Tax.
It is great for the environment and is nutritious. Has to be a tax in there somewhere.

Maybe the government should leave the distribution to entrepreneur run boutiques which probably wouldn’t be closed by strikes or even holidays. 
They could have sommeliers to help you choose something that pairs with half pepperoni / half Hawaiian.

Maybe, just maybe we should take a page from an earlier day when the sound of hooves and clinking of bottles signaled the early morning arrival of the milk man bringing fresh dairy products.
And if you are not an early riser, just leave a sign in the window.
Weed Today Please.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Public Relations

Them: What are you doing?
Me: Writing a blog post.

Them: Oh, you have a blog.
Me: Yes.

Them: Is it something I’d like?
Me: It’s mostly complete nonsense.

Them: Can I read the post you're writing now?
Me: No.
Me: It’s incomplete nonsense.

Them: What is the address of your blog?
Me: I don’t know.
Me: It’s a bookmark on my browser.

Them: Do you have a business card?
Me: No.

Them: Goodbye.
Me: Bye.

Note to self: Sign up for Public Relations and Marketing courses at the local college. Or online maybe.


A Brush with Fortune

While it is hard to track Allen’s travels, or indeed get a straight answer about anything from him, he ended up hiding seeking higher education at an American university.

While there, he spoke to someone about an Internet program that allowed people to stalk each other.

The idea, he was told, was that a person could put up a picture of them self and write about their feelings or any little thing that came to mind. 
You could tell people about your lunch and through the magic of something called GPS pinpoint exactly where you had it. Allen thought someone should tell the military about that GPS thing.

He also thought, “This is just like having a book with your face on it in a library that anyone could read”.

Allen was no longer a fan of libraries and the last time he was booked and had his picture taken he ended up with 30 days community service.

Reflecting on how his friends business acquaintances would react to having their images, location and rap sheet resume available to anyone with a computer, Allen decided not to offer to invest in the project.
Instead he offered this advice to the young student, “People will start putting pictures of their cats on there. Maybe even video someday. You don’t want to be any part of that”.


Revenge – Sort Of

I have stopped telling people that Allen is my evil twin brother. Mostly because he pointed out that it sounds evil to call someone evil and that people might think I was the evil one.
That, and the fact that few people in this town have ever seen the two of us together. 
I get some odd looks when I talk about him.

He did complain that the series of posts that I had written about his entrepreneurial life did not show him in a good light. He was not moved when I pointed out that I did not write about some of his ventures that were best conducted in the shadows and proceeded to exact his revenge.

Sometime later he informed me that he had photo shopped his face over my face in all of my online pictures.

If I didn’t know that he was too lazy to do it and too cheap to hire someone I would have been irked.
Even if he is my identical twin.

Coloring Books or Colouring Books

Allen discovers the Internet. Well, he discovered that there is an Internet and realized the incredible potential for making money. And for humanitarian stuff too.

He is a little fuzzy on the year but a home computer at the time cost about $2,000. Not the low cost re- entry to the business world he was looking for and unfortunately the citizens of the port city his freighter docked at had the unfriendly habit of locking their doors. “Where is the trust?” he asked the fellow seated at the bar next to him. 

Fortunately the fellow was conversant with literature and pointed Allen in the direction of the public library saying, “Them buggers got computers”.

Apparently libraries are closed at night (and they also lock their doors), so Allen returned bright and early at 11 a.m.

The encounter with the librarian started off well as she welcomed Allen and showed him to a computer instructing him to double-click on the dial-up icon and to type his search into the Netscape search box.
Had he but known the binging and bonging of the dial-up connection was a harbinger of his future in the Indian Subcontinent.

He thought it best to catch up on what people were selling on the Internet and had no trouble finding ads online. In fact he said to himself “This is worse than commercials on TV”.
Armed with this new information and the knowledge that the pub opened in one hour, Allen started to think “What can I resell that people really want and will pay too much for”?

Spurred on by opening time Allen was feeling stressed.

Fate intervenes

Not being used to mouse-ing and clicking, he accidently opened a link to an article on Carl Jung’s  thoughts on adults coloring, or colouring since he was in Brittan, as a de-stressing therapy.
Allen thought Carl was probably a pretty smart guy as he had once ducked into a lecture on Jung and reason suggested that you only get lectured about if you are really smart. Or really bad.

Allen had an epiphany. He thought that creative people like himself don’t like to be constrained (or stressed) by someone else’s design, also people like himself have a lot of trouble staying within the lines.

He would offer, for the quite reasonable price of $29.95, a book of blank paper and a #2 pencil (Sharpener sold separately. Just pay separate shipping and handling). He would point out that this combination could be used in at least two different ways.

1: Draw the design that YOU WANT and then fill in the spaces with crayons or colored pencils or pastels (sold separately)
2: Colour the shapes you want and then outline them in pencil giving the impression that you can stay within the lines.

Fate has a field day

In spite of the stress of knowing the pub was minutes from opening, Allen had the idea that he should offer pre-printed images to be colored by those without the imagination to come up with their own designs thus adding to the breadth of his offerings. 
Allen hopped back on Netscape and typed in a search for “Adult stuff” and within seconds found himself being frogmarched by the now not so friendly librarian out the door.

Allen was OK with this as the pub was calling.

Fate laughs again

It being early days of the Internet, people were, wisely, not used to handing over their credit card information on line and as Allen moved around so often he routinely missed orders that came through the post. 
He would have to await the mobile payment revolution

Allen had two final comments on this venture.
“Coloring books are stressful” and “Being ahead of the curve sucks”.

Tree of light stamp
Tree of light stamp by shiomi
Check out Christmas Stamps online at zazzle

Allen 2.0 Too

When we last left our intrepid entrepreneur he had arrived in India from Nepal by way of China.

The Big City

Because he had no idea what the sign at the city limits said (ed. No Solicitors) he was not sure which city he was in but there were thousands and thousands of people and few snakes.

It didn’t take many sales calls for Allen to realize that while India did indeed have electricity and curry and Pepto Bismol, it didn’t have a lot of phone lines.

This was a setback for the sales of home facsimile machines.

Time and Technology marches on

Allen had seen a cell phone before his sojourn in the Himalayas, but as they were expensive and heavy enough to defend yourself against grizzly bear attack, he never thought they’d catch on.

Everyone had one

At least everyone in this city and certainly everyone in this bar.
They were all technology mad. 
They would discard their old cellphone for the latest model, or that was what he would tell the IPS (Indian Police Service) officer when questioned about his recent acquisition.

Exploring the device he found you could talk, text or txt, play pointless games and it seemed to have that damned Internet on it.

He also found that online payments had caught on big time. Specifically, mobile payments.

This development called for extensive research and an hour later Allen knew he was on to something big.

It seemed that many companies in India were considering a move away from the current mix of desktop online and mobile payments to mobile payments only.

Possibly a brilliant move

No longer do you have to stand in line for the cashier, to make an impulse purchase, you can be mediating an international dispute, going to couples therapy or contemplating in the throne room.

If you have a free thumb, you can purchase the object of your heart’s desire. O.A.C.

Sure those who are used to desktops and even (shudder) catalogs where you get a decent picture and legible text might be reticent, and so what if the largest group with the most disposable income (or at least savings) with potentially fading sight…

Allen had read enough. He would target service the mobile market.
He reasoned that younger people did not have the experience of their elders.

The lack of a product was not the problem. 
The problem was how to get the product in front of the largest number of marks customers at the cheapest cost.

This was also the question on the minds of a group that Fate was toying with.

The start-up woman’s clothing designers became convinced that Allen’s entrepreneurial prowess and Mobile Application Development skills could translate their Plus size clothing line to a plus size bank balance.

Later they were to agree that they should not hold their board meetings in a bar. At least not one that was home to Allen.

Not one to say no to an opportunity, or temptation for that matter, Allen had one job in front of him; Find out what Mobile Application Development was.
That and how to make a compelling presentation. Compelling enough to get a cheque.

They agreed to reconvene in the same location during a popular local time. Happy hour.

He then applied himself to understanding Mobile Application Development, or MAD for short, and 30 minutes later he was talking a local artist into drawing his ideas out on Bristol board for future consideration in his newly formed company.

Presentation day dawned and quite a bit later than dawn, the designers, Allen and his artist were situated around the boardroom table. The waitress took their orders and commerce was commenced.

With the artist holding up the presentation and Allen pointing out the main selling points with an umbrella from one of the drinks, things were going well until one of the up-starts from the start-up asked why he was not using PowerPoint.

Viewing questions as an opportunity, he took the opportunity to excuse himself and get another round. On the tab.

After several rounds of negotiations, Allen felt more sure of a sale ‘tho less sure of his ability to read the room, and he decided to offer the ladies some sage business advice.

He suggested that the group abandon their hopes for a mobile application in favour of a website aimed at desktop users ‘cause “Those little mobiles can’t accommodate your product even in landscape mode”.

From there, talks headed south and so did Allen, leaving the group with the bar tab and the artist.

Watch for further adventures of our budding billionaire as records are released.

All products trademark of their respective companies.

Allen 2.0

Some of you may be wondering what direction Allen’s life took after the inaugural Tales of a Dissatisfied Squid Salesman 
and the popular (well it was popular in Asia) Humourous Lessons in Business, Tales of a Dissatisfied Squid Salesman II

The direction was east. It could have been west, the world being a sphere and all, but the first plane out of town was going east.

David’s now estranged twin brother Allen had financed his trip through the sale of David’s car and was looking forward to a bright new future (as well as backward at not a few creditors). 
Unaware that Allen still had a set of his car keys; David wandered the parking lot before realizing that he really missed Allen and wanted to see him again. Preferably in a dark alley.

After a series of plane and train rides on borrowed tickets and documents, Allen arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal.

His first thoughts were, “They’ll never find me here”.
His second thoughts were, “Where the heck is here”?
His third thoughts were, “Seems like a good place for some meditation. Some reflection, introspection and any other ‘ection’”.

Having heard the villagers speak of a remote monastery, Allen determined that he should take up meditation in a local bar. Allen recalls, “A lot of time passed, much of which was, quite frankly, a blur, before I was awakened to the desire to get back into the world of commerce”.

The thing that awoke him was the squawking of the bar’s fax machine.
After buying a few more drinks and listening to the bartender explain how the fax worked, Allen decided to re-launch his career by selling facsimile machines to the masses. After all, who wouldn’t want badly pixilated pictures and text sent right to their own home?

Unfortunately the masses did not live in Nepal. 
Fortunately China with its masses was right next door.

After a month or so, riding in carts pulled by various animals, he arrived at The Bamboo Curtain.

Unfortunately it was closed.

Undaunted, but quite miffed, Allen returned to Kathmandu where he lingered a few weeks or maybe months until he left his bar stool and set his sights on India, a land teeming with masses and hardly any bamboo.

After a month or so, riding in carts pulled by various animals, he arrived in India.
Allen had seen a map of the world but up until recently had no idea what the scale on a map represented.

After another month or so, riding in carts pulled by various animals, he arrived in an area large enough to be considered to be teeming.

The trip had been long and fraught with perils and snakes but the people of the area were a friendly lot and he was soon having a drink with someone who was willing to share his whiskey. Someone’s whiskey.

That someone had left a truck full of the stuff with the keys in the ignition and his new friend had decided to move the truck to a safer, not overlooked location. 

They were well into the bottle, all the time looking over their shoulders for any sign of the owner of the truck so they could flag him down.
They should have been looking in the vicinity of their ankles as suddenly karma (a concept Allen had never heard of) reared its ugly head in the form of a venom spitting cobra
Cobras are actually quite beautiful if you ignore their tendency to spit venom in your eyes with great accuracy even from a great distance.

His drinking partner froze with fear but Allen, startled out of his wits, sprayed his mouth full of whiskey right into the cobra’s face. (Don’t try this at home kids)

You have never seen a more affronted looking cobra in your life.

As the cobra slithered off to wherever snakes go, Allen became aware of the owner of the truck coming Right down the alley. Exit stage Left.

To be continued…


Monday, November 16, 2015

Wine and Kale

I told my sister that I was on a health kick and that I had been checking out the Internet for health related ideas. (see my Coconut Oil Experiment)
She told me she had also been surfing the net and had an idea for a smoothie that contained kale, blueberries and acai berries. 

I was surprised as she has traditionally been a potato chip and chocolate aficionado.

I said it sounded horrible but she proceeded to throw the ingredients into a blender. She blended it for about one minute and I said, “that looks like a hideous heterogeneous sludge of green and blue crap”
She said I should try it.
So I did.
She said, “What do you think”?
I said, “I think it tastes like it looks”.
I asked if she was sure it's all kale, blueberry and acai and she said, "No, the secret ingredient is red wine for the reversitol""it's good for your heart".
I said "what's kale good for"

She said, “I don't know, I just read it on the internet”.

I said OK, what are the blueberries good for? She said they have antioxidants.

I said, “I have tried antipasto and it was OK, so what's wrong with this stuff”
She seemed to think that it was doing me some good.
It was doing something.

Unbeknownst to her I'd already started on a regime based on three glasses of champagne per day to ward off dementia, and being as how I am I'm a real go-getter, I had started my morning with the three glasses.
Not being much of a drinker, my bar accouterments ran to a shot glass and a number of beer mugs.

Three mugs of champagne added to the copious amount of red wine she put into this hideous tasting smoothie and I was starting to feel a bit woozy. 
My stomach was feeling even woozier than my head.

Taking the Internet's advice to never leave a drink unfinished (kind of like Mom saying, "Eat every carrot and pea on your plate" (this oft misunderstood admonition made for some awkward dinners with guests)), I downed the last of the blender’s contents and decided then and there that despite all the health advice you can get from the Internet, sisters can't be trusted.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Closer to Home

In my previous post, Pluto vs. Science,  I ranted a little about groups redefining things for us whether we knew we needed them redefined or not.

I kept it short because Pluto has had some more recent Press and new selfies, I mean photos.

I did keep reading stuff about the definition of planets. 
Phil Metzger, a planetary physicist retired from NASA, said the problem was today's definition of "planet" doesn't work when comparing this solar system to ones light-years away. 
Why? Has he been getting input from the locals?
They are light-years away. Light-years. Google it.
To give you some perspective, if you headed there on a road trip, beginning at the dawn of humanity, we wouldn’t be anywhere close to being finished saying “Are we there yet?”

I am all for broadening my horizons but the news that winds on a planet three light-years away are 20x stronger than the strongest winds here, will probably never be germane to me.
Not even on trivia night.

I guess I would like to see more focus on solving problems a bit closer to home. Maybe tackle world hunger or cure diseases or battle global warming.

Why global warming? Coconut crabs.

Coconut crabs are the world’s largest land-living arthropod weighing up to 9 pounds and stretching to over 3 feet. 
They are hideous looking so I will not include a picture or video but I’ve put in some links.

Following the migration pattern of the coconut palm, the beast is found through-out the lands around the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Nice warm places. Far away places.

So what’s the problem?

Well if the video did not alarm you, how about the fact that there is irrefutable evidence of global warming, coconut palms are growing in places they never grew before and these buggers climb coconut trees and drop coconuts.

And we all know coconuts kill more people each year than sharks.

Imagine a swarm of 3 foot wide 9 pound exoskeleton monsters making their way across your lawn. Sure you could set your riding mower to mulch and wade in, but I prefer to be a little more proactive.

You can find me out in my yard with a book on how to spot coconut trees, and a chainsaw.

Bluejay Spiral Note Book
Bluejay Spiral Note Book by ladybuglane
See more Bluejay Notebooks at zazzle.com

Pluto v.s. Science

I love learning things.

Things about medicine, time, space and well, just about anything.

I don’t always agree with the things I learn such as Pluto being demoted to a dwarf planet by a bunch of astronomers. Must have been a slow day in astronomy. 
I know I am late to the party. Not thinking about it, just writing about it.

One of Pluto’s main detractors, Neil (I won’t name him here because he has already got a lot of press over his nay-saying (I am now following you on twitter so I will know when you recant)), uses science-y jargon and reason to support his views.

This is where it all goes wrong. 

Things are defined by people, usually groups of like-minded people who have been accredited by other people who are quite a bit like them.
Hmm…this is starting to sound like a conspiracy. Or a lobby group.

Should we take the word of a small group of scientists that may have a hidden agenda (i.e. first we demote Pluto and then remove it from orbit because it blocks the view) or were we happy in our knowledge of Pluto’s planet-hood as defined by scholastic rhymes similar to:
Man – Mercury
Very – Venus
Early – Earth
Made – Mars
Jars –Jupiter
Stand – Saturn
Up –Uranus
Nearly – Neptune
Perpendicular –PLUTO

Sure school didn’t actually prepare us for life but it did teach us critical thinking or was critical of our thinking, I’m not sure which, but it did give us a base to build on.
Demoting planets is just kicking out our foundation blocks.

What’s next? Some group decides we don’t need “Z”. Could solve the Zee or Zed issue ‘tho we could never talk about “the letter that shall not be named”.
What if mathematicians collude and decide "4" was a mistake and we are to stop using it. They could mail out an apology and new directives on circumventing problems caused by the former 4. Unfortunately, the letter would never reach my address. Couldn’t even text me for that matter.

We need to take a stand against all of this flip flopping.

Coffee is good for you
Eggs are not tiny assassins in your fridge
Cholesterol is necessary
Bacon… mmm bacon
and Pluto is a planet. Period.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Technology Replaces People

I am writing this post because my sister is going to start a blog and I don’t want her to catch up with me. Don’t worry ‘tho, I will try to make it a good one.

My sister says that maybe I should take the advice of auto correct more often. 
I have seen what happens when she does and I must disagree. 
We have all seen posts, on Facebook, of humourous text conversations that were hijacked by auto-correct. 
Even funnier, someone altering the words in your phones dictionary to insert certain words when you are trying to type other words.

Good thing people don’t text to arrange important things like a job interview or to seek help in an emergency.

My phone does seem near sentient and almost psychic.  
It often knows where I am and where I've been.
It tells me “If you liked this site perhaps you would also enjoy…”
I don’t look at the suggested page as “My phone is not the boss of me”. 

I do quite often click Like on things I have absolutely no interest in. 
So much for your demographics.  

I think it is more fun to grab your family and friends phones and visit sites that they would never ever go to. I won’t make any suggestions here. I’m sure you can come up with something that will embarrass your friends.

Someone may be doing this to me as I keep getting app suggestions for games. 
It can’t be my phone’s idea because it knows I haven’t played a computer game since I beat Microsoft’s Solitaire in 1998. 
Solitaire asked if I wanted to play again but “Quit while you’re ahead” is what I always say.

The other thing that made me think about technology replacing people is my old phone turning out not to be water proof. 
I get some of my best blog ideas in the shower. 
Those of you who noticed I did not post anything in 2014 can rest assured that the cause was lack of writing not lack of showering. 

Unfortunately thinking in the shower does not necessarily translate to remembering, what it was that you thought about, once you are back at your computer. Ask anyone who has lost their train of thought while walking from one room to the next. 
Hence my search for a waterproof phone to take notes on. Probably cheaper than hiring someone to take dictation.

Anyway, I have decided to give in and take one suggestion from my phone by signing my name

David the Greatest

Has a nice ring to it :)


Monday, November 2, 2015

Coconut Oil - The Experiment

Disclaimer - I am not a medical person, botanist or marine biologist.

I am usually skeptical about product health claims whether they be from family, friends, doctors or nurses, so I did what any right thinking person would do... check the Internet.
That was a mistake.

Coconuts kill people

Many links on Google lead to pages suggesting that "Coconuts kill more people than sharks" or the ominous "You are 10 times more likely to be killed by a falling coconut than a shark".
You may think that sharks don't fall but you are wrong as proved in Sharknado 1 through 3 and possibly 4.
Now, not only am I afraid to go back in the water, the beach doesn't hold much allure for me either.
I don't think I will pursue this line of inquiry right now.
Sharks v.s. Coconuts. Cold-blooded eating machine thinking where it's next meal is coming from v.s. warm-milked coconut hanging out in a tree thinking, well whatever coconuts think about. (tried to find a picture of the illusive coconut shark but it is illusive so no picture...sorry)

On to the supposed health benefits. 

Weight loss... Whoa! I didn't see that coming. 
Actually I would be surprised if there weren't claims of weight loss. Despite having more calories than butter, coconut oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs) that can support up to a 5% greater expenditure in energy and can suppress your appetite. Bonus.

Beneficial to blood cholesterol levels. Contains Lauric Acid which may increase your HDL (good cholesterol).

Fights bacteria, viruses and fungi. Is used in cosmetics and soap but that just makes it taste funny. The one downside of this is that the human body is comprised of a lot of viruses and bacteria with a little DNA thrown in.

This stuff is supposed to ameliorate or even cure, it is hinted, the effects of Alzheimer's or dementia, prevent seizures, heals psoriasis and eczema while softening your skin and can be beneficial as a hair conditioner.
I just can't imagine putting a chunk of the stuff on my remaining follicles. Below 24 degrees Celsius coconut oil has the consistency of the old-time paste wax I used to put on my car. As I turn the heat down at night to a coolish 18 degrees it could make for a rough start to the day.
Anyway I do not need a smoother shinier head.

Does it work?

It has improved my memory.
The very first time I replaced the butter on my toast with coconut oil I remembered how much I really like butter on my toast.
It made me remember that every time I picked a coconut chocolate out of a box of assorted chocolates, it felt like a punishment.
It brought to mind the time my Mom returned from Curacao with a bottle of Coconut Rum and I thought "What a horrible thing to do to a perfectly good bottle of rum". Almost couldn't finish it.

Since I don't have psoriasis or eczema and my skin is already soft, the experiment will be to determine if coconut oil does assist with weight loss or memory.
If I do lose any significant amount of weight by consuming extra calories in the form of coconut oil, I will create a new post and link back to this post.
In the absence of any alarming news from my doctor that relates to the increase in intake of coconut fat I will also create a new post.
If I do not post any positive results regarding improved memory or I forget to ever post again, I guess that puts paid to that.

Expected duration of experiment 

I still have half a jar of the stuff.