Is 2 minutes too much to ask?

UPDATE: I got an email from someone at Rexall wanting to know which store this was… The 30-second communique came from head office and sent to stores so I think they are looking for a store name and they are looking for the leak. I told him the region the store is in but not the city. Luckily, at least one customer complained to staff and I hope more do, as well.

A friend who works at Pharma Plus pharmacy chain (owned by Rexall Drugs) was informed that instead of observing the normal 2 minutes of silence, this Remembrance Day employees would be marking 30 seconds of silence. That’s right… 30 seconds… Apparently because “customers” become restive during the two minutes, the company decided that rather than risk losing the business of the few people who are insensitive and stupid not to know that 1) it is Remembrance Day 2) it is 11 am at time for two minutes of silence and 3) too stupid to listen to the announcements leading up to the observance they would rather deny their employees the right (who have already been denied the right to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies) to appropriately mark the 2 minutes but to insult the memory of all those who served and died for this country.


Thirty seconds homage to those who fought and died for our country. I wrote an email to the company and have sent emails to the editors of most of the top Canadian news organizations to express my indignation.

Ironically, it was another Canadian pharmacy chain store that took a stand when a “customer” took it upon himself to complain to a clerk during the 2 minutes of silence. That sparked a Canadian songwriter who was there when the incident occurred to write a song on the subject.

I would urge others to contact Rexall/Pharma Plus and express your indignation.

You can send a message on line to them by clicking on “Contact Us” at the top of their web page.

poppy image via freefoto

WTF is wrong with America?

Tiger Woods commits adultery and his wife tries to kill him.

Admittedly, adultery is not a good thing. But then neither is trying to kill your spouse with a golf club.

But two weeks on, Tiger’s career is gone because he spent too much time thinking with the little head instead of the big one and his wife is pitied because he cheated on her.

In fact, beyond this pity,  his wife is barely mentioned, despite her having caused him to drive into a hydrant and a tree while trying to whack him (take that in either context) with a golf club.

MEANWHILE, Michael Vick is responsible for the death and torture of perhaps hundreds of dogs in his dog-fighting “facility”, and aside from spending a short stint in jail, has a career intact and is cheered by thousands who dismiss his actual crimes simply because he can run fast.

What the Hell is wrong with a society which pillories a man because he chose to do something which isn’t illegal and the only peoples’ whose business it was was his wife’s and his, ignores the fact that his wife nearly killed him, and lauds someone who tortures and kills animals in the most horrifying ways (which IS a crime)?

I recognize that SOME may think that because Vick “payed his debt to society” he should be allowed to get on with his life. The fact is that Vick , as part of a team, makes money for others and lots of it. Tiger Woods makes more money but he basically makes it for himself.

Therein lies the difference. If Tiger were a football player, he’d still be on the field. People wouldn’t give a shit what he did with his penis as long as he didn’t tear a hamstring doing it.

Shame on the companies who dropped Tiger’s endorsements.  Shame on the companies who are willing to overlook the acts of a real criminal for the sake of money.

And shame on America for being the sort of society that worries more about someone’s sex life than someone else’s criminal acts.

“How are you?”

Here’s a question….

When you ask someone “How are you?” or “How are things going?”, do you expect someone to answer truthfully? Or are you just asking out of  form?

Are you taken aback when they answer “Things have not been so good…” or “I’ve been sick all summer”… or “I have cancer…”

I had the experience this weekend of being asked repeatedly “How was your summer?” and “How’s it going?” and then a glassy stare, and an uncomfortable “Oh dear… Well, gotta run.” when I answered truthfully…

In one case, I received a quizzical look and “Welll… Um… thanks for your honesty.” and then they looked for a quick exit. Now, I am not telling them that I have been abducted by aliens or that I have decided to become a sex-worker to support my crack-habit… I am simply explaining how things have been with my Mom sick and how Mom’s memory is. And these people were all members of our congregation, who I have known for years and, more importantly, have known Mom for years.

The “thanks for your honesty” one was from our minister.

Now, it isn’t as though I am going around unloading on everyone I meet… I’m talking about the people who supposedly “care”.

I sometimes feel like I am from some other planet. When I ask someone how are you? I certainly hope that they are going to say fine because they are. But when they tell me they haven’t “been fine” or that things have gone terribly wrong in their lives, I don’t take this as a personal affront. I stop and listen and offer my sincere wishes for improvement… Even offer to help, if I can.

On the very rare occasion when I encounter someone who I know just complains for the sake of complaining, I probably won’t ask “How are you?” because I know the answer. But why bother asking, especially someone you know well and supposedly care about if all you want to hear is “Great!”?

How about actually caring how someone is? How about that, for a change?

how are you

Or maybe I should just hand out a card that allows them to check off the answer they want to hear….

___   Absolutely peachy-keen

___   My life is complete, now that you asked me

___   If I was any happier, my head would fall off

___   Short of shitting bricks of gold, I couldn’t be happier

___   These are tears of pure, unadulterated, fucking joy….

And, while we are at it… Why the fuck is no one using their damn turn signals this week? Did I miss the memo?

People that burn my butt….

Today, while driving home in rush-hour traffic, I notice that the guy in front of me is driving slightly erratically. He isn’t “all over the road” but he is sort of wandering in the lane. I notice that he has his hand on the side mirror. Then I think… “Gee… he has a really odd shaped hand!”

A second or so later, I see why his “hand” looks odd. It isn’t his hand at all. It is his foot!

This brainiac is driving with his left foot extended out the driver’s side window and is resting his ankle on the side mirror. Meanwhile, his left arm joins his left leg in dangling out the car window and he drives with one hand, longing nearly horizontal with his seat tipped back. Not only is he weaving ever so slightly, he enters into the hectic traffic on Baseline Road cutting into the left lane of traffic with inches to spare.

And! It wasn’t like this was some teenager, either. I would say he was in his mid-late 30s!

Not that this is the first time I have seen someone do this.

About 2 years ago, when my ex and I were driving down to Brantford and were on the 403, we saw someone else practicing this singularly idiotic, brainless, and highly unsafe driving “technique”.

In that case, we were in the centre lane and this moron overtook us, cut us off and proceeded across the next lane of traffic, again cutting cars off, drove straight into the off-ramp lane, again cutting cars off and drove at twice the speed-limit up the ramp… all with his left leg, in a cast, pointing straight out the window. He had friends with him. I guess his friends were equally stupid to not just not stop him from doing this but willing to be passengers in his car.

Of course, if they were in an accident, their insurance would be null and void, and if they killed someone, they would be in for some extra penalties.

Meanwhile, I guess they, like the people shown in the following examples gleaned from the internet proudly displaying their disregard for human life, they think they are just the coolest thing since sliced bread. Unfortunately, the police seemed to have better things to do when I called about this moron.

“Yeah bored again so I decided to drive with my leg out the window.” Read: “I am a fucking moron”

Vodpod videos no longer available.
"I am an accident waiting to happen"

"I am an accident waiting to happen"

"Stupid is as Stupid does!"

"Stupid is as Stupid does!"

Don’t cry for Michael Jackson.

I couldn’t care if Michael Jackson was the “King of Pop” or the king of Spain. Talented, he may have been. A sad, sad person so unhappy with himself that he had to carve himself up into a freak… Sure. But to admire him is offensive to all those children who he molested.

The accolades being heaped on him by the famous and the fans does a disservice to all those children yet to be molested by other pedophiles who see in him a kindred spirit.

Sure, he was acquitted but it wasn’t his innocence that got him off. It was his money and his fame that “acquitted” him. He paid off the parents of the children, something that those children will live with for the rest of their lives. Shame on him, shame on the parents, and shame on his excusers.

He and OJ will have plenty to talk about when they meet up.

“King of Pop”?… Maybe.

Pedophile?… yes.

People that burn my butt…

This morning, I drove down town for our bi-weekly chiropractor appointments.

As usual, I tried to find a parking space but found that the only free spaces were taken by taxicabs idling in front of the Public Library instead of in the taxi rank outside the Indigo Hotel where there is ample space.

No, firstly, they aren’t paying for the parking spot, which is illegal. Secondly, they are idling which isn’t just bad for the environment, here in Ottawa, it is against the law unless it is above a certain temperature or below a certain temperature. Thirdly, when it is suggested that they need to move their vehicles they either ignore you or are downright rude and refuse to move.


Often, as I am up in the Chiro office, I watch the cars parked along that section of Metcalfe Street and can see the same taxis parked for well over 20 minutes. Often, when I come down tot he car after my appointment, the same drivers are in the same spot or have merely moved up one spot when someone who had parked has moved their car. Often, they are out of their cars, chatting while their cars are idling.

There is no Earthly reason why I, who am willing to pay for parking, should be shouldered out by taxi drivers who DON’T pay for parking. Especially, when parking downtown is at a premium.

So… while I drove around the block for yet another time looking for a space (using yet more fuel and causing more pollution) I find myself behind a line of cars waiting for a woman to cross the street who is slowly ambling across yakking on her cellphone.

So I yelled at he “Get off you fucking phone and cross the street”. As I made my way down the street, she barreled up to the car and whacked my window. As “luck” would have it, after finally getting a taxi driver to move and park my car, who should wander up the street but the woman I yelled at. She called me “vicious” and said she felt “sorry” for my mother because I was so “rude”. She said she had some sort of “injury” which was why she was so slow crossing the street. I opined that if she has an “injury” she seemed to have recovered from it and didn’t seem to be having a problem when she ran up the street to whack on my window.

Fact. She was walking and talking on the cellphone and was too preoccupied with that to know just how slowly she was walking and was oblivious to the fact that she was holding up traffic while she carried on a conversation. Not only is it silly and vain to walk on the street carrying on a conversation on your phone, it is dangerous. End of story.


Regarding the taxis idling, I emailed the taxi company and Cc;d the city bylaw enforcement and the mayor, attaching the relevant City bylaws. So there… Pttthhhhttt….


I received this response from Christine Vonk at Blue Line, the main culprit in this…

“I have forwarded your e mail to managers and they will ensure that messages are sent out to all drivers regarding this issue—I am sure this will be dealt with asap—thank you for your concerns!”

People that burn my butt…

Today, my mother and I went to the Sears store at Carlingwood Shopping Centre to get a new strap for her watch. Unfortunately, despite the fact that her watch is a reasonably well-known make of watch, the shape was unusual and the watch repair kiosk didn’t carry the strap she needed. So, I suggested we simply get Mom a new watch.

So, we toddled off the the watch department (the watch repair kiosk is privately run and the watch department is Sears-run) to look at the watches.

After looking at some of the cases, we waited at the counter to be served.

There was a male clerk serving a customer and a woman doing something at the other end of the counter. We waited for about 3 or 4 minutes before the the female clerk came towards us and I thought she was going to help us. Instead, she evaded our gaze and walked out and down the aisle. I thought she must be on her break.

We waited another 3 or 4 minutes. Then, while Mom stood at the counter, I leaned over to a nearby rack and looked at the watches in the case and when I looked back a mere 6 or so seconds later, the man who had just finished with his customer (who didn’t actually want to buy anything) walked right past my mother and down the aisle.

By now, the woman clerk was back but she was standing in the aisle about 3 feet away, talking to another woman who appeared to be either a friend or a coworker who was there on her own time.

I waited for at least a full two minutes for her to acknowledge us and then finally said “Excuse me…”

Well!!! She turned her head really slowly towards me and glared at me and turned back to her friend and finished her conversation. So I said “Never mind.” and took my mother’s arm and started to walk away. The clerk said “Can I help you?”

I said “Well, I WAS going to buy a watch but obviously it is too much trouble for you to stop your private conversation while customers who have been standing here several minutes wait to be served”.

I then walked down to customer service and made a complaint.

I worked retail for QUITE a number of years. I can understand when a store is busy that customers have to stand and wait. I can understand that people have to go on breaks. I understand seeing a friend and saying hello to them. I can understand waiting on a talkative customer.

I CANNOT understand steadfastly ignoring a customer and failing to say “I will be right with you” or “I am just on my break but XXX will be right with you”.

I cannot understand standing talking to a friend and co-worker while customers, one obviously old and frail stand waiting.

The behaviour of both the clerks was inexcusable and they both lost a guaranteed sale.

People that burn my butt….

  • Websites for major US networks that don’t allow anyone outside the US to watch videos, on their website, of their programs, even when you can get their network on cable. Hellooo… Do you WANT people to watch your shows?
  • People who pay good money to go and see a movie/show and then talk all the way through it… Worse. People who pay good money to go and see a musician play, sit right up front… and then proceed to have very loud conversations instead of listening to the music. AND THEN DON’T APPLAUD at the end of songs. If you are going to be an asshole, do it at the back of the room and leave the seats up front for people who appreciate the music.
  • People who are in such a damn hurry that they can’t wait for the red light to change and start edging into the intersection and then, when the light DOES change, don’t notice that it changed and just sit there.
  • People who buy cars with standard transmissions, can’t change gears smoothly and as a result come to two almost complete stops while gearing up through intersections. Yeesh… Mario Andretti… learn to drive it or buy an automatic before someone rear-ends you!
  • “Photographers” who show up for live music shows and use their flash. Fine if you were asked to by the musician/band to take photos but if not and you didn’t ask, it’s just damn impolite to use your flash while they are trying to sing…. AND it is just as annoying to the audience that also gets assaulted by your flash. NEWSFLASH… You can usually take perfectly good photos without using a flash and if you can’t, too bad. The world does not revolve around you and your camera.

(from desktopnexus)

(from desktopnexus)

On the subject of camera flashes: Here is a nifty idea for those who have the old-style hot-shoe flash (It could also work, with some modifications, with other flashes, as well… A Do-it-yourself flash diffuser

People that burn my butt…

  • People who send things to the printer that is out of paper and instead of putting paper in the printer, reprint it at another printer…. It isn’t brain surgery! Open the drawer and put some paper in! (This includes not just the first person who didn’t bother putting paper in but the 4 people who followed up the first person so that I have to wait while 5 print jobs complete before MINE prints).
  • People who don’t bother signaling and then barge into your lane like you were supposed to know that was what they intended to do…
  • People who don’t understand how to use the merge lane. You don’t have to drive down the full length until you run out or road… You can merge at any time…. and use your Goddamn signal!
  • People whose idea of changing lanes is to drive at the same speed as the car beside them instead of slowing slightly in order to get in the 5 car-length space behind the guy the are driving next to…. and use your Goddamn signal!
  • People who turn right by turning left first or turn right from the middle lane instead of using the well-marked and very thoughtfully provided turn lane…. and use your Goddamn signal!

A number of years ago, a radio station in Quebec )Montreal, if I recall) asked drivers what the little stick on the left side of their steering wheel was for. A surprising number had no idea… I don’t think they are completely alone in their ignorance.

My father was absolutely sure that you did not have to indicate if you were changing lanes. Perhaps it was changing lanes to your right. Either way, he was wrong. Of course, he also swore up and down that it was illegal to make a left turn from a one way to a one way on a red light and refused to look in the Driver’s Handbook to confirm it. In fact, unless there is a sign which says you can’t, it is perfectly legal in Ontario to do so. You still have to use your turn light, though.

  • People who stand through an entire line-up at a store and wait until the cashier has totaled up their order to dig into their purse to get their wallet out… and then pay in small change.
  • People who put their cart right in the middle of the aisle while they look at the merchandise… and then give you stink eye because you have the “nerve” to move it out of the way so you can pass by.
  • Perfectly able-bodied men who barge through a space where a senior citizen is standing, nearly knocking them off their feet without “noticing” that they have done so. They are called eyes… use them.


Drunk Driver…

Mom and I had “adventures” today.

On the way to take her for church, we were driving along Maitland to the Queensway when this guy zipped past us going WELL over the limit (probably between 75 and 80 km/ph in a 50 km/ph zone). He swerved almost into my lane.

Two blocks later, he swerved right up on the curb and almost jumped a snowbank, splashing the only pedestrian for a mile around. Had he jumped the snowbank, he would have killed the pedestrian. Then he veered into the left lane. A bit later, he veered back onto the curb, nearly  jumping another snowbank. He wandered back and forth across the lanes for the entire time.

By then I was pretty convinced that he was drunk so I got out my phone. I dialed 911 when he entered the on-ramp for the Queensway. He was swerving back and forth between the three fast lanes, sometimes signaling and sometimes not — cutting cars off and speeding well over the limit. Meanwhile, I was on the phone talking to the OPP dispatcher.

I hadn’t yet got his license plate and he was well ahead of me. Finally, at Parkdale, I caught up to him… the last time I looked at my speedometer, I was going just over 140 km/ph and STILL hadn’t quite caught up to him… I got his license relayed it to the dispatcher and dropped back to 100. He sped on.

We headed across to the 174 but when we hit Lees Avenue, the traffic suddenly came to an almost complete halt.

My “Spidey Sense” told me that there was an accident and that in all likelihood he was either in it or the cause of it… I pulled out my phone again and called 911 again and was just speaking with the OPP dispatcher, again when I started seeing debris… Sure enough… there was an accident and guess who was in it…

As a matter of fact, he was the only car in it. He had lost control and hit the left median cement barrier, careened across 4 lanes and hit the snowbank (luckily, instead of going over the cement barrier into the Rideau River) before coming to a stop in lane 3 (second from the right). There was another driver who had witnessed the accident and he was talking to him. I got out and talked to the driver who had witnessed it and I asked if the other driver was okay… “He isn’t injured but he’s drunk…”

Between the time I made the first call to the OPP and the time I made the second call was a TOTAL of 6 minutes… It must have been 4 or 5 between when I called and he had the accident. When I made the first call, we were in the West end of the city. By the time I made the second call, we were in the East end of the city.

He WAS drunk and was charged with impaired driving. I have to go to court.

He was damned lucky he wasn’t killed and damn lucky he didn’t hit anyone else. The other driver had his son in the car. Traffic was pretty heavy by then… He was lucky he didn’t cause a major accident.

It was 10:06 AM when I made my first call. How do you get so drunk by 10:00 AM???


Just a reminder...

Just a reminder...

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