Archive for January, 2011

Alleged discounts.

January 28, 2011 Leave a comment

I work with compressed air a fair bit. The main air compressor at my shop takes 3 quarts of non-detergent oil and last week it was time for a change.

I use non detergent oil in my general oil cans, lathe, compressors, and pressure washer pump so I usually keep a stockpile but I found myself out of the 10wt that my compressor needs because the place I normally get it hasn’t been stocking it.

Last week, push came to shove, so I needed to go get the oil. Since I have an account with Lordco, I thought I’d get it there. It turns out that my allegedly discounted cost for 10wt non-detergent oil at Lordco is nearly double the price that Canadian Tire charges everybody.

….so I bought over half of the non detergent oil in Canadian Tire and will be calling Chevron before it runs out.

No lubricants will be coming from Lordco.

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The value of education.

January 22, 2011 Leave a comment

I was thinking of a post from a blogger I follow and a related post of
and I thought back to a time when a friend was having trouble with a job hunt and was feeling a little down because of his poor employment prospects which he attributed to his “useless” degree.

I asked him what his degree was worth in a job hunt and he said,
outside of his field of studies, nothing. I fired off four things that his degree showed a prospective employer: Research skills, literacy, numeracy, and that he was trainable. Job applicants can have all of those qualities without a degree but a prospective employer might not be willing to take the chance or time to find out; with his degree there would be no uphill battle. He started feeling better after hearing that. He said it was a good point and added that he graduated from a good school with honours.

Later in the conversation he mentioned that 60% of his class had graduated with honours to which I said that his credentials were tainted by grade inflation and the assumptions about his skills couldn’t be safely made.

Build them up, then tear them down!

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A funny story.

January 10, 2011 Leave a comment

I once knew a trapper who had his skinning shed in the middle of a
city in an expensive neighbourhood. His trap line was just outside of
town so he managed to stay at home and go out to check his sets each

Well, a funny thing happened one day. He had skinned a beaver and
thrown the carcass aside before setting about cleaning and stretching
the pelt. While he was working, he didn’t notice his neighbour’s
giant dog eating the beaver; he came out for a break to find the dog
gnawing on the remnants of the carcass.

The following day he was out in the yard talking to the dog’s owner
who mentioned their dog had such a bad bout of diarrhea earlier that
day that professional cleaners were being brought in to clean up the
mess. He suggested that dogs get into all sorts of things and
episodes like that were a part of life; he didn’t volunteer what
happened earlier.

It was told to me as a cautionary tale to impress upon me the
importance of good housekeeping while working in his skinning shed.
Even after getting sick that time, the darn dog still came around to
steal meat.

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January 7, 2011 Leave a comment

I was reading a post from a blogger I follow and it made me think about an experience of my own.

Once I was talking with some friends, all college students, and one of them was insisting that Krishna was the founder of Buddhism. I tried to explain Krishna to them…Hindu deity….avatar of Vishnu…Arjuna’s charioteer..heard any of that before? Sure you’re not talking about The Buddha?…No? I was dismissed because I was just a truck driver.

I lost my temper and, before walking out, said that apparently I had to be on academic probation at a community college (as she was) to know anything about Eastern religion or philosophy; I guess she didn’t realize that libraries issue cards to truck drivers. What saddened me was that her schoolmates didn’t address the issue before I left and what scares me is that she might now be in a position of authority.

As a friend of mine, I’ll call you out for being an ignorant snob and hope you’ll do the same when I get out of line; most of us do at some point.

I don’t believe I’m an anti-intellectual as one friend claims but I do have a big problem when people speak with authority on a subject they know nothing about. My aggravation is compounded when someone invokes their credentials rather than explaining their point when asked to do so; a last resort for somebody who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

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January 3, 2011 Leave a comment

I hate it when I’m arguing with someone and after they concede a point the next phrase out of their mouth starts with “but…” I hate it because usually the phrase that follows supports the debater’s position prior to the concession and the word “but” in this situation can be taken to mean “notwithstanding the previous remark.” No concession has really been made. The people I see do this are usually either truly clueless or simply saying it to move things along.

I’ve confronted a few people on this and they act dense as a tactic…..or perhaps I give them too much credit. As a native English speaker it seems clear enough to me and it surely must be equally clear to everybody else in the room.

By the way: Acting dense might stop people from arguing with you but don’t think they’re conceding anything; your tactic is a de facto refusal to reason. One danger of playing stupid is that someone might just believe it.

You know who you are.

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