Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ice Cubes...

OK, so yes there is global warming and that is a documented fact but I can't get too excited about the latest chunk of ice breaking off in the Antarctic. I just saw where a slab the size of the city of Montreal detached yesterday and even though it may be a symptom of the changing climate is it not also likely that this is just a natural part of ice pack evolution?

I will be the first to admit that I've been hesitant in embracing the panic of rising temperatures but I'm sure you'll understand that it's because I spend a good part of the year in the arctic. For example where I am now the temperature has ranged from -15 to -45 over the past month, so it's a little difficult to believe it's getting warmer when you're walking into a blizzard with a -50 wind chill factor.

OK, so my point (and please correct me) is that any object that is supported by water or air or anything at all, and gets bigger and bigger over the years from more material being added to it will change and get heavier over time. So when things get heavier and heavier, even over thousands of years, does it not eventually have to reach a breaking point? Now I believe that the Antarctic does not have any land under it but what about the top of the world... is it not land based with tons of snow being dumped on it each year? Is this snow not compressing and moving outward to the edges? Is this edge not expected to break off once in a while?

Try extending a tape measure straight out and it will only go so far before it kinks and flops downward. Is the ice not acting the same? Hmmm...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Overhead bins...

I travel a lot and in fact I’m on the road well over 200 days a year. Almost all of that travel is by air and it seems that every time I get on an aircraft more and more people are trying to cram more and more stuff into the overhead luggage compartments. Most of these compartments are made to hold nothing more than a computer briefcase and your jacket but I’ve watched while people try to stuff that briefcase, their parka, presents for their great grandkids, suitcase and even their walkers into these areas. The airlines seem unable to control these people and have tried a number different aircraft configurations to accommodate them. The CL-40-0 Skymonster could have been one of their first efforts followed by the Guppy, the Super Guppy and most recently the Airbus A300B4ST Super Transporter.

Personally I’m getting fed up with those travelers who think they have to carry most of the contents of their homes with them whenever they fly and I’m sticking with the train whenever possible. Happy trails folks!

On the road...

I’ve been off the air lately and just now getting caught up on everything. I’m up in Inukjuak, a community of about 1,300 in Northern Quebec doing a Store Manager Relief job. The house I’m in had no telephone and it took about 3 week to convince Bell Canada that the dwelling even existed. According to their records it was demolished several years ago and they could see no reason why I wanted a telephone installed in a pile of rubble. Finally I called one of their service representatives in Ottawa and asked her if she had a telephone. “Of course,” she said and I then asked her if she had a house. When she said yes I said “prove it to me” and I had my telephone the next day so my internet connection is now up and running.

I know, they have their systems to follow and we have ours. For example, we used to have control over customer accounts at the store level and now it’s all handled by our head office people. As a result when we may have someone we know is an excellent customer with years of loyalty to us who wants to maybe just charge that one more thing we can’t approve it. To be fair, when the stores had full control things sometimes got out of hand and we can normally also get in touch with someone at our head office to stretch limits a bit but it can be a bit inconvenient on a busy day to have a customer wait in line with 10 people behind them while we get approval. Would I like to go back to store control? Not a chance because this makes things a lot more smoother and also much easier to say no to an overdue or over limit customer when necessary.

Anyway, this is one of the nicest locations we have in our entire system which stretches all across Canada, into Alaska, the Caribbean and now all the way to Guam way out in the Pacific Ocean. If you want to see some great photos of the Inukjuak area just go to WWW.PITUVIK.COM and check out the photography area. This is one fantastic place to visit so feel free to contact the Pituvik people to see about your next (or first) vacation to the north. And to you Toronto people out there… NO, Barrie is NOT part of the arctic, get out in the real world will you?