Business on Canada Day


I am curious about the business that takes place on Canada Day. Its definitely not a highlight but it’s interesting. Of course there’s the obvious restaurants, pubs and food vendors. There are also cottage industries selling their wears. And of course causes. I noticed the police talking to some people that were carrying clip boards. Later I got a closer look and saw that they appeared to be gathering information for a cause for the protection of pets.

They seemed legit. If I wasn’t on the move I’d have chatted to see if there was a way that I’d like to be involved.

I did send an email to the World Society for the Protection of Animals to see if it’s the same organization.

Free Energy

This is an interesting phenomenon. I don’t mean free energy, I mean people that believe they can make or sell it.

I don’t mean people that thought of it, then tried it and figured out that it doesn’t work.

I mean feeble minded people that imagine it will work, get a thrill ride from telling people about it and stay on this train for the rest of their lives. They suffer from believing in this falsehood because of the inability to test the idea or to understand why their tests fail.

They fall into a verification bias in their thinking and become unable to learn why it wont work. What a rut! One common rant you’ll hear is that the oil industry keeps these machines under wrap.

I’ve met these types (even recently). If you up for some serious pub debate, I’ll even make the introductions. 🙂

The internet is chalked full of them:

It’s obvious that people will think of this but it’s validation that’s lacking.

When I was about 10 years old (or so), I had a couple of ideas. I actually tried one of them.

The idea I tried was to make a spoked wheel with weights at the end of each spoke. Each spoke had an elbow so that when the weights were on one side they were closer to the wheel. My theory was that because they were closer on one side, they would exert less torque than the weights on the other side creating an imbalance.

I was a meccano enthusiast at the time so I made a model of this. Actually, I figured out that it would not work before I completed it. When I had all the spokes in place and I was holding it, I realized that the side with the ballasts closer in would have more blasts.

When it hit me that it wouldn’t work, it also hit me that nothing would work. It was quite a revelation for me. (Imagine the look on my mother’s face when I came out of my room with this wheel in my hand talking about a motor that doesn’t require electricity). 🙂

My other idea (almost too embarrassed to say it) was to connect propellers together mechanically so that one was high volume and the other lower (like a gas turbine). The theory was the high volume one would pull lots of air through the lower volume one and the lower volume one would drive the high volume one. You get the idea. It’s like plugging a power strip into itself.

I never actually tried that one since it was complicated but it bounced around in my head for a while. I even kept my teacher at school (Mrs. Mechakeran) to share this with her (because it was such a revelation!). She was pretty bored with the idea of an engine with no fuel. Did her best to appear interested but I didn’t think she understood it. I drew it on the chalkboard and I needed to explain gear ratios to her because my suggested apparatus had sprockets of different sizes and chains in the drive system.

Thankfully a couple of weeks later I had the ballast wheel idea which was very easy to test. That put the whole perpetual motion to bed for me.

Since then I’ve studied physics and know a little more. It turns out that my ballast wheel idea has been tried before. Most notably by Da Vincci (who said he was out to prove it doesn’t work) and a few others (even earlier than that).

Here it is:

UPS Stinks


Okay, yesterday I got a notice that the first attempt of a parcel UPS.

$54.66 is the value of the goods.

UPS wants to collect $40.50 (7.11 of that is tax).

The rest of the $40.50 is what they’re calling a brokerage fee.


Further, the delivery notice has this listed as a COD charge and the lady on the phone is telling me cash is no good, I need to get a money order (I am on the phone with Brenda from the Brokerage Department).

Crap, another lineup and another bill (to get the @#$@#$ money order).

After some waiting the phone they are reducing my bill to 21.01. That’s the taxes and a smaller brokerage fee. I told her that I would only be home on Friday and she said that it would take that long by the time the paper is processed at her end so the next delivery attempt would be Friday.

If you take a look at the chart above which I came across while researching this, it says it should be somewhere between $7.00 (for a parcel that’s $20.01 to $40.00) and $19.45 (for a parcel that’s $40.01 to $100.00). This is greedy, sloppy behavior. The $40.50 must have been pulled out of their ass since it doesn’t correspond to the chart.

The operator explained that it’s all the shippers fault. When I bought the product, they should have told me about the broker fees of UPS and perhaps I should call them. As you can see by these statements, that is probably not true. I’m also betting that if you go on their Web site to get an estimate of a shipping cost that it will not tell you that they will roll out a ridiculous fee to the parcel recipient.

This is robbery. No more UPS for me after this.

Be aware that if you use UPS they may pull out some surprise brokerage fees.

I noticed that the status of the parcel was changed after I spoke on the phone:

Ottawa, ON, Canada 02/16/2011 17:36 The Delivery Change Request for this package was modified / The package is being held for intercept processing UPS will attempt delivery on the date requested
02/16/2011 17:30 A Delivery Change Request for this package will be completed / The package is being held for intercept processing UPS will attempt delivery on the date requested
02/16/2011 11:57 The driver was unable to collect funds on the 2nd delivery attempt. A 3rd delivery attempt will be made
Ottawa, ON, Canada 02/15/2011 13:08 The driver was unable to collect funds on the 1st delivery attempt. A 2nd delivery attempt will be made
02/15/2011 4:26 Out for Delivery
02/15/2011 2:45 Arrival Scan
Concord, ON, Canada 02/14/2011 20:24 Departure Scan
Concord, ON, Canada 02/12/2011 0:44 Arrival Scan
Ft. Erie, ON, Canada 02/11/2011 22:30 Departure Scan
02/11/2011 21:31 Import Scan
02/11/2011 15:55 Arrival Scan
Buffalo, NY, United States 02/11/2011 14:01 Departure Scan
02/11/2011 13:42 Arrival Scan
Ft. Erie, ON, Canada 02/11/2011 11:14 Package data processed by brokerage Waiting for clearance / Receiver’s customs broker has been assigned The shipment is now released to move in transit
Chelmsford, MA, United States 02/11/2011 4:14 Departure Scan
Ft. Erie, ON, Canada 02/11/2011 2:23 Registered with clearing agency / Shipment submitted to clearing agency
02/11/2011 2:23 Registered with clearing agency
Chelmsford, MA, United States 02/10/2011 23:49 Export Scan
Ft. Erie, ON, Canada 02/10/2011 22:36 Package data processed by brokerage Waiting for clearance
Chelmsford, MA, United States 02/10/2011 21:46 Arrival Scan
Leominster, MA, United States 02/10/2011 20:45 Departure Scan
02/10/2011 19:26 Origin Scan
02/10/2011 17:00 Pickup Scan
United States 02/10/2011 22:28 Order Processed: Ready for UPS