Archive for April, 2004

The first of May is fast approaching, and in any major city, that means one thing… it’s moving day. I can only assume that years of Post Seconday education train us that the world moves in four month cycles, but eveyone seems to move on the first of May, and my friends are no exception.
Earlier this week, we moved Ryan down five floors in my building to the one bedroom apartment that will be his marriage home in a few months. And on saturday, The Par moves into ‘The Bastard’s Haven’. We’ve talked about changing the name, but since we’re bastards, and it’s our haven, it’s just a little too appropriate.
What changes does this mean for the AchtungDavey? Probably less sleep since Par doesn’t have a job yet and we’ll stay up all night drinking Fiddy and playing PS2. It means the loss of one sweet entertainment centre, and the gain of another, no kitchen supplies WHATSOEVER (we’re going to be using all my camping cooking stuff for a while), and it means that I have to buy a microwave… something I’ve never wanted to do. Which leads me to…
Dave’s List of Things He’s Never Wanted To Buy
1. A Fridge. Really, who wants to shop for a fridge?
2. China. No one wants China… no one uses China.
3. A Toilet. A good toilet is a great thing, but I don’t want to shop around for one
4. A House. I want the house, I just don’t want the hassle. (see below)
5. A Bed. It means I’m grown up… and I bought one just a few weeks ago. Damn.

Here’s my little sidenote… most of these items are things I want, but just don’t want the hassle of buying myself. This goes double for buying a house. No one has ever had a good experience buying a house. It’s all about getting shafted, not getting everything you want, and having deadline after deadline broken. I’m just going to build my own house, with my own bare hands… and to anyone who’s ever seen me build anything, you know that it ain’t gonna be pretty.

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Okay, so after a long day of reading emails and surfing the net, I’d like to say one thing to everyone… write like you speak. These people who use big fancy words to sound smart only end up sounding stupid because they either use them in the wrong context, spell them wrong, or use WAY more of them than they do in speech… so everyone just knows that they’re trying to sound smart.
That’s about it for today… I’m going to the airport with Jen to pick up Jackie , so I guess that means that today is the official start of Summer 2004. Let the good times roll.
I’ll make a more official declaration tomorrow.

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Thanks to Jen’s sense of Community Spirit, I was up a little earlier than I’d planned on saturday morning to help clean up the Park near our apartment complex. She had signed us up to clean the Park as part of a nationwide day to clean up Public Areas, and we had planned to get a lot of people to join us (because the Park is pretty big). In the end, it was me, Jen and Jana. That’s a lot of ground for three people.

Here’s what I learned about the general public by picking up after them…
1. People drink a lot of beer in public places
2. The aforementioned people prefer to smash their beer bottles rather than return them
3. If you’re a man, and your underwear are in rough shape, throw them in the bushes in the park to decompose. Oh, and make sure that they’re briefs.

… aside from that, the trash was pretty straightforward. Cigarette packaging, coffee cups, sundry bits of plastic, and pop cans-a-plenty.
Early on, I was starting to lose hope in mankind from seeing some of the crap that people threw away within feet of a garbage can (there are more than six in the park), but then good things began to happen.
One man was walking through the park with his two sons. He told them to each pick up a few pieces of garbage and put them in my bag. While they were scrounging, he thanked me and apologized for the state of the park. He even made a joke that his kids should help all day because they probably caused most of the mess. He was the most helpful passer-by. I was thanked by a few more people (mostly older people… 50+), and overall I was pleased with how the park looked.
But… then it happened. We went to grab some coffees, and by the time we came back (20 minutes later), there was a big white piece of trash right by the main path. I thought Jen was going to freak out and start taking lives.
So, the point of this story, is that cleaning up a local park is a sacrifice we all should make for our communities, and because I made that sacrifice first, I’m better than you. Called it.

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In Toronto last night, that was the universal greeting that finished off what little was left of my vocal cords. Stan came into town, and we headed down to the ACC to check out the ‘Ultimate Tailgate Party’ being held out front. Basically, it was just a huge tent with a projection screen TV and really overpriced beer, but when you’re crammed into a tent with 150+ other Leaf fans, and the Leafs win the Eastern Conference Sem-Final, there’s bound to be a lot of yelling. At the time I post this, it’s been 12 hours since the win, and my ears are still ringing with the same intensity that they were last night.
Yonge Street was packed with revellers and police, and it was nice to see that the police, while focussed on keeping the peace, still cheered along with the other fans. Something that also pleased me was the lack of violence or destruction we’ve seen lately in celebrations for sporting events. I didn’t see any destructive acts at all last night. Actually, the crowds were even polite. Once out on the streets, chants with some colourful language would start up until someone pointed out a small child in the crowd. The chant would stop and turn into either ‘Ed-die, Ed-die’ or the standard ‘Go Leafs Go’.
Yeah, so that’s it. Come on down to TO for the next series.

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The time is now 1:45pm EDT and I haven’t left my desk since I got up this morning. Not even to go to the bathroom… which I need to do, incidentally. Yesterday, I left my desk for only a few minutes. I reheated some leftover Thai food, and back I came. Ah, the joys of being chained to your desk.

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Ah, History Channel… what would I do without you? I’d have to find other ways to learn useless information, and watch the same war movies over and over and over again. This weekend, was a little different, as I had a chance experience with two rather unrelated shows that appeared back to back.
The first show was about the US rocket program in the 60’s that built into the Apollo program. The show paid some attention to a man named Werner Von Braun, the Unite States’ leading rocket scientist, and how he had been plucked from a German Ballistic Missle research laboratory at the end of World War II. The programme discussed how he had been forced by the Nazis to rush production on the V1 and V2 rockets to help speed the end of the war (and rain fire down on England, Holland, and Belgium). The show alluded to the fact that Von Braun had been investigated by the Nuremburg Council at the end of the war, but that his scientific acheivments outweighed ‘suspicions of his use of slave labour’. And that’s where the program left it. Hmmm.
The second program was about famous divers and how they were diving in an abandoned Nazi Rocket Research Station built into a mountian that had flooded after the war. It was the facility where Von Braun had worked all through WWII, and much of the show focussed on the disproportinate number of Concentration Camp workers who had been worked to death there, compared to other Arbeitslager (work camps). They were basically forced to tunnel into the rock of a mountain using little more than hand tools. The little known camp (called ‘Mittelwerk Dora’. but known to survivors as just ‘Dora’), has nearly been erased from history as it’s story was covered up by the US in an attempt to whitewash Von Braun and his wartime ‘indiscretions’.
I’m not the first person to be sickened by all this. Peter Sellers took more than a few jabs at Von Braun in his Cold War lampoon “Dr. Strangelove”. I guess this leaves us with the question… ‘What can we justify in the name of science?’

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Holy Flirking Schnits… I’ve been suffering for years with poor sleeping habits (some self-inflicted, others not), but all that came to a change at 6:37pm yesterday. That’s when the fine folks from Sleep Country Canada stepped across my doorstep in their little booties to deliver and assemble my first real bed.
Now, a futon is pretty handy if you move a lot, or if you don’t care about comfort. Also, if you’re some sort of self-hating Sado Masochist, you might want to look into getting a futon (better yet, contact me and I’ll sell you mine). My crappy little bed served me well enough through my latter University years, two years of Nomadic living here in Toronto (I hopped apartments a few times), and into “The Bastard’s Haven” (the name for our little home). In some ways I’m sad to see it go, but go it must.
The new bed is very TALL in comparison to a futon, but she’s a sweet ride. I had a little trouble getting comfortable enough to fall asleep, but once I was out… I was OUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUT. I haven’t slept that soundly in some time, and I’m looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow morning, just to make the most of it.

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For the most part, I’m a pretty lucky guy. I fall ass-backwards into sweet jobs, I get out of speeding tickets, and I haven’t been beaten up in a long time (this is a feat for anyone who’s ever seen me turn into Phineas Gage after a few pints). I’ve won petty contests and prize draws all over the place, but for some strange reason, I can’t catch a break this year in Tim Horton’s ‘Roll Up the Rim to Win’.
I buy coffee like a Mofo… if I’m in a car for more than 10 minutes, I need a large Double Double in my hand… and I basically breathe the stuff at work, so i thought that odds would be on my side. However, so far all I’ve won is one measly donut. ONE! Jen, on the other hand, has been rolling up winners like gangbusters… all donuts, but still… the rush of seeing something other than ‘Please Play Again/Re-essayez SVP’ is better than nothing.
In past years, I’ve had ‘The Touch’. Two years ago, when everyone started complaining that it was impossible to get a winning cup, I went 1 for 1 all season. I was batting .500. That’s pretty impressive, even if it’s a lame-o contest and all I won was free coffee and donuts (no big prizes). If I had odds like that in the lottery, I could quit my job and become a Grifter of sorts.
I’m going to try to cheat the system though. Rather than rolling up the rim as soon as I finish my coffee (like everyone else does), I’m going to clean the cup, stash it in my apartment, and forget about it for a while. I’ll let them stack up for a few weeks and maybe the lack of attention will force them to turn into winning cups. No one likes to be ignored, and after a few weeks of not being rolled up, any one of us would gladly turn into a winning plasma screen TV in order to get some attention. I’ll let you guys know how it turns out.

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