Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Archive for the 'General' Category

Tick Tock Tick Tock

I’ve been walking around for the last couple of days with the intro to “The Final Countdown” by Europe stuck in my head.  While I can’t guarantee this is the final time that I’ll be counting down to the arrival of a baby, after so many months, there certainly is an air of finality to it.

We’re ready.  At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.  We’ve got all the baby stuff lined up and ready for action, our house is relatively well-stocked with food and Danielle is already off work.  We have contingency plans for who will look after Sebby if we have to jet off to the hospital and our dog Mojo has already started sulking in the full knowledge that his status in the family is about to drop yet another notch.

It’s the sleep that I’m going to miss the most; not that I’m back to my pre-Sebby sleep levels (or even remotely close), but there was a pretty good rhythm going there for a while that is about to disappear for a couple of years.  I’m prepared for and, more importantly, willing to make that adjustment again, but we can all agree that sleep is pretty great.

So, although the little guy isn’t officially scheduled to arrive until a week today (Wednesday, September 3), I have a very strong inkling that a post will show up in here before then to officially introduce Duncan baby number two to the world.  Or, at least to the world of those who read this thing anymore… so to Joel.

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This is What Dread Looks Like

Below, in no particular order, are the things that I think about in those dark, sleepless moments at night which cause my heart to pick up its pace and sweat to form on my brow.  These are the random thoughts that fill me with dread:

  • Rob Ford could conceivably be elected for a second term as mayor of Toronto; Canada’s largest city.  That he’s even running is a shock, but his poll numbers indicate that he is very much a contender.  In any normal election, one would say “Well, he’s just one blunder away from blowing it all”, but since his entire political career has been an unending stream of blunders, I don’t see him doing, saying or smoking anything that could kill his chances.  He could get re-elected.  Insane.
  • For months, we’ve all been watching events in eastern Ukraine unfold with unease.  As some sort of military intervention by the “west” (NATO, UN… whoever, but without Russia on board, of course) looks more and more likely, I am constantly reminded of Vizzini’s “classic blunders” from The Princess Bride; the second (and lesser known) being – never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.  However, the first is – never get involved in a land war in Asia.  Wise words from someone who died tragically in an iocane powder duel.
  • Due to a number of factors, this year’s hazelnut harvest in Turkey has been dismal.  The trickle down impact of this is that there could be a worldwide Nutella shortage.  I love Nutella, but haven’t bought it in years and had no intention of buying it anytime soon, but that I could buy it any time and satisfy the tiny but near constant yearning in my soul for chocolate and hazelnut goodness has comforted me.  Alas, my comfort zone is broken.
  • Seriously, Rob Ford!?
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So Much Chasing To Do

It seems that when life is at its most frenetic, that’s when you find yourself having to chase stuff down that should have taken care of itself.  We’re mere days away from having Duncan baby #2 land on our doorstep (a figure of speech, not our actual birth plan), and I’ve got a long list of phone calls and emails that I’d rather not deal with right now.  Here are two prime examples:

  • The Canada Revenue Agency has RE-reassessed me for 2013 after I provided proper paperwork on my reassessment.  I think this is one of those “Grade One Crush” situations where the CRA thinks I’m cute, so they pick on me.
  • We had a new furnace and A/C unit installed in May (moving from oil to gas) and were told that our gas hookup would be scheduled in a matter of weeks; certainly before the baby comes.  It’s now 12 degrees at night in mid-August and still no word.

Tasks like these are stupid little annoyances that I used to take with a grain of salt and just grind through (and of course, write a post in here to complain… so at least that hasn’t changed), but now that I’m a husband, father and minivan driver, it’s just one more thing on the pile.  Sigh.

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A Trip Down Reminiscing Road

During a random conversation today, I was once again reminded of how bad my memory is when it comes to figuring out when in my life things happened.  And once again, I was reminded of how awesome this blog is as an archive of a good portion of my adult life .

With a quick search on a keyword, I can look up exactly when Danielle’s first trip to the cottage was, how many days in a row it rained on that camping trip to Bon Echo and how many guys we crammed into an igloo on our second igloo camping trip.

And once again, when I was done looking up what I needed to know, I found myself randomly wandering around the archive and reliving moments from over a decade ago until the last 3 years or so, when it started to drop off.

That makes me kind of sad, because the last three years have been some of the craziest, fastest moving and (as I’ve learned) the hardest to remember specific moments.  I’m worried that without some sort of archive of what we’ve been through with Sebby, it will all just be a blur.

With Baby Duncan number two set to arrive just about any day, I’m hoping that I can find the will and discipline to keep track of both kids lives in here, and more importantly, what I’m going through as they grow.

No promises though.  I’m lazy.  Hella lazy.

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My March Madness is Passing

As in years past, I submitted a bracket in Jared’s annual NCAA March Madness pool and have been doing just “okay”.  Miraculously, this weekend I moved into a three way tie for first place, just as my ridiculous pick for overall champion (Wichita St.) was predictably knocked out.  I’m still sitting on top of the pool, but my visit there will likely be short.  Sigh.

Life in general is good though.  Our new baby is set to arrive on or around Labour Day, which is ironic enough that I’m worried he or she might be born a hipster.  We also took some time this weekend to upgrade our out-of-date phones (Danielle was on a jailbroken iPhone 3G and I was on a 4 and she got a 5C and I got a 5S), watch some basketball and finally got around to watching the second Hunger Games movie.

In addition, I’m posting here for the first time in 6 months.  So life is pretty good.  Now if only this unending winter would admit its time is up and give in to the budding spring.  If only.

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Dangerous Dan’s X: The Tenthening

Good Burgersday to you all,

It’s hard to believe that it was only 10 years ago that Jared and I made our first fateful trip to a greasy little hole in the wall in the east end and started what would become an annual tradition.

Some of you are stalwarts at this annual event, while others are hearing about it for the first time.  Rest assured, you are all being cordially invited because you are human and eating food is a requirement for life, and if you’re anything like me, (and you are) you might just be disgusting enough to get a kick out of this food in particular.

Of course, I’m referring to the annual pilgrimage to Dangerous Dan’s Diner on Queen Street East (at Broadview) where we will try our best to take down Coronary Combos in the battle to show those uppity vegans who’s boss.

The tenth annual trip will take place on Sunday, November 24 at 4:00pm. In case you’re wondering why, we’re holding it in the afternoon to avoid both the lunch and dinner rushes, and so that everyone taking part really only has to have one meal that day.

For the uninitiated, these burgers are ridiculously huge, but not altogether untasty.  To get an idea of what you might be in for, check out 2009’s public invite and the photos that followed, after we rode the burger bus.  Then, tell me that you wouldn’t love a photo like that for your Facebook or Twitter profile pic.

As always, spectators, friends and significant others are more than welcome (this event is open to all genders), but we encourage anyone not taking part to be supportive rather than judgmental.  After all, consuming these combos is a feat of arms, as it were.

Feel free to forward this along to anyone who might want to take part, watch or even document this event for future posterity.  If you know anyone with first aid skills, or who is particularly handy with a defibrillator, they would be welcome too.

Mark the event in your calendar, share it with your friends, make sure your camera (and stomach pump) are charged and ready to go and for goodness sake, start training now.  I hope to see you all in the land of beef in a few short days.

If you’re coming, just flip me a quick email to let me know.  The folks at the diner have asked we provide numbers so they can have enough cows killed ahead of time.

Thanks, and see you there!

PS: I learned last year that small children are very welcome, but the staff have warned that any living thing that wanders behind the counter is likely to served up.  Consider yourselves warned.

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Sick Days

Probably the only thing worse than being sick yourself is looking after a sick tw0-year-old.  Sebby is down and out with a chest-rattling cough, but it doesn’t seem to be slowing him down much.  He’s super eager to get outside and play with this new hockey stick and ball.  Attaboy.

Without any family who can help out within 600 kilometers, juggling sick days away from daycare can be a challenge at the best of times.  Right now, both Danielle and I are in the midst of some serious stuff at work, so fortunately our employers are being very understanding while we sort out a solution.  In the meantime, Treehouse On Demand has kept Sebby entertained while I work from home.  I can’t help but listen with one ear open, so my Spanish is getting some brushing up thanks to episode after episode of Dora the Explorer.  Frankly, if I have to hear the Backpack song much more, I will promptly go “loco”.

If only Sebby had an abuela or abuelo (grandparents, in Spanish.  Thanks Dora!) who lived nearby.  Oh well.  Wish us luck!

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A Night Out With Mojo

The other day, in the midst of a hectic work week (which is pretty standard) and probably after fighting to put Sebby sleep (also pretty standard), Danielle once again reminded me that I need to find time to get out of the house and do something on my own.

Well, last night I finally took her advice and spent an evening with our dog Mojo.  Was it relaxing?  Not particularly.  That’s probably because we spent the evening at the Toronto Emergency Veterinary Hospital, but we only left after I’d cleaned up our house; which to a casual observer, would have resembled a particularly gruesome crime scene.  That is, if barfing and crapping in many common areas is considered a crime.  [Note to guests, barfing and crapping in our home’s common areas is a crime]

Sometime in the last few days, we suspect Mojo got into something in the park.  Being part Lab, he’s prone to eating random bits of food he finds anywhere, and he must’ve gobbled down something that REALLY didn’t agree with him.  He’s normally great about not going to the bathroom in the house, so this was pretty rare and an indication of how bad he felt.  He actually tried to dig his way out through our back door, messing up our door trim in the process.

After a few hours in the hospital, he was feeling much better and is on antacids and light antibiotics.

The lesson I’ve learned from all of this is to try and plan a night out on the day when Mojo isn’t feeling well, so that I can avoid cleaning up the mess.

For the animal owners in the East End of Toronto:
If you need after hours care for your vet, I would recommend going to these guys.  This is our second visit and their service and facilities are great.  I could’t recommend them highly enough.  Also, free coffee.

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