Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Archive for July, 2004

Going back to my childhood

Today we are taking off for Kingston to visit Steve and Sherri. I haven’t been in Kingston since I was 12, but spent a lot of time there as a child. My parents had 4 kids, and my mom decided to leave her nursing career when she had kids, so that meant we lived off of one income. Our family vacations were never extravagant, but we always went camping in the summer and drove to Florida once over Christmas break.
I don’t remember many of the specifics of camping with my family, except that my parents used to wake us up at about 5am and carry us, in our p.j.’s, to the back of our Ramcharger (which they fitted with a matress and curtains for the windows for the drive) and we would sleep for most of the way to Kingston. We usually got to stop for breakfast at McDonalds when the sun started to come up.
The campground was somewhere north of Kingston and was small and probably had a name, but we called it “Vince’s” cause that was the name of the owner. We put our canvas tent wherever we wanted to and docked our 12′ aluminum boat right in front of the campsite. We went fishing off the dock and caught sunfish and boated over to Westport for ice cream. There were only outhouses and pumps for water and there was a pavillion with old fridges where we kept the fat from the chicken for fishing bait. Although I didn’t spend much time in the city of Kingston, I have fond memories of that whole area and still have some family there.
Anywho, I’m looking forward to going into the city of Kingston, hanging with Steve and Sherri and relaxing at the beach. If we have time, Dave and I might drive to Elgin and try to find the farm that my grandfather grew up on and the family cottage that is no longer in the family anymore.

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The Cost of Living: Toronto

  • TTC Monthly Metropass: $98.75
  • My half of the rent for a 1000 sq. ft. 2 bedroom apartment (per month): $643.12
  • Cable Internet and TV (per month): $90 (approx)
  • Recently, I’ve been talking to some people from outside the GTA who are surprised at how much it costs to live here. It’s pretty pricey… I grant them that, but keep in mind that for the most part, food is pretty cheap, and there’s a convenience factor. Also, depending on where you go and what you do, a TTC pass might be an unnecessary expense.
    I’d say the greatest cost of living in TO isn’t financial though. It’s very hard living in close proximity to a few million other people, and for me, that part is the most taxing. To anyone thinking about moving here, that’s the expense you need to consider above any financial ones.

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    17 Minutes

    As I started writing this, I had 17 minutes left in my workday and I realized that I hadn’t posted anything here. So… do I go for the post about not posting, and scam all you guys out of your time? Nah. I’ve decided to post something of substance.
    How satisfying would it be to have a lifetime task? You know… one of those hobbies that you work on for a lifetime. For example, I’ve been researching both canoe and guitar building. With my limited woodworking skills, it would take me at least 40 years to build a decent guitar or canoe. These are the kinds of hobbies you see in movies or TV shows, but I think I’m going to pick one up for myself, and I’m leaning towards canoes.
    The satisfaction of seeing something come together with your own hands, and improving on your own craftsmanship is the kind of hobby I could get quite a lot out of. Plus, when I’m done, I’d have a sweet canoe to paddle around in… if I’m not in a nursing home by the time I’m done.

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    Does everyone have a favourite stall?

    Seems like whenever I walk into the bathroom and pick a stall, whoever comes in next ends up right beside me. I mean, there are 6 stalls, plus a handicapped stall, but why did this person walk in and go directly for the stall beside mine? It makes me wonder if everyone has their favourite stall.
    My rationale for choosing is that the first, say, 3 are easy targets. People walk directly into them from the entrance. The next one is right in the middle, automatically making it the most popular and then the end ones are out of the way and also favourites. For this reason, I pick the second from the end, 4th in from the entrance, 2 in from the handicapped stall. It has worked for me most times in that the stall is clean, there is no urine or other gross stuff on the seat or in the bowl and it’s usually vacant. I don’t know if everyone has a favourite, but I guess it depends on how many stalls there are. I know guys pick urinals based on their proximity to other guys who are peeing. I just never evaluated my techniques for stall selection.

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    The Bourne Supremacy

    I really liked the Bourne Identity, and was sad to hear (back then) that there were no plans to shoot the whole Bourne trilogy. Matt Damon and Franka Poetente (Run, Lola Run) were both well-cast, as were Brian Cox and Chris Cooper. The story was well-written and the action scenes were all shot well. So, what did I expect from the second film? Quite a bit, actually.
    I’m usually wary of sequels, but since this wasn’t really a sequel, and since the movies are based on well-written novels, my expectations for The Bourne Supremacy were quite high.
    I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed. Although many of the actions scenes were shot in a choppy style that I didn’t prefer, the story held together wonderfully and the whole movie was suspenseful. There are quite a few twists, but fortunately there’s nothing predictable or contrived.
    I’d love to say more, but I wouldn’t want to give anything away. If you’ve seen the first one, go see this one. If you haven’t seen the first one… rent it, and THEN go see this one.

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    Big Sis

    My big sister called me at work today from traffic on her commute to work in BC. We’re both pretty bad at keeping in touch, so it was great to hear from her for the first time in a while.
    Hopefully Deb reads this and can elaborate or correct me in the comments section, but she’s working at the BC Children’s Hospital (having just graduated from Nursing at Trinity Western) in Pediatrics (or Paediatrics for the purists). What I understood from our conversation is that she’s in a training program there where she bounces around between five pediatric units, learning as much as she can about each. It sounds crazy and intense to me, but Deb’s always been great under fire.
    This is a girl who worked in a home for the severely mentally and developmentally handicapped while she was working on her Undergrad. I, on the other hand, was playing guitar and watching TV while I… dropped out of my Undergrad. Clearly she got the motivational genes.

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    It’s all about how you put it on the roll…

    I find there are two groups of people in the world. Those who put the toilet paper on so it hangs under from the back of the roll, and those who put it on so it hangs coming out from the top/front of the roll. People either do it one way or the other, but never both.
    I am from the more refined class of those who put it on over the top…WHERE YOU CAN SEE IT. I never got it the other way. I mean, it’s hanging underneath, at the back, you can’t even find the beginning of the roll. The thing I’ve realized though, is that those of us from this group are not tolerant of those in the other, where as those who put it on to hang at the back/underneath do not have a problem with it coming from the top/front.
    Alas, I have decided it will be the cross that I bear, to always right the toilet paper, whenever I see it wronged.


    The Weekend Round-Up

    Another great wedding is over, which officially ends my wedding season for this year. Brad and Kelly got married in KW, which meant that we had a great chance to hang out with all the Grebel folks again.
    Our table was betting on events during the reception, and Annastasia and Rob tied for first with four points (out of nine), with Jared and me pulling up in a tie for second with three. The questions included…

  • Will there be a bouquet toss?
  • Will the meal be buffet or served?
  • How many speakers will cry during their speeches?
  • We really should market this as a game. Mind you, our debate about whether or not people were crying made us a little disruptive during the speeches. Well, to be honest, we were disruptive the whole time, but that’s who we are.
    Over breakfast at the Duke on sunday, we decided it would be cool to go camping this weekend out near Kingston, so let me know if you’re interested.

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