Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Archive for August, 2004

Walter Cronkite at Tet

Last night (like most nights) I planted myself in front of the TV and prepared for a night of watching nothing but History Television. It’s like a drug for me. All this week, they’re running ‘7 Docs for 7 Films’ where they show a film, but before it, they show a documentary about the historical period in which the film is set.
Last night they showed ‘Platoon’, and the documentary was excellent. For one portion, a Professor at the University of Birmingham (i think) used media archives to try to track down the single point at which American public support for the war began to wane. He was able to pinpoint it to a broadcast on the CBS Evening News in the early part of 1968. Walter Cronkite had just returned from Vietnam after the Tet Offensive (a massive surprise attack by the North Vietnamese that killed thousands of Americans on the eve of the Vietnamese New Year, known as Tet), and told his countless viewers (he was the most-watched newscaster of his time) that “the bloody experience of Vietnam is a stalemate” and the only option left to the US was to negotiate a peace… not as victors, but as an honourable nation that had tried to uphold its values of democracy.
The Vietnam war, however, would run for another 5 years and would see over 58,000 Americans killed or go missing, and an estimated (conservatively) 1.5 million Vietnamese dead or missing.
After the film, the host interviewed a Canadian who had fought in Vietnam about his experience, and one of his more poignant comments was an echo from ‘Platoon’ that when conventional armies (like the US) fight an unconvential war, they are doomed to fail. They end up fighting their own shortcomings, and their own training. He didn’t draw the parallel to the war in Iraq, but I’m not sure he had to.
All in all, it was an enlightening evening. Check it out… History Television, starting at 8pm.

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Admin Note

Jen’s in Montreal until Tuesday night, so she probably won’t be posting in here. I spoke to her last night, and she’s having a great time.
This means a few things for me… the first, I miss her terribly… the second, I get to eat all the foods I want… and third, I get to catch up with an old friend. TV.

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To The Trees!!!

For the firs time in over 20 years, my family left their perch on the porch at the cottage in favour of a more pastoral relaxation site. On Saturday, we set up a dining tent back in the bush and spent most of the afternoon out there. It was quiet and peaceful, and when we came back out again after dinner, it was heavenly. Sitting bug-free in the bush is about as good as it gets.
I’ve decided that in preparation for next year, I’m going to build a standalone screened-in porch back there… big enough to hold a crowd on Canada Day weekend, or to sling a couple of hammocks for some serious relaxing. In the fall, it might even be a good place to spend the night, or to watch the deer wander through the property.
On a completely unrelated note, on sunday afternoon (just as we were getting ready to pack up and head home) a huge downpour started and I headed upstairs to enjoy the sound of rain on the tin roof. I laid down on my bed to enjoy the deafening roaf, and promptly (and accidentally) fell asleep for almost an hour. It was the deepest and most peaceful sleep I’ve had in months. I should charge people to sleep there for ‘Tin Roof Therapy’.

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I’m off to the cottage tonight, for a quiet weekend with my parents and the dog. That means a weekend of looking at house plans, collecting wood for the fall, and possibly napping every hour on the hour. It’s going to be great.
I wish you could all come, but then it wouldn’t be a quiet and relaxing weekend with the family. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you on monday.

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A new ‘puter

Tonight Steve and Sherri are dropping off my new computer that they picked up for me at a computer store in Kingston. Apparently it was an amazing deal and apparently it is a good computer and apparently it is all set up with everything I need. I say “apparently” because I really don’t know the first thing about computers. I mean, I know how to email and surf the web and now I can use most Microsoft Office programs, but I have a website that Dave has created for me and I haven’t done one single thing on it…not even the writing.
I’m going to be spending the next year on my computer fabricating 20 page essays, so I figured I needed a good computer that can do fun stuff like download songs, burn CD’s, etc. I am actually kind of excited to learn about the ins and outs of computers and figure out the basics of web site design and whatnot. I have finally come to admit that even though I’m old school, I need to know about computers for any job I will have in the future. Turns out their not just another passing trend…

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Last Day (a.k.a. Woo-Hoo)

I’m working my last shift today. Really, it’s only a one-year break while I do my Master’s but all the same, I will again be a student for the next year.
I’m not really in the school mind-set yet. I actually booked the Montreal trip over orientation day and ended up having to rebook the hotel. Oops. I only got my fee statement today, and I still haven’t gone to Staples to buy coloured pencil crayons, erasers, a mirror for my locker, or a new set of highlighters.
I got an email today that one of my classes doesn’t start until the 23rd of September because at York, we get to have all Jewish holidays off. Sweet. I could get used to this life.
So far there have been no last-day-of-work festivities, but Dave is picking me up tonight (cause I have a load of piano books to take home with me) and we might go for dinner or a drive.

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Third’s the Charm

I’ve re-written this post twice already… this is the third time. The first one was a whiny angst-ridden piece about how I have no motivation, and that’s a disease of our generation. What crap. The second one I wrote was about reconciling my faith to my political beliefs, and whether being Left of Right makes you a better or worse representative of Christianity. That was pretty chap too.
Those are round table topics… best left to situations where you can get instant feedback. So I deleted them… each in turn. Feel free to call me up, and we can go for a beer to talk about either (or both). In the meantime, here’s my favourite Knock Knock joke.
“Knock, Knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Stinn Keep.”
Try it out on someone. It could be more enlightening than the other two discussions.

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Two Important Dates

September 16-19 we’ll be on a canoe trip in Algonquin Park.
October 1-4 is the Fall Cottage Weekend. Check out my cottage site for more details on the weekend and how to RSVP.
UPDATE (Aug 26): The canoe trip is on hold… probably until 2005. Stupid work scheudule.

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