Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Archive for May, 2005


There was once a day when peer-to-peer networks like Napster, Kazaa, and Bit Torrent weren’t even a thought in anyone’s head. Finding music on the internet was like digging for gold in the Klondike… it was hard work, and when you found even the tiniest nugget it was cause for celebration.

I first started looking for music on the internet in the Fall of 1998 while living with my good friend Rob. Back then, it was a matter of ‘Googling’ filenames (for example “U2 live mp3”) in the hopes that something would come up. I got pretty good at finding what I was looking for, and I’d started to build a pretty impressive little library of U2 bootlegs.

One day, Rob and I were sitting at our computers scouring the net for music (when we should have been studying, probably) and I downloaded what I thought was a really cool live recording of U2 from somewhere in Europe. It turned out the file was mislabelled and what I got would go on to become famous at our rez. To this day, it’s known simply as “SuperBimbo“, and it’s absolutely unlistenable. (to save the file, right-click the link and select ‘Save As’)

I can’t keep from laughing out loud when I listen to it, and I can remember playing it on repeat for hours and laughing at it. It’s one of those gems of the early internet for me… up there with the monkey drinking his own pee, and the guy who runs into the balance beam.

-Thanks to Jared for finding the file-


The Great Story Contest Conclusion

Thanks to all FOUR of you who bothered to vote in the contest… so many of you, and I guess you’re all shy. Anyways, of the four, no one hit the REAL story… which was the first one. I’ve always hated math, but I’ve never run and hid from it. I’ve met it face-to-face in battle… and lost every time.

Chris, Rob, Steve, and Shari-Anne will all recieve an autographed photo of the author himself… me… and some candy. Thanks for playing, and we’ll have another game soon.

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Die Spammers, Jet-Setting iPods, and Camp

My poor little blog is being ravaged by comment spam. I might shut down my comments for a while so they’ll go away… it’s the online equivalent of playing dead in a bear attack. The part I love best is that these leeches do this to improve their rank in Google (by having a link to their crappy site in the comment of a popular blog), but Google is changing how those rankings work, so it’s all for naught. Jerks.

On a lighter note, my friend Chris is enjoying the same little ‘Vicarious World Travel Game’ that I enjoyed back in December. The game works like this… you buy an iPod from Apple.com and upgrade your shipping. You then get a Purolator tracking number and you spend the next two weeks watching online as your iPod sees more of the world than you EVER will. Shanghai, Hong Kong, Alaska, most of the continental US, and finally… scenic Scarborough. There, it sits for an eternity while it clears customs, gets all its shots, and promises not to break any laws. Let us know when it gets in, Chris.

Matthias and I drove up to Fair Glen on saturday (mostly just to have a road trip) and took a look around. So many things had changed, but a few things were still the same. The WIT cabin still had graffiti all over it… including mine. It also smelled like it always smelled. Weird. It’s strange to realize that after years of thinking that the only reason camp felt like home was the people I knew there, and then to show up when it’s completely empty, and still feel at home. What a very cool thing.

I’ll probably head up to visit this summer when the camp is in full-swing and see how things run now. Hopefully my reputation will either have disappeared, or only the good stories remain… or else they might not let me on the property. 🙂

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Busy Day After a Beautiful Evening

Sorry for the late post… it’s been a busy day here at the office, and it’ll likely remain that way until Mr. Slate pulls the bird’s tail to blow the whistle at 5pm. I’m looking forward to sliding down the dinosaur’s tail though.

I was so tired last night that I collapsed in bed fully-clothed. I love that feeling. The feeling I don’t love is waking up a few hours later feeling kind of gross. At one point I woke up with a ridiculously painful charley-horse in my calf. It hurt so badly that I wanted to yell out, but I was awake enough to stop myself and I just gritted my teeth through stretching it out. I didn’t quite get it though, and my leg is still sore today.

Still, I got more than 7 hours of sleep for the first time in weeks, and my body and mind are thanking me for it by being alert and functional. Thanks guys.

Yesterday evening was perfect… the temperature was just right, the way the sun set made everything look just right, and the twilight lingered forever. I thought that I would want every night to be like that, but then I thought that I want those nights to be rare… I’ll appreciate them more that way. It was one of those days. 🙂

My comments have been getting MAD spammed lately. I’m up to about 200-300 bogus comments a day. All sorts of fun stuff for poker sites, adult sites, pharmaceuticals… it’s stupid, and I’ve never been hit this hard. Fortunately, my blogging software catches most of it before it shows up here, and I just have to delete it all behind the scenes. I hope I don’t delete anyone else’s comments at the same time (Sorry, Kenneth).

I have no idea what I’m doing this weekend. Everything got really blurry somehow. Whatcha’ll doin’?

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Concert Review: Part Two

After Cleveland, we headed to scenic Millvale PA, which is a town in the hills just outside of Pittsburgh. I’m not sure I’d say Millvale was run-down exactly… but it was teetering on the edge. It was certainly sleepy, so we weren’t even sure if we had the right place until we found the Community Centre that housed the venue (called ‘Mr.Small’s Theatre’).

And what a venue… the main hall is in an old stone church sanctuary, so it has a high vaulted ceiling, gorgeous hardwood floors, and ornate woodwork on the walls, ceiling and stage trim. A lot of sound baffling had to be added to account for the difference in musical tone between a organ played to a choir and a rock n roll show, but it was still ridiculously cool-looking.

The back third of the floor was marked off as +21 and the bar was tucked back in there, and there were some stacked chairs that we stole back there too, so we were able to rest our weary legs (recall that we had spent the entire previous afternoon walking around the empty streets of Cleveland) through the first few bands.

Our tickets stated the setlist as the following… Read more

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‘Massive Change’

I met up with Shari-Anne after work yesterday to take a whirlwind tour of an exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario before it disappears this weekend. ‘Massive Change’ seems like it would be more at home in either the Ontario Science Centre or the Royal Ontario Museum than an art gallery (being more focussed on the function of design in society rather than the actual design itself). Still, it made itself at home there.

If you go, give yourself more than a couple of hours, and listen to all of the audio blurbs (except the first one… it’s long and boring… and written on the wall). Of specific note were the exhibits on the proliferation of images, military use of peacetime technology and peacetime use of military technology, designer foods and medications, and multi-purpose man-made materials.

One thing that kind of bothered me were the number of statistics that were given throughout the exhibit, and how none of them were referenced or cited to any source. That didn’t really strike me until the end of the exhibit where there was a number comparison of bicycles used worldwide versus cars used worldwide, and I had recently heard VERY different numbers. Maybe I was treating it too much like a science exhibit rather than an art exhibit, but it is trying to make a very clear statement so some source information would lend it credibility.

Tickets are $18 a pop (yikes!), but it’s two-for-one on thursdays and fridays from 6-9pm. Either way, it’s money well-spent.

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‘Crash’ and the Best Tuna Sandwich in Town

Shari-Anne and I made plans last night to check out a movie, but since we could only make the late show, we met up at Tequila Bookworm to grab a coffee/hot chocolate beforehand and compare notes on our weekends. I’d never been to TB before, but I’d seen it… and heard really good things about it.

I ended up getting there early and starving, so I grabbed a quick Tuna sandwich. I was blown away. I got a small sandwich on a plate. Nothing else. Just a roll sliced in half with tuna salad, lettuce, mayo, and some fancy mustard. I wasn’t too impressed until I took a bite.

Now, first off… there are two kinds of fish sandwich people in the world. There are the Tuna People, and there are the Salmon People. It’s rare to find someone who is both… just ask around. I am a self-professed Salmon Person. I don’t even know why I orderd the Tuna, but it was AWESOME. The mustard was the clincher, I think. It was some sort of spicy dijon mustard. Brilliant. Order it.

Enough about the Tuna. We checked out ‘Crash‘ at the Paramount and we both enjoyed it quite a bit. It’s thought-provoking and a little disturbing, but it reminded me of a grittier version of Magnolia with some very bittersweet redemption. I was surprised at how uncomfortable I felt during the scenes of outright racial hostility and racist humour (both are used very heavily to drive the story of the film). Also like Magnolia, some of the conflicts, challenges, and character growth seemed a little contrived and too quickly resolved or changed, but since the movie only 100 minutes long, I can forgive a lot of that. 🙂

There were a few parts that were over-foreshadowed, which made some plotlines feel a little too predictable, but having a few intersecting plotlines helped out with that. Even then, well-written dialogue, a solid cast of recognizable names, and some great acting (surprising from Sandra Bullock and Ludacris) made ‘Crash’ the best movie I’ve seen in a long time. I recommend it to everyone and I’ll give it a solid 9/10.

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Concert Review: Part One

‘The Grog Shop’ is a little club in the middle of Cleveland’s upscale suburbia. From the street, it looks like it used to be a posh restaurant, but now is a club upstairs and a winebar downstairs.

With two shows that night (we were catching the late show), we had to kick around outside for about an hour, so we took a little tour of the neighbourhood and then kicked back in front of the club. Everyone around us waiting to get in either looked straight out of an American Eagle commercial, or an Avril Lavigne video… and we were OLD!

First up was The Crystal Skulls. These guys had a long way to travel to get my attention since I’d already been turned off by their band name. It’s like they let Stan name them or something. Still, they came out firing on all cylinders with a really tight set. At first, I was kind of put off by the lead singer’s vocal style… he was singer like a 40’s crooner to an indie rock sound, but once I got used to it, I realized it worked well. After hearing them live, it sounds a little more awkward on CD, but still really great.

One of the highlights was watching the bass player. Now, bass players are usually pretty stoic on stage, but this guy looked like he was having seizures in time with the music. It didn’t look ridiculous at all though, but added to the vibrance in their show.

After their 8 or 10 song set, The Headphones took to the stage. It’s kind of hard to call these guys a band since it’s just the lead singer and drummer from Pedro the Lion with the lead singer playing synth.

I’m not a big synth guy, so this stuff was more miss than hit, but I recognize that it was a matter of taste, and that their set was actually really good. Lead singer/Synth player David Bazan has some great in-between-song banter too. Dry sarcasm always goes over well with the crowd.

I think Jared was a bigger fan of The Headphones, so if he ever gets around to posting a review, I’ll link to it here. I’d like to see The Crystal Skulls live again (I’d also like to see them change their name, but whatever), so it’s too bad that the rest of their tour is in the US southwest. I’m not too keen on making a roadtrip to Texas just to see them… I’ll just listen to the CD instead.


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