Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Archive for March, 2012

A Pox Upon our House

It’s been a tiring week in our house, with both Danielle and Sebby falling under the curse of a wicked virus.  It’s been high fevers and sleepless nights across the board, and Mojo and I have been hiding in the furthest, darkest corners of the house to keep from catching what’s going around.

Fortunately, it seems the worst of it all is over and life is slowly returning to normal.  “Normal”, of course, being a relative term as sleepless nights aren’t really out of the ordinary in a house with an 8-month old.

If the nice weather continues to build, we should have a great weekend ahead of us, with tickets for the TFC match on Saturday and a long (and ever-growing) list of outdoor chores to prepare our yards and gardens for the summer.  That list includes chopping down a “bush” that is nearly tree-like in size, which will be a lot of fun until it comes time to chop it into smaller chunks for the green bin.  Still, outdoor work beats indoor work when the temperatures are in the mid to high teens and the sun is shining.

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A Corner Has Been Turned

It is with great pleasure I announce the latest milestone in the life our now 8-month old son.  While his first teeth (all 5 of them) have already come in, and he’s able to sit up on his own and do a very speedy army crawl (arms only, he’s just getting his feet and legs into the game now), there is one big accomplishment that has eluded him, and us.

For the first time in his relatively short life, Sebastian slept through the entire night.  I’m a little goosebumpy just typing that, but it’s true.  Danielle got him up in wee hours for a ‘dream feed’, but he even slept through that.  For nearly 8 hours, he didn’t make a peep, and even woke up in a good mood, cooing and chatting with the toys in his room.

With the warm weather of late, we’ve had a small fan in his room to keep the cooler air moving around, and it’s probably the loudest fan in the world.  We’re suspicious that it’s the white noise that helped him stay sleeping, so we’re going to dig up an old Sleep Machine that I got Danielle years ago that simulates a number of white noises (ocean waves, rainforest, thunderstorm, etc.) and set it up in his room.

I don’t want to convince myself that this is the new normal, much like most Ontarians and our recent weather, but a man can hope.  Indeed,  a man can hope.

I’m now dreaming of whole nights of uninterrupted sleep, and my weary eyes see some light at the end of the tunnel.  Huzzah!

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Let the Madness Begin!

Despite the rising temperatures and sunny skies, I won’t be joining many of you in the great outdoors over the next couple of weeks.  Instead, I’ll be camped out in front of the TV anxiously watching as my annual NCAA March Madness bracket either builds to success or falls to failure.

That’s right, it’s time once again for the annual US College Basketball tournament; the only time of year when I watch or care about the sport of basketball, and I’m giddy with excitement.  Giddy.  You heard me.

My bracket for 2012 is a risk-taker, with more than a few significant upsets, but I’m full of hope (as I am every year before the games start) and I’m as confident as anyone is who has filled out their bracket.

Luck is also on my side this year as the tournament starts in earnest on my birthday, which pretty much guarantees that I’ll be flipping the swtich from 33 to 34 with my eyes glued to the screen watching the last few minutes of a relatively insignificant first-round game tick by slowly, mired in constant fouls.  It’s gonna be awesome.

Stay tuned for progress reports where I will either gloat about my success or winge about my failures.  I’m equally adept at both by now, it’s just one of the advantages that comes with advanced age, or so my dad tells me… often… and in great detail.

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“This Ticket Entitles the Bearer to be an Idiot”

I’m getting older.  That’s just a plain and simple fact.  As I get older, my opinions on things change, and becoming a father has doubled the pace.  Teens in cars play their music way too loud (but it’s the same volume I used to play it at), people drive way too fast and recklessly on the highway (but not as fast and recklessly as I used to) and nothing is as good as it used to be.

I recognize that I’m an old curmudgeon who wants to remember the past as being better than the present, and who has a different view of how people should act despite having acted the same way; I realize my hipocrisy.

With that preface, one thing I’ve noticed that HAS changed is the way people act at professional sporting events here in Toronto, and it’s not a good change.  In the last couple of years, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend where fans (mostly 20-40 year old males) think a sporting event ticket is akin to a plane ticket to Vegas.  It’s a license to booze up and assume an “anything goes” attitude.

For example, at last night’s Toronto FC CONCACAF quarter-final match against the LA Galaxy, we had great seats in the front row (courtesy of Jared).  We were surrounded by boisterous fans, and the atmosphere started out great.  When Toronto scored their first goal, the guy sitting directly behind me decided to celebrate by throwing his nearly full can of beer onto the field, but sadly my skull was in the way.  His can rang off my crown, sending stars to my eyes.  When I confronted him, he was so drunk, his responses barely made any sense.  He was shocked that I was upset.

For the rest of the game, he swore loudly like a trucker and made lewd comments that would make George Carlin blush.  His friends apologized for his behaviour at half-time, but a full-grown man should apologize for himself.  At the very least, he could have offered to buy me a beer.

It got worse as the game started winding down.  Fans piled forward in the aisles and a number of drunks were tossing beer glasses over the crowd, swearing like sailors in port and hurling offensive racial slurs, sexual comments and just general ignorance in all directions.  It was pretty much like the end of any TFC, Maple Leafs or Raptors game (I have no idea if it’s like this at an Argos game, but I’m suspicious it’s not).

I get that people are passionate, so getting irate at a player or ref is fine.  It’s great, actually; it adds to the spectacle, but there are limits.

Also in the row behind us, and a couple of seats over, sat a man and his 8 year-old son.  Neither of them looked too impressed, and at some points, even a little worried. I plan on taking my son to these games, and I hope that, in time, the fans of Toronto will wise up, but I doubt it.

In the meantime, I plan to wear a helmet and raincoat to all sporting events in the future.  Sidney Crosby isn’t the only one who’s worried about concussions after all.

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What Toronto Transit Needs? A Plan It Can Stick To

The transit war here in Toronto is still in the skirmish stage, with all-out war just sitting on the horizon, and just about the only thing one can determine right is now is who is on what side. 

When it comes to the issue of subways versus light-rail/tram, I’m a big fan of the idea of burying everything.  I’m a big fan until we start talking about costs and it becomes painfully clear that the perfect solution for Toronto is far from affordable, which makes it far from attainable.

What Toronto needs (and the GTA, for that matter) is a solution that can move bodies as soon as possible.  For all of us who pass through Bloor/Yonge station daily, that fact is painfully obvious.  And I mean it’s literally painful.  It’s so crowded, your feet are constantly being stomped, and other people’s bags and umbrellas bump and poke you mercilessly.  The trains are so crowded, it’s sometimes hard to breathe.

We need to stop debating the future of Toronto transit and start debating the present.  Our current needs far outweigh what we have in place, so looking 10 years down the road will not do the people who live and/0r work here any service.  And I don’t even know where to begin ridiculing the whole “public/private funding” idea.  All I need to say is that it came out of Rob Ford’s mouth.

Get the trains moving ASAP, be they above or below ground.  Whatever gets people from point A to point B and beyond as soon as possible.  Please

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Status Update

Yeah, so my promise to keep this blog updated regularly kind of slipped through the cracks… and by ‘kind of’, I mean REALLY slipped. Sorry ’bout that.  Here’s a summary update of what’s going on in our household to give you an idea of what’s been keeping from posting here.

In January, we took a trip to Brechin to visit my parents at a resort they were staying at, and we spent just over a week in beautiful Scottsdale Arizona to celebrate Matt and Allison’s wedding, so January was a bit of a whirlwind.  We also headed to Ottawa for Winterlude over Family Day weekend (a family tradition), but couldn’t skate on the canal like we do every year due to ice conditions.

Sebastian is growing like a weed and has five brand new teeth which he uses judiciously on all manner of food, toy and anything else he can get his hands on.  He’s graduated from sitting and rolling to a zippy army crawl, so we’re furiously baby-proofing the house before he starts doing wind sprints through the house.

He’s still not the greatest sleeper in the world, so Danielle and I are still more than a little sleep-deprived, but Sebby is so happy and playful during his waking hours, we hardly even notice anymore.

To add some more drama to our busy and exciting lives, I made a career change just over a week ago.  While I used to do communications in the financial services industry, I’m now doing communications in the financial services industry.  Sounds like the same job?  Sort of.  Now I’m working as a consultant, which changes the nature of the work, the pace and the environment significantly, but after a full week, I haven’t quit, so it looks like I’m in for the long haul.  It’s actually really interesting work, and a great way to give my career a boost, so I’m excited.

So life is good.  Work is going great and most importantly, Sebby and Danielle are healthy, happy and we’re all taking advantage of the time we have to spend together.

Now that all that is out of the way, I’ll be posting some more updates in the coming days, and hopefully getting back into the habit of posting here shortly.  Thanks for your patience.

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