Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

Archive for September, 2013

A Short List of Things That Would Make My World Better

Our world is an imperfect place (insert “gasp” here), but I’ve identified a few small improvements that would make it much better.  Well, for me at least.  This is FAR from an exhaustive list (omitting key big ticket items like world peace, and end to poverty and vegetables that taste like candy) with a focus on the more acheivable things that would take some of the sting out of my every day life.

This has been a work in progress over the last few years, and feel free to add your own additions in the comments and I’ll be sure to update my list and make it available to candidates in our next federal election, with a copy sent to the United Nations to address at the General Assembly  (Note, I am too lazy to send this list to anyone.  It will only exist here).

  • The ability to Track Changes in PowerPoint.  This is a great feature in Microsoft Word; one that I use every day in the course of my job.  Sadly, I also create a shocking number of PowerPoint “decks” (a terrible word) and send them to a number of people to provide edits, updates and reviews.  Coordinating all those changes takes up a ridiculous amount of time and I would like to spend it on more important things, like drinking coffee, filing emails and creating even more PowerPoint presentations.
  • A plastic food storage system that can be stored effectively.  I’ll call it “Tupperware” for simplicity’s sake, but we all have a cupboard in our kitchen with awkward stacks of this stuff that crash down on you head when you open the door.  On top of that, you can never find the right lid for the bottom you’ve already filled with leftover chili and end up having to switch containers, leading to more dishes to wash.  And I hate washing dishes. I’ve been toying with the idea of having two mesh bags on the inside of lower cupboard doors (like some kitchen garbage bags); one for lids and the other for containers.  The system would have to simplified to two or three sizes with colour coded lids so you can easily find what you need.  I leave it to the fine folks at the Tupperware company to sort this out.
  • A service that will come around in the middle of the night and top up the gas tank in your car.  This is a card I’ve been holding close to my chest for a while now, because while it sounds kind of ridiculous, I’m convinced there’s a market for this and that someone could figure out how to make money doing it.  Sadly, I have realized that I will not be that person.  So in lieu of getting rich off of it, I’d rather float it out there into the ether and take advantage as a consumer when someone else figures it out.
  • No soiled diapers.  Nothing much can be done here, I’m just complaining.  Feel free to either ignore this one or nod in sympathetic agreement. We’re on the verge of potty training in our house, so this one will be passing the torch onto “soiled clothing” and “soiled furniture, floor coverings and other assorted things… ew” in due course.
  • No iron/Wrinkle-free dress shirts.  Yes, I know these exist and are widely available at just about every type of retail outlet in an equally wide variety of price points. My beef is two-fold:
    1. I don’t have nearly enough of them.  This can be rectified by family members at Christmas, my birthday and any other holiday (St. David’s Day is celebrated on March 1, hint hint).
    2. The ones I do have, still get sort of wrinkly and need “touch ups” with the iron after washing.  Boo, I say to the textile industry.  Boo.
  • A tool specifically designed to get every last bit of peanut butter out of the jar.  I hate wasting food as much as the next guy, but that’s not what this is about.  More often than not, it’s when you get to the dregs of your peanut butter jar that you discover there is no back up full jar in the cupboard to satisfy your craving for smooth, peanut buttery goodness.  You don’t want that last bit of PB as much as you NEED it.  I can’t be the only one.
  • One extra statutory holiday every year for your birthday.  If you know me well, or have casually followed this blog (back in the days when it was possible to follow it casually), you’ve heard me go off about this.  I firmly believe that every Canadian should get his or her birthday off as a statutory holiday.  If it falls on a weekend or another stat holiday, you get a floater.  Going to work on your birthday is as bad as going to work on your birthday.  That is, it’s so bad that there is no simile sufficient to capture its badness.

I hope you’ve enjoyed witnessing my not-so-gradual decline into old man curmudgeonyness that is evident in this list.  Rest assured that I’ve toned it down and those who spend a lot of time with me (Danielle, Sebastian and Mojo) hear about these topics (and more) at length (great, great length).

Now I’m off to enjoy a peanut butter sandwich that is sorely lacking in peanut butter.  Stupid jar.

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Fall Has Fallen

Sometime yesterday afternoon, Mother Nature officially swept the muggy heat of summer under the rug and welcomed the crisp, cool days of fall in the front door.  While many of you are no doubt heartbroken that beach weather is gone for the next few months, if you know anything about me, you can probably picture me tapdancing on the fallen leaves in my yard.

Many of us mark the change of seasons by reflecting on the season that has passed and planning for the season ahead.  For me, that included looking back at some of the things I’ve missed in my life lately, and sharing my musings and observations in here is pretty high on the list.  I’ve missed my blog, and everytime I open my browser and see the link for it on my favourites toolbar, I feel a pang of guilt coupled with the grief of not having posted in six months.

Am I promising that I’ll get back to posting regularly?  Daily even?  Not likely.  I’ve made promises in the past and then beat myself up when I didn’t live up to those expectations.  I just wanted to share that I’ve missed writing in here, and that contributing more often is going to be a higher priority.

You can look forward to some stories (and possibly photos) from a couple of fall trips (one to the cottage and another to Chudleigh’s Apple Farm) and at least one rant about the ongoing transit saga here in Toronto.  No doubt our mayor will do something worth noting in here (Drug use allegations? Ethics breaches?  Both?  Only time will tell!), so there’s plenty of fodder.

In the meantime, I urge those of you who are saddened that summer has passed to throw on a fleece sweater, pour some hot cider in a travel mug and get out into the woods to enjoy the wonders of fall.  Or, if you’re pressed for time like me, enjoy it in small doses while you rake leaves and get your house ready for winter.

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