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Tue, Nov 5, 2013

Worst Mayor Ever

The bomb drops and the facts that everyone has already known since it was reported back in May have been confirmed by police: Rob Ford is a crack head.

After months of flat denials, lies, and accusations of conspiracy - as if a national newspaper is going to make this stuff up - a police investigation has finally forced the truth out and confirmed that yes, a video of Rob Ford smoking crack does exist, and beyond that, there is surveillance footage showing him meeting with drug dealers, urinating in public, and acting like a drunken ass.

The lies and ineptitude have been piling up over the years since he was regrettably elected to office. He vowed to stop the "gravy train", to find that there wasn't really any gravy. He claimed he would cut $2 billion in spending without cutting services, but immediately closed swimming pools and produced a budget that only had a surplus due to the previous mayor's workings. He claimed the private sector was lining up to fund subway construction, yet the only money going toward the folly Danforth extension is coming out of taxpayer pockets.

I could go on seemingly forever. And yet, there is still a swath of the populace that back the man. They close their eyes and ears to reality and follow blindly, while he feeds them more lies. Even his mantra has believers spouting his support of the common man, his virtue as a regular citizen, a battler against the elite, while its reality is a slap across their faces, seemingly unfelt: "Respect for the taxpayer".

Municipally speaking, what taxes are those? Property taxes. Who pays property taxes? Property owners. So the taxpayer = the property owner. That's 18th century political landscape, where only property owners mattered, only property owners could vote, only property owners were citizens. What of the people that can't afford to buy a home? What of the renters, the youth, those living with roommates or family? They don't pay property tax, so they don't fit into Rob Ford's notion of the citizen.

He is a millionaire that only looks out for the elite. A liar. A bully. A cretin. An embarrassment. A rotten politician.

Back when he was elected, I said we would rue the day. And oh, how we rue...

Thu, Feb 21, 2013

Bullying

Surrounded by people who used to say
That rhyme about sticks and stones
As if broken bones
Hurt more than the names we got called
....
So broken heart strings bled the blues
As we tried to empty ourselves
So we would feel nothing
Don't tell me that hurts less than a broken bone - Shane Koyczan

To This Day

Sun, Jan 27, 2013

Artemis

It's good to be a geek.

I joined a group of friends to play Artemis today. On board a starship, playing science officer, helmsman, engineer. So fun.

Yes, it was nerdy. And it was awesome.

Sat, Jan 19, 2013

The Return

At long last, hockey is back.

While I'm glad it's returned, and I'm happy to finally be able to cheer on the Leafs once again, I can't help feel that most others out there that the past several months have been wasted. This was a deal that could have been made ages ago. But instead of being reasonable, the owners and the players equally to the fans for a ride they didn't need. I wonder what they'll do to try to make it up to us.

Tue, Dec 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Merry Christmas, and God bless.

Sun, Dec 16, 2012

Newtown

"Just trying to remember that the world is a good place, and that the number of hugs per gunshot victim is very very high." - Hank Green

Mon, Nov 26, 2012

Fordless

What an eventful 24 hours. Last night, the Argos win the Grey Cup, and this morning, our abysmal mayor got booted from office. After a judge ruled that he was guilty of a conflict of interest via "willful blindness", he has been ejected from his seat at city hall.

Now, if only the ejection were literal. It would be quite a sight to see that blubbery mass of cholesterol hurtling across Nathan Phillips Square yelling obscenities about left-wing conspiracies.

Sun, Nov 25, 2012

100th Grey Cup

AAAARRRRRRRGGGOOOOOOOOOOOSSSSS!!!!

For the 16th time, the Boatmen have pulled together to capture Earl Grey's chalice, doing it on home turf, celebrating the 100th time the Cup has been awarded since the University of Toronto won it back in 1909.

Rejoice, Toronto, and don silly foam helmets in celebration!

Thu, Nov 15, 2012

Video Killed The Vegetating Boredom

When YouTube first launched, I was skeptical that something requiring so much space and bandwidth could be viable. Well, the tech has caught up, and everyone and their pets posts videos online. Fortunately, they're not all just kids hitting their nards when falling off of skateboards; there's some quality entertainment, and great wealth of insightfully educational material. Here are some of my faves, listed in order of my discovering them:

  • Vlogbrothers - This is the first channel I really started following some years ago. A couple of brothers sharing videos to each other, expanded to create a community of geeks and nerds that range in the hundreds of thousands. They rally people to support dozens of charities, promote general self-worth, and are linked in some way to the rest of the channels on this list. This is proof that a couple of regular guys can change the world for the better.
  • The Guild - Starring and produced by Felicia Day, a web series about a group of gamers who are all members of the same guild in an online game. Now part of Felicia's Geek and Sundry
  • Vi Hart - The Mathemusician. A girl with a fondness for arm warmers and doodling, displaying some often complex, but always amusing, mathematical properties. Warning: Contains snakes.
  • Crash Course - Created and hosted by John and Hank Green of the Vlogbrothers, these are videos comprising complete courses on world history and biology. They have just recently extended the production to new courses on ecology and English literature. I am particularly fond of World History for its insightful focus, non-European bias, and for instilling respect for the Mongols.
  • Minute Physics - The secrets of physics explained through doodles.
  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries - Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice told as a modern-day video blog. Not just a video series, but incorporates Twitter conversations, Facebook profiles, Pinterest collections, and Tumblrs. Created by Hank Green.
  • CGPGrey - General explanations of a wide variety of topics, from voting systems, to the divisions of the UK, to the ancient authority of the City of London.
  • Table Top - Ever wonder what happened to Wil Wheaton after his TNG Westley days? Other than playing villains in Criminal Minds and Big Bang Theory, he's been doing geeky gaming. He hosts a weekly segment on Geek and Sundry where he and friends play a table top boardgame. Surprisingly entertaining to watch, and has expanded my Christmas list with a few featured games.
  • The Flog - Felicia Day's video blog. It's Felicia; how do you resist?

Tue, Oct 16, 2012

One Year

One year old!

OMG so cuuuuuute!

Mon, Sep 17, 2012

Lost Keys

After wiping out an entire season of hockey in '04-'05, the NHL is at it again, entering another lockout. I hope it doesn't linger, because this one could prove much more damaging than the last.

Prior to the last lockout, the game was rather broken. Clutching and grabbing was far too rampant, and player salaries were astronomical, such that most of the small market teams had no hope of being competitive. The public were mostly on the owners side of opinion, and the rule changes brought about after the stoppage proved a huge success, making the game much better.

This time around, there is no such disparity. Most teams are doing respectfully, financially, if not thriving. But, the owners say it still isn't enough, and need a bigger piece of the pie to make themselves viable. It's hard to back them, though, when they are victims of their own doing. Phoenix is crumbling, and has been for years, yet they refuse to give up on hockey in the desert (ice and scorching heat don't go well together), and sink all the league's money into it. Then there are the teams that skirt the cap by signing decade-long deals. There's no public empathy when you shut the game down to try to save it from yourselves.

On the other hand, it's hard to feel sorry for the players. A group of millionaires whining that the owners are tying to take a sliver of their millions away? Sorry, no violins playing here.

When the lockout does end and the game returns, the real fans will come back. The casual fan, however, may not. There won't be some big set of rule changes this time around to make the game more exciting. After the baseball strike wiped out the World Series, I dropped it and haven't followed baseball since. Many will do the same to the NHL this time around.

Wed, Aug 22, 2012

Merry Noodlemas!

A dozen bowls of noodles to celebrate a dozen years!

Imagine the bowls in front of you. Bon appetite!

Tue, Aug 7, 2012

Heartbreaking

Wow. That was undoubtedly the greatest women's soccer game ever played. Too bad the referee fracked that one up.

Christine Sinclair made herself known to the soccer world after her facemask-wearing performance at the World Cup last year, inspiring Chuck Norris-like Sinclairisms to flood the Internet. Last night, she made herself known to the entire world with her stunning hat trick, carrying Team Canada to what should have been a glorious win over the favoured U.S., but ended up being an incredibly heartbreaking loss at the end of Extra Time.

I have never seen a keeper called for holding the ball more than 6 seconds ever before. It took the news media quite a lot of searching to find one; an instance in the English Premier League in the '90s. Follow that with a handball call on a short-distance blast where it was virtually impossible to get out of the way, and just like that, a referee's bizarre decision snatched the greatest victory in Canadian women's soccer away.

If the ladies go on to win the bronze medal match, it will likely be Canada's highlight for these Games. The emotion in the country following this team now is beyond what anyone would have ever expected.

Mon, Aug 6, 2012

The Greatest Olympian

Michael Phelps has completed his Olympic career with 22 medals, becoming the most decorated Olympian of all time. But is he the greatest?

London's Olympic organiser Sebastian Coe received quite a bit of criticism for suggesting he was not, albeit much from ignorant people that scolded him with the question "How many Olympic medals have you won?" The answer is four, which gives him four undisputable reasons why he's more qualified to make such a statement than you.

Myself, I will fully agree with Coe. Phelps is certainly up there in the annals of Olympic history, and is probably the greatest Olympic swimmer ever. But, to be the greatest Olympian requires much more than medals. It requires something beyond results; a intangible achievement that makes a mark not just on sport, but on humanity. That is what makes an Olympian's memory last through generations, and that is something that Phelps has not and never will do. I can prove my point very easily with one simple question: Aside from Phelps, who is the greatest Olympian?

The answers and opinions are numerous, but a select number are nearly univeral. Jesse Owens; winner of four gold medals at the 1936 Games thwarting Hitler's attempt at showing the dominance of the Aryan race. Jim Thorpe; a peasant among elites at a time when amateur athletics meant only the rich and powerful could compete, dominated the Games of 1912 by winning both the pentathlon and the decathlon. Paavo Nurmi; winner of 12 medals in middle-distance running in the '20s. Nadia Comeneci; winner of 9 medals and the first gymnast to hit perfection. Bjorn Daehlie; the most successful Winter Olympian with 12 medals in the '90s. Steven Redgrave; winner of gold medals in five consecutive Games. Clara Hughes; the only person to win multiple medals at both Summer and Winter Games.

What about Larisa Latynina? People other than Olympic historians generally respond with "Who's that?"

Well, before last week, she was only the most decorated Olympian of all time, winner of 18 medals, and still-leader in individual medals at 14.

So why isn't she in the usual list of contenders? Why doesn't everyone know her name, and recall her achievement with awe? Without any disrespect to her, it's because winning gymnastics events was all she really did. There was nothing else particularly notable about it; no triumph of the human spirit, no struggling against odds, no pursuit of the betterment of humanity. Phelps has done none of those things. In fact, by disclosing that he has no desire to compete any longer, or even coach, he's lessened himself even more. He's become merely a medal-producing machine, lacking the passion that make Olympians human.

A dozen years from now, Phelps will be known as that guy with the freakishly long arms that won lots of races. There's no truly great achievement to carry forward.

Sat, Jul 28, 2012

Happy and Glorious

Britain has a long and fascinating history, and its people have accomplished a great many things. Truly, though, you must admit that no nation has produced quality music over the past half-century like Britain. You know this must be so if a lengthy performance in the Olympic Opening Ceremony covering a timeline of Britain's greatest music since the '60s could not even find room for Oasis or Pink Floyd.

Oh, and the Queen's arrival with James Bond must be the greatest entrance for a Head of State at any event, ever.

Sat, Jul 14, 2012

Fascination

I was standing under the sun shelter holding Tiago in my arms when the rain started to come down. The Sun still shone and shimmered on the drops as they surrounded us in our sheltered spot. The pitter patter of slapping rain echoed above us and a wall of water formed around us. Tiago, eyes glistening in the still-beaming Sun, looked out in fascination. He stretched his little arm forward.

The rain fell down and splashed across his hand. He turned it over as the coolness spread down his arm, and drops hung from his fingertips, refracting starbursts of sunlight.

Some scenes cameras just won't do justice.

Mon, Jun 11, 2012

Making My Day

The best way to start a day.

As I was getting ready to leave for work, Tiago woke up, and Joy went in to get him up. On my way out, I poked my head in to say a quick hello and good bye. As I did so, Tiago reached for me, put his arms around my neck, and pulled himself toward me. Nothing perks up the spirits like the feeling of those little hands squeezing me tight.

Sun, May 20, 2012

Sun Shelter

We bought a sun shelter a little while back to provide some cover in the backyard, and finally let us bring out the patio table that's been hanging from the garage ceiling for two and a half years now. It's got a UV-protective roof and bug netting, so it should prove quite handy for use and keeping Tiago safe from the sun and the mosquitoes.

I spent a few hours some days ago digging some holes in the ground and setting up footings for the shelter in the yard. Yesterday, with some help from my Dad, I finally assembled the structure. Handily, it came with a descriptive assembly manual, and even an instructional DVD showing you how to put it all together. The manual suggested it would take about 5 hours for two people to assemble.

13 hours later, I was leaning over a step stool, hanging from a column, head lamp strapped to my head, swatting mosquitoes, cursing and swearing as I tried to jam a ceiling panel in place so that I could bolt and edge rail into place.

The asembly involved drilling larger holes into parts of the steel frame because the bolts wouldn't go in, precariously balancing a loosely assembled roof onto the frame, making a mad dash back to Costco before closing to replace some broken roof panels, giving some extremely frustrated two-handed slams to said panels to get them into place, and wincing as I hear the cracking as I twisted the edge rails around them.

Watching the guys in the video putting pieces together with ease makes me shake my fist in fury. It is propaganda whitewashing the truth into a fairy tale.

Sat, Apr 14, 2012

Playoffs

It's playoff time again, and I'm starting to get accustomed to the Leafs not taking part. It's quite sad when I realise that the Leafs have never played a playoff game that aired in high definition. Sigh.

Watching the early part of this year's playoffs, there are a lot of uncertainties, with no clear odds-on favourite to win. However, there is one fact in plain view: the Vancouver Canucks are a team easy to hate.

They've taken some criticism in the media lately, and watching them play two games in the playoffs have validated every word. The dives, the head-snaps, the whines, the cheap shots, the low-blows, the arrogance... just a whole whack of douche-baggery.

With Sean Avery pleasantly ejected from any pro-league hockey, Alex Burrows and Maxime Lapierre now sit high atop my list of assholes in hockey. The head shots, spears, late hits, incessant yapping, and infamous finger-biting just make me want to stuff some piranhas in their shorts. And Kesler, a man with more than enough talent to succeed without any of this crap still insists on phony head-snaps, groin spears, and luxurious swan dives.

It's time for a far more unpleasant dive. Down two games to nil to the eighth seed, and I'll be cheering for four straight. Maybe an unceremonious exit will shame them into better behaviour.

Mon, Mar 19, 2012

Someone Smells Stinky

When non-parents expressed their distaste at the prospect of having to change diapers, I felt they had totally the wrong idea. A baby poops a lot, sure, but what comes out is a goopy, sweet-smelling much that really doesn't offend much.

That is, until the solids come into play.

A few meals of cereal and the shit that came out of my cute little boy was enough to flatten a man outright. Wowzers. There are no cute words for that business right there.

Fri, Mar 9, 2012

Merry Davidmas!

34 years. A bit more creaky; should pick up some more elbow grease.

Not that I'm old or anything. "Old" is a state of mind. My state of mind at the moment is "asleep at work", so it prevents any thoughts of being old.

Ah, the fountain of youth.

Tue, Mar 6, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy 100th Birthday, Oreo!

Milk's favourite cookie. SPU's favourite snack. SPU's unhealthiest obsession?

Wed, Feb 29, 2012

Spiralling

1-9-1.

A couple of weeks ago, the Leafs were sitting comfortably in a playoff spot, and we fans were beginning to hazard the thought that perhaps we would enjoy hockey in April for the first time in eight years.

Now, they sit in 10th with the possibility of sliding to 12th by sitting idle, and those April games are looking more and more like a mirage.

Ron Wilson has lost the room. The players aren't responding to him anymore. He can't seem to motivate them for games that really are as dire as any they will play. His penalty killing system has been gawd-awful most of the year, and then when it started to go well, the power play went south instead. He can't handle the media, he publicly berates his players, and never shows any responsibility for the performance of the team.

He has to go. The chants raining down in the cringingly awful game against Florida are not an overreaction. I like what Burke is doing - this is a good young team that will have success in the future - but his unwillingness to cut Wilson loose is disastrous.

This team is good enough to be in the top eight; they should be there jockeying for position and chasing the leaders for home ice advantage. Instead, they're spiralling embarrassingly into the depths and Wilson is unable to right it.

If they turn things around and enjoy a lengthy playoff run, I'll be the first to admit I was wrong about Wilson. But, frankly, I won't be. With him at the helm, the team is destined to go nowhere.

Fire Wilson now.

Fri, Feb 17, 2012

Nostalgia

Last week, I was tasked with travelling out to Waterloo to conduct some interviews in search of a co-op student to join us over the summer. Aside from this being the first time I've conducted an interview on my own, it was also the first time I've been to the UW campus in almost 10 years. It was amazing to note how many things had changed, and what was still the same as I wandered the campus.

What's the same:

  • The smell of the Math Building. This is not really a good thing.
  • The smell of the C-and-D. This is a good thing.
  • Geeks, dweebs, and nerds. Though, somehow, they seem more fashionable now than they (we) did back then.
  • Peered into a lecture room to find a student with his head down asleep.
  • My 4A house still stands and still packs students in like a clown car.
  • Mongolian Grill. Yum.

What's changed:

  • An abundance of new buildings. Something like three new engineering buildings, an environmental science building, a co-op building, several residences, and something called the Quantum Research Centre.
  • My 2nd and 3rd year house - in fact most of the whole street - is now a low-rise apartment building.
  • Fashion. No girls in jean overalls or hospital pants. This is a good thing.
  • East Side Mario's is now a Popeye's
  • Girls in leotards doing cartwheels and spins in the Davis Centre lobby... What? Not that I'm complaining, but... what?
  • Mobile phones. This shouldn't surprise me, of course, but when I was a student, mobiles were a novelty. Walking around campus, people would be walking around looking at the buildings and the people going by. Now they walk around looking at their phones.
  • Brubakers. It used to be a curious little German restaurant for pizza, pasta, and sandwiches. Now it's a conglomeration of Pizza Pizza, Subway, Mr Pita, and Teriyaki.
  • The Comfy Lounge is a LOT more comfy.
  • Me. I'm ten years older now. I'm not the same. While the visit brought back some good memories, some bad memories, and some memories that seem better in retrospect than they did at the time, it's clear you can't go back. And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Wed, Feb 8, 2012

Long Live Transit City!

I have new-found respect for Karen Stintz. A supposed Ford ally, she finally realised what an anattainable mess Ford's transit plan really was. She took a huge risk, putting her career on the line by standing up for what is right.

Overwhelmingly, Council has agreed. Transit City is back.

Sat, Jan 21, 2012

Cute Comedy

Baby laughs. So cute.

[Melting]

Sun, Dec 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Merry Christmas, and God bless.

Sat, Dec 24, 2011

The Legend of Santiago Claus

'Twas the night before Christmas, and nestled in the crib
A boy lay sleeping in jammies and a bib
Swaddled in a blanket all cozy and tight
Dreaming of Santa's visit tonight

Up on the roof came a lound muffled sound
As that of hooves pawing and stamping around
The boy awoke and cried out in joy
"Santa is here! He's here! Oh boy!"

His parents awoke to the sound of his voice
But to their sleepy-head ears all they heard was noise
They picked up the boy all ready to be fed
"I don't want food now! Let's see Santa instead!"

Poor Mom and Dad, not a word understood
Comforted the boy as best as they could
They brought him downstairs to calm his cries
And found such a sight; a trick of the eyes!

The tree stood lit shining beautifully bright
The snow falling outside cast the ground white
Presents were stacked beneath the tree trim
And the stockings had been filled with gifts to the brim

Treats were laid out on the table to share
Oreos and egg nog scenting the air
Cakes and chocolates and biscuits in honey
And carrot tops and lettuce for the cute fuzzy bunny

But what was it that caught Mom and Dad's happy eyes?
The Diaper Genie was emptied, the bottles sterilised!
The clothes were all cleaned and folded nicely in stacks
The toiletries replenished, with quaqdruple mega packs

What pleased Mom and Dad more than diapers and a toy
Was the wide-eyed smile on their sweet little boy
As they carried him up and put him back into bed
They kissed the sweet cheeks on his cute little head

He cooed and giggled and fell to dreamy rest
What a Christmas it will be, his first and the best
Mom and Dad retired, straight to bed without pause
And dreamt of their visit from Santiago Claus

Fri, Dec 16, 2011

Two Months

Tiago is two months old now, and as cute as ever. It's amazing how quickly he's changed from the little newborn with the cute little cry, to the wide-eyed boy that smiles at us and can pierce our ears when he really wants the attention.

Everyone keeps saying to enjoy it while it lasts, 'cause before I know it, he'll be shrugging us off and borrowing the car late at night. And I am enjoying it. Fatherhood is awesome.

Tue, Nov 1, 2011

Two Weeks

After two weeks being home with my newborn son, it's tough going back to work. He's sooooo cute! It's also tough working from home. Every time there's a cry or my wife laughs or says "aww" I need to remember that I'm working and resist the urge to go see what the hubbub is.

Sun, Oct 16, 2011

My Son

Tiago David Faria
2011-10-16, 01:50
6 lbs, 11 oz

Fri, Sep 23, 2011

Saved!

Sometimes, a glimmer of hope shines through the mess.

Bombarded by public opinion and expert analysis, Toronto City Council has quashed Doug Ford's ridiculous waterfront idea and reaffirmed the responsibility of its development to Waterfront Toronto. This is a good day. This is a very good day. This shows that even though a buffoon sits in the big chair, his whims and fancies can still be held in check.

When David Miller was mayor, I admired his goals, but always felt that he never had the push to go and actually get the job done. That was because everything needed Council approval, and the mayor can't just order commands into action. Now I see why such a setup is necessary; because that seat could one day be filled by a Ford, and we'd be in a world of hurt if he always got his way.

Mon, Sep 12, 2011

So Tired of Painting

Oh so tired. All the ceilings. All the bathrooms. Foyer, dining room, living room, family room, kitchen, den, laundry room, hallway, stairway, four bedrooms, six closets.

Oh so tired of painting.

Tue, Aug 30, 2011

Idiocy Abound

I hate Rob Ford. Hate him. Not a day goes by that he doesn't piss me off. He has no idea how to run a city. He is, however, quite adept at ruining one. If you cut everything from a city that makes life worth living, you don't have a city anymore. You have a vague geographic area where people grumpily move from point A to point B at various times of the day. (That is, if they have a car. If not, sorry, this place isn't for you.)

Rob is horrific, for certain, but little brother Doug, it seems, is trying to outshine him by leaping straight to the absurd. A ferris wheel? A mono rail? Ha ha ha! OK, no seriously.... What? A freaking FERRIS WHEEL!?!?! And a mall?

Watrfront Toronto has been redeveloping our sorely antiquated waterfront for the better part of a decade already. The plans have been drawn and scrutinised by experts and the public countless times over. A plan was made to develop it to be a benefit to the environment, an attraction for the people, a basis for business. And a plan was laid out to have it generate its own funds. It has been praised and awarded by critics and institutions the world over.

And Doug Ford wants to scrap it all for a mall, a ferris wheel, and a monorail to nowhere? I can't breathe; get me a paper bag...

Mon, Aug 22, 2011

Merry Noodlemas

Eleven years. Come party with us. There will be cake.

(The cake is a lie.)

Thu, Aug 4, 2011

Working Road Trip

Another August, another road trip up to Timmins. This time, we spent our time working. Filled a huge waste bin with crap from the garage and a basement room, and built some new cabinets. I'm back home and at work now, which is good, because now I'll be able to get some rest.

Tue, Jul 19, 2011

Upper Body Injury

On Sunday, we had our annual big family picnic. We stake up a spot at Bronte park, have some food, play catch, go swimming. Playing catch with a football with a few cousins, I made a spectacular over-the-shoulder running catch. Drew some applause from onlookers.

The unfortunate part is that it quite bent my thumb in a direction it was not meant to bend. It is now bloated and blue and causing great ouchiness.

Tue, Jun 21, 2011

Devaluation

Several weeks ago, the bulb in our DLP TV started to flicker here and there, indicating it was nearing the end of its lifespan. We then had a decision to make: spend $200 on a new bulb, or spend a hunk more on a new TV that would take less space, be a bit larger in screen size, and play 1080P?

We decided to go with a new TV, and sell the old one on Kijiji. When I originally bought the TV five years ago, I paid over $2000 (discounted) for it. Knowing its devaluation, I listed it at $200.

After weeks of waiting, all I've gotten are people offering ridiculous amounts for it, like $100, and one person who agreed to buy it, and then never showed up to get it. I'd rather donate it to, say, a community centre than let some schmoe buy it for a measely $100. It's going upstairs now for occasional use. Maybe I can hook up the old Nintendo systems to it.

Mon, May 2, 2011

A Painful End

The stench of smoke in my condo simply will not go away, and it's prevented me from finding a new tenant. Thus, the only recourse is to repaint the entire unit. I have painted the ceilings (two coats of primer, two coats of paint), and now comes the difficult part. I have to paint over my murals. I worked on those silhouettes for months, getting them just right, meticulously drawing out every edge and making it as smooth as possible. I loved those murals, and considered them the most artistic thing I've ever done. And now, because of that ass wipe tenant, they are being destroyed.

Plesae excuse me while I weep.

Wed, Apr 20, 2011

Whistle While I Work

Easter is nearly upon us. What does that mean? A sale on paint is on at Home Depot. What does that mean to me? I am about to start painting our house.

All of it. This is going to take a while.

Wed, Mar 16, 2010

Don Cherry is a dinosaur

And not one of those cool ferocious dinosaurs that kids like to read about. He's one of those irrelevant dinosaurs with the awkward arms that died out early because they couldn't bend over to pick the low-hanging fruit. You know, whatamacallitsaurus.

He continues to think fighting is more important in hockey than, you know, the actual hockey. He's racist. He scorns people for protecting their eyes. He mocks the rising incidence of brain damage.

Pinko? I'd rather be a pinko than an irrelevant loud-mouth. I change the channel when Coach's Corner is on. There's nothing worth hearing.

Wed, Mar 9, 2011

Merry Davidmas

33 years old. Oh, what an old fart I've become.

Sat, Feb 22, 2011

Never Become A Landlord

If I can offer you one piece of advice, this is it: Never become a landlord.

The landlord and tenant laws in Ontario are unfair, unintuitive, and ineffective. Last year, when my wife and I moved out of my downtown condo and into a house, we decided to rent out the condo. It's in a growing hip neighbourhood, it's in a great location, and we expect it's value to grow over the years. Renting it out would be a good investment that would provide some supplementary income after the mortgage is paid off.

I hired a real estate agent to find me a tenant, which they did within 3 days, and all seemed fine. He moved in at the start of February last year. Immediately, there was a problem: he was a smoker. Despite my asking for a non-smoker, despite it explicitly saying "no smoking" in the lease, he smoked in there. I hate smoke. It is horrific. I firmly believe you must have suffered brain damage to inflict such damage on yourself and those around you by smoking.

What I found, however, is that such a clause is unenforcable. The Landlord and Tenant Act does not allow such stipulations. Even after neighbours complained of the smell of smoke seeping in, there was nothing I could do about it.

It got worse. Come June, a rent cheque bounced. He claimed his bank account had been hacked, and he would get it sorted. I got my money late in the month, but the next month's cheque bounced, too. Thus began a series of tit-for-tat; I propose a schedule, he would miss it. I would propose another, he would miss it. He'd make a partial payment here, a partial one there, but falling further behind. I was trying to be helpful for a guy in a bind, but my patience had run out. In October, I filed notice to evict.

We then agreed that he would leave mid-December and pay all owing until then. In the meantime, I found a replacement tenant to move in immediately after he left.

I never saw a cent. Having none of my messages answered, and finding his phone number discontinued, I went to the condo at the start of December expecting to find it abandoned. To my surprise, there he was, claiming all would be sorted and I'd have my money tomorrow.

"Oh, and by the way, I won't be leaving next week, but staying until the end of the lease."

That blew my lid. The very next morning and went to the Board office and filed for eviction on two counts: failure to pay rent, and agreeing to vacate. (FYI, the only other acceptable reason to evict is if you or an immediate family member is going to move in, and only if there is no active lease.) I paid the fee, and to my horror found that a hearing could not be scheduled until mid-January, a mere two weeks before he'd be leaving anyway.

When the hearing finally came around, my tenant didn't show, and the Board Member readily agreed he should be punked out. She gave an eviction date of 10 days following.

Without surprise, he failed to leave. His furniture was gone, but there was food in the fridge, coats in a pile on the floor, clothes in the washer and dryer, rotting food strewn about. It was disgusting. However, by Ontario Law, I couldn't get rid of it. The eviction date had passed, but only the sherrif could formally enforce the eviction and allow me to remove his crap.

Already pissed, I filed to enforce the eviction to find it would cost me over $300.

And I would have to wait 2 weeks.

At which point I could call the sherrif to schedule an appointment for him to come by and enforce the eviction.

Even when that was done, and I paid to have the lock changed, I still had to wait three days before I could finally throw his junk out, in case he came to claim it. The day after the wait had expired and I bagged and tossed his smelly crap, he asked to collect it. I responded with a very strongly worded letter to - in more diplomatic terms - find a cramped place with Sun and force his head inside it.

So, I am now short thousands of dollars in unpaid rent that he is likely never going to pay, and hundreds of dollars in ridiculous enforcement fees, and even more in attempts to clean the awful stench of smoke from the place. All the while he will continue to sit around, fired from his job, drinking away whatever pittance of support he gets.

So a very well-earned Ass of Disapproval goes to Stuart Oddy and the Ontario Residencial Tenancies Act.

Ass of DisapprovalAss of Disapproval

Sat, Jan 1, 2011

A New Era

Today begins what I hope will be a new era. Prior to this millenium, we would say our dates by pairing the digits of the year; 1978 was spoken as "nineteen seventy-eight", rather than "one thousand nine hundred seventy-eight" for a very good reason: the latter is way too long and we're far too busy (read: lazy) to say it the long way. Eleven years ago, that changed. We would say "two thousand" and "two thousand nine", which was simpler than "twenty oh nine" or "twenty ought nine", which was popular in the 19-oughts, but never caught on this century.

Now that it's 2011, I'm hoping people revert back to the 20th-century way by saying "twenty eleven" instead of "two thousand eleven". The long way may be correct, and spoken as such in other languages, but it's just not the English way. We're too busy (read: lazy) for that rot.

Sat, Dec 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Merry Christmas, and God bless.

Sat, Nov 27, 2010

Yanksgiving

"Sweet potatoes are nothing without marshmallows!"

Today I learned why that is so.

Mon, Nov 1, 2010

A New Beginning

After more than eight years, I am no longer working for CSI. A few organisational changes have meant that I have actually only indirectly worked for CSI for the past several years, but this is the last cut. I have now joined my boss at his new startup, which looks incredibly promising and should provide me with some excitingly challenging work, and new skills to build, something that I think has gotten stagnant with the old project.

So adieu, CSI. Hello ThoughtWire.

Tue, Oct 26, 2010

We Will Rue The Day

Rob Ford. Mayor of Toronto. The city has officially gone to the shits.

This is a man who defines greed. He scoffs at efforts to help citizens in need. He refuses to fund the arts, which make the difference between existing in the city, and really living in it. He wants his car and will have nothing in his way. Pedestrians? They have no place on the street; they should be inside their cars! Bicycles? Nuts to their efficient, healthy, and environmentally-friendly mode of transit; those two feet of bike lane means two more feet for my car! Light rail? Not fracking way! A train carrying fifty people will get in the way of my car carrying one! I need more gravy on my meat patty!

Transit City is a plan that was carefully crafted by experts on urban design and transit strategy, based on the projected demand in areas all over the city decades in the future, using the funds available, and influenced by dozens of transit plans around the world that have shown tremendous success. And yet, Rob Ford is going to scrap it, because "people want subways, not streetcars". Frankly, this is equivalent to a doctor saying that you have dangerously high cholesterol levels and must go on a strict healthy diet, and responding by saying "I don't have arthritis, I'll just eat more meat patties to flush badness out". It's irrelevant, fabricated, and disastrous. Aside from the fact that light rail is not a streetcar, his opinion polls are completely fabricated. Considering he doesn't seem to listen to anyone unless they agree with him, his sample set is skewed anyway.

So instead he's going to extend a subway that shouldn't have been built in the first place out to a neighbourhood that can't possibly sustain it.

And you're going to do it without spending any tax payers' money? OK, now you're just blatantly lying.

The most depressing thing is that over half the voters believed him.

Sun, Oct 3, 2010

Happy Anniversary

One year. A lifetime to enjoy.

Mon, Sep 6, 2010

Working Holiday

I remember when holidays were days off. Now all it seems I do is housework. Oh the joys of home ownership.

Sun, Aug 22, 2010

Merry Noodlemas

A decade of noodles. Mmmm, yum. Not as plentiful as they used to be, but still churning.

Fri, Aug 6, 2010

Disapproval

Sears Home is being awarded my prestigious Ass of Disapproval. We ordered a new bedroom set from them, and it was delivered a couple of weeks ago. The men that delivered it managed to scrape the walls as they carried it up to the bedroom covering them with black marks that won't come off. Then, upon opening the boxes, we found that every piece was damaged save for one - but that piece was for the wrong size bed.

They delivered replacement pieces, only to find that they were damaged, too. We finally went to the warehouse and inspected items there until we found a collection that were in good enough shape that the problems they had could be repaired. Until they told us they couldn't repair them. And then did anyway. Then they also damaged the ceiling in the process.

They also tried to refuse to sell to us claiming we could not be satisfied. We'd be satisfied if they would, you know, not sell damaged furniture.

For the walls, they sent someone to repaint. But, he was afraid of heights and couldn't do the job. Never heard of a painter that couldn't use a ladder. So they sent someone else... who refused to paint the whole wall and only wanted to touch up the dozens of areas that were marked, which would have looked terrible. So they sent someone else... who painted the walls and also painted the ceiling, but in the wrong colour. Then, when complaining of the error, the guy hung up on me.

We eventually got several hundred dollars in refunds and a newly painted ceiling, but the effort involved was tremendous, when all the bother could have been saved if they had just done their jobs properly in the first place.

So the fourth recipient of my Ass of Disapproval is Sears Home Canada.

Ass of Disapproval

Sat, Jul 24, 2010

Road Trip

Road trip! We leave for my first trip to Timmins tomorrow. 8 hours driving in a car way up north to meet the in-laws. Hope it goes well.

Tue, Jun 29, 2010

Just Shy

The World Cup is nearing its conclusion, but the end came for Portugal today. Not having surrendered a single goal until today, and the one that they do actually proved to be offside. In fairness to the officials, it was extremely difficult to make that determination, and only slow-motion replay proved it. Nevertheless, a disappointing end to a tournament that could have gone better for the team, but lacked some of the unified excitement that the '04 and '06 teams had. Ronaldo may be a star, but he is not the only one on this team. If and when he can learn to be a leader, and not an island (and quits the ridiculous diving), then this squad could turn a lot of heads.

Thu, May 6, 2010

Guitar Mastery

Trace Bundy in concert. Awesomeness.

Mon, Apr 12, 2010

Irony. But the Wrong Kind of Irony.

Back when I lived with my parents in Mississauga, I would bike or drive to the train station and take the train downtown to work. Then, when I bought my condo and moved downtown withing walking distance of the office, I started to work almost exclusively from home. In fact, two years straight went by without me going in. I only broke that streak by going to the office to clear off my desk before they moved to a new building.

As one who misunderstands irony would expect, now that I've moved north to the boonies, CSI once again has requested our presence in the office. So I am now biking to the train station and taking the train downtown again.

Sun, Apr 11, 2010

Bottom Dweller

I like what Brian Burke is doing with the Leafs. Really, I do. It's a build, and they will become a very good hockey team in the not-too-distant future.

It is, however, hard to swallow the fact that they finished 2nd last in the league when they had previously traded away their first pick in the Kessel trade. It's the best drafting position the Leafs have had since the one and only time they've finished last overall and picked Wendl Clark. I do think Kessel will be the best player of the transaction, but this is the sort of thing that's going to hound him for years as Hall/Seguin grow and start to prove themselves. Lots of "what if"s and "if only"s, and that's the kind of pressure that may hold Kessel back. I think he will be a 40-goal scorer multiple times in his career, but even if he becomes a stellar figure in the league, there are always going to be people asking those "what if" questions.

Thu, Mar 18, 2010

Ouchie

On Tuesday, I had my tonsils removed. A simple operation on children, but a painful one for adults. I've spent the past few days unable to swallow without grimacing and pouding my fist on something hard, often my own skull.

The good part of it is that I've spent the past three days eating Oreo pudding and playing Metroid Prime Trilogy. Awesome.

Sun, Feb 28, 2010

A Legend Is Born

It's one thing to read about the hockey heroics that have survived the decades as part of Canadian lore. Paul Henderson's winning goal against the Soviets in '72 stands tall as the greatest.

It's another thing to see it unfold and recognise the significance of what had just happened. These Olympics started out dire. A death on the luge track, a lack of snow, medal opportunities fluttering away. What was supposed to be Canada's shining moment had become cause for all Canadians to knaw at their fingernails.

Then, Alexandre Bilodeau finally got Canada gold on home turf. Suddenly, scores of others followed. By the time Jon Montgomery made his pitcher-of-beer walk through Whistler, an excitement and pride that no one had anticipated was pulsing throughout the entire country. However, everyone knew that without that men's hockey title, most of it would fade away in history as "That was nice, but..."

As the gold medal game wound down, the country was ready to explode. Half a minute away from celebration, when Luongo coughed up a rebound and the country lost its ability to breathe. Murmurs of worry that all was lost.

Then along came Crosby. Hailed as "The Next One", accumulated scores of accolades, recently became the youngest captain of a Stanley Cup champion. Already assured a high place in the annals of hockey history, but in this tournament, however, he had been peculiarly quiet. Pointless in the past couple of games, unable to show his usual dominance.

But, hockey history was to be written today. Seven minutes into overtime, he accepted a pass from Iginla, slipped through the legs of Ryan Miller, and a legend burst from the shell of a simple man. As 34 million exploded in joy, it was clear that this very moment would be remembered, retold, and fantasised for decades to come. The Gold-Medal winning goal, in overtime, on home ice, to give Canada a record 14 gold medals in a single Winter Olympics.

The names Henderson, Gretzky, and Lemieux are written in the hallowed halls of Canadian memory. And there the name Sydney Crosby is now written among them.

Nutritional Information

Ingredients
Name: David Faria
Home: Toronto, ON
Occupation: Software Developer

Directions
1. Take one "normal" individual.
2. Add enormous amounts of Oreos.
3. Stir in kind, gentle, and somewhat kooky personality.
4. Mix with a pinch of sanity, but not too much.
5. Remoniker with obscure nickname.
6. Shake vigorously.

Enjoy
The Noodlecam
presented in
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