Thursday, October 25, 2007

Absolutely shocking is a great vehicle for making available long lost commerical video footage of favorite bands, for example Chicago which is one of my favorties.

One of the great features of Youtube is that it provides subject related links. For example Chicago videos links to Peter Cetera and Journey stuff as well. Last night while browsing some old Chicago stuff I found out by that David Foster (Producer) and Bill Champlin (Chicago keyboar and vocalist) wrote the famous Earth Wind and Fire song "Afer the love has gone". Holly Cow, the first think I thought was "Two white guys wrote this?"

The next bomb was that there was footage of them actually performing it! And not bad either!!! Maybe almost as good as EW&F.

This is from a recent concert with Bill Champlin and EW&F

This is the original footage from 1983, show Thicke of the Night. Man, I remember watching that show. Featuring David Foster and newly minted Chicago vocalist Champlin.

Anyways, Champlin and Foster are considered some of the best songwriters of this generation. So maybe it really should be that much of a surprise. But two white guys, sh*t!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Water department makes good

This morning the trucks came and excavated the street to replace the service lines into the house. As we got ready for work, Adian watched intently from our bedroom windows while the crews banged and dug. Truck! Truck! Man! he says.

When I arrived home from work I wasn't too happy to see a patch of lawn missing, but all the rest of the repairs makes up for that. The 24 hour river of water flowing from our lawn has dried and the water pressure into the house has significantly improved. I'm also sure they replaced the old city's lead service pipes as well. Originally I had planned to also have the main house line replaced to increase the water pressure but I don't think that necessary anymore because I can hit the lawn across the street with the garden nozzle.

Good job.

Friday, October 19, 2007

More on motivation

I read somewhere that if you imagine the last few parting hours of your life, it may get your ass into high gear and make the most of the time you have. I'm paraphasing the 'ass' part but I believe that to be the gist of what they meant. If that does not get you thinking hard, then you have truly given up.

The last part is mine.

Aidan's Alphabet

This week Aidan learned the letters A, I, O, R, N, and C. Grandma has been very patient in teaching him a few letters a week. I'm so proud of the little guy.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Water problems - update

This morning water began gushing out from under ground, where my lawn meets the sidewalk. Small water spigots also formed between sidewalk cracks. So much water is coming out now that it's running down the street. I call it Queensdale Creek. I reported it to the city again and went to work. They said they'll be by in about 3 weeks to fix it. Meanwhile, we'll have to continue to impose on our neighbour's water as well as put up with a soggy ass lawn.

I'm told that there are about 60 other occurances in the City waiting to be repaired so we're in the queue and have to be patient. It's no secret that the city's infrastructure is old and crumbling. But what is the Mayor going to do about it? Miller is out, that's for certain.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Water problems

For the past month there's been a small water leak in front of our house at the main water shutoff, also known as a Curb Stop. Each house has one and is usually located on the sidewalk just past the front lawn. I decided to report it to the city because I felt with the winter coming it would create a slipping hazzard.

A worker from the city came and unfortunately I did not see what he did but I suspect he turned off the water to my neighbours house to stem the leak. Later that evening, my next door neighbour came to me complaining they had no water. They called the city but this time someone came by and turned off my water and left theirs on. I had no appreciation how inconvenient it is without running water, especially with a toddler. In my opinion the city was not taking the matter seriously despite several calls to supervisors.

This morning , we filled a garden watering can in the bath hub with what water trickled out from the tap and used it to shower. It was bad timing too because both Marissa and I have had early morning meetings to get to.

So this afternoon I played hookey from work and came back to the house to see if any progress had been made (if the city bothered to answer their phone it could have saved me a trip). Someone had come to mark the gas main locations on my lawn so I guess some excavation is planned but when? And we are still without water.

In desparation, I asked another neighbour to allow me to link our houses togther with our outdoor garden taps, also known as a high-line. So at least we have water now to shower, wash clothes and dishes and cook.

At work we have things called ScotiaApplauses to recognize extrodinary work. I went through alot of crap (phone calls to the city, buying hose attachments, getting permission from the neighbour, hooking it up etc) in order to get back this basic necessity. I give myself WongApplause for my Committment and Innovation eventhough it goes unrecognized.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Audubaun Society of Wallace

I was working at home today and heard a bird smash into the living room window. Actually two separate times but I'm not sure if it's the same bird. The second time I went out to find a stunned bird laying on the porch. I brought him in to protect him from the neighbourhood's notorious cat killer, Minx; so I've been told by a couple of people so far.

After about 30 minutes he was back to normal and I released him. His lucky day.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I've been asked by a some people recently why I like to run. There are alot of reasons and many are really only shared between other runners, and are often unspoken. I still like to mountain bike but it requires to much prep time and unfortunately I can't just take off for an entire afternoon like I used to. So running works best these days.

I have a personal goal to run a full marathon next year and perhaps someday the Boston marathon. General Patton who also happened to be an Olympian (1912) says you have to make the mind run the body and never let the body tell the mind what to do. In order for that to work I believe you need motivation and that means realizing what is the driving force behind why I want to run that marathon.

Personal goals and accomplishment are factors. But my son is the biggest part of that motivation these days. I'd love him to be at the finish to greet me even if he is only 3 years old. And maybe one day he could say my Dad ran the Boston marathon.

It's cute how he says "run, run" when I pull out the pram. We have a great time on our runs together, it's really priceless.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


I have been losing an uphill battle with clutter. Magazines, books, toys, nick-nacks and etc. I have nothing against material things but there comes a time when it's time to let someone else enjoy them by giving them away, especially because we live only semi-detached thats 900sq/ft. The irony, is that we have have lying around several books that describe how to get rid of clutter. If someone could explain to me the physics behind how a garage sale intended to reduce clutter results in the same or more clutter afterwards it would be helpful. Actually, isn't there the 9th law of thermodymamics that says cluttler can neither be created or destroyed but only converted from one form to another? Maybe that explains it.

Of late I've become very astute to people trying to pass me their clutter disgusing themselves as do-gooders. "Hey, need any used snow tires", "I have a baby high chair you might like", "Does your son have a sand box", "I just took off some sway bars on my car (front and rear), I'll save them for you". WTF in the neck! I'm not kidding, these are a just a few things asked of me this past week.

Unfortunately, the only place I do have 100% clutter control is at work. Needless to say the blue bin under my desk sees alot of action. I suspect I hit delete more often than reply in my email too.

My next renovation project the basement. The objective is to create a space for my family to play and relax. The main floor is nice but not really enough space for a child to run and play. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

United Way 9K+ Run

I signed up for a run to benefit the United Way. The run took place over the lunch hour and was organized by a fellow in Customer Information Systems department. A bunch of us know each other from the annual Scotiabank YMCA runs. It started at 2201 Eglinton and down through Warden Woods park. I used to ride my bike through there as a kid so I haven't been down then in over 20 years! Not much has changed but it don't think it's safe to go there alone anymore. Unfortunately I did this run myself because I was delayed in a meeting.

There were some nice surprises along the course, like coming across some new parks and ravines I didn't realize existed in Scarborough. There are totally wide open and manicured parks but you wouldn't know it as most of us speed by the houses that obsure them along the way to work.

View Larger Map

Although it was a 9K run, I'm convinced I did 10K because I got lost a couple of times and had to run around some cul-de-sacs. I also wasn't thinking that I usually don't do 10K runs on weekdays especially when I have to return to work afterwards. The weather was nice and it was a good distraction from work.

One footnote: Some people are really clueless about some really basic things. Before I left for the run a coworker said to me, "10K run, it's cool out so you shouldn't sweat". I didn't say anything but I thought to myself that they obviously don't have any clue how far 10K is, and also they probably never did anything athletic in their life because even an Olympian would sweat after running 10K. I shouldn't have been all that surprised because in the morning I was getting some breakfast in the cafeteria (fruit and egg omelette) and they asked me why I needed to eat breakfast before a run.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

This weekend I'll be giving thanks for all the good things bestowed upon me, my familiy and friends.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

2007 Terry Fox Run

Here are some photos from this year's Terry Fox Run.

Ominous skies

I photographed this view of the downtown Toronto skyline on my way home today. Although it was 5pm and there was the usual mass Exodus of commuters, the air was eerily silent. At first I thought it was a funnel cloud then I realized it was actually the CN tower that had been obstructed by a rolling blanket of fog. You will notice the sun peering out from behind the column, it almost looks like a solar eclipse.

If you were to look back towards the tall Bank buildings all you'd see was white fog. And if you were a tourist you would think Toronto was devoid of any buildings. I'm glad I stumbled across this.