Sunday, December 03, 2006

The One About The Moose

Prepare yourself for an adventure store unparalleled in the history of the world. I am confident in this claim because this adventure story contains a Moose. Maurice is his name. Maurice The Moose.

Maurice was, as all mammals are, born. However, unlike most mammals, his birth place was Teddy Town at Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

When he was born, he developed a taste for hockey, and has been wearing his uniform ever since.

Almost immediately after his birth, Maurice faced an ordeal of an epic, yet trivial, proportion. You see Death was jealous that such a young moose had more hockey skills then he, and attacked Maurice.

Maurice, being a big fan of Tie Domi, fought back with a vengance that only a true Maple Leaf fan, holding onto that last sliver of faith that by some miracle of unholy proportions they will finally win the cup this year, can. Unlike the Leafs, Maurice won.

Maurice was indeed victorious, but the ordeal left him very tired, so he went to the beach to relax. He loved the hot sun and surf, but the salty air tended to rust his skates.

When Maurice recovered, and cleaned his skates, he decided to travel. He went to Washington DC, and is one of the only Moose in history to tour the Smithsonian as an alive specimen.

Maurice is now living a quiet life in Canada, where all good moose should be.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My Cat Is Evil

I believe my cat is evil.

I present to you this evidence. This morning while eating my very fine bagel that was toasted with a perfect smattering of Philly cream cheese on top, I was watching Ghostbusters. Caylee, the evil cat in question, was purring as she lay on my stomach.

When the movie got to the point where Mr Peck from the EPA shut down the ecto-plasma containment unit where the Ghostbusters store their ghosts (it was very dramatic with all the lights, explosions, running, and lights spreading out across the city). Peck then had the Ghostbusters arrested. A good person, or a "non-evil" person may say "What the...? How can this be? Peck arrested the Ghostbusters and put them in jail? Who will save New York? Doesn't he realized the immenent return of Gozer that this will cause? The world is screwed forever!". I know I did.

I tried to explain my concerns about the worlds future at the hands of Gozer to my cat, but she just looked at me blankly as if to say "so what?", then she jumped off my lap and ran over to lick her back paw as if to say "I got other things going on here, OK?".

I. Was. Shocked. I mean I have seen my cat handle some tricky situations such as "oh no! my fake mouse toy is behind the couch" and handle intense paradoxes like "oh wow! he threw a cat treat, I must go eat it!". But to the return of Gozer and the end of the world, and the only people that could stop it languishing in a New York prison, she had no concerns at all. Not a one. Concernless she was.

How can this be? There is only one answer to that question. This, my friends, is one evil cat!

== EVIL!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Livin' Large in South Carolina

For as long as I can remember, it has been my family tradition to spend October in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Every year since I was born, my parents, sister, and I would spend a couple weeks in Myrtle Beach with my grandparents. When I started high school, the regular migration stopped due to the difficulty of taking two weeks off of school. Over the last couple of years, My parents have started to continue the tradition. This year, I got to share that tradition with the newest member of my family, my fiance, Debbie.

We spent a week in Myrtle Beach. Most of it we spent on the beach, swimming in the ocean, shell collecting, and relaxing. Along the way we also did some sight-seeing, shopping, mini golfing, and go-kart racing. For me, growing up coming here year after year, these experiences were not new, but to Debbie they were. It was a ton of fun showing sharing these experiences with her.

On Saturday I took Debbie to Charleston SC to check out the sights there. We started off by taking a boat cruise to Fort Sumter, where the first shot in the American Civil War occurred. Being Canadian, and therefore slightly immune to American Vs American historical interests, we didn't spend much time exploring the fort. We did, however, spend a great deal of time looking at the Dolphins swimming out in the bay (see picture of dorsal fin).

After we got back to dry land, we drove into Charleston and took a horse drawn carriage ride around the city. It was an amazing experience. Our driver and guide did an absolute amazing job showing off Charleston and entertaining us. After the ride we ate dinner at an Irish pub.

To the people we left behind while we vacationed, I have this to say: While you shoveled snow, we swam in the ocean. Suckers.

Monday, September 18, 2006

City meets country - We're off to the Brampton Fair

The Event: The Brampton Fair
The Location: Brampton Fair Grounds
The Time: 16-Sept-06
The Reason: ... we're kinda bored.

One of the hazzards of being engaged to a farmers daughter is that she notices, enjoys, and actively seeks out, country fairs. So really is no surprise that she found one in the city of Brampton.

So we went.

It was, surprsingly, good times all around. Its an amazing contrast between the city teens (Goth is a word that comes to mind) and country (hey ma, my sisters sure a-growin to be a sexy thang. Can I be a-takin' her to the prom?) boys.

We started our day by watching the horse pull. A team of horses pulled over 7250lbs of dead weight on a metal sled. Impressive, eh?

After that we walked around the midway, and played some carnival games. We played bingo, and won a prize the first game! (we selected a box of drinking glasses).

After that we went to a demolition derby. This was the first derby that I attended that did not have a car that used to belong to one of my grandfathers (no kidding!). It was an awesome show. Lots of debris, flying fluids, radiator steam explosions, and various other things that can be seen in two places... the 401, and the demo derby.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Sunday afternoon I surpised everyone (including myself, as it turns out), and proposed to my girlfriend, Debbie. She said yes. I am getting married!


So, to answer the most common questions:
q: Have you set a date yet?
a: Nope, but we are looking at June, 2007

q: Where are you going on your honeymoon?
a: Dunno, but I can't see how it matters, since I will be with her.

q: How did you propose?
a: Well, I am glad you asked, since it allows me to tell you a story...

Lets go back in time, shall we?

Debbie and I have been talking about marriage for a while. So building the element of surprise into the proposal was going to be a challenge. The opportunity arose when I made plans to go visit my buddy, Justin, on Labour Day weekend. I got him to back up a story where we (Debbie and I) were going to head to Kingston Sunday afternoon. However, I planned on "missing" an exit and heading downtown instead... wine and dine her at the CN Tower, then propose on the observation deck. I figured all this out while in Taiwan.

When I came home from Taiwan, I spent the most wonderful day with Debbie. It confirmed everything I thought to be true about what a special person she is, and how perfectly we fit into each others lives. The next morning, I was standing outside the jewellry store, waiting for them to open so I could buy the ring. I had to get it resized, so on Friday I picked it up. Saturday night I got her fathers permission to ask for her hand. I was all ready. I was set. It was all falling into place.

One problem. I didn't want to wait. I mean, could you wait?

So, Saturday night I coyly mentioned that I wanted to go for a walk by the water (I always wanted to propose while looking out over a large body of water). She mentioned a place along Lake Erie, with a pier and a lighthouse. Perfect, I thought to myself.

The next day, I drove to the pier, and walked, with my sweetheart, to the end where we found a pile of rocks. We sat and talked for a few moments about our future, then I asked her "What do you think if we got engaged while on Vacation in October?" She said "I wouldn't be surprised". So I asked "what if we got engaged next weekend". She replied "I'd be more surprised". Then I asked, "What if we got engaged right now?", and pulled the ring out of my pocket. She then proceeded to hug me harder than I ever have been hugged before :)

Mission accomplished. She was surprised, we were engaged, and I have never been happier or more excited in my life.

I don't think she's stopped smiling since then. I know I haven't.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Amusing Scenes from Taiwan

So, last Saturday I came back from Taiwan and am now getting back into my Canadian life. Debbie surprised me by meeting me at the airport - this might not seem so amazing, but she does live over an hour away, and I landed at 6AM - she bought me a maple dipped donut, and did some grocery shopping for me. She's the awesomest.

Anyways, before I begin to wax romantic about how much she rules (and its a lot, much more than Chuck Norris, tho her round-house-kicks-to-the-face needs work...) I shall sum up my trip by showing some amusing pictures.

An actual sign, in an actual store in Danshui.

One of the guys needed cash, so he went to a bank machine. As he put in his bank card & started pressing buttons, the machine rebooted. We stood there as we watched it reboot, come up, and reboot again. (it runs MS DOS, if your interested). He never did get his card back.

Its absolutely amazing what a motivated person can fit onto a scooter.

I wonder what kind of gas it is.

So, that is my trip to Taiwan.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Shannon

Further adventures on the far side of the world. Episode V - The Shannon

Ever since I first time I stepped into a Taiwanese club, I wanted to visit an Irish pub. I love Irish pubs - I feel at home in them. It fascinates me (probably because Irish is the part of my heritage that I identify with the most) that all Irish pubs seem to be universal the world over. I have been to Irish pubs in California, Boston, and of course Canada, and they are all the same. I wanted to see if a Chinese Irish pub would follow this trend.

I've been to Taiwanese dance clubs & bars, but they have no soul. Dance clubs and the like are designed for escapism. For getting wasted & letting loose. Usually these places are way too loud to hold a conversation, and are often trendy for the sole sake of being trendy (which usually doesn't work very well). I want a place where I can hang with my friends after a hard day of work, and relax. Have a few beers, enjoy some tunes, and hang out. A quick way to find such a place is to head to your local Irish pub.

Being in Taipei, the local Irish pub is a place called The Shannon, and it did not disappoint. It had a friendly, homey atmosphere, with wood and stone work in classic Celtic designs, a long oak bar, and a stone fireplace. It was a piece of familiarity surrounded by a foreign culture, and it felt exactly like an Irish pub should.

I also had my first Irish Car Bomb. For those unfamiliar with an Irish Car Bomb, it is a drink. You take a shot glass that is half full of Baileys, and half Jamieson. Then you drop the shot glass into a half-pint of Guinness, then chug. It tastes great. The Irish Car Bomb is one of the traditional drinks amongst the group of Googlers I work with, and it was great to have a round of them with all my expat co-workers in Taiwan.

I am heading back to Canada tonight. It was an excellent and interesting experience, and I had lots of fun. However, hitting up the local Irish pub is by far the best part of my trip.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Longtan Night Market

Further adventures on the far side of the world. Episode IV - A New Hope The Night Market.

Tonight I ventured forth to downtown Longtan to see the night market. What you say? A night market? Whassa night market?


First of all, the correct pronunciation is " What is a night market?" Or, if you want to be more formal: "Please sir, I would like to enquire to the nature of this night market of which you speak.". Or, if you wish to suck up: "Oh, a night market, you say? I am so very interested in hearing about such an intriguing method of practicing nocturnal commerce. Please be so kind and explain it in your own uniquely awesome way, you sexy thing you."

Either one will do.

And since you asked...every Thursday night the people of Longtan close off a couple of streets near the freeway underpass, put up a few blocks worth of booths, and sell things. The products range from food (stinky tofu is nasty smelling - apparently it tastes better than it smells (it would have to!), but no one I know is brave enough to try it.), to clothing, jewellery, some midway style carnival games, and other similar style booths.

Communicating prices is interesting when you don't share a common language. Sometimes the vendors know just enough english to say the price in english, other times I had to resort to pseudo sign language (holding up fingers, or using my calculator watch to display numbers). Usually the vendors are very good natured about it, and we all shared some laughs as we tried to communicate.

It was a very interesting experience. And yes, I did but some gifts for Debbie, but alas I will make you all wait to know what it is until I give them to her - ain't I so cruel?

Until then, I amuse myself with this:

Punch Bug! *WHACK!*

And thus endeth the lesson.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Further adventures on the far side of the world. Episode III: Danshui

A bunch of us went to Danshui, which is located just north of Taipei, where the Danshui river meets the Ocean (really, the Tiawan Straight, but why split hairs, eh?). There is a walkway with a quasi-carnival atmosphere with street vendors & performers (all music), and some restaurants.

We all got 2ft (well, 55cm) ice cream cones - just cause its, ya know, 2ft of ice cream. It was freaking hot so we had a hard time eating the icecream before it melted. We ended up being quite the spectacle with the locals, but I chose not to take offense when they referred to us as "americans".

The location is fairly pretty, with mountains in the background, and many boats in the river. The walkway went on for many kilometers, but we only walked about half way. We stopped at a bar for drinks. This bar had some cool sculptures made out of squares of metal, the face being the coolest.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Who you gonna call?

So its Ghost Month in Taiwan. (????)

Yeah, thats right, Ghost Month. The locals believe that the ghosts of their ancestors come back this month. They burn "ghost money" and food to appease their ancestors. At the same time, children are discouraged from venturing near water.

Since we (the team from US/Canada) do not follow this custom, one of the Taiwanese companies we work with are sending a representative to burn money and food on our behalf. Isn't that nice of them?

My suggestion was to make a call...

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Geeks Expatria (aka adventures in Taiwan)

So, since we last blogged together (I writing, you reading), I have returned to Taiwan for another 3 week stay for work.

I won't discuss my work (those of you who had read my old site would recall that the first 3 rules of working for Google is... you don't talk about working for Google). The mere fact that I mentioned who I work for is grounds for killing you if it was not for the fact that a) our corporate motto is "do no evil", and b) I just showered and don't want to break a sweat.

So, instead of waxing confidential about my employ, I shall attempt to share some experiences I have had during the last couple of days. I include pictures(duh!) for the visually stimulated.

So last night I, and the rest of the clan here, went to a local expat(aka American style) bar called Azul's, to see a guy named Landis perform country music. It was not bad considering that the entire band are amateur musicians. The guy playing the bazuki is one of the G clan.

This afternoon, we took a trip to Taipei. We had some Thai food at a restaurant called "Crystal Spoon" in Taipei 101, where we dined on shrimp, lobster, chicken, beef, and (not surprising) rice.

We then headed to a computer convention. There were a lot of vendor booths, and some interesting technology to look at. Because I was familiar with all of the technology, but everything was in Chinese, I have never felt both in my element and out of my element at the same time. A very odd feeling.

Anyways, this are the adventures of Dave over the past 24hrs on the otherside of the planet.


Thursday, July 27, 2006


The following is a Singleton base class for Python, called

By inhertiting this class into your own, you can make your class a Singleton.

class BorgCollective:

_objects = {}

def __init__( self ):

#get the name of the inheriting class

class_name = self.__class__

#if the dictionary doesn't exist, create it

if self._objects.has_key( class_name ) == 0 :

self._objects[ class_name ] = {}

self.__dict__ = self._objects[ class_name ]

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hungry Hungry Hippo

I am a member of the Toronto Metro Zoo. These pics are from my last visit.

I managed to get to the polar bears and hippos during feeding time, so they were fairly active.

Interesting factoid: The polar bears eat horse meat. They also like carrots and apples.

Interesting factoid #2: Female polar bears are 1/3rd the size of the males.

Interesting factoid #the next one: Hippos are hungry, and eat a metric crapload of food every single day.

Interesting factoid #the next generation.: Elephants are cool, and by that I mean much sweeter than hippos.

Interesting factoid #the last one: These are no longer interesting.

... and I'm done.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Its insanely great!

Lets take a mental trip shall we?

Now, imagine if you will, a place with all the food you can eat. A place with an oriental bent. Chinese food at its most average, but lots of it. Are you there with me? Good.

Now, amongst the fine selection of oriental fare, sweet'n' sour meats, veggies, and noodles, is a whole section of salads and salad related items. Lettuce, carrots, pastas, potatoes, radishes...

Who cares! you may cry, and you would be correct to frown upon my odd fixation on the table of leafy greens, and uncooked, shaved carrots.

"What about General T'so? you may be wondering. Or perhaps your thoughts are bent towards the Shanghai Noodles... "All that deliciousness, so why the salads?"

I'll tell you why, but you better sit down first.

Amongst the pickled beats and freshly(if last week counts as fresh) toasted croutons is a special salad. A mans salad. A salad made entirely of meat.

I am sure that just blew your mind, so let me repeat that last part.

A salad made entirely of meat!

I am not talking some sort of fishy meat. I mean pork. Cubes of delicous ham with herbs.

Isn't that insanely great?

And now you understand why I like salads now.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A Crazy Little Thing Called Love

So last Sunday I was holding my girlfriend, Debbie, in my arms. I looked down at her, and she looked up at me. The look in her eyes, I tell ya, moved me to my core (and being 300lbs+, I have a big core).

Her lips were curled up in a smile that was barely perceptable. Her eyes were full and round, glistened ever so slightly. It was the face of pure contentment. Bliss. Love. It was like she was gazing into my very soul, and totally enamoured with what she saw.

I don't know why she would want to be with a guy like me (I seceretly think its because of my cat), but she is. I don't know how she can love me so much, but she does.

I've known she has been in love with me for many months now. I know because she told me. I know because she puts up with me, and wants to be around me despite my corny jokes, and sometimes cranky attitude. I know because she wants to show me off to her friends, and be a part of her family.

But it wasn't until that moment, that one special moment, that I truly realized just how deep that love for me goes. How truly powerful a womans love can be for a man, and how truly blessed I am to have that sort of love in my life, and to be able to hold it so closely in my arms.

I am in love with a woman who loves me back. Its deep, its amazing. Its profound beyond any words I can find to describe it. Its beauty beyond anythng this world has to offer. A precious and rare gift. A reason to thank God, and a reason to smile.

Sunday was a good day to be me.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Video Blog - My Cat

Ok, so adventure in Google land. I took a video of my cat, Caylee, & uploaded it to Google Video. Its embedded below for your viewing pleasure.

My girlfriend and I got Caylee from the Humane Society a couple months ago. She was a very lethargic cat. Ever since I got back from Taiwan, she has been much more playful. I now have proof ;)

Anyways, this is just filler, and an excuse to play with embedded video. Its pretty cool stuff.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

In Taiwan

Hello (Ni Hao)

I am currently on a trip to Taiwan. I have proof: if you go to Taiwan, and take a left, you will see me. Cool eh?

My name in Chinese is "Dai Wei"

Some interesting things I've learned so far from being in a Chinese country:
  • You will be physically bigger than anyone else... guaranteed.
  • Chinese food tastes *much* better in a chinese country.
  • Don't expect to get fortune cookies from the chinese restaurants.
  • Scooters can kill.
Cheers (Gan Bei)

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Saturday, May 27, 2006

First Post

This blog is for you. Really its for me. (technically, its cause my girlfriend made me)