Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cpt Dawe

I just found out this afternoon that a guy who was in my platoon during Infantry training Phase II at CFB Gagetown died on July 7th of this year. It just about knocked me over. I was watching the live text feed from the Senate floor yesterday when it was mentioned in opening remarks and Senators' Statements, but the reporter had heard "Dodd". I only saw it today when I read through the finished hardcopy publication. Still thinking it could have been someone else, another Dawe perhaps, I googled him... I wasn't mistaken. It was him. In that link to the Hansard, Senator Segal spoke very well of him.

Now, I wasn't best friends with Dawe, but I certainly remember him well and we got along during our brief stint. There weren't many people I met in training that I looked at and thought "I'd follow you, trust you, in a theatre of war" but Dawe was definitely one of them. Him, Miksa, Luft.

I remember Dawe actually grinning after Warrant Ashford PT-raped 26 minutes of our lives away during range week for having wasted 26 minutes of Cpt Sharlack's time two weeks prior during a night navigation pre-inspection. Hell, during firing practice, he challenged the warrant to a pull-up competition. As sections were firing C-7 rounds a few feet away, they were up in the rafters, doing chin-ups. Dawe beat Ashford in two-handed pull-ups, but Ashford kicked Dawe's ass in one-handed ones. Throughout all the exercises, barracks time, down-time (ha!), etc., Dawe never had the "RMC airs" - that attitude of superiority over us reservus goofs.

I'm going to see if next week while I unpack I can find some pictures of him from our days in Gagetown. I don't think I have any, as most of the ones I took were from pre-RESO, the first three weeks of training before RMC students showed up for Phase II. Though I seem to recall a photo of us all eating freakin' IMPs in the woods during night nav/camo week. Think Mundi and Dawe are in that one.

A good article about Dawe can be found here. The picture of him with his son is just... hard to look at, I guess.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Quick update

Halloween weekend was good! Had a blast at both parties - Jimmy's and Suzi's. Not doing anything for tomorrow evening except what I'd normally do which consists of playing Final Fantasy III or IV on my SNES emulator or writing or watching a movie.

Work so far is great! Nice people, but someone needs to kick a certain senator I shall not name. She keeps stalling the committees selection which means a 4-hour day instead of a 10-hour day. Cuttin' into my bottom line... And next week is a week off because it's Remembrance WEEK. When did Remembrance Day turn into a Week? Or maybe that's just a fed gov't thing. Most times I'd be jumpin', but money's an issue at the moment and having a week off is not a positive. I just hope that committees are sorted out for the week of the 12th, if not tomorrow. (Please don't adjourn the debate again... please!)

And... moving this Friday! Got a great place downtown. I'm so looking forward to having my own place with my own furniture and my own space. Also, people can visit and stay over whenever because I'll have enough room. I'll send an email out soon to let people know what the new info is.

That's it for now. More after I get settled into my new abode.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Gaming and DAoC People Weekend

Had a pretty good weekend, but it felt hectic and long due to the travel.

I managed to drag my sleepy arse out of Aaron's place on Saturday morning at 6:20am, and made it to the train station five minutes before the train was set to leave at 7:00. The ride itself was relatively banal, though there was an overindulged and coddled eight-month-old across the way from me who wouldn't stop crying out and making a nuisance of itself. Did a lot of reading, though, and almost finished Hermetech. Also listened to a 59-minute .mp3 interview of Neil Gaiman by Rotten Tomatoes. That was interesting, and it was a 'comfy' recording with subtle restaurant background noises. It felt like I was eavesdropping, though... audio voyeurism. Neil Gaiman seems to know everyone.

After receiving directions from two people on my way to Adrian and Fiona's, I arrived at their place just in time for some french toast. Mmmmm... french toast... Afterwards, around 8:30 or so, we all wandered to a sushi restaurant and ate and took it easy. I then hurried via subway to Spadina to catch up with a guy I'd never met. We used to both play DAoC (Dark Age of Camelot), though on opposing sides. So we knew of each other, but had never really spoken. I had written in a DAoC forum that I was going to be in Toronto for the weekend and by happenstance, he happened to have read it and was living in Toronto, so we worked it out from there. We were both exceptionally late... We were supposed to meet originally at 8:30, but I arrived at 9:45 or so, and he had gotten there at 9:15. However, he had a lady-friend with him, and another gamer: Hawkin. (that's a picture of them, top left... girl, Wulf, Hawkin) So that was fun. None of stayed too long.

On Sunday, I had a bit of an issue since my train was at 9:30am, but I left Angela's place at 8:30 or so, hoping to catch the subway down to Union. No go. What I didn't know was that the subway doesn't start running on Sundays until 9am. So... I found the Dupont subway station doors locked... and the Spadina station doors locked. At this point, I thought perhaps there'd been an accident or something on the lines and they were closing it off. Had I waited 10 more minutes, I would have been fine. But not knowing what was up and not wanting to miss my train, I took a taxi. It wasn't far, so it didn't cost me too too much.

The ride back was fine. I finished Hermetech, and got back into where I'd left off with Something Wicked This Way Comes. I tried to sleep a ways, but everytime I managed to doze off, the next stop was announced on the PA so that didn't work out too well.

Got in around 2:15pm, and met up with Pat (another DAoC player, and good buddy of mine - photo right) at the Royal Oak. The skany one (the Sk'Oak), not the more upscale new one (the N'Oak). We had a few beers, checked out some podcast videos for W.A.R. (Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, made by Mythic, the same folks who did DAoC) and had a bite to eat.

I took a bus back to my place, dropped off my stuff, and took off again, this time to Angie's as Aaron had people over. Had a fun time over at her place, and hung out with her and a few of her friends and had mulled wine. At one point, Ross was using Google Maps to track down his place, using the satellite view option. That gave me an idea, so I used it to show some people Guilin, Suzhou, Beijing and I found Tangshan. I showed Angie Xin Hua Dao (the main street) so she could see where the earthquake memorial is, where EF was, and where I lived. I was able to get in pretty close, too! It brought back a lot of memories. It was nice to see it, but it also felt really odd to be looking down on places I had come to know so well.

That's about it. I'm going to see an apartment today, and hopefully claim it for my own. I really need to get out of Aaron's place. He has been more than accomodating, but he needs his own place back after having both myself and August here all summer, and I'm still here. It has to be frustrating and irritating for him to not be in his usual dynamic.

Halloween parties are coming up, so there ought to be lots of pictures and another blog entry after this coming weekend. Hope everyone is well!

Friday, October 19, 2007


Looks like my first day of work is next Friday. It was initially to be today, but committees have resumed so there's not too much work; not enough to go around between nine English scopists, anyway.

I've been apartment hunting over the past few days, and things on that front are looking hopeful. I'm seeing a place on Frank St early this evening, and on Monday I'll check out a place on Kent. I'm really hopeful that one of those is nice and I can nab it. I'm so looking forward to having my own place again. (I think I've said that already a number of times over previous blog entries, but there you have it.)

Yesterday, I went out to the west end to have lunch with Andy. Should have taken my camera so I could post his mug up here so others have a face to put to one of my most frequent commenter's name. Drat. After lunch at the Lone Star, we headed back to Entrust so I could visit with a few people.

My god... it was so eerie. It felt like I was approaching some haunted place, or the home of an estranged and subtly malicious family member. It was just so odd walking back in there. I was happy to see Kelso again, and we ended up chatting for a good 20 minutes, at which point I had to head out to meet up with Laura. It was my first time in the Third Brigade building, and it's quite a nice set-up in there. It was good to see Laura, as I hadn't seen her in well over a year. We chatted about old Entrust folks, she told me about Third Brigade and I gave her my advice on media monitoring and tracking applications. It was a lot of fun to see everyone out there!

On Wednesday night, I took Jamie out for belated birthday beers. We went to MacLaren's for beer and pool. It was great to spend some time with him. I don't think Jamie and I have ever gone out just he and I before. We had fun, and I think we each won as many games of pool as we lost. Swung by Angie's afterwards to surprise her, and we walked home.

It's been a great week and is looking like a fantastic weekend. I'm heading to Toronto this weekend for gaming and... meeting up with a fellow DAoC player! I never played with him, though I played against him and we were aware of each other. He and I are still frequent posters on a DAoC forum and I happened to mention I'd be in town, so we're hooking up Saturday night at a pool place on Bloor. I'm looking forward to that. Funny enough, on Sunday I'll be meeting up with my friend Pat, who I first met via DAoC, also. Ah, geekdom... bringing people together since 1974.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Stuffing Update

Since I cut my finger open, it's been a pretty busy four weeks, and for the most part those weeks have been great.

Big news first, I suppose. I have a job. I'm back with the Senate, and while I'm still in the same department, I'm with a new supervisor and in a different position. I'll be a scopist, which is basically an editor/proof-reader and fact-checker. It pays well, is only four days a week, 9 months a year. So that's sorted. Finally! To say I'm relieved would be an understatement. I'm looking forward to an end to this unwanted professional hiatus.

James' housewarming out near Ste-Sauver was a blast. While I've seen James and Katrien quite a few times since I've been back (and since they've been in Canada) I hadn't seen Dave or Jamie in years. It was fantastic to spend some time with them and catch up on things. They're both looking and doing well! (photo above left) Given the weather was fantastic, we hung out outside and Katrien built a nice fire. Beer, fire and friends... good times.

I've also been doing some gaming in Toronto. Well, we've started a game anyway. It's a once-a-month thing, and nice to re-unite the old Kingston gaming group, with a photograph of PG looking on. It's quite nice to take a break from Ottawa, gaming rocks and socializing with old and good friends is the icing on the cake. Also managed to sneak in two breakfasts (Saturday and Sunday) with Christina and Laura, Angela's sisters.

Anyhoo, with the job coming up and money actually starting to come in, I'll be looking for apartments soon. I can't wait to get into my own place again and truly begin to feel settled and back into things. Pele will soon be living with me again, and that's as it should be, I suppose, given how she and my dad get along...

Last weekend, I also hooked up with Pat from DAoC - had breakfast at the Gloucester Oak - and Angie and I went for drinks with Adam, and ran into Daniel! Hadn't seen him in years.

Angie and I headed back to her mom's for Thanksgiving in VKH. Lorne and Dee made extravagant quantities of food, and everyone ate themselves stupid on Saturday evening. On Sunday morning, Angie and I went for breakfast at Carole's with Angela and Ben. Carole's was a frequent haunt of Angela's and mine back in high-school. Last night, between bouts of Guitar Hero II and Colessium (cool boardgame that Chris brought), we lounged and chatted and just took it easy, dining on hamburgers, cole-slaw and other goodies. Definitely a nice Thanksgiving and another weekend away. Just got back this morning (Monday), courtesy of Jenny and Chris.

That's the news for now. Looking forward to an upcoming Sudbury visit, starting work, Halloween parties, and finding and moving into my own place.

As per usual, pictures of various stuffs up on Flickr.