John Drozd's Biography
Born in 1964 in Brno
, Czechoslovakia (now known as the Czech Republic).
Emmigrated to Canada in 1968 during Soviet invasion of
(Above right is me and my sister meeting Santa in Canada, just 2 months after arriving in my new home Canada! I just couldn't keep myself away from Santa Claus when I was little! I guess that's why I love giving presents to kids especially at Christmas!)
Above are pictures of my first Christmas in Canada! My parents couldn't afford to buy many toys for us on our first Christmas in Canada so some nice men from the Kinsman Club gave me toys such as the bright orange construction dump truck that is in the picture on the left. I think this influenced me in believing in giving presents to kids who otherwise wouldn't have much presents at Christmas time.These pictures are in our first basement apartment in an OPP officer's house in Sarnia (hence the picture on the right) The OPP officer arranged for Simpson-Sears in Sarnia to donate furniture to furnish our basement apartment. Canadians really do lend a helping hand.
Lived in Sarnia, Ontario for 13 years, then moved
to Fort McMurray, Alberta.
Studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta in Edmonton Alberta from 1982 to 1985. I was proud to be a "Mechie Moose"!
Studied Architectural Science at
Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now known as Ryerson University)
in Toronto, Ontario from 1985 to 1989. As one of my favourite Project Management Professors and Architect David Tsow often said "Ryerson is a chicken wing!" My friends at Ryerson used to call me "The Renaissance Man" and also I was known as "Johnny Overkill"!
Worked in the Construction Industry in the
toronto area for 8 years:
Construction Work Experience:
1982-1985 Summer Student Mechanical Engineer and Millwright Apprentice, Syncrude Canada Ltd., Fort McMurray, Alberta.
1989-1992 Project Coordinator of $64.5 Million
Redevelopment of Toronto's Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Air Canada Terminal 2. Here is a link to a description of the project. Here is my Performance Appraisal. This was my first job after graduating from Ryerson and I am proud to have been part of a great synergetic construction team that worked hard and did a good job with outstanding results. We finished the project seven months ahead of schedule! I will always have fond memories of my construction team co-workers.
1992-1994 Cost Estimator and Project Coordinator of Commercial and
Residential projects throughout the greater Toronto Area including renovations to IBM
Headquarters in Markham, Ontario.
Completed an undergraduate honours degree (diploma in honours standing) in Applied Math and Computer Science (supplemented by physics courses) and a Masters Degree in Applied Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario.
Currently doing a doctorate degree in Applied Mathematics (Theoretical Physics option) at the University of Western Ontario in my beautiful home city of London, Ontario. My research involves granular materials computer simulations. Here is a link to my latest (November 4, 2005) Soft Condensed Matter Group Meeting research presentation (what we refer to as "Softy/Softie Talks") (as a PowerPoint file). Below are some pictures of me playing with sand when I was young. Now I do granular materials simulations. In other words, you could say that now "I play with sand using a computer."
I'm wearing the Raptors T-shirt that my first girlfriend gave me!
Citizenships: Canadian (My home) and Czech (My birthplace)"It's no wonder I love hockey!" When I was a young boy, I played road hockey with my left handed hockey stick and tennis balls and my friends' goalie nets with my friends on our dead end street (Bruce Street in Sarnia, Ontario). Two years ago I played hockey shinney with some of my graduate student friends and some professors but I have to learn how to stop on skates instead of ramming into the boards to stop (although I love falling on the ice). The puck flew into my face the first time I played ice hockey but fortunately I had a caged helmet! I feel like I have wings and I am flying when I am gliding with my hockey stick on the ice and to me this is one of the freest feelings in the world! When the Edmonton Oilers won the Stanley Cup against the New York Islanders against "Billy the Hacker Smith", with a score of 8 to 3, I won $500 on a hockey pool! Just after my Dad gave me a big lecture on gambling, two minutes later I got a phone call that I won $500!
My favourite hockey game was when the Soviets walked off the ice and complained that the Canadian hockey players were being too rough on them!
When I lived in residence at Henday Hall at the University of Alberta, we got CCCP hockey jerseys as our residence shirts. We wore them to West Edmonton Mall and started browsing hockey sticks. It wasn't long before the sports store manager kicked us out of his store!
I also got an award as "the most apologetic person" from Dwayne, our residence floor captain. We loved to play floor hockey and wrestle in the TV lounge.
I loved the Esso hockey player sticker books when I was a little boy!
And I loved my 1970's hockey board game that I sent to my cousin Ladik in the Czech Republic as a Christmas present!
I am also lucky at gambling. I was at Sarnia's waterfront casino and I only had 5 bucks. I put 3 bucks in a big bertha slot machine as I was encouraged by an attendant. Then I put in my last 2 bucks and ding, ding ding! I won $400.00!
Religious Faith: (Click on my family's pictures of The Last Supper (Notice the apostles' names written on the bottom of the skirt of the table cloth!) and My Guardian Angel Gabriel for a closeup view. Enjoy!)
Roman Catholic (baptized and confirmed last Easter Vigil 2000 at St. Pius X Catholic Church (now known as Holy Family Parish) 777 Valetta Street, London - one of the most beautiful days of my life that I will cherish!) The reason that my parents didn't have me baptized when I was a baby in Czechoslovakia, was so they would not get in trouble with the Communist government. The Communist government did not like it. I've always believed in God. When I was young I silently prayed before my tests in school. Today I am a proud usher at my church! My family originated from farmers and we passed on our 300 year old Czech Bible from farm to farm which we still have today! The Czech in this Bible is very old Czech vernacular. My favourite song about Sunday is "My Beautiful Sunday!" by Daniel Boone which goes something like this: "Hello sunshine, beautiful day! I think I'll take a walk in the park. This is my, my, my beautiful Sunday. This is my, my, my beautiful day!" (I have it on an old K-tel record.)
Third Degree Member of the
Knights of Columbus. It is my church fraternity stressing charity.
I am a modern, liberal Roman Catholic so I am a Knight of Columbus and an usher at my church.
Although, after reading "Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Psychological Issues" by Joseph Rubinstein and Brent D. Slife, I have developed my own individual liberal beliefs about love relationships, gay people whom I respect, and other controversial psychological issues, I joined the Knights of Columbus because they help others such as the poor and especially children. For instance, on abortion, I believe that the guy should want and encourage his girlfriend to have the baby, but that it is up to the woman to decide because it is her own body. I strongly believe that persuasion is better than coercion. This was shown in the Tom Cruise Movie, "All the Right Moves" when the highschool football player got his girlfriend pregnant. They ended up having the baby and happily started a family! When I was in highschool in Sarnia, my friend Alan had a baby with his girlfriend Mary. Mary had the baby and Mary's parents raised her baby. I really admire that family for taking that life saving step!
Sorry to get so deep, I hope I haven't scared you. I don't pressure my beliefs on others. I keep them to myself.
Don't worry I won't discuss religion or these things when I speak to my friends. Religion is my personal choice and source of strength and I keep it to myself.
My values: Be true to your own values but respect everyone! Afterall, wisdom is knowledge illuminated by values.
My favourite value: Respect everyone as you would like to be respected. We should also respect our environment as we would like to be respected. The way we are treating our environment now is we create diseases and then we fix them. We need to be more proactive before it's too late. Everyone should read Gaia: An Atlas of Planet Management by Norman Myers. This book was recommended to my by David H. Scott, P. Eng. who taught me project management, organizational management and societal issues.
My philosophy: Love and Laughter make the World go round! I am optimistic in mankind and womankind that one day we will have World Peace and the entire World will be a Free World. We just have to touch everyone's heart and tickle everyone's funny bone! My plan was to get everyone in the world to fall in love with me and give me world peace as a present! :-) I had good friends that I played road hockey with in grade school but I was also bullied by some kids in grade school. I even let a girl beat me up because I did not want to hit a girl and a good friend who I was nice to when he first came to our school gave me a black eye so he could be popular. I was even often chased home by a big bald guy who threatened to beat me up! That's why I empathize for those that are down and less fortunate. I know what it feels like to be down. I wish I could stop all bullying in schools. I have many friends now in my adult life. See my friend Iron Man! I am sure that Iron Man would love to stop bullying too! I made a lot of friends in Alberta as well. Alberta people are very friendly. I've had my bad days too in Alberta however. I remember in highschool in Fort McMurray, Alberta, I thought I slept in for class, so I took a cab to my highschool and after we got there, the cab driver told me it was a school holiday! Sheesh! My favourite song about freedom is "My Butterfly" which goes something like this: "Butterfly, My Butterfly. Though I know you must be free. Butterfly, My Butterfly. Stay a little while with me." (I have it on an old K-tel record.) Here is a 1915 poem My Butterfly in A Boy's Will by Robert Frost which I just found today on January 29, 2007: A Boy's Will, My Butterfly
Marital Status: Single Bachelor and Still Looking for a Beautiful Woman to fulfill my dreams and fantasies. I did have one true love in my life but that relationship was ruined by me which I will regret always. Unfortunately, you can't turn back time. I believe in looking towards the future with high hopes and never giving up on life no matter how hard it gets. Life is a precious gift and we shouldn't waste it.
Here is a picture of my sister Zora and me in Prague, Czech Republic.
Here's a picture of my sister Sandra, me and my Czech cousin Simona in Prague, Czech Republic.
Here's a picture of me pretending to be a Scottish cowboy!
Here's a picture of my sister Zora, me, my favourite girl Catriona, and my cousin Simona in front of Glamis Castle in Scotland. Catriona hosted me in Scotland and I hosted her in the Czech Republic -- great friends having fun together! :-)
Family Aspirations: One day I hope to have a family with a beautiful woman and have a boy and girl. I am the sixth John ("Jan" in Czech, also "Honza") in my family (born on November 23, 1964 which makes me a Sagittarius zodiac sign and a Dragon in the Chinese Calendar). My son would carry on the family tradition becoming John the Seventh! My late grandfather documented my family's history back to 1716 when our family's last name was Drust See King of Picts Drust King Drust I King Drust II King Drust III King Drust IV King Drust V(I don't know if I'm a royal descendent, but wouldn't it be cool if I was!)
See Kingdom of Bohemia
My grandparents (Drozd) on my father's side.
My grandparents (Trneckovi) on my mother's side.
My uncle Evzen (Eugene) Drozd (my Dad's brother) who lives with my Aunt Ginnie in Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A. Before that they lived in San Jose, California. My Uncle Evzen came with my family (my mom, dad, older sister and me) to Canada when we escaped the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. My grandfather on my Dad's side visited Canada twice during Communism, but I never got to see my other grandparents.
When I was a baby in the hospital, I was known to pinch the nurses' legs as they would walk by my crib! :-)
Little old me doing a condom commercial!
My mom's sister (my Aunt Kveta) stayed with her daughter (my cousin Simona) in Prague, Czechoslovakia. When Czechoslovakia was under the Communist regime dictatorship, my Aunt Kveta was hit by a car driven by a Communist Party official. While she was in the hospital, the Communist official tried to get my Aunt charged by the police for getting in his way! Here is a picture of my Aunt Kveta.
Here is my family in our first year in Canada.
Here me and my sister and friend are playing at London's StoryBook Gardens in 1969.
Here are some pictures of me and my sister splashing about.
Here is my family in our beginning years in Canada.
Here is my family vacationing in Maui, Hawaii just before our luau in August 2003.
Now a bit of family World War history: I am proud of my grandfather. In World War I, he saved his battalion in Czechoslovakia, by telling his fellow soldiers to move their big cannon gun based on his intuition and minutes later a bomb fell in their old location! He was sent home from the war as a reward. My grandfather always had a sixth sense which I feel I have inherited from him. When my grandfather was travelling on a train in Czechoslovakia, he suddenly had an inkling to move to a different boxcar. Minutes later there was a train crash and the boxcar he would have been originally in was demolished! My Dad's friend's friend was a doctor who was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. While he was in prison, he treated the other concentration camp prisoners who were suffering from typhus. When the doctor was released from the concentration camp at the end of World War II, he soon died of typhus himself. Did you know that the concentration camp had its own printed money? I can prove that this is true because my family has this concentration camp money as well as old German money from the 1933 Depression (milliard notes and zilliard notes!). In this collection is the concentration camp money. We have a hand flipping cartoon animation of Goebles doing Hi Hitler! My Dad's friend's friend's wife who ran a hospital in Czechoslovakia during World War II, was jailed in prison frequently by the Nazis whenever a German woman died in her hospital. The Nazis considered this as sabotage.
When my mom was little, during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, Nazi soldiers were once pounding on my Mom's parent's front door. My mom's Dad wanted to scream in German "I can't find my keys!", but he got his German mixed up and instead he was screaming "I can't find my knife! I can't find my knife!". The Nazi soldiers barged the door down and eventually the confusion was sorted out. Whew! When I was a little boy, I carried a little wooden rifle to protect my mother and sister from the Soviet soldiers.
Family Roots: My grandfather (my Dad's father) grew up on a farm. We still visit my uncle and cousins who live on a farm. Everytime we visit them we climb this nearby 1,100 metre mountain called "Lysa Hora" (which translates to "Forest Hill") and at the top of the mountain we have a soup and ofcourse a beer. (My favourite song about beer is "Roll out the barrel, We'll have a barrel of fun! Roll out the barrel, We'll have a barrel of beer! Ooom Pa Pa!") It is a nice 1 day hike. Here is a picture of Lysa Hora
Here is the restaurant at the peak of the mountain where we enjoy our soup and beer and sometimes with slices of polish sausage and fresh bread.
My grandfather was an entrepreneur. He became a director of a dairy company called "Lacrume" and my grandmother prepared dairy food shows, but when the Nazis took over Czechoslovakia they gave his position to a German. However, when the Communists took over Czechoslovakia they hung that German! It's funny how sometimes things you think turn out badly actually are for the good! My Mom's sister (who used to be a fashion designer) and my cousin live in Prague and we are visiting them this June. My cousin Simona and I will show my Scottish friend all around the golden city of Prague!
Favourite Sport: Hockey (Toronto Maple Leafs)
When I got Maple Leaf Gardens tickets from a subcontractor I jumped at the opportunity to see the Leafs play! I got a Toronto Maple Leafs MasterCard there and I bought my sister a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey jersey along with Bryan Adams concert tickets for Christmas. Bryan Adams Rocked like the Summer of 69 with his 6 string at the Maple Leaf Gardens! I once bumped into Harold Ballard with my Portugese friend Aristedes Indio outside the Maple Leaf Gardens when I had an apartment 1602 at the Maples on Wood Street when I was in my first year at Ryerson.
But I also love Football (Toronto Argonauts)
I LLLLLLove Cheerleaders!
Baseball (Toronto Blue Jays)
And Basketball (Toronto Raptors)
Favourite TV Shows: Sports, Sports and Sports
Eccentricities: I do have some. Afterall, everyone has their quirks. I like to give presents. When I was young in Czechoslovakia my father used to dress up as Saint Nicholas with a cane and walk around with two charcoal faced devils dressed in black attire with pitch forks. (See the photos below of December 6 in 1965 and 1966 (Saint Nicholas' Day) in Czechoslovakia when I was 2 years old. In Czechoslovakia, the tradition was to celebrate Saint Nicholas' Day on December 6, and then to celebrate Jesus' birthday on December 25 (see the last 3 photos of the Bethlehem).) I found this out when I looked in the volumes of photoalbums of my family that my grandfather compiled as a hobby. The idea was that if you were a bad child, the devils might throw you in their bag and make you eat potatoes. If you were good, Saint Nicholas gave you a present. I guess I follow in my Dad's footsteps, secretly pretending to be Santa Clause at Christmas. I'll actually dress up in a red suit at Christmas time when I am an uncle or a grandparent one day. Ho! Ho! Ho! I feel I have a cowboy heart and a cowboy spirit, because cowboys are very generous and love kids!
Czech Christmas Traditions: Every Christmas we have our traditional carp fish for Christmas dinner and my favourite Christmas vanilla walnut rolls cookies (rohlichki!). When I played road hockey with my friends on our dead end street in Sarnia when I was a child I used to stuff a bunch of rohlichki in my right coat pocket and eat the cookie crumbs as I played hockey with my friends. We also played hide-and-go-seek, sardines, football, baseball, "500 up" and high jump. I also had an airgun rifle that I played cowboys and Indians with my friends on Bruce Street in Sarnia. I used to have a small dark brown with a white nose fist sized teddy bear with one eye (the right marble eye had fallen out). Once on a trip to Wireton, Ontario I left it behind in a restaurant. We had to drive back 1 hour to get it back before I stopped balling. My Dad pulls out the guitar and we sing old Christmas songs and old Czech folk songs! The actual tradition is to buy the carp alive a week in advance and keep it as a pet in your bathtub before eating it, but this makes showering difficult! When we were young our parents made us memorize a Christmas Carol and sing it in front of the Christmas tree and for company visiting us before we could open our presents. This was at what I refer to as my adoptive grandparents house. He was an Ontario Provincial Police Officer and his wife was a schoolteacher and these people rented their basement to us when we first came to Canada.
Our families are very close but unfortuneately we have lost touch. I would love to see them again as well as their children and grandchildren. Anyways, one year I was so ambitious I memorized the 12 days of Christmas. Big mistake! The problem was that company intermittantly came, so I had to keep resinging the 12 days of Christmas over and over again every time someone new showed up. I think I ended up singing the 96 days of Christmas! I felt like the opera singer who's head shrinks on Bugs Bunny for singing continuously!
Another one of my quirks: I have always been a perfectionist. When I was in grade 1 my teacher wanted us to draw a straight line. When she turned around I quickly pulled out my ruler and drew a straight line and then I hid the ruler again. My teacher was so impressed with my line!
When I performed simple addition I wanted my numbers to be perfect. So much so that I kept erasing and I always handed in my math homework with a bunch of holes. My teacher used to shake me. Our Blackwell school was beside a cemetery so I was convinced my teacher was a witch. My teacher took away all my erasers but to no avail. My friends always supplied me with more erasers so I made more holes. In grade 7 at Lakeroad public school, I got my first C on my report card because instead of studying social studies I used to stare outside my bedroom window watching my friends play road hockey. But I fixed it. I scribbled out the C and put in a B. I told my parents that my teacher couldn't find her contact lenses so she put my mark in the wrong column by mistake. My parents bought it! :)
When I took social studies at Fort McMurray Composite HighSchool in Alberta, I had fun studying 12th and 13th century Medieval times. My friend Eddie and I built a huge castle out of sugar cubes for our project. Did you know that knights poured molten metals from the roofs of the castles down on enemies below?
Candy and Fishing Trips: I went fishing a lot with my friends when I was young. I used to sneak change from my Mom's little red purse in the kitchen cupboard to buy candy, and one day on my way to the corner Mac's Milk variety store on Lakeshore Road in Sarnia to buy some candy and Bazooka bubblegum baseball cards with my friends, I got my fishing hook stuck in the pants of my crotch. My friends couldn't get the hook out of my crotch, so we went into Mac's Milk and asked the store clerk to help. While she was pulling the fishing hook out of my crotch, my friends were stuffing candy in their pockets. I felt awful about this. I'll have to make a confession in Church about this sin. My friends and I always went fishing in Canatara Park near the Animal farm. Once I caught a snapping turtle on my line, and once we witnessed a fight between a snapping turtle and a beaver!
Favourite Rock Stars:
My favourite and my first AC/DC Album: I listened to my 8-track of "Highway to Hell" when I was a teenager everyday after school in Fort McMurray, Alberta (I played it so loud that my neighbours knew the songs by heart too.) Now a sad tale: My little sister kept her hamster in a cage on top of the stereo speaker; when I blared "Highway to Hell" it kept running in its wheel and eventually died so I by accident killed my sisters hamster with AC/DC's Highway to Hell. I hope it went to heaven. Now a scary true story where Highway 401 was my Highway to Hell: Click Here for True Story
I love AC/DC especially Angus Young's antic of taking his pants off to flash his underwear on stage. See "Caught With Your Pants Down" by AC/DC. I love jokers and I try to model them.(Picture of pants off scene to come soon (of AC/DC, not me)). Here it is!
To me AC/DC music is awesome dynamite rock that gets in my soul.
I own the following vinyl records:"High Voltage" (I love the letters of complaint on the Album cover. I hope the letters are true and here they are! Just click on the picture of the letters on the album cover to get a blowup view. Enjoy!) , "Who Made Who", and "For Those About to Rock, We Salute You!"
I own the following 8-track tapes: "Highway to Hell", "Back in Black" (The Back in Black compilation is Rock Genius, It is Perfect with awesome electric guitar playing, perfectly crafted lyrics, and great raucous, raunchy sounding vocals!), and "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap". I love the song "We've got big balls!...My balls were made for bouncing!"
I own the following compact discs: "High Voltage" "Highway to Hell", "Back in Black", "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" and "AC/DC Live"
I own the "Family Jewels" DVD
As you can tell I am a Die-Hard AC/DC fan! AC/DC Rocks News, AC/DC Electric Shock
Favourite Country Song: George Strait's "Love Without End, Amen"
Favourite Classical Music Song: Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D for Strings and Continuo
Favourite Movies: "Risky Business" which teaches you not to be afraid to take risks in life and "All The Right Moves" which teaches you to never quit in life, "Rain Man", "Beautiful Mind", "American Pie" (Satisfying sexual urges via masturbation is fine as long as it is done in the privacy of your own home; you know the old saying "When you're married your wife is your right hand but when you're single your right hand is your wife!" :-) ), "Spring Break", "Weekend at Bernie's", "Harry Potter series" (I would make a comedy sketch sequel to "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" and I would call it "Harry Potter and the Stoned Philosopher!"), "Lord of the Rings series" and especially "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" which brings tears to my eyes reminding me of my family's ordeal in 1968 Czechoslovakia, and any Medieval Story. I dream of being a knight. I also loved "Good Will Hunting" (I loved Matt Daemon as a smart Math kid genius and Robin Williams in it as a psychiatrist "nannoo nannoo shazbutt!"), "Bourne Identity" (I loved Matt Daemon's apartment!), and "Bourne Supremacy" with all the European shots. "The Shining" is also one of my favourites. My favourite line is when Jack Nicholson says "Here's Johnny!", "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!" and of course "RedRum RedRum!" I saw the Shining underage at the Capitol Theatre in Sarnia. (I told the ticket attendant that it was my birthday :-) and she bought it!) I also read Peter Benchley's "Jaws" and saw "Jaws" at the theatre with my Dad. I laughed throughout the entire movie, especially when the music "Dah Dah Dah Dah" was playing and Richard Dreyfuss was in the cage below water while Roy Scheider was having the battle of his life! Did you know that the shark on Jaws was mechanical and had wheels rolling on the bottom of the ocean floor? I also love Arnold Shwarzenneger movies. I loved "Predator" ("Arnold turns around and throws a knife into a guy and sticks him to a crate or somthin and says *Stick their for a while!"--Click here for source.) and the "Terminator" movies! Asta La Vista Baby! I also love Buffy Body Building so I loved Arnold Shwarzenneger psyching out Lou Ferrigno in "Pumping Iron", and I especially loved Arnold's party at his bachelor pad! And I'll never forget the movie "Porky's!"
I have created a joke about O.J. Simpson rotting in hell for killing Nicole and Ron. O.J. is rotting in hell surrounded by horny gay demons trying to seduce him and O.J. is screaming and running around hell away from the horny gay demons who want to make love to his rear end! In other words the "horny gay demons are fucking O.J. Simpson up the ass!" (sorry about swearing but Richard Pryor swore in his jokes so I guess it's ok for me to swear in my jokes.) I hope nobody golfs with O.J. and all golf courses and clubs don't allow O.J. to play there, but I pray he does not kill me for saying this! You see, the bloody glove DID FIT, it shrunk! In a court case you never ask a question that you don't know the answer in advance and that was the prosecution's tragic mistake asking O.J. to try on the glove resulting in O.J. getting away with murdering two people. A materials study should have been made by an expert witness explaining how the glove shrunk. I have a tendency to look on the ground when I walk and once I found a black glove on the ground in the Oakridge Mall parking lot. I'm a scientist but this could be a sign from God that O.J. Simpson is guilty and got away with murder. I hate him! I also hate the Linda Shaw killer who also died a free man. I even tried to catch him myself and researched the Linda Shaw case when I was thinking of a career move to become a police officer just like Mr. Millbank, my adoptive grandfather. I hate murderers, especially those that kill or harm a woman. Linda Shaw was an engineering student at my University of Western Ontario. I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta. I was a "Mechy Moose", and I felt for a fellow woman engineer. I regret not finishing my mechanical engineering degree. My mother was gravely ill and needed a heart transplant and I didn't realize I needed glasses (everything was blurry) so I had trouble studying. Engineering Dean, Dr. Kennedy, had kindly invited me back to study engineering at the University of Alberta after I had not done well in my third year mechanical engineering school, but I had chosen to have a fresh start and study architecture at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in Toronto at that time. Fortunately, Canada flew my mom and dad in a lear jet to University Hospital in London, Ontario ehere she had a successful heart transplant and lived for 22 more years. Canada has a excellent universal health system accessible to all Canadians. I will always love Dr. F. Neil McKenzie who operated on my mother giving her a heart transplant. I remember distinctly sitting with Mr. and Mrs. Milbank, listening to Mike and the Mechanics' song "All I need is a miracle!" playing on the hospital intercom when my mother's heart transplant was finished. I gave away my engineering jacket to poor people. I hope the boy who gets my jacket becomes an engineer. I also gave away a book about being an architect and a book about famous buildings to a boy who told me he wants to be an architect when he grows up. I tutored his older brother in math for a while in London, Ontario. Maybe when I am settled with a job, I'll take some time off to get my engineering degree.
Favourite Comedian: I Love John Candy! John Candy owned the Toronto Argonauts football team! He loved life, women and sports! I watched John Candy religiously on Second City Television on channel 29 on global using my UHF loop antenna. I loved John Candy's portrayal of an obnoxious movie producer on Second City. I love "Uncle Buck" and "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and "The Great Outdoors". If I could have gotten John Candy's autograph when he lived, that would have been a dream come true for me. :-)
Police Jokes: "Police" stands for the "Power Of Love Is nicE". FBI is a "Fucking Big Indian" and CIA is the "Christian Intelligence Agency".
Don't get me wrong though. I do respect gay people. Afterall fruit flys land on you because they think you're a fruit. Flys are gay. It really gets me upset that in today's modern developed and civilized world, some gay people are mistreated just like the black people were wrongly treated in the 1960's. I still have hope that one day all racism will end. :-)
My rules about love: Never go after a girl that has a boyfriend. (You wouldn't want a guy stealing your girl either!) and only make love to a girl if you truly love her. A physical expression of love should be sacred. Finally my hardest rule: If a girl is unhappy with you and you truly love her, set her free so she will be happier with someone else. If you truly love her then her happiness is all that matters.
Two of my wildest parties: When I worked as a summer student shift operator loading sulphur trucks at Syncrude in Fort McMurray, Alberta, I was once invited to a stag party at the Peter Pond Hotel. There was a strip bar on the main floor of the hotel, so in addition to the nasty movies playing on the TV in the hotel room, the shift workers coaxed one of the strippers downstairs to come up to our hotel room and strip for us. To make things worse the shift workers paid and had the stripper waiting for me in the bathroom. The shift workers wanted me, the summer student to get laid by the stripper! I was too chicken though. Another shift worker's party was at a shift worker's house. We got so blasted on the Jamaican rum punch that everyone went skinny dipping in the backyard pool! Needless to say the neighbours were not impressed! I also worked at Canadian Tire in Fort McMurray. That was my very first job. The parties at the Canadian Tire Store owner's house were a lot of fun too! I also have some funny stories about my experiences with girls when I was a young love-starved pup, but I'll save those stories to share with my friends at private parties. But don't worry girls: I don't kiss and tell about sex! I had a terrific student job at Ryerson's underground athletic centre aka The RAC. I washed and handed out towels and washed varsity team sports uniforms, but the best part is my desk was just outside the women's change room so I got to check out all the girls! :-)
My distinguishing features: My left ear is pointed. Some say that a pointed ear is a sign of intelligence, for example, Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) from Star trek had a pointed ear. I also liked the show "Lost in Space". My favourite line was the robot saying "Danger! Danger! Will Smith!" I like to pretend that I have a pointed ear because I am the Devil's son that God stole! (just kidding, I'm only human! And my Dad is not the Devil! Although when I was about 3 years old, my grandfather told my Dad that one day I would cause a lot of trouble!)
God has a sense of humour with me: When I was about 15, I was vacationing with my family in Vancouver, British Columbia. One Sunday, we drove by "The Seymour Golf & Country Club". It was a posh private club but they were allowing visitors to play golf on Sundays. Big Mistake! When I got up to tee off, I sliced the ball left and it headed straight for a group of seniors in a putting tournament. The ball ricocheted off a tree beside an angry old man leaning against the tree. Then I tried my second tee off. The Fairway had red and yellow tulips lining it on either side. Ofcourse, my ball knocked off an entire row of tulip heads. Then I went to tee off for the third time. My ball plopped into a pond just after a worker had just finished raking out all the balls. He was disgusted with me! It didn't take long before the manager raced over in his golf cart and kindly asked us to stop playing. My little sister started crying that she wants the orange golf balls that she saw raked out of the pond.
My first speeding ticket on Highway 401: When I was driving on the 401 in my deadly blue Chevrolet Z24, a black sinister Ford Mustang came off the off ramp onto the 401 and pulled up behind me and started tailing me and pushing me from behind. I couldn't pull over to the slower right lane because there was a convoy of trucks on my right hand side, so the black mustang forced me to go faster and faster until I reached 160 km/hour. But then there was a police cruiser hiding behind the overpass which started flashing his lights and sounding his siren. I pulled over for the policeman but the black mustang sped away. I got a speeding ticket and I had to go to court in Woodstock. I explained my situation to the judge and I told his honour that I needed a car because I worked at Lester B. Pearson Airport. The judge told me "if I was going that fast why didn't I just fly!" There was a roar of laughter in the courtroom and I paid a $600 speeding ticket. Fortunately Air Canada had given me a $1500 Christmas bonus so I used that to pay for the ticket. I even got a $5000 bonus from Ellis-Don (the construction company that I worked for at the airport) when I was working for Tactix Construction. It's nice to be appreciated and rewarded for your hard work! I loved working for Ellis-Don. They let me see Toronto Blue Jays games and Toronto Argonauts games in their luxury skybox at the SkyDome. They also had beautiful Christmas parties at the Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville in downtown Toronto. There were so many utensils on the table that I didn't know what to do with them and they had a free open bar! Did you want to know a secret that my Project Management Professor David Tsow told our Project Management class at Ryerson? John Frank, a special Projects Manager of Ellis-Don told him. Don Smith built Ontario Premier David Peterson. John Frank told David Tsow that Don Smith even told David Peterson how to dress. But I was told and I believe that David Peterson is his own man. He was a great liberal Premier. What a powerful company! Click here for a funny commercial: "We know what goes on under your hat" Don't get me wrong though, I have always voted Liberal (one reason is I like the "Liberal" name because I am a very liberal person :) ) I also consider the police my friends. :) I just have bad luck. :(
The day I almost drowned at Cornell University:
I met a Rocket Scientist Bernie Yoo from Rice University from Texas who was also a canoe instructor when I was at the Asteroids, Comets and Meteors conference with Western's Meteor Physics Group. We went to Cornell Lake and rented a canoe. When we got to the middle of the lake we saw some cute girls so we kept going farther and deeper out. Suddenly a big rainstorm came and tipped over our canoe. I had put my lifejacket on incorrectly so it was floating above my head and my wallet went wallowing to the bottom of the lake. Fortunately my passport was in my pants knee pocket so it only got prewashed. I could not hold on any longer, my glasses and shoes kept falling off. Just at the point that I was about to let go and drown, the storm stopped and a sailboat came down and saved us. They helped us bail out the water and sent us on our way. When we brought the canoe back to the rental office, they said we were late and wanted to charge us for an extra hour! But they didn't. I thank my lucky stars. When I got back home to London an American family had left a message on my answering machine that they found my wallet on a beach at a campground and they mailed it back to me. Bernie, my American "canoe-tipping buddy" was kind enough to loan me $300 US to tide me over for the rest of the conference. It's nice that Americans are kind and honest :-)