A little about me, what you didn’t know

The lovely @savvymum4 from The Trials and Tribulations of the Sav-ettes tagged me in her meme post here.

As such, I am to write 7 things about me that you may not know but I figured I’d open it up to Twitter/Facebook and see if there was anything specific you’d like to know.. so here are some of those questions. Sorry if yours got left out, I am only to use seven.

1. I have a college diploma from the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Radio Broadcasting. I have the voice for it, I have the talent for it but it wasn’t meant to be. Radio, by the way, turned out to be the most fun I’ve ever had a job as well. However, facing down many many years at minimum wage in small towns before even having a shot at getting a big break was not appealing so I abandoned it.

2. The first Christmas break of my 2 year program in college, I devoted my week to learning HTML so that I could learn the basics of making a website. After completing college, and a year at a radio station, I moved back to the city to take up a job as a full time web developer. I guess I really did learn all I needed to know in college because I’m still a web developer to this day.

3. I’ve travelled to most places in Canada between Quebec City, Quebec and Victoria, British Columbia. I’ve also been down to Florida, Pheonix, L.A., Las Vegas, Tijuana and most recently, Singapore and Bangkok Thailand. I would love to do so much more travelling as I really loved being to all of these places but family life has a way of tying you down.
For some pictures of Singapore/Thailand, visit here.

4. I spent the better part of my youth at my grandparent’s hunting and fishing lodge. Being a family business in the remote northern forests, certain laws weren’t always ‘necessary’.. for example, I was serving alcohol (sometimes) when I was 9, I could drive before I was 11, I was the supervisor of the trailer park by the time I was 15 and was awake and working from 10am to 3am almost every day.
My childhood dream was to work with a computer, no more manual labour… now that I am chained to my computer, I kind of miss that old lodge.

5. In grade 4, I took the CAT (Canadian Achievement Test) and scored a 100%. The top 5 students that year had to take an advanced test which I scored a 97.5% on. The top student was forced to go to a private school… it was not me. My friend, at the time, scored higher. However, because I had also scored high, I was given the choice to go as well.
This scared me… I didn’t want to be taken off to some school that would be really strict, really hard, really… scary. And so I declined and my mother respected my decision. From that day forward I was never able to study for a test again.
In fact, in college (the radio program I mentioned in #1), I finally decided that I had to put away my 4th grade self and really buckle down and study for the one big test that made up most of the class’s final grade…
it was the only test that I had ever failed.

duncan6. A typical day in the Duncan household is not really typical, almost every day is different lately, thanks to the additions of a new puppy, a new part time job for my wife and just the random dynamics that a family tends to have but, generally speaking, it goes something like this…
I wake up with my boys, any time between 5am and 7am.. why so wide a range? I don’t know. But my boys average it around around 6, it’s not too bad. I get up with them and feed them breakfast, get Cameron’s lunch cooking and put on their favourite television shows.

Around 7, I wake up my wife who picks out Cameron’s clothes and gathers up the rest of Cameron’s lunch (snacks and drinks)… then either one of us will help Cameron get dressed altho he does a lot of it himself now (he’s 5).

At 8am, I take Cameron out to the road to wait for his bus… when I come back in, my wife usually goes back to bed until 9:30, when I start work. If I didn’t get much sleep or if it’s been a long week, sometimes I’ll go back to sleep instead. The one that doesn’t sleep gets to play games with Tyler (3 year old) for an hour and a half.

At 9:30, I work until 5:30 while my wife plays games, does arts and crafts and other activities with Tyler… he usually naps around 1pm for an hour.

At 3:15, Cameron gets home.. I go out to the bus and bring in Cameron, talking to him about his day. When he gets in, he usually immediately wants to play video games but that’s up to his mom… I go back to work.

At 5:30, we all sit down for family dinner.. no tv, no living room even.. we sit at the table together. Afterwards, either the boys have a bath or we all gather in the living room to play a board game or just play.

Then at 7pm, the boys go to bed. They get a cup of soy chocolate milk, a bed time story and hugs and kisses.

After that, I choose between watching a movie, playing a video game or going back to work. Usually it’s back to work.

Then I go back to bed at 10… although lately it’s been closer to 12, due to work.

7. How my wife and I met…  not nearly as excited as how we “got together”… but here it is.

I’ve known Natalie since I was 14, working back at that family lodge. Her family stayed in the trailer park. They stayed there for quite a long time so I got to know them all quite well. She would often babysit for my uncle and even help out around the lodge any time any of us needed her. They were all good friends of my entire family.

When I turned 18, I moved out to Vancouver to finish school and begin my life.. the lodge was sold and most everyone went their separate ways. I continued to stay in touch with her though via email and instant messenger online.

It wasn’t until 10 years later that I finally convinced her to come go out to Vancouver to visit… you see, she’s a big nature buff, having her career in tourism for Northern Ontario… so when she agreed to finally come and see how beautiful Vancouver is, I told her to fly to Calgary instead.

The reason for this is that the highway between Vancouver and Calgary is considered one of the most beautiful highways in the world, going up and down the Rocky Mountains… at one point you can be quite warm, in the valley and the next minute you’re in clouds with snow on the side of the road.

I had a big breakfast and hit the road. It took me 10.5 hours of solid driving to get from one end of the mountains to the other where I filled up with gas, she got into the passenger seat and I turned around and drove back.

She spent a week in Vancouver where I took her on a horse carriage ride around Stanley Park, up Grouse Mountain, to the Aquarium, to the suspension bridge and so much more. I loved right down town on the beach… so each night was met with sunsets and seafood dinners.

By the way, until then, salmon was her favourite food ever but after a paddle boat dinner cruise around the city with fresh salmon caught that day… she doesn’t want to eat it anymore because it’ll just never compare.

She flew back home, we continued to stay in touch… and a few months later, my grandfather took a turn for the worse with cancer. I went back to Ontario to visit him and ended up staying with Natalie… literally. I never did go back to Vancouver!

I had a friend take care of my cat, I had another friend pack all my belongings and ship them to me! And Natalie and I have been together ever since (7 years ago).

I thought I’d include a few pictures of the drive and the first night sunset.

That’s a lot… but hey, you asked for it, some of it anyway.

Now its my turn to tag, these are some of my favourite people on twitter:

@bigdaddyautism blogs at http://bigdaddyautism.com/

@autismarmymom blogs at http://www.autismarmymom.com/

@ihave7monsters blogs at http://livingwithlogan.com/

@amandabroadfoot blogs at http://www.lifeisaspectrum.com/

@Lost_and_Tired blogs at http://lostandtired.com/

If you have any other questions, info you’d like to know about me, don’t hesitate to ask.. but also don’t expect that I’ll answer everything.

About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of http://www.stuartduncan.name. My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

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9 Responses to A little about me, what you didn’t know

  1. Gina @ Special Happens January 20, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    Love that you get to fulfill your childhood dream even with having taken a road around it. However, right now, I’m SO sleep deprived that not only could I not be making any sense at all, but I am so focused on your wife gets to go back to sleep. I wish I could go back to sleep! Right. Now. LOL.

  2. Wendy Hirst January 20, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    Thank you for agreeing to do this , its been interesting finding out about people.

    I think its lovely how you met your wife, think its is great you started off as friends and kept in touch all those years.

    I agree with the previous post that it is nice you get to fulfill your childhood dream

    The puppy will eventually settle down and she will be a welcomed addition to the family and a companion for life

  3. Lynn January 20, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    “I loved right down town on the beach…”
    Is that a typo? If not, then TMI!

    It was great getting to know you more through this post Stuart! Thanks for including me as a Twitter fave…that’s no small praise coming from you!

  4. Stuart Duncan January 20, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    Pardon my Freudian typos!

  5. Big Daddy January 20, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Beautiful family. I can’t beleive you were in Florida and didn’t stop in to visit me!

  6. Jen January 20, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Those pics are GORGEOUS! I love that lake! And I love how it looks like you weren’t involved, whatsoever, in the procreation of your kids…ha. They look just like your wife! She is really pretty, too. I love people’s stories…thanks for indulging me!

  7. Tracy4Autism January 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    Yours are far more interesting than mine. I’m a very dull person. LOL

  8. Brenda (mamabegood) January 23, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    Oh. my. word. A “get together” story, too? Wowsa.

  9. Eric Graham February 4, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Hey Stuart,

    Thank you so much for going through all the details about you. I got to tell you that your story has inspired me. You are a good man and a good father and husband. Wish more dads can be like you. Keep it up.

    Eric

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