Update: May 20, 2004
Please Note: All Photographic pictures are Copyright (c) 1986-1998 Dave Meckanic. All Rights Reserved. Any opinions here are mine only and do not represent the opinions of my kids, dogs, associates, clients or any other entity.
I’m an older guy, trained initially in architectural and mechanical drafting, self taught in engineering, analytical chemistry, analogue/digital electronics, software development and physics. Most people that meet me seem to think I am kinda scary, but I really don't know why? When you first meet someone, you don't know their history or what's really behind the facade (and we all wear masks). You never know what their agenda might be, what demons or angels, killers or saints might sit laying in wait. What is behind the mask is generally anyone’s guess and it always takes time to find out. I am normally pretty reasonable and try to be a nice guy, but when pushed, lied about or attacked, well, that's another story. It is not wise to test the resolve of an unknown quantity, sometimes you never find out how much they really know or can do, until it's far too late.
I have been working since 1973 in a variety of engineering and scientific disciplines. My work has taken me halfway around the globe to Holland, Belgium, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland, Bophutatswana (Sun City), Zaire, Angola, Namibia and the Congo. My longest stay in any one place apart from Canada was South Africa (called SA in this text) for 4 years, 1986 through 1990. South Africa is an incredible country! Pity about the politics....
I now live in Canada, a socialist experiment, go figure, home of the SHEOPLE and the bleeding hearts, and reside just outside of Toronto, Ontario. I can be the bane of the politically correct and see so many things wrong in Canada, and voice my opinions. But that’s all they are... my opinions. Those and a buck fifty will get you a large cup of coffee. I normally have very little tact, none that I deliberately excersize anyway, except possibly for court. People should say what they think, if they didn't, how would anyone one know when anything has gone wrong?
By the way, the pic on the right is my drinking buddy or maybe it’s a Tequila Ad. Either way, the dog’s mine and I took the photo.
I have very little use for politicians or their pet dogs, to have utility, they would have to be worth something first. I think the saying “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” is a little backward, “Power draws towards itself, absolute corruption”. Look at Dalton McGuilty, what a wanker. I would really like to see a politician prove me wrong and actually do something that provides benefit to the people they were elected to represent in the first place, rather than bloody business (and yes I know all the arguments). I generally speak my mind and let the cards will fall where they may, if you're offended, walk away, or tell me I'm pissing you off, maybe (probably) I'll stop, unless you continue. Just make sure you do something, I hate hearing about or from whiners later. There are couple of pic's here for your viewing displeasure....
I have had a very 'different' kind of life, one that for much of the time forced me to operate on adrenaline and conflicting internal stresses. I have been shot, stabbed, poisoned, bitten by a black widow/button spider, had great incidents with scorpions, once some ass put bombs (in luggage) onto the plane we were traveling on (a 747 in europe, held us up for 2-1/2 hours waiting to get the bombs off). It was interesting seeing all these guys wearing body armor and the huge armored circular tank for depositing the bomb. I sometimes wonder if they would have said it was fireworks like on the Helderberg 747 travelling from Taiwan to SA in 1987. I've been in planes during emergency landings (airports and dirt fields) and again in a plane when the doors were blown open at 12,000' over Nelspruit in a twin turbo Piper Chieftan (do you still hear wind Andy?), there was I think, $18,000 damage to the doors and surrounding area (I don't like to fly at all anymore and go out of my way to avoid it!). The plane eventually went down off the coast of Mozambique (wonder if Andy fitted a periscope?). We were almost blown up on mined roads on the borders of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, shot at in and above the Limpopo Valley (Zimbabwe border), Kruger Park (Mozambique border) and at the Etosha Pan. We also had major confrontations with embassy staff and other spineless, slimy, belly crawling, bottom feeding political entities (good thing I keep tapes and records).... I am quite sure the canadian ambassador in Pretoria remembers me and it's all in the book...
I was always armed when in Africa. My first gun there was a CZ-83, 9mm Browning, nice piece, good balance, heavy for its size, it never jammed and was very reliable. Rounds were a little small though. But I did teach my daughter to shoot with that particular gun and she was quite good. My second unit was a CZ-75 9mm Parabellum, very nice gun, heavier charge, but after I used it for about 6 months it started jamming. I did target shooting twice a week, one indoor range and the other outdoor, but then bullets were only about 21 to 24 cents per round for the 9mm flavour (100 rounds for about 21R). I eventually bought a 'mans' gun, a Desert Eagle 44 magnum. This was my favorite, had it purlexed, geez it was a pretty piece, heavy and hard to conceal (I had a CC license) but very accurate! And the rounds were of an excellent size for making interesting effects.
Since I was doing somewhat different and sometimes rather dangerous work, I was fortunate enough to receive lots of interesting training, some of which was in evasive driving and small arms ammunition modification (one of my favorite pastimes... or was). The drug stores (chemists) there were well stocked and I could easily obtain mercury, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, HCL, DMSO, magnesium and phosphorus powders (geez I miss those SA chemists). With my chemistry background and lab, almost all the things I needed to keep myself busy and out of trouble... yeah that's it, out of trouble. I was in the neighborhood watch as well, that was a hoot in the beginning. It got boring fast though, nothing ever happened after the first week, I wonder why?
All the training however, was a bit of a waste, I never really had to use it.... much. The places I did have to use it are in the book I finished recently. The training was precautionary and appreciated... Trust me, it is wise to be prepared in a foriegn land! I had friends there and people who worked for/with me, that somehow managed to get themselves into dicey situations almost once a month. In some ways I was fortunate, in others not so... I feel a certain kinship with the situation of the character Roy Batti (a Nexus 6 genetically engineered pseudo-human) in Blade Runner. Which produces in me a kind of melancholy over which I have no control, since it was just the hand that I was dealt. I have many regrets about some of the things that I have had to do, but sometimes you are forced to choose between the lesser of two or sometimes three, evils. I chalk up a lot of my actions to being socially responsible, "the good of the many", it's the best I can do. But, I had to purge my conscience somehow and I figured writing about what I was doing in SA (and other situations) might be a cathartic means to an end.
The things I enjoyed shooting the most in SA, were the animals... and always with my camera. I had lots of opportunity to hunt and take trophies, but I just didn't feel right about killing innocent creatures. It wasn't like I was hungry and you do have to eat what you shoot. The scenery and wildlife in SA are absolutely incredible. Whenever I was traveling or going on site to a military base or border, I always carried my camera because you could never know what you might see. I enjoy photography, I've shot models, scenery, wildlife, done advertising and special effects. I intensely dislike photographing models. You can take pictures of people or a nice piece of ass anywhere, scenery and wildlife you only get in certain places, so why waste film on people? Unless they are really important to you (I wouldn’t normally put up pics of family, I have the one pic up here of my daughter only because she is in the cage shooting, but you can’t really see her well).
I have a few companies, four of which are active in Canada. These companies specialize in three different areas. one is the practical research, development, construction and prototyping arm for concepts and ideas. Another is an 'idea' house, a consulting company that generates potentially workable concepts and solutions.
From the above (way up there) you can see I am fairly well traveled, except I generally live and work where I go. On a lighter note I have vacationed or visited Jamaica, Mexico and many places in the United States and Canada. The only main ocean I have never seen, that I want to, is the Pacific Ocean. Of all the others, I prefer the Indian Ocean. It has beautiful color, an intense green blue and it is always warm. The coast between St. Lucia and East London (the Wild Coast) in South Africa, is the most incredible I have ever seen and the people in Durban are great! Basically a mix of Zulu, Asians and Europeans working together pretty well. I really miss Durban. I can still taste the salt air, see the people, hear the sounds of the ocean and the markets. God, I miss Durban.
There are two places I would really love to go, Egypt and Australia. Egypt because of the history and I find the culture intriguing. Of course the only problem is, you can't do your own archealogical digs. Australia, mainly because of the coastal areas. I think it would be great to play with the dolphins to the north, but I would also like to travel the mountain ranges and see the desolate beauty of the Australian Outback. I once planned to sail from Durban, SA to Perth, Australia via Croetze and New Amsterdam (islands), but never managed to pull it off.
My hobbies are limited to canoeing and fishing in the summer, and year round, computers, photography, collecting old weapons (swords and knives), generally Katana’s, Spanish, English, etc. I do restore and modify specifically Pontiac Fiero’s year round as well. I play keyboard (synthesizer), some bass and have been teaching my daughter keyboard/synth since she was 3 years old, some of the MIDI based sequencing we produce was performed by my daughter. I have been known to act a little nuts as the pic to the right shows (I got picked for the static demo as I had the longest hair). As I mentioned briefly above, I have written a book which is about 610 pages long based on 70 pages of notes from 1986 onward. Even though it has been proofed and everyone else is happy with it, I am not and believe it needs to be a bit more verbose and a little less technical.
Jakes, a friend in South Africa once said, "The truth may hurt, but it can never be a lie" and how true that can be.