Cuban Computers?

Hola From Cuba

Yes, that’s right.

I can’t tear myself away from the internet no matter where I go.

Things are going really well here down south. It’s quite relaxing. We’ve resolved to pretty much stay on the compound for our trip. Excursions out to the other cities are costly and I feel kind like a hypocrite going around someone else’s country, looking at poverty, only to be staying at a resort at the end of the day.

Our housekeeper is awesome. Very sweet.

The food is much better than what people tell me, but then, I’m not such a picky person to begin with. That or I have really sensitive taste buds that make the bland taste good.

Anyhow, hope y’all are surviving up North. I’ll be visiting a few blogs, but only because time is limited.



PS: Don’t forget your assignment! Read the previous entry for more details!

Cuba Christian Mission

Off to Cuba

So we’re off to Cuba for the week!

It should be nice. We haven’t had a real vacation in a few years.

All of our vacations usually involve carting around canoes and backpacks, cooking in the rain on a campstove, and going to the can in outhouses.

It will be nice to relax. Not sure if I will be visiting blogland, but if not, please enjoy!

Thanks to Christian

Christian, thanks for taking care of things while we are gone. You rock. Don’t forget to catch up on the adventures of our favourite Ronin, Jin and Mugen.

So, Christian is doing his part to support Barking Space. Now, I have an assignment for the rest of you….

Your Mission, Should You Choose to Accept it

Some friends and I were having a debate. We were trying to figure out which group was cooler: Pirates or Ninjas.

Your assignment is to write me an essay in the comments field stating which group you think is cooler and why.

I figure that if I’m not around to update my blog, everyone else should pick up the slack so people who visit have something to read.

Whatever you write will most likely be better than the tripe that I usually write anyway!



With Not So Goodest Mostest Less Conversation

A few short rants, as it has been a while…

Boombox With Not So Much Boom

I was on the bus the other day when I saw this kid. He was probably thirteen or fourteen years old.

He was wearing a winter coat with a mesh pocket on the outside. In this pocket was some sort of
speaker device, whether it was an MP3 player with the speaker attached, or just the speaker itself, I don’t know.

The fact of the matter is that he was playing music out loud for everyone to hear.

It was horrible.

It’s bad enough that people destroy their hearing by listening to music with their headphones so loud that you can hear them on the other end of the subway, but this was just ridiculous.

As we got off the bus, I made a comment. He was trying to avoid looking at anyone, so I don’t know if he heard me…

JORGE: I don’t know what’s worse. The fact that you’re playing music out loud through a speaker, or the fact that it is the crappiest music on Earth. I mean, a dance remix of Roxette’s “Listen to Your Heart”? Leave the damn song alone!

Mostest Goodest English

I was listening to the radio this morning when I heard a grown man use the word samwich in a fast-food commercial. Wow. This guy must have gone to the George W. Bush Noo-Cue-Lar School of Foilage.

Honestly, if you are not from another country, you really have no excuse for not pronouncing English words incorrectly on the radio. It’s just wrong.

Certainly it is impossible to know how to pronounce every word properly, but when people who have been living here for less than three years can speak better than someone who has lived her for far longer…


Do I really need to go on?

A Little Less Conversation, Please

I was on the subway today in front of two guys chatting about stuff.

First of all, one of they guys was talking exceptionally loud. I mean, some people have loud voices, but this guy was practically yelling, like he wanted the entire subway car to hear the conversation.

Secondly, the conversation sounded like two parrots…

Guy 1: [Loudly.] So where are you living now?
Guy 2: Oh, I’m living at Location X.
G1: That place is cool, eh? Isn’t it?
G2: Yeah. Cool.
G1: Nice. There’s a huge park there right? It’s huge!
G2: Yeah. Yeah it’s huge.
G1: Must be a pain in the ass to drive around there. Isn’t it a pain in the ass?
G2: Totally. Pain in the ass. That’s why I take the subway.
G1: Ah yeah. It’s probably all traffic-jammed because of that friggin’ park.
G2: Yeah. That park jams it all up.
G1: Maybe they should build some major roads through the part. That would totally solve the problem.
G2: Yeah. Totally.

After about five minutes of this, I wanted to feed Guy 2 some crackers.

Am I being too judgemental?

I mean, when I have conversations with people, I’m not spouting Shakespearean dialogue by any stretch of the imagination. However, I tend to have conversations that are at least somewhat intelligent and not louder than jet engine noise.

My ears are still ringing.

Hai-Kuul – November 22, 2005

Ian‘s Lump of Coal (Requested by CanadughGurl)
Ian thinks his words
Are not worth anyone’s time
He is very wrong

Wax On, Wax Off (Requested by CanadughGurl)
Daniel-San must learn
That the mundane and boring
Can become deadly

The Spork (Requested by CanadughGurl)
A spoon or a fork?
It sits on top of the fence
Content to be both

Cramps (Requested by kris)
Pain that can be felt
Directly by all women
By proxy for men

Thesis Writing (Requested by Beth)
It’s a lonely road
This path of academics
What am I doing?

Bethcentricity (Requested by Beth)
Wait with bated Beth
Have some peppermint Beth mints
I am short of Beth

Cuba, Baby!!! (Requested by Mrs. Hai-Kuul)
It has been too long
Since we took a vacation
That was backpack-free

*Remember, you can submit a topic to inspire your very own Haiku Poem by clicking here. You can read about Hai-Kuul here.

Hai-Kuul – November 21, 2005

Man On the Steps (Requested by TheresaWarriorPrincess)
The winter’s cold bites
Snow gathers around the man
In his sleeping bag

Egusi? Yum. (Requested by TheresaWarriorPrincess)
Make me some hot soup
With Egusi seeds or leaves
And I will love you

Ratty Fingernails (Requested by TheresaWarriorPrincess)
Biting and gnawing
Cause your nails to look like crap
And leave marks on skin

Toffee Coffee (Requested by TheresaWarriorPrincess)
Sweet and so creamy
It’s like heaven for the mouth
With some kick, to boot!

This is the LAST Final Draft (Requested by TheresaWarriorPrincess)
I’ve finished it now
The finally final draft
Any more mistakes?

Happy Tongues (Requested by TheresaWarriorPrincess)
So many taste buds
Can take control of our moods
Taste can make us glad

Diamonds Vs. Zirconias (Requested by TheresaWarriorPrincess)
It is ironic
That all of the gangsta’s bling
Is normaly fake

Shiny Things (Requested by TheresaWarriorPrincess)
Fleeting, distracting
But in the absense of light
There can be no shine

Don’t Miss the Bus (Requested by TheresaWarriorPrincess)
It’s getting colder
Punctuality is good
It prevents sickness

Everyone Needs a Cashmere Scarf? (Requested by TheresaWarriorPrincess)
Chic fashion statement
Also somewhat practical
Theresa will buy

*Remember, you can submit a topic to inspire your very own Haiku Poem by clicking here. You can read about Hai-Kuul here.

Know Up

Things People Want To Know

Once in a while, I will get someone leaving a question in the comments field. Whether or not these questions are rhetorical or not, I don’t know. However, I’ve received enough of these to consider them valid.

I also get some of these questions via e-mail. I figure that if people take the time to e-mail me, I should answer them, whether they care or not.

I’ve grouped some of them together as I believe they are related…

1. How do you remember those conversations you have? Are they for real?

Most of the conversations I post are from chats I’ve had with Dave. Some of them are from years ago. I remember them because I have a pretty good memory. Are they accurate? For the most part. Whenever I am not sure about a part, or I can’t remember a particular line, I’ll consult with Dave.

Dave, though, isn’t the only one I have conversations with. The other conversations that I have logged on here stand out in my memory for some reason or another. It is because they stand out that they are easy to remember.  Funny things are also more easily remembered than boring things.

Unless I have stated otherwise, the conversations actually happened.

2. Do you write all the haiku poems yourself?

Yes. I do. Are all of them good? No. They are not. It is when I get a small number of requests at a time that I can properly address each one. To be honest, I would say for every twenty haiku, I have one that I feel is good. Given that I am at almost nine hundred right now, I think this is pretty respectable.

3. How do you find the time to do this blog?

Well, every night, I leave my computer on. At around 2 AM the keyboard starts clicking as my two cats write my entry for the day. I proof it, and then send it out as my own.

Seriously, I usually write down ideas and store them in a folder. When I am ready for the idea to hit the paper, it usually takes about a half hour to write an entry. Entries, on average, are between eight hundred and a thousand words. I’ll write them at night, or on my lunch break and then post them.

4. Is that picture of the Moon for real?

Yes it is. It’s also on sale. You should buy one, as it is a run of one hundred prints. For the month of November, half the money will go to help kids get better computers for their schools and such.

That’s good for now.

Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any more questions. You can also use the comments field.

I’m still looking for a tenth entry for my top ten.

KFed Up

This is probably an oft-repeated rant, but I really have to profess that I am sick of the media giving cutesy names to people.

Bennifer, TomKat and Brit are some of the idiotic nicknames given to celebrities.

Shortening people’s names is not always cool.

It makes you wonder what would happen with folks named Peter Nestor, or Vargas Regina.

I find that the whole move towards shortening everything is just causing people to become lazy. So not only do we get these hip ways to refer to people, I’m seeing teens writing complete crap and then wondering why they don’t do well in school.

The Proposal

Frequently Asked

One of the many questions that people ask me is how I ended up proposing to Mrs J. Well, here you go…

Life Changes

It was a few short days after my car accident and my heart was racing. In my pocket was a highly-desired object, worth much more than just money. It was worth a lifetime.

I had set up the surprise with stealth and finesse. There was no way she could possibly know what was in store for her that night…

The Ultimatum

On Valentine’s Day my girlfriend (then: Miss J now: Mrs. J) took me out for dinner to Sassafraz, a trendy place in Yorkville.

The upshot was that she told me I had to propose before the end of the year. Or else.

Well, she never actually said or else, nor did she give any consequences for failure to meet her demand*. I knew, though, that ultimatums should never be taken lightly when given by the following people…

  • Evil scientists sitting in high-backed chairs gently stroking a siamese cat
  • One-legged men wearing an eye patch and brandishing a cutlass
  • GWB – clueless he may be, but his army is very, very large
  • Girlfriends (later, wives)

I was planning on proposing before the end of the year anyway (so there). This just confirmed that it would be a good idea.

Not to mention that it was only February, so I had plenty of time to scheme…

The Choice

The last thing I wanted was for the following to happen…

[The scene opens with Jorge on one knee at Miss J’s feet.]
Jorge: [Taking Miss J’s hand in his.] My dearest, will you marry me? [Offers her the ring box.]
Miss J: [Tears welling up.] Oh my God…
[Miss J takes the box and opens it. Tears of horror replace the tears of joy as she looks upon a solitary large, yellow diamond mounted on a ring made of pink gold.]
Jorge: [Looking hopeful.] So…do you like it?
Miss J: [Trying to look happy.] Errrr…Yes…uh…[Sprays Jorge with mace, and flees to join the witness relocation program.]

I figured that the best way to avoid a stinging attack to my eyes would be to involve Miss J somewhat in the ring selection process.

We went to a place recommended by a friend. I already had a really good idea as to what I was going to get her, but just in case, I included my choice along with a bunch of others so that she wouldn’t really know which one.

Luckily, the ring that I liked was also one that she did.

The planets must have been aligned that day.

The Decoy

I paid a few secret visits to the jewellery place and the order was set. I picked out a really nice Canadian diamond (no links to war or political nastiness), some sidestones, and the ring itself. All I had to do was wait for the centre diamond to arrive and for the ring to be made.

This was to be a month or so.

It was an excellent opportunity to bait Miss J into thinking I had no ability to keep surprises from her.

Her birthday fell around the midpoint between my ordering the ring, and the pick-up date. I had bought Miss J a new film SLR camera kit for her birthday, as she was stuck with a point-and-shoot. While she had taken some exceptional photos with such a simple piece of equipment, she expressed a desire to take photography more seriously by procuring a nicer camera at some point.

The week before her birthday, on a particularly nice day, I told her I was going to give her a gift. She was a bit skeptical at first, a she liked receiving birthday gifts on her actual birthday.

I argued that I had more stuff for her, but it was such a great day that she had to open this one particular thing. I expressed concern that she wouldn’t be able to use it on her birthday weekend, as she’d have to spend some time figuring it out.

I ended up giving her the camera, and she loved it.

She also made a point to say that I wasn’t any good at keeping secrets, which was fine by me, because she fell for my insidious plan…

The Execution

And so we’re back to where I started off.

A few short days after my accident, we were sitting in the Volkswagon dealership, about to buy a new car. I wanted an Audi (because it’s awesome), and Miss J wanted a rickshaw (because it’s more economical). We settled on getting a Jetta.

Let’s eavesdrop on the conversation…

[Jorge and Miss J are sitting in chairs in front of a desk. The salesman is busy in another room photocopying some documents and getting things ready.]
Jorge: This is crazy. This car is cool.
Miss J: Are you sure we should get the sports package? Do we really need it?
Jorge: Trust me, you’ll love it. Leather seats are easy to clean** and the wheels look nicer.
Miss J: [She holds her left hand up, palm down, showing off the empty spot where a ring would have gone quite nicely.] My finger is naked, and your leather seats are eating into my ring fund!
[Both of them laugh.]
Jorge: It will be ok! Trust me!

We drove home in the rental that I had for the week.

The night sky was beautiful. I suggested that we have dinner outside on our balcony. She agreed.

I lit a bunch of candles*** and Miss J put on the Dido CD while we ate Michelina’s pasta****. After we finished eating, I asked her if she wanted to dance*****.

She agreed and this is what happened…

[The scene opens with Jorge and Miss J dancing on the balcony overlooking the small park in the back laneway.]
Jorge: This is nice.
Miss J: Mmm-hmmm.
Jorge: So, I have a question for you.
Miss J: Okay.
Jorge: When I propose, do you want me to go down on one knee?
Miss J: [Thinks for a few moments] I don’t know. I guess so.
[Jorge lowers himself down on one knee. Miss J looks surprised. Then she looks upset, obviously thinking that Jorge is playing a cruel joke******.]
Miss J: Fuck off!
[Jorge reached behind the flower pots and retrieves the ring box that he hid there before dinner. He looks up at her face, and holds the box up to her.]
Jorge: I was going to do this anyway. The car accident just highlighted the fact that we’re never really sure what’s going to happen, and that you are the most important person in the world to me. Miss J, will you marry me?
Miss J: [Begins to cry.] Yes!
Jorge: [Crying and laughing at the same time. He’s amused that she said yes without even looking at the ring he agonized over.] Open the box you dumbass!
[They both laugh and sob. Both are ecstatic.]

So that’s how it happened*******.

That is how I proposed to the most beautiful, patient and awesome woman in the whole world.

* – The real reason for the ultimatum was because we’d just moved in together earlier that year. Marriage was the next logical step in the near future.
** – Of course, leather seats are also colder than a polar bear’s dick in the winter and hotter than Satan’s ass in the summer…
*** – This is not out of the ordinary. There are no lights outside on the balcony.
**** – Yes, I know, not the best choice, but we had been pretty busy with getting ready for our vacation to Portugal and dealing with the car stuff.
***** – This, too, is not uncommon. My only regret is that I wanted to propose to Dido’s Thank You rather than All You Want (Which is about a girl whose man leaves her – good tune though).
****** – While I do have a weird sense of humour, I would never joke about something like this.
******* – I can’t believe I didn’t have a reference to Dave in here!