Auld Lang Syne

The end is drawing near.

What have you accomplished this year?

It’s been an interesting year here on Barking Space. I thought that I would go through some of the highlights of 2005. Hopefully this will not be as painful as one of those clip shows that you see on sitcoms.

In the Beginning…

At the end of January, Barking Space went online. With a little nudge from a few people (most noteably Dave), I took the plunge and started writing online.

Why did I bother?

At the end of 2004, I took my passion for photography and started to groom it into something more than just a hobby. I decided that I would use the blog to push my photography. I also figured it would be something fun to try. Of course, quite a number of people had already been doing it for a long time, so there were a lot of good examples to follow*.

Somehow the photography angle wasn’t as dominant a force on the blog as I had planned. Writing was something I used to enjoy doing when I was younger, and now the opportunity to take it to a new level had presented itself.

It was an interesting experience, writing my thoughts for all the world to see. Remarkably, some people found what I had to say interesting. I discovered a whole new community, which led to the formation of some new friendships.

I can safely say that blogging is just as much fun now as it was back then. If anything, naming the titles most entries is still something fun to do.

The Creative Juices…

A little later in the year, some new features were added.

Hai-Kuul was initiated to help me keep my poetic skills** up to snuff. People could send in a topic, and in return I would write them a haiku poem. At first, a veritable flood of entries poured in.

The awarding of prizes to certain milestone requests didn’t help stem the flow.

Later on in the year, limitations were placed on the number of topics one could submit at one time. This was more to help my sanity than anything. The creation of good poetry isn’t easy. Sometimes too much material can be as hard to deal with as too little.

That being said, I am proud to say that once in a while I did write something I was proud of. At last count we hit haiku number 893.

The Fig-tionary was born at around the same time as Hai-Kuul. The idea behind the Fig-tionary was to allow people to justify their typos. While not as numerous as haiku poems, these alternate definitions were rewarding in the sense that they took a bit more thinking.

Let’s also not forget that there’s a Guide to Toronto on this page as well. Not the most accurate thing, to be sure, but definitely fun to read.

Anec-Do’s and Anec-Don’ts

Barking Space was a showcase for many of the interesting*** stories and ponderings.

The occasional rant also made it into Barking Space.

Blogging about things like this is a very convenient thing. Sometimes you have a story that a lot of people would find interesting. Repeating this story becomes tiresome. Or perhaps a critical part of the story is forgotten.


Write it down.

Blogging is an excellent way to share events in your life. If people want to read them, they can. So it’s really a non-invasive form of communication.

Sharing rants can also be therapeutic, especially when you realize how many allies you might have out there in e-land to help you battle in the war against stupidity.

Friendships Found and Fortified

This year also saw the introduction of many new and interesting people into my life. I’m not going to bother naming them here, because they know who they are.

It’s a strange feeling when you first meet someone in the flesh who has, up to that point, been merely words on a screen. The most interesting of these meetings has to be my evening with Kris. It was incredible how we clicked. Even my wife really got along with her.

Ian was fun to meet, as well. I’d known him for longer than Kris and had spoken with him on the phone prior to our get-together.

There were also friends who started blogging because I told them that they should.

And who could forget the incredible Dave? Always there to help you up to your feet when you’ve fallen, and to trip you when you’re getting ahead of yourself. A better friend no one could ever ask for. He also provided a lot of the more humourous material here on Barking Space.

Please check out the Tome for really great people to read.

The Best For Last

Of course, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my wife, who is one of the most incredible people on the planet.

Without her, I don’t think I would be who I am today.

My Wish To You

This year has been full of fun and laughter. From making my way up the Karate ladder to Brown Belt to meeting Mestre Acordeon. So much has happened, and I am glad that I could share it with all of you.

I hope that 2006 is even better than 2005.

May you all party hard, and stay safe****.

Cheers and Happy New Year,


* – There were unfortunately a lot more bad examples. In true optimistic form, I decided to use these as guides of what not to do.
** – Some would refer to my poetry as bad comedy, I’m sure.
*** – Interesting to me. Yes, there is no end to my ego.
**** – While you’re at it, you might want to get off your butts and vote for a 10th entry for Best of Barking Space.

Hai-Kuul – December 28, 2005

Nightshifts (Requested by anurs2)
In the world of health
Sometimes more problems happen
When the sun goes down

Love is Blind (Requested by anurs2)
If love wasn’t blind
There would be a lot of folks
Without a partner

I Hate Christmas (Requested by anurs2)
What is going on?
The best of holidays is
Now so commercial

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


Dave and Jorge Convo Part 12: Return of the Stupey

Dave is holding a 24 hour movie marathon soon. He sent out a list of movies for us to rank so that we might come up with a group of movies to watch.

The following short discussion revolves around one of the movies in question.

I am not so smart, it seems. Dave, however, was on fire…

Jorge: The Thin Blue Line? Is that like The Thin Red Line?
Dave: No. The Thin Red Line is a war movie.
J: Really? I thought Clint Eastwood was in The Thin Red Line.
D: No.
J: Isn’t that movie about some guy trying to protect the president?
D: That’s In the Line of Fire.
J: Whatever. As long as the word line is in there, it’s all the same.
D: So it’s the same as The Line, the Witch and the Wardrobe?

Dave is a bastard.

To: You From: Us

Warmest wishes from myself, Mrs. Haiku and our little munchkins this Christmas. May warmth find your hearts and may all of your dreams come true.


Why Am I Proud?

Why Am I Proud?

I recently asked people why they are proud to be Canadian* and I have received a lot of really great comments. Thank you all so much for your contributions to the discussion.

Of course, I yet to list the reasons why I am proud to be a Canadian…

  • There are many countries with massive rates of immigration. The US used to be called the melting pot, while Canada was nicknamed the mosaic. These names reflect the mindset of the past. To become American was almost more of a total assimilation than to become a Canadian. This is no longer the case (and has not been for a while). While the idea of the US being a melting pot no longer really applies (people are proud of their origins and don’t hesitate to say where they are originally from), our country has a bit of a head start in terms of cultural diversity and celebration. Note, I am not saying we are necessarily better. We are just a little ahead due to how we came to be. I’m proud of the fact that we are a young country with a lot of potential, and that we embrace change much more readily than other countries in the world.
  • We have our share of evil in Canada. Crime, racism and all sorts of negative aspects of human nature are apparent here, as they are everywhere else. I am proud of the fact that for every negative, there are positives. Certainly there will always be racism as long as we have diversity. It is the type of racism that is a concern, and the results of it. I’ve seen people that embody the worst in terms of what racism can be. However, I also notice that there are those who live in harmony. I do have to say that there are a few places where I know I am being stared at. I definitely feel like an outsider. But there are so many more places where I feel like I belong. I am proud that we all try to work towards a more utopian society (or something as close as possible). It’s not the easiest task, as not everyone knows they are working on it, but it is only a matter of time…
  • I am proud of our creativity. A lot of incredible ideas have come out of here. So many have taken root all over the world. Basketball, the electron microscope, IMAX and the zipper are but a few of the amazing inventions that have happened due to folks that live here.
  • I am proud of our talent. Every year we export or retain (sometimes both) incredible artists, scientists, thinkers and more! These people bring their Canadian flair to everything they do.
  • I am proud that we live in such a majestic landscape. There is beauty all over the world, to be sure. Canada, though, has a rugged, untamed quality in its vistas. It’s hard to explain, but check out some of my photographs to see what I mean.

These are just some of the reasons that I am proud to be Canadian. I hope that this particular post is worthy, considering the most excellent responses I have received from the original question.


* – Without bashing our southern neighbours.