Hai-Kuul – Jan 30, 2010

If only they knew
What you’ve thrown away because
You’ve backed the wrong team

If You’re Gonna Send Something…

Is There a New Word?

Spam is most idiotic thing ever. Wait. Scratch that. The people that must be clicking on the links in spam e-mails (thus propagating the spam in such volume) are the most idiotic things ever. Spam is second place.

As much as I hate the idea of spam, what I really can’t stand about it is how horrible the spelling is in a lot of those joyful notes. Yes, I understand that some worlds are required to be misspelled, due to the fact that they will pass through the spam filters more successfully. V agin eh will surely be more successful than its properly spelled counterpart. But once in a while the “typos” make me laugh.

I received an ad for a bone-ified sexual enhancer this morning (whose name begins with “v”) with the following subject line…

Be a superstart in bed!

Seriously, what the hell does that even mean?

I’m thinking about starting a company to proof-read these things. I’d make a crap-ton of money, I think. Anyone want in on this action?

In the interim, I am curious to know what people think would be a good word for spam that’s obviously written by idiots who can’t spell. Fill the comments field, folks.

Hai-Kuul – Jan 28, 2010

Casting off the chains
Of my procrastination
Feels so refreshing

Sound Off

Can You Hear Me Now?

Public transit is a wonderful and scary place. It contains a wacky cross-section of the population; however it is also a confined area and will drive you batty if you are stuck with the wrong people.

Case in point: the loud talker.

Now, I have seen (heard) some interesting conversations on public transit, but the other day this one gal decided to get into a yelling match with whomever she was talking to on her cellphone. The subject was about how her conversation partner should not be yelling at her.

The best part is that she was screaming at the top of her lungs by the end and was holding the phone in front of her as if directing her yelling at the phone itself would help her win her argument. I didn’t feel sorry for her in the slightest when we entered a tunnel and the connection was severed.

I did, though, feel sorry for humanity as she stomped off the subway, announcing to everyone that she was going to go outside and call back whomever it was to give that person a piece of her mind.

It looks to be the only piece of a large whole, so it shouldn’t take too long.


Abutt Face

So, not too long ago I was bemoaning the fact that potty training our kiddo wasn’t going very well. Granted, the reflection that I gained from counting to ten so many times allowed me to grow as a person.

We thought about reward scenarios, which also involves the flip side: punishment. Nothing horrible, mind you; putting television on temporary hiatus seemed a good way to get our point across, as it is something she likes but can live without.

A wise person told us not to bother with that. In the past, our little Squiggles has always managed to do what was right. The only condition was that it was on her terms. This is perfectly reasonable when you take a step back and look at it with with an objective eye; however, being in the trenches in World War III: The Battle of Gas Pass doesn’t make it very easy to have patience.

The other morning, before daycare, my wife and I agreed to telling the munchkin that we were going to do away with the whole system for toilet training. So, when Squiggles woke up, I gave her a big hug and told her that we were going to stop our little game and leave the potty-goings to her. I said that we would be there to help her out if she needed it, but that we believed in her.

Later that day, she told her daycare provider that she needed to go to the toilet, which was met with much amusement (our daughter is a bit of a trickster, you see). Lo and behold: she was telling the truth; pee was dispensed in the proper manner; there was much rejoicing.

Twice that day at daycare she went. At home she made us smile by going again and again. It has been a few days now – awesome days – and this exceptional behaviour seems to be the norm.

You can lead a horse to water, I suppose, but sometimes the horse is really stubborn and doesn’t want you to tell where the water is. Hell, the horse would probably remember the location better if it found the water on its own, and most likely doesn’t mind you keeping an eye on the situation from a nearby hillock.

And That Leads To…

I’m only writing this because I’ve received a few veiled complaints about “not enough updates” in the life of Squiggly Squiggles McGee.

I know a good number of people – some of them dearest friends – who write about their children frequently. In fact, some of them (a la Dooce) will write directly to their children on their blogs, which I find really sweet. In contrast, I must seem like a horrible father, as I don’t detail the awesome goings-on of my progeny here on this space.

Besides the misgivings of Mrs. Jorge for posting too many details on here, I suppose I don’t really like doing it because I don’t like to share. Call me selfish, but I think that I would like my daughter to make a name for herself instead of me setting the expectations for what she can do. Nor do I want to write her something personal for all the world to see.

Besides the urgings of others to post more about her, the issue also crossed my mind today as I marveled at how she plays so well with others and on her own. She asked me earlier today to play with her in her room. She demanded that I sit down on the floor as she made dinner. Between frying up some lemon chicken, using her play kitchen’s oven as a combination washing machine/dryer to clean her oven mitts after she spilled imaginary orange juice on them, and serving me play doughnuts and french fries, I had to smile in amusement and pride at her Julia Child-like ways. So adventurous and funny; personable and reserved when the need arises; the cliche about children being little grown-ups is very fitting here. How can one not write about this all the time?

I would most likely get carpal tunnel syndrome from all of the typing I would be doing.

To set the record straight (and every sensible parent will say this): I am really very proud of our daughter, and can’t possibly imagine life without her. She’s all kinds of awesome – and you have no idea how awesome – and I’m very sure that she will surpass her parents by a long shot.

If she happens to read this one day, this should come as no surprise. And really, it shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone else either.


The Culling

The internet is a great place. People who use it can be unbelievably supportive; perhaps too supportive.

Posting my work onto Facebook seemed like a good idea, but I quickly learned that it wasn’t really beneficial to me. There was the whole issue of ownership of images, for one. There was also the issue of the lack of truly beneficial feedback to my work.

This is going to sound horrible, but sometimes generic compliments don’t really help one grow. That is a great photo, is something you see a lot (not just for me, in case you are about to pop my seemingly inflated ego with that pin in your left hand), but how much does a compliment like that really help?

  • Why is the image good?
  • Is there something that the photographer could have done better?
  • Is there something in particular that speaks to you? Something that you would like to share?

After I pulled my “professional” photos from Facebook, I started working harder on populating my photography blog. Quite a number of images went up, all with their own stories and documentation about what settings I used.

And then I stopped, for various reasons.

When I recently started up again, I thought I would regret the hiatus; however I am really glad that I had that break. Being away for a while has given me a fresh perspective, and to that end I have been going through my portfolio and getting rid of images that may only be there because of a newbie’s enthusiasm: the fire of excitement stoked by compliments from very nice people.

To date I have removed about 40 images, with more in the queue for evaluation. I suspect that the portfolio will probably lose about 10 to 20% of its content, and this is just fine with me.

As a friend told me, you want to show people the best of your best work. I completely agree.

It is my sincerest hope that none of you that read this piece are offended in any way. You all help me by keeping me excited about the art that I like to pursue in my spare time. I truly do appreciate kind words you all spare. I just feel that, despite all the kind words, I can be a better photographer. Hopefully this isn’t all bluster and that I can blow you all away with even better images in the future.


Late to the Potty

Teaching is a two-way street.

Mind you, the signage isn’t very clear, and sometimes visibility is low because that one inconsiderate neighbour at the corner doesn’t like to trim his hedges, but it’s a two-way street all the same.

We’re entrenched in the battle for toilet supremacy, with us on one side of the battlefield and our daughter on the other. She’s attending an understanding daycare facility that seems to be very tolerant of the pull-up situation – that’s something at least. But our little one has decided that this potty thing may not be the best course of action, as there is no benefit in her mind other than the fact that we seem to throw parties every time she takes a tinkle on the porcelain throne.

I can understand her point of view. We encourage her to be unique; to think for herself, and that’s precisely what she is doing. The down side of this, of course, is that using arguments like “your friend so-and-so is using the toilet” will not really work.

It is a procrastination ploy – one that she may very well employing far better than most adults that I know – and it is driving me batty.

That is, until I thought about it this morning.

I do the same thing. Not in the sense of waste expulsion, of course. No, in my case I have been meaning to do so many things around the house and for myself and instead end up throwing up my hands and pursuing everything in a half-assed manner.

This blog, for instance, used to be updated much more frequently. I have been pushing out creating a DVD of my kid’s second year (with the third year looming). There are stacks of things I need to review for this site and a number of entries that need to go up here (although, I’ve been better at that lately).

I wonder if my little wonder picks up on the fact that her parents are expert procrastinators as well?

Either way, I am going to be trying to turn my own situation around and combat the stagnation of all of my hobbies. Even if it doesn’t help her use the toilet faster, it will definitely rule out that my own laziness is contagious.

Plus, I will get more things done.