Saturday, June 26, 2010


My poison of choice is rum. I like a good scotch, especially if I have a good cigar to go with it. But my first love was black rum. Not white rum, it tends to be shite. Amber ... ok. Spiced, good at Christmas. Black rum. now that is good drink. Goes well with cigars too.

Growing up we used to eat molasses from time to time. Mom would give us some molasses in a bowl and a few slices of bread. Mmmmmmmm. My brother liked, well still likes, it on his pancakes. Good black rum should have a molasses flavour to it. It always reminds me of the childhood treat.

It is hard to get good rum in Korea. Hell they consider Bacardi to be a quality rum! Bacardi!!! Good god you know someone has been deprived of good rum if they think Bacardi is a quality rum!!!

There is some palatable rum to be had. Cheaply too. In Korea I would recommend Captain Q. It isn't bad. Quite palatable. But it is hard to impossible to find Captain Morgan or better. I could find good rum in China and Japan. but not Korea.

Now that I am home I still get goosebumps when I go to the liqour store. The choice of rums is great in the regular LC. In the big stores it is AMAZING.

Just take spiced rum as an example. There only used to be ONE kind of spiced rum. Captain Morgan's Spiced. Now there are at least 8 different kinds I have seen. Regular dark rum? Great googily moogily! There is SO much choice now. The big LC has a shelves running down one side of the store that is all rum! And I want to try it all. :)

My favourite rum, since I was first introduced to it, was Goslings Dark Navy Run. It is GREAT with ginger beer. When mixed together the drink is called a dark and stormy. I am imbibing one as I type. :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Health Care Differences.

My mother had surgery less than a year ago. A previous operation left her with THREE hernias. They fixed them.

It looks like she has another one. This means she needs to see the surgeon again. Today she heard from his office they are making appointments for LATE SEPTEMBER! Over THREE bloody months away just to see the doctor so he can send her for an ultra sound or MRI to confirm it is a hernia. THEN she will have to wait for surgery!

What the kimch ... errrr ... Maple Syrup?!?!?

She got a call back a while later saying they just had a cancellation and they can get her in June 30th. If it hadn't been for that she would have to wait over 3 months. Bloody ridiculous!

A far cry from walking into the Doctor's office in South Korea.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mowing the lawn.

I have ALWAYS hated mowing the lawn. It is boring. You get sweaty and sticky. But there is something nice that comes from it.

I LOVE the smell of fresh cut grass. Especially if it rains while the smell is fresh. Today I cut the front yard and as I sit here typing this I can smell the cut grass on the cool night air. It is supposed to start raining tonight too.

It is strange the smells, nice ones, that can entice our senses or bring back memories. Fresh cut grass, salt in the air from salt water, fresh out of the over home made bread. The smells can make us feel good or harken us back to our childhood days.

I am going to savour the smells as I drift off to sleep.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Canada and Soccer

Both I and another poster made disparaging comments about Canada and soccer on another blog. I believe we both said Canada sucks at soccer.

Another poster, "This Is Me Posting" took umbrage with this and replied thusly;

"Argh. I don't like it when people say Canada's national football team sucks when they rank higher than New Zealand, North Korea and South Africa (all of whom are in this year) and they have to compete for a spot in the World Cup against Mexico and the US.

Mexico is a traditionally stronger team, US has more money. 2 out of three means Canada's team is usually 3 and they're out. We're not strong, but considering the funding we put in the sport and the competition we have, I can't say we suck."

His comments opened my eyes a bit. I had never really thought of soccer in Canada just the fact we rarely if ever make the World Cup and usually lose out in our division, the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

Soccer actually has a long history in Canada. The first recorded game was played in Toronto in 1859. The first recorded football association outside of Great Britain, the Dominion Football association, was formed in Toronto in 1877. In fact there are MORE registered soccer players in Canada than hockey players!!!

That blows my mind! Mind you it shouldn't. Hockey is expensive. One of the reasons soccer is so popular worldwide is that ANYONE can play it. You just need a ball, or ball like object. No special equipment. Hell, you see kids playing it with no shoes in some countries.

Our National team does well in the CONCACAF. We actually won the Gold Cup in 2000. Currently we are ranked 63 out of 202 National Teams in FIFA. 15 points ahead of New Zealand. 20 points ahead of host South Africa. 40 points ahead of North Korea (How the hell did THEY get in the World Cup?)

I am starting to think that saying "We suck!" is being too harsh. The Canadian National team plays better than that and deserves more respect than that.While they aren't the greatest or in the top 10 they are a far cry from the worst.

Thanks for the eye opener "This Is Me Posting".

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bad Neighbors

God damn my neighbors are mooks! Two sets of them.

The neighbour to our left and the one on the other side of them are, to not use an expletive, MOOKS. Mooks of the Nth Order.

Both have dogs. The immediate one has 3. The one on the other side have 2. All their dogs do is yap. All day. All night. You can't enjoy your back yard with neighbors like these.

The immediate neighbor, to the left, has caused me headaches for years. At one point they had FIVE dogs. I never said too much because I was always visiting, and my mother doesn't like confrontation. Basically, you can't go into the back yard. if I opened the door to let our dog out, who doesn't yap and yap and yap, they would start. If I was BBQing they would start. If I was talking to the neighbor on the other side they would start. They wouldn't stop until well after you went back inside. If they heard someone on the bicycle paths they would start. if they heard a car door they would start.

It can be hard not to to hate a dog for that. Especially for me. I have little patience. But it isn't the dogs fault. It is the owner. They never taught the dogs better. They go to work, leave them out. They just leave them out barking.

Now they have three dogs and the yapping goes on.

Then there are the neighbours on the other side of them. They have two dogs for the last 2 years. before that only 1. That one dog barks constantly all day and night. People have had to call them at 1 or 2 Am to bring their dog in because it is out there barking. When they go to work they leave the dog out. Now they leave both out. Their dogs are actually LOUDER than the dogs beside us.

Now, and this is funny, the far side neighbours complain to people that the dogs of the nearside neighbour prevent them from enjoying their back yard ... because they do WHAT THEIR FUCKING DOGS DO. Yap all the time when someone is in the backyard.

I would like to take both of the owners and start smacking their heads together until ... well ... lets not go there.

I have never encountered such an inconsiderate bunch of mooks in Canada before. Hell, they make the loudspeaker mooks in Korea look kind.

Now that I am home for good and living here I got tired of the BS. I like my backyard. I like sitting out with friends, having a cigar, and talking. I like playing with my dog. hell, I like just going out back and soaking in the silence. I called animal control and lodged complaints.

Lo and behold, the day I lodged the complaints I started seeing results. Fucked up results but still results. I made the complaints in the Am. At 5PM the far assholes dogs started barking. For an hour, off and on, they were at it. Interspersed were shouts of "SHUT UP" from the owners. Later that evening a friend and I were out enjoying a cigar before the hockey game and the near assholes dogs went on for over an hour. A few times the owner would yell "Be Quiet!" or "Shut up!" None of those really worked. the dogs calmed down on their own.

What REALLY strikes me as ... insane ... is that at NO TIME did the owners try to BRING THE DOGS IN. Seriously, assholes, if the dogs won't stop bring them in. All they did was yell at them.

It has been quieter, but unfortunately for the dogs it means the assholes just keep them inside.

I give it a weke or so and the situation will be back to the bad old days.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Cell Phones

I miss the cell phone plans in Korea! The ones in Canada are shit on a good.

A friend gave me a cell phone so I went to see about getting it activated. I worked for AT&T in the U.S., basically, doing customer service over 10 years ago. I remembered how crappy their plans were then. I found out that the ones in Canada are no better today. Unless you ONLY makes calls between 6pm and 6am IF your plan gives you unlimited minutes then.

Basically, they charge you coming and going. When you make a call out to someone it is taken off of you minutes, of course. If you go over your minutes then you are charged for each minute you are over. That makes sense. It is expected.

Now the insane part. If someone CALLS YOU you are charged for the INCOMING call minutes! If/when it goes over your plan minutes you are charged for each minute.

Screw that noise!

I never paid for incoming calls in Korea. The person calling me, if it was from a cell phone, was responsible for them. Had a great international calling plan too.

I decided that I don't really need a cell phone now. :)

In Korea I would have been lost without my phone. In Canada I can do without.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ice Road Truckers

Ice Road Truckers has started a 4th season! I am happily surprised. During the early spring I checked to see if there would be a 4th season and saw nothing about it. Although there was something about the rights being bought to make a movie!?!

Ice Road Truckers is one of my guilty pleasures. Without the swearing, Hugh reminds me of my dad. As I mentioned on What the Kimchi? my dad was a trucker and I could easily see him heading north for the ice roads.

Me? I wouldn't have the stones to do it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


A friend was complaining about Facebook to me today. He was asking people to be friends, using the suggestions that Facebook itself gives you on the right hand side of your screen. He plays a lot of the games provided on Facebook and they require you to have a lot of friends to make the most of the games. After sending out 20-30 requests he got a message saying he was suspended for breaking the rules. No rule was cited. No contact address to find out what happened, or appeal it. From what he could find out, from their less than useful FAQ and talking to people, his crime was ... sending out too many friend requests. Needless to say he was pissed off.

I had something similar happen to me a year or more ago. I was collecting friends to help me out with some of the games I was playing. Facebook is a social networking system. The idea is to make as many friends as you can. Many of the games on Facebook REQUIRE you to have lots of friends. For example with Mafia Wars you need to have the max of 500 or you are screwed. For other games, like Social City, the more friends you have the more you can expand. If you don't have enough friends you can't expand.

So, everything is geared towards you collecting friends. Yet, you get punished for making friend requests. Even if you are ONLY using the people that Facebook itself suggests to you as friends. You have no recourse to anything. No appeal. You can't even contact someone to find out exactly why or how you "broke the rules". Kind of stupid if you ask me.

The whole point of a social networking site is for you to meet people, in the case of Facebook "make friends". The more the merrier. The goal of the games is to get you to make more friends in order to play the games. It seems pretty fucking stupid to punish people for doing that. Now we aren't talking people spamming out 100's of people a day. We are talking about people responding to the suggested friends that FACEBOOK sends them. If they should stop making requests maybe just maybe Facebook should STOP suggesting people until it is ok? That would take very little code to implement.

If you are going to punish someone for breaking the rules it would be nice if you at least TOLD THEM EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID WRONG! It would also be nice if people were provided a way to find out what happened and appeal it if they can.

Things like this just turn people off of places like Facebook. After my encounter with this I stopped playing 90% of the games I was. I am down to 2 "social ones" now and pondering getting rid of them too. One because it is just getting boring and the other because I will have to start making "game friends" in order to keep expanding, which means playing, it. When you get anal policies being enforced with no recourse it makes it easy to just Fuck It and walk away. If enough people do that it will start hurting the games and Facebook where it counts, the pocket book.

I am not saying boycott Facebook I am just saying if it stops being fun and there is too much bull shit then you have to wonder if it is worth using the site for anything but talking with REAL friends or leaving.

What the ... Bieber?

I was going to lead with "Leave it to Bieber." but i figure that has been overused already.

Ok, give me a little leeway I had been out of the country for 9 years and didn't follow the news. So, when I first heard about this, my first week home, I didn't know who or what a Bieber was. Was it a mutant Beaver? A new porn star?

The buzz in the news was about his new haircut. Oh wow! What Earth shattering news. A friend informed me that a Bieber was actually a person. A popstar that has all the teens girls hearts a flutter. Unfortunately, I say unfortunately not because I hate Bieber but because I just don't give a shit about him or most pop musicians, I saw a news story on it. I started laughing my ass off. His great haircut reminds me of what you would see on Korean male pop stars like Gay errr G-Dragon. God damn! I can't get away from the pop crap. Same p-crap different country. Both have girlie hair.

Why am I writing about this now you ask? Good question.

I was watching the news this morning. (Ok it is still morning, saw the story about 10 minutes ago and started writing this.) A breaking news story was about Bieber fans once again making death threats. A while ago Bieber joked that Kim Kardashian was his girlfriend and she started receiving death threats. Now someone came up with an app that would block anything Bieber related from your computer. Of course the creator is now getting death threats.

As an aside, to the person who created the app for firefox to block out Bieber related stuff named the "Bieber Shaver". Kudos. The app name made me laugh up some coffee. Calling it Shaved Bieber would have been funnier but what the hell.

Seriously, parents, you really need to start teaching your kids better. Kids have been going ape shit over their pop stars since the first neanderthal started banging two rocks together but I can't recall ever hearing about so many death threats being sent out until the last decade. (Discounting the case of Ooog vs Agug since it happened before recorded history.)

Of course, the internet makes it easier but still, don't parents teach their kids any self control? Any responsibility? I hope the parents of the kids that sent the death threats get taken to task for it. Maybe then it will trickle down to the kids.

Damn! If I, or any of my siblings, had done ANYTHING like that the wooden spoon would have been out. Our parents raised us better than that so it never happened, not even when one of my sisters was swept up by Beatle Mania.