What should I do in Cuba?

I’m headed to Cuba within the next 30 days for a week-long trip at one of the ubiquitous all-inclusive resorts in Varadero. I don’t think I’ve had a relaxing vacation any time in the past 10 years. So I’ll be happy to sit on my butt and do nothing the whole time. I won’t have internet access, a mobile phone, and I won’t bump into anyone I know. That’s 99% paradise just like that.

I’ll be there at a time of year when the sun doesn’t shine every single day and temperatures dip from time to time. So I won’t be snorkelling and kayaking the whole time (the extent of my physical activities).

I wouldn’t mind checking out some of the local culture as far away as Havana. I like good music and good food and natural beauty over cityscapes. I don’t care about the night life. But I’m pretty much game for anything.

I haven’t travelled much. This will be my first time in Cuba. Any suggestions?

Black Dub East Coast Tour? (I think not)

Black Dub apparently went on an east coast tour in the fall and now they’re doing a west coast tour. But what qualifies as east these days leaves a lot to be desired for those us who live on an actual coast in eastern North America.

A message to Black Dub management: St. John’s, Newfoundland is east. So is Halifax, Nova Scotia. Even Moncton, New Brunswick is east. Any further west than that isn’t exactly east, and it definitely isn’t coast.

So when you’re ready for a real east coast tour, get the band on a plane to St. John’s and then go from there. We’ll be ready for you.

The Holy Heart Auditorium (at 709-754-1600) would be a great venue for Black Dub (just saying).

Message to Black Dub management ends here. Everyone else, check out the live footage. It’s beautiful.

A Movie for Dylan Fans

Masked and Anonymous is described on Rotten Tomatoes as an “Unintelligible and self-indulgent Bob Dylan vehicle,” but that might be missing the point. For me, it’s a movie about moments, most of them disconnected from any kind of discernible storyline, and it’s those moments that count, not the overall picture. That’s the moral of the story, finding the sacred in the ordinary, like a Dylan song, totally open to interpretation. And it has a great soundtrack.

I also laughed out loud through many of Dylan’s scenes. First of all because his movements are off-kilter and inadvertently comedic. Secondly because he has two modes: talking and not talking. No reactions, no emoting. Sometimes he moves his eyes. Dylan is so cool, what else do you need? I enjoyed it.

Via The J-Walk Blog.

Honeybees Snowed Under

My honeybees hive will be buried under snow for the next few months.

Hive #1 (Nov. 30, 2010).

Between now and early spring, the bees inside the hive will cluster together in a big ball kind of like Antarctic penguins, taking turns moving from the colder outside of the ball (9°C) to the warmer inside (27°C). The queen is always on the inside. They shiver to create heat and slowly eat away at honey stores (about 50kg) until the spring. On warmer days (above 10°C) they may fly outside the hive to use the facilities because they don’t like to poop where they live. And that’s how honeybees survive in Newfoundland for nearly half the year.

If they managed to live through the winter and do well in the spring, I should be able to harvest some honey for the first time around August 2011. And lots of it. In the meantime, I’m looking for suggestions for a name to put on my honey jars (besides Claw Hammer Honey, which is strictly a limited edition).

How to specify a target folder in Windows Live Mesh 2011

(Skip to the end of this post for the solution.)

UPDATE: I couldn’t get it to work. Live Mesh 2011 is either full of bugs or just a piece of crap, a poorly designed upgrade. Or all of the above. It looked like it was syncing properly. But then I shut off my computers, came back a few hours later, and read messages next to the folders that they weren’t synced to anything. I poked around a bit, but I couldn’t tell what was going on because all the processes are hidden now. So that’s it. I give up. I’ve been reading on some forums that I’m not the only one having some serious issues with the damn thing. People are losing data — fun stuff like that. I can’t risk having Live Mesh delete any of my data. So the hell with it. I’m done. I’ll have to find some other syncing service, if there are any half decent free ones out there. Microsoft actually had something good on their hands, something that worked fine just the way it was. And they blew it big time. What the hell is going on at Microsoft? Anyway, here’s my original post:

I used to remotely sync a large numbers of files between my desktop computer and my wireless laptop using Windows Live Sync. It was easy. I had to get a Hotmail account, which I never used except for signing into Live Sync. Then I simply installed Live Sync on my desktop computer and laptop, picked a folder on my desktop computer and then remotely on my laptop and clicked “Sync Folders.” Nothing to it. I could even right-click the Live Sync icon in my systems tray and see what files were being transferred and synced (that feature has been removed for Live Mesh 2011, or so well hidden I can’t find it). Live Sync was a functional, easy-to-use online service. Very useful.

Then Microsoft screwed it up royally by replacing Live Sync with Windows Live Mesh 2011 — and I don’t know what they were thinking. Maybe they were trying to go Mac on us and dumbify the process by minimizing user control. But they minimized it so much that users have virtually no control over what used to be the simplest and most useful tasks.
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