Lazy Days

“Lazy old day

Rolling away

Dreaming the day away

Don’t want to go

Now that I’m in the flow

Crazy amazing day”

-enya 

With my old iPod on shuffle- Enya came on first for this afternoon.  The song “Lazy Days” played soothingly through the speakers.  Her singing style and simplicity of melody has always held a soft spot in my music collection.  There’s nothing more calming than putting on some Enya and forgetting about the world around you.

My first iPod. The box is still mint.


Forgetting is exactly what happened to this iPod.  It was my first iPod back in 2006.  I bought it as a gift for my 30th birthday for myself.  It was a 5th Generation 30GB video model.  I loved it.  It was by far the best thing that ever happened to my music collection since Columbia House fifteen years before.  

This image stolen from the interwebs just like the music that killed Columbia House.


Ah yes, Columbia House- with its deals on CDs that had me buying more than I wanted or needed in my late teen years.  I often forgot to send back the “I don’t want this month’s selection” card.  But hey, that is how I ended up with a large REM and Enya collection.  At a time when I was into C+C Music Factory and 2 Unlimited,  it was the forgetting to say “no” that got me my first Enya CD.  Originally thinking, I should give this CD away to my mom for a gift, I decided instead to open it and give it a spin.  I’m glad I did.  I have been an Enya fan ever since.

Hearing it again this afternoon on my iPod reminded me that I have no idea what music was on this thing anymore.  It seems summer of 2009 was the last time I added any music to it.  Steve Martin’s The Crow and Lonely Island’s Incredibad were on that summer’s main playlist.  There were other Artists and Songs throughout, including my entire Enya collection.  As my music shuffles away from Enya towards The Beastie Boys, I am enjoying my Lazy Day.  

Today I focused on how lazy I have been with the way I enjoyed my music over the years.  I’m now too lazy to change the music saved on this iPod.  May Highschool Musical forever remain hidden in its digitized playlist. (That was for my children at the time.  Really.)

Summer is leaving


I can’t believe that summer is already starting it’s stretch on the way out.  You see it in the papers and on tv- Back to school advertising is weaseling in.  Some stores are showcasing Halloween or even *gasp* Christmas merchandise.  Summer Blow Out Sales are everywhere.  But that isn’t proof that summer is over.


Nature is telling me that summer is ending soon.  The color of the tree leaves in my yard are changing.  I’m seeing less green when I look on the branches.  The daylight is ending earlier and starting later.  Sometimes there is no daylight at all as a storm passes through.  There are fewer bunnies, squirrels, & birds hanging out in my yard.  They’re all growing up and moving out.  

What’s this?


This means it’s time to make one last push to enjoy what is left of our summer. Time to hit the lakes, hike the trails, and sip on the cold beverages!  Soon it will be autumn.  Usually we head to Southern California in the fall to extended our summer feels.  But this year we began our summer early by heading down in spring. 

This will be our first Halloween at home in a few years.  We shall experience the slow draw of fall- bringing with it crisp nights, warm blankets and comfort.  I love the fall.  In fact I love all of the months and seasons for a variety of reasons.

But summer can’t end yet.  There’s still so much more to do.  More drive-in movies.  More beach days.  More quality time with family and friends.  There’s just so much more left of summer.  Time to keep on enjoying it.

Anime Convention

This upcoming weekend is the only Anime Convention we do.  It’s a local Vancouver one and is run really well.  We have been loyal to this convention for a few years and even did the winter one that they put on.  If you are in the Vancouver area this weekend, stop by Anime Revolution.  We will be at Booth 301.  (Side note: It just so happens that there are 2 Pokestops nearby us as well!)


We don’t do Anime Conventions regularly due to a few reasons:

  • They only draw in a few thousand attendees.
  • Most anime lovers are students with little to no money. (We are a business and still need to make money)
  • It is strictly anime.  Not comics, mainstream movies or videogames.
  • Our travel expenses exceed the earnings we would be capable of.
  • Most anime conventions are held in Universities or Colleges.  This means they cater to those students who are usually there to watch movies.

Those reasons aside AniRevo is an anomaly in the fact that we make a profit at it.  My wife also has a fan base here that stop by regularly to buy her products.  AniRevo is also becoming larger every year and it’s nice that we’ve been a part of it from the beginning.  It is held in the Vancouver Convention Centre East Wing and not at a university.  This alone shows their growth and potential for years to come.  

I love the natural lighting the Vancouver Convention Centre has to offer.


People in the Vancouver area love anime.  Vancouver is a major hub located in the Pacifc Rim with a huge Asian influence.  Because of the diversity of Vancouver we get to experience more of what the world has to offer than most.

We have made numerous friends at these shows.  From vendors to artists to customers.  It’s a great feeling to be locally recognized and supported.  That’s a major reason we do this con as well.  We love to show our support.  Having this as our only Anime Convention is like us remembering our roots and where we started from.

Feel free to stop by this weekend or visit Ningen Headwear to see what we have to offer.

Expansion

The spring convention season ended and we had one summer show this year. This fall, there are only two shows we are confirmed for. The last convention we did this spring was Calgary Expo and it’s also our favorite convention (also happens to be the first big convention we ever did; prior to this one we did smaller venues) and we don’t want to drop it from our shows. One of the hardest parts about doing the same convention repeatedly is the worry that the market will get bored with our products. The other issue is the economy and there’s not much we can do about that.  But Alberta has always given us a warm welcome and the people we have met over the years are fantastic.


Running a home business is tough at the best of times.  You can have really good sales for a couple of months, then nothing for half a year.  My wife has a fairly successful Etsy Shop and her website is getting more traffic flow lately as well.  Her online sales are the majority of her business which helps keep initial costs down.  We do however enjoy traveling to different conventions to showcase her products to more people.  Costs of doing a con is much higher, but for 3 or 4 days the sales pay for everything surrounding the convention.  From table/booth costs to hotel and travel costs.  Doing an extended weekend push is worthwhile.  Conventions drive sales to my wife’s website as well.  

Doing the regular circuit is great.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, we get a lot of returning customers and people who specifically search us down.  That’s a wonderful feeling.  It also makes us want to add more shows each year.  We have only been doing the West Coast of North America for the past few years.  After talking with other vendors and artists, we think it is time to expand further east and south.

A photo of our daughter courtesy Edmonton Expo.

But in the meantime, look for my wife and daughter at Edmonton Expo this weekend.  She will be there selling her hats and hair clips.  This Convention is run by the same people who do our favorite one in the spring, and it is guaranteed to have some amazing guests and vendors.

Don’t worry East Coast!  We are coming your way soon enough!

I have no idea what I’m doing. ¬†Better follow my lead.

If you’re like me, you want to make something with your blog.  You want to see it flourish and grow.  You want the internets to explode with your name and for the trolls to be so afraid to come out to torment you.  But if you’re like me, there is a struggle going on. 

I am still trying to figure out what makes a good blog post worthy of reading.

  • Is it writing from the heart?
  • Should I be catering to a specific audience?
  • Should I narrow down my writing to one category?

What about drawing traffic to my blog?

  • Do I need more keywords?
  • Should I keep my writing short?
  • Should I promote myself more?
  • Do pictures help?
  • What time of day should I post?

But what about the people already reading my blog posts?

  • Why do they read it?
  • Is keeping each one short a good idea?
  • Should I be writing everyday?
  • What if I change my style, will people still read it?

Hold up.  I should start with a more pertinent question.

  • Why do I blog?


That last one is the ultimate question to life, the universe and everything when it comes to me and my blog personally.  It can be broken down into a few reasons:

  • I’ve made it my goal to write everyday.
  • I want to share stories of my life with family and friends.
  • I enjoy it.

It’s true.  I enjoy writing.  I enjoy sharing myself and my life with people.  Some people can relate to my life.  Others see me in a whole new way.  Engaging with people in this medium has brought me some new friends.  It has drawn me to other bloggers.  Blogging has made me read more and share fewer cat videos.


When I began blogging, it felt like a daunting task to write everyday.  I’ve gone back and re-read some of my daily posts.  Some are terribly written in a hurried manner just to ensure I wrote for the day.  Other posts show that I took the time to write a worthy story.

I don’t think my current blog posts will ever make me famous or make me money.  Perhaps one day I shall change my rhythm and finally promote my life changing, awe-inspiring, self-serving stories and cash in.  

As I struggle to figure out what I’m doing, please continue to enjoy my journey.  Enjoy following my growth into what may one day become fruitful.  I don’t have any answers on how to become a successful blogger, perhaps one day.

Until that time though, be sure and share my blog with everyone you know!

One-on-One Time

My wife pointed out to me yesterday that I haven’t spent time with her lately.  She’s sort of right and that bothers me.  It just kind of happened.  The kids were doing a summer school arts program and I have been working nights.  When the weekends showed up, they were quickly filled with play dates and meeting up with friends.  My wife has also been busy getting ready for an Anime Convention this upcoming weekend.  As much as it sounds like excuses, we are now determined to have some one-on-one time AFTER this weekend’s convention.

Still my favorite decal on our car.


Our kids have received the majority of my time over the past few weeks.  I wanted to take the family out to the Drive-In last weekend, but my wife was still swamped with work so it ended up just the kids and I.  I’m sure she would rather have been with us lounging in the back of the Pathfinder eating popcorn cuddled under a blanket than having to work.  Running a home business isn’t Monday to Friday 9-5.  It’s evenings, weekends, and any “free time” that shows up.  It helped that I took the kids away a few times this week so that my wife could work.

Good advice.


Being friends, being a couple, being parents, being a family are all the different positions we fill on a regular basis.  One is not more important than the other.  They are all equally valued in our lives.  It’s a good thing that one of us acknowledges when we need more time together, just the two of us.  I don’t want it to suddenly end up being a couple of weeks, or a few months or even years that we don’t spend time together.  My wife is very important to me and I’d like to think I’m important to her.  

Remember to make the time for your significant other more often. You’d be surprised how much can change in a person’s life over the course of a few days, let alone weeks.

There’s an Airbnb apartment devoted to Netflix and Chill.


Next week we shall plan a date for ourselves.  Maybe a walk, perhaps out to a coffee shop, maybe dinner and a movie.  Heck, maybe we can even enjoy some  “Netflix and Chill” as they say.  Whatever it is, it will be fantastic because we will do it together as a couple.

Indoor Summer

With summer approaching halfway over, my children keep pestering me to go out and do things.  As much as I may think of them as pestering me, it’s really nice that they want to be outside and doing things. When I was a child, going outside felt more like punishment.

Do you know how hard it is to find old logos?


Back in 1983 we had cable tv and a pay movie service called “Superchannel”.  Other kids around had “1st Choice” which was another movie channel.  The two combined in 1984 to become “1st Choice Superchannel”, but that’s not really important here…  When we first got cable tv, it seemed like it was never turned off.  I ate meals in front of it, played with my toys in front of it, I even used to stare at it until my eyes focused on the individual lines on the color tube.  That summer was spent watching a lot of movies.  Many not so appropriate for children.  If I wasn’t watching in my home, I’d head over to a friend’s home and watch.  I saw many films that made me question the world around me or films that scared me so badly that I had to sleep with a light on for many years.

A cult musicals of the 80’s.


However, one film in particular has had a special spot in my youth.  It brought me great joy and a love of musicals.  No, it wasn’t “Annie”, although that was pretty good.  It was “The Pirate Movie”.  It was cheesy, campy and full of fun.  I spent a few hot summer days watching this film.  Superchannel would send out a TV guide of when their movies were on- and I marked every time that “The Pirate Movie” was playing.  But when it would end, the tv never got shut off.  I saw films like “Young Doctors in Love”, “Pink Floyd: The Wall”, & “Alien” that probably shouldn’t have been viewed by a seven year old.  Many more films entered my living room that summer, many more age appropriate mind you, but it kept me indoors most of the time.  This became a regular occurrence for many years to come.  I rarely ventured outside.  I’m not saying I didn’t, but rarely seems about right.

SNES


Then in August of 1991, Super Nintendo entered my life.  This wasn’t my first video game system.  But something about it had me spending more time than ever playing on it that summer.  I played Super Mario World and found every level.  That summer was spent in my bedroom playing video games nonstop.  It was awesome.  I have fond memories of my tv and me together.

My children are pretty much growing up with the opposite of my childhood.  They are constantly outside playing, walking around parks, & generally experiencing life outside of our home.  Oftentimes it’s me that tells them to stay inside and watch a movie with me or play MarioKart.  Because that was how I enjoyed my summers as a child.  Honestly, they are having a healthy balance of inside and outside time this summer.  Our theater room has been used less this summer than in the past.  I don’t see my children ever becoming tech-zombies because they are so full of life and enjoy hanging out with other people.

My life has become a better place having my wife and children in it.  They are opening my eyes to a world that I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise.  Sometimes I feel the need to show them my childhood memories, so I’ll put on an old film from the 80’s and we’ll sit back and enjoy it, no matter how cheesy it may be.  My kids usually love it.  

It’s my wife who questions my taste and why I like certain films.  So I’m off to try and find “The Pirate Movie” now in order to share its beautiful campiness with them.