No Internet? No Problem. Nap time.

Today half the Internet went down.  At least that’s what I heard.  You see, I was sleeping all day, so I really have no idea.

When I did wake up, I saw numerous posts about it on Facebook.  So I read a few links about how it happened and what websites were affected.  As I’m reading the comment sections, I realized that for a few hours of not having access to certain sites, people became really agitated.  Like next level angry.  And for no good reason but that the comforts of browsing or watching videos was disrupted.

Here goes more “Old man” talk:  I grew up without the Internet.  My life was planned around 30 minute intervals of television shows.  If I wasn’t watching tv, I was hanging out doing nothing of importance except spending quality time with friends.  

The internet arrived with a whimper not a bang.  No one cared.

Dial up was slow and if you had call waiting and the phone rang- you lost connection.  My “online” time was limited to late nights.  And no, online porn wasn’t readily available back then.  My late nights were on BBS networks playing text based games.  Gradually the internet evolved.  Speeds had gotten better.  Phone lines became fiber optic.  

Instant gratification has now become the norm.  Even as I write this blog on my iPhone, I know when I hit publish it will be instantly accessible to everyone.

Not having internet access shouldn’t be the end of the world.  Sure, we all take it for granted nowadays that internet is there with the click of a button or a tap of the screen.  But not having access for an hour or two should be taken as a moment to reflect on life.  

Go out for a walk.  

Call an old friend.  

Take a nap.

The internet will return with, “IT’S BACK!”  And everyone will go back to watching viral cat videos.

There’s This Woman…

Jane Curtain once said, “…there’s an old saying: Behind every successful man there’s a woman.  A loving, giving, caring woman…”

Jane Curtain

Of course there’s more to that quote, but I highlighted the part I needed for today’s blog.  The rest is a humorous banter between her and Dan Aykroyd on an old Saturday Night Live skit.  In the style of which they seemed like a stereotypical old married couple.

Our first photo together in 2000.

My wife supports me 100% with whatever I choose to do in my life.  She is my partner and we work together to make a pretty good go of things.  The only time she “stands behind me” is when she is pushing me to do better or remain focused.  

Take my blogging for example.  She encourages my daily writings and often asks if I have finished my post (especially if it’s getting late in the day).  She also proofreads 99% of them.  For that, I am truly blessed.  You’d be surprised how many mistakes I can make.

Really nice hair.

So many thanks are owed to the greatest woman in my life. She has made me a stronger person.  She has helped me through many struggles. She has helped me accomplish many goals.  Without her, I probably wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am in life.  Both successfully and emotionally.

Thank you Lee-Anne.

That’s the news. Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow. 


I like being clean shaven.  Mostly because it would take me months to grow any kind of facial hair.  No joke.  After graduating high school, I grew a goatee to try and show off my manhood.  Ya.  I looked like Shaggy- that was also the Halloween costume of the year.  I did kind of like having well manicured hair, but it was short lived for only a of couple years.

One month’s growth. Circa December 1st,2011.

Back in 2011, I grew a mustache for Movember.  It was for a good cause and helped raise money and awareness for men’s health.  Go Joe!  I shaved the day after it was all over.

I have a regular shaving routine.  Every Monday, Wednesday & Friday.  The days in between- you could barely tell that I have any stubble.  It just doesn’t want to show up.  Five o’clock shadow? Maybe in a week’s time it would be there.  It takes me less than a minute to shave.  I like the look, it keeps me young.  My children prefer it as well.  They like hugs and giving me a kiss on the cheek after a shave.

My father had a beard and only ever trimmed it about once a month.  He smoked and drank beer, so the smell remained around his face trapped in his beard.  It kept me at bay.  So when I became a teenager starting to grow hair, he never took the time to teach me how to shave.  I bought a cheap electric razor and used that for years.  Then this magazine for men – Maxim became my source for all things important to me.  In one of the articles, I learned the right way to shave with a razor and shaving cream.  I’ve never looked back.

I have many friends with facial hair of all types.  Some guys have glorious beards, others are scruffy.  Some guys are so well kept they have an air of being metrosexual.  Others really should take lessons in shaving.  Facial hair or lack of hair is who we are.

I’m going to end this with a quote my friend (with great facial hair) often says when excited:

By Odin’s Beard!

School Drop… F-Off!

Today I experienced what my wife has been complaining about for years.  The idiocy of school drop off.  I’ve experienced it before, but sometimes I just need to vent after.

Each year the school newsletter puts out relevant information on where and how to drop off the students.  Our school has two “Drop Off/Pick Up” zones available.  Fairly simple- pull through next to curb, open door, kick student out, move on.  Should take less than 30 seconds- safely driving away after.  It would appear that besides myself, my wife, & only a handful of parents abide by these rules.  The rules aren’t enforced by anyone, so most parents don’t adhere to them.  

This is frustrating and dangerous to the children.  Cars are seen stopping in the middle of the street and doors whipping open, having kids jump out.  Or worse, they pull into the drop off zone and park for ten minutes.  Sometimes with all doors wide open and hanging out having long conversations with their kids.  Did they not just have five to twenty minutes of driving time with said child/children that could have explained the meaning of the universe ten times over???  This idiocy blocks other parents from coming through and dropping their kids off.  Now I see why parents stop in the middle of the street.

Even worse is the parents who can’t understand the simplicity of the Enter/Exit.  I have witnessed cars coming in the wrong way, even though the parking lot is clearly marked with signs and painted arrows on the ground.  The looks of disgust I send out are often met with a shrug or complete ignorance.

Don’t even get me started on the excessive speeds that parents feel they can drive through the school zone.  Many parents seem only concerned about getting their kids to school.  After that, there is no concern for anyone’s well being.  One time I was doing the speed limit in a different school zone and some a-hole decided to illegally speed past on a double solid line at a crosswalk.

All of these moments make me want to exact demolition derby revenge with my car into theirs.  But it won’t stop bad behavior.  I guess I’ll stick with stink eye, middle fingers and horns to get my feelings across.

I’m Not Crazy. Really.

I work the nightshift regularly at the moment.  I sit at a desk typing things into a computer, answer the phone and the radio, and generally work alone.  There have been hours at a time that I’m the only one in the building.  I like to have the lights dimmed and the blinds closed as I work.  Like a late night radio dj, smooth and calm is how I like to run my shift.

But, I get a bit stir crazy sometimes.  The other night, I randomly began singing about eating my curry chicken and rice.  Most nights I am swearing and cursing before I would answer the phone in a calm manner.  I often sing my responses to the crews as they ask questions on the radio.  Sometimes I’ll quote movies as my responses.

The job is tedious at times.  It’s also extremely stressful.  My job is best described as being an air traffic controller for trains.  It’s a dangerous and unforgiving environment for those who work on the ground.  They are expecting me to give them the best information I can in order for them to do their job safely.  I take great pride in my work every night.  Many of my coworkers have come to understand my style of working.  As well, I’ve grown to understand their capabilities.  

Together, we make through each night until daylight breaks.

Raising Atheist Children

I’m astonished by my 10 year old son. He told me the other day that he is uncomfortable singing a Christmas song at school and doesn’t want to sing some of the lyrics. I asked him what song and why.  

The song is “Away In A Manger.”

He said he doesn’t think he should have to sing it since he is an Atheist and doesn’t believe in god or Jesus and he feels uncomfortable singing about them. We fully respect him for his decision. I also told him that if the teacher asks why he isn’t singing, that he should express those feelings to her.  His comfort level around me vs a teacher may be very different.  I understand that at his age he may not be able to express his concerns to an authority style person.  If he needs us to explain to the teacher why he isn’t singing, we will.

This isn’t the first time my son has expressed that he is an Atheist.  The other memorable moment that I have witnessed was when he was seven and said to another child that he doesn’t believe in god.  This other child was dumbfounded and started asking my son how someone could not believe in god.  This other little boy just couldn’t grasp the concept.  Perhaps in the same way that my son can’t grasp the concept of believing in god.

The warmth of my home is all I need.

Now, back to the Christmas Season, as an Atheist I still enjoy the holidays.  I wish people a Merry Christmas.  I sometimes say Happy Holidays.  I gladly and respectfully return a greeting to friends or strangers based on their beliefs.  When I was a child, I had to sing religious based carols because I was going to a Catholic school.  A part of me still enjoys hearing them from time to time since they remind me of my childhood.

The idea of a mythical person bringing gifts through a chimney to place under a tree inside our home has always been a part of my family’s Christmas.  Sometimes we open gifts on the 24th, 25th or 26th.  The date doesn’t matter.  Baby Jesus isn’t a part of our custom.  If anything, we are sharing in the Winter Solstice with family and friends.  

The church near my home.

The other church near my home.

As an Atheist parent, I normally don’t discuss religions with my family.  My children have asked in the past why we don’t go to church and I’ve explained why this is.  I have also explained to them that they are more than welcome to explore different ideologies throughout their lives.  Currently, all of our children feel that they are Atheists.  I’m not going to close off their own free will to explore and question life.  If they so choose to find religion or god, that is their choice.

A humorous read about being Atheist.

Reading books is the best way to find answers in this world.  We encourage our children to read and expand their knowledge through books.  As well, if they have questions about anything, they are encouraged to ask.  Sometimes our dinner topics can be uncomfortable, but my wife and I don’t feel the need to sugar coat or ignore their queries.  Being an Atheist doesn’t mean we can’t be open minded.  Far from it actually.  

If a time comes that our children do become religious- we will respect their choice.  First and foremost, being a parent is about love and understanding.

It was a dark and stormy night…

Such a classic start to almost all stories written by children.  I didn’t want to title today’s post that way, but it really did fit.  Tonight is a crazy evening with high winds and tons of rain.  We’ve already lost power a few times over the past couple of days.  We are expecting to lose it again some time this evening.  But that won’t stop us from having a nice quiet Saturday night as a family.

We already have a fire burning- warming up our family room.  Dinner was made, enjoyed, and the dishes cleared away.  We’ve gotten into our pajamas, house coats, & slippers early this evening in order to lounge and relax.  

We are deciding upon a few family games to play.  NO MONOPOLY.  That game always ends in a fight.  But we do have many other games that will allow a variety of shorter gameplay so everyone is happy.

On the table tonight is Tsuro, Yardmaster, Timeline:Inventions, Timeline:Diversity, Timeline:Science&Discoveries, Nightmare Before Christmas Yahtzee, Nightmare Before Christmas Trival Pursuit, & Poop.

Timeline seems like a good educational style game as you try and play all your cards based on history in a timeline.

Tsuro is a path game where you place tiles and try to remain the last stone on the board.  Quick and strategic.

Poop is a card game all about flushing a toilet without overflowing.  Humorous and silly.

Yardmaster is about moving trains (I should be great at that one, since it is my regular job).

We love gaming as a family, and even though we still have electricity, not every moment we spend together as a family should be infront of a screen.  That being said, I’m going to publish tonight’s blog and check out until tomorrow.

Why am I so Lazy This Week?

I haven’t been the most helpful husband this week.  Most mornings after a nightshift, I’ll drive the kids to school.  But not this week.  I came home every morning and went to bed.  I also woke up to eat dinner and then went for another nap before going to my nightshift.  I didn’t even make the dinners this week.

Everything fell on my wife.  I appreciate what she has done this week (and every week for that matter).  I’m not sure why I became so lazy.  But my wife stepped up and did everything for the family.  She did so without any real complaining or animosity towards me.  

She’s a pretty darn good lady who deserves daily praise.  To say that I will make it up to her is an understatement.  This weekend we are probably just going to lounge around the home.  She enjoys beating me at videogames, which is why I don’t like playing them with her.  I think a weekend away is in order soon.  

But tonight I will make dinner to thank her.  Sushi Take Out…

Today’s Appealing Designation to Entice Analysis

It’s not going to go over appreciatively once you’ve realized that I don’t have anything poignant to communicate today.  Alternatively, I am going to employ a vast multitude of synonymic wording to express my diurnal contemplation.  

Commencing upon arrival at my place of residence, I concocted breakfast for my consumption.  I perched at our dining table to masticate my meal as I perused the online communal publishment sites.  Upon completion of my meal, I proceeded forthwith to my bed for horizontal slumber.  Recurring periods of overnight laboring occupation have proven to be arduous.

I nuturingly finalized today’s exasperating announcement, post slumber awakening.  I am grateful to have completed such a daunting task utilizing synonyms throughout.  It was feasibly epigrammatic.

There’s a Storm a Brewin’

Here on the west coast, our summer weather had been extended a bit longer.  Over the past week or so, there has been an occasional rain.  But starting tonight and going into the weekend, we are expected to be bombarded with heavy rain and gusty winds.

Being prepared for such weather isn’t a big deal for most people.  Large suburbs and cities often get their power back quickly.  We live on the outskirts in a more rural area where the population is more widespread.  Getting our power back on isn’t as big of a priority to the utilities company.  

This sucks for many reasons.  First, we are on well water and our pump is electric.  No showers or general cleaning for us.  Also no flushing the toilet more than once, that’s a single tank full.  So we follow the old adage-

If we need an extra flush while the power is still out, we grab a bucket and scoop water from a rain barrel.  As well, we have a few of those 18.9L cooler water jugs for fresh drinking water on hand.  Today, I filled a couple more just in case.

No electricity sucks.  It means our home is dark and cold.  Really cold.  We have a brick house, and at one point a couple years ago part of our home dropped to about 15°c (59°F) inside.  We were also without power for four days.  We are lucky to have a wood burning fireplace in the center of our home.  Once it heats up, it can be pretty toasty.

2014 brought many trees and large branches down in our yard.

Our home and neighborhood is surrounded by old growth trees.  With the high winds expected, there will also be many trees blown down.  Our roads have been blocked for many hours at a time before road crews cleared them up.  As well, our yard gets bombarded by large branches.  The sounds of the tree limbs cracking and falling can be terrifying.  They are that much more amplified while the power is out.

Today we prepared for the storm.  I cleared the downspouts and drains, bought more fresh water, brought out flashlights, lanterns, and batteries.  We gathered up our outdoor furniture and brought everything under cover.  The last thing we need to do is bring some firewood inside and gather up candles.  Every year I talk about buying a generator. (Usually during a storm or while the power is out).  And every year I don’t.

Even though the power goes out for a few hours to a few days, we survive.  We even play some board games under candlelight as a family.  As much as it is an inconvenience to not have power, it’s not a big deal in short bursts.  

Stay safe this autumn.