Happy Talk

In the early 80’s there was this strange phenomenon called “The Mini Pops”.  I owned a VHS copy that got played over and over until it finally just gave static lines.  This was my first introduction into “real music” and not just Disney songs from Jungle Book and Snow White.  We also owned a “Christmas” Cassette and the “Let’s Dance” cassette.  Car rides with my mom were the best.

This was also my introduction into pop music.  I knew the words for “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” and “Video Killed The Radio Star” by age seven.  But one of the songs that stuck with me was “Happy Talk”.

Captain Sensible?

The Mini Pops did a cover of Captain Sensible’s version who originally did a cover of the song from the musical “South Pacific”.  The song is fun.  It shouldn’t have been a pop hit even in 1982- but it was.  For a young child, the song was catchy and inspirational.  

Talk about things you’d like to do.

You gotta have a dream-

If you don’t have a dream,

How you gonna have a dream come true?

This is today’s earworm for me as well.  But the words are uplifting still.  If you don’t have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?  I am constantly making new dreams and doing my best to achieve them.  Perhaps in my youth, this song hit my subconscious and remains locked there.  Maybe this is the motto that drives me to keep writing and doing more for my life.  It’s what I like doing…

Keep talkin’ happy talk.

Gray But It’s Also Grey

Today is starting off as a dismal looking day.  The clouds are covering the sky.  The temperature is staying at that cool almost fridge level.  The only things breaking the silence outside is the laughing of a crow.    

It feels like the opposite of spring.  Even though the trees and flowers are budding, there is still a sense of gloom hovering in the air.  As if life just doesn’t want to wake up yet.

The view from my bed.

I’m staying in bed for a little while longer.  Probably like what other people are doing as well.  And I like it.  I am going to watch the hues transform from grey/gray into pastel blues and greens before starting my day.

Hey Gawy 

I have a friend from years ago who could always make people laugh.  He loved doing voices and graphic art.  He would quote Jim Carey at the drop of a hat.  

Naturally he has become an animator here in Vancouver and has worked on many projects.  He has worked on “The Littlest Pet Shop”, “Escape From Planet Earth”, “MLP” and many others.  He is still in Vancouver and I think it’s time for me to meet up with him again.

When I was a teen in high school, I was originally friends with his older sister.  I still am.  It wasn’t until a year or so after I graduated, that my circle of friends and his circle of friends came together.  We would hang out and drink coffee, talk about story board ideas or play videogames.  Most of the time- just having fun.  Usually with groups of people.  It was rare that he wasn’t surrounded by numerous people.  He is a well loved and an amazing person.  

He also had an unusual past time.  He would use a VCR and record himself playing RPG videogames.  Or rather, the storyline of the game.  He would edit his game play so that only the scripted dialogue remained.  Surprisingly, the stories are quite intricate and fun.  After hours of him playing and editing the RPGs of the 90’s he would have a fun movie for us to watch.  

Much like a silent film, there was a bit of action with dialogue written on the screen.  Most of the action was of the characters walking and some fight scenes.  But the twist was for the dialogue- my friend would assign speaking parts to all those watching these.  It became a lot of fun.

His animation and creativity will supersede his legacy. One of my favorite shorts that a friend of his shared is a silly one titled “Hey Gawy“.  Worth watching for a quick giggle.

His love of storytelling never ended.  Besides his work in animation, he loved watching Professional Wrestling.  In fact, he and his wife got married in a Wrestling ring back in March 29, 2014.  (Happy Anniversary!) Unfortunately I missed the main event due to a convention.

I love seeing my friends succeed.  To me, success is measured in how well you touch someone’s life.  Steven has the unique ability to bring back fun memories into my mind even though we haven’t spoken in years.  It’s a friendship that I treasured and feel it is time to catch up on old times.

Driving on Nine

I drive to work.  Or is that commute?

I commute to work.  I don’t always like it.

Traffic sucks.  I am known to be an angry driver.  My goal this year is to calm down and slow down.  I have been trying to listen to different music such as classical or “spa” on my car’s satellite radio.  Sometimes I’ll listen to comedy and just enjoy a good laugh.

Getting to work on time isn’t an issue.  I always leave with plenty of time to spare.  Rarely am I late.  I mean very rarely.  Like only once in the last nine years at my job have I been late to work.  And that was in the first few months of trying to figure out where I needed to be.

It’s the drive home that sucks.  There’s no “set” time to get home.  I just want to get there.  Home is the place of peace and tranquility.  A place you dropped kicked your jacket as you came through the door- No one glared.

Wow, Mr. Belvedere was such a bad show.

Anyways.  I’m trying to slow my drive down as I come home.  Traffic or no traffic, the speed and anger at which I drive home needs to stop.  

My car is a machine made of glass and metal that could kill me or someone else and I need to respect that more often.


Queen & Bowie… & Carlin?

I realized today that I will never see Freddie Mercury and David Bowie perform in my lifetime.  Two great musicians are no longer on this planet.  Both passed away many years apart from each other.  I still enjoy listening to their music collaboration 35 years later.

1982: Under Pressure came out.  When the song plays I can feel their voices resonate the words throughout me.  The battle we all face from the pressures of life is portrayed in this song.  I have felt pressure lately in my life.  Both at home and at work.  The pressures of being a good parent.  The pressures of making the right decisions at work.  Pressure coming at me at all angles.

This is our last dance

This is our last dance

This is ourselves

Under pressure

Under pressure


I could recite this song and almost every other greatest hit Queen song written.  I do not own any Queen or Bowie albums.  When I was 12, a friend of mine made a cassette copy of Queen’s Greatest Hits on one side and George Carlin on the other.  I have no idea where that cassette is but it influenced my life.

Strange that even in all of their greatness, they passed on.  They each left a legacy.  For no reason I thought about them today.  My tendency towards sarcasm and atheist views were influenced by Carlin (among others, but he was humorous).  My love for being who I am was influenced by Mercury.    My ideals and wonder of life and beauty was inspired by Bowie.

All of them did what they wanted- they enjoyed life.  I need to remember that.  Life is for living.  I need to keep on living my life the way that matters to me.

You Be You

I’m proud of who I am.  Even if I’m strange or odd to other people.  I act the way I do because it’s entertaining to me.  I’m not hurting anyone by behaving silly.  Sometimes people follow along because it looks fun.  Other times they snicker or poke fun of me.

And the sun is shining.

I don’t really care either way.  I’m here for a good time.  I enjoy being me.  I’m the best me I can be.  Even when I’m serious, I’m still enjoying life.

Mmm… Sweet Meat

Some days life is too short to eat a hamburger on a bun.  Sometimes you just need to put that patty on a glazed donut.

You be you.

The Long Journey Home

It may not seem that far to go when you do a quick Google Map search. Only 223 km from my sister’s home to our home. Previous road trips that I’ve done from our place include 2050 km to Disneyland. Roughly 19.5 hours to drive it straight. We did it in 21 hours once.  That being said, our travel time to “The Happiest Place On Earth” was about 100 km/hr.  

Our trip today is taking us exactly five hours travel time. We got lucky and made an earlier ferry departure by about an hour. Doing the math, we are traveling at approximately 45 km/h. I’m finishing this post while we travel on our last ferry ride. If traffic cooperates, we will be home an hour after docking.

I do wish I had some more time to spend with my sister at her place.  She definitely has a “Million Dollar View” that she sees every day.  Later this summer, I think we will drop in and stay for a few nights instead.

These past few days have been a crazy rush- bombing around while hopping from ferry to highway to back roads to ferry to highway to ferry to ferry to highway to home.  I’m glad that tonight I will be home for a pot luck dinner at a friend’s place.  It feels like I squeezed as much as I could into my three days off this week.  

Chances are I’ll be doing it again next week.

Four Rivers of Travel From Vancouver Island 

Today my daughter and I decided to travel from Gold River, through Campbell River, across the ferry at Little River and onto Powell River.  

Goodbye Dick Boot.

We left Gold River a day early since we got Gramma as packed up as we could handle.  She is 85% ready to move out into her new home.  This is most likely the last time I will ever be in Gold River in my lifetime.  I called my sister last night and decided to head out to visit her in Powell River.  On our way, my daughter and I went through Campbell River to see the new home Grams was moving into.  I have to say that it’s in a more civilized part of Vancouver Island.  As well, it’s only a couple blocks away from a lovely little beach that overlooks the ocean. A great little place to live out retirement.

Just past Campbell River is Comox.  This is where we needed to take a ferry across to hit Powell River.  This is much more convenient for my mother and my sister to visit one another in the years to come.  I think they both like/hate the idea.

Unfortunately it’s a rather expensive ferry ride for what it is. In an hour and a half we travel only 17 nautical miles in a rusty vessel.  I’m not expecting the pride of the fleet, but a paint job could do it good.  The journey was smooth and relaxing.  My daughter and I played some more cards and I taught her the only card trick I know.

I’ve never been to Powell River.  I’m enjoying my first visit with my sister, even though it’s only one night.  She has a lovely home with a beautiful view of Texada Island and the Malasapina Straight.  I think I will be visiting her more often.  The views are spectacular.

Normally we would travel here via a different route up the North Shore and through the Sunshine Coast.  That’s the route we are taking home tomorrow.  Approximately a five hour journey, not including waiting for ferries.  Two ferries to be precise…

I love BC.  This is a great place to live.  So much to see and do.


I’m currently helping my mother pack up her home.  She has saved almost everything over the years.  Most of which doesn’t make sense.

I found some pig salt and pepper shakers from 1981.  Never been used.  These have moved to at least ten different houses.  Crazy.

I discovered another classic from the 80’s.  A book on tying silk scarves.  A fantastic read.  Looking at the cover, it doesn’t look like it was ever opened.

My mother even saved the patches I received as a child in whatever sports/activity I was in.  The last great achievement in physical activity I did was receiving “Gold” in the Canada Fitness Award Program back in grade 7.  Pretty sure that program ended a year or two later.  The poor Canadian children nowadays don’t understand the agony of having to do this.

Those were a couple of the oddities I found.  But the thing that surprised me more was that my mother wouldn’t throw out old electronics.  Many of which she never uses any more.  She has a cheap portable CD player that she won’t get rid off because she may go for a walk on the beach one day and would like to listen to music.  I discovered a cheap navigation system that she never figured out how to use, so it’s practically brand new even though it’s about ten years old now.  She has numerous printers for her computer, “because it’s easier to buy a new printer than figure out what is wrong with the other one”.  I also discovered a bin of cables, cords, and wires that she is keeping because she’s not sure what they all belong to.  Most of these things she is afraid to give up.

But my daughter scored pretty well this trip.  Gramma saved an old clarinet in really good shape from when my sister took band class for about three years.  My daughter is also walking away with a never been used 2010 Canon VIXIA HD camcorder.  I have no idea why my mother owned it, however my daughter is super excited about being its new owner.

Sure, there are some memories packed away now in these boxes.  And the sensation of feeling or seeing these items makes you ponder life.  I was a bit upset that my mother saved the strangest things from my childhood instead of the things that mattered most to me.  Perhaps one day my kids will be thinking the same thing about me.  What I save won’t make sense to anyone but me.  

I guess that’s what hoarding is.  Keeping what you want- because one day it will mean something.  At least now I know numerous different ways to tie a silk scarf.

Scooby Doo reference required.

Random Time

My oldest daughter is pretty fantastic.  She decided to join me for a few days away on the island to visit her Gramma.  She feels extra excited because her younger brother nicknamed Gramma’s home “Torture Town with the Dick Boot Monument.”  I’m not saying that is an accurate representation, but…

I mentioned Gold River back in August.  Check out: I’m A Spelunker Now.  Gold River has all the feels of tranquility and peace.  As well it also has nothing to offer.  A teen hanging out with her father and her Gramma doesn’t make for an exciting end to her Spring Break.  Especially since we are here helping Gramma pack her home up.

During the two hour ferry trip and three hour car ride, Random and I talked.  We talked about nothing in particular.  We talked about school.  We talked about tv.  

I bought us some dinner on the ferry and we enjoyed the sunset over the water.  I bought a deck of cards and we played a few games.  It was quality time.  She even kept me alert during the final leg of the drive by playing a word association game with me.  (Nothing like being awake since four am, working a full day, and finishing the drive at midnight.)

I’m looking forward to the next few days with my daughter.  We have started out on the right foot.  I hope this keeps up.  She’s a pretty great human.  

Twofour- Six’ Eight”.

I used to really enjoy getting annihilated on my days off.  I was quite the sight to see some weekends.  Being a tall, skinny guy and drunk was like watching a birch tree swaying in a wind storm.  

In fact, one time I was given the nickname “He who dances with trees” by someone high on acid.  This was all while I was acting like a drunk goofball.  

A couple decades ago I went through a bottle of Bacardi 151 in one sitting.  75.5% alcohol.  This was the same night that a couch got lit on fire in the middle of a four lane road and a buddy of mine ended up in the hospital from alcohol poisoning.  Probably didn’t help that in our wisdom we decided to throw him in the bed of a truck to get him to the hospital and ditched him at the doors of the emergency room.  He was banged around pretty good back there as we drove.  

As amusing as it was, we were dumb.  Very dumb.  A level of stupid that in today’s society of video capable cellphones and instant social media access would probably have landed us in jail.  Being young and dumb without consequences was a way of life.  

Being pulled over by police on back country roads, only to have them find a bag of weed on a friend would not end the same today as it would have prior to cellphones.  We had the occasional officer tell us, “consider it flushed” and give an “A” for pipe design.  We may have been young, but we knew where it really went.

I’m not saying police are corrupt.  I’m saying that we were given many chances to go on with our lives and right the path we were heading down.  I’m glad that we were given the chances we were offered.  My life has turned out pretty darn good.  But pretty sure my life could have gone drastically wrong had a few intervening moments not occurred.

Maybe it’s because I was courteous and polite when questioned by police.  Maybe it was my positive outlook on life.  Maybe it was because the bottle ran dry.  Whatever the case may be, I’m glad to still be 6’8″ and goofy.

Joe the Wine-o

Yesterday my wife and I were taken on a local winery tour by a couple of our friends.  We don’t drink much wine these days so it was a nice treat to go out.  Plus, we’ve never really gone out to sample wines at a vineyard.  The only place we’ve been to before is the local berry farm that has a winery.  Which is nice because we can walk home after…

Our friends, Megan and Russ, planned the day and Russ was driving us around.  Now, three out of the four of us are railroaders.  My wife is the odd one out, but she can curse and talk filthy just like the rest of us.  That being said, we are definitely not swanky or hoity-toity by any means.  Nor did we dress the part.  None of us acted the part either.  We were ready to have some fun.

At our first stop we sampled four wines.  The Chaberton Winery was elegant and high class feeling.  We also hit their bistro and had some lunch.  Can’t go drinking on an empty stomach.  The waiter was amused when we requested a bottle of rosé to accompany our meal.  I asked for it as a “bottle of pink and pretty”.  Clearly I am a gentleman of worldliness culture.

The next location was Backyard Vineyards.  It was more our style.  Middle class feeling.  Megan and I sampled four more wines and giggled as our significant others sat at a table reading the wine list and playing on their phones.  We ordered a cheese a cracker plate, grabbed another bottle and polished it off rather quickly.  

Then we went to the Township 7 to sample some more.  This is where I learned that the name is derived from the seven different locations that make up Langley.  As well as the fact that the vineyards in Langley align perfectly with France making the grapes equally tasty?  No clue.  We were having fun.

What we thought was our last stop turned out to be a lie.  While we were at the Township 7, the staff recommended a new location that had opened the week prior just up the road.  Off we went!

The Glass House Estate winery was by far the best place we went to yesterday.  We sampled four more wines including a very tasty ice wine.  We then grabbed a bottle of wine and enjoyed another cheese plate.  The four of us were giddy and getting loud.  There wasn’t a lot of people in the building so I’m pretty sure our conversations could be heard throughout.  The place was going to be open for another hour or so.  After our first bottle went empty, we decided to get another one.

That last bottle put the three of us past our limit.  Stumbling back to the car laughing and joking we were ending our evening at around 7pm on a Saturday.  Quite honestly WRECKED.  Wine drunk is different from beer drunk or hard bar drunk.  Wine drunk hits you fast and it’s always that last glass that puts you over the edge.  But at least you stop.

We had a blast.  My wife and I would do it again.  In fact, there is now a plan in the works with our friends to go tour the BC Okanagan this summer.  Or as my wife was trying to search it on her phone: “Ikanogon Wine Tour”.

I realized that in a few short hours, my bank account was down a couple hundred bucks.  Not something I usually do anymore when it comes to drinking.  But I’m willing to make a sacrifice like this once in a while. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be all wine connoisseur like and spit it out after sloshing it in my mouth and examining the glass.  But until that day, the wine gets to go into my stomach like regular folks.  

And unlike my poor wife yesterday- the wine stayed in my stomach.

52 Saturday Nights

When my wife and I first got married, she was in a book club.  The books were able to be purchased for reasonably cheap.  So we bought a bunch that would help us create a life together.  Most being “self-help” style.

We stocked up on books about seeds and gardening.  There were cook books and bread maker recipe books.  As well as everything in between.  But one title stuck with me.  52 Saturday Nights.

It was about love making.  52 times a year.  Every week.  This book mentioned intamacy but for us it meant more.  Every week it reminded us to love each other.  Not always sexual contact.  

We have made sure that our love life is about being close.  We have a kinship that connects us every day/week.   It may sound cheesy but it means the world to me.  My wife is the most important person in the world to me.  Every week, I take the time to appreciate her.  Not always sexually.  But  rather, intimately.  

Every week, I recognize how great she is.  Every week she does the same for me.

You Better…

I used the phrase, “You better be ready” earlier today with my wife.  I didn’t mean it as a threat, but she took it that way.  I can understand how.  The “Or Else” seemed to be insinuated with this phrase, although unintentional.  It’s just how I speak sometimes.

It occurred to me that tone, inflection, and attitude can make all the difference in how we speak to one another.  My wife and I spoke about this before lunch.  I felt I had done nothing wrong, she felt I was being bossy.  I’m glad we spoke about it because otherwise there may have been some animosity between us for the remainder of the day.

I don’t always think before I speak.  I also take for granted that I can speak my mind with friends and family.  If ever I upset someone in what I say or how I say it, I would hope that a healthy discussion would follow as to why.  Oftentimes I’m not trying to be unkind.  I’m not expecting to be friends with everyone.  I’m pretty sure I’ve offended my share of people by accident.  I know that first impressions can be misleading as well.

However, the next time I want my wife to be ready, I better not say “You better be ready” because the “Or Else” will come from her.


I have had two days of bowling.  Yesterday was at a ten pin alley for a team building bowl with work.  Lots of macho moments with using heavy balls and trying to bowl as fast and hard as possible.  The place was new and busy; neato and fun.

Today, my children took me out bowling for my birthday.  We went five pin bowling at the local alley that’s been around for 36 years.  5 pin bowling- easy for any age.  

Not much has changed since the place opened.  It is trapped in a time warp.  Essentially stuck in the 80’s.  In the late 90’s there was a mural painted and some lights added to create “cosmic bowling” in hopes to make it cool.  The old brown bowling balls have been replaced by blue ones that respond to the black lights.  

It pained me to see the alley in such disarray.  

When I was in high school, I was in a bowling league every Wednesday afternoon at the lanes.  From ’91 to ’94 I bowled with about a dozen friends.  One of my teams was called “White Men Can’t Bowl”. (An homage to the film White Men Can’t Jump).  The name was true to form.  We dicked around so much that our scores suffered.  But we had fun.  We did some midnight bowls as well.  At age 19, we would sneak in some rum for our drinks and be wrecked by the end of the night.

Today, my kids had fun.  I taught them the pointers that I was given back in my league days.  They listened to my advise… about as much as I did back when I was taught it.  They fought over which uncomfortable hard orange and white chair to sit in throughout the afternoon.  But we joked and cheered.  

Leaving the building, I took one final look around.  The cigarette stained ceiling tiles were still there.  The lanes were warped and dirty.  The walls and floor never changed.  The place screamed of white trash-  The bowling alley is set to close later this year. No big surprise.

There’s nothing welcoming about the building.  The friends I had back in the day all don’t care to ever go back.  Maybe just for a nostalgic moment (or game) but when the building is gone, we can only have the memories.  

Which I think is better than keeping the building alive.

Forty One

I have survived 41 years on this planet.  I didn’t think it was going to be possible. 

Go me!

I was born with a lung defect and had a portion of my left lung removed by age 2.  I then suffered numerous earaches as a child.  

At age 3, my father left me alone in our car and I had climbed over to the driver’s seat and proceed to pretend how to drive.  I engaged the car into reverse and backed straight out of a parking lot across a four lane street into a ditch.  Unscathed.

Before age 4- I ran away from my mother while at an airport.  Terror ran through her veins as I snuck between concrete barriers past the security.  I wonder if kids could get away with that nowadays?

Later that year, I ran away from home with my dog.  We made it about half a block away.  My mother never noticed until she saw me in my pjs in the street.

By age 5 I had tubes inserted into my eardrums to drain fluids that had accumulated causing great distress to me.  Due to all of those lovely ear infections.  Two years later, they did it again.  Hospitals were like a second home now.

Lots of scars, and a dislocated elbow joined me as I went from my childhood into my early teenage years.

Fast forward to age 17.  I got my driver’s license and proceed to get numerous speeding tickets and traffic violations.  At age 19, a car ran a red light hitting and spinning the minivan I was driving 90° and facing the opposite way that I was intending.  I ended up in an ambulance at the hospital with only minor wounds to my head.  As well as a written off vehicle.

Years of hijinks and bad choices lasted me until age 24.  Then I met my wife and my life changed.  Even though my grandfather and my father both died that same year.  I thought the universe was out to get the Havelka Men.

I honestly never thought I’d live past age 35 when I was younger.  But here I am.  Starting another monumental decade of life.  

π Day

Today is March 14th.  Pi Day.  3.14

What sort of pie do I want today?

The film “π” came out in 1998.  It was a beautiful film shot in black and white about a paranoid mathematician.  I was 22 when it came out.  It was during a time in my life of heavy drinking and smoking that I watched the film.  Besides it being a visual masterpiece, I couldn’t tell you what it was about or how it ended.

Let’s move on…

If you were to ask me to rate pies in order of most favorite to least favorite I could answer without hesitation.

Number 1 is Apple Pie.  For obvious reasons.  It’s the best.  Hands down.  I love making and eating home made apple pie.  It even gets served with vanilla ice cream.  Two of the most simplest desserts combined to create something wonderful.

Last on the list would be Pumpkin Pie.  Again, for obvious reasons.  It’s the worst.  Hands down.  The texture and smell are repulsive.  The taste only rivals the smell in a way that makes me feel like I am intentionally shoveling a sliver of hate into my mouth.  Burying it in whipped cream doesn’t help matters either.  Absolutely the worst pie ever.

All other pies, including shepard’s pie, fall somewhere in between.  I’m not really picky.  Because 99% of pies are delicious.  It’s a fact.  Because I said so.  

The last 1% is pumpkin pie.  Utterly foul.  Let’s stop talking about that atrocity now.  We can go back to talking about warm apple pie.  Even Jason Biggs “loved” a warm apple pie.  

The film “American Pie” came out in 1999.  A year after “π“.   The film’s jokes do not hold up.  Probably because they have been quoted and mimicked for nearly two decades throughout society and other films.  Rather disappointing considering how well the first film in the franchise did.  Unlike the dozen or so reject sequels that were pumped out in hopes of making a quick buck.  Perhaps it is also this reason that the film doesn’t hold up.

That’s about it for my thoughts on π and pie today.  

Go math!

Dream Police

I have been having some messed up dreams as of late.  Pretty much since our weekend away.  Some of the dreams are eerily realistic while others are down right bizarre.  A part of me feels like it’s another reality.  The dream world where anything is possible.  A place where money doesn’t buy happiness.  A land of insanity that spills from one moment to the next.

Or none of that.  Maybe it’s my brain rebooting for the next waking moment.  Clearing out an old cache of half memories and useless information.  My brain doing a vitals check and moving through my body one organ and limb at a time.  A verification that I’m still here.  All of this coming through as dreams.

Perhaps I need someone to control my thoughts and subconscious as I try and rest.  Time for me to call The Dream Police.  Or at least relive some bad song lyrics that remind me of Guitar Hero 3. 

I try to sleep

They’re wide awake

They won’t let me alone

They don’t get paid to take vacations

Or let me alone

They spy on me

I try to hide

They won’t let me alone

They persecute me

They’re the judge and jury all in one

‘Cause they’re waiting for me

Looking for me

Every single night

(They’re) driving me insane

Those men inside my brain

The dream police

They live inside of my head

The dream police they come

To me in my bed

The dream police

They’re coming to arrest me.

Ah Guitar Hero 3.  A time years ago when I realized my wife is far superior than I am at videogames.  My lack of music ability would shine through.  My hand eye coordination failing miserably as I twanged every missed note on a plastic guitar shaped controller.

I worry that now she will want to relive her glory days.  Assert her power over me.  Prove her dominance in the area of videogames.

For the moment, I wish for that to be a dream: a distant memory that I could scrub from my mind.  But I know my wife won’t allow that to happen.  She enjoys keeping the Guitar controllers on display.  A trophy of how great she once was.


Everything runs on a schedule.  Be it work, school, appointments, etc…

At work- we try and run our freight trains on a schedule.  Usually we are right on time.  Sometimes early; sometimes late.  It happens.  But a schedule is key to keeping the flow happening.

Also at work is my personal schedule.  The dates and times I am needed to be there.  I’d like to say it remains consistent and accurate.  But there is always adjustments being made after the schedule is out.  I’ve already grown accustomed to these constant changes.

I am also trying to utilize scheduling more often for my personal blog posts.  I’m trying to find the best time to get the most readership.  This is all still new to me.  

Even a year later.  

When Did I Become My Father?

It’s 8pm on a Saturday night.  I’ve been awake a little over 8 hours.  A bit over half of my day has been awful.  I think it’s all my doing as well.  Actually I know it’s my fault.

I slept in past lunch.  I woke up with my lower back in agony.  I barely wanted to move.  Eventually I pushed myself out of bed.  Begrudgingly I made a late breakfast for my wife and I.  More like I made a breakfast sandwich for a late lunch.  While we ate, my wife reminded me that I wanted to take her to the VIP Cinema to watch “Logan” this afternoon.  So I checked the showtime and we decided to make the 2:30pm showing.  A matinee was a great idea.

I accomplished the 3 S’s and we were at the theater with twenty minutes to spare.  We sat down and chatted, joked- just enjoyed each other’s company.  My wife said, “I like this version of you.”  She had me thinking that I have been a poop lately.  I haven’t hung out with my kids in over a week.  Driving to and from school doesn’t really count.  There hasn’t been much in the way of quality time with the family this week.  Work has been heavy on my mind.

We enjoyed our film.  Then wandered some shops for a bit.  I was looking for a new jacket and she was looking at clothes for the kids.  No luck.  So we went home.  No plan for dinner.  As we drove, I quickly did a mental recall of food in our home and mentioned what we had in the freezer and what to have for a side dish.  We got home with dinner planned out.

Then I became grumpy.  No reason.  Just a big grump.  I served dinner and everything was making me edgy.  Just everything.  The way the kids answered questions, how they were serving their food, even the way they were eating.  Suddenly, my father came out.

The grumpy piece of shit.  The asshole who ruined nearly every meal in my childhood.  The man who made me feel less of a human being with every word he spoke.  That man showed up at my dinner table.  His voice coming through my mouth.  The more I tried to fight it, the more he came out.  My wife sat silently stunned.  My children were holding back tears.  

The one thing I never wanted.  The person have I tried so hard to not become.  Here he was in all of his Eastern European hatred.  Shining like a beacon.  A ray of destruction killing our family meal.  And I was lost.  Lost like the little boy that I could see across the table in my son’s eyes.  He and I shared a kinship of fear and sadness as I could feel my father pulsating through my veins.

Suddenly I hated myself.  I hated everything I said.  I hated who emerged at that moment.  I can’t take any of it back.  I can’t give an excuse for why I behaved that way.  Here I am now as I type this.  Crying at the way I acted.  The way I spoke.  No one needs to accept me for that.  I can’t ask for forgiveness.  I can’t reason away my rudeness.  

Sticks and stones can break your bones but words cause permanent damage.

Not my best performance to date with my family.  I have many years left to go raising them and loving them.  I don’t want a night like this to reflect in their memories of who I was.  I don’t want to become my father.  I want to be my children’s father.  A father who cares and shows he cares.  Not a belligerent jerk.  

When my father died, I had hoped that his hate had died also.  It seems there was a bit of it in me.  I hope it’s gone.
No one wants him around.  

Especially me.  Not ever again.  Not in this household.  Not towards my children.

I May Not Be Strong, But I Possess The Strength.

Each and every day, the weight of the world is on my back.  Not the entire world.  Just my little bubble.  The pieces that I have put together to create my world.  The part that I want to lift and rise above myself.  

I don’t feel that weight is on my neck.  Nor does it press down on my shoulders.  With my head held high, sights remain focused on the future.  I can still see ahead towards my goals as I push on.  And push on I must.

My feet tire but my legs grow stronger- ever striving onwards.  I cannot lose sight of what I desire.  The wish to see my family and friends succeed gives me strength.  This determination keeps me going.

The weight of my world presses down on my back.  The pressures of work create knots.  The stresses of how to raise and care for my children as they grow into teens and adults, pulls at my ligaments.  The world is on my back.  It may cause me pain or discomfort, but I won’t let it down.  

I won’t let my world down.  

I may not always be strong.  I may have to stumble to one knee, pause for a moment, and lift again.  I possess the strength to keep moving forward- with the world on my back.  

My world.


Disco had a short span in the music industry of about five years.  But in those years some amazing tracks came out.  Songs that everybody knows, even children.  The beats, the rhythm, the feel- all of it still with us.

When I think of Disco, I think of Bee Gees: Stayin’ Alive.  Ironic since technically disco has been dead since before the 1980’s.  But it peaked quickly with Studio 54 and John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever.”

I enjoy Disco music tremendously.  Not only do I enjoy the music, I also love the dance moves, the outfits, the sequins, and the utter ridiculousness of the disco scene.  Disco just appeals to me.  If I’m driving home and a disco song plays on the radio- I will always wait for it to end before I shut off my car.  There’s a story in every song.  Stories of love and hope with a funky beat.

Disco is not dead.

‘Til You Make It

Being Under Pressure isn’t always fun.

I’d like to think that I know what’s going on.  But some days (or nights) I lose that sense.  I feel lost and overwhelmed.  Sometimes it’s being a parent, othertimes it could be the pressure of work.

When I tell my friends and coworkers this, they tell me I’m doing great.  They assure me that I’m going to get through it.  The compliments and pats on the back are somewhat soothing.  A rough day or moment can really bring you down.  Having a smile from someone you care about or an ear to talk to can actually make a difference in your attitude.  

I’m lucky to have such an outstanding wife and wonderful friends.  Each one listens or cares in their own way that it helps get me through my rough patches.  Their advice is often more catered to their lifestyles; even my wife doesn’t always say what I need to hear.  But I know it’s what my friends feel is the right thing to say or do to make you feel better.

After having such a fun weekend with my wife and fellow convention carny friends, it was hard to get through the last couple of nights at work.  I sought some advice from some coworkers and received this:

One said: “You are being tested to see how you will do under pressure.”  Maybe this is true.  Or maybe my skill set allows for me to take on a challenge.   This brings me to the next piece of advice given to me.

My other friend told me to “Fake it ’till you make it.”  I’m not sure what it means to “make it” these days.  I just want to get to a point where I feel more confident in what I do.  Repetition of my good skills and attitude will help get me where I want to go.  

I don’t want to be fake.  I want to be real.

A Bit of Anger

I don’t like getting angry.  It always makes me feel gross inside.  The aura surrounding me makes others cranky as well.  And that sucks.

Being grumpy reminds me of how my father was the majority of the time.  I don’t ever want that.  One or two days here and there are unavoidable.  Can’t always have perfect days.  I wish we could.

But then if every day was rosy there’d be nothing to compare them to I guess.  Anger just sucks.

Sink or Swim

Thrown to the wolves.

New location for work and not a lot of direction given.  I have lots of support avenues available though.

Challenge Accepted.  I’m going to make the most of the situation and prepare for the best of it.