My Wife Loves Me- No Matter What It Might Look Like…


My wife has a sense of humor.  She married me after all.  I asked her why she loved me the other night and she said it’s because I make her laugh.  Something-something bedroom joke… Probably because this is me topless:


Ladies!  Hands off!  I’m taken and my wife was told no refunds! I’m pushing out the belly a bit, but that’s the full meal deal right there. Josef in all of his glory!  Look at that sexy pose!  How could she not love me?  She even enjoys driving me around:


This was today’s fun.  Pretty calm compared to some of our other banter.  I swear that some of my friends have become her friend on social media just to see her side of the “arguments”.  Neither of us has crossed a line against the other when it comes to the jokes.  The only thing that has happened is that now that our children are entering into their teen years on social media- we are watching what we write in that aspect.  I know if my parents were online joking about sex with each other- I’d have needed more therapy than I do now.


So my wife laughs at me.  I laugh at her.  We laugh together. Then she snorts.


As we grow older, we will continue to poke fun at each other’s flaws and shortcomings.  Because in the end, it doesn’t matter.  We’re in it together to enjoy the foolishness of life.

Set It and Forget It

I used to watch infomercials all the time.  They were the best.  A half hour devoted to try and get people to buy their product “In three easy payments“.

Ron Popeil was one of the greats.  Pieces of crap that he could convince everyone that they needed in their lives.  I mean this guy created  “GLH” for Christ sake!  Spray on hair in a can!  Winnning!


The best part was people’s reactions.  An entire audience of overactors behaving with such amazement that this product never existed before for a problem they never knew they had.  What?!!


But wait! There’s more!” Now we get to the meat and potatoes of the infomercial: Some freebie that comes with the piece of garbage.  Or better yet- you get two for the price of one!  And free shipping!  Just pay a processing fee and set up easy 4 payments of only $19.95! Sign up now and we’ll even take off one of those payments.  Only three easy payments!


I never fell for the ads.  In fact- I often analyzed the way it was laid out before the viewer.  It was like a group of teens from drama class sat around and decided to try and write a screenplay or bad sitcom and the product company stole it from the trash. Even the dialogue was childish. “You’re gonna love my nuts!” Still so much fun to quote.

No more late night infomercials for me since we cancelled cable.  I think Netflix should have the option to watch classic infomercials and leave the phone numbers still there! I’d watch them- maybe even call and place an order.

Bad Blood

Sometimes hostility remains even after you have “Buried The Hatchet”. I don’t tend to keep in contact with people who piss me off.  And it takes a lot to get me to that point.


But I also know that I have lost many so called friends, or missed out on job opportunities, even dating when I was younger because of someone’s influence on the lady person I liked.  Opinions matter to nearly everyone in the known universe.  Opinions about oneself, each other, current events- you name it, people have an opinion.  And it sucks.

It sucks being a quality Grade “A” asshole.  It sucks being treated like you’re second class.  It sucks that not everyone shares the same opinion. It sucks that we feel things. It sucks that we can’t be emotionless drones. It sucks…

But it doesn’t suck.  It means we are weeding out those around us that aren’t of benefit.  There are people we need to lose contact with because they are jerks. Or perhaps because of the lack of their intellect makes them appear as jerks.  Maybe we lose a friend or two because they are taking something of value away from us.  Maybe it’s emotional, maybe it’s tangible- maybe it’s the air we breathe.  But losing people from our lives means they have run their course.  


Being courteous doesn’t mean I have to be nice.  People need to breathe and eat- you won’t see me choking the shit out of a dumbass, no matter how badly I want to.  I’m also 100% sure that I’ve been on the receiving end of that hate.  Come on, I have a younger sister- she’ll tell you how great of a big brother I was in the past. 

Stop caring what people think of you.  Start caring about what you think of o̶t̶h̶e̶r̶s̶ yourself. Just be the best you that you can be. Dammit I ranted.  

Here’s a picture of a rhododendron from my front yard.  It don’t give a shit what you think.  It’s pretty because it’s designed to be pretty. Not because someone told it to change.

Read a Book?

I am adamant about writing my blog every day.  I enjoy it.  It’s an hour or so of just unwinding and clearing my head.  Sometimes it’s an idea that I had months ago and have just come back to it.  Sometimes it’s the experience of the day prior or a long distant memory.  Today, nothing.

Not that I don’t have stuff to write about.  Far from it.  But my internal inspiration is all busted up.  Or rather just uninspired.  And I realized what it is.  Too much screen time.  


Yes I said it.  The same guy who, over thirty years ago, had a tv in his bedroom from age eleven.  The very same guy who had to buy a first generation video iPod but now uses his cellphone for far better videos. The same guy who used to spend countless hours watching YouTube video clips.  That same fellow has realized that I need to cut back on my screen time.

I need to pick up a book and read it.  From cover to cover.  I need to feel the pages on my fingertips.  I need to re-read a paragraph because my mind wandered even though my eyes and brain read what was written. I need to re-read a paragraph because my mind wandered even though my eyes and brain read what was written. Yes, I’m a doofus and that was intentional.


I used to read all the time.  I loved it.  But because of my obsession with technology and shiny things, books have fallen by the wayside.  My wife has pointed out that we tend to go to bed and have Netflix running as a sleep inducer.  That’s not good.  I miss reading.  Goal for this summer is now to finish 4-5 novels.  Perhaps I will open up one of my old Stephen King or Michael Crighton novels to get my going.  Or Neil Gaiman.  Something besides tv.  

With that, I am off to bed now.  Hopefully with a good book & not giving into the temptation of the easy way out.  Oh look! The tv remote is on my side of the bed…

Day Trip to Victoria BC


I volunteered to chaperone at my son’s school field trip to Victoria today.  It started really early in the morning at the school (and 14 hours later-still not home). We got on the school bus, and I promptly made my way to the back. So did the boys I was with. We laughed about poop jokes and cartoons.


The ferry ride was uneventful. My son and his buddy wanted to sit and play cards while we had a snack. We wandered the decks a couple of times and waved at a passing ferry. We got to Vancouver Island and boarded another bus. We took off to Victoria for the afternoon. Easy breezy and the weather fully cooperated.


Next came a whirlwind self guided tour of the Royal BC Museum.  We hardly stopped to check anything out.  Partly because museums are becoming a thing of the past when needing to get information out to the public.  Also partly because the schedule was so packed in.  I’ve seen this museum about a half dozen times in the past thirty years.  It hasn’t changed much.  We rushed from the museum across the street and into the Parliament Buildings. 



This was a guided tour that was extremely informative and the kids did a fantastic job being courteous to our guide. The children were also asking great questions and having answers that were asked of them.


Then we did a mad dash back to the Museum for the kids to watch an IMAX film.  This was only for the kids and the chaperones had some free time.  We took off almost instantly.


So a group of eight of us parents found a patio for the next forty five minutes and chilled out. I’m not saying I had a Bellini or that the others had sangria or ice cold beers, but we did… have some adult time.  We had good conversations about the school and kids.  It was a nice break before the hecticness began. After a cold bevie- we met up with the school and headed out for dinner.


58 kids, 29 parents and 2 teachers took over the Old Spaghetti Factory for one of the noisiest meals I have been at since my days at Chuck E. Cheese’s.  Absolute chaos was taking over.  As a smart parent- I suggested to the other parents that we let all of the kids get seated and we take a few tables at the other side. Best plan!

After dessert we ran to our bus because time was running out.  This time it wasn’t a school bus, but rather a charter bus.  With plush seats. The kids doubled up in the seats and the adults each took a double seat to stretch out.  The bus ride remained quiet.  All was good.


Our ferry ride back was calm at first.  Then the children began acting like caged animals.  The real issue today was a lack of recess.  Everything was planned to the minute and well organized.  But kids will be kids.  They had to burn off steam somehow- running around the decks was the only way to do this.  Us parents just didn’t have it in us to stop them.  The chaperones ended up in strategic locations in an effort to slow down the insanity.  The Chief Stewart ended up making an announcement over the PA system: “No running on the ferry please.” It wasn’t just our school.  Apparently another 200 kids were also on the ferry.  The poor passengers hoping for a calm ride to the Lower Mainland were now doing their best to ignore the children.


Our final bus ride calmed the children once more.  The bobble heads that the driver had on her dash mesmerized us all.  All around a good day.  I’m signing off now as we finish our ride back to the school.  Pretty sure a few cold beers will end my night at home.

Sci-Fi

Today is doubly dorky.  First it’s the 40th Anniversary of the release of Star Wars.  Forty years of a fandom that has brought us Wookiee calls and internet memes.  I have discussed my love of this space fantasy on numerous occasions.  I don’t think I need to add any more on the subject at this time.  Except that either you love Star Wars or you’re wrong.

Today is also known as “Towel Day”. Which is a bit more obscure compared to Star Wars.  However the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is known by most people in my circle of friends.  I wrote about it last year and explained it’s significance in my life. Douglas Adams was a brilliantly funny man in his musings.  Perhaps he will inspire me to write more than a mere blog post.

So today I am unsure which to celebrate more.  My love of Star Wars or the series of novels that inspired my oldest daughter’s name?  I think I shall combine the two and wear a Star Wars shirt and carry around my towel.


Don’t Panic.

Dress For the Job You Want?


For the past decade at my work- I was pretty much a jeans and nerdy t-shirt kinda guy. Always sporting a new shirt after the many conventions we would attend. My hair even changed color on a regular basis. It didn’t take away from who I was known to be- an intelligent guy who looked creative and fun to be around.

In December, I took on the role of Assistant Trainmaster, so my look had to change.  Not since my days of being a manager at Chuck E Cheese’s did I have to wear dress pants and golf shirts/dress shirts (albeit the shirts had a Rat logo on them). But I now found myself ten years into a job of dressing pretty relaxed into having to go for a semi-professional grown up look.  Some plain golf shirts and some new dress pants were purchased.  My hair has become a normal colour and style.  No more red contact lens for fun. I’m all grown up for a new grown up position.

I don’t own a suit. But today I wore my black pin striped dress pants and a short sleeved grey dress shirt to work.  The only suit jacket I have came out from my closet. It just so happens to be black pin striped and have a large sequined cross on the back of it.  


I showed up at work and everyone was surprised at how well dressed I was. As if they’d never seen me before. I stopped by the door to my boss’s office and said good morning to him.  He asked me why I was so dressed up. I told him that I am the “Rock Star of the Railroad” and turned around. He laughed when he saw the back of the jacket.

Even though I am doing my best to be professional, I am still who I am.  I’m here to enjoy my job, enjoy my life, and enjoy the company of others.  I look good in whatever I choose to wear. I don’t dress for the job I want. Rather, I have made my job accept how I dress. I’m proud of my many looks. Every day is a new day.

There’s A Storm A Brewin’

We just had the most beautiful weather this past weekend. Even though the sun is still out, there’s something in the air tonight.  A wind storm.  Full-on fast scary winds. 

I love it.


It’s some of the most fun being out in the wind.  The smell of fresh flowers and trees in my neighborhood flow through the air.  As we ate dinner on our deck, you could hear the tree deck creaking as it swayed back and forth.

We’ve only ever lost a few large branches and an occasional birch tree in these storms.  Maybe a power failure or two, but never enough that I need to own a generator.  One day we may own one- I like my gadgets and toys working!

Tonight’s high winds are another reminder of how amazing nature is.  The fact that it can still be stunningly beautiful but fiercely dangerous.  At my work we had to warn the switchmen of the possibility of empty rail cars being blown down the tracks.  They can roll silently and you wouldn’t hear them behind you.  A rare occurrence, but entirely possible.

Side note: Storm is my favorite character from X-Men.  That’s how I’m ending today’s blog. I think teenage me would agree. She’s pretty sexy in black with stark white hair. Not to mention the lightning and ability to control the weather and fly!  She could save me any day.

But I digress.  Old man Joe isn’t in need of saving.  The only thing I save is my blog posts.  

Shit.  I ended with a “Dad Joke“.

My Daughter’s Adventure

Last night my 13 year old daughter had an adventure. Not a physical adventure.  But more of a mind blowing adventure.  We spoke of parallel universes and timelines.  I’ve always been good at open discussion on this subject.  Not my first time running around this course…


My daughter is far beyond herself in the philosophical department.  Oftentimes keeping herself awake at night as her brain focuses on the obscure.  She has asked that her and I sit down and talk.  I’ve had to ask for a delay in this, since I have to work and have a few prior arrangements.  Pretty sure this won’t be the end of our discussions even if I didn’t have to postpone.


But it leaves me with a dilemma.  Do I sugarcoat and dumb down my talks with her?  Or should I explain that no one knows the truth?  Maybe I can point her towards some of the more realistic ideals in life. Or am I going to hinder her mental progress? 

You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

I think that in the end I can only guide her towards what she seeks. I can explain what other people have thought about life, the universe and everything.  I can lend her books and ask her questions- but I can’t tell her what’s real.

I don’t know what’s real.

Cloverdale Rodeo

This past weekend was The Cloverdale Rodeo. I don’t like the Rodeo. There are many reasons for this. None of them are because of animal cruelty.  That’s a different debate, one I don’t wish to engage.


First, I don’t like crowds. But Josef- you always talk about Disneyland. Isn’t that crowded? Sure it is.  But I also plan my days based on the slower periods in the parks.  I know when to avoid the crowds. Ever notice how I’m enjoying a beer afterwards in the hotel? And don’t even try and get my to venture into Vancouver to see fireworks!


Second, I don’t like the heat. And this weekend was hot. Too damn hot for my liking to be stuck out in the sun without any shade. Plus I had the “pleasure” of working outdoors as it is.  My arms are sunburnt. Stupid pasty white boy.

Third, Country music isn’t my style. I can appreciate a well written song from time to time, but overall- it’s not my bag baby. I almost posted an Austin Powers meme… but wait! There’s More…


Fourth is Carnies. The Rodeo brings in West Coast Amusements for the event. I don’t like sketchy carnival rides, scary ass food or carnival barkers trying to get me to play “skill games” for prizes. Years ago, when I was 18 or 19, I went to the Cloverdale Rodeo.  We made friends with some of the carnival workers and we got lots of free rides and heard many stories of the sketchiest things that go on. (Did you know that the “Zipper” ride has a puker almost every other time? That’s why there’s a hose nearby. Then the ride spins to dry it off). They only hung out with us for the free weed and hopes to get with the ladies. But that never happened. Haha.

I also hate trying to drive around the streets near the Rodeo as well. People are bad drivers as it is.  When I’m behind the wheel- I think it’s my road, so get outta way! Ugh.  Anyways- going to work is far more pleasurable than wasting my time and money at the Rodeo.  

Plus horse poop stinks. Especially in the heat.

Deodorant or Antiperspirant

I usually put on antiperspirant fairly soon after my shower.  I shower every day. Or at least on every day that I plan on leaving my home. If I don’t plan on leaving my home or take a shower, I will put on deodorant…


But I don’t like it.  It’s a Speed Stick that I have owned for years.  I don’t like it for two reasons: One, I don’t overly like the scent. And reason B: it smells the way my father used to. 

That bothers me.  

Pretty sure this particular deodorant was a shitty Christmas stocking gift from my youth.  It somehow lived through many location moves and numerous ex girlfriends.


When I put it on, I think of my father. My father would smell of Rothman’s Cigarettes, stale beer and this deodorant. After a day of yardwork, this deodorant kicks in.  And the old man smell shows up. Sometimes bringing with it, my old man’s attitude.  A day of work makes me get angry at the littlest things.  The Speed Stick is like a pheromone that turns on my “Pissed off gene” and angry dad shows up.  I hate it. Yesterday was hard to contain those emotions, but I did.

Perhaps it’s time to turf the pit stick.

May Long Weekend 2017

This long weekend we are working on the yard.  By we, I mean the entire family. With no arguments or “disappearing” children. You know the ones, they sense that work is needed to be done and suddenly they need to rush to their bedrooms or the bathroom… but not today in our home. They all got nabbed without a fight. 

I fear something may be wrong with the universe.

Our oldest announced that she enjoys doing yard work. She proudly got out the push lawnmower and tackled about half an acre. The very back half of our yard has an influx of dandelions, so we need to remove those first. The best way to do that without spreading the seeds? FIRE!

The yard is coming together nicely for the summer months.  We have a beautiful and peaceful location that we enjoy sharing with friends and entertaining.  There’s only a few more things to finish up, like our vegetable garden & my train garden, that will complete our home.


After a hard day’s work we are all really proud of the results.  It’s time to enjoy the birds chirping and the scents of fresh cut grass as we end our day with a BBQ meal.


The sun has finally come out. Time to relax before the heat turns on for the summer. Feel free to drop by this season. Only stipulation is BYOB+1(for me!)

Mural

Today was an unveiling of a project that the grade 11/12 photography students created.  It was a rather large scale piece, and really suits the school and our community.  Being that my children attend the Langley Fine Arts School, it only makes sense that a project of this magnitude be unveiled with pomp and circumstance. 


The whole school was out to witness the unveiling.  The staff and parents were also awaiting the big reveal.  The mayor took the mic and shared some words of the history behind the idea of the mural.  The senior concert band then performed a piece written by one of the students as the cloth was lifted.


Seeing the mural in person is just amazing. It is pieced together with photos of all off the students and staff of the school. Read about the project here: LFAS Photo Mosaic. It is a large piece that really shows off the talents of the young people. Especially given such a great opportunity to express themselves in an Arts dedicated school environment.


This is the full mural.  Outstanding work.

Unfinished Works… Is That A Failure?

Well it finally happened.  I thought I had finished writing a blog post, when in actuality it ended abruptly.  And I shared it.


I could go back and finish it. (I swear it was done!)  Then re-share it.  But in its failure, I find truth.  I’m not always going to hit the mark.  Perhaps yesterday’s blog post, Totes Inappropes, really wasn’t meant to be finished.  I can learn from my experience of knowing that I screwed up. Now it’s out in the world.  Chances are you didn’t read it.  Chances are no one will read it. That’s what I keep telling myself in order to get past my little oopsie.


People who follow me, know that I’m back again day after day trying to write something of value.  Sharing tidbits about what goes on in my life and mind.  Nothing’s important, everything matters. Sure it does.  It matters to me.  I’m the one trying to get thoughts out.  That’s important to me. I have created a daily writing goal that I hope will manifest into something much more grandiose.  


I didn’t fail yesterday.  At least not in the fact that my blog post wasn’t done.  Perhaps I failed in the content and subconsciously I sabotaged myself. In the end, I probably won’t even go back to re-read it.  Every few months I journey back to my previous posts.  Some I enjoy how they flow or tell a story. Sometimes I enjoy the comedic undertones I somehow successfully snuck in.  Some blog posts I skim over and think about how I could improve it.  Maybe make a “Special Edition” of one of the more successful ones like what Lucas tried with Star Wars.

But in the end, I’m taking a shot at writing.  I haven’t discovered the best technique or idea to focus on. Should I focus on family? Maybe conventions? Perhaps my work? I don’t know where my best writing lies. But I will find that niche and exploit the shit out of it if it makes me money!… 

I meant- makes me happy.

Compliment and Complement

Define compliment & complement.

Compliment: a polite expression of praise or admiration.

Complement: a thing that completes or brings to perfection.

I like using both of these words.  Their use is pretty standard even if people mistakenly swap them.  In fact, I would use both of them to describe my wife’s connection with me.  

I learned not to tell my wife to smile more.


My wife is most definitely a compliment to me.  She is always there when I need to hear some flattery or admiration.  Her praise can bring me out of a funk quickly.  At times, just her smile or caress is the greatest compliment I could receive. She is my muse when it comes to writing as well.

And by definition- she is a complement to me in many ways.  She has improved my wellbeing over the years through her warmth and tenderness.  Whenever I think of my life, I know that she has to be a part of it.  We share many noteworthy moments together.  All of which would seem insignificant if it wasn’t for her around.  We have travelled together, laughed together, parented together, and just plain lounged around together. 


My wife is my companion on this journey of life.  She brings great harmony to my world.  Until my wife lets loose once in a while, most people think I’m the silly one and she’s the responsible one.  This will often surprise people. But not me.  She is a great woman who makes every day a joyous occasion.  

17 years ago. We still haven’t changed.


She is both a great complement and a compliment to me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Totes Inappropes

Sometimes you can’t do much more than laugh at the ridiculousness of life. The silliness of the human species and how we look is full of humor. I have a tendency to enjoy toilet humor, always have.

As a young boy, jokes about penises and bums were the best- as long as you didn’t get caught by an adult.  Adults that I knew in the late 70’s early 80’s didn’t want to admit to the humor found in it.  So, we as kids wrote melodies and had goofy songs that we shared amongst ourselves.


When I became a teen, I discovered the joy of “Monty Python“. Some of the greatest humor from a couple decades prior now entered my life.  And it was wonderful.  Sex jokes, war jokes, political humor and just plain old stupidity filled my TV set. It was a glorious time in the early 90’s. Of course shows like “Married With Children” were now a bit more risqué and fun.


Jump ahead a few years… the Internet happened.  Sex jokes, dirty humor, and cat videos filled the digital airwaves.  The only problem was it went overboard.  Offensively overboard. This caused a huge shift in attitude. Now instead of just a couple laughs or a snicker- everything is causing “micro-offenses”.

Precious Time

Today is my son’s 11th Birthday. And as usual, we have a jam packed full day. But we will make sure he knows how loved he is.

He had a full day of school and will be home only briefly.  My daughters have to perform at a concert tonight. My wife will be watching them. I have to work the nightshift. During that time, my son will be take  out for a dinner by his grandparents. So during the short time I get to see my son this afternoon- we will have some cake and give him some gifts.


We knew in advance that today would be hectic.  My son had his birthday party on May the 4th- Star Wars Day.  He had a great time with his friends.  As the years go on, the schedules are getting more full.  But what time we do have together as a family, we always make the most of it. That makes me happy.

So have a Happy Birthday Theory!  Another year of enjoying life is behind you, and many more are yet to come!

Balls.

In an effort to control my swearing, I have picked up the habit of saying “Balls” more often. The word just flows nicely off the tongue. Balls.

A few years ago I watched “Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog” and had adapted saying “Balls” under my breath as I walk away from a situation. It’s a good stress reliever.


After four seasons of “The Goldbergs” hearing Adam say Balls has become more fun than I could have imagined.  (Plus the show has some great 80’s references.) It’s a childish catchphrase but a perfect way to express frustration.

Using terms like Balls or Mr. Poopybutthole are better than swearing.  They are silly phrases that even my children can say and I wouldn’t get upset. Trying to promote better language and behavior starts with me. I am very conscious at work about what I say already. Speaking of which, time to head out for my nightshift.

Balls.

My Wife and Our Children

As my children grow older, I tend to leave them to figure things out on their own.  Sometimes giving them guidance with nothing but a few words. Like the other day for example. I simply asked what they are planning for Mother’s Day.

The three of them are too old to be doing crafts at school.  And I’m at a point where it’s not my place to decide what they should do for their mother either.  I checked with them again yesterday to see how things were going and they had their plans in motion. So this morning, my wife was treated to breakfast in bed and handmade cards.

The breakfast was a cheese and tomato omelette created by our oldest daughter.  As a dessert, the two youngest made a milkshake and brought it to their mom. But the cards were the best.  One of the kids found an old picture of their mother from when she was in grade six and put it in the card.  Another practiced her calligraphy skills and wrote a simple, but elegant card. The third pasted pictures of all three kids and some old pompoms from our wedding day on her card.  

All of it was sentimental and very lovely.  Our children don’t need as much coaxing as they once did.  They all showed how much they care in their own ways. My wife started her day off wonderfully thanks to her three kids.

I Work Hard For The Money


Today I agreed to come in to work to help out.  It didn’t bother me in the least.  Even though it should have been my day off, I know that I get other days or time off in return.  But I get to quote one of my favorite films all day. “I’m not even supposed to be here today.”


Besides going to work for a few hours, my Saturday is generally relaxing.  Tonight is no different. I was able to plan with my wife a quiet dinner for the family.  Some BBQ and hanging out in our yard by our new gas fire pit. It may not be the warmest Spring evening, but it is peaceful. No lawnmowers or neighborhood children screaming.  Our dog is by my side as the kids finish clearing our table.


Now to enjoy a glass of wine from a bottle we picked up a few months ago while on a tour with some friends.  The smells of fresh vegetation and a few chirping newborn birds add to the ambience.  


Side note: Before I left for work, a baby bird had fallen from its nest and landed on my car. The mother was dive bombing me as I tried my best to gently coerce the little dude off my car.  I had my daughter help me back out of the carport so I wouldn’t injure either animal.

So my day was eventful and uneventful at the same time.  Just another day.

Before The Interwebs…

A little over twenty years ago, the Internet did not exist the way it does now.  It was a set of BBS dial ups that would disconnect if you had call alert. So the best times to go online was after midnight and before six am.  I had many a late night sharing useless info and code.  But that’s not my point today.


Nowadays we have YouTube and Facebook to share stupid videos and the strangest things that people do. But years ago, Friday night was spent gathered around my television watching a show titled “Weird TV”.  A collection of psychedelic imagery and the strange people of America.  Something that was hidden from view only to show up on late Friday night.  As I said, nowadays everything is shared instantly.  When I first began watching Weird TV, people attending The Burning Man festival were merely a few thousand. That was a good place for the strange and unusual to converge. Now it’s more like a frat party.


The other show I would watch with friends was Mystery Science Theater 3000. Which by the way, I swear was originally called Mystery Science Theater 2000- but I seem to be wrong.  I even owned a t-shirt with Crow on it. He’s my favorite of the robots.  When I worked at the movie theater, we would do private advanced screenings of films. Some friends and I would sit in the very back row and MST3K the films.  We had a blast, and most of the staff also enjoyed our humorous banter.  Recently, Netflix started up a re-boot of MST3K with Felicia Day and Patton Oswalt.  My two favorite celebrity nerds, only one of whom I’ve met and she beat me… at Munchkin.

Here we are on a Friday night, nearly a quarter century later: My plans include watching some Netflix with my wife and children. Probably going to finish another episode of MST3K. I don’t know where the time has gone, but I’m glad I still spend it with people I like.

Living Like Walt

Recently a friend shared a video about Disneyland and Walt’s fascination with trains. Check it out here: Lost Disneyland. Beside the fact that I work at a railroad, my life is a reflection of Walt’s on a not-so-grand scale.


I love films and their abilty to take us away on a visual journey from our seats. Disney always made remarkable movies.  My childhood contained many memories of “The Wonderful World of Disney”, VHS rentals, and movie theater matinees. This continued until my mid-twenties.  It was a time that I began working at Colossus and had a friend working in a video store.  Movies were an integral part for the start of my adulthood or at least my early twenties. Movies are a way that I continue to bond with my children.  With Disney taking on Marvel and Star Wars- I imagine many more years of family time to come.


It all started with a mouse.” My real career also began with a mouse.  While working at the movie theater, I fell into a position as a manager at Chuck E. Cheese’s.  Where I remained for almost five years. During that time, my coworker got a job as a switchman at CN Rail.  I followed him shortly thereafter. My family has benefited from all of the paths I have chosen.  


In a sense our home is like Disneyland.  There are ongoing changes and future visions to improve how we live. There is also a bit of fantasy spread throughout. From our own theater room to a forest with woodland critters-including a small railroad in our garden.  Our home is also always open for friends to come by and just relax. 


Walt was an inspiration.  He had dreams. Dreams that continue on years after his passing. I hope for my dreams to be passed on to my family and friends. 

Gumped


Today I felt like my brain wasn’t all there. I had finished a night shift, took a three hour nap and went to a work meeting at noon.  During the meeting I had to do my best to keep my brain from blurting out anything stupid. It was an internal battle to keep focused- which I won during those two hours. Barely.

I drove from my meeting to get my children from school.  We listened to music on the way home and my brain began to function in its bizarro way when you have little to no sleep.  It first began with me being so impressed that I could make the word “Art” sound like a seal as I clapped my hands.  Soon after I began speaking in song lyrics.  My favorite part wasn’t the idiocy in which I sounded with my family, it was the fact that my children figured out the songs and said the next line.  

Just like every night has its dawn. I sailed away to China, in a little rowboat to find ya…

Voting

Today is a Provincial Election vote in British Columbia. And as usual the voting goes like this:

Party number one is in power and wants to stay. They have the most ads in place stating all of the wonderful things they’ve done while in power. They are also able to point out the worst case scenarios if party number two gets in.

Party number two is a strong opposition and wants in. They are quite good at showing all the bad that party number one has done while in power. They also promise a lot to the people with hopes it will capture more votes.

Party number three has the values that most people agree with, but has never been in office, so most people are unsure if it would be wise to stray from one of the two main parties and vote them in.


Voting is a right that we are lucky to have in our country. Sharing your opinion through social media is also our right. A recent share on social media pointed out in a not so subtle manner that because people voted for party number three, those votes could have gone to party number two and defeated party number one.  This bothers me.

It bothers me because part of the logic is correct.  If all of those votes went to party two, yes party one would be out. But why scare those who support party three? I struggle with this as well because my heart tells me to vote one way, but my brain tells me to vote another. And my voting history tells me whoever I vote for never wins.

So, do I vote for a party whose values I agree with?

Or do I vote for a party in order to give them more votes and hope they defeat the one in power?

Or do I vote for the one in power and hope that my bad luck robs them of their place in power?

I probably won’t know until I mark my ballot.

Or I could be a non-voter.

Hair

My wife thinks my eyebrow hairs are too long. She even tried to pluck them out just to irritate me. I don’t notice their length, in fact- I like my blonde eyebrows. Sometimes they have a life of their own. See:


My wife also enjoys making fun of my receding hairline. My thinning hair seems to be her “go-to” insult.  She enjoys pointing it out whenever we do a selfie together.


The little teasing she does really doesn’t bother me. Growing older means dealing with hair issues as it is. One of my favorite Christmas gifts a few years ago was an ear & nose hair trimmer. I know I’m strange. I don’t overly like rogue body hairs. I also shave the few hairs I ever grow on my chest. I like to keep the rest of my body well groomed as well.  Shaving my face is done every couple of days.  But my leg and arm hairs are fairly thin and don’t bother me.

That’s today’s lesson on Joe’s Body Hairs.