My Spoon Is Too Big

Some of the most fun in life is to quote things that people don't get. Sometimes a reference is funny and just sounds amusing when said. "My spoon is too big." is one of those phrases. Goes hand-in-hand with "I am a banana."

Or chanting the word "Dick" over and over then shouting "BALLS!" It's from a funny video that I enjoyed laughing at a few years ago.

Or quoting an old Jim Carey film. Some people born pre-1995 get the jokes. While youngins say these things not knowing where the quote is from. Usually they think it's from some YouTube personality.

I know I've said things that I thought were from one comedian, but it was actually from something completely different. "They're all gonna laugh at you!"

This brings me to my last point- I've enjoyed listening to some old comedy albums of the 90's again. Adam Sandler, Dennis Leary, The Jerky Boys… all great at their peak, and some still have a few good jokes or songs that really hit the mark.

Not all of it is funny anymore. Maybe it never was. Maybe my sense of humor is changing. Perhaps I'm getting older. Perhaps I care about clever humor once again.

And poop jokes. Those are funny.

How To Throw A Good BBQ

Last night we went to a "Backyard Bash". There was a $15/person fee to enter and enjoy. And enjoy we did.

The main food attraction was a spit roasted pig! It smelled and tasted heavenly.

There was a live band echoing some fun and amazing cover tunes.

We played badminton (for fun this time, not like I mentioned in Bad Min Ton). My daughter and I then had a water fight and a few more people joined in.

There was a face painter and a guy who made balloon animals. My daughter learned how to make balloon dogs and is now contemplating a career in it…

Food and drinks and friends and family and music and fun. A perfect Saturday BBQ party. All proceeds going to Stepping Stone Community Services Society.

All-in-all it was a successful mid-summer BBQ.

No Tobacco

I used to smoke. Years ago. I regret it immensely. No one to blame but myself for starting. I must've been 17 at the time. Thinking it was cool. But it wasn't.

Cigarettes were a part of my life growing up. My father, his friends, the neighbors, my aunts and uncles- almost all of them smokers. Ashtrays and stale smoke filled my home as I grew up. I'm not blaming or accusing anyone for me starting but it didn't deter me from it either. In fact, back in my childhood I remember my father having a set of pipes and a large jar of tobacco on display. Occasionally I would open the jar just to smell the tobacco.

I only know of one photo of me smoking since having children of my own. It was a Halloween party in 2002. As mentioned last year in Healthier Choice, I had made a conscious effort since meeting my wife in 2000 to not get photographed with a cigarette in my mouth or hand. We also had a no smoking indoors rule that we adhered to. It made smoking that much more difficult to enjoy- Although that really isn't the correct word, enjoying cigarettes never really happens. I believe it was somewhere on October 31st or November 1st 2004 that I smoked my last cigarette.

All I remember about it was that I felt like my lungs were collapsing and I wasn't getting any oxygen in. It was right after another Halloween party at our place. I quit cold turkey that day. My wife had already quit because of being pregnant ages before. She had already been closer to never smoking again than I was. But me quitting helped to never have it again in our home.

I keep one of my father's old pipes in a small box with his wedding ring and a ruby ring that he used to wear. In all the years growing up, I only ever saw my father smoke a pipe maybe twice. And that was when I was about 4 or 5 years old. But my memory of him smoking was a part of who he was. The smell of cigarettes stayed in his beard and was a permanent fixture of who he was.

I now have to use an inhaler daily and also a steroid inhaler to give strength to my lungs in order to breathe somewhat normally. I hate it. I know that the dozen or so years of smoking increased the necessity of an inhaler but I probably would've needed one regardless at some point. Growing up in a home of secondhand smoke didn't help with my health.

Waking up today struggling to breathe is what prompted me to write this. I don't like talking about the negative parts of my life. But certain things I do not want to repeat. Smoking is one of them. And I really hope my children don't smoke ever.

Life is on Repeat…

Funny how life hits you in the strangest of ways. So far this summer I have cancelled plans at the last minute for no better reason than, "Just Because". It kind of bothers me. A couple days ago it was going for a hike to Inch Creek. Last night was the Drive-In movie. A few weeks ago it was cancelling going to the swimming hole up the road.

So today I chose to make a splash… I mean- make it up to the family. We went to the swimming hole for an hour or so to cool down. We got back home and I was about to sit down and write about it, when I remembered that I had done that before. Cooling Off was written one year ago.

So it's odd that life is on repeat. Because two years prior we did the same thing. Every year we went once. As much as it was a nice treat, chances are we won't be going there again this summer.

Now it's time for another evening on the lake as the kids do dryland training for speed skating.

So far the summer is on repeat: Work, nap, lake, beers… not that I'm complaining. I need to get the kids to the Drive-In movies this summer before it's too late. I also need to get some camping and get a few hikes in.

Life could be a lot tougher. But life is pretty freaking swell, even if it is on repeat.

Bad Min Ton

My wife is very competitive at everything she plays. From video games to table top games- she has a mean streak. I hate playing Dr. Luigi against her. Badminton is no different.

When we first moved into this home we set up a badminton court in our backyard during the summer. It has moved locations a couple times, and we even set up temporary flood lights to play into the evening hours. Whenever we had friends over, my wife would try and make it sound like they were going to have a friendly match. Little did they know that she was ruthless. That's probably part of the reason we don't entertain as much as we once did.

A few years ago, we tore out our old deck. I moved it directly onto where our court should have been. We did not play badminton for about three years. Life was wonderful. Until this year. My wife convinced me and some of my friends to move the deck and use it as a Parkour wall to get onto the tree deck. She took advantage of my newfound enjoyment of Parkour and soon after the deck was moved, the badminton net was erected.

My joyful summers have come to an end. My wife has begun playing two to three times a day against our children. I only play her to spare their lives. I am afraid that if we invite anyone over for a BBQ, they will be subjected to a clear and utter badminton dominance from my wife. Ridicule 100% guaranteed as well.

You have been forewarned. Be careful of my wife. She is as vindictive as The Eradicator from "Kids in the Hall". Let the carnage begin!

Seriously Not Serious

Those who know me, know me well. I have a difficult time behaving stern and serious. I'm not saying that I don't take certain situations seriously, I'm just saying that life should be enjoyable.

I think my sense of humor has passed on to my children a bit as well (like I mentioned the other day in my post: Tuck Your Balls In.) But my enjoyment of life also passes on to my friends and coworkers as well. I find sharing anecdotes and laughing makes everything better. Like Monty Python once sang:

I used to enjoy Monty Python. I think I need to dig out my old Python CDs and DVDs to enjoy some of their classic bits. British humor is always clever. So easy to poke fun at life, or death, if you can't take it seriously.

Now I'm off to text a dick joke to a friend to brighten his day. Hopefully he doesn't get all choked up by it.


I am tremendously upset this morning, besides not having the most stellar night at work. I came home and made myself a pot of coffee and some toast. Mind you, in our home we prepare the coffee the night before and have it on a timer to start in the morning. So if I get home before the timer has started the coffee, I just turn it on. No big deal.

But for the second time within a week, after I pour my cup of coffee, I find a small dead moth floating in it. You have got to be f**king kidding me. Twice. In a week. What the hell. I'd like to think it's because we make strong coffee, but that's a lie. I don't know if the moth was in the cup before I poured the coffee. Or if it was in the coffee pot drowning in the hot liquid. Or in the sugar and again, died in the coffee after being submerged.

I am very upset by this. But not so upset that I would pour out my coffee. So I'm going to share a couple of my monster movie experiences.

When I was a little boy of about age 2 or 3, I saw my first Godzilla movie. It was on a tiny little black and white tv in an apartment building (or hotel?) that my parents were in for a brief while. My mother was busy doing laundry and ironing clothes while I sat on a vinyl foot stool with my face nearly pressed up against the screen. I remember vividly the steamy smell of the ironing as I watched what seemed to be a marathon of Godzilla films. I remember Mothra and Mechagodzilla battling it out with the king of the lizards.

It was a surreal moment being a few floors up in a high rise with the curtains open and the tv showing monsters trashing the city. To me, this was the best thing ever. A little boy whose imagination hoped to see a monster outside during the commercial breaks. Over the next few years, I remember playing in the bathtub and pretending to be a monster splashing around battling other monsters.

The years passed, and I outgrew the bathtime silliness. I had all but forgotten about the monster movie series. The next time I saw a Godzilla film was "Godzilla 1985" at a friend's birthday party. Then I became obsessed all over again with cheesy Asian films. In the summer of 2000, I took my wife to see Godzilla 2000 in the theater. It was a Saturday matinee and we ended up being the only two people in the auditorium.

So thank you little moth for dying in my coffee. I am now going to find some classic Godzilla films to watch with my kids. They need to understand the beauty of a man in a rubber suit trashing a city.

Pudding Cups

For work I usually pack a lunch.  Mostly due to the fact that I like to save money.  But also because I don’t want to be eating McDonald’s at 3am four days a week.  

My lunches are usually pretty straightforward. My main meal is either a serving of leftovers or a sandwich. I try and have a piece of fruit and homemade cookies or banana bread.  I also take snacks that I steal from my children throughout the school year- such as granola bars. But the one thing that is a constant in my lunch is pudding.

Here’s the thing.  I don’t really like pudding. I have gone for weeks with the same pudding cup packed in my lunch.  I’m not saying I hate pudding- I just don’t tend to eat it.  I usually pack a good sized lunch that I can graze through during my shift. It’s almost as if pudding is the last option and I’m still starving after eating the rest of my lunch.  

Vanilla and butterscotch are my two most liked flavors.  They are simple and easy to enjoy.  Pretty hard for a company to screw up either of those flavors.  Honestly, even the flouride provided by my dentist has these flavors, not to mention it’s virtually the same texture as pudding.

I’ll eat chocolate or the occasional extreme flavor (like lemon meringue) pudding if it’s all that we have.  But I refuse, refuse, to eat tapioca.  It looks and smells gross, like the innards of a caterpillar that’s been squished and it’s guts came out of one end only. The texture of tapioca pudding reminds me of the after effects of waking up from suffering a head cold: The chunky boogers are mixing with the runny snot and you have no choice but to swallow it otherwise you wouldn’t be able to breath.

So ya, pudding cups stay in my lunch for quite a while. I’d rather take some yogurt.  I hear that shit’s good for you.

Tuck Your Balls In

My son is eleven.  Jokes about penises and farts are rampant.  Of course, me being immature, can’t help but laugh.

No idea what this means to my son, but he thinks it’s the funniest thing ever.

I know that I should probably be telling him not to say those things or act that way.  But that’s not really what the world is about.  The real world is full of NSFW memes and quick witted jokes. So instead, I’m trying to teach him when it’s appropriate to say or act a certain way in polite society.  This is proving to be more of a challenge.

He is also trying to work in sarcasm on a regular basis.  It’s too bad that 80% of the time he just sounds like he’s being an asshole. Usually it’s directed towards his sisters, but once in a while he tries it out on my wife and I.  It’s hard to not want to punish him… he hears my wife and I joke with each other frequently.  He just needs to finesse his delivery and timing. There’s so much left to teach him still.

Hopefully by the time he makes it to high school, I’ll have helped him develop his personality.  And hopefully that personality is respectful with just a hint of douchieness- like his old man.

Best Day of the Summer

Here we are about a third of the way through summer.  So far, so good.  We’ve enjoyed most of our freedom, with only a couple little bumps along the way.  Bumps being: not having a perfect and fun experience all the time (Yesterday’s Grumpy Bums is a good example). For the most part it’s been a great beginning.

And today is the day of all days for our summer.  Or most peoples that we associate with’s summer.  SDCC Exclusive Movie Trailer Day!  *MUPPET FLAIL*


I’m Ready to enter the Oasis.

First one was a trailer for a film that I am super excited to see. I read the book ages ago, and it still hits me in the nostalgia feels as I reminisce about it. Ready Player One has tons of Easter eggs fitting into the 80s motif.


This Halloween: Season 2 of Stranger Things

My family is super excited about Stranger Things Season 2. Again, this one has mid 1980’s written all over it.  I’ve put $50 in quarters into Dragon’s Lair over my days…

Finally for my excitement was the newest Thor: Ragnarok trailer.  The MCU always pleases our family.  This one looks no less fun.

There are plenty of more trailers that have also come out, but these three top my list.  San Diego Comicon is the only Con that I have on my bucket list that I need to attend.  One day I’ll be in Hall H.  One day….


Grumpy Bums

Our two youngest children are attending some free summer school programs this month.  Essentially it’s a summer camp Monday-Friday as they learn about science and tech.  It’s as if the school board took all the fun stuff from elementary school and put it together for three weeks of fun. Our children are really enjoying it. That’s about the nicest thing that I can say about today.

This morning, I told my wife at the last minute that we were going to take our oldest daughter and the dog when we went to pick up the two youngest.  I said that I wanted to go for a picnic and we could pick up some KFC and find a park or some place.  That’s when the grumpiness kicked in.  

Our oldest daughter didn’t want to go.  She had slept in until 11am and barely wanted to get dressed.  My wife didn’t want to go without a better plan in motion.  She was also upset that we were behind schedule in leaving to get the children.  It’s not that we would be late to pick them up, just late to find good parking.  It didn’t help that on our way we got stopped by a train for an extra few minutes…

After we picked up the kids, we went to pick up KFC.  I thought it would be a nice treat: some greasy overpriced chicken.  It’s something we rarely eat, to a point that our 11 year old son says he’s never had it. We took our bucket of 12 pieces and a box of fries and hit the freeway.  Seriously.  There is no nice way of advertising a “Bucket of Chicken”. 

We got off the freeway a few minutes later to go to a small place called Barnston Island.  As we headed towards the tiny ferry, we got stopped by another train.  Sometimes my work follows me everywhere. The touching, pushing and nagging was in full force in the back seat. We made it to the ferry (aka tugboat and small barge) and crossed over to the little island in the middle of the Fraser River.  I drove us around to the other side, pulled over and we all got out and headed towards the edge where the water was.

No one wanted to carry anything.  Not the food, not the drinks, the blanket, not even the leash for the dog.  So my wife barked some orders out, and the grumpy noises occurred and they all took something.  We headed towards the rocks and found a little spot to eat lunch. 

Even though the weather was a bit grey, we sat and ate.  The meal was peaceful.  No fighting.  Except when my wife tried to use her new selfie stick to get a family shot.  No one was cooperating.  Even the dog was unimpressed. Shortly after eating, a few raindrops happened, so we packed up and got back into the Pathfinder.  It was a brief lunch. The bickering and touching occurred in the back seat once more where it had left off.

What I was hoping to be a nice surprise picnic lunch was less than stellar.  Last minute planning isn’t our thing as a family it seems.  I better plan the next “spontaneous event” at least two months in advance.

Take the Time…

My children love getting my attention.  On the weeks that I work four night shifts, they don’t really see me until my first day off.  So on that day, they all clamor for my attention.  As much as I want some time to myself to unwind a bit, I know that I should spend the time with them.  So I did.  

This afternoon, my son approached me and wanted to assemble a wooden toy he had bought at the Calgary Expo back in April.  I really wanted to say no, but knew that it would be better to work with him on it at a time that worked for him.  He was attentive and very focused as he put it together.  I held the pieces and cleared the excess glue as we went.  He was very happy with the final result and is wanting to put it on display in his room.  

As my son and I were working together, my daughter sat to watch and asked if we could build one of her models next.  As reluctant as I wanted to be, I still said yes.  So we built a cute little anime style panda together.  All I had to do was take the pieces off the plastic tray and she assembled the entire thing.  When we finished, she ran off and took a bunch of photos of her Panda and her other matching bear in pretend battles.

Both projects took less than 15 minutes each.  My children were so happy to have me there to help, even though we all knew that they really didn’t need me for the projects.  It was a nice way to say “I love you” and spend time together. Putting my children first when it comes to these moments are important to me and to them. 

As tired as I might be, or as annoyed as I might feel, putting those feelings aside for thirty minutes made all the difference in the world this afternoon.  Everyone was happy at dinner, we all sang and joked as well.  Pretty sure it was all because of the little things in life that we do for each other.

Now I am off to have quality time with my wife as we drive out to visit some friends.  My days off aren’t really days off.  😊

What’s My Age Again?

I went for breakfast with a coworker this morning.  We are fairly similar in age and are of the same mindset in many ways.  Talking with him we discussed work, people, children, movies, and the 80’s.  He has a similar outlook on life as I did. Where as I saw television as a “third parent”, he called it “the church of tv”.  TV was where we learned our moral compass and how to be decent people in this world.

I often forget how old I am. All it takes is a breakfast with a friend for the realization to creep up on me. We laughed about bad movies and the stupid people we know.  But what gets me is how right he was about our ages.  For some reason we grew up in the vortex of being able to relate to nearly everyone.  We saw the rise of cable tv, video games, portable communication devices, the internet… We are also witnesses to the decline of some of those things as well. And then the rise of nostalgia for it all.

I don’t need to share those lists that float around on Facebook about “growing up in the 80’s” or “being a kid in the 90’s” for me to understand that I did both.  I even survived the 00’s and the tail end of the 1970’s.  I can relate to nearly everyone I meet on some level.  Except for people in their 60’s-70’s.

That is the age group of people who would fit in to my parents’ category.  They are set in their ways.  They feel like they’ve done their share in the world and that they are owed something.  It’s the age of retirement. The idea of “I put in my time, now the world owes me.”  It’s as if that age reverts back to being a two year old that doesn’t need to give a shit about anything but themselves. Which is completely understandable.  When I hit retirement age, I’m pretty sure I won’t want to answer to anyone either.

I don’t ever act my age.  Sometimes I’m immature.  Sometimes I’m extremely serious. It all depends on the situation.  I don’t have a set age to behave like.  So I just enjoy life and being me.  Now get off my lawn!

Diamonds Are A Boys Best Friend…

When I was around 16 or 17 I got my ear pierced. That was nearly 25 years ago.  I was at the mall with a female friend who wanted only one piercing, but the cost of getting two was the same price. So I went for it.  About a year later I did the same thing with a different female friend.  I now had two piercings in one ear lobe.  For many years I wore small loops in them.  I liked having a pierced ear with two holes.  It meant I could buy a pair of earrings and use them both.

At age 19 I got my tongue pierced. I had it for almost two years, then took it out. I realized that I missed the piercing, so at age 24, I had my tongue re-pierced. That hurt badly.  When it was redone, they pushed the needle back through the scar tissue on my tongue. The swelling was incredible.  My mouth was full of blood. I vowed to never go through that again. Since then, I rarely take out that piercing.  I’ll be a grandpa with it in.  I still use the original stud and have never replaced it.

About 15 years ago, my wife bought me a pair of diamond earrings as a gift. Originally, I only wore them on date nights with her.  But after a few years I decided that I prefer them over the simple hoop style I once had.  I really like my diamond earrings.  They have come to define who I am. 

For years my father hated that I had pierced my ear.  When he found out I had done my tongue, he told me I’d never get a real job.  Eventually, he was wrong.  I did have a hard time finding a job, but that was from lack of education and experience.  I am impressed nowadays that society has accepted piercings and tattoos as normal in the workforce.  It makes it easier to be oneself without always conforming to someone else’s expectations. It was one of the many reasons I hated working at Chuck E Cheese’s as a manager.  I had to enforce a dress code on teens that I couldn’t agree with. Especially since I never took out my tongue ring.  Many of my staff didn’t even know I had it.

I don’t tend to accessorize lavishly.  So the diamond earrings are a one off.  I don’t even own a watch worth more than $20. But, if I find a diamond tongue stud, I may have to buy it.  Just because.

Josef Andrew Havelka Version 1.0

The body of Josef Andrew Havelka V1.0 has been through quite a bit over the years since coming off the assembly line.  Right from the beginning, there were issues with the air intake.  Had this been the dark ages, this model would’ve been destroyed early on. But after a minor repair at age 2, everything seemed to be going ok.

Until the ear infections kicked in resulting in tubes getting installed in the drum assembly to help drain excess fluid.  Then came the allergies and asthma that have lasted most of the lifetime of this 1976 Model Josef.  

A few years ago, there was a procedure implemented in order to prevent spreading of this version into the world.  Three byproducts seemed to be the limit achieved. A slight swelling and uncomfortableness occurred briefly…

Then, some diagnostic tests were performed to see if the possibility of Marfan Syndrome was possible.  As this body has shown many signs of it, the doctors ruled it out at this moment, but have requested a check up every five years.

Recently, there has been a new issue arising. A difficulty when swallowing.  Right above my stomach, it feels like choking. Now I wait for an appointment to have a scope pushed down my throat to check out the esophagus.

There’s still a few more years and miles left on this version of me.  A few nicks and scratches on the outer shell, some loss of hair as well adds to the charm. Growing older and deterioration of the body is to be expected.  Good thing I don’t plan on staying in Josef Andrew Havelka V1.0 once the time comes.

The biggest challenge in life is to avoid death.  Unfortunately there hasn’t been any winners yet in the Live Forever category.  I hope to be the first.  The game is on!

Is The Grass Greener?

We love to travel.  We love to visit friends. We love relaxing. We love our home.?.

It’s always difficult to return home after experiencing a bit of luxury. For example, earlier this week we spent some time Lakeside at our children’s coaches’ home.  It was a home that her grandparents had bought, now they live there with her parents and children.  It’s a lovely piece of land that I understand completely why they would keep it in the family.  If I could move our house onto that land, it’d be complete luxury.

Then there’s my sister’s home which I briefly mentioned this spring in my quick adventure about Traveling Vancouver Island. She lives right on the water’s edge in Powell River.  My family and I are planning a visit to see her and her family this August. It is a lovely place with spectacular views. She is very lucky to have all of that.

As jealous as I am of anyone with waterfront property, I have to remind myself that people are sometimes envious of our property as well. We are just far enough away from the suburbs and city that we can still do our shopping and I can go to work.  The land we have is surrounded by trees giving us nothing but privacy.  I love living in the countryside. Even though I am constantly doing Home repairs, I don’t know when or if there would be a right time to sell this place and move.

We aren’t rich and we aren’t poor.  We are what they say as House Rich/cash poor. We live in a home that has some fantastic features.  But it also has some tremendous flaws.  The key word is “home“. This is our home.  At the end of the day, I love where we live.  I don’t think I could ever give it up.

As You Wish…

Today is our daughter’s 15th birthday.  My wife and I offered for her to do whatever she wanted.  She could have a party, go out with friends, go shopping, pretty much whatever a 15 year old girl would want to do. 

Here is what she chose:

  1. Bake and ice her own cake.
  2. Watch Netflix.
  3. Play badminton.
  4. Go for sushi.

It’s really convenient that she is a low maintenance child.  She enjoys a calm & relaxed lifestyle.  She’s content to read a book or paint a picture.  She’s not as outgoing as I am, so I need to remember and respect that. Today is her birthday. She could’ve done whatever she wanted.  She chose to be around the house and spend time with us as a family. Her wish to do nothing out of the ordinary was granted.

As you wish.

Happy Birthday Random.  

Work Friends

My work friends are pretty cool.  We all have a job to do and we each play a different role to achieve a common goal. We are in the business of servicing customers and moving trains. Everyone knows that, and we all work hard at it.

Here’s my brief history: 

I started at the job being a conductor/switchman.  I loved it.  Even during the rainy season, night shifts, scorching hot summer days and frigid cold winter months. The fact that I could work outside was a great change from my previous jobs. I grew and learned and showed respect to all of my coworkers.  Within three months of hiring on, I was a qualified switchman.  

Three months after that, I applied to take on another role. A role that I shouldn’t have been able to take on since the requirements from the company were that I must have two years experience switching on the ground. But since I was a go-getter and fairly quick at learning, I passed the testing and interview process and started my training as “Traffic Coordinator” aka Yardmaster. I barely knew the yard layout, but with my confidence and no fear ability to ask for help when needed, I became one of the best and most respected Yardmasters in the terminal. 

I had been a Yardmaster and switchman for the majority of my career in the railroad.  As I mentioned back in December: Changing It Up, I took on yet another role at my work. I went from a Union position to a management role as an “Assistant Trainmaster”. Now instead of directing crews as a Yardmaster- I now needed to look at a grander picture by focusing on train building, inbound/outbound workload, and the trains much further out from just our terminal. Because I never changed my personality and had years of experience in the railroad, the change was seemless.  The switchmen, engineers and Yardmasters appreciated the fact that I was knowledgeable. 

Much like when I started as a conductor, I wasn’t satisfied with just being an Assistant Trainmaster. Over the past few months, I pushed my learning and expanded my abilities.  I found out what I needed to learn to get to the next level and pursued it.  I went out and accomplished it by asking my coworkers questions, putting myself out there and taking on the challenge.  

A little gift from my children.

With the help of Trainmasters, Assistant Superintendents and people in other departments, I learned as much as I could.  My goal was accomplished in seven months.  Again, this is a goal that would take most around two years to achieve. I am now a Trainmaster, not an Assistant Trainmaster any more.

No one will look at my career path and just hand me a promotion. I knew I could accomplish my goal, and so the pressure was on.  No pressure from the upper management, it was a pressure I put on myself.  By asking questions and demanding more of myself, I hit my goal. I appreciate everything that everyone has done for me.

A big thank you to everybody who helped me along the way.  I appreciate it all.

Nacho Break

This afternoon was the perfect day to share a plate of nachos with my family.  My children had never shared a plate of nachos before, so that’s exactly what we did. We went to the one place I remember always getting a large plate of nachos to share with friends- Boston Pizza.

We shared a plate of over priced and small portioned nachos from Boston Pizza.  Needless to say it was disappointing.  This has secured the fact that we will not be returning to any of the Boston Pizza franchises for food.  It also means that my children as they grow up, won’t want to go to Boston Pizza with their friends. One person tells five and they tell five, etc… 

With the fact that the food was over priced and not in large portions hurt my feelings.  It pissed me off because my wife and I remember mounds of toppings that even four grown adults would have trouble finishing them. In order to not be discouraged from nacho share-ablility, I am making it my goal for the rest of the year to find a perfect plate of nachos.  

It needs to pass three simple factors:

  1. Large portions
  2. Price
  3. Taste

None of the nachos are to be “specialty” nachos. Simple toppings of cheese, ground beef, peppers, onions, and tomatos.  Side of salsa and sour cream. No cheap nachos and watery cheese either.

Please comment on some of the great nacho places that you have enjoyed. I don’t want to lose faith in nachos.

Mid Week Peace by the Lake

Our two youngest are planning on doing speed skating starting in the fall.  So during the summer, they need to keep up with exercising.  The coaches have been kind enough to open up their home this summer.   It’s only 45 minutes from our home. The nicest part is that it’s right on a lake.  

So while the kids are running laps, we get to chill out by the water.  It’s a lovely little location.  I’m really happy to have a few minutes to relax and write my blog this evening.

The outside property is very charming in a hodgepodge way. The family has set up plenty of little sitting areas all around. 

Perfect for enjoying the sunset as the evening comes to a close. Especially knowing that the kids will have worked to exhaustion by the end, and the car ride will be peaceful.

Pants-Free Comfort at Home

I came home tonight after work and did a very “Dad” thing.  I took off my pants and just hung out in my underpants and dress shirt. It’s a liberating sensation to just drop the trousers and let your legs air out.

Usually I put some on lounge pants or shorts, but today I didn’t.  No reason really. I just didn’t want to.  Maybe I’m a bit lazy. Maybe I wanted some more freedom in my own home.

Butt, I’m happy not putting on pants this evening.  Sure, my wife and kids are embarrassed- only more for themselves, not me.  I’m not embarrassed.  It was mentioned though by everyone in the household that I should be wearing pants at the dinner table.

I’m not showing off anything totes inappropes, so who cares.  I know in the past, friends have seen me in far less clothing, or even naked, on occasion.  I’m not exactly a sex symbol to most folks.  However, I’m kind of ok with how I look. I’m not trying to impress anyone.

Don’t look!

So there you have it.  I did a stereotypical “Dad” thing this evening after a long day at work.  Now I’m going to bed.  

I plan on sleeping naked- just in case you needed that visual tonight. All in the name of comfort.

16 Years is a Lifetime

I love my wife very much. Today is the day we celebrate 16 years of marriage. My wife and I have been together for only 17 years.  So I guess when it’s right, it’s right. We have made a lifetime of memories together. I expect a lifetime more.

We mesh quite well together. When I’m crazy-she’s normal. When she’s crazy- I’m normal. We create a peace between each other.  We harmonize our chi or feng shui that thing.  Whatever it is, it works for us. I’ve never been happier.  Life is pretty darned good.

When we got married, we never said “I Do.” Instead we said, “I Will.” The difference in those two sentences has made a difference in how I view our lives.  “I Do” is just for the moment.  “I Will” implies for a much longer time.  It promotes future planning.

I do love my wife. 

I will love her forever.

Breakfast for Dinner?

It’s a beautiful summer evening.  Tonight would be a perfect night to BBQ or order a pizza.  When I was younger, we had a fantastic home with an inground swimming pool.  My sister and I, along with friends, would swim all day long.  It was relaxing and fun.  The summer months flew by.

On a night like tonight, my parents wouldn’t bother making a dinner.  Instead we would have what my parents called a “cold plate”.  Essentially it was breads, cheeses and sliced deli meats all laid out to make our own sandwiches.  This is also where I discovered how much I love deviled eggs.  I also discovered that if you eat too many, you have an “oopsie” if you trust that fart. Even worse is when you’re a twelve year old boy that is sitting at a picnic table, still wearing the swim trunks, damp from swimming, and trust that fart.  Literally a wet fart.  I now limit myself to two deviled eggs, no matter how good they taste.

So tonight, I just want some enjoyable comfort food.  Something easy & tasty, and not too processed.  We don’t have any deli meats or artisan breads at the moment.  We did receive some country fresh eggs yesterday and we have a large smoked ham.  I was thinking of making deviled eggs, but would much rather enjoy them in another style.  Tonight it’s breakfast for dinner! I’m going to make everyone some sunny side up eggs and ham and toast.  Easy and delicious.  

And no “oopsies” planned… hopefully.

Saturday in the Countryside

I don’t know if I could ever give up this lifestyle.  I’m not talking lavish luxuries- we are halfway between being well off and dirt poor on the best of days- I’m talking about location, location, location. 

We live on the outskirts of a suburb in a little corner of the countryside, yet close enough to enjoy the local shops.  Today was a prime example of everything country that makes life wonderful. Except country music.  That’s not our thing.

The day began with me doing maintenance on the bikes that we own.  Just a bit of tightening brakes, oiling chains and straightening handles bars.  As I did this, an older lady in a diesel truck pulled up into our driveway where I was working.  I traded with her a bunch of empty egg cartons and she gave me some farm fresh eggs that she had gotten in the morning from one of her hens. Nothing beats farm fresh eggs- perfect for a ham and egg breakfast.

I finished the work on the bicycles, packed up my tools, then began smoking a brisket for our dinner.  Our oldest has been keeping an eye on the temperature to make sure is does a slow smoke.  She has taken up wood burning as a hobby. While she stayed home to practice her new found art, we had her watch after our dinner. My wife and I took our two youngest on a bike ride up the road to the local berry farm. A few years back, the Krause Berry Farm did a major overhaul and added a bakery, a dessert shoppe and a winery.  My wife and I enjoyed a couple of cold Wine-a-Ritas before cycling back home with the kids.

It was under fifteen minutes to ride home as a family.  On our way, we passed some other families on bikes enjoying the afternoon, some horses grazing in a field, and a guy on a tractor heading down the road.  With the exception of the horses, everyone waved and smiled.  It’s very surreal to have such friendliness shared amongst strangers.  But that’s the country lifestyle.  A lifestyle I’m not ready to give up on. A lifestyle I never knew I wanted.

The Beach is That Way

After writing about Hawaii yesterday, my wife really wanted to hit the beach. So instead of going locally to White Rock or Crescents Beach, we went across the border to Birch Bay.  Even though it’s maybe a 45 minute drive from our home, I hadn’t been to that place in over thirty years. The only thing I remembered before going today, was the Candy Shop- which is still there.

We packed buckets and shovels to make sand castles.  The kids wore bathing suits because we read that the water is warm.  Into the car we went and discovered free parking and access to the beach.  All sun screened up, we excitedly made our way towards the beach.  And it sucked.

Hoping for nice sand or even pebbles, we found muck.  As we walked through, I suddenly remembered my childhood time there.  I had gone down with a friend one summer for a few days.  What I remembered clearly about that time was getting my boots stuck in the mucky wet sand.  I pulled my foot up trying to free my boot, but my socked foot came straight out. To regain my balance, I promptly stepped that socked foot into the wet muck.  That was the memory that hit me.  The rest of that childhood experience involved wandering around the crappy shops, driftwood and a poem about pink elephants.

Today was a bit better than that experience.  But the wind picked up quickly and made for a short stint.  I’m sure Birch Bay is lovely to go on short strolls or digging for clams.  It is not a place to enjoy the ocean air and water. My kids did their best to have a good time.  Our oldest brought her camera and took some great photos.  Including one of a barnacle covered tire that stood like a beacon, and a warning of the crappy conditions.  To make this short trip a bit better, we went to the candy store.

The candy was a nice treat to an otherwise poopy morning. But we can honestly say that we don’t need to go back to Birch Bay ever again. Time to plan a trip to some sandy beaches and warm ocean swimming…