Trick or Treat! 2017 Halloween.

When I was younger, the costumes at Halloween were either store bought plastic sheets and masks or “mom-made”. Now our children go hardcore and have gone off the beaten path of traditional costumes. They have created their own designs and poses- giving their character’s life. They also received numerous questions and compliments about their designs. It seems that years of attending Comic-Cons has paid off.

For during the day at school, my daughters did “Steampunk Alice & Mad Hatter”. They worked together to create a look that worked for both of them. For trick or treating- they changed outfits to be a bit more scary.

Our youngest daughter did her take on Freddy Krueger. And our eldest did Professor Stein.  Creating costumes are becoming second nature for us. We’ve always loved Halloween and have made it special every year.

In the past we’ve hit Disneyland three times to Trick or Treat. We also attended Stan Lee’s Comikaze for a couple Halloweens. Always plenty of costumes and tons of candy!

Any time we didn’t travel, we would hit a residential neighborhood with crowded homes lining the streets. It was great for when the kids were younger. This year to trick or treat, my wife drove around our neighborhood (since the homes are spread out between 1-10 acre lots). Less houses but still a good haul. With quite a few full size chocolate bars and cans of soda.

I joined up with them at the end of their evening because I was at work all day. But in the spirit of Halloween- I still got dressed up! My coworkers were rather impressed by my outfit.(Tomorrow I’ll be sharing about making my costume.) I’ll always love Halloween and dressing up. I’m just a big kid at heart. I’ll leave you tonight with a phrase I love to say- that I even put on a t-shirt for my kids:

Many years ago with my son.

“When I grow up I wanna be like me.”

Last Minute…

Finally I’m off to bed.  I nearly forgot to blog today because we’ve been so busy trying to get ready for Halloween. It’s been one of those weekends where we wanted to do so much, that the final touches are getting done the night before. But we love our costumes and try to get the big details perfect.

We’ve been doing this for years- I have glue gun burns to prove it. My family loves  Costumes and Cosplay. We show our fandoms and others get to enjoy it as well. Not only are the costumes important, but acting the part makes the characters come to life. 

Biggest secret of last minute finishing touches? Knowing “where to trim the fat.” If a button or accessory is missing, most folks won’t notice. Especially if you can act the way your character does. This tends to distract folks from the little things. 

Plus after years of Cosplay, we have garnered quite the collection of outfits.  My daughters have shared costumes, and even “Cross-played” some of my old Cosplay outfits. I’m really excited to show off my latest costume tomorrow that my wife worked extremely hard on. I also can’t wait to see my children’s costumes. Our son has designed his own Steampunk outfit. And our daughters are wearing one costume for school (Steampunk Alice and Steampunk Mad Hatter) and a scarier one for the evening. 

Hope everyone has a good Halloween!

Home Ownership in Vancouver

Vancouver and the nearby neighborhoods have two major issues plaguing them:

  1. The price of buying a home is astronomical.
  2. Homeless people are rampant.

It’s not looking to get any better either. I’ve been working in downtown Vancouver for almost a year now and I have only seen it get worse. Until today. Someone decided to build a new home on the corner of a lovely green parkland setting.

A clever idealist took the time to gather up scrap wood and a tarp from the nearby Rona lumber yard and built a home in a tree.  It’s an airy custom “Tiny Home”.

It’s located in a prime location at the corner of Slocan and N. Grandview with plenty of nearby amenities and lots of room for activities! 

I’m rather impressed that it’s still there. Especially since it was most likely built without permits. 

It sure beats the look of “tent city” at least.

Pumpkin Carving 2017

This year my oldest and I were carving the pumpkins. I usually do the more intricate styles and take my time. I shared last year in Pumpkin Carving some of my older styles.

This year my daughter and I went for a Harry Potter theme. I worked on the Sorting Hat and she did the Slytherin emblem. We had a good daddy/daughter afternoon as we watched “Zombieland” and carved the gourds.

I got some decent shading effects and lighting on my pumpkin. I see where I could improve the image. There’s a bit more left to cut out. But we had to break for dinner. Dinner that I was supposed to make… so it ended up being ordered in sushi.

My daughter on the other hand is pretty much done. I’m very impressed by her artistry. Each year she gets better. As a life skill- this isn’t much more than a fun activity that she shares with me. I hope that these are the moments she reflects fondly upon as she grows up.

It’s been a lot of fun. I can’t wait to see next year’s pumpkins and spend more time together being nerds.

I Wish I Was a Sellout 

The idea that people work hard to become successful isn’t something new. What I find frustrating is people who call them “sellouts” when they do become successful. 

I have zero chance of becoming a “sellout”. I work hard at my job, but that’s so I can pay my bills. I enjoy my blog posts, but I don’t think I could make money off of them.  Mostly because I’m not trying to sell anything through my writing. My posts are mostly for me- like a diary of sorts.

Occasionally I add in a link or a reference to a company or show that I like. I’m not expecting kickbacks or money. But I wouldn’t say no… you gotta start somewhere. Maybe I can get promoted by Swiffer? I may have to change the title of my blog post though. 

Swiffer presents: Cleaning It Up As I Go.

It’s doable.

Big Mouth

Recently I binge watched “Big Mouth” on Netflix. A cartoon about puberty and the struggles associated with it. I enjoy cartoons that push the limits of humor. The show makes fun of “The Office”, “Seinfeld” and even themselves throughout the episodes.

Some jokes were funny as well as the interaction amongst the characters. The songs are catchy and seem to be where the strongest writing is. The rest of the show is written like a “no reason boner”. Awkward, hard to avoid and oftentimes just irritating. At a time when “Rick and Morty” and “Archer” are on hiatus, I was hoping the show would fill in the void. But it lacked something underneath the writing as the jokes were either obvious or over the top vulgar for the sake of being vulgar.

There have been numerous adult humor cartoons over the past couple of decades that push the limits. Most people think of “Family Guy” or “Robot Chicken” as they push a quick dirty joke. Older shows like “The Quads” tried for the offensive as quick as possible with just the characters alone.

The short lived “Undergrads” built up a story arc in only 13 episodes, but had me wanting more. Unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be. As Netflix decides if it wants to renew “Big Mouth” my suggestion is to hit the audience with better laughs, not just a few giggles. Keep up with the songs and follow through with the story arcs that are going on. 

Maybe season two will be better. You can’t always hit a home run, but getting to third base is pretty satisfying.

Parenting Out The Bad Behavior

Having children is wonderful.

I need to remind myself of this fact from time to time. Because as of late, our children are trying our patience.

They love to play a little game of “Mom vs Dad” and it drives us crazy. It’s not always the asking of something either. Like asking if they can go watch tv or eat some potato chips. Sometimes it’s just their behavior and the difference in how they treat us.

Lately our kids have been relatively rude to their mother but nice to me. As much as I kind of like the kindness generated towards me, I’m a teammate with my wife and she deserves the same respect. My wife and I don’t usually do good cop/bad cop. We are normally on the same page with respect to what we expect from our children.

My wife has thrown in the towel for the day, so I am going to play both roles for the next little bit. She will help from the sidelines still, but the kids need to come to me first.  It also means that they will get pretty tired of dad “being in charge” and will soon want happy mom back.

My style of parenting can be pretty demanding without much opportunity for them to talk back. I will keep them on the go so that they don’t have much time to think about excuses or a chance to hide.

I love my children very much. Usually they’re well behaved- particularly when outside of the home. We would like their good behavior to come home with them more frequently. It’s hard to live in the same household for years. Tempers flare and feelings get hurt. Trying to prevent this is what being a parent is all about.

Having children is wonderful.

Pink vs Blue

There is often discussion, or rather Internet rage, about the fact that toy companies and clothing companies make “gender specific” items. Slapping pink on something, saying it’s for girls, and charging twice as much- is far too common. I have two girls and a son at home and it irks me to see this happen.
Why should Nerf or Lego make toys geared towards specific genders? The Lego in my house gets all mixed up anyways. Yellow Nerf guns shoot the same as pink ones. What jack up the price?

There shouldn’t be a huge price difference in clothing either. One of my son’s favorite hoodies is a hand me down girl’s hoodie. My eldest daughter loves her men’s hiking boots and my old pants. I have seen the quality difference in t-shirts with the exact same image printed. Men’s shirts are more durable by far. It’s crazy.

I encourage my children to like what ever they want. In the 15+ years of parenting, this seems to make them happy. But I also try and persuade them to think of quality and cost associated. Our children are now extremely savvy shoppers and are not taken in by the trendy market advertising. 

Trying to change big companies is an almost futile endeavor. Which is why we support small businesses or thrift shops whenever possible. My kids love it as well. But that’s just how my wife and I like to parent. Seems to be working for us and the kids.

Keeping Motivated At Work

Like most work places, there is a need for humor to break up the monotony of the daily grind. Sometimes it’s a joke or two. But more often than not, it’s a sign posted on a wall.

See this guy? I call him Clint. He likes trains. Some of his best friends are trains. He can hardly contain his excitement of being in the rail yard office. I hope he continues to like trains for many years to come. Clint is an inspiration to us all.

Then there’s Bane.  He needs to keep us grounded in our place within the company. His inspirational quote really gets you in the feels. Especially with the term “SHOT CALLER” written below. We have to make decisions and stick to a plan. Obviously.

Those are only a few of the pics that are inside of our building. One coworker is tremendous at drawing, and brings those characters to life with more humor regarding our work. We all have a good sense of humor, and can make light of difficult situations that we come across. 

Motivational quotes don’t always have to be of kittens in trees telling us to “HANG iN THERE!

The Thing

Last night I shared with my family the classic horror film, John Carpenter’s The Thingfrom 1982. Besides a few good jumps that scared my wife, I’m unsure of my children’s opinions on this masterpiece. It had been a few years since I last saw it and wanted to watch it- so Yay! Family Movie Night!

I originally saw the film in 1983 on Super Channel when I lived in Edmonton as a child. Again, my parents didn’t overly know what I was watching on TV as I grew up, so this one slipped by. I was seven years old and the film terrified me. Having seen “e.t.” a year prior- my ideas of aliens were limited to family friendly ideals. This was not family friendly. I believe I also watched “Alien” that year on Super Channel. 

It really was a Super Channel for watching totes inappropes films and TV.  I saw a lot of boobies as well- unscrambled (men my age know what I’m talking about). But there was a lot of shock and horror I witnessed as well. I believe this is what set me on my path of enjoying some gruesome special effects. 

The Thing” holds up quite well after all of these years. The use of practical effects really made it feel like these guys were in a frozen hell. Some of the stop motion was a bit cheesy, but for an early 80’s film- that’s part of the charm. As Halloween draws nearer, I am sharing with my children some darker films besides “Beetlejuice” and “A Nightmare Before Christmas” to set the mood. They all seem to be enjoying them, so we’ll soon find out where the line is. 

I’m thinking “Saw” just might cross that line. 

Life is Dam Funny

Back when I was in Grade 10, I became friends with with a set of twins- Jason and Paula. We met through another friend of mine who I had met in Grade 8. That friend, Jason, and I joined a five pin bowling league after school that year. Oh yeah, we were that cool. It was tons of fun. For two seasons we bowled together as a team called “White Men Can’t Bowl.” We thought we were funny spoofing the title of a movie… 

1992- Movie titles not considered controversial.

I came out to their birthday party that year for movies and cake.  Not hardcore at all for being in grades 9/10. However, it did run late and I missed my bus home.  I didn’t think of staying at Jason’s or trying to call home for a ride. So a buddy and I walked to my place. It took us three hours to walk 12.5 km. (7.8miles) in the rain down a road, that was under construction. This was the last of their Birthday parties I attended with Jason and Paula- until last night.

Last night I went to The Giggle Dam Dinner Theater to celebrate with my two friends for their 40th birthday. It was great to meet up with them and some of their older friends once more. Seeing Jason and Paula’s parents again was also a ton of fun as well. So much has changed in 25 years. Most of us are connected through social media, but sometimes a one-on-one encounter brings out the best in us.

Last night was my first time at a comedy dinner show. I wasn’t overly sure of what to expect- it was surprisingly entertaining. The staff were very attentive and quick with serving the meals and drinks. In fact, some of the comedians/actors were also helping on the floor. The venue was intimate and audience participation was essentially mandatory.  Throughout the evening Jason and Paula were brought on stage to be a part of the fun.

All of the actors at The Giggle Dam are multi talented and full of energy. Perfect timing and comedic songs filled our evening. The final performances were a medley of some well known songs song by all of the actors. Basically it was a short rock show to finish off the night.

In the end, smiles and hugs were shared amongst us. It’s great to know that even after all of these years, something fun like a milestone Birthday can bring a group of social media friends together. Life is damn funny in how we find and keep in contact with friends- a quarter century later.

Thank you to The Giggle Dam Dinner Theater for a fantastic performance. And a big “Thank you” to Jason and Paula for being lifetime friends.  Laughing with all of you really made my day.

Give Me Fuel, Give Me Fire…

Today was the perfect autumn day to work outside.  A bit of a breeze, a lite sprinkle of rain, and some little helpers needing to burn off energy. My wife had our two youngest cleaning branches and pine needles from the driveway and around the house. My eldest child and I cleaned off the roof and gutters. Her and I then worked together to tackle a project I put off all summer.

We tidied our disasterous woodshed. From boards and beams that were haphazardly tossed in, to the logs that had fallen over into the walkway, we needed to clean it all up.  We re-stacked the wood to the drier side and swept up the dust. Old wooden beams and plywood made their way to the back of the woodshed for possible future use. I even took the time to show my daughter how to safely chop kindling. 

During our afternoon, we shared some good bonding moments that didn’t feel forced. Even laughing maniacally as we killed armies of spiders that crawled their way out from the wood.  Afterwards, we went back into our home for a late lunch where my daughter also lit a fire. 

Our oldest daughter enjoys hanging out beside the fireplace in our large black wingback chair. This is her favorite spot for contemplation and peace during the fall and winter. The woodshed and fireplace are in essence, her way of becoming an adult. Bringing us comfort by warming our home is her contribution to the household.

Little did she know that she also warmed my heart by sharing her time with me today. Talking with her I realized she isn’t my little girl anymore, but a young lady with passion in her soul. These interactions become the “A-Ha!” moments that catch me off guard. 

With a bit of sadness and a lot of love, I’m glad that together we cleaned the woodshed today.

Loss of Musical Artists 

Over the past couple of years, the world has lost some tremendous musicians. It’s bound to happen.  But their musical legacy will remain for future generations to enjoy. As I feel bad for the artists’ families, it reminds me that these artists were just people too.  People die- it’s kind of unavoidable in the end.

Instead of being angry at the world for taking these artists, I like to celebrate their achievements. Playing an old cd or song they wrote helps. The memories come flooding in of what those songs meant to me at one time or another.  Good times, good friends, great laughs, dancing, and even some sad moments. But that’s what music is for- to stimulate an emotional response.

The world is full of song. As each artist leaves the earth- their songs echo in our hearts. It makes me smile once more to hear them played on the radio. 

It’s better to celebrate their lives than mourn their demise.

Sharing Knowledge 

I’m a firm believer in educating oneself. That’s why I am constantly challenging my mind and abilities. I also do my best to share my knowledge with others.  Mostly because I don’t want to live in a world of stupid people.

Not only do I share my knowledge, but I try and accept my flaws in order to learn from them. If I can keep an open mind and prevent my biases from blocking the truth, I think I will benefit from nearly everyone I meet.  

Teaching my children to behave like this is my biggest goal.  I want them each to be successful in whatever they choose to do. In order to do this, I have had to learn about piano, cheerleading, and speed skating over the years.  There are plenty of other things that I have learned over the years and been able to share with my children as well.  Such as photography and writing- stuff I learned back in high school.

Always learning, always teaching- keeps me happy.

Mr. Fantastic 

I like to think of myself as a pretty sensational guy. Ya, I’m tooting my own horn a bit, but I don’t see anyone disagreeing with it.  In fact, I received an email today stating the obvious about me:

I even received a Thank You and a big gold star!

Being awesome has its perks. 

Which is true. I get some outstanding perks for being awesome that really make me feel wonderful. Many of which really don’t have a monetary value. I receive smiles, laughs, hugs, and kindness to name a few.

Much of my life is filled with great people. All of whom boost me up and make me feel like royalty. Sometimes it’s a simple as a birthday wish on Facebook or them sharing something with me related to Disneyland or Star Wars. It proves to me that even if I don’t associate with them on a regular basis in person- somewhere or somehow along the way in life, I touched their hearts enough that they still think of me.

In the end what makes me feel like Mr. Fantastic is you people. Everyone who has entered my life either briefly or long term- you have impacted me and brought me up to a higher standard of life.

I think I am awesome, therefore I am.

Driving in the Rain

I am an aggressive driver most days. No need to sugarcoat it. But when it rains, I slow down and give myself extra time to get to my destinations.  Not because I can’t drive in the rain, but because others can’t.

Almost daily on my commute to and from work there is an accident or volume on the roads. Anyone who lives in the Fraser Valley experiences this. It’s truly annoying. Add that we are entering rainy season and people are stupid- means more accidents waiting to happen.

So on days like today, I slow down. I take the slow lane (travel lane) and allow others to be stupid and weave in and out. I give a bit more room in front of me just in case. I’m glad I do, because I’ve had close calls of people not checking blind spots or trying to maneuver around some slow driver taking up the fast lane. 

I’ll get where I’m going in due time. No need to rush. And hey, when it rains- it’s like a free car wash!

Friends Forever

I have an abundance of friends. I’d even go as far as say I have about twenty amazingly close friends as well. I even have a couple people in my life that have been my friend for almost three decades. But I have one friend I’ve known almost all my life since kindergarten. (If you’d like to read about it, check out Grilled.)

Somehow along the way, we have remained friends. We met and I lived across the street from him.  My family moved, and his came to visit us. His family moved and we went to visit them. I really need to thank my mother and his mothe for this. If it wasn’t for these two ladies, I’m pretty sure life would’ve gone on without our friendship continuing. But every time I meet up with my friend, it’s like we’ve never been apart.

So it got me to thinking, has he gone from being a friend and become family now? We are closer than many people are with their cousins. In fact, his mother and my mother still visit each other regularly. They see each other more than my friend and I do. But I know that I could call or show up at his place and would be welcomed in. I’m never judging him and he never judges me. We share ideals and thoughts with open minds.

I like having a close friend like that. My wife has even told me that she is a bit jealous because she doesn’t have someone like that (yours truly excluded). Not everyone can have long term friends and still feel a bond whenever they meet up. 

I’m a lucky man for having all of these types of friends.

Jedi Joe

It’s finally going to happen.  I’ve decided to become a Jedi. No, I’m not announcing a “sad devotion to that ancient religion” or anything like that. I’m talking about a Costume/Cosplay for Halloween and an upcoming convention.

With my recent facial hair growth and the fact that I won’t shave it until the end of November (read about it here:Proving A Point) I needed to find a suitable costume idea that supported facial hair.  My wife suggested I go as a Wookiee because of my height, but it got me thinking about becoming a Jedi. Obi-Wan Kenobi to be exact.

Back in 1999-2000, I made an email address of which is now defunct because it’s Hotmail and filled with spam. But the one thing that I enjoyed from Episodes 1-3 was Ewan McGregor’s take on Obi-Wan which garnered the email name.

Since I’ve always had an Enjoyment of Star Wars it makes sense to finally dress up for it. My height would make me a good Darth Vader (or a Wookiee as my wife said) but I don’t overly have the time or money for that. I just need to figure out if I’m going to go with a store bought Costume or try and sew my own at this time. Pretty sure I will sew a costume that is screen accurate one day.  Time to do internet research!

Help me Joey-Wan. You’re my only hope.


Today I ripped apart my kitchen. I’m lucky it has floating ceiling panels and I could take them off.  I was in search of a rat.  I hate rats in my home. I discussed in great detail, the battle I have had over the years: Screw Ratatouille. The war on rodents continues…

Opening up the ceiling- I found rat shit everywhere so I had my vacuum on the entire time to clean up as I went. I had placed a couple small mouse traps up there a few days ago. Both had gone off, one baby rat was in the trash, but one trap was missing. In its place was a pool of blood.

You do not want to see the mess. Trust me.

I’m not going to share an image of it. But as I took off each panel, the smell of dead rodent became stronger. I traced it to my fridge. So I pulled out the fridge and discovered…


Much cuter than rats.

A couple small turds and lots of dust bunnies. But the smell was staggering. Then a thought hit me.- “Shit.  I bet I just ran over the dead rat with the fridge.” I got on my hands and knees to have a closer look. With flashlight in hand, peered under the fridge that I had just rolled across the kitchen floor.  Much to my relief, it wasn’t there.
As I crouched there, the smell of death was immense. I removed the back panel of the fridge and there it was.  Hunched over the drain pan of the fridge not moving- a dead baby rat. With gloves on, I grabbed the baby rat and instantly its fur became dislodged from its body.


I nearly lost my breakfast. So I readjusted my hold and carefully lifted the creature up and placed it gingerly into a plastic bag.  I disinfected the motor and shoved the fridge back into the fridge spot.

I hope that this war will be over soon- with me as the victor.  I’m tired of freeloading rodents running amok in my kitchen. 

Tonight- we dine out.

10 Years of Railroading

I can’t believe I’ve been at the same job for ten years now. Somehow it morphed into a career. I kind of always knew it would, but it still hits me hard.

Ten years of service and my work gave me a nice watch with a ten year pin to commemorate my hard work. I’ll be here for at least another 15 years most likely.  The company has been really good to me and my family.  Offering stability and steady work over the years.

Before I started at CN, I made a railroad in our garden.  Unfortunately it has gone into disarray over the years. At the start of every summer, my son cleans the models and sets them up. I have a feeling one or more of my children will end up working here at some point in their lives. 

Nearly every year we attend CN Family Days. My children have enjoyed all the train rides and prize draws. They also enjoy seeing where I work. CN has been great in helping with my children’s Speed Skating as well.  Offering a grant for the volunteer time that my wife, daughter and I have put in.  This greatly helps out our Skating club.

It always strikes me as odd that I work at a railroad.  When I was a child, I was terrified of trains.  It continued on into my teen years. Getting a job working on trains took a lot of courage for me.  Within a year I had moved into the office to get away from working in the yard (much to my wife’s happiness). I hope to continue my growth and enjoy the challenges that each day brings me. 

Thank you CN for the decade of friendships and job satisfaction.

’98 Revival 

Back in the summer of 1998 a friend of mine dubbed it “Revival ’98”. Mostly because we were reliving each year over and over.  Nothing was changing. We all drank and smoked. Stayed up late at night watching Quentin Tarantino films and playing video games. 

No cared about future plans except who’s place we’d hang out at. Even then, we sometimes stayed out all night under street lights playing hackysack. We discussed philosophy and world events. Thinking we had all the answers.

That was ‘98. Relived over and over since ‘95. But it all ended.  No real reason.  We just slowly drifted apart. Life has a way of doing this, and that’s okay.

Over the past few years, I have met up with most of my friends individually from back then for an evening of reminiscing. Then we go our separate ways, each of us happy to have had a moment to talk of old times and old friends. Recently on Facebook, one of these old friends is trying to get a camping trip going for the end of next summer.  Of course everyone is showing interest now, but will we meet up again? Who knows? We all have lives to live. But it would be nice to let loose for a night and joke around like we did all those years ago.

I still have my hackysack ready at a moments notice.

Pain in the Brain

I finished my night shift at work with a massive headache.  Not from the work itself- that rarely bothers me. My head was pounding.  Throbbing behind my eye. My jaw was sore. All because I didn’t have any coffee for the past two days.

I can’t believe it’s all because of a lack of drinking coffee.  But it is.  They say drinking coffee stunts your growth.  Maybe not physically in my case, but perhaps mentally.  The lack of coffee had left me unfocused because of the pain.

But I made it through the shift. Groggy and sore.  Now it’s time to grab a coffee and off to bed.  At least I have the ability to sleep after drinking coffee.  

Pepto and Gravy circa 2000.

In the year 2000, I spent my last Thanksgiving with my father.  I could say to you that I didn’t know it’d be his last one, but that’d be a lie.  My father had already been battling cancer for three years by this point.  Even the Christmas before, it didn’t look like he would make it through the winter.  But here it was, ten months after that and we were gathered around the table to eat as a family.

We ate as a family for the last time that weekend.  My mother, my father, my sister, my girlfriend (who ended up being my future wife) and me.  The entire experience was awful; and not just because of my father’s cancer.

First of all, the dining room at my parents place now had a hospital bed in it.  A bed that my father refused to sleep in.  He preferred to sleep in his recliner. So, because this large bed was in the dining room, the dining room table moved into the spare room.  A Pepto-bismal pink painted bedroom. It was enough to make you not want to eat.

But the worst part of the dinner was the hangover.  My sister, my future wife and I had gone out drinking the night prior.  Heavily drinking.  We were destroyed the next day.  So much so that my sister had to call me in the late afternoon to wake me up and see if I was still going to show up.  We got to the house and at dinner, my sister drowned her plate of food in gravy.  I couldn’t handle it, so I had to excuse myself for a moment.

At the dinner, my father knew what was up.  Even in his morphine induced state, he knew we were recovering. He made fun of us. But he did so with a smile.  Perhaps he saw youthfulness in us.  Perhaps he enjoyed watching others suffer their own stupidity.  I’ll never know. 

So today, as you spend Canadian Thanksgiving with your friends and family, just remember that they may not be there next time.  

My father wasn’t able to make one more turkey dinner…

Blade Runner (This is Not a Film Review)

I have owned the limited edition DVD of Blade Runner since 2007. Up until today I had only watched this version once. It’s not that the film wasn’t good, far from it, it’s just that I never made the time to watch it again.

The box set was covered in dust from sitting on our shelf for ten years.  I completely forgot what was inside of it.  My children were amazed and began asking questions of it.  Why is there a toy car? What is the silver unicorn about? Why did the film come in a briefcase? Which version are we going to watch?

That was the trick question.  Which version do you watch when there are four different ones included? Why bother including any others but the one the director calls the “FINAL VERSION”? So that was the one we watched today.

After the film, my kids asked even more questions.  Like why did it end that way? What happens next? 

I never knew the answers to these questions when I saw it as a child myself.  Now that there is a sequel out, perhaps there will be some closure.

The first Blade Runner is visually stunning.  The music and sound effects are integral to the flow of the movie.  Over the past week or so, I have been doing my best to avoid reviews of the new film.  I will be going in to see it with an unbiased opinion. My children would like to see it as well. They have those unanswered questions lingering about.  Lucky for them, they only have to wait a few days before we go to see it. Unlike the rest of us who waited a few decades.

Beard Brush

So I began growing a beard. I started on my father’s birthday September 19th.  I am planning on shaving it off on the anniversary of his death on November 25. Growing a beard was done for a few reasons.  

  1. My wife and kids said I couldn’t do it.
  2. I’ve never grown a full beard ever.
  3. My father always had a beard and I wanted to see if I’d look like him if I grew one.

I’m only a few weeks in and I must say that the beard no longer itches. I almost shaved on the fifth day because of this.  But I overcame that urge in order to persevere. I have some points to prove!

A few days ago, I dug out my father’s old beard brush.  I figured it’d be a good idea to keep my facial hair tamed.  As I ran the brush through my beard, something odd happened.  I could smell my father on it.

My dad never wore cologne or aftershave. The memories I do have of his beard were the smells of beer and stale cigarettes.  But on his beard brush was something that took me completely by surprise.  I could smell the brand of hair spray he used- 17 years later.  A sweet smell, not at all what I expected to remember about my father.

Happy memories poured into my mind.  Such as my father’s smile behind his beard.  The way he combed his hair. The suit he wore to work. The jogging pants he changed into every night. All of the simple things that defined who he was.  Back on His Birthday I was scared that I’d forget who he was, but it came back with one scent.

Now I’m unsure if I want to shave my beard off. But I don’t want the smell of my father to be removed from the brush. As time goes on, I’ll have to make that choice. 

But today, I brushed my beard once more.