And There Was Much Rejoicing

It’s the final day of 2017. Many exciting events happened over the course of the year.

Including today at 11:19am- our home rejoiced loudly. For exactly 45 hours we had no power. It went off at 2:19pm December 29th. This morning was starting off very cold in our home with one room reading a temperature of 5°. I was even emailed about it:

Totally cool! Our smart thermostat realized it needed to kick in and warm us up. This is great as well because if the power wasn’t on by noon we were getting ready to cancel New Year’s Eve plans. Not my plans mind you- I work overnight, but our children’s plans. Hence the extra rejoicing when we discovered light again!

Cancelling plans on children never makes me feel good. I’m happy that we don’t have to tonight. Every New Year’s Eve my children marathon through the Harry Potter films. The past couple of years we have allowed them to invite friends over to watch as well. This year, my son has asked to marathon some of the Star Wars films in a different room with a couple of his friends while his sister does HP.

Tonight my home will be filled with children. This also allows their parents the opportunity to celebrate this evening. Not only was it important to us to get power back on, but it would’ve affected others as well if we canceled.

In the end it seems 2017 was full of cheer even on the final day.

The Kindness Of Friends

We have been without power now for 27 hours and counting… Yesterday wasn’t so bad, read about it here: No Power No Problem. But after a while it is getting a bit taxing.

We haven’t seen an end in sight for when the power will be restored during this ice storm. Warm fires and board games don’t exactly feed the family. We did a sandwich spread last night which was tasty. I used a cast iron pan in the fireplace to toast up the breads (almost like a grilled cheese). This morning was scrambled eggs and bacon with boiled water making French pressed coffee. My family wasn’t going to starve by any means.

After a bit of “Social Media Complaining” a friend of ours invited us over for dinner. We wholeheartedly accepted! We gladly drove for about a half hour to have use of flushing toilets, electricity and being fed. Our friend makes fantastic meals and we often share plans with one another. They’ve come to our place on occasion as well.

A bottle of wine and a case of beer were brought over to share. Accepting the kindness from friends reassures me that people are wonderful. Good conversation and good food made our evening extremely pleasant. I’ll never not take up someone’s offer to be kind. It’s not a handout- it’s friendship. It’s looking out for those who matter most to you.

Thank you to my friends for opening their doors and hearts to my family tonight. Your love and kindness is appreciated!

No Power? No Problem.

There is a severe ice storm at the moment in the Lower Mainland. We’ve lost power a few times in the past 24 hrs. As you can tell, I still have cellular service- so I can remain connected to the world. Life isn’t that bad!

Today, we arrived home from shopping this afternoon to discover that there was no power in our home again. My wife and children rustled up all of our candles and placed them on our dining room table and throughout the family room. We made sure our camping lanterns had spare batteries for later use.

Our oldest started a fire to keep our house warm. I love living in the country and still having a wood burning fireplace. Besides creating a warm ambience, it comes in very handy at times like this. We have an abundance of dry wood ready to keep us warm.

The Christmas season also means that we have decorative candles and candle holders. Moments like this are a perfect reason to light them again. Why not enjoy their beauty a little longer?

So stay cozy this winter season. And let the power failures bring family/friends closer to you.

Day For Myself

Today was going to be a “ME DAY“. It started late because I slept in. After I got out of bed, I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich. My wife made a comment- so I made her a sandwich as well.

After my breakfast, I ended up giving some advice to our oldest daughter about “cold calling” for a job. We worked on possible questions and answers. A bit of rehearsal and I left it to her. She did quite well on the phone for a 15 year old.

Then my son and I went to play some video games. I had promised him some of my time on my first day off. So we played “Star Wars: Battlefront 2” for a couple of hours. That was going fine until work called me asking for me to come in. Which I agreed to do without fuss.

My day to myself was filled with doing things for others. I feel really good about it. I think I should do more of these.

Becoming an Everyday Hero

There’s a famous Canadian that has said some things and done some things. Then there’s me.

I’ve also said some things and done some things. What surprises me is the impact of my words and actions vs someone famous. I don’t have the same size audience. Mine is much smaller, a bit closer to me, perhaps even a bit more intimate.

My audience is my children and my wife. My audience is my friends and coworkers. My audience is complete strangers.

Somehow I have made an impact on each life I touch. I have received handshakes and thank you cards for just being me. I have been acknowledged for my actions or my patience- through emails and phone calls. It surprises me each and every time it happens.

All I ever want to do is make the world a better place. I want to watch others succeed. I want people to realize that happiness comes from within.

That’s just who I am. A regular Joe. An everyday hero to no one in particular.

My Love of Bacon

A few years ago, bacon was everything. I was eating it like nobody’s business. Always having a pack of meat at the ready. Mmmm bacon… everyone knew it as well. They expected it from me when they would show up for a meal.

Bacon has always made me happy. I have wrapped numerous foods in bacon. Hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, even bacon wrapped turkey a couple of times. But oven baked is my personal favorite. Add a touch of steak spice or brown sugar to pull more flavor forward. The bacon weave is prefect size for inside a sandwich.

I was given bacon floss as a gift one year. I’ve been afraid to open it, so it sits in my drawer. I was also given bacon scented soap and used that up pretty fast. It was my favorite thing to smell like!

My sister-in-law is the only expanded family that gives me a gift at Christmas every year. Bacon fudge. It is as decadent as you could imagine. And I’m not a big sweets fan- but holy hog is it tasty! I should’ve taken a photo, but it disappears too fast.

That’s it for today. My love of bacon. Mmmmm bacon…

X Mas Day 2017

Today my family filled their free time with video games and making a turkey for dinner. Lots of time available since we opened our gifts a couple of days ago: Early Christmas 2017

We bought a PS4 for Christmas and my wife is obsessed with Dig Dug. She has made it her goal to beat everyone- at a game from the 1980’s on a brand new Playstation. We have also been playing “Knowledge Is Power” as a family. It’s been surprisingly fun! And knowledgeable. Gaming has always been a big part of our family fun. But the video game system wasn’t our big gift for the family.

After all of the gifts were opened, we gave our kids Christmas cards from “Mom & Dad”. Inside each card was 10,000¥ and some custom made “Boarding Passes” for them to head to Tokyo this spring.

That’s right!

We are taking the family to Tokyo in 2018. After much discussion between my wife and I, we bought round trip tickets for the family back in September. We have even paid for a hotel in downtown Tokyo for our stay. Now that we finally told the kids, we can really start to plan what to do on our journey.

Tokyo has been on my “Travel Bucket List” for decades. So this trip is a bit more for me than I will admit to my family. However, they are equally as excited now that they have found out that we are going. A gazillion ideas have come forward for what we should do while in Japan. Later this week, we will sit down and do some more research for some family/teen activities or sights.

With our children growing up, travel seems like a better choice to fulfill life experiences. Video Games are fun, but memories of travel lasts a lifetime. I’m happy that they are excited about the trip. Now they all want to learn Japanese in the next two months!

Game on!

Christmas Eve 2017

Today I spent the day at work. We had a lot to do in order to keep with demand. As much as it would have been nice to have the time off, I also understand that trains need to keep moving. There are many other people at jobs that work on these holidays. Many of whom need far more recognition than we give them.

  • Paramedics
  • Police
  • Fire Services

Those are rather important careers. But there are other jobs as well.

  • Gas station attendants
  • Restaurant workers
  • Retail employees
  • Movie theater staff

We often forget that people make sacrifices away from their family and friends. So let’s be nice to those who work this holiday season. You never know what they are missing out on so that you can enjoy time with your family.

Early Christmas 2017

Today is December 23rd. My wife and I surprised our children with an early Christmas.

Because the kids didn’t know we were doing this, our morning started later than a regular Christmas Morning. My wife and I chose to do this because I will be working 12 hour days until the 28th. We figured this way we could all enjoy the unwrapping of gifts together and not feel rushed. Bonus surprise- being done early!

We are still going to do our regular dinners for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. While I’m at work, the family will prepare the meals and we can still have a nice celebration together over the next few days… Christmas isn’t over yet. The gift giving was still special and a lot of fun was had.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

Christmas Films: The Good and The Bad

Ugh. Bad Christmas films are everywhere. With a few classics scattered throughout. I have opinions on many of people’s favorites as well. Unfortunately I also pick films apart ever since working at the movie theater. Christmas movies are particularly prone to my criticisms. So here’s a brief list of my least favorite films:

Elf

This film has no merits. Just an overgrown man child screaming his way through an adventure. The creepy ass scene in the woman’s change room singing My least favorite holiday song is particularly bothersome.

Polar Express

This film has some creepy animation. I can’t watch it. Same with Jim Carrey’s Christmas Carol. I can’t enjoy this style of animation.

Home Alone 2,3,4,…

I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch these films again. The first one was original but has been sullied by bad sequels that it is falling into the bad category.

There are plenty of other bad Christmas films out there as well. But those are my top disliked ones. I have some favorites that need to be viewed every year as well, that may not be everyone’s favorites:

Gremlins

This is just cheesy. And bad. Bad in a good way. The sequel was bad. In a bad film way. Don’t watch the sequel.

Die Hard 1&2

I wrote about this one last year: Die Hard IS A Christmas Movie. No need to go into further details.

National Lampoons Christmas Vacation

“The shitter was full.” But my favorite part about this film is the subtle jokes- like the scene shopping in Walmart with dog food and light bulbs. Brilliant and quick.

A Christmas Story

This film is my absolute favorite of the holiday season. It is a must watch on Christmas Eve each year. I’m still waiting for a lamp to be given to me one year…

There are so many films for the season. But as each of these are relatively popular, I figured I’d touch on them. With only a few days left before Christmas, we need to watch these to get ourselves into the Christmas Spirit.