Hi Knoll Hike

It was a beautiful day on Saturday. My wife and I decided to take the kids for a leisurely walk. So we went to one of the parks in Langley.

Hi-Knoll is an easy hike that I would recommend. We went through a field and over a small bridge that crossed a stream. We ended up walking along the far edge of the park before cutting back into the wooded area. There were a few other people meandering along the pathways. We each nodded or said a “Hello” out of respect- the way many people do when out on nature walks.

It was a peaceful walk that ended up being extremely pleasant. Our kids enjoyed the mild hike as well. We talked about me growing up near the area and the adventures I once had with former friends. It was all so surreal as my mind picked out snippets of a life that once was.

I’m looking forward to future walks with my family. Perhaps there will be more stories to share. Only time will tell.

Do you know of any other good parks to check out? Where do you go to clear your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

Good Kind of Sore

I woke up this morning with aches and pains. My arm muscles feel tight from hours of axe throwing and archery yesterday afternoon. My lower back is throbbing from bending over to rip out weeds and building our target. My legs have periodic cramps from the excessive walking I’ve put them through suddenly.

All of it feels good. I feel alive and ready to do some more. The sun is shining and the heat is rising. Later this afternoon I am planning on going for a hike with the family and take full advantage of the Spring Weather. I’m going to work through the aches and get my body back to where it should be.

It’s amazing how when I was a child none of these pains existed. I’d ride my bike, climb trees, walk to the store, or swim in our pool. As a teen the pains still didn’t happen. There was lots of walking, hiking, biking and running to be done.

Even a few years ago I used to walk constantly. Many of my jobs/ careers have had me on my feet and walking around. Including when I first started at the railroad. But over the past few years I’ve gotten lazy-ish. More office work and sitting at a desk now. And probably will be for another fifteen years or so. I best do something to keep me active.

When the weather is good, I enjoy being outside. I love walking when I have a destination in mind. Especially when on vacationing to places like Disneyland. We walk constantly. Same with last year in Tokyo. My body and mind cleared up during these trips.

During my days off, I need to be less sedentary and push myself. Get over the aches and pains and let my body remember how to be active. Like a photograph reminding me of my youth- my muscles will remember how to be used.

From Yard Work to Axe-ercise

My son and I have been hard at work the past couple days clearing out an overgrown part of the yard. We needed to dig out a rotten shed and take back some of our yard.

Yesterday we cleared away quite a bit. Today, my oldest came out to help as well. She knew that I was going to be making a large target for archery and axe throwing. She wanted to be there when we began throwing.

We had ripped up an old deck, and I kept some of the wood. I placed them together and traced out a target. My kids helped me hang the target and excitedly began to decimate it.

Numerous throws and hardly any hits. But the hits that stayed- felt great. I have a feeling this summer we will be working hard in our aim. Seems like everyone wants to come out and try as well.

Healthy Lifestyle both Physically and Mentally

As I get older I feel that my life needs a bit more of a health upgrade. My wife is constantly pushing me to be more active. And she’s right. Look at yesterday for example:

I become stagnant and inert sometimes without realizing it. Yesterday she accomplished nearly 12,000 steps. I barely did 1700. As you can see- her goal is significantly higher than mine. Now that I’m in my early 40’s- it’s time to really start looking at my future.

I’m planning to retire by my mid 50’s. Which means besides being financially secure by then, I also want to be able to enjoy life. I don’t see myself hitting the gym, but walking more and getting off my phone to see the world are becoming more prevalent choices in order to feel healthy. So I also took a drastic approach to my cellphone addiction on Sunday.

On Sunday, as I was waiting for my son to compete in his Speed Skating competition, I noticed how everyone in the stands was on their phones- hardly interacting with one another. Naturally, I took out my phone and opened Facebook. This is when I realized I have a problem. It became clear that even though in the past I have taken a month hiatus periodically from the Social Media- I needed to do more. So I began by looking at my “Friends” list. I removed people to try and “clean house”.

By the end, I had removed nearly everyone on my list. There is now only my wife and daughters, my three friends who have passed away and two fellows whom I respect in many ways. One is a hard working artist, the other is my son’s coach. It took four days before anyone noticed that they weren’t my “Friend” anymore. The one who did notice is a close friend of mine and messaged me last night. Others may not have noticed, because if they follow my Blog- they are still seeing me posts on a daily basis because WordPress shares directly there for me.

After nearly 12 years on Facebook, it is tough to just give it up. I have kept my Facebook “alive” in order to read stories and news articles from groups that I follow. As well as to interact with those who comment on my blog posts. A couple of years ago I stopped using Twitter. The one social media I do enjoy is Instagram. I follow many of my Former Facebook Friends on their and enjoy seeing quick snapshots of their adventures.

Maybe one day I’ll regret dropping all of those Facebook contacts. I didn’t announce it to the world at the time because it really shouldn’t be a big deal. So I guess this is that announcement just to let people know. Time for me to move on. And by move, I mean walk more. Healthy living should be both physical and mental.

A new journey lies ahead. If I put my phone down- I’ll see where I’m going.

Shower Start

I have a routine that I need to follow to get my day going. First is having about 5-7 alarms go off in ten minute intervals to get me out of bed. Yes, it takes me about 45 minutes to finally roll out of bed. Over the years, my wife has come to accept this even though she is not always thrilled by it. The other routine I have starts the night before.

Before I go to bed, I lay out what I want to wear the next day. Socks, underwear, pants and shirts. I find it easier to not have to think about it when I wake up. The other thing I do is every day before I leave my home- I must have a shower.

This stems from when I was a teenager. I just never felt comfortable going to high school without first washing up. My showers are usually quick, lasting about ten minutes. In our home we have two showers. I am the only person who uses the upstairs shower stall. I like it.

There’s no fancy shower head or anything. It’s still the original 1970’s tile and glass door. Every couple of years I have to replace a washer in the handle of the hot water otherwise it drips. But I have become accustomed to this.

It’s my shower.

It’s a place of solitude as I let the water wash away my sleep. It’s a place where I start to mentally prepare myself for the day (or night) ahead. It’s how I wash away the day before and start fresh.

Mountain Driving

Driving through the Rocky Mountains is always a beautiful drive. Last weekend was no different. We were lucky enough to drive home from Alberta and see the sunset over the mountains.

We travelled back the same way we came in- through Jasper National Park. Both Jasper and Banff are beautiful drives. In fact, both towns are nice to take a quick stop in to look around.

This time of year was neat because the rivers, lakes and waterfalls were starting to thaw. The mix of ice and water made it seem like there was life trickling back into existence.

I would recommend the drive any time instead of flying. Take your time and view the natural wonder this world has to offer.

Blanket Fort or Chores?

While my wife and I were away for the weekend with our son, we left our two oldest at home alone. At age 16 and 14 this was a good opportunity for them to earn some more trust from mom and dad. They are both well behaved and smart girls, so we really didn’t have too many concerns. Read as: No Parties.

Before we left, we gave them a few chores that they needed to do. Usually it takes my wife and I a bit of hounding to get the kids to do stuff around the house. Perhaps we should’ve been more diligent this weekend while we were in another province. When we returned home- it looked like they were expecting servants to clean up after them. (Aka mom and dad). None of their dishes were cleaned and their pizza boxes and lasagna tray from a few dinners before were cluttering up the counter.

Did they do the extra chores you may ask? Why, certainly not.

What they did do was this:

Our middle child made a blanket fort with loads of encouragement from her older sister. It stretched out from one end of our theater room into our main foyer, through to the disaster of a kitchen and around the corner into the dining room.

Our 14 year old daughter had done the entire thing on her own. That’s because she got bored while her sister was at work. Why couldn’t she just do her chores? She is very proud of her accomplishment and since there is another week of Spring Break- she will likely need that long to take it all down and re-fold the blankets and put everything away.

She was inspired by watching re-runs of Community. Growing up doesn’t mean losing sense of childish fun. But there is some grown up responsibilities to be had as well. Hopefully our examples of how to be adults will rub off on our kids.

If you’ll excuse me- I’m off to play some video games and then take a nap before working my night shift. See? Having fun and being responsible is possible.

What do you do to keep the childish fun inside of you alive? How do you balance responsibilities and fun?

Let me know in the comments.

Behind The Successes

This weekend, as our son competes at his Speed Skating event, I realize there is so much more that builds up his success. This is the same for all athletes. And the same can be for our lives if we so choose.

The families and friends who hang in the crowds and support any way possible. From cheering loudly to hugs and high fives; early mornings and car rides; or traveling to different cities- there is always a group of people pushing and promoting. Words of encouragement go a long way mentally as well.

Then there are the coaches offering words of encouragement and advice. When taken to heart- these coaching moments can be extremely valuable. Coaching is a necessity to the betterment of all involved- be it given and received. A coach beams with pride the same way a player beams back gratitude. There is also a ton that goes on behind the scenes such as making sure equipment is ready and functioning.

Finally- there is the healthy eating. Eating the right fruits and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water and keeping it up daily.

All of these are the basics of becoming the best athlete possible. It’s also a great way to live life. Get out there and be the best.

Just like Joe Esposito sang:

Try to believe
Though the going gets rough
That you gotta hang tough to make it

History repeats itself
Try and you’ll succeed

Never doubt that you’re the one
And you can have your dreams!

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down.

Live From Grande Prairie

Today is the day our son Theory competes for Team BC at CAN WEST Speed Skating. He is racing in the T2T 12 Male. T2T=Train to Train- big plans for future Olympians! (At least that’s how I see it.)

Yesterday was a warm up and a chance for the coaches to give some pointers to the team. Over the past few months- these kids were competing against each other to gain a spot for this. Now there will be a few times that they need to work together to achieve a team goal.

We are going to be cheering for the BC Team. If you wish to watch a live stream of the events, the arena is broadcasting it on their Facebook Page. I’ve shared it already with friends and family. So of course I want anyone and everyone to watch it! Check the link below:

Here’s the Facebook link: Canada West Speed Skating Championship

As a father of one of the kids completing- I’m going to be one of “those” parents cheering and screaming loudly. If you choose to watch the live stream- be sure and listen for me calling out to my son- “GO Theory!” You too can scream at your phone or computer to offer support. He will be wearing helmet number 65. I’d love it. And I’m sure our team of skaters will appreciate the love as well! Even messages of encouragement make all the difference.

I’m off to cheer now.

Initial Thoughts on Grande Prairie

We rolled into Grande Prairie in the late evening after A Day of Driving. We checked into our hotel and the front desk clerk asked us questions about why we were here in town. “Are you visiting family? Is it for work?… No one comes here for vacation.” Even though he was friendly about it- it got me thinking, what is it that this town has to offer? Besides a liquor store on every corner instead of a Starbucks.

We have arrived at the tail end of winter, so there really isn’t much, um, greenery. All the sand and salt from the roads are off to the sides. At least I can see the roads now which is good because there are a ton of potholes and no visible street lines. So if you think it’s a double lane, it may only be a shoulder. Seems everyone drives in the middle.

The cars on the roads are super filthy. And there is a dust haze that floats at eye level. So I stare out at the gorgeous blue skies. Grande Prairie has that. Blues skies that go on forever with little fluffy clouds in them. Just like the song by ORB only this is Alberta not Arizona.

So first impressions of Grande Prairie are fairly unimpressive. But I’m still excited to be here for our son. Which makes my brain hurt. Best of luck to him and the rest of the BC Team at the CANWEST Speed Skating competition!

Driving Day

Today we embarked on a 12 hour road trip from our home to Grande Prairie, Alberta. It started off with us being an hour behind schedule. No big deal- I was able to... ahem... make up the time while driving.

We whipped through Kamloops with a quick stop for gas. Then off to Jasper for a late lunch and of course- trains. Plus amazing beer and food! We had nachos and Wild Boar Steam Buns all at the Jasper Brewing. I highly recommend the Boar and “Jasper the Bear Ale”.

It was a beautiful day to drive through the mountains from British Columbia to Alberta. We watched the sun set and the sky change colours. Absolutely stunning.

Now it’s time to unwind in the hotel room and mentally prepare for the next couple of days. A quick dip in the pool and finish my blog is a great way to end a 12 hour drive.

Putting The “Ice” in Practice

Today is the final practice for my son and his cohorts before we head out to Grande Prairie, Alberta. We are proud parents knowing that Theory has made it this far competitively. As well as the fact that he is eager to do his best.

On Monday, he was so eager that he hit the ice before anyone else and began doing laps. His determination comes through when he hits the competitions. These last couple days he has been taking the advice of the coaches and utilizing their knowledge to better himself.

I can’t wait to see how he does at a bigger competition with more pressure on him. My hope is that next year he keeps up the determination and enthusiasm for Speed Skating.

Breaking up the Doldrums

Spring Break has been treating us to some wonderful sunshine and warmth so far. We’ve taken full advantage of it. From washing cars to yard work- our kids have been doing chores without complaints! I know, crazy talk but it’s true.

Here’s the thing, they do the work so they can have the freedom later. Our kids get to play some video games in the morning before we start on the chores for the day. If we get the chores done in a timely manner- the kids then get to play some tabletops games before dinner. Win-win for all of us! Plus a clean yard and car.

I love the fact that they also want to play their games outdoors. They put on some music in the background and proceed to play nicely together. They’re even getting some D&D characters made and shall depart on a journey that will likely last a few days. Seeing our children do their part around the house without a battle and getting along with one another makes me super proud.

What motivates your kids? How have you been spending Spring Break?

Sunday Walkabout

Yesterday was one of the nicest days we have had this year. Warm and sunny as if Spring was peaking its head around the corner. A big change from just over a week ago when there was snow on the ground. My wife wanted to take full advantage of it. So we headed into Fort Langley and walked a part of the “Fort to Fort Trail”.

Partway through our walk, my wife realized that it was far warmer than she expected it to be. The gloves, toque and hoodie came off after about a kilometer. As we walked, we talked. It was nice as we meandered along the path passing numerous other people enjoying the day. It didn’t surprise me much as Fort Langley is a busy little arts community that is often crowded.

The path took us behind the Fort Langley Golf Course. This was the course my father used to have a membership to. We cut back up to the road to the entrance of the golf course. Every few months, I’ll stop in for a beer. Yesterday was no different. Many of the pubs and drinking establishments in Fort Langley were crowded. People were taking advantage of sitting on the decks with a cold beverage. The pub at the golf course was empty. Which was perfect for us to grab a table and take a break halfway through our four kilometer walk.

After wetting our palates, we wandered back to the busy hub of Fort Langley. A train had passed through and caused large crowds waiting to cross the tracks. That moment was one of the moments that my wife expressed why we could never live there. Crowds aren’t my thing usually and I can only take them in small doses. I have always wanted to live in Fort Langley, but I can see why on weekends it wouldn’t be overly enjoyable.

However, if yesterday was a sign of things to come- this spring and summer will be a pleasurable one. We will take more walks throughout the Lower Mainland and enjoy the talks together. Did you enjoy the sun yesterday? What did you do?

Birthday Weekend Flashbacks

Usually for my birthday I just celebrate on the day of my birthday. But since I went out to Throw Axes on Friday, my kids wanted to spend time with me on Saturday. So I did- it was fun and also bizarro with lots of familiarity surrounding it.

First thing in the morning- I shared a box of specialty KitKats that I had saved from last year’s trip to Tokyo. Keeping it hidden from the family for almost a year was challenging. I also ate the special March birthstone one I kept. Needless to say- these were just as unique as any other KitKats we sampled in Tokyo. The Butter flavor was amazing!

Later, we went out for Poké Bowls at a place in Langley called Dal’s Poké. This is probably one of the freshest meals I have ever eaten in a restaurant! If you’ve never tried a Poké Bowl, do it. It’s sort of like deconstructed sushi. Lunch inspired us to go pick up some Asian foods at the H Mart Korean grocery store.

Immediately after lunch we wandered a bit around Downtown Langley. As we hit some thrift shops, it was suggested that when we go to H Mart that we stop at an old video store called Willow Video. Walking into that place was like walking into the past. The store hasn’t changed in almost 30 years. I swear that the used games in the cabinets were the same ones that were there when I was a kid. Used Sega Master Systems, old Game Boys, and assorted Games with price tags from thirty years ago. The place still offers Video rentals and sales. Not to mention that the store was busy as well! Good for them.

After our shopping at the Korean store, and the kick in the nostalgia memory banks of Willow Video, we went to see if an old Billiard hall was open. Three weeks ago I had mentioned wanting to play Billiards again. But since so many of the places from my youth were gone, I could only find one of them- The Ballroom.

Walking upstairs into the hall hit me again in the memory banks of years gone by. Much like Willow Video- this place had also remained unchanged. It had been almost twenty years since I had been there and it looked like I could have been there just yesterday. The hall of a dozen or so tables was empty except for the cashier.

With an uncanny familiarity, I took the family to a corner table that I remember always favoring. My wife and I taught the basics of pool to the kids. They started to pick it up and enjoyed themselves. After an hour or so, we decided it was time to go. By this time a few more people entered the hall. A couple on a date and two older gentlemen with their personal cues.

March 16th, 2019 was like traveling back in time. Starting with some chocolates and ending at a pool hall that my wife and I last went to when dating twenty years ago. It was a great way to celebrate my birthday weekend with my family.

Axe-Holes Of Bad Axe

Yesterday for my 43rd birthday, I gathered up eight fellas and we went out for a “Guys Night”. Or is it called a “Bro Date”? Anyways, it was a night out without significant others or children. Time needed to blow off some steam.

I arranged a couple of hours for us all at a place called Bad Axe– where we got to throw axes at a target. It was something that none of us had tried before and it seemed like a great way to celebrate my birthday.

We had an instructor who taught us how to throw the axes as well as the safety precautions we needed to take. There was a variety of throwing styles and axes available to throw. There was a bit of a learning curve to it. I favored a heavier axe with the two hand approach. After a few failed attempts by each of us- we began to get better.

We split into teams and had a few competitive challenges. I’d say that 75% of the time the target was hit. Not the bullseye- just the target. I’ll also say that 100% of the time there was smack talk going on. Anything to throw off the other guy’s concentration. Needless to say- we were all Axe-Holes by the end strutting our stuff when we hit the target.

The staff were amazing and fun. The two hours of axe throwing went by quickly. It was a great experience that I would gladly go back for. I’d recommend it for anyone to give it a go. Watch how easily I hit the target, anyone can do it:

43 Years

I have reached a milestone. Where today is the youngest I will ever be again and the oldest I have ever been. Actually, the milestone I’m talking about is making it past 42.

42: The answer to life, the universe and everything.

All of which was solved last year. I discovered a part of myself that I never knew existed: I want to travel more and see this great planet of ours.

The rest of my time on earth is just bonus fun now. Fun that will keep me laughing and living life to the fullest.

Thank you to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday. I have felt the love from all of those who I have had an opportunity to reach out to at some point in my existence.

Supporting the Students

Today my son shared with me some of the school work he has been working on this year. It was a part of a “Student Lead Conference” that was going on today. I’m always thrilled to see what they’ve been learning. It’s even better because of our son’s enthusiasm.

He was keen to show me everything. From how clean his locker was to his poem and picture of a Blue Butterfly. We spoke of science, math and French as well. I also took the opportunity to speak with his teachers as well and heard nothing but encouragement. In fact, the one teacher was really excited to tell me which group of kids I was going to have in the cabin in June. (It’s a secret that I am not allowed to tell my son.)

I have always been a huge proponent of the education system of all students. In the front of the school is this mural that I helped to create and be a part of a few years ago. There was a set of meetings that brought the teachers, parents, and the community together to help develop our district.

Years later, I see how innovative and successful the students are becoming. And how they are willing to grow and learn in different ways. Knowing that our kids aren’t afraid to share what they are learning makes me happy. It’s a relationship that I want to encourage and have flourish over time.

Supporting our youth today will make for a better world tomorrow.

How I Became Wealthy by Just Sharing My Life Experiences

I never look at my blog as a way to generate income. I’m not here to sell you anything either. I write because I want to share. Sharing a bit about my life in hopes that others can learn from me. Some of my stories are fun and inspiring. Sometimes the tales I tell are just fluff- a filler as you scroll through on social media. But I choose not to try and make money from this.

But the title of today’s blog is How I Became Wealthy by Just Sharing My Life Experiences. What gives?

The title isn’t a lie. As I approach my 43rd Birthday, I have truly understood the value of life- not the price tags. I have become wealthy from my musings by meeting some fantastic people online, connected with old friends, and even learning more about myself than I ever thought possible.

I hope you have enjoyed what I have shared each day over the years. From anecdotes to positive thoughts- I want to share the secrets of my wealth. Who knows, maybe I’ve made your life richer in some aspect.

My Little Pink Pill

About a year and a half ago I had a bunch of tests done on my stomach and throat. Last January, The Doctor prescribed some pills for me. I have been taking them daily every morning- religiously. I never missed a day. The entire time, my stomach issues were non-existent. I was a happy man. Until last Wednesday when I ran out of the pills.

I had called up the pharmacy to get a refill because I had five of them remaining. But because it has been over a year since I first put in the original prescription- they refused to fill it. So I had to get them to contact the doctor in order for him to fax the refill request. No big deal. Except the pharmacy never contacted me to tell me that my prescription was refilled for three days. It was going to be two more days before I had a chance to come get the pills.

I was thinking to myself- maybe I don’t need these pills anymore. I have been taking them for over a year now and feel great. Perhaps it was time to stop taking them and look at correcting my eating habits a bit more. After all, it’s now been a few days and no issues. Boy was I wrong.

By the third day of no pills, my acid reflux was back- but only in a minor way. I figured I could still look at my diet and try weening off foods to find what irritates my innards. Maybe just eat a Tums or two when needed. Again- No such luck. The next day got even worse, I was unable to swallow again. I needed to get back on my meds to feel normal inside. It’s now day six since I ran out and I have just taken my first pill. I don’t think it will be super effective right away, but I’ll be back on my daily regiment and be sure to not let them run out in the future.

Funny how a little pink pill can make all the difference in my health. Thank goodness for modern science.

From Monty to Movies

Monty Python is legendary. I have always found their humor to be some of the best in the world. In fact, my kids have also grown to love them. Netflix adding their show and films has made it easy to share once more.

But beyond Monty Python, the actors have done a great deal of other shows and films. One of my favorite films has to be “Brazil” by Terry Gilliam. I saw it when I was younger and fell in love with the crazy dystopian style. I began to digest his other crazy films such as The Fisher King12 MonkeysFear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Gilliam has a way about him that just speaks to me.

I have been waiting for Gilliam’s version of Don Quixote to come out. It has taken 19 years and lots of mishaps for it to finally get a chance to hit the big screen. And even then, there is a one day only screening of it this year in April. So I bought tickets. I suspect only die hard fans of his work will be there. Most likely a dozen other people in a 300 seat auditorium…

But I will be biased and tell you that I am going to love the film whether it is good or not.

Where Does the Time Go?

I lost an hour overnight. Just like nearly everyone else. Now I’m trying to sync up my life with the time change. And it’s not going well.

I am still unsure as to why we have Daylight SavingS Time. Animals don’t use it. In fact, our dog is rather confused that his dinner is going to be served at a different time today. He won’t complain. But starting Monday- he’ll have to accept that he is waking an hour earlier than he was for the past six months.

Not to mention that going to sleep tonight is going to be rough on most people. I’m already feeling it. But that’s because I have to get a nap in prior to my night shift. But my body/brain doesn’t want to count that loss of an hour. Time to force the sleep in seven easy steps:

  1. Put down phone.
  2. Lay down and remain still.
  3. Close my eyes.
  4. Breathe in for a count of four.
  5. Hold breath for a count of eight.
  6. Exhale for a count of seven.
  7. Repeat breathing exercises until I fall asleep. Usually 4-5 tries.
  • That’s what works for me. Do you have any tips on how to fall asleep? Let me know in the comments.
  • Corporate Jargon

    The other day I was eavesdropping on a presentation someone was giving. It was filled with corporate jargon and made me sad. Sad because I have heard, and even used, some of these terms at my various employers. I’d like it if people would stop using them.

    Terms such as:

    Synergy

    Take it to the next level

    Move up a notch

    Empower

    Think outside the box

    It is what it is

    Ground zero

    Drinking the kool aid

    Moving parts

    Greatest impact

    Give 110%

    Bring to the table

    Corporate values

    Core values

    Best practice

    There are many more terms that scream corporate jargon.I don’t think that companies really make people feel like their job is adequate enough. It feels as though these words and terms get tossed out there in order to confuse the masses.

    At the end of the day, I’m not wanting to buy into those corporate philosophies. But I have to regurgitate them in order to survive in this world, or at least acknowledge these terms- right?

    International Women’s Day 2019

    In case you were unaware- today is International Women’s Day. I am going to do a quick rundown of the women in my life that have impacted me the most.

    First off is my mother. I don’t generally write about her in my blogs. That’s mostly out of respect for her privacy. She generally doesn’t want her personal life exposed into the WWW. But the few things I will say about her is this: She did her best to raise me. Starting right from my childbirth- I was a baby that cried nonstop. Turned out I needed a lung operation by age 2. (Maybe one day I’ll write about that). My mother was there through all of it. Throughout her life she worked hard in the nursing field and was always the caregiver and caretaker of our family. She put up with a lot from my sister and I as we grew up. But my mother also did her best to protect us from my father and his verbal abuses. She took the brunt of it. Kudos to you mom for remaining so strong all these years.

    Next is my wife. Yes, I speak of her with fondness many times, so I will keep it short today. She is my equal, my partner, and my best friend. I sincerely have no idea where I’d be in my life if it wasn’t for her. She has been an absolute goddess throughout my life aver the past two decades. I love her with every part of my being and will always make sure she is cared for and looked after.

    My wife brought into this world two more great women. Our daughters are intelligent, strong, and creative women. They lead with a sense of purpose in life oftentimes bringing forth admiration from their peers. Having these two females in my life shows me a world that I never would have experienced otherwise. The two of them hold a special heartstring inside of me and I love them deeply.

    Then there is my sister. Through our ups and downs as adults, she is still there when I need to talk to her. We were great friends growing up. I learned a lot about playing with dolls and dress up which helped when having girls of my own and my various cosplay. My sister has become a wonderful mother of two as well and is as strong a female as I can imagine. Having been through so much on her own.

    Besides my family, there are a few celebrities that I have always admired. Elvira (aka Cassandra Peterson) is one of the funniest and sexiest women I have ever seen. I was lucky enough to meet her a few years back and I was star struck to say the least. The other is Felicia Day– who is intelligent and charismatic. She was one of the kindest people I have ever met. She also inspired my daughters to enjoy gaming in a way that I never could.

    There are plenty of amazing women out there. My list is but a short one of a handful of women who have made my life a better place.

    Who do you find that makes International Women’s Day important for you? How do you show your appreciation? Or how have you been shown appreciation? Let me know in the comments.

    Sinatra as a Mentor?

    Today I feel as if Frank Sinatra was an unbeknownst mentor. Not because I can sing- in fact far from it. But his lifestyle of sorts. I decided to do some quick research on him. Turns out some of his quotes resonate with me.

    Having an intelligent woman in my life makes me feel like there is more substance in my relationship. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not just smart but pretty as well. I can make her light up the room when I get her to smile. We also have in-depth conversations where I often learn from her knowledge of various subjects.

    The other side of Sinatra is his attitude towards drinking. He makes it seem refined and elegant. As if to be suave one needs to have a drink in hand.

    Okay, maybe I shouldn’t look at him as a mentor. I enjoy my alcohol; perhaps a bit more than the next person. Drinking has been a part of my adult life for as long as I can remember. Which is hitting nearly a quarter century now. Not every day, but nearly every day off I enjoy a drink. It has become a part of my lifestyle. Sometimes in a negative way. A way that makes me unimpressed with myself.

    Sinatra lived to be 83. That’s about forty years further than I am at this moment. I don’t know if I want to do forty more years of having alcohol as a vice. That’s a long time to keep putting booze into me.

    But if Ol’ Blue Eyes could do it…