Today is another Speed Skating meet. Originally I was planning on going, however I owed a coworker a shift because he helped me out a couple of weeks ago when we went to the BC Cup in Prince George. That means I have to work overnight later today.
The issue today is that up until twenty minutes before leaving the house, I was still planning on going to this Speed Skating meet. My wife had planned on staying home as it was her day off. Now she is the one going and I’ll be at home to get some rest. My wife is none too happy with me.
On Thursday when she found out that I would be working she offered to take our son. I refused the offer because I had committed to taking him a few weeks ago. As I was putting on my shoes to leave I realized that I’d be awake for almost 24 hours. I’d be lucky to get in a nap prior to my shift. I grumbled under my breath, and that’s when my wife decided for me that she was going instead.
I should’ve accepted her initial offer a couple of days ago. Unfortunately I left it too late- now I was going to lose no matter what. Obviously it’s better that she goes today. I made a mistake by not thinking the situation through ahead of time. My wife will stew over this for a brief amount while.
I know I can make her crazy- it’s just not always intentional.
December 1st is coming up. That means it’s time start the annual Whamageddon Challenge.
This game has been going on since roughly 2010 according to Wikipedia. The rules are pretty simple:
Seems fairly straightforward. I have yet to make it to December 24th. I’m trying to get all the listenings in of the song already before the game starts. The easiest way to win would be to avoid all Christmas Music Stations. But I enjoy Christmas Music and shops may have a way of catching you off guard. Because as soon as you recognize the song- you lose.
Let’s do this people! See how long you last.
- The player must go as long as possible without hearing Wham!’s Christmas song, “Last Christmas”
- The game starts on the 1st of December and ends midnight of the 24th of December
- Only the original version of “Last Christmas” applies, the player can listen to remixes and covers of the song
- The player is out as soon as they recognise the original version of the song
- The player must post “#Whamageddon” on social media as soon as they lose the game
I was on my feet all day around the kitchen. I made a couple of batches of cookies and did some cleaning. By the time late afternoon came around, my lower back was in extreme pain.
I don’t remember a time from when my back didn’t hurt. It’s fairly permanent it seems. It’s just the level of pain changes. Most days I can deal with it. Yesterday was really bad and I had to lean on the counter at one point in order to not fall over. Today was almost as bad. I struggled to get comfortable. Standing and sitting only lasted a few minutes before the pain forced me to move again.
Try and take a nap.
My forty five minutes of relaxing gave me an hour afterwards of no pain. I need to make it through the evening so I can get back to bed for a good night’s sleep. Maybe tomorrow will be better. Or maybe I can ask Santa for a new spine.
Yesterday I went into our large freezer to look for a dinner idea. I wasn’t able to find what I was looking for. That’s because our chest freezer had become chaotic.
My wife and I were given this freezer twenty years ago from a family friend of mine. They were moving out of province and were giving away items. I picked up this chest freezer and an old school heavy a.f. pullout couch bed. Come to think of it, I have no idea where that couch has gone to now…
Anyhow, I decided to clean out the freezer and reorganize it. Jut like I did with our fridge freezer last year: Freezer Food
It was like diving into a time capsule. Deep down in the recesses I discovered ham from 2016 and beef stew from 2015. Looks like our dog was going to get those once thawed.
I scrapped all the ice off and gave the freezer a wipe down before reorganizing and taking inventory of what we had. Seems like we have meals for a few weeks remaining. It also looks like our freezer is only half full now. Where as before it was a jumble of crap. I’m happy to have gone through it and make it tidy once more.
To make myself feel warmer, I kept some frozen blueberries out and made a batch of tasty blueberry muffins. This has got me in the mood to start some Christmas Cookie Baking! Is it too soon? Maybe the first batches will be “testers”, right?
Ok Disney. I have bought into your Disney+ and so far am really happy with it. At first I wasn’t thrilled that the new series, “The Mandalorian”, didn’t have all the episodes readily available to marathon through. But then I realized that what you’ve done is sparked “water cooler talk” amongst everyone.
It took until last weekend for me to really notice. I hadn’t seen the third episode yet, but numerous coworkers, friends, and the Internet in general were discussing it. Not too shabby for a new streaming service. The buzz generated for this series is quite strong.
After finally watching the third episode, I can see why. “The Mandalorian” is far exceeding my expectations. It is not like any other Star Wars film or show. It is written, directed, and filmed in its own way that the pace of each episode is rhythmic and flows precisely. With Disney+ only releasing one episode per week- my anticipation level of each one grows. It has caused me to discuss the show far more than simply mentioning it in conversation.
In a time of instant gratification and marathon watching, going back to waiting for weekly episodes has made me appreciate the show more. As I wait and scroll through the available movies and shows, my kids have got me enjoying another series with guilty pleasure:
Don’t tell anyone…
It’s November 25th again. We are one month away from Christmas. I’ve been keeping myself busy trying not to became a shithead over the past couple of months. I usually get moody from Mid-September until today. It’s like my brain decides that it’s time to be a dick and lets it all out.
But not this year. This year I’ve actually been better. And that’s good. Because today is the 19th anniversary of my father’s demise. As I usually do- I’ll go drink a beer after visiting his grave. You see there’s a grave where his ashes remain. As much as I don’t like my memories of how my father treated me, I really don’t like that my mother didn’t respect his wishes to have his ashes scattered on a golf course. We argued back then about it but wouldn’t be swayed.
So now there’s a grave site that only I visit- because mother and sister have moved away. Since they don’t visit me when they’re in town, I know they don’t stop there either. A part of me feels that my mother burying my father’s ashes was one final “Fuck You, I’ll do what I want” to him. Her reasoning for not doing what he wanted was so we could have a place to visit him.
I visit the site to remind myself that he’s gone. And to remember that the only dead body I have ever seen was his as he lay on the hospital bed. His mouth locked open as if he was ready to yell once more at his kids. That vision of his lifeless body haunts me still, even 19 years later.
It’s been about a year since I had to be a switchman last. It’s like riding a bicycle- my legs were a little wobbly at first, but it all came back to me once more. Over the past four nights I have been back at it again doing twelve hour shifts each night. Last night I was soaked because of the rain. I was quite literally “Getting My Feet Wet” once more.
A part of me enjoyed doing this job again at first. Seeing some of my favorite graffiti art that I hadn’t seen in ages has been a real treat. I remember many of the images and it’s odd to see them show up again.
However, I’d like it to be over soon. I’m hoping that things settle down and the conductors return into their regular roles. They are more apt to doing this type of job than I am. I don’t feel that I am as good as I once was that’s for sure. But if I have to, I will do what is required of me until such a time that I won’t be needed.
And here I thought my career was moving away from working nights in the rain. Oh well.
I was in my woodshed the other day finding some more pieces to paint like I did two weeks ago (Check them out: Painted Wood).
I don’t have any more pieces with knot holes in them, but I did find some that I could see potential in. So I filled a box and brought them into my home.
A bit of cleaning and making sure they are smoothed out is the next step. After that it’s time to get inspired. Perhaps hours of Christmas music? Or watching favorite Christmas Movies (Gremlins anyone?).
Or maybe just a day off from work and get the time to do that. I’ve been at work too much lately. Hopefully that’ll change soon. Its not the worst thing to happen to me. It’s better than bad, it’s good. LOG!
What was I talking about again?
Last night at work for lunch I had A&W. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had food from there. The burger and onion rings were moderately okay. But my drink… I put the straw up to my lips and instantly hated it.
The paper straw gave me goose bumps and an icky feeling. So I couldn’t enjoy my beverage. Two hours later I tried to have another sip and the paper straw was turning into wet sugar pulp. It was as if the straw esophagus was having and allergic reaction to the soda. It began to collapse in on itself.
In the end, I took the lid off with the straw still in the punctured X and threw it in the trash. I didn’t recycle them out of sheer frustration and anger. Immediately I began to hate myself and A&W for ruining my meal.
Never again. No more paper mache in my drinks! I will hunt down a plastic straw wholesaler and stock pile those fish killing plastic death tubes. I know there are glass and metal straws available. But I’m not pretentious enough to carry one of those on my person in a leather satchel like a heroine addict and his kit.
You know what, from now on don’t give me a paper straw or a sippy cup lid (What the heck are those?) I’m just not going to buy fast food drinks any more. I was going to say I’ll just buy bottled water- but that’s bad for the environment too.
There’s no winning. Maybe I should just dehydrate myself like a raisin or a prune.
I’m having a tough time picking a topic to write about currently. So unfortunately I’m going to be cutting today’s blog a bit short.
Perhaps tomorrow I’ll think of something. I don’t want to be a lentil.
Until next time when I can do better.
Christmas is on the horizon- so that means gift giving and holiday cheer. The holiday cheer part is getting into full swing at our home. Minus the music… that starts at the beginning of December. Oh and Christmas Trees- we have numerous trees that go up starting December 7th. I’m getting off topic… let’s talk “Wish Lists”.
As a child, I remember filling a page of dreams, or rather filling it with stuff that my young mind thought I needed. Video games, Transformers, remote control cars, or whatever toy was popular. Up until we had three kids, I still made a list. It turned into an adult list involving housewares, tools, and small appliances. Now I make those purchases myself and get exactly what I need or want.
Wish lists always have been filled with hopes. An idealistic vision of what would make your life complete. But if you don’t get everything on the list, there can be a sense of disappointment. As parents, the lists can be beneficial. You want to give your kids so much in life, but you also have to make sure they get what they need. Going into debt over material stuff isn’t a good idea though.
Our kids have lists. It’s smattered with things they think would make their lives fulfilled. Things like books, pens, art supplies and music are topping the list. Knowing that they want to create more than consume makes me happy. I’m not quite sure where or when it changed, but I’ll gladly support their artistic side.
I’m sure Santa will support it as well- if you know what I mean.
What’s on your wish list? Do you set limits on what your kids ask for? How much stuff is too much stuff?
Let me know in the comments.
Driving home yesterday from the Speed Skating meet felt great. A big burden for our son is behind him/us. The attitude in the car from each of us portrayed as much.
Right from the beginning of the trip- my wife and daughter were having some fun. We stopped at the only sight in Prince George that we could think of- Mr. PG. It’s a large tree like statue with what looks like an oversized antenna ball from Jack In The Box as his head.
The rest of the drive we had really nice weather. There was an occasional spotty shower during the bright sunshine. But that’s what happens when nature does what it wants. I enjoyed the drive on Highway 97 because it wasn’t overly busy and parts of it reminded me of our previous road trips on Interstate 5 through California.
Our son was so worn out that he slept at least half of the way home cuddling his Duffy teddy bear. Even though he’s a teenager and working hard towards his goals in the sport of speed skating- he’s still just a kid at heart.
I’m glad that one more major competition is behind us. For the next few months it seems we will be hitting up a meet every couple of weeks. It’s good practice and will help him with his mental game before the big competitions in early 2020.
Until then, it’s nice to be home.
On Saturday we spent the day in Prince George at The BC Cup… Part One… That’s because there is a BC Cup 2 next month in the Lower Mainland. We could’ve just gone to one of them- but they add the points between both… basically whoever gets the most points goes on to “Provincals”. So to guarantee a chance it’s best to go to both competitions.
Arriving at our destination, it was obvious that I was unable to escape my work. We were at the rink connected to the CN Centre. But I wasn’t here to think about work- it was all about our son. So we focused on that.
He worked hard all day- stretching and exercising between races. Our regular coach wasn’t able to be there, but a lovely lady named Nicole and a fellow named Adam were willing to give some advice and call out tips to our son during the races. Theory took to the coaches really well and it helped tremendously.
Throughout the races, Theory did his best. At one point he was in fourth place and the three boys in front of him fell at different times and our son took this opportunity and earned first place. This pushed our son for his next race as it put him in a higher level. That next race- he earned a personal best.
Our son raced in five races. Each race lasting 45 seconds to 3 minutes or so. Not very long all things considered. On the other hand, our daughter Darwin volunteered her time as a “Track Steward” for the entire day. She had to make sure the markers were in place, holes in the ice were repaired, and the corners were smooth for every left turn. She enjoyed being on the sidelines silently cheering on her friends and her brother. It was a full time job.
In the end, we still won’t know if our son made it into “Provincials” but it looks like he’s in the top 8 of his division so far. He was up and down all day with the scoring. And if some of the boys from up north don’t go down to Richmond- it may help our son’s odds.
Competitions like this are stressful. I just want our son to feel that his hard work is paying off. It was a good feeling to hear people in the audience who I don’t know- cheer his name. I felt so much fatherly pride. That’s something worthwhile as our son does something he loves.
We travelled for nine hours to get to Prince George, BC. I did the majority of the drive. The only time my wife did the driving, she was stopped by the police for enjoying the speed of the car. Which unfortunately was within the first couple hours.
We made a pit stop in Quesnel just prior to arriving at our destination. There’s a small brewery that we liked back in the summer, so we made sure to stop once more for some lunch and beers. With a little over an hour remaining to get to the destination, it was a nice way to enjoy the afternoon.
We checked into our hotel- The Pomeroy- and they had upgraded us to a full kitchen suite at no extra cost. That meant we could go to the local grocery store and make a quick dinner instead of spending money unnecessarily at a restaurant! Bonus since we have a small fine to pay from earlier…
I took our son downstairs to do a workout before dinner. He hit up the elliptical, bike and treadmill for about ten minutes each. It was a great way to get his leg muscles active after such a long journey in the car. I even got my heart rate going on the bike and treadmill.
Our daughter has been enjoying writing during the road trip. She has a journal titled “Plans For World Domination“. I’m pretty sure she is secretly trying to take over the world by being obvious. Only time will tell.
I spent some time after dinner enjoying the newly updated pool and hot tub that the hotel had to offer. I’d like to say I was alone, but since there are a couple of waterslides- there were a few kids around. I still got a couple of laps in though and felt relaxed afterwards.
Now it’s time to encourage Theory in his Speed Skating. I mean, he is the reason we came up here!
We are off again on a road trip related to Speed Skating. This time it’s an eight hour or so journey up to Prince George, BC. We are hoping for decent road conditions as winter is on the way up north.
As with most road trips, the essentials are needed. Music to sing along to, movies for some down time, neck pillows and snacks for a bit of comfort. Crammed into a car with bags and blankets. Road trips are something we have been doing for ages.
On the road before sunrise in hopes of beating some traffic. Although it’s not the local area that I’m concerned with but rather all the road work further along the way.
Let’s do this! ROAD TRIP!
I mentioned that we have this little tradition called “Creepy Santa” recently. Our oldest daughter has been finding it amusing to try and “get me” with him. Earlier this week she was trying to psych me out.
“Do you think Creepy Santa knows when you have to work?”
Naturally I expected to find him in my car. Only for two days he wasn’t anywhere to be found. Until the one day I went to feed the dog for our daughter. There was Creepy Santa- waiting by the dog food. Our daughter knew exactly when I’d find it but made it difficult to decipher her scare tactics. Later that night- Creepy Santa was hiding under our en-suite bathroom peering out through a slight crack in the door. He watched me get changed into my pajamas like a peeping tom.
Today I made sure to take photos of Creepy Santa in places that our daughter would be likely to see him. On the stairs, by her laptop, in her bed… I had our other daughter post them to the Creepy Santa Instagram at lunch. I’m hoping that our oldest sees them.
I added a bit of flair today to increase the build up to the reveal. A ransom letter of sorts with the caption inside “I know when you’re at home asleep, or on wifi watching videos and at your fish shop awake.” I arrived early at the school to put the card inside her car.
My favorite part? Creepy Santa made a journey to her place of work today. My daughter’s coworkers were kind enough to take him in and hide him at the back of the store. This should make for an unknown reaction from our daughter. I’m waiting to find out which way this goes when she gets home at dinner. It could be humorous or I could be in big trouble.
Seems like I know the answer.
Yesterday Disney+ was released. And if you watch any form of entertainment on a screen of some sort, you must’ve heard about it. So I’m not going to go into great detail about what it all includes, because that information is everywhere on the interwebs! Instead I’m just going to share what my family and I watched as our first few shows.
I paid for a full year up front for $89.99. It was an obvious choice because there is so much content that The Mouse owns that we won’t be able to watch it all in 365 days. After installing the app on our PS4, the first thing we did was set up individual profiles. Then we went searching.
We settled on a couple of Pixar Shorts called “Bao” followed by “La Luna” -which we hadn’t all seen before. So far so good, but we didn’t want to begin marathoning through any new series of shows. We did stop next on “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” and were pleasantly surprised and dumbfounded by it. Consider it a sort of documentary on stuff. In this case- sneakers.
Naturally we watched the cartoon that started the journey of the Disney Franchise back in 1928- “Steamboat Willie“. It’s a neat reminder to see how far that little black and white mouse has come. Not only that, but it also shows how far animation has come and how it was pioneered almost a century ago.
We have our sets of future shows already searched out. The Sneaker Who Wore Tennis Shoes from 1969 is top on my wife’s list. While High School Musical is our daughter’s choice. My son and I are stoked to begin The Mandalorian in a few days. But there is so much content, we don’t really know where to start.
What are you planning on watching on Disney+?
The weather has been getting colder these days. So that means time for warmer blankets and sheets on the bed. We’ve done fleece or flannel to keep warm and cozy while we sleep. It’s nice to crawl in to bed and feel the weight and warmth of the bedding as the room chills out.
As I prepare for sleep, I try and burrito myself up like e.t. about to go on a bike ride. Turn up the heat? On the really cold nights we will add another blanket.
I hate waking up and being uncovered. I can’t sleep if any part of my body is exposed. Especially my feet! I don’t want those monsters stealing my body parts. They don’t hibernate in the winter- instead they’re always waiting under the bed and in the shadows for an opportunity to grab you.
So anyways, we have our winter bedding out and it was really nice to slide in and feel the warmth on my feet for the first time this season.
Besides using the WordPress App every day to work on my writing- I have a favorite app that I have been using since my iPhone 4. I have used this app on an almost daily basis since 2010 and my wife makes fun of me for it because I have completed every level numerous times over.
It’s a simple game called “Whirly Word“. The premise is simple- you create words from the six letters. There is no time limit for each level so you can take as long as you like to solve the puzzles. At the end of each round, you can click on the words and a definition comes up, just in case you didn’t realize that what you spelled was in fact a real word.
I enjoy this app because it reminds me of the Yahoo Games my wife and I used to play together on the computer long before smartphones were a thing. The two of us would crowd near the monitor and one of us would type as quickly as possible the answers. It was a fun way to bond. We used to do the same with crosswords while enjoying coffee at our breakfast table. It’s amazing how quickly you begin to write when you want to be the one with all the answers.
I’m now back to trying my luck at more difficult Sudoku puzzles. I like the challenge that these games give my brain. From working on a puzzle for five minutes to forty five minutes- depending on the difficulty. These types of games appeal to me more than Angry Birds or Untitled Goose Game. Even though I’ll play those from time to time as well.
In the end it doesn’t bother me that my wife pokes fun at me for playing Whirly Word still. I think it’s just because she can’t loom over my shoulder calling out answers like she once did when we played Yahoo Games.
‘It’s the season… for The Return of Creepy Santa.
Over the last couple of years, “Creepy Santa” has been stalking our home and family. He was found on the side of the road ages ago and entered our hallway one morning. Since then, he has snuck up numerous times every year scaring each member of our home. Hiding in places such as closets, beds, outside windows, even in the fridge one time.
No one knew where Creepy Santa had disappeared to after the holidays last year. Turns out that throughout the year- Creepy Santa hid in our walls beside our fireplace. Today he emerged once more.
Cleanliness is next to Claus-liness. Even Creepy Santa needed some time in the tub after hanging out with cobwebs and insects. He is getting ready once more for some creeping about.
You can follow his antics on Instagram Hohoho Horror as he torments our family for another year.
I woke up at about three a.m. and have been tossing and turning for two hours. Naturally I tried to go back to sleep. I was laying beside my wife and tried to match her breathing. I almost died. It seriously felt like my body wasn’t getting any oxygen. Maybe that’s how I should fall asleep- stop breathing.
I rolled over and picked up my phone from the nightstand and off to social media I went. Scroll… scroll… scroll… bored. At least I ended up down a rabbit hole of searching WordPress authors. That always makes me happy finding new places to travel and art inspiration. I guess it’s time to write my daily blog.
With this new Apple update I’ve opted for the Dark Mode. I guess it’s better for my eyes and brain, but it hasn’t made staring at my phone less appealing. In fact I was holding the phone in my hands and it fell onto my face. Apparently I’m not the only one who has their phone drop on their faces. I’m done with the day and don’t like that it woke me up so early.
Anyhow, here’s an early morning blog since I’ll probably burn out by afternoon and have no desire to write. Hope you had a good chuckle at my expense. Maybe next time I’ll tell you how I kicked myself in the testicles putting on pants.
This afternoon I decided to get back into painting again. I wasn’t overly happy with how my Black Canvas turned out this past summer. It wasn’t nearly as good as my Cherry Blossom Painting from last September. But today, instead of a canvas, I painted some winter scenes on wood.
The first one I completed rather quickly and was happy with the results. So I lacquered up the edges of the natural wood frame and began on another.
I’m really happy with how both pieces turned out. They are rather generic winter themes so they will work no matter where I put them. It has made me love the idea of painting again. Time to scour the wood shed and hope to find some more pieces like this.
The pieces even look good hung up on our walls as well. It’s going to be tough to take them down once spring arrives.
I have been taking my children to the Trading Post Eatery in Fort Langley for ages now. This is the second location of their brewery and is more of an eatery and brewhouse than anything. Usually I have a beer and I treat the kids to a snack. We love the yam fries and specialty foods that are available.
Because of the quality of the food- I don’t mind the kids tagging along. This afternoon my son asked if he is allowed to order some food for pick up on his lunch. That brought up an interesting thought- “Is it okay for my kids to order food from a brewery?” The answer is “Yes”.
At least from this local “restaurant” it’s not an issue. I asked the manager and he said it’s totally fine for my kids to place an order for pick up. My son now has Trading Post as a contact in his phone for those days at lunch that he wants to walk in to town and grab lunch.
At work I was having a discussion about old electronics and if you can have an emotional attachment to them. My coworker’s wife says she is emotionally attached to her old tv. Now this isn’t some retro 60’s or even 80’s tv. It’s a run of the mill plasma tv from a decade ago. The type of tv that can be upgraded to a larger screen and higher hd quality for a couple hundred dollars. But she wants to keep the tv and my coworker doesn’t understand the emotional attachment she has for it. But I can *almost* relate.
I asked my coworker what about an old Nintendo or an N64? He said those are okay to have sentimental attachments to because they bring back nostalgic memories. But an iPhone 5 that you played Angry Birds on for hours- that’s a throw away electronic device like a tv.
So at what point does something generate a value or desire to be kept if it’s no longer used or obsolete?
I feel it is more what the owner associates with the item. I went through numerous cassette players and CD players in my life- yet I have grown a fondness to my daughter’s record player. I sometimes think about an old telephone alarm clock my parents had back in the 80’s and the sound of it ringing- but I would never want it now. But I still have memories of it. I have an upright arcade machine that only goes on four or five days a year, but I’m not ready to part with it.
In the end I figure if you like your device and can’t part with it- keep it and don’t let someone tell you that you’re wrong. Sometimes an emotional bond is created and is tough to severe.