This is my third year going for “Sober September”. In fact I am already starting it early because last year I slipped and had a beer part way through the month. I won’t let that happen again this year.
If all goes well, I’m going to push for an Alcohol-Free Autumn. I’m not sure if my wife will try and join me this year. She doesn’t possess the same internal struggle as I when it comes to having a vice. In general I have more of those evil addiction traits than her.
Most of my year has had me in pictures with various beers at a variety of places. I appear to be touting the joy of drinking like an old magazine advertisement. As if drinking and fun go hand-in-hand. But seeing the last image of myself in front of my favorite watering hole, I realized I don’t look as healthy as once was. I have put on some unhealthy weight and a fake smile that I really do not like.
So wish me luck in my journey of Sober September 3. Each year gets harder than the last to let the drinking go. That is a sobering statement in and of itself.
Well it seems my fun in the sun has come to an end. It’s back to work starting tonight. Two weeks of night shifts means I’ll be missing the last of the summer sunshine while I sleep the days away.
On the bright side, I only have 6 weeks of work until my next week of vacation time. We already have that weekend booked for a trip to Victoria, BC. Our middle daughter has always wanted to go there but never has. So it seemed like a reasonable idea. Last time I was in Victoria was a little over three years ago when I Chaperoned My Son’s School Trip.
Who knows what the world will be like in a month and a half. Everything is changing day to day. I hope this trip doesn’t get cancelled like our Disneyland one did earlier this year. But if the world needs to keep people healthy- so be it.
Even if our travel plans do go on hold, I can still look forward to my time off. In SIX weeks…
Camping is over and we are back home. We have some great memories, loads of photos, and plans to return next year.
However, this year was my year for injuries it seems. Last year, our oldest suffered a wasp sting- Windy wind Down. It’s probably part of the reason she didn’t join us this year. Or maybe being 18, she doesn’t want to hang out with the family on boring camping trips…
Anyhow, my first injury came on the first night as I was wittling a stick. The blade slipped and cut into my thumb. A couple of days later I had a huge sliver go into the palm of my hand. The day after that was when I suffered the most.
Over the past few years, I have set up a hammock between two trees. I usually use a ratchet strap and tighten the tension up. However, I forgot it at home because we now use them for storing the kayaks. This year I used a piece of rope on one tree and on the other tree a luggage strap. It worked fine when I used the hammock the first time.
The second time I was not so lucky. I was in the hammock listening to music, enjoying the breeze and watching the rest of the family playing in the water. Suddenly the luggage strap opened up and my top half was on the ground. My elbow and thigh suffered some hefty bruising. So did my ego as I looked around to see if anyone had witnessed my folly. Nope. I was good.
The bruises and cuts are already healing and starting to fade. Good thing I had my Nissan first aid kit with us. And Advil. Next year I will try and be smarter. Perhaps it will be my wife’s turn for injuries.
Our last evening at the campground was relaxing and filled with silliness. We watched the sunset over the mountains and the sky turning pink. I started a fire in the fire pit with the help of my son and we sat at the beach listening to some Queen.
My wife and daughter began playing with bubbles between our fire and the water. The sheer amount of joy they were having astounded me. They kept it up until it got dark and had run out of bubbles. We all enjoyed our final evening together.
Of course we also had our last bite of campfire S’mores for the summer. Another nice way to end the trip.
About three years ago my daughter and I used the rubber dinghies and paddled to the island that we could see from the campgrounds. It took us an exorbitant amount of time to get there… and back. The next day, my son and I went. Still just as tough. More so because I was sore from the day before.
Last year we got our kayaks. It cut the trip down to about twenty five minutes. So we came every day to the island. This year is no different. Except that last year I discovered a sweet spot that I can get two bars of service on my cellphone.
I don’t think the island has a name. So my wife and I were trying to come up with one.
Camping is filled with loads of keeping ourselves active. We have been spending most of our time at the beach and in the water. Flying a drone, tubing, kayaking, fishing, playing cards, and cooking over a campfire. These are what makes the experiences more and more enjoyable.
Plus we have limited cellular service. So we are using our phones to take pictures and listen to music. I sneak off to a little island by kayak in order to get 2 bars of service in order to blog each day.
We arrived at our campsite mid afternoon and set up our home away from home. Then we enjoyed the evening by the water and fire.
The next morning at 4:30 it decided to rain. That lasted until about 10am. The weatherman was wrong about a week of sunshine. But the day became comfortable and we hit the water for some kayaking to the nearby island.
This is our fifth year of going to Twenty Mile Bay to enjoy some camping at the end of August.
First off, the weather looks like it will be in our favor. Should be a comfortable week ahead with loads of sunshine. Honestly, we have been lucky every year we go. Not once has it rained. We did have one year of gusty winds- where our tent was trying to eat us. But it made for good kite flying.
The part I do not like is driving the logging road to the site. We drive about 45 minutes on nicely paved roads doing the speed limit. Then we have to drive about another 45 minutes navigating a rough path going up and down the mountain. With many parts only able to get one vehicle by at a time.
At least the check out time for the campsite is a few hours before the check in time. This means you rarely have oncoming traffic to negotiate around. Plus I like getting there at check in time to set up and start enjoying the trip.
We love having family movie night in our home. Usually it’s a choice we all can agree on. But sometimes I show films to my teenagers that are uncomfortable to watch as a family. I want them to see moving picture shows for what they can be. Not just special effects or cartoons. But artsy.
Last night I put on “Natural Born Killers”. Besides the excessive violence, my teenagers didn’t quite understand Oliver Stone’s vision. I had to explain about the absurdity of the 90’s and the fascination with court cases and police brutality that went on. The worst part is that after 26 years since the film came out- it seems society is still obsessed with crime. And there are more cameras sharing today than there was when this film was made.
I know what you may be thinking. Why would you show your teenagers that film? Because it is an amazing film. It showcases a variety of music, film angles, and styles that look haphazardly thrown together, but in reality weave the tale. A perfect love story filled with society’s imperfections and obsessions.
Watching “Natural Born Killers” is like trying to understand what makes an abstract painting good. After a quarter century, the film still holds up. And is probably more relevant now by shoving the glamour of the lowest parts of humanity into your face.
It also gave my kids a chance to see many actors in a role that isn’t what they see normally. Juliette Lewis (Christmas Vacation), Woody Harrelson (Solo), Robert Downey Jr (Avengers), and Tommy Lee Jones (Men inBlack). All of which were the films that my kids recognized them from.
Of course right after the film, we watched “The Muppets”. I think the kids wanted to remember what life was like in a more simpler time. Nothing wrong with that. I love reminiscing and watching movies from my childhood.
Yesterday I posted on Instagram about a sleeve tattoo. It got many responses and I received a few text messages from friends about it.
Many did not read my tags underneath about the tattoo being fake. Not my intent, but humorous nonetheless.
I was given the temporary tattoo by a coworker a couple of weeks ago. I thought it was a neat opportunity to see if I like the idea of a sleeve tattoo. For the next few days I’ll see what I think, and see what my family thinks as well.
The only tattoo I do have is from 2008 for my 32 birthday. A double helix with a dragon head and my children’s names in the ribbon. It’s a perfect mix of my atheist beliefs and fantasy. I always loved dragons. And with children named Random, Darwin and Theory- the DNA strand was a perfect tattoo choice for me.
Twelve years later, and I’ve been thinking about getting more art on my body. Even though the sleeve tattoo looks authentic, it is sadly temporary. It’s hard to justify spending that kind of money for art though. Especially if it’s just for me.
But the temporary tattoo is growing on me. I like the idea of putting more artwork on my body. It’s a good expression of oneself, and I love seeing talented tattoo artists spreading the joy. Maybe on my 50th birthday I will have another tattoo planned out.
Last night I decided to experiment with incorporating fresh baked bread with dinner. I came up with a dish worthy of being repeated, with a few tweaks.
I made a French bread dough recipe from scratch. After letting the dough rise, I took 2/3 of it and rolled it out as flat as I could so that it would fit nicely in a greased bundt pan.
I then put a thin layer of homemade pesto, sprinkling of feta cheese, added some cooked and seasoned ground beef, poured on some tomato sauce, finished with a layer of grated marble cheese. Then I folded over the balance of the dough and sealed the edges.
I baked it in the oven at 375° for 25 minutes. It came out golden and crisp. The flavors melted together beautifully. My only complaint was that the beef was crumbly. When I make it next time, I may need to add some bonding agent such as eggs or more cheese. It will change the taste once a bit, but not enough to make it drastic.
I chose to make this because I want to get into baking breads. Plus we rarely use our bundt pan. It seemed like a good combination for a dinner plan.
Our one acre of privacy is surrounded by larger acreages. Some have horses, many are hobby farms. Personally I don’t want any other animals to take care of as our dog is the hardest one to look after lately. He’s getting old and it makes me sad. But I want to talk about our neighborhood instead of our puppers.
Wandering around our neighborhood there are a few little stands set up. One is from a couple little kids. They are selling a variety of zucchini and squash. It’s really cute that they are trying to be entrepreneurs. Pretty sure they got “backing” from mom and dad. As in harvesting their vegetables.
The other type of stands that are around are for “Free Range Eggs”. We have a couple of these in our neighborhood. I have not purchased from them. My wife has in the past and was not thrilled with the color of the yolks. I won’t go into detail, but store bought eggs are more reliable in her opinion.
There is also an herb stand around the corner as well as a few small businesses. Such as a Christmas tree farm, a turkey farm, and a few vegetable greenhouses. Having these nearby is unique and pleasing. I do enjoy the freshness of the vegetables as well as the luxury of having these places nearby.
Are you more city or country? Perhaps you love the suburbs.
It’s nearing the end of summer. It’s the final push to enjoy ourselves. I am also starting eleven days of vacation. That means time away from work, which is great to recharge the mental batteries. Even though we may not be traveling to a favorite destination.
We are still planning on having a good time as a family. Tonight we made smoked turkey legs and watched some “Disney Park Blogs” YouTube videos during dinner.
Of course we all wore our Mouse Ears! Because who knows when the next time we will be attending a Disney Park again… But the feels needed to come out. The ears brought forth joy, laughter and memories.
I’m ready to have a great time with my family during staycation. British Columbia is the next best place to be next to Disneyland! Especially if you get to share moments with loved ones.
The past few days have been the hottest I ever remember experiencing. As if the world decided all at once that it was time to crank the thermostat and break the switch at the same time.
It’s perpetually hot now. Yes, summer is nice, I’m not trying to complain. But give us those perfect summer days with a cool summer night. Not habanero heat hovering heavily all around. It’s just unpleasant.
I ventured out of my air conditioned office a couple of times the past couple of days at work. The wall of heat hit hard. So hard that I used “H” alliteration twice in this blog.
Sleeping in this heat is difficult as well. You lay down with no covers enjoying the fan. Inching closer and closer to the cool air blowing at your body. On the verge of falling off the bed in hopes to cool your feet down at the very least. Or so I imagine it to be.
Our home doesn’t get warmer than 24°C on a hot day. The abundance of trees shade our home. The brick work keeps it trapped inside.
It’s just stepping outside that sucks. It’s too damn HOT HOT HOT.
My wife has been with Shopify going on 3 years now. Every summer they have a “Support Summit” for their region. Last year was held in Whistler. The year prior was in Vancouver. This was supposed to be in Victoria, but COVID had other plans.
Since my wife works for an online e-commerce platform, most of her job is done remotely. Meaning she has already been working from home for ages. And because of restrictions, numerous businesses are setting up shop with Shopify. Work for her has been busy.
This year, their Summit was done remotely. Lots of video conferences and online tutorials to help improve their customer service. Instead of going out and getting a Swag Bag, it was shipped to our home instead. Where she was told to open it on day one of the Summit.
My wife and her coworkers take great pride in their job and the company. So any time my wife gets swag with a Shopify logo on it- she displays it proudly. From hats to shirts to mugs. My wife loves the company she works for and her “Shopifam” as well.
I’m really happy for her that she fell into this job as well. It has been a great opportunity for her to connect with people and assist them in creating a better business for themselves. My wife always has a “feel good” story to share with me after each shift. Sometimes the stories are humorous in nature as well. Even with some negativity that happens on occasion- my wife goes back each shift and is laughing with her coworkers online as they start their day video chatting.
From an outsider looking in- it appears that Shopify has a great business culture in how it is run. So for any small businesses out there looking for an online platform with good customer services- try Shopify. You may even speak with my wife. You can tell it’s her because you can hear her infectious smile through the phone.
And no, Shopify is not paying me to write this. Although it is paying for a bit of our livelihood, but not without some hard work on my wife’s part.
This morning our laundry line snapped after a dozen years of use. So I went to Home Depot and grabbed a new line and put it up. I also picked up a few 2×4 boards and some odds and ends for some other projects. Until shortly after lunch, we were all busy.
This afternoon was a warm one with lots of sunshine. We chose to hang out in the backyard on our tree deck. We needed a break after a full morning of working around the house. Did I say it was warm? I lied. It was hot.
We played a couple of different versions of the card game Timeline. A great trivia style game that involves figuring out when events took place. I recommend this game to everyone. We always have fun playing it. Bonus- it’s educational!
We followed it with a few aggressive games of Uno. That is sure to tear families apart the way Monopoly does. Lots of yelling and accusations of cheating.
I like to shower everyday. After my shower I always put on “Pit Stick” to freshen up. Over the past couple of decades I have been loyal to one particular brand. For no other reason than it is inexpensive and works for me.
Degree Antiperspirant. I don’t like overly fragrant men’s stuff. Degree is perfect. As I mentioned about a month ago, I hate to Sweat. It feels icky. Rarely do I skip on my daily shower. Sometimes I’ll have two in the day if required.
If I forgo a shower, or know that I’ll need one later in the day, I do not put on antiperspirant. I put on deodorant. And since this is a rare occasion, my deodorant has lasted me a very long time. So long in fact that I swear I’ve had it since before the internet became a thing. There isn’t even an “AOL KEYWORD” on the label.
This brand of deodorant is even cheaper than my antiperspirant. It has a fantastically tacky name- SpeedStick. It also smells like my father once did- since it was the brand he tended to favor.
There’s an argument to be had of antiperspirant vs deodorant. I’m not going to start that today. Since I am biased in my judgement- because clearly sweating is icky. A
Today I finally put new tires on my 2016 Rogue. It’s hard to fork over about a thousand dollars for four tires. But if I can go 3.5 years on them. Not too shabby.
I was really tired having to go in to Costco this morning after a night shift in order to get my tires installed So I went for a walk to keep myself from deflating before I needed to go home. I was pumped when they called me to tell me the car was ready earlier than planned- as I was exhausted.
Enough puns, as you can see- the tire on the left was my old one. Hardly any grip remained. I kept them in case I wanted racing slicks. Actually we kept the old tires for use in our garden. We wheel will be planting some potatoes and other root vegetables in them. It makes for easier removal of the vegetables when they are ready to harvest. Or so Pinterest tells me.
I don’t want to hang around this post anymore. I’ll try and swing some better content tomorrow. So I guess this is end. Sorry if it fell flat.
I love making sandwiches. I mentioned how much we love Bread yesterday. Making sandwiches is the best part of eating bread. Like most people, I also do the following when making sandwiches:
I leave my knife on the edge of the sink while I go and eat my meal. You know, just in case I want to make another sandwich. Because clearly, I know that my sandwich is a work of art that I may want to duplicate and enjoy a second time. Although, it is rare for me to make a second sandwich for myself.
My children also do this. But they leave the knife there until someone else puts it in the dishwasher. That’s a tad bit frustrating.
Are you guilty of leaving a knife on the edge of the sink? Don’t lie. I know most of you are.
Bread is a big part of my daily diet. Toast, burgers or sandwiches- it’s a regular occurrence in my life. We go through bread products so much in our home that we rarely bother to make it fresh. It’s so much easier to just buy a few loaves each week and leave them in the cupboard.
Or on the counter apparently.
But the biggest issue I have is how to wrap or seal the bread bag once it’s opened. Our family has not come up with one style. Nor have I been able to find the culprit behind leaving the bag OPEN!
Unfortunately I taught my children how to flick snapped bread tags. So usually the tags are removed and found on the floor throughout the kitchen. Bad parenting decision from years ago. Do not teach your children this trick. Trust me. Your bread will stay fresher longer if those tags go back on.
How do you close your bread? Have you ever flicked bread tags? Let me know in the comment section.
I cannot get enough of living in the country. Being on the outskirts of the suburbs, we own an acre of land. Filled with trees and plenty of space to relax. We are only a few minutes away from accessing major routes to get into cities and local shopping. Our privacy and peace make all the difference to my mental well being.
Visiting a friend over the weekend, I also appreciate that we don’t have a farm to maintain. Not that they do, they just rent a house on that land. But their privacy and views are also amazing.
My wife and I discuss on a regular basis the idea of moving in the future once the kids are all done high school. But we both want something different it seems. I still want some privacy and space. She wants connivence to walk to shopping and have less land to maintain. Both of us want bigger and better bathrooms and a kitchen. Newer would also be nicer.
Until our son reaches his final year of school in three years, it’s tough to discuss plans. I honestly think we will remain where we are for at least another decade, if not longer. So I feel we should do some work around the house to update it so that we can enjoy it before someone else does.
Having inner peace is important to me. I’m not sure I’m ready to trade it for convenience.
Yesterday our neighbors were having a wedding ceremony. It took place in the backyard of a newly built house. There was a small gathering of people there. The rest of their guests- well let’s just say they did a drive-by car parade.
My wife and I came home in the evening to see these signs placed down our street. It was a lovely gesture for the newly married couple. You don’t need big and flashy in order to get married. Sometimes simplicity is the way to go.
So congratulations to the newlyweds- whoever you may be. Since we haven’t met any of our new neighbors due to Covid-19… But at least they found love.
Last week I wrote briefly about Saturday Morning Cartoons. Those cartoons were generally pretty abysmal in the animation style and story telling. A comment was made about the show “He-Man” and looking back on that show (which was a favorite of mine back in the day) it was pretty bad. The character names were barely thought through. He-Man, Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Man-E-Faces, Clawful… seriously no effort.
Over the past week I began singing a song from another 80’s tv show.
Look at what’s happened to me I can’t believe it myself Suddenly I’m up on top of the world It should have been somebody else
Believe it or not, I’m walkin’ on air I never thought I could feel so free Flyin’ away on a wing and a prayer Who could it be? Believe it or not it’s just me…
Yup. The theme for 1981’s Greatest American Hero. I saw that it was on Amazon Prime last week. So yesterday I attempted to watch the pilot episode. Oh Em Gee… not good.
Again, was no thought put into the premise of the show? The writers stole ideas from everything from the late 70’s/early 80’s.
First let’s start off with a teacher in charge of a group of “Special Education” students ala Welcome Back, Kotter. Follow it up in a few minutes with a visit from a UFO with a scene that looks like it came from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Suddenly we are in a buddy cop show. Then we top it off with Superman. Which the show references at least three times, including the fact that the female lead looks like Lois Lane.
People in charge of entertainment in the early 80’s were something else. Even video games in the early 80’s were bizarre- Frogger and Joust come to mind. Greatest American Hero is written as if the writer’s room threw darts at every possible genre and generated 44 episodes of a show that really has no place to be.
My day off was completely wasted on a bunch of nothingness. Sure I played about two hours of video games with my wife this morning. Afterwards I helped the kids with some yardwork for about thirty minutes before the weather turned. I also dyed my daughter’s hair for her. But that was it.
Allergies kicked my butt today. Probably due to the change in air pressure and the rain mixing with pollen. But I had all these ideas to make some tasty treats while the weather was poor. Instead I took some allergy medicine and promptly went to bed. For a few hours…
Now I’m awake and it’s almost dinner time. My wife will be done working shortly and she’ll ask what I did all day. I can’t lie to her… because she works from home and knows exactly what I did today. It’s a silly game having her ask me that question. Honestly, I’m just unmotivated and will be looking forward to going back to bed tonight- hoping that my allergies will be better tomorrow.
Oh, and sorry about the “Bear Memes” I was too lazy to add any real substance to my story today. And pandas are always cute when they’re lazy. So I’m hoping my laziness is also cute. I barely (or should I write “bearly”? ) wanted to even blog.