January is ending shortly. Probably the fastest feeling month of the entire pandemic. How did this entire month fly by?
For me it was because every single day blended into the next. Half my week was spent at work. The other half was spent decluttering the house. Every week for the past month has been like that. Go to work then come home to cleaning. I’m not even sure why or how the entire month dissipated into nothingness.
I have a feeling February is going to surge past as well. Especially since it’s only 28 days long. Perhaps this pandemic will be behind us by summer. We can only hope that the months go by quickly towards a cure.
After that, I want the days to stretch on forever. Yes, even the days at work. I want to appreciate life in a sense of normalcy once more.
Yesterday I took my daughter out for a late lunch date. We went to a place that I haven’t been to in twenty years. Fresgo Inn (Don’t bother with the website as it feels as if someone in the late 90’s attempted html). It has not changed in all the time I can remember. Nor was it very updated two decades ago either. This restaurant is trapped in some weird time vortex. Plus it was really difficult to locate. As if the Matrix had moved it two inches to the left.
My daughter and I walked into the cafeteria style restaurant and the first thing we noticed was the way the tile floor was grooved out by all the decades of foot traffic. Behind the plexiglass cabinets were styrofoam plates (styrofoam? Who uses that?) with oversized dessert portions. The same style of desserts that have been sold for ages.
The meals we chose were simple. Montreal style poutine and a cheeseburger. Massive portions, for the price we paid, created by a chef in one of those tall cylindrical paper hats. We ate our lunch at a table with mismatched chairs from the 70’s.
We ended up bringing plates of desserts home. The chocolate pie was rich and artificial tasting. The cheesecake tasted as if the chef had been smoking prior to starting his shift. Stale smoke filled every bite. It was like stepping into a time machine and taking a bite out of the 1980’s.
Besides the awkward feeling the restaurant has, it’s not my regular fanfare of foods. But it was worth a trip down memory lane. If I avoid it for another couple of decades- it may turn into The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe. Which it was already on the way to become.
Somehow I keep up with ridiculous trends. Even when it’s unintentional. Most recently is listening to Sea Shanties on Spotify. I guess I’m hip with the cool kids.
I’ve always enjoyed songs that can tell a story. It’s probably why I obsess about musicals so much. When I was about five years old, my mother gave me an Irish Rovers record for my Birthday. And a Lego Set. I built, played and rebuilt that Lego set over and over again while listening to the Irish Rovers. Odd memory that’s for sure, but it helped make me who I am today.
My mother would also play Scottish Highland songs on our stereo. Hearing voices that harmonized so eloquently is something I have enjoyed for decades. The newest Tiktok trend of singing Sea Shanties is right up my alley.
I don’t have a favorite Shanty or pub song. But you will catch me singing along to them on occasion. Do you have a favorite genre of music that isn’t mainstream? Let me know in the comments.
We all have something that we love to indulge in. Be it food, a sports team, a book, a park, or even a movie franchise. Whatever the case may be, we each have a thing we love. And most of us ignore the flaws.
And we love to share these interests with others. Myself for example- I really enjoy Star Wars. The movies, the books, the toys, the props, the tv shows- all of it. I just love the sci-fi fantasy realm that has been created.
But it’s not perfect. I can even look past the flaws- Those Ewok movies and the Christmas Special- and still appreciate the shows. Nothing is perfect. And that adds to the charm of the series. The diehard fans can nitpick and dissect the shows all they want. But I’m gonna still love the series no matter what.
Especially Empire Strikes Back. That is the best of the film series hands down. Maybe Rogue One…
Recently I’ve seen a few mentions of something called “A Vision Board”. The idea fascinates me and I think it’s a unique idea. It’s something that I plan on trying this spring. Why am waiting until then? I dunno. It just seems like the right time. Maybe I should make a “Vision Board” about making a “Vision Board”…
What is a “Vision Board”? Basically it’s a poster board made up of images. You can create a collage of dreams and goals you have for yourself. Back in high school I remember collages being the big thing to do. Take some old magazines and cut out pictures that represent something and glue them all together. With a “Vision Board” it’ll give you something to focus on and work towards.
I always have goals. But doing something like a “Vision Board” might help to make them feel less lofty and more achievable. Seeing goals might help with motivation in achieving those goals.
Have you done a “Vision Board” before? Did it work for you? Let me know in the comments.
I also have no idea why I kept putting the words “Vision Board” in quotes.
Well folks I made it this far and you have joined me for the ride. I am about to crest my five year mark of writing every single day. I cannot believe that I have been blogging now for 1825 days in a row.
I have diligently written every day for these five years- no matter what. I have written about movies and music (I’m not an entertainment blogger) and enjoying small businesses (I’m not an influencer). I even write about family (Not a parenting blog) or when I was on vacation in other countries (Nope, not a travel blog).
I just write for the sake of writing. Sometimes what I share can be inspirational. Most often it is to remind people that life is good and memories are worth sharing. Many people can relate to my experiences it seems, which can make for pleasant interactions with my audience.
Generally speaking, I don’t have thousands of followers. But of the almost 900 people that do follow and choose to interact with me, I will respond to every comment made. That always makes me happy. Last year in 2020, I had over 14,000 views on my site. That seems like an astronomical amount of strangers visiting my ramblings. Especially when I look at my stats and see that people all over the world read about my life.
I just want to say a hearty “Thank You” to all my friends and followers out there. I’m sure some days you think to yourself, “There’s Josef’s blog, showing up in my newsfeed again.” While other days you may look forward to seeing what I have in store.
I plan to keep my momentum going and will continue to share my thoughts each and every day. Please keep reading, sharing and interacting with me.
The word “LAVA” is so much fun. When you say it, your brain naturally goes to the idea of Volcanoes and oozing hot magma. Even the word “magma” is fun to say. I’m also enjoying “Lavazza” coffee these days. How fun is that? It’s like I’m pretending to have lava coffee!
When I was in grade 1 (…damn this story is starting waaaaaaayy back when…) I would take out a book about volcanoes from the library every week. Most kids were obsessed with dinosaurs or the Old Testament, that whole Catholic school thing; but I liked volcanoes. Plus every tv trope involving kids and science fairs naturally had a model volcano that made a mess. I remember trying to paper mache my own volcano and made a mess in the basement before completing it.
As well, when I was growing up, I also always wanted a Lava Lamp. In the late 80’s it wasn’t an easy item to find for a decent price. Many lamps cost around 100 bucks in 1987 dollars- so around $230 in today’s money. Not something reasonable for an 11 year old to afford back then.
Fast forward to around 2004… I was in the middle of my five year career at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Where I was in charge of the prize wall- and was permitted to take a prize or twenty home for myself. I took full advantage of this for my kids. They got a lot of toys. But the one that I loved most for me was a Lava Lamp telephone.
We have not had a “landline” in years in this house. In fact, my lava lamp phone was put in storage and forgotten about long before we removed our home phone. This “editing/ purging” kick meant my kids discovered the phone once more. Our son had never seen it, or at least doesn’t remember it. I don’t think I’m quite ready to part with it. So it gets another shot at being plugged in for fun.
Do you like lava lamps? Or do you have memories about volcanoes you wish to share?
Let me know in the comments so I can share them from my secret volcanic lair!
Just like the rest of you, I see videos of “Life Hacks” in my newsfeed all the time. Some are kind of neat, others are down right ridiculous. I found one that I had seen numerous people do and claimed to work, so I put it to the test.
Our daughter received a mug for Christmas. She loved it. But upon the second or third time using it, she noticed it had a hairline crack.
Liquid would essentially “bleed” out the side of her mug. What I found strange is that there was no visible crack on the inside. Off to the Internet I went in search of how to fix this. Turns out people say to use milk.
So I did what the Internet recommended. Boiled the mug in some milk. Then let it cool before cleaning it off. You know what?
It didn’t work.
The mug still leaks. Perhaps I did something wrong. Or perhaps it simply doesn’t work. Either way, my daughter still has a lovely pen holder mug.
I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but it really bears repeating. There’s something wonderful about sleeping on clean bed sheets.
Washing bed sheets is something that kind of gets overlooked on a weekly basis at our home. Every week, my wife does laundry. In fact it’s almost daily it seems. But the beds? Each bed is practically a load on its own. So they get forgotten or ignored for a bit longer. But it’s awesome when those sheets are fresh and it’s time for bed.
I think that’s why I love hotels. They will change the sheets DAILY if you want them to. When traveling, if we are extremely active for the day, I’ll get the sheets changed. Honestly, that’s the beauty of vacations and traveling. Nightly sleeping in clean bed sheets.
Aw man, now I miss traveling. Maybe I should ask my wife to wash the bedding every day… That would go over well.
I’m always of the belief that we should help others out in the best way possible. It goes beyond just giving donations to charitable organizations. We need to help one another achieve more every day.
I have found over the years that the majority of people out there need help. But many of us have difficulty asking for it. One of the best things that ever happened to me was a friend referring me to the company I now work for. Since that time, I have done my part and recommended others to apply here as well. Not everyone has garnered employment, but I have done my part to try and lead them to greener pastures.
Lending a hand is also a personal activity of mine. I’ll make myself available to assist friends and family whenever possible. Helping my kids and wife is always a priority when it comes to this. I’m not saying I put their needs ahead of mine, but rather I accept that their needs are of equal importance and will help out when able.
Over the years I have learned skills and growth from many coworkers, friends and family. My family and I have gotten to where we are with the help of those who care. I have also assisted others in personal development. We are all in this together- why not build one another up and “Pay it Forward”.
Today is one of those special numeric days in the Gregorian Calendar. I always love it when days like this pop up. It’s kind of a nerdy numbers thing.
It’s the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century. How cool is that? The down side? All day I will be singing an annoying song from a creepy children’s show.
There was an old Canadian tv show ftom the 80’s called Circle Square. I remember it being a Sesame Street style education and Christian feelings type of show. Nothing that really stood out about the show except for the end song where they asked viewers to right letters. It was the address of the tv station being sung.
2121 Station F Toronto Ontario, M4Y 2N9. An address that I knew as well as my own when I was a child. I was trying to find a video clip of it, but had no luck. But if you were a Canadian kid in the 80’s- I guarantee you will remember the way the song sounded from those little choir sounding kids.
Over the past couple of weeks we have been actively donating and Giving away items that we no longer use. However it feels as though we’ve hardly made any headway in decluttering. Now that most of the “gently used” and “well loved” items are gone, it’s time for the big play.
Time to get ready and Junk It all.
That means gathering all the big items that are just too damn large to toss out or get recycled and have someone haul them off for us. It’s going to be a pretty arduous task to collect everything in order to get the best bang for my buck when collected.
We have an old pool table, a fridge, scrap wood, scrap metal, old electronics, broken power tools, and just stuff that we need to ditch. Some items are still in our possession because of the mindset “Maybe this will be useful one day.” Only that day never arrives.
So as I take advantage of the weather over the next day or two, the trash heap will grow. Until I finally have had enough and call a junk removal company to haul it all away.
Why do we keep so much crap? Is it laziness in throwing it all away? Or perhaps the frustration that you once owned something that is now rendered useless? Whatever it may be, I have a collection of junk to get rid off now.
I have no idea why today was so difficult. Work was challenging, but nothing crazy. Driving home had a bad pocket of volume, but no reason behind it once we passed the area. And then at home, everyone was on edge and short with each other.
No idea. Just a bad day of feeling poopy.
Now I’m laying in bed getting ready to go to sleep, when something completely obscure occurred to me…
You poo poo.
As in “poo” the action.
And “poo” the product.
Or am I calling you a name?
“Poo poo.” It doesn’t make any sense. Kind of like today’s blog. But it brought me a giggle to irritate my wife by annunciating the word “poo” with different inflections.
Finally, she said “You poo poo” to me. Pretty sure it was meant an insult. However she did giggle after.
I can now go to sleep happy after a conversation with my oldest where she asked, “Does Pooh poo poo-poo?” That sentence alone makes sense. Because you can also ask, “ Does poo-poo poo Pooh?”
Last year I wrote about Blue Monday. Well, here we are again- it’s that time of year once more. Blue Monday.
This year I don’t feel so negatively as I have in the past. So I figured why not be a bit more upbeat? Eiffel 65 was the artist behind the video I’m Blue from the 90’s. Most everyone I know will hate me for getting that song stuck in their head.
Besides getting my family and friends to hate me for that song, there’s going to be a tasty treat for later. My family picked up a can of soda from an Asian market today. It’s in a blue can and it’s called “Candy Flavor”. How fun! And I’m guessing sugar coma inducing.
What better way to beat the blues than with music and sugar! Like a party created for six year olds! Let’s beat those blues away.
Ever since moving into this house, we have always had blankets in our living room. We find it makes life a little bit more cozy while enjoying movies. Having a blanket brings forth a sense of comfort.
A few years ago, my wife made some “Theater Blankets” for each of our kids. The material is made of a fun fleece print with images of popcorn and such. She gave each blanket a separate trim colour so the kids could tell them apart.
The blanket I use, and often fight with my family because they want it as well, is my ALF blanket. I was given this blanket about 20 years ago at a company baseball game. A coworker had brought it to lay in the field with and I asked if I could have it at the end of the day. He didn’t mind, so now I have a comforter that I wrap myself into to stay snug.
We have a box that we are now keeping these blankets in when not in use. Even though we use these blankets almost daily! But it will help to keep the room clean and tidy. For now at least…
Or do you sit on your couch in a blanket while watching movies or tv?Do you have a favorite blanket? Let me know in the comments.
My wife and I were welcomed to our favorite sushi restaurant for lunch today. It was quiet in the restaurant, but we were still seated in one of the closed off booths for added privacy. We have been coming here since they opened their doors- 20 Years Ago. Our Loyalty for great sushi is with them.
Every time we arrive, the staff (its a family run business) talk to us as if we were part of their family. At first we only went for birthdays and special occasions. Now we end up going there once a month it seems. The quality and value is unsurpassed.
When Nikko first opened, and for a couple of years following, they would take our picture. If you look closely in a few of the booths you will find our family up on the wall. For twenty years, the staff at Nikko Sushi has watched out family grow. Even today, when it was just my wife and I, they asked about our kids.
Because of our commitment to them, we are treated like royalty when we walk in those doors. Almost every meal we end up getting a sample of some sort of treat they have. And every year for their anniversary, we have been given a gift. Previously we have received bottles of wine, this year was a lovely hand towel (that our oldest daughter has claimed.) We also leave a generous tip as I have always proudly supported small business.
If you haven’t eaten at Nikko Sushi, you absolutely have to try it. Trust me, it is quality food. I plan on still going there over the next twenty years!
It feels like we’ve been tackling the clutter in our home for ages. With so much space comes so much stuff to fill it. It’s crazy to think we’ve been collecting items for years now. A combined 95 years if you add our ages together- not including kids. The collection of junk happened so slowly.
Yet after a couple of weeks it still feels like we haven’t made a dent in this “editing” thing. In fact it feels as if we’ve gone in the opposite direction. Our home seems messier than ever. We are stumbling over boxes and trinkets trying to rearrange our lives.
Our theater room for example has become a hoarding nightmare. For the longest time I would collect CDs followed by DVDs. I cannot tell you the last time I listened to a CD. Yet my wife and I have a collection of around 500 of them. If you were to do the math from back in the day at $15 average/cd we spent at least $7500 on music alone in that format. Seriously though, if we bought a cd every week for about ten years- that’s how we came to possessing such a large collection.
As well we have trinkets and things that we acquired over the years. All to just fill shelves and floor space. Some of it still “Sparks Joy” so those items need to be left out. Other things will be stored until a later date when we can decide what to do with them. And some things are just being given away.
This is just one room. We still have five bedrooms, a kitchen, bathrooms, dining room, and closets to get through. Maybe by 2022 we will be done the cycle of clearing out the house only to start in the first room once more.
About a decade ago I was driving our Honda Element to work when the tire essentially ruptured. I was on the highway doing about 100km/h in morning traffic when it happened. I was safely able to pull over to a shoulder and changed out the tire. Something caused it to blow out the side walls rendering the tire absolutely useless. I changed the tire in a matter of minutes and still made it to work on time.
I tell this story because my wife had a similar incident on Tuesday. Only she struck a pothole that had formed after the rain storm. This was on a side street doing about half the speed I was doing. However, the tire still exploded. Because the tires she has on her car are designed as high performance tires and are very thin, the rubber sits closer to the rim.
My wife drove the last few kilometers back home and parked the car thinking it wasn’t that bad. I’m now waiting at the local Kal Tire getting a new tire put on. I’m hoping there isn’t much damage to the rim and that everything will work out. The folks here at Kal Tire have great customer service and appear to be very efficient.
Because my wife hardly drives the car, the wear and tear on the vehicle is minimal. Financially we are lucky to only need to replace one tire. Where as normally they recommend two in order to keep the wear even. The car will get the tires rotated and balanced before I get it back.
Now that I’m done today’s blog, I’m going to finish the rest of my hour waiting here to surf the Internet. That way I can tackle the yard work when I get home and keep myself active as the sun comes out.
A year ago I wrote about our Property Value. The newest property assessment has come out once more. We have seen an increase of 11%. Basically back to what our property was two years ago.
The housing market is booming once more. Especially in our area. COVID has made people realize they want more space outside of the city. Having land and a large home is a blessing some days. Unless there is a major storm. Then we have days of cleaning up the debris and have also gone up to four days without power.
But we also have a natural beauty in our yard that people would drool over. Our summer evenings have been spent sitting In The Trees (quite literally) or just enjoying breakfast on our deck. We take the good with the bad.
I have actively watched the market for about twenty years now. Always searching to see what is out there when we do finally move. Moving is inevitable really. Majority of us have lives that change requiring a change in homesteads. Be it downsizing, upsizing, transferring jobs, or even financially- staying rooted doesn’t happen for many of us. My wife has lived in this home almost the entire time since 1972- minus about ten years here or there. That is a legacy if you ask me.
A love of this home and location are in our hearts. But what else is out there? Is the grass greener? (We have mostly moss- so it’s always green.) Tell me where you live. Would you recommend it to someone thinking of buying nearby? Or do you wish to sell and move someplace else?
There comes a time in every person’s life when they pose the question, “Just what the heck am I thinking?”
I’ve had those moments all too often in my life. Looking back, I can see how I’ve learned from them. But in the heart of the juncture, I can’t always see the results. Or whether they will turn out good or bad.
So I’m here. About to make a big decision in life and I don’t know what the future holds. I desperately desire a perfect result. Or I can just go on being and living my life the way it is. Only time will tell if it was the right choice or not.
One thing is certain- I will be asking, “What am I thinking?”
Ten days into the new year and I haven’t made any resolutions. So I didn’t feel guilty eating fast food at my desk for lunch.
I went all out and enjoyed bacon as my lunch. Baconator burger with bacon poutine fries. Truly unhealthy, but so tasty.
And then it sat in my gut for the rest of the afternoon making me feel like crud. Not the best feeling let me tell you. Before heading home I ate my orange and apple in hopes that some minuscule amount of healthy would balance this meal out.
Who was I kidding? My heart-attack burger with extra mayonnaise and gravy fries meal probably put me one step closer to death. No amount of fruits or vegetables were going to turn back time and prevent my decision. In fact, given the chance- I’d probably make the same mistake again.
It was messy, repulsive looking, and oh-so delicious.
It’s January! Just like everyone else- the start of the new year means time to get organized. Buying new totes for storage, drawer organizers, and packing up the stuff we hardly use. It also means donating and give aways.
Over the past two decades, my wife and I have collected items that we once thought we would use. Some we have even refinished and brought a new lease on life to. Other items fell by the wayside only to be a project that never happened. It’s those big items that we are about to list for someone else to give love towards.
None of these items belong in the trash. They’re just not suitable for our lives at this time. Hopefully this clears up some space in our house and make it feel more spacious.
Hours of house cleaning is behind us and hours more to come. Pretty sure our teenagers are getting frustrated, but they have stuff they’ve collected over the years that need to go as well.
Generally in my blog I don’t talk about politics or religion. For the most part I think the general population is entitled to their opinions and mindsets and are free to share those ideologies as they see fit. As long as it doesn’t encroach or get forced on other’s beliefs or opinions.
I want people to let others just live their lives in peace and happiness. Sure, anger is a part of living. Not everyone will be happy with decisions made by the government. Peaceful protests are a great way to get others talking. But those protests can quickly turn to riots and violence.
What happened the other day- in fact what has been happening over the past four years- is hatred. Plain and simple. Like many people throughout the world, I was appalled at the actions of these extremists.
I’m not an American. But viewing an attempted coup d’etat because of a change in government was a disgraceful act helmed by a political leader. This was all happening in what I would perceive normally as a civilized democracy. A country where every vote is counted and the results are accepted.
Whoever the president of the United States is doesn’t affect me. So my option on that matter doesn’t need to be shared. Seeing the growing numbers of racists come out of the woodwork does affect me.
I love living where I do. The Greater Vancouver area has a diverse cultural system allowing for everyone to live their lives how they want. I worry that closeted bigots and racists will see what is happening in the US and instead of being understanding of different cultures- will bring that hatred here. I know Canada isn’t perfect, but it’s on the way.
We need to speak up against racism, sexism, bigotry, and all other hatred. I’m known as a privileged white male and I want to do my part in creating a world that treats everyone with respect.
I don’t talk politics. And I have no photos to share today. Just a rant. An opinion- that we, as a society, can do better.
Being a father is great! You get to never grow up. Kids want you to play with toys, watch cartoons, dress up, all that fun stuff.
I love the fact that I get to steal my kids’ lunch snacks and pack them into my lunch. My son has accepted this and even packs treats for me to enjoy. This time was a couple pieces of strawberry Nibs candy. It was a pleasant surprise.
Back in high school I used to buy big boxes of Super Nibs every week. I’d keep them in my locker. As people wandered the halls, they knew to stop by for a treat if they saw me at my locker. I’ve always been the sort of person to share if it brings people joy.
Inadvertently I have bestowed that quality in my son. It brings me joy that he wants to make others happy with simple gestures as I do.
I’m still going to steal granola bars and cheese and crackers for my lunch. But a Nib or two is always welcome.