A Taste Of The Vedder

Yesterday my wife and I enjoyed a midday kayak on the Sumas Canal that leads to the Vedder River. Last year we went at the end of June when the water levels were much higher. That allowed for more exploration along the calm water’s edge. Read about last year’s adventure here: Vedder Made Today Better.

Yesterday was just a brief stint in the water. The levels were much lower and we really weren’t as prepared as we thought we were. Even though we packed some snacks and put to use our new PFDs, we just weren’t as ready as we thought. The water wasn’t difficult to paddle- the problem was the sun. We forgot sunscreen. Our water bottles can only keep us cool and hydrated for so long.

We are definitely fond of the calm clear water which we paddled on passing the tall grasses. We have also become bird watchers while on these journeys. Yesterday we saw numerous cranes, geese, mallards, hawks, and bald eagles. As well as a few fish and frogs hiding out.

Even though our adventure was short, we still enjoyed the brief paddle. Getting a bit of a workout in the sun was nice. I enjoy the car ride as well, that allows for my wife and I to talk about life.

All-in-all a good mental and physical health moment in the middle of the day.

Drone On

Our oldest child is about to finish her first year of post secondary education. Because she is attending British Columbia Institute of Technology, there has been a good variety of in-class and remote learning happening. Her area of study is in film.

She has been enjoying all the different aspects of being behind the camera. She has had an introduction to filming, editing, sound, directing, and everything else involved. I love hearing about it all and how excited she is when she successfully accomplishes one of the tasks or projects. She has been putting in long hours and determination.

Yesterday she was learning how to use drones to create professional images and movies. Using drones may not be exciting to some, but these aren’t the little ones you buy at Walmart. Her class had a good day to test them out and these are a few photos she took.

Unfortunately due to Covid restrictions, our daughter will be unable to take on any apprenticeships this summer. She is hoping that after next year things open up and she can utilize her skills in a more hands-on approach. BCIT has been good to her and her skill sets. I’m proud of what she has been doing so far and love to see her sense of accomplishment as her projects get completed.

Maki School Pick Up

Once in a while I’ll bring our dog to get the kids from school. I used to bring Lex, but he is elderly and frail that I worry about him traveling. Even if it is for a short distance.

Maki did a pretty good job hanging out in the very back on the way to the school. She popped her head up a few times, but mostly laid down. She did bark as we approached the school which shocked me. She tends to bark at other dogs.

Darwin was pleasantly surprised to see Maki in the car and quickly took her out to wander the field. Maki loved the new scents and grass, giving a good tug for Darwin to keep up.

The drive home was a little more chaotic. The kids put their stuff in the back on half the trunk space and folded one of the chairs down. Theory sat in the back and tried to keep her still, but I was getting dog breath in my face as I drove.

Maki only barked once randomly as we neared our home. It was a good little surprise for the two youngest seeing their dog greet them. I’m hoping to do it more often as the weather gets nicer.

Pretty sure Maki likes car rides.

Wasting Time

Sometimes an event or day drags on. Some of us have work meetings that last forever. It feels like there is no escaping it.

Some meetings feel like lectures. Where one person speaks and everyone else just sits there listening. Like a classroom setting with a teacher. Everyone having to listen and pay attention in hopes that you don’t get called on to answer a question that you weren’t even paying attention to.

Now with online meetings, it’s worse. There are video conferences that have people just blankly following along. We can all see it. And we can all feel it. To break up the doldrums of the topic, subtle side messaging begins. Jokes and insults and off topic subjects start to come out. Anything at all to keep your sanity as watching the paint dry and dreaming of a place that doesn’t quite resemble hell enters your mind.

Then a sigh of relief when it ends. A renewed energy comes back into you as you realize the last five hours are time you cannot get back. Time that, even though you are paid to be there, feels wasted.

What I Won’t Miss When We Move

I will miss this house once we leave. I have enjoyed the peace and tranquillity that our country living has garnered us over the years. But there are some things that I am ready to say farewell to. First and foremost are the trees.

Not because I don’t like trees. It’s more the dead branches and the dead trees that I won’t miss.

This tree has been dead since long before our time owning this house. It has been home to a variety of birds over the years, so that’s been nice. But at some point this tree really needs to be taken down. It is far too close to the house. It is only one of many that are too close now.

This tree is above the cable and power line that runs to our home. I circled a dead branch that has been precariously hanging for a couple of years now. It’s larger than most people’s Christmas trees. One day it will come down. I have been waiting and watching for it every wind storm.

Besides the trees, I’m looking forward to different plumbing. We have constantly replaced and repaired pipes and joints throughout the home on a regular basis. By regular- it’s about every three months that something has gone wrong. I’m really hoping we get a couple of years or more with no leaks in our next house. To the point that I may forget how to do plumbing repairs.

I know I don’t usually write about the negative. I’m trying to mental check with myself that we have made the right decision to sell. Financially I think it will be good in the long run. Emotionally will be challenging at first, but we will make the next place as loving a home as this place was.

Hopefully with less frustration.

2021 Mother’s Day

For Mother’s Day, our kids did their best to make my wife happy. Breakfast in bed, a day of Netflix binging, dinner, doing what was asked (without eye rolls and back talk) and a few gifts. Everyone was happy. It was great.

On social media I witnessed numerous wishes to moms everywhere. A few moms I know shared what their families had done for them as well. There was a lot of love going around yesterday.

I also saw a few images of my favorite tv moms. These are the ones who taught me about life. Many of them were humorous and worthy of being a tv mom.

I enjoyed the positive vibes I witnessed yesterday. There is plenty of love for and from mothers out there. Love like that should be shared more often.

I Married A Great Mother

I have been lucky enough to have married my best friend. She has been nothing short of supportive and loving. Our kids have been even more lucky with having such a great mom to look after them all these years.

Mother’s Day 2012

In the past our kids have brought their mom breakfast in bed, made special artwork, and generally given as much love as possible for little kids to muster up. Now as they are all teenagers, I have tried to allow them to make their own decisions on what to do for their mother. Obviously a few reminders over the past couple weeks of today’s special person were dropped. Since I’ll be at work all day, I’ll have to wait and see how they did when I get home.

I’m hoping that they give her the love and attention she deserves today. I’m pretty sure the kids won’t muck this up, they love their mom a lot. I know that there are moments that my wife would like some time to herself. She will get some of that alone time starting next month when she can enjoy a quiet bath or a book by the fire. After almost nineteen years of being an on-the-go parent, she will deserve the relaxation.

Happy Mother’s Day Lee-Anne!

Six Times Nine Equals Forty Two

Okay. The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is…

42

That’s 42 days from now!

In six weeks we are moving to our new house. Our entire life, universe and everything will be changing. This is hitting a 9 out of 10 on the stress scale now.

I’m terrified and excited at the same time. The fact that we had such a long closing date for leaving here and the possession of our new home has been both a blessing and a curse. The countdown seems so far away still. Yet we have the majority of our home packed up. Which is great, except that we are living in only a portion of our house at the moment.

Our living room is packed with boxes all labeled to where they need to go in our new home. No more theater room and watching shows on our big screen. My wife’s studio is also filled. All of the bedrooms have a stack of boxes and this new chaos feels like it is running rampant in our home. The most empty space we have at this time is our yard. We cleared out so much debris outside that our land looks enormous once more.

For the next month and a half, we will be enjoying the outdoors a bit more than normal. Every year we have enjoyed dining outdoors. This year will be no different. Even when we move- we will enjoy the outdoors.

Enough blogging. Back to packing. Hmmm… I wonder which Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy quote I should focus on:

  • “Don’t Panic.” …
  • “Time is an illusion. …
  • “Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?”

As I See It

I’m enjoying “me time” in my backyard this afternoon. A bit of a breeze, but I was doing some yard work to keep warm. I’m taking a small break to enjoy some music, the weather and share a couple of photos.

Here is what I am seeing right now as I sit in my wheelbarrow:

Here’s what the satellites and ufos can see:

I’m just a small piece of the vast universe. I’m going to enjoy my time here on this planet. Who knows what comes next. Today is just pure enjoyment. Pleasure to be alive, just floating around on this crazy planet.

Enjoying a moment is important when life is filled with challenges and hardships. Taking a moment to remember that it’s not all bad. Life is grand. I’m enjoying it.

Always Two, There Are

Star Wars Day began a few years ago. “May The Fourth be with you.” Star Wars fans expanded it to include a few more days. I suspect that’s because the SW universe keeps expanding and there is so much Star Wars entertainment to enjoy now.

Today is “Revenge of the Sixth” and yesterday was “Revenge of the Fifth.” Sounds silly to some folks. But fans of the series know this to be true because of what Yoda said when speaking about the Sith (the bad guys for those not following Star Wars lore).

“Always two, there are. No more. No less. A Master and an apprentice.

I enjoy my fandom and the fun we have. Every one of us expresses our love of Star Wars in many different ways. From quoting movies to tattoos to costuming and prop making. Whatever the case may be- Star Wars is a lifestyle that many of us live.

What is your way of showing your love of Star Wars? How many days do you celebrate the franchise?

Emergency Alert Test

Today every cellular phone in BC that was on had an Emergency Alert sent to it. It scared me, even though I had heard earlier on the radio that it was going to occur. A simultaneous broadcast on all of the cellular providers.

It’s astonishing how long ago this type of alert was only on TV or radio. The tests on tv only ever happened during commercials. I also remember it happening at random intervals during the day, But not all at the same time on every channel. It was just broadcast whenever the station chose to. I’ll always remember the lines spoken:

“This has been a test. Had it been a real emergency…“

May The Fourth Be With You

Today is Star Wars Day. One of my favorite non-holiday dates. I generally like to celebrate with a viewing of a few of the Star Wars Universe films. Plus Star Wars related food stuff.

Later today I will be watching the first episode of the animated series, “The Bad Batch” that is released on Disney+. My son is excited about the show, so I want to share in his enthusiasm. I have not watched much in the way of any Star Wars animated shows, so this will be a good father/son bonding moment.

Like Darth and Luke joining forces to rule the universe as Father and Son…

What are your plans for Star Wars Day? What is your favorite Star Wars film/show? Let me know in the comments.

Count Us In

Look what came in the mail today! So excited, I can hardly contain myself.

2021 Canadian Census!

This is the most dry and boring questionnaire around. But filling it out is “The Law” so it’s done.

Completing the census doesn’t really excite me. It’s up there in the range of taxes or jury duty. It’s something you just have to do, so you do it. Or at least someone in the household has to do it. I did it this year.

Can’t wait to see the results. I hope we passed.

Dad’s Desk

Back in the early 80’s my father began working for a computer company. WANG Computers. By the mid 90’s- the company he was working for wasn’t doing so hot and downsizing was rampant. As the offices shutdown, and the spaces were condensed- my father stayed. He had the luxury of having to terminate people he had worked with for years. It did not bode well for his health.

My father got Wanged.

As the downsizing continued, the company started selling off their office equipment. Eventually my father picked up some things prior to his departure. We got a few art pieces, a couple computer chairs, and a desk. A large, heavy, durable, virtually indestructible desk. My family moved this monster into at least four different homes. I inherited the beast. I will not be taking it to my new house.

So I brought it to my work.

We needed a new desk at my work. I have been asking for some new furniture for ages, but it doesn’t look like it’s on the horizon. At least for the foreseeable future, This desk will be utilized. Everyone who saw the desk literally said, “Hey- Nice Desk.”

What’s funny is that this wasn’t even the desk my father used at his work. This was some random cubicle desk he brought home. I had to help him dismantle it on a Saturday and bring it home back when I was a teenager.

Now every time I go to work and sit at the desk- I’ll think of my father. I will think of him and my plans to Retire from this job. It’s the perfect desk for my work.

When The Weather Report Is Wrong

Earlier this week the local weather was showing rain for days. Days. My weekend was looking unfavorable to say the least. I was going to need to spend my time packing some more. Instead, I had dry weather so I got a few chores outside done. Even though it was slightly overcast, I was enjoying the fresh air.

Luckily this afternoon, the clouds dispersed and the sun showed up. Driving out to skating for our son had me feeling the heat inside my wife’s car. An illusion of summer was once again upon us. It was looking like a perfect night to eat dinner outside.

Alas, the temperatures said otherwise. Our backyard is shaded by trees, so it was even cooler than expected. Our dinner was quick with minimal talking and we headed back in for the night. We can still hear the birds and view the skies as night falls.

I’m glad it didn’t rain much on my days off. We were able to get more downsizing of some possessions completed as a family. Boxes packed, stacked and ready to go. Only seven weeks remaining… but who’s counting?

Disneyland Is Back- And We Can’t Wait To Visit

Back in 2009, we went on our first trip to Disneyland. We have retuned to the The Happiest Place on Earth numerous times. That first trip was by far the most memorable. And probably our most joyous.

The photos from our first trip are filled with fun. Those smiles from our children are still contagious. Each trip since has been equally as magical in different ways. We have loved every visit.

Last February we bought tickets for Disneyland. Our plan was to visit in the July of 2020. Alas, the world shutdown. Now there is a glimmer of hope as the Disneyland park opens once more. Only to California residents and in a limited capacity- but from what I’ve seen today, my heart yearns for a trip back there.

The tickets we bought will be honored at a later date. So we will hold onto the thought of traveling once more. Only the next time, there will be at least four adult Havelkas entering the park. They may not be children, but we will be young at heart once more.

Is a visit to Disneyland on your wish list once travel restrictions are lifted?

Too Much Yard

People have asked me why we sold our property. The main reason is we have too much yard.

I’m getting older and want simplicity. A small lawn to mow, perhaps a few plants and bushes. Taking care of the old growth trees is too much these days.

Even though we move out in 50 days, I have pride for our home. We are still looking after it, but the yardwork is intense. This weekend will be busy trying to clear out dead branches and utilize a burning permit.

Today was a write off for me as well. I’m still feeling the after effects of getting my vaccine the other day. My energy levels are extremely low. Likely, my wife and I will do the majority of the work and our teens will run and hide every chance they get.

That’s the other hard part. Getting assistance. I was a teenager once. I know what it’s like to want to have a life not devoted to chores. I remember my father tricking me into allowing a friend stay over for a couple of nights one summer- in order for us to lay down sod.

I’m getting older. I can’t push as hard as I once did. It’s almost time for my midlife crisis. Maybe that’s why we bought a new house with a pool…

Finding Fanny Pack Money

Discovering forgotten money is a great feeling. Any denomination over a dollar feels like you won just the lottery. You can often find money in an old jacket, purse or a pair of pants. Once I found a twenty dollar bill in a jacket after buying it from a thrift store. That was a good sensation- essentially the jacket was free.

Last night I discovered three $5 bills and some loose change in an old fanny pack… A late 1980’s Fanny pack, with 1980’s money inside. A crazy blast from the past moment for me. I was excited like a kid again- reliving moments of when I sported a fanny pack. Hanging with friends, going to the corner store, wandering around Playland, carrying cassettes for my Walkman- all those memories hit me at once when I saw the contents of this satchel.

After this brief moment down memory lane, I put the money back into the bag and showed it to my family. I asked my three kids if any of them wanted the fanny pack- for some reason they each said no. I zipped it open and showed them the money.

They still didn’t want the bag. But the money on the other hand…

My son asked if it was fake money since he had never seen this version of a Canadian five dollar bill before. I told them they could each take one of the bills. I also said that if one of them had taken the bag, all of the money would have been theirs as well.

They didn’t seem to care- each of them was still getting some money for nothing and didn’t have to take a fanny pack. I thought for sure that one of them would have wanted it. But I guess The Rock can’t impress my kids enough to become fashion icons.

Pink Super Moon

It seems the clouds stayed away last night in order for those of us awake to enjoy the Pink Super Moon. It was moments like that which made me want a better camera than just my iPhone.

So for today’s blog, I went online and found some pictures in order to share. Now to be honest, it was definitely a large looking full moon. But the pink was not nearly as prominent as I originally thought it would be. It was still really neat looking with more of a Himalayan Pink Salt hue to it.

From where I worked, the moon appeared vibrant and shiny. I am looking forward to setting up my telescope once more to check out the night sky. Currently having trees tends to obscure those types of views.

Perhaps I will become a more avid sky gazer in our next house.

Did you see the pink super moon last night? Or perhaps you even took some spectacular photos. Please share them with me, I’d love to see them

Pink Super Moon

It seems the clouds stayed away last night in order for those of us awake to enjoy the Pink Super Moon. It was moments like that which made me want a better camera than just my iPhone.

So for today’s blog, I went online and found some pictures in order to share. Now to be honest, it was definitely a large looking full moon. But the pink was not nearly as prominent as I originally thought it would be. It was still really neat looking with more of a Himalayan Pink Salt hue to it.

From where I worked, the moon appeared vibrant and shiny. I am looking forward to setting up my telescope once more to check out the night sky. Currently having trees tends to obscure those types of views.

Perhaps I will become a more avid sky gazer in our next house.

Did you see the pink super moon last night? Or perhaps you even took some spectacular photos. Please share them with me, I’d love to see them

Covid Vaccine: 1st Dose

I was so sure that I wouldn’t be able to get my first vaccine shot until July. Today was my day to go and get jabbed. I’m hopeful this first round of the vaccine for me does some good.

Family flu shot

Every year I get my Flu Shot. Almost every year I do not get the flu. I really hope that will be the same case with the Covid vaccine. Missing part of my lung has me on the paranoid side of cautious. Last year it took me months to get out of the house to go grocery shopping. I still prefer if my wife goes.

I have gotten better about just going out. But I choose to go out during days and times when I know the potential of crowds are minimal. Or even non-existent. I still sanitize too much and wash my hands every chance I get. I also keep my distance from everyone. (That may be normal anyways.)

I want my paranoia to go away. I see the vaccine shot as my chance to behave normal-ish. Feel free to judge me, but I’m getting my shot, and I’ll likely still wear my mask until well after getting part two of the shot. Covid won’t vanish overnight. But it should diminish.

Waiting to get my shot- there was no one there. Just me. Sitting quietly as I wrote today’s blog. I also did some more online research into the version of the Covid Vaccine I was about to receive. Yeah, there are potential side effects. But that’s the same with all medications. Being a young (encroaching on middle age), virile, somewhat healthy, male- I’m not too worried.

For those wondering which first dose vaccine I received- AstraZeneca. My second dose will be in about four months (or possibly earlier) according to my pharmacist.

My Mistake s

I write a blog post every day. I do this mostly for me to just get out some thoughts and share my experiences. Because I have been writing for so long, I sometimes just post without proofreading my work.

I’ve posted grammatical errors, spelling errors, wrong photos, and even posts without titles. Sometimes I’ll catch my error as soon as I hit “Publish”. Then I scramble to correct it before anyone else sees it. Other times my wife will point out my mistake and I’ll get on it after the initial embarrassment passes.

On the rare occasion I’ll find a mistake months later- when I want to link back to it. Discovering a mistake that far along is the worst feeling. I appreciate that my readers don’t point out my flaws. Engaging with people over the content of what I write is far superior than someone pointing out my shortcomings.

Thinking back on it- over the past five years I don’t think anyone has made an observation on my errors. At least not publicly. Thank you for that.

And thank you for reading my blog for all of these years. Mistakes and all. I appreciate it.

Compressor Painting

I enjoy painting. Both artistically and otherwise. One of my favorite mediums is using spray paint. I have used it on Cosplay, wicker furniture, canvases, even my lawn. I find the use of spray paint very versatile.

Yesterday I finally bought myself a gravity fed paint gun. I’ve been wanting one for years and this little dude was only $65. Well worth a test drive into the world of paint spray guns.

I’m going to attempt to paint a couple of Muskoka chairs and see if I like the results. I figure it will take a bit longer than just painting them with a roller or brush, since I’ll need to thin out the paint in order for it to flow through the nozzle.

A bit of trial and error will be required to figure out the right consistency and pressure to use from the air compressor. But I look forward to tinkering with my new toy. I should be careful about the overspray and ventilation used.

Wish me luck!

The Code

Thirty five years ago today, a code emerged that changed the livelihoods of millions of children. No living room remained untouched by this magic. How it got originally got shared is unknown to this day. How it remained was a simple oversight when publishing the game.

You know the code. Even if you weren’t alive in 1986, you know of the code. Konami’s Contra Code was shared so quickly by word of mouth you’d think the code was in the instruction manual. Or that the Internet was already around…

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, START

All the weapons, thirty lives- helping to make beating an almost impossible game attainable. Every boy I knew talked about the code. It was the secret that the world knew. It has been ingrained in our minds since then. It has appeared in numerous video games and other pop culture references according to the Konami Code Wikipedia . I bet even Tesla has added it in their cars somehow.

Happy 35th Birthday to the greatest cheat code ever! May the memory of getting Nintendo Thumb be the reason I cannot forgot you.

Kill The Wasps!

Today I did a lot of yardwork. From mowing the lawn to weeding the flower beds to fertilizing the garden. I felt accomplished. So I sat down on our front porch to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

Right above my head was a newly formed wasp nest. Seriously?!? I hate those insects with a passion. I have been stung so many times in my life from just being near them.

Thank goodness I had bought some RAID last season. Time to rid my house of another nest. Spraying the nest and watching the bugs drop dead makes me happy. Wasps are jerks.