Come On Out to a Speakeasy!

At the end of the month, there is a dance in Fort Langley Community Hall that I am excited to attend. It is an opportunity for the community to support the Langley Fine Arts Dry Grad event happening later this year. There will be drinks available for purchase as well as a couple of Blackjack Tables and auction items up for grabs.

There will be plenty of “Old Timey” themes and music throughout the night. Personally, I love music from a century ago and feel inspired to be attending a Roaring 20’s dance. Because these are parents of Fine Arts students planning it-you know it’ll be well thought out and executed. Dressing the part from 100 years ago isn’t necessary, but it is encouraged!

For all my local friends who want to enjoy an evening out helping to support the Dry Grad- you can buy tickets here: Eventbrite. So get on your dancing shoes and flapper dresses! I’d love to see people attend and have a good time on February 29th!

Please share this throughout Langley and let’s make it a monumental event!

Four Years of Beers

Last year I went to Trading Post in Langley to celebrate Three Years of Beers. The year before I enjoyed Two Years of Beers. I was also there for the Grand Opening when they first started up. I have been a loyal customer and beer connoisseur of what the Trading Post has to offer. I have visited their three locations and will continue to do so.

The other day I received a message from a person whom I met up with last year at the anniversary. He was hoping to meet up again this year. Our friendship was formed over a mutual friend… and beers. I also met with a couple former coworkers from various past employments of mine.

As the afternoon went on, we had some good talks and loads of laughs. It was great to meet with everyone who makes life a bit more enjoyable. It’s all about networking, right? Or just enjoying life.

Now, I have a nice collection of specialty glasses each celebrating the various anniversaries from Trading Post. I also have a great collection of friendships that I have accumulated over the years. Taking the time to enjoy people’s company over a beer or two makes me happy.

Anniversaries are a great way to keep in contact with others. An anniversary of a brewery is even better.

Wisdom… Teeth

Our oldest daughter gets to enjoy her Valentine’s Day by getting her wisdom teeth removed.

Not the best date for Valentines, but it will help her mouth in the long run. Those teeth can have a detrimental effect to all those years of braces. Best to get them pulled now.

As I sit in the waiting room for her to be done, I searched out what I once wrote about My experience with having my wisdom teeth on a site called übersite. This is the excerpt from September 2005:

I have an impacted wisdom tooth. Not only is it impacted, but it has a cavity that is nearly half the tooth. I hope that I can bring you some pleasure from the pain it has caused me. It wasn’t that this suddenly occurred. The pain has been on and off for a couple years now. But, it has never been this unbearable. It almost feels like I chewed on some glass shards and they are imbedded in my gums.

This tooth is keeping me up at night. A small little whitish tooth is keeping a grown man awake at night thinking of ways to perform oral surgery on himself with needle nose pliers and 99 proof alcohol. (That was all I could find in my work shop at 2:40am that may not wake up the family.) I then thought of my shrieks of pain and the knowledge that my wife would find me unconscious on the floor of the garage. I’d probably be laying in the fetal position with a puddle of urine around me, a pair of pliers and a bottle of alcohol that I shouldn’t drink. Not to mention, that I’d be in my good pajamas; so I proceeded to not go through with it.

Instead, I came here to my computer to Google “wisdom tooth pain.” I didn’t have to go too far as the first site that came up was the one with the most info on pain and wisdom teeth. As I read on, my Tylenol began to work, and the pain and numbness began to subside. Until I realized that perhaps I should have had this tiny little irritation removed before the age of twenty. Now, at twenty-eight, I will have a much longer time to heal and a greater chance of infection. Good news for me! More pain and suffering than I should have gone through, if only my dentist didn’t tell me at age eight-teen that my jaw would be able to support the tooth. I still recall making fun of friends who had theirs removed. Now the tables have turned. Ok, I lie…

I’m not friends with any of those people anymore. Instead I have new friends. You know what I mean, the people who you just met over the past year or so. Perhaps you work with them or they’re from some group or club you belong to. These are the type of friends I have now. Many of my older friends are gone and grown up, doing good things with their lives. I generally hear about it through some sort of weird run in with a “mutual friend” at a mall or store.

Here’s a little known fact: I’m terrible with names. My wisdom tooth doesn’t make me any smarter in these situations. If I run into a familiar face, I usually end up saying, “Hey, what’s up?” Which is my own downfall, as it opens up an entire greeting, to which most people feel the need to stand there and talk for a good ten to fifteen minutes. I don’t care what they say generally. “In one ear out the other,” as the old phrase suggests. (My wife accuses me of this behavior on a regular basis. But she’s wrong. I do listen, but I don’t generally like to respond, because she doesn’t like my replies anyway.)

So there we are, standing like fools in a crowded mall on a Saturday, being “mall blockers” (you know, oblivious to people around and taking up more room than necessary because of that weird three foot apart rule that people follow) just to have a conversation about people we used to know, but neither of us see anyway. Then comes the point where I usually look at my wrist watch and say, “Well I got to get going. Good to see you again.” Both sentences are complete lies. I’m usually in no hurry; I just don’t have anything to talk to that person about. And quite frankly, the reason is that they weren’t directly my friend because they bored and/or irritated me. You all feel the same way about these awkward situations, until that one person throws in that odd request: “We should get together for a drink sometime.” Screw that! You already took ten minutes out of my day talking about people that I don’t see anymore, why should I waste an entire hour or two doing that?

But then as always, I say sure. Maybe it’s just a gut reaction. I exchange numbers with the person. I don’t have a cellular phone, so I usually dig up some old receipt from my wallet and they write on the back. I couldn’t bother to waste a business card on these people. Here’s the brilliant part, they put their name on this piece of paper. Now I know who it is I was just ignoring. I am so smart sometimes, that it astonishes even me. A few moments later, when they are out of sight, I find the nearest trash can and throw out that paper. At least this encounter gives me a chance to empty my wallet. If I don’t, I end up with all this crap in my pockets. The only bad part is that sometimes they call…

Now out come the excuses. It’s hard to lie on the phone, especially if you are caught off guard. Here’s where children should come in handy. I don’t know why, but if I have an important call to make, like to the dentist, they’re usually very loud, and distracting. But when that one person calls that you don’t want to talk to, both are as quiet as can be. Lucky for me, I have a cordless phone, so I sometimes go searching for one of my daughters to give them a pinch or wake them up just so they start crying.

Kids are a life saver. I should take them out shopping more often, so that when I do run into people, I can pretend like my kid just crapped herself, and that I’m in a hurry to find a restroom. No one wants a whiney, shit-smelling kid wafted under their nose. Not even me.

Well, that’s about it for my rant, a sore tooth and a quick gripe about irritating moments with people that you don’t want to talk to. Remember, if you see me in the mall, just ignore me, I’m probably trying to do the same to you.


TL;DR

Wow did I sound grumpy. Pretty sure it was the impacted Wisdom Teeth causing my jerky attitude. But it also made me realize that I’m glad we are taking our children to have their extra teeth pulled at a much younger age.

I also completely forgot about Übersite. Time to dig thru and find some of my old musings. If you read this far, I hope you enjoyed my extended blurb. If not, I’m sorry that I didn’t share a love story today. Here’s a music video by the Petshop Boys: Always On My Mind.

Estranged Stranger

I am an adult. I do adult things. I work hard to be the best husband and father that I can be. I also have friends and coworkers who rely on me and whom I rely on equally. I think I’m doing a pretty good job out there.

Over the years, I have chosen to lose contact with certain friends. Sometimes we just drift apart. Other times it was a misunderstanding or disagreement. That’s totally fine. Recently I was contacted by an old friend out of the blue. We shared stories and thoughts as if we hadn’t skipped a beat in our friendship. When I’m usually the one reaching out, it was heartwarming to know that he reached out to me instead.

As an adult with a life I in which I am trying to have filled with joy and happiness, I’ve chosen to lose contact with my mother and sister. My mother and sister have their own lives. I was often putting forth the effort to stay in contact and don’t have the energy to do it any further. It’s been a few months now, and I’m okay with that. After a few decades, it’s time to move on. I have other people who mean more to me in my life.

On the other hand, it’s also hard to want to miss somebody who could’ve been a bigger part of my life. How do I miss someone I’ve never met, like my Unknown Half Sister? It’s weird to think that there could’ve been someone I could look up to and ask advice. But that never came to fruition. That was more my parents’ choice to hide her existence for most of my childhood. As an adult, I just don’t care to discover an estranged stranger on the other side of the planet.

I sometimes dwell on the past. But I also move forward from these thoughts rather quickly. As I write this I know that it is helping me move forward with my life. I’m excited about the possibilities that my future has in store with friends and immediate family. Perhaps one day I’ll miss someone I haven’t met yet.

Linked

The other day it was suggested to me to join LinkedIn. I have been aware of the site and what it offers, but never saw the need for joining it. I’m not actively looking for new work, but it’s neat to see so many current and previous coworkers and their profiles stating skill sets and abilities. I had no idea that many of them are supremely talented and successful in many aspects. Go team!

The platform is similar to Facebook (obviously). As much as I was wanting to limit my Social Media usage, I’ve been enjoying setting up my new LinkedIn profile. I guess you can find me here: Josef Havelka LinkedIn. I’ve currently being adding my careers and jobs, and searching similar jobs and even dream jobs. But I have been hemming and hawing about mentioning my blog in my profile.

This blog is a great place for me to share, even though it’s not devoted to one topic. Besides being about ME. So do I add my blog or not? It’s kind of like a diary of being a father, husband, and geek who enjoys food and travel as well as nostalgia.

Help me interweb friends! What do I do?

The Good Drugs

In Canada we have universal health care. Which is fantastic. I see the doctor for any ailment or see a specialist and it doesn’t come out of my pocket. Sure, the wait times are long and can be frustrating. But hey, I like free. It’s the drugs that cost us a small fortune.

I’m lucky that my wife and I both have jobs with a decent benefits plan. Most of the medications we require are covered- many at 100% of the cost. Everything from inhalers to the occasional pharmaceutical for illnesses. I like feeling normal, so Yay Drugs!

Getting drugs to assist our health is fairly normal I guess. There’s also alternative medicines available. Some work, some do not. Those aren’t generally covered by our benefits. Perhaps one day my doctor will prescribe “Medical Marijuana” and I’ll just have to take it, right?

Right.

Oh Dear, Red Deer

Over the weekend, my wife took our son to Red Deer, Alberta for a Long Track Speed Skating meet. This was significant for our son in many ways.

  1. He was in the top four of his age range of the skaters for British Columbia.
  2. This was his first National competition in Long Track Skating and he skated for Team BC.
  3. This was his first ever outdoor competition.
  4. This is only his second long track competition ever. His first was just a couple weeks ago.

Because of all of those factors, our son placed 17th out of 17 kids in his age range. As a parent wanting to encourage him further- what do you say?

First you tell him that you’re proud of how much effort he’s put in. And you remind him that he is still top 17 Nationally in his age range for Canada. You also point out that he has no where to go but up. Having only competed twice at long track, I know it feels discouraging to him to place last. One day he can make it to the podium.

I’m looking forward to seeing him in action at BC Winter Games next week. He will be doing his third ever set of Long Track races as well as Short Track. Hopefully he isn’t dissuaded from doing his best. I’m just as proud to see him out there putting in effort as I am seeing him win.

I don’t know if I’ll ever see him skate in Red Deer in the future. But I hope he took away from the competition some learning points. Like dress warmly!

Day By Day

The fact that I’ve been writing daily for Four Years means one of two things- I’m devoted to it or I’m addicted to it. I’d like to think it’s the former. I enjoy blogging. My blog isn’t designed to sell anything in particular nor is it much of an opinion piece. A lot of what I write is from the heart. Stories of my life and family. Sometimes I’ll promote small businesses or share my travel experiences.

Wanting to write while sick is difficult. There’s no ambition left inside me. It’s like my body and mind are under attack and weak. But I push through and share stories. Even though when I look back on the stories- they feel halfhearted and forced. I’m sorry about that.

Usually I try and have my blogs written and shared by early morning Pacific Time. Some days though, I have a tough time coming up with a good idea. Especially if I’m not having to go to work or have plans for the day. Driving is when I do my most thinking and thought processing. I also love sharing pictures on my blog that I feel relate to what I’m writing.

Thanks again for putting up with me through thick and thin. Sickness and in health. You are some of the best readers around.

You Give Me Fever

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of losing control of your senses. The strangest sensations are those when you wake up in a daze. I almost enjoy having a fever and taking cold medicine just to experience it.

When I was younger, I was often sick. Mostly ear infections. A lot of ear infections. I wrote about them back in 2016. Read about me tripping out as a child: Noises In My Head. As an adult, at least I can differentiate between reality and those hallucinations.

Or can I? Man. WTF. Back to reality. I think.

Bad Bacteria

Being sick is not fun. I’m starting to think it’s because of my coworkers. In more ways than one. First- people are always coming in to work sick or with flu-like symptoms. That’s a great way to make everyone sick. Besides the airborne coughing and sneezing- people touch everything!

Sharing a workspace means I touch a lot of the same spots. Keyboard, mouse, phone, desk, chair, doorknobs etc… bacteria and sickness gets spread quickly.

Most of my coworkers come into work and use Clorox Wipes and attempt to disinfect everything around. Normally I just do a quick wipe or wet cloth if I see dirt. Those invisible bacteria seems like it’s more harmful to remove 99.9% of them.

There’s no exact way to prevent becoming sick. Except telling people to stay home when they’re sick. I think it’s a courtesy to your coworkers.

Sharing donuts- Good.

Sharing the flu- Bad.

Cold Comfort

As I mentioned the other day, I felt I was getting sick. And so the sick bequeathed unto me. (Did I use that right?) I am now resorting to my comfort needs and everything possible to feel better.

Chicken noodle soup. A must have when feeling sick. In our home it has been dubbed “Sicky-Soup” for good reason. Keeping those fluids up is essential for getting better. I also drink a lot more tea and ginger ale during this time. Good to keep the stomach calm.

Of course rest is good. I find that I move from bed to couch and back again throughout the day. With the occasional stop in the washroom because of all those fluids entering my body. When laying on a couch I always grab an old comforter, this time it’s ALF keeping me cozy.

Of course the last thing is medicine and vitamins. I try and start with Vitamin C and see if it helps. But then it’s onto Tylenol Cold and Flu. If that fails to rid my body of ailments, hot Neo-Citron knocks me down so I can get back up… eventually.

What are your go-to remedies?

Speed Skating Swag

Part of being a proud parent of your children’s lives is supporting them. Taking them to competitions, cheering them on, coaching them, etc… But another way is to wear swag.

For Speed Skating, we usually wear Langley Blades hoodies. I have two different ones that I like to wear. My wife and kids each have 3. We wear these hoodies regularly in support of our kids’ activity and our local club.

Our son and daughter have also picked up numerous t-shirts and other hoodies supporting the Speed Skating sport in general. They are proud of the sport they chose to get into and love to show it off.

But my favorite piece so far is the BC Winter Games jacket. I’m overjoyed that both our son, who will be competing, and our daughter, who will be a young official, are attending the BC Winter Games. I’ll be wearing my jacket as much as possible over the next few weeks leading up to the games.

How do you show support to your children’s activities?

Sleep Deprived

Usually I’m pretty good at getting the sleep I need- even when working night shifts. But the last couple of days have been troublesome. It seems that my brain keeps on doing that thinking thing and keeping me awake or waking me after only a couple of hours.

I toss and turn for ages, then look at my phone. My eyes get tired, so I put down my phone only to have my mind racing again. So I pick up my phone. It’s a viscous cycle.

What’s worse is that I can feel myself getting sick. Could be a mix of my mental health affecting my physical health. Plus those at my work who come in sick and share with others.

Perhaps if I keep telling myself I’m doing alright- I start to feel better and get some sleep.

Invisible Man

Lately I’ve felt as if my existence is inconsequential. I’m floating through life day to day without making a mark. Work treats me like another number that can easily be replaced or removed. I feel as if the company doesn’t value what I bring to the table after a dozen years of service. I keep going because I like getting a paycheck. That’s sort of important I guess.

At home, our kids are busy being teenagers wrapped up in their own lives. With our oldest graduating this year from high school, our youngest working towards his speed skating goals, and our middle trying to figure out where she fits in in this world- daddio here takes the back burner. I’m easily ignored and forgotten about.

I also haven’t interacted with my friends in ages either. Everyone is busy being adults nowadays that it gets tough to get together. I’m not even sure what’s going on in their lives anymore since I don’t follow anyone on Facebook. Almost a year ago I thought the right thing to do for my Mental health was remove everyone. Now it feels lonely and a dreaded feeling of FOMO has crept in.

Perhaps today I just needed to vent and air out what I’m thinking. Feeling small and insignificant is a sensation I know many of you have felt as well. Usually I’m pretty positive and upbeat. Sometimes happy just doesn’t happen. This too shall pass, right?

But, uh, everything’s perfectly all right now. We’ re fine. We’re all fine here, now, thank you. How are you?

Groundhog Day 2020

After seeing “Groundhog Day” in the theaters when it first came out in 1993- I always wondered what it would be like to relive one day over and over. I saw that movie in the theater??? Ya, I was 16 at the time.

Since the debut of that film, many shows and movies have taken similar spins on the premise. Two of my favorites are:

Run Lola Run (1998)

Every second of every day you’re faced with a decision that can change your life.

Lola is a young lady whose boyfriend is caught up in crime and she needs to save him. It showcases the choices and adverse effects little moments can have. This is a beautiful 120 minute film with three possible outcomes. The soundtrack is also phenomenal with a mix of German and English throughout.

This is a film that my wife exposed me to at the start of our dating life. As I fell in love with my wife, I also fell for this movie. She bought it for me on DVD and I bought her the soundtrack on CD. About a year later, I bought her an original German movie poster of it and had it framed for her. A few years later we bought a new car. The first song we played in our brand new 2003 Honda Element was “Wish” from the soundtrack sung by the lead actress, Franka Potente.

This is my other favorite “Groundhog Day” inspired show:

Supernatural: Season 3 Episode 11. “Mystery Spot”

Sam relives the same day over and over again having to deal with his brother Dean’s death repeatedly.

“Supernatural” tv series has been around forever it seems. This particular episode came out in 2008. It stars one of my favorite characters in the series: The Trickster.

Much like the film “Groundhog Day” that it copies, the day starts off with the radio playing the same song over and over again. This time using Asia’s “Heat of the Moment”. My daughter marathoned through the “Supernatural” series last summer and loved this episode so much, she downloaded the song. She chose it as her alarm for the first day of school (which was on a Tuesday, just like in this episode).

Unfortunately this show has its ups and downs and not every episode is as entertaining as this one was. But The Trickster makes a few appearances in later episodes. Such as the episode titled “Changing Channels” which was clearly a rip off of the film “Stay Tuned” from 1992 starring John Ritter. I saw that in the theaters as well. Gawd I’m old…

Maybe I really don’t want to relive one day over and over. It’s better to reminisce and move on. All of life’s choices can make big impacts even if the decision is relatively small.

Backyard Flooding

For the first time since we bought our home almost 13 years ago, our backyard flooded. There’s a lot of water in the far back of our acre, so at least it’s not near our house.

In and around our neighborhood I noticed the ditches were overflowing from the last couple of rainfalls. It’s rare for the ditches to get like that, but the heavy rain will help replenish the aquifer that we use for our well.

Living in the outskirts of Vancouver- I am fully aware that we technically live in a rain forest. It’s still unsettling though when there is such a large accumulation of pooling water. Hopefully the rain eases up for a few days and balance will come to our natural surroundings once more.

Schwinn

I was trying to think of something clever to call today’s blog post. I thought of doing a Charlie Sheen “Schwinning” Or a Wayne’s World type: “Sch-Winn” I even thought of a cheesy rhyme “Schwinn for the Win” In the end I just went with what I went with- Schwinn.

It may be obvious, but I’m writing about a bike. A stationary bike at that- the Schwinn AD6 Airdyne. The reason behind our purchase was so that our son (and the rest of us) will get a full cardio workout. Cycling helps with his legs promoting muscle growth for his speed skating. This bike also helps with arm strengthening as well- thus pushing the cardio aspect.

The bike arrived early this morning. All 117lbs of it. The delivery driver was kind enough to get it in the door at least. He was also amused by the fact that I was playing a record in the house, considering it was a lot of trumpets playing. I signed off on the delivery and attempted to move the box. Nope. I wasn’t going to injure myself moving this thing.

Instead of me dragging the box into our living room, I pulled the pieces out one at a time. I lay them out neatly and double checked that everything was there and nothing damaged or missing. I then set to work assembling the bike.

Assembly was pretty easy. Once it was done, I tested it out for about five minutes. I could already feel my lungs and heart working harder. I’ve never been one to actively workout. But I do enjoy swimming and using stationary bikes when traveling at various hotels.

When I was younger we had an inground swimming pool that I used regularly. We also had a cheap stationary bike that allowed you to adjust the tension on a cord to make it a tougher workout. That bike stayed in our unfinished basement and was used mainly by us kids to fool around on.

The bike that I just set up in our home is going to be in the main living space. It’s fairly quiet and we can watch movies or play video games while one of us can use the bike. I’m hoping that it gets a lot of good usage in its location. I’m also going to use it and get buff!

Really.

Come On Get Happy

Sometimes I overly express that people should be happy and take care of themselves. The truth is that it’s also totally okay to not happy. Look at my life. I’m a tall, thin guy who has trouble finding pants. And that sucks.

But music makes me happy. And something about music from decades ago is great for chasing away my existential blues. Those classic pop songs that you can sing along with.

Sometimes I wish I could write music. Music that others would sing for generations- even after the Hits no longer held the charts.

I also love discovering unique music at thrifts stores that was tossed aside. I’ll pick up all sorts of music from 1920’s thru to the 1980’s. Albums that no one knows or would ever need to know. They get play time now in my home.

Am I making people happy? I don’t know. Maybe in some inadvertent way. Buying an album at a thrift store ensures money goes back where it’s needed. Playing those albums brings joy to me and sometimes my family. That joy gets spread in the world to their friends.

So maybe I can make people happier.

Mio Amico

On Monday I excitedly made a purchase online for something that I won’t be receiving until 10/10/2020. I’m one of the lucky 2600 “Founders” of the future gaming system- The Intellivision Amico.

Back in 1981 my father received an Intellivision for his birthday. That Christmas the family received a bunch of games. It was my first introduction into video games at the age of 5. I played the shit out of that system. Then my parents sent it out to goodwill along with our Colecovision when I was 13. I was okay with that, because it was Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo that entered my life.

At age 19, I picked up a used Intellivision with a bunch of games for $60 from a newspaper ad. My friends and I played for hours on end. I played the shit out of the system. We had so much fun hanging out playing games like SNAFU and Triple Action. I still have this system and play on it from time to time.

Anyway, this past Monday I laid down my $100 to secure my ability to be one of the lucky owners of the retro inspired system. This gaming system boasts the idea of playing games as a group again. Couch cooperative! Showing my teenagers about this system has them excited as well. Yes, girls and boy aged 13, 15, & 17 are excited to play games with dad!

That’s the sort of fun I love about video games. The Amico has potential to be a great system with many original and revamped classic titles that Intellivision fans will love and remember. I’m hoping for a good version of Astrosmash to be available.

So check out the video in which Tommy Tallarico shares his new vision of the Intellivision brand: Amico Trailer.

Your Job Does Not Define Who You Are

“What do you do for a living?”

So many of us answer this question with our job or career. But is it really “What you do for a living?” Many of us push ourselves on a daily basis at our jobs. Causing unneeded and unnecessary stress in our lives. Your job does not define who you are. Nor should it define the level of respect you should be given.

I’m not going to sit here and lie saying that I don’t work or need money. Of course I need money. How else can I do what I do for a living? What I do is enjoy life. I share experiences with family, friends and followers.

But I also show respect to everyone I meet. My level of respect towards others doesn’t change. The level of respect people demand when they think they are in a “higher power” astounds me. That’s their choice to act how they do. But their job doesn’t define their characteristics.

So be mindful of how you treat others. And remember that what you do for a living should be just that- living.

Four Years Of Daily Musings

January 27th, 2016. I began the first of my daily blog posts with this: Come Here To See All My Mistakes. Sure, you’ve read about those, but you’ve also read about my successes. Not to mention family and friends. Sometimes travel or home popped up. Occasionally I wrote about work.

Generally I wrote whatever came to mind when I pulled out my iPhone to write my daily diary. I appreciate you all for coming along and reading these. I know you don’t always want to comment. Nor do you always remember to read them. And that’s totally okay with me.

I sill want to thank everyone for watching my blog grow and change each and every day for FOUR YEARS. Crazy to think that I have diligently written 1460 days in a row.

1461 if you count today.

Uber and Lyft

Is ride sharing in Vancouver? Depends.

We finally have Uber and Lyft in the Vancouver area as of Friday- sort of. It’s a bit convoluted. People who want to drive for a ride sharing company need to get a commercial driver’s license and have a newer, undamaged car. That’s all fine and dandy. I don’t mind that the driver should have those things. I’m all about safety. And saving money.

As for the areas? Haha. No pick ups out of the area they call “Region 1”. That means anything East is Surrey is left behind. Just like our home of a transit system. It seems the government put up a bunch of red tape for ride sharing.

So you can get around metro Vancouver. But there are no set designations at the airport. Nor do the ferry terminals allow for pick up zones. These would be the biggest money makers for the employees. Honestly, I loved using Uber in Los Angeles- it made life much easier to get to and from the airport. I’m writing tonight’s blog as I sit in the airport parking lot waiting to pick up my wife and son.

Has ride sharing been successful elsewhere- you bet it has. Will ride sharing get better in the Fraser Valley? I sure hope so, but I’m not holding my breath for it. It took far too many years to get to where we are now. Who knows when it will be a viable transportation option around here.

Ramen Bella

Today I took my daughters out for lunch. We stopped in at a local eatery that opened up late last year- Ramen Bella. We have been to a variety of Ramen restaurants in Seattle, Calgary and even Tokyo. Finally having a Ramen Restaurant nearby our home made me happy. So naturally we had to test it out.

They have some unique fusion styles of noodle soup. I enjoyed the Matcha Latte Ramen. Which is exactly as it sounds- and it had a side of lime.

My oldest enjoyed The Black ramen. It had a very dark shoyu tare broth seasoned with garlic flakes.

My other daughter opted for the traditional miso style broth. All of our ramen came with the same style noodles, sliced pork, and corn in the broth. We left satisfied with our meals and full bellies.

Supporting small business is always something I encourage. Trying new restaurants and sharing positive experiences is something else I like to do. If you live in the Fraser Valley- head out to Ramen Bella for a lovely meal.

Computer Animation

I’ve always loved computer animation. Back in 1982 “Tron” came out and changed the film industry. Shortly after was “The Last Starfighter” in 1984.

Then in the 1990’s, one of my favorite artsy styles of the animation came out with a mix of music and creativity- “Beyond The Mind’s Eye” showcased the future of computer animation. Shortly after- some of the scenes were used in “The Lawnmower Man”. This was a couple of years before “Toy Story”.

The late 90’s had “The Matrix” making people question reality. Side note: In 2003 I picked up a metallic holographic style poster for the sequel and had it framed.

Back in 2010, we enjoyed Flynn’s Arcade in Disneyland. A throwback of the arcade from the 80’s film “Tron” and a segue into the sequel.

The art style of computer animation has come a long way in four decades. Seeing some of the older shows proves how far film has gotten.

What are your favorite computer rendered films?

Never Too Serious

I’m a fan of living life for the sheer enjoyment of it. I have never taken myself that seriously. I don’t think anyone else takes me too seriously either. How could you?

Some days I dress based on how I feel. Be it a superhero or a goofball. I don’t think I have one set look. Jeans and a t-shirt is my comfort zone I guess. But I can still dress elegantly when I want.

When I take selfies with friends and family- I bring out some fun in their hearts as well. I love seeing people smile and express a bit more of their crazy side.

Even the few celebrities that I’ve taken pictures with have enjoyed that I don’t need to be uncomfortable or serious. The biggest constant in who I am is that I’m ever changing. Monty Python sang it best:

Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true
You’ll see it’s all a show
Keep ’em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you