Screen Time Stats

My iPhone updates me every week about my “Screen Time”. I didn’t pay much attention to it until this morning. Curiosity had me examining it more closely.

These are my stats for this week. 29+ hours staring at my phone. More than one entire day this week. “Social Networking” took half of this. Granted, I’d like to think that it’s because of Christmas and New Year’s and my desire to see how friends are doing. But I fear that number may be closer to reality than I want to admit. I spend more time watching videos and reading memes than seeing how my friends are really doing. On average I spent two hours per day on various social media.

Four and a half hours were spent on “Productivity”. WordPress took up a little over two hours. While calculator, email, and banking took up the rest. What surprised me was “Creativity” was so low. Meaning I wasn’t taking or editing photos very much this week.

Since I have now seen some of these stats and paid more attention to them, I think it’s time to adjust my focus. The iPhone allows me to set daily limits on everything. For now, I am slashing my social media time in half. Perhaps this will make me focus more on “Creativity”.

Putting down the phone is something my wife would like us to do as a family more often. We tend to eat meals without the phone, but once that’s done- out come the devices. Same when we are watching tv or movies. Not a lot of interaction with one another. I’d like to see what my wife’s and daughter’s stats are this week. Maybe as a family we can work together to knock down our screen time usage.

Have you ever looked at your device stats? Does it make you want to change?

Roof Repair

We had a fairly substantial rainfall the other day. At which point my wife noticed that the door frame to one of our bedrooms was leaking. Ya. The door frame. I knew immediately what it was from.

Two weeks ago, we had a tree fall on our roof during a Wind Storm. I had only gone out on the roof that day to quickly assess the damage and clear off the broke logs. At the time I didn’t see any damage near where the large logs lay. So I planned on going back up on another day to clear off the roof and check some more.

I forgot to go back up. Because Christmas got in the way.

Part of a branch had punctured through. When I finally pulled out the remnants, it was in the shape of a thick blade about two inches long. My guess is that it snapped off of part of the tree when it collided with our roof. And remained hidden by the other branches and twigs.

Out came Handyman Joe to the rescue. I cleared away the surrounding debris from the hole. I had a can of roof repair handy from previous years of issues before our old roof. I over-filled the hole, making sure that the tar went under the shingle. Then I went to work liberally applying and smoothing our the patchwork tar.

No way to know if my repair was successful until the next rain storm. But I have a feeling that I was. At least, keeping my fingers crossed that I was.

Thrift Store Shopping

I love doing thrift store shopping. Always have. Yesterday I took my daughter and her friend to a couple thrift stops. I’m always amazed at the variety of items you can find. We were mostly looking at clothes. My daughter and her friend found a couple dresses and jackets. They even convinced my son to buy a really tacky 90’s vest.

I found a nice Lacoste shirt and a velvet smoking jacket that I needed in my possession.

I did find some items that were amazing in their own way. I found an oil bottle that plays music when you lift it up.

But the best had to be the item I picked up for $2.50. We gave it to our oldest daughter and she loves it.

This is one we will keep for years to come, much to my wife’s dismay. But almost everyone who has seen it wants it. It’s still one of my favorite thrift store finds.

Bye-bye Christmas

Today I took down all of our Christmas decorations. No more garland, Santas, stockings or trees. All of it packed away for another 10 months. Having a large home that we want to fill with joy has one incredible drawback.

Storage.

Its like playing a game of Tetris as we try and remember how everything was packed up. That just for putting the items into boxes. Afterwards was trying to hide it all away in closets and any available space. Our home doesn’t have a ton of storage space available. I have to take the time to put things in logical places as we will require them. Currently, Christmas goes in the back. Then Halloween decorations are in front of that. And right up front is things we may need for camping and traveling. Time consuming to say the least.

Hopefully our stuff remains glittery and undamaged in their storage spots. Nothing worse than finding busted up items and faded memories next Christmas season.

When do you take down the holidays at your place?

Good First Day Of 2019

I had a good start to 2019. I woke up. Always a great way to begin any day.

Then I went to work. Which means I have a job that helps keep my family clothed and fed.

I finished reading a book. I love Felicia Day. She’s like my celebrity crush- sort of. More like a really cool friend crush. The kind where we could hang out and play Munchkin and then not talk for months. Anyways, I digress. I finished her autobiography. I also miss reading. Time to pick up more books.

I also played some old school video games. On a system I wasn’t going to buy. But it was a total impulse purchase just before Christmas. And I had fun playing the Super Nintendo games again.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a cheese fondue dinner as a family. We try and have it every New Year’s Day.

To end the day- I watched some tv with the family before bed. We watched some “Community” and “Parks and Rec” pointing out other shows that we recognize the actors from.

It was a good start to the year. I hope to have many more days like this.

2018 In Review

I went back and took a look at my year of blogging.  I found some interesting stats about my daily musings.

I wrote 88,008 words all year.  An average of 241 words per post.  Not too shabby. Until I looked at 2017.

In 2017, I wrote 103,847 words for an average of 285 per post. uh-oh

Going back to when I first began blogging in 2016 (which I started Jan 18th) I wrote 127,373 words that first year. For an average of 374 words per post.

Clearly, my writing needs more work going into 2019.


Back to my year in review.

My top 5 viewed posts were:

Data Hogs I got a lot of comments on social media about this one. Seems like there are others like me who want better data coverage in Canada.

What To Give… This one was a tough day of parenting. I shared more feelings than facts here. It’s funny though, I used the same title later in the year for my thoughts on Christmas.

Penzer Parkour Park Which was published in June 2017. Chances are it was people looking up the park itself and stumbled on my blog.

Life Lesson Apparently I wasn’t alone in having to let kids make decisions that they need to learn from. Again, parenting can be tough.

Tied for 5th were these two blog posts:

Trip Planning at Age 11 Even though later in the year our son had to learn a tough lesson, back in January he helped plan our trip to Tokyo.

Dinner Train This was one of the most fun dates I have had with my wife. We look forward to doing it again!


I had numerous blog posts that I was happy with. However, they kind of fell into the middle of the pack. I enjoyed writing about Tokyo and traveling. As well as trying to write more positive and uplifting style blogs. Of course not everything was well received.


My worst 3 performing ones (because I don’t want to share 5) were:

Where Was My Father Figure in those 1980’s Movies? The title was kind of long. I wonder if that helped with my word count for the year?

A Day To Myself I guess people didn’t want to hear what I do when I have time to myself.

Just Music This one is so short that you could’ve been able to read it in the preview without even opening up the blog.


In looking at all of my blog posts, I am unsure of what it was about them that made them stand out or not stand out.

  • Was it the keywords?
  • The day/time I posted?
  • How I shared them?
  • The content?

I’m not sure if there is an answer as to why or why not a post is successful. Having a chance to look back at my year, I have a few goals to set up for 2019.

WRITE MORE- Obviously I was getting lazy or rushed when it came to my writing. The more I write, the more I felt the need to just get it out there. Time to fix that curse and get back to perfecting my posts before publishing.

DO RESEARCH- I need to see what I can do to get my writing out there more frequently. What I have read in  the past seems easy, but I feel that I am taking that knowledge for granted.  As I mentioned earlier, What is it that can make me stand out more?

READ MORE- I need to start reading more blogs. I have a few that I follow and truly get some great inspiration from. I want to find more authors out there that I can share ideas with and read about their experiences.

I shall continue to write every day.  I find it relaxing and a good exercise in clearing thoughts out of my mind. I hope that my reads continue to read about the thoughts on my life.

I also hope to expand my readership level. that being said, if you like any of my posts, please share them amongst friends or on social media. I’d appreciate it. And a big thank you for following along and commenting! All the best for 2019 to everyone out there!

(715 Words!)

Re-String

I learned something new this week from a coworker of mine. How to re-string a guitar. At first I was intimidated by the notion- since I’ve never really had any experience with it. But I knew I could do it with a bit of guidance.

First, we removed the old strings and gave the guitar a wipe down. I learned about using an oil as well on the fretboard to protect the wood. I also learned about how to adjust the neck if required to straighten it out.

I had taken the advice of getting a set of thinner gauge wire for my daughter to use. They will be easier for her hands to help create the sound she will be happier with. I’m looking forward to hearing her play once again.

After learning what needed to be done and the care we should put into the maintenance of the guitar, I’m feeling much more comfortable about doing it myself. It’s not rocket appliances. In fact, next time I will teach my daughter what needs to be done so that she can take it on herself.

Any further advice on care of guitars would be appreciated in your comments!

Computer Calculus

Back in October, our oldest had saved up money and bought herself a New Computer. She has been very proud of it and has taken extra care with it. Over the past few weeks, she has been using it for a school project.

The project was for her Pre-Calculus class. She had to enter formulas to plot out lines and curves on a graph to make a symbol. While many students chose much easier symbols, our daughter (who loves the tv show Supernatural) chose a much more intricate design. After weeks and hours of working on perfecting the equations, she is finally done. She also finished before her deadline which is the end of January. I am impressed because of her passion in the project, and mostly because she had to explain something to me that I didn’t have a clue about.

She has demonstrated that she is capable of a great many things throughout her life. Now that she has finished this project, she has been wanting us to pay for Adobe Photoshop for her. Part of the deal was to make sure she doesn’t fall behind in school work for a hobby. I think this Calculus assignment has proven to us that she can be committed to her word.

We look forward to seeing what she can do with Photoshop and her photography. My wife would like her to clean up some of our photos as well. Our daughter has also hinted at writing more music, only time will tell. But I’m glad to see she is far exceeding my abilities in computing.

World JR Hockey

Yesterday my son and I attended his first ever hockey game. We went to the Rogers Arena in Vancouver to watch a match from the World Juniors. My boss at work was kind enough to give me a couple of tickets. So I took full advantage of my day off and my son being home for winter break to attend the game.

We were happy to show support to the Czech Republic as they played against Russia. I picked up a hockey scarf at the game so my son would have a souvenir to remember his first hockey game.

With one minute left in the game, the Czech team pulled out all the stops in an attempt to tie the game. Unfortunately, the last shot on goal didn’t make.

In the end, my son and I had a great experience together. We cheered, we oooed and we awwwwed with the crowd. We took selfies and videos. We even had good conversation during the drive to and from the game. All around, it was a great evening spent with my son.

Chop Chop

Last week a tree fell in our yard during a Wind storm. Luckily no real damage occurred to our home. But we needed to do something with the tree.

The day after Christmas, my brother in law brought over his chainsaw and bucked up the tree. I moved the wood afterwards closer to our wood shed in order to cut it up.

Yesterday, I showed our 12 year old son how to swing an axe. He assisted in chopping up the logs for us. As much as he complained, he enjoyed the satisfaction of a good clean cut.

At the beginning of December, the neighbor across the street had cut down some of his trees. He was kind enough to bring over a few loads with his tractor to our carport. Since my son and I were finished with the fallen tree, we began to chop up the wood given to us. After a couple of hours, we were sore and tired. It felt as though we barely made a dent in the donated wood.

By the time we finish cutting the wood later this weekend and stacking it in our wood shed to dry, it should be enough to last us through next winter. Chances are that during the summer, we may cut down a couple more trees in our yard. That should give us another few years of heating our home and adding to the ambiance of country life.