Marvel Mania

This weekend marks some closure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney isn’t stopping production of Marvel films by any means. But with “Avengers: Endgame” the stories could take a drastically different route.

11 years of MCU all leading up to this latest installment. I’m excited and not going to speculate on the outcome. Nor have I been reading anything online about the film. I refuse to succumb to spoilers or fan theories. I just want to see the movie and enjoy it.

MCU isn’t the first film franchise to spread out over the years. Star Wars, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings come to mind for fan favorites. Because of devoted fans, there are also devoted haters. People who are “sick of hearing about the films” but want to share their negativity as loudly as possible. I don’t understand why people want to poopoo on other people’s happiness.

I, for one, am going to enjoy the show with my family. Of all the fandom t-shirts I own, none are Marvel based. So I’m rocking my favorite cartoon villain- Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls. He’s not like Thanos, but still a favorite of mine.

Let’s hear it for fictional bad guys! (Not irl bad guys.) Let me know in the comments if you ever cheer for villains!

Skating Never Ends

The Speed Skating season is over. But that doesn’t mean that training is over. On Saturday morning I took my son to meet up with some other members of his Speed Skating club for an hour so that they could get a bit of a workout.

It was a beautiful day, so the kids went out on their in-line skates for some more practice. The four of them enjoyed it tremendously. What I really liked was that it was one of the skaters that wanted to arrange this, not a parent or coach. Speed Skating is a serious endeavor for those involved. The fact that these kids are taking it seriously makes me proud.

I need to get myself more disciplined like these youngsters. Perhaps it’s time for me to put my inline skates back on…

Do A Barrel Roll

Friday was a day of yard work. My daughter even helped me set up a couple of planters and some new drainage.

I picked up a couple of half whiskey barrels on sale. Our daughter drilled some drainage holes for me. Afterwards we placed them on either side of our carport. We put some styrofoam about half full followed by some drainage stones and soil.

I dug up a couple of ferns and some vines we had in our yard and transplanted them into the pots. My daughter and I removed the downspouts and set up something different.

My daughter and I cleaned up some old chains and spray painted them gloss black. We hung the chains from the copper spouts and into the planters. We added some stones on top of the soil to help keep the dirt from washing away. Having the chains go from the downspouts will help to drain the water from our roof and keep the pine needles from clogging up the drainage. The final result also changed the look of our home tremendously.

As a small celebration, I enjoyed some “Barrel of Sunshine” afterwords. Having a shot helped me to appreciate the hard work being done all day. I’m excited to possibly try this in other areas of our home.

How is your garden growing these days? Ever plant a whiskey barrel before? Let me know in the comments.

Good. Friday.

Today is Good Friday. The kids were home from school and my wife and I had the day off. Our two youngest did one of the nicest things for their mother today.

They set up an Easter Egg Hunt in our living room- just for my wife. With only a little bit of help from me. (I bought the chocolates and made sure to get their mom out of the house this morning so they could set up.)

Over the past few days, the kids have been making little notes to go inside the plastic eggs. As well as a card from “The Easter Bunny”. The kids were really excited to surprise their mother today. I’m impressed that they kept it a secret.

Needless to say, my wife got very emotional. Easter and the Easter Egg Hunt has always been her favorite thing to do for the kids. This year was a nice way for the kids to treat their mother. I think my wife is a bit upset at me because for the past few days I kept telling her that the kids are getting too old for the Easter Bunny. That was a tough sell that didn’t go over well.

I don’t really think anyone is too old to enjoy a surprise scavenger hunt. If our kids still enjoy searching for chocolates as teenagers- so be it. Having them grow up is tough as it is.

Super Easy. Barely an Inconvenience.

My kids have become obsessed with a YouTube channel these days. So much so that they are doing their best to incorporate some of the catchphrases into their daily routine. Which is “super easy, barely an inconvenience” if you ask my children.

Go and check out Screen Rant: Pitch Meetings and enjoy the banter of how your favorite films and tv shows got made. Or rather, a humorous take on how the film was created. Every video shows a “Producer” getting a pitch idea from a “Writer”. Oftentimes pointing out glaring plot holes and lazy movie making. You know, the stuff the studio doesn’t want you to think to hard about.

Whoops

Good YouTube channels are “Tight”. I highly recommend this one. I’ve even rewatched a few of the pitch meetings a couple of times. They are pretty amazing. I can’t wait to see their take on the next Marvel or Star Wars show.

Go and take some of your free time and enjoy Screen Rant. You won’t regret it.

Darwin. April 15th, 2019

Another trip around the sun has completed for our daughter Darwin. She turned 15 today. As much as I still want her to remain our little girl, I also know that she will be growing into an adult over the next few years.

Looking back at some of my previous blogs this year, I’ve noticed that we have shared some fantastic memories together.

In October, we were out hunting for a Halloween Costume.

We enjoyed last summer’s Bike ride around Barnston Island.

I’ve also noticed that she loves to have fun just like I do. Take last month’s Extreme Blanket Fort or our attempt at an Escape Room.

Watching her navigate her way into adulthood is interesting to say the least. She has goals and aspirations for her career and is constantly getting straight “A”s in order to accomplish this. She’s also inspired by my wife’s former fashion and has taken a liking to her old clothes. My wife is happy to see these clothes get a new lease on life.

Socially, our daughter has a ton of friends. She is kind to everyone she meets and is always ready to give the benefit of the doubt when it comes to awkward interactions. Which is a positive notion but realistically speaking will likely change as she grows. I just don’t want her kindheartedness to diminish.

I hope Darwin continues to enjoy life with a positive helping attitude and a warm hug when needed.

Happy Birthday Darwin!

You’re pretty amazing!

Potato Chips

I am a sucker for salty foods. I especially love potato chips.

My favorite is plain, unexceptional, salted ripple chips. My family each had a favorite as well- all trying to be differentiated from one another.

My son likes ketchup.

My youngest daughter prefers salt and vinegar or lightly salted.

My oldest daughter enjoys sour cream and onion.

My wife enjoys dill pickle.

Sometimes I pick up a large bag for each member of the family. Usually I just get a jumbo bag of salted chips and force my family to eat those. Okay, force isn’t the right word- they each the chips willingly.

For most of winter, we were eating a bowl of chips every night. Which was a bit much, so we went a few weeks without eating any. My wife wanted to only eat them on a Friday or Saturday from now on. But last night, I busted out favorite flavors for everyone. Not gonna lie, after eating a few chips, I felt unsatisfied. The fresh grapes we’ve been having lately seemed better.

Maybe it’s me getting older and my body telling me to eat better. But I think I won’t be buying chips as much anymore.

Lost

Recently we have been enjoying the tv series “Lost” on Amazon Prime. The first time I saw the series was on Netflix a few years back. Now I can’t stop watching it.

We are about halfway through the show again. Only this time, our kids are watching with us. And they have so many questions.

So should I spoil the show for them and offer answers when they ask? That wouldn’t be very nice. In fact a few times the show has caught me second guessing what I thought I knew about it. There are so many twists and turns that I forgot about some of the aspects.

In the end, the show is re-watchable for exactly that. I know what is coming up. But I don’t remember the details. I still get a moment of surprise when something happens.

It’s like watching the show all over again for the first time. Only this time I know how it will end. I just don’t remember how we get there.

Yard Work, Yard Work, and More Yard Work

I have been tackling our yard over the past couple of days. Yesterday I was working on trimming our rhododendron bush when the rain hit. Today, I cleaned the green moss/mold off the front edges of our roof’s flashing.

Then I formed our boxwood bush using bailing wire and my electric hedge trimmer. Followed by planting some Hostas and Helleborus in a shady part of our front yard. I figure by the end of next week our front yard will win back it’s curb appeal.

Having an acre is difficult to maintain. It’s also difficult to figure out how to decorate and keep the flow going. We have a few spots that are overgrown or ignored. I’m hoping to change that this summer (on a budget!). Lots of work to do for the family.

Having three teenagers around can either be useful or frustrating depending on their attitudes of the day. Hopefully they will enjoy the fruits of their labors. I figure by the summer our home will be easier to maintain. Only time will tell.

Photography Runs in the Family

I loved taking photography classes back in high school. When Instagram came around- I fell in love with the idea of quickly manipulating photos and sharing them. Our oldest daughter has also been taking photography classes in school as well as being on the Yearbook committee. Over the past couple of months, she has gotten the Photoshop bug and has taken to creating some fun works of art.  So much so, that she requested that I write about it and share with you some of her pieces.

Back in November, our daughter had bought herself a brand new laptop. She had been saving up for months to do this.  Naturally, she has been using it to work on photos and music.  The photos she wants me to share mostly come from a site called Pexels that allows people free use of the images.

She loves blending colors and overlaying numerous images on top of one another. She is quite good with her use of lighting and shadows.  Her and I often discuss different techniques such as line of sight or even point of view.

sunset on the mountains

Her Photoshop skills have an air of fantasy about them. With many alternate views of reality or the world around us. One of my favorites is the one of her and her little sister from when they were younger.

Reading

I love how our children enjoy creating music and photos to share with others. If you wish to follow her skills as they grow and become better- she has a public account on Instagram under the name Frigid_Spark613. She would love to gain more followers.