Retro Gaming Feel

Over the weekend, I set up a little area near our front door in order to play video games.

Over Christmas we received the NES and the SNES Minis. We had an old 20″ RCA tv that we were using for a computer monitor. I decided to mount it on the wall and connect the game systems.

The tiny alcove reminds me of the look on a basement from the 1970’s/early 1980’s. The perfect little spot to enjoy some retro gaming. It may sound odd, but it works. It’s also a good little spot to hideout, but still be central in the home.

Now when one of our kids are ready to go out before anyone else, they can occupy their time playing a game. It’ll help keep them out of the way and out of trouble.

Hopefully.

Uma Is A Positive Role Model

Our daughter Darwin has found a new role model. So she wanted to be more like her. I couldn’t be prouder. It’s starting with a haircut. Specifically: The Bride’s from our recent viewing of Kill Bill.

Uma Thurman is probably one of my favorite female actors. In Kill Bill, she is an extremely self assured assassin.

Our daughter has always had long hair. She decided she wanted it much shorter-with bangs. She views Uma Thurman as a strong female role model. So naturally she wants to mimic the personality she sees.

Darwin sat in the hair salon chair. Inches of hair fell to the floor. A liberating feeling of weight being let go. Like a new start with a new hair cut.

The new look was commencing. The partial smile- or rather smirk of confidence began to show. As a teenager, Darwin needs to find herself. Will this new look create who she shall be for the next while?

Is she happy? For sure. Can she play the part of a strong female lead? I know she can. Will this new look be around for a while? I’m sure it will.

Darwin has the strength inside to be a courageous teenager taking on all obstacles. Feeling like a ninja assassin may help that much more. I only hope that other girls find strong role models to take on the world like ours did.

Mr. Noodles

Having three teenagers requiring food kind of hits the pocketbook hard. Buying in bulk at Costco or during a Case Lot Sale at the grocery store seems like a good way to save money. But in reality, my kids see it as “more food to be eaten” before the next shopping trip.

Any parent of a teenager or college kid knows that Mr. Noodles is an inexpensive way to eat. I’ve lived off them for a daily meal filler when I lived on my own in my younger days. Over the past couple years, they have been making their way into my home again. And my kids are devouring them almost as quickly as I buy them.

When I do get to eat some, I like to drain out the water, then add the contents of the flavor packet to the noodles only. This is how I’ve always had them. My wife on the other hand prefers to eat them as an actual soup. Recently I’ve decided to change it up a bit.

Since Mr. Noodles is technically Ramen, that’s what I’ve been trying to make. Albeit on a budget, but a bowl of Ramen nonetheless. My first attempt I felt pretty good about and it tasted not too shabby. I fried a bit of pork, soft boiled and egg which was then soaked in soy sauce. We buy packets of seaweed for snacks, so it was a great garnish on the side with some green onion chopped on top. It looked like I could’ve passed it off as the real deal.

The other day, we had some leftover Chinese takeout. I was hoping to enjoy some fried rice and sweet and sour pork, but as I mentioned- I have three teens in our home that are eating everything in sight. Except the vegetables. So I mixed those leftovers with some Mr. Noodles. Again, my wife enjoyed it as a soup, and I ate them as beef noodles. Super tasty.

Stretching a meal budget can be tough. Making cheap foods taste better is a talent I have. Now to figure out how to make Pizza Pops better.

Mighty Neighborly

Yesterday we received a good dumping of snow that School was cancelled. Our side street is always neglected by the snow plows which sucks. Driving in or out of our home is tough. But our neighbor across the street is always Determined to plow the snow every year in order to get out of his driveway for breakfast. He saw my kids shoveling our driveway and decided to come over and use his tractor to clean up our driveway a bit faster. This made my kids happy.

Later in the day, our daughter took it upon herself to make him a thank you card. She also included a couple of packets of hot chocolate for him. She wasn’t asked to do this. Which means that my wife and I have instilled a great set of values on our children.

Kindness and compassion are paramount when it comes to being a good person. Doing it without cause or applause is a much greater feeling as well. (Chances are my kids won’t read today’s blog). I think we’ve done a pretty bang up job as parents that’s for sure. I’m also really happy that our neighbors are such kind people as well.

I love my community.

Snow Day 2019!

Today our children, as well as many of my friends’ children, are getting to experience a “Snow Day“. The snowfall finally hit us in the Lower Mainland yesterday. So many schools are shut down for today.

I can see why just looking at my yard. Our side street isn’t plowed at all and even though the driveway was shoveled, it’s already half a foot deep again.

  • Some areas are worse hit than others. I left work at North Vancouver this morning and the roads were pretty decent. But by the time I had crossed the river and drove into Langley, it was getting treacherous. I’m glad my kids are having a “Snow Day“.

    Having a “Snow Day” means four things will happen to my kids.

    1. They will play in the snow.
    2. They will warm up by the fireplace.
    3. They will enjoy a warm beverage.
    4. They will play video games.
  • It should be a fairly enjoyable day that will make the kids exhausted by dinner. Just in time for them to start complaining about shoveling the driveway again.
  • Hope everyone out there stays safe and enjoys the snow!

    Kill Bill

    Last Saturday I revisited an old film series- Kill Bill Vol 1&2. We often show our children films from our past that we found to be entertaining. Sometimes films don’t hold up- sorry Encino Man but wow you are a terrible film. While other times the films remain incredible.

    Kill Bill is the type of film that really holds up. From the musical score, to the cinematography, to the story arcs, to the monologues- this film nails it. There is really nothing negative to say about the film.

    • Strong female lead? Check
    • Action packed? Check
    • Plot twists? Check
  • During the film, we discussed every aspect. Our oldest is interested in film making and is trying to find her vision. Our middle wants to be a writer and loves to dissect film and tv shows to understand how they piece together. And our youngest tries to read into foreshadows to guess where the story will lead to. I love that each of them can take something unique and different away from our viewings.
  • As much as I love the fact that this film holds up, I also understand that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. The scenes are a bit gratuitous in the violent aspect but are necessary for the story. I mean with a title like Kill Bill someone has to die.
  • For those who love a good Tarantino film- go back and re-watch Kill Bill. There’s no need for me to give a review of this film because of how long it’s been since it was released. Now to figure out our next family movie. I wonder if Howard The Duck is any good…

    Pixie Poo

    We’ve all heard stories and fables from our childhood involving Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. We even buy into these tales as adults and pass the legacy onto our children. We also speak of Leprechauns, Hobbits, witches and wizards. But there is one story that isn’t shared as much as it should be.

    I’m taking about Pixies.

    More specifically, Pixie Poo.

    What is “Pixie Poo“?

    The answer is quite obvious. Let me explain. The fables were close when they told of Tinker Bell from Peter Pan. As many fairy tales evolved, so did this one. You may think of Pixie Dust as a magical dust the fairies pull out of a vial and spread around to make the world shine.

    Nay nay. This be wrong information.

    Whenever you go to bed at night, that is when the pixies come out to play. They fly into our homes to check in on us. Gently landing on the bridge of your nose so as not to wake you. Then they roll back your eyelid, ever so slowly, to make sure you are asleep. This is when the magic happens…

    A tiny flying fairy standing on your face turns around to uses your eye as a toilet. A sparkly gold and green pixie poop landing on the inside corner right next to your nose. Pixie’s love using a person’s eyeball as a toilet because of the natural moisture produced.

    This is the truth about Pixies and their bodily functions. The more poop you find in your eye in the morning means the Pixie chose to give you an extra special night of dreaming.

    So may the eye boogers you have be a reminder of the magic that is still out there. And please share my story of the Pixie Poo.

    Taiko No Tatsujin

    We picked up the Nintendo Switch this past Christmas for the family. Originally we weren’t planning on buying it. There was just a handful of games that we thought to be worthwhile. That is until we heard in the fall that a favorite game was coming available.

    Taiko no Tatsujin

    Drum ‘n’ Fun!

    This game is so fast and has some great songs. Mind you most of the songs are from anime or video games. But ones that we recognize at the same time. We love the game because it reminds us of our trip to Japan.

    One of our Days in Japan was spent wandering around the various arcades. This is where we discovered the “Table Flip” game, the “Drum ‘N’ Fun” game and many crane games. The joy our children experienced playing these games made us desperately want to recreate it. We even tried to pick up a Nintendo 3DS version of the game while in Tokyo, but it wouldn’t work on our North American systems.

    Now that we have it in our home, we love to play it. My arms are getting a great workout as I try and keep up with the beats to the drum. On the easy level.

    I was online the other day and stumbled across this video of one of the songs being played on a real drum kit. Just look at the joy about halfway through.

    Check out the video: Drum!

    I almost want to get the “Drum” controller for our system to add to the realism. Hey honey! My birthday is coming up soon…

    Late Night Blackhole

    Last night I fell into a vortex of mind numbing uselessness. I finally recovered at around 2:30am, but the damage was done. I had slipped into a hellscape I was worried I would not be able to escape.

    I blame ALF.

    You see, the other night I downloaded TUBI on our PS4. Free movies and tv shows? Why not? Unfortunately most of the shows are B movie style. The type of show that is more filler than anything. But I did find some cartoons that I am going to watch with my kids. The original “GIJoe” and “Sailor Moon”. So that’s cool.

    I also found “ALF”. So I began watching it. The show is awful. Like train wreck that the network had invested too much money into to stop. Watching the show, I went onto IMDB and fell into a rabbit hole. Searching out tidbits about the show, the actors, and anything else.

    It got me to searching for “Garbage Pail Kids”. One of the actors collected the . I remember these stickers from my childhood. Sharing these on the playground when I was in grade 2. It was a way of expressing potty humor and not getting caught. It also created new insults and name calling if your name happened to be close to one of the characters.

    Not only were “Garbage Pail Kids” highly sought after. So were “Wacky Packages”. Taking all the name brands and putting a gross or silly spin on them. By grade 6, I had the entire collection. I wonder where they are now…?…

    But I digress. ALF is not a good show. Please Hollywood- do not Reboot it.

    Doggo Sitting

    In the past when we have gone on vacation, we have left our dog, Lex Luthor with friends, family or at a Kennel. He has always been returned to us happy and healthy.

    However, the one time he stayed at my sister’s place, he escaped within the first few hours. I received a phone call from someone who had collected Lex. My sister felt so awful about him breaking free that she would never look after him again. I wasn’t mad at her, he was quite the energetic dog when we first got him. Even in the first week of us adopting him, he jumped our fence and wandered the neighborhood (without us knowing). Lex is much older now and far less active.

    An old friend of mine asked if we could look after their puppy while they were out of town. He’s a youthful nine month old puppers. Very friendly and gets along with our family and Lex which is great. Having this puppy here has made us be more energetic and mobile. We are going for more walks and playing around more. But we did the same thing my sister did. We were complacent about following the rules of a new dog.

    One night, our son let both dogs out into our backyard. Our dog Lex returned. But our visitor did not. With a fenced acre and lots of trees, we searched the backyard nonchalantly thinking that he must be there. No such luck. Turns out he ran into the neighbor’s yard. So our kids went to get him.

    Puppies don’t listen very well. This puppers was no exception. He kept running further and further off whenever we got close. Not only did our kids try and catch him, but three more neighborhood kids got in on the excitement. This puppy was chased through about twenty acres of open farm lands.

    Only to return to our backdoor.

    Now I kind of know how my sister felt. Even though I wasn’t overly scared that we’d never see him again- there was that small negative part of me that wondered how I would tell my buddy that his godson lost his dog. Luckily I didn’t have to. Maybe he will read this when he returns from his vacation. Until then, the puppy has found a happy place in our house and has made himself quite at home. I don’t think our son will let him out of his sights again.

    Somewhere in all this is a good lesson to learn. I don’t quite know what it is, but my son’s guilt was punishment enough. Looking back, we also saved a dog in Odaiba, Japan and returned him to his owner. People and pets have a bond that you can’t refute.