Drinking Theme Song

I turned legal drinking age March 1995. This meant I could go to the clubs and bars without much hassle. This gave me a chance to rock out my killer dance moves… Of which I had none.

A few beers into me, and I’d bust a move. Poorly. I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s MTV generation- where songs came with dances. People did their best to mimic and copy them. I more enjoyed memorizing song lyrics. This has come in handy on long road trips when we listened to Sirius XM 90’s On 9…

The one song that has stuck with me is “Cotton Eye Joe” by Rednex. It came out the year I was 19. It kinda became my theme song as I started to hit the bar scene. A catchy song that everyone can sing along to. Even my kids sing along to it these days.

As for dance moves- easy. Just dance like a Hillbilly. Do some square dancing or swing your legs and arms wildly. With my long legs and arms, I could look like this:

Everyone looked at drunken me as such a clown anyways. Lately, I’ve been tempted to go for dance lessons with my wife. We don’t go to nightclubs, but perhaps some ballroom dancing. I think it could be fun. Who knows, maybe one day we will.

What’s your go-to dance or song?

Last Minute Date Night

I was about to leave work when my wife sent me a text:

My suggestions of fast food didn’t seem to sway her decision from still meeting me.

So instead of me driving home, after a long day at work, to vegetate before bed; I met up with my wife for a couple beers and a pub style dinner at a place called Mission Springs Brewery.

We were seated out on the patio at a deck couch. A flight of beers and some crazy delicious burgers were enjoyed. We felt youthful again as we giggled and flirted like we did when we had just begun dating. No one else was sitting on the patio, so we felt like we were being treated like celebrities- Off in a comfortable corner, but with people still able to see us from inside.

The evening had cooled off nicely. Our meal was enjoyed as we watched the sunset in peace. This was the evening my wife had wanted. –NOT KFC

I’m glad I was able to accommodate. I enjoyed our spontaneous date.

Game On!

Monday was a stat holiday which also meant “Game Day” at our home. Ok, not because it was a holiday- our kids are off for summer as it is, but we had a “Game Day” just because.

My wife and I often start our day by playing an old N64 game- Pokémon Puzzle League on the Wii in our bedroom. She loses pretty regularly at it. I’m not sure why she keeps wanting to play, but it’s kind of our thing. So I keep playing.

Since the weather is nice, I’m trying to get the kids not to play so many video games or be on their iPhones and iPads. A difficult task when they see mom and dad lazing in bed playing video games…

So I offered to hang with the kids throughout the day. We have a large collection of board games and tabletop games hidden away in an ottoman. Yesterday we decided to play a couple of these games outside.

First choice was Monopoly. Our oldest prides herself in kicking butt every time. This was no exception. I think she only won because we use the center of the board for the taxes incurred throughout the game and “Free Parking” as the winning spot to get those dolla bills- yo! (As the hip kids say…)

Just before dinner we played Settlers of Catan. I am viciously good at this game. I have an almost Rain Man ability to watch the cards being issued and played by each opponent. I’m also good at figuring out people’s strategies on the board. Needless to say- I killed it last night!

We ended our evening by watching “Ready Player One” as a family. Recently, a few people I know online have been mentioning the novel, so it was fresh in my mind. (Check out Cole Campfire Blog sometime for some outdoor inspiration.) Since four of the five of us in the family had read the novel, and my two youngest had already seen the film- it was an easy choice for family movie night. Clearly, the movie is not like the novel- a bit disappointing- but fun to watch nonetheless.

Our impromptu game day was a ton of fun and a good way to connect as a family.

The Cookie Conspiracy

I bought a bag of chocolate chip cookies last week. It’s not something that I normally do. In fact, it’s usually a once a year occurrence. We tend to bake cookies instead- mostly in the winter. So this bag of cookies was a spontaneous purchase.

I don’t even like store bought cookies that much. They taste fake. These ones especially since they are not a “brand name” cookie. All I really wanted was one cookie. Which brings me to our story.

My wife wasn’t happy that I bought the bag. So she told everyone that we were saving it for our camping trip later this month. I didn’t really mind, so I put the unopened bag of cookies in the cupboard. Out of sight- out of mind. No big deal.

So a week passes. My younger daughter calls my wife to ask if she can have a cookie. My wife says, if the bag is open- you can have one. Knowing that the bag hasn’t been opened. My wife comes home after to discover a row of cookies GONE!

When asked of our children, “Who opened the cookies?” None of them admitted to it. So my wife and I did some investigating. We asked numerous questions to try and discover the culprit. We had some suspicions. But we ended up being wrong.

Turns out all three were guilty of taking cookies. They formed a criminal alliance of siblings!

Play Nice

There’s too much anger in the world. That it makes me sad.

I have found lately, that as much as I try to ignore it, people are very vocal about their opinions. To a point where they stop listening and just do talking.

I want to be open minded about people’s opinions on politics, religion, money, entertainment, and even life. Just because I am open minded, doesn’t mean I need to agree with one stance or another. It means I can accept that we have a difference of opinion, but remain respectful of it.

Anyways, don’t get angry with someone just because they don’t share the same beliefs as you. Get angry at them for not using coasters under their drink glasses. That is unacceptable.

Data Hogs

A few days ago, my cellular provider informed me that we were about to reach our data limit. Actually, I was notified on July 20th and our data cycle resets August 3rd… I could not figure out how this was possible, since for months we barely hit our allotment. Between four iPhones, we share 12GB.

I checked our usage and found the culprits. Our youngest daughter had gone through over 5GB on her own in under three weeks. While our oldest had only used about 800MB. My wife had used 1GB. I had used over 4.5GB.

A story of two sisters who are very different data users:

Our oldest keeps her phone on airplane mode most of the time. She also has it set up to connect to WiFi all the time. She has conditioned herself to only go on social media when on WiFi as well which keeps her data usage low. She’s been doing this for a few years now- since her first phone.

Our youngest daughter has no concept of how much she uses her phone. She also doesn’t pay attention to whether she is on WiFi or not. This summer, she hasn’t been anywhere that requires her to be online. Turns out, while she was in our backyard sharing Instagram pictures and watching YouTube, she was never connected to our WiFi. She had been using data the entire time. And watching videos in full HD. I had to have a little talk with her about this and hopefully she will correct her behavior.

My wife works from home and hardly uses data. She likes to do comparison shopping in real-time when we are out. She does still play Pokémon Go and only checks social media when bored. I tend to use data far more frequently. I’ve always hovered around the 4GB range. But I use my phone for work quite often. Checking email, looking at maps, connecting with coworkers, that sort of thing. I also use social media a lot. That’s my crutch.

So for the past few days, I have shut off all data access to everyone. The biggest results I have found is that iMessage only works on WiFi now and Siri can’t figure out how to make a handsfree call when I drive. These are things I can live without for a couple more days. As we discuss as a family how to move forward with our shared data plan.

This could be interesting…

Please feel free to share any tips or advice on limiting our data consumption. I’m sure there are ways to still enjoy the cyber world…

Dad Days Of Summer

It was another warm one today. So I took the kids out to our yearly adventure at a watering hole up the road. Check out last year’s post: Life Is On Repeat or the year before: Cooling Off. Without knowing it, every year- almost to the day– I take the kids to Williams Park.

The water was a bit more murky this year than before. It’s because of the clay deposits nearby and underneath. You can see where other kids have played in the clay and made it messier. Not a big deal, as we are planning on washing off after anyways. I think it adds to keeping us cooled off.

This year, my son braved the rope swing and had a blast. We also brought my daughter’s friend and my other daughter made some videos of them jumping in. It was a ton of fun to be had. I also pointed out to the kids that next season of Riverdale was filmed here as well.

We spent about an hour at this side of the park. The water was cool and the area was shaded by the trees. We had the place to ourselves during this time until more people began to show up. Then not as much time on the rope swing was being had, so we dried off and headed for a short hike before returning to the car.

I love this side of the park. It’s usually not busy and each year, the graffiti changes. This year the art made me think of today’s title: “The Dad Days Of Summer“. I have been actively participating with my children this summer a bit more than usual. Mostly because I have a ton of time off in between when I work. If I can make the most of the precious few years I have with them before they grow up that’s my goal.

We leave every activity or location with a smile and a story. I want my children to remember the “Dad Days” and to be able to share these activities with their friends. I had very few growing up with my father, so making memories that last a lifetime mean the world to me (and my children).

My goal this summer is to stay cool and be cool. Joe Cool

Blame It On The Bossa Nova

Today has been a lazy Sunday. I rolled out of bed at noon to eat some pancakes. Afterwards, I put up a hammock in my backyard and proceeded to relax some more.

As I lay there enjoying the breeze and the sound of the birds chirping, I decided that I needed some background music. So I hit up the CBC Music App on my iPhone. I found that instead of my usual classical music, I chose to listen to Bossa Brazil. What a freaking awesome choice.

I closed my eyes and just drifted away for about 45 minutes. My yard had turned into a peaceful getaway where all my worries melted away. The day had gone full tilt lazy.

As I swayed back and forth with my eyes closed- I was reminded of the song, “Blame It On The Bossa Nova“. Except the version from the film “Amazon Women On The Moon” sung by Don No Soul Simmons. I’ve never listened to Brazilian music before, but today made me realize there’s an entire other relaxing world out there that I need to explore. Maybe one day my wife and I can travel further south to enjoy the culture in person.

Today is just peace. My own personal paradise. Absolute perfection. I’m blaming the Bossa Nova for life being grand.

Get Out of Town!

I finished work today in North Vancouver. Being that it was a Saturday, my drive home was pretty good. (Better than it was earlier in the week during Rush Hour.) Seems like my desire to get out of the Vancouver area was different than most other people. Tons of people were heading into Vancouver at 6pm.

The Honda Celebration of Light is happening at 10pm tonight. It’s the 28th year of the fireworks display. In my life I have been 5 times. None of which have been in the past 17 years. Meaning I haven’t taken my kids…

From 1990-2000 it was called the “Benson and Hedges: Symphony Of Fire”. I liked it back then. You could smoke in the bay and wait for the show. A tobacco company sponsoring a fireworks show makes sense to me. In 2000 the Canadian government passed a law forbidding tobacco and liquor companies from sponsoring events. (Vancouver lost the Molson Indy shortly after as well because they couldn’t find sponsorship.)

But these fireworks survived. They were sponsored by a bank for a brief period, now by Honda. With an expected crowd of over 400,000 on a hot summer night, you bet your ass I won’t be there. Crowds and heat don’t make me happy. Driving or skytrain with stinky crowds make me more angry. Especially with the fact that so many ruin it by getting belligerently drunk.

But if it’s your thing- enjoy! I’m going to hang out close to home and cool off with a cold beverage and be belligerent online like a good samaritan.

Buy It, Use It…

All our lives we spend seeing commercials. In magazines, on tv, on the Internet, in movies, on billboards, just about everywhere. Sometimes advertising is subtle like a small logo on a short sleeve shirt. But it’s there. We’ve all seen it, even if we don’t acknowledge it.

I love it. I love the way advertising gets into your everyday life. Something about how it manipulates your choices through simple imagery. Old logos are some of my favorite things to search up online. I love seeing how they change and develop over the years. Or even vanish.

Sometimes companies like going back to a former look to grab the nostalgia feelings inside of us. Not gonna lie- it works. If only for a brief moment. A couple months ago I had to buy Clearly Canadian because of the retro feels.Sometimes I come across a logo and I have a tough time pinpointing the company. A logo I may have seen numerous times or one that is in the depths of my memory. Then it can be a bit more difficult to find online when using words to describe the logo. Take this for example:

Running man logo—- stick figure logo— upside down speared poop emoji with arms and a leg logo…

Turns out I remembered it being “Ocean Pacific”.

In the end, all that happens is we find “favorite” products. Coke vs Pepsi. McDonald’s vs Burger King. Honda vs Ford. iPhone vs Samsung. Whatever your “tastes” they’ve all been manipulated one way or another. I think it’s brilliant.

And even though I know I’m being targeted- I’ll still buy stuff. I am a consumer whore. And how!