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!

    No Bowl

    Not having cable tv means not seeing shows as they are aired. I’m okay with that. I didn’t like being forced to watch shows as they were being broadcast. Even worse was setting the VCR (back in the 80’s) or a PVR to record your shows only to have set it incorrectly or have others spoil the results.

    It’s been years since we had cable tv. We do enjoy watching shows as a family, don’t get me wrong. Netflix and Amazon Prime have become a staple for our viewing enjoyment. We even stream shows directly from the websites as well. It’s a bit more of a freedom and cost savings in our minds.

    But days like today, where a major sports event is happening, is a bit more of a challenge. I’m not a big watcher of sports as it is. So it doesn’t matter much. We used to have people over to enjoy the events because I like to make food and host a good party.

    Cutting the cable was a move we wanted to make. It has been great. We enjoy our freedoms from the boob tube. It’s not for everyone that’s for sure. But it worked for us. Now off to see what team everyone on social media is rooting for!

    Go Sports Team!

    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…

    You Know You’re A Grown Up When…

    Holy crap. My excitement level today shouldn’t have been so high. But it was. All because of a new Washing Machine. What is wrong with me?

    Yesterday morning I mentioned our experience thus far with Home Depot Service. Later, a friend of mine asked if I got a phone call regarding the delivery. I in fact did receive an automated call at 5:30pm last night. Followed by a text message 5 minutes later. This is serious business folks! As you can see, it mentioned that the delivery would be between 11am And 3pm. No big deal- I was home for the day.

    This morning at 10:30 I got a call from the delivery guy saying he’d be at our home by 11. Then he called my wife’s cellphone and told her the same thing. It was followed up by an automated call at 10:50 telling me they would soon be here. Ahhhh!!!

    At 10:55 the truck was unloading our new washer. I didn’t even get a chance to take a photo of the box it came in. One guy was already removing our old washer out of our house at this time. I did get out and check for any damage and cosmetics of our new washer. Pristine.

    At 11:05 they were done. Old washer gone- new one installed. Like magic little elves at Christmas- these guys were gone in a flash. So quickly in fact that I couldn’t even pick them out in a police lineup. Outstanding.

    At 11:25 I received another automated call asking how my delivery and installation went. I gave all of the questions a “5 out of 5” rating.

    In the end, Home Depot Services called me 7 times and texted me twice about our washing machine. All of the phone calls built up my excitement. About a washing machine! Not an upcoming birthday, or a new movie or even an exotic vacation. But a laundry device.

    If a new washer can spark this kind of joy, I couldn’t imagine getting all new appliances for my kitchen at the same time. I’d probably die of a heart attack.

    Home Depot Service

    On Saturday, my wife and I reluctantly went out and bought a new washing machine after my attempt to Repair our old one. We hit the Home Depot that I used to work at and checked out the appliances. My wife wasn’t overly thrilled with the sales associate because he did most of the talking to me. Part of it was because he remembered me from years ago. Part of it was a little bit that he seemed kind of… sexist. He only spoke to my wife about how to do laundry not the purchase itself.

    Anyhow, we bought the machine and arranged delivery and installation. As well as removal of the old machine. The sales associate told me I’d get a call Wednesday evening to confirm the delivery on Thursday. I’m waiting for that call. But in the meantime…

    On Monday I received a call going over the contract and the delivery guidelines. It was a reiteration of what the sales associate said as well as the contract I was given to read.

    Cool. Thanks. I guess. She seemed friendly.

    Tuesday I got a text telling me about the call I’ll be getting later today. A bit of overkill really. I will say Home Depot is definitely all about the customer service. So that makes me happy.

    I can’t wait to get my call tonight to confirm my delivery tomorrow. As well as a call tomorrow to confirm my delivery.

    And most likely a Follow Up call to see how my service and delivery was.

    Crazy. But it will likely make me return to them if they put in that much effort.

    Blue Monday

    Yesterday was Blue Monday. The most depressing day of the year.

    I have not had a string of good luck lately. From nearly Losing a dog the other day to having a Washing Machine Die– even one of our stovetop burners burned out. My days have been rather crap-tastic. Why would Blue Monday be any better?

    Because it wasn’t.

    My day started like any other day. I was having a shower at 4:30am when the water just stopped. I jumped out of the shower and rushed downstairs to hear our water pump still going. Not a good sign. So I shut off the breaker to the pump.

    Underneath our home was flooded. Turns out our well water corroded the shut off and snapped the pipe. I called into work to say I’d be late and contemplated my options. Get a plumber or try and deal with this myself? After dropping a few hundred dollars on a new Washing Machine, I knew the answer. I got my tools, checked the part I needed, then drove off and waited for Home Depot to open… at 7am.

    I was in and out of Home Depot within ten minutes. Kind of a record for me. When I got home, I began my repair.

    Low and behold!!!— I broke another part of the pipe. Just like when I was repairing the line to our Pressure tank in November.

    It was now closer to 8am, so I drove up to the much closer Co-Op store to see if they had the part. While there, I ran into our neighbor from across the street (who is always there for breakfast) and a friend of ours. But I had no time to chit-chat. I had a mission.

    I found the parts I needed. Spending close to twice the amount I would have had I gone to Home Depot again… I finished the repair properly, cleaned up and headed into work.

    I do enjoy DIY. But not in emergency situations. Those suck. Some of my coworkers are surprised that I can do plumbing. Others are of the same mindset as me- why pay someone when I am completely capable of doing it myself?

    Blue Monday got me all depressed about being a home owner in an older house. Times like yesterday make me want to throw the house on the market and run away. But I love this home. And I’m not sure when we will move. Maybe when the pipes burst….again.

    Repair Man Joe

    Our washing machine made a fun noise last week followed by a terrible smell. Not a dirt clothes smell, but rather a burning rubber smell. So I investigated.

    Turns out the “boot” on our front loader got torn. To the Internet I went to scour for a part and instructions. Successful was I! And thus a new part was ordered.

    This wasn’t the first time I’ve had to dismantle our washing machine. A few years ago it was leaking from the soap dispenser. That part was not available anywhere online. So I had to get creative using glue and plumbing tape. That fix worked 100%.

    My research online explained that it would take one hour to replace the boot. It took me an hour and twenty minutes. Afterwards we ran a load of wash. No leaks! My repeat was successful.

    But then the sound and smell happened again. The new boot was ruined. Online I went to find out why. Perhaps I should’ve looked deeper into why the first boot got wrecked. Turns out the gear holding the drum is worn. I am not in the mood to replace that gear or the drum. The cost and time is too high. So now we are off to buy a new washing machine.

    So much for an inexpensive repair of the front rubber part. But at least I can say that I know how to do it. I think we are getting a top loader now.

    Hmmph.

    Taking This City for Granted

    I’m always excited to travel to other countries, states, provinces, and visit different cities. I enjoy driving around certain cities such as Los Angeles or Calgary. Some of my favorite cities to walk around are Seattle, Tokyo, and San Jose. As well as the beaches of California and Hawaii. And of course, Disneyland.

    Our adventures over the years have taken us to see some beautiful cities and picturesque landscapes. From unique architecture to forests to parks to beaches. But I forget that Vancouver is unique and beautiful in its own way. With many of the things I have experienced elsewhere.

    Over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to work downtown Vancouver. It made me want to come down to this city more often. I’ve begun to take the time and just wander around Vancouver as well as take in a Hockey Game with my son. Vancouver has parks and architecture that you can only find here.

    The outskirts of Vancouver boast beautiful trails located in many municipalities; and White Rock’s beaches aren’t crowded. This year, we aren’t planning any big trips or vacations. I’m going to plan more daily explorations of our current stomping grounds. Let’s share what the Lower Mainland has to offer.

    By all means, give me some ideas of places to visit and things to do. No need to keep secrets about this exquisite locale we call home.

    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.

    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?