Seven days to go. That’s a whole week! As I continue with my countdown, we are at lucky number 7. A lot of folks find it to be a lucky number. I don’t gamble, so slot machines and casinos don’t matter much to me.
However, when the Internet first began, I did use 777 at the end of my first ever email address. I thought I was super clever being an atheist and all. My email address was god iv followed by 777. The joke being, “What’s god for?” I have since abandoned that email and tend to use something more professional these days.
Of course I’m going to talk about movies that involve the number 7. Specifically the movie SEVEN. Ever since seeing the film, my family always says, “What’s in the box?” And I’m pretty sure that during the unpacking of our home- this phrase will get beaten to death. But quotes like that are great.
I love romantic fantasy film. One of my favorite movies is Stardust. There is a character named Septimus, who is one of the lead villains of the film. His jacket, in fact most of his wardrobe, involves the number seven somewhere. This is one of those cosplay characters that I would love to do one day. But the vest and jacket with custom buttons is fantastic.
As we near the end of our packing for the move, I am getting excited about the new house. I cannot say at this time that I love this new house. To quote Stardust: “The little I know about love is that it’s unconditional. It’s not something you can buy.” But my feelings for our future home are definitely strong.
Eight days remaining. My countdown is now at my favorite single digit number. Let me tell you why.
My sister. She was born on the luckiest day ever. August 8th, 1980. 8/8/80. When she turned 8 it was in 1988. Growing up, we were pretty good friends. Playing silly games as youngsters to partying as teenagers. She was always know as “Joe’s Sister” which she hated. One year she made a t-shirt for me that said “Nikki’s Brother” and I wore that shirt all the time.
The Magic 8 Ball. This thing is fantastic. Back in my teenage years I enjoyed Billiards on a regular basis. I got obsessed with everything 8-Ball. My Magic 8 Ball was used all the time for decision making. This was extremely useful since teenagers are pretty useless when it came to deciding what to do when bored.
Finally, the number 8 reminds me of the lemniscate- otherwise known as the Infinity Symbol ♾. The idea that there time, life, ideas, power, numbers, or anything imaginable really could go on forever astounds me. Philosophically- infinity is just a thought. But it is real in so many ways.
Now with 8 days remaining, we have infinite dreams and hopes for our new home.
As my daily countdown continues, today is 10 days remaining until we move. Here’s what the number ten means to me.
I enjoy top ten lists. I probably began enjoying Top Ten Lists from my late night tv viewings. David Letterman was always clever with his humorous take on these lists. SNL had a few good skits from Wayne’s World as well. I continue to be sucked in to Click Bait top ten lists.
Doctor Who was a family favorite show a few years back. Each of us enjoy our Doctors, but my favorite is the Tenth Doctor. His personality is fun and smart. His heart (or is it hearts?) was always big and generous. David Tennant is a fantastic actor and made the show great to watch. Cheesy sci-fi at its finest.
Of course you can’t count down until you learn to count up. Everyone I know has learnt how to count to ten. Meeting a child and sharing in their joy as they excitedly count that high is a wonderful feeling. We all use ten as the base for counting- it just makes sense. Our world is at our fingertips and we use those fingers to count at such a young age. Many of us still use our fingers as a visual tool to count.
I’m giving our new home a 10/10 for how amazing it will be once we are settled in.
Continuing with my daily countdown, I am at the number 11.
As I have mentioned numerous times in the past, I enjoy listening to music. I often “turn it up to 11” to quote Spinal Tap. Which is a great mockumentory movie if you haven’t seen it. It’s also a fantastic quote when you are talking about going above and beyond with your skill sets.
Seeing a digital clock when it shows 11:11 is also a thing that I notice more often than any other time of day. I’m not sure why it feels magical, but it does. Maybe it’s the simple straight lines of the number one strung parallel to one another. I love numerical sequences like that as well.
Of course there is also my enjoyment of science fiction and nostalgia. Stranger Things series was the perfect combo of this and filled me with joy. This image brings me to my other favorite 11…
I also loved visiting 7-11 stores in Japan. That entire trip to Tokyo was by far my most memorable. Those convenience stores were the reliable and well stocked for all of our basic needs for the day. It was great.
11 days remaining until we are in our new house. With that move we are definitely Turning it up to 11!
The amount of days remaining until we move. So I decided that for the final countdown (BA DA BOO-BOO…BA DA BOO-BOO-BOO) I would share something about each number for the days remaining that makes me happy.
With twelve being such a great number- My daughter suggested talking about the movie “12 Monkeys” since I enjoyed it so much. And it’s eerily poignant with today’s world. But I thought why not talk about how Sesame Street made me love pinball? That’s a bit more fun.
It’s all because of “One two three four five… six seven eight nine ten… eleven twel-el-el-el-el-elve.“ Such a ridiculous cartoon teaching kids to count. But it worked. And the song is forever ingrained inside the brains of any child of the 80’s.
I have a love of pinball because of this. It is my go-to gaming in arcades. I have always wanted a pinball machine. Perhaps one day I will get one. I have also bought pinball video games because I enjoy those as well.
Alien Crush was on the Turbografx16 and I won a contest playing it. Kirby’s Pinball Land on Gameboy filled hours of boredom (my daughter has since destroyed my high scores on that one). As well, I would spend hours upon hours of playing 3D Pinball Space Cadet on Windows (pre-Internet days). But my wife treated me to something truly amazing.
Star Wars VR Pinball on the Oculus. Not only do you play pinball, but you also get to set up a really cool Star Wars Den. The pinball game has a variety of views making it truly immersive. I’ve only played a couple of times, but I am looking forward to playing some more in the near future.
My love of pinball coincides with the number twelve. And with 12 days to go, I look forward to relaxing with some vr pinball in our new place.
On Friday night my wife and I stopped by a friend’s place for a BBQ dinner. On their property is some sheep. And a llama named “Bobby.”
My friend’s young son took me out to meet Bobby. As we walked towards the fence, the llama came running up. She took one look at me, then walked away. Just to stare at me side-eyed while I hung out there.
Bobby was just chilling out amongst the sheep, no real cares in the world. The perfect attitude required these days. Better times are coming.
I do feel my life is like Bobby in a way. Running up to see the excitement, then hanging back to watch it unfold. I snagged a selfie with her in hopes to have some more of her zen rub off on me. I tend to forget that not everything needs to be a burden. Sometimes you can just let things be.
Once in a while my middle wants to have a day with me. We have dubbed it “Daddy/Darwin Day”. Usually it’s me taking her out for a lunch or coffee and we talk. Today was a spontaneous “Daddy/Darwin Day” that we both needed.
We started with returning the recycling to get a bit of money back and clean out prior to our move. $12.10 is all we received, but no big deal- we didn’t have much to return. Then we went for gas and into town to hit up Indigo Books. It’s a favorite of our two daughters to go to a bookstore when they need an emotional “pick-me-up“.
Our little world at home has been having a couple road bumps, so it was nice that she asked me to go out with her. In fact, she paid for our Frappuccinos later in the afternoon. That was a lovely treat.
We had good heart to heart bantering. As well, she asked cryptic questions that I answered, but knew she was trying to get somewhere… without getting there directly.
She even tried to drive the Honda Element down the block to our house. This was a good milestone achievement as the vehicle is manual transmission and this was her first time driving a car with a clutch. Not too shabby.
I enjoyed our time together and wish to have more days like this.
It’s been a few years but I finally got to have one of my favorite “Firsties” this morning. It may not seem like much, but it is one of my most anticipated experiences. I rarely get to enjoy it because other members of my family get to it before I do. They probably don’t realize how much I enjoy these moments.
I’m talking about a fresh jar of peanut butter.
To me, there’s something beautiful and magical about being the first to open a jar of peanut butter. We buy Kraft smooth peanut butter and always have. What I enjoy is unscrewing the lid and seeing that the foil seal is still pristine. A quick tug of the tab and the smooth brown spread is exposed to the air and a waft of peanuty goodness comes out.
The untouched butter taunts me awaiting the first scoop. A knife or spoon- doesn’t matter; all that matters is taking that first swipe. The cut that drives into a perfectly flat crown. The utensil slides down deep followed by a twist and out comes the first taste.
That first taste is the greatest. It’s as if the peanut butter has a chemical reaction with the air as it is exposed for the first time since the factory. I get a little greedy and spread extra on my toast. But hey, these moments are few and far between. Why not spoil myself just this once?
Do you have the same experience with a fresh jar of peanut butter? Or do you find a similar joy with another food?
Sleep can be a finicky trickster. As much as I love talking about sleeping and practically live my life for naps- waking up normally eludes me. Waking up goes one of two ways.
Either I have multiple alarms and hit snooze as often as possible in hopes to get every last moment of sleep. I’d say this is my most common way of waking up. My wife swears that it makes me more tired because I interrupt my sleep so much in the end. I disagree. I think hitting snooze lets me prepare mentally for my day as it erases my memories of those dreams I was living in.
The other thing that will happen is I’ll wake up before my first alarm. This causes me to stare at my phone and watch as the time changes. This seems to last forever as misery takes over my already fragile emotional state of sleepiness. It’s during these moments that I can vividly remember my dreams and sometimes wish to re-enter that state. Only the dread of closing my eyes just to hear my alarm takes over.
Rarely, if ever, do I wake up on the first alarm and start my day. In fact since I was a child this never happened. I also tried to set my alarm across the room in order to get out of bed to turn it off. That didn’t work. Instead, my lazy ass would just let it buzz for ages as I completely ignored it. That’s because I knew I had set it early in order to hit snooze. There was no fooling myself!
How do you wake up? Are you a multiple alarm kind of person? Perhaps the nine minute snooze is your thing? Or are you the rare beast that wakes instantly from slumber upon the first bell tolling?
Let me know in the comments. For now I’m going to adjust my alarms by two minutes in hopes to change my habit since the past few days I’m beating my alarm and waking before it attempts to.
WordPress recently congratulated me on 1001 days straight of blog posts. That’s a lot of stories about me and my life experiences. However, I’ve actually written more than that. 1001 days puts me only to the end of August 2018.
I’ve written in this blog every day since January 27,2016. That’s 1950 days. I hit a few technical issues in the years of blogging which explains why it didn’t count every single day posted. Computers, am I right? Wait, I use my iPhone 98% of the time to write.
I have enjoyed journaling here in hopes that my experiences are uplifting and relatable to those who do read my blog. I enjoy writing about parenting, traveling, music, movies, memories, growing old, and kindness. Sometimes I stray from that and share a bittersweet or sad story. But it’s generally about me and my thoughts for the day.
As always, thank you to my devoted followers for reading my tales. They may never become a bestseller novel, but the stories are mine to share.
May 29,2000. Twenty one years ago my wife and I met. We have been together almost every day since then. Any time we have been apart, we have spoken on the phone. The time we have had apart is so minimal that I’d hazard a guess it’s been less than one month all added up.
We are moving into our dream home in twenty one days. I am nervous and excited at the same time. Change is good. Like all of the changes that have entered my life, the biggest ones have occurred with Lee-Anne by my side.
In all this time, my wife has- and will be- the constant that makes my life matter most. She has pushed me beyond my comfort levels and helped in creating who I am today. From parenting to career to travel to just living life- after meeting Lee-Anne my journey has been a whirlwind of excitement.
In July we will celebrate twenty years of marriage. In our new home, with an adult child and two teenagers to celebrate with us. I’m always amazed to look back at life and see the journey we have been on. Sometimes you miss the process as you are in the midst of it.
I know I was complaining yesterday about my joints and pains. Today I realized I have hit another stage of growing older. And it wasn’t my hearing like I thought it was going to be because of the loud music and my work environment. Nope, it’s my eyesight.
I was unable to read the writing on the yellow part of this label. My wife gave me her reading glasses, and voila- clear as crystal. It’s odd because I could read the part above with a bit of strain, but accurately without hesitation.
Naturally, I went on my phone to search up signs of aging and stuff like that. Here’s what I found:
Your Heart Works Harder.
Your Skin Feels Different.
You Find It Harder to See and Hear.
Your Teeth and Gums Change.
Your Bones Become More Brittle.
Going to the Bathroom.
It’s Harder Getting Around or Staying Strong.
I stopped consuming alcohol last August because I could feel my heart working harder than ever. By October I felt normal. But the last month or so I have noticed my heartbeats being erratic once more. And with the aches creeping in more, and today’s realization that my eyesight is going to diminish, I’m feeling a bit down.
I always knew that I’d grow old. That’s just what happens. I’ve already been enjoying trimming nose and ear hairs as I watch my hairline recede. Getting a scratch or bruise? Might as well watch it heal at a snails pace. On normal days where I don’t work nights? Bedtime is before nine pm.
So yeah, my body is getting decrepit. Since the day I was born, it was a downhill slope leading to eventual destruction. Just like everyone else. What to do about it? Besides complaining (which I kind of enjoy) or comparing it to other people’s ailments- I think it’s best to IGNORE it.
I meant, work out. Exercise. Read more. Eat healthier. Look after myself. I kind of like my life and friends and family. It’d be nice to see them for a while longer. Or I can hope that technology catches up soon and I can be part robotic.
Anyhow, maybe next time I get my eyesight checked I’ll look at the possibility of getting reading glasses. Until then- I’ll use the technology available to me now. My iPhone can zoom in on the directions for me. Who needs glasses?
As much as I love quoting The Beastie Boys, I tweaked my back yesterday and it wasn’t fun. I hurt myself doing a normal task- stirring pasta. That is almost as bad as straining my thumb taking off a sock. My thumb has been in pain for weeks now. It’s tough to text on my phone. Life is rough.
Being in my mid-forties and getting injured in such simple ways is torturous to the ego. I’m getting worried about what will happen when I hit fifty. My wife keeps telling me I need to stretch and exercise more. I think Advil is good enough, for now…
I’m thinking about swimming and doing yoga this summer. Perhaps it will loosen up my tense muscles. One can only hope. I’ll probably rock out in my backyard to some Beastie Boys as I “work out.”
So, “If you can feel what I’m feeling then it’s a musical masterpiece/ If you can hear what I’m dealing with then that’s cool at least/ What’s running through my mind comes through in my walk/ True feelings are shown from the way that I talk”
Remember your towel today! It’s International Towel Day. Here’s a brief description:
A towel, [The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy] says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-boggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favorite science fiction series ever. We named our first born daughter Random because of it. I have even dressed as Arthur Dent at conventions in the past.
I will be bringing my towel with me all day. Just like I do Every Towel Day. It’s a sign of being a nerd. A true nerd.
I’m not busy doing much of anything. Including sleep. Most times I can just roll over and pass out. I’ve slept through jackhammering and roofing. This morning I’m just aimlessly wandering the Internet. Maybe a lullaby will help after my night shift.
Now the world has gone to bed, Darkness won’t engulf my head, I can see in infrared, How I hate the night. He paused to gather the artistic and emotional strength to tackle the next verse. Now I lay me down to sleep, Try to count electric sheep, Sweet dream wishes you can keep, How I hate the night.
What would really help is putting down my phone and closing my eyes. Farewell for the day. Or as Truman says:
Here in my neck of the woods- we had a good run of amazing weather the last couple of days. It felt as though the May Long Weekend was going to shine! Today I woke up and it was grey and chilly. The forecast also doesn’t look to favorable this week. Chance of rain and more grey skies.
I honestly don’t mind too much. That’s because I have another couple of weeks of night shifts to go. The grey skies help me sleep during the day. I do have blackout blinds, but the turn in the weather also means less people and animals outside making a ruckus and enjoying life.
Maybe that’s a little selfish sounding. Like most people I didn’t look into the weather outlook for the weekend. I just assumed the sun would be around. Lots of my friends and coworkers have enjoyed camping and hanging out in their backyards over the last two days. At least according to their social media posts.
Don’t worry folks, the sun will return soon enough. We have an entire summer to go.
In four weeks time we will be smack dab in the process of moving. Over these past three months (yeah, that long so far) we have been packing and decluttering the homestead. Today I can finally say that the out buildings are cleared up.
Cleaning these buildings out has been the biggest challenge. Most of the stuff we have inside our house is easy enough to pack. But the barn, woodshed and garden shed were my least favorite to tackle. There was almost five decades of stuff collected. Plus numerous hand-me-downs from family and friends. Because we had the space at the time to take things.
Lately, it has been our turn to pass items on. I’m glad that those items are getting good use still.
With twenty eight days left to go, it would be really nice if some of the restrictions would be lifted. My family and I are feeling trapped in an endless state of box filling and clutter. We could really use some time with friends and family. A hug from a best friend would be nice as well. The kind of hug that says- “Everything is going to be okay.”
Come mid-June I hope that our lives are going to be returning to normal with the new home to grow into. Counting down the days is difficult. But dang is moving day approaching fast!
Our oldest finished her practicum and received her feed back today. That means a year of post secondary school is now behind her. She is finally relaxed.
Tonight we picked up an ice cream cake to celebrate her first year behind her. Random deserves a treat after such a stressful few weeks getting her project completed.
Unfortunately there are no options for her to get in the workforce this summer. Covid has made it difficult for her to get some hands on experience. Hopefully after her second year she will get experience in her chosen field. In the meantime, she is excited to work for her boss at 1 Fish 2 Fish this summer.
What’s really neat is that for her practicum film project- she interviewed a coworker about working there. After getting feedback from her teacher, Random is going to edit the project and present it to her boss. I think that’s wonderful. Our daughter can combine her passion for film and fish into one.
I hope she continues to enjoy the career she is choosing to pursue. There will be plenty of opportunities coming up and she could be a very busy person.
My wife and I have a special relationship. It’s filled with love and understanding; compassion and kindness. But above all- acceptance. Acceptance of our flaws.
I accept that my wife has a crude sense of showing her love for me some days. I recently saw some screen shots of a text conversation we had about four years ago. It’s the same type of conversation we have had previously and continue to have.
Yes. That text exchange was while we lay next to each other in bed. It’s not the first time we have done that. Nor will it be the last time. (I’m obviously talking about my wife’s farts and how proud she is of them).
Everyone farts. You can’t deny that. Is it acceptable to share them? Honestly- read the room first. Not everyone finds passing gas humorous. Especially if there’s an odor that goes along with it.
I enjoy that my wife and I are that comfortable around one another. And that we can fart freely. We both still giggle as a reaction to one another’s gas works. A little rumble in the down under makes for some good laughs.
I love taking pictures of the artwork on rail cars. I enjoy how an image can tell a quick story.
I also like taking my pictures with a bit of an artistic flare. It’s amazing how lighting and backgrounds can change the feel of the image so easily. Not to mention the filters that smartphones and apps have available. An original image can change completely given the appropriate filter.
Taking pictures of inanimate objects is easy enough. Especially if the art is worthy of a photograph. Catching the right light and angle is also important. Rule of thirds, leading lines, framing- any of the photographer’s special gambit of artistic flair is made easy using railroads and rail cars. I have been doing it for years in order to perfect those skills I learned in high school photography almost thirty years ago.
I appreciate Instagram for being able to showcase and see some fantastic images. There are a lot of talented photographers out there who make a subject jump out at you and make you feel emotion.
I’m feeling contented and courageous by sharing my pictures regularly. I hope you all enjoy seeing the art from my point of view that others have painted. Feel free to follow me on Instagram and see more pictures of rail cars and my life.
On Saturday afternoon, my wife and I went for a walk in Maple Ridge. We wandered around Kanaka Creek Regional Park for about an hour or so. This was our first time exploring this area. I remember that nearby there used to be the Albion Ferry. I’m sure I came here back in the early 90’s when we were able to cross from Fort Langley. Even though there is a rich history here, this park was finished in 1993.
It is a nicely shaded walk that meanders near the Fraser River. It is far more maintained than the parks in Langley are. This was probably one of the nicest walks I’ve been on recently in The Lower Mainland.
It sure felt as though summer was upon us the other day. If you head out on a beautiful sunny day like we did, remember to bring water, a hat, and sunscreen. And remember to smile for your photos!
Our son is turning fifteen today. I can’t believe how the time is flying by over these past years. He is the youngest of our children, so these birthdays hit a bit differently. Each one of his birthdays and achievements is a reminder that there won’t be any more to come.
Alright, I’m not going to get all teary eyed. Instead I want to say that Theory is a great kid. He has always been a fantastic son who loves to share his passions with me. We talk a lot about every subject imaginable. I have a relationship with him that is far superior than the one I had with my father. It shows in the fact that our son wants me to be a part of his world all the time. Two years ago was completely Devoted to him.
Usually he is a mama’s boy. My wife still thinks of him as the baby of the family. He definitely gets the majority of hugs from mom compared to the rest of us.
He also has a great relationship with his sisters. Yesterday he hung out with his eldest sister as she iced his birthday cake. They laughed and goofed off for about four hours in the kitchen. He also has a ton of fun with his other sister as they hang out and share jokes.
Today we had a sugar induced brunch as requested by Theory. Waffles, hashbrowns, maple bacon, whipped cream, syrup, and a three layer cake. Part way through the meal our kids decided to play frisbee in the backyard to burn off some of the sugar rush. I just sat there vibrating from the sugar.
As much as I want to write so much more about him, I have already shared stories of Theory in the past. I’d like to summarize by saying that Theory is always the type of kid who puts everyone else first. His kindness is the greatest gift ever. I wish for him to continue on that pathway throughout his life.
Happy Birthday once more Theory! You are the best son a dad could hope for.
Yesterday my wife and I enjoyed a midday kayak on the Sumas Canal that leads to the Vedder River. Last year we went at the end of June when the water levels were much higher. That allowed for more exploration along the calm water’s edge. Read about last year’s adventure here: Vedder Made Today Better.
Yesterday was just a brief stint in the water. The levels were much lower and we really weren’t as prepared as we thought we were. Even though we packed some snacks and put to use our new PFDs, we just weren’t as ready as we thought. The water wasn’t difficult to paddle- the problem was the sun. We forgot sunscreen. Our water bottles can only keep us cool and hydrated for so long.
We are definitely fond of the calm clear water which we paddled on passing the tall grasses. We have also become bird watchers while on these journeys. Yesterday we saw numerous cranes, geese, mallards, hawks, and bald eagles. As well as a few fish and frogs hiding out.
Even though our adventure was short, we still enjoyed the brief paddle. Getting a bit of a workout in the sun was nice. I enjoy the car ride as well, that allows for my wife and I to talk about life.
All-in-all a good mental and physical health moment in the middle of the day.
Once in a while I’ll bring our dog to get the kids from school. I used to bring Lex, but he is elderly and frail that I worry about him traveling. Even if it is for a short distance.
Maki did a pretty good job hanging out in the very back on the way to the school. She popped her head up a few times, but mostly laid down. She did bark as we approached the school which shocked me. She tends to bark at other dogs.
Darwin was pleasantly surprised to see Maki in the car and quickly took her out to wander the field. Maki loved the new scents and grass, giving a good tug for Darwin to keep up.
The drive home was a little more chaotic. The kids put their stuff in the back on half the trunk space and folded one of the chairs down. Theory sat in the back and tried to keep her still, but I was getting dog breath in my face as I drove.
Maki only barked once randomly as we neared our home. It was a good little surprise for the two youngest seeing their dog greet them. I’m hoping to do it more often as the weather gets nicer.
For Mother’s Day, our kids did their best to make my wife happy. Breakfast in bed, a day of Netflix binging, dinner, doing what was asked (without eye rolls and back talk) and a few gifts. Everyone was happy. It was great.
On social media I witnessed numerous wishes to moms everywhere. A few moms I know shared what their families had done for them as well. There was a lot of love going around yesterday.
I also saw a few images of my favorite tv moms. These are the ones who taught me about life. Many of them were humorous and worthy of being a tv mom.
I enjoyed the positive vibes I witnessed yesterday. There is plenty of love for and from mothers out there. Love like that should be shared more often.