Saying Farewell To A Coworker

It’s bittersweet when a coworker leaves. You’re happy for them to be making a change, but upset that they are leaving. Especially if you’ve worked side by side for years.

This week at the railroad is the last for a close friend of mine. It’s going to be hard to say goodbye, so the sarcasm and jokes are already coming out. I wrote a note of “encouragement” on a picture that I had hanging in our office for almost a year.

KC,

Good luck @ KM. You’re only gonna last 3 weeks!

#sixseasonsandamovie

-Joe

He and I had very similar tastes in entertainment. We often had discussions about movies and tv shows. My farewell to him is in reference to the show “Community”. A show we both enjoyed.

In a couple of days, he shall be off to a new adventure. We will still be in contact periodically because our railroad services the company he is moving to. The dynamic will change, but out jokes shall remain the same. I wish him all the best in his new adventure.

Sober September

I’m going for year two of Sober September. The end of summer had me enjoying my vacation with quite a few beers this year. As much as I want to sport the beer gut and “Dad Bod” I also want to be healthy. Taking a break from the hops and barley will help.

We also have quite the collection of Growlers from the breweries we’ve visited. It’s time to let them gather dust for a bit. Generally if I liked a beer, I bought a growler. But the artwork on the bottles is also important. I guess it’s kind of like spoon collecting?

Anyways, it’s September 1st. Time to get on the path of Sober September. I’m glad I did it last year and was eager to do it again this year. My wife has said she is going to join me this month as well. That’s the kind of awesome support that I appreciate.

Peace River; Taylor, BC

British Columbia is beautiful in many aspects. This week, my wife and I did a couple excursions with our new kayaks in Northern BC.

The other day we went to Charlie Lake which was 15 minutes north of Fort St. John. On Thursday my wife and I headed 15 minutes south towards the town of Taylor, BC.

We wanted to hit the Peace River for some kayaking. However, we knew the current would be strong because of the information we read about when we went to the Site C Dam lookout. After some research on Google and using the Google maps satellite view- I found a small alcove near a boat launch on the south side of the Peace River. So we went exploring.

This had to be the most peaceful kayaking we’ve done yet. The waters were calm and the views were spectacular. It was so leisurely that we spent almost two hours floating around without having to put much effort in.

It was a pleasant excursion and made me glad we toted the kayaks almost 1200 kms just to experience this. Perhaps one day our upper body strength will be better and we could try tackling a stronger current.

But until then, I’m content to put my feet up and relax.

We Have a Set Of Doors!

Last week I had a hole in the wall leading to the outdoors. Read about it: Oh No! This week, the doors are up and I finished the staining to match the rest of the wood throughout our home.

And the doors look amazing!

*Pats self on back*

I’m also happy with the hardware on the doors and how they will protect our home. I put locking pins in the doors that go directly into the steel beam along the door frame. Because the doors swung outwards- the hinges are secured and not able to be knocked out. To complete the doors- all I have left to do is paint the frame and add weather stripping. That’ll be tomorrow morning once the stain sets.

Yay! I love completing home renovations. There’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with a job well done.

Oh No. I Made A Big Hole In My House

You read that right. I made a seven foot high by twelve foot wide hole in my living room. And it needed to be closed off…

There used to be a sliding glass door. My two youngest helped me move it out (after I figured out how to get it out.) As my daughter said, “It’s now open concept like they say on HGTV.”

So I put her to more work for the snide remarks. I hit Home Depot early this morning and picked up four door slabs. I got lucky since barn doors are all the rage and I was able to get them at seven feet tall- fitting my opening perfectly.

After a bit of trimming and cutting out placements for the hinges- the doors are now installed. Now my daughter is quoting more HGTV saying, “It’s rustic farmhouse chic.” Which will ring true once our new doors are finished.

Tomorrow is installation of the doorknobs and adding the finishing trim around the doors. On Saturday (or more likely next week) I will stain the doors to match the wood finish in our home. My brother-in-law stopped by earlier and is impressed that I was able to keep with the look of the home.

I appreciated the help that both my kids gave me today. And it took all day. I hope they learned some DIY and door installation.

What Have I Done?

I love DIY and working on Home Improvements. Over the years I have realized that most of my projects hit a small roadblock or unforeseen circumstances. Last year I had a vision to Build A Door to replace a busted sliding glass door. But my ambition faltered and diminished rather quickly and the project went by the wayside. Over the past few days, my desire to do complete (or at the very least start) the project has returned.

My wife is out of town for a few days at the moment for a work function. Whenever she leaves me for more than a couple of days- I take on a project and usually get it 85-95% done. I figured this should be no different. So I have begun.

As with most projects- I guesstimate how long it will take and double that time. This project I figure will take me a day and a half- not including painting or staining the doors. But an hour in, and only the door half of the old sliding door out, and I’ve got a literal brick wall. I’ve had to pause to re-evaluate what to do. The sliding door is somehow attached to the brick wall. But I cannot find screws or flanges. Ugh.

I can’t put the old door back, and I don’t know how to move to the next part of the removal. It also brought up some concerns of how to install the new door frame. I’m going to finish this break and start some clean up as I process my dilemma.

Wish me luck. Or I’ll take any advice short of selling the house!

N

A little bit over a year ago, our oldest daughter got her Learner’s License. She has practiced driving a few times every week since then. Mostly driving my car because it is an automatic. She has also driven our 2003 Honda Element which is a manual transmission. We kept that vehicle because it has been extremely reliable and had we traded it in- we wouldn’t get much money for it. It’s also a safe vehicle for her to drive around in.

Today she went in to get her “N” to begin being a Novice Driver. She successfully passed the road exam. Now she will have more freedom to drive without mom and dad overseeing her every move. Just look at that teenage smile!

We insured the Honda Element today for a full year with her as the primary driver. The first thing she did for the car? Set her radio stations.

Having an L for the past year meant she wasn’t permitted to have music or the radio playing while she learned to drive. Earning an N gives her the opportunity to enjoy driving. She will be more independent now. I also gave her some training this evening on how to change the tire in case she ever gets a flat.

So there it is- another milestone in a young person’s life. It feels as if we just took off her training wheels yesterday. Except that was a fight. She had no desire to learn how to ride a two wheel bike… but that’s a different story.

Congratulations Random!

My Wife’s Coworkers

I attended my first ever Baseball Game last night courtesy of my wife’s work. Meaning that this event was with my wife’s coworkers instead of mine like we usually do. This time I got to be my wife’s “Plus One” and meeting her coworkers IRL was a neat experience. I’ve heard so much about them and I’ve occasionally “seen” them while they do video conferencing. But to talk and mingle with them in person was neat. Kind of like an extended family that I’d never met but could relate to easily.

The energy within the large group was astounding. Laughs and photos were going on while food and beverages were being consumed. Lots of SHOP talk was happening. They all had a great time.

My wife’s coworkers really make her happy. She has developed some fantastic relationships with many of them. I’d say I’m jealous, but in reality I’m happy inside. I’m happy because my wife is happy- and she deserves this happiness the most..

Baseball

I’m not exactly the biggest Sports guy around. But last night my wife took me to my first ever baseball game. I enjoyed the experience. Here are my highlights:

It was pride day at the field, so there was a ton of amazing and fun people around. Lots of love to be shared, that’s for sure.

I did the typical baseball thing as well. I enjoyed a hotdog with mustard and an ice cold beer. (I’m glad it was paid for, because sporting events and food is far too expensive.) Watching the game at dusk really added to the enjoyment. As the sun set- the field lit up creating a beautiful glow.

I got to met one of the costumed mascots and took an obligatory selfie with him. As for the game itself, I couldn’t tell you who won in the end- I cheered for both teams as the night went on.

My wife and I both liked the fact that it seemed pretty retro and old timey at the field. With a kid in the back of the field swapping numbers the old fashioned way. He seemed really happy in his job since he had the best seat in the house.

Would I attend another baseball game? Sure. Maybe with some bigger names teams from the MLB. It was definitely a lot of fun.

Kayak Adventure

Last week I mentioned how we bought a couple of kayaks. (Read about it here: Ack Ack Kayak.) On Saturday this week, my wife and I finally took them out for the inaugural testing.

After a bunch of online searching to find a good first spot to kayak, we ended up at Blackie Spit down at Crescent Beach in White Rock. I woke up early and secured the kayaks to the roof of my Rogue. But it wouldn’t be for another couple of hours before we would depart. We made it to White Rock by 12:15pm and hit the water pretty soon after. I was shocked at how few people were at the beach today.

My wife and I paddled around the harbor and pier. Our two youngest came to the beach with us and found themselves a spot to hang out. After an hour or so on the water, my wife and I met up with our kids and they took a turn on the water. Once they were done, my wife and I paddled back to a spot closer to my car and the kids walked over.

Once at the car, everyone pitched in to get the kayaks on the roof and secured up. The parking lot was getting busy and people were filling up every available spot. I figured we should get going home so that someone else could take my spot.

All-in-all it was a fantastic day. I hope to explore more places while out on the kayaks. For now though, I’m kinda stiff and sore using muscles I had no idea I had.

Black Canvas

I took my daughter to the local craft store yesterday and I ended up buying some black canvases for the both of us. In exchange for me giving her a couple of canvases- she lets me use her acrylic paints and borrow her brushes. I’m not an amazing artist, but I enjoy experimenting a bit.

As I blended colours and tried to make my own version of the aurora borealis- I enjoyed the mix of whites and greens on the black background. Blending blues and purples to create the night sky added to my joy. When painting- I always see where I could improve. But I also have to know when to stop. Sometimes less is more, right?

I have some plans for the other canvases I bought and I hope they turn out. My daughter has chosen to make an outer space image which she is really proud of so far. Using a black canvas is different than a typical white. It really makes lighter colours pop.

Do you enjoy painting? Ever use black canvases? Or do you have any tips for using acrylic paints? Let me know in the comments section!

Ack Ack Kayak!

So… I was at the Grade Seven camp a little over a week ago when I tried Kayaking for the first time. I enjoyed it tremendously. My wife hates me because of this.

She hates me because for years now she’s been trying to get me to go kayaking with her. When I finally did go on a whim without her, I wanted to go again. I really should listen to her the first time around…

As I mentioned yesterday- I put on a new Roof Rack on my Nissan Rogue. It was to prepare for the possibility of getting a kayak. My wife finished work at six last night and wanted to go price some kayaks out. I’d been looking online at places and prices earlier in the week, but it was my wife who wanted to go and search for herself. Unfortunately we only went to one place- Canadian Tire. Not my usual place to go shopping- however we do find some great deals on occasion- like our bbq grill about four years ago.

Anyways, window shopping for a kayak turned into buying a kayak. Make that buying two kayaks at a wickedly good price (they had them marked incorrectly but honored the price). These kayaks also came with oars and straps to take them away on the roof of my car. (As reference I found similar ones at Costco by the same manufacturer for $160 more each.)

I’m happy with the purchase to make our lives healthier. We just need to find the time to hit the water together.

And maybe my wife will forgive my ignorance all these years. Or she’ll drown me. Either way- we own a couple of kayaks now!

Roof Racks

Today was a day of roof racks. How exciting! One was for my Nissan Rogue. The other was for our Honda Element.

The Rogue was super easy, but super expensive. I shopped around to find crossbars, however it seems that Nissan Dealers all charge the same. $350 after taxes and five minutes of my labor and the Rogue is ready to start transporting stuff. It does look pretty slick mind you.

The Element was more challenging. Since the vehicle was discontinued a few years ago, accessories aren’t readily available from dealerships or online. So it was time to improvise and see what other people have done. After a couple of YouTube videos and a sense of, “That looks easy.” I took on the challenge.

We had an old display shelf that was the perfect length and the bars are durable. The Element is already boxy, so the square metal tube from the shelf fits in nicely. I hit the hardware section of a few stores to find a metal corner edge, bolts and some pins. I measured out the bracket sizes and cut four pieces with my hacksaw. After filing the edges, I bolted them into the roof. (The Element had bolt holes hidden in the top side panels making it easy to attach these brackets.) I used an angle grinder to slice out the perfect slit in the rails. Then I drilled holes that lined up with the brackets and tested my pins. Everything fit perfectly. Lastly was to remove everything once more and give it the first coat of black paint.

All that’s left is to figure out how to add crossbars in order to retain the durability. So far the roof rack for our Element has cost about $20, some recycled materials, a few fantastic YouTube lessons and a couple of hours of labor. Not too shabby I guess. Plus I really enjoyed working with my hands creating something useful for our car. I can’t wait to see the finished product and go camping!

Carving Up An Education

Our middle child entered grade nine back in September. The one thing about her is that she strives for excellence in all of her classes. A few years ago, her grade four teacher advised us that she could easily skip a grade because of her intellect. My wife and I discussed this at great lengths but came to the conclusion that as proud as we would be in pushing this, we wanted our daughter to remain amongst her peers. This proved to be the right decision socially.

Back to the start of this school year…

Our daughter had made her selections for classes the year prior and was looking forward to some of the possibilities that awaited her. When she found out at the start of the school year that she’d be taking a class she had zero interest in- let’s just say disappointment was prevalent. That class you may ask?

Carving.

Once she began the year, she took it quite well. Her ambition to maintain straight “A’s” took over the disappointment factor. So she aced the class. It didn’t surprise me. The reason being- her Opa is fantastic at working with wood.

My wife’s father was a brick layer by trade, but enjoyed wood working and cabinetry as well. Much of our home was created and envisioned by him. Our children have been surrounded by his talents so naturally it opened up a door to their hidden abilities.

I love seeing something made from nothing so to speak. Creating art from a piece of wood or a blank canvas makes me happy.

Honda Element Keyless Entry Install

We’ve had our Honda Element since 2003 when the first model came out. We picked up a mid price range Element EX in five speed manual transmission. A fantastic crossover suv with hardly any issues. The only thing that became bothersome over the years was the door locks.

Having the key stop working to unlock the doors began within the first couple years. Twice the dealership repaired the locks at no charge. I guess it’s a known issue for Hondas. Eventually we just became accustomed to not locking the car or restoring to crawling in through the trunk. I’m too old for that. Time to see about a keyless entry for the vehicle.

Last week I went to one of those car audio places to see about getting a keyless entry installed. Cheapest unit and time was going to cost me $500. Ugh. Time to search the interwebs. I found a couple of videos on YouTube of people who had figured out how to install the keyless entry. I picked up a genuine Honda part on Amazon and had it arrive at my home two days later.

I came home from work yesterday and picked up the mail to discover the package. Alright, Amazon is pretty awesome. After watching videos of other people installing this part, I figured I could hammer it out before dinner.

Reading online and watching videos saying that it can be installed in five minutes meant the challenge was on. I hit my stopwatch from the moment I opened the car door to the time it took to install the part and put everything back.

2 Minutes 23 Seconds.

We can now lock and unlock our door. Best $140 I have spent in a long time. The part had a spot all ready for it. Now I see why people love owning Hondas. Our Element is essentially the same as a CRV with many of the same parts interchangeable. Keeping costs way down on repairs.

I’m happy again with the car. Now to possibly upgrade the stereo!

Check out last year’s Camperizing a Honda Element or a couple of years ago where we couldn’t decide if we should Repair it or Replace it.

Healthy Lifestyle both Physically and Mentally

As I get older I feel that my life needs a bit more of a health upgrade. My wife is constantly pushing me to be more active. And she’s right. Look at yesterday for example:

I become stagnant and inert sometimes without realizing it. Yesterday she accomplished nearly 12,000 steps. I barely did 1700. As you can see- her goal is significantly higher than mine. Now that I’m in my early 40’s- it’s time to really start looking at my future.

I’m planning to retire by my mid 50’s. Which means besides being financially secure by then, I also want to be able to enjoy life. I don’t see myself hitting the gym, but walking more and getting off my phone to see the world are becoming more prevalent choices in order to feel healthy. So I also took a drastic approach to my cellphone addiction on Sunday.

On Sunday, as I was waiting for my son to compete in his Speed Skating competition, I noticed how everyone in the stands was on their phones- hardly interacting with one another. Naturally, I took out my phone and opened Facebook. This is when I realized I have a problem. It became clear that even though in the past I have taken a month hiatus periodically from the Social Media- I needed to do more. So I began by looking at my “Friends” list. I removed people to try and “clean house”.

By the end, I had removed nearly everyone on my list. There is now only my wife and daughters, my three friends who have passed away and two fellows whom I respect in many ways. One is a hard working artist, the other is my son’s coach. It took four days before anyone noticed that they weren’t my “Friend” anymore. The one who did notice is a close friend of mine and messaged me last night. Others may not have noticed, because if they follow my Blog- they are still seeing me posts on a daily basis because WordPress shares directly there for me.

After nearly 12 years on Facebook, it is tough to just give it up. I have kept my Facebook “alive” in order to read stories and news articles from groups that I follow. As well as to interact with those who comment on my blog posts. A couple of years ago I stopped using Twitter. The one social media I do enjoy is Instagram. I follow many of my Former Facebook Friends on their and enjoy seeing quick snapshots of their adventures.

Maybe one day I’ll regret dropping all of those Facebook contacts. I didn’t announce it to the world at the time because it really shouldn’t be a big deal. So I guess this is that announcement just to let people know. Time for me to move on. And by move, I mean walk more. Healthy living should be both physical and mental.

A new journey lies ahead. If I put my phone down- I’ll see where I’m going.

Axe-Holes Of Bad Axe

Yesterday for my 43rd birthday, I gathered up eight fellas and we went out for a “Guys Night”. Or is it called a “Bro Date”? Anyways, it was a night out without significant others or children. Time needed to blow off some steam.

I arranged a couple of hours for us all at a place called Bad Axe– where we got to throw axes at a target. It was something that none of us had tried before and it seemed like a great way to celebrate my birthday.

We had an instructor who taught us how to throw the axes as well as the safety precautions we needed to take. There was a variety of throwing styles and axes available to throw. There was a bit of a learning curve to it. I favored a heavier axe with the two hand approach. After a few failed attempts by each of us- we began to get better.

We split into teams and had a few competitive challenges. I’d say that 75% of the time the target was hit. Not the bullseye- just the target. I’ll also say that 100% of the time there was smack talk going on. Anything to throw off the other guy’s concentration. Needless to say- we were all Axe-Holes by the end strutting our stuff when we hit the target.

The staff were amazing and fun. The two hours of axe throwing went by quickly. It was a great experience that I would gladly go back for. I’d recommend it for anyone to give it a go. Watch how easily I hit the target, anyone can do it:

Three Years of Blogging

I have now done three years of daily blogging.

Woot-woot!

This is a great achievement for me since I write each and every blog post myself. I actually missed my anniversary date by a day which to me means that I’ve made writing a daily routine that I cannot miss. Those times I’m out of WiFi or cellular range- I’ll “schedule” a post.

Every day I write about something that piques my interest. Note: I just had to look up which word to use- peak,peek or pique. I enjoy writing about my adventures, my family and my thoughts.

After three years of writing I have also become a more positive person in my interactions and stories. If you look back at my works you may notice that I avoid using negative words or connotations. This positivity has made me like who I am a great deal more than I expected.

Of course I am human after all, and my world does have moments that can be more unicorn farts and pixie poops than I want to share. But throwing a learning moment, revelation or change of action helps to turn my mood around.

I have more stories to share and a life to live. I hope that all of my readers and followers have enjoyed checking out my life and adventures. Thank you for a wonderful three years!

2018 In Review

I went back and took a look at my year of blogging.  I found some interesting stats about my daily musings.

I wrote 88,008 words all year.  An average of 241 words per post.  Not too shabby. Until I looked at 2017.

In 2017, I wrote 103,847 words for an average of 285 per post. uh-oh

Going back to when I first began blogging in 2016 (which I started Jan 18th) I wrote 127,373 words that first year. For an average of 374 words per post.

Clearly, my writing needs more work going into 2019.


Back to my year in review.

My top 5 viewed posts were:

Data Hogs I got a lot of comments on social media about this one. Seems like there are others like me who want better data coverage in Canada.

What To Give… This one was a tough day of parenting. I shared more feelings than facts here. It’s funny though, I used the same title later in the year for my thoughts on Christmas.

Penzer Parkour Park Which was published in June 2017. Chances are it was people looking up the park itself and stumbled on my blog.

Life Lesson Apparently I wasn’t alone in having to let kids make decisions that they need to learn from. Again, parenting can be tough.

Tied for 5th were these two blog posts:

Trip Planning at Age 11 Even though later in the year our son had to learn a tough lesson, back in January he helped plan our trip to Tokyo.

Dinner Train This was one of the most fun dates I have had with my wife. We look forward to doing it again!


I had numerous blog posts that I was happy with. However, they kind of fell into the middle of the pack. I enjoyed writing about Tokyo and traveling. As well as trying to write more positive and uplifting style blogs. Of course not everything was well received.


My worst 3 performing ones (because I don’t want to share 5) were:

Where Was My Father Figure in those 1980’s Movies? The title was kind of long. I wonder if that helped with my word count for the year?

A Day To Myself I guess people didn’t want to hear what I do when I have time to myself.

Just Music This one is so short that you could’ve been able to read it in the preview without even opening up the blog.


In looking at all of my blog posts, I am unsure of what it was about them that made them stand out or not stand out.

  • Was it the keywords?
  • The day/time I posted?
  • How I shared them?
  • The content?

I’m not sure if there is an answer as to why or why not a post is successful. Having a chance to look back at my year, I have a few goals to set up for 2019.

WRITE MORE- Obviously I was getting lazy or rushed when it came to my writing. The more I write, the more I felt the need to just get it out there. Time to fix that curse and get back to perfecting my posts before publishing.

DO RESEARCH- I need to see what I can do to get my writing out there more frequently. What I have read in  the past seems easy, but I feel that I am taking that knowledge for granted.  As I mentioned earlier, What is it that can make me stand out more?

READ MORE- I need to start reading more blogs. I have a few that I follow and truly get some great inspiration from. I want to find more authors out there that I can share ideas with and read about their experiences.

I shall continue to write every day.  I find it relaxing and a good exercise in clearing thoughts out of my mind. I hope that my reads continue to read about the thoughts on my life.

I also hope to expand my readership level. that being said, if you like any of my posts, please share them amongst friends or on social media. I’d appreciate it. And a big thank you for following along and commenting! All the best for 2019 to everyone out there!

(715 Words!)

Re-String

I learned something new this week from a coworker of mine. How to re-string a guitar. At first I was intimidated by the notion- since I’ve never really had any experience with it. But I knew I could do it with a bit of guidance.

First, we removed the old strings and gave the guitar a wipe down. I learned about using an oil as well on the fretboard to protect the wood. I also learned about how to adjust the neck if required to straighten it out.

I had taken the advice of getting a set of thinner gauge wire for my daughter to use. They will be easier for her hands to help create the sound she will be happier with. I’m looking forward to hearing her play once again.

After learning what needed to be done and the care we should put into the maintenance of the guitar, I’m feeling much more comfortable about doing it myself. It’s not rocket appliances. In fact, next time I will teach my daughter what needs to be done so that she can take it on herself.

Any further advice on care of guitars would be appreciated in your comments!

Update the Kitchen- Budget Friendly

About a month ago I mentioned that we are thinking of Moving. But the home we are in is still a perfect size for our family at the moment. We’d only be moving for a short time, then have to downsize again later as it is once the kids move out. They do move out, right?

So my wife and I made a list of all the things we want done to finalize our home. That way we can spend the next while enjoying the house before selling. The number one thing was our kitchen. But our budget is really low. Like really, really, really low.

We couldn’t afford a total gut job of $25,000, so I called Home Depot about getting just the cabinet doors replaced. $6500 to start. Ouch. Next option? Paint. That’s more in our budget. And I found a product that does it for a fraction of the cost.

We bought Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Kit from Home Depot instead (as well as some new hardware for the drawer pulls). A little bit of hard work and preparation is required in order to change our cupboards into some much nicer. Out with the orange oak and into an elegant whitewashed antique style.

The process is time consuming to be honest. We have 20+ doors to redo. First is a deep scrub followed by two coats of white chalk like paint. Then a brown stain is applied and wiped off. Once dry a finishing coat is added. Simple, easy, and I have been truly enjoying it.

Over the course of three days, I have completed about 1/3 of the kitchen. My wife and I are loving the final results. It’s updated the kitchen on a budget spending less than $400 on paint, supplies and hardware. The only downside is the time it is taking me to complete the project. Our kitchen is in some disarray but I’ll get it done in a few more days.

If you’re a DIYer like myself, this product is fantastic. I’ll gladly recommend this to anyone who wants an updated kitchen at a low cost. I can’t wait to show off the final result to our friends at our next dinner party!

Motivational Writing

Over the summer I took my daughters to the Chapters Book Store. We didn’t end up buying anything, but we did do a lot of cover reading. It seems that a trend has arisen in the form of Motivational Writing.

The titles are reflective of our society today. With a curse word thrown in the title to add some humor. Like an internet meme complaining about work or people. A couple of decades ago, the titles of such ideas were kinder and gentler.

“Chicken Soup for the Soul” came out in 1993. Since the first book, the company now has offshoots that cater to nearly everyone. They produce a dozen new ones every year. They seem to be the leaders in the market. Even the original title makes you feel warm inside.

My daughters told me I should take a few of my stories I’ve written in this blog and piece together my own book. I think that’s really sweet, and it got me thinking that maybe I should. First things first- I need a catchy title and book cover.

I love the title of my blog. But would it translate into a read worthy motivational book?

I love this piece of art from downtown Vancouver. However, it holds a bit of negativity and doesn’t sound motivating enough.

This is another favorite photo of mine. A bit presumptuous in a way, but goals are important. Even if it means floating on a lake in an inflatable boat.

Naw. This one isn’t great. Even though I find it amusing.

How about something completely obscure that mentions robots? As if my book would somehow change your life from being robotic and systematic.

Or way off and use something my son thinks is humorous? Not sure this title is along the lines of “You are a Badass” or “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”.

In the end, I’ll keep on writing every day and hope that I can piece together a series of stories that matter most to me.

Let me know which stories I’ve written that you think I should share in book form. I’d love to hear these. Getting feedback from my blog readers and friends helps a lot in figuring out what stories I should share.

Early Morning Post

Usually I try and schedule my posts for the mornings. I like to have them out for the day- I find I get more traffic that way. But sometimes I just don’t get my thoughts out ahead of time and need to post later in the evening.

I wake up the next day and rush to stare at my phone to see if anyone has read or responded to my blog. Usually to be disappointed.

So I’m going to try and write my blogs and have them out during the early morning on the West Coast. This is where I need to discipline myself and hunker down during my free time.

Not going to fail myself this time. I can do it!

Painting Number 2

I had never taken an interest in painting growing up. I did the occasional project in school- but I never bought any art supplies for myself. I tinkered a bit with pencil crayons and sketching, but never really with painting.

I enjoyed decorating my children’s rooms over the years, so I at least made some attempts at art on the walls.

On canvases however, I’ve only ever done two pieces- one was a pencil sketch I made for my wife years ago for her 40th Birthday. The other was my first real attempt at acrylics A month ago– A painting of some planets and a sun. I also used some spray paint on it to liven it up. I was rather pleased with the final results. So I decided to buy another canvas and steal my daughters’ paints and brushes today.

I’m rather pleased with myself this time around and remembered to take a few photos along the way.

I started with a quick background coat of primer gray spray paint. Then I pencilled in my idea.

Then I got started on my trees and bushes. I enjoy blending colors to give it a more natural feel.

For about an hour or so I added in my flowers and lanterns. I was starting to really enjoy the piece but knew it wasn’t quite finished.

With the final details added, the painting was ready to be hung up. I put it above my wife’s computer, maybe she will notice it later on.

I based the painting on a few photos from our trip to Tokyo. This one was my biggest inspiration:

I don’t think I did too shabby considering it’s my second piece. Of course I see many flaws and realize what I could’ve done differently. In the end, I think I may have a new hobby blossoming.

Breaking a Bad Routine or Two

I never realized that I had a routine. One that many of us fall victim to. An addiction.

Ugh. The word “Addiction” is so horrible sounding. I personally picture heroin junkies whenever the word is spoken. But that’s not the only thing I imagine-

I see myself. And that sucks.

The Oatmeal nails it.

Last month I took a Break From Social Media. It felt good. However, on September 1st, just after midnight, I spent the good portion of an hour catching up on Facebook and Instagram. The Fear Of Missing Out won me over after 31 days.

I’m still refusing to use the social media platforms unless I’m on WiFi. I’ve also tucked them away in a folder on my phone to keep them more out of sight. Gotta stop opening the apps when quiet takes over…

Perhaps I can one day push myself into the Joy Of Missing Out. Not all of it is important. Most of it isn’t. But what if it is…? Dammit- gotta stop second guessing myself.

No mo’ FOMO.

Joe needs JOMO.

Like a MOFO.

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