This afternoon we had a Team Building event for the management team at my work. We went to Tap-Ins Putting Course at Cultus Lake. There we played 18 holes of put-put followed by Toptracer driving range.
It was a neat experience to play mini golf on actual greens. No weird windmills or obstacles. Just really long greens to try and put the ball into the hole. I really enjoyed this and came in second in our group of six. Although, I’d recommend you bring your own putter as the heads on the rental ones are a bit rounded instead of flat.
Toptracer golf was neat as well. Basically a driving range with cameras that track your shot. On the computer screen there was a variety of games and challenges we could play. As well as worldwide golf courses. This is the kind of golf I can get behind. Just swinging a club and not having to chase the balls. Like a mix of play Nintendo Wii and real golf. Not very accurate at times, but fun nonetheless.
Of course we all acted silly and goofy. Taunting and teasing one another. Because that’s how team building works, right?
I’m home now and my lower back is rather sore. It’s been years since I swung a club. It may be a while before a swing another. But I wasn’t too shabby. I can thank my father for that.
Today I had my 17 year old go and pick up an item for me that was on Facebook Marketplace. I don’t generally use that format to get things, but somehow an item I wanted materialized within weeks of me thinking about it. I jumped at the chance to pick it up. And for $15 I really don’t think it’s in bad shape.
I picked up an old Teknika VHS camera. I swear these were the industrial models that 7/11 used to rent out. This thing is heavy. The downside is that the battery no longer works, so I will be required to keep it plugged in. The upside- it came with a blank VHS tape in it- so I have a chance to fiddle around with it.
It even came with a keyboard so I can type in titles and such for the videos. This will likely take me some time to figure out, but how 80’s can you get? That fact that the camera is from somewhere between 1986-1989 is awesome. And it works!
But Josef, why did you want this camera?
My wife and I are having an anniversary party in July with the 80’s as a theme. Specifically 1988. That year was the peak of everything 80’s right before the 90’s started to sneak in. A video camera from this time is perfect. I plan to have it on the entire time, connected to a television for fun.
I also picked up 30 pairs of sunglasses that scream 80’s. This will be available to our friends as they arrive to the party. I cannot wait until our anniversary in seven weeks time! If you can think of anything else that screams 1988- let me know!
I an’t wait to see how this camera works. It should be a blast!
Today is Star Wars Day. This year I’m not doing any cosplay like I have in the past. Instead I’m just going to enjoy the weekend with a couple of buddies tomorrow as we watch an unedited version of the original trilogy.
Obviously I love Star Wars. When Disneyland opened up Galaxy’s Edge, I was giddy with excitement. When we went last summer- I got to meet Chewbacca once more! It was loads of fun.
Getting immersed in the Star Wars universe was a great experience. When I go back to Disneyland, I will definitely be there again to see more of the land. There is just so many amazing details that make it feel as if you have transported to another galaxy.
I’d love to one day be a bigger part of Star Wars. Maybe I’ll get a job in Disneyland when I retire and can wander around the land in character form. That would seriously be my dream job. Hanging out at Galaxy’s Edge all the time- in Disneyland as well! That’s like a two-for-one kind of dream!
On Saturday and Sunday there was a helicopter circling around our neighborhood and over the fields behind us. The helicopter was up in the sky pretty much all day long both days. Watching it was mesmerizing.
Seriously though, every time it flew by I stopped what I was doing to watch the thing. No idea why. I wasn’t expecting to see it land in my driveway or anything. Nor was I expecting anything exciting to happen. Just a machine floating in the sky, cutting through the air making chopping sounds as it echoed out.
Perhaps that’s all it is. That low, rhythmic thud noise that repeats quickly- pushing mini sonic booms down to the earth.
Every year in West Cloverdale, there is a day filled with garage sales smattered throughout. Today was that day. When my wife returned from skating, we walked our neighborhood visiting a few garage sales. Our plan was to just walk around and not buy anything. We didn’t even take cash with us.
The first house we stopped at had an item that made me excited. It was a 1926 Victrola. We talked to the owners and he jokingly said- “The first place always has the best stuff- you’ll be back”. I told him we had more house to see and if it was still there when we walked back home, we would buy it.
We are now the proud owners of a 1926 Victrola gramophone with a stack of shellac records all at a cost of $35. This was the first year that they went electric. I plan to clean up the cabinet and buy some new needles for it. Apparently you need to replace the needle after each use.
I’m excited to learn more about the item and how to use it. I am hoping for a fun sound albeit almost a hundred years old. If any of you have one similar and want to offer tips on how to use it, or maintain the gramophone- please let me know.
I don’t normally get excited about social media. Yet somehow I managed to get a higher than normal amount of views on my Instagram Reel that I made the other day. The most I usually get is in the high 20’s. Not this time.
1382 plays currently! This morning I was at just over 500. That’s pretty cool. It’s also increased the traffic into my Instagram account, garnering more likes on previous posts. I can see why people get excited over these little achievements. I feel pretty good about myself.
I don’t really have any more videos to post. Maybe on my next rug I’ll do a start to finish series of videos. Although I think I may need my teenagers to help me with editing and content creation. I’m just not as quick as they are when it comes to adapting to this sort of thing.
Anyhow- onto completing my rugs that I started last weekend. I can’t wait to share my Half Way to Halloween creations!
Our coffee maker is my favorite appliance I think. I always ensure that it is ready to go the night before so that when we wake up, the coffee is brewed hot and fresh.
I bought this coffee maker on Black Friday last year for an incredible deal. We began using it right away. I learned how to set the timer and make a perfect pot of coffee every time. This morning I learned that my coffee maker also tells me when it needs to be cleaned!
Now, we clean the carafe regularly and give the maker a wipe down pretty much daily. Call me old fashioned- but I don’t like dust and grim building up on or near where I drink and eat. I will read up on why the CLEAN light came on and what the requirements would be based on the light.
For our previous coffee makers, we have run vinegar through to sanitize and clean. Followed up with some water cycles to flush it once more. On the rare occasion, we have used CLR on our older machines to really make them shine.
I’m kind of impressed that my coffee maker is telling me to clean it. It’s a good reminder, especially when it’s used daily. I’d like this machine to have an extended life expectancy, so I will obey its commands.
I appreciate that manufacturers of my smart devices want to update software regularly. My tv, video game systems, even my car does updates. Most of them automatically installed. Sometimes they happen as soon as you turn on the device, so you sit there waiting for ages and when it’s done, nothing seems to have changed.
The worst updates are the ones that happen on my phone. I swear that I’ll be in the process of doing something on my phone and then it freezes in order to update. No matter what time of day- even though I set to do it overnight. And there’s no way to override the update or pause it. So you just have to let it do it’s thing.
It also feels like after a couple of years of updates- my phone gets slower and has less space available. As if the old information was never removed and the new updates are just added on top. Perhaps this is the tech companies trying to push the most recent devices into our hands.
Whatever the case may be, these updates are both good and bad. I get frustrated and relieved when they are complete. Now to search out memes and twenty second useless video clips.
Last week, on my birthday, I went to buy some records. One of the records that was purchased, my son asked if I would split the cost with him. I happily obliged. You see, in 1983 I received a record for my 7th birthday. That record was “The Story of Tron” with music and dialogue from the motion picture. I listened to it repeatedly. I love the film and the idea behind Tron.
The record my son wanted to buy was from the sequel “Tron Legacy”. Of course I couldn’t say no. At the cashier, he said, “Don’t worry dad- I got this” so I didn’t have to pay for part of the record. Funny thing is he had no idea until today that I had been gifted the other Tron album for a childhood birthday.
I find it interesting that 40 years later I was going to be in possession of another Tron album. Albeit, our son is wanting to keep them in his room. He has somehow managed to become the keeper of our movies and movie memorabilia. The one thing I asked was that he play the album on my new record player as it has a better quality needle and will protect the vinyl over time compared to a more inexpensive record player.
I can’t wait to hear the album. I’m waiting until my son wants to unwrap it.
You know, it almost feels as if this record isn’t for me after all…
I want to take the time today to express gratitude to those who gave me birthday gifts this year. Even as I approach 50 and I can pretty much buy whatever I want- there are gifts that are given to me that prove that people know me quite well.
I did buy myself a record player, and hit up some vinyl stores in Calgary. This was a gift to myself, but my wife approved the purchase in advance knowing how much I wanted a new record player. This one has Bluetooth technology and I took the afternoon on Friday to enjoy some music. There’s something nostalgic and wonderful when you hear a crackle of old records through the speakers.
My middle child re-gifted back to me my “Deathnote” notebook. Only this time, they had taken it to Fan Expo and had the voice actors of three of the characters autograph the inside it. That was awesome and humorous if you know what the anime/manga series is about.
Our youngest gave me some artwork from Akira. A beautiful print that I want to get framed and hung up. This was one of the first anime films I ever saw which blew my mind. Prior to this film, I had seen a few different series, but this one holds a place in my heart.
A last minute gift that was given to me from the friend we were staying with- was right up my alley. We had been talking and he mentioned he had copies of the original Star Wars trilogy in high resolution. Unaltered by Lucas- taken from original film and captured in almost 4k format. As if watching the films for the first time in the theater back in the 70’s and 80’s. I am saving watching these for Star Wars Day later this year.
It was a good birthday for gift receiving. Thank you again to everyone who reached out to me wishing me a happy birthday.
Since Saturday was only a half day of skating, we took advantage of having an afternoon to enjoy. Right after skating we went to the outlet mall to buy some running shoes for our son to use in his training. That was uneventful, but necessary. Afterwards came the fun!
We took the late afternoon as a time to unwind. The friends we are staying with suggested a place called Revival Brewcade. A brewery with pinball and retro arcade games. The prices were completely reasonable and I ended up playing Godzilla Pinball for most of the afternoon.
Our son has never really played pinball before. I hadn’t thought about it, but the gameplay is quite different from video games. He was asking tons of questions and also looked up scoring tips online- specifically for Godzilla as he wanted to beat my score. What’s neat about some of the newer Stern Pinball is the fact that they can connect online and track your progress and scores. I set up an account and achieved almost 42 million on my first game. My son’s highest score was 12 million. I guess pinball is my thing still!
Afterwards, when we returned to the house, our friend served us a variety of teas. We sampled about 3-4 different ones. Theory was willing to try them as well and we discussed what each tea flavour brought to our mind. The strongest tea we tried was lapsang sough. A very Smokey flavour, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Right before bed, my son attempted to challenge our friend to some Beat Saber on the Oculus. He was fairly cocky going into the challenge, but was soon destroyed by our friend. She plays quite fiercely and competitively. My wife and I knew this, but it was more fun to watch our son get put in his place by the 40 year old!
All in all a good Saturday afternoon. I really enjoyed the fun and competitions. Now for the final day of our son’s speed skating competition!
I had noticed that our tv in the basement was a bit quiet. I didn’t want to spend money on a sound bar. So this weekend I decided to pull our home theater stereo out of the attic and set it up.
Wiring the speakers was a bit of a challenge. Lucky for me, above the fireplace was hollow, so wires were easy to string in the wall. The only downside was the wood that was blocking me from running the wires below. I bought a 16” long drill bit and was able to slide it through the hole in the wall. I was surprised at how easy it was to run all those wires.
Now I have speakers set up on the wall around the tv. All that I have left is to run wires for the surround speakers. I’ll probably do that later in the spring. Mostly because I will have to remove the baseboards and then run the wire up the walls. That will probably take me a few hours to complete. For now the speakers that are for the back of the room are sitting beside the fireplace.
The last thing left to do is make sure of the sound quality. Probably watch some tv or a movie. Then try out music.
Recently I had to change apps that I was using to write my blogs. I was prompted by the WordPress app to do so before March 8th. So I did it the other day to be ahead of the game.
I was a bit leery at first to delete my WordPress app. But I did. And just like the notification stated- Everything is right where I left it. That was a relief. In fact the app was almost identical to the previous one. With one exception- it runs smoother.
That in itself is great. Things were a little buggy over the last while. My guess is that is why they created an all new application to launch. I had just gotten used to the issues and worked through it all. But for now, I won’t have to.
I’m going to take some time to explore Jetpack and see what is different about it. But most likely the way I use the app, not much will change. Maybe I’ll update my pages to something different.
I am really enjoying my hobby. So much so that I am spending more money than I am bringing in. But that’s okay, right? I mean it is just a hobby after all.
I keep buying monks cloth and yarn. Loads of yarn!!! I am stock piling a variety of colours just in case someone wants something different than what I have made this mid far. I have also purchased some new trimming scissors and am waiting for a second razor as I want one for the edging and one for making the rugs smooth.
I am even at a point where I want a second tufting gun. Mostly as a backup, but also to be able to teach others how to make rugs. Like family and friends. I think it would be a neat activity to do in a group environment.
So if I do get a second gun, my door and knowledge will be open for those who want to learn this fun hobby! Maybe I’ll teach classes at the local Maker Space.
Last night my wife and I went out for a quiet dinner date. The pub was in the neighborhood where we first owned a home. So naturally we drove past our first house. That was neat to look back at where we started.
We ate some tasty pub food and talked about life. It was a nice break. Afterwards we drove to Michael’s and checked out crafts and yarn before heading home.
Tonight we dropped our son off at his speed skating practice and headed out to a place called “Industry Arcade”. There we paid for an hour of free play and got our fill of pinball games! We also did a bit of competitive game play on a few classic arcade games. I’m still pretty good at Frogger while my wife was better at Donkey Kong.
To finish our evening off, we grabbed a couple of lattes and watched the end of our son’s practice. I have enjoyed our rekindled fun times over the last couple of days. I think we may go to play more arcade games again in the future as it made us feel youthful again. Perhaps we were longing for the years past when arcades were a thing. Both of us have different memories of arcades, but similar in many aspects.
It doesn’t matter how old we get- my wife and I enjoy being juvenile.
This past weekend our sixteen year old son was in Calgary for The Western Elite Circuit competition. Normally my wife travels with him to the out of town speed skating meets. But this time she “unfortunately” had to go to Disneyland for work and was unable to head to Calgary. I was also working, so we opted to send our son by himself.
He did go with a couple of families from our club- they were kind enough to offer to make sure he got to the meet each day and kept him fed. His coach also attended to support the club- which was excellent as well.
I was able to watch the races remotely via YouTube. As I have done in the past, I watched the races on our television but also screen captured them on my iPhone. Once I trimmed the length of the races, I sent it off to our group chat consisting of Theory, my wife and his coach. That way they could review each race afterwards and discuss them. I think this helps…
Because he came in first for every race this past weekend!
What was really fantastic was the outpouring of support given from his fellow club members and their parents! The congratulation messages kept coming in as the competition ended.
Needless to say, we are very proud of his success. But now I am wondering if my wife is bad luck when she travels with him… Time will tell. For now, our son is beaming from his hard work efforts paying off.
My social media usage has changed over the years. The main one I post on is Instagram. The only reason it seems like I am on Facebook is because the two are connected. I have ignored Twitter for so long that my app has gone back into the cloud. This doesn’t mean I don’t use the social media services. It means I am not as active as I once was when posting.
My social media postings were once creative and silly. My friends and I would have banter back and forth- posting jabs and jokes at one another. For an entire year I shared Star Wars memes. Facebook was a place for me to have fun and share my fun times.
It all changed a few years ago. I believe it was a culmination of a few factors. I began to write a daily blog. This allowed me to share more in-depth stories about my life and adventures (when I have them). I also changed my career path. That meant folks I was “friends with” left because they feared I would change. Surprise- that didn’t happen. And lastly, Facebook constantly makes changes to how you view their platform. I began to miss “recent stories” from my friends who I followed and they missed mine.
About three years ago, I “unfriended” nearly everyone on Facebook. A year and a half ago I was at a funeral service and people convinced me to get back on Facebook to be able to connect again. So I did. But hardly anyone shares anything anymore. I get videos and webpage “suggestions” now. I don’t post unless it’s a “memory” from when Facebook was fun.
Because of the changes in how social media is used by nearly everyone, I really don’t know why I open Facebook. It’s just kind of there now as a thing I can’t get rid of because of nostalgia reasons. I’m also getting older and feel that when I want to interact with friends, I’ll call or message them. Hey we may even meet up in person from time to time.
Anyways, don’t forget to FOLLOW AND LIKE. Share with your friends.
Today at work I was prompted to change my password. I knew it was coming because last week when I logged in it told me I had a few days until my password expired. I figured that I better not change it on my Friday as I’d forget it when I returned after my weekend.
A lowercase, an upper case, a number, a symbol and at least 10 characters. Is it really that necessary to do all that? Yup. So I did. Now I have to try and remember it for the next few months until I’m told to change it again.
The funny thing is, we all have to use passwords for nearly everything we do online. If you are like me, you have some “Password All-Stars” that you tend to use. The type you can remember easily. Maybe a capital letter at the start or a slightly different number at the end- going from 01 to 02… whatever the case may be- I bet you have some regular “go to” passwords.
It sucks having to change them. Or if you don’t log in to a site or app very often and have to choose “forgot password” only to find out that your new password matches the old one. Frustrating to say the least.
Maybe one day passwords won’t be needed. But until the day comes that we use bodily fluids or retinal scans to identify ourselves- incoherent gibberish is the way to go to be safe online or at work.
Over the weekend, my son and wife were in Fort St. John for a Long Track Speed Skating meet. Just like Calgary, I was able to watch from afar on YouTube. Ah technology!
Seeing my son grow into a young man is pretty awesome. He has developed some good habits and strengthened his muscles over the past year alone. Watching him skate makes me really proud. That’s because of his focus and determination in doing the best he can while on the ice.
Even though he skates maybe a few times each day, I have enjoyed watching his progress in person as well. Having been to Fort St. John with them in the past, I remember what the rink is like and that the people are always welcoming.
But I do miss them when they are away. I always look forward to when they get home. My wife loves to track me on the Find My iPhone app. Today she wasn’t sure if I’d get to the airport first or they would be waiting. Turns out we arrived pretty much at the same time. I was only about five minutes in the parking lot, but could have easily arrived at the airport pick up location just as they stepped out.
I do hope our son appreciates the time and money we put into these competitions. Actually I know he does. He works hard each time and it shows.
Today I spent hours cleaning the garage. I went through a bunch of cupboards which contained boxes and tubs filled with stuff. Stuff that I thought I may need one day- so I kept it around. That is until today. Today was a cleanse.
Besides the cupboards and shelves getting cleaned out and organized, I tidied up my workbench. I even took the time to finish gluing a couple of models that I 3d printed in our old house. Originally I was holding off because I wanted to add lights to them. But I realized as I was cleaning that even if I did add lights- I’d probably never turn them on and they’d be stationary anyways. Soon I’ll paint them and put them on display.
I also realized that I am not using my 3d printer, and haven’t for over two years. Since it was given to me, I paid it forward to a coworker of mine. Removing the printer from my workbench cleared off a lot of space. It doesn’t mean I won’t be printing anymore. In fact quite the opposite.
My wife got herself a resin printer from her work as a Christmas gift. The space it takes is far less on the workbench. Bonus- I get to learn a new toy over the coming weeks! This printer is one I have wanted for a couple years, but now my wife is excited about it, so that’s different.
As you may know, I love being crafty and creative. The hardest part about the creative process is keeping everything clean and organized. Hopefully with this start of a clean space will help. I’m still doing my best to keep my rug making area clean.
Anyways, the garage looks better and more open now. The clutter is gone. That makes me happy.
I have now made four rugs since starting my newest hobby- Tufting. Creating rugs based on our Fandoms has been fun so far. This week I made one with far more detail than my previous rugs.
I made Haku- the dragon from the anime: Spirited Away. This one had more colours, thinner segments and an attempt at blending that I hadn’t tried yet. I spent a couple of hours today trimming the image in order to make it pop more. I still have a long way to go, but I am enjoying this new hobby immensely.
Tuft working with yarn reminds me of Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street. So I finally created an Instagram account for my artwork: Tuftleupagus. (Tuftle-up-a-gus). I even had some fun making logos, but haven’t settled on any yet.
I think I’m obsessing too much with the 80’s lately. However, I am having fun with this hobby. No plans on making it lucrative yet. I still have a long way to go in the process of making these rugs. I’m also going to need to buy more yarn soon. My white and black are running low, plus there’s other aspects of the tufting work that I need to buy soon. Like more glue and backing for the rugs.
This is my first hobby that I have enjoyed since perler bead art almost a decade ago. That lasted for a few years mind you and I enjoyed what we made together as a family. I kind of see tufting going that route soon enough. With the potential to be a battle over who gets to make a rug.
Follow along with my rugs on my Instagram account. I’m going to keep working hard at getting better at these and hope to make a large scale rug one day.
I love listening to music. It’s often playing as background auditory sensory input in my life. Usually I have a Bluetooth speaker connected to my phone and just let it play. In that form, it just plays from one speaker location.
Lately, I have wanted to experience music the way it was intended- in stereophonic. My wife recently got two Bluetooth speakers that connect together and create a stereo sound of left and right. Tonight I tested them out while I relaxed in the tub. They worked really well and I enjoyed the sound they produced. A gentle sound that wasn’t too bassy or treble heavy.
I do have a pair of amazing noise canceling headphones made by Panasonic. I’ve had them for a over a year, but tend to forget about them. Mostly because when I do use them, I don’t tend to have much time alone to really immerse myself in the sound they create. I am hoping to get more use out of them as I work on my new hobby. I will be in search of music that echoes from ear to ear more regularly. I found that not all music utilizes this.
Perhaps that’s because most folks just use one earbud or a single speaker like I do usually. There is no real point in artists experimenting like they once did. I’m not saying they don’t anymore, it’s just not the same as it once was when stereo first became prevalent.
Music is great and I want to enjoy it more frequently the way it was written and recorded. Time for more stereophonic listening.
For the first time in ages, both my wife’s car and mine were at near empty tanks. I finished driving my son to school and made it into the gas station with under 10km until empty.
Then I went home and took my wife’s car out and got fuel for her as well. Hers was at 42km until empty by the time I stopped. Getting back into routine after winter break had us forgetting to get gas. I have never run out of gas in my life in any of the vehicles that I have driven. Today was the closest for me.
When I was younger, my father took my sister and I on a road trip from Edmonton, Alberta to Vancouver, British Columbia. As we entered Jasper, he ran out of gas. He literally coasted in neutral into a gas station and had to get out and push the last few feet to a pump. This was in the early 80’s and he was driving an Oldsmobile. He loved that car- at least until he bought his 1977 Mercedes 450SL. The Benz was his baby. But I digress, the Oldsmobile was an extremely comfortable vehicle to travel in. But in today’s world- it would be quite the gas guzzler.
My wife’s car gets 650km on a tank of gas. I get 550km. I put in 54 liters into my car. My wife’s car took 40 liters. Her car is clearly far superior on gas mileage than mine. Plus it takes longer until she needs to stop for gas.
One day we will most likely own an electric vehicle and just need to worry about keeping it plugged in. Much like a cellphone I guess. At least then I shouldn’t be as worried about being dead in the water, right?
Sometimes you just have to stand up, step aside and say THBBFT! to your problems.
Today was that day for me. I was hitting a few roadblocks in my attempt to start my new hobby. Everything was starting to turn around at one point, then BLAM-O. Nope. Turns out the tufting gun’s power source was fried. I couldn’t even start with my first yarn. So I ordered a new power source. Hopefully by next week I can try again.
Walking away a bit frustrated sucks. I thought things were starting to look up after a few hiccups in getting my images to show up on my projector. That was a lot of trial and error, then perfection! I was so pleased that I was going to be able to start tufting before the end of the year. No such luck.
But I have some time now to look up more images or watch videos on tips and tactics of how to tuft. Perhaps I will use that time to organize my work space and arrange the flow. Whatever I choose, it won’t be actual tufting quite yet.
In a few days it will be the Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday. As usual many of us are searching for deals to be had. This is the time to do one last push for those big ticket Christmas items.
But is it necessary? Do you or the person you are shopping for really need what ever is on sale? Have we gotten so wrapped up in “savings” that we overlook the “necessity” of our purchases? I know I have bought many things just because it’s a “deal you can’t miss” or “won’t last long” even though I didn’t need it. Some things I have bought over the years and never even used. (Don’t judge me. I know you have too!)
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to search online for stuff. I already have a plethora of items in my Amazon cart over the past few months. Those are the items that I’m “contemplating” or waiting for a deal. I have even removed items after they have sat for such a long time because I just decided to change my mind.
I do have a few things I am hunting for. But the deals need to be worthwhile. Like really worthwhile. Who knows. Maybe by the end of the weekend I’ll have spent nothing.