Not Mine

Today a found a jewelry ring and some random piece of plastic in my car. Rather unusual considering I did a deep clean vacuum about two weeks ago. Naturally I had to find out where this stuff came from. Time for family group text.

You’d think that eventually kids would stop saying “not mine” when asked about something. Nope. Even at aged 16 and 18 they say it. I’d like to pretend like I didn’t know where that response came from. But alas- my wife also said it.

Now I don’t really care about the ring. Someone lost it in my car. Oh well. I just find the observation of the reactions to be interesting. Perhaps I missed it when I cleaned out my car. But realistically it was one of the kids at some point. Whether it’s their’s or not- could have been a friends ring- I tend to keep a very tidy car and have since given it to our 18 year old. They can have it now and try to find the rightful owner. Or keep it for themselves.

That’s because this ring is NOT MINE.

Feeling Gassed

Just like nearly everyone else, I’m astonished that the gas prices continue to rise. Living in the Vancouver area, we are experiencing the highest in the country.

I thought this was funny years ago. Now I cry.

With rising gas costs, that means rising food costs. As well as travel expenditures. For whatever reason, the governments around the world aren’t doing anything to combat these rising costs. All the news from them is, “we acknowledge that gas prices are high.” No resolutions. This cannot be sustainable for the future of the world.

With electric vehicle makers not being able to keep up with the demand, many of us are stuck paying these prices at the pump. All I can do is vent that this situation sucks. I’d love to buy an electric car. Maybe in a few years. But for now I just have to minimize how much driving I do and plan out my shopping trips to hit stores in the same vicinity at around the same time.

I also drive the speed limit more often than I once did. My car also has an ECO Mode which I have turned on. I haven’t seen much in the way of savings or good fuel economy with this option engaged. Only time will tell.

Continuing Cosplay

Years ago we introduced our children to the world of cosplay. They loved the idea of being able to be a character from a show or video game. My wife enjoyed making their costumes. I enjoyed acting out the characters with the family. We all really enjoyed showing off at Comic Cons.

Pokémon Trainers and a wild Pikachu!

For me, that felt like a lifetime ago. We haven’t dressed up for conventions in years. Halloween was a wash for me last year, as I didn’t dress up. I did my Obi-Wan for May 4th, so I was happy there. The love of dressing up in cosplay is still rampant with our 18 year old. That also makes me happy- even if I don’t know the characters they are doing.

Out of the blue, our middle went to our next door neighbor yesterday and asked if they would come over to help with some cosplay photos. After living in our home for almost one year, this was the first interaction the two of them had. It was a positive one. Our neighbor, who is 16, has been interested in doing cosplay but was unsure where to start.

Good thing we moved in next door! Now our middle will have someone to teach the joy of cosplay to. I am really happy that my wife and I encouraged this activity years prior. It has helped with our kids expressing themselves through fandoms. Now that expression is being shared from our teens to others.

That’s pretty cool.

Week End to the Weekend

I’m not sure where my days off disappeared to. But they are gone. Now it’s Saturday night and I’m ready for bed. The work week begins early the next day.

I honestly didn’t do much with my time off. And as much as I wanted to do even less- I had a few chores that needed attention: Cleaning the pool, making meals, dying my kid’s hair, fixing a leaky roof… all I wanted was a day in my pajamas to do nothing.

Sometimes when I’m having desires of nothing- I’ll take a bath and read a book. Alas, I did not do that either. Yet somehow, my weekend is over. I did nothing. Just not the nothing I wanted to do.

On the bright side- there’s always next weekend. More time to do nothing. Let’s see if I can accomplish that.

Lazy Day Interrupted

My day was going to be filled with wearing pajamas and staring at my phone. I was doing pretty good and was about to write my blog about it.

I even took my photo and everything. I went downstairs to make a sandwich so that I could sit and write about how lazy my day off was going to be. I went to the garage to get a log of bread from the freezer when I noticed a spot of water on the ground near where my wife parks her car. Then I looked up.

Effing hell. The ceiling is leaking. Quickly I went into the attic still in my pjs. I found the spot where it was dripping from. Back to my bedroom and get dressed. It was time to go on the roof and find the location.

It was right at the downspout from the gutter as it hits the next roof. In the wisdom of the house being built- the flashing on the wall lines up perfectly underneath where the water spills out. Right onto the nail head, rusting it out. Aesthetically, it was a good idea. But it caused an irritant to me 11 years later. Time for some tar patch as a temporary fix. Which will hopefully last the duration of the roof’s life- until we need to replace it in another 15 years.

Like Red Green used to say- “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.”

I guess I’m that.

Lazy Day Interrupted

My day was going to be filled with wearing pajamas and staring at my phone. I was doing pretty good and was about to write my blog about it.

I even took my photo and everything. I went downstairs to make a sandwich so that I could sit and write about how lazy my day off was going to be. I went to the garage to get a log of bread from the freezer when I noticed a spot of water on the ground near where my wife parks her car. Then I looked up.

Effing hell. The ceiling is leaking. Quickly I went into the attic still in my pjs. I found the spot where it was dripping from. Back to my bedroom and get dressed. It was time to go on the roof and find the location.

It was right at the downspout from the gutter as it hits the next roof. In the wisdom of the house being built- the flashing on the wall lines up perfectly underneath where the water spills out. Right onto the nail head, rusting it out. Aesthetically, it was a good idea. But it caused an irritant to me 11 years later. Time for some tar patch as a temporary fix. Which will hopefully last the duration of the roof’s life- until we need to replace it in another 15 years.

Like Red Green used to say- “If the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.”

I guess I’m that.

Slow Love

I first met my wife a little over 22 years ago. On our first date, we set our wedding day based on numbers with both like. Within a couple of weeks, I told her I was falling in love. within months we were engaged. Thirteen months after meeting, we were married.

Life and love was a whirlwind adventure. We made moves together that benefited us long term. Kids were quickly in our lives. We tried to budget, but bought a house and a new car. My wife was a stay at home mother. She did a few part time jobs. I was still gaining ground on where my career would take me. Money was tight for years… Until last year. Somehow we took out a million dollar mortgage and our money woes are behind us (hopefully permanently). Don’t ask me how, but our mortgage payments are easier to handle compared to the credit card debts we once held.

Taking love slow. Snailed it!

Nowadays my wife and I are re-kindling our love. It’s a slow go, but we are finally able to focus on ourselves. Our kids are starting to grow up and explore independence. The two of us are going on much needed vacations together without the teens also.

What I like most about the changes- we are still in love, and slowing falling more in love each day. As each day, week, month and year passes- I am glad to have found a partner who makes me happy every time I see her. Somehow the slow down of our life together has been a glorious change. The rest of our lives are busy still, but there is an end in sight for that aspect.

Soon it’ll just be the two of us taking it easy and falling in love all over again

World In My Hand

Back in the 90’s I bought a t-shirt. I wore it regularly. I even had a medallion that fit perfectly against it. Last night, I put that shirt back on for the first time in years.

As faded as the image is, I still love the shirt. Having flashbacks to my late teenage years and the fun times we had. I believe that all of those crazy times helped me to navigate through shift work as well. All nighters playing video games and wandering the streets definitely messed up my sleep patterns.

More than just memories of a t-shirt. Smoking cigarettes and other things that I thought would not harm me- I’d live forever. But the image on my shirt also reminds me of music.

Music that I enjoyed in my youth that resonated in my soul. I wore this shirt to many a nightclub and watching late night jam sessions. Lyrics that hit differently now than they once did.

“Man was born to love
Though often he has sought
Like Icarus, to fly too high.
And far too lonely than he ought
To kiss the sum of east and west
And hold the world at his behest
To hold the terrible power
To whom only gods are blessed
But me, I am just a man”

I love my t-shirt. And after thirty years, it’s still all about what I see in me. The world is in my hand. A showcase of what is yet to come. Get ready for it.

Back In The Dark

Recently my iPhone had an update. For some reason this update changed the settings on my Facebook app. I went from “Dark Mode” back to regular blinding white.

Naturally I changed it back. But I don’t know why I chose to do this. I also don’t know why I chose Dark Mode for my phone a few years ago. It was probably the novelty of it at first. But now I prefer not having bright white screen to view.

As I switched back my Facebook app to Dark Mode, I was curious if maybe I should try normal mode for a while and see if I like it. Perhaps it would feel like having a piece of new technology in my hands. Although that may only last a short time. Or eventually I wouldn’t notice and it would be fine.

I may change off Dark Mode later this evening. But for now, I’ll be sleeping during the daylight wishing for darkness.

What’s On Your Bucket List?

Normally I talk about myself in my blog. Sometimes at the end I ask if anyone wants to share in the comments, and I’ll get a few responses. But today I wanted to try something a bit different.

Today, I want to know more about all of you. I want to know one of the following two things. You can answer both if you wish.

  • Have you completed something important on your bucket list- and how did you do it?
  • What is on your bucket list and how do you plan on accomplishing it?

That’s it. Pretty simple questions. What I would like to find out is where people are getting their ambition to achieve their goals.

I am hoping that the answers will help other people in getting to their goals. Because we are all in this together and we need to cheer one another on! Please, do not be afraid to share your responses. I’d love to hear the answers.

One Week Makes A Difference

Last week we were having a great time hanging out by the pool. A bit of swimming and hanging out in the sun. This week, not so much. The weather has been rainy and icky.

On Thursday morning I was going to vacuum the pool, but a torrential downpour trapped me for a bit inside the pool shed. I decided to make a dash back towards the house and figured I’d wait for a day or two before trying to clean the pool again.

In those two days, the pool got a crazy growth of algae inside it. Our pool that was crystal clear last weekend was now emerald green like a lake. Oh dear. Last night I shocked the pool. Today I vacuumed what I could of the algae. Then I added some algaecide and some granulated chlorine to bring the levels back to normal.

Now it’s a waiting game. It would’ve been nice to take a dip in the pool before work, but not now. The algae reminded me that I need to remember to shock the pool once a week in order to keep the green stuff at bay. By the end of my work week, it should be better. If not- time for the professionals to get called in.

Much Needed Nap

Today I took a nap. It was really needed. Working nights and swapping into doing stuff during the day- takes its toll on me.

Our couch was the perfect spot to squeeze out an hour of zzz’s, or so I hoped. Albeit not as peaceful as I hoped. The robot vacuum was on, people were putting away dishes and working in the kitchen, and lots of walking around talking at normal volume.

It was as though my nap was offensive in some way to the rest of my family. It seems they still don’t get it when I work night shift that can’t just switch it off and go back to being a normal human on my days off. I have another week of nights to go, so inverting my sleep schedule doesn’t make sense.

But I tried to nap. Good thing my wife and I are going out tonight, I have a feeling I’d be a bit grumpier if it was just the two of us. I’ll do my best to be aware of my emotions tonight. Being exhausted can be just as bad as being hungry.

I like napping, and haven’t done as much as I once did. That’s okay, but I think it’s time to change that.

Glass Glowing

I love glasswork. Finding special pieces that we can display is always fun. But now that we have the sun setting in our backyard everyday- those glass pieces just light up.

We have a couple of items that hang outdoors. My favorite being an orange glass ball that is made to mimic a hot air balloon. Fun fact: my wife and I flew in a hot air balloon nearly 15 years ago and went straight past the house we are in now. The ball is technically candle holder, but the natural sunlight looks fantastic passing through.

We also have a few glass pieces that are on a couple of upper window ledges in our living room. They add a nice colour to the room as the sun sets. We do have a few more pieces in our kitchen above the cabinets. But those are mostly glasses and a couple bottles- they don’t get much sunlight.

A part of me would love to have a stained glass window, but I know that is we did- we’d be missing out on the beautiful sunsets. And we can’t have that. The views are the biggest reason we bought this home. So in the end, a few small knickknacks placed strategically are just as pretty.

Needed To Kayak

Last year, my wife and I neglected going kayaking. We had to move, get into a new home, learn about the neighborhood, and most of all- enjoy the swimming pool. We didn’t make time to go out and enjoy nature. No kayaking or camping.

This afternoon, I said screw it. My wife has been missing kayaking. As I was getting the gear on the top of my suv, it began to rain. Too bad. I was set on going out and if I put it on the back burner again, we may not go anytime soon.

The rain wasn’t so bad in the end. It kept the air cool. However, the path down to the water was muddy and slick. But even that didn’t stop us from getting on the water.

It was a good couple of hours of paddling and talking. We saw ducks and a crane. The sounds of the birds and the rain on the water was soothing and calm. It makes me want to go out more often this summer.

Towel Day and 45 Years of Star Wars

What a day to be a sci-fi nerd. I was so excited about this day I began writing this blog a year prior. But then I hit a writer’s block and that was the only sentence I wrote all year. Or I just procrastinated. Either way, I fished writing it today.

As many folks know by now, I love Star Wars. It has been around for 45 years as of today. I could go on and on about this science fiction fantasy universe, but I won’t do that today. I already celebrated May 4th.

More importantly- Today is Towel Day! This one is really significant to me. Our oldest received their name from book five of the trilogy. In my opinion- Random is one of the greatest names in this day and age. Random can choose a new name at random and no one would question it. Random can do random things and again, kind of difficult to question. But most of all, Random has suited their name since my wife first agreed to the name a little over 20 years ago.

21 years ago, Douglas Adams passed away at age 49. He was the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Or H2G2. A comedic series of books about the absurdity of the universe. I had recently re-read the novels when he passed. A short time later, the universe clobbered me with a 2×4 and was about to make me a father for the first time. Naturally, I wanted the universe to know that I was game and ready to play along. Random would become the greatest gift and biggest hurdle for my life. Which has brought me to this bit of wisdom:

As significant as today is, and how nerdy it is, one must always be prepared for adventure- so remember to bring a towel. It may just save your life!

Or perhaps just use a clean towel to dry off. That’s important too.

Waking Up To Woofs

Sleeping during the day because I work night shifts is already difficult. I’m not sure why, but today our dog went nutso a few times. She barked and whimpered loudly both inside and then later outside.

My wife works from home, so naturally this type of behavior also affects her ability to work as well. My wife did her best to calm Maki and get her to stop barking.

As much as I love our dog, it’s behavior like this that makes me frustrated. Maki generally goes ballistic when she sees other dogs. If we are out for a walk, she tugs at her leash to try and get at the dogs. She also barks so loudly that she almost sounds hoarse when she does.

I have been wanting to do something about it, but I am unsure of where to go to correct this behavior. Naturally I turn to the internet of things to find solutions. Probably our biggest hurdle in correcting the behavior is that the entire family needs to be on the same page when training. This will help with consistency.

Alas, I am almost certain that we will not do anything to curb the woofer and her barks. We all have busy lives and adding yet another chore isn’t going to be easy. So chances are this will be the last time I complain about the behavior. I will either accept that what I can’t control, I cannot change. Or that things have gotten better and what we do works.

Only time will tell. Until then-

woof.

Fall Down, Go Boom

On Saturday evening, I fell over and hit my head pretty hard on the cement of our garage floor. Besides a bruised ego, it feels as though I have strained some muscles in my neck and shoulder. All day yesterday my left thumb was also tingling with pins and needles.

My coworker reminded me “Pictures or it didn’t happen” and asked if anyone videotaped it. In my brilliant forethought- I had a camera in the garage. Not specifically to see this mind you, but there it was, at around 5pm.

Anyways, a tall guy like me falling over is not a normal thing to occur. Lucky for me in this day and age, there is camera footage. Oh boy do I look stupid. Watching it play back, I am embarrassed for past me and the fall that occurred.

My son was in the kitchen and heard the ruckus. He was nice enough to come and check on me. Again, the situation was embarrassing and completely preventable. My equilibrium was off due to a mix of swimming and drinking in the hot sun. Not a very grownup thing to do.

I am not ready to share the footage, give me a week or two when the Emotional Damage dissipates. Then I can share with friends.

Magic Cloud

Yesterday as I was sitting on the back deck enjoying the sun, a lone cloud appeared. It blocked the sun for the briefest of moments. It was also the only cloud in the sky. But what amazed me was that it grew in size during its time in front of the sun.

I am in awe at how this could have happened! It was also funny that I took the first picture as I was going to post on Instagram to complain about this baby cloud taking away my sun. As I was getting ready to post, I looked back up and the cloud had gotten bigger.

I decided not to complain just in case the cloud would grow again! Instead I am writing a blog about it. The cloud will now live on in the cloud as well. Ironic and wondrous.

Enjoy It

This weekend has been the one we have been waiting for. The sun is shining, the grass is green, and the pool is ready.

Over the past couple of days, we have enjoyed the swimming pool. Today is going to be no exception. We are planning on hanging out with our downstairs tenants and sipping on some beverages. Taking advantage of the weather whenever we can is the goal.

Being neighborly is important as well. We enjoy having company over and plan on visitors coming by throughout the summer. Getting along with those around us is paramount. We are past the stage of loud parties, but I still enjoy my music playing.

Reach out and we will have you over this summer on a Friday or Saturday. Just remember to bring the sunscreen and a snack to share!

Excited For Disneyland

Even though we don’t head to Disneyland for a few more months, I’m getting very excited for it. It seems as though everything is pointing to a wonderful vacation.

Yesterday I was driving home from dropping the kids off at school- the sun was starting to come out. As it did, my watch reflected onto my visor; creating an all too familiar image. The iconic Mickey Mouse ears.

Naturally it made me feel jovial and happy. The previous trips were a blast. Each one was slightly different- creating new memories and unique experiences for all of us. Our future trip is looking almost like a whole new experience as well.

We will get to travel to the Star Wars inspired portion of the park: Galaxy’s Edge– finally after three years of anticipation and excitement. Plus there’s a whole new Marvel inspired land that will be a fun experience for all of us.

But there’s also the normal fun we love to have every trip. Turkey legs, Dole Whip, parades,shopping, rides, meeting characters… the list goes on and on. It’s just such a magical experience each and every time. This next time around, we are bringing a person who has never been to Disneyland. So we will get to see the joy and wonderment through their eyes as we hit up all the fun spots and secrets we have learned over the years.

Do you ever get signs of things to come? Does it make you excited? Let me know in the comments.

Friendaversay

23 years ago I started a job at the Colossus Movie Theater. I had so desperately wanted to work at a theater for my teenage years but never had the chance. At age 23 I finally got the opportunity. It was as if my life waited for the moment to arrive. I wasn’t a teenager anymore- so I was needing to find a friend closer to my age.

Within the first few days of working at the theater, I made friends with a fellow named Matt. We have been through so much together over the last two decades (and more). Matt is one of the few people who really knows my struggles. He has been a great ally as we been Theory navigated relationships and fatherhood.

On this day, 23 years ago, the theater opened. Star Wars Episode 1 was released. All of us were excited to be working there. My new friend-Matt dressed as a Storm Trooper. Freakin’ cool… Matt became a close friend.

After all these years, I’m happy to have started at Colossus and create the friendships I needed. It was almost exactly half my lifetime ago when this started. Better than high school- life was great back then. And it started me on the journey I needed to be on to get where I am today.

Those friendships from Colossus were important to me. I watched these friends succeed over the years and create lives that were challenged, yet amazing. Half my life has been involved with watching them and being a part of their lives. I’m happy to have made such great friends over the years. From those friends, I made more friends. A never ending life of kindness and fun.

Thank you Matt for being the close friend of mine that I needed. You have been an important part of my life, and I appreciate you.

Change In Weather Attitudes

I mentioned previously about wind storms and the havoc it once reigned on our lives. The chaos that the wind would cause. The destruction and mess that it would leave behind for us to clear up. And the fear that a branch or tree would come crashing down.

Today was another windstorm. And as it continues, I am glad to have moved from our previous house. My wife is also getting over those bouts of weather induced anxiety. She was even able to joke about it earlier.

I’m glad she was able to find humor finally after decades of calamity and fear. It also seems that this windstorm is doing its best to get rid of the cold weather we have had these past few weeks and months.

As of late, I have been wanting warmer weather to approach. This weekend, I may get my wish to come true. We are expecting some sun and higher temperatures that we have yet to feel this season. I look forward to lounging in the backyard and having fun doing so.

As a man, I want to get everything done so I can have nothing left to do. I just want to do nothing in the sun. Just experience it. The warmth on my face, the red hue behind my closed eyelids, and the sensation of the world being at rest and comforting.

Writing Show

Our middle child is graduating this year- which is already a big deal. Tonight, Darwin is preforming at the Photo and Writing Show at the Langley Fine Arts School. Darwin switched majors from music to writing last year. This was the first chance I have gotten to hear the musings out loud.

Darwin has a passion for the arts and is very methodical when it comes to creativity. Much like myself, Darwin loves to share stories and is pretty good at it. I am looking forward to seeing and hearing the two pieces which will be read aloud tonight.

As an art school- they often showcase very skilled work. From fantastic musical performances to stage shows, visual art and everything else that comes with the arts. All of these students have a great potential that has been unleashed over the years. I am glad that our kids have had the opportunity to join in and explore their creative sides.

Theory aka The Roy Turned 16

Today is our youngest’s birthday. He turned 16. It’s a big deal because now he can go and start to learn how to drive. That’s truly exciting!

He also wanted to do something else more grown up- he wanted to make dinner. He asked if I could help him make schnitzel the way I make it. Which is a variation on the recipe my father used to do. Theory’s comfort level with cooking is getting better. Dinner was delicious!

In true teenage fashion, getting a nice photo of him wasn’t happening. So I ended up with a bunch of blurry, hands in the face, head turning photos tonight. But in the end, he wanted to spend time with me. Both watching tv and making dinner. That was more a gift for me I think.

The one gift I’m really happy about that we gave him was a license plate. It was hand painted by a street artist who tags rail cars. His name is also Theory. I reached out to him a while back and paid for a piece in order to gift it to our son. I’m really happy with how perfect the gift was for Theory since he will soon be driving.

So a big shout out to our son on his birthday!

Happy birthday Theory! Who also goes by these names:

  • The Roy
  • Theor Bear
  • T Bear
  • Bearbee
  • B Bear
  • Bear
  • Scrufty
  • Boy Darwin
  • Boy Random
  • The Boy

We love you buddy. We are so proud of who you are becoming.

Being Awesome

I have started back with my egotistical self esteem. Years ago, when Facebook was in its infancy, I would write statuses about how awesome I am. I shared daily with my friend group about what a great person I was and how amazing I am.

I realized recently that I haven’t been feeling so proud of myself. I was undermining my own ego. I had moved away from saying nice things about myself. Of course, I wasn’t saying anything negative about myself out loud mind you. More like I just wasn’t saying anything at all about myself.

I have been sharing positive pictures and stories. Yet none of it was truly about me. It was of things I do and places I was at. Not the inner feelings. Those I generally keep bottled up. And I was feeling really low. It’s time for a change.

So instead of being sad, I’m going to be awesome instead.

True story.