A Day Of Visiting and Nothingness

Relax… don’t do it.

I expected nothing of the day. And that’s what I got. After a long journey to arrive at my sister’s, it was great to just sit and be.

My day started by laying on the couch. My brother-in-law made us some bacon and eggs at noon. He had just flown back home today from his work site.

Afterwards, I hit some golf balls into the ocean from my sister’s backyard. I showed my nephew and my son how to swing a club. It brought back memories of my father and his love of golf. It felt natural to swing and hit the golf balls.

Later my sister and I went out for a drink at the local brewery. We talked in a way that I haven’t shared with her in many years. We enjoyed a bonding as adults expressing our emotions. I grabbed a couple growler fills and we headed back to her place. Now we are relaxing having me a few wobbly pops as we enjoy the ocean view. All that’s left is…

Relaxing.

Extended Family Visit

Today I am traveling with my two youngest to visit my sister and her family. We are only going for a couple of nights, but the journey takes us a bit. At least an hour drive from our home to Horseshoe Bay to catch the first of two ferries. But traffic wasn’t being helpful in the first part of this journey.

We missed the 1pm ferry and had to wait for the next one at 2:20pm. While we waited, we played some “Knowledge Is Power” in the car. It’s an app for our iPhones as well as a game we enjoy on the PS4 at home. It really tests your knowledge on everything. Missing the earlier ferry means we will be delayed to get the next one which is just over an hour drive from the first.

It was a hot one outside. So I ended up turning the car on a couple of times to crank the AC while we waited. It seemed as well that people were talking a lot about the weather on social media. It’s pretty normal when the weather has extreme changes. I love seeing the outdoors of BC on a sunny day. Everything is a beautiful green and blue.

The ferry ride through the Georgia Straight is alluring. My daughter and son took numerous photos of the scenery as well as a few time lapse videos of us moving along the water. I think they are getting ready to make another fan music video like they did for our trip to Japan. Check it out here: Big in Japan

Theory and Darwin are looking forward to seeing their cousins again. It’s been almost a year since the last time we saw them. Even though it feels like they live pretty close, taking two ferries is expensive and time consuming. Which is why I’m only taking two of my kids while my wife and oldest are staying home.

It should end up being a pleasant visit with my sister. I brought back some books she leant us, and we may grab a few new ones from her. Time for some rest and relaxation with no worries for the next couple days.

Our Canadian July 4th Tradition

Even though my family and I are Canadian, we celebrate Independence Day the same way every year. We get together and enjoy a typical American meal such as burgers or pizza- tonight is Costco hot dogs and soda.

I put on the closest t-shirt I have to being something that symbolizes USA. And we wish a happy, healthy Fourth of July to our friends in the USA.

Then we watch the one film that symbolizes July 4th for us.

We love this film. Two years ago I wrote about how the tradition began and our journey through Nevada on the Extraterrestrial Highway: ID4

I wrote again about the film Last year and my opinion on “fake news”.

But something wonderful about the film reminds me of America. It’s a classic Hollywood Blockbuster with action, comedy, and heart. It showcases heroics, the fall and rise of a diverse group of people and a sense of leadership. Leadership that is needed to bring the US back from destruction.

I love this film- for all it’s campiness and ridiculous moments. And for the joy it brings my family as we look forward to viewing it every year.

Where Do We Go From Here?

I’ve been searching for something the past few days. Actually, it feels as though I’ve been searching for something for ages now. I’m not sure what it is I need. I keep looking towards travel as the answer.

Our recent trip to Tokyo was amazing. The exposure to another country and culture was uplifting and pleasurable. We experienced traditional temples and cherry blossoms surrounded by a bustling city. It was awe inspiring to say the least.

As I said- I want to travel more and see other countries. I feel the need to experience cultures that are vastly different, but in some way similar to ours. I am unsure of where to start. Do we hit up another major city or see some beautiful countryside and old buildings?

I keep getting drawn to the idea of Peru or Hong Kong. I’m tempted to make a trek to Germany and Czech Republic as well. Unfortunately, all of this costs money.

Without having the ability to spend a ton of money on a whim, I have to figure out some more economical ideas. Later this week, I am taking two of our kids to go visit my sister and her kids. It’s only for an extended weekend, but the last time I was there was last summer. Next week, I am also planning a small getaway with my wife for our anniversary.

Later in the summer, I will be taking my kids to a rustic cabin followed by camping on the lake. Then in the fall is our regular trip to Disneyland to experience the new Pixar Pier.

In the end, it feels as though I have a lot of time off- because I do. I really want to see the world, so I’m trying to sprinkle some local trips in with one or two bigger journeys. I want to share the adventures with my family and am trying to include them every chance I get. The kids will grow up so fast one day, that I won’t be able to enjoy these type of moments:

The biggest question still remains- Where do we go from here?

Boarded Fort Langley

Fort Langley is the birthplace of British Columbia. The price of homes in this Langley neighborhood are some of the highest in the district. Some houses hitting almost $1.5M for a teardown. The new houses going up are monstrous modern models that aren’t keeping with the heritage feel that the council wants to force elsewhere.

Usually I enjoy visiting Fort Langley. But lately it just doesn’t have the luster it once had. Mainly because of the shops, or rather, the lack there of.

Walking down Glover Road in Fort Langley, you’d think the place was turning into a ghost town. This is the main drag of the town. What once had small businesses and shoppes, is now an eyesore with many storefronts boarded up. One developer isn’t getting his way with the council, so he is making a statement. The council wants a style of building to represent Fort Langley, but it isn’t the same vision the developer has.

Personally, I like what the developer has done with his other properties. It has enhanced the feel of Fort Langley. One of my favorite restaurants is in one of his storefronts. It’s a shame that there isn’t a resolution in the foreseeable future.

Fort Langley has always been important to me. I proposed to my wife at a coffee shop in Fort Langley while a tv show being filmed. We got married in a lovely 100+ year old church while a movie across the road was being filmed. Our ceremony stopped film production and the crew came to watch our small wedding.

I don’t like seeing Fort Langley boarded up. The problem isn’t that the developer wants to make something ugly. In fact, many of the storefronts that are boarded up needed to be torn down decades ago. Instead, there was a temporary “facelift” done back in 2012. I want to see newer, nicer stores that welcome visitors to Fort Langley.

It is the birthplace of BC after all. Maybe the township council needs to give Fort Langley a Re-Birth.

Proudly Canadian

Happy Canada Day!

I’m fortunate to call Canada my home. My family is also quite happy about it. As great as it is to travel to other countries, coming back to the “land of the free” is always reassuring. This is a great country with wonderful people residing here.

I always try and do something “Canadian” on Canada Day. Sometimes I go to a parade, eat poutine or drink Molson Canadian. Other times it’s hanging out with friends at a BBQ drinking Molson Canadian. Today I am doing the most Canadian thing I can think of- instead of drinking beer and watching hockey. I am going to work at CN Rail aka Canadian National.

How ever you are celebrating today- have fun and behave. Our polite reputation relies on it.

Happy Canada Day!

Was 1998 Really That Long Ago?

Back in May of this year, I mentioned how I like to communicate with old friends: Friends For A Lifetime. Last night I met up with someone I consider to be one of the nicest and wisest men I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

It was twenty years ago when we lost touch. No idea how or why. Most likely, our lives suddenly changed. Back then he dubbed the year: 98 Revival. We had only met once after that in 2001 for my bachelor party. Without knowing it, it turned out to be our last big hoorah.

Even after 20 years, we laughed and shared stories. It felt youthful and revitalizing to have some one-on-one time to talk. Kids, jobs, hardships, accomplishments- all happened as we went our separate ways 20 years ago. Big events happened to each of us in 2007 that carved out who we have become to this day.

What we talked about mostly was music. Music that inspired us. Music we would listen to back in the day, and what we continue to listen to. Music that he created with numerous friends of ours. He continues to create music. A love of creating and performing is in his blood. Give him a follow on Facebook at Sick Logic. It’s never been a one man show, but a difficult road for him to journey with constantly changing band members.

In 2016, I met up with a mutual friend of ours while I was in Los Angeles: Seeing Old Friends. Perhaps one day we can all regroup and live like we did back in “The Complex.” Crazy, stupid times that killed brain cells all while making memories.

G.L.O.W.

G.L.O.W. Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling was a wrestling show from the late 80’s (1986-1989). I used to watch it every Saturday night in my bedroom. Hey, I was about to hit puberty- what better way to get myself aquatinted with the female form than to watch them fight? Plus a tv in my room meant my parents had no idea what I was watching.

Women wrestling each other with big 80’s hair and spandex. These were active, hair pulling, smack talking, strong women. I think I developed a type that I began to like in those formative years. Most women I dated (and even married) have been very confident and strong females with a sexy side. And hair! But the show itself was laughable for the most part.

Fast forward my life to earlier this week. I completely forgot about G.L.O.W. until surfing on Netflix brought up the show. Season One was released a year ago and I never heard much about it. I saw it advertised on Netflix but pre-teen me didn’t think the show would be that good. Now this wasn’t reruns or a remake- it was a storyline style show.

I figured what the heck- for a quick show to fill the void of some other sitcoms, I’d give it a try. I was not disappointed. Even my wife got into the show. We watched 2-3 episodes each night this week- loving it. Then last night something odd happened.

We were watching the last two episodes of Season 1. We finished just after midnight. Season 2 began streaming at exactly midnight. What luck! We had managed to enjoy the first season and it rolled over into the next season all ready for our binge-watching enjoyment. In a way I’m glad I missed out on the show last year when it released. Now I am able to enjoy a second dose immediately! Check out G.L.O.W. this weekend, it is a lot of fun.

It makes me wonder though, will Netflix create a series based on “American Gladiators” or “Rollergames” in the future? My inner teen sure hopes so.

Paid For By Yours Truly

I finally did it.  After nearly 3 years of writing I ran out of space on my free WordPress blog. Mostly because of the images I upload.

So I upgraded! Woo hoo!

WP

WordPress even allowed for me to have my own domain name as part of the monthly fee. Put this in your bookmarks bar! www.josefhavelka.com

Yup. I went with my name instead of “Making It Up As I Go“. A bit egotistical, but if you read my blog posts regularly, you know I write about me.

So now I have double the space, no ads, and my own domain name. I figured since I have been devoted to writing daily, this hobby is worth the $4.50/ month. Or 15¢/day. Maybe in another three years I will have to upgrade again. But until then- it’s all paid for for two years with no worries about running out of room.

Thanks again to all of you who read and comment. It makes me feel good inside. Please continue to follow along and share my stories. And I will continue to write.

En Suite Bathroom

I began tiling our ensuite bathroom at the beginning of December. But I didn’t actually start on the bathroom in December. I started 11 years ago. It was bit of a production to get started. Removing the toilet and vanity, pulling out the shag carpet, repairing drywall, getting all the supplies together. Yes, there was shag carpet in the bathroom.

All of that took a couple of hours.

Then I wasted 10 years of not doing anything. Sort of. We were doing a master bedroom renovation that took the majority of my time. Plus other home renovations came first, always putting the bathroom on the back burner.

Besides tearing out carpet, there was no door to the bathroom. It was a sliding closet door with wood panel. I had to build an entire wall. Which was good because I also built a small closet and a place to put our tv. I finished the wall four years ago as part of our master bedroom renovation.

During my vacation break in December, I decided to buy the tiles and start to put them in. I measured where I wanted the tiles on the wall and floor. Then I measured again. I measured a third time and got it right. I put up the tiles on the walls and floor.Then I gave up.

Until yesterday.

When I lay in bed feeling blah staring into the unfinished bathroom. My wife never gave me heck for not completing the job. It was a constant frustration to me though. So I got the motivation to grout the bathroom. Once that was done, I’d be in the home stretch.

The progress of tiling was slow for me- because I wanted it perfect. I think it turned out pretty good in the end. Long subway times with a glass trim along the wall. As well as black and white floor times made for a classic and sophisticated finish.

Today I installed the vanity, new toilet and mirror. The bathroom is ready to be used! All that is left is sealing the grout, putting up the door trim and a toilet paper holder. Today went really smoothly. I’m wishing I had gotten my butt in gear sooner. But it’s done now (almost).

I feel better about myself and the final project.