Since it was my daughter’s birthday yesterday, we wanted to do a nice dinner for her. Usually we get Nikko Sushi for any celebratory meals. But our daughter wanted to try something different. Due to current health restrictions in British Columbia, we had to order take out.
It also happened to be “National Take Out Day” as well! We picked up some slushies from a corner store, some Indian Food from Taj, and an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.
Besides samosas, my family doesn’t eat a lot of Indian food. We did buy samosas, but we also had coconut chicken curry, butter naan bread, and paneer. It was delicious. I am impressed that our kids are always willing to explore tastes from other cultures.
The ice cream cake was a delicious end to the meal. Our daughter has been enjoying 80’s/90’s movies all her life and went with a “Clueless” inspired cake. We watched the film afterwards for a good laugh. (Wow, there are a lot of stars that were up and comers from back then! Thanks IMDB for helping me to recognize them.)
Did you enjoy some take out yesterday? What did you have?
Do you like Indian cuisine? What would you recommend we try next time from a restaurant?
I can’t believe that it’s been seventeen years since our second child was born. I feel as though she will always be our little girl even as she enters adulthood. Much in the same way I see our other two children. Sometimes when you look them in the eyes, you can still see the child they once were. It must be a parent thing, because I hear the same thing about other people’s kids!
My favorite thing about Darwin is how she loves to be a goofball. I think she gets it from me… oops. I do appreciate that she looks up to me as a role model. And as much as she is very similar in personality to me, she is also has her own individuality. It’s as though she is taking my qualities and improving on them.
As the years go on, and she grows into a young lady, I wish her nothing but success and happiness through all of her accomplishments. Darwin leads the charge when it comes to hard work and commitment. I am inspired by her on an almost daily basis.
I love you lots Darwin. Have yourself a great Birthday!
As the sun continues to shine, my work days have gotten a bit brighter. Even the rail cars are getting into the spirit.
I spotted a “Lilo and Stitch” graffiti painted car outside the window today. It made me smile at the abilities of some vandals. The recognition of a cartoon character on either side of a tag is becoming commonplace.
Seeing “Lilo and Stitch” reminded me of our trip to Hawaii seven years ago. As well as our trip to Tokyo three years ago. Which got me thinking about all of our vacations to Disneyland. I really do enjoy my time with my family as we make memories.
So if a graffiti vandal can make me happy, then I really don’t mind seeing their crimes. Especially on rolling art canvases that travel the continent.
I enjoy seeing the sun. It just kind of sucks seeing it when you are at work.
These early mornings are also rather chilly to start, but midday is toasty and warm out. You can tell that summer is peeking it’s head around the corner. We are getting just a little taste of things to come.
As spring keeps bringing nicer and nicer weather, I really want to get outside more often. A dose of vitamin D helps bring up that energy needed to feel good.
Even if I am stuck at work, I get opportunities to walk around the rail yard and enjoy the sun on my face. Sure, I’m not at the beach, but I’ll take what I can get. My days off look like they should be warm and sunny as well. Perhaps a trail hike or kayak trip will happen this weekend.
It’s a phrase many of us have heard, and even said, over the years.
It’ll be nice to have the pandemic behind us and celebrate once more. Sure, there’s still been enjoyment of alcohol over the past year or so. But hitting a pub, bar, or social house is something that even I long for.
Happy hour needs to happen again. We all need to let loose and enjoy one another’s company. We are so close to having this pandemic put behind us. Once it’s time to get jiggy with it, you’ll find me setting my clock to “Party Time.”
Yea. I’m tired and this post isn’t great. But that clock of mine is cheesy and I tried really hard to write a blog about it. Oh well.
My wife and I dropped off our son at the skating rink for his Saturday practice and laps. Due to restrictions, we are unable to stay and watch. Instead of driving home, my wife and I decided to go for a walk.
We wandered around a park and neighborhood that we don’t normally go to. I enjoy walks like this. We get to see how other people decorate and care for their properties. I love to see well manicured gardens. It gives me inspiration for our home.
As soon as the spring blossoms arrive- it all disappears into summer greenery. The life cycle of beauty keeps me smiling. Walking around and getting fresh air is also helping with the sanity these days. Much like last year, I plan on trying to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible this year.
I love to swim. Almost every time we would travel, we tried to stay in a hotel (or motel) with a pool. After a long day of conventions/skating/Disneyland- it was a good way to relax before bed.
Oftentimes we would be the only people in the pool. It was as if no one else enjoys swimming. Or perhaps they just don’t like us. We are a bit of a strange family- pretending to be dolphins or zombies. That may have had something to do with having the hotel pool to ourselves.
We also enjoy swimming in the ocean, lakes and other natural spots. My wife used to call our kids “Water Babies”. We would hunt down places to swim whenever possible. Hawaii and California have beautiful beaches, and British Columbia has some fantastic lakes. What’s not to enjoy?
I always enjoyed swimming. For about half a decade during my preteen years- my family had a house with a pool. I swam regularly in it, even though I think my parents felt otherwise. I mean I also played a lot of video games and locked myself in my room watching television… But my exercise was to go swim. And I was good at it. I hope to be swimming regularly once more in our new home.
I do find it odd that last June I mentioned about buying a home with a pool: Pool of Thought even before we listed our house for sale. One year later we will be living out this desire. Our own private oasis in this world. Inadvertently I guess I had created a Vision Board and achieved the goal. Imagine what I could do if I set my mind to a goal?
Do you enjoy swimming? Do you hunt out hotels with pools when you travel? Let me know in the comments.
I love musicals. The way they tell a story through song and dance brings me joy. My mother took me to a few Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals back in the day. I enjoyed the experience of going to the Queen Elizabeth Theater in Vancouver to watch the shows.
However, I have an unusually soft spot for raunchy musicals. “Chicago” “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show” are classics and relatively tame when you consider some others.
Recently, my sixteen year old daughter introduced me to “The Book Of Mormon”. The subject matter and lyrics are definitely offensive. But humorous nonetheless. I knew of this musical, but I missed out on it the last time it came around. Once shows start happening again- I hope to catch this one live one day. Perhaps I should show her “Cannibal! The Musical” by the same creators.
Because my daughter has a twisted sense of humor, like her old man, I am trying to find “The First Nudie Musical” from 1976 for her to watch. The last time I saw this film was in 1988. I don’t remember much about it and only saw it the one time. However, I do recall laughing quite a bit at the film. Perhaps that was partially due to the uncomfortableness of starting puberty.
Nonetheless, raunchy musicals push the envelope of people’s comfort and explore the deviancies and taboos of the world. I guess that’s what makes it art.
Do you have any musicals of that nature that I should watch? Let me know in the comments. Catchy songs are always good as well, even if they a more vulgar.
Recently Facebook reminded me of my first “Tagged” photo. It also happened to be the photo I used as my profile picture for the first year or so on Facebook.
As you can see, it is of my father’s gravestone marker. Anyone who I befriended at the start of my Facebook days would have seen this image. Obviously I took this picture and tagged myself in it.
Fourteen years ago, I didn’t take selfies or share many pictures. In fact, my first smartphone was the iPhone 4 in 2010. Any photos I did share were from a one megapixel digital camera. I had to upload The images onto our computer, then filter through them (because the display screen on the camera was tiny- there was now way to tell in a picture was good or great). Most of my photos were of my kids as well.
So there wasn’t a profile picture of me that I was content with. Not with the age of “Showing off Instant Perfection” starting…
Yes folks, it’s still going on. We all want to share the best part of our lives. Most of the time I think it’s great seeing the individual successes. But I also know that it can be mentally taxing on each and every one of us. Myself included- for both.
So instead of trying to create the perfect profile picture with a low end digital camera- I used a picture with my name. It also served as a reminder of my father and the difference in our parenting styles.
Plus it is a bit morbid seeing your own name on a tombstone. I find that stuff amusing.
Everyone loves to take pictures of their meals. Be it at a restaurant or a homemade meal. I am no different. If the food has a delicious presentation, it needs to be shared. “Instagramable” so to speak.
My wife made a lovely turkey dinner last night. So I took some pictures. Dinner was delicious. The plate in front of me was But you wouldn’t be able to tell that by these next couple of photos:
Just look at that bird’s hole. The flash from my phone added a glistening that really made it unappealing.
The cranberry sauce from a can was the perfect accompaniment to the turkey. Check out the ridges on the jelly. Yummy.
It’s amazing how a picture can change a person’s perspective on things. But the food was still just as tasty as ever!
Hooray! My little blog has hit 1000 followers! This milestone is pretty big for me since I don’t actively advertise my blog. That’s mostly because I’m not selling anything. I’m just writing anecdotes and stories about my life.
I cannot express enough all of the gratitude I feel towards everyone. Having followers who “like and comment” on my blogs brings me to a positive place. Writing daily has been a great relief for my worries and stresses.
Another hearty THANK YOU to everyone for following along with my stories and opinions.
I wish to express my sincerest gratitude to the 999 followers of my blog on WordPress. I know that there are others out there on Facebook, Twitter and via email who receive my daily musings as well.
But the 999 on WordPress? I can count on one hand the people who I have met in person who follow me on this site (and yes, I follow myself as well). The rest are strangers who happened to find me and decided that what I say is important enough to follow me. That’s pretty cool.
I have also interacted with those that seek to write a comment to me. Some of whom I would consider to be an “Online Friend” now. Having only met through WordPress and a few lines back and forth. Yet a kinship is formed, even for the briefest of moments.
I appreciate all the followers. Heck, even the Bots. Someone out there took the time to write an algorithm to search out keywords, and they stumbled upon me.
Seriously though- a hearty “Thank you” to everyone who follows my blog. I appreciate you.
This morning my wife surprised our teens by having an Easter Egg Hunt in our living room. We have done the hunt every year since we moved into our house.
Always in the living room. That’s because we can hide the eggs the night before and close off the room until we are ready. This is the same room we would celebrate Christmas Day in.
Today was the last time that our kids would hunt for candy in the living room. None of them wanted a picture taken, but I took a stealth one anyways. An Easter Egg Hunt was always something my wife enjoyed doing for our kids. As they became teenagers, I was thinking that it’s becoming a bit much.
But after today’s hunt I could see why my wife enjoyed doing this for our kids every year.
They all sat around the dining room table, dumped out their haul and divided it equally. It’s something they’ve always done (same with Halloween). Seeing them do this once more made me smile.
Our teenagers are getting along! These days it’s hit and miss with how nice they are to each other. Or even towards my wife and I. Days like today are a reminder as to why we love our family. Moments like this will be missed when we move away.
Seventy eight days until we move. Seems so far away. But it’s only 11 weeks from now. In ten weeks, we will need to be 95% ready to move out. The last week will be paperwork and chaos. In five weeks I will need to start getting into contact with our billing companies to start the address change information.
Yesterday I finished booking two moving companies at a cost of almost $5000. Yup. TWO moving companies. One is bringing in two trucks and somewhere between six to eight people to dismantle furniture and move all of our possessions. The other company is specifically called in order to move our grand piano.
Today we ran out of boxes. We have a good portion of the unnecessary and hardly used stuff packed away. Besides the obvious Christmas decorations- we packed up book shelves, extra nicknacks from the kid’s rooms and a bunch of stuff from cupboards that we can live without for a couple of months. A huge assortment of stuff.
About a month ago my wife told me I was bringing home too many boxes. Now we are realizing that we will need twice the amount originally planned. How did we possess so much stuff? When my wife and I first moved together all we had was a bed, a couple bookcases, a couch, a tv, and a freezer. All of which fit into two pick up trucks and our two door car.
It feels as though we are upsizing once more instead of downsizing. Sure, we are getting rid of some possessions as we pack up. But we also have plans to buy some new furnishings in our next home once we settle in. At which point, we will probably purge some more stuff.
Moving is a pain in the butt. And costly. No wonder we haven’t moved in 14 years. I don’t want to do it ever again.
Today was pretty weak for April Fool’s Day jokes. There wasn’t much in the way of big ones. Nor was there any good ones shared by my friends.
This is likely due to the fact that we are still struggling through a pandemic. Many of us are more adept in keeping informed and sharing real stories. We have become skeptical over the past year or so.
Life just went on being the way it is. Excalibur did not get to yell “FOOL!” at me today. However, putting up his image makes me want to watch some anime again. Soul Eater would be good for a rewatch.
I love retro 80’s video games. However, Atari was never my thing. I have always favored the Intellivision, but a close second is the Colecovision. Both of which were superior to the Atari in all aspects.
Aside from my opinion about which home console was best in an era “Pre-Nintendo” I also had 5 top games that I loved playing on my Colecovision.
A forward scrolling game where you jumped over holes, caught fish and avoided seals. The idea was a timed trial race around Antarctica. I completed this game numerous times, but still recall the “boing” sound as you bumped into seals.
Cabbage Patch Kids
This is a side scrolling “Pitfall” style game that gets harder as you go. I remember playing for hours on end, mastering each sprite location for the perfect jump. With only three lives to give- I don’t remember if there was an ending to the game.
This was a space side scrolling game. The difference was that it was more of a 45° angle side scrolling- which proved tough to judge obstacles. The sound of the thrusters buzzing was classic.
This was a top view maze game, where you ran from room to room killing monsters and robots. Simple and a good way to burn off frustration.
Kind of Pac-Man esque. You avoid this creatures as you zippered up sections of a maze.
All of them were a great way to spend hours playing. Trying to beat high scores, how far you got, or times. Simple and cartoony. Pretty sure these games would be easy to beat nowadays.
Coffee helps me sleep. That sounds really strange, but it is true. I have been drinking coffee since my mid teens. No, it did not stunt my growth- I still grew to six foot eight. It did however make me dependent on caffeine. I also drink quite a bit of cola as well.
I was talking with a coworker after our night shift. I was telling him how I was going to have a cup of coffee and head to bed. Clearly he thinks I’m crazy.
If I go a day or two without coffee, I tend to get bad headaches. Those headaches can make it very tough to function, including falling asleep. I’m lucky in a sense that one cup of coffee doesn’t keep me awake. It usually takes two or three cups or a really strong coffee in order to keep me alert if I’m tired.
After thirty years of coffee drinking, it’s no surprise that I’m addicted. But a cup of coffee after a night shift helps me sleep. Go figure.
If I’m not taking pictures of my family and friends, I am usually taking pictures of food or nature. Skylines and trees are my personal favorites.
Sometimes I take a photo “just because.” It could be a picture of a movie title or a unique object. (Sorry… side quest… is it “a” or “an” before the word “unique”? Let me know in the comments if I was correct, and why.) The other day I took the following picture:
It is not one of my better pictures. But the colours and shapes on the kitchen counter bring me joy. Here are the reasons why:
The green glass bowl– I have always loved shaped and coloured glass. The wavyness of this bowl is fun. There’s even a little matching bowl inside.
The red apples– Apples are my favorite fruit. These were nearly perfect apples as well.
The blue canister– It holds fresh ground coffee. Need I say more?
The silver canister– Holds our sugar for coffee and baking. For the little sweetness needed in our lives.
All of them lined up in our kitchen awaiting their turn to be used. To me, the colours just pop. I could’ve used a filter, or adjusted my angle. Each item is as vibrant in their emotional impact for me as are the colours. I ended up overlooking the art aspect of how to take a good photo.
This picture is a Vibrant Mediocrity. And that’s okay as well. Giving it a title like that turns it into art.
Back in the early 80’s my father had a wrist watch. I don’t remember what brand it was- either a Casio or Timex. I do remember the watch being digital with faux gold. He was really happy when he got it, showing it off to my mother and I. I was maybe five years old at the time, but I remember the feel of the metal strap and how it flexed.
Forty Years Later…
My wife bought me a Timex T80 for my birthday. But not just any Timex T80- the Fortieth Anniversary Pac-Man wrist watch T-80.
Timex came out with this watch last year to celebrate Pac-Man’s 40th Anniversary. This Timex T80 is a great combination of style and class. When I unboxed the gold watch and placed it on my wrist- I felt like my father did forty years ago.
I’m not a watch person. But the watch looks great and feels fantastic. I always wanted a Timex like this one. It was the perfect gift for me. My wife also remembered that I loved Pac-Man.
Besides a great retro look… my favorite bit of this watch is that it plays the Pac-Man theme when you press the top button!
When I was a teenager, getting my driver’s license was easy. At age 17, I was able to borrow my mother’s car periodically. One summer day my friend and I took our girlfriends at the time to the PNE in Vancouver.
It was a lot of fun going on rides, eating food and playing carnival games. The girls we were with went to the local radio station booth and sang a Brian Adam’s song and received a cassette tape of their rendition. Loads of laughs and handholding as we journeyed around the fair.
Anyhow, her and I eventually ended our relationship as the summer also ended. It was totally civil. We kept in contact over the years and went out on the occasional date every so often as we entered into adulthood.
I mention this specific date because my former girlfriend had removed her earrings. They were heavy and hurting her ears. She lost/forgot them in my mother’s car (which eventually became my car). I discovered them a few years later along the side of the seat and kept them with some other mementos from my youth- such as letters, artwork, and trinkets. I’m a bit of a hoarder…
Yesterday, I noticed my 16 year old daughter wearing the earrings. I had no idea that she had taken possession of them. But I find it really cute to see that teenage girls over the decades still have the same sense of style.
Puppy love is great. Perhaps my daughter will have a fun date this summer whilst wearing these earrings. Who knows.
As I have mentioned in a few blog posts- I enjoy listening to music. When I was a teenager, we moved numerous times. Eventually my parents gave me their old stereo and speakers instead of throwing them away. I put them to good use until I needed to upgrade. At which point, I bought a new receiver and subwoofers. I was seventeen at the time and spent about $400 of my hard earned money on enjoying music. I also added my own art to speaker boxes since the “faux wood” look was already passé in the 90’s.
Now, twenty-eight years later, I’m finally letting go of them. Many of friends from my youth may remember these items as I used them for years as I went into my early 20’s. Those 12” subwoofers were great for house parties and rocked the neighborhood loudly. The receiver was a simple “Stereo Sound” with options for output to two or four speakers. Or turn one set off. Pretty fancy for the time.
As stereos and speakers evolve, oversized speakers like these are cumbersome and not necessary for good quality sound. I have a set of surround sound speakers from about six or seven years ago that give off an incredible experience. Yet even those are becoming outdated.
Letting go of these speakers is like saying goodbye to a part of me. It hurts a bit inside- but a photo and a short story are a better way to enjoy them instead of having them sit in storage for many more years to come.
As we declutter and prepare to move, we are finding lots of items that we have collected over the years. Some are really unique and deserve a second look. Other things feel like we are holding on to them for nostalgia sake.
Today my wife showed me a unique bottle from Germany that she got prior to us meeting. I think it is pretty cool and want it on display in our next kitchen.
At the same time, we have this hideous plastic cat clock from the 50’s or 60’s that has been on display in a bedroom for decades. I have no love for this item, but since it is in great shape and retro- I’m sure someone else finds it amazing.
In the end, it’s all a matter of taste. What is retro cool and what is just junk is a matter of opinion.
A few hours ago, a container ship (roughly as long as the height of the Empire State Building) got stuck in the Suez Canal.
The implications of how it is affecting the world economy hit almost immediately. Prices of gas has already shot up. Following soon will be the price of merchandise and goods. This vessel is preventing another 100 ships from going through the canal. It’s absolutely insane how quick the market is reacting to the news.
In true Internet fashion, the public’s reactions are humorous and just as quick. My favorite is the Austin Powers reference seen here. At the end of the day, no one is hurt and the ship will get moved. But the humor is far more appealing to most of us compared to the frustration of how much products and gas will cost in the coming days.
All you can do is laugh at the situation. I cannot wait to see what else comes from the talk show hosts and comedians today.
Looking at what I write and share in my blog posts- I have realized it is not any one type of category. Just a bunch of ideas and thoughts from my mind. I enjoy telling stories. Tales of being a parent, a friend, a coworker, a traveler, a cook, a homeowner, a motivator; whatever the story may be- it’s mostly about what I observe.
I also do my best not to come across as conceited in what I write. “Because conceit is a flaw, and I have none.” (An old quote I used to say from my teenage years. Knowing full well that I sounded like a tool saying it.) However, I am prideful and love to share any and all accomplishments that surround me. Especially if the good news is about those who I care about.
Lifting one another up is a much better approach to life than trying to put someone down in order to make yourself appear better.
Decades ago, and at least three lifetimes before now- I read Celestine Prophecy. A couple of years ago I mentioned it in Feeding Feelings. It is by far the biggest influence on how I live life. This book, and it’s subsequent sequels, explain how to be positive and good so that good things will happen for you. After almost thirty years- I can look back at my journey and see that this is true.
I shall continue on my positive path as much as possible. Success in being happy is the best kind of success. Happiness is immeasurable, but completely achievable by everyone. If you nourish the good deeds and thoughts, more of the same blossom around you. Soon enough there is a garden filled with beauty surrounding your soul.