The New Car we bought last week needed a little bit of tlc. For a 2005 Toyota Corolla- there is nothing mechanical that we need to do to it. Especially so ice it only had 75,000 km on it. However, aesthetically it needed some love.
The previous owner smoked in the car. The car had seat covers that absorbed the smell. So those had to go. Next week I plan on giving the car upholstery a steam clean, same with the floor mats and roof. Hopefully that eliminates the odor. There was also a small sunglasses spot that the flap kept falling open. So I glued a strong magnet and piece of metal to keep it shut. So far so good.
The one thing that I wanted to clean up was the large scrape down the passenger side. Because there was a couple of spots where the scratch was showing rust, I wanted to do a quick fix. That required cleaning, sanding, painting, sanding, painting, and clear coating. Because this is a Toyota, color match was easy to find.
In the end, I did an alright job. I know it could be better, but I wasn’t going to put in more time and money than necessary. Especially if the car is for the kids to use mostly. From afar, you couldn’t even tell there was a scratch. That’s a good sign.
Anyways, our dash cam is going in next and that’s about I’m doing to the car. Safe travels kids! Enjoy the ride!
Our youngest went for his driving test today. He has had his learner’s license for about a year now. My wife and I had been allowing him to drive quite frequently in order to get some practice in. Both of us have different styles of teaching how to drive. Our son likes both, just not at the same time. Completely understandable.
We also paid for three lessons in the month leading to his exam. We did this in order for him to polish up the skills required in order to get his New Drivers License. The instructor was good and gave some great feedback on what Theory needed to work on.
Prior to the exam, I took Theory out for about an hour or so of driving. I told him I wasn’t going to critique anything he was doing, nor was I going to tell him what he missed or was doing wrong- if anything. I just wanted him to be comfortable behind the wheel. He admitted to being extremely nervous. Completely natural given that this is one of those skills that will last a lifetime.
I had to wait for him while he went out to take the test. Since it was a nice day, The road test is at a former accident claim center where there is nothing to do. So I sat outside in the shade and pre-wrote this blog. After about 15 minutes on the road with the instructor, they returned.
Update: He did it! He now has a five year license!
Our youngest is cresting the final years of teenagehood. He has turned 17 today. A year ago he got his learner’s driving license. In a couple of days, he will be going for his New Driver test. That is a big accomplishment and a right of passage for most youth. He’s a pretty confident driver, so I have no doubt he will pass his test.
He has grown to become very similar to how I was as a teenager. Goofy, funny, sarcastic yet kind. Honestly, I’d probably also have bought “Fish Flops” at his age just like he did last week. Much like him, I’d be able to convince a couple friends to buy them as well and wear them to school.
The one thing that really got me in the emotional feels occurred the other day. He approached me and asked if I could teach him how to shave his face. My father never taught me how to shave and with no internet around back then, I had to fumble through trial and error. Until 1998 when I began to read Maxim Magazine and read an article of how to properly shave. Since then, no more nicks or cuts. I passed that knowledge onto my son this past weekend.
He’s on his way to become a real gentleman. He always puts others first and is extremely helpful when required. His smile is contagious and I love him for everything he does. He’s a great kid and deserves to have a wonderful birthday.
Ok, it’s new to us. We purchased a Toyota Corolla on Saturday morning. The car is from 2005 and was hardly driven.
75501 kilometers on this car. It was driven by an older lady who is related to some friends of ours. They were looking to sell it since she doesn’t drive anymore. We picked up the car for $4000.
It’s the perfect car for our kids to use this summer and into next year for the school and skating season. It’s even “old lady champagne coloured” with hubcaps and non-tinted windows. Not a flashy car, but a reliable one nonetheless.
The previous owner even through in a 2008 map book and and “The Club” for us. Since the stereo is a basic am/fm cd player- there is no touchscreen or Bluetooth. That should keep the kids less distracted for the time being.
I’m not going to lie, I may use this car periodically to go to work. It is better on gas than my current car. It boasts 5.3L-7.1L /100km. My Rogue is 7.1L-9.5L /100km. Honestly, the car is nothing special to write home about, but here I am giving it a raving review! A good commuter car for our kids to utilize as they begin to drive themselves more frequently.
I’m probably biased, but I think my wife is the best mother around. She has been a hard working and loving mother since 2002. The three kids who call her “mom” have been lucky to have her around.
From supporting our kids by cheering them on through their various activities; to consoling them when they need some extra love; Lee-Anne has been a wonderful parent.
I know that periodically my wife feels like she is just going through the motions. Oftentimes everything she does is for someone else’s benefit. But those are the sacrifices she gives in order to keep our children happy.
I’m glad to be her partner in all of this. She has been inspiration for me and my parenting style. Together we have conquered the world! Or at least attempted to pick the battles that matter most when raising kids. As difficult as parenting can be, Lee-Anne has overcome the obstacles and become a fantastic mom.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the other mothers out there as well! Enjoy the day designed for you!
It was a hot day today- but tomorrow will be hotter. I spent the entire day in our backyard. I prepared our deck for staining and did the first coat with the help of our middle child. After a few hours, we took a break to play some UNO with my oldest kid. We sat in the sun and listened to music while I lost repeatedly at the game.
Once we finished dinner, I headed to the bedroom to put new sheets on our bed and took a shower to refresh. I’m looking forward to clean sheets so a shower was a necessity. Afterwards I headed to the basement to keep cool. My middle and I relaxed watching some tv. It was a great way to end the day.
I forgot how cool and comfortable a basement can be. We do have a heat pump that creates air conditioning for our home. But there is something about the natural refreshing sensation of a cool basement after a hot day.
Later this weekend I do plan to cool off in the pool. But tomorrow I need to finish getting the deck stained.
This week our son had his Photography Show. That meant he was to showcase some of the images he had taken over the past few months. We had the opportunity to enjoy photos and writing from him and his fellow classmates.
Theory’ project was titled: “The Colors Overlooked In Nature”. He edited and manipulated the photos to showcase one spark of colour in each. He took numerous photographs of flowers, mountains and birds. Honestly, he’s pretty good at it. Even the people sitting in the row in front of us in the auditorium were commenting on his slideshow.
Theory also set it to a classical piece of music that smoothly transitioned with the slides. Other students used pop and rap songs. This made Theory’s presentation stand out. He says he is going to bring home a copy for us to have and potentially share with friends and family.
I’m really proud of him and love that he is a natural when it comes to taking photos. He has a good eye for it. If he lets us share the pictures- be rest assured I will be all over that!
Last night my oldest child and I attended the 15th Anniversary of the SFU Concert Orchestra Night. We went to support my middle child- Darwin- who continues to play the bassoon in post secondary.
The event was held at The Michael J Fox Theater in Burnaby. The ensemble was smaller than I expected, but they still were able to fill the theater with sound. I recognized the first four pieces they played. The final piece had a guest pianist join them for the final half an hour.
These young adults did a great job last night. I am happy the Darwin is still pursuing music as they navigate post secondary. A sense of familiarity has helped them through this past semester of schooling.
I look forward to seeing more shows over the next few years, and will continue to support the arts!
This weekend, my wife and I finished filing our taxes. This is the first time as well that all three of our kids had to submit taxes. Lucky for my wife and I- we were able to use some of the money we spent on our children’s post secondary towards our own taxes. Thank goodness for spending money on their futures…
Last year, after me having to pay taxes, I went to my payroll and had them take more taxes off each paycheck. In the end, I got quite a good tax return. However, my wife was not as lucky. Of the five of us, she is the only one having to pay taxes. At least it wasn’t like Monopoly and she doesn’t owe 10% or even $200. But I still get to rub it in that she has to pay taxes.
What will I spend my refund on you may ask? Property taxes! Yay! The government giveth and the government taketh away. Oh well, it was nice to feel lucky for once, even if it was for a fleeting moment.
Darwin turned 19 today, so we asked what they wanted to do to celebrate. Darwin chose to have a family outing at the Sakura Days Japanese Fair. So we made our way into Vancouver to The VanDusen Botanical Garden for the afternoon.
Unfortunately there was rain and it was rather chilly. But we kept warm by eating hot food from the food trucks and walking through the gardens. We also snuck back to the main entrance and hung out in the building periodically to rest and warm up.
Darwin had a lot of fun striking various poses throughout our walk. This day was all for them! Even in the rain, darwin was producing a smile and filling the day with joy.
Our day was spent catering to their amusement and I really appreciated the slow pace of looking at nature all day. It was very zen like and calming. Until the end. That’s when the real fun came out!
The main reason we came to the event was to see a live performance by a J-Pop group called “Non Sweet”. Darwin met them at a convention recently and wanted us as a family to share in the joy that Darwin has found from them.
First Darwin and I went to a meet and greet where Darwin got their picture with one of the members. Once the show began, Darwin and I sat front and center enjoying the performance! Our drive home also consisted of listening to the music of Non Sweet.
It was a good day and the rain could not dissuade us from enjoying the event. Happy 19th Birthday Darwin! I hope it was one of the most memorable ones you have had!
Today our adult children (and soon to be adult son) did an Easter egg hunt in our home. My wife convinced me to help hide the candy and chocolates for them. Initially I helped in order to get it done faster.
I did have some fun laying out the eggs. My favorite spot was in our Lego Sakura tree. The pink eggs blended so well that the kids missed them repeatedly. I also hid some chocolates as high as I could so that they would have to get a chair to retrieve them.
Once finding all the candy, the kids did their usual routine of dividing everything up equally. They have done this every year. It seems they never grow out of the idea of being young at heart.
It’s Easter weekend. A time for chocolate and bunnies (and chocolate bunnies). I’ve never been a fan of Easter. That probably stems from Catholic school when I was a wee lad. The imagery and stories of a man with a crown of thorns, torture, blood, even coming back from the dead are a bit traumatic for young Josef.
On the other side, we also never did Easter egg hunts as children. So Easter weekend wasn’t as fun as it could have been. My mother did leave out some chocolate on the kitchen table, so we did eat that junk food.
As a parent, my wife made me participate in hiding eggs for our children over the years. If I wasn’t working, I’d hang out and watch them as they gathered up their treats. Our kids would then combine the chocolates and divide them equally.
My wife is still filling plastic eggs for our children. Even though they are turning 17, 19, and 21 this year. What’s humorous is that our kids were asking if the Easter Bunny was visiting this year. Good thing they asked my wife, because my answer would have been “no”.
I’m okay with the fact that my kids want to hang onto a part of their youth. Lucky for me is that if there is extra candy (that can’t be evenly distributed) I get to enjoy it. I also think my wife is enjoying babying our kids periodically like this. Me- I just enjoy being immature- that’s how I hold onto my youthful follies.
Anyways, I hope that everyone has a fun filled Easter weekend! And remember to find all of those eggs!
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.
My wife went to Kamloops a couple weeks ago for our son’s speed skating. Last week we drove to and from Calgary in the same vehicle. Rogue One was filthy! It was time for a hand wash after these journeys through the mountains and snow.
Our son washed the car as a “payment” (read as torture) for driving him to these competitions. A whole lot of “why?” was asked as well as “it’s clean” was also stated during the process. He was not too happy with me telling him that he needed to touch up a few spots. He also didn’t agree to the idea that Armor All on the plastic and windex for the windows was part of the cleaning process. But he did it in the end.
I don’t have the heart to tell him quite yet that he also has to do the interior vacuuming, windows and Armor All. Let’s wait to mention it for tomorrow.
This weekend is a chance for our son to compete in the Long Track Grand Prix Canada Cup. This entire season he has been training harder than ever and showing vast improvement. I’m hoping he comes away with a few more personal best times this weekend.
We made the trek to the Calgary Oval, with a realization that it’s still winter out there! This morning was surprisingly cold as my son and I made our way to the Olympic Oval in Calgary. Go figure that it’s cold when our son does a winter sport on ice…
The inside of the arena is vast and open. The audience can get good views of the start and finish of the races. Along the way, we have the opportunity to watch the big screen as the skaters round the backside.
I’m happy to be here in person for once. There is still a live feed on YouTube that I have shared with family members. With a total of five races over the course of three days, sometimes it’s hard to justify traveling with him. But as a parent, I’m extremely proud and want to be as supportive of all of our children’s endeavors.
Best of luck this weekend Theory! We are rooting for you!
Today we had our piano tuned up. We kind of neglected doing it for a couple of years. Which was not good. But the tune up went well- just took a bit longer than it should have. At least no repairs were required.
Now that the piano is sounding better, hopefully we will hear it played again. I know that our kids periodically “tickle the ivories”. When their friends come over, many of them can play piano, and enjoy sitting down to play.
This will be nice to have it all sounding good once more. Now to just keep up with the tuning twice a year!
This weekend our youngest will be making his course selection for the final year of high school. For being only a fifteen to twenty minute activity to choose, it has turned into a weekend of hounding him to get it done. Frustrating for my wife and I, but I can understand why he is procrastinating.
This is going to be his final year of attending a public school. A flood of emotions are probably taking over compared to logic of just selecting courses. It will be his last year to be in classes with friends and spending time with them in the halls. The difficulty of the work in the classes will increase adding more stress as well. The time to play is coming to a conclusion.
In the end, he will get into grade twelve with a plan in motion. My wife and I will do our best to guide and help him along the way. He will graduate in 17 months time.
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.
As my wife Lee-Anne enjoyed DisneyLand yesterday, our youngest had flown into Calgary on Thursday for a speed skating competition this weekend.
Theory is taking part in the Western Elite Circuit at the Calgary Olympic Oval. He had four individual races today and dominated every single one in his division. He came in first and also beat his previous times garnering personal bests.
Theory is staying with other members of our club since he is only sixteen years old. The club’s coach also flew out and is offering advice and tips all weekend. I’m glad that she is there to coach them. It’s good to have someone there who knows the strengths and weaknesses of the skaters.
I’m really proud of his results and determination to constantly improve. His drive is creating individualized success. after his Sunday competition, he will be immediately flying back home. He has a few more competitions before the end of the season in March and I hope that he continues to improve. Cheering from another province is always difficult. But I do it anyways.
My wife is currently in Disneyland for a work retreat. She has officially caught up with me on visits to the park! I told her that from now on we must be together in Disneyland- no exceptions!
Lee-Anne is staying in a hotel that overlooks her favorite part of the parks. She gets to see California Adventure and is able to view her favorite rides on the Pixar Pier. This is making her visit a bit more special considering she is technically at work.
The craziest part about her visit to Disneyland?
We took our family there for their first visit 14 years ago today! We had so much fun. We have seen numerous changes over the years. We have traveled to Disneyland for a variety of celebrations. My wife is enjoying the current celebration: 100 years of Disney. I can’t believe Walt started his animation a century ago.
There’s something fantastic and truly magical about Disneyland. From exciting new adventures and rides to reliving memories from previous trips. I know that my wife and I will be doing trips there again- just the two of us. Adults in Disneyland acting youthful. I asked my wife to do some recon for a future trip of just us two.
I am jealous of her. If I could have taken the weekend off and didn’t have other obligations- I would have joined her. But since this is a work retreat, she did have some work stuff to do prior to enjoying the parks. I hope she brings us back some great gifts!
Today I made another rug. Or rather-just like you do in Animal Crossing- I crafted a leaf (from the video game Animal Crossing).
The design is pretty simple. So drawing it out wasn’t too difficult. This is now the largest one I have made. It almost filled my 3’ frame. I enjoyed the simplicity of the design, but really worked hard to make it perfect.
Since I was low on black yarn, this design was a great option since it uses four different shades of green. Video game images are fun to tuft. Plus the recognizability of icons and characters makes for an enjoyable crafting experience.
Creating rugs has become a fantastic pastime for me over the past few weeks. I have found tufting to be therapeutic and calming. I listen to music that relates to the rug I tuft. It gets me in the zone. Making two rugs a week seems to be my average. I may slow it down a bit though. I can only have so many rugs in our house.
The next rug to be made will be created by our youngest teen. He has an idea and wants to get it out in the world. I can’t wait to see what he crafts. His first one was pretty good- read about it Here: Son of Tuftleupagus.
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 made what I consider my best rug yet. I made it for our oldest kid. They requested the video game character Kirby holding a star. I found some images online and created my own design in the end.
I learned some more techniques from following other tufters on Instagram. I have been growing my abilities each week and with every rug. After each colour, I went to the other side and trimmed the edges. It was a bit more time consuming, but the results are superior to anything I have made yet.
This rug was challenging in its own ways. The pink was a different size of yarn and caused me to re-thread it repeatedly. A few curse words may have been said over and over again. But look how cute this rug turned out!
I’ll finish this rug later in the week. There’s just a bit more trimming to complete once I glue the backing on. Hopefully our 20 year old likes this one as much as I do. If not- I have an amazing pink rug!
Every weekend, I have been making rugs. I have been really enjoying this hobby. Last weekend, our youngest wanted to make one of his own- so he made an 8-Ball. Today our middle child wanted to make their own rug. I went through the process of how to do it, guiding them along.
Darwin traced the image and we discussed the colors to use. I only helped with a couple of stitches, but the rest was all them. (I snuck in another soot sprite in the blank space when we had the black and white yarn set up.) I sat by Darwin’s side and continued to offer advice as well as encouraged the work being done.
The image Darwin chose is the moon from the anime- “Soul Eater”. This was a family favorite a few years ago. In fact, we did a family dress up for Halloween as the characters from the show- and then went trick or treating in Disneyland. It was a lot of fun.
Darwin wants this rug for their bedroom floor for when bedtime comes around. Tomorrow afternoon, we will finish the rug. A bit of me is selfishly enjoying the quality time that my kids wanted with me. Spending time with our kids is worth every moment of making these rugs.
How many rugs is too many rugs when I get to spend time with my growing adult kids doing something we both enjoy?
There’s never going to be enough. I’m lucky they want to do this with me.