The last couple of days have been scorchers. The heat hitting 30°C yesterday and later today. All afternoon on Saturday, we took advantage of the pool and shade from the gazebo. A few friends stopped by to join us- which is always nice.
By 10:30pm it was just the family remaining. As the night started to settle on us, we stayed warm with the fire pit and a couple of blankets. By midnight, my wife put out the fire and I had fallen asleep. I woke up around 3am and headed inside. It was so comfortable outside that if it wasn’t for my allergies, I’d have slept through the night out there.
I’m looking forward to more days and nights like that one. Where friends and family can come by and relax with us. Hooray for summer making its appearance!
It sure hasn’t been feeling like summer has wanted to start this year. All the rain and grey skies have made it feel as though we were in a second January. A “June-uary” as I have heard it called.
But today is the first day of summer! The Summer solstice is upon us. The longest amount of daylight to be had for the year. With it brings the hopeful warm weather.
The second half of this week it will finally feel as though we are hitting the temperatures we are meant to enjoy. I look forward to hanging out with friends in the backyard and cooling off in the pool with an ice cold beverage. Afternoon siestas are also a favorite of mine. Especially done outdoors with the warmth of the day blowing in as I fall asleep in the shade.
Are you looking forward to summer finally arriving? Remember to Wear Sunscreen.
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.
At the end of February our former neighbor, Bob, passed away. His wife had the arduous challenge of packing up the house in order to move shortly afterwards. Nearly fifty years of life was there. It only made sense to postpone a celebration of Bob’s life until after the move.
Today my wife, middle child and I went to his service. Since Bob was a pilot, the Celebration was held at Langley Airport Museum. A fitting place for his family and friends to come together and share stories of his life. It was also a non-service type of service. There were no speeches or religious prayers. Just a bunch of people mingling.
I thought I knew a lot about Bob from the years of living across the street from him. He had shared numerous stories with me of his follies as a pilot prior to his retirement. I found out today that Bob’s original hanger is now the Museum of Flight.
I knew Bob was creative with metalworking and had created numerous art pieces. But I also learned Bob was a poet and enjoyed writing. Some of which was shared today. Bob was a great character and touched many people’s lives. I appreciated when he showed up at our place a couple years ago at 2am to help put the power line back up before hydro showed up. I also appreciated the logs he had brought over for us to use to heat our home.
I had a few opportunities to just sit and talk with Bob while we sat in his yard. He was always willing to share a story and was ready to help out when needed. A great man who made the world a good place to be in. I’m glad that his life meant so much to so many people. I hope one day that I too have reached out and created connections like that.
I have attended every anniversary of the Trading Post as well as opening day. To say I like their business is an understatement. I have been first or second in line every year waiting to go inside.
I always meet up with different friends for the anniversary. We always sit upstairs and enjoy a few beers. Even during these Covid times, the brewery still manages to draw a crowd. It’s not shoulder to shoulder like it has been in the past, but it’s still just as popular.
My wife and I had a good time talking with our friends. We spent a couple of hours shooting the shit and polished off a few beers along the way. Even just that brief interaction made me appreciate having a place to go and people to be with. Supporting small business and watching it grow and succeed also bring me joy.
Thank you Trading Post for six years of good drinks and fun with friends. I’ll be there again next year!
Humor can be tricky to produce. Getting a laugh at someone’s expense isn’t always the nicest thing to do. My personal opinion is that if you can dish it, you best be able to take it. But always read the room first.
I am notorious for the quick witted burn or jab. Usually only done to close friends who equally get me back. You tease the ones you love the most. As adults, many of us have grown thick skin and know when one another are joking around.
Teaching my kids about humor on the other hand has had it’s fair share of turns for the worse. There are some days when one joke can be funny, but tell a similar insult the next day and it can turn into death stares and “Dad, You Suck.” Plus there are times when what they say just isn’t funny. It’s just mean for the sake of being mean.
For the most part when that happens, we talk about why it isn’t funny. That fine line of humor and cruelty gets explored. I also try and get them to tell me if what I say is too much. Boundaries in humor are definitely needed. Otherwise a person could sound like a bigot, sexist, bully or even an asshole.
All of that aside, humor makes the world a better place. Being able to laugh at oneself is also good. But be nice-ish…
Yesterday we were going to have a gathering of friends to celebrate Winter Solstice 2021. But as the event drew nearer, our friends began to have second thoughts. Which was completely understandable and acceptable. So my wife and I canceled. However, one set of friends and a coworker did stop by for a few appetizers and some conversation.
The one friend who came by is our son’s godfather. He is essentially family to us. He has always taken the extra step and care to know each and everyone of us. He knows me so well and puts thought into gifts. He and his significant other brought me some IRN-BRU and some European treats. Having these reminded me of my travel to Scotland when I was 19.
The coworker who stopped by is someone who I have taken a liking to and we share a lot of hardships with one another. I have found that between our conversations, we tend to help one another through those mentally taxing events in life. I appreciate his candor and honesty.
The other friends who were unable to attend all have a special place in my life. Many have been friends of mine for decades. For each of them, I still had a chance to talk prior and was able to wish a Happy Solstice and Merry Christmas to. There was some comfort in showing love and care to each other.
May you all stay safe during this new wave of Covid. As painful as it may seem to not see friends and family, be respectful of their wishes and health.
It was Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. As usual, my wife and I made a turkey dinner. We had a couple of friends over to enjoy the feast. I didn’t take many photos as it was more important to live in the moment.
We had a great time enjoying drinks and dinner. We started the afternoon by sitting on our back deck with our gas fire pit on. We enjoyed the views and had some great laughs as the turkey cooked.
We had dinner at around six o’clock, just as the sun was starting to set and the cool air was closing in. After dinner, we enjoyed the ABC’s of desserts. Apple pie, Brownies, and Cheesecake. Our friend made an amazing cheesecake! Each and every dessert was decadent. We also had a sampling of Apple Pie Bailey’s as a little treat.
I’m always happy to open up our home for friends. Sharing food and drinks is an integral part of kindness and humanity. I am also looking forward to the leftovers and turkey meals we will be having over the next week or so.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends! May you be blessed with good food and good company this weekend.
Yesterday afternoon, some of my friends tied the knot. They did it in a way that was special and meaningful to them. It wasn’t extravagant or lavish. The service was humble and friendly. It was exactly the kind of service you would expect from them.
First of all, it was a fairly short announcement to the wedding day. Even though Jay and Leona have been a couple for quite some time, it was just the right time to get married. The venue was at a friend’s place where they (or we if you wish) have spent many a weekend enjoying each other’s company over food and drinks.
Jay and Leona kept it low key and simple. Their friends came together to setup tents, tables, decor and made food. Even though it was raining periodically, that didn’t stop the festivities. It was essentially a large BBQ with a wedding thrown in. In fact, right after the “I Do’s” were said, the two of them got changed back into their street clothes to relax. It was wonderful that they shared their love with us and we all got to hang out.
Sometimes I think back to when I first met them. Each was in a different aspect in my life within a couple years of each other. As well, their lives intersected periodically until the universe finally linked them together.
It was a good time yesterday with loads of smiles and laughs. I wish many more years of happiness to Jay and Leona! Congratulations once more.
Yesterday we spent the afternoon and evening with a couple of friends. All of our kids were off doing their own thing, so my wife and I had a night to ourselves. First was hanging out at our place for a drink and appetizers.
Costco is great for finding quick and easy foods to share. I made some mini wontons and potato skins for us to share. Hanging out in the kitchen is always a great way to converse. Having a large kitchen island made it even better.
Afterwards we headed to a local establishment called “The Vault Restaurant”. It’s been around for ages and was built in an old bank. Kind of a steampunk/industrial feel inside. The food was great and the company was entertaining. It was ridiculously fun.
It’s been a while since my wife and I headed out for a night with friends. I’m glad we did as it turned into a fantastic evening. Date nights are becoming somewhat more frequent now that our kids are teenagers. It means my wife and I can get to know one another again. For that, I am grateful.
After last Wednesday’s funeral, I had mentioned how I was going to get back into Facebook and search out friends once more. Some people have found me and added me. But generally speaking- it has been me reaching out again. It was as my choice over two years ago to leave Facebook Friends behind after all.
In the short time since starting my friend gathering, I have accumulated 124 Facebook Friends. When I left back in March 2019 I was at almost 400. It feels like I hit reset on a game and my saved progress is gone.
Time to go in like Ash Ketchum on his adventures to get Pokémon! I’m 14% of the way there. Considering there are 898 total currently out there. I can hit that number of Pokémon friends quick enough.
So as I try and gather up my friend numbers, I’m going to use my power-up: kindness. It’s super effective. Gotta catch’em all!
An old friend of mine from the late 90’s passed away recently. Today was his funeral service. His name was Andrew Porter.
“Porter” by definition comes from the Latin portatorem: one who carries. Andrew Porter carried many of us through a strange and unusual time in our lives.
After the service, a dozen of us went for lunch and shared stories of our youth. There were catch phrases- little inside jokes only we understood. Here were the craziest ones:
She bit my dick!
Break out the saki! Andy got laid!
Andy’s smoking “American” cigarettes.
I’m a lover, not a fighter!
Scabbies (there are a ton of songs on this subject)
Our lives back then made me realize how lucky I am to have endured those days. We were stupid teenagers doing stupid shit thinking we would live forever. Andy was my next door neighbor for a few years at the end of high school- that’s how we became friends.
We were the delinquent houses where groups of us would get drunk and high. From those insane catchphrases and memories, I’m glad I lived the life I did with Andy close by sharing in the journey.
As the years went on, eventually I lost touch with him. Seeing him fourteen years ago was the last time. I could view his life on Facebook, but in March of 2019 I chose to erase my Facebook friends. Today I realized that I still need Facebook friends. I need to follow them so that I know that they are okay.
Because one day they will be gone. Just like Andy.
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida Andy. You will be missed, but the memories lasted a lifetime.
Yesterday we had some close friends over for an evening of hanging poolside. I love to entertain, and our anniversary was a great reason to have friends over.
We supplied our guests with food and drinks. There were bottles of wine chilling on ice for everyone’s pleasure. I had also printed off some custom labels for the water bottles. I made sure to keep everyone hydrated as we hung out in the sunshine.
Most of the evening I spent wandering around and socializing with everyone. At one point in the evening my buddies and I took a “Bro Pic”. We had done the same thing years ago at a brewery. It was the only picture i know of that was taken all day.
That’s a good thing. It means everyone was having fun and distracted from their phones. My wife and I are lucky to have such great friends that we have known for years. Even better is the fact that they mesh well with one another.
A hearty thank you to everyone for coming over and having fun yesterday. We look forward to having our friends over more often now that we are settled into our new home.
Today I suddenly felt old. Which is a strange sensation when it hits you. It was one of those Throwback Thursday moments. I found out that something I once enjoyed turned 32 today.
When I was twelve or thirteen, I began watching Saturday Night Live. I didn’t always stay up late to watch it, instead I used my parent’s VCR and would record the show and watch it early Sunday morning. I discovered a great cast of stars like Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey, Victoria Jackson, Phil Hartman, even Jon Lovitz and others.
I kept a collection of footage on numerous tapes, each about six hours in length. When I went to visit my best friend at spring break and over summer, I would bring these tapes and we would watch them over and over. At one point, my parents got a second VCR, so I would edit my favorite clips together.
One of the most ridiculous sketches was still one of my favorites. It actually involves Steve Martin. And no, it wasn’t one of the classic ones from the 70’s and early 80’s. It was about a cat.
Toonces! The cat who could drive a car. He drives around, all over the town- he’s Toonces the driving cat.
The jingle was silly and to the point. The sketch was stupid. So dumb that at age 13- I thought it was absolutely brilliant. Toonces turned 32 today. I feel really old, but still giggled when I looked up the sketch on YouTube.
I shared the fact that Toonces is 32 with my best friend who would watch those Saturday Night Live recordings with me. We have been friends since kindergarten in 1981. That’s a long time. Nearly 40 years now.
Do you have any random memories that make you feel old?
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.
Well folks I made it this far and you have joined me for the ride. I am about to crest my five year mark of writing every single day. I cannot believe that I have been blogging now for 1825 days in a row.
I have diligently written every day for these five years- no matter what. I have written about movies and music (I’m not an entertainment blogger) and enjoying small businesses (I’m not an influencer). I even write about family (Not a parenting blog) or when I was on vacation in other countries (Nope, not a travel blog).
I just write for the sake of writing. Sometimes what I share can be inspirational. Most often it is to remind people that life is good and memories are worth sharing. Many people can relate to my experiences it seems, which can make for pleasant interactions with my audience.
Generally speaking, I don’t have thousands of followers. But of the almost 900 people that do follow and choose to interact with me, I will respond to every comment made. That always makes me happy. Last year in 2020, I had over 14,000 views on my site. That seems like an astronomical amount of strangers visiting my ramblings. Especially when I look at my stats and see that people all over the world read about my life.
I just want to say a hearty “Thank You” to all my friends and followers out there. I’m sure some days you think to yourself, “There’s Josef’s blog, showing up in my newsfeed again.” While other days you may look forward to seeing what I have in store.
I plan to keep my momentum going and will continue to share my thoughts each and every day. Please keep reading, sharing and interacting with me.
This morning I met with a friend that I haven’t seen in about a year and a half. I suggested we do what the older people in my neighborhood do. So we went for a breakfast up the road at the Co-Op and shared stories over a cheap meal and cheap coffee. Like a couple of old guys just being old guys meeting up.
The reason for our lengthy absence wasn’t evident nor important. Life just, uh, finds a way. And life gets busy. We were both still in contact through social media and the occasional text message. But meeting face to face is always different.
What could’ve been a quick meet up, turned into a three hour talk. Discussions about family, work, and even politics were on the table. A healthy back and forth, sharing the ups and downs as of late, and offering sage advice to one another. We both have similar outlooks on all of the above. Both of us aiming to stay positive and working towards just being better people.
After three hours together, it felt as if we hadn’t lost anything in our friendship. Those hours today only felt like a brief moment. A moment that I was surprised had lasted so long. I sense that our friendship won’t ever falter. Perhaps we can meet up more often as the world gets settled into a new lifestyle.
It was good to talk to that old friend as we acted like old guys. My advice- don’t be afraid to just drop a line to someone who mattered in your life. You never know when you both need to reconnect.
Today was spent relaxing at home, aka: Castle Havelka. I made some pretzel bites and a couple of the kids helped clean the homestead. It felt good.
In the afternoon a friend of mine stopped by. He brought over a case of beer and we were shooting the breeze while our sons played some video games. My buddy and I had a great evening just hanging out.
It was nice to be a couple of guys hanging out. No talk of work. A bit about family. But mostly just being us. A few good cracks at one another, and a lot of memories over a case of Dragon’s Lair Beer.
We took on the Dragon and killed it. And it was tasty. I will definitely Storm the dragon’s lair again.
I am an adult. I do adult things. I work hard to be the best husband and father that I can be. I also have friends and coworkers who rely on me and whom I rely on equally. I think I’m doing a pretty good job out there.
Over the years, I have chosen to lose contact with certain friends. Sometimes we just drift apart. Other times it was a misunderstanding or disagreement. That’s totally fine. Recently I was contacted by an old friend out of the blue. We shared stories and thoughts as if we hadn’t skipped a beat in our friendship. When I’m usually the one reaching out, it was heartwarming to know that he reached out to me instead.
As an adult with a life I in which I am trying to have filled with joy and happiness, I’ve chosen to lose contact with my mother and sister. My mother and sister have their own lives. I was often putting forth the effort to stay in contact and don’t have the energy to do it any further. It’s been a few months now, and I’m okay with that. After a few decades, it’s time to move on. I have other people who mean more to me in my life.
On the other hand, it’s also hard to want to miss somebody who could’ve been a bigger part of my life. How do I miss someone I’ve never met, like my Unknown Half Sister? It’s weird to think that there could’ve been someone I could look up to and ask advice. But that never came to fruition. That was more my parents’ choice to hide her existence for most of my childhood. As an adult, I just don’t care to discover an estranged stranger on the other side of the planet.
I sometimes dwell on the past. But I also move forward from these thoughts rather quickly. As I write this I know that it is helping me move forward with my life. I’m excited about the possibilities that my future has in store with friends and immediate family. Perhaps one day I’ll miss someone I haven’t met yet.
I’m a fan of living life for the sheer enjoyment of it. I have never taken myself that seriously. I don’t think anyone else takes me too seriously either. How could you?
Some days I dress based on how I feel. Be it a superhero or a goofball. I don’t think I have one set look. Jeans and a t-shirt is my comfort zone I guess. But I can still dress elegantly when I want.
When I take selfies with friends and family- I bring out some fun in their hearts as well. I love seeing people smile and express a bit more of their crazy side.
Even the few celebrities that I’ve taken pictures with have enjoyed that I don’t need to be uncomfortable or serious. The biggest constant in who I am is that I’m ever changing. Monty Python sang it best:
Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true You’ll see it’s all a show Keep ’em laughing as you go Just remember that the last laugh is on you
Our last day at Twenty Mile Bay started like every other day. It was warm and sunny out.
First thing after breakfast, my buddy and I hit the lake on the kayaks. It was calm and glass like on the water.
Later in the afternoon, I went out kayaking with my wife. We were out for about an hour or so on the water. As we returned the water began to get choppy. It was still warm out, so I grabbed a camping chair and sat with my feet in the water.
Then the wind picked up. My wife brought out our kite- nicknamed “Mighty Kitey“. We bought this kite on our honeymoon back in 2001. My wife gets great joy proving that she can keep it flying longer than I can. The wind continued on into the night sending a warm breeze through our campsite all night long.
Right before dinner, our daughter suffered a terrible accident. She took a sip of her soda that was poured into a glass with a straw. Immediately she spat it out. A wasp had climbed into her drinking straw and drowned. She had a mouthful of pop and a dead wasp in her mouth. As she spit it out, the dead wasp happened to sting her inner lip.
An old trick I learned came into action. We cut a fresh onion and she placed it behind her lip where she got stung. The juices from the onion helped to nullify the venom in her mouth. Within a few minutes the swelling was down and she was only left with some bad breath.
Crazy end to our lovely camping trip, that’s for sure.
I enjoyed last night more than I’ve enjoyed previous gatherings at my home. It was because people came out for the sake of visiting and enjoying dinner. Not like the old days of Friday night pre-party drinks leading to a late night of drinks.
Most of my friends have matured. Myself included. Those feelings of suffering a hangover are long behind us. Casual drinks and good food are much more enjoyable. And that’s what we experienced.
Last night our BBQ started at 7pm. By 9:00pm the first of my friends started to depart. Then the next wave of people were leaving just before 10:00pm. By 11:00pm everyone had gone home. I couldn’t have been happier. Everybody left with full stomachs and a smile. No weird drama, no drunk shenanigans, no mess to clean up. I was in bed by midnight.
I’d call that a successful dinner party. Those are the kinds I’d like to host more often. Good friends and good food makes for a good time.
My day yesterday was filled with meeting up with friends while in Calgary. It was fun and magical in many ways.
First was a lunch with a friend of ours we originally met at the Calgary Expo eight years ago. He and I shared stories of our kids, work and caught up on life. It was different this time around because we weren’t at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo having a weekend of laughs in between sales. It was a condensed, pleasurable, laugh riot meal.
Before dinner, we went to the Skyline Luge again. This time we brought my wife and met up with some other Speed Skaters from Langley. It was a laugh riot, again! My wife really enjoyed it and in the end was upset that I had already done this earlier in the week without her.
Afterwards, we went to visit our other friends again (these were the ones we met up with earlier in the week at Gorilla Whale). This time we met up at the their home. We were introduced to a large stuffed shark that tried the devour two of my kids. Later we fooled around with the Occulus Quest. The first quality VR to not need a big computer or extra wiring. It has a life span of 2hrs, which we fully used up.
It was also great to see my wife immerse herself into the game system. My wife hadn’t tried any VR like the rest of us did three years ago when we went to Silcon Valley (read about it here: Button Mashing). Unfortunately, now she wants one. We’ll see what happens in the future- maybe the excitement will wear off.
Or maybe she’ll be escaping into a whole new environment.
Our oldest daughter turned 17 yesterday. With it came another turning point into adulthood and a fantastic dinner with some friends of ours.
Starting off the day, she wanted a piercing through the cartilage on the upper part of both ears. So we stopped at a place in Calgary called Tribal Expression. The store was clean; the staff were professional and courteous. They also offered a reference to a piercing location near our home- one province over- which eased my mind a bit more.
During the process I still got to be “Daddy” as she wanted to hold my hand while getting the piercings done. That made me feel good inside. Plus, our daughter is happy with her new hoops she got installed for her birthday. Oh, and I was $148 lighter in my bank account.
Afterwards, we stopped at the nearby Starbucks in order to get the very “Instagram Worthy” Tie Dyed Frappuccino. This gave my girls a chance to share pics online and have a good bonding moment while I recovered from the cost and noticeable perforations that are now in my daughter’s ear lobes.
Later in the evening we meet up with some old friends in Calgary at a restaurant called Gorilla Whale. There were hugs and stories to be shared as we all tried our best to contain our excitement of meeting up again. We love these two and they have been long standing friends of ours since we first started going to conventions.
Not only was the company great, but the food at the restaurant was a fantastic mix of Japanese and Western creativity. I opted for the Godzilla burger- which contained wagyu beef, foie gras and unagi. (Cow, duck liver, and eel). The food was awesome and reasonably priced-ish. (I think I’ve spent more money on a regular excursion for sushi at our regular joint.)
All-in-all it was a good day of our daughter experiencing the joys of adulthood. Treating yo’self, sending time with old friends, and enjoying a night out at a fancier restaurant than usual. I hope she continues to enjoy and experience life to its fullest.