Perfect October Saturday

Today I just did stuff for me. Sort of. I started my day early by cleaning the bathroom and mopping the floors. I took a break to watch my son skate via a live feed from Calgary.

At lunch, I went to meet a couple of buddies for beer at a new brewery in Langley. It opened only a month ago, so it was still fairly new and not too busy. During our beers, we took a break and watched another of Theory’s races on YouTube.

By three o’clock I was back home and caught Theory’s final race of the day. This was followed by some “me time” floating in the pool. I didn’t turn on the heat, so it was a float on the cool water as I enjoyed the sun and a couple more beers.

After such a busy few days off, I needed the afternoon to myself. I’m glad I met with my buddies for a break. Too bad they had other plans for the afternoon- otherwise we’d have gotten into more than a couple drinks. So much for the idea of Sober October. There’s always next year.

Wedding: Finally Jansen

Yesterday I attended the wedding of a coworker of mine. Their wedding was postponed due to Covid. In fact, his original wedding date was going to be on July 10, 2021 That date was actually my 20th Anniversary with my wife. We would not have been able to attend my friends wedding had it happened on that day. Fast forward to 2022…

Back in April, I went to Dillon’s bachelor party in Vegas. That was where I had a chance to meet some of his other friends. I realized that we all genuinely have a similar sense of humor and comradery. It was great to see them again last night and share a few laughs.

At the wedding, I didn’t take many photos with my cellphone. The couple had a sign out front stating it was an “Unplugged” celebration. Some old school disposable cameras were handed out, so I filled one with photos (which I hope turned out!) The couple will get a chance to see the final products once they develop the films. I think this was a neat idea and will be more genuine for the feel of the party as there is no way to manipulate or see the pictures ahead of time.

They did have a photo booth set up, so my wife and I did a couple pictures together. We were also given some lovely coasters as a wedding favor that we took home.

For the reception- our table was filled with a few of my coworkers. We became known as “Table 12” throughout the night. We were also the reason the open bar wasn’t starting until 8pm. Our group was a bit raucous, full of laughter, and entertaining the crowd. I did tell a joke that was not very family friendly. But entertaining nonetheless.

It was a good time and I’m glad that we attended the festivities. Big congratulations to Dillon and Taryn for finally getting their day in the spotlight! I wish them all the best for their future together!

Oktoberfest 2022

Last night some coworkers and I went out to Oktoberfest at my favorite brewery- Trading Post. We went four years ago at the Fort Langley location (read about it here: Oktoberfest 2018) and had a blast. Last night was at their brewery location- which was really fun.

I reserved a large table last week because I knew there would be at least six of us. At the last minute, I had my boss’s boss join us as well. I was honestly surprised at how little we talked about work and just had a riot.

With the table came three large platters of food. We also ordered one more because with eight of us- we were drinking a lot and eating a lot.

Throughout the night, we enjoyed some Bavarian Oompah music from a trio of musicians. As well, we entered a couple contests- like chugging a 2 liter boot of beer in the fastest time- our group came in second. But at the end of the night, I won a draw and got to bring home a smaller boot of my very own.

If you are wanting to let loose in Langley on a Friday night- there are two more weeks of this going on. Check out the Trading Post Website for more details and to book a table. You won’t be disappointed. Just make sure you have a safe ride home like we arranged.

Cheers!

Our First Guests

This weekend we will be having our first guests over to enjoy our furnished basement suite. It’ll be kind of nice to have our friends stay for a couple of days. We have plans for the night and a wedding tomorrow. It just made sense for them to stay close by.

Our spare bedroom is all set up with a brand new mattress and sheets. We set out some towels for their use as well. The bathroom got some new soap and a fresh seal of caulk around the tub. Nice and clean.

In the kitchen- we have dishes and utensils all set for use. I also put some spice in the drawer just because. Our basement is almost like an Airbnb now.

I think we did a pretty good job getting it all set up. I even got a few new video apps set up on our new Amazon Fire TV for people to watch. As well, loads of video games are at our disposal for entertainment.

Now to enjoy the weekend!

Our First Guests

This weekend we will be having our first guests over to enjoy our furnished basement suite. It’ll be kind of nice to have our friends stay for a couple of days. We have plans for the night and a wedding tomorrow. It just made sense for them to stay close by.

Our spare bedroom is all set up with a brand new mattress and sheets. We set out some towels for their use as well. The bathroom got some new soap and a fresh seal of caulk around the tub. Nice and clean.

In the kitchen- we have dishes and utensils all set for use. I also put some spice in the drawer just because. Our basement is almost like an Airbnb now.

I think we did a pretty good job getting it all set up. I even got a few new video apps set up on our new Amazon Fire TV for people to watch. As well, loads of video games are at our disposal for entertainment.

Now to enjoy the weekend!

Locality

Friday night I met up with some friends at a brewery. I screwed up the date and ended up at the location a day early- sitting by myself. As embarrassing as that was, I enjoyed the location and the sunset while sipping on some beers.

The brewery is located just up the road from our old house. It opened last year about a month after we moved. Thursday was the first time I had been there. We don’t tend to go back to our old neighborhood much, so this was a nice treat.

This brewery is still in its infancy so to speak. They haven’t put much money into fancying up the place and the seating outside is eclectic to say the least. But the beers are by far some of the best I have had over the past few years. What makes this place stand out is the pond and the serenity as you sit in the farm land and sip on your beers. Even with other people around, it is far quieter than any other brewery I have been to.

I’m sure if we had stayed living in our old home, I’d be attending this brewery weekly. Lucky for me- my friends were there the second day I showed up (albeit the date I was supposed to meet them.) I also picked myself up a pizza from the pop up Raving Gamer pizza truck that was on the premise. It was not too bad, although about five bucks more than it should have been. But when there isn’t much in the way of food out there- you have to enjoy what is offered.

So check out Locality Brewing if you live in Langley or Abbotsford; or if you want to check out a farm feel brewery just outside of Vancouver. You will not be disappointed. I know I wasn’t- with the fact that I was there two days in a row….

Bro Time

This afternoon I got some time to hang out with some of my friends. We didn’t do anything exciting- just hanging out. Well worth my afternoon!

We farted around in the pool for most of the time. Lots of jokes, and throwing a ball between one another. A perfect afternoon of nothingness.

Later in the afternoon- my friend brought out his drone. He played around filming my home and created a video that he will be sending to me later on. I love the idea of seeing our home from a new perspective.

I had a few other buddies show up throughout the evening. Loads of good conversations were had. I’m glad they all showed up, I needed their company. It was a good evening. I’m glad we did a bunch of nothing together.

Nothingness was a ton of fun. I’m glad to have some bro time.

Signs

Right before my vacation ended, a couple of decorative signs we ordered for our home arrived. Since we aren’t the type to have a sign that says “LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE” we needed something more, us and our home.

Which way to the pool?

The first sign was a generic POOL➡️. We put it up on the fence so that you can see it as soon as you walk out the back door. Yeah, most of our backyard is the pool, but it’s a little bit of fun considering how much we treat our home like a resort. I also find it humorous that you would need to see sign considering it’s the only way to go to find our pool.

The Deck

The other sign was closer to “LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE” and was installed in the upper part of our gazebo. It reads: “The Deck: Sit. Sip. Relax. Enjoy” A perfect motto for hanging out in our backyard. The feeling of calmness and chillaxin’ comes over everyone who sits back there. Our own private oasis, ready for friends and family to relax and enjoy.

Of course we did look at some silly pool themed signs, but potty humor or borderline stupidity isn’t our style. We wanted more zen and resort-like. I think we succeeded.

Last Day Of Staycation

Today is the last day of my staycation. As much as I’d like to think I relaxed, I still did get a few other things accomplished around the house. I’m happy about it.

My last day is going to be poolside once more. This time we are planning on a couple of friends coming out for the afternoon. We hit the water and had some good times poolside. Lounging, swimming, drinking, snacking, and laughing.

All this is before we have our dinner. Gourmet hotdogs and a salad. Why not? It’s summer and the weather is perfect for it all.

Life is good. Share your joy with friends!

Loving Weekend

This Sunday my wife and I celebrate our 21st Anniversary. Leading up to it, we are doing a bit of extra cleaning and preparation. But, my wife and I are also taking some time to relax before. This evening we hit the pool.

My wife and I have been going strong for a little over 22 years. This anniversary party will be subdued compared to previous years. As we get older, recovering after a “Raging Party” can be challenging. But we will still plan to have a lot of fun.

The sun has come out today and should be gathering around us for the weekend as well. I filled up a couple of floaties for us and our friends to enjoy this weekend. We have asked for some people to bring a sharing plate of food. As well, we don’t have anything fancy for dinner tomorrow- just hotdogs and chips for a quick snack in the evening.

I love to open up our doors for people to come and let loose or just relax. No stress this weekend. Just fun and laughs. We love each other and want to share our love with our friends.

Summer Nights By The Pool

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!

First Day Of Summer

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.

Friendaversay

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bob’s Celebration of Life

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.

Trading Post 6 Years

Second in line

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!

Is It Funny or Is It Mean?

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…

Quiet Solstice

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.

Friends And Thanksgiving

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.

The “I Do” BBQ

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.

The Vault

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.

As Far As Friends Go…

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!

I want to be the very best!

Andrew Porter

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:

Cheeseburger

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.

Twenty Year Celebration

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.

Feeling Old Randomly

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?

Express 999

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.