Theory and Toy Traders

For the second time in two days, old friends have popped out of the woodwork and sent me texts. It’s pretty cool to know that you are randomly thought of. Anyhow, on with today’s blog.

Back in September of 2015, our son took part in a short video about a local toy store. It was made by a former coworker friend of mine from back in my Movie Theater days. Late Friday night my friend shot me a text linking to the YouTube video. I had completely forgotten that they made this.

2015 at age nine

It was a great experience for my son. He was literally a kid in a toy store. All he did was talk about the toys while a camera followed him around. They did this for hours and my son enjoyed every minute of it. My friend had a ton of footage to go through.

Check out the short pilot video here: Toy Traders – Trade Fever.

My friend Dan loves films. He was a collector of many movies and watches almost everything. This was his foray into making his own. I like the premise of what he made. It was in a style similar to Comic Book Men. Which by the way is made by Kevin Smith who also loves visiting Toy Traders as seen here: Kevin Smith Live at Toy Traders.

I hope Dan keeps creating films and shows. He is extremely passionate about the medium.

I Miss Our Con Family

This weekend was a tough one for me. It’s the first year that we aren’t doing the Convention Circuit. And our favorite con- Calgary Expo- just ended.

I missed seeing our friends. The jokes, the smiles, the love. But we couldn’t go. New commitments, the kids growing older, and the realization that there is no money in the Banana Stand this year.

Our Con Family made the pilgrimage to the yearly reunion. We did not. I sent messages of encouragement and watched on social media how their weekend was. A little bit of me died inside this weekend. It was already hard last year when we had to Say Goodbye one last time.

Now the weekend is over. No new con memories made- at least not for us. I’m sure our friends had some entertaining moments. At least that’s what I could see from time to time on social media while hiding out one province over. Maybe one day my family and I will make the trek out to where it all began for us. But I doubt it.

I think that part of my life must remain in my past. Just a distant memory of the way things once were. Time to move on and let others create their own memories.

Long Live The Con Life.

43 Years

I have reached a milestone. Where today is the youngest I will ever be again and the oldest I have ever been. Actually, the milestone I’m talking about is making it past 42.

42: The answer to life, the universe and everything.

All of which was solved last year. I discovered a part of myself that I never knew existed: I want to travel more and see this great planet of ours.

The rest of my time on earth is just bonus fun now. Fun that will keep me laughing and living life to the fullest.

Thank you to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday. I have felt the love from all of those who I have had an opportunity to reach out to at some point in my existence.

Childish Humor

No matter what the circumstances, farts are funny. I’d say most people agree.

I’ve written about farts numerous times. Here are a few examples:

Farts Are Funny

Laughter Language

Cabin Adventures: Day 4

My family, friends and coworkers generally find farts amusing as well. The first time I let out some gas in front of my wife- when we were first dating- I was incredibly embarrassed. Now, she out shines me and puts my farts to shame. Both in sound and odor.

Farting around coworkers or friends is kind of the same. It takes a bit to open up around each other. There is a comfort level that you need to get to with one another prior to the first fart. Once that Pandora’s box is open, there’s no putting it back. It can turn into an all-out gas war. Each trying to out do the other. Or not warning one another and letting the smell do the rest.

When I let one rip in the car with my family, I lock the windows. Trap them inside with an obnoxious gas cloud. But if anyone in my family let’s one rip- all the windows go down even in the winter– to air out the car. Hey, I like to breathe. Plus it’s my car and I can do what I like, right?

Besides getting over the initial embarrassment of breaking wind, farts are the funniest thing ever. We all do it. So why hide it?

Not Socializing on Social Media

Last night as I lay in bed watching Netflix I was also browsing for nothing in particular on my smartphone (or should we just call it a phone now since most of us have one?). I don’t know what I was looking for. But it started and ended with Facebook.

First was a rabbit hole of videos. Everything from Fail Compilations to Wood Carving. Many of which I have seen before on these late night journeys of nothingness. Then I decided to try looking up former coworkers and schoolmates that I am not “Friends” with currently. Why? I have no idea.

Credit:Bizarro Comics

Do I need to pad my online self worth with people I once knew? Was it a deeper connection I desired with these strangers? I stopped myself before I began sending “Friend Requests”. I’ve come to realize that I have some great friends on Facebook. Ones who do share with me quite often even though we don’t see each other outside of social media.

I have also turned into the type of person that rarely comments on posts because I don’t want to offend. So my opinion remains curtailed and I lay dormant and quiet. Which is probably why I watch those videos. There is no interaction required. Just mind numbing useless videos that make me feel inadequate (I cannot turn wood into beautiful works of art) or I feel righteous (because of watching people fail at life doing stupid stunts).

The Fear of missing out prevents me from just abandoning social media all together. Maybe it’s time to reassess my reasons for staying on board. I’ve stopped using Twitter and Pinterest. I was never into Reddit. I enjoy Instagram because I love seeing the beauty in the world. But Facebook? No idea why I’m still going back. Sometimes I see a success story from a friend’s feed that makes me smile. Is it those moments that I crave?

I have a buddy that I have been friends with since kindergarten in the early 80’s. He has zero social media presence. He never did either. He and I are still in contact through text messages and calls on a regular basis. We meet up every few months and it feels like we never separated. I have a couple other friends like this. But I need more of those types of friends.

As I flip flop through deciding to abandon the social networking all together, I have to look at what’s important to me. Seeing success stories makes me happy. Using social media to keep up with technology and entertainment is also useful. Seeing hatred and misinformation spread is not.

Maybe it’s time for me to take my Month Long Break again.

Joey At Play

This evening I’m going out with a couple of friends. No kids or wives will be joining us. I rarely have a Saturday night like this. I have to plan these “play dates” well in advance. Mostly to prepare my family for the fact that I won’t be home.

I’m looking forward to tonight. But it won’t be like the days of yore. I won’t be getting crazy drunk or having a late night. Just a couple of hours spent in North Vancouver. Some tacos and a couple of beers are the extravagant plans. It’s the company that I will be with that shall make the evening enjoyable and memorable.

I may share a photo or two on social media, but I am hoping to not to pull out my phone at all. That is until I leave to come home. At which point, I’ll call my wife to let her know I’m on my way. Which is a courtesy that my wife and I have for one another when not together.

A call to say, “Hey! I’m on my way. Love ya.” Even a few hours away from her means I’ll still miss her company. She has become an extension of my personality. So have my kids. And as I make memories and experiences, I love them to be with me as often as possible.

But tonight is a “Guy’s Night” where we will talk about our families and work. This gents are similar to me in many ways- where they put their family’s needs first. These are the kind of guys I prefer to associate with.

Winter Solstice 2018

We had a small get together last night to celebrate the Winter Solstice. This is the second year we have done this. I enjoy celebrating the Solstice. Being that my family is Atheist, it makes more sense to celebrate this style of tradition.

Being host to a social event is one of my passions. I love to serve good food for good friends. Lots of appetizers and cookies for everyone to enjoy. My friends come from all different aspects of my life and mingle well with one another. That makes for a good time.

As each group left our home, we gave them a small tin of cookies to enjoy later. It’s a way for them to reflect on the evening with a hope that they enjoyed coming out as much as I enjoyed their company.

Here’s to the daylight getting longer now! May you all enjoy the balance of the winter as it crests towards springtime.

Designated Driver

Today we went out to an Oktoberfest party at The Trading Post in Fort Langley. I volunteered to be the designated driver to my wife and our friend since I am partaking in a personal Sober September. It made me realize that I have never really been a DD before. I did it once earlier in August for our Dinner Train. But usually, I am the one getting a safe ride home.

Today as everyone around was getting tipsy and drinking, I realized that when I was younger- I made many mistakes getting behind the wheel of a car after a few drinks. I’m embarrassed by my actions from my past. I got lucky in my life that I never injured or killed anyone. But those lapses in judgment could have come with terrible consequences. Even though nothing had ever happened in my past- I know that time would only catch up if I kept it up. Having a safe ride home has become part of the plans as I head out.

Being sober at a drinking function isn’t all that bad. In fact it’s sometimes more entertaining to see (and remember) the shenanigans that occur around you. At the end of the day/night getting your friends back home safely is probably the best feeling. Oftentimes you get thanked in a drunken love kinda way. Slurred speech and kindness comes out.

Obviously my advice is simple: Make sure you have a designated driver or a safe ride home planned out in advance. It’s much better to get home safely than not at all.

Dinner Train

A coworker of mine found out about an upper class dinner train in Squamish. It was for one night only. They offered an 8 course meal and a short ride. I agreed to the idea, because hey- I’m a railroader. So she booked a table for the four of us in the open air car.

As you can see, it was a fancy dinner. So my wife and I dressed a bit more than just casual for this dinner date with our friends. I was nominated to be the designated driver which was a good thing in the end.

We left early in the afternoon to make our way up to Squamish. It was about an hour and a half drive and you never know how the Sea To Sky Highway will be. We arrived early enough that we found a local brew house called A Frame and the ladies each had a flight of beers. Then it was off to the Heritage Park Railway Museum.

We walked in and checked out the old steam engines and enjoyed some hors d’ouvres. Side note: I was one of the last conductors to take the 2860 Steam Train from Squamish to North Vancouver a few years back. Still a great memory.

We met up with some of our other friends and shared a few glasses of sparkling wine and appetizers. The weather had gotten a better, but was still a bit cooler than expected.

Once we boarded, we proceeded to have lots of fun at our table. We were in an open air car, so a nice breeze was coming through. It also gave us a bit more freedom to wander around. We were probably the loudest table because of all the laughs we were having.

Once we stopped for the main courses, a chilly breeze swept over us. You could see the darkness in the sky of a possible storm on the way. Some blankets were supplied to give us some warmth. We enjoyed the views and continued through our eight course meal.

Because we worked at the railway, we knew the conductors and a few other people on the train. Our table ended up being pretty popular- with many people stopping by. A couple of young ladies in their early twenties seated next to us joined us for some more laughs. They kept telling us that we were “cute couples” and could tell that we loved each other very much.

The train arrived back a bit later than planned, but we were still laughing and talking with our new friends. Once we disembarked, the rowdiness of our group began to subside. Since most of the energy was burned off during our dinner train ride- the drive home was fairly peaceful. For probably the last hour or so of the drive, my passengers slept.

It was a great evening and we will probably do it again next year.

Cabin Adventures: Day 4

The smoke from the forest fires has unfortunately settled down over the lake we are at.

Before:

After:

This has made it more difficult to enjoy the outdoors. Even with the warmth of the day, the haze is killer on the eyes and breathing.

We were lucky that our first days on the lake were clear. The kids did a great job playing every where around the site. We noticed the smoke on Wednesday filling the air while out horseback riding.

We figured we’d spend most of the day indoors on Thursday playing games and watching movies. To break it up a bit, we headed out to Bridge Lake Ice Caves for a quick hike.

The caves were more like crevices. Fairly untouched in their beauty. Last year some bridges were built over top of the crevices. We still ventured down to see these caves more in depth. Afterwards we wandered towards a pathway that was still being built.

Then trails were only marked with some tags on the trees labeled “SKID TRAIL“. The kids enjoyed roughing through the woods alongside the lake. It was a bit strenuous going back up the hill to return to our cars. But well worth the adventure.

We headed back to the cabin and watched a couple of old cartoons from mine and my friend’s youth. Both were old cartoons. First was GI Joe The Movie second was Transformers.

Lots of cheesy fun.

We played a few more more rounds of FLUXX afterwards. There were lots of laughs and a ton of fun had by all of us.

And lots of farts.

Ya. Dads and farts go hand in hand. It’s not the best combo when stuck in a cabin. But still humorous all the same.

Not sure which is worse for my breathing- the smoke in the air or the farts. Either way, my inhaler has been used in full force. Hope you enjoy your time off!