Ironing

Ironing your clothes.

Kind of like flossing your teeth. Sure, you brush your teeth and maybe even use some mouthwash. Flossing? Only if there’s food stuck. AmIright?

Washing and drying clothes are the basics- like brushing your teeth. But to iron dress clothes? Like me, it’s not very likely that you do it.

On Saturday I taught my son how to iron clothes. Ironing is something I enjoy doing, but tend to not have the time to do it. I love the look of a freshly pressed shirt and dress pants. Since I don’t wear suits to work- I don’t own a lot of dress clothes that require this sort of attention to detail.

Because my wife and I were going out for dinner, I wanted to look my best for her. A t-shirt and jeans just wasn’t going to cut it. So out came the old ironing board and iron. In the past I have done one of those “Life Hacks” where you throw a damp cloth into the dryer on a low heat to get rid of wrinkles.

My father never ironed his clothes. My mother used to do it for him. Teaching my son how to iron is important to me. One day he may want to look slick and professional. Other lessons I will teach him, that I had to learn on my own, are things like shaving, cooking or basic automotive maintenance.

Do you like to iron? Is there anything you wish was passed on to you from your parents? Please share.

Screen Time Stats

My iPhone updates me every week about my “Screen Time”. I didn’t pay much attention to it until this morning. Curiosity had me examining it more closely.

These are my stats for this week. 29+ hours staring at my phone. More than one entire day this week. “Social Networking” took half of this. Granted, I’d like to think that it’s because of Christmas and New Year’s and my desire to see how friends are doing. But I fear that number may be closer to reality than I want to admit. I spend more time watching videos and reading memes than seeing how my friends are really doing. On average I spent two hours per day on various social media.

Four and a half hours were spent on “Productivity”. WordPress took up a little over two hours. While calculator, email, and banking took up the rest. What surprised me was “Creativity” was so low. Meaning I wasn’t taking or editing photos very much this week.

Since I have now seen some of these stats and paid more attention to them, I think it’s time to adjust my focus. The iPhone allows me to set daily limits on everything. For now, I am slashing my social media time in half. Perhaps this will make me focus more on “Creativity”.

Putting down the phone is something my wife would like us to do as a family more often. We tend to eat meals without the phone, but once that’s done- out come the devices. Same when we are watching tv or movies. Not a lot of interaction with one another. I’d like to see what my wife’s and daughter’s stats are this week. Maybe as a family we can work together to knock down our screen time usage.

Have you ever looked at your device stats? Does it make you want to change?

Never Too Busy To Pause For Life’s Moments

Life can get pretty hectic. Especially towards the holiday season. Kids concerts, last minute gift shopping, year end work deadlines… Throughout it all, you need to remember to pause for a bit and just enjoy life.

It’s also tough to not want to compare your life with someone else’s. All those fun photos and memorable moments they’re having. Kinda wish I was doing the same sometimes. But my life is pretty darn good when I look at it. I just need to focus on what matters most to me:

My family.

They’re really good people who have stories to share with me. I need to remember to give them the attention that I give my social media feed. Sometimes I need to be an ear for them to talk to. Other times I just admire them without their knowledge. Catching those “Ah-Ha” moments when something clicks. Or seeing the kindness they can show others without being prompted.

Those are the moments I don’t want to miss. I just need to hit pause once in a while and enjoy.

Sick Joe Isn’t A Happy Man

Sick Joe isn’t always a Happy Joe. I’ve been doing my best to keep up my fluids by drinking lots of water and eating soup. I’ve had to forgo my beers and deep fried treats for the time being in hopes to get better.

Besides more fluids, I have been taking some other supplements and cold remedies. My wife introduced me to Ricola. I used to take Halls when my throat was sore, but these “herbs” seem gentler.

Time to get back to my self pity party. I also don’t like that I’m not as cheery as I usually am. I’m feeling green lately and wonder if my skin tone looks the same. Heading into a week away from Christmas- I don’t want to be the Grinch.

What do you take to feel better?

Illin’

Seems like I was unable to avoid getting sick. It probably doesn’t help that I’ll be still going to work as I try and recover. But since that’s where I got this from- why should I not return it?

Morning advice is just stay away from me for the next bit until I get better. No time for self pity. Lots to still do before the Christmas break.

I have a couple days off coming up soon. I’ll lounge at that point if I have to. Right?

Rainfall Flooding

Today was one of the wettest days I have ever experienced. Besides me being soaked through to the bone and getting prune hands- there was massive pooling of water everywhere. It was pretty miserable out there as if the heavens were crying.

It didn’t matter that I was able to dry off briefly between having to go back out into the rain. The work needed to get done. The thing is, once you’re wet, you may as well stay wet and just power through it.

But the flooding everywhere was intense. Water pooling so bad that even the back doors of a bus going by our train was draining water. At one point, our taxi that was driving us to another train almost stalled out going through what seemed to be a small pond. The driver nearly filled his engine with water.

But as the day drew to an end, the rain eased up. Just in time for the coldness of the night to chill me to the core. I was looking forward to the warmth of my home. My drive home was a good start, with heated seats.

Working Outside

I’ve been at the railroad since 2007. From my conductor class of 30 students only ten people remain. A couple of them moved to work in Edmonton, some in Kamloops, some here in Vancouver and a couple of us went into management.

When I hired on back in November of 2007- they told us that if we can survive our first winter, we’d end up being “Lifers“. Most of my shifts lately have been working outdoors at night, just like when I hired on.

Last week I was Working in the Rain. This week has been dry, but dipping below freezing. You’d think that over a decade later, I wouldn’t be working on the ground. But we’ve been extra busy these days. My body isn’t used to the physical activity. Sometimes I miss being in the office.

Over the next few weeks it’ll remain busy. A lot of us are feeling overwhelmed. The mental strain is equally as bad as the physical strain. I’m not sure if there’s an end goal in sight. My current mood at work is a zombie like state. It carries over into the home life- and that’s tough. I think a good night’s rest and a recharge will help.

There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but I think it’s just another train…

Fuzzy Mind

I’ve worked night shift the past few days. It has made me very fuzzy in the head. Today has been especially bad.

I feel like I cannot come up with coherent sandwiches sentences. I’m also confused as to what date it is. I keep thinking it’s two days ago. No idea why. As well, my stomach isn’t overly happy either. No gut. That’s a bad gut. Bad.

I know the solution!

Nap time. I love a good nap. Naps make me feel sort of human again.

Is It Okay To Be Unemotional?

The day my father died, I felt no emotion at all. He was gone. That was it. I went out with my fiancé. We told people that my dad was dead. No emotions, just facts.

Did that make me a bad person?

Does it make me a bad person that I still can’t feel proper sorrow for the loss of a human life?

I did get pretty drunk that night though. A few good tears came out. Looking back, it was more tears of relief.

More Skating

It was an early start with two of my kids today. We were out the door at 6:15am in order to attend a Speed Skating meet that began at 07:00am. At least there was no traffic on the roads as I tried to find the arena. It didn’t help that it was under construction with no signs and limited parking.

We arrived at a time where cars were behind me as we all tried to find a parking spot. I got lucky and parked close to the entry under a sign that said “3 Hour Parking” and in smaller print “Mon-Fri”. I think people tend to not read very well. Their loss, my gain.

I got the kids into their change room and procured a sweet spot in the stands. Where I promptly unpacked some blankets and took over my little nook that would remain home for the next 8 hours. Painful wooden bleachers which has caused me some lower back pain. Oh the suffering!

The races went great. Theory destroyed the time on his 1500m. Which was great! Then the coach had him skate an extra 1500m which tired him out right before lunch. I supported the coach in that decision. Muwahahaha.

Between races, my daughter and I played on our Nintendo 3DS’s. It was a great bonding time for us. My son constantly went to stretch and exercise (also known as goof off) with his friends. But when it came time to race, they took it seriously.

It was a great race day with no falling or injuries. Some average times for the balance of the races for our kids. But a good learning experience to figure out what they need to focus on next time.