Feel Good Drive Home

Driving home yesterday from the Speed Skating meet felt great. A big burden for our son is behind him/us. The attitude in the car from each of us portrayed as much.

Right from the beginning of the trip- my wife and daughter were having some fun. We stopped at the only sight in Prince George that we could think of- Mr. PG. It’s a large tree like statue with what looks like an oversized antenna ball from Jack In The Box as his head.

The rest of the drive we had really nice weather. There was an occasional spotty shower during the bright sunshine. But that’s what happens when nature does what it wants. I enjoyed the drive on Highway 97 because it wasn’t overly busy and parts of it reminded me of our previous road trips on Interstate 5 through California.

Our son was so worn out that he slept at least half of the way home cuddling his Duffy teddy bear. Even though he’s a teenager and working hard towards his goals in the sport of speed skating- he’s still just a kid at heart.

I’m glad that one more major competition is behind us. For the next few months it seems we will be hitting up a meet every couple of weeks. It’s good practice and will help him with his mental game before the big competitions in early 2020.

Until then, it’s nice to be home.

Creepy Santa: The Revenge

I mentioned that we have this little tradition called “Creepy Santa” recently. Our oldest daughter has been finding it amusing to try and “get me” with him. Earlier this week she was trying to psych me out.

“Do you think Creepy Santa knows when you have to work?”

Naturally I expected to find him in my car. Only for two days he wasn’t anywhere to be found. Until the one day I went to feed the dog for our daughter. There was Creepy Santa- waiting by the dog food. Our daughter knew exactly when I’d find it but made it difficult to decipher her scare tactics. Later that night- Creepy Santa was hiding under our en-suite bathroom peering out through a slight crack in the door. He watched me get changed into my pajamas like a peeping tom.

Today I made sure to take photos of Creepy Santa in places that our daughter would be likely to see him. On the stairs, by her laptop, in her bed… I had our other daughter post them to the Creepy Santa Instagram at lunch. I’m hoping that our oldest sees them.

I added a bit of flair today to increase the build up to the reveal. A ransom letter of sorts with the caption inside “I know when you’re at home asleep, or on wifi watching videos and at your fish shop awake.” I arrived early at the school to put the card inside her car.

My favorite part? Creepy Santa made a journey to her place of work today. My daughter’s coworkers were kind enough to take him in and hide him at the back of the store. This should make for an unknown reaction from our daughter. I’m waiting to find out which way this goes when she gets home at dinner. It could be humorous or I could be in big trouble.

Seems like I know the answer.

Disney Plus Equals Life

Yesterday Disney+ was released. And if you watch any form of entertainment on a screen of some sort, you must’ve heard about it. So I’m not going to go into great detail about what it all includes, because that information is everywhere on the interwebs! Instead I’m just going to share what my family and I watched as our first few shows.

I paid for a full year up front for $89.99. It was an obvious choice because there is so much content that The Mouse owns that we won’t be able to watch it all in 365 days. After installing the app on our PS4, the first thing we did was set up individual profiles. Then we went searching.

We settled on a couple of Pixar Shorts called “Bao” followed by “La Luna” -which we hadn’t all seen before. So far so good, but we didn’t want to begin marathoning through any new series of shows. We did stop next on “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” and were pleasantly surprised and dumbfounded by it. Consider it a sort of documentary on stuff. In this case- sneakers.

Naturally we watched the cartoon that started the journey of the Disney Franchise back in 1928- “Steamboat Willie“. It’s a neat reminder to see how far that little black and white mouse has come. Not only that, but it also shows how far animation has come and how it was pioneered almost a century ago.

We have our sets of future shows already searched out. The Sneaker Who Wore Tennis Shoes from 1969 is top on my wife’s list. While High School Musical is our daughter’s choice. My son and I are stoked to begin The Mandalorian in a few days. But there is so much content, we don’t really know where to start.

What are you planning on watching on Disney+?

My Favorite App

Besides using the WordPress App every day to work on my writing- I have a favorite app that I have been using since my iPhone 4. I have used this app on an almost daily basis since 2010 and my wife makes fun of me for it because I have completed every level numerous times over.

It’s a simple game called “Whirly Word“. The premise is simple- you create words from the six letters. There is no time limit for each level so you can take as long as you like to solve the puzzles. At the end of each round, you can click on the words and a definition comes up, just in case you didn’t realize that what you spelled was in fact a real word.

I enjoy this app because it reminds me of the Yahoo Games my wife and I used to play together on the computer long before smartphones were a thing. The two of us would crowd near the monitor and one of us would type as quickly as possible the answers. It was a fun way to bond. We used to do the same with crosswords while enjoying coffee at our breakfast table. It’s amazing how quickly you begin to write when you want to be the one with all the answers.

I’m now back to trying my luck at more difficult Sudoku puzzles. I like the challenge that these games give my brain. From working on a puzzle for five minutes to forty five minutes- depending on the difficulty. These types of games appeal to me more than Angry Birds or Untitled Goose Game. Even though I’ll play those from time to time as well.

In the end it doesn’t bother me that my wife pokes fun at me for playing Whirly Word still. I think it’s just because she can’t loom over my shoulder calling out answers like she once did when we played Yahoo Games.

The Return of Creepy Santa

‘It’s the season… for The Return of Creepy Santa.

Over the last couple of years, “Creepy Santa” has been stalking our home and family. He was found on the side of the road ages ago and entered our hallway one morning. Since then, he has snuck up numerous times every year scaring each member of our home. Hiding in places such as closets, beds, outside windows, even in the fridge one time.

No one knew where Creepy Santa had disappeared to after the holidays last year. Turns out that throughout the year- Creepy Santa hid in our walls beside our fireplace. Today he emerged once more.

Cleanliness is next to Claus-liness. Even Creepy Santa needed some time in the tub after hanging out with cobwebs and insects. He is getting ready once more for some creeping about.

You can follow his antics on Instagram Hohoho Horror as he torments our family for another year.

Emotional for Electronics

At work I was having a discussion about old electronics and if you can have an emotional attachment to them. My coworker’s wife says she is emotionally attached to her old tv. Now this isn’t some retro 60’s or even 80’s tv. It’s a run of the mill plasma tv from a decade ago. The type of tv that can be upgraded to a larger screen and higher hd quality for a couple hundred dollars. But she wants to keep the tv and my coworker doesn’t understand the emotional attachment she has for it. But I can *almost* relate.

I asked my coworker what about an old Nintendo or an N64? He said those are okay to have sentimental attachments to because they bring back nostalgic memories. But an iPhone 5 that you played Angry Birds on for hours- that’s a throw away electronic device like a tv.

So at what point does something generate a value or desire to be kept if it’s no longer used or obsolete?

I feel it is more what the owner associates with the item. I went through numerous cassette players and CD players in my life- yet I have grown a fondness to my daughter’s record player. I sometimes think about an old telephone alarm clock my parents had back in the 80’s and the sound of it ringing- but I would never want it now. But I still have memories of it. I have an upright arcade machine that only goes on four or five days a year, but I’m not ready to part with it.

In the end I figure if you like your device and can’t part with it- keep it and don’t let someone tell you that you’re wrong. Sometimes an emotional bond is created and is tough to severe.

It’s Halloween Time!

Oh my goodness Halloween has arrived! And it feels like it got here a day early. I don’t think I’m ready for it. There’s still things to do!

  • Carve the pumpkin
  • MORE DECORATIONS!
  • Get candy
  • Unfortunately those three things will not happen this year. My last week just flew by. I did buy a pumpkin, but I don’t have the hours remaining in order to carve a good image like I have in the past. Last Year’s Pumpkins took about eight hours to complete. Having no time left is okay with me. I was able to work on my son’s costume and my costume this month instead. Read about his costume here and my costume here.

    Only a few hours remain until we venture out into the evening with friends. I’m looking forward to seeing the costumes that people come up with.

    So have a safe Halloween out there! Make sure you watch for kids on the roads who may be getting excited and forget to be smart as they go from house to house. Oh and give out the good candy- none of those raisins! Let me know which house is giving full size bars as well!

    Happy Halloween!

    Showing Love

    Throughout my life I do my best to express good manners. I mind my “Ps and Qs” when out in public or talking with people. It’s a great quality to have in my opinion. However, manners often get overlooked when family or close friends are involved.

    Over the past week I have been consciously acknowledging the kindness of family. Whether it’s doing regular chores or going beyond to help out- I take a moment and tell them how much I appreciate what they’ve done. My recognition of their behavior is usually just shrugged off.

    But that’s okay. Showing how I love and care for them today makes for better memories of our past tomorrow.

    Another New Stovetop

    Yesterday I replaced our island cooktop, again. This time we spent a bit more money on it than the previous cooking surface. And I’m okay with that.

    When we first bought our home, we had a really old, but reliable cast iron stovetop. We lived with it for seven years before replacing it. Honestly, if it worked and cooked- why replace it? We only replaced it because my wife found a great deal on a “new to us” stovetop.

    On November 25th, 2014- my wife found a $1000 stovetop on Facebook for the price of $50. SCORE! So out with the old and in with the new. Once I installed the new cooktop, the first thing I made was grilled cheese sandwiches. What better way to test how well it works than with a traditional melted sandwich?

    The stove worked well for a few years until the large burner stopped working. Parts for the stovetop were not readily available for this model. However, I was able to do a quick fix that worked for quite some time. I had to do this fix twice more over the past year until the burner finally gave up. It was time to bite the bullet and get a new stovetop.

    After some online research, I found one that had good reviews and was of average price… average price being just under $1000! The Home Depot had one on display, so I went to talk to an associate about it.

    Did you know that Home Depot will beat any advertised price on the same item by 10%? I saved nearly $100 because I found it advertised for 1¢ cheaper elsewhere. One cent saved my one hundred dollars. (Do your research people- it pays off!)

    I installed the new stove quickly and you know the first thing I cooked?

    A grilled cheese sandwich. Which my son promptly wanted. So I made a second sandwich. Which my daughter then wanted. Finally I got to enjoy the third grilled cheese sandwich I made.

    It’s a pretty good stovetop and I look forward to using it. That must be a grown up thing. Looking forward to using new appliances. Oh yeah, it also plays a little tune when it gets turned on and off. Cute but unnecessary. Just like our washing machine.

    The songs do bring me joy…

    …for now.

    Mug Shots

    Like most folks, we have an assortment of coffee mugs in our cupboard. They often appear as gifts based on whatever the recipients fancy. From Owls to Lego, to mugs that come free with a bottle of booze- these become personalized favorites of us all. But my wife and I are cheesy. We have a collection of matching mugs.

    It started years ago with a couple of horoscope ones from the dollar store. But it soon branched off into ones that defined who we really were.

    My wife dominated over me by absconding the “Player 1” mug leaving me to be the Luigi to her Mario. Always second to none, but she’s my number one.

    I am particularly fond of our first set of Disneyland mugs. Simple art of the classic characters that defined cartoons My wife is the Minnie to my Mickey.

    Soon after we picked up another set of mugs. She is the elegant Eve to my clunky love struck Wall-E. But wait, there’s more…

    A couple of years later she became my Belle. That’s right, we really are that cheesy. Even our kids began to get in on the fun.

    Of course Disneyland plays on the memories and heartstrings of everyone who enters their gates. The store shelves are lined with trinkets and mugs that need to be brought home. Every one of our morning coffees is in matching mugs. And no one else is permitted to use them.

    Do you have a favorite coffee cup?

    Are you as cheesy as we are?

    Let me know in the comments.