Theory Thirteen

Today Theory Turns Thirteen.

Okay, enough alliteration. Our son is having another birthday. This time he is officially entering his teenage years. Over the past year I noticed something about his personality. He has been enjoying taking selfies with me.

This has made me really happy. He enjoys trying to be like me in many ways. Which I am flattered by, but it also has made me more self conscious about my actions and behavior. Our son has started to form a sense of humor similar to mine in many ways. But he also enjoys clowning around in his own style.

Our doofus of a son is a great kid. I hope he enjoys his day of silly antics and fun.

Happy Birthday Theory!

Ps. Here’s the card your mom was going to buy for you…

Carving Up An Education

Our middle child entered grade nine back in September. The one thing about her is that she strives for excellence in all of her classes. A few years ago, her grade four teacher advised us that she could easily skip a grade because of her intellect. My wife and I discussed this at great lengths but came to the conclusion that as proud as we would be in pushing this, we wanted our daughter to remain amongst her peers. This proved to be the right decision socially.

Back to the start of this school year…

Our daughter had made her selections for classes the year prior and was looking forward to some of the possibilities that awaited her. When she found out at the start of the school year that she’d be taking a class she had zero interest in- let’s just say disappointment was prevalent. That class you may ask?

Carving.

Once she began the year, she took it quite well. Her ambition to maintain straight “A’s” took over the disappointment factor. So she aced the class. It didn’t surprise me. The reason being- her Opa is fantastic at working with wood.

My wife’s father was a brick layer by trade, but enjoyed wood working and cabinetry as well. Much of our home was created and envisioned by him. Our children have been surrounded by his talents so naturally it opened up a door to their hidden abilities.

I love seeing something made from nothing so to speak. Creating art from a piece of wood or a blank canvas makes me happy.

Guided By TV

There once was a time that the tv required a weekly tv listings magazine to be made available.

Why should I read a magazine weekly?

TV channels were pretty much set in how they ran things. A new show every hour on the hour or half hour. Reading a magazine with the listings for your area was the best way to plan your viewing week. There was also a crossword and articles about the Fall Lineup or a puff piece about your favorite shows. Picking up a TV Guide when grocery shopping was fairly common practice. There wasn’t a listings option to show on the bottom of the screen. Eventually there was a dedicated channel to a scrolling listing that changed about every fifteen minutes.

After a while, people just left their TVs on. Or at least that’s how my home functioned. Monday to Friday was the same routine. My day even began with morning cartoons before school. From the minute I came home from school to well after my bedtime the glow of the boob tube illuminated our home.

Immediately after school, I enjoyed afternoon cartoons for a couple of hours until my parents came home. Then it was 6 o’clock news followed by Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. It was after these few shows that the daily programs would alternate.

Sometimes it was Murder She Wrote. Or it could’ve been Cheers, Doogie Howser, Night Court or Quantum Leap. After a while it didn’t matter. Our TV just stayed on. During commercial breaks was when I ran to the bathroom or got changed for bed. Bedtime? That was the four minutes of credits and ads before the 9pm late night shows. Only to have me slink off to my room to turn on my TV to fall asleep to the horizontal lines of electric hums and late night infomercials.

For me, purchasing a magazine devoted to TV is a thing of the past. In fact, regular tv viewing has changed to streaming at my leisure. No more programming myself to be glued to the tv in thirty minute increments wasting my time. Let me marathon through a tv series at my discretion.

Star Wars Day 2019

Star Wars Day is one of my favorite days. I love Star Wars. My family loves me so much that they enjoy being a part of it. From wearing Star Wars t-shirts to naming our dinner with Star Wars puns- May the Fourth is great! A couple years ago we did more to celebrate May The Fourth than we did this year.

As well, in the past, we have watched several of the films in one sitting. My favorite was watching the episodes in machete order:

IV, V, II, III, VI

On this May the Fourth we only watched two films. Solo and Empire Strikes Back. In my opinion- the worst film as of late and the best film in the series. Today we will be watching another film to celebrate Revenge of the Fifth because we are a bunch of geeks in this household.

What did you do on Star Wars Day?

Do you like Star Wars as much as I do?

Let me know in the comments.

Batman 30 Years Later

This weekend, the Cineplex theaters cross Canada are showing limited screenings of Batman from 1989. Naturally I had to go and see it on the big screen again. I love this version of the caped crusader.

Back when I was thirteen, this version of Batman was my first foray into seeing comic book superhero films on the big screen. (Seeing Superman IV in 1987 doesn’t count as it was an extremely bad film.) My mother was gracious enough to take me to this film on opening night. She knew I loved the magic of cinematic story telling. My mother always made sure that I saw films opening weekend so that I wouldn’t miss out. Seeing movies was something my mother always did for me. It probably played a big role into why I wanted to be a projectionist- a goal that came to fruition many years later. A job which I enjoyed tremendously. (Thanks mom.)

Coming back to today’s blog…

For DC Comics, Batman has always been a safe bet. I became obsessed with Keaton’s Batman. I learned everything I could about the film- buying magazines and comics- which I still own. As well, I watched any interview or tv spot about the film. Did I mention the Prince soundtrack? I listened to that on cassette for months on end. So much so that I have memorized every lyric as well as when the audio clips show up in the film. Nerd alert.

Batman has always been important to me. Probably the only DC superhero that I like. Going to the multiplex to watch a 30 year old film when there’s newer/ flashier films out there seemed counterproductive. Ya, we saw Avengers:Endgame on opening night, but seeing Tim Burton’s Batman once more on the big screen was important to me. I shared this moment with my two youngest children. In a theater that holds 234 people- seven of us watched a screening of Batman.

For a film that brought forth some of the greatest aspects of the Batman franchise -like Keaton’s line “I’m Batman” or the theme music still used in the LEGO Batman series- it surprised me that the theater was empty. Why is this? I dunno.

Earlier in the day, I was walking around town and on two separate occasions, young kids pointed out my Batman shirt. Everyone from kids to parents know Batman. Why not share a cinematic joy like the 1989 version?

In a few days Cineplex will be showing the sequel. I won’t be seeing it on the big screen again. When I was younger, I saw Batman Returns THREE TIMES ON OPENING DAY back in 1992 at the old Willowbrook 6 theater. I think they got my money’s worth back then. As well, don’t expect me to watch the other two sequels they have planned for next week. Keaton’s Batman is the best of this series.

If you want to see any of these films, check out Cineplex Special Events to buy tickets. $6.99 a ticket isn’t a bad deal if only six other people are in the cinema with you. If Batman isn’t your thing- they have some Indian Jones going on as well this month.

What are you first memories of superhero films on the big screen?

Did you like Tim Burton’s Batman?

Let me know in the comments.

U-Turn!

Having a day off before the weekend is fantastic. Shopping is easier when the stores aren’t crowded. This morning I thought I’d get a good jump on my day off. Out the door at 8am to drop the kids off at school, then down to the good ol’ U.S. of A for some reasonably priced gas and dairy. I’d even beat the other parents since most school drop off is at 9am.

What a great plan. Or so I thought.

Today was the only day I wasn’t listening to the news radio. Turns out there was an accident at a major intersection that I needed to go through. I was wondering why the traffic was so busy going the opposite direction from me. Got to the detour and instead of heading south I was on my way north.

My brain went into re-routing overdrive. What roads connect where? Which ones won’t be busy? GIDDYUP U-Turn! Followed by a quick right and I was headed down a quiet street. I got this. Smooth sailing so far. Hang a left… traffic looked a bit busy up ahead- just a school zone to get through. Crossing over the other busy street when complete stop. Still about five blocks away from my planned route.

A couple minutes went by and we’ve moved two car lengths. There’s a driveway to my left…U-turn number two! Heading north again in order to go west down another back road. But I need to head east and south! Now I have a Pet Shop Boys song stuck in my head. “Go West- life is peaceful there…”

Finally a road that isn’t busy. The road that takes me home. I can’t go that way- I still need gas! I’m finally heading south. Back roads are fairly empty. Phew. I can begin to head east again. Alright- smooth sailing… construction zone!??!? How in the world is a person supposed to get anywhere? Am I living the traffic jam scene from “The Truman Show”? I gave up and just sat in the lineup. It was a bit of a wait, but not too bad.

I finally made it to the border. Which was not busy at all. My guess is people gave up trying to get through the blocked intersection I was frustrated with that begin my ordeal. Zipped to get fuel and zipped back across to come home. No waiting either way. Going home was easy as well. No traffic this time.

Two hours gone from my day however. But it was my day off without much in the way of plans- so that’s okay. Next time I’ll listen to the radio for traffic reports.

Bowling For Birthdays

On Sunday, our daughter had a small birthday party. She planned the party about a week prior and decided to hit the local five pin bowling alley in Aldergrove. This is the third birthday in a row that she has done bowling.

Last year she had a great time with her friends out bowling. Same the year before when she turned Lucky 13. It seems our daughter enjoys this sport.

We arrived and the alley was like a ghost town. Considering the only other bowling alley had shut down about a year ago… you’d think the place would be busier. It also made me realize that this sport is not the most glamorous- but still very amusing.

I’m glad to have shown our daughter the joy of bowling when she was younger. I’m also happy she is creating her own birthday traditions.

After a couple rounds, we stopped for cake and gifts. It seems that our daughter has a great group of friends who love to be silly. A Hello Kitty cake and lots of laughs were had.

I wonder if next year she will do the same thing… if the bowling alley still exists…

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.

Don’t Worry – Be Happy

Back in 1988, I got a tape cassette for the “Cocktail” movie soundtrack. I had never seen the film- I was only thirteen at the time (I still haven’t seen it). Going to movies at that age were generally comedic or of a family style. But this film had a soundtrack that perfectly summed up that year.

I listened to it on my ghetto blaster over and over. A favorite song being, “Don’t Worry- Be Happy“. I played this soundtrack so much that a couple of years later- when my parents bought their first CD player- I was given the soundtrack again on CD.

To this day, I still like this soundtrack and that particular song. The advice is prevalent even more so in this day and age. So get out there and live life. The best way to do this-

Don’t Worry – Be Happy

Do A Barrel Roll

Friday was a day of yard work. My daughter even helped me set up a couple of planters and some new drainage.

I picked up a couple of half whiskey barrels on sale. Our daughter drilled some drainage holes for me. Afterwards we placed them on either side of our carport. We put some styrofoam about half full followed by some drainage stones and soil.

I dug up a couple of ferns and some vines we had in our yard and transplanted them into the pots. My daughter and I removed the downspouts and set up something different.

My daughter and I cleaned up some old chains and spray painted them gloss black. We hung the chains from the copper spouts and into the planters. We added some stones on top of the soil to help keep the dirt from washing away. Having the chains go from the downspouts will help to drain the water from our roof and keep the pine needles from clogging up the drainage. The final result also changed the look of our home tremendously.

As a small celebration, I enjoyed some “Barrel of Sunshine” afterwords. Having a shot helped me to appreciate the hard work being done all day. I’m excited to possibly try this in other areas of our home.

How is your garden growing these days? Ever plant a whiskey barrel before? Let me know in the comments.