November 25th Again

It’s November 25th again. We are one month away from Christmas. I’ve been keeping myself busy trying not to became a shithead over the past couple of months. I usually get moody from Mid-September until today. It’s like my brain decides that it’s time to be a dick and lets it all out.

But not this year. This year I’ve actually been better. And that’s good. Because today is the 19th anniversary of my father’s demise. As I usually do- I’ll go drink a beer after visiting his grave. You see there’s a grave where his ashes remain. As much as I don’t like my memories of how my father treated me, I really don’t like that my mother didn’t respect his wishes to have his ashes scattered on a golf course. We argued back then about it but wouldn’t be swayed.

So now there’s a grave site that only I visit- because mother and sister have moved away. Since they don’t visit me when they’re in town, I know they don’t stop there either. A part of me feels that my mother burying my father’s ashes was one final “Fuck You, I’ll do what I want” to him. Her reasoning for not doing what he wanted was so we could have a place to visit him.

I visit the site to remind myself that he’s gone. And to remember that the only dead body I have ever seen was his as he lay on the hospital bed. His mouth locked open as if he was ready to yell once more at his kids. That vision of his lifeless body haunts me still, even 19 years later.

Getting My Feet Wet

It’s been about a year since I had to be a switchman last. It’s like riding a bicycle- my legs were a little wobbly at first, but it all came back to me once more. Over the past four nights I have been back at it again doing twelve hour shifts each night. Last night I was soaked because of the rain. I was quite literally “Getting My Feet Wet” once more.

A part of me enjoyed doing this job again at first. Seeing some of my favorite graffiti art that I hadn’t seen in ages has been a real treat. I remember many of the images and it’s odd to see them show up again.

However, I’d like it to be over soon. I’m hoping that things settle down and the conductors return into their regular roles. They are more apt to doing this type of job than I am. I don’t feel that I am as good as I once was that’s for sure. But if I have to, I will do what is required of me until such a time that I won’t be needed.

And here I thought my career was moving away from working nights in the rain. Oh well.

I Want To Create More Art

I was in my woodshed the other day finding some more pieces to paint like I did two weeks ago (Check them out: Painted Wood).

I don’t have any more pieces with knot holes in them, but I did find some that I could see potential in. So I filled a box and brought them into my home.

A bit of cleaning and making sure they are smoothed out is the next step. After that it’s time to get inspired. Perhaps hours of Christmas music? Or watching favorite Christmas Movies (Gremlins anyone?).

Or maybe just a day off from work and get the time to do that. I’ve been at work too much lately. Hopefully that’ll change soon. Its not the worst thing to happen to me. It’s better than bad, it’s good. LOG!

What was I talking about again?

Wish List Time

Christmas is on the horizon- so that means gift giving and holiday cheer. The holiday cheer part is getting into full swing at our home. Minus the music… that starts at the beginning of December. Oh and Christmas Trees- we have numerous trees that go up starting December 7th. I’m getting off topic… let’s talk “Wish Lists”.

As a child, I remember filling a page of dreams, or rather filling it with stuff that my young mind thought I needed. Video games, Transformers, remote control cars, or whatever toy was popular. Up until we had three kids, I still made a list. It turned into an adult list involving housewares, tools, and small appliances. Now I make those purchases myself and get exactly what I need or want.

Wish lists always have been filled with hopes. An idealistic vision of what would make your life complete. But if you don’t get everything on the list, there can be a sense of disappointment. As parents, the lists can be beneficial. You want to give your kids so much in life, but you also have to make sure they get what they need. Going into debt over material stuff isn’t a good idea though.

Our kids have lists. It’s smattered with things they think would make their lives fulfilled. Things like books, pens, art supplies and music are topping the list. Knowing that they want to create more than consume makes me happy. I’m not quite sure where or when it changed, but I’ll gladly support their artistic side.

I’m sure Santa will support it as well- if you know what I mean.

What’s on your wish list? Do you set limits on what your kids ask for? How much stuff is too much stuff?

Let me know in the comments.

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.