Birthday Weekend Flashbacks

Usually for my birthday I just celebrate on the day of my birthday. But since I went out to Throw Axes on Friday, my kids wanted to spend time with me on Saturday. So I did- it was fun and also bizarro with lots of familiarity surrounding it.

First thing in the morning- I shared a box of specialty KitKats that I had saved from last year’s trip to Tokyo. Keeping it hidden from the family for almost a year was challenging. I also ate the special March birthstone one I kept. Needless to say- these were just as unique as any other KitKats we sampled in Tokyo. The Butter flavor was amazing!

Later, we went out for Poké Bowls at a place in Langley called Dal’s Poké. This is probably one of the freshest meals I have ever eaten in a restaurant! If you’ve never tried a Poké Bowl, do it. It’s sort of like deconstructed sushi. Lunch inspired us to go pick up some Asian foods at the H Mart Korean grocery store.

Immediately after lunch we wandered a bit around Downtown Langley. As we hit some thrift shops, it was suggested that when we go to H Mart that we stop at an old video store called Willow Video. Walking into that place was like walking into the past. The store hasn’t changed in almost 30 years. I swear that the used games in the cabinets were the same ones that were there when I was a kid. Used Sega Master Systems, old Game Boys, and assorted Games with price tags from thirty years ago. The place still offers Video rentals and sales. Not to mention that the store was busy as well! Good for them.

After our shopping at the Korean store, and the kick in the nostalgia memory banks of Willow Video, we went to see if an old Billiard hall was open. Three weeks ago I had mentioned wanting to play Billiards again. But since so many of the places from my youth were gone, I could only find one of them- The Ballroom.

Walking upstairs into the hall hit me again in the memory banks of years gone by. Much like Willow Video- this place had also remained unchanged. It had been almost twenty years since I had been there and it looked like I could have been there just yesterday. The hall of a dozen or so tables was empty except for the cashier.

With an uncanny familiarity, I took the family to a corner table that I remember always favoring. My wife and I taught the basics of pool to the kids. They started to pick it up and enjoyed themselves. After an hour or so, we decided it was time to go. By this time a few more people entered the hall. A couple on a date and two older gentlemen with their personal cues.

March 16th, 2019 was like traveling back in time. Starting with some chocolates and ending at a pool hall that my wife and I last went to when dating twenty years ago. It was a great way to celebrate my birthday weekend with my family.

Music and Milk Crates

Christmas is over and packed away in our home. As I mentioned about a month ago in Living Rearranged we were going to make a “Music Room” after the holidays. This was a place to keep our grand piano, guitars, drum kit, and other instruments out and accessible for use. My wife and I are hoping that this setup continues our children’s love of music throughout the years.

Besides the instruments, my wife wanted our music collection out as well. Our cds had been packed away in an old steamer trunk for nearly a decade. There hasn’t been much use for cds since downloading or streaming music has become the norm over the past few years. Seeing our combined collection of over 400 discs surprised me. I forgot how much I used to enjoy entering a record store on a Tuesday and buying an album for one or two songs. Oftentimes not listening to the rest of the songs more than once or twice.

Another discovery in the back of a storage closet was some old records. I moved them from boxes into some old milk crates to increase the nostalgia level. There is a collection of good and bad music that we either owned or inherited from family members. Some of our vinyl dates back to the 1960’s and 50’s. I have a couple of disco albums done in a string orchestra style from my parents that intrigue me. My wife has a healthy collection of 1980’s albums that she wants to listen to once more. With only our daughter having a record player, she is essentially in charge of what we will listen to.

Music always brings out memories and emotions in everyone. It should not be locked away, but rather shared with the world. That is our goal with our music room- sharing the joy that comes from all of the different aspects.

Stranger Things

If you haven’t watched The Netflix original: “Stranger Things” then you are missing out on some 80’s nostalgia.  The looks of the sets were true to the time. Even the feel of how it was filmed was nostalgic. Not to mention, the show has some excellent character interactions as well.

2016 Havelka Pumpkin Carving


I’m not going to go into detail of the premise or plot. That is something that should be experienced. But let’s just say, we marathoned through the first season when it came out. The next season is due out in October. 

The first trailer for season two hit me right in the nostalgia feels once again. More 80’s: Full blown greatness. And Michael Jackson Thriller was the perfect soundtrack in the background. Bigger monsters too! The boy inside me is excited about what adventures await. Marathon 2 is planned!

Blood suckers

As I may have mentioned previously, ok numerous times, summer is nearing the end.  Thank goodness.  Spending extra time with my family and friends these past few weeks had me thinking- I’m sure glad those blood suckers will be gone soon.  

I’m talking about mosquitos.


Seeing the opening of Dexter a few years back, reminded me of those days back in my childhood, minus the murder stuff.  

When I was younger and lived in Edmonton, I swear the mosquitos were twice the size they are now.  But I was half the size I am now also, so it’s all relative.  We lived near some pretty marshy land where we went hunting for frogs.  The perfect location for mosquitos to be.  As we got “bitten”, my friends and I used to wait for the mosquitos to get a good amount of blood in them, then squash the buggers.  The splat smear was the best part.  The itching sucked.  No matter how much OFF! my parents sprayed on us, we still got bit.


Living in Edmonton in the early 80’s, I recall a fantastically bad Canadian children’s educational show called “The Hilarious House of Frightenstein“.  It was already in re-runs by the time I began watching it.  But there was a mosquito character that came down onto a foot, told a bad joke, followed by a boing noise.  Added bonus, bad costumes, crappy puppets, silly jokes, plus Vincent Price was the star.  It was filled with hippy psychedelic imagery.  Perfect for the 70’s.  I don’t remember much more than that, but I think I shall search out the show and see it in all of it’s glory once more.

Anyways, back to this summer: I’ve only been “bitten” about three times.  I hardly used repellent, so I think the mosquitos just don’t like the taste of me.  I hope this keeps up for years to come.