Family Day

Today is BC Family Day. A day designed to celebrate the family environment. That’s something I can always get behind.

I’m a huge proponent of positive family interactions. Many of my blogs are focused on our children and the activities they do and what we do together. I’m always trying to share the highlights and joy that comes from what we do together.

Today, I hope that many of you in British Columbia with kids and loved ones, take the time to relish what you have. Family isn’t always easy. Neither is being a Mother or a Father. With everything that goes on in the world- it’s nice to just have a day to relax and reflect on family values.

Happy BC Family Day everyone!

Invisible Man

Lately I’ve felt as if my existence is inconsequential. I’m floating through life day to day without making a mark. Work treats me like another number that can easily be replaced or removed. I feel as if the company doesn’t value what I bring to the table after a dozen years of service. I keep going because I like getting a paycheck. That’s sort of important I guess.

At home, our kids are busy being teenagers wrapped up in their own lives. With our oldest graduating this year from high school, our youngest working towards his speed skating goals, and our middle trying to figure out where she fits in in this world- daddio here takes the back burner. I’m easily ignored and forgotten about.

I also haven’t interacted with my friends in ages either. Everyone is busy being adults nowadays that it gets tough to get together. I’m not even sure what’s going on in their lives anymore since I don’t follow anyone on Facebook. Almost a year ago I thought the right thing to do for my Mental health was remove everyone. Now it feels lonely and a dreaded feeling of FOMO has crept in.

Perhaps today I just needed to vent and air out what I’m thinking. Feeling small and insignificant is a sensation I know many of you have felt as well. Usually I’m pretty positive and upbeat. Sometimes happy just doesn’t happen. This too shall pass, right?

But, uh, everything’s perfectly all right now. We’ re fine. We’re all fine here, now, thank you. How are you?

Come On Get Happy

Sometimes I overly express that people should be happy and take care of themselves. The truth is that it’s also totally okay to not happy. Look at my life. I’m a tall, thin guy who has trouble finding pants. And that sucks.

But music makes me happy. And something about music from decades ago is great for chasing away my existential blues. Those classic pop songs that you can sing along with.

Sometimes I wish I could write music. Music that others would sing for generations- even after the Hits no longer held the charts.

I also love discovering unique music at thrifts stores that was tossed aside. I’ll pick up all sorts of music from 1920’s thru to the 1980’s. Albums that no one knows or would ever need to know. They get play time now in my home.

Am I making people happy? I don’t know. Maybe in some inadvertent way. Buying an album at a thrift store ensures money goes back where it’s needed. Playing those albums brings joy to me and sometimes my family. That joy gets spread in the world to their friends.

So maybe I can make people happier.

Four Years Of Daily Musings

January 27th, 2016. I began the first of my daily blog posts with this: Come Here To See All My Mistakes. Sure, you’ve read about those, but you’ve also read about my successes. Not to mention family and friends. Sometimes travel or home popped up. Occasionally I wrote about work.

Generally I wrote whatever came to mind when I pulled out my iPhone to write my daily diary. I appreciate you all for coming along and reading these. I know you don’t always want to comment. Nor do you always remember to read them. And that’s totally okay with me.

I sill want to thank everyone for watching my blog grow and change each and every day for FOUR YEARS. Crazy to think that I have diligently written 1460 days in a row.

1461 if you count today.

Never Too Serious

I’m a fan of living life for the sheer enjoyment of it. I have never taken myself that seriously. I don’t think anyone else takes me too seriously either. How could you?

Some days I dress based on how I feel. Be it a superhero or a goofball. I don’t think I have one set look. Jeans and a t-shirt is my comfort zone I guess. But I can still dress elegantly when I want.

When I take selfies with friends and family- I bring out some fun in their hearts as well. I love seeing people smile and express a bit more of their crazy side.

Even the few celebrities that I’ve taken pictures with have enjoyed that I don’t need to be uncomfortable or serious. The biggest constant in who I am is that I’m ever changing. Monty Python sang it best:

Life’s a laugh and death’s a joke, it’s true
You’ll see it’s all a show
Keep ’em laughing as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you

Blue Monday 2020

Today is the third Monday of the year. It is also dubbed “Blue Monday”. Last year I was having a string of bad luck (read about it Here: Blue Monday). This year has not been nearly as bad- knock on wood as they say.

However I am feeling more gloomy than usual. I’m not to sure as to why. I think it’s because I haven’t been distracting myself lately from the daily routines. Perhaps it’s the weather? Maybe it’s those bills that I don’t like. Chances are it’s an accumulation of everything.

I think tonight after dinner it will be time for a nice cup of tea and a book. Try and change up the routine of passing out to some show on Netflix. Shake up the monotony of life a bit.

Do you experience Blue Monday? How do you combat Blue Monday?

More BC Winter Games Excitement For Our Family

Besides the awesome news that our son will be competing at BC Winter Games (read about it here: 2020 Skating Journey), we received some other news yesterday as well. Our daughter Darwin is also attending! However, she won’t be skating competitively, she will be there in a different role.

She applied for and was accepted to take part in BC Speed Skating’s Young Officials program. That means as a young official, she will receive officials’ training and will officiate at the Games (primarily as track stewards), as well as serving as athlete mentors to the skaters competing at the Games. This is a perfect position for her since she was once a cheerleader and has always supported our club in many aspects. She is a junior coach a couple of times a week and has volunteered at numerous meets throughout BC.

Young Officials also get to travel and be with the athletes throughout the Games. My wife and I will be attending as spectators during the BC Winter Games. We will be hiding in the audience as our children take center stage ice. This event is exciting for us all and kind of a big stepping stone for the future of our children.

Thanks for reading this proud parent post. Be aware that many more are still to come!

I’m Not Just Good- I’m Great.

Lately I’ve had coworkers tell me I’m doing a great job. That makes me feel good, but also self conscious- which I find very odd. That’s because I often like to boost myself up mentally and emotionally. This usually entails me telling others that I’m great. Which has my family looking at me like this:

My kids and wife call me out on this All The Time. Now, I don’t go around saying them at I’m better than them. I just say that I’m great at what I’m doing. Two different statements. But an assumption is being made that I’m trying to put them down in order to boost myself. Which is not true.

I figure that in life you do need to promote your own ego a bit in order to have a healthy self image. And sometimes the only person who will pat you on the back is you. So go for it! Tell yourself them at you are pretty great! You never know when you’re going to hear it from someone else.

Besides, the more you state that you’re great, the more others will feel that way too about you. Which may explain why my coworkers feel that way about me.

The 2010’s

Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual. ~ Mark Twain

Here’s some highlights of my life, with photos from those crazy 2010’s. Lots of family, travel and experiences. Mind you, I’m only sharing all the greatest hits. We’ve had plenty of mundane days and a few bad ones along the way. But I’d much rather look back on our fun!

2019

Axe throwing, weekend away, Calgary, kayaks, Queen


2018

Tokyo, Tubing, a new driver, Disneyland Again!


2017

Road trips, camping, Becoming a Jedi


2016

Silicon Valley and our first taste of VR, Disneyland again for the 60th anniversary, 15 years of marriage, Career change, Rainbow hair


2015

Ningen Headwear studio, More Cosplay and hanging artwork from conventions, New roof, Our oldest entered high school, Driving in the desert


2014

Hawaii, Jem cosplay, Disneyland again


2013

Felicia Day Emerald City, Lex joining our family, Voodoo donuts


2012

Disneyland Halloween


2011

Center of the Universe with my son, Tenth anniversary


2010

Conductor on a Steam Train, Disneyland Halloween, an interest in Speedskating began.


I’m happy that I’ve had such wonderful experiences with my family. Seeing the kids grow up over the years is heartwarming. I hope you had a great run during the 2010’s. And here’s to the Roaring 20’s starting once more!

Orange You Glad?

When you’re happy- it’s good to share some smiles with the world. On Saturday our daughter decided to mark up our mandarin oranges with some attitude.

I take two of the oranges with me to work each day. To be honest, this actually brightens my days more than I expected. Our daughter shared the picture on her Instagram and her friends loved it as well.

Sometimes a simple gesture or a bit of fun can make people happy. Orange you glad I shared this image today?

Dream Work…

I have a coworker who repeatedly says, “Dream work makes the team work.” Or she’ll say “One team, one dream.” Both are very positive mantras even if she is half heartedly saying them. I like to try and instill the second phrase a bit more when I’m at work though.

And that’s tough because of so many variables. Working for a railroad is like being a big part of a machine. There are so many moving pieces- literally. As well, behind the scenes there are pulleys and levers to make those machines move. Some days we are a well oiled machine. Other days it’s organized chaos.

Last night I was dreaming about work. Nothing crazy or nightmarish. Just work. As if I was there. Now I’m awake and heading off to work again. Does that mean I have a Dream Job? Or am I doing what so many people say

Am I living the Dream?

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.

Staying Dry

My wife and I had a fairly successful Sober September. I faltered once and had a beer at the airport in Winnipeg. As September ended and October began, I wasn’t eagerly waiting for the month to end in order to “Hit the sauce” so to speak.

On Thursday we went out with some friends for a dinner. Originally we were going to go to Trading Post in Abbotsford- a place with great food and atmosphere. I would’ve likely had my favorite beer there- the 1828 Helles Lager. But they were closed for a private event. So we ended up at The Canadian Brewhouse instead.

Their beer special was Budweiser. A beer I don’t overly enjoy. So I had a ginger ale instead and I felt good about it. I know we’re only five days into October, but I’ve been enjoying a variety of teas and sodas in lieu of alcohol. The only thing I’m noticing is that I am craving sweets more often. Hence the sodas.

As Autumn progresses, I’ll probably enjoy a drink or two at some point. I’m just not actively going out to buy beers or planning nights with friends at breweries as I have in the past.

Maybe I can find an elegant tea house nearby and invite you out for a social date.

Autumn Skies

I’ve been enjoying the colours of the sky over the past couple of days. Autumn astounds me at how majestic it can be.

The morning sunrise has pink hues as the sky starts to light up. I pause for a moment at the end of my night shift to enjoy my country living.

The night sky offers a faded orange backdrop to an industrialized world that I am a part of. The black shadows of straight edges are a harsh contrast to the randomness of nature.

Yet there is still beauty to be found in both.

Success is Sure

I’m a fan of Mark Twain. He is the sort of person I wish to be one day. Or at least what I imagined him being: An old guy sitting in a rocking chair on a porch spewing out wisdoms. With big hair and killer fashion sense. The sort of man that most ignored while alive, but seek out the wisdom once departed.

Recently I misquoted Mark Twain. I wrote, “To succeed in life, you need two things: Ignorance and confidence.” Which is a close variance on his original quote as seen in the image above.

In many ways I am on a road to success with my writing. I am confident in my ability to write. And completely ignorant to the fact that not everything I write is worth reading. But I still manage to write. It’s just a matter of figuring out how I wish to measure my success. Is it monetary? More followers? Comments?

I’ll probably never know if I’m successful because the game keeps changing.

Dark Clouds

Two lovers in a cage,

Trapped and ever so afraid

To step outside;

From the world we hide.

The street life

And the bright lights

Blind their eyes;

And send us running to obscurity-

We need to break free.

Trapped you see.

Trapped here in mediocrity.

Don’t ever trust a soul on planet earth.

Dark

Clouds

Drift away

To reveal…

Sunshine.


These are song lyrics from a mid-nineties British group called “SPACE“. The CD was titled “Spiders“. I loved the style of this band back in the day. I even had the opportunity to see them perform at a club in Vancouver way back when.

This particular song has been stuck in my head since I took the above picture yesterday morning on my drive home. It’s not just the lyrics, but the instrumental parts as well that ring on in my mind. I like the final line in the song.

Dark clouds drift away to reveal sunshine.

That’s what I work towards every day. A bit more sunshine and lot less gloom. Go give Space a listen to. I’m going to dust off my cd and listen to it later on.

Trying To Be A Better Man

Today would’ve been my father’s birthday. Over the years I’ve been trying different ways to remember the good in him. Which has been difficult when the bad memories were more impactful. From September 19 (My father’s birthday) to November 25th (the date he passed away) I’m not a pleasant person to be around at home. I’ve been consciously making different choices in my life to try and be a better person each and every day.

For two years in a row I grew a beard. It made me look like him. I was thinking of making it a tradition, but last year my family pushed hard and made me feel bad that I grew facial hair. I’m not sure why, but I’d rather not have bitterness thrown at me from those whom I care about. So no beard planned this year.

Last year I did “Sober September” and this year I’m trying as well. I had a couple of beers once this month and felt instant shame in myself for being weak. The reason is my father drank heavily and I worry that the trait runs deep in my genes. Especially when I look back at most of my Instagram posts and see a lot of beer in my hands.

Obviously I’d love to say that I am in control of my drinking, but am I? I come home from work and would like a beer with dinner. I have days off and want to see friends which generally brings up drinking. Maybe this year I’ll try not drinking from September 19 to November 25th. Do the complete opposite of what my father would do. Maybe only then can I push the negative out of my mind and bring out the positive memories.

I sure don’t want to end up like him- sour, angry and dead by age 58. That doesn’t appeal to me. I want to be a better person.

I know I’m a better person. I just need to remind myself from time to time.

Reset The Week

Okay people- it’s Monday. Time to start a new week. Let’s put those negative feelings behind us and create new goals. We got this. There’s seven days to look forward to this week. Two of them happen to be the weekend as well!

So let’s get us a coffee, check the interwebs for some feel good inspiration and tackle this week. Unless you started your week on Sunday, then you’re already a day ahead. So good on ya! One down and six to go.

My Wife’s Coworkers

I attended my first ever Baseball Game last night courtesy of my wife’s work. Meaning that this event was with my wife’s coworkers instead of mine like we usually do. This time I got to be my wife’s “Plus One” and meeting her coworkers IRL was a neat experience. I’ve heard so much about them and I’ve occasionally “seen” them while they do video conferencing. But to talk and mingle with them in person was neat. Kind of like an extended family that I’d never met but could relate to easily.

The energy within the large group was astounding. Laughs and photos were going on while food and beverages were being consumed. Lots of SHOP talk was happening. They all had a great time.

My wife’s coworkers really make her happy. She has developed some fantastic relationships with many of them. I’d say I’m jealous, but in reality I’m happy inside. I’m happy because my wife is happy- and she deserves this happiness the most..

Rested and Coffee Fuelled

I finally received a good sleep Last night-three nights after my vacation. I was well rested for work which was a nice change of pace.

I rolled into work feeling confident and ready for the world. Bring it on!

Then I drank too much coffee on my way to work. Including an Cold Nitro Coffee from Starbucks- which kept me bouncing all day. I’d love to think it made me mentally stronger, but it really just had me talking faster.

I’m expecting a good caffeine crash tonight. With a possible headache to follow.

But today was a good day.

What We Think About, We Bring About

What we think about, we bring about.

I read this quote the other day and it got me thinking of how true it is.

If you plan on creating something, a painting for example, you can bring it to fruition. Get a canvas, some brushes, paints and an idea. It’s the idea part that creates. Without an idea there’d be no reality. These ideas, when brought forth, can materialize into a product. Essentially fabricating something from nothing.

But thoughts can do more than make a masterpiece for ourselves. If we think negative thoughts, negative results occur. If we think positive thoughts then good things happen. I guess you could say it’s like karma. Only difference is people tend to want to surround themselves with others if they sense happiness.

I pride myself in trying to be a positive thinker. I love being around other positive people. I’m not perfect though. Negativity seeps in from time to time. Moving passed it is the challenge. In all seriousness, I find getting over a negative thought is usually best done by listening to uplifting music.

Time to bring about what I think about. I’m going to work in my garden and create a lovely space to enjoy this summer.

What are you going to bring about? Let me know in the comments.

Meet My Stuffed Animal- Roger Rabbit

Like many people who had a childhood, I owned my fair share of stuffed animal toys. To be perfectly honest, I kept most and passed them on to our children. Our middle child has kept the majority of them in her possession. She loves them tremendously as if they had lives and personalities of their own.

But the one “stuffy” I have kept to myself over the years is my Roger Rabbit.

I have had this guy in my possession since 1989. I picked him up when I was Thirteen. Yes, I was a teenager when I bought it. He was purchased on my first ever trip to Disneyland. He became a prize possession of mine. I truly love the film and all aspects of it. Even over thirty years later- the “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” holds strong in my opinion. My toy, however, has seen better days.

Roger has moved with me from house to house. Oftentimes he has been on display somewhere on a shelf or even in my bed. He is stained, worn and dirty. Seams have ripped, strings have torn off and stuffing lost. These are the war wounds of a good friend who has always been there for me. He listens when I have problems that I don’t want to share with the real world. My wife finds it odd that he suddenly appears on our bed sometimes. She says she hates him. I don’t believe her.

Roger shaped my personality at a young age. He was a mentor of sorts.

The character of Roger Rabbit was of a simple man (rabbit?) who believed in the goodness of others. Trusting of friendships and looking for a laugh to make others smile. But when he needed to be serious, he could, sort of. His flaw was always trying to please others. Literally smacking his head with a frying pan to meet their expectations.

I’m not saying I’m exactly like him anymore. But I like to think I can still be trusting and see the goodness in others. (As well as go for a cheap laugh.) These are some good qualities to possess.

Delete That

I began writing my blog for today, but wasn’t happy with it. It was a very heavy opinion piece that even made me angry reading it. Not because I wouldn’t agree with my piece, but rather that people could end up offended. And that is not the goal I have with my blog.

So I deleted it.

That blog ceased to be. It is in the dark recesses of technological ones and zeros. I removed it one character at a time. I watched as my cursor blinked slowly at first as each letter vanished. Then whole words disappeared, followed by entire sentences.

So now you get this blog entry instead. I wish it was more inspiring. Perhaps it is?

Perhaps not sharing a differing opinion because I knew it could push some buttons is in fact an inspiration.

Behind The Successes

This weekend, as our son competes at his Speed Skating event, I realize there is so much more that builds up his success. This is the same for all athletes. And the same can be for our lives if we so choose.

The families and friends who hang in the crowds and support any way possible. From cheering loudly to hugs and high fives; early mornings and car rides; or traveling to different cities- there is always a group of people pushing and promoting. Words of encouragement go a long way mentally as well.

Then there are the coaches offering words of encouragement and advice. When taken to heart- these coaching moments can be extremely valuable. Coaching is a necessity to the betterment of all involved- be it given and received. A coach beams with pride the same way a player beams back gratitude. There is also a ton that goes on behind the scenes such as making sure equipment is ready and functioning.

Finally- there is the healthy eating. Eating the right fruits and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water and keeping it up daily.

All of these are the basics of becoming the best athlete possible. It’s also a great way to live life. Get out there and be the best.

Just like Joe Esposito sang:

Try to believe
Though the going gets rough
That you gotta hang tough to make it

History repeats itself
Try and you’ll succeed

Never doubt that you’re the one
And you can have your dreams!

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down.

How I Became Wealthy by Just Sharing My Life Experiences

I never look at my blog as a way to generate income. I’m not here to sell you anything either. I write because I want to share. Sharing a bit about my life in hopes that others can learn from me. Some of my stories are fun and inspiring. Sometimes the tales I tell are just fluff- a filler as you scroll through on social media. But I choose not to try and make money from this.

But the title of today’s blog is How I Became Wealthy by Just Sharing My Life Experiences. What gives?

The title isn’t a lie. As I approach my 43rd Birthday, I have truly understood the value of life- not the price tags. I have become wealthy from my musings by meeting some fantastic people online, connected with old friends, and even learning more about myself than I ever thought possible.

I hope you have enjoyed what I have shared each day over the years. From anecdotes to positive thoughts- I want to share the secrets of my wealth. Who knows, maybe I’ve made your life richer in some aspect.