Laser Swords

I’ve always loved movies. Mostly sci-fi films. Especially Star Wars. I’m always on the look out for replica movie props as well. The obvious ones are light sabers. Of which we own three screen accurate ones.

I’ve had them on display in our theater room for ages. Recently a friend made some lightsaber hilts for me out of scrap materials.

Definitely not screen accurate, but fun nonetheless. It reminded me that I too had mad a “lightsaber” almost twenty years ago. It was also not at all screen accurate.

In fact it was just four pieces of plumbing thrown together and quickly painted. But I still have it. Just because… imaginationing is great. Give a kid a stick and it turns into a sword.

Growing up I still make whir and woosh sounds if I finds something that could be a “sword”. I think it just comes naturally. These small glimpses of pretend- it can make a person smile inside and out.

You never know when you might become a Jedi.

Galaxy’s Edge Excitement

I am such a nerd when it comes to all things Disneyland or Star Wars related. I read blogs, follow Instagrams, I even open my Twitter feed just to find the hints and rumors. I share what I find with others who are of like mindsets. The term “Fandom” doesn’t quite express my feelings or emotions dedicated to Disneyland or Star Wars.

Last night was no exception to my love of both of these. Disneyland did a live stream of their Dedication Ceremony for the new land “Galaxy’s Edge“. No- it’s not called “Star Wars Land“. I’ll always call it by it’s true name- “Galaxy’s Edge” because- die hard fan here. That being said, my excitement level seeing the footage of this new park expansion grew last night.

But…

With our commitments to our son’s Speed Skating future and our children’s education- visiting Disneyland during the first openings of Galaxy’s Edge isn’t feasible. I’m looking on the bright side, give it a few months to a year and the crowds should slim out and the kinks worked out. So when is a good time to visit Disneyland?

We usually go in October to experience Halloween time. But over the years- it has gotten tremendously busy. Again, mentioning our children’s education being important, I don’t want to take them out of school for extended periods. Our oldest is entering grade 12 in September and our youngest is entering grade 8 and starting his high school journey. The long weekend at Canadian Thanksgiving would alleviate much of a loss. But- crowds will be higher. Dilemma!

I like to plan and book vacations well in advance. 5 months ahead of time doesn’t feel like I’ve planned properly. Planning 9-12 months ahead feels more comfortable- financially as well. As much as I’m looking at hotels and deals in autumn, I’m going to postpone a Family Disney Vacation for about a year.

I think it’s about time we hit up Disney World. It’ll have Galaxy’s Edge opened and ready when we get there next August. First stop- Discover The Magic to get some personalized service from a travel agent that specializes in these sorts of things. I’m starting to get excited!

20 Years Ago

My life changed 20 years ago today. Okay, maybe there was a few days leading up to today, but May 19th, 1999 is the date I recall. How do I know this date? Two words.

Jar-Jar Binks.

Yes, Star Wars Episode 1 is celebrating it’s 20th Anniversary. With it comes my memories of a previous job. Coinciding with the Star Wars debut was the opening of the 19 theater multiplex called “Colossus“. Working as a projectionist was always my dream growing up. It came true once I began my job opening weekend of this movie theater.

I spent nearly five years working at Colossus (read about it here) with many people calling me a “Lifer“. The term originally coined as a derogatory- you’ll never amount to anything– phrase. But I did become a “Lifer” because my life changed over the course of my time at the theater.

  • I lost my father
  • I met my future wife
  • I got engaged
  • I got married
  • We had a kid
  • I don’t know if any of this would’ve mattered in any other context. But for me- Colossus was a bigger part of my life than high school was. In fact I was ready to try and gather up old Coloss-hole coworkers for a reunion. But I thought better of it. Partly because it’s the long weekend. And also because I don’t know if other people feel the same as I do about our previous lives there.
  • The changes we have all been through make us who we are. Even Colossus has changed over the years.
  • So instead, I am writing this quick blog. A THANK YOU letter of sorts to everyone who made an impact on my life two decades ago. I miss you all tremendously and have fond memories of our zany antics. I hope all is well with your lives.
  • See you at the movies.
  • Chewbacca Cake

    For my son’s birthday, I baked him a chocolate cake. Unfortunately I couldn’t find our round cake pans, so I made a bundt cake instead. When I was growing up, this was oftentimes the style of homemade cake I would receive for a birthday. There was never anything fancy about those cakes- just the fact that my father took the time to bake them himself.

    So my son ended up with a chocolate bundt cake this year. Kinda plain looking- but I did have some milk chocolate icing in the cupboard to put on top. At least then it’ll feel like a birthday cake. Sugary sweet!

    Once I finished the crumb coat, I realized that smoothing out the surface would look okay-ish. So instead I tapped the spatula on as I added more icing. The cake began to look kind of like fur. Since my son enjoys Star Wars as much as I do- I figured why not make this into a Wookiee inspired cake. But how? Off to the pantry again.

    I found some leftover mini marshmallows and some baking chocolate we had since Christmas. Chocolate and marshmallows don’t go bad, right? I heated up a small pot of water and melted the chocolate in a glass bowl. This was easy since the bowl fit perfectly on the mouth of the pot. I was able to stir the chocolate constantly and keep the moisture out with ease. Once it was a silky smooth mixture it was time to pour it out into a straight line.

    We own a long serving platter that I figured would be perfect. But the chocolate would end up not being a thin strip like I wanted. So I taped down a couple of chopsticks and lined my newly made rectangle with tinfoil. Pouring out the chocolate and placed the mini marshmallows along the edges was the perfect way to make Chewbacca’s bandolier. Into the freezer for about ten minutes and it was set.

    Not bad for a quick Star Wars themed cake. Chewy would be proud. I know I am. Bonus- my kids loved it too. But hey, it’s chocolate. All kids love chocolate.

    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.

    Hanging out with My Daughters

    Last night and today I’ve been hanging out with our daughters. It’s been a great time. I offered up a ton of suggestions for things to do: video games, go karts, mini golf, and billiards. None of which they wanted to do with dad. So I let them offer up suggestions.

    Here’s what we’ve been doing:

    First we had an early dinner of sushi at our favorite restaurant- Nikko Sushi. My oldest daughter was in great spirits and allowed for some selfies to be taken. So I took full advantage of it yesterday and today.

    After dinner we hit up an escape room. We did pretty well as a team, but was unsuccessful in the end. So close. I enjoyed working together with them on the puzzles. Seems my daughters are rather smart. They must get that from their mother.

    Afterwards, we hit the shopping mall for the last hour before it closed. My oldest daughter bought her first pair of Doc Martens. She was super excited. There is also a record store that opened up back in October. We bought a couple of used albums for fun since my other daughter has a record player and we have a healthy collection of Vinyls. Before we left the mall, we hit up Starbucks for a couple of Frappuccinos. We ended last night watching a movie- “The Hangover” Which was their choice.

    This afternoon I took them to the local high school to watch a musical performance of “Heathers” based on the 1988 film. It’s neat to see the teens in the show that my daughters previously went to elementary with. The role of JD is the son of a friend of ours. He did a bang up job. As I’ve said before, I enjoy supporting the arts in all varieties. Especially when it’s kids showcasing their talents.

    All-in-all I’ve had a great time with my girls. Tonight will be a quiet night at home marathon watching Season 3 of “A Series Of Unfortunate Events”. These past couple days are things I rarely did growing up with my father. I’m glad my girls enjoy my company. I enjoy theirs.

    From One Fan To Another

    Hey person who owns that white car with the “Empire” logo. I like your style. Even though yours is on a Mazda, that’s totally cool! I wish I could’ve had a “geek moment” with you standing in the parking lot. Maybe one day we will meet each other. But I doubt it. All I have is this photo.

    You see, I saw your car and parked next to it. Just so I could get this photo. I went shopping and when I left the store- your car was still there. Exactly like a Storm Trooper, you missed it. A fleeting moment that my Instagram followers got to enjoy along with me.

    The Void

    We always do something unique for every trip we take to Disneyland. This year we hit a place called “The Void” in Downtown Disney. We played though “The Secrets of the Empire” which was Star Wars based.

    I wish I could’ve taken photos inside. The VR was more than just wearing goggles. You go in and harness up with a helmet and vest. It was pretty intense. Not only do you see a 360° view of everything, there is so much more. As you turn your head, the sound is full 360° as well. Your other senses also get assaulted. You feel the heat and cold as you actually move through the levels.

    Yes- you walk around!

    There are smells and scents as well depending on where you go. And you grab at stuff, interact with buttons, and shoot blasters! The storyline reacts to what you do.

    My wife and I teamed up while our kids went off on their own. The interactivity in the VR world was incredible. It was a ton of fun. While we were doing it, we were fully immersed. By the end, it was all too real. Afterwards, my wife felt her fear of heights was almost real even though we were planted firmly on the ground. It was sensory overload, but worth every penny.

    What we experienced was amazing. Worth the cost and such a wicked memory was created. If I could share what I saw- you’d be amazed. Even though it was about thirty minutes of play, it felt like a full movie. An interactive movie.

    Absolutely crazy.

    Check out The Void for other adventures.

    A Star Wars Story

    Last night I took my family to see the latest Star Wars film: Solo:A Star Wars Story. It was very enjoyable. Here’s an opinion about this new part of the franchise without spoilers.

    I was worried that when Disney started announcing that they were branching off from the original storyline that the films wouldn’t be good. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was an excellent film that filled the gap of what happened in the Star Wars Universe between Episode 3 and 4. Solo: A Star Wars Story is also great in its execution. It introduces beloved characters from the original trilogies with quite a compelling backstory.

    After watching Solo last night it made me think of Star Wars: Phantom Menace and how that film should really fit into the franchise.

    Ok, truth be told- I have a small soft spot for Episode 1. It was the first film released at Colossus back in 1999. At a job where my life changed drastically. It was also one of the last films I took my father to. He enjoyed it the way a young child would. Perhaps it was the morphine pills he was on, but he loved Jar-Jar Binks… So SW:EP1 has some special memories in my life.

    Looking back at Episode 1 I realize that perhaps it should be considered part of this new “A Star Wars Story” idea. It was never accepted as a good film in the Skywalker universe. But as a side story, it actually does work.

    If Phantom Menace was released today into this new category: “A Star Wars Story” would it be a better film? You betcha. Fans would accept it easier than trying to accept it as a start of the prequel trilogy. And it wouldn’t get poo-pooed as bad with the critics as it was in 1999 because of this.

    So that’s my spoiler free opinion.

    Ps. I love Star Wars films. Just sayin’.

    Need To Stick To One Hobby

    I find that I like to do a bit of everything. That means I don’t do anything perfectly. Which bothers me because I tend to think of myself as a perfectionist.

    I often struggle to take the time to do what I really want. I also rush through my projects just to finish them. Or I give up just before the end goal. Maybe it’s time to stick to one (or two) hobbies.

    A few years ago, ok back in 2008- I began a train garden. Ten years later and it’s in severe disrepair. I have zero energy to put into it. That makes me sad. But maybe this summer it will get revived… hahahaha who am I kidding?

    A couple of years after that, I built an AT-ST in our backyard. Last year, it collapsed. My wife has given me the go-ahead to rebuild. So I’m thinking of building it out of different material instead of plywood in hopes that it lasts longer. Today I dug out my old plans and began cutting out a cardboard template. Now to buy materials.

    Unfortunately, any time I want to get started on something, my brain tells me to take a nap. My body is blocking my ability to be creative. Perhaps sleeping is a hobby…

    This blog is the only thing that is consistent at least. My goal to write every day happens every day! At least this is one hobby I enjoy.