Newbie

So, I’m a relative NEWB when it comes to being outdoorsy. I have done some hiking and lately have been kayaking. I tend to get some beginner stuff in order to try out activities before getting carried away. Our kayaks are beginner style, and I have enjoyed them tremendously. My wife and I will probably upgrade them one day once we get better at paddling and such.

Today I went out and bought some fishing stuff. I’ve gone fishing with coworkers and friends in the past. I have just never owned my own equipment. I appreciate the basic knowledge they have given me over the years and am looking forward to having some fun this summer. Not the “Billy Bass” singing “Don’t Worry Be Happy” kind of fun. But actually trying to fish.

Before I bought stuff, I asked around for some advice on what a NEWB like me should buy. There is an art to what gear to buy depending on what you want to fish. Since I am doing fresh water fishing, I bought the gear that will be needed. I also paid for a fishing license for the year.

So any of my friends who want to hit the water with me and show me the ropes- I’ll be a bit more prepared than before. Now to watch some YouTube videos to get some skills before I make a fool of myself in front of my son.

Blue Monday

Yesterday was Blue Monday. The most depressing day of the year.

I have not had a string of good luck lately. From nearly Losing a dog the other day to having a Washing Machine Die– even one of our stovetop burners burned out. My days have been rather crap-tastic. Why would Blue Monday be any better?

Because it wasn’t.

My day started like any other day. I was having a shower at 4:30am when the water just stopped. I jumped out of the shower and rushed downstairs to hear our water pump still going. Not a good sign. So I shut off the breaker to the pump.

Underneath our home was flooded. Turns out our well water corroded the shut off and snapped the pipe. I called into work to say I’d be late and contemplated my options. Get a plumber or try and deal with this myself? After dropping a few hundred dollars on a new Washing Machine, I knew the answer. I got my tools, checked the part I needed, then drove off and waited for Home Depot to open… at 7am.

I was in and out of Home Depot within ten minutes. Kind of a record for me. When I got home, I began my repair.

Low and behold!!!— I broke another part of the pipe. Just like when I was repairing the line to our Pressure tank in November.

It was now closer to 8am, so I drove up to the much closer Co-Op store to see if they had the part. While there, I ran into our neighbor from across the street (who is always there for breakfast) and a friend of ours. But I had no time to chit-chat. I had a mission.

I found the parts I needed. Spending close to twice the amount I would have had I gone to Home Depot again… I finished the repair properly, cleaned up and headed into work.

I do enjoy DIY. But not in emergency situations. Those suck. Some of my coworkers are surprised that I can do plumbing. Others are of the same mindset as me- why pay someone when I am completely capable of doing it myself?

Blue Monday got me all depressed about being a home owner in an older house. Times like yesterday make me want to throw the house on the market and run away. But I love this home. And I’m not sure when we will move. Maybe when the pipes burst….again.

Dad Days Of Summer

It was another warm one today. So I took the kids out to our yearly adventure at a watering hole up the road. Check out last year’s post: Life Is On Repeat or the year before: Cooling Off. Without knowing it, every year- almost to the day– I take the kids to Williams Park.

The water was a bit more murky this year than before. It’s because of the clay deposits nearby and underneath. You can see where other kids have played in the clay and made it messier. Not a big deal, as we are planning on washing off after anyways. I think it adds to keeping us cooled off.

This year, my son braved the rope swing and had a blast. We also brought my daughter’s friend and my other daughter made some videos of them jumping in. It was a ton of fun to be had. I also pointed out to the kids that next season of Riverdale was filmed here as well.

We spent about an hour at this side of the park. The water was cool and the area was shaded by the trees. We had the place to ourselves during this time until more people began to show up. Then not as much time on the rope swing was being had, so we dried off and headed for a short hike before returning to the car.

I love this side of the park. It’s usually not busy and each year, the graffiti changes. This year the art made me think of today’s title: “The Dad Days Of Summer“. I have been actively participating with my children this summer a bit more than usual. Mostly because I have a ton of time off in between when I work. If I can make the most of the precious few years I have with them before they grow up that’s my goal.

We leave every activity or location with a smile and a story. I want my children to remember the “Dad Days” and to be able to share these activities with their friends. I had very few growing up with my father, so making memories that last a lifetime mean the world to me (and my children).

My goal this summer is to stay cool and be cool. Joe Cool

Oooo That Smell

Smells sometimes trigger a memory inside of us. Some people enjoy the aroma of a good Chardonnay. Others remember fondly the scented markers from their childhood. I am partial to the smell of fresh rain on hot asphalt.  

Today the rain began to fall. It was just long enough since that has occurred. However, it was not one of the warmest days. But the smell outside wasn’t of water on pavement. The smell outside reminded me of Disneyland. Heck everything these days reminds me of Disneyland.


Disneyland.  Best place ever. A place I want to go to right now because the rain is transforming into snow and back again near my home.  But in the early mornings at Disneyland, there is a smell emanating from the sidewalk.  A smell of freshly hosed off cement slowly evaporating in the sun as it crests over the horizon.

The scent of skanky-ass recycled water.

Cooling off


Last year I took my children to a local water hole to cool off from the summer heat.  It was a place that was shared with me about twenty years ago.  When I posted photos of us last year, some of my old friends got all excited and were like: “I remember that place!”


After sharing about the rope swing and the shady pool of water, more of my friends asked where it was so that they too could go with their children.  There’s no greater feeling of joy than sharing a little piece of paradise with friends.  Later, I saw photos of my friends and their children enjoying a cool dip on a hot summer day.  Today I brought another friend there to share an afternoon of doing nothing, but having fun.  Even our dog cooled off from the summer heat.

The water isn’t chlorinated.  There is no payment required to enter.  There’s no fancy waterslide or waves.  Not everything in life costs money.  Today was all about just enjoying life.  Taking the time to experience nature and put down our devices can be very fulfilling.  My children even made some friends for the day and splashed around having a great time. 

Sure my phone came out to grab a few pictures, but hey, that’s what being a parent is all about.  I need to get some embarrassing shots for future use as well…

I love finding out about new places to explore locally.  A big thanks to all my friends over the years for sharing these places.  My children and I look forward to going around to these locations every time.  

Enjoy your summer!  And remember to stay cool!