Daytime Sleeping

My job has me working alternating two weeks of nights and two weeks of days. I have been on this schedule pretty much since the start of 2017. I am fairly used to it by now.

I like the schedule since it allows me to see other crews and work alongside different team members to move products. At this time, if I were to work straight dayshifts, I don’t know if I’d like it. Waking up by 4:30am isn’t my favorite thing.

Working nights is different. I usually get a block of five or six hours uninterrupted sleep each day. Then I have another nap before going to work. The downside to sleeping during the day is our bedroom.

We don’t have any sort of functional curtains or blinds. The blinds we have are more “shade blinds” than anything. They help keep the sun’s heat out, but not the light. I am used to this because our previous home didn’t have curtains or blinds for about a decade. The shade from the trees was enough to keep our last home cool.

I like these blinds because even though they may be drawn- I can still enjoy our views when I am awake.

The other issue is our bedroom is right above the living room/dining room. During the week is fine, no one is generally home. But on a Sunday my family gathers there to watch tv, play video games, and hang out. My family isn’t noisy, but I can definitely hear voices, rumblings and music emanating from below.

That is my hardships of working nights. I don’t expect my family to be tiptoeing around. And it’s generally only the one day of the week that they are active in the home.

Anyways, back to sleep for a quick nap before heading to work.


This afternoon we had a Team Building event for the management team at my work. We went to Tap-Ins Putting Course at Cultus Lake. There we played 18 holes of put-put followed by Toptracer driving range.

It was a neat experience to play mini golf on actual greens. No weird windmills or obstacles. Just really long greens to try and put the ball into the hole. I really enjoyed this and came in second in our group of six. Although, I’d recommend you bring your own putter as the heads on the rental ones are a bit rounded instead of flat.

Toptracer golf was neat as well. Basically a driving range with cameras that track your shot. On the computer screen there was a variety of games and challenges we could play. As well as worldwide golf courses. This is the kind of golf I can get behind. Just swinging a club and not having to chase the balls. Like a mix of play Nintendo Wii and real golf. Not very accurate at times, but fun nonetheless.

Of course we all acted silly and goofy. Taunting and teasing one another. Because that’s how team building works, right?

I’m home now and my lower back is rather sore. It’s been years since I swung a club. It may be a while before a swing another. But I wasn’t too shabby. I can thank my father for that.

Dusty Driving

At work we drive some dirty roads. Lately there has been no rain, so dust has been kicked up exponentially. There are times when I’m driving those roads that a huge cloud comes up behind me. It’s so thick that you can’t see anything at all.

Our work vehicle also has no air conditioning, so I keep the windows open while driving. When I stop, the dust catches up and fills the inside of the suv. If I put on the air vents, it just blows more dust around. When I close the trunk, the dust flies off the hatchback and covers me in dirt. I’m blowing out black snot these days because of it.

I’m really hoping for some rain this week to help combat this. My work also has some plans to prevent the dust from getting kicked up. There will be some sort of vegetable oil sprayed within the next few days to keep it down.

Maybe then I won’t feel like I’m driving in a Mad Max environment.


Making it through a workweek is always a good feeling. Having a series of good days at work is also great. Enjoying the people you work with makes every day worthwhile.

Job satisfaction, money, benefits- all the reasons to go to work. I like going to work and hearing stories from my coworkers of how their lives outside are going. It’s like having two different versions of ourselves- one that version that shows up at work; and one who lives a life created from that work.

Everything else is gravy.

All the jokes, laughs, and sharing tastes in music, shows and movies- that is a part of who we are. I love every bit of it. All of this makes going to work pleasurable.

Taking A Nature Moment At Work

My work is often very busy and I hardly have a moment to even enjoy my lunch. Today as I was out in the field doing a safety inspection, the weather was wonderful. So I took a breather at the end of the rail yard.

I took a few minutes to breathe in some fresh salty ocean air. I looked out over the water towards Vancouver’s Stanley Park and just enjoyed the moment. Taking a quick break like this was exactly what I needed. Sometimes I get so wound up in the grind that I forget what a beautiful area we work in. We have amazing views and locations that many folks don’t get to enjoy.

Clearing my thoughts also helps to make the rest of the work day easier. With the summer weather peaking around the corner, I’m looking forward to enjoying my days outside while moving trains. Sometimes these moments help get me through the week.


This weekend, my wife and I finished filing our taxes. This is the first time as well that all three of our kids had to submit taxes. Lucky for my wife and I- we were able to use some of the money we spent on our children’s post secondary towards our own taxes. Thank goodness for spending money on their futures…

Last year, after me having to pay taxes, I went to my payroll and had them take more taxes off each paycheck. In the end, I got quite a good tax return. However, my wife was not as lucky. Of the five of us, she is the only one having to pay taxes. At least it wasn’t like Monopoly and she doesn’t owe 10% or even $200. But I still get to rub it in that she has to pay taxes.

What will I spend my refund on you may ask? Property taxes! Yay! The government giveth and the government taketh away. Oh well, it was nice to feel lucky for once, even if it was for a fleeting moment.

Bare Minimum Monday

The definition of “Bare Minimum Monday” means that you are intentionally starting your week slow, that you are not going to tackle any major tasks, and only do the bare minimum tasks required of you for your job. This is made to help with anxiety of getting overworked.

Not every Monday needs to be like this. But I do like the idea that you start the work week activities at a slower pace. Jumping head first into daunting tasks can be overwhelming. That sort of work ethic isn’t for everybody. So do what’s right for you.

Sometimes I feel like I could be doing less at work because I see my coworkers doing less. Other times I feel I am not doing enough- again because I see some coworkers doing more. Honestly, it’s a balancing act of being proud of the work I do and not burning myself out. In the end, my Mondays are naturally slower than the rest of my week. Sometimes even the Bare Minimum is hard to achieve because of circumstances.

Have you heard of Bare Minimum Monday?

Simon Says

Life is full of expectations and rules. If you follow along, you’ll be a functioning part of society. Not to mention the repetition of your actions are required to do this.

  • Simon says go to work
  • Simon says pay your bills
  • Simon says get a good sleep
  • Simon says eat healthy
  • Simon says exercise
  • Simon says mind your manners
  • Simon says stay in your lane
  • Simon says watch tv
  • Simon says be a part of society
  • Simon says a lot of things…

We all do a lot of what Simon says. Depending on your random journey through life, Simon directs you to be the best you can be. Honestly, that’s okay with me. Because sometimes you need to start over and are not sure where to go. So Simon helps you out.

Getting married? Simon says find a mate, Simon says get a venue, Simon says throw a party, stay happliy married. Simon didn’t say that.

Having kids? Simon says get pregnant, Simon says keep them healthy, Simon says educate them, control their feeling and emotions. Simon didn’t say that.

Wanting to do more than what Simon says is what we all strive for. Being successful, popular, wealthy, or even happy are never what Simon says. But those can be the byproduct of doing what is expected of you.

Simon says go on with your life.

Simon Says

Life is full of expectations and rules. If you follow along, you’ll be a functioning part of society. Not to mention the repetition of your actions are required to do this.

  • Simon says go to work
  • Simon says pay your bills
  • Simon says get a good sleep
  • Simon says eat healthy
  • Simon says exercise
  • Simon says mind your manners
  • Simon says stay in your lane
  • Simon says watch tv
  • Simon says be a part of society
  • Simon says a lot of things…

We all do a lot of what Simon says. Depending on your random journey through life, Simon directs you to be the best you can be. Honestly, that’s okay with me. Because sometimes you need to start over and are not sure where to go. So Simon helps you out.

Getting married? Simon says find a mate, Simon says get a venue, Simon says throw a party, stay happliy married. Simon didn’t say that.

Having kids? Simon says get pregnant, Simon says keep them healthy, Simon says educate them, control their feeling and emotions. Simon didn’t say that.

Wanting to do more than what Simon says is what we all strive for. Being successful, popular, wealthy, or even happy are never what Simon says. But those can be the byproduct of doing what is expected of you.

Simon says go on with your life.

Work Week and Weekends

Crazy how much we all look forward to our work week ending. Just having that last day of work finish can be a clock watching game. Other times it arrives so quick you get pleasantly surprised when the day is over.

Just like many of my weekends- no plans. Just being away from work is all that’s really in store. I want to plan more activities for my days off, but I also enjoy not having goals. Just letting the wind take me on a journey through life.

Until it’s back to the “grind” and I can’t wait for it to end next week because it leads into my first week of vacation for the year. That time is at least planned out!

Training A Future Coworker

Over the last couple of days, and continuing for the next few weeks, I am training a new supervisor. He has already had a few weeks with another coworker of mine. Now it’s time for him to learn more of what I know.

Tooting my own horn- I have always been a good trainer. In fact- at most jobs I have worked in my lifetime I had numerous people request to be trained by me. I am very calm and do my best to teach by allowing others to search the answers for themselves. I’ll provide the tools and advice, and then they are on their own.

One day soon my trainee will be set free into our workplace. He will be on his own to make decisions, create plans, even make mistakes that he can learn from. I will be letting him grow over the next while and shall be proud when that time comes.

Welcome to the team.

Disneyland Visits

My wife is currently in Disneyland for a work retreat. She has officially caught up with me on visits to the park! I told her that from now on we must be together in Disneyland- no exceptions!

Lee-Anne is staying in a hotel that overlooks her favorite part of the parks. She gets to see California Adventure and is able to view her favorite rides on the Pixar Pier. This is making her visit a bit more special considering she is technically at work.

The craziest part about her visit to Disneyland?

We took our family there for their first visit 14 years ago today! We had so much fun. We have seen numerous changes over the years. We have traveled to Disneyland for a variety of celebrations. My wife is enjoying the current celebration: 100 years of Disney. I can’t believe Walt started his animation a century ago.

There’s something fantastic and truly magical about Disneyland. From exciting new adventures and rides to reliving memories from previous trips. I know that my wife and I will be doing trips there again- just the two of us. Adults in Disneyland acting youthful. I asked my wife to do some recon for a future trip of just us two.

I am jealous of her. If I could have taken the weekend off and didn’t have other obligations- I would have joined her. But since this is a work retreat, she did have some work stuff to do prior to enjoying the parks. I hope she brings us back some great gifts!

Password Change Prompt

Today at work I was prompted to change my password. I knew it was coming because last week when I logged in it told me I had a few days until my password expired. I figured that I better not change it on my Friday as I’d forget it when I returned after my weekend.

A lowercase, an upper case, a number, a symbol and at least 10 characters. Is it really that necessary to do all that? Yup. So I did. Now I have to try and remember it for the next few months until I’m told to change it again.

The funny thing is, we all have to use passwords for nearly everything we do online. If you are like me, you have some “Password All-Stars” that you tend to use. The type you can remember easily. Maybe a capital letter at the start or a slightly different number at the end- going from 01 to 02… whatever the case may be- I bet you have some regular “go to” passwords.

It sucks having to change them. Or if you don’t log in to a site or app very often and have to choose “forgot password” only to find out that your new password matches the old one. Frustrating to say the least.

Maybe one day passwords won’t be needed. But until the day comes that we use bodily fluids or retinal scans to identify ourselves- incoherent gibberish is the way to go to be safe online or at work.

Sea To Sky By Rail

This afternoon I took advantage of the sunny day and hopped on with a train crew that was leaving North Vancouver and heading into Squamish. A part of my role as a supervisor is to take train rides and focus on safety. The crew I was with was great and we had many in depth discussions throughout the afternoon.

I like to get out in the field and do these rides. Normally, I just stay in the yard with our switch crews, so it was good for me to get out on our mainline. The Squamish Subdivision is one of the most beautiful in North America. With views of mountains, lakes and the ocean as you travel by rail.

Rocky Mountaineer

Lucky for those of us who work here, we get the opportunity to appreciate it. If you ever want to experience it in more luxurious style, check out The Rocky Mountaineer: Rainforest to Goldrush. This is by far one of the best series of views that you could imagine seeing some of the nicest parts of British Columbia.

For me, it’s moments like today that I really appreciate my job and the experiences I have gotten to enjoy because of it. Not every day is a good one mind you- work is work. But getting out there and being personable with the crews is great way to keep up with the professional relationships between us. Specifically when it comes to safety.

Those beautiful views are not so bad either.

Too Much Sleep?

First night shift of 2023 happened last night for me. I think I slept too much afterwards.

I came home pretty tired, but had to drive my son to school before bed. After dropping him off, I don’t really remember how I got home. I just know that I was asleep pretty quick once I got here. That sleep lasted for hours. It was uninterrupted and wonderful.

Yet I want more. But it’s time to get ready for my second night shift. However, it’s going to be okay. This week is a shorter work week for me and I only have two more nights to work before a four day weekend. A weekend with plans of hanging out with some friends, working on my new hobby, and some speed skating stuff for our son. Maybe I’ll sneak in some grocery shopping and cleaning just for fun.

I must not have gotten enough sleep today to think cleaning and shopping is fun. I better get some coffee in me and get ready for work.

Twelve Days of Appreciation: Day 1-Work

We are twelve days until Christmas. So I am going to use that as a prompt over the few blog posts to share my top twelve things that I am grateful for leading up to the holiday season. I know the twelve days of Christmas start on Christmas Day, but I want to lead up to that day instead. So here goes with day number 1 of Appreciation.

I appreciate my job.

It’s kind of obvious that in life we do need some sort of income to be able to afford a lifestyle that we enjoy. Over the past 15 years, CN has been wonderful in this aspect. CN has allowed me to enjoy and deliver the best things in life for myself and my family. I have made many good friends along the way and have had some great experiences that are one of a kind because the railroad helped me to get there.

I’m thankful for my previous jobs also. Without working at a movie theater, Chuck E Cheese’s or even pumping gas- I never would have made the friends that I have kept for a lifetime. A job isn’t always just about making money- it’s about creating friendships and bonds that go beyond work.

As I grow older I have come to appreciate my past and how it got me to where I am today. I have also enjoyed the decades of watching my friends succeed in life and grow their families as well. From career changes to marriages to pets to kids- everyone has had a different path than mine and each one is beautiful to behold.

Without work, none of those things could happen. I am truly grateful for where I am in my career and wouldn’t change it for the world.

It’s My Friday

I’m happy to announce that today was my Friday. I’m ecstatic that my work week is over.

Even though I have three days off- I cannot for the life of me think of what I have planned. I’m sure there’s some family stuff to do. Like decorating a Christmas tree (or three). But beyond that, I’m at a loss of what to do with my time off.

I’ll probably take a nap or two. Play some video games or VR. I’d like to do some baking, but the last two batches didn’t last until Christmas like I hoped. I should probably plan dinners for the three nights as well.

Dang. Now my weekend sounds busy for not knowing what I’m doing. But at least it’s on my terms, because it’s My Friday!

Back To The Tracks

I mentioned the other day how I have been with CN for 15 years now (Read about it here:15 Years of CN). Over the last few years I have been in management and generally stay in the yard organizing the movements in and out of my territory. It has its challenges and I really enjoy them. Sometimes I’ll go back to my roots and get out in the yard and work with a switching crew.

Today I took a train as a conductor from North Vancouver to Boston Bar. This is because we have been short workers as of late and the workload has felt like it has increased. So out came my old notes from when I first hired on. Pages upon pages of assistance that made my first trip back on the road a smooth sailing.

Now I am in Boston Bar with the other crews in the bunkhouse. It has had a severe upgrade since I last stayed here. Nicer rooms with a Smart TV. So far, everyone I have run into has been jovial and nice. The crews are respectful and I feel that I have been equally respectful towards them over the years. This doesn’t feel like management vs union. More like we are all in this together- working towards a common goal- move the trains safely.

Now comes the part that was always tough- waiting for a call for the train ride to return home. The call may be in a couple of hours, but could be up to half a day wait. Uncertainty is tough. But that’s how the railroad works. For now, I’m going to get some rest and wait to see what happens.

15 Years of CN Rail

Folks, I have been with CN Rail for 15 years so far. The job has had many ups and downs. Lots of changes as well in my career. From starting as a conductor, to being a union representative, to Yard Coordinator to my latest role since 2016 as Transportation Manager.

CN Rail has been one of the best and most random jobs I have ever had. I fell into it by accident because of a former coworker at a different job. I can honestly say that without that initial suggestion to apply- my life would not be where it is today.

I have put in crazy hours which has earned me a decent pension, share matching, and salary bonuses. Not all of it was easy. I still struggle sometimes at work if things are not going as planned. But I have a great team that I work with and they make coming into work all that more pleasant. The results of owning the home I have, putting the kids into better schools, vacationing as a family- all of that is because of this career.

I will be putting in at least 25 years of service before I retire from CN Rail. I may stay longer if life requires it. But for now I can say that an end date is closer than my start date was.

Feel free to check some of my previous posts about CN: by clicking on the links below:

10 Years

Steam Train

CN 100

Proud of Where I Work

Life Cycling Loop

Sometimes I don’t want to be at work. And at the same time, I don’t want to be at home. It’s not that I am having issues in either place- I just don’t feel like I am moving forward. Except towards my days off. Which is filled with tasks and chores. And during those days off, I am thinking about my next set of days at work.

It’s mentally exhausting and a vicious cycle. I know I’m not the only one who falls into this trap. Many of you out there also feel trapped and in an endless loop. I don’t have a solution to it, so I’m looking to you for advice. In all seriousness- how do you break the cycle of feeling this way?

Calming Toner

A few weeks ago I noticed I was breaking out more than I ever did before. I thought originally it was due to the swimming pool and the chlorinated water. That, it turns out, was just causing my skin to dry out. So I used more moisturizer to combat the dry skin. Naturally, I began to think maybe it was the moisturizer causing acne.

In actuality, it was work. We moved offices at job a couple months back. The vent above our desk seems to not do a great job of cleaning the air. Instead it seems to just circulate the dust from our environment. I discovered this one day after work, when I went home and washed my face before bed. Afterwards, my wife suggested I try using her Calming Toner.

I have now been using it after every shift. I come home, wash my hands and face, then use the toner with one of my wife’s make-up pads. Even after washing my face- dust and dirt remained on my skin. This toner has helped with my complexion and I am still disgusted at the amount of dirt that comes off every day.

This cleaning regiment is now an almost daily routine. I’m feeling good about it, but am also annoyed at my work for having this occur. It also can’t be good for my asthma if that sort of dust is on my skin after a day at work. Just imagine what we could be breathing in while in the office. Ugh.

Rules Are Meant To Be Learned

This week I am renewing my conductor qualifications. Unlike the time three years ago when I Went to Winnipeg for my training- I am at home learning remotely this time around.

Because we recently had our tenants move out, I have the basement as my classroom. My wife has the office upstairs because she works online daily- and has for about four years now. Working remotely comes easy for her now and she is able to time manage quite well.

My first day is behind us and I’m starting to feel better about learning remotely. However- I can see how our kids had a difficult time adjusting and staying focused. But I made it through the first day and passed my first series of tests.

I’m glad that we have our basement back for the time being. The space has been calming and quiet. Perfect for studying and taking tests. Plus it’s got some of the necessities I need to make it through the day- coffee and snacks!

Only four more days remain ahead of me. After such, I will be a qualified conductor/switchman. By October I will need to get a physical from my family doctor and a recertification in first aid. At which point I can assist the company at different locations- including my home turf- in the running trades.

Wish me luck!

First Day(s) Of School/Work September 2022

Today was the first day of school for our youngest at age 16. He was returning to his high school for grade 11. He stayed at a friends house last night because today was only an hour or so long and more just a chance for everyone to meet up again.

Our middle attended their first day of post-secondary at the Simon Fraser University. Upon arrival, it to was a meet and greet type of day, but lasted about six hours or so. They had a chance to make some new friends, create group chats, and even went to the mall with these new friends after the first day ended.

My wife also began a new job today for a company called Jane. She is working remotely (from home) in a similar manner as she once did for Shopify. Her day went rather quickly.

But all three of them had great experiences on the first day of their new adventures. I was genuinely excited to hear about their first day encounters over dinner. I’m glad our middle made some new friends already and is really enthusiastic about the school. I was a bit worried prior to this moment. But I think my fears and anxiety trumped theirs. I’m also really proud of my wife for jumping into a new role after such an unexpected leave from her previous job. I know it wasn’t easy for her to go an apply for work when she didn’t foresee that moment coming. But she is back in the saddle again and moving forward with her career! Our son was just happy to be back with his high school buddies and his change in fine arts major is a chance for him to showcase other skills he has.

All in all a good first day was had in our household. How was your first day?

Vacation Anticipation

Relatable post time. Here come the memes.

I have only one more shift to go before vacation. Yes, there is a countdown within the family of how many hours remain as well!

There’s always the moments when your brain is already focused on the future and not the day at hand. Nothing is going to get me down. I’m preparing myself to be checked out.

Getting thru that last couple of days of work are always difficult before a vacation. It’s even harder to return to work after some time off.

But a break is always healthy. Leaving work behind and just focusing on some mental relaxation is paramount to good health. We all go through this. I hope you all have good vacations as well when you go on them!

Behind the Scenes

I often share images of hanging out in our backyard. But I don’t always talk about the work that goes into cleaning and maintaining the pool everyday. It usually takes me 30-45 minutes by myself every time.

The first thing I do is get some music playing. It just makes manual labor so much more enjoyable. Then I take off the floating pool rings that protect and keep the heat in the pool.

Then it’s time to vacuum and skim the pool. (Periodically I’ll also scrub the sides with a gentle brush.) Of course, when vacuuming- there are numerous valves to twist in a certain order before and after.

Then I test the pool and add chemicals as required. Lastly, I rinse and inflate the pool toys if they need it. Fun takes work! Now to jump in the water to cool off!