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’.

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Go For A Soda?

I love drinking soda pop. I always have. Pop is the best. Kim Mitchell agrees:

Sugary sweet carbonated beverages. Mmmm so bad for my teeth and my stomach. But I don’t care. Delicious flavors flow over my palette. I don’t have a favorite. They’re all my favorite.

Throw in some ice cream and you have a beautiful treat. Drink it in a soda shoppe just to enjoy the experience.

When I was younger, I could go to the corner store and buy a 750ml glass bottle of Pepsi or Coke. My parents went to a local place called “Pick-A-Pop” where the flavors were basic but super sweet. The lime and the orange flavor were far too candy tasting. I fell in love with cream soda and root beer as a youngster. I miss “The Pop Shoppe“.

We now carbonate our own water and add flavor to it. I love the cream soda, but my kids hate it. They like the pink grapefruit, lemon/lime, and watermelon flavors. It’s not the same as buying a glass bottle. But making soda at home has brought joy to my kids.

Nobody cries.

Husband and Wife Team

My wife and I have been a great team for what seems like forever. Or at least since the year 2000.

We don’t have set chores or defined responsibilities, we just do our best to run the household. Together we are making it work. When one of us is overwhelmed, the other picks up the slack. No fights, no begging, no remorse- just a helping hand whenever needed.

A phrase used by some of my coworkers is “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work“. This is especially true in our household. We are a team. A team of crazy people trying to make it through the universe.

Our dream is to have a happy household. It doesn’t come easy either. There is so much on the table that is happening: school, chores, jobs, driving, shopping, cleaning… the list goes on and on. We have to work together to keep it cohesive.

Laughing, joking, talking, listening, caring, comforting… Our home is happy. Our children are happy. My wife and I are happy. Somehow it’s all working out. Our dreams are being fulfilled every day. We are doing our best as husband and wife/ mother and father.

Seasonal Allergies

I suffer from allergies.

SUFFER I SAY!

Now is the time of year that allergies kick in full force. Kick me in the face full force!

I blame cottonwood! That shit is everywhere. It’s causing watery eyes, runny nose and respiratory issues. Every year I swear gets worse. Ah-Choo was a brief glimpse into my hatred of this season. Did I mention the white Cottonwood sea of misery that spreads across the roads and flies through the air?

The best way for me to survive (besides solitary confinement) is using Costco sized meds on these horrible days. Ugh.

Bring me more meds!

May Day Parade 2018

For the first time ever, a couple of our children have been involved in a parade. They were really excited to be a part of it, and I think it has been a great experience for them.

Fort Langley has had this parade ongoing for nearly 100 years. That in itself is exciting. It is generally a place to show off small businesses, clubs, and promote a sense of community. We have previously taken our children to watch these parades when they were little. As well, prior to having a family, I worked at the theater and was a part of a couple of these parades.

Our children met up with a group of speed skaters to promote our club- The Langley Blades. All of the kids were full of smiles from the start all the way through, as the marched down the streets of Fort Langley. Our children enjoyed seeing their friends who were also promoting other groups in the parade. Even along the streets, their classmates and friends called out to them and waved. Little kids in the crowd were so happy that candy was being handed out!

I ran into some old friends along the route and stopped to talk. Seems most parents are here to watch and support their own children as well in the parade. There is a sense of pride to see your children out there- I waved to the ones I knew and could see the smiles on each and every one of them- even if they didn’t recognize me.

All-in-all I’m glad that my children volunteer their time and are very proud of what they do. Maybe a couple more parades are in order over the next few years?

Working From Home

My wife has been a stay-at-home parent since our first child was born. To generate some extra income, my wife began Her Own Business that she could do from home. It has been moderately successful and she has enjoyed it for the most part. Over the past few weeks, she has taken on a regular 40 hour work week for Shopify and she still gets to work from home.

My wife has been really good about it. She has figured out the right way to “check out” when she is done for the day. Even when she would get emails late at night for her business- it never bothered her enough that she would let it interfere with her home life. Working from home is definitely something that I feel she has successfully conquered.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be covering a coworker’s vacation. I will be working remotely from home for most of it. The hardest part is that I need to be available 24 hours/day for phone calls. Most of this time I will need to be able to access my laptop fairly quickly- unless I know the answer (or can fake my way through). Because this territory is new to me, I am unsure of how to balance time with my friends and family while continuing to monitor work.

I hope that I can create a stable environment for myself and that I can do this without regretting taking on a new challenge.

Only time will tell.

Pancakes

This morning in bed, my wife mentioned that we haven’t had pancakes for breakfast in a long time. After some thought, I don’t recall the last time we did make pancakes. Maybe near Christmas? So guess what we’re having today.

I miss pancakes. They are easy and tasty. To make them more interesting we sometimes add chocolate chips. We also have a couple of special pancake pans that offer up shapes. This allows the kids to pour the syrup into the spaces formed, making large puddles of sweetness.

I think owning a “Pancake Printer” would be fun. Although not very practical as it took a while to make the pancakes. Meaning they weren’t warm when served.

Today is just plain ol’ pancakes though. We will enjoy some ham as a side dish instead of bacon or sausages. I’m making myself hungry. Time to start cooking up breakfast!

Long Weekend May 2018

It’s Friday before the May Long weekend. I’ve picked up the kids from school and saw that the freeway heading out of town was busier than a regular Friday. Campers, boats, minivans and SUVs departing for some time away from it all.

Not us.

This weekend we have no out of town plans. In fact our regular Friday plan of going to the Speed Skating Coaches on the Lake has been cancelled. But only because our one daughter is getting over being sick and our oldest daughter volunteered this morning. She helped to set out sandbags on a reserve to protect the homes from flooding. (I’m really proud of her for doing such a great thing for the community without being asked.)

This weekend for us will mostly be at home doing yard work. Sunday we are invited to a bbq so we will likely go there. And on Monday our two youngest are in a parade to promote our local Speed Skating Club. But if the weather is nice, we are tackling this crazy acre of ours! So many weeds…

What Did You Do All Day?

I thought I was going to have very productive day today. I woke up at 4:30 and went into work on my day off to prepare for the next couple of weeks while I look after another train master’s territory. I figured I’d be home by lunch and would continue on with my day. Instead, I was home by 9:30. I now had the entire day ahead of me. So I made a big breakfast for myself. That’s about as productive as I got.

I quickly realized that I needed a nap. I have been on a night shift schedule for a couple of months and my body was just upset at me for waking up so early. After my nap, I woke up to have lunch. I still had half a day to go. I could still do something productive.

Suddenly my smartphone sucked me into the interwebs until it was time to pick up the kids from school. Crap. A couple of more hours wasted. As I drove the kids home and we got to talking about homework and what we needed to get done before dinner. We came home and…

The Internet sucked me back in. I have been bouncing around from site to site, video to video, social media to social media. Like opening the fridge, staring blankly- just to shut the door and open it again.

My eyes and brain have gotten weary once more. Time for nap number 2 of the day before dinner. My productive day has become a washout. There’s always tomorrow. At least after dinner I am going to the movies with some friends. Better that I nap now and not at the theater.

At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

A Dozen Years

My son is turning 12 today. That’s a dozen years of having a mini me around.

It’s uncanny how much he looks and acts like I did/do. Because of this, I can see how much my father got annoyed with me.

But I also love that my son looks up to me as a role model. Sometimes I need to see myself through his eyes in order to be a better father.

He is definitely a lot like I was as a child. A love of LEGO, playing outdoors, video games and movies are all things I enjoyed as well. I never knew how much I wanted a son until we had him. He is one of the greatest joys I have in my life.

Happy Birthday Theory!

Love, Dad.