Grown Up Me

Growing old is kind of nice.  

I mean, there’s more responsibilities and stuff.  Bills, children, work, etc… But there’s also my own choices to be made. Like going to bed at 9pm on a Friday or not having to go to the latest film on opening weekend. I have finally felt like I’m not missing out any more.

Like most adults I know, once you reach a certain age, it’s about the down time. The quiet time you get to yourself and not have to interact with others.  I enjoy raking leaves off the lawn or washing the car by myself. Or waking up early to go shopping before the crowds and using the self checkout minimizing human interactions. However, as you may have guessed if you’ve followed along with me for the past few months (or years), my favorite adult thing to do:

Naps.  I love naps.  I have shown up at people’s homes and asked if I could nap. I’ve been in car rides with friends and just closed my eyes for a brief snooze. If I disappear at home- chances are I am taking a nap, I have even done it during a party at our home.

Even if all of these things sound childish and selfish, they are fully acceptable to do as an adult. I am glad to have reached adulthood.  Now, I’m going to do some yard work alone and find a quiet place to take a nap later on.


Autumn: Day 1

Here in the Lower Mainland, there was a sunny first day of Autumn. The kids had a half day of school- so we went clothes shopping in the afternoon. We came home and my wife and I took a well deserved nap together.

Just a perfect, senseless, nothing day. 


Hearts are strange. 

Physical hearts are the organ that pump blood throughout our bodies. They do some weird stuff too. Like flutter and skip beats.

My father-in-law had quintuple bypass surgery following a heart attack. A heart attack that occurred the day after my daughter’s first birthday- twelve years ago. A few years after, he had a pacemaker installed. He’s still going strong and active at nearly 85.  

My mother has blood pressure issues. Something that is being controlled now and she watches after her health a bit more religiously than before. She plans on being around for a few more decades.

What makes it so that a heart keeps working? Is it healthy eating? Exercise? Removing stress from your life? Any or all of that? Who knows.

When feelings enter into your head, it feels heavy on your heart. Or romance makes you feel lighter than air inside. We all associate that with our hearts. It’s a mind/body connection for many.

As long as I think I’m healthy, I generally stay healthy. My stress level fluctuates along the lower end- an almost incalculable state. I don’t fear the chances of heart disease. I also don’t worry about my heart being broken. Those to me are irrational fears. If they do occur- I’ll cross that bridge.
Until then, the beat goes on.

Receiving Kindness 

Yesterday was a blah day.  I didn’t want to be at work. I didn’t want to see my family. I just wanted to stay in bed. Part of it was the fact that I felt under the weather. Another part was that it was my father’s birthday yesterday. The last part that really made me sad was the fact that I hadn’t seen my kids for nearly a week.  

Work and my desire to have a social life cut into my fatherly duties. Something that my own father used to do.  I was upset at myself for it. So I felt blah. Real blah.

All it took for me to feel better was a simple text from a friend. I realized I’ll have bad moments in life. But it’s sometimes nice to see your life from someone else’s point of view. My friend lifted my spirits with some kind words.

He didn’t have to. But yesterday’s blog post Father’s Birthday was more emotional than I’ve written lately. It’s nice that my friend took the time to read it and give me some kind words.

Father’s Birthday

Today would’ve been my father’s birthday. I recently found some of my old musings on an old hard drive.  I wrote this in May of 2009:

Since the death of my father, I’ve been searching for ways to remember him. There were very few pictures taken of him and he didn’t leave many possessions behind that had any emotional attachment. I have memories of experiences and moments, but none that can stick out as who my father really was. My father seemed like an angry individual most of the time that he was around.

When he was at home, the smell of stale cigarettes and beer hung on his breath every evening and weekend like cheap cologne. Most Saturdays he golfed with his Czech friends and on Sundays he would go in to work or lay on the couch watching golf games which he had taped from the days before. During the week, he often left early for work and stayed late, only to arrive as dinner was ending. Only twice in his lifetime did he go on a family vacation with us. That was due to the fact that his Czech golfing buddies had arranged a ski trip with their families, and my father was coaxed in to going by my mother.

That was as far as I got. Every day a bit more of the bad slips away from my memory.  It’s getting to a point that I only remember a few of his quirks.

My personal favorite was when he was in a good mood he would wiggle his ears.  I remember always trying to learn it myself.  The realization came to me as a preteen-that when my father was a child, he had far more free time to do that than I did.  My generation was the start of the entertainment generation.  TV, video games, movies, and computers were taking over. No time to learn little traits like making my ears dance.

As I get older, I am glad that the positive memories are coming forward and the negative ones are disappearing.  A part of me doesn’t want to write those negative stories anymore. It’s best to stay positive as life goes on.

Happy birthday dad. I do miss the idea of how great you once were. May you be in peace.

Bending Will

The difficulty with life is that we try and make people act or think in a way that we ourselves want them to. We each have ideals and values that bring out our emotions, so we often try and get others to experience it as well.  Even with my blog posts- I am trying to get people to think or feel something more.

It’s a fine line we all walk as well.  Trying to encourage or intimidate people to bend to our will- oftentimes not realizing the effect it has on one another.  Sometimes we don’t realize that we’ve done it either. Simply put it can happen like this:

  1. Ask a question of someone
  2. Not get the answer you wanted
  3. Expression on your face changes
  4. Other person’s feelings change in reaction
  5. Now everyone has a different outlook

It could go both ways as well.  Good or bad. Maybe the answer surprises you and you both feel happy. Maybe the answer upsets you and now you both feel resentful.

All of this is just my observation.  Maybe I’ve made it so you’ll be conscious of it next time it occurs.  Most likely we will go on living how we do and interacting the same.

Stranger Things

If you haven’t watched The Netflix original: “Stranger Things” then you are missing out on some 80’s nostalgia.  The looks of the sets were true to the time. Even the feel of how it was filmed was nostalgic. Not to mention, the show has some excellent character interactions as well.

2016 Havelka Pumpkin Carving

I’m not going to go into detail of the premise or plot. That is something that should be experienced. But let’s just say, we marathoned through the first season when it came out. The next season is due out in October. 

The first trailer for season two hit me right in the nostalgia feels once again. More 80’s: Full blown greatness. And Michael Jackson Thriller was the perfect soundtrack in the background. Bigger monsters too! The boy inside me is excited about what adventures await. Marathon 2 is planned!

Last Enjoyment Of Summer

This was the last weekend before summer ended. A friend of mine from work texted me late Thursday evening and invited me out to his family’s cabin the next day.  It sounded like a great little escape.

First we drove for a little over three hours.  Then we had to get to the cabin by boat. The lake was calm and the sky was clear. As soon as we arrived, we powered up the solar panel charged batteries.  “More than a Feeling” plays over Mountain Radio

The cabin has been in my coworker’s family since 1969. It has since been through numerous renovations and is decorated in eclectic cabin features. From handmade wooden cabinets to a variety of old couches and chairs. Mismatched blinds and vinyl flooring. Numerous dishes that look like they’ve been scavenged from thrift stores.

All of it beautiful.

We spent the afternoon and evening casually floating around the lake trying to catch fish. I caught a fish. Woohoo! My friend taught me to skin and gut the fish. 

As the evening progressed, we drank beers and a Barrel of Sunshine. With no cellular service to distract us we had great conversations about life and family. One night away was the perfect way to enjoy the last weekend of summer.

I Believe In A Thing Called Love.

Hate spews hate.  That’s why I choose to be kind to people whenever possible.  I don’t need to have everyone like me but I also don’t go out of my way to make people hate me. Usually.

I find that many people’s beliefs prevent them from truly sharing love and kindness. It’s a big reason that I’m an atheist. I want to live in a world where everyone is be able to express their feelings or opinions without reprisal.  I may not believe in a god but I do believe in the good inside of people. Being accepting of how different we all are is a great attribute that many people lack.  Often hiding behind religion or even racism to explain their behavior.

I try and accept people as decent humans. Showing some random kindness is my way of sharing my beliefs: Be kind to others.It’s that easy.  Or as Wil Wheaton says: Don’t be a dick.

Cancelling Car Radio

Today I cancelled my SiriusXM subscription. It was a small headache bordering on frustrating. Here it was step by step:

  1. Go online and log into my SiriusXM account. Easy peasy.
  2. Search entire website for 20 minutes to find out how to cancel subscription.
  3. Find 1-800 number because you can’t cancel online. You can add services online however.
  4. Call 1-800 number 3 times.  Get disconnected each time when I choose “cancel subscription”.
  5. Get thru to representative.  He was nice enough until I tried to cancel my subscription. Then he tells me I need to go to the Canadian service and gives me another 1-800 number because they can’t transfer me.
  6. Hang up and call new 1-800 number. Line is not in service!
  7. Go back online and Google search “How to cancel SiriusXM in Canada”.
  8. Find a third 1-800 number and dial up. Begin to feel exasperated.
  9. Get thru to a representative quickly. This was nice for a change.
  10. Tell representative I am looking to cancel.  Sales pitch now on.  Offers a small monthly discount.  I say no thanks.  Offers BIG discount now. Claims he shouldn’t be doing this for me.  I say no thank you, please just cancel my subscription.
  11. Put on hold for 15 minutes.
  12. Representative jumps back on tells me it’s cancelled and gives me verification code. We go our separate ways.
  13. Go to car and don’t turn on radio since I am still annoyed.

I don’t like to complain, but it was an arduous experience to say the least. I stayed calm the entire time and didn’t bother to express my frustration.  However, I can see how the auto renewal keeps people using services they don’t need. Now that I’ve cancelled the service for my car, it’s time to set up the local radio stations.  It’s been nine months of owning my car, and I only had NEWS1130 programmed in. At least I was keeping up with current affairs.