My Wife Loves Me- No Matter What It Might Look Like…


My wife has a sense of humor.  She married me after all.  I asked her why she loved me the other night and she said it’s because I make her laugh.  Something-something bedroom joke… Probably because this is me topless:


Ladies!  Hands off!  I’m taken and my wife was told no refunds! I’m pushing out the belly a bit, but that’s the full meal deal right there. Josef in all of his glory!  Look at that sexy pose!  How could she not love me?  She even enjoys driving me around:


This was today’s fun.  Pretty calm compared to some of our other banter.  I swear that some of my friends have become her friend on social media just to see her side of the “arguments”.  Neither of us has crossed a line against the other when it comes to the jokes.  The only thing that has happened is that now that our children are entering into their teen years on social media- we are watching what we write in that aspect.  I know if my parents were online joking about sex with each other- I’d have needed more therapy than I do now.


So my wife laughs at me.  I laugh at her.  We laugh together. Then she snorts.


As we grow older, we will continue to poke fun at each other’s flaws and shortcomings.  Because in the end, it doesn’t matter.  We’re in it together to enjoy the foolishness of life.

Set It and Forget It

I used to watch infomercials all the time.  They were the best.  A half hour devoted to try and get people to buy their product “In three easy payments“.

Ron Popeil was one of the greats.  Pieces of crap that he could convince everyone that they needed in their lives.  I mean this guy created  “GLH” for Christ sake!  Spray on hair in a can!  Winnning!


The best part was people’s reactions.  An entire audience of overactors behaving with such amazement that this product never existed before for a problem they never knew they had.  What?!!


But wait! There’s more!” Now we get to the meat and potatoes of the infomercial: Some freebie that comes with the piece of garbage.  Or better yet- you get two for the price of one!  And free shipping!  Just pay a processing fee and set up easy 4 payments of only $19.95! Sign up now and we’ll even take off one of those payments.  Only three easy payments!


I never fell for the ads.  In fact- I often analyzed the way it was laid out before the viewer.  It was like a group of teens from drama class sat around and decided to try and write a screenplay or bad sitcom and the product company stole it from the trash. Even the dialogue was childish. “You’re gonna love my nuts!” Still so much fun to quote.

No more late night infomercials for me since we cancelled cable.  I think Netflix should have the option to watch classic infomercials and leave the phone numbers still there! I’d watch them- maybe even call and place an order.

Bad Blood

Sometimes hostility remains even after you have “Buried The Hatchet”. I don’t tend to keep in contact with people who piss me off.  And it takes a lot to get me to that point.


But I also know that I have lost many so called friends, or missed out on job opportunities, even dating when I was younger because of someone’s influence on the lady person I liked.  Opinions matter to nearly everyone in the known universe.  Opinions about oneself, each other, current events- you name it, people have an opinion.  And it sucks.

It sucks being a quality Grade “A” asshole.  It sucks being treated like you’re second class.  It sucks that not everyone shares the same opinion. It sucks that we feel things. It sucks that we can’t be emotionless drones. It sucks…

But it doesn’t suck.  It means we are weeding out those around us that aren’t of benefit.  There are people we need to lose contact with because they are jerks. Or perhaps because of the lack of their intellect makes them appear as jerks.  Maybe we lose a friend or two because they are taking something of value away from us.  Maybe it’s emotional, maybe it’s tangible- maybe it’s the air we breathe.  But losing people from our lives means they have run their course.  


Being courteous doesn’t mean I have to be nice.  People need to breathe and eat- you won’t see me choking the shit out of a dumbass, no matter how badly I want to.  I’m also 100% sure that I’ve been on the receiving end of that hate.  Come on, I have a younger sister- she’ll tell you how great of a big brother I was in the past. 

Stop caring what people think of you.  Start caring about what you think of o̶t̶h̶e̶r̶s̶ yourself. Just be the best you that you can be. Dammit I ranted.  

Here’s a picture of a rhododendron from my front yard.  It don’t give a shit what you think.  It’s pretty because it’s designed to be pretty. Not because someone told it to change.

Read a Book?

I am adamant about writing my blog every day.  I enjoy it.  It’s an hour or so of just unwinding and clearing my head.  Sometimes it’s an idea that I had months ago and have just come back to it.  Sometimes it’s the experience of the day prior or a long distant memory.  Today, nothing.

Not that I don’t have stuff to write about.  Far from it.  But my internal inspiration is all busted up.  Or rather just uninspired.  And I realized what it is.  Too much screen time.  


Yes I said it.  The same guy who, over thirty years ago, had a tv in his bedroom from age eleven.  The very same guy who had to buy a first generation video iPod but now uses his cellphone for far better videos. The same guy who used to spend countless hours watching YouTube video clips.  That same fellow has realized that I need to cut back on my screen time.

I need to pick up a book and read it.  From cover to cover.  I need to feel the pages on my fingertips.  I need to re-read a paragraph because my mind wandered even though my eyes and brain read what was written. I need to re-read a paragraph because my mind wandered even though my eyes and brain read what was written. Yes, I’m a doofus and that was intentional.


I used to read all the time.  I loved it.  But because of my obsession with technology and shiny things, books have fallen by the wayside.  My wife has pointed out that we tend to go to bed and have Netflix running as a sleep inducer.  That’s not good.  I miss reading.  Goal for this summer is now to finish 4-5 novels.  Perhaps I will open up one of my old Stephen King or Michael Crighton novels to get my going.  Or Neil Gaiman.  Something besides tv.  

With that, I am off to bed now.  Hopefully with a good book & not giving into the temptation of the easy way out.  Oh look! The tv remote is on my side of the bed…

Day Trip to Victoria BC


I volunteered to chaperone at my son’s school field trip to Victoria today.  It started really early in the morning at the school (and 14 hours later-still not home). We got on the school bus, and I promptly made my way to the back. So did the boys I was with. We laughed about poop jokes and cartoons.


The ferry ride was uneventful. My son and his buddy wanted to sit and play cards while we had a snack. We wandered the decks a couple of times and waved at a passing ferry. We got to Vancouver Island and boarded another bus. We took off to Victoria for the afternoon. Easy breezy and the weather fully cooperated.


Next came a whirlwind self guided tour of the Royal BC Museum.  We hardly stopped to check anything out.  Partly because museums are becoming a thing of the past when needing to get information out to the public.  Also partly because the schedule was so packed in.  I’ve seen this museum about a half dozen times in the past thirty years.  It hasn’t changed much.  We rushed from the museum across the street and into the Parliament Buildings. 



This was a guided tour that was extremely informative and the kids did a fantastic job being courteous to our guide. The children were also asking great questions and having answers that were asked of them.


Then we did a mad dash back to the Museum for the kids to watch an IMAX film.  This was only for the kids and the chaperones had some free time.  We took off almost instantly.


So a group of eight of us parents found a patio for the next forty five minutes and chilled out. I’m not saying I had a Bellini or that the others had sangria or ice cold beers, but we did… have some adult time.  We had good conversations about the school and kids.  It was a nice break before the hecticness began. After a cold bevie- we met up with the school and headed out for dinner.


58 kids, 29 parents and 2 teachers took over the Old Spaghetti Factory for one of the noisiest meals I have been at since my days at Chuck E. Cheese’s.  Absolute chaos was taking over.  As a smart parent- I suggested to the other parents that we let all of the kids get seated and we take a few tables at the other side. Best plan!

After dessert we ran to our bus because time was running out.  This time it wasn’t a school bus, but rather a charter bus.  With plush seats. The kids doubled up in the seats and the adults each took a double seat to stretch out.  The bus ride remained quiet.  All was good.


Our ferry ride back was calm at first.  Then the children began acting like caged animals.  The real issue today was a lack of recess.  Everything was planned to the minute and well organized.  But kids will be kids.  They had to burn off steam somehow- running around the decks was the only way to do this.  Us parents just didn’t have it in us to stop them.  The chaperones ended up in strategic locations in an effort to slow down the insanity.  The Chief Stewart ended up making an announcement over the PA system: “No running on the ferry please.” It wasn’t just our school.  Apparently another 200 kids were also on the ferry.  The poor passengers hoping for a calm ride to the Lower Mainland were now doing their best to ignore the children.


Our final bus ride calmed the children once more.  The bobble heads that the driver had on her dash mesmerized us all.  All around a good day.  I’m signing off now as we finish our ride back to the school.  Pretty sure a few cold beers will end my night at home.

Sci-Fi

Today is doubly dorky.  First it’s the 40th Anniversary of the release of Star Wars.  Forty years of a fandom that has brought us Wookiee calls and internet memes.  I have discussed my love of this space fantasy on numerous occasions.  I don’t think I need to add any more on the subject at this time.  Except that either you love Star Wars or you’re wrong.

Today is also known as “Towel Day”. Which is a bit more obscure compared to Star Wars.  However the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is known by most people in my circle of friends.  I wrote about it last year and explained it’s significance in my life. Douglas Adams was a brilliantly funny man in his musings.  Perhaps he will inspire me to write more than a mere blog post.

So today I am unsure which to celebrate more.  My love of Star Wars or the series of novels that inspired my oldest daughter’s name?  I think I shall combine the two and wear a Star Wars shirt and carry around my towel.


Don’t Panic.

Dress For the Job You Want?


For the past decade at my work- I was pretty much a jeans and nerdy t-shirt kinda guy. Always sporting a new shirt after the many conventions we would attend. My hair even changed color on a regular basis. It didn’t take away from who I was known to be- an intelligent guy who looked creative and fun to be around.

In December, I took on the role of Assistant Trainmaster, so my look had to change.  Not since my days of being a manager at Chuck E Cheese’s did I have to wear dress pants and golf shirts/dress shirts (albeit the shirts had a Rat logo on them). But I now found myself ten years into a job of dressing pretty relaxed into having to go for a semi-professional grown up look.  Some plain golf shirts and some new dress pants were purchased.  My hair has become a normal colour and style.  No more red contact lens for fun. I’m all grown up for a new grown up position.

I don’t own a suit. But today I wore my black pin striped dress pants and a short sleeved grey dress shirt to work.  The only suit jacket I have came out from my closet. It just so happens to be black pin striped and have a large sequined cross on the back of it.  


I showed up at work and everyone was surprised at how well dressed I was. As if they’d never seen me before. I stopped by the door to my boss’s office and said good morning to him.  He asked me why I was so dressed up. I told him that I am the “Rock Star of the Railroad” and turned around. He laughed when he saw the back of the jacket.

Even though I am doing my best to be professional, I am still who I am.  I’m here to enjoy my job, enjoy my life, and enjoy the company of others.  I look good in whatever I choose to wear. I don’t dress for the job I want. Rather, I have made my job accept how I dress. I’m proud of my many looks. Every day is a new day.

There’s A Storm A Brewin’

We just had the most beautiful weather this past weekend. Even though the sun is still out, there’s something in the air tonight.  A wind storm.  Full-on fast scary winds. 

I love it.


It’s some of the most fun being out in the wind.  The smell of fresh flowers and trees in my neighborhood flow through the air.  As we ate dinner on our deck, you could hear the tree deck creaking as it swayed back and forth.

We’ve only ever lost a few large branches and an occasional birch tree in these storms.  Maybe a power failure or two, but never enough that I need to own a generator.  One day we may own one- I like my gadgets and toys working!

Tonight’s high winds are another reminder of how amazing nature is.  The fact that it can still be stunningly beautiful but fiercely dangerous.  At my work we had to warn the switchmen of the possibility of empty rail cars being blown down the tracks.  They can roll silently and you wouldn’t hear them behind you.  A rare occurrence, but entirely possible.

Side note: Storm is my favorite character from X-Men.  That’s how I’m ending today’s blog. I think teenage me would agree. She’s pretty sexy in black with stark white hair. Not to mention the lightning and ability to control the weather and fly!  She could save me any day.

But I digress.  Old man Joe isn’t in need of saving.  The only thing I save is my blog posts.  

Shit.  I ended with a “Dad Joke“.

My Daughter’s Adventure

Last night my 13 year old daughter had an adventure. Not a physical adventure.  But more of a mind blowing adventure.  We spoke of parallel universes and timelines.  I’ve always been good at open discussion on this subject.  Not my first time running around this course…


My daughter is far beyond herself in the philosophical department.  Oftentimes keeping herself awake at night as her brain focuses on the obscure.  She has asked that her and I sit down and talk.  I’ve had to ask for a delay in this, since I have to work and have a few prior arrangements.  Pretty sure this won’t be the end of our discussions even if I didn’t have to postpone.


But it leaves me with a dilemma.  Do I sugarcoat and dumb down my talks with her?  Or should I explain that no one knows the truth?  Maybe I can point her towards some of the more realistic ideals in life. Or am I going to hinder her mental progress? 

You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

I think that in the end I can only guide her towards what she seeks. I can explain what other people have thought about life, the universe and everything.  I can lend her books and ask her questions- but I can’t tell her what’s real.

I don’t know what’s real.

Cloverdale Rodeo

This past weekend was The Cloverdale Rodeo. I don’t like the Rodeo. There are many reasons for this. None of them are because of animal cruelty.  That’s a different debate, one I don’t wish to engage.


First, I don’t like crowds. But Josef- you always talk about Disneyland. Isn’t that crowded? Sure it is.  But I also plan my days based on the slower periods in the parks.  I know when to avoid the crowds. Ever notice how I’m enjoying a beer afterwards in the hotel? And don’t even try and get my to venture into Vancouver to see fireworks!


Second, I don’t like the heat. And this weekend was hot. Too damn hot for my liking to be stuck out in the sun without any shade. Plus I had the “pleasure” of working outdoors as it is.  My arms are sunburnt. Stupid pasty white boy.

Third, Country music isn’t my style. I can appreciate a well written song from time to time, but overall- it’s not my bag baby. I almost posted an Austin Powers meme… but wait! There’s More…


Fourth is Carnies. The Rodeo brings in West Coast Amusements for the event. I don’t like sketchy carnival rides, scary ass food or carnival barkers trying to get me to play “skill games” for prizes. Years ago, when I was 18 or 19, I went to the Cloverdale Rodeo.  We made friends with some of the carnival workers and we got lots of free rides and heard many stories of the sketchiest things that go on. (Did you know that the “Zipper” ride has a puker almost every other time? That’s why there’s a hose nearby. Then the ride spins to dry it off). They only hung out with us for the free weed and hopes to get with the ladies. But that never happened. Haha.

I also hate trying to drive around the streets near the Rodeo as well. People are bad drivers as it is.  When I’m behind the wheel- I think it’s my road, so get outta way! Ugh.  Anyways- going to work is far more pleasurable than wasting my time and money at the Rodeo.  

Plus horse poop stinks. Especially in the heat.