First days of spring. Time for more sunshiny days and a new lease on life. Green grass and baby animals. Ah, spring. So I’m going to share a favorite childhood poem of mine. And a fun photo.
Spring has sprung
The grass is riz.
I wonder where the birdies is?
Oh lord ok there’s one up in the sky.
Oh no! It whitewashed in my eye.
But I’m a big boy- I don’t cry.
I thank god that cows don’t fly.
I’m looking forward to our trip to Tokyo (counting down the hours until we leave). Mostly I’m excited for the sights and the experience, but also for the food. Mmmmm Japanese food…
I love Japanese food. Not just sushi. Although sushi is up there in one of my top spots for favorite foods (I’ve even made sushi myself). The food in restaurants I have been to in North America are so flavorful and beautifully laid out- it makes me hopeful for an even better experience abroad.
From what I have seen online, there is also a lot of fun offered up in presentation as well as flavors. Choosing meals will be easy at first for my family. We all share similar tastes, but by the end, we may argue over which ramen place to go to or what snacks to buy.
I’ve brought a lot of spending cash for our meals, which is rare for when I travel. Usually we like to pack food and only eat out a couple of times. But since we are flying and can only take so much baggage- this trip will involve a lot of restaurants.
Can’t really complain- I’ve only ever heard good things about eating in Japan. Maybe this trip will have us Instagramming our meals more often!
Follow along with my food adventures at binarydigit01 on Instagram.
On Friday I decided to buy a new iPhone for myself. I was really bad with my last phone. The 6+ was too big. I broke the screen 3 times (four if you count the pixel lines that appeared down the side). It pissed me off one time that I had to write about how stupid I was: Aw Dang. I never broke my iPhone 4! I treated that thing like gold. I took some Parks & Rec advice:
Since we are going on a trip I don’t want a piece of poop iPhone with a broken screen or dying battery to try and make memories with. I wanted something that works. Convincing my wife was easy… I had to buy her one as well.
This time around I bought the phone in white. Last year I mentioned how I associate white cars with Luxury so I figured, maybe I should do the same with my iPhone. I should be able to treat it better now. It’s smaller and easier to see. It feels slick and clean as I type today’s blog post. I had to spoil myself for my birthday…
I’m also excited to utilize some of the new features available for video and photos. I’m going to force my children to participate in some fun while we are gone!
I love my new phone.
Yesterday was my birthday. It was perfect. My family did exactly what I wished for- nothing.
Well, not exactly “nothing”. They took me out for sushi dinner. Then they gave me 42 homemade cupcakes. I received a few bags of candy with 42 pieces in each. Then we went to the drive-in movie to watch “Black Panther”.
It was a perfect birthday. Exactly what I wished for. No big party. No extravagant gifts. Just my wife and kids having fun.
The answer to the Great Question… of Life,the Universe and Everything… is…
Today I turn Forty Two. My life has been pretty darned good so far. This year I am planning on making the most of my 42. First is my bucket list trip to Tokyo. I’ve always wanted to travel there since my childhood for many different reasons.
Next will be to meet a couple of my childhood icons at the Calgary Expo at the end of April: Paul Reubens and Wil Wheaton. I dressed as Pee-Wee one Halloween and I loved it. I almost had the opportunity to meet Wil Wheaton, but I chickened out. Not this time! I even wrote about it two years ago: One Day.
I’m also blessed with extra vacation time off this year. I am going to try and make the most of my time by relaxing and traveling. There is so much beauty to see and experience in the world. I may even venture off on my own without the family. Just because.
Here I am, age 42. It’s an important year to me. Not 40 or 45 just because they end in a five or zero. No midlife crisis planned either. Just enjoying 42 years of the earth’s rotation. Especially the last 17 years. Life has been full of off-set plans, like being married on a Tuesday just because. Or naming our first born daughter Random from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” series.
42 years of just trying to make my world a better place.
“Is that all you’ve got to show for seven and a half million years’ work?”
I guess so.
For the past five days or so, I’ve decided to start taking walks around my neighborhood. Usually my wife walks with me, sometimes a child or two joins us, but I always take the dog along. The weather has been exceptional lately. I’ve been taking the walks in the afternoon most of the time to clear my mind.
Driving home, listening to the news radio after my shift last night I heard it was going to rain later today. This would put a damper (hahaha I made a funny) on my afternoon walk before work today. With the time change last weekend and a beautiful morning, I got home grabbed a quick coffee and took off with the dog. The clouds and sun caused a beautiful pink hue over the countryside. It reminded me of summer mornings from my childhood in Edmonton.
Lex has also enjoyed the past few days. His excitement shows every time I head to the door. He’s a wonderful dog who walks next to us without a leash. He sniffs the air and genuinely looks like he’s smiling while we are out. Even though we have an acre for him to run around in, he still loves smelling the air of the neighborhood.
Besides clearing my thoughts, there is more to the reason for my walks. My wife got me into Carrot Rewards a while back. I use the points earned for free movies. Download the app and you can enter my User Code: josefh8436 to get me some bonus points! Besides my wife getting me into walking, I’ve been inspired by a coworker who rides his bike to and from work. My step goal is low so it makes it easy to achieve. Lastly, I want to be able to walk around Tokyo without much issue, so getting some practice walks in are good for my muscles.
These walks are healthy for me both physically and mentally. The fresh air and the small bit of exercise are great. I’m hoping to keep it up for the foreseeable future. I forgot how much I missed walking.
Yesterday was a good day.
The sun was out. The weather was warm and inviting. And my family was getting back into its groove. Because of this, I decided to take advantage of the situation.
We started off with a walk around the block. We made it to our neighbor’s house, where we began to talk with him. After a bit, he offered to take our old toilets to the dump when he went on his dump run. Cool- and mighty neighborly of him. We left his driveway and continued on our walk with the dog.
As we walked, we waved at people passing by. Everyone was smiling and being courteous as we walked down our rural road. With every house at least an acre apart- it was strange to see so many people out. But mowers, chainsaws, and leaf blowers were in full force being used. We even met a few other dogs along the way that needed to come say “hello” to our dog.
Once back home, our old toilets went next door and the kids filled seven yard waste cans. I cleared off the roof and finally took down our Christmas lights. After all this was done, I even got to wash my car. You could see a huge difference in our home’s “curb appeal” by the end.
Life was back to a semblance of normalcy by the end of the night. Four of the five of us celebrated “Mario Day” with a few rounds of Mariokart. (Mario Day is Mar10– check out the Google Map app for this week as well to be Mario for the directions.) I may have lost repeatedly at the game, but I enjoyed the time with the kids.
I’m going to end today with a link to an old song. A couple of the lines resonate with me and how I feel. Please enjoy.
What a Diff’rence a Day Makes
A good night sleep was really needed. As tough as it is dealing with one’s own emotions, it can be even more difficult dealing with your family’s as well. Thursday and Friday were stressing the limits in our home. But we made it through somehow- without hurt feelings, anger or cruelty. It took strength and time.
I knew yesterday that I would just need to be patient and wait for tomorrow (which is now today). Things are better. Not the best- but better. It makes me able to see an end in sight. The inspiration I get to push through these tough times often comes from movies or songs. Someone, somewhere, shared their heartache with the world through art. It encourages me to know that the struggles aren’t limited to just my life. Last night, the song “Tomorrow” from Annie was going through my mind.
And it worked. The sun is out, I’m alive and awake, and people in the house are smiling a bit more than yesterday.
Cheesy? Maybe. Hopeful? Definitely.
1982’s Annie was an integral part of my life growing up since I saw it in the theater at age 6. Being able to get through the sadness and tribulations of life- all the while remaining positive- is a strong characteristic of mine because of this film. I never thought that over 35 years later it would help me in raising our teenager. But it did.
“I just stick out my chin and grin and say…”
The last 24 hours has been a bit emotionally rough in our household. There’s something going on with our teenager and she isn’t willing to share. She is creating a struggle in our home with no right way to resolve things. So I’m feeling pretty beat down- and so is my wife. I’m being left with a choice:
I can give up.
I can give in.
Or I can give it all I have.
I’m not sure where I am at currently. My mood is full of curse words and frustration. I’m trying to keep a positive attitude towards life. But at this moment, I feel like I can only think about myself and nobody else. I’m not playing “good cop bad cop” with my wife- that won’t work this time around. I’m also not wanting to say something to our daughter about how she is acting that I may end up regretting later.
So here is today’s Friday blog post- a crappy feeling shared on the World Wide Web. Parenting is tough. Not much more to say about it. I’ll just wait and see how things are tomorrow.
After all- tomorrow is another day.
Today is International Women’s Day so I felt it was important to write about it and what it means to me from a male point of view.
First of all, I have a mother. She gave me life. She did her best to raise my sister and I- all while working towards her own career goals. This was done through the 80’s/90’s and was not an easy task by any means. Kudos to you mom!
Secondly, I have a wife. She has been a partner to me and a great friend for nearly two decades. She gave up working outside of our home in order to focus on raising our children and starting her own business. Throughout our partnership, we have shared responsibilities and I have never expected her to give up on her dreams or do my bidding in any form. A mutual respect has been formed between us. I’m lucky that she is in my life.
Thirdly, my wife and I have two intelligent and strong willed daughters. I don’t want to describe them as “beautiful” because most people tend to use that statement as a way to describe looks instead of skills. Our daughters are kind and caring towards most everyone and everything. They are extremely smart and will become successful in whatever avenues they pursue. I can’t limit the future of their lives to how they look by any means.
As much as I’d like to think I’ve been supportive of women’s rights- there is so much more I could be doing. I share chores and raising of our children. I never look at it as “babysitting” or “women’s work”. It’s how to make a successful household. Outside the home, sometimes all it takes is telling my friends that a sexist joke really isn’t funny. I don’t participate in marches, but I also don’t ignore problems. Having a healthy dialogue about the Me Too Movement goes a long way in acknowledgement and prevention as well.
So a big shout out to all the women out there making a difference- be it big or small. To my wife and daughters and all the other women I know- I’m lucky you are a part of my life.
Happy International Women’s Day!