Blade Runner (This is Not a Film Review)

I have owned the limited edition DVD of Blade Runner since 2007. Up until today I had only watched this version once. It’s not that the film wasn’t good, far from it, it’s just that I never made the time to watch it again.


The box set was covered in dust from sitting on our shelf for ten years.  I completely forgot what was inside of it.  My children were amazed and began asking questions of it.  Why is there a toy car? What is the silver unicorn about? Why did the film come in a briefcase? Which version are we going to watch?

That was the trick question.  Which version do you watch when there are four different ones included? Why bother including any others but the one the director calls the “FINAL VERSION”? So that was the one we watched today.

After the film, my kids asked even more questions.  Like why did it end that way? What happens next? 

I never knew the answers to these questions when I saw it as a child myself.  Now that there is a sequel out, perhaps there will be some closure.


The first Blade Runner is visually stunning.  The music and sound effects are integral to the flow of the movie.  Over the past week or so, I have been doing my best to avoid reviews of the new film.  I will be going in to see it with an unbiased opinion. My children would like to see it as well. They have those unanswered questions lingering about.  Lucky for them, they only have to wait a few days before we go to see it. Unlike the rest of us who waited a few decades.

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What is the Balance of My Time?

Time is precious.  My time is extremely valuable to me and especially to those I care about. My children, my wife, and my friends all get a piece of my time. Work also gets some of that time. But have I achieved a balance?


I have 168 hours a week to offer up.

Work gets 48 hours a week of my time. Two full days out of the seven.

8 hours is devoted to driving to and from work as well for the week.

56 hours is spent sleeping. Maybe more. Maybe.

That leaves 56 hours for my friends and family. That is exactly 1/3 of my time. That time is extremely valuable to me. In fact, I cannot think of a price to put on it. I would gladly give up my job or sleep before I give up the time I have for those I care about.

At the end of every week, my family comes first.  At the end of every workday, I walk away proud of what I did that day. At the end of every sleep, I am ready to do it all again each and every day. 

I feel I have created a healthy work/life balance.

Proving a Point

I have a generally great relationship with my kids. Lots of healthy joking between us as well as humorous banter back and forth. But sometimes they can’t stop with the insults and jabs.


The other day they were making fun of me. It was ok at first, then I decided to prove them wrong. Maybe I was being spiteful, more likely is I am unsure where my standing is with them any more. Gauntlets are thrown down- I’m going to grow a beard.


I don’t like facial hair. I mentioned it last October in Shaving about how much I don’t do facial hair. But this time around- it’s to prove my kids wrong. I will grow a beard to show them that I can. Even though I hate the feeling of facial hair.

I’m not sure how I will look- I’m a bit worried it will age me. I also think I’ll resemble my father. Both looks I don’t really want to achieve. In any case- I will shave whatever I’ve grown on November 25th. That is the anniversary of my father’s death. 

Perhaps I’ll like it and keep the hair. Although not likely… My 13 year old daughter told me “Next you’re going to become a hipster and want a man-bun.” Ouch. She’s so opinionated. No idea where she gets it. (From her mother…)

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.

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!

Money for Music

Music brings out emotions.  Like today for example.  I am emotional because I just spent $600 for our son to play a trumpet for school. Maybe emotional isn’t the right word.  More like “pained” from dropping so much money all at once.


It’s not the first time we’ve had to do this.  Each of our children love music. My wife and I have catered to this in many ways.  We’ve bought three guitars, a flute, a drum kit and a grand piano (this is what started it all) to name a few.  We see these purchases as investments.  Investments into an appreciation of the arts.


Our two oldest children love to perform. They enjoy being parts of large and small ensembles. Purchasing a trumpet for our youngest was always going to happen.  Ok, perhaps a saxophone may have happened, but a new instrument was going to enter our home as he entered Grade 6. So now we will have a small ensemble available in our home.  

My hope is that our children continue to explore their talents as they get older.  A deep appreciation for music is already established within all of them. Aside from costing us a small fortune, it’s really worth it in the end.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.

Sisters

I am sometimes a horrible parent.

I know- hard to believe.

But let me share a story from Saturday night with you.

My wife and I went out for the evening to enjoy dinner and music.  We left our 3 children at home- none of them put in charge mind you.   So our evening out was for about three hours and on our way home I called our oldest daughter.  I asked her if she could meet us outside our home so she could give us some reusable bags and we would go buy soda and chips. She was more than happy to oblige, because junk food. We met her just up from our house and she decided she wanted to come with us.  So I asked if she saw her brother or sister before she left. Now the fun began.


As we drove up the road to the store, I decided to call our other daughter on her new cell phone.  She answered quickly so we talked for a bit. Then I asked where her older sister was because Random wasn’t answering her phone. She told me that Random was taking bags to meet us and had just left.  I then put on “worried dad voice” and said that we hadn’t even left the restaurant yet. Darwin became frazzled and was sure that her sister was meeting up with us.  I kept up the charade and told her I am hanging up the phone now to try and call her older sister back.


After a few minutes of my snickering in the car with my wife and Random, I decided to call Darwin back. Darwin was now in panic mode.  She kept saying that she was certain her sister was going to meet up with us.  I couldn’t help myself- I kept up the facade… I told her how much trouble her sister was going to be in when I found her.  I then told Darwin that I had to go and make some phone calls.  Moments later, Random began getting texts from a panicky little sister wondering where she had gotten to.


I went into the store and did the quick shopping with my wife.  About ten minutes later we were back at the car just as our oldest daughter was getting a FaceTime call. Random answered it and promptly turned the screen into my face. All I could see was Darwin and Theory staring at me in disbelief.  Then the connection went dead.

I tried repeatedly to call her.  But she wouldn’t answer the phone.  We got home and I tried to text her. My prank had not been received very well. My 13 year old daughter was right pissed off:


I was in her bad books for the rest of the weekend.  At least I know she will look out for her sister.  I also know that her sister didn’t play along with my prank. The two of them may fight and bicker, but in the end I know they have each other’s backs.

Now to try and make it up to my daughters.  This one will be tough… I am worried they may seek revenge on me one day.

Good Dog

Today is the three year mark from when we had to say goodbye to one of our best friends.  Not only was he a friend, he was a family member. This is the first time I am writing about Degarip Capkin.


Most everyone knew him as Chuppy.  Or Chuppy the Puppy. His name loosely translated from Turkish meant “Silly Flirt”. He was true to his name. Everyone loved him.  He was a sweet & adorable dog.  He embodied what I always imagined a dog should be.  Medium-large animal with brown fur, long snout, big paws, always happy.

When I first met my wife, he was already a part of her life.  I accepted him and he accepted me in each other’s lives. My wife had just returned home from Turkey, where she had adopted him from.  From what my wife had told me, he was a very young street dog that was tormented by children when she first found him.  She immediately took to him and spent a small fortune getting his health up and being able to transport him back to Canada.


He was a mix breed but mostly Rhodesian Ridgeback.  He lived with us for many years.  All of our children grew up with him around. He was always tolerant of them as they would hug and love him. He lived a very long life of nearly 17 years. Towards the end, he had a tough time just getting out of bed.


On his last day, we took him for a final walk. I lifted him into our SUV and the family went to the vet. Before the vet put him to sleep one last time, we each made our peace with him. Tears were shed as his last breath was taken and he went peacefully into the void.

To this very day, many of our friends fondly speak of Chuppy.  He was a cherished dog that was the mascot of our home.  It was nearly impossible to meet him without wanting to give him rubs and hugs.  Not only was Chuppy a good boy, he was a great friend. We still miss him tremendously, but my wife misses him most of all.

It’s All In The Routine

School’s in.  Now the after school activities are beginning.  Tonight is back to Speed Skating!  Yay! Ice rinks!

Our son has returned to begin his seventh year.  His older sister has also decided to return after a four year hiatus.  She was doing Cheer Leading during this time.  But now she wants to get back into competition speed skating.


Our son was like a bullet as he went back on the ice.  Faster than ever and not stopping. All of his friends greeted him enthusiastically as they raced around.

Unlike our daughter. Her first few steps were wobbly and a bit fearful. Much like riding a bike, she figured it out and began gaining her confidence. As the skating season continues, I’m excited to watch them both improve.


Our oldest child has also decided to return to the ice.  Unlike her brother and sister though, she will be volunteering her time as a junior coach and at the various meets. To graduate high school she needs a certain amount of volunteer hours.  This should help her out tremendously.

So we are back to spending our Wednesday & Friday nights at the rink. Plus the occasional weekend. Parenting is a good way to transfer your social life over to your children’s. At least the other parents here are in the same boat.

Passports

Today my wife and I are going to get new passports for the family.  The last time we did this was five years ago. The only country we have entered on these passports is USA. So we have had no stamps on them.  It kind of makes me sad, but at the same point- they look pretty cool under a black light. If all goes well, with the new ones we can get some real travel going.


My wife and I are going to get the ten year passport renewals.  (The children are only able to get five year ones.) I am hoping that over the next few years we can actually get some stamps in our books.  Even when I was younger, the only country I have ever been to outside North America is Scotland. It’s time to make amends to this situation.


Having a ten year passport means our picture will remain the same for a long time.  Hopefully the biggest changes will be in our personalities as we experience other cultures and more of the world. I’m looking forward to our future exploits.  Perhaps even a couple within the first year.

As they say, “Happy travels!”