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.
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.
I love fake celebratory dates. “Star Wars Day” is the best one. (May the 4th). But today is also a perfect example of made up celebration days.
It’s “National Pi Day” or “Pie Day”. Whichever dad joke you want to use to share 3.14 is ok with me. I like pie.
Time to go out and spread some silly joy and plaster social media all about pie and Pi. Math and dessert go hand in hand.
I’m going to get me an apple pie later on. That’s my favorite pie. What’s your go-to pie for celebrating today?
I was driving home from my night shift and just wanted to get home. I was fairly tired and zoned out for a bit. This was because my car isn’t a manual transmission. I kind of miss it.
My old 2003 Honda Element is a five speed manual transmission. The gear shift is in the middle of the console at the perfect height. I always enjoyed driving my box on wheels. I stayed alert and felt like I had more control over what the engine did. I think I shall take this SUV out of storage for the summer! It’ll be great for camping as well.
My 2016 Rogue is an automatic. But it has buttons. Buttons on the side to “ACTIVATE SPORT MODE” or lesser cool, but completely practical “ECONOMIC MODE“. I usually use the second one since gas prices are skyrocketing and my commute one way is 55km (round trip is 110- GO math genius Josef). But once in a while I like to pretend to be sporty.
I wish I could’ve bought the higher end model of my car in standard, but alas it was not to be. Maybe the next car we get will have a gear shift again. That makes driving a bit more fun.
I can’t live without technology. Over the past 15+ years, I also can’t live without access to the internet!
Ya I know I could “live” without it. But it has become an integral part of my daily life. In fact, once I got a smartphone- I have been unable to remain offline for extended periods. I’ve come to terms with this. I do however know when not to go online or use my smartphone; for example- driving.
Since the world is connected and Google is everywhere- I figured that our trip out of the country to Japan would require some sort of access to the World Wide Web. After speaking to some people at work who have been to Japan recently, I came to the conclusion that access to Google would be a necessity.
I’ve been using Google Maps on my computer and my iPhone for the past few months studying up on Tokyo. I’ve been trying to get my bearings of where we are staying in relation to the various sights. I’ve already printed directions and train times for each day. But I know that I will also need access to a live map periodically.
Having access to “Google Translate” also seems like a great idea. Since none of us speak Japanese- nor can we read it- having quick translations both written and in speech will be handy. Knowing my personal limitations when it comes to other languages and cultures is humbling to say the least.
It all comes down to the question, “How am I going to access the Internet abroad while on the go?” I had a couple of options:
The first was to fork over $12/day on my personal cellphone to “Roam Like Home“. The second option was to get a SIM card or a “Burner Phone” and pay as I go for the twelve days we are there. But the option I liked best was “Pocket WiFi“. This is $7/day and I can connect up to 10 devices. This will also allow my wife and children unlimited access to the internet as we travel around Tokyo.
This option seemed like a no-brainer. I pre-ordered the Pocket WiFi from Econnect and it will be delivered to our hotel the day we arrive. I had the option to pick up at the airport, but it was on the far side of the airport at the Domestic Terminal. I have decided that we will try and manage a 15 minute train ride from the airport to our hotel without use of technology. This may end up being the longest 15 minutes of my life as I stress about what stop we are getting off at and which way to walk afterwards.
The benefits of having WiFi in a foreign country won’t make me feel so nervous. It’s a common ground that most of the civilized world understands. Who knows, after this trip I may try and venture further out of my comfort zone.
I’m getting tremendously prepared for our trip to Tokyo. I’ve done a ton of research of things to do and see over the past few months. I bought advanced tickets online for some attractions as well. I even waited at my computer refreshing a website to open up ticket sales in order for me to jump on and get them. (Studio Ghibli Museum better be worth the headache!!!) Needless to say, I am a planning machine.
For the past week or so I have brought some ideas from work home with me to use for our vacation. No, I’m not taking work with me- I’m using my knowledge base of Excel spreadsheets! I’m making cue cards and an itinerary using Excel. I’m such a dork. But it’s working for me. We have so many things we want to do and see, that planning it out in advance is great. I understand that there may be travel times or waits at certain places and I’ve taken that into consideration. I have been careful to make sure that our big plans are staggered out each day and that we can enjoy some wandering time as well. I don’t want to rush the experience of a foreign country.
Incorporating places and sights that interest the kids is high up on the list. As I mentioned before, even our 11 year old is helping to plan the trip. Our 13 year old daughter also has a notebook with details about which part of Tokyo has the stuff she wants to see. Putting it all into spreadsheet form makes sense to me.
All I have left to do is fill in the last three days of our trip, format the cells and font to make it pretty. I’m really going to excel at making this trip worthwhile.
Today is day one of BC Short Track Championships. Our 11 year old son is competing. This is the set of races that he has been working towards all year. This is also his first year representing Langley Blades. His name was even in print. That means a lot to a young man.
This is the big event for kids and teens across our Province. Our son will compete against many of his friends from other clubs. Healthy competition and fun rivalries are abundant this weekend.
With the National Anthem finished being sung, it will soon be time to start the races. Two long days ahead of us. For our son, the other skaters and all of the audience members cheering on family and friends- it’s time to focus, stretch, and get mentally ready. Maybe one day, some of these skaters will represent our country in the Olympics. Encouraging them at a young age is paramount to their development. Time to cheer them on.
I remember the coffee in the 80’s that my parents drank:
To make a coffee for my parents was simple. Pour hot water over two scoops freeze dried coffee, two scoops sugar and milk. Easy to make and the best part- it was unpleasant tasting. So I never drank coffee as a kid.
In my late teens and early twenties I never made coffee at home. I only drank the crap from Denny’s late at night or when hung over. Once I married my wife, we would brew our own coffee in a coffee maker. On occasion we would even buy beans and grind them ourselves.
I was making a coffee to-go today and realized that I have a collection of travel mugs. All of which I could probably throw out now since they aren’t exactly super clean anymore. Back in the 80’s- if my father took a coffee in the car, he used a regular mug.
One time he forgot his mug on the roof of the car. On the first turn, the mug slide off the roof and exploded onto the sidewalk. I was entertained… he was mad. Probably because he broke his favorite mug.
I would’ve been mad because the coffee tasted like ass. That’s the difference between me and my father and our tastes in coffees.