Next Generation Of Milestones

When you have children, there are tons of exciting milestones at a young age:

  • First step
  • First tooth
  • First word
  • First Christmas

Then they get a couple years with a few moments here and there until first day of school. After that there’s not a whole lot more that you can get excited about. About ten years pass by until the next set of milestones.

  • First job
  • First love
  • First car

I won’t celebrate their first kiss. That’s a personal moment- but it’s kind of a big deal for pre-teen/teenagers. Let them enjoy it. Driving their first car or getting a job- that’s a step into adulthood. A scary realization that this is the next stage of life.

Today, our fifteen year old daughter went for a job interview. Sort of. It was more a meet and greet for an opportunity of employment. A former coworker of mine messaged me that her work was looking for some extra part time help. It was nice of her to think of me and my children. It also made this a bit easier for a first job opportunity to our oldest daughter.

So I took our eldest daughter to meet the owner. For the past couple of days I tried to prepare her for what may happen at an interview. The questions asked, the answers she should give, I also told her to study up on the business as well. Driving there, we went over everything again. She was nervous. She was ready to give up before even entering. But she knew she had an opportunity here to get out of the house and make some money.

We walked in and were greeted with some smiles. I saw my former co-worker and introduced my daughter. I then let them be, because as much as I want to tout all the great things about my daughter to an old friend and a prospective boss- this was about my daughter using her courage and showing off who she is. From what I could tell, his afternoon went really well.

We shall see how it goes now. Will she get a call back? Will she be able to do the job? Will she enjoy it? In the end, it’s been a good learning opportunity for my daughter. Whether anything comes of it or not. It has started something deep inside of her- a drive to enter the adult world.

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All In Good Fun

Yesterday I had a pretty great time wandering the show floor at Fan Expo Vancouver. I even got to do it with my wife- which is rare. But now that our children are older and more responsible, they were able to look after our table from time to time.

My wife and I laughed and goofed off. I was in my Obi Wan Kenobi Cosplay and decided to have some fun with it. I used my Jedi Mind tricks on a vendor and got my purchase with no tax added. Never mind that he had a sign out saying “no tax”- he played along.

Later in the afternoon, I wandered around with my daughter to find a quiet place to place some Nintendo 3DS. So I got her to take a picture of my impression of Obi Wan from the end of Episode IV. It got some really good laughs. We made the most of our Convention time while we were there.

I do find it odd that filming is everywhere in the Lower Mainland… Even though you’d think Vancouver would have a tremendous Convention, it kind of lacks a lot of celebrities. It is also rather small compared to some of the other Conventions we attend. Because it was a local con, we had to go. At the end of today, we’ll see how the sales did.

This year felt like an oversized craft fair, but still fairly fun. The price of tickets for attendees are somewhat reasonable compared to other shows. But there really needs to be a bigger draw to the show. Hopefully everyone got to enjoy their convention experience. I know those who I spoke with had fun.

Vancouver needs to set the bar higher and make it not just fun, but mind blowing.

Hometown Convention Weekend

This weekend is Fan Expo Vancouver. We attend this one every year. It’s close to home and we get to see lots of friends. It almost doesn’t feel like a “Work Convention” because of this. But it is…


With every convention we attend, there is pre-con jitters. Even our hometown con is no different. My wife gets herself so worked up before a show, she becomes sick. Then the first day of the show- she is full of energy and excited. She knows that the shows here and it’s game on. Sell hats and have fun!


My role beforehand is to help pack up and get lunches prepared. My other routine before a show is to calm my nerves with a couple of cold ones the night before. I’ll wake up in the morning and help get the kids ready for the show. My wife will go through her inventory and supplies one (or two) last time(s).


We also get our cosplay and outfits ready before a show. My son has a “pin hat” that he wears with a collection of buttons he has received over the years. It’s his pride and joy. The other routine we have is to get our Nintendo 3DS’s charged and ready to go. During the shows we have fun doing “Street Passes” throughout the weekend. 


When we get to a show, we create a plan for what we want to see while attending. Panels, celebs, games, or meet ups. There’s always something for everyone. Even a game card of “Artist Alley Bingo” comes out. At the end of it all, we have a great time.


Come by and see us! We will be waiting with craziness and fun. You know, for kids.

Panic Mode!

My wife is going through Panic Mode again. We have a speed skating meet out of town coming up and the weekend after is the Fan Expo Vancouver


As much as I try and calm her down it only seems to make things worse. So my new plan is to run away. But that’s making things worse as well for her, but easier for me. Which makes it worse when I am around her. 


Her panicking is just a way for her to release some steam and frustration. Once the convention arrives, she is calm and fun again. It’s getting through this pre-game that is tough on the whole family. I’m also finding that our oldest daughter is the same when it comes to her music performances. She gets worked up before the show, then nails her performance. Once everything is done, either a convention or concert, my wife and daughter both feel energized and happy.

Anyhow, I should probably get home again soon and see how my wife is doing. I can only stay out of the house for so long before she tries to change the locks on me.

Tell Me Why I Should Buy From You…


Back to back weekends of Comic Cons are finally done.  Days of being on the road are over.  Driving south, north, east and back west have taken its toll.  It’s like being a traveling salesman hitting up each convention.  New products showcased, people to network with, and complete strangers that you work hard at making them open their wallet and buy a piece of your livelihood.

Comic Cons aren’t all fun and games.  They’re mostly fun and games. But there is an air of work about them as well.  Subtly and not so subtly.  Sometimes it’s just striking up a conversation. Other times it’s working the floor trying to entice people to come check out your stuff.  When I’m at a convention, I’m always selling- only you wouldn’t know it.  

I walk around talking to other artists and vendors about what they make/sell.  I get right into what they believe is their end goal.  Not the product on their table, but their future.  I try and understand what makes their lives worth coming to these shows.  I find out about their “other life” away from the convention floor.  By the end, I haven’t said a thing about my wife’s business.  I wait until they ask what we do.

And that closes the sale. Not me forcing a product, but me being genuine as I listen to their stories. Guess what? The next time I see my fellow artists and vendors- I remember what they said to me. I ask about their families and how things are going from one convention to the next.  I’m not selling a hat.  I’m making a friend. If they choose to buy a product, that’s nice. If they choose to just hang out and talk shop, that’s great as well.  

What I sell is a sense of well being.  All it costs is a few minutes of your time.

Home Away From Home

While we are attending Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo this weekend we are staying in an Airbnb. It’s my first time using the service (my wife’s second). I’m impressed with the crazy amount of savings compared to a hotel.

We are staying in a two bedroom apartment that is fully furnished.  Cable tv, comforts of home include two full bathrooms and a kitchen at our disposal.  My only complaint, if I can really complain, is that the place we are in is in various stages of renovation. None of which are affecting our stay in any way.  But that makes it feel more like home.  Especially for me.

Our home is in a constant state of renovation or changes.  Being in someone else’s place that is the same, means to me that they are regular type folk.  I appreciate the fact that the owner of this place is allowing us to take over for a long weekend.  It’s in a great location and really close to the convention.  We have made a few meals as well which has saved us tremendously instead of dining out all weekend.  


For my first experience using Airbnb is worthy of wanting to use it again.  The savings and comforts are unbeatable.  I have a feeling we will use this service more often as our travels continue.

My Fellow Convention Carnies aka Fandom Family

When you do the Comic Con circuit you make lots of friends. When you’ve done it for seven or eight years- they become extended family.

This is our sixth year at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. I laugh and enjoy the time we spend here. We look forward to seeing everyone again in person. Of course we follow one another on the various social media platforms, but there’s something to be said about the face to face interactions.

Where’s Waldo- spot the artist edition.

First is Terry.  We met him as our booth neighbor on our third time to Emerald City in Seattle three years ago. We met up again at Stan Lee’s Comikaze later that year. We told him about journeying into Calgary, so he came out last year and loved it. He’s back for more this year.

Brass and goggles!

Attic Raiders/In the Attic are the first people who introduced us to trying to get out into Comic Cons.  Bless them for pushing my wife to branch out. We have had many adventures with them. If you need Steampunk- they are the people to go to.

Cute Glass.

Bling Squared is run by a couple named Stanley and Neacol from Salt Spring Island, BC. They make the most adorable glass figures. My wife met them through Etsy teams and we share many a Con tale with them.

East Van represent!

Awesome Sauce is another artist from Vancouver.  We met them at Vancouver Fan Expo when they sat across from us about three years ago. Now they are right next to us in Calgary for the second year. They make fun stained glass and also have classes available in Vancouver on how to make them.

Mike and Lisa are two very different artists and have tables next to each other. They are married and have been doing these shows for years.  The friendliest people ever. Always worth a stop to pick up fandom art, magnets and generally cute stuff.

Two Gargoyles sit directly behind us in Calgary. These are the two funniest guys around. We sing songs, talk about old 80’s movies and generally cause a raucous.  Oh, and they sell art and comics too!  Mike is also a very amusing West Jet flight attendant with a few YouTube videos worthy of enjoying. I guess you could say viral.

Crafty Geeks are a couple of tables up from us. They sew some pretty awesome quilts and quilted pillows. They even sell the patterns for those of you willing to make your own.  Numerous fandoms are represented in their designs.

These are a small collection of our Comicon family members. We share laughs, stories, network, and talk business. It’s always great to be surrounded by like minded people.

Evil Footwear

I’m an idiot.  I thought wearing some rugged shoes would have been a good idea in Alberta. I was wrong.


Standing on my feet for the last six hours has pained me.  The concrete floor of the convention center sucks.  Luckily My wife almost always remembers to bring some foam mats to cushion below us.  This year, she brought her gel mat from her studio with us. 


I am eternally grateful that she did this. Tomorrow I am going to wear my runners instead.  Forget looking good- I need to last three more days on my feet.  I don’t want to be grumpy at my favorite convention of the year.

Perhaps when we get back to our AirBnB I will take some Advil and soak my feet.  A little me time… Maybe some scented candles? Aroma therapy? Foot rub? That last one won’t happen- who am I kidding.

Calgary

‘Cause Alberta doesn’t suck, but Calgary does…

Every time I think of Calgary, this song lyric pops into my mind.  It’s the final line in a song from a brief tv show in the early 90’s on CBC titled “Three Dead Trolls In A Baggie”.  

I’m not a fan of our neighbourly province.  However, we are here in town for the Calgary Expo. The best reason to head into Alberta.  It’s the sixth year we have driven to this convention. I really don’t know any other reason to cross the Rocky Mountains.  The views through the mountains are beautiful though.


I love Calgary. It is one of my favorite cities in Canada. I love driving around it. I love the people here.  It’s a big city with a small town feel. Even the high rises aren’t that tall. We are staying at my first Airbnb. It’s a lovely corner apartment on the outskirts of Calgary. The view of the city is worth the cost. What we are paying here for five nights is what we would have paid for two nights in a hotel. So far, so good!


I don’t think that the Three Dead Trolls In A Baggie were right. Perhaps the song was sarcasm. Because Calgary is the only place in Alberta that doesn’t suck.

Break? What Break?

Last week we drove from the Vancouver, BC area to San Jose for Silicon Valley Comic Con. We left on Wednesday stayed one night in Ashland, Oregon before a weekend of nerdiness.  We returned home by leaving at 05:30 on Monday to make it home by 8:30pm the same night.  We only have a couple of nights at home…


And we are leaving again tomorrow morning at 08:00 to drive through the Rocky Mountains and into Calgary, Alberta. We are going to drive straight through and should be there by 8:00pm the same day.  Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo is a four day event beginning Thursday. It’s a hard go, but a lot of fun.  

It’s even harder go to have a day and a half in between traveling.  I’m on vacation from my regular job and when we return from Calgary, I’ll have six days of recovery.  My wife isn’t as lucky.  Her business is always on.  She is constantly working.  Even while selling at these shows, she is often sneaking off to email correspond with online questions.  Her business is her pride and joy and she takes it very seriously.


My wife also has ups and downs but can’t just leave it in the office.  Her studio is only steps away from the side door of our home. She doesn’t get to go on vacation as easily as myself.  But when I’m on vacation and traveling with her- I like to think that I’m alleviating some of her work load.  

And I get to hit conventions!  Have I mentioned how much I enjoy those?