I’m a Bad Husband

The title of today’s blog could be considered a lie. I’m usually a great husband (tooting my own horn). But I decided to do something all wives hate right before Christmas- Home renovations.

Yes. I have become that man. The one who is using his time off to redo our 1/2 bath. One week before Christmas.

It’s not all my fault. Really.

I was supposed to have some vacation time back in November, when I had this project planned out. But things changed. And my time off moved. Which I was totally okay with. I don’t think I’ve ever had December vacation before.

So now I’m tiling a cramped 3 foot by 6 foot room. They always tell you to add 10% for waste. But I can’t figure out the formula for how long a project takes. I’m already 12 hours into it and don’t see an end in sight. I’m regretting starting this project ten years ago……. but it has to get done. There was never going to be a good time to do it. I’m sure I could’ve hired someone, but I like doing this sort of thing on my own.

The hardest part is knowing how much there is still left to do. New toilets and vanity to install after the tiles are all done. And the tiles are at least two more days of work. Mostly because I am a perfectionist, every row needs to be level and precise. No cutting corners!

I’m content to be doing stuff like this during my time off from work. Sure, travel would be nice as well. But knowing that I will have a nice looking bathroom once it’s all said and done, is a great sense of accomplishment.

So, even though I may be a bad husband for doing a home renovation project right before Christmas- it’ll be a nice gift once it’s all completed. I’ll be back in the good books then.

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364

364 days.

I have been a Trainmaster now for nearly one year. December 12,2016 I decided to “Change It Up“. Today is the last day that I can decide to return to the union and keep my seniority.

I took on the management role to challenge myself. For the most part, I’ve successfully navigated through the hurdles that I have set for myself. I’ve even taken on challenges put forth to me from my supervisors. But, over the past few days, work has been really stressful and busy; making me re-think my decision.

Going from union to manager was not without it’s difficulties. Most of my former coworkers accepted my decision without much animosity. There was a few moments of me having to exert my position as their supervisor, but that was fairly rare. The workload increased in some ways and decreased in others. I work 12 hour days now instead of 8, but I generally get a three day weekend every week.

Even though these past few days have been a rough ride, I won’t be returning to the union. I still respect those who I have worked with for nearly ten years and it was reciprocated as I took on my new role. I think the job I’m in now suits me better. I face mental challenges with a feeling of accomplishment nearly every shift. I have even made new friends with fellow managers and have had more of a social life than I did for the first while in my career.

I want to thank everyone again for the help and support as I took on this role. You’ve all been fantastic. Only one day left: Tomorrow is day 365.

The first day of the rest of my career.

Scream Real Loud

It’s the little things in life that bring me joy unexpectedly. Like this morning when I got a Facebook notification:

Ahhhhhhhh!

So much fun to have one of my childhood idols do something as simple as click an icon for me.

The rest of my day couldn’t bring me down. Thank you Mr. Herman. lol

Doing Night Shifts with Day Plans

Days like today are a pain. I stupidly made a doctor’s appointment for mid morning. Which really isn’t so bad, except I’ve been on four straight weeks of night shift.

I went home after work to take a quick nap before my appointment. Before falling asleep, I didn’t feel that tired and thought, “it shouldn’t be that bad” when I wake up. I slipped into a deep enough slumber that I awoke to my alarm with my face in a puddle of drool.

I lay in bed. Five more minutes. Five more minutes. Five more minutes. Then I had to race to get ready and ran out the door. Now I’m hiding in the corner of the waiting room wondering how long it will be before the doctor sees me. Anyone who needs sleep counts every minute they need before getting on with their day. He’s already seven minutes late!

There’s nothing I can do about it. So I wait. Hoping to get sleep at some point today before work.

The Wind Blows. Bring On Winter!

The recent wind storms affected my life in many ways. It made my yard and roof a colossal mess and the rain was preventing us from cleaning it up. Today I got a break, and quickly cleaned the roof and driveway. Bonus: I also got the outdoor Christmas lights up while on the roof.

The strong wind made my commute rather different from previous years. My new vehicle is lower to the ground than my old one. I used to drive a Honda Element and I would feel every gust. That car was a box on wheels. I would grip the steering wheel for dear life! Now my Nissan Rogue is aerodynamic and one of the smoothest rides I’ve driven in years. I hardly notice the wind now. One handed driving all the way home.

Courtesy CBC News

But the wind affected my work most of all. The strong winds near the coastline shut down one of our customers for safety reasons. This in turn caused delays for outbound and inbound trains. Our crews were pretty much on “stand-by” waiting to get back to work. This lasted for nearly 24 hours. Now we’re back on track. (Railroad humor).

Now that the wind has diminished, I am looking forward to the winter season taking over. I like a brisk chill in the air. Maybe some snow will fall for Christmas around Vancouver instead of rain.

My wife on the other hand is happy to not have snow around:

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.

Halloween Straight Into Christmas


Halloween ended only a few days ago. We were rather busy so we didn’t have time to fully take down decorations until this weekend. When we did, we had to vacuum up the real cobwebs that were on the walls to remove most of Halloween.


Perhaps it was driving through the mountains over the past couple days that inspired my wife. But she asked that when we take down the Halloween decorations, we put up *some* Christmas decorations. Basically she gave me free reign (see what I did there?) to put up anything except our Christmas trees! Yes!


Lucky for me we have a lot of “Nightmare Before Christmas” decor that stays up for both seasons (as well as all year round in some cases). This makes the transition smooth from one season to the next. Here is some of the art we have:


There’s much more art that will adorn our walls and doors as the season approaches. Of course we have only begun to put up our decorations for Christmas, but some would feel it’s too soon. When you see what we have for our home, you would understand why we start over a month before the holiday. 

We also keep the Winter/Christmas spirit alive until Jan.7th or so. It ends up being a two month “good feelings” display in our home. Over the next while, I do expect my allergies to take a hit as we dust off the decorations. That part sucks. 

But hooray for Christmas to come soon!

Being Competitive.

Today we traveled out of town for a speed skating meet. We left the comfort of the Lower Mainland and traveled to Kamloops. There’s actually snow on the ground out here and it’s cold! Strange concept for attending a competitive winter sport. Considering we were in t-shirts the other day back home. 


We had to come out to this meet for our children to get faster ice times. Being in a higher elevation, the ice is harder in Kamloops. Back home- the ice is softer. We needed to get a better time for our daughter to try and get her a “Wild Card” entry into BC Winter Games Feb.23-25 2018. Which will also take place here in Kamloops.


Our two kids are of different skill levels, but had to compete in a race together. It’s not always about who is first, but rather their times. But it still caused some nerves in our daughter. With one false start, they needed to have a second start. At the end of the race, the kids were congratulating each other.

All the other kids/teens that attend these meets start to get to know one another over the years. Even though we had the only two skaters from Langley/Lower Mainland at this competition- our kids know many of the other skaters. Lots of hanging out with them off ice as mom and dad fret over whether they are going to beat their previous times.


Later this evening, we will journey back home. Hopefully the roads will be clear enough for us to get home safely. I almost wish I had a zamboni to drive. That’d be fun.

Becoming a Jedi

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in Jedi Joe:  I finally became a Jedi. (For Halloween)


With the tremendous help of my wife, I finally looked the part of Obi-Wan from Episode 3. We followed an online tutorial on how to make a Jedi costume with a few modifications for my size. She did a great job on a custom robe and tunic for me. She loved every minute of it. I could tell through all the curse words and yelling.


My wife had to measure me a few times to make sure it was accurate. I’m a tall individual and there was no room for errors. We used almost all of the fabric we had purchased in order to make my look fairly authentic.


Because we were using the floor to lay out everything, our puppy had to get the boot outside for a while we worked. He was none too impressed. But at least it was sunny and warm for him.

Besides being the Jedi model, I did my share to help in the making of the costume. I searched the interwebs for how to videos and tutorials plus a few hundred different images. I was also put to work ironing the material.


In the end, my wife made me extremely happy. She took the time and perfected the details. Those who saw me on Halloween were equally impressed with her skills and my costume. I look forward to many more years of wearing it. 


I have now become a Jedi.

May the force be with you.

Last Minute…

Finally I’m off to bed.  I nearly forgot to blog today because we’ve been so busy trying to get ready for Halloween. It’s been one of those weekends where we wanted to do so much, that the final touches are getting done the night before. But we love our costumes and try to get the big details perfect.


We’ve been doing this for years- I have glue gun burns to prove it. My family loves  Costumes and Cosplay. We show our fandoms and others get to enjoy it as well. Not only are the costumes important, but acting the part makes the characters come to life. 

Biggest secret of last minute finishing touches? Knowing “where to trim the fat.” If a button or accessory is missing, most folks won’t notice. Especially if you can act the way your character does. This tends to distract folks from the little things. 


Plus after years of Cosplay, we have garnered quite the collection of outfits.  My daughters have shared costumes, and even “Cross-played” some of my old Cosplay outfits. I’m really excited to show off my latest costume tomorrow that my wife worked extremely hard on. I also can’t wait to see my children’s costumes. Our son has designed his own Steampunk outfit. And our daughters are wearing one costume for school (Steampunk Alice and Steampunk Mad Hatter) and a scarier one for the evening. 

Hope everyone has a good Halloween!