Mr. Fantastic 

I like to think of myself as a pretty sensational guy. Ya, I’m tooting my own horn a bit, but I don’t see anyone disagreeing with it.  In fact, I received an email today stating the obvious about me:

I even received a Thank You and a big gold star!

Being awesome has its perks. 

Which is true. I get some outstanding perks for being awesome that really make me feel wonderful. Many of which really don’t have a monetary value. I receive smiles, laughs, hugs, and kindness to name a few.

Much of my life is filled with great people. All of whom boost me up and make me feel like royalty. Sometimes it’s a simple as a birthday wish on Facebook or them sharing something with me related to Disneyland or Star Wars. It proves to me that even if I don’t associate with them on a regular basis in person- somewhere or somehow along the way in life, I touched their hearts enough that they still think of me.

In the end what makes me feel like Mr. Fantastic is you people. Everyone who has entered my life either briefly or long term- you have impacted me and brought me up to a higher standard of life.

I think I am awesome, therefore I am.


Jedi Joe

It’s finally going to happen.  I’ve decided to become a Jedi. No, I’m not announcing a “sad devotion to that ancient religion” or anything like that. I’m talking about a Costume/Cosplay for Halloween and an upcoming convention.

With my recent facial hair growth and the fact that I won’t shave it until the end of November (read about it here:Proving A Point) I needed to find a suitable costume idea that supported facial hair.  My wife suggested I go as a Wookiee because of my height, but it got me thinking about becoming a Jedi. Obi-Wan Kenobi to be exact.

Back in 1999-2000, I made an email address of which is now defunct because it’s Hotmail and filled with spam. But the one thing that I enjoyed from Episodes 1-3 was Ewan McGregor’s take on Obi-Wan which garnered the email name.

Since I’ve always had an Enjoyment of Star Wars it makes sense to finally dress up for it. My height would make me a good Darth Vader (or a Wookiee as my wife said) but I don’t overly have the time or money for that. I just need to figure out if I’m going to go with a store bought Costume or try and sew my own at this time. Pretty sure I will sew a costume that is screen accurate one day.  Time to do internet research!

Help me Joey-Wan. You’re my only hope.

10 Years of Railroading

I can’t believe I’ve been at the same job for ten years now. Somehow it morphed into a career. I kind of always knew it would, but it still hits me hard.

Ten years of service and my work gave me a nice watch with a ten year pin to commemorate my hard work. I’ll be here for at least another 15 years most likely.  The company has been really good to me and my family.  Offering stability and steady work over the years.

Before I started at CN, I made a railroad in our garden.  Unfortunately it has gone into disarray over the years. At the start of every summer, my son cleans the models and sets them up. I have a feeling one or more of my children will end up working here at some point in their lives. 

Nearly every year we attend CN Family Days. My children have enjoyed all the train rides and prize draws. They also enjoy seeing where I work. CN has been great in helping with my children’s Speed Skating as well.  Offering a grant for the volunteer time that my wife, daughter and I have put in.  This greatly helps out our Skating club.

It always strikes me as odd that I work at a railroad.  When I was a child, I was terrified of trains.  It continued on into my teen years. Getting a job working on trains took a lot of courage for me.  Within a year I had moved into the office to get away from working in the yard (much to my wife’s happiness). I hope to continue my growth and enjoy the challenges that each day brings me. 

Thank you CN for the decade of friendships and job satisfaction.

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.


All day long at work I crunch numbers.

  1. Train length
  2. Train weight
  3. Car counts
  4. Track footages
  5. Engine numbers
  6. Fuel levels
  7. Statistics galore 

And so many more numbers run through my mind and onto spreadsheets, emails, and notepads.

I use two to three calculators at any given time to get my figures. I use numerous notepads and scrap papers filled with additions and subtractions of said numbers. Sometimes my head is swirling at the end of the day.

Math has always been my strong suit. So, I utilize it now more than ever before. I enjoy it. Numbers are neat. Unless you are six. Then you are afraid of seven.

Grown Up Me

Growing old is kind of nice.  

I mean, there’s more responsibilities and stuff.  Bills, children, work, etc… But there’s also my own choices to be made. Like going to bed at 9pm on a Friday or not having to go to the latest film on opening weekend. I have finally felt like I’m not missing out any more.

Like most adults I know, once you reach a certain age, it’s about the down time. The quiet time you get to yourself and not have to interact with others.  I enjoy raking leaves off the lawn or washing the car by myself. Or waking up early to go shopping before the crowds and using the self checkout minimizing human interactions. However, as you may have guessed if you’ve followed along with me for the past few months (or years), my favorite adult thing to do:

Naps.  I love naps.  I have shown up at people’s homes and asked if I could nap. I’ve been in car rides with friends and just closed my eyes for a brief snooze. If I disappear at home- chances are I am taking a nap, I have even done it during a party at our home.

Even if all of these things sound childish and selfish, they are fully acceptable to do as an adult. I am glad to have reached adulthood.  Now, I’m going to do some yard work alone and find a quiet place to take a nap later on.

Autumn: Day 1

Here in the Lower Mainland, there was a sunny first day of Autumn. The kids had a half day of school- so we went clothes shopping in the afternoon. We came home and my wife and I took a well deserved nap together.

Just a perfect, senseless, nothing day. 

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.

Bending Will

The difficulty with life is that we try and make people act or think in a way that we ourselves want them to. We each have ideals and values that bring out our emotions, so we often try and get others to experience it as well.  Even with my blog posts- I am trying to get people to think or feel something more.

It’s a fine line we all walk as well.  Trying to encourage or intimidate people to bend to our will- oftentimes not realizing the effect it has on one another.  Sometimes we don’t realize that we’ve done it either. Simply put it can happen like this:

  1. Ask a question of someone
  2. Not get the answer you wanted
  3. Expression on your face changes
  4. Other person’s feelings change in reaction
  5. Now everyone has a different outlook

It could go both ways as well.  Good or bad. Maybe the answer surprises you and you both feel happy. Maybe the answer upsets you and now you both feel resentful.

All of this is just my observation.  Maybe I’ve made it so you’ll be conscious of it next time it occurs.  Most likely we will go on living how we do and interacting the same.

Cancelling Car Radio

Today I cancelled my SiriusXM subscription. It was a small headache bordering on frustrating. Here it was step by step:

  1. Go online and log into my SiriusXM account. Easy peasy.
  2. Search entire website for 20 minutes to find out how to cancel subscription.
  3. Find 1-800 number because you can’t cancel online. You can add services online however.
  4. Call 1-800 number 3 times.  Get disconnected each time when I choose “cancel subscription”.
  5. Get thru to representative.  He was nice enough until I tried to cancel my subscription. Then he tells me I need to go to the Canadian service and gives me another 1-800 number because they can’t transfer me.
  6. Hang up and call new 1-800 number. Line is not in service!
  7. Go back online and Google search “How to cancel SiriusXM in Canada”.
  8. Find a third 1-800 number and dial up. Begin to feel exasperated.
  9. Get thru to a representative quickly. This was nice for a change.
  10. Tell representative I am looking to cancel.  Sales pitch now on.  Offers a small monthly discount.  I say no thanks.  Offers BIG discount now. Claims he shouldn’t be doing this for me.  I say no thank you, please just cancel my subscription.
  11. Put on hold for 15 minutes.
  12. Representative jumps back on tells me it’s cancelled and gives me verification code. We go our separate ways.
  13. Go to car and don’t turn on radio since I am still annoyed.

I don’t like to complain, but it was an arduous experience to say the least. I stayed calm the entire time and didn’t bother to express my frustration.  However, I can see how the auto renewal keeps people using services they don’t need. Now that I’ve cancelled the service for my car, it’s time to set up the local radio stations.  It’s been nine months of owning my car, and I only had NEWS1130 programmed in. At least I was keeping up with current affairs.