Saturday, December 22, 2012

Is This Thing On?

Well, I really dropped the ball on updates this past month (or two).

Chalk it up to my being insanely busy at work (hooray for year-end stuff!) and doing all sorts of stuff with the kids and Julie instead of posting here!

We've got all of our Christmas shopping done.  We've painted Garrett's room.  We've unpacked pretty much all of the boxes in Mount Boxalot.

Now we're on vacation and looking forward to Christmas with everyone!  Since we've all survived the Mayan Apocalypse, I hope that I'll get back to the blogging in the new year with something closer to my old output instead of the sporadic updates these days.

Keep following my Twitter to see me ramble about my lack of sleep and curse water in all its forms (seriously, it's out to get me!) and thanks for keeping me on your feeds!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Stop Licking Things!

Today Kara's teacher took a little time out of her day to ask us to have a word with Kara about licking things.  Supposedly the new game in Kindergarten is to lick... people? Playgrounds? I'm not sure exactly what, because the kids sure aren't telling us how this game is played, but we made it pretty clear that there shall be NO licking while at school (or anywhere else for that matter!).

Then the kids came up with the Germotologist, who is someone neither of them want to have come to visit.  So now we just have to remind them that if they don't wash they're hands, they're going to have a visit from the germotologist!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!!!

Sorry for the lack of updates. We're still getting settled in the new place and work is also keeping us busy.

We went trick or treating in the new neighbourhood tonight. It was odd not making the rounds at the townhouses like we usually do, but we still had a pretty respectable haul for the hour and a half or so we were out.  The weather was wet, but not too bad and at least the wind was pretty mild compared to Saturday's dreary downpour.

Here's the kids and their haul. Enjoy!











Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Moving Day Is Looming

Man, it does not feel like we're moving in 3-4 days.  We just had a 4 day weekend home in Sarnia for Thanksgiving and work kept me running off my feet all day.  Who has time to pack?

The upside is that since we're just popping across town, we can just move a lot of stuff as is and just pile it up.  And we did do most of our packing prior to even selling the house, so that's probably why it doesn't feel so hectic.

But a week from now, we'll no longer have any ties to this house and we'll be settle in our new digs. Eek!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Please Help My Son. He's Weird.

Garrett's going through a picture taking phase right now. I hope he likes his new mugshots that I found on the iPad tonight...




Yep. These are going in the wedding reception album of embarassment!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Packing It In

Sorry for the lack of updates of late.  Not that I've been lighting the blog-o-sphere on fire this past year, but at least this month I've got a good excuse.

My new manager job is keeping me insanely busy. I wrapped up working 12 days straight as of Thursday and even then I had to run into work yesterday morning at 5am to take care of a minor emergency.  Sigh. 

A couple of weeks ago, I took Garrett to go see some wrestling action in Hamilton. He had a blast seeing the WWE crew do their thing live, even though it wasn't quite as fancy as on TV (no pyro).

And moving day is fast approaching.  I alternate between thinking that we've got everything that we can possibly pack already packed and then fearing that there's never going to be enough time to finish boxing up all of the detritus that is in this house of ours.  ARG!  3 more weeks and we'll be in our new place!

Julie's away next week on a business trip, so we'll see what kind of smoking crater is left upon her return.  I can give kids PB&J sandwiches, right?

More to come, but I'm going to go play more videogames.  Despite appearances, I barely get a chance to play these days and I need to go shoot some bad guys!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

It's Your Birthday (Dave Edition)

Happy birthday Dave!  I can't believe I've got a little brother in the mid-30s.  That's just nuts (and now I feel even older.

Sigh.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Quickest Move Ever

So I helped Mr. Tim move tonight. That has got to be the quickest move I've ever done.  Thank you for not being a pack-rat, Mr. Tim. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

WWE, Come Get Your New Artist!

Garrett & I are going to see Smackdown in September when it comes to Hamilton. Garrett is understandably excited (WWE is pretty much all he talks about) and so he's busy making himself some signs to take to the show.

Here's his rough draft worksheet of some signs that he wants to make for his favourite rassler, Sheamus. I thought he did a pretty good job!


Here's what he's working from as reference:



Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What A Busy Month

When last we saw our hero, he was busy getting ready for some interviews and looking forward to vacation with the family!

What a difference a month makes. Let me break it down for you:

1) I got a promotion. I'm now a program manager at a new house which means that I've got a lot more work to do but a lot more flexibility to my schedule.  I'm still in the adjustment phase where I am getting used to coming and going at times that aren't 7-3pm or 3-11pm. I miss my days off during the week though, but Julie's happy to have me around on the weekends.

2) We had a crazy busy (but fun) week off at the beginning of the month.  We hit Canada's Wonderland, Marineland, Niagara Falls, a trampoline gym in Mississauga and even got a chance to sit down once or twice.  Phew. I'm pretty sure we have some pictures of our adventures so I'll get them posted toot sweet.

3) The kids are busy with summer camps. They keep saying that they hate it there in the afternoon but the next morning they're chomping at the bit to get there and have fun.  At least they get a break next week at Grandma & Grandpa's place (and we get a break from them!)

4) Speaking of which, MY grandpa has been in the hospital for the month. It's kind of frustrating because we don't seem to be able to get a clear answer on what exactly is wrong with him.  All I know is that he's in rough shape and very frail.  We keep dreading that the phone will ring and it will be bad news...  Please say a little prayer for him and my grandma if you're so inclined.

5) And last, but not least, we're moving.  Well, we're planning to move. Where? Probably just somewhere else in Acton.  We actually found a house we like but it doesn't have forced air heating or A/C, which, after this summer, is something we really don't want to have to do without.  That being said, we've emptied most of the clutter and books and such into a storage unit for the time being and it's kind of scary to see just how much space we have in here when all of the junk is gone.  Maybe we can keep it like this for a while! 

6) Garrett went to his first Jays game on the weekend. I was depressed because my beloved Tigers lost, but he was pretty happy.  It's just a shame it was so hot up in the 500 level nosebleed seats.  We could only sit there for a bit before we had to get up and walk around the interior of the SkyDome to cool off.  At least the tickets were cheap.

7) We also went to Fort George in Niagara On The Lake for the 1812 reenactments, which was pretty cool.  I even got a General Brock action figure which is displayed prominently in my office at work :)

So that's about it for what we've been up to for the month July.  It's been work, camp, packing, lather, rinse, repeat.  Heck, I've barely had a chance to play any videogames. That's just not right, I tell ya!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Happy 8th Birthday, Little Dude!


And you guys thought I would forget it!

This was the cake that we had made for Garrett's birthday party.  It captures his love for all things pro-wrestling, pretty well, I'd say.  Alas, the ropes started to give way before we could get a really great shot of it, but it's still pretty awesome.  And it tasted delicious too!

Garrett had a pretty sweet weekend for his birthday (he'll be 8 the instant this posts!)

Lazer tag with his friends, Brave with his family (yesterday) and then today he took his sparring gear for a spin at his friend's place, followed by an all-you-can-eat buffet of pizza and pasta at the local Boston Pizza for a fundraiser dinner.  Woo!

Of course, he wants to use his new metal detector to search for treasure, but I am going to try to hold that off until at least next weekend. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Blast Of A Party

What a busy day we had today.  It was Garrett's birthday party and he went to the Lazer Tag place in Milton. It was great fun, but tiring.

Later in the day, we went to see Brave.  What a great movie.  I recall seeing some rumblings on Twitter that it was just ok (or worse, it was a Pixar movie that felt like a Dreamworks movie!) but I thought it was phenomenal.  It's one of those movies that I think being a parent puts a different spin on the impact it has compared to if I was just some schmoe watching it and then going back to my empty basement.  I won't lie. There was a little bit of moisture accumulating near my eyes by the end.

Tomorrow is Garrett's actual birthday and I think he's going to be pleasantly surprised by the presents he's getting from us.  They're nothing that I can picture him actually expecting, but I think he'll love them both.

I'll post pictures of his awesome birthday cake and the presents sometime tomorrow.  I promise!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Back To The Ol' Stomping Grounds

So today marked my glorious return to the house I work at near Acton.  I've missed that place so much.

I'm not sure whether it was having less pressure due to the role, a shorter drive or just being able to see the crew I've worked with and supported for the past 6-7 years again that made me giddy, but I had a great time working a 12 hour shift!

There's just a special energy at that house that I haven't been able to get anywhere else in the organization. It's not perfect and it's not easy, but man, I love it.  Plus I'm not the manager anymore, so I think part of me is just happy to have some of that burden lifted off my shoulders, at least for now!

Of course, I got bit by a dog on the way to the car this morning, which I thought was an inauspicious omen to the day, but it seems like that must have just gotten the bad luck out of the way instead :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Retreat? More Like A Rout...

So I went up to Paisley last week.  I have to say, it was an interesting experience being back in my old stomping grounds.  There were a lot of good sessions to learn things at, funny stories to be told and many, many boardgames to be played.


And then the bedbugs showed up.


Thankfully they seemed to be limited to one bed in one room, but they had to cut the week short and send us home.  Ah well. 

I also had some of the saltiest whipped cream ever.  The cook mixed up her sugar and salt containers and, unfortunately, I was the first person to try a big mouthful of the apple crisp with whipped cream on top.  Blah!

On another odd note, on the way home, I stopped to help a guy who lost his entire toolchest from his truck when the tailgate fell down while he was driving.  There were tools and screws and wrenches everywhere.  Yikes!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Back To The Beginning

If you haven't followed my Twitter feed, you may have missed the news that I'm going back to my old role at my old job at my old house in a week or two. I've been doing a manager job for the last 3 months. It was a temporary gig and I was only there to keep the seat warm until they picked a new, permanent person for the position and, alas (or not), that person was not me. It's ok though. I loved the experience of being a manager and being able to pick my own hours, but I also missed the house that I've been working at the past 7 years and really am looking forward to heading back to that merry band of misfits. I mean, I went paintballing with them last week. I can't do that anywhere else!

In another kind of funny note, I'm going to be heading up to Paisley for the next 3 days for a work retreat. Yep, I'm heading back to where this whole crazy career of mine began: THE CONFERENCE CENTER. I'm sure they'll have lots of silly icebreakers for us to do and things to lecture us about, but I'm really just looking forward to letting the waves of nostalgia wash over me.

Oh, and I have a trunk literally stuffed to the brim with boardgames to play. I've got obscure German games and Apples To Apples and everything in between. If I can spend a majority of my free time playing games with random people and reading my book, I'll be happy. The only piece of electronics I'm taking up is my phone, so this will be almost like a videogame detox clinic!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Who's A Big Girl?

Well, it's that time again. Kara is FIVE YEARS OLD!!!



 Where did the time go? It's like it was only 5 years ago that she was born. Wowza.



Suffice it to say, she's pretty excited for her party today!


Sniff.  What ever happened to my baby girl? 

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ready To Rumble!

In case you haven't heard, Garrett & I are on something of a Wrestlemania kick. I tend to watch on occasion at work and I've been going to a few pay per view events with work over the last year or so. Sometime late last year, I stumble across the recap shows for the Raw & Smackdown shows and every few weekends, Garrett & I (and sometimes Kara) would watch the sweaty dudes in tights throw each other around the ring.

Well, Garrett is a full blown addict now. I took him to a pay-per-view back around Family Day and he has been hooked since. He now has wrestler toys, signed posters and we DVR the show every week. This has all been in anticipation of tomorrow night, Wrestlemania 28, and all of the fun that entails. He's got his picks of each of the main matches already locked in and has been debating the merits of the wrestlers for weeks.

I'm looking forward to it because, well, it's always a good show. But even moreso this year because half of the fun is going to be watching Garrett's reaction to things. We'll be watching it at the movie theatre which is always fun because of all of the crowd reaction. I may not be big into sports, but FAKE sports is my cup of tea.


John Cena


Garrett Wager

Can you tell the difference?

Just Like New!

So today was a busy day. I was supposed to be spending at least a portion of this weekend tromping around in the woods with my former manager and a few coworkers doing some LARPing (Live Action Role Playing, for those scratching their heads).

Instead I spent the day hunched over my tub, inhaling fumes and fighting a horrific slime monster known as 9 year old mildewed caulking. Blech.

I think I'm more tired than if I spent the weekend in the woods.

The upside is that I've not only sealed the horror that is my bathtub and made it look like something you can comfortably invite strangers over to use, but I've also overcome my fear of caulk. I was responsible for the atrocity that was our bathtub because everything just glooped up when I tried to put it on and I had no idea what to do. This time, I got advice, spent time cleaning the area properly and had the right tools.

I'm not saying I'm going to quit my day job and spend the next 30 years going to sealant conventions, but it was nice to see that I could actually do this incredibly simple task and not mess it all up :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What Is That Smell!?

We went to look at a house that's for sale right next to our friends. I was kind of intrigued as the owners had built in two massive fish tanks into a wall in the basement and while that seems to be a turn-off to a lot of prospective buyers, I was in love with it.

Unfortunately, the first thing the realtor said when we walked in was, "The place needs a bit of work." I'll say this. It made us feel a LOT better about the state of disarray our house was in. If this is what people who are trying to sell a house are willing to leave their house like, we're golden when it comes to selling ours.

And it stunk. Oh, lord, did it stink. It was like a wet dog rolled around in cat piss and was hiding in every room of the house. They have a cat but I've never smelled a house reek that badly and I've grown up with cats. I think the fact that they didn't even bother to light a smelly candle or febreeze the place made it worse. It's like they weren't even trying.

The fishtanks were filthy too. Lovely big fish and the tanks were pretty cool, but they were also coated in algae and slime. You'd think they'd maintain them better.

We're not planning to move anytime soon, so this was more of an excursion to see what houses were like and also to get an idea about how much work we'll need to put into ours to get it showroom ready. Of course, now Julie has the home shopping bug, so we'll see how soon I'll need to recruit some friends to help us move :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

G'Day, Officer

That being said, Garrett almost didn't survive this next bit of drama.

So this afternoon, Garrett was supposed to be out playing in the front yard with his friend. After a half an hour, I go to check on him. I see his friend playing in the front yard. No sign of him anywhere.

"Where is he?" I ask.

"I dunno," is the reply.

He isn't at the park. He isn't hiding in the bushes where the kids usually play. He's not behind the houses by the park. He hasn't come home a different way while I was out looking for him. He's not anywhere that I can see where he would normally play. I'm starting to get a little panicked at this point, esp. since his other friend isn't answering the door.

Just as I'm about to get REALLY worried, he comes sauntering across the parking lot from parts unknown, looking all innocent and saying, "Hi daddy!"

"GET HOME... NOW!" is my only response. As we're just about to round the side of the house into our front parking lot, I point at the three cop cars parked in front of our house and say, "We were so worried about you that we had the police here to help us find you."

He scurried into the house, hanging his head in shame, knowing that he was in big trouble. I, on the other hand, nodded to the officers, who were actually just parking in the empty spots in front of my house while they took care of something a few houses down. They smiled back because they knew I'd just pulled one over on him.

Suffice it to say, Garrett now knows that it is VERY important to let us know where he is at all times OR ELSE THE AUTHORITIES WILL BE CONTACTED!

Oh, and I also found a toy that he really wanted on sale in a clearance bin this evening while I was out. I have stashed it in his room in such a place that he'll only find it if he actually does a proper job of cleaning his room. I'm not going to say anything about it except to remind him that his room is pretty messy.

Now to wait while the Parent Of The Year awards roll in.

Busy March Break (So Far)

We're two days done of March Break and I'm pooped. At least I don't have anything too crazy planned for the rest of the week.

Yesterday the whole family went down to Toronto to visit the CN Tower and wander aimlessly for a while. Kara was super excited as it was her first subway ride and first time up the tower, while Garrett was the grizzled veteran who compared everything to the good ol' days of last year when he got to go with his cousin instead of his stinky sister.

But a good time was had by all and we managed not to plunge to our deaths when we stepped out onto the glass floor a few times.

We also visited the Eaton's Center which has both changed completely and stayed almost exactly the same since I was there last. All I can say about TEC and Yorkdale Mall is that there are FAAAAR too many clothing stores and not nearly enough toy and game stores. Sigh.

I had my 3DS with me for the day and I clocked in almost 13000 steps for the day (which is a fair sight more than my usual 3-4000 per day).

Today was a bit more relaxed, though not without some drama. After walking up to the garage to get my car (it was getting tested for Drive Clean), we drove down to the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton. Of course, we had to stop at Pickard's Peanuts on the way (yum) and then we wandered around the hanger for a couple of hours before heading home.

The kids were hurting themselves a bunch today though. Garrett managed to slice his finger on one of the cockpits and also whacked himself in the mouth with a flight control stick in the simulator (don't ask me how he managed to do that). Kara somehow got bashed in the face when they were outside playing 'Fighter Planes' on the runway in front of the museum. Sigh. But both survived.

Tomorrow we're going to build Lego for the library Lego contest and maybe go watch a movie in the afternoon. I'm going to try to rest my aching ankles for a bit!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Movin' On Up

Who's got two thumbs and a new manager position?

THIS GUY!

I had the second interview for the temporary program manager postion today and it went rather well. Before I'd gone in, I'd basically decided that whatever happened, it was a win/win situation. I'd either get the job and open up opportunities and new challenges for at least the next few months OR I wouldn't get it and would be able to go back to my old program and get back to work doing the things I've had on hold since last year.

Well, seems that it's opportunity time! I got the call less than an hour after the interview and am starting in the new role ASAP.

The strange little twist is that in order to keep my hours up, I'm also going to be doing my current job (though only for a fraction of the hours per week) in addition to the manager job. This should keep things quite interesting. In effect, I'm running one house and am second in command in another house. Hopefully my brain won't fracture from the cognitive dissonance and recreate the scene from Scanners!

Thanks for all of the prayers and well wishing from people over the last little bit. This has been an absolutely surreal experience for me as I went from almost not bothering to apply to landing the job in the space of a week. Just imagine how I'll do if I apply for a job I actually want :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

No Fail State

So I'm experiencing something of an existential quandary at the moment. People at work have been bugging me to apply for manager positions when they come up, so I finally pulled the trigger recently when a temporary one was posted in the area.

Today I had the first interview for the position. Now, keep in mind that I don't really want to get the job, though I also think that there are several reasons why it would be a good move for me. If nothing else, the timing stinks as I'm just about to return to 'my' program after being off at another location for the past 7 months.

Plus the number of hours for the position aren't really going to work as far as my income situation goes. I'd basically be taking a pay cut of half my pay, which would be a REALLY bad idea right now.

I did have a great interview today though. It has been about 7 years or so since I last interviewed for the manager position and I think that because I went into the interview today not caring about the results, I was much more relaxed and natural during the process.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, I guess), I just got a call back for a second interview next week. ARG! I mean, I thought I threw up enough red flags during the interview that they'd go with someone else. I think I actually said, "If you've got someone else coming who really wants the job, give it to them!"

So much for subtlety. I need a new strategy for Monday so that they'll have no option but to hire a different candidate :)

All of that aside, if they can fix the hours so I don't lose pay (or at least, only lose a little bit), I kind of DO want to get the job so that I can get the managerial experience... ARG!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Don't Call Us

Seriously, don't call us. Our incoming calls aren't working for some reason. We can call out and the internet is working, but any incoming calls just cause the line to blip once and then that's it. Static.

Odd...

Anyway, Bell will be coming to fix them... on Monday... if we're lucky. Sigh.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Getting My Name In A Game

If you have been following game news this week, you'll be familiar with the Double Fine Kickstarter project. It basically boils down to one mad genius (Tim Schaefer) who wants to make an old-school point & click adventure game. The thing is, nobody makes these kinds of games anymore, at least not here in North America, so despite being one of the best adventure game designers alive, Schaefer just can't find a publisher to back him.

So he put out the call on Kickstarter to raise money from fans to the tune of $400000 by mid March. After 24 hours they've already raised over a million dollars and with 32 days to go, they're closing in on $1.5 million!

Given my love of the genre and the guys making it, I tossed a few bucks their way. Whenever it comes out, I'll be reading the credits since my name's going to be in there as a patron of the arts :)

Plague House

It has been a delightful time here over the past week. A norovirus was making the rounds at the kids' school and while Garrett was spared most of the brunt of the germ, Kara was down for the count for almost a week.

Thankfully they're both more or less back to fighting trim, but it wasn't a terribly fun week for kids or parents in Acton (and we seemed to get off easy compared to some of the families around here!)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY!

Garrett & I spent the day in downtown Toronto at Monster Jam. We got to the Skydome at around 10:30am and the line was already around the building. After a relatively short wait in the cold, we went in to look at the trucks and get a picture taken with the driver of Grave Digger.



We had an absolute blast today. There were crashes, there was at least one truck that fell apart while jumping over cars and to top things off, the Canadians won the Quad race against the Americans! Woo!

The only thing missing was Truckasaurus. Maybe next time...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ninja, Clean You Room!

I think that this will be my new parenting strategy. Garrett is actually getting much better at cleaning his room and this should put him over the top.



Now to see if I can convince Kara about how awesome (and tidy) female ninjas are.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Happy Birthday Julie!

Well, it's that time again. Julie just got another year older! Woo!

Alas, between our work schedules and Garrett having an art class tonight, we didn't get up to anything more rousing than watching an incredibly funny episode of Modern Family. Ah well. The kids made lots of... interesting... gifts for her and I've got a present coming in one of these days, if the shop ever gets it in stock.

Hey, snake-skin knitting bags are hard to come by! It's not my fault she's picky!

I did manage to get most of the big websites on the net to go dark in honour of her birthday though. At least, that's what I'm telling her. Shhhh!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Ski Camp Crystal Lake

Happy Friday the 13th, everybody!

I'm going to stay inside and play The Old Republic all day while everyone else dodges falling space debris and snowflakes. Blech.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Lucky 13!

Well what do you know? It's our 13th anniversary! Woo!

We went out for an early anniversary dinner last week while in Sarnia, but we're going to have a yummy steak dinner here at Casa Del Wager after the kids go to bed.

I also had some flowers ordered for delivery today, but thanks to Sobeys being a bunch of idiots, they spilled the beans. Stupid Sobeys. But it's our 13th anniversary, so we had to have some bad luck creep in there!

At least I'm not this guy :)