Category: Uncategorized

Quarantine 2020

Or; How I got hooked on StarDew Valley.

It’s really strange times that we’re living in. Spring break has been over for a week(it’s two weeks in BC) and we’re just starting a kind of home schooling for Liam. His teacher had a class meeting using Microsoft Teams last Friday, and it went kinda poorly. I guess everyone is learning new tech to see how this will all work. But this morning at least she’s been posting assignments and how to hand them in, so it’ll get better.

I was a man of many hats today;teacher, dad, worker, and I think I made it work as well as could be expected considering everything going on. Liam took a walk after breakfast to clear his mind and get a little energy out, then settled in and did some math and English lessons. Tara had printed out these great worksheets that take about 30 minutes to complete, so it worked nicely. In between that, I had some meetings and other work to do so we pretty much did 30 minutes teaching, 30(or longer) working, and just went back and forth that way. He and Evie were able to get in lots of play time, some art time and snacks and lunch.

I hope it’ll go as well tomorrow as I have two more days this week of this. I think it will as long as work doesn’t explode or something. I did get up extra early to get some work in before the kids were up, so that certainly helped. And I think I’ll do a little tonight as well(Tara’s in bed early, so it’s just me awake). Tara is home the Thursday /Friday so I can work a little more during the day. Everyone I work with is in the same boat, so there’s a general expectation that we might be distracted.

And yea, I’m hooked on StarDew Valley. It’s the third time I’ve started playing it, as I tend to suck at resource games, but it’s got its hooks in me this time. Probably because I’m cheating and the resource management problem isn’t a problem anymore πŸ˜‚

Now, I’m not cheating a whole bunch, mostly money, and some of the general building resources. But everything else I’ve collected and played correctly. And when I don’t have to worry that much, it’s a very enjoyable game. And sucking up my free time very nicely πŸ˜‚

West Coast vibe

We’ve been here a little over two years now, and I’m starting to know my way around the place. Somewhat.

In those two years Tara and I have found work, Liam’s had two years of school(can’t believe that he’s going into grade 3) and Evie’s grown by leaps and bounds.

We’ve found a place of our own and I’ve adapted nicely to a daily commute.

All in all a pretty good start to a new life in the new world(as such).

There are downsides. Gas is crazy expensive, some groceries seem to be, housing is out of this world and for whatever reason the average wage hasn’t caught up to the living expenses.

But we’re surviving and thriving for the moment. It’ll be better when both kids are in school, and we’re getting some good help from Tara’s family.

Liam’s tried some new things. He’s joined a swim club this summer and he’s really enjoyed it. Granted he likes playing video games a bit more. No Fortnight though, it was giving him some odd dreams. We think we’ll put him in gymnastics in the fall.

I’m joining a D&D group next month and I’m pretty jazzed about that. It’s with one of Tara’s coworkers so we’ll see what happens.

I think Tara will take some art classes as she’s been talking about that for some time now. I hope she does, she’s a great artist and really loves it.

That’s it for now. As usual I hope to do this more often, but that’s been said before πŸ™„

DTE

Like most newer vehicles the van has various display settings that I can cycle through, like trips, temp, speed and DTE, which I assume stands for Distance Till Empty. 

This is the setting I’ve been using the most on this trip as it’s a good idea to know how much has you have left when deciding to skip a gas station. 

It’s been working rather well until the day before last. Trying to make up some time I skipped a gas station knowing i had about  100km left. Well, the next town had no services. Neither did the next town  looking diwn, I had about 40km left. Then, it stated LOWFUEL. Last time I looked, that wasn’t a number. And there was no way to change it. 

So it was 20km to the next town. Did I have enough gas?

LOWFUEL 

Dunno. 

Maybe it was a Peril Sensitive kind of setting. “you don’t really want to know how little fuel you have left”. But I did! But it won’t tell me. Then the low fuel light came on. Awesome, I’m low on fuel, let’s check the DTE to see how much I have left. 

LOWFUEL 

Yes, I know. Very helpful, thanks. 

I did manage to drift to a gas station. And it appears that I have a 70 litre tank. Good to know. 

Go West

Life is peaceful there….

And now it’s stuck in your head, you’re welcome. 

It is a surreal feeling to have all of ones physical possessions packed in a trailer and driving west to a new start. 

I almost feel like a pioneer. In a minivan, and unlikely to die of dysentery(unless I have too much Tim Horton coffee). 

I’ve been waiting all day to write that, and it was worth it. 

Driving in the prairies after three days in Northern Ontario is so peaceful. Just flat(ish) land and a big sky. It just goes on and on, and I can’t wait for more of it. Also, terrible thunder storms and a little fishtailing. But we’re ok. 

Spent part of the day in Winnipeg at the Assiniboine Park. Very cool place and wish we had more time t check it out. 

Tomorrow we’re off to Medicine Hat. 

Did I mention it was odd driving in three different provinces today? Because it was. And now a fourth tomorrow. 

Ever closer to our destination. 

Or

You have died of dysentery

Three days in OntarioΒ 

The end of day three is here. 

I’m sitting in a hotel room in the dark while Liam and Evelyn are sleeping. This is the second night with separate hotel rooms, and I think we’ll keep it this way. 

I snore and Tara is a light sleeper these days. We’re at our best if we sleep in separate rooms. The first night was rough as we were in the same room and Evelyn was having trouble sleeping as well, so it was a bad night. Last night was a late check-in, but rocking rooms (Northern Lights motel just outside of Wawa, totally worth it) and we all just crashed hard and work up refreshed. Tonight we were supposed to be in one room, but decided against that at the last minute. 

Not to say that this Best Western is the best choice, but it’s what was available. 

We’re in Dryden, did I mention that?

Tomorrow is a two stop, two three province trip. First stop is Winnipeg and then on to Moosomin. A lot of driving, 7 hours total, but a nice stop along the way. 

I think the next day is a little lighter, 6 hours through the prairies which is much easier than Northern Ontario by a long shot. Should save a little on gas too. 

Anyway, there’s been a timezone change and I’m starting to feel the effects of the original time zone, so off to bed. 

Final Goodbyes

The trailer is rented, the final packing is under way, and we’ve made some trips tot he dump and the domation centers to help clear out the house.And through it all I haven’t really had much time to take it all in.

People keep asking me how I’m doing, and honestly, I’m just tired. It’s a full time job(currently my only one) to get this all done and really, there’s just no down time. I’m really looking forward to driving for 6-7 hours a day because it doesn’t involve packing and will likely be more relaxing than anything that we’ve been doing lately.

Tara should be given all the credit for organizing and getting things done. I’d like to think I’m the heavy lifing guy as all my past moves have gone so poorly. And of course she’s running on empty as well.

So how do I feel about all this?

I’ve been in this house for 10 years and there’s a lot of memories wrapped up in here. and it’s going to be hard to put them all behind me. It’s also going to be a big shift in”freedoms” that I enjoyed here.

Like not always having to wear pants. I liked that.

So it’s getting hard to say goodbye to all of this. And it’s not just the house of course. I’ve been in Ottawa for 26 years, and I’m finally starting to know my way around the place. Now I’ll have to start all over and find the good places to be. At least with that I’ll have some help.

And of course the people. Some tell me they are envious of what we’re doing. Going off, starting fresh. They wish they could do the same. They feel locked down where they are. And well, they might be right, but they’re here for a reason, and that reason is always a good one.

We’re moving for our own reasons, not just for the sake of moving. And they’re good reasons too.

So tomorrow morning, we double check that we didn’t forget anything, lock the house up for the last time, and say goodbye.

Feeling weird just writing that….

So I have ADHD

There, it’s said.

I was officially diagnosed last week after two sessions with the psychologist. It’s been something that I’ve been meaning to have done for a little while now, and I’ll be honest, it’s nice to know that whatever is in my head can be corrected or at least worked on.

And for this I will be taking some medication to hopefully correct the wiring in my head to make me a little less, well, distracted. And of course I have a book, written by some guy that has studied this for some time now and is the go to guy for ADHD. With the two of these things I should be able to get my life back on track somewhat.

Not that life has been bad, I have a lovely wife, a good job, cool kids, but it’s a daily struggle to keep it all, um, straight.

Having ADHD is hard to describe as it’s all I’ve ever known. This might be easier after a couple of weeks of meds and the like so that I can compare.
I mean, I never really thought anything was wrong with me, nothing out of the ordinary at least.
I was just that disorganized guy. My desk/room was messy(but I found things) and my work got done, just not necessarily on time or the best way that it could(work harder, not smarter was my motto!). I just assumed that everyone was kinda the same, just others were better at organization that I was and just let it be.

This clip from Malcolm in the Middle is probably the best answer that I can give(go ahead, watch it, I’ll wait. Heck, I’ll watch it with you!):

And I think that, had life turned out a little different, I would never really have noticed. But I did notice, or more to the point, other people noticed.

It’s not until I had a family of my own that I really noticed problems with myself. I mean, being disorganized is one thing, but when you are constantly forgetting things, not following through on your promises, and not being a self starter, then there’s something else going on. I mean, either I had something wrong or was just a complete jerk, and no one really thought the latter.

So the years went on and at times things were ok or good, but then the bad got to become more and more and I had to do something. So I went to the doc, they referred me elsewhere and I talked to some smart people and took some tests.

She diagnosed me with Moderate ADHD – Inattentiveness, and by the sounds of it I’ve had it all my life.

You have no idea what a relief it was to hear this. It means I wasn’t just a jerk looser, that there was something off in my brain that I could deal with. I mean, who wants to be a jerk looser? No one.

I’ve also been prescribed medication, Ritalin actually(or the generic version) and I start that soon, so we’ll see if that helps at all.

The funny thing with ADHD meds is that they’re stimulants, and some from the amphetamine family(Ritalin is not, but close) and what this does is speed up certain parts of my brain that were slower than most people.
So…I take speed to slow down. It’s an odd thought but it’s what works apparently. Of course there’s side effects, there’s that for everything, but we’ll see where this all takes me.

So I might start blogging more about this, or, as usual, this will be my yearly entry, hard to say πŸ™‚

But I’m ok, and soon will be even better.

Halloween

It was either this or write a novel….

Another Halloween has come and gone. But this year was a far sight busier than last year. Or so I’ve heard, I was stuck in an airport in Brazil at the time.

Liam has been looking forward to Halloween pretty much all summer. For some reason, and I really can’t recall why, we got him a new costume over the summer, Batman. The dark knight kind. And he wore it every opportunity he could. To the park, to day camps, you name it. It almost became a problem for him to wear anything else.

This year, in SK, he had his first elementary school dance. And he was actually looking forward to it. Mind you, I’m not convinced that he knew what a dance was, it was just that everyone at the morning bus stop was talking about it, so he was excited along with them. That night he was Iron Man, a costume given to him on his birthday. We showed up and it was like every school dance I’ve ever been to. Total chaos. The room itself was pretty cool. They had a great light show and streamers everywhere(well, until a handful of kids were able to pull them all down). And because it was a modern school, it was kinda broken up into zones. There was the middle zone, or chaos zone, where people were dancing or just running around chasing each other, and the ring zone, or the “parents looking at their phones” zone. As it was listed as a non-drop off event, I guess the parents had to amuse themselves somehow.

We lasted about an hour, which for $5 is our cheapest outing ever.

Then of course there was the real trick or treating. We had a couple of friends over, and that night he wanted to be Batman again. One of his friends was also Batman, but not the same batman, as that would have been akward.

We had some pizza and hit the houses. We stuck to our local street as everyone really didn’t want to go on too much further. Also, he had a ton of candy already.

What stuck us odd was that he was actually into the candy this year. In the past, and heck, up to about a month ago, he didn’t want anything to do with it. Chocolate bars, sure, but nothing really sweet. And now he’s into it, so Tara and I have to eat it while he’s sleeping πŸ™‚

The last item on the Halloween list was a party this afternoon at a friends place. It was a nice time to just get the kids together and have them try to work off some of the candy. I’m not convinced it worked, but we tried.

And that, in a larger than expected nutshell, was Halloween 2015.