Starting Over

In just over one week, we pack everything we own into a 6×12 trailer and drive across the country to our new home in BC. When we land, we’ll land with family, but land jobless and probably tired.

We would leave behind family and friends, our own home and jobs that no longer exist.

It’s both terrifying and exciting, and I can’t wait to start the journey.

Tara and I have been planning this for more or less two years. It was during a dog walk in February, I think it was about -30 outside, when we both looked at each other and said “Who the hell colonized this area?!?” When we got home we spitballed the idea of moving out west, the money we would save and the future we could create. It was supposed to be a 5 year plan; we would live on my salary and bank anything Tara made, then move back and try to buy a house outright.

It was a good plan, and would have likely worked really well. So we got moving on it. We had someone come in to give us an assessment, and then we planned to make some improvements ourselves to squeeze a little more out of the market. Tara got pregnant, the improvements took longer than we thought, and time marched on.

Then it all really came to a head during Christmas. We flew out to BC to spend time with Tara’s family and realized that this was the place we wanted to be. So when we got home we committed ourselves to make this work. And we did, off and on, make it all work. There were some setbacks(flooring mostly) and we got on the market a little later then we planned.

Oh, and I got laid off from work(my last day is 3 days away) so that kind of put the fear of the future in us. But we got on the market, and with what we did, the market responded by having us sell our house in two days.

Two Days!

All of a sudden we were “This is really happening, holy crap, what do we do next?”

And that’s how the last month has been. Sorting and packing, letting go of things and arranging travel across the country.

That’s part of the exiting bit. We’re gonna drive, and it’s going to be great.

We’ve planned out about 7-8 days of driving across the country as I don’t think the kids can take 12 hour drives just yet. It’ll take us a little over three days to get out of the province and then the same amount of time to make it across the rest of the country. We’ll see Northern Ontario, the plains, the Rockies, all in a weeks time. And I hope, for Liam at least, it’ll be something he’ll always remember.

The whole lack of job thing does worry me. But not worried enough to put the brakes on everything. In fact, it makes more sense to get out there now so that I don’t have a whole house to support. The utilities are cheaper out in BC, and the rent isn’t bad either. So we’ll be able to make the money stretch out a little longer if we have to. I don’t see it taking too long for me to find something as there is a good IT industry out there, and who knows, I could end up working in the movie industry(a boy can dream!).

I’ll be trying to post here more often, but things like twitter/facebook/instegram make life so much faster and easier, so look there as well.

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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 🙂

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 🙂

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.

Age over Ability

Liam has really become a strong swimmer. Since the start of last summer he has been going into the deep end, with a life vest, but otherwise unassisted. He’s even going off the diving board and able to swim back to the wall on his own. Heck, taking Liam to the pool has been pretty simple. I hang out on the wall, he keeps jumping off the diving board and repeat. Bark out the occasional order and all is good.
This Summer he upped the ante a little. He wanted to go into the deep end without a vest. I was a little sceptical but we tried. To our amazement hr was just fine. He could jump in and swim back with no problem at all. We even had him swim lengths(more to warm us up) and there was no clinging to us. He totally held his own. With no real swimming lessons he just sorted out what he needed to do and did it.
Mom and I were really proud. He was a determined boy and nothing stood in his way.
However he still wasn’t allowed to try for a swim test. The test would allow him to go into the pool on his own. To be honest, I wasn’t worried about that. We would both feel a little better if he was close to us, especially in the deep end. So the while summer(almost 6 weeks) we were at the pool, he was jumping in on his own, and there was no problem.
Until last night. We headed for the deep end as usual, Liam hopped on the board and was ready to go. Then the life guard mentioned to us the he needed a vest. I asked why, thus was the first time he’s been asked to do that. Apparently they just started to enforce the rule over the weekend(although we were there all weekend too) and they wouldn’t let him jump in without one. Hesitantly I agreed and we headed for the vests.
Liam was devastated. He knew he could do it, we knew he could do it, but rules were rules. I asked the manager if there was some wiggle room, but he was still too young even for that. He would have to wait this summer and next before he could even take a test to show them what we already knew. It was heart breaking. He hopped into the little pool and stayed there the rest of the swim. The thought of having to wear a vest just wouldn’t cross his mind. If he couldn’t go into the deep end without a vest, then he wouldn’t go.
Now I know that there are all sorts of rules/laws based on age.  Driving, smoking, voting, drinking(which still seems high), etc, but this seems a little unfair. It’s not like we’re wanting him to go in by himself. We would still be there, and if he were allowed to show the life guard his ability, I’m sure they would agree. But he’s not even given the chance.
Maybe because it’s my son that’s involved that makes it harder. But it just seems unfair.

To touch the bottom

It amazes me, each and every day how much Liam changes. Last night we were at the pool, as we are most nights during the summer, and he was eagerly trying to touch the bottom of the deep end. It’s a new game for him since we let him in without a life vest. He lives the additional freedom it grants him in the pool.
Anyway, he had been struggling with the concept of how to go from the diving board to the bottom of the pool. I’ve been trying to give him some direction; legs straight, push up  with your arms, that kind of thing. During the last few visits he had managed to touch about three times per visit. And last night looked like no exception. Until that is, hr got number 4. Then 5, and in no time it was 25. 25 times touching the bottom. All pretty much in a row. He was super happy with himself, and I was incredibly proud that he managed to figure it all out and get such a high number.
He hasn’t been able to do it since, but I suspect that  if he really tried, it wouldn’t be a problem.
And this is what I see more and more in him. He has the challenge to do something, fails a bunch of times, or even just gives up trying. Then, usually when your back is turned, he just does it. And then keeps doing it, and wants to do nothing else.
This week he sorted out the monkey bars. The week previous he didn’t understand the concept of going hand over hand. He’s that kind of kid, and I’m proud of him.
I hope it never changes.

Gun Play

This morning Liam picked up a toy wooden block, with a toy screw in it, and shot me.

It was decidedly not a gun and couldn’t hurt me, but I just wasn’t going to let this slide. So I picked up a toy c-clamp(also decidedly not a gun) and shot him back.

This went on for a couple of minutes, each of us pew-pewing each other(some with more amount of spittle than others) until it escalated.

Liam picked up a toy plane and shot me with all the guns available on that plane. Sure, it was a commercial air liner, but one that was apparently armed to the teeth.

I held my own for some time, pew-pewing him back(with less spittle) and he escalated further. Picking up pretty much a copy of the first toy plane(also apparently armed to the teeth) he tried to end this conflict once and for all.

Again, I held my own, but I knew the end was near. Until I noticed he had dropped his wooden block, so I grabbed it and was now armed in both hands. I felt sure I was going to end this, properly, with myself being the victor!

Little did I realize that these two planes, once combined in a single assault, had the the ultimate “I stole all your power” power. I had no chance.

With one loud PEW, it was all over. All my power had been stolen. The end was near. Like the WWE, I tried a couple of times at retaliation, but every assault was met with another “I stole all your power” attack.

As I lie there, guns across my chest, I was thinking that daddy was going to have to find a different game where he had a chance of winning.

Haven’t found that game yet…

Linux fun

Almost 5 years ago, for a wedding present, I got Tara a nice little 10″ netbook from Dell.

Time hasn’t been kind to it, and with Windows running on it, it never really lived up to expectations. She liked it and all, but wasn’t able to do all the things that she wanted it to do. It was great for surfing and email, and that was about it.
So over the years we got other laptops, and for her birthday last year we got her a nice little tablet. So the little laptop kinda went into “the corner” and wasn’t used at all.
I noticed it there the other day and decided that maybe Linux would be a good fit. Tara didn’t have any problem with that as she wasn’t using it at all, so I downloaded Mint Liunux and popped it on.
Works like a dream. Boots/wakes up super fast, runs as well as ever(online flash movies kill it though) and works as well as I thought a little netbook would run.
There’s plenty of hard drive space left as I haven’t loaded it up with a ton of applications or stuff, I’m just playing as I go to see what’s available these days.
Turns out most things are available, in one form or another. I have dropbox, keepass, a comic reader and even Steam. I’m sure I can’t play most of the games that I have for Steam Linux, but a few should work nicely(like Duke Nukem, but I need a seperate mouse for it).
Anyway, it’s early days yet but I think it’ll be a nice little toy. It’s like a tablet for me without costing me anything extra, and it does almost all the things that I would want it to do anyway.