Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Tale of Two Border Guards, Or our trip to Seattle

US Border Guard after taking Bern's citizenship card and both our driver's license's:Can I see your proof of citizenship?
Me: Huh? Mine?
USBG: Yes, yours.
Me: I don't have one. (In my head: Ok, I get why you're asking Goldilocks here, but come on, where the hell do you think I'm from?)
USBG: Where were you born?
Me: Burnaby (North Korea, hee hee)
USBG: Fine. Go ahead.

Eight hours later after giving the same documentation to a Canadian Border Guard.
CBG: Do you have a proof of citizenship or a valid passport.
Me: No.
ME: I don't know. (It's kinda redundant isn't it, dumbass? I just drove up to your booth from the United States.)
CBG (Knowing what I am thinking and getting more pissed off): HOW LONG WAS YOUR VISIT?
Me: Just today.
Me: Yes, we bought some clothes and stuff.
Me: About $250.
Me: Sure.
CBG: THIS IS $330, YOU SAID $250.
Me: I was guessing.
Me: No. Sorry.
Me: I do now.
Me: Ok, bye. (It's Saturday night, buddy, get some, please.)

$45 in duty and a stern lecture from a saucy minx of a border guard lady. Mmm...nothing says sexy like body armour.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Aaron and Tracy's Wedding: The Aftermath

So my wedding blog, much like a real wedding, did not go quite as planned. Time,access to computers and exhaustion were major factors. But whatever, the wedding went off as planned, no one got hurt, no property damage. In the spirit of Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, and Memento I'll fill in the details. They won't be in order but it should all make sense in the end.

Let's start with the drive back since the memories are fresh and raw, much like our asses from sitting in the car all day long. Thanks to Bernadette doing all of the packing and making of food the night before with little... with no help from her husband, we were able to leave Mom and Jerry's without fuss at about 9am. We had to stop at a wedding store to drop off a piece of Tracy's dress (I don't know what it was, it was white, poufy and seemed to be full of metal hoops) because they were heading off for the honeymoon that day and had forgotten it at Mom's. Then we stopped to visit Dad followed by a quick stop at Tim Horton's and we were off. 11am. Not bad.

The drive from Kamloops to the toll booths was pretty uneventful. The kids were watching movies, we got to listen to music, everybody's happy. Until I missed the turn off for the rest stop after the toll booths, that's when things started going downhill. Bern really needed to stop. Now the town of Hope is not really that far away from the toll booths, but when you need to pee... when you know your angry spouse needs to pee, it's a long way.

July 27th, guess I should finish this. Still recovering from our holiday. Ok, so we leave Hope after gassing up cheap, bladders are empty, everything's good. The kids have been watching DVD's for hours and it's coming up on Liam's nap time so we decide it's movie off time. The boys were not impressed with this decision at all and vocalized their disapproval in a kind of wailing song that sounded like a mixture of middle eastern ululation and a cat in heat. Liam took all the high notes and Connor, with the larger lung capacity, provided the wavering background. It was quite lovely. And frustrating for them since instead of annoying their parents into putting the movie back on we were just amused and joined in.

Yes, all fun and games until traffic suddenly stopped. A truck had crashed somewhere up ahead and had blocked both west bound lanes. According to the radio traffic was being rerouted back to Hope to Highway 7 on the other side of the river. Great. I'm not sure how long we sat in that freakin line up but I'm sure we could have been back home by the time we started moving again. There was opportunity to drive across the meridian to the east bound lanes, but it was rainy and muddy and all the extra traffic that had already been diverted made it too dangerous to try. Unless, of course, you're an idiot with a pick-up or an SUV. Ultimately the laugh was on them though. An hour or so later we heard that there had been an accident on Highway 7 which had stopped traffic. By the time we made it to the accident scene they had dragged the truck off the road. Sucka's.

So we get through that and all is good until we hit construction on Highway 10 which is apparently being renovated by hand, Roman-style. Or maybe it's just me. AND THEN we get to the Massey Tunnel. I could never live in Surrey, Delta, Tsawwassen, where ever if I had to go through that flippin tunnel everyday. I would have to buy a gun. Bern and I had a long discussion on how best to deal with the morons that use the lanes that have been closed to cut in front of everybody else. She thought their cars should be vapourized. Not bad, but too quick. My idea was some type of giant spring board that would shoot their cars into the air and off into the farm fields along side the highway. Not only would this be entertaining for everybody in line, the offending drivers would have a few seconds to ponder their stupidity before hitting the ground. Then they could be vapourized.

Anyway, loooooooong story short, seven hours after our trip home started (a 4 hour drive) we finally got home. I didn't even get into the leaky diapers. Not that getting home meant we could relax. First (IF YOU ARE CHAD'S FAMILY, DON'T READ THIS)we had to erect a level 4 decontamination zone around the car to protect the house from animal hair. We each had to strip and were individually sprayed down with disinfectant by men in pressurized suits. Then every article of clothing, whether worn or not, pillow cases, even Liam's stuffed puppy went straight into the washer. Maybe I'm exaggerating because of my allergies, but I don't think so. Then Bern had to drive off to Safeway so we could eat.

But hey, it was a great wedding. Congratulations Aaron and Tracy.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Aaron and Tracy's Wedding: T minus one day

So far so good. Got the bolt taken out of the tire, last minute run to Bern's parents to pick up a dress, loaded up the van and we were off before eleven. A little later than planned but we still managed to make it to Tim Horton's before they stopped making their breakfast sandwiches. Mmmmmm...

Next day. So much for that. In Barriere now. I'm at my Mom's with the kids watching Tree House while everybody else seems to be running around like headless poultry. That worked out well. Connor and Liam like Grampa Jerry's GIGANTIC tv a lot. Dora's much more fun when she's the same size as you.

It looks like November outside right now, hopefully things will change for tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Aaron and Tracy's Wedding: Prelude

I have a bolt in my rear driver side tire. I'd like to say I just found it, but in truth, it's been there for over a week. I could burst into flames and find a way to put off finding water. Whatever. I got home tonight, after forgetting to go to a tire place again, and decided to just pull the damn thing out myself. Ya, the sound of rushing air convinced me to push it back in again. So before we can start the trip tomorrow I have to run off and have the tire fixed. Serves me right, right? Bite me.

So it's Wednesday night, Bern is at work and I'm trying to finish packing and get the kids to bed. They're snacking on Fruity Cheerio's and Ovaltine right now. If you've never heard of Fruity Cheerios imagine Fruit Loops, but healthy. They've only been available in the States til now, but Bern found them in Safeway today. If you're two or four it's like smack, you'll do anything for just one more handful. Anything! Sucka's. There are also Berry Rice Krispies but you can't get them here yet.

Again, crack for kiddies.

So I'm in the middle of charging my razor, my cell, the iPod, the iPod speakers, the camera battery and Bern's cell once she gets home. I'm also doing last minute laundry because apparently I'm not allowed to go to my brother's wedding in shorts and a tshirt. Damned inconvenient if you ask me.

Finally got the kids to bed. Liam has discovered the joy of Green Egg's and Ham so we had to read that twelve times first.

I think I've finished my packing. I've got a weeks worth of clean boxers, everything else is bonus. I'll try and update the family's wedding adventure everyday and hopefully I'll be able to add some pics too. Of course I'll have to rely on PC's and if you know me you'll know I despise PC's.

That's it for tonight. Please feel free to comment on the blog, it's nice to know someone's actually reading it. So far only one person has(thanks, Julie). Let us know what you think. Make a request, make a suggestion. Complain. Send hate mail. Whatever. Until tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pride and Gut Wrenching Terror, All in One Instant

Took Connor and Liam to the airport this afternoon. They love watching the planes come in. We drive through the airport all week coming and going to the Grandparents/Daycare and it's always the same question/demand. "Can we watch the plane's land?" or "No, Daddy! You took the wrong turn!" Anyway, I haven't taken them for awhile because of the hot weather so the last few days the boys have been benefiting from Daddy's guilt.

It starts out very well. We get the primo parking spot directly in the flight path so the planes come in right over the van. There's the van, the fence, then the big lights that show the planes where the centre of the runway is. Then the first plane to land is a gigantic Korean Air Lines 747. The kids were mortally terrified and ecstatic at the same time.

I had the door open to let a bit of a breeze in and got tired of listening to the key-in-the-ignition warning so I took them out and put them on the dash. Connor picked them up shook them a few times and then went back to changing all the settings on the radio, heater and everything else he could touch. Liam picks them up right away and starts trying to stick them back in the ignition. I'm thinking this is very cute and ask him if he's going to drive us back home. "Yesh!" And then he's back to the job at hand. Then he manages to get them in. Wow! My child is obviously gifted. What manual dexterity for a two year old. Then he flips it over so the radio and dash lights come on. Somewhat alarmed, but still impressed. He turns it back off and then gives me his usual wicked grin. And then, you've already guessed it, he starts the engine.

Now what? He's two and he's just figured out how to start a car. Granted he can't reach the brake pedal and take it out of park, but still... he's going to grow. Sigh. This is why hair turns gray. On the other hand, my child is freakin' brilliant.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

How long before he's taller than Mom?

He's four and she's....thirty something... 29! Ya, she's 29, that's it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sunday, July 8, 2007

It all seemed like a good idea at the time. A local mall was having a display of dinosaurs. Connor loves dinosaurs. Let's take Connor and Liam to see the dinosaurs. Weee! Not only that, let's hype it up for Connor all week long, not telling him what it is, only that he's going to get a surprise. What could possibly go wrong?

It started out well with the usual Saturday morning gridlock and insanity of 3 Road traffic and RAV Line construction. Actually, it wasn't that bad. There was minimal profanity and once you let go of the basic rules of driving and any semblance of manners driving in downtown Richmond is quite fun. It's like a giant video game.

Anyway, we get to Aberdeen Centre, find parking and enter the mall. There's a big sign in the entrance talking about their Jurassic display, blah blah blah, animatronic dinosaur ride. Cool. So in we walk, Bern with Liam and Connor with me. We pass the animatronic ride first and Connor is already holding me tighter. It's a freakin Velociraptor with a saddle on it. Remember what those things sounded like in Jurassic Park? Remember when they stopped being cute and started eating people? The line up for that one was for big kids 'cause the little guys were having none of it. There was one little girl in a pink dress that was yelling at her parents. I'm not sure what exactly she was saying as it was mostly incoherent and in Cantonese, but I'm sure it was something like, "you put my ass on that mo'fo' I will make you pay for the rest of your sorry lives!"

Needless to say, we didn't hang around that one. Anyway, the main event is a life size Tyrannosaurus Rex in the centre of the mall. Connor's still keeping a wary eye on the Velociraptor but I can see the midsection of it up ahead. Then he sees it. WTF!? This is somewhat different than the usual friendly dinosaurs in our bedtime books and on Treehouse. If you've never seen one of these things, let's just say it's a good thing they've been dead for 65 million years. It's over two stories high, it's head is the size of a volkswagon and most of that head is made up of teeth. I take Connor out of the crowd a ways so I can take some pictures of him with the dinosaur in the background, just like a hundred other fathers around me. I got the picture above and one other, and then it roared. Then all hell broke loose as a thousand little kids including both my sons figuratively and literally shit their pants. Not only did it roar, it was animatronic too. And there was steam from a pretend volcano. Very impressive. Unless you're four.

I couldn't put him down again until we'd reached the safety of the Diaso store at the other end of the mall. Then it was a non-stop talk on how scary the dinosaur was and how we weren't going out there again.

Like I said, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


What was that I said last night about Connor being ok and Liam recovering?

Monday, July 2, 2007

Amygdala: Pros and Cons

Your amygdala is part of your brain. Part of your lizard brain. The part that tells you to run away from fire and to be afraid of the dark. It's the cave man of your brain, from back in the day when we weren't on top of the food chain. The part of your brain that instantaneously recognizes the horrible gurgling noise emanating from your child's throat and all it's terrible ramifications. Even if it's your first child and you have no previous experience with children, your amaygdala knows what that sound is. It receives the sound of it from your auditory system, checks your personal data base for matches, recognizes and prioritizes it against its list of potential dangers to you, then sends out a shit load of orders to every part of your body faster than the fastest supercomputer could ever dream of. You should be proud of your amygdala.

Unfortunately, as fast as your brain is, as fast as you think you are, the likelihood of you succeeding in whatever split second plan you've come up with to keep your child's puke off of you and everything around you is going to fail. Nine times out of ten. I've gotten lucky a few times. Today was not one of those times. Or two of those times. Or three. It's been a long afternoon. Bern came close. Hat's off. I saw it coming from the comfort of the living room. Xbox controller in one hand, cold drink in the other I figured I'd gotten lucky. Cherries and some type of mixed fruit drink. Wasn't pretty but at least it was in the kitchen. That would have been nasty on the carpet.

Liam and Connor both caught whatever it was I brought home from work this weekend. Connor's doing pretty good but Liam... Liam was trying to set a record. I stopped putting on new shirts at some point. Probably when I ran out of shirts to put on. It was quite the show. Water and plegm vomit. Apple juice and plegm vomit. Banana yoghurt and plegm vomit. I got lucky with the water one since we'd taken him outside to cool down a little. Really lucky, because that was an astounding amount of vomit.

Whatever it was, it seems to be out of his system now. Somewhere in the middle of an episode of Toopy and Binoo he perked up and started talking again. Not sure what he said since he was pretty sleepy by then, but I'm sure it was something like, "Jesus, Dad, you stink!"

Canada Day Long Weekend

Where to start? It felt like the Canada Week holiday. I think we must have taken over a hundred pics this weekend and since I can't put all of them in one blog, check out out Flickr page. Where to start? Well, it wasn't an auspicious start for Dad. The week leading to the holiday was his first full week back after his neck/back/shoulder 'incident.' It was SUPER busy, I was backed up from (like how I changed from second person to first there? Whatever, write your own blog) all the day's I'd missed the previous week, still sore and by Thursday my long quiet allergies made a reappearance. Friday night the allergies had to make way for an actual cold. The cold was not greedy though, it cheerfully left some room for the allergies to play in.

Saturday morning Dad feels like a bucket of warm death, but, being there for the family he dragged his lazy ass out of bed, loaded up on ineffectual anti-histamines and Advil ('cause we might as well add a headache to the mix) and headed out for the water park.

Connor was very excited about the whole thing, especially the big water canon's you could use to shoot other kids with. Unfortunately a life lesson shortly followed.

When you shoot water at other kids, inevitably they will shoot back. Liam, usually the daredevil, took a little longer to get into it. It all looked exciting, but there was the potential for getting his hair wet, and we DO NOT like getting our hair wet.

Anyway, it was a few hours of roasting in the sun, a few hours waiting in line at McDonald's and a nice nap afterwards. Not a bad day. Ok, I think we'll have to break the holiday weekend blog up a little. Hopefully I can continue the tale later today somewhere between laundry, dishes, vacuuming, yardwork, shopping and children.