Wow, long time without a post. Suffice it to say, my energies have been spent elsewhere, including a new Daughter and the ever growing 4 year old Son. Anyways, this is not about catching up. This is about reaching middle age and doing really well because of a little thing called Covid-19 that is destroying other people's lives. This pandemic is one of the craziest things I or anyone else has had to live through. But I've really benefited from it:
-I'm only working 45 hours a week, they're hard but 15 less than before.
-I'm making less money but EDD is covering the difference.
-I got a 'stimulus' check from the US government.
-Every week, EDD gives me extra money.
-I'm a misanthrope, so staying home really isn't a big deal to me
-My Wife is home everyday with the kids and when I come home, they are there. No driving to Long Beach to pick them up or waiting for everyone to come home
-It became socially acceptable to day drink...
The only losses for me are hockey and not being able to see Family and Friends, which we probably wouldn't be able to see anyways. Oh, and the Wife and I got really sick for the first 2 weeks of this thing, so that was bad. But otherwise, we're doing really good. Financially, life has never been this easy. And yes, I know it all runs out in a few months but right now, there's no stress from money. But it feels wrong to feel good about that, when other people are suffering. So for some reason, I felt the need to rant about this on my Birthday. Forty-five feels so old but things feel so good, but in a way they shouldn't.
Done with this, I hope everyone is healthy and safe.
I thought typing out the title of this blog would make it seem more real, but it doesn't really, now does it? Things just flash by and nothing more so than life. My Son is two freaking years old! I cannot comprehend this. There was a time when I thought I would never have a family and I was fine with it. It wasn't that I didn't want it, I just didn't think I'd fall in love with someone who'd fall in love with me and want the same things.
Anyways, this is starting to sound like it's about me and I don't want that. My Son is amazing. He runs, climbs, swims, eats big boy foods, speaks phrases, gets possessive, has favorite things and opinions, and pretty much charms the pants off of everyone he comes into contact with. He is the best thing in the world and I hope I'm at least half the father he deserves. Right now he is napping with his cute mohawk, after playing with his new hockey sticks and net, while running around and yelling, "hockey key".
He is chaos and sweetness, all wrapped into a joyful bundle that spreads love with meaningful hugs and kisses. He's a good boy. I feel bad for punishing him when he does wrong because it is so rare. But he get's it and he learns and moves on. He's the best of us. I love him and I can't imagine life without him. Happy Birthday Chugs!!!
Where have all the good beers gone? Hopefully, they've just gone into hiding. More likely, they've been abolished to the sea of the forgotten. And I'm not talking about really good beer. Any chap can go to their local bar(hopefully) and find some good beer on draft or in the bottle, maybe a local craft beer. What I'm talking about is the beer you get at the grocery store, when you're supposed to be getting milk for the baby, but you grab a 12 pack of Labatt Blue to chill down the night. Yeah, that's not happening anymore. The beer isle at the grocery store has been taken over and the new emperor is fruit.
I walk into the beer isle now and this is what I see: 12 varieties of hard cider? What the Hell? The only normal beer left is Bud, Coors, and Miller. Maybe you can find an oil can of Fosters or a tall can of Icehouse, but that's it. There might also be some cheap malt liquors or water beers like Keystone. The only good beer left is Mexican beer and it's usually over priced. Speaking of over priced; every variety of Sam Adams and several "cool but why charge so much" craft brews will be found. Where is all the good beer that doesn't cost a fortune? Indeed, what happened to Fortune?
I long for the days when I could find a sixer of Molson Ice or a 12 pack of Fosters. All of these great beers that didn't break the bank got pushed out by Hard Lemonade and Twisted Ice Tea? Who drinks this junk anyways? I'm starting to think Zima is going to make a comeback or maybe wine coolers will start taking up more than one shelf again. So much cider, grrrrr.....
And now all of the Arrogant Bastards and Firestone tall bottles got pushed out by Four Loco. It's a sad state indeed in the world of beer. Which is ironic, seeing as how craft and local breweries have never been better. I can't even find those middle ground beers at BevMo! anymore. It seems as the middle class of America disappears, so too does their beers. But economics are a discussion of another sort.
I just hope this is only a phase.
So, I'm actually going to do a Part 2 post on the Surprises of Fatherhood. It's been almost 6 months since I wrote the original post and now my son is almost 1 year old. Amazing! It's been one crazy ride with this little fellow. I'm sure there will be many more fatherhood surprises but here are the new ones I've discovered so far.
Dude, I'm tired.
Okay, this sounds stupid. Wow, you're a parent and you're tired? Join the club. The surprise here isn't that I'm tired, it's that it's a different type of tired. This isn't hangover tired, or no sleep tired, or I just ran a marathon tired, it's something completely different. And here I am lucky; my son sleeps a pretty normal schedule, maybe wakes up once in the night, takes naps, and I get 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night, sometimes 9. It's like a winning the Kiddo lottery! But I'm still tired. Taking care of someone wears you out and I do the least amount parenting work here. Thanks Wifey. But yeah, it's a different kind of tired, like a combo of sleeplessness and being stretched too thin.
Let me preface this post with a little bit about my gaming history. First, let's start with the phrase, 'gaming'. Up until about 8 years ago, the word 'gaming' meant dice, maps and dungeons and dragons to me. I had spent some of my youth playing video games: Star Wars, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Smurfs, The Legend of Zelda and the almighty Super Mario Bros. Then I kind of got out of it for awhile. In college, I got a Sega CD and started playing again, but very little and usually N.H.L. '93-96'. After that era, I got out of it. And while I was out of it, video games became 'gaming' and it got serious. Flash forward to 2009, where I get my first GM job in Long Beach, about 45 minutes from my hometown of Chino, CA. About 3 months into it, I moved myself to Long Beach. All of a sudden I was in a new city, with no friends and just work to keep me busy. Eventually, I got pretty lonely, which is hard for a loner. But all of my friends were playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare online. Hello XBox360! I bought myself one and Call of Duty and a new era of gaming was born for me. All of the sudden, I could stay up all night drinking and talking to my friends, whilst killing the crap out of other people I didn't know. It was great. It was a great game. It was so involving. I couldn't get enough. It was the only game I played. I was definitely not great at it but I didn't care, it was fun and the social aspect was just as engrossing as the gameplay. Soon, I was making friends all of the country and even Canada. I always had friends online to play with, so it was never ending. Most nights grew into the morning. I didn't get a lot of sleep.
Okay, I just added a new section to the site, called Design. We now offer Web Design services. If you're looking to build a website and need help, we just might be your solution. To be honest, anyone can design a website these days. A four year old could pull off something passable. But I know there are a lot of people who are terrified of tech, who are web weary, and even design deficient. Our services are for those people. We can create something professional for your business, band, or organization that looks pretty amazing and does exactly what you need it to. If we can't do, we'll tell you right off the bat. Price is completely negotiable and we can set it up to be run by you or you can keep us on staff and pay us to keep it up. So, go to our Design Section for more information or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Hey, so I'm trying to get Google Ads on here and it is harder than I thought. Working on it. Anyways, we have a new page on the website called Support! Click it in the menu and you will be whisked away to a magical world where you can help raise money for this site. You can go and buy stuff from the companies we own, that really do need the support more than this site. Or you can go to Sauce Hockey and earn us a finders fee. They have really cool hockey apparel, not as good as Wolf and Crown, but still pretty cool. They have a new line of Molson Canadian wear. Click this referral link to earn us some money. Thanks, that is all.
That sounds so dramatic. Anyways, we decided to get rid of our Donation Box and go with some ads on the site, to help pay for this thing. Sorry about that. We'll try and keep it low key. We are also going to add some other ways you can help keep this site alive. I promise, we will start generating more content.
We're also going to be doing web design services soon. So, if you are internet handicapped, we will be able to help you produce a website to promote whatever you are promoting. We will be offering full design services. We can design it for you and set you up to run it yourself or you can keep us on staff. We're flexible that way. Keep in mind, this is for people who don't know what they are doing. We use Weebly and it's really easy to use and make your own site. But, if you are really scared of design or high tech drag and drop technology, we can help you make something professional looking.
So yeah, expansion coming soon.
And oh yeah, one of the reasons we haven't been updating that much is that we started a hockey apparel company. Go check that out at www.wolfandcrown.com and please, please buy some stuff. It's really high quality and cool!
So, it's the nerdiest of holidays, May the Fourth, also known as Star Wars Day, the unofficial National Holiday revered by every Star Wars fan out there. If you don't know what Star Wars is, please go back to the rock you've been living under, you are not wanted here. I thought to celebrate, it would be fun to talk about what Star Wars means to me.
The very first movie I saw as a child was Pete's Dragon in 1977, at the ripe old age of 2. Apparently, I was obsessed with Pete's bleeps, bloops and other nonsense noises that came out of him because I was would mimic those sounds for months. Star Wars came out the same year and I was obviously too young to go see it. I'm still amazed I got to go see Pete's Dragon. So, I did not get to see Star Wars when it first came out. Nor did I get to experience the phenomenon first hand. It wasn't until years later when the movie started playing all the time on Select TV did I get to crap my no longer diapered pants at the sight of tie fighters, x-wings, light saber battles, blasters and the Death Star. I would go over to my friends house all the time just to watch it. Selfish me. All my friends had all the toys, I had none. I had Lego and Construx toys. Great toys, honestly, but to me, I was left out of the Star Wars craze.
So, I finally got around to watching "The Hateful Eight", Quentin Tarantino's 8th film. They shot the thing in 65mm Ultra Panavision. My goodness, that was a beautiful film to watch. The film overall was awesome: great story with twists and turns, great actors acting brilliant, Quentin's usual lush, colorful dialogue, and the score was tailored to every scene with eclectic abundance. I loved it.
But what made it extra special was the cinematography. I can't believe Ultra Panavision hasn't been used since the 70's and that this was only the 11th film ever made with it. Yeah, I watched the bonus features. If you are interested in reading about the details of Ultra Panavision, check out the Wiki. Seeing everything wider and in more detail really dragged me into the movie more. It would have been better to see it in the theater at one of the special 70mm showings. Obviously, shots of blood flying through the snow is going to look dramatic, but it's so much more than that in the higher definition filming.(Okay, not really higher definition technically, but aesthetically, it is)
I'm glad Tarantino went through the trouble of bringing back the old tech. They actually used the lenses from the 70's and retrofitted them to today's camera equipment. And now, I've found out that the new Star Wars Story, "Rogue One" is going to have an undisclosed amount of scenes shot in Ultra Panavision!!! I was already excited about this film. Hopefully, they use it a lot.
Sometimes, old school is best.
Music, Food, Hockey, and Society through the eyes of a misanthrope named Quez Def.