Current Mood:Ugh emoticon Ugh

Four times a year we travel to Osoyoos and directly back, an 8 hour trip dropping off or picking up Amber’s kids to/from their BioDad on the weekend. Pickup usually happens the following weekend.

Sometimes the trip is treacherous, like last Christmas. Sometimes it’s beautiful, like this time, Easter Sunday.

My van’s heater had been acting weird since the return trip the previous weekend, sometimes heating and sometimes not. On this trip it was mostly not working. About 15 minutes away from Princeton, maybe 1/2 of the way to Osoyoos, the van gave a warning chime, the temperature gauge spiked to the max, and steam started shooting out of the hood. I uttered an expletive that I will not repeat here and pulled over.

After waiting a bit for whatever was going on under the hood to settle a bit, we opened it to find hot liquid shooting out from somewhere we couldn’t quite make out. We called around, but were informed that because it was the Easter long weekend there would be no repair places open in Princeton. Nowhere else was close.

After a bit a helpful gentleman stopped and had a look. He really knew his stuff, found where the coolant was leaking from, taped it up, had us put some water into the radiator, closed the cap but didn’t seal it so that the leak wouldn’t recur, and told us to GO GO GO before it overheated again. We rushed into Princeton at about 160 km/h and pulled up to a repair place, but as we were told would be the case, it was closed.

We walked to the Canada’s Best Value Inn (yes, that’s actually the name) and the staff were very accommodating, considering we didn’t know if we’d be there one night or two, since by this point we were told that repair places weren’t going to be open on Monday either.

Speaking of accommodating, the Little Creek Grill was going to close within a half hour of us calling, but they stayed open to feed us! Their grilled beet salad was one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten!

That night I Googled the hell out of the problem. Lots of people were complaining about this one plastic piece that cracks on Dodge vehicles, spewing coolant everywhere. The fix would cost $300 if we found a repair place, but the piece could be replaced with non-automotive parts for far less.

In the end, with assistance from Amber’s cousin’s partner on the phone, we purchased more electrical tape and some metal screw bindings and Amber secured the whole thing for the trip back the next day. It was a nervous drive home but we made it!

Which was good because Amber had a job interview after work the next day, which she would have most likely missed if we had to wait until Tuesday for repairs. As it was her current work gave her hell for missing Monday, even going so far as to call her a liar! We agreed she should quit right away and luckily she got the job she interviewed for shortly thereafter!

I’m no good with automobiles, so I took it to Chrysler for repairs. After a coolant flush and taxes, $800! Maybe I should get better with engines…

We both agreed that Princeton was awesome. Nice and quiet, and the people were really friendly and helpful. I guess we got “Doc Hollywooded”, but it might be a nice place to retire…

Current Mood:Sad emoticon Sad

After 7 years, my Vibe’s lease is over and I took it back today. It was the best car I’ve ever driven, let alone owned…I’ll miss it, and it will be held up as the standard against all future vehicles.

My Dad generously gave us his van a few months ago so we don’t need a third vehicle, and Amber’s was already paid off. I won’t miss the monthly car expense!

Current Mood:Sad emoticon Sad

I keep having a very tasteless joke run through my head every time I try to write this:

“Kids, I have good news and bad news. The good news is we don’t have to go to the hospital to visit Grandma anymore. The bad news? Well…”
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Current Mood:Happy emoticon Happy

So have a look at me a looong time ago:

…then have a look at Geoff a few years ago:

Yep, that’s the same look, saying, “I’m on Santa’s lap and I’ve been a good boy, so I’m getting whatever I want.”

Like father, like son.

Current Mood:Confused emoticon Confused

A few months back I was going to take the kids to see the new Harry Potter movie.  When my ex-wife found out, she registered her displeasure and it finally came down to me agreeing that if the kids had nightmares I would get a phone call to talk them down from it.

I read that particular HP book, and except for near the end it was actually less scary than the previous few of the series…it was PG when the previous few were PG-13.  There were no nightmares.

A few weeks ago Geoffrey told me he had watched the first part of The Dark Knight at a friend’s house and his mum got mad.  I, too, was unhappy to hear that, as that movie is too dark for a 7-year-old, IMO.

So, it seems that PG movies are okay and PG-13 are not.  But wait! Here are a list of PG-13 movies I would let my kids watch:

Ever After
Fantastic Four
Pirates of the Caribbean
Star Trek

How can those movies be counted in the same list as 1408, The Dark Knight, and The Ring? The ratings system is just nuts.

Current Mood:Playful emoticon Playful

Geoffrey and Emily were playing with the blow-up hammers they got at the PNE.

Geoffrey: Emily’s hammer is bigger than mine.

Me: But do you know how to use it?

Geoffrey: Yeah.

Me: Okay then.

Current Mood:Sad emoticon Sad

Geoffrey and Emily went out to play with some girls in the centre of the complex. Geoffrey was told boys weren’t allowed and Emily was told only 5 years old or older allowed.

The irony was that the girls were oriental and East Indian.

Current Mood:Confused emoticon Confused

So Geoffrey’s almost 6 and his comprehension is great.  He can read a fair amount of words, he’s good with numbers and he’s asking a lot of questions.

However, I don’t spend a lot of time with him so most of his questions are about the things we do together, like watch sci-fi shows like Star Trek or Dr. Who.

When his mother went out some nights to play Dungeons & Dragons he asked me what it was like to play it.  I couldn’t properly answer that so found some of the old D&D cartoons and burned them to a DVD for him to watch.  A few weeks ago he told me I had missed an episode.

“No,” I assured him, “those are all of them.”

“But then that means they never got home.”

Ouch…I forgot that there was never a final episode.  I assured him they did, indeed, get home, but there are going to be other uncomfortable moments as I try to share other things from my childhood.

For example, I’ve tried to get him to watch Star Wars: A New Hope a couple times now.  He gets BORED.  However, he could sit through all of The Phantom Menace.  Guess ol’ George got it right after all.

As I mentioned above, we watch some old Star Trek episodes.  He now wants a Star Trek shirt, phaser or communicator for his birthday.  However, once he’s caught up on the old episodes come the movies.  I already tried him on The Motion Picture and he almost fell asleep, so next is Wrath of Khan.  One problem:  I saw that when I was 12 and had nightmares about alien bugs burrowing into my ear for weeks.  What’s it going to do to a kid his age?  Guess I’ll have to go straight to TNG and hold off on the movies for a few years.

Current Mood:Married emoticon Married

im·promp·tu [im-promp-too, -tyoo]
1. made or done without previous preparation

Bonus points to anyone who can find the site linked from my Blogroll where this word is being misused.

Current Mood:Sad emoticon Sad

So last night I dreamt of being a “me” version of Captain Kirk in the episode The City on the Edge of Forever (omg I got the name wrong and had to look it up! -5 geek points!).  Something had happened to my past and I had to fix it.  I don’t remember too many specifics but despite all the crap I’ve gone through I knew I had to do it for my kids to be born.  I’m sure they’ll be happy to know.