Finally Back Home on the Coast

Our ten year layover in the Okanagan is finally behind us!!!!

I for one, could not be happier!  Except for missing our backyard that was great for wildlife watching, huge covered deck (not that it rained much there), and of course, my favourite cafes where I spent many, many hours coding, studying, and sipping mocha’s.

While the summer here was pretty dry, it sure has rained a lot since we got home!  After living in a dust bowl for so many years, I am happy to finally be back to complaining about being wet and cold <3

Truth be told, I have always enjoyed the rain.  Rain is very cleansing.  Rain makes the trees and plants grow.  Rain also makes me feet soggy sometimes which helps remind me of how grateful I am to have a place to go home to dry out, and warm up.

As I’m sure you can imagine, when you move away for 10 years, things are a little bit different upon your return.  Not that I’ve been back and into Vancouver much but it seems like a whole new city.  Most of my favourite foods stops disappeared years ago during the buildup to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and a lot of my old neighbourhoods I can’t even recognize anymore thanks to gentrification.

I guess the plus is that we are now out in Langley where it’s a bit quieter, and I have a whole new city to explore, rather then re-acquainting myself with Vancouver.  Part of me is disappointed that we can’t afford to be living in East Vancouver again, but at the same time, so happy we ended up in Walnut Grove out in Langley.  I am in love with Fort Langley which is about a 5-10 minute drive away <3

The transit system has also grown massively since we moved away.  There’s now three different skytrain lines and I am sure many more bus routes.  Having grown up in a community where there was no transit service (there is now), I really appreciated that I could get just about anywhere in the GVRD by transit (including from the ferry – I grew up on Vancouver Island) and at most, I would have to walk 5 to 10 blocks to get to my destination. 

When you live in a city as uptight as Kelownafornia, it’s “no shit” that the rich and famous would never ditch driving themselves in their vehicles to be with the common folk on transit.  So of course, the transit system sucked because besides the 97 main route thru Kelowna, it was not heavily utilized, and surely the best way to increase ridership, is to reduce services, right??

The transit system was so shitty when we first moved there.  It would have taken 2.5 hours to commute to UBCO from Westside Road – which now has the Westside “Exchange” 1km up the road cutting the commute down to just a half hour.  I ended up driving my spouse and son to school/daycare rather than a mother with baby getting up and leaving by 5am to catch the bus all the way into Westbank (a half hour the opposite direction), to catch the bus to downtown Kelowna, to then catch the bus to UBCO.  Not the first thing that had us commenting on how crappily laid out the city was.  Needless to say our excitement about a bus stop out the front of our mobile park was cut short when we realized it only ran 3 times in the morning and 3 times at night.

And now… we are back… on the wet coast, where people are a lot friendlier, the produce is more expensive, and we can avoid parallel and paying for parking by taking transit around the city with our Compass cards.

Now I need to figure out what to do with my career.  The joys of having a blank canvas in front of you.

Getting back to blogging and photography are certainly a couple of good options!

Enough is Enough – or when will it ever be?

Going through the cycles I have throughout my lifetime of trying to improve myself, I sit and wonder at times at what point enough will finally be enough.

I know the effect consuming dairy, sugar and wheat has on my body.  I know how much better I feel when I cut out “the big three” and watch the scale as pounds seem to melt off of my body with no effort other than these dietary restrictions.

While I shake my head as I watch my wife dealing with her obsession of eggnog every Winter when she drinks liters of it and pays for it dearly, I myself keep eating wheat and dairy, sometimes both together in large amounts, knowing my body is going to scream at me later and almost every time, it does.

Now, before you just scroll down to comments and start blasting your “science” about “correlation” and “causation” and all that crap about the “gluten wheat dairy myth”, unless you are offering to rub my belly and a soft roll of TP, I don’t need science claiming that there is no evidence to support the fact that, after I consume wheat/and or dairy, that I am nine times out of ten, doubled over in excruciating pain because there scientifically is no “correlation of my causation” to my now dying a slow painful death from the inside out.

So one has to wonder, if you know this is the case Jake, why oh why do you keep putting this crap into your body?  When will you ever learn??

Five

Five is how many blog posts I wrote for all of 2015.  

I started this blog in March of 2011 which means it is coming up on it’s five year anniversary.  Here is the breakdown of blog posts per year over the past five years of daddyjake.com:

  • 2011 – 4
  • 2012 – 72
  • 2013 – 37
  • 2014 – 15
  • 2015 – 5

Anyone who has followed me over the years (which is probably no one), would know that I have been blogging on and off since 2001 and that I still (obviously) struggle to blog on a regular basis, save from a couple of good runs over the past 15 years.

Last year was not a good year for me and my family and because of that, I had no inspiration for blogging, photography or sewing because I was in survival mode.  While I did write a few posts last year, including some of what I endured, I have tried very hard to keep posts on this blog of a positive nature.

Now that I am slowly but surely crawling out of survival mode, I have been missing my Sunday morning blogging and have really been wanting to get out with my dSLR that has been collecting dust.  This winter has been so dark and ugly that I have not gone out because I am a photographer who prefers natural light and still haven’t taken the time to figure out how to properly use the settings on my dSLR.  

I seem to oscillate between programming and blogging.  I either get very focused on programming on my projects or I don’t touch them at all.  For the past two months, I have been nose to the grindstone with my programming.  I was supposed to be out this morning blogging and yet again, slid back into programming for the first 1.5 hours I was out.  I need to see if I can code something up that anytime that happens, my keyboard zaps me or something of that nature.

While I am not entirely sure that I *lost* my passion for programming, I certainly lost *any* desire to ever work a corporate job again.  I started my first post post secondary education job in April of 2000.  I questioned my whole career if I enjoyed my work knowing I went home from work and worked for several hours more on my own projects.  Somehow, it wasn’t until some time in the past year that I realized that I had always worked in a technology department (IT, IMIT, IS) and never for a technology company that’s sole purpose is doing development.

I have been feverishly trying to get back up to speed with some programming languages that I am not as familiar with while also brushing up on advanced programming theory.  I have also been working on re-building my portfolio (something I haven’t done since graduating college) with the intention of getting back to doing web development.  I have had stacks of books out from the library and have probably read a few thousand pages in the past month or two.

The problem I seem to be struggling with is of course, what I preach to a lot of people:  work/life balance.  I love to blog, I love to sew and I love to take photographs.  (And of course, I love to program.)  I have been (again) in the process of cleaning up and re-arranging the house to help facilitate this.  

Time to sit down and get back to setting goals for blog posts and photographs posted to my Flickr account.  The sun is shining behind me for what feels like the first time in weeks!

My word for 2016 is: Recovery.  Recovery of my career, my finances and my health.

What is yours?