Half-Assing It

Canadian Bald Guy:

Sunshine pretty much said everything that I was thinking, too. I think we’re both ready to start really living life again.

Originally posted on Sunshine on My Shoulder:

The end of last week wasn’t exactly the most stellar in my world. A single incident between CBG and I triggered a couple of ugly arguments between the two of us. I’ll spare you the details, in the interests of both privacy and the fact that, as is often the case, the things were were arguing about weren’t really the things we were arguing about.

Gotta love how that works, right?

Also — it got ugly.Ugly in that way where you start questioning everything that’s happened in your relationship to lead you up to this particular point. Ugly in the way that pushes you toward something that logically really makes no sense whatsoever, but in desperation you’re just not sure what else to say or do.

Bah.

The good news is that several days of communication, tears, laughter and love means that here, on Monday, we’re in a much…

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G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix Popcorn Giveaway Contest Winner

GH Cretors logoWhew…that title is a mouthful, right?

Alright…I decided that the quickest and easiest way to choose a winner was to simply take the names of those who were eligible (i.e. who entered a comment AND liked my Facebook page) and put their names into the Random.org. The name that ended up #1 on the list would then be the winner.

Here is the list of eligible participants:

Entrants

And after I hit the “randomize” button, this is what was presented to me:

WINNER

So congratulations, Rachel!! I need you to contact me ASAP and provide me with your mailing details so I can arrange to have some G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix Popcorn sent your way! The easiest way would be via email: canadian.bald.guy@gmail.com

Thanks to everybody who commented and liked my Facebook page. I certainly do appreciate it.

And a huge thanks to G.H. Cretors for helping me with this! You can find them in various places online if you want to check them out yourself:

www.ghcretors.com

https://www.facebook.com/GHCretors

https://twitter.com/GHCretors

http://www.pinterest.com/ghcretors/

http://instagram.com/ghcretors

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G.H. Cretors Chicago Mix – Review & Popcorn Giveaway!

GH Cretors logo

I gotta admit…I’ve never been a fan of “sweet and salty”. For the most part, I prefer my sweet on its own and my salty on its own. But when I was approached with the chance to try and review G.H. Cretors’ Chicago Mix Popcorn, I jumped at the opportunity.

7_5oz GH CretorsBack in 1885, “Great Grandpa Cretors” invented the popcorn machine and a family business was born. Over the course of five generations, the company has continued to make popcorn in an “old fashioned” type of way with no added artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives. The company is extremely proud of the fact that their products are all natural, gluten-free with no GMOs (genetically modified organisms), and kosher. G.H. Cretors strives to provide the “cleanest”, most natural products that you can find. 

For those who don’t know, Chicago Mix popcorn is a blend of caramel corn and cheese corn, and is considered one of the most unique flavours one can find that is associated with Chicago (the others being deep-dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dogs).

G.H. Cretors makes their caramel corn in a “classic” way; in old-fashioned copper kettles, one batch at a time. Not everybody can make caramel corn…it’s actually a difficult process to perfect. Cretors is lucky enough to have decades of experience behind them so you know the caramel corn is going to be top notch.

The “Chicago way” of making popcorn then includes cheese corn, which Cretors makes with a rich and creamy aged cheddar cheese.  When you blend these two flavours into one bag, the outcome is an incredibly unique “sweet & salty” flavour that is now an international taste sensation.

So that’s the history of the company and a description of Chicago Mix Popcorn. But at the end of the day, how does it taste?

One word: AWESOME!

41895308 The caramel corn is definitely sweet, but it’s got a smoothness than you don’t find with popcorn every day. It’s not “super-sweet”, either…so it’s a style of popcorn that I could find myself eating on its own. The cheese corn is a welcome treat, as I don’t think I’ve ever eaten cheese corn on its own before. By itself, it’s okay…but combined with the caramel corn and you’ve got a one-two punch that’s a flavour knockout (a cheesy description, I know…but it’s still apt).

So at the end of the day, I firmly believe I’ve found a popcorn that will REPLACE regular, buttered popcorn as my popcorn of preference. I honestly don’t know if I can enjoy popcorn the same way again without craving Chicago Mix instead. To say I love this product would be an understatement.

But don’t just take my word for it, you need to find out for yourself!! And the best way to do that is to WIN SOME FREE CHICAGO MIX POPCORN!!! That’s right…you can have some of your very own G.H. Creton Chicago Mix popcorn sent straight to your door (if you live within Canada or the continental United States).

Yep…it’s my first-ever contest giveaway! And all you have to do in order to win is make a comment below and “Like” me on Facebook.  That’s it! Once you do, you’ll have a chance to win some of the best popcorn around.

The contest ends on Thursday at midnight Eastern Time. The winner will be announced on Friday morning. In the meantime, you can check out G.H.Cretors at the following locations:

www.ghcretors.com

https://www.facebook.com/GHCretors

https://twitter.com/GHCretors

http://www.pinterest.com/ghcretors/

http://instagram.com/ghcretors

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Our “Ferris Bueller Day”

A few months ago, Sunshine came up with the idea that we take a day off of work in order to go out and just enjoy the day. Maybe even try to do a bunch of fun activities that we wouldn’t normally get the chance to do on the weekend together. We decided to have our very own “Ferris Bueller Day” where we simply forgot about work, forgot about any troubles going on in our lives, and just be on a mission to have fun together. After all…

Life moves pretty fast...

So we both took last Friday off in an effort to OWN THE DAY! Needless to say, I think we did…

We were up and had both gone out for morning runs before 7am. Once we were showered and ready, Sunshine had the PERFECT shirt for our day together.

We were up and had both gone out for morning runs before 7am. Once we were showered and ready, Sunshine had the PERFECT shirt for our day together.

At 9:15am, we were both ready to head out and do whatever the heck we wanted to.

At 9:15am, we were both ready to head out and do whatever the heck we wanted to.

Another sunny day in Halifax. Didn't bother us at all...we were ready to tackle the day, anyway!!

Another sunny day in Halifax. Didn’t bother us at all…we were ready to tackle the day, anyway!!

We started to walk our way through the streets of Halifax. As we made our way up Spring Garden Road, I found this sign. I'm all like..."LOVED you in Dumb & Dumber!"

We started to walk our way through the streets of Halifax. As we made our way up Spring Garden Road, I found this sign. I’m all like…”LOVED you in Dumb & Dumber!”

Halifax is getting a new public library. The pic on the top is an artist's rendering and the bottom two are pics of the actual structure. It's...ummm...different. It's all modern and such. It's supposed to look like a stack of books. Ummm...yeah?

Halifax is getting a new public library. The pic on the top is an artist’s rendering and the bottom two are pics of the actual structure. It’s…ummm…different. It’s all modern and such. It’s supposed to look like a stack of books. Ummm…yeah?

One of the most beautiful places in the entire city is the Halifax Public Gardens. Even on an extremely foggy day like this one, it was a fantastic walk.

One of the most beautiful places in the entire city is the Halifax Public Gardens. Even on an extremely foggy day like this one, it was a fantastic walk.

As we were making our way back towards the city center, I had to make a stop. I had never been to a Nestle's Toll House before, so today was going to be that day! I had 2 chocolate chip cookies and some chocolate milk and let me tell you something...it totally reminded me of my mom. THAT GOOD.

As we were making our way back towards the city center, I had to make a stop. I had never been to a Nestle’s Toll House before, so today was going to be that day! I had 2 chocolate chip cookies and some chocolate milk and let me tell you something…it totally reminded me of my mom. THAT GOOD.

Making our way through the downtown core, we stopped in at the Freak Lunchbox, which is the most incredible candy store I've ever been in. We picked up a few fun items and continued on our way.

Making our way through the downtown core, we stopped in at the Freak Lunchbox, which is the most incredible candy store I’ve ever been in. We picked up a few fun items and continued on our way.

Something I'd never done was spend money in Casino Nova Scotia. So Sunshine and I walked around looking for an interesting game to play. Everything even remotely interesting was already being played by a senior citizen (it was a Friday morning, after all), so I sat down next to some kind of seafood machine and popped in $5. The next few minutes were long and boring. We didn't understand what was going on and didn't find any fun in the situation. Neither one of us understand gambling in a casino, but at least we can say we did it once. Mission accomplished!!

Something I’d never done was spend money in Casino Nova Scotia. So Sunshine and I walked around looking for an interesting game to play. Everything even remotely interesting was already being played by a senior citizen (it was a Friday morning, after all), so I sat down next to some kind of seafood machine and popped in $5. The next few minutes were long and boring. We didn’t understand what was going on and didn’t find any fun in the situation. Neither one of us understand gambling in a casino, but at least we can say we did it once. Mission accomplished!!

Saw this sign while on the way out of the casino. Of course...all we could think of was "That's what SHE said".

Saw this sign while on the way out of the casino. Of course…all we could think of was “That’s what SHE said”.

It was time for lunch and we were ready to try something else new. We went to the new Susie's Shortbreads location in Purdy's Wharf. They have this new thing called a stuffed baked potato. Obviously, it's more than just a normal baked potato. In this case, we each tried the taco meat baked potato. And let me tell you...IT. WAS. AWESOME. I'm looking forward to trying a new flavour down the road (pulled pork baked potato, anyone?).

It was time for lunch and we were ready to try something else new. We went to the new Susie’s Shortbreads location in Purdy’s Wharf. They have this new thing called a stuffed baked potato. Obviously, it’s more than just a normal baked potato. In this case, we each tried the taco meat baked potato. And let me tell you…IT. WAS. AWESOME. I’m looking forward to trying a new flavour down the road (pulled pork baked potato, anyone?).

One of the most interesting parts of the entire downtown/waterfront area is Halifax Historic Properties.

One of the most interesting parts of the entire downtown/waterfront area is Halifax Historic Properties.

While visiting the Historic Properties, Sunshine made a new friend.

While visiting the Historic Properties, Sunshine made a new friend.

I love walking by Nova Scotia Crystal when they've got the doors open and they're blowing glass. It's one of the very unique things any passerby can experience if the doors are open...just check out the pics! These guys are all incredibly talented.

I love walking by Nova Scotia Crystal when they’ve got the doors open and they’re blowing glass. It’s one of the very unique things any passerby can experience if the doors are open…just check out the pics! These guys are all incredibly talented.

The sun began to come out a bit as we were walking along the Halifax waterfront.

The sun began to come out a bit as we were walking along the Halifax waterfront.

We walked into a souvenir shop on the waterfront and found this cookbook. Sorry, but I refuse to eat anything that comes from a "Dutch Oven". Nope!

We walked into a souvenir shop on the waterfront and found this cookbook. Sorry, but I refuse to eat anything that comes from a “Dutch Oven”. Nope!

We made our way to the car and drove ourselves across the bridge to Dartmouth. We found an independent candy store called Sugar Shok. Inside we found the greatest sweet I've found in a VERY long time: the white chocolate Reeses peanut butter cup. $2 for two cups...worth every penny!

We made our way to the car and drove ourselves across the bridge to Dartmouth. We found an independent candy store called Sugar Shok. Inside we found the greatest sweet I’ve found in a VERY long time: the white chocolate Reeses peanut butter cup. $2 for two cups…worth every penny!

We decided to catch a Canadian-made movie as an afternoon matinee: The Grand Seduction. This was such a good movie, when it was done and the lights were on we didn't see a single person walk out WITHOUT a smile on their faces. You gotta love a movie like that.

We decided to catch a Canadian-made movie as an afternoon matinee: The Grand Seduction. This was such a good movie, when it was done and the lights were on we didn’t see a single person walk out WITHOUT a smile on their faces. You gotta love a movie like that.

So apparently "dauntless" is 1 of 5 factions in the world of Divergent, the faction dedicated to courage & bravery. So a few questions: 1. Why do I want "brave chocolate cake"? 2. This cake is promoting a movie to be released in March...just how damn old IS this cake, anyway?? 3. You can see in the upper right hand corner that there WAS a discount sticker on this cake...but no more. WHY???

So apparently “dauntless” is 1 of 5 factions in the world of Divergent, the faction dedicated to courage & bravery. So a few questions:
1. Why do I want “brave chocolate cake”?
2. This cake is promoting a movie to be released in March…just how damn old IS this cake, anyway??
3. You can see in the upper right hand corner that there WAS a discount sticker on this cake…but no more. WHY???

"Like mother used to make?" No...I don't think so.

“Like mom used to make?” No…I don’t think so.

The end of our day came with pizza from our favourite pizzeria in the entire city. She had Tijuana chicken and I had a Gladiator meat pizza. What a great way to end the day.

The end of our day came with pizza from our favourite pizzeria in the entire city. She had Tijuana chicken and I had a Gladiator meat pizza. What a great way to end the day.

This was absolutely one of the best days I’ve ever had with my wife. From beginning to end, this was a blast. We felt like two kids and soaked up life as it was our first date all over again.

If you ever want to get some “spark” back into your relationship, take a Ferris Bueller Day!! You’ll thank yourself for it later.


I Ran My First 5K

I was wide awake by the time 5:00am showed on my clock. As I looked down at the foot of my bed, I could barely make out the “5” without my glasses. No sense in sleeping anymore…it was time to get up.

We were at the local farmer’s market by 6:50am and got a great parking spot (as you’d expect). I was dressed in my t-shirt and shorts and ready to make a quick dash in and out of the market. I needed to drive 70 minutes to Kentville for the 9:30am registration, so there wasn’t time for the regular “laissez faire” approach that we normally take on a Saturday morning.

I wasn’t nervous, but was definitely excited. Not overly excited, though…just enough to keep my blood pumping. After all, I had run just over 5km on a couple of different occasions during my Couch-to-5K training…this was gonna be a breeze.

RIGHT?

As we arrived at the destination, the clouds were heavy and the rain was slowly coming down. Nothing major…but more than a mist. I didn’t want to have to worry about cleaning my glasses every two seconds, so we quickly drove to the closest Walmart and picked up a $8 hat to help protect me from the elements.

We both stood in line to pick up my package. I was surprised by the number of last-minute registrations going on. I thought everybody who did this kind of thing knew they were going to run before the day of the event?

But what do I know? I just wanted top pick up my t-shirt and my bib.

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At this point, we were just sitting in the car and waiting for the next 45 minutes to pass. I was a little intimidated, I won’t lie. For the most part, these people looked like some hardcore runners. Here I was in my first 5K, just hoping to not embarrass myself. I didn’t want to freak out like I did the year before when I walked a half-marathon (I got really nervous before that event).

A quick last-minute trip to the “facilities” and I was ready to go. There was a quick ½ km walk to the start/finish line, and that helped to build my nerves a little bit. Thankfully, my wife was right next to me to assure me that it didn’t matter what I looked like in my big-ass headphones. The only thing that mattered was my ability to focus on the task at hand: be steady and run in my own comfort zone. I really took some time to concentrate…

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Thankfully, my wife had me feeling pretty relaxed.

007As the race began, I fumbled with my iPhone to ensure that I had my MapMyRun app running and my music was blaring. I wanted to make sure I knew how far I was and what my pace was, especially where I was unfamiliar with the course.

As it turns out, the course was simply a back-and-forth straight line…which totally worked in my favour. The good news was that it was a paved trail that covered what used to be a railroad track, so it was extremely flats and, really, the best option for me running a race for the first time.

I felt really strong in the first half of the race. I hardly took any breaks and I felt as though I had the wind at my back.

Realistically, though, I was at the back of the pack and passing a couple of the folks who were walking the course. Sigh…

As we neared the halfway marker, I did pass a couple groups who were also doing a walk/run pace as I was. For whatever reason, my pace was just a little bit faster than theirs. I passed them, grabbed a bottle of water, and turned around for the second half.

This is where things seemed to really slow down for me.

I felt as though I was stopping WAY too much. I had pain in the sides of my stomach, my right knee began acting up, and I was having a difficult time catching my breath. I wasn’t sure what, exactly, the problem was other than the fact that maybe I didn’t take enough breaks during the first half…resulting in my body not agreeing with the pace I had set for myself.

People that I had passed were passing me. I was feeling defeated. I was at the very back of the pack and couldn’t seem to get my pace going.

I think, though, a lot of that was in my head.

As I entered the final kilometer, I knew that I wanted to look strong for the final stretch because I didn’t want to look weak in front of my wife. She runs marathons for crying out loud…I couldn’t let her see me walk or limp over the finish line.

So I slowed down again. I had to catch my breath before making that last ditch effort to look strong. I saw the end in the distance.

And off I went.

I slugged on…and on…and didn’t care what my body was telling me. I was going to finish this 5K by running and I was going to look strong in front of my awesome wife.

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I could see her cheering me on. Her smile was a mile wide. That only helped to encourage me.

For some reason, she began to wave her arms and tell me to “hurry” as I got to the end. OMG…was I looking that bad? Were those people I passed going to catch up and fly by me at the end of this thing??

I crossed the finish line and was met with a flurry of high-fives from the people who were standing there crowding the end (waiting for their own friends & co-runners to arrive). I felt relieved and elated.

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I turned and gave my wife a huge hug. She told me my time: 39:52

She was telling me to hurry up because she knew I’d be really happy with getting under 40 minutes. She was right, as she usually is.

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After taking a post-race selfie, I changed and we jumped into the car to head back to the city. The whole thing seemed quite surreal until Saturday evening, when I started going through the pictures that you see here. Between that and the ton of positive comments I got on Facebook (Sunshine was proudly telling the world that I was running my 5K as I was running it), it all began to sink in. I had done something that I never, ever would have thought possible a few short months ago.

I mean, I’ve tried running before. I disliked it immensely. I even tried walking, but after that half-marathon I said “NOPE” to ever doing it again for exercise.

I was the very definition of “couch potato”. Hell…the Couch-to-5K app should use me as a spokesperson because I’m the literal couch-to-5K person. I went from sitting on my ass to getting outside at -20 at 6am. And now? Now I’m the guy who ran a sub-40-minute 5K on his first attempt.

What’s next? I’m not sure, but I think I’m going to rest this week. I need to sit back and not only reflect on my accomplishment, but try to figure out my next move. I owe it to myself to continue doing this. I can’t just slap my hands together and say “I’m done”. I’m worth more than that

I’m not sure what the future holds, but I can tell you that this was one experience I’ll never forget.

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100 Happy Days Completed

100happydays

As I mentioned back on March 10th, I’m not much of a “meme” kind of guy. But where I’m (seemingly) always battling inner demons and attempting to kick myself into a better mood, I thought this was one that was worth attempting.

I’m happy to report that as of last night, I have completed my task and finished #100HappyDays!!

And I thought it’d be fun to re-post some of my favourite happy moments from the past 100 days…

 

Day #1 – Out for a run and happy to be out just before the sun made an appearance.

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Day #4 – I love “Family Game Night”. It could be Quirkle, Yahtzee, SkipBo, or dominoes…just the ability to sit down as a family and hang out for an evening of laughs and fun is one of the greatest joys I have.

100 Happy Days - Day 4

Day #8 – One of the benefits of working with my awesome wife is the ability to act silly together outside of the house. In this case, it was St. Patrick’s Day fun at the office.

100 Happy Days - Day 8

Day #20 – I still don’t know what “spotted dick pudding” is, but this made me legit lol when my wife saw it at a Bulk Barn.

100 Happy Days - Day 20

Day #31 – My awesome wife is always a superhero to me, but especially when she wears her Wonder Woman t-shirt to work under her business attire. LIKE A BOSS.

100 Happy Days - Day 31

Day #40 – Easter was a great time to get the kids together. I love that they all get along.

100 Happy Days - Day 40

Day #48 – My dad got remarried on this day.

100 Happy Days - Day 48

Day #60 – The wife and I went to Kiddo’s string recital at the local arena. We couldn’t just idly sit in the back row; we had to make sure we were seen in the crowd so Kiddo would know we were there. Matching lime green jackets did the trick!

100 Happy Days - Day 60

Day #66 – I took the day off of work to decorate the house for my wife’s 40th birthday. Sorry…I mean, 30-tenth birthday. Heh…

100 Happy Days - Day 66

Day #69 – On a family weekend at my dad’s place, we all took time on a beautiful, sunny afternoon to play some washer toss.

100 Happy Days - Day 69

Day #85 – I ran a 5K for the first time…and it was on my own during training for my first actual 5K. I was really happy with this accomplishment.

100 Happy Days - Day 85

Day #88 – After a terribly crappy day at the office, it was awesome to come home to FaceTime with my son and listen to him read a book.

100 Happy Days - Day 88

Day #90 – Sunshine and I spent a rare Saturday with her girls. We called it “The Day of Awesome” and spent the day surprising them with fun activities. It all culminated in their first trip to the drive-in…capping off a fantastic day.

100 Happy Days - Day 90

Days #98 & #99 – I was able to finish this meme with a bang, as I was surprised by my son on Father’s Day  and then surprised the next evening on “Step-Father’s Day” by my incredible step-daughters. Smiles on my face a mile wide each day!

100 Happy Days - Day 98100 Happy Days - Day 99So what did I learn from all this? I learned that I REALLY love my family. My wife, my children, and my step-children…my family brings me tremendous happiness. Food makes me happy, too…REALLY happy. There were a ton of pics of food, which may not necessarily be a good thing (lol). And hey…if you want to check out all 100 days, just do a Twitter search for #cbg100happydays or check out my Instagram account.

At the end of the day, the biggest thing I learned is that I felt the need to find something happy about every single day. Most days it was extremely easy, but on those days where everything seemed to suck…where work was brutal and everything about life was miserable, I was still able to find ONE THING to be happy about. That, in and of itself, is probably the whole reason I began this meme to begin with.

Nobody can force you to be happy. Only you can decide where happiness comes from. Life is good and happiness can be found anywhere, so never take it for granted. Ultimately the lesson learned is…

Day #100 – …only you can make yourself happy.

 100 Happy Days - Day 100


4 Days To Go – Final Stretch

Canadian Bald Guy:

After slacking off in so many ways last week, I’m making sure I don’t slack off in the days leading up to my first 5K event. From my running diary blog…

Originally posted on My Couch 2 5K Diary:

I’ve been slacking. A LOT.

It’s weird…whenever I get close to a goal and I’ve achieved something along the way, I find a way to mess that goal up before I have a chance to complete it. It’s the reason I can’t lose more than a few pounds at a time. It’s the reason I can’t seem to run 30 minutes straight without a break. It’s the reason I almost blew my first 5K in just four short days.

Thankfully, my wife helped me realize that I was entering a vicious cycle again. As such, I was out running today and getting prepared for that 5K on Saturday. I didn’t go far, but I was going more for pace than I was for distance. I know I can run 5K…I’ve done that in my training. I’d like to try to pick things up a little bit, though…get a pace that…

View original 175 more words


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