Category: About Us


As many of you I’m sure know from reading one of my previous blogs about my daughters birth, I am now a father of two. I have a two year old son and now a new born daughter. As with a vast majority of people I decided that when we had our first child I needed a car. Something economical, safe, and also versatile with room for not only people, but all the new stuff I would need to haul around as a parent. So when my wife and I went car shopping we decided on a Toyota Prius.

The Prius in many ways is the perfect small family car. It has amazing fuel economy, plenty of room in the back for kids, friends or family and because it is a hatchback and the seats fold 60/40, a ton of room for stuff. But now as I venture into the world of having two kids I find myself needing, or rather knowing that I will need, more space. I know that within the next few years I will not only need more room to carry cargo but also people. When my son and or daughter start getting into school or sports I’m sure I will be carting around friends, and at the moment with two car seats in the back, carting anyone in the back who isn’t as thin as a model is a tough sell.

And of coarse that got me thinking of a minivan. Sure I could opt for something like the Prius V or another wagon. But the mini van is so versatile and has so much room that they are hard to beat as a family hauler.

Then, recently my wife’s uncle and his family went minivan shopping. And as I talked to him about what the options were, it occurred to me that there aren’t as many mini vans out there as there used to be.

As a child that was born in the 80s around the same time the mini van was, I grew up seeing mini vans everywhere. It seemed to me as a kid that one if not two of every five cars was a van. But these days you don’t see as many, well at least not new ones anyway. The family hauler has changed for some reason. Now it seems that more companies are putting their efforts into SUVs and crossovers than minivans, and personally I think that minivans are the way to go for a family.

One of the main reasons that I think the minivan is really the best option is the sliding door. Its really the best option for small spaces or even for getting car seats in and out as they give you far more room than a regular door could. Another reason is price. For the most part it seems to me that vans are much more affordable than other options out there and give you more seats, space and cargo room for your money.

If the mini van is to come back I think there is one area that it seems every other company and type of car has moved into that the mini van has been left out of for no apparent reason: Hybrids. You can get everything from a compact, full size or even SUVs and crossovers as a hybrid option but in my research the only place you can get a hybrid mini van is in Japan and it starts at just over $50,000. I have no idea why they would not make a hybrid mini van. To me it seems like a no brainer. They have the room to put the batteries and if you are pulling around your family and their stuff why not get the best mpg while doing it.

I can tell you one thing for sure though, if I ever move closer to my job or the city, or can get a second car, it will be a mini van. Whether or not i can get a hybrid version ( and trust me, if i can i will), there is just something about them for a family that is just so much better in my view than a large SUV. And really, when was the last time you saw a Suburban with Stow-and-go seats?

Richard
@Riche_613

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(This is another blog post, written about 3 years ago. My marriage origin story… takes place 9 years ago already!! Where does time go?)

The Proposal
 
My wife Crystal and I had what some would consider a speedy courtship, but when its love its love. About 2 weeks after we met I was in the process of moving to the town of Barrhead, it had been something I was planning to do before I met Crystal but the timing was perfect as she was living in Barrhead already with her 2 young children, Bailey and Kayde. At the time Crystal had an arrangement with her ex that the kids could spend every second weekend with him and she agreed to meet him halfway once a month to do the exchange. Her Mom usually accompanied her on those long trips but her mom was splitting up with her third husband and was not willing to make the trip with Crystal. That weekend was also September long weekend and I was playing in the men’s slow-pitch ball tournament in Fort Assiniboine. Crystal was upset that her Mom wasn’t going to go with her so I told her I would. Not only was I playing ball that weekend but it was moving weekend for me so a trip wasn’t really wise but I wanted to impress my new girlfriend. The trip was a long 2 and a half hours. Kayde who was still a baby at the time cried for most of the trip. She knew she was going to her dads place and wanted to stay with Crystal, plus she was also making strange with me too. Bailey was also making strange with me. But I think it was the trip that solidified us as a couple. We talked about everything from relationship stuff to wedding stuff. We had so much in common.

 
By the middle of September I built up the courage to tell her “I love you”, and she replied “I Love you too”

We really hit it off. We spent Christmas morning together with Mom and Grandma Yvonne watching Bailey and Kayde open their Christmas presents. It was shortly after after Christmas I went to my Mom and told her that I was going to ask Crystal to marry me. She was excited and offered to help me pick out a ring. I also contacted my cousin Brandy to assist with the ring shopping and engagement planning. Crystal had the same idea as I and kept hinting that she would really love a ring for Valentines Day, and not just any ring but a special ring, wink wink. I wanted to propose in a way that was unique and memorable. With the help of Mom and Brandy my plan went like this: on January 31st my Mom would have invited all my closest friends and family to a surprise birthday party for me, then I would be brought into my own surprise party only the surprise wasn’t for me….the real surprise would be me proposing to Crystal in front of everyone. Mom and Brandy kept the secret and all my planning payed off and I got down on one knee in front of about 15 or so friends and family. My Mom came out with my *birthday cake* that said ” will you marry me?” and the ring I bought was on it too…and she said “yes”. Everyone was happy and excited, some of the people there even began to cry. Bailey and Kayde were a little confused, they couldn’t understand if everyone was clapping and happy why would people also cry at the same time? It was a great day, my best birthday ever, and a great story to tell the kids and grand kids.

Guess I’m a bit of a romantic. 

Chrisloc1701

Spock Days 2013

Spock Days 2013: Vulcan, Alberta June 7-9

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So my wife Crystal and I made the journey down to Vulcan, Alberta to attend ‘Spock Days’ for the first time. Big “Thank you” to my wife for agreeing to go along with this trip as she is not a Trek fan at all. For those who do not know, Vulcan is a small town in rural Alberta, south of Calgary. The town is celebrating it’s 100 year anniversary this year, so their name predates the original Trek series. But Vulcan tourism came up with the brilliant marketing ploy to capitalize on their name and associate it with Star Trek. For 21 years they have had their town fair as ‘Spock Days’. Spock days is essentially a town fair and Star Trek convention rolled into one. And Vulcan is officially recognized by CBS Studios (which owns the rights to Trek) as the ‘Star Trek Capital of Canada’! Very cool, well cool if you are a Trek fan that lives in Alberta. Back in February I purchased my ‘Captains Tickets’ and I was ready to go. Star Trek: Voyager actors Robert Picardo (the Doctor) and Ethan Philips (Neelix) were there along with Trek illustrator Rick Sternbach. 
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Friday night they had a ‘Meet & Greet’ with the Admiral & Captain ticket holders at the Vulcan Legion Hall. We got to mix and mingle with the celebrity guests. Crystal and I got to meet the actors agents as they sat at our table. Rick Sternbach eventually sat beside me at our table and we had a good Trek conversation. 

I shook hand with Ethan Philips and he asked me about my Toronto Blue Jays hat. We then had a quick conversation about baseball and his fondness for the Jays. I got to shake Robert Picardo’s hand and listen to him tell stories about his acting career. He was drinking a Kokanee beer!! 

Saturday Crystal and I got to see the actors again as they were staying at our hotel in High River. When we got back to Vulcan we attended the parade which was awesome with a lot of cool parade floats and great Trek cosplay. Robert, Ethan and Rick were also part of the parade riding on convertibles. 
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Vulcan was to open their official ‘Trek Museum’, but unfortunately due to issues with CBS they were unable to open this weekend. Much to the disappointment of fans. 

At the school was the ‘Dealers room’ and photo-ops and autographs with the guests. Robert Picardo & Ethan Philips performed a funny comedic stage play prior to the dinner that evening. I also won free ‘Captains tickets’ for the 2014 ‘Spock Days’, so yes I will be returning. 

Overall ‘Spock Days’ was a great experience, I had a great time and met some great people.

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Chris with some cosplayers

Chris Lockhart
@chrisloc1701

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So some of you may know that I have recently had a daughter. My daughter was actually born at 32 weeks at a weight of 3.5lbs and thus was in the NICU at two different hospitals until she could gain and maintain weight as well as a few other things. She is now home with us and its very surreal for me to now have two amazing children.

Since she was born I have been running around a lot trying to get our house prepared, bring stuff into the city from our country home and take my son to the park as much as possible to give my wife time to be with our daughter as much as possible. Thankfully this has all been made easier by the amazing people at The Ronald Mcdonald house. We originally did not meet their criteria, but after speaking to a social worker at the hospital we managed to get in. The Ronald Mcdonald house is meant for parents and families who have children in the hospital who do not live in Ottawa and need a place to stay during their time of need.

And I must say without the help of the amazing people and the organization itself having our daughter in the hospital would have been extremely difficult and expensive especially with my full time work schedule. But thanks to RMH a few social workers and a lot of help from family members we have made it through and our daughter left the hospital for the first time since she was born 20days ago and came home with us.

Now with some adjustments to how we handle and juggle looking after two children things can finally get back to normal. And if I’m lucky and can manage to find the time I just may be able to catch up on some news and blogs. So the next few blogs I post may be slightly out of date, but they are just my takes on what has been happening in the world of geeks news as well as just some random things I have wanted to write about.

Before I end this quick update on what I have been up to since my last blog post I must say again that I would be in a very bad place right now if it were not for the help of The Ronald Mcdonald House. So the next time you are at McDonalds getting a meal for you and your family please donate your spare change. Even if its only a quarter every bit helps for people in need and since we have been here we have met a lot of people who would not be able to get the help they need for their kids or be able to get them to the right hospitals without the help of RMH.

 
So I actually started blogging on Facebook back in May 2009. Fall 2011
I decided to branch out and do my blog elsewhere in the hopes of
getting more people reading my random thoughts on life, pop culture,
Star Trek, comic books, etc. So I found ‘Blogspot’ and started
blogging there under the ‘Random Nerdness’ banner. I really enjoyed
building my own blog site so much so I created a second soon after
called ‘Trek1701’, a Star Trek blog. Then I got hit with blogging
fever and I started a 3rd blog called ‘The Cola Dog’, which was a
comic book and animation blog. I shutdown ‘The Cola Dog’ at the end of
May 2012, just because I couldn’t keep up with a weekly blog schedule
for all 3 blogs. But Random Nerdness has been a lot of fun. In March
2012 I made my podcasting debut as a ‘4th Chair’ guest on the ‘Nerd
Lunch’ podcast. That was a great experience for me. The Nerd Lunch
crew (CT, Jeeg and Pax) were great and wonderful to work with and I
had a blast on Episode 28 discussing Star Trek. But doing that podcast
inspired me to branch out the Random Nerdness blog into its own
podcast…

In September 2012 I teamed up with my brother-in-law Sebastian, who is
actually a sound engineer, in doing a podcast based on Random Nerdness. We have done several episodes which are streaming and available for download from iTunes and ‘Podbean.com’. Like the ‘Random Nerdness’ blog we on the podcast discuss randomly nerdy things. My Co-podcasters include my sister Brianna, best friend Tyler, step-sister Meghan, and Sound engineer/brother-in-law Sebastian. Future episodes will feature other friends and family and hopefully some distant friends and bloggers on the Skype. So stay tuned for that.
 
I of course am a Co-Host of the ‘Geek Fallout’ podcast, which started a few weeks after the Random Nerdness podcast. Podcasting with Jeff, Rich and our various guests has been very rewarding and fun to do. And now I am blogging as part of the ‘Geek Fallout’ blog, and so far this too has been a blast.

In August 2012 I (with the Random Nerdness blog) joined ‘The League Of Extraordinary Bloggers’. In the posts I have done for the league I have had a great time. The league definitely has helped in gaining exposure for my blog. I don’t do
every assignment every week, but I do try.

What does the future hold? With recording two podcasts my blogs may not get
all the attention they once did. But I will still be blogging, but most of my free time will be spent on getting the podcasts moving forward. Stay tuned for future announcements.

See you in the future!

Chris Lockhart
@chrisloc1701

I started blogging back in 2009 after being inspired by podcasts like the /Filmcast and the totally rad show. I started a movie and TV review blog called Juice box Cafe on podbean and shortly after bought my own domain and site so I had juiceboxcafe.com.  After attending many premiers and pre release showings of movies plus a few take down notices from movie studios due to posting reviews before movies were released i started to slow down on my blogging.

Then i started getting a lot of recording hardware and started to record live bands at different bars and clubs around the city. With my blogging at an all time low and my experience with recording bands I decided to attempt to start juice box cafe as a podcast with a friend. Unfortunately both my friends and my schedule never really went together as well as the fact that we like to drink(probably too much) while podcasting it didn’t really get too far. Soon after life got in the way and my site and recording took a backseat.

Fast forward to August 2011. Me my wife and six month old son decided to go to Fan Expo in Toronto and got invited to do a supplemental episode of The Atomic Geeks with Micheal DiGiovanni. It was awesome! I had been listening to the geeks for a few years and after appearing on an episode I was determined to do a podcast. I spent the next year coming up with ideas and eventually decided to see if I could shoot my podcast idea to the geeks to be apart of their network.

The original podcast idea went over fairly well but after talking to the geeks and sending and email to fellow Tag listener E.T. I decided to change the format. That’s when Geek Fallout came into being. With E.T helping me iron out the final outline we decided we needed a third host, so we got ahold of Chris Lockhart. As it turned out he was working on his own addition to the network, The The Random Nerdness Podcast based on his blog, but was still interested in being apart of our news podcast.

After recording a three and a half hour pilot and deciding to vastly change and shorten the show and outline our friend E.T told us he did not have time to do a podcast. So Chris and I got ahold of Jeff Brown another Tag listener and went on to start recording and releasing the Geek Fallout podcast in late 2012.

Its funny, my original idea for the show was to be monthly or biweekly but after recording the first few episodes we were having too much fun so we decided to make it a weekly show.

A few months later my wife and I found out we would be having a second child so I decided I needed to step back from the show. While I still tried to help out as much as I could it was hard with two jobs, a son and a pregnant wife.

Then a few months ago I decided to try to start blogging again, and thus the Geek Fallout blog was born in May of 2013.

I still have many ideas and aspirations for Geek Fallout for the future and hope to return as a full time host again one day but I am happy that I was able to find a couple of great guys who have kept my vision for the show going without me.

Richard
@riche_613