Monthly Archives: August, 2011

Oh Boy, Has the Ontario Liberal Party Lost Touch…


I always had a hunch that come the Ontario Provincial election this fall that the Ontario Liberal Party was in for a huge defeat at the hands of the Conservatives. Tim Hudek has some great plans, and add to that, in times of a recession, you must have a fiscally conservative government in power to keep the economy moving.

I also figured with the absolute demise of the Federal Liberal Party – and that former Ontario Premier Bob Rae is their interim leader – that would indicate the Ontario Liberal Party is in for a very tough ride.

No I can confirm it.

On Friday morning on my way to the office I arrived at the Eglinton West subway station and standing just outside the doors, in a pink dress shirt looking quite lost and out of place was an older man with some pamphlets in his hand.

As I approached – sunglasses on and ipod blaring – he decided to start talking to me. I yanked out one ear bud as he was talking to me.

“…So do you live on the North side of Eglinton or South side?” he asked me.

“South side”, I replied as he yanked back his hand with the shiny pamphlet he was slowly offering me.

“Oh” he just stood there for a second slightly puzzled. “I’m Mike Colle. I represent the Liberals in the riding just north of the station”.

“Oh!” I replied. “I used to live in your riding. We only heard from you around election time. How are things going so far?”

“They’re okay”, he replied, still not giving me a pamphlet.

“We need to vote back in the Liberals because it’s not fair to have Conservatives in all three levels of government, right?”

“Is that your platform?”

“Yes. It’s not fair, right?”

So I replied out of kindness, “No, it’s not fair. Good luck with your campaign”, and I walked into the subway feeling sorry for a party that knows it’s going to get slaughtered and stayed in power regardless of debt, controversy, scandal, or waste and now they’re hopelessly out of touch with the electorate and it shows.

Colle had an opportunity to stop any of the younger people heading to the subway but he let them pass and stopped me. It’s the same way that generation is going to see past the Liberals and vote for the NDP or the Greens to be second to the Conservatives.

Attention Ontario Liberal Party: You need a shake up and you need it now!

Guest blogger post – Matt P of therealmattdaddy.com


It’s guest blogger time again on urban daddy, and today’s post is an wonderfully creative post from Matt P. of The Real Matt Daddy (his URL is below). This post compares Canada vs. The US from an American point of view and this is a must read post.

I did not edit or touch this post in any way, however, I will say that on the weather side, when Toronto was 50 degrees celcius (122 farenheit for our American friends) in July and the hottest place on the planet, I would dispute that Canada is “Cold”. Big yes, but not cold all the time. That’s all. :)

Please read. Enjoy, then drop by Matt’s blog and say hi.

Hello Urban Daddy readers, my name is Matt P. and I’m a blogger over at The Real Matt Daddy (link to www.therealmattdaddy.com). I was invited to guest post here, so I thought I would have a little fun with my neighbors to the north and create a pop-culture showdown between Canada and the USA. I have to admit, this idea came from the fact that I know next to nothing about Canada, other than it being big and cold.  So this post forced me to do a little bit of research.  I hope you enjoy, and feel free to debate my totally subjective Americentric point of view in the comments section below.

Television

Canada has had a few great shows that have truly made a cultural impact, and I have even seen a few of them! So, let’s compare each of these shows to its obvious American counterpart.

Degrassi vs. Saved by the Bell – Winner: Saved by the Bell – While Degrassi probably dealt with common issues in a more serious manner, Saved by the Bell was always used humor to make their point. It was a cultural “must” for any kid growing up in the ‘90’s. I also think the Saved by the Bell spinoffs were more successful than the Degrassi spinoffs, mostly because, although Wikipedia says they exist, I have never actually seen any of the Degrassi spinoffs.

The Red Green Show vs. Sanford & Son – Winner: The Red Green Show – This was really close. While I love Sanford & Son, I don’t think it was as widely appreciated as The Red Green Show is in Canada. The Red Green Show is just plain funny to watch, especially late at night, which is the only time it seems to come on in the US.

Kids in the Hall vs. Saturday Night Live –Winner: Saturday Night Live – You can’t argue with over 35 seasons of success. Had Kids in the Hall lasted that long, we would argue that there were weak points, but it only lasted five seasons. I do appreciate the Kids in the Hall series though, and I have seen many episodes that are funnier than the average SNL sketch.

Canada 1, USA 2

Movies

I could have debated about Canadian comedians versus American comedians all day. After all, Canada has given us greats like Jim Carrey, Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Rick Moranis, Norm McDonald, Howie Mandel, Caroline Rhea, Dave Foley, Phil Hartman, and young talent like Will Arnett and Seth Rogen. But what I found was that for each great Canadian, there is also an American from the same time period that is at least as funny and successful, so I chose to ignore this category as it would most likely end in a draw.

David Cronenberg (kinda scary) vs. John Waters (kinda weird) – Winner: David Cronenberg – Canada, you don’t know how lucky you are to win this category. If I were judging solely on each individual’s most successful work, John Waters’ Hairspray blows away anything that Cronenberg has ever done, including Crash. I also think that John Waters is the better all-around artist, but if you look at pop-culture, you have to look at what is cool. I think that Cronenberg’s classic horror flicks like Shivers, Scanners and Videodrome outdo anything that Waters has on his résumé when it comes to “cool”. What Cronenberg wins with are his most recent works including Crash, A History of Violence and Eastern Promises. So, USA, blame it on Viggo Mortensen, because he made two out of those three movies totally awesome.

Strange Brew vs. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle – Winner: Strange Brew – The winner of this category mostly depends on if you are drunk or high. Both are awesome movies, but only one is a “classic.” Harold and Kumar made it close with Neil Patrick Harris, but not quite enough to win.

Canada 3, USA 2

Food & Beverage

Since I have never actually tasted a traditional Canadian dish (unless fries and gravy counts) I did not feel as though it would be fair to compare actual cuisine. In the same light, the USA has so many foods that are popular regionally, that it is hard to decide what the quintessential “American” food is (probably a hamburger or pizza, but neither were invented here). So, I picked several brands that each country likes to claim as their own, and I decided to compare them.

Nestlé vs. Hershey’s – Winner: Hershey’s – First of all, the only reason that Canadians claim Nestlé is because they have a huge plant there, and Nestlé purchased the European parent company that made Kit Kat and Smarties at this huge plant. This company used to make a lot of other candies that are famous in Canada and Europe as well. But if you’re going to go to war with Hershey’s, you have to bring more than Kit Kats and Smarties. Hershey dominates the candy market, second only to Mars, Inc., and also has an awesome theme park, a zoo, a gigantic garden, a children’s school, various charitable foundations, an creamery, a decent concert venue, not to mention the Hershey Bears, an AHL hockey team that has won eleven Calder Cups! You hockey fans have to appreciate that.

Molson vs. Yuengling – Winner: Yuengling – If I was voting on alcohol content alone, Molson wins with 5.1% to Yuengling’s 4.4%. Molson is North America’s oldest brewery and Yuengling is America’s oldest brewery, so the age argument is null and void, both are old. The first reason Yuengling wins is on taste. I have tasted both beers, and yes, Yuengling is superior. The other reason Yuengling wins is because the brewery is still family owned and it is the second-largest family-owned brewery in the U.S. (The Boston Beer Company, which makes Samuel Adams, is the largest. And for the record, Sam Adams would also slightly beat Molson. Sorry Canada, but at least your beer is better than any American beer giant like Bud, Miller, or Coors – the company that owns Molson.).

Red Rose Tea vs. Luzianne Tea – Winner: Red Rose Tea – Luzianne was the biggest US run tea company I could find. Honestly, I don’t know which tastes better, but you get a ceramic figurine with Red Rose Tea, and I used to collect those as a kid. Way cool, Canada, way cool.

Canada 4, USA 4

Sports

CFL vs. NFL – Winner: NFL, duh.

Hockey – Winner: Canada, eh. Even though there are some good American teams, Canadian kids are born with skates on, and their players dominate the NHL, AHL, and the Olympics too.

Blue Jays vs. Yankees – Winner: Yankees – As much as I hate to admit it, the Yankees are the best team in baseball history. The Blue Jays had a good run in the early 90’s, but most of the time, they are fighting for third or fourth in the AL East just like my home team, the Baltimore Orioles. Plus, the Blue Jays play on turf.

Basketball – Winner: USA – Raptors and, at one time, the Grizzlies… sorry, Canada, one of your guys might have invented it, but he did it in our country and we dominate you.

Curling – Winner: Canada – You guys do rock the rock. The US has only medaled once, and it was a bronze.

Canada 6, USA 7

Music

Canada’s Best vs. USA’s Best – Winner: USA – Canada, your top artists are Alanis Morisette, Justin Beiber, Nickelback, Celine Dion, and Avril Lavigne. I hate, and I mean literally hate, Alanis and Nickelback. I’m too old for Beiber, too young for Celine, and Avril is only good for karaoke. Sorry, Canada, Bryan Adams doesn’t win you any awards here and Neil Young is only good when he sings with those American dudes and that British bloke.

Canada 6, USA 8

War of 1812

Burned most of Washington DC to the ground vs. We won the war – Winner: Canada – We won the war, and we get to sing about it at sports games, but you guys actually came down here and burned our capital city. That’s pretty badass.

Canada 7, USA 8

90’s Female Hottie Then

Pamela Anderson vs. Cindy Crawford – Winner: Canada – Everybody in America had a C.J. Parker Baywatch poster on their wall or tucked under their mattress.

90’s Female Hottie Now

Pamela Anderson vs. Cindy Crawford – Winner: USA – Cindy Crawford still looks amazing. No kidding, check out her website. She’s still hot. After seeing what Tommy Lee did to Pamela on that boat, she just looks kind of “used”. Too bad, Canada.

Final Results – Canada 8, USA 9 – WINNER: USA!!!

Wow, that was closer than I thought it would be. Great job Canada! You totally surprised me. You’re not just a massive tract of land that is famous for lumberjacks, Mounties and beavers. The real winners here today are the Americans who read this list and discover some great Canadian culture. Thanks to Urbandaddy for letting me take over, and make sure to check out The Real Matt Daddy (link to www.therealmattdaddy.com) if you get a chance.

“Dads are Becoming some of the Most Popular Bloggers on the Block” reports CBSnews.com


At around 2:15am last night I was chatting on email with a colleague from our Australian head office when I decided it was time to head to bed, since the kids wake us up around 6am, some sleep was needed and quickly.

Before I went upstairs to bed, however, I decided to check my blog hits for the day and I found a pretty solid number of visits and views again today.  What a huge difference from even a couple of years ago where I would see 10 views a day which I always thought were my visits.

I looked a little further to see where the viewers were coming and what posts they were reading, when I noticed that there was a URL which appeared to come from CBSnews.com and it resulted in a grand total of four hits this day.  I automatically presumed it was spam, so I was unsure if I should open it or not, but foolish me decided I had to see either way, so I clicked on it, and was taken to an article on their site which was titled;

The link to the original article is here.

In that article, which I encourage all of you to read, celebrity blogger and former Wall Street corporate tax attorney Fred Mwangaguhunga mentioned my blog as a blog he enjoys reading!!!  I thought because of the fact that he works in the taxation industry, as do I, and that he has three children, as do I.  Whatever the reason is, I am absolutely flattered and the fact that I have been mentioned is exciting for me, and for this blog.

The piece of the article is below;

“It turns out with more fathers staying home or taking a more active role, mommy bloggers aren’t the only trend-setters these days. Daddy bloggers are also making their voices heard through At Home Dad, Daddy’s Home, and NYC Dads Group, among others. Fred refers to Urban Daddy, The Triplet Connection and the Manhattan Twins Club.”

Later in the day I noticed that CBSBoston picked up this story… Sort of, and in their article entitled “Stay-At-Home Dad Bloggers Emerge Online”, I read this; “With an array of sites like The Daddy Files, DaDa Rocks, The Busy Dad Blog and Urban Daddy, dads are becoming some of the most popular bloggers on the block.”

I looked at the link thinking it must have been for urbandaddy.com, but when I hovered the cursor over it, my link showed up there too.  I clicked on it just to be sure, and sure enough, it led right back to my site.

Here is the article in Boston;

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/07/11/stay-at-home-dad-blogs-emerge-online/#comments

Needless to say, all this attention is very cool and greatly appreciated.  I hope I can one day pay it forward too.  Fred, if you are reading this, I want to thank you very much.  You made my day!

Thursday Thirteen – 13 Ways to Get and Stay Healthy Inside and Out. Post Detox Tips.


After my detox sucess (no, not the 4 days of being exhausted and run down) but the overall success that saw me drop 10 pounds gain significant improvement in my skin and a prolonged period of good general health, I felt obligated to continue my good eating habits and to keep exercising as long as possible.  It also donned on me that my kids have been benefitting too from the uber-healthy meals and the nightly exercise because of my energy and because I’ve been so damn chipper.

So here are my 13 tips, my Thursday Thirteen, for keeping active during the day and keeping those unwanted pounds off.

13. It’s all about portion size. Moderation is the key. Eat until you feel full and to do that you need to stop what you are doing when you are eating and don’t eat when working, watching TV or playing on the computer because your mind is thinking of something else and you will often times eat past your comfortably full point.

12. Get into your mind that it’s okay to leave food on your plate.  You don’t have to finish everything.  As well, when at an event where the food is free or plentiful – like a buffet or office event, make sure you remind yourself that just because it is there doesn’t mean you have to continue eating.

11. Eat a smart breakfast – Water first with half a lemon squeezed into it, followed by a piece of fruit.  By this point in time your body’s metabolism will start to digest the easily digestible fruit.  Follow this up with a bowl of oatmeal.  Smart, healthy and delicious.

10. Stay away from certain unnecessary foods – high fat, processed, high sodium, wheat, certain meats, and dairy.  All okay once in a while but it’s moderation that is key here.

9. Stay away from the obvious.  Keep away from fancy drinks which contain extra sugar and calories, and if whipped cream is an option for the top of a drink, always say no to that.  Unless it’s a once a month treat, the calories and fat adds up quickly.

8. Drink. Water.  6 glasses a day.  Also keep in mind that if you are craving anything, it’s water.  So drink.  Water is free and has no calories.

7. Eat less carbohydrates, and make sure to eat them at the right time of day – which is when you have some time for them to digest (they will make you tired initially) and when you need the energy that comes from them.  Try to burn them off as quickly as possible before they turn to sugar and then get stored in your body as fat.

6. Try to eat 5 meals a day.  It keeps your metabolism moving and that burns off calories and digests food.  Eating more frequently, smaller, healthier meals should help you lose weight.

5. Use smaller plates.  I like this trick because we get so used to filling and emptying our plates (don’t want to waste right – or we don’t want our kids to waste food, right?) .

4. Don’t obsess about eating.  Really.  If you are having a “bad” day and cannot stop eating, just make sure to exercise.  It’s when you obsess and starve yourself or obsess and have too many bad days when you need to try a different options for getting healthy.

3. Limit salad toppings.  This was a fun  tip since salads are presumed to be healthy yet once you add the dressing, then nuts, seeds, or dehydrated cranberries, or anything fried and the salad no longer becomes healthy at all, and the salt, fat and calories creep in and onto your waist.

2. Keep moving!  Tap your foot during the day. or take multiple trips to the photocopier. Walk for your coffee.  Take a walk during the day, or anything that results in getting off your behind and getting your body moving.  Stairs, stretching, small weights, and taking the long way to a meeting all help the heart and the waistline.

1. Add exercise to your life.  Find an activity and participate or take nightly walks.  If you just cannot get off your butt, walking to the next bus stop, or parking further away and walking to the office are great.  If you like to get active, running is a wonderful way to tighten up everything, as is cycling and playing sports.

All in all, eating healthy and staying fit are the keys to feeling great inside and out.

 

Stuff that bugs me…


I saw an article that the 3-year-old daughter of Jamie Lynn Spears, the little sister of Britney Spears, was singing one of Britney’s songs and I think it was placed on YouTube.

This item was actually trending quite high for the day – ahead of the global financial crisis, the tragedy in Norway, the famine in Africa and many other important events.

My immediate thought was this; Would you, as a parent, think any of Britney’s songs are acceptable for children, let alone the fact that Britney is not exactly the best role model for little girls – marriage, kids, meltdown, lack of underwear…

 

Why does my stupid spellchecker never auto correct when I type “myslef” instead of “myself”. Can I not program it to do it automatically since I’ve typed it wrong my entire life and cannot for the life of me figure out a way to fix it other than typing VERY slowly…

 

I know Toronto is a hockey town – baseball too when the Jays are winning, but did you know that the NBA players were locked out by the owners July 1st? I certainly did not.  Granted that sport is messed up, when all the players get guaranteed contracts of tens of million of dollars, then get bought out and sign where ever they want for that amount plus whatever the new team will pay them. It’s dumb.  It also shows in the games as a bunch of millionaires are playing a bunch of billionaires and no one wants to get hurt.  That and the hugging before and after the game.  These are not rivalries, it’s a group hug.  Memo to NBA Commish. David Stern… Fix it!

 

A while back I posted about businesses putting up signs for their stores which did not clearly indicate what the store was and how I felt that was a bad marketing move. In doing this, I was specifically referring to a restaurant on Avenue Road, simply called, “The Vault”. I passed by this place in my car for a year never knowing what it was until one day I walked by it and noticed tables nd chairs inside which resembled a place where people would eat.

Considering this location was renovated for a long time and that it was a very large location, I would have thought that a description of what was inside might have been beneficial on the sign, for example, to indicate 1) that it was a restaurant and 2) what type of food it served.

Well, last week, I drove on Avenue Road towards the highway and sure enough “The Vault” was closedand the building up for lease.

I somehow feel justified in my thought, but sorry that I never got to go there and check it out.

 

What is bugging you right now?

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