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April Fools Day! Origins and Best Of…


So today is April 1st, or April Fools Day (this is true, not a joke).

April Fools’ Day, also referred to by some as “All Fools’ Day” is an informal holiday celebrated every year on April 1st. The day is not a national holiday in any country, however it is widely recognized as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other, called April fools.

Hoax stories are also often found in the press and media on this day – but not on the Internet, because we all know that everything on the Internet is 100% true, right?!?

Many believe that April Fools Day originated in In Iran, where jokes are played on the 13th day of the Persian new year (Nowruz), which falls on April 1 or April 2. This day, was celebrated as far back as 536 BC, and is referred to in Iran as “Sizdah Bedar”, making it the oldest prank-tradition in the world.

As far as April Fools Day pranks go – and many of us are already expecting there to be something so outrageous that it has to be a prank, but back in 1957, the BBC pulled a prank, known as the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest prank, where they broadcast a fake film of Swiss farmers picking freshly-grown spaghetti. The BBC were later flooded with requests to purchase a spaghetti plant, forcing them to declare the film a prank on the news the next day.

While that was a clever prank, some people take April Fools Da a little too far, such as, “An Australian woman called emergency services to tell them her baby had fallen off the bed and stopped breathing. When the ambulances arrived, there was no sick baby. It was her idea of a hilarious April Fool”.

But some fairly common pranks to look out for, and some classic pranks which garnered world-wide attention include these;

On April 1, 1976 famed British astronomer and radio presenter Patrick Moore announced over the BBC that a rare alignment of the planets Pluto and Jupiter would occur at exactly 9:47 a.m. during which the effects of gravity would be nullified and everyone on earth would feel weightless for a brief moment. “At 9:47, Moore declared, ‘Jump now!’”

A minute passed, and then the BBC switchboard lit up with dozens of people calling in to report that the experiment had worked!

But it was all a complete prank.

In more recent years some of the best April Fools jokes have been perpetrated by the advertising industry, specifically in 1996, when Taco Bell ran a full-page ad in the New York Times announcing it had purchased the Liberty Bell and would rename it the “Taco Liberty Bell.”

In 1998, Burger King announced the rollout of its “Left-Handed Whopper”, there has been stories about glasses for dogs, canned pizza, and in 2002 a British supermarket chain called Tesco published an advertisement in the British newspaper “The Sun” announcing the successful development of a genetically modified ‘whistling carrot.’ The ad explained that the carrots had been specially engineered to grow with tapered air holes in their side, which, when fully cooked caused the carrot to whistle.

On the Internet, hoaxes are such standard fare that April Fools’ Day is barely distinguishable from any other, but this one keeps getting brought up year-in-year-out, and makes me laugh – the announcement to that every computer connected to the World Wide Web must be turned off and disconnected for Internet Cleaning Day, a 24-hour period during which useless “flotsam and jetsam” are flushed from the system.

What stories have you seen today?

Did you get fooled?

Did you pull a prank on your kids, or them on you?

We toyed with the idea of moving all the kids into each other’s beds in the middle of the night, but geez, we’re so darn tired, I just told them about it in the morning.

Thursday Thirteen: The Urban Daddy Answers His Mail. 13 of them.


Something a little new today.

My Thursday Thirteen this week is going to cover the 13 most commonly asked emails that I have received at realurbandaddy@gmail.com.  I do get a LOT of email and if I had the time, I would love to be able to reply to all of it, and it does take me some time to reply, but I have some left over messages all along the same theme, which I am going to answer here.

Sit tight, get your pen and paper ready – or a Dictaphone if  you have one or even know what it is – and let’s get ready to learn how to reply to tough, challenging emails.  Urban Daddy style.

Thursday Thirteen Autumn

13. Why don’t you blog so much anymore?

Great and most common question.  I do blog as much as before, however, now that I have my own business, a lot of my posts are headed there.  The rest of the post for The Urban Daddy are sitting in my drafts folder.  There is something like 113 of them in there.

Another problem is that as my readership increases I feel some responsibility to actually make sense in my posts.  Gone are the days of 10 readers per day and me writing posts at 1am.  Now I write, edit, review, fact-check, edit then save to drafts.

I’m going to write more… I promise.

You can also find some of my thoughts when I’m too lazy to blog them over at my Facebook page; www.facebook.com/TheUrbanDaddy or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/realurbandaddy.  I’m on Tumblr, Google Plus, Pinterest… Everywhere, but those are the main 3.  Please “like” me and add me where possible.  I always add back.

12. Are you affiliated with that big Urban Daddy website in the US?

Nope.  They did ask me, however, to kindly hand over my social media sites which are in the name “Urban Daddy”.  I politely declined since I was blogging as Urban Daddy before they came to be.  So I asked them kindly to hand over ownership of all their social media sites to me.  I never heard back, lol, but soon thereafter all the URLs which were close to mine were scooped up.

Point taken.

I also get a LOT of pitches and product-testing requests but I politely turn them down if they are not something I would not use, or if they are not going to directly benefit you guys – my readership – but I love to get them from local (Canadian) companies because it’s easy for me to toss something onto my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/TheUrbanDaddy) if you have not gone there, go there now and like me.  Please.

11. Why do blog about coffee?

Ohhh.  I love coffee.  But I’m more than just a medium roast kind of guy.  I like adventure, and something different so I’m big into the flavours.  I actually used to test the new flavours at Java Joe’s near my office – a treat for me – which is where I fell in love with Blueberry coffee.  Blueberry coffee, if you didn’t know is huge on the East coast of Canada and in the US, but for some reason has not hit the mainstream here in TO as of yet.

Blueberry is way better than, for example, Raspberry Chocolate coffee, and light-years better than Irish Cream or boring Vanilla Hazelnut.

So now where can you buy this coffee you ask…

Well since you all cannot come over to my house, you will be thrilled to learn that there is an amazing Canadian company called Java Works Coffee(http://www.javaworkscoffee.ca/) , out of Mississauga, Ontario, and they sell coffee and teas to restaurants, offices and – yay – customers through their factory outlet.  So on Friday I dropped in to this store and was blown away with the selection, the staff and the smell when you first walk into the door.  WOW.

I left with some teas and 1lb bags of the following coffees;

  • Blueberry Bliss
  • French Toast
  • Cinnamon Apple Spice
  • Mint Chocolate Chip

After testing them all I can say that each one is better than the next.

10. Do you really like Wrestling?

Yes.  Like it a lot.  And yes, I know it is fake.  I’ve been watching this male soap opera since I was a boy (which is a really long time ago!)  If you gotta problem with that, come see my and I’ll put you in a headlock, then powerbomb you.  :)

9. The best Daddy blogs usually are written by Stay at Home Dads (SAHD). Why?

Funny.  I’ve always felt that the SAHM (Stay at home Mom) blogs are the best, and clearly the Dads are right up there now because they are there with the kids and doing the things that many of us do on a daily basis.  I have always said that I felt no one wants to read a blog about kids from a parent who works full-time unless they are able to spend enough time with the kids, or capture a moment, which will make good print.  I just wish I had more time to read these great blogs…

8. Would you consider yourself a parent expert? Why or why not?

I would and only because I have 3 children and after changing many diapers, and being there for feedings, changings, programs, school, school events, I can honestly say that I sacrificed my career to spend time with my kids and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

7. Where in the world are you?

I’m everywhere!  LOL.  No really.  I’m in Toronto, Ontario. Canada.  A very large, beautiful city in the best country in the world.

6. How Conservative are your views?

Fiscally conservative – Very.

A lot of my other views tend to learn more towards the centre from the left side.  So I feel people should work for their money, and if they use that money to buy things for themselves, others do not have the right to steal from them, however if people are unable to work – really unable to work, that they should be a social network to allow them to live above the poverty line and be able to contribute to society in whatever ways they can,

5. I see you post a lot about IVF. Is it because you used it?

Actually no.  We were fortunate enough to not need IVF, however from a moral and financial perspective, I feel that governments should fund IVF treatments for those families who want it.  The savings to our tax system would be huge and it’s a really nice thing for governments to do while trying to figure out why infertility is on the rise.

4.  What are some other great blogs you can recommend?

I have actually been meaning to prepare a Friday blog post called the “Friday Follow Five” and use that to go to a favourite blog I follow, then read the first post, and use either the comments on that post or the blogroll on the side to go to another blog, then do the same until I have read and summarized 5 posts and provided details in the post.  In the meantime, please visit the blogs in my blogroll.  They’re amazing.

3.  How long have you been blogging and how long will it take me to get readers?

Well, I’ve been blogging since 2004 and to be honest, make sure you do it for love and not for getting famous because it takes a LOT of TLC to get a blog off the ground.  Essentially, you need to not use my blog as the model, because you need to post frequently, read and comment on other blogs often, build relationships with your readers, and write things others want to read.  Having a pretty blog, and nice title, and the proper length articles is also important…

Good luck!

2.  Your posts are too long.  Some are really off-topic.  Why do you do that?

LOL.  I get this a lot.

They are not off-topic for people who come here randomly looking for specific topics.  I do, however, agree that I am long-winded and I try to fix it, but I just can’t.  I talk this way too.  I have to build up the back-story before I get to the point.

Knowing that I blog under the title “The Urban Daddy” as a Dad in urban-Toronto, would you believe that my most popular post ever has to do with the Secret Menu at Starbucks, followed closely by my evaluation of the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program.

So as I approach 1000 posts, I can honestly say that I get a LOT of views from the Philippines after Canada and the US.  I would NEVER have expected that back on 2004 when I had 10 views a week.

1.  Why are you still blogging?

I don’t really know.  I think I would feel lost without it and when I look back and see my earlier posts I am amazed at some of the things I have gone through since I had kids.  More importantly, and the real reason to keep it going is because as my kids get older (my oldest is 8-years-old) and they start to ask questions or look for stories about when they were young, I know I can pull up a post and let them read the details.  It’s always a good laugh.

How My Kids Almost Disowned Me Over Treats: and how I got to stay as their Dad.


I happened to overhear a conversation between my 6-year-old son and my 3-year-old daughter regarding the fact that I was taking my 8-year-old son to the store with me;

6yo: “He’s going to buy him snacks! That’s not fair. We’re not going to get anything!”

3yo: “Yeah! That’s not fair. I don’t like Daddy anymore!”

6yo: “Me either! Unless he buys me a treat too. Then I can share it with you!”

3yo: “Or if he buys me a treat, I will share it with you!”

6yo: “Well, what kind of treat do you want? I want mint-chocolate”

3yo: “Well, I want mint-chocolate too… and strawberry and bubble gum and gummies and berries.”

Me: “Ewww, disgusting. I’m not getting anyone a treat guys. Relax”

6yo to me: “Why do you do that? Why do you dismiss everything you don’t like as being disgusting. Just because it is nothing you like does not make it disgusting!!!”

Me, thinking I’ve just been put in my place by a 6yo: “Errr, yup. You are correct. I think it’s disgusting. My opinion only. Sorry about that guys. But all that sugar will eat away at your teeth and that is disgusting, right?

6yo and 3yo: “Ewwww. Disgusting.  We don’t want a treat, Daddy.”

Phew!  Got through that one okay, but barely.  How in the heck am I going to be able to navigate the serious issues?!?  Well that would be my wife’s responsibility!  I got them through diapers, she can get them through the teenage years!

Although I’m sill not sure how I feel about being put in my place by my 6yo.  I get the feeling this is going to be an ongoing issue with him.  :)

DaddyBloggers in the Spotlight: A Father’s Day Roundup


Here was a nice Father’s Day treat from the kind folks at WordPress.com.

DaddyBloggers in the Spotlight: A Father’s Day Roundup.

Please follow the link!  But here is the text;

Writing about family life and parenthood is not simply the province of mothers: dads are carving out their own blogular niche. Single dads, stay-at-home dads, working dads, two-dad families — you can find every perspective on WordPress.com. As the US celebrates Father’s Day, here are some dad blogs we love:

DorkDaddy.com

What’s the point of having kids if you can’t raise them into die-hard Star Wars fans? DorkDaddy — dentist by day, geek by night, dad 24/7 — uses his blog to chronicle life with this three geeks-in-training.

DorkDaddy.com

You respond to his combination of candid takes on parenting with analysis of key issues (would Superman would be a better father than Batman?), and so do we. From whipping up Butterbeer for a sick dorkling to LEGO extravaganzas to building homemade hovercrafts, he takes us through the richness of parenthood with grace, humor, and, yes, a substantial measure of unabashed dorkiness. (We also love his frequent odes to the DorkMommy.)

The Urban Daddy

We’re clearly not the only fans of The Urban Daddy’s mix of “parenting, politics, and common sense” — you made him a finalist in both the Best Canadian Weblog and Best Family or Parenting Weblog categories of this year’s Bloggie Awards. Less a traditional “DaddyBlog” than a blog about life by someone who happens to be a dad, we appreciate the mix of hockeyhealthpolitical, and other news (professional wrestling, anyone?) — all served with a side of dad-perspective and cute kid stories.

Dadgitated

What happens when a “real man’s man” becomes a stay-at-home-dad? He gets a little dadgitated.

I fish, I hunt, I can shoe a horse, run a boat, change a tire on an eighteen wheeler, hold my booze, make moonshine, butcher livestock, lift heavy objects, use a smoker in a proper manner, chop wood and I’m pretty sure I could survive the up-coming zombie apocalypse. I’ve worked heavy construction. I’ve worked on the deck of big boats. I’ve fought with 2,000 lbs draft horses and won.

Now I’m a stay-at-home father… and I think it will be the end of me.

One of the wonderful things about blogs is how they connect us to people with similar experiences and passions; reading other bloggers’ perspectives can validate and enrich our own. Honest writing about parenthood on Dadgitated (how do you explain what a vagina is to your four-year old?) creates a space where parents can see and laugh at themselves — giving us the breathing room we need to be better parents.

Here are some other community favorites for your Father’s Day reading pleasure:

  • Snoozing on the Sofa follows older dad Scott as he navigates marriage and fatherhood, and learns that he can no longer have nice things.
  • UK-based Whiskey for Aftershave hits the dad trifecta — an older, stay-at-home dad of twins.
  • Touchline Dad is a sports lover raising three sporty children, and learning how to be a perfectly supportive sideline dad.
  • Twinfamy’s name says it all — one dad raising the “two greatest children to ever walk the earth, aside, of course, from Jesus Christ and Chuck Norris.”
  • The Dorky Daddy has no delusions of being “the cool dad,” and he’s not ashamed.

Do you have a favorite WordPress.com dad? Let us know!

What are your favourite Daddy bloggers – WordPress users or other?

Just under 46 Reasons why my kids have freaked out, at 3-years-old.


My wife posted a link to an article on Facebook the other day called “46 Reasons Why My 3-Year-Old Might Be Freaking Out“, and this was just after our 3-year-old daughter Boo had an epic 20-minute meltdown.  Once she was done we confirmed the cause of the meltdown was a result of the fact that she wanted the zipper on her fleece sweater zipped up… Who knew?!?

Sidebar:  Forget the terrible two’s, new parents.  It’s the Terrible three’s which will kill you!!!  Am I right?

I loved the article so much I wanted to re-post it, but I also wanted to yank out a few of the 46 reasons which applied to any of our 3 children.

So please, visit the original article, but only after you read this on either Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Tumblr or here on The Urban Daddy’s blog,   Then your next mission is to see which meltdown’s we have I/ had in common.  Then let me know in the comment section so we can all laugh together.

I’ve broken it down by boys (ages 8 & 6 right now) and girl (just turned 3).

Coles Notes Version

Coles Notes Version

Meltdown’s in Common:

His sock is on wrong.

His lip tastes salty.

His shirt has a tag on it.

They are hungry, but can’t remember the word “hungry.”

His brother looked at him.

His brother didn’t look at him.

We don’t understand what he/she said.

He/she doesn’t want to get out of the car.

He/she wants to get out of the car by himself.

The iPad has a password.

He jumped off the sofa and we weren’t  watching.

He’s not allowed to touch fire.

Everything is wrong with his coat.

There’s a dog (or raccoon or monster or dragon) within a 70km radius.

I asked him/her a question.

His brother/sister/mother/father is talking.

The cat is in his/her way.

The inside of his cheek feels rough.

Things take too long to cook.

He has too much food in his mouth.

He sneezed.

He doesn’t know how to type.

His/her mom is taking a shower.

Someone knocked over his tower.

The food won’t stay on his spoon.

… and so much more…

How does this relate to your kids?