How Cursive is Better than Cursing!


There are times when I feel that my wife and I are the cool kids in town and that everyone else either sucks or do not understand us or our children.  I mean, come on… tax, science… Who wouldn’t want to hang out with us to discuss those thrilling topics?!?

Then I think about our kids, and how they will view us when they are older and know better, or how others view them and their quirks and oddities… I hope others will find their quirkiness playful and fun, and now strange or odd.  Then again, I hope my kids are comfortable enough in their own skin to not care what others think.

So where is this going?

Ah, yes…

How we’re so cool.  lol.

Well, we had 2 great families over for Shabbat dinner Friday night and after eating, drinking, laughing and talking, we moved from the kitchen over to the family room to continue with the great conversation, while the kids practiced their cursive writing.

Yes.

The kids practiced their cursive writing… On their own.  For fun… Together… 6 of the 7 children present.

cursivebook

I know!

What got the cursive kick started in our household is the fact that cursive writing is part of the grade 3 curriculum in Ontario, so with Stewie in Grade 3, it only made sense that he would be eager to practice every waking moment, right?  Well not only does he practice his cursive writing, but he also created a cursive writing book for his (just turned 5-year-old) little sister.  This book has the letters in the same way he learned them, however, he also added some fun cursive-games which are completely age appropriate.

More so, having looked through this book, I can say that it is quite amazing what this little girl has managed to produce and if she keeps it up, her Senior kindergarten teachers will be quite impressed.

So now imagine, 6 adults driving coffee and chatting about life, love, liberty and the pursuit of happiness while my son leads the other children through the cursive Olympics…

That’s cool, no?

It’s certainly better than cursing.  :)

Hey, it’s WTF Friday!


It’s finally Friday!  Yay.  A long week which saw me pick up a nasty bug from either one of my kids or from a client then a 4:15am bedtime followed by a 2:30am bedtime the following night.  I was, of course, in the kitchen by 6:45am both mornings – as always if I’m not running (or I’d be up at 5:30am) to get the kids breakfasts and lunches ready.

I feel like today my brain turned back on, and I had a little jump back in my step (and was keeping all my food down!)

But enough about me…

It’s WTF Friday!  That means I get to talk to about shit on my mind in this NSFW post, like;

1) If NASA can put a fucking camera on a comet, and the damn thing Tweets, why do I spend so much time and get so frustrated having to unwind my headset each and every time I try to use it!  Maybe Apple should task NASA with finding a solution.

2) Is it considered “getting help” if I take the advice of the fortune in a fortune cookie?  I want to write those!  It would be fun.  Instead of cryptic texts with random “lucky” numbers, mine would be encouraging, positive and shaming at the same time.

“If you clean your room you might get screen time.”

“Your parents really do know what’s best for you.”

“Stop annoying your brother / sister.  One day they’ll be bigger than you and kick your ass.”

“If you see brown on the floor.  Pick it up, but smell it first.  That chocolate chip might be poo.”

3) Anyone else notice that the idiot drivers who are regularly driving 20km/h under the speed limit never stop at stop signs.  Why break only one traffic violation when you can break them all.

4) Is it too much to expect the elected officials in this city to turn on their brains – think outside the box and see that the city needs more dedicated left-turn and right-turn / bus lanes.  So when a new development wants to build 10 stories on a corner and the official plan allows for 6 stories instead of giving in the planners need to start conceding height but making the developer cut back the size of the property to allow for the road to be made wider, and then they get to go higher.  City wins, developer wins, residents win.

5) Speaking of developments… Anyone here in Toronto try driving on Eglinton Avenue anywhere where the LRT / subway is being “constructed”?  If so, I feel bad for you.  It’s been an absolute nightmare getting out to Eglinton near Allen Road because the exits to Eglinton are blocked / closed / one way, and with all the cars getting off of Eglinton and using the side streets, it makes for an interesting 5 or 6 more years.  GAG.

6) Did I mention that my coffee maker died?  The lights were on but nobody was home.  Turns out the heating fuse burned out.  Not bad after 10-years and for $19.99 from Canadian Tire.  But this crushed me!  I really wanted a Keurig or a Tassimo but I promised my wife I would win one, or be given one because she knows that the second I get one it’ll be all coffee, all the time!  In the interim, I’ve been using my French press and borrowed one from my sister.

7)  The day after my coffee maker died, my all-in-one desktop computer started smoking and died.  I’ve been a little gun-shy since.

So there is my bitching for the end of a Friday.

Flattery Will Get You Everywhere


It’s Sunday morning and I have 2 of my 3 kids at home.  My middle child was taken to the SkyZone Indoor Trampoline Park for an hour of jumping and bouncing excitement, and since he’s the one who plays school with our youngest, it means I have to find a way to convince my 9-year-old to do his homework and my 4-year-old to let him do his homework.

After some “discussions” or really “negotiations” my 9-year-old has finished his math homework for Spirit of Math and my 4-year-old has gone from playing with her toys, to sitting on me, to practicing piano and now to wandering the house looking lost.

At one point she sat beside me while I was typing and she was staring at the side of my head.

“Hi, what can I do for you?” I asked.

“You’re so Cool!” she replied.  “You’re so cool, I can’t stop staring at you!”.

With that I have taken her to the basement to free her toys from the fort under the stairs, and set her off to set up her own area where she can play and have fun by herself while her brother and I dig into his social studies homework.

Anyone remember the dog from the TV show Frasier?

We’re Rooting For Pluto To Be Elevated Back To Planet Status!


It was just eight years ago (2006) when the planet Pluto – discovered in 1930 –  was unceremoniously relegated to dwarf planet status by the International Astronomical Union.

News comes today, that the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysicists is lobbying hard for Pluto to become a planet again based on the fact that by placing the word “dwarf” in front of the “planet” does not mean that Pluto is not a planet.  It is a planet, just a smaller one.

Yes, if Pluto is relegated back to planet status, there are other, newly discovered masses which would qualify for potential planet status, such as Triton or Eris or 50000 Quaoar or 90377 Sedna.

The best line I read on this topic (I will find the source and cite it!) read: “And what does Pluto make of all this? Pluto is a massive clump of rock and ice trapped in a lonely silent orbit through the dark recesses of space several billion miles away from Earth. As such, it could not be reached for comment.”

Welcome back to the solar system, Pluto. We’ve missed you and some of us under the age of 8 have never met you!.

Unfortunately, my daughter will no longer be able to sing The Planet Song;

“Planets, planets, they’re so great.

Did you know that there are 8.

Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars.

Lots of planets. Lots of stars.

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus too.

Then comes Neptune and we’re through.”

A Better Way To Teach Children The Alphabet: The Gamers Alphabet. Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!…


A better way to teach your children the alphabet!

The name of this book is “Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!: A Gamer’s Alphabet”, yet I preferred to reverse part of it in the title so that it read “A Gamer’s Alphabet: Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!…”  I felt the parent who knows a thing or two about video games would catch on much quicker that this book is a great new way to teach your child(ren) the alphabet while also teaching them a thing or two about the $75 billion dollar industry that is video games (Worldwide figure – only $24 billion in North America).

As well, how many times can we tell our kids that A is for Apple and B is for Banana and C is for Capitulate (meaning to surrender under agreed conditions, AND a SAT word, no less), etc.  We’ve got to expand our children’s knowledge beyond the traditional ABC’s, and here is how!

The author, Chris Barton and artist Joey Spiotto put together a vividly illustrated guide-book packed with lucid definitions that even the most video game challenged reader can understand. Attack! Boss! Cheat Code!: A Gamer’s Alphabet is the ultimate guide for players, non-players, and aficionados.  It is colourful, informative and an “entertaining visual history and a glossary of gaming”.

The book provides a solid understanding of terms that have made their way into everyday language, from “RPG” (Role Playing Game) to “mod” (Where a modification is made to the hardware or software of a game that the developer of the game had not intended).  Kids learn, and parents learn.

With lessons in modern vernacular and allusions to games every parent remembers, this book intermingles education with nostalgia for a compelling read at any age.

I have a copy and I think you should get one as well.  Pretty pictures.  Great information, and my kids love it (actually I think one of them has it right now…)
 AttackBoss2
Here is some information on the author and on the illustrator;

Chris Barton is the author of the New York Times bestseller Shark Vs. Train and the Sibert Honor-winning book, The Day-Glo Brothers. In addition to those picture books, he is the author of Can I see Your I.D.? True Stories of False Identities, a young adult nonfiction thriller. His upcoming books for young readers include The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch, Pioneers & Pirouettes: The Story of the First American Nutcracker, and Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super Stream of Ideas. Chris lives in Austin, Texas. For more information, check out: www.chrisbarton.info.

Joey “Joe-bot” Spiotto has worked as a concept artist on video games such as “Dead Space” and “The Sims.” He frequently creates for Warner Brothers, Electronic Arts, Telltale Games, Gazillion, and many more. His tee shirts sell on Teefury.com, and his work is shown in the high-profile Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles, CA. “Joe-bot” has been featured in The A.V. Club, Paste, Kotaku, and many other prestigious magazines. He lives in Southern California. To read more about Joey, visit: http://jo3bot.com.