Posted in Canada, Daddy, disaster, events, family, Food, health, Life, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Can’t Tell You How Much I Hate Getting Older…


Words cannot describe how much I hate getting older.

The grey hair.

The lack of hair.

The grey arm hairs… Ugh. I’m not even that old. At least I don’t feel that old.

Well, I didn’t feel that old, until this morning. This morning was a big ‘ol dose of reality check for me.

You see, up until a couple of years ago, I played competitive ball hockey in a league, as I had been doing since I was 19-years-old. That makes it around 25-years, give or take a year here and there.

Some years I played on 2 teams, some years 3-teams, and at the time when I met my wife, I was playing 4-nights a week.

Those 4 nights dwindled to 2-times per week, and then to once a week. A torn calf ended my ball hockey play and I haven’t played since. I think about playing again, but at my age, and having gained a “few” pounds paired with the fact that I’m out every evening with the kids at programs, means I just have no time.

Fast forward to November 2018, and I accepted a contact with Intuit Canada, the makers of TurboTax, to be their spokesperson, and blog editor. The job was amazing! The people were amazing. My boss was beyond amazing and the role was so much fun! The only downfall was that I literally sat at my desk for 8-hours a day. I had an hour drive to get there and an hour drive home and there was no time for exercise.

I put on a few more pounds.

I was feeling very uncomfortable.

Walking up the stairs became a chore, and I was winded when I got to the top. I knew it was time to focus back on fitness. When the kids went away to camp, was when I started exercising again. Walking on the treadmill, eventually running on the treadmill and trying to ease my fat ass back into working.

I even agreed to do a fitness class with my wife (something we have never done together) at the fitness studio that she goes to. I did a class called Chiseled. She took a different class.

The class was great, and the instructor was awesome. She was dynamic, engaging, informative and she helped me sort out the exercises and the correct techniques.

Almost 3/4’ers of the way through the circuit, I felt that I was done. Exhausted. Not that I couldn’t lift anymore, but that my heart rate was elevated, and not having had breakfast, I felt nauseous. I just needed a break.

I’ve had this feeling before when I played ball hockey and took time off due to children or injuries. The next game back was usually a tough one.

So I sat down on the chair to catch my breath.

And passed out.

When I awoke, there was a juice box in my mouth, I could hear, but not yet see, the trainer and a participant who happened to be a doctor, checking my pulse, and when I opened my eyes, and started to feel a bit better, I apologized (I’m so Canadian) and said that I over did it.

I finished the juice box, and started to regain my focus when the doctor / participant said, don’t worry, the EMT is here.

My eyes popped wide open.

Umm, you called the ambulance?

Always do, she said.

I was so embarrassed. This has never happened to me before. Ever.  UGH.

The EMT’s checked on me, and we agreed that it would be best if I could, to walk outside so they could run some tests. I walked out on my own power – now feeling almost completely back to normal, and into the ambulance.

The look on my wife’s eyes was something I will never forget. She didn’t say anything, but her eyes spoke volumes. Then she said to me, “When I said to you don’t die in the class, I was joking.”

I explained that I overdid it and having not eaten, my blood sugar must have bottomed out.

In the ambulance, they checked my blood sugar, my heart, my blood pressure, and all we fantastic.

I was totally back to normal.

I signed some papers, agreed to go visit my family doctor soon for a physical, and I ate a whole lot of humble pie.

We got into the car, drove home, and all I kept thinking was that I’m not that 20-year-old kid anymore who could play 4 games a week. I’m older, heavier, and man, do I hate getting old.

So how was your Monday?

 

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, events, family, Life, news, Parenting, Recommends, The Urban Daddy

Thomas the Tank Engine is Coming to Uxbridge, Ontario! August 9th to 11th AND 16th to 18th


Upon learning that Thomas the Tank Engine is coming to Uxbridge, Ontario for Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019, I could not help but get flooded with great memories of a fun event, with lots to do, and not just on the railway, but also in beautiful Uxbridge.

It’s a fun event, even if it’s really hot outside, and the kids are cranky, etc. It’s a train ride! It’s Thomas. There is music, games, food, activities and fun.

All aboard! 

Thomas the Tank Engine invites little engineers to go full steam ahead for a day of engaging activities and fun adventures at Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019. 

Thomas pulls into York-Durham Railway on August 9th-11th and 16th-18th.

It’s been a few years, mind you, but with 3 children we’ve had more than a few opportunities to come to Uxbridge and spend time with Thomas and friends. It’s always been an enjoyable event with lots to do, plenty of parking and the picture! Yes, the picture of your family in front of Thomas. We have them all over the house and we look back at these cute family photos fondly.

In addition to riding on the famous train, we met Sir Topham Hatt the Controller of the Railway and enjoyed a day of Thomas-themed activities including toy play, photo ops, and more.

What’s amazing is that this tour is now in its 24th year. Man, I feel old! In addition, the tour now makes 37 stops across the Canada and the US and is expected to welcome nearly one million passengers in 2019.

What do you get:

  • 25-minute (approximate) ride with a talking Thomas the Tank Engine
  • Meet & Greet with Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway
  • Thomas & Friends Imagination Station featuring a variety of activities
  • All-new “Ask an Engineer” booth, where several kids can talk to an engineer and learn about trains and working on the rails
  • A ‘Passport to Adventures’ booklet for children to track their journey at the event and receive a special prize upon completion.
  • Thomas & Friends-themed activities including toy play, photo ops, and more

 

TIME:       9am-3:45pm

WHERE:  York-Durham Heritage Railway

19 Railway Street Uxbridge, ON L9P 1E5

 

Tickets for Day Out With Thomas: The Steam Team Tour 2019 are on sale now and available by calling Ticketweb toll-free at 866-468-7630, or by visiting www.dayoutwiththomas.com. Ticket prices are $28.65 plus tax for ages 2 and up (service charges and fee may apply).

 

For more information and directions, contact the railway here ydhr@ydhr.ca. or visit ydhr.ca/thomas

For more information about the wonderful world of Thomas & Friends please visit: www.thomasandfriends.comwww.facebook.com/thomasandfriends and for bonus material and exclusive content www.youtube.com/user/thomasandfriends.

 

 

Posted in Canada, Community, Life, Parenting, politics, The Urban Daddy, Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Things My Kids Have Said Or Know About Justin Trudeau


In honour of the sweeping in of a “new era” in Canadian politics with the election of a majority Liberal government led by self-proclaimed “feminist” Justin Trudeau, I asked my children for their thoughts, and now, 4-years-later, as the Federal election creeps up, I have asked them again for their thoughts about JT.

Here are the 13 things my children have said or learned during the last 3 1/2 years;

13.  He’s Just Not Ready – and he’s still not ready

12.  Justin was born on December 25th (My oldest is a late December child)

11.  He looks REALLY young, especially considering him and I are the same age!  In fact, my son thought he was 25-years-old and that my first pet was a dinosaur!

10.  The Liberals under JT are going to spend, spend, spend, and then to pay for all that spending, are going to have to raise taxes on everyone! Now our taxes are so high we’re going to have to spend less money on everything so we can afford to live in Canada.

9.   Justin walks a LOT.  In his original campaign ads he walked up a down escalator, and he walked on roads and in fields. As PM, he jogged into pictures, thus my kids have concluded that JT loves the camera, and as PM, he’ll walk everywhere where there is a camera to be seen!

8.   People really didn’t want him or Mulcair in office because both parties want to spend, spend, spend and then tax, tax, tax, but they really didn’t want Harper there even more because his hair has not moved in 10-years as Prime Minister and nobody likes that. Trudeau was the only choice because he’s young so he’ll be able to use computers better and he knows what Millennial are.

7.    As soon as JT tells the United States that Canada is not going to fight ISIS, the US is no longer going to protect Canada.

6.   Also, since Canada wants to find out why ISIS are so angry, it means more ISIS members are going to come to Canada and hide here.  JT said he would not revoke their citizenship, so they are safe.

5.   He taught drama, and now he’ll be bringing the drama to the rest of the world. He won’t give boring speeches, because of his background, he’ll be able to act a bit, use different voices, and be dramatic. In fact, the kids wanted to know how it would look in Question Period – so I showed them a session from last week… They were extremely unimpressed when he refused to answer any questions yet pranced around like he was on stage in a play. (I believe my son said, “once a drama teacher, always a drama teacher”).

4.   I love my children, when they are able to conclude this; “It’s only 4-years, then we can elect a Conservative government to fix everything the Liberals screw up.”

3.   He should not be allowed to speak without having a speech writer because when he has to think on the fly he pauses a lot to think of what the right thing to say is, and that makes him look dumb.  So that makes Canada look dumb. He has said “um” more times in the last few minutes than I have said in my entire life.

2.   This was a great comment too; “Dad, if he considers himself to be a feminist, doesn’t that mean he “likes” women? If so, why did he force that lawyer to lie, and then when she refused, he threw her under the bus and kicked her out of his party? That’s not how you treat your team members, especially the women…”

and number 1.  Do you know how to tell when Justin Trudeau is lying? He opens his mouth. I don’t trust that guy at all.  He never learned. He fired women, he increased taxes, lied, and the only thing he did was legalize pot. That’s not such a great accomplishment…

 

Posted in events, family, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Father’s Day: Young Kids vs Teens


Father’s Day!

Every day is father’s day, in my eyes, and this day is just another day for me – thankful for being a father, and thinking of my father who passed away 17-years ago at such a young age and who never got to see my children.

Thank goodness my wife’s father is alive, healthy and have developed such a wonderful relationship with my kids.

So with that being said, and having been at this blogging thing for almost 15-years, I have a great perspective of what it’s like being a father for the first time, when the kid(s) are young, and now that they are approaching and in their early teens (my oldest is 14).

First Father’s Day

The novelty of having children and being a father is finally sinking in, which makes your relationship with your father / father-in-law / father figure / grand father, etc., a bit more enriched.

You are likely to get a card from your wife, from your child, parents, siblings, etc., and a picture or baby hand imprint, or paper with drool on it – something like that which you will keep.

Future Father’s Days

The kid(s) ask what you want, and they usually make stuff at school. Cute stuff, like the hand print, or the paper saying that your dad is 83-years-old, and have no hair, and your favourite colour is blue, and that for a living you yell and them and burp a lot.

This is the age of BBQ’s and “Best Father” mugs, and ties, and stuff like that. Father’s day is still super awesome, if not more awesome because you’ve realized the amount of work your wife has put into the family so you whisk the kids away for the day and take them to the zoo, to a movie, to the park, or to see your mother.

Caution: The Teen / Tween Years

I’m still relatively new to this, but thus far, Father’s day goes something like this;

  1. Remind the kids father’s day is coming up
  2. Remind the kids that you really like a homemade card or craft but a hug and kiss will suffice
  3. Ask them halfway through the day is they know what day today is…
  4. When the kids fight or disagree with each other, try making peace between them by saying, “Hey! It’s Father’s Day!!”
  5. Try not to laugh when told, “You’re as useful as a screen door on a submarine”, or “You’re not the stupidest person on the planet… But you’d better hope that person doesn’t die.”

 

(If you laugh they think it’s acceptable – or really funny – and they’ll want to quit school and go on tour as a comedian… OY!)

So you end up wishing yourself a Happy Father’s Day, and you think about how great it’s been thus far as a father, and then you try to figure out where on earth it all went so wrong.

 

 

Posted in Community, Daddy, hockey, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Insert Toronto Maple Leafs Joke here…


Fine, okay, I get it… Being a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs has never been easy. No Stanley Cups in my life-time, and very few players to get excited about.  Save for Rick Vaive, Wendel Clark, Mats Sundin, Doug Gilmour, Jiri Crha, and likely the best goaltender they have had in a very long time, Ed Belfour.

There are teams retiring the numbers of legends that people actually knew about. Among the Leafs retired numbers is Ace Bailey, who was almost killed on the ice, and the NHL held an all-star game to raise funds to benefit his medical bills – and we’ve suffered through all-star games ever since.  Then there is Bill Barilko, who I know about from a Tragically Hip song, 50 Mission Cap.  There is also the number up in the rafters which my middle child pointed at during a Toronto Rock Lacrosse game and said; “Dad, that’s my favourite former Leaf.” After going through pretty much the entire list, he blurted out, “it’s Tim Horton… I love his coffee.”  So I had to explain the who Tim Horton’s situation to him (Leaf, traded, Buffalo, Coffee Shop, Died, Wife sold the 2 shops for like $36,000)…

But this current crop of Leafs is the absolute best I have ever seen. They are very talented, and very skilled and very young, and even though the Marleau contract is not paying dividends, having his leadership is hopefully helpful. If it is not, they can always ship him to Robidas Island where Jeoffrey Lupel lives.

But when I look at this team I cannot help but see the elephant in the room that people are not talking about. The elephant is what caused the Leafs season to turn from being one of the best to being eliminated in game 7, yet again at the hands of the Boston Bruins.

Willie Nylander.

He held out much like his old man did when he played in the NHL, and he was rewarded by the Leafs rookie GM Kyle Dubas for doing so.

The day they brought Willy back was the day the team was destined for failure.

Need proof?

I have some.

The team was 20-8 with out Willy (.714 win percentage), and they ended 46-28 which means with Willy (I am a superstar so pay me like a superstar), they were 26-20 (.565 winning percentage).

Willie Nylander scored 7 goals and 20 assists for his $12,000,000 salary this year.  12-million. The percentage of points per dollars is so small, I’m not even going to put it here… It’s embarrassing.   The player who was filling his role at a $832,000 salary was Kaspari Kapanen and he managed a mere 20 goals, and 22 assists for 44 points. It’s fair to say that if Nylander had stayed home, Kapanen would have had upwards of 60 points and he wouldn’t demand $12,000,000 in salary.

For all of the players who say its a business, there are some players on the team who really love to play the game and seeing Nylander take care of himself and not help the team, it had to have a negative impact on the team morale.

Watching Nylander on the ice and you could see clearly that he was disinterested, disengaged and not giving it his all. Could it be from missing training camp and getting up to the same pace as the rest of the players? I don’t buy that. If he’s a true superstar, then he should have had no issues getting back into the swing of things within a few games. Instead, he had brain cramps on the ice, didn’t hustle where they needed him to, and scored a couple of garbage goals – either empty nets, or when the score didn’t matter.

And how did the “superstar” do in the playoffs? 1 goal, 2 assists (all points were even strength) and a whopping 14 shots on goal. WOW.

I think the fact that the team performed as they did, Matthews, Marner, Kadri (when he was suspended), Marleau, and to a much lesser extent Tavares, Brown, Hyman and Kapanen, the Leafs didn’t play like a team. It’s Nylander that I blame for that.

The Buds would be best to move off from Willie in the off-season. Unfortunately, before his selfishness and lack of interest in playing like a $12,000,000 player I felt they could have gotten a really good player in exchange, however, now that his true self has shown through, I don’t feel the team can get back anything of value if they can trade that salary at all.

I think the Nylander money can be used to keep Gardiner, and the team will be better without him.

Thanks Willy! Enjoy counting your money.