Posted in Canada, Community, disaster, family, Life, news, Parenting, Toronto

I am sick!


I am sick.

I just heard about the horrific events that occurred in New Zealand, and it makes me so incredibly sad.

I heard an interview this morning with a gentleman who went to pray at a mosque in downtown Toronto and what he said sums it up.

I’m paraphrasing here, but he essentially said that it could be a mosque, church, synagogue, or any other place of worship, but the fact that a “human” would take weapons and video the absolute massacre of defenseless people praying is not only racism, but it’s also murder, and it’s a clear sign of mental illness.

He’s 100% right.

It has happened in churches.

It has happened in synagogues and temples as recently as a couple of months ago.

It has happened in mosques.

 

It has to stop.  NOW.

 

I think the solution is obvious.  People who talk about, praise, and promote violence towards others as a result of their ethnicity or religion should be forced to undergo mental health testing.

While we’re on this topic, I think the same stands for people who willingly enter into gangs for the purpose of theft, violence, and criminal activity.  It has been widely communicated that people who intentionally set out on a life of crime cannot be thinking clearly, it is possible that there is a mental health issue there, and it should be looked it.

But going back to this horrific event, it’s time for the people of the world to finally unite and get rid of this hatred – all hatred – based on religion and ethnicity.

There are a lot of families like you and I whose lives changed forever today, and I guarantee you that they will not stop going to pray, and they will not stop being proud of who they are, and they will not stop contributing to their community and the economy of their country.  What they will do, however, is find ways to eradicate hatred and violence and if we unite to help, we can put a stop to this forever.

That’s not going to bring the families back, but hopefully it will shed some light on the evil intentions of all people who want to do harm to others.

My sincerest condolences go out to the families of those impacted by this tragedy and by all such senseless acts of terror.

 

Posted in Community, family, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Happy International Woman’s Day


Happy International Woman’s Day to all the woman in the entire world, with special thoughts directed at my incredible wife and daughter, and to my mother, sister, mother-in-law and grandmother.

It turns out that in Canada, the theme this year is #InnovateForChange!, and that we, as Canadians are celebrating women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and that makes 2019 the year of my wife!  A Chemical Engineer by education, and a life-long science teacher and early innovator in everything technology, she is teaching high-school math this year and she has been talking STEM back when I thought she was talking about trees.

What is IWD?

Each year, March 8 is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women and renew our efforts in achieving gender equality – in Canada and around the world.

The beginnings of International Women’s Day (IWD) trace back to the early twentieth century, emerging from the activities of labour movements in North America and Europe and reflecting a growing movement for women to participate equally in society.

The first International Women’s Day was observed on March 19, 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. That day, more than one million women and men showed their support by participating in public events. In the years that followed, other countries began to observe and celebrate this day.

The United Nations recognized 1975 as International Women’s Year and began celebrating IWD on March 8, later adopting a resolution designating March 8 as International Women’s Day.

Today, International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world – in many countries, it is a national holiday. It has grown to become a global day of recognition of women’s achievements and a call to action to support women’s rights and advance gender equality.

Globally

International Women’s Day 2019 campaign theme: #BalanceforBetter

The future is exciting. Let’s build a gender-balanced world.

Everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere.

From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence.

Balance drives a better working world. Let’s all help create a #BalanceforBetter.

Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage.

Let’s celebrate IWD in 2019 and get us to a point where we don’t need to set aside a day to respect women… That should be done everyday!

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, events, family, hockey, Life, Parenting, school, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Laine + FortNite = Fewer Goals + Late For Work


For those of you familiar with Patrik Laine, the NHL superstar in the making who is playing with the Winnipeg Jets, you will know that his bread-and-butter goal-scoring has gone someone AWOL this season.

The forward who was chosen second overall in the 2016 NHL entry draft behind the Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews, has seen his production drop from 44 goals last season to just 29, so far, this season which is still fantastic, but for a player of his skills, there was expectations that he was going to score close to 60-goals this season.

His play has looked somewhat uninspired, and his plus/minus has taken a beating this season on a very, very good, Jets team.

Through Laine’s struggles media reports circle back to comments he made about FortNite, the uber-popular video game, which the Vancouver Canucks has tried to ban in order to prevent their players from playing too much and not being prepared for games.

Maybe Laine is not playing well because he’s playing too much FortNite…

Or maybe not.

The purpose of bring up the addictive nature of this game is to loop in a personal story about being late for work.

Earlier in the school year, and on more than one occasion, I had sent of my wife and 2/3rds of our children to school, and was going to drop the 3rd one off on my way to office, when suddenly, I noticed that he was no-where to be found.

As the clock continued to click, and time slowly went by, it became quite obvious that he was going to be late for school, I was going to be late for work, and the very real possibility that he was not feeling well started to creep into my head.

After spending a few minutes yelling instructions throughout the house – “I’m leaving!”, “If you want a lift to school, you had better get to the front door right away!” and “Hurry up, you’re going to be late”, I decided the better parenting technique would be to see if he’s really okay (at least that is what I imagined my wife asking me as I relayed this story to her).

I walked upstairs to his bedroom, and it was empty.

Maybe he left on his own, took transit to school, and I’ve been standing in the front hall yelling to myself…

So I called his name, and received a muffled, downtrodden response, “I’m in the bathroom… I don’t feel well.”

Ugh.  Poor thing.

So I started to notify my clients, my network and my wife that this was the case and that I would contact his school to let them know he was sick.

Every couple of minutes I would check on his, asking him through the door how he was doing, if he needed to stay home, and what hurt.

It was his tummy.

He would not need to stay home.

He just needed a few more minutes…

I gave him 20-minutes, and kept checking on him to see if there was anything that I could do to help him feel better.

He re-assured me that he was good to go, and just needed a few more minutes.

Then I heard it…

The noise.

It made me stop in my tracks…

I might even have stopped breathing for a few seconds…

He said; “YES!  Victory Royale!  Okay, Dad… Let’s go to school.”

He was playing FortNite.

Locked in the bathroom.

Feigning illness, making himself late for school, me late for work, and for what?  A Victory Royale?!?

I shook my head, told him he can’t do this, and restricted his morning access to video games (it’s never been an issue before) and on the ride to school I got to hear the details of his win.

Then I started thinking about Laine… the Vancouver Canucks, other parents, that I need to change the password on my iPad, and that someday this FortNite craze will be over.  All the kids will suffer withdrawal symptoms and then life will go back to normal.

That was the expectation until I was informed today by my son that “Apex Legends” already has 50-million players, or about 1/4 of the number of players that FortNite has, but Apex has only been out for one month…

Oh my.

So much for this being the exception and not the norm…

 

 

This is a NJN Blog Post (No Judgement Necessary)

Posted in Canada, Coffee, Community, Daddy, family, Food, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Why Do “We” Do This As Parents?


Why, as parents, do we do everything in our power to;

  1. Keep our kids quit in restaurants, by teaching them how to behave in public, yet when they’re in a McDonalds, we allow them to sit on their own, run around the place, scream, sing and be really, really disruptive to everyone around them.  They are especially annoying to the, ahem, father who is trying to write blog posts with his headphones on, but cannot put 2 thoughts together because of the chaos.
  2. Teach children that our word is our word and that they should listen to us, but then after telling them over and over again, for example, that they cannot have dessert until they eat their McNuggets, and then when they don’t eat their McNuggets, buy them dessert anyways?
  3. Keep the kids quiet – and by quiet, I mean asking them to take the cups off their mouths and stop singing at the top of their lungs – but when they refuse to listen, “distracting” them by buying them dessert…

Who parents like this?

When I asked why do “we”, I really meant who do “they”.  I certainly do not parent like that!

Yet there are a whole bunch of parents in here who do!

 

Update:

The loud people left, finally, but not before the kids bolted and hid under tables (even tables where people were eating), and as the final piece of class, the father yelled “John! I’ll see you in the car” and with that he headed to the door, leaving a 3-year-old, wailing in the middle of the restaurant.  Thankfully the kids 5yo sister came to get him.

Then, just as the ringing in my ears subsided, 2 mothers and 2 girls came in, and the mothers have allowed the kids to absolutely run wild in here… (see, not just the dads).

The kids have been running around barefoot (ugh), and in their socks (ugh), and screaming, spiting, sitting on tables and walking across the chairs.  After a few dirty glares, the parents shh’d the kids, but then the parents went back to talking and the kids took of their shoes and are back to yelling, and picking up stuff from the floor…

Again I ask… Why do parents think it’s okay to let their kids run amok in some restaurants, but not others?!?

Posted in Canada, Daddy, disaster, family, Life, Parenting, sleep, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Ever Wondered How Fast You Can Get Out Of Bed In the Middle Of the Night When Your House Alarm Goes Off?


In case you have ever wondered just how fast you can get out of bed in the middle of the night when you home alarm system starts wailing, I can tell you this… Seconds!

Last night, at about 1:50am, while Toronto was in the midst of a very windy weather “situation”, the home alarm that we have on to, you know, keep us safe, started to wail.

As I shot out of bed, I was met in the hallway by 2 of my 3 children, ready to defend our house from intruders.

The teenager… slept.

I slapped on the lights, ran to the front door… closed.  Surveyed the windows… Intact.  Raced to the back door… WIDE OPEN!

“Intruder alert!” I screamed.  Gather your weapons!

Then the phone rang… alarm company.  Wanted to know what’s up.

As my wife spoke to them, I walked to back door to see that there were no footprints in the snow, and no possible way that anyone could enter the house that way.

Did I mention it was REALLY windy?!?

I looked at the door, it was still locked.  The force from the wind pushed on the door so much that the bolt slide over allowing the door to fly open.

So we told that to the alarm company, bolted the door back in place and then secured the door was the top and bottom with the extra latches – likely meant for really windy days like last night.

The kids, clearly traumatized, could not go back to sleep.  In fact, they “had” to sleep with mummy…

I took them into their rooms while I grabbed a hockey stick and checked the rest of the house, just to be safe.

I came back to sleeping children except of the one child who may or may not get anxious every now and then, and I sat with him explaining what the sound was, why it occurred, showed him that I barricaded the back door so that we could go back to sleep and then sat with him while he quickly, but restlessly dozed off.

As I lay there, wide awake at 2:30am, I thought back to when we first moved into the house and started putting the alarm on at night… One morning I forgot to turn it off, and opened the door and the alarm screeched away.  This child must have been… 3 or 4-years-old, and from that day onward for a good year or 2, he would get up, race into our bedroom, see if the alarm was still red (armed) and he would point at it and yell, “red light, red light”, so that we would turn off the alarm in his presence.

He wanted to make sure that never happened again.

It was quite the responsibility for a little child to take on, but that was his thing.

Then again, this was the same child who – after a couple of days of very heavy rain – asked us if he should build an ark so that we could all escape safely…

So the answer to the above question is seconds, and the answer to the question: How fast can you get back to sleep.. That answer is not as quickly as I got out of bed and downstairs… Not even close.