Posted in Being Jewish in Toronto, family

What a weekend: Karate, BBQ, UJA Walk for Israel and a picture.

Yes, I know it’s almost 1am and I should go to sleep, but I wanted to make sure much of the house was ready for the week ahead and that I would be ready for another productive week at the office.

Really, however, I should have gone to bed at 10am when my wife did because this was one action-packed weekend and like my family, I’m tired!

So where to begin?

Saturday!  Karate.  Both boys did quite well.  Linus was a little goofy at the beginning of his class and I noticed that he cannot bring his knees right up to his chest when he jumps, so I’m going to have to work with him, but every other stretch, or exercise, he was right in there with the bigger kids.  I’m proud of his development.

Stewie on the other hand really looks like he’s the odd-boy out in his group.  He’s the biggest kid in his level and honestly, he’s the most technically sound, which is why they are trying to move him up to his yellow belt, quickly before he gets bored.  He received another stripe in that class.  That puts him one red stripe and some grading away from yellow.  Yay.

It was also this day when I realized my kids refer to “Tim Horton’s” and “Tim-Portance”…

So we came home, cleaned up and had some new friends over for a BBQ.  YUM.  There is nothing like BBQ’d burgers, dogs and corn.  While the food was on the grill it gave me a chance to plant some veggies I bought – okra, beans, tomatoes, beets, and very soon blueberries to got with the raspberries and strawberries. 

It’s kind of funny that we spent all this money on nice patio furniture for our extended deck and we’ve only been able to use it once, with all the rain we’ve been having.   I found the solution to all the rain, I’m going to buy rain boots for my wife  whose birthday is in a couple of days.  Once she gets those the rain will certainly stop.

Sunday was the UJA Walk for Israel in the streets of downtown Toronto.  Last year it was roasting hot and we took to the streets with a then 6 months old baby in the stroller and 5 and 3 year old boys eager to walk check-point to check-point picking up treats and getting their passports stamped.  About 5km into the 7km route, Stewie melted down and we tossed him in the stroller, my wife strapped the baby to her back and with a blister on her foot, we walked the entire route.

This year, we figured with the boys one year older that we could make it through the route if we cut out a couple checkpoints and made sure the they had lots of treats.  Last year there were yogurt drinks, chips, licorice, and other such junk, popsicle, that kept the boy moving but this year checkpoint 1 had gum and water.  My kids don’t eat gum and we had plenty of water.  So this started the “I want a treat” whine from Stewie and he kept this up the entire day.  It even got to the point that he rejected chips and french fries because he wanted chocolate, so my wife threw him in the stroller – figuring he’d appreciate the rest and might even sleep,but he originally wanted no part of that, so what she saw was this;

Stewie, Urban Daddy, Berry and Linus walking
The 4 of us walked for a little bit until Stewie went back for the stroller and I scooped up Berry so we could head towards the finish. 
It was a good walk.  I put on 24,528 steps today for my Global Corporate Challenge.
I also realized I am officially bald.  I burned the top of my head.
Right before the end of the walk, there were these crazy orthodox men protesting the existence of Israel.  I thought that was really weird, as did Linus, until my wife pointed out that I had the same reaction last year.  These guys don’t speak Hebrew, they speak Yiddish, and they want to be free to pray where ever they want or something like that.
This upset Linus – who goes to a Jewish day school – because they fill their heads with pro-Israel news and information how could the kids not bond with the country.  Personally, I’ve never been there and my family comes more from Russia and Poland, so I don’t feel the tie to Israel, nor do I understand why peace cannot be ironed out, but hopefully we’ll get there in the next couple years.
One funny point today occurred when we cut through the Rogers Centre to get to a different check-point (I was holding a pizza and we wanted to eat it, then catch up…  Well we took the skywalk back to Union station but along the way my wife took the elevator to the ground floor, while the boys and I took it down only once floor so we were separated.  I called her and we agreed to meet at the next checkpoint, problems is, she had the map. 
So the boys and I walked on to Front street, found a gaggle of walkers, and joined their walk on King street when I noticed that we had butted out way into the Aja Khan walk and we going g-d knows where with g-d knows who.  With that, we quietly left that walk and headed back to Front street where we could my wife and daughter.
So all in all a great day!  Kids are clean and out cold, and my wife has not stirred since her head hit the pillow.  The kitchen is clean, I cma clean and it’s time for beg 
Posted in Thursday Thirteen

Thursday Thirteen

This week’s Thursday Thirteen was actually last week’s Thursday Thirteen and probably should have been for the week before, however it required some assistance from my son Linus, and some effort from me to write up the post.

I have procrastinated no longer.

So without further adieu, I present this week’s Thursday Thirteen

The thought behind this Thursday Thirteen came while I was sitting in traffic on one of my many long journeys’ home, during summer construction chaos. On my XM radio, for some strange / stupid reason, it does not display the whole song title or the whole name of the band. So when I see a song or a song title that is too long, I get most of the information then it just cuts off leaving me to guess the rest. So what I did was to have one of my carpool mate Abutot write down the name and title with a blank where it cuts off and then I took that information to my 6-year-old son, Linus and asked him to fill in the blanks.

Here is that list;

13. Kesha – Your Love is My_______ (Linus said, “heart”)
12. Adele – Rolling in the _______ (Linus said “Diary”)
11. Steve Vai – I Would Like To _________ (Linus said “foo foo dust you”)
10. Danger Mouse and ________ (Linus said “Duck”. Abutot said “Dumburger”) – Two Against One
9. Red Hot Chili ______ (Linus said “Pretzels” ) – Aeroplane.
8. Boston – More than a ________ (Linus said “Feeling”) Not bad, eh?
7. Lucky Diaz and ______ (Linus said “Touch”) – ABC is the Right ______ (Linus said ”Song for Babies”)
6. Olivia Newton-John – I Honestly Love _______ (Linus first said “You”, then he giggled and changed that to “Swings, Slides and Trampolines”)
5. Heavy D & the ____ (Linus said “Box”) – Now that we _____ (Linus said “Fart”)
4. Smiths – The Boy with the ______ (Linus said “Fart” but I told him not to repeat – or they’d all be fart – so he chose “Alien”).
3. Celine Dion & _____ (Linus said “Penis”) – Beauty and the _____ (Linus said “Bum Bum”)
2. Accept – Princess of the _______ (Linus said “Castle”)
1. Queen of the ______ (Linus said “Streets”) – No One Knows (even though there is no more to this song, Linus said “Anything” fits nicely.)

Posted in family, Linus

What the Fup??? A 6-year-old boy just taught my 6-year-old boy a swear word. WTF?!?

You know…

I always thought the kids would be older when it came time to explain the birds and the bees, and whwn I would need to educate them on which words are the good words and which words are bad words.

I always imagined this conversation would occur when the kids were around 8 or 9 years old.

But 6-years-old???

No way.  This never even crossed my mind that at this age, we would have had the conversation that we did.

So here is the official transcript of the conversation at dinner last week between myself, Linus and my wife / his mother.

As an aside, this came out of nowhere…

Linus: “I almost got in trouble today”.
Me: “Oh, why?”
Him: “Because I said “Fup” and my teacher thought I said a bad word.”
Me: “Fup???”
Looking at my wife in alarm. I said.
Me: “What??? Fup???”
Him: “Yes, Fup.  Fup is not a bad word.  It is Puff backwards.”
Us: “Whew.”

It’s over, right?

Hell, no.

Him: “But you know what is a bad word??? I’ll whisper it to you”.  Then he leans toward my wife and whispers in her ear.  She throws me a look and suggests he tell Daddy too, so he leans over to me and whispers this in my ear; “Cuff backwards is a bad word.”

My wife and I exchange glances of awkwardness.

“Err, yes it is”, I said.  “Who told you that?”

“Einstein did”, he said.

Einstein happens to be the smartest kid in grade one.  Last year he was the smartest kid in senior kindergarden.  Einstein is perfect.  He reads at a grade 6 level, gets extra words for spelling and all the teachers love him.  The kids, on the other hand, are suffering from an inferiority complex because instead of teaching to the masses last year, the teachers instead praised Einstein and compared all the kids to him. 

It was a tough year for a lot of kids.  Lofty, unreasonable expectations lead to disappointments and those can crush kids at that age. 

So anyways, Einstein taught his class this word.  Wonder if he learned it reading a University textbook before bed.  Then again, he was also the kid who told his entire class that Santa Claus was born in Asia…

So now my kid knows that “Fuc(k)” is a bad word.

Great.  We handled it by telling him it was a bad word and could get him tossed out of school, and then we droipped it.  He mentioned it the next day, but never again since.  That is the key to moving past these kinds of obstacles.

Looking forward to Einstein teaching his class about making babies.

Sit tight!

Posted in Life, news

The end of the world really is coming… Here are the signs according to this urban daddy

In Italy, I believe, the citizens there were convinced there was a massive earthquake coming on May 11th, 2011 which was going to swallow them all up and that would be it for them.

That didn’t happen.

Now I hear there is a group of people predicting that May 21st, 2011 is really the last day on earth. Something is going to happen which will wipe of civilization as we know it.

Well, if that is the case, I guess I don’t need to complete that report I am working on for the office which is due on June 1st, do I? No one will be around to care. LOL

I don’t mean to poke fun at crazy people – wait, yes I do – but all this nonsense about predicting an exact date the world is going to end is all crap, IMHO. Instead all you need to do is look at the signs… Real signs… Like these ones listed below.

Here are some signs;

Arnold Schwarzenegger admits to wife Maria Schriver he has a “secret” 13 year old boy with their housekepper and she leaves him. Not surprising considering Arnie’s past track record of “groping” woman. This kid was actually born 5 days after Arnie and MAria’s child… WOW. And what tops this story off, is that someone decided to ask KISS frontman Gene Simmons for his opinion and good ‘ol Gene said it wasn’t Arnie’s fault. He just produces too much sperm in a day and cannot “take Thursday’s off”.

America’s Most Wanted has been cancelled after 23 years on the air

A rapper named M-Bone was killed in a drive-by shooting in LA. Drive-by’s??? We’re still doing those? I thought years ago it was cool, then we all realized it was cowardly. The shooters should be ashamed of themselves for taking this route…


… has anyone heard his music? M-Bone, T-Bone, Bone-in, Bone-out… Now he’ll sell more records. Here comes the stories of what a good guy he was. Caring about the community, blah, blah, blah.

Stephen Hawking said there is no afterlife… Damn! So much for finding Hitler and kicking his dead ass.

Donald Trump doesn’t want to be President of the US. Essentially he fired himself. 🙂

Fields of watermelons are exploding, like land-mines, in China after farmers added a growth accelerator to young watermelons (with a thinner rind). It rain a lot, and now the melons are exploding… Oh yes.

Here’s to hoping that the chemicals put in these melons are safe to consume by humans.

Too bad the US got to Bin Laden before the Chinese developed these exploding melons. They could have placed these melons all over Afghanistan and they could have started exploding and destroyed all the caves… Oh, wait… He wasn’t hiding in the caves. How primative. He was in an estate in Pakistan.

Whe knew!?!

Jedi vs Sith has gone offline, on Facebook, preventing me from reaching my goal of being in the top 50 in the world. I have officially retired from the game at 57th in the world. On the bright side, I now have an extra hour a day to play Cityville that my wife hooked me on. #$%^&#%$^%*&^$^#&.

The end of the world must be near as reports come out that Pearl Jam is going on tour to celebrate their 20th anniversary… Of what? Of being together or of the last song they released. Really? Who is going to go see this band? They are so… 1990.

So if these are not clear signs of the end of the world as we know it, then tell me, what is?

Posted in news, politics

Is this the way the new Federal parliament is going to operate with Jack Layton on the scene?

I saw am article the other day that I was drawn by it’s headline, which read something like this, “Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement to ask Gas and Oil Industry to Explain Prices”.

It’s about time, I thought.  Gas prices had gone up overnight over $0.06 cents to over $1.40 a litre.  It was the highest I could recall, and it made me happy that we spent the extra dollars last year and bought a hybrid vehicle – the Toyota Highlander.  Having that hybrid means instead of filling up every week, I fill up every second week. 

I was glad to see that finally someone in the government – in any level of government, was finally going to question these massive oil and gas companies and get answers as to why, when the price of a barrell of oil goes up, the next day the price of gas goes up, but when the price of a barrell of oil goes down… you get a response like this one; “Any lasting relief from wild price swings could take months to trickle down to the pump.”

So I read the article, and found it to be pretty straightforward.  Then I saw that a NDP MP – who I presume must be the Industry critic, had something to say.  His name is Jack Harris. He said the NDP are not satisfied… With what, I thought?!?

Harris had decided to hold  a news conference in Ottawa and was critical of Clement’s actions by stating that, “Canadians deserve a better explanation… Canadians want to know if there’s evidence of collusion among oil companies, or price gouging by the industry.”

With that comment, former Liberal MP and gas price “watcher” Dan McTeague said he’s worried the parliamentary committee appearance will be a waste of time.  Ah, the Price Watcher.  McTeague watched when prices were going up and down and he reported it… He didn’t press oil and gas, but he reported increases and decreases – that kind of service to the public resulted in his ousting this past election.

But I really find this odd, don’t you?

If the NDP MP had such a strong opinion about gas prices and was SO concerned about collusion, why didn’t MP Harris hold his press conference first!  Why didn’t he ask these questions of oil and gas himself, why did he wait for the Conservatives to take action be

I’ll tell you why…

It’s easier to criticize an action taken by someone else than it is to actually take the action yourself. I mean, geez, anyone can complain that a government took too long, or are not asking the right questions because it turns all the attention to you for pressing on that issue, when in actual fact, the spot light should be on the person asking the questions. If MP Harris was prepared and wanted to prove that the NDP Are going to be a force to be reckoned with, he would have jumped all over this and called for a meeting, or asked the questions ahead of time and not waited for the Conservatives to asks the questions before complaining about the type of questions being asked.

I think we can look forward to 4 years of this behaviour, then never again.