Posted in Daddy, disaster, family, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, travel

Trying to Save my Plant!


I’m trying to save my plant that was given to me when my father passed away in 2002. I left it in “good hands” with my sister, while our family travelled in Asia this past summer (Vietnam, Cambodia and Taiwan).

I even gave her a tip as to how to take care of this plant – nothing can really kill it – and to watch when the leaves droop, then water it…

She didn’t.

I think for the month we were away, she “missed” it when watering plants. Needless to say it was in really bad shape when we returned.

Now, its a shell of it’s former self. I’ve been taking the pieces out of it and re-planting it trying to keep it alive.

I realized today what she must have been thinking… Like her favourite politician Justin Trudeau who once coined the phrase, “The budget will balance itself”, she clearly felt that, “The plant will water itself.”

In actual fact, sis, and JT, neither of those were going to happen…

Fact.

Posted in Canada, disaster, family, health, Parenting, Recommends, school, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

March Break / COVID-19 / CoronaVirus Self-Isolation To Do List


March Break plans ruined? Travel plans cancelled? Activities for the kids also cancelled? COVID-19 has you in self-isolation? Keeping your “Social Distance”? Tired of hearing the “Corona-Time” song from Tik Tok?

If you, like everyone else, are running out of ideas for things to be because everything is closed until mid-April… What could you possibly do with the kids during an extended March Break?

Here at The Urban Daddy, we have some practical suggestions to not only keep your kids entertained, but keep you engaged, while allowing the kids to get a jump on their return to school without them knowing.

Here are our suggestions:

Reconnect with the great outdoors!

Walks, bike-riding, practicing sports, and helping around the house, digging the garden, planting flowers and raking the lawn. Get to know (Reconnect with) your neighbours. Have BBQ’s, do yoga, pick up some garbage in the community… All with lots of soap, hand sanitizer and without electronics.

Electronics – More than just for games!

While I feel that my kids are already in quarantine – they come home from school, head up to their rooms, hit the electronics and show up only for dinner. While Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Tik Tok, YouTube and Snapchat are fun, there is only such much you can do in a day, week, month, so let’s expand the use of computers beyond entertainment, and use it for educational purposes too. Have your kids learn about SEO, how to make websites, teach them to code, while you learn to code too.

The possibilities are endless.

Computers for Education

While the teacher unions here in Ontario might think that online classes are a REALLY bad idea, thankfully they’re not teaching our children, because with schools closing for anywhere from 3-5 weeks, or for the rest of the school year, we are suddenly seeing school boards heading to online classes to salvage the rest of the school year.

It only makes sense, and from what I’ve seen, some schools just needed a couple of days to move to online classes, while other schools were already ramping up.

I’m a huge fan of online classes and courses – I did my MBA online, and in this day and age, all kids should be familiar with online classes and courses not only in case of a global pandemic, but also in case they wanted to advance themselves and take extra or additional courses.

Get a jump on the eLearning train and sign yourself and your kids up for courses. My 13-year-old is currently in grade 8, but is working on his grade 9 math credit at the same time.

I’m working on some courses towards my Google certification and my Quickbooks certification.

Catch up on Family Time – Movies & Board Games

I strongly recommend family movies – stay away from movies called Outbreak, or that deal with the end of the world. Common Sense Media, is a website that rates most TV shows, movies and video games according to age appropriateness to help parents figure out what their kids should be watching.

Some of the games that we’ve played include; Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Monopoly, Cards Against Humanity (not with the kids!!), Rummicube, Exploding Kittens, Risk, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Carcassonne, Sushi Go, Chess, Boggle, Yatzee, just to name some more recently played.

Read Books

Nothing says getting a start on learning like developing a love of reading. Reading uses our imagination, helps us to learn new words, see proper punctuation, and spend hours doing something alone.

More importantly, in the event public libraries get shut down, there are plenty of resources available in digital format too.  eBooks, eAudioBooks, Movies, Comics, Music, Magazines and Videos. All you need is a library card!

A few years ago I introduced my eldest to the series of Dan Brown books – The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, Origin, The Lost Symbol, Inferno, Digital Fortress (This one you can skip, Sorry Dan), and Deception Point. I read through those books in records time and so has he. We’re looking forward to reading the newest Dan Brown book Wild Symphony.

In addition to those books, any Star Wars book has also been a wildly popular with my readers – not just the books that the movies are based off of, but all the little series and sub-series.

Spring Cleaning

Nothing says time to re-do the bedroom – change over winter clothes to spring clothes, check sizing, and re-do parts of the house than having the time to do so. If there is a pantry that you wanted to tear apart and re-organize alphabetically, this is your chance! How about cleaning up the kids playroom and donating toys they don’t use anymore? Again, now is the time.

We’re in this for the long haul, folks, so make sure you wash your hands often, keep your hands off of your face and stay away from people if you’re under the weather. Protect yourself and that will protect others.

Posted in Community, events, Sports, The Urban Daddy

March 16th, 2020 is Austin 3:16 Day! (Cause Stone Cold said so!)


Sandwiched between Pi Day (March 14th), and St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th) is Stone Cold Steve Austin Day (March 16th).

What the hell is Stone Cold Steve Austin Day, you ask?

Let me educate you!

As a life long wrestling fan, there have been many memorable events and occurrences which shape the wrestling landscape. In the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) sphere, there was an event in 1996 called the King of the Ring – a tournament of which the winner was declared to be the “King of the Ring”.

After defeating Jake “The Snake” Roberts to be crowned the 1996 King of the Ring, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, in his post-event interview, berated his vanquished opponent and exclaimed, “Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass!”

Why did that reference matter? Well, Jake “the Snake” Roberts, at the time, had been portraying a former alcoholic man who was able to defeat alcoholism with his faith, which made the mocking even that much more direct and to the point.

That moment changed the face of the WWE and marked the beginning of the WWE’s extremely popular “Attitude Era”, and launched the career of Stone Cold aka the Texas Rattlesnake to epic proportions.

In the years that followed, Austin – famously adorned with a black T-shirt with simple, large, white lettering that read “Austin 3:16” –  became one of the most popular wrestlers of all time.

Austin became known for doing what he wanted, when he wanted, and that included flipping the bird to anyone and everyone and doing whatever it took to get the job done and score the win.

So on this 16th of March, grab a Steveweiser (beer), ready your two-finger salute, watch some clips on YouTube or the WWE Network, and take no prisoners because that’s the bottom line, ‘cause “Stone Cold” said so!

Posted in Community, Daddy, events, family, Life, news, The Urban Daddy

Happy Pi Day! (March 14th, 2020)


Today, March 14th, 2020 is Pi Day. It is a day to celebrate the mathematical constant pi (π). Some people feel today is the day to also eat lots of pie, however, I think in light of the recent school closures due to COVID-19, today should celebrate Pi and washing our hands while keeping a social distance from everyone.

Pi day is my second favourite day of the year after May 4th, (Star Wars day – May the Force Be With You). Living with teenagers also means they include April 20th as a day of mention and thankfully there is no 69th day of any month (although the 69th day is this year would have been March the 9th, 2020.

Anyways…

National Pi Day not only commemorates a very special number, but also celebrates the birthday of the great scientist and mathematician Albert Einstein. 

Pi Facts

Pi was first calculated by Archimedes of Syracuse (287–212 BC), one of the greatest mathematicians of the ancient world.

The National Pi Day Animal? The Pi-Thon

Can you recite pi? Some say, 3.1415… I say, apple, blueberry, boston creme, cherry…

What percentage of sailors are pi-rates? 3.14%

The math teacher announced that “Pi r squared”, and baker replies, “No, pies are round. Cakes are square.”

What do you get when you take the sun and divide its circumference by its diameter? You get Pi in the sky, of course.

Mama said never talk to strangers. Mummy said never talk to pi. He’ll go on forever.

What do teachers from Georgia like to eat for dessert? Peach pi.

Finally, if you ask a scientist what pi is, they will tell you it equals 3.14159.

If you ask a mathematician, they will tell you that pi equals the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter. 

If you ask an engineer, they will say “Pi? Well, it’s just barely over 3, but we’ll call it 4 just to be safe.”

If you ask a very young child, they will ask if they can have ice cream with it.

If you ask my children, they will tell you that Pi can be calculated to 31.4 trillion digits as of 2019. They will then see which one can recite the most digits.

Posted in Canada, Community, events, health, news, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

2020 Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival Cancelled


Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), in partnership with Credit
Valley Conservation (CVC), regrettably announce the cancellation of its upcoming 2020 Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival and TRCA March Break activities at Black Creek Pioneer Village to proactively protect its staff, visitors, and all who would be in attendance, from the potential risk of contracting COVID-19.

The cancellation is in line with the recent announcement from Ontario’s chief medical officer of health recommending the immediate suspension of all large events and public gatherings of more than 250 people, and the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic, as well as recommendations by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

TRCA and CVC conducted a risk assessment and decided to cancel its upcoming 2020 Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival and TRCA March Break activities at Black Creek Pioneer Village to ensure the public safety of all involved.

The 2020 Sugarbush Maple Syrup Festival and TRCA Black Creek Pioneer Village March Break activities cancellation effects the following locations and dates:
Kortright Centre for Conservation – from March 14 – April 12
Bruce’s Mill Conservation Area – from March 14 – April 12, including March Break (March 16 – 20) and Good Friday (April 10)
Terra Cotta Conservation Area – weekends (March 14 – April 5) and March Break (March 16 – 20)
Island Lake Conservation Area – March 20, 21 & 28
Black Creek Pioneer Village March Break – March 16 – 22

For further information, please visit maplesyrupfest.com and blackcreek.ca.