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

What’s Better Than Coaching Hockey?


What’s better than coaching hockey?  Coaching AND being the convener!

Oh yes!

I’ve always loved coaching hockey.  I’ve never actually ever played a single game of ice hockey in my life, but I have coached ice hockey before.  This year represents my 7th year coaching hockey.  My previous 6-years were in my early 20’s when my sports rehab coach, Michael Grafstein (he was the BEST!), asked me to open and close the doors in the bench for him as he was the head coach of a team in North Toronto Hockey Association.

He failed to tell me that the games were at 6am.

So I asked a friend of mine to join me, and together we would go out Saturday nights, come home at 3am or 4am, then get up at 5am and head to the rink.  It was way more fun than it seemed.

After doing that for 3-years, my “Uncle” asked me to help coach his oldest son all the way up in Richmond Hill, Ontario, for the Richmond Hill Hockey Association, and again I would drive up there and open and close the doors for that team.  I went on the ice as little as possible, but I was there, and I learned.

I decided I wanted to be a real coach, so I started the process of getting certified by Hockey Canada, and I took courses towards my National Canadian Coaching Certification, but stopped when I had to pick a sport to specialize in.  I didn’t want to specialize in baseball, for example, only to find my future children would never play that sport.

All this time, I was playing and coaching my ball hockey team.  From the age of 19 up to 45-years-old, I played in a the North West Toronto Ball Hockey League and the York Central / North Central Ball Hockey League, until I tore my calf muscle in a game.

I was awarded the Coach / Manager of the year award 6 or 7 times, and we won the championships somewhere around 7-10 times, and it’s funny how many hockey players tried out ball hockey but couldn’t play because there is no coasting in ball hockey like you can do in ice hockey.

With all that being said, when asked if I wanted to coach my 11-year-old son this season in his house league in the Forest Hill Hockey Association, I jumped at the opportunity.  We had moved from that horrible experience last season back to the league where he played his first 2 seasons and in this league, when you make the select team, you have to play house league too.

With coaches in place, the league was then looking for a convener or two to run their division this season and I must not have said no quick enough because that’s now part of my role.  I’m actually really happy about it, and really excited to see how the season is going to play out.  The other convener that I’m working with is absolutely fantastic.  He’s been around the game much longer than I have and his personality and thoughts about how teams should run themselves are a perfect match with mine.

So this season, while my oldest continues to swim competitively, and my youngest dances and trains in synchronized swimming, I get to spend time with my middle son at his select hockey practices, and his house league hockey games, and taking him to basketball games because why play only one or 2 sports when you can play them all and make your parents drive you around every evening and weekend.

I wish I had these opportunities as a kid…

I’m happy to do this for the fitness component, and so that my kids have an opportunity to work in a team, to have responsibilities to their team and their coaches, and because it’s proven that exercise helps kids focus and sleep better.

It’s a win-win-win-win-win… Scenario.

I prefer being called “Coach”.  I’m not sure what people call conveners other than really nasty words.  lol.

Thank goodness I have a brand new Canada Goose jacket to keep me warm!

 

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Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, family, money, Parenting, Recommends, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Essay Writing Contest (Closing October 16th, 2018). Grade 12 Canadian Students – You can win $500-$5,000.


The Urban Daddy is a HUGE fan of teaching Canadians about finances, taxes and debt, and finding solutions to get out of debt and stay out of debt.

I came across an essay writing competition for Grade 12 Students, sponsored by an organization that I have worked with in the past and strongly respect.

Details:

Grade 12 students across Canada are invited to confess their financial misfortune story by submitting an essay to the Credit Education Week 2018 Essay Contest.

Prizes range from $500 to $5000, with over 20 prizes to be won.

Entries must be written in English or French and must not exceed 1000 words.  Essays must be submitted between now and Oct. 9, 2018. EXTENDED: October 16th, 2018.

For full contest rules, see the essay submission page.

Credit-Canada-Essay-Contest-Flyer-V2

Here is a note from a winner last year (name redacted)

“As it has almost been a year since I participated I thought I should give Credit Canada an update. I was able to accept a position at my first choice school in the Law and Society program (minoring in Criminology). I was accepted into a residence community that allows me to participate, volunteer and plan community events to better the quality of life in town. I’ve also been accepted into numerous campus leadership positions. Overall, I’m working hard as a student and as a citizen here in university. Now, this email may seem random but I wanted to sincerely thank everyone involved with Credit Education Week. Though a scholarship in this amount may not seem like a lot of money to a large company, it makes a gigantic difference to students like me. Rather than spending my nights picking up extra shifts at work, I am participating in my school and studying hard with a chance to thrive. I cannot thank you and everyone else who participates in this program enough.”

Credit Canada, the sponsor of this competition, is a non-profit and charitable organization providing free and confidential credit counselling, personal debt consolidation and resolutions, as well as preventative counselling, educational seminars, and tips and tools in the areas of budgeting, money management, and financial goal-setting.

Credit Canada is Canada’s longest-standing credit counselling agency, helping Canadians manage their debt since 1966.

For more information, please visit www.creditcanada.com.

You can also interact with others on Twitter using this hashtag, #CEWC2018

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

Dads / Moms… Is it just me?


This is a question for the Dads and Moms out there in cyberspace.  Is it just me, or is it necessary to identify yourself as a parent when you approach another father / mother with small kids and offer assistance?

This morning, for example, I’m waiting for a client in my local Starbucks and it’s fairly busy in the store when in walks a mother carrying a baby in the bucket car seat in one hand and holding hands with a toddler in the other hand.

She orders her coffee, buys her daughter a treat and then finds the only open table which has one chair placed beneath it.  She places the bucket on the table, and sits her daughter in the chair.

Seeing this, I know that there is a bit of space at the large rectangle table in the back and I could totally go there to work, so I get up, and offer her my chair.

She politely denies.

Then I start thinking… I’m in my 40’s, and what’s left of my hair is pretty grey, I’m in a grey suit, and I don’t wear my wedding band because it doesn’t fit my finger (hello 1st child 25lb weight gain – 13 years ago) so maybe she politely declines because I’m a creepy guy offering her a seat.

Then I remember that creeps don’t wear suits.

Work with me here…

So I tell her it’s okay, she can have the seat because I’m going to sit in the back.

Then the panic in her eyes leaves, and she says that she appreciates the offer but she’s waiting for her coffee then she’s jetting out of here to a play date.

That told me 2 things;  Firstly, she recognized that I’m a parent too and I totally understand how brave she is with a child in a bucket and a toddler – just leaving the house should be commended.

Secondly, she might not have panicked if I had started with something like this; “Hey, would you like to use my seat? I’ve been there – have 3 of my own – you might be more comfortable, even for a minute, knowing your kids are safe and you can wait comfortably with them.

Or is that worse?

Am I reading too much into this?

Or being approached by a stranger, the default is to reject, not to engage and protect the kiddos.

Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts.

 

Posted in Canada, news, Sports, Toronto

Toronto Raptors Trade DeMar DeRozan to San Antonio Spurs for Kawhi Leonard! WOW.


News just broke that the Toronto Raptors have traded DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 1st round pick (top 20) to the San Antonio Spurs for the Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.

DeRozan is the Raptors’ all-time leader in points score (13,296), games played (675), field goals made (4,716) and attempted (10,532) as well as free throws made (3,359) and attempted (4,277). He ranks 3rd all-time in assists (2,078) and 2nd all-time in steals (655).

Most importantly, DeRozan twice passed on opportunities to be a free agent in order to stay in Toronto, play in Canada, and embrace all that it means to be Canadian.

Leonard, on the other hand, the former 15th overall draft pick, after falling out in San Antonio, throughout the 2017-18 campaign is not happy about being traded to Toronto (Canada).  Leonard has been dealing with a quad injury that kept him from playing in all but nine games, and his unusual recovery time was compounded by his physical separation from the team because he chose to do his rehab in New York instead of in Texas.

DeRozan is upset about this deal, because apparently the team met with him in Las Vegas during summer league and was told he would not be traded.

This morning, DeMar posted this on his Instagram account: “Be told one thing & the outcome another. Ain’t no loyalty in this game. Sell you out for a quick bit of nothing … Soon you’ll understand … Don’t disturb.”

So DeRozan is unhappy.

Leonard is unhappy.

Leonard is also scheduled to enter free agency in 2019 and has no intention to commit to Toronto long-term, in fact, he said he intends on signing with the LA Lakers, which makes this a huge gamble for the Raps GM.  If Leonard re-signs, the Raptors have their 1st top-5 players in the teams history, and if he doesn’t the Raptors will have significant cap space available for a rather significant free agent pool at the end of the season.

Either way, it’s a huge trade for the team.
Posted in Canada, Daddy, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Thursday Thirteen, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

Thursday Thirteen – 13 Things You Should Never do in a Coffee Shop


I spend a lot of time on the road as a result of my business, and that means a lot of time in coffee shops working, drinking coffee and eating coffee shop food.

I’m a huge fan of Starbucks for making the space and WiFi available for entrepreneurs and I find the Second Cup comes in a very close second.

Spending time in these places means that I see a lot of people come, go, and stay at these locations and I know what the 13 things that people do at coffee shops that you should never, ever, do!

Yet, I see these, almost daily.

Here are the 13 Coffee Shop WTF’s

 

  1. Watching videos without ear phones! OMG, people do this all the time!  They watch movies, or stupid YouTube videos and loudly because the coffee shops are loud.  Just last week, I swear, 3 construction workers were watching porn…
  2. Playing games without ear phones – what’s worse than listening to some idiot watching a movie really loudly?  Listening to someone playing a video game loudly.  The shooting, or the music or the pings, and beeps… AArgghh.
  3. Dancing – On more than one occasion, I have seen men, random men, get up and start dancing in the middle of a coffee shop, in the middle of the day, and it’s most often older men, and not young men.  Then, as quickly as they get up, they sit back down and continue with their day.
  4. Singing – Yes, people with headphones on, usually sing along with their music, and knowing that coffee shops are generally loud with music and conversation, its safe to hum along, that is until the music goes quiet, the buzz dies, and their voice rises.  Then they’re entertaining the entire place, or giving us all reason to put in our ear plugs.
  5. Leaving your cup at the table – This is a dick move!  You buy a drink, take up space, then just get up and leave your stuff everywhere.  It’s usually a guy-move, the odd girl does it too.  I honestly feel like getting up, grabbing their stuff, following them, and handing it to them and saying; “Dude!  You mommy isn’t here to pick up after you.  Put your garbage in the garbage, and never do that again!”
  6. Being a dick, then asking for someone to watch your stuff – So what makes someone a dick?  Aside from the items identified above, and the ones below, there are other obvious signs that someone is a dick, such as dragging the chair out, even though it is really loud and distracting, then slamming your stuff on the table, having loud conversations, letting your phone ring without answering it (it can be silenced) or by the way you treat others.  Then after causing destruction, you get up and ask the entire table to watch your stuff so you can use the washroom?  No, so you can go outside, have a smoke, then come in smelling like an ashtray… No less that 4-times and hour…
  7. Not showering / putting on deodorant before sitting all day, in the sun – Then please, come in and sit beside me, so I can’t breathe!  Then take off your shoes… Barf.
  8. Really smelly perfume / body spray / Cologne – Remember those scents which you used to love?  I was always a HUGE fan of Maki.  I’d smell it and then spin to see who was wearing it.  I had a girlfriend when I was younger who wore it which brings back great memories.  In the present, however… People are sensitive to scents, so coming in to public place smelling like you have drunken half a bottle of perfume / cologne, and it’s oozing out of your pores, is cruel.  Especially those scents your grandmother used to wear 40-years-ago.
  9. Walking in to the mobile order area and just taking a drink  – This is not cool any time, but it’s so much worse if you then telling the guy you’re with that you’re doing it, or worse, taking a drink, then taking a drink of that drink and then putting it back…
  10. Being a pervert – It’s summer.  We get it, it’s hot, people wear less clothing – men and women – so don’t leer, drool, comment, make faces, gestures, etc. It’s gross and inappropriate.  I especially feel this applies to the old men who sit there with their wives, and take it to an extreme… Watching people come and go is one thing, but checking out peoples asses as they walk by, and leering takes it to a whole different level
  11. Joggers – I’m a huge fan of joggers, and I respect the effort you make to run for that long, but if you want to come in and grab a drink, after a 45-minute run, in your teeny-weeny running gear, and you’re smelly, and sweating all over the chair, and table, you might want to run home first and then come and perspire over everyone.
  12. Farting – Here’s the deal… people fart. I get it. But if you’re in public and listening to really loud music / TV, etc., and you think you are letting a little one slip out, it’s really a very loud blast which echos because of the curvature and texture of the seat you are sitting on.  That is not cool, and when you wonder why everyone is looking at you…
  13. Being creepy – There are creepy people and then there are creepy people.  The guy / girl who stare at you like they want to steal your stuff, or ask you out are common.  You learn to watch for them, but the guy who is leering at the 10-year-old girl across the coffee shop like he’s trying to picture her naked crosses a line!  Or, the guy with the cell phone taking random pictures or videos of people in the place, or who keeps dropping things to see if any of the women are wearing skirts, takes creepiness to a whole new level.  To that person I saw this; Everyone knows what you are doing!  We want you to leave, get help, and never do that again.

 

What have you seen in a coffee shop which either grossed you out, or found to be inappropriate?