Spring Has Sprung, the Grass Has Riz, I Wonder Where the Birdies Is?!?


Ahh, spring.

Ahhh Spring…

Ah-chooooooooo… Damn.  It’s spring.

 

Spring time is finally appearing here in Southern Ontario and aside from the increasing temperatures, here are the 13 most obvious ways to tell that Spring has Sprung.

  1. Sports cars in need of muffler repair and convertible cars are zooming around, blasting their horrid music and looking for attention

  2. A.L.L.E.R.G.I.E.S

  3. People are wearing colours again!  Yay.  Winter is dreary enough and everyone in black makes it that much more bland and blah.

  4. People begin to stink.  Not from sweat, at least not yet, but now is the time of year when they think a little bit of cologne or perfume might be a good idea but it’s not.  It’s horrid if I can smell it over a super-stuffy nose. (See 12)

9.  TAXES!!!  It’s tax time!!  Don’t forget to file, even if you think you don’t owe.  File, file, file!  If you need help anywhere in Canada, search up and hit up inTAXicating.

8.  Flips flops and PJ’s make their returns to coffee shops.  In the winter it’s just too darn cold to roll out of bed and drive or walk to the local coffee shop, but not in the spring!

7.  Exposed skin everywhere on everyone, male, female, young, old… If it’s in combination with leggings or yoga pants, it’s a bonus!

6.  I see neighbours!  Seriously, I cannot believe how little we get out in the winter – especially with kids programs keeping us out and around – I found out this morning that our neighbour had a baby and we didn’t even know she was pregnant.  So hard to tell covered in a giant Canada Goose jacket.

5.  Bikes everywhere!  And I’ve mellowed over the years, so I want bikes and bike lanes everywhere.  I also want safe and clean public transit and I want better roads and more parking for cars.  I want everyone to commute and be happy and healthy and safe.  Hey, City of Toronto… If you want business owners to thrive and survive, back off the parking tickets for people who park in actual spots.  If they park illegally, or block traffic, tag and tow them, but let businesses earn money!

4.  Joggers abound!  I’ve always said that out-of-shape joggers (like myself) run at night when no one can see them shaking and bouncing around or hear them gasping for air.  The fit joggers run during the day where everyone can see them.  Whatever your motivation, just run!

3.  My lawn kicks ass!  My front lawn is very green and soft.  I put the snow on it in the winter before the City salts the street or sidewalk and in the spring, and it makes a difference.  It’s so nice, and I have a neighbour who doesn’t talk to anyone but I catch him walking across the street and touching my grass in awe.  Love it!

2.  Change!  Changes come in spring.  People clean their houses, change their jobs, their clothes, their demeanor, and even the homeless-looking guy who visits the Starbucks I frequent cut off his ridiculously long white beard.  Wouldn’t have recognized him – looks somewhat respectable now – except for the same army fatigue pants he wears every day and the shmatta (towel?) he covers his head with.

1.Spring means an end to winter programs for my kids, so say goodbye to hockey, but it also means saying hello to baseball (call me “coach”) and to being able to throw a ball around and walk to park and shoot hoops, or go for a bike ride, and work at losing the winter gut and getting back into a shape that doesn’t resemble a pear.

3 cheers to spring!

Hip hip, hooray

Hip hip hooray.

Hip… Hip… Achhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhooooooooooooooooooo

 

Geez, I hate spring!

 

 

 

Sometimes You Just Want To Help… NSFW


I’m sitting at Tim Horton’s enjoying an XL double-double thanks to Roll up the Rim to win, and the, ahem, gentleman beside me has literally blown a gasket.

He’s said;

“Fuck.”swear

“FUCK”

“For Fuck sakes”

“Jesus Fucking Christ”

SIGH

Bigger Sigh

“Jesus Christ”

“Fuck”

“Fuck”

Toss in a couple more “Fucks”, no “shits” but lots of “fucks”…

and SO much more colourful language, quietly, mostly under his breath, but considering that I’m sitting next to him, it’s all I can hear.

All the while he’s on his cell phone, pounding away on the keys (they click).

I just want to ask him what’s wrong…

It’s not that I think I can help him, that is unless his question is about parenting or taxes, but I just feel like he needs a friend right now to vent to.

If I were a bartender, he’s be talking up a storm, but he’s just pounding away on his device, either frustrated or upset at something he has either read, saw, or because he doesn’t know how to stop his phone from clicking.

What would you do?

 

Note: I actually thought he was cussing up a storm because he was trying to set his ringtone.  I kept hearing all these beeps, whirls and whistles.  One would think that R2D2 was beside me, but then the sounds stopped and the cursing didn’t.

Note2: He grumbled his way to the bathroom, then left.  He’s known here.  From this day forth I shall refer to him (silently) as the inept-smartphone-twit, or FIST, for short.

Fucking Inept Smartphone Twit, to more accurate.

Starbucks For Life Sweepstakes is Back!


For members of the Starbucks Rewards™ loyalty program (like me!), it’s time for the annual return of the Starbucks for Life sweepstakes.

For the third consecutive year, Starbucks has featured this popular game of chance, which launched December 6th, 2016 here in Canada (also in the US).  Starbucks Rewards™ members have an opportunity to win prizes, including Starbucks for Life, Starbucks for a Year, Starbucks for a Month, Starbucks for a Week* and millions of Bonus Stars.

The Way to Play

From now through January 16th, 2017, eligible Starbucks Rewards™ members can earn game plays when they make a purchase* using either their registered Starbucks Card or the Starbucks® Mobile App in participating U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec) stores.

Members can redeem their game plays and collect digital game pieces by logging on to www.starbucksforlife.com in the U.S. or www.starbucksforlife.ca in Canada. Starbucks Rewards™ members may earn up to two game plays per day by making an eligible purchase transaction with a registered Starbuck Card or App.

What’s New This Holiday?

Members can complete challenges found within the game to earn extra game plays. Examples of challenges include “Jump the Line,” which rewards customers for making a purchase via mobile order, and “Hot Streak,” which provides three extra plays if a purchase is made five days in a row. Also new this year is the ability to trade three duplicate game pieces for one new game play.

Exclusive Prizes

Starbucks Rewards™ members can win prizes by collecting all of the game pieces in a given row on their digital game board. Only seven lucky customers (five in the U.S. and two in Canada) will win the grand prize of Starbucks for Life. 45 customers (25 in the U.S. and 20 in Canada) will win Starbucks for a Year. 250 customers (125 in the U.S. and 125 in Canada) will win Starbucks for a Month. 800 customers (500 in the U.S. and 300 in Canada) will win Starbucks for a Week.

Customers can also collect game pieces to win Bonus Stars in increments of 125 and 50 Stars. Instant-win prizes with Bonus Stars in increments of 5 Stars will be awarded as well. When Starbucks Rewards™ Gold Members collect 125 Stars, they earn a Reward, which they can redeem for a food or beverage item of their choice at participating stores.


*“Starbucks for Life” means the winner will receive a daily credit for 30 years for one free food or beverage item redeemable at participating Starbucks® stores in the U.S. Alcoholic beverages excluded. Winner must present a registered Starbucks Card. Credits are non-transferable and expire within 24 hours.

“Starbucks for a Year” means the winner will receive a daily credit to his/her Account for one year (three hundred sixty-five days) for one free food or standard menu beverage item (excluding alcoholic beverages) redeemable at participating Starbucks stores in the U.S. (and likely Canada although not mentioned in their blurby). Food and beverage credits expire daily.

“Starbucks for a Month” means the winner will receive a daily credit to his/her Account for one month (thirty-one days) for one free food or standard menu beverage (excluding alcoholic beverages) item redeemable at participating Starbucks stores in the U.S. Food and beverage credits expire daily.

“Starbucks for a Week” means the winner will receive a daily credit to his/her Account for one week (seven days) for one free food or standard menu beverage item (excluding alcoholic beverages) redeemable at participating Starbucks stores in the U.S. Food and beverage credits expire daily.

Abbreviated Canada Rules

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF CANADA, 18 AND OLDER AND WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE STARBUCKS REWARDS™ LOYALTY PROGRAM AT THE TIME OF ENTRY. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Starbucks Partners are not eligible to win prizes. Participating stores only. Promotion ends 1/16/17. For Official Rules, how to enter without purchase, prizes, and odds, visit https://www.starbucksforlife.ca. Limit for earning Game Plays:  2 transactions per day or up to 2 requests without purchase per day. Mathematical skill-testing question must be correctly answered to win. 300,000 instant win prizes (approximate retail values of $0.20 available to be won. 14,947 collect and win game prizes (approximate retail values from $2.00 to $51,574.50 available to be won.  Sponsor: Starbucks Coffee Canada, Inc., 5140 Yonge Street, Suite 1205, Toronto, ON M2N 6 L7, Canada.

Limit of one instant-win-game prize per day. “Starbucks for Life” means the winner will receive a daily credit for 30 years for one free food or beverage item redeemable at participating Starbucks® stores in Canada. Alcoholic beverages excluded. Winner must present a registered Starbucks Card. Credits are non-transferable and expire within 24 hours.

Starbucks Prices Going Up in Canada and the US on July 12th, 2016.


Word broke a couple of days ago that Starbucks is planning to increase the price on select drinks, upwards of $0.30 per drink on July 12th, saying only that the increase would impact “select beverages.”

Starbucks raised its prices by 5 to 20 cents for some of its drinks in July 2015. That increase mostly impacted hot beverages.

Since 2013, Starbucks have been increasing prices every summer, including last summer’s increase of between $0.05-$0.20 on hot drinks.

Heck, they even changed their rewards program to make it a longer timeframe for purchasers of the cheapest drinks to reach their free coffee.

And, they posted a revenue of nearly $5 billion last year!

What a business model!

According to the Canadian operations, the price of a Venti coffee will increase by $0.10 in some but not all provinces, and the price of their lattes in Grande and Venti sizes will increase $0.20, again in some provinces.

In the US, Starbucks announced that their Tall, Grande and Venti-sized coffees will see a price increase of $0.10 each in most States in the country.

At this time of declining coffee prices, we can clearly see that Starbucks coffee prices are not closely tied to the price of the bean alone, but also tied to the other costs, including the stores, employment, and other items which comes with a Starbucks drink.

Stuff That Pisses Me Off… Or Just Annoys Me!


Every now and then I get on a role – get stuff done that has been kicking around forever and while embracing my super-efficient pace, there is always something that slows me down and pisses me off.  Usually it has little to do with the work I’m doing.

For example;

This past weekend, the Victoria Day long weekend here in Ontario, saw my vacuum and wash the inside of my car for probably the first time… ever!  This is absolutely disgusting considering my kids eat in the car and I found chewed gum, globs of old ice cream and enough packaging to cause global warming.

I also bought flowers and some veggies for The Urban Daddy’s gardens (I LOVE gardening!) and I emptied underneath the front stairs outside the house – we have no garage but a ton of space under the front stairs which runs half the width of the house – dusted it, tossed some garbage, then moved some crap.  It’s clean, bikes are at the front and ready to go, and the patio furniture and cushions are in place.

I had a ton of help from my oldest son, Linus!  He was awesome when cleaning the back yard, setting up the deck, cleaning the furniture, scrubbing the cedar deck and hosing down the junk.  He helped move the extra BBQ out and helped me clean under the deck.  He also helped clean the basement… A super-helper indeed.

So what’s pissing me off?

1)  Raccoons!

These vile creatures are living on my neighbours Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) mesh which covers the side of his house facing us. Between our houses is our only access to the backyard from outside the house and their poison poop rolls off the mesh onto the ground, or worse, it gets stuck in the mesh and then stinks to high heaven as the temperatures heat up.

As a result, they walk through my backyard, scare my kids and is the reason I cannot leave my cushions on my deck.

What’s with the mesh, you might ask?

Well, soon after we moved in, they decided our WiFi was making them sick, so they took some readings, and where everyone says you should get “reliable readings to ascertain the dangers. If you don’t, it’s all guesswork. You can’t hope to deal with your EMF exposures on the basis of guesswork. EMF exposures are changing constantly”, they went with emotion and threw up the mesh from front to back of their house to keep our WiFi out.

Not surprisingly, since that occurred, about 5-years ago, the house on the other side of them was torn down and re-built and yes, we can pick up that WiFi signal in our house which means that either it’s coming around their house, or into their house, hitting the mesh and then staying in their house… It’s like they’re protect us too, kind of…

While the mesh makes it look like their house is stuck mid-construction, they could have used the Radio Frequency (RF) radiation reading (generally high where emitted by cell towers – no cell towers in sight, by the way) and instead of trying to cover ¼ of their house in mesh, they could have shielded their windows using a special window film, and their bedroom using a high frequency EMF shielding paint.

But we get mesh…

Could have been worse, I guess from the visual side as they could have gone cheap and used aluminum foil. The raccoons would have slid right off – or maybe their poop would have all just slid off.

They also removed their smart meter, but they did give us low frequency phones which was a very kind thing to do… I guess.

2) BMW drivers!

Sorry.  Every time I see really horrible driving, or when a car is tailing me too close (for going 90km/h in a 80km/h zone) it’s a beemer!  I’ve written many posts about BMW drivers and my thoughts about why it’s specific to the car – so go read those – but just because you worked hard to buy or rent a BMW doesn’t make you any more special than anyone else.  Stop driving like a prick!

3)  I might have heard that a mother was charged with child abuse for letting her 11-year-old child drive a golf cart.

I also might have heard a case where child protective services were summoned when a mother left her child to play in their fenced off backyard… gasp… alone.

I think people need to step back, take a deep breath and use services like these when there are real signs of neglect like bruises, or malnourishment.  I walked to school by myself when I was 7.  I had to cross a road.  Sometimes I ran to school.  Sometimes I rode my bike.  Sometimes I went to pick up a friend on the way.

The world has changed, yes it has, but it’s still the same communities, same cautious people and same neighbours who we used to get to know and would keep an eye out for one another.

Let my people go!

Let the kids play.

Stop helicoptering over my kids!!!

4)  Leggings!

Hate, hate, hate them, but only when they’re NOT worn with a shirt which covers your ass.

I’m sorry, this is not just a girl / woman thing, because there are boys / men who think they can walk around with their pants below their ass and that it’s “cool” to do so… It’s not.  In both cases, have some pride and humility people…  If you want to be taken seriously, dress accordingly.  If you’ve just been to the gym, good for you, but buy a longer shirt.  If that’s the way you dress…

5) “Like”

I thought we were past the phase where people, like, use the word “like, when they, like, have something to, like, get off their chests…

Apparently not.

In Starbucks this morning, a recent grad is being interviewed for a job, a like real job, as she proclaimed to the interviewer, which she didn’t think she would, like, find so soon after graduation.

The interviewer commented that this applicants resume and cover letter were impressive but even I could tell that she was so very unimpressed with the causal use of the word “like” and the interview ended soon after the grad said, “Well, I’m, like, not looking for a, like, real job so soon after graduating.  I was, like, so impressed that I got a, like, interview, but I’m, like, not interested in the job.

??????

Hopefully the grad bought the coffee, eh?

 

 

So what pisses you off today?  Don’t be shy and tell me if I’m way off base on any of these.  I’m a big boy, I can take it. You can also change my mind with facts and a good argument, so take that challenge and speak up!  Or else!  lol.