Posted in Canada, Coffee, Community, Daddy, disaster, events, family, Food, health, Life, money, Parenting, politics, sleep, Toronto, travel

The Sound That a Record Makes When the Needle is Dragged Across it…


If you are of a certain vintage, you know what a record is, and you have hopefully seen a record player and would then know that sound a record makes when the needle is dragged across the record.

Sccccrrreeeeccchhhhhhhh.

Then silence, as the needle is lifted off the record.

That’s the sound that the sporting world make late last night with the word that the National Basketball Association (NBA) has cancelled the rest of their season effective last night after a player from the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19.

At the moment the news broke, I have to admit, I sat up and took notice. It made me realize that this Pandemic was real and that we, as global citizens, need to step up and take notice.

Shortly after that cancellation, the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Lacrosse League (NLL) both followed suit and cancelled their seasons, although postponed is more likely the intended outcome.

Major League Soccer (MLS) is putting off games for a month.

By mid-afternoon on March 12th, 2020, the Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that they were postponing the start of the 2020 baseball season for at least a couple of weeks.

I hope that in the upcoming weeks, we can get more details about the virus, keep local people safe and keep travelers from spreading the virus. I’d make a comment about the severity of the virus but if our Prime Minister might have it (sigh) it just goes to show you that you have to be smart with your health and be careful of travelers.

I understand the fear – sort of – especially to those who are vulnerable due to age, health or underlying issues, but I don’t understand the stocking up on toilet paper. Just this afternoon, for example, I went to our local Loblaws location only to find hundreds of people in line buying toilet paper, canned soup, soda pop, and food items which do not quickly spoil such as onion.

I struck up a conversation with a couple in the line-up who had purchased 150 rolls of toilet paper, plus paper towels, cases of canned soup and a case of anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, soaps, and other such medical items.

I found out that they anticipated being quarantined into their home for a few weeks and thus needed to stock up.

I asked about the case of wipes, and sanitizer – thinking that if you’re self-quarantining in your own home and not letting people come and go, what exactly are you sanitizing?!?

With that realization, they removed the case from their cart and within seconds, it was grabbed by another family who already had a cart full of long-term supplies.

I don’t know.

I’m all for keeping my distance from people and not shaking hands, and I hope that others do the same. No more repeats of the guy sitting in the corner of McDonald’s coughing up a storm while everyone looks at him half in terror and half in wonder why he would come to a public place while sick.

He wasn’t sick.

He was choking.

I can’t wait until we can look back at this and move on back to life as we used to know it.

Posted in Canada, Coffee, Daddy, Life, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

September in Canada


September in Canada is unlike any other month. School starts, people return from vacations, the Canadian National Exhibition comes to an end, and the weather… Oy, the weather.

Two days ago, the temperature was 20 degrees Celsius and people went nuts. You would have thought it was -20 degrees.

“Summer is over”.

“It’s going to be a very long and very cold winter”.

Those were just some of the comments being fired around social media and in the news.

Then yesterday… Yikes. It was 29 degrees with a humidex making it feel like it was 38 degrees.

Sweat.

As I walked along the TIFF route, all I saw was tank tops, shorts and lots of hot, sweaty people.

And then there is today… 15 degrees in the morning with an expected high of 20 degrees to be reached later this afternoon.

It’s down right confusing. Not the weather. It’s always been like that in September. What’s confusing is what to wear!

I happen to be typing this while sitting in a Starbucks location awaiting a client. I’m clearly not the only person confused by the weather.

Waiting for their orders are 5 people;

  1. A girl in short shorts and a t-shirt
  2. A guy in khakis, wearing a dress shirt with a sweater-vest over it
  3. A woman with a long-sleeve shirt, pants and a toque
  4. (and 5) 2 men, both in shorts, but one is wearing a jacket and the other is not.

That’s quite the range!

Worth noting, however, is that every single one of those orders was for a hot drink.

That’s September in Canada, eh?

Posted in Canada, Coffee, hockey, money, Parenting

Overheard


Overheard

I love when I have the opportunity to create a blog post entitled “Overheard”. It means I am in the right place and the right time, and I am able to quickly jot down conversations between random strangers from very public places, which are utter nonsense.

It’s been a while, but I have such a post.

The Location

I was just settling in to a local hockey arena, when I noticed that there were 2 guys not too far from me who looked quite suspicious. They were waiting for the rest of the group to leave, or looking for some privacy.  At first, I thought there was going to be a drug deal, or something illegal going down, so I placed my ear buds into my ears, flipped open my laptop, and pretended to be working while I listened to – what I thought was going to be – a sketchy transaction.

Little did I know, they wanted privacy to begin a conversation of absolute nonsense.

In fact, their conversation was so inaccurate that I really wanted to interject and correct them… But I couldn’t.

So I typed away on my laptop a bit quieter and I took down some of their brilliance.

The Conversation

“So I need to earn some more money and pay for all this hockey.”

“I’ve noticed there are a lot of Chinese kids playing – is it because they have billions of dollars and billions of citizens and they come to Canada to spend their money so they choose hockey because it’s the most expensive sport?”

“Yes.”

“So I need to compete or the entire NHL will be Chinese and there will be one else playing.”

“Right.”

“Or, I need to train these kids.”

“No.”

“You need to earn money and compete. You need to earn your money in Bitcoins.  Bitcoins are the future.  The Government is going to seize all the money.  They won’t print money anymore.  Every country is going to stop printing money.  Money is in the real estate.  Buy now, sell later.  It’s a conspiracy.”

“Like what’s going on in the US?”

“Yes. It’s a massive conspiracy to get money out of the hands of people.  Then the government will tell people what to spend and how much they can spend.  It will be like they’re controlling you.”

“We’re going to have to move to China to get away from it all. There will be room, because they are ALL moving here.”

“Is Trudeau Chinese?”

“No. He’s an Indian.  But not from India or Indiana.  From here.”

“Is Trump part-Chinese?”

“No, but I hear he likes coffee enemas…”

 

SILENCE

 

Then they whispered a bit more. People showed up.  I packed up and left.

Leave it to the words; Trump, coffee and enema to kill a conversation.

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, 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.