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.

 

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Posted in Canada, Coffee, Community, Daddy, disaster, family, government, health, news, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Thursday Thirteen, Toronto

WTF is Going on? 13 WTF Events from The Urban Daddy: Thursday 13.


This has been a WTF kind of week!  I had so much going on that I had to take all my notes and throw them into a Thursday 13 list, of 13 WTF Moments.

  1. North and South Korea peace – WTF?  Does anyone believe that peace is going to change the way poor North Koreans live?  This guy in North Korea had his brother poisoned…

  2. Now I’m CERTAIN that Donald Trump is going to take credit for North Korea coming into the fold and agreeing to de-militarize, and seek peace with South Korea.

  3. Bill Cosby – Guilty – WTF took so long?  He was a great role model and changed the way TV portrayed African Americans, however, he drugged women and raped them.  That cannot be forgiven.

10.  Am I the only person who works out of coffee shops when meeting clients and who always checks his earphone when listening to something on the phone or computer to make sure it’s the earphones I am hearing, and that I’m not annoying the rest of the shop?  3 times this week patrons were listening to crap with their headphones on, and the sound was blaring out of their device.  They kept cranking up the volume until I had to notify them…

9.  I’m creating the Coffee Shop Police Etiquette Program

8.  Remember when a former Toronto Mayoral candidate threw a sexual harassment complaint against TVO host Steve Paikin, and instead of firing him, TVO hired an investigator to determine the legitimacy of the complaints?  Turns out no proof was found to substantiate the claim.  Good on TVO for getting on top of this right away (pardon the pun) and now what happens to the host, Paikin, and complainant, Thompson?

7.  Why do people bring food into coffee shops, then proceed to sit there – chow down their meal – then leave without buying anything?  More importantly, why does it always appear to me that these people have either really huge amounts of food, or are extremely messy and chew with their mouths open?  Is this a subtle way the coffee shop is trying to tell me to buy more food / drinks or leave?  They have this guy in the back and they sick him on patrons?  Better him, than the mouth-noise guy, the guy with the disgusting mouth noises, or the dancer who – no matter the weather – is wearing a tank top and just gets up and starts dancing…

6.  There is a “thing” for men who cannot get “laid”?  Is this real?  When I was growing up, if the girls didn’t look at you, you changed.  Your clothes, your hair, your weight, you got better educated, you learned to be a better person…  Clearly, for Millenials, this is WAY too much work, so it’s better to complain to others and then kill innocent people.  Enough already!

5.  With a Provincial election coming, FINALLY, in Ontario, and the Liberal government preparing for the crash, word comes out that a policy they created has come back to bite them in the ass.  LOL.  They created a policy where the Auditor General would review the books and records of the government prior to an election and confirm the amount of surplus or deficit the government has.  Well… The Liberals said the deficit would be only $2-3 billion dollars, but the AG said, nope.  It’s closer to $11-billion.  Thanks for the lies, deceit and for bankrupting this province!  See ya, Libs!

4.  I have a GREAT piece on minor hockey corruption coming shortly.  A must read!

3.  I agreed to coach my eldest son’s baseball team again this season, and I only had one request of the league… As a die-hard Toronto Blue Jays fan, please, please, please do not make us the Yankees again this year.  I cannot for the life of me say, “Go Yankees”.  I can’t.  Like the Fonz cannot apologize.  Guess what???  We’re the Spankees again this year.  UGH.

2.  A 23yo Quebec mother was charged with 2nd degree murder after her 2-year-old daughter was stabbed to death, then her body dumped in a garbage can.  I don’t know what to say about this other than what kind of a person takes a child’s body and dumps it in the trash… Words cannot describe…

… and the number One WTF Moment from this week…

  1. Toronto – my city, my home, streets from where I grew up, worked and where my family lives and works… The tragedy, the senseless violence.  Such and evil human being.  Thank goodness for the residents of Toronto who tried to stop this lunatic, or save the victims, or pull people out of the way… Toronto the good, overshadowed Toronto the sad.

 

 

Posted in Canada, Coffee, Community, Daddy, family, health, hockey, Life, Parenting, Sports, The Urban Daddy, Thursday Thirteen, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

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!

 

 

 

Posted in Coffee, Community, Food, Life, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

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.

Posted in Canada, Coffee, news, urbandaddyblog

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.