Category Archives: Community

Monday Musings and More


Monday Musings and More

Exercise:

So my wife found a 21-day exercise program for us to do.  My first question to her was, “will there be fat people in the video?”, because I am not doing any exercise program where every person is 20-years-old, has 1% body fat and muscles where I didn’t know muscles could be.  It is those workouts where I feel my age and more afterwards.

After one workout, I have to say that I can still move, and yes, there was a “less-fit” person in the video.

If you have never seen me, I have to explain that I am a fairly big guy, bone-wise, and I hide my weight well considering how much I actually weigh, probably because I’m active – play ball-hockey in a league at least once a week – and I try to get active a couple more times per week.

In fact, I hide my weight so well that I always win in a guess-your-weight contest, the last couple of times the “expert” was off by 70lbs. I even gave him a second and third chance but he just got more and more upset, then was embarrassed once I stepped on the scale… Oops.

 

Sports:

Does NYY DH A-Rod deserve to be an all-star? No, but I have to say that I was sure I would NEVER be able to forgive this cheater for being such an arrogant asshole while cheater the entire time, but with all the crap the Yankees heaped on him, I actually feel that if he is clean, he has worked very hard to earn his playing time and I’m actually kind of rooting for him.

TNA / Impact Wrestling:
Because of the dumbass decision to have their program on The Fight Network, one of few stations we do not get in our massive cable package, I have to resort to watching it on YouTube.  The YouTube broadcasts are worse than awful, the program is still very confusing and with rumours of wrestlers leaving en mass, I’m watching less and less.

Even worse is Josh Matthews pretending to be at the event when we all know the show is taped and the commentary is being recorded after, but why does it look like he’s in a bee hive and does it sound like he has his hand over his mouth when he is speaking.

Again, I’m thrilled that Mike Tenay is not on these shows, but the quality of these broadcasts make Impact look more like Ring of Honor.

Why can’t TNA just finally drop the TNA, merge with a legit brand or bring back a real name and get back to basics. Fewer wrestlers, more stories, and get fans excited about the brand again rather than having us rush to be watch the death of the show.

Before it’s too late…

 

Coffee:
The Second Cup’s Butter Pecan coffee might just be one of the best coffee’s available. It’s fantastic, and requires less sugar than other coffees.

It was nice to see my new favourite coffee company, Javaworks, is the official coffee supplier for one of our favourite breakfast joints, Steve’s on Bathurst Street, just north of Wilson Avenue, in Toronto. The coffee there is always delicious, and now I know why!

 

The Urban Daddy:
If you’re looking to be more involved in The Urban Daddy, now might just be your chance! I’m looking to get back blogging on a more frequent timetable and to have some time to address the pitches and requests which come my way daily.

I cannot get to them all, and as of right now, I’m giving preference to the local (Toronto and surrounding area) ones.
If you are interested in writing a post her and there, or attending an event on behalf of The Urban Daddy, and then writing up a post, with some pictures, please let me know by email to: realurbandaddy@gmail.com

I’m not just looking for one person, to be honest, the more the merrier.

 

Children:
With 2 of my 3 kids away at sleepover camp, I have found that the 3rd and youngest really seems to be growing up fast!

I also cannot believe how much she talks! It seems like it’s been non-stop and while I felt this way last year, I find this year is even more tiring.

Anyone else have similar experiences?

 

Tax:
As many long-time readers will be aware, I’ve been operating a tax consulting business for a few years now, and I thought it might be interesting to point out in a parenting / family blog, that the most common question asked of me this past week had to do with divorce.

More specifically, what happens when a husband and wife are in the process of divorcing and the husband either has not filed, nor disclosed his accurate income to the courts. Is there any recourse on the wife’s side, or should the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) be made aware of this?

Furthermore, if the husband has a debt owing to the CRA, can the CRA take actions against the soon-to-be ex-wife and / or seize and sell the house.

The answer is… Maybe.

It depends on the details and I’m more than happy to listen to a situation and provide my thoughts.

My email is info@intaxicating.ca

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Proud Recipient of a 2015 Ontario Volunteer Service Award


On June 16th, The 2015 Ontario Volunteer Service Awards were handed out in Toronto, which recognizes individual volunteers for continuous years of commitment and dedicated service to an organization. 

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This year both my wife and I received an award for 15-years of volunteering with an organization call Jewish Family and Child Services (JF&CS).

Jewish Family & Child supports the healthy development of individuals, children, families, and communities through prevention, protection, counselling, education and advocacy services, within the context of Jewish values.

Their priority areas are;

1. Increasing Safety and Security

2. Reducing the Effects of Poverty

3. Improving Mental Health and Wellness

My wife and I became volunteers in the Big Brothers / Big Sisters program to assist the JF&CS staff with the planning and coordinating over events for the programs’ participants and volunteers.  Over the past 15 years we have met a lot of incredible volunteers and incredible children who have grown up to be amazing young adults.

None of this would have been possible without the hard work and support of Andrea Pines, the Volunteer Coordinator for Big Brothers / Big Sisters.

We also try to model what it means to be a good person to our children and I recall a picture being published of our oldest boy – at probably 3 months old – strapped to my wife in a child carrier and the 3 of us set off to an event.  We try to include all of our kids in the event planning as well as at the event so they will understand that giving their time might seem like such a small gesture, but to some people it means a lot.

Obviously we do this for the organization, and not for the recognition, and I’m hesitant to publish this except I hope down the road, my kids will be able to read this and realize that volunteering is important and that it’s been a part of their lives since they were born (and their Dad expects them to continue doing it!!)

The awards ceremony is a lovely ceremony where volunteers are presented with stylized trillium pins and personalized certificates.

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Father’s Day is Coming… Ahem… Chapters Indigo!


As mentioned probably a zillion times already, I’m a huge fan of anything Canadian, and I am a supporter of life-long-learning, which is why I recommend looking into Chapters Indigo for Father’s Day options. http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/

The folks at Indigo even prepared a great selection of cottage / BBQ / Father’s Day suggestions which were inspired by the great outdoors and life at the lake.

Tabletop items and pillows are adorned with an Indigo-exclusive canoe print. Retro-inspired trays, drink dispensers and mason jar mugs bring a vintage touch to home décor, while summer cookbooks offer tasty meal ideas for those warm summer evenings.

Check out our their Flickr page here and Father’s Day Suggestions!

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Resiliance! A Great Trait For a Child To Have, and Also a Concern…


My oldest child has become VERY resilient!  This is a good trait to develop, but also has a pretty huge downside.  Can I explain how we’ve come to figure this out…

  • Kids can be mean.
  • Kids can also interpret the words and actions of others in a completely different way then it is intended.
  • Kids also don’t always fit in to their surroundings, we all know that, especially at school because who can predict what the best school is for a child before having an opportunity to learn about how your child learns and what they need.
  • How kids handle themselves – the only thing they can (presumably) control – can make the difference between them having a great time at school, or them being miserable every day.

After that, you either wind up with a resilient child who can take it and move forward, or it breaks your child and they either fade away or strike back.

Take, for example, this scenario:  My oldest son really wanted a pair or wrist bands.  Badly.  So when we found a pair at Dick’s Sporting Goods in NY, he was over the moon and he wore them to school every day… Every day until someone commented on the fact he wears them every day – and that comment might have been just a comment, or a judgement – but my son has not worn them every single day since.  In fact, he went a while without wearing them, but has slowly started to wear them where appropriate again.

He knows he has to be his individual and generally he does what he wants, but he felt they were poking fun at him, and he dealt with it by not wearing them at school.

Resilient?  Nope.

But it made him very aware of what others felt about him and he has always been quite very aware of his own self, so he adjusted his actions and his behaviour to fall in line with his peers as best as he could in order to stay under the radar.

Quite un-sporty, he even started playing sports with the sporty kids so that he could fit in better and while below the experience and skill of his classmates, they mostly tolerated his presence but he played anyways because he knew the only way he could improve was to play and get better.

From that came the courage to try out for the soccer team.  We were thrilled.  He didn’t make the team, but he tried and we were very supportive and encouraging, as were his friends.  Then they added him as a call-up and eventhough he played less that the other kids and the kids bugged him about that (“you really didn’t make the team”) – he went out, tried, and had fun.  By the last game of the season, ignoring all the comments from the other kids, he improved a lot and was on the top line with his best friend and the team’s best player.  They played a lot, and he got to show his skills.

I helped to coach by coming to the games and encouraging the kids, supporting the team and cheering them on.  I heard the comments and I felt bad for him, but he didn’t care.  It was less important than his opportunity to play in a team environment, learn the game and be one of the boys.

My oldest boy also swims… Well.   He has been in a pre-competitive program where he became the dark horse according to the program’s director.  He spent the first 4-6 weeks cruising along the side wall where he could, but by the end of the program, he was the top swimmer, and his breast stroke and back stroke were referred to as “a thing of beauty” and that he was “graceful” and “surprisingly strong”.

His first crack at competitive swimming saw him win his first 2 races by a substantial margin, and a second place finish in his third race because he stopped to see where the end of the pool was.  He cheers on his teammates, and in competitions, he cheers on everyone in the water.  He’s that kind of kid.

Just the other day was his year-end swim competition and again came 2 first place finishes, and then with a race right after his previous race, and double the distance, he swallowed some water and came in 3rd.

Incredible.

He’ll be joining a swim team next year!  He wants to go to the Olympics.  He gives partial credit to @HarveysCanada (more in a future post).

He had an opportunity to swim for his school and he was really excited about it, until a kids in his class told him that “swimming was stupid, you get a better workout playing hockey”.  It crushed him… For a day or two, but instead of arguing and debating the issue, he recognized it was factually incorrect and he chose to leave it alone and move on.

He went to the school swim meet as one of only 2 boys there and he swam against kids much bigger and stronger than him, and he came in 3rd in the races he competed in.  He was thrilled, he were proud of him and the swim teacher saw this bright, sporty kid, step up and support his school.  Even the older girls at the meet cheered him on and supported him because he was an unknown to them and here he was at one point moving from last in a race to 2nd.  #Guts.

Now, he has found a love for baseball.

I love baseball.  LOVE it!  I never played but I should have!  I’m a pitcher to the core and I wanted to play but according to my parents, I never asked to play, so I did not.  Obviously, those days are behind me but I can live through my son, right?  :)

My son tried out for the school softball team and didn’t make the starting squad – there were kids from both grades who has played in leagues in previous years which he did not, but he was added as a call-up.  He cannot go to any of those games because they conflict with his hardball baseball season which he just stated and his swimming program.

I was concerned that being left off the school team might hurt his confidence more than it would fire him up, but I was wrong.  He has started this season – his first – on fire and he is tearing things up.  His first game he went 2 for 3 and stole a base.  His second game 2 for 4 with 2 stolen bases and his third game he got to pitch and in the 2 innings he pitched, he struck out 4 and got the save as his team won the game.  He followed that up by going 1 for 3 and by throwing out a running at home from right field.

His baseball coach loves him!  With a little more practice, his coach figures he might be the team’s best pitcher.  He already throws hard and is very accurate.  In his eagerness to put the ball in play, he struck out twice last game watching the ball sail out of the strike zone but called a strike by the umpire.  By not watching baseball, he doesn’t know things like that can happen.  He’ll learn.

He doesn’t tell the kids on his school team, nor does he mention it to his gym teacher, but he humbly accepts that he’s good at baseball and he loves being part of the team.  He’s been a great teammate, and he’s been a cheerleader on the bench in between innings.  He has showed his empathetic-side when one of his teammates got hit by the ball and was hurt, by going over to check on him right away.

He has turned negative situation after negative situation into positive ones and I tip my hat to him.

But with the good comes the bad, and the biggest concern with a resilient kids, is the internalizing.

The appearance that he’s okay with all of the negatives, and the accepting of being treated this way can have serious long-term ramifications as he learns to ignore poor treatment and convince himself that that it’s okay.  It absolutely bothers him, and he absolutely keeps it all in at that moment.

One day he’ll need to speak to a professional or I worry that he will snap.

I’m glad that most of this revolves around physical activity and I hope he will be able to channel this frustration into energy to perform better at whatever sport he is playing, but until that happens I worry that these disappointments will impact his ability to enjoy sports and he’ll be too worried worrying about what others will say if he does not succeed to play well and enjoy the game.

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Funny Things Kids Say…


My kids are nowhere near as sporty as I was growing up, and I don’t blame them.  My favourite toy was a tennis ball because I could use it with my baseball glove or my hockey stick.  When we bought new tennis balls that I could actually use for tennis… Look out!

My kids, on the other hand live in a Toronto where ball hockey playing is prohibited or frowned upon in the streets and with advent of iPhones and iPads, they can read, play, learn, etc instead of waste time outside…

So hearing my kids talk about sports makes me laugh and makes me wonder if they get teased at school by the sporty kids for their lack of knowledge of terminology.

For example;

Saturday night, Toronto’s best sports team, the Toronto Rock lacrosse team, played the 2nd game of a best of 3 semi-final at the Air Canada Centre and me and my boys went to the game!  I’ve had season’s tickets since their first season and I cannot explain enough how nice it is to have one Toronto-based team that competes night-in and night-out and that wins having won 6 National Lacrosse League Championships.

The game is fast, exciting, hard-hitting and not for the faint of heart.  If I knew about this game growing up, I would have been a great defenseman – being able to whack the daylights out of guys!  Oh the fun.

So Toronto won the game over the Rochester Night Hawks 11-8 and as a result, they tied their series and a 10-minute game was to be played right after with the winner going to the Champions Cup Finals against the Edmonton Rush.  The outcome was never in question as Toronto scored a goal a minute for the first 7 minutes, hanging on for an 8-2 victory.

Just before the game ended, my son tried to impress the girl in the row in front and wanted to tell her that the game was “sudden death”.  I guess he thought if they lost they’re done, which they would have been but sudden death in sporting terms means the next goal scored sends one team on, and the other home.

Instead, he said this;

“Wow, I hope Toronto can win this game in instant death!”

“Instant death?”

“Umm, me too” was my reply.

The girl in front of us – who turns 18 in 4 months – smiled at my son, and said, “No, I hope it doesn’t get that far because we (Toronto) are destroying them right now.”

She winked at me.

This Saturday, we are heading back down to the ACC to support the Toronto Rock in game 1  of the NLL finals.  Hopefully they will exceed their previous crowd of 10,200.  I remember the ACC being packed full for many years.  I think we owe that to the team and to owner Jamie Darwick for fielding a winning team year-over-year.

Instant death.

lol.

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