Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, disaster, events, family, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

More Questions Children Ask About the Way We Do Things


Building on the previous questions – the post a few days before this one – that children (my children) have asked about the way we do things, and why.

  1. How is the US possibly considering taking away women’s rights to do what they want with their own bodies? If the US is REALLY pro-life, then they would ban guns, and murder, and violence, because who says the life of an unborn baby matters more than the life of a child or adult who are killed for the colour of their skin, their sex or their ethnicity?
  2. If police here in Toronto really wanted to crack down on cars that speed, don’t follow street rules, and have tinted windows, they should make a law. (We have the conversation about the fact there are laws). In that case, if they break the law, they shouldn’t be allowed to drive. They should be forced to make the changes to their cars. In the mean time, they should have to take public transit. And they should have to pay a fine. That money should go into educating drivers what will happen if they break the laws. If they drink and drive and hurt someone or kill someone, they no longer get to drive. If they damage someone’s property, they should have to pay for it. There needs to be accountability.
  3. The funniest of these very serious conversations came while discussing limits on screen time. We have always limited screen time, and sites kids can and cannot visit. When parents, my kids say, they will not restrict screen time. They will instead, have serious conversations with their children about when they can access screens and for how long.

When asked what they would do to ensure that school work was completed?

Take away the access until it was done?

Nope.

They would “discuss” the importance of making sure school work is a priority.

How about if they work still isn’t done?

Take away access?

Again, no, it would make much more sense to have a conversation with the children to let them know that school work comes first and electronics second.

So I asked… What if they lie to you about having work done, or don’t contribute to the house chores? Don’t help with meal prep? Don’t set or clean off the table? Don’t take their laundry downstairs, or don’t take their wet towels off their beautiful hardwood floors?

Without missing a beat, they said; “They will”.

Puzzled, I asked, “so all I needed to do was have a serious conversation with you guys about responsibility, but give you free and unlimited access to electronics and you would be help out more around the house?”

“Absolutely!”, was their response…

“But”… was their next word… “You guys are terrible parents so we likely would have just been on our devices all day!”

I sat there blinking my eyes at them.

“Parenting is really not that hard, you just have to know how to do it properly.”

At which point I stopped the car (we were home) and pointed to the outside, and said, “OUT!”

… and they disappeared with devices in hand, never to be seen or heard from again, or at least until I yelled, “dinner!”.

Posted in Canada, disaster, Life, news, politics

Geez, I Miss CNN


It’s been bothering me for a while now, and I was finally able to put my theoretical thumb on it, and it’s that I miss CNN… The old CNN. The CNN that was a news network that we turned to for breaking news, around the world.

The old CNN was voiced by James Earl Jones, and had the star-studded cast of journalists who would tell you the facts, and show you pictures, and speak to experts and from there, we got world news like no one could deliver.

But along the way something happened…

Something terrible.

CNN changed, and not for the better. Now when I tune in to channel 33 (on the Rogers dial here in Toronto), I don’t see the news, and I don’t get reports of whats going on in the world. Instead I get a bunch of hack, wanna be “journalists” on their soap box being the news, rather than telling the news.

It’s a cross between comedy and pathetic.

Each “journalist” gets their opportunity to talk about how bad President Donald Trump is, as if their opinion is why people turn into the station – it’s not. There is no more world news, unless something breaks which is far more interesting that the anti-Trump show they put on daily.

The coverage of the Trump presidency from CNN, as I’ve noticed over the past 4-years, has been pretty “inconsistent” and its’ no wonder Trump started calling them fake news. By inconsistent, I mean downright one-sided, against the President.

Just the other day, I wanted to see how the rest of the world is handling CoronaVirus, and typically, I could count on CNN to have that information. But do they talk about it? Nope. Instead they bash Trump for this, and they bash Trump for that. Then they bring on their “experts” who bash Trump some more. There is no doubt in my mind that this “news network” is really a “vote democrat” station.

India is catching the US in COVID cases. Brazil and Russia not too far behind. How is Africa handling it? What about how Sweden has fared? Or maybe, ahem, your neighbours to the north, in Canada?

Nope. If it’s not anti-Trump, then it just isn’t newsworthy in the new CNN, and its sad to see.

Whether I support Trump, or Biden, or neither – as I’m Canadian – the fact of the matter is that this station is a shell of it’s former self, and I have to remind myself, when I sit down to watch the US “news” that I’m not going to get any on CNN.

I can’t imagine what’s going to happen when, and if, Biden gets elected. I want to see how their reporting is going to change and if they’re going to go off on Biden as they have on Trump. I have my doubts.

I’ve often wondered, since CNN has a “fact” checker to report on Trump’s lies, if they’re going to keep it up when the President is a democrat? Again, I have my doubts.

I can’t imagine being someone who didn’t follow the news, and only followed CNN. They’d believe that Trump ate babies, and had a satanic slogan carved into his forhead.

All this type of biased news reporting does, is make me wonder why the US doesn’t have a government-supported news station like we do in Canada with the CBC, and certainly, if the CBC was all-in for one party over another, you can guarantee that the public funding would have stopped already.

Granted, coverage from the CBC is typically very centre-left, and the current Liberal government did give the CBC a lot of money, and the same CBC really eases up when reporting about how terrible this Prime Minister has been to women, natives, people of colour, and the economy.

When you look at the actual numbers, the COVID response in Canada and the US has been very similar, the US have lost less people than Canada has by percentage of it’s population, and the US closed their border with other countries way faster than Canada, but Trudeau gave out significant amounts of money to keep everyone appeased, while Trump wanted to keep the economy open. In Canada, Canadians are pleased with the Liberal governments response to COVID-19, whereas in the US, CNN would have you believe that Trump killed every single person himself…

I will, however, say this… thankfully the CBC is no CNN, because whomever made the decision and allowed CNN to go from reporting the news to become they joke they are now, should be fired and never allowed to run a TV station again.

Posted in Canada, Community, disaster, events, family, health, Life, music, The Urban Daddy

The Urban Daddy’s COVID-19 Pandemic / Self-Isolation Playlist


As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues, my self-quarantine playlist grows. Here are some of the songs which resonate with me during these unusual times.

Which songs have spoken the most to you while in quarantine or while performing your duties as an essential worker?

Tik Tok songs aside (I’m bored in a house, and in a house bored).

La List

Don’t Stand So Close (To Me) – The Police

Keep Em Separated – The Offspring

End of the World – REM

Situation Critical – Platinum Blonde

All By Myself – Celine Dion

Dancing With Myself – Billy Idol

Longview – Green Day (reference the lyrics: “I’m in a house with unlocked doors, and I’m fucking lazy!”)

Keep Your Hands to Yourself – Georgia Satellites

Living in a Ghost Town – The Rolling Stones

Alone – Heart

Too Much Time on My Hands – Styx

I Think We’re Alone Now – Tiffany

I know there are many more songs which relate to being alone or social distancing, but the above songs are songs I like, and which – in my opinion – relate to self-isolation.

Please, add to the list in the comments! If the songs fit, I’ll add them to the post and provide proper credit – your name, blog, online presence, etc.

Posted in Daddy, disaster, family, Life, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, travel

Trying to Save my Plant!


I’m trying to save my plant that was given to me when my father passed away in 2002. I left it in “good hands” with my sister, while our family travelled in Asia this past summer (Vietnam, Cambodia and Taiwan).

I even gave her a tip as to how to take care of this plant – nothing can really kill it – and to watch when the leaves droop, then water it…

She didn’t.

I think for the month we were away, she “missed” it when watering plants. Needless to say it was in really bad shape when we returned.

Now, its a shell of it’s former self. I’ve been taking the pieces out of it and re-planting it trying to keep it alive.

I realized today what she must have been thinking… Like her favourite politician Justin Trudeau who once coined the phrase, “The budget will balance itself”, she clearly felt that, “The plant will water itself.”

In actual fact, sis, and JT, neither of those were going to happen…

Fact.

Posted in Canada, disaster, family, health, Parenting, Recommends, school, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

March Break / COVID-19 / CoronaVirus Self-Isolation To Do List


March Break plans ruined? Travel plans cancelled? Activities for the kids also cancelled? COVID-19 has you in self-isolation? Keeping your “Social Distance”? Tired of hearing the “Corona-Time” song from Tik Tok?

If you, like everyone else, are running out of ideas for things to be because everything is closed until mid-April… What could you possibly do with the kids during an extended March Break?

Here at The Urban Daddy, we have some practical suggestions to not only keep your kids entertained, but keep you engaged, while allowing the kids to get a jump on their return to school without them knowing.

Here are our suggestions:

Reconnect with the great outdoors!

Walks, bike-riding, practicing sports, and helping around the house, digging the garden, planting flowers and raking the lawn. Get to know (Reconnect with) your neighbours. Have BBQ’s, do yoga, pick up some garbage in the community… All with lots of soap, hand sanitizer and without electronics.

Electronics – More than just for games!

While I feel that my kids are already in quarantine – they come home from school, head up to their rooms, hit the electronics and show up only for dinner. While Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Tik Tok, YouTube and Snapchat are fun, there is only such much you can do in a day, week, month, so let’s expand the use of computers beyond entertainment, and use it for educational purposes too. Have your kids learn about SEO, how to make websites, teach them to code, while you learn to code too.

The possibilities are endless.

Computers for Education

While the teacher unions here in Ontario might think that online classes are a REALLY bad idea, thankfully they’re not teaching our children, because with schools closing for anywhere from 3-5 weeks, or for the rest of the school year, we are suddenly seeing school boards heading to online classes to salvage the rest of the school year.

It only makes sense, and from what I’ve seen, some schools just needed a couple of days to move to online classes, while other schools were already ramping up.

I’m a huge fan of online classes and courses – I did my MBA online, and in this day and age, all kids should be familiar with online classes and courses not only in case of a global pandemic, but also in case they wanted to advance themselves and take extra or additional courses.

Get a jump on the eLearning train and sign yourself and your kids up for courses. My 13-year-old is currently in grade 8, but is working on his grade 9 math credit at the same time.

I’m working on some courses towards my Google certification and my Quickbooks certification.

Catch up on Family Time – Movies & Board Games

I strongly recommend family movies – stay away from movies called Outbreak, or that deal with the end of the world. Common Sense Media, is a website that rates most TV shows, movies and video games according to age appropriateness to help parents figure out what their kids should be watching.

Some of the games that we’ve played include; Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Monopoly, Cards Against Humanity (not with the kids!!), Rummicube, Exploding Kittens, Risk, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Carcassonne, Sushi Go, Chess, Boggle, Yatzee, just to name some more recently played.

Read Books

Nothing says getting a start on learning like developing a love of reading. Reading uses our imagination, helps us to learn new words, see proper punctuation, and spend hours doing something alone.

More importantly, in the event public libraries get shut down, there are plenty of resources available in digital format too.  eBooks, eAudioBooks, Movies, Comics, Music, Magazines and Videos. All you need is a library card!

A few years ago I introduced my eldest to the series of Dan Brown books – The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, Origin, The Lost Symbol, Inferno, Digital Fortress (This one you can skip, Sorry Dan), and Deception Point. I read through those books in records time and so has he. We’re looking forward to reading the newest Dan Brown book Wild Symphony.

In addition to those books, any Star Wars book has also been a wildly popular with my readers – not just the books that the movies are based off of, but all the little series and sub-series.

Spring Cleaning

Nothing says time to re-do the bedroom – change over winter clothes to spring clothes, check sizing, and re-do parts of the house than having the time to do so. If there is a pantry that you wanted to tear apart and re-organize alphabetically, this is your chance! How about cleaning up the kids playroom and donating toys they don’t use anymore? Again, now is the time.

We’re in this for the long haul, folks, so make sure you wash your hands often, keep your hands off of your face and stay away from people if you’re under the weather. Protect yourself and that will protect others.