Category Archives: Life

My Son Was Traded This Morning!

I know hockey and I love hockey.  I’ve never played ice hockey but I have coached ice hockey – 6 years while in my early 20’s because my sports physiotherapist needed someone to open and close the bench doors.  I had always thought it was because he didn’t like the 6am and 7am games!

I learned to skate while teaching the kids how to play the game, and how to be winners on and off the ice.

In those 6 years we won one championship and made it to the finals 5 times because we never had the best players in the league, nor the top select players, but we made these kids buy into the team concept which meant all the players, no matter how good, bad or new to the game, were a key part.

Hockey is, after all, a team sport!

My wife found it unusual that with my love and passion I hold for hockey, I never pushed my kids into the sport.  I tried, trust me, but they didn’t like it.  They hated staking, they didn’t like watching the Leafs and they had no desire to shoot around a ball in the basement.

Then something changed…

The school my kids attended arranged for skating lessons during the day, and my middle child, Stewie’s class was full of top ranked hockey players, kids who could skate, shoot, pass and play the sport better than other kids their age and Stewie always felt awkward skating around his classmates.  He’s a tall kid for his age and watching him stand on skates reminded me of a newborn giraffe trying to stand for the first time.

I was there, on the ice with him at his school’s skate day when his classmates skated over to him and instead of making fun of him, helped him stand, brought him the on-ice support and were giving him tips to be a better skater.  I could see in his eyes that he was very appreciative of their support and he was determined to skate without support.

From that day came lessons after lessons, plus a learn-to-play hockey program and finally this season a debut in house league hockey.  He’s a much better skater than 2 years ago, and his hockey sense is quite high for someone who refuses to watch the sport.  He continues to get better and better each game, practice and lesson and he knows he has a long way to go.

He also knew that on his 0-7 team there was a very good chance that he was going to be traded.  Not only were a lot of the kids on the team together from previous years, but he understood that to get new players, better players, you would have to give up your “lower-skilled” players (his words) and not the “worst” players.

Then came the news!

He was traded.

From a 0-7 team to a 7-0 team.

He’s not all that pleased about it either.  You see, he is worried that his new teammates will not know that he’s just learning the sport, but they will see a very tall kid who tries very hard but is not the fastest, not yet able to deke players out, or who can raise the puck.

He’s worried that they will think he sucks and that the best players left the team because of him.


So I have reached out to the convenors, trying to get the new coaches contact information so I can let them know that they are getting a kid who wants to learn the game and who will do whatever he can to be better and make the team better.  It’s been 2 days and no one has reached out, oh, except his old coaches who have asked for his jersey and socks back.

So what would I do in this situation?!?

I would do what is right for the children!  I would have a really long look at the coaches who have volunteered to coach these teams to make sure they are looking after the kids best interests and not their own.  I see teams playing poorly in hopes that their team won’t be broken up by trades and wonder aloud who does this help?!?  Does that coach get an award for stocking his team while other teams struggle, or worse, what message does that send to the kids when they see a coach trying to lose in order to protect the core of the team…

I would rather the league NOT make the trades, but instead work with the coaches to teach the children to play as a team.

Sure, little Johnny can only score 3 goals, then any goals he scores after that do not count, but does it benefit the kids on either side if Johnny still dekes the entire team, then stands by the side of the net waiting for a teammate to skate to the net so that Johnny can pass to him or shoot the puck in off of him?

Does it benefit the kids that the league will not post the score when it exceeds a 5-goal differential?  Nope, the kids know the real score so they might as well post it, but would it hurt the other coach to take his better offensive players and teach them defense, or passing instead.  By doing that, his team learns proper positioning and the defensive team can also learn proper positioning.  That would be a win-win situation!

Instead, we let the coaches run wild, we make the better kids feel special and we make the lower kids feel useless all in the name of hockey instead of using this special position of leadership to teach the kids to be good teammates, and to help their team win without rubbing it into the faces of their opponents.

I’ve applied to be a part of the convenor team because of how strongly I feel about the opportunity to teach kids to be better kids and win, lose or draw.

I guess I know who will be coaching next season…

No trades please!  We’ll be fine.

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What Was Your First School Instrument? What Did You Children Get?

How on earth did we pick school instruments when we were in middle school?  I had played a little piano by the time I was forced to make an uneducated choice, and it’s probably the reason why I do not play an instrument to this day despite being very musical.

So how did my son come home from school with a clarinet recently?

I think that was a great choice of instrument, considering last year his class played the banjo and the year before they were given that wannabe instrument and all around general noisemaker, the recorder.

He wanted to play the trumpet, but chose the clarinet…

Granted, my son is way more musical than me, he plays piano and will be taking his level 2 conservatory exams soon.

But boy, how the times have changed from when we were in school, right?  Or have they?!?

What instrument did you play and why?

Was it your first choice?

I remember having to face this dilemma way back in grade 6.  My best friend at the time was a drummer – taught by the drummer from Platinum Blonde – so I wanted to drum.  But with only one drum set and the need for only one drummer, I was out of luck.  Oh, and he was REALLY good, and I was really awful on the drums.

My teacher instead gave me the cymbals and the triangle.


The following year I wanted the trombone because all the trumpets were taken, but my first time using the trombone, I used the instrument to drill my friend in the back of the head (he was sitting in front of me).  That was my absolute reason for requesting the instrument… To use it as a weapon.  What was wrong with me??  But my teacher set me straight, alright.

Bye bye trombone.

She gave me the Tuba.

Little did I know back then that nobody takes the instruments which are impossible to take home to practice… But I got the instrument that I deserved.

I managed to convince the teacher that the Baratone was better (lighter), however every class my friends would toss stuff into it (like the little plastic army guys), so when my turn to play that one note came up, my instrument made either the wrong noise or no noise at all.

The upside was that carrying that beast home (I walked to and from school) made me very strong and I learned one helluva lesson.

The following year I chose the French horn!

A rather unique instrument, but was lightweight, had 3 keys and was rarely used.  So I guess I showed her, eh?  That was until she gave me a solo in one of the school concerts.  Me, my French horn and a LOT of people watching me.  Needless to say, I was sick that night of the concert, but on my BEST behaviour the rest of the year.  I had finally met my match.

If only I had selected a real instrument and actually learned it…

… Like the recorder.  lol.


What instrument do you want your child to learn?

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So THIS is How Children Get Interested in Things…

I’ve been trying for what seems like forever to get my children interested in sports, but to no avail.  Even when my middle son, Stewie, went from not being able to stand on ice skates just 2 years ago, to playing houseleague hockey this year, I cannot convince him to watch hockey on TV.


Plus, I LOVE watching baseball on TV, win-or-lose, Blue Jays or any other team, yet my kids would sit for a minute – declare it boring – then move on.

I did manage to get them to like / love the Toronto Rock Lacrosse team – as a season ticket holder since their inception – I always thought it was because of the in-game activities like the lights, music playing throughout the game and food, more than the fact that the Rock were the team that won the most in a City starved for sports success.

I remember when the Boston Bruins were good, just a couple of seasons ago, and my oldest son Linus declared his love for Tukka Rask and other Bruins over the hometown Maple Leafs.  I was disappointed but it was then that I realized kids what to support a winning team.  How else can you explain all those fans of the Montreal Canadiens?!?

Now that my oldest is 10, I’m noticing he is paying attention to everything baseball, and why not!  The Toronto Blue Jays staved off elimination last night with a 7-1 win over the Kansas City Royals and for the past month instead of playing hockey in the basement, we play baseball.

Winning gets the kids attention!  It is winning that get children interested in sports and other events… Other events like politics.

With the Canadian Federal election a couple of days in the past, I can tell you that my children sure as hell know more about the next Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau than I do.  They know he was “Just Not Ready” and that he walks a lot (up a down escalator in one campaign ad, and in a field in another).  They also know that he dropped out of a lot of courses in University and that he is going to spend Canada into massive debt.

They’re not impressed but they are listening to the TV and radio and they are reading articles about the PM and they are watching Trudeau and the Liberals (both Federally and Provincially here in Ontario) like hawks.

It’s also the age.

My 10-year-old and now 9-year-old know every player on the Blue Jays.  They know the scores, they know the batting averages and as a result of post-season baseball for the first time in their lives, they know about stealing signs, the pop-up slide and catchers framing pitches.

I’m excited.

They’re excited.

This is how kids get interested!  It’s part parental encouragement (which sometimes acts as a detriment) part success and part coming of age.

In the meantime, I cannot get my kids to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs – the main discussion here surrounds the proposed name change to Toronto Maple Leaves and my child’s constant joke about the 1-3-2 Leafs and how they, like the “real” leafs “fall” this time of year… Every year.


Go Jays Go!


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Liberal Majority Government, Stephen Harper Resigns! I Hope the Tax Increases Are Worth It, Canadians!!

Well, Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party of Canada are forming the next government of Canada – a Majority government, no less.

Stephen Harper has resigned as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

I cannot help but feel deep down inside that there was so much hatred directed at the Prime Minister and that people voted to remove him from office and chose the Liberals over the NDP to do so.

Unfortunately, the electing of the Liberal Party also brings with massive debt and after the spending spree the Liberals intend to go on, the deficit is going to increase at a rapid rate, and as we all know, the Liberals need money to pay for their promises and that money comes from you and I, the taxpayers of Canada.


I hope the desire to remove Harper is worth the headaches we’ll be suffering with Justin in command, and I’m not just talking about their out-of-control spending.

Here are some great Justin oops which hopefully will not be occurring as leader of the country;

Unlike Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne who has made MANY mistakes but covered them up with flat denial, avoidance and threats of lawsuits, Justin Trudeau has not appeared to understand the importance of thinking before he speaks.

During the controversy surrounding Bill C-51 – a bill where by the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), and 17 other government agencies are granted the authority to combat threats to Canada’s national security, preferably without infringing on Canadians’ Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Liberal leader who voted for the Bill, has now admitted that his support for the Conservatives Bill might have been a mistake…

During the Maclean’s Magazine leaders debate, Trudeau responded to the conversation around the Liberals’ support of C-51, with these four words: “Perhaps it was naive.”

Here is how he voted on the Bill;

To give Trudeau the benefit of doubt, it was a tough decision to make, I’m sure. I heard him stumble and bumble over the easy questions about which shampoo he uses and which Avenger was his favourite, so maybe this way just a difficult question for him to answer.

He does like to go (vote) with the crowd… He He knows legalizing pot is popular with the kiddies.

He knows taxing the “rich” or the “1%” is popular with the other 99% of Canadians, and he knows that increasing spending to get stuff done is super-popular… It’s Christmas in October and that pony you have always wanted?!? Guess what? Justin’s getting you one. Just vote for him and tell your friends!

Oh, and the 1%… Who are these awful rich people who get all the tax breaks according to Trudeau?!? In Canada the highest Federal tax paid is 29% for those making over $138K per year. Add that to the provincial rate, and in Ontario, for example, someone making over $138K can pay over 42% of their income in tax. ( Are these the people he will be targeting? Or, is Justin going after the REALLY rich people who based on very basic mathematics make the most money, but also pay the most back in taxes!

Trudeau believes small business owners create small businesses as a vehicle to hide their massive incomes. Doesn’t every 1%’er want to have to deal with the Canada Revenue Agency on a daily basis, be responsible for the income of their employees and paying taxes to keep the economy ticking so the Liberals can come in to power, increase taxes and call them frauds… Don’t think so.

I believe in discussing facts, so I went to the Liberal Party of Canada’s website, to the link for “My platform”, to make sure I presented his promises in a fair and reasonable manner. Unfortunately, because I was unwilling to click that I would be / or might be voting for Justin, I was not able to get in to the secret Liberals playground. Instead, I had the option to use a search option to add what I want from the Liberal Party.

I entered this; “Fiscal responsibility, Responsible spending, Respectful spending, Respect for Taxpayers money, Lower taxes, Do not raise taxes, accountability for words and actions.”

The search engine was not able to find a match for any of these items in the Liberal’s platform!

Oh my.

Deep down inside, I feel that the Liberals and their leader know that only in Ontario will citizens tolerate out of control spending and corruption by continuously voting in the same government which increased taxes, delisted services and has caused absolute chaos with teachers and soon doctors.

When Trudeau said, “The budget will balance itself”, he believed it.

He also has very poor judgement. He accepted Conservative hand-off Eve Adams, who was being dropped by the Conservative party, and who then lost her nomination bid to Marco Mendicino. Where was the questions surrounding his judgement as has happened to Stephen Harper regarding his appointment of Mike Duffy and Pamala Wallin to the Senate.

Trudeau also publicly mistook Russia’s opposition leader Boris Nemtsov (who was shot dead in Russia) with former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov (whom he had met with), in a press release.

Or when he called a Conservative member a “Piece of Shit”, then went on a potty mouthed tirade where you can see that he actually enjoyed it without thinking for a moment about the implications down the road (

So much like his Dad…

Or, when being interviewed on Les francs-tireurs, Trudeau said, “Canada isn’t doing well right now because it’s Albertans who control our community and socio-democratic agenda.”

He also said Canada would be better served if there were more Quebecers than Albertans in charge.

Trudeau did apologize, and then tried to explain away his thoughtlessness by saying he didn’t hate Albertans but that his comments were directed the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, who rose to power as an MP from Calgary, which he really thinks makes it all okay…

But he doesn’t just hate Alberta… He hates all of Canada, except Quebec. As a MP, Trudeau told Radio Canada; “I always say, if there came a point where I thought Canada really was Stephen Harper’s Canada … maybe I’d consider making Quebec a country. Oh yes. Absolutely. I know my values very well even if I no longer recognized Canada.”


There is even a story – recently removed from the Internet – where Justin Trudeau declared that if aliens came from outer space, they would have the same rights as human beings, and would be granted Canadian citizenship…

Now I’m sure that the puppeteers pulling the strings of Trudeau are in full spin control, teaching Justin how to correct his oopsys and explain that clearly each and every comment has been taken out of context or manipulated by the evil Right-Wing media in Canada – wait, we don’t have that option so much anymore – then it must be Stephen Harper’s fault for forcing Justin to speak this way.

He’s young… ish.

He’s hip… ish.

He’s trying to keep up with the success of Ben Mulroney, but he’s just going tp promise himself into a corner and ask every Canadian to Ben Dover.

On October 19th the Canadian public have made a choice, and I have a few words for voters in Canada… Cavete Emptor. Let the buyer beware!

(Geez, even Stephen Dion was elected!)

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Jose Bautista aka Joey Bats and the ALDS Winning Home Run PLUS his Bat Flip from Hell.


Words cannot describe the feeling that I had when I saw the baseball leave the bat of Toronto Blue Jays Right Fielder, Jose Bautista yesterday afternoon in front of a packed Rogers Centre to give the Jays a 6-3 lead in the 5th and deciding game of the American League Divisional Series.

Like so many times before, Bautista (aka Joey Bats) came through when the game was on the line and he hit one of the most historic home runs in the history of Toronto Sports, right up there with the World Series winning home run belted by Joe Carter.

What made this home run even that much more meaningful was the reaction that Jose had after the ball left his bat, when he knew it was going to take a tense 3-3 game and open it wide up.

Jose is the kind of player that Toronto sports fans love, and embrace because he’s a wonderful role model, he’s a bright guy and he cares.  He plays with passion and he never takes a play off.  Playing all season with an injured shoulder and with tons of attention on Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, Bautista continued to be the real MVP on the team in the clubhouse.

For quite a few months this season, Bautista refused to do one-on-one interviews with Rogers Sportsnet in protest of the broadcaster’s refusal to pay the cost of a designer suit purchased by Jays rookie Devon Travis for a TV segment aired on Sportsnet on May 19th.

And now, the Bat Flip from Hell, showcases Jose, and the City of Toronto – plus the rest of Canada – and the passion and intensity we have for the Blue Jays and the game of baseball.  I’m positive it turned many a head, and while poor Sam Dyson and the state of Texas may be upset with the act, they need to understand the reaction was not intended to show up the Rangers, the pitcher, or MLB, but it was a reaction from a player who cares, who is passionate and who has played with the Blue Jays in the lean times and wants to enjoy the good times.

As former Blue Jays pitcher Todd Stottlemyre said yesterday afternoon on the Fan590, being a member of the Toronto Blue Jays changes you.  You feel Canadian, and you understand that the Blue Jays might play in Toronto, but they really are Canada’s team.

Heck, two of my three children are away at camp with their school and their teacher posted a clip on his Twitter feed of the bedlam that ensued after that home run.

It was an incredible day to be a sports fan!  Even better to be a baseball fan.  But a day like this comes by far too infrequently when history is made, and a defining moment plays out right before your eyes.  Jose Bautista’s home run and subsequent bat flip was witnessed by so many people in Canada and North America, and will be engrained in our memories forever.

Go Jays Go.


Here is the Bat Flip from Hell:

... and there she goes...

… and there she goes…

(I warned my ball hockey team that if I scored the winning goal at our game later that evening I was going to “bat flip” my hockey stick…  I didn’t score, thankfully for everyone).


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