“Super”Bowl Thoughts from my Kids


We watched most of the Super Bowl yesterday which would represent a first for my middle and suddenly sporty son.  He has had zero interest in football prior to yesterday – and to be honest – he watched it because of the commercials and the Lady Gaga half-time show.

Here are his thoughts of the game;

  1. Why don’t they show the commercials here in Canada?  What a scam!
  2. If the NFL is worried about concussions, why do they allow players to hit someone head first.  If they were really concerned, they would toss all players who hit with their heads, or hit someone in the head.
  3. NFL does not stand for “No Farting League” as I told his sister.  I suggested “No Farting Ladies” but my wise 7-year-old countered with “No Farting Lads”!
  4. When asked who would win, he said “New Zealand”.
  5. When asked which state Boston is in, he said “New York”.
  6. After realizing that Ottawa was in Ontario, he wondered out loud if Canada consisted of Ontario and Quebec – to which I said; “And that is why Western Canada hates Toronto, my son!”  Plus we’ve all been to the East Coast of Canada.
  7. Why is Tom Brady’s wife cheering into her cell phone – taking selfies instead of celebrating with the rest of the people in the press box?
  8. Lady Gaga was incredible!  On the roof, jumping from the roof, singing, not singing, all in those high-heels.  She totally rocked and was a true highlight of the night.
  9. He felt because the game was played in a neutral location (Texas) the sounds from the stands sounded canned and phony.  He said they might as well have played the game in an empty stadium and played a cheering sound track along with the game.
  10. Why does the NFL need their championship trophy to be “Super”?  Why is the Stanley Cup not named the Super Cup and why does the winning team receive the Vince Lombardi trophy when they win???  Where is the bowl???
  11. Why isn’t there a team in Toronto?
  12. Since no team had even overcome a 10-point deficit and there had been no overtime games in the league’s 51-year history, and with New England (or New Zealand, New York) losing 28-3 at half-time – my kids assumed it was over for the Pats.  Upon learning of the Falcon loss, my son’s response was the always classic, “Whoa!”.
  13. Upon hearing that Tom Brady was being regarded as the best quarterback in the history of the NFL, my son quipped; “I think he is, because he’s the only quarterback I know, and he won the game.”
  14. Where are the damn commercials???

 

So I think this was a success, and even though he doesn’t know all the rules, or where the teams play, him, his sister and their older brother enjoyed the half-time show more than anything.

“Can you take me to a concert?” was the post-game cry from the kids…

… and sign me up for lacrosse.

Only in Canada, eh?

Today is Friday the 13th! Here are 13 things Parents really should be weary of…


Friday January 13th.  I think I’m supposed to be afraid today of black cats, open ladders, and a bunch of other crap which has been debunked by science, but not being a superstitious guy, I thought I could help parents with 13 things they really need to worry about – not just on Friday the 13th.

Please read and comment with tongue planted firmly in your cheek.  They are all true, however, your level of worry and fear will be determined by the age of your children and the number of children you have – meaning more kids usually equals less fears…

Sit tight, watch out for open ladders and let’s go!

13.  Kids + playdates + school = germs and sickness.  Remember that anti-bacterial anything is evil and make sure that you’ve got all of your natural and medical aides on hand plus a ton of tissues.  You’ll forget what it’s like to be healthy every now and then.

12.  It’s best to never sit in on a child’s playdate because you will be mortified by what your child says / does and you’ll want to send them to boarding school or never allow them to have playdates again.

11.  Clothing – when kids are young, you buy them colours they like and you stock up, but then that day will come when they will hate everything in their drawers and refuse to go to school.  You can’t plan for this day, you can’t take them with you and buy what they want only.   They wake up hating everyone…

10.  … and everyone.  Prior to the wardrobe catastrophe, comes the parenting realization that they just can’t stand you / can’t stand to be around you / be seen with you / won’t hold your hand in public.  IT’s really hard to accept, considering all that you’ve done for them (ungrateful), that is until…

9.  … They need stuff and they need it to be fancy, and expensive and they need it now.  No longer is that 10-year old Wii that they never play with good enough, because little Jimmy has a PS4, and little Jane has an X-box…  When they need something they will be in your face all the time, remind you a thousand times a day, and go between begging and anger as they try to figure out what it will take to get you to do as they say.  They’ll drive you to the cliff of sanity and if pushing you over gets them what they want, I hope you’ve packed a parachute.

8.   Kids are great at negotiating their position when they want something but when you need them to clean their rooms, pick up after themselves, or clean their dishes off the table, good luck!  Nothing can be more frustrating to parents than having kids who just cannot / or refuse to understand the basic premise of cleanliness

7.   Beware school bags and lunch boxes, especially after 2-weeks of holiday break.  The contents of a plastic container which at one time held lunch but now contains a vomit-scented science experiment can scar a parent for life.

6.   I don’t need to go into great detail here, but children’s underwear which get tossed in the laundry and have sat there for a couple of day and should have been brought to the parents’ attention before they smell / touch / spread throughout the rest of the laundry / house.

5.   As a child I was scarred when someone came into our school (likely Public Health) with these pink chew tablets and when we chewed them the plaque on our teeth turned dark pink.  I was horrified to chew the tablets but also became a fanatical tooth brusher / flosser later in life.   If they tool was still available, and we gave them to our children, the result would be horrifying, especially when we pass the tooth brushing on to them.

4.   Find the kids hiding spot in the house / car… I dare you.  The candy wrappers, chewed gum (especially if you don’t let them chew gum) and other crap they have accumulated / borrowed / stolen / broken would make you tear out your hair.

3.   Sleep!  UGH.  You’ll never get enough, never make up the lost sleep, which makes you look and feel older, and forget sleeping in your own bed!  There are nights where I have slept in every child’s bed with them because of; nightmares, weather, threat of bad weather, sickness, threat of sickness, loneliness, manipulation, I woke them up, or because they’re kids and kids are awesome and just want the attention.  Spending quality time with your kids and being there for them is awesome because there will come a day when the think you’re gross, but as for your sleep… Forget about it!  It’s over.

2.   When girls and boys go from being “yucky” and “gross” to silence.  That silence means they have taken notice and it might be time for that puberty check (armpit hair).  Then it’s a whole different ball game, my friends!  A completely different set of nightmares and worries.

1. Once you get it all figured out and everything seems to be in order (meaning you finally broke them and they are fully complying, or they’re moving out to go to University) you realize just how much you’re going to miss them.  Miss picking up after them.  Miss telling them to chew with their mouths shut.  Miss giving them advice and miss their company, their senses of humour, and they ability to lighten up a room (or clear that room).

 

So make sure this Friday the 13th, after you explain to your kids the myths and superstitions, that you hug them, kiss them and tell them you love them.

Deep down they love you too and might even admit it today (but take it back tomorrow).

… Is that a black cat!!!

 

Aaaarrrrrggghhhhhh.

The World Series Starts Tonight! Which Jinx Ends?!?


So the World Series begins tonight in Chicago as the Chicago Cubs who last won the World Series in 1908, face the team from Cleveland (team name omitted on purpose) who last won the Fall Classic in 1948.

Contrary to the belief of my children, neither myself nor my pet dinosaur were alive when the Cubs were last named World Champions.

As a diehard Toronto Blue Jays fan, I could vote for Cleveland because they eliminated Toronto, or I could vote for the Cubbies and their poor, suffering fans.  The Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association also eliminated the Toronto Raptors from the NBA playoffs so I have reason to hate Cleveland, but then again the poor City finally got one World Champion so another in the same year would be wonderful for them, right?!?

Of note in this series, is which team will have the jinx removed from their franchise.  The Cubs were jinxed because of some goat, while the Cleveland team was really jinxed by a Native American group who disapproved of their use of team name, logo and mascot.

The Cubs curse is known as “The Curse of the Billy Goat” and was put in the team in 1945 by the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern. Apparently he used to bring his goat to the games at Wrigley Field in Chicago and the odor (not Roughned) of his pet goat, Murphy, was bothering other fans so he was asked to leave the park during game 4 of the 1945 World Series.

While leaving, the Tavern owner declared “Them Cubs, they ain’t gonna win no more”, and they didn’t, losing the 1945 World Series to the Detroit Tigers and then never making it back until this season – 46 years after the death of the Tavern’s owner.

Now, the Cleveland curse is quite different.

Some may say the curse on the Cleveland came from trading star players after star player, however, the curse on the team stems from the teams name, “Indians”, which originated from a request by then club owner Charles Somers to baseball writers to choose a new name to replace the current team name, the “Cleveland Naps” following the departure of Nap Lajoie after the 1914 season.

“Indians” was chosen because writers used to call the Cleveland Spiders baseball club, the “Indians” in reference to a Native American player named Louis Sockalexis.

The team is also referred to as the “Tribe” and their “mascot” Chief Wahoo (who is actually a Brave because Chief’s have a many feathers).

The team itself, began playing organized ball in 1894 in Michigan, as the Grand Rapids Rustlers. The team moved to Cleveland in 1900, changing their name to the Lake Shores.

It has been said that until Cleveland change their team name and use of Chief Wahoo, the team will be forever jinxed.

Either way, one of these jinx’s will end at the conclusion of the World Series.

My 11-year-old son was wondering what it was like watching baseball back in 1908.  There was no TV, no way to broadcast the games, certainly no way for someone in another country to learn of the game or the results from so far away.

He was thinking about what it would have been like to have been a young boy in Poland, where his now 100-year-old grandfather grew up and eventually had to flee for his life from the Nazis before making his way to North America, then to Canada.

Baseball, eh?

Hard to think about baseball when Nazi’s chase you from your home, kill everyone in your family, then give your home and your belongings to others.

Life goes on.

A curse will end.

Interesting perspective from an 11-year-old.

 

 

 

 

Yes, We’ve Gotten Aboard The Pokémon Go Train Too…


When I first heard about this new game called “Pokémon Go”, it was in a context of a new natural selection of sorts where people who apparently never leave their houses or who are up all night and sleep all day are now venturing out into the big scary world – devices in front of their faces and are;

  • exercising
  • walking off of cliffs
  • walking into traffic
  • complaining about aches and pains from the exercise
  • venturing into restricted areas
  • catching Pokemon!

When the hype failed to die down, I sought out more information and I found out was that it was not available in Canada… yet, but I was already intrigued as to what kind of game could be THAT engaging to cause people to harm themselves in order to play.

Well, the game was made available for download here in Canada a few days ago, and now, we’ve caught quite a few of those little Pokemen (if that’s what one is called).

The first Pokemon was actually in our bed (insert comment here), but I’ve come to learn that once you install the app, the first Pokémon appears near where you are when you start the game. That makes me feel better knowing that over-exercised, under-rested kids won’t be trying to get into our bedroom to catch that little (I mean, big) Pokemon that was bouncing on our bed.

So now we have tried the game a couple of times, and it’s fun, I guess.  Nothing all that addictive, to be honest, although my youngest kids (the oldest is still away at camp) seem to enjoy it more that I do and I’m not sure if they like it more or less than my wife does…

But any excuse to get out of the house after dinner for a nice walk, to meet and speak to neighbours and friends under the guise of catching Pokémon is A-Okay for me!

Apparently, it’s not okay to capture Pokémon on military bases, in restricted areas and at any offices of PETA.

What I did not know about this thing named Pokémon is that in the original Pokémon narrative, a 10-year-old boy decides he wants to become a master of these creatures called Pokémon and to do that he must catch all of them.  To do that, a scientist has given him a “Pikachu” which is a temperamental electric rat.

This boy repeatedly orders Pikachu to fight wild Pokémon, weakening them until they can be captured. Once caught, the captured Pokémon are then re-trained to fight other Pokémon until there are no more wild Pokémon left.

PETA now has a campaign to free captured Pokémon (#GottaFreeEmAll), and they have banned fighting and catching Pokémon at their LA office (although I saw a wink in the notice which might mean they do not actually believe Pokémon Go is the same as cockfighting or dogfighting).

While some people have compared the catching of Pokémon to taking animals out of the wild and putting them in zoos, circuses, and other places that exploit and abuse them, I remind them that Bugs Bunny was REALLY violent and people don’t hate bunny’s as a result!

I have a feeling that somebody will draw a comparison to catching Pokémon with those kids who play violent videogames, get desensitized to the violence then act of in real life.  For those people the lines between reality and fantasy have been blurred and if it’s not the drugs at fault, it’s the parents who need to cut the cord on the remote and snap these kids back into reality…

But I digress.

Pokémon has been around for over 20-years, and I can’t say that there has been any indication that Pokémon players have evolved into sadistic animal torturers, or worse, zoo keepers, but if people who play Pokémon really are the lowest of the low on the human food chain, then let them play and this newest version of natural selection will weed on the bottom feeders and our medical system can fix the rest of them!

Let the people play!

 

June 15th is National Lobster Day! How to eat a lobster tips…


Did you know that June 15th is National Lobster Day in the United States and possibly in Canada as well?!?

I certainly did not know that until an email came into my inbox entitled “How To Eat A Lobster”, from Executive Chef Seth Levine (Hotel Chantelle, Penthouse808 at Ravel Hotel and The Regal).

Coincidentally, Hotel Chantelle, Penthouse808 and The Regal each just re-launched their own Lobster Bakes held weekly each Wednesday – which includes 1 whole lobster, steamed little neck clams, baked red russet potatoes and farm fresh corn on the cob for a prix-fixe price (price varies among venues).

The Lobster Bakes will be taking place throughout the duration of summer.

YUM!

Executive Chef Seth Levine’s Tips on How To Eat A Lobster:

  1. The easiest way to break down a lobster is by bending its joints backwards or twisting it out of its joints. This technique can be done with every movable part of the lobster.
  2. Skewer the lobster tail before cooking to keep it straight when cooking. It is easier to extract the tail meat when it’s cooked straight rather than when it’s curled.
  3. The leg meat is very sweet. After breaking them at their joints, eat them each like an artichoke. Hold one end with your teeth and pull the leg shells down with your fingers. Another sweet secret morsel of meat is in the tail fins- eat those similar to an artichoke as well.
  4. If you’re feeling adventurous, the green lobster liver is a delicacy also known as tomalley, and has some of the best flavor. Give it a try. Female lobsters may have a roe sack which turns bright red after cooking. Again, it is super flavorful and lobster lovers already know to dive right in.
  5. The knuckles take the most time to fish out the meat, but they are well worth it. Depending on how hard the shell is on your lobster, using crackers and a lobster pick are always your best tools of choice. The knuckles have very sharp spikes or points, so doing this with your hands can be dangerous. This is where most people end up cutting themselves when deconstructing a lobster.
  6. Lastly, the lobster body has hidden crevices all over. This takes the most time and effort to find them all. With smaller lobsters, the time and effort may not be worth it but on larger lobsters where the legs meet the body, you will find some delicious meat.

 

Enjoy your lobster on the 15th – and onward – and remember, it’s better to eat a lobster than to be in the sun without sun protection and look like a lobster.