Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, disaster, family, Linus, news, Parenting, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Terror in Toronto – April 23rd, 2018.


Dbg_PgeWAAES_ggYesterday was a very sad day in the City of Toronto.  My hometown.  My City.  The 5th largest city in North America, and it happened on Yonge Street, the longest street in the world which connect Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe.

The section of Yonge Street that this occurred on was from Finch Avenue to Sheppard Avenue.  I grew up, and lived at Yonge and Finch for almost 29-years.  I worked just north of Yonge and Sheppard for the Canada Revenue Agency for almost 11-years, and my mother and sister both live at Yonge and Sheppard – my sister works on Yonge Street as well.  This area I know very, very well.  It currently is predominately a hotspot for Korean and Persian residents and businesses.

Yesterday, for whatever reason, a 25-year-old male from North of Toronto, decided to rent a cube van and drive on the sidewalk down Yonge Street running over innocent people, as well as mailboxes, fire hydrants, lamp posts and anything else that was in his way.

As of the time I am writing this, 10 innocent Torontonians have lost their lives, and another 10-15 are in hospital fighting for their lives / receiving treatment.

If you have seen the video of the arrest of the driver of the van, you will understand what makes Toronto so amazing, and why our police are the best.  The unknown officer approached the driver, who whipped out his cell phone as if it were a gun and pointed it at the officer.  The officer did not flinch, but kept approaching the driver.

The officer yelled to the driver, “Get down”.

The driver yelled to the officer, “Shoot me.  Kill me.  I have a gun in my pocket.”

The officer kept approaching the driver, slowly, gun drawn and yelling, “Get down.  You’re going to get shot. Get down.”

The driver dropped his phone and was arrested.

He did not have a gun.  Guns are not allowed in Canada.

Amazing, caught on video footage of an incredibly brave officer!  Toronto Proud!

What else made me very proud of this city, and the people who live here is the countless stories of people rushing to the aid of the victims within seconds of the incident (which occurred over a period of 25-minutes) and administering CPR, and comforting the people as they lay in the streets badly wounded or dying.

Residents handed out water, supported each other, hugged those who needed to be held, and helped others to safety.

Any amazing reaction by an amazing community in an amazing city.  It brings tears to my eyes to know that in a time of crisis and unknown that people from all walks of life, of all ethnic backgrounds, of all ages, sexes, and from all races, religions, etc., realized that Canadians are special people and we need to support each other.

That is what makes Canada great.

That is what makes Toronto great.

Growing up in such a multi-cultural city is a blessing as it allows you the opportunity to look at people for what they are… people.  They are your neighbours, your friends, your colleagues, and your community.

Our city was under siege and our citizens reacted.

First responders, hospital staff, and police were incredible as usual, and everyone held their breath expecting news of this attack being a terrorist attack which would be adding to a horrific event, but it appears it was not terrorism.

News unfolding today reveals a man who was uncomfortable around women, who needed extra help in school and was unable to adjust to life as an adult.  Without confirmation, it tells a story of a man who was rejected by women and who felt the best way to deal with it was not to get help, but to inflict terror on innocent people.

I’m sick.

Words cannot express the sadness I am feeling for the families of the 10-people who will not be coming home from work today, or from their stroll on a beautiful sunny day.  Their lives will be changed forever as will the witnesses, the first responders and anyone who saw the footage on TV or the Net.

How do we prevent these from happening again?

I don’t know.

I feel that this man’s parents should have gotten him help.

I feel like they should have known he was dealing with these issues and they should have worked with professionals to address his feelings, his anger issues, and his rage.

Canada has socialized medicine.  It’s not like it would have costs the family a lot of money in appointments or medication…

Parents, it’s our responsibility, is it not, to help our children develop and contribute to society, not destroy it?

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims, and to those in hospital, we wish a speedy recovery.

Yesterday my city was under attack, and the people of this city made me so proud to be a Torontonian!

UPDATE: The drive has been charged with 10 counts of murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.

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Posted in Canada, Community, family, Life, Linus, Sports, urbandaddyblog

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.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Coffee, Community, Daddy, family, Life, Linus, Parenting, urbandaddyblog

Stuff That Pisses Me Off… Or Just Annoys Me!


Every now and then I get on a role – get stuff done that has been kicking around forever and while embracing my super-efficient pace, there is always something that slows me down and pisses me off.  Usually it has little to do with the work I’m doing.

For example;

This past weekend, the Victoria Day long weekend here in Ontario, saw my vacuum and wash the inside of my car for probably the first time… ever!  This is absolutely disgusting considering my kids eat in the car and I found chewed gum, globs of old ice cream and enough packaging to cause global warming.

I also bought flowers and some veggies for The Urban Daddy’s gardens (I LOVE gardening!) and I emptied underneath the front stairs outside the house – we have no garage but a ton of space under the front stairs which runs half the width of the house – dusted it, tossed some garbage, then moved some crap.  It’s clean, bikes are at the front and ready to go, and the patio furniture and cushions are in place.

I had a ton of help from my oldest son, Linus!  He was awesome when cleaning the back yard, setting up the deck, cleaning the furniture, scrubbing the cedar deck and hosing down the junk.  He helped move the extra BBQ out and helped me clean under the deck.  He also helped clean the basement… A super-helper indeed.

So what’s pissing me off?

1)  Raccoons!

These vile creatures are living on my neighbours Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) mesh which covers the side of his house facing us. Between our houses is our only access to the backyard from outside the house and their poison poop rolls off the mesh onto the ground, or worse, it gets stuck in the mesh and then stinks to high heaven as the temperatures heat up.

As a result, they walk through my backyard, scare my kids and is the reason I cannot leave my cushions on my deck.

What’s with the mesh, you might ask?

Well, soon after we moved in, they decided our WiFi was making them sick, so they took some readings, and where everyone says you should get “reliable readings to ascertain the dangers. If you don’t, it’s all guesswork. You can’t hope to deal with your EMF exposures on the basis of guesswork. EMF exposures are changing constantly”, they went with emotion and threw up the mesh from front to back of their house to keep our WiFi out.

Not surprisingly, since that occurred, about 5-years ago, the house on the other side of them was torn down and re-built and yes, we can pick up that WiFi signal in our house which means that either it’s coming around their house, or into their house, hitting the mesh and then staying in their house… It’s like they’re protect us too, kind of…

While the mesh makes it look like their house is stuck mid-construction, they could have used the Radio Frequency (RF) radiation reading (generally high where emitted by cell towers – no cell towers in sight, by the way) and instead of trying to cover ¼ of their house in mesh, they could have shielded their windows using a special window film, and their bedroom using a high frequency EMF shielding paint.

But we get mesh…

Could have been worse, I guess from the visual side as they could have gone cheap and used aluminum foil. The raccoons would have slid right off – or maybe their poop would have all just slid off.

They also removed their smart meter, but they did give us low frequency phones which was a very kind thing to do… I guess.

2) BMW drivers!

Sorry.  Every time I see really horrible driving, or when a car is tailing me too close (for going 90km/h in a 80km/h zone) it’s a beemer!  I’ve written many posts about BMW drivers and my thoughts about why it’s specific to the car – so go read those – but just because you worked hard to buy or rent a BMW doesn’t make you any more special than anyone else.  Stop driving like a prick!

3)  I might have heard that a mother was charged with child abuse for letting her 11-year-old child drive a golf cart.

I also might have heard a case where child protective services were summoned when a mother left her child to play in their fenced off backyard… gasp… alone.

I think people need to step back, take a deep breath and use services like these when there are real signs of neglect like bruises, or malnourishment.  I walked to school by myself when I was 7.  I had to cross a road.  Sometimes I ran to school.  Sometimes I rode my bike.  Sometimes I went to pick up a friend on the way.

The world has changed, yes it has, but it’s still the same communities, same cautious people and same neighbours who we used to get to know and would keep an eye out for one another.

Let my people go!

Let the kids play.

Stop helicoptering over my kids!!!

4)  Leggings!

Hate, hate, hate them, but only when they’re NOT worn with a shirt which covers your ass.

I’m sorry, this is not just a girl / woman thing, because there are boys / men who think they can walk around with their pants below their ass and that it’s “cool” to do so… It’s not.  In both cases, have some pride and humility people…  If you want to be taken seriously, dress accordingly.  If you’ve just been to the gym, good for you, but buy a longer shirt.  If that’s the way you dress…

5) “Like”

I thought we were past the phase where people, like, use the word “like, when they, like, have something to, like, get off their chests…

Apparently not.

In Starbucks this morning, a recent grad is being interviewed for a job, a like real job, as she proclaimed to the interviewer, which she didn’t think she would, like, find so soon after graduation.

The interviewer commented that this applicants resume and cover letter were impressive but even I could tell that she was so very unimpressed with the causal use of the word “like” and the interview ended soon after the grad said, “Well, I’m, like, not looking for a, like, real job so soon after graduating.  I was, like, so impressed that I got a, like, interview, but I’m, like, not interested in the job.

??????

Hopefully the grad bought the coffee, eh?

 

 

So what pisses you off today?  Don’t be shy and tell me if I’m way off base on any of these.  I’m a big boy, I can take it. You can also change my mind with facts and a good argument, so take that challenge and speak up!  Or else!  lol.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Baby Boy, Baby girl, boo, Coffee, Community, Daddy, family, Food, Happy Boy, hockey, Life, Linus, Parenting, Sports, Stewie, The Urban Daddy, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

Great Father’s Day! Happy Father’s Day, 2015.


Today is Father’s Day, 2015.

I love Father’s Day – not just today – but every day, because I feel that every day is Father’s Day.  I don’t need a day where it’s forced, but I know that I am not in the majority when it comes to the father’s role in a household.

I am a huge fan of Mother’s Day! – Not for being the only day to celebrate and appreciate your mother and the mother of your children – but because of the pain and effort Mother’s went through to have their children, and then go through for the rest of their lives for their children.

In most cases, without Mothers there would be no Fathers.

Growing up, I never felt the need to go hardcore on either Mother’s Day or Father’s Day because I tried to express my appreciation for my parents every day of the year, or at least more often than once a year.  I still bought the cards, chocolates, flowers and whatever else was available for my parents but I never saw it for more than an opportunity for retail stores and the greeting card market to cash in.

Fast forward to today, in 2015, and as a super-involved parent of 3 fabulous children, I feel the same way about Father’s Day for me.  I don’t need a tie, or cufflinks, nor a store bought card they signed, or another mug touting me as the World’s Greatest Dad.   All I really need is a hug, kiss, and a hand-made gesture of their appreciation for anything that I’ve done during the year.

As a result, my Father’s Day this year was awesome and here are some of the reasons why;

My almost 6-year-old daughter had a soccer tournament through her North Toronto Soccer team, and I’m the coach!  She started out playing soccer quite timidly, not surprising as the youngest of 3 kids whose older siblings are boys, but she has been great as of late.

Ever since a classmate of hers knocked her on her ass on purpose, which proved to be a wake-up call from my daughter, who got up, didn’t cry, dusted herself off, and then started playing more physically, which resulted in her scoring 3 goals including the game winner!

In fact, as this was the last game of the season for the team, there was one girl who had not scored a single goal all season, and after my daughter sped through the middle with the ball, and blew past both defenders, she waited at the goal line, called for this girl to run over, and she let the girl score her first goal.

The girl cried.

Her parents cried.

I almost cried.

If that is not the more empathetic thing a 5-year-old can do without being told to do so by anyone on the team, I don’t know what is.  It made me realize that this child is special, and maybe… just maybe, the parenting is paying off.

This girls parents told us that their daughter is going to remember this day forever.

From there, we packed a lunch, grabbed some extra tissues in case of nose bleeds, and we headed north to Richmond Hill, to take child number 1 to a birthday party in Vaughan Mills.

We walked around the mall, and walked and walked and walked, and then when we could walk no more, we headed out for dinner to one of my favourite restaurants, Mezza Notte Trattoria, where I ate their super incredible appetizer of escargot on a Portobello mushroom in a cognac sauce, and I had a delicious piece of halibut with tomatoes, olives, and angel hair pasta.

I asked if anyone wanted to try the escargot, and because it was Father’s Day, my daughter stepped up to the plate.  She said she liked it, but she also said that she liked it better than the whale we tried while in Iceland.

I had coffee after everyone was in bed with my long-time friend and jazz musician, Dr. Andrew Scott, and then we packed up our belongings and went to the Rinx, for an 11pm ball hockey game.  I’ve been running my own team in the YCBHL since I was 19-years-old, called the Tasmaniacs.  I love the 11pm games, and it’s great working up a sweat and getting to be all aggressive for an hour.  At this particular game, we only had 2 defenseman which meant I got to play almost the entire game.

Then we all got changed, I dropped Dr. Scott off at home, and my neighbour and I went for another coffee at 1am.

I think we got home at 2:30am, so what else can I do at that hour with everyone sleeping but blog.

I blogged, did some paperwork, and hit the bed.

I am truly blessed!

Every day is Father’s Day.

Posted in Baby Boy, family, Happy Boy, Life, Linus

Hey! I have a 7-year-old.


I’m not going to start with the old adage; “Boy time sure flies” because it’s been a LONG, tiring 7 years, but Tuesday marked our oldest son, Linus’, 7th birthday. 

I sat with him last night, reflecting on the first 6 year of his life – I mistakenly referred to him as being 7 when he corrected me.  “Dad, I’m not seven.  From when I was born until I turned 1 was one year.  I’m already 7.  This is my 8th year being alive”.

Right you are… Smart ass. 

So I went further hoping in my pathetic way to get a good quote from him to tweet.  His brother and sister are destroying him with tweetable quotes and here’s what I got;

On growing older and being a leader: “Respect is the most important thing in the world”.  Not bad, eh?  All this brainwashing is rubbing off, until this came out; “Actually, respect is the second most important thing in the entire world.  Not dying before you are born is the most important”.

Who can argue that point.

So to my 7-year-old (or 8-year-old, whatever you want to call yourself) when you are reflecting back on this post down the road and you want to know what kind of child you were by this age I can tell you this.  Before you I had hair.  It was black, not grey.  You have the best smile in the world, but not the goofy one, the real one.  It is not correct that you “do not care” about absolutely everything, but instead you don’t mind, or are not concerned.  Saying you do not care means all the cool stuff we buy you and all the trips we’ve gone on as a family are a waste of time and I know that is not correct. 

It’s fun being the class clown, isn’t it.  I was one too until I awoke one day to realize I was a joke with crappy grades.  I turned it around and fast.  Please don’t wait until grade 9 like I did.

If only you would practice… Anything.  Karate, piano, swimming, then your brother would not be catching up to you and passing you.  On the bright side while he may be your equal in these areas, you destroyed him at potty training and night-time diaper training and your math skills are off the charts.   

You are hesitant to try anything new or different but trust me that will change when you realize what a rush it is.  Then you’ll be looking for adventure in all the wrong places.

You love the cold.  Aside from me, you are the only person I have met who does not get cold outside.  No hat, no gloves, jacket undone, even at the coldest of temperatures.  You look at me, I look back at you and we silently nod an understanding to each other than it’s Canada.  It gets cold.  We’re tough (and a little cool).

You are starting to like Star Wars.  YAY.  All I need is get you to practice baseball and hockey more, or dodge ball, then you will better fit in with all the boys.  The ones you don’t get along with should respect your karate skills and the girls will continue to dig your awesome smile.  Your parents… They want to see a more focussed son with greater patience.  

Yeah, good luck.  I told your mother that too.

Happy birthday son.  I cannot wait to work with you and plan your year.