Sometimes, “NO” is the only answer!


With all that is going on in the world these days, sometimes the best answer, or solution is just to say no! Then remember what prompted you to say no, and follow up and be heard.

For example;

Russia… You think it’s okay to invade Ukraine? NO. What about lying to the citizens? NO. Poisoning anyone who opposes you… NO NO NO.

Alabama removing bathrooms for transgendered kids… NO. No you are not. NO NO NO. Sorry, but not sorry. NO

Florida requires kids and teachers to out children who are gay… NO. NO. NO. NO. Then suggesting you would prosecute parents of trans kids… Heck NO.

Texas and their abortion ban… NO

Truckers honking all night and terrorizing citizens in Ottawa because they think they know what’s best for you and for me… NO

Siding with this fringe element saying they just want “freedom”… NO

Brining in the emergencies act because you want to be able to overreach and leave your legacy… NO

It’s time to say no, and mean it.

Giving a Nazi salute to a Jewish teacher… NO! Especially when the teacher comes from a family who survived the holocaust… Disgusting.

…and sadly the list goes on!

I think we’re entering the era of saying no and meaning it. Saying no to tyranny, stupidity, hate and intolerance. Hopefully we’re not just saying no in the moment and then letting something else distract us from following through on our “no” and getting these people out of office, off our media and get their antique ways gone forever!

Our futures should be about love, positivity and inclusion, and saying no is a good way to get there!

Being racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic, or anything else where you are giving an opinion on how others live their lives… NO. As my mother used to say, when my sister or I chimed in on what someone else was eating at dinner or doing with their food, “look at your own plate!” Don’t concern yourself with what others are doing. Just take care of yourself.

Abusing transit officers, or anyone providing service to the public because you feel the need to comment your personal comments or concerns around anything, including mask mandates… NO.

Honestly… This list could be endless, but keep your opinion to yourself unless it’s kind, considerate and helpful. Just be nice!

Best and Worst Commercials


Being stuck inside for the better part of the past 2 years due to COVID concerns, I’ve seen a lot of great commercials on the TV and on social media and I’ve seen my fair share of terrible ones.

Here is a brief list of some good ones and some terrible ones. It’s in no specific order, and I’ll try to explain why I like or detest them. If you have any to add, please do!

Like: Any commercial for Tide Cold. These commercials with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Ice-T, and a combination of laundry / cold / ice related players like Vanilla Ice, Mark Messier and Falcons QB Matty Ice, are absolutely hilarious! The most recent one with Gordon Ramsey which ends with Stone Cold yelling, “That guy needs to chill out!!” is so good! I get quiet for these commercials.

Like: Any Skip the Dishes commercial with Jon Hamm. Watching him promote the brand (which I use and love) while pretending to be a Canadian makes for very funny commercials.

Like: Uber Eats commercial with Elton John and Lil Nas X is hilarious! It took me a few times of watching it to catch all the little funny bits.

Dislike: KFC “Chicken Rich” commercials. The jingle doesn’t match the commercial, it’s terrible and it doesn’t make me want to eat KFC at all… It doesn’t make sense that fried chicken and chicken rich are a good combination, which is why it’s not. I had to pause it after grabbing the link.

Dislike: Intuit TurboTax Free “Dance Workout” commercial. It’s terrible. You know they say any publicity is good publicity? It’s not true. This commercial, which has a fitness instructor in short shorts saying “free” over and over again while leading a class doesn’t make you think of a tax product, but makes you wonder why Intuit would make another terrible commercial. I had to ask friends, and they all wondered why the commercial led you to believe that someone was going to come free from the instructors shorts, and nothing else. It’s super-cringy. Shame.

Dislike: The BMO commercial about the couple who are out for dinner and the menu is in German and the female comments that she stopped taking the German lessons because the free trial ended. The BMO guy who tells her that she’s paying now is fantastic! I think he’s great and I really enjoy him in the commercials. He’s really awesome as their spokesperson! But what gets me, is that when she finds out she’s still paying she says something in German, which sounds like she’s saying “fuck me!” I had to watch that commercial quite a few times before I realized it wasn’t what she was saying, but regardless… It’s in poor taste. The rest of the commercial is great, and I see they’ve added subtitles now, but still… UGH.

Like: There is a commercial that I’ve seen recently about a family who have a massive hole in their kitchen. I’m not yet sure what the commercial is about, but I like that as they’re staring in the hole, the female says something like, “my cat is in there” and then you hear “meow”, and a second later the male says something like, “and it has my keys”… I just find that last little commentary to be very clever and quite hilarious! I think it’s for one of those non-dairy coffee creamers…

Like: One last one while I remember is a commercial for I believe, Chevy Silverado, and it involves a cat named Walter. This cat loves the winter, and seeing the cat outside partaking in all winter activities is hilarious, especially the scene where a guy is buried in snow, and the cat starts to dig him out. The guys looks at the cat and says, that’s amazing, and the guy who owns the car and the cat says, yeah… that’s the 2022 Chevy Silverado, and he proceeds to discuss the car. Then the guy says, no, the cat! The cat owner says something like, what? you’ve never seen a cat before… It’s clever, it’s funny and it’s cute. Well done!

What’s on your list?

The Urban Daddy is Back… Sort of.


Well after a fairly long period of inactivity and about 60 more drafts, I felt it was time to bring back some content to The Urban Daddy.

Here are the groundrules;

  1. Since the kids are getting older, they don’t necessarily want me discussing any details about their personal lives, (“I’ll sue!” said one of them), so I’m going to go back to basics and discuss a bunch of random stuff which involve things Daddies do when their kids are getting older, like work, play and everything in between
  2. I’m not an influencer. I appreciate the pitches, and offers, but only on some occasions would I go down that road. I don’t write posts for that reason, and if all I did was give away stuff, why would people come here??
  3. I’m Canadian. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I’m not affiliated with Urbandaddy.com in the US, other than the fact that I was here before them, and I sold them my Pinterest account.
  4. I’ve been busy. Some good, more not so good, but I’m still here. I’ve gotten a new career working for a company and filling a role that I absolutely love, so that’s good. COVID is still here, but I’m double vaccinated and I wear a mask where possible so I don’t pass along any germs to anyone. I’ve always wondered why sick people don’t wear masks to prevent spreading their colds. I learned this was a very kind thing when we were in Japan a couple of years ago and asked a local guide why there were people wearing masks outside. I thought it might be due to air pollution, but the guide explained that these people are not feeling well and didn’t want to make others sick… Take that, anti-maskers!
  5. I took an online cooking class through George Brown College and their culinary area. It was an intro to cooking and it was vegan and the whole experience was amazing. I used to have a hang-up about cooking – had convinced myself that I was unable to just pick a recipe and follow it – but this course had me making tons of great stuff, like stocks, risotto, my own pasta, and my own tofu. I’m going to take another… Soon.
  6. I’ve also managed to expand my volunteering and wound up with a board position on a local hockey league as their registrar… Not going to lie, but it’s a huge challenge, because I’ve been busy in my new paid role, and trying to find time for my volunteer role has posed a few challenges.
  7. I had hurt myself quite badly at the beginning of the pandemic (not sure if I wrote about this or not), but I was walking on Yonge Street with my sister, and I stepped off the curb to avoid people, but the street was uneven so I rolled my ankle, and in the process did a crap-load of damage to myself, tearing muscles and ligaments off my right hip, right ankle, and I tore my left groin muscle, resulting in me passing out on Yonge Street, then a few days later in the hospital for a ton of tests and medication when I was unable to move because everything seized up. It took me about a year to be able to get everything moving pain-free and since that time, I’ve been walking about 5km/day where possible. I’d love to be able to lose that COVID weight, then the late-night snacking weight, followed by the baby-weight I gained when our now 16yo son was born.
  8. I have a love/hate relationship with the Olympics, so I’ll hopefully have some more words to say about them shortly, other than to say that they always make me cry, and I’m so happy for all Canadian athletes who have won medals, or tried their best.
  9. So, yeah… I guess we’ll see how long this lasts. 😉

More Kid Kontent: Gross Commercials, Politics and Tik Tok


Today, April 19th, 2021 is the first Canadian Federal budget in over 2-years. It’s been a hot topic of conversation amongst my friends, my colleagues and, yes, my kids.

At work, and among friends, we are concerned that the only way this Liberal government can pay for all the massive spending they’ve done over the past 7-years is through increased taxation. Increased taxation to Liberals tends to mean, calling taxes anything but taxes, so “levies”, “fees” and other cute names get thrown around, while the Liberals continue to push for increased taxes on the “wealthy”. Unfortunately, “wealthy” in Canada now becomes anyone earning over $80,000, or combined income of “$120,000”, which essentially becomes the “middle class”.

But I digress.

Whatever I know about politics in Canada I have earned through a specialized honours degree in Public Policy and Administration at University, plus an additional 10+ years of working for the Canadian government. That, however, still doesn’t make me qualified to educate my children about government-related matters because my kids know more. They have Tik Tok.

From Tik Tok, they learn a ton. A lot of it is really helpful, and useful, and informative. The facts that these kids pepper me with are factually correct, and legitimate. Considering the chaos around schooling during a pandemic, it’s nice to see the kids are learning important facts, however, some of these facts are a bit, shall we say, too far to the left, and blur the lines between what’s going on the in the US, and what political life is like in Canada.

The extra scrutiny of the Trump Republicans in the US has caused kids to not only tie together Conservativism in the US with Conservatism in Canada, but it also brought along the stereotypes and misinformation from the US, up to Canada. I can’t say how many times, I’ve mentioned that the Canadian conservatives won’t allow guns, won’t discuss abortion and that conservatives are not Neanderthals who treat people different by race, age, sex, religion or nationality. It’s not a thing.

With all of that being said, I do welcome the attention that they now pay to politics, and enjoy the dialogues that we can have around what’s best for Canada and what’s best for Canadians. If my kids know anything, it’s how to spend only the money they have, and not the money they hope to have or hope to borrow, thus making themselves fiscally responsible. They also know that this government in particular is fiscally irresponsible and they do not like the concept that their taxes will be higher as they start to earn money.

When prompted what they would do if they strived to be a high income earner, to start a business, employ and support others and earn as much as they could, they were quite frank in their replies. They would take less money to offer their employees a higher wage/salary. I commend them for that. Unfortunately, when prompted about what they would do if the government took 60% of their income or more, they simply replied, that they would move to a country which took less.

This is my biggest fear with the way this government has gone about their business.

When an election comes, they spend, spend, spend, because they know 3 things. First, that ordinary Canadians appreciate the spending and think the government is doing something for them. Second, they know that if either of the governments are critical of the spending, they would in turn be criticized by Canadians, and third, they know that when a new government takes over and has to balance the budget, by spending less or cutting costs, that narrative doesn’t go over well at all, and can be used as a re-election strategy (re-elect us, because we don’t cut everything like they do).

With all that being said, I expect this will be an election budget, not a pandemic budget, meaning, spending a LOT of money on everything and not making any controversial decisions. No taxes. No cuts. Just spend, spend, spend, without any regard for who is going to pay and when.

Can’t wait to discuss this with the kids, at a more appropriate time.

We started to have this conversation but then one of 2 dreadful commercials came on the TV. It’s a commercial with Heinz Ketchup (a brand we love), in which a potato with a face gets cut up and eaten. It’s enough to not want us to eat potatoes anymore, and just barely exceeds that horrible Pepsi commercial with ice cubes with faces are plummeted into a glass where they melt to death.

As the kids pointed out, we don’t eat as much mean because of the efforts associating the food with a living being that has feelings. After watching those commercials, the kids want to establish a charity to save the potatoes and save the ice cubes.

UGH.

Kidversations


There is nothing better than conversations with our children, no matter their ages. Granted, the conversations we had when the kids were really young, were a lot more humourous, as they just tended to say really funny stuff, but as the kids get older, they know what they’re saying, and most times, they mean it.

Take this conversation that happened last month between myself and my youngest, Boo.

Boo: Daddy, can we play tennis today?

Me: Sweetie… It’s winter. The courts are covered in snow. It’s cold, and we’re under a lockdown due to COVID. The tennis courts are not open.

Boo thinks about it for a few seconds…

Boo: Daddy, I just don’t care. Play tennis with me or I’ll take off your head and use it as a ball.

Me, absolutely dying on the inside as she is standing there with a tennis racket in her hand and the funniest look on her face.

Boo: Well?

Me: Let’s hope my head bounces. LOL

So we went to the basement, and I taught her how to use a softer ball and hit the ball against the wall on her forehand and backhand. That activity lasted about 20 minutes until I got bored and we wound up playing a game of dodgeball with a stress ball and tennis rackets.

She won.


In the weeks prior, we had a discussion about how eating asparagus can cause some people’s urine to smell.

Apparently, I read somewhere that it’s not that there is a change in the urine, but that it’s a sensory issue and that asparagus changes the smell of everyone’s urine, but that only some people are able to smell the difference…

After a fairly lengthy discussion, this was the conclusion… I was asked if people are allowed to call in sick for work if they eat too much asparagus because everyone shares the bathroom and it wouldn’t be nice to “make everyone smell your stinky pee”.

They clearly didn’t pay attention earlier.

But is it worth taking a day off after eating a bunch of asparagus? Probably not.