Yup… I finally ran this morning…


I finally went for a run this morning, and it was a brief one, yet it was a LONG time coming.  It’s been 3 months since I tore my calf muscle playing ball hockey and while my ball hockey team forages ahead without me, I could only stretch so much…

So I hopped on the treadmill, set the speed to 5km/h and the incline to a whopping “1”, and after 17 minutes of brisk walking, I ran for 4 minutes.  4 long, tiring minutes waiting for my lungs to jump out of my chest or my calf muscle to tweak.

Neither happened.

So I walked for 2 minutes, then ran for 2 more minutes.

Then I could go no more.

So I stretched some more, took a quick shower and got on with my day.  It only took me 2 hours to cool my body down for that teeny-weeny run.  A testament to how awful my conditioning has become.

Hopefully this is the start of something positive because I want to drop 15lbs before summer vacation and eventually get back to playing ball hockey.

To do that I’ll need to be able to run for 30 minutes regularly and easily…

It really is harder to get back into playing shape as you age!  Especially when you can’t exercise that hard…

At least I ran today.  Hopefully this puts me on the road to recovery!

Coffeeshop Etiquette 101


I can’t tell you the number of times I have had to camp out in a coffeeshop to get some work done, either before or after meetings, due to travel, or because I just want a change of scenery.

I have pretty much seen and heard it all, over the years and this morning’s adventures have prompted me to post a quick, albeit not exclusive, list of coffee shop etiquette – the do’s and don’t do’s when you’re working from a public space.

Feel free to add to this list, or debate items on this list.

  1. Learn the difference between your phone’s speaker and it’s regular headset.  The gentleman beside me is unaware that he is using his speaker, and has the phone right up to his ear, has the volume very high, and is telling the person he is speaking to that he cannot hear him.  We all hear everything about the conversation and it’s REALLY loud.
  2. If you’re going to watch videos on your cell phone or laptop, invest in a pair of headphones.  Nobody wants to hear whatever you are listening to – music, news, videogame sounds, etc.
  3. If you’re holding a meeting with the rest of your office in, say, the Starbucks I am currently sitting in, trashing your competition and berating a staff member might not be the most professional approach.
  4. If you’re working in a coffee shop and it’s really packed and you’ve been nursing the cheapest drink for 5 hours, it might be time to move on…  I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve finished my drink, then packed up earlier than I had planned because paying customers need space.  If I’m going to stay longer, I go back and buy food and another drink (although at Starbucks the additional drink is free, so I can buy better food… yum).
  5. Like being on an airplane, there are certain seats which have responsibilities attached, so if you’re sitting near one of the few outlets, be prepared to politely engage people who really need that free jack in order to meet a deadline or get through their morning.  Don’t be a grumpy outlet ogre!
  6. Be super respectful to the staff if you’ve been to a particular location more than once.  They know you, they recognize you, so don’t abuse your comfort level there.  Shake things up, try foods or drinks they recommend every now and then.  Remember, they control the on/off switch to the WiFi.
  7. If you’re not sure, ask.  I’ve come to many coffee shops and asked if it’s okay if I crash for a few hours, and I’ve asked them how long I can stay, and I have even told them upfront that if it gets busy, I’ll leave, or they can come tell me it’s busy and I’ll go.
  8. Make sure your sound is off on your laptop if you have a headset on your phone.  There is nothing worse than someone listening to music or having a conversation on their phone while their laptop is chirping away without their knowledge.
  9. Smile.  A smile goes a LONG way these days…
  10. Don’t make a mess, and be helpful, and you’ll be a welcomed customer for a very long time.
  11. It might go without saying, but for some people this is a real problem, but I cannot tell you the number of times I have gone to the washroom only to find the person / people before me had not flushed the toilet… UGH.  I can only assume these people also do not wipe themselves or wash their hands, because I teach my children to ALWAYS flush the toilet and wash their hands.  If they don’t want to touch the handle they can use paper towel or their foot to flush, then always wash and watch the door handle on the way out.
  12. If there are few seating options, taking a table for 4, or the handicapped seating is fine, unless there are people in need of those spaces.  Then you absolutely need to move or pack up and leave.  There is no reason to stay unless you are willing to share your space, which is absolutely a nice thing to do.  Sharing is, after all, caring.
  13.  Remember that as loud as it may seem in a coffee shop, with the music and coffee machine noises, it’s equally as loud for the person on the other end of the phone.  Before you change your voicemail, or make that critical business call, or job interview call, to step outside where it is quiet.  (To the kid who had a hard time on his phone interview last week, you really did lose out on that opportunity because you took your call in the washroom for 20 minutes, then flushed the toilet mid-conversation.  They totally heard and that lack of judgement blew it for you.  It was not because they didn’t like the answers to your questions… Trust me on that!

 

Happy to hear your thoughts and stories, as I move through my morning here in my local Starbucks where I keep my headphones on but am listening to everyone and everything…

Former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford Passes Away After Lengthy Battle With Cancer.


News has just broken that current Toronto City Councillor, and former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has passed away at the age of 46, after an 18-month battle with cancer.

He leaves behind his wife, Renata, and two young children.Rob Ford

The Ward 2 City Councillor’s Chief of Staff had released a statement late Thursday night last week saying Ford’s family was by his side and that he would be in palative care while waiting for his body to strengthen enough before another round of chemotherapy.

Ford was diagnosed with cancer in September 2014. He then pulled out of the mayoral election campaign, opting to run for City Councillor instead which he easily won.

During Ford’s tenure as Mayor of North America’s 5th largest city, he gained worldwide noteriaty for his appearance, his strong fiscal conservative stance and his enjoyment of alcohol and drugs which were exposed by The Toronto Star.

Once under the microscope, Ford was regularly recorded when in public, and in his private life, reporters were stalking him at his home, peeking over his fence and taking pictures of him and his family inside.

He continued to make headline-grabbing comments about his sex life, and he admitted to crack cocaine and alcohol abuse which resulted in him being admitted to a rehab facility.

The Ford family has released the following statement:

With heavy hearts and profound sadness, the Ford family announces the passing of their beloved son, brother, husband, and father, Councillor Rob Ford earlier today at the age of 46.

A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto.

The family asks that you respect their privacy and join them in their grieving and their prayers.

The family will not be making any statements to the media or taking any questions.

Information will follow at a later time regarding memorial services.

 

Current Mayor John Tory released the following statement:

I am saddened to learn of the passing of Rob Ford: husband, father, city councillor, and former mayor of Toronto.

The City is reeling with this news, and my thoughts are with his wife Renata and their two children, as well as Rob’s brothers Doug and Randy, his sister Kathy, his mother, Diane, and the rest of their tight-knit family, including TDSB Trustee Michael Ford.

I have known Rob Ford for many years. He was a man who spoke his mind and who ran for office because of the deeply felt convictions that he had. As a councillor, mayor and private citizen, Rob Ford reached out directly to people across the city with a phone call, an offer of advice or support, and I know there are many who were affected by his gregarious nature and approach to public service.

I had a chance to visit him not long ago and while he was clearly not well, he was happy to hear me say I looked forward to his return to City Hall. Sadly, that won’t now happen but whatever differences we had, he knew I meant it.

His time in City Hall included moments of kindness, of generosity to his council colleagues and real efforts to do what he thought was best for Toronto. He was, above all else, a profoundly human guy whose presence in our city will be missed.

On behalf of the people of The City of Toronto, I offer my sincere condolences to his loved ones at this time.”

#RIPRobFord

What’s in a name? Boaty McBoatFace? ScoobyDoo?


I came across an entertaining story this morning surrounding the Natural Environment Research Council’s decision to crowd-search for a name for its new £200m polar research vessel, set to head to Antarctica in 2019.

The leading name, thus far, with over 18,000 votes, is “RRS Boaty McBoatface.”

LOL.

RRS, stands for Royal Research Ship.

As of right now, the name which comes in a distant second place, is “Henry Worsley” who was the well know British explorer who died in January 2016 near the end of his attempt to become the first person to cross the Antarctic unaided.

Unlike the National Hockey League (NHL) and it’s All-Star fan voting, the NERC gave themselves and out, by asking for suggestions for names, and clearly indicating that they would choose a name after discussions with an expert panel.

The NERC website, nameourship.nerc.ac.uk, is currently offline due to the amount of traffic it has received, and with the recent publicity, and its only going to get worse.

Suggestions can be sent via Twitter, up to April 16th, 2016, using the hashtag #NameOurShip

Other popular names from the website include; Sir David Attenborough, or names such as Polar Dream, Its Bloody Cold Here, What Iceberg, Captain Haddock, Big Shipinnit, Science!!! and Big Metal Floaty Thingy-thing.

All of this reminds me of a conversation that an 8-year-old Urban Daddy had with his Aunt who was expecting her second child. She asked me to give her a name suggestion for her child, and perplexed, I said; “Scooby Doo”.

She said, “You can call him/her Scooby Doo. I’ll likely go with another name.”

I never did call him that.

Poor John Scott…

Will the Liberal Budget increase Capital Gains tax from 50% to 66.67% or 75%?


In the days before the Federal budget is revealed, rumours continue to swirl that the Liberals are going to raise taxes in a roundabout way, by reducing the tax break Canadians receive from capital gains.

In the 2007 Federal budget, the Conservatives increased the lifetime capital gains exemption 50% to $750,000, which means that the first $750,000 of the sale price of each shareholders company “Shares” will have a capital gain which is exempt from all income taxes.  The rate has changed over the years, so its’ not without reason to believe it might change again, especially in light of the money the Liberals promised to spend.

Currently, under the Income Tax Act, 50% of capital gains, on everything from property to stocks and mutual funds, are taxed.  The effective tax rate is therefore half of the marginal tax rate.  In some provinces, the current capital gains rate means tax of more than 25% on investments for high income investors.

Speculation is that the Liberals might move that taxable amount to 2/3’rds or 75% while they pay for all their election promises, and then eventually returning that to 50% near election time to encourage voter support.

With capital gains being taxed less heavily than dividends, there is little incentive for business owners to take cash out of their business and pay the taxes via dividends when they can just sell the company, pay the capital gain, and then start again.

The Liberals want to be more friendly to small business owners and the middle class, it will be interesting to see if they change this rate in the budget since they did not mention this in their election campaign.

A change of this magnitude might trigger an asset sale, or cool the real estate market for people who buy assets, then flip them within a short-term period of time, realizing a gain on the sale.