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 news, urbandaddyblog

Massive earthquake in Italy has added worrisome cracks to 2,000-year-old Colosseum, experts warn


ROME — The worst earthquake to hit Italy in three decades has added troubling cracks to the Colosseum, threatening the country’s most popular historic landmark. Francesco Prosperetti, the special superintendent for the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, said that every earthquake puts ever more dangerous strain on the 2,000-year-old arena. “With the earthquake, the cracks…

via Massive earthquake in Italy has added worrisome cracks to 2,000-year-old Colosseum, experts warn — National Post – Top Stories

 

Oh my!  Thankfully we were able to take the kids there last summer and have them experience the size and state of the Colosseum.

We did learn, that the Romans got the money to build the Colosseum from the spoils of the sack of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. A recently deciphered inscription on a large, altar-like stone with a chiselled Latin inscription, which tells how a senator, Lampaudius, had the Colosseum restored in AD 443.

Holes, however, still visible in the surface clearly corresponded to different lettering, this time in bronze, which had been previously fitted into the stone, read: “Imp. T. Caes. Vespasianus Aug. Amphitheatrum Novum Ex Manubis Fieri Iussit.” Translated, this says “The Emperor Caesar Vespasian Augustus had this new amphitheatre erected with the spoils of war.”

There is no doubt what war this was, the sack of Jerusalem, which occurred in Vespasian’s reign in AD 70, when a revolt by the Jews was crushed and Jerusalem was captured by Titus. The temple was destroyed and a million people were said to have died in the siege. The Arch of Titus, at the end of the Roman Forum nearest to the Colosseum, commemorates the victory, and bas-reliefs show Roman soldiers making off with the loot from the temple.

Posted in Community, music, Recommends, Toronto, urbandaddyblog

Jazz.FM91 Jazz in July Concert Series – The Andrew Scott Trio: Tribute to Henry Mancini


Had the opportunity to see the Andrew Scott Trio and their Tribute to Henry Mancini at Hugh’s Room last evening as the JAZZ.FM91’s Jazz in July Concert Series kicked off.

The Andrew Scott Trio paid homage to one of the most versatile talents in contemporary music, Henry Mancini –  whom I heard a great deal of growing up because my father was a huge fan.  Who doesn’t like the Pink Panther theme, Peter Gunn theme, Moon River, Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Days of Wine and Roses?

The concert was, as expected, fantastic, and I’m not just saying that because the guitarist, composer and educator, Dr. Andrew Scott is a close and personal friend of mine, but because Dr. Andy, as I call him, is a Canadian jazz icon because of his talents and knowledge of everything jazz and music in general.  He has magical hands and fingers, a soothing voice and he now only wowed the crowd with his music, but with his knowledge.

Andrew-Scott-TrioMany times during the show, I wanted to sit back, close my eyes and let the music overtake me, but if I did that, I would miss the spectacle of watching Dr. Andy play.

The room was packed, the crowd was lively and very much into the music, and in awe of Andrew Scott’s immense talents.

A great time was had by all.

 

JAZZ.FM91 presents Jazz in July – The Andrew Scott Trio: A Tribute to Henry Mancini

 

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 Life

Toronto Blue Jays Fail to Impress. Still More Promising Than Leafs, Raptors and Toronto FC. Nowhere Near the Toronto Rock!


It’s been one of those years… Again.  The Jays look destined to fail in a weak American League East with great bats but terrible pitching.  As the team leads the major leagues in walks given it makes one wonder aloud how long the Jays pitching coach Pete “Walker” has left.

Or manager John Gibbons…

Or the GM.

Or if there are any moves that can be made to salvage the season at the 40 game-mark.

It makes me wonder if any of the pitchers from Triple-A Buffalo will come in and steal a spot for themselves through the throwing of strikes, the consistency outing after outing, or the putting out of middle-inning fires, or if the GM is going to be looking for guys like BJ Ryan or Gustavo Chacin to come in and settle things down.

Hey, what is Dave Steib doing?  Or Jimmy Key?  What about Jim Clancy or Juan Guzman?

Are there no pitchers in the minors that the Jays can resurrect and use for a couple of starts or through this season who can keep their ERA under 6?

I have no idea, but I love the Jays, and hope for a winning streak to push the team back to the top of the sports news and remove the Leafs from our discussion as they have hit rock bottom with no way out…

Or… Toronto can turn their attention to the best Toronto sports team – The Toronto Rock lacrosse club which was outdrawing the Jays not too long ago and who finished 1st in the National Lacrosse League and are in the Eastern Division Finals at the Air Canada Centre this Saturday, May 23rd at 7pm.

The Toronto Rock win in a league with tough competition, and in a very tough, demanding sport, and draw between 10,000-13,000 fans per game…

The most exciting game in Toronto played by the most exciting team, and hey, they win!  They went 14-4 on the season, and their leading scorer, Brett Hickey scored 50 goals.  Josh Sanderson accumulated 83 assists.  These are numbers we, as Toronto sports fans are not used to.  There are no nights off or shifts off for these guys.  The run, hit, defend and score.

Come support the Rock.  Toronto should be thankful for Rock owner Jamie Darwick!

And loosen up your arm because you might just be the next call-up for the Jays!