Posted in Life, news, politics, The Urban Daddy, Tuesday newsday, urbandaddyblog, US

Tuesday Newsday: The End of the World is Near…


The end of the world is near, and I’m not referring to the threats coming from North Korea and their “Rocketman”.

Okay, I am referring to this… somewhat.

I couldn’t help but notice today as I sat down to write about doctors declaring that sports drinks and energy drinks are bad for kids, or to vent about the weather, that the top 2 trending topics WORLDWIDE were these;

  1. Donald Trump
  2. Kylie Jenner

Seriously.

Trump I get…. He’s taunted North Korea, told the NFL owners that their players should be fired for bowing during the national anthem, and tells lots of stories daily, which may or may not be true.

But Kylie Jenner?

WTF!

All of this because she may, or may not be pregnant.

I mean, who cares.

Every time I turn on my computer and the news comes up there are pictures of this girl with a bump, without a bump… Have we not always been told that you cannot be half pregnant?!?

I just don’t see the fascination in these people and their lives.  What started with a sex tape and a naturally large / maybe surgically enhanced ass has become the daily obsession of millions of people.

Kylie might be pregnant.

Kim has 2 kids and bought them ice cream.

Bruce is no longer Bruce.

The other one… the tall one is married to a NBA player, then he flips out, then he almost dies, then they’re back together, then she loses weight, then he almost dies, then they’re back together.  Wait, she’s out clubbing again…

Doesn’t even get me started about the other sister who has 3 kids, but divorced her husband because he’s an adulterer – oops, sorry – addicted to sex.  Now he’s with a girl who could be his daughter…. UGH.

Breaking news!  Kim farted!!!

Maybe the Kardashians and Donald Trump were sent to us as a test.  A test of our patience, our morals and our compassion for others.

If we can survive them, we can do ANYTHING!

 

PS Saudi Arabia is going to allow woman to drive… in 2017.  How ass-backwards is that!

 

Posted in Life, Sports

Shake up in Leaf Land… TML Trade Caption Dion Phanuef to the Ottawa Senators in a 9-player deal


Just when I finished telling people that the Toronto Maple Leafs were going to forge forward with Captain Dion Phanuef, the team proves me wrong as they ship out Caption Dion, along with Matt Frattin, Casey Bailey, Ryan Rupert and Cody Donaghey to the Ottawa Senators for Jared Cowan, Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, Tobias Lindberg and a 2nd round pick in the 2017 NHL entry draft.

Early reports indicate that neither team will be eating salary from their departed players.

I’m a bit, okay a lot surprised that the Buds found a taker for Dion’s salary which represents a $7-million cap hit through the 2020-2021 NHL campaign.

Clearly the Leafs are serious about re-building for good (finally) and while I’m not a fan of Dion, I certainly can appreciate the difficulty of playing in Toronto and being named captain so quickly.  With Karlsson the bona-fide #1 defenseman / rover in Ottawa and Boroweicki the tough-to-play-against hit machine, Phaneuf will fit in just fine there on the 2nd line where his value and contribution will be significant.

This is a great deal for both teams, as the Leafs get rid of salary, they get a 2nd round pick, and they get younger.

The Sens get a stud who will shine in Ottawa as they serve notice to the league that they are for real!

Question: Who will the next captain of the TML be?

Posted in Life, news

Target Corporation Announces Plans to Discontinue Canadian Operations… Immediately!


MINNEAPOLIS — January 15, 2015target

Today Target Corporation announced that it plans to discontinue operating stores in Canada through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, Target Canada Co. and an application for protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) has been made to protect Target Canada from it’s creditors.

I’m shocked, and sad.

With 133 stores across the country and around 18,000 employees many saw this news coming, and now that it has arrived, it’s still left many with their mouths open in shock.

According to Target’s press release, and to ensure fair treatment of their Canadian employees, Target Corporation has asked the courts to approve a contribution of $70 million (Canadian) into an Employee Trust which would provide nearly all Target Canada-based employees a minimum of 16 weeks of compensation, including wages and benefits coverage for employees who are not required for the full wind-down period.

Target Canada stores will remain open during the liquidation process, which is expected to begin immediately.  Speculation is that as stock is sold, stores will continue to close until there are few left with merchandise which will be either sold off or returned to Target’s inventory.

One of the leading factors behind this decision is the $5.4 billion of pre-tax losses in the fourth quarter of 2014 alone.

Additional factors leading to this decision include the poor introduction into the Canadian market after much excitement, when locations chosen were poor, shelves empty and prices much higher than prices in US Target locations or in rival Wal-Mart stores (which entered Canada nearly 20 years ago).

It will cost Target Corporation between $500 million to $600 million to leave Canada (less the sale of any real estate assets) and this is not expected to have any impact on US operations nor should any customers south of the border see an increase in prices to cover these costs.

With the departure of this big box brand, it will be difficult to see what could replace Target in the locations it held.  With K-Mart and Zellers, Simpsons, Woolco, Eatons and Sears leaving Canada it could spell the end of the this business model.  I did, however, notice on a recent trip through Western New York, that many malls had replaced their big box retailers with activities like mini-golfing and go-karting and they were packed with people.

Having had the opportunity to meet and become friends with some of Target Canada’s management team, I can say that this is a very sad day for us not only having to say goodbye to a business which failed in Canada, but to some really great people who tried their hardest to make it work.

See you in Minny!

Posted in news

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford will NOT Take a Leave of Absense


A press conference at 4pm Toronto time has taken place around 4:30pm and at that conference Toronto Mayor Rob Ford announced that he is not going to take a leave of absence in order to get his addictions under control.

Crack, alcohol, reading a book while driving, being over-weight, caught lying, and the list goes on – this right-wing politician has been under fire from the left-wing Toronto media more than any politician in my lifetime.  Ford announced that he has kept these addictions under wraps from his family, his friends, his brother and from the councillors.  Ford is going to stay on to earn back the respect of the public.  At the end of the day if it makes him a better human being and a healthier one, then he needs everybody’s support, no matter what you think about his weight, or his political views.

He is a human.  He has addiction problems and he needs our help.

Ford said he was elected by the people and if they don’t want him as Mayor, then don’t re-elect him in 2014.  Democracy.

Imagine if the media paid as much attention to the billions of dollars that the Ontario government has wasted of taxpayer money – the services they delisted in order to pay for their mistakes and the lies, deception and shredding of documents that happened.

Or if Toronto was Montreal and there were 4 mayors in a short time frame and accusations of corruption and ties to the underworld. That too is horrible.

But this is Toronto, and if it’s okay for publications like NOW magazine to put Ford’s face on a naked, fat body (bullying some would say) and for Ford to be tailed, his phone’s tapped and people snapping videos of him walking down the street.

It’s a double standard that right-wing politicians have to be able to handle.

As a fiscal conservative – I’m all in favour of protecting taxpayers money and not raising taxes in order to cover up for mistakes, and Ford was the only choice in the 2010 election given the alternative was a candidate who was the deputy minister in charge of a portfolio which blew a billion dollars.

I have taken a lot of heat over my choice to support a fiscally conservative candidate vs., my support of Rob Ford. I appreciate the work Ford has done – the shovels are in the ground for subways which few other mayors were able to achieve, and garbage collection in the city is fantastic.

Any fiscally conservative politician might have been able to get this done…

Maybe.

But under the pressure from the press, and from the councillors who are getting tired of answering question after question about Ford, Rob has decided to not take a break from City Hall in order to get his life in order.

So what has the last 3-years of Ford’s leadership achieved for the city of Toronto?

Press and publicity for the city of Toronto. Press and publicity for the councillors who try to get things done in the City on a daily basis in (my opinion) the most backward way possible – ie, the $0.05 bag tax or LRT’s, St. Clair, etc. These guys and gals are famous. On newscasts around the world, and finally at the centre of attention.

If Ford steps aside, where will they get their publicity?

Will anyone care about the work at City Hall?

Will there be any checks into the spending of the left?

Stay tuned.

Those who will cheer with joy if Ford steps aside will be in their own #DrunkedStupor and will certainly take to Facebook again to criticize the man for his personal faults, and not for the faults of the position he holds.

Why would anyone with fiscally conservative ideals want to run for anything in this city?

In case anyone is wondering Ford’s decision, here are some other examples of politicians who have admitted drug use and have not resigned or have gone on to bigger and better things;

Bill Clinton:

The former president famously admitted in 1992 to trying marijuana while he was attending Oxford University. “I didn’t inhale it…” was his famous comment.

Marion Barry: 

Arguably the most infamous on this list is former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, who was arrested back in 1991 on charges of possession of cocaine. He’s even been called a “compulsive user of cocaine.” Well, D.C. residents weren’t fazed, because he was re-elected into office in 1994.  In 2005, Barry pled guilty to misdemeanor charges stemming from an IRS investigation, and during that hearing it was revealed that he tested positive for cocaine and marijuana.

President Barack Obama:

Obama experimented with cocaine in his college days, and once commented that he used marijuana “When I was a kid, I inhaled often, that was the point.”

Michael Bloomberg:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg admitted that he smoked some weed in his past when he said; “You bet I did. And I enjoyed it.” 

Sarah Palin:

Once quoted as saying that she too smoked marijuana.

George Bush:

Known to have been a wild partier – cocaine use – he was known to say; “I’ve made mistakes” and “We had some pretty wild parties back in the day, and I just don’t remember.”

Al Gore:

The former vice president and climate change activist did admit that he smoked marijuana.

Arnold Schwarzenegger:

The Terminator and former California governor is actually smoking weed in the 1977 documentary “Pumping Iron.”

Posted in Food, news, urbandaddyblog

The (Not so Secret) Secret Menu at Starbucks, Revealed!


Psst.  I’ve got a secret to tell you.

All this talk about “secret” menu items excites me.  What better than finding a new food item or drink which is hopefully healthy and that no one else knows about.  I came across the “secret” Starbucks menu as it was trending on Twitter and after much research I have outlined the main portion of the secret menu which you or I might just order.  The ones which are super high-fat, like 3/4’s of the drink is 28% whipping cream, I left as being secret.  no one needs to consume 200% of their daily allocation for calories, fat and sugar in one drink.

I also confirmed with some Starbucks baristas – past and present – that this list does exist and they also gave me the nicknames they know these drinks as. 

There are also some other non-food related things you should know about Starbucks which are not widely known… Until now!

Charge up your Starbucks card and get ready to run to your local Starbucks and impress or confuse the local barista be inspired…

Here are the goods;

Biscotti Frapuccino

Buy a biscotti and ask the barista to blend it up with any flavor of frapuccino. It blends into tiny cookie chunks that add a delicious little crunch to your frozen coffee.  This can be done with any pastry you buy, actually, although some locations won’t do it due to nut allergies.  They don’ t want that stuff in their blenders. 

Short Drinks

The sizes the “mainstream menu” gives you are “Tall,” “Grande” and “Venti,” but if you say you want the “short” size to any Starbucks drink you can receive a less expensive and smaller sized drink. The size is in their cash register – I checked – because of espresso shots.  It’s on the menu in the Philippines, and is the same price as a tall in Indonesia.  We call it the “kids size” here in Canada, eh?

Short cappuccino

A “Short” cappuccino is a more Italian style cappuccino because there is less room for milk which somehow got mixed in with this drink and waters it down. 

Red Eye

A Red Eye is a shot of espresso in regular cup of Starbucks coffee.

Black Eye

A Black Eye is two shots of espresso in regular Starbucks coffee.

Green Eye / Purple Eye (depending on what part of the country you are in) / JFK (for the 3 shots to the head which killed him) / Shot in the Dark

Whatever you call this drink it is a whopping three shots of espresso in a regular Starbucks coffee.  Be carefull with this one!  Do not drink at night unless you want to be up all night, shaking, in caffeine withdrawal.

Poor Man’s Latte

An Iced Americano with no water and half ice, then head over to the condiments station, fill the rest up with half and half cream (certainly not the 18% coffee cream) and viola, you have a Breve Latte at less than you would pay for the actual drink. 

Poor Man’s Chai Latte

Order a Chai Tea Misto with extra foam, two tea bags, and half cinnamon-half vanilla syrup. This is essentially the same drink but at half the cost.  

Chocolate Dalmatian – also know as a Michael Jackson:

A White Chocolate Mocha with java chips and chocolate chips sprinkled in.

Cafe au Lait

Order the Misto without foam for a classic French coffee drink.

French pressed coffee

You can choose any coffee they sell by the bag and have it served in a French press. For coffee snobs, this is one of the best way to appreciate all of the flavors of the coffee you chose – it takes about 5 minutes for this to be done and don’t be surprised if you get a dirty look if you are doing this during their morning rush.

Chocolate Cream Frapuccino

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.  Chocolate syrup and chocolate flavoring in this frozen blended coffee.

Cake Batter Frappuccino

Originally, this drink contained vanilla and almond syrup added to a Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino. However, since the almond syrup is largely no longer available, some recommend that you try subbing in hazelnut syrup and white mocha for a similar flavour.

Raspberry Cheesecake

Order a White Chocolate Mocha and have them add a few pumps of raspberry  – if you use your Starbucks card to pay, you get one free pump of any flavour. 

The Nutella

Cafe Misto with pumps of chocolate and hazelnut and a caramel drizzle.

Zebra or Tuxedo Mocha

Sometimes also called a “Penguin Mocha,” a “Marble Mocha,” or simply a “Black and White Mocha,”, or (also known as the) “MIchael Jackson” this drink combines the White Chocolate mocha with the regular mocha.  If you want to take it one step further have the barista add a shot (or two) of raspberry flavoring and viola, you have what is called a “Red Tux” Mocha.

Dirty Chai / Filthy Chai

Chai latte with a shot of espresso.  2 shots of espresso gets you a double dirty!  You bad boy…

Triple C’s

Order a Cinnamon Dolce Latte with caramel syrup and chocolate mocha syrup.

Captain Crunch (Yes, like the breakfast cereal)

To make this one, order a Strawberries and Creme frappe with a pump of caramel, add two pumps of toffee, one pump of hazelnut and two scoops of chocolate chips. Tastes just like Captain Crunch cereal. Yum!

Affogato-style Frappuccino

If you order any Frappuccino “affogato-style” and you’ll get a shot of hot espresso added on top of your drink as opposed to having it blended in.

Snickers Frappuccino

Order a Java chip frappuccino with two pumps of toffee nut syrup and drizzle it all over with caramel and you get a drink that tastes just like a snickers bar!

Apple Pie Tea

Black tea with apple juice and light chai

Cinnamon Roll

Combine a White mocha latte with a Cinnamon Dolce latte

Thin Mint Frappuccino

I am all over this drink next time I get to my local Starbucks!  Order a Tazo Green Tea Crème frappuccino and mix in an extra pump of chocolate syrup and java chips.

Let me know if you try (tried) any!

j

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