Tag Archives: Canada

Starbucks NEW Pumpkin Spice Latte Arriving September 2015. Updated.

My coffee sources tell me that Starbucks is set to roll out the new and improved Pumpkin Spice Latte in September 2015.

In an effort to rid their drinks of artificial ingredients and artificial flavors (as they do in Europe), Starbucks has reinvented the Pumpkin Spice Latte, with natural ingredients, without artificial caramel coloring but with real pumpkin.

Hard to believe that it has already been 12-years since Starbucks introduced the Pumpkin Spice Latte. My understanding was that he Pumpkin Spice Latte was not a slamdunk choice by Starbucks and that that they had tested an “orange cream” creation (yum) and when they settled on the “Pumpkin” drink for the fall, they were leaning towards using the name “Fall Harvest Latte” instead.

Word on the street is that when Starbucks tested the “Pumpkin Spice Latte” in stores they found out very quickly that their customers loved it and they knew it was going to be a regular fall / winter drink for the company.

Up until recently, you could not even purchase the Pumpkin Spice Latte syrup in store or online, but one quick peek of the starbucks online store at starbucks.ca/store tells me it is available in wide circulation.

As for the new, revamped, Pumpkin Spice Latte… Real pumpkin.  Real spices.  It’s coming! Real soon.


So I went to Starbucks, tried the drink and I thought it was fantastic.  Its even better than the “original” one which I had always found to be a bit chemically.  The new Pumpkin Spice Latte is not overly sweet, and no where near too pumpkin-y.

It was satisfying and really does hit the spot as the weather turns cooler.

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Something I Missed While On Vacation: 31 Million Ashley Madison Users Have Explaining To Do…

I have not paid that much attention to the goings-on over the hack of Ashley Madison – I tried to explain the fuss to my kids and I said to them that it was a dating site for married people to meet other married people for… ummm… naked twister.  No, I didn’t say that.  I said it was a site for married people to meet other married people so they could become friends and go out sometimes.

While we were on vacation, there was a list released by the hacking group which put some or all of the information of the 31 million users out for public consumption.

I was a bit surprised that of that 31 million, 26 million were men, and 5 million women which means that either the data is skewed, that the 5 million women were very much in demand and quite busy or that 10’s of millions of men never found a twister partner.

My interest in Ashley Madison and parent company Avid Life Media (ALM) only lies in the fact that they are a Canadian company and that the site was created, born and raised here in Toronto.  I might one day look to see if I recognize any of the names, but to be honest, I don’t care.  I, like you, am busy with real things, like family, work, and other activities, and what other people do with their time and in their relationships is 100% their own business and no one else’s.

I think I have always taken this standpoint even from way back in the day when I was The Urban (Not Yet A) Daddy, and I want my kids to look at the world the same way if at all possible.  Marriage, relationships, friends, religion… None of this is my business unless you are forcing your views on me, and those views oppress, harm or place others in a lower standing than the rest of us.  Then I have a problem with it.

At the end of the day, strip away everything and you have a planet with land, and humans.  We are all the same.

I hope the Ashley Madison scandal blows over.

I feel bad for the people involved – I hope they choose to continue life as they know it, or that they get help and work out their issues.  I also don’t like to see personal data hacked, stolen, and made public, but I also admire the work of these hackers for taking a stand (if it turns out to be that and not a bitter former employee) and with all of the secrecy in the world it’s nice to know the truth every now and then.  It’s how we can hold people accountable.

What is your take on this?

How would you explain this to your children?


Here is the article that I read which helped bring me up to speed;


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I think the couple behind me are breaking up… Or trying to hook up… I can’t tell anymore…

I’m working in the Starbucks this morning and I cannot help but overhear the discussion behind me because the couple are really loud and seem to forget that they are sitting in a Starbucks.  At first, I thought they were breaking up, then I thought they were hooking up, but now I really have no idea what is going on and, to be honest, neither do they!

Here are some highlights of this loud and public conversation;


  • Oh, you’re taking advice from him?  Of all the guys I’ve wanted to beat up for looking at you, he is at the top of my list.
  • You’re dressed like you run drugs
  • Look at yourself… Don’t you have any shame?
  • I’ve gotten over you twice.
  • I’m going up north for a week of total partying.  Nothing else.  You’re not invited.
  • Between last week and this week I made a lot of plans with people and they all fell through so I need to make plans about how to make better plans so they won’t fall through.

Then his side gets kind of weird and awkward…

  • These plans that fell through messed up my son, because, he needs to nap and stuff… He overheated, had sand in his ass and stuff
  • My son hates water ever since I pulled his feet out from under him and he went under the water… He hated that.
  • He won’t even bathe.
  • He must have a red ass, or stuff that he doesn’t want cleaned.
  • He’s cried in the bath every time for months…



Since he did most of the talking…


  • We should go dancing!
  • Why?
  • Oh, I hope he’s okay.
  • You’re not supposed to do that to kids
  • You have to clean him up
  • Where will he be while you are partying?
  • Can I come with instead?
  • I’m not running drugs.  I’m not a whore.  I like the way I look.  Look at you?  You’re in a Starbucks looking like that… Eww.
  • Oh yeah?
  • Can we get out of here?

And off they went… Together.

The guys at the table beside me started to clap and said that would make for a great soap opera.

I’m more concerned that this father thought it was a good idea to pull out his kids feet from him while the kid was standing in the bathtub.  He was trying to explain to the girl that he tried pushing the kid down to the seating position but the kid is really strong.  He wanted him to sit and this was the only way… Sure, he could have smashed the kids face into the side of the tub, or worse give the kid a complex / fear of the water having almost drown.  But this kid is dirty, red and smelly and the dad needs to start again and get this kid into the tub before the kid grows up afraid of the water because his dad is a partying moron…

What have you guys overheard in public space before?

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Father’s Day is Coming… Ahem… Chapters Indigo!

As mentioned probably a zillion times already, I’m a huge fan of anything Canadian, and I am a supporter of life-long-learning, which is why I recommend looking into Chapters Indigo for Father’s Day options. http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/

The folks at Indigo even prepared a great selection of cottage / BBQ / Father’s Day suggestions which were inspired by the great outdoors and life at the lake.

Tabletop items and pillows are adorned with an Indigo-exclusive canoe print. Retro-inspired trays, drink dispensers and mason jar mugs bring a vintage touch to home décor, while summer cookbooks offer tasty meal ideas for those warm summer evenings.

Check out our their Flickr page here and Father’s Day Suggestions!

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My Wife Will Be Happy: It’s Not Over For Degrassi. Next Class Debuts January 2016 on Family Channel


She may not admit it, but my wife loves Degrassi.  I’m not sure of it’s because they filmed it at the high school she attended, or if she knew some of the kids involved, but she is a fan of the show, and myself, while not having seen more than a couple of them, is a huge fan of anything Canadian – giving this show 2 thumbs up!

This press release came to me:

Toronto, June 9, 2015 – Whatever it takes. That’s what Family Channel is willing to do for fans and the network proves it by announcing Degrassi: Next Class, the newest version of the popular global franchise, will debut on Family in January 2016. After Thursday’s news sent shockwaves through the Internet, fans and media showed an outpouring of love for the highly celebrated Canadian teen series. Reassuring fans that Degrassi as they know it is alive and well, DHX Media’s Epitome Pictures will create 20 x 30-minute episodes of the series for Family.

“Both Family Channel and Degrassi have a longstanding place in the Canadian media landscape catering to youth and we look forward to welcoming Degrassi’s dedicated, loyal and vocal fan base as viewers,” said Joe Tedesco, Senior Vice President & General Manager, DHX Television. “By adding this series to our schedule we’ve been able to redefine what constitutes ‘family programming’ while maintaining our mandate to program series that are both relatable and relevant for the entire family. Degrassi explores sensitive issues in a responsible manner and allows us to continue identifying new ways to connect with families.”

Degrassi Gallery – June 24 2014

degrassiDegrassi: Next Class debuts on Family Channel in January 2016 featuring familiar faces.
For a snapshot of Degrassi over the years, click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PgcExzKuHw.

“Following an unprecedented and incredibly supportive 14-year relationship with Bell Media on Degrassi: The Next Generation, we are looking forward to reaching a fresh new audience with Degrassi: Next Class,” said Degrassi Executive Producer Linda Schuyler. “We are energized and excited to work with Family Channel as we tell stories for the new post-millennial teen cohort known as Generation Z, most of whom weren’t even born when Degrassi returned in 2001.”

Degrassi: Next Class is a pull-no-punches dramatic series that tackles the real-life issues of high school students. Telling the stories of “Generation Z,” the series focuses on a group of teens as they begin their journey into adulthood. Pushing their own limits and testing the bonds of family and friends, the students each find their own way to deal with a range of issues: from homophobia, racism, substance abuse and violence to burgeoning sexuality, body issues, heartbreak and the complications of dating in the social media age. The series strives to entertain its post-millennial audience while always reinforcing its core principle: You are not alone.

Keeping true to the spirit of Degrassi that generations have known and loved since 1980, Degrassi: Next Class takes the 485 episode franchise into its next iteration and remains the longest running dramatic television series in Canadian history.

The new installment will see popular cast members reprise their roles including:

  • Amanda Arcuri as Lola Pacini;
  • Reiya Downs as Shay Powers;
  • Ana Golja as Zoe Rivas;
  • Nikki Gould as Grace Cardinal;
  • Ricardo Hoyos as Zig Novak;
  • Ehren Kassam as Jonah Haak;
  • Andre Kim as Winston Chu;
  • Lyle Lettau as Tristan Milligan;
  • Spencer Macpherson as Hunter Hollingsworth;
  • Eric Osborne as Miles Hollingsworth III;
  • Olivia Scriven as Maya Matlin;
  • Sara Waisglass as Frankie Hollingsworth; and
  • Richard Walters as Deon “Tiny” Bell.

The Degrassi franchise is currently celebrating the 35th anniversary. Degrassi: Next Class is produced by DHX Media’s Epitome Pictures, in association with Family Channel and Netflix. The series was co-created by Linda Schuyler who is also Executive Producer with Stephen Stohn, Sarah Glinski and Matt Huether.

About Family Channel
Family Channel offers the best in family television entertainment in a premium, commercial-free environment. Dedicated to celebrating family life and providing a daily vacation for children and their families, Family airs a unique mix of top-rated Canadian and Disney series, movies and specials.

Family Channel subscribers also have access to Family OnDemand and Family OnLine at no additional cost, to see hit movies and series when they want them, where they want them.

Visit us at Family.ca. Family Channel is a part of DHX Television, a subsidiary of DHX Media.

About DHX Media
DHX Media Ltd. (www.dhxmedia.com), a key player internationally in the creation of content for families and children, is recognized globally for such brands as Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou, Teletubbies, In the Night Garden, Inspector Gadget, Johnny Test, Slugterra and the multi-award winning Degrassi franchise.

DHX Media Ltd. is the owner of Family Channel, the most-viewed children’s television channel in Canada, as well as the channels Disney Junior (English & French) and Disney XD in Canada.

The Company markets and distributes its library of more than 11,000 half-hours of entertainment programming worldwide, and licenses its owned properties through its dedicated consumer products business.

DHX Media Ltd.’s full-service international licensing agency, Copyright Promotions Licensing Group Ltd. (CPLG), represents numerous entertainment, sport and design brands.

DHX Media Ltd. has offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Munich and Amsterdam, and is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols DHX.A and DHX.B.


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