Posted in Canada, Coffee, Community, Daddy, disaster, events, family, Food, health, Life, money, Parenting, politics, sleep, Toronto, travel

The Sound That a Record Makes When the Needle is Dragged Across it…


If you are of a certain vintage, you know what a record is, and you have hopefully seen a record player and would then know that sound a record makes when the needle is dragged across the record.

Sccccrrreeeeccchhhhhhhh.

Then silence, as the needle is lifted off the record.

That’s the sound that the sporting world make late last night with the word that the National Basketball Association (NBA) has cancelled the rest of their season effective last night after a player from the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID-19.

At the moment the news broke, I have to admit, I sat up and took notice. It made me realize that this Pandemic was real and that we, as global citizens, need to step up and take notice.

Shortly after that cancellation, the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Lacrosse League (NLL) both followed suit and cancelled their seasons, although postponed is more likely the intended outcome.

Major League Soccer (MLS) is putting off games for a month.

By mid-afternoon on March 12th, 2020, the Major League Baseball (MLB) announced that they were postponing the start of the 2020 baseball season for at least a couple of weeks.

I hope that in the upcoming weeks, we can get more details about the virus, keep local people safe and keep travelers from spreading the virus. I’d make a comment about the severity of the virus but if our Prime Minister might have it (sigh) it just goes to show you that you have to be smart with your health and be careful of travelers.

I understand the fear – sort of – especially to those who are vulnerable due to age, health or underlying issues, but I don’t understand the stocking up on toilet paper. Just this afternoon, for example, I went to our local Loblaws location only to find hundreds of people in line buying toilet paper, canned soup, soda pop, and food items which do not quickly spoil such as onion.

I struck up a conversation with a couple in the line-up who had purchased 150 rolls of toilet paper, plus paper towels, cases of canned soup and a case of anti-bacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, soaps, and other such medical items.

I found out that they anticipated being quarantined into their home for a few weeks and thus needed to stock up.

I asked about the case of wipes, and sanitizer – thinking that if you’re self-quarantining in your own home and not letting people come and go, what exactly are you sanitizing?!?

With that realization, they removed the case from their cart and within seconds, it was grabbed by another family who already had a cart full of long-term supplies.

I don’t know.

I’m all for keeping my distance from people and not shaking hands, and I hope that others do the same. No more repeats of the guy sitting in the corner of McDonald’s coughing up a storm while everyone looks at him half in terror and half in wonder why he would come to a public place while sick.

He wasn’t sick.

He was choking.

I can’t wait until we can look back at this and move on back to life as we used to know it.

Posted in Canada, hockey, Sports, The Urban Daddy

Am I too old to beg? My open plea to the National Hockey League (NHL)


I’ve been meaning to send a tweet out to my former classmate, Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada, or to the best hockey skill coach on the planet, Dusan Kralik of Creative Hockey Development, to discuss something that really bothers me.

I guess I could tweet NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, or maybe try David Amber (our boys went to camp together), or Pierre LeBrun whom I used to see at the Forest Hill Arena over the years.

I want to see what it’s going to take to make a change to the game to correct one of the most annoying things in all of the NHL.

Yes, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the NHL and the game of hockey, such as the idea that “finishing your check” is allowable, or that fighting is still a part of the game (its really not). But aside from stepping into the 2020’s and making the players wear full facial protection, there is something that just drives me crazy!

When a team scores…

Why the fog horn?

Tell me? Why? Why? Why?

It’s loud, annoying, and since we’re not on a boat, its unnecessary noise intended to cover up either an anticipated lackluster response to a goal, or the league things we are sheep and need to know when we should be happy and cheer..

I particularly detest the fog horn in Ottawa.

I mean, how many kids these days say they want to see their home team score because they love the horn? Likely none… ever.

Or those stupid songs they play when a team scores… Why?

Can’t we just enjoy the moment and not be forced to feel something we don’t want to. A little silence or quiet in the game is not going to be the death of anyone…

OMG… I’ve become my father.

But seriously, please, if you know anyone who is anyone in the NHL, please tell them to leave the foghorns for the sailors.

I beg you…

Posted in Canada, Community, Daddy, events, family, hockey, Life, Parenting, school, The Urban Daddy, Toronto

Laine + FortNite = Fewer Goals + Late For Work


For those of you familiar with Patrik Laine, the NHL superstar in the making who is playing with the Winnipeg Jets, you will know that his bread-and-butter goal-scoring has gone someone AWOL this season.

The forward who was chosen second overall in the 2016 NHL entry draft behind the Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews, has seen his production drop from 44 goals last season to just 29, so far, this season which is still fantastic, but for a player of his skills, there was expectations that he was going to score close to 60-goals this season.

His play has looked somewhat uninspired, and his plus/minus has taken a beating this season on a very, very good, Jets team.

Through Laine’s struggles media reports circle back to comments he made about FortNite, the uber-popular video game, which the Vancouver Canucks has tried to ban in order to prevent their players from playing too much and not being prepared for games.

Maybe Laine is not playing well because he’s playing too much FortNite…

Or maybe not.

The purpose of bring up the addictive nature of this game is to loop in a personal story about being late for work.

Earlier in the school year, and on more than one occasion, I had sent of my wife and 2/3rds of our children to school, and was going to drop the 3rd one off on my way to office, when suddenly, I noticed that he was no-where to be found.

As the clock continued to click, and time slowly went by, it became quite obvious that he was going to be late for school, I was going to be late for work, and the very real possibility that he was not feeling well started to creep into my head.

After spending a few minutes yelling instructions throughout the house – “I’m leaving!”, “If you want a lift to school, you had better get to the front door right away!” and “Hurry up, you’re going to be late”, I decided the better parenting technique would be to see if he’s really okay (at least that is what I imagined my wife asking me as I relayed this story to her).

I walked upstairs to his bedroom, and it was empty.

Maybe he left on his own, took transit to school, and I’ve been standing in the front hall yelling to myself…

So I called his name, and received a muffled, downtrodden response, “I’m in the bathroom… I don’t feel well.”

Ugh.  Poor thing.

So I started to notify my clients, my network and my wife that this was the case and that I would contact his school to let them know he was sick.

Every couple of minutes I would check on his, asking him through the door how he was doing, if he needed to stay home, and what hurt.

It was his tummy.

He would not need to stay home.

He just needed a few more minutes…

I gave him 20-minutes, and kept checking on him to see if there was anything that I could do to help him feel better.

He re-assured me that he was good to go, and just needed a few more minutes.

Then I heard it…

The noise.

It made me stop in my tracks…

I might even have stopped breathing for a few seconds…

He said; “YES!  Victory Royale!  Okay, Dad… Let’s go to school.”

He was playing FortNite.

Locked in the bathroom.

Feigning illness, making himself late for school, me late for work, and for what?  A Victory Royale?!?

I shook my head, told him he can’t do this, and restricted his morning access to video games (it’s never been an issue before) and on the ride to school I got to hear the details of his win.

Then I started thinking about Laine… the Vancouver Canucks, other parents, that I need to change the password on my iPad, and that someday this FortNite craze will be over.  All the kids will suffer withdrawal symptoms and then life will go back to normal.

That was the expectation until I was informed today by my son that “Apex Legends” already has 50-million players, or about 1/4 of the number of players that FortNite has, but Apex has only been out for one month…

Oh my.

So much for this being the exception and not the norm…

 

 

This is a NJN Blog Post (No Judgement Necessary)

Posted in Life, news, urbandaddyblog

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…

Posted in Community

Normally I’d Be Insulted! However…


Normally seeing this parked right in front of my house all day would prompt me to think mean thoughts relating to the amount of air in the tires, or the number of eggs that I could bounce off the windshield from my front door, however… Considering the state of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who can argue with supporting a Canadian hockey team even if it IS the dreaded Montreal Canadiens.

Habs flag on car