Family Day 2017: GTA Home & Reno Show


The GTA Home & Reno Show is returning February 17-20th and has activities for GTAers of all ages.

Family Day Fun at the GTA Home & Reno Show

It’s never too early to get the kids involved; home design and fun-filled activities for all ages this Family Day

Grab the kids and head to The GTA Home & Reno Show for a Family Day event that’s fun for all ages. This year’s show is ‘fam’ packed with activities and learning opportunities for the young and young at heart!

Family Day Highlights:

  1. Time for the little ones to discover the wonders that await in their backyards! Join Master Gardeners as they teach your budding green thumb to plant, see a bean sprout and learn what birds and insects they can find in their garden.
  2. Kids can ‘putt’ their golfing skills to the test at the Backyard Greens Golf.
  3. Free daycare available on Family Day Monday, February 20th. Drop the little ones with us while you check out some of Canada’s best contractors, suppliers and design experts.
  4. Discover how Curb Appeal Active Kids Play Space can create magical spaces for your unique outdoor lifestyle.

 

Show Dates/Times:

Friday, February 17:                                        10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Saturday, February 18:                                   10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sunday, February 19:                                      10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Monday, February 20 (Family Day):          10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Venue Name:                                    The International Centre

Venue Address:                                6900 Airport Road, Mississauga, ON

Website:                                             www.gtahomeandrenoshow.com

Cost:

Adults                                   $15.00

Seniors (65+)                      $13.00

Youth 13 – 17                      $13.00

Children 12 and under      FREE

 

We attended the show last year and it was a blast!

The “Sir” David Beckham Controversy: Knighthood, Tax Evasion, What Canada Should Do?


This story is of great interest to me because it covers many areas which I feel passionate about. Taxes, Sports, Canada, and Social Media.

In this case, David Beckham, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star, and husband to former Spice Girl Victoria was denied knighthood for his involvement in a tax avoidance scheme, however the presence of some leaked emails have really stirred the pot recently and caused damage to the Beckham brand.

A Unicef goodwill ambassador since 2005 – Beckham is furious that the leaked emails appear to show him as cynically using his charity work to curry favour with the honours committee and identifies his frustration with having to kiss up to the Queen in order to achieve his knighthood.

He is also furious that they depict him as demanding money from the United Nations children’s charity to pay for flights and hotels to visit its projects with children in places such as the Philippines and in one email he apparently complained about being asked to match the highest bidders at a Unicef auction in New York, stating: “Chloe asked me an outright which I was p***** . . . I don’t want to do it and won’t do it with my own money.”

He comes across as a petulant child.

The hacked emails were obtained by website Football Leaks which had, up to now, focused on exposing players’ contracts and third-party ownership arrangements considered illegal by FIFA.

Beckham and his advisors knew about the existence of these emails last year, and had obtained an injunction preventing a major British newspaper and others from publishing the information. Beckham was also the subject of blackmail, with the perpetrator asking for $1-million dollars from “Becks” in order to prevent the emails from becoming public.

The email hack is believed that have been executed on a server associated with Simon Oliveira – Beckham’s communications spokesperson – in 2015. The 2 had worked together for more than a decade.

Oliveira was also the spokesperson for another tax cheat, former Tennis player Boris Becker, which might be a coincidence, or might not.

In 2002, Becker became a convicted criminal after judges found him guilty of tax evasion. Becker was given a stiff punishment: a two-year prison sentence, suspended for three years, a 500,000 euro (£315,000) fine, and the entire cost of his trial after he pleaded guilty to evading about 1.7m euros tax by claiming to live in the “offshore” haven of Monte Carlo at a time when his main residence was really in Munich.

Beckham was nominated for knighthood by the head of the London 2012 Olympic Organizing Committee, Lord Sebastian Coe, however UK Tax authorities, HM Revenue and Customs, flagged Beckham’s involvement during a screening process and it seems that it was enough to block the proposal.

The couple got caught up in a £434million tax avoidance dispute.

Over a decade ago the Beckhams joined Inside Track Productions LLP, set up by notorious investment firm Ingenious.

David went on to invest in two further Ingenious tax schemes in 2005 and 2006. Along with 140 other Inside Track Productions investors, the couple have been hit with tax demands by HMRC.

Ingenious invested hundreds of millions of pounds through schemes aimed at backing the British film industry.

But the company claimed £1.6billion in losses – and clients, who were made partners of limited liability partnerships, were lawfully able to write off any losses from the schemes against their other income. Companies House records show Victoria and David are still listed as members of the LLP.

After a tax tribunal ruling last year, investors in Ingenious schemes have faced a bill for £434million in unpaid tax plus interest. Ingenious, of course, denies HMRC’s allegations and the sides are still in a legal dispute.

HMRC boss Jennie Granger said: “The schemes involved people claiming far more in tax than they invested.”

So what should Canada do, and how does this impact us?

Well, if the UK offers knighthood to their top political donators, and famous people around the world and it is viewed as an honour, its’ about time for Canada to step up to the plate and recognize our elites and respected Canadians.

Since “Sir” is already taken, we should consider another honour, maybe adding “Eh?” after someone’s name. So once the tax matters are resolved, someone like David Beckham could become David Beckham, eh?  That’s 100% Canadian!  And… If he gets his tax problems resolved, and his knighthood, he could become Sir David Beckham, eh?

Pretty awesome!

 

The moral of the story is this:

Pay your taxes, don’t slag people in emails, and be kind to everyone, all the time!

The Urban Daddy: Bringing The Modern Dad To the Blogosphere


#TBT Tuesday to being featured in the Canada Writes series on “great Canadian Blogs” by the CBC.

http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadawrites/2014/08/bringing-the-modern-dad-to-the-blogosphere.html

By day, Warren Orlans is a mild-mannered tax consultant, shoehorning in time to be a hands-on dad to his three young children and to helm an impressive backyard vegetable garden. But by night (10 p.m. to 2 a.m., to be exact) he morphs into The Urban Daddy, blogging on everything from why a child whose age is less than your shoe size feels the constant need to correct you to the parenting situation that leads you to eat a nibbled, warm banana.
As part of our Canada Blogs series on great Canadian blogs, we chatted with Warren about handling your private blog going public, falling asleep mid-post and why daddy bloggers may be coming out of the woodwork.

When and why did you start The Urban Daddy?
I started The Urban Daddy in 2004, just before my first son was born. I wanted to keep a diary of my wife’s pregnancy, what it was like being a father for the first time, and other related, or non-related, events that caught my attention at that time. The blog was kept private for four years until a colleague caught wind of it and it became very public.
I also started writing The Urban Daddy to work on my grammar and punctuation, which were not strong points for me in school. I have come a LONG way from my earlier posts, and the few who followed me from post #1 through post #1,000 have commented on the huge difference in my writing.
You’re a very hands-on dad. What kinds of reactions do you get from people about this? Do you find there’s still some bias towards dads being so involved in parenting?
I am as hands on as I can be because I love being a dad, and I want to spend more time with my kids than my father was able to. I know life can be very short—my dad passed away at the age of 62, so he was at our wedding but did not get to see any of my children. I do not want my children to not have had the opportunity to know me, to learn from me and to be taught some of the wonderful traits that were passed on to my from my mother: respect, consequences of actions, and that others are entitled to their own opinions and sometimes it’s best to listen, smile and not say anything.
I also see many other dads hanging around their kids’ classes, at least in my community. I see it more and more. I don’t judge those who can or cannot be there—we all have choices to make—and I do not feel that there are people judging me for being there as often as I am. Or maybe I just convince myself that anyone judging me must be thinking how successful I am that I have the free time to participate in my kids’ lives so much.
There are a lot of “mommy” blogs out there, but not so many “daddy” blogs. Why do you think this is?
I usually do not mention my blogging because I long felt that I was a “fraud” by blogging standards, being a “daddy blogger.” Early on I was at a gathering with a bunch of friends (all new dads as well) and one father said, “I think people who blog are narcissistic and do so only to brag about themselves.” From that point on, I kept it to myself.
Nowadays, especially after being featured in The Globe and Mail and Canadian Living, I don’t hide anything. It’s what I like to do no matter what anyone thinks.
I do have mothers coming up to me and asking me if I blog, and the reaction from them is usually one of surprise and support. I get a lot of positive feedback from mothers and from involved dads, who by choice or necessity are more involved than dads who leave for work before their kids wake up and who return home after the kids are in bed.
You tell a lot of personal stories about your wife and family. Where do you draw the line in what you do and don’t write about?
When my blog was hidden, I had no boundaries, until one day a colleague at the government asked a very personal question that they would have only known to ask through my blog. From that point on, I treat each and every post as if it were very public and I think about how my kids would feel as adults reading it. Would they want me talking about embarrassing things, or just telling stories and highlighting milestones?
How does your family feel about your blog?
My family likes the blogging—some more than others—because I relay stories about my children that I’ve sometimes forgotten to tell them. I also do not air dirty laundry on my blog, so there are very few posts where I am venting about my family.
I think they are amazed at the attention The Urban Daddy has been getting over the past few years more than anything. I have never seen myself as a writer, and I appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read and comment on posts because there are so many other things they could be doing, but they are reading my ramblings, and I appreciate it.
You have another blog, inTAXicating. What’s the story of this blog?
InTAXicating came to me while I was working in the government and learning about how the Internet would help the CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) collect money and educate taxpayers. As I progressed through collections, I was a Resource Officer for five years and that role was very technical, requiring me to understand and interpret the Income Tax Act and Excise Tax Act.  In order to get the level of understanding of legislation, I started re-writing the text into “English” and posting that on my blog.
So you have a day job, two blogs, and three kids. How exactly do you find time for all of this?
I don’t. Having my own business has made blogging as The Urban Daddy very difficult, and I have almost 200 posts sitting in my draft folder, in need of a good review. Prior to that I would generally blog from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. and I would schedule my posts to come out during the course of the week. When my first son was born, I was doing my MBA online and 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. was my time to work once everyone went to sleep, so I maintained that time as my time to get posts written.
Now I find I have so much work to do for my business that I spend time working on that instead of the blogging. But it changes, and sometimes I get extra time to bang out a post or two.
I’ve started going back to edit old posts, and I’ve found some where I clearly fell asleep in the middle of typing but posted them anyway. It’s a great reminder of my exhaustion back then.
What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers?
Do not get discouraged and do not write for others. Write for yourself first and try not to fret when only one or two readers come by your blog in a day, week or month. It takes time to build up a following. Reply to comments, follow other blogs, read them if you have the time and figure out what you want from your blog.
If you want to win awards, get hundreds of thousands of followers and use it to step up to a more prolific role, then stick to a topic or theme and write about it, and it only.
If you want your blog to be a journal to look at as your kids get older or to record things you might need, then write for the love of writing. If more comes of it, just say thank you and continue doing what you love doing.

 

Daily Prompt: Replacement


via Daily Prompt: Replacement

Thoughts swirling through my head around the word “replacement”.  In my life, what could replace me, or what (whom) could I replace?

What about in other aspects of society?  Where could the world benefit from replacement, aside from the office of the President of the United States of America where some recent decision scare the crap out of many, while bringing the “protectionist” US back to a time when they turned away other immigrants who were slaughtered by the Nazi’s.

Instead of having a “Trump” card, or a “Veto”, the US needs a “Replacement” vote which should allow the majority of their citizens to have stupid / racist / sexist decisions replaced by common sense ones.

Just a thought….

 

But about me, as a Dad, husband, and tax services professional – I recently had that conversation with my kids about my wife’s new best friend… Art.  She loves Art, and Art makes her feel good.

Art, you see, is not a person, but is what artists do, and my wife has become one seriously talented artist.  Watching her create is exciting and seeing the final product is awe inspiring, but I digress.  “Art” would be a suitable replacement for me.

My kids, however, wonder if “Art” were to be their next daddy, how “he” would treat them.

I told them since “Art” is not a real person, we could pretend that “Art” was really rich… like Bill Gates rich, and “Art” would buy them whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted… And then if “Art” had a huge family then it could help expand our super-small family.  That would be cool right?

They liked the thought, but felt that getting what they wanted, whenever they wanted would become boring after a while, and they kind of like me as their Dad… Awwww.

So “Art” would replace me as a husband, but not as a Dad, while common sense would replace dumb, racist political decisions.

Replacement might be the word of the day, but it offers the best opportunities for everyone to be happy.  At least I think it does.

Thursday 13 – 13 Things You WILL Be Talking About Today.


It’s been a while since I’ve had the pleasure to compile such a list, but here are the 13 Things you WILL be talking about today (and tomorrow, etc)

  1. You know you’re a Dad when… Breakfast on my way to a meeting this morning was: a handful of stale pretzels, a handful of peanuts, a Clementine orange and a container of 1-day-old cucumber slices.

  2. Not busy enough on Twitter, US President Donald Trump is stirring up the debate on abortion with his fellow males.  Donald, in less that 140 characters, I want to tell you this, “Stay out of my uterus!”

  3. Scientists – and I love me some science – are going to make tomatoes taste delicious again!  YAY.  For those of you who have been reading The Urban Daddy for a long-time, you will remember that I love gardening and my favourite thing to grow… Tomatoes!  http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/scientists-make-tomatoes-great-again-1.3953185

  4. The “Doomsday clock” has moved to 11:58pm for the first time since like 1954.  This means nothing to me, to be honest, and I didn’t even like the cartoon Doonsbury, so there!

5. GM is cutting 800 Canadian jobs and moving them to Mexico… Damn.  I hope Trump doesn’t hear that.  In retaliation, Canada has agreed to build a wall between Canada and Mexico.  Damn you capitalism!!!

6. I don’t know where you live, but here in Toronto where we need road tolls to keep the 905’ers out (see wall building), we have pot holes the size of, well, Mexico.  One such pot hole cost my wife her front tire and rim.  Damn you Mexico!

  1. Mary Tyler Moore passed away, and after being reacquainted with her show recently I came to realize that her TV feminism was inspiring and much needed.  She will be missed.

  2. The Toronto Maple Leafs do not stink… Am I dead???

9. I read somewhere that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mother had met the Donald (see President Trump earlier) back in the 70’s.  I thought the writer was trying to convince us that Donald Trump was his father, and when I told this to someone, they said, “Trump?  No.  Castro, yes!  They even look alike!!”  What?!?

  1. New expression in The Urban Daddy dictionary; “Playing your trump card”  Means saying whatever it takes to get what you want.  Truth, lies, half-truths… whatever!

  2. Trumpanomics.  Putting America first.  Hopefully Canada second. Could change direction at a moments Tweet and may or may not be accurate or true… Nobody knows…

  3. 2 hours before turning over reigns of the US to Trump, Former President Obama sent $221 million dollars to the Palestinian authority.  It would be a shame if that money was not used to build infrastructure and was used by the “leadership” to acquire weapons, build tunnels or for their pockets.  If you want your own state, start acting like responsible leaders and put your people first!  As for Obama… Not cool!

  4. One week of President Trump and here is what we know:  Torture good, Mexico bad.  Jobs good, jobs from tourists in Islamic countries bad. Woman bad. Free Trade bad. The Apprentice good. Climate change – fake.  Vaccinations – fake.

  5. (It’s my Trump calculations…) Tim Horton’s is opening up in… Gulp… Mexico.  Don’t tell Trump.  He’ll kick the coffee company out of the US.  Or, those in the southern US will need a really long straw to sip those yummy Timmy’s beverages.