Who is this Urban Daddy character? Thursday Thirteen: 13 facts about this Canadian Blogger


Today is Thursday, which means it’s a very good time to create a Thursday Thirteen post – and the topic this week is 13 facts about The Urban Daddy.

  1. I’ve been writing this blog since 2004.  That makes for a very old blog, eh?

  2. I have written 1,434 Blog posts for The Urban Daddy

  3. I have a tax blog -for my real job – called inTAXicating, which I started in early 2008 and I have written 369 Canadian Tax posts for that site.

10.  I used to work in the Federal Government, in the Canada Revenue Agency, for almost 11-years before resigning to take a managerial position in the private sector.  The change was long overdue.

9.   In the CRA, I collected taxes, trained employees, took 3-years of my accounting designation and then completed my MBA.

8.   I don’t play many online games – after my wife freed me from my Cityville addition – I only play Tap Baseball, Clash of Clans and Tiny Tower Vegas.

7.   I live near one of the most affluent neighbourhoods, in the largest city in Canada – the 5th largest in North America, Toronto

6.   I ran for student council president of my university only to lose to some guy named Jian Ghomeshi  It was a half-assed attempt, but fun nonetheless.  I vaguely remember meeting him and his campaign manager in the main hall and one, or both of them, telling me that they were going to tear down my campaign posters and threatened me about something.  I was wearing my cowboy boots (don’t judge me) at the time, and with them stood about 6 foot 2.  I was NOT intimidated.

5.  I’m fiscally conservative but hate guns, racism and drugs.  I love common sense, saving money, and being upfront and honest.

  1. I’m a rule follower.  Clear your sidewalks.  Don’t throw snow in the street.  Don’t disrupt others.  Live and let live.

3.  I’m learning as I get older things I should have learned much younger.  Foods, anxiety, ADD, how to treat those you love…

2.  I love being a Dad.  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.  Love attending events and being there for the kids.  Something I either didn’t have or don’t remember.  It was a different time back then, but still.

1.  I ran a left-handed students association at my university – the school gave us an office, and money to find areas where lefties were being discriminated against.  Our main beef was that some of the largest lecture halls had no left-handed desks, or if they did, the desks were on the far-left side of the lecture hall.  Not cool if you’re vision sucks like mine does.

 

 

Now it’s your turn.

What are 13 facts about you that make you who you are?

 

Urban Twin Mummy… You have a week.  Get started.  🙂

 

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Thursday Thirteen: 13 Hilarious Search Terms…


After reading this post below at That’s What Anxious Mom Said, I felt compelled to add my own list below.

Some odd people visit my blog, and I don’t just mean those of you who pop in on a regular basis. More often that not, the terms search terms WordPress shows me that people used to get to this blog are fairly unusual. Sometimes they’re downright creepy. (Thank god I can’t see them all, or […]

via I Said What? — That’s What Anxious Mom Said

 

Here are the most recent hilarious search terms which brought visitors – maybe even you – to my blog;

  1. Belinda Stronach is married to Han Solo

  2. Michael Jackson’s favourite Starbucks drink

  3. I called my kid a dumbass

  4. My Dad called me an asshole

  5. Our nanny is pregnant!

  6. How to pay a nanny under the table

  7. How tall is Todd Talbot

  8. Santa Claus porn (ugh)

  9. What is one-month after Valentines Day called

  10. Where does Belgium border Canada?

  11. My Dad called me a dumbass

  12. My son is a dumbass

  13. My daughter is a dumbass

 

And so much more…

It would appear that in the past month, my posts about calling your child a dumbass, my interview with Todd Talbot and my writing on the Canadian Live-In Caregiver Program have been the most active.

I’ll have to re-visit this again next month, but excuse me while I cross the border into Belgium…

 

 

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.

Thursday Thirteen Returns! The 13 Items Parents MUST Keep Away From Children


I know what you are thinking already… You have just clicked through and dammit, you want to be educated and impressed by 13 items which MUST be kept away from kids, and you do NOT want to see the same obvious items that other bloggers include, like; fire, axes, switchblades, or acid on this list.

Good. You must read on!

None of those even made this list.

What did make this list, are 13 things which new parents really need to keep away from their children, and trust me when I say that us, experienced or established parents, are nodding along in understanding. You will be amazed with this list, and you will want to follow it! Each and every item on this list!

You’re welcome.

So sight tight, and be prepared to be educated. In The Urban Daddy household we don’t just quiz each other about mathematics for fun, we also drive mummy and daddy crazy by taking these items… often.

Here is THE list of things to keep out of the hands or sight lines of children at all times:

13) Paper – new paper, coloured paper, paper from the recycle bin, paper with bills on it, or from our offices. If it’s paper, then it must be okay to draw / colour / fold / crumple or pour liquids on. Once children understand they can do this, it does not stop at scrap paper. They will colour or write on calendars, important papers for the office, papers for school, items belonging to others and so much more. If they want paper, give it to them in a controlled setting. Don’t let them see where it came from.

12) Band-Aids – “I have a boo boo” means, I want a Band-Aid. The worst part is finding the wrappers and peels all over the house and when you need a Band-Aid finding the box empty, and only Hello Kitty or Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles available. They take them to their rooms, they cover their body with them.

11) Money – It is very important to teach children about money. I have a lot of posts throughout my blog relating to this very topic. But be careful because once they realize that money is a scarce resource and that you have to EARN it, they always find other ways to get money, like taking it from their siblings, from you, family members and searching the earth for money. Just last week my kids were peeking under the vending machines at the RINX sports complex in Toronto and yes, they came up for $4.55. Still… My 1923 penny has disappeared as has the toonies in my “hidden” drawer…

10) Elastics – I made this a completely separate item, not included in officer supplies, because elastics, like paper clips often disappear and are found tied together, in one long massive strand, usually when I really need one. The kids play with these and ultimately use them as weapons. Best to keep away.

9) String – My oldest has always liked tying things together. From as young as I could remember, but when he was 3 1/2, I came out of the family room to see his toys being lifted from the basement all the way up to the top floor via a make-shift pulley system he had created. It’s never ended. Pulleys, zip-lines, clothes lines, he has created it all. He has also set up booby-traps for his brother and sister and tied every piece of string from the lacing toy together time and time again. If there is string in the house, at one time it was tied tightly to his next adventure.

8) Zip Baggies – Not for the reason you might think – choking hazards – but rather because once my kids found out how useful Ziploc baggies were, we could not keep track of them. Toys were zipped together, rocks, dirt, bugs, garbage, and especially paper, all stuck in baggies. Even when I hid the baggies, they found them and used them all up.

7) Kleenex – First it’s 5 Kleenex to wipe their nose, then they get older and it’s a box of Kleenex because it’s fun to pull them out. Now I cannot find a box of tissues anywhere in my house when I need one! I could, however, open up a drawer and find 1000 loose ones sitting there…

6) Dental floss – Flossing is VERY important, and pulling floss out of the container is a LOT of fun. Putting it back…. Not so much. I’ll never forget the site of my wife’s late cat, Lucie, walking down the hall with a piece of her poo trailing her by about 3 feet stuck on a piece of dental floss she had eaten. I had to pull out the other foot… UGH.

5) The hiding spot for anything – If it’s hidden they find it, and they go back regularly to look for more.

4) How to erase from a PVR – My mistake because I came downstairs one night after everyone had gone to sleep to find all of my wrestling that I had recorded gone and the PVR full of kids TV shows…

3) Tape – First they tape paper, then more paper then they ask to borrow the tape and we say, “fine just go get it” and then it’s over! They tape toys, the floor, the walls, each other and viola… No tape. And it’s not just scotch brand tape either… Watch as they use duct tape in the same manner (mine have not, yet).

2) Staples – See tape above. The only difference here is they do not use it on each other but there is nothing worse than walking on the carpet and getting a staple rammed into the bottom of your foot. It’s happened so many times I’d rather not say anything except that the staples and the staples are in different places, and they must use it in front of us on the wood floor.

1) Passwords / passcodes, anything confidential that you don’t want them to know or repeat to strangers, it’s best to leave alone. They don’t understand the importance of being quiet here and they announce information to everyone and anyone.

Honourable mention to shampoo and soap because a new bottle one week is empty the next but no dirt has been removed from their hands… Funny how that works.

What is dangerous in the hands of your kids?

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Things That Happened While My Kids Were Away at Camp Arowhon


My children are growing up!  My boys actually went away to sleepover camp for just under 2-weeks earlier this summer and that marked the first time my middle son was away from us for longer than one day.  My oldest son had been away for a weekend at camp but never anything this long.  I think we worried more than they did, to be honest.

We got them ready for camp at the end of last summer but talking about it a lot, and spending considerable amounts of time speak with different camps and upon deciding on Camp Arowhon we then spent 304 more months getting them ready and buying the stuff they needed for their stay.

We chose Camp Arowhon because of the owner, Joanna Kates’ views on bullying.  She has a zero-tolerance policy and she also carefully chooses councillors and who attends the camp.  It almost felt like we had to get the go ahead nod before we wrote that cheque and there were times when I was not sure we were going to be allowed to send our kids there.

In the end it was all worth while as the kids loved it there.  They rode horses, sailed, learned to canoe, paddle their own kayak and most importantly they grew up.

Another wonderful feature about Arowhon is the 100% ban on electronics.  If it’s found, it’s taken away for good.  Not just for the campers but also for the councillors too.  Kids are there for fun, sun and learning, not for video games, texting and other electronic things.  The camp also does not have a parents day, there are no pictures on the website and if kids and parents wish to communicate it’s through hand-written letters.  We actually received 7 letters from our kids and sent 3 of them  That was a lot of fun too.

And the food… The food was great according to my kids.  My middle son even went as far as to say that the soup was better as good as the soup Mummy makes.  Joanne, if you were not aware, is the food critic for The Globe and Mail newspaper – has been for 25-years – so if anyone knows anything about good food, it’s Joanne.

So with our boys away for 12 days, we were left with our daughter – her first time as an only child – we were experiencing new and different things, so here are 13 things that happened / we did / while our sons were having the time of their lives at camp.

So sit back, grab the bug spray, leave the iPod at home, slap on the sun-screen and get read for the list!

 

  1. For the first time in her little life, our daughter had us all to her self, and she did not leave us alone for a second.  It was amazing getting to spend so much time with her, not having to share that attention with her brothers and not having to compete with them for our time.  Plus she’s still at that age where by 7pm she’s exhausted and ready for bed! .

  2. We hopped in the car and made a run for the border – crossing at Niagara Falls (no line up whatsoever) and even after being questions over and over again as to why we were heading across on a Friday morning) we went, shopped, slept, shopped some more and slide back into Canada (only one car in front of us) without a hitch..

  3. We took apart the kids bedrooms and put them back together again… Cleaner, with much less junk, and in a manner which we expect them to keep it in for at least one day when they get back.

  4. The garden grew!  Raspberries (red ones, purple ones and golden ones), green beans, yellow beans, currents… They all made an appearance and we eaten.  Yum.

9. We slept in.  All of us.  By sleeping in, I mean past 6am.  7am is about the latest I’ve slept in the last 8-years.  But 7:30am was an absolute dream!

  1. My wife and I went out… together.. on a date.  I figures since we actually had to speak to each other for 12 days, it might be nice to take advantage of the relative calm and go out.  You know what happened, folks… By 9pm we were exhausted.  But we trooped, stayed out until 11pm, then went home to sleep.

  2. We got caught up on laundry.  We washed everything!  Comforters, duvets, everything because we knew once camp was over and the house was back to 5 people, we would never catch up.

  3. I got to bed early… Twice.  Early for me used to be 11pm, but I’ve been finding that since I started my own business I never stopped having enough to do around the house, so early quickly became 2am.  I actually got in to bed at 9pm one night and by 10:30 another night.  Amazing.

5. I was outnumbered… In more than one way.  Aside from being one male to two females, many long-time readers will recall that my wife kept her last name when we got hitched, and before we had kids we agreed that any boys we had would take my last name, and any girls would take her last name.   I was in the minority.

  1. My oldest son returned with the new-found ability to play the guitar.  As a matter of fact, the day after he arrived home, he asked me this; “Daddy, is that Sweet Home Alabama playing on the radio?”  Then he said; “I can play that on the guitar!”  Sweet!

3. My middle child learned to horseback ride and he loved it!!  Who knew?!?

2. My boys grew up.  They just seemed so different.  My oldest son did not want to come home – he wanted to stay for a couple more weeks (even wrote a letter to us which arrived the day after he came home saying “send more envelopes!  I’m staying for 2 more weeks, and tell my sister I love her and I miss her.”  My younger son, clearly no longer worried about spending time away from home seemed older, more relaxed, and cooler.  Camp did him well.

As someone who never went to camp – I started working full-time in the summers when I was 14-years-old so I could buy plastic goalie pads for our street hockey games, I kept it up and paid for University.  Camp would have been nice, but University was better.  Now that I see how the kids have changed after just 12 days away, I wonder what it will be like next summer after a month away, and if this is the beginning of the kids independence.

  1. We missed them!  Not at first and not always but in those moments when the chaos slows down and we get to breathe, live, relax and look around we realize what a huge part of our lives those children have become and we miss having them around to share with, listen to and teach.

Now they’re back and we get to talk about camp next year!  2 weeks or 1 month…

 

Thursday Thirteen: You’re turn! 

Did you go to camp as a kid?  What did you like the most and what did you hate?  If you did not, what did you do instead?