It's cold out. How cold is it? It's too cold to bike, and that's a rarity for me.
Since I'm skipping my lunchtime ride today, I thought I'd take the opportunity to write here. I've simply had no time as I've been swamped with TMDS and fatherhood responsibilities. And when I do force myself to take a break, I choose to bike. But not today...
TMDS, as I may have mentioned, is my digital services company that has been feeding my family and paying my mortgage for the past five months. I'm quite pleased with how things are progressing on that front. I learned so much in five months, yet have so much more to learn. I'm very busy, but it's incredibly rewarding and fulfilling and I'm high on the potential I see before me.
If I were to prioritize everything, it would look something like this:
- My family - I would give up everything for my four kids. In a heartbeat. Everything I do, I do it for them and it would be impossible for me to love them any more than I already do.
- My health - Arguably, this could be #1, because without it, I can't be there for my family and help them the way I wish. Perhaps these first two are 1a and 1b. It's vital I do my best to remain physically and mentally healthy.
- Self improvement - I want to be the best me I can be. That sounds corny, but at its core is the golden rule. I strive to treat everyone fairly, be as kind as possible and help make this world better, not worse. This matters to me.
- Monetary gains - I want/need to earn enough money to provide for my family. With TMDS, I've bet on myself, and all revenue generated is to ensure my four children are given the best opportunity at having a successful life. I don't have rich tastes or extravagant desires, but I've chosen to live and raise my family in Toronto and that means I need to earn a sufficient amount of money. I'm not primarily motivated by money, but I acknowledge the necessary role it plays in my life.
- Fun - Let's not confuse fun with happiness. The first four items on this list all contribute to happiness, but fun is playing and watching sports, kicking out the jams, catching a good flick and enjoying our cycling trails. A deep playoff run for the Raps and Leafs would be great fun. Here's hoping.
The clarity I now have with regards to life priorities came with age. You really can't buy experience, and nor can you skip steps to achieve such perspective. On that note, you're never too old to change direction and leave your comfort zone. I have mad respect for people who change professions in their 50s or 60s. I think it's awesome when someone in their 70s takes up running or cycling. If you want to learn woodworking in your 80s, do it! Age ain't nuthin' but a number. I sincerely believe this. As my late grandmother would tell me, age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
If you're keeping score at home, I really dig the Jake Muzzin trade, I'm hoping the Raps land Anthony Davis, even if it means trading away Siakim, and I can't wait for the Vlad Guerrero, Jr. era to begin.
I sincerely like and admire all four of my children. Nothing fills me with more pride than that. The love is so intense, it almost hurts.
I need accounting help... so if you're an accountant or know a good one who will help the sole proprietor of a small business, I'd love to hear from you.
And finally, I'm sorry I haven't had more time to write here. As the podcast has taken off, it's absorbed the vast majority of my Toronto Mike hours. If you're a subscriber, thank you! And if you're a reader of this blog, thank you!
It's 12:15pm, so I'm going to make myself a pizza and get back to work. Peace and love to you all.
I've got everything I could ask for right here.
It's a Wonderful Life is one of those movies referenced everywhere in popular culture. It's omnipresent, and whether you've seen it or not, you feel as though you know the story.
I was 29 years old when I watched it for the first time. That Christmas Eve, with the toddler sound asleep, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I loved it, and openly wept at the end.
It's now the only Christmas movie I make sure to watch every year. I just like it. It's a 1940s movie that never feels slow, and even know I now know it note by note, I always end up with tears streaming down my face.
Last night, after the Raptors game, I watched it with the teenagers for the first time. My daughter fell asleep about 45 minutes in, but my oldest son was hooked, watched until the end, and cried when I cried. I can't remember the last time I saw him cry. It may have been 13 years ago.
A couple of years ago, the six of us drove to PEI for what I thought might be a last hurrah of sorts. My oldest son was 14 and I wasn't sure how interested he'd be in future family road trips. Luckily, the now 16 year old still digs me and we got to do it all again, this time with two teenagers in tow.
This time, we rented a ski chalet via Airbnb in the resort town of Mont Tremblant, Quebec, right by Pedestrian Village. We drove in a 2018 Ford Expedition SUV which was... enormous. Two adults, two teenagers and two toddlers and plenty of room to spare. Seriously, this is one big automobile.
It was about 600 KM door-to-door, but smooth sailing. With the toddlers, you can only drive so many KMs in a row, so there were stops at Onroutes and in Gatineau to break things up. We were driving the 2018 Expedition Platinum so we were loaded with USB ports, charging pads, and a premium 12-speaker audio system from HARMAN that kicked ass.
Mont Tremblant was fantastic. In addition to great hikes on the mountain, we drove to the national park for more tremendous hiking. I wore the two year old so she couldn't slow us down.
On the way home, to break things up, we stopped in Brockville to check out the Brockville Railway Tunnel, Canada's first railway tunnel. I highly recommend it!
My daughter got her braces off today. That means I've been taking her to monthly appointments these past two years, giving me plenty of time to wander around Cloverdale Mall.
I joke that Cloverdale is heaven's waiting room, because it's chock full of old people during weekdays, but I find it a rather fun place to waste time. In addition to a Winners, where I've bought great socks and shorts recently, there's a rather unique Home Hardware. This Home Hardware always has seemingly random sales. For example, I just bought a small pack of M&Ms for 7 cents a bag.
In addition to other key stops like an LCBO, MTO, Rexall and Metro, they have a Dollarama. Check out this kickass CD they're selling for $2!
The Sunrise Records, which was the last one in the city before they took over all those HMV leases, will sell you used cassettes for a loonie! Kick is a play-thru.
And I quite like this tee shirt they're selling. Everybody knows that 90s Canadian Alt Rock is a genre.
There's also this independent sports apparel shop where you can get a good deal on expired goods, like this Jays shirt.
I'm almost sorry the braces are off and my monthly visits have come to an end. Sure, she'll be wearing a retainer for a while and they'll want to check things out, but I'm told those visits are only a couple of minutes. That's not nearly long enough for a mall this quirky.
My son just spent the week at a Nike Tennis Camp at James Gardens, which is a fantastic camp located on the Humber River, with four tennis courts, clubhouse access and nature trails.
There are three other Nike Tennis Camps located in Toronto that offer a unique camp atmosphere, and are designed to help young athletes improve their game, hit a tonne of balls, and have fun! Sign up is still open, with weekly sessions available from July 16 to August 31. Use the code TORONTOMIKE when registering and SAVE $50 per child and per week. Here's where you go to register.
Nike Tennis Camp highlights include:
- 6 hrs of Multi-Sport programming daily including tennis, soccer, basketball, and more!
- Daily Instruction from Certified Coaches; 1:6-8 teacher to student ratio
- Half Day and Full Day programs available for ages 4-14 of all skill levels
- Every camper receives Nike Sports Camps T-shirt and other Nike Prizes
My kid had a blast and next week's Kindergarten Camp is now sure to be a letdown for the guy.
My oldest daughter is graduating from grade eight next week and moving on to high school next September. Last night, I attended her final concert at Humbercrest Public School, and since my youngest two are attending a different primary school, it was the last time I'll ever be in that building. 12 years and out!
This school has pictures of all the grade eight classes in the hallway by the main entrance, so on my way out I made sure to snap a picture of their most famous graduate.
Can anyone recognize one of the grade eight students from the class of 2002? Here's a closer look...
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