Fatherhood


Sunday Morning

Sunday MorningThe most popular video I host on my YouTube account, that was filmed by me, is this clip of my then two-year old daughter singing k-os's Sunday Morning.

That was almost six years ago.

I'm not re-sharing the video for any particular reason, just sharing...

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My Daughter Leaves Me iPod-Request Notes...

fatherhoodMy 8-yr old daughter leaves me notes with songs she wants me to sync to her iPod. Here is the most recent one she left for me:

Michelle's MP3 Request

Spirit of the West's Home For A Rest and the Violent Femmes' Blister in the Sun? I'd say I'm doing something right...

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Amazing Week Camping at Pinery (A True Escape)

campingFor as long as I can remember, the only time I can truly unplug is when I camp. Time ceases to matter, emails can wait and ignorance becomes bliss. All week long I've enjoyed camp fires, hikes, visits to the beautiful beach on Lake Huron and great conversations.

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A big thanks for Ford Canada for lending me a 2012 Ford Escape for the road trip. It handled beautifully, was nice and roomy and sounded great when I connected my Samsung Galaxy S via Bluetooth to play our favourite tunes.

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I can't wait for our next trip.

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Do It For Her, Leafs: How I Measure The Drought

leafsI remember Maple Leaf playoff hockey. Here's my entry following our last playoff game on May 4, 2004. At a quick glance, 2004 might not seem like that long ago, so I'd like to offer you some perspective.

This is my daughter. Soon, she'll turn 8-years old.

Michelle

She was born after the Leafs' last playoff game meaning the Maple Leafs have never played a playoff game in her lifetime.

She, essentially, is the measuring stick I use when actualizing this drought. She's about to finish grade two. She's fluent in two languages. She's got interesting ideas and a great sense of humour and there's no telling when I'll be able to sit down with her to watch Maple Leaf playoff hockey. Will it be next year? When she's ten? We seem as far away today as we were the day Burke was hired.

I'm done with Leafs hockey for the year, and it's only March. Complete apathy is setting in, yet still I yearn to share playoff hockey with my kids. If the Leafs won't do it for me, maybe they'll do it for her.

Do-It-For-Her

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My Son's First Leafs Game

leafsI still remember taking my son James to his first Jays game. That was way back in 2004 and Gabe Gross hit a grand slam, Russ Adams hit his first career home run and Carlos Delgado went deep in a 12-5 victory. Brian Burke sat two rows ahead of us and we had a blast.

It's taken me quite a bit longer to get James to his first Leafs game. We've seen several Jays and Marlies games, and a Raptors game and TFC match, but last night was his first Leafs game, a 1-0 shoot-out loss from the Coke Zero Gondola Box.

In the Coke box watching the Leafs #sweet

I'm not sure how the game played on television, it was quite possibly a snooze-fest, but live there was a good ebb and flow and it was pretty entertaining for a scoreless hockey game. Fatherhood Schmaltz Alert: More than anything, I wanted the Leafs to score. I didn't care if we lost 10-1, I wanted James to hear the horn go and witness the eruption of joy that happens after the home team scores. A bunch of posts later, I didn't get my wish, but James had fun regardless.

The boys first Leafs game!

I want to give a big thanks to Coke Zero for inviting us. It was a part of their big "Impossible Made Possible" campaign and it was amazing not only getting James into a game, but having free food and drink all game long. I'm not blaming Coke Zero for the lack of Leafs goals.

Fwd: Coca-Cola Zero Impossible Made Possible

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Use Same Character with Mario Kart on the Wii

wiiYou know what's fun? Racing in Mario Kart when everybody in the room is the same character using the same vehicle.

The kids and I are all racing as Diddy Kong in his Mach Bike. Impossible, you say? Thanks to a Wii glitch, it's easy.

My kids were certain Diddy Kong was Donkey Kong's son. In actuality, he's Donkey Kong's nephew.

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Pokémon: I Can't Even Fake It

thumbsdownI'm 37-years old and my son is ten. I like to think I'm a pretty savvy dad, with an advanced knowledge of video games and new technologies, and my ear to the ground with regards to today's pop music and pop culture. When my son's interests diverge from mine, I usually know enough to fake it.

The great exception to the above is Pokémon. My son loves all things Pokémon, and has for years. Recently, he's been doing a deep dive into old titles for the Game Boy Colour and Game Boy Advance. Some of these games date back to the late 90s, but I'm so completely clueless when it comes to Pokémon that I can't even fake it.

I just missed Pokémon. It took off when I was far too old to care, like Tomogatchi and Pogs. Even after reading the Wikipedia page I don't get Pokémon enough to fake it.

pikachu

At least I was savvy enough to score him 21 Pokémon roms and emulators for Game Boy Colour, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS.

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How Google Stole My Daughter's Gmail Account

googleMy kids have had their own Gmail addresses since they were about five years old. I set them up with accounts, added family and close friends to their contact list, and showed them how to communicate with Grandma, their uncles, etc. There's nothing cooler than getting an email from your five year old chock full of heart and rainbow icons.

My son has had his account for five years now, and it's full of history. I'll share YouTube clips with them, pictures, messages. It's a great digital archive of his early years, and he can keep that address forever.

Things haven't gone as smoothly for my daughter. At some point, Google prompted her to enter her birth date. She was born in 2004, and disclosed that to Google. Immediately, Google locked her out of her account. Apparently, you can't have a Gmail account unless you're at least 13 years old.

What irks me is that the account was suspended immediately. There was no opportunity to back-up emails. It was an instant "you're too young - sorry" and all was lost.

Michelle has a new Gmail account, and I've instructed her and James to never disclose their age to Google. They love having their own email account and using Google Chat and it's easy for me to monitor everything to ensure they're using it appropriately.

Google themselves seem to promote the idea of Gmail as a means of capturing a child's history, but in reality, they'll terminate such an account without warning.

Mamas, don't let your babies disclose their birth year to Google.

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Monster Jam at Rogers Centre

Monster Jam at Rogers CentreI took the kids to see the Monster Jam this afternoon at the stadium formerly known as SkyDome. Say what you will about the monster truck shows, but it's 3 solid hours of entertainment. There's the monster truck race, the freestyle competition and a demolition derby to top it all off. Oh yeah, and there's motocross freestyle and quad racing sprinkled in the mix.

If you've ever been to a monster truck show (this is my third event with my son) then you know that Grave Digger is the Hulk Hogan. He gets all the praise and attention, even though he didn't win anything today. The fastest truck on this day was Mohawk Warrior. Here he is edging out Monster Mutt to win the title.

Mohawk Warrior wins!

The freestyle event was thrilling, with Avenger winning the crown. The hyped Canadian entry, Northern Nightmare, underwhelmed all afternoon.

Here's my review of Monster Jam 2008. If anyone can tell me what happened to Bigfoot, I'd love to know.

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10 Years of Fatherhood

10 Years of FatherhoodI'm going to make this as short and unschmaltzy as possible.

Ten years ago today, this happened.

Mike and James

With a decade of fatherhood behind me, I think I've got the hang of it. My goal was always to raise children who aren't assholes. I have assholic tendencies I blame on my father, so everything I do with my son and daughter is designed to make them kind, thoughtful, hard-working, and modest but confident citizens.

This is my beloved son James who turns ten today. He's kind, thoughtful, hard-working and modest but confident and I'm so friggin' proud of him.

James' championship season

Love ya, James. Happy Birthday!

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