Parenting Rob Ford

Some of you may have heard of this Rob Ford character.  He is the current Mayor of Toronto and the revelations coming out of and about him over the past few weeks have been astonishing and crazy and unbelievable.  I’ve attempted to write this post a few times and it has been a challenge because there were new developments every day.   

Mayor Rob Ford speaks to media after his meeting with Premier Dalton McGuinty , Police Chief Bill Bl

I read this post on Playground Confidential on How to talk to your kids about our crack mayor the day he admitted to crack use and ever since have been thinking about what kinds of parenting lessons we can take from this circus sideshow.

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Remembrance and Hope

I just got back from the Remembrance Day assembly at my kids’ school.  It is the first time since I was a kid myself that I have attended a school Remembrance Day assembly.  Typically I go for the big public ceremonies.  I live in Ottawa and so I typically go to the national service at the Canadian War Memorial.


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Lest We Forget


Today is Remembrance Day.  Today we pause our busy lives and we remember those who fought the wars and the peace to give us the countries and lives we have today.

Today I remember my grandfather who served in the British Merchant Marine, my grandmother who lived in London throughout WWII and survived the Blitz.  I remember my aunts and uncles and cousins who lived through the war in Britain.  I remember my uncles who went down with their ships.  I remember the Canadians who fought to defend my country and our rights and freedoms.  I remember the soldiers of all countries who fought for their countries. I remember the sacrifices made by current soldiers and especially their families.

Most of all I remember how important it is that we remember and that we teach our children about the horrors of war.  I remember how important and precious peace is and our responsibility to protect those who do have the luxury of peace.

In Flanders fields the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

– Col. John McCrae

Aviva Community Fund

My kids go to Vincent Massy Public School in Ottawa and our school could use a new playground for the 130 Kindergarten students.

This year we started full-day kindergarten and my five year old is enjoying her full days at school and learning lots of new things.  The playground which was never really a great playground is now quite inadequate for the five kindergarten classes.  They put up a new fence this year to enlarge the space.  The play structure is small and is really a toddler structure.

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Basketball with Ghandi

The other day I saw this great little film via the magic of Facebook and Gawker.  Only thing is that it is actually a commercial for a Thai telecommunications company.

It is an inspirational, beautiful, emotional story.  When I first watched it, I thought “wow that is a great video!”  I decided I would write a post about how doing small things can make a difference in the world.  I thought I can fit that fake Ghandi quote about being the change you want to see in the world into this one.  Then my cynical media awareness trainer brain kicked in to gear. Read more of this post

Cutting off our nose

This morning the Ottawa Citizen published their analysis of the candidates in the Ottawa South by-election taking place on August 1.  They also issued their endorsement of the PC candidate Matt Young.  Their primary reasons for this endorsement is that he has no baggage of government and he will not shrink into the backbenches.

I disagree with the logic of their endorsement.  In my eyes they are arguing that we in Ottawa South should cut off our noses to spite our face.  They would have us vote against an effective commmunity advocate to express displeasure at the government over decisions made about the GTA. Read more of this post

Ottawa South By-Election


I don’t want to turn this blog into a political blog, even though that means I need to hold back many valuable opinions that all of you want to hear…  That said, I live in the riding of Ottawa South and we are in the midst of a by-election.  As I have previously stated, I have a great deal of respect for anyone who steps up and puts their name on a ballot.  Last night I managed to attend the last half of an all-candidates debate (after coaching soccer). Suitably primed, today seemed like a good day to write about this by-election and my thoughts about the issues and candidates. Read more of this post

Clearing the weeds


I spent some time this weekend weeding the garden. We have two vegetable gardens in different parts of the yard and they were both quite overgrown. Between rainy weekends and high temperatures I haven’t even been able to get the grass cut every weekend, let alone weed the gardens.  This weekend I decided I had to take action since the weeds were getting bigger than the plants.  I’m not done yet, but clearing the sections that I have so far has been very satisfying. It is not unlike rescuing the living room from the detrius left behind by children who move from one game to another and leave the remnants of their previous activity behind them.  In both cases you see the space as it is supposed to be emerge from the mess.

I have recently also gone through this experience in my own mind, thanks to several job interviews.   Read more of this post

Public Service

Today my Member of Provincial Parliament and the former Premier of Ontario, Dalton McGuinty announced his retirement from the legislature. He served for 23 years as the elected representative of Ottawa South and nine years as Premier.

There will be many people who offer comments on what they feel is his legacy.  I am not going to do that in any significant way.  Instead I am going to focus on his willingness to serve and public service in general. Read more of this post