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Using technology to…

…educate kids and parents about how to avoid potentially dangerous situations and help to find children who have gone missing.

Did you know that each year around 50,000 kids go missing in Canada? Crazy!

This is a great initiative – and long overdue! 

Operated by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection,’s primary functions include:

  • Assisting in the location of missing children
  • Providing educational materials to help prevent children from going missing
  • Offering information and a response centre on missing children
  • Coordinating efforts to assist stakeholders in the delivery of missing children services

This is a charitable organization that deserves your support. Each pay cheque, I give a not-insignificant sum to Kid’s Help Phone and Child Find as part of the Government of Canada’s United Way drive. I’ll be adding this group to my list when the United Way coordinator makes her way to my cube.


Friday miscellany



I will never buy another issue of Macleans!

John Ivison from the NP opened his column this way:

Without a trace of irony, John Baird picked up the Macleans award for Parliamentarian of the Year on Wednesday evening, just hours after he appeared at a Government Operations committee meeting that descended into chaos when chair Yasmin Ratansi threatened to have the minister removed by security, while Mr. Baird shouted that Ms. Ratansi didn’t know how to do her job.

It was a bravura performance from a Transport Minister who must spend much of his spare time preparing his impromptu bursts of outrage. Nathan Cullen, an NDP member on the committee, said he had to remind Mr. Baird to get back into character when the television lights came back on after a break.

This was a apparently the result of a vote taken by all parties and then weighted to account for seat inequities.


I would LOVE to see the methodology behind that!

Beef of the day – the Americanization of our language…

OK fellow Canucks, repeat after me:

  • Hockey players change in a dressing room. Not a locker room
  • It is a hockey sweater. Not a jersey.
  • The 26th letter? Zed. NOT zee. I heard a francophone call it zee the other day… that kinda freaked me out.
  • It is “pop”. Not soda or soda pop. Although I can give a bit of slack on that one since I understand it is and always has been called “soda” in the West. But now, even national newspaper articles refer to it as “soda”.

Sarah Palin opens her mouth again

Yup – it’s all the environmentalists’ fault re: the Gulf spill.

Someone rhetorically asked on Facebook why doesn’t the msm just stop covering this moron?

Simple. She sells copy, folks. Curiosity trumps all and readers, when seeing her name on a column, want to see the latest bit of crud to pop outta her mouth.

Speaking of the spill…

I haven’t yet written anything about the Gulf spill. Part of the reason for this is that all has needed to be said has already been penned. Another reason for my silence is due to my concern that my visceral anger at BP, the American regulators, and all of we petro-slaves that have allowed this unprecedented disaster to occur.

I don’t really understand what the long term effects of the spill are going to be and I don’t believe anyone does. But I am fairly certain that this us gonna bite humanity in the butt somewhere, sometime.


That new conference place that is being built here in Ottawa is starting to look like something. And it’s damn big! I ride by the site twice a day on my bus commute and it’s really cool to watch the progress.

But maybe that’s just a guy thing.

I will be happy when it opens and we don’t have to travel to that dump across the river for our in-town conferences.

Chinese graffiti

It has been a week full of meetings with a delegation from China. The project is progressing well. But truth be told, five years from now, we will be looking to them for guidance. They learn that quickly. The teacher will become the student.

Finally – a conversation between my 6 year old and 3 year old this morning:

6 yr old: this mosquito is gonna die

3 yr old: what’s die

6 yr old: you’re going to do it once one day – when you’re an old grandpa

3 yr old: No!

6 yr old: First Daddy’s gonna die, then Mommy, then me, then you! You’re last, you’re lucky.

6 yr old: Actually Clarence (our cat) is going to die first. I wish I wouldn’t die. i wish lost of people wouldn’t.  I wish a lot of things.

Awwwwww… who needs TV, books or radio when you have kids that entertain ya day in and day out!


Parent versus non-parents, deuxième partie

I scribbled a post a while back that talked a bit about the differences between those of us who have propagated and those who have chosen not to. I received a bit of flack for calling non-parents “ignorant” and upon reflection, this was likely not the best word to use. But I stand by what I said in the text.

And I’m adding to it.

Unless they are mentally unbalanced or an addict of some ilk, a parent will do whatever it takes to care for the health of their child. They will lose sleep, work extra hours, sacrifice their own clothes so that the child can be adequately dressed. They will give them their last scrap of food when food is scarce.

They will take a bullet for them, jump in front of a train to save them, dive into icy waters to rescue them.

They will die for them.

And so it is for my kids. All of the above applies to me for any of the three of my kids.

Oddly, I didn’t want kids when I was in my 20’s and still more oddly, I feel that having them is a lifelong commitment. It won’t end when they are grown and on their own.

So when the well-being of one of them is threatened, I jump into rescue hero mode and do whatever it takes to pull them back from whatever poses the threat.

Some of you may be aware that we have had a bit of a health scare with my little boy over the past few months. After a “minor” (yeah, right) surgery, it seems that all is OK and his affliction can be attributed to a nasty little bacteria. But, Holy Cowabunga! The Resident-Love-Goddess and I have been on pins and needles! It isn’t until the health of your child is directly threatened that you are reminded of the strength of that bond between parent and child.

Another example.

My eldest subunit decided to turn vegetarian last summer. No problem – I totally respect that. There is evidence that points to that lifestyle being a helluva lot healthier than the one adopted by we carnivores!

As long as you eat the right things and take supplements, one can be a healthy little camper.

And therein lies the rub. No matter what her 4 parents tell her, she just-won’t-eat-properly! She’s not getting enough protein nor enough iron. We think that she is becoming anaemic as she is always sick and getting as pale as a ghost. But she just won’t listen.

The kid has been turning a maturity corner lately as she is getting excited about her post-secondary life. Her grades have picked up and even her attitude – while still FAR from ideal – seems to be improving.

But she is making herself ill by NOT eating properly and her parents are at their collective wit’s end!

And there is very little that we can do about it. She has to realise that being a vegetarian has health consequences if care is not exercised and she has to either fix her diet or go back to eating meat.

My kids’ – the toddler’s and the teen’s – health issues are very different but they are both realistically out of my control. I can take the little one to doctor appointments and the follow-up. I can suffer through 2 hours of waiting while he was in surgery. But his health was in the hands of the doctors and his own young body’s ability to heal itself.

For my teen, I can talk to her, plead with her, buy her foods and vitamins BUT the final decision is her’s.

I would do anything to fix either of their problems. Anything! If I believed in the existence of a soul, I would look up the red, horned guy in the phone book and try to do a deal!

And that, my friends, is a main difference between parents and non-parents. It isn’t the late nights or the cuddly times or thrill of hearing the first word or seeing the first step.

Those without kids will and can never feel the pain of their child and the resultant agony felt by the parent in knowing that in spite of your best efforts and in spite of doing everything “right”, that it is sometimes not enough. I can’t always “rescue” my kids – whether it be from poor eating habits or a nasty little bacteria.

And that pain is unlike any other.


The ignorance of those sans enfants

Found this posted on a colleague’s Facebook site. Hilarious!n650126619_2607965_92195

I tried to find the time to read this closely, but my 5 year old wants yet another snack. Owen (the 22 month-old) is hitting my leg with his Thomas train. And I have to run off to an interview at my teen’s school.

Those without kids just don’t get it – and never will unless they become a part of the procreation herd.


One sick little boy

I’m varying BIG TIME from my rants about Stephen Harper, censorship, the politics of cynicism, the Beijing Olympics, yah-da-yah-da-yah-da.

My little 16 month old son Owen just came home from the hospital that has been his home since early Monday after successfully fighting a Rotavirus.

Man – this is NOT something you want your kids to come in contact with. The poor little guy has been though Hell.

Owen is not a, uh, big guy. You know those growth charts that plot age and weight? Well, he’s looking up at the curves. Tho’ lately he has been gaining weight at a greater rate than other kids his age. But he doesn’t exactly have a lot of “reserve capacity”.

BUT, he somehow contracted this most brutal bug and has been hospitalised since Monday at 7 am. I had to think about the timing considering I am a little punch-drunk at the moment. Sleep deprivation and stress, ya know.

He started showing symptoms (i.e., he threw up) at 11:15 on Thursday night. Was not well through Friday but showed signs of improvement on Saturday. But his fever peaked over Saturday night despite doses of Tylenol. 7 am Sunday, we’re off to CHEO where they try to stick needles in his hand, but he was too dehydrated to present a good vein.

They found a vein in the crook of his arm and we’re admitted. While hospitals are not places that one wants to frequent very often, it was the best place he could be given the circumstances.

So, Colleen spent a couple of nights with him and I did some day duty while at watch over our very ill little boy. We hope that he hasn’t spread this any further.

Addy (4 year old) complained of a headache before bed last night and had a temp of a 100. Called Torii and she’s in bed cuz she doesn’t feel well. But both kids were fine this morning

It was a long few days but he seems much, much better and he is VERY happy to be home – as are we.

Doncha love parenthood?

When will “they” have a vaccination against EVERYTHING?

Oh, and yesterday was the day that Colleen and I should have been celebrating our 7th anniversary.

But most importantly, Owen is better and we can get on with our lives.


Tiny tots are terrorized – apparently

There was a piece in this Globe and Mail article about anxiety disorders being surprisingly common among children. The piece goes on to describe little Cody who has this unnatural fear that is described in the following way:

“In the waiting room at the anxiety clinic at Montreal Children’s Hospital, Cory cheerfully draws, hums and skips like any other preschooler.

But when he is led into an observation room and spots 10 strangers – a team of doctors, medical students and therapists here to assess him – he squeezes his eyes shut and ducks behind his mother, pressing his face into her back.”

I don’t know about you, but even my middle-aged fear would kick in if I was in the same situation! I mean, what do you expect?! A team of 10 strangers in white lab coats? THIS is unnatural anxiety?

It seems like the poor kid was assessed for autism because his 10-year-old half-brother, Connor, has the genetic cognitive disorder. After autism was ruled out, two other experts suggested he had selective mutism, an anxiety disorder in which children refuse to speak in social situations.

Selective mutism? Aren’t ALL kids selectively mute? And especially in new situations? But happily, the conclusion that has been reached is that the kid may have separation anxiety disorder along with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The telling few sentences are the following:

“Ms. Mercier, a researcher at a medical company, says the label doesn’t matter as long as treatment comes with it.

“For me, it’s like, label him with something so we can help him,” she said.”

So. Let me get this straight. The parents are freaked that this 4 year old is shy in social situations and especially when surrounded by a large group of strangers in white coats and who are likely using words that the kid doesn’t even understand. And all of this is coming about because the well-meaning parents say they “just want Cory to feel good about himself in public. They want him to be able to order pizza, join a swim team or dial 911 if he’s in trouble.”

Order pizza? My four year old can’t order pizza either! Nor can my teenager! But hey, as long as the experts can label them – it’s all good because then we know what medication and or other therapy the kid should be subjected to.

Man, I, along with most of the kids I knew growing up should have been on meds at a very young age! I’m sure an expert – be they a psychologist or a teacher – would have labelled me as rebellious, out of touch with reality as I daydreamed quite a bit – and obviously as an obsessive/compulsive due to my pencil chewing habit!