Monday, December 28, 2009

Remembering Daniel MacLeod 1907-2009 (Hayley's grandpa)

On Christmas eve, Hayley's grandpa passed away. He was 102. Hayley was able to be at his 100th birthday party a few years ago.
Daniel MacLeod

Peacefully, at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Thursday, December 24, 2009, of Daniel Harris MacLeod of Charlottetown and formerly of Hopefield, age 102 years. Husband of 65 years of Phyllis Campbell MacLeod. Father of Verna (Bob) Delahunt, Leamon (Florence) MacLeod and Gerald ( Sharon) MacLeod. Grandfather of Danny, Kimberley, Roberta, Gary, Mark Brenda, Cathy, Matthew, Ryan and Hayley. Great-grandfather of 23 great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren...

Online condolences may be made at

Please pray for Hayley and the MacLeod family in their time of grieving.

More pictures on facebook of our final visit in the spring:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sayings of Sylas v25 - Santa

Well it's appropriate that Sylas' 25th "saying" is about the 25th of December! The other day we were talking about Santa Clause:

Daddy: So Sylas do you believe in Santa?
Sylas: Of course!
Daddy: But Sylas we live in an apartment, how does Santa get in without a chimney?
Sylas: He comes down the garbage chute!

So now you know! Merry Christmas everyone!! Hopefully Santa brings you something nice tonight, whether he brings it down your chimney or down your garbage chute!!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Saying of Sylas v24 - Rent cheque

This morning we were getting ready to head out the door for school when I asked Sylas to help with a big responsibility:

Daddy: Sylas, can you please take care of the rent cheque?
Sylas: Ok, sure!
Daddy: The rental office is closed so you will have to put it through the mail slot. You've done that before right?
Sylas: Ya with rocks!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thorncliffe all-kindergarten school?

I saw this article today on CityTv:

the Toronto public board is considering creating an all-kindergarten campus, according to a published report.

Thorncliffe Park Elementary...currently has more than 600 kindergarten students and is struggling to find solutions to deal with its ever-swelling student population.

The high numbers of new Canadians that are constantly moving into the area have caused the entire student population at the school to grow to nearly 2,000 – that’s about five times the city average. Thorncliffe Park Elementary, which has already outgrown a 2003 addition, only houses kids in junior kindergarten to Grade 5...

The TDSB is seriously considering the idea of using a new building next to the existing school as a kindergarten-only facility. A new $16 million building is slated to go up in 2011, but how that building will be used and by which students, is still up in the air.

Ok, I'm not sure if any of these people have been to Thorncliffe lately but exactly where are they thinking of putting a new school? There is zero room for anything around here so I'm interested in how this plays out. 600 kindergarten students is more than we had in my entire elementary school growing up. 2000 kids is more than my highschool! Amazing to think of our kids being part of this mix.

**UPDATE** from CBC: The school has 32 kindergarten classes alone, which have about 800 to 1,000 students.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The sayings of Sylas v23 - Generation gap!!

Tonight we sat down for dinner.
Mommy served chicken fingers & curly fries.
The conversation went like this:

Sylas: Yum!! Mommy!! Curly fries!!
Mommy: Sylas...this one is for, it's so long it looks like a telephone cord
Sylas: um...what's a telephone cord?

I guess we've only ever had cordless or cell phones since he's been alive. oh boy we're getting old!

Monday, October 19, 2009

"More than 500 prospective citizens attend Thorncliffe's citizenship classes annually."

Check out this article from today's Star:
Canadian is what each wants to be. These citizenship candidates are here for a six-week class, one of many run daily by community groups in Toronto and across the country. More than 500 prospective citizens attend Thorncliffe's citizenship classes annually.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Need a title v46

Hayley got this picture of Sylas the other day. Can anyone think of a good title??

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The sayings of Sylas v22 - MJ lives

Tonight while driving we saw some people randomly lighting off fireworks for what looked like a birthday party. The kids were very excited about it so we stopped to watch:

Sylas: Wow! This is the best day! First we had fun at church, then we played video games at Papa G & Uppas and now fireworks!! What's next...seeing Michael Jackson??!!
Lukas: That's impossible Michael Jackson's dead
Sylas: no no...he's still alive!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The sayings of Sylas v21 - Yogurt

Today Sylas explained to us how yogurt is made:

Sylas: Yogurt starts out as grass, then the cow eats the grass, then the milk comes out the cows milkers, then it's made into cheese, then you cut up the cheese into little pieces and put it in the blender - then you have yogurt!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Question of the day - "as a Christian (do) we need to...oppose all forms of war"??

Recently I came across this article which I had bookmarked and then forgot about. It's from April of this year and offers an interesting perspective from a Christian who refused to fill out the Canadian census because of his anti-war stance. He went through a court battle and was eventually fined $300 but avoided jail time:
"After learning that U.S. arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin had been awarded the contract to perform the survey, he immediately decided his religious and anti-war beliefs wouldn't allow him to participate.

Supporting Lockheed Martin Ltd. Canada, a subsidiary of the U.S. weapons giant Lockheed Martin Corporation, which Stelmach says manufactures cluster bombs, would have represented that level of compromise.

I feel as a Christian we need to pursue peace and resist and oppose militarism and all forms of war," Stelmach says simply of his decision."
So what do you think about this? Is this guy over the top? Has he gone too far? Or is he right on in his opposition of all forms of war/militarism? Should Christians oppose wars like Afghanistan and Iraq? Should Christians oppose all forms of militarism and war, including arms manufacturers? Thoughts?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sad day for Thorncliffe

Please pray for a family from our community who is grieving today:

CTV news:

TORONTO — After three consecutive days of devastating news, a Toronto father is struggling to help his two sons cope with the loss of their mother and two sisters, who drowned in a hotel pool while vacationing in an eastern Ontario resort town.

Naila Yasmin, 43, a wife and mother of four, died in hospital on Sunday. Her 14-year-old daughter, Kinza Kaianad, died Monday evening and 11-year-old Sunaila Kaianad died Tuesday afternoon. All died at Kingston General Hospital.

Autopsy results suggest that Yasmin and her daughters, described as "non-swimmers," likely drowned in a ten-minute span Saturday...

Both girls attended nearby Thorncliffe Public School."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mondays hot topics - Gospels in Early Church

Wow, it's been quite a while since I posted any "Hot topics" from the discussion forum but I saw this one and even though it's not Monday thought I'd post it. Here's a good one from "jpurssey" for us to chew on
I've been thinking about how the Gospels may have been used in the early church and realise that i have heard or read little about it. it is comparatively easy to imagine the letters being read out at some church meeting and also being studied by some church "elders" (I use the word in general terms as I do not want to provoke an argument, but simply to distinguish those with an ability and interest to study them). Even the letters are sometimes long and are quite complex.

I grew up with a lot of verses being used in isolation, and with a loss of context. A lot oi sermons were constructed that way. I doubt very much that the early church used the gospels and letters that way.

I understand that the written gospels were collations of spoken stories that were assembled to give a message to their particular audiences. These would have been the stories that the early christians told to one another and to their non-christian audience. Given the level of literacy, many would needed to have the gospels read to them.

What would have been the circumstances in which the Gospels were read to an audience?

How was a Gospel delivered in its entirety to an audience?

Does anyone know of any scholarship on this matter?
Thoughts? Comments? Ideas? Post them on the forum or in the comments below

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Which businesses are recession-proof?

Found this neat article on the CTV site:

* Comfort foods: Campbell's Soup, Stagg Chili, candy-makers, McDonald's and Burger King -- companies that provide low-cost, feel-good foods tend to perform strongly during times of economic recession, and that is expected to be the case this time around.

* Drug stores: With Shoppers Drug Mart set to open a fancy, new high-end new store in a wealthy Toronto neighbourhood, it seems the company isn't too worried about losing its market share during a recession. Indeed, pharmacies are considered a safe-bet for investors during economic slowdowns because they sell products you can't really do without. Well, maybe you don't need the $90 face cream, but you do need toothpaste.

* Education: No matter how bad the economy gets, the school system isn't going anywhere. Teachers are embedded in one of the safest careers going, along with school administrators and support staff. Those who supply the education sector -- pumping text books and other learning materials into classrooms, are also safer than most.

* Security: Airports, train stations, ports, borders -- travel and transport hubs of all sorts rely on security workers to maintain safety and ensure proper protocols are observed. Those jobs also tend to be safe during periods of recession - because there's simply not much fat to cut.

* Wireless service providers: Cellphones have must-have status across Canada and the world. We need them for work, for fun and for just about everything, everyday. So business in the wireless sector isn't likely to take a tumble. In fact it might actually increase as companies try to cut costs and streamline business, turning to technology like video conferencing to reduce travel expenses.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Video of the week - Old people use a computer

This one is dedicated to my beloved parents. They taught me many things in life so I am privileged to return the favour by teaching them how to use a computer.
If you can't see the video on facebook click here:

Monday, July 06, 2009

The sayings of Lukas double-header v45 - kissing!

Today we have a special double-header edition of "The sayings of Lukas" and it's all about kissing.

1. The other day Lukas & I were going door-to-door giving out Faith & Friends magazines and colouring papers to the kids. I wasn't sure if I'd have enough magazines to finish the floor but Lukas was sure we would. So he made me a bet:

"Daddy I'll bet you 100 hugs and 2000 kisses that we have enough"

It was the best bet I ever lost.

2. The second 'saying' was when we were driving home from watching Transformers. Lukas got thinking about the main characters in the movie and said

"Dad, they must have had to pay him alot of money to agree to kiss a girl! yuck"

So there you have it. Lukas is still at the stage where kissing your dad is better than kissing Megan Fox! May this stage never end!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thorncliffe school gets 12 million!

On Friday our MPP (and education minister) Kathleen Wynne sent a note home with all the kids at Thorncliffe school announcing that the school would be receiving 12 million dollars!

The letter reads: "The Toronto District School Board will receive 12 million to address accommodation issues at Thorncliffe Park Public School. This money will help get students out of portables and into a permanent building"

Exciting stuff. Having 20 portables in the field this year was not ideal. Still, I'm wondering what space there is left on the property and what other cool stuff 12 mil can buy! That's a serious chunk of change considering Thorncliffes community center (Jenner Jean-Marie) is being completely renovated and doubled in size for 4 million. Hopefully Kathleen has more details soon!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Parenting 101 v18 - Freezer light

When I am confronted with a difficult parenting situation, I'll put the issue out there to plumb the depths of the vast parenting knowledge of my beloved readers....Here is our seventeenth edition of Parenting 101.

Today Sylas was looking for a snack in the fridge when he asked:

"Dad, why doesn't the freezer have a light like the fridge does?"

Well know the reason?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lego Bible Armageddon!!!!

The most amazing Lego Bible segment yet!! Revelation! What does the end of the world look like in Lego? Find out here

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Monday, June 08, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Thorncliffe Soccer League!! Volunteers needed

We need some volunteer coaches & referees for the Thorncliffe soccer league.
Send me a message if you can help!!


Summer Soccer League in Thorncliffe Park for boys and girls aged 7 to 16.

All skill levels welcome. Come out and have fun playing soccer this summer in Thorncliffe Park from mid-June to the end of August. Games will be played at Leaside Park (by the tennis courts & swimming pool),

Cost: Free
Ages: 7 years old to 16 years old (teams will be by age groups)

***Volunteer coaches and referees needed. Community service credit available for high school students. ***

In person at 38 Thorncliffe Park Drive on these days only:
Saturday May 30, 2009 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Tuesday June 2, 2009 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

By touchtone phone: 416-338-0000

For more information, please contact:

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Thorncliffe Park - crowded but easy to walk...

From yesterdays Globe & Mail:
When Indian-born Sabina Ali and her family arrived here 10 months ago, they chose to live in Thorncliffe Park, a thick cluster of 1950s-era high-rise apartments overlooking the Don River as it curves through the middle of the city.

What attracted the Ali family may surprise those familiar with the neighbourhood's stereotype as a dense, high-rise community of low-income immigrants with social needs.

"When I visited this place, I really liked it," said Ms. Ali, a married mother of four young daughters whose family has no car. "Everything is accessible - the grocery store, the mall, the school and the mosque - and you can just walk [to them]...

Thorncliffe Park, one of 10 inner suburbs being studied, is surprisingly easy to walk around because high-rises are near shopping, schools and play areas. But other areas are much more spread out, with wide arterial roads, no sidewalks and other impediments to pedestrians.

Preliminary findings from Thorncliffe Park show the power of small fixes.

Ms. Ali, a volunteer member of the Women's Committee of Thorncliffe Park, said her group successfully appealed to the city for additional benches and picnic tables for a small park beside the local elementary school. Over the winter, the city agreed to shovel snow from sidewalks and footpaths.

Now, she said, more residents come out to sit and talk, and walk around the park, adding to a sense of security.

Jane Farrow, executive director of the Centre for City Ecology, said the volume of pedestrian activity in Thorncliffe Park is significant."

Full article - click here

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pastor takes child killer into his home - what would you do?

Found this article on the Salvation Army 'Rubicon' Blog and thought I'd repost it here:,2933,509585,00.html
CHICHESTER, N.H. — A pastor in this quiet, picturesque New England town opened his doors to a convicted child killer who had served his time but had nowhere to go.
What would you do? Read the entire article - click here

Monday, March 16, 2009

The sayings of Sylas v20 - Lightbulb

Tonight we were talking about what the kids would be when they grew up.

When I grow up I want to be a lightbulb!!
Daddy: What do you mean Sylas?
Sylas: Well, when I close my eyes the lights go out and when I open them the lights come back on!

Monday, March 02, 2009

"To the dreamers" - The origins of Twitter

This post may just end up turning into a new 'feature' on the old rusty athensBLOG. I'm not promising anything but every once in a while I find myself stumbling upon a story that inspires the dreamer in me. A story of desperation and sheer will power in the face of insurmountable odds. A story of someone who pulled through when all they had was a dream.

Recently I was reading about Twitter and found an interesting trail of info leading back to it's origins. Twitter was started by the same folks who started Blogger. Now Blogger, which I'm typing this post from, you may remember made it big when it was bought by Google in 2003.

But before then it was just a small start-up company called "Pyra Labs". Pyra Labs entry on Wikipedia states:
The co-founders were Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan, and the company's first product, also named 'Pyra'...the rudiments of Pyra were repurposed into an in-house tool which became Blogger.

Blogger was completely free and there was no revenue model. When the company's seed money dried up, the employees continued without pay for weeks or, in some cases, months; but this could not last, and eventually Williams faced a mass walk-out by everyone including co-founder Hourihan. Williams ran the company virtually alone until he was able to secure an investment by Trellix after its founder Dan Bricklin became aware of Pyra's situation. Eventually advertising-supported blogspot and Blogger Pro emerged.

As I read that I wondered what went through Williams mind when he was all alone, working on his dream. Today we have Blogger and Twitter but at that bitter moment all Williams had was a dream.

Here's to the dreamers!

Friday, February 27, 2009

90% of Thorncliffe not born in Canada

Another interesting article about Thorncliffe:
Desmond Cole, project manager for the I Vote Toronto campaign at the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, says that a community grassroots movement is needed..

“There are literally hundreds of newcomers serving agencies in Toronto,” he said...(About) 90 per cent of the people who live in Thorncliffe were not born in Canada.”

Click here for the full article

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thorncliffe gets some love from Mayor Miller

1.1 million in the budget is going towards childcare in Thorncliffe!
$1.1M Open new child-care centre at Thorncliffe Park with 56 spots.
That's pretty handy considering Thorncliffe not only has the biggest elementary school in North America (1900 kids from K-5) but also the largest age demographic from the 2006 census is 0-4 year olds!!! click here for graph

Monday, January 05, 2009

The sayings of Lukas v44 - Obama

Ahhh welcome to 2009. The year of Obama. To start the year off right I thought I'd share an experience I had over Christmas. Lukas & I went to Swiss Chalet for some father-son bonding time. Football games were on the TV. Quarter chickens were warm and tasty. Then our discussion took an interesting turn:

Daddy: Look at that catch by the football player Lukas
Lukas: Daddy, (frowning) stop watching TV!
Daddy: but Luke did you see that catch? It was amazing, he dove and caught it in...
Lukas: Daddy! If you don't stop watching TV I'm going to tell Obama to destroy all computers and TVs in the world!!
Daddy: huh?
Lukas: Obama will listen to me!! So stop it!