August Already?

2010 August 1

The summer is flying by. The weather has been hot and humid for much of July.

Camp Winston went well for Corbin. He became part of the maintenance crew – partly because maintenance crew gets to take their shirt off. He had an amazing time and the staff had no issues. The downside was that Corbin came back with only one of seven shirts. Aye carumba. That explained by Corbin’s bag felt lighter (despite the additional junk he brought back). A few other things did not make it back including a flashlight, a pair of water shoes and a brand new pair of rain boots. It’s something we will have to mention to the staff next year.

After Camp Winston, we headed for a week long vacation at a cottage on Lake Simcoe (near Hawkstone, about 5 minutes south of Orillia). Corbin spent a complete 24 hours with us after being picked up Camp Winston and before heading back to CPRI in London.

Before the cottage, Tina and I headed to the Air Canada Centre (aka ACC) in Toronto to see Rush on the Time Machine Tour. I was able to find a parking lot across from the ACC. We walked over to the Keg only to learn that it had moved around the corner. Things are constantly changing in Toronto. Had a great supper at the Keg. Every one else in our room was also attending the concert. The area around Union Station was busy for a Saturday afternoon.

Walked back to the ACC and hung out the main entrance. It rained lightly once, but we were able to get underneath a canopy. Then the doors opened. You could cut the excitement with a knife.

After showing our tickets to several staff, we eventually made it down to the front row. Yup. Front row on Geddy’s side. Those are the seat my wonderful wife got for us. Of course, we wouldn’t be sitting in them during the concert.

The lights went down and we walked up to the barrier. 3 hours later (including a 30 minute intermission) the show was over. It was amazing. Geddy was no more than 10 feet away from us. We could see Alex on the other side of the stage and watch Neil pound away on his drum kit.

Jeremy spent a week at Babcia camp before succumbing to homesickness. Tina picked him up. My mom tried to bribe him, but he would have none of it. So we were childless for only a week. Oh well, Jeremy being back home actually helped us the following weekend with travelling to Brantford, Toronto, Camp Winston, Cottage, London, back to Cottage.

The rest of July went by quickly. Too quickly.

Corbin Update

2010 April 15

You may or may not be aware that Corbin has been struggling the past three or so months. His anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder are at all time highs. Intrusive thoughts have been keeping both Tina and I very busy.

He spent a week at Maryvale Adolescent and Family Services, a mental health treatment centre in Windsor, when Tina and I could no longer guarantee his safety. Corbin’s anxiety came down a little, but the intrusive thoughts continued.

Eventually, we turned to CPRI in London for assistance. After many phone calls, Corbin was admitted to the residential services in Unit 5 at CPRI for a period of 28 days. The purpose of this stay was to stabilize Corbin and work with the exceptional team at CPRI to develop.

We were in constant contact with Corbin and the team. We had several visits. We could see that he was stabilizing.

Corbin is home now. He may go back to Unit 5 in the future, but for now we are working with our team to create new strategies.

Thanks to everyone for their help and thoughts. It is much appreciated.

Welcome 2010

2010 January 28

Wow, it’s already 2010. Remember all the hoopla over the Y2K bug?

It’s been a few weeks since the last post.

Christmas came and went. I had two weeks off at Christmas, while Tina worked before Christmas. No injuries or hospital visits. It was hit and miss this year with the boys, especially Jeremy. We used bags instead of wrapping, dramatically reducing the amount of waste.

I bought new rear surround speakers, a woofer and a washer & dryer online at during the Future Shop Boxing Day sale. Unfortunately, Future Shop did not have the pedestals in stock, so I bought those online at The Brick.

Travelled to Brantford for a few days. The boys were spoiled while Tina and I were able to get out of the house with no kids for a few hours. My mom gave us a ton of food to bring back – Thanks Mom.

I finally used my snow thrower. Clearing the sidewalk was never so simple. More snow please.

We celebrated Jeremy’s sixth birthday. Hard to believe the boy is six. We had cake, opened some presents and just relaxed.

I took the day off before the delivery of the new washer and dryer and moved the old washer and dryer up to the garage (with Tina’s help) and cleaned out the laundry room. In the evening I picked up the pedestals at The Brick store. That was close.

On the 9th of January, the new washer and dryer were delivered. I purchased an LG WM2901HVA washer and an LG DLEX2901V Dryer, both in Graphite. The delivery guys set them up on the pedestals, connected the hoses and plugged the units in. There was a problem with the cold water valve being open. After a hot cycle, the valve became unstuck and I have had no problems since that day.

The boys are back in school. Jeremy has progressed well. His printing and comprehension are improving. Corbin has hit a wall in terms of his Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) interfering with his day-to-day function. We are trying a new medication and also have a new doctor working with Corbin to work through the OCD.

Jeremy is still in gymnastics – the boy can do a mean cart-wheel – and Beavers. He also started karate classes. Corbin is going to karate classes twice a week. Tina and I will be keeping an eye on the boys to make sure that they aren’t trying their karate moves on each other.

Two weeks ago, Jeremy had a small birthday party with five of his closest friends. There was a cake in the shape of a puck, a bunch of hockey related games and a 60 minute free-for-all hockey game in our basement. Corbin and I went to see Avatar during the party and Corbin loved the movie. The visuals were stunning but the story was ordinary.

Life in a nutshell.

Surviving Thanksgiving Weekend – Part 1

2009 October 11

Back in June, I bought tickets to Bobby Vinton at Caesar’s Windsor as a birthday present for my Mom and Alex. At the time, I was unaware that the show was on the Saturday of Thanksgiving Weekend, when we were supposed be up Goderich. It wasn’t until September that Tina and I figured that out. Ooops.

We eventually figured something out. My mom and Alex would come Friday and leave Sunday and we would head up to Goderich on Sunday, returning to Windsor on Monday.

Not wanting to put us out, my Mom decided to stay at a local Howard Johnson hotel. They arrived mid-afternoon. A few hours later, they stopped by for a visit. We ordered Chinese food. My mom played with the boys while Alex read the Economist.

Saturday morning, with Tina’s help, I made scrambled eggs for breakfast for the adults. After breakfast, I took my Mom and Corbin out for some birthday shopping. We stopped by Walmart looking for a Star Wars Blaster Kit. They had none. Corbin wasn’t happy. During the search at Walmart I mentioned that we could go to Toys R Us or another store. Corbin wasn’t too impressed with that. It had to be at Walmart. Eventually, I was able to convince him to go to another store.

Sure enough, Toys R Us had exactly what Corbin was looking for. We picked up a few things for Jeremy and headed up to the New Balance store so I could get some new running shoes. I was in and out of New Balance in less than five minutes. That made Corbin happy. He wanted to play with his new toy.

We went to Casey’s for dinner. It was near my Mom’s hotel, making it easy for her and Alex to get ready for the Bobby Vinton show. The meal at Casey’s was excellent. Everyone liked their choice and we had a good time. My mom was worried about getting to the hotel from Casey’s, so I told her to follow me. One minute later, we were at the hotel. She laughed.

I picked them up about an hour before the show and drove down to Caesar’s Windsor. I gave my mom my cellphone number and told her to ask an employee to either call for her or point her to a courtesy phone. A few hours later, I got a phone call from a very helpful casino employee who directed to me a less congested place to pick up my Mom and Alex.

My mom couldn’t stop talking about the show on the way back to the hotel. She said the seats were excellent and the show was great. She mentioned that Alex had a great time and that she was glad that I got her tickets to the show. She then mentioned something about Bette Midler coming soon. I’ll take that as a hint.

Sunday morning was another breakfast at our house, and then play time with Babcia and the boys. When it was time to leave, my mom mentioned that interchange at County Road 46 is closed due to construction. Well, since we were heading up to Goderich, I said “Follow me to the 401”. And off we went. My mom made it to the 401. And the first part of our holiday weekend was over.

Avoid the Windsor Soccer Club

2009 October 7

Tina and I have decided to abandon our appeal of Corbin’s suspension by the Windsor Soccer Club. See No More Soccer For Corbin for the details.

It was becoming clearer by the day, that the WSC had no intention of taking this situation. When Corbin was suspended we were never told how long the suspension was for. Basic information, correct? I emailed the Mr. Docherty, President, many times and received no answer.

I questioned Mr. Docherty’s authority to unilaterally suspend a player asking him to cite the relevant sections in the WSC Constitution or WSC Rules and Regulations that granted such authority. Nothing.

One of the players verbally threatened Corbin and we never heard back from Mr. Docherty or other WSC Board members about our complaint.

With a suspension based on flimsy third-hand hearsay evidence and a president who has been stonewalling us from day one, how does one put up a defence? How do you provide evidence to counter the claim when the original ‘evidence’ was non-existent?

After withdrawing our appeal yesterday, Mr. Docherty had the gall to respond and state the WSC takes all appeals seriously. His lack of response over seven weeks says otherwise. But I didn’t lay the blame solely on him. The Board of the Windsor Soccer Club is just culpable.

I will be stringing the various emails we received and our response to them in the coming days and will post them for all to see.

In discussing Corbin’s suspension with people involved with the local soccer scene, it soon became clear that the Windsor Soccer Club is in disarray. Several board members resigned, not too impressed with the person in charge, Mr. Docherty.

Despite knowing that a municipal workers strike was imminent, WSC was left scrambling at the last minute for a place to play and practise. The season started late by about a month and didn’t finish until the end of August. The season usually ends at the end of June, beginning of July. Plenty of Jeremy’s games had no referee and the rules were changed after a few games.

So, if you are looking to sign up your child for soccer avoid the Windsor Soccer Club. They aren’t the only game in town. Check out the Essex County Soccer Association for more information.

And a big thanks for those who supported us and provided us with valuable feedback.

Lets Go To The Ex

2009 August 25

Tina and I decided to give the boys a taste of our childhood of growing in or near Toronto and the summer ritual know as the Canadian National Exhibition or the “Ex” as the locals call it. It has been 15 or 16 years since Tina and I went to the Ex and some things have changed while others have not.

My mom came along and we left Brantford shortly about 10:15 am. We arrived at the Oakville GO Train station just after 11:00 am. I dropped everyone off at the main door and then looked for a parking spot. There were a few empty spots at the extreme western end of the lot, probably half a kilometre or so from the station. I walked back to the station and bought our tickets (a family day pass for the four of us and a senior’s day pass from my mom for a grand total of $31.25).

During all of this, Jeremy complained about a sore stomach. ‘Great’ Tina thought. She took Jeremy to the bathroom, but didn’t seem to help. Then Jeremy asked for some crackers. Well, that ‘pain’ he was feeling was hunger. Yes, it seems that Jeremy has never experienced hunger before. A container of fishy crackers later, Jeremy was back to normal.

Our trained arrived at 11:30. We headed up to the upper level and enjoyed the 30 minute trip to the Ex. It was a lovely sunny day with a nice breeze off the lake. We arrived at the Ex at noon and proceeded to the kiddie ride area.

Tina bought the boys unlimited ride passes and 20 tickets for us. And then the boys were off. Jeremy went on two ‘scary’ rides with Corbin and that was the last time he would go on a ‘real scary’ ride that day. Instead, he focused on the fun houses and slide rides. Corbin enjoyed some of the kiddie rides.

It was time for lunch. Off to the Food Building. Think of a mall food court and multiply it by five. This place was packed full of food vendors, including the Ex classic, Tiny Tom Donuts. The Food Building has changed since I was a child. Back in the day, companies such as Hersheys and Billy Bee, would offer free samples and products at big discounts. There were a few hot-food vendors. Today, the building is almost completely food kiosks. Choosing is difficult. But we all managed to find something to eat. My mom had sausage and salad. Tina had fries and pop. Jeremy a corn dog. I had a sausage in a bun and pop.

Headed over to the ‘adult’ midway so that Corbin could enjoy some ‘big kid’ rides. Jeremy went in every funhouse, and in some cases went two, three even four times. Somewhere between the bumper cars and the tilt-a-whirl (Corbin and I had a ball on that ride) I lost my cellphone. I got Tina’s phone and immediately cancelled that phone. No worries since I was going to get a new phone later this week.

Walked over to the Farm exhibit where the boys got to see llamas, bees, goats, cows, horses and sheep. Before the Ex, Jeremy mentioned to Tina that he wanted to see a cow up close. Well, finally saw hisĀ  cow up close and wasn’t too impressed when it decided to take a pee. Corbin and Jeremy didn’t like the smell too much. Back to kiddie land for some rides and then off to the food building for a quick supper.

Before heading home, we tried our luck at a few games on the midway. Tina did win a prize on Roller Ball. Corbin won a prize or two and got a chance to shoot out a target with a BB gun. Jeremy did the best of us all. On our way out, I went to buy some of those Tiny Tom Donuts, managing to get them just before our train arrived.

The train ride back was a good way to unwind and appreciate the excellent day we had. We didn’t do everything at the Ex, but the feedback from the boys was positive. That means we will be back next year and put in a full day including some shows, other exhibits and some night time fun.

No More Soccer For Corbin

2009 August 15

Corbin has been suspended from the Windsor Soccer Club (WSC).

The decision to suspend Corbin was based on hearsay evidence via email to a friend of Corbin’s now former coach. The friend is the Secretary of the WSC. He forwarded the email to the President of the WSC, who decided unilaterally and without hearing from us, to suspend Corbin.

No formal protest or complaint was filed. No hearing of the Discipline Committee was held. We were never asked for our side of the story. The Constitution and Rules and Regulations of the Windsor Soccer Club have been completely ignored.

We have not been told how long the suspension is for or the nature of the allegations that lead to the suspension. We have asked the President to provide evidence that he has authority to suspend any member of the WSC without holding a hearing of the discipline committee. We have yet to be provided any of this information.

We are appealing this ‘decision’ if only for our voice to be finally heard.

If you have children who wish to play recreational or competitive soccer, we recommend that you avoid the Windsor Soccer Club.