Are Dads The New Mom?

Zacharie and I were photographed and interviewed (okay, I was interviewed) for an article by Denise Ryan in this weekend’s Vancouver Sun about Father’s Day. Her thesis was about Dads becoming more involved; Are Dads The New Mom?

20090620 Vancouver sun“By the time I was 35, I had resigned myself to not having children of my own,” said Bishop.

“I am pretty selfish. When I saw how other people were with their children, it was pretty intimidating.”

Co-host of Virgin Radio’s popular afternoon show in the 3 to 6 slot, Bishop is an information addict and pop-culture junkie — but you could also call him a media artist.

He sucks up cultural information, reorganizes it into a dazzling format that makes listeners laugh and makes them feel smart.

Staying on top of everything is literally a 24-hours-a-day job.

Before becoming a dad, Bishop was plugged in all the time. It wasn’t just his job. It was what he loved to do — and it gave his life meaning.

Now there is something else that gives his life meaning — a two-year-old named Zacharie, his son with fiance Jen Cybak.

“I’m number 2 now,” he says with a laugh.

The turnaround for Bishop came the instant Zacharie was born. “It’s like a switch that just flicks on inside you.”

He hasn’t jumped off the career path, but he has thrown himself headfirst into fatherhood, and that means he’s had to change a few things.

Like his fiance, he’s doing the juggling act between a career and hands-on parenting.

He’s pretty much given up golf. He squeezes culture and information binges into Zacharie’s nap times when he’s on a “daddy day,” and on Friday nights he’s more likely to be “parked in the kiddie pool in the backyard” than out on the town.

Bishop grew up in a traditionally structured home. “My dad worked a lot, and I was closer to my mom, although now I’m very close to my dad.”

He appreciates the societal changes that have made hands-on parenting part of the deal for dads. “Everybody has to be the mother and the father in these dual working households.”

Fatherhood, for Bishop, has been a journey of rediscovering and reliving childhood.

“So many things you take for granted; a water fountain, a dog running, a bursting yellow flower. To experience the world with someone discovering it for the first time — it’s a chance to reset the odometer,” he said.

As for Zacharie, he’s also discovering the world through his dad’s eyes — and that makes him a pretty plugged-in kid. He Twitters, loves YouTube and has his own Facebook page.

He also loves to grocery shop with his dad on Saturday mornings while his mom sleeps in.

“It’s been awesome,” said Bishop. “I was thrilled to have my life change.”
[Vancouver Sun]

Wow, I’m absolutely flattered by the story Denise put together and the great shot that Ian Lindsay grabbed of Zacharie and I rolling down one of our favourite slides.

Happy Father’s Day.

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First Person POV of The Coaster at Playland

Playland is now open daily for the summer season!

To celebrate, I got up extra early to run a contest for people to win a season’s pass to Playland. The contest involved many mind bending stunts performed while The Coaster was rolling. They weren’t easy.

The Coaster is one of the greatest in the world, built in 1958 this wooden gem drops 20 m and accelerates through 75km/h. The best part is the lap bar doesn’t really come down all the way. You’ll be flying out of your seat with every drop and turn.

Since we were on it so early, I got a front row seat without waiting and took this first-person video of the complete 2 minute ride!

We all rode it 4 times before 7a. Good times, but not recommended

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U-Pick Strawberry Season In The Fraser Valley

20090618 strawberries - 18

Krause Berry Farms opened up officially for the season today, and for $1.50 a pound you can fill your face and freezer with the best, ripest, freshest strawberries you can find in the world.

The 100 mile diet is all the rage. Fresh food picked the day you ate it from the neighborhood you live in. 50km from our house in North Vancouver is the Langley farm fields that will be filled with strawberry pickers this weekend as the Strawberry Season is officially underway.

When I was younger, I used to hit the U-Pick Strawberry fields in Richmond and harvest all through June. I’d pay 35c a pound for the berries and I my dad would turn around and sell them for 75c a pound to his colleagues at work. It was cheaper than the grocery store, and my first kick at entrepreneurship.

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I did the same each summer with blueberries which grew wild behind our house near 4 Road and Francis. I’d get about 5 pounds and hour picked that my dad would sell at his office for a pure profit of 75c a pound. It was a good racket.

Now I’m off to teach Zacharie the U-Pick habits of harvesting the freshest food for your table. We spent about 30 minutes taking photos, riding the tractor and sampling the sweetness and managed to scoop a quick 8 pounds of bounty amongst myself, mom, grandma and grandpa. Zacharie helped too!

Check out BC Farm Fresh for a farm near you, although I’d seriously recommend Krause Berry Farms for some strawberry milkshakes, strawberry shortcakes and strawberry picking fun.

Do Square Watermelons Taste Better?

square watermelons

Our Promotions Director, Phil Evans, got a square watermelon from Urban Fare delivered to his desk yesterday.

Watermelons are supposed to make people happy. Remind us of our youth. Send thoughts of dribbling juice running down our chin through our heads and have us imagining how far we can spit the seeds.

Instead, this watermelon has Phil pissed. Actually, it has me pissed too.

Here’s the blurb on attached to the fruit.

From around the world and around the corner, Urban Fare delivers the finest selection of fresh and exotic gourmet produce. By popular demand, we’re pleased to bring back square watermelons and Urban Fare is the only place in North America where you will find them. This rare and exotic fruit was carefully cultivated and grown in Japan, and has been imported exclusively for Urban Fare customers. Pick up this gem of a melon and make your next barbecue or summer picnic the most memorable in years.

Yup, it’s a watermelon grown in a box in Japan, placed on a boat, shipped across the Pacific and then placed on a shelf at prissy grocery stores where it is sold for … $99.

Watermelon is pretty much one of the cheapest things you can buy. 29c a pound sound like a good price? 39c? Well these origami marvels are pretty heavy, maybe 6 pounds? That makes ‘em $15/pound. Nice markup huh?

But that’s not the thing that’s pissing Phil and I off. It’s the fact there are damn fine melons grown on our farmlands. You know, melons that aren’t weighing down ships crossing the Pacific and spewing smoke.

I don’t want to go all Al Gore on your family reunion, but what’s the carbon footprint of a square sumo sized watermelon vs a goofy football shaped one from Chilliwack?

Not to mention the confusion of how you eat one.

I know how to eat round ones, but how do you eat a square one? How do you bite off chunks and pretend you have a smiley face?

It’s kind of like the Diamond Shreddies. It’s wrong. Shreddies are square, watermelons are footballs.

diamond shreddies

I used to think these vanity items were quirky and cute, but it’s 2008. I shudder at the produce aisle when I see pears from Australia or strawberries from California. I’m no environmental nazi, but when I can buy local, I will – it’s the smarter, healthier, tastier way of doing things.

So why is Urban Fare selling square watermelons? Because there are only 400 available for the entire world! Ooooh.

Go ahead, buy one for $99 and let me know if they taste better.

Wait – Phil’s got one on his desk .. oops – no he doesn’t he just sold it on eBay.

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