Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Wrong Text Revolution

There's a blogger out there who has started a revolution.

A 'wrong text' revolution, so to speak. And it's gaining momentum, for all the right reasons.

Some of you may already be familiar with Single Dad Laughing.  

If not, I'm sure many of you know who I mean when I say, 'the guy who wrote the post  ... The 16 Ways I Blew My Marriage'.

Yeah. He's that guy.

A couple of weeks ago, he tried an experiment.

He sent the same uplifting and encouraging text message to 217 numbers.

217 WRONG numbers.

The responses he got in return ranged from the typical, 'wrong number', to more interesting and personal ones.  

Many were funny. Some kind of, angry. Some ... sad.

Personally, I think it's a great, 'pay it forward' idea.  

And as long as you keep it within your area, it's FREE to potentially make some random stranger smile, or even better, make them feel special when they really needed it.

Having said that, it's also a great way to attract the rude responses and stalkers.

Seriously!  There are people out there just sitting on the phone, waiting for something like this, who will insist that you DID intentionally send the message to THEM, and they will be arriving for dinner by 7pm, so 'Be ready. And don't wear green.'

But that's the chance he took, and what he got in return were some very funny and in some cases, honest replies.

And then he did it, AGAIN.  He sent another 306 NEW wrong numbers.

And again, he received among the 'wrong number' replies, many people who were really happy to read his message.

Wrong number or not.

What has surprised me, is the fact his readers are now doing it also.  

Many people are sending inspirational text messages to random wrong numbers, in the hopes of brightening someone's day.

That, my friends, is pretty cool.

I'm really not sure WHY he tried this experiment.

I don't know if he anticipated that his audience would take it upon themselves to dare to do the same.

But as I read his second posting on this topic tonight, I realized very quickly ... 

He's started the wrong text revolution!  

His readers have seen the good that can come from this random act of texting kindness, and are standing behind him, arms raised, cell phones in hand, rays of sunshine beaming ...

OK ... so maybe not that dramatic.

But you get the idea. 

Good job, Single Dad LaughingGood job.

This world can really suck sometimes.  People can be Dirtbags.

People can also be generous, good, kind, and empathetic.

We need more of those people sending nice texts to wrong numbers.

Go ahead, pick a number.

Send a message.

You know you wanna.



P.S. And don't be so quick to dismiss that 'wrong text' message you receive.  It may just be someone trying to make YOUR day!

**Note to self ... get cell phone hooked up again!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Her Name Is Rehtaeh Parsons

Her name is Rehtaeh Parsons!

She could be your daughter.  She could be your friend.  She could be the girl two houses over, who babysits your kids or walks your dog.

She could be any 17 yr. old girl trying to get through this roller coaster we call life.

She loved animals. She was a big sister. She cared about people. She brought joy to her family.  She was a nice girl.

She was also allegedly raped. I have to say allegedly, nobody has been convicted yet.  She was bullied relentlessly.  She was let down by the systems (yes multiple) in place to protect her.  

And 13 months ago, she took her own life to end the pain.

I’m not going to link to anything specific here.

Simply Google Rehtaeh Parsons.  You’ll find her.

You'll read her story.

And if you have any sense of what's 'right' and 'just' in this world, you'll be outraged.

And as a woman, a mom, most likely ... you'll cry.

Her case is still pending.

Justice has not yet been served.

Nobody has been punished.

Dirtbags are still walking free.

And her family has been threatened.  

As of last week, the media is no longer allowed to publish information about Rehtaeh's case.

Her family isn't allowed to publicly discuss her case with them, because there is now an 'official publication ban' in place.

Well guess what?  I’m not family.  

Hell, I’m not even a family friend.  I'm not media, and I’m not part of ‘the case’ in any way whatsoever, so I’m here to tell you …

Her name is Rehtaeh Parsons! 

She loved animals. She was a big sister.  She cared about people. She brought joy to her family. She was a nice girl.

She was also allegedly raped. I have to say allegedly, nobody has been convicted yet.  She was bullied relentlessly. She was let down by the systems (yes multiple) in place to protect her.  

And 13 months ago, she took her own life to end the pain.

I know, I just repeated myself.  I'm making a point. That being ... 

Her name is Rehtaeh Parsons!

And she still deserves justice.

That should read, ‘… in the Rehtaeh Parsons child pornography case.’

Her name is Rehtaeh Parsons.

“The publication ban cited comes under Section 486 of the Criminal Code, which prevents the naming of alleged victims in some cases.- The Vancouver Sun (same article as above)

Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?!?!??!

You have concern over protecting Rehtaeh’s identity NOW?

Where was the concern for Rehtaeh when she needed it over a year ago?

Two teenage boys are facing charges for child pornography.  One is being charged with making child pornography.

The only people this ban may be ‘protecting’ would be THEM! 

Certainly NOT Rehtaeh.

Officials in MANY different departments; police, healthcare, education, the legal system … they ALL failed her.

People who were supposed to be her friends. FAILED HER!

What is this publication ban to 'protect' her supposed to accomplish, now?

Not sure.

What is it actually going to accomplish?

It’s going to piss off people like me.  

People who are NOT media, but yet have a forum to remind you … 

Her name is Rehtaeh Parsons!

You regulars in the Korner are already aware, that I have always tried to take a stand against bullying.

Even more so after the death of Amanda Todd.

I’m trying to raise two teenage boys in a world that accepts and … in some cases … encourages violence against women.

I have an uphill battle.

But I refuse to give up.

I refuse to stop talking to them about Rehtaeh and Amanda.

I refuse to let my boys think that ANY kind of bullying, or violence against women … or anyone for that matter, is OK.

I refuse to let them think there are no consequences for bad choices.

I refuse to let them turn into Dirtbags.

Her name is Rehtaeh Parsons.  And I make sure they know it.

On May 16th, the judge will determine whether or not the publication ban should be lifted.

Until then … Her name is Rehtaeh Parsons.

And since the media can't do it, I'll take a moment to remind you all ...

  • It is NOT OK to take an inappropriate video/picture of someone.
  • It is NOT OK to distribute that video/picture among the masses.
  • It is NOT OK to torment the victim of the video/picture.
  • It is NOT OK to take 'drunk' as a 'yes' for sex.  Anything other than a 'yes' or 'take me now!' ... is a 'NO!'
  • It is NOT OK to bully and taunt and threaten and generally make someone's life miserable through social media.  And yes, this includes ALL social media.
  • And most importantly … it is NOT OK to let the Dirtbags who ruin someone’s life, simply walk away without facing ANY consequences 

Where is the justice in that? 

Where is the justice for Rehtaeh Parsons?

That’s right. Her name is Rehtaeh Parsons. 


Talk about Rehtaeh (and Amanda, and CJ, and Nicole).

Talk about 'appropriate behaviour' and 'slut shaming'.

Talk about teenage drinking.

Talk about mistakes. 

Talk about 'No' and 'drunk' means NO!  Period!

Talk about bullying.

Talk about, as a parent, loving unconditionally.

TALK about suicide. Don't sweep it under the rug.

Just ... talk.  Please.

And hug your kids.

And take the time to remember.

 The boys and I.
Remembering and respecting Rehtaeh in our own small way.


** Pictures of Rehtaeh posted with permission.

P.S.  I'd just like to clarify that by 'Dirtbags', I don't only mean the people who have been charged with crimes against her.  I'm also including the people who tormented this poor girl in person, and through social media, relentlessly.

That's NOT OK!

I thought we had a charge called 'criminal harassment'? Time to put it to use.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Do YOU Have Cash Hiding In YOUR Bins?

Before I jump into the point of this particular post, I should probably mention something that happened just over a year ago.


We FINALLY moved from the Money Pit!  WOOFREAKIN’HOO!!!!

Do I miss the old place after living there for 11 yrs?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!

I don’t miss the busy street.  

I don’t miss the unexplained astronomical power bills.  

I don’t miss the spiders lurking in every corner, and 

I do NOT miss the flooding basement!  AT ALL!

And I really don’t miss it sucking the life out of me, in some way, every … single … day.

Raising these kids on my own the past 10 yrs hasn't been easy.

Rewarding?  Fulfilling?  My greatest challenge and triumph?  ABSOLUTELY!

But not easy.

Not mentally, emotionally, physically or especially … financially.

Every sing day is a struggle. Every single day is a financial challenge.  Every single day is a test in how to best get through the day, and make sure EVERYTHING gets taken care of.

It’s a lot for one person.  

Hell, it’s a lot for TWO people on a regular basis.

But … we've survived.

And I think we've done OK.

My kids have always had a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs, the necessities and some extras. 

Well ... when I look at the amount of toys they have accumulated over the years, maybe a little overboard on the ‘extras’ at times.

When they were little, the boys had some pretty cool toys.

Alec’s obsession was dinosaurs.  

For Adam, it was fire trucks.

As they got older, the toys gave way to electronics and technology.

All of the baby toys were either given away or sold.

However, anything they had as 'kids', eventually found its way into a Rubbermaid bin, every time the basement flooded.

These bins eventually made their way into the garage, and I would occasionally tell the boys, ‘You REALLY have to get out there and go through your toys.  You have cash, sitting there in those bins that could be in your pockets, if you just cleaned up and sold your old toys.’

They never did.

Many of the toys have sat in the bins for years.  Unused.  Untouched.

When we moved into the new house last year, all the ‘toy bins’ went straight into storage, where they began to gather dust, once again.

Until a couple of weeks ago.

I finally decided … IT.  WAS. TIME!

Time to get rid of the toys, and turn those bins (upon bins ... upon bins ... upon freakin' bins!) into some cash, to help ease that ‘daily struggle’.

Two weeks ago, I started with one bin.

And to be honest, it looked SOOO daunting, I wasn’t even sure where to begin.  Which is probably also why I put it off for YEARS!

So I started by picking ONE thing out of the FIRST bin.

And before I knew it, I had taken out and organized EVERYTHING that was in there, and separated it all into piles of ‘common’ toys.

All Disney characters (and the like) in one pile.  

Lego in another.  

Ninja Turtles characters in another.  


WWE Wrestlers in another. 

Army men in another.


Miscellaneous animals ... in another.

You get the idea.

After a week, it looked like a Toys R Us had exploded in my rec room.

And I’m STILL working on it!

But I'd say I'm half way there.

Maybe.  Almost.

Of course, not everything is worth selling.  Some things are just broken, or junk and go straight to the garbage.

And there is a pile for charity.

The rest? 

Once I finally get through the last of the bins, which I’m hoping will be this weekend, everything I’ve organized will then be washed, grouped, and find its way into one of two sales streams … Kijiji … or eBay.

It’s a CRAPLOAD of work!

It's a CRAPLOAD of toys!

No, I don’t expect to make millions off this experience.

I do, however, expect to make SOME extra cash to put right back into keeping a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs, the necessities and some extras .

And yes, I plan on sharing the proceeds of anything sold with the boys.

Like … maybe … 1% of the sale. Since they haven’t actually participated in any of this TOY CLEANUP 2014 experience, other than to drag the bins out of storage for me. And drop them in the living room.

I guess that’s worth 1%.  Kidding!  I'll give 'em 10%. 

The point of this post, people, is … Do YOU have cash hiding in YOUR bins?


Throw out the garbage, give a bunch away and then … TURN THOSE TOYS INTO CASH!

That’s what I plan on doing.  Just as soon as I can find my way out from under all these dinosaurs! (um ... little help here ... please ...)

Happy selling, my friends!