Tuesday Open Mike
Published by Toronto Mike on September 30, 2014 @ 08:54 in Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to this week's Tuesday Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike

Comments 49 comments
The Key to a Good Crossover is Subtlety
Published by Toronto Mike on September 29, 2014 @ 10:15 in Television, The Simpsons

The Key to a Good Crossover is SubtletyI watched The Simpsons / Family Guy crossover episode yesterday. It was okay, but not nearly as clever and funny as any episode during the first six seasons of The Simpsons. It was a full throttle crossover with the entire Griffin family ending up in Springfield and will likely result in a ratings spike.

The key to a good crossover is subtlety, and The Simpsons / Family Guy crossover was as subtle as a sledge hammer. I far prefer how The Wire and Homicide: Life on the Street crossed over with an appearance by Richard Belzer's John Munch.

Here's 30 seconds of Detective John Munch on Homicide followed by 30 seconds of Detective John Munch on The Wire. I have no idea why this footage is so dark.

John Munch, by the way, has appeared on 10 different shows, which is surely a record.

Comments 14 comments
Why Don't I Read Novels?
Published by Toronto Mike on September 28, 2014 @ 17:07 in Miscellaneous

Why Don't I Read Novels?You won't find a book review on this blog. I rarely read novels, and haven't cracked one open in about ten years.

I'm not proud of this fact. I majored in English at U of T and was forced to read a laundry list of classic literature. One CanLit course had me reading gems from Robertson Davies, Margaret Laurence, Timothy Findley, Mordecai Richler, Margaret Atwood, Hugh MacLennan and others. Another Classic American Literature course had me reading The Scarlet Letter, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Grapes of Wrath, Invisible Man and more. Not to mention a boatload of Shakespeare, Chaucer and poetry.

When I escaped University with my Honours BA, the last thing I wanted to do was read a novel. My ex was (and is) a ferocious reader who gobbled up books like candy. I preferred to surf the web, reading and creating digital content.

Thankfully, my children who are old enough to read love it. I know I loved reading for pleasure when I was their age. Gordon Korman was my favourite.

School destroyed my love of novels, and it's never returned. Now I fear it's too late. I'm missing out.

Comments 15 comments
Blue Jays Have the Longest Active Playoff Drought in MLB
Published by Toronto Mike on September 27, 2014 @ 08:36 in Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays Have the Longest Active Playoff Drought in MLBThe Blue Jays haven't been in the MLB post-season since Joe touched 'em all in 1993. That was 21 long years ago.

With the Kansas City Royals clinching a playoffs spot with a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night, that's by far the longest active drought in Major League Baseball. Seattle is next, having missed the playoffs every season since 2001.

As a younger man, I took the playoffs for granted. We were there in '85, '89, '91, '92 and '93. And that was before the wildcard spots. It's hard to believe we haven't been back.

Comments 20 comments
Friday Open Mike
Published by Toronto Mike on September 26, 2014 @ 08:00 in Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to this week's Friday Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike

Comments 63 comments
Rogers: Where Free Costs $935 @rogershelps
Published by Toronto Mike on September 25, 2014 @ 13:43 in Technology

I have wireless, TV and internet services with Rogers. It's been three years since I got a mobile phone from Rogers, and under "Upgrade Your Phone" in My Rogers, I found this good news regarding my account.

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 1.47.58 PM

That's right, my device balance is $0.00 and I was told I could go to a Rogers store and upgrade my phone without penalty!

As it turns out, "without penalty" doesn't mean "free" like I thought it did. If you want a current phone, like the LG G3 (my preference) or the Samsung Galaxy S5 (my second choice), you have to buy the phone. Rogers wanted $90 for the LG G3 if I signed a two year contract.

Then, there's a "Connection Fee" of $15. I have no idea what this is for as I'm already a customer, I'm just taking my sim card out of one phone and into the other. Is an expensive two year contract and $80 not enough?

All of the above was disappointing, but what truly upset me was when they told me they would no longer honour my current wireless plan and I'd have to switch to one of their new "Share Everything" plans. You choose a device, data and value pack and pay that, regardless of what you were paying before. Matching my current plan would increase my current monthly payment by $35 before taxes.

To summarize, I have three expensive services with Rogers, and have been a loyal Rogers customer for many, many years. In order to upgrade my phone after three years, I'd have to pay $80 + $15 and an additional $35 a month over the next two years. That's $935 + tax!

I left the Rogers store having done nothing and feeling incredibly frustrated and angry. Toronto, what's my best option?

Update: I've got to give credit to @RogersHelps for making things right here. I'm actually now on a better plan for a little less money and they're going to courier to me a new LG G3 at no charge.

Comments 51 comments
How to Replace a File in Google Drive Without Changing the Link
Published by Toronto Mike on September 24, 2014 @ 11:27 in Technology

How to Replace a File in Google Drive Without Changing the LinkI use Google Drive to share a number of documents at work, including PDF documents. I'll share a Google Drive link with everyone, but when I update the file, I don't want that link to change.

Updating the PDF without altering the Google Drive URL isn't nearly as intuitive as it should be, so here's a little tutorial as to how I do it.

In Google Drive, select the document you want to update, click the "more" menu and choose "Manage revisions...".

revision

In the "Manage revisions" dialogue box, choose "Upload new revision" and upload the updated file.

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 11.12.29 AM

If you'd like to get rid of previous revisions, as I do, simply click the x next to the older version and then "Delete now".

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 11.12.45 AM

That's it.

Comments 1 comment
Rob Ford, Doug Ford and the Crazification Factor
Published by Toronto Mike on September 24, 2014 @ 08:38 in Politics, Rob Ford Watch

Rob Ford, Doug Ford and the Crazification FactorThe crazification factor is a neologism coined by blogger John Rogers to refer to the portion of the electorate comprising the nuttiest of the wingnuts and the batshit crazy. The passage relates to the 2004 Senate election in Illinois, and reads:

Obama vs. Alan Keyes. Keyes was from out of state, so you can eliminate any established political base; both candidates were black, so you can factor out racism; and Keyes was plainly, obviously, completely crazy. Batshit crazy. Head-trauma crazy. But 27% of the population of Illinois voted for him. They put party identification, personal prejudice, whatever ahead of rational judgement. Hell, even like 5% of Democrats voted for him. That's crazy behaviour. I think you have to assume a 27% crazification factor in any population.

Furthermore, another factor in Obama's favour at the time that Rogers didn't mention is that the original Republican candidate, Jack Ryan, had been forced to suspend his candidacy after his divorce and custody records were released to the press, revealing that he had taken his former wife, actress Jeri Ryan, to various sex clubs (including, in at least one case, a bondage club) and tried to have her perform sex acts on him out in the open. Keyes was the GOP's last-minute replacement on the ticket after the sordid details of Ryan's divorce came out. So not only was it a normal candidate running against a clearly crazy opponent, but the crazy guy also had the baggage of the last guy's sex scandal following him, and had been drafted into the campaign with little time to prepare.

This 27% support is tattooed in my cranium as the batshit crazy support I thought Rob Ford would end up with. With Rob out and Doug in, I suspect he'll end up with that same 27%.

And 27% won't win you this election,thankfully.

Comments 105 comments
Tuesday Open Mike
Published by Toronto Mike on September 23, 2014 @ 08:28 in Open Mike

Open MikeWelcome to this week's Tuesday Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike

Comments 87 comments
The Power of Now
Published by Toronto Mike on September 22, 2014 @ 16:40 in Twitter

The Power of NowYoung people born into the internet age will never fully appreciate how crazy instant and borderless it all is.

At 3:48pm, I received an email from a Caterina who found me after Googling for Arnold Lanni's email address. Arnold Lanni, who I first wrote about here, is a former member of Frozen Ghost and Sheriff. Caterina's husband is also an A. Lanni and she's been getting voicemails intended for Arnold.

A half an hour later, thanks to Twitter, I had touched base with Arnold Lanni and forwarded to him a message left with Caterina.

It still blows my mind. An hour ago, I had never heard of Caterina and had never connected with Arnold Lanni (although I did own Nice Place to Visit on cassette). What an age we live in.

Comments 8 comments

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