Open Mike

Welcome to this week's 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 on Toronto Mike

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Lois Lilianstein of Sharon, Lois & Bram, Dead at 78

Lois LiliansteinLois Lilianstein was 78. She was a member of the children's musical trio Sharon, Lois & Bram, best known for "Skinnamarink".

If you were born in the 70s, you were likely raised on Sharon, Lois & Bram. They starred in The Elephant Show on CBC and seemed to pop up everywhere, from Sesame Street to Today's Special. And throughout their run, this song was omnipresent.

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Windows Ain't So Bad

Prior to four years ago, my work machine always ran Windows. At home, I usually had a desktop running Ubuntu Linux, but the laptop was Windows XP for a solid decade.

Then, I was issued a MacBookPro, and quickly learned to enjoy OS X. What I liked best about the MacBookPro wasn't the software, but the hardware. It was incredibly stable and almost never crashed.

I speak about the MacBookPro in the past tense because it was recently replaced by a Dell laptop running Windows 7. I've been working exclusively in Windows for the past 3 weeks and I must admit I prefer the Windows OS to OS X. I've just had to remember to CTRL instead of CMD.

Windows gets a bad rap, but it ain't so bad. Of course, I haven't tried Windows 8 yet... and I don't ever plan to.

What OS do you prefer on your desktop or laptop?

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 119: James Mirtle

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 119In this 119th episode, Mike chats with Globe and Mail hockey reporter James Mirtle about covering the Leafs, his use of Twitter, analytics in hockey and why he doesn't ask questions at press conferences. This episode is exactly 1:04:40.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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The Veggie Burger

Yesterday, I ate my first veggie burger. I picked it up from South St. Burger, a fairly new chain owned by New York Fries. New York Fries, by the way, is a misnomer, as it's a Canadian company, but that's a discussion for another entry. This entry is about veggie burgers.

I'm not a vegetarian. I have greatly reduced the amount of red meat I consume, but as recently as Sunday I enjoyed extra lean ground beef in my pasta sauce. And I love a good burger.

But the idea of a veggie burger always turned me off. It looks like a hamburger, but what the heck is it? Wikipedia tells me it's "vegetables (like corn), textured vegetable protein (like soy), legumes (beans), tofu, nuts, mushrooms, or grains or seeds, like wheat and flax". That's never really appealed to me.

But I'm here to tell you it was pretty damn good. In fact, if you had told me it was beef, I'd have believed you. I still can't believe that thing was meatless.

Fear not the veggie burger, my friends.

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Easier Isn't Always Better

I discovered this video by Dr. Mike Evans via Twitter. He wants us to make our day harder, and it's music to my ears. Here's the video... I'll share more of my thoughts after the jump.

I really like this video because it jives with most of what I already practice. Before going anywhere, I ask myself if I can walk or bike it. If I can, that's exactly what I do. It's non-negotiable.

I also use a push mower, manual snow shovel and stairs whenever possible. It's a decision I've made to make some things harder because easier isn't always better. All of these examples show up in the video.

I haven't gone to the extreme, I still own a car and drive it when necessary, but I've made a concerted effort to "tweak my week". Let's make our day harder.

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Mitchell Marner: Future Leaf?

The Toronto Maple Leafs hold the fourth overall pick in this year's NHL entry draft. Will they select London Knights center #93 Mitchell Marner?

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CFNY FM 102's Humble Howard & Fred Patterson

Here's a 1993 1989 or 1990 ad for Humble and Fred's morning show on CFNY FM 102. In terms of branding, we're not quite Edge yet.

Thanks again to Retrontario for the upload.

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My Mid-90s Entertainment Centre


And here's my mid-90s bookshelf.


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House League Title #4 for James (Yawn)

My son won his hockey league's house league championship this afternoon. Stop me if you've heard this one before.

He also won it all last year, and the year before. That's three titles in three years, if you're keeping track at home.


This is James's fourth house league title overall. He won his first in 2010, the same day Sidney Crosby scored the golden goal for Canada.

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