Gene Wilder was 83. He was the comic actor who starred in The Producers, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein.
This isn't exactly breaking news, but I was away for a couple of weeks and didn't get a chance to write about Mike Richards' departure from TSN Radio 1050 when it was announced last Monday. Here's Mike's farewell tweet about the big change.
It's being spun as a mutual parting of ways between Mike Richards and TSN Radio. The writing was on the wall in February when Mike Richards was moved from mornings to 1-4pm. When you're making major market morning show money, they won't keep you at 1pm. You can ask Greg Brady about that.
You may recall Mike Richards was recruited back to Toronto from Calgary's Fan 960 (where he was working with Andrew Walker) by TSN when they launched their first radio station at 1050. Desired ratings never materialized and a little over five years later the experiment is over.
On January 13, Mike Richards visited my home for three hours. We recorded the first two hours and then shot the shit off the record for another hour. He seemed incredibly authentic and willing to share all. He told me things during that episode he had never said in public and left me with a completely new level of respect for the man. We've kept in touch ever since.
Here's the episode if you missed it. It's particularly interesting in retrospect.
For whatever reason, Mike Richards never succeeded at TSN Radio, but he's quite the character with personality to spare and I'm sure he'll be just fine. Once he's able to speak freely, I'll be sure to have him back on.
Currently, TSN Radio is listing a show entitled "TSN 1050 Today" at 1pm. I'm sure that's temporary and a new show will be unveiled shortly. Never a dull moment on the Toronto sports media scene. Stay tuned.
A typical "road trip" for me is a long drive to a campsite or cottage where we'd stay for a few days before returning home. This summer, we decided to do something different.
GM Canada kindly lent me a 2016 Chevrolet Traverse so I could go on an east coast adventure with the entire family. That includes a baby, a toddler, a pre-teen and a teenager. All accomodations were booked in advance via Airbnb. When I left home a couple of Sunday mornings ago, I had no clue how it would all unfold.
It couldn't have gone better. The Traverse was perfect, providing enough space for all six of us and the necessary gear when you travel with youngins. We needed a stroller, play pen and cot, for example.
I did all the driving on this trip, which totalled 5837.5 km. The Traverse was comfortable and smooth, and the Sirius XM was fully utilized. I don't think I've driven 5837.5 km the past four years combined.
Here are the locations we spent the night in Airbnb rentals that could accomodate the six of us. I'm listing them in order. We stayed in each location one night, except Cavendish and Halifax, where we spent two nights each. The final spot was my wife's cousin's house, so it didn't cost me a cent.
- Montreal, Quebec
- Mont-Joli, Quebec
- Moncton, New Brunswick
- Cavendish, PEI
- Port Hood, Nova Scotia
- Ingonish, Nova Scotia
- Halifax, Nova Scotia
- Fredericton, New Brunswick
- Quebec City, Quebec
- Gatineau, Quebec
Along the way there were trips to Chaudière Falls, the Cape George Point Lighthouse, Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, Charlottetown, Cavendish Campground in Prince Edward Island National Park of Canada, the Skyline Trail at Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Peggy's Cove, Lunenburg and the prettiest drive I've ever enjoyed, along the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton.
In a span of two weeks, we visited five provincial capitals, enjoyed Cow's Ice Cream, plenty of seafood, and Schwartz's Deli, and all four kids were amazing. That was the most pleasant surprise of all. I watched my oldest bond with his little brother and everyone get along in the tightest of quarters for 5837.5 km. I'm so glad we took this trip.
Best of all, I have a new appreciation for our eastern provinces (with apologies to Newfoundland and Labrador which I simply didn't have time to experience). Previously, I had never been east of Quebec City. I've now seen first hand the natural beauty down east, the beautiful architecture and the nicest people on the planet and return home with tremendous memories that will last a lifetime.
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.
Much respect and love to the Tragically Hip, my favourite band of all-time.