Future Shop, 1982 - 2015

News broke this morning that all Future Shop stores have been shuttered, effective immediately. 66 are gone for good while 65 will be turned into Best Buy outlets.

The end result will be the loss of 500 full-time and 1,000 part-time jobs. What irks me is the complete lack of notice. Employees learned Future Shop was closing via Twitter, essentially, or when they showed up for work this morning and found the doors locked. A little notice would have been nice.

future-shop

When Best Buy acquired Future Shop back in 2001, I wondered why they were keeping both brands and running them as separate entities. Often there would be a Future Shop nearby a Best Buy and it seemed as if they were cannibalizing each other. Today's announcement doesn't surprise me in the least.

I just feel bad for those who just learned their jobs have disappeared.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 116: Rick Hodge

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 116In this 116th episode, Mike chats with Rick Hodge about the Sunday Funnies, why he left Roger, Rick and Marilyn and CHUM-FM, what happened at EZ Rock and CFRB and we discuss the time I "torpedoed" him. This episode is exactly 1:01:58.

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

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd at http://www.torontomike.com/podcast/.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Friday Open Mike

Welcome 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 on Toronto Mike

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Coronation Street Mysteries

Random observation time...

Often, I'll watch the CBC Toronto news either at 5pm or 6pm. Forever, they'd shut it down at 6:30pm for Coronation Street. The opening chords of the Coronation Street soundtrack is etched into my cranium.

Then, a short while ago, this song was replaced by the opening theme of Murdoch Mysteries. I'm not sure what happened to Coronation Street, but I imagined Corrie fans going apeshit at the change. I suspect Corrie fans are the type who really, really hate change.

Now, all of a sudden, Coronation Street is back at 6:30pm after the CBC Toronto news. It's opening song is my queue to turn off the telly.

coronation-street

Did they switch back because the Coronation Street faithful wrote a massive number of letters to the CBC? Was the outcry so loud they had to reverse their decision?

Just wondering...

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Why Ranked Ballots Are Better

John Tory supports ranked ballots in the next civic election. This is great news.

The "first past the post" system we currently have forces people like me to vote strategically instead of voting for the person they'd like to lead. For example, those who wanted Olivia Chow to win, but were afraid a vote for Chow would help Doug Ford win, would be able to rank their candidates so a vote for Chow isn't a vote for Ford.

This video explains how it works.

Ranked ballots all but sink Ford Nation, so there's that added benefit as well.

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Tuesday Open Mike

Welcome 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 on Toronto Mike

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Tron Mini Flying Discs in My Shreddies

At some point, cereal boxes stopped containing toys. Now it's all about web codes and such. That's too bad, as getting the toy out of the box of cereal was a staple of my mornings in the early 80s, but that was a different time.

In the early 80s, I ate a lot of Shreddies. I think it was my favourite cereal for years. I have vivid memories of the cool toys I'd find in boxes of Shreddies, especially the Tron mini flying discs in 1982.

Earlier today, someone on Reddit asked about the demise of the cereal box toy, and that sparked a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Next thing you know, I'm Googling the Tron mini discs I so loved in '82, and a good man named Jason came through for me.

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Who Is Mason Reese And Why Is He Crying?

I love compelling audio. I love a good story and learning new things. Yesterday, while driving the family home from my son's hockey game, I tuned into CBC Radio One and heard Jonathan Goldstein on Wiretap airing an episode he originally recorded for the Gimlet Media podcast Reply All.

Goldstein was talking about falling down a rabbit hole of YouTube nostalgia and staring down a figure from from his early childhood. Mason Reese was that figure.​

Goldstein's memories of Mason Reese date back to the early 70s, just before my time. I completely missed the Mason Reese era, and was fascinated to learn he was an advertising phenomenon who appeared in dozens of commercials for everything from Dunkin' Donuts to Raisin Bran. He built his career on this Underwood Chicken Spread ad, which included the adorable spoonerism, “Borgasmord.”

Then, Goldstein happened upon this clip of Mason Reese crying on the Mike Douglas Show. It was uploaded by Mason Reese himself. You've got to see this.

Why was Mason Reese crying because Harry Chapin was going to play Cat's in the Cradle? There was only one way to find out. Goldstein needed to track Mason Reese down and ask him. The result is precisely what I love about good podcasts and documentary-style radio shows like this: a compelling story in which I learn something new.

Here's the full episode:

And the Mike Douglas Show, which I had never seen, has an awesome logo I could totally steal.

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Thank You Steve Nash

Steve Nash is far and away the greatest basketball player this country has ever produced. This is Nash country.

On December 5, 2007, I took my kids to see the Toronto Raptors take on Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns. At the time I thought it was important that they see the greatest Canadian basketball player who ever lived. Little did I know he wouldn't retire until today, almost eight years later.

Steve Nash

Thank you Steve Nash for an outstanding 19-year NBA career in which you twice won MVP honours, tallied the third-most assists in league history and assured your place in the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest point guards ever to play the game.

Thanks to you, Canadians are invading the NBA in droves as we all aspire to play like Steve.

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Pac-Man Invades Toronto

I spent most of last week offline enjoying the kids during the March break. We rode our bikes, played some basketball and football, watched a lot of March Madness and had a blast. It was awesome.

It also meant I missed a whack of stuff. For example, Adam Sandler's new movie is called Pixels and the trailer came out a few days ago. Since the movie stars Sandler and Kevin James it's safe to assume the movie will suck, but it does feature some cool scenes of downtown Toronto being invaded by Pac-Man.

Pac-Man was my first favourite video game. I loved that game. I even loved the Commodore Pet clone Eat-Man.

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