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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Road Tripping in a Buick Enclave

We decided to take a road trip to Gatineau this past long weekend. This isn't as easy as it sounds now that we're a family of five. We needed more room, and a Buick Enclave that comfortably seats 7 was ideal.


This Buick Enclave isn't just roomy, it's a dangerously smooth ride. I say "dangerously" because I kept having to remind myself the speed limit is still 100 on the 401 and 416. You could cruise at 140 in the Enclave and it's as smooth as butter.


It was also nice to have a modern car with Bluetooth and satellite radio for a road trip this long. A good playlist does wonders when you're on the road for five hours. Throw in a fresh coffee and we're all set.


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Thanks for the Laughs, David


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Mike Babcock New Head Coach of Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs have won the bidding war for Mike Babcock with a monster $50 million deal over 8-years.

There's plenty of work to do before this team is competitive again, but this is a solid start.


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9/11 On Ice

No word if Disney will produce it, but based on Titanic: The Musical, Mirvish's new show in Toronto, perhaps 9/11 On Ice could make it's way to New York, Chicago, London and Hogtown at some point.

Perhaps the historical pattern with grand tragedy is that you first make a serious dramatic film about it, then wait for all relatives to die, then make a romantic version (Cameron's Titanic), and then a song and dance production. So maybe it'll take a hundred years or so, but we'll get there.

Clefto commented on this over at my blog at

"In the early morning hours
The planes brought down the towers!
(step, step, kick. Step, step, kick)

A horrific attack!
It must have been Iraq!
(step, ball, chain. jump and kick.)"

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The Runnymede Theatre as a Shoppers Drug Mart

As a kid, I saw many films at the Runnymede Theatre. I saw a Star Trek there, the second Poltergeist movie, a Lethal Weapon, Beatlejuice, and a bunch of others. It was a great little theatre on Bloor near Runnymede.

Then, it became a Chapters. Chapters did a great job of paying tribute to the old theatre. We were all pleased.

Then, it became a Shoppers Drug Mart. Last Thursday afternoon, I popped my head in to see how it looked.

I'm pleased to report SDM did a fine job maintaining the old infrastructure. Here are some pics that show the Runnymede Theatre is alive and well, it's just selling cosmetics and ibuprofen now.







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Mad Men Finale Thoughts: Spoiler Alert!

I distinctly remember initially being disappointed by The Sopranos finale. It cut to black, and I felt cheated, as if David Chase copped out. Then, the final scene churned through my mind over and over again and by the next day I had completely changed my tune. The Sopranos finale is now one of my all-time favourite finales.

Matt Wiener learned his craft from David Chase, so it shouldn't surprise you to learn I had an eerily similar reaction to last night's Mad Men finale. Initially, I felt cheated by Wiener, but the more I thought about it, the more I saw the genius in what his ambiguity gave me. What we believe becomes of Don Draper depends on how we feel about this complex character. It's heavily inferred he goes back to McCann Erickson and helps Coke develop the successful "I’d like to buy the world a Coke" ad. The rest is up to us.

We bring our own baggage to this show, and watch what unfolds through our own biases. I am a divorced man with two children from my first marriage. I watched this finale hoping Don Draper would immediately return to New York to be there for Sally, Bobby, and Gene with their mother dying. It was important to me that he step up and focus on the most important job he has, that of a parent. I was extremely disappointed that Sally had to fill that void and that Don chose to accompany Stephanie to a hippie retreat instead. Don, we've learned, doesn't always do the right thing, and rarely has his priorities in order. Some things never change.

Otherwise, I'm satisfied with the ending, but could have done without the lazy Peggy and Stan love-fest. That part felt like the last half of the Breaking Bad finale, giving fans what they want instead of what they need.

I'm going to miss this show. Mad Men has always been about the journey, not the destination, and it was a helluva trip.

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Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa

Yesterday, I took my family to the Canadian Tulip Festival at Dow's Lake in Ottawa. We happened to be staying in nearby Gatineau, so this was a short trip.

I had previously written about our gift of tulips from Princess Juliana of the Netherlands, but I had never seen the tulips for myself. I can now confirm that they're real and they're spectacular.

Here are a few pictures I took of the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa.








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B.B. King, Dead at 89

B.B. KingB.B. King was 89. He was one of the most influential blues musicians of all time, earning the nickname "The King of Blues." He's best known for such hits as The Thrill is Gone and Every Day I Have the Blues.

You might remember him from When Love Comes to Town, a great ditty from U2's Rattle and Hum.

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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

Discuss "Open Mike" (111 comments so far)

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