August 2003 Archives

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven."
      - Jean Chrétien

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Bill Barilko

Bill BarilkoIf you're Canadian, you're most likely familiar with the name Bill Barilko. Bill Barilko's goal in overtime won the Stanley Cup for my beloved Maple Leafs in 1951. At the age of 25, Bill Barilko would never score another.

I maintain a tribute to Bill Barilko in an effort to keep this legend immortalized. This little page has managed to garner some serious respect from the more popular search engines. A simple search for Bill Barilko on MSN Search ranks my site #1, on Yahoo! I'm #7 and on Google I'm #9. Visit my tribute to Bill Barilko here.

By the way, as of this moment there are 42 days, 22 hours, 58 minutes, and 25 seconds left until the Maple Leafs opener. My countdown clock remains here.

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The MTV Video Music Awards

MTV Video Music AwardsIt seems there are now no less than 50 award shows during the calendar year. You've got Oscars, Emmys, Junos, Golden Globes, People's Choice, Geminis, Grammys, and so on and so on...

Of all these award shows, one stands out as the very best. I've been watching the MTV Video Music Awards every year for as long as I can remember. It's always entertaining. It's on MuchMusic tonight at 8:00 pm EST, and if all goes according to plan an ill and deteriorating Johnny Cash will make it to the ceremony. He's due to win big for his awesome video for the Nine Inch Nails classic "Hurt" (see it). You have to love the man in black. Hopefully The White Stripes will be recognized for "Seven Nation Army" as well. It's a guaranteed good show. Watch it!

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New Pictures

New PicturesI just posted four new pictures of James in Pictures. All were taken August 9th except for the picture of James in my Blue Jays cap which was taken some time after that. James loves my Jay cap.

Speaking of my Jay cap, I love it too because it's the retro logo. You know the one that served us well from our inception in '76 through our World Series victories (see it). I never liked the new logos. The Score is reporting the our Toronto Blue Jays will unveil a new logo next Tuesday. Lets hope it's a return to the glory days of Blue Jays baseball.

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Bands I Hate

Bands I HateThere's an alarming trend in music we must snuff out before it's too late. A bunch of sound-alike, wanna-be-punk, nauseatingly mediocre bands are starting to secure way too much valuable radio air time, forcing me to dive for the next station preset all too frequently.

The bands on my personal hit list are: Good Charlotte, Simple Plan, Not By Choice and All-American Rejects. These bands try to look and act punk, but are just punks. Who likes this crap? It's some kind of safe pop-rock completely void of any soul or integrity. It's awful.

A buddy of mine had the audacity to ask me if I was going to the Good Charlotte show in Hamilton. Needless to say, we're no longer buddies.

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I Feel So Validated

W3C ValidatedThe World Wide Web Consortium specifies the standards for HTML 4.01. Their MarkUp Validation Service will actually check your HTML code for conformance to W3C Recommendations and other standards. As a hand-coder who takes pride in the tidiness of his HTML and CSS, I wanted my code to be validated. Don't we all?

In order to validate your HTML, you must define a DOCTYPE. I added this code to the very top of my page: <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">. I then added the appropriate character set to my meta tags: <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">. Ready for validation, I submitted my pages and learned my HTML code did comply with the standards for HTML 4.01. All is well, right?

Wrong. Once I added the above DOCTYPE declaration, my pages were validated but Internet Explorer began forcing a horizontal scroll bar for no reason in particular. I went through my HTML code character by character but there was nothing that would force a horizontal scroll bar. It seems Microsoft is playing by their own rules and doesn't like me adding the DOCTYPE declaration for W3C validation. There is no way my site can be validated by the W3C and viewed properly in IE all at once. Isn't that ridiculous? This is wrong! There is clearly a choice to be made here. Either I keep the DOCTYPE declaration that will validate my code as being compliant with HTML 4.01 specifications or I can remove it so those using Internet Explorer will see the site as it's intended to look. What would you do?

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The Simpsons 3rd Season

The Simpsons 3rd SeasonTomorrow is a great day for devoted fans of The Simpsons. Season three will finally be released on DVD. The third season was a landmark year for my favourite show. All 24 episodes are gems. What more can I say about a season that includes "Colonel Homer", "Homer Alone", "Flaming Moe's", "Like Father, Like Clown", "Homer at the Bat" and "Stark Raving Dad"?

I can't wait to get my copy and watch every episode followed by every episode with the commentary jacked. This is why DVD was invented.

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New Videos

New VideosThree new videos have been added to the Videos page. Two are from today and one is from yesterday.

I also posted one new picture of James in Pictures. This new picture is actually a capture of a frame from one of the new videos. Enjoy!

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"These walls are kind of funny. First you hate 'em, then you get used to 'em. Enough time passes, gets so you depend on them. That's institutionalized. They send you here for life, that's exactly what they take. The part that counts, anyways."
      - Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding, The Shawshank Redemption

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The 50 Worst Bands

50 Worst BandsBlender Magazine recently named what they consider to be the 50 worst music acts of all time. I appreciate what Blender is trying to do, but can't we leave decent bands like Live, The Doors and Blind Melon out of it? How the hell did Ricky Martin escape this list?

So you don't have to waste your money on Blender Magazine, here's the list in its entirety: 1. Insane Clown Posse  2. Emerson, Lake and Palmer  3. Michael Bolton  4. Kenny G  5. Starship  6. Kansas  7. Asia  8. Vanilla Ice  9. Lee Greenwood  10. Air Supply  11. Latoya Jackson  12. Tin Machine  13. Mick Jagger  14. Yngwie Malmsteen  15. Yanni  16. Oingo Boingo  17. Benzino  18. Pat Boone  19. Dan Fogelberg  20. Howard Jones  21. The Alan Parsons Project  22. Primus  23. Creed  24. Bad English  25. Jamiroquai  26. Celine Dion  27. Colour Me Bad  28. Crash Test Dummies  29. Skinny Puppy  30. Richard Marx  31. Arrested Development  32. The Hooters  33. Japan  34. Live  35. Paul Oakenfold  36. 98 Degrees  37. The Doors  38. Nelson  39. Bob Geldof  40. Blind Melon  41. Whitesnake  42. Rick Wakeman  43. Mike and the Mechanics  44. Manowar  45. Gipsy Kings  46. The Spin Doctors  47. Goo Goo Dolls  48. Master P  49. Toad the Wet Sprocket  50. Iron Butterfly

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Pistol Pete

Pete SamprasPete Sampras is set to announce his retirement from professional tennis on Monday. With 64 singles titles, including a record 14 majors, Pistol Pete was clearly the dominant player of his generation. He finished at number one in the rankings a record six years from 1993-98.

Why don't we think of Pete Sampras the way we think of Michael Jordon, Wayne Gretzky and Joe Montana? The reason Pete Sampras never received the praise he deserves is because of his incredibly low-key personality. To be blunt, the man was as boring as watching paint dry. This man made Al Gore resemble John 'Bluto' Blutarsky from Animal House by comparison. With just a little of McEnroe's spice or Agassi's competitiveness, Pete would be going down in history as one of the greatest atheletes of all time in any sport. Instead, he's just that nice guy who won a lot of tennis matches.

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My Left Knee

My KneeThose of you on my softball team, Hooray For Everything, saw me hobble off the field in the first inning of the first game of our double header on July 27th. Batting lead off, I hit a solid single. On my way to first, I noticed the center fielder approaching the ball in a particularly lazy fashion. At this point, I'm running full out as I round first going for two. For reasons I still don't understand, the first baseman was standing directly in my path as I turned the corner towards second base. This forced me to awkwardly and abrubtly stop on a dime, which in turn left me in supreme pain and without use of my left leg.

I've since been seeing a fine doctor at the St. Joseph's Health Centre who's ordered me not to do anything strenuous with my knee. He knows there's a tear, but he doesn't know the extent until I get my MRI this weekend. Click here to read about torn meniscus. Needless to say, I won't be playing any more softball this season. I'm just glad I can finally walk without pain three weeks after the fact.

Pray for me.

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Cool Canada

O Canada!In my blog entry of June 21st, I expressed why I believe 2003 has thus far been a landmark year for Canadian independence and pride. I referred to our unwillingness to follow the US into Iraq, our motion to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana and the Supreme Court ruling that same-sex marriages were legal.

A colleague of mine just sent me a copy of an excellent column recently appearing in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. You can read it here and I strongly recommend that you do. Thanks for passing it on, Walter. I couldn't have said it better myself.

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards."
      - Aldous Huxley

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Our NFL Pool

NFL PoolWhen the Jets and Redskins kick off on September 4th, the 2003 NFL season will officially be underway. That means it's time to enter an NFL Football Pool. If you know me and are interested in joining our pool, contact me.

This pool is nice and simple. You make your picks on-line against the spread each week, and there are weekly winners and overall winners. It's only $40 and a lot of fun. Let me know if you're interested or want more details.

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Blackout!

Blackout!24 hours and 12 minutes. That's how long the power was off at my humble abode.

Of course, the worst black out in North American history had to strike just when our food supply was at its lowest. Already due for a trip to the grocery store, it was quite the challenge putting together enough sustenance to satisfy a growing 18 month old and his two hungry parents. Barbecued fish sticks anyone? The bright side is we had very little to throw away when the power finally returned at 4:23 this afternoon.

I did learn a valuable lessen throughout this ordeal. I learned that we're entirely too dependent on electricity for our day to day lives. Heck, my phone wouldn't even work because it's a cordless. No air conditioning, no stove, no microwave, no street lights, no gas station, no lights, no refrigerator, no tv and no computer. How did we survive over 24 hours? Gotta jet...The Simpsons is starting.

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PGA Championship

PGA ChampionshipTomorrow morning, the 85th PGA Championship tees off in Rochester, New York. If you were to believe the media, this is a must-win for slumping Tiger Woods. Lets look at the facts, shall we? Tiger has won 4 of 12 tour starts, has finished in the top 20 in every start, and was No.1 on the money list until Davis Love III won the International Sunday to join him as the only four-time winner. That's not a slump.

Follow the official leaderboard here and the CNNSI leaderboard is here.

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Thumbs Down

Thumbs DownIn my blog entry of August 3rd, I announced that this front page of torontomike.com had undergone some major surgery. I also asked you to let me know if the end result was better or worse than the previous concept that had been around for the past seven months.

The clear consensus from those who bothered to drop me a line is that you preferred the old front page. To quote one visitor, "No sir, I don't like it". To quote another, "As my Uncle Oloff used to say 'if it ain't broke don't fix it'". And yet another, "I miss the old home page!".

I do appreciate the feedback, but here's what I think...this new concept is better! You'll notice there are more frequent postings and you're still only one click away from pictures, videos, the Dead Pool, Homer's Quote of the Week or whatever. With everythng time-stamped and archived, you won't miss a beat.

I think you people are suffering from Metathesiophobia. Metathesiophobia, or Fear of Change as it's sometimes called, is created by the unconscious mind as a protective mechanism. At some point in your past, there was likely an event linking changes and emotional trauma. Don't be a victim. Embrace change. Embrace the new torontomike.com.

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New Videos

New VideosFive new videos have been added to the Videos page. They are from yesterday's trip to Port Credit.

Highlights include James feeding the birds, enjoying the slide and throwing his cracker.

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada with its virile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people."
      - Sir Winston Churchill

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New Pictures

New PicturesSeven new pictures have been posted in Pictures. All were taken within the past 3 weeks.

I'm hoping to capture and post some new video of James this weekend. The most current videos are still from the end of June. You can see those in Videos.

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The New Look

New Looktorontomike.com has pretty much looked the same for about seven months now. As you may have noticed, things have changed.

This front page is now the Blog. Instead of posting just the odd thought or rant, I'll update this Blog every time I add a new picture, video, ticket stub, Homer Quote or celebrity death.

Consider this page your portal to everything new at torontomike.com and anything bouncing around Mike's feeble brain. Please take a moment to let me know if you like this new concept or if you really miss the old one. Feedback wanted!

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Leaf Countdown

Go Leafs Go!The countdown begins...

Click here for the official torontomike.com Maple Leaf countdown clock.

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