February 2004 Archives

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Band of Brothers

Band of BrothersOver the past few weeks, Taryn and I have been watching the 10-part miniseries Band of Brothers on DVD. Band of Brothers tells the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army. Starting with their rigorous training in Georgia in 1942, it recounts the achievements of the elite rifle company, which parachuted into France early on D-Day morning, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and captured Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden.

We watched the final episode yesterday, and in a word, this series can best be described as outstanding. It is truly masterful film-making. In fact, that's exactly what it felt like watching each of the ten episodes. It felt as if I was watching ten movies of quality. Referring to it as a television miniseries doesn't do it justice, although mentioning it's an HBO production might explain why it's so good. I intially had my customary movie image accompanying this piece before I remembered this was actually made for television.

If you didn't get a chance to catch this series when it ran on HBO in the United States or Global TV in Canada, rent/buy/borrow the DVD and watch this story of Easy Company. It really is exceptional.

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the communists and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me - and by then there was no one left to speak out for me."
      - Pastor Martin Niemöller

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Maple Leafs 3, New Jersey Devils 0

Go Leafs Go!Ed-die! Ed-die! Ed-die! Ed-die! Ed-die!

The return of Eddie Belfour seemed to re-energize the Maple Leafs tonight as they easily disposed of a pretty good hockey team tonight thus ending our longest losing streak of the season at two. The shutout was the 71st of his career, putting him in a tie with Harry Lumley for 10th on the NHL career list. With Belfour between the pipes, his teammates play with confidence. Our Stanley Cup hopes rest on his 38 year old shoulders.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
35-18-9-3
82 points
Tied for 2nd in Northeast
3-0 Win vs. New Jersey
4-3 Loss vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
4-0 Loss vs. Florida Panthers
M. Sundin - 61
B. McCabe - 40
O. Nolan - 38

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God Hates Shrimp

God Hates ShrimpFew things irk me as much as people using the Bible to promote hatred. There are a number of people opposed to same-sex marriages because it violates God's law. These people will use the Bible as a their proof and refer you to passages in Leviticus that refer to men lying with men.

A major news story of late is that Dubya endorses an amendment to the Constitution banning gay marriages. That's right, Dubya wants a change made to the Constitution of the United States of America that discriminates against homosexuals. Dubya is all about satisfying the conservative Christian right and it's frightning. The Bible, a book written hundreds and hundreds of years ago, contains homophobic text and now there is a groundswell of support to reserve the sanction of marriage for those who were born heterosexual. This guy is a sick hate-monger but the majority of voters south of the border seem to like him. That's just as scary.

I just came across a site entitled God Hates Shrimp. This site refers to a passage in Leviticus and a passage in Deuteronomy that claim shrimp, crab, lobster, clams and mussels are all an abomination before the Lord. The point is well made. If we're to take the passages that condemn homosexuality as a violation of God's law, shouldn't Christians join the crusade against establishments that serve such foods. Those who protest gay marriages should also protest Red Lobster.

Those who take the Bible literally and use it to promote hatred are dangerous. James is being taught that we are all equals, regardless of race, religion or sexual preference. If James himself happens to be gay, I will be proud and honoured to support him at his wedding. It would make zero difference in my eyes.

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Broken Smilies

Broken SmiliesAs regular readers know by now, a friend and I run another site called Smells Like Sour. It's essentially a place for us to maintain SLS submissions and manage the songs that qualify for our SLS complilations. If you want to know more about SLS, I'd start with this entry.

I'm on the site all the time to sort submissions into the appropriate categories and peruse the comments to see what people are digging or dissing. For the past while I've been noticing a number of comments followed by expressions like ":lol:", ":blush:", ":twisted:", ":roll:" or ":evil:". Immediately, I assumed the teens had come up with a new cyper-speak language. I've written in the past about how the SLS site has become a cesspool for cyber-kitties and their IM-speak. Still, I was curious as to what this new code meant and how everyone got on the same page without me hearing or reading a word about it, so I posted the question on the Hole - Celebrity Skin page of all places.

It turns out there is no cyber language being used by the kids that reads like ":lol:", ":blush:", ":twisted:", ":roll:" or ":evil:". The SLS site, which was built by Mark using Movable Type, has a feature now that allows someone posting comments to insert smily icons. Only this feature is busted on our site so the smilies are rendered in plain text that reads ":lol:", ":blush:", ":twisted:", ":roll:" or ":evil:".

I was convinced teenagers were using our site to communicate in some code that nobody over the age of 20 could decipher. Too funny.

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Trade Watch

Go Leafs Go!The entire torontomike.com staff is watching the wire for any word of a trade involving the Maple Leafs. Sergei Gonchar was scratched from the Caps lineup yesterday, and more interesting than that, a Sergei Gonchar bio page has sprung up on the official Maple Leafs website. Unless they've taken it down by now, you can see it here. Where there's smoke there is often fire my friends.

All Maple Leaf trades will be posted here. The NHL trade deadline is March 9th. For an excellent synopsis of all trades in the NHL thus far, visit the TSN Trade Deadline page.

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Rewind

RewindWhen the Toronto Raptors took in on the chin yesterday against the Boston Celtics, it was their eighth loss in a row. Our beloved Maple Leafs themselves have lost three in a row. These are tough times in the big city.

Lets rewind back to my entry of December 7, 2003 / 20:34 EST, shall we? Here's an excerpt.

It's been a very long time since I've had to witness one of my teams on the losing end of a game. The Leafs have won eight in a row, the Raptors won their fourth in a row earlier today and the Bills won for the second week in a row.

It's easy to forget how high we were back in early December with both the Leafs and Raptors soaring. Today, we're in the doldrums experiencing the opposite end of the spectrum. During times like this I like to refer to the prophet of rage, Chuck D. "Cycles, cycles, life runs in cycles. New is old, no I'm not no psycho." - Public Enemy, Timebomb

Or perhaps an old favourite from the Five Stairsteps is just as apropriate. "Ooh, ooh, child, things are gonna get easier. Ooh, ooh, child, things'll get brighter."

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Jesus, Allah, Buddha. I love you all!"

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceJohn Randolph was 88. He was a Tony Award-winning character actor who appeared in numerous films, television series and plays.

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Oscar Picks

Oscar PicksIt's time to unveil everyone's Oscar picks submitted via the 2004 Oscar Predictions Form. You'll see them on my 2004 Oscar Predictions page.

If you want to print everyone's picks to follow along at home, download the PDF version.

Check back here Monday morning to see who won oodles and oodles of pride. Remember, you can't attach a monetary figure to pride.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Congratulations, I was unaware that you and your wife were expecting another child. That is good news.

As for Howard Stern, call him the sacrificial lamb if you like, but this is long overdue. I think there is a ground swell because of other recent events as people are saying they have had enough of the ego driven celebrity deciding what we should see on television.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not for censoring these people but more for putting them on after 11:00pm and not on general cable. A bleeped "f" is the same as saying it out loud as far as I'm concerned and it has no place on primetime television.

It's one thing to have an open dialogue with your children about this stuff, because they will hear it on the playground, but it doesn't have to be continually blaring in your family room.

I am as open minded as most and have a relationship with my children based on truth but I look forward to seeing how far the government can roll this back to a time when we didn't have to be subjected to this garbage. Take a look at the music channels in the afternoon as well.

     Art

Don't we have ratings for shows already? I mean, we know that an I Love Lucy rerun is probably rated G which means it's definitely safe for children and sensitive ears. That episode of The Sopranos on CTV is rated such that you know it may contain inappropriate language, violence and/or nudity. I'll bet it's preceded by a warning that viewer discretion is advised. If your kids are near by, you have every right to change the channel, turn off the tv or throw it off the balcony. My point is, so long as people aren't blind-sided by a nude scene during Everybody Loves Raymond or a curse word in the middle of Bob the Builder I believe it's the right of every person who owns a television or radio to watch or not watch the program in question. When it comes to children, that too should be dictated by the parent. People should censor for themselves.

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveIn honour of this weekend's Academy Awards, My Favourite Sean Penn Movies

  1. Dead Man Walking
  2. Fast Times At Ridgemont High
  3. Colors
  4. She's So Lovely
  5. The Game

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Walter's Vault

The VaultEvery so often I delve into the vault to see what's there. Perhaps it's an autograph, photo or T-ball crest. Today, a friend of mine let me read a publication from his vault. This publication is called "The Salute: The Canadian Militia Journal" and this issue is dated November 1938.

Reading the articles in this publication is fascinating. Remember, we're talking 1938...just prior to the start of World War II. I scanned a page so you can read for yourself. "There are many in Canada talking and criticizing the actions of Mr. Chamberlain and his Munich agreement when they have, by Canada's lack of action during the crisis, not earned that right".

The advertisements from this almost 70 year old magazine are also rather entertaining. I couldn't resist sharing this old Molson ad and this one for scotch which suggests we should fight if for no other reason than to ensure we always have access to good booze. How Canadian of us.

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Shuffled Deck II

Shuffled DeckYesterday I took all my MP3s and played them them on "Shuffle" mode in Windows Media Player. I listed the first 20 songs that played when my entire collection was shuffled...only it wasn't my entire collection! Yes my friends, I unintentionally mislead you. Those tunes came from a collection of my favourite 1300 MP3s I spin while I work, not at all a fair representation.

Last night, following another disappointing Leafs lost, I performed the same experiment with my entire collection. This was every MP3 I have and here are the first 20 songs that played.

  1. 311 - Amber
  2. Queens of the Stone Age - Go With the Flow
  3. House of Pain - Top O' The Morning To Ya
  4. Stone Temple Pilots - A Song For Sleeping
  5. Green Day - All The Time
  6. Smashing Pumpkins - Rocket
  7. Johnny Cash - Ring of Fire
  8. Rush - Limelight
  9. Foo Fighters - Hey, Johnny Park!
  10. Sloan - On The Horizon
  11. The Tragically Hip - Three Pistols
  12. The Guess Who - Hand Me Down World
  13. Chris Thomas King - Hard Time Killing Floor Blues
  14. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Too Real
  15. Nirvana - About A Girl (Unplugged)
  16. Alice Cooper - No More Mr. Nice Guy
  17. Nirvana - Downer
  18. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Knock Me Down
  19. The Beatles - Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite
  20. Neil Young - Southern Man

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Maple Leafs 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 4

Go Leafs Go!Our beloved Maple Leafs have lost three straight games and five of their last eight.

Eddie Belfour missed his eight consecutive game and Gary Roberts missed his seventh in a row. Media reports suggest a trade is in the works that will send Sergei Gonchar to Toronto for Carlo Colaiacovo and a draft pick. We need something to shake things up. The effort lately has been abysmal.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
34-18-9-3
80 points
Tied for 2nd in Northeast
4-3 Loss vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
4-0 Loss vs. Florida Panthers
2-1 Loss vs. Carolina Hurricanes
M. Sundin - 61
B. McCabe - 40
O. Nolan - 38

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Oscar Reminder

Oscar ReminderIf you haven't completed my 2004 Oscar Predictions Form yet, you have until tomorrow at 18:00 EST.

You've got nothing to lose. Complete this form and check back here following the 76th Annual Academy Awards to see how you fared. I have seven entries thus far but I can handle more. Bring it on!

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Shuffled Deck

Shuffled DeckI was reading on the World Wide Web about how people are taking all of their MP3s and playing them all randomly and sharing the first ten songs listed. With Windows Media Player, you simply create a playlist that is your entire collection of MP3s, select "Shuffle" from the Play menu and play.

Here are the first 20 songs that played when my entire collection was shuffled. Nothing particularly embarrassing here, thankfully.

  1. The White Stripes - Now Mary
  2. Jimi Hendrix - Burning of the Midnight Lamp
  3. The Tragically Hip - The Dire Wolf
  4. System of a Down - P.L.U.C.K.
  5. The Tragically Hip - Don't Wake Daddy
  6. Pearl Jam - Long Road (Live)
  7. Johnny Cash - Hurt
  8. Pearl Jam - All or None (Live)
  9. Cypress Hill - Stoned is the Way of the Walk
  10. Queens of the Stone Age - Do it Again
  11. Stone Temple Pilots - Vasoline
  12. Disturbed - Intoxication
  13. Hayden - You Were Loved
  14. Nirvana - Scentless Apprentice (Live)
  15. Audioslave - Get Away Car
  16. Beastie Boys - Mark on the Bus
  17. Alice in Chains - Would?
  18. Beastie Boys - Professor Booty
  19. Temple of the Dog - Times of Trouble
  20. Nirvana - Lithium

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceBoris Trajkovski was 47. He was Macedonia's president, a moderate leader credited for helping to unite his ethnically divided country.

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The Sacrificial Lamb

The Sacrificial LambClear Channel Radio has suspended broadcasts of the Howard Stern show on its six stations that carry it, citing sexually graphic content from Tuesday's broadcast.

I listened to the bit on Tuesday that Clear Channel Radio objected to. It was an interview with Rick Salomon, the guy in the infamous Paris Hilton sex tape. I heard the entire interview and it was absolutely nothing more than I've heard a hundred times on Howard Stern's show. What exactly did Clear Channel Radio think they were airing when they aired the Howard Stern show? With Stern you know exactly what you're going to get and some of it involves sexually explicit content. The word that broke the camel's back according to Clear Channel Radio Chief Executive John Hogan was a caller's use of the N word. As Stern said this morning, "A caller used the N word, and I hung up on him." Please.

Unfortunately, Stern's radio show airs on American stations (I listen on a station from Buffalo) and must adhere to the Federal Communications Commission's interpretation of what is indecent and inappropriate for airing between the hours of 06:00 and 20:00. Stern doesn't have a prayer. The FCC has always been tough but ever since Janet Jackson exposed her breast during halftime of the Super Bowl they've been looking for a sacrificial lamb. It appears as if Howard Stern will be that lamb.

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Maple Leafs 0, Florida Panthers 4

Go Leafs Go!Aw-ful adj. Extremely bad or unpleasant; terrible: the Maple Leafs were awful last night.

On the positive front, Eddie Belfour should return tonight and a big deal for a defensemen is in the works. Will it be Sergei Gonchar or Brian Leetch? Who will we have to give up? Stay tuned.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
34-18-9-3
80 points
2nd in Northeast
4-0 Loss vs. Florida Panthers
2-1 Loss vs. Carolina Hurricanes
5-4 Win vs. Montreal Canadiens
M. Sundin - 59
B. McCabe - 39
O. Nolan - 38

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My Link of the Day

Mike's FavouritesWoman Says 'I Don't' At NBA Game - If you're going to propose to your girl during half-time of an NBA game at centre court, you'd better be sure her answer will be "Yes". A dude at this weekend's Indiana Pacers-Washington Wizards game pulled this stunt and...well...lets just say the reaction is worth the time it would take you to click this link and watch the video.

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Good News Only

Good News OnlyOne of my favourite sources of news is the Google News Page. It's a nice synopsis of some of the top news stories with links to numerous publications. Unfortunately, most of the top news stories are negative. War, famine, disease, corruption, controversy, death, terrorism, you get the idea.

I stumbled upon this Goodle Good News page. It's laid out to look like the Google News Page I know and love only it includes good news only. The stories, of course, are all false. Still, it's an entertaining read.

My favourite headline? "Spam Dries Up". Imagine...

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Virus Protection

Virus ProtectionIf you don't have a virus scan utility installed on your PC, you're asking for trouble. The same applies if your virus definitions are not current. You simply have to update your virus definitions on a regular basis if you're going to surf the web.

The intent of this entry is not to get all preachy about these obvious facts, but to share with you my experience with a anti-virus solution that can be yours for exactly zero dollars and zero cents.

The big boys in anti-virus software these days are Norton and McAfee. Subscribing to either service will cost you some coin and you'll pay annually for the latest virus definitions. It's must have software, so many ante up. I hate having to ante up unless I absolutely have no other options. In this case, there is another option and it's a good one. It's the path I chose and I've since led my mother, My brother and a few friends down the same road. I'm talking about the AVG Free Edition.

AVG licenses anti-virus solutions but makes available a free version for all single home users. This free version includes "AVG Resident Protection, AVG e-mail Scanner, AVG On-Demand Scanner, Basic Scheduled Tests, Free Virus Database Updates, Automatic Update feature, Easy-To-Use Interface, Automatic Healing of infected files and AVG Virus Vault for safe handling of infected files". I've been using it for about eighteen months now and have been very satisfied. The key is you get the real-time protection and full scanning capabilities with virus definitions that are the same definitions created for the licensed version of their software. It's the best deal in town and it works.

If you're without anti-virus software with current virus definitions I urge you to download the AVG Free Edition. It will cost you nothing and you'll sleep better at night. I promise.

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When I'll Watch Golf

When I'll WatchI'm not the world's biggest golf fan. In fact, I'll only watch when one of the following four instances is true.

  • It's one of the four majors: The Masters, the British Open, the US Open and the PGA Championship.
  • Mike Weir is among the leaders.
  • Tiger Woods is among the leaders.
  • There is an intriguing development (See John Daly).

When none of the preceding four situations apply, I simply don't care.

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Make Your Oscar Predictions

Oscar PredictionsLast year I hosted an Oscar prediction contest and it was pretty successful, so by popular demand, I am proud to unveil the 2004 Oscar Predictions Form.

Please complete this form by this Friday at 18:00 EST. This will give me some time to put everything together before Sunday night's telecast of the 76th Annual Academy Awards. Anyone can enter, anyone can win. The prize, as usual, is pride. You can't attach a monetary figure to pride.

What are you waiting for? Get yer butt over to the 2004 Oscar Predictions Form and make your picks.

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Maple Leafs 1, Hurricanes 2

Go Leafs Go!This ticks me off. With Ottawa 6-1-1-2 in their last ten games and showing no sign of letting up, the Maple Leafs have to win these games. Playing Carolina at the ACC has to amount to two points in the standings. There is no other option for a serious contender.

With the loss, Ottawa now has a game in hand and a point lead in the standings. Thankfully, Boston lost and remains two points behind. It's going to be a race to the finish and the Northeast crown for these three teams. I suggest Fergie upgrade the personnel for the stretch drive.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
34-17-9-3
80 points
2nd in Northeast
2-1 Loss vs. Carolina Hurricanes
5-4 Win vs. Montreal Canadiens
2-1 Win vs. Carolina Hurricanes
M. Sundin - 59
B. McCabe - 39
O. Nolan - 38

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Crossover Hit

Crossover HitsI was reading the Toronto Sun this weekend when I came across The Chum Chart, Chum FM's top 30 songs of the week.

This got me wondering what songs might appear on this chart and CFNY Edge 102's Thursday 30 simultaneously. Chum FM is a middle of the road graveyard for adult comtemporary crap while CFNY Edge 102 claims to play new rock with an edge to it. For a song to appear on both charts it would have to have a great deal of crossover appeal.

Only one song turns the trick. This song is number one on the Thursday 30 and number two on the Chum Chart. It can be none other than "Hey Ya!" by Outkast, a definite crossover smash.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Anger Flys Away on the Wings of Time

Over the weekend, I posted guest blogs (on my own website) from two of my most favorite people - unfortunately they are both dead. (Does this suggest that I need to find a new circle of friends?)

Actually...it's sometimes comforting to have posthumous heroes as friends. They never let you down. Living friends can be so pretentious sometimes. It's always "me-me-me" (meaning them) - I get sick of it! It might just be a midlife crisis, but I find that friendship fallouts can really take their toll on me some days.

Today for example; I was trying to mend the "burning-bridge-of-friendship" with someone in my life, but I didn't want to capitulate the way I usually do. I wanted to achieve a fair and meaningful reconciliation. As I waded into my explanation of why I was upset, I could hear that tiny, disconsenting voice in my head reminding me - "Marty...you are making no fucking sense!" (Her confounded grin and rolled-back eyes should have been my first clue) I carried on - cautiously assuring myself that I was on the right path - but by the end of it, I was confused too and certainly unconvinced that I had repaired anything. In fact, I was pretty sure that my disjointed ramblings had only exacerbated the fire. What to do now?

The irony of it all is that the matter is so trivial and pales in comparison to the actual value I place on the friendship, that to bring it up again, would border on ludicrous. You'd think I was asking for a kidney or something! All I wanted was an apology.

     Marty

Women. You can't live with 'em. Pass the beernuts.

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceBart Howard was 88. He was a songwriter and pianist best known for his composition "Fly Me to the Moon".

On a personal note, "Fly Me to the Moon" was the tune I bummed my high school graduation quote from.

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The Weekend

The WeekendThis past weekend is a blur to me. I don't remember doing anything particularly crazy, but it seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. I remember Friday evening being glad that the weekend was upon us and the next thing I recall is starting work again this morning.

I realize time is measurable. There is sixty seconds in a minute, sixty minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and two days in a weekend. That's 172,800 seconds in total...all of which breezed by in no time flat. I simply couldn't tell you where the weekend went.

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Mike Weir Wins

Mike WeirMike Weir fought off a resilient Shigeki Maruyama this afternoon to win the Nissan Open for the second straight year. It was a nail biter with Weir blowing a 7 shot lead to win it on the final hole in the pouring rain. Check out the official leaderboard.

Now if Weir could only repeat as Masters champion that would really be something. The way he's playing, it's entirely possible.

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Filmed in Toronto

Filmed in TorontoQuite a few movies are filmed in Toronto. Rarely does Toronto actually play Toronto but more often New York or Chicago in these pictures. Still, Torontonians like myself know it's Toronto and enjoy seeing our fair city play a role in many a major motion picture.

So many films are shot here that a friend of mine spent last summer working security for the filming of Resident Evil: Apocalypse and last year's winner of the Best Picture Oscar at The Academy Awards, Chicago, was filmed here.

It's time I document my favourite ten films filmed in Toronto. As you'll see from my list, some of these flicks were filmed elsewhere as well, but all were at least partly filmed in Toronto according to the Internet Movie Database.

  1. The Boondock Saints
  2. The Killing Fields
  3. Bowling For Columbine
  4. A Christmas Story
  5. Network
  6. The Paper Chase
  7. Good Will Hunting
  8. Exotica
  9. The Fly
  10. The Hurricane

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Where You Come From

Where You Come FromWhen it comes to the music you like, where you come from will always play a role. I'm not talking about your favourite music. You'll really like what you really like. I'm talking about the tunes that bring you back to a simpler time when you hear them. They aren't of a genre you typically listen to, but they are songs from your youth you remember fondly.

For me, I need look no further than Kenny Rogers. As a wee lad, my mother would play Kenny Roger's Greatest Hits over and over again on the turntable. We would dance to the up tempo numbers like "The Gambler", "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town", "Coward of the County", "Lucille" and "Reuben James" and then bellow out the ballads like "Lady", "Don't Fall in Love With a Dreamer", "She Believes in Me" and "You Decorated My Life". I would guesstimate I heard this album in it's entirety five hundred times before I turned 7.

I remember many good times with this record playing in the background. I remember how much my mother loved "Lady" and I can still hear her singing it. Every once in a while I still play a Kenny Rogers MP3 that appeared on that album because it still feels good.

When it comes to the music you like, where you come from will always play a role.

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"My father was a quitter, my grandfather was a quitter, I was raised to give up."
      - George Costanza, Seinfeld

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Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 4

Go Leafs Go!Phew. Watching a 4-0 lead evaporate had me thinking back to last Saturday when the Maple Leafs blew a 3-0 lead and ended up losing 6-4. Tonight we managed to hang on to secure a much needed two points.

Mikael Tellqvist remains unbeaten this season despite a fairly weak third period. He's now 5-0-2.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
34-16-9-3
80 points
1st in Northeast
5-4 Win vs. Montreal Canadiens
2-1 Win vs. Carolina Hurricanes
5-2 Loss vs. Boston Bruins
M. Sundin - 59
B. McCabe - 39
O. Nolan - 38

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceJan Miner was 86. She was a New York stage actress who gained fame as Madge, the manicurist in Palmolive television ads.

Just the other day Taryn and I were watching a program when a commercial for Palmolive came on the screen. I wondered aloud what had happend to Madge because I hadn't seen her featured in an ad in quite some time. I half assumed she had passed on and I had just missed it. It turns out she was doing fine until I realized all the new Palmolive ads were sans Madge.

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Super Furry Animals

Super Furry AnimalsThe Super Furry Animals are a band out of Wales who have just released their sixth album. The reviews are extrememly positive. The BBC collective states the following. "This is an astonishing album that lives, breathes and grows. Go with it."

Why am I writing about the Super Furry Animals? Because the name of their latest and by all account best album is Phantom Power. Excuse me? Did I say Phantom Power? Did they really name their latest disc Phantom Power? Yes they did.

For Canadian rock fans, there will only be one Phantom Power. It was released by The Tragically Hip in 1998 and contains the excellent "Bobcaygeon", "Fireworks", "Something On" and "Poets". The Super Furry Animals using the exact same name for their latest CD is sacrilege.

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SLS Submission

SLS SubmissionI would have submitted a song via the Smells Like Sour website for SLS11 consideration, only I was beaten to it.

I was going to submit "Shake the Blood" by Probot featuring Lemmy. You can watch the very cool video online.

For the unaware, Probot is Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl's metal band. Grohl wrote a handful of songs for the project and created a list of "dream vocalists" to guest on each track. It's heavy and heavy is good. Give it three plays and you're hooked.

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Remembering Tim Horton

Tim HortonWhen you mention Tim Horton to kids these days, they immediately think of coffee and donuts. Few under the age of thirty know about the hockey player who founded the donut chain.

Horton played seventeen years for the Toronto Maple Leafs winning four Stanley Cups. He was feared throughout the league as one of the toughest blue liners around and he tempered that with incredible skill and a lethal slapshot. Many claim he was the strongest man ever to play in the NHL. One thing is certain, he was one of the greatest defensemen to ever play the sport.

Thirty years ago today, Tim Horton was killed in a car accident while driving his Ford Pantera from Toronto to Buffalo where he was playing for the Sabres. Three years later he was posthumously inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame where he belonged.

Remember Tim Horton first for his 24 superb seasons in the NHL and last for the chain of donut shops bearing his name.

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Mike Weir Tied For Lead

Mike WeirDon't look now, but local boy Mike Weir is tied for the lead at the Nissan Open after two rounds. Weir birdied five of his last seven holes Friday for a 7-under 64 that gave him a tie for the lead with Shigeki Maruyama, a share of the 36-hole record at the Nissan Open and hopes of becoming the first back-to-back winner at Riviera since Ben Hogan.

If you're following the Nissan Open this weekend to see if Weir can pull it off, here's the official leaderboard. If you want to close in on Weir's performance, here's how he scores.

Go Mike Go!

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"To alcohol, the cause of and solution to all of life's problems."

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Kraft Dinner

Kraft DinnerI love Kraft Dinner. The whole family is a fan of this instant pasta product. In fact, we had it last night. That's why I'm writing this.

When I was a kid, there was just plain ol' Kraft Dinner. It was macaroni noodles covered in a bright orange power that somehow became a most delicious guilty pleasure. Today, right next to the regular Kraft Dinner, you're libel to find a half dozen or so different varieties. There's a creamy white chedder macaroni and cheese, a tomato flavoured and an assortment of different shapped pastas to choose from. I always stick with the old favourite because if it ain't broken, don't fix it.

When grocery shopping last week, Taryn inadvertently picked up a couple of boxes of Kraft Dinner spirals. She meant to buy regular, but she got this offshoot instead. It still tasted great, but it wasn't the same. It wasn't the noodles I grew up loving. It lacked the comfort I've come to expect from my Kraft Dinner.

She's promised to double check the label next time she picks up a box. It's nothing but regular Kraft Dinner Macaroni and Cheese for this family.

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveMy Favourite Our Lady Peace songs

  1. 4am
  2. Clumsy
  3. Naveed
  4. Superman's Dead
  5. Is Anybody Home?

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Maple Leafs 2, Hurricanes 1

Go Leafs Go!To keep up with Philadelphia, Ottawa and Boston in the East, the Maple Leafs had to grab two points against the Hurricanes. Thanks to some great goaltending from Mikael Tellqvist and an overtime goal by Darcy Tucker, we're back into a tie for the conference lead.

Tellqvist hasn't lost a game all season. When Eddie Belfour returns, I don't see how they can send this guy down. Trevor Kidd has proven he's not playing at a high enough calibre to keep us in contention for the conference crown. I'd love to see the blue and while keep Tellqvist around and send Kidd back to the rock.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
33-16-9-3
78 points
2-1 Win vs. Carolina Hurricanes M. Sundin - 57
B. McCabe - 38
O. Nolan - 38

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1988 Blue Jays Schedule

The VaultIt's been a while since I delved into the vault. Today I took a peek and found an old Blue Jays schedule from the 1988 season. A drawing of 1987 American League MVP George Bell is on the cover and that must be why I kept it. Here it is.

George Bell

When George Bell hit 26 homers in '84, he instantly became my favourite Blue Jay. I was all about #11, closely reviewing the daily boxscores to see how he was doing compared to others in the league. What I remember the most is how impressive 26 home runs seemed at the time. Today, 26 homers would be disappointing for a major league slugger.

George Bell went on to hit 47 in his MVP season of '87. Every year I secretly root against those Blue Jays who approach this franchise record. In '98 Jose Canseco came close with 46, but Bell is still the Blue Jays boss when it comes to single season home runs and he remains the only Jay to win MVP honours.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I have been taking a look at the blogs submitted over the past few months and I noticed one that was written about spanking. Mike tells the truth about spanking - he has never struck James, in fact, he is incredibly patient with him. However, I would like to point out that when James was younger, roughly 11 months to about 17 months, I would occasionally give him a light tap on the bum or I would tap his hands. Mainly I did this as a preventative measure, for example, if he touched a wire in the back yard or if he tried to stick his fingers in electrical sockets. I strongly believe that until you can reason with children you have to teach thm right from wrong in the best manner possible. Now, I fully agree with Mike that spanking would be impossible for me to do at this point in James' life. He is very well behaved and rarely needs any punishment. Time outs are enough, particularly because he is very sensitive and needs our constant approval. However, with the next baby I will continue to follow my instincts with regards to any punishments. It's hard to say though because I think I'm a little more laid back now and less likely to react out of fear, which I did with James. I was always terrified he'd get electrocuted or something horrific so I wanted to instill danger in his little mind. Nonetheless, I think we've done a pretty good job with James as he is the most wonderful little boy any parent could hope to have.

     Taryn

Taryn is responding to my blog entry about spanking I wrote in late January. I agree with her 100% on one point. James is the most wonderful little boy any parent could hope for. I'll be happy if the next one is 1/10th as good.

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Stuttering John Leaves Stern

Stuttering John Leaves SternI must admit, I didn't see this one coming.

Stuttering John Melendez, long time bit player on the Howard Stern Show, has left to pursue a job with "The Tonight Show". He's going to replace Edd Hall as the announcer of all things.

I must admit I still enjoy Howard Stern's radio show. I pick it up clearly from 92.9 WBUF in Buffalo and I've been listening for over five years now. Stuttering John, who's been on the show for 15 years, added something special. He will be missed.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's FavouritesClassic '80s Games - I yearn for simpler times. Today's video games are so complex compared to the games of my youth. Pac-Man was a simple game. Frogger was a simple game. Donkey Kong was a simple game. Asteroids was a simple game. If you're like me and you miss these games, visit this link and revisit the 80s.

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Are You Being Sued?

Are You Being Sued?I previously quoted an article about the Canadian Recording Industry Association filing lawsuits against those sharing copyrighted music via Kazaa as stating 20 Canadian were currently being targeted. It turns out there are really 29.

Are you a heavy file sharer wondering if you're one of them? Wonder no more. You can view IP addresses and usernames of those being sued by the CRIA on this page. I really feel for these guys.

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New Hip Record News

UpdateI got an update from The Hip Club today in my inbox. Here's what they had to share. It's definitely great news for fellow Hip fans.

The new record is recorded and mixed. We had a great time making this album and we are totally pleased with the results. While we still have a number of things to do before presenting "As Yet Untitled" to you, we wanted to let you know the long wait is nearly over. Stay tuned for more record news as well as touring plans in the coming weeks.

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120 and Counting

120 and CountingI figure I've had about 120 haircuts in my life. I've hated all 120. Other than this dread, there is another common thread.

I've heard one phrase all 120 times. I heard it again tonight while getting my 120th haircut. The phrase I keep hearing is this: "You have very thick hair".

I'm not the least bit interested in going bald, so I'm now glad to hear I still have the opposite problem. The day I don't hear it is the day I start to worry. I have very thick hair and I'm proud of every one of them.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Well, somebody needed to knock you down. We don't need you getting even more full of yourself (if that's even possible).

As if I would want to marry you. Ha! We are all well aware that I already have the best Boon.

     Vanessa

Finally, I have the quote from you I've been waiting for. "I would want to marry you." Thanks!

I'm not certain you have the best Boon, but you do have a Boon so I'll give you credit there.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Hey Living Doll 29,

If you actually knew Mike, you wouldn't want to marry him. Trust me.

     Vanessa

Vanessa, I...I don't know what to say. It's difficult to be pummelled to such a low following such an extreme high. Yesterday, I received such a lovely compliment from Living Doll 29 and it felt great. It felt really, really good. But you had to ruin it. You had to knock me down from that wonderful high.

Taryn has been happily married to me for over eight years. Living Doll 29 clearly envies her position. I'm starting to think you do too. Don't worry, I won't tell Steve.

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Maple Leafs 2, Bruins 5

Go Leafs Go!Trevor Kidd has allowed 18 goals in five games, but Aki Berg and Ken Klee did him no favours by turning over the puck and gift wrapping a few for Boston last night. The Maple Leafs missed a glorious chance to put a little distance between us and the charging Bruins. It seems we rarely show up for important games against the cream of the Eastern Conference.

Leafs fans everywhere are hitting the panic button with regards to goaltending. Eddie Belfour is suffering from a bad back, but this is nothing new. He's had issues with his back for years and every once in a while he needs to rest it. He's not out for the season, he's just resting a painful back. He will be back, in fact, rumour has it he may start tomorrow night. The goaltending situation with steady Eddie between the pipes is perfectly fine. If you want to hit the panic button about something, look at our defense and demand an upgrade.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
32-16-9-3
76 points
5-2 Loss vs. Boston Bruins M. Sundin - 57
B. McCabe - 37
O. Nolan - 37

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

No one told me that Aki Berg played for the Boston Bruins. I also feel so fear stricken when Kidd is in net.

This situation is starting to get ugly and maybe the Leafs should throw Kolzig into the pot if the rumour is true and they are dealing with Washington.

If Fergie doesn't make at least one major move before trade deadline, I know for sure that there is no interest in a cup here in T.O. (maybe Aki can at least wear the right jersey)

     Pud

Yep, it's an ugly one tonight, 5-2 as I write this.

What the Leafs need more than anything is a defensive defensemen. We need a big, tough guy to clear the front of the net. Sergei Gonchar isn't the answer.

I've said my piece about Trevor Kidd. When it comes to goaltending on this team, we have to live by the sword and die by the sword. Eddie Belfour is that sword. We'll let him heal and hope he's ready come playoff time. Until then, we've got to hang on and hope Mikael Tellqvist gets hot.

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Dear Courtney,

Dear CourtneyI don't like you and I wish you'd just go away.

Thankfully, my favourite radio station doesn't play "Mono" very often, but when they do I change the station. While browsing the Rolling Stone CD reviews, I came across their review of America's Sweetheart, your solo debut. Out of morbid curiosity I had to read what they thought of it. I'm glad I did.

Their review states "despite all the producers and song doctors, Sweetheart seems tired". It goes on to say "no matter what you've heard about her real-life problems, nothing could prepare you for how busted up she sounds". My favourite line is this: "Her best riff shows up on "I'll Do Anything," which sounds like an old song you may remember called "Smells Like Teen Spirit.""

So, you've released a crap CD and are even busting a style from Kurt. If you're going to steal riffs, I suggest victimizing a slightly less worshipped tune. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is holy land and we won't tolerate you disrespecting it so.

If you don't mind, I'd like to close this letter in the same fashion Rolling Stone closed their review of your CD. "On America's Sweetheart, she can't find the emotional intensity that made her a star. So she settles for the role of a hapless circus act staggering down the red carpet -- and Paris Hilton does it better."

Later,
Mike

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Mike....you are incredibly hot!

Marry me! I love you.

     Living Doll 29

Living Doll 29...you've tracked me down. I'm surprised to read such positive comments considering everything.

Earlier today, Living Doll 29 decided to use our Smells Like Sour site to seek advice. You can read her post here. You'll also read my reply.

Thanks for the compliment regardless. As for marriage, this ain't Utah so I'm going to have to pass. I am flattered though.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's FavouritesDuck Hunt - Shoot the damn ducks!

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Eastern Hell

Eastern HellBack in December, when the Boston Red Sox signed Curt Schilling and looked to be trading for Alex Rodriguez, I wrote a piece about how being a Blue Jays fan was hell. It's the off season, but we're already third in the AL East and out of the playoffs in 2004.

This week, all the buzz is about the big deal that broght Alex Rodriquez to the New York Yankees. The deal to send A-Rod to the Bosox fell through, but this one didn't. You had to know he was going to either end up in Boston or New York. These two teams keep reloading in an arms race that leaves the Blue Jays in the dust. So long as there is only the one wildcard position Toronto doesn't have a prayer.

I hate finishing third. It really, really sucks. The AL East is hell.

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Season 4 DVD Update

Season 4 DVD UpdateAs a die hard fan of The Simpsons, I'm anxiously awaiting the release of season four on DVD. I own the first three seasons, and they're the only DVDs I own I actually watch on a consistent basis. Season four is awesome, bringing us such classics as "A Streetcar Named Marge", "Homer the Heretic", "Mr. Plow", "Marge vs. the Monorail" and "Last Exit to Springfield". In my opinion, it is the greatest of all fifteen seasons of The Simpsons we've been blessed with thus far.

The following Season 4 DVD update appeared on The Simpsons Channel.

After months with no talk about the Season 4 DVD, it looks as though things are finally starting to happen. DVDFanatic.com today announced that Conan O'Brien will be providing a commentary for the episodes Marge Vs. The Monorail and New Kid On The Block. "After seeing a Conan O'Brien show, one of our devoted readers asked Conan if he was going to do The Simpsons: Season 4 Commentary track. Apparently, Conan told him that he recorded them the week prior. "Tall Al" asked, "Even the Monorail?" and Conan replied back, "Yeah, Monorail!" In addition to this, early last week the website also announced Jon Lovitz would be providing commentaries for episodes he appeared in. There's still no release date available for the fourth box set in the series, but we'll let you know as soon as any news comes to hand.

Sounds good!

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Maple Leafs 8, Penguins 4

Go Leafs Go!The Maple Leafs handed the hapless Penguins their 12th consecutive home loss last night, drilling eight goals past Sebastien Caron and Jean-Sebastien Aubin.

Owen Nolan led the charge with four points as the Leafers leap-frogged the Sens back into first in the Northeast division. Tonight's game against Boston will be a much better test as our lead over the Bruins is only three points.

On a side note, I had forgotten both Ric Jackman and Drake Berehowsky wore #55. I'm betting this is the first time in NHL history two #55's were traded for eachother. Now that's a useless piece of trivia.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
32-15-9-3
76 points
8-4 Win vs. Pittsburgh Penguins M. Sundin - 57
B. McCabe - 37
G. Roberts - 36

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Lawsuits Coming

Lawsuits ComingThe Canadian Recording Industry Association is about to file dozens of lawsuits against those sharing copyrighted music via Kazaa and other file swapping services.

According to an article in today's Toronto Star, 20 Canadians are currently being targeted. First, federal court orders will be delivered to major Internet Service Providers early next week requiring that they identify the initial unlucky 20. Nine are with Rogers Cable, Seven are with Bell Sympatico, three are with Telus and the other is with Shaw Communications Inc.

Apparently, the CRIA went after the heavy sharers. The 20 on this list were each sharing several thousand MP3s. That's a lot of music!

It will be interesting to see which ISPs fight this order to protect their customers' freedom and which hand over the user information with little resistance. Thus far, only Shaw Communications has come out to say they will fight. That's the spirit!

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Good Things

Good ThingsA few things happened that I thought were pretty cool.

  • Was there a person on this planet not rooting for John Daly yesterday? Only six months ago, Daly was down in the dumps when he learned his fourth wife had been indicted on federal drug and gambling charges, just five days after giving birth to his first son. Ranked number 299 in the world, his life was once again a mess. He's seen it all since winning the PGA Championship back in '91. Two divorces, two trips to alcohol rehab, rash behavior on the golf course that led the PGA Tour to suspend him, rumours of gambling and drinking. With a 100-foot bunker shot that trickled within 4 inches of the cup, Daly birdied the 18th hole Sunday to win the Buick Invitational in a three-man playoff. It was great to see.
  • Who do you think led the Eastern Conference in scoring during yesterday's NBA All-Star Game? Allen Iverson? Nope. Tracy McGrady? Nope. Our very own Vince Carter? Guess again. It was Toronto-born Jamaal Magloire who recorded 19 points and eight rebounds to lead the Eastern Conference pack.
  • The U.K. magazine Q claimed that "all the best new bands" come from Canada. Acts such as Toronto's Broken Social Scene, the Hidden Cameras and the Constantines, Vancouver's Hot Hot Heat and Montreal's Unicorns led the charge.

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New Videos

New VideosFour new videos of James are now available for your viewing pleasure in Videos.

Due to the popularity of "James makes animal noises" from February 1st there are two more in this vein. There's also a funny clip of James stomping around in Mommy's shoes and another in which he tells us the name's Boon...James Boon.

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Goaltenders Who Score

Goalies ScoringLast night during the great collapse at the ACC, Sabre goaltender Mika Noronen was credited with a goal when Robert Reichel inadvertently passed the puck into the empty Leaf cage. Noronen became the eighth goalie in NHL history to be credited with a goal, an extremely rare feat. As rare as it is, I saw one of the previous six instances live.

The only game I've ever seen at the Corel Centre in Ottawa was January 2nd, 1999 as the Senators took on the New Jersey Devils. Ottawa won 6-0 and former Leaf Damien Rhodes didn't only record a shut out but he was credited with a goal when a Devils player inadvertently pulled a Robert Reichel. Here's the ticket stub from the game.

Here's the entire list of NHL goalies to get credit for goals.

  • Billy Smith, NY ISlanders - November 28, 1979 vs. Colorado
  • Ron Hextall, Philadelphia - December 8, 1987 vs. Boston
  • Ron Hextall, Philadelphia - April 11, 1989 vs. Washington
  • Chris Osgood, Detroit - March 6, 1996 vs. Hartford
  • Martin Brodeur, New Jersey - April 17, 1997 vs. Montreal (playoffs)
  • Damian Rhodes, Ottawa - January 2, 1999 vs. New Jersey
  • Jose Theodore, Montreal - December 2, 2001 vs. NY Islanders
  • Evgeni Nabokov, San Jose - March 10, 2002 vs. Vancouver
  • Mika Noronen, Buffalo - February 14, 2004 vs. Toronto

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I have some questions regarding your website that I would like to ask at this time.

1. Why are there so few video postings? I for one would like to see more video clips of james.
2. Why are we unable to give our blog entry a title? I think there should be a section to enter a title above our actual discussion.
3. If we post a blog entry and do not enter our name or email address do we remain annonymous to everyone, including yourself? Can you personally tell who sent the message?

These are my questions. And I demand answers!!!!!

     Ryan

Here are my answers:

  1. The reason there are so few video postings is the time it takes. First you have to take the video, then I have to plug the video camera into the firewire on my PC and capture the clips into Windows Media Video format. That's why there's typically only videos after a birthday or events like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. Having said all that, I've been pretty good at posting new videos every month and currently in Videos I've got clips from January 18th and February 1st and, as a special treat because you made the request, I'll have new clips from this weekend posted in the next couple of hours. I'll aim for new clips every two weeks.
  2. If you'd like to give your Guest Blog entry a title, that's cool. In the big field for your blog entry just type in the title and double space down before starting piece. As for the main title above, I've been giving all Guest Blog entries the title "Guest Blog Entry" to differentiate other people's writings from my own. Everything is me except those postings with the title "Guest Blog Entry".
  3. If you post a Guest Blog entry without entering your name or other identifying feature such as an email address or URL for your home page, I will never know who you are. That form is driven by a perl script that basically emails me in plain text everything you entered. When I post it from anonymous it really is anonymous, even to yours truly.

I'm happy to answer any and all questions as best I can. Don't hesitate to ask away!

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"I found it hard, it was hard to find. Oh well, whatever, nevermind."
      - Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

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Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 6

Go Leafs Go!Disgusting. With a 3-0 lead late in the second period, the Maple Leafs have to close out the win. Ottawa won tonight and Boston got a point, so blowing a three goal lead to the Sabres at home was not an option.

Trevor Kidd is becoming a huge issue. With Eddie Belfour experiencing tightness again in his lower back, Kidd has been playing quite abit lately. Judging from what I've seen lately, he's not a capable goaltender in this league. We needed some big stops while the Sabres were charging and we didn't get them. If I'm Pat Quinn, I'd play Mikael Tellqvist the rest of the way when Belfour needs to sit. At this point in the season, we can't afford the points Kidd is costing us.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
31-15-9-3
74 points
6-4 Loss vs. Buffalo Sabres M. Sundin - 55
B. McCabe - 36
G. Roberts - 36

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My Link of the Day

Mike's FavouritesThe Movie Cliches List - This is a list of the most annoying and common logic flaws and stereotypes found in movies. Some of my favourites are:

  • You're very likely to survive any battle in any war, unless you show someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
  • Dogs always know who's bad, and bark at them.
  • At least one of a pair of identical twins is born evil.
  • A cough is a symptom of terminal illness.
  • A dying person's last words will always be coherent and significant.

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"Love" Songs

Valentine's DayIn honour of Valentine's Day, here are my ten favourite songs with the word "love" in the title. Songs with the word "lover" or "loves" in the title also qualified.

  1. State of Love and Trust - Pearl Jam
  2. Fell in Love With a Girl - The White Stripes
  3. Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots
  4. The Face of Love - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with Eddie Vedder
  5. Be My Lover - Alice Cooper
  6. Love Buzz - Nirvana
  7. She Loves Me Not - Papa Roach
  8. When Love Comes to Town - U2
  9. I Used to Love Her - Guns N' Roses
  10. To Be A Lover - Billy Idol

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Nominate torontomike.com

Nominate torontomike.comBlogs Canada is a father and son collaboration out of Waterford, Ontario with a Blogs Canada Directory containing more than 7,360 Canadian blog listings, including one for torontomike.com.

Every month they rank the top ten Canadian blogs and accept nominations via a nominations form. I thought it would be pretty damn cool if all visitors to this site mosied on over and nominated my site as one of the top Canadian blogs. How about it?

You have your mission. Proceed immediately to the nominations form and nominate http://www.torontomike.com.

Much appreciated,
Mike

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New Ticket Stub Added

New Ticket Stub AddedI've been keeping the ticket stubs from concerts and sporting events I've attended over the years. I don't get to many these days, but when I do I post a scan of the ticket stub in Ticket Stubs.

I just added the stub from the taping of Late Night with Conan O'Brien I attended the other day.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I am the mother of two boys who are about to have children this August. It will be Michael's second child and Ryan will for the first time give birth to not one but two beautiful gifts from God. How lucky he is; how lucky my two sons are. Michael can already attest to the kind of love he has felt in the last two years of raising James but now Ryan gets to engulf this amazing love. I know all my sons will be great fathers. I haven't a doubt about that. The sacrifices and selflessness of parenting is something no one can prepare you for but something I know all my children will accept readily. Although it is the biggest endeavour one can take on Michael has already experienced fatherhood in the greatest way one could. He has become the most giving and most patient of fathers. Ryan has had years of bacheloring and he too is ready for this new venture in life. Thank you both for these gifts which will embellish our family and although we are already a very close family unit I cannot help but think our new additions will make us that much closer. Uncle Steve is looking forward to being involved in the babies' lives as well. While Stephen and I were discussing the amazement of this coming August he said "its all good Mom."

     Mary

Amen to that.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Bart, with $10,000, we'd be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like...love."

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I don't know Mike, your bowling score of 115 today at lunch could suggest that Friday the 13th may be unlucky for you.

     Paul

For the record, I bowled two games at lunch today. I bowled a 191 to win the first game before embarrassing myself with a 115 in the second. What can I say? Even Babe Ruth struck out now and then.

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveMy Favourite Toronto Blue Jay Pitchers of All-Time

  1. Tom Henke
  2. Jimmy Key
  3. Roy Halladay
  4. Dave Stieb
  5. Juan Guzman

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Every morning on my way to my 17th floor workplace, I can't help but feel that something is missing. The missing link to my journey is the elusive 13th floor. Where are all the 13th floors? Aren't we living in a modern, civilized society? Do we really build buildings and skip the 13th floor due to a silly superstition? Today is Friday the 13th, why am I even at work today? Using the same nonsensical logic, shouldn't this day be a holiday where we all hide under tables and pray that nothing bad happens? I think it's time that we grow up and realize that ladders, shattered mirrors, salt, street cracks, and unlucky numbers cannot hurt us.

     Steve

Dude, I couldn't agree more. All of these silly superstitions are nothing but nonsense. It's Friday the 13th and I wouldn't hesitate to walk under a ladder while a black cat crossed my path. In fact, I'm going to go out looking for a black cat so I can prove it's not the least bit unlucky.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Those are two pretty impressive lists of songs with female names in the title. I think you two have forgotten a couple of classic tunes.

"Black Betty" - Ram Jam
"Roxanne" - Sting

Mike, I'm a little surprised by your exclusion of Ram Jam. I used to get hassled a lot on Valentine's day. Just keep in mind that it's not their fault!

     Steve

You're right about "Black Betty". That song would have made my list of top ten songs with a female name in the title. "Roxanne" was never one of my favourites and wouldn't have made the cut.

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Maple Leafs 4, Blue Jackets 1

Go Leafs Go!The Maple Leafs have quietly won seven of their past ten hockey games. Last night Mikael Renberg and Darcy Tucker led the charge with two points a piece in a relatively easy victory against an over matched opponent. This was a game we had to win and we did.

The highlight for me was when Tie Domi signed a stick and tossed it over the glass into the Blue Jackets bench. It was a gift for Jody Shelley who had been trying to pick a fight with Domi all night. Domi was unable to oblige, being under strict orders from Leaf doctors to stay away from fighting due to a throat injury that might be a cracked larynx, but he was able to leave Shelley with a parting gift. It was damn funny.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
31-14-9-3
74 points
4-1 Win vs. Columbus Blue Jackets M. Sundin - 55
B. McCabe - 36
G. Roberts - 36

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Seein' Conan

Conan LiveI'm back! I promised I'd share all the details from my visit this afternoon to the Late Night with Conan O'Brien taping here in Toronto, and here it is. I warn you, it's a long one.

The Wait
I joined the line up to get into the Elgin Theatre at approximately 12:30. By this time I had already blown my first major decision of the day. When leaving my car in a parking lot at Church and Shuter, I had to decide whether I needed my gloves and hat or not. The weather seemed pretty mild, so I went without. Big mistake.

The end of the line at 12:30 was on Victoria Street. It wrapped along Yonge Street outside the Elgin Theatre and along Queen Street before snaking around Victoria Street where I parked myself for over 3 and a half hours. Every ten minutes or so I could feel the temperature drop. At this point I really wished I had taken my comfy gloves and Leafs touque.

Steve joined me in line at about 14:00 and we were finally shuffled into the theatre shortly after 16:00. I secured our tickets earlier in the day by showing a couple of NBC staffers his email stating we had won the lottery and the right to two tix. We entered the theatre, subjected ourselves to a brief pat down by security and a metal detecter surveyance and were led to the balcony.

Finally we were able to thaw in a seat of our very own in the well-heated Elgin Theatre. We were lucky to get the seat. Had I joined the line at 13:00 we'd have missed out. Our seats were in the balcony but fairly centre with a great view of the entire stage. It was time for the show.

The Warm-Up
A gentleman hit the stage to warm us up while we were literally warming up. I felt he did a great job of getting us loose and in the mood. We collectively gave a big F.U. to those who missed out because they didn't line up early enough and proceeded to make fun of those from Oshawa. This guy was pretty funny as he gave us some basic rules. Don't watch yourselves on the monitor, don't scream things at Conan during the show, etc.

At this point Max Weinberg and the Max Weinberg 7 were introduced and began to play for us. For those who don't know, Max Weinberg is the drummer from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. Their jazzy big band style sounded great to my ears and we heard them play for about ten minutes.

The Show
When they say Late Night is live to tape, they mean it. Sitting in the audience you see exactly what makes it to television. We saw the opening credits on the several big screens and heard and saw the announcer introduce this night's guests and host, Conan himself. The reaction to Conan was incredible. I've been to numerous rock concerts and this applause had that feel to it. It was loud and lengthy.

Conan's monologue is funnier in person than it is watching it on television. Everything seems bigger and funnier in person I think. He cracked off a joke about Dalton McGuinty saying Conan's presence made all Ontarioans glad they weren't American like him and we saw a funny visual of our five dollar bill with a gap-toothed Queen Elizabeth sporting a black eye and hockey helmet.

Seeing Conan's monologue live really makes you appreciate the physical aspect to his comedy. The man has a funny facial expression for everything. He was going on about how many Torontonians approach him and say "Go Leafs" and he delivers this information with quite the expression on his face. I agree 100% with his "Go Leafs" observation. It's sort of like "Hi" around these parts. It's become a standard greeting. I often say hello or goodbye by exclaiming "Go Leafs Go".

It was time for a couple of bits. First we saw a few dudes dressed as New York Mets parade out the Stanley Cup because it's the closest they'll get to a championship trophy. I think Conan's writers took the easy way out on this one. It would have been funnier to have Maple Leafs parade the cup around for the same reason considering we haven't won it since 1967 and the Mets have won their championship twice since then. I think they were trying to keep us friendly and on their side. Putting down the blue and white could cause the audience to turn on you in a heartbeat. The second bit involved a race between the CN Tower and the Seattle Space Needle from the lobby of the Elgin Theatre to the stage. We watched as the Space Needle came down the stretch with a healthy lead before a Mountie tripped him up allowing the CN Tower to win. We ate it up. There was also another round of "Canadian Small Talk Moment" which I think was butchered by Max Weinberg but the two proceeded as if nothing had happened. I half expected them to take another shot at it but they didn't.

Then, it was time for Triumph the Comic Insult Dog to take a poop on French Canadians. He visited Quebec City and gave it to Quebecers good. If French Canadians are upset at Don Cherry's comments wait until this segment airs tonight. It's bloody harsh.

It's interesting to watch during commercials. People are talking to Conan and the band is playing while the video screens display the talk show's logo. Then, suddenly the screens show a shot of the audience and we're back from commercial and ready to rock. At this point, Conan introduced the big guest for the evening, Adam Sandler.

Adam Sandler was funny. He made some hilarious comments about having much in common with co-star Drew Barrymore because of their teenage addiction pasts. She with alcohol and he with picking his nose and eating it. He also made some funny remarks about being a newlywed and some sombre remarks about his recently deceased father.

Following a commercial break during which I was enamoured by the passionate conversation Adam Sandler and Conan O'Brien appeared to be having, we were treated to a silly little bit where the announcer came out dressed as a bride with his Asian boy toy whom he had just married. It's legal here, ya know.

The final guest was Canadian legend Stompin' Tom Conners. He pleased the crowd by singing "The Hockey Game", a song we all knew by heart. He did, however, make a statement that's making me doubt his integrity. He said the song was a Stanley Cup game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New Jersey Devils. All good Canadians who love their hockey know such a Stanley Cup final is impossible. The two teams share the same conference. Nevertheless, it was a great performance and the whole crowd sang along.

Before saying good night, they showed more of Triumph the Comic Insult Dog's visit to Quebec City. This was the stuff they had to cut because of time contraints. This material was extremely funny and will never be shown on television, so it was nice to get the bonus material in. Following this footage, Conan thanked Stompin' Tom and said goodnight.

Both Steve and I had a blast and waiting in the cold was well worth it. It was a great experience seeing a live taping of a program like this and I'll always have this story to tell. Now I'm going to get a bite to eat.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

As a former flower shop employee, I just wanted to mention that it is not the florists themselves that raise prices for Valentine's day. In order to meet the demand on days such as Valentine's day, the growers must keep large crops all year round. They must raise the prices during high demand seasons in order to compensate for losses during the rest of the growing season. In turn, florists must raise prices out of necessity.

I used to get hassled a lot on Valentine's day. Just keep in mind that it's not their fault!

     Vanessa

Speaking of flower shops, remember when Adrian Adonis transformed from a leather wearing toughie to a flamboyant flamer? He started going by the moniker Adorable Adrian Adonis and hosted a mini talk show a'la Piper's Pit called "The Flower Shop". You'd see The Flower Shop every week or so during the WWF telecasts. I remember he fought Rowdy Roddy Piper at Wrestlemania III and the loser had to have his head shaved. Adonis lost that match and his hair. Adorable Adrian Adonis died in a car crash on July 4th, 1988. It's not his fault florists raise prices at this time of year either.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI need a digital camera. I had videos from Christmas 2003 posted on this site before I went to sleep on December 25th. Pictures taken that day on our old film camera were only developed yesterday. So, if you want to see a few new pictures from Christmas 2003, you'll find them in Pictures.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

In honour of the ever so anticipating "Mike Boon Friday Five", I have opted to add my little contribution for the upcoming "Happy Love Day" My little listing is the Top Songs with a woman's name in the title. Although this is a near impossible to get the 10 definitive greatest songs of all time, but here it goes nonetheless.

1)AC DC - Whole Lotta Rosie. If there is a better song about about a woman, I'd like to hear it.
2)DEREK AND THE DOMINOES - Layla. Mr. Allman kicking butt in a excellent slide guitar effort.
3)THE BEATLES - Hey Jude. For Once, we don't get tired of Ringo and his legendary drumming skills.
4)THE ROLLING STONES - Sweet Virginia. Just a great jamming tune, from one of the best albums ever, EXILE ON MAIN STREET.
5)THE DOORS - Gloria. Originally covered by "THEM", the live version is mint. God knows what Jim was on that night, but my goodness it worked.
6)CSN - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes. Great harmonies make this lick a winner.
7)DEXY'S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS - Come On Eileen. Who says the list can't be composed of a one hit wonder?
8)BOSTON - Amanda. Here's a great tune by a band who's been working on their next album for nearly 20 years.
9) BOB DYLAN- Queen Jane Approximately. Now you talk about a killer album, here it is. Highway 61 revisited.
10)LEONARD COHEN - Suzanne. Something from the "Canadian version of Bob Dylan"

Now, of course, I did mention that it's so subjective to say this is the top ten etc. But I will add some honourable mentions to Visions of Johanna (Bob Dylan) Proud Mary (CCR, Ike and Tina) Nancy (Frank Sinatra) Mary Mary (Run DMC) Lola (The Kinks). Long Live Happy Love Day!

     Mark

That's your top ten and nothing I say can change that. Here are my top ten songs with a woman's name in the title...excluding any of the tunes you've already mentioned.

  1. "Cochise" by Audioslave
  2. "Crazy Mary" by Pearl Jam
  3. "Cordelia" by The Tragically Hip
  4. "The Wind Cries Mary" by Jimi Hendrix
  5. "Fraces Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle" by Nirvana
  6. "I Love You Mary Jane" by Cypress Hill & Sonic Youth
  7. "My Michelle" by Guns N' Roses
  8. "Allison" by Elvis Costello
  9. "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" - The Beatles
  10. "Delia's Gone" by Johnny Cash

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Conan Notes

Goin' to ConanI'm a day behind when it comes to actually watching Late Night with Conan O'Brien during the show's stay here in Toronto. I can't make it to 01:30 anymore. I need more than the 4.5 hours of sleep that would allow me. Instead, I've been taping the shows and watching them the next day. Last night I watched Tuesday night's show featuring Mike Myers.

As a Torontonian, I loved the numerous inside jokes and references but I can't help wondering if the show is maybe a little too Toronto-centric. Was Tuesday night's show at all appealing to anyone who doesn't live or didn't grow up in the GTA? I suppose it doesn't matter because I fall in that category, but it seemed a little over the top.

I also wonder if people less familiar with our great city will fail to realize the fact we feed the Canadian stereotypes for the sake of humour. We don't all talk in that hoser accent, in fact, I don't know anyone who does. Mike Myers slipped into his "Scarborough accent" more than once and Ron James did his whole schtick in Newfie. And who the hell says Ron James is one of our funniest comedians? I can name at least 25 funnier Canadian comedians. I don't think I laughed out loud once during his entire set. Mike Myers, however, was great as were the "Canadian Small Talk Moment" and "Conan Plays Hockey" bits. All in all a fun show...for those who love Toronto.

Today is the day I'm going to watch Conan O'Brien tape his Late Night talk show with my brother Steve. I've been warned to anticipate a lengthy lineup outside the Elgin Theatre and that my ticket doesn't necessarily guarantee me access. I'll be joining the line at approximately 12:30 and that should be suffice. Remember, I'll be blogging all the exciting details here to check back later tonight. If you're watching the show late tonight on tv, I'm the canuck wearing the Bill Barilko jersey.

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Leafs Trade

Leafs TradeHot off the wire...

John Ferguson, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Wednesday that the club has traded Ric Jackman to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for defenceman Drake Berehowsky.

I know it's a minor deal, but I'll report all Leaf trades up until the trade deadline. I remember the year we drafted Drake Berehowsky. We picked him 10th overall in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft and I taped the selection off of TSN just in case he became the next Bobby Orr. You see, Berehowsky went to the same high school as me which I thought was pretty damn cool. He didn't pan out, but he's had a fairly long career. And here he is back in blue and white.

If you're wondering who the greatest player ever to attend Michael Power/St. Joseph's High School is, look no further than Brendan Shanahan. I know you were wondering.

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Cover Me Badd

CoversA couple of years ago, my friend Mark and I decided to create a complementary "release" to our Smells Like Sour series. We wanted to put together 80 minutes of our favourite covers. Here's the songlist from that compilation I called "Cover Me Badd" in spite of the fact Mark demanded it be called "Under the Covers". I still think "Cover Me Badd" is a far better name. Here's what made the cut, in alphabetical order.

  1. Aaron Lewis - Black
  2. Cake - I Will Survive
  3. Chronic Overboogie - My Heart Will Go On
  4. Dynamite Hack - Boyz in the Hood
  5. Elwood - Sundown
  6. Everclear - Brown Eyed Girl
  7. Fear Factory - Cars
  8. Frente - Bizarre Love Triangle
  9. Goldfinger - 99 Red Balloons
  10. The Lemonheads - Mrs. Robinson
  11. Limp Bizkit - Faith
  12. Pearl Jam - Crazy Mary
  13. Presidents of the United States of America - Video Killed the Radio Star
  14. Save Ferris - Come On Eileen
  15. Tori Amos - Smells Like Teen Spirit
  16. Travis - Baby, One More Time
  17. Tricky - Black Steel
  18. Veruca Salt - My Sharona

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My Link of the Day

Mike's FavouritesWhat To Rent - This site bills itself as "The What to Rent Computer Cluster". You simply answer a brief questionnaire and this site suggests what movie you should rent. It nailed my tastes pretty good suggesting I rent a number of my favourite movies. Give it a try and discover what movies you should be renting.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Re: Valentine's Day

Yes it's mostly about money. Card and candy/chocolate companies, florists and restaurants, just to name a few, jack up the prices and can't wait to cash in on the deal. They can probably hear the cash registers ringing from their head office. But like other holidays, such as Mother's Day, I think it's good to have the reminder to let our loved ones know just how much we appreciate them. All too often we're too busy in our daily lives that we forget. Holidays are like those cards that say, "I know I don't always say it, but-". They give us the opportunity to pause and be thankful for everything we have and do what we do on those days all year round. And considering all the things women do for men, WE DESERVE IT! Having to do something special one day out of the year is getting off easy. My advice to men, not just on Valentine's Day, but everyday, is to do the things you used to do that helped you woo her in the first place.

     Annemarie

I'm really starting to dislike Valentine's Day. All that pressure...it just seems so damn contrived. This year I just want to enjoy a nice relaxing evening with My wife at a restaurant that serves great ribs. Anyone want to babysit?

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Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 4

Go Leafs Go!I really missed the game. Every year we have to endure an all-star break and an entire weekend without a game that matters. By this time of the year you're nicely settled in your routine. Saturday afternoon you start thinking about that night's game and Saturday night at 19:00 you get comfy in front of the boob tube for Maple Leafs hockey. I hate that one Saturday during the season we're deprived of this ritual. I wish they'd move the all-star break and game to mid-week.

Last night it looked as if the blue and white were going to lose their first game in ten against the Lightning but tied it up on a Gary Roberts goal with 44.4 seconds remaining. Down 4-2 early in the third, this tie feels more like a win this morning. We were lucky to get it but we'll take it.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
30-14-9-3
72 points
4-4 Tie vs. Tampa Bay Lightning M. Sundin - 54
B. McCabe - 36
G. Roberts - 35

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The Simpsons Movie

Simpsons MovieFor well over a decade, I've been dreaming about a full-length movie starring The Simpsons. If I close my eyes tight, I can see it now and it's damn funny. I can also see the smile on my face while I watch 100 minutes of my friends from Springfield on the big screen. They've made South Park into a movie and The X-Files, but I had nearly given up on the idea of a Simpsons movie.

But wait. In this article from DVDFanatic.com there is an exclusive interview with producer and veteran writer of "The Simpsons", Mike Reiss. The interview was about the next Simpsons DVD, but he was asked about the Simpsons movie. Here's what he said. "It's been 13 years of wanting to do "The Simpsons" Movie. Finally FOX said, "Let's just do it!" We never had the greatest idea that was compelling but FOX said, "Maybe if we start paying you, you'll get inspired." And sure enough it worked! We've got a very good and interesting idea and it's different from the show. You know, it's like the "South Park" movie where it's just a bigger, longer, amplified version of the show. I can't tell you anything specific about it. My wife doesn't even know the secret." When asked when he thought this movie would come out, Reiss said "I will say two years from this summer. I think it's going to be Summer 2006 or maybe Christmas 2006. It's a reality after being just sort of this phantom idea. I think it is really gonna happen."

Lets hope it's really gonna happen this time. The world needs laughter.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I do believe that Tim has a whip of some kind attached to his name.

Clearly you're referring to Tim's Guest Blog Entry in which he encouraged us guys to do something special this Valentine's Day. Tim's a good guy, really, he's just a softy when it comes to the mushy stuff. I've met Mrs. Tim and I don't think he's whipped, just different. I think I'm going to let him take Taryn out for Valentine's Day so I can chill and watch the game.

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First Test a Success

Knee UpdateFor those who care...

I gave my knee its first real test last night. Since I tore my ACL and fractured the anterior aspect of the medial tibial plateau back in July, I haven't done anything very strenuous with it. Last night I played 90 minutes of pretty hard squash and it felt great. My knee felt stable and strong.

This is good.

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Planning for Conan

Goin' to ConanAs regular readers know, I'm going to watch Conan O'Brien tape his Late Night talk show here in Toronto with my brother Steve. We're going to Thursday's show and I'm a little concerned.

Listening to CFNY Edge 102 this morning, whose studio is across the street from the Elgin Theatre, fans with tickets camped out overnight and there was a lineup at 06:10 for the 16:30 taping. The tickets aren't actually tickets either. You need one to get in, but having one doesn't necessarily guarantee you access. The seats are first come first serve.

Although the tickets state we should be there by 15:30, I'm thinking we're going to have to join that lineup at least a few hours earlier than that. Here's hoping for a sunny day while Steve and I brave the elements. With a little luck, we'll actually make it in and this won't all be a waste of valuable time and energy. Who am I kidding...it beats the hell out of working either way.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Valentines Day

Ok. It's commercial. It's definitely geared for the chicks ... but ... what the hey! C'mon guys surprise the little woman. Do something unexpected for a change. It doesn't have to be an expensive dinner, wine, chocolates or flowers ... just something original requiring a little thought. Example: Throw a checkered table cloth on the kitchen table, put up some white christmas lights, heat up a frozen pizza, be her personal waiter (making sure her wine glass never goes empty) and talk about things you used to talk about when you dated. She's worth it. Ya never know ... you might have a good time too.

     Tim Legere

Tim, you stand accused of violating the guy code. My wife reads this blog, my brothers' girlfriends read this blog, a number of women read this blog, and now you've raised the bar for all of us. Thanks a lot!

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I have personally viewed James saying the words "meow, meow" about 240 times now. He is cute, and knows his animal noises a good 8 years ahead of when I learned them. James is a shoe-in for playing a cat in his grade 2 play, where his "meows" will be raved about in theatre magazines across the country.

Ps As per previous conversations I have been following; pot holes suck, Brampton is messed up, street names and all,I think everyone loves Carbs, and Lennox Lewis knocked the crap out of many Americans... so he'll always be a hero of mine, and a Canadian hero at that.

Is it Friday yet??

     Ryan

For those who haven't seen it yet, you've got to check out James' "Meow, Meow" speech. Whenever I share such a video, you'll find it in Videos.

The more I think about it, the more I feel comfortable calling Lennox Lewis a Canadian champion. Stephen Brunt's column had a big role in this decision. He did knock the crap out of many Americans, but he destroyed the chances of a fellow Canadian or two along the way. Donovon "Razor" Ruddock still doesn't know what hit him.

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SLS Submission

SLS SubmissionI've just submitted a song via the Smells Like Sour website for SLS11 consideration.

I submitted "Ride" by The Vines. If you haven't yet heard this new single by The Vines, you can have a listen on their site. I think it's quite good and worthy of SLS11 consideration.

The Vines were once before represented on SLS. The awesome "Get Free" appeared on SLS8.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I was going to add that - I understand Canadian celebs making the U.S. their second home in order to further their careers, but I think it's sad that they don't have the same opportunities here at home.

I agree with you. I suppose it's the price you pay when you share the world's largest undefended border with the super powers of the universe.

What always irks me is how we judge our talent, usually musical acts, by their success south of the border. It's always about how huge Alanis Morrisette, Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Avril Lavigne become in the US market that is celebrated here at home. Our nation has a serious inferiority complex. We see ourselves as the United States sees us and we need that validation.

How often do I need to hear how The Tragically Hip were unable to crack the US market. Each time I see the Hip live, I'm surrounded by at least 15,000 others...sometimes a whole whack more. They can sell out every concert they play in my corner of the globe, without a problem. In the states, however, it's a completely different story. Does it really matter that The Hip are far more successful at home than down south? Does that in any way make them less gifted as musicians or inferior to Sum 41 or other Canadian acts who have found success in America? Sadly, in the eyes of many a Canadian, it does.

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceClaude Ryan was 79. He was best known across Canada as the cerebral leader of the provincial federalist forces that defeated Rene Levesque in the 1980 referendum.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I just had a thought after reading your Lennox Lewis entries... Although it's different in a way, how do you feel about Canadian celebrities moving to the U.S. after they become big? I can't help feeling like they deserted us in a way...

It's quite different. It all comes down to arenas. To be the best at what you do you have to play in the biggest arena. The best hockey player in the world has to play in the NHL, the best basketball player has to take his skills to the NBA and the best comedic actors eventually have to move to the U.S.

I would guess Canada produces more comedic actors per capita than any other nation on the planet. Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Dan Ackryoyd, John Candy, Martin Short, Phil Hartman, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Howie Mandel, Rick Moranis, Tom Green, Norm MacDonald, Tommy Chong, Michael J. Fox, The Kids in the Hall and Eric McCormack are all Canadian, just to name a few. To reach the top of their chosen profession, all of the above had to work out of the USA and I don't judge them for it in the least. They remain Canadian through and through, they just happen to earn top dollar in the land of Hollywood because they wouldn't have the same opportunities at home.

A boxer or a tennis player can reach the top and compete with the best regardless of what country they represent. If Tiger Woods happened to be from Newfoundland, he'd still be the best player on the tour. Lennox Lewis could have accomplished everything he accomplished under the Maple Leaf and Greg Rusedski should have competed for the country of his birth.

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Grammys Recap

GrammysNot bad... I actually watched the whole thing last night and thought it was pretty good. The White Stripes were awesome, the Foo Fighters were great and the tribute to funk was extremely entertaining. I even enjoyed the performances by artists I don't otherwise get a chance to catch like Beyonce and Christina Aguilera. Andre 3000 of Outkast closed with Hey Ya! and it was a fitting end to a fairly good night of music.

Stuff I thought was interesting...I had forgotten how good a performer Prince could be. If he wasn't so damn weird I'll bet he could have produced a great deal more good music...The Warren Zevon tribute was touching but I couldn't help wondering why Johnny Cash's death didn't warrant a similar tribute. The man in black had a far greater influence on those in attendance than Warren Zevon...Justin Timberlake is quite the wussy. CBS told him he had to apologize for this antics from the previous Sunday and he did just that...Yoko Ono must have had to bite the inside of her cheek when she mumbled that it was John and the other three who brought music to the world. She couldn't even mention the "other three" by name...Chris Martin of Coldplay was the only one who even approached a political topic when he openly hoped John Kerry would become the next President of the USA. He's also the only one who praised the life of Johnny Cash while accepting an award...A highlight had to be the mic troubles experienced by Celine Dion. Although she handled it well, it's always fun when something screws up on life television...Staying up for the Grammys enabled me to watch the Raptors claw back against the Warriors before winning it in overtime. Awesome.

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Our Lennox Lewis

Lennox LewisA couple of days ago I lamented in this space about Lennox Lewis and how conflicted I was with his success. He became a dominant heavyweight while fighting for Britain despite growing up in Kitchener and winning a gold medal for Canada at the '88 Olympics.

I just read an excellent article in yesterday's Globe and Mail by Stephen Brunt in which he sums the entire conflict up perfectly. I'm posting his closing remarks below as I couldn't have said it better myself. Brunt nails it.

So what does a man with more money than he'll ever be able to spend, with the option of living anywhere and doing anything, do now? He builds a great big house for him and his wife-to-be.

In Kitchener. Ontario. Canada.

If Canadians had known that, in the end, he was always coming home, that he never really left, that he was flying a flag of financial convenience all along, they'd have had a lot easier time embracing his accomplishments as those of one of their own.

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Swears

SwearsAs I wrote back in November, I've successfully managed to eliminate my use of swear words around James. James is at an age where he emulates and therefore mimics his Mommy and daddy and I don't want him dropping the f-bomb at the park, in the mall or in front of grandma.

Having said that, I have no problem listening to music that contains curse words while in his presence. One glance at the playlist of the mix I made yesterday for us to headbang to will tell you that. A number of those tracks contain language I would never use in front of him. I know my son, and at this time he's not hearing the lyrics being screaming into the mic. He hears there is music and he'll enjoy the beat but he hasn't a clue what's being said and he'd never be able to mimic them. In time, this will change, and in time I'm sure I'll be somewhat censoring the tunes he listens to. "Killing in the Name Of" can be replaced by "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Bad Habit" can be put aside for "Even Flow". For now, no worries.

For the record, I in no way believe James hearing swears will in any way corrupt him. Bad words are not what create disrespectful citizens, murderers, thugs and theives. It's colourful language, but it's just language. In the songs I listen to that use them, this language is used passionately to express a level of frustration and/or anger. It's not used to glorify crime, rape or murder. The message is more of an issue to me than the language used to transmit it.

I don't want James to hear daddy drop the f-bomb but if the movie we're watching does, I don't worry about it. James we'll be fine. We'll make sure of that.

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Grammys 2004

GrammysI have a decision to make. Do I waste my time watching the Grammys tonight? In previous blog entries I've sworn off these horrible award shows with the exception of the MTV Video Music Awards, MTV Movie Awards and perhaps the always entertaining Brit Awards. Clearly, if I were to obey my own rules, I'd be staying clear of the whole crapfest tonight. Unfortunately, I'm intrigued by a couple of the performances.

Outkast will perform and will be joined onstage by George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Robert Randolph & the Family Band for a tribute to funk music. That's something I don't want to miss. There is also a scheduled performance by The White Stripes, one of my favourite bands these days. Grammy.com also lists the Foo Fighters as performing and I'm a big fan of them as well. Throw in a tribute to Warren Zevon and I'll probably tune in. I'm so weak.

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"Listen, I may have lost my freakishly long legs in the war of 2012, but I have one thing you'll never have: a soul. And freckles."
      - Conan O'Brien on Futurama

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A Very Good Sign

FamilyLast night, after reading James his bedtime story, he steadfastly refused to go to sleep without his baseball glove.

I've never been more proud.

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Head Banging

Head BangingThis afternoon with Taryn out running errands for a few hours it was James and daddy time. I decided to make a mix of tunes that really rock heavy. I wanted music we could bang our heads and jump around to for 80 minutes.

I didn't want more than one tune from the same artist and I wanted it to be fast enough to promote an acceptable level of mania. I examined my collection and widdled down my initial 180 minutes of music to the following tracks.

1. Ministry - Jesus Built My Hotrod : I've always loved this tune. I needed something off Psalm 69, and this track won out in the end thanks to its relentless assault. It's also a great opening track with the wisdom "there was only one thing that I could do was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long".

2. System of a Down - Chop Suey! : Another full throttle attack in musical form. This mix had to be killer fast and Chop Suey! accomplishes this mission each and every time. "Why have you forsaken me, In your eyes forsaken me".

3. Disturbed - Down With the Sickness : I knew I was going to have to stick a Disturbed track on this one, but which one? I thought about Liberate and Prayer but returned to this doozy because it's loud and fast and still my favourite Disturbed tune. "Open up your hate, and let it flow into me".

4. Drowning Pool - Bodies : This has become a tune I reach for when I just need to bang my head for a few minutes. The lead singer is dead now, and that's a shame. This is a heavy track. "Driven by hate consumed by fear, Let the bodies hit the floor".

5. Slipknot - Wait and Bleed : I wouldn't call myself a Slipknot fan but I'm definitely a "Wait and Bleed" fan. This is the one Slipknot song with a melody but it still thrashes. "I wander over where you can't see... Inside my shell, I wait and bleed".

6. Beastie Boys - Time For Livin' : This song is short but sweet. It's a great Beastie Boys track for increasing the heart rate. It fit well on this mix. "I said ain't nobody got the pain I can hear, But if I have to I will yell in your ear".

7. Rage Against the Machine - Killing in the Name : You knew RATM was going to be represented on this mix, and is there a better RATM song than this? Awesome energy, just awesome. "Some of those that work forces, are the saints that burn crosses".

8. Outkast - Bombs Over Baghdad : Few song rock as hard as this one from Hip Hop giants Outkast. It's bloody fast and damn good. Play it loud, play it proud, BOB never gets old. "Don't even bang unless you plan to hit something".

9. Soundgarden - Jesus Christ Pose : I was trying to stay away from the big four, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, but I slipped because this mix had to have "Jesus Christ Pose" on it. I remember when I first heard this song over a decade ago. It blew my mind then and it blows my mind today. "And you stare at me in your Jesus Christ pose. Arms held out like it's the coming of the Lord".

10. Public Enemy - Welcome to the Terrordome (X-Games Remix) : This track makes it because of the guitar added for the X Games Soundtrack. The original is a great tune, but the extra guitar makes it that much heavier and a worthy addition to this 80 minutes of mania. "I got so much trouble on my mind I refuse to lose, Here's your ticket - Hear the drummer get wicked".

11. Incubus - Megalomaniac : Admittedly, this song was promoted because it's a tune I'm really into this week. It's got some fast and heavy parts, but other parts that are much, much slower than the preceeding tunes. Still, I'm diggin' it and I'm not sick of it yet. "Hey megalomaniac, You're no Jesus. Yeah, you're no f*cking Elvis".

12. Papa Roach - Last Resort : Still heavy after all these years. Whenever assembling a mix of this nature, "Last Resort" must be taken into consideration. "Losing my sight, losing my mind. Wish somebody would tell me I'm fine".

13. Limp Bizkit - Faith : Fred Durst screams his way through a cover of George Michael's "Faith" and it works. Ya gotta turn the volume to 11 to fully appreciate this one. Strangely addictive. "Well it takes a stong man baby but I'm, uh, showing you that door".

14. Cypress Hill - Rock Superstar : Cypress Hill recorded two versions of this song. "Rap Superstar" was the hip hop version while this "Rock Superstar" was the rock version. What can I say? It rocks. "Comin' up in the world, don't trust no body. Gotta look over your shoulder constantly".

15. Toadies - Possum Kingdom : I think this is one of the most underrated songs in the history of music. You hear so little about it and it never gets airplay. I think it's a classic. Although, like "Megalomaniac", it's a little softer than the other tunes it has a killer chorus that had James and I hoppin'. "I'll treat you well, my sweet angel, so help me Jesus".

16. Audioslave - Cochise : I considered disqualifying this tune from the mix because both Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine had already been represented, but I dig it so much I had to keep it. It's just a heavy tune and I love it. "Go and save yourself. Take it out on me".

17. Tracy Bonham - Mother Mother : What the hell happened to Tracy Bonham? This track was killer and then she was gone. I think it's one of the finest rock songs ever performed by a female. "I'm hungry, I'm dirty, I'm losing my mind, Everything's fine".

18. Offspring - Bad Habit : Pure adenaline. James and I were moshing big time to this sucker. Just thinking about this tune sends my heart rate through the roof. If you ever need to get psyched up for something, give "Bad Habit" a spin. "Drivers are rude, Such attitudes, But when I show my piece, Complaints cease".

19. Danzig - Mother : If you're going to close 80 minutes of head banging tunage, this is the ideal closer. It's a live version from the MTV Buzz Bins compilation. Just check out the lyrical content. "Father, Do you wanna bang heads with me? Do you wanna feel everything? Oh father".

I'll tell you this. James and I blasted this mix and jumped around and banged our heads like fools. It was awesome. The next time Taryn goes out, we're doing it again.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Re: Your "Carb Addict" Entry

Eat carbs - they give you energy. Just work them off and you won't feel so guilty about it. But you have to MAKE time to do that. You might have to give up something you do in your day or tape your favourite show(s). Reward yourself and you won't feel so bad about it. If you're serious about it and want to keep enjoying your carbs without gaining weight, you'll do it.

You only live once and carbs are good, comfort food. That's the way I look at it. If there's something I want, I'm gonna have it. I could be gone tomorrow.

There are enough unpleasant things in this world. NOT indulging your taste buds shouldn't be one of them.

Bon appetit!

     Annemarie

torontomike.com is becoming a forum for the benefits of exercise. my mom recently commented on Vanessa and Marc's guest blog entries on this very subject.

Are you guys trying to tell me something?

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Goin' to Conan

Goin' to ConanLast week I wrote about the fact my brother Steve scored two tickets to see Conan O'Brien tape his Late Night talk show here in Toronto. Guess who's getting the second ticket? Yours truly.

I think this will be a very cool experience. I'm going to Thursday's taping and I'll blog all the details on this site. Through my eyes you will all get a peek behind the scenes of "Late Night With Conan O'Brien".

Scheduled guests are Adam Sandler and Stompin' Tom Conners. Stay tuned!

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Carb Addict

Carb AddictHigh protein/low carb diets are all the rage these days. Dr. Robert C. Atkin's praised such a diet back in 1972 and recently his theories have been validated by some credible studies. Every week we're reading about another chain restaurant introducing low or no carb menu items to satisfy the thousands on this diet trying to lose those extra pounds. People are actually ordering hamburgers without the bun and skipping the fries completely.

If in fact carbs are the problem, I'm toast. Really, you can bury me now. My name is Mike and I'm a carb addict.

For me it's all about the carbs. I love bread. Give me a fresh kaiser, croissant or French stick and I'm a happy man. Nothing pleases me more than a piece of toast. If you offerred me any meal in the world right now, I very well may choose a nice meat lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs or a fresh pepperoni pizza. I could eat cereal all day long if I had too. Most of my favourite meals are loaded with carbohydrates.

As the world collectively reduces their carb intake, I find myself left behind. I don't really have a choice, I'm addicted to carbs. Guess what I'm eating tonight? That's right, pasta. Sigh.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Oh, everything's too damned expensive these days. This Bible cost 15 bucks! And talk about a preachy book! Everybody's a sinner! Except this guy."

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveMy Favourite Toronto Blue Jay Position Players of All-Time

  1. George Bell
  2. Roberto Alomar
  3. Carlos Delgado
  4. Tony Fernandez
  5. Joe Carter

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I agree with Mary, the Super Bowl, whether it be half-time or the game, isn't suitable for young children at the best of times, so in my opinion, people who allow them to watch it, do so at their own risk, taking the chance that something inappropriate may be seen or heard.

I agree, hopefully parents don't rip each other's clothes off to reveal piercings in front of children, not that there's anything wrong with piercings. I've always thought they were neat and a form of individual creative expression. As a result, I've always thought about getting some, but I don't know if I have the pain threshold. I had my ears pierced when I was 3 and still remember my screams echoing through Square One in my birthplace of Mississauga. Therefore, I admire anyone who has piercings in other body parts. The more odd the piercing, the more interesting. If all piercings were the same, the world would be boring.

I agree, there's nothing wrong with nudity and I'm sure Justin ripping off the piece of Janet's bodice to reveal her bare breast with metal solar medallion nipple piercing was agreed upon by Janet and Justin and rehearsed. I knew Janet had a nipple piercing, but I'm sure she doesn't wear that medallion everyday and that her clothes don't rip off that easily. I'm sure there was a hook, a button, something... I think Janet and Justin have also been linked in the past, so I'm sure they're comfortable with each other.

Janet and Justin are music artists and artists in the music industry do these things. Their sexuality is an integral part of who they are and what they do. I like Janet and Justin and everything they do. Janet is one of my favourite female artists, she has a good personality, is very creative, talented and beautiful, so maybe I'm biased. I have her "Velvet Rope" CD and her "Live in Hawaii" DVD, so it doesn't come as much of a surprise that she bared her breast at the Super Bowl half-time show. I also have Justin's "Justified" CD and went to his and Christina Aguilera's "Justified & Stripped" concert at the ACC, so maybe I have a greater appreciation for the whole thing. Freedom of creative sexual expression is something I appreciate. Go Madonna, Christina, Britney, Justin, Janet and others. I may just go watch Janet Live in Hawaii, listen to Velvet Rope or Justified after I submit this.

This could be argued 'till the cows come home. This entertainment news story has been blown out of proportion and is receiving WAY more attention than it should. It was only a boob. I think we should stop being so hard on J & J. Don't worry Janet and Justin, I won't hold it against ya and you still both have a place in my CD & DVD collection.

     Anonymous

I agree with one thing you wrote. This story has been blown way out of proportion and is receiving way more attention than it should. It was just a boob but what should we expect from a country founded by puritans. As for your taste in music, it's horrible. There will never be a place in my CD and DVD collection for Janet or Justin. Yuck.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Re: Your Pot Holes Entry

I agree. I took a course in Mississauga for a month and drove the 401 west to the 403 and the drive there and back wasn't pleasant in some spots. Wheel alignment isn't cheap! Fix our roads, dammit!

     Annemarie

"Fix our roads, dammit!" I think we've got our rallying cry. The current Minister of Transportation for the province of Ontario is Harinder Takhar. There is a form on the MTO site to contact him. He "welcomes your comments and inquiries". If we all share our rallying cry "Fix our roads, dammit!" with him, it can't hurt, can it?

If you want to bombard him with snail mail, here's the address:

Ministry of Transportation
Corporate Correspondence Unit
3rd Floor, Ferguson Block
77 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1Z8

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Pot Holes

Pot HolesDo any of you drive on the 400 series highways around Toronto? Driving along the 401 Westbound past the Allen Expressway these days I encounter a series of pot holes that better resemble giant craters. These suckers are awfully deep and awfully wide. I've also been encountering a series of massive pot holes on the 404 Northbound around Steeles. It's getting ugly out there.

One such hole was so large I had no choice but to go into Bo and Luke Duke mode. I'm in the General Lee and I'm taking flight...will the boys make it and successfully lose Roscoe P. Coltrane following in hot pursuit? Yeeeeeeeeeeee hawwwww!

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Lennox Lewis

Lennox LewisWorld heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis has announced his retirement from professional boxing. Lewis leaves with a 41-1-2 record, and is the first reigning world heavyweight champion to quit since Rocky Marciano in 1956.

Lennox Lewis dominated heavyweight boxing waving the Union Jack for his native Britain. Canadians will be quick to remind you that he moved to Canada at the age of nine and honed his skills here winning the 1988 Seoul Olympic super-heavyweight gold medal for the True North Strong and Free. I have mixed feelings about this entire situation. Unlike that traitor Greg Rusedski, Lennox Lewis was actually born in England. In fact, he spent nine years there before moving to Canada, so it's hard to fault him for returning home to fight under the flag of his homeland. Still, he learned to box in Kitchener, Ontario and won a Gold medal for Canada. Calling him "Canadian", however, became quite a stretch.

When Canadian Donovon "Razor" Ruddock failed to win his rematch with Mike Tyson, it appeared as if we had missed our chance to have a serious rooting interest in boxing. Then, Iron Mike was sent to the slammer and it appeared as if Razor Ruddock would have as good a shot as anyone. On October 31, 1992 Ruddock faced Lennox Lewis himself with the winner getting an opportunity to take on Evander Holyfield for the belt. Lennox Lewis destroyed "Razor" and he was never the same. Lewis went on to secure the championship and even though I claimed there was a Canadian champion, I never believed the words I was saying. He was, in fact, British.

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Maple Leafs 5, Senators 4

Go Leafs Go!Holy shit! Down 4-0 to the Sens last night at the Corel Centre there was no chance the Maple Leafs were taking home two points. Not a prayer. Chalk the loss on the board and stick a fork in this puppy it's done like dinner. But wait...something awesome happened...something wonderful.

Five goals in succession brought the blue and white way back to steal this one in overtime. The Northeast Division lead is now four as we head into the all-star break. Wicked.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
30-14-8-3
71 points
5-4 Win vs. Ottawa Senators M. Sundin - 52
B. McCabe - 35
G. Roberts - 34

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Yes, the human body is a beautiful thing and yes children usually do see their parents naked, but I highly doubt that most parents rip each others clothes off to reveal odd piercings in front of their children -- there is nothing natural about that.

There is nothing wrong with nudity as long as it is presented in a positive manner. When I have children I will definitely take them to art galleries and museums where the human body is represented as natural and beautiful. I would never want my children to be ashamed of their bodies or their sexuality, but I do not think that ripping a women's shirt off to reveal her bare breast in front of millions of people is at all positive. I think it only perpetuates the image that women are mere sexual objects. Is that something that we want to teach children?

     Vanessa

Yes Vanessa, yet it is. Just kidding!

In all seriousness, your beef is with Anonymous. Does Anonymous wish to respond?

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I'm very comfortable with nudity and even though I was shocked to see what Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake did on TV at the Superbowl half-time show, I liked it. I value and appreciate artists and actors expressing themselves freely. We are sexual beings, why repress that? Celebrities pull stunts like that to help their careers, so why does it come as such a surprise? Bad publicity is good publicity. I was disappointed when I bought a copy of "The Simple Life" on DVD and Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie's swearing that adds to the hilarity of their situations is censored like it is on TV. "The Osbournes" isn't censored and I think it's worse. What many people witnessed on Sunday at the half-time Superbowl show was no worse than what most children see at home I'm sure. Parents and older family members change, take showers/baths, etc., forgetting that younger family members are closeby. Is that "different" in some way? The human body is a beautiful, natural thing.

     Anonymous

I've officially received more Guest Blog entries on this topic than any other. You can scroll down to read my initial entry about the harmlessness of a little boob flash and the following Guest Blog entries.

To put this into perspective, Janet Jackson's breast has become the most searched-for image in net history. Prior to this week, the most-searched event in the history of The Lycos 50 over a one-day period was September 11. That's right, Janet Jackson's breast was a more popular search on Monday than September 11 was in the hours and days following that disaster. Enough said.

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Great News!

Baby Number TwoI have great news to share. Taryn and I are expecting our second child.

The whole James experience has been so amazing we simply had to make a sequel. We had an ultrasound today. It's early yet, but so far so good.

I'm sure there are things in this world I'm really good at, but what they are I'm not certain. What I do know is that I'm a good father and I'm totally psyched about the opportunity to do this again. Bring it on!

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

I would like to argue that a half-time is probably not suitable for young children at the best of times. I have seen a few Super Bowl half-times and can actually say that whether a breast was revealed or not the sexual content was quite explicit. The Super Bowl is designed to attract male audiences who want a certain amount of spice and would be interested in nothing less. Therefore I would argue that Janet Jackson's breast is certainly not the only thing that might not be appropriate for a young child to see during half-time. The commercials are quite explicit as are the outfits of most performers. Sex sells and this is very much a central focus when lining up these performances. I also recall hearing quite the colourful language from the players themselves during the game.

     Mary

This discussion goes back to Vanessa's Guest Blog Entry about my entry about the harmlessness of a little boob flash.

Yes, sex sells. It always has and it always will. They sell shampoo with sex, soda with sex and gum with sex. Every other video getting heavy rotation on MuchMusic or MTV is drenched in sex. The Super Bowl half-time show was no different.

It seems everything is offensive to someone. I just read about all the outrage being directed at Kid Rock for his half-time performance. The Veterans of Foreign Wars don't like the fact the poncho Kid Rock wore was made by cutting a slit in an American flag. They want to know why the media isn't making a bigger deal out of this "extremely disrespectful" act.

Will it never end? Next year they should just show dogs doing tricks like I once saw at the ACC during half-time of a Raptors game. Of course, that will just piss off PETA.

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A Real Hoser

HoserI'm a hoser, eh! SCTV gave us Bob and Doug McKenzie and The Great White North. Hosers were liberated once and for all. I've never felt so free thanks to these trail blazers.

As a true hoser, I never leave home without my hoser ID tucked away safely in my wallet. You never know when you're going to have to prove you're a real hoser.

If you're a real hoser but haven't yet been certified as such, apply for your ID card here.

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Maple Leafs 1, Blackhawks 4

Go Leafs Go!The Blackhawks have a horrible road record and hadn't beaten a team from the Northeast division this season. The Maple Leafs outshot them last night by a 44-15 margin. All of the above suggest the Leafs should have won handily last night, but they didn't. We'll file this one in the "ex"-files.

Five points were tallied by former Maple Leaf players now suiting up for Chicago. Nathan Dempsey, Steve Sullivan and Bryan Berard lit the lamp to bury their former squad. If we beat Ottawa on Thursday, all will be forgiven.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
29-14-8-3
69 points
4-1 Loss vs. Chicago Blackhawks M. Sundin - 51
G. Roberts - 34
J. Nieuwendyk - 30

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Canadian All-Star

Canadian All-StarJamaal Magloire was named to the Eastern Conference all-star team this afternoon. The Toronto native is now the second Canadian ever selected to play in the NBA all-star game following Steve Nash who was selected twice. He's averaging a career-high 11.7 points and 9.4 rebounds a game this season for the New Orleans Hornets.

Considering as recently as 2001 it could be said no Canadian had ever participated in this game, I'd say we're on quite the hot streak. We've now been represented three years in a row by two different players. Damn, Magloire would look good in a Raptors uniform, wouldn't he. Hmmm.

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SLS Submission

SLS SubmissionI've just submitted a song via the Smells Like Sour website for SLS11 consideration.

Well, I didn't actually submit this song, but I was on my way to submit it when I saw it was already submitted. I was going to submit "Sic Transit Gloria..Glory Fades" by Brand New. In a nutshell, I like the song. I think it has to be considered when it comes time to pick the best 80 minutes of new rock from the past six months for SLS11. It's also a very cool title for a tune. As always, you'll be able to see the final SLS11 playlist here some time in late June.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

RE: Your "Boobies" Blog

I think the issue here is the appropriateness of Janet Jackson's breast exposure considering the fact that the Superbowl has a wide audience that includes children. Nudity on television is not uncommon, but there is usually a warning at the beginning of programs that contain nudity. It should be a person's own choice as to whether they or their children view such programs.

There is nothing wrong with nudity in general, but there is an appropriate time and place for it, especially when it is sexualized, and the Superbowl is not one of them.

     Vanessa

Ok, as I wrote yesterday, I'll be the first to say the Super Bowl half-time show probably isn't an appropriate venue for such a stunt. It's prime-time, there are millions of children watching and the last thing a parent expects is the exposure of a woman's breast. That being said, it was just a boob. I'm still flabbergasted at the outcry this has received. Justin and Janet were naughty and they should promise never to do that again but we as a society are grossly overreacting. How uptight can you get?

In Europe, this would have hardly raised an eyebrow. We go to such lengths to hide even the slightest bit of nudity that we're forcing it underground into something very dirty and wrong and I'm not sure that's a very healthy attitude. In the end, it was a brief second of a breast with the nipple covered in some freaky ornament and a wide-shot at that. I don't think we needed to make a federal case out of it. Now it is just that.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

My top 5 complaints:

1. The price of Gas
2. A Very Cold Winter
3. The price of Leafs tickets
4. 407 Tolls
5. Saturns (gonna buy a mustang again)

     Tim

Well said.

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The Other Torontos

Other TorontosThere was a cool article in the Toronto Star this weekend about the other Torontos. In addition to my fair city there are eight other Torontos throughout the world. Below is the location and population of these fair cities.

  • Toronto, Texas - Population: 0
  • Toronto, Missouri - Population: Less than 100
  • Toronto, Kansas - Population: 312
  • Toronto, Australia - Population: 30,074
  • Toronto, Iowa - Population: 134
  • Toronto, U.K. - Population: 400
  • Toronto, South Dakota - Population: 202
  • Toronto, Ohio - Population: 5,676

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Boobies

BoobiesAs we all know by now, Justin Timberlake had the audacity to rip Janet Jackson's dress during the Super Bowl half-time show yesterday, exposing her right breast. Everyone is claiming this was an unplanned accident, but we know better.

I just read the Federal Communications Commission has released a statement concerning the exposed breast. Chairman Michael Powell has "instructed the commission to open an immediate investigation into last night's broadcast". From what I've read, a number of people are most unhappy. There is outrage in the United States over Janet's boobie.

I'll be the first to say the Super Bowl half-time show probably isn't an appropriate venue for such a stunt, but aren't we going overboard just a little? For reasons I'll never understand, Americans are far more comfortable watching someone open fire killing a dozen people than they are seeing a brief glimpse of a woman's breast. Blood and gore is fine but nudity of any kind is strictly forbidden on over-the-air television channels in the United States. Here in Canada, we're slightly more relaxed on the issue. CTV will run "The Sopranos" uncut and CBC will frequently air movies with uncensored nudity. City TV practically airs pornography some nights without a problem. I think this is a healthier approach to the naked body. It can be a beautiful thing, why treat is so severely?

A little boob exposure here and there won't kill anyone. Consider me pro-boob.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's FavouritesSuper Bowl Commercials - This link will be most appreciated by my fellow Canadians who missed out on all the good Super Bowl commercials Americans were watching on CBS. Instead, we enjoyed some fine promos for Mike Bullard and Train 48 on Global TV. Be sure to watch the very funny MasterCard ad featuring Homer Simpson. Doh!

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Groundhog Day

Groundhog DayIf there's a more useless day than Groundhog Day, I've yet to hear about it. Every year on this day we hear whether some special groundhog saw his shadow or not as if this information will tell us how many weeks of winter we can expect. As silly as it is, every year you check to see if we're getting six more weeks or not and then about 4 minutes later you forget all about it.

If you're curious, Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania and our very own Wiarton Willie saw their shadow while Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia didn't. By a final score of 2-1 we're getting another six weeks of winter. Whoopie.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

As a recent victim of bank card fraud, I would like to remind everyone to protect their pin number. Simply covering the key pad with your hand may help to prevent a thief from gaining access to your account. Also, I have been told that you should never let anyone else touch your debit card, namely store clerks. Always swipe your card yourself.

Unfortunately, I had to learn these lessons the hard way!

     Vanessa

Look on the bright side Vanessa, you couldn't have lost much. Besides, if you deny the Conan O'Brien tickets, you might just see your coin magically reappear.

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Guest Blog Entry

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to torontomike.com. I received the following submission earlier today.

Am I the only one who *didn't* think that the first half of the Superbowl was "a dog"? Surely I can't be the only person who appreciates a good defense? I personally love watching a linebacker come out of nowhere to stuff a run behind the line of scrimmage, or to make a huge sack. I love watching the linemen push the pocket in around the QB, forcing a mistake or a lost opportunity at the very least.

I actually found the first half far more interesting, wondering what the heck either team was going to try next to break out and get some points on the board. I would have been a very happy camper had the game ended after 30 minutes. The second half was fine, but it was, well, ordinary. I couldn't get pumped up at all for New England to make that last drive, because that's what they *always* do. Vineteri actually missing two field goals early on, now that was exciting.

     Mike Hollick

Prior to Tom Brady's pass to Deion Branch with 3:11 to go in the first half I thought both sides were playing scared. I didn't see it so much as two great defenses but more like two inept offences. Carolina didn't look like they were going to get a first down all night. I hear what you're saying about appreciating good defense but I can't say I loved this game until the flurry at the close of the second quarter. I think the final quarter was extremely entertaining and hardly "ordinary".

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Define "New"

Defining NewThis past weekend I heard a DJ on CFNY Edge 102 announce in all sincerity the following: "New Rock First from Edge 102 this is Nickelback with Someday". I've also heard them use this "New Rock First" intro in the past week while introducing Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?" and Three Days Grace's "I Hate Everything About You".

How are they defining "new" exactly? I realize "new" is a relative term, but in the world of music shouldn't they refrain from using it before introducing a song that was on heavy rotation four months ago? "Someday" is hardly "new rock first". In fact, as a single it's already been played and their follow-up single "Figured You Out" is currently getting spun about a dozen times a day.

Still, this pales in comparison to the stunt pulled by "The New VR". CKVR changed its name to "The New VR" about a decade ago. One would assume they'd drop the "new" part after about six months or so, but it's still there. "The New VR" has become the old VR.

Then there's the tale of Mojo Radio, "The All-New AM 640". I don't know if they've finally dropped the "All-New" part of their intro, but I heard it fairly recently and they've been Mojo Radio for about two years now.

Remembering when "new" actually meant new, this is "The New torontomike.com"

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Patriots 32, Panthers 29

Super BowlLate in the second quarter it was beginning to look as if Super Bowl XXXVIII was going to be a dog. There was virtually no offense to speak of, then, all of a sudden, a flurry of offense finished off the half and we had ourselves a game.

The final quarter was great. We saw the longest play in Super Bowl history and a see-saw battle that forced steady Tom Brady to bring his troops from behind twice. Brady is now 6-0 in the post-season proving himself to be as money a quarterback as there is in the league. All I asked for was a good, close game and that's what I got. Super Bowl XXXVIII was a good one.

And lest I forget to mention the half-time show...particularly the final moment of the half-time show. How do you end a concert before the world's largest television audience? You get Justin Timberlake to rip off part of Janet Jackson's top, exposing her right breast, that's how. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw it live but I've since acquired the pictures to prove it.

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New Videos

New VideosI took some video of James today and I'm sharing three clips in Videos.

The first one, entitled "James makes animal noises", is my favourite. He does a killer cat imitation. You've got to hear it to believe it. There's another of James singing for his Cheerios and toast and a final one of him just chilling with a good book.

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"Once a newspaper touches a story, the facts are lost forever, even to the protagonists."
      - Norman Mailer

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