March 2004 Archives

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P2P Legal
Published by Toronto Mike on March 31, 2004 @ 19:36 in News

P2P LegalThe Federal Court here in Toronto has ruled the Canadian Recording Industry Association hadn't shown copyright infringement by 29 people who had allowed their music files to be uploaded. This is a significant victory for individuals who share personal copies of music files on the internet.

This ruling essentially legalizes the sharing of MP3s. Furthermore, it prohibits the CRIA from subpoenaing ISPs for the names of those doing so. Have a read of this synopsis from the Federal Court. On page 14, the judge states the following: "I cannot see a real difference between a library that places a photocopy machine in a room full of copyrighted material and a computer user that places a personal copy on a shared directory linked to a P2P service."

Wow.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 31, 2004 @ 11:46 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesNewsmap - Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator. "A treemap visualization algorithm helps display the enormous amount of information gathered by the aggregator. Treemaps are traditionally space-constrained visualizations of information. Newsmap's objective takes that goal a step further and provides a tool to divide information into quickly recognizable bands which, when presented together, reveal underlying patterns in news reporting across cultures and within news segments in constant change around the globe."

Very cool.

Potential SLS11
Published by Toronto Mike on March 31, 2004 @ 08:54 in SLS ~ Smells Like Sour

Potential SLS11We won't be unveiling the tunes that made the cut for SLS11 until late June, but I've already got a short list of songs that should make the cut. For the unaware, SLS stands for Smells Like Sour and is a theoretical compilation of the best 80 minutes of new rock from the previous six months. The SLS home page will give you access to the tunes that appeared on the first 10 editions.

It's now been over three months since we closed the books on SLS10, so without futher adieu, here are tunes that are looking good so far and a few others that are on the bubble.

Looking good...

The Strokes - Reptilia
Billy Talent - The Ex
The Offspring - (Can't Get My) Head Around You
The White Stripes - I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself
Incubus - Megalomaniac
Brand New - Sic Transit Gloria...Glory Fades
Probot - Shake Your Blood
Audioslave - What You Are
Jet - Cold Hard Bitch
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps
Switchfoot - Meant to Live
High Holy Days - All My Real Friends
Thornley - So Far So Good

On the bubble...

Linkin Park - Lying From You
Nickelback - Figured You Out
Blink 182 - I Miss you

Playoff Pool
Published by Toronto Mike on March 31, 2004 @ 07:57 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolWe will be hosting the draft for our annual hockey playoff pool this Monday, April 5th @ 6:15 pm. If you're a hockey fan, I know you and you're able to attend this draft in Toronto, please contact me and I'll share with you the pertinent details.

Last year I loaded up on Leafs, Stars and Lightning. As you will see here, I didn't have a player remaining after the second round. Playoff pools are always exciting because you must draft those who will produce, and just as importantly, those who will play. If you're not participating, you can still follow all the action here. I'll post everyone's team on April 6th.

Heartbreak and Hope
Published by Toronto Mike on March 30, 2004 @ 18:26 in

Heartbreak and HopeThis is my fourth attempt at writing this blog entry. I just received some very sad news from my brother Ryan.

Ryan and Kara learned today that one of twins they were expecting has passed on. Apparently, this is always a possibility at this stage when you're carrying twins, but this fact hasn't lessened the sadness I feel for them. When I heard the news, my heart sunk. I can't imagine how Ryan and Kara feel right now. When Ryan told me on the phone, I wept.

I entitled this entry "Heartbreak and Hope". There is much hope, for Kara is carrying a healthy boy. I have no doubts they will make exceptional parents giving their son all the love they can muster. My intention is to be the best uncle possible and I can't wait to get started. I strongly believe everything happens for a reason and we must trust that today's events did not transpire in vain. Out of this sadness will emerge a beautiful baby to love and cherish. This is going to be one lucky boy.

The TTC Subway Turns 50
Published by Toronto Mike on March 30, 2004 @ 13:46 in TTC ~ Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

The TTCShe's always been there for me. As a child, she would take me to Carlton station to watch a Maple Leafs game or Dundas station to visit the Eaton Centre. The Dufferin bus was always there when I had tickets to a Blue Jays game at Exhibition Stadium but the Bathurst streetcar was suffice too. Working at the CNE for three years, the express bus from Dundas West station made the most sense. Wherever I had to go, she could take me there. In the years before I owned a car, we were extremely close. Daily rides to and from Islington station for high school, St. George and Queens Park station for university, the Dufferin bus to the grocery store when I couldn't bike and exits at the Yonge/Bloor stop for flicks at the Uptown theatre. My memories of her are rich and varied. She's always been there for me when I needed her.

Today, she's 50 years young. Have a gander at her photo album. She's not perfect, but she's ours.

New Ticket Stub Added
Published by Toronto Mike on March 30, 2004 @ 13:31 in

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 Leafs game I attended on last night.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 30, 2004 @ 12:30 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeaceAlistair Cooke was 95. He was the broadcaster who epitomized highbrow television as host of "Masterpiece Theatre" and whose "Letter from America" was a radio fixture in Britain for 58 years.

Maple Leafs 4, Thrashers 2
Published by Toronto Mike on March 30, 2004 @ 08:20 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!From where I was sitting, the Leafs looked very strong last night. I was 16 rows up with an excellent view of the net every Leaf goal was scored into. A glance at my collection of Ticket Stubs will show you I've seen most of my games from the old greys at Maple Leaf Gardens or the ACC equivalent. I had never been as close to the action as I was last night.

Although things looked a little rough early in the first, the blue and white quickly turned things around. My brother Steve and I had an exceptional view of Brian Leetch's partial breakaway that led to Tie Domi's opening marker. Our top line was flying as well with Gary Roberts, Mats Sundin and Alexander Mogilny all having big nights.

On a personal note, I would like to thank Steve for the ticket and congratulate him on catching a puck. During the warm ups, an unidentified Thrasher took a shot that rebounded off the crossbar and just cleared the net above the glass. It ended up hitting Steve on his thigh and he ended up with a very cool souvenir. He's had to watch in envy while I caught a couple of balls at SkyDome off the bats of Richie Sexson and Shannon Stewart respectfully, but I was the one turning green last night when he ended up with the vulcanized rubber. It was a great night.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
43-24-10-3
99 points
Tied for 1st in Division
4-2 vs. Atlanta
2-2 Tie vs. Ottawa
3-0 Win vs. Boston
M. Sundin - 74
B. McCabe - 50
O. Nolan - 47
Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 29, 2004 @ 15:03 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Tomorrow at 2 pm I will almost certainly find out the sex of the twins that Kara and i are soon to have. I found myself getting more nervous every day that passed. I imagined it was because I was hoping for a boy and a girl in one shot. I think it would be amazing to have one of each and get to experience two miracles, so similar.. and yet... so different.

Then I began thinking that we were having two boys, as Kara feels that is probably the case, and often women know these things and can feel them. Two boys would be awesome. I'd help one to become an NHL player, and the other to rock the mic in front of 50,000 at Molson Park.

Of course, we could always have two girls. Two girls would be great for so many reasons... and then I begin to see a little more clearly as to why I am getting so nervous about the next ultrasound tomorrow....

Whether it be one of each, two boys or two girls, as long as there are two humans that are healthy growing in Kara's Belly, I'm going to have a smile on my face remeniscent of Borchevsky's game winning goal against Detroit in game seven.

I want 4 arms and 4 legs, 20 fingers and 20 toes, two smiles and four eyes, a couple of noses and I'll leave the genetelia up to fate.

This ride is confusing, I am figuring things out as I go along, but it keeps life interesting, and I have yet to begin!!!

     Ryan

Don't forget to write a Guest Blog as soon as you get home from tomorrow's ultrasound so you can announce the winning combination to the world. People will be checking back here tomorrow afternoon to find out the results.

You're right, if they're healthy, it's all good. Besides, that Molson Park dream wasn't going to be possible anyways...they're developing the site for a commercial venture.

Speaking of Nikolai Borschevsky, guess where I'll be tonight? That's right, the ACC to watch our beloved Maple Leafs. Go Leafs Go!

The Reason
Published by Toronto Mike on March 29, 2004 @ 10:47 in Edge 102 ~ CFNY, Radio

The ReasonThis morning I heard Alan Cross' explanation as to why he suspended the Dean Blundell morning show on CFNY Edge 102 following a particularly rowdy appearance by Steve-O of Jackass fame on Friday morning.

According to Alan Cross, the suspension had nothing to do with the content from the show but with Dean Blundell's refusal to follow orders. Apparently, when it became apparent things were getting out of hand, Cross called the studio and ordered Blundell to cut off the guests' microphones and have security escort them out. Blundell continued with the show and that's why he's suspended. "Insubordination" is how Cross described it this morning.

In my entry of Saturday morning I expressed my concern that we were becoming a Puritan culture in much the same way our neighbours to the South are. Suddenly, everything seems to be offending someone. If it's true this suspension was a result of their failure to obey the boss, I can accept that. I was beginning to fear "The Edge" had as much edge as a bowl of Jello.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 29, 2004 @ 06:44 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeacePeter Ustinov was 82. He was an Oscar-winning British actor and author best known for films such as "Spartacus", "Death on the Nile" and "Logan's Run".

SLS Submission
Published by Toronto Mike on March 28, 2004 @ 14:33 in SLS ~ Smells Like Sour

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

I submitted "So Far So Good" by Thornley. This isn't just because Ian Thornley is a fellow Torontonian but because I think this song is pretty decent and certainly worthy of SLS11 consideration.

Although I didn't submit it, there is another tune I think we should consider. I'm referring to "All My Real Friends" by High Holy Days. I've been listening to the MP3 of this song quite a bit lately and the sound has grown on me.

The fact that Thornley and High Holy Days are both Canadian bands signed to Roadrunner Records is completely coincidental. We're just pumping out a lot of good rock lately. If you look at the great debut from Billy Talent and Three Days Grace and combine that with great new material from Ontario bands like Finger Eleven, Danko Jones, Sum41, Alexisonfire and Jersey, not to mention classic Ontario bands like The Tragically Hip and Our Lady Peace, there's definitely a strong Southern Ontario new rock scene.

Spyware
Published by Toronto Mike on March 28, 2004 @ 14:18 in My 2 Cents

SpywareA couple of months ago I got all preachy about the importance of using an effective anti-virus solution and keeping the virus definitions current. I strongly recommended the AVG Free Edition which I use.

Today, I'm going to strongly urge everyone to download and run two applications that will scan your computer for spyware. For those who don't know what spyware is, here's the definition from BlackICE: "A general term for a program that surreptitiously monitors your actions. While they are sometimes sinister, like a remote control program used by a hacker, software companies have been known to use spyware to gather data about customers. The practice is generally frowned upon."

I have had great success by using not one anti-spyware application, but two. They complement each other perfectly and they're both free. Do yourself a favour and download Spybot and Ad Aware, just don't run them simultaneously. Make sure you've downloaded the latest updates and let these applications scan your entire system. They will detect all the spyware on your computer and allow you to have it deleted. Your computer will thank you for this.

School is out. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

My Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 28, 2004 @ 08:53 in Quotes

Mike's Quote of the Week"I'm tired of it. I don't want to hear about it anymore."
      - Bill Buckner

Maple Leafs 2, Ottawa Senators 2
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2004 @ 21:43 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Thanks to a weak third period goal from Bryan McCabe, we managed to salvage a point tonight. Just as importantly, we held the Senators to a single point in the process. Boston won tonight so it looks as if the Leafs are playing for second in the Northeast division.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
42-24-10-3
97 points
2nd in Division
2-2 Tie vs. Ottawa
3-0 Win vs. Boston
7-2 Loss vs. Tampa Bay
M. Sundin - 72
B. McCabe - 50
O. Nolan - 47
SLS Submission
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2004 @ 16:33 in SLS ~ Smells Like Sour

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

I submitted "Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I must say, I really like this song. I know very little about the Yeah Yeah Yeahs but when "Maps" comes on the radio I'm all ears. It's not particularly heavy but cool in an old Pretenders kind of way.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2004 @ 15:03 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeaceJan Berry was 62. He was a member of the duo Jan & Dean that had the 1960s surf-music hits "Deadman's Curve", "Surf City" and "Little Old Lady from Pasadena".

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2004 @ 12:20 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesWorst Album Covers - This is a great collection of the worst 10 album covers of all time. You have to see these to believe these.

The Family Circus
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2004 @ 12:15 in Memories, My 2 Cents

Family CircusBil Keane's The Family Circus has graced the comic pages of the newspaper for as long as I can remember. Because the format is usually a circle with a single line "joke" and it's always there in the top left corner, I usually read it. If nothing else, The Family Circus requires the least effort to actually read.

I have never found a single Family Circus comic strip to be even the slightest bit humourous. It's just not funny. Not even a little cute or enjoyable. They're awful.

I often wonder who is reading The Family Circus and busting a gut. Who has a better day because of what PJ or Billy said or did? These people must be out there because this comic strip has survived for decades.

One good thing about The Family Circus is that their wholesome goodness makes them a tremendous target for parody. Check this and this and this out. Now that's funny.

It. Is. Over.
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2004 @ 11:04 in Toronto Raptors

It. Is. Over.Words won't accurately describe how frustrated I feel with regards to the Toronto Raptors. I almost wrote this post following the overtime loss to Houston a couple of games ago. Instead, I held off and placed the fate of our entire season on yesterday's game against the beat up Knicks. It was clear if we couldn't take out the Lenny Wilkens Knicks, we weren't making the playoffs.

Sure, Vince Carter played well. He really did. For a while, it looked like we'd even win. In the end, however, we lost by seven. Bye bye playoffs.

At the beginning of the season, I wrote the following: "I anticipate a dramatic turn around following a horrific injury riddled season last year. If Vince Carter can stay relatively healthy, a playoff position is a virtual certainty. With Lenny Wilkens out of the picture, we actually have a coach who will coach. There will be game plans and strategies implemented. I predict a sixth place finish in the Eastern Conference and an upset victory in the first round of the playoffs." Boy was I wrong.

Does Kevin O'Neill have to go? The Globe and Mail, citing multiple sources with ties to Vince Carter, suggested the Raptors' star would seek a trade during the off-season if O'Neill remains the team's coach. Does Glen Grunwald have to go? He's had plenty of time to build a winner yet here we are missing out again. As the Beastie Boys said, "Something's Got To Give". I'm way too frustrated.

And yes, I'm well aware we could still make the playoffs. Following last night's loss, we're two games out of eighth in the conference with two teams to leap frog. Trust me, you can put a fork in the 2003/2004 Toronto Raptors. They're done.

Dean Blundell Suspension
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2004 @ 08:39 in Edge 102 ~ CFNY, My 2 Cents, Radio

Dean Blundell SuspensionI got a couple of messages via the Contact Mike regarding yesterday's suspension of the Dean Blundell morning show on CFNY Edge 102. I guess my site is listed high on various searches for the station, Dean Blundell and Alan Cross. Remember, I did praise Dean's replacement when he went on holidays in December, more than once. I've never been a fan of the Dean Blundell morning show.

Yesterday, my new friend Alan Cross, Program Director at CFNY Edge 102, suspended Dean Blundell and his two cronies indefinitely as a result of guest Steve-O's antics on the show yesterday morning.

I'm hard on the FCC and their ridiculous rules that are suffocating Howard Stern's show in the United States, but I always praised Canadian air waves for giving Canadians credit for knowing how to turn the station or turn the radio off completely. I'm no longer sure we're any more progressive up here. As much as I dislike Dean Blundell as a radio host, his suspension is entirely unfair.

The story from the National Post claims Steve-O urinated on the studio floor and performed a gag he called Unwrapping the Mummy, using duct tape and his genitalia. This action got hosts Dean Blundell, Jason Barr and Todd Shapiro suspended without pay indefinitely. As I mentioned, it was an internal suspension. Alan Cross made the call, apparently a pre-emptive strike. I think it was way overboard.

Where do I begin? First of all, Steve-0 is famous for performing outlandish stunts. This is the guy who stapled his scrotum to his thigh. Unwrapping the Mummy is what you'd expect from him. Secondly, and most importantly, this is a radio show. Nobody can see the stunt. Doesn't it sound ludicrous that you can get suspended for urinating on the radio? If radio hosts are going to become 100% accountable for the actions and comments from their guests, nobody is safe. They may as well play wall to wall music... although I distinctly heard the S-word during a Sum41 song the other day, and it was the middle of the day. Where do we draw the line? What's happening to our society? Are we all to become Puritans? How f*cking boring is that?

She Moved!
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2004 @ 08:05 in Family

She MovedYesterday I referred to Taryn's free trip to Portugal. Her mom won the weeks trip from her work and Taryn was the lucky guest who got to accompany her. So, for a week it was just the two of us. Two dudes living off the land.

On Thursday night, when she returned from her European vacation, I felt her move for the first time. No, not Taryn, but Michelle. Placing my hand over Taryn's belly, there were distinct movements from my unborn daughter. It was very cool.

I remember James bouncing off the walls in there. We'll see if Michelle follows suit.

Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2004 @ 07:58 in Homer's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Oh, Marge, cartoons don't have any deep meaning. They're just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh."

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on March 26, 2004 @ 16:01 in Friday Fives

Friday FiveMy Favourite Steve Buscemi Movies (not counting his cameo in Pulp Fiction)

  1. Reservoir Dogs
  2. Fargo
  3. The Big Lebowski
  4. Ghost World
  5. Living in Oblivion
All I Got...
Published by Toronto Mike on March 26, 2004 @ 14:49 in Family, Sports

All I Got...Taryn went to Portugal and all I got was this lousy tee shirt. Actually, it's a very nice soccer shirt for the national team from Portugal, but wearing it violates one of my rules.

Thou shalt not wear paraphernalia for sports teams thou does not passionately root for. The only hockey teams logo I can wear belongs to the Maple Leafs, in Baseball it's the Blue Jays, in basketball it's the Raptors, in the CFL it's the Argos, in the NFL it's the Bills and in International soccer, when Canada hasn't made the cut, it's Ireland. I can't root for Portugal.

As I said, it's a fine shirt, and a great souvenir from her free trip to Portugal, but I can't wear it.

Maple Leafs 3, Bruins 0
Published by Toronto Mike on March 26, 2004 @ 08:04 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!There, that's better. In a true acid test for the Maple Leafs they passed with flying colours. It was an all around excellent effort.

There are few games remaining in the regular season, and both Boston and Ottawa have a game in hand, but last nights win does give us an outside chance of winning the division. Unfortunately, we don't control our own destiny. We need the Bruins to have an uncharacteristically poor week.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
42-24-9-3
96 points
2nd in Division
3-0 Win vs. Boston
7-2 Loss vs. Tampa Bay
5-2 Win vs. Colorado
M. Sundin - 72
B. McCabe - 50
O. Nolan - 47
Alan Cross' Reply
Published by Toronto Mike on March 25, 2004 @ 14:52 in Edge 102 ~ CFNY, Radio

Alan Cross' ReplyEarlier this week, I wrote Alan Cross, CFNY Edge 102 Program Director, regarding this year's Edgefest line up. He wrote me back and I posted my original email and his reply.

What I didn't mention was the fact we continued our conversation. I replied to his reply and so on... Below you will find my second email to Alan Cross and his second reply.

Thanks for the prompt and honest reply. I appreciate it.

It seems pretty clear to me your station made a concerted effort to remove Good Charlotte from the playlist. The album may have been played, but that's never stopped you from continuing to play previous hits from bands like Sum41, Blink182, Green Day and The Offspring. Despite the fact you claim they were insanely popular with a significant portion of your audience, not a trace of them can now be heard on 102.1. I believe it became apparent they were the wrong genre.

You hit the nail on the head when you wrote "the band can still sell a ton of tickets". I'm afraid this is all about popularity and making money, and radio is a business that's looking to maximize profits, so there's nothing wrong with that. I just wish you weren't promoting your signature concert series with a band that has obviously been eliminated 100% from your playlist. It just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I hate it when business interferes with the integrity of the music....almost as much as I hate the weak sound from Good Charlotte the kids are eating up.

This rant is officially over. Thanks for reading (or deleting, I'll never know). I hope you do one day make "The Ongoing History of New Music" available via the web as either a downloadable MP3 or even streamed so I can listen while I work. And keep playing the hell out of Nirvana...but try to add a little more Alice in Chains in the mix.

Thanks,
Mike

p.s. When I was 15 I worked a game booth at the CNE. You used to broadcast from there remotely. You were very cool to us - I used to bum a load of CFNY stickers from you. I'm glad you're back at the Edge.

And Alan Cross' reply...

Yep. We're all about making money. Seriously. This is the raison d'etre of any commercial radio station. BUT we're also trying to walk that fine line between art and commerce. We want to create great radio AND satisfy our owners at the same time. That's a tough, tough job, but for the most part, I think we do a pretty good job.

Keep in mind that musical relevance is highly subjective. What's crap to you is gold to someone else--and vice versa.

One more thing: Edgefest also features Alexisonfire, Jersey and Something Corporate, three highly credible bands that don't get a lot of airplay (yet) from us for different reasons. It's all for balance, you know?

I won't bore you with our further exchanges. I just thought I'd post this final exchange in an effort to close the communication loop. I still think selecting Good Charlotte as the headlining act was an act of desparation. Think of all the bands that would have made more sense. There are dozens, and apparently none were available or willing to play. They might as well have prodded Hootie and the Blowfish out of retirement to "rock" the Amphitheatre... It makes as much sense to me.

Magic Numbers
Published by Toronto Mike on March 25, 2004 @ 13:12 in Toronto Blue Jays

Magic NumbersWith spring training well underway, I was thinking about baseball the other day. Throughout the 1980s, I was as big a Blue Jays fan as I was a Maple Leafs fan. In fact, because we had such a competitive baseball team starting in 1983 while our hockey team was always a threat to finish dead last, I followed baseball and particularly Blue Jays statistics closer than any other sport or team.

My fondest memories are of the Magic Number. The Magic Number is simply the number of games that the team leading a division needs to win to ensure winning the division. If you're leading the division with ten games remaining and your Magic Number is three, you only need to win three of those ten games to ensure winning the division. Each time you win, your Magic Number goes down by one. Each time your nearest divisional competitor loses, your Magic Number also goes down by one. When your Magic Number hits zero, you've clinched the division.

During the home stretch of late August and September, I would anxiously attack our delivery of the Toronto Star and head straight for the Sports section. If the Blue Jays were leading the American League East division, and we usually were during the 1980s, there would always be a Magic Number feature. Counting that number down to zero and another Blue Jays pennant is something I fondly recall, especially that first one in 1985.

It's been a very long time since I've been aware of our Magic Number. We haven't been in the playoffs since 1993, and with the Yankees and Red Sox in the way, it doesn't look like that streak is going to end any time soon.

Oh yeah, our Magic Number right now is 163. Go Jays Go!

Irritating Cliches
Published by Toronto Mike on March 24, 2004 @ 19:09 in

Irritating ClichesThe Plain English Campaign conducted a poll of the most annoying cliches in the English language. Here are their most annoying four:

  1. At the end of the day
  2. At this moment in time
  3. like
  4. With all due respect

I'm guilty of using the fourth one, but I'm proud to claim I don't use the first three. At least not at this moment in time. Besides, at the end of the day it's still...like...English, right?

My MP3s
Published by Toronto Mike on March 24, 2004 @ 12:44 in Ch-ch-changes

My Entire MP3 CollectionIf you glance at the main navigation menu on the left, you'll notice a new link to My MP3s. As promised, I've made this page easier to access.

Since I completed my digitalization project back in December, I've made a few significant changes. First of all, I decided 128kbps wasn't quite good enough for my purposes. I re-ripped every single CD at 160kbps. This time, I pretty well ripped my entire collection, warts and all. A visit to My MP3s lists every CD in my MP3 collection and clicking the CD name will display every track on that CD. As James would say, "All done!".

The Federal Budget
Published by Toronto Mike on March 24, 2004 @ 12:16 in Politics

The BudgetI was just reading the official news release from the Government of Canada regarding the 2004 Federal Budget. One change in particular captured my attention immediately. Listed as one of the "key initiatives of the budget" was the following:

Providing a new Canada Learning Bond of up to $2,000 for every child, born after 2003, in a family that is entitled to the National Child Benefit (NCB) supplement. An initial $500 bond will be provided, with subsequent $100 annual installments for children, until age 15, in each year that the family is entitled to the NCB supplement.

$2,000 for every child born after 2003...who do I know that's having a child after 2003? Oh yeah, me. This sounds pretty good, doesn't it? But wait...it says this is paid out to families that are "entitled to the NCB supplement". Upon further review, we're making way too much money to see a penny of this $2,000. We're not making huge coin by a long shot, but when it comes to the government's definition of a low-income family that receives such benefits, we come off looking like the Rockefellers.

Four Years Flushed
Published by Toronto Mike on March 24, 2004 @ 09:05 in My 2 Cents

Back UpsA graduate student at the University of Western Ontario has been a study in anger and anxiety since her laptop, which contained research for her PhD thesis, was stolen on campus last week. Charlene Weaving, a 26-year-old set to finish her kinesiology PhD in September, took a washroom break and returned to fond her Dell laptop was gone. Her final dissertation, four years of work, was gone too.

Charlene Weaving works very differently from me. Because I spent a great many hours ripping my CD collection to MP3, I was sure to back up every file to CD. Every video and picture on my PC has also been backed up to CD. Anything that matters to me and can't be easily replaced is archived on CD in case of emergency. When it comes to computers, you just never know.

How is it possible Charlene Weaving worked four years on something this important and didn't have the sense to create a back-up she would keep at home and not in her lap top bag? Heck, I would have created a new CD every week. This was an accident waiting to happen. Poor Charlene.

Maple Leafs 2, Lightning 7
Published by Toronto Mike on March 24, 2004 @ 07:59 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!I don't even want to write a recap of this game. 100% pure shite.

I'm waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat fearing a first round match-up with New Jersey. All my playoff memories of the Leafs and Devils are bad. Please Lord, grant us the gift of Ottawa. All my playoff memories of the Leafs and Sens are good.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
41-24-9-3
94 points
2nd in Division
7-2 Loss vs. Tampa Bay
5-2 Win vs. Colorado
3-2 Win vs. Philadelphia
M. Sundin - 72
B. McCabe - 50
O. Nolan - 47
Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 23, 2004 @ 19:45 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Following the summer of 1974, my mother began to go through her own quarter-life crisis. She took-up smoking and bought herself an 8-track tape player! With it (the 8-track tape player...not the cigarettes) came Paul Anka, Helen Reddy and Catherine McKinnon...definitely not the classic-country that my ears had been weaned on (eeeuw!) Again, another musical door had swung wide open for me - adult contemporary *shudders*. It became apparent then and there that I would have to make some musical choices of my own.

Disco was all the rage at the time, but I just couldn't stomach any of it - the music, the clothes, the lingo or the accessories. I wanted something a little less...well...flamboyant and overtly stupid. Like most 13-year-old boys, my coolness-phazer was set on superficial. More times than not, my idea of what was cool was based on what the kids a year or two ahead of me thought was cool. Perception and appearance took precedence over logic and quality. That applied to most things...clothes (the words corduroy and velour jump to mind), haircuts (didn't have one from 1972-1977) and especially music. "KC & the Sunshine Band" just weren't projecting the sort of image I wanted for myself.

One Saturday morning in the summer of 1975, I walked into "Sam the Record Man" and stood gawking at the "Top 100 LP's" rack. Nestled in around Number 94 was Supertramp's "Crime of the Century". I knew absolutely nothing about the band. All I knew was that their album cover was "hella-kewl"! It said everything I wanted it to about who I was going to be for the next 4-6 months.

     Marty

I just took a look at the cover of Supertramp's "Crime of the Century", and it is pretty cool.

It's funny, but I have distinct memories of the cassette of Supertramp's "Breakfast in America" floating around in my parents' old station wagon. It had a cool cover too. Coincidentally, I just ripped the soundtrack to Magnolia I got from my brother Ryan and it's got some Supertramp on it. Bloody Well Right.

SLS Submission
Published by Toronto Mike on March 23, 2004 @ 15:33 in SLS ~ Smells Like Sour

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

I submitted "Cold Hard Bitch" by Jet. I've been contemplating the submission of this song for a while now and I finally decided to take the leap and submit the damn thing. It's pretty catchy.

Although I didn't submit it, there is another song I think is worthy of consideration. I'm referring to "Meant to Live" by Switchfoot. This song gets plenty of airplay and I always find myself singing along. I like it.

Lyric Changes
Published by Toronto Mike on March 23, 2004 @ 14:15 in Music, My 2 Cents

Lyric ChangesI just read an interesting article about Alanis Morissette's new single "Everything". I can't say I've listened to much Alanis since Jagged Little Pill, but this article was about an offending lyric so I was intrigued.

It turns out "Everything" contains the A-word. That's right, she says "asshole". The opening line is "I can be an asshole of the grandest kind."

In this age of FCC fines and puritanism on American airwaves, Alanis has been forced to record a new version of the song or radio stations wouldn't play it. She re-recorded the tune with the word "nightmare" used in place of "asshole" and has distributed this radio edit to American radio stations. She had no choice. The word "asshole" is so offensive to Americans, it has no place on the public airwaves.

Interestingly enough she has not given this edited version to Canadian radio stations. Canadian stations are less fearful fines will follow if the A-word appears once in an Alanis Morrisette song. Back when "You Oughta Know" was burning up the charts I distinctly remember stations playing it with the F-word completely audible. Even the radio edit of this song did little to hide the fact she was dropping the F-bomb. Times have certainly changed since 1995. Welcome to Bush country.

Alan Cross' Reply
Published by Toronto Mike on March 22, 2004 @ 21:46 in Edge 102 ~ CFNY, Radio

Alan Cross' ReplyAs I mentioned earlier tonight, I wrote CFNY Edge 102 Program Director Alan Cross regarding this year's Edgefest line up. To the dude's credit, he's already written me back.

Below is the email I sent Alan Cross.

Hello Alan,

I've been a faithful listener of CFNY/Edge 102 for fifteen years now and I've attended several Edgefests. I was listening at 7:15 this morning to find out who would be on this year's bill and especially who would be headlining. I thought last year's lineup with The Hip, OLP, Finger Eleven and Sloan was particularly awesome. It wasn't long before my heart sunk to the ground.

Good Charlotte represents everything your station isn't. They have absolutely no edge. They wear black and make up and try to act "punk" when they're as popified as Matchbox 20. Their target audience is pre-teen girls who think they're cute and deep. I listen to a great deal of "modern rock", and I find the weak Good Charlotte sounds completely unlistenable.

Musical taste is subjective, so I'm not writing you to bitch about the weak lineup for Edgefest 2004, I'm writing to alert you to your obvious hypocrisy. I listen for several hours a day, and I'm well aware of what songs you play and don't play. I know I can expect a Nirvana song every hour and I know you've stopped playing Good Charlotte all together. I applaude this decision, as they are hardly an edgy rock that fits your format. They are as far from The White Stripes and The Strokes as you can get. I'm sure you stopped playing them because you realized your listeners don't like them and they are merely pop dressed in black. Promoting them as headliners for your Edgefest concert is just pathetic. You won't even play their music for heaven's sake.

On a more positive note, I find your "Ongoing History of New Music" to be one of the finest programs on the radio. I wish the episodes could be downloaded/streamed online. I maintain a blog and comment often on your great radio station and music in general. You'll find it here: http://mikeboon.com

I'll leave you with words from the immortal Chris Rock following another horrible performance by Good Charlotte at the MTV Video Music Awards. "Good Charlotte? More like mediocre Green Day."

Mike

At 21:40 tonight, I received the following reply from Alan Cross.

Thanks for the input--and for your honesty, you deserve a reply.

Pulling together a lineup for Edgefest is getting more and more difficult due to competition from hundreds of other radio show festivals in the US and dozens of big-money European festivals. How we end up with the lineup that we do is a long, long story.

Good Charlotte was part of the playlist until sometime last year and, believe it or not, they were insanely popular with a significant portion of our audience. We stopped playing them because the album had run its course and we moved on to other things. That being said, the band can still sell a ton of tickets--something that we need to do if we were going to make the thing profitable and thus worthwhile (again, it's FAR more complicated than just booking a bunch of cool bands. Trust me.) The drawing power of Good Charlotte is enough to help us pay for Something Corporate, Jet, Jersey, Billy Talent and the rest of the lineup.

I know this probably doesn't help much, but there you have it. And if we manage to sell out the show this week (which is something we think we'll do), we'll have enough cash to maybe do something else this summer. We'll see.

Alan C

There you have it. Popularity wins again. They may not be good, but they're popular and there are bills to pay. Another triumph for The S Factor. Still, I appreciate Alan taking the time to reply with such honesty. I met Alan Cross when I was a 15 year old working at the CNE and he was cool then too.

Raging Storm
Published by Toronto Mike on March 22, 2004 @ 20:44 in Raging Storm

Raging StormFor the past two years, I've been a member of a softball team called "Hooray For Everything". This season, for reasons I still don't quite understand, we've changed our name to "Raging Storm"...and it's no longer softball, it's slo-pitch.

Members of Raging Storm will want to check out our official web page. If you're going to bookmark the page, bookmark http://mikeboon.com/softball.html.

See y'all at the ball park.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 22, 2004 @ 19:09 in Guest Blog Entries

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

I would like to add my name to the lengthy list of disappointed people who's heart sunk after hearing the name "Good Charlotte" in the Edgefest announcement. This is the weakest lineup I have ever heard. This makes me reconsider my disappointment when Creed was the headliner. I could even hear the disappointment in the voices of the deejays and Alan Cross as they tried to fake their enthusiasm for this weak concert listing. Edgefest? Where's the edge?

     Steve

You're right. Compared to Good Charlotte, Creed may as well be Pearl Jam. When they announced this lineup and Good Charlotte as the headliner at 7:15 this morning, I was underwhelmed if that's a word. I know it's not 'cause I looked it up. That's one of those skills that I learned in my school. Where the hell is Sloan when you need them?

I've already dropped Alan Cross a line letting him now how embarrassed I was for him this morning when he had to feign excitement when they announced the lineup. It couldn't have been easy for these guys to tell us Good Charlotte is headlining without laughing out loud at the patheticness of it all. You can write Alan Cross here to offer him your condolences.

Bad Charlotte
Published by Toronto Mike on March 22, 2004 @ 11:35 in Edge 102 ~ CFNY, Music, My 2 Cents, Radio

Edgefest 2004I'm still stewing over the fact Good Charlotte is headlining this year's Edgefest. Last year we had The Tragically Hip, Our Lady Peace, Sloan and Finger Eleven. Good Charlotte simply doesn't cut it.

I could go on a rant here, but I thought I'd post something I posted to the Smells Like Sour page last week. On the "Hold On" page, I mentioned the fact that every time I read the Good Charlotte pages on SLS I die just a little. Kelli responded with this "why do u die "just a little bit" when u see the gc pages?" Below is my response.

Kelli, I'm glad you asked that question.

I love music. One of my favourite genres of music is rock. I love The White Stripes, System of a Down, Foo Fighters, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, The Tragically Hip, Nirvana, Audioslave, Rage Against the Machine, whatever. You get the idea.

A few years back, a song entitled "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" began getting heavy airplay both on the radio and Muchmusic, our national video station here in Canada. My ears immediately decided this sound was weak. It sounded like pretend rock - far more pop than punk. What really irked me is I accidentally caught a special on Muchmusic about this band and they wore black and makeup and acted like they were punk when they were clearly coming across as punks.

I respect people's rights to listen to whatever the hell they want, but I'm the dude who actually performs administrative duties on this very website. That means I'm the dude who has to go on here every few days to sort through the dozens of Good Charlotte submissions and copycat bands that make my ears bleed.

That's why I die just a little each time I read this page or the thousand other Good Charlotte pages on this site. I cringe reading the praise you pre-teens heap on this crapola band. Chris Rock said it best following a pathetic Good Charlotte performance on the MTV Music Video Awards. "Good Charlotte? More like mediocre Green Day".

That's my two cents about this band - why they're so popular I'll never understand. Then again, the Backstreet Boys and N*Sync were extremely popular too, so maybe it does make sense.

The people at CFNY Edge 102 should be ashamed of themselves.

Edgefest 2004
Published by Toronto Mike on March 22, 2004 @ 09:31 in Music, My 2 Cents

Edgefest 2004They announced the location and lineup for this year's Edgefest this morning. Last year, I attended the the last Edgefest at Molson Park in Barrie and wrote this review. It was a great day with The Tragically Hip finishing things off strong.

I won't be attending Edgefest this year. Not because it's at the Molson Amphitheatre, but because of the line up. I absolutely despise the headlining band. Of all the bands on God's green earth, Good Charlotte is the best they could come up with? They don't even play Good Charlotte anymore because they realize how pathetic this band is.

I've been to many Edgefest concerts and always enjoy myself. It's a shame I can't go within 500 feet of this year's show. What a terrible line up.

Listening To...
Published by Toronto Mike on March 21, 2004 @ 16:50 in Music

Listening To...For no particular reason, here are the last five CDs I listened to from my MP3 collection and why.

Hayden - Everything I Long For: This album soothes me. It's folksy and cool all at once. The first time I heard "Bad As They Seem" I was hooked. This entire disc is very listenable. I'm still surprised Hayden didn't become a bigger star than he did.

Alice in Chains - Dirt: Truth be known, I spin this disc about ten times a week on average. The tone of this entire disc is dark and it blends well with a particular mood I'm often in while working hard on a project. Every song on this cd is awesome.

Nursery Rhyme Time: In my defense, James was sitting on my lap while we played this disc on the computer. I even threw in the closing theme to Bear in the Big Blue House, the opening theme to Bob the Builder and Raffi's "Apples and Bananas" and "Wheels on the Bus" for good measure. He loved it and I loved him loving it. Awwwww.

Nine Inch Nails - Further Down the Spiral: I just borrowed this from a friend and I listened to the entire disc today for the first time. It's funny, but while Trent was doing his thing almost a decade ago, I wasn't really into it. I enjoy The Downward Spiral far more today than I did ten years ago. Further Down the Spiral was good, but there wasn't much difference between the quiet version of "Hurt" and the original version. For the record, "Hurt" remains my favourite NIN song.

Nirvana - Singles: What can I say? I felt like hearing some Nirvana. At this time of year, I get to thinking a lot about Nirvana, hence this morning's Quote of the Week. Singles is a nice synopsis of the career of Nirvana, with great tracks from every Nirvana album and more.

I don't know if this sort of post interests anyone, but I know I'm always interested in what other people are listening to. These are the five discs I spun today. Usually I play my entire collection randomly, but today I played these discs straight through.

Very Nice Man
Published by Toronto Mike on March 21, 2004 @ 14:14 in News

Very Nice ManI was at my mom's house this morning and she had today's Toronto Sun on the kitchen table. I read it and came across the following headline: 'Very nice' man shot

That got me thinking. Would they ever print the headline "Arrogant jerk shot", "Controlling, abusive man shot" or "Mean and nasty man shot"?

Biblical Marriage
Published by Toronto Mike on March 21, 2004 @ 14:03 in My 2 Cents

Biblical MarriageMuch of the opposition of late in the United States to gay marriage is based on the bible. I wrote extensively in the past on my issue with people using the Bible to promote hatred. I came across an interesting site which points out some other Biblical rules to add to the Bill of Rights if lawmakers are to be consistent.

Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21)

A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)

There are several others.

My Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 21, 2004 @ 07:53 in Quotes

Mike's Quote of the Week"Teenage angst has paid off well. Now I'm bored and old."
      - Serve The Servants, Nirvana

Maple Leafs 5, Avalanche 2
Published by Toronto Mike on March 20, 2004 @ 21:46 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!For the second game in a row, the Maple Leafs jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Again, this was no reason to relax as the Avs scored twice in the second to make it a one goal game before Mats Sundin made it 4-2 late in the period. Still, it was a convincing victory against another division leader.

The top of the Eastern Conference has never been so jammed making every point that much more important. Take today for example. Philadelphia, Boston and Montreal won while Ottawa picked up a point for their overtime loss. The Leafs had to win just to keep pace. As it stands, we still trail Boston by a point for the division lead. This is going to be quite the finish.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
41-22-9-3
94 points
2nd in Division
5-2 Win vs. Colorado
3-2 Win vs. Philadelphia
2-1 Loss vs. Boston
M. Sundin - 71
B. McCabe - 50
O. Nolan - 47
This Is A Call
Published by Toronto Mike on March 20, 2004 @ 13:59 in Hockey Playoff Pool

This Is A CallThe regular NHL season concludes on Sunday, April 4th. That means we'll be hosting our annual playoff pool draft on either the evening of April 5th or 6th.

If you're a hockey fan, I know you and you're able to attend a draft in Toronto, you can participate. Please contact me if you're interested.

The results of last year's playoff pool are preserved here. We've been doing this for years and years and it's always a load of fun. Even if you don't participate, you can follow along on this site as we update the standings every morning.

The Auroras
Published by Toronto Mike on March 20, 2004 @ 13:44 in

The AurorasI was about to explain the auroras, often referred to as the northern lights, but PBS does a much better job. "Auroras are luminous, deeply mysterious curtains of light that often grace dark skies near the North and South poles. They occur when a space weather event energizes the magnetic force field shielding our planet, churning up electrons and protons and causing them to smash into the mix of gases in the upper atmosphere. The result is a bright glow that can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few hours." All that matters to our eyes is that the auroras produce magnificent images like this.

Alaska is one of the best places to see the auroras, because they occur in the auroral oval, which is centered on the northern geomagnetic pole, and which usually passes over Alaska. The Aurora Webcam provides the first private worldwide live webcast of auroras in history. Tis the season so check it out. It's nature on acid and it's wicked.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 20, 2004 @ 09:00 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeaceThe former Dutch queen, Juliana, was 94. She oversaw a period of dramatic social change, taking in the end of empire and the evolution of her country into a leading voice for global liberalism.

Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 20, 2004 @ 08:21 in Homer's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Marge! Look at all this great stuff I found at the Marina. It was just sitting in some guy's boat!"

Bloody Pingu Throw
Published by Toronto Mike on March 19, 2004 @ 13:10 in

Smacking that PenguinI have a new high score at Bloody Pingu Throw.

My new high score is 1289. Check out Beat that.

Sidney Crosby
Published by Toronto Mike on March 19, 2004 @ 12:45 in Sports

Sydney CrosbyLets rewind for a moment back to my entry of October 6th, 2003 in which I stated the following about Sydney Crosby.

Sidney Crosby. Are you familiar with that name? You will be.

Sidney Crosby of the Rimouski Oceanic is the CHL Player of the Week. Crosby scored five goals and added four assists for nine points in four games last week. This 16-year-old native of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia is being touted as "The Next One". Wayne Gretzky himself has stated that Crosby was the best player he'd seen since Mario Lemieux. Not eligible for the NHL entry draft until 2005, the legend of Sidney Crosby is already approaching epic proportions.

Crosby has just completed his first season in the QMJHL. Lets see how he did, shall we?

In three games during the final week, Crosby scored three goals and added eight assists for a total of 11 points, but those achievements were overshadowed by two greater accomplishments for the record books. In a 7-2 win against the Lewiston MAINEiacs, Crosby scored one goal and four assists for a total of five points. At the end of the game, Crosby totalled 129 points and beat the 125-point record held since 1973-1974 by a 16 year old player, Normand Dupont. In a 4-3 win against the Cape-Breton Screaming Eagles, Crosby got two assists and equalled the 79 assist record held since 1977-1978 by a 16 year old player, Denis Savard (Junior de Montreal). In the final regular season game against the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, Crosby tallied two goals and two helpers to eclipse Savard's assists record. Crosby ended his first season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with 54 goals, 81 assists and 135 points in 59 games to win the regular season scoring title.

Not bad...

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on March 19, 2004 @ 12:25 in Friday Fives

Friday FiveMy Favourite Movie Soundtracks

  1. Singles
  2. Pulp Fiction
  3. Judgment Night
  4. Reservoir Dogs
  5. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Maxim Marge
Published by Toronto Mike on March 19, 2004 @ 12:09 in The Simpsons

Maxim MargeMaxim Magazine did something interesting with the cover of their current issue. They printed two: one has Paris Hilton in a revealing outfit while the other has Marge Simpson in a sexy low-cut dress while scrubbing the floor. Have a look.

She's every man's ideal wife: curvy, wild-haired, and willing to accept a fat, balding, drunk loser as her knight in shining armor, till death-or Patty and Selma-do them part. Mmm...Marge.

Amen. I'll be shocked if the Marge cover doesn't outsell the Paris cover by at least a 3:1 ratio.

Dump Dubya
Published by Toronto Mike on March 19, 2004 @ 12:00 in Politics

Dump DubyaStarting on May 26th, 2003, Rhonda & Jane began counting down the 525 reasons to dump George Bush. Every day they post another reason. You'll want to book mark their site, 525 Reason to Dump Bush and check daily.

It's a very interesting read. I can't wait for the top 10 this November. Anyone but Bush in 2004...please.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 19, 2004 @ 09:32 in Guest Blog Entries

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

I love music and I listen to (something) almost continually. A few years ago, I found myself slipping slowly into the musical abyss of "classic-rock". Somehow - after a few months of painful reminiscence - I was able to pull myself out of the classic-quagmire and scramble back to the refreshing shores of new-music. I've lived long enough now to have seen (and heard) several music genres come and go. (Thank God!) As a child, my ears were inundated with a steady stream of "Country & Western" (now called "Traditional Country" - Johnny Cash, George Jones, Kitty Wells etc.) and "50's" Rock & Roll (Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly etc.) Until age ten, I wasn't even aware that other types of music existed! The discovery of "K-Tel Records" (bless their soul) in the summer of 1972 opened a lot of musical doors for me. My sister & I began collecting every K-Tel record we could get our hands on - "22 Explosive Hits"..."23 Fantastic Hits"..."24 Incredible Hits" - it seemed to become K-Tel's challenge to see how many pared down versions of pop-songs they could cram onto each redundantly named slice of vinyl. (Years later - when I heard the full version of Derek & the Dominoes' "Layla"; I was shocked! - the version I knew and loved was only 2:32 minutes long!) K-Tel introduced my ears to the likes of The Guess Who, Elton John and the Five Man Electrical Band. I felt like such a rebel! My parents would never listen to this stuff!

     Marty

I've been down that classic rock road. For periods of time I've lived on The Guess Who, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, CCR, Neil Young and Rush. Like yourself, I always find myself returning to new rock and that wonderful period between 1991 and 1995. I'm listening to Alice in Chains' "Dirt" right now.

I remember the K-Tel collections. I had a few on vinyl myself. Those were the days.

Maple Leafs 3, Flyers 2
Published by Toronto Mike on March 19, 2004 @ 07:50 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!With a 3-0 lead late in the third, I actually started to relax. The badly needed two points was ours. Then, it got a little hairy. Much like Tom Henke loading the bases before striking out the batter to end the ninth and preserve the 1 run victory, the Maple Leafs pulled it off last night and once again trail Boston by a mere point for the division lead.

Gary Roberts' opening goal was a beauty. The Leafs were down two men when Mats Sundin ended up with the puck just as Roberts left the penalty box. Sundin sprung Roberts on a breakaway for a nifty short-handed goal. Brian Leetch should be commended as well for his spectacular offensive production since joining the blue and white. Leetch had two goals and an assist giving him 11 points in eight games with Toronto.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
40-22-9-3
92 points
2nd in Division
3-2 Win vs. Philadelphia
2-1 Loss vs. Boston
6-5 Win vs. Buffalo
M. Sundin - 70
B. McCabe - 50
O. Nolan - 45
Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 18, 2004 @ 20:38 in Guest Blog Entries

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

I skimp on the credit I give you Mike, for fear your head will swell even more, but I try to make visiting MikeBoon.com one of my daily "Things To Do", to find out what's happening. I was in Jamaica on vacation for a week and got back this Monday, so I had a lot of catching up to do.

Re: Your "My Music" Blog
I definitely think you should make "your music" a link on your home page. I've often wondered why you don't have one for music and have had to go back to your Blog about "your collection" when I'm looking for a reference.

Re: Guest Blog about Future Shop
I often go to the one at Crossroads Plaza and it's gotten to the point where I'm surprised when they have something that I'm looking for in stock. They are very slow and are SO helpful (of course I'm being sarcastic). Last time I was there I was able to tell the guy more about cordless phones than he knew, it seemed. I find I have better luck with Best Buy.

Re: Your "Trippy" Blog
I have never thought of The Muppet Show as "Trippy", but I probably will now. Jim Henson's Muppets do rock. Gonzo has to be one of my favourites.

Re: Your "Sad Songs" Blog
I don't think "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" is a sad song. The lyrics aren't exactly sad, it has an upbeat tempo and the video's hilarious and a great throw-back to the "hair" rock/metal bands of the 80's. It makes me feel good and is one of my favourite songs at the moment. Definitely not a sad song - am I missing something here?

Re: Your "Julia Roberts On Crack" Blog
I agree with you. She just annoys me.

Re: Your "St. Patrick" Blog
I too am Irish, lived in Belfast for 5 years, yet never seem to celebrate St. Patty's Day the way you're apparently supposed to. And I don't drink alcohol either. At least the stereotype(s) can't touch us.

Re: Guest Blog about "malapropisms" and your "Celebrities' Favourite Swear Words" Blog
I had a few chuckles over these.

Re: Your "Conversing With James" and "We're Having A..." Blogs
Glad you're having so much fun with James and congratulations on Michelle! I'm taking it you didn't want to be surprised this time? Even though I don't know your brother Ryan personally, I have a feeling he'll have twin girls too. Start the pool!

Re: Your "Toronto Connection" Blog
As I'm sure everyone knows, Leah LaBelle was booted off American Idol last night. So much for a Canadian becoming an American Idol...

Re: Your "The Flys" Blog
It's funny you posted an entry about "Got You (Where I Want You)"... I recently saw "Disturbing Behaviour", the soundtrack of which the song is on. Not a great movie, but seeing the video of the song again after all this time in the special features made up for it - one of my favourites.

Re: Your latest "Mike's Favourite Links" Blog
Bloody Pingu Throw is a bit disturbing, but still good.

Miscellaneous:
Is there really a "staff" at MikeBoon.com? Even though you have a list of the "Recent Entries" on your site, I can't often remember what entry something that I read was in that I'd like to find again. I'm assuming it would be a lot of work, but a "Search" field to enter words or phrases in for a list of possibilities would rock.

First and foremost, congratulations on writing the longest Guest Blog entry to date. I don't know where to begin. I think I'll just touch upon a few points you raised three dot style a' la Larry King.

I will add My Music to the main menu...the sad songs I listed weren't mine but were from the BBC...Leah Labelle is gone but they completely reinvented her history for the purposes of that show anyways...they said her family found freedom in America when we know they really found freedom in Canada...serves her right for denying us our just desserts...there really is a staff at MikeBoon.com...that staff just happens to be one dude...I've thought quite a bit about the search capabilities you seek and I know this can be done easily by moving to Movable Type...I've been resisting this move for over a year now but it might be necessary to give every entry a unique URL and add the search...I think that's it!

Courtney
Published by Toronto Mike on March 18, 2004 @ 15:29 in

CourtneyI'm done caring.

I suppose it's much like that bad accident at the side of the highway. You can't help but look, even though you know you shouldn't.

Courtney Love was charged with third-degree assault and reckless endangerment after injuring a man by throwing a microphone stand into the crowd during a New York performance last night. The incident followed a TV appearance when she repeatedly exposed her breasts at talk show host David Letterman. Meanwhile, back in LA, she faces four charges of drug possession and disorderly conduct that are being handled in two separate court cases in California. She showed up two hours late Tuesday for a court hearing and was scolded by the judge after talking out of turn in court.

As for her latest CD, America's Sweetheart, it has sold a paltry 65,000 copies since its release a month ago. You won't find it on the Billboard 100. Do you believe in karma?

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 18, 2004 @ 13:10 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesBloody Pingu Throw - This is the far bloodier sequel to the addictive "Hit the Penguin" flash game we've all played. This one is just as fun.

My high score is 1026.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 18, 2004 @ 11:48 in Guest Blog Entries

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

What was the name for the Power Plant Softball team with the ringers. Thanks.

     Cory

The Simpsons episode you're referring to is Homer at the Bat, a gem from season three. The team Mr. Burns assembled with the ringers was the company softball team. I don't believe they had a nick name but were simply known as the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant team. If I'm wrong, I hope someone corrects me. Perhaps I'll pop the DVD in tonight to verify this.

Springfield is home to a minor league team. Perhaps this is the name you're looking for. Their team is called the Springfield Isotopes.

I'm glad you brought up "Homer at the Bat". In real life, many members of this All-Star team also suffered bizarre incidents which hampered their effectiveness after the 1992 season. Here are the ringers for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant Team and how they were cursed.

POS NAME FATE ON SIMPSONS FATE IN REAL LIFE
P Roger Clemens Hypnosis convinces him he's a chicken Actually, Clemens had some great years after 1992.
C Mike Scoscia Radiation poisoning from plant accident Injured, missed all of '93 season. Retired.
1B Don Mattingly Kicked off team for refusing to cut sideburns Numerous injuries, decline in power
2B Steve Sax Arrested on suspicion by Springfield Police Dept. Lost job, became .230-hitting role player
SS Ozzie Smith Enters Springfield Mystery Spot and disappears Slow decline in fielding skills
3B Wade Boggs Beaten up by Barney in Moe's Tavern brawl Average fell to .259. Signed with Yankees
LF Jose Canseco Busy rescuing furniture from burning house Arm & back injuries curtail career. Drugs, violence, disgrace
CF Ken Griffey Jr Mr Burns' nerve tonic causes gigantism Injuries, injuries, injuries
RF Darryl Strawberry Pinch-hit for by Homer Simpson Drugs, alcohol, guns, disgrace
Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 18, 2004 @ 10:01 in Guest Blog Entries

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

I just wanted to congratulate you and Taryn on little Michelle. We definitely need more women in this family!!! The ultrasound pictures are amazing -- you can already tell she's going to be a cutie!

     Vanessa

Thanks!

Isn't this an interesting age? We're sharing baby pictures and discussing the cuteness and femininity of Michelle and she's not due for another four months. The actual birth is bound to be somewhat melodramatic.

I hear we're going to learn the sexes of Ryan and Kara's twins later this month. Shoud we have a pool? I'm guessing he's having two girls.

The Flys
Published by Toronto Mike on March 18, 2004 @ 09:17 in Music

The FlysYesterday afternoon Taryn and I were driving along Bay Street on our way to the ultrasound listening to our favourite radio station. The Flys' "Got You (Where I Want You)" came on, and we instantly began singing along. "Got You (Where I Want You)" is over five years old now, but it was great then and it's great now. It's a fantastic single.

I haven't heard a note from The Flys since. Out of curiosity I looked them up on the web today to see what's up with them, and there's nothing after 1998. There were several articles written in late 1998 about the success of "Got You (Where I Want You)" and the promise for this Hollywood quintet but then it's as if they dropped off the face of the earth. Their official website isn't even active any more.

It's now safe to file The Flys alongside Dexy's Midnight Runners and Chumbawamba as one-hit wonders. It's too bad though. "Got You (Where I Want You)" was a great song.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 17, 2004 @ 21:10 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesEvery File Format in the World - "This is a list of file name extension or suffixes that indicate the format or usage of a file and a brief description of that format." I found this very thorough list to be quite useful. Maybe you will too. Or maybe not.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 17, 2004 @ 19:11 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeaceMercedes McCambridge was 85. She won an Oscar for the 1949 film "All the King's Men" and later provided the raspy voice of the demon-possessed girl in "The Exorcist".

We're Having A...
Published by Toronto Mike on March 17, 2004 @ 15:27 in Family

We're Having A...Taryn and I have returned from her ultrasound. This particular ultrasound machine was brand new and gave us an excellent glance at how our unborn child is doing.

She's doing well. That's right, we're preparing to welcome Michelle into the world this summer. James is getting a little sister.

St. Patrick
Published by Toronto Mike on March 17, 2004 @ 07:39 in

Happy St. Patrick's DayI hate to be the bearer of bad news, but one of the most popular tales about St. Patrick never happened. The popular story is that St. Patrick once stood on a hilltop and banished all the snakes from Ireland. In fact, the island nation was never home to any snakes. The "banishing of the snakes" was really a metaphor for the eradication of pagan ideology from Ireland and the triumph of Christianity. Within two hundred years of Patrick's arrival, Ireland was completely Christianized.

Today, St. Patrick's day has become an excuse to party and drink to excess. In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day has traditionally been a religious occasion. In fact, up until the 1970s, Irish laws mandated that pubs be closed on March 17. Despite the fact I'm of Irish Catholic descent, I won't be out drinking green beer and painting the town green. Against all odds, I don't drink alcohol. Consider me an embarrassment to my people.

Happy St. Patrick's Day nonetheless!

Maple Leafs 1, Bruins 2
Published by Toronto Mike on March 17, 2004 @ 07:29 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Leave it to a player named Green to ruin St. Patrick's day for the Maple Leafs. Travis Green got his revenge on his former team scoring both goals in a game we really needed to win if we wanted to take a serious run at winning the tough Northeast division.

With a three point lead and a game in hand, Boston now looks to be the favourite to win the Northeast. Ottawa is tied with the Leafs in points, but has a game in hand. Don't look now, but I smell a possible first round match up between the Leafs and Sens. This is good, because here in Toronto we eat Senators for breakfast.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
39-22-9-3
90 points
2nd in Division
2-1 Loss vs. Boston
6-5 Win vs. Buffalo
4-3 Loss vs. Montreal
M. Sundin - 69
B. McCabe - 49
O. Nolan - 44
AI Toronto Connection
Published by Toronto Mike on March 16, 2004 @ 15:26 in Television, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

Toronto ConnectionIf you watch American Idol, you'll be interested to hear there is a strong Toronto connection with one of the finalists. They may list Leah LaBelle as being from Seattle, Washington, but she was born and raised right here in Toronto. She's the daughter of a Bulgarian pop-singer mother and a father, Anastasia and Troshan Vladowski, who founded Bulgaria's first rock band, The Silver Bracelets. Her parents formed their own group after they met, and escaped to Canada while on tour.

If you're rooting for someone to win American Idol 3, look no further than Toronto's Leah LaBelle. Imagine if the American Idol were Canadian.

Conversing With James
Published by Toronto Mike on March 16, 2004 @ 13:21 in Family

Conversing With JamesFor a long time, there was just Taryn and I and the dog. Then, a little over two years ago, there was a baby. James has always been cute and a lot of fun to play with, but only recently could I say in all honesty there were three people living in our house.

James has become a full-fledged person with a personality all his own and the ability to communicate. He's a little dude now, eager to participate with us. It's now possible to sit at the kitchen table and have a real conversation with him. It's absolutely awesome.

James will tell us about the people he knows and the things he wants to do using actual sentences. If he sees a glass of milk in front of him and mommy, he'll ask if daddy is having some milk too. When he's doing something he thinks is particularly cool, like turning a flashlight on and off or balancing a book on his head, he wants to share this accomplishment. "Mommy, Daddy, look at me, look at me" he'll say, or "Look what I can do!". We're finally conversing with James.

It's been a wonderful two years as a family of three (in addition to the dog), but now that we're three distinct personalities with likes and dislikes and the ability to share and communicate, it's far better than I'd ever dreamed possible. To think we made this awesome little dude. Now that's cool.

America Doesn't Like Hockey
Published by Toronto Mike on March 16, 2004 @ 12:09 in My 2 Cents, Sports

America Doesn't Like HockeyWe Canadians have always suffered from an inferiority complex. This is the result of sharing the world's longest undefended border with the most powerful nation in the world. We have more space but only a tenth of the populous. More often then not, we are only validated by our acceptance south of the border. Nothing is truly great unless it's embraced in America as well as our home and native land.

In Canada, we are blessed with a thoroughly entertaining sport that we love and follow closely. Saturday night's Maple Leaf-Canadiens match-up on CBC was watched by an average per-minute audience of 1,604,000. That was the largest regular-season audience for the show since March 15, 2003, when 1,689,000 watched the Toronto-Vancouver game. In a country of this size for a regular season game, that's a lot of people. Canada is madly in love with hockey. This is a great sport. Maybe it's time we accept reality...

The reality we need to accept is the simple fact America doesn't like hockey. The numbers don't lie. ABC's Saturday afternoon broadcast of three regional games scored a 1.2 rating, the lowest-rated sports event of the weekend, finishing behind NBC's U.S. curling championships and Sunday's Arena Football League games (1.3). That's right, curling and arena football attract more viewers south of the border than an NHL hockey game.

The numbers are pitiful. Outside of a few pockets of rabid hockey fans, Americans are generally disinterested. The sooner we accept this fact and move on, the better. ABC is in the final year of its five-year deal with the NHL. I don't know why they'd want a ratings loser, but I can certainly tell you they won't pay much for it. Throughout the years there have been moments when we hoped NHL hockey would take off in the United States. The miracle on ice, Wayne Gretzky's trade to Los Angeles, the USA's World Cup victory, all of these events could have sparked mass appeal for our beloved sport. Unfortunately, they didn't.

My point is this: the fact America doesn't like hockey shouldn't have an effect on our love of the game. We Canadians do love hockey, from coast to coast. This is an amazing sport and worthy of our love. America tunes out and it's their loss. They don't know what they're missing.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 16, 2004 @ 10:43 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesCelebrities' Favourite Swear Words - I first watched this on the weekend and I now think it's worthy to share. It's a few celebrities sharing their favourite swear words with us. I think it's appropriate considering the U.S. House of Representatives just approved a bill that would give the Federal Communications Commission the authority to fine broadcasters as much as $500,000 per violation and apply large penalties against on-air personalities who willfully break the rules. Watching stars from The West Wing, Scrubs, Six Feet Under and The Sopranos curse like real people is kind of refreshing.

Maple Leafs 6, Sabres 5
Published by Toronto Mike on March 16, 2004 @ 07:55 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!What an entertaining hockey game. After two periods, the Maple Leafs trailed Buffalo 5-2, a team we never play well against. The third period, however, proved to be one of the most exciting of the season. We managed to score three unanswered goals including a Gary Roberts tip of an Alexander Mogilny shot with 37.2 seconds remaining in regulation to tie it. Tomas Kaberle scored with 1:15 remaining in overtime to cap the stirring comeback.

When we were down 5-2, I wrote this recap in my head. What I had to say wasn't kind. We desperately needed the two points to keep pace with the rest of the conference. The Leafs will play four division leaders in their next four games: Boston, Philadelphia, Colorado and Tampa Bay. Points are getting harder and harder to come by. With this dramatic come from behind victory, we're right back in the thick of things. We're only a point behind the Bruins for the division lead and we control our own destiny with a game against Boston tonight. What a game.

I know fellow stat-a-holics will want to know about the two milestones reached last night. Mogilny recorded his 1,000th NHL point when he assisted on the tying goal. Roberts picked up his 800th career point with an assist on Mats Sundin's first goal.

Following the game, I received this piece of correspondence "Did you change the channel when Buffalo went up 5-2? Or did you see the comeback and win in overtime? Marc" I absolutely stuck it out and witnessed the entire comeback victory from the comforts of my living room chair. Giving up when it was 5-2 heading into the third would have been easy, but I had a feeling. I felt if we could score early enough in the third, we could potentially salvage a point. So yes, I saw the comeback and win in overtime...smart ass.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
39-21-9-3
90 points
2nd in Division
6-5 Win vs. Buffalo
4-3 Loss vs. Montreal
3-2 Loss vs. Pittsburgh
M. Sundin - 69
B. McCabe - 48
O. Nolan - 44
The Ides of March
Published by Toronto Mike on March 15, 2004 @ 12:00 in

The Ides of MarchWe're all familiar with the story of Julius Caesar's death. On this date in 44 B.C., he was stabbed to death in the senate house. A soothsayer had warned Caesar to "Beware the Ides of March".

Today is the Ides of March, but what the heck does the Ides of March signify? It turns out it was simply the standard way of saying "March 15". The Roman calendar organized its months around three days, each of which served as a reference point for counting the other days:

  • Kalends (1st day of the month)
  • Nones (the 7th day in March, May, July, and October; the 5th in the other months)
  • Ides (the 15th day in March, May, July, and October; the 13th in the other months)

The remaining, unnamed days of the month were identified by counting backwards from the Kalends, Nones, or the Ides. For example, March 3 would be V Nones - 5 days before the Nones (the Roman method of counting days was inclusive; in other words, the Nones would be counted as one of the 5 days).

So, in actuality, the Ides of March is nothing to be scared of... unless you're Julius Caesar.

March Madness
Published by Toronto Mike on March 15, 2004 @ 09:14 in Sports

March MadnessMany consider it to be the greatest sporting tournament in North America. I have to admit, it's pure madness and as exciting as hell. The selections for the NCAA 2004 Division I Men's Basketball Championship tournament have been announced. Claiming the No. 1 seeds for each of the four regions were St. Joseph's, Stanford, Duke, and Kentucky, respectively.

For the complete tournament brackets and matchups in PDF, click here. To view the brackets and matchups online, click here.

I'd route for underdog Florida A&M because their roster includes junior forward Michael Ayodele of Toronto, but a better chance for success is #1 seed Kentucky. Kentucky's roster includes sophomore forward Bernard Cote of St. Lambert, Quebec.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 14, 2004 @ 21:07 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Sometimes my brother Stephen and I will sit around over coffee discussing the English language and how we can make it better. The other day, we were talking about malapropisms and what they meant to us. Our family - especially on our mother's side - has incorporated so many into their everyday language that I sometimes find myself listening with awed fascination. Not because I am particularly interested in what they are saying, but because it is necessary in order to filter out the malapropisms. I want to be sure that I am (at least) getting their intended point and not some Archie-Bunkerish tainted *confoundment. It is comical too because some of these people actually have an inkling that they are using the wrong word and will intentionally say it twice; once the way they think is correct and the other way they think is correct.

The scariest part of this whole thing is that from my experience...malapropism is not learned...it is inherited.

     Marty

*I just made that word up by the way - see how easy it is...

P.S. ...and they're Irish!

I think American Vice President Dan Quayle said it best when he said, "Republicans understand the importance of bondage between a mother and child."

What's With The Green?
Published by Toronto Mike on March 14, 2004 @ 19:19 in Ch-ch-changes

What's With The Green?You may have noticed a different appearance for MikeBoon.com. It's been soaked in green. Don't worry, this isn't permanent. The green will only be here through St. Patrick's Day.

The best part is, because all the presentation in this site is driven by a cascading style sheet, it took me all of 13 seconds to make this change. If you haven't gone CSS yet with regards to your site, you're crazy.

Julia Roberts On Crack
Published by Toronto Mike on March 14, 2004 @ 18:49 in

Julia Roberts on CrackI've made no secret of the fact I hate Julia Roberts. In my humble opinion, she's the most over rated actress in motion picture history. Still, I was shocked to read this news story earlier today.

Julia Roberts was charged with possession of crack with intent to sell and deliver, and with possessing a crack pipe. She claims ignorance, but we'll see.

First Jason Alexander marries Britney Spears and now this. Good on her!

New Pictures
Published by Toronto Mike on March 14, 2004 @ 11:47 in

New PicturesMy Mom just got a roll of film developed that had some pictures of James from about a month ago. I'm sharing a couple of them. In one he's throwing the camera a big smile while standing at the desk about to answer an important phone call and in another he's enjoying his favourite treat in Grandma's kitchen. You'll find these pictures right now in Pictures.

In The Beginning
Published by Toronto Mike on March 14, 2004 @ 10:19 in Memories, The Best of Toronto Mike

In The BeginningI was just thinking of how far we've come with regards to the way we use the Internet. Today, I use the Internet to do all my banking, purchase concert or sporting event tickets, remotely connect to my work's network to gain access to various servers for work purposes, use email as my primary method of communication, transfer large (and small) files, listen to radio stations from all around the world, surf the web for news, entertainment and various other points of interest and I maintain the site you're reading right now. It's a very large part of my daily life.

Back in 1994/1995, I was a student of the University of Toronto. We were each given an email address and our student card granted us access to a number of Internet-connected computers scattered throughout the St. George campus. I remember lining up to use a terminal so I could log in to my michael.boon@utoronto.ca account to send a message to one of my few friends who had an email account, one of whom was my wife. Nothing was more exciting than logging on to see you had a few messages from a few friends. It was so new and so instant. By the way, at this time, all messages were sent and received in plain text without attachments. I was excited about words!

These same terminals we used granted students access to the world wide web. Visiting sports pages changed the way I could monitor stats. I remember visiting pages for news outlets like CNN and The Toronto Star to access the latest news. There were also a few free web-based email options sprouting up and gaining steam, and I made sure I grabbed the username mikeboon from Yahoo!. It would be my primary address for years. The world wide web was awesome, and I knew I had to bring this connectivity into my bachelor apartment on 30 Charles Street West.

This is my favourite part of this particular trip down memory lane. A telecommunications company called ACC was always on campus pushing their unlimited dial-up Internet access on students. They offered a decent rate and bonus gifts for those who signed up on the spot. Inheriting a new computer through marriage, I decided to bring the web home and signed up. Are you ready for this? We never, ever received a single bill for our Internet access. We used it daily and it became a huge part of my life but the goofs at ACC goofed up the billing and this hard working part-time grocery clerk wasn't going to alert them of their error. We surfed for free until we left that apartment over a year later.

We've come a long way but I suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg. One day we'll laugh at the way we streamed audio and video. One day we'll be telling our grandkids about how we used the Internet in 2004 and they'll roll their eyes and think we were in the middle ages. I'll just call up this entry and show them I predicted it would be so.

My Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 14, 2004 @ 09:50 in Quotes

Mike's Quote of the Week"May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand."
      - Traditional Gaelic Blessing

Maple Leafs 3, Canadiens 4
Published by Toronto Mike on March 13, 2004 @ 21:53 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!With the playoffs right around the corner, this is the time for the Maple Leafs to get hot. Instead, they're playing rather uninspired hockey.

Sure, tonight's game was entertaining. A storied rivalry, thousands of Leaf fans in Montreal for the game and a see-saw battle with a few good fights thrown in for good measure. When all was said and done, the Leafs didn't deserve to win. I wouldn't be surprised if the Canadiens ended up catching us in the Northeast division standings.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
38-21-9-3
88 points
2nd in Division
4-3 Loss vs. Montreal
3-2 Loss vs. Pittsburgh
5-0 Win vs. Florida
M. Sundin - 67
B. McCabe - 46
G. Roberts - 41
My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 13, 2004 @ 17:17 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesY'all Want a Single - It's unlikely you'll catch this latest Korn video on Muchmusic or MTV, especially in it's original incarnation. As usual, Korn has something to say. Midway through this video, the words "The record company wanted us to change this video - we didn't" flash on the screen. It's not a joke.

Strange Correspondence
Published by Toronto Mike on March 13, 2004 @ 15:44 in

Strange CorrespondenceI received the following message today. Before you assume it's just another piece of spam you should know this was submitted via the form on my Contact Mike page. That means someone actually took the time to enter this text and click the Submit button. Strange days indeed.

my name is sylvestercoker i am anigerian i modell how can i get into your modelling agency i would like to work with you as an international model i ve a few of my pictures on my page on black planet you could check em out by slycoker@blackplanet.com thanks i ll be glad to recieve your reply

That's right, I'm apparently running a modelling agency on the side. I know I'm good looking, but this is ridiculous!

In Defiance
Published by Toronto Mike on March 13, 2004 @ 07:45 in My 2 Cents, News

In DefianceYesterday, over 11 million rallied in Spain in a powerful show of defiance against terror. Here's a picture of the main street of Zaragoza in Madrid. The death toll from the terrorist strike that killed 199 people on 3/11 is now at 200 and there are over 1400 injured.

When 11 million poured into the streets yesterday to protest this terrible, horrible, cowardly act, it was a bold act in defiance of those who believe terror is a means of accomplishing ones agenda. It was an act of peace, an act of protest, an act by a pained people that screams "No To Terror".

Whether Eta, the Basque separatist group, or al-Qa'eda is ultimately responsible for this strike, it has to stop. Once and for all.

Sad Songs
Published by Toronto Mike on March 13, 2004 @ 07:23 in Lists, Music

Sad SongsBBC Radio 6 has ranked the top 20 sad songs of all time.

  1. The Smiths - I Know It's Over
  2. Bowling For Soup - Girl All The Bad Guys Want
  3. REM - Everybody Hurts
  4. The Cure - Pictures Of You
  5. Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees
  6. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
  7. Pink Floyd - Comfortably Numb
  8. Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush - Don't Give Up
  9. Blur - This Is A Low
  10. The Beatles - Good Day Sunshine
  11. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge
  12. Tori Amos - China
  13. Portishead - Glory Box
  14. Al Green - Tired of Being Alone
  15. Mercury Rev - The Dark Is Rising
  16. Lou Reed - Pale Blue Eyes
  17. Spiritualized - Stop Your Crying
  18. The Darkness - I Believe In A Thing Called Love
  19. Faithless - Insomnia
  20. Polyphonic Spree - Light And Day

Obviously the list is a little Brit-centric, but it's not half bad. They're right about "Everybody Hurts", "Fake Plastic Trees", "Comfortably Numb" and "Under the Bridge". I wonder where Nirvana's "All Apologies" is? Note to self: create top 10 sad songs list for site.

Seeing "Don't Give Up" on the list reminded me of a cheesy local show we had here in Toronto a while back. It was hosted by this flake named Ziggy Lorenc who lived in a pink house. I'm not sure where Ziggy is these days, but I met her at the Runnymede subway station one day about 12 years ago and she was very sweet. She always ended her cheesy love show with the video for Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush's "Don't Give Up". My brothers and I always referred to it as "The Hug Song" because the two singers essentially hugged for the entire video.

Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 13, 2004 @ 07:10 in Homer's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover."

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on March 12, 2004 @ 14:36 in Friday Fives

Friday FiveMy Favourite Tom Hanks Movies

  1. Forrest Gump
  2. Saving Private Ryan
  3. Philadelphia
  4. Cast Away
  5. Catch Me If You Can
Season 4 on DVD
Published by Toronto Mike on March 12, 2004 @ 09:20 in The Simpsons

Homer's Quote of the WeekFellow Simpsons fans, there is news regarding Season 4 on DVD. According to this press release, Season 4 will be released in North America on June 15th. This four disc set features exclusive bonus material including commentary on each of the 22 episodes, an introduction by Matt Groening, a voiceover featurette with James L. Brooks, an Animation Showcase multi-angle feature, animatics, commercials, deleted scenes and more.

I know someone with a birthday shortly after that release date. Is it too early to drop a hint that this would be the perfect gift? I hope not, because I just did.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 12, 2004 @ 08:24 in Guest Blog Entries

Guest Blog SubmissionAnyone is welcome to submit a Guest Blog Entry to MikeBoon.com. I received the following submission late last night.

Mike my name is Christian and I am four years old. I was born with mobius syndrome which basically means that my whole face is paralyzed. I am borderline clinically blind and borderline clinically deaf. I am also at a great risk of choking at anytime. I am most susceptible when eating. Mobius syndrome is very rare. There is only about 65 of us in Canada.

Because of my syndrome I was given the chance by the Make a Wish Foundation to have a wish granted. My wish was to spend the weekend with the Maple Leafs and meet Tie Domi. Guess what? My wish came true!

I spent two nights at the Royal York in Toronto. While I was there I got to visit the Hockey Hall of Fame, Wayne Gretzky's restaurant, attend a Maple Leaf Game, and best of all I got to meet Tie Domi. I have great pictures of Tie and I. He gave me a lot of autographed souvenirs and he also took me into the change room to meet some other players.

I just wanted to publicly thank the Make a Wish Foundation for a weekend I will never forget. Signed Christian

     Christian / typed by mom

Thanks for writing Christian. You and I have something in common. I too got to meet Tie Domi. You can see the pictures of Tie and I here. I found him to be a very gentle guy, far different from the player he is on the ice.

It sounds like you had a great time in Toronto. The Hockey Hall of Fame, Wayne Gretzky's restaurant, a Maple Leaf game and meeting Tie Domi sounds like the perfect weekend. Thanks for sharing your story!

Maple Leafs 2, Penguins 3
Published by Toronto Mike on March 12, 2004 @ 08:01 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Reality check. Tied for the division lead and within a few points of the conference lead at this point in the season, you have to defeat the last place team in the conference when playing on your home ice. Am I right? The Maple Leafs stunk last night. To quote a description I heard on the radio this morning, the blue and white "floated a turd".

The Leafs were healthy and had newly acquired Ron Francis in the lineup, but steady Eddie Belfour rested his back giving Trevor Kidd his first start in eleven games. He looked shaky, allowing the three goals on only 17 shots. Our hopes for Lord Stanley's Mug continue to rest on the 38 year old shoulders of Mr. Belfour.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
38-20-9-3
88 points
2nd in Division
3-2 Loss Vs. Pittsburgh
5-0 Win vs. Florida
5-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
M. Sundin - 67
B. McCabe - 46
G. Roberts - 41
The General Lee
Published by Toronto Mike on March 11, 2004 @ 15:15 in Lists, Television

The General LeeAn insurance company in the United States surveyed car enthusiasts nationwide to determine the Top 10 television and motion picture car stars. Topping the list is my personal favourite television car star, The General Lee. As a kid I dreamed of flying through The General Lee's windows and jumping over broken bridges. Yee Haw!

Here's the top 10:

  1. "The Dukes of Hazzard," 1969 Dodge Charger General Lee
  2. "Bullitt," green 1968 Ford Mustang driven by Steve McQueen
  3. "Gone in Sixty Seconds," 1967 Shelby GT500
  4. "Back to the Future," 1983 DeLorean
  5. "Batman" TV series, Batmobile
  6. "Goldfinger," Aston Martin DB5
  7. "Smokey and the Bandit," 1977 Pontiac Firebird T/A
  8. "Herbie, the Love Bug," 1963 Volkswagen Beetle
  9. "Starsky and Hutch" TV series and "Starsky & Hutch" movie, 1974 Ford Torino
  10. "The Green Hornet" TV series, Chrysler Imperial Black Beauty
Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 11, 2004 @ 14:11 in Guest Blog Entries

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

The Muppet Show rocks! I'm hoping to catch the Vincent Price or Mark Hamill episodes at some point. There are also 30 episodes on VHS or DVD from Time-Life, but they're not available in Canada due to distribution rights or some such thing, dammit.

     Mike Hollick

Speaking of Jim Henson, there was another show featuring muppets I watched as a kid that I have fond memories of. Every Sunday after Disney at 6:00 we'd visit Fraggle Rock. The Trash Heap, Doozer, Travelling Max...another trippy Muppet adventure.

Trippy
Published by Toronto Mike on March 11, 2004 @ 09:44 in Memories, Television

TrippingI've been feeling under the weather the past couple of days. Along with a sore throat I've been rather feverish.

Last night I was crashed out in bed when I was joined by James who wanted to watch Treehouse with Daddy. Daddy was in no mood for Treehouse, so I channel surfed in search of a show we'd both enjoy. That's when I discovered a favourite show from my youth playing on the Christian station of all places. At 7:00 last night, we watched The Muppet Show.

I don't know if it was the fever or what, but I never realized how trippy that show was. One segment in particular blew my mind. It's almost impossible to describe, but there's a smokey planet with a freaky looking alien muppet repeating a phrase over and over again while another muppet kept popping up to sing "You Are My Sunshine". I was enthralled, as was James. Other bits with Ralph on piano, the Muppet doctors exchanging barbs and Fozzie getting tips from special guest star Phyllis Diller also reminded me how great this show was. The Muppet Show was trippy, only I was too young to realize it.

Todd Bertuzzi
Published by Toronto Mike on March 11, 2004 @ 09:44 in My 2 Cents, Sports

Todd BertuzziA number of years ago, my brothers and I gathered around the television to watch an OHL playoff game. It was an elimination game between the Belleville Bulls and the Guelph Storm. Normally we don't make it a point to watch OHL playoff games, but our cousin Mark Gowan was between the pipes for the underdog Bulls and having a pretty good series. Unfortunately, the best player on the ice this game wasn't Mark but an opposing forward for the Storm who potted a couple of key goals. That forward was Todd Bertuzzi.

We've all seen that video replay of Bertuzzi's cheap shot against Colorado's Steve Moore at least a dozen time by now, and every time I see it it saddens me. There's no place in hockey for this type of action. I'm all for dropping the gloves face to face but pummeling him from behind face first into the ice and then driving him back into the ice with all of your 245 pounds has nothing to do with this glorious sport. This was obvious retribution for Moore's legal hit two weeks ago that sidelined Canucks' captain Markus Naslund for three games with a concussion. Moore is now in hospital with a concussion, neck fractures and other injuries.

The NHL has suspended Bertuzzi for the remainder of the season, including playoffs. Before he can return for the 2004-05 NHL season, Bertuzzi's "eligibility" will be determined by commissioner Gary Bettman prior to training camp. This penalty was severe but it had to be. A message had to be sent. Marty McSorley was in the twilight of his career and a role player on his team. Bertuzzi is a superstar, a key part of any success the Canucks can expect this season, and expectations were high. The NHL had to show it wasn't going to treat it's stars any differently than pugalists like Bob Probert, McSorely and Tie Domi. The NHL had to draw the line and let every player know that this kind of act is completely unacceptable. I found the punishment to be fair.

I still love the way Bertuzzi plays hockey. He's a menacing power forward who plays a style I respect. What makes me sad is that he should have known better. He should have had the sense to suppress his instinct to punch Moore from behind and he certainly should have had the sense to realize his error and not force his face into the ice a second time.

I fear one day actions like this will result in the death of a player. Hopefully, severe punishments such as this will cause players to pause and check their emotions before taking a cheap shot like this again. In the end, Canuck fans lose out, but we should all be grateful Moore didn't lose his life.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 10, 2004 @ 12:14 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Finally got my computer back!

It was 25 days ago that I took my computer into the Future Shop at Dixie and Dundas to get repaired. I had bought it with my buddy Mike Boon, just over 6 months ago. So when it did not turn on, that fateful morning I was a little concerned.

They told me the problem was a defective mother board and that it would take 5 to 10 business days to get the part in to the store. 15 business days later (not including weekends) it was still not ready to be picked up.

Not having a computer for this period of time, made me realize how dependent I am on it. If I was still in school I would have needed it to write essays. I have finished school, but there were many things I still needed/wanted my computer for.

I have had computers in my house since I was 7, and internet for about 10 years now. I am part of the last generation to remember what it was like not to have the internet. It is just such a useful tool. Just for the communication alone, not to mention being able to pay bills and download music.

For those who have to use their computer for work, I suggest you do not bring it to Future Shop if it breaks down, I know I won't ever again.

     Marc Felice

How dare you implicate me in this horrific endeavour you've had to endure. 25 days is an unacceptable turn around time for replacing a defective mother board. I can't imagine an entire month without a home PC and Internet connection. I feel your pain.

Are you writing complaint letters to Future Shop? When it comes to customer service, I find the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Another good move is to contact the manufacturer with your gripe. You see, the manufacturer wants Future Shop to distribute their products so they will do their best to appease you. Often, if you start out this way you can avoid dealing with Future Shop all together.

My Music
Published by Toronto Mike on March 10, 2004 @ 08:44 in My MP3 Collection

My Entire MP3 CollectionEvery MP3 in my collection can be seen from this page.

I ironed out some the wrinkles, fixing listings for "Offpring" and "Tragically Hip" so they appear beside listings for "The Offspring" and "The Tragically Hip". This is every CD I've ripped into MP3 since I began this project all on one convenient web page. You can even click the CD name for specific files from that title. I think this is absolutely one of the coolest things I've ever done.

I'm seriously considering adding My Music to the main navigation menu to the left.

Maple Leafs 5, Panthers 0
Published by Toronto Mike on March 10, 2004 @ 08:11 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!It was a rather easy victory for the Maple Leafs last night as we moved back into a tie with Ottawa for first in the division.

A final word on the trades and other signings/acquisitions by the Leafs yesterday. Ron Francis will be a great role player on this team, but Ron Francis is in his 40s. I think his presence during a long playoff run can only help, but I'd be far more optimistic if we had just acquired Ron Francis circa 1992. The best move we made was last week's trade for Brian Leetch. Still, I think we should have added one more top four defender.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
38-19-9-3
88 points
Tied for 1st in Division
5-0 Win vs. Florida
5-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
6-2 Win vs. New York
M. Sundin - 66
B. McCabe - 45
G. Roberts - 41
Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 9, 2004 @ 17:34 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeaceRobert Pastorelli was 49. He was the boxer-turned-actor best known to television audiences as the house painter Eldin on long-running CBS comedy "Murphy Brown".

Leafs Trade For Ron Francis
Published by Toronto Mike on March 9, 2004 @ 13:09 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Leafs TradeThe Toronto Maple Leafs finally made a trade today. Ron Francis is the newest Toronto Maple Leaf. Here are the details...

John Ferguson, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that the club has acquired forward Ron Francis from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Toronto's fourth round choice in the 2005 Entry Draft.

I'm not sure this team needed anymore veteran leadership, but you can't argue with the addition of Ron Francis for a conditional fourth-rounder. Clearly, we're serious about winning the cup this year. I'm still hoping another deal is in the works to add a blueliner. Calle Johansson isn't the answer.

Leafs Add Chad Kilger
Published by Toronto Mike on March 9, 2004 @ 12:41 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Leafs Add PlayerThe Toronto Maple Leafs added another player today without giving anything up. Something is definitely brewing.

John Ferguson, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that the club has claimed forward Chad Kilger off waivers from the Montreal Canadiens. Kilger, 27, has played 36 games for Montreal this season collecting four points (two goals, two assists) with 14 penalty minutes.

We simply don't have room on our roster for today's additions. Perhaps John Ferguson is looking to package some roster players for a serious upgrade. Sean Hill anyone? Two hours and 19 minutes to go...

Leafs Sign Calle Johansson
Published by Toronto Mike on March 9, 2004 @ 11:00 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Leafs Sign PlayerNo, the Toronto Maple Leafs didn't just pull off a huge trade on deadline day, but there is news from the wire...

John Ferguson, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Tuesday that the club has signed unrestricted free agent defenceman Calle Johansson for the remainder of the season. In keeping with club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A sign of things to come? Insurance down the stretch? I predict the Leafs will make a significant move before the day is done. There is 4 hours to go...

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 9, 2004 @ 10:01 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeacePaul Winfield was 62. He was an Academy Award-nominated actor who was known for his versatility in stage, film and television roles, including a highly praised 1978 depiction of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Trade Deadline
Published by Toronto Mike on March 9, 2004 @ 06:47 in Sports

Trade DeadlineToday at 15:00 EST is the NHL trade deadline. The entire MikeBoon.com staff will be manning the desk to report on any deals involving the Toronto Maple Leafs.

For updates on all the NHL trading action as we approach the trade deadline, visit TSN's Trade Deadline page or Sportsnet's Trade Tracker 2004.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 8, 2004 @ 19:44 in Links to External Web Sites, The Simpsons

Mike's FavouritesCreate Your Own Chalkboard Message - Fellow fans of The Simpsons will get a kick out of this. Submit your own text for Bart to write on the chalkboard. After 14 seasons, my favourite chalkboard gag remains "I will finish what I sta".

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 8, 2004 @ 17:55 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeaceSpalding Gray was 62. He laid bare his life and mingled performance art with comedy in acclaimed monologues like "Swimming to Cambodia" and "It's a Slippery Slope".

Gray actually disappeared from his Manhattan apartment two months ago, but his body was only discovered in the East River over the weekend.

8-Tracks
Published by Toronto Mike on March 8, 2004 @ 08:37 in Music, Technology

8-TracksAs I write this, I'm listening to an 8-Track player. That's right, the guy with the MP3 collection is listening to Stevie Wonder's Innervisions and Styx' Equinox on 8-Track.

This was one format I completely missed. As a child, I owned a few records but the main format I collected was the cassette tape until CDs came into vogue in the late 80s. 8-Track's had already come and gone. It looked as if I was never going to experience this antiquated technology until it came up in a conversation with some colleagues last week. A friend of mind ended up lending me his dusty 'ol 8-Track player and couple of tapes so I could hear what I've missed.

Half way through Stevie Wonder's "Living Just Enough For The City" the volume began to drop as if the song had concluded. Then, a few seconds later, there was a rather loud clicking sound coming from the player before the volume began to rise again and the song resumed. To my readers who also missed the brief period of 8-Tracks, you read that correctly. Smack dab in the middle of a song everything may come to an abrupt end while the tape switches tracks. No wonder the 8-Track era was so brief. It turns out I didn't miss a thing.

New Videos
Published by Toronto Mike on March 7, 2004 @ 15:27 in

New VideosThree new videos of James are now available for your viewing pleasure in Videos. They were shot this morning shortly after he woke me up at 07:15 EST.

Don't worry, although I deleted the three videos from a few weeks ago, "James makes animal noises" from February 1st remains.

The Tweener
Published by Toronto Mike on March 7, 2004 @ 14:15 in Sports

The TweenerI am a devout follower of the Toronto Maple Leafs. My favourite time of the year is the NHL playoffs, I watch every single Leaf game and religiously stay abreast of all the on and off ice action. Some would call me a diehard fan, but they would be wrong. I am not a diehard fan, I am a tweener.

Dr. Saul Miller, a psychologist out of Vancouver, wrote Hockey Tough and generalizes fans into three distinct categories.

The Diehard: These people are positive no matter what happens to the team. They're the true fanatics, and they're dedicated. Little kids tend to be devoted fans who believe in their team 100 per cent.

The Tweener: These people are realistic and objective about their team. They stick with the team no matter how it's doing but they have a sense of what's really going on.

The Pessimist: These are disgruntled, disappointed fans. If the team is winning the team is the greatest. If not, they're horrible. These fans jump on and off the bandwagon quickly.

The description of "The Tweener" fits me perfectly. I don't have time for the diehards or the pessimists. Only a tweener is a true fan.

Selling Through Guilt
Published by Toronto Mike on March 7, 2004 @ 13:47 in My 2 Cents

Selling Through GuiltNow that Taryn is showing, she's resurrected the maternity clothes she wore when she was carrying James. Still, she needed one more piece of maternity wear, so she visited a store that sells such things in Toronto Maple Leafs. At the checkout counter, they encouraged her to bring home a pamphlet entitled "Witness the Miracle of Life".

The 3D photos of a fetus on the cover piqued my interest, so I read on. A company out of Mississauga called UC Baby 3D Ultrasound is using parental guilt as a marketing tool. For $185 you can view your baby for a whole 30 minutes in 3D. For an additional $25 they'll even put the video on DVD for you. How do they guilt you into blowing over $200 for a completely unnecessary service? Read the following direct quote from their publication.

Expecting a baby is such a precious period in a parents-to-be's life and it needs to be treasured. Our revolutionary 3D/4D ultrasound provides detailed pictures and real time movies of your unborn baby. Parents have the opportunity to spend quality time with their unborn baby and can share this amazing experience with their family and friends. We have an extra monitor and the comfort of a family atmosphere set to beautiful music in our ultrasound room.

We provide a unique bonding ultrasound with lifetime lasting memories. The term "bonding ultrasound" describes the natural desire of parents to see and bond and love their offspring. Evidence shows that 3D/4D ultrasound viewing enhances bonding in the long term and improves the mothers care of herself and therefore the baby.

How I bonded with James without this service I'll never know. Poor Michelle/Daniel and I don't have a prayer. I'm all too content to let OHIP foot the bill for a regular 2D ultrasound in a couple of weeks. I still have a "natural desire" to "see and bond and love" my offspring, I'm just going to do it in 2D.

My Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 7, 2004 @ 07:50 in Quotes

Mike's Quote of the Week"The new electronic interdependence recreates the world in the image of a global village."
      - Marshall McLuhan

Maple Leafs 1, Sabres 5
Published by Toronto Mike on March 6, 2004 @ 21:52 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Facing the Sabres seems to bring out the worst in the Maple Leafs. We're 0-3-1 against them so far this season and they probably won't even make the playoffs. That's unacceptable.

There was no "get up and go" from the blue and white tonight and no quick start like we've seen lately. We were outshot 17-6 in the opening 20 minutes. That to is unacceptable.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
37-19-9-3
86 points
1st in Division
5-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
6-2 Win vs. New York
3-2 Win vs. Boston
M. Sundin - 65
B. McCabe - 44
G. Roberts - 39
Hootie
Published by Toronto Mike on March 6, 2004 @ 21:10 in Music

HootieWatching this painful Leaf game, I needed a good laugh. I just got one.

It seems long forgotten bland bar band Hootie & the Blowfish released Best of Hootie and the Blowfish (1993 Thru 2003) this week. That's right, Hootie & the Blowfish have released a greatest hits compilation in an effort to squeeze every last cent out of 1994.

A glance at the track listing for Best of Hootie and the Blowfish (1993 Thru 2003) confirms my suspicions. The only tunes I recognize appeared on their mega-selling debut Cracked Rear View, except for their faithful cover of 54*40's "I Go Blind" which they recorded for the crap-com Friends. In other words, if you're one of the millions who already owns Cracked Rear View, you already own the best of Hootie & the Blowfish.

My Entire MP3 Collection
Published by Toronto Mike on March 6, 2004 @ 11:38 in My MP3 Collection

My Entire MP3 CollectionBack in December, I wrote at great lengths about my digitalization project. You can refresh your memory here, here, here and here. Essentially, I ripped every CD I could ever envision myself listening to again into MP3 format and I store these digital files on my home computer. This is definitely one of the smartest things I've ever done.

Because I used Audiograbber to rip my discs, I was able to download a utility that converts the record of discs I've ripped into HTML pages. I tried this today and you can view the results.

Now that's cool. A table containing every CD I've got ripped to MP3 and drill down capabilities to view the song listing for each of them. It's nearly perfect. I say nearly perfect because there are a couple of wrinkles. Because this web page derives all of it's details from the data for each disc that I download from a man-made database, "The Offspring" may be listed as simply "Offspring" for one CD. Same for The Tragically Hip and other bands that start with "The". This somewhat lessens the value of having everything alphabetized by the artist's name. Also, I've noticed at least two discs are missing completely. My Alice Cooper's Greatest Hits and The White Stripes' Elephant CDs don't appear at all for some reason. Otherwise, I love it and it was easy like Sunday morning...or Saturday morning as the case may be.

Taking Themselves Out
Published by Toronto Mike on March 6, 2004 @ 09:58 in Toronto Maple Leafs

NHLHave you glanced at the NHL Eastern Conference Standings lately? Four points separate the top five teams, and we're smack in the middle of them. Here are the top 5 at this moment.

Tampa Bay Lightning - 88 points
Philadelphia Flyers - 88 points
Toronto Maple Leafs - 86 points
Ottawa Senators - 84 points
Boston Bruins - 84 points

Last night, two of our competitors for the conference crown faced off against each other when the Senators came to Philly. From all accounts, this was an absolutely wild game. To quote today's Philadelphia Inquirer, the Flyers made a statement "with a punishing, brawling 5-3 victory, but lost in translation was the fact that their already depleted defense corps suffered two more casualties. The game ended with all-out brawling that included goalies Robert Esche of the Flyers and Patrick Lalime of the Senators. In all, 23 players were ejected. The Flyers' Donald Brashear, who picked up a game-high 34 penalty minutes, destroyed Rob Ray to trigger the fights, and then everyone paired off."

There were five consecutive brawls in the final two minutes and the two teams set an NHL record with 419 penalty minutes in total. The Flyers had seven players remaining and Ottawa had six as the game ended. This game couldn't have gone any better for Leaf fans. There were injuries, there may be some ejections and on April 2nd, just before the end of the regular season, the Sens return to Philly for a rematch. I love it when our enemies take themselves out. It's so much easier this way.

Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 6, 2004 @ 09:20 in Homer's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Dear God, just give me one channel!"

Canadian TV
Published by Toronto Mike on March 5, 2004 @ 21:48 in Television

Canadian TVI rarely praise Canadian television. That's mainly because it typically sucks. Sure, we've produced some very funny skit comedy shows a' la Kids in the Hall and every once in a while we churn out a Degrassi or The Newsroom, but great Canadian television shows are few and far between.

Surprisingly enough, there's a new Canadian sit-com I've caught a few times that I find extremely funny. This show is not only home grown but it rekes of Canadiana. It actually takes place in small town Saskatchewan. I'm writing about Corner Gas, a new show on CTV.

This show stars Brent Butt of all people and strikes my funny bone hard and often. I actually laugh out loud several times an episode and that's no small feat. Who says we can't make a decent sitcom?

Offline?
Published by Toronto Mike on March 5, 2004 @ 21:19 in

GoogleOne of my favourite portals for accessing news stories is Google News. I visit it several times throughout the day. A few days ago I visited it in the morning as is my daily schedule only to find the page unavailable. For three solid days now, http://news.google.ca and http://news.google.com cannot be found by my browser.

I just checked the Google cache of their own news page and it's fairly current. The news pieces displayed are from earlier today. This suggests that Google News is up and running and accessible enough to be cached by their own search engine so why can't I access this page? I miss it.

If you can shed some light on this mystery, please do.

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on March 5, 2004 @ 13:35 in Friday Fives

Friday FiveMy Favourite Southern Rock Tunes

  1. Ram Jam - Black Betty
  2. Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son
  3. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird
  4. ZZ Top - La Grange
  5. Allman Brothers - Ramblin' Man
The Real Lenny
Published by Toronto Mike on March 5, 2004 @ 08:53 in Toronto Raptors

LennyIt's been over a month now since Isiah Thomas hired Lenny Wilkens as coach of the New York Knicks. In my entry from that day, I openly laughed at Knicks fans. You see, I'm writing from experience. I watched him lead my Raptors for three seasons during which time he was 113-133. There was no leadership, no system and no coaching to speak of. Lenny's only play was to get the ball to Vince Carter. During his third season at the helm, not a day went by that I didn't pray for his firing.

After a 9-3 start for the Knicks under Lenny's rule, I was worried I'd have to eat crow. Today, as the Knicks come to town, I see they're 2-8 in their last ten games. It seems the ineffectiveness of Lenny Wilkens is creating the results I expected. And yes, I realize my Raptors are 1-9 in their last ten, but I blame Lenny for that too.

Maple Leafs 6, Islanders 2
Published by Toronto Mike on March 5, 2004 @ 07:56 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Welcome to Toronto Mr. Leetch. We hope you enjoy your stay in our fair city. With nights like last night, it looks like it will be a pleasant one. Your three assists led us to an easy victory and our power play seemed much more formidable with you at the helm. This looks like it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
37-18-9-3
86 points
Tied for 1st in Conference
6-2 Win vs. New York Islanders
3-2 Win vs. Boston Bruins
3-0 Win vs. New Jersey Devils
M. Sundin - 65
B. McCabe - 44
G. Roberts - 39
My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 4, 2004 @ 19:16 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesDemon Balls - I enjoyed this game. The object is simple, just try and get each colour ball to one side. Try it.

Telefile
Published by Toronto Mike on March 4, 2004 @ 18:19 in My 2 Cents

TelefileWhen I file my tax return, I use a service called Telefile. With Telefile I call 1.800.959.1110 and enter my tax information using my telephone keypad. It's far easier than it sounds as they only ask you a limited number of questions because they can fill in a number of the fields on their own. I've been using Telefile for years and I use it over Netfile because with Netfile you require software that will cost you a minimum $20. Telefile costs me nothing.

Now that I've praised Telefile, I have a brief story to share. Yesterday, I called the Telefile number and entered all my information. The final step is basically agreeing to a statement that what you entered is accurate. When I got to this final step, the recorded voice told me Telefile was experiencing technical difficulties and wouldn't save my data. I was told I'd need to try again later or submit it another way.

I just tried it again and the voice told me I had already submitted my 2003 tax return. It turns out that nice recorded voice on Telefile lied to me yesterday when he told me about the technical difficulties and the fact my return could not be accepted.

Otherwise, it works great.

The Family Guy
Published by Toronto Mike on March 4, 2004 @ 12:31 in Television

Family Guy ReturnsBack on November 19th, I wrote that 20th Century Fox was considering raising The Family Guy from the dead. In a sea of crappy sit-coms, it was a beacon of hope.

It's official! Stewie Griffin's plans for world domination shall continue. The Family Guy is scheduled to hit the tube again in 2005.

Leafs Trade For Leetch
Published by Toronto Mike on March 4, 2004 @ 08:11 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Leafs TradeOff the wire last night...

John Ferguson, general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, announced Wednesday evening that the hockey club has acquired defenceman Brian Leetch and a conditional draft choice from the New York Rangers in exchange for defenceman Max Kondratiev, forward Jarkko Immonen, Toronto's first-round pick in the 2004 Entry Draft and the team's second-round pick in 2005.

The Leafs needed an upgrade on the blue line and this is exactly that. The key to this deal is the Leafs hold on to blue-chippers like Carlo Colaiacovo and Alexander Steen and don't give up anyone on their active roster. Brian Leetch, 36, has played 57 games for the New York Rangers this season collecting 36 points (13 goals, 23 assists) with 24 penalty minutes. He ranks fifth in the NHL in average ice time (26:14) and 10th among NHL defencemen in points. Leetch leads the team in powerplay points (19) and average ice time as well as leading all team defencemen in goals, assists, points and shots (165). He's a very nice addition to the blue and white.

Prior to Nicklas Lidstrom winning the Conn Smythe Trophy for Detroit a couple of years back, Leetch was the answer to one of my favourite trivia questions. "Who is the only non-Canadian to with the Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the NHL Playoffs? The answer, of course, was Brian Leetch.

For updates on all the NHL trading action as we approach the trade deadline, visit TSN's Trade Deadline page.

The Sopranos
Published by Toronto Mike on March 3, 2004 @ 12:35 in Television, The Sopranos

The SopranosThe long wait is finally over. It's been over a full year since I last saw a new episode of The Sopranos, but this coming Sunday at 21:00 EST I'll be sitting down for the first episode of season five.

The best part about TMN airing The Sopranos Sunday nights this season is the fact we Canucks will be seeing each episode at the same time it premieres in the United States. Last year when Tony offed Ralphie it was a definite highlight but not a surprise for this viewer. You see, season four aired Sunday nights in America and Tuesday nights in Canada. That meant I had to endure a full two days of avoiding any Sopranos-related news to ensure the events Tuesday night weren't spoiled. When Raphie was killed it was all over the mainstream media and impossible to miss. This upset me so much I wrote letters to TMN begging them to air new episodes of The Sopranos on the same night HBO was airing them to avoid the spoilage of one of my favourite shows. It seems TMN has finally come to their senses and I for one am overjoyed.

Last season seemed to be a set-up season. A great deal transpired, but other than the death of Ralphie there was little dramatic pay off. I anticipate a great deal of such pay off this season. I can't wait for Sunday.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 3, 2004 @ 12:14 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Re: Your "This Is How You Make Up Your Mind" Blog

I agree, Theory of a Deadman sounds too much like Nickelback, but I think Theory and Default are better than Nickelback. It's funny Chad found bands better than his own.

     Annemarie

I disagree. From what I've heard from all three bands Nickelback is by far the best of the bunch. Default in particular has released some pretty good singles, but lest we forget The State which contained killer tracks like "Breathe", "Leader of Men", "Old Enough" and "Worthy to Say". Nickelback wins based on this disc alone...but that's just my opinion.

Most Popular Video
Published by Toronto Mike on March 3, 2004 @ 08:18 in Family

New VideosThroughout his two years of life, I've posted dozens of videos of James in Videos. The usual suspects give each video a viewing and occassionally one will receive a number of repeat visits. A video I posted on February 1st, however, takes the cake.

"James makes animal noises" has now been viewed more than all other videos combined. It is by far the most popular video ever posted on this site. Ryan wrote a guest blog about this video a few weeks ago and I received the following in my inbox just yesterday.

I just can't get enough of that kid and his animal sounds. It is so funny. Don't ever delete it, as it is so therapeutic. What a little performer!

Meow Meow

     Kat or Grandma H

I will do my best to keep "James makes animal noises" available on this site for all of eternity. The world needs laughter.

Maple Leafs 3, Bruins 2
Published by Toronto Mike on March 3, 2004 @ 08:03 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!For the first time in a while, a healthy Maple Leafs team took the ice last night when Gary Roberts returned from injury. This is great news.

It was a very important game against a good team and the Leafs prevailed thanks to another game winning goal by Mats Sundin. He leads the NHL in winning goals (10) and third-period points (33). The Maple Leafs are tied with Ottawa, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay for first overall in the Eastern Conference with 84 points. Boston has 82. It's going to be a battle to the finish - it's a great time of year!

Current Record  Last Three Games Season Leaders
36-18-9-3
84 points
Tied for 1st in Conference
3-2 Win vs. Boston
3-0 Win vs. New Jersey
4-3 Loss vs. Tampa Bay Lightning
M. Sundin - 63
B. McCabe - 41
O. Nolan - 38
Dr. Seuss
Published by Toronto Mike on March 2, 2004 @ 19:25 in Memories

Dr. SeussToday is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr Seuss, author of classics such as "The Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham" and my favourite Christmas special, "How The Grinch Stole Christmas!".

I was just reading an article from the BBC on him. Theodore Seuss Geisel wrote more than 40 books, which have sold half a billion copies between them. He nearly burned his first book "And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street" after it was turned down by 27 publishers.

I know I loved Dr. Seuss as a kid as does James. "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 2, 2004 @ 17:29 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesMovie Alphabet Game - Don't visit this link unless you want to be up all night trying to get all 26. Immediately I got eight, then it got tougher. I'm still working on it.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 2, 2004 @ 15:44 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeaceMarge Schott was 75. She was the tough-talking, chain-smoking owner of the Cincinnati Reds who won a World Series but was repeatedly suspended for offensive remarks.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 2, 2004 @ 14:36 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Re: Baby Update

What are James' opinions on the subject? :)

     Mike Hollick

Good question. I suspect James will be equally happy with a baby brother or sister. He's been hearing the b word quite a bit lately and knows there's a baby in Mommy's tummy. The problem is he also thinks there may be a baby in daddy's tummy, another reason for me to quit the snacking in front of the television.

This Is How You Make Up Your Mind
Published by Toronto Mike on March 2, 2004 @ 14:21 in Music

This Is How You Make Up Your MindThis morning they spliced Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" with Theory of a Deadman's "Make Up Your Mind" on CFNY Edge 102.

One listen to Theory of a Deadman and you'd think they were Nickelback Jr., a label previous given to Vancouver's Default. Theory Of A Deadman's self-titled debut was the flagship release for 604 Records, the new imprint/record label co-founded by Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger. In fact, 60% of the album was co-written by Kroeger. The similarities are scary

Which is exactly what made the blend of Nickelback's "How You Remind Me" with Theory of a Deadman's "Make Up Your Mind" so perfect. You can't tell when one song ends and the other begins. The two songs merge into one seamlessly. I'm guessing "This Is How You Make Up Your Mind" would have been an unadulterated smash.

Baby Update
Published by Toronto Mike on March 2, 2004 @ 12:25 in Family

Baby UpdateTaryn is now sixteen weeks pregnant with our second child. Every so often I'll write an entry about her progress and how things are coming along.

She saw her ObGyn yesterday for a quick check up and scan of the baby. Everything is going smoothly which is quite a relief after the complications with James. Baby #2 has a good heart beat and is appears to be right on schedule.

We'll have another ultrasound in a couple of weeks when we should learn whether we're having a Daniel or a Michelle. The family seems split on this one. Taryn is certain we'll be welcoming Michelle into the world in early August while I suspect I'll be singing "Danny Boy". Either way I can hardly wait.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 1, 2004 @ 19:48 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Here comes the Sun ...

Have you noticed the days are getting longer? Thank God! I for one was getting very tired of driving to/from work in darkness. The Antarctic cold and light deprivation simply added to our dim existance.

Let there be light!

     Tim

"Here Comes the Sun" is one of my favourite Beatles songs. "Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter". I couldn't have said it better myself.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 1, 2004 @ 14:34 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Thank you for crowning me the 2004 Oscar Champion. I have many people to thank for this achievement. I would like to thank the Academy for being so predictable and boring this year. I would also like to thank my parents for raising me to pay money to see fake characters live their lives, rather than live my own life. I promise to work hard to train for the next 12 months to successfully defend my title. Generic Hollywood Garbage, here I come!!

     Steve

It sounds like a pretty boring telecast this year. I only made it to shortly after 10 before zonking out. Congratulations again on your victory. I'm starting to feel like the Buffalo Bills...second again!

Blogging
Published by Toronto Mike on March 1, 2004 @ 12:11 in News, Technology

BloggingThe Pew Internet and American Life Project released a study on blogging yesterday.

According to this study, somewhere between 2 percent and 7 percent of adult Internet users in the United States actually keep their own blogs. Of those, only about 10 percent update them daily, the majority doing so only once a week or less often. So, if we consider that only 10 percent of 2 percent of adult Internet users in America are updating their blogs each day, I'm in some pretty select company.

According to this Ipso-Insight report, there are 128 million adult Internet users in the United States (a number that's actually dropping, by the way). 2 percent of 128 million is about 2.5 million people. 10 percent of that is 256,000 people who are apparently updating their blog daily. On second thought, maybe I'm not in very select company.

Oscar Pool Results
Published by Toronto Mike on March 1, 2004 @ 08:07 in

Oscar Pool ResultsIf you took part in my little Oscar pool, you'll be anxious to find out who won. Visit my 2004 Oscar Predictions page to see the final standings. As you'll see, the final standings are also available to you in PDF.

Below are the final standings. Congratulations to Steve for predicting the Lord of the Rings sweep. I will get my revenge in the 2004 NHL Playoff Pool, coming soon to MikeBoon.com.

1. Steve - 21
2. Mike B - 18
3. Mary - 17
4. Paul - 16
5. Taryn - 15
5. Vanessa - 15
5. Adrian - 15
8. Marc - 14
9. Ryan - 13
10. Michael H - 12
11. Kara - 11
12. Vicki - 10

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