May 2004 Archives

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The Monday Shuffle
Published by Toronto Mike on May 31, 2004 @ 18:16 in Monday Shuffles

Monday ShuffleEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in Winamp and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten I heard today.

  1. Sublime - Wrong Way
  2. Pearl Jam - No Way
  3. The Offspring - Conspiracy Of One
  4. Green Day - Redundant
  5. Muddy Waters - Canary Bird
  6. Korn - Got The Life (Live)
  7. Kid Rock - Roving Gangster (Rollin')
  8. The Tragically Hip - Evelyn
  9. Tupac Shakur - Dear Mama
  10. Dashboard Confessional - Vindicated
I Hate Ticketmaster
Published by Toronto Mike on May 31, 2004 @ 12:34 in My 2 Cents

Ticket MasterI hate Ticketmaster, but what choice do I have? Today, I purchased a couple of tickets to see The Tragically Hip. Each ticket was a fairly reasonable $30.50, and that includes taxes. I don't mind coughing up $30.50 to see a band like The Hip live. A couple of tickets should have cost me $61.00, right?

With Ticketmaster, there are a few gotchas along the way that you have no choice but to pay. For starters, they charge you a $9 "Convenience Charge" for each ticket you purchase. Isn't $9 awfully steep for their service? And it's not like it's $9 for your purchase, it's $9 a ticket so my two tickets cost me an additional $18 for the wonderful convenience of using Ticketmaster.

Furthermore, you have to pay an additional $3.75 "Building/Facility Charge" on each ticket. This amount goes to the Molson Ampitheatre, I assume. I had always believed the facility was paid for by the band and that amount would come out of the $30.50 ticket price. This $3.75 a ticket surcharge added an extra $7.50 to my bill, on top of the $18.00 convenience charge.

At this point, I'm just trying to cut my losses and get out of there before they make me pay some "Sunshine Tax" or "Oxygen Charge", but I still needed the physical tickets in my hand. This is where I really got pissed off. I've used Ticketmaster dozens of times (no choice in the matter, Pearl Jam didn't win apparently) and I've always chosen to pick my tickets up at a Ticketmaster location because this option was always free. Today, I had four options and none were free. I ended up letting them mail me my tickets for $3 because it would have cost me $3 to pick them up myself. As angry as this fact made me, what really made my blood boil was the fact my preferred option would have cost me $5.50 and it would have been the easiest for Ticketmaster. I wanted them to email me the ticket in PDF so I could print it myself. This option should be free because we're the ones supplying the paper and the ink to print the tickets. In fact, they should be paying us for selecting this option. How can they justify charging $5.50 for their system to automatically print the tickets to PDF and email it to me? I'll spend the $3 and let them pick up the tab for paper and ink. Of course, I shouldn't have had to pay anything, but I had no choice if I wanted to see The Hip on Canada Day.

When all was said and done, my $61.00 worth of tickets cost me $89.50. That's about a 1/3 mark-up. 32% was bullshit Ticketmaster surcharges. Keep in mind, our governments got their cut from the original $30.50. $28.50 of my hard earned money went into the pockets of Ticketmaster today and that's just not fair. I hate Ticketmaster.

Al
Published by Toronto Mike on May 31, 2004 @ 12:07 in

AlJune 6th marks the 60th anniversary of D-Day when 14,000 Canadians landed on Juno Beach in Normandy. I'll have more to say about this on June 6th, but perusing Saturday's Globe & Mail I came across an advertisement for their tribute to the surviving veterans. I've scanned this ad and you can see it here.

It's a touching photo with the touching caption "He Remembers. So should we.", but that's not why I'm sharing this ad with you. The gentleman who appears in the ad is someone I used to see and chat with on a very regular basis.

I used to work at a McDonald's at Runnymede and Bloor Street. The gentleman in this ad was a regular customer we called Al. Bound to a motorized wheelchair, he would come daily for a coffee and a conversation. He was a proud veteran who always attended memorial services and parades honouring our war heroes.

This week, remember Al and the thousands of Canadians who were denied the privilege of getting old.

Toronto Hip Concert Details
Published by Toronto Mike on May 31, 2004 @ 10:18 in The Tragically Hip

Hip Concert DetailsHere's everything you need to know about purchasing tickets for The Tragically Hip concert at the Molson Ampitheatre on July 1.

You can purchase tickets right now by clicking here and selecting the "102.1 The Edge Internet Presale" option. The secret password you need to enter is "Evolution" so you don't have to become an Inside Edge member if you don't want to. If you want to attend this show, I strongly recommend taking advantage of this Internet presale and not waiting until it opens to the general public on Tuesday at noon.

Although Ryan doesn't know it yet, I bought a ticket for him because we had such a great time two summers ago at the Amp watching The Watchmen and The Hip. Should he deny this awesome opportunity I may have a lawn for sale so stay tuned. This show should sell out relatively soon.

Terror Threat?
Published by Toronto Mike on May 31, 2004 @ 10:12 in My 2 Cents, Politics

Terror Threat?When Attorney General John Ashcroft warned of an attack planned on America planned for sometime in the coming months, we all took notice. In warning Americans to brace for a possible attack, Ashcroft cited what he called "credible intelligence from multiple sources," saying that "just after New Year's, al-Qaida announced openly that preparations for an attack on the United States were 70 percent complete. After the March 11 attack in Madrid, Spain, an al-Qaida spokesman announced that 90 percent of the arrangements for an attack in the United States were complete." Very scary stuff.

MSNBC is reporting there's no evidence a credible al-Qaida spokesman ever said that, and the claims actually were made by a largely discredited group, Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades, known for putting propaganda on the Internet. In other words, Ashcroft took something said by a source that is notorious for lying and based his speech last week on it. For example, this source took responsibility for our massive blackout last August. We all know that wasn't an act of terrorism at all.

I have so many concerns about this, I don't know where to begin. Now that we all know this warning of an imminent attack on American soil is based on non-credible sources, who believes Ashcroft? More importantly, who will believe Ashcroft next time he warns us of something or who will take the FBI seriously when they do the same? A great deal of credibility and integrity has been lost here.

My immediate instincts following Ashcroft's speech last week was that Dubya's regime was distracting Americans who were becoming all to aware of the problems caused by the current administration. Nothing will distract Joe Smith from Jackson, Mississippi better than telling him al-Qaida is coming this summer to a location near him. It certainly got my attention. Of course the most brilliant aspect of such an announcement is the benefit Dubya would enjoy in November. I'm sure just before the election Dubya will remind Americans that his security forces and intelligence operatives prevented an imminent attack in the summer of 2004. As important as the economy, environment and foreign affairs are, nothing is more important to voters than their personal safety and the safety of their families. If you believe Dubya is the reason al-Qaida didn't attack this summer, would you rock the boat by voting for John Kerry? Of course not. You haven't been attacked since 9/11, why mess with a good thing?

In a related story, the Washington Post is reporting this morning on the volume of negative attacks on John Kerry by the Dubya reelection machine. "Scholars and political strategists say the ferocious Bush assault on Kerry this spring has been extraordinary, both for the volume of attacks and for the liberties the president and his campaign have taken with the facts."

On Tuesday, President Bush's campaign began airing an ad saying Kerry would scrap wiretaps that are needed to hunt terrorists.

The same day, the Bush campaign charged in a memo sent to reporters and through surrogates that Kerry wants to raise the gasoline tax by 50 cents.

On Wednesday and Thursday, as Kerry campaigned in Seattle, he was greeted by another Bush ad alleging that Kerry now opposes education changes that he supported in 2001.

The charges were all tough, serious -- and wrong, or at least highly misleading. Kerry did not question the war on terrorism, has proposed repealing tax cuts only for those earning more than $200,000, supports wiretaps, has not endorsed a 50-cent gasoline tax increase in 10 years, and continues to support the education changes, albeit with modifications.

I pray we never have to endure another act of terrorism, but Ashcroft's comments were inappropriate and an unnecessary incitement of panic. Post-9/11 we all have to be more aware but claiming preparations for an attack on the United States is already 70 percent complete is inaccurate. This lie, along with the lies Bush's reelection campaign makes about John Kerry on a daily basis, are just more lies from an admistration that does nothing but lie. They went to war based on a lie. Their credibility is zero. That too, is very scary stuff.

Tiger Iginla
Published by Toronto Mike on May 30, 2004 @ 17:11 in Sports

Tiger IginlaI've been privately wondering to myself how long it would be before the media anointed Calgary Flames superstar Jerome Iginla the Tiger Woods of hockey. Tiger Woods, a black man in a sport long dominated by white men, has been regarded as the best golfer on the planet for the past several years. Jerome Iginla, a black man in a sport long dominated by white men, won the Art Ross Trophy, Maurice Rocket Richard Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award in 2001-02 and now has his team within two wins of the Stanley Cup.

Recently, Iginla's name has surfaced in numerous articles alongside that of Tiger Woods, including this article from yesterday's New York Times. It was inevitable really. Only 14 athletes of colour played in the NHL this season and none, other than perhaps Grant Fuhr, have ever reached the superstar level Iginla has these past few years. It's worth noting that Iginla is the first non-white team captain in NHL history. The articles I've been reading that compare Iginla to Woods make a big deal out of the marketing opportunity this presents to the NHL and the potential for more and more non-white children to pick up a hockey stick and embrace this wonderful game on ice.

I'm a huge Jerome Iginla fan. He plays a style I respect, helped Team Canada win the gold in Salt Lake City and plays for a team I have no ill feelings towards. He also scored a Gordie Howe hat trick last night (goal, assist, fight) and you've got to love any player who scores a Howe in the Stanley Cup finals. I see a great Canadian hockey player doing what great Canadian hockey players do. It never crosses my mind that his skin is darker than Wayne Gretzky's. Nothing could me more irrelevant.

If all goes well, the Calgary Flames will win the Stanley Cup and we'll all get to see #12 hoisting the most coveted trophy in sports. It's an image I can't wait to witness and one that will inspire thousands of children across this great country, be they black, white, purple, yellow or green.

Nine New Discs Added
Published by Toronto Mike on May 30, 2004 @ 13:41 in My MP3 Collection

Nine New Discs AddedI just added nine new albums to my collection of MP3s. I added...

  1. The Punisher Soundtrack
  2. Billy Talent's Billy Talent
  3. Rage Against The Machine's Live At The Grand Olympic Auditorium
  4. Hype Soundtrack
  5. Guns N' Roses' Greatest Hits
  6. Kill Bill Volume 2 Soundtrack
  7. Stray Cats' Greatest Hits
  8. Ben Folds' Rockin' The Suburbs
  9. Sloan's Action Pact

That's now 7726 tunes and you can see them all here. If you want to see what I'm listening to right now, click here.

Pool Update: Day Fifty Three
Published by Toronto Mike on May 30, 2004 @ 08:23 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolCalgary's shutout meant only Marc got a point last night in our 2004 playoff pool. Marc happens to lead the pack and drafted the only Calgary Flame, superstar Jerome Iginla. Lucky bastard.

For the current standings go here.

My Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on May 30, 2004 @ 08:10 in Quotes

Mike's Quote of the Week"Yeah, you're the shit, but you won't be it for long, oh, there's always someone cooler than you."
      - Ben Folds, "There's Always Someone Cooler Than You"

Toronto Hip Concert
Published by Toronto Mike on May 29, 2004 @ 18:47 in The Tragically Hip

Toronto Hip ConcertThe rumour I wrote about last week that The Tragically Hip will be playing the Molson Ampitheatre here in Toronto on July 1 can now be stated as fact.

The official announcement isn't until Monday so I don't have any further details to post. Check back here Monday if you're curious. Hip! Hip! Hip! Hip! Hip!

Choking Cake
Published by Toronto Mike on May 29, 2004 @ 18:34 in Memories

Choking CakeWhen I was a wee lad I once attending a birthday party with a unique cake. Placed inside the cake were coins wrapped in tin foil. As you ate your cake you could come across these dimes, pennies, nickels and quarters which you could then keep.

I was thinking about this idea for a kids party and I now realize how completely insane the entire concept is. Actually, it's downright dangerous. How many kids had to needless choke to death because quarters were intentionally placed in their cake? And it's not like they were putting twenty dollar bills in the cake either. Even back then, a nickel didn't get you very far. Between the choking hazard and complete cheapness of it all I wonder how the heck this evil baker got away with it all.

Goodnight Moon
Published by Toronto Mike on May 29, 2004 @ 08:13 in Family

Goodnight MoonSometime between jammy time and beddy-bye time, I like to read James our favourite bedtime book, Goodnight Moon. There is something about this calming story by Margaret Wise Brown with soothing illustrations by Clement Hurd that make it the ideal book to read to kids just before bed.

Here's the story if you're unfamiliar with it. If you have trouble drifting away at night, and you have nobody to read Goodnight Moon to you, I suggest you buy this book on tape and play it at bedtime. I guarantee instant sleep and sweet dreams all night long.

Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on May 29, 2004 @ 08:02 in Homer's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Ah, sweet pity. Where would my love life have been without it?"

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on May 28, 2004 @ 18:45 in Links to External Web Sites, The Simpsons

Mike's FavouritesGuide to Springfield USA - This is a highly detailed map of the Simpsons' hometown. You have to see this to believe it. The detail is awesome. Here's a pic.

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on May 28, 2004 @ 13:24 in Friday Fives

Friday FiveMy favourite Robert Duvall movies

  1. The Godfather: Part II
  2. The Godfather
  3. Apocalypse Now
  4. The Natural
  5. Falling Down
The Way The Music Died
Published by Toronto Mike on May 28, 2004 @ 09:03 in Music

The Way The Music DiedI made a point of watching The Way The Music Died, a PBS Frontline documentary that aired last night.

They made a big deal about the perfect storm that is killing the quality of new music. I was intrigued by their analysis of the big six occurrences that created this perfect storm and I agree with them. Below are the big six and a word or two about each one.

  1. The "Corporatization" of the Music Industry - It's all about pushing units! More than ever, record companies are run like big conglomerates and they don't care what you sound like or the integrity of the music so long as it sells. They want your latest disc by a certain date and they need it to sell x copies in x weeks. You can't treat art this way, can you?
  2. The MTV Effect - Getting played on MTV means exposure and exposure creates a hit record. Unfortunately, MTV requires a nice 3 minute video that looks good. Music is for the ears but now we have a bigger emphasis on the visual. This produces more good looking musicians who can't actually sing. Not good.
  3. The Wal-Mart Effect - This one pisses me off. Wal-Mart and other big chains like it account for 50% of music sales in the United States. On the flip-side, the selling of music accounts for about 1% of Wal-Mart's business. What really ruins the art of music is that Wal-Mart is all about family values and they're very careful about what they'll sell in their stores so a musician must choose safe cover art and reduce the expletives if they want to be carried by Wal-Mart. If you're not carried by Wal-Mart, it's unlikely your album will be a hit. Sad but true.
  4. The Invention of the CD - The introduction of the CD caused the sale of music to boom. This was good for record companies, but extremely deceiving. People were buying older albums on CD that they had previous purchased on vinyl and cassette and this bubble had to burst sometime. The CD masked serious problems for the music industry.
  5. Internet Piracy - I've written a great deal about this one. When Napster came into prominence, everyone and their mother started downloading their favourite tunes. It was easy and it was free. Of course, the record companies did themselves no favour by overpricing CDs and releasing albums which only contained one or two decent songs. The rest were shite. Who wouldn't download that one single you wanted without having to part with a twenty?
  6. Radio Consolidation - Back in the day, some crazy DJ in Philadelphia might start spinning a song others thought was a little too different for mass appeal. This song might start creating a buzz and requests for this tune might start piling in. Next thing you know, other stations start playing this tune and suddenly a new sound has become popular....an unlikely hit is born. Today, Clear Channel and other giant media companies control what is played in every market and there's no chance for a crazy DJ to play something different. Everything is driven by ratings and playing it safe. The opportunities for an unestablished band to succeed are extremely limited. Too few companies control too much media resulting in too much standardization and sanitation.

It was a very interesting show. There were many interviews with members of Velvet Revolver and David Crosby. If they ever re-run it, try and catch it. It's a sad world for music right now. It's a damn shame.

Pool Update: Day Fifty One
Published by Toronto Mike on May 28, 2004 @ 08:38 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolLike two prize fighters exchanging jabs, both Alexi and Marc led the way last night with three points a piece in our 2004 playoff pool. Marc maintains his slim three point lead but with the finals tied at two, there are many games left to play.

For the current standings go here.

Yahoo! Anti-Spy
Published by Toronto Mike on May 27, 2004 @ 13:28 in

Yahoo! Anti-SpyYahoo! Anti-Spy
I believe in giving credit where credit is due. I've long been a fan of Yahoo!. I've had an email account with them since 1995 and I use their Instant Messenger and tool bar companion. Today, they unvieled Yahoo! Anti-Spy which is integrated with their new Yahoo! Toolbar. From what I can tell thus far, the Yahoo! Toolbar is what they used to refer to as the Yahoo! Companion simply re-branded with their new Anti-Spy application. The bottom line is this new download will find and remove spyware and other unwanted programs while acting as an effective pop-up blocker, search tool and personalized bookmarker.

I think this is a very handy tool, especially if you're already using other Yahoo! services. You can download it here.

Mikael Renberg
Published by Toronto Mike on May 27, 2004 @ 11:45 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Mikael RenbergMikael Renberg has signed a three-year deal with Lulea of the Swedish Elite League thus ending his career as a Toronto Maple Leaf.

Renberg spent three seasons in Toronto, scoring 40 goals and 112 points. My expectations for him after we traded for him were pretty high. Needless to say I'm disappointed when I look back at his time wearing the blue and white.

Renberg's stock rose to unreasonable expectations thanks to the fact he played alongside Eric Lindros and John LeClair on the Legion of Doom line for Philadelphia. The Legion of Doom were awesome because they were big and productive. Lindros was one of the best players in the league and LeClair was one of the best snipers. Renberg rode their coattails and once he left the Flyers he was never again able to be such a force in the NHL. He's still a fine player he's just not a star and when we traded for Renberg we thought we might be getting a star.

Toronto Radio Ratings
Published by Toronto Mike on May 26, 2004 @ 19:51 in Edge 102 ~ CFNY, Radio

Toronto Radio RatingsI love listening to the radio. Back in July I wrote about my six favourite stations at the time and how I've always enjoyed the radio.

The Bureau of Broadcast Measurement has just released the Toronto radio ratings for Spring 2004. Here they are in order along with their share of the market. Also, because I know you care, I'm including my opinion of each station.

CHUM-FM 8.5 - Here at number one we have my mom's favourite radio station. Need I say more? If you like middle of the road safe pop music, you'll like this station. The first thing I do when I step into my Mom's car is dive for that radio dial. CHUM-FM is brutal.

97.3 EZ Rock 7.8 - The music on EZ Rock makes the music on CHUM-FM sound like Motorhead. EZ Rock appeals to boring chicks by playing Celine Dion three times an hour. It doesn't get any worse than Toronto's second most popular station. Judging from the top two, Toronto loves crap. Please don't hold this fact against me.

CBC Radio One 7.2 - For a brief period of time, I was a CBC Radio One listener. Depending on the topic, it can be rather interesting and refreshing. I don't listen very much anymore, but every once in a while I catch an interesting subject and enjoy myself immensely.

CHFI 6.9 - Along with the top two stations in this market, CHFI plays it safe by playing ultra safe and boring pop music. A little Sting here, a splash of Phil Collins there and a dose of Shania Twain to stir things up a little...but only her ballads. Her rockin' stuff is way too hard for CHFI.

Q107 6.5 - For most of my life I was a big fan of this station. I love rock on the radio and Q107 used to be a great rock station. The top ten at ten is where I'd go for the latest Guns N' Roses tune or Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road". Now, they're Classic Rock and I haven't been in a classic rock mood for many months. As a result, I've probably heard six minutes of The Mighty Q all year.

CFRB Newstalk 1010 6.3 - Conservative minded people love the chat on this talk radio station. I don't. If you're a close minded person who hates immigrants and homosexuals and thinks we should lock up jaywalkers and throw away the key, this station is for you. No Dubya bashers allowed, but Paul Martin haters are welcomed with open arms.

Classical 96.3 5.3 - Perfect for any dentist's waiting room. Otherwise, avoid unless about to fall asleep.

AM 740 5.0 - I couldn't tell you a thing about this station. I'm surprised they got a 5 share.

102.1 The Edge 4.7 - This is the station I listen to 80% of the time. It's the station I hear in the shower and throughout the day. They play the music I want to hear and I love them for it. Without this station and their format I'd listen to a great deal less radio. I've been listening to CFNY for over fifteen years now and I don't plan to stop...unless they go country or start playing Good Charlotte.

680 News 4.2 - I must admit, if I'm stuck in traffic or need a weather report, I scoot over to 680 News for a few minutes. In and out.

Mix 99.9 4.1 - How the mighty have fallen. I don't think the Mix people will be happy with a 4.1. These guys want to be with the big boys like CHUM and EZ Rock but instead they're stuck between an all-news station and some station I've never heard of. Poor Humble and Fred...

Z103.5 3.5 - I've never heard of this station. I suspect they're dance and have a weak signal because I don't pick up much between CFNY and CHUM-FM.

Flow 93.5 3.3 - I tried to like this station because I enjoy a good rap and hip-hop tune now and then, but I rarely hear rap or hip-hop on this urban station. It's mainly R&B when I cruise on over and I'm not a fan. Flow should play more Public Enemy and less Usher.

Jack 92.5 3.2 - I'm glad the ratings are low for Jack. "Playing what we want", they say. Playing crap like the other middle of the road stations is what they should have said. I don't have time for more Rod Stewart and Dixie Chicks.

Fan 590 2.2 - The Bob McCown show during the afternoons entertains me. If something extremely interesting is going on the world of sports, I'll give the Fan a slice of my radio day. Their 20/20 sports updates are convenient for a sports buff like myself.

CBC Radio Two 1.9 - I've never heard this station but I think it's mainly classical snooze stuff.

1050 chum 1.8 - I don't listen to 1050 because I don't have any interest in hearing oldies on the radio. The Everly Brothers are fine, but there's about twenty other stations I'd rather hear.

Country 95.3 1.8 - The country music you'll hear here sucks.

Mojo Radio 1.7 - Mojo airs Leafs games, but listening to their biased commentary on my team is painful. These guys drive me to the Fan for my sports discussion and news. Mike Stafford in the afternoon is a fairly smart show, but the rest is just stupid. Brain dead radio for guys who don't want to think.

Jazz FM 91 1.6 - Jazz bores me.

Foxy 88.5 1.2 - I think this is another oldies station. One is one too many.

Other 11.2 - A few of my favourite stations would be filed under this "other" category. I enjoy 97.7 out of St. Catherines, 108 out of Hamilton and 92.9 out of Buffalo. 92.9 is a particular favourite of mine because they broadcast The Howard Stern Show, a favourite of mine for the past seven years.

There you have it, my thoughts on Toronto's radio scene. Most of it I dislike, but I'm a big fan of 102.1 The Edge and a sometimes listener of 97.7, 108, 92.9 and the Fan 590. Once in a blue moon I hear Mojo Radio, CBC Radio One and 680 News.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on May 26, 2004 @ 15:39 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeaceRichard Biggs was 44. He played Dr. Stephen Franklin on "Babylon 5" and also had a long run on the soap opera "Days of Our Lives".

Archie Andrews
Published by Toronto Mike on May 26, 2004 @ 12:57 in Memories

Archie AndrewsWho wasn't at some point a fan of Archie Comics? I ate them up like candies as a kid but I eventually outgrew their predictable and silly plot lines. My brother Ryan, on the other hand, still reads and enjoys his old Archie Comics and he's closer to 30 than 20.

For Ryan, and others stuck in their pre-teen years, I give you past Archie comics where you can actually read several old Archie stories online. Miss Grundy, Mr. Weatherbee, Mr. Lodge, Coach Clayton, Miss Beazley, Ethel, Midge, Dilton Doiley and the regulars are all there in their full-colour glory.

Weekly MP3
Published by Toronto Mike on May 26, 2004 @ 11:39 in Weekly MP3s

Weekly MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have one week to grab this weeks MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Aaron Lewis - Black
This MP3 is from The Family Values Tour 2001 compilation. Aaron Lewis is the lead singer of Staind and this song is a cover of a Pearl Jam song that means a great deal to me. When Pearl Jam released Ten back in 1991, I was swept away by the raw energy and emotion of all 11 tracks. From the opening waves of "Once" to the extended notes of "Release", Ten was and is an exceptional album. It would have been easy to share a track from Ten, but I'm guessing everyone already owns a copy of Ten. "Black" is a beautiful ballad from Ten and Aaron Lewis does it justice on this MP3 I'm sharing this week.

Enjoy.

The Walkman
Published by Toronto Mike on May 26, 2004 @ 08:42 in Memories

The WalkmanToday, people are putting together massive mixes for their iPod or other MP3 players. When I was in grade school, we were all about the Sony Walkman. We'd dub mixes on a cassette tape. That's right kids, a cassette tape. Here's a picture of one if you don't know what I'm talking about.

This is a story about a classmate of mine who had quite an effect on my listening habits. His name was Tim McDougall and we were in grade six or seven, I can't quite recall. I was listening to a tape I made for my Walkman and this mix was a bunch of Billy Idol with some Bon Jovi and U2 sprinkled in for good measure. Tim had his own Walkman and we got to talking about music we liked. I remember the next moment perfectly, because even though it was brief the impact it would have on me would be immeasurable. Tim told me to listen to his headphones for a bit. Tim was listening to The Sex Pistols and hearing this tape opened my ears to a sound that intrigued me. Billy Idol, Bon Jovi and U2 were fine, but this was something quite different. Remember that scene in Almost Famous when the kid listens to his sisters records for the first time? That was me.

I've never shared this story before and I don't know if Tim will ever stumble upon this webpage, but if he does I just have one word for him. Thanks.

Pool Update: Day Forty Nine
Published by Toronto Mike on May 26, 2004 @ 08:21 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolO Canada! Calgary is three wins away from bringing the Stanley Cup back home where it belongs.

Only three of us in our 2004 playoff pool recorded points last night and they were the first three who selected players in our early April draft. Coincidence? Probably.

For the current standings go here.

Raging Storm 4, The Hollywoods 12
Published by Toronto Mike on May 25, 2004 @ 22:03 in Raging Storm

Slo-Pitch ResultsIt was a rough night for us members of Raging Storm. A listless offence and poor defense added up to a brutal loss in our second game of the season. We're now a mediocre 1-1.

A visit to the Raging Storm homepage will show you I went 2 for 3 and am now batting .714 for the season. Still, the only statistic that matters is team wins and we weren't even close to one tonight. We'll need a better showing next week, this much I know is true.

Family Guy Quotes
Published by Toronto Mike on May 25, 2004 @ 12:20 in Television

Family Guy QuotesI stumbled upon an excellent collection of Family Guy Quotes. You can browse by character, episode or theme.

Here's one of 274 gems.

Chris: Dad, what's the blow-hole for?
Peter: I'll tell you what it's not for, son. And when I do, you'll understand why I can never go back to Sea World.

Thank goodness they're bringing this show back.

Richie Sexson
Published by Toronto Mike on May 25, 2004 @ 09:46 in Sports

Richie SexsonSay it ain't so Richie. Say it ain't so.

A doctor for Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Richie Sexson has recommended surgery for the slugger. Why do I care about the premature ending of Richie Sexson's season you're wondering. Richie Sexson has become an important footnote in my life.

A few years back, my brother Steve and I were at Skydome to watch our Blue Jays take on the Cleveland Indians. We got there early so we could watch batting practice. I was standing in the 200 level beyond the left field fence. Cleveland's Richie Sexson was taking swings and launched a missle in my direction. That's when I secured my first baseball actually hit by a major league player.

I've added a ball hit by Shannon Stewart to my collection since, but I'll never forget my first. Richie Sexson, I wish you a speedy recovery my friend.

Most Listened to Bands
Published by Toronto Mike on May 25, 2004 @ 09:27 in Lists, Music

Most Listened to BandsI've been using the Audioscrobbler plug-in for Winamp for about three weeks now. Feel free to check out my Audioscrobbler page to see what I've been listening to.

This thing is great. It works so deep under the covers I don't even realize it's doing it's thing. For fun, here are the ten bands I've listened to the most over the past three weeks. By the way, the page will show Disney at number nine, but that's just how the Bear in the Big Blue House theme was credited and James listened to it on repeat for a while causing it to register 34 times.

  1. Nirvana
  2. Pearl Jam
  3. The Tragically Hip
  4. Beastie Boys
  5. Alice In Chains
  6. Public Enemy
  7. System of a Down
  8. The White Stripes
  9. Radiohead
  10. Sublime
Sweet Victoria's Big Day
Published by Toronto Mike on May 24, 2004 @ 17:32 in My 2 Cents

Sweet Victoria's Big DayAffectionately known by Canadians as The May 2-4 Weekend, today is Victoria Day, a statutory holiday in this country. On a weekend when many head North to the cottage or camping and others look forward to fireworks it once again rained cats and dogs. It always rains cats and dogs on The May 2-4 holiday Monday.

Last year I wrote an entry on Victoria Day questioning why we're celebrating the birth of some Queen of Britain who's been dead for over a hundred years. I suggested we re-brand this holiday Terry Fox day, or Wayne Gretzky day or John Candy day or even Don Cherry Day. We should Canadianize it and stop being "Britain's bitch".

I've given this a lot of thought since then and I've decided we should celebrate a different Canadian legend each year on this date. In fact, I don't think we should know which Canadian we're celebrating until the Friday before the long weekend. A proclamation could be made by the Prime Minister on that day letting us know who we can thank for the day off of work.

Today, I stayed away from work but not in honour of the birth of Queen Victoria. I stayed home in honour of Dave Andreychuk. Andreychuk, born in Hamilton, Ontario, waited 22 seasons to reach the Stanley Cup finals, which begin Tuesday night. He had played in 154 playoff games, more than any other player had ever played without reaching the finals. He played an integral role in my Maple Leafs' back-to-back Conference final appearances a decade ago becoming only the third Leaf to score 50 goals in a season, following Rick Vaive and Gary Leeman. Dave Andreychuk is now a grizzled veteran at the age of 40 and looking to go out on top.

Enjoy Dave Andreychuk Day.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on May 24, 2004 @ 17:05 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesUse Your Illusion - This is a visual illusion we've all seen before, but it's so good it's worth another trip. Do yourself a favour, click this link and use your illusion.

The Simpsons on Blogging
Published by Toronto Mike on May 24, 2004 @ 12:42 in The Simpsons

The Simpsons on BloggingThe conclusion of The Simpsons was a satirical commentary on blogging. Although they never mentioned blogging or even the world wide web for that matter, there was no doubt who they were talking about. Below is the transcript.

Lisa: [Picks up paper from doorstep] The Homer Times?
Homer (voiceover): All my daughter ever did was to tell people to think for themselves. I may be her father, but when I grow up, I want to be just like her. Except, still a dude.
Lisa: [hugs Homer] Oh, dad. This is so sweet. But I've learned that one little paper can't make a difference in this world. [is hit in the head with a rolled-up newspaper] The Barney Bugle?
Barney: Lisa, you made me realize the importance of free and independent media. So I printed my own paper! Although it's mostly culled from wire services. *belch*
Lenny: Hey, who wants a copy of the Lenny Saver?
Lisa: You have a newspaper too?
Lenny: Well, I was reading the Homer Times about what you did for us, and I thought that maybe I should start asking my own questions. You know... find out the truth about things. [unrolls paper, which says: "The Truth About Carl: He's Great!"] [wipes tear] It had to be told.
Willie: Check out the Willie World News! I reviewed the new tractors. They're all shite!

Homer: See Lisa, instead of one big-shot controlling all the media, now there's a thousand freaks xeroxing their worthless opinions.
Lisa: I couldn't be prouder.

Selma: Are you a Patty or a Selma? Take our quiz.
Captain McAllister: Well blow me down. I'm a Selma!

A thousand freaks xeroxing their worthless opinions. Yep, that sounds about right. I too couldn't be prouder.

The Monday Shuffle
Published by Toronto Mike on May 24, 2004 @ 12:18 in Monday Shuffles

Monday ShuffleEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in Winamp and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten I heard today.

  1. Weezer - Take Control
  2. Otis Redding - Nobody Knows You (When You're Down And Out)
  3. The Beatles - Doctor Robert
  4. Mother Love Bone - Mr. Danny Boy
  5. Pearl Jam - mfc
  6. Korn - Play Me
  7. The Tragically Hip - Scared
  8. Slim Harpo - Rainin' In My Heart
  9. Ice Cube - We Had To Tear This Mothafucka Up
  10. Alice In Chains - Down In A Hole
Bohemian Rhapsody
Published by Toronto Mike on May 23, 2004 @ 17:35 in Family, Lists, Music

Bohemian RhapsodyI recently introduced James to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". I remember my brothers and I having a great time singing along to this epic even before Wayne's World introduced it to a new generation. James and I holler along to the operatic part and bob our heads in unison. It's very cool.

What's even cooler is that James tries to sing the "Mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go" part. When he starts singing about Beelzebub and starts banging his head my heart melts. Nothing could make a father prouder.

Speaking of "Bohemian Rhapsody", the Phonographic Performance Ltd took in data from 70 years of radio, club, shop and jukebox plays to find out which songs got the most airing in the United Kingdom from 1957 until 1994. "Bohemian Rhapsody" finished second. Here's the top 10:

  1. Procul Harum "A Whiter Shade Of Pale"
  2. Queen "Bohemian Rhapsody"
  3. Wet Wet Wet "Love Is All Around"
  4. The Everly Brothers "All I Have To Do Is Dream"/"Claudette"
  5. Bryan Adams "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You"
  6. Abba "Dancing Queen"
  7. Elvis Presley "All Shook Up"
  8. Rod Stewart "Maggie May"
  9. The Beatles "Hello Goodbye"
  10. The Beatles "Get Back"
Au Francais
Published by Toronto Mike on May 23, 2004 @ 16:38 in The Simpsons

Au FrancaisEarly on Saturday afternoon I found myself with a little time to kill while James napped. I started channel surfing the Ottawa dial and I found something I had never seen in Toronto. I found an episode of The Simpsons in French on one of the many French stations in our Nation's capital.

Naturally, I stopped and watched. The fact I didn't understand what they were saying was irrelevant because I was so familiar with the episode I pretty well know the words by heart. What I found fascinating was how much the French voice actors sounded like their English counterparts.

I know they have that extra on the DVD for Season 1 which shows clips of The Simpsons in various languages, but you need to see a complete episode to truly appreciate this. Homer sounds like Homer, Marge sounds like Marge and Bart sounds like Bart. The words even seem to match up with the movement of the characters' lips. I'm telling you, The Simpsons was as funny in French as it is in English.

By the way, the 15th Season of The Simpons ends tonight with the airing of the season finale. You won't see another new episode until November so don't you dare miss it.

$16.50
Published by Toronto Mike on May 23, 2004 @ 16:14 in My 2 Cents

$16.50We just got back from Ottawa. Taryn's Grandmother had an eightieth birthday party so we made the long road trip east for the occasion. The birthday party was held in a restaurant in the Chateau Laurier Hotel, way too swanky an establishment for my liking. I would have held it at Kelsey's or Pizza Hut but that's just me.

For those who don't know the Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa it looks like a damn castle and it's right by the Parliament Buildings. We had to be there for five and I was running a little late so I didn't have time to hunt for free parking in downtown Ottawa. As a result, I had to park at the Chateau Laurier Hotel underground parking lot and I had to keep my car there for almost four hours. Alternative options did not exist.

After the dinner and dessert we prepared to pay our dues with the parking attendant. As I approached the booth, I got my ten dollar bill ready so I could make a quick escape. That's when he punched my card and asked for $16.50. That's right, $16.50. Parking a few hours to visit this restaurant in Ottawa cost me $16.50.

Paying that much for parking really hurts. I could win a million dollars in the lottery next week and I'd still get upset over the $16.50 parking tab. I'm a great deal like George Costanza in this regard. I hate to pay through the nose for anything that I might be able to score for free with a little effort. It never cost me $16.50 to park at Pizza Hut.

My Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on May 23, 2004 @ 15:37 in Quotes

Mike's Quote of the Week"Great events make me quiet and calm; it is only trifles that irritate my nerves."
      - Queen Victoria

Pool Update: Day Forty Six
Published by Toronto Mike on May 22, 2004 @ 21:53 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolI was rooting heavily for Tampa Bay, so I was quite pleased when they defeated the Flyers tonight and CBC took that annual lingering shot of an unhappy Bob Clarke in the press box.

Five participants are left without a player in our 2004 playoff pool, including Ryan who led for much of the post season and is currently in a solid third place. That means Alexi and Marc will be duking it out for the championship. It's also worth noting that Pops did not register a point and will therefore finish last becoming the first person to go from first to worst in our annual pool. Congratulations Pops!

For the current standings go here.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on May 22, 2004 @ 13:56 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesWhat Canadian City Are You? - This simple quiz will tell you what Canadian city you are. I took it and learned I'm Toronto. What a coincidence.

Kevin McDonald
Published by Toronto Mike on May 22, 2004 @ 13:23 in Television

Kevin McDonaldI was just watching the Muchmusic Countdown and Outkast's "Roses" is in the top 10. I've seen this video a few times now and every time I find it hilarious that Kevin McDonald has such a cameo. What the heck is Kevin McDonald doing in an Outkast video?

What would the guys from Outkast even know him from? His IMDB page suggests they may be fans of his recurring role on That '70s Show or Big Boi and Andre 3000 just have really good taste and worship his position as one of the Kids in the Hall. That was one damn funny show, wasn't it? Good for Kevin.

Wink Wink
Published by Toronto Mike on May 22, 2004 @ 08:40 in

Wink WinkThis is a top secret message for you-know-who from Reflex. The fat man walks alone. Mission successful thus far...no issues encountered. All is well.

Wink, wink.

Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on May 22, 2004 @ 08:34 in Homer's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Stealing! How could you?! Haven't you learned anything from that guy who gives those sermons at church? Captain What's-his-name?"

Gas Prices
Published by Toronto Mike on May 21, 2004 @ 21:15 in My 2 Cents

Gas PricesEarlier this week I received three emails from people telling me not to buy gasoline yesterday. You probably had this email forwarded to you. This mass strike was going to wreak havoc with the gas companies and the price was going to drop as a result.

I didn't need to fill up on gas yesterday, so I did my part. Today, gas prices in the GTA are mainly in the low 90s. I saw 91.2 this morning. It doesn't appear this hold-out had any effect. Why would it? They know they have this car-loving society by the proverbial gonads.

At almost a buck a litre filling up the tank is painful. Unfortunately, I have to do exactly that this afternoon. Being the long weekend and all, you need fuel to drive from A to B. Where the hell is that car that runs on garbage that I saw at the end of Back to the Future?

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on May 21, 2004 @ 14:21 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesArt Car at the Hippie Fair - I have seen my next car, and this is it. Absolutely stunning.

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on May 21, 2004 @ 09:00 in Friday Fives

Friday FiveMy favourite songs by the Beastie Boys

  1. Sabotage
  2. So Watcha Want
  3. Pass The Mic
  4. Hey Ladies
  5. Time For Livin'
Pool Update: Day Forty Four
Published by Toronto Mike on May 21, 2004 @ 08:44 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolWatching overtime last night hoping the Tampa Bay Lightning would prevail, I was thoroughly impressed by the end to end action. As overtimes go, this was particularly exciting. Unfortunately, the Flyers prevailed which is very good news for Ryan and terrible news for Alexi in our 2004 playoff pool.

Meanwhile, Marc has moved into first place and Pops has tied Stefan for last place. If Tampa Bay wins game seven, and Lady Luck helps me out, I could catch Ryan for third. Not too shabby...

For the current standings go here.

Hammy Hamster
Published by Toronto Mike on May 20, 2004 @ 21:33 in Memories, TV Time Machine, Television

Hammy HamsterI remember fondly being mesmerized by Hammy Hamster. Hammy Hamster was the lead character in a television show entitled Hammy Hamster and he was indeed a hamster. Not a cartoon hamster, but an actual hamster. His best friend was G.P. who was a guinea pig and there were others. These riverbank creatures had calming adventures and I was just psyched to see actual rodents performing. It was very cool.

The creator of Hammy Hamster and the soothing voice who narrated the show was Paul Sutherland. Paul passed away on May 15 at age 73.

I'd like to thank Paul Sutherland for a creation that entertained me immensely in my formative years. I hope one day James and I can sit down and enjoy the adventures of Hammy Hamster and G.P. on the riverbank. I'd like that very much.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on May 20, 2004 @ 13:03 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.

I gotta put my vote in for Braveheart. FREEDOM!

     Mike Hollick

For those who didn't bother scrolling past my Dubya rant, Mike is commenting on the Best Movie Death Scenes.

With the recent release of Troy, Taryn and I were talking about movies of that genre. In my opinion, they all pale now compared with Braveheart. Braveheart is an absolutely wonderful movie and one I simply can't get sick of. "Aye. Fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live. At least awhile... And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance -- just one chance -- to come back here and tell our enemies that they make take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!!"

How History Will View Dubya
Published by Toronto Mike on May 20, 2004 @ 12:49 in Politics

How History Will View DubyaI'm a History major. No seriously, I double majored in History and English at the University of Toronto. As we live through the age of Dubya, I often wonder how future history text books will look back at his legacy. How will history view the presidency of George W. Bush?

According to this excellent article, Historians vs. George W. Bush, historians will not look upon the Dubya regime fondly. According to a recent survey, eight in ten historians responding rate the current presidency an overall failure.

Several charges against the Bush administration arose repeatedly in the comments of historians who responded to the survey. Among them were: the doctrine of pre-emptive war, crony capitalism/being "completely in bed with certain corporate interests," bankruptcy/fiscal irresponsibility, military adventurism, trampling of civil liberties, and anti-environmental policies.

Robert S. McElvaine, who wrote this article, concludes with the following. It's long, but it's well worth repeating.

My own answer to the question was based on astonishment that so many people still support a president who has:

  • Presided over the loss of approximately three million American jobs in his first two-and-a-half years in office, the worst record since Herbert Hoover.
  • Overseen an economy in which the stock market suffered its worst decline in the first two years of any administration since Hoover’s.
  • Taken, in the wake of the terrorist attacks two years ago, the greatest worldwide outpouring of goodwill the United States has enjoyed at least since World War II and squandered it by insisting on pursuing a foolish go-it-almost-alone invasion of Iraq, thereby transforming almost universal support for the United States into worldwide condemnation. (One historian made this point particularly well: “After inadvertently gaining the sympathies of the world 's citizens when terrorists attacked New York and Washington, Bush has deliberately turned the country into the most hated in the world by a policy of breaking all major international agreements, declaring it our right to invade any country that we wish, proving that he’ll manipulate facts to justify anything he wishes to do, and bull-headedly charging into a quagmire.”)
  • Misled (to use the most charitable word and interpretation) the American public about weapons of mass destruction and supposed ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq and so into a war that has plainly (and entirely predictably) made us less secure, caused a boom in the recruitment of terrorists, is killing American military personnel needlessly, and is threatening to suck up all our available military forces and be a bottomless pit for the money of American taxpayers for years to come.
  • Failed to follow through in Afghanistan, where the Taliban and Al Qaeda are regrouping, once more increasing the threat to our people.
  • Insulted and ridiculed other nations and international organizations and now has to go, hat in hand, to those nations and organizations begging for their assistance.
  • Completely miscalculated or failed to plan for the personnel and monetary needs in Iraq after the war, so that he sought and obtained an $87 billion appropriation for Iraq, a sizable chunk of which is going, without competitive bidding to Haliburton, the company formerly headed by his vice president.
  • Inherited an annual federal budget surplus of $230 billion and transformed it into a $500+ billion deficit in less than three years. This negative turnaround of three-quarters of a trillion dollars is totally without precedent in our history. The ballooning deficit for fiscal 2004 is rapidly approaching twice the dollar size of the previous record deficit, $290 billion, set in 1992, the last year of the administration of President Bush’s father and, at almost 5 percent of GDP, is closing in on the percentage record set by Ronald Reagan in 1986.
  • Cut taxes three times, sharply reducing the burden on the rich, reclassified money obtained through stock ownership as more deserving than money earned through work. The idea that dividend income should not be taxed—what might accurately be termed the unearned income tax credit—can be stated succinctly: “If you had to work for your money, we’ll tax it; if you didn’t have to work for it, you can keep it all.”
  • Severely curtailed the very American freedoms that our military people are supposed to be fighting to defend. (“The Patriot Act,” one of the historians noted, “is the worst since the Alien and Sedition Acts under John Adams.”)
  • Called upon American armed service people, including Reserve forces, to sacrifice for ever-lengthening tours of duty in a hostile and dangerous environment while he rewards the rich at home with lower taxes and legislative giveaways and gives lucrative no-bid contracts to American corporations linked with the administration.
  • Given an opportunity to begin to change the consumption-oriented values of the nation after September 11, 2001, when people were prepared to make a sacrifice for the common good, called instead of Americans to ‘sacrifice’ by going out and buying things.
  • Proclaimed himself to be a conservative while maintaining that big government should be able to run roughshod over the Bill of Rights, and that the government must have all sorts of secrets from the people, but the people can be allowed no privacy from the government. (As one of the historians said, “this is not a conservative administration; it is a reckless and arrogant one, beholden to a mix of right-wing ideologues, neo-con fanatics, and social Darwinian elitists.”)

Who wants to bet Dubya gets re-elected in November? The man turns my stomach.

Best Movie Death Scenes
Published by Toronto Mike on May 20, 2004 @ 12:36 in Lists, Movies

Best Movie Death ScenesA Total Film poll of movie critics has attempted to rank the "best movie death" of all time.

Here are their top ten.

  1. Psycho
  2. Dr Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb
  3. King Kong
  4. Die Hard
  5. Bonnie and Clyde
  6. Bambi
  7. Scream (1966)
  8. Gladiator
  9. Star Wars
  10. White Heat

I can think of several awesome death scenes in Quentin Tarantino movies alone. Also, you have to give props to that "curb job" scene in American History X which very well may be the most difficult death scene I've ever watched. And finally, off the top of my head, there is that brutally cold death scene in Saving Private Ryan. You can't argue with Psycho's infamous shower scene though.

Pool Update: Day Forty Three
Published by Toronto Mike on May 20, 2004 @ 08:46 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolThe Calgary Flames have advanced to the Stanley Cup finals. With a low payroll and tremendous work ethic, this underdog has captured the heart of Canada as we seek to return the cup to the true north strong and free for the first time since 1993. The elimination of San Jose means two competitors in our 2004 playoff pool are left without a player remaining. Joe and Stefan are finished.

This is good news for Pops who is trying to avoid becoming the first person to go from first to worst. Pops is currently two points behind Stefan so a big night from his Philly duo and he'll be out of the basement. Meanwhile, at the top of the food chain, Marc collected another two points to move within one of Alexi.

For the current standings go here.

SLS Submission
Published by Toronto Mike on May 19, 2004 @ 13:34 in SLS ~ Smells Like Sour

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

I submitted "Slither" by Velvet Revolver. "Slither" is a cool blend of STP and Guns N' Roses, two of my favourite bands of all time. Scott Weiland offers the STP-style vocals we all know and love while Slash and the others give you that taste of the Gunners. This is a very cool tune that gets better and better with every listen.

Velvet Revolver and Audioslave have a lot of similarities. Both are fronted by lead singers from very popular grunge-era bands. Audioslave's Chris Cornell was lead singer of Soundgarden while Velvet Revolver's Scott Weiland fronted the Stone Temple Pilots. The remainder of Audioslave were members of Rage Against the Machine while the remainder of Velvet Revolver were members of Guns N' Roses. The name Audioslave is rather similar to the name Soundgarden. Audio=Sound. Velvet Revolver's name is similar to the name Guns N' Roses. A revolver is a gun and it's juxtaposed with velvet much like gun was juxtaposed with roses. And finally, a song from each band will most likely appear on SLS11. Both Audioslave's "What You Are" and Velvet Revolver's "Slither" will make the cut. You can bet on it.

Weekly MP3
Published by Toronto Mike on May 19, 2004 @ 12:02 in Weekly MP3s

Weekly MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have one week to grab this weeks MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

System of a Down - Chop Suey!
This MP3 is from System of a Down's "Toxicity". I wrote about this song yesterday so I thought I'd share it today. It's one of my favourite tracks of all time from one of my favourite albums of all time. This song is flawless. I dare you to disagree. If you do, write a Guest Blog about it!

Sum 41
Published by Toronto Mike on May 19, 2004 @ 11:35 in Music, My 2 Cents

Sum 41When a rock band comes out of somewhere like Ajax, Ontario, I try very hard to like them. "Fat Lip" was a cool tune with a cool video which gave hope to my cause. Sum 41 was selling a tonne of albums and were quickly becoming princes in the pop-punk kingdom. I really, really wanted to like this band. There was only one problem. I didn't.

When it comes to music, your ears like what your ears like. The Sum 41 sound does not appeal to me. Their hits are far from horrible and they don't make me want to hurl like other so-called pop-punk acts like Good Charlotte, but I've never gone out of my way to hear a Sum 41 song and I'm more likely than not to turn the station during one.

A popular rock band from Ajax and I'm not a fan, despite my serious attempt to be one. These ears have a mind of their own.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on May 19, 2004 @ 10:07 in Links to External Web Sites, Memories

Mike's FavouritesEleven Twelve - As a toddler, I spent a great many hours watching Sesame Street. Looking back at Sesame Street as a guy quickly approaching thirty, I have a lot of good memories, but two sequences in particular stick out in my mind.

One bit had Cookie Monster trying to get a train over a bridge but an avalanche dumps a ton of snow on the tracks and Cookie Monster is left wondering how he'll ever get the train through. There was something stunning about the imagery of this sequence with the mountainous backdrop and the train trying to triumph over the chaos surrounding it. Another bit I always loved was "Pinball Number Count" which you might remember better for it's killer theme song "One two three, four five, six seven eight nine ten, eleven twelve" which played while we follow a pinball bouncing around. This link is to a cool remix of this memorable song. If you want the MP3, you can get it here.

The Perfect Game
Published by Toronto Mike on May 19, 2004 @ 09:25 in Sports

The Perfect GameAs a child, I fell in love with the romanticism of baseball. I loved the never ending number of statistics and trivial components to the game. As a Blue Jays fan, every time a batter hit a base hit in his first at bat, I was watching a potential cycle. Every time a Blue Jays pitcher retired the side in order in the first inning, I was watching a potential perfect game.

To this day, no Blue Jays pitcher has ever pitched a perfect game. Dave Stieb, however, did pitch a no hitter back on September 2, 1990 while I was working a game booth at the CNE. Still, a perfect game might just be the most perfect performance in baseball. It's a work of art, retiring every player a pitcher faces. It's the rarest of feats.

Last night, 40 year old Randy Johnson pitched the first perfect game of his illustrious career becoming only the 15th player to do so since the modern era began. It's also worth noting Johnson became the oldest pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game, retiring all 27 hitters to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Atlanta Braves 2-0. The last perfect game was thrown by former Jay David Cone back in 1999.

27 up, 27 down. There's nothing finer. Last night, Johnson was perfect.

Pool Update: Day Forty Two
Published by Toronto Mike on May 19, 2004 @ 09:07 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolTampa Bay is now one win away from their first ever Stanley Cup Final. It's not fair that fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers will have recent Stanley Cup memories of their favourite team while a guy like me has suffered three decades without that joy. It's not fair.

Tampa Bay's victory is good news for Alexi and bad news for Ryan in our 2004 playoff pool.

For the current standings go here.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on May 18, 2004 @ 21:37 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.

Hi Mike,

I was wondering if you could let me know what Tucker's cap B.B #16 stand for...

Thanks,

     Samantha

Back on April 21, the 53rd anniversary of a certain legendary Maple Leafs goal, I explained what Darcy Tucker's BB16 cap stood for. Here's what I wrote then. "Throughout the first round of this year's playoffs, Leaf players have been wearing a blue cap with BB16 embroidered on the front. The "BB" is to invoke the spirit of Bill Barilko while 16 represents the number of games a team must win in order to capture Lord Stanley's Mug."

If you're interested in reading a little more about Bill Barilko's goal and seeing some cool photos I've collected, visit my tribute to Bill Barilko.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on May 18, 2004 @ 15:01 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.

Hey, Fantastic site... You seem like you have a good sense of humor, anyways, i'm looking for links to help me win the contest for president of the internet. I'm a 19 year old punk ass kid from Canada, and I want to try to beat out top S.E.O. specialists for the #1 ranking in google for the term "President Of The Internet".

I need a link with that phrase in the link to google bomb google.

Let me know if you can help me out! I can link back to your page too if you want, hope to hear from you!

     Ryan McEathron (The Prez)

Let me see how good I am at following directions. You're a 19 year old punk ass kid from Canada and you want to be the #1 ranking in Google for the term "President of the Internet". I was once a 19 year old punk ass kid from Canada too, so I'll throw a dog a bone.

President of the Internet. Happy?

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on May 18, 2004 @ 10:58 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeaceTony Randall was 84. He was the comic actor best known for playing fastidious photographer Felix Unger on "The Odd Couple".

Chop Suey!
Published by Toronto Mike on May 18, 2004 @ 09:34 in Edge 102 ~ CFNY, Music, Radio

Chop Suey!Never underestimate the power of the right song at the right time. Take this morning for example. I'm driving along on a wet looking Tuesday morning with a lot on my mind and feeling a little blah when CFNY Edge 102 plays "Chop Suey!" by System of a Down.

"Chop Suey!" was exactly what the doctor ordered. I jacked this tune to 11, picked up my invisible drum sticks and started screaming the lyrics to one of my favourite songs of all time. The song is only 3:30 but by the time it was over I was a new man. I was totally buzzed and I'm still riding the high.

Wake up!

Pool Update: Day Forty One
Published by Toronto Mike on May 18, 2004 @ 08:23 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolCalgary is now only one win away from a birth in the Stanley Cup finals. If someone had told me six months ago that Calgary would be playing for the cup I would never have believed it. Marc owns Calgary, so he's pulled just a little closer to Alexi in our 2004 playoff pool.

For the current standings go here.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on May 17, 2004 @ 22:15 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.

*blink* You have Hole in your collection? I would've thought you had purged all things Courtney from your life by this point.

     Mike Hollick

It's true. Before I turned on Courtney, Hole released "Live Through This" and I was a fan. It's a great album...it almost sounds as if Kurt wrote it. I even saw Hole close Edgefest a few years back.

Today I despise her, but "Live Through This" has managed to live through this. I rarely spin it, but I can't deny I once enjoyed it very much. Guilty as charged...

Raging Storm 12, The Clippers 9
Published by Toronto Mike on May 17, 2004 @ 21:52 in Raging Storm

Slo-Pitch ResultsTonight we in Raging Storm played our first slo-pitch game of the 2004 season and defeated the Clippers by three. It was a close game but some timely hitting and solid D helped us prevail.

This year we're not only posting scores from each game but also batting statistics for the entire team. Visit the Raging Storm homepage for all of the above and more. You can conveniently link to the Raging Storm homepage by clicking the baseball at the very top of this page.

If you're curious, I went 3-4 with a couple of doubles, two runs scored and an RBI. My only out was a very well hit ball lined deep to left center. Not bad for my first real game since July.

The Monday Shuffle
Published by Toronto Mike on May 17, 2004 @ 21:43 in Monday Shuffles

Monday ShuffleEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in Winamp and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten I heard tonight.

  1. Nirvana - Blew
  2. Ozzy Osbourne - Fire In The Sky
  3. Linkin Park - Points Of Authority
  4. Beastie Boys - I Don't Know
  5. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Sexy American Maid
  6. Sloan - Nothing Left To Make Me Want To Stay
  7. Skid Row - Rattlesnake Shake
  8. Cypress Hill - Hits From The Bong
  9. Nirvana - Sifting
  10. Hole - Credit In The Straight World
Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on May 17, 2004 @ 13:21 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeaceAnna Lee was 91. Her nearly 70-year acting career in movies and television spanned from her breakthrough role in "How Green Was My Valley" to an extended run on "General Hospital".

Pay Phones
Published by Toronto Mike on May 17, 2004 @ 12:54 in My 2 Cents

Pay PhonesThe triumph of cellphones, portable e-mail devices and other mobile tools, which are all declining in price and increasing in use, is slowly but surely eroding the market for public telephones. Soon, there will be no pay phones left.

I remember when the movie Phone Booth came out reading about how few pay phone booths remained in Manhattan. With everyone and their brother carrying around a cellphone, the pay phone has become obsolete. As I see it, there's only one problem with eliminating pay phones...

Shockingly, I don't own a cellphone. Despite my fondness for technological gadgets and such, I've somehow managed to survive this long without ever owning one. There are several reasons why I've resisted the temptation. For one, nobody really calls me. If someone needs something from me, they know email is their best bet. If it's something important and time sensitive, there's a phone at my desk and another in my kitchen. If I'm in neither of those places, I'm simply not reachable. Thus far this hasn't been a problem.

If I'm going to own a cellphone, it's going to have to be much more than just a phone. It's going to have to play my MP3s, connect me to the Internet and allow me to connect remotely to my home and work computers to access documents and applications. When they release a phone that will enable me to do all of that at a reasonable price, I'll enter the market.

In the meantime, they've got to keep a few phone booths around for guys like me.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on May 17, 2004 @ 08:38 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.

Expensive Concert Tickets

I am a person who has gone to a lot of concerts in my lifetime. I love going to them, but ticket prices for concerts are getting ridiculous.

My brother tells me today he was given a concert ticket as a gift for his birthday. It is to the Evanescence concert in July. I asked him how much was the ticket? He replies $57.

Excuse me.

Isn't this a band with only one album under their belts. The concert is at the Molson Amphitheatre, so that also inflates the cost of the ticket, but I don't want to get in to that.

This band is not worth almost $60. Even though they will probably sell out the show, faster then Good Charlotte has for the same venue.

What happened to reasonable concert ticket prices?

     Marc Felice

The price of concert tickets is something I've wanted to rant about for a while. I appreciate you raising the subject.

Evanescence is a band nobody had heard of just eighteen months ago. Until "Bring Me Back To Life" started burning up radio playlists, a ticket to their concert in a very intimate setting was probably $15. They've had one successful album with a few hits and suddenly they're a $57 ticket? Unbelievable. Some bands get away with murder.

Heaven forbid you want to check out an act like U2 or another band with massive crossover appeal. A ticket to a show like that will set you back a c-note easy. Bring a date and you can double that insane amount. Fuggetaboutit. At one time, I may have attended a variety of concerts to see bands I like. Once James and the big fat mortgage came to be, all my disposable income evaporated.

About two years ago I decided the only bands I'd pay to see are The Tragically Hip and Pearl Jam. I saw both last summer and it sounds like a Hip show will be announced soon. I'll buy lawns at the Molson Ampitheatre so I can save a few bucks and enjoy my band under the beautiful night sky. This is important if I'm to stare at the stars during "Bobcaygeon" when Gordie sings "I saw the constellations reveal themselves one star at a time". But I digress... My point is the ticket usually costs me about $40 and I leave my date at home with my two year old because she's sick of seeing the Hip anyways. I think $40 is reasonable to see a band that good who have paid their dues for almost 20 years and released several albums. $57 for Evanescence is highway robbery. Of course, I wouldn't pay $5.70 to see them. I wish they'd just go away.

Pool Update: Day Forty
Published by Toronto Mike on May 17, 2004 @ 08:23 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolBoth series are now tied at two. Calgary seemed to have all the momentum taking the first two games on the road but the Sharks have bitten back by taking a couple in Cowtown. The end result is Marc has inched even closer to Alexi in the battle for first in our 2004 playoff pool.

For the current standings go here.

Belly Laugh
Published by Toronto Mike on May 16, 2004 @ 17:54 in Family

Belly LaughWe've been teaching James that his new baby sister Michelle is in Mommy's tummy. I just asked him where his sister was and he promptly came up to me and pointed to my belly.

I think James is suggesting I could use an Adult Happy Meal or two.

Adult Unhappy Meals
Published by Toronto Mike on May 16, 2004 @ 16:30 in My 2 Cents

Adult Happy MealsOnce in a while as a treat, James gets to go to McDonald's for a Chicken McNugget Happy Meal. He gets apple juice, chicken, fries and a pretty cool toy at the end. I myself have fond memories of Happy Meals from back when I was a kid.

Last week, McDonald's introduced Happy Meals for Adults. It comes with water, salad and a booklet of exercise tips.

Oh yeah McDonald's, I'm Lovin It. I can't wait to enjoy that water, salad and booklet of exercise tips. To me, that's not a happy meal. That's an "I wish I were dead meal".

Hip Concert Rumour
Published by Toronto Mike on May 16, 2004 @ 15:41 in The Tragically Hip

Hip Concert RumourThere's a strong rumour circulating that The Tragically Hip will be playing the Molson Ampitheatre here in Toronto on July 1.

This is just a rumour at this point, but if it turns out to be fact I can't think of a better way to celebrate Canada Day. I haven't seen the Hip since last September and I'm starting to go into withdrawal. I need a fix and fast.

Keep July 1 open fellow Hip fans.

Pool Update: Day Thirty Nine
Published by Toronto Mike on May 16, 2004 @ 08:32 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolMuch to my chagrin, Philadelphia has managed to tie up their series with Tampa Bay. The effect on our 2004 playoff pool was minimal, but my two points did boost me into sole possession of fourth. Yay!

For the current standings go here.

My Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on May 16, 2004 @ 07:27 in Quotes

Mike's Quote of the Week"There will never be a salary cap. I've told the players to be prepared for a long lockout by the owners. It may last a year, it may last two or three years, but we will never accept a salary cap. This isn't the NFL. I'm confident the players are prepared for whatever happens."
      - Bob Goodenow

Kill Bill: Volume 2
Published by Toronto Mike on May 15, 2004 @ 20:22 in Movies, Reviews

Kill Bill: Volume 2In what has amounted to the longest intermission in history, I finally caught the conclusion to Kill Bill this afternoon. The stars aligned and I managed to get babysitting for James so Taryn and I could burn one of her free passes to see the movie I've been dying to see since I wrote about seeing Kill Bill: Volume 1.

Kill Bill: Volume 2 was fantastic. Despite the fact Volume 1 ranks amongst my favourite theatre experiences of all time, Volume 2 didn't disappoint in the least. What makes this all the more remarkable is how different the two volumes are. Volume 1 had far more action ensuring your heart rate never dipped to a normal level while Volume 2 has much more dialogue and story to it. The mythology truly evolves. Taryn, who also loved Volume 1, actually preferred Volume 2 while I can't go that far. All things considered, Volume 1 was the better movie but both movies are fantastic. I can't wait to see Kill Bill as one movie the way Quentin Tarantino intended it to be viewed. I suspect that DVD will come around just in time for Christmas.

What a fantastic flick. I wish more movies were this good.

The 26
Published by Toronto Mike on May 15, 2004 @ 13:19 in Hockey Canada

The 26Wayne Gretzky has announced the 26-player roster for this summer's World Cup of Hockey. You'll find the complete list here.

As predicted, Eddie Belfour is the lone Maple Leaf selected. That's the problem when your biggest stars are Swedish and Russian. Eddie deserved it.

Here are my feelings regarding the other 25. It's great to see Mario Lemieux and Steve Yzerman back for one last kick at the can. Both are glorious players I've had the pleasure of watching for years and years and both deserve to be on this team. The defense has changed little and that's a good thing. Our defensive corp is relatively young and skilled with the size necessary to wear down opposing forwards. Up front, there has been much turnover with Canada's young and fresh speedsters making their debut. I'm glad Martin St. Louis and Dany Heatley were chosen instead of overrated guys like Paul Kariya and guys on the downside of their career like Brendan Shanahan, Joe Neiwendyk and Owen Nolan. Shane Doan, Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby will form our "Grind Line" to shut down the other country's top line. You can never go wrong with fantastic Canadian hockey players like Joe Sakic, Jerome Iginla, Joe Thornton and Martin Brodeur.

On the negative side, it's a shame Todd Bertuzzi screwed his chances to make this team. He's certainly among our best forwards if you exclude his actions against Colorado's Steve More. I'm also puzzled as to why Simon Gagne was selected again. He's been a very average looking hockey player since the 2002 Winter Olympics. We just played against him for six playoff games and I hardly noticed him. Wouldn't Rick Nash have made more sense? Even Paul Kariya is a better pick in my opinion than Gagne. Then again, who am I to question The Great One?

World Cup Roster
Published by Toronto Mike on May 15, 2004 @ 10:50 in Hockey Canada

World Cup RosterWayne Gretzky will announce the 26-player roster for this summer's World Cup of Hockey in mere moments. I can't wait to find out who the Great One deems worthy of wearing the maple leaf this August.

There will certainly be a number of changes from our gold medal winning Olympic team from Salt Lake City. The big question is whether Todd Bertuzzi will be selected considering his NHL suspension is still in effect.

On the Maple Leafs front, I think our best bet for representation comes from Eddie Belfour. He'd make a great veteran back-up to Martin Brodeur. Although Joe Niewendyk and Owen Nolan were on the Salt Lake City team, I suspect they'll be passed over for a younger crop, although you never know with Joe. On defense, I suppose there's an outside chance of Bryan McCabe making the cut, but after those horrible giveaways against the Flyers, I think Gretzky might be wise to pass. We'll find out very, very soon, won't we?

Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on May 15, 2004 @ 09:50 in Homer's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Old people don't need companionship. They need to be isolated and studied so it can be determined what nutrients they have that might be extracted for our personal use."

New Videos
Published by Toronto Mike on May 14, 2004 @ 21:58 in

New VideosLast Sunday I shot some video of James getting ready to give his Mommy a Mother's Day gift and the eventual presentation. Three clips from this morning are now being shared in Videos.

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on May 14, 2004 @ 20:12 in Friday Fives

Friday FiveMy favourite songs by artists named James

  1. James Taylor - Sweet Baby James
  2. James - Laid
  3. James Brown - I Got You (I Feel Good)
  4. James Carter & The Prisoners - Po Lazarus
  5. Elmore James - Dust My Broom
Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on May 14, 2004 @ 19:33 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 is going on with the Gas price and the Insurance cost? It's like they don't want us to drive at all. Did you know that there is more people paying for Car insurance then people paying for Hydro in Canada?

     Ahmad!

What is going on with people who have egos so large they have to put an exclamation mark after their name?

As for gas prices and high insurance rates, you're damn right they're too high. It costs me a fortune to drive my car and I have very little choice in the matter. It all sucks...big time.

Blogging Tools
Published by Toronto Mike on May 14, 2004 @ 12:33 in Ch-ch-changes

Blogging ToolsIn the past I've written about how I hand code every stitch of this website. I use a basic text editor and hand code valid XHTML and CSS. I've been resisting the pressure to start using one of the many blogging tools, especially Movable Type. Mark has been suggesting I do this for well over a year now and I even went to far as to set up a test blog with Movable Type.

Movable Type is what drives our Smells Like Sour page and it's great for easy maintenance, comments and other cool things like that. It's also free...or at least it was free. The new version isn't free any more. You might have read that many a non-commercial blogger is pissed off about this. Once something is free, even if it's great, people don't like to hear it's no longer free. People get used to free and expect it to stay that way forever.

For MikeBoon.com, I'm going to keep it simple and continue hand coding it without an ounce of help from blogging software. That way, I'm in control and I never have to worry the free service I'm using might suddenly cost me money. Besides, if it ain't broken why fix it?

WWI Veterans
Published by Toronto Mike on May 14, 2004 @ 12:04 in

WWI VeteransIt's a sad thought, but soon there will be no veterans from the first world war left.

One of the last surviving Canadian veterans of World War I, died on May 4. Clifford Holliday was only 16 when he enlisted in the Canadian Army. Serving as a private with the 43rd Battalion, Camrom Highlanders, he spent more than two years on the front lines, fighting in some of the fiercest battles of World War I. At Belgium's Hill 60, only 127 men from his 1,100-member battalion survived. Holliday suffered two injuries during the war; he was shot through the calves in Belgium and suffered a shrapnel wound to his face in France.

Lest we forget.

Nevermind Nirvana
Published by Toronto Mike on May 14, 2004 @ 11:27 in Television

Nevermind NirvanaNBC has shot a pilot for a sitcom entitled "Nevermind Nirvana". It's about an east-Indian guy and his white fiancée, hence the reference to Nirvana...the Buddhist term denoting the extinction of dissatisfaction.

Hmmmm, what else does the title "Nevermind Nirvana" slyly refer to. Oh yes, there was a band called Nirvana, wasn't there? I believe they were big in the early 1990s. Wasn't their big-label debut breakout album entitled Nevermind? I'm sure it was. In fact, I remember reading somewhere that Nirvana's Nevermind was considered one of the most important albums in the history of rock and roll.

I wonder if NBC is hoping to capture both the multicultural crowd and thirty something grunge worshippers in one fell swoop? Clever bastards... Who wants to bet Courtney Love finds a way to sue?

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on May 14, 2004 @ 10:31 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesVaccination Scar Video - The Tragically Hip are streaming their new video for "Vaccination Scar" for us. This link is for the high Quicktime feed so if you want other options, you'll have to go here.

All Apologies
Published by Toronto Mike on May 14, 2004 @ 08:37 in Family

All ApologiesI know I promised to post new videos of James last weekend and I didn't. I actually took some video of James giving his mommy a present on Mother's Day but I haven't had a moment to convert it for sharing on this site.

It's been an absolutely crazy week. There's hasn't been a moment to spare during the evenings, which also explains the lack of evening entries lately. I promise to post a new video or two this weekend, so you can stop with the angry emails.

All apologies.

Pool Update: Day Thirty Seven
Published by Toronto Mike on May 14, 2004 @ 08:32 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolIt's looking more and more like Alexi and Marc are going to be competing for first and second. I'm not counting Ryan out yet, but Philadelphia advancing is essential to his cause.

For the current standings go here.

Not Hip
Published by Toronto Mike on May 13, 2004 @ 13:01 in My 2 Cents, The Tragically Hip

Not HipOne of my all-time favourite bands is The Tragically Hip. I've loved them since I first heard "Blow At High Dough" on Q107 back in 1989. I remember vividly going to Sam the Record Man at Yonge and Dundas to pick up the album Up To Here with my buddy Joe that summer. I've been hooked on this band from Kingston ever since.

I've read a couple of articles today about The Tragically Hip and their feelings about those who illegally download their music via P2P networks. The two I recommend you read are this one from Chartattack and this one from the Toronto Star. They both say pretty much the same thing. According to Universal Music Canada, during a five-week stretch from March 30 to May 7, there were more than half a million attempts to illegally download the latest Hip single, "Vaccination Scar". "To me it's an ethical question," Hip bassist Gord Sinclair said in a statement. "If you hear something you like, go out and support the artist."

Support the artist? There isn't a band on this planet I've supported more. When you see that list of Hip albums in my collection they were all ripped from original CDs that I own. If you visit my Ticket Stubs page, you'll find several stubs from Hip concerts that I paid serious money to obtain. When the new CD is released in June, I plan to add the CD to my collection and I intend to rip that CD into MP3s because that's how I actually listen to my music.

Having said all that, and keep in mind I've personally spent hundreds of dollars in my life on Tragically Hip CDs, concert tickets and concert tee shirts, you can add me to that list of 500,000 people who went hunting for a free download of "Vaccination Scar". I love the tune and I want to hear it but the CD is unavailable. Universal Music Canada will tell you the track is available as a legal download from Puretracks.com for 99 cents, but this is unacceptable to me. I would gladly cough up a buck for this tune legally if it was available from Puretracks.com as a DRM-free MP3. Read the Puretracks.com terms and conditions for heaven's sake. And from their help page, "All of our music files are in Windows Media format". I want my MP3. Why make a digital music file only available in .wma format? This forces the consumer to buy a product in a proprietary format so they have to use Windows Media Player to burn it to CD only to rip it from CD to MP3. Puretracks.com can call me when they get this right.

I'm not at all comfortable with The Tragically Hip judging their fans like this. It's libel to backfire. How many Metallica fans were turned off by their hate-on for Napster? I'm not going to turn on the Hip for this stance, it just pisses me off. It's never pretty when rock stars attack.

What Mike's Listening To
Published by Toronto Mike on May 13, 2004 @ 09:26 in Music

What Mike's Listening ToIt's safe to say this isn't a question that's passing through your cranium on a regular basis. If it is, I pity you. I can also help you.

Audioscrobbler is a popular service which can track the tunes you're playing on your computer. While I work (and play) I'm often listening to MP3s from my collection. Thanks to the Audioscrobbler Winamp plug-in, you can see what I'm currently listening to and what I've heard recently. You can even see what tunes and bands I've heard the most and you can see who else has been listening to the same. It's awesome.

Visit Mike Boon's Audioscrobbler page for all this cool detail.

Weekly MP3
Published by Toronto Mike on May 12, 2004 @ 13:12 in Weekly MP3s

Weekly MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have one week to grab this weeks MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Public Enemy - Welcome to the Terrordome (X-Games Remix)
This MP3 is from volume two of the X-Games soundtrack. The first time I heard the original off of the excellent Fear of a Black Planet album, I thought the song sounded more like a rock song than a rap song. This X-Games remix adds some crunchy guitars to an already heavy track and blows it up good. It's a great remix of a great tune.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on May 12, 2004 @ 12:59 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeaceJohn Whitehead was 55. He was a prominent R&B artist best known for the 1979 hit song "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now".

Yellow Ledbetter Friends News
Published by Toronto Mike on May 12, 2004 @ 11:12 in Music, Pearl Jam

Yellow Ledbetter Friends NewsFollowing the finale of Friends, I wrote this entry bashing yet another unfunny episode of the most overrated show in history. I mentioned there was a minute of the show I did like and that was when I heard the familiar opening chords to Pearl Jam's "Yellow Ledbetter". I was surprised to hear a Pearl Jam composition on a television show.

I noticed last night that a Billboard article on the inclusion of "Yellow Ledbetter" in that episode had been picked up by several news services, including MSNBC, Yahoo! Launch and Reuters. Here's a bit of what they had to say about it.

The music heard as Jennifer Aniston's character Rachel was about to board a plane to Paris in last week's final episode of "Friends" might have sounded familiar, but its usage was an unfamiliar situation for the artist in question. In fact, the snippet of Pearl Jam's "Yellow Ledbetter" used in the scene marked the first time the veteran Seattle rock act had ever licensed its songs for a television show.

According to a group spokesperson, it was simply a matter of the show's producers asking permission, which Pearl Jam granted. Although never included on an album until last year's rarities collection "Lost Dogs," "Yellow Ledbetter" has taken on a life of its own since its release as a B-side in 1992. The cut wound up appearing on seven Billboard charts in the mid-'90s, despite never being worked to radio.

It's a stunningly beautiful song and the perfect closer to a Pearl Jam concert. I heard them close with it in August 1998 and that concert remains to this day my favourite concert of all time.

Raging Storm Update
Published by Toronto Mike on May 12, 2004 @ 09:59 in Raging Storm

Raging Storm UpdateMembers of the Raging Storm slo-pitch team will find the date and time of our first game as well as detailed league rules.

So if you're a member of my slo-pitch team, get yourself over to the Raging Storm home page and be there on May 17th. Later dudes and dudettes...

Pool Update: Day Thirty Five
Published by Toronto Mike on May 12, 2004 @ 09:09 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolI can get behind this Calgary team. If you exclude my Toronto Maple Leafs, I'm a fan of Canadian-based teams. Having said that, I can't root for the Ottawa Senators because I can't stand them. Rooting for the Montreal Canadiens is difficult too because they are our historical rivals. That leaves me with the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames.

With the Flames up 2-0 and heading for home, it looks good I'll have a rooting interest in the Stanley Cup finals. Marc drafted the only Calgary player, and he's now sitting pretty in a tie for second.

For the current standings go here.

System of a Down
Published by Toronto Mike on May 11, 2004 @ 14:44 in Music

System of a DownIn September of 2001, System of a Down released Toxicity. In a month that will be forever remembered for the 9/11 attacks, one of my favourite rock albums of all time was launched into orbit. Every tune on Toxicity rocks very, very hard. It's emotionally charged political music with a serious edge to it. It's one album I return to over and over and over again. Have a listen and get hooked.

In 2002 they released Steal This Album, a collection of previously recorded songs, and it's awesome too. Still, it wasn't a true follow-up to Toxicity, so I've been waiting and waiting.

My long wait is coming to an end. System of a Down have been in a North Hollywood, California rehearsal studio since January working on their next release. This is great news for those of us who enjoy their passionate but heavy rock. SOAD carry the torch once held high by RATM.

SLS Submission
Published by Toronto Mike on May 11, 2004 @ 14:01 in SLS ~ Smells Like Sour

SLS SubmissionI was on my way to submit a song via the Smells Like Sour website for SLS11 consideration, but somebody beat me to it.

I was going to submit "Ch-Check It Out" by The Beastie Boys. I was driving in my car yesterday and it was hot and sunny and my windows were down and that's when I heard it. "Ch-Check It Out" came on and I jacked it. Nothing says summer to me like a tune from the Beasties on a hot sunny day.

Let's rock this joint in the old school way...

Leading By Example
Published by Toronto Mike on May 11, 2004 @ 09:20 in Politics

Leading By ExampleRead this Statement by the President of the United States of America from last June. It was written for the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. Here's an excerpt.

Torture anywhere is an affront to human dignity everywhere. We are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law.

The United States is committed to the world-wide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture and in undertaking to prevent other cruel and unusual punishment. I call on all nations to speak out against torture in all its forms and to make ending torture an essential part of their diplomacy.

Example 1, Example 2, Example 3, Example 4, Example 5, Example 6...

Pool Update: Day Thirty Four
Published by Toronto Mike on May 11, 2004 @ 08:40 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolPhiladelphia won big last night to tie their series at one. Anthony had the biggest night in our 2004 playoff pool but he's so far down he's got to reach up to touch the ground.

I received word from someone who competed in our annual playoff pool for years before leaving Toronto for a job waaaaay up North. Jomp says he's doing well and following along on the web. This entry is dedicated to Jomp...a good soldier who fought the good fight.

For the current standings go here.

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on May 11, 2004 @ 08:01 in Friday Fives

Friday FiveBird courses I took in high school

  1. Dramatic Arts
  2. Typing
  3. Family Studies
  4. Religion
  5. Physical Education
The Monday Shuffle
Published by Toronto Mike on May 10, 2004 @ 18:28 in Monday Shuffles

Monday ShuffleEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in Winamp and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten I heard tonight.

  1. The White Stripes - Ball And Biscuit
  2. Alice In Chains - Heaven Beside You (Unplugged)
  3. The Tragically Hip - Fight
  4. Alanis Morrisette - Wake Up
  5. Prodigy - Diesel Power
  6. Lenny Kravitz - Sugar
  7. Lillian Glinn - Cravin' A Man Blues
  8. Big Daddy Kane - Bid Daddy Vs. Dolemite
  9. Louis Armstrong - I Guess I'll Take The Papers And Go Home
  10. Ice Cube - Integration
My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on May 10, 2004 @ 09:43 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesDrive By Farting - This tickled my funny bone this morning. It's a rainy, foggy, Monday morning and I needed a good ol' drive by farting to brighten my day.

High Fives
Published by Toronto Mike on May 10, 2004 @ 09:20 in Family, My 2 Cents

High FivesWhenever James does something he's proud of or even something remotely cool, we exchange high fives. Yesterday, he was trying to close a rather tricky cannister and when he finally succeeded, he ran over and we exchanged a series of exhilerating high fives. It makes him happy, it makes me happy and it's the perfect way to celebrate a job well done.

That got me thinking. How would this world be if we all exchanged more high fives. How would our society be if we greeted each other with this gesture and celebrated even the slighted act of postivity with a rousing high five. I am certain this would be a far better place to live and we'd all get along that much better.

I'm going to make an effort to give more high fives. Hopefully this is contagious and high five fever sweeps the globe. I'm going to change the world one high five at a time.

Pool Update: Day Thirty Three
Published by Toronto Mike on May 10, 2004 @ 08:26 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolI'm hoping for a Calgary - Tampa Bay final. I'm rooting for Tampa Bay because I can't stand Bobby Clarke and that damn Flyers team and I'm rooting for Calgary because they're a Canadian-based franchise. A Canadian-based team hasn't won the Stanley Cup since 1993, the year my Maple Leafs should have been crowned champion.

Calgary defeated San Jose in overtime yesterday and Marc benefitted the most in our 2004 playoff pool. In the entire pool only one Calgary Flame and four San Jose Sharks were even drafted.

For the current standings go here.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on May 9, 2004 @ 18:32 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeaceAlan King was 76. His tirades against everyday suburban life grew into a long comedy career in nightclubs and television that he later expanded to Broadway and character roles in movies.

Gold Again!
Published by Toronto Mike on May 9, 2004 @ 18:19 in Hockey Canada

Gold Again!Jay Bouwmeester broke a 3-3 tie 20 seconds into the third period Sunday as Team Canada rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits to beat Sweden 5-3 and capture its second straight gold medal at the world hockey championship.

This was a very entertaining game I thought. There were lots of big names on the squad from Sweden, including Peter Forsberg, Daniel Alfredsson and Niklas Lidstrom to name a few. Jonas Hoglund was even there for the ride once again putting in a better effort than I ever saw out of him when he wore the blue and white. Dany Heatley was named the tournament MVP concluding a roller coaster year for the youngster.

Next stop, the World Cup. Now that's a tournament I'd like to win. Go Canada Go! Our dominance continues...

Happy Mother's Day
Published by Toronto Mike on May 9, 2004 @ 10:53 in Family

Happy Mothers DayHappy Mother's Day Mom. I hope your Sunday is relaxing. You know how much we love you.

Happy Mother's Day to James' Mommy too. You're a good Mother Taryn and you deserve a relaxing Sunday too. Unfortunately, we've got work to do. No rest for the wicked.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on May 9, 2004 @ 09:59 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'm glad "Friends" is over. It was just getting silly. For not liking it, you've talked a lot about it on your site. ;)

I agree with you about Hoobastank's (or "Hoobastink" as I like to call them) "The Reason". The video is just as bad.

I saw "Kill Bill Vol. 2" and it isn't as good as the first. Slow-moving, more dialogue than there is action, no-where NEAR as much as the first. At least I have Vol. 1 that my boyfriend bought me on DVD.

I'm STUMPED for Mother's Day! What do you get Mothers? Mothers seem to have everything and if you ask them what they'd like, they say "Nothing". Argh...

Enough rain already!

     Annemarie

Believe it or not, I haven't had a chance to catch Kill Bill: Volume 2. I heard it's different than the first, but I'm looking forward to in nonetheless. I'm also looking forward to the day I can watch the entire movie on DVD the way Quentin intended to show it. It's been a crazy week and next week promises to be just as crazy, so who knows when I'll be able to get to a theatre. I've got the gift certificates burning a hole in my pocket, now I just need the time and babysitting.

My brothers and I took our mother out to brunch yesterday and I got her a plant and card. I asked my mom what she wanted and she gave me a lengthy list and the least expensive item on it was $1500 so I went with the brunch and plant instead. Just kidding Mom...

Pool Update: Day Thirty Two
Published by Toronto Mike on May 9, 2004 @ 09:16 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolA well rested Tampa Bay team took game one of the Eastern Conference finals yesterday afternoon. Only two participants in our 2004 playoff pool actually secured points from the victory. Alexi extended his lead and Neil moved into a comfortable seventh place.

For the current standings go here.

My Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on May 9, 2004 @ 09:12 in Quotes

Mike's Quote of the Week"I get to go to lots of overseas places, like Canada."
      - Britney Spears

Pop-Up Blocking
Published by Toronto Mike on May 8, 2004 @ 17:36 in

Pop-Up BlockingThere was a time when surfing the web meant being harassed by annoying pop-up ads. I haven't been bothered by pop-up ads in quite a while because I use a pop-up blocker. If you're not using one, you're crazy man!

I've used a few in my time, but my favourite is probably the Google Toolbar. I like the Google Toolbar anyways because it enables me to search the web with Google from any site and a few other funky things, but the fact it kills pop-up ads is an awesome bonus. The pop-up blocker that comes with the Yahoo! Companion is a good tool as well, and my Yahoo! username/password allows me to save my favorite bookmarks and access them from any computer. That's a nice feature you don't get with the Google Toolbar and one I've found quite useful.

In the past I've preached about my preferred anti-spyware applications and my preferred virus scan utility, so today's lesson is about pop-up killers. And yes, there will be a quiz.

Going For Gold
Published by Toronto Mike on May 8, 2004 @ 16:43 in Hockey Canada

Going for GoldShawn Horcoff of the Edmonton Oilers scored a controversial goal 6:10 into the third period and defending champion Canada edged Slovakia 2-1 in a semifinal of the men's world hockey championship earlier today. It looks like we'll be facing Sweden who are currently leading the United States 3-1 in the other semifinal. The final game takes place tomorrow at 14:00 EST.

The semifinal win also guaranteed Canada would keep its No. 1 ranking in the world regardless of Sunday's outcome, meaning the Canadians will be the top seed at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. Lets hope Team Canada wins again. We all remember Anson Carter's dramatic game winning goal last year. Go Canada Go!

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on May 8, 2004 @ 08:13 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.

Ok so here i sit infront this mighty box that mr gates said 'drink beers and post!', now for you all you out there in radio land, i'm a somwhat advid golfer, own a lincoln town car, (which can hold several bodies err golf bags and people) and was looking for a theme song to play at warp 10 when i hit the golf course, then it hit me, "who let the dogs out" ok sure i'm not really a dog, heck, i don't even own one, but thats not important right now. So i happily key word into goolge who let the dogs out and golf and low and behold i stumble *hick* on this site - what are the odds! So because Mr Mike is kind enuff to let schmoes like me post anonymuosely (that anonemouse with a y) i thought i would take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.

Alls i can say is; Watch Trailer Park boys, Golf when you can, and most importantly, have a car with a stereo that can let people know YOU are there!

This public service announcement was brought to you by the makers of BEER, not just any beer, but all beers, beers you know, beers that you've wanted to know, and even beers that have wanted to know you!

*burp*

Live long and perspire!

     Turb0golfer

Drunken Guest Blog Entries are always welcome at MikeBoon.com.

Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on May 8, 2004 @ 08:07 in Homer's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"When I first heard that Marge was joining the police academy, I thought it would be fun and zany, like that movie Spaceballs. But instead it was dark and disturbing. Like that movie, Police Academy."

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on May 7, 2004 @ 14:24 in Friday Fives

Friday FiveMy favourite Muppets

  1. Fozzie
  2. Animal
  3. Beaker
  4. Gonzo
  5. Rizzo
Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on May 7, 2004 @ 09:47 in Celebrity Deaths

Rest in PeaceClement Dodd was 72. He was a pioneer of reggae credited with launching the career of Bob Marley and the Wailers.

E-Government
Published by Toronto Mike on May 7, 2004 @ 08:25 in O Canada

E-GovernmentWhen it comes to executing E-government initiatives, we're #1!. For the fourth straight year, Canada topped the annual list issued this week by the management consultant and IT outsourcer Accenture of most mature international E-government offering.

Canada does something that U.S. federal, state, and local officials can easily emulate. Most notably: ask citizens what E-services they want. Unlike many countries, Canada's E-government action plan is built on a foundation of facts based on known information from its customer base. How does the government know what its citizens want? It asks them. Canada regularly surveys citizens and businesses about their attitudes and needs--more so than any other country. The federal, nine provincial and territorial, and five municipal governments--through the Institute for Citizen-Centered Services--recently sponsored a study querying 9,000 Canadians about E-government, using online surveys, usability interviews, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews. "The idea is to reach out to customers and to proactively see what they want," says Steve Rohleder, Accenture's group chief executive for government.

Canada also actively markets its E-government services. It advertises on TV and radio, ad in airline magazines and newspapers to get citizens to use its portal, canada.gc.ca.

Top of the World, Ma!

Friends Ledbetter
Published by Toronto Mike on May 7, 2004 @ 08:04 in Music, Pearl Jam, Television

Friends LedbetterI watched the "Friends" finale last night. It was just as bland and unfunny as I remembered it. Nothing even remotely exciting or interesting happened. Talk about playing it safe. The most shocking development was the fact the girl from "Scary Movie" had twins. Wow.

My absolute favourite part of the episode occured with about 15 minutes remaining. It was another cliched airport scene with Rachel getting on a plane for Paris while dopey Ross looked as dopey as ever watching her depart. Then, I heard those familiar chords. I couldn't believe my ears when Pearl Jam's "Yellow Ledbetter" began playing. For those who aren't Pearl Jam fans, "Yellow Ledbetter" is a classic Pearl Jam concert closer. It's a stunningly beautiful song that never appeared on a Pearl Jam CD until their Lost Dogs double release late last year. I love "Yellow Ledbetter" and I was pretty surprised to hear it stuck in the middle of such a commercial enterprise as the finale of "Friends". They played the entire opening and for a moment I thought I'd hear Eddie Vedder's voice come in but it cut to commercial before that point. I hope Eddie had too much class to allow that. Is nothing sacred?

Speaking of music in last night's episode of "Friends", I caught the last part of the clip show they aired at 8. One of the montages was to Hoobastank's "The Reason". Just yesterday morning I wrote about how I find this tune to be a "sappy, corny, syropy mess". That became more obvious then ever when it served as the back drop to some extremely sappy, corny and syropy "Friends" moments. "The Reason" was obviously intended to act in the same manner "Good Riddance (The Time of Your Life)" acted for the Seinfeld finale. Nice try, but not even close.

I still think they should have killed off Monica. Now that would have been interesting.

New Pictures
Published by Toronto Mike on May 6, 2004 @ 12:58 in

New PicturesBetter late than never I suppose. Taryn went to Portugal in March and I'm sharing two more pictures she took on the trip. You'll find them right now in Pictures.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on May 6, 2004 @ 12:21 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesGarbage Pail Kids Card Profile - I have fond memories of the Garbage Pail Kids, a natural backlash to the hokey Cabbage Patch Kids of the 80s. I was Spikey Mikey. Some of these cards were down right nasty and that's what we liked about them. You can see the whole series at this link.

A Fork in Friends
Published by Toronto Mike on May 6, 2004 @ 08:33 in Television

A Fork in FriendsStick a fork in "Friends", it's finally done. As I've written before, I stopped watching this show years ago but I'll be watching tonight. Call it a morbid curiosity. I hope they kill off Monica.

In celebration of the demise of this extremely mediocre sitcom, I'm going to share my "Friends" story. Almost ten years ago, my brother Steve and I somehow found ourselves in front of the TV for the premiere of "Friends". I suppose we were on the station for "Seinfeld" and didn't feel like turning the station. I actually remember vividly our conversation during this new NBC series.

First of all, we had a good time discussing where we knew the actors from. We recognized all six immediately. Monica played Michael J. Fox's girlfriend on "Family Ties" and showed up in that Springsteen video, Phoebe was the waitress on "Mad About You", Ross was Kevin Arnold's sister's boyfriend on "The Wonder Years", Rachel was the Jennifer Grey character on the Ferris Bueller tv show, Joey was the star of the "Married With Children" spin-off "Top of the Heap" and Chandler played the memorable role of Sandy in "Growing Pains, amongst other guest star appearances on various sitcoms. We also had a good time laughing about how bad it was. That's right, we thought it was a joke of a sit com doomed to fail.

Boy were we wrong. I was sure "Bakersfield PD" would be the bigger hit.

SLS Feedback
Published by Toronto Mike on May 6, 2004 @ 08:05 in SLS ~ Smells Like Sour

SLS FeedbackOver on another page I maintain, Smells Like Sour, there are numerous discussions taking place on the latest tunes. Every once in a while I throw my two cents in the pot and comment on what I think of a particular song or band. This has interesting consequences.

I've made a few negative comments about Good Charlotte and as a result I get nasty little one line comments via my Contact Mike page telling me what an idiot I must be for not thinking Good Charlotte is the greatest band in the world. The other day I made a brief comment on the page for Hoobastank's "The Reason". I wrote the following. "This song is really whiny. It's just annoying." I wrote that because it's how I feel. I've liked Hoobastank songs in the past, but this one is a sappy, corny, syropy mess.

The folllowing was sent via the Contact Mike form as a result. I'm copying it as it was received, complete with grammatical and spelling errors, just so you can see the kind of stuff I have to deal with.

Hoobistank, does not stink!!!! They rock and send positive message!!!!! My parentts like them, what kind of genra are they directing too> KristinAshley

Who can argue with that logic?

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on May 5, 2004 @ 15:37 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.

Okay, no more Leaf talk... except for this. Drew, you had me at "Hello Mike".

Now as for the pool I think it is clear that it will come down to the Philly/Tampa Bay series to see if it is Alexi or myself that contends for first place. Where I think you have gone wrong is Marc being a possible contender. I think he is the one to beat right now!!! - not just a contender. His players are spread out, gaurenteed to have producer(s)in the cup finals. Two of the premiere superstars on his team in Iginla and St. Louis. I hate to route for Philly.... So i won't. Good luck Marc.

Finally, I'd like to point out that we are currently six days away from it being a month since your last video entry of James. As earlier debated, your "once every two weeks or so claim" makes me laugh like a little school girl. More videos now!!!!

GO JAYS GO!!! sniff....

     Ryan

Ok, I'll take out the video camera and grab some footage of James this weekend. He's a funny dude right now. Look for new videos either Saturday or Sunday.

Scary Stuff
Published by Toronto Mike on May 5, 2004 @ 13:01 in Movies, Politics

Scary StuffThis New York Times article claims The Walt Disney Company is blocking its Miramax division from distributing a new documentary by Michael Moore that harshly criticizes President Dubya. The film, "Fahrenheit 911," links Dubya and prominent Saudis - including the family of Osama bin Laden - and criticizes Dubya's actions before and after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The scariest part of this article is this line: "Mr. Moore's agent, Ari Emanuel, said Michael D. Eisner, Disney's chief executive, asked him last spring to pull out of the deal with Miramax. Mr. Emanuel said Mr. Eisner expressed particular concern that it would endanger tax breaks Disney receives for its theme park, hotels and other ventures in Florida, where Mr. Bush's brother, Jeb, is governor."

Is that what it's come to? At least Moore can score a load of free publicity from Mickey and the gang. You can read Moore's response on his website.

Weekly MP3
Published by Toronto Mike on May 5, 2004 @ 12:12 in Weekly MP3s

Weekly MP3A while back I threatened to share an MP3 from my collection every week. I've decided I'll do this every Wednesday and I'll host the MP3 for one week at which time I'll post a new one and delete the previous one. So, you have one week to grab this weeks MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Sarah Harmer with The Tragically Hip - Silver Road
This MP3 is from the Men With Brooms soundtrack. It's just a sweet and charming song from Sarah Harmer (who I saw perform in Hamilton last year) with a little help from Gord Downie (who I've seen countless times). Her voice and his melt together perfectly and the result is "Siver Road". Enjoy.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
Published by Toronto Mike on May 5, 2004 @ 11:14 in

Always Look on the Bright Side of LifeYeah, I'm feelin' kind of bummed today. It's time to break out the heavy artillery to shake this funk. When in doubt, just picture Eric Idle on that crucifix in Life of Brian singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life". Instantly you feel a whole lot better about everything. I dare you to sing this song and not feel better. I dare you.

Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad,
Other things just make you swear and curse,
When you're chewing life's gristle,
Don't grumble,
Give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best.
And...

Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the light side of life.

If life seems jolly rotten,
There's something you've forgotten,
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing.
When you're feeling in the dumps,
Don't be silly chumps.
Just purse your lips and whistle.
That's the thing.
And...

Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the light side of life.

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word.
You must always face the curtain with a bow.
Forget about your sin.
Give the audience a grin.
Enjoy it. It's your last chance, anyhow.
So,...

Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the light side of life.

Life's a piece of shit,
When you look at it.
Life's a laugh and death's a joke it's true.
You'll see it's all a show.
Keep 'em laughing as you go.
Just remember that the last laugh is on you.
And...

Always look on the bright side of life.
Always look on the light side of life.

You feel better, don't you.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on May 5, 2004 @ 09:59 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.

Hello Mike,

As I send you this comment, I do so as an effort to express how upset I personally feel right now. At my age of 42 I suppose I should be thankful that as a small boy I remember 37 years and 2 days ago I did watch the sacred Toronto Maple Leafs win the cup. I'd be an out right liar if I was to suggest I can even dare to state I recall the game. No that's not possible. I do recall however, the cheers and screaming with joy that erupted in the area of Leaside. The address was 259 Airdrie Road. Avery nice area of Toronto to grow up in.

I can't help but wonder if our legends like Mogilny, Leetch, "The Eagle", Nieuwendyk and Francis will be around in the next year; if there is a next year. Owen Nolan; he deserved a better fate. I can't help but think of the sadness that has gripped Metro as of this point in time. We as a team can at least take comfort in knowing that our team doesn't have to return to that shit pit city of Philadelphia and have the indignity of those primates in the Wachovia Centre pelt garbage at our team players as they did in game five.

"Hockey Night in Canada" sure is weird out here in B.C. the game started for us at 4:00 P.M. PST. As I write out this passage I'm listening to Pat Quinn's comments on the game and I find his lucid, and calming thoughts soothing to my stomach turned nerves. I will however turn the Boob Tube off when Hitchcock waddles up to the mike; I'm not in the mood to listen to his condescending opinions right now, or ever for that fact.

In closing, my girl friend "Wendy" sent me some "consolation pizza" after the game crashed. I proceeded to consume three pieces to pizza that tasted like cardboard. Wendy is an excellent cook; I'm sure it's the shock I'm in right now. Respecting Toronto time (EST) I will lower my Leaf Flag off of my balcony at 9:00 P.M. PST. That will be 12:00 P.M. EST. Here ends my saddest Maple Leaf ritual. I wish I could go to sleep but it's only 8:00 P.M. It's going to be a long night.

Regards,

Drew C,
Delta B.C. Canada.

Well said Drew. Last night after Jeremy Roenick scored, I whipped off the television and ventured outside into the pouring rain. It was a very sad moment. I slowly walked to my car, opened the door, rolled down the rear passenger side window and removed my Maple Leaf flag. At this point, both the flag and I were drenched but I needed this closure. The flag needed to return to it's off-season home in my basement shrine.

As Taryn watched me return from the rain with the flag in my hand, I could see a tear forming in her left eye. When the flag was first hoisted back in early April, she wasn't a fan of it becoming a part of the family car. Then, as the days progressed, she began to like it. She liked seeing it blowing in the wind and greeting her at the car door each day. She was sad it had to come down and another season had ended in disappointment. The feeling was more than mutual.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on May 5, 2004 @ 09:50 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.

Mike, with any luck the grizzled veterans will not be back when the Leafs play hockey again. It's time to start a new Leaf team with players that are young enough to keep up, play defence and stay injury free. A new coach would be nice also.

     Paul

Watching teams like Tampa Bay play does make you wonder what it would be like to have a young, fast team. Our route has always been to trade the young guys and draft picks for veterans and to sign veterans via free agency. As a result, there was little quality youth on our team and a bunch of character grinders with little speed and skill. Through in a tired Gary Roberts and a hurting Owen Nolan, Joe Niewendyk and Alexander Mogilny and you're left with #13 and not much else in the way of an offense threat.

For once, I don't completely disagree with you.

The Tease
Published by Toronto Mike on May 5, 2004 @ 09:35 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!When it was 2-0 in favour of Philadelphia with only 11 minutes to play in the third, I started to come to grips with the reality of the situation. It didn't look likely the Leafs would score once let alone three times to win the game. I started to tell myself the 2003/2004 Maple Leafs season was coming to a close.

That's when they teased me. At the 9:04 mark of the third, Karel Pilar of all people scored. Wait a second...they're only down by one. Another goal and we can force overtime. Maybe the season isn't over after all?

Then, at the 15:08 mark, Mats Sundin tied it up. Yes! O Captain, My Captain! We're going to win this thing. We're all tied up at home with the momentum...we might win in regulation. We'll certainly score in overtime.

So you see, I started to believe again. In my head, we were going to win last night and we were going to steal game seven, beat Tampa Bay in six and take on Calgary for the Stanley Cup. We beat Calgary in five and there's the image in my head of my brothers and I going nuts on Yonge street with tears streaming down our faces in ecstatic glory.

I hate being teased.

Pool Update: Day Twenty Eight
Published by Toronto Mike on May 5, 2004 @ 09:30 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolThen, there were four. With the usual suspects eliminated from the playoffs already, there aren't many selections remaining in our 2004 playoff pool. Alexi is banking on Tampa Bay, Ryan is banking on Philadelphia and Marc has a great assortment of scorers remaining including Martin St. Louis and Jerome Iginla. These three have the best chance at finishing first.

For the current standings go here.

Maple Leafs 2, Flyers 3
Published by Toronto Mike on May 4, 2004 @ 21:59 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!I am 29 years old. For every year of my life, the Maple Leafs season has ended without the Leafs captain hoisting Lord Stanley's Mug. You'd think I'd be used to this by now. I'm not.

The overtime was thrilling, the momentum was ours but victory was not to be. This is where I'd chuck in a cliche like "We'll get 'em next year", but I don't even know if there will be a next year. When NHL hockey finally does return, how many of these lovable but grizzled veterans will remain? Have I just witnessed Ed Belfour's last game? What about Gary Roberts? Will Alexander Mogilny return?

I have so much to say but little desire to say it. The fact is I've seen my last Leaf game for quite some time and that's pretty shitty. A second round exit in six games does not come close to meeting my expectations for this team. Anything less than an appearance in the finals would have disappointed me. Tonight I'm downhearted, crying tears of blue and white. I'm going to bed.

Philadelphia wins series 4-2

Overtime
Published by Toronto Mike on May 4, 2004 @ 21:31 in Toronto Maple Leafs

OvertimeWe're headed for overtime at the ACC and it's all thanks to Michelle. Please allow me to explain.

Taryn and I were watching the clock tick down on the third period with my beloved Maple Leafs trailing 2-0 in this must win affair. I hadn't felt her tummy to feel Michelle move in about a week so I decided to see if I could feel her kick. The same moment I placed my hand upon her the puck entered the net for the first Leafs goal. Not long afterwards Taryn mentioned how active Michelle was so I put my hand upon her once more and lo and behold the second Leaf goal passed Robert Esche.

I don't want to abuse this power, but I will. When the time is right in this upcoming overtime I will place my hand upon Michelle once more. I want a Leaf game Thursday night. I'm not ready for this ride to stop.

May The Fourth
Published by Toronto Mike on May 4, 2004 @ 13:14 in

May The FourthA guy just came up to me and asked me if it's a Jedi day today. I asked him what the hell he was talking about and guess what he said in response.

May the fourth be with you.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on May 4, 2004 @ 12:59 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's FavouritesJohnny Cash's Desperado - Something about Johnny Cash's voice and delivery soothes my soul. On American IV: The Man Comes Around, Johnny Cash covered The Eagles' "Desperado" and this link pays homage to the man in black. I never cared for The Eagles' rendition of this tune but Johnny makes it work.

Weekly MP3
Published by Toronto Mike on May 4, 2004 @ 08:15 in Weekly MP3s

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant
As Martin Streek is often heard to remark late on a Saturday night, "A solid song from a solid album". Oh we're so pretty, oh so pretty.

Pool Update: Day Twenty Seven
Published by Toronto Mike on May 4, 2004 @ 08:07 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolIn the words of George Louis Costanza, "That's it for me!" With Detroit's elimination I lost three major players in our 2004 playoff pool and any chance to finishing in the money. What else is new?

Marc secured the only point of the night when Jerome Iginla assisted on the lone goal for Calgary. He's currently in third place, three points behind Ryan for second. Alexi continues to lead the pack.

For the current standings go here.

The Monday Shuffle
Published by Toronto Mike on May 3, 2004 @ 21:54 in Monday Shuffles

Monday ShuffleEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in Winamp and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten I heard tonight.

  1. Our Lady Peace - Not Enough
  2. Eminem - Brain Damage
  3. Led Zeppelin - Going to California
  4. Econoline Crush - You Don't Know What It's Like
  5. Pearl Jam - Arc
  6. Gordon Downie - Boy Bruised By Butterfly Chase
  7. Adam Sandler - The Longest Pee
  8. Payolas - Eyes Of A Stranger
  9. Hole - Asking For It
  10. Outkast - Aquemini
Drew Carey
Published by Toronto Mike on May 3, 2004 @ 13:03 in Television

Drew CareyI was shocked to learn "The Drew Carey Show" was still on the air. I was sure it had been cancelled a couple of years ago. I actually used to like The Drew Carey Show. In the mid to late 90s, I watched it regularly. Then, almost overnight, it stopped being funny. I haven't seen an episode since the last millennium.

New episodes will premiere on June 2nd and ABC will show two first-run episodes a week during the summer. This is the ninth and final year for the show.

Drew Carey goes gently into that good night. I only wish I could say the same for "Friends".

Pool Update: Day Twenty Six
Published by Toronto Mike on May 3, 2004 @ 08:11 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolI've been trying to get this sour taste out of my mouth since late yesterday afternoon. It's sickening. I've tried everything, but I can't quite shake it.

Enough whining, I have a 2004 playoff pool update to get to. 100 NHL players were drafted by the ten of us, but nobody selected Keith Primeau, probably because of injury concerns at the time. As a result, Pops was the big winner as Simon Gagne picked up a three spot. The big day moves Pops into a tie for ninth as he tries to avoid the distinction of being the first person to go from first to worst in our annual pool.

Message for Pops: Dude, I know you dig the blues, and last we spoke you weren't interested in much from my music collection because I was lacking in that genre. Do yourself a favour and take another peek. I've added several albums you might dig and if you want anything drop me a line or tell Marc to fetch the MP3s.

For the current standings go here.

Screw the Vote
Published by Toronto Mike on May 2, 2004 @ 20:41 in Politics

Screw the Vote"Planning to vote in the upcoming election? Why bother?" That's a direct quote from Screw the Vote, a CBC special hosted by Jian Ghomeshi. Here's more from the site.

According to Elections Canada, barely 25 per cent of Canadians between 18 and 24 years old voted in the 2000 federal election. "Rock The Vote" concerts have been around since 1990 in the United States, with no discernible impact. Facts in hand, Ghomeshi decides if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

There's even a Propaganda Kit to accompany the message: Voting is for schmoes and it doesn't make one ounce of difference. This reverse psychology is just clever enough to work. The alternative sure doesn't have an effect on today's apathetic youth. What have we got to lose?

Maple Leafs 2, Flyers 7
Published by Toronto Mike on May 2, 2004 @ 18:45 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Well, I'm thoroughly depressed. We were given a good old fashioned ass whooping by the Philadelphia Flyers and it smarts. The less said about this one the better. The Maple Leafs were totally out played and Ed Belfour looked eerily human.

A win on Tuesday to force a game seven is essential. Somebody should remind Bryan McCabe that he wears the blue and white. One more giveaway leading to a Philly goal and I'm marching over to Ryan's apartment to burn his #24.

Philadelphia leads series 3-2

Why I Won't Grow A Beard
Published by Toronto Mike on May 2, 2004 @ 07:44 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Why I Won't Grow A BeardI would like to publicly thank Mats Sundin for reminding me why I should never attempt to grow a beard. Sundin is sporting his first attempt at a playoff beard, and he's been letting it grow for some time now. Leaf fans everywhere appreciate the effort, but somebody has to hand this guy a Mach III. It's patchy, and I'm not referring to Philly's D. It's probably how my beard would look if I ever let it grow.

He's a great captain, a great hockey player and a lousy beard grower.

Pool Update: Day Twenty Five
Published by Toronto Mike on May 2, 2004 @ 07:22 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolTwo playoff games and only four goals. That's playoff hockey. Joe Sakic's two goals extends Alexi's lead to six in our 2004 playoff pool but his Steve Yzerman left the Detroit game after taking a puck directly in the face. Stevie Y has been the heart and soul of the Red Wings for twenty years and whether you're a Red Wings fan or not you hope the guy is okay. Ya gotta respect #19.

For the current standings go here.

My Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on May 2, 2004 @ 07:18 in Quotes

Mike's Quote of the Week"I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live."
      - Martin Luther King Jr.

A Mighty Wind
Published by Toronto Mike on May 1, 2004 @ 19:34 in Movies

moviesIt's hard to make a good comedy. That's why there are so few of them out there. One guy who seems to know how to film funny is Christopher Guest. I laughed hysterically at his mockumentary masterpieces "Waiting For Guffman" and "Best in Show" and I just enjoyed his latest comedy "A Mighty Wind".

The cast for all three flicks is pretty well the same and they follow the same blueprint. In "A Mighty Wind", you get your usual gold from Guest, Harry Shearer, Michel McKean, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Fred Willard and the others. "A Mighty Wind" isn't quite as funny as "Waiting for Guffman" and "Best in Show", but it's far funnier than the vast majority of so called comedies released in theatres.

I should also mention that the music is quite enjoyable. All of the songs were written by Eugene Levy, Christopher Guest and other actors in the cast who also played all their own instruments. "A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow" was actually nominated for best original song as this year's Academy Awards.

Five Bucks
Published by Toronto Mike on May 1, 2004 @ 17:25 in

Five BucksI mowed the lawns this afternoon for the first time this spring. There was some paper debris that had collected on the grass, so I started picking up the trash. That's when I saw it.

Nestled beside a piece of styrofoam was a five dollar bill. That's right, I found a five dollar bill in the backyard this afternoon.

I'm rich!

The Simpsons Strike Ends
Published by Toronto Mike on May 1, 2004 @ 11:43 in The Simpsons

The Simpsons Strike EndsI have great news to report on "The Simpsons" front. The ensemble voice cast of Fox's hit animated comedy "The Simpsons" has signed a new four-year deal with the show's producer after going on strike about a month ago in the midst of contract negotiations.

It looks like we'll still get our full season next year which will be their sixteenth. There's also hope for a few more after that. On a Sunday night there's nothing better than winding down with my good friends from Springfield. By biggest fear for the fall was that I'd be without Maple Leaf hockey and Homer Jay Simpson. The double hit could have killed me.

The salary dispute has been settled and so has my stomach.

Pool Update: Day Twenty Four
Published by Toronto Mike on May 1, 2004 @ 11:32 in Hockey Playoff Pool

Playoff PoolThe only game last night was the only game that matters. The Leafs big win gave myself and Stefan the biggest bump in our 2004 playoff pool with two points a piece from Gary Roberts and Mats Sundin.

I'm currently 14 points out of first and 10 points out of second, but if my Detroit trifecta ever get their act in gear, I could make a run at the money. Stranger things have happened.

For the current standings go here.

Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on May 1, 2004 @ 11:15 in Homer's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Kids, let me tell you about another so-called wicked guy. He had long hair and some wild ideas. He didn't always do what other people thought was right. And that man's name was... I forget. But the point is... I forget that, too. Marge, you know what I'm talking about. He used to drive that blue car?"

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