August 2004 Archives

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World Cup

World CupIn moments I'll be parking myself in front of the television to enjoy Canada vs. USA in World Cup of Hockey action. It's going to be great, but it's far from crunch time. A glance at the schedule reveals this first round is little more than a glorified exhibition series. No team will be eliminated meaning the "real" games don't get under way until September 6th.

It would be nice to win the division anyways just so we can play Slovakia in the first game that matters, but nothing's a sure thing at this level. I find it interesting that the "North American Divison" consists of four teams, including Slovakia and Russia. That's as silly as the Toronto Blue Jays playing in the American League or a team from Baltimore playing in the Canadian Football League.

Go Canada Go! Kick some yankee ass.

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Risking My Life On Black Monday - Tales From The Ex

Tales From The ExDuring the 125th Canadian National Exhibition, I'm sharing stories from my three years working there as a game booth attendant. Below is one of many.

We called it Black Monday. Labour Day Monday was always the last and busiest day of the CNE. It was also well known as a day when crowds of youth would come to the midway and cause mischief.

In order to attract people to our game booth, the largest stuffed animals were hung around the booth as bait. They were hung from the rafters with S-hooks and string. That's it. On Black Monday, the game booth manager could expect the attempted theivery of a prize or two or three. In 1991, I was the game booth manager.

I can't remember what the wholesale cost of the jumbo prizes was but I think they were about $45 each. For whatever reason, we managers believed we had to protect these things with our lives. On Black Monday, the volume of business was staggering but I was obsessed with keeping my eyes on the prizes. No punk kid was going to snatch one of my giant pandas or pink elephants...not on my watch.

I remember one especially manic sequence in particular. One group of teens ripped down a prize on one end of the booth while another group grabbed a stuffed animal on the other end. Both parties began walking away in an attempt to blend into the thick crowd. I had to be a cowboy. I didn't even hesitate to think about whether these petty thugs were carrying knives or worse, I just knew they had property that I was to protect. I jumped into the crowd and snatched back the first prize, threw it in the booth and made a bee line to the second. Again, I think I startled the guy making off with the loot because I came upon him out of no where and ripped the animal out of his hands. With both prizes back in the booth and with my blood curdling with adrenaline, I jumped back in and prepared for retribution. None came and I had saved Ardo about $100 cash. More importantly, I protected my territory and won another battle for the good guys.

Today I wouldn't risk a beating or my life for the sake of a couple of prizes, but teenagers seldom use such logic to their advantage. I was young, dumb and in charge that Black Monday. I haven't felt as powerful since.

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No More Ray

No More RayAs previously mentioned, I got a haircut Saturday. Yesterday, being my first day at work with the buzz, I got the usual jokes including the standard sarcastic question "Who's your barber?" To that question, I've always had a stock reply. I immediately deadpan "Ray Charles".

When I was asked the question yesterday, I kicked into auto pilot and began to say "Ray Charles". At once I realized this could no longer be my stock reply. Ray was no longer among the living and this was my first haircut since he passed.

I've changed my stock reply to "Stevie Wonder", but I'll never forget Ray. Not only was he The Genius Of Soul, but he was one hell of a barber who served me well for thirty years.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Hiya Mike,

I've been wanting to post for a while to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. Exactly 2 years ago I moved to Manchester, UK from Toronto. I found your blog when I was looking up the Hip and I thought it was cool. We have a lot in common in that I've been listening to CFNY since the early 80's and I went to Michael Power too. Anyway, the purpose of this post is to tell you that when I'm far far away in a foreign culture logging on and reading about your little slice of TO brings me back home.

So, thanks!

     Nancy P

Only moments ago I drove by Michael Power Place where our high school used to reside (of course, it's all condos now) while listening to CFNY Edge 102. I find this fact both comforting and pathetic, all at once.

Since you mentioned you're now living in Manchester, UK, please permit the following tangent. I was in high school when CFNY was all about the Manchester scene. The big three bands were the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets. Although I was never a big fan of this scene, I was always particularly interested in the Inspiral Carpets because their keyboard player was named Clint Boon. To this day I still sort of follow Clint Boon's career with the Clint Boon Experience. If you bump into him, please ask him to contact me.

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The Monday Shuffle

Monday ShuffleEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in Winamp and list the first ten songs that play. I forgot to do this yesterday, so here we go but one day late.

  1. Sloan - Suppose They Close The Door
  2. Raffi - Going To The Zoo
  3. Palestrina - Missa Papae Marcelli - Gloria
  4. Collective Soul - When The Water Falls
  5. Jimmy Cotton - Next Time You See Me
  6. Pearl Jam - Blood (Live)
  7. Eminem - Soldier
  8. Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate Love Song
  9. Don McLean - American Pie
  10. Ramones - Pet Sematary

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At The Hundredth Meridian

At The Hundredth MeridianWith daytime radio being more and more careful not to air that which may be perceived as offensive, it's nice to hear a song containing an expletive air completely uncensored. The other morning on CFNY Edge 102 I heard "At The Hundredth Meridian" by The Tragically Hip and the f-bomb was dropped right on queue. I'm fairly certain no American radio station would air it unedited and I'm somewhat surprised CFNY Edge 102 lets it slip by. I suppose in the context of a song the powers that be figure nobody would complain to the CRTC...and they're absolutely right. It's a great song by a great band and the f-bomb is used as an expression of anger and frustration. To omit it would be to ruin it.

Speaking of "At The Hundredth Meridian", I can no longer hear the song at the recorded speed. The version played on the radio is the version from Fully Completely and a great deal slower than the version Gord Downie sings live. The live version of this tune blows me away as Gordie rips into the chorus at double-speed.

If I die of Vanity, promise me, promise me
That if they bury me some place I don't want to be
That you'll dig me up and transport me
Unceremoniously away from the swollen city breeze, garbage bag trees
Whispers of disease, and acts of enormity
And lower me slowly, sadly, and properly
Get Ry Cooder to sing my eulogy.

Great stuff.

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How We Fared

How We FaredThe second week in Athens for our Canadian athletes certainly was better than the first week. We finished with 12 medals which is only two less than we collected four years ago in Sydney.

I'd feel a great deal better about our performance if some of our best chances hadn't dissapated completely. I was expecting gold from Perdita Felicien in the 100m hurdles, our men's eights in rowing and Alexandre Despatie in the ten-metre springboard competition. We came home medal-less in all three events.

I say we take a long look at what they're doing in Australia. They have a similar history, culture and population size yet we've got twelve medals while they finished with 49. I realize such results cost money, but wouldn't it be cool to be an Olympic powerhouse and finish fourth overall like the Aussies did? I think so.

We'll do this again in two years for Torino 2006. For now, it's World Cup of Hockey time!

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Writing's On The Wall vs. Sex Type Thing

WOTW vs. STTHave you heard "Writing's On The Wall" by The Tea Party yet? If you haven't, you can hear it here. CFNY Edge 102 currently has it on heavy rotation ensuring they make their CanCon quota.

Everytime I hear it I start singing "Sex Type Thing" by Stone Temple Pilots. The guitar parts are eerily similar. Wouldn't you agree?

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Disgusting

DisgustingSome asshole decided he was bigger than the final athletic event of the Athens Olympics and grabbed the marathon race leader with just five kilometres remaining. The race began in the town of Marathon, northeast of Athens, 47.2 kilometres from the Olympic Village, following the ancient route Athenian soldier Pheidippides was said to have taken to deliver the news of a victory over the Persians at the battle of Marathon. It was to be the ideal end to a fairly safe and secure showcase of the world's greatest athletes.

Vanderlei de Lima of Brazil did recover enough to finish with the bronze, but we'll never know how he would have fared had he not been grabbed by this jerk and pulled him into the crowd. Canadian Ron Bensimhon sported a blue tutu and jumped into the Olympic Aquatic Centre pool during the men's synchronized three-metre springboard event, that's that rather funny and enlightening compared to today's act. It really pisses me off that this incident today effected the outcome of the race. What a damn coward. What a prick.

The sign this idiot was wearing said, "The Grand Prix Priest. Israel Fulfilment of Prophecy Says The Bible. The Second Coming is Near." Hey buddy, next time, take out an ad in the paper. You're no Ron Bensimhon, that's for sure.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

A Tribute to Robert Reichel

It has been something of an enigma to the mind of your writer as I pen these words about the retirement of Robert Reichel from the vaunted Toronto Maple Leafs. A lot of people weren't too impressed with Reichel as a player but I have always liked him. Here are my five favourite goals he scored for us in the season 2003-04:

(Away) November 22nd, 2003. The Leafs roll into Vancouver to take on the greatest team in the Western Conference. I must admit I was fearful of seeing my beloved team lose to the Canucks. Out here in la-la-land, I was privileged to see my team in action, live. I wasn't disappointed. Reichel scored the second goal for the Leafs for a great night that the game ended 5 to 3 Leafs win. As I saw this game live, this was my favourite Reichel goal.

(Away) January 30th, 2004. The Leafs played in Atlanta. This was Reichel's 800th game, he opened the scoring by placing the first goal of the game. This would be his fifth goal (and twelve assists) of the year. Leafs ended the game 4 to 1. It is a note worthy comment here to say that this was Trevor Kidds BEST game of the year. Kidd's net minding preserved the Eagle for on the next night when the Leafs had bigger fish to fry at home hosting the Senator's. Reichel would have decisive contributions to this key game at the A.C.C.

(Home) January 31st, 2004. A score was to be settled. The Leafs earlier took a drubbing at home by the Ottawa Senators. As the Leafs were in for a long night the Ottawa captain thought it was a good idea to mock Mats Sundin. This man has been marked. But, lets talk about the game. I personally thought this was the best game the Leafs played all year. Certainly it was my favourite.It was Pat Quinn's 600th win and Tie Domi got his revenge. Robert Reichel had two important goals to contribute in this epic game. In the first period, Reichel on his knees scored tying the game 1 to 1 . Later, (I've never seen this before) Reichel shot the puck and Gary Roberts tipped it in with NO TIME ON THE CLOCK to score Leafs were now 3 to 1. The end result was 5 to 1 Leafs. I can only imagine how it must have been to see that game at the A.C.C live.

(Away) April 3rd, 2004. At the Toronto Maple Leafs home away from home the Corel Centre, the Leafs proceed to take a ball pien hammer the Ottawa Senators. The 6 to 0 blow out was impressive to watch. Reichel scored the fifth goal in this rout. This sadly would be his last goal in the N.H.L. Reichel was unsuccessful in scoring any goals in the playoffs for the Leafs.

The reader may ask why do I harp on about some fourth line player? I feel it will be the Robert Reichel's or the Travis Green's or the Robert Svehla's that will one day end this cursed drought that has dogged our team. Yes I know our biggest guns (Mogilny, Nolan, Sundin, Nieuwendyk, or their successor's) can and will be counted on to get us, one day, to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals. Our deliverer, who will score a goal to be the man who's goal will equal Bill Barilko's in fame will be a man from the fourth line. (Or, I'd like Darcy Tucker do be the man). I just feel a laughing fate has arranged that. I regret if I have been too melodramatic here; I'd like to close by saying to Robert Reichel thank you for your efforts and best wishes to you and your family when you return the Czech Republic to live.

     D.C.

Why do you harp about some fourth line player? I think you've got more positive memories of Reichel in a Leaf uniform than his own family members do. This is the definition of addition by subtraction. I liked him a great deal more than I liked Jonus Hoglund, but I think we can do better.

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceLaura Branigan was 47. She was a a Grammy-nominated pop singer best known for her 1982 platinum hit "Gloria".

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world I feel like I can't take it, like my heart's going to cave in."
      - Ricky Fitts, American Beauty

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Important Raging Storm Info

Heads UpFellow members of Raging Storm, we have a date for our second round of the playoffs.

We're playing either Hollywood or the Etobicoke Sharks on Wednesday, September 1st at West Deane Park @ 6:30 pm. Game two is taking place that same night at the same park @ 8:00 pm. If a third game in this best of three series is required, it will take place that same night at the same park @ 9:30 pm.

See you there.

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Scissor Talk

Scissor TalkOne of my first posts ever to this blog was about how much I hate haircuts. I dread the entire process of going to the barber, sitting there and having your hair cut. I endured this process this morning.

The lady cutting my hair today was making idle chit-chat and was telling me how lucky I was to be married nine years because the dating scene in Toronto is brutal. She started telling me about how her cousin used to cry about how horrible the men in Toronto were but moved to New York for a new job and soon after found a husband. I was feigning interest in her story like I usually do when she casually mentioned that her cousin left a gig at City-TV for this job in New York. She had my attention and I asked for her cousin's name. Her cousin's name is Mary Garofalo.

What Torontonian doesn't remember Mary Garofalo from her days at City-TV in the late 80s? I certainly do, and I remember her leaving for an anchor job at a New York station. This led to a job on the national show A Current Affair for six years and now she's here.

Now I wonder where Ziggy Lorenc is these days...

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Who's Gay?

Who's Gay?As all fans of The Simpsons already know, a character is coming out of the closet next season. Last month I speculated that it might be Aunt Patty. The obvious guess is Waylon Smithers, but I'm thinking that's way too obvious.

readaBet.com have just released betting odds for who they think the gay Simpsons character will be. Here are the top ten according to their current odds.

  1. Smithers - 5/2
  2. Patty - 7/2
  3. Selma - 7/2
  4. Kent Brockman - 7/1
  5. Carl - 10/1
  6. Lenny -10/1
  7. Moe - 10/1
  8. Groundskeeper Willie - 10/1
  9. Comic Book Guy - 12/1
  10. Old Sea Captain - 12/1

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The Legend of Ardo - Tales From The Ex

Tales From The ExDuring the 125th Canadian National Exhibition, I'm sharing stories from my three years working there as a game booth attendant. Below is one of many.

We called him Ardo and we feared him. Ardo was the boss and his persona was thug-like, a tough dude you didn't want to mess with. He did his best never to let you catch him smiling. With every snarl and command his legend grew.

The typical game booth attendant working one of his several games was either a teenager or in his or her very early 20s. To keep us working hard and in line, Ardo decided very early on that presenting himself in such an intimidating fashion was his best bet. He was right. Your biggest fear was getting an earful from Ardo or having someone escalate an issue or incident to him. People told tales of what Ardo once did to this guy or that guy. Fear was his motivational tool of choice.

This worked the first year I worked for Ardo, but at some point during my second year Ardo let his guard down. I was permitted to see him in a more relaxed state and he even began laughing in my presence. For Ardo, it was all about trust. Until he trusted you, he played the tough guy as well as any cast member on The Sopranos. Once you earned his trust, you could clearly see he was indeed a softy underneath it all. Ardo's bark, in all it's tenacity, was far worse than his bite. I haven't been to the Ex in several years, but I'm pretty darn certain he's there right now glaring at his new game booth attendants while his legend permeates the midway.

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Silver For Ross MacDonald and Mike Wolfs

SilverCanada now has twelve medals at these Olympic games.

Ross MacDonald and Mike Wolfs captured a silver medal in Star class sailing regatta.

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Gold For Adam van Koeverden

GoldCanada has earned it's eleventh medal of these Olympic games.

Kayakers Adam van Koeverden won gold in the men's K1 500-metre race.

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Bronze For Caroline Brunet

BronzeCanada has earned it's tenth medal of these Olympic games.

Caroline Brunet took bronze in the women's K1 500-metre kayak race.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Carnies built this country. The carnival part of it, anyway."

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Bad Dream Team

Dream TeamThe American men's basketball team in Athens was the heavy favourite to win gold heading into the summer Olympics. This team hadn't lost a game in the Olympics since 1988 and was stacked with NBA stars. Who was going to beat the Dream Team?

As it turns out, beating the Dream Team wasn't that difficult. In fact, Puerto Rico, Lithuania and Argentina accomplished the feat as the USA fell three times and won't be competing for the gold. I've heard several theories as to why the Americans failed in Athens, and they usually focus on advancements made in other countries and the fact that the USA didn't have a chance to become a true team. I'm not convinced.

The American team consisted of Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, LeBron James and Stephon Marbury amongst others. These are world class players...all stars in fact. They should have won the gold but didn't for one reason and one reason only. They didn't want it bad enough. Quite simply, they weren't hungry and lacked that win-at-all-cost attitude. With a little fire in the belly, the USA doesn't lose three games out of seven. I'm sure of it.

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveJames' favourite television shows

  1. The Simpsons
  2. Blue's Clues
  3. Bob the Builder
  4. Dora the Explorer
  5. Thomas the Tank Engine

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Brody Dalle on SLS?

Brody DalleSuddenly a note from Scott Simpson from the 680News Storm Centre doesn't seem quite as big a deal. Back in January, I wrote about Finger Eleven's lead singer Scott Anderson and his post to our SLS Finger Eleven - "One Thing" discussion page. I thought it was pretty cool that he took the time to explain the meaning behind "One Thing" on a site I maintain.

Earlier today a post was made on the page for The Distillers' "Drain the Blood" by Brody Dalle. For those who don't know, Brody Dalle is the lead singer for The Distillers. You can read her post on this page.

Anyone can sign their name as Brody Dalle so I did some investigation to see if it's legit. It certainly reads as a legitimate post by Brody Dalle, but it could also be some fan trying to fool visitors to SLS. As administrator for the site, I have access to the IP address for everyone who posts on the site. With this IP address, I visited a handy-dandy Reverse IP Lookup page and determined that Brody Dalle had written her post from an ISP located out of Amsterdam, NL. A visit to The Distillers : Tour page shows they are playing the Reading Festival in Great Britain today and they played a show in The Netherlands as recently as August 22, 2004. I sincerely believe this post is legitimate. Brody Dalle's note is below.

hi guys im really thankfull gor your support it honestly dpes mean alot to me and the band ....well letty im so so thankfull for ur support especially becoz u r the only 1 that i have seen on this sight that has actually shown true compassion to my feelins ....the whole tim thing is over so y are u ppl still goin on about it ...shows u have no lives becoz u r dwelling on the past ....letty i would have rather not u sed those things abaout tim and what has happend...i no u were tryin to get ppl off my back tho so thankyou really ..well im off love u all xxx

p.s im flattered u guys think im hot

I'm a big fan of The Distillers and I think this is pretty damn cool.

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The Storm Centre Guy Speaks

Storm CentreOn a blistery day back on January 27, I wrote about the 680News Storm Centre. I wondered what setting up their Storm Centre entailed exactly. As far as I could tell, it was business as usual with more time devoted to the top story of the morning, our little snow storm.

That post was read by the 680News Storm Centre man himself, Scott Simpson. Scott Simpson took the time to write me a lengthy email in which he spilled the beans on life as the Storm Centre guy. It might be career suicide but he's given me permission to post his email here in its entirety. This is a torontomike.com exclusive...

Hey! I'm the Storm Centre guy, Scott Simpson. (see the 680news.com bio page for more.)

Setting up the storm centre basically entails somebody telling me, "Simpson, you're on standby for Storm Centre tomorrow." That means I try to get to bed early, but end up tossing and turning until 4:15am when I call the newsroom ... I say, "It's not even snowing. The Weather Network says we're only getting 5cm." They say "Well, it's hit Chicago and they've cancelled a ton of flights. Come on in, you're our man."

That's about it. I get in, I see if any schools are closed, I find out what's up at the airport, maybe call Gary Welsh from Toronto Transportation to see what gear they're sending out, load up the admin side of the web site, and climb on the news wheel ... There's no time to run back and forth into and out of the control room, so I sit at a desk (the proverbial "Storm Centre" which, internally, is dialed up as CHFINEWS, even though they haven't done CHFI news from the newsroom in ... erm ... well, I don't think they ever did. Legacy tech, natch.) and broadcast from there, getting up now and then for fluid management.

So I sit there at the desk, and every half hour they throw to me, I read a sponsor or two, and try to tell it like it is .... sometimes it's a brain-bending five-hour whirlwind of bus cancellations and school closures (how many Montessori schools *are* there in the GTA, and why can't they get their kids to class when it snows?!) though, thankfully, most days I end up saying "Well, there's no big storm here ... but if you're travelling by air, you're screwed." I would rather be the voice of "everything's fine, get out and live your lives!" than the voice of doom and gloom when there's nothing to freak out about. I don't want to get a reputation as Chicken Little. If anything, I downplay the severity of what's going on out of the fact that I don't drive.

I saw Bowling For Columbine and some other stuff that has convinced me that keeping listeners "in a state of fear" is a terrible thing to do. I also don't like "neighbourhoods in a state of shock" or "outraged residents" or such things. I have two rules: tell the truth, and never be boring. They rarely clash, because the truth well told is usually a really interesting story.

Thanks for listening! I'm trying to enjoy the summer, 'cuz there's no Storm Centre.

Awesome insider info!

Check more information about taxi Toronto.

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Silver For Marie-Helene Premont

SilverCanada has earned it's ninth medal of these Olympic games.

Marie-Helene Premont raced to a silver medal in the Olympic women's mountain bike competition.

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Bronze For Adam van Koeverden

BronzeCanada has earned it's eighth medal of these Olympic games.

Kayaker Adam van Koeverden paddled to a bronze medal in the men's K1 1,000-metre event.

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What a Wonderful World - Tales From The Ex

Tales From The ExDuring the 125th Canadian National Exhibition, I'm sharing stories from my three years working there as a game booth attendant. Below is one of many.

I typically closed up the booth at the end of the night. The park would close, I'd wait for the midway to empty and then begin bringing down the flash. The money would go to the office, the giant stuffed toys would come down from all around the booth and I'd lock up the game.

The game I worked and eventually managed was very close to the Polar Express. Every single night without failure the Polar Express' killer sound system would play Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" at the very end of the night. Every single night while I locked up the booth I'd find myself alone in the summer's night with Louis Armstrong wafting though my ears. It was the ideal song to penetrate the silence in the wee hours of the night after another long day of hustling and bustling. It brought a wonderful blend of calmness and hope to an otherwise chaotic arena.

To this day I can't hear a note of that song without instantly returning to the summers of '89, '90 and '91. It remains a personal favourite.


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Guest Blog Entry

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

Hooray for Carnies, Is there anything they CAN'T do?

     Rico

Actually, I think it's donuts that can truly do it all.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Good stuff Mikey! Your website has come along way ... I recall when you first started.. The Dead Pool is HUGE ... Well, that is kinda sad... Your kids are gorgeous!

Later gator!
peace!

     Kimmie

If anyone is still curious, this site has been around since early 1999. The blogging started in November 2002. My nineteenth nervous breakdown started about forty-five minutes ago.

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Tom Cheek

Tom CheekThe Blue Jays lost again last night 11-5 against the Boston Red Sox at the SkyDome. We're 53-74 and last in the AL East, 25.5 games back of the Yanks. It's been the season from hell, but there is a silver lining...

I can still turn on the radio and hear Tom and Jerry call the game. Tom Cheek is back and that's just awesome.

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Weekly MP3

Weekly 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.

Beastie Boys - Time For Livin'
Yeah, that's right, it's time to set the record straight. "Time For Livin'" is a short but very sweet track from the most excellent Beastie Boys disc Check Your Head. I dare anyone to pump this tune and not experience an adrenaline rush. I'm your pusher baby!!!! Come back when you want more.

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceElisabeth Kubler-Ross was 78. She was a psychiatrist who revolutionized the way the world looks at terminally ill patients with her book "On Death and Dying" and later as a pioneer for hospice care.

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Conklin Carnies Save My Life - Tales From The Ex

Tales From The ExDuring the 125th Canadian National Exhibition, I'm sharing stories from my three years working there as a game booth attendant. Below is one of many.

During the height of Madonna's Blonde Ambition tour in 1990, I was working a game with a Madonna-wannabee. She copied that complete look, including that fake-blonde pony tail. At this time, Ms. Blonde Ambition was also my manager and in charge of managing our shifts.

This particular game had a microphone and one of us was to be on the mic at all times creating excitement and attracting the next sucker. I was on when I saw a couple of people decked out in 680 CFTR gear handing out swag. In a shameless effort to score some free goods, I hollered "CFTR Rules!" into the mic and got their attention. It worked because they came right over and handed me two tickets to see the Jays at SkyDome that night and attend a Pizza Pizza party beforehand.

Ms. Blonde Ambition had to rearrange the schedule so I could get my free pizza and check out the Jays but she had a condition. She wanted the second ticket. I agreed and that night I gorged on pizza and witnessed the first bug delay in Blue Jays history. The game is rather infamous for the 35-minute bug delay and I'm proud to have been a part of it.

Here's where this tale from the Ex kicks into high gear. The next night I was closing up the game booth after midnight when I saw Ms. Blonde Ambition's boyfriend walking towards me. He was clearly drunk and was slurring something to the effect that I should stay away from his girl and he heard I asked her out. There was no point reasoning with this guy. He was there to kick my ass.

I was sixteen and not the biggest dude around. This guy was older, bigger and full of booze. It was after midnight at the CNE and I needed back-up. Where was I to turn?

A Conklin carny was closing up his booth and I quickly approached him and in as few words as possible told him Ms. Blonde Ambition's boyfriend's was there to pummel me and I needed a little help. Even though I wasn't working for Conklin, there was a code amongst us carnies. We looked out for eachother. I'll never forget what this 100 pound, 40-something year old, mullet-headed carny said and did next. He picked up a pipe, pounded it into his hand and called back behind the trailer to a collection of carnies enjoying an end-of-day brew, "You guys ready for a fight?".

This collection of Conklin carnies came through for me that night when I needed them most. I worked for a rival company, but we were all in the same gang. They saw I was in trouble and they took up the cause. To this day I'm unsure how that night ended for Ms. Blonde Ambition's boyfriend, but he didn't bother me again for the remainder of the CNE. I'm guessing he learned his lesson...carny style.

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The Monday Shuffle

Monday ShuffleEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in Winamp and list the first ten songs that play. I forgot to do this yesterday, so here we go but one day late.

  1. The White Stripes - Black Math
  2. Guns N' Roses - You're Crazy
  3. Nirvana - Return Of The Rat
  4. Pearl Jam - Hail, Hail
  5. Hole - Doll Parts
  6. House of Pain - Salutations
  7. I Mother Earth - No One
  8. Underworld - Born Slippy
  9. Al Green - Let's Stay Together
  10. Joe Satriani - Day At The Beach

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Hi Mike,

I just wanted to share in your outrage about the little girl who was refused her first Holy Communion because she had to use a rice wafer in place of the standard wheat-based wafer. Even as much as I am a christian, I have to say that I am appalled at such a decision by the Catholic church. Practices such as these were given to be (powerful) symbols to help people in their relationship with God, not to be an impediment. It is striking in its parallel with the story of Jesus and His disciples picking and eating kernels of wheat while crossing a field on the Sabbath. The Pharisees, literally applying the Law, scold Him for doing any kind of work on the Sabbath. He told them, quite rightly, that the Sabbath is was meant to keep (for the well-being) the people, not for the people to be burdened by keeping the rules. A symbol, like the Holy Communion wafer, should be an aid to faith, not a hindrance.

Thank for pointing out this injustice.

     Leland

No prob. I'm all about pointing out injustices.

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Silver For Alexandre Despatie

SilverCanada's medal count now stands at seven.

Alexandre Despatie won the silver medal in the men's three-metre springboard competition.

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Perdita, NOOO!

Perdita, NOOO!Perdita Felicien's gold-medal dreams just died. She hit the first hurdle and went down in the 100-metre hurdles, the Olympic event most anticipated by Canadian sports fans.

A nation weeps.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayTricks of the Trade - For every occupation, there is a catalog of secrets only its employees are aware of-such as how waiters with heavy platters know to look straight ahead, and never down. Here is an awesome collection of such "tricks of the trade".

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Gold For Lori-Ann Muenzer

GoldCanada has earned it's sixth medal of these Olympic games.

Lori-Ann Muenzer won Canada's first gold medal in track cycling in the Olympic sprint event earlier today.

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Raging Storm Sweep Round One

RSWe in Raging Storm swept our best of three playoff series last night and have advanced to the next round.

The first game was never in doubt as we pummelled the Buccaneers 12-1 with some awesome defense and the game's only homer by yours truly. In the second game we had to battle much harder for a tough 10-5 win. Not that I'm trying to brag here, but I hit the team's only homer in that second game too. It's playoff time baby!!!

The competition will be far more fierce from here on in. I'll update the statistics soon and you'll find them on the Raging Storm home page when I do.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayPac Man - Video games are way too complicated these days. I came of age in a wonderful, simple time when the objective was to avoid ghosts and devour all pellets in your path. Play Pac Man and play it often. Never forget the classics.

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Silver For Tonya Verbeek

SilverCanada has earned it's fifth medal of these Olympic games.

Tonya Verbeek is taking home the silver in the women's 55-kilogram division of wrestling.

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The World Cup of Hockey

World CupI can't wait for the World Cup of Hockey to get under way on August 30. The best in the world suiting up for their nation...it's going to be awesome.

Canada plays their first of three exhibition games tonight against the USA in Columbus, Ohio. We've surprisingly opted not to dress the line of captain Mario Lemieux with wingers Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards. Hopefully this isn't indicative of Lemieux's questionable health.

With an NHL lock out imminent, this might be the only top notch hockey for quite some time. Make no mistake about it, I want to win this thing bad. Go Canada Go!

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The CNE

The CNEThe 125th Canadian National Exhibition opened last week. It's the world's largest annual exposition and a great annual tradition here in Toronto.

I probably won't go to the Ex again until James is old enough to really enjoy it. You see, as a teenager, I seriously overdosed on the place. From 1989 through 1991 I worked at the CNE and walked the midway all 60 days it was open during that span. I've got a tonne of Ex memories, as you can imagine, and I'll try to share a few here over the next couple of weeks.

Stay tuned for the true tales of a game booth attendant! There's an intimidating presence named Ardo, carney heroics and lives risked for the sake of a giant stuffed bear.

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Gold For Kyle Shewfelt

GoldCanada has earned it's fourth medal of these Olympic games.

Kyle Shewfelt captured the gold medal in the floor event in men's gymnastics. It's our first-ever Olympic artistic gymnastics medal and our first gold medal in Athens.

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Disappointing

DisappointingCanada entered this weekend with two medals and a great deal of hope. We were expected to easily double and possibly triple that count by the end of competition on Sunday. We always excel in rowing and our Men's Eights entered the Olympics with a two-year unbeaten streak and was widely viewed as one of our best gold-medal hopes. I, for one, was ready for the gold rush.

This morning our world champion unbeatable Men's Eights finished fifth and out of the medals. This glorious weekend in Athens resulted in a single silver medal. It's day nine and we're at a lowly three medals while our neighbours to the South lead with 49 and our sibling down under sits pretty in fifth with 29. There are 32 countrys ahead of us in the current medal standings.

Perdita Felicien, you're our only hope. No pressure!

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that's on the worst day of my life."
      - Peter Gibbons, Office Space

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SLS Submission

SLS SubmissionI submitted a song via the Smells Like Sour website for SLS12 consideration.

I submitted "Triple Trouble" by the Beastie Boys. "Triple Trouble" is the second single from the Beastie Boys' lastest disc, To The 5 Boroughs. I'm sort of a sucker for these guys and I'm just happy to hear them on the radio again. When "Triple Trouble" comes on, I'm all into it. It has to be considered for SLS12 this December. It has to be.

Another tune that will be considered is "American Idiot" from my old friends Green Day. It's a decent single and I'm digging it. I would have submitted it to the SLS website but someone beat me to it.

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Baby Update

Baby UpdateMichelle is three weeks old and the biggest difference between her and James when he was that age is the amount of time she spends eating. Taryn guesstimates she spends about 2/3 of the day feeding her. James didn't feed nearly as often or for as long when he was three weeks old. Apparently Michelle's behaviour is perfectly normal for a full-term baby and James was an exception because he was a preemie.

Michelle is awfully alert and almost always hungry. She's also damn cute.

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Silver For Cam Baerg, Jake Wetzel, Tom Herschmiller and Barney Williams

SilverCanada has earned it's third medal of these Olympic games.

The Canadian men's four rowing team of Cam Baerg, Jake Wetzel, Tom Herschmiller and Barney Williams raced to a silver medal this morning.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Foul temptress! I'll bet she thinks Ziggy's gotten too preachy too!"

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveMy favourite television shows still being produced

  1. The Simpsons
  2. Six Feet Under
  3. The Sopranos
  4. Curb Your Enthusiasm
  5. Arrested Development

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceIvan Hlinka was 54. He was an exceptional hockey player who later coached the Czech Republic hockey team to a gold medal at the 1998 Olympics. He played for the Vancouver Canucks and coached the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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Important Raging Storm Info

Heads UpFellow members of Raging Storm, the following news is rather important so read slowly.

We're playing the Buccaneers on Monday, August 23rd at West Deane Park @ 6:30 pm. Game two is taking place that same night at the same park @ 8:00 pm. If a third game in this best of three series is required, it will take place that same night at the same park @ 9:30 pm.

Be there or be square.

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Silver For Karen Cockburn

SilverCanada has earned it's second medal of these Olympic games.

Karen Cockburn of Toronto won silver in women's trampoline.

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Road Trip: Censored

Road Trip: CensoredI watched Road Trip on ABC last night. I first saw Road Trip in theatres and thought it was pretty damn funny. I've now seen it several times, but I still enjoy it. I was channel surfing last night, stumbled upon it and decided to see it one more time.

I mentioned it was on ABC and that was the problem. They censored the snot out of this flick. Many of the best scenes were completely gone or a shadow of their former glory. The sperm donation scene was blown away, the pot smoking scene was cut completely, and you can forget about nudity and swear words.

It's never a good result when a raunchy, crude comedy is clensed of all that offends.

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2004 Tunage Trifecta

2004 Tunage TrifectaI just heard Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out" for the one thousandth time this summer. It's one of a trifecta of 80s inspired songs that salvaged radio in the spring and summer of 2004. You heard them at every turn, they couldn't be avoided and they shouldn't be avoided.

If you haven't guessed by now, the other two tracks are Modest Mouse's "Float On" and The Killer's "Somebody Told Me". When we look back years from now, we'll always associate these three tunes with the spring and summer of 2004. That's not such a bad thing, is it?

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Doc Martens

Doc MartensI've been wearing the same shoes for the past fifteen years. Ok, it's not the same pair of shoes, but the same shoe. Black, three-hole Doc Martens with yellow stitching. I bought my first pair at the age of fifteen and I just go out and buy a new pair once I've worn my current pair into the ground. My theory is, if it ain't broken, don't fix it. I've found a type of shoe I like and I see no need to mess with a winning formula.

For years and years there were a couple of great shops on Yonge Street near Wellesley that sold my shoe at a great price. Every year or two I'd drop in and pick up a new pair. These stores, I remember one was called "IXL", are gone and it's become quite the challenge finding my black, three-hole Doc Martens with yellow stitching for a half decent price.

I've just noticed a hole developing in my current pair so I'll be resuming the hunt shortly. Queen Street, here I come!

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Garbage

GarbageMy Toronto Blue Jays were beat by the Boston Red Sox 6-4 last night. That gave the Sox the three-game sweep and dropped the Jays to a season-high 23 games under .500. We're now 49-72 and have lost 13 of our past 15 games.

I've been a huge Blue Jays fan since the '83 season when I discovered a young, talented team that was experiencing it's first pennant race. There have been plenty of highs since then, and a few lows in recent years, but I don't remember a season as difficult to enjoy as this one. I'm at the point where I'm actually numb to Jay losses. When we lose a game or get swept in a series, I psychologically throw it on the pile and thank God that we're one more game closer to the end of this season from hell. It's a little like debt. When you're a couple of thousand dollars in the hole, you make a concerted effort to pay it off. When you're a couple of hundred thousand in debt, you stop caring. You're so buried, what's another couple of bucks?

In 2004, the Blue Jays are awful. We stink. We lead the American League in losses for the month of August. We're going to finish last in the American League East. I just want to press the fast-forward button on this season and start fresh with a clean slate in 2005. The drive of 2005...I can't wait.

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Home Groan

Home GroanMaybe you've heard the advertisements for Going The Distance on the radio this week. It's a Road Trip-like movie except the exciting destination is the capital of the universe, sweet home Toronto. Specifically, the MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto.

That's right, three dudes from the West Coast graduate and take a road trip to the T-Dot. I think it's cool that Toronto will play Toronto in the flick and acts as the final destination, but I'm entirely uncomfortable with the shameless self-promotion of the production company. CHUM finaced the movie and used the opportunity to pimp it's music station and awards show. This is a kin to Nokia financing a film on the wonders of the cell phone and passing it off as a hi-tech thriller.

I'm not being naive and I'm well aware that product placement is standard in most Hollywood pictures today, but CHUM's first big-screen feature being all about a visit to the MuchMusic Video Awards rekes of bad cheese. It's a 90 minute commercial for their product with some American Pie/Porky's style antics thrown in to please their teenage targets.

I haven't been this appalled since "Mac and Me".

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Seven Mary Three

Seven Mary ThreeIn addition to their Thursday 30 countdown, CFNY Edge 102 maintains a list of "Other Tunes". I was just perusing this list when I saw there's a new tune from Seven Mary Three there.

Seven Mary Three is one of those bands that had a cool single that was followed up by absolutely nothing. I've written about The Flys in the past, and they did the same thing with "Got You (Where I Want You)". Seven Mary Three broke through with the very heavy and very cool "Cumbersome" way back in '97 but came up empty after that.

I wonder if "Without You Feels" is any good...

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Weekly MP3

Weekly 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.

Alice in Chains - Them Bones
I listen to Alice in Chain's "Dirt" all the damn time. It's a moody disc that's solid from start to finish. The opening track is "Them Bones" and I'm sharing it today in an effort to open one persons ears to the most underrated band of the last fifteen years.

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Ron Bensimhon

Ron BensimhonIt's day five of the Summer Olympics and the most recognizable Canadian participant thus far is Ron Bensimhon. Bensimhon sported a blue tutu and jumped into the Olympic Aquatic Centre pool during the men's synchronized three-metre springboard event on Monday. He was arrested on charges of "interrupting the Games".

This is pathetic. Five days in and he's the best we've got. Sure, we won bronze in women's synchronized diving, but that's it. How is it that Australia, a country with a similar history and size, already has 14 medals including 6 gold? Our one bronze and one arrest doesn't rank.

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Bronze for Emilie Heymans and Blythe Hartley

BronzeCanada has earned it's first medal of these Olympic games.

Divers Emilie Heymans and Blythe Hartley won bronze in women's synchronized diving.

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Absence

AbsenceI won't be posting for a little bit, so try not to miss me too much.

I'll be back some time on Tuesday. In the interim, visit the Archives and read what you missed.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. There's one taken last Sunday of James and a few taken this afternoon of Michelle and James.

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1 Year Ago Today

1 Year Ago TodayIt was one year ago today. I was on vacation and had stopped at my mom's to help her with her computer when the lights went off. There was some construction taking place a block away, so I assumed it was localized and a result of something happening at that site. I got in my car and drove towards home.

This blackout wasn't localized. I found a talk radio station that had managed to stay on the air and they were taking calls from as far away from New York from people experiencing the same blackout. Immediately, I began thinking it could be an act of terrorism. I remember fearing what could be next.

We were without power for a little over 24 hours and it wasn't easy. James was only a year old and without milk and finding food for everyone was becoming quite the challenge. It also coincided with quite the heat wave and relief from the heat was difficult without the juice. Just when boredom was setting in I remember Steve, Vanessa and Marc walking over to shoot the shit with a cooler of pop. It was a welcome distraction.

Below is my entry from August 15, 2003 at 16:58 EST in it's entirety.

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

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

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

It wasn't terrorism, we survived to fight another day and it's one hell of a story from the summer of '03. Who's complaining now?

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"Citius, Altius, Fortius"
      - Olympic Motto

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Visitors

VisitorsI was doing some work around the house earlier today when I heard a knock at the door. I wasn't expecting anyone, so I probably should have ignored it, but I ended up dropping what I was doing to open the door.

Two well dressed young women wanted to talk to me about the bible. How nice of them. One of them did all the talking and reminded me that we're living in tumultuous times. There were many questions and she had all the answers in the palm of her hand. I told her I wasn't in the mood to convert today and she gave me a big smile and left me some further reading on the bible and it's role in this topsy turvy universe.

These girls sincerely believed the answers to all of life's problems were in this one book. Oh how I envy them. Am I overcomplicating everything? Maybe they're right. Maybe this 3000 year old book written by about 40 men is the easy answer to all of life's not-so-easy questions...

Nah.

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The PGA Championship Update

The PGA ChampionshipEarlier this week, I mentioned I was in the office PGA Championship pool. I selected the trio of Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els in the hopes that my threesome would shoot a lower score than anyone elses threesome.

Things looked really bad after Thursday because Tiger Woods shot a 75 and looked like he was going to miss the cut. On Friday, he shot 69, made the cut and put me in a strong second place heading into the weekend.

The guy in first has the same team as I do with Phil Mickelson in place of Tiger, so it will all come down to those two. If Woods beats Mickelson, I'm in the money. Follow the PGA Championship and my progress here.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

I just want to congratulate Neil and Stella on their Wedding!! (Raging Storm Players) We wish you guys lots of love and happiness in the future!

:)XOXOXOX

     Andrea

Andrea, you just reminded me. Neil, you owe me $45. Write me if you're still interested and can get me the money before the NFL season kicks off...and congratulations!

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Lisa, if the Bible has taught us nothing else, and it hasn't, it's that girls should stick to girls sports, such as hot oil wrestling and foxy boxing and such and such."

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveMy favourite beverages

  1. 2% Milk
  2. Tropicana Pure Premium Grovestand Orange Juice with Lots of Pulp
  3. Coke
  4. Water
  5. Lemon Lime Gatorade

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Heads Up

Heads UpFellow members of Raging Storm, we have a playoff date and opponent.

We're playing the Buccaneers on Monday, August 23rd, so clear your calendar. The Buccaneers are 4-10 while we're 10-6 so we'll be the favourites. We just missed a first round bye.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

First Eatons, then Future Shop, then Molson and now The Bay? That's great!

No, really! I mean, what's so bad about merging with the States? The privatized Health care system is only given to those who are wealthy enough to afford it, our government could take away our civil liberties and control our radio and TV frequencies. Hey! We could live in a society where fear and war-mongering are acceptable forms of control!

We go to sleep tonight with a country that belongs to us, and we wake up tomorrow with our heads up our own arses saying "Ruff" instead of "Roof", being governed by a cowboy with the IQ of an African Bobo Monkey, and being hated on by the rest of the world (civilized or not!)

I'd prefer to stay independant from our gun-toting, paranoid neighbours. As the old saying goes, "it was nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there"

     Rico

Oh, but our government does control our radio and TV frequencies. I'm afraid we're not much more free than the United States in this department. The CRTC recently revoked the license of CHOI-FM in Quebec City for its "offensive" morning hosts. I remember when Howard Stern's show was aired in Canada, Q107 was reprimanded for comments Stern made about French Canadians. Furthermore, I can't even get HBO legally. That's the real shame.

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceJulia Child was 91. She was the world's first celebrity chef as well as a famed cookbook author.

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Air Play

Air PlayTwo of my favourite songs this past spring were Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out" and Modest Mouse's "Float On". In fact, I liked them so much they not only made SLS11 back in June but they're first and second respectively on the playlist. They open the lastest edition of SLS perfectly.

As good as these tunes are, CFNY Edge 102 plays them way too frequently. I hear them just about every time I turn on the radio. I suspect CFNY Edge 102 is only really playing about ten songs right now and they're playing them ad nauseum.

I suppose it could be worse because "Take Me Out" and "Float On" are great tunes, but a few less spins will not only extend the life span of these songs but will leave room for other cool tunes. Man cannot live on ten songs alone.

Now where's that new System of a Down disc we've been promised? The anticipation is killing me.

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Is The Bay a Target?

The Bay a Target?The Hudson's Bay Co. is Canada's largest department-store chain. The place has been incorporated since 1670 and at 334 years old is Canada's oldest company. It's a part of our history. It's as Canadian as maple syrup and Anne Murray.

Rumours are circulating that U.S.-based Target Corp. is in advanced talks to buy part or all of Hudson's Bay Co. If this transpires, our 334-year old Hudson's Bay Company will be owned by an American company. Is nothing ours anymore? Eatons went under in '99, Molson is merging with Coors, Future Shop is owned by Best Buy and now the Bay may be owned by Target.

Hey America, stay the hell away from my Canadian Tire or Sandy McTire will kick you in the arse.

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Not Complaining

Not ComplainingI hope it didn't sound like I was complaining about it being 17 degrees celsius for my ball game.

The conditions were absolutely perfect. It's a great time to be alive.

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August Weather

August WeatherWhat happened to global warming? It's been an unseasonably cool summer in Toronto. Tonight it will be cloudy and 17 degrees celsius for my ball game and that seems to be the norm lately.

This is the kind of weather we needed last August during the black out when our air conditioners went down. Instead, I remember all of August 2003 was one wicked heat wave. What kind of summer is this? I don't want to wear pants in August. I demand a refund.

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Weekly MP3

Weekly 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.

Radiohead - Karma Police
I got into Radiohead's Ok Computer a little late, but the genius of this recording hit me over the head with the subtlety of a sledge hammer. It's pure awesome. One of my favourite tracks on the album is "Karma Police". My favourite part is the distorted feed back at the very end. Pump up the volume and fuck your mind.

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Raging Storm 16, Horny Thorns 10

Slo-Pitch ResultsWe in Raging Storm played well enough to win tonight easily tonight despite not matching the effort from last week. Once again the defense was solid and but there's room for improvement at the plate. Alex went five for five though, so he's exempt from the preceding criticism.

I'll update the statistics soon and you'll find them on the Raging Storm home page when I do.

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Homer's Emmy

Homer's EmmyHomer Simpson has won another Emmy. Well actually, Dan Castellaneta won the Emmy, but it was for voicing my hero Homer Simpson as well as Krusty the Clown, Grampa Simpson, Groundskeeper Willie, Barney Gumble and Mel among others.

Woo Hoo!

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DaySeinfeld DVD Trailer - They're releasing the first three seasons of Seinfeld on DVD. This link is to the trailer for the discs. Pre-order and discuss it here. Giddy-up!

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The PGA Championship

The PGA ChampionshipTomorrow the PGA Championship tees off. Once again, I've entered the office pool and my fate is tied to the performance of these three golfers: Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh and Ernie Els.

My how the mighty have fallen. This is the first time I've selected Tiger Woods all year. My brother Steve wanted me to pick Vijay and strongly recommended Ernie but Tiger was my choice. Steve thinks Phil Mickleson is a wiser selection. I'm thinking Tiger is seriously due.

Follow the PGA Championship and my progress here.

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A New Name

A New NameThe Toronto Maple Leafs announced Monday the AHL board of governors has approved their request to relocate their St. John's farm club to Toronto for the 2005-06 season.

While playing in Newfoundland, they were known as the St. John's Maple Leafs. Now that they will be playing in Toronto, a name change is necessary to avoid massive confusion. This isn't the CFL and we can't have two franchises called the Toronto Maple Leafs. The question is what to name this AHL team.

Personally, I like the "Baby Leafs" as their new moniker. It's already their nickname and I think it's pretty cool. The only reason not to name them the "Baby Leafs" is because it's humiliating to the players and coaching staff and I don't think that gives them enough credit. It's a funky name and all in good fun and I'm hoping they take a serious look at it.

The other natural name for the Maple Leaf's farm team is the "Toronto Buds" but that's not nearly as funny.

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Walk Idiot Walk vs. I Can't Explain

LoudHave you heard "Walk Idiot Walk" by The Hives yet? If you haven't, you will. They're playing the hell out of it on CFNY Edge 102.

Is it just me or does it sound an awful lot like "I Can't Explain" by The Who. Hmmmmmm.

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My Cassettes

My CassettesI've been going through a bunch of my old stuff cleaning out the crap. One box I stumbled upon in the cellar was filled with my cassette tape collection.

I wasn't sure what to do with my old cassettes. I'm 100% sure I'll never, ever play them again. As technology goes, cassette tapes are pretty damn obsolete in my world. Even my CDs are now stored away as I access my music in MP3. I probably should have thrown all my tapes in the garbage. Simplify, simplify...right?

I did throw out quite a few of my old cassette tapes, but I couldn't part with all of them. It was the musical format of my youth and how I listened to music in the 80s. I held onto a small box of tapes for strictly nostalgic purposes so I can recall my teenage Walkman years. I simply couldn't chuck them all. I think it's worth keeping them around so I can freak out the kids in about ten years.

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Olympic Baseball

Olympic BaseballWhen our Canadian Olympic baseball team takes the field in Athens, there will be a few familiar faces to Blue Jay fans. Paul Spoljaric and Rob Ducey are on the squad and both used to suit up for the Jays. Peer into the dugout and you'll see we're managed by former Blue Jay Ernie Whitt. There are some potential future Jays on the team as well. John Ogiltree, Simon Pond, Stubby Clapp and Jeff Guiel all play for Toronto farm teams.

I mentioned Ernie Whitt. That gives me an excuse to take a stroll down memory lane and return to the decade of my youth, the 80s. My brothers and I were die hard Blue Jay fans and we followed each and every pitch of each and every game. We each had a favourite player, and Ryan's favourite player was #12 Ernie Whitt. Every once in a while we were lucky enough to attend games at Exhibition Stadium and a popular bit on the crappy scoreboard in right field was the chant "We want a hit! We want a hit!" My dear brother Ryan was certain the crowd was yelling "We want Whitt! We want Whitt!" We still kid him about it. How could we not?

For the record, Steve's favourite player was #29 Jesse Barfield and mine was #11 George Bell. I wear #11 on my slo-pitch uniform today in his honour.

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Loud

LoudMusic sounds better loud.

It just does. Period.

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The Monday Shuffle

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. Neil Young - The Old Laughing Lady
  2. Smashing Pumpkins - Eye
  3. Otis Redding - White Christmas
  4. Linkin Park - Hit The Floor
  5. Pearl Jam - Immortality
  6. Sublime - Burritos
  7. Nirvana - Molly's Lips
  8. EMF - Girl Of An Age
  9. Blink 182 - Man Overboard
  10. 3rd Bass - Russell Rush

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceFay Wray was 96. She was a Canadian-born actress who won everlasting fame as the damsel held atop the Empire State Building by the giant ape in the 1933 film classic "King Kong".

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NFL Pool

NFL PoolWhen the Colts and Patriots kick off on September 9th, the 2004 NFL season will officially be underway. That means it's time to enter an NFL Football Pool. If you know me and are interested in joining our pool, contact me.

This pool is nice and simple. You make your picks on-line against the spread each week, and there are weekly winners and overall winners. It's only $45 and a lot of fun. Let me know if you're interested or want more details.

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Athens 2004

Athens 2004I love the Olympics. We're five days away from Athens 2004 and I'm ready. When Canada medals, you'll read about it here.

There are a few sites in particular I'll be keeping my good eye on throughout the games.

Go Canada Go!

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Politirock

PolitirockI just heard Green Day's latest single, "American Idiot". It's clearly a Dubya-inspired ditty. Below is a taste of the lyrics.

Well, maybe I'm the faggot America I'm not a part of a redneck agenda
Now everybody do the propaganda
And sing along in the age of paranoia

It got me thinking about the most recent Pearl Jam studio release and the tune "Bushleaguer". When I saw Ed Vedder perform this song live last summer, he was donning a Dubya mask. Here's a taste of the anti-Bush lyrics in Bushleager.

A confidence man, but why so beleagued?
He's not a leader, he's a texas leaguer
Swinging for the fence, got lucky with a strike
Drilling for fear, makes the job simple
Born on third, thinks he got a triple

Speaking of Pearl Jam, they're one of several bands on the "Vote For Change Tour". These bands will play shows during the first week of October in a number of swing states. Other artists taking place are REM, Bruce Springsteen, the Dave Matthews Band and the Dixie Chicks. The anti-Dubya sentiment boils over.

It's an age of politirock and there's nothing wrong with that. Will Pearl Jam fans who also consider themselves Republicans change their vote this November because of what Vedder says and thinks? I sincerely doubt it, but there are thousands and thousands of Pearl Jam fans who are unaware and don't vote at all. I believe this is their target and if the young, disenfranchised American goes out and casts a vote for John Kerry, we're all better off.

Keep on rockin' in the free world.

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."
      - George W. Bush

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Baby Leafs

Baby LeafsAccording to the Toronto Star, the Maple Leafs have reached an agreement with Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto to make it the new home of their American Hockey League affiliate. The deal is expected to be approved at the league meetings on Monday.

Although I feel for Leafs fans in Newfoundland, I'm very pleased with this news. I had no interest in the Toronto Roadrunners who played at the Ricoh Coliseum last season but I love the fact the Baby Leafs will now be playing home games a stone's throw away.

As a die hard Leafs fan, I'm very interested in our young prospects who will one day play at the ACC. Tickets to the ACC are damn expensive and difficult to obtain, so this is an excellent alternative. Better yet, the AHL will actually be playing games come the fall. Bonus!

Speaking of the NHL Maple Leafs, if labour strife does not interfere, and that's a huge "if" based on what I've read, we're only 69 days, 4 hours, 6 minutes, and 32 seconds away from the Maple Leafs opener! Follow the countdown here.

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Allen-for-Carter?

Allen-for-Carter?Now that Vince Carter has essentially come clean with his desire to play elsewhere, it's looking more and more likely that the Raptors will trade him. As I've said before, I'd rather see #15 in the line up for the Raptors season opener, but if he's got to go there's an interesting possibility emerging.

Ray Allen of the Seattle Sonics is reportedly interested in playing for the Toronto Raptors. He's making similar money to Carter, so that takes care of the salary cap issues. He also plays a similar game. As Doug Smith writes in today's Toronto Star, "He has the type of up-tempo game that would fit perfectly with the style new coach Sam Mitchell wants the Raptors to play and he could share the court with Jalen Rose and Rafer Alston in a high-powered backcourt".

My biggest fear is we'll trade Vince Carter for a bunch of B-list players. Ray Allen is at least a star. This would make the pain a little more bearable methinks.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. A couple are of Michelle and Zander and taken today while the other two are of Michelle and James taken earlier this month.

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Bad Santa

Bad SantaBad Santa: 7 out of 10.

Actually, the movie we watched on DVD last night was called Badder Santa and was the unrated raunchier version of Bad Santa. I'm glad we didn't start this one until after James went to bed, because some of the scenes in this flick would do far more psychological damage to a two year old than all the gun play and graphic sex you can imagine. This was indeed one bad Santa.

Billy Bob Thornton has always rubbed me the wrong way. Something about him creeps me out and with a few exceptions (Sling Blade & A Simple Plan) I've managed to avoid most of his work. In this role as a disgruntled, alcoholic con man, however, he's great. It's really raunchy, but damn funny with a surprising amount of heart thrown in for good measure.

Enjoy the flick, just make sure your two year old is sound asleep in order to preserve his or her pure vision of St. Nick. I know I'll never look at a department store Santa the same again.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Aw, Dad, you've done a lot of great things, but you're a very old man, and old people are useless."

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The Best Movie Soundtracks?

The Best Movie Soundtracks?The BBC conducted a poll to find the best movie soundtrack. Below are their top 10.

  1. The Blues Brothers
  2. Pulp Fiction
  3. Trainspotting
  4. Saturday Night Fever
  5. Dirty Dancing
  6. Grosse Point Blank
  7. Kill Bill 1 & 2
  8. Lost In Translation
  9. The Royal Tenenbaums
  10. Fight Club

A glance at My MP3s reveals I own the top three as well as the two Kill Bills. I actually listed my five favourite soundtracks as part of my Friday Five for March 19, 2004. Only the Pulp Fiction soundtrack appears on both my list and the BBC's.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

haha, i leave the site for 1 day and anarchy breaks out! This is better than TV!!!

     Rico

Yes, we're all mourning the loss of Rick James.

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceRick James was 56. He was a funk legend best known for the 1981 hit "Super Freak".

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveMy favourite actors born in Toronto

  1. John Candy
  2. Jim Carrey
  3. Mike Myers
  4. Dan Akroyd
  5. Dave Foley

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Guest Blog Entry

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

hey guys ..relax. ..It was only an inside joke for Ryan and myself...it's really up to the child's parents on what they want their child to call a close friend or not. Either way, both sides make a valid point. This was not meant to be a debate though. Thanks.

can i put my name, or is that going to get chewed out too?!

     Vash

What's with that name anyways? It sounds made up...

I'm goofin' on ya dude. The Lion can guest blog anytime about anything. It's all good.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

To add further to the Uncle, Aunt debate ...

I can understand why your last guest blogger would see things that way, but just because you have a bad relationship with your brother you're not gonna go call another friend "brother", you know? I agree with Rico. The old saying goes "Blood is thicker than water". Moms will always be Moms, whether good or bad, as will Dads. We do not get to choose our family. We are born to them. We DO have foster parents and adopted ones as well, but forever and ever, your biological mom is MOM.

So it should be with Aunts & Uncles. They are titles specific and exclusive to a family.

Maybe the answer lies in the creation of a new word to take these circumstances into consideration.

     Anonymous

I think it's all tied up. Does anyone want to break the tie?

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Guest Blog Entry

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

This is an interesting debate. One that I would think takes a few more years of wisdom to truly understand. Sometimes when loking back at life one sees a consitent family friend who is always there for the family and many hours of fun with the children. This person has earned the title aunt or uncle and I am sure we all know someone after years of life. Blood usually deserves this exact relationship with nieces and nephews and so the title is earned according to society's title aunt or uncle. However for the person who never comes forward to have arelationship with a niece or nephew and is seldom seen at family events then certtainly they don't deserve this amazing title of uncle or aunt. The test of time is where this title comes in to play. It is the relationship rather then the birth right that gives the well earned title to the person wearing it. There are no rights or wrongs. Only caring and love or lack of it.

     Anonymous

Who's next?

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Guest Blog Entry

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

I have a different opinion on the aunt and uncle issue. By far many of my friends were better aunts and uncles to my children then the blood line. You are not an uncle simply because you are part of the family. I had a very sour situation with my brother as an uncle. I believe you must earn this title and some of my friends definitely earn that right far more than a family member. So to anyone who is an intricate part of a child's life they have earned the title aunt or uncle hands down in my opinion. Amen.

     Anonymous

We've got quite the debate raging here. There are exceptions to every rule, but on the whole I think the "uncle" and "aunt" labels are handed out a little too freely. Personally, I'm Uncle Mike to Ryan's son Zander, but I wouldn't be comfortable being "Uncle Mike" to a friend's child. That doesn't mean I don't care about the child, it's just that I'm simply Mike to them.

Does anyone else want to chime in on the debate?

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The Other League

The Other LeagueI've never written about the other league. Every week I post the score from my slo-pitch league and I maintain a page for our team where you can view the results of our games and our batting statistics, but I never write about the other league I play in.

I call it the beer league. There's far less pressure because nobody takes it too seriously, and several of my teammates actually drink beer throughout the game, hence the nickname. I use these games to hone my skills for the league that matters and I've never felt compelled to write about it...until now.

Tonight, we entered the top half of the ninth inning down by seven. I can't remember the exact score at the time, but it was something like 12-5. Batting in the ninth, the impossible happened. We scored nine runs and shut down our opponents in the bottom half of the inning to secure a two run victory. It would have been all too easy to fold up like a cheap suit, but there was something special in the air on this particular evening.

It felt awesome. Even in a crappy softball league there's nothing like overcoming a seven run deficit in the ninth.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

I agree with you Mike. 'Uncle' and 'Auntie' are two titles that are passed around too much like candy. We need to stop calling every Tom, Dick & Harriette Uncle or Aunt (as the case may be). I for one am completely against calling the bum on the street "Uncle Hobo" or the grocery store clerk "Auntie Gunga".

Next thing you know, our kids grow up confused cuz they had like 300 Aunts & Uncles, except 3/4 of them weren't!!

Old acquaintances? Mr & Mrs, thank you very much. Uncles & Aunts are an important part of any family and not a role to be toyed with like so many playskool rubber duckies!

I urge everyone to preserve the sovereignty of the uncle, and the opulence of the aunt!!

     Rico

I like it when people agree with me.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Congratulations to all on the birth of the newest members to the Boon family. I have had the pleasure of meeting Zander and I must say what a beautiful child. Ryan and Kara, congratulations and may God bless you all (again) with happiness. Ryan, I still can't believe it. I'm really happy for you, bro..All the best ..talk to you soon.. And thanks again for the great BBQ by Ryan's Mom.

     Uncle Vash

Welcome to RyanBoon.com! I say we reclaim the integrity of the "Uncle" title. Can just anyone assume this label? Where's the nobleness? Where's the value?

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayBatman Begins Teaser - If you haven't seen it yet, this link will show you the teaser for Batman Begins, due in theatres next summer. Christopher Nolan is directing and it's got an absolutely killer cast, so I have high hopes.

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Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed Internet

Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed InternetRogers provides my home Internet service and I pay them good money to do so. Recently, Rogers announced they've teamed up with Yahoo! so there are several new benefits available to me at no extra charge. I took a long look at this "enhanced" Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed Internet service yesterday and I'm feeling more than a little cheated by the good folks at Rogers. Allow me to explain...

Rogers is celebrating the fact I can now "enjoy enhanced e-mail services with more storage, spam filtering technology, anti-virus technology and improved e-mail Web access". They're right, it's called Yahoo! Mail and I've been using the service for several years. It's available to any Tom, Dick or Harry at no charge. Rogers is merely allowing their customers to merge one Rogers email account with an existing Yahoo! account or simply use Yahoo! Mail with ones Rogers.com email address as the username. I'm certainly glad we weren't charged for a free product. Also of note, the ads that appear within Yahoo! Mail are not suppressed, even though you're paying a great deal each month for the service. You're treated exactly like the thousands of Yahoo! users who didn't pay a cent.

Rogers is also celebrating the fact you can "share and store digital photos online with friends and family". This is another current Yahoo! service that is free to Yahoo! users. Then there's all the marketing crap from Rogers about the Yahoo! content. In other words, you're now a Yahoo! User so you can do what every other Yahoo! User can do: use the Yahoo! Instant Messenger, use the Yahoo! Companion, program your very own Internet radio station with LAUNCHcast, play online games with thousands of other Internet players, watch thousands of music videos and access the latest news and weather via your Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed Internet portal.

None of the aforementioned facts actually bother me personally, because I've never used my Rogers email. I've been a loyal Yahoo! user from the beginning, and I'm actually glad to see my ISP and Yahoo! integrate like this. What bothers me though is what they're doing with the Rogers webspace you get as a Rogers Internet customer. At the end of this calendar year, Rogers is eliminating the 10 MB of webspace you get with each email account you create with them. Instead, they're telling you to start using Yahoo! Geocities instead. Yahoo! Geocities will force advertisements on your pages. They do this because their service is free. That's right, it's a free service to all and not exclusive to Rogers customers. Whereas Rogers webspace was ad-free, Geocities currently isn't. This affects me personally and it's not fair. If Rogers Yahoo! Users are going to be treated exactly like regular Yahoo! Users, where exactly is the benefit? Where is the enhancement? Isn't the opposite, in fact, more accurate?

At the end of the day the most important service I get from my ISP is Internet connectivity. This new service also offers 5.0 Mbps download and 800 Kbps upload speeds. That's really, really fast and I'd love to have this access at "no extra charge" and Rogers says that's the case. Oh wait, I just read the fine print. A DOCSIS modem is required and that's $99.95 plus applicable taxes. It's nothing as it seems...

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceHenri Cartier-Bresson was 95. He was a legendary French photographer who travelled the world for more than half a century capturing human drama with his camera.

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Weekly MP3

Weekly 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.

Guns N' Roses - My Michelle
Less than a week ago, my Michelle was born. Today's MP3 was an easy choice for me. It had to be "My Michelle" from Guns N' Roses' Appetite For Destruction.

I hope my Michelle's life doesn't mirror the life of the Michelle Axl is singing about. I don't work in porno and Taryn is around. There is some coke here and there but it's cola, I assure you.

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Hoax

HoaxI hate falling for a hoax.

Earlier today I was glancing at a site with the headline "Baroness Thatcher dies, 79". There was a picture of Margaret Thatcher and the first lines read "Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister, died today aged 79. 'Maggie' has apparently been in failing health for some time now."

It appeared to be the home page for the Guardian News with the URL http://www.guardiannews.co.uk/, which seemed pretty legitimate to me. I went about adding a note about Thatcher's death to this page and I updated the Dead Pool page with this "breaking" news. I went to a few of my favourite news sites to read more about this significant death but found nothing. It was a hoax and I fell for it hook, line and sinker. I hate it when that happens.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

It has been some time since my last entry. As you are aware by now, I have a baby boy, Zander, and he will put a smile on anyone's face. I dare you to stare at him and not smile!!! I can't imagine what the upcoming decades will bring to me, but on July 29th of this year, God was feeling kind. I stare at him and still think I am dreaming. I'd pinch myself if it didn't make me cry like a little girl. Speaking of little girls, I was delighted and exhausted when I heard about Michelle's birth, mere hours before Zander's birth. This day will certainly go down in infamy in the Boon household, and may even take out the day Mike beat up Steve for saying that Dave Winfield is slow. (He was pretty slow Mike, I know it's a soft spot but he was..)

Thanks to everyone for all their support,and to Kara; You have bad taste in Men but you sure can produce one cute kid!!!!!

     Ryan

Dave Winfield was a true five-tool athlete who never spent a day in the minor leagues. The man was drafted out of college by four teams in three pro sports: the San Diego Padres (MLB), Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Utah Stars (ABA), and Minnesota Vikings (NFL). Any reaction to the slandering of his ability on the field is totally and completely justifiable.

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The Mod Club

The Mod ClubThe Tragically Hip's recent performance from The Mod Club in downtown Toronto was taped and can now be viewed online via an exclusive webcast.

You get a great 75 minute performance from Canada's greatest band that's heavy on the new stuff with some golden nuggets tossed in for good measure. See what you're missing.

I want to thank Carter for the heads-up. One hand washes the other. Oh, that reminds me...

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Raging Storm 14, Etobicoke Sharks 2

Slo-Pitch ResultsWe in Raging Storm played our best all around game tonight. We were solid at the plate and in the field. Everything came together and it felt damn sweet.

Player of the game honours go to Marc who pitched a stellar game and added some great offense. You know you're in the zone when you allow only 2 runs in 7 innings of slo-pitch.

I'll update the statistics soon and you'll find them on the Raging Storm home page.

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Google News Sources

Google News SourcesGoogle News spiders more than 7,000 news sources and is my preferred news portal.

Digital Deliverance analyzed all of Google News' categorical news pages one day last month. Their snapshot revealed that the top 25 sources accounted for 54% of the content. Very interesting... Below are the top 20.

  • Reuters 1058 stories 8% of all
  • New York Times 646 stories 5% of all
  • Xinhua 482 stories 3% of all
  • Washington Post 469 stories 3% of all
  • Voice of America 396 stories 3% of all
  • ABC News 373 stories 3% of all
  • Bloomberg.com 322 stories 2% of all
  • Reuters.co.uk 278 stories 2% of all
  • FT.com 242 stories 1% of all
  • Boston.com 240 stories 1% of all
  • USAToday 203 stories 1% of all
  • International Herald Tribune 180 stories 1% of all
  • Forbes.com 173 stories 1% of all
  • SFGate.com 157 stories 1% of all
  • Newsday.com 145 stories 1% of all
  • TheStar.com 139 stories 1% of all
  • CNN 138 stories 1% of all
  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer 137 stories 1% of all
  • Guardian.co.uk 132 stories 1% of all
  • Houston Chronicle 125 stories 1% of all

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Miracle

MiracleHere's an idea. When I see a movie, I'll jot down a few sentences about what I thought of it and rate it on a scale of 1-10. I'm full of good ideas.

Miracle: 5 out of 10.

I watched this flick about the 1980 US Olympic hockey team that won gold in Lake Placid on DVD earlier today. Part of my problem with this movie is the fact I'm all too familiar with the real life story of this team. In other words, it was awfully predictable and it's not easy to relive the glory of an American hockey team. Had this film been about the 1972 Summit Series, my familiarity with the story wouldn't have made a difference, I'm sure. Asking me to root for the red, white and blue in a hockey game, even if they are playing the Soviet Union, is a near impossible feat in it's own right.

I thought the re-enactment of the hockey games were supurb. It was shot in extremely realistic fashion with Al Michaels and Ken Dryden's recreated commentary along for the ride. This movie made me miss hockey again. Boy did it make me miss hockey. I can't wait for the World Cup of Hockey later this month.

The awesome hockey footage and the fact that Herb Brooks passed away shortly after principle photography was shot made this movie decent, but the predictability and plodding nature of the film held it at five stars our of ten.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayToronto's Neighbourhoods - This is an excellent primer on Toronto's Neighbourhoods. They're missing a few neighbourhoods I'm quite familiar with in the west end, but most are here. If you want to read more about Toronto's neighbourhoods, this page is pretty good too.

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Man In The Box

Man In The BoxThe latest Tom Cruise movie, Collateral, opens Friday. I know this because I saw the trailer prior to Spider-Man 2 and the advertisement frequently appears on my television. I loved the trailer and the ads for this flick, but not because I'm particularly looking forward to Michael Mann's latest film. For me, it's all about the tunage.

Alice in Chains' "Man In The Box" is featured prominently in both the trailer and tv ads. Damn I dig that tune. Off of Alice in Chains' debut album Facelift in 1990, it's a moody little bleak number that's always struck a chord with me.

I'm the man in the box
Buried in my shit
Won't you come and save me, save me

Feed my eyes, can you sew them shut?
Jesus Christ, deny your maker
He who tries, will be wasted
Feed my eyes now you've sewn them shut

It's as awesome today as it was 14 years ago. What a killer band.

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Home

HomeMichelle came home yesterday. Suddenly it's a rather full house with two adults, two children and a dog. James has been giving his little sister lots of kisses and awoke briefly at 05:00 upset because he could hear Michelle crying. He hates it when she cries.

Michelle herself has been amazing. She's a very calm and content girl who only cries when she's hungry and when she's hungry she feeds like a champ. All is well on this end, we're just happy to have her home.

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The Monday Shuffle

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. Tad - Giant Killer
  2. Stone Temple Pilots - Dead and Bloated
  3. Pearl Jam - Breath
  4. Guns N' Roses - Bad Obsession
  5. Beastie Boys - Get It Together
  6. Buddy Holly - Down The Line
  7. Nine Inch Nails - The Beauty Of Being Numb
  8. Smashing Pumpkins - Stumbleine
  9. Rage Against The Machine - Sleep Now In The Fire
  10. John Lennon - Woman

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Tipi Tales

Tipi TalesOn Sunday mornings, James and I often watch a show entitled "Tipi Tales". In fact, we saw it this morning. It's my favourite of all the shows aimed at toddlers and preschoolers, comprising Aboriginal stories told from the Canadian Cree perspective.

In "Tipi Tales", four Ojibway cousins learn the tools of life during visits to their great-grandparents' home. Their teachers are enchanting forest animals who embody the seven ancient aboriginal laws - love, respect, courage, honesty, wisdom, humility and truth. It's very cool spiritual stuff with great music and story telling.

It's a very calming half hour. Perhaps that's why I took to it so. Most of what's aimed at toddlers and preschoolers bores me to death and that's why James and I typically feast on episodes of "The Simpsons", but this "Tipi Tales" is alright too.

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection."
      - Sigmund Freud

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