October 2004 Archives

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. Three are of James dressed up for Halloween and the fourth is my nephew Zander in the pumpkin patch.

James had a great time trick or treating. Nothing is more adorable than watching him gingerly approach a door before reciting the phrase he knows will result in the gift of chocolate. Then, there's the shy "Thank you" before moving on to the next house on the block. It was more than enough to make this Halloween Scrooge the Great Pumpkin's biggest fan.

Oh yeah, and he scored some pretty good loot too.

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SLS Submission

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

I submitted "Ocean Breathes Salty" by Modest Mouse, another good tune off of Good News For People Who Love Bad News. It's rather likely this song will make the cut when we make our final selection for SLS12 in late December.

In the spring, as we were paring down the songs for SLS12, we found we had a good trifecta of singles with an 80s-ish feel from Modest Mouse, Franz Ferdinand and The Killers. Here we are, six months later, and it looks like we have another great trio of tunes from these same artists to lead the way. "Ocean Breaths Salty", "This Fire" and "Mr. Brightside" will be staples of the next edition.

It's deja vu all over again.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 8, Cleveland Barons 3

Go Leafs Go!Kyle Wellwood set a new franchise record by scoring five goals in leading the Maple leafs to an 8-3 win over the Cleveland Barons. Wellwood broke a mark previously set by three other Maple Leafs: Yanic Perreault, Todd Gillingham and Kelly Fairchild.

It was quite the performance and it blasted Wellwood into the St. John's points lead. It was the first five-goal game in the American Hockey League in nearly six years. Carlo Colaiacovo also had a good offensive night adding a goal and two assists.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
3-5-0-1
7 points
8-3 Win vs. Cleveland
5-1 Loss vs. Cleveland
4-2 Win vs. Manitoba
Kyle Wellwood - 11 pts
David Ling - 10 pts
Matt Stajan - 7 pts

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Happy Halloween

Happy HalloweenI've never cared much for this ridiculous holiday. I went through the motions until I was about 11 or 12 years old and then I quit the whole charade. No more dressing up, no more trick or treating and no more shelling out. I was far too shy a kid to enjoy begging strangers for snacks.

As an adult, Halloween night meant turning out the lights and watching television. This year, everything is different. This year, there's a two and a half year old boy who gets jazzed up about this sort of thing. So, we've carved a Jack O'Lantern, got him a lion costume, bought a bunch of treats and will join the party tonight.

This holiday is for the kids so it look like I'll be stuck with it for a while. Kids make the crap you haven't cared about in 18 years exciting again. Kids have many practical uses.

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"I've learned there are three things you don't discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin."
      - Linus, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayTrick or Treat Star Wars Style - If you haven't decided on a costume for tomorrow night, no worries. You can download and print these masks originally from the 1983 book, The Star Wars Book of Masks. I can't say for certain, but I think I may have owned this book as a kid. I can't wait to be Chewbacca again!

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. You won't want to miss James' Jack O' Lantern masterpiece. It's his design, I just did the dirty work.

Tomorrow I'll share pictures of James in his Halloween costume and a picture of my nephew Zander in the pumpkin patch. As Red would say, don'tcha dare miss it.

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Spotted Leaves

Spotted LeavesWhat's the deal with the spotted leaves this year? The leaves on most of the trees in our neighbourhood are covered with small black circles. I don't recall an outbreak of spotted leaves during previous autumns.

So you know what I'm talking about, I snapped a photo of the spotted leaves in question. Should I be concerned? Is this a sign of the impending apocalypse? Is this symbolic sympathy for the Leafs that will never be this season?

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeacePrincess Alice was 102. She was the widow of Prince Henry, the third son of King George V and Queen Mary and the longest-lived member of the British royal family.

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True Patriot Love

Patriot Act IllegalB.C Privacy Commissioner David Loukidelis says the USA Patriot Act violates provincial privacy laws, because it can order American companies to hand over information on British Columbians in secret. He recommends that Ottawa and the provinces pass legislation that will "prohibit personal information from being stored or sent outside Canada."

O Canada! This is one of many reasons why I love this country. It's one thing for Dubya to promote the Patriot Act as a means to restrict the rights and freedoms of those in his jurisdiction, but when it encroaches upon the rights and freedoms of those in the Great White North, there's a serious problem. The Dominion of Canada remains an independent democratic state. Keep yer damn Patriot Act outta our face!

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St. John's Maple Leafs 1, Cleveland Barons 5

Go Leafs Go!The Leafers were whipped good in the first of a two game series in Cleveland. Nathan Perrott scored the lone goal for the good guys and Mikael Tellqvist earned an assist. Unfortunately, Tellqvist was less than spectacular defensively only stopping 18 of 23 shots.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
2-5-0-1
5 points
5-1 Loss vs. Cleveland
4-2 Win vs. Manitoba
3-1 Loss vs. Manitoba
David Ling - 7 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 6 pts
Matt Stajan - 5 pts

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Don't mess with the dead, boy, they have eerie powers."

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveMy favourite Alice Cooper songs in honour of Halloween

  1. I'm Eighteen
  2. Be My Lover
  3. Is It My Body
  4. Under My Wheels
  5. Only Women Bleed

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Daylight Saving Time Forever

Daylight Saving Time ForeverWe in Toronto are currently enjoying Daylight Saving Time. It was first introduced during wartime as an effort to conserve fuel needed to produce electric power. We've been in Daylight Saving Time since April and I believe we should stay here. The Man says differently and has us returning to Standard Time at 02:00 this Sunday.

Standard Time is an old relic from the days when we were all farmers relying on the Sun to determine when we awake and when we literally hit the hay. It will take an hour of sunlight we'd experience in the evening and move it to the morning. I don't need an extra hour of sunlight in the morning, I need it in the evening when I can actually do something with it.

If we unite as one voice, we can do something about this. Standard Time is for suckers, resist adjusting your clocks this weekend. Daylight Saving Time Forever!

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Jakalope Lyrics

Jakalope LyricsI'm currently getting a great deal of new traffic thanks to people Googling "Jakalope Lyrics". A Google search for those two words has this site at #3 thanks to this entry.

I thought I'd give the people what they've come for and post the lyrics to "Pretty Life" but I couldn't find them anywhere. No wonder all these Jakalope fans have descended upon my site.

Welcome Jakalope fans. I don't have the lyrics you seek, but I do have a well maintained list of dead celebrities. Enjoy!

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The True Confessions of a Flip-Flopper

Confessions of a Flip-FlopperThe Boston Red Sox are World Series Champions for the first time since 1918. The curse is no more. Never again will Red Sox fans be haunted by the four numbers 1-9-1-8.

I must confess, I started the post season wanting any team but the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees to win it all. Towards the end, I was more than okay with it. Here is a chronicle of my flip-flopping on this issue, exposed for the entire world to see.

  • October 12, 2004 / 10:54 EST - I wrote about the curse and explicitly predicted the Yankees would beat the Red Sox in their series. I had no doubts.
  • October 14, 2004 / 10:31 EST - I wrote about former Blue Jays in the playoffs. I stated how nice it would be for John Olerud to play for another title and how likely that was considering the curse.
  • October 17, 2004 / 12:44 EST - With the Red Sox down three games to none, I laughed at those who didn't believe in the curse. "There is a curse and Boston will never again win another World Series. Mark my words."
  • October 20, 2004 / 07:56 EST - Prior to the seventh game between the Yankees and Red Sox, I was looking forward to seeing "what new creative way Boston finds to cough it up". I thought the three game winning streak was "a giant tease to make Red Sox fans believe again."
  • October 21, 2004 / 15:12 EST - Shocked by the Red Sox victory the night before, I start to believe in the impossible. I start to believe the Red Sox could win it all. "Everyone suddenly has warm-fuzzy feelings about all things New England and if they manage to reverse the curse and win the World Series Kerry may ride that Boston high to victory on November 4th."
  • October 22, 2004 / 08:17 EST - I throw my support behind Larry Walker and the Cardinals referring to my "hate on" for the Red Sox and the fact history repeats.
  • October 22, 2004 / 18:11 EST - A Guest Blog by my brother Steve accuses me of brushing the Boston victory under the blogging carpet. In response, I write "I must be the only one who hasn't embraced them."
  • October 27, 2004 / 16:09 EST - Just yesterday I stumble upon a message on a Red Sox fan bulletin board that brings a tear to my eye. "Win it for Ted, who once said, "If they ever won it, I would feel so @#%$ warm inside."" At this point, I'm rooting for the Red Sox as I relate their fans' woes to mine as a die hard Leafs supporter.

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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.

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son
This is my last MP3 before the US election and I'm dedicating CCR's "Fortunate Son" to Dubya. I know it was released in '69, but it could have been released in '04. Born silver spoon in hand...

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Win It For

Win It ForThe Boston Red Sox are poised to win the World Series for the first time since 1918. Although a part of me wishes the curse would continue, there's another part of me that wants this for the die hard Red Sox fans. I'm thirty years old and every year I imagine my Toronto Maple Leafs winning Lord Stanley's mug for the first time in my lifetime. Sometimes I close my eyes and envision the seconds dripping off the clock as the blue and white win their fourth game of the finals and a tear comes to my eye. I want it so bad it hurts.

Maple Leafs fans in their 40s can remember the last time Toronto won the cup. Red Sox fans in their 80s can't recall a time Boston was champion. Many a Red Sox fan has come and gone in that span. They experienced pain and heart break Leaf fans like myself can only imagine. We have it tough, but Red Sox fans have had it much tougher.

A Red Sox fan wrote the following piece on a fan bulletin board and reading it brought another tear to my eye. It's tough to read this and not root for the Red Sox tonight. It's tough as a Leafs fan to read this and not think of what it might feel like to be so close to a dream you've dreamt about your entire life. I'll continue to dream that dream. For Red Sox fans, it's about to become a joyous reality.

Win It For

Win it for Johnny Pesky, who deserves to wear a Red Sox uniform in the dugout during the 2004 World Series. Mr. Henry, the trophy needs to be presented first of all to him.

Win it for Bobby Doerr, who, through the sadness of losing his beloved Monica, would love to see his Sox finally defeat New York in Yankee Stadium. Revenge is best served cold.

Win if for Dommie, the most loyal and devoted of men. If he hadn't gotten hurt in Game 7 of the '46 Series, Enos Slaughter would never have scored.

Win it for Carl Yastrzemski. While his heart still aches today, may a smile break through his personal storm-cloud this evening. His beloved son, Mike, will show us the way. God speed, number eight.

Win it for Ted, who once said, "If they ever won it, I would feel so @#%$ warm inside."

Win it for Tony, who taught us all the meaning of courage and grit. A day doesn't go by when I don't think of you, number 25.

Win it for Nedly and Ken and Possum - who provided us with nothing less than the soundtrack to our childhoods.

Win it for Richard Gorman, who followed the team passionately while residing in Queens and the Bronx. He was a master teacher, a supportive friend, and a diehard Red Sox fan.

Win it for Stiffy - who saw firsthand Denny Galehouse's hanging curves, worshiped the Golden Greek even after he died so suddenly back in '55, and got misty-eyed when Rico Petrocelli began to back-peddle on a squirting pop-up to short left-field on a placid October afternoon back in 1967.

Win it for Cheri - may she cry on Giff's shoulders tonight in pure joy and emotion - and not in the stew of pathos. Cheri's unconditional love for the Red Sox serves as a genuine measuring stick for us all.

Win it for Felix - who began living out "The September of My Years" last month as he hit fifty; a fan who has always believed that the impossible is just not a dream.

Win it for Eric Van. Eric, you have truly embodied Hemingway's definition of courage recently. Grace under pressure, indeed.

Win if for Eric Van's father.

Win it for Dalton and Moose and Norm and Buck and Zup and all of the other old-timers on this board whose lives have defined the virtue of loyalty.

Win it for our far-off posters, from Manila to Montana to Mark in London, who have continually kept the home fires burning thousands of miles away from Route 128.

Most of all, win it for James Lawrence Kelly, 1913-1986. This one's for you, Daddy. You always told me that loyalty and perseverance go hand in hand. Thanks for sharing the best part of you with me.

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The Cosmic Ballet Continues...

The Cosmic Ballet ContinuesTonight there will be a total eclipse of the moon. A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes through the shadow of the Earth, which stretches far out into space. For this event to occur, Earth must be precisely aligned between the sun and the moon. The eclipse officially begins at 20:06 EST, when the moon edges into the penumbral shadow. The moon will start to dim, but ever so slightly.

Here's the timeline for observation...

21:14: Moon enters Earth's dark umbral shadow
22:23: Totality begins
23:04: Mid-eclipse
23:45: Totality ends
00:54: Moon leaves the umbra

Enjoy the show. The next one isn't until March 3, 2007.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Manitoba Moose 2

Go Leafs Go!Harold Druken snapped out of a five-game scoring funk with a pair of pretty goals as the Leafs improved to 2-4. Kyle Wellwood, with his first goal in six games, and David Ling also scored for St. John's.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
2-4-0-1
5 points
4-2 Win vs. Manitoba
3-1 Loss vs. Manitoba
4-1 Win vs. Syracuse
David Ling - 7 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 6 pts
Matt Stajan - 5 pts

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We Endorse...

We EndorseAfter much deliberation, the people behind torontomike.com wish to publicly endorse Senator John Kerry for the office of President of the United States of America.

From our vantage point, Americans are fortunate to have a clear choice in Kerry. We believe Kerry has the will and a plan to put America back on a course toward prosperity and security at home and respect and support around the world. We are not alone in this endorsement. The list of newspaper and media outlets documenting their support for Kerry is lengthy and impressive while the list for George W. Bush is brief and pitiful.

Make us proud.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayEminem's "Mosh" - This is where you can download the video for the Eminem song "Mosh" from his new Encore CD. Why he made the mediocre "Just Lose It" his first single instead of this I'll never understand. It would have been a great service to the world for this to have been seen as many times as possible before next week's election. I recommend the 48.9 MB QuickTime download. It's a powerful tune and a wicked video.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 1, Manitoba Moose 3

Go Leafs Go!If the Toronto Maple Leafs had gotten off to a 1-4-0-1 start to the 2004/2005 campaign, there would be bedlam in the big smoke. The Baby Leafs lost again but because it's the AHL we're not going to get our knickers in a knot over it. Are we?

Ian White had numerous scoring chances and was our best performer on the night. We won't have to wait long to get revenge against the Moose as we've got them again tonight.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
1-4-0-1
3 points
3-1 Loss vs. Manitoba
4-1 Win vs. Syracuse
3-2 Loss vs. Syracuse
David Ling - 4 pts
Matt Stajan - 3 pts
Nathan Perrott -3 pts

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Bill Barilko

Bill BarilkoGuess who's back in the news? Leaf Legend Bill Barilko's lore seems to grow with every passing year. A new book about Barilko was recently released and just yesterday the film rights were sold for an undisclosed amount to Vancouver-based producer George Mendeluk.

If you're one of the few not familiar with the story of Bill Barilko, you'll want to visit my tribute to Bill Barilko. #5 Forever.

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Things That Make You Go Hmmmm

Things That Make You Go HmmmmThe November issue of Wired will come with a free CD with a special license. According to the creative commons page, "These musicians are saying that true creativity needs to be open, fluid, and alive. When it comes to copyright, they are pro-choice. Here are 16 songs that encourage people to play with their tunes, not just play them".

I was eager to see the list of artists that have contributed and boy was I surprised to see the first artist on the list was none other than the Beastie Boys. Here they are encouraging people to "play with their tunes, not just play them" when I can't even play their latest CD on my home PC. That's right, Copy Control software on their "To The 5 Boroughs" album prevents it from playing on some CD Roms and players.

According to the Beastie Boys official site, "EMI is committed to fighting music piracy. To this end, EMI has been releasing copy protected CDs in Europe and certain other territories for over 18 months." In other words, the Boys will tell you this wasn't their idea but that of their record company. How can a band be at one end of the copyright spectrum when it comes to releasing a high profile "Rip. Sample. Mash. Share." CD with Wired magazine but at the completely opposite end when it comes to distributing their latest album in "Europe and certain other territories"? Blaming it all on your label doesn't cut it.

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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 tunes I heard today.

  1. Trapt - Echo
  2. Jimmy Eat World - Cautioners
  3. Aerosmith - What It Takes
  4. The Strokes - Soma
  5. Big Sugar - Diggin' A Hole
  6. Rage Against The Machine - Bombtrack
  7. Pearl Jam - Black
  8. The Tragically Hip - Fire In The Hole
  9. Cypress Hill - Legalize It
  10. Neil Young - A Man Needs A Maid

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the Day100 Facts and 1 Opinion - If the past informs the future, four more years of the Bush Administration will be a tragic period in the history of the United States and the world. Visit this link for "The Non-Arguable Case Against the Bush Administration". Forward it to your American cousins. Hurry, there isn't much time.

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Copy Control

Copy ControlI tried ripping the latest Beastie Boys album, "To The 5 Boroughs", yesterday. "To The 5 Boroughs" contains Copy Control technology but because I disabled autorun I figured I had nothing to worry about because their piece of crap software wouldn't install. The fact is, on my home PC, I couldn't read the contents of the CD let alone rip it. Navigating to my CD Rom drive in Windows Explorer displayed a completely empty folder. It was as if I was trying to play a blank disc.

In the past I had no difficulties whatsoever ripping Copy Controlled CDs such as Nickleback's "The Long Road", but I've since swapped CD Rom drives and my current drive couldn't interpret the Beastie Boys' latest release. This, apparently, is one of the negative side effects of such shallow practices. I hate the fact they're trying to prevent ripping in the first place but preventing playing of the CD on some players and CD drives is insane. There was nothing I could do yesterday to get this disc to play in my home CD.

At work, I popped in this very same CD and ripped it without a problem. The MP3s sound great and now I'll copy the files back to my home PC. EMI didn't prevent me from ripping their product and converting their song files to MP3s, but they did piss off a customer. Was it worth it? One glance at the P2P networks currently sharing "To The 5 Boroughs" will tell you it wasn't.

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My MP3s Updated

My Entire MP3 CollectionI've added seven new CDs to my MP3 collection. The new additions are Franz Ferdinand's "Franz Ferdinand", Modest Mouse's "Good News For People Who Love Bad News", The Killer's "Hot Fuss", Papa Roach's "Getting Away With Murder", Green Day's "American Idiot", 311's "Greatest Hits '93-'03" and Cream's "Strange Brew - The Very Best of Cream".

That's 511 complete albums and 7894 songs. Check it out.

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New Videos

New VideosI've posted two new videos from today's trip to the High Park zoo in Videos.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. Three are from yesterday's wedding and the fourth is of Michelle.

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Scary Squirrels

Scary SquirrelsJames and I spent the morning at High Park and had a great time, but the High Park squirrels scare the crap out of me. Unlike squirrels in the rest of the world, High Park squirrels have no fear. They come right up to you instead of running for their lives when you approach.

It's unnatural. Fear me squirrel! Fear me as your evolutionary superior!

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayAshlee Simpson on SNL Last Night - Jessica Simpson's little sis performed on Saturday Night Live last night and it was a performance you don't want to miss. The lip synch track started before she was ready and she walked off the stage in a glorious state of confusion. SNL just cut to commercial. Check it out!

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St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Syracuse Crunch 1

Go Leafs Go!The Maple Leafs win a game! The Maple Leafs win a game!

Mikael Tellqvist made 42 saves and Matt Stajan scored two goals on first-period breakaways as the St. John's Maple Leafs beat the Syracuse Crunch 4-1 for their first win of the AHL season Saturday night. Rookie Jeremy Williams, with his first pro goal, and Carlo Colaiacovo added power-play tallies for the Leafs, who had lost their first four games.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
1-3-0-1
3 points
4-1 Win vs. Syracuse
3-2 Loss vs. Syracuse
5-4 Loss vs. Portland
David Ling - 4 pts
Matt Stajan - 3 pts
Nathan Perrott -3 pts

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My Quote of the Day

Mike's Quote of the Week"I have found the paradox that if I love until it hurts, then there is no hurt, but only more love."
      - Mother Teresa

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Jen and Barry

Jen and BarryCongratulations Jen and Barry on getting hitched this afternoon. I just returned home from the reception and should have some pictures to share tomorrow.

Jen is my cousin and a swell gal so I wish her the best. I like Barry because he's younger than me but has more grey hair. Jen and Barry sounds like Ben and Jerry which may explain the sweetness of it all.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayDownload Fahrenheit 9/11 Here - Michael Moore has said he's happy to let people share "Fahrenheit 9/11". This site offers a 40MB WMV version of this documentary but I downloaded the 650 MB AVI version.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"We live in a society of laws. Why do you think I took you to all those Police Academy movies? For fun? Well, I didn't hear anybody laughing, did you?"

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveMy favourite albums from the top forty selling albums of all time

  1. Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction
  2. Led Zeppelin - Untitled (IV)
  3. AC/DC - Back in Black
  4. Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon
  5. Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill

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Jakalope's SLS Boost

Jakalope's SLS BoostHave you ever heard of Jakalope? This bio calls them the "brainchild of world-renowned studio genius Dave "Rave" Ogilvie". Their official site is nothing more than an elaborate countdown clock which will probably contain all sorts of information when the clock runs down Monday at midnight. With their single "Pretty Life" getting some serious exposure, including thirteen weeks on CFNY Edge 102's Thursday 30, people everywhere are hitting Google to learn what they can about this band with the strange name.

Back in September I liked the tune "Pretty Life" enough to submit it for SLS12 consideration. For the unaware, SLS stands for Smells Like Sour and is another site I maintain that aims to "release" the best 80 minutes of new rock twice a year. Here you will find the SLS page for Jakalope's "Pretty Life".

Because there is so little on the web about this project, that SLS page is receiving a large influx of hits from people looking for information on the band. People are Googling and our page is ranked rather high. A search for Jakalope has us ranked #5, a search for Jakalope lyrics has us ranked #3 and a search for Jakalope Pretty Life has us ranked an impressive #1.

So, until Jakalope's official site launches next week, we're your main source for Jakalope info. That's just pathetic.

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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 while back you wrote about the guaranteed collapse of the Boston Red Sox due to this "curse". You also mocked me for stating that Boston would defeat the New York Yankees in the playoffs. At the time you were pretty smug about the New York Yankees 3-0 lead in the series. Now that Boston has completed this remarkable comeback and showed more team spirit than any other team in the American League, you failed to give much blog space to Boston's victory. Are you the type of blogger that does not blog about counting your chickens before they've hatched, or admitting when you were wrong?

     Steve

Actually, I glossed over it because I like The Curse far more than I like Boston. I must be the only one who hasn't embraced them. I despise them and I wish them nothing but bad luck against the Cardinals. And yes, I'll admit my prediction was wrong. I'm still in shock.

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The Best Sellers

The Best SellersI stumbled upon a list of the top selling 40 albums of all time the other day, and it got me thinking. How many of the top 10 selling albums of all time do I currently have in my collection? Lets see...

  1. The Eagles: Their Greatest Hits - I've always been amazed at how popular this album is despite the fact it doesn't include "Hotel California". I've never owned it and I have no interest in owning it. The Eagles bore me.
  2. Michael Jackson: Thriller - At some point in the early 80s I owned this album on cassette. At some point in the early 80s I think everyone owned this album on cassette. I have no longer know where that tape went and I have no plans to return Thriller to my collection.
  3. Pink Floyd: The Wall - I like Pink Floyd but I'm hardly a huge fan. I have the MP3s from "Dark Side of the Moon" and I had the double cassette "Delicate Sound of Thunder" but I don't own "The Wall".
  4. Led Zeppelin: Untitled (IV) - This one is in my collection.
  5. Billy Joel: Greatest Hits, Volume 1 & 2 - I don't have any Billy Joel but I do enjoy a few of his earlier tunes.
  6. AC~DC: Back In Black - This one is in my collection.
  7. Shania Twain: Come On Over - This one is in my collection but not because of me but because of Taryn. She's the fan, I'm just a casual observer.
  8. Fleetwood Mac: Rumours - No sir, I don't have it.
  9. The Beatles: The Beatles (White Album) - I've got seven albums from The Beatles, but not this one. I'm not sure why I don't. I probably should.
  10. Whitney Houston & Various Artists: The Bodyguard - I don't own it and I never will!!!!

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Why I'm Rooting For The Cards

Why I'm Rooting For The CardsOn Saturday night the Boston Red Sox face the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. I'll be strongly rooting for the Cardinals, and my reasons why are outlined below.

  • Larry Walker - The Maple Ridge, BC native is the best hitter this country has ever produced and he's never won a World Series. I'd like him to.
  • Nintendo - Back in the good 'ol 8 bit Nintendo days, one of my favourite video games was their baseball game. This game used real teams and player names and tried to give the player the same attributes in the game that they had in real life. I often played as the St. Louis Cardinals because of their blazing speed. Players like Vince Coleman, Will McGee, Tom Herr and Ozzie Smith could run out a ground ball if my brother at all hesitated with the throw to first. I haven't been able to hate this team since.
  • Hate On - I've always hated the Boston Red Sox. It wasn't so much the team, although players like Dwight Evans, Tony Armas and Jim Rice always managed to tick me off, but it was the fact they were in the American League East Division. I'll never forget 1990 and our collapse at the hands of this Red Sox team. Any team that would periodically give my Blue Jays grief during pennant races got into my bad books from which they'll never escape. I always root against the Red Sox. I have to.
  • History Repeats - When Ted Williams led the Red Sox to the 1946 World Series following Boston's first AL pennant since 1918, the Cardinals beat them in Game 7. When Carl Yastrzemski's Red Sox made it back in 1967, the Cardinals defeated them again in seven games. History tends to repeat and I suspect the Cardinals will once again prevail in this historic match up.

I'll be watching Saturday night and hoping for Walker to lead the charge.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 2, Syracuse Crunch 3

Go Leafs Go!If an AHL regular season game is left undecided during a sudden death overtime, it goes to a shootout to determine a winner. Last night the St. John's Maple Leafs' final home opener went to a shootout where they eventually lost to the Syracuse Crunch. We're still winless in four games, but at least they give you a point for losing a shootout.

Mikael Tellqvist stopped 32 of 34 shots and David Ling continued to lead the offense scoring in regulation and again in the shootout.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
0-3-0-1
1 point
3-2 Loss vs. Syracuse
5-4 Loss vs. Portland
4-1 Loss vs. Portland
David Ling - 4 pts
Nathan Perrott -3 pts
Nathan Barrett - 2 pts

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Kerry's Sox

Kerry's SoxYou've got a formidable but basically evil incumbent machine, that clearly represents big money interests and has zillions of dollars to try to buy victory, which it has been quite successful at doing ever since the mid-90s. You've got a challenger from Massachusetts, who fell behind early and has made a variety of missteps that hurt its/his chances. Now, in a series of highly-watched contests on national television, the challenger has managed to climb back into it, to eventually win.

Sure, that describes the Red Sox' big win over New York last night, but it's also a good description of the American election next month. I can't take all the credit for is as I stole the gist from here, but you can't deny the similarities.

If the Red Sox can come back from a three games to none deficit against the Yankees, who says John Kerry can't come back and beat Dubya? I think the Red Sox victory will even help Kerry in his campaign. Everyone suddenly has warm-fuzzy feelings about all things New England and if they manage to reverse the curse and win the World Series Kerry may ride that Boston high to victory on November 4th.

We can only hope.

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When Worlds Collide

When Worlds CollideAs a kid, I loved Degrassi. I started watching "The Kids of Degrassi Street", then followed "Degrassi Junior High" and finally "Degrassi High". I came back for the television movie when Wheels went to jail and I even peak at the new generation series airing these days. I'm a Degrassi fan.

I'm also a fan of Kevin Smith's movies, particularly "Clerks" and "Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back". Apparently, Kevin Smith and I have something in common...a mutual admiration for Degrassi. He and Jason Mewes will guest star in three episodes of "Degrassi: The Next Generation" early next year.

The episodes, which will air early next year, have Kevin Smith playing himself directing the next Jay and Silent Bob movie, "Jay And Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh?" In the fictional film, the slacker duo come to Toronto because they need to get a high school diploma and no school in America will take them.

Cool. Below is a list of Kevin Smith's homages to Degrassi.

  • In his debut feature Clerks, in 1994, a character is named after Degrassi's Caitlin Ryan.
  • In 1997's Chasing Amy, Jason Lee and Ben Affleck discuss their plans for the evening and Jason opts for pizza and watching Degrassi.
  • In Mallrats, Shannen Doherty's character wears a Degrassi jacket.
  • In 2001, Smith was scheduled to do a Degrassi cameo, playing a love interest for Caitlin, but it was cancelled due to conflicting commitments.

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Coronation Trek

Coronation TrekI've often wondered if there's something wrong with me for not liking Star Trek. I know people who worship the world of Star Trek as a religion, but I've never been able to get through an entire episode or movie. Despite the success of Star Trek: TNG and the countless other spin-offs, I find the world of Star Trek neither entertaining nor dramatic. I've often wondered what it is exactly I'm missing in this series others praise ad nauseum.

I was discussing this with a colleague of mine and he had a good theory as to why some people worship the world of Star Trek while others, like myself, show complete disinterest. He says the world of Star Trek is completely void of emotion. This explains the correlation between geeks/programmers and the series. It's like code, logical and relatable but without any emotion to speak of. Some people thrive in such an environment while others do not.

If Star Trek is completely void of emotion, what would be the anti-Star Trek, full of emotion? This same colleague says it's Coronation Street. I've never seen the show, but apparently it's a roller coaster of emotion. Geeks probably have little interest in Coronation Street.

This begs the question, are there any people with a legitimate claim to being a huge fan of both series? If Star Trek is on one end of the spectrum and Coronation Street on the other, is there any common ground? If you consider yourself to be all about Star Trek and Coronation Street, you've got to write a Guest Blog and explain how it can be so. I doubt there are any out there.

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Goodnight Moon

Goodnight MoonBetween ball games tonight I managed to read James "Goodnight Moon" for the 734th time.

James knows the story by heart and actually appears to be reading the pages when he recites the book to me. It really is a story for the ages that's as true today as it ever was. Boy goes to sleep, old lady whispers "hush", cow jumps over moon...

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Search Capability

Search CapabilityYou can now search the contents of this website. On every page you'll find a search field beneath the main navigation menu on the far left side. You can't miss it, it's the one labelled "Search torontomike.com".

Search to your heart's content. As a test I just did a search for papal fridge and learned I used the term back in July 2003. That term is highly under used in my humble opinion. A Pope's gotta eat, right?

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Halloween Controversy

Halloween ControversyIt seems Halloween falling on a Sunday has stirred up a little controversy. Bible thumpers are uncomfortable with the "pagan" rituals of Halloween occurring on the Sabbath. A number of cities and towns have decided trick or treating should take place on Saturday instead.

I understand this being a big deal in the Bible Belt of the Southern United States, but my friend from Whitby, Ontario tells me they're trick or treating on October 30 instead of the 31st because of this. All Halloween is these days is a chance for the kids to dress up and score free candy. There's nothing unholy about it. James is very excited about being a lion for Halloween and he'll be going out for the first time this Sunday. That's right, he'll be going around this Sunday October 31st and there's nothing sinister about it.

I half expect Mayor David Miller to make some proclamation about what day Torontonians can expect trick or treaters at the door. I'm sure it's still October 31, but you can never overestimate the power of the Christian right. They may cancel it all together.

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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.

Nivana - You Know You're Right
"With the Lights Out", the long awaited Nirvana box set, is being released on November 23. A few more details have been leaked including the fact 68 of the box's 81 tracks are previously unreleased. That's very cool.

Today's MP3, "You Know You're Right", was Nirvana's last studio recording. It's clearly about Courtney. Don't tell her I'm sharing it.

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Seventh Heaven

Seventh HeavenTomorrow morning newspapers in Boston or New York will be delivered with the headline "Seventh Heaven". It's a virtual certainty. At least one of the major dailies, and sometimes more than one, will go to press following tonight's ball game with that headline in large font on the front page.

As a baseball fan, I've been thoroughly enjoying this series. Down 3-0 to the Yankees, I left the Red Sox for dead. Now we're treated to a game seven tonight to see what new creative way Boston finds to cough it up. The Curse doesn't just dissipate because the Red Sox rally to win three in a row. The Curse is more likely the reason the Red Sox have rallied to win three in a row. It's a giant tease to make Red Sox fans believe again. Hope that was lost three games ago is now very much alive which will make tonight's defeat all the more heart breaking.

That is how The Curse works, isn't it?

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DNS Cache

DNS CacheBoys and girls, today we're going to learn about DNS Cache and your ISP. Every time you access a site from your ISP, they cache the URL, as well as its associated IP number. If their network is properly setup, these DNS cache records should expire at least every 24-hours. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case and attempts to visit websites at their new home fail because you're taken back to the old server account.

Usually this is because an ISP didn't configure their servers to expire the DNS cache records at the appropriate intervals but I can't just blame the ISPs. There are numerous Internet Routers and Internet Caching Engines that must update/clear their DNS cache as well.

The end result is a rather murky 2 to 4 day propagation period during which time you may or may not get through to the new http://torontomike.com. It all depends upon the route your PC took on the information superhighway. Things should be back to normal by Thursday.

And yes, there will be a test.

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Spoke Too Soon

Spoke Too SoonIf you're seeing this update, you're one of the lucky ones. I've hit a slight snag in my migration to a new host and many visitors aren't able to get this far.

I'm working on it and once it's rectified http://torontomike.com and http://www.torontomike.com will both resolve here, no worries.

Argh.

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Spelling It Out

Spelling It OutOnce you start spelling out certain words, it becomes so natural you don't even realize you're doing it. With a two year old at home, I find myself spelling out any words that might get an undesired reaction. I'm talking about the names of certain treats, television shows or upcoming events. "I bought some new c-o-o-k-i-e-s", "When James goes down for his n-a-p we'll watch an m-o-v-i-e" and "He needs a b-a-t-h" are a few such examples.

There's a lot of spelling taking place in our home these days and I no longer even notice. That's a f-a-c-t.

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New Host and Stuff

New Host and StuffLast night I migrated this site to a new host. All in all it was pretty slick thanks to these guys. Hopefully you didn't even notice.

I'll be making some changes to this site over the next few days, introducing a forum for comments and the ability to search within torontomike.com. It's time to kick this up a notch.

Stay tuned...

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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 tunes I heard today.

  1. Korn - I'm Done
  2. A Perfect Circle - Breña
  3. Pearl Jam - Nothing Man
  4. The Verve - The Rolling People
  5. Limp Bizkit - Almost Over
  6. Tori Amos - Putting The Damage On
  7. Orgy - Dissention
  8. Stone Temple Pilots - Pretty Penny
  9. Cracker - Get Off This
  10. Treble Charger - American Psycho

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Scratch That

Scratch ThatEarlier today I was bitching about the fact my secondary hard drive had failed and I lost my 160kbps MP3 collection. Scratch that.

It turns out I'm much smarter than I thought. In late April I took the time to back up everything on my PC onto CDs and I totally forgot about it. All is well and I now have about 97% of my collection back at my disposal. The hard drive is toast, but I've got all my files except Billy Talent and a few others.

Phew.

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New Home For The Argos

New Home For The ArgosYork University announced today that an agreement has been reached for the construction of a new 25,000-seat stadium on the York University Keele campus. The stadium will be the new home of the Toronto Argonauts and a world-class venue for Canadian soccer, and will host the FIFA Men's Under-20 World Youth Championship in the summer of 2007.

A nice, cozy 25,000-seat stadium is just what this team needs. I haven't been to an Argo game since Pinball's last run, but I remember how cavernous Skydome seemed with only 20,000 or so people in the stands. Skydome was a horrible place to watch CFL football and I'm certain the new stadium will be infinitely better. I might even attend another game or two.

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Hard Drive Hell

Hard Drive HellMy secondary hard drive, the one I got last December, has stopped spinning. This really pisses me off.

It's still under warranty with Maxtor but that only means they'll replace it if I ship them my busted one. What I really want is the data residing on my failed drive. This 80GB drive housed my multimedia, including over 40GB of MP3s. When I originally ripped my collection to MP3, I ripped them at a bit rate of 128. Then, in a wise preventive measure in case of hard drive failure, I backed up all of my MP3s on CD. Subsequently, I've re-ripped my CD collection to MP3s that are a bit rate of 160. The end result was over 40GB and the thought of burning these to CD 700MB at a time led me to a decision to wait until I had a DVD burner at which time I'd copy it to DVDs and save me a great deal of aggravation. In hindsight, this was a terrible idea. I have now lost weeks and weeks of work.

I don't expect any sympathy as I blame myself for not backing everything up. Hard drive failures happen, it's a fact of life. I'm now faced with a decision. Do I rip my collection for a third time? If I do, do I up the bit rate to 192 or higher? Do I remain content with the MP3s I do have with a 128 bitrate and only re-rip my absolute favourites at a higher quality?

Who am I kidding? 192kbps, here I come. Thanks Maxtor.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Portland Pirates 5

Go Leafs Go!The St. John's Maple Leafs have opened their season 0-3. Mikael Tellqvist missed this one due to injury and Jean-Francois Racine only stopped 19 of 24 Pirate shots in his place.

We already trail the Manitoba Moose by six points in the Western Conference's North Division. Is Sundin eligible to suit up for the blue and white?

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
0-3-0-0
0 points
5-4 Loss vs. Portland
4-1 Loss vs. Portland
3-0 Loss vs. Syracuse
David Ling - 3 pts
Nathan Barrett - 2 pts
Nathan Perrott -2 pts

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceDoug Bennett was 53. He was the lead singer for Doug & the Slugs, a Canadian band best known for its hits "Too Bad", "Day By Day" and "Making It Work".

Doug & the Slugs were fixtures on the AM radio I listened to growing up. In the early 80s hey day of CFTR not an afternoon went by that you didn't hear a song from Doug & the Slugs. Just recently, "Too Bad" was chosen as the opening theme song for "The Norm Show" starring fellow Canuck Norm MacDonald. I was reminded what good tunes those were. Doug was the Canadian indie band of my youth.

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Think Music

Think MusicPerusing the web this afternoon, I stumbled upon this Ask Yahoo! page which asks the question "What is the name of the "Jeopardy" theme song?"

It turns out the song was written by "Jeopardy" creator Merv Griffin back in 1964 and is called "Think Music". Wait a minute. Isn't that tune "I'm a Little Teapot"? You know the one. "I'm a little teapot short and stout. Here is my handle, here is my spout. When I get all steamed up hear me shout. 'Tip me over and pour me out!'"

"Think Music" my ass.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayJon Stewart on Crossfire - This is thirteen and a half minutes of the most riveting television I've seen in quite some time. For the unaware, Jon Stewart was a guest on CNN's Crossfire last week and he let Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala have it. This link is to video of the confrontation and here you can read the transcript from CNN. You've got to see this, reading the transcript doesn't quite do it justice.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 1, Portland Pirates 4

Go Leafs Go!Mikael Tellqvist stopped 28 of 31 shots as the St. John's Maple Leafs continued to stumble out of the blocks. The NHL lockout has forced me to focus all of my lustful hockey appetite upon our AHL affiliate and this is how they respond. The Leafs had four power plays in the third period, but they failed to score and are 0 for 17 with the man advantage this season.

It can only get better from here.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
0-2-0-0
0 points
4-1 Loss vs. Portland
3-0 Loss vs. Syracuse
David Ling - 1 pt
Carlo Colaiacovo - 1 pt
Kyle Wellwood -1 pt

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Baseball Notes

Baseball NotesI watched most of both games yesterday and here are a few random notes that are bouncing around my cranium.

  • I want the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series. My reasons why can be summarized in two words: Larry Walker. When he silenced the crowd with a 400-plus shot to left centre in the first inning yesterday, I leapt out of my seat. The Maple Ridge, BC native is batting .357 in the post season with four home runs. In his 16th year of Major League Baseball, he is without a doubt the best hitter this country has ever produced. Heck, I'm not even sure who would be number two...Matt Stairs maybe? I want St. Louis to win it all so Canada's best player can add a World Series title to his already impressive resumé.
  • How can anyone refute the existence of The Curse? During our Thanksgiving get-together my brother Steve tried to convince me that this was Boston's year. I had no doubt the Yankees would beat the Red Sox then and with New York holding a 3-0 lead in the series, it's looking awfully certain that I was right. There is a curse and Boston will never again win another World Series. Mark my words.
  • Roger Clemens is the best pitcher in the history of baseball. He seemed to get stronger as he went along yesterday and provided Houston with a vital win in their NLCS. At 42 years of age he may very well win his unprecedented seventh Cy Young award this year. No other pitcher has won six. I wasn't happy with the way he orchestrated his way out of Toronto, but I can't complain about his two Cy Young seasons spent here. He's simply the best.

Now for some football...

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"Ray, people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come."
      - Terence Mann, Field of Dreams

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Cleaning Out My SLS Closet

Cleaning Out My SLS ClosetEminem once wrote, "I never meant to make you cry, but tonight I'm cleanin' out my closet." This afternoon, I'm cleanin' out my SLS closet.

I've submitted three songs for SLS12 consideration over the past week. Those are Muse's "Hysteria", The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" and Franz Ferdinand's "This Fire".

I dig all three tunes and think all three have a great chance of being selected to represent the best 80 minutes of music from the previous six months when we select the final playlist for SLS12 this December.

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Pit Bulls: Banned

Pit Bulls: BannedOntario's Attorney General Michael Bryant has announced a plan to rid my province of all pit bulls, making it illegal to buy or bring the dog into Ontario. I only wonder what took him so long and why we didn't do this years ago.

Every time I pass a pit bull, I fear for my safety. As the father of two children, I won't even walk them in the vicinity of one of these ticking time bombs. I have no doubt in my mind that this breed of dog is inherently dangerous. Pit bulls account for a little over one per cent of the dog population, but are involved in half the serious incidents involving dogs. Banning them makes sense.

Before you brand me as some city-livin'-dog-hater, I'll remind you I've been living with a dog for over eight years now. Booner even sleeps in my bed but I know she couldn't hurt a fly if she wanted to, and I know she doesn't want to.

With so many wonderful breeds of dog, I've often wondered why some defend the pit bull so adamantly. How many Ontarians have to be maimed or killed before we realize such a dog is unsafe? Current pit bull owners won't have to hand over their dogs, but will face restrictions, including mandatory neutering and spaying.

It's about time.

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Overnight Sensations?

Overnight Sensations?I receive Google Alerts every time The Tragically Hip are mentioned in a news story. Throughout their current US tour I've been reading several articles from the States that suggest The Hip are bigger South of the border than they have been at any time previous.

An article from today's Chicago Sun-Times even goes so far as to call them "overnight critical darlings". It's as if critics in the United States have suddenly awakened to realize how awesome this band truly is. Here's an except from the Sun-Times piece.

Heroes in their native Canada, where the Toronto-based band has gained a reputation as a sort of Pearl Jam of the north with its grinding, blues-based guitar rock forming the perfect setting for Gord Downie's pointed, often-enigmatic lyrics and angry, authoritative howl, the Hip bring their tour behind the "In Between Evolution" CD to the Riviera Theatre tonight.

"In Between Evolution," the band's 10th album, has garnered a surprising wave of critical kudos. Time magazine called it the band's "best work in a decade," while Maxim dubbed Downie & Co. "a Canuck national treasure."

It's been exactly fifteen years since I first discovered this band and I enjoy their sound as much now as I did then. I've always been perplexed by their lack of success in the United States but took pride in the fact they were our national treasure. The States can borrow them and coddle them as their overnight darlings if they wish, but at the end they belong to us. My tix for November 26th arrived in the mail this week and I can't wait to welcome them home.

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St. John's Maple Leafs 0, Syracuse Crunch 3

Go Leafs Go!Last night would have been the first regular season game of the year for my Toronto Maple Leafs. As we all know, the NHL is in lockout mode and there's no telling when they'll get back to playing hockey that matters. In the interim, I've got a contingency plan. I've decided to continue recapping Leafs games in this space, as I did all last season, only it will have to be our AHL affiliate, the St. John's Maple Leafs.

Pascal Leclaire played an awesome game between the pipes for the Crunch, turning aside all 28 shots that St. John's sent his way. Maple Leafs' goalie Mikael Tellqvist stopped 21 of 24 Syracuse shots. Next up, the Portland Pirates.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
0-1-0-0
0 points
3-0 Loss vs. Syracuse None Yet

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"It's like something out of that twilighty show about that zone."

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Potential Down Time

Potential Down TimeI'm changing hosts over the next few days so there may be a disruption in the force. Don't judge me if this site slips offline for a bit. Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone.

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveMy favourite William H. Macy movies

  1. Fargo
  2. Magnolia
  3. Boogie Nights
  4. Seabiscuit
  5. Wag The Dog

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The Cooler

The CoolerThe Cooler: 6 out of 10.

I heard a great deal of positive buzz about "The Cooler", so it was with great expectations that I sat down to watch it tonight. Don't believe the hype. This is a slightly better than average flick with a great performance from Alec Baldwin but nothing more. William H. Macy and Maria Bello are also good, but the story seems rudderless.

If you're looking for a killer flick about Las Vegas, three of my favourites are "Very Bad Things", "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Casino". "The Cooler" could and should have been cooler.

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Shocker

ShockerIn a shocking development, a 3-1 loss to Costa Rica Wednesday night has eliminated Canada from the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.

It's time that we as Canadians accept the reality of this situation. We stink at soccer.

Go Ireland Go!

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In The Cut

In The CutIn The Cut: 4.5 out of 10.

"In The Cut" goes in the crapper pretty quick. I almost bailed on this one half way through but stuck it out for Taryn. It was a mess that was far more boring than it was erotic.

"In The Cut" did feature Meg Ryan being very un-Megish, and her getting completely nekkid for the first time on screen was probably the highlight. Unless you're desperate to see Meg in the buff, save yourself two hours and avoid this dog with fleas.

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DVD Cover Art

DVD Cover ArtAs previously discussed, the fifth season of The Simpsons will hit store shelves on December 21. Fellow fans will be interested in seeing the cover art for this installment.

Check it out here.

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Overheard

OverheardThe following was overheard last night at Arizona State University and is attributed to Dubya.

Gosh, I just don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. It's kind of one of those exaggerations.

The following was overheard at the White House on March 13, 2002 and is attributed to Dubya.

So I don't know where he is. Nor -- you know, I just don't spend that much time on him really, to be honest with you...And, you know, again, I don't know where he is...I'll repeat what I said: I truly am not that concerned about him.

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

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C'mon C'mon

C'mon C'monWhen we were putting together the final playlist for SLS11, it was pretty clear it was shaping up to be a pretty spectacular edition. In very early April I first read this submission for The Von Bondies' "C'mon C'mon". I secured an MP3 of the song and reviewed it, which I do for all potential SLS tunes. I distinctly remember liking it but it didn't blow me away and with only 80 minutes available for SLS11 it was left on the cutting room floor.

I rediscovered "C'mon C'mon" again in July, well after the final playlist for SLS11 was finalized, and regretted we couldn't find room for it on SLS11. Now it's mid-October and I think "C'mon C'mon" should be made eligible for SLS12. The CD Pawn Shoppe Heart wasn't released until March 2004 and I think we can resurrect this under appreciated gem from The Von Bondies.

In fact, I think it's our duty to ensure this tune is deemed SLS-worthy. Besides, who's going to stop me?

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The Ex-Files

The Ex-FilesIt was great watching John Olerud hit another important home run in October. His two run shot was the difference in the Yankees win over the Red Sox last night.

Johnny O was a key contributor during our two World Series Championship seasons batting a Blue Jays record .363 in 1993. A Jay from 1989-1996, he's one of several former Blue Jays still contributing in the two LCS's.

Woody Williams, a Jay from 1993-1998, got the victory in St. Louis' win against Houston last night while Jeff Kent, a Blue Jays rookie in 1992, hit a two run homer for the Astros to put them ahead early.

Olerud, Williams and Kent are former Jays who made contributions for their respective teams last night, but there are several other Jays still playing. Mike Matheny, a Jay in 1999, caught Woody Williams last night. Roger Clemens, a Cy Young Award winner for the Blue Jays in 1997 and 1998, plays a key role in the Astros starting rotation but will watch from the dugout as Pete Munro, a Jay from 1999-2000, starts tonight. Over in the American League, Mike Timlin, a Jay from 1991-1996, pitches regularly out of the Red Sox bullpen. The Yankees, in addition to Johnny O, have a few more ex-Jays. Félix Heredia, a Jay in 2002, Esteban Loaiza, a Jay from 2000-2002, Paul Quantrill, a Jay from 1996-2001, and Tanyon Sturtze, a Jay in 2003, all throw for the pin stripes. Rubén Sierra, a Jay in 1997, is also there as an extra bat off the bench.

Many of the above players only spent a brief period of time in Toronto, but John Olerud, Woody Williams, Mike Timlin and Paul Quantrill still get my support for their years of excellent service. It's impossible not to root for Johnny O. With The Curse supporting him, he'll surely get another chance to play for it all.

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rearviewmirror

rearviewmirrorPearl Jam is set to release its first ever greatest hits album, entitled "rearviewmirror", on November 16. The 33 track record will feature two discs, "Upside" and "Downside," featuring up-tempo songs as well as slower ballads, respectively. I've been curious as to which 33 tracks would make the cut ever since they announced this release.

Below are the tracks from the Upside of "rearviewmirror".

  1. "Once"
  2. "Alive"
  3. "Even Flow"
  4. "Jeremy"
  5. "State of Love and Trust"
  6. "Animal"
  7. "Go"
  8. "Dissident"
  9. "Rearviewmirror"
  10. "Spin the Black Circle"
  11. "Corduroy"
  12. "Not for You"
  13. "I Got ID"
  14. "Hail Hail"
  15. "Do the Evolution"
  16. "Save You"

Below are the tracks from the Downside of "rearviewmirror".

  1. "Black"
  2. "Breath"
  3. "Daughter"
  4. "Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town"
  5. "Immortality"
  6. "Betterman"
  7. "Nothingman"
  8. "Who You Are"
  9. "Off He Goes"
  10. "Given to Fly"
  11. "Wishlist"
  12. "Last Kiss"
  13. "Nothing As It Seems"
  14. "Light Years"
  15. "I Am Mine"
  16. "Man of the Hour"
  17. "Yellow Ledbetter"

Awesome. Totally awesome.

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Hip Download

Hip DownloadFor $9.95 The Tragically Hip are offering their entire concert from July 1st at the Molson Amphitheatre as an MP3 download.

If you buy the MP3s you can also download original artwork. It's an interesting idea and I hope it succeeds, but I'm not quite ready to fork over ten bucks for the privilege. Below is the announcement from The Hip.

Hi Fans.

We are very pleased and excited to announce the first release of The Hip Live Series, Volume 1. We've chosen our past show at Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto, this past July 1. Highlighted in the show is Gord's performance of the Canadian National Anthem, with Joel Plaskett on guitar.

Complete with original artwork, that you all can download and print, we hope to release more shows in the coming months. We've partnered with Live Downloads, who are the industry leader, and have provided this service for others such as Metallica, Dave Matthews Band, and Phish.

Please go to: livedownloads.com Enjoy the show!

Das Hips

They chose a fantastic show for their first release as you can see from the setlist on my Tragically Hip page. I'm looking forward to the day when our ticket for admission to the concert entitles us to download the show. They already bury so many service charges and extra fees into the price one more wouldn't be noticed. The MP3s from this show would make a most excellent souvenir, I just don't like the idea of whipping out the credit card a second time.

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Matchstick Men

Matchstick MenMatchstick Men: 5.5 out of 10.

I must admit I was hoping for better from Ridley Scott. After all, this is the man who directed "Alien", "Blade Runner", "Thelma & Louise", and "Gladiator". This time around, I got a half-decent movie, but I was hoping for a totally decent movie.

I've got a serious issue with Nicolas Cage's career following his Oscar win for "Leaving Las Vegas". Since then, he's done a load of crap. I'll admit he was awesome in "Adaptation" and that's a great flick, but everything else has been a huge disappointment. What a waste.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayHard Working George - We have another debate tonight. This link is to a one minute synopsis of Dubya's debate rhetoric. It's hard work being Dubya.

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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.

Pearl Jam - Throw Your Arms Around Me
On February 23rd, 2003, Pearl Jam played the Burswood Dome in Perth, Australia. They released a double-CD official "bootleg" of the show and it found its way into my collection. Today I'm sharing a cut from that show, a very cool cover of "Throw Your Arms Around Me" by Ed Vedder and Mark Seymour of Hunters and Collectors.

Listen to this sweet, harmonious gem and drift away. It just feels good.

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The Audioscrobbler 10

The Audioscrobbler 10It's been about five months now since I installed the Audioscrobbler Winamp plug-in to track the tunes I play on my computer. This thing operates so far under the radar I totally forgot about it. My personal Audioscrobbler page has been keeping track of every song I've played since then and it tells an interesting tale.

Below, in order, are the bands I've played on my PC the most often since May 13th, 2004. You can look it up.

  1. Nirvana
  2. The Tragically Hip
  3. Pearl Jam
  4. Public Enemy
  5. Alice In Chains
  6. The White Stripes
  7. Beastie Boys
  8. Radiohead
  9. Rage Against The Machine
  10. System Of A Down

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceThe Big Boss Man was 42. He was a star in the WWF who had high profile feuds with Hulk Hogan, Ted Dibiase, Nailz, The Heenan Family, Vader, Al Snow, and many others.

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The Curse

The CurseI grew up despising all other teams in the old American League East. That includes both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees. I can't stand either team yet I rooted for each team in their respective division championship series. I'm not a fan of the Red Sox or Yankees, but I'm a big fan of The Curse.

You see, I believe in The Curse. It believe it to be a living breathing organism beholding the power to interfere with free will to ensure a destiny that will never again include a World Series Championship returning to Boston. I'd recap the legend of The Curse in my own words, but Bambino's Curse does it so well I'll quote that site below.

In 1918 the Red Sox won their 5th World Series, the most by any club at that time. One of the stars of the Boston championship franchise was a young pitcher by the name of George Herman Ruth, aka The Babe or The Bambino.

In 1920, however, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee needed money to finance his girlfriend's play, so he sold Babe Ruth's contract to Colonel Jacob Ruppert's New York Yankees for $100,000 (plus a loan collateralized by Fenway Park).

Since then, the Yankees, who had never won a World Championship before acquiring Ruth, have gone on to win 26, and are arguably one of the greatest success stories in the history of sport.

Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox have appeared in only four World Series since 1918, losing each one in game seven. Many consider Boston's performance after the departure of Babe Ruth to be attributable to "The Curse of the Bambino."

Tonight, at Yankee Stadium, The New York Yankees will once again host the Boston Red Sox to determine an American League World Series representative. Read this Chronological History of Amazing Boston Red Sox Losses, Remarkable Collapses and Other Record Breaking Feats for an idea of what to expect in this series. I'm sure of it. I believe in The Curse.

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American Splendor

American SplendorAmerican Splendor: 8.75 out of 10.

I watched this flick yesterday afternoon and what a treat it was. It wasn't conventional but a unique blend of documentary and biopic that was both extremely well acted and extremely well told.

I wish there were more movies like this one out there. I'm sick of formulaic slop. "American Splendor" was hilariously funny, tremendously thought provoking and highly entertaining. A triple play!

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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 few days ago I overheard a part of a conversation with two people who were talking about "billing". They were collecting nice new dollar bills and doing something with them on the internet (exchanging?). I assume the were scanning the bills and using them some way. I saw your Ticket Stubs page and wondered if this is sort of the same thing. Any more information would be appreciated.

     C. Mulhern

It's not easy to do, but you've stumped me. I'm not sure what those people meant when they discussed "billing". With today's scanning and print technology I'm sure people frequently try to scan and print money in an attempt to fool the local convenience store clerk, but as these videos show, there are a number of security features to thwart such measures.

My collection of Ticket Stubs is far more innocent.

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With The Lights Out

With The Lights OutAccording to this Amazon.com page, the long awaited Nirvana box set will be called "With The Lights Out" and will include three CDs and a DVD. It will be available November 23, 2004 and will set us back about 59.98 USD. Ouch.

The title, of course, is a lyric from their breakthrough hit and anthem for a generation, "Smells Like Teen Spirit". That song proved to the world that Teen Spirit was much more than a fresh and fun fragrance. "With the lights out it's less dangerous."

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. Two are from our Thanksgiving get-together yesterday and two are from this morning.

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Thanksgiving Memories

Thanksgiving MemoriesThere is one Thanksgiving I will never forget. It was twelve years ago today and my beloved Blue Jays were battling the Oakland Athletics for the American League crown. Toronto was up in the series 2-1 with game four taking place at Oakland Coliseum.

Jack Morris started and stunk up the joint. We were down 6-1 when the turkey was served and we all joined the table in the dining room leaving the television on in the family room just in case. Throughout the meal, I would peak at the set just in case there was any sign of a big comeback. Entering the eighth inning down by five, it didn't look like a Thanksgiving miracle was possible.

A three run eighth gave us hope. Still, down by two in the ninth with Cy Young winner Dennis Eckersley on the mound, we weren't overly optimistic. When Roberto Alomar got to the plate with a runner on, my eyes remained focused on the television. Alomar didn't disappoint. He took Eckersley deep, tied the game and ignited a massive pile on in the family room as we literally lept from the dining room table in pure ecstacy. The come back was complete and we'd end up winning the game in twelve to take a commanding lead in the series we wouldn't give up. Alomar was named ALCS MVP and a couple of weeks later we'd win our first World Series title.

You couldn't have asked for a better Thanksgiving. Today, we pause to give thanks for our two world championships over a decade ago. Oh yeah, we're thankful for our good health, happiness and all that jazz too. Happy Thanksgiving.

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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 tunes I heard today.

  1. Public Enemy - Megablast
  2. System Of A Down - Jet Pilot
  3. The Tragically Hip - She Didn't Know
  4. Public Enemy - How To Kill A Radio Consultant
  5. Pearl Jam - Parting Ways
  6. Nirvana - Milk It
  7. Alice In Chains - Dirt
  8. Nirvana - Polly
  9. The White Stripes - I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself
  10. Rage Against The Machine - People Of The Sun

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceKen Caminiti was 41. He was a three-time All-Star third baseman who won the 1996 National League MVP.

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceChristopher Reeve was 52. He was an actor best known for playing the role of "Superman". He recently turned personal tragedy into a public crusade, becoming the nation's most recognizable spokesman for spinal cord research.

Superman was always a big deal when I was growing up. Next to the Star Wars franchise, no movies were seen as often. Come Halloween it was probable at least one of us would dress up as Superman. When we pictured Superman, we saw Christopher Reeve.

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Sacre Blue!

Sacre Blue!Is nothing sacred? As I write this, James is enjoying an episode of one of his favourite shows, "Blues Clues". What I just witnessed has quite upset me. Blue, the cute little dog and keeper of the clues, is talking.

For the past couple of years I've been forced to watch this show, one constant was the fact Blue never spoke. He made a strange high-pitched sound that only Steve or Joe could decipher, but he never spoke in clear English. Today he did and that's just not right.

This reminds me of a similar stunt those cats at Sesame Street pulled a few years back. Snuffleupagus was Big Bird's best friend and a wooly mammoth sort of fellow. The key to his character when I was a kid was the fact nobody could see him except Big Bird. Then, as a teenager, I was devastated to learn that he was no longer invisible but could be seen by all. Blue speaking is akin to Snuffleupagus being visible to every Tom, Dick and Harry that ventures on to Sesame Street.

Aloysius Snuffleupagus should have remained invisible and Blue should never have learned the English language. What's next? Will Dora the Explorer get her tongue pierced? Will the Bear in the Big Blue House move to a condo? Sacre Blue!

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayInstant Messenger Fight - This short film is actually entitled "Instant Mess" and I thought it was pretty funny. You'll need Apple QuickTime to view the .mov file, but you really should install it anyways. It's the format I share my videos in and it's a free download from a trusted source here.

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"Once, when my feet were bare, and I had not the means of obtaining shoes I came to the chief of Kufah in a state of much dejection, and saw there a man who had no feet. I returned thanks to God and acknowledged his mercies, and endured my want of shoes with patience."
      - Sadi, The Gulistan

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceJacques Derrida was 74. He one of France's best-known philosophers and the founder of the deconstructionist school.

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Nice Package

Nice PackageHot damn those Swedes know how to package furniture. This afternoon, I visited my local Ikea in pursuit of a couple of chairs for the basement. I'm still baffled at how they managed to break these chairs down into such tiny packages. The actual boxes I brought home were impressively small and now that the chairs are assembled there is very little waste. In fact, once I break down the cardboard for the recycling bin there's hardly anything left.

There wasn't an ounce of styrofoam and and no wrapping that wasn't necessary to ensure the chair arrives home without breaking. I suggest we put the people from Ikea in charge of reducing the world's garbage. They're absolutely awesome at it.

By the way, I finally wised up and avoided the infamous Ikea labyrinth altogether. Back in December 2003 I vowed to slip past the people checking out to save myself twenty minutes of following stupid blue arrows on the floor just to get back to the marketplace. True to my word, that's exactly what I did.

A rebel with a cause...

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Want to buy some wood?

Want to buy some wood?One of my favourite moments from last night's debate was when John Kerry said to Dubya, "The president got $84 from a timber company that owns, and he's counted as a small business. Dick Cheney's counted as a small business. That's how they do things. That's just not right."

Dubya's reply was priceless. "I own a timber company? That's news to me. Want to buy some wood?"

It turns out Dubya does own a timber company. According to his 2003 financial disclosure form, Bush does own part interest in "LSTF, LLC", a limited-liability company organized "for the purpose of the production of trees for commercial sales."

Not only was Dubya wrong for claiming he doesn't own a timber company but Kerry was correct in saying that Bush's definition of "small business" is so broad that Bush himself would have qualified as a "small business" in 2001 by virtue of the $84 in business income. Now who wants to buy some wood?

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2006 Turin Olympics

2006 Turin OlympicsOn February 15, 2006, defending gold medalist Canada will play Italy to open the 2006 Turin Olympics hockey tournament. It just feels nice to see an important hockey game on the schedule that won't be threatened by labour strife.

Whether NHL players will participate or not isn't yet known because of the lockout, but I'll be watching either way. Hopefully the NHL will have resumed by then and the world's best will gather in Turin. We'll see how our Canadians fare against Italy's Canadians.

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Another Debate

Another DebateLast night I watched the second debate between American President Dubya and his challenger, Senator John Kerry. The more I watch and hear Dubya speak, the more certain I am that he's an idiot, and a dangerous idiot at that.

I believe him to be the greatest over achiever in the history of the world. With mediocre intelligence, little charm and stubborn politics, he managed to ascend to the highest office in the world. What's worse is the fact he very well may be reelected next month. It sends a chill down my spine.

I was wondering if my perception of Dubya could possibly be correct and if he could really be as dumb as I sense he is, so I began Googling. I came across this article entitled "The Misunderestimated Man: How Bush chose stupidity" By Jacob Weisberg. It's an interesting read and suggests that he knows nothing about policy or history, he doesn't want to know anything in detail, however important, he's lazy and his mind does not think. The insinuation is that Dubya chose stupidity and now wears it as a badge of honor.

Heading into last night's debate, most polls had Kerry ahead by a point. Although Dubya probably fared better last night than he did last time, there's no way he came out ahead. Lets hope our friend in America gain some perspective and see Duya for what he really is...an idiot.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Oh no! What have I done? I smashed open my little boy's piggy bank, and for what? A few measly cents, not even enough to buy one beer. Wait a minute, lemme count and make sure... not even close."

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveBlue Jays career leaders in stolen bases

  1. Lloyd Moseby
  2. Roberto Alomar
  3. Damaso Garcia
  4. Tony Fernandez
  5. Shannon Stewart

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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.

One of my favorite sitcoms (if not THE favorite) also uses a laugh track, but gives it an interesting twist. M*A*S*H uses an almost obnoxious laugh track, but you'll notice it never plays in the OR even though that's where the Docs trade some of their best banter. As an added bonus, the DVDs of the M*A*S*H series have the option of turning off the laugh track altogether.

     Mike H.

I too enjoyed M*A*S*H. It was probably more of a dramedy than a sitcom, but damn funny. That's an interesting point about their laugh track...I had forgotten they had one because I always visualize those great scenes in the operating room.

It wasn't quite the same after Trapper John left, was it?

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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 Mike,

I've been looking on e-bay for the value of a 1973 autographed Darryl Sittler hockey stick ever since reading Kim's guest blog of Sept. 28th (Ah ... that glorious day ... "Henderson has scored for Canada!!!!").

I couldn't find a Sittler stick for sale which leads me to believe no one is selling them because of their perceived rarity and high value. I would venture that $750 to $1000 is closer to the stick's true worth. At the time of writing this blog I did see a 1970 Sittler rookie hockey card for sale on e-bay for just over ... $720. It still has a few days to go and should increase as time goes on. Simply click on this link to monitor its price.

     Tim

P.S. I'm NOT the seller

Good work Tim.

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Laugh Tracks

Laugh TracksI've been pretty busy this week, so I only got around to reading this week's Starweek television guide this afternoon. There was an article about the second season of Corner Gas and it referred to the fact this sitcom has no laugh track. The writer found it difficult to get used to this and claims it took him a few episodes before he got over the emptiness.

I have the opposite problem. I dislike hearing a laugh track in my television comedy. When it comes to comedies on television, there's only one with a laugh track that I truly found funny and that's Seinfeld. "The Simpsons", "The Larry Sanders Show", "The Kids in the Hall", "The Family Guy", "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Arrested Development" are all shows I've found hilarious over the years and not one of them employs a laugh track.

Laugh tracks come across as both corny and phony. Are we as an audience so inept that we can't be trusted to know when to laugh? Have you ever noticed how the laugh track finds absolutely everything said to be absolutely hilarious? Heck, all Raymond has to do is say hello to that prissy wife of his and the crowd erupts in laughter as if Groucho Marx just presented his A material.

No laugh tracks for me, thanks. I often regret that a great comedy like Seinfeld felt one was necessary. Truly funny programs don't require one.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayThe resumé of George W. Bush - If there's a must-read web page on the web, this is it. It's a well organized, well laid out resumé for Dubya as he once again pursues the highest office in the United States of America.

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Sigh

SighAccording to my now useless Maple Leaf Countdown page, there's only 8 days, 10 hours, 55 minutes, and 48 seconds left until the Maple Leafs opener. That page is lying to me. I won't be sitting down to watch an NHL game two Saturdays from now and that's just wrong.

The NHL is a multi-billion dollar business that can't figure out how to divide all that money. They don't even seem to be trying. When was the last time the two sides spoke? When is their next meeting? Don't they care?

This is a bunch of extremely wealthy people playing chicken at our expense. Gary Bettman and Bob Goodenow, figure this out and get a deal done. Please.

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Season Five for Christmas

Season Five for ChristmasFox Home Entertainment has announced the fifth season of The Simpsons will hit store shelves on December 21. If you don't mind pre-holiday shopping madness, that's just in time for Christmas.

Season five falls into the heart of The Simpsons' prime when every episode was an absolute gem. It will be great to add this awesome season to the collection so I can watch and re-watch "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", "Cape Feare", "Homer Goes to College", "Rosebud", "Deep Space Homer", "Homer Loves Flanders" and "Boy Scoutz N the Hood" to name just a few.

Here's a synopsis of season five. It's going to be a great Christmas after all.

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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.

The Flaming Lips - She Don't Use Jelly
No story today, just a cool tune from The Flaming Lips.

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$171

Run for the CureAlthough I ran walked in the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure last Sunday, I've actually secured more than twice as much money online since.

Donations via the link on this website now total $171. When I ran walked on Sunday, donations were stalled at $70.

Interesting... Maybe you needed proof I was actually going to do it before you'd sponsor me. My word is my bond!

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Satellite Radio

Satellite RadioHoward Stern is moving to satellite radio. He's inked a five-year deal with Sirius Satellite Radio beginning January 2006.

On the one hand, I think it would be wonderful to hear Howard Stern's show uncensored. Satellite will free Stern from the shackles of the FCC. Having said that, this will drastically effect my morning routine. For the past several years I've spent a great deal of my morning listening to Howard Stern, first on Q107 and now on WBUF out of Buffalo. Satellite radio requires a monthly subscription and special components. Unless my financial situation changes, it's unlikely I'll splurge for a new car audio system just to heard Howard. Sure, I could stream it over the web, but would I fork over the $15 or so a month for the privilege?

The CRTC hasn't even licensed satellite radio in Canada yet. One of the applications is from CBC/Radio-Canada and Standard Radio Inc., in partnership with Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. Should this application be accepted, Canadians will be permitted to enjoy uncensored Stern via satellite radio.

I've been anticipating this move for months and now it's official. I suspect Howard will excel on satellite and easily double their existing 600,000 listeners. In fact, I'll bet he triples it. He's that good.

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceRodney Dangerfield was 82. He was the goggle-eyed comic famed for his self-deprecating one-liners and signature phrase "I can't get no respect".

I always found Rodney funny. "Back to School" still cracks me up. In 1996 he guest starred on The Simpsons playing Mr. Burns' long lost son Larry Burns in "Burns, Baby Burns" meaning he'll eventually find a permanent home in my DVD collection. Rodney will be missed.

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The S Word

The S WordI can't believe in 2004 a simple utterance of the S word can still cause such a kerfuffle. NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt Jr. was docked 25 points and fined $10,000 USD by NASCAR on Tuesday because he cursed during an interview on NBC. Asked about the significance of his fifth victory at Talladega, Earnhardt said, "It don't mean shit right now. Daddy's won here 10 times."

I don't follow NASCAR and I don't care about the integrity of the Nextel Cup, but I do think this is a serious over-reaction. As swear words go, the S word is pretty weak. The F word still packs a punch in certain quarters, but can't we excuse a guy for uttering the S word following a big win? It's time for NASCAR to loosen up a little.

The problem, of course, is that a typical NASCAR fan is culled from the bible belt and all about Christianity. This is the same crowd that thinks they know what's indecent to others and votes Dubya into the highest office in the country. One S word on NBC during a NASCAR race will be heard by many judgemental bible thumpers who will immediately get their entire church to write letters to advertisers and affiliates. By pretending to take such activities ultra serious the issue is nipped in the bud.

It's just a word. Treating it so severely only gives it more power.

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Caught!

Caught!Remember back in March when CFNY Edge 102 announced the lineup for Edgefest 2004? I wrote this entry lambasting them for selling Good Charlotte as the headliner, especially considering the fact they won't even play Good Charlotte on their station.

It was all so hypocritical, I wrote CFNY Edge 102 Program Director Alan Cross about it. I posted his complete reply here. Something Alan Cross wrote to me didn't sit well with me then and doesn't sit well with me now. Below is the offending verbiage.

Good Charlotte was part of the playlist until sometime last year and, believe it or not, they were insanely popular with a significant portion of our audience. We stopped playing them because the album had run its course and we moved on to other things.

Clearly, Alan Cross is disagreeing with my statement that they no longer play Good Charlotte. He's claiming they did play Good Charlotte until the album ran its course. The insinuation is that CFNY Edge 102 would play a new Good Charlotte album and there was no hypocrisy at play when they were heavily promoted as the Edgefest 2004 headlining act. I knew Alan Cross was feeding me hogwash then and I definitely know it now.

Take a gander at the current MuchMusic Countdown. Good Charlotte is sitting pretty at #12 with their latest single "Predictable". This is the first cut off their new CD, The Chronicles of Life and Death. Now take a peak at the Thursday 30. Do you see any sign of "Predictable"? Thankfully, no. They aren't playing the new Good Charlotte album because they realize their listeners don't like them. This is a smart decision on CFNY Edge 102's part. The poor decision was hiring Good Charlotte to play under the Edgefest banner.

I still think Alan Cross is one of the good ones and typically honest and open with his listeners, but he's been caught blowing smoke and it has tarnished his integrity in my eyes. Yet another victim of Good Charlotte and their reign of terror. When will this madness end?

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Thirteen

ThirteenThirteen: 6.5 out of 10.

This flick, about a sweet thirteen year old girl who turns bad, had a Kids-lite feel to it. It was a fine little movie, but I'm not sure it was wise to watch it with my two month old daughter beside me.

Michelle is the epitome of innocence right now. When she looks up at me with her big blue eyes and porcelain skin, I can't imagine her being any other way. According to "Thirteen", good girls can suddenly go bad if they hook up with the wrong friends. Sweet kids become adult-hating, drug using, slutty hell raisers just to be accepted by the popular girl in school. Warning! Warning! Warning! Lock up your daughters...or be very careful who they're hanging around.

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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.

Why the hell do you have a list of mp3's on your site? instead of the GOD DAMN MP3? No one gives a flying f*ck about what you are listening to! DON'T BE A P*SSY AND PUT THE MP3'S ON YOUR SITE YOU F*CKING IDIOT!

     Bob

p.s. i hope you choke!

Bob, Bob, Bob. Don't you realize you'll catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar? If you had nicely written me and told me what you were looking for, I would have been happy to help you any way I can. Instead, you chose to ball me out because I'm not hosting 30+ GB of copyrighted files so ungrateful wastes of time like yourself can drain all of my bandwidth while pleasuring yourselves in the fruits of my labour.

Oh, Bob! I will say good day to you, sir!

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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 tunes I heard today.

  1. Pearl Jam - Oceans
  2. Outkast - Rosa Parks
  3. Porno For Pyros - Tahitian Moon
  4. Bush - Dead Meat
  5. The Living End - Killing The Right
  6. Filter - Where Do We Go From Here
  7. Raffi - Wheels On The Bus
  8. Hank Williams - Weary Blues From Waitin'
  9. Matthew Good - Weapon
  10. Johnny Cash - Blue Train

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Keep On Truckin'

Keep on Truckin'Rumours have been circulating that The Simpsons could be coming to an end after sixteen seasons. Matt Groening, however, says otherwise.

Speaking with BBC Radio 1, Groening stated the following.

At this point I don't think there's any end in sight. I once said a few years ago that I thought I was closer to the end than the beginning, meaning that, we'd been on air for ten or twelve years at the time and I thought we'd be on another ten years.

So I don't want to give anybody the wrong idea. Of course the show will end eventually, but not for a long, long time.

We've been on the air so long that we've corrupted an entire generation of children and now they've grown up and they're 'Simpsons' writers so the stories are getting really, really weird.

Excellent.

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceJanet Leigh was 77. She was an actress best known as the knife attack victim in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho".

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The Season From Hell

The Season From HellThe Toronto Blue Jays played their final game of the 2004 season yesterday, losing 3-2 to the New York Yankees. Good riddance to bad garbage. The 2004 season was the season from hell for my Blue Jays. I've been following this team closely since 1983 and no other season comes close to matching this one in terms of pure crapola.

First there's the record. The Blue Jays finished 67-94. That's good for last in the American League East, 33.5 games out of first. Prior to this season, I predicted we'd finish third again as we had each of the previous five seasons. It seems I set the bar too high and we actually fell to the basement. 67 wins is horrible and finishing beneath the Devil Rays in the East is sickening.

Secondly, there's the injuries. Our ace and last year's Cy Young award winner, Roy Halladay, was shelved for much of the season while Vernon Wells and Carlos Delgado, the heart and soul of the offense, were on the DL for extended periods of time.

Thirdly, there's Carlos Delgado and his imminent farewell. I watched the ninth inning of yesterday's final game and saw Delgado in the on-deck circle when Wells flew out to end the game. I was hoping for one last at-bat, one final swing from Delgado in a Blue Jays uniform. It's a virtual certainty that he'll sign with another club this off season. We've seen the last of this awesome batter and all-around good guy. He leaves us as the franchise leader in home runs with 336, RBIs with 1058, runs with 889, doubles with 343 and total bases with 2786. It seems that every time I attended a game at Skydome he'd hit one over the wall. I'm glad James had a chance to see #25 while he was here. He even went deep.

Finally, there are the tragic events that plagued this Blue Jay season that cemented it's status as the season from hell. Tom Cheek battled a malignant brain tumour and had to miss a great deal of the season. Cheek has always been the real voice of the Blue Jays. Then, just yesterday, John Cerutti passed away at the Skydome hotel. A healthy 44 year-old who was scheduled to analyze the season finale for Sportsnet, Cerutti's death was quite the shocker and a tragic end to the Blue Jays' season from hell.

The one bright spot is the fact the 2004 season from hell is finally over. Go Jays Go in 2005!

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New Video

New VideosI've posted a video from today's Run for the Cure in Videos.

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Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceJohn Cerutti was 44. He was a former pitcher for my Toronto Blue Jays and a current Blue Jays television announcer.

A left-hander from Albany, Cerutti joined the Blue Jays in 1985 and spent six seasons with the club. He was to work today's season finale against the Yankees but was found dead in his hotel room. I remember him well as a member of the great Blue Jays starting rotations of the late 80s and of course from the Blue Jays telecasts. I believe this is the first member of the Blue Jays teams I knew and loved to have passed away.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. Three are from today's Run for the Cure in downtown Toronto.

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Run for the Cure Completed

Run for the CureI have completed today's Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation CIBC Run for the Cure. It was a beautiful sunny day as I ran walked the route with my son and my mom. Mother nature couldn't have been more cooperative.

We joined 30,000 strong in this annual effort to raise money for this worthy cause. When breasts need support, I'll be there. I'm a very big fan. Pictures and a video will be posted shortly.

Thanks again to all who sponsored my run walk.

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My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"Run, Forrest! Run!"
      - Jenny Curran, Forrest Gump

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Ichiro Suzuki

Ichiro SuzukiThe Seattle Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki registered three singles to equal, break and then add to the Major League hits record with his 259th of the season in a game against the Texas Rangers Friday. The Japanese outfielder matched George Sisler's 84-year-old mark of 257 hits with a first-inning single before setting the new standard on a base-hit to center field in the third.

This is quite the feat. 84 years is a long time for a record to stand. The Blue Jays record for hits in a season belongs to Tony Fernandez who recorded 213 hits in 1986. Fernandez also leads the Jays in career hits with 1583.

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National Child Care

National Child CareOur federal government will make good on a pledge to bring in a national child-care program worth $5 billion over five years, Prime Minister Paul Martin said yesterday.

This is a great plan and long overdue. Of course, by the time this program hits Toronto, Michelle will be too old to benefit. First I miss out on the baby bonuses and now this.

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Economics 101

Economics 101This morning, James and I were at Tim Hortons where I was explaining currency and how money can be exchanged for goods and services.

Following my brief lecture, I asked James where money comes from. Without hesitation, he exclaimed "Pockets!"

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"What do we need a psychiatrist for? We know our kid is nuts."

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Google Local

Google LocalI was just checking out Google Local Canada and it's pretty cool. It's essentially your yellow pages on steriods, permitting you to search for any type of business in any locality. For example, here's a search on used book stores in Toronto. In addition to the phone number and address you get a link to their website and their location on a map of the city. What more do you need?

I actually don't keep a copy of the yellow pages around any more. It's a relic from yesteryear that's no longer relevant. Not unlike Rod Stewart...

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No Debate

No DebateDoes anyone really care who Puff Daddy thinks won last night's debate between Dubya and John Kerry? I was just flipping the stations and Entertainment Tonight seemed awfully interested in P. Diddy's take on the matter.

I watched all ninety minutes last night and I don't think there's any doubt as to who came off sharper, cooler and more presidential. John Kerry gave the better performance but Dubya didn't implode despite the fact I was willing him to do just that. My favourite moments of the night were those split screen shots while John Kerry was speaking that showed Dubya making those strange faces. I'd love to have a camera just focused on Dubya for the next debate. It's priceless.

I keep hearing that Dubya's greatest asset is the fact he makes a decision and sticks with it no matter what. Is this really a positive attribute? Suppose he makes up his mind about something and it's the wrong decision. Dubya would stubbornly stay the course with blinders on because he doesn't "flip-flop" and he doesn't change his mind. An open-minded, intelligent person continues to learn and look at things from various perspectives and not only can modify their opinion on a particular subject but should modify their opinions. I don't believe all the same things I did ten years ago and that's not a character flaw but a sign that I'm a growing person who has kept an open mind about things. Dubya's inability to consider the fact things may not have always been as they have seemed is a recipe for disaster and a frightening proposition. Dubya should stop smirking so much when bragging about such short comings.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayMount St. Helens VolcanoCam - What an age we live in. Watch Mount St. Helens live at this link...she could blow any time now. Currently, things look rather calm, but seismologists say magma could be moving underground and we could see more explosions in the coming days. You may want to watch this video to see the excitement from earlier today.

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The Friday Five

Friday FiveMy favourite Adam Sandler movies

  1. Happy Gilmore
  2. Punch Drunk Love
  3. Billy Madison
  4. The Wedding Singer
  5. Little Nicky

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