November 2004 Archives

« October 2004 December 2004 »

This Blog Turns Two

This Blog Turns TwoI've maintained a website at http://mikeboon.com since 1999. Over the past five years, there's always been a page for news of sorts or the hot items of the day, but this detail was never archived and would just vanish when I over wrote it with another blurb. Until two years ago today, this front page was divided into four quadrants, each hosting a different item of interest. Then, on November 30, 2002, I started this blog with an entry I called "Grunge Forever". Below, in it's entirety, is that first entry.

November 30, 2002 / 12:27 EST

Nirvana's NevermindGrunge Forever
Music peaked in 1991-1994. Specifically, the days between the release of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit and the moment a self-inflicted gunshot pierced Kurt Cobain's brain. There is little doubt of this fact.

Here we are in the year 2002..almost 2003 and this music from the early 90's "grunge" scene continues to dominate rock charts. Lets take a closer look at the current top 7 from CFNY's (I'm well aware they're now Edge102, but they'll always be CFNY to me) Thursday 30 which I have posted below.

  1. Nirvana - You Know You're Right
  2. Foo Fighters - All My Life
  3. Pearl Jam - I Am Mine
  4. Queens of the Stone Age - No One Knows
  5. U2 - Electrical Storm
  6. Audioslave - Chochise

Notice anything interesting about these bands? Am I stuck in a time-warp? Holy moly Marge...every band represented or at least a part of every band represented is straight outta 1991. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Nirvana - A band straight outta 1991.
Foo Fighters - A band with a lead singer and song writer straight outta Nirvana which is a band straight outta 1991.
Pearl Jam - A band straight outta 1991.
Queens of the Stone Age - A song with a drummer straight outta Nirvana which is a band straight outta 1991.
U2 - A band straight outta 1991.
Audioslave - A band with a lead singer straight outta Soundgarden which is a band straight outta 1991.

Get the picture? Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Chris Cornell and Dave Grohl have something to do with 6 of the top 7 songs in the current Thursday 30. Further proof that 1991 Seattle was the epitome of rock unquestionably, undeniably and unarguably.

Thanks to the Internet Archive waybackmachine, you can take a look at this site as it appeared on April 5, 2001, October 7, 2001, October 20, 2002, and December 19, 2002.


Guest Blog Entry

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

You saw the HIP & tomorrow I am going to see the 2nd best album ever recorded - THE WALL on the 25th anniversary of its release.

I'm IN THE FLESH waiting on THE THIN ICE waiting for Dubya to take ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL against Canada. The HAPPIEST DAYS OF OUR LIVES was when our sports teams won their respective championships (ARGOS & BLUE JAYS). My MOTHER is in an old age home & says GOODNIGHT BLUE SKY as she hates nights. I have no EMPTY SPACES in my life anymore. My kids are 13 this THURS. (Dec 2nd) & want YOUNG LUST (puberty). I painted their room 2 weeks ago & they said "OH MY GOD - WHAT A FABULOUS ROOM".

ONE OF MY TURN'S is when my wife gets what she wants & says DON'T LEAVE ME NOW which is ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL & I say GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD (the card's maxed again).

HEY YOU. IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE? There's NOBODY HOME when I need dinner made. If I was to have a daughter I would name her VERA. BRING THE BOY'S BACK HOME & start the NHL season now.

I feel COMFORTABLY NUMB every chance I get & wish I would get IN THE FLESH with the wife every chance I get which is infrequent with kids. My son Andrew want's to RUN LIKE HELL (he plays baseball) & is WAITING FOR THE WORMS to go fishing with his twin brother Christopher. I'm going on jury duty in 2 weeks & can't wait for THE TRIAL to start . THE TIDE IS TURNING for 2005.

Well done. You almost nailed all 26 tracks in the correct sequence.

Although I'm not a fellow Floydian, I appreciate the concept of "The Wall" and I hope you have a great time at the good ol' Phoenix tonight.


Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceJohn Drew Barrymore was 72. He was part of an acting clan that included his father, the famed stage and early film actor John Barrymore, his father's siblings, Lionel Barrymore and Ethel Barrymore and his daughter, Drew Barrymore.


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. Guns N' Roses - Locomotive
  2. Michael Hill's Blues Mob - Bluestime In America
  3. Prodigy - Breathe
  4. Otis Redding - That's How Strong My Love Is
  5. The Hives - A Get Together To Tear It Apart
  6. Korn - Pretty
  7. The Doors - Crawling King Snake
  8. The Beatles - Lovely Rita
  9. Modest Mouse - The World At Large
  10. Sublime - What I Got


Guest Blog Entry

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

Call me a grinch but I am realy unhappy hearing Christmas Music in NOVEMBER and stores with Christmas decorations in NOVEMBER. The commercialization of Christmas has us all brainwashed. I see too many people with Christmas lights up in NOVEMBER. Christmas used to be a fun and cheery time of year for me, everyone was happy and courteous. Back then Christmas music and lights and the whole season did not start until the middle of December and by the time Christmas Day actually arrived we were just reaching our peak of happiness.

These days with the season starting so early I am not in any Christmas spirit come December 25th. I am done.

Bah humbug.

I'm with you. It's too early to plunge into Christmas holiday mode. I'm working on the definitive Christmas mix, but I don't intend to start spinning it until a couple of weeks before Christmas. I've written a few times about these Toronto radio stations already playing all holiday music, all the time.

We're killing the spirit of Christmas. It's criminal.


New Ticket Stub

New Ticket StubI have added a new stub to my collection of Ticket Stubs.

My ticket from the Tragically Hip show on November 26th is now on display in Ticket Stubs, and because it's from a Hip concert, on my Tragically Hip page as well.


St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Rochester Americans 4

Go Leafs Go!The winning streak is over folks. Out shot 45-26 and screwed by the referees on a non-call, we'll start a new streak Wednesday night against the Binghamton Senators at the ACC. That's right, Leafs hockey is back in Toronto!

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
12-7-0-1
25 points
4-3 Loss vs. Rochester
4-1 Win vs. Hamilton
5-1 Win vs. Hamilton
Kyle Wellwood - 26 pts
David Ling - 22 pts
Matt Stajan - 17 pts


The Greatest Canadian

The Greatest CanadianTonight, the CBC will unveil the results of their Greatest Canadian poll. I know the whole concept is silly, but I've been watching with great interest. I even tuned in last night to watch the advocates battle on behalf of their top ten nominees.

I'd like to see Terry Fox named the Greatest Canadian. Terry Fox was a native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, who was diagnosed with cancer in his right leg in 1977 at the age of 18. Two years later he began training for a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research. On April 12, 1980 he began his journey in St. John's, Newfoundland, running an average of 43 kms (26 miles) a day through six provinces. On September 1st, after 143 days and 5,565 kms (3,339 miles), Terry was forced to stop running outside Thunder Bay, Ontario because his cancer had spread to his lungs. He died less than a year later, on June 28, 1981, a month short of his 23rd birthday.

Terry Fox is a true Canadian hero. When dealt a lethal blow by life, his spirit triumphed in truly heroic fashion. I remember cheering Terry on during his 143 day run and feeling the sadness when he was forced to stop before succumbing to his cancer. Terry touched each and every one of us during his brief life. The annual Terry Fox Run brings in over $14 million yearly for cancer research. Visit http://www.terryfoxrun.org for more information.

I'm not discrediting the contributions made by Frederick Banting, Alexander Graham Bell and Tommy Douglas, I'm just rooting for Terry.


WBUF Drops the Rock

WBUF Drops The RockIt's only been a few days since I listed the ten FM station presets on my car radio, yet one of them has already changed their format.

One of my presets is set to 92.9, WBUF out of Buffalo. I described it as "another great rock station and Howard Stern in the mornings". Howard Stern is still there, but it doesn't sound like there will be any more great rock. This morning they were describing themselves as Buffalo's FM Talk and running down their new lineup of syndicated talk radio programs.

They're talking themselves up as Buffalo's only FM talk radio, but their website still has a scroll calling them "Buffalo's Rock Station" and they're still yakking about being totally hard. I'm guessing this is simply sloppy site maintenance.

I periodically enjoyed the blend of new hard rock and older rock I heard from WBUF, but 94.9 The Rock out of Oshawa, 97.7 HTZ FM out of St. Catherines and Y108 out of Hamilton play pretty much the same stuff. Besides, I spend the bulk of my music listening time on CFNY Edge 102 anyways.

I hate the idea of a good FM signal being wasted on talk radio. FM is for music...AM is for talk.


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayThe Final Two Minutes of Tuesday's Jeopardy - I'm trying not to spoil this for people who might still care, so I'll throw this link out there and let you know that it's related to this entry from September 8.


My MP3s Updated

My Entire MP3 CollectionI've added eight new CDs to my MP3 collection. The new additions are The Strokes' "Room On Fire", Bob Geldof & The Boomtown Rats' "Great Songs of Indifference - The Best Of ...", Modest Mouse's "The Moon & Antarctica", Neil Young's "Rust Never Sleeps", The Libertines' "Up the Bracket", Patti Smith's "Land (1975 - 2002) - Discs 1 & 2" and The Clash's "London Calling".

That's 556 complete albums and 8417 songs. Check it out.


CSS & Menu Changes

CSS & Menu ChangesI made several changes to the main navigation menu of this site today. For starters, I completely altered the way the menu is rendered by rewriting the entire CSS. Although it doesn't look that different from the previous menu, the code for this is a great deal cleaner. Less is more when it comes to CSS.

While I was changing the aesthetics of the main navigation menu on the left, I decided to blow away the links to Videos and Hyperlinks and added links to my Tragically Hip and Bill Barilko pages. I noticed I get a great deal of traffic from people Googling one or the other so I promoted them. Homer's Quote of the Week, however, remains the page Google refers to the most. Google Homer's Quote and you'll see why.


How To Rip Your CD Collection To MP3 Like Me

How My MP3 Collection Came To BeI've been getting a lot of questions lately from people wondering exactly what I use to rip my CDs to MP3s and what steps are involved in the process. Below is a step-by-step guide for a newbie who wants to assemble an MP3 collection based on CDs they already possess.

  1. Download Audiograbber - I realize there are various applications that will convert your CDs to MP3s, but I use Audiograbber. It's free and I've been quite pleased with its performance. Visit the download page and download Audiograbber 1.83 build 1 from one of the listed locations...perhaps this one.

    Now that you've downloaded Audiograbber, open the .exe file and install it.
  2. Download the LAME MP3 Encoder - Although Audiograbber will enable you to rip your CDs to MP3s by itself, you'll want to increase the quality of your MP3 and that's where the LAME MP3 encoder comes in. Visit the download page and download lame-3.96.1 from one of the listed mirrors...perhaps this one.

    It's a compressed zip folder, so you'll have to unzip it. Windows XP comes with a utility that will do this automatically when you open the file, but other Windows users will need to use Winzip to unzip the dll. Once you've unzipped this file, simply put the contents into your Audiograbber directory. You now have an internal MP3 encoder.
  3. Configure Audiograbber - On the Audiograbber toolbar under "Settings", select "General Settings". I'm comfortable with all the defaults here, but everyone will want the folders and songs named differently. I personally like a folder for each artist and within that folder a folder for each album name and then within that folder an MP3 for each track in the format 01 - Artist Name - Song Name. There's also an option on this tab to select the directory you want your files to write to. I've found it's easier for me to organize everything if Audiograbber places the folders in my Audiograbber directory until I'm ready to copy them over to my music folder. View this screen cap of how my General Settings are configured and mimic it if you want the same results.

    Next, on the Audiograbber toolbar under "Settings", select "MP3 Settings". Here you determine how you want Audiograbber to rip your CDs and at what bitrate. This is a very important step in configuring Audiograbber. I've chosen to grab to "MP3 file via intermediate wav file. Delete the wav file". Also, I've selected "Internal Encoder" and used the drop down arrow to select the LameEnc DLL I downloaded and dropped in the Audiograbber directory in step #2. Finally, I've dragged the selector under "Constant Bitrate" to 192 Kbit/s. I like the quality of sound I get from ripping to a 192 bitrate, but feel free to bump this up as high as you wish, if you can afford the hard drive space. View this screen cap to see how my MP3 Settings are configured and mimic it if you want the same results.
  4. Get Album Details and Rip to MP3 - Now that Audiograbber has been downloaded and installed, your LAME MP3 Encoder has been downloaded, unzipped and copied to your Audiograbber directory and Audiograbber is configured to rip to your specifications, you're ready to rock. Place your CD in your CD Rom drive and open Audiograbber. You'll see one of the menu options on the top reads "Freedb" and is accompanied by a penguin icon. If you're connected to the Internet, click this icon and artist, album and song details will be automatically downloaded to Audiograbber. There's no need to ever type in song names or any such detail. View this screen cap to see what happens when I click the penguin after placing the Almost Famous soundtrack in my CD rom.

    If you're happy with what you see, click "Grab!" which is the option accompanied by a hand. Audiograbber will begin converting the tracks on your CD to MP3 as you specified in step #3. It's that easy. Once Audiograbber is finished, you'll find the folders in the directory you set in that step. If you've chosen to have everything terminate to your Audiograbber directory, navigate there, cut the Artist folder containing the CD title folder and subsequent tracks, and copy it to your permanent music folder. Follow these steps for every CD in your collection and your music folder will resemble my music folder.
  5. Tips and Tricks - Depending on how the information comes back from the Freedb, the artist name may be listed as "The Beatles" or "Beatles" or even "Beatles, The". You'll want to keep this consistent throughout your collection so pick a format and stick to it. That way, all of your Beatles albums will remain under the same folder instead of having some filed under "The Beatles" and others filed under "Beatles".

    In a similar vein, you'll most likely have numerous compilation CDs in your collections that won't be filed under a particular artists name. The details coming back from the Freedb may have the album listed under a directory entitled "Various Artists", "Various", "Compilation" or some variant thereof. Again, pick a format and stick to it so everything remains nicely organized on your PC.

    The speed at which this ripping takes place depends upon the resources available to you. If your machine isn't up to snuff, it would probably be best that you don't do anything else while Audiograbber is doing its thing. And speaking of resources available to you, hosting your entire CD collection on MP3 requires a good chunk of hard drive space. Ripping at a 192 bitrate, Eminem's Encore takes up 105 MB of space. Do the math and ensure you have sufficient space.

    And finally, if you've got a good sized CD collection, ripping it all to MP3 will take up a great deal of your time. You'll be popping discs in and out of your PC for hours and hours on end. I started my digitization project back in December 2003 and I didn't finish it until this past spring. It's a massive job and you don't want to do it more than once if you can help it. Do yourself a favour and back up your music. Hard drive failures happen, computers can get stolen or destroyed, shit happens, so burn your files to CD or DVD and sleep well knowing they're there when you need them. I know I do.

That's it in a nutshell. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me. I can tell you from experience, once your collection is digitized into MP3s you'll truly be able to access your music, your way. You'll feel liberated, listening to tracks you haven't heard in years, creating eclectic playlists in Winamp, burning massive MP3 mixes and burning audio CDs when MP3 mixes are insufficient. It will be glorious.

Enjoy the music.


St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 1

Go Leafs Go!Reviewing the archives, it seems the Toronto Maple Leafs were in the midst of a great run about this time last year. With the Toronto Maple Leafs nowhere to be seen, the St. John's Maple Leafs have taken the torch and are embarking on a great streak of their own. That's ten victories in our last eleven games, five in a row on the road and five in a row overall. Mikael Tellqvist made 26 stops and Kyle Wellwood stayed hot to lead the charge.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
12-6-0-1
25 points
4-1 Win vs. Hamilton
5-1 Win vs. Hamilton
4-3 Win vs. Edmonton
Kyle Wellwood - 26 pts
David Ling - 21 pts
Matt Stajan - 15 pts


My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"Whether or not what we experienced was an According to Hoyle miracle is insignificant. What is significant is that I felt the touch of God. God got involved. "
      - Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction


My MP3s Updated

My Entire MP3 CollectionI've added a whole bunch of new CDs to my MP3 collection. It's probably best I break down these new additions into three groups: recent releases, old favourites and for Taryn.

Recent Releases:

  • Eminem - Encore
  • Marilyn Manson - Lest We Forget (The Best Of)
  • The Tragically Hip - 92nd Grey Cup Commemorative CD
  • Pearl Jam - Rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991-2003) Up Side (Disc 1)
  • Pearl Jam - Rearviewmirror (Greatest Hits 1991-2003) Down Side (Disc 2)
  • Sum 41 - Chuck
  • Jimmy Eat World - Futures

Old Favourites:

  • Bruce Springsteen - Greatest Hits
  • Crash Test Dummies - The Ghosts That Haunt Me
  • Tripping Daisy - I Am An Elastic Firecracker
  • Various Artists - CFNY: The New Music Search 1993
  • Rusty - Sophomoric
  • Odds - Good Weird Feeling
  • Pet Shop Boys - Discography
  • Moist - Silver
  • Treble Charger - Maybe It's Me
  • Various Artists - 102.1 The Edge Campus Tour Sampler 96
  • Kenny Rogers - Greatest Hits
  • Various Artists - Almost Famous Soundtrack
  • Kid N' Play - Funhouse
  • Maestro Fresh-Wes - The Black Tie Affair
  • Kris Kross - Totally Krossed Out
  • Positive K - The Skills Dat Pay Da Bills
  • Technotronic - Trip On This -The Remixes
  • Various Artists - It's Christmas Time
  • Various Artists - Favourite Christmas Carols
  • Various Artists - Christmas With A Kick II
  • Various Artists - NOW Christmas: Traditional (Disc 1)
  • Various Artists - NOW Christmas: Contemporary (Disc 2)

For Taryn:

  • Shania Twain - Up!
  • Shania Twain - Come On Over
  • John Mellencamp - American Fool
  • Ian Hunter - Shades Of Ian Hunter
  • Cyndi Lauper - Twelve Deadly Cyns ...And Then Some

That's 548 complete albums and 8302 songs. Check it out.


St. John's Maple Leafs 5, Hamilton Bulldogs 1

Go Leafs Go!The surging Buds won their fourth straight on the road, whipping the Hamilton Bulldogs 5-1 at the Copps Coliseum to end an ugly sixteen game winless skid in the Steel city that dated back to October 28, 2001. Jean Sebastian Aubin won his debut as the Maple Leafs have now won nine of their past ten and sit third in the Northern division just six points back of front running Edmonton with three games in hand.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
11-6-0-1
23 points
5-1 Win vs. Hamilton
4-3 Win vs. Edmonton
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
Kyle Wellwood - 24 pts
David Ling - 19 pts
Matt Stajan - 15 pts


That Night In Toronto...

That Night In Toronto...There's something special about a live performance by The Tragically Hip. I saw them for the eighth time last night, and here's the synopsis you've waited so patiently for.

The Joel Plaskett Emergency - The Joel Plaskett Emergency opened for The Hip when I last saw them on Canada Day, but I didn't catch a note thanks to the brutal service at the Molson Amphitheatre. This time, I entered the venue without having to wait and was comfy in my excellent seats twenty minutes before the Joel Plaskett Emergency took the stage.

I was eager to sample this band live after reading about their success at the annual Music Industry Association Of Nova Scotia Music Awards last week. Plaskett's the guy who fronted Thrush Hermit back in the mid-90s, a band that briefly rode the Sloan wave to fleeting success. All in all I liked the performance. It's a crisp sound reminiscent of U2 with several overtly Canadian references thrown in to boot. I won't predict Joel Plaskett will be the next Sam Roberts, but I've heard far, far worse.

The Venue - Of all the places I've seen the Tragically Hip, the ACC is probably my least favourite. During a Hip show, I like to get lost under an open sky. I want to be able to stare up at the stars, yell at the gods, breathe in the aura of a live show outdoors. At the ACC, none of this is possible. This isn't specific to the Hip, but a preference I have for all concerts. I prefer my concerts take place outside. I realize this isn't an option in Toronto on November 27th.

I had a serious issue with how bright the ACC remained during the Hip's performance. There was enough light for me to read by, and that's unacceptable. I was on the floor, only 20 rows back of the stage, and I kept hoping the venue would turn out a few lights. It was actually a lot darker for the Joel Plaskett Emergency than it was for headliners. I like it nice and dark during a concert, last night wasn't nearly dark enough.

The Hip - From the opening of "Vaccination Scar" through the brilliant "Blow At High Dough", it was a typical Hip show and that's a good thing. That's a very good thing. Other than perhaps Pearl Jam, there's no band as consistently brilliant live as this one. We got the big hits like "New Orleans Is Sinking", "Little Bones" and "Courage" along with the two tunes I now look most forward to at Hip shows, "At The Hundredth Meridian" and "Bobcaygeon". When performed live, Gord speeds up the "If I die of vanity, promise me" part of "At The Hundredth Meridian" so that it's at least twice as fast as the studio version. The way this is done really pumps me up, it's like a drug that shoots through my veins in electrifying fashion. Bobcaygeon is just an amazing tune with the lyric "That night in Toronto" that always garners the largest cheer of the night from the thousands of Torontonians in attendance.

Entering last night's show, there were four tunes I had heard played every time I've attended a Hip concert. Those were "At The Hundredth Meridian", "Grace, Too", "New Orleans Is Sinking" and "Poets". I heard all four again last night. Interestingly enough, I didn't hear a single song last night that I hadn't heard before. That means I'll have to wait a little longer to hear "Cordelia" and "Flemenco".

The complete setlist is already here along with the updated song statistics. Another fabulous night courtesy of Das Hip.


Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"No, no, no, Lisa. If adults don't like their jobs, they don't go on strike. They just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American Way."


The Setlist

The SetlistI just got home from watching The Tragically Hip at the ACC tonight. It was a great show and I'll write a more detailed synopsis tomorrow.

I have updated my Tragically Hip page with tonight's setlist and I've updated the song statistics on that page.

More tomorrow. Good night everybody.


What U Waiting For? vs. Hash Pipe

WUW4? vs. HPThe other night I found myself watching Muchmoremusic when the latest video for Gwen Stefani came on. It's called "What U Waiting For?" and a great deal of it sounds an awful lot like "Hash Pipe" from Weezer.

What's happened to Gwen Stefani anyways? If I remember correctly, she was once in a pretty decent band. They were an interesting blend of ska, punk and pop and their Tragic Kingdom album found its way into my collection. Then, this band all but dropped their ska and punky sound, kept the pop but kicked it up a notch and introduced the r&b flavour of the month. No doubt, this band started to suck and they were adopted by the same fanbase that hailed Justin Timberlake and Usher as megastars.

Now Gwen's gone solo and is ready to take her place alongside Kelly Clarkson, Jessica Simpson and Hillary Duff as a pop princess. You've got your big G's, I've got my hash pipe.


Guest Blog Entry

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

By this shall all men know, that in the name of the peaceful and honest people on planet Earth, it has been announced this November 26th of the year 2004: Declaration of Public Outlawship on the Bush Administration

  1. Any person who is an extreme danger to democracy, freedom of society, the environment, any other precious values of the human race or to mankind, fauna or flora in general, thereby never showing any remorse about his/her lies, wicked undertakings, election-cheatings, oil-wars, marauding, religious insanity and other evil endeavors, may be declared public outlaw for that.
  2. The Bush administration fully meets the conditions as outlined in #1 and is herewith declared public outlaw.
  3. Everyone teaming up with a public outlaw will cause an immediate declaration of public outlawship for those teaming up.
  4. Separation from the Bush administration through retirement, change of mind, removal from office or through any other cause, voluntarily or by force, does not automatically end the public outlawship, once so declared.
  5. A current public outlaw does not have any public rights at all. He/she may be made subject to harsh criticism or mockery and ridicule by anyone without the right of complaint.
  6. Criticism, mockery and ridicule may be exercised by anybody in whatever mode, manner, method, style or approach. Mockers and ridiculers may exaggerate, lie, spin, amplify, inflate, lay on thicker, overstate, overstress or twist facts to any extend deemed necessary to vividly characterize the evil character and dangerous potential of the public outlaw.
  7. Foul or vulgar language on bumper stickers, signs, graffiti or other displaying, when picking on a public outlaw, is allowed without any kind of limitation.
  8. The use of the Internet, including web sites, blogs, comments, feedback, e-mail, polls or any other instruments on the net, in use presently or in future, is explicitly encouraged for criticizing a public outlaw or making him subject to mockery and ridiculing.
  9. A current public outlaw may demonstrate through good behavior his willingness to return to the standards of civilization and can ask for resocialization. The public outlaw should also give good reasons for his/her request. Nevertheless, the society is free to decline any request without giving reasons.
  10. #9 does not apply to permanent public outlawship, which shall be endless.
  11. The Bush administration, including it's present, past or future members, quislings and collaborators, are under permanent public outlawship.
  12. #11 shall be irreversible for our days and shall only end on judgment day when any power on earth will dissolve into nothing in the face of the Almighty and to whom we leave the Bush administration in humble acknowledgement of our own weakness.

---
Anno Domini 2004, 26th of November
The not insane part of the human race

Thomas

That's quite the Guest Blog, Thomas. Will you be on Parliament Hill when Dubya arrives Tuesday? You can keep the anti-war protestors, pot-smokers and gay marriage advocates company. Personally, I prefer sticking to #8 on your very interesting twelve-point manifesto.


A Word About Strippergate

A Word About StrippergateImmigration Minister Judy Sgro has been under attack this week because of our government's policy of admitting foreign exotic dancers to work in Canada. Essentially, strip clubs in this country can't find enough "talent" from the pool of Canadian-born women and have been recruiting women from other countries. These immigrants are granted special work visas enabling them to come and stay in Canada.

I'm wondering how you prove stripping is a skill you behold. Considering this is being used as a way for some women to jump the immigration line, is it as simple as putting "stripper" next to the "Occupation" line on your application to enter this country? There has to be some criteria as to what exactly defines a stripper, much like there's criteria as to what exactly defines a doctor, engineer or plumber.

First and foremost, we want our strippers to be aesthetically pleasing. A fit body and fairly pretty face is a prerequisite. Also, some rhythm is required when dancing with that pole. These are rather subjective traits, so I assume there's a bureaucratic body that would review the woman's performance and deem them Canadian stripper-worthy, or not. Each applicant is judged on a scale of one to ten on body, face and grace. The highest and lowest scores for each is dropped and the remaining scores are averaged together. Then, if the final score is greater than X, she's granted her special work visa and welcomed to our home and native land.

To do it any other way would be unfair to our hard-working strip club attendees.


The Friday Five

Friday FiveThe sweetest Tragically Hip ballads

  1. Long Time Running
  2. Wheat Kings
  3. It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken
  4. Scared
  5. Bobcaygeon


Personal Message For Gord Downie

Seein' The HipHi Gord, it's me, Mike.

If you're reading this, I'm a big fan of that sped up version of "At The Hundredth Meridian" you do live. In fact, your sped up version has all but ruined the studio version for me. I now find it way too slow when listening to Fully Completely. If you wouldn't mind giving me another shot of that speed tonight, I'd dig it the most. Also, while I've got your attention, I'm hoping "Bobcaygeon" makes tonight's setlist as well so we can holler in unison "That night in Toronto". And finally, since I'm already wearing my #5 Bill Barilko jersey and we're at the ACC tonight where Barilko's #5 hangs from the rafters, would you mind hitting us with a dose of "50 Mission Cap"? Ok, now I know I'm pressing my luck, but there are a few tunes I find you neglect during your live shows. I'd love to hear "Cordelia", "Flemenco" and "38 Years Old". Surprisingly, I've seen you guys perform live seven times previously and you've never played any of these songs a single time. They're each highly under rated.

Thanks Gord, you guys rock. I've been hooked since I first heard the opening of "Blow At High Dough" back in '89. I still remember returning home from Sam the Record Man at Yonge and Dundas with Up To Here in my hand, giving it a spin and hearing that bluesy rock with a Canadian twist for the first time. See ya tonight!


My Car Radio Station Presets

Car Radio Station PresetsMy car radio has two FM bands, each with five station presets. Here are the current presets.

FM1

  1. 107.9 - Hamilton's Y108, a good little rock station
  2. 99.9 - Mix 99.9, a station I never listen to so why I preset it is a wonder
  3. 97.7 - HTZ FM out of St. Catherines, another solid rock station
  4. 102.1 - Edge102, formerly known as CFNY and my favourite station for over fifteen years
  5. 107.1 - Q107, there for the rare moments I need a classic rock fix

FM2

  1. 92.9 - WBUF out of Buffalo, another great rock station and Howard Stern in the mornings
  2. 94.9 - The Rock out of Oshawa, a good mix of classic and new rock
  3. 89.5 - CIUT, UofT university radio
  4. 93.5 - Flow 93.5, the only station I can find that regularly plays hip hop
  5. 99.1 - Toronto's CBC Radio1, great for news and current affairs


Flu Shots

Flu ShotsI just got my flu shot. It will immunize me against certain strains of influenza and will lessen the symptoms for strains it doesn't cover. As a resident of the great province of Ontario, I didn't pay a cent for it either. It was easy to get, I just made an appointment with a local GP, walked in, rolled up my sleeve, received a harmless shot in the arm and left.

To recap, it was very easy for me to receive a free shot that every doctor in the country will tell you greatly lessens my odds of getting the flu. Why the hell doesn't everybody in Ontario do this? Do people like getting the flu? Are people so busy they can't sacrifice 20 minutes of their lunch time to prevent it? Do people still think it's an elaborate hoax?

Do me a favour and get a flu shot if you haven't already. I'd appreciate it.


Creationism Trumps Evolution

It's Evolution, BabyJust a few days ago I was left flabbergasted at the fact that nearly half of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form. Now I'm really stupefied. I just read this CBS News article that states 37% of Americans want the teaching of 'evolutionism' replaced outright.

I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic schools my entire life. Never once was it suggested to me by a priest or teacher that the theory of evolution was anything but accurate. We were explicitly taught that the bible should not be taken literally, but contextually. When it's written that Eve came from Adam's rib or was moulded by God from clay it's symbolic of a spirit, not a literal account of how mankind came to be.

As a child it seemed very sensible to me that science and religion could co-exist and were not mutually exclusive. In one class we would discuss single-celled organisms and how they evolved into human beings over millions and millions of years and in another class we would discuss the Book of Genesis. How is it that 37% of Americans would rather the theory of evolution not be taught in school because it contradicts their preferred theory of creationism?

This has gotta be Dubya's fault...


The Christmas Mix

The Christmas MixPrior to the start of the Santa Claus Parade on Sunday, a plane circled above carrying an advertisement for EZ Rock 97.3. It proclaimed that this horrible station was already playing all Christmas carols, all the time until Christmas Day. This rendered my earlier post about stations that pull this stunt useless, but it gave me an idea for a new project.

Is it possible to assemble 80 minutes of holiday music that doesn't suck? I'm going to find out. I'm going to spend the next week compiling a mix of Christmas music that's more than half decent. I'm boggled by radio stations that alter their format to play all holiday music because there are so few good holiday songs, so finding 80 minutes worth of good stuff will be quite the challenge. I mentioned this idea while visiting my brother Steve and both he and Vanessa laughed at me and called me insane for trying.

I'm up for the challenge. It's quite possible that this is the reason I've been put on this Earth. This very well may be my destiny. I will put together 80 minutes of the best Christmas music on the planet and I'll post the list here. That is, if I can find 80 minutes worth I can stomach.


Big Fish & Yes

Big Fish & YesI mentioned I was rummaging through My brother's CD collection the other day. I "borrowed" several of his albums, including his copy of the Almost Famous soundtrack which I listened to last night. One of the tracks on this compilation is Yes' "Your Move/I've Seen All Good People". I've always dug this tune, but hearing it last night I could only think of one thing: Big Fish.

"Big Fish" is a flick I saw back in July but think about often. It had an effect on me few movies have...it moved me. I rarely cry but I was tearing at the end of "Big Fish". It struck a chord with me. The trailer for this movie has the song ""Your Move/I've Seen All Good People" by Yes playing throughout. Now, all I have to do is hear a piece of that tune and I'm flooded with thoughts of "Big Fish" and overwhelmed with the emotions this movie brings out in me.

Oh no, I've said too much. I haven't said enough.


On The Waterfront

On The WaterfrontI like Mayor David Miller. I endorsed him last November because I believe him to be an intelligent person with a worthwhile vision doing his very best for the greatest city on the planet.

Yesterday, Mayor Miller took the first formal step toward taking personal leadership of Toronto's stalled waterfront redevelopment process. As he said, "The best way to ensure that the waterfront moves forward, and to make sure its open, transparent and accountable, is to have elected representatives from the city on the board, and the mayor be chair".

I love this city and I can't wait for the waterfront revitalization to finally come to fruition. I heard Mayor Miller on the radio today speaking about the wonderful job other world-class cities have done with their waterfronts. Why should we tolerate less than the best? Our waterfront could be so much more. Miller wants to be accountable and I'm more than happy to hold him accountable. On behalf of all Torontonians, this has been a long time coming and we want less talk and more rock. I'll be watching...


Canadian Music Hall of Famers

Canadian Music Hall of FamersIn the no-brainer decision of the year, The Tragically Hip will be inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame at next year's Juno Awards. The 34th annual awards will be broadcast April 3, 2005 from Winnipeg, Manitoba.

I'm listening to In Between Evolution right now, in full pre-concert preparation mode. I'm seeing them Friday night at the ACC and I'm totally psyched about my eighth Hip concert. This band seems to be getting better with age.

I maintain a page dedicated to The Tragically Hip concerts I've attended. I post my ticket stubs, complete setlists and even a running tally of every song I've heard live and the number of times I've heard it. If you're a Hip fan, or simply curious, visit my Tragically Hip page.

For the record, there are four tracks I've heard live seven times to lead the list. They are "At The Hundredth Meridian", "Grace, Too", "New Orleans Is Sinking" and "Poets". Will I hear all four again Friday night? Check out that page on Saturday to find out.


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.

Hayden - Take
The other night I visited My brother's place and rummaged through his CD collection. I found a compilation from CFNY entitled The New Music Search 1993 that I used to listen to back when I lived with him. My favourite cut from the compilation is a haunting little track from Hayden which I'm sharing with you today.

The lyrics, the delivery, the simplicity...I love this tune.


St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Edmonton Roadrunners 4

Go Leafs Go!No, you're not seeing double. Last night, the Maple Leafs defeated the Edmonton Roadrunners in a shootout for the second game in a row. Kyle Wellwood, David Ling and Harold Druken continue to carry the offense with each scoring a goal for an injury-riddled club that has eight wins in their last nine games. Go Leafs Go!

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
10-6-0-1
21 points
4-3 Win vs. Edmonton
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
5-3 Win vs. Manitoba
Kyle Wellwood - 22 pts
David Ling - 18 pts
Harold Druken - 14 pts


St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Edmonton Roadrunners 2

Go Leafs Go!The Maple Leafs are now within seven points of the front-running Edmonton Roadrunners after beating them 3-2 in a shootout. That's seven wins out of eight if you're following along at home.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
9-6-0-1
19 points
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
5-3 Win vs. Manitoba
4-2 Loss vs. Manitoba
Kyle Wellwood - 20 pts
David Ling - 17 pts
Harold Druken - 13 pts


Toronto Rocks!

Toronto Rocks!Growing up in the 80s, in the years before MuchMusic, my main source of music videos was a show called "Toronto Rocks" hosted by J.D. Roberts on CityTV. It was on every afternoon and featured the popular videos of the time. Roberts brought me the latest videos from Twisted Sister, The Cars and The Talking Heads when I got home from school and I appreciated it.

The big news of this hour is the resignation of CBS anchor Dan Rather, effective this March. This announcement means the CBS Evening News will require a new anchor. That very same J.D. Roberts, who now prefers to be called John Roberts, is CBS's White House correspondent and a likely successor.

To think that J.D. Roberts may be replacing Dan Rather who replaced Walter Cronkite. Toronto Rocks!


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayTrippy Image - For some reason, I dig this sort of thing. This image is not an animated gif. It's a static image presenting an optical illusion. It's trippy.


Grey Cup Ratings

Grey Cup RatingsIf you're curious how many Canadians tuned into the Toronto Argonauts Grey Cup victory over the BC Lions on Sunday, Nielsen Media Research has the answer. They're reporting that an average of 4,012,000 viewers per minute tuned in, the second highest rated Grey Cup in the past decade. The audience peaked at 4.5 million during the game's final half-hour.

For comparisons sake, Nielson tallied 3,560,000 million Canadian viewers for Super Bowl XXXVIII. As popular as the NFL is in Canada, the Super Bowl still isn't as popular as our Grey Cup.


More Than 41

More Than 41Apparently, Vince Carter needs more than 41 reasons to kick ass this season. A player who is averaging 24.1 points for his career is only averaging 14.5 points per game thus far this year. Carter scored just four points on 2-for-9 shooting and didn't play in the fourth quarter while his team mates overcame a 20-point deficit in the second half to beat the San Antonio Spurs 96-91 Sunday. He's not contributing and others are picking up the slack.

Now comes word the "Half-man, half-amazing" doesn't want to dunk anymore. He'll leave the dunking to others and opt for a lay up instead. He's as whiny about the pressue to dunk as he is about the league's decision to strip him of his iPod during warmups. It's been a tough week for the $12 million man.

I've been rather vocal in my support of Vince Carter. I want him to play like he can and be a super star once more for my Raptors. Sadly, it's becoming abundantly clear that he's doing everything in his power to reduce his trade value. He's averaging 14.5 ppg, refusing to dunk and sitting for most fourth quarters. When we finally do trade this major disappointment, we'll likely get little of value in return. Then, without a doubt, Carter will kick it up a notch and shoot the lights out for his new team. I'll bet he even dunks for them.

What a shame.


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. The White Stripes - Hardest Button To Button
  2. Nirvana - The Extreme
  3. Blind Lemon Jefferson - Easy Rider Blues
  4. Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral (The Bottom)
  5. Marilyn Manson - The Reflecting God
  6. Willie Nelson - The Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning
  7. P.O.D. - Waiting On Today
  8. Pulp - Monday Morning
  9. The Vines - Autumn Shade
  10. Mountain - Don't Look Around


It's Evolution, Baby

It's Evolution, BabyI was just reading about a Pennsylvania school district that has stopped teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. They're now teaching their students a new theory called "intelligent design" which argues that the complexity of nature is such that it could not have occurred by chance, as Darwinian theory holds, and so must have been created by some all-powerful force. Hmmm, I wonder what all-powerful force created man-kind? God, perhaps?

Fundamental Christians are always trying to get schools to abort the theory of evolution and teach creationism instead, which is based on the creationist tales in the book of Genesis in the Bible. These are the people who believe everything in the Bible should be taken literally and not just contextual. These are the people who scare me.

Shockingly, a recent Gallup poll found that nearly half of Americans believe that God created humans in their present form, with a mere 13 percent saying God played no part in the process of human development. Only about a third of Americans believe that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is a scientific theory that has been well supported by the evidence. Wha-wha-what???

Un-frickin-believable. In 2004, only one third of Americans believe in the theory of evolution. That's baffling. Forty-five percent of Americans believe that God created human beings pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago.

I happen to believe in God, but taking the Bible literally, word for word, is dangerous. This is why homosexuality is regarded as a sin, stem cell research is outlawed and Dubya is president. Lest we forget, God hates shrimp. Boycott your local Red Lobster!

Every sensible person believes in the science of the theory of evolution. Apparently there's a sad lack of sensible people on this planet. Is this 1904 or 2004? Sometimes I wonder...


Guest Blog Entry

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

AAARRRGGGOOOs!

Who need's NFL football when you can watch a game like today. The BC Lions were totally outcoached by PINBALL. Why sit the MVP of the league after being down after the 1st half? This was the 3rd game I saw all year & no doubt it got me hooked for next year. If Damon comes back (I think he will) this team can continue to be a force for many years to come.

The ARGOS are a force to be reckoned with. Coaching was the downfall of the BC Lions with the short punts & decision to keep Dave Dickinson in as QB when the MVP was eager to get in. Why not keep giving Antonio Warren the ball when he was so successful early in the 3rd quarter (BC panicked)? The BC kicking game was brutal giving up field position for not getting the ball to the Argo returners early in the game.

Go Argo's Go (my son's finally saw a Toronto Champion crowned) GO LEAFS GO (ha ha)

     Twins from Bolton

This is the first Toronto championship my son has witnessed as well. It's been seven long years since we've been able to have a victory parade from Union Station to Nathan Phillips Square.

There's something special about Michael "Pinball" Clemons. He's a world class guy and the game's best ambassador. This victory is for him.


Champions

The Grey CupI'm part of the CFL's lost generation. Coming of age in the 80s, we were sold the glitz and glamour of the NFL, primarily from the Buffalo television stations we received. The Bills propaganda machine rolled on through the 90s when they went to four Super Bowls in a row. The CFL came across like a minor league farming system for the big league to the South.

I rarely paid any attention to the CFL, displaying only a casual interest when Rocket Ismail came to town and again when Doug Flutie signed with the double blue. On Sundays, I'd sit and watch 10 hours of NFL ball, but I'd rarely tune in for Canadian football. The CFL was beneath me. I was an NFL fan.

I remember the moment my interest in the NFL began to wane. It was the day the Bills cut Doug Flutie and decided Rob Johnson was their starting quarterback. All Doug Flutie did for the Bills was play his heart out and win games. All Rob Johnson did was infuriate me. This decision hurt the very core of my being. I loved Flutie and I loved Flutie in a Bills uniform. Cutting him made absolutely no sense to me at the time and history would prove me right. Throughout the following years, I found myself watching less and less NFL football although I continued to watch the Bills until this year. Conversely, I found myself watching more and more CFL football and following that league closer. I grew to appreciate the game and discovered it was thoroughly entertaining. Part of the charm is the lack of schmaltzy glitz that accompanies everything associated with the NFL. This NFL season I've come to realize that of the four major sports, football ranks a definite fourth in my books and I actually prefer Argonaut football to Bills football. In my thirtieth year of life I learned that the wholly Canadian league I grew up thinking was amateurish is, in fact, a more organic, entertaining and satisfying product.

The culmination of this new-found respect for the CFL was witnessing a great Grey Cup and championship for my Argos last night. It was a brilliant contest, exciting to the very end, with a performance from The Tragically Hip at half-time to boot. It was a great game on a great day to celebrate this Canadian institution in our nation's capital. I'm proud to call myself an Argonaut fan and a fan of the Canadian Football League.

Screw the NFL. I've got other priorities now.


New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures, all taken this afternoon at the 100th consecutive Santa Claus Parade in downtown Toronto.


The Grey Cup

The Grey CupThere's little more Canadian than the Grey Cup. Lord Earl Grey donated the trophy to recognize the top amateur rugby football team in Canada and the University of Toronto Varsity Blues won the first one way back in 1909. The Toronto Argonauts won their first one in 1914 but I'm hoping they win another tonight.

Living in Toronto this week, there wasn't quite the buzz you'd expect from a city playing for the championship on Sunday. People were pleased but not ecstatic for the most part. This city gets far more excited by a first round Maple Leaf win. I'm not referring to a first round victory, but merely a single win. A Grey Cup title simply doesn't have the necessary prestige for this city and that's unfortunate.

In a league as small as the CFL, you're bound to win your share of titles. Since the Leafs last won the Stanley Cup back in 1967, the Argos have won the Grey Cup four times. In fact, the Argonauts have won the Grey Cup more times than any other team, 14 times in total, which is the 4th most in North American professional sports, behind the New York Yankees, the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Celtics.

Lets get #15 tonight. I'm one Torontonian who will be watching.


The Santa Claus Parade

The Santa Claus ParadeJames and I have just returned from the 100th annual Santa Claus Parade. We got there early to secure a killer spot by Queens Park station on the East side of University Avenue across from the Princess Margaret Hospital.

I took a tonne of picture and I'll probably share a bunch later today. I hadn't been to this parade since I was a kid and I ended up enjoying it as much as James. There was still a bunch of stuff I remembered from twenty years ago and it was a big wallop of nostalgia to the noggin. I saw Blinky the police car, Elmer the safety elephant, the clowns who walk on their hands and those same darn polar bears I remember with such fondness.

It's already been an awesome day and I'm home well before kick off in the 92nd Grey Cup. Arrrrgooooooos!!!!


Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceTom Rivers was 57. He was an immensely popular rock 'n' roll DJ in the 1970s and 1980s who worked at rock stations throughout Canada and the U.S. for 30 years.

I remember Tom Rivers well from the early 80s when he hosted the 680 CFTR morning show. My preference at the time was Jesse and Gene on Q107, but being a typical pre-teen I coasted over to CFTR every once in a while where I'd here Tom. He was a Toronto institution, primarily for his previous gig at CHUM. It's a shame to lose him so young.


My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"It's true what they say: Cops and women don't mix. It's like eating a spoonful of Drano, sure it'll clean you out, but it'll leave you hollow inside."
      - Lt. Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!


St. John's Maple Leafs 5, Manitoba Moose 3

Go Leafs Go!Mikael Tellqvist made a triumphant return from a concussion suffered exactly two weeks ago Friday night, kicking out 33 shots as the St. John's Maple Leafs downed the Manitoba Moose 5-3. This was the first win on the road for the Leafs after four straight losses away from Mile One Stadium.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
8-6-0-1
17 points
5-3 Win vs. Manitoba
4-2 Loss vs. Manitoba
2-1 Win vs. Chicago
Kyle Wellwood - 19 pts
David Ling - 17 pts
Harold Druken - 13 pts


Scary Movie 3

Scary Movie 3Scary Movie 3: 4 out of 10.

The peak of the satirical parody mountain was reached in 1988 with the release of The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!. Airplane was good, but The Naked Gun was better. All future efforts in this genre were to be measured against this true comedic masterpiece.

The Scary Movie franchise is one such follower that falls well short of The Naked Gun bar. Scary Movie 3, in fact, shares the same director, but it suffers from a pathetic score on the laugh-per-minute chart. The Naked Gun scores well off the chart when it comes to laughs-per-minute but Scary Movie 3 got me to laugh three, maybe four times the entire 84 minutes. That sucks.

What's really scary is the fact Scary Movie 4 is now in pre-production. Considering the original Scary Movie was pretty decent, Scary Movie 2 was half as good and Scary Movie 3 was pretty bad, I'm betting Scary Movie 4 is a complete disaster in the vein of The Master of Disguise. Now that's a frightful thought.


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayPaper CD Case - This is very cool and really handy. "If you would like to create a paper CD case for an existing CD, you can search our database and save yourself some typing. Type in the artist and/or title and click Search. If we find your CD, click the link to view the track listing and then from there click the Create button to create your paper CD case."

You just print the PDF document they automatically generate and you've got a label or case. What an age we live in.


The Brawl

The BrawlI woke up this morning and put on The Score to watch sports highlights and thought they were showing WWE highlights. I was mesmerized by the brawl that broke out near the end of the Indiana Pacers - Detroit Pistons game in Auburn Hills. If you haven't seen it yet, flip to your local all-sports highlight station and check it out. I don't think I've ever seen a basketball game deteriorate to such a level before.

Although I watched the scenes over and over again on the television, I've been trying to find footage on the web. It seems there's no legal way to offer this video over the web without paying the NBA for the privilege. TSN offers Audio/Video but their SportsCentre update is only two and a half minutes long and all about the Vince Carter trade rumours and the Raptors' fifth loss in a row. I've checked all the usual spots and I can't find video of this brawl anywhere.

If you know where I can find this video, please let me know and I'll share the link here. The NBA and Oakland County Prosecutors Office are reviewing the incident and I smell lawsuits by the barrel full. Artest rhymes with arrest, doesn't it?

Update: I found the video. You'll find it here, unfortunately you'll need RealPlayer.

Update 2: I found great video with commentary in ESPN Motion. You'll find it here and it's much better than the previous link.


An Ikea Christmas

An Ikea ChristmasI can personally vouch for the fact that Ikea is now playing 100% holiday music throughout their Etobicoke store. I'm sure it's the same at Ikea locations throughout the country, but I can only report on what I witnessed this morning at their Kipling & Queensway location.

All the usual tunes were heard while we made our way through the Swedish labyrinth in search of a shoe rack and $9.99 duvet cover. There was Nat King Cole, Anne Murray and Bing Crosby...everyone was singing carols as if Christmas was only a week away.

It's going to be an Ikea Christmas after all.


Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"I'm a white male, age 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me, no matter how dumb my suggestions are."


New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures.

All four are of James and Michelle and were taken earlier this evening. Four moments of zen on a hectic Friday.


Modify Or Die

Modify or DieA single Pictures page wasn't cutting the mustard any more. I'm adding pictures all the time and the Pictures page keeps getting longer and longer. I've split the page into two so that the Pictures page continues to host the most recent pictures while another page hosts archived pictures and old favourites. It's pretty straight forward, you'll catch on quick.

I've made another change to the two Pictures pages. You may have noticed that next to each thumbnail I posted the date I took the shot. Apparently there was much confusion with the formatting of these dates. Which number represented the year? Which number represented the month? Wonder no more because I'm now using letters to indicate the month. Pictures posted today, for example, will show a date displayed as follows: Nov 19, 2004. I've also reduced the date font to a 6 point because I felt like it.

Finally, I've amended the code of all pages referenced on My MP3s. Previously, visiting the page for a CD in my collection like Neil Young's "Freedom" resulted in a dead end. There was no link to the rest of my site. Every day dozens and dozens of people Google their favourite songs and end up on one of my pages only to go away without experiencing Homer's Quote, the Dead Pool or this exhilarating blog. That won't happen again. I won't let it happen again. All 519 album pages now include the main navigation menu.

My work here is done.


The Real T.O.

The Real T.O.Terrell Owens is having a heck of a season and ever since his performance with Nicolette Sheridan on Monday night, he's been the most talked about player in the NFL.

What's bugging me is Owens' nickname. Everyone is referring to him as T.O....or Tee Oh if you will. Terrell Owens can't be T.O. We're T.O. That's our nickname, dammit, and we're taking it back.


The Friday Five

Friday FiveMy favourite documentaries

  1. Hoop Dreams
  2. Crumb
  3. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse
  4. Fahrenheit 9/11
  5. Bowling for Columbine


Restraint

RestraintI applaud Toronto's army of craptacular radio stations for showing such restraint this year. It's already November 18th, and not one of the usual suspects have modified their format to all holiday music, all the time.

Last year I questioned how this emerging format could sustain itself playing 24/7 carols for such an extended period of time. Last November 28th I noted that both EZ Rock 97.3 and CHFI 98.1 had done it. Imagine hearing the same fifteen tunes over and over again for over a month. The thought of that upsets my stomach as much as the thought of living on McDonalds 24/7 for a month. It's an eerily similar effect.

Of course, it's only November 18th and there is still plenty of time for a station to cave in and go all Christmas, all the time. In fact, it looks as if CHFI will do just that beginning December 10th.

I still think they've shown some restraint.


Super Size Me

Super Size MeSuper Size Me: 7 out of 10.

Morgan Spurlock was clearly influenced by Michael Moore. It's safe to say that without "Roger And Me" there would be so "Super Size Me".

Truth be known, I've probably only indulged in fast food about 8 times in the past year. After seeing this documentary, I think that was eight times too many. My stomach literally aches from watching this guy eat nothing but McDonald's for one whole month.

Note to self: start eating better.


Oh Carolyn!

Oh Carolyn!Carolyn Parrish is at it again. Last year the Mississauga MP raised a ruckus by declaring "Damn Americans ... I hate those bastards." A few months ago she followed that up by calling Duyba "war-like" and expressed astonishment that he was re-elected. Now there's a stink because of a skit she performed on "This Hour Has 22 Minutes".

In the skit, which airs tomorrow, Parrish stomps on a Dubya doll. With only twelve days to go before Dubya makes his first official visit to Canada, this act by an MP has some people concerned it could further damage relations between us.

I think it's much ado about nothing. "This Hour Has 22 Minutes" is a comedy program, it's not "The National". Anyone with a half-decent sense of humour would crack a smile and not think twice about it.

It seems everything is being taken too seriously these days and everything is offending someone. That "Desperate Housewives" skit that opened Monday Night Football was a piece of harmless fun too and they're still talking about it.

Stop this world, I want to get off!


We Can Talk About The Weather

We Can Talk About The WeatherJust ten days ago, I thought winter had arrived. Although I had to drive 45 minutes North of the city to take this picture, there was a lot of snow on the ground and I was scraping my windshield in the morning.

This week has been gorgeous. It was 10°C this morning and we're expected to hit 14°C by this afternoon. It looks like we'll stay in double digits through the weekend which is good because James and I have plans to check out a bearded dude in a red suit. Rumour has it he'll be in town, cruisin' our downtown streets, subtlety reminding kids that if they're naughty, they'll pay come Christmas Day.

St. Nick is a lot like a mob boss when you think about it. He demands respect because people fear him. He's always around at this time of year as a constant reminder that you've got to be nice or else. If you want something, you have to have a brief meeting with this boss to make the request. He'll deliver, but there are always conditions. He's always watching you to ensure you meet those conditions. We're never free from his reign of terror, but when he makes the rounds like he's doing this Sunday, we come out in droves to wave and cheer him on. We don't do this because we care for him, we do this because we fear the consequences.


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

Go Leafs Go!Our five game winning streak came to an end last night when the Manitoba Moose defeated the St. John's Maple Leafs 4-2 in the first hockey game ever to be played at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.

The MTS Centre is a bright, new 15,000+ seat, entertainment, sports and performing-arts facility that will occupy a site in the heart of Downtown Winnipeg. If you want to see more, take a virtual tour.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
7-6-0-1
15 points
4-2 Loss vs. Manitoba
2-1 Win vs. Chicago
3-1 Win vs. Chicago
Kyle Wellwood - 16 pts
David Ling - 15 pts
Harold Druken - 11 pts


500 Greatest Songs of All Time

500 Greatest Songs of All TimeRolling Stone Magazine has come out with their list of the 500 greatest songs of all time. Here's their top ten:

  1. Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone
  2. Rolling Stones - Satisfaction
  3. John Lennon - Imagine
  4. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
  5. Aretha Franklin - Respect
  6. The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
  7. Chuck Berry - Johnny B Goode
  8. The Beatles - Hey Jude
  9. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
  10. Ray Charles - What'd I Say

Are we expected to believe that it's a complete coincidence that "Like A Rolling Stone" tops this list followed by a track from "The Rolling Stones" for a publication called "Rolling Stone"? Rolling Stone claims it's a fluke and if you believe that I'm sure they have some swamp land in Florida for you as well.


Guest Blog Entry

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

I have never seen a better ball player in my lifetime. That much I agree with. But Bonds may get a run for his money as for career numbers. Barring injuries I believe that youngsters like Albert Pujols and Carlos Beltran will at least give Bonds a run for his money. Barry Bonds got better as his career went on, does this not say a lot for the argument that ball players are just getting bigger and stronger "Somehow"? We'll see more careers similar to his in the following 20 years!!!

So to finalize my thoughts, I do believe he has put up the greatest career numbers I have ever seen. I just don't know how much credit to give him, or how much to give the needle/pills!!!

     Ryan

I don't think Albert Pujols or Carlos Beltran will put up career numbers that are even close to those of Barry Bonds, but I hear what you're saying with regards to credit. The BALCO statements suggest Bonds is on the juice, and that's the only factor that could tarnish his position as the best hitter of all time. If we choose to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he's clean, ya can't touch him. If he's on steriods, that's a damn shame.


Guest Blog Entry

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

On Monday, Barry Bonds won his unprecedented seventh MVP award. That is four more than his nearest competitor. Anyone who thinks that Barry Bonds isn't the most valuable player in all of baseball, doesn't understand the meaning of the word valuable. There is no debate against anyone who reaches base safely over 60% of the time! The numbers are astronomical! You don't have to respect the man to respect his talent.

     Steve

Stevie Boy, you're preaching to the choir. Go here and you'll read what I once wrote about Barry Bonds. "Many dislike Barry Bonds. He's short with reporters and fans and not the easiest guy to root for. As for pure baseball talent, there may be none better. Pitchers fear Bonds' power so much, they rarely pitch to him. He was once intentionally walked with the bases loaded in an 8-6 game. In fact, he was walked a whopping 198 times in 2002. He's also the only man to hit 73 home runs in a single season and slug .863 in a season, as Bonds did in 2001. The man is certainly the best player of his generation and you've got to respect that."

He's certainly the best I've ever seen. He deserves every one of those seven MVP awards.


Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceJohn Morgan was 74. He played the dim-witted Mike from Canmore and other characters on CBC's The Royal Canadian Air Farce.


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.

Marilyn Manson - The Beautiful People
I'm not sharing this song because it's a cool tune off the excellent Lest We Forget greatest hits album from Marilyn Manson, but because it reminds me of hockey. Whenever I hear the opening chords of this track, I associate it with the Maple Leaf introductions at the ACC. I miss NHL hockey.


Guest Blog Entry

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

It looks like DUBYA is coming to T.O. Are you going to meet him at the airport? I will probably be at WENDY'S at Airport Rd. & Orlando when he arrives. I was there when the POPE arrived 2 1/2 years ago & could not believe the number of people standing at the gates to greet him. What is DUBYA going to talk to PAUL about? Mad cow disease, the American dollar or IRAQ. We as Canadians don't need to hear the B.S. that will come out of his mouth. Have they finished counting the ballots in OHIO yet?

      Twins from Bolton

They're still counting those votes in Ohio. When they're done, and they announce the official tally, it's a safe bet Dubya will still be on top, but I remain skeptical. An electronic voting machine in suburban Columbus gave Dubya 3,893 extra votes in a precinct where only 638 voters cast ballots. That's an instance we know about. How many others are out there undetected?


The Guest Blog Turns One

Write a guest blogIt was one year ago today that I launched the Guest Blog Submission Page as part of this website. I'm a little surprised at how infrequently it's used. People seem to prefer using the confidential Contact Mike form instead of expressing themselves to a mass audience.

If you have something to say and you're looking for a forum, this is as good a place as any. Click here and rant, attack, bloviate, declare, decry, denounce, harangue, hold forth, inveigh, lecture, mouth, orate, perorate, proclaim, rail, recite, soapbox, speak, spiel, spout or talk big about anything you want. I'll post your guest blog entry and credit it to you. You have a voice and I want to hear it...even one year later.


Giving Props

Giving PropsMy brothers and I drafted The Dead Pool over four years ago, back in September of 2000. The rules were simple, select 15 living celebrities, 5 of whom are under the age of 40 and should the celebrity we selected pass away, we receive a score of 100 minus the celebrity's age at the time of their death.

Prior to Sunday, the youngest people drafted in our Dead Pool to have passed away were Pierre Trudeau, Richard Farnsworth and Marlon Brando who were each 80 years old when they died. Then, on Sunday, we learned Ol' Dirty Bastard had died at the young age of 35.

Remarkably, Ryan had selected ODB as one of his five people under the age of 40. 100 - 35 = 65. ODB's death alone gives Ryan more points than anyone else in the pool. Amazingly, four years after the pool started, the first celebrity death rewarding more than 20 points is worth a whopping 65.

It's important we don't minimize this accomplishment. It's quite the feat and something to be very, very proud of. ODB has passed away, but it certainly wasn't in vain.


Stern On Letterman

Stern On LettermanHoward Stern will be appearing on the Late Show With David Letterman on Thursday night in an effort to communicate with his fans about his move to SIRIUS. His current employers have an understandable issue with him using their airwaves to essentially advertise for the competition.

I'm setting my VCR.


Battered Wife Syndrome

Battered Wife SyndromeThis time it's going to be different. He won't disappoint me again. I know he'll redeem himself this time and I'll be able to forgive him his past failures. The sensible thing to do would be to abandon this whole thing because I've been burned at least twice before. He's not going to change...this isn't getting any better...but I remember when this was so great. I remember when this was wonderful, I think it can be wonderful again. I think it's going to be fine this time, I really do. I believe in this...I believe in him.

I suffer from Battered Wife Syndrome. I have glorious childhood memories of "Star Wars", "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi". Those movies were fantastic and I could watch them over and over again in pure delight. I remember how excited I was when I first read that George Lucas was going to direct three prequels. "The Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones" were huge disappointments to me. They were greatly inferior to Episodes 4, 5 and 6. Lucas let me down and I promised myself I wouldn't let him hurt me again.

Prior to "The Incredibles", we were treated to the trailer for "Revenge of the Sith". I had seen it online, but the big screen made it seem awesome. There was Darth Vader's uniform and an army of Wookies. I started to believe Lucas could redeem himself and save the franchise with his last hurrah. Surely "Revenge of the Sith" won't be as bad as "The Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones". I think it's going to be fine this time, I really do. I believe in this...I believe in him.


They're Words

They're WordsThe Federal Communications Commission has confirmed it received complaints about the uncensored broadcast of Oscar-winning war movie "Saving Private Ryan" on ABC-affiliated stations last week. Who would file complaints about blue language in such context? I am really, really, really at a loss for words here. "Saving Private Ryan" tells a story that needs to be told. The horrors of war are presented in all it's gory glory and that includes the odd cuss word here and there as uttered by soldiers in battle. It's called context and it's as necessary in "Saving Private Ryan" as nudity was in "Schindler's List".

Groups affiliated with the American Family Association, a conservative Christian group that monitors the airwaves, pledged Thursday to flood the FCC with complaints about the language and violence in Steven Spielberg's film. These groups turn my stomach. They truly sicken me. We in Canada have our fair share of flaws, but I know in my heart of hearts that this couldn't happen here. I not only don't have a problem with "Saving Private Ryan" airing unedited in prime time on the public airwaves but I think it's important that this movie be aired so we can remember that war is hell and we sent our children into this fire so that we could enjoy the freedoms and liberties we have today.

They're just words, dammit. When viewer discretion is advised, watch something else and stop forcing your sick Puritan beliefs onto others. They're just words.


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. Richard Cheese - Chop Suey
  2. Foo Fighters - This Is A Call
  3. Mother Love Bone - Stargazer
  4. Sloan - Everything You've Done Wrong
  5. Blind Melon - No Rain
  6. Deep Purple - Space Truckin'
  7. Jay McShann with Walter Brown - Confessin' The Blues
  8. Cypress Hill - Hits From The Bong
  9. Muddy Waters - Mannish Boy
  10. Nirvana - Love Buzz


A Bigger Erection

A Bigger ErectionThe southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has announced plans to build the world's tallest tower. At 580-600 metres, the Guangzhou TV tower will surpass the CN Tower in Toronto which is the current record holder.

That's it, my family is relocating to Guangzhou. It's all about the tower. It's always been all about the tower.


Toronto Argonauts 26, Montreal Alouettes 18

Argooooooos!We're heading to the Grey Cup for the first time since winning back-to-back Grey Cups in 1996 and 1997. The Argonauts knocked quarterback Anthony Calvillo out of the game early in the second half and picked off back-up Ted White three times in a 26-18 upset of Montreal in the CFL East Division final before 51,296 spectators at Olympic Stadium.

I'm quite looking forward to next Sunday's 92nd Grey Cup at Ottawa's Frank Clair Stadium. It's Toronto vs. Vancouver for Canadian football supremecy. It's purely Canadian, even The Tragically Hip will be performing at half time. I can't wait.

Argoooooooooooooos!!


New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures.

Three are of the usual suspects doing the usual things and one is a snowy scene I captured last week.


Guest Blog Entry

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

What's up with the lack of recognition on the ODB call??? No offence to the Bastard Family, but I want my 65 pts to be hailed!!! In memory of ODB, I am going to ask for 65 pizzoints.... to the rizza!!!!!

     Ryan

Holy smokes, I completely overlooked the fact you called ODB's death in our Dead Pool. That's a major score worth 65 points which gives you a huge 109-41 lead over Steve. I'm even further behind with my measly 38.

Good call dude. Unfortunately, this probably makes you a suspect in his death. You had all the motive in the world.


My MP3s Updated

My Entire MP3 CollectionI've added six new CDs to my MP3 collection. The new additions are Eminem's "Encore", Marilyn Manson's "Lest We Forget", Sum 41's "Chuck", Jimmy Eat World's "Futures" the Beastie Boys' "To The 5 Boroughs" and Bruce Springsteen's "Greatest Hits".

That's 519 complete albums and 7885 songs. Check it out.


The Crosby Show

The Crosby ShowPeriodically I like to check in on Sidney Crosby of the Rimouski Oceanic, the best prospect in hockey. Last night, Crosby set up four goals in the first period to power the Oceanic to a 7-3 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League victory over the Gatineau Olympiques.

Crosby now has 51 points, including 36 assists, and he has a 12 point lead over Alex Bourret of the Lewiston Maineiacs and Stanislav Lascek of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens in the QMJHL scoring race.

The NHL lockout has me starving for the World Junior Championship which get under way on Christmas Day. Crosby is going to be a huge part of our team this year and a victory would mean Canada is the reigning champion from the Olympics, World Championship, World Cup and World Juniors. Not bad...


St. John's Maple Leafs 2, Chicago Wolves 1

Go Leafs Go!Here come the Maple Leafs! Jean-Francois Racine turned aside 42 shots through regulation and overtime and four of five in the shootout as the St. John's Maple Leafs beat the Chicago Wolves 2-1 in American Hockey League play Saturday night to win their fifth in a row.

Earlier in the day, the Maple Leafs announced they had signed free agent netminder Jean-Sebastien Aubin, who appeared in 22 games last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Along with Mikael Tellqvist, that gives St. John's two goalies who played in the NHL last season and would seem to leave Racine the odd man out of the crease once Tellqvist returns from a concussion suffered nine days ago. It won't be easy letting Racine go considering his play of late. He's won four in a row and was the first star in both victories over the Wolves.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
7-5-0-1
15 points
2-1 Win vs. Chicago
3-1 Win vs. Chicago
4-3 Win vs. Edmonton
Kyle Wellwood - 15 pts
David Ling - 14 pts
Harold Druken - 11 pts


Argooooooos!

Argooooooos!Remember what happened last year when the Argos went into Montreal for the East Division Championship? That's not going to happen this time. This time, it will be different.

Despite the fact the Argonauts haven't defeated the Alouettes in an East Championship played in Montreal since 1946, I'm feeling good about tonight's game. In fact, I'm predicting a Grey Cup parade in downtown Toronto later this month. But first, we have the Alouettes to dispose of.

Argoooooooooooooos!!


Happy Birthday Grandma!

Happy Birthday Grandma!I want to wish my Grandma a very happy 89th birthday.

May the luck of the Irish possess you.
May the devil fly off with your worries.
May God bless you forever and ever.


The Incredibles

The IncrediblesThe Incredibles: 9 out of 10.

Here it comes....I'm gonna say it....get ready. The Incredibles is incredible. Please don't hate me for my inability to resist a line as cliché as that one. It just felt right.

It's a great story, breathtaking animation and two of the best hours I've spent in a movie theatre. Taryn was hesitant to go because it's animated, but she loved it as much as I did. Pixar has done some excellent work, but I'd say this is their best to date. With the Toy Story's and Finding Nemo under their belt, that's saying something.


Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceOld Dirty Bastard was 35. He was a founding member of the seminal rap group the Wu-Tang Clan in the early 1990s. The Wu-Tang blueprint was for each member to pursue solo projects, and O.D.B.'s were among the best. He released hit singles such as "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" and "Got Your Money," and appeared on remixes with artists like Mariah Carey.


My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"Everybody wants something, they'll never give up.
Everybody wants something, they'll take your money and never give up."
      - The Zit Remedy


Spotted Leaves Explained

Spotted Leaves ExplainedBack in October I wrote about the spotted leaves in my neighbourhood.

It seems someone at The Globe and Mail read that entry and today explained these unsightly leaves on the front page of their Globe Toronto section. Here's what Andre Davidson of the Globe wrote:

The spots aren't ashes from Mount St. Helens reaching Toronto, or a byproduct of the city's new smoking laws, but the result of the increased prevalence of a common fungus known as Maple tar spot.

Tar spot is a fungal leaf disease caused by Rhytisma acerinum, a fungus that affects a number of plants, but is most commonly found on maple leaves.

Just like any other fungus, Maple tar spot loves water -- its spores thrive on wet spots. And because of some of the heavy rains we've had this summer and fall, it's flourishing now, says city forester Richard Ubbens. "It seems to come and go a bit even on an area basis," he says. "Some areas that seem to have more of it this year may not necessarily have as much next year."

My initial instinct was to pin this on Rhytisma acerinum, but I didn't want to jump to conclusions. Now that my suspicions have been confirmed, I won't rest until every trace of Rhytisma acerinum is eradicated in my neighbourhood.


St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Chicago Wolves 1

Go Leafs Go!The Maple Leafs have won four games in a row to pull within eight points of the Edmonton Roadrunners in the Western Conference's North Division. Edmonton, however, has three games in hand. It was around this time last year the NHL Leafs went on a similar run, if my memory serves me correctly. Remember NHL hockey?

It was nice to see former Leaf Lonny Bohonos contributing to the lone Wolves goal.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
6-5-0-1
13 points
3-1 Win vs. Chicago
4-3 Win vs. Edmonton
4-3 Win vs. Edmonton
Kyle Wellwood - 15 pts
David Ling - 14 pts
Harold Druken - 11 pts


Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"Ah, the Luftwaffe. The Washington Generals of the History Channel."


The Friday Five

Friday FiveTop Google searches that led visitors to this site thus far in November 2004

  1. homer quotes
  2. jakalope lyrics
  3. jakalope pictures
  4. jakalope
  5. bill barilko


Keeping Carlos

Keeping CarlosToday, bidding on free agents begins. That means Carlos Delgado can now sign with any team that wants him. At this point, we're not sure what his market value is. We know it's not as high as the $19 million he made last season, but it's probably not as low as the $5 million or so our publicized budget allows.

I've been hearing and reading opinions that we should save the money it would cost us to re-sign Delgado and spend it elsewhere. Since when do fans care about the bottom line? I don't care one iota about how much Rogers is willing to spend to put together my ball team. As a fan, I want Delgado playing first base. There's no other player I'd prefer to have in the line up. If Seattle or Baltimore deems Delgado to be worth $9 a season, I want the Blue Jays to match the offer. The Elias Sports Bureau named him the best player in baseball. Lets keep him in town.

While we're keeping Delgado around, lets go out and sign a pitcher or two while we're at it. The harsh reality is we share a division with the Yankees and Red Sox. If we're ever going to see the post season again, we need some serious upgrades. No matter how you spin it, letting Delgado go does not make this club better. Rogers can take their profit margins and approved budgets and save it for the stock holders. Ball fans just want to win, at any cost.


An Awful, Awful Song

An Awful, Awful SongWhile channel surfing on the car radio this morning, I momentarily paused on Mix99.9 during "1985" from a band called Bowling For Soup. "1985" might just be the worst song I've ever heard. It was truly, truly awful.

"1985" is the kind of soul-less, bubble-gum schlock I can't stand. "She hates time, make it stop. When did Motley Crue become classic rock? And when did Ozzy become an actor? Please make this stop! Stop! Stop!"

Yes, do stop. Please. And remind me to remove 99.9 from my FM dial.


Hamilton Pre-Sale Password

Hamilton Pre-Sale PasswordA number of people Googled Hamilton Hip pre-sale password the past twelve hours and ended up on my site. The pre-sale begins in one hour and fifteen minutes, so if you still want the password, contact me and I'll hook you up.

I'm seeing the Hip on November 26th so I'm going to skip this Hamilton show. I'll catch them next time they come to the T-dot. I can't believe I just wrote T-dot.


The Return of Pee Wee

The Return of Pee WeeI'm a Pee Wee fan. I loved "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" and never missed "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" on Saturday mornings. I thought both projects were brilliant.

Paul Reubens has announced that he's working on two new Pee-Wee screenplays and he hopes to start filming the first one this summer. It will be the first new Pee-Wee project since his infamous arrest in '91. Furthermore, "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" is finally being released on DVD. Don't tell James, but I'm going to make sure it's under his tree this Christmas. I think he'll love it.

Lucky kid. I just hope he lets Daddy watch it once in a while.


Vimy Ridge

Vimy RidgeCanadian forces played a very significant role in one of the key massive offensives launched by the Allies in WWI. On Easter Monday, April 9, 1917, the Canadian Corps, four divisions strong and fighting together for the first time, attacked the German army posted on the gently rising slope of land that dominated the Douai plains in the Arras sector of northern France. It was known as Vimy Ridge.

This victory was the seedbed of Canadian identity. We were asked to capture Vimy Ridge, and we did. We did it by working together, Canadian heart can never be over estimated. It was this moment that solidified a very young country.

Visit the Veterans Affairs Canada page on the capture of Vimy Ridge and view photos and video footage. Lest we forget.


In Flanders Field

In Flanders FieldIn Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

     - John McCrae


Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceYasser Arafat was 75. He was the President of the Palestinian Authority, leader of Fatah and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.


AOL Really, Really Sucks

AOL Really, Really SucksI listen to a tonne of MP3s on my computer and my player of choice is Winamp 5. I've grown quite fond of this application, far preferring it to Windows Media Player. According to this article, Winamp may be on it's last legs. Say it ain't so AOL, say it ain't so.

AOL, which acquired Winamp creators Nullsoft back in '99, is apparently abandoning the player. "The last members of the original Winamp team have said goodbye to AOL and the door has all but shut on the Nullsoft era". In case you were unaware, AOL really, really sucks.

Reading further about the impending demise my favourite digital audio player has led me to read some favourable reviews about Quintessential Player. If time ever passes Winamp 5 by, I'll certainly give it a try.

AOL is killing Winamp. Isn't it time Time Warner killed AOL?


What If?

2008You don't hear much about it, but Ohio's provisional ballots are still being counted. Officials in the state's 88 counties must check 155,337 provisional ballots to ensure they are valid, then count them in a process that is expected to take another week or more.

I realize it's extremely unlikely, but what if John Kerry wins Ohio? It's still mathematically possible. There's still hope. If Kerry takes Ohio, Dubya's out. Concession, conshmeshion. Kerry's the prez!

I'm so damn delusional.


Guest Blog Entry

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

The three Boon boys are a pleasure to know. They are all handsome intelligent and caring individuals. Ryan is the brother I have most been in contact with. He is a fine young man and so versatile in his knowledge. Ryan helped me out recently and I want to thank him for doing so. I prefer not to identify myself but just to tell him he is one of a kind and I hope he knows that. I wish him good luck and chance.

     Anonymous

Ryan, we all know this is from you. Nice try...


2008

2008A rough release date for The Simpsons movie has come to light. Look for the most anticipated movie of my lifetime to hit theatres in 2008. "The biggest thing is you don't want to do a movie that's not reflective of the quality of the show," executive Producer Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly. "You don't want the quality of the show to slip because you're doing the movie. So we're taking a little time."

James will be six years old by then, an ideal movie-going companion. Michelle will only be turning four and who's to say she'll even be a fan...it's still too early to tell. I'll be turning 34 and celebrating twenty years of The Simpsons. I can't wait.


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.

Eddie Vedder - Man Of The Hour
"Man Of The Hour" is the tune that should have won for Best Original Song at last year's Academy Awards. Somehow, it wasn't even nominated. It's a perfect complement to a movie that made me cry.


Identity Theft

Identity TheftI am a victim of identity theft.

I consider myself a rather web-savvy individual. I'm very careful with the details I publish on this site and others and I never divulge information that could pose a security hazard. I'm not afraid to make credit card purchases over the web, but I'll only do so with reputable vendors I know and trust. I use common sense and trust my instincts.

Our Visa bill arrived in the mail today. There were three charges to companies in Texas and Australia totalling over $450 that neither one of us authorized. We're rather predictable spenders, and these charges stuck out like a sore thumb on a statement filled with Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Esso and Zellers transactions.

Over a decade of good behaviour paid off and Visa agreed the charges were suspect and advised me I was a victim of identity theft. Somebody had got a hold of my credit card number and used it for unknown services. My card has been cancelled and the charges have been reversed but I'm left wondering where I went wrong.

I often see pieces of spam in my bulk mailbox that are designed to resemble popular bank websites. I often wonder who gets such an email and complies with the request for bank account numbers and other personal data. I know enough never to give out that kind of info in an email, but I'm the guy who was a victim of fraud last week. Are any of us safe? Are you?


Firefox & My Static Navigation Menu

Get FirefoxYou're viewing this page in Firefox, right? If that's a little blue "e" in the top left corner, you haven't made the switch yet. Firefox is my web browser of choice and I strongly urge everyone to install and use it.

If you are viewing this page in Firefox, you'll notice the navigation menu to your left is static. (You may need to reload the page - press F5) As you scroll down this page, the navigation menu stays put, making it much easier to visit other pages without having to scroll all the way back up to the top. This is done quite simply with CSS using code that has been blessed by the W3C, yet it won't work in Internet Explorer.

Today, the Mozilla Foundation unleashed its long-awaited Firefox 1.0 web browser. This has resulted in an overwhelming amount of traffic to getfirefox.com as hundreds of thousands of people look to download a better browser. If you're still using Internet Explorer and need to install Firefox, it would probably be best to wait another day or two before trying to access the download site. Then you can enjoy the fixed navigation menu on this site.


Jason Bay

Jason BayTrail, British Columbia native Jason Bay got 25 of 32 first-place votes and 146 points Monday from the Baseball Writers' Association of America to win the National League Rookie of the Year award. He's the first Canadian to win Rookie of the Year honours.

I hadn't heard of Trail, so I hit the city's official site. They refer to themselves as the Home of Champions. Here's a list of the names on the Home of Champions Monument in Trail's downtown. The only names I recognize are in the hockey category and currently the only name listed under baseball is Andy Bilesky. Bilesky is a successful Little League manager who was chosen as Trail's Citizen of the Year in 1986.

Move over Bilesky, Trail's got a new champion.


And So It Begins...

And So It Begins...For the first time this season, I had to scrape ice off the windshield of my car this morning.

And so it begins...


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. Fatboy Slim - Acid 8000
  2. Guns N' Roses - My World
  3. Trust Company - Slipping Away
  4. C. C. Rider - Lead Belly
  5. Modest Mouse - The Good Times Are Killing Me
  6. Pearl Jam - Sonic Reducer
  7. Spin Doctors - Have You Ever Seen The Rain
  8. Willie Nelson - City Of New Orleans
  9. Green Day - Warning
  10. Franz Ferdinand - Jaqueline


U of T

U of TMore scientists would prefer to work at the University of Toronto than any other non-American university, according to a new survey released by The Scientist magazine.

I now feel a lot better about 1993-1998.


Statutory Holidays

Statutory HolidaysI just received a couple of emails from co-workers based out of Vancouver indicating that they'll be taking November 11th off because it's a statutory holiday in British Columbia. MPs will have this whole week off to mark the Remembrance Day holiday. Because I work in Ontario, I'll be working Thursday.

Isn't it time we pay proper respect to Remembrance Day and grant it as a statutory holiday for all Canadians and not just those lucky enough to live in a province that recognizes it as such? It's the least we can do.


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayMikeBoon.com is under attack! - It's true. Click and wait to see the frightful evidence.


Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceHoward Keel was 85. He romanced his way through a series of glittery MGM musicals such as "Kiss Me Kate" and "Annie Get Your Gun" and later revived his career with television's "Dallas".


Stealing Harvard

Stealing HarvardStealing Harvard: 5.5 out of 10.

This is not a very good movie, but in the right mood at the right time it became mildly enjoyable. Perhaps it's because I like Tom Green and Jason Lee, or maybe it's because I knew it was directed by Kid in the Hall Bruce McCulloch. All I know is I should have disliked this movie more than I did. Maybe it was the presence of Moosehead beer and a Canada 3000 handbag that won me over?


Three For Three

Three For ThreeI just finished watching the Raptors game. I watched the whole thing, in fact, I've seen all three games this season except for a bit of Friday's game when I was watching the Argos.

I'm extremely impressed thus far. All three games have been extremely entertaining victories for the Raps. I don't remember three games as exciting as these three all of last season.

It's early, but if we keep this intensity up and Vince keeps doin' what he's doin' with this awesome support, we'll be back in the playoffs for sure.

With the first 3-0 start in franchise history, the Raptors are helping to ease the pain of the NHL lockout. Bless those boys.


That Damn Ampersand

The Damn AmpersandThe ampersand drives me crazy. The ampersand is the punctuation mark "&" we use to represent the word and. It's not so much the character itself that irks me but how it effects the validation of my XHTML code.

In a valid XHTML document, you have to escape the ampersand, otherwise XML parsers will break when parsing the document. So, when typing the & character on this page, I must actually type &. Go ahead and view the source of this page to see for yourself. Simply typing & will make this page invalid according to the W3C standards for XHTML. All of my pages must be validated for me to sleep well at night and as of this moment, all of them are.

When I want to use the ampersand in an entry, I simply type & and I do so without even thinking about it now. My beef is with the URI of sites I may want to link to. For example, suppose I want to link to the "Law to force school until 18" article from the Toronto Star Website. The URI for this page is
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar
/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1099782608603&call_pageid=
968332188492&col=968793972154.

Ideally, I'd simply copy and paste the URI into my XHTML document, but if I do this I'll be using ampersands and violating the standards. So, I have to manually replace all instances of & with &. It's really a pain in the butt and the Toronto Star is one of the worst offenders.

I wish news sources would stop using ampersands in their URIs. The BBC News website is an excellent example of how URIs should appear. If I want to link to the "Canadian freedoms 'under threat' article from the BBC, I simply reference http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3984311.stm. Notice there are no ampersands. I can simply copy the URI and paste it into my document. No need to pause and detect offending characters so that I can replace them. It's all valid and there's much less work for me.

Validate or die.


St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Edmonton Road Runners 3

Go Leafs Go!The Maple Leafs have won three games in a row to pull back to .500 on the season. Clarke Wilm scored his first two goals of the season, including the game-winner, as the St. John's Maple Leafs edged the Edmonton Road Runners 4-3 in American Hockey League play Saturday night.

Los Angeles Kings defenceman Nathan Dempsey, who spent eight years with the AHL Leafs, including five as the teams' captain, was honoured prior to Saturday's game, becoming the first player in St. John's franchise history to have a banner with his jersey number raised to the ceiling at Mile One Stadium.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
5-5-0-1
11 points
4-3 Win vs. Edmonton
4-3 Win vs. Edmonton
8-3 Win vs. Cleveland
Kyle Wellwood - 13 pts
David Ling - 13 pts
Harold Druken - 9 pts


My Quote of the Week

Mike's Quote of the Week"What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music? "
      - Rob Gordon, High Fidelity


SLS12 Countdown

SLS12 CountdownThere's only about six weeks to go before we in the SLS commitee finalize the tracklist for SLS12. For those of you who need an SLS refresher, visit the guide.

Here are the tunes that will get serious consideration. I'm listing them in order of their likeliness to make the cut, so the shoe-ins are listed first and the tunes on the bubble are listed last.

The Von Bondies - C'mon C'mon
The Killers - Mr. Brightside
Franz Ferdinand - This Fire
Modest Mouse - Ocean Breathes Salty
Billy Talent - River Below
Muse - Hysteria
Eminem - Mosh
Marble Index - I Believe
Beastie Boys - Triple Trouble
The Hives - Walk Idiot Walk
Jet - Look What You've Done
Velvet Revolver - Fall To Pieces
The Tragically Hip - It Can't Be Nashville Every Night
Jakalope - Pretty Life
Green Day - Boulevard Of Broken Dreams or American Idiot
Auf der Maur - Followed The Waves
Papa Roach - Getting Away With Murder
Sum 41 - We're All To Blame
Incubus - Talk Shows On Mute
Linkin Park - Breaking the Habit

There's still six weeks to go. That's plenty of time for some new tunes to blow us away.


Six Feet Under Ending

Six Feet Under EndingHBO has confirmed that the upcoming fifth season of "Six Feet Under" will be the last. Alan Ball recently informed HBO executives that he felt the show will have run its creative course by the end of the upcoming 12-episode season.

"Six Feet Under" is probably my favourite drama on the air today. It's brilliantly written and acted and I'm always pissed off when an episode ends because I want more. Few movies fulfill me as much as one hour of this weekly television show. I'll definitely miss it.

All good things must come to an end I suppose.


St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Edmonton Road Runners 3

Go Leafs Go!David Ling's power-play goal 51 seconds into overtime gave the St. John's Maple Leafs an improbable 4-3 AHL victory over the Edmonton Road Runners in front of a Mile One Stadium crowd of 4,714 Friday night. Harold Druken, Jason MacDonald and Nathan Perrott also scored for the Maple Leafs.

Current Record  Last Game Season Leaders
4-5-0-1
9 points
4-3 Win vs. Edmonton
8-3 Win vs. Cleveland
5-1 Loss vs. Cleveland
David Ling - 13 pts
Kyle Wellwood - 11 pts
Matt Stajan - 9 pts


Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer's Quote of the Week"How is education supposed to make me feel smarter? Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain. Remember when I took that home winemaking course, and I forgot how to drive?"


Toronto Sports Shorts

Toronto Sports ShortsWho needs the Leafs on a night like tonight in the big smoke? It's been a great night for sports fans in this city. Some random sports notes at this hour...

  • The Argos are crushing the Tiger-Cats in the East semifinal. It's now 24 to zip in our favour and we're on our way back to Montreal. Arrrgoooooos!!!!
  • I know we're only two games into the regular season, but already the Raptors are sure showing something special. Tonight was another entertaining up-tempo game and a big victory against a tough opponent. Who needs Vince when you have Loren Woods and Chris Bosh?
  • I'm digging the "Bawitaba" intro for the Raptors at the ACC. It's right there with the Leafs' "Beautiful People" intro we won't be able to see this season.


Your Guide to SLS

SLSAnyone who isn't arriving at this site for the first time has seen references to SLS sprinkled throughout these pages. I occasionally receive emails asking me what it is and why I nominate songs for SLS consideration. Why is one song SLS-worthy and another not? What does SLS stand for? What's the story behind SLS?

Quite frankly, I'm tired of going over the whole spiel every time so this entry is an attempt to explain all. In the future, when I want to explain SLS, I'll simply refer to this entry.

This is going to be a long one, but necessary I believe, especially in light of the increased traffic to this site of late. Here is SLS101...

What exactly is SLS? SLS is 80 minutes of what the SLS committee deems to be the best new music since the previous installment of SLS was "released". A new edition is "released" every year around Canada Day and Christmas Day. The reason we cut each edition of SLS off at 80 minutes is because that's the length of time on a standard CDR.

What does SLS stand for? SLS stands for Smells Like Sour. The phrase was coined before I got involved with SLS, but I hear it has something to do with a road trip, a Nirvana song and an aroma.

How did you get involved in SLS? A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I worked with this guy. It turned out we had similar taste in music, so he "lent" me a copy of the second installment of SLS. It was simply another mix of new rock tunes for the car and not intended to be much more than that. We began collaborating on the playlists of the next couple of installments, which were "released" periodically, at non-specific intervals. It occurred to me that we should normalize the "release" dates so that they were every six months. Independently we'd come up with our choices for the next edition, we'd meet up and we'd negotiate until we arrived at a consensus.

Does SLS have a home on the web? Absolutely. There's the Smells Like Sour home page which I've been maintaining since September 16, 2003. From this page you can access the songs that have appeared on the previous installments and suggest a song for the next edition. It's also become a popular destination for those who wish to discuss the latest releases and such. I even maintain an SLS Blog. Although we only went public with the SLS site about thirteen months ago, we had been using the web as a way to track tunes we each thought was SLS worthy for a couple of years prior, only it was our little secret.

What makes a song SLS-worthy? This is a tough question to answer. If a song is going to qualify as part of the best 80 minutes of music from the previous six months, it's gotta be good. We know an SLS-worthy tune when we hear it, but it's difficult to quantify. There's a spirit to an SLS tune that makes you want to turn it up and get lost in it's aura. System of a Down's "Chop Suey" was SLS-worthy. Simple Plan's "Perfect" was not.

Who decides the final playlist for SLS? Anyone can submit a song for SLS consideration via the Smells Like Sour home page, but the final decision is made by Mark and I. Since I maintain the page and have my ear closer to the ground, I usually come up with a potential 80 minutes of music and give Mark an opportunity to veto a track or suggest another. We typically come to a consensus pretty quickly.

What edition are you on? We are currently accepting submissions for SLS12 which will be "released" in late December. SLS13 is due by Canada Day 2005 and SLS14 will be in the can by Christmas 2005. You get the idea.

Isn't this illegal? There is nothing illegal about compiling hypothetical mixes. Any resemblance to a compilation we share with friends and family is completely coincidental.

What tunes are looking good for SLS12? The best way to catch hints about what the next edition of SLS might look like is to monitor this site. When I submit a tune for SLS consideration, I'll mention it here. I also periodically write about potential track lists and tunes that look good for inclusion. In fact, I intend to write such an entry sometime this weekend. Stay tuned!

That about does it. You now know what SLS is, what it stands for, how it came to be and where you can go to learn more. And yes, there will be a quiz.


Argooooooos!

Argooooooos!I'm a big fan of the CFL's second season. Come playoff time, I jump on the Argonaut bandwagon and begin to dream in grey. The Argos finished second in the East this season and host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East semifinal tonight at Skydome.

We've owned the Ti-Cats this season, going 4-0-1 against them. I'll be watching tonight as Pinball's squad tries to return to the East finals where they were robbed last year.

Argoooooooooooooos!!


Season Sixteen

Season SixteenIt will be nice to have my reliable friends from Springfield back. Sunday is the annual "Treehouse of Horror" episode as The Simpsons begin their sixteenth season. I've been a devoted fan for all sixteen, more than half of my time on God's green Earth.

Entertainment Weekly has a good article about what's in store for The Simpsons this season. They run down the guest stars and topical storylines, including an episode where Grandpa Simpson has trouble affording prescription medicine, so he and Homer smuggle it out of Canada. You can also watch a preview clip for "Treehouse of Horror XV".

It's important that we don't take this series for granted. It's brought us all such joy for so long and one day it will be gone. I don't even want to think about it.


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayStar Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Teaser Trailer - It's a complete coincidence that I was just writing about Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back. This link is for the latest teaser trailer for the final Star Wars movie. The last couple of releases have been fairly mediocre, but I continue to hope this series will be salvaged by Revenge of the Sith.


Look What You've Done vs. Home Sweet Home

LWYD vs. HSHJet's latest single is "Look What You've Done", a tender little Beatle-esque ballad that's liable to become a pretty big hit for this Australian band. The opening bars, however, sound identical to the beginning of Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home". I dare you to compare the two.

Now that I think of it, Jet has yet to release a single that didn't immediately make me think of another song. "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" is Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life", "Cold Hard Bitch" is partly Oasis' "Champagne Supernova" and "Rollover D.J." is a total rip-off of BTO's "Taking Care of Business".


The Draftsman

The DraftsmanI was doing a little Googling tonight when I learned a Mike Boone worked as a draftsman on the set of "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back".

I loved that movie as a kid. It was a worthy follow-up to a flick every kid on the planet in the galaxy worshipped. I'm proud to have been a part of it. Where would "Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back" have been without the drafting?


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DaySlapshot 2K4 - It just hit me that players have now been locked out for 50 days and the NHL All-Star game was just cancelled. This really, really sucks. As exciting as the Raptor game was last night, I miss my hockey. All I have is this addictive little game to ease the pain.


Guest Blog Entry

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

To the Canadian people at large. I consider today the thoughts of the recent election of our Americans neighbours and only now can I come to grips and make comment on the resultant. The American people have spoken. Bush has 51% of the popular vote. I personally feel dumbfounded to see that this "war president" can be so popular. I feel Senator Kerry won the three debates with Bush, conducted a flawless campaign and offered the American people, and yes the world for that matter, a new chance for a fresh start. Kerry was defeated simply by a mixture of the Conservative / Religious Rightwing & and a concept that I can only conclude as "total ignorance" of the fearful. Case in point, to believe this man, Bush, will bring about a successful conclusion on this war of terror, doomed the hopes of the Democrats and most of the world. Of the "fearfully ignorant" of America who have placed their hopes in the hands of a man like Bush, who on the morning on September 11, while America was under a devastating attack and 3,500 Americans were facing a horrible death, chose to sit and read a children's story called "The Pet Goat", I don't share your confidence.

I think spiritual prayer is one of man's most cherished gifts from our creator, if you wish to call him (or her) that. Prayer meditation is something that almost everyone in the world does on a desired basis. Everyone a talks to their God, or Gods, or Higher power -what ever you like to call it- to receive happiness and peace of mind. It scares me to the marrow of by bones to hear that Bush has said that he talks to God and/or Jesus on a daily basis and God and/or Jesus has spoken back to him. If this is what the religious right wing of America has put their faith in a man who has had a drunk driving conviction and can't seem to shake off the stigma of whispers that their candidate has had indulgences with illegal narcotic substances in his past; again, a horrible demonstration of mistaken confidence.

We Canadians can take some solace in this international disappointment; Our Liberal minority Government is today in a very strong position. The existing Opposition party in Canada for today, is known as the "Conservatives". These opportunistic and ambitious M.P's in Stephen Harper's caucus are very pro-Bush. This party wants military alliances with America and a tax system as in the United States. This will destroy the fabric of who we are. This party waits for the unguarded moment to strike and take away our Social safety nets. What ever these "Reformers," Canadian Alliance Party" or what ever these George Bush lovers propose call themselves in the next Federal election, at least know one thing:today 75% of the Canadian people disdain (not the American people) but George Bush personally. The religious right wing of America is not to dissimilar to what you see the Albertan bred Conservative Party of Canada. Out of the disappointment of an American election on November 2/'04 the seeds of another majority Liberal Government have been planted and will flourish when ever the opposition party of Canada foolishly topples the Liberal Minority Government, forcing Canadian people back to the polls.

The Republican Party was founded to end slavery. The Republican Party's first President was Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was of course, America's greatest President. To think of Lincoln and other great Republicans like Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight D. Eisenhower, These great men, where ever they are today must be shaking their heads in contempt when they see how their party is led in this present day. Where is Americana heading? For a country that forged the Bill of Rights, Wagner Act, Lend Lease, Marshal Plan and put a man on the moon, I see only a bleak horizon and a plundered treasury. This self confessed "war president" has promised to be open with the Democrats (those who knew the truth of what Bush stands for) and has promised to listen to them others. Since Bush has the backing of the American Senate, and Congress, not to mention an endorsement of the American people that he has done a great job in the last for years, I see this to be unlikely. What more can be expected of a man who as of late only speaks to God. I feel us mortals of this green Earth of ours just won't rate when it comes to catching George Bush's substantially large ear. I'll end this drudgery by saying one thing the President; Mr. President, too bad for all of us hockey fans that there is no hockey this year. Guess you can't watch the Washington Capitals play, and lose to the Leafs. Nevertheless, the Washington Redskins are in action this year; do enjoy the game, and have a pretzel, eat lots of them. To quote you Mr. President "It's hard work" to be so unwanted in this world. But ONLY you made it look all so easy Mr. President.

     D.C.

Drew, that's a long one. It's important we vent our frustration, accept the situation and move on. This has been bumming me out since yesterday morning, but I'm trying to let it go. As surprising as it is to us Canucks, it wasn't a dream, it did happen, and life will continue. The lack of NHL hockey has also been frustrating me, but again I have no control. These are the cards we've been dealt and we've got to play them.


Arafat's Death & Peace

Arafat's Death & PeaceAt one point this afternoon, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat was reported dead. Then, moments later, it was reported that he was still alive, but gravely ill. From all accounts, it appears as if he has slipped into a coma from which he will never emerge.

I'm a big fan of peace. Peace is a very cool thing. The more peace this world has, the better off we'll all be. The middle east is not a very peaceful place these days. Israel and the United States have in recent years shunned Arafat as a terrorist and an obstacle to peace, and his replacement by a new leadership could open the door to renewed peace talks. Such a scenario could affect Israel's current plans to pull soldiers and settlers out of the Gaza Strip in a unilateral move not co-ordinated with the Palestinians.

Peace, brother. Peace.


Hayden's Obscurity

Hayden's ObscurityBack in the mid-90s, I picked up Everything I Long For, the first official LP from a Toronto artist named Hayden. Revisiting this disc recently has reminded me of how awesome it is. Every track is great, particularly the lead tune "Bad As They Seem".

I've always felt as if Hayden was on the edge of super stardom. He had a great voice, style and delivery and captivated his listeners, both on CD and when I saw him live back in '98 and '99. He was a great combination of folk, rock and angst. He was good, he was local and he was going to be huge. Or so I thought...

Hayden seemed to disappear on me. Suddenly, this great talent had drifted into obscurity. I don't understand how it happened, but it did. He was supposed to be the next Neil Young, the next Leonard Cohen, but instead he became a question. "What ever happened to Hayden?" It's a question I've been pondering quite a bit these past five years.

In 2001, he quietly released Skyscraper National Park and in 2002 he released a live CD entitled Live From Convocation Hall. Perhaps it's best he didn't become the next big thing. Perhaps it's best that we Hayden fans keep his work to ourselves as if he's our little secret. I'll continue to enjoy Everything I Long For and The Closer I Get without concern that he'll sell out. You can't put a price on obscurity.


Guest Blog Entry

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

I happened to hear Sum 41's new single "We're All to Blame" this morning on the way to work. It's not the first time I've heard it, but for some reason this morning I was struck by how much they sounded like System of A Down, Lite. Is it just me?

     Mike H

Back on October 12, I wrote the following on SLS about Sum 41's latest single. "Sum 41 isn't nomally my cup of tea. Despite the fact they're from a town just a little East of where I live, I couldn't embrace their popified sound and silly style. Having said all that, I actually like this tune. Is it me or are they getting heavier? It's a welcome change".

System of a Down Lite is a pretty good way to describe this tune. It's got that fast yelling part mixed in with the slow soft melodic stuff. In fact, upon reading your entry, I played System of a Down's "ATWA" and the resemblance is obvious. "We're All To Blame" is System of a Down Lite! No wonder I actually like this tune.


Rest in Peace

Rest in PeaceSergei Zholtok was 31. He played 588 NHL games with Boston, Ottawa, Montreal, Edmonton, Minnesota and Nashville scoring 111 goals and adding 147 assists.


Too Many Treats

Too Many TreatsI am so sick of chocolate. We bought more treats than we shelled out for Halloween and James went around and added to the stockpile, so everywhere I turn there's another piece of chocolate. I've been munching away on these sweet treats every evening since. I don't want to see another chocolate bar for as long as I live.

It's gotten so bad I'm now looking forward to treats like apples, grapes and pears. I'm living in the bizzaro world.


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayMusic.com - Music.com is guided by the conviction that music is a vital social force that extends way beyond business and commerce and into mass culture. They have an excellent directory for referencing artists, albums, performances and more. It really is something special. Below is their description of Neil Young's excellent "Mirror Ball".

Neil Young uses Pearl Jam on Mirror Ball much as he has used his perennial backup band Crazy Horse, looking for feel and spontaneity. At the start of the record, he can be heard instructing them: "No tuning, nothing," and the take of "I'm the Ocean" is an obvious run-through that became a master take. But Pearl Jam is not Crazy Horse; in place of the latter's primitive, non-swinging sound, the former boasts spirited rhythms and dense guitar interplay that Young makes excellent use of in a series of songs built out of simple, melodic rifts. Those songs come mostly in pairs: "Song X" and "Act of Love," the first two tracks, both seem to be about abortion, especially in its religious aspect, each containing a reference to "the holy war"; "What Happened to Yesterday" and "Fallen Angel" are song fragments on which Young plays the pump organ; and "Downtown" and "Peace and Love" find Young addressing the musical and philosophical concerns of hippies and contain name checks of Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, and Led Zeppelin. The songs also share highly imagistic lyrics that are allusive and frequently just obscure. At their best, notably on "I'm the Ocean" and "Scenery," they provide intriguing portraits of the artist -- "People my age/They don't do the things I do," Young sings in "Ocean" -- while "Scenery" is one of his bitter denunciations of celebrity. Such subject matter is not new for Young, and Mirror Ball is typically uneven. But it is always interesting musically, suggesting that he has found another catch-up that works. Probably due to the commercial power of Pearl Jam, the album became Young's highest charting record since Harvest 23 years earlier, though it had a relatively short chart life.


41 Reasons to Kick Ass

41 Reasons to Kick AssThe Sporting News recently released its subjective list of the top 50 players in the NBA, and Vince Carter ranked a disappointing 41st. As a Raptor fan, this pleases me. This gives Carter 41 reasons to kick ass this season.

Things can only get better this season, which tips off tonight against the Houston Rockets at the ACC. Now that Carter has something to prove, I suspect he'll put forward a more consistent effort. We need him and I'm glad he's back with a slice of humble pie. With Chris Bosh emerging as an excellent supporting player, and Donyell Marshall and Jalen Rose back, I think we'll put up the points and finish 8th in the East. In the NBA, eight is enough.


Weekly MP3

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

Alice Cooper - Elected
John Kerry has conceded Ohio and the presidency, meaning Dubya has been elected to serve four more years. Today's MP3 is "Elected" with the closing line "Everybody has problems, And personally, I don't care."


O Canada

O CanadaIt's not looking very good for John Kerry, is it? It's too bad this election was left in the hands of American citizens. Had Canadians been permitted to elect the President of the United States of America, Kerry would have won in a landslide. A recent poll showed 61% of Canadians would cast their vote for John Kerry while only 16% would vote for Dubya.

Although it won't be official until things are sorted out in Ohio, it's unlikely those 20 electoral college votes will go blue to push the Democrats over the required 270 votes. Unlikely, but not impossible. There are many provisional votes yet to be counted. There's still hope, but I'm not quite as optimistic today as I was yesterday.

Preparing myself for four more years of Dubya, I find solace in the fact that we Canadians did the right thing. When polls were suggesting Dubya-like Stephen Harper could win our recent federal election, we went out and re-elected the Liberal party and protected our values. Watching the results come in last night was a stern reminder that Canadians and Americans are very different. Our ideologies, beliefs, values and mores have evolved differently from different histories and influences throughout the years. I was very proud of my fellow countrymen on The S-Factor will never cease to amaze me.


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayBBC News US Elections Map - The latest results state-by-state as presidential polls start to close. Sure, it's a little red right now, but Dubya hasn't won anything I didn't expect him to win. With things looking positive in Ohio and Pennsylvania, I'm cautiously optimistic at this point.


Simply The Best

Simply The BestThe Elias Sports Bureau released their rankings yesterday, and a couple of Blue Jays led the pack. Carlos Delgado was named the top player and Roy Halladay the top pitcher. That's right, according the the well respected Elias Sports Bureau, the Blue Jays had the top-ranked pitcher and position player in the Major Leagues last season.

Finishing last wasn't easy for this squad.


Rest in Peace

Rest in PeacePeggy Ryan was 80. She teamed with dance partner Donald O'Connor in movie musicals such as "This Is the Life" and "When Johnny Comes Marching Home".


Guest Blog Entry

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

Mike, give your head a shake. What are you thinking trashing Mrs. Doubtfire! It's a funny movie. How many movies if you think about it do not make sense when you actually think about it. I know almost every movie I watch I could say 'oh sure like that would ever happen in real life'. Movies are strictly for entertainment. If you do an analysis on movies being like real life why bother to watch movies. Watch documentaries. Or listen to that crappy music of yours.

Leave Ms. Doubfire alone.

     Paul

It seems my trashing of the Mrs. Doubtfire premise has struck a nerve with some people. Somebody else contacted me about my controversial opinion of this beloved movie earlier. My issue is with the premise. There's no way those kids and their mom could hang with Mrs. Doubtfire and not detect "her" resemblance to their father and ex-husband respectively. The movie itself is fine, I remember laughing a few times when I took my Grandmother to see it at the old Humber Odeon theatre at Jane and Bloor, it's just that premise I can't get beyond. That and their censorship of House of Pain's "Jump Around" at the beginning.


Election Day

Election DayIt's election day for our neighbours to the South. This morning, to mark the occasion, I wrote an entry that was sure to rank amongst my best. It was worthy of being placed alongside "Touch 'Em All, Joe", "My New Year's Eve" and "Bands I Hate". It really was something special.

Just prior to FTPing it to this site, I surfed a little web and saw that another Mike with a blog had written a very similar piece. This other Mike nailed it right on the head so I decided to delete my entry and link to his instead.

"One Day Left" by Michael Moore. The man makes some excellent points. It's a very good read.

Now for my prediction... I believe John Kerry will win this election. It will be close, and Dubya may very well eke out a slim victory in the popular vote, but the Electoral College votes will go to Kerry by a whisker. I think this election will be decided by the youth. I'm talking about college kids, Howard Stern and Eminem fans and the like. These are the people who aren't reflected in the polls...they don't have a home land line and don't make the polling lists. They live on their cell phones and "the Internets". These youth can see what other's can't. They can see that the choice is clear. They will vote for Kerry.


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. Civ - Shout It
  2. House Of Pain - Top O' The Morning To Ya
  3. The Statler Brothers - I'll Go To My Grave Loving You
  4. Violent Femmes - Jesus Walking On The Water
  5. Rufus Thomas - Blues In The Basement
  6. Gordon Downie - Yer Possessed
  7. Neil Young - Down To The Wire
  8. Nickelback - Another Hole In The Head
  9. Staind - For You
  10. Matthew Good Band - Load Me Up


"With the Lights Out" Tracklist

With the Lights Out TracklistWe finally have the tracklist for Nirvana's boxset "With the Lights Out".

There are 81 tracks in total, so I won't list them all here. You can see them on this page if you're a fellow fan.


Doubtfire 4 Dummies

Doubtfire 4 DummysAt some point on Saturday afternoon, Mrs. Doubtfire found its way onto our television. There was Robin Williams, dressed as an elderly woman, taking care of his own kids. This has never sat well with me. Do the writers of Mrs. Doubtfire assume we're all a bunch of dummies?

Are we to believe that three children who collectively lived with their father for decades can't tell that nanny is really their dad in drag? Give me a break. I can tell looking at Mrs. Doubtfire that she's a modified Robin Williams and I've never lived with the man. Wake up kids! Look at the eyes, listen to the voice, smell the damn coffee! As for Sally Field, she should definitely know better.

The entire premise is faulty. Just thinking about it upsets me.


The Poppy Coin

The Poppy CoinThe Royal Canadian Mint and The Royal Canadian Legion have unveiled the world's first coloured circulation coin. The 25-cent coin features a red poppy, the symbol that pays homage to the 117,000 Canadians who have died while in the service of the nation.

Right now, this coin is available exclusively at Tim Hortons. The coins will also be available at financial institutions in the coming months, but right now it's Tims or nothing. I was excited to get my first poppy coin last week, but the excitement was short lived.

The red from the poppy in the center of the coin rubbed off rather easily. When I took the coin out of my pocket the red was already partially scratched off. The Royal Canadian Mint claims with normal wear and tear the colour should remain for one to three years. With normal wear and tear, my poppy coin didn't make it one to three hours. They add that the red can be removed by harsh chemicals or friction, but how are they defining "friction". There will be friction in the cash register and friction in ones pocket. Doesn't that qualify as "normal wear and tear"?

I like the poppy and I don't even mind the fact it's only available at Tim Hortons, an American owned operation, but I'm rather disturbed by how easily it can be tarnished.

It's more than a little insulting to the 117,000 Canadians who have died while in the service of the nation.


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayNever Forget - Never Forget brings together full movies and video clips to help Americans make the right choice on Tuesday. There really is an awesome supply of quality downloads. You can see "Going Upriver", "Fahrenheit 9/11", Eminem's "Mosh" and many, many other relevant clips. It's a great effort and a page every undecided voter should visit before tomorrow.



« October 2004 December 2004 »

Want more Toronto Mike blog entries? Visit the archives.