March 2005 Archives

« February 2005 April 2005 »

More Uncovered Gems

VaultI recently uncovered some gems from my past and I've been sharing excerpts from the documents I found. I assembled this list of my ten favourite movies back in 1991.

  1. Terminator 2
  2. The Naked Gun
  3. Batman
  4. Raiders of the Lost Arc
  5. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
  6. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  7. Total Recall
  8. The Naked Gun 2 1/2
  9. Airplane
  10. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

None of these movies appear in my current top ten.

Discuss "More Uncovered Gems" (0 comments so far)


Don't Call It A Comeback

Yahoo!For years, Yahoo! was the web darling amongst geeks and wannabe geeks. Over a year ago I waxed philosophical about the early years of the web and using my Yahoo! address as my primary addy for years. I still log onto the Yahoo! Instant Messenger every day and I've always enjoyed certain Yahoo! features like MyYahoo! and their news portal. Yahoo! was the top dog for years.

Then along came Google. Google overtook Yahoo! as the web darling amongst geeks and wannabe geeks with their awesome search and web savvy apps. Yahoo!, it seemed, was stuck in a rut. They no longer seemed to get it whereas Google did. I don't remember the last time I did a Yahoo! search for something.

Lately, Yahoo! has been resurfacing as a relevant web company. I'm reading that their search results are improving, they're about to launch a new blogging tool called Yahoo!360, they've upped their email to 1GB a'la Gmail and they just bought Flickr, the coolest online app I've ever used.

Don't call it a comeback, they've been here for years, but Yahoo! matters once again, and that's a good thing.

Discuss "Don't Call It A Comeback" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumMitch Hedberg was 37. He was a very funny comedian and frequent guest on Howard Stern's morning radio show and "Late Show With David Letterman".

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


The Mars Volta, I Thank You

MusicI want to thank The Mars Volta for making the radio a better place these days. "The Widow" is finally getting the heavy airplay it deserves and I'm grateful every time I catch it. What an awesome tune.

While I'm thanking bands for improving my radio listening experience these days, I'd like to thank Canada's own The Arcade Fire for "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)". Coupling that track with "The Widow" makes for a sweet set and I heard them together at about 11:50 this morning on CFNY Edge 102.

I'm actually listening to The Mars Volta's new album "Francis the Mute" right now and it's tremendous. The Arcade Fire's "Funeral" is even more impressive. Good times in tune land.

Discuss "The Mars Volta, I Thank You" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumTerri Schiavo was 41. She was the brain-damaged Florida woman at the heart of a wrenching dispute over her fate that drew in the Congress and President Bush and ignited a media frenzy.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


Players Wanted

Canada HockeyWhen Gary Bettman broke this nation's collective heart, I found a silver lining in the clouds. I envisioned a World Championship with the best of the best going at it once more for hockey supremacy. Perhaps the Great One would build another super Team Canada. I had high hopes.

One by one, I'm reading about our superstars declining the invitation to Austria. Yesterday, I was particularly surprised to learn Vincent Lecavalier and Jose Theodore, two members of the 2004 World Cup of Hockey championship team, have said they won't compete for Canada. Others who have already said no are Mario Lemieux, Jarome Iginla and Joe Sakic. I'm wondering who will lead this team.

Perhaps this will be Joe Thornton's team. Will Martin Brodeur be between the pipes? Will Scott Niedermayer, Ed Jovanovski, Adam Foote and Rob Blake be patrolling the blue line?

It won't be the best of the best, but it will be an awesome tournament and a nice hockey fix when we need it most. Go Canada Go!

Discuss "Players Wanted" (0 comments so far)


St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Syracuse Crunch 4

The Blue and White Maple LeafNathan Barrett gave the Maple Leafs the lead with 5:16 remaining in the third period but it didn't hold up. The Leafs went down in a shootout, wasting Mikael Tellqvist's 40 save effort.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
40-26-1-4
85 points
4-3 Loss vs. Syracuse
7-2 Win vs. Manitoba
6-4 Loss vs. Manitoba
Kyle Wellwood - 78 pts
David Ling - 78 pts
Matt Stajan - 55 pts

Discuss "St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Syracuse Crunch 4" (0 comments so far)


More Uncovered Gems

VaultI mentioned I uncovered some gems from my past recently. Here's an excerpt from one of the documents I found. I wrote this at 13:27 EST on August 23, 1996.

Yesterday was weird. Earlier in the day a man held a knife to a fellow Price Chopper cashier's neck. He made off with the cash but was later caught. The cashier was unhurt but had to go home because she was so shaken. Later, during my shift, I witnessed a thief run from Pharma Plus and I saw him held down by a group of men. Then, while biking home in the dark, stormy weather, I could have sworn I saw a car lean on the horn before two gunshots rang out. I now realize they were not gunshots but I wasn't going to hang around to find out. I went ballistic on my pedals and hit 50 clicks. Taryn and I went to rent a movie and the sky opened up. We rented Desparado. It had some cool fight scenes and a good role by Steve Buschemi but it wasn't as good as I had hoped. I work today from five to ten and then I plan to make a pizza. Pizza is good, I love pizza. Lyle Odelein was just traded from Montreal to New Jersey in exchange for Stephane Richer.

Enthralling, eh? I've got pages and pages of this stuff.

Discuss "More Uncovered Gems" (0 comments so far)


A Backwards Appreciation For Shannon Hoon

CDWhen it comes to Shannon Hoon, I've got it all backwards. Hoon was the lead singer for Blind Melon who overdosed on drugs at the age of 28. Their self-titled debut was a smash success spawning a huge hit single and this was followed up by "Soup" which didn't fare nearly as well commercially or critically. It was shortly after the release of "Soup" that Hoon passed away.

Most people speak incredibly highly of "Blind Melon" the album and continue to rave about "No Rain". Heck, over ten years later CFNY Edge 102 continues to play "No Rain" on a daily basis. For most Blind Melon fans, it's all about that first disc. The follow up has been all but forgotten.

This is where I've got it backwards. Although I own that first album, I never play it. Even when "No Rain" was breaking in the early 90s I wasn't a big fan. I prefer "Soup". I still listen to "Soup" fairly regularly and if I'm making an MP3 compilation I'll almost always chuck a tune or two from that album in mix.

I'm a "Soup" guy and that makes me different.

Discuss "A Backwards Appreciation For Shannon Hoon" (1 comment so far)


Weekly MP3

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

Pearl Jam - Daughter (It's OK Tag)
It's no secret I've been a huge Pearl Jam fan since I first heard "Ten" back in '91. Proof of my commitment to this awesome band is this tribute to their visits to Toronto. Whenever Pearl Jam plays "Daughter" in concert, they add a tag to the end. Today I'm sharing the best example of this I've ever heard. It's really two beautiful songs in one and I'm sure you'll dig it.

Discuss "Weekly MP3" (0 comments so far)


Guest Blog Entry

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

RBI Baseball = The Shit

Yeah, I've been missing my old 8-bit Nintendo for a while now. Yesterday I revealed that RBI Baseball was my favourite game back in '89 so I concur that it's the shit.

I was surfing around looking for screen caps of this game and I found this. I loved the use of actual player names with their actual attributes. I loved playing a running game with lots of stolen bases, hit and runs and even suicide squeezes. The St. Louis Cardinals were perfect for this, chock full of intense speed at the top of the order. Good times...

Discuss "Guest Blog Entry" (0 comments so far)


Uncovered Gems

VaultI recently got a few boxes out of storage and uncovered some very cool relics from my past. I hadn't seen these boxes in almost a decade and among my old university essays were various notes and observations.

Back in 1991, for example, I documented random thoughts in a wordperfect file I called "My Reflections". The date of printing reads June 4th, 1991 and there's some very interesting things in there. It is, for all intents and purposes, a blog that wasn't written for public consumption.

I also uncovered a journal of thoughts from May 10, 1996 through May 29, 1997 complete with a time stamp in a format eerily similar to this one. This year long experiment contains explicit detail and truly conveys my thoughts on events of the time.

Lastly but not leastly there is a hand written booklet of lists. These lists are undated, but judging from the content were probably from 1989-1990. I'll share bits and pieces from all three documents starting with this list of my top ten video games at the time.

  1. RBI Baseball
  2. Blades of Steel
  3. Super Mario Bros 3
  4. Ice Hockey
  5. Sprint
  6. Tetris
  7. Punch Out
  8. Zelda
  9. Wonderboy
  10. Motocross Maniacs

Discuss "Uncovered Gems" (1 comment so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJohnnie Cochran was 67. He became a legal superstar after helping clear O.J. Simpson during a sensational murder trial in which he uttered the famous quote "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit".

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


Allowing The Terri Schiavo Media Frenzy To Die

NewsI've got a great deal to say about the media frenzy that has surrounded the Terri Schiavo ordeal these past few weeks but I can't do it nearly as effectively as Jon Stewart.

Witness Jon Stewart's on point analysis of the media mania.

Discuss "Allowing The Terri Schiavo Media Frenzy To Die" (0 comments so far)


Bigger Nets

HockeyThe NHL has developed two prototypes for bigger nets that will be shown to GMs at their upcoming meetings in Detroit. The belief is bigger nets will lead to more goals which will improve the game.

Might I suggest one sure-fire way to please the fans and enhance the game? Play!

Discuss "Bigger Nets" (0 comments so far)


I Concur Mr. Chapelle

FamilyI mentioned I watched "Dave Chapelle: For What It's Worth" the other day. Chapelle closes with a little story that summarizes perfectly how I'm feeling these days.

He's talking about his three year old son giving him a necklace made out of macaroni. Chapelle's looking down at his kid and getting misty eyed. His son asks, "Why are you sad daddy?". Chappelle explains he's not sad but happy. What Chapelle wants to say in miraculous wonderment is "You came from my balls! And now you're making necklaces out of macaroni!"

Bingo. Recently my three year old son came home from nursery school with a necklace he made and I felt the same bewilderment. He's so damn smart and so sweet and I can't believe he came from my balls. Now that's a miracle.

Discuss "I Concur Mr. Chapelle" (0 comments so far)


The Girl Next Door

A Movie ReelThe Girl Next Door: 5 out of 10.

I enjoyed "The Girl Next Door" far more than I expected to. It seemed to pick up steam as it went along and the last half hour is actually enjoyable. Some decent tunes throughout didn't hurt matters either.

Oh yeah, and Elisha Cuthbert is quite yummy. You've got to root for the Canadian girl.

Discuss "The Girl Next Door" (0 comments so far)


The Monday Shuffle

The Quintessential PlayerEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in iTunes the Quintessential Player and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten tunes I heard today.

  1. 99 Problems - DJ Danger Mouse
  2. Super Disco Breakin' - Beastie Boys
  3. My Music At Work - The Tragically Hip
  4. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) - Metallica
  5. Rockwilder - Method Man & Redman
  6. Raspberry - Sloan
  7. Wanted Man - Johnny Cash
  8. Arc - Pearl Jam
  9. Beat It Upright - Korn.
  10. My Poor Brain - Foo Fighters

Discuss "The Monday Shuffle" (0 comments so far)


Test Driving the Quintessential Player

Quintessential PlayerI was a Winamp guy for most of my MP3 life until I test drove iTunes last month. The searchability and sortability of iTunes won me over and it was my player of choice for the past six months. There was one thing though that wasn't quite right.

iTunes was a bit of a resource hog. From the moment I decide to play a particular song I don't want to wait more than a second before I start hearing it expunge from my speakers. With iTunes, there was always a hesitation. It wasn't nearly as light on its feet as Winamp was and this was starting to hinder accessibility to my MP3s.

Another former Winamp devotee suggested I try the Quintessential Player. I've been test driving it all weekend and so far so good. It's light on its feet and much less of a resource hog than iTunes was. I'm willing to sacrifice the superior sorting and searching options in iTunes for faster access to my tunes.

We'll see if QCD sticks.

Discuss "Test Driving the Quintessential Player" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumPaul Hester was 46. He was the drummer from popular 1980s Australian rock band Crowded House.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


50 Tracks

O CanadaCBC Radio has completed their quest to come up with a great list of the 50 essential Canadian popular songs. You can view the list in its entirety. Below are the top ten.

  1. 'Four Strong Winds' by Ian and Sylvia (1963)
  2. 'If I had $1000000' by the Barenaked Ladies (1992)
  3. 'Heart of Gold' by Neil Young (1971)
  4. 'Northwest Passage' by Stan Rogers (1981)
  5. 'American Woman' by The Guess Who (1970)
  6. 'Canadian Railroad Trilogy' by Gordon Lightfoot (1967)
  7. 'Both Sides Now' by Joni Mitchell (1969)
  8. 'Suzanne' by Leonard Cohen (1967)
  9. 'Big Yellow Taxi' by Joni Mitchell (1970)
  10. 'Early Morning Rain' by Gordon Lightfoot (1966)

Songs of particular interest to myself: "New Orleans is Sinking" was #16, "Rockin' in the Free World" was #24, "Courage" was #27 and "Let Your Backbone Slide" was #46.

Discuss "50 Tracks" (0 comments so far)


Half Way There

SLSWith March winding down we're half way there. SLS12 wrapped up just before Christmas and we'll be unveiling the songs for SLS13 at the end of June. For the unaware, there's an SLS guide.

Looking over my notes it appears we're in pretty good shape. There are some great tunes on the short list and I suspect we'll hear a bunch more before this six month period expires. For those playing along at home, here are the tunes that are getting serious consideration for SLS13.

  • The Mars Volta - The Widow
  • The Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
  • Metric - Dead Disco
  • System of a Down - Cigaro
  • Queens of the Stone Age - Little Sister
  • Custom - USA
  • Franz Ferdinand - The Dark Of The Matinee
  • Modest Mouse - The World At Large
  • Beck - E-PRO
  • Weezer - Beverly Hills
  • Billy Talent - Nothing To Lose
  • Jakalope - Feel It
  • The Marble Index - Not So Bright
  • Doctor - What Makes You Think He's Lucky?
  • Garbage - Why Do You Love Me?

Discuss "Half Way There" (0 comments so far)


St. John's Maple Leafs 7, Manitoba Moose 2

The Blue and White Maple LeafThe St. John's Maple Leafs got production from seven different players, including four points from their leading scorers David Ling, Kyle Wellwood and Matt Stajan last night. The end result was a tidy 7-2 victory over the Manitoba Moose. That's more like it.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
40-26-1-3
83 points
7-2 Win vs. Manitoba
6-4 Loss vs. Manitoba
2-0 Loss vs. Hamilton
Kyle Wellwood - 76 pts
David Ling - 76 pts
Matt Stajan - 54 pts

Discuss "St. John's Maple Leafs 7, Manitoba Moose 2" (0 comments so far)


New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. Two are from this morning following the great Easter hunt 2005 and two are of Michelle and her cousin Zander yesterday. Michelle and Zander were born on the same crazy day back in July.

Discuss "New Pictures" (0 comments so far)


Happy Easter

Happy EasterIt's been a great Easter morning in our household and I hope it's the same in yours. James thoroughly enjoyed hunting for Easter eggs and I'll be posting the photographic evidence later today.

It looks like it's going to be a perfect Sunday for a nice long walk so that's the plan. Happy Easter!

Discuss "Happy Easter" (0 comments so far)


My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"He is risen; he is not here."
      - Mark 16:6

Discuss "My Quote of the Week" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumPaul Henning was 93. He created the hit TV show "The Beverly Hillbillies" and wrote its theme song.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayDinosaurs Attacking torontomike.com - Yes, I'm under attack. There are also those damn smokers and Martians. Help!

Discuss "My Link of the Day" (0 comments so far)


Dave Chapelle: For What It's Worth

HumourI'm in a great deal of pain this morning. My side is still aching from watching "Dave Chapelle: For What It's Worth" last night.

Hot damn that was some funny shite. It might just be the funniest hour I've ever watched. I seriously don't remember the last time I laughed so much...we're talking tears people. It's an hour of Dave Chapelle at the Fillmore and it's pure gold.

If you haven't seen it and you're not one of those easily offended folk, see "Dave Chapelle: For What It's Worth" and laugh your ass off.

Discuss "Dave Chapelle: For What It's Worth" (0 comments so far)


My MP3s Updated

A Shiny CDI've added eight new CDs to my MP3 collection. The new additions are Broken Social Scene's "You Forgot It In People", Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' "The Best Of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds", Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's two CDs from "Amadeus", Stevie Wonder's two volumes of "Song Review: A Greatest Hits Collection", The Door's "The Best of The Doors" and Smokin Suckaz Wit Logic's "Playin' foolz".

That's 599 complete albums and 8922 songs. Check it out.

Discuss "My MP3s Updated" (0 comments so far)


Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"We'll die together, like a father and son should."

Discuss "Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week" (0 comments so far)


A Game Console

Video GamesIt's been about ten years since I've had a video game console in the house. The last one I had such access to was the Super Nintendo but I left it behind when I moved into my first apartment at 21.

Lately I've been thinking about my good ol' Nintendo days with fondness. I had hours and hours of awesome times with the 16 bit and 8 bit Nintendo Entertainment Systems and prior to that with the Atari 2600. When James gets a little older I'll be able to justify the purchase of a new console and revisit those good times of yesteryear.

As it is, I don't have time for video games. Making time for my kids, however, is essential. So, if I could play video games with my kids I'd be both spending time playing with them and enjoying video games. That, my friends, is a glorious win-win.

Discuss "A Game Console" (0 comments so far)


Creative Commons Search BETA

Yahoo!Yahoo! is testing a Creative Commons search utility. "This Yahoo! Search service finds content across the Web that has a Creative Commons license. While most stuff you find on the web has a full copyright, this search helps you find content published by authors that want you to share or reuse it, under certain conditions."

This site, for example, is licensed under a Creative Commons License and therefore comes up in Creative Commons searches. I'm #1 when you search for Homer Jay!

Discuss "Creative Commons Search BETA" (0 comments so far)


Guest Blog Entry

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

you're correct. My beef IS with the Crown. she shouldn't be in society.

nuff said

      The Lyon

And so completes The Lyon's trilogy. Here's part one and here's part two.

Discuss "Guest Blog Entry" (0 comments so far)


The Friday Five

The Number FiveGood things about working on a statutory holiday

  1. The roads are empty
  2. There's hardly anyone in the office
  3. Somebody brought in donuts
  4. No meetings
  5. I'm taking Monday off

Discuss "The Friday Five" (0 comments so far)


St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Manitoba Moose 6

The Blue and White Maple LeafDavid Ling scored a pair but the Leafs were outshot 32-25 by the Manitoba Moose in a losing effort. With the win, Manitoba moves six points ahead of St. John's for second in the North Division.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
39-26-1-3
80 points
6-4 Loss vs. Monitoba
2-0 Loss vs. Hamilton
4-3 Win vs. Hamilton
Kyle Wellwood - 72 pts
David Ling - 72 pts
Matt Stajan - 50 pts

Discuss "St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Manitoba Moose 6" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumBarney Martin was 82. He was a former New York City detective who went into show business and became best known for playing Jerry Seinfeld's father Morty on the comedian's hit television series.

It's rough when a player on one of your favourite shows of all time passes away. I've got so many Morty memories. My favourite is probably when Jerry bought him the "#1 Dad" t-shirt. "Jerry, this is the most thoughtful gift you've ever given me." Jerry's priceless reply? "You know, I bought you a Cadillac... Twice."

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


SLS Submissions

SLS SubmissionI'm a little behind on posting songs to this site that I've submitted via the Smells Like Sour website for SLS13 consideration. This is a good opportunity to clean out my SLS closet.

I have submitted the following songs. They'll all get strong consideration. For more on SLS, check out this page I threw together.

  • Weezer - Beverly Hills
  • Modest Mouse - The World At Large
  • Franz Ferdinand - The Dark Of The Matinee
  • Garbage - Why Do You Love Me?

Discuss "SLS Submissions" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumRod Price was 57. He was a founding member of the blues boogie band Foghat.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


Guest Blog Entry

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

re: bernardo/homolka case: I hear you, but in all honestly...if he wasn't the one pulling the strings ..then do we risk another young girl to find out? Will anyone honestly give her a break to live "normally" ? For sure, The Crown is, IMHO, wrong to release her..but IF another young girl goes missing, at the hands of this demon, then will they go "Oops"?!

      The Lyon

When the Crown and Holmolka's lawyers struck this deal, both sides agreed that she'd be freed from prison in twelve years. Even if it's a crappy deal from our perspective, a deal's still a deal. The reason they have to release her is to protect the integrity of deals made with the Crown. If they were to scrap this particular deal, there would cease to be any value in such a deal. Would you make a deal with a party if you knew they could reneg on it should they change their mind while you were in prison?

A deal's a deal. As I said, your beef is with the Crown.

Discuss "Guest Blog Entry" (0 comments so far)


$3.50 For What?

MoneyI bought a bunch of Blue Jays tickets online earlier today. During the check-out portion of the transaction, I had to select the method by which I'd like the tickets. I could have them mailed to me, I could pick them up at the box office or I could print them myself. Without hesitation, I opted to print them myself.

An additional $3.50 appeared on my final bill for the honour. $3.50 so they could email me a PDF file for me to print on my paper with my ink. Since I'm doing all the work and absorbing all the expense you'd think this option would be free. The tickets themselves already have surcharges on surcharges. What exactly is the $3.50 for?

Discuss "$3.50 For What?" (0 comments so far)


We're #10!

Toronto's SkylineI was just looking at a ranking of cities by the visual impact of their skylines. Each building is assigned points based on its floor count. The point total for each city is calculated automatically and displayed.

Below is the top ten. You'll see my city came in at number ten, third in North America after New York and Chicago.

  1. Hong Kong
  2. New York City
  3. Seoul
  4. Chicago
  5. Singapore
  6. Bangkok
  7. Tokyo
  8. Shanghai
  9. São Paulo
  10. Toronto

Discuss "We're #10!" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumDavid Little was 46. He was a durable linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers who was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1990.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


Weekly MP3

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.

Dusty Springfield - Son Of A Preacher Man
I'm still working on my "ten favourite songs of all time" list. It's not easy, there are so many songs I love. This gem from Dusty Springfield has a shot because it's a great song and was used so wonderfully in "Pulp Fiction".

Discuss "Weekly MP3" (0 comments so far)


Guest Blog Entry

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

For those who may be concerned that Terri Schiavo is suffering needlessly as she awaits her death let me put your mind at ease. Terri Schiavo's heart stopped for five minutes and she has had major damage to parts of her brain, one part which controls starvation. Doctors have made a statement that she would not feel the pain of starvation the way we all would. This is a little piece of good news in an otherwise very sad situation.

      Mary

I'm glad she won't feel pain as she goes gently into that good night which has awaited her for over a decade.

Discuss "Guest Blog Entry" (0 comments so far)


Guest Blog Entry

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

In regard to your response to to The Lyon one has to wonder if Bernardo is actually the worse of the "two evils".

      Mark

I suspect they were two devils with near equal disregard for human life. It's quite amazing and disturbing that two such sociopathic people would find each other.

Discuss "Guest Blog Entry" (0 comments so far)


Chilling Cache

WebJeff Weise, a 17 year old student on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Red Lake, Minnesota, killed nine people and himself yesterday in the worst U.S. school shooting since Columbine.

Google's cache of a neo-Nazi Web site offers chilling insight into the thoughts of Jeff Weise. It's right here preserved in time displaying posts by Weise under the name Todesengel. "I'm being blamed for a threat on the school I attend because someone said they were going to shoot up the school on 4/20, Hitlers birthday, and just because I claim being a National Socialist, guess whom they've pinned?"

Disturbing stuff.

Discuss "Chilling Cache" (0 comments so far)


It's Officially The Marlies

Maple LeafsThe Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that its American Hockey League franchise will be named the Toronto Marlies when the team relocates to Toronto at the start of the 2005-06 season.

This isn't exactly a surprise. I wrote about this change back in December and mentioned I like the historical value of Marlies in much the same way I like the historical value of St. Pats.

If you want to check out the new logo, Here it is.

Discuss "It's Officially The Marlies" (0 comments so far)


Guest Blog Entry

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

Karla Homolka is supposed to be released on July 05/05. Kind of a freaky thing, if you ask me. Ryan and I were talking about this yesterday. I wonder if someone in the public will try to take her out. Any thoughts? I don't believe she should be released at all. The mere fact that she is still allowed to be a part of society is a horror on its own. She has no conscience. She should not be allowed to be free.

      The Lyon

Unfortunately, a deal with the devil is still a deal we have to abide by. I'm not a fan of vigilante justice so I actually hope nobody tries to "take her out".

She served her time and now she gets to rejoin society so long as she keeps the peace and is of good behavior. The fact the sentence was so short for such a crime means you have a beef with the Crown prosecutors. It was a shitty deal, but at the time they felt they needed her testimony to put away Bernardo who they believed to be pulling the strings and the far worse of the two evils.

Discuss "Guest Blog Entry" (0 comments so far)


Guest Blog Entry

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

Re: Terri Schiavo

I agree that this woman should have a right to die, however, I disagree in the manner in which is it being done. She shouldn't have to starve and dehydrate to death. There must be a more humane way of letting her die. Just because a human being is in a vegetative state, does it mean that she won't suffer the pain of starvation and dehydration?

      CT

I have two words for you CT, Robert Latimer. Latimer loved his daughter and could not bear to watch her suffer from a severe form of cerebral palsy so he killed her. He was convicted of second-degree murder.

The courts don't necessarily rule by the spirit of a law, but by the letter of the law. Euthanasia is still illegal in America as it is here and not keeping Terri alive by artificial means is the only legal way to allow her to die. There is another line in the living will that I believe would be applied to Terri. It reads, "I ask that medication be mercifully administered to me to alleviate suffering even though this may shorten my remaining life". As awful as the idea of starvation and dehydration is I'm sure they won't let her suffer. It's sad that this is the only way to legally allow her to die.

Discuss "Guest Blog Entry" (0 comments so far)


Terri Schiavo

JusticeI, like many of you, have been following the Terri Schiavo case quite closely these past few weeks. Terri is in a persistent vegetative state with no hope of recovery. Terri's husband is fighting to have her feeding tube removed while her parents fight to keep it in place.

It has become quite the hot topic of debate in the United States. From my clearly Canadian perspective, this isn't all that controversial. I believe if Terri lived in Canada, removing her feeding tube after fifteen years in a persistent vegatative state would have barely caused a ripple. Terri clearly has the right to die in this instance and although she is being kept alive by this tube she is in no way living a life. The moral and right thing to do for Terri is to remove it and allow her to pass away.

If Terri were my wife or daughter, I have no doubt what I would want for her. A few years ago, my Grandmother and I had a conversation about her having a living will created. She told me that should something happen and she enter a state like this, she wouldn't want to be kept alive. I agreed as I feel the same way, and we visited a lawyer to draft a living will for her. Below is an except from this document:

If at such a time the situation should arise in which there is no reasonable expectation of my recovery from extreme physical or mental disability, I direct that I be allowed to die and not be kept alive by medications, artificial means or "heroic measures".

The only way to be certain your wishes are adhered to is to create a living will such as this. The document my grandmother signed says it all. We should be allowed to die.

Discuss "Terri Schiavo" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumDavid Boone was 53. He was an all-star defensive lineman who helped the Edmonton Eskimos win five consecutive Grey Cups.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


Great Moments In History

BabyThere have been some significant events during my life time. Tonight, I add another milestone to this precious list.

While holding Michelle, she clearly and undeniably uttered the term of endearment "Da-da".

Discuss "Great Moments In History" (0 comments so far)


The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. Us And Them - Pink Floyd
  2. Mad World - Michael Andrews f/ Gary Jules
  3. Oh Honey - The Tragically Hip
  4. Murdergram - L.L. Cool J.
  5. Jane - Barenaked Ladies
  6. Corduroy - Pearl Jam
  7. Free Money - Patti Smith
  8. 3 Lil' Putos - Cypress Hill
  9. All The Way To Reno - R.E.M.
  10. Softly - Gordon Lightfoot

Discuss "The Monday Shuffle" (0 comments so far)


The 1993 Blue Jays

Go Jays Go!Where are our 1993 Jays now? Of those who played for us in the '93 playoffs, only five remain in the major leagues.

Woody Williams - Starting pitcher for the San Diego Padres
Mike Timlin - Relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox
Al Leiter - Starting pitcher for the Florida Marlins
Pat Borders - Backup catcher trying to catch on with the Milwaukee Brewers
John Olerud - Backup first baseman for the New York Yankees

Discuss "The 1993 Blue Jays" (0 comments so far)


#1 For Barilko

GoogleA visitor just alerted me to the fact that my Bill Barilko page is listed #1 when you Google the word "barilko". Here it is and lo and behold I am number one at this exact moment in time.

It truly is an honour.

Discuss "#1 For Barilko" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumBobby Short was 80. He was the tuxedoed embodiment of New York style and sophistication who was a fixture at his piano in the Carlyle Hotel for more than 35 years.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


New Pictures

New PicturesIf you're one of the seven people who require a weekly fix of James and Michelle, you'll be happy to learn I've posted four new pictures in Pictures.

Discuss "New Pictures" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJohn Z. DeLorean was 80. He was the innovative automaker who left a promising career in Detroit to develop the short-lived gull-winged sports cars featured as a souped-up time travel machine in the "Back to the Future" movies.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


My Game

The Maple LeafsI attended the last Toronto Maple Leafs game of the 1980s. I have the ticket stub to prove it. I attended the game on December 30, 1989 with my buddy Joe and it remains to this day the most entertaining game I've ever seen live. This is the story of my game.

The first 37:09 of play was dismal. In fact, we had brought a megaphone and began heckling our beloved Leafs. After one defensive lapse, we anointed a particular blueliner "Al I-Afraid-Of-The-Puck". The Leafs trailed the Boston Bruins 6-1 at this point and with only a few minutes left in the second we were literally playing the funeral march. We knew our limitations and overcoming a deficit of this nature against a far better team wasn't going to happen. Furthermore, prior to this game, the Leafs were 1-16-1 when trailing after 40 minutes. Conversely, the Bruins were 12-1-1 when leading after two periods. To make matters even worse, the Bruins had won six in a row against us.

This is when my game becomes legendary. After Vincent Damphousse scored to bring us within four, Gary Leeman began the unpredictable rally at 4:59 of the third. Only a couple of minutes later, Luke Richardson scored to make it 6-4. It was at this point that we began to believe in the unbelievable. Could we? Would we? Ed Olczyk brought us closer to this realization when he banked the puck in off Stephane Quintal behind Andy Moog. It was 6-5 and the blue and white express was in full effect.

I think it would have been extremely painful to have lost this game 6-5 after trailing 6-1 so late in the contest. Thankfully, I knew we'd complete this unprecedented comeback. I knew we had a couple more rabbits in the hat. Eddie O came through again on a break away to send my game into overtime. The Leafs could actually win this game they had no business being in. I was ecstatic, beside myself, in complete disbelief. I didn't want to tie the Bruins in this final game of the 1980s, I wanted to beat them.

With 1:41 remaining in the extra period and after Al Iafrate made a great play to keep the puck inside the blueline, Wendel Clark whacked home the winner. The Toronto Maple Leafs had defeated the Boston Bruins after trailing 6-1 late in the second. My voice is still sore from screaming after Clark's goal. It felt as if we had just won the Stanley Cup.

There were 16,382 of us there that night, but nobody left Maple Leaf Gardens happier than I. I had just witnessed a miracle that I'd never forget.

December 30, 1989 - Maple Leafs

Discuss "My Game" (3 comments so far)


The Quiet American

A Movie ReelThe Quiet American: 7 out of 10.

"The Quiet American" is an interesting history lesson told through a good ol' fashioned love triangle. It's the end of the French War in Indochina in 1952 and we have three central characters, one representing America, one representing Britain and one representing Vietnam. It's great stuff and well told.

Michael Caine is superb in the lead role and his performance ties the whole thing together nicely. You may recall he was nominated for an Oscar but lost out to Adrien Brody.

Discuss "The Quiet American" (0 comments so far)


St. John's Maple Leafs 0, Hamilton Bulldogs 2

The Blue and White Maple LeafThe Hamilton Bulldogs employed a neutral-zone trap to frustrate St. John's in 2-0 win last night. Mikael Tellqvist's personal seven game winning streak was snapped even though he only allowed one goal. The second Hamilton goal was the result of an empty netter.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
39-25-1-3
80 points
2-0 Loss vs. Hamilton
4-3 Win vs. Hamilton
7-1 Loss vs. Cleveland
Kyle Wellwood - 70 pts
David Ling - 70 pts
Matt Stajan - 50 pts

Discuss "St. John's Maple Leafs 0, Hamilton Bulldogs 2" (0 comments so far)


My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
      - Albert Einstein

Discuss "My Quote of the Week" (0 comments so far)


Roberto Alomar

Blue JaysWho's the best Blue Jay ever? In my mind, there's no doubt it was Roberto Alomar who announced his retirement earlier today.

In the winter of 1990, Alomar and Joe Carter came to Toronto from San Diego in exchange for Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez. It was a monster deal and it paid off nicely with two World Series championships over the next few years. He was the MVP of the 1992 American League Championship Series hitting a monumental homer in that series against Dennis Eckersley and he was named to the all-star team every year he played here. He could hit for average, power when necessary, he played breath taking defense and he could steal bases. He was drenched in natural ability and for a while he was the best second baseman in the game.

When Ryne Sandberg was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this year, I wrote that was good news for Alomar. I predicted Alomar would follow Sandberg into the hall because they were both second basemen and Alomar's numbers and skill level exceeded that of Sandberg.

Unfortunately, Alomar is retiring 276 hits shy of 3,000. He's also best known by some fans for spitting in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck in 1996 while with Baltimore and he's wrapping up his career with a whimper, batting .266, .258 and .263 the past three years. For these reasons, it's going to be difficult for Alomar to get the 75 per cent support he'll need in five years when he's eligible for Cooperstown.

I hope he makes it. He deserves it.

Discuss "Roberto Alomar" (2 comments so far)


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayHow To Make a Duct-Tape Wallet - From 3M Canada, these are detailed instructions on how to build an effective wallet out of duct-tape. You know you've always wanted one.

Discuss "My Link of the Day" (0 comments so far)


An Unfillable Hole

RadioI've got my Freeplay Ranger tuned to The Fan 590 right now. It's something I've done hundreds and hundreds of times in my life. I'm listening to Blue Jays baseball on the radio.

There's a gaping, unfillable hole in this broadcast. The voice of Tom Cheek is noticeably absent. Sadly, Tom's brain tumour requires very serious surgery this coming Wednesday and he's busy fighting that battle we all hope he'll win. The broadcast booth once again lacks his awesome presence.

I've written about Tom Cheek many times. You can read these entries here, here, here, here, here and here. His calls of Blue Jays games are so awesome they're partly responsible for my life-long love affair with the sport of baseball. He and his partner Jerry Howarth are the voices of Blue Jays baseball and when one is missing there's an gaping, unfillable hole.

Get better soon Tom. You're greatly missed. I and thousands and thousands of Jays fans will be praying for ya.

Discuss "An Unfillable Hole" (0 comments so far)


Ahead of the Curve

Baby UpdatePrior to Michelle's birth, I was told by many that I'd notice a big difference in my daughter's early years compared with my son's. I was told she'd hit all her milestones earlier, such as sitting up, crawling, walking, talking, etc.

I took it all with a grain of salt but it's becoming rather obvious that Michelle's pace is way ahead of James'. Right now I'm watching her take a few steps up-right with the aid of an ottoman for support. She's only seven months old!

I'm feeling pretty good about how things worked out. The boy came first and with no frame of reference we allowed him to progress at his own rate without an ounce of concern. He's developed into the sweetest, kindest, smartest kid with a tremendous sense of humour. Now we have the girl who is doing everything much earlier. Because our frame of reference is the boy, this all seems much easier than it should. It's awesome.

The moral of this story is, if you're going to do the boy-girl thing, have the boy first. It's definitely the way to go.

Discuss "Ahead of the Curve" (0 comments so far)


St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3

The Blue and White Maple LeafJoel Kwiatkowski was acquired by the Leafs eight days ago and last night the move paid off when he scored 2:07 into overtime to give St. John's a 4-3 win over the Hamilton Bulldogs. The win moves the Leafs back into a second-place tie with the Manitoba Moose in the American Hockey League's North Division. Mikael Tellqvist continued his hot play making 38 saves to earn his seventh straight win.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
39-24-1-3
80 points
4-3 Win vs. Hamilton
7-1 Loss vs. Cleveland
4-2 Win vs. Cleveland
Kyle Wellwood - 70 pts
David Ling - 70 pts
Matt Stajan - 50 pts

Discuss "St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Hamilton Bulldogs 3" (0 comments so far)


Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England!"

Discuss "Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week" (0 comments so far)


The Big Mac and the Terrifying Truth

The NeedleMark McGwire ticked me off from the start. In his rookie season he hit 49 home runs for the Oakland Athletics beating George Bell by two to win the league crown. This was back in '87 when George Bell was my favourite player who I desperately wanted to win the title with his 47.

In '98 I forgave McGwire and closely followed his pursuit of Roger Maris' single season mark. I rooted for him, anxiously awaiting daily updates to hear if he went deep again. I wasn't going to miss #62 and watched each televised at bat until he hit it.

Yesterday, McGwire was asked repeatedly if he had ever used illegal performance enhancing drugs. At each and every turn, he evaded the question. He never said he didn't, but he wouldn't say he did either.

There's no doubt that if the answer was no he would have said "no". Clearly, the answer is yes. In my eyes, he'd be a bigger man if he just admitted he took steroids and apologized to the kids who believed he was swatting 500 foot homers clean. By refusing to take this responsibility, the Big Mac just got a whole lot smaller.

I'm reminded of Mark McGwire's cameo appearance in The Simpsons' episode "Brother's Little Helper" and his closing statement "Do you want to know the terrifying truth, or do you want to see me sock a few dingers?" Mr. McGwire, we want the truth. We're ready to handle it as we know what it will be.

Discuss "The Big Mac and the Terrifying Truth" (0 comments so far)


SLS Submission

SLS SubmissionI would have just submitted a song via the Smells Like Sour website for SLS13 consideration, but it was already submitted.

I was going to submit "The Widow" by The Mars Volta. It's a sensational song and a shoe in for SLS13. I hear the entire album is awesome and I can't wait to hear it.

Discuss "SLS Submission" (0 comments so far)


The Friday Five

The Number FiveTop home run hitters in Blue Jays history

  1. Carlos Delgado
  2. Joe Carter
  3. George Bell
  4. Jesse Barfield
  5. Lloyd Moseby

Discuss "The Friday Five" (0 comments so far)


Freebird

MusicThe Wall Street Journal recently had an interesting article on the yelling of "Freebird" at rock concerts.

Yelling "Freebird!" has been a rock cliché for years, guaranteed to elicit laughs from drunks and scorn from music fans who have long since tired of the joke. And it has spread beyond music, prompting the Chicago White Sox organist to add the song to her repertoire and inspiring a greeting card in which a drunk holding a lighter hollers "Freebird!" at wedding musicians.

It's an interesting article, but it fails to mention what I believe to be the main force behind this tradition since the early 90s. On The Simpsons, prior to a concert, somebody in the crowd yells "Play some Skynyrd, Man!". I can't exactly recall if this is "The Otto Show" or "Lisa's Rival", but it's one of the two I'm sure. I believe this episode introduced this tradition to the masses promoting the action to rock cliché.

It certainly introduced me to the ritual and I've been doing it ever since. I'm not at all suggesting The Simpsons invented this, I'm merely mentioning the fact that they played a role in the commonality of the practice we all witness today. For the Wall Street Journal not to mention this fact is a serious oversight on their part.

Discuss "Freebird" (0 comments so far)


Songs O' The Green

Happy St. Patrick's DayWith only a few more hours remaining in St. Patricks' Day 2005, here are my ten favourite songs with the word "green" in the title.

  1. Green Onions - Booker T & the MGs
  2. Fiddler's Green - The Tragically Hip
  3. Little Green Bag - The George Baker Selection
  4. Green Disease - Pearl Jam
  5. Green River - Creedence Clearwater Revival
  6. Green Eyes - Coldplay
  7. It's Not Easy Being Green - Kermit the Frog
  8. Green Eyes - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  9. Bitter Green - Gordon Lightfoot
  10. Green Apples - Chantal Kreviazuk

Discuss "Songs O' The Green" (0 comments so far)


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayBand To Band.com - "Bands have a tendency to share band members from time to time and as a result it is not difficult to construct a simple "family tree" based upon the interrelationship of band members. We at BandToBand.com decided to find out how large this extended tree is and the following list of bands is that result. Each band listed below is connected to every other band listed based upon this family tree principle."

Hours of cool fun.

Discuss "My Link of the Day" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumAndre Norton was 93. She was the science fiction and fantasy author who wrote the popular Witch World series.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's DayI remember a pre-teen version of myself timidly approaching the elderly woman behind the counter of the Irish Store and asking if she had a print of the Doors of Dublin. Ryan was there too and our plan was to buy this print and have it framed for our Grandmother who spoke often about the old country. She spoke with such fondness of Dublin and Irish sayings and legends and we knew she'd love the Doors of Dublin on the wall of her Gilford home.

For many, St. Patrick's Day has become an excuse to party and drink to excess. For me, it's a reason to remember good times with my Grandma. She's not feeling particularly well right now but I like to think she knows it's St. Patrick's Day. Grandma, may the Lord keep you in His hand and never close His fist too tight.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Discuss "Happy St. Patrick's Day" (0 comments so far)


St. John's Maple Leafs 1, Cleveland Barons 7

The Blue and White Maple LeafWe'll forgive the Leafs for laying an egg last night. They had won six in a row after all. Last night, they started Jean-Sebastien Aubin in net even though Mikael Tellqvist had started all six games during the winning streak and Aubin proved to be a little rusty. Apparently rust does sleep.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
38-24-1-3
80 points
7-1 Loss vs. Cleveland
4-2 Win vs. Cleveland
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
Kyle Wellwood - 68 pts
David Ling - 68 pts
Matt Stajan - 48 pts

Discuss "St. John's Maple Leafs 1, Cleveland Barons 7" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumDanny Joe Brown was 53. He was the original lead singer of Southern rock collective Molly Hatchet.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


The Tragically Hip Update

The Tragically HipI just chucked a Pearl Jam update on the fire so it's only fair I follow it up with a Hip update. Dan Aykroyd will be appearing at the upcoming Juno awards to honour Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductees The Tragically Hip.

That's Sunday, April 3rd in case you don't already have it marked down on your calendars.

Discuss "The Tragically Hip Update" (0 comments so far)


Pearl Jam Update

Pearl JamEd and the boys are quietly working on their next studio album. Matt Cameron told Rolling Stone, "There's a lot more up-tempo stuff. It's a lot more rockin' than our last one." Some new songs in consideration are "Severed Hand," "Worldwide Suicide," "2X4," "Marker," "Cold Concession" and "Unemployable".

I'm thinking if they release the album in the spring they'll tour to support it and they'll hit Toronto some time this summer. I'm so there.

Discuss "Pearl Jam Update" (0 comments so far)


The New VR

TVI've poked fun at The New VR before. For over a decade this station out of Barrie has been calling itself new. The statute of limitations on "new" ran out a long, long time ago.

Apparently, parent company CHUM Television has grown tired of the New VR jokes. They plan to rebrand all of their Southern Ontario "New" stations as A-Channels for the Fall 2005 television season.

I'm going to miss the New VR. Who am I kidding? The New VR sucks no matter what they call it. I don't watch it as The New VR and I won't watch it as an A-Channel.

Discuss "The New VR" (0 comments so far)


Weekly MP3

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.

House Of Pain - Top O' The Morning To Ya
Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day and in honour of the occasion I'm sharing Ireland's national anthem. Ok, it's not their official anthem, but it should be. I've always dug this tune, especially in March.

Discuss "Weekly MP3" (0 comments so far)


St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Cleveland Barons 2

The Blue and White Maple LeafKyle Wellwood and David Ling each had a goal and an assist as the St. John's Maple Leafs extended their American Hockey League winning streak to six games Tuesday night by doubling the Cleveland Barons 4-2. The victory was the 38th of the season for St. John's, giving the Leafs their most wins in a season since the 1993-94 campaign.

Not so coincidentally, this Leaf excellence directly coincides with my decision to recap each of their games this season. If my hypothesis is correct, and I believe it is, the Leafs are excelling because they are aware of this extra attention. They realize that we're watching them far closer this season than any other in their franchise history. When we win the Calder Cup, I intend to take a great deal of the credit.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
38-23-1-3
80 points
4-2 Win vs. Cleveland
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
Kyle Wellwood - 68 pts
David Ling - 68 pts
Matt Stajan - 48 pts

Discuss "St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Cleveland Barons 2" (0 comments so far)


Pop Unders

Thumbs DownBack in the day, we used to be aggravated by pop-ups when surfing the web. Then, we all installed pop-up killers or switched to a browser that killed them for us. I haven't been bugged by pop-ups in well over a year.

Lately, when visiting a Maple Leafs fan site, I've encountered what can best be described as a pop-under. A new window is opened advertising something or other. This even occurs with my beloved Firefox browser, the tricky bastards.

It's more than enough to get me to stop visiting the site. Do they really think visitors will overlook such annoyances? If I visit thirty different web sites in a day, this is the only one that pulls this intrusive stunt. I really wish they'd stop because it's a pretty good site for Leaf fans and I'd like to return.

Discuss "Pop Unders" (0 comments so far)


Guest Blog Entry

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

I heard on the news that Molson Canadian changed their "I AM CANADIAN" slogan to "IT STARTS HERE" or something like that. I think the I Am Canadian was more target for Canada and the fact that this is OUR beer. I bet Labatt's relieved.

      the LYON

It's tough to focus on nationalist sentiment when you're now Molson Coors Brewing Co., an American-operated organization. "I Am Canadian" would merely remind us that Molson Is American.

As the only Canadian who doesn't drink beer, I don't really care what slogan they go with, but the fact they're abandoning Joe Canadian is a bitter reminder that Molson couldn't afford to stay Canadian. That's a damn shame.

Discuss "Guest Blog Entry" (0 comments so far)


We Need Murray Eldon Now More Than Ever

Blue JaysI'm pissed. I just learned that Paul Godfrey fired long time public address announcer Murray Eldon.

I've never attended a Blue Jays game without hearing Eldon's sweet voice announcing the batters. If I close my eyes I can still hear his signature deliveries for Damaso Garcia, Willie Upshaw, Alfredo Griffin, Tony Fernandez and Jesse Barfield. In the 90s, you knew you were home when he announced Roberto Alomar, Paul Molitor and John Olerud. As much as Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth represent the sound of Blue Jays baseball on the radio, Eldon is the sound of Blue Jays baseball at the old Exhibition Stadium and Skydome. Now, he's been told his services are no longer required.

First, they took the "blue" out of the Blue Jays by redesigning the uniform so there's no sign of the word "Toronto", no maple leaf and no "blue". Then, they renamed Skydome, another sure sign that they care very little for the history of this franchise. And now, they've done away with their excellent public address announcer of 27 years to move in a different direction. I'm sure the new voice will be edgy and hip and awful.

We need Murray Eldon now more than ever. We need to retain a semblance of our glorious past, years when we were annual contenders, winning pennants and filling the dome. We must not alienate the die hard fans, those who have loved Blue Jays baseball for years.

I already miss Eldon, but I have 27 years of memories to get me through many a future summer. Now batting for your Toronto Blue Jays, #1, Murray Eldon.

Discuss "We Need Murray Eldon Now More Than Ever" (13 comments so far)


SLS Sells Out?

HangerThis note's still for you, only now you can look stylish while listening to it.

We at Smells Like Sour are now selling official Smells Like Sour tee shirts. See for yourself. If your wardrobe doesn't contain one of these suckers, you're just not happening.

Discuss "SLS Sells Out?" (0 comments so far)


March Canadian Madness

Canada BasketballIt's March and that means the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament set to get underway. There are ten Canadians in the tournament, but we're focusing on one young man from Montreal. His name is Juan Mendez.

Mendez set the all-time Canadian NCAA scoring record this season while playing for Niagara and was named the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference player of the year. He's got them in the big tournament for the first time in 35 years. The Purple Eagles are seeded No.14 in what's known as the Austin bracket of the NCAA championship and will face No.3 Oklahoma in Tucson, Arizona, on Thursday.

We'll be watching and rooting for the underdog Niagara Purple Eagles and their star from Montreal.

Discuss "March Canadian Madness" (0 comments so far)


The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. Sons Of 3rd Bass - 3rd Bass
  2. Poetry - Boogie Down Productions
  3. Thugs - The Tragically Hip
  4. Outside - Staind
  5. Leash - Pearl Jam
  6. Canary Bird - Muddy Waters
  7. You Shook Me All Night Long - AC~DC
  8. Disposable Teens - Marilyn Manson
  9. Take It Back - Pink Floyd
  10. I Am A Rock - Simon & Garfunkle

Discuss "The Monday Shuffle" (0 comments so far)


New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. There's a couple if pictures previously referenced in this blog and a couple of additional shots of Michelle.

Discuss "New Pictures" (0 comments so far)


The End of Innocence

ScissorsMarch 13th, 2005 at age three years and a week shy of two months. That's when James got his first actual haircut by a professional.

Here's a picture I secured of this monumental event. The plan was for the two of us to make it until May but neither of us could take it anymore. The cut easily added a year to his face. Sweet Baby James is no more.

Discuss "The End of Innocence" (0 comments so far)


Another Interview With Custom

A MicrophoneI posted my torontomike.com Interview with Custom last month but I conducted a second interview with him for Smells Like Sour. Here it is in case you missed it over there.

Q: What do you think of "illegal" music downloads and the lawsuits by the RIAA against music fans in the U.S.?
A: i think that guys who host gigantic servers full of music and film to give out for free should be dealt with. this is different than fans sharing songs they love. that is an ancient tradition which is beautiful. from the sixties and seventies when people would gather in dorm rooms to listen to whole new albums together, to mix tapes, to campfire like singalongs. where does one draw the line. hey mister was downloaded millions of times. i'm glad people are enjoying the song, but....

Q: Do you think a new business model will emerge, one in which gives the artist control (and ownership) of the creative product?
A: Artist's can and have been able to control their product forever. I don't know why everyone is whining. If you want to make your shit like we all do at your home studio and then put it on the web or burn cds for your friends etc. you can. If you want to be on the radio and mtv and get to people around the world you need someone to spend money for you. that's the record company. in what business does someone do all that for you and not have ownership and control? hopefully there will be new models coming out of this market correction. because fifteen dollar cds are a tough sell at this point.

Q: What are your thoughts about the need for direct communication between artists and their fans?
A: i have mixed emotions about this. even as i write answers to your questions here, which i think are important and interesting, i think it's not really my job. my job is to communicate through my recordings and performances. that is the direct communication i am interested in. that is ultimately what it is all about.

Q: Your upcoming album is peppered with politically-charged lyrics. Can you tell us about your opinions and thoughts conveyed in the music?
A: i hope they are decoded by the listener as they stand without much further intervention by me.

Q: Do you think it is important for artists to speak out on political and social issues?
A: i do. since conventional news media does not seem to relay any news it is important for us at least to raise the awareness to ask the question why? or what is really going on? unfortunately it's a seemingly dangerous thing to do. there is a great deal of actual censorship going on right now and any sort of 'anti-american' sentiment will get squashed quite quickly. even thought it seems very obvious that people should be questioning, questioning itself it seems is considered 'anti american'. it is highly improbable that any band could release a song right now that said 'should we really be at war right now'. the gatekeepers (radio etc) would make short work of that, and that is scary.

Q: When will Smells Like Sour be able to release a preview of your upcoming video?
A: usa is being previewed right now. i hope people respond to it.

Q: What are your musical influences? What tunes did you listen to during your formative years and what are you listening to today?
A: i've been hearing the new mars volta song frequently lately on the radio in la. i like it alot. i am excited about the new nin record, i hear it is a masterpiece and i have always found trent r to be extremely inspiring. prince the cure pink floyd biggie the clash sex pistols and all the obvious things have inspired me. talk talk laughing stock is a sick record. i don't know. tons of shit.

Discuss "Another Interview With Custom" (0 comments so far)


The Crosby Show

A Hockey PuckPeriodically I like to check in on 17-year-old phenom Sidney Crosby and see how he's doing in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. On Friday night, Crosby put on a clinic scoring three goals and adding four assists. Crosby's seven-point night lifted his league-leading point-total to 152.

Last night, Crosby followed up that performance with three more goals and a couple of assists. That's 157 points in 59 games. As Nikolai Borschevsky once said, that's unbelievable.

The Crosby Show is awesome, but how's his Rimouski Oceanic doing? They're now within two of the QMJHL record unbeaten streak of 27, set by Sorel in 1973-74 and tied by Quebec in 1998-99. That too is unbelievable.

Discuss "The Crosby Show" (0 comments so far)


St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Edmonton Road Runners 2

The Blue and White Maple LeafThe Leafs own the Edmonton Road Runners. St. John's has won all eight games against the Road Runners this season, seven of them by just one goal. One of the games was decided in overtime and three others in a shootout, including this one. Mikael Tellqvist and the Leafs have won five in a row.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
37-23-1-3
78 points
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
3-2 Win vs. Hershey
Kyle Wellwood - 66 pts
David Ling - 66 pts
Matt Stajan - 48 pts

Discuss "St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Edmonton Road Runners 2" (0 comments so far)


My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism."
      - Carl Gustav Jung

Discuss "My Quote of the Week" (0 comments so far)


Won't Get Fooled Again

FoodA couple of months ago I wrote about my search for sugar free bubble gum. A couple of days ago, I visited our local Wal*Mart to pick up a few items. As always when I visit a Wal*Mart, I paid a visit to the gum rack hoping the sugar free bubble gum I used to enjoy would reappear. This time, I thought I had found the answer to my prayers.

They were carrying a new product. It was bags of Dubble Bubble sugar free bubble gum and I bought a couple of packs thinking my long search was finally over. I was wrong. I popped the first piece in my mouth and was pleased with the taste and texture. Then, it came time to blow the initial bubble. To my extreme disappointment, this gum wasn't designed for blowing bubbles. It tasted like bubble gum, it looked like bubble gum and it was made by Dubble Bubble, but this was no bubble gum.

I took a picture of the wrapper. Have a glance and you'll see in very small print next to the "Bubble Gum" label the word "Flavour". I don't want sugar free bubble gum flavoured gum. I want bubble gum I can actually blow bubbles with.

Won't get fooled again.

Discuss "Won't Get Fooled Again" (0 comments so far)


Les Triplettes de Belleville

A Movie ReelLes Triplettes de Belleville: 7.5 out of 10.

Finally, a good movie. "Les Triplettes de Belleville" was a pleasure to watch and a pleasure to listen to. What's amazing is the fact there's virtually no dialogue and this only adds to the tone. James would concur.

It's quirky, funny and aesthetically pleasing. More animated features should try following suit.

Discuss "Les Triplettes de Belleville" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumBill Cameron was 62. He was a veteran broadcaster and author who was host of Global TV's Newsweek from 1978 to '83, an anchor on Toronto's Citytv in the 1980s and a broadcaster at the CBC after that.

When Bill Cameron was anchoring CBLT's Toronto News in the 90s, it was my go-to station for the 6:00 news. I always thought Cameron had a deadly combination of intelligence and wit and I followed him to CBC Newsworld when he left CBLT. I heard his voice earlier this year as the narrator of an excellent documentary and remembered how versatile he was. He will be missed.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Edmonton Road Runners 2

The Blue and White Maple LeafThe Leafs have now strung together four wins in succession following their five game losing streak. Kyle Wellwood's powerplay marker proved to be the winner while Mikael Tellqvist stopped 32 of 34 shots.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
36-23-1-3
76 points
3-2 Win vs. Edmonton
3-2 Win vs. Hershey
4-3 Win vs. Hershey
Kyle Wellwood - 66 pts
David Ling - 66 pts
Matt Stajan - 47 pts

Discuss "St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Edmonton Road Runners 2" (0 comments so far)


Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"If something is to hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your shortwave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV."

Discuss "Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week" (0 comments so far)


Guest Blog Entry

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

I remember vividley Doug Flutie's pass at Boston College to get him to the next level. If you go on his website nothing is said about his time in the CFL from 1990-97 (it's listed under New England Patriots with no games played). Time for him to come back to the CFL. He was probably the one of the most versatile QB's Toronto have ever seen. Come back Doug. Imagine HIM & DAMON alternating as QB's. It would be awesome. At least we have one championship team from our city in the last few years.

      Twins From Bolton

Damn, you're right. Doug's official site doesn't list his CFL years under his statistics. His biography, however, dwells quite a bit on this period. "After the 1989 season came to a close, Flutie went north of the border to the CFL for an eight year career that ranks as perhaps the greatest quarterback career in Canadian football history."

I'd love to see him and Damon alternating as QBs for the Argos. Their combined age of 84 would have to be a record.

Discuss "Guest Blog Entry" (0 comments so far)


SLS Domain

SLSWhat's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

If Bill Shakespeare were blogging today, he'd be asking what's in a domain name. Who can blame him? Securing the proper domain name for your site is half the battle.

Today we starting using www.smellslikesour.com to reference out SLS page. We're also previewing the new Custom video for "USA". Simply visit www.smellslikesour.com and it will automatically play.

As if that wasn't enough for one day, the front page of SLS has also changed considerably. It's now the SLS Blog with the latest submissions listed on side bar to the right.

Bill would be proud.

Discuss "SLS Domain" (0 comments so far)


Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed

A Movie ReelScooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed: 2.5 out of 10.

I wanted to give this craptacular film a 1.5 but James seemed to like the idea of a talking dog. Unfortunately, this movie was just too dumb to retain his attention for 93 minutes.

Last night I watched "Starsky & Hutch" and complained it lacked comedic instances. "Starsky & Hutch" is "The Naked Gun" compared to "Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed". Avoid at all costs, even if watching with a three year old.

Discuss "Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed" (0 comments so far)


The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite movies featuring Ben Stiller

  1. The Royal Tenenbaums
  2. There's Something About Mary
  3. The Cable Guy
  4. Happy Gilmore
  5. Reality Bites

Discuss "The Friday Five" (0 comments so far)


#7

Buffalo BillsThe San Diego Chargers have released quarterback Doug Flutie. This may mark the end of the 42 year old's career.

I only own one football jersey, and that's a #7 Buffalo Bills Doug Flutie. There were so many reasons to root for the diminutive quarterback. There's the hail mary pass while at Boston College. There's the years of MVP service in the CFL and the two Grey Cups he brought to Toronto. There's the glorious NFL comeback with the Bills when he guided them to back-to-back playoff berths. We all loved #7.

I've previously written about the moment and it involves Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson. Flutie was the man and he will be missed. If the NFL doesn't want him, he can always come back and play up here.

Discuss "#7" (0 comments so far)


Starsky & Hutch

A Movie ReelStarsky & Hutch: 4.5 out of 10.

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson show up in some funny flicks. Not this time though. "Starsky & Hutch" was a comedy that's completely void of any comedic instances. It's as if the writers forgot the jokes completely.

What a waste of a decent cast. I laughed more during five minutes of "The Royal Tenenbaums".

Discuss "Starsky & Hutch" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumNicole DeHuff was 30. She was an actress best known for playing Teri Polo's sister in "Meet the Parents".

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


Guest Blog Entry

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

I recently came across this fact about the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commision.

$21 billion - Gaming proceeds generated since 1975 for worthwhile causes throughout Ontario.

so why is our health care in such a mess ?

      The Grinch

Good question.

Discuss "Guest Blog Entry" (0 comments so far)


Congratulations Mo Pete!

Toronto RaptorsMorris Peterson has successfully punched the clock for 258 games in succession making him the reigning iron man in the NBA. He earned the distinction when Washington Wizards forward Antawn Jamison missed Tuesday night's game at New York due to right knee tendinitis.

Sure, there were nights when we didn't notice Mo Pete, but he was there. There were nights when his butt was glued to the bench, but Mo Pete made the score card. When it's game time, Mo Pete might not be on, he might not even appear to care, but he shows up each and every time.

Peterson has a long way to go to break the all-time record of 1,192 consecutive games set by A.C. Green, whose streak stretched from 1986 to 2001. Cross your fingers!

Discuss "Congratulations Mo Pete!" (0 comments so far)


It's Not Dangerous

WebCatching up on some reading this morning, I came across this list of "Ten Reasons Why Blogging is Good For Your Career". I think it's on point.

  1. You have to get noticed to get promoted.
  2. You have to get noticed to get hired.
  3. It really impresses people when you say "Oh, I've written about that, just google for XXX and I'm on the top page" or "Oh, just google my name."
  4. No matter how great you are, your career depends on communicating. The way to get better at anything, including communication, is by practicing. Blogging is good practice.
  5. Bloggers are better-informed than non-bloggers. Knowing more is a career advantage.
  6. Knowing more also means you're more likely to hear about interesting jobs coming open.
  7. Networking is good for your career. Blogging is a good way to meet people.
  8. If you're an engineer, blogging puts you in intimate contact with a worse-is-better 80/20 success story. Understanding this mode of technology adoption can only help you.
  9. If you're in marketing, you'll need to understand how its rules are changing as a result of the current whirlwind, which nobody does, but bloggers are at least somewhat less baffled.
  10. It's a lot harder to fire someone who has a public voice, because it will be noticed.

The author assumes the blogger is reasonably competent, reasonably coherent, and reasonably mature. This may disqualify me.

Discuss "It's Not Dangerous" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumChris LeDoux was 56. He was a world champion bareback rider who parlayed songs about cowboys he knew on the rodeo circuit into a successful country music career.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


SI Cover Boys

Toronto Blue JaysHave you seen the cover of Sports Illustrated this week? It features Frank Catalanotto, Vernon Wells and Reed Johnson of your Toronto Blue Jays.

Great, that's just what we needed. The Sports Illustrated cover jinx is legendary. As if having the Red Sox and Yankees in our division wasn't enough.

Discuss "SI Cover Boys" (0 comments so far)


Weekly MP3

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.

Tax Jam Pollution
I find myself listening to more and more mash ups these days. Today I'm sharing a mash up of the The Beatles' "Taxman", The Jam's "Start!", Beck's "New Pollution" and The Beatles' "A Day In The Life".

Discuss "Weekly MP3" (0 comments so far)


Tale of the Tape

Baby TalkBecause inquiring minds want to know...

Michelle
- 7 months old
- crawling up a storm
- 2.5 teeth
- sleeping in her crib for most of the night
- cooing and cawing
- cute as a button

James
- 3 years old
- speaking in full sentences
- smart as a whip
- hilarious sense of humour
- cute as a button

I'm two for two!

Discuss "Tale of the Tape" (0 comments so far)


Mean People Suck

Thumbs DownI don't blog about everything. In fact, I won't post my most interesting entries because they aren't quite fit for public consumption.

For about a year now I've had a rather large responsibility on my plate that I've never referred to in these pages. Oh behalf of someone I love I've worked quite hard and tackled a great deal in order to do well by her and live up to the awesome responsibility she entrusted in me some years ago.

On a very personal and human level, I am utterly disappointed by the fact other people would actually go out of their way to make this process more difficult than it already is. An incident yesterday confirms the fact some people would actually be satisfied by my failure. Some people would take an ounce of joy for every ounce of blood, sweat and tears I toil. Sadly but surely, some people are quite simply mean.

Mean people suck.

Discuss "Mean People Suck" (0 comments so far)


USA Video

USAAbout a month ago I got the opportunity to preview fourteen unreleased Custom tracks. One of these tunes was called "USA" and was a political rocker calling the USA out on some of their practices.

There's now a video for this tune and it's awesome. Download Custom's video for "USA" and have a listen. The song is great and the video is better.

As a side note, the lyrics for the version in this video are slightly toned down from the version I heard last month. Never underestimate the influence of Dubya's Jesusland.

Discuss "USA Video" (0 comments so far)


Tarantino Vs. Jason?

A Movie ReelQuentin Tarantino is meeting with New Line Cinema executives to discuss resurrecting the Friday the 13th franchise.

Looking back, Friday the 13th's are pretty cheesy, but as a kid I loved the series. He wore a hockey mask, slaughtered victims at an impressive rate and you could always count on a gratuitous nude scene or two. That's the recipe for an ideal pre-teen flick. I'd love to see what Tarantino would do with it.

Discuss "Tarantino Vs. Jason?" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumTeresa Wright was 86. She was the willowy actress who starred opposite Gary Cooper and Marlon Brando and won a supporting Academy Award in 1942 for "Mrs. Miniver".

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


Shower Genius

ShowerI'm a shower genius. During my morning shower, I tune in CFNY Edge 102 on my shower radio and brain storm. The great ideas come fast and furiously in a creative explosion.

I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but If I could live in the shower I'd be mentioned alongside men like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison. For ten or so minutes a day, I'm a bonafide genius.

Discuss "Shower Genius" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumDebra Hill was 54. She co-wrote the horror classic "Halloween" and rose through Hollywood's ranks to become a pioneering woman producer.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


Another E for Nick

Nick CarterNick, Nick, Nick... Remember we played ball a couple of years ago? It was a beautiful Canada Day and we were teammates. It was painful watching you boot that pop fly but it was even more painful reading about your latest error.

You were arrested Saturday night on a misdemeanor charge of drunken driving. Your little brother claims you not only beat him but your ex Paris too. It's one thing to flub an easy play at second but these other errors are nothing to sneeze at.

Write me and we'll talk. You need help and teammates help teammates. I want it that way.

Discuss "Another E for Nick" (0 comments so far)


The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. Letting The Cables Sleep - Bush
  2. Hooker With A Penis - Tool
  3. My Poor Brain - Foo Fighters
  4. That Growling Baby Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
  5. Kerosene - Cracker
  6. The Fear - Trust Company
  7. Sherpa - The Tragically Hip
  8. Help Me - Nirvana
  9. Sweetheart Come - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  10. Sober - Tool

Discuss "The Monday Shuffle" (0 comments so far)


An Interview With Kevin Shea

A MicrophoneKevin Shea is the author of "Barilko: Without a Trace", the detailed story of Bill Barilko. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the legend of Bill Barilko. You'll see his name at the top of this site and you'll find a Barilko #5 Leafs jersey hanging in my closet.

Kevin Shea was nice enough to agree to an interview and here it is for your enjoyment.

Q: The story of Bill Barilko is legendary in these parts. Bill Barilko was only 24 years old with a mere five seasons under his belt. Had he lived, what kind of career do you think he would have had? How would history have viewed him today?
A: Bill was a good, solid defenseman who was developing well under Hap Day's (and later, Joe Primeau's) defensive system. Other than game films, I never saw Barilko play, but teammates of Bill's I trust (Howie Meeker, Ted Kennedy) insist he was an emerging All-Star and a potential Hall of Famer. I can't really comment too much, but even on his own blueline, he usually was only the second or third best defenseman on the team, behind Jim Thomson and often, Gus Mortson. My instinct is that Bill was incredibly popular with the fans and his teammates, but was destined to remain a reliable defenseman who would deliver eye-popping hits and clutch goals from time to time. But his goal on April 21, 1951 ensured that he would be remembered in Leaf history books. His death that summer cemented his legendary reputation in Canadian culture.

Q: Bill Barilko's #5 is one of only two jersey numbers retired by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Do you feel more numbers should be honoured in this fashion by the blue and white or should this remain reserved for those whose careers are ended tragically? I can think of a hand full of other numbers that should be retired. Can you imagine somebody wearing #93 again?
A: I like the Leafs' system of honouring numbers but really like to see exceptional players recognized by retirement of their number. With older franchises (like Toronto and Montreal), it takes a fair number of jersey numbers out of the loop, but why not? I find it odd to see less than legendary players sporting the #7, 9 or 27 for the Leafs, for example. Why not retire #14 for Keon and yes, 93 for Doug Gilmour while we're at it? It gives an aura of heritage and history that is so important in hockey.

Q: I'm looking at a Toronto Maple Leafs Stanley Cup flag hanging in my basement right now. There's a gaping hole between 1951 and 1962. This, of course, is also the period of time Bill Barilko's body remained undiscovered. Do you believe the two facts are related?
A: I do. Bill Barilko was an immensely popular player, both with the fans but also with his teammates. It wasn't so much the loss of his talent that left a gaping hole, although that was certainly an issue, but it was was the loss of his spirit that left the void. The Leafs lost part of their soul when Barilko disappeared inexplicably. The team lost some of its cameraderie and fun with Bill gone, and regular media reports about the ongoing search drew the concern to the surface over and over. Combined with the retirement of Broda and (earlier), Apps, it took a decade to develop a new spirit -- one which held together for four more championships in the sixties and the second Leafs;' dynasty, partly anchored around Tim Horton -- Barilko's eventual replacement.

Q: Your book "Barilko: Without a Trace" has helped introduce the legend of Bill Barilko to a whole new audience. Why do you believe it's important we never forget Bill?
A: Hockey was a different game in that era. Players played for the passion; not the money. The system primarily found players in their mid to late teens, rather than nurturing kids 8 and 9 years old as is so often the case today. Bill achieved a dream that even HE couldn't have imagined ever coming to fruition. Poor kid, no equipment, lousy skater, bad eyesight, few prospects for a bright future, yet he found his way, miraculously and against all odds, to the NHL. Dreams can come true. Bill Barilko proved it.

Q: Back in October 2004, the film rights to your book were sold to Vancouver-based producer George Mendeluk. What's the current status of this project? Will Bill Barilko's story be coming to a cineplex near us any time soon?
A: Not soon. Films have long, arduous paths to reach completion. George Mendeluk, with some assistance from me, has written a proposal and a draft of the screenplay. It is circulating around and has garnered some strong and genuine interest. This is normal. When investors spend millions of dollars, they want to be fairly certain they will earn their money back. A few actors have shown interest, too. Even if the money fell into place quickly, which is unlikely to happen, it would still take more than a year to polish the script, cast the actors and shoot, edit and produce the film. There is no real timeline other than our own eagerness to see this film come to pass. Out of necessity, as we knew, George has had to continue his directing career while shopping this script. He is in Vancouver now working on a TV movie, but is working on his West Coast contacts (and meeting Howie Meeker) while he is there. Meeker is on Vancouver Island.

Q: Do you have any other Bill Barilko-inspired projects on the go?
A: Bill's sister Anne and I will be doing a three-hour seminar for the Learning Annex in Toronto on the evening of April 21 this year -- the anniversary of Bill's historic goal. Although I have purposely kept my involvement to zero, a group has put forward Bill Barilko's name as a possible Inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame, too.

Q: The Tragically Hip brought this story to the masses with "Fifty Mission Cap". You, like myself, are a big fan of the band. What's your favourite Hip song?
A: Of course, I have always loved 'Fifty Mission Cap' and even more since writing this book, but my favourite Hip track is 'Courage.' In the early 90's, I was the Director of National Promotion for Universal Music Canada and worked on promoting the 'Road Apples' and (my favourite) 'Fully Completely' albums. 'Three Pistols' and 'Locked in the Trunk of a Car' are also favourite tracks. I love The Tragically Hip. Although I've lost some of my zeal for the band over the past few albums, they still are my favourite band of all time. And absolutely brilliant guys to both work with and talk hockey to!

Q: Will the Leafs ever win another cup? Please say they will...
A: I certainly hope they will...and in our lifetimes too. The lock-out will have dire consequences to the Leafs' roster. The year (or more) away will make an old team, ancient. Belfour, Roberts, Nieuwendyk, Mogilny and Leetch were to be the nucleus of a championship team, and on paper, it sounds like a Hall of Fame squad, but time lost will not be kind to the remaining years in the careers of these gentlemen. It hurts. A lot!

Q: Is there anything you'd like to share with the torontomike.com faithful?
A: I love your site and am very interested in your blogs on topics that are also relevant to me. For example, I too love Dr. Demento. Through the nineties, I worked extensively with 'Weird Al' Yankovic, who got his start on Dr. Demento's show.

Discuss "An Interview With Kevin Shea" (4 comments so far)


Collateral

A Movie ReelCollateral: 6.5 out of 10.

Sure, Jamie Foxx is pretty good in this flick, but Tom Cruise might be better. In a different character for him he pulls it off nicely. The end result is not a bad little movie, but it could have been a great movie. Oh well.

A definite highlight is the use of Audioslave's "Shadow On The Sun" in a couple of key scenes. Cornell's voice sounds great in film.

Discuss "Collateral" (1 comment so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumChuck Thompson was 83. He was the Hall of Fame broadcaster whose deep voice and enthusiasm for the job entertained Baltimore sports fans for more than 50 years.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


Doctor Demento

RadioAs a youngster, I have vivid memories of tuning in "The Doctor Demento Show" show on my little transister radio. I believe it was on Sunday nights on CHUMFM at 20:00 and I was there every week.

There is now a web site hosting over 90% of the past Doctor Demento shows. Take 1987 for example. Available right now is the profile on Spike Jones, the overview of bubblegum music, the show on Groucho Marx and more.

Where would we be without the web? MP3s of the radio shows from my youth at my fingertips. It's awesome.

Discuss "Doctor Demento" (0 comments so far)


St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Hershey Bears 2

The Blue and White Maple LeafA Nathan scored a big goal in the third period for the second night in a row against the Hershey Bears but this time it was Nathan Barrett instead of Nathan Perrott. Once again, Mikael Tellqvist played well as the Leafs won their second in a row.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
35-23-1-3
74 points
3-2 Win vs. Hershey
4-3 Win vs. Hershey
3-2 Win vs. Grand Rapids
Kyle Wellwood - 65 pts
David Ling - 65 pts
Matt Stajan - 47 pts

Discuss "St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Hershey Bears 2" (0 comments so far)


New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. If you're wondering why I haven't posted new pictures in a while, it's because my favourite two subjects have been battling colds. Catching them with a clean nose has been mission impossible.

Discuss "New Pictures" (0 comments so far)


My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer."
      - Ted Williams

Discuss "My Quote of the Week" (0 comments so far)


St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Hershey Bears 3

The Blue and White Maple LeafNathan Perrott scored the winning goal with less than five minutes left in regulation as the St. John's Maple Leafs edged the Hershey Bears 4-3 in American Hockey League play Friday night. The Bears outshot the Leafs 37-24 but Mikeael Tellqvist stood tall.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
34-23-1-3
72 points
4-3 Win vs. Hershey
3-2 Win vs. Grand Rapids
5-2 Loss vs. Chicago
Kyle Wellwood - 65 pts
David Ling - 65 pts
Matt Stajan - 47 pts

Discuss "St. John's Maple Leafs 4, Hershey Bears 3" (0 comments so far)


Your Honest Opinion Is Requested

HyperlinkI threw together the new official web page for Custom. It's now live at it's permanent URI but I don't consider it complete. I want readers of this site to visit it and share with me their honest feedback.

I rarely assign you homework, but that's exactly what I'm doing right now. Visit www.teamcustom.com and tell me what works and what doesn't. I'm more interested in the aesthetics, usability and concepts rather then hearing there's content missing. I know there's content missing.

It would also be very cool if you visited the official Custom bulletin board, registered and got that ball rolling.

I'm looking forward to hearing from each and every one of you.

Discuss "Your Honest Opinion Is Requested" (0 comments so far)


Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"I saw weird stuff in that place last night. Weird, strange, sick, twisted, eerie, godless, evil stuff. And I want in."

Discuss "Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week" (0 comments so far)


Moshing With PJ Fresh Phil

MusicYTV used to have young people hosting their programming they called PJs. I never did understand what the P stood for but understood this was a play on the MTV and Muchmusic VJs. The PJs may still be around but I wouldn't know not having spent a minute on YTV in quite some time. One of their more popular PJs in the mid-90s was a dude they called Fresh Phil.

I used to frequent The Phoenix in downtown Toronto and mosh into the wee hours of the night. I did this regularly when they were playing my kind of tunes. More often than not, on a Monday night, PJ Fresh Phil would be there too, head banging away to his heart's content.

I often wanted to approach him to say "You're PJ Fresh Phil!" but I never did. With the lights down low and the music turned up I felt it was his sanctuary from PJ-hood. It was his time to freak out on the dance floor without having to converse with a puppet or cow-tow to the pre-teen crowd.

I just let him be.

Discuss "Moshing With PJ Fresh Phil" (1 comment so far)


The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite movies featuring Morgan Freeman

  1. The Shawshank Redemption
  2. Se7en
  3. Lean On Me
  4. Amistad
  5. Unforgiven

Discuss "The Friday Five" (0 comments so far)


What Will Become Of The Next One?

HockeyOne thing I've wondered regarding the NHL lock out is what will become of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. This is Sydney Crosby's draft year and it's been awhile since a draft has had a player of this elite stature.

If they somehow agree to a draft, how do they determine who gets this awesome first pick? If they don't have a draft, what happens when the NHL resumes? Does Crosby and the other '86ers go into the next draft or are they unrestricted free agents?

As a Leafs fan, I'm quietly wondering if this might be a silver lining in the clouds. If they decide to make all players who missed the draft due to the lock out free agents, isn't it possible that the deep pocketed Maple Leafs go for broke and bring us that elusive megastar? Imagine Crosby in blue and white without having to finish out of the playoffs to get him. It is a possibility.

Discuss "What Will Become Of The Next One?" (0 comments so far)


Tony Soprano, Where Are You?

The SopranosI miss Tony. It was just about a year ago Season Five of "The Sopranos" started airing but we won't see Season Six for another year.

Last night I tuned into the new Law & Order series, "Trial By Jury". It was okay, but nothing special. (Update: I'm being kind because I enjoy the first three Law & Order's...in actuality, I thought it was poorly acted, poorly constructed and entirely uninteresting.) I was probably only watching to say good bye to Lenny Briscoe, but while I was watching I kept thinking about how good "The Sopranos" is. You really appreciate a show like that when watching a typical network drama.

Where have you gone, Tony Soprano, our nation turns it's lonely eyes to you.

Discuss "Tony Soprano, Where Are You?" (0 comments so far)


The Thrill of the Grass

Blue JaysInhale deeply, close your eyes and listen closely. Can you hear it? I hear wind rustling between long blades of grass while the crack of the bat echoes in the background. There's the sound of ball on leather and a crowd erupting in cheer following a two-bagger for the home team. And then, there's one of my favourite sounds in the world. The sound of Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth calling Blue Jays baseball.

A smile creeps upon my face when I think about turning on my radio and hearing those two describing a ball game. Their tones have been bringing me baseball for as long as I can remember. A glance at the Spring Training schedule reveals the Jays battle the Minnesota Twins tomorrow in Fort Myer to begin their Grapefruit schedule. Soon the season will start afresh with a clean slate. We're tied in first and right with the Yankees and Red Sox. It's a time of optimism and hope. It's time for Tom and Jerry.

Go Jays Go.

Discuss "The Thrill of the Grass" (0 comments so far)


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayThe Museum of Bad Album Covers - I love this stuff. This is a pretty sweet collection of horrible album covers like this.

Discuss "My Link of the Day" (0 comments so far)


St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Grand Rapids Griffins 2

The Blue and White Maple LeafIn the absence of NHL hockey and my Toronto Maple Leafs, I've been recapping St. John's Maple Leaf AHL action all season. We're well past the mid-way point now, yet I've never written about Carlo Colaiacovo, our great blue line prospect. He's had a rather quiet season, battling to stay healthy. Yesterday, however, he scored at 2:29 of overtime to lead the St. John's Maple Leafs to a 3-2 win over the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Current Record  Recent Games Season Leaders
33-23-1-3
70 points
3-2 Win vs. Grand Rapids
5-2 Loss vs. Chicago
3-2 Loss vs. Milwaukee
Kyle Wellwood - 65 pts
David Ling - 63 pts
Matt Stajan - 45 pts

Discuss "St. John's Maple Leafs 3, Grand Rapids Griffins 2" (0 comments so far)


SLS Submission

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a song via the Smells Like Sour website for SLS13 consideration.

I submitted "E-Pro" by Beck, the first single of his new album Guero.

It's a very Beck-ish song and that's a good thing. I get an Odelay feel from it and I'm digging the Beastie Boys sample. It's safe to say this tune is a shoe in for SLS13 this June.

Discuss "SLS Submission" (0 comments so far)


443 Metres Above the T-Dot

CN TowerI just saw an amazing picture of my Toronto on Flickr. Squiggle, who uploaded the pic, calls it "a composite of downtown Toronto, Centre Island and Lake Ontario, put together from photos taken from the CN Tower skypod, 443 m above the ground."

It's truly awesome. You should have a look.

Discuss "443 Metres Above the T-Dot" (0 comments so far)


Guest Blog Entry

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

How is it that Green Day's Holiday has 101 comments? Is it that controversial? And...how did Good Charlotte's Emotionless get on there (again!) ? I love SLS but where are all these newbies coming from? What's happening to SLS???

      Tal

Tal, I am so glad you wrote me about this subject that is very near and dear to my heart. I'll address your specific concerns about SLS and then I'd like to make a general statement about it.

  1. Visitors can comment on any song that has been submitted for consideration. We don't exert any control over what's popular. Good Charlotte posts consistently generate ten times the traffic that an entry for System of a Down does. Clearly popularity has little to do with quality. Having said that, the new Green Day album is really good and I'm glad to see their latest single garnering so much attention.
  2. So much Good Charlotte crap gets submitted it's tough for me to wade through it in order to keep everything tidy. "Emotionless" slipped past the goalie twice and I appreciate you bringing it to my attention. I've deleted the second entry. For the record, a Good Charlotte song will never, ever appear on SLS but we really can't stop people from submitting it for our consideration.
  3. I'm glad you love SLS. I love it too. As with any web-based bulletin board it's going to attract a whack of newbies. I used to complain in this space about their im-speak and cyber litter but now I've come to accept them as part of our global village. Every village needs an idiot or two.
  4. You asked what's happening with SLS. This is a wonderful segue into my closing paragraph, thanks!

Mark and I discussed the future of SLS this morning. We tossed around a few ideas and have reached a consensus on what we need to do to kick SLS up a notch. For one, SLS is getting it's own domain name. Secondly, we're going to reorganize the front page so that it's a blog with the submissions in a side panel. Finally, we're going to better maintain the blog. All this plus a cool SLS interview with Custom...it's all happening soon.

As you see, SLS isn't going anywhere. In fact, we've only just begun.

Discuss "Guest Blog Entry" (0 comments so far)


My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DaySuperfriends/Office Space mashup - Too damn funny! If you're a fellow fan of Office Space and fondly remember the Superfriends cartoon as I do, you'll love this mashup. This might be the funniest thing I've seen this year.

Discuss "My Link of the Day" (0 comments so far)


Weekly MP3

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

The Watchmen - All Uncovered
Last week I shared Weezer and mentioned I picked up the disc when Sam the Record Man at Jane and Bloor went out of business. I also picked up Boneyard Tree from a sweet sounding band out of Winnipeg called The Watchmen. A true gem on this disc is "All Uncovered" and I'm sharing it today. I guarantee each and every one of you will love this tune.

Discuss "Weekly MP3" (0 comments so far)


10 Years Old Today

HurricaneYahoo! turns ten years old today. In honour of the occasion, they've put together a very cool Netrospective: 10 years, 100 moments of the web.

Going to the University of Toronto in the mid-nineties, I remember vividly when we were all given email accounts. We'd line up in the libraries to access the terminals that would allow us to log in and send textual messages to the few others we knew with an account. This was cool, but then these libraries started offering access to the web to all students and Yahoo! was where I first cut my teeth.

I still log into my Yahoo! Instant Messenger every day with the username I established with them about a decade ago. Although I primarily use Google for my searches now, I still enjoy several Yahoo! services such as their most viewed news, My Yahoo! and music page.

Happy birthday Yahoo! It's been quite the decade for you and the web. The next ten should be interesting. I'm glad you're still around to enjoy them.

Discuss "10 Years Old Today" (0 comments so far)


Storm Fear

HurricaneI love my mom, but she has a problem. She's addicted to storm fear.

Every time the weather forecast calls for snow I can expect an email or instant message from her alerting me that the storm of the century is on its way. She starts tuning in the news and buying the hype. A few flakes on the ground and I'm being warned to stay off the roads, hide in the cellar and tune into my crank radio for further information.

Last night, for instance, I received both a concerned email and instant message from her ensuring I was aware Toronto was going to be pummelled with the white stuff. Once again, the storm didn't live up to the media-driven hype that my mother feasts upon.

I truly believe this is an addiction. There's an adrenaline rush associated with impending danger that people thrive on. Human nature promotes exaggeration and expectation of a worst case scenario at all times. Sadly, my mom is part of this hyperbole machine intent on crushing all optimism and hope.

Intervention may be required. Storm fear is no laughing matter. It's a pain I know all too well.

Discuss "Storm Fear" (0 comments so far)


Top Ten Search Strings

Top Ten Search StringsOn the first day of every month I post the top ten search strings from the previous month. These are the Google searches that referred people to this site. Below are the top ten search strings for February 2005.

  1. 2005 oscar predictions
  2. 2005 oscar prediction
  3. oscar prediction 2005
  4. oscar 2005 prediction
  5. oscar predictions 2005
  6. ghyslain raza
  7. big shiny 90's
  8. oscar pool form
  9. amber frye nude
  10. bill barilko

Discuss "Top Ten Search Strings" (0 comments so far)


Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJef Raskin was 61. He was the lead designer of the first Macintosh computer and a pioneer in the development of user interfaces.

Discuss "Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


« February 2005 April 2005 »

Want more Toronto Mike blog entries? Visit the archives.