May 2005 Archives

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Raging Storm 21, Etobicoke Sharks 5

BaseballWe in the Raging Storm continue to roll as we once again won easily. Four games, four tidy victories for the good guys.

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The Barilko Spike

Maple LeafsToday has seen a great influx in the number of people visiting this site having searched Google for Bill Barilko. My Bill Barilko page ranks a proud third when you Google it. Thanks to some major coverage in the Toronto Star's sports section today, it seems a number of people are seeking to learn more about the legend of #5.

When you've finished checking out my tribute to Bill Barilko, you might want to read my interview with Kevin Shea, author of "Barilko: Without a Trace". Barilko is the Canadian Buddy Holly and a true legend. Spread the word.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumOscar Brown Jr. was 78. He was a legendary rhythm & blues and jazz singer known for such compositions "The Snake," "Signifyin' Monkey" and lyrics for Miles Davis' "All Blues."

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Yet Another Toronto Success Story

CN TowerNatalie Glebova is your Miss Universe 2005. Glebova, naturally, lives in Toronto.

First we win back-to-back World Series titles in 1992-1993 and now this? Toronto = Success!

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Guest Blog Entry

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

I shall try to get those pics. I don't have a digital camera but maybe I can borrow one or a camera phone to take them. I have a question or make it four: Which Musician/Singer/Actor/Hockey player is most like you? (or who you most identify with or if you had a choice you would swap places with?).

      Roshan

Which Musician/Singer/Actor/Hockey player would I swap places with? I'll lump musicians in with singers and hit ya with the following trifecta: Ed Vedder/Johnny Depp/Sidney Crosby. Ed Vedder because he's a living legend with credibility and talent to spare, Johnny Depp because he's consistently good without selling out and Sidney Crosby because he's the next one on the cusp of greatness with his entire NHL career ahead of him.

Alternative answers, if I could inherit the talent without the age, are: Neil Young/Samuel L. Jackson/Wayne Gretzky.

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The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. Bush - Float
  2. The Strokes - You Talk Way Too Much
  3. The Pretenders - Watching The Clothes
  4. Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone
  5. DJ Danger Mouse - 99 Problems
  6. Pearl Jam - All Or None
  7. Eminem - Rabbit Run
  8. Radiohead - Let Down
  9. Mother Love Bone - Capricorn Sister
  10. Aerosmith - Flesh

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJohn D'Amico was 67. He was a Hall of Fame hockey linesman who officiated close to 2,000 career NHL games.

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TTC Subway Rider Efficiency Guide

TTCWhile in university, before starting my first full-time job, I was a power TTC user. There were two ways to get where I was going, my bike and the TTC. When it came to the subway, I knew exactly where to get on so that it aligned with the exit at my destination station. I had it down to a fine out, optimizing my TTC experience so that utmost efficiency was achieved.

I just learned of the coolest document that would make anyone an efficient TTC subway rider. Download your TTC Subway Rider Efficiency Guide and learn where the escalators and stairs are at each station. For additional convenience, there's the double-sided pocket version.

A most excellent idea.

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Destroying Those Mutant Popups

FirefoxI read "For Better Or For Worse" every day. A little while ago, the United Media site that hosts this comic started using annoying mutant popups that manage to outwit Firefox's popup blocker. I hadn't seen a popup since I switched to Firefox a year ago and this new breed of popup was really starting to annoy me.

It turns out it's really easy to configure Firefox to block these too. This fix is stolen from here and works like a charm.

To block pop-ups from plugins, open your Firefox 1.0 or 1.0.1 browser, type about:config in the address field. Right-click in the resulting config page somewhere and select New -> Interger. Type privacy.popups.disable_from_plugins in the resulting dialog, hit OK, type 2 in the next dialog and you're all set.

You're very welcome.

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. I actually brought out the special effects for two of them, so you don't want to miss these.

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My MP3s Updated

CDI've added a whole bunch of new CDs to my MP3 collection. Some brand new, some a little older. The first three listed rank amongst the best albums I've ever heard.

  • System of a Down - Mezmerize
  • Arcade Fire - Funeral
  • The Mars Volta - Frances the Mute
  • Beck - Guero
  • Weezer - Make Believe
  • Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong - Ella & Louis
  • Leonard Cohen - Ten New Songs
  • Leonard Cohen - Songs of Love and Hate
  • Leonard Cohen - Songs From a Room
  • Robert Johnson - King Of The Delta Blues
  • Bruce Springsteen - Live In New York City (Discs 1 and 2)
  • Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company
  • Tom Cochrane - Mad Mad World
  • Screamin' Jay Hawkins - Black Music For White People
  • Paul Simon - Graceland
  • Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman
  • Woody Guthrie - Pastures Of Plenty
  • Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome To The Pleasuredome
  • Enigma - Love Sensuality Devotion - Greatest Hits
  • Various Artists - Progression - A Progressive Rock Anthology
  • Various Artists - The Number 1 70's Rock Album (Discs 1 and 2)
  • Various Artists - Driving Rock (Discs 1 and 2)
  • Various Artists - The Best Rock Album In The World...Ever! (Discs 1 and 2)
  • Simple Minds - Street Fighting Years
  • 10CC - Greatest Hits 1972-1978
  • Sting - Fields of Gold - The Best of Sting 1984-1994

That's 693 complete albums, 10325 songs and 655 hours, 35 minutes and 53 seconds of tunage. Check it out.

If you want to peak behind the curtain and see how I do it, read this detailed account as to how you can rip your CD collection to MP3 like me.

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It's A Sin

MusicFellow Canadian Paul Anka is releasing a new album next week. It's called "Rock Swings" and it features fourteen covers. Here are the songs Anka sings on his new disc.

  1. It's My Life (Bon Jovi)
  2. True (Spandau Ballet)
  3. Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)
  4. Everybody Hurts (REM)
  5. Wonderwall (Oasis)
  6. Blackhole Sun (Soundgarden)
  7. It's a Sin (Pet Shop Boys)
  8. Jump (Van Halen)
  9. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
  10. Hello (Lionel Ritchie)
  11. Eyes Without a Face (Billy Idol)
  12. Lovecats (The Cure)
  13. The Way You Make Me Feel (Michael Jackson)
  14. Tears in Heaven (Eric Clapton)

That's right, Anka will cover my generation's anthem, "Smells Like Teen Spirit". I think I'm going to be sick. It's a sin, Mr. Anka. It's a sin.

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The Stepford Wives

A Movie ReelThe Stepford Wives: 3 out of 10.

"The Stepford Wives" is shockingly bad. I had low expectations when Taryn said she wanted to check it out last night, but I wasn't expecting this. It's just 93 minutes of unfunny, uninteresting boredom. It's garbage.

I don't understand how such big names got attached to this project. Does Nicole Kidman read scripts before accepting such roles or does she just care that the cheque will clear. Was Matthew Broderick ever a decent actor? He's horrible in this, but I do recall he being likable as Ferris. Will Christopher Walken do anything? He appears in some terrible movies. What a damn shame.

Do not see this movie. Trust me, it's just awful.

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"I can resist everything except temptation."
      - Oscar Wilde

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Saved!

A Movie ReelSaved!: 5.5 out of 10.

I enjoyed the first thirty minutes of this flick. It was a fairly likable send up of those ultra Christian communities out there. You know the WWJD - Dubya voting - left behind - holier than thou people that are begging to be satired now and then. "Saved!" had a good start.

Unfortunately, "Saved!" falters after this point and becomes rather tedious. By the time it's over, you're wishing you had quit while you were ahead. Still, a fresh start and 30 minutes of decency earn this movie a passing grade.

As Pastor Skip said, "Let's get our Christ on, let's kick it Jesus-style!"

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Go

PJThe Pearl Jam pre-sale was a disaster, but the general sale this morning worked out fine. I've secured tickets for Pearl Jam as an "in case of emergency" backup plan.

You see, I'm hoping I never have to use this ticket. I've got a Kramer-esque scheme in place that, if successful, will put me backstage with Ed and the gang. Mark September 20 on your calendars because on that date I will write a detailed entry about this plan and reveal whether it was successful or not. If it is successful, and I'm 90% certain it will be, you'll definitely want to read about what it's like to watch a Pearl Jam concert from the side of the stage and, if this plan evolves is it could, what it's like to share stories with Ed after the show.

I wish I was as fortunate, as fortunate as me.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"You can't go wrong with cocktail weenies. They look as good as they taste. And they come in this delicious red sauce. It looks like ketchup, it tastes like ketchup, but brother, it ain't ketchup!"

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Russell Crowe movies

  1. L.A. Confidential
  2. The Insider
  3. A Beautiful Mind
  4. Gladiator
  5. Mystery, Alaska

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumEddie Albert was 99. He was an actor best known as the constantly befuddled city slicker-turned-farmer in television's "Green Acres".

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumDomenic Troiano was 59. His unparalleled guitar playing talent led him to replace Robbie Robertson as the lead guitarist for Ronnie Hawkins and Randy Bachman in The Guess Who in the mid '70s.

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Cinderella Memories

Baby"Cinderalla Man" hits theatres next Tuesday. Seeing the ads on TV takes me back to the wee hours of the morning of July 29, 2004.

It's difficult to effectively communicate that natural high you have at 3:00 in the morning when you're driving home along Bay Street after watching your daughter enter the world. Michelle was healthy, I was ecstatic and the world before me was of a different era. This wasn't a hallucination, but the filming of "Cinderella Man". I was forced to stop and watch as several people dressed in 1930s garb walked the street in front of a building that was modified to look like Madison Square Gardens. It was very cool.

Every time I see footage of this movie, particularly the exterior shots of Madison Square Gardens, I'm brought back to that day I first laid eyes on my Michelle and my first nephew. I haven't seen it yet, but it's already one of my favourite movies of all time.

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Validation

Exclamation PointRemember when I told you Gwen Stefani's "What U Waiting For?" was essentially a reworking of Weezer's "Hash Pipe"? You probably chuckled to yourself, shook your head and muttered "that Mike, always thinking songs sound alike".

My extensive analysis has been validated! I present to you, for your benefit, a mash-up of Gwen Stefani's "What U Waiting For?" and Weezer's "Hash Pipe". Boy was I right.

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Not For You

PJPearl Jam tickets were available to Inside Edge members at 10:00 this morning. I'm an Inside Edge member, and I was ready at 09:58 to secure the presale password and hit Ticketmaster.ca to score tix to their September show at the ACC. As you may know, I'm quite the fan.

At 10:00 on the dot the password was revealed to be "alive". I immediately hit the web and tried to purchase tickets. I was damn quick on the draw and had my brother hammering away at things on his end to improve the odds. Every time we were told our tickets were not available. We weren't timing out or having trouble connecting, we were being told our tickets were already gone.

We kept trying, assuming this was a bug and would be fixed, but the CFNY Edge 102 website put up a message saying the presale tickets were sold out. I'm not buying it. There's something very fishy about this. We were buying with the right password only seconds after they went on sale and it's just not possible that these tickets were gone by then. I've been down this road dozens of times, and I know when I'm being screwed. The Inside Edge advert for this promotion says "Being an Inside Edge member is pretty cool. You can win stuff and take advantage of some great perks. Like this, the Inside Edge pre-sale to buy Pearl Jam tickets before anyone else!" This, my friends, is 100% marketing bullshit and us true Pearl Jam fans were royally screwed.

On the bright side, and there's little I can say about this right now, I may just be watching this show from the side of the stage with a sweet backstage pass. This may or may not include a personal audience with Ed Vedder and the experience of my life. I've already said too much and shall write more about this likelihood on September 20. This doesn't, however, excuse the crap I went through at 10:00 this morning.

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I'm a Blogebrity

WebIt truly is an honour finding my name on the Blogebrity list. You'll find me and a link to this site in the "C-List" column.

C-List?!?! The A-List has guys like Zach Braff and Wil Wheaton, so I'm thinking I'm at least a B-List blogger, at least in Canada, right? I suppose there's a comfort in being C-List.

Periodically I get emails from people wondering where I find the time to maintain this blog or why I bother to have one at all. The fact of the matter is, I would maintain this thing even if it was offline. For me, it's an awesome record of events, thoughts, links, pictures, analysis and a convenient snap shot of each day of my life. Even if nobody else visited these pages, I'd consider this personal project to be invaluable. Frequently I'm hitting the archives to learn specific details of a certain event, the date this happened and my feelings about something or other at the time.

Prior to the start of this blog in November 2002, the home page of this site was a quadrant of four blog-like updates that weren't archived anywhere. These thoughts, observations and digital scraps were deleted and have long since been forgotten. I regret I didn't adopt this format sooner.

There's no shame in being a C-List Blogebrity when your target audience is yourself.

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Homeland Security

JusticeEliteTorrents.org offered "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" to downloaders last Thursday via BitTorrent. Within 24 hours, more than 10,000 copies were nabbed. Today, federal agents took over the site, as you can see.

If U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hadn't owned up to it, I would have guessed this to be a hoax. View the source of that page. The damn thing was created in Microsoft Word.

On second thought, maybe that's our biggest clue that this isn't a hoax.

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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.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with Eddie Vedder - The Face of Love
My previous entry got me thinking about films that made me want to go home, have a slice a pie and talk about what I just saw. One movie that stimulated me in such a way was "Dead Man Walking". Today I share a haunting track from this movie featuring the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and my pal Ed.

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Movies With An Impact

MoviesQuentin Tarantino once said the sign of a good movie was that it made you want to go home, eat some pie and talk about it. Without a doubt, my favourite movies have been those rare flicks that have never left me. These gems become a part of me, altering my view of the world and opening my eyes to new concepts and ideologies.

During my thirty years of life, there are a few movies that made an impact so forceful it permanently modified my movie-going expectations and outlook. These are the movies that have truly mattered in my life. Today, I salute them.

Star Wars (1977) - This is the first movie I recall seeing in a movie theatre. With VCRs popping up here and there at the turn of the decade, every birthday party I attended seemed to revolve around the showing of this film. I remember staring at a "Star Wars" poster in my bedroom as a kid and playing with the Millennium Falcon. For a guy born in '74, "Star Wars" started it all. There was no turning back, I was hooked.

The Natural (1984) - With "The Natural", I discovered the rewind button on our VCR. I was Roy Hobbs, teaching the Knights to believe again and leading them into a pennant race. The climatic scene, with that music and drama, with the bat boy's bat and Roy's blood soaked jersey, was the most romantic thing this ten year old had ever experienced. It was so thrilling, so inspiring, so glorious. I simultaneously fell in love with triumph and baseball and this many years later I remain a believer in both.

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) - You often hear the expression something is so funny you'll be rolling in the aisles. The hyperbolic nature of such a statement is obvious, but a fourteen year old version of myself watching "The Naked Gun" in a theatre for the first time laughed ferociously and often enough to cause such rolling. "The Naked Gun" introduced me to funny. Not "Three's Company" or "Family Ties" funny, but pure hilarity. Every scene, every image, every phrase spoken in this film tickled my funny bone and I've never forgotten how good it felt to be rolling in the aisles.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - In 1991, my perception of what an effective action movie looked like changed forever. At the time, my favourite such movie was "Total Recall" but "Terminator 2" blew it off the map. There was a cool story, lots of action and special effects the likes of which I had never seen before. To this day, "Terminator 2" remains one of only two films I've seen more than once in theatres.

Pulp Fiction (1994) - Without a doubt, this is my favourite movie of all time. I previously mentioned that "Terminator 2" was one of only two films I've seen more than once in theatres. "Pulp Fiction" is the other. I believe I was nineteen when I first saw it and it permanently altered my taste for movies on impact. The dialogue was delicious and the editing exceptional. I remember the owner of our local ma and pa video store praising "Reservoir Dogs" in previous years, but I never bothered to view it until after I saw "Pulp Fiction". Quentin Tarantino's touch and cinematic instincts with regards to dialogue, editing and music is ideal for my sensibilities. "Pulp Fiction" raised the bar and "Reservoir Dogs", "Jackie Brown" and the Kill Bills are further examples of his excellence. You only have one favourite movie, and this is mine.

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Raging Storm 12, The Hollywoods 2

BaseballTonight, we in Raging Storm won easily with solid defense and early offense. We're off to a tidy 3-0 start to the season and there's not much to complain about.

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Happy Valley-Goose Bay

OttawaThey're voting in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland today. The byelection will determine a successor to MP Lawrence O'Brien who passed away late last year.

We've all seen the numbers. We were on the edge of our seats recently watching The Thrilla on Parliament Hilla. The entire balance of power depends upon this Labrador riding and all eyes are on Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

It's worth noting that since joining Canada in 1949, Labrador has sent just one Conservative to Ottawa, for one term in 1968. I'm betting on red. If you're following along at home, that makes the score 153-152 without need for a tie-breaking vote by the Speaker of the House.

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The Name's Jack, Jack Schitt

RadioIt wasn't that long ago that 92.9 WBUF out of Buffalo was on my short list of stations that played rock music. Their tagline was Buffalo's Rock Station and as mentioned here, it was my station for Howard Stern in the mornings and pure rock thereafter.

Suddenly, late last year, WBUF dropped the rock. They became "Buffalo's FM Talk Station", building upon their Howard Stern morning show with other syndicated imitators. The new format didn't last very long.

Last week, WBUF became Jack FM. Here in Toronto, we've had a Jack FM for some time now at 92.5 and their slogan is "Playing What We Want". I've always found this to be rather funny, because they will play what they want so long as it's a song on their fairly short play list. Seriously, playing what they want means playing a lot of Sting, Elton John and Madonna. It's pretty much your run of the mill adult contemporary mix station with a crappy marketing spin thrown in for good measure. Jack FM sucks and now this plague has infected Buffalo.

I'm happy to report, however, that Howard Stern has survived the format change. I'm fairly certain WBUF is the only Jack station with Howard Stern in the mornings. They won't be killing the goose that laid the golden egg but they'll be ready with more Billy Joel when that goose flies to Sirius at the end of the year at which time I will bid them adieu forever.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumThurl Ravenscroft was 91. He voiced Tony the Tiger for more than 50 years, along with roles in a number of animated Disney films, including "The Jungle Book", "Mary Poppins", "Alice in Wonderland" and "Lady and the Tramp". For "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", he sang "You're a Mean One, Mister Grinch" and he also lent his voice to thrill rides at California's Disneyland.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

McDonald's Girl is a funny tune, but songs like "It's All Been Done", "What a Good Boy" etc that define the Ladies, are what will be still great to hear when I'm in my 50's (still 31 years to go till I hit the big 5 O). Rush, Neil Young - yes great musicians who I love & admire. But here in India, Bryan Adams is the most loved Canuck. There are 4 autorickshaws in my homecity of Kochi that bear his name on the back!! If you don't know what an autorickshaw looks like, click HERE. I think he could get elected Prime Minister of India if he stood for elections here. I have to admit, that guy does have quite a few memorable tunes.

      Roshan

So, Bryan Adams' name adorns the back of four autorickshaws in Kochi. It sounds like this is the Indian equivalent to having a star on the walk of fame.

For the record, my all-time favourite Barenaked Ladies song is "Brian Wilson". My all-time Bryan Adams song is probably "Summer of '69". Do the names of any other Canadians appear on the back of an autorickshaw in Kochi? Could you perhaps take a digital picture of this Bryan Adams autorickshaw and email it to me so I could share it with the rest of Canada?

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Holiday Music

MusicDamn I love holidays. No need to jolt out of bed at 06:00 and no need to get your ass into an office. That's not to say I didn't work today, because I did put in a few hours, but it was holiday workin' and that's the best kind of workin'.

My intent with this entry was to list my ten favourite songs with the word "holiday" in the title, but I think I'd best stick with five. There just aren't many good tunes with the word "holiday" in the title. Here's my five.

  1. The Watchmen - Holiday (Slow It Down)
  2. Weezer - Holiday
  3. Sex Pistols - Holidays In The Sun
  4. Green Day - Holiday
  5. 10 CC - Dreadlock Holiday

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The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. George Thorogood and the Destroyers - I Drink Alone
  2. John Lennon - Imagine
  3. Fiona Apple - Pale September
  4. The White Stripes - I Think I Smell A Rat
  5. Pulp - Bar Italia
  6. The Von Bondies - C'mon C'mon
  7. Queens of the Stone Age - Broken Box
  8. Pink Floyd - Take It Back
  9. The Tragically Hip - Silver Jet
  10. Radiohead - Bones

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I Want To See Star Wars

Star WarsAs disappointed as I was in episodes 1 and 2, I really, really want to see episode 3 of the Star Wars franchise. The reviews I've read for "Revenge of the Sith" are overwhelmingly positive and everyone I've talked to whose seen it raves about it. They're telling me it's much darker and better than the first two and they're planning second and third viewings.

Lord knows my love-hate relationship with George Lucas. The man gave me my first favourite film, "Star Wars", a movie I would see at every birthday party I attended for years in the early 80s. I loved that initial trilogy and equally despised the first two of this second trilogy. Am I suffering from Battered Wife Syndrome? Dare I trust Kevin?

The answer to both, it seems, is a resounding yes. Not only do I want to see this final installment of the franchise, but I want to see it quite badly. I shall require three hours of babysitting and a showing that won't have a massive line-up and the possibility of being sold out before I get my ticket. When these stars align, I will divulge.

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Thanks Again Vicky

Queen VictoriaAs a busy Sunday draws to a close I realize I won't have to go into the office tomorrow. This long weekend is just 2/3rds complete thanks to some long dead Queen of Britain nobody in Canada actually cares about.

The idea of honouring a Queen with a holiday seems ludicrous in 2005, but the idea of giving everybody this Monday off seems genius. Join me in re-branding tomorrow's holiday, for one year only, Chuck Cadman Day. Firecrackers begin at dusk.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Ah, yes! The dulcet tones of Geddy Lee and "Xanadu" bring those memories back to life.

"I recall that conversation," said the guy from Over the Pond. It's a sad fact that not enough Canadian acts used to make a noise about being Canadian - and there is so much to be proud of in being Canadian. Now, if they were all like Avril, with her "Napanee" upbringing there for all to see, maybe us poor Brits and expats wouldn't be so confused over such things. Or maybe we'd pay more attention when someone says "There is a town in north Ontario..."

Time for Canucks to get noisy about it!

      Bolanoid

It's funny, but I referred to my conversation with "a guy who was born and raised in England" and never thought for a moment that this person would visit my site and actually read my comments about our discussion. I think these Canadian acts were dropping hints of their Canadian status left, right and centre but you Brits and expats were missing them. You mentioned Neil's haunting opening line to the awesome "Helpless" and there's always Geddy Lee's "Take off, to the Great White North" on the Bob & Doug McKenzie classic. The clues are there if you're paying attention!

For readers who are trying to figure out the handle "Bolanoid", allow me to shed some light on the subject. The man is obsessed with the music of T.Rex and Marc Bolan. I've seen most of his T.Rex and Marc Bolan collection, and we're easily looking at over 25 discs. Who knew they had more than "Bang A Gong (Get It On)" and "20th Century Boy"?

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Elf

A Movie ReelElf: 5 out of 10.

Admittedly, this is probably the worst weekend possible for watching a Christmas movie. It's the May 2-4 and we're celebrating the end of a long winter and the beginning of patio and bbq season. In this spirit, last night I watched this Will Ferrell flick about a guy raised as an elf in the North Pole going to New York to find his birth father.

It's not horrible, but it's a little too safe for my liking. I've seen Will Ferrell much, much funnier than this. Watching this comedy reminded me of a far edgier, funnier Christmas comedy directed by Terry Zwigoff called "Bad Santa".

If it's December and you're watching with the kids, go with "Elf". If you're watching by yourself or with an adult audience, "Bad Santa" is your man.

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"We peer so suspiciously at each other that we cannot see that we Canadians are standing on the mountaintop of human wealth, freedom and privilege."
      - Pierre Elliott Trudeau

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. There's a few from earlier today and one from a couple of weeks ago.

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Why The Leafs Haven't Won In 38 Years

HockeyBritish anthropologists have conducted a study that helps explain why we haven't won a Stanley Cup in my lifetime. They realized that across a range of sports, wearing red is consistently associated with a higher probability of winning.

There's a variety of reasons for this, including the association with aggression and subconscious intimidation, and the results were clear. 16 of 21 rounds of competition are won by athletes wearing red. This explains the Montreal Canadiens' success and the recent runs by the Detroit Red Wings and New Jersey Devils.

Most importantly, this explains the constant failures of my Toronto Maple Leafs who don't have a stitch of red in their uniforms. When we do win, it will be that much more impressive.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"I think I've figured this balloon thing out, Marge. It can go up and down, but not side to side or back in time."

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Nice Spin

NewspaperThe morning after The Thrilla on Parliament Hilla, I was quite interested to read the headlines of our four daily newspapers. Here they are:

  • "The Liberals Survive" - The Globe and Mail
  • "Happy Now?" - Toronto Sun
  • "Election Averted" - Toronto Star
  • "Grits Buy Time" - National Post

The National Post is unashamedly conservative, overtly boastful of their right-wing bias. The paper has never received a dime of my money and it never will. I continually read about how it has never made a profit and I look forward to the day I learn the Aspers have pulled the plug.

The morning after Belinda's epithany, I noted the sexist headline smeared on the front page of the National Post. It read "Blonde Bombshell" and it, along with the unfounded insinuation of "Grits Buy Time", are embarrassing examples of what happens with a paper merely exists to promote conservative and pro-American values with no interest in preserving the integrity of the story they're covering.

It's racist, it's sexist, it's homophobic, it's your National Post.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Ewan McGregor movies

  1. Big Fish
  2. Trainspotting
  3. Moulin Rouge!
  4. Black Hawk Down
  5. Shallow Grave

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Time For New Shoes

HangerIn August I tackled the exciting subject of my shoes. At the time I noticed a hole developing in my pair of black, three-hole Doc Martens with yellow stitching.

Today, this hole became a serious tear. It's time for new shoes.

It was a good run, but nothing lasts forever. I'm sure I'll learn to love my next pair too.

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Netscape 8, What's The Point?

HyperlinkNetscape 8 was launched today. That's right, I said Netscape. My million dollar question for a friend at work who downloaded it this morning was, "And how is this better than Firefox?"

The fact is, it's not better than Firefox. In fact, Firefox is a great deal smaller and just as safe, scoring it massive points on the Booner scale. Netscape 8 is wholly unnecessary with Firefox around. I suppose as a web author it would be handy to toggle back and forth between the Firefox and Internet Explorer rendering engines, but otherwise it's simply redundant.

Get Firefox.

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The Thrilla on Parliament Hilla

OttawaWhoa doggies, that was some exciting shite goin' down in Ottawa today. Our minority Liberal government survived a confidence motion by a single vote, 153 to 152.

When Independent Chuck Cadman sided with the Liberals, it completed Paul Martin's Hulk Hogan-like rebound from certain defeat. When Hulk Hogan wrestled, there was always a part of the match when he was getting pummelled and appeared certain to lose. Then, with each punch, slap and kick, he'd shake as if his body was being shocked and he'd start to get stronger and stronger until he was able to block a punch and return the favour. Hogan would win in the end, much like Martin has won today. Martin appeared certain to fall until Belinda's epithany and Cadman's last second surprise.

Defections, possible heart attacks, potential appendicitis, broken hearts, broken dreams, heart-stopping votes, what a week! Who needs the NHL playoffs when you have this fast and furious edge of your seat action from Parliament Hill?

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The Top 10 Network Telecasts of All Time

MoviesI was just looking at a list of the ten most watched television telecasts of all time and I realized I only saw one. At least I only remember seeing one, it's possible I saw the '86 Super Bowl, but I don't remember. Here are the top ten of all time:

  1. M*A*S*H Finale
  2. Dallas (Who Shot JR?)
  3. Roots Pt. VIII
  4. Super Bowl XVI Game
  5. Super Bowl XVII Game
  6. XVII Winter Olympics - Wed-2
  7. Super Bowl XX Game
  8. Gone With The Wind-Pt.1 (Big Event-Pt 1)
  9. Gone With The Wind-Pt.2 (NBC Mon.Mov.)
  10. Super Bowl XII Game

The one I remember watching was that 1994 Winter Olympics showdown between Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding.

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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.

K-OS - Heaven Only Knows
K-OS is Kevin Brereton and his moniker stands for Knowledge Of Self. In Kevin's own words, "Yeah, I'm a dark-skinned black man whose parents are from Trinidad and Tobago, but I'm also a kid from Whitby who used to listen to CFNY, and to deny that isn't knowledge of self." This track of his is a spoonful of soulful heaven.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumFrank Gorshin was 72. He was the impressionist with 100 faces best known for his Emmy-nominated role as The Riddler on the old "Batman" television series.

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1.92%

LeafsIf Gary Bettman and the NHL board of governors adopt the proposed lockout draft plan, the Toronto Maple Leafs will have a 1.92% chance of getting Sidney Crosby. One of the 52 bingo balls would be ours!

A 1.92% chance the next one plays in the hockey center of the universe. Cross your fingers...and your toes.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Speaking of Rush, they are one of the legends of rock. I have a bunch of their stuff, although I got introduced to the band by chance in 1992 when I bought their "Roll The Bones" LP purely on liking the design on the cover. Later that month I also purchased "Presto" and went on to collect about 11 of their albums. There aren't given their due in the music world, because they aren't American or British. Well I don't care, I would worship Rush the same if they were from Swaziland or Turkmenistan! My fav song of theirs (other than Tom Sawyer) is "Red Barchetta".

And speaking of the Barenaked Ladies the live version of "What A Good Boy" (found in their Greatest Hits, given as gift to me by a cousin sister in Leeds, UK, who deserves an award for sending it to me) is by far their best stuff.

      Roshan

Coincidentally, I had a discussion earlier in the week with a guy who was born and raised in England, and I asked him which Canadian acts were the most popular over there when he was growing up in the 70s. He told me that they didn't even know who was Canadian but assumed the Canadian acts were American. It wasn't until he moved to Canada that he learned some of the bands he enjoyed were in fact Canadian and not American. In his opinion, the two biggest Canadian acts in England were Neil Young and Rush. He was telling me how respected and appreciated Rush were on that side of the pond.

As for BNL, you've named yet another song from "Gordon", their first post-indie release. It was 1992 and it was the golden age of the Barenaked Ladies in their native Toronto. I was partial to their cover of Dean Friedman's "McDonald's Girl" which was getting heavy airplay on CFNY at the time. Here's the lyrics, still fantastic.

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A Raging Storm Sweep

BaseballOn Monday night, we in Raging Storm played a double header to open the regular season. We swept, winning by scores of 13-10 and 19-8.

You can follow the action all season long on The Official Raging Storm Home Page.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

From cbc.ca: "The governing party is corrupt," [Steven Harper] said, repeating an argument he has been making for weeks.

"It is in the process of ruining the nation's finances with the biggest vote-buying spree in Canadian history ... and it's doing tremendous damage to the cause of federalism in Quebec."

I love how he can say that with a straight face while he has allied himself with the party whose sole purpose is to eliminate federalism in Quebec and separate from Canada. What a boob.

      Mike H.

A boob indeed. I'm still upset over his "deal with the devil" statement when Paul Martin and Jack Layton struck a deal. That statement was ludicrous on so many levels and now he's suddenly worried about Federalism? Holy hypocrisy Batman!

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Belinda's Epithany

OttawaIt's fitting that in a week in which we await Anakin's turn to the dark side we witness Belinda Stronach's side step into the light.

Stronach always has been a social liberal who seemed too enlightened to be a part of the Conservative agenda, especially on the issue of same-sex marriage. This dramatic turn of events means the Liberal budget will probably pass the vote on Thursday and the Liberals have dodged yet another bullet. I would have loved to see the look on Harper's face when he learned about Belinda's switcheroo. On second thought, I doubt his expression would have changed one iota. The man is an emotionless robot.

You know what will be fun? Those future summits between Prime Minister Belinda and President Hillary. To be a fly on the wall...

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Canada is still the number one nation in hockey. From what I read only 8 of the squad played in any league this season hence reaching the final is a great testimate to their skills. Oh & Ryan Smyth is the boss!!

Although I am Indian, in the areas of music, sports (mainly hockey) & movies - I am Canadian. Barenaked Ladies are the best!!

      Roshan

I whole heartedly agree that Canada is the number one nation in hockey. There's no doubt. Sure, we finished a disappointing second in this year's World Championship, but we won this tournament the last two years as well as the World Cup of Hockey in late summer and the last Olympic gold medal. We're ranked number one for a reason, we're the best.

Since you mentioned the Barenaked Ladies, I feel obliged to trot down memory lane to a time long ago when I went to Sam the Record Man near Yonge and Dundas to pick up their indie cassette. It included a few tunes that would later appear on Gordon as well as a fun cover of Public Enemy's "Fight the Power". In these early days of Barenaked mania, an hour didn't go by when they weren't being spun on CFNY. Funnily enough, CFNY Edge 102 won't touch the band now. They've gone way too MOR, but we'll always have the memories of that awesome indie cassette. Drove downtown in the rain...

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The Rush Scam: Revealed!

MusicI like Rush. Not the conservative radio personality, but the Canadian rock band. Nobody else in my family shares this opinion and every time I put on a Rush song My wife and brother make fun of me to no end.

I recently added the double CD "Chronicles" to my collection. It's a compilation of their best work, released in 1990. Unfortunately, the existence of this double album reveals the Rush scam. In 1997, Rush released "Retrospective", another two CD set of their best material. A comparison of the content of these two collections reveals they're virtually the same. It's a maddening Rush cash-grab!

Good Canadian boys double dipping their loyal fan base? Say it ain't so...

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The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. Alice In Chains - Grind
  2. Treble Charger - How She Died
  3. Sex Pistols - No Feelings
  4. Nirvana - Token Eastern Song
  5. Blur - Charmless Man
  6. Guns N' Roses - Pretty Tied Up
  7. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Scar Tissue
  8. Screaming Trees - Nearly Lost You
  9. Pearl Jam - Once
  10. Smashing Pumpkins - Ava Adore

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Four New Custom Tunes

MusicLast month I mentioned we were streaming four new Custom tracks from his upcoming album. Today, I took down those four and threw up four more.

Now streaming on this Myspace page is "Field", "Television", "Beautiful" and "Truth". They're all awesome, so get over there and turn up your speakers. If you care to share, I'm interested in your feedback....good and bad.

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Bach Weekend

FamilyWith the ladies in Ottawa, James and I bach'd it this weekend.

It didn't feel so much like a father and son spending the weekend together than a couple of buddies hanging out. We were two dudes doing our thing and it was damn fun.

We watched hockey, played baseball and golf, mowed the lawn, set up the patio set, rocked out to tunes, threw together grub at meal times and had a blast. There was some play fighting, some tossing of the football and some hide and seek thrown in for good measure.

We're on the same wave length with a lot in common. We even watched "A Mighty Wind" together (again!) and assumed other personas in comedic skits. Throw in a few lame knock-knock jokes and it was a true bachelor weekend for two dudes in the T-Dot.

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Canada 0, Czech Republic 3

Canada HockeyAh crap. The Czech Republic played us perfectly, smothering our top forwards and allowing few decent scoring opportunities. Despite finishing second, Canada retained its number one status in IIHF world rankings. That's a lone brightspot on an otherwise dismal day.

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Going Backwards

CassetteJames enjoys music and I thought it was time he has own stereo so he could play his tunes whenever he wants. He's only three, so I knew anything I gave him could be destroyed. Initially, my plan was to give him a low-end CD player, but I quickly realized the best player for his needs might be a good old fashioned cassette tape player. I happened to have an old one lying around and now it belongs to James.

The next step was getting James' music onto cassette. This is where we go backwards in a round about way, converting the new technology to the old. The entire process makes me laugh, so I thought I'd share it here.

  1. The songs begin as MP3 files on my computer.
  2. I burn James' desired MP3 files to CD.
  3. I play the newly created audio CD on my DVD player.
  4. My old stereo I bought as a teenager, which happens to have a cassette deck, is connected to this DVD player via the line-in jack. With the audio CD playing, I record the feed on the cassette deck.
  5. James' music is now on a cassette tape and can be played on his stereo.

From 2005 to 1985 using equipment lying around the house, sometimes you've got to go backwards.

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Chappelle Speaks

NewspaperI've heard from Dave Chappelle regarding his mysterious absence from the set of "Chappelle's Show". Ok, he didn't contact me directly, but he speak with Time magazine from South Africa and I've got the quotes.

I'm not crazy, I'm not smoking crack. I'm definitely stressed out. You hear so many voices jockeying for position in your mind that you want to make sure that you hear your own voice, so I figured, let me just cut myself off from everybody, take a minute and pull a Flintstone - stop a speeding car by using my bare feet as the brakes.

There's a lot of resistance to my opinions, so I decided, 'Let me remove myself from this situation'. If you don't have the right people around you, and you're moving at a million miles an hour, you can lose yourself. Everyone around me says, 'You're a genius, you're great, that's your voice,' but I'm not sure that they're right.

Crazy or not, Chappelle's got to have total creative freedom on that show. I'll be following this developing story closely, so stay tuned.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayJon Stewart on Blogs - Great clip about blogging from the Daily Show last week.

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"I didn't really say everything I said."
      - Yogi Berra

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SLS13 If It Was Released Today

SLSBefore we proceed, have you read the guide to SLS? If you haven't, reading it's a prerequisite to continue.

Although there are about six weeks to go before SLS13 is released, I've got a great looking playlist that comes in at a whisker under the 80 minute maximum. I suspect a song or two will arise in the next month to supplant one of these, but if SLS13 was released today and I had my say, these are the tracks that would make the cut.

  • The Mars Volta - The Widow
  • The Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)
  • The White Stripes - Blue Orchid
  • Louis XIV - Finding Out True Love Is Blind
  • System of a Down - B.Y.O.B.
  • Queens of the Stone Age - Little Sister
  • Foo Fighters - Best Of You
  • Audioslave - Be Yourself
  • Custom - USA
  • Hot Hot Heat - Goodnight Goodnight
  • Franz Ferdinand - The Dark Of The Matinee
  • Modest Mouse - The World At Large
  • Beck - E-PRO
  • Weezer - Beverly Hills
  • Metric - Dead Disco
  • Billy Talent - Nothing To Lose
  • Jakalope - Feel It
  • Kasabian - Club Foot
  • The Marble Index - Not So Bright
  • Doctor - What Makes You Think He's Lucky?
  • Garbage - Why Do You Love Me?

When 21 songs come in at under 80 minutes, you know you're in an era of short songs. In fact, four songs are under three minutes and another seven are under four minutes long. Only The Mars Volta and The Arcade Fire creep over the five minute mark coming in at 5:52 and 5:13 respectively.

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CSI-less Streak Ending?

TVRecently, I listed the top ten rated television shows in the USA and commented on whether I watch or not. I mentioned I had never seen an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond or CSI, but I threatened to watch the final Raymond next week out of morbid curiosity.

As it turns out, I have a couple of ball games to play Monday night, so I'll miss the entire Raymond finale. Instead, I think I'll watch my first ever episode of CSI on Thursday night. Why you ask? It's the two-hour episode directed by my all-time favourite director, Quentin Tarantino.

Tarantino's involvement is too alluring to resist. My CSI-less streak may be coming to an end, but my Raymond-less streak will remain preserved.

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The Negotiations

SLSEvery six months, my friend Mark and I get together, usually at a Tim Hortons, and bless the SLS playlist. Prior to this ritual, via email and instant messenger, we negotiate.

Each edition of SLS is to be no longer than 80 minutes long. Which songs will make up that 80 minutes is something we must agree upon. Thankfully, we both share the same vision of SLS meaning we're on the same wave length over 90% of the time. Sometimes, however, we have very different opinions about a song or two. When this happens, the negotiates are rapid and fierce.

SLS13 is due at the end of June. I just whittled down the 80 minutes of tunes I'd like to see making up this installment, but I've left a song Mark digs off the list. There's no room for the unfulfilling, mediocre "The Hand That Feeds" from Nine Inch Nails on my list. I'm anticipating quite the battle.

If you could throw only one song on a mix right now, and your choices were "The Hand That Feeds" from Nine Inch Nails or "Tonight Tonight" from Hot Hot Heat, which one would you choose? For me, it's not even close.

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Canada 4, Russia 3

Canada HockeyLord have mercy. I'm not as young as I used to be and my heart can't take that kind of a nail-biting finish. Up 4-0, we should have been home free but instead we let Russia steal the momentum and almost steal the game.

We were very luck to hang on. In the third period, the Russians kept coming and coming and looked destined to tie it were it not for a little luck and great goaltending. Sure, we scored an insurance marker from the blue line that was wrongly disallowed, but that just so we had an excuse should we blow this one.

When it counts, Canada finds a way to win and we'll be playing for our third World Championship in a row tomorrow at 13:30 EST. Go Canada Go!

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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 Pursuit Of Happiness - I'm An Adult Now
I blabbed about this one yesterday. It's as Toronto as a song gets. Have a listen and return to the late 80s.

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Arresting Developments

TVWhile I enjoy the Canada-Russia game on TSN, with Canada jumping out to a satisfying 3-0 lead, I'm learning the best show you're not watching may very well return next season.

I'm continuously raving about "Arrested Development" because it's a jewel of a comedy in a steaming, heaping pile of crap. In April, when the season two finale aired, I asked "is this it?". All indications were that Fox would cancel the show due to poor ratings. It's great, but nobody watches.

There's buzz at this hour that Fox may bring it back for a third season. Some insider is quoted as suggesting this is 99.9% likely. This is most excellent news.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"Well, let's just call them, uh, Mr. X and Mrs. Y. So anyway, Mr. X would say, 'Marge, if this doesn't get your motor running, my name isn't Homer J. Simpson.'"

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My MP3s Updated

CDI've added a whole bunch of new CDs to my MP3 collection. There's some stuff I actually wanted, but a whole lot more I added for the benefit of others.

Stuff For Me:

  • AC~DC - The Razors Edge
  • The Beatles - 1
  • The Flaming Lips - Clouds Taste Metallic
  • The Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin
  • The Flaming Lips - Transmissions From The Satellite Heart
  • The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
  • Deep Purple - Machine Head
  • George Thorogood And The Destroyers - The Baddest Of George Thorogood And The Destroyers
  • Jann Arden - Greatest Hurts
  • Aerosmith - Greatest Hits
  • Sarah Mclachlan - Mirrorball
  • Sarah Mclachlan - Afterglow
  • Sarah Mclachlan - Rarities, B-sides and Other Stuff
  • Fiona Apple - Tidal
  • Various Artists - Romeo + Juliet: Music from the Motion Picture
  • Dido - No Angel
  • Travis - The Man Who
  • Buffalo Springfield - Retrospective: The Best Of Buffalo Springfield
  • Cat Stevens - The Very Best Of Cat Stevens
  • Steppenwolf - The Best Of Steppenwolf
  • Simon and Garfunkel - The Definitive Collection
  • Sex Pistols - Kiss This
  • Rush - Chronicles (Discs 1 & 2)
  • Led Zeppelin - Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin
  • Bran Van 3000 - Glee
  • Foghat - The Best Of Foghat
  • Three Dog Night - The 20 Original Hits

For The Benefit Of Others:

  • Tina Turner - Simply The Best
  • Burton Cummings - The Burton Cummings Collection
  • Blue Oyster Cult - Super Hits
  • Harry Chapin - Greatest Stories Live
  • Chiliwack - Greatest Hits
  • The Bee Gees - The Very Best Of The Bee Gees
  • Black Sabbath - The Best Of Black Sabbath
  • Robert Palmer - Very Best Of Robert Palmer
  • Bread - Anthology Of Bread
  • Seals and Crofts - Greatest Hits
  • Nazareth - Greatest Hits
  • Gary Numan - Selection
  • Diana Ross - One Woman: The Ultimate Collection
  • Lionel Richie - The Definitive Collection
  • The Police - Greatest Hits
  • The Mama And The Papas - The Best Of The Mama And The Papas
  • The Monkees - Greatest Hits
  • Go Go's - Go Go's Greatest

That's 662 complete albums and 9870 songs. Check it out.

If you want to peak behind the curtain and see how I do it, read this detailed account as to how you can rip your CD collection to MP3 like me.

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The Most Popular Radio Stations in Toronto

RadioI still listen to a great deal of radio. I've always loved the medium, and although there are many attractive alternatives and a massive MP3 collection constantly awaiting me, I still make time for radio.

The latest BBM numbers have been released for spring 2005 and I've just checked out the list of the 24 most listened to stations in Toronto. My favourite station, CFNY Edge 102, hung on to it's #10 position. I haven't seen a demographic break-down, but you can bet they did far better in their target 18-34 bracket. Another station I was curious about is Mojo 640. Chorus keeps repackaging this station and recently changed the slant to a Toronto talk format that's just horrible. Alan Cross' participation got me to sample what was brewing, but it was just brutal. The topics were boring and even the quality of the audio seems to have deteriorated. They've got Mike Stafford on afternoons over there and I really feel for the guy. He's as sharp as a tack with an incredible knowledge of trivia and a good sense of humour and they're completely wasting him. It's a damn shame, and no wonder Mojo 640 finished 22nd in Toronto. Even Newmarket oldies station Foxy 88.5 and Country 95.3 blew Mojo away.

Here is the top ten in Toronto:

  • 1. E-Z Rock
  • 2. Q-107 & CFRB (tie)
  • 4. CBC Radio 1 & CHUM FM (tie)
  • 6. CHFI
  • 7. AM 740
  • 8. 680 News
  • 9. Classical 96.3
  • 10. CFNY Edge 102

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayWeezer - Perfect Situation - You've heard "Beverly Hills" on the radio dozens of times, but you haven't heard the new album yet. Wanna hear another new tune? Sure you do. Here's one for ya.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveFive songs for a desert island

  1. (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay - Otis Redding
  2. A Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
  3. Ooh Child - The Five Stairsteps
  4. Neil Young - Helpless
  5. Stand By Me - Ben E. King

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Season Six DVD Release Date

The Simpsons on DVDThe only DVDs I collect are seasons of "The Simpsons". I've got the first five and I adore each and every minute I spend with my second family.

Fellow fans will enjoying hearing season six is due to hit stores on August 16. I can't wait.

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Canada 5, Slovakia 4

Canada HockeyJoe Thornton scored with 4:22 remaining to give Canada a 5-4 victory over Slovakia in their quarter-final game earlier today, slapping a shot from the circle to the right of goaltender Jan Lasak that sent the puck sailing into the far top corner of the net for his sixth goal of the tournament. Simon Gagne, with two goals, Dany Heatley and Ryan Smyth also scored for Canada.

We get the winner of the Russia-Finland game later today in the semi-finals Saturday.

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M.P. Blogging

WebAs previously discussed, the House of Commons in Ottawa held an interesting vote the other day. Monte Solberg, an M.P. from Medicine Hat, blogged the event from the House of Commons during the vote via his BlackBerry Wireless Handheld. Here's his entry:

I hope this posts. Am blogging from my blackberry in the House where I have just voted for our non-confidence motion. The Libs are trying hard to play this down. They have two cabinet ministers out, Efford and Cotler. We'll win, but they'll claim it's non confidence.

Pretty unhappy campers over there! They can't believe that their iron-grip on power and pocketnooks might be loosed. Kilgour just voted with the Libs. Hmmm. 153 to 150. We win!

This is no small event. This is a significant first as far as I can tell. Solberg relayed his opinions and observations to his constituents and everyone else in the world in real-time as it happened. I see this as the future of communication, instant access to information, opinion, and historic occurrences. It's awesome and this is just the beginning.

Unfortunately, Solberg is a member of the Conservative Party, but even that won't stop me from giving him his props.

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Chappelle Update

NewsThe Associated Press is reporting at this hour that Dave Chappelle has checked himself into a mental health facility in South Africa. "It seems like the issues he's contending with are really quite serious," said Dade Hayes, a senior editor at Entertainment Weekly. "It isn't a case of him spending a weekend someplace recuperating from exhaustion."

This isn't a rehab centre to beat an addiction to drugs, this is exactly what I suspected. The imbalance that plagues Chappelle is precisely the trait that aided in producing one of the funniest human beings on the planet. The greatest comedians are always afflicted with such psychoses. I'm certain there's a correlation.

For Chappelle's benefit, lets hope this edge can be dulled to a healthy point. It's a fine line between genius and madness and I fear Chappelle just tumbled over it.

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Beware The Raging Storm

BaseballWith a couple of exhibition games already under our belt, it's time for the Raging Storm slo-pitch team to begin the 2005 regular season.

The official home page of the Raging Storm has been refreshed to include 2005 information and the results and statistics from 2004 have been permanently archived.

It all starts with a double-header next week. Lets do this thang!

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Mmmmm, Beer

BeerAn event occurred this morning in our fair city that delighted Torontonians from Etobicoke to Scarborough. A tractor-trailer truck carrying more than 2,000 cases of beer crashed on the 401 just before 06:00 this morning, spilling suds on top of the city.

The smell of beer continues to permeate the air, even more so than usual.

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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 Beatles - Eleanor Rigby
Because it's still a great tune.

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Our Confusing Parliamentary System

OttawaI majored in history with a focus on Canadian history, but even I find our parliamentary system awfully confusing at times. This is one such instance.

The House of Commons passed a motion by 153 votes to 150 tonight that calls on the public accounts committee "to recommend that the government resign." That's rather loose language, isn't it? There certainly isn't anything binding there. If my knowledge is correct, a minority government falls when it loses a vote of confidence. The Liberals lost tonight's vote, but this vote wasn't a vote of confidence. The Conservative party can introduce such a vote on an opposition day, the next ones being three days at the end of this month.

So, the House has voted "to recommend that the government resign" and the Prime Minister is choosing to ignore the vote. No doubt, on the next opposition day, Stephen Harper will introduce a formal vote of confidence that would force an election. We could be back at the polls this summer and you know this one is going to be a nail biter.

Who says Canadian politics is boring?

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Canada 2, Ukraine 1

Canada HockeyFrom TSN.ca, I steal the following: "Canada generated only a handful of chances as the Ukrainians played five men back, used hooking and obstruction liberally and left little room to make plays."

There's our excuse. Now I feel better.

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Uh-Oh

Canada HockeyWhen Rick Nash has to score a third period goal to give you a 2-1 lead over the Ukraine, you know you're in trouble. Methinks this team isn't as good as I think it is.

If we barely get by the Ukraine, and there's ten minutes left to play so we could still blow this thing, how the hell are we going to beat the good teams? The struggle against Latvia was a sure warning sign that this isn't our World Cup or Salt Lake City teams that truly were world beaters.

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30 Minute CDLX Warning

MusicYour world exclusive access to CDLX tracks will expire in thirty minutes. Listen to them here until 11:00 EST today at which time I'm taking them down.

Consider yourselves warned.

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The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. Obie Trice - Adrenaline Rush
  2. Robert Palmer - Respect Yourself
  3. Roosevelt Sykes - Ran the Blues Out of My Window
  4. Korn - Good God
  5. Cake - Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps
  6. A Tribe Called Quest - Separate - Together
  7. Radiohead - I Might Be Wrong
  8. Green Day - Pulling Teeth
  9. Sex Pistols - Bodies
  10. Alice in Chains - Down in a Hole

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Listen To CDLX

MusicLast month I shared the fact Custom is streaming four songs from his upcoming album. Fans of Custom or people who just dig a good vibe will want to hear about CDLX.

While recording his new tracks, Custom produced a side project he calls CDLX. He explains CDLX below.

cdlx was basically while i was making the new custom record. i collaborated with different people who came through the studio and made this other project. some of the elements are:

scooter: my drummer from atlanta who had a record out on sony as a hip hop artist. he plays drums and rhymes on whatever
sasha: a chicano ninja friend of mine who is one of the main rappers
matt: bass player for taking back sunday's who used to be in my band and played on this record and the last
jd: custom's keyboard player
true master: original wu tang member who rhymes on bong bubble
gary dean: remixer/ singer/ multiinstrumentalist did remixes on a lot of the songs so there are actually two versions of everything.
emily: friend of mine, singer song writer who sings on whatever and bong bubble etc.

These tunes are really, really good. We're streaming four CDLX songs on this site so click on over and have a listen, particularly if you're a fan of good hip hop. These be some infectious grooves.

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What's The Deal With Dave Chappelle?

HumourBy now, fans of "Chappelle's Show" know production of the third season has been suspended by Comedy Central. It's been days since this announcement, but there's still no word on the official cause of this delay. What's the deal with Dave Chappelle?

There are a few theories being bandied about. Perhaps the pressure become too much for Chappelle and he cracked. Perhaps Chappelle has a substance abuse issue or has been partying too hard. Maybe Chappelle's vision of his show clashed with Comedy Central's and this has caused the rift.

I don't have the answer, but Chappelle is a damn funny guy and his show and recent special "For What It's Worth" caused me to laugh my ass off. Comedic geniuses of this nature are few and far between. To be this funny requires a serious dark side. I suspect he's had a break down and is unable to fulfill his current season three obligations. It's the only plausible explanation that I'm buying.

Chappelle is broken and we need him fixed. The world needs laughter.

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Today's Moment Of Zen

ZenThis morning, James started singing aloud the chorus of Hot Hot Heat's "Goodnight Goodnight". I had never taught him this song and I didn't provoke this impromptu concert in any way. He got the words exactly right and the tune too.

He must have caught me singing it one day and took it in. Three year olds absorb everything.

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Losing To Jacob

Question MarkHow do I keep losing to Jacob? I don't even know any Jacobs. I used to know a Jacob, but that was almost twenty years ago.

Here is the list of the most popular male baby names for 2004, based on applications for USA Social Security cards. I'm a strong second, somehow losing to Jacob. I demand an investigation!

  1. Jacob
  2. Michael
  3. Joshua
  4. Matthew
  5. Ethan
  6. Andrew
  7. Daniel
  8. William
  9. Joseph
  10. Christopher

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Canada 3, Finland 3

Canada HockeyRick Nash and Patrick Marleau scored 51 seconds apart in the third period to lead Canada to a 3-3 comeback tie with Finland at the IIHF world hockey championship. It wasn't supposed to be this way. We're supposed to beat Finland who is without Saku Koivu, Tuomo Ruutu, Jere Lehtinen, Teemu Selanne and goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.

The tie gives us five points which puts us in second place in Group F, behind Sweden who is playing the USA right now. We should be okay, but we'd better start winning again if we intend on winning this tournament for the third year in a row.

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Mother Songs

MusicHere are my ten favourite songs with the word "Mother" in the title.

  1. Tracy Bonham - Mother Mother
  2. Pink Floyd - Mother
  3. The Guess Who - No Sugar Tonight - New Mother Nature
  4. Ghetto Boyz - Die Mother F*ckers
  5. Danzig - Mother
  6. Jann Arden - Good Mother
  7. James Brown - Mother Popcorn
  8. The Rolling Stones - Mother's Little Helper
  9. U2 - Mothers Of The Disappeared
  10. Violent Femmes - Old Mother Reagan

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Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mothers DayMothers have the most important job in the world. I'm not trying to slight fathers, as we're playing a vital role too, but mothers are at the top.

It might be easier to share an MP3 of Jann Arden's "Good Mother". It opens with this line, "I've got money in my pocket, I like the color of my hair. I've got a friend who loves me, Got a house, I've got a car. I've got a good mother, and her voice is what keeps me here."

Happy Mother's Day to my mother, a loving, generous woman. Happy Mother's Day to the mother of my two children. James and Michelle are lucky to have her. Happy Mother's Day to the mother of my nephew Zander. Much love and respect to all the wonderful mothers I know.

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Soul Plane

A Movie ReelSoul Plane: 2 out of 10.

"Soul Plane" made "White Chicks" seem more like "Citizen Kane". This movie was one African-American stereotype after another, flung towards you at warp speed. It's entirely offensive without any sly satire or commentary in the mix.

Seriously, they covered every stereotype in the book and beat it to death. There was a small scene featuring Terry Crews, who was probably the highlight of "White Chicks", so the one positive thing I will say about this flick is that Crews is very good at what he does.

If you see "Soul Plane", run as fast as you can in the opposite direction and don't look back. Not once, not ever. Run!

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"A mother's love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity, it dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stands in its path."
      - Agatha Christie

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An Old Scrapbook Uncovered

VaultIn the mid-80s through the early-90s, I kept a scrapbook. In this scrapbook I pasted articles about the important sports occurrences of the day.

I hadn't seen this scrapbook in a while, but my brother Steve recently stumbled upon it and gave it to me today. I brought it home and snapped pictures of a few of the pages, for posterity's sake. Here's an exclusive glance inside my pre-teen scrapbook.

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Teri Polo Is Alive!

Exclamation PointAs I write this entry, Teri Polo lives. The actress best known for her role in "Meet the Parents" and "Meet the Fockers" remains amongst the living. I'm pointing out this fact for the many who visit this site after Googling Teri Polo's Death and other such phrases.

The woman who played Teri Polo's character's sister in "Meet the Parents", Nicole DeHuff, is dead, and this is where the confusion derives from. How Nicole DeHuff's death translates into Teri Polo's death remains a mystery to me, but it certainly has. My referral log tells no lies.

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Canada 4, Sweden 5

Canada HockeyPerhaps I jinxed us when bragging about the streak the other day. We went 6-0 at the World Cup last September and 6-0 at the World Junior Championship in January. Unfortunately, we won't be running the gamut at this year's world championship.

Up 2-0 in the first, I was ready to blow the Swedes out. I was feeling a little cocky and began looking beyond this game to tomorrow. What happened? The Swedes are a good team and our D didn't show up and there were too few players playing their ass off. We'd better show up tomorrow against Finland.

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A Surprise

MusicTheory Of A Deadman is getting plenty of airplay lately from their hit "No Surprise". The first time I heard this song I deemed in unworthy of SLS, but I also realized the appeal. It's got a incredibly catchy hook.

Sometimes I think songs are recorded with the sole purpose of being catchy. "No Surprise" is a good example of this. It's a fairly empty tune that seems to exist for the "Well it ain't no surprise" melody and nothing more. It's bubble gum pop, really, but a song you'll subconsciously sing along to in the shower. You know you shouldn't like it and you don't, but you still groove to it but feel guilty afterwards.

There is one thing about "No Surprise" I like, and that's the surprise in the song. It's a poppy, catchy song that I envision soccer moms digging. These soccer moms probably bob their head to the tune, singing along to the hook, but there's a little surprise on the end of that hook. I'd love to see the soccer mom's face upon hearing the end of the chorus and "that bitch is leaving me".

Such a safe song completely ruined for little Tyler and Britney. At least Theory Of A Deadman did something right.

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White Chicks

A Movie ReelWhite Chicks: 4 out of 10.

"White Chicks" was dumb, but not as painful to watch as you might suspect. If it seems I'm being kind that's probably because my expectations were extremely low when I sat down to watch this Wayans vehicle.

I had read somewhere that "White Chicks" was racist. I didn't find it racist so much as satirical in nature. As one who enjoyed "In Living Colour" back in the day, I find it rather unfortunate this is the best Keenen Ivory Wayans is coming up with these days.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

A picture of Homer Jay Simpson"All right, let's not panic. I'll make the money by selling one of my livers. I can get by with one."

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Steve Nash For Prime Minister

CanadaWow.

ESPN.com is reporting that Victoria, British Columbia native Steve Nash will be named the Most Valuable Player of the National Basketball Association. The official announcement will be made Sunday during halftime of ABC's coverage of Sunday's playoff game.

Not only is Nash only the third point guard in more than four decades to win the award, but he's the first Canadian. Hell, lets call a spade a spade and say no other Canadian has even been close. Rick Fox probably finished in the top 50 at some point, but he left the country when he was two. Nash is all Canuck.

My campaign was a complete success and I'm deliriously happy. What a week for Canadian sports figures named Nash!

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Clutch Hitters

MLBIf the early-90s Jays were trailing heading into their at bat in the 9th inning, I always felt confident we'd pull it out if Devon White, Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter or Paul Molitor were due up. These were clutch guys, Alomar and Molitor particularly. Certain players always seemed to come through when it mattered most.

A study by math and economics student Elan Fuld of the University of Pennsylvania set out to prove who the greatest clutch hitters were. Fuld defined a clutch hitter as one who hits better at more important moments. He studied stats on 1,075 Major League players in the 1974-1992 seasons. Factors determining a clutch hit: how many bases were occupied, the score at the time, the inning, and how many outs. He also counted sacrifice flies, in which a runner scores but no hit is recorded.

Frank Duffy, Eddie Murray and Luis Gomez stood out as the greatest under pressure. 1974-1992 data is a little old to prove how clutch Alomar was. You'll have to take my word for it.

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A Time To Kill Cancon

Radio35% of all tunage we hear on Canadian radio between the hours of 06:00 and midnight must be Canadian in content. This is the Cancon rule I grew up with. It meant a frequent barrage of Frozen Ghost, Jeff Healey, Tom Cochrane, The Pursuit of Happiness, Blue Rodeo, Corey Hart, Bryan Adams and Sass Jordan. Today, it means way too much Sum 41, Nickelback, Three Days Grace, The Tea Party and Alexisonfire.

It's 2005 and time Canadian acts sink or swim based on their talent. Even without Cancon rules, The Tragically Hip would be staples of our radio. Without Cancon, Our Lady Peace, the Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne, Billy Talent, The Arcade Fire and other popular and/or quality Candadian acts would still get played. If you're good, you're good. If you're liked, you're liked. Why are we artificially propping up certain artists merely because they're home grown. Shawn Desman doesn't deserve this kind of coverage merely because he was born in the T Dot.

It's time to kill Cancon. We don't need it anymore. Cream always rises.

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Crosby the Marlie

Maple LeafsI've been rather fixated on the idea of Sidney Crosby playing in Toronto. I first floated the idea in early March and then revisited the notion in April.

According to the Toronto Star, the Maple Leafs have approached Crosby with the possibility of playing for the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League next season. There's officially a little smoke which means a fire may be starting. Of course, I'm lobbying for the NHL Leafs to sign Crosby, but the fact John Ferguson is having a discussion of this nature is a good sign. I envision a wink, wink signing of Crosby to the Marlies with the hope this agreement can be extended to the NHL club.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have rarely had a bonafide superstar on their club and they've never had the best player in hockey. It's time the world's greatest franchise has the world's greatest player. With a little luck, a cup may follow.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveThings I did to my brother's computer last night

  1. Installed Firefox
  2. Installed AVG Virus Scan
  3. Installed Winamp
  4. Installed Search & Destroy for Spyware
  5. Set up his new speakers

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Canada 3, United States 1

Canada HockeyRick Nash is only 20 years old but he's leading the pack in Innsbruck, Austria, scoring two big goals in today's victory over the States. With the win, Canada clinched first place in Group B and will play Sweden, the Group C first-place team, in the qualification round on Saturday.

Canada is 34-3-0 all-time against the United States at the world championship. Even cooler is the fact we haven't lost in a while. We went 6-0 at the World Cup last September and 6-0 at the World Junior Championship in January. We're 3-0 thus far during these World Championships.

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Hey Nike!

EmailIf you live in Toronto, you've seen those ads for Nike's 10K RunTO event all over the city. They poke fun at our various neighbourhoods with one community making fun of another. I've been enjoying them.

The Toronto Public Space Committee is fighting back with their own spin on the campaign. They've produced a poster which you can download in PDF here and view here.

Hey Nike! Take that!

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Temporary Email Issue

EmailIt's entirely possible I rely too heavily upon email as my main form of communication.

There's a temporary issue with my email address associated with this domain, which is whatever@thisdomain.com, and until it's fixed I'm completely out of the loop. If you've written me today, this is why I haven't replied. If you've submitted a Guest Blog, this is why it hasn't been posted.

I'm working on getting this fixed, in the meantime I'm in the dark here!

Update: She looks like she's fixed. Email me to your heart's content.

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Following Today's Game

Canada HockeyAgain, I'm stuck in front of a computer when I'd rather be in front of a television to watch Canada take on the USA this afternoon at 14:15 EST. It promises to be a great game and I don't intend to let a little work interfere with my following of the action.

Once again, I'll be streaming The Fan 590 so I can hear the action live. The live IIHF scoresheet I linked to last time didn't get updated once during the game so I won't be checking in on that this time. Instead, I'll see if TSN.ca throws up a live scoresheet.

Go Canada Go!

Update: Canada leads 2-1 after two periods...

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Yo-Yo Gee, Listen Up

HouseI just read the greatest property listing in MLS history. The broker who listed it is named John E. Deoliveira and the West Toronto house he's selling is detailed here.

MLS listings can be removed at any time, so just in case that link breaks before you get a chance to read the description, here it is as it appears at this moment.

Yo-Yo Gee, Listen Up, Once Again Yours Truly :O)) Has Done It Again, Mouth To The Floor The Minute You Walk Through The Door... Ouch!!! Legal Two Family Dwelling With A Monthly Income Of $2,100.00. Easy To Convert Back To One Family If Desired, Seperate Coin Operated Laundry**** EXTRAS **** For Everyone's Convenience, Parking @ Rear Of Property Via Lane Plus Mutual Driveway Through The Front Therefore E-Z Access In & Out. Tenants Vacating End Of May For Early Closing. Two Fridges, Two Stoves, One Washer, One Dryer

It's the real deal my friends. I think that "Yo-Yo Gee" opening is classic.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Tomorow morning - May 5th, I will be waking up at 5:05.05am on 05/05/05 to see if something unforseen happens. I'm a fan of numerology (being an estimator) & can't wait until 6:06.06 am on 06/06/06. Next year I will get another 1hour & 1 minute sleep.

      Twins from bolton

05:05.05 on 05/05/05 is pretty cool, but I'm still sleeping in until 6. Next year I'll post an entry at precisely 06:06.06 on 06/06/06. With any luck, it will be about the Maple Leafs' first round sweep of the Sens.

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For One Day Only

Star WarsI've waited all year for this one...

May the fourth be with you.

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Top 10 Shows

TVI was just looking at a list of the 10 most watched prime-time shows for the week ended Sunday, according to Nielsen Media Research. It's an American list, but I suspect the Canadian top ten is fairly similar. I noticed I don't watch very many shows in the top ten. Here are the top ten shows last week and whether I watch them or not.

  1. Desperate Housewives, ABC, 25.7 million viewers - I've never seen an episode. I watched 15 minutes of the premiere and thought it truly sucked.
  2. American Idol (Tuesday), Fox, 25.5 million viewers - Since we're being honest here, I must admit I watch.
  3. American Idol (Wednesday), Fox, 24.4 million viewers - Since we're being honest here, I must admit I watch.
  4. CSI, CBS, 23.7 million viewers - I've never seen an episode. You're shocked, right?
  5. Survivor: Palau, CBS, 21.2 million viewers - I haven't seen Survivor since they were in Australia. That was a dozen seasons ago.
  6. Grey's Anatomy, ABC, 17.9 million viewers - I've never seen an episode but I know it stars Sandra Oh which is cool.
  7. House, Fox, 16.5 million viewers - I've never seen an episode but My brother tells me it's great.
  8. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, ABC, 16.4 million viewers - I've never seen an episode.
  9. Cold Case, 16.3 million viewers - I've never seen an episode.
  10. Everybody Loves Raymond, CBS, 15.8 million viewers - I've never seen a complete episode but My wife watches it in syndication. I don't get the allure, but I'll probably watch the finale out of morbid curiosity.

Please don't tell anyone I watch "American Idol". I'm not proud of this fact.

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Canada 8, Slovenia 0

Canada HockeyCanada absolutely dominated Slovenia, outshooting them 56-12. 8-0 was actually a rather generous score for Slovenia considering. This was the first world championship game ever between two-time defending champion Canada and the slower, less-skilled Slovenes.

A true test is Thursday when we face the damn Yankees.

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My Link of the Day

Mike's Link of the DayCereal Boxes - "Here is an archive of hundreds of cereal boxes, with even more to come." Here's my favourite.

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Following Today's Game

Canada HockeyCanada takes on Slovenia this morning at 10:00 EST. If you're like me, you won't be able to park yourself in front of a television to enjoy, but you can still follow the action by following my lead.

I'll be streaming The Fan 590 so I can hear the action live and I'll be checking out this online live game stats page from the IIHF.

Go Canada Go!

Update: Early in the second, Canada leads 4-0 and is dominating. USA beat Slovenia 7-0, so we've got to match or surpass that. I know at some point Canada will go into auto-pilot to avoid embarrassing the competition, but I hope they don't do so until we've potted 8.

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The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. Beastie Boys - In 3's
  2. Pulp - Seductive Barry
  3. Guns N' Roses - It's So Easy
  4. Smashing Pumpkins - Glynis
  5. Ian Hunter - Cleveland Rocks
  6. Jay-Zeezer - Threat (Undone The Sweater Song)
  7. Pearl Jam - Rats
  8. David Bowie - Modern Love
  9. Ice Cube - Alive On Arrival
  10. Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate Love Song

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumBob Hunter was 63. He co-founded Greenpeace and was also a broadcaster, journalist, author and political hopeful. He was most recently the ecology news specialist for CHUM's Citytv and CP24 TV channels and the man behind Paper Cuts, a segment in which he wore a bathrobe and commented on the stories in the day's newspapers.

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Dare I Trust Kevin?

Book"Revenge of the Sith" will be released in theatres later this month. It's episode three and the final installment of the sextet. I've had this thought process before, but having read the first paragraph of Kevin Smith's review of "Revenge of the Sith", I'm thinking I may have to see this one on the big screen.

It's the same story you've heard a thousand times. Child of the 80s grows up adoring episodes 4, 5 and 6, collecting all things Star Wars and still gets warm fuzzy feelings upon seeing Yoda, Chewie and R2D2. You know what happens next... this same child of the 80s is quite disappointed with episodes 1 and 2 and weary of episode 3 for fear of being burned again. I really, really want "Revenge of the Sith" to make amends for the previous two disasters in the hopes it will revive the franchise and clear the blemishing tarnish upon the three movies from my youth. I want to believe Kevin Smith when he writes the following:

"Revenge of the Sith" is, quite simply, fucking awesome. This is the "Star Wars" prequel the haters have been bitching for since "Menace" came out, and if they don't cop to that when they finally see it, they're lying. As dark as "Empire" was, this movie goes a thousand times darker (deleted because there are spoilers) this flick is so satisfyingly tragic, you'll think you're watching "Othello" or "Hamlet".

I hope he's right, but I think I'll need to read a few more positive reviews from less biased sources before I decide to see it in theatres. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice, damn I'll be pissed.

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The Bourne Identity

A Movie ReelThe Bourne Identity: 7.5 out of 10.

As I mentioned below, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. It's an interesting premise that's well filmed and intriguing throughout.

There's even a role for Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje who I know best as Simon Adebisi in the series "Oz". It's the first time I've seen him since Kareem Said murdered him in that infamous scene. I'm surprised we don't see more of him. Actually, I'm surprised we don't see more actors from "Oz", one of the most underrated series of all time.

"The Bourne Identity" was great fun. I'm looking forward to seeing the sequel.

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What Were The Odds?

BookWell over a month ago, I borrowed some DVDs from a friend. One of these DVDs was "The Bourne Identity" and Taryn and I finally got around to watching it early yesterday afternoon.

It was good. We were thoroughly enjoying the story when at the one hour and thirty minute mark the DVD stopped cooperating. There was some severe hesitation in the video making it unwatchable. I tried cleaning the disc but quickly realized we weren't going to be able to watch the last 30 minutes of this entertaining flick. Taryn volunteered to head over to our local Rogers Video to score a copy so we could witness the climax. She was successful and we were able to finish the movie. This is where my O Henry tale gets a little strange...

Perusing the guide on the television while awaiting the start of "The Simpsons", I saw a certain movie debuting on CityTV at 20:00 last night. That's right, it was "The Bourne Identity".

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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 April 2005.

  1. toronto blue jays
  2. family guy
  3. edgefest 2005 lineup
  4. toronto blue jays logo
  5. paul mccartney presale password
  6. teri polo dead
  7. pearl jam
  8. celebrity death watch
  9. homer quotes
  10. auroras

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New Pictures

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. There's a couple from today and a couple from last week.

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My Complaint About Mr. Mike Boon

EmailI just got an email with a hyperlink to this complaint about me.

All points are valid.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumWilliam Bell was 78. He was an Emmy award-winning daytime TV soap writer, producer and co-creator of "The Young and the Restless" and "The Bold and the Beautiful".

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FYI

HomerTonight's first new episode of "The Simpsons" entitled "Don't Fear The Roofer" is episode 350, right? You've seen and read the articles about this fact and you've probably caught some of the hype from Fox.

In actuality, it's going to be episode 351. "Future-Drama" was the true 350. For some reason, Fox doesn't count that first Christmas special, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", as an official episode.

Whatever. I'm enjoying episodes 351 and 352 tonight. We get a double-header before the return of "Family Guy". I'm giving the boob tube a spit-n-shine in anticipation of 90 minutes of broadcast Babylon.

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My Quote of the Week

Opening Quotes"Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not? Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that..."
      - George Carlin

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