March 2006 Archives

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July 27, 2007
Published by Toronto Mike on March 31, 2006 @ 20:06 in The Simpsons

HomerI've marked July 27, 2007 on my Sunbird calendar. That's the day "The Simpsons" movie will be released. There's a teaser trailer airing prior to "Ice Age: The Meltdown."

It's been a long time coming, it's been a long, long, long time running, it's well worth the wait.

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on March 31, 2006 @ 17:07 in Friday Fives

The Number FiveMy favourite Aerosmith songs

  1. Sweet Emotion
  2. Janie's Got A Gun
  3. Walk This Way
  4. Livin' On The Edge
  5. Dream On
Courtney Love Sells Some Nirvana
Published by Toronto Mike on March 31, 2006 @ 13:17 in Music, Nirvana

NirvanaThere is news from Courtney-land at this hour. Courtney Love has sold twenty-five per cent of her share of Nirvana's publishing catalogue to Larry Mestel of Primary Wave Music Publishing. Keep in mind that Courtney owns ninety-eight per cent of Nirvana's publishing rights, so a quarter of that is a lot.

I don't know Mestel, but I hope we can trust him. I suppose anyone is better than Courtney. If "Smells Like Teen Spirit" ends up in a girls deodorant commercial, I know who to blame.

What Did We Do Before?
Published by Toronto Mike on March 31, 2006 @ 12:41 in

HumourThis comic strip had me smiling this morning. It's funny because it's true. The Internet has changed everything.

When I need directions, I use the Internet. When I need a phone number for a person or business, I use the Internet. When I want to know who that guy was who starred in that movie or how many home runs so-and-so hit in 1986 or how many Wimbledon titles Steffi Graf has won, I use the Internet. When I want to read the latest news, check the weather, share a photo, send someone a message or research something, anything and everything, I use the Internet.

What the hell did we do before the Internet?

Wheatus' In The Melody
Published by Toronto Mike on March 30, 2006 @ 16:29 in Music

musicToo Soon Monsoon is a Wheatus album that was released back in October. I never heard much about it, but earlier today I stumbled over the lyrics for the song "In The Melody" that appears on that album.

The sound of American radio's making me feel like I just killed my mom and my dad/ These pop songs are meant to be simple so people who make them, we take them and break them in half/ But as I drove I remembered that you made a tape/ For me to play if I my ears were ever being raped/ I slipped it in and the Tragically Hip came on singing about matches/ Well at least someone still believes in the melody.

I thought that was pretty cool.

The Soul of the Patriots
Published by Toronto Mike on March 30, 2006 @ 12:46 in Sports

BasketballOn Saturday, the final four teams left standing in the NCAA tournament will play and we'll be left with two. One of the final four teams is George Mason, an 11th seed that came out of the Colonial Athletic Association. George Mason is Cinderella on steroids. They've beaten 6th seed Michigan State, 3rd seed North Carolina, 7th seed Witchita State and 1st seed Connecticut.

There are some big time schools on that list who all recruited the best high school ballers in the country. George Mason is the underest of dogs and only has two more Goliaths to slay. It's a top knotch grade A feel good story.

If you're not rooting for the George Mason Patriots, you have no soul. The only exception to that rule are those with children playing for one of the other three teams or members of the other three teams. Scratch that, there are no exceptions. Everyone should be rooting for the Patriots this weekend.

How I Passed Grade Ten French
Published by Toronto Mike on March 30, 2006 @ 08:00 in

SchoolI hated taking French in school. My wife embraced our second language and is bilingual, but I had no interest. Despite only requiring grade nine French to graduate high school, for some reason or another I ended up taking grade ten French. This was a mistake.

I resented the class, didn't study and found myself in serious danger of flunking my first class ever. As the semester progressed, things got dimmer and dimmer. With the writing on the wall, I pulled a stunt I now regret. I told the teacher I was suicidal.

I knew what I was doing. I was daring the poor French teacher to fail a suicidal teenager. It was a desperate manuever, and before I knew it she had contacted my parents and guidance counsellor. My guidance counsellor called an emergency meeting to discuss my feelings. I remember trying to convince her that I was actually pretty stable and not even contemplating anything drastic.

Entering the final exam for that class, I needed a 72% to pass. I got a 34% on the exam and came to grips with the fact I wasn't going to get a credit for grade ten French. When my mark was posted, I had to look twice to believe what I saw. I had received a mark of 50% on the nose. I had passed, I got the credit and I never took French again.

I have no doubt as to why I passed that course. I challenged the teacher to flunk a suicidal teenager and she couldn't do it. It was an awful thing to do, but it worked brilliantly.

Canada's Biggest Hip Hop Collector?
Published by Toronto Mike on March 29, 2006 @ 19:57 in

CDI was contacted recently by a guy who bills himself as Canada's biggest hip hop collector. He had found a few items in my collection that he had been searching for. It seems he too knew the power of Rap Traxx.

Rap Traxx is a series of rap compilation cds that came out in the late 80s and very early 90s. Number one was great, but I just loved number two. My brothers and I used to sing Slick Rick's "Childrens Story" all the damn time. "Uncle Ricky, will you read us a bedtime story?" I've also got number three and number five, although number four has somehow eluded me.

"Canada's biggest hip hop collector" goes by the handle Vertiflow and lives in Vancouver and he threw me a touching story about how Rap Traxx inspired him to collect the genre. He had apparently been searching high and wide for this collection, stalking eBay, record stores and online traders. I can empathize, so I threw the dog a bone in exchange for some old school hip hop flavours from the good ol' day.

Surprisingly, he blew right past my impressive collection of Kish.

Russ Holden and Darryl Dahmer
Published by Toronto Mike on March 29, 2006 @ 18:48 in Radio

RadioThis afternoon I spent a few minutes listening to Bob McCown's Prime Time Sports on the Fan 590. He and Stephen Brunt were discussing politically vocal athletes like Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Jim Brown and comparing them to Michael Jordon and Tiger Woods who are as non-political as can be. It was an interesting discussion, and then it was time for traffic. I can't remember if it was Russ Holden or Darryl Dahmer, but that doesn't matter. To me they're interchangeable and have been around forever.

When I first started listening to AM radio in the early 80s, Russ Holden and Darryl Dahmer were doing traffic reports for 680 CFTR. A little Googling reveals they both go back to 1979 at CFTR, where they both work to this day. That's an incredibly long time to stay at one station in the same role, even surviving a major format change when CFTR ditched the top 40 tunes for all news.

I wonder if they're the same guy?

SLS Submission
Published by Toronto Mike on March 29, 2006 @ 18:43 in SLS ~ Smells Like Sour

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "Crooked Teeth" from Death Cab For Cutie.

This song grew on me. At first I thought it was pretty regular, but after hearing it over and over and over again, I submitted to its sweetness.

Weekly MP3
Published by Toronto Mike on March 29, 2006 @ 13:19 in Weekly MP3s

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.

Soundgarden - Jesus Christ Pose
I'm a man of my word. I've always really loved this song from Badmotorfinger.

Maple Leafs 3, Flyers 2
Published by Toronto Mike on March 29, 2006 @ 08:00 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsLast week when we rolled into Montreal, the heat was on and our Leafs just withered. Now, with the heat down and almost impossible odds of making the playoffs, we're beating down the Devils and Flyers. We're far better out of the kitchen.

Jean-Sebastien Aubin earned his second straight victory and played very well. Is he the bridge to Justin Pogge I'm looking for? Either way, I just enjoy saying his name. Jean-Sebastien Aubin... Jean-Sebastien Aubin... Jean-Sebastien Aubin... Try it, it's fun!

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
34-32-6
74 points
4th in Northeast
3-2 Win vs. Philadelphia
4-3 Win vs. New Jersey
6-2 Loss vs. Montreal
B. McCabe - 63
J. Allison - 60
M. Sundin - 58
Lord of the I Don't Care
Published by Toronto Mike on March 28, 2006 @ 17:32 in

Thumbs DownEverybody's talking about The Lord of the Rings, currently showing at the Princess of Wales Theatre. Apparently it's a big deal, despite some mediocre reviews. It would be nearly impossible for me to care any less about this production than I do right now.

If somebody handed me a free ticket to tonight's show I'd refuse to go. Hell, you couldn't pay me to sit through 3.5 hour so LOTR on stage. Of course, I never got it, so maybe it's just me.

SLS Submission
Published by Toronto Mike on March 28, 2006 @ 08:33 in SLS ~ Smells Like Sour

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "No Way Back" from the Foo Fighters.

I considered submitting this song about six weeks ago, but I wasn't sure at the time if it was worthy. Today I changed my mind after hearing it on the radio during my morning shower. This time, it clicked and I could see it on the playlist for SLS15.

The Michelle and James Show
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2006 @ 19:49 in Family

FamilyThe most entertaining show in my life these days is the Michelle and James show. This one year old and four year old are outrageous together. It's a mesmerizing spectacle.

They get along brilliantly and have a load of fun together. There are funny moments, joyful moments, tender moments and overwhelmingly sweet moments, strung together with the cutest thread. As Michelle grows into her personality, James seems to appreciate her more and more. If you ask him if he wants to go to Home Depot, he'll ask if MIchelle can come too. If he senses she's upset, he'll search for something to cheer her up. Sometimes it's a toy, sometimes it's Tickle Me Elmo and sometimes it's a hug and kiss.

joy (joi) n.
1. a. Intense and especially ecstatic or exultant happiness.
b. The expression or manifestation of such feeling.
2. A source or an object of pleasure or satisfaction: their only child, their pride and joy.

How TV Was Meant To Be Watched
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2006 @ 19:07 in Television

tvOccasionally, I'll catch on to a television series too late. A good example occurred last year with the series "Lost". By the time I realized it was something I'd probably dig, they were a good four episodes deep and I refused to compromise. If I'm going to follow a series like that, I have to start at the beginning and watch the episodes in order.

Before "Lost", there was "24". By the time the critical acclaim sunk in and I was sold on watching, they were a few hours into the day and it was too late for me. With both "Lost" and "24", DVD is my salvation. If you exercise some patience and avoid spoliers on the web, you can watch tv the way it was meant to be watched.

It's glorious. There's no commercials and no waiting a week for new episodes. When we find the time, we're knocking down episodes of "Lost" one by one and thoroughly enjoying the journey. When we're done season one of "Lost", we'll tackle season one of "24".

No spoilers!!!

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2006 @ 18:43 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumStanislaw Lem was 84. He was a popular science fiction writer whose novel Solaris was filmed twice.

Half Way Home
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2006 @ 18:03 in SLS ~ Smells Like Sour

slsMarch is just about over and that means we're about half way through the period for SLS15 submissions. We'll choose the final playlist for SLS15 at the end of June.

Thus far it's shaping up to be pretty strong. Quite a few more tunes will be added before we're said and done here. For the record, here's what I like so far.

  • I Bet You Look Good On the Dance Floor - Arctic Monkeys
  • World Wide Suicide - Pearl Jam
  • The Fallen - Franz Ferdinand
  • The Grace - Neverending White Lights
  • Rock & Roll Queen - The Subways
  • Out Of Exile - Audioslave
  • The Bridge - Elliott Brood
  • 7-4 Shoreline - Broken Social Scene
  • I'll Believe In Anything - Wolf Parade
  • Use It - The New Pornographers
  • Banquet - Bloc Party

If you're in need of an SLS refresher, check out the guide. Note to self, update guide.

The Monday Shuffle
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2006 @ 12:05 in Monday Shuffles

iTunesEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in iTunes and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten tunes I heard today with a personal story about one of them.

  1. Rock N' Me - The Steve Miller Band
  2. The Wars End - Rancid
  3. Jesus Christ Pose - Soundgarden
  4. You Will Be Waiting - Barenaked Ladies
  5. Body and Soul - The Sisters of Mercy
  6. You're Not From Brighton - Fatboy Slim
  7. Six Feet Deep - Geto Boys
  8. Summer Cannibals - Patti Smith
  9. The List - Metric
  10. Highway Star - Deep Purple

Some great rock voices emerged from Seattle in the late 80s and early 90s. Kurt Cobain had that wicked scream and Ed Vedder had that definitive angsty croon but Chris Cornell had that impossible range. He was the best of the bunch and "Jesus Christ Pose" is that song I first skip to when I'm craving some Soundgarden.

It's totally manic, loud and proud and everything I love about rock. The video was awesome too. I saw it on MuchMusic several times but it was actually banned by MTV and hasn't aired there since 1991. I'm gonna share this one on Wednesday because it's killer.

Maple Leafs 4, Devils 3
Published by Toronto Mike on March 27, 2006 @ 08:34 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsEven when we win we end up helping the Canadiens. Our "too little too late" victory over New Jersey puts Montreal in a seventh place tie with them. Jean-Sebastien Aubin earned his first NHL victory as a member of the Maple Leafs by stopping 36 shots.

Amazingly, we beat New Jersey in all four games we played them this season. Whodathunkit?

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
33-32-6
72 points
4th in Northeast
6-2 Loss vs. Montreal
5-1 Loss vs. Montreal
3-2 Win vs. Carolina
B. McCabe - 63
J. Allison - 60
T. Kaberle - 58
Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 26, 2006 @ 19:37 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Congrats to Stephen Ames & his victory at the "5th" Major in golf winning the Player's Championship by 6 strokes today. Another major for another Canadian. Too bad our hockey teams don't fair as well. With all he has gone through the last couple of years with his wife's cancer, he truly deserves it. $1.44 million would make life easier as well!

      dale

That's some solid coin and a trip to Augusta. It wasn't even close.

I Shot A Man In Reno
Published by Toronto Mike on March 26, 2006 @ 13:51 in Music

Johnny CashI was listening to Go on CBC radio yesterday and they were discussing the best live albums of all time. One of the best live albums and one of my favourites is Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, recorded January 13, 1968 at Folsom Prison in Represa, California. The opening track of that album is an amazingly energetic version of "Folsom Prison Blues".

My favourite part of that version of "Folsom Prison Blues" is when Cash sings "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die." Immediately following the delivery of this line, the audience of prisoners let out a holler that adds a great amount of edge to the performance. I frickin' love that part, but as I learned yesterday, I've been duped.

That whoop was recorded that day and did come from Folsom Prison inmates, but it was added to that part of the song in post-production. Sometimes it's more fun when the wizard stays behind the curtain...

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 26, 2006 @ 08:03 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Re: Reflex Or Will

A Parable.
She: Why don't you believe in a God?
He: Well, let me answer it this way. I have a friend, a farmer up in Victoria. He has the most amazing tractor, an enormous bloody thing, eight wheels, each wheel as high as me. It pulls his combine harvester, plow and other farm machines. It is an unbelievable thing. Do you have one?
She: No...
He: Why not?
She: I don't need one.

I do not consider myself a religious person but I like most people struggle with issues like: What is good? What does it mean to live a good life? What is the nature of reality? Why are we here and what should we be doing? How should we treat each other? What is really most important in life? As a person without a structured belief system, I choose to use reason and critical thinking whereas religions may make use of reason, but at the very least they also rely on faith, or even use faith to the exclusion of reason. Some people get a lot of comfort from religion, either from the faith itself or from the pleasure of rituals and inherent structure. I would never try to deny them this, and probably am a little jealous at some levels. I do however commandeer such rituals as I want, especially if there is food involved. I tend to avoid any fasting festivals, though...ha,ha.

      Jill

Am I to graze the great buffet of Catholicism and pick and choose the foods I like? What if I'm not hungry, do I still have to eat? This reminds me, it's time for breakfast. Rice Krispies, here I come!

Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 6
Published by Toronto Mike on March 26, 2006 @ 07:38 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsThe Toronto Maple Leafs are currently in twelth place in the Eastern Conference. Only ten days ago I complained about being teased. Apparently the blue and white read that entry and decided to drop the charade. They're a twelth place team and they're playing like a twelth place team.

On the bright side, maybe they'll finally gut the pig. Damien Cox had some good ideas in yesterday's Star. He suggests getting rid of everybody except Mats Sundin, Tomas Kaberle, Darcy Tucker, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Alex Steen and Mikael Tellqvist. It's that kind of radical overhaul that's so desperately required.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
32-32-6
70 points
4th in Northeast
6-2 Loss vs. Montreal
5-1 Loss vs. Montreal
3-2 Win vs. Carolina
B. McCabe - 63
J. Allison - 60
T. Kaberle - 58
My Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 26, 2006 @ 07:28 in Quotes

Quotes"There art two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness."
      - Franz Kafka

Reflex or Will?
Published by Toronto Mike on March 25, 2006 @ 20:01 in Losing My Religion

crossI've written a great deal about my stuggle with Catholicism. They pound this stuff into you when you're young and highly impressionable and as you age and begin to question basic truths the lines between but you believe and what you think you believe begin to blur. At least, that's what happened to me.

In the words of Jim Carroll, I was a Catholic boy. I attended mass every Sunday, was baptized as a baby, got my first communion in grade two and was confirmed in grade seven. From junior kindergarten through OAC, I attended Catholic schools and learned about the faith as part of the curriculum. As a teenager, with a developed mind that always looked as deeply into matters as possible, I began to question the foundation upon which the religion I belonged to was built. In my early 20s, I became overwhelmed with this sense I was being hypocritical when I practiced Catholicism, as I fundamentally disagreed with a great deal of the doctrine espoused from the Vatican. I stopped going to mass, even on Christmas Day and Easter.

The funeral I attended this morning included a Roman Catholic mass. As I sat in the pew with a number of friends who were not Catholic, I wondered to myself whether I would participate in the mass as a Catholic or non-Catholic. As the service opened with Amazing Grace, I was still unsure, and then my body went into auto pilot. I found myself participating as a Catholic, kneeling when it was time to kneel, joining in with the Lord's prayer and even taking communion. Even as I found myself resonding in this manner, I couldn't tell if it was because I wanted to or if it was because the customs and routines had been so impressed upon me in my youth my response was a reflex action. I still don't know, but it definitely has me thinking.

There's no natural ending to this entry. I'm really just thinking out loud. I may be a lapsed Catholic, but I haven't given up my membership in the club.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 25, 2006 @ 17:01 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's Link of the Daykleptones 24hours download - Today, The Kleptones are going to keep you up for 24hours. I haven't even heard this stuff yet as I'm still downloading the torrent, but their track record is so damn strong I know I'm gonna love it.

Nothing Is Lost
Published by Toronto Mike on March 25, 2006 @ 16:15 in My 2 Cents

deathI just got back from a funeral mass and reception for the mother of a dear friend to learn that the wife of another friend just passed away at the age of 29. In the past month I've attended a celebration of life for another friend's wife who passed away suddenly and a service for the mother of yet another friend. A couple of weeks ago I also learned of the passing of another close friend's father, and although I didn't attend the funeral, I should have.

Each of these instances, occurring so closely together, has once again got me thinking about death. I reflected upon death in great detail back in December when I wrote about the reality of mortality. Here's an excerpt:

In my lifetime, I don't remember a worse year of natural disasters. Throw in threats of an Avian flu pandemic, the Terri Schiavo media circus and the passing of the Pope and we have a year draped in black funeral attire. With the foul stench of death in the air, "Six Feet Under" put everything in perspective and eloquently presented the reality of mortality as a concept I can fully understand, effectively inducing catharsis.

It's also worth noting that in 2005 I didn't attend a single funeral, wake or memorial service. In 2006, I'll be reaching four next week. Mourning the loss of others has given me ample time to not only sympathize but contemplate my own life and the lives of those I love. The soul searching has been most therapuetic and the reminder that life is fleeting has only had postive effects on my person. Therein lies the irony. In the sadness of others I care about, I find inner strength and discover aspects of myself I wasn't sure existed.

To quote the remembrance card for Sybil I received just this morning, "Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and we all will be as it was before -- only better."

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 25, 2006 @ 16:11 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumBuck Owens was 76. He was the flashy rhinestone cowboy who shaped the sound of country music with hits like "Act Naturally" and brought the genre to TV on the long-running "Hee Haw."

Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 25, 2006 @ 10:03 in Homer's Quote of the Week

Homer"You're saying butt-kisser like it's a bad thing!"

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 24, 2006 @ 21:05 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's Link of the DayajaxWrite - The look, feel, and functionality of Microsoft Word, in a completely web-based AJAX platform. It's amazing, really. This won't work for you unless you're running Firefox 1.5. < insert smart ass comment about why anyone would use any other browser anyway >

Ricky Gervais and Sky One Reality
Published by Toronto Mike on March 24, 2006 @ 20:20 in The Simpsons

HomerOn March 4th I linked to "The Simpsons" opening reenacted by real people. It was spot on, created by Sky One, a channel in the United Kingdom airing the show. This Sunday, that same reenactment will precede the episode of "The Simpsons".

Another reason to look forward to Sunday night's episode is the fact it was written by and stars Ricky Gervais. I recently rented the six episodes of the original series "The Office" and they were superb. Gervais was sensational as the boss. I was already a fan of the American version of the show, but the Briish version is a treat.

I'm dying to see what he'll bring to my friends in Springfield.

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on March 24, 2006 @ 16:21 in Friday Fives

The Number FiveMy favourite Michael J. Fox movies

  1. Back To The Future
  2. Teen Wolf
  3. The Hard Way
  4. Casualities Of War
  5. Doc Hollywood
My Portable Apps
Published by Toronto Mike on March 24, 2006 @ 07:41 in Technology

DigitalI picked up this 1GB USB 2.0 flash drive last week. I then went to PortableApps.com and downloaded the following:

Residing on my USB flash drive, these apps leave no footprint on the PC and go with me wherever I go. If I'm in the office, I'm working off this portable drive. When I'm at home, same deal. I can pop this sucker into any Windows PC and use these tools. I've been doing this for over a week now and it's damn slick.

I was using all six apps anyways, so there was a seamless transition to the portable versions. I highly recommend these six apps for their intended purposes. It's a sweet suite.

Maple Leafs 1, Canadiens 5
Published by Toronto Mike on March 24, 2006 @ 07:34 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsApu Nahasapeemapetilon lied to us. He clearly said you can't kill a twinkie.

The twinkie is dead. Long live the twinkie.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
31-30-6
68 points
4th in Northeast
5-1 Loss vs. Montreal
3-2 Win vs. Carolina
1-0 Win vs. Pittsburgh
B. McCabe - 62
J. Allison - 59
T. Kaberle - 58
Bleeping Montreal Canadiens
Published by Toronto Mike on March 23, 2006 @ 20:12 in Toronto Maple Leafs

SwearsI hate the Montreal Canadiens... always have, always will.

This game is shite.

Bloody hell.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 23, 2006 @ 14:43 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Zanta's Biggest Fan:

I don't believe i ever did mention Zanta to my brother Mike. I was astounded to read the blog on Zanta. Zanta lives in the next building to me, and spends the majority of his time at Scarlett and Eglinton.

The first Day I saw Zanta I was intimidated by his large muscles and rough exterior. Since that Day I have taken some time to talk to Zanta and I now enjoy our morning chats. Zanta now walks to me if he ever spots me in the area.

I will often hand a cigarette to Zanta and enjoy a smoke with him at 7:15 AM when I am waiting for my bus. Zanta is a very nice guy. I can't imagine what has caused him to take to the streeets sceaming aloud his story of the abduction of his daughter (all the while wearing shorts with no shirt).. but behind the weird exterior of Zanta lies an interesting guy who I enjoy conversing with. I have sat with him countless time on the Scarlett bus when I go shopping on the weekends and he rides the bus to visit his father.

It is now at the point where i sit on my balcony and listen to his rants when i see him outside on the street. Sometimes, it is the most fun I have all Day.

I love you Zanta!!! .. For making life a little bit more interesting.

      Ryan

That's too funny. You're right, we've never discussed Zanta, and yesterday I wrote this about him. Kara chimed in with a comment which was the first time I learned you guys were buds. It's a smaller city than you think.

Sacrilege
Published by Toronto Mike on March 23, 2006 @ 08:11 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Exclamation PointI like Coldplay as much as the next guy, and I've got every one of their discs in my collection, but what they did last night in Toronto is completely unacceptable. Actually, it's sacrilege.

Prior to their concert at the ACC last night, Coldplay had the Toronto Maple Leaf banners removed from the rafters. Gone were the eleven Stanley Cup banners and the retired #6 honouring Ace Bailey. More disturbing than that, the retired #5 that honours Bill Barilko was also removed. Is nothing sacred?

How this action didn't result in a riot at Bay and York is beyond me.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 23, 2006 @ 08:08 in Guest Blog Entries

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

http://www.redhotchilipeppers.com/news/

Yo heads up out there to RHCP fans.. In preparation for the upcoming NEW SINGLE - Dani California the web site has posted a short insightful/hilarious video of some candid banter between the Dudes! Their new stuff sounds friggin' noice. In a bootleg concert recording recently Flea comments to the crowd "if you're smart you'll record this and make some money on the internet with it!" Then they proceed to rock into new songs like 21 Century, Desecration smile, Ready made. So there you go. Shout out to Oink.uk

booyakasha, -rezpect

      Coach Carter

RHCP is one of those bands that's managed to persevere and stay relevant. It ain't easy to do. They were cool in the 80s and they're pretty cool today.

Zanta, A Toronto Institution
Published by Toronto Mike on March 22, 2006 @ 19:46 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

SantaJust about every Torontonian has crossed the path of Zanta. He's difficult to miss, wearing a Santa hat and no shirt while cruising our streets and dropping for pushups here and there. He does this 364 days a year. Ocassionally you'll read about the banning of Zanta from parts of the city or the return of Zanta. I saw him at both the Toronto Santa Claus parade and St. Patrick's Day parade. He's literally all over the place.

Zanta has his own Wikipedia page and a documentary was made about him. It turns out his real name is David Zancai and he adopted he character of Zanta when his daughter was taken out of his custody.

He's either a mad genius or crazy and scary as hell. I suspect it's a little from column A and a little from column B. One thing's for certain, if you're going to live in the T.Dot, you're going to cross his path sooner or later.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 22, 2006 @ 19:14 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumBernard Lacoste was 74. He spent more than 40 years at the helm of the Lacoste clothing empire best known for its crocodile-embossed polo shirts.

Worth Repeating
Published by Toronto Mike on March 22, 2006 @ 16:02 in Music, Pearl Jam

PJPearl Jam's "World Wide Suicide" is currently the number one single in Canada. This is the first time a single has hit #1 without appearing in any tangible format. I've already blabbed about how it was a free, high quality, DRM-free MP3 download, but it's also worth noting this is how radio got the song as well. No special CDs were pressed and delivered to program directors, we all got it from the same source.

Go figure.

Beautiful By Popular Demand
Published by Toronto Mike on March 22, 2006 @ 12:14 in Custom

CustomOver on Custom's MySpace page I've taken down "Fogg" and am now sharing "Beautiful". We've actually shared "Beautiful" before, but people seem to really dig it so it's back by popular demand.

For more on Custom, check out the official site and register for the bulletin board.

Give "Beautiful" a listen. It might surprise you.

Weekly MP3
Published by Toronto Mike on March 22, 2006 @ 12:02 in Weekly MP3s

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.

Revolting Cocks - Da Ya Think I'm Sexy
This is still a heavy cover. Actually, all of Linger Fickin' Good is linger fickin' good.

And Then There Were Two
Published by Toronto Mike on March 22, 2006 @ 10:10 in Toronto Blue Jays

Blue JaysBack in May of 2003 I put together a list of those who played for our 1993 World Series winning team and were still active at the time. Not counting youngsters who didn't play in the playoffs, there were seven names on that list.

Yesterday, Al Leiter retired, ending his 19 year career. He's been around so long, we picked him up for Jesse Barfield. We then had to exercise a great deal of patience while he nursed blisters before he blossomed into a great starter. We then got screwed when he up and signed with Florida as an unrestricted free agent. Leiter was one of those seven names and now only two remain.

Pat Borders is a 42 year old trying to stick with the Los Angeles Dodgers while Mike Timlin is a 40 year old still pitching out of the bullpen for the Boston Red Sox. Borders and Timlin are all that remain in the majors from our last world championship.

Maple Leafs 3, Hurricanes 2
Published by Toronto Mike on March 22, 2006 @ 07:42 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsThat's what I'm talkin' about. That's exactly what I'm talkin' about. We came out with intensity, built a lead and managed to secure victory even when Carolina scored two goals in the third to tie things up. Hell yeah.

I was doing some major scoreboard watching last night, and it appeared Montreal and Atlanta were both going to lose. Montreal did lose, but the Thrashers managed to come back and beat Boston in a shootout. That puts Atlanta in eighth, Montreal one point back in ninth and our Toronto Maple Leafs four games back in tenth. We're now off to Montreal for two playoff-like games that we must win.

Aleksander Suglobov played his first game in a Leafs uniform and Brendan Bell made his NHL debut putting in a solid 14:00.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
31-30-6
68 points
4th in Northeast
3-2 Win vs. Carolina
1-0 Win vs. Pittsburgh
5-2 Loss vs. New York Rangers
B. McCabe - 62
J. Allison - 59
T. Kaberle - 57
MTV Without The Music
Published by Toronto Mike on March 21, 2006 @ 19:07 in Television

MTVAbout an hour ago, MTV premiered in Canada. Sure there was that digital channel a couple of years ago, but this MTV replaces talktv on your dial and airs from inside the Masonic Temple. There's just one thing you should know about our MTV before you flip on over. There's no music allowed.

That's right, the CRTC stipulates that the talktv license MTV is taking over be used for all-talk programming and nothing but all-talk programming. No music videos and no live performances allowed. They'll be rocking out with a lot of blah, blah, blah.

I see they've hired Daryn Jones of "Buzz" fame. While at St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto, I would bump into him on campus almost daily. "Buzz" was a highlight of cable 10 programming and Daryn was always a swell guy.

We finally have our MTV, now that I'm too old to give a damn. It's probably for the best that they aren't airing videos. I suspect the usual suspects, Mariah Carey, Jessica Simpson and Usher, would be on ultra-high rotation. I'll take the talk, thank you very much.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 21, 2006 @ 18:50 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's Link of the DayUsing iTunes to backup your music - Every once in a while you come across a link that fundamentally changes the way you live your life. This is that link for me. When you have almost 90 GB of music, backing it all up on a regular basis can become a very time consuming thing. Following these instructions for backing up my MP3s with iTunes will save me a great deal of time and stress. Amazing.

Corey and Corey
Published by Toronto Mike on March 21, 2006 @ 11:54 in Movies

MoviesAt lunch I'm going to get my photo taken. Whether I'm getting my photo taken for my drivers license, TTC student card or U of T student card, I always have the urge to throw the camera my Corey Haim face. Allow me to explain...

In License to Drive, Corey Haim was at the height of his teen dream fame. He was starring with the other Corey, Corey Feldman, and there's a scene when he has to get his photo taken for his newly acquired license. Just before the click of the shutter, Haim opens his mouth wide and makes this face. That's the face I want to have captured on an ID card.

For a while in the late 80s, the Coreys were the big thing. Since then, it's been all downhill for these guys. Just about every second person you meet in Toronto has a Corey Haim story about his fall from grace. The non-Toronto Corey hasn't fared much better. It's too bad. The inspirations for the Corey Hotline Lisa was addicted to deserved a better fate, didn't they?

I'm off to get my picture. In honour of the Coreys, I might just throw the camera my Corey Haim face.

The Monday Shuffle
Published by Toronto Mike on March 20, 2006 @ 21:38 in Monday Shuffles

iTunesEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in iTunes and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten tunes I heard today with a personal story about one of them.

  1. Position of Power - 50 Cent
  2. Awake - Godsmack
  3. Unexplainable Hunger - Classified
  4. Magic Johnson - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  5. Ball & Chain - Big Mama Thornton
  6. Betterman - Pearl Jam
  7. Beat It Upright - Korn
  8. Woman From Tokyo - Deep Purple
  9. Got To Get You Into My Life - The Beatles
  10. ATWA - System of a Down

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I heard a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" on Q107. It was by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a California band I knew nothing about. I picked up Mother's Milk and gave it a spin.

It was frenetic fun from the get go, it just made me feel good. It was a play through too, and one of my favourite tracks on the disc was "Magic Johnson". It was a manic tribute to the best player on their basketball team and it had spunk. Many point to Blood Sugar Sex Magik as their breakthrough disc, but I believe it's Mother's Milk behind such tunes as the Wonder cover, "Knock Me Down", "Taste The Pain" and "Good Time Boys".

I eventually saw them live and they didn't disappoint. This band's a keeper.

The First Nineteen
Published by Toronto Mike on March 20, 2006 @ 20:09 in The Simpsons

HomerFox has renewed "The Simpsons" for at least two more years. That will put it in its nineteenth season and will guarantee a 400th episode airing sometime during the 2007-08 season.

I've written a tonne about this show over the years, and when I finally migrate all my old entries over to MT, they'll be together in one convenient package. Needless to say, it means a great deal to me and has been a personal favourite for over half my life. An entire decade past their prime and I still look forward to new episodes on Sunday night. That alone speaks volumes.

When the season finale of season nineteen airs, James will be six years old. When I sat down to watch my first episode of "The Simpsons", I was in grade nine. Here's hoping this ride never stops.

My Organ & Tissue Donation
Published by Toronto Mike on March 20, 2006 @ 16:18 in Family, The Best of Toronto Mike

TrilliumHere in Ontario they've launched Gift of Life Donor Cards. There's a marketing push right now to get people to sign these donor cards, thereby consenting to donate organs and tissue upon death. It's not enough, however, to simply sign the card. It's important to tell your family about your decision and ensure your loved ones are aware of your wish.

My loved ones read this public web site. There is no bigger pulpit from which I can shout these words. In the event of my death, I consent to donate any needed organs or tissue in the hope that I may help others.

I'm hoping I can stick around for a while. I really want to see what kind of people James and Michelle become, I'd love to participate in a Stanley Cup parade on Yonge Street and I'd get a kick out of scoring that senior discount on haircuts. I'm hopeful to live a good fifty years more, but if I should die in my sleep tonight, let there be no doubt as to where I stand on the issue of organ and tissue donation. It's first come, first serve and everything is available.

If I can enhance one person's life in death, that's a very good thing.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 20, 2006 @ 12:08 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's Link of the DayAlan W. Pollack's "Notes On" The Beatles Series - This guy spent ten years writing about every Beatles song in amazing detail. Who says the devil is in the details?

Maple Leafs 1, Penguins 0
Published by Toronto Mike on March 20, 2006 @ 08:46 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsThat was a strange one. The power at Mellon Arena went off twice for a total of 44 minutes, there was a small generator fire and the only goal of the game came on a third period penalty shot by my hero and yours, Chad Kilger.

This was a vital two points because we've got tough Carolina tomorrow night before a massive two games in Montreal. Those two games can be treated as an eight pointer with only three seperating us from our arch rivals right now. This ain't over.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
31-30-6
68 points
4th in Northeast
1-0 Win vs. Pittsburgh
5-2 Loss vs. New York Rangers
3-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
B. McCabe - 60
J. Allison - 58
T. Kaberle - 56
The 2006 Toronto St. Patrick's Day Parade
Published by Toronto Mike on March 19, 2006 @ 14:30 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

ShamrockJames and I went downtown to watch the St. Patrick's Day Parade this afternoon. We also attended the 2005 Santa Claus Parade last November which permits me to juxtapose these two downtown Toronto parades.

With the Santa Claus Parade, you have to show up hours early and fight for a good spot with decent sight lines. Neither was true today. We showed up a half hour early, but we didn't have to. We could have arrived seconds before the parade began and we would have been able to find a good spot with a curb seat for James. The attendance at the St. Patrick's Day Parade is a small fraction of what I see at the Santa Claus Parade each year, and that's probably because St. Nick scores all the high budget floats, but therein lies the charm of this afternoon's event.

There's a folksy and fun relaxed vibe to the St. Patirck's Day Parade. It almost seems like it was thrown together on pretty short notice on a shoe-string budget. They'll take a TTC bus, decorate it in green clovers, and call it a float. A series of fire trucks with their sirens on is a float. A big family wearing green hats can walk together and be a feature. I saw a couple of ladies wearing green and walking their dogs treated as a float. None of this flies at the Santa Claus Parade.

With less pressure to impress the masses, you can see some damn funny floats at the St. Patrick's Day Parade. One was called "The Heartbreak Hotel" and claimed Elvis was alive and living in the retirement home of County Cork. Another featured the "Roadkill Cafe" and showed the Hillbillys Clan 46. It was a hilarious rib at bumpkin culture and it would never be allowed in the Santa's parade. The Hillbilly taxi was too funny. Heck, Zanta even got to take part in this parade whereas I saw a copper eject him from Santa's parade.

And finally, the conclusion of the Santa Claus Parade is always the big Santa float. Naturally, the conclusion of the St. Patrick's Day Parade is the arrival of St. Patrick himself. He rolls by in the back of a pick up truck in some Popemobile phone booth thing and waves. Hastily pasted to the side of the pick up are the words "St. Patrick 389 A.D. - 461 A.D.

God, I love being Irish. I can't wait for next year's parade. Here's everything I snapped today.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 19, 2006 @ 08:51 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumBill Beutel was 75. He was a longtime television news anchor and host of the show that became ABC's "Good Morning America."

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 19, 2006 @ 07:47 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's Link of the DaySouth Park Scientology Episode - Rumour has it Tom Cruise got this episode pulled from Comedy Central by threatening not to promote "Mission: Impossible 3." You see, Viacom owns both Comedy Central and Paramount which is releasing "Mission: Impossible 3." Watch it here while you can...

Maple Leafs 2, Rangers 5
Published by Toronto Mike on March 19, 2006 @ 07:26 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsEarly in the second period, I recieved an instant message from my mother. It simply read "horrible". The Rangers had just scored to go up 2-0 and my mom knew what we all knew. The Leafs weren't coming back. I'm surprised we even managed to break the shutout.

It was another squandered opportunity as both Montreal and Atlanta lost. Lucifer might be proud of our 66 points in 66 games but he's the only one.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
30-30-6
66 points
4th in Northeast
5-2 Loss vs. New York Rangers
3-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
5-4 Win vs. Boston
B. McCabe - 60
J. Allison - 58
T. Kaberle - 56
My Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 19, 2006 @ 07:22 in Quotes

Quotes"On the seventh day the Lord rested, but before that he did, he squatted over the side of England and what came out of him... was Ireland. No offence son."
      - Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting, Gangs of New York

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 18, 2006 @ 16:51 in Links to External Web Sites, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

Mike's Link of the DayHomicides in the GTA, 2006 - From the Toronto Star, this is a handy way to track murders in the 416.

The Riverside Chaucer
Published by Toronto Mike on March 18, 2006 @ 15:58 in Memories

UofTGeoffrey Chaucer has a blog. I only mention that because it segues nicely into a little story from my third year at the University of Toronto.

In order to fulfill my obligations to the Department of English, I had to take a course on Chaucer. It was mandatory that we buy The Riverside Chaucer and bring it to each class. At the time, I was a very broke student working at a grocery store to pay my tuition, and this text book cost a small fortune. It cost so much I've refused to part with it. Here's a picture of it I took moments ago.

Not only was this thing expensive, but it was heavy. Hauling it on the TTC and around campus was a serious pain in the ass. The Riverside Chaucer came to represent to me everything that was wrong about university. Forcing a kid to buy a $100, 20 lb book for a bullshit class was typical.

Did I mention it was a bullshit class? I pulled every essay from my ass and still passed it with flying colours. If they didn't force you to attend by giving marks for tutorial participation, I'd have never learned who the prof was. It didn't matter. An essay or two on the significance of something or other in The Canterbury Tales and you're in like Flint.

I don't mean to sound bitter, but I didn't learn a thing from that class. It got me a nice piece of paper though which is hanging on the wall of the staircase leading to the basement right now. Thanks, Geoffrey.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 18, 2006 @ 13:28 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's Link of the DayOpen Source Windows - This is a simple list of the best free and open source software for Windows. I personally use Mozilla Firefox, Gaim and Gimp daily.

Sorry For The Down Time, Y'all
Published by Toronto Mike on March 18, 2006 @ 11:32 in

Thumbs DownOver the past couple of weeks there have been a few extended periods of down time for this site. The people that host this site tell me they've had server issues. The most recent outage was this morning from about 05:00 to 11:00 EST. That sucks.

I'll be placing another call to their sales people on Monday morning, but I'm thinking it's time to find a more stable home. I'm where I'm at now because it cost me nothing, but free isn't much of a bargain when your site is down 10% of the time. If you know of any bargains out there with good customer service and 99.99999% up time guarantees, let me know in the comments.

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose.

Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 18, 2006 @ 11:24 in Homer's Quote of the Week

Homer"Marge, you're as pretty as Princess Leia and as smart as Yoda."

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on March 17, 2006 @ 19:18 in Friday Fives

The Number Five"Irish" songs in my collection

  1. Irish Lasses - Ashley MacIsaac
  2. Irish Paddy/Festival Reel/Roger's Reel - Great Big Sea
  3. A Walk In The Irish Rain - The Irish Descendants
  4. The Irish Rover - The Pogues
  5. Irish Rover - The Irish Descendants
Happy St. Patrick's Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 17, 2006 @ 12:53 in

ShamrockSome of you may have noticed this site looking a little green this week. This St. Patrick's Day theme is no accident. Today is the Catholic feast day which celebrates the patron saint of Ireland.

Some essential St. Patrick's Day resources for ya:

May the Lord keep you in His hand and never close His fist too tight.

553 Metres of Pride
Published by Toronto Mike on March 17, 2006 @ 12:22 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

CN TowerWill everyone back off! We've had the world's tallest freestanding structure for thirty damn years and now every time I read the news somebody's trying to steal that claim.

Our CN Tower soars 553 metres high. Chicago announced today they're building a 610 metre structure called Fordham Spire. Earlier in the week, Tokyo announced they were building a 600 metre structure. Previously written about here, the Chinese city of Guangzhou has already announced plans to build the 580-600 metre Guangzhou TV tower and construction has already began on a building in Dubai, UAE, which will rise to over 700 metres of combined office and condo use.

Bring it on Chicago, Tokyo, Dubai and Guangzhou. We in Toronto have 553 metres of pride and the largest erection in the world for thirty years.

Maple Leafs 1, Sabres 3
Published by Toronto Mike on March 17, 2006 @ 08:04 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsDammit, even when we play well we lose in Buffalo. When I watched Mike Grier undress Aki Berg in the third to score the go ahead goal, my heart sank. The curse of Punch Imlach continues...

On the positive side of the ledger, Mikael Tellqvist played another strong game and Montreal lost. If we don't leave New York with two points on Saturday night, we can fuggedaboutit.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
30-29-6
66 points
4th in Northeast
3-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
5-4 Win vs. Boston
5-1 Win vs. Tampa Bay
B. McCabe - 59
J. Allison - 56
T. Kaberle - 54
Go Figure
Published by Toronto Mike on March 16, 2006 @ 20:37 in Music, Pearl Jam

PJQuick. Name the Pearl Jam single that has debuted the highest on Billboard's Radio Monitor modern rock chart. I hear some of you saying "Jeremy", others are saying "Daughter", someone just said "Spin The Black Circle" and I'm sure I just heard "Given To Fly". Good guesses all of them, but they're all wrong.

Believe it or not, "World Wide Suicide", debuting at #3, is the correct answer. It's also the 31st modern rock chart appearance for Pearl Jam, placing them second overall to U2's 33. Even cooler, in the 17 year history of the chart, this is only the fifth time a song has debuted in the top three.

Might this success have something to do with intelligent marketing practices? Do the evolution.

They're Doing It Again
Published by Toronto Mike on March 16, 2006 @ 08:17 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsI hate being teased and those blue and white sweatered SOBs are doing it again.

The writing was on the wall. On February 23 I called for the axing of Pat Quinn, on March 1 I begged Quinn to relieve Ed Belfour of his #1 goaltender status, on March 3 I came to grips with the situation and realized we had to gut the pig if we ever wanted to hoist Lord Stanley's mug again and on March 5 I predicted we'd finish twelth in the conference and put our chances of finishing eighth at slim to none.

Here we are eleven days later and I sit here believing we have a shot at making the playoffs. I know deep down that this is just a big tease to get my hopes up, but I suppress that feeling and choose to believe in my team. Seven points in the past four games has us five points back of Montreal for eighth and six points back of Tampa Bay for seventh. We actually have a couple of games in hand over Tampa Bay which enhances the odds of sneaking in. I think we can pull this off.

Sure it's a big tease and I'm bound to be awfully disappointed about a month from now, but that's the life I chose when I fell in love with a blue and white heartbreaker on Carlton Street.

The Top Pig Gutting Resource On The Web
Published by Toronto Mike on March 15, 2006 @ 20:25 in SEO: Search Engine Optimization

GoogleMy life long dream has finally been realized.

I'm now the #1 search result when you Google how to gut a pig.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 15, 2006 @ 20:16 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's Link of the Daycbcwatch - I'm a fan of the CBC, both on television and on the radio. I truly enjoy their programs and documentaries and always turn to them first for the news. Many, however, believe the CBC to be too liberal and keep a close eye on their alleged bias. This is the site I turn to to find out about that side the coin.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 15, 2006 @ 12:29 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumRoy Alvin "Red" Storey was 88. He played with the Toronto Argonauts, winning the Grey Cup in 1937 and 1938, and he was the Chief Referee of the NHL from 1950 to 1959.

Weekly MP3
Published by Toronto Mike on March 15, 2006 @ 11:04 in Weekly MP3s

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

House Of Pain - Top O' The Morning To Ya
It's time to share the national anthem of the mother land in honour of the patron saint of Ireland. Top o' the morning to ya!

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 15, 2006 @ 09:16 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Ernie & Buck together again with Mr. Gibbons at the helm. Mr Ted Rogers go for it. Unity!!

      dwr

I'm sold. Buck Martinez got a raw deal last time he came through town. Buck and Ernie are like Fred and Ginger. They belong together.

Maple Leafs 5, Bruins 4
Published by Toronto Mike on March 15, 2006 @ 08:30 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsThe stats will tell you Ben Ondrus is pointless in his NHL career. I beg to differ. As I see it, he's helped earn seven of a possible eight points when it was most necessary. The Leafs have yet to lose in the Ben Ondrus era.

That was an exciting shootout win, wasn't it? Mats Sundin scored twice and had an assist, Bryan McCabe added a goal and an assist and Mikael Tellqvist came up big when it mattered. One point isn't sufficient at this point, we needed two and we got them. With Tampa Bay's loss we're only five back of the Habs and six back of the Lightning with a couple of games in hand.

Just win, baby.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
30-28-6
66 points
4th in Northeast
5-4 Win vs. Boston
5-1 Win vs. Tampa Bay
2-1 Loss vs. New York Islanders
B. McCabe - 59
J. Allison - 55
T. Kaberle - 53
Ernie and Buck
Published by Toronto Mike on March 14, 2006 @ 19:34 in Memories, Toronto Blue Jays

BaseballReading about South Korea's victory over the United States at the 2006 World Baseball Classic, I came across a quote from USA manager Buck Martinez regarding Hee-Seop Choi's three-run homer. It was only then that I realized our two catchers for much of the 80s were well represented in this tournament. Team Canada was coached by Ernie Whitt.

Martinez, in the twilight of his career, was a solid back up to Ernie Whitt who was enjoying some all-star seasons behind the plate for our Toronto Blue Jays. I remember that year Martinez got run over blocking the plate but still managed to fire a bullet to second base. He was out for the year and the strip in the top left corner of this page in my scrapbook shows BJ Birdy protecting Whitt from the same fate.

Ernie and Buck were quite the team, second only to Rance and Garth. Whitt was Ryan's favourite Blue Jay of all, and I once shared this great story about him misinterpreting an Exhibition Stadium chant. I can still hear it now. "We want Whitt! We want Whitt!"

Ernie and Buck, together again.

SLS Submission
Published by Toronto Mike on March 14, 2006 @ 18:41 in SLS ~ Smells Like Sour

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "I Bet You Look Good On the Dance Floor" from the Arctic Monkeys.

This band has a lot of buzz following them around... we'll see if they live up to expectations. It's a good single though and it's got me dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984.

My Videos Powered By Google Video
Published by Toronto Mike on March 14, 2006 @ 13:38 in

VideosI used to share video clips on a fairly regular basis, but once I got a digital camera I pretty much left my video page to collect dust.

I just used Google Video to share clips of James dancing to "Lisa It's Your Birthday" so I figured I'd share a bunch of other old clips while I'm at it. The following videos are now available from my updated Video page. I'll eventually get around to adding a few more. If you haven't already, you'll need to download the free Google Video Player to see 'em.

Videos of James Dancing
Published by Toronto Mike on March 14, 2006 @ 12:20 in Family

VideosWhen Roshan wrote about his tearful experience while enjoying the Simpsons episode "Stark Raving Dad", he mentioned the Michael Jackson penned song "Lisa It's Your Birthday". That reminded me of the days Sweet Baby James would dance like crazy to that tune and I threatened to resurrect a video or two of him doing just that.

I threw them on Google Video and here they are...

He was such a cute little dude and always had good taste in entertainment, except for that ugly Dora the Explorer phase...

Warmest Winter Ever
Published by Toronto Mike on March 13, 2006 @ 21:40 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

SunWe hit 13°C in the T.Dot today. When our snowman of December 10 melted over the Christmas break, I promised James we'd make another. A Canadian winter has to be good for a heavy snowfall or two or three in January and February, right? Not this year...

It's officially the warmest Canadian winter on record. "Statistically, in an unchanging climate, Canada could expect a winter anomaly like this winter's about every 100 years," Environment Canada reported earlier today.

If this is global warming I say let 'er cook. I rarely had to shovel the driveway and walk, there was no difficulty driving and I haven't had to wear my gloves and hat in months. It's been a mild winter and the only casualty was poor ol' Frosty.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 13, 2006 @ 21:20 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Bob Rae will decide in the next few days to take the plunge & HOPEFULLY take the challenge going for the leader of the Liberal Party. I lived in his riding - York South Weston for many years & he always was there for us. A Good man but previously with the wrong party (NDP) & now is his chance to lead this country as the other 2 party leaders are useless. Harper is a mirror of DUBYA. Nuff said.

Bank on it - if Rae puts his name on the liberal party, the Liberals will win the next federal election by a landslide.

      dale

I too am quite familiar with Rae's old riding. When rumours first surfaced that he could be the next Liberal leader I mentioned it to a friend who openly laughed at the notion. When his term as premier of Ontario ended in 1995 we had the largest deficit on record and poor ol' Bob Rae was as unpopular as a skunk at a picnic.

It's been ten years and time has dulled those wounds. I think a powerful left-of-centre political force is exactly what this country will need when Stephen Harper's given the hook.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 13, 2006 @ 20:54 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumPeter Tomarken was 63. He was the host of the hit 1980s game show "Press Your Luck."

My MP3s Updated
Published by Toronto Mike on March 13, 2006 @ 20:27 in My MP3 Collection

CDI've added 26 new CDs to my MP3 collection. Here they are...

  • Tears For Fears - Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits 82-92)
  • Billie Holiday - The Complete Decca Recordings (Discs 1 & 2)
  • Steve Earle - Copperhead Road
  • Eddie Money - The Best Of Eddie Money
  • OST - Shaft
  • Various Artists - Soul Train 25th Anniversary Hall Of Fame (Discs 1-3)
  • Various Artists - 100 Jukebox Hits: 50's & 60's (Discs 1-8)
  • Alicia Keys - The Diary Of Alicia Keys
  • Alicia Keys - Songs in A Minor
  • Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody: Best of Righteous Brothers
  • Lead Belly - Absolutely the Best
  • Various Artists - O'Bluegrass (Discs 1 & 2)
  • Various Artists - History Of The Blues - Part 1
  • Raffi - Corner Grocery Store
  • Raffi - Singable Songs For The Very Young

That's 1167 complete albums, 17,424 songs and 46.3 days of tunage. Check it out.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 13, 2006 @ 19:17 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumMaureen Stapleton was 80. She was an Oscar-winning character actress whose subtle vulnerability and down-to-earth toughness earned her dramatic and comedic roles on stage, screen, and television.

The Monday Shuffle
Published by Toronto Mike on March 13, 2006 @ 17:08 in Monday Shuffles

iTunesEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in iTunes and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten tunes I heard today with a personal story about one of them.

  1. International Bright Young Thing - Jesus Jones
  2. Immortality - Pearl Jam
  3. This Is Heaven To Me - Billie Holiday
  4. Can It Be All So Simple - The Wu-Tang Clan
  5. Fall To Pieces - Velvet Revolver
  6. Coffee Stain - Sarah Harmer
  7. Worried Now - Sloan
  8. Vaccination Scar - The Tragically Hip
  9. Trippin' On A Hole In A Paper Heart - Stone Temple Pilots
  10. The Messenger - New Funky Generation

I've always enjoyed hip-hop. From the cheesy rap of the mid-to-late 80s, to Public Enemy, Outkast and beyond, I dig a hard core rhyme over hard core drum beats. My brother Ryan and I often overlapped in this interest, paying our mutual respect to an artform derived from two turntables and a microphone.

In the early-to-mid 90s, Ryan was all about the Wu-Tang Clan. For whatever reason, I couldn't get into it. Perhaps it was because my bar for hip-hop dramatically raised after listening to the entire Public Enemy catalogue over and over again or perhaps it was because I just didn't get it. I wasn't down with the Wu-Tang Clan and I didn't own an ounce of their material until I scored their greatest hits late last year.

Throw on some Maestro, however, and we're both down wit it.

An NBA Record For Our Raptors
Published by Toronto Mike on March 13, 2006 @ 11:48 in Toronto Raptors

RaptorsIt hasn't been a very memorable season for our Toronto Raptors, but we've still managed to play ourselves into the positive side of the record book. Morris Peterson's 3-pointer late in the first quarter yesterday set an NBA record for most consecutive games with at least one 3-point field goal. The previous record of 594 was set by the Miami Heat.

A record is a record. We'll go for 596 Tuesday in Philadelphia.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 12, 2006 @ 18:03 in Links to External Web Sites, Memories

Mike's Link of the DayTVO KIds Shows - When I was Googling away to learn more about Jeremy I came across this great tribute to TVOntario kids shows of the 1970s. I remember so many of these, particularly "Fables of the Green Forest", "Readalong", "Barbapapa" and "Read All About It".

Memories...

I'm a Bear Called Jeremy
Published by Toronto Mike on March 12, 2006 @ 17:31 in Memories, TV Time Machine, Television

TVThinking about watching "Star Wars" in the late 70s and early 80s triggered another memory that had been supressed for some time. I've suddenly remembered Jeremy, the star of a stop-motion animated television show I used to watch on TVOntario.

I was super young when I used to watch Jeremy, but I clearly remember the theme song and can visualize Jeremy bouncing around on the moon. In only a few minutes of Googling I found a number of Jeremy resouces thanks to this entry on a site called Drawn!.

Thankfully, someone is sharing an MP3 of the theme song I remember so well. If you're about 30 years old and were raised in Ontario, give this a listen and prepare yourself for the flashbacks.

I'm a Bear called Jeremy,
I can do most anything,
I can play and I can sing,
Yes my name is Jeremy!

Too Much Of Anything Makes You An Addict
Published by Toronto Mike on March 12, 2006 @ 16:46 in Family

Star WarsJames is absolutely obsessed with all things Star Wars. As I type this, he's watching Episode IV for the billionth time this month. He's full of questions, and all are about Star Wars characters and their galaxy. He's always handing me my light saber and challenging me to a battle. It's dominating his little mind these days.

For a period of time in the late 70s and early 80s there wasn't a birthday party I attended that didn't have a Star Wars theme. Usually, a VCR was rented so we could watch our favourite movie. I had Star Wars posters in my room, Star Wars figurines and the coolest model of the Millenium Falcon. Still, I don't think I lived and breathed this particular world of fantasy until I had a four year old boy.

It's freaky how well he knows the story. He's memorized the dialogue from episodes 4, 5 and 6 and he'll call me on it if I quote a scene incorrectly. I just asked him if he's obsessed with Star Wars and he said "no". He's obsessed with Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

The tape has been rewound and I can hear John Williams' score booming the background. It's time to go back a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away with my son and there ain't nothing wrong with that.

Woke Up This Morning...
Published by Toronto Mike on March 12, 2006 @ 07:35 in Television, The Sopranos

SopranosIt's been over two years since I celebrated the return of Tony Soprano. In that entry, I had the audacity to complain that it had been over a full year since I last saw a new episode of "The Sopranos". In July of 2004, I got the bad news. HBO had confirmed we'd have to wait until 2006 to see another new episode.

Here we are in March 2006 and guess what's on TMN tonight? It couldn't come at a better time because I'm itching for some quality television. "Six Feet Under" is finito, as is "Arrested Development", "Curb Your Enthusiasm" wrapped up their season in the fall, as did "Rescue Me" and "Weeds", there's a definite void here that needs to be filled.

Here's the deal fellow fans. This season will run for twelve episodes, followed by an eight-month hiatus. Then, we'll see the final eight episodes putting the grand finale in March 2007.

Reviews of the first four episodes are outstanding. Col tempo la foglia di gelso diventa seta.

My Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 12, 2006 @ 07:31 in Quotes

Quotes"I say, thou mad March hare."
      - John Skelton

Maple Leafs 5, Lightning 1
Published by Toronto Mike on March 12, 2006 @ 07:24 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsThe Ben Ondrus era in Toronto is off to a wicked start as the Leafs have picked up five of a possible six points with him in the lineup.

Jason Allison was the offensive hero, scoring twice and adding an assist in the big win in front of the Hanson brothers. Forget Montreal who won again last night, our target is Tampa Bay, merely six points ahead of us for the final playoff spot. Even better, we have a game in hand. We absolutely have to keep putting points on the board because the Islanders are right with us and Atlanta is stuck in the middle.

In Ondrus we trust.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
29-28-6
64 points
4th in Northeast
5-1 Win vs. Tampa Bay
2-1 Loss vs. New York Islanders
5-3 Win vs. Montreal
B. McCabe - 57
J. Allison - 54
T. Kaberle - 51
Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 11, 2006 @ 21:33 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Is there is any way that you can put up the Final Four bracket and allow us to make our selections? I was thinking of something similar to the Oscars Pool, but we can make our selections all the way to the final game and see how many we get correct....

If not than, "Screw you guys, I'm going home..."

      Ryan

Of course I could do that, but in the worlds of the immortal Randy Jackson of American Idol fame, I'm not feelin' it dawg.

When there's another Fab Five let me know and I'll jump back on the bus.

Mike Kic Reports from Costa Rica
Published by Toronto Mike on March 11, 2006 @ 20:20 in Guest Blog Entries, Mike Kic

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

Mr. Boon,

I know it has been a while but, since we last left you guys we were in Panama. Well, now we are in Costa Rica and doing a heck of alot of beaching. I can honestly say that the beach life can get quite boring sometimes.... I know I shouldn't complain. Costa Rica is far too expensive and too touristy. We have only been here for about a week but by comparing it to Panama... .well, I prefer Panama. It has the same amazing beaches, less tourists and it is cheaper. We will be here for the next week before heading out to Nicaragua.

Lots of love, hope all is well in the T-dot.

      Mike Kic

Mike and Jordy are exploring Central America and first checked in with this guest blog. Apparently, Panama is more than just a good Van Halen song.

There isn't a lot of beach life here right now, but we did reach double digits in temp today and it was awesome. If you're curious, the Leafs lead Tampa Bay late in the second but Montreal leads the Rangers as well. We expect you or Jordy to check in some time next week.

New Pictures
Published by Toronto Mike on March 11, 2006 @ 19:36 in

New PicturesI've posted four new pictures in Pictures. A couple are from today's walk to Etienne Brule park and a couple are from last weekend.

TeamCustom.com Makeover
Published by Toronto Mike on March 11, 2006 @ 13:34 in Custom

CustomIt's been about a year since we re-launched Custom's official site and some felt there was a little too much white space. The clean layout with plenty of white space was actually there by design, web 2.0 and all, but after a year it was probably time to mix things up anyway.

If you head on over to http://www.teamcustom.com now, you won't find any white space. It's back in black, baby. I threw in a few other enhancements to up the sex appeal. The redesign probably isn't finished, but it's well underway.

Don't forget, we're streaming four new Custom songs on his MySpace page and four new CDLX song on this MySpace page. Have a listen and throw your comments in the comments for this entry. There's way more to this guy than "Hey Mister".

Enjoy the tunes.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 11, 2006 @ 13:08 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumBernard "Boom Boom" Geoffrion was 75. He scored 371 goals in 14 seasons with the Montreal Canadiens in the 1950s and 1960s and another 22 goals in a two-year comeback with the New York Rangers from 1966 to 1968 before being named to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972. His Number 5 jersey will be retired by the Canadiens in a ceremony before tonight's game against the Rangers.

Maple Leafs 1, Islanders 2
Published by Toronto Mike on March 11, 2006 @ 10:36 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsOur point streak with Ben Ondrus in the lineup has hit an astounding two games.

It's difficult to believe we still have the fourth best powerplay in the league. We failed to capitalize on a two man advantage that lasted 1:36 and we went 1-7 with on the PP. This game never should have gone to a shoot out. We needed two points, not one, and this morning we find ourselves seven points back of the Habs for the final playoff spot.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
28-28-6
62 points
4th in Northeast
2-1 Loss vs. New York Islanders
5-3 Win vs. Montreal
4-2 Loss vs. Ottawa
B. McCabe - 56
J. Allison - 51
T. Kaberle - 50
Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 11, 2006 @ 10:30 in Homer's Quote of the Week

Homer"I'm like that guy who single-handedly built the rocket and flew to the moon. What was his name? Apollo Creed?"

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on March 10, 2006 @ 21:21 in Friday Fives

The Number FiveJames' favourite Star Wars characters (according to James tonight)

  1. Luke Skywalker
  2. Obi-Wan Kenobi
  3. Han Solo
  4. R2D2
  5. C3PO
The Canadian Tire Guy
Published by Toronto Mike on March 10, 2006 @ 13:13 in My 2 Cents

Canadian TireFor eight years I've been fascinated with the Canadian Tire Guy and now he's gone. Canadian Tire has dropped the Canadian Tire Guy and his wife from their ads which means I won't be seeing his smiling face during Hockey Night in Canada anymore.

Everyone I know found Ted Simonett's portrayal of this neutared male annoying but I loved the spots. I couldn't wait to see what Mrs. Canadian Tire Guy was doing next or how Canadian Tire Guy would bumble something and be rescued by the Mrs. or how they loved to rub their tools in the neighbours face. I'd yell at the screen, get totally involved and anxiously await the next spot. Taryn can vouch for this strange obsession.

Once, while perusing the obituary column, I spotted a guy who looked just like him and freaked out. Upon confirming that it wasn't Simonett I cut out the obit and showed it to everyone I could think of. If I see a thin guy with a beard on the street or in a mall, I instantly label him Canadian Tire Guy. CTG brought me a great deal of joy over these past eight years.

I'm going to miss him.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 10, 2006 @ 13:00 in Links to External Web Sites

Mike's Link of the DayJust Cover Video - Ths is a video for a cover of Radiohead's "Just." "For his cover Mark Ronson not only enlisted the help of the formidable Daptones horn section (The Dap Kings) but Alex Greenwald, the lead singer of Phantom Planet." You might want to cut out the middle man and go straght to the high speed Quicktime version.

A Remarkable July 2004
Published by Toronto Mike on March 10, 2006 @ 12:15 in Family, Memories

BabyLast month, when I implemented the Movable Type Publishing Platform to manage this blog, I mentioned I had a little work ahead of me. I had years of entries to bring into MT, and each entry would have to be manually created, one by one. Beginning with November 2002, I started working my way forward, and earlier today I finished July 2004.

I'm actually emotionally drained from revisiting July 2004. The final few days of that month were a complete whirlwind and re-living my entries from that time give me a remarkable perspective on how it all unfolded. Take these, for example.

This weekend, I'll delve into August 2004. Something tells me it won't be quite as remarkable.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 10, 2006 @ 08:11 in Guest Blog Entries

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

From ur site I have really developed an obsession for the Simpsons. I used to watch it religiously a few years back in the 90s then somehow lost interest. Until last year when they started showing a repeat of it at 1 am. Since I normally reach home at 12 am and sleep only by 2, it was perfect for me to unwind after a day's work by chilling out to the yellow family.

Two days ago it was the episode in which Homer gets put in an institute for the insane and he shares a room with a big white guy who says & speaks like he is Michael Jackson. And Homer takes him home to Springfield and "Mike" and Bart compose a birthday song for Lisa as a present. Was I ashamed more of the fact that I actually remembered the lyrics of the chorus ("Lisa it's ur birthday, Happy Birthday Lisa") or that a couple of tears went down my eyes as I smiled into the night and sang along? Maybe it was just some dust!!

      Roshan

Don't be ashamed, be proud! That's one of my favourite episodes and I too love that song. In fact, when James was a toddler, he used to love singing and dancing to that song which led to a rather memorable video I used to share. Maybe I'll dig it up and share it again...

It's Not A Typo
Published by Toronto Mike on March 9, 2006 @ 19:31 in

NewspaperKnight Ridder Inc. is in the news today. Knight Ridder was forced to put itself up for sale last November by its largest shareholders, who were frustrated with the company's lagging share price. Final bids are now due.

As a kid I would read the Toronto Star each day and would sometimes see "Knight Ridder" in the footer. A product of the 80s, I was also a huge fan of the television show "Knight Rider". I just assumed Knight Ridder was a humourous play on the name "Knight Rider". I thought it was pretty clever too.

What a dumb ass.

Sucking and Blowing
Published by Toronto Mike on March 9, 2006 @ 18:10 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsThe trade deadline has come and gone with the Maple Leafs making two deals, both consummated yesterday. In one deal, we traded a draft pick for a veteran defenseman. This deal says "we're going for it in 2006". In the other deal, we traded a proven defenseman for a prospect. This deal says "forget 2006, we're rebuilding for the future".

John Feguson is attempting to suck and blow simultaneously. Today, a day that saw over twenty trades finalized, we sat back and watched the action, paralyzed by a refusal to choose between two polar opposite options. Sitting in tenth, six points out of the playoffs with about twenty games to play, I was hoping we'd play the role of seller, freeing up cap room and collecting draft picks and prospects for the future. Having admitted that, I'd also love to watch my team in the playoffs this season, and had we decided to make a serious go of it, I'd be waving the pom poms. Sucking and blowing all at once, however, is an exercise in futility.

You'd think I'd be used to this by now. Rarely in my lifetime have the Leafs appeared to have a strategy for success. Everything is done half-assed and at the end of the day it's us fans who look like asses. We're on the island tomorrow night as we begin our drive for eighth in 2006. The bar has been set quite low yet it will take a minor miracle to succeed. I'll be watching every minute and cheering like hell for my team, but I've been down this road before and where it leads ain't pretty.

We suck and we blow. That's not as easy as it sounds.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 9, 2006 @ 13:25 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumJim "Shaky" Hunt was 79. He was a fixture of Toronto's sports journalism scene for decades, writing for the Toronto Sun and appearing on the Fan 590 sports radio as a popular host.

H5N1 2 B N NA B4 U NO IT
Published by Toronto Mike on March 9, 2006 @ 12:08 in News

MedicalH5N1, the form of the bird flu virus we've been shaking in our boots about for the past year, could appear here in North America within six to 12 months. At least that's what Dr. David Nabarro believes, and he knows his stuff. He's the United Nations' top avian flu preparedness official afterall.

Wild birds will likely carry the virus from West Africa across the North Atlantic into the Arctic this spring. Migratory birds flying south for the winter will take it from there, spreading the virus into the rest of North America. Once I get word that this thing is here and spreading from human to human, I have a plan.

I'm gonna stockpile water and non-perishable food Y2K style and quarantine my family until we figure H5N1 out. So long as my internet connection holds out, I'll report my slip into madness here. This virus is for the birds.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 9, 2006 @ 07:51 in Links to External Web Sites

Link2005-06 NHL Trades - The NHL trade deadline is today at 15:00 EST. You can monitor all the off ice action at this page from TSN.

Leafs Trade Ken Klee
Published by Toronto Mike on March 8, 2006 @ 21:51 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsThe Toronto Maple Leafs have traded Ken Klee to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Aleksander Suglobov.

Maybe John Ferguson is willing to sell a little and rebuild for the future, but I'm a little confused. The earlier trade suggests we're making a run at the playoffs this season but this trade is for the future. I'm concerned Ferguson is straddling the fence here. If you're going to gut the pig, gut it! Two draft picks for Luke Richardson is counter productive.

This Is How We Do It
Published by Toronto Mike on March 8, 2006 @ 19:50 in Sports

BaseballYesterday I wondered how Canada would fare against American at the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Today I got my answer. We beat the USA 8-6 in a most excellent upset victory for the red and white.

Adam Stern went 3 for 4 with 4 RBIs to lead the charge. We're 2-0 and face Mexico tomorrow night. It's safe to say this win over America is the most significant victory we've ever had in International baseball competition.

Wicked!

Leafs Trade For Luke Richardson
Published by Toronto Mike on March 8, 2006 @ 19:33 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsThe Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired Luke Richardson from the Columbus Blue Jackets for a fifth-round draft pick and a conditional fourth round pick.

I remember Richardson well as a first round pick of the Leafs who spent his first four seasons here. He was part of a monster trade in 1991 which saw him, Vincent Damphousse, Peter Ing and Scott Thornton go to Edmonton for Glenn Anderson, Grant Fuhr and Craig Berube.

I would have loved to have seen us trade for Richardson ten years ago, but today he's a 36 year old in the twilight of his NHL career. We need solid, mobile, young denfensemen for our future. I'm concerned that Ferguson really does think we have a shot at the cup this season. Is he delusional, stupid or both? Is this really the time to trade two draft picks for a player in decline?

In other Leaf-related news, the Boston Bruins have claimed Mariusz Czerkawski on waivers. Farewell sweet prince, we hardly knew thee.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 8, 2006 @ 18:31 in Guest Blog Entries

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

For Your Interest http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1525498/20060306/guns_n_roses.jhtml?headlines=true

      Jill

I don't care what they say I won't live in a world where Axl and Slash don't get along. If these two can't reconcile, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Weekly MP3
Published by Toronto Mike on March 8, 2006 @ 09:48 in Weekly MP3s

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.

Kanye West - Jesus Walks
Heck, I still dig this tune. The way Kathy Lee needed Regis that's the way I need Jesus.

Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 3
Published by Toronto Mike on March 8, 2006 @ 08:43 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsFacts are facts, with Ben Ondrus in the lineup, the Leafs are undefeated. He played his first career NHL game and we won an essential four-pointer. It's amazing what can happen when your best players play as if they're your best players. Ed Belfour and Mats Sundin played well and Tomas Kaberle recorded a career high four points and guess what? We actually won a game.

Although I'm very happy we won and see we're just six points back, we have two teams to leap frog and have to sustain this effort throughout the next twenty games. I don't believe this team is capable of doing that. Furthermore, I fear the win last night will fool management into thinking we're buyers and not sellers. There's little chance they'll do the right thing and gut the pig now. Sometimes a big win is actually a huge loss.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
28-28-5
61 points
4th in Northeast
5-3 Win vs. Montreal
4-2 Loss vs. Ottawa
6-2 Loss vs. Buffalo
B. McCabe - 55
J. Allison - 51
T. Kaberle - 49
A Cozy Wi-Fi Blanky For Toronto
Published by Toronto Mike on March 7, 2006 @ 22:01 in Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

DigitalToronto Hydro Telecom plans to install wireless equipment on hydro poles and traffic lights, covering our downtown core in Wi-Fi goodness. Eventually, our entire sweet city will become one beautiful hotspot.

Although I'd like to see the final pricing structure, there's no doubt this is a good thing for Toronto. With wireless devices becoming more plentiful, there's no reason for this type of connectivity to be anything other than completely ubiquitous.

Toronto Hydro Telecom says the first six months will be free before the subscription service kicks in. I envision a future when Wi-Fi throughout the 416 is a perk available free to all residents. I'm the magical man from happy land, with a gumdrop house on lollipop lane!

SLS Submission
Published by Toronto Mike on March 7, 2006 @ 21:37 in Pearl Jam, SLS ~ Smells Like Sour

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "World Wide Suicide" from Pearl Jam.

This is the new Pearl Jam single they gave away for free online. I wrote all about it here. If you want to decide for yourself if it's SLS-worthy, I'm more than happy to email an MP3 of the song to everyone who leaves a comment on that page.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 7, 2006 @ 21:11 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumGordon Parks was 93. He captured the struggles and triumphs of black America as a photographer for Life magazine and then became Hollywood's first major black director with "The Learning Tree" and the hit "Shaft."

2006 World Baseball Classic
Published by Toronto Mike on March 7, 2006 @ 10:15 in Sports

BaseballI'm not sure what to think about the 2006 World Baseball Classic. At first I thought it was a pretty cool idea, but now that it's here and Canada plays South Africa tonight at 21:00 EST, I've downgraded my vibe on the whole deal to "kinda neat".

I love baseball and I love the idea of an International tournament that matters, but I don't get the feeling this is it. A number of big names aren't participating and with Spring Training underway most thoughts are with MLB. Having said all that, I am interested in how Canada fares against the United States and I would love to see Ernie Whitt coach us to an upset win. Here are some 2006 World Baseball Classic links of interest:

Go Canada Go!

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 7, 2006 @ 09:50 in Links to External Web Sites

LinkWho needs to pirate software with a list like this? - This is a really good list of free software for 3D graphics, anti-virus and anti-spyware utiliities, audio, compression, decompression, defrag and CD/DVD burining tools.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 7, 2006 @ 09:14 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumDana Reeve was 44. She fought for better treatments and possible cures for paralysis through the Christopher Reeve Foundation, named for her late actor-husband.

World Wide Pearl Jam MP3 Download
Published by Toronto Mike on March 6, 2006 @ 21:18 in Music, Pearl Jam

PJI mentioned the new Pearl Jam single "World Wide Suicide" was hitting radio this month and it would be available as a free download for a couple of days. It's available now and I just downloaded a copy.

It's a completely DRM-free, extremely high quality MP3 file and downloading it from here was an absolute snap. It couldn't have been easier, it couldn't sound better and I couldn't be happier.

No other band of this magnitude gets it like Pearl Jam does. They're actually encouraging their fans to download and share their new single and they're ensuring their fans are happy by leaving DRM out of the equation and making it a sweet 6.4MB 256kbps MP3. And, as an added bonus, the song is great!

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 6, 2006 @ 20:55 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumKirby Puckett was 45. He carried the Minnesota Twins to World Series titles in 1987 and 1991 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He broke into the majors in 1984, had a career batting average of .318, won six Gold Gloves and was named an All-Star ten times.

I enjoyed his entire career, always rooting for the little giant who carried a very big stick. In response to yesterday's Guest Blog about his stroke I shared my favourite Kirby quote from when he retired in 1996. "I was told I would never make it because I'm too short. Well, I'm still too short, but I've got 10 All-Star games, two World Series championships, and I'm a very happy and contented guy. It doesn't matter what your height is, it's what's in your heart."

False Advertising
Published by Toronto Mike on March 6, 2006 @ 14:41 in

Thumbs DownWrigley's Extra is gum that lies. You've likely seen posters around town with their new promotion "You Could Win With Pat Quinn". The city is abuzz with anger over this blatantly false advertising campaign.

Their grand prize is "a Pat Quinn coaching clinic for your hockey team in your home town". Isn't that like Billy Joel giving driving lessons or Tammy Faye Bakker demonstrating the fine art of applying makeup?

Toronto's Next Champion
Published by Toronto Mike on March 6, 2006 @ 14:15 in Sports, Toronto News ~ Toronto Focus

CN TowerAn article in today's Star from Garth Woolsey has me thinking about Toronto's next championship team. Excluding the Argos and Rock, which franchise will next win it all?

The Leafs haven't won since 1967 and appear further and further from this goal every game they play. The Raptors have never come close but may have a bright future with Bryan Colangelo in charge and Chris Bosh getting better each week. The Blue Jays haven't won since 1993 but spent a great deal of Teddy's coin this past off season and have a better than decent chance of making the playoffs for the first time since '93. Which of these three teams will win our next championship?

Right now, I'd bet on the Blue Jays, but I honestly don't think any of these teams will win it all in the next decade. In my dreams MLSE guts the pig and instills a sensible strategy for becoming a world beater by 2010. Then, with James old enough to appreciate it and Michelle old enough to cheer along, we win it all in an Olympic year which has Team Canada winning gold.

It could happen.

The Monday Shuffle
Published by Toronto Mike on March 6, 2006 @ 11:31 in Monday Shuffles

iTunesEvery Monday I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in iTunes and list the first ten songs that play. Here are the ten tunes I heard today with a personal story about one of them.

  1. Ring The Alarm - FU-Schnickens
  2. All My Love - House Of Pain
  3. Energy - Kid N' Play
  4. The Feeling - Joe Satriani
  5. Relax - Frankie Goes To Hollywood
  6. I Will Follow You Into The Dark - Death Cab For Cutie
  7. Denied - Our Lady Peace
  8. Ooh Child - The Five Stairsteps
  9. Prick - Tripping Daisy
  10. Shame On You - Hot Hot Heat

I think my personal record for going from hot to cold on an album belongs to F.U. Don't Take It Personal from the FU-Schnickens. I was totally into it at first, spinning the disc like crazy and dubbing it on to cassette for my Walkman. "La Schmoove", "True Fuschnik" and "Ring The Alarm" became mix staples for a brief period in 1992, but then, all of a sudden, I became so sick of their sound I couldn't listen. In fact, It took about a decade before I could enjoy it again.

From red hot to ice cold in approximately three months.

Oscar Prediction Contest Results
Published by Toronto Mike on March 6, 2006 @ 09:45 in

An Academy AwardI'll bet you're wondering how you fared in my little Oscar prediction contest. Click on over to the 2006 Oscar Picks page and check it out.

This year's winner is Phil who managed to predict 21 of the 24 winners last night. That's pretty sweet. I finished with a respectable 15.

It's hard out here for a pimp...

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 5, 2006 @ 19:20 in Links to External Web Sites

LinkNatalie Portman SNL Digital Short - Natalie raps. F*ckin' hilarious.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 5, 2006 @ 18:05 in Guest Blog Entries

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

Thoughts & prayers for Kirby Puckett who suffered a major stroke this morning. My kids being 14 remember him as the "pudgey guy" who could play baseball. Kirby - you deserve better.

All the best Kirby.

      twins from bolton

I remember Kirby very well and found it awfully easy to root for him. He didn't seem to have an athletes body but boy could he play ball. He retired early because of glaucoma and now this. I hope the emergency surgery is a complete success.

When he retired in 1996 he made the following statement which says it all. "I was told I would never make it because I'm too short. Well, I'm still too short, but I've got 10 All-Star games, two World Series championships, and I'm a very happy and contented guy. It doesn't matter what your height is, it's what's in your heart."

Oscar Google Fu
Published by Toronto Mike on March 5, 2006 @ 17:50 in

WelcomeEvery year around this time I see an influx of traffic thanks to a really high Google ranking for popular searches like 2006 oscar prediction.

The visitors begin hitting this page around two weeks before the Academy Awards and there's inevitably an apex right about now. Although not quite as high, I've also got an impressive ranking for the more generic Google search oscar prediction. It was the same story last year, and the year before.

I for one welcome our new Oscar prediction seeking overlords. We had a little contest and you can view everyone's picks here. Drop by a little earlier next year and play along.

Done
Published by Toronto Mike on March 5, 2006 @ 08:26 in Lists, Music

MusicWe're done. In my heart of hearts I thought there might be a chance had we upset Ottawa last night and Montreal lost to Tampa Bay, but neither happened and now I'm certain we're done. I haven't been this disappointed in a team's effort since Turin. I'm sure there's a common denominator between our Olympic team and club team... hmmmmm..

Now that I'm certain we're done like dinner, it's time to begin the healing process. This is where music comes in, always therapeutic and always there when you need it. We'll begin with songs in my collection that contain the word "done" in the title.

  • So Hard Done By - The Tragically Hip
  • Coming Undone - Korn
  • Look What You Done For Me - Al Green
  • A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done - Sonny & Cher
  • The Biggest Thing Man Has Ever Done - Woody Guthrie
  • Undone - The Sweater Song - Weezer
  • Threat (Undone - The Sweater Song) - Jay-Zeezer
  • Been There Done That - Dr. Dre
  • All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
  • Everything You've Done Wrong - Sloan
  • Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma - Ray Charles
  • What Have I Done To Deserve This? - Pet Shop Boys
  • Undone - Pearl Jam
  • Done With You - Papa Roach
  • Needle and the Damage Done - Neil Young
  • Almost Done - Morcheeba
  • I'm Done - Korn
  • What Has To Be Done? - Kish
  • Show 'Em How It's Done - Kid N' Play
  • Look What You've Done - Jet
  • What Have You Done For Me Lately? - Janet Jackson
  • Undone - I Mother Earth
  • Done Laid Around - Harry Belafonte
  • Look What You've Done - Bread
  • It's All Been Done - Barenaked Ladies

I'm done. If you have "done" songs in your collection that aren't in mine, throw them in the comments.

Maple Leafs 2, Senators 4
Published by Toronto Mike on March 5, 2006 @ 07:50 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsOk Leaf fans, let's summarize the night. The Leafs lost their fifth in a row, Montreal won their third in a row and Eric Lindros most likely played his last game for the franchise. Yet another night in hell.

I'm predicting we'll finish this season twelth in the conference. Our chances of catching Montreal for 8th spot are slim to none and I just saw slim jump on a Go Train headed west. The trade deadline is Thursday at 15:00 EST and the Leafs are definitely sellers. Hell, can you say fire sale?

It's time to gut the pig.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
27-28-5
59 points
5th in Northeast
4-2 Loss vs. Ottawa
6-2 Loss vs. Buffalo
5-3 Loss vs. Washington
B. McCabe - 54
J. Allison - 49
T. Kaberle - 45
My Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 5, 2006 @ 07:47 in Quotes

Quotes"Baseball is drama with an endless run and an ever-changing cast."
      - Joe Garagiola

Murderball
Published by Toronto Mike on March 4, 2006 @ 17:04 in Reviews

A Movie ReelMurderball: 8.5 out of 10.

When A&E aired "Murderball" the other night, I taped it and watched it this afternoon. It's nominated for best documentary feature and I wanted to check it out before tomorrow night's Academy Awards.

It's great. I love documentaries like this that inspire and entertain all at once. I've seen "March of the Penguins" and I believe "Murderball" should roll all over 'em tomorrow night. Checking out everyone's picks in my little Oscar pool, I see the following break down for that award:

  1. March of the Penguins - 76
  2. Murderball - 13
  3. Darwin's Nightmare - 2
  4. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room - 4
  5. Street Fight - 1

Had people actually seen "Murderball", I suspect it would have a far larger chunk of the penguins' pie. I know who I'm rooting for.

Cowabunga
Published by Toronto Mike on March 4, 2006 @ 12:53 in The Simpsons

BookI closed my last entry about the real life Simpsons intro with the expression "cowabunga!". After I posted it, I realized that Bart almost never says that anymore. In fact, I don't think I've heard the term since the early 90s.

This got me looking for the origin of the term which naturally led me to visit Wikipedia. That's where I found this handy page about cowabunga, "used as an expression of exhilaration when riding the waves".

Cowabunga! was first used on "Howdy Doody" and was adopted by surfers who grew up watching the show. In my time, the expression was used by Cookie Monster, Snoopy, Michaelangelo from "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and, of course, Bart Simpson.

No wonder I get the warm fuzzies from the expression cowabunga. No wonder I always visit Wikipedia first.

My Link of the Day
Published by Toronto Mike on March 4, 2006 @ 12:41 in Links to External Web Sites

LinkReal Life Simpsons Intro - Somebody re-created the Simpsons opening with actual people. There's great attention to detail in this short. Cowabunga!

Maple Leafs 2, Sabres 6
Published by Toronto Mike on March 4, 2006 @ 11:09 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsIs there anyone who thinks we have a snowball's chance in hell of winning against the Senators tonight? I sure don't. Watching Maple Leaf games in 2006 has been a rather painful experience. We've now lost four in a row and we're 2-9-1 on the road since January 1.

I can't blame Belfour for this loss. This time, everyone deserves a slice. We're making Derek Roy look like Mike Bossy out there. Dramatic changes are required... let the gutting begin.

Ryan, it looks like I'll owe you five bucks. Serves me right for betting with my heart instead of my brain.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
27-27-5
59 points
5th in Northeast
6-2 Loss vs. Buffalo
5-3 Loss vs. Washington
4-2 Loss vs. New York
B. McCabe - 54
J. Allison - 49
T. Kaberle - 45
Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week
Published by Toronto Mike on March 4, 2006 @ 11:00 in Homer's Quote of the Week

Homer"I hate the public so much! If only they'd elect me. I'd make 'em pay! Aw, Moe, how do I make 'em like me?"

Web 1.0 Wins!
Published by Toronto Mike on March 3, 2006 @ 21:51 in Ch-ch-changes

ConstructionRemember when I celebrated my new big ass web 2.0 font last month? Considering my Leaf recap will be detailing yet another loss, I'm thinking the smaller the font, the better.

I'm back to 10 pt Verdana. I always seem to come back to 10 pt Verdana. I'm clearly a 10 pt Verdana kind of guy.

If you're having trouble reading this, hold down the Ctrl button on your keyboard and roll your mouse wheel towards you. If that didn't do anything, get a real browser and try again.

Guest Blog Entry
Published by Toronto Mike on March 3, 2006 @ 20:13 in Guest Blog Entries

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

What up from Costa Rica!!!

So we finally left Panama and made our way to Costa Rica today...we're in a beach town on the Carribean cost...Puerto Viejo...it's the kind of town where you Bob Marley is idolized in every shop you walk into...where everything is alright!!

Yesterday was our last day in Panama...so we decided to go out with a bang. We were in a very popular beach town called Bocas Del Torro...know for it's beautiful islands and waves. We decided to take a day tour of the islands...hello sun!! (more about my burn later). Our first stop was Isla Zapatillo...about 40 minutes out...we passed over huge waves to make it to our Robinson Crusoe (spelling??) island. Here, we found ourselves on a white sand beach with massive waves knocking us on our butts...good times! Next stop...and this was on of my favourites...was set in the middle of the ocean..well, not literally...right ontop of coral reef. Snorkeling in coral reef has to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever done. After that we headed to an island where we ate lunch and did some more snorkeling. Right off the dock of the restaurant were hundreds of fish swimming around...so we hopped right in and swam with them...I was surrounded by fish!!...it was quite the experience. After our food digested we headed to some mangroves where we did more snorkeling. When I was in Ecuador a few years ago I worked in the mangroves, but I never had a chance to see whats going on under the water. It's a crazy world down there! We saw starfish, jellyfish...big ones...tones of coral and lots of fishes. It was a good day...except for the massive burn that I have on my lower legs (however I do have two wonderful white spots on my kneecaps that for whatever reason did not get burned...awesome)...and my back...so I'm paying for all my snorkeling today...that's for sure!

I hope everyone is doing great!...I'll give you the low down on Costa Rica next week.

      Jordy

Jordy and Kic are fellow members of Raging Storm who have embarked on a wild and crazy adventure. If we're lucky, we'll hear more from them in the coming weeks.

I wonder if they're airing the Pat LaFontaine tribute live in Costa Rica right now?

Everyone's 2006 Oscar Picks
Published by Toronto Mike on March 3, 2006 @ 20:04 in

Oscar PicksIt's time to unveil everyone's Oscar picks in my little 2006 Oscar prediction contest. You'll see them on my 2006 Oscar Predictions page. In an effort to save valuable seconds, I shortened all the names. I think you'll figure it out.

Check back here Monday morning to see who won oodles and oodles of pride. Remember, you can't attach a monetary figure to pride.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 3, 2006 @ 19:59 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumJohnny Jackson was 54. He was the drummer for the Jackson 5.

The Friday Five
Published by Toronto Mike on March 3, 2006 @ 17:15 in Friday Fives

The Number FiveMy favourite Steven Spielberg movies

  1. Saving Private Ryan
  2. Schindler's List
  3. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  4. Amistad
  5. Minority Report
Gut The Pig
Published by Toronto Mike on March 3, 2006 @ 08:23 in Toronto Maple Leafs

LeafsI awoke this morning to find my Maple Leafs sitting in eleventh place in the Eastern Conference. We're five points behind Montreal for the final playoff position. The window's closing, it's getting dark and I can feel a chill setting in.

The other day I received an email from someone with a connection at MLSE that suggests anything short of two victories over the next couple of days will result in "major changes". The consensus is that Pat Quinn was unable to "accomodate the new style of the NHL".

Pat Quinn is not a strategist. He's not about the X's and O's, he's about motivation and getting the most out of his veterans. His players have stopped listening and that's rendered him useless in 2006. He lives and dies by his loyalties, and his loyalty to Ed Belfour will cost us a chance at catching the Canadiens. In the battle between Belfour and Father Time, Father Time has taken the lead.

Paul Maurice is a strategist. I'll bet he's got an actual system which will give us an actual hope in hell. I called for the axing of Quinn last month because as a Leafs fan I know it's a necessity. If my inside source is correct, and I hope he is, we're looking at a blue and white fire sale and a total and complete gutting of the pig.

Grin and bare it fellow die-hards. No pain... no gain.

Last Call for the 2006 Oscar Prediction Contest
Published by Toronto Mike on March 3, 2006 @ 07:41 in

An Academy AwardThis is the last call for my 2006 Oscar Prediction Contest. I'm throwing everyone's picks into XHTML and sharing the link tonight, right after the Leafs game.

The hard, no-exception deadline is tonight at 20:00 EST. If you haven't yet made your picks, and I'm thinking of a couple of bros in particular, visit this 2006 Oscar prediction form and get to work. Once I share everyone's picks with the world, that's it for new submissions.

You have been warned.

The Blind Leading The Blind
Published by Toronto Mike on March 2, 2006 @ 17:58 in Lists, Music

BinocularsEvery so often, I get a fixin' for old time blues. Whenever I'm unsure of the artist, a good guess is that it's Blind something-or-other. In my collection there are several "Blind" artists.

  • Blind John Davis
  • Blind Willie McTell
  • Blind Lemon Jefferson
  • Blind Willie Johnson
  • Blind Blake
  • Blind Boy Fuller

More recent acts are Blind Melon and Third Eye Blind, but that ain't da blues. When you're in the mood, sight is not a prerequisite.

The Fog of Dubya
Published by Toronto Mike on March 2, 2006 @ 11:45 in My 2 Cents, News, Politics

USAThe Associated Press has obtained and made a confidential government video public. This video confirms the suspicions many of us had about Dubya and his government's preparations for Katrina.

The day before Katrina struck, Dubya attended a briefing about Katrina during which he was clearly warned about the coming disaster. He didn't ask a single question during the briefing but he did assure state officials that "we are fully prepared." The rest is an unfortunate and ugly piece of history.

I'm not surprised, are you? Back on September 12 I wrote about how Bush blew it. The average American knew more about what was happening in New Orleans than the President.

How this guy got re-elected is beyond me. The problem with Dubya has been crystal clear for some time now. According to polls, his approval rating is at an all-time low of 36%. I'm shocked it's that high.

Rest in Peace
Published by Toronto Mike on March 2, 2006 @ 08:27 in Celebrity Deaths

In MemoriumJack Wild was 53. He was best known for playing the Artful Dodger as a teenager in the 1968 film "Oliver!."

What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Published by Toronto Mike on March 1, 2006 @ 22:04 in Toronto Maple Leafs

PuckBret Boone retired today. Only a few seasons ago he was an MVP candidate and elite player. It doesn't take long to go from hero to boob in the sporting world.

Ed Belfour once owned this city. In April 2004, less than two years ago and the very last NHL season played, I wrote this after we disposed of the Senators in seven. I was on top of the world and I had Belfour to thank. He was brilliant and I was euphoric.

Today, I'm writing about how his services are no longer required. He's having a bad year and we can't afford to give up one or two softies a game if we want to qualify for post season play. I believe he's done and it's time to relieve him of his #1 goaltender status.

When it comes to your hockey team, it's not what you did last season that counts, it's what you've done for us lately. In less than one season Belfour has gone from brilliant to dull.

Pearl Jam to Release Pearl Jam
Published by Toronto Mike on March 1, 2006 @ 15:37 in Music, Pearl Jam

MusicWe know Pearl Jam's new song will be called "World Wide Suicide", but what's the name of their new album?

Their eighth studio album will be self-titled. Pearl Jam will release Pearl Jam on May 2 via J Records. Ya know what else is cool? For two days beginning March 8, "World Wide Suicide" will be a free download from PearlJam.com.

These guys are always a little ahead of the curve.

The Middle Name "Wayne"
Published by Toronto Mike on March 1, 2006 @ 14:29 in

Thumbs DownI stumbled upon an interesting write up about the middle name "Wayne". This guy noticed that "Wayne" was a popular middle name amongst murderers. He even keeps track of convicted murderers with this venomous middle name.

In addition to John Wayne Gacy and Elmer Wayne Henley there are many others on his list. If you know anyone with the middle name "Wayne", I suggest you watch your step in his presence. The middle name "Wayne" is synonymous with extreme violence.

Weekly MP3
Published by Toronto Mike on March 1, 2006 @ 13:22 in Weekly MP3s

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.

Nirvana - Serve The Servants
All this chatter about In Utero got me spinning the disc again. It opens with "Serve the Servants" and the awesome lyric "Teenage angst has paid off well, now I’m bored and old".

Sam The Record Man or HMV?
Published by Toronto Mike on March 1, 2006 @ 08:41 in Memories

Question MarkThe other day, I reminisced about the day Nirvana's In Utero hit store shelves. I wrote about going to 333 Yonge Street that morning to buy a copy. 333 Yonge Street is HMV, but a couple of years ago I remembered the day a little differently.

Ten years after Kurt Cobain's suicide, I wrote this entry about my memories of the man. In that entry I wrote about going to Sam the Record Man at Yonge and Dundas the morning In Utero was released. For those less familiar with Toronto, Sam's and HMV are steps from each other in the heart of downtown.

I suppose it's a minor detail, but I find it interesting that two years ago I remembered walking from U of T to Sam the Record Man to pick up the disc and now I think it was HMV where I purchased In Utero. My typical practice was to visit both stores and buy my music where it was cheaper. In the event of a tie, I bought my discs at Sam's because it had an earthier, organically Canadian feel to it, complete with autographs on the walls and a dingy spirit that reked more of artistry than commerce.

Whether I made my purchase at Sam's or HMV that morning doesn't really matter. In the end, as always, it's all about the music.

SLS Submission
Published by Toronto Mike on March 1, 2006 @ 08:14 in SLS ~ Smells Like Sour

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "The Fallen" from Franz Ferdinand.

As the lead track on You Could Have It So Much Better I've been enjoying "The Fallen" for months. It's a great song - interesting, fun and melodious all at once. I think it will fit perfectly on SLS15.

Maple Leafs 3, Capitals 5
Published by Toronto Mike on March 1, 2006 @ 08:00 in Toronto Maple Leafs

Go Leafs Go!Mr. Belfour, your services are no longer required. Ed Belfour allowed five goals on 27 shots, including two weak goals in the first minutes of the game. If we're going to start putting points on the board it's going to have to be with Mikael Tellqvist between the pipes.

Montreal won, bumping us three points out of eighth in the East. Things are looking bleaker and bleaker by the game. A change in goal is a good start, but a change in attitude is a necessity.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
27-26-5
59 points
4th in Northeast
5-3 Loss vs. Washington
4-2 Loss vs. New York
4-2 Loss vs. New York
B. McCabe - 53
J. Allison - 49
T. Kaberle - 45
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