August 2006 Archives

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Lithium Redux

tvI had never seen a minute of the reality show "Rock Star" until last night. Waiting for the season premiere of "Rescue Me", I stumbled upon "Rock Star" and stuck around for a bit when I heard someone was going to cover Nirvana's "Lithium". "Lithium" is one of my all-time favourite tunes.

It turns out this guy was a fellow Torontonian and his version of "Lithium" was rearranged so he didn't come across as if he was doing a Kurt Cobain impersonation. It was good, and it reminded me how damn amazing that tune is. It was the third single from Nevermind, and it might be the best.

It's so good, it's made me glad I caught a bit of "Rock Star" last night. That's pretty good.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

We are having a municipal election this fall and our current mayor is seeking re-election for his third term. Currently he has been charged with two counts of assault in June. Recently he pled not guilty to both charges and a two day trial is scheduled for late January. Due to a publication ban there is little information on this matter. Interestingly enough Longtime Clarington councillor Jim Schell has abandoned plans for retirement and thrown his hat in the ring to run for mayor. Schell was a member of John Muttons campaign team until just last week. Now John Mutton is accusing his opponent of running to facilitate his win by vote splitting. This is only the beginning and already I am sensing some negative campaign tactics. Election time in Bowmanville has never seen so much excitement and scandal.

      Jill

Ya know, we don't get enough covereage of exciting Bowmanville news here in Toronto. A Google News search for Bowmanville Ontario assures me the only newsworthy action in Bowmanville revolves around Mosport. We want covereage of Schell vs. Muttons!

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A Great Tradition

cneWith the Canadian National Exhibition in full swing, this is the ideal time to revisit my "Tales from the Ex".

Three years as a games booth attendant provided me with some pretty cool stories. Here are seven I shared during the summer of 2004. Read 'em while they're hot.

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Survival of the Fittest

newsA woman in Hohhot, the capital of north China's Inner Mongolia region, crashed her car while giving her dog a driving lesson. I couldn't make that kind of thing up, it's true.

She was letting her damn dog steer while she worked the pedals. Shockingly, she crashed. Unfortunately, she survived, thereby contradicting Darwin's theory of evolution.

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Flickr's Photo Bias Revealed

flickrThe Flickr MT plug-in I use for the home page displays the last seven pictures uploaded to my Flickr account in the sidebar. On every other page you'll see ads, but on the home page you see pictures. You'll see pictures, unless the image uploaded to my account is a screen capture and not a photograph. When I upload a screen capture, you'll see an ugly Flickr message explaining that the image could not be displayed.

This is Flickr's ugly photograph bias. They won't allow screen captures to be viewed in searches or other public realms, including displays from my little plug-in. In fact, if the majority of your pictures are screen captures, they'll label your entire account NIPSA, which is Flickr speak for "Not in Public Site Areas".

Personally, I don't see the harm in allowing screen captures in public areas. When I took a screen cap of myself as a South Park character, it was blocked from public areas. That's just wrong!

Flickr is my favourite social networking site, but this photo-only policy paints an ugly picture.

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Sign Sign Everywhere A Sign

ontarioAs I mentioned last week, I'm lucky enough to live in a riding that will be going to the polls in a couple of weeks to elect a new MPP. This has brought out the sign people.

They come out every time there's an election, either Federally, Provincially or Municipally. The sign people come to your door and ask you if it's okay to put a sign on your property promoting their candidate. An NDP sign guy just rang the door bell. The PC sign guy was by on the weekend. It's sign people season.

When I first became a home owner, about five years ago, I made a decision that nobody would get free ad space on my property, even if I supported the candidate. Sure, if my brother or a good buddy was running I might make an exception, but otherwise my standard answer is "no". I just don't do the sign thing.

I always laugh at the people who say yes to every sign guy who comes to their door. They've got the PC candidate, the NDP candidate, the Liberal candidate and the Pot Party candidate's signs on their lawns. Either they're undecided or they're easy. I suspect they just don't care. I care, and that's why I just say no.

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Link: In View

LinkThe Tragically Hip's "In View" from World Container - I was tipped off that the new Hip song "In View" was being previewed on the official Hip site. Here it is.

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The National Post Shout Out That Never Was

newspaperI came this close to being referred to in The National Post as an "internet wizard". Humble Howard Glassman has been writing editorials for the Post's Toronto section, and he recently submitted a column to his editor that referred to me by name, heaped praise upon me and gave a well deserved shout out to this very blog. I know this to be fact because he forwarded me the draft. Cool, eh?

Every day I would search the National Post online to see if Humble's article had gone to press. Every day I came up empty. Finally, Humble broke the bad news to me. The editor had rejected the column because it wasn't Toronto enough. It was too much about Humble getting canned from the Mix 99.9. The editor asked for another story and threw mine on the shelf to perhaps find its way into print one day, space permitting. I've stopped checking.

Since the Post will probably never print the article, I'm going to post it here, in its entirety, exactly as it was emailed to me back on August 14. Enjoy!

"Hi, my name is Humble Howard and uh I've been fired"

"Hi Howard"

And another meeting of BFA begins. If Being Fired Anonymous actually existed I'm sure they'd have no shortage of people, for me though, being fired has been anything but anonymous. For me it's been a BFD. (You can figure out what that stands for on your own!)

A few weeks ago I wrote in the weekend Post about being let go from Mix999, I mean 99.9 Mix FM (they changed their name and me) -the reaction has been overwhelming. I guess a lot of people know what getting canned feels like because our generation isn't likely to have jobs-for-life, we're too restless.

What have I learned?

People are really really curious as to what the hell happened.

"Hey Humble, what the hell happened?" Strangers will yell at me on the street.

Being in the public eye is weird at the best of times but since I got canned it's been even more so.

True story. I'm at home 2 o'clock in the afternoon and there's a knock on my door. I open it to find a soccer-dad I'm only sort of friendly with whose daughter used to play on a team with one of my kids.

"I just have to know," He says frantically. "Why did they fire you?"

No you don't, do you? I mean do I have to tell everyone the story!

I'm sure a few of you who've been through this know that there's a degree of shame and humiliation that goes along with Carreeris Interupptus. It's sort of personal and not the kind of thing you want to bring up all the time.

Sometimes when I'm with friends it's like a weird vibe around whose going to bring it up first. It's as though they don't want to be rude but I can tell they want to talk about it…they're just not sure if I'm going to freak out or not. Of course no one wants that in the suburbs.

"So tell us, how's the whole "being-out-of-work" thing?

The next thing you know I could be sobbing or flying around the room screaming like a maniac tearing at my clothes and yelling about how now I'll never get to introduce Nelly Furtado again!

This doesn't happen. I just politely go into the story…no, there's no hard feelings the station just felt it had to make a change, yes we'll be okay, no I don't hate Mad Dog and Billie!

I wish the new morning show at the Mix good luck. I don't know Billie but I've met Jay and he's neither Mad nor a Dog.

Here's something else I've learned.

I'm not dead I've just been fired!

There's a sense of loss and grieving with being turfed and it's a major stressor in people's lives like a death. In my case it's also been an amazing opportunity to hear what people think of me and my show. It's like being able to attend your own funeral. I have had hundreds of e-mails from people saying all sorts of nice things. Being a morning show host for 17 years you get to be part of a lot of listener's lives and they feel like they're a part of yours. My kids, my wife, my stupid stories have been with them for a long time and now they're gone, and so they write me. The week I was let go this internet wizard I'd never met named Mike Boon put up a little note on his blog titled "Humble Howard are you okay?" Since then it has become the defacto place for listeners to show their support for me and my goofy little show. It's been visited by thousands and It's much appreciated. . Check it out at torontomike.com.

Mostly I'm asked what I'm going to do next and mostly I have no clue. I like talking and interacting in people's lives, maybe I could get fitted for a blue smock and be a Wall Mart Greeter.

In the meantime this meeting of BFA is adjourned.

Told ya I was this close.

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"The easiest way for your children to learn about money is for you not to have any."
      - Katharine Whitehorn

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The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

A Movie ReelThe Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: 7 out of 10.

Ranking the four Wes Anderson films, this one ranks fourth in my books, but it's still a good film. That tells you how special his first three films were. "Bottle Rocket", "Rushmore", "The Royal Tenenbaums", that there's some comedic gold.

As a movie, "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" isn't so much funny as it is tragic. It's actually a very sad and sensitive film. Bill Murray has mastered the art of playing a solemn, slightly depressed straight man and we're just on board Anderson's ship for the ride.

It wasn't "The Royal Tenenbaums", but it still had the smarts, and this time there were a few tears along the way.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Rock stars, is there anything they don't know?"

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Rufus

rewindTaryn and I have been married for ten and a half years, but our oldest kid is just four and a half, so that means we had a good six years to kill. At some point in the late 90s, we "adopted" a virtual child. We called him Rufus.

Rufus was nothing more than a picture of a monkey. In fact, here's the very picture of Rufus we jokingly parented. We'd chat at night about Rufus, discuss his progress, wonder if he was getting enough exercise or gaining enough weight. Rufus was our first child, like batting practice before the big game, but without an actual ball.

I miss him.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite songs to head bang and let loose to

  1. Rage Against the Machine - Killing in the Name
  2. System of a Down - Chop Suey!
  3. Slipknot - Wait and Bleed
  4. Ministry - Jesus Built My Hotrod
  5. Disturbed - Down With the Sickness

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Maynard Ferguson, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumMaynard Ferguson was 78. He was the Canadian jazz trumpeter known for his soaring high notes and for recording the hit theme song to the film Rocky.

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Pluto Demoted

thumbsdownForget what you have learned. Forget what they rammed down your throat in primary school about there being nine planets in our dinky little solar system. Forget My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pies. You can replace that with My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nothing. Pluto has been demoted.

Astronomers today declared that Pluto is being reclassified in a new category of "dwarf planets" and has lost it's status as a "classical" planet. Eight is enough, apparently.

Admit it, Pluto was always your favourite. It was the furthest from the sun, by far the smallest and it inspired the name of a popular Disney character. They can rewrite the text books if they want, but when it comes to my solar system, there's no room for scientific fact. I want my Pluto.

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Wikiality

wikipediaHave you seen Stephen Colbert's send up of Wikipedia? It's very funny, but is it true? When I'm doing research, Wikipedia is often my first stop. Sadly, no Wikipedia page linked directly to this site, until now.

Since anyone can edit a Wikipedia entry, I visited the Howard Glassman page and decided to add a couple of external links. First I added a link to Humble Howard's official site and then I got really bold. I threw in a link to my Humble Howard, Are You Okay? page.

Here we are one day later and my edits are still there. That wiki page is getting some traffic too, because a google search for humble howard has it at #5. My page is #4 and the official site is #2. Now I wonder what would happen if I edited the elephant page to say there are more elephants in Africa today than there were ten years ago...

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An Interview With Humble Howard

MicrophoneI have fond memories of the Humble & Fred morning show on CFNY Edge 102, and those memories sparked this entry back in 2004. A year later, I was saddened to learn Fred Patterson had been released of his duties at Mix 99.9 and Humble was Fred-less. On July 14 I openly wondered if Humble Howard was okay after seeing a bump in visitors searching for answers as to why he too was let go by the Mix. The next day people started to learn Humble Howard was off Toronto radio for the first time in seventeen years and they came to this site for updates, support and to share their appreciation. This is how I met Howard Glassman.

A dozen phone calls, twenty emails and one lunch later, I consider Humble Howard a friend. He's genuinely decent and funny, a rare combination that I always have time for. Considering this site has attracted thousands and thousands of unique visitors looking for information on Humble and over 300 people have left comments about the man, I thought it might be cool to interview Humble so those looking for a Humble fix could get one. Here's my interview with Humble Howard Glassman.

Q: Let's address the 2000 kg elephant in the room and get it over with. You were on the radio in this city for seventeen years until last month. What the hell happened? This isn't the National Post, give us the real scoop.
A: The scoop? Nothing you haven't heard. I was hired, I worked, I was fired. They decided to go in a different direction... first without Fred and then without me.

Q: Since that fateful day in July, over 300 fans have dropped by http://www.torontomike.com/2006/07/humble_howard_are_you_okay.html to let you know how damn missed you are. How does that feel?
A: Amazing. I can't believe that many people give a crap. I have read all the comments and I can tell you it feels great to have had even a little impact on people's lives. Fred and I have spoken quite a bit recently about the nice things people have said especially when it comes to a possible Humble and Fred Reunion on Satellite.

Q: Most readers of this site are from the Great White North. Please share with us the details of your Canadian roots. We love CanCon.
A: No, I love CanCon. Trooper, Chilliwack, BTO, Glass Tiger - all the way to BNL and The Tragically Hip. Not to mention that frisky minx Nelly Furtado.

As for me... 5 provinces. Moose Jaw, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Toronto. Many radio stations, a kids TV show, the asinine puppet show and some standup.

Q: I listened to your entire career at CFNY. That was my station and the Humble & Fred morning show was my wake up call every morning throughout high school and university. In 1991, you disappeared for while. What the heck happened there?
A: I left to go to CKFM in May of 1991. The Spirit was gone and I needed to get a real job.

After Labor Day 91 the station became the Mix. 19 months later I went back to work at CNFY which almost immediately became THE EDGE. I missed working with Fred and thought he and I did our best radio together.

Q: There are rumours on the internets that your relationship with Fred Patterson is a lot like the infamous chilly relationship between Siskel and Ebert. How do you two get along when the microphone is turned off?
A: We get alone fine... see my answer above.

A few people have questioned my staying at the Mix after Fred was fired... Fred wasn't one of them. I can't believe some questioned my loyalty to Fred by not quitting when he was canned. I had a family to feed and he was being paid... if I quit I wouldn't have been - plain and simple. I guess we could have gone to live with him and his wife but it might have been a little crowded.

Q: What's your favourite movie?
A: The Godfather.

Q: You were a regular on The Dini Petty show on CTV. What's she like? She was born in England, ya know.
A: Dini was fine. I didn't know she was from England, her teeth seemed fairly straight to me.

Q: I hear things didn't end well with you and the sock on Ed's Night Party? Care to dish the deets?
A: I don't want to say anything about ED or the midget that has his hand up his ass that hasn't already been said by just about everyone that's met him.

Q: What's next for Humble Howard? Are you okay? Any chance of a Humble & Fred reunion?
A: I'm busy doing nothing... I'm okay and I would look for a Humble and Fred reunion sooner rather than later.

Q: Is there anything you'd like to share with the torontomike.com faithful?
A: I would only like to say that this blog and the comments on it are the main reason I get out of bed every day... that and the booze.

Also, I would like to add that I've met Mike Boon and you sir are no Mike Boon.

As well I would like everyone who reads this to know Mike Boon is a slow eater. Should they ever be lucky enough to dine with you they should put aside a minimum of 90 minutes for breakfast, 2 hours 15 for lunch and at least 3 hours 20 for supper. These figures are estimates, actual Mike Boon eating times may vary.

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Weekly MP3: Immortality

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.

Seether - Immortality
This is a cover of one of my favourite Pearl Jam tunes by South African rock band Seether. It's acoustic goodness.

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Game 8 Lives In Infamy

RSLate last night, as the clock struck 11pm, we in Raging Storm put the squeeze on the final out in an 11-5 victory. It was our final regular season game and we finished with a 10-5-1 record.

It's been an interesting season to say the least. The Great Stats Debate was followed by the end of my Cal Ripkenesque iron man streak when I actually sat out a game with a bad back. Then, my precious declaration following game #5 marked a turn around in my season. Game 8, which I've never written about until now, wasn't only the mid-point of this regular season, but it was a game which will live in infamy.

Game 8 was against Hollywoods, a team we were 1-1 against. We got off to a horrible start, and before you knew it we were double digits in the hole. Without going into too much detail to protect the guilty, another player started chewing me out for no particularly good reason. As this persisted, ignoring it became an exercise in futility and I let this player know he was out of order and required a chill pill. Meanwhile, with this obvious tension in the air, we started to come back.

I was on third base when the game tying homer was hit. At home plate, we exchanged high fives. This player that had been on my back the entire game also scored on the play, and when I put up my hand for a fiver, he pulled his away. That was the last straw. I got in his face and let him have it. I'm a lover, not a fighter, but I was ready to dish it out if it came to that. He broke the code and enough was enough. Our blow up earned warnings from the ump, a mini blow up from Andge and a sincere threat on my part to quit this team because I don't play ball to fight, I play for fun.

That game ended in a 16-16 tie and it's the last game this unnamed player played for Raging Storm. He quit, I took over short stop again, and I've never batted better. The description on the RSPA site for that game described it as "a heated affair". I see it as the game that shaped this crazy season. He was our best player, both offensively and defensively, and without him we had to adjust. We were 4-2-1 with him and 5-3 without him. Along the way we won the division, built character, bonded as a team and had a helluvalotta fun.

It's playoff time. Storm, I'll see you on the field.

For more on Raging Storm, visit http://www.torontomike.com/softball.html.

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Frank Lennon, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumFrank Lennon was 79. He was the photographer best remembered for taking this picture of Paul Henderson celebrating his winning goal in the 1972 Summit Series.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

DR. PILL
Occasionally I am sucked into watching the Dr. Phil Show with a young person who gets great delight from it - a sort of sanitized, upscale Jerry Springer show in which, usually, everyone gently swats a paw in the air and hisses "meow" ever so politely, rather than the all-out alley-catfights over the ends of which Jerry pontificates.

So it was earlier this week as we watched a preview of the next day's program in which an Exorcist-like scream was issuing from the mouth of an apparently seriously disturbed young woman.

We got our popcorn and lime-salsa corn chips ready for five o'clock the next day and discovered, to our horror, that the girl - Amanda - was being stalked (by a private eye) and manhandled (by any number of people); her privacy was invaded by her Gorgon of a mother and her older sister - who clearly was anointed by Mommy to do her evil bidding - while she was trying to have a shower, all because she possibly had a cell phone which she used to talk to her boyfriend, not Mom-approved and branded as a "gypsy" by Mom and consequently "too good" for her child and who knows what else.

Here is the problem:

You are sixteen and you are in love; your parents' disapproval of your beloved only confirms that s/he is wonderful and right for you; of course the more you are pulled apart the more tightly you cling to one another. Didn't ANYONE in that family - or Dr. Pill, for that matter, read Romeo and Juliet?

You buy a cell phone - perhaps Romeo and Juliet might not have died if they'd had cell phones - to talk to your beloved. The more Mom pushes, the farther she pushes you into your beloved's corner, until one day you decide - I am going with my beloved to the ends of the earth - and you leave.

Now Mom is as enraged as the Sea Witch in the Little Mermaid. She tells everyone that you must have been "abducted" by "gypsies" who probably will lead you into a life of crime. (It transpires, near the end of the show, that Amanda and her boyfriend, George, have been seeing one another since she was FOURTEEN - just like Juliet, and where has Mom been in those two years? Why let Amanda have a boyfriend at 14 and be so antagonistic two years later? If, as she claimed, the boyfriend and his family were not good enough for her precious daughter, why did she not terminate the relationship sooner?). She transmutes her wrath into a piteous howl that she aims at the Dr. Pill show and - like blind fools - they jump in. Now you are going to be hunted like an animal, caught and bagged, bundled up and shipped back to the zoo that is your place of origin - the mind baulks at the terms "family" and "home", both of which suggest love, harmony, trust and stability, and none of which are in evidence on Dr. Pill's self-congratulatory show-and-tell. You are lied to and emotionally and mentally abused - where are the social workers? Do the authorities think abuse has to be physical in order to do damage?

There is a term in psychiatry/psychology - "scapegoating" - to denote the family member who unwittingly becomes the "cause" of everyone's ills and dissatisfactions, and Amanda is the scapegoat in that family. Nobody tells Mom or the 20-year-old, still-living-at-home sister that YOU DON'T GO INTO THE BATHROOM WHEN SOMEBODY ELSE IS HAVING A SHOWER UNLESS THEY'VE SLIPPED AND SPLIT THEIR HEAD!. The sister is the surrogate for Mommy when Mommy ineffectually goes into the bathroom first and returns empty-handed. The father? Seemed a bit of a cipher, which is always bad, no matter the sex of one's children. Children require strong, moral, sympathetic and kindly role models of both sexes in order to grow into strong, moral, sympathetic and kindly adults who understand the opposite sex and the fact that one can have disagreements or fights in a family but they won't be held against you in aeternam - that is something else that seemed to be lacking in that family.

Of course, there are two reactions to being scapegoated - to wilt and to become defiant - and thankfully Amanda is of the latter persuasion or there would be no hope for her at all. She would graduate from her family with the rank of Prize Doormat, surely an honour beyond words.

This is what Dr. Pill should have done:

1) Not reunite Amanda and her family until he had the TRUTH from both sides, and had had the opportunity to think deeply about the family dynamics.

2) Spoken to George, got a true picture of George, his intentions, his family, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, what it was about George's family that was so much more appealing than her own (one can guess).

3) Had a no-holds-barred counselling session with each family member.

4) Given a cell phone to each family member so that they can communicate with one another from a distance, which is the only way these people seem able to deal with one another without triggering aneurysms.

***_____________________________________________***

A Note About "Minors".

In Amanda's jurisdiction a person is considered a "minor child" until the age of 18. Many of the more rabid posts on the Dr. Pill website support corporal punishment, withholding of privileges, intrusions into her privacy, as though they are Constitutionally sanctioned and protected rights of the parents.

Here's news for you: A person of 16, 17, 18, may be "minor" but no longer is a "child", and should not be treated as such.

AND You cannot teach a person to be civil, respectful, honest, by lying, cheating and being overbearing tyrants. And if you truly think that as a parent you should be able to lie, cheat and be overbearing in order to impose your will (what it is all about) on them, I feel sorry for your children - there is no hope for you.

posted by bluemlein at Saturday, April 22, 2006
©2006 bluemlein

      bluemlein

I always laugh when I see Dr. Pill because he looks so much like Hank Kingsley. Hey now!

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Fight Or Else!

bluejaysToronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is a competitive and fiesty guy. He might be a little too competitve and fiesty. For the second time this season, Gibbons has been involved in a potential/possible/plausible punch-up with one of his players.

Yesterday, it was Gibbons vs. Ted Lilly at the ballpark formerly known as Skydome. Words were exchanged on the mound when Lilly was getting pulled and Gibbons wound up with a bloody nose after scrapping with Lilly near the Jays' dugout in the third inning. Eye witnesses say Gibbons pushed Lilly first and they disappeared into the tunnel.

Earlier in the summer, Gibbons challenged Shea Hillenbrand to a fight after the infielder wrote on the clubhouse bulletin board "This is a sinking ship." Hillenbrand refused to fight Gibbons and was quickly traded to the Giants. Notice a key difference between these two instances?

Lilly fought Gibbons, and gets to keep his job with the club. Hillenbrand didn't fight Gibbons, and he was out immediately. Gibbons is coaching out of Conn Smythe's handbook. If you can't beat them in the alley, you can't beat them on the ice.. in this case, the field.

7.5 games out of the wildcard spot, expect more blood to be shed before this season is done.

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Extra Incentive To Procreate

baby.No, we're not expecting a third kid, but this might be just the push I need. It's pure genius, a bonafide aphrodisiac.

This company "transforms timeless rock songs into beautiful instrumental lullabies, sending your little one to a slumberland of sweet dreams." The two I have my eye on are their renditions of Nirvana and their renditions of Radiohead. These would have been amazing when James and Michelle were younger.

Is it wrong to procreate just so you can buy these albums without feeling silly? I didn't think so. I'll be back in five...

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By-election Bonus Ballot

ontarioLucky me, I get to vote again on September 14th. Gerard Kennedy was my MPP but he decided he might aim a little higher and shoot for federal Liberal leadership. That left the Parkdale-High Park seat open and we'll fill the sucker next month.

Kennedy, of course, was a member of the Liberal party, and Toronto city councillor Sylvia Watson will now suit up for McGuinty's team. I'm rather intrigued by the NDP candidate Cheri DiNovo. She's a United Church minister who performed North America's first legal same-sex marriage five years ago. During the federal election earlier this year, my riding went orange with NDPer Peggy Nash beating out Liberal incumbent Sam Bulte. It may very well go orange again.

The fun never stops around here...

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumDr. George Mario (Jamie) Astaphan was 60. He provided Ben Johnson with the performance-enhancing drugs that helped fuel his rise and fall as an athlete.

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The Great Tiger Woods

golfEvery time Tiger Woods wins another major there's talk of him being the greatest athlete of all time. Not the greatest golfer of all time, but the greatest athlete.

He won the PGA Championship with ease on the weekend and he almost won me my golf pool. I finished tied for first but lost the cash on some crazy tie breaker. I'm still a little ticked about losing on a technicality, but I digress. Tiger is thirty years old and he's won twelve majors. Many will argue there's been no one like him.

When I think of the greatest in sports, people who rose above it all and transcended their sport, I think of four men, in addition to Tiger. I think of Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Babe Ruth. Removing any political and social significance, Gretzky, Jordan and Ruth were heads and tails above their peers, absolutely dominating their respective sports. Gretzky and Ruth essentially rewrote the record books and changed their sports forever. Woods is having a similar impact, but is Woods any better than Wayne Gretzky? I say no.

Upon his retirement on the 18th of April, 1999, Wayne Gretzky held or shared 61 National Hockey League records. These records include 40 regular season records, 15 playoff records, and 6 All-star records. Check out the Wayne Gretzky's records Wikipedia page, if you dare.

Woods is unbelievable, a talent that comes around rarely, and we should appreciate him. He might just be the best golfer in the history of the game. Is he the best athlete ever? I'm not willing to give him The Great One's crown just yet. Would you?

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Link: PDF Online : Create PDF

LinkPDF Online : Create PDF - This is cool. Upload a document or image, give it a .pdf file name and have the pdf emailed to you right away. There's a 2MB max, but I think this might be awfully handy when you're at a PC without your PDF creation software.

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My Favourite Hip-Hop Traxx

musicHustle & Flow has me thinking of rap and hip-hop. I got into the genre in a big way during Public Enemy's hey days of the late 80s, early 90s. When grunge hit I found myself listening to a lot less hip-hop, but I've kept my ear to the ground listening for a good rhyme and beat ever since.

These aren't necessarily the best hip-hop songs of all time, it's just a quick list of tunes I'd burn onto a hip-hop mix if I was going to be deserted on an island or whatever. To make things interesting, I'm limited myself to one song per artists. And heeeeeere we go...

  • Public Enemy - Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos
  • 2Pac - Dear Mama
  • A Tribe Called Quest - Scenario
  • Beastie Boys - Pass The Mic
  • Big Daddy Kane - Down The Line
  • Digital Underground - Doowatchulike
  • Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg - Still D.R.E.
  • Dream Warriors - Wash Your Face In My Sink
  • Eminem - Lose Yourself
  • Eric B. & Rakim - Microphone Fiend
  • The Fugees - Fu-Gee-La
  • Geto Boys - Damn It Feels Good 2 Be A Gangster
  • Cypress Hill - Insane In The Brain
  • House of Pain - Jump Around
  • Ice-T - O.G. Original Gangster
  • Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day
  • K-OS - Heaven Only Knows
  • Kanye West - Jesus Walks
  • Maestro Fresh-Wes - Let Your Backbone Slide
  • N.W.A. - Alwayz Into Something
  • Naughty By Nature - Ghetto Bastard
  • Nice and Smooth - Sometimes I Rhyme Slow
  • Outkast - B.O.B.
  • Paris - The Devil Made Me Do It

No, LL Cool J and Run D.M.C. didn't make the cut, but it was close.

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Hustle & Flow

A Movie ReelHustle & Flow: 8 out of 10.

This was a raw tour de force backboned by an amazing performance by Terrence Howard. It's hard to root for the guy, and that makes it all the more compelling, because you end up rooting for him like he's the Rocky of hip-hop even though he's a drug dealing pimp with a bad temper. Watching "Hustle & Flow" made me realize just how mediocre a film "8 Mile" was.

It's hard out here for a pimp.

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"Work is a necessary evil to be avoided."
      - Mark Twain

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Mike vs. Michael

questionmarkEveryone I know calls me Mike, but it wasn't always that way. My birth certificate shows my name as Michael and for the first ten years of my life, my parents, teachers, classmates and friends called me by my given name. I was Michael until I realized I might have a say in the matter.

I remember as a pre-teen preferring the name Mike to Michael. As a teen, I started asking teachers and friends to call me Mike, when they weren't calling me Booner, or something worse. Eventually it got to a point where just about everyone, including my brothers and mom, called me Mike.

I dislike the name Michael. To me, it sounds stuffy, conservative and boring. Michael is a name for accountants or opera goers or Bible thumpers. Mike is cool, open minded, fun and funny. Mike is me.

I've been Mike so long, I hardly react when someone calls me Michael. I practically forget that's my name, and I sometimes forget to use it when filling out banking or legal documents. When I picked up this domain name in the late 90s, I didn't even consider michaelboon.com. Heck, it's probably still available. Go ahead and grab it, it's no use to me. I became a Mike long ago and I don't intend to turn back now. For me, it was an easy call.

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Here We Grow Again

CDI've added 14 new CDs to my MP3 collection. Here they are...

  • LCD Soundsystem - Discs 1 & 2
  • Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine
  • Brian Wilson - Smile
  • Blood, Sweat & Tears - Greatest Hits
  • Fatboy Slim - Palookaville
  • Various Artists - The Ladies Of Swing
  • Various Artists - Cool Britannia
  • Various Artists - Juno Awards 2006
  • Staggered Crossing - Staggered Crossing
  • Fastball - All The Pain Money Can Buy
  • Great Big Sea - Something Beautiful
  • Dixie Chicks - Wide Open Spaces
  • Dixie Chicks - Home

Again, the Dixie Chicks is for my wife and mother. Heck, they're even off to see them this fall at the ACC. That's 1214 complete albums, 17871 individual songs and 48.4 days worth of uninterrupted tunes. Check it out.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"I'll get out of this city alive, even if it kills me!"

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Link: Obadiah Parker - Hey Ya

LinkObadiah Parker - Hey Ya - I'm totally digging this sweet acoustic cover of Outkast's "Hey Ya". The guy's name is Mat Weddle. Let me know if you don't enjoy this.

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Street Cents, 1989 - 2006

tvThe CBC has cancelled "Street Cents" and the last episode will air on October 1. "Street Cents" has aired on Saturday mornings since 1989 and had me as an interested viewer throughout much of the 90s. It's was a rarity on television, a show aimed at youth that had smarts.

During the years I watched, the heart and soul of the show was this guy, Jonathan Torrens, who hosted the show from 1989 to 1999. Today, you'll likely know him best as J-Roc from "Trailer Park Boys", but to me he'll always be that guy who joined up with Benita Ha and Jamie Bradley to fight that evil corporate shmuck Ken Pompadour. The show was sharpest in those early years before they killed off Pompadour's boss.

Apparently, teens don't want "Street Cents" anymore. That's too bad. How will they know what's fit for the pit?

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Bruno Kirby movies

  1. The Godfather: Part II
  2. Donnie Brasco
  3. Good Morning, Vietnam
  4. City Slickers
  5. This Is Spinal Tap

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It's Oh So Quiet

familyI once wrote about the demise of the dull moment. With a four year old and a two year old running around, it's never quiet and you're almost never alone. Throw in a wife and a dog and it's a mad house. Except this week...

The whole lot of 'em have been at a cottage we rented for the week, but I've stayed in the city to take care of some business. They left last Saturday and they won't be back until tomorrow, and it's been eerily quiet in this house. I'm hearing creaks, squeaks and hums I didn't know this old house had. It's oh so quiet.

I've been alone with my thoughts for far too long. I miss the ever-present chaos, the cries, the laughter, the pitter patter of little feet. I miss it all. I'll never wish for some peace and quiet again.

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World Container

tragicallyhipThe title of The Tragically Hip's eleventh studio release (not including the live disc and Yer Favourites) has been unveiled. They're calling it World Container and it will be available October 17.

I'm itching for some new Hip, so this is welcome news. The first single is "In View". As soon as we know when that will be available, I'll let ya know.

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Link: Is Bush an "Idiot"?

LinkIs Bush an "Idiot"? - Is the president of the United States of America intelligent? I have a few thoughts on the subject.

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My Kingdom For A Standard Cardboard Box

simpsons"The Simpsons: The Complete Eighth Season" is now in stores and Maggie is on the cover. I own the previous seven seasons, in fact, seasons of "The Simpsons" are pretty well the only DVDs I collect. Things were going swimmingly for the first five season and then they introduced the plastic head covers.

First up was Homer. A plastic head of Homer Jay Simpson was the cover of season six and the same style head of Marge was the cover of season seven. Although they look neat, these plactic containers simply don't stay closed. They fly open, the booklet and discs are always falling out, it's brutal.

I can't wait to watch the season that brought us "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Jomer", "You Only Move Twice" and "Homer's Enemy", but I really don't want another crappy plastic head case. My kingdom for a standard cardboard box!

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Guest Blog Entry

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

My life is somewhat complete - too bad it's 35 years too late. With my son playing BBall tonight at Keelesdale Park where I used to play 35 or so years ago I was coaching 1st base & after the 1st inning I went the through vistor's dugout to get to ours when I thought I saw someone familiar. A coach on the York team whom I played with recognized me & we talked breifly. He married the hottest girl in grade 8 & all through high school & he said make sure you see Gloria in the stands during the game. As soon as I walked out of the dugout she saw me & came over & gave me the BEST KISS ever (next to my wife). I told her that I as many boys did, had a MAJOR crush on her throughout school & then she said "I had one on you as well". I didn't know.

I was a SHY kid.

I missed most of the next inning recollecting the past.

In my mind I hit for the cycle & also a Grand slam tonight.

p.s. we lost the game 10-8 (maybe due to my distraction)- but it was worth it.

      twins from bolton

That's a very cool story.

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Weekly MP3: Northwest Passage

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.

Stan Rogers - Northwest Passage
Because let's face it, it just doesn't get more Canadian than this.

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If There's A Goal That Everyone Remembers...

canadahockeyI wasn't alive in 1972 and I often forget that. "The Goal" was scored on September 28, 1972 by Paul Henderson in the Summit Series between Canada and the USSR. In "Fireworks", The Tragically Hip state "If there's a goal that everyone remembers, it was back in 'ol '72". This is absolutely true, even for those born in 1974.

It's scary how your mind plays tricks on you. I've seen that goal so many times and heard Foster Hewitt's call so often, I could swear I saw that goal live. If I close my eyes I can see Henderson getting tripped up and falling behind Tretiak. There's Esposito poking the puck on net, and Henderson's there for the rebound. One shot. Two shots. He scores! Henderson has scored for Canada!

I'm sure I saw that 6-5 win. I remember Henderson's leap and celebrating wildly. It's a goal we all remember, whether we'd been born or not.

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Madonna

musicI don't think I've ever written about Madonna. Reading a discussion about how the latest Jessica Simpson song sounds just like Madonna's "Holiday" got me thinking about the early 80s material girl which has led to this entry. Madonna means nothing to me, but it wasn't always that way.

There was a time when I actually owned Madonna cassettes. We can blame the "Like A Virgin" video for this. I saw it as a youngster and liked what I saw. Once I got the cassette, I liked the rest of the album too. She was young, she was sexy and her songs were poppy fun, perfect for a ten year old. When True Blue came out in 1986, I was still interested enough to buy that cassette. I was digging it too, until some time around the release of "La Isla Bonita" when I hit the Madonna wall. I was done.

I haven't cared for Madonna since. I realize she's had countless hits since True Blue but I couldn't care less. She's been this mega pop icon that I've successfully managed to block out with blinders. The world drools over her and I walk gingerly by trying to avoid the puddles. Have your Madonna, I don't want her.

I liked Like A Virgin though. I'll never get tired of that video.

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumBruno Kirby was 57. He was the veteran character actor who costarred in "When Harry Met Sally," "City Slickers" and many other films.

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Hot Dog! Bad News Alert

foodI'd like to personally thank the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha for ruining my life. Their study suggests hot dogs may contain DNA-mutating compounds that might boost one's risk for cancer.

We're talking about Toronto's official food here. Is it the objective of science to ruin everything that's even slightly enjoyable? I know hot dogs are bad for me, but I love 'em. After a concert or a ball game, there's nothing better. Now some egg heads are telling me it causes cancer. That sucks.

Ask yourself this... Do you want to live in a world where eating a hot dog is wrong? Neither do I.

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Dean Blundell Satellite Blips

freeplayrangerPeriodically, the referral stats for this site reveal a nugget of truth that hasn't hit the mainstream press. Most recently, this happened on July 14th when I detected, seemingly out of nowhere, a series of visitors who Googled "humble howard fired" and "humble howard leaves mix". Where there's smoke, there's often fire, and I wrote this entry about it. The rest, is history.

All morning I've been getting hits from people Googling "dean blundell satellite radio", "dean blundell fired" and "dean blundell moving to satellite". I don't know anything about it, and a visit to the Edge 102 morning show page doesn't reveal anything's out of order, but these searches only started this morning and they're coming from several different ip addresses. Again, this might not be anything, but sometimes where there's a little smoke, there's a fire.

Did anyone listen to CFNY Edge 102.1 this morning? Are these searches just a natural extension of the many "humble and fred satellite radio" searches that end up on this page? I haven't been getting hits from people wondering if Roger, Rick & Marilyn were on their way to satellite, but then again I've never written about them, until now...

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RSPA Int-1 Division Champs

baseballThe regular season isn't over yet, but we in Raging Storm have clinched the Int-1 Division of the RSPA. Here's the standings.

  1. Raging Storm: 9-3-1
  2. Zep (HMV): 6-6
  3. Smoke & Mirrors: 4-9-1
  4. Grinders: 2-13

We'll get an opening round match up against the Grinders. I'm not sure why our division only has four teams while every other division has at least six. Oh well, you play the cards you're dealt and we'll be dealing with these pesky Grinders soon.

For more on our 2006 season, visit http://www.torontomike.com/softball.html.

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A Fred To Go With Our Humble

radioIt's official. We have a Humble and Fred reunion. Unfortunately, it's not on the radio, it's on this page.

Moments ago, Fred Patterson left this comment, complementing several comments left by Humble Howard. With Freddie P. checking in, it really is your best way to communicate with the guys.

Speaking of Humble, he's writing a series of articles for the National Post. Something tells me this week's article will really speak to me. A little birdy tells me I'm really going to dig it. Stay tuned...

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The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. Rio Grande Blood - Ministry
  2. My Way - Sex Pistols
  3. All Canadian Surf Club - The Tragically Hip
  4. Anyway You Want Me - Bread
  5. Lying From You - Linkin Park
  6. Your Saviour - Temple of the Dog
  7. Santa Claus Is On His Way - Mr. Hankey
  8. At 24 - Skydiggers
  9. Adam's Song - Blink-182
  10. Daisy - Stone Temple Pilots

I can no longer listen to "Adam's Song" without thinking of the 24 pages of comments on our SLS site regarding the Blink-182 hit.

At the beginning of the discussion, started back in September 2006, I used to interject my two cents regularly. Then, things got awfully dark and depressing, and I backed out to let nature take its course. Finally, after the trillionth threatened pre-teen suicide in this discussion and the Good Charlotte "Hold On" discussion, I wrote this. I don't know if it did any good, but I felt better knowing it was there.

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Long Lost Entries Recovered

rewindWhen reviewing "The Dukes of Hazzard" earlier today, I visited the Internet Archive WayBackMachine to see if I could find an archive of the Dukes of Hazzard tribute page I hosted until about five years ago. I found what I was looking for and realized the blog portion of this site is actually older than I thought.

In this format, my first blog entry was November 30, 2002. According to this October 11, 2001 archive of a page on my site, I had date stamped entries in reverse chronological order dating all the way back to August 18, 2001. All these entries are reviews of movies, television shows and concerts I attended, and I'm pasting the entire thing below for my own archival purposes.

October 7, 2001

This weekend I saw You Can Count On Me *** and The Dish ***. I liked them both as they were both charming and funny. Laura Linney was nominated for an Oscar for her role in You Can Count On Me. The Dish is a little known Australian film starring Sam Neil that takes place in 1969 during the lunar landing. See 'em both and you won't regret it.

October 3, 2001

I saw Get Over It ** and Rules of Engagement ***. I figured since I've been enjoying teen movies so much lately, I might like Kristen Dunst's Get Over It. Unfortunately, it was pretty lame except for a few scenes starring Martin Short. Rules of Engagement was much better fare. Sort of an eerie plot line considering today's political climate. An American Embassy is fired upon by American hating Arabs in the Middle East. It was a prototypical three star movie. Pretty decent but far from amazing.

September 30, 2001

I just saw Serpico **** and Joe Dirt *. Serpico was another brilliant star vehicle for Al Pacino. Playing a strait cop in a corrupt system, Pacino doesn't disappoint and neither does Serpico. You can't go wrong with this golden oldie from 1973. As for Joe Dirt, wasting 90 minutes of your life on this is wrong. It's all bad.

September 28, 2001

I just saw Exit Wounds ** and Sugar and Spice ***. Exit Wounds was really bad but it took place in Toronto so I never got bored. How bad was it? The opening scene shows a big plot to kill the Vice President of the United States. It's a huge deal and Steven Segal single handedly saves the Vice President while dodging bullets, bombs etc. After this scene the big question is asked. "Who were all those guys trying to kill our Vice President?" It's a fair question. And what's the answer you may be wondering? "Some Michigan Militia group" - and the issue is never dealt with again. I liked Sugar and Spice by the way. There was something very entertaining about it. Of course, I also liked Josie and the Pussycats so the problem may be me.

September 25, 2001

I saw Weezer **** at Arrow Hall last night. Another solid live performance. Although they teased us with El Scorcho all night, they refused to deliver that one gem. A great set from a great band. I watched Hannibal ** and The Pledge *** this weekend. Both were decent but I particularly enjoyed The Pledge. Hannibal was rather disappointing but still much better than your average fare. Check out Jack's brilliant understated performance in Sean Penn's The Pledge if you get the chance.

September 18, 2001

I actually saw the following two films last weekend but somehow got distracted. Here's what I thought of Enemy at the Gates *** and Josie and the Pussycats ***. I enjoyed both. Enemy at the Gates is a very cool war movie once you get over the fact these Russians have British accents. Well acted and a visual gem. Josie and the Pussycats is just fun. You turn off the brain and chill for 90 minutes. I feel guilty liking it but I did. It doesn't take itself seriously and neither should we.

September 9, 2001

I saw two cinematic gems this weekend. 2001: A Space Odyssey ***** and O Brother, Where Are Thou? ****. What can I say about 2001: A Space Odyssey? Visually stunning and a total brain cranker. I still don't understand the closing sequence but I know I loved it. The pacing, although rather slow, entrances you and soothes the soul while forcing you to question anything and everything. If you haven't yet seen 2001: A Space Odyssey, do so immediately. O Brother, Where Are Thou? was hilarious. A modern day classic. Good weekend.

September 4, 2001

It's interesting how one's anticipated reaction to a movie can effect one's opinion of the movie. Here's a good example. I saw Chocolat *** and 3000 Miles to Graceland ** this weekend. One was nominated for Best Picture while the other was panned by every critic in North America. As it turned out, I expected better from Chocolat and was surprised by how much I didn't hate 3000 Miles to Graceland. In actuality, one movie is far superior to the other but my thoughts going in leveled the playing field somehow. By the way and for the record: you'll like Chocolat and probably hate 3000 Miles to Graceland.

August 30, 2001

Waiting for Guffman **** was great. Go see it. It was almost as good as Best in Show **** although Best in Show was probably a little funnier. Classic spoofs of two of my personal faves Fast Times at Ridgemont High ***** and American Beauty ***** last night on Family Guy. Classic.

August 26, 2001

I saw Woman on Top * yesterday. It was stupid. Don't see it. I'm watching Waiting for Guffman tonight. I know that will be better.

August 23, 2001

The Family Guy **** is really funny. You can catch it every Wednesday at 9:30 EST. Last night's ep was another gem. I'm telling you, this is the funniest show this side of The Simpsons *****.

August 21, 2001

I just saw the Ethan Hawke version of Hamlet **. It was kind of cool the way they set it in Y2K New York but it wasn't nearly as good as the DiCaprio version of Romeo & Juliet *** a few years back. I'm not recommending it.

August 18, 2001

Taryn made me watch The Wedding Planner * last night and it totally sucked. Totally. Do not see this movie. I also saw Sunshine *** and it was very good but also very long. It's worth seeing but make sure you have the time to invest.

The September 18th entry has an allusion to 9/11. My positive review of "Josie and the Pussycats", for the record, was clearly a side effect of 9/11. It was such a frightening time of uncertainty I think I was just happy to be able to shut off the brain for 90 minutes. Yeah, that's it. We'll call it post traumatic stress disorder and leave it at that, okay?

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The Dukes of Hazzard

A Movie ReelThe Dukes of Hazzard: 2.5 out of 10.

Ouch. That was painful. It pains me to think I'll never get those 106 minutes back.

You're probably wondering why I even bothered. I mean, it's not like there was a slight chance this could be a decent flick, so why did I ensure I was in front of the television at 9pm last night to watch total and complete rubbish? The answer has something to do with bed sheets and countless afternoons from my youth.

"The Dukes of Hazzard" was my show. I watched it every single day in syndication, absolutely enthralled by every aspect of the show. I loved the car, I loved Uncle Jesse and Daisy Duke and I wanted to be Bo and Luke, makin' their way the only way they know how. I had General Lee Hot Wheels and a Dukes lunch box and yes, I even had bed sheets. The best part of my Dukes of Hazzard bed sheets was the picture of Daisy Duke on the pillow case. She was my first crush and every night I slept with my face next to hers. Yee haw!

If you go back to this very site five years ago, you'll see a link to Hazzard County on the left. That was my tribute to the show. Unfortunately, most of the images didn't get archived by The Wayback Machine, but you'll get a feel for what this franchise means to me. This movie didn't do my show justice. There oughta be a law.

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it."
      - Will Rogers

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Miroslav Ihnacak: Defector of the Universe

leafsResponding to a guest blog entry moments ago, I dropped the name Miroslav Ihnacak. Leaf fans old enough to remember the horrible 80s will be flooded with unfulfilling memories at the sight of the name Miroslav Ihnacak. For a twelve year old Leaf fan, it's a memory I'll never forget.

In 1985 the Leafs were awful, but there was a new hope. Peter Ihnacak's younger brother was defecting from Czechoslovakia and he was going to be something special, or at least that's what we were told. Because Peter defected in 1982, Miroslav was kept under tight wraps and getting him to Toronto wasn't easy. He arrived just before Christmas that year and we all believed we had received an early gift from Harold Ballard. If he wasn't the next Gretzky he was surely a Jari Kurri or Peter Stastny, with the mystique and buzz surrounding his arrival, I thought he was our savior. He wasn't.

In parts of two seasons he scored a whopping eight goals for the Maple Leafs and was a complete non-factor. He wasn't the next Kurri, he wasn't even the next Peter Ihnacak. He was a bust.

The next time something fails to meet your lofty expectations, think about Miroslav Ihnacak, Defector of the Universe.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Evgeni Malkin has become a dissident & disappeared from his Russian hockey team & nobody knows where he his - except Mr. Lemieux. He's coming to Pittsburg & see him in the NHL in 2006-7. Pittsburg a team to be reckoned with this year.

      dale

So, Malky has pulled a Mogilny, has he? I haven't been this excited about a defection since Miroslav Ihnacak.

The Penguins should be a great deal better than they were last season, but don't go etching Evgeni's name in Lord Stanley's Mug just yet. Much like the awful Penguin teams in Mario's early years, there's going to be some growing pains before the Pens are true contenders. Still, they have young blue chippers, something my beloved Leafs so dearly lack.

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SLS Submission: Sing Me Spanish Techno

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS16 consideration. I submitted "Sing Me Spanish Techno" from the The New Pornographers.

I don't care if they're the new pornographers or the same old pornographers, this porno is rated XXX for exxxcellent.

The entire Twin Cinema CD is exxxcellent and that's why it was my favourite CD of 2005. Exxxcellent!

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Link: 700 Hobo Names

Link700 Hobo Names - Alexi threw this MP3 at me months ago, and I listened one day while I worked. It's not much more than John Hodgman running down a list of 700 hobo names, and it's pretty darn long, but it's strangely compelling.

It's because of this bit that I root for the PC guy in those Mac vs. PC ads. The PC guy is John Hodgman.

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23 Canadian NFL Hopefuls

NFLFrom NFLCANADA.COM, here's the complete list of 23 Canadians trying to crack NFL rosters this fall. Only two hail from Toronto, but three others are only a stone's throw away.

  • O. J. Atogwe
  • Jesse Palmer
  • Jon Ryan
  • Dan Federkeil
  • Shaun Suisham
  • Mitch Berger
  • Nate Burleson
  • J.P. Darche
  • Israel Idonije
  • Nick Kaczur
  • Alain Kashama
  • Jesse Lumsden
  • Mike Labinjo
  • Kerry Carter
  • L.P. Ladouceur
  • Rob Meier
  • Steve Morley
  • Jerome Pathon
  • Brett Romberg
  • O.J. Santiago
  • Mike Vanderjagt
  • Josh Bourke
  • Teyo Johnson

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Do I know what rhetorical means?"

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumMike Douglas was 81. He was host of "The Mike Douglas Show" for 21 years.

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Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room

A Movie ReelEnron: The Smartest Guys in the Room: 8 out of 10.

Wow. The Enron story is difficult to believe, but in this documentary it's all nicely laid out before us so we can watch with shock and awe. It's riveting stuff with great use of music and pop culture references, including a great scene from "The Simpsons" where people ride The Enron Ride to the poor house. I'd laugh if it wasn't all so tragic.

hu-bris n. Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance; Enron

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A Good Question

questionmarkThe U.S. Department of Homeland Security has banned from carry-on luggage all "beverages, shampoo, sun tan lotion, creams, toothpaste, hair gel, and other items of similar consistency." This is in response to the foiled plot to blow up planes with chemical bombs smuggled on board disguised as drinks. The response sounds sensible, I suppose, but this BoingBoing post has me raising a Spockian eyebrow.

While in line at security checkpoints in American airports, any liquids found with passengers are being poured into receptacles. If the fear is liquid explosives, isn't it incredibly dangerous simply pour potential explosives into receptacles in the middle of a crowded airport?

Chew on that one for a while.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Robin Williams movies

  1. Dead Poets Society
  2. Good Will Hunting
  3. The Fisher King
  4. Good Morning, Vietnam
  5. Deconstructing Harry

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What Fresh Hell Is This?

cdPeriodically I'll play kid-friendly songs on the PC for my four and one year olds. They have their favourites, but I'm always trying to expand their horizons. They seem to like The White Stripes "We're Going To Be Friends" and Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" and they've always liked Hot Hot Heat's "Goodnight Goodnight" and The Killers' "All These Things That I've Done", but recently I made the mistake of playing Aqua's "Barbie Girl" for Michelle. This was a huge miscalculation on my part and there's no undo button.

Every hour on the hour Michelle's likely to ask for the Barbie song. Because she's so darn cute and she asks so sweetly, I can't say no. I'll search iTunes for barbie and play that horribly annoying song. As soon as it's done, she's asking for more. There's only so much Aqua I can handle.

The pathetic thing is, while she's dancing and singing along, having a blast, the song almost starts to sound good. Almost.

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Link: Penn & Teller: Bullshit!

LinkPenn & Teller: Bullshit! - I recently started watching "Penn & Teller: Bullshit!" on TMN and I dig it. It's quite entertaining how they debunk topics like hypnosis, creationism, capital punishment and The Bible. This link is to 23 full-length episodes of this very cool show.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Re Guest Blog Entry
I voiced my concern then in the comments about how these are hardcore criminals and need to be treated as such. Laws need to be passed that force judges to automatically deny bail to offenders charged with gun or gang-related crimes these. Hopefully your readers will find this link reinforces my point.

      Jill

It's a compelling argument, but in the article Craig Penney makes a statement that's difficult to argue with. He says, "I think nobody would disagree in principle with the general proposition that you shouldn’t be punished for a crime you didn’t commit. Essentially, when you have no bail, that’s what happens.”

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Weekly MP3: Hey Mister

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.

Custom - Hey Mister
Custom is a real cool guy. I'm not just saying that because he lets me build and maintain his official web site. He really is a solid citizen, and in my house, he's had a couple of dozen top ten hits. In your house, he's likely only hit the top ten once, and that was with "Hey Mister" back in 2002. Don't tell him I'm sharing this. This is between you and I...

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SLS Submission: Fake Tales Of San Francisco

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS15 consideration. I submitted "Fake Tales Of San Francisco" from the Arctic Monkeys.

Sometimes a tune is just so cool it's begging for SLS attention. "Fake Tales Of San Francisco" has it all, a catchy beat, fun lyrics and a heavy dose of the next big thing. You're not from New York City, you're from Rotherham, and don'tcha forget it!

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An MP3 of Humble's CFNY Promo

microphoneThe "Humble Howard, Are You Okay?" entry just received its 200th comment. About 198 of them are very positive. It sounds like a number of Torontonians are missing that familiar voice each day and I think I can help.

In my collection of MP3s I've got a few CFNY 102.1 compilation CDs. The "New Music Search" discs always closed with a promo for the station, voiced by Humble Howard. As a result, when I ripped these discs to MP3 I ended up with a cut of Howard Glassman promoting his old station which I'm pleased to share with you today.

Humble Howard - 1993 CFNY New Music Search Promo

Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing. Then, throw it on a continuous loop and it will be like Humble never left, he just got really boring and repetitive. Hey, he'll fit right in with other Toronto morning shows!

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Lost Boys of Sudan

A Movie ReelLost Boys of Sudan: 6.5 out of 10.

Every month we get a free seven day rental from Rogers. They throw us this bone because we give them so much money each month. Right now we have cable, internet acess and our home phone with the big red machine. I sometimes feel as if I'm personally financing A.J. Burnett's contract.

The challenge each month is finding a seven day rental that we haven't seen and would like to see. Sometimes we skip movies altogether as we did when we rented the British version of "The Office", but usually we end up renting a documentary that never made its way onto "The Passionate Eye" or "The Lens". This month, we were intrigued by the premise of "Lost Boys of Sudan", a 2003 documentary that somehow eluded me.

Peter Dut and Santino Chuor are Sudanese refugees from the Dinka tribe who survived lion attacks and militia gunfire to reach a refugee camp in Kenya. Two of thousands referred to as the Lost Boys, Peter and Santino are chosen to come to America where they have four months of assistance. While in Africa, it's believed the roads in America are paved with gold and everything will be ideal. Reality quickly sets in and we watch as they're forced to adapt to an unfamiliar culture.

It's fairly interesting material, but I wanted more. I had so many questions that went unanswered. What really went down when Peter left Houston and his pals for Kansas? What was the deal with those creepy Christian kids? Here's hoping for a sequel.

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Fauxreel Billboard Hijacking

paintingYou might have seen the "Don't read enough?" billboards that have sprouted up around the city. They're easy to spot because they feature George Dubya Bush sporting quite the smirk. The ads are for an audio book store. Here's the one outside Dundas West Station.

I liked the ad as it was, but fauxreel studios has gone ahead and made it even better. They've hijacked that very billboard at Dundas and Bloor and it now looks like this.

Damn, that's cool. fauxreel studios seems like a legitimate operation offering photo based creative solutions and I'm just wondering how they get away with a stunt like this. I find it hilarious, but I'm pretty sure the audio book place and McDonald's aren't too happy, and Pattison and the cops likely consider this form of art vandalism. It wouldn't take Lennie Briscoe to solve this crime.

We'll file this one under Stealth Art. Good stuff.

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Something Was Missing

questionmarkSomething was missing from the home office, but what? What would inspire brilliance while forcing a smile upon one's face? What was missing...

There, that's better.

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Link: TurnHere

LinkTurnHere - BoingBoing linked to this site recently and I discovered several cool little films about Toronto neighbourhoods.

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Sex Songs

XXXIf it's from Associated Press, it has to be true, right? A study has found teens whose iPods are full of music with raunchy, sexual lyrics start having sex sooner than those who prefer other songs.

If your teen's playlist looks like this, lock him or her up pronto! Here are songs in my collection with sex right in the title.

  • Sex Or Weight Lifting - Adam Sandler
  • Sexx Laws - Beck
  • I Wanna Sex You Up - Color Me Badd
  • Death Sex - The Distillers
  • Sex & Violence - Endorphin
  • Sex Crime - Eurythmics
  • Sex With A Movie Star - Everclear
  • I Want Your Sex - George Michael
  • Blood, Sex and Booze - Green Day
  • Evil E - What About Sex? - Ice-T
  • Sex Machine - James Brown
  • No Sex - Limp Bizkit
  • Sex-o-matic Venus Freak - Macy Gray
  • Sex And Candy - Marcy Playground
  • Sex, Sex, Sex - Nice and Smooth
  • Blood Sugar Sex Magik - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Sex Type Thing - Stone Temple Pilots
  • Sex & Violence - Stone Temple Pilots
  • Prison Sex - Tool
  • Tired of Sex - Weezer

Is it hot in here, or is it just this list?

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Rants & Raves:

1. Evgeni Malkin wants to play in the NHL but his team & superiors have signed him for another year in Russia. WHY?
2. Jacques Villeneuve parts ways with his Formula 1 team - WHY again? He took the $ for a team that has no idea of racing (his own words). Move on Jacques & go to NASCAR as Paul Tracy should.
3. Our Jays are dieing fast. 2 starting pithchers & that's it. Next year. Mr. GM your time is up. MR. GILLICK where are you? Can't compete when it's time.
4. The Maple Laffs - what have we done is the post season. a couple of defensemen but nobody up front. Raycroft a backup goalie. Who's on first?
5. The weather - 2 major storms in the past 2 weeks & the winds are starting again now with rain forecasted tonight.
6. The Baseball trading deadline last week is a JOKE - players are moving still today - waivers because of hefty contracts.
7. ARGO'S - Mr. Austin your were the scapegoat with what players you had due to injuries. Not your fault. Where is the scouting staff?
8. I still have my family & that's my RAVE.
9. It's the long weekend & I'm enjoyin' it.

      dale

1. I'm guessing the Metallurg Magnitogorsk wanted mondo cash to release Malkin. It sounds like the Penguins will have to wait one more year.
2. I think Villenueve will end up in Nascar next year. He can DNF there for a while.
3. The Jays are done. If Gillick won't come home, we'll see if Bryan Colangelo wants the gig.
4. Who will score for the Leafs? There's Mats and... Yikes. Look for half the goals to come from the blue liners.
5. The Star says it's getting windier in the GTA, and I think they're right. The thing about wind is that it totally blows.
6. Does this mean it's not to late to trade A.J.?
7. Austin got a raw deal. Did they think our 63 year old quarterback was so invincible no decent backup was required?
8. Family rules.
9. Thank you Lord Simcoe, whoever you are.

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The Monday Shuffle

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

  1. Go West - The Cult
  2. The Dark End Of The Street - The Commitments
  3. Looking For A Place To Happen - The Tragically Hip
  4. If I Had $1000000 - Barenaked Ladies
  5. Alien - Bush
  6. Layla - Eric Clapton
  7. Straight Up Nigga - Ice-T
  8. Prayer - Disturbed
  9. Lowrider - Korn
  10. Brass Monkey - Beastie Boys

Torontonians will remember "the yellow tape". This cassette tape was a five song independent release from the Barenaked Ladies back in 1991. I remember it topping the charts at both HMV and Sam's at Yonge and Dundas. Although I only remember buying it once, I distinctly remember at least two copies made their way into my collection. This yellow tape was a very big deal and just about every cut on that cassette found its way onto heavy rotation at CFNY.

In addition to "Be My Yoko Ono", the yellow tape featured "Brian Wilson", "Blame It On Me", "If I Had $1000000" an a fun cover of Public Enemy's "Fight The Power". It was the first indie tape to achieve platinum status in Canada and it marked the beginning of the Barnaked Ladies rise to power in Toronto, then Canada and then, the world. Next up for the Ladies? Intergalactic dominance.

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Interoperability

gaimAnnounced last October, Canadian users of the Yahoo! and MSN instant messengers will now be able to communicate with each other. They call it interoperability and interested IMers in Canada can sign up for the beta test software at ca.messenger.yahoo.com or ideas.live.com.

For the past six months I've been using Gaim to communicate with YIM, MSN and GTalk users with a single slick client. The catch is you have to have accounts with each platform, but you can run this thing on Windows or Linux. I, for one, welcome this new interoperability and I'm grateful for the opportunity to write and say interoperability as often as possible.

f any1 wntz 2 cht w me on9, wrte me 4 my username

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Link: Britney

LinkBritney - What's wrong with me that I've watched this twice now and can't wait to watch it a third time? I ♥ Britney.

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The Guy Who Didn't Accept The Free Phone

phoneI'm starting to wonder if I'm the only Toronto blogger who didn't take the bait. A few months ago, I was contacted by a marketing company in Toronto that was going to lend Toronto and Vancouver bloggers a cell phone for a short period. It was a fine phone that took pictures and played MP3s, but the blogger had to blog about photos taken with the phone and mention in the entry which phone was used, complete with a link the phone's web site.

No money would exchange hands. I'd just get to use this phone for free and I'd have to force mention of the product onto my site. I thought it was a raw deal then and as I surf around and see so many doing exactly that, I think it's a raw deal now.

I'm not above advertising on this site, I'm just against throwing ads in regular entries without clearly indicating that it's a paid endorsement. Where's the integrity if I'm going to blog about loving a movie after being paid to give it rave reviews? Is the loss of integrity worth a phone rental? Once you go that route, you can't go back again. Every time I'd link to that damn phone I'd feel dirty.

As it stands, I remain the last guy in my age group living in this city without a mobile phone. On the bright side, if I use a product and link to it, you know it's coming from the heart and not the wallet.

Contributions always accepted. Don't forget to click an ad or two on your way out. Now where's my Olympus Stylus 600 at?

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When The Web Went World Wide

webFifteen years ago today, Tim Berners-Lee shared this on the alt.hypertext discussion group so others could download it and "try it". The World Wide Web went world wide and the rest is history.

We've come a long way in fifteen years, but you know this is just the tip of the iceberg. I can tell I like that expression when referring to the World Wide Web, because I used it here and here. I use it because I believe it to be true. Not long ago we were a little naive but through the years the web has changed our daily habits and dramatically enhanced communique.

If you need a phone number, do you check the white or yellow pages or do you hit the web? If you need driving directions, do you hunt down the Perly's or do you hit the web? If you need to communicate something to someone that isn't particularly time sensitive, do you write them a letter or send them an email? If you're looking for stats, schedules, standings or scores from the sport of your choice, do you check the paper or hit the web? When you need to know who was in what movie with whom, do you buy a movie guide or hit the web? What about those billion trivial questions you have throughout the day, and that frequent need to get the straight up facts about this, that and the other? Do you go to the library and read the encyclopedias or do you hit the web?

In fifteen years, everything about the way we communicate has changed. The way we share pictures, opinions and information will never be the same.

It's the tip of the iceberg. You can quote me on that.

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"The tiger can't change his spots. No, wait, he did! Good for him!"
      - Jack Handey

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Death From Above 1979 Dead

musicI just read that Toronto duo Death From Above 1979 have called it quits. Jesse F. Keeler says he and drummer Sebastien Grainger decided a year ago to "stop doing the band".

It's a shame, You're A Woman, I'm A Machine, their only full-length album, spawned two singles that ended up on editions of SLS. "Romantic Rights" appeared on SLS14 and was my second favourite song of 2005. "Blood On Our Hands" made SLS15.

It was a short run, but a quality run. Quality kicks quantity's ass every day of the week.

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Under Seige

virusalertIf some of these pages appear damaged, please mind the mess. It seems I'm under cyber attack.

Reinforcements on on their way. I won't go down without a fight. I'll work to get things in a reasonable state as soon as possible.

Release the hounds!

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A CFNY For Grownups

freeplayrangerOn what some are calling the Humble Appreciation Society, a comment was left this morning by a chap named Doug. He wrote something that struck a nerve with me. He openly yearned for "a CFNY for grownups". Yes! That's exactly what I'm looking for, or listening for, if you will.

I've written about CFNY dozens of times because it's been my go-to station for almost two thirds of my life. A couple of years ago I wondered if CFNY might be going "Classic Alternative", which would have been a dramatic step in the right direction. Instead, it seems they care less and less about their listeners under the age of 30, targeting the teens with crappy music and moronic hosts. What I'd like to hear is a CFNY that plays the great music (Radiohead, System of a Down, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Weezer, The Hip, Pearl Jam, Arcade Fire, Metric, etc.) we've come to expect but doesn't play down to the audience as if we're all a bunch of slacker college kids. We want a CFNY for adults and I know just the two who could host the morning show.

Speaking of Humble Howard, we've been chatting and he's given me his personal email address if any fans want to get in touch with him. He left a very cool comment yesterday on the "Humble Howard, Are You Okay?" page, which is now at 157 comments and counting. When he calls me next week, I'm going to suggest a CFNY for the 30+ crowd. I'm in love with the idea.

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Hometown Hero

bluejaysYeah, yeah. The Jays have self destructed and we're back to looking at next year. I'm tired of looking to next year. This entry isn't about that. This entry is about the five Blue Jays players eligible to be a Hometown Hero, a promotion by Major League Baseball designed to choose the greatest player in franchise history. The five Blue Jays players are:

  • Roberto Alomar
  • Joe Carter
  • Tony Fernandez
  • Pat Hentgen
  • Dave Stieb

Firstly, the choice is clear. My vote goes to Robbie Alomar. The winner is clear, and I can't argue with four of the five candidates, but I can think of a few guys who deserve to be there ahead of Pat Hentgen.

Sure, Hentgen won a Cy Young award and gave us some solid years, but is he better than Jimmy Key, John Olerud or even Carlos Delgado? If I were to replace Pat Hentgen on that list right now, I wouldn't hesitate to go with #11 George Bell.

I recently wrote about my life long admiration for Bell, which presents a clear bias, but the proof is in the pudding. He was the AL MVP in '87, he was a clutch hitter who still holds the team record for most home runs in a season and he was our offensive spark plug during those excellent mid-80s years when we were learning to win and getting our first taste of playoff action.

He wasn't media friendly, and he told us all to kiss his purple butt, but if we look beyond that and see the player, there's no doubt he should be a candidate for our Hometown Hero.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Boy, everyone is stupid except me."

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Rest in Peace

In MemoriumBob Thaves was 81. He was the creator of the long-running comic strip “Frank & Ernest”.

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I've Been Everywhere

cntowerI'm digging City and Colour's "Comin' Home". It's totally mellow and full of shout outs to varous North American locales. There's a call out to Saskatoon, Sydney and Halifax, but no love for Toronto. That got me thinking about popular songs that do that shout out thing and include Toronto in the mix. That led me to the Man in Black.

Johnny Cash's "I've Been Everywhere" runs down the names of about a hundred cities and might be the best example of a city shout out song. In "I've Been Everywhere", Toronto is named an impressive sixth overall. Now that's respect.

At least The Tragically Hip released a song called "Toronto #4", wrote about Bashin' Bill Barilko and dropped our name in "Bobcaygeon". That, and Cash's call out, makes up for Dallas Green's slight. He's a good St. Catharines boy after all and we forgive him.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Mel Gibson movies

  1. Braveheart
  2. Ransom
  3. Chicken Run
  4. Gallipoli
  5. Payback

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Link: workFRIENDLY

LinkworkFRIENDLY - This is neat. The page you're reading is disguised as a Word document. The images and CSS mark up is suppressed so someone passing by your office computer will think you're composing a work-critical mission statement.

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My MP3s Updated

CDI've added 6 new CDs to my MP3 collection. Here they are...

  • Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
  • Billy Talent - II
  • Fall Out Boy - From Under The Cork Tree
  • Seether - One Cold Night
  • Three Days Grace - One-X
  • Dixie Chicks - Taking The Long Way

I assure you, the Dixie Chicks is for my wife and mother. That's 1200 complete albums! Check it out.

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'Scuze Me While I Pimp This Enterprise

megaphoneI haven't mentioned my services page for a while, but with a batch of new readers, this seemed like a good time to pimp my biz.

A talented wordsmith with eight years experience producing dynamic marketing, education and web development solutions, I'm here to help you. With both a creative and technical background, I offer the ideal blend of two vital realms. My core services fall into two convenient categories.

Copy Writing
An English Major who graduated from the University of Toronto, I have a passion for writing. I can write for various audiences in numerous voices and formats. Here are some of my specialties.

  • Web site content
  • Press releases
  • Case studies
  • White papers
  • Articles
  • Blog entries
  • Marketing collateral
  • Newsletters

Web Presence Management
Several of my clients are small businesses who require a professional web presence without incurring an enormous expense. In addition to writing copy, I'm proficient in XHTML and CSS with a keen appreciation for W3C web standards. I'm also quite handy with Photoshop and have six years experience building, maintaining and managing complex web infrastructure. In layman's terms, I can hold your hand and handle everything from A to Z. Here's what I can do for you.

  1. Secure your domain name
  2. Acquire an appropriate web hosting package
  3. Design and develop your new web site
  4. Write effective content for your audience
  5. Create / modify images
  6. Publish approved web site to web
  7. Optimize content and XHTML for search engines (SEO)
  8. Site maintenance
  9. Strategize complementary web marketing, from RSS feeds to newsletters and beyond

There ya have it. I have the know-how, experience and passion to help. We can do this, together. Contact me to discuss your specific requirements. If someone you know might be interested in these services, send them to http://www.torontomike.com/services.html.

We now return to our regular blogging schedule.

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Guest Blog Entry

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

Mon dieu!
Gott in Himmel!!
Etc. etc, etc.

What an absolutely FABULOUS storm last night here in jolly ol' Snelgrove. While all I hear around me is the whinge and whine of whittering neighbours, I'm ogling the incredible darkness desperately awaiting that next awesome flash and spell-binding fork of lightning! Odd - so much lightning - but so little thunder! My heart is louder than the expected cacophony I want to hear. The rain lashes at times, but is, in the main, quiet and tremulous - hiding in the shadows of the magnificent clouds.

Man - I love thunderstorms! Yeah, I know, they're dangerous and destructive - but not as d-n-d as good ol' Homo Sapiens, eh?

And so much more impressive!

      Papa Tango

Papa Tango, you nailed the proverbial nail on the head. It's anger as beauty. I was thinking the same thing while peering out my window last night. It's all so dangerous but totally captivating. It was so dark, so windy and so quiet, but there was a brilliant light show that we Homo Sapiens just can't mimic.

It was a great storm and today we enjoy sweet relief from the heat. I'd say it's worth a little danger for a win-win like that.

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Superkids

supermanEvery once in a while, I stumble across something in cyber space that makes my day. Today, I learned about Superkids. You can read this "Stupid Comic" here.

Superkids was published by the Office Of Energy Conservation of the Department Of Energy, Mines, and Resources of Canada. A couple of kids find a magic rock and it makes them Superkids. They then learn that we'll be out of oil by 1986 and by 1996 things will be really dismal. There will be cold, dark buildings, little public transportation, few cars, no movies, and so on. 1996 Canada is definitely something to fear.

My deductive logic tells me we should thank these Superkids for the fact we still have movies theatres. On second thought, these kids did us no favour.

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Weekly MP3: You're Pretty Good Looking (For A Girl)

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

The White Stripes - You're Pretty Good Looking (For A Girl)
An awesome band with a personal favourite track off of their second album. You can't go wrong with this one.

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It's Dark And Hell Is Hot

devilThere are thunderstorm warnings for Southern Ontario, and that means a little relief from this heat. Yesterday, I wrote about what felt like 47° and complained that I had already listed songs with "hot" and "heat" in the title. By request, here are songs in my collection with the word "hell" in the title.

  • (Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below We're All Going To Go - Curtis Mayfield
  • Bat Out Of Hell - Meatloaf
  • Back Into Hell - Meatloaf
  • Boys From The County Hell - The Pogues
  • Brighter Hell - The Watchmen
  • Chess Game At The Gates Of Hell - The Kleptones
  • Christmas Time In Hell - Satan
  • Ego Tripping At The Gates Of Hell - The Flaming Lips
  • Guilty As Hell - Black Sabbath
  • Hell - Foo Fighters
  • Hell's Ditch - The Pogues
  • Hell's Half Acre - Robbie Robertson
  • Hell Hound On My Trail - Robert Johnson
  • Hell In A Bucket - Grateful Dead
  • Hell Is Living Without You - Alice Cooper
  • Hell Of A Night - Roy Gaines & The Crusaders
  • Hell On High Heels - Motley Crue
  • Hell Yes - Beck
  • Hella Good - No Doubt
  • Hells Bells - AC~DC
  • I Am Hell - White Zombie
  • Private Hell - Iggy Pop
  • Green Hell - Metallica
  • Long Hard Road Out Of Hell - Marilyn Manson
  • Raise A Little Hell - Trooper
  • Raising Hell - Run DMC
  • Right Next Door To Hell - Guns N' Roses
  • Run Like Hell - Pink Floyd
  • Sam Hell - Helmet
  • Straight To Hell - The Clash
  • The Hell Song - Sum 41
  • Welcome To Hell - Sum 41
  • What The Hell Child Is This? - Chef
  • What The Hell Happened To Me? - Adam Sandler

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Feels Like 47 Degrees

thermometerPrior to heading downtown this afternoon, my friends at The Weather Network told me it felt like 47° outside. I think they were a little on the low side.

This is where I'd list songs with the word "heat" in the title, but I've already done that. I suppose I could list songs with the word "hot" in the title... oh wait, I've already done that too.

Stay cool, Toronto.

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Thank You, Tiger Town

SunHave you ever heard of "Tiger Town"? It's likely you haven't. "Tiger Town" was a made for tv Disney movie from 1983 that somehow made it's way to VHS and into my home. The mark this movie left on me is one that remains to this day. For a kid in love with his Blue Jays, this little movie was so much more than a 73 minute flick. It was a religious experience.

It's about faith and baseball, one boy's belief in an aging star and the magic of the baseball gods. The Tigers are struggling and Billy Young has lost his touch, but a kid named Alex refuses to give up on his team and his hero. There's the death of his father and a final gift of seasons tickets at Tiger Stadium. Alex attends these games and summons the baseball gods every time Billy Young is at the plate. He closes his eyes and prays, and Billy Young inevitably comes through. Soon enough, the Tigers are on fire and leading the division. Alex just has to attend these games and believe in his hero. It's awesome.

I wanted to be Alex, attending each home game at Exhibition Stadium and praying to the baseball gods every time George Bell came to the plate. This movie epitomized the romantic ideal of baseball, as I sensed it. "The Natural" came out a year later, and echoed these same themes. Roy Hobbs was Billy Young with more baggage. There was still magic in the air and a heroic triumph.

I'd like to get my hands on a copy of "Tiger Town" and show it to my four year old. You gotta have faith.

Thanks again, Tiger Town, for everlasting memories.

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