September 2006 Archives

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Nik Antropov: The Bane of My Existence

leafsWatching the first two periods of tonight's hockey game between the Leafs and Red Wings I kept having the same recurring thought. Why is Nik Antropov still on this team?

He's done absolutely nothing this preseason to justify his existence. He's been invisible again tonight, getting less than seven minutes of ice time without recording a single shot on net. In my opinion, he's hogging a roster spot that would be better in the hands of Johnny Pohl. He doesn't even appear interested in playing and I've seen enough.

Antropov is the new Jonas Hoglund, only worse. With Aki Berg gone, he's also my new whipping boy.

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Visting Humble Howard's House

houseAs noted in this riveting entry on humblehoward.com, I spent much of the day visiting Humble Howard Glassman at his palatial Oakville estate. I'm now able to deliver The Humble Report.

The dude's fully domesticated. His puppy graduated from kindergarten this morning (not a joke), he makes a mean cup of java and he's got a great wife and two daughters, all of whom have male names. The man also loves Tiger Woods. There's a shrine of sorts to the man and his PVR was recording today's action from Chandler's Cross so he could watch it the moment I left. I made his day when I showed him how to do this.

I felt totally at home lounging in the Glassman house, enjoying a lovely lunch with the family and hearing tales about a frozen weiner, flying above the clouds and top secret future plans for the Humble & Fred radio show.

There was also a freaky link in the cosmic chain when I was given dozens of great books for the kids. The kids are loving these books right now, and some of the older ones have the name "Melanie Patterson" written inside the cover. That would be Fred's daughter, who likely passed these books down to Howard's daughter who has generously passed them onto my children. In the world of local Toronto celebrity, that's far less than six degrees of separation.

Good times. I'm looking forward to my flight with Howard which will be be well documented and photographed for your reading pleasure.

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A New Look

constructionLast night I got that itch again. You know that itch you get when your blog has had the same look for months and months? I got it last night and by the time I logged off at 10pm my site looked like this.

I'm still tweaking it, but so far I'm digging the change. For the first time in the history of this site, I fixed the width. 800 x 600ers be damned! If you're one of those that now has a dreaded horizontal scroll bar, let me know in the comments. While you're commenting, let me know what you like or dislike about the new look. The header banner is temporary.

"Things do not change; we change." ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Purple is a fruit."

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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.

Today I celebrated my grandmother's 100th Birthday at her nursing home in Ajax. Two of her 3 sons are still alive & I went for my Dad who passed away in 1991. Mentally she is very limited & physically she's like an 80 year old. Still able to walk but spends most her time in her wheelchair. A larger party to be held on Sunday with more of the family.

Living to be 100 - I don't think so. Her father lived to 98 years with both legs amputated during WW1.

      dale

Happy birthday to Dale's Grandmother! Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II sends messages to Canadians who are 100 years of age or older. Did you make the request?

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Best Hip Single Since Bobcaygeon?

tragicallyhip"In View", the latest single from The Tragically Hip from their upcoming release World Container, has been available for a month now. I've heard it dozens of times and I've had discussions about it with other Hip fans. We've reached a consensus. It's good!

It's damn catchy and bounces around in your head throughout the day. It's a fantastic single that can be thoroughly appreciated by the non-Hip fan as well. Dare I say this is the best Hip single since "Bobcaygeon". I'm not saying it's necessarily a better song than "It’s A Good Life If You Don’t Weaken", I'm just guessing there's hasn't been as much mass appeal for a Hip song since "Bobcaygeon".

Feel free to disagree. I'm going back to my rendition of "In View". "I've been meaning to call you..."

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Canadian Design

canadaLet's talk design for a moment, if that's okay. Did you know there's a Canadian Design Resource? Neither did I until I learned about it earlier today. It's a neat collection of Canadian designs and definitely worth a visit.

Here are a few of my favourites.

They're threatening to introduce an open resource section where you and I can submit samples of Canadian design. That would be neat-o.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveUnreleased Custom songs I believe would be hits

  1. Whatever
  2. Both Hands
  3. Love Letter
  4. Catch Me
  5. Bong Bubble

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Aleksander Suglobov Deserves A Shot

leafsI've watched quite a bit of the Leafs preseason thus far, and I'd like to see Aleksander Suglobov make the club.

Critics will tell you he doesn't play defense and therefore doesn't deserve a roster spot. Others will tell you he passes as often as Sergei Berezin did, which was rarely. Admittedly, he's not much of a fore checker and he's a little turnover prone, but I'd still give him a shot in the NHL to start the season. The fact is, he's got something no other Leaf winger has. He's got offensive flare to spare and a fantastic nose for the net.

His moves remind me of Alexander Mogilny when he was on his game. He's a game breaker who can deke the pads off a goalie and dazzle you with his speed and stick handling. When he's in the offensive zone, he's a serious threat to score, and that's something we simply don't have right now. Heck, I'd put him on the team if only to play during shootouts. We stunk at shootouts last season and Suglobov looks like he's be awesome.

The kid has to learn to play defense and forecheck, no doubt about it, but he deserves a spot on offensive skill alone. He's provided me with more than a few thrills over the past couple of weeks.

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My Inadequate Battery Life Indicator

iriverMy iRiver H10 gets me to and from work every day. On road trips, it's plugged into my FM transmitter providing the tunes. It's great, but I have one issue with it.

The battery life remaining is measured by three bars. For hours and hours and hours all three bars will be solid, giving me comfort there's plenty of juice left. Then, when one bar drops and we're down to two, it's already too late. Within the next twenty minutes I'll be S.O.L.

The purpose of this feature is to let you know when you should recharge the battery so you're not left without fuel. It simply doesn't work because there's so little time between two bars and empty. To be safe, you need to preemptively recharge while all three bars are solid. That's like driving a care without a fuel gage.

Other than this annoyance, she's fantastic. When above ground, I freely toggle between MP3s and FM radio. Can you do that with your iPod?

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Weekly MP3: In September

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

Hayden - In September
It's hard to believe September is almost over. The key word in that sentence is "almost". It's still September, which makes this exceptional Hayden tune quite relevant.

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Growing Up

mouseThere's a 25 Signs That, Sadly, You've Grown Up list making the rounds, and it's pretty spot on. I recently started pro-creating and I've since left my 20s behind for good and this list is a staunch reminder that aging only goes in one direction.

Here's the list and my two cents tagged on the end in parenthesis.

  1. Your house plants are alive, and you can't smoke any of them. (I never smoked my house plants - do people really smoke cacti?)
  2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question. (When I first married, all we had was a twin bed. In fact, James sleeps in that very bed today. Taryn and I could probably have sex in it, but sleeping in it is out of the question. I would change this to "Sleeping in a twin bed is out of the question".)
  3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge. (This one doesn't apply to me - I've yet to make a single purchase in The Beer Store. You're shocked, aren't you?)
  4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed. (Bang on.)
  5. You hear your favorite song on an elevator. (I hear tunes I loved in University while shopping in grocery stores. That's just as depressing.)
  6. You watch the Weather Channel. (My witness at my wedding appears on The Weather Network!)
  7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of hook up and break up. (Very true.)
  8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14. (Sad but true.)
  9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as "dressed up." (Bang on again.)
  10. You're the one calling the police because those damn kids next door won't turn down the stereo. (It would depend on what they're listening to.)
  11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you. (It's about time!)
  12. You don't know what time Taco Bell closes anymore. (No, I don't.)
  13. Your car insurance goes down and your payments go up. (I'm not sure I get this one. If my insurance is going down, why are my payments going up?)
  14. You feed your dog Science Diet instead of McDonalds leftovers. (Poor Booner.)
  15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt. (Most definitely.)
  16. You no longer take naps from noon to 6 PM. (I've never been a napper. I can only sleep during the night.)
  17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one. (It's been a while since I've had such an extravagant date. At least my anniversary is only three months away. That's a good excuse to get out and enjoy some ribs.)
  18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at 3 AM would severely upset, rather than settle your stomach. (Another winner.)
  19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests. (Or even worse, stuff for your kids' runny noses.)
  20. A $4.00 bottle of wine is no longer "pretty good stuff". (Again, I can't relate to this one. I've never had a bottle of $4 wine, $40 wine or $400 wine.)
  21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time. (This is the definitive sign you've grown up.)
  22. "I just can't drink the way I used to," replaces, "I'm never going to drink that much again." (Again, I abstain from commenting.)
  23. 90% of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work. (Sad, but true.)
  24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar. (No and no.)
  25. You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that doesn't apply to you and can't find one to save Your sorry old ass. (If I were a typical Irish Catholic who drank like a fish, I'd be agreeing whole heartedly.)

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Terrell Owens, Tie Domi and Belinda Stronach

soccerThere are a few sports stories floating about that have everybody chatty by their water coolers. These stories have a lot of meat on them and are being addressed all over the place, but I surprisingly have little to say about any of 'em.

These big three stories are...

  • Tie Domi and Belinda Stronach
  • Terrell Owens' attempted suicide
  • The Blue Jays descent back to 3rd

The Tie story is what it is, and there's not much more I can add. The T.O. story is just sad and the Jays story is just depressing.

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Tokyo Rose, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumIva Toguri D'Aquino was 90. She was accused of being "Tokyo Rose" who helped the Japanese propaganda effort during the Second World War by making anti-American radio broadcasts.

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Condos Killed the Fast Food Stars

foodLater this week, the Mr. Sub at Bedford and Bloor will be closed for good. Soon thereafter, that wrap place will close as will that booster juice place. The Harveys and Swiss Chalet across the street from Varsity Stadium have already shut their doors.

Why is this happening? This is why. Construction will soon begin on One Bedford condos and everything at the corner of Bedford and Bloor must go.

I'm worried about all those poor U of T students. Where will they eat? The closest Harveys is now Yonge and Bloor. The next Swiss Chalet is even further away. Is there even another one of those wrap places?

At least the McDonald's and Pizza Hut survived and there's still that Tim Horton's on the other side of Bedford. We should count our blessings.

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Byron Nelson, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumByron Nelson was 94. He was golf's elegant "Lord Byron" whose 11 straight tournament victories in 1945 stand as one of sports' most enduring records.

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Tragically Hip at The Phoenix

tragicallyhipThis morning, at 10am sharp, tickets went on sale for a series of club shows featuring The Tragically Hip. The shows are at The Phoenix, my old stomping grounds. As a Hip club member, I was given the head's up but things don't always unravel according to plan.

I simply couldn't get to a computer at 10am sharp and by the time I logged on all the Toronto tix were gone. It's been a while since I missed a local Hip show, well documented here, but I'll be missing these four. Unless...

If anyone in the Hip camp sees this and wants to throw a loyal dog a bone, please contact me. My attendance at a Hip show ensures a great deal of search engine exposure to reviews, photos and other positive Hip stuff. Brother, can you spare a ticket?

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We're Not Third!

bluejaysDon't look now, but the Blue Jays have passed the Red Sox and sit alone in second place in the AL East. We still won't make the playoffs, but we might not have to settle for third once more. We've been third behind the Yankees and Red Sox more times than you can imagine.

As luck would have it, we finally manage to reach second and we're still ten games back of the Twins for the wild card. Isn't our division supposed to own the wild card? Are other divisions even eligible?

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Etta Baker, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumEtta Baker was 93. She was a blues guitarist from North Carolina who influenced generations of musicians, from 1960s folkies to modern-day blues rockers.

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The Louisiana Superdome

nflIn a little over a year, the Louisiana Superdome has gone from unspeakable horrors to hosting tonight's Monday night clash between the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons.

In that entry from September 1, 2005, I wondered how they would ever return to playing football in the Louisiana Superdome. The Seattle Times described what was happening at the time where the Saints of football play.

A 2-year-old girl slept in a pool of urine. Crack vials littered the restroom. Blood stains the walls next to vending machines smashed by teenagers.

"We pee on the floor. We are like animals," Taffany Smith, 25, said as she cradled her 3-week-old son, Terry. In her right hand she carried a half-full bottle of formula provided by rescuers. Baby supplies are running low; one mother said she was given two diapers and told to scrape them off when they got dirty and use them again.

At least two people, including a child, have been raped as the arena darkened at night. At least three people have died, including one man who jumped 50 feet to his death, saying he had nothing left to live for.

There is no sanitation. The stench is overwhelming. The city's water supply, which had held up since Sunday, gave out early yesterday, and toilets in the Dome became inoperable and began to overflow. "There is feces on the walls," said Bryan Hebert, 43, who arrived at the dome Monday. "There is feces all over the place."

I recently watched Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts". Lee suggests humanity has failed the victims of hurricane Katrina. They are still rebuilding, many have been chased out of their city for good. I now know why the Superdome can once again host something "as frivolous as a football game". The alternative is not acceptable. New Orleans deserves this, and a great deal more.

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Bill Clinton vs. Chris Wallace

usaIf not for that silly two term limit, Bill Clinton would still be the President of the United States of America. He's actually smart, imagine that! An intelligent, well-spoken President.. those were the days.

He appeared on "Fox News Sunday" this past weekend and it turned into quite the battle. I've never watched a minute of Fox News in my life, so I didn't see it live, but thanks to YouTube we can all enjoy it again and again.

Check out Bill Clinton vs. Chris Wallace. A conservative hit job indeed.

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SLS Submission: This Could Be Anywhere In The World

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS16 consideration. I submitted "This Could Be Anywhere In The World" from AlexisOnFire.

Is St. Catherines' Dallas Green the hardest working musician in Canada today? Possibly. There's City and Colour, his collaboration with Neverending White Lights and his work with Alexisonfire. This song grew on me and now I'm digging it. Another great vocal performance from DG.

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The Toronto Zoo

zooMother Nature is a doll. Yesterday, with threats of rain in the forecast, she gave us a smashing day to spend at the Toronto Zoo. Here's a collection of photos I snapped at every opportunity.

The zoo keepers must work these animals hard throughout the night, because they sure are sleepy during the day. Many of the grade "A" quality beasts were snoozin'. Still, the show the baboon family put on for us was worth the price of admission.

We'll call this the other zoo.

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The Aristocrats

A Movie ReelThe Aristocrats: 7 out of 10.

The tagline for "The Aristocrats" is "No Nudity No Violence Unspeakable Obscenity". That pretty much sums it up. The language is as obscene as you can imagine, but once you get used to it, this is one funny doc.

The joke itself isn't that funny, but when Sagat and Silverman tell it, it's hilarious.

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"I felt like putting a bullet between the eyes of every Panda that wouldn't screw to save its species. I wanted to open the dump valves on oil tankers and smother all those French beaches I'd never see. I wanted to breathe smoke. I wanted to destroy something beautiful."
      - Narrator, Fight Club

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Link: All The Simpsons You Need

LinkAll The Simpsons You Need - This link is too good to be true. I'm so happy I could cry. Ok, I am crying... buckets. I'm so happy!

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Speed Demons?

leafsI'm not suggesting we start planning the parade quite yet, but the Leafs looked really good yet again last night. They were quick, aggressive and effective. Jean-Sebastien Aubin was fantastic between the pipes, picking up right where he left off last season.

It's no secret one of our biggest problems last year was team speed. Teams like the Sabres, Senators and Hurricanes were blowing past us. Last night, we played the role of speed demon, skating circles around the Habs.

Many are talking about the fact we have three decent goalies in camp while only two will make the big club. It's a virtual certainty that Andrew Raycroft will start the season as the #1 goaltender, but who will be #2? In my mind, this is an easy choice. Aubin deserves the gig, without question. In fact, Aubin deserves to start the season as the #1 guy with Raycroft backing him up. I'm not sure what more Aubin has to do. Have we already forgotten the guy is 9-0-2 as a Maple Leaf with a 2.21 goals against average and 92.4 save percentage? He's never lost a single game wearing the blue and white and they're talking about starting with Raycroft and Mikael Tellqvist.

It's time to say farewell to Telly.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Uh, we're having a discussion about gay witches for abortion. You wouldn’t be interested."

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Link: Elliott Brood's The Bridge

LinkElliott Brood's The Bridge Video - I fell in love with "The Bridge" the first time I heard it. Deeming it SLS-worthy, it appeared on our 15th edition. Today, I discovered this blog with a very cool video for the tune. Check it out.

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SLS Submission: No Heaven

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS16 consideration. I submitted "No Heaven" from DJ Champion.

I mentioned I've been digging this tune lately. I'm a man of my word.

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I'm In Today's National Post

newspaperIt's not the big National Post write up I mentioned earlier, but I am in the paper today.

Here's The City article about Humble Howard's new blog. In this entry he asks what food says Toronto. I chimed in with a quote from this entry I wrote on that very subject. My comment there has now been quoted in a national newpaper.

Grab a copy while you still can!

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Show Jane Station Some Love

ttcFor most of my life, the Jane TTC subway station has been my home station. I think the TTC needs to show Jane station a little love.

Many stations now have those great information screens that give you the news, weather and time while you wait for the next subway. It's like watching TV. Jane station, however, still has those old scrolling screens that nobody reads anymore. It seemed pretty cool in the late 80s, but today it just seems pathetic.

To make matters much, much worse, the time on these units, on both the eastbound and westbound platforms, is exactly 40 minutes fast. It's been that way for months. I've adapted and now instantly add 40 minutes to the time displayed, but can't they fix this? I'll bet there's a couple of button you press simultaneously at the controls to move those minutes to where they belong.

Jane, divided, but I can't decide what side I'm on
Jane decided only cowards stay, while traitors run
Jane, Jane

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Today I Am A Dad

schoolToday, I officially became a father. It was "meet the teacher" night at James' school and I got to meet Mrs. X. Here are the highlights...

  • I almost missed the entire night. I had a ball game immediately after work and it was a close call getting home to grab James and walk to the school. This either makes me a lousy dad or a committed ballplayer, depending how you look at it.
  • When we got there, Mrs. X. was talking to other parents, so James and I wandered into the fun room. When Mrs. X. saw this she let me know the JK kids hadn't been introduced to that room yet. I was in unchartered and off limits territory!
  • Mrs. X. asked James who I was, he said, "This is Mike but his real name is Daddy".
  • When Mrs. X. introduced herself by giving me her first name, it blew my mind. Teachers don't have first names, do they? I've been hearing all month about Mrs. X, not a lady with a normal first name.
  • James already has homework. He's got to work on writing his name. It's a tough name with the "m" and "s" in there. I still have trouble with it. When the homework starts at the age of four, you know times have changed.
  • I cracked a joke with Mrs. X. about James learning to type his name and skipping the whole printing thing. She sort of glared at me until I mutterred "just kidding" at which point she said "I hope so". You'd think I'd get the message that joking about this topic wasn't funny, but I asked her if they still teach cursive writing any more. I let her know that I never use it. She proudly stated that they still teach cursive writing before typing. I say teach 'em how to sign their cheques and credit card receipts and move straight to keyboard class.
  • James' class had cassette decks exactly like the ones I remember from primary school.

I felt all grown up meeting James' teacher. It was sorta cool.

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Shows I Watch: Brotherhood

tvWhen TMN picked up the new Showtime series "Brotherhood", I was intrigued by the premise. As summarized on the IMDB page, "Set in an Irish neighbourhood in Providence, the series reflects around two brothers on opposite sides of the law: one a gangster (Jason Isaacs) and the other a politician (Jason Clarke)."

This show is fantastic. It's right up there with "The Sopranos" and "Six Feet Under". The characters are interesting, the acting is incredible, the stories are smart and it always leaves you wanting more. I just read "Brotherhood" has been renewed for another season. This is good news.

If you've got TMN or Showtime, you've got to give this one a shot. If you don't, check out the DVD when it comes out. Shows like this are few and far between.

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Remember Ricky Williams?

argosSome of us are old enough to remember a running back named Ricky Williams. He came to town last May with unparalleled buzz and James and I got to meet him following his first game in an Argos jersey. Then, things broke down.

Guess who's back? Ricky Williams has been practicing all week and is expected to start against the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday night.

Maybe I'll be getting that #27 jersey after all...

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Weekly MP3: Heterosexual Man

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.

Odds - Heterosexual Man
I liked this song, but I loved the video. Ya gotta love the Kids in the Hall.

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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.

Clarington Coverage Of upcoming Municipal Election

As of September 12 Clarington now has six candidates for Mayor. Things are definately heating up with former Mayor Diane Hamre entering into the campaign arena. This latest canidate has declared she is running in this election because she wants to get Council "back on track to the station called democracy." There is a perception of Clarington council that they do not provide a forum for residents to engage in open dialogue or debate issues with council. They are left feeling dismissed and often bullied. Another perception of our current council is that they are developer friendly and in the last election Mayor Mutton raised over $40,000 in campaign contributions. Approx. $1600 of it was from private individuals, and the rest was from mostly developers and contractors. It is nice to see that already a couple of new candidates have declared that they will NOT accept donations from the development industry or companies who do business with the municipality.

I am hopeful that an increase in interest by candidates will be reflected by an increase in voter interest/turnout this November.

It should also be noted that the salary for position of mayor, escalated in the last six years from about eighty thousand dollars to over one hundred and fifty thousand per year with travel expenses.In June of 2005, it was reported that the mayor's mileage allowance from $570 a month to $1,293. What does the mayor of Toronto make per year? I do believe it is considerably less, and for a much bigger population and area. No wonder there is six people running for this mayorâ s seat here.

      Jill

It sounds as if your Mayoral election is a great deal more exciting than ours. Ours, it seems, is a mere formality. David Miller will have to be caught eating babies to blow this one, and even then he stands a solid chance of being re-elected.

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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.

Tie Domi retired today with an emotional press conference at the ACC. A player with LIMITED ability yet played 1022 games in the NHL - sheer determination & the want to play. Too bad our Leafs of this year aren't the same & won't be without Tie in the ROOM. He wanted to stay a Leaf & when no contract offered to him he decided it was time.

Good luck Tie

      twins from bolton

I was about to write about Tie Domi's retirement, but I see twins from bolton beat me to it.

He's our all-time penalty-minutes leader and he ranks third in the NHL with 3, 515 minutes in the box. He came up for a couple of games in 1989-1990 but he returned for good during the 1994-1995 season. During those eleven years he played with a great deal of heart. Remember this fight with a Flyers fan and this fight with Bob Probert while with the Rangers? More importantly from this fan's perspective, who will ever forget this? I certainly never will.

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Twelve Hours of Edge Analysis

radioI mentioned that I've been enjoying the last twelve hours of Edge music, the best thing to happen to the official Edge site in forever. Shortly after noon today, I copied the list of songs played on 102.1 in the previous twelve hours and I've been adding little notes to each one througout the day. Here's what I've got.

12:11PM Hot Hot Heat - Goodnight Goodnight My kids love this song! When you and your kids share an interest in a tune, it's solid gold.
12:03PM U2 - Bad I haven't heard this one in a while. Remember when U2 was good? Bad was good.
11:59AM Beastie Boys - So What'cha Want Years after its release, I still listen to this song on a regular basis. It's a classic.
11:53AM Pilot Speed - Barely Listening For those of you just tuning in, Pilot Speed are the guys formerly known as Pilate. It's not my cup of tea.
11:52AM Beck - E-Pro This is more my cup of tea. E-Pro was fun.
11:51AM Beck - Nausea I'm a little confused. How did they play the new Beck single "Nausea" at 11:51 and one minute later play E-Pro? I don't think that's possible. "Nausea", by the way, sounds great... like it's from Mellow Gold.
11:47AM Mobile - Out Of My Head I am so sick of this song. I wish they'd stop playing it.
11:43AM Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet With Butterfly Wings This song is still great. Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage. Great lyrics too.
11:34AM 30 Seconds To Mars - The Kill (Bury Me) I'm not yet feeling this tune. It's got the required yelling, but it sounds a little too Evanescencey.
11:31AM K-OS - Crabbuckit Ya gotta like K-OS. This is a fun tune. No harm, no foul.
11:25AM Sublime - What I Got Yes! My summer album and my summer single. I love it.
11:22AM Papa Roach - ...To Be Loved I've heard better Papa Roach. I'll pass, thanks.
11:20AM Sloan - Who Taught You How To Live Like That This long time fan always welcomes new Sloan in the fold. Bring it on, boys.
11:13AM The Tragically Hip - Three Pistols A great choice from the massive Hip catalogue. Disclosure: this is my favourite band.
11:09AM Nine Inch Nails - The Hand That Feeds Yawn. Is this still on the playlist?
11:03AM Killers - When You Were Young You just know they're going to play this single to death. It's not bad though.
10:58AM Red Hot Chili Peppers - Otherside Songs from Californication continue to get plenty of airplay. I still prefer Mother's Milk, but history may deem Californication to be their definitive album.
10:53AM Hostage Life - This Song Was Written By Committee I really wanted to love this song because they're local and all, but when I hear it I just hear "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" from The Darkness. That ain't good.
10:46AM Billy Talent - Devil In A Midnight Mass This song made SLS15 because it's good. Enough said.
10:41AM Oasis - Don't Look Back In Anger This is one of my favourite Oasis songs. It's exceptional. They should play it daily.
10:35AM Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out It's the song of the summer of 2004! It's really two fine songs in one. Bonus!
10:31AM Sam Roberts - Bridge To Nowhere This song has grown on me lately. I think I might try and sneak it on SLS16 when nobody is paying attention.
10:24AM Bob Marley & The Wailers - Buffalo Soldier Interesting choice. I sometimes feel the frequency of Bob Marley songs seems a little forced.
10:21AM Jet - Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is I'm not certain if I like this song or not. It sounds like Jet, and that's not a bad thing... but is it a good thing? The jury is still out.
10:14AM Nickelback - Figured You Out In a shocking maneuver, 102 played Nickelback today. Stop the press!
10:01AM DJ Champion - No Heaven I've been seriously digging this tune lately. I introduced it to Taryn on the weekend and she's digging it to. I must remember to submit this for SLS16 consideration.
9:58AM Three Days Grace - Pain I actually prefer this cut to the first release off their new album. When it hits the radio I'm not flipping the station.
9:55AM Sloan - Who Taught You How To Live Like That See 11:20AM.
9:49AM City And Colour - Save Your Scissors Dallas is a city and Green is a colour, get it? Sweet ditty...
9:45AM Red Hot Chili Peppers - Tell Me Baby New RHCP is bound to get plenty of airplay. You can't fight City Hall.
9:35AM U2 - With Or Without You Another U2 song from back when they were decent. This song takes me back to grade school dances.
9:32AM Arctic Monkeys - Fake Tales Of San Francisco I dig this tune. Listen for it on SLS16.
9:20AM The Tragically Hip - Blow At High Dough This is the first Tragically Hip song I ever heard. I heard it on Q107 when it was first released and I fell in love. I've probably written about this a hundred times but you never forget your first.
9:16AM Wolfmother - Woman I liked this tune enough to throw it on SLS15. Good stuff.
9:06AM Billy Talent - Red Flag This song took a while to grow on me, but it eventually happened.
8:51AM Evanescence - Call Me When You're Sober Call me when it's over.
8:37AM Finger Eleven - One Thing Well, well. Who will ever forget the time Scott Anderson chimed in on the One Thing discussion over at SLS. It was a smash that eventually found its way to Chum FM heaven.
8:30AM Smashing Pumpkins - Today This song takes me back to my first year of University. Amazing track from an amazing album.
8:12AM 30 Seconds To Mars - The Kill (Bury Me) See 11:34AM.
7:52AM Red Hot Chili Peppers - Can't Stop Another Red Hot Chili Peppers song, and they're not even CanCon. Impressive volume.
7:47AM Killers - When You Were Young See 11:03AM
7:35AM The Tragically Hip - Fifty Mission Cap It must be Leafs season. #5 forever.
7:22AM Lenny Kravitz - It Ain't Over 'til It's Over Admittedly, I'm not the biggest Kravitz fan, but there are worse songs on the radio.
7:07AM Sam Roberts - Bridge To Nowhere See 10:31AM.
7:01AM Sloan - Who Taught You How To Live Like That See 11:20AM and 9:55AM.
6:51AM Nirvana - Heart-Shaped Box Here's our Nirvana song. You can't go a 12 hour period without it, and rightfuly so.
6:47AM DJ Champion - No Heaven See 10:01AM.
6:34AM Our Lady Peace - Superman's Dead Is this the best OLP song? It's definitely top four...
6:24AM Foo Fighters - Best Of You I'm a fan of this Foo track. I put it on SLS13.
6:20AM U2 - Pride (In The Name Of Love) Yet another U2 song from their glory days.
6:07AM Red Hot Chili Peppers - Tell Me Baby See 9:45AM.
6:03AM Staind - It's Been Awhile It's been awhile since I heard this song and it's still holding up.
5:58AM Angels And Airwaves - The Adventure Whether with Blink or A&A, this sound has a definite Beach Boys catchiness to it.
5:44AM Blind Melon - No Rain From the classic alternative bin, it's the song that brought us Bee Girl! I prefer Galaxy.
5:40AM Billy Talent - Red Flag See 9:06AM.
5:27AM Gob - I Hear You Calling Taryn once got sick at a Gob concert. True story, I was there!
5:24AM Green Day - Brain Stew Great Green Day track and I haven't heard it in forever.
5:19AM Stone Sour - Through Glass I put Bother on SLS8 and I'm digging this track too. I think I prefer Stone Sour to Slipknot.
5:17AM Beck - E-Pro See 11:52AM
5:16AM Beck - Nausea See 11:51AM
5:12AM Sum 41 - Hell Song Ajax, Schmajax.
5:09AM Raconteurs - Steady, As She Goes Jack White is god.
5:03AM Blur - Song 2 Whoo, hoo! They must have required a two minute tune heading into the break.
4:59AM Evanescence - Call Me When You're Sober See 8:51AM.
4:57AM Hot Hot Heat - Goodnight Goodnight See 12:11PM.
4:54AM Nirvana - Rape Me CFNY is wise enough to realize they can't go wrong with tunes like this.
4:50AM The Tragically Hip - In View It's new Hip. 'Nuff said.
4:43AM Red Hot Chili Peppers - Dani California Have you noticed the abundance of RHCP?
4:39AM U2 - New Year's Day Yet another old U2 gem from their glory days.
4:32AM Evans Blue - Over Zzzzzzzz.
4:29AM 30 Seconds To Mars - The Kill (Bury Me) See 11:34AM and 8:12AM.
4:24AM Lenny Kravitz - Fly Away Next, please.
4:19AM Rise Against - Ready To Fall I'm not sure I know this song.
4:12AM Econoline Crush - All That You Are It's nice to hear the Crush still getting some airplay. Named after a Neil Young lyric, dontchaknow?
4:08AM AFI - Miss Murder Not a bad tune... it's not SLS-worthy, but not bad at all.
4:03AM Killers - When You Were Young See 11:03AM and 7:47AM
4:00AM Green Day - Time Of Your Life (Good Riddance) The defacto farewell song of our generation.
3:57AM Death Cab For Cutie - Soul Meets Body I still dig this one. Good stuff.
3:52AM Eminem - My Name Is They shouldn't be playing this, plain and simple.
3:48AM AlexisOnFire - This Could Be Anywhere In The World DG is at it again and it's good.
3:43AM Nickelback - Animals 2 much Nickelback.
3:38AM Pearl Jam - Jeremy Hey, they're playing Pearl Jam! About time...
3:31AM Theory Of A Deadman - Make Up Your Mind Hey, it's Nickelback Jr.!
3:28AM Sam Roberts - Bridge To Nowhere See 10:31AM and 7:07AM.
3:24AM U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For It's our fifth U2 song and it's another golden oldie. Interesting...
3:17AM Tool - The Pot At 6:26, this is one of the shorter cuts on the album. It's too short!
3:10AM Treble Charger - Brand New Low It's not Red, is it?
3:06AM Foo Fighters - No Way Back This band is a hit machine. Seriously, I like every single. This is no exception.
3:02AM DJ Champion - No Heaven See 10:01AM and 6:47AM.
2:56AM Stone Temple Pilots - Plush Memories... I loved this song when it was first released. I still can't hear it without singing along. Luckily, I was sound asleep at 2:56 am.
2:53AM Evans Blue - Cold (But I'm Still Here) A little better Evans Blue...
2:49AM Limp Bizkit - Rollin' Remember when Limp Bizkit was sorta cool? Now they're closer to Vanilla Ice than Korn.
2:46AM Keane - Is It Any Wonder? Niceness. Who would complain about niceness?
2:40AM Mobile - Out Of My Head See 11:47AM.
2:36AM Weezer - Say It Ain't So Classic Weezer. Like a fine wine, it only gets better with age.
2:31AM Rinocerose - Cubicle This is too good to come from France. Encore!
2:27AM Red Hot Chili Peppers - Tell Me Baby See 9:45AM and 6:07AM.
2:26AM Beck - E-Pro See 11:52 and 2:26AM.
2:21AM Nirvana - All Apologies Another Nirvana song which means another great choice.
2:16AM Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars Snow Patrol gets points for being Irish, but this tune is a little soft for my liking.
2:10AM Sum 41 - Motivation I never liked this song. This band is overrated.
2:06AM Nine Inch Nails - The Hand That Feeds See 11:09AM.
2:01AM Billy Talent - Red Flag See 9:06AM and 5:40AM.
1:59AM Subways - Rock & Roll Queen It made SLS15 because it's good stuff.
1:54AM Offspring - Self Esteem Dammit, I played this album a billion times in university. It's Monday night, I'm at the Phoenix and this song is starting...
1:51AM Fall Out Boy - Sugar, We're Goin' Down Fall Out Boy was named after a Simpsons character, but that's not reason enough to sing their praises.
1:47AM City And Colour - Comin Home From the hardest working man in Canadian music it's another sweet ditty.
1:44AM Beastie Boys - Body Movin' The Boys have better songs in their catalogue.
1:39AM Ill Scarlett - Heaters I've already confessed to liking this song. I'm going to
1:35AM Foo Fighters - Everlong This is probably my favourite Foo Fighters song.
1:29AM Kasabian - Empire This one is growing on me. Give it another week.
1:26AM Evanescence - Call Me When You're Sober See 8:51AM and 4:59AM.
1:22AM Eminem - Lose Yourself This is the song that made it okay for alternative rock stations to play Eminem.
1:19AM Papa Roach - ...To Be Loved See 11:22AM.
1:12AM The Tragically Hip - Courage It couldn't come at a worse time, I was asleep!
1:07AM Audioslave - Original Fire Speaking of hit machines, this band pumps em out like pez.
1:01AM 30 Seconds To Mars - The Kill (Bury Me) See 11:34AM and 8:12AM and 4:29AM.
12:55AM Metallica - The Unforgiven Remember when CFNY wouldn't play this band. Times have changed.
12:51AM Mobile - See Right Through Me Ok, they get points for being Canadian.
12:44AM Three Days Grace - Animal I Have Become I prefer the new single.
12:40AM Radiohead - Karma Police 90s gold!
12:33AM Sloan - Who Taught You How To Live Like That See 11:20AM, 9:55AM and 7:01AM.
12:30AM Killers - When You Were Young See 11:03AM, 7:47AM and 4:03AM
12:24AM U2 - One This is the newest U2 song of the twelve hours.
12:20AM Arctic Monkeys - Fake Tales Of San Francisco See 9:32AM.

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Mickey Hargitay, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumMickey Hargitay was 80. He was the actor and world champion bodybuilder who was married to 1950s sex siren Jayne Mansfield and whose daughter is Emmy-winning actress Mariska Hargitay.

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Final Fantasy Wins Inaugural Polaris Music Prize

musicI mentioned The Polaris Music Prize back in July. Last night, it awarded $20,000 for the best Canadian album released between June 1, 2005, and May 31, 2006, regardless of genre. The nominees included many of my favourite albums of the past year, including efforts from Broken Social Scene, Metric, The New Pornographers, Sarah Harmer and Wolf Parade. The winner might surprise you.

Electronic act Final Fantasy took home the prize for the wonderfully titled He Poos Clouds. Final Fantasy is violinist and singer Owen Pallett from Milton, Ontario. I'm ashamed to admit I've never heard his work, but now I'm hunting it down. Does anyone have any Final Fantasy they care to share?

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The MySpace Beast

webI've ranted about MySpace before. I hate MySpace and I'll never have a page there, but I can't deny the power MySpace beholds. If you ignore MySpace, you're doomed to fail. The MySpace beast cannot be denied.

Toronto city councillor Frances Nunziata has unveiled her new MySpace page which will act as her official campaign web page for November's municipal election. She'll save money on design and hosting, but I don't think thirteen and fourteen year olds can vote. Besides, are 55 year olds even allowed to have a MySpace page? I mean, legally?

Meanwhile, MySpace will offer a special sneek preview screening of "Borat," the new comedy from Sacha Baron Cohen. MySpace users will actually get to see this flick before it hits theatres. Again, you can't deny this MySpace beast. From the TIFF to MySpace, Borat is movin' and shakin'.

It's butt ugly and aimed entire at the young and dumb, but MySpace is a force to be reckoned with. Sigh.

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Link: Free Movies Fallen out of Copyright (Public Domain)

LinkFree Movies Fallen out of Copyright - This is a neat little collection of films that have entered the public domain. That means the copyright or patent restrictions have expired and we can do whatever we want with them.

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Floyd Curry, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumFloyd Curry was 81. He was a four-time Stanley Cup champion with the Montreal Canadiens who scored 105 goals and 204 points in 601 NHL games.

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And So It Begins...

leafsThe Buffalo Sabres are in town to take on our beloved Toronto Maple Leafs in our first pre-season game of the 2006-2007 NHL season. Those with LeafsTV, like me, will be watching tonight.

I'm still curious as to who will score on this team. There's Mats Sundin, who we know can score, and joining him up front is Darcy Tucker who sometimes has a nose for the net and Jeff O'Neill who once had a nose for the net. Otherwise, there's a whole lotta youth and the hopes that Alexei Ponikarovsky continues to advance. The bulk of the goals will likely come from the blueline. Look for Bryan McCabe, Thomas Kaberle and Pavel Kubina to rack up the points.

Assuming we can find someone to score, will Andrew Raycroft remember how to stop the puck? Who's the muscle on this team now that Tie Domi has left the building? Do you still need an intimidating presence like that in the new NHL? Why is Nik Antropov still around? What's the point of keeping three goalies when Justin Pogge is your main Marlie?

The answers to these questions and more begin unravelling tonight. Go Leafs Go!

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Link: Tim Horton's Locator

LinkTim Horton's Locator - Powered by Google Maps, this is a handy little tool for tracking down the nearest Tim Hortons. My mom will love this.

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Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

notepadBuffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. No that sentence has nothing to do with the Bills, and yes, it is a grammatically correct sentence. Buffalo is a word with a few different meanings. You have the city, you have the animal and you have the act of confusing, deceiving or intimidating. Throw 'em all together and "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo." is a valid sentence.

For similar sentences and a parsing of this one, check out good ol' Wikipedia.

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Hockey: A People's History

hockeyTonight we get episodes one and two of "Hockey: A People's History" on CBC. As a serious and commited puckhead, I've been looking quite forward to this. They're airing two episodes every Sunday night on CBC and repeating them Monday nights on Newsworld. Here's the full broadcast schedule and below is a description from the official site.

From the simple block of wood that served as a puck at the first organized game of ice hockey, to the fascinating story of the pioneering women's professional league that sold out arenas during the Great War, to the gold-medal glory of the 2002 Olympic Games, Hockey: A People's History is an epic CBC production that brings alive the roots of a game that has shaped a nation.

Produced in 2006, Hockey: A People's History traces the history of the game over ten episodes. Featuring stunning re-enactments, rarely seen footage, and the words of the pioneers of the game, the series reveals a tale of hockey’s inventors, innovators and empire builders. More than just the story of a sport, it is a story of a people, serving as a unique lens through which one can view Canada’s social history. Witness the coming of age of a nation, and the remarkable journey of a sport that has woven itself into our cultural language and fabric.

CBC, you had me at hello.

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"Half the game is mental; the other half is being mental."
      - Jim McKenny

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Humble Howard's Blog

mouseOk, the baton has been passed. Humble Howard, long time local morning radio personality, now has his own blog. I installed and configured Movable Type, designed his templates and gave him one last push.

I don't know how much he'll share in his blog or if he'll just use it to let fans know what he's up to and where he can be found next but I do know that when he returns from a weekend trip up north he'll have blogging instructions even a monkey could follow. Yes, I tested them on an actual monkey.

Also, while we're discussing Humble, I've finally added a new Humble Howard category for all the Humble Howard fans stalking this entry.

Now who wants a Humble and Fred reunion? Me too...

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"You know me, Marge: I like my beer cold, my TV loud, and my homosexuals flaming."

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite quotes from The Royal Tenenbaums

  1. "Well, everyone knows Custer died at Little Bighorn. What this book presupposes is... maybe he didn't." - Eli
  2. "You wanna talk some jive? I'll talk some jive. I'll talk some jive like you've never heard!" - Royal
  3. "Anybody interested in grabbing a couple of burgers and hittin' the cemetery?" - Royal
  4. "He got the cancer." - Pagoda
  5. "I'm very sorry for your loss. Your mother was a terribly attractive woman." - Royal

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When Parkdale-High Park Went Orange, An Analysis

voteCheri DiNovo, the NDP candidate in yesterday's provinicial by-election in Parkdale-High Park, will replace Gerard Kennedy as our Member of Provincial Parliament. She beat Liberal candidate Sylvia Watson by more than two thousand votes. For the second time in less than a year, this riding which previously overwhelmingly supported the Liberal candidates both federally and provincially, has gone orange.

Before we look at the numbers, you might want to catch up on what you've missed with regards to this nasty little by-election. Hit the following for more information.

Since they realigned the provincial electoral districts to match the federal borders, Parkdale-High Park voted Liberal candidate Gerard Kennedy to power twice. Last time out, in 2003, he received 57.8% of the vote and won by over 16000 votes. It wasn't even close. The Liberal Party dropped from 57.8% of the vote and an overwhelming victory to 33% of the vote and a defeat to the NDP in less than three years.

The same trend can be seen federally. In 2004, Liberal candidate Sarmite Bulte won her third consecutive term as Member of Parliament for Parkdale-High Park. Earlier this year, she too lost to NDP candidate Peggy Nash by more than two thousand votes. The two elections, only nine months apart, are a near exact mirror of one another.

For more on January's federal election, check out these entries.

Did Parkdale-High Park turn orange or did they reject red? As a voter in the riding, in both instances I supported the NDP candidate because I was dismayed by the Liberal candidate. With Sarmite Bulte there was her conflict of interest with regards to our copyright law. With Sylvia Watson, there was the relentless assualt on Cheri DiNovo's character based on sermons she delivered to her congregation at Emmanuel Howard Park United Church. I suspect others in my riding felt the same internal pressure to vote some where else and none of us were willing to move to the right. The NDP reaped the benefits.

I'm glad the Radical Reverend survived the storm. I'm a proud supporter of both her and Peggy Nash. I think we look good in orange.

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The Polls Are Closed

voteThey're counting votes right now in Parkdale-High Park. The polls have been closed for half an hour and results should soon start coming in. This wasn't your typical by-election. The Liberal party sensed their powerful grip on my riding weakening and wiped some smear on the festivities. Things escalated with sensational press releases unfairly charging NDP candidate Cheri DiNovo with linking Karla Homolka with Jesus Christ. I'm telling you, it's been a thriller here in Parkdale-High Park.

Will the Liberals keep Gerard Kennedy's seat? Will DiNovo and the NDP follow in the footsteps of Peggy Nash and pull off the upset victory? Did Taryn and I back the right horse? All will be told tonight in what I predict will be a photo finish.

Anyone who tells you politics is boring doesn't know what they're talking about.

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Celeb Spotting In The T.Dot

binocularsI've bumped into a few celebrities over the past week. Tis the season, as they say. This list does not include celebrities making a scheduled appearance to promote their movies at the film festival, these are people I came upon by pure happenstance.

  • John Waters
  • William H. Macy
  • Daniel Alfredsson

Waters was a particularly cool cat, just walking along Bloor near Avenue Road by his lonesome with an extra large coffee in his hand. I wanted to thank him for providing one of the best guest voice appearances in Simpsons history. Conversely, I wanted to kick Alfredsson in the shins.

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Kimveer Gill's Page At VampireFreaks.com

gunHere's the Google cache of Kimveer Gill's profile page at VampireFreaks.com. Gill wore a black trench coat when he opened fire on students at Montreal's Dawson College yesterday. Two are dead and nineteen are wounded, six critically.

Going by the name fatality666, Gill's web page is quite revealing. When answering the question how he'd like to die, he writes "Like Romeo and Juliet -or- In a hail of gunfire". His journal, a blog of sorts, was updated as recently as yesterday morning at 10:41am. "Whiskey in the morning, mmmmmm, mmmmmmmmm, good !! :)" gives little indication of what was to come two hours later. Clearly, he was disturbed and in a dark place. Littered throughout are references to Satanism, him being an Angel of Destruction, Adolf Hitler, guns and death. He's clearly disturbed.

Yesterday night and this morning I heard many opinions and suggestions as to what we have to do to prevent school killings like this. Some want to arm school security guards with guns, some want to have everyone pass a metal detector, others want to lock everything down and take away basic freedoms we all take for granted. Everyone is an expert and almost everyone wants action taken and wants it now. I see it differently. I don't think you can prevent someone with a desire to do something like this from doing it. If Kimveer Gill decided he was going to go on a shooting rampage, blood was going to be shed. It's difficult to acknowledge this lack of control, but it's the sad reality. Fortunately, such incidents are very few and far between.

His VampireFreaks.com profile tells us he thought about death, was depressed and thought highly of evil. In hindsight, is it so shocking he followed through on his threats? The larger question here is what made Gill this way? What in Gill's life history created such a persona? Instead of arming school security guards with guns, let's reach out to clearly troubled youth before harmless threats in a website profile turns into something far more real.

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Weekly MP3: A Little Time

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

The Beautiful South - A Little Time
I've always liked this sweet tune from The Beautiful South. It's nothing fancy, just a pretty little tune that recently made its way onto my iRiver.

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Derailed

A Movie ReelDerailed: 6 out of 10.

"Derailed" is your prototypical twisty thriller and it's not terrible. It's not great either, but Clive Owen is compelling enough to earn it a passing grade.

I think Clive Owen should be in every movie. I didn't take notice of the guy until "Closer", and now I'm convinced he's the new Cary Grant. As an added bonus, he once had a role in "Boon", my favourite series I've never seen.

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12 Hours Of Edge Revisited

radioYesterday I discovered the last 12 hours of edge music. I love this kind of info and I love the possibilities such a page presents. I'm already monitoring song repetition, noting classics that still get airplay and realizing how much Nickleback CFNY Edge 102.1 plays in a twelve hour period.

I quickly realized that not every song played was getting written to this page. Yesterday afternoon I heard Liam's acoustic version of Wonderwall but never saw it recorded on the web. I wrote Alan Cross, Program Director at The Edge, and asked him why some songs seem exempt. Here's what he had to say about it.

Congrats! You're the first person to email me about this brand new feature! Glad you like it.

The reason the live "Wonderwall" wasn't picked up is because this software is driven by an external song recognition system owned by a company called BDS. We've never given them the acoustic signature for this recording. Therefore, their machines can't detect it.

What this means is we won't get a record of the true rarities, the songs that don't appear on an album or single. That's unfortunate because these are precisely the songs I'm interested in reading about. This live version of Wonderwall is the perfect example. People will hear it and wonder who sings it. Many will Google it and decide it's Ryan Adams. These people will be wrong. Misinformation will spread throughout cyber space and our virtual society will be ruined!

I still love this feature. It's the only page on 102.1's entire site worth visiting and it's worth a visit every twelve hours.

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DiNovo's Wrestling Match With Sin

ontarioPete's comment on this entry about political smearing in my Parkdale-High Park riding got me reading NDP MPP candidate Cheri DiNovo's sermon from October 2, 2005. Pete's comment was "Well I think she's screwed now after saying Karla Homolka is being treated by the media as Jesus was by the Jews when being persecuted. She should know better in a Polish (mostly Catholic) area. She just shot herself in the foot for good. Race is over!". I had to read for myself how Karla Homolka was being linked to Jesus Christ. Here's the controversial sermon from the Radical Reverend in its entirety.

'Love the Sinner Hate the Sin' is Not Christian

Reverend Dr Cheri DiNovo

I think, more than any other topic, the word 'sin' conjures up about two thousand years of really bad preaching and really poor theology. So I'm going to wrestle with 'Sin' today.

Martin Luther once said, "Though we commit adultery a hundred times a day and as many murders, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus." He also said something else, bad boy of theology that he was, "Sin boldly and love Christ more boldly still."

Did you know that the saying, "Love the sinner, hate the sin" has absolutely nothing to do with our faith? It is not to be found anywhere in the Bible. It was said by Mahatma Gandhi on one of his not so good days and it has been used to beat people up. It has been used to do violence to people ever since. Something Gandhi would never ever have wished. When I was sparring with the person who helped organize the rally against same sex marriage at Queen's Park a couple of weeks past, I heard those lines from his mouth. So that's why I thought we should talk about them. He said we should hate the sin, meaning in this case, homosexuality, but we should love the sinner.

Now in the Bible there's no place for that kind of noise. In the Bible there is no separation ever between the sinner and the sin. You can't separate them out. When I heard this gospel passage from Jesus I remembered that when I first heard it, I heard it this way and your probably did to. Jesus saying the Pharisees, they're okay, they don't need me, they've already got their act together. The sinners, the poor ones, the sick ones, that's who I'm really here to help.

That is not what it says! And that is certainly not what he meant. What Jesus is saying in that passage is that those Pharisees, the ones who think they are righteous, don't have a clue. They will never be able to 'see' me or experience my ministry. Only the ones who know they are sinners will be the faithful ones, will be the ones able to experience my ministry, experience the divine in their lives. Only they will get it! Why would he say something like that? If you already know everything you can't learn 'nothing'. If you know that you know nothing, you can potentially, learn everything.

What does 'sin' mean biblically? It doesn't mean 'bad'. It doesn't mean 'bad things'. Sin means, and there are two main words for it, a Hebraic word for it, 'chatta't' and there's a Greek word, 'hamartia'. Hamartia and chatta't mean, approximately, separation from God. Hamartia is an archery word. It means that you let the arrow go and you miss the mark. The arrow goes astray. Somehow all of us have taken a wrong turn, a wrong path. We've taken a wrong road. We've turned our gaze from the divine, the source of all love and become embroiled in all sorts of other 'stuff'. That's sin.

The opposite of sin is not purity or goodness. The opposite of sin is faithfulness. When we turn toward the divine we are saved. Now, you heard Paul talking about the 'Law' and he talks about the law throughout his writing, the law of course we know as the Ten Commandments, the law of Moses, the law of the Torah. What are the Ten Commandments about? They're about this, a checklist for everything we all commit every day of our lives. That's what they point out to us. The Ten Commandments are a way of saying from God to us, "Everyday you practice violence in your heart. Everyday you commit adultery or lust. Everyday you have idols before me etc. Everyday all of you do all of these things." And it's only in turning to God and God's giving of God's self in Christ that all of that is taken away from us. We'll never be able to do it on our own. We can't even attempt it. We can't even walk the first step along that path without the assistance of the divine. Luckily we have the divine with-in and with-out us. Luckily if we turn we can walk that right path but we can never, never take credit for it. We can only ever give credit to Christ. This is all very Pauline.

Another quote that I like is from H. G. Wells. He said, "Moral indignation is just jealousy with a halo around it." And you know , most of the Christian world is engaged in moral indignation most of their days. So we're going to vow to stop that moral indignation, that jealousy with a halo around it. We're going to vow to do what Christ called us to do, which is to love our neighbour as ourselves and to never, ever, ever, judge them. So that saying, "Love the sinner, hate the sin" has no place in any Christian theology ever.

Now I don't know about you but I am absolutely appalled by what I see in our newspapers lately so I'm going to rant about it for a moment. Every day we are subject to what I consider a kind of sadistic pornography. Now I know it sells papers but every day we pick up the Star or the National Post or the Globe and we see the picture of Karla Homolka on the front cover. I can only imagine what this does to the families of the victims. I know what it does to me. Here's what it does to me, trying to follow Christ. What it does is detract from the news on the 8th page in much smaller type and smaller headlines that says things like '800 People Have Died Since the Iraqi Elections' It detracts from headlines on page six that talks about what's happening in Cuba at the American detention camp in all of our names. It detracts from the news on the fourth page about the horrors of what we have done to our Islamic brothers and sisters. That's what it does and it allows us to create a scapegoat, remember Jesus was a scapegoat, and just pour all our hatred and frustration on this one woman. How sick is that? What it prevents us from doing mostly is to look in the mirror at our own sinfulness/separateness from God and do something about that.

I did a wedding a couple of weeks back and one of the musicians sat down and told me that a sex offender had just been released from prison and was going to take up residence on her street and she was saying, "I've got a twelve year old daughter." And I said to her, "You know that sex offender is probably the least likely person in all of Canada to do anything to your daughter." Karla is the least likely person in all of the world right about now, to do anything to anyone. She going to be dogged by paparazzi everywhere she goes. She's going to be hunted like a wounded animal. It's going to be sick. She's not going to be going anywhere and doin' nothin'. Who is, meanwhile? The people most likely to abuse children are in the children's own house, relatives, stepfathers, people they know. The second most likely people to abuse children or to hurt someone are people in positions of respect, that's right, doctors, priests, ministers, lawyers, people that families turn to and trust. Isn't it weird that we focus on this one woman's image and we forget all about that?

"Judge not" said Jesus. He also said, "Blessed are the peacemakers." He also said "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and soul." And he also said, "Love your enemies." "Love your enemies." What does that look like? It looks like this, "Love your enemies." The greatest enemy is the one we look at every day in the mirror every morning when we attempt for one more day to turn our gaze from the ways of the world to a different kind of world, a different kind of being, a different kind of spirituality and a different kind of Christianity and that's a Christianity that follows Jesus Christ. Not the Christianity that you hear about from pulpits that preach, "Hate the sin and love the sinner." But the kind of Christianity that says, "I came for the sinner and you're all sinners." The kind of Christianity that says, "We're the greatest sinners of all." The kind of Christianity that says, "I will never cease to be human but I can look toward God." The kind of Christianity that advises us to "Love our enemy" and "Judge not."

It brings to mind one of my favourite Mahatma Gandhi quotes, a saying that should be headlined in every paper, every day and that is, "An eye for an eye just makes the whole world blind."

Amen.

Those with political motivation can easily isolate shocking parts of this sermon and present them out of context. I've read it three times and I don't find it minimizes Homolka's accountability or presents her in any way as Christ-like. The controversial linkage comes as she warns us of scapegoating and follows that up by reminding us that Jesus was also a scapegoat. It never gets any stronger than that.

When the polls close on Thursday, I fear Pete might be right. The average voter may be scared red by the mere mention of Homolka and Jesus in the same paragraph. The average voter will read the Liberal Party headline that DiNovo "compares the media's treatment of Karla Homolka to the persecution of Jesus Christ" without reading the complete sermon. The average voter might play it safe. That's too bad.

At Emmanuel Howard Park United Church, DiNovo delivers some radical sermons. She's on the edge, reaching out, preaching from the heart. Isolating certain phrases from these sermons and using them politically is unethical and unfair. Hearing a politician who doesn't sanitize everything in ambiguity is as refreshing as a cold shower on a hot summers night. She still has my vote. In fact, for the first time in the eleven years I've known her, my wife is strongly considering giving her vote to a party other than the Liberals. That alone is a miracle.

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The Terry Fox Run

moneyThe Terry Fox Run is fast approaching. I've always regarded Terry Fox as the greatest Canadian. His Marathon of Hope affected me deeply in 1980 and he continues to inspire me to this day.

I'm not running this year (I'm planning to run in 2007), but a good friend is. If you can, go here to sponsor Mike Kic's run on September 17.

Good luck, Mike!

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Link: the last 12 hours of edge music

Linkthe last 12 hours of edge music - I've been waiting for this feature to return to the 102.1 web site. They used to have a module on the front page that told you the song currently being played but this feature disappeared for some reason. This new page lists the songs played and the time they were played over the past 12 hours. CFNY fans will get a kick out of this.

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Top Ten Search Strings

googleJust for the heck of it, here are the top Google searches that referred people to this site since I changed hosts earlier this month.

  1. humble howard
  2. concert tickets
  3. bill barilko
  4. humble and fred
  5. concert ticket
  6. stewie
  7. big shiny tunes 6
  8. big shiny tunes 8
  9. big shiny 90's
  10. pearl jam

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Link: 911 Anniversary on Google Video

Link911 Anniversary on Google Video - It still gives me chills.

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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. What Are My Lies - Green Day
  2. Look Into My Eyes - Scarface
  3. Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel
  4. Only In Dreams - Weezer
  5. Almost Over - Limp Bizkit
  6. All My Love - Led Zeppelin
  7. You Sure Can't Do - Buddy Guy
  8. Raindrop - Tripping Daisy
  9. Inside Job - Pearl Jam
  10. Guitar Town - Steve Earle

Led Zeppelin's "All My Love" is ruined for me. When I hear it, I think to myself "it's the Popeye song" and break into the revised lyrics. "Olive, my love, Olive, my love."

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The Constant Gardener

A Movie ReelThe Constant Gardener: 7.5 out of 10.

"The Constant Gardener" is good stuff. Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes are awesome in this political thriller based on the John le Carre novel. It's a little depressing, but one hell of a ride.

Weisz deserved her Oscar. Fiennes deserved consideration as well.

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Five Years Removed

wtcMy generation wasn't alive for Pearl Harbour, the Bay of Pigs invasion or the assination of JFK. We have no memories of Viet Nam or Watergate. We were too young to appreciate the social impact of the murder of John Lennon and the lingering Cold War. Five years ago today, however, we were witness to a catastrophic event we will never forget.

We're five years removed from 9/11. I previously revisited that fateful day in this 9/11 entry from February 2003, this recollection on the third year anniversary in 2004 and this observation about the nature of time.

I'll never forget the fear I felt that day. We didn't know what would happen next, when to expect the next strike or whether life would ever return to a semblance of normal. I'm happy to report that life has returned to a semblance of normalcy. As I've stated before, you can't kill spirit and you can't destroy hope. We're living proof of these facts.

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18 and Life

homerHoly shit, will I really be settling in tonight to watch my eighteenth season premiere of "The Simpsons". Can that be possible? Let's see... 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. Yep, that's 18. Holy shit.

I've written buckets on "The Simpsons". Suffice it to say that this series stopped being a mere television show to me long, long ago. The memories it's pummelled into me, the lessons it's taught me, the chunk of my personal history it's permeated, "The Simpsons" is my show. I remember being shocked by how good season one was, I remember being flabbergasted when it got better in season two, improved in season three and reached its lofty pinnacle in season four. To this day I compare bits of my day to day life to incidents from Springfield and wonder what Homer would do in a particular situation. He is wise.

Tonight, Joe Pantoliano and Michael Imperioli of "The Sopranos" guest voice as two of Fat Tony's goons. I'll watch it live and I'll enjoy it. Once I learned to stop comparing new episodes to the glory days I found my inner yellow glow of peace. I'm looking forward to season eighteen, my friends have been missed.

Here's hoping for another eighteen and one helluva good movie.

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The Hip Reconciliation

tragicallyhipI saw the Stereophonics at Edgefest back in 2003 when we were supposedly saying goodbye to Molson Park. In that entry I noted that The Stereophonics used to be called Tragic Love Company, partly because of their fondness for our very own Tragically Hip, one of their favourite bands. The Hip, it seems, played a role in the band member's recent recociliation.

This article explains that ex-Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable and lead singer Kelly Jones have reconciled after not speaking for three years. The reconciliation took place over friendly pints of Guinness in a London pub, but that's only after they bumped into each other at a Tragically Hip show. In Cable's words:

We went to watch a band called The Tragically Hip and just had a bit of a chat and drink and got a few things off our chests. He was standing behind me in the toilets and I turned around and saw him and made a silly comment about something he was wearing and he made a silly comment and that was just it.

Everything seems to be OK. We've texted each other a few times since. I wouldn't say we're back to where we were - friends like before. There's a lot of water under the bridge but I apologised for a few things and he apologised for a few things. I think he's mellowed with age and being a father.

Time heals all these things.

Cable and Jones owe Gord and the boys a pint or two.

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Haircut Frequency Analysis

scissorsMy last eight haircuts have synched up with my son's last eight haircuts. I took him to get his first professional cut back in March 2005 and I had my hair cut that day to kill two birds with one stone. We've been killing birds that way ever since.

I've taken a photo of James following all eight haircuts so I took one yesterday after #8. By reviewing the metadata from these image files, I know the exact date I've had a haircut over this period. For fun, I thought I'd crunch the numbers and see how frequently I get my mop top trimmed. Here are the dates and number of days between cuts in parenthesis.

  • #8 - September 9, 2006 (77 days)
  • #7 - June 24, 2006 (69 days)
  • #6 - April 16, 2006 (87 days)
  • #5 - January 19, 2006 (78 days)
  • #4 - November 2, 2005 (74 days)
  • #3 - August 20, 2005 (77 days)
  • #2 - June 4, 2005 (83 days)
  • #1 - March 13, 2005

On average, I've gone 77.8 days between haircuts. Because we're in sync, James can claim the same. I know people who get a trim every two weeks. Clearly, that's not my preference. I like to get it cut nice and short and let it bloom for a couple of months until it's time to reign it in again.

I should be due again in late November.

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A Good Year

moviesA Good Year: 7 out of 10.

I spent yesterday evening attending the opening gala of the new Sir Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe film, "A Good Year". The world premiere was held at Roy Thomson Hall as part of the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and I was lucky enough to be seated in the fourth row, completely center. My passes promised a 6:30 show time, but a certain Oscar winning Australian was running late which held things up considerably.

After a brief introduction, Ridley Scott stepped to the podium to speak about the film. He spoke about his vinyard in Provence and his friendship with Peter Mayle who wrote the book. He was well spoken and witty and upon concluding his speech he introduced us to Mayle who assumed the podium. Mayle was also quite witty, dropping the hit line of the introductions. He praised the film for not relying on special effects, violence, dismemberings and other staples of 21st century cinema. It was essentially a slag on Gladiator, the previous Ridley Scott - Russell Crowe project which was rather successful. Following Mayle, Scott introduced a number of the stars of the film who were in attendance. One, of course, was Russell Crowe.

We were warned not to take photos but at the front of the stage there was a swarm of media photographers and videographers, so I whipped out my Olympus and snapped this shot. Yeah, it sucks, but it's the best I got. Hover your mouse of the picture to learn who is who.

The movie was quite likable, although a little predictable and convenient. Although not Best Picture-worthy, it wasn't without its charm. Crowe was quite good as an Englishman who rediscovers happiness when he revisits his uncle's Provencal vinyard. There were laughs and tender moments, both complemented by a visual feast. It's two hours of beauty, and I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday night.

I haven't read a critical review of this film yet, but I suspect they'll spin off the title and label it good, but not great. That's a fair assessment, but at this gala with stars about, a buzz in the air and a cocktail reception awaiting us at Monsoon, it was a far better than good night. It was magic.

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"Most of us do not consciously look at movies."
      - Roger Ebert

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Cars

A Movie ReelCars: 7 out of 10.

"Cars" was released in early June, but I only got around to taking James to see it this afternoon. Half decent movies you can take your four year old to are few and far between. Thank goodness for Pixar.

I was entertained, and that's all I ask. It wasn't as good as "The Incredibles" or "Finding Nemo", but it was quality stuff with amazing animation and a neat story ripped from "Doc Hollywood". Perhaps as an homage to this fact, a great character voiced by Paul Newman was given the name Doc.

If you're keeping score at home, Pixar is now seven for seven. We'll see how "Ratatouille" does next summer.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"I didn't need that fact... now I forgot who won Bud Bowl 8."

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The Wrath of Pope Benny

crossPope Benedict XVI is pissed at us. With seven Ontario bishops in attendance, Pope Benny let them know Canadian laws supporting same-sex marriage and abortion has excluded "God from the public sphere". He's also pissed at Catholic politicians here in Canada who are apparently ignoring the values of their religion, yielding to "ephemeral social trends and the spurious demands of opinion polls."

On a more positive note, Pope Benny admits we're a tolerent, freedom loving country. “In the name of tolerance your country has had to endure the folly of the redefinition of spouse, and in the name of freedom of choice it is confronted with the daily destruction of unborn children,” he said.

It's more of the same old, same old, and hardly newsworthy. Pope Benny wants control of our legislature so he can push his intolerent agenda while taking away rightful freedoms from many Canadian citizens. Here's hoping Bill C-38 holds up during a free vote in Parliament this fall. Then, Pope Benny can stick both our tolerance and freedom in his pipe and smoke 'em both.

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Frosh Week

uoftToday is the last day of Frosh week at U of T. I just watched the parade shut down traffic along Bloor. I took some photos I'll share tonight.

During my first year of university at the University of Toronto, I made a point to skip Frosh week entirely. I went out of my way to miss the entire event. I didn't participate in the scavenger hunt, I didn't attend movie night and I didn't join in the parade. It wasn't my bag.

Looking back, I wonder if things would have been different had it been my bag or had I made it my bag. What if I was social? What if I participated in school events? What if I cared about such things?

Imagine all the downtown drivers I could have pissed off!

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy essential apps

  1. Firefox
  2. Gaim
  3. FileZilla
  4. Photoshop
  5. Notepad

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Link: Online Alarm Clock

LinkOnline Alarm Clock - I'm not sure I'd actually need such a thing, but it's nice knowing it's out there if I do. It even works.

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Political Smear in Parkdale High Park

ontarioI mentioned that we in the Parkdale - High Park riding are going to the polls this month in a provincial by-election to replace Gerard Kennedy as MPP. Signs, signs, everywhere there're signs. Now we have a little smear campaign against NDP candidate Cheri DiNovo to make things a little more interesting.

I only heard about it last night during the CBC radio newscast but a little digging this morning points to this entry and this entry as sparkplugs. These entries reference a VisionTV bio that states DiNovo "embraces street people, addicts and the impoverished into the church because she believes they call her congregation back to the essence of Christianity" and this juicy quote from one of her sermons: "I think I did a really good job and I spoke for quite awhile and I said, "Okay, your turn, questions?" There was this silence and then one kid put his hand up and asked, "What drugs did you sell?" And I answered, "LSD that I imported in hollowed out Bibles (the first introduction I had to the Bible) and back then it was the good stuff, not the kind of crap you kids do." That happened this week."

Cheri DiNovo is intriguing the say the least, and she's the candidate that first captured my attention when the election date was announced. A nice little fact check reminds us that she's quite accomplished and definitely worthy of consideration. When taken out of context, these quotes can be shocking to some, and that's the point. This riding voted NDP in the recent Federal election and clearly the Liberal candidate is getting a run for her money this time around. A little shock in the final week might just be enough to scare the weary back to the comfort of Dalton's big red machine.

It doesn't work for this voter, however. Now I'm really starting to dig the radical reverend. The fact she openly speaks about selling LSD in hallowed out Bibles is refreshing. She's admitted her mistakes, turned her life around and is now giving back to her community full throttle. Politics could use a few more Cheri DiNovos.

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A Look Back At 30 Charles Street West

houseI'm going to let you in on a little secret. If you're a student at the University of Toronto, there's a way to save a bundle on rent. There's only one catch. You have to be married.

In 1996 I was married and therefore qualified for subsidized housing through the university. We had to apply, prove we were wed and in very little time we were offered a bachelor apartment at 30 Charles Street West, just a little south of Bloor at Yonge. It was a great location and we were only paying $417 a month. Even a couple of poor students with crappy part time jobs could afford $417 a month.

I'll never forget my first place. Here's a couple of pictures of the exterior. We were steps from class, seconds from Yonge Street, right next to the Uptown theatre and there was no cheaper rent in town. It was awesome.

The rent was so good, it's probably worth getting married to save the coin. At least, that was the plan. Shhhhh...

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Weekly MP3: Hallelujah

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.

Gordon Downie - Hallelujah
This is the famous Gord Downie version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah from the movie "Saint Ralph". Read all about it then enjoy.

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Top 25 Simpsons Guest Appearances

homerIGN.com has come up with a list of the top 25 guest appearances in the seventeen year history of "The Simpsons". I've often contemplated writing such a list, but IGN.com beat me to the punch. Here's their top 25.

#25: Glenn Close
#24: Aerosmith
#23: The Hullapalooza Performers
#22: Tito Puente
#21: James Taylor
#20: The Cast of Cheers
#19: Mel Gibson
#18: Spinal Tap
#17: The Pro Baseball Players in "Homer at the Bat"
#16: Stephen Hawking
#15: The Ramones
#14: Johnny Cash
#13: Elizabeth Taylor
#12: Ron Howard
#11: Leonard Nimoy
#10: The Beatles
#9: John Waters
#8: Jon Lovitz
#7: James Earl Jones
#6: Winona Ryder
#5: Michael Jackson
#4: The Krusty Comeback Performers
#3: Dustin Hoffman
#2: Mark Hamill
#1: Albert Brooks

I would actually disqualify Albert Brooks and Jon Lovitz from my list because they've played so many memorable characters. I'd also disqualify the late great Phil Hartman because he was essentially a regular cast member. With those three off the market, here's my top five.

  1. Dustin Hoffman
  2. Johnny Cash
  3. George Harrison
  4. Leonard Nimoy
  5. Michael Jackson

As far as purely musical cameos are concerned, Aerosmith, The Ramones and James Taylor were probably my favourites. Who were your favourites?

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Toronto International Film Festival

moviesThe TIFF vs. Cannes: which is the premiere film festival in the galaxy? According to Wikipedia, the Toronto International Film Festival has the bigger attendance figures and Roger Ebert himself says "Toronto is more useful and more important". If we're not #1 we're a close #2 and we're definitely the top dog in North America.

This Saturday I'll be at Roy Thompson Hall for the Opening Gala for the new Russell Crowe - Ridley Scott film. It's called "A Good Year" and you can see the trailer here. As I shmooze with Russell and the gang I'll be taking notes and revealing all here so stay tuned.

Screw Cannes.

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Star P.M., A Test Drive

newspaperThe Toronto Star introduced Star P.M. today. To quote the Star P.M. page, it's "a free, downloadable afternoon daily newspaper in PDF format". At 4:27pm I received an email from the Star letting me know today's issue was ready for downloading. I decided to give Star P.M. a test drive.

The complete edition was 12 pages, so I downloaded it, printed it and threw it in my bag for the subway ride home. I got on the subway at St. George and started to read. I learned five more soldiers were injured in Kandahar, it's going to be 23° tomorrow, Castro's lost a lot of weight and the Pens have signed Malkin. There was more, but a great deal was fluff about how Rosie bored on The View, large fast food combos aren't good for you and web surfing on the job costs employers. By Runnymede station I had read every word which was perfect because I was getting off at Jane.

All in all I liked it. A tidy 12 page wrap up of the days events. It's certainly not hard hitting news and it just skims the surface, but that's probably the point. It's a brief overview so you know what to dig into that night.

We'll see what tomorrow's Star P.M. brings.

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29 Days, 3 Hours, 48 Minutes, and 42 Seconds Left

leafsAccording to the official Toronto Mike countdown clock, there are only 29 days, 3 hours, 48 minutes, and 42 seconds left until the Toronto Maple Leafs regular season opener!

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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.

NFL Hall of Fame or PRO football Hall of Fame.That is the?

Sorry Dan Marino - Damon Allen has to be there.

Unbeleivable stats. He is still playing - fortunateley for the ARGOOOOOOOOOOS!! Many more yards to come Dan!!!!!!!

      dwr

You know my thoughts on the subject. If they want to rename it the NFL Hall of Fame, that's fine, but so long as it's the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Damon belongs.

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Damon Allen: Over the Moon

argosWith a shovel pass to Arland Bruce III at 5:02 of the third quarter, Damon Allen made football history. Bruce III's 29-yard touchdown run put Allen over Warren Moon's pro football record of 70,533 yards. Damon Allen is unquestionably the most prolific passer in professional football history.

As the most prolific passer in professional football history, one might assume he'd have a place in Canton, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It is, after all, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and not the NFL Hall of Fame. The top QB should be a shoe-in, but I'll bet he's slighted and never enshrined. Those who vote don't appreciate the CFL and regard it as a minor league system. Dan Marino is on the record as saying Allen shouldn't be considered because he played all his pro ball in Canada. It's a damn shame.

Hall of Fame worthy or not, Allen's accomplishment is remarkable and he couldn't have done it in a better uniform. It's 19-6 right now. There's nothing finer than whipping the Tiger-Cats on Labour Day. Argoooooooooos!

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In Defense of Carnies

cneIt just so happens that my shower radio is tuned to 102.1 and my morning showers last week coincided with a bit where the CFNY morning guys made fun of carnies working the Canadian National Exhibition. Throughout the CNE it's common for carnie jokes to resurface. I suspect carnies are the last sub culture it's still socially acceptable to belittle.

Because somebody's gotta do it, I'm coming to the defense of carnies. I feel just in doing so, having worked alongside these people for over sixty days spread across three years in the late 80s and early 90s. You can read about some of my experiences working the CNE.

In my experience, carnies are loyal, generous, salt of the earth people. As a collective, they would give you the shirt of their back if you asked and look out for one another without question. They may not be the most educated bunch, but they're typically sharp and resourceful. When you need a helping hand, there's no where better to turn. I'll never forget that 1990 August day.

I was scared. It was after midnight, we were locking up the booths and a larger, inebriated goon was there to kick my ass. If you want the deets as to how we got to this scenario, read the entry. In no mood to take a severe beating, I called upon the only people who I thought could help me. I turned to the CNE Conklin carnies.

They responded perfectly. I can see him pounding that pipe into his hand right now. Conklins saved my ass that day and I'm sure I'm not the only one with a story like this. Cut the carnies some slack. Find another sect to ridicule next time you need a Jerry Springer pick me up. You'll never meet a better class of people.

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Situation Stabilized, All Systems Go

constructionIt's been quite the week for this little site of mine. On Thursday, the company that was hosting this site suddenly realized I had blown past my bandwidth allotment for August. The thing is, I had exceeded my limit back on August 14. I just assumed it was a very soft cap and nobody was paying attention. On August 31, they locked down this site until I forked over more cash for a bigger plan. In my brilliance, I decided to leave the site down for the remainder of Thursday knowing that Friday wasn't just another day, but another month.

On Friday the site was back, but there was a sporadic outage. Something about the account being moved to a different server and DNS changes having to propagate. Of course, there was no warning.

On Saturday I awoke, had access to my site, and backed up the Movable Type database. I threw up Homer's Quote of the Week, as I do every Saturday morning, and noticed I was just about out of space on my hosting plan. I had a few MBs left. This was the weekend for Plan B. Then, I lost access to this site completely, as well as a few other sites I maintain on the same server. According to my real-time stats, people were visiting. A quick chat with my brother, my mom and a friend confirmed they could all see the site. For me, however, the connection timed out. I ran a tracert for the domain, saw it stall at the first stage and blamed my ISP for what I perceived to be a DNS or Routing issue. Three calls to Rogers later, a million trouble shooting checks and a reboot of the modem and I still couldn't access my own site. Everyone else could, only I was in the dark. Eventually I did something that would change my IP address and suddenly I was in like Flint. The company hosting my site blocked my IP address from accessing the server that was hosting sites I own and maintain. I immediately updated the DNS name servers for torontomike.com and kicked off plan B.

Plan B was essentially me moving this sucker over to my friend's server. The price was perfect. At my new home I installed and configured Movable Type, installed the database back up I had grabbed that morning and waited for DNS propagation. I went to bed Saturday night with the assumption all would be back to normal Sunday. I was wrong.

Sunday was pasta sauce canning day. We spent the entire day at my moms canning tomatoes. Check out the pics! Periodically, I'd check out the site to see if it was pointing at its new home. I was assured the transition would be seamless. Around 10am, torontomike.com began resolving at its new home, but the results weren't what I was expecting. The site couldn't be found. I threw my bud an email explaining what I had done and where we were at. I went to bed Sunday night still waiting for a reply.

Here we are on Labour Day Monday and all is well. My helpful friend missed a configuration step on his end, which explains yesterday's outage. I spent this morning getting the forms working again, installing the FlickrPhoto plugin, and rebuilding everything. All seems well.

If you're still with me, rest assured things have stabalized. Humble Howard fans will be happy to find http://www.torontomike.com/2006/07/humble_howard_are_you_okay.html back online, family will be happy to see I finally updated the pictures page, Simpsons fans can get their Homer quote fix and celebrity death watchers will be shocked to learn of The Crocodile Hunter's demise. Now I have an entry to write while the CNE is still open.

Six hours of uninterrupted up time. Sweet.

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Steve Irwin, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumSteve Irwin was 44. He was the hugely popular Australian television personality and conservationist known as the "Crocodile Hunter."

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"You can't spell "dishonorable" without "honorable"."

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Link: Cassette Generator

LinkCassette Generator - I totally dig this. It's like, so 80s. It takes me back.

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Charlie Wagner, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumCharlie Wagner was 93. He pitched for the Boston Red Sox during the 1930s and '40s and worked for the organization for 70 years.

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Glenn Ford, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumGlenn Ford was 90. He was the Canadian actor who starred in movies such as The Blackboard Jungle, Gilda and The Big Heat during a 53-year Hollywood career.

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509: Bandwidth Limit Exceeded

swearsAt some point early yesterday morning, the company that hosts this site realized I was way over my bandwidth limit. In a bold attempt to extract some more coin from me, they threw up a 509: Bandwidth Limit Exceeded error and took me down for the remainder of the month. Luckily, it was August 31st and I decided to ride it out for 20 or so hours.

Here's the problem. The traffic to this site is more than I anticipated, so something has to give or this sucker will be offline for the last half of September. Nobody wants that. So, I'm going to plan B, and I've got to get there fast.

Sorry for the outage. Welcome to September.

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