November 2006 Archives

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Fourth Blogiversary

birthdayIt was four years ago today. In the midst of a grunge resurgence of sorts, I decided it was time to ditch the old torontomike.com format in favour of a blog. Blogs were starting appear here and there during my daily surfing and I was hooked on the format. I liked to write about junk and a blog let me do just that.

Although I haven't made much money from blogging per se, the blog itself has led to a few paying gigs. More importantly, I've met some interesting people and had a few cool adventures simply because I'm Toronto Mike. I'm still buds with Custom who keeps me well supplied with the coolest tunes you've never heard and I've become very good friends with Humble who's taken me flying, hooked me up with Leafs tickets and gives me the real low-down on the world of radio I'm not allowed to write about. Most importantly, I've learnt a great deal about myself.

Although the majority of these 5000+ entries are about the Leafs or The Simpsons or The Hip or the hot topic of moment, a few are quite personal. Every once in a while I use this forum to dig deep and figure stuff out. There's my battle with Catholicism and a bunch of other emotional entries littered throughout. I can honestly say I feel better about things once I've written about them and discovered what I truly feel. Writing is my passion. You should see the blog entries I won't publish.

It's been a fun four years. Let's go for five.

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Block Party

A Movie ReelBlock Party: 7.5 out of 10.

I dug the whole vibe of this Dave Chappelle project. He's his typical funny self, the flow is charming and the musical performances are outstanding.

I'd probably laugh my ass off if Chappelle read the phone book for 90 minutes. Still, if you're looking for decent hip hop from today, this is a great introduction.

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Great Videos: Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos

tvRemember when rock went wussy in the late 80s before the grunge revolution saved the day? During that period of time, I discovered Public Enemy. My brothers will vouch for my love of this band. I listened to them every day, learnt every word to every song and prayed at their alter. It was heavier than heaven.

"Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos" was one of my favourite tracks from It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back and I loved this video. It was only played during Rap City, but it was worth the wait. Listen to Chuck D's words, listen to that beat, feel that anger. This was when Rap mattered.

Here are the other videos covered in this continuing series.

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Weekly MP3: Don't Look Back In Anger

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.

Oasis - Don't Look Back In Anger
During lunch today, I took a stroll along Bloor to the HMV near Yonge Street. Oasis' "Don't Look Back In Anger" was playing over the in-store speakers and I caught myself singing along.

If you're looking for proof that time flies, consider this nugget of truth. "Don't Look Back In Anger" was released over eleven years ago. That's crazy... I remember T and I digging this album back in our uni daze. Listen to this track today. It sounds better today than it did back then.

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Should We Can Talk About The Weather?

sunI understand it's pretty cold out west. According to the Weather Network, it currently feels like -13°C in Vancouver, -28°C in Calgary, -26°C in Edmonton and -29°C in Regina. Vancouver even has a nice snowfall warning in full effect.

Here in Toronto, it's 12°C. We're expected to hit 14°C before the end of the day. The same forecast awaits us tomorrow. It's sweet.

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Jewish For The Jokes?

exclamationpointTim Watley converted to Judaism for the jokes. Jerry knew it, we knew it and Watley knew it. Michael Richards seems to have tried to attempt the same Cosmo Kramer-esque scheme, only he got lazy about it and didn't seal the deal.

When it came to light last week that Richards shouted anti-Semitic remarks in an April standup comedy routine, his publicist called it role playing and mentioned that Richards is Jewish himself. Neither of Richards' parents are Jewish and Richards has never converted to Judaism, so how exactly is he Jewish?

Like Watley, Richards has labelled himself Jewish to somehow justify anti-Semitic comedy. At least Watley went all the way and converted. Richards simply made a lifestyle change. This too should offend Seinfeld. Not as a Jew, but as a comedian.

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Maple Leafs 1, Bruins 4

LeafsWhy can't we beat the Bruins? It probably has something to do with Tim Thomas who seems to save his best for us. Last night he made 45 saves, the little SOB.

The Leafs sure are scoring now that Mats Sundin is back. By my count, that's two goals in two games, and this one was a fluke off Antropov's skate that was initially called off.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
13-9-4
30 points
2nd in Northeast
4-1 Loss vs. Boston
3-1 Loss vs. Boston
7-1 Win vs. Washington
D. Tucker - 25
T. Kaberle - 24
B. McCabe - 23

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Telly's Gone

leafsMikael Tellqvist has been traded to the Phoenix Coyotes for Tyson Nash and a fourth-round draft pick.

I've already said farewell to Telly. I did it here and I did it here.

When it comes to netminders, three's a crowd. Besides, Nash is someone we really, really needed. You can never have enough fourth line agitators.

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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

A Movie ReelLemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events: 5 out of 10.

I found the entire ordeal to be one 108 minute bore. At times I thought Jim Carrey was mildly entertaining, but for the most part I just wished they had let Billy Connolly be funny.

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TV Land List of 100 Catchprases

tvApparently there's a network in the States called TV Land. I'm not sure if it's available here in Canada, but I am certain their list of the 100 greatest catchphrases in TV is. In fact, here's all one hundred for ya, in alphabetical order.

  • "Aaay" (Fonzie, "Happy Days")
  • "And that's the way it is" (Walter Cronkite, "CBS Evening News")
  • "Ask not what your country can do for you ..." (John F. Kennedy)
  • "Baby, you're the greatest" (Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, "The Honeymooners")
  • "Bam!" (Emeril Lagasse, "Emeril Live")
  • "Book 'em, Danno" (Steve McGarrett, "Hawaii Five-O")
  • "Come on down!" (Johnny Olson, "The Price is Right")
  • "Danger, Will Robinson" (Robot, "Lost in Space")
  • "De plane! De plane!" (Tattoo, "Fantasy Island")
  • "Denny Crane" (Denny Crane, "Boston Legal")
  • "Do you believe in miracles?" (Al Michaels, 1980 Winter Olympics)
  • "D'oh!" (Homer Simpson, "The Simpsons")
  • "Don't make me angry ..." (David Banner, "The Incredible Hulk")
  • "Dyn-o-mite" (J.J., "Good Times")
  • "Elizabeth, I'm coming!" (Fred Sanford, "Sanford and Son")
  • "Gee, Mrs. Cleaver ..." (Eddie Haskell, "Leave it to Beaver")
  • "God'll get you for that" (Maude, "Maude")
  • "Good grief" (Charlie Brown, "Peanuts" specials)
  • "Good night, and good luck" (Edward R. Murrow, "See It Now")
  • "Good night, John Boy" ("The Waltons")
  • "Have you no sense of decency?" (Joseph Welch to Sen. McCarthy)
  • "Heh heh" (Beavis and Butt-head, "Beavis and Butthead")
  • "Here it is, your moment of Zen" (Jon Stewart, "The Daily Show")
  • "Here's Johnny!" (Ed McMahon, "The Tonight Show")
  • "Hey now!" (Hank Kingsley, "The Larry Sanders Show")
  • "Hey hey hey!" (Dwayne Nelson, "What's Happening!!")
  • "Hey hey hey!" (Fat Albert, "Fat Albert")
  • "Holy (whatever), Batman!" (Robin, "Batman")
  • "Holy crap!" (Frank Barone, "Everybody Loves Raymond")
  • "Homey don't play that!" (Homey the Clown, "In Living Color")
  • "How sweet it is!" (Jackie Gleason, "The Jackie Gleason Show")
  • "How you doin'?" (Joey Tribbiani, "Friends")
  • "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" (Alka Seltzer ad)
  • "I know nothing!" (Sgt. Schultz, "Hogan's Heroes")
  • "I love it when a plan comes together" (Hannibal, "The A-Team")
  • "I want my MTV!" (MTV ad)
  • "I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl ..." (Larry, "Newhart")
  • "I'm not a crook ..." ( Richard Nixon)
  • "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV" (Vicks Formula 44 ad)
  • "I'm Rick James, bitch!" (Dave Chappelle as Rick James, "Chappelle's Show")
  • "Is that your final answer?" ( Regis Philbin, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire")
  • "It keeps going and going and going ..." (Energizer Batteries ad)
  • "It takes a licking ..." (Timex ad)
  • "Jane, you ignorant slut" ( Dan Aykroyd to Jane Curtin, "Saturday Night Live")
  • "Just one more thing ..." (Columbo, "Columbo")
  • "Let's be careful out there" (Sgt. Esterhaus, "Hill Street Blues")
  • "Let's get ready to rumble!" (Michael Buffer, various sports events)
  • "Live long and prosper" (Spock, "Star Trek")
  • "Makin' whoopie" (Bob Eubanks, "The Newlywed Game")
  • "Mom always liked you best" (Tommy Smothers, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour")
  • "Never assume ..." (Felix Unger, "The Odd Couple")
  • "Nip it!" (Barney Fife, "The Andy Griffith Show")
  • "No soup for you!" (The Soup Nazi, "Seinfeld")
  • "Norm!" ("Cheers")
  • "Now cut that out!" (Jack Benny, "The Jack Benny Program")
  • "Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!" (Stan and Kyle, "South Park")
  • "Oh, my nose!" (Marcia Brady, "The Brady Bunch")
  • "One small step for man ..." (Neil Armstrong)
  • "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?" (Grey Poupon ad)
  • "Read my lips: No new taxes!" (George H.W. Bush)
  • "Resistance is futile" (Picard as Borg, "Star Trek: The Next Generation")
  • "Say good night, Gracie" (George Burns, "The Burns & Allen Show")
  • "Schwing!" (Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as Wayne and Garth, "Saturday Night Live")
  • "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" (Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle)
  • "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids" (Trix cereal ad)
  • "Smile, you're on `Candid Camera'" ("Candid Camera")
  • "Sock it to me" ("Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In")
  • "Space, the final frontier ..." (Capt. Kirk, "Star Trek")
  • "Stifle!" (Archie Bunker, "All in the Family")
  • "Suit up!" (Barney Stinson, "How I Met Your Mother")
  • "Tastes great! Less filling!" (Miller Lite beer ad)
  • "Tell me what you don't like about yourself" (Dr. McNamara and Dr. Troy, "Nip/Tuck")
  • "That's hot" (Paris Hilton, "The Simple Life")
  • "The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat" (Jim McKay, "ABC's Wide World of Sports")
  • "The tribe has spoken" (Jeff Probst, "Survivor")
  • "The truth is out there" (Fox Mulder, "The X-Files")
  • "This is the city ..." (Sgt. Joe Friday, "Dragnet")
  • "Time to make the donuts" ("Dunkin' Donuts" ad)
  • "Two thumbs up" (Siskel & Ebert, "Siskel & Ebert")
  • "Up your nose with a rubber hose" (Vinnie Barbarino, "Welcome Back, Kotter")
  • "We are two wild and crazy guys!" (Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd as Czech playboys, "Saturday Night Live")
  • "Welcome to the O.C., bitch" (Luke, "The O.C.")
  • "Well, isn't that special?" (Dana Carvey as the Church Lady, "Saturday Night Live")
  • "We've got a really big show!" (Ed Sullivan, "The Ed Sullivan Show")
  • "Whassup?" (Budweiser ad)
  • "What you see is what you get!" (Geraldine, "The Flip Wilson Show")
  • "Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" (Arnold Drummond, "Diff'rent Strokes")
  • "Where's the beef?" (Wendy's ad)
  • "Who loves you, baby?" (Kojak, "Kojak")
  • "Would you believe?" (Maxwell Smart, "Get Smart")
  • "Yabba dabba do!" (Fred Flintstone, "The Flintstones")
  • "Yada, yada, yada" ("Seinfeld")
  • "Yeah, that's the ticket" (Jon Lovitz as the pathological liar, "Saturday Night Live")
  • "You eeeediot!" (Ren, "Ren & Stimpy")
  • "You look mahvelous!" (Billy Crystal as Fernando, "Saturday Night Live")
  • "You rang?" (Lurch, "The Addams Family")
  • "You're fired!" (Donald Trump, "The Apprentice")
  • "You've got spunk ..." (Lou Grant, "The Mary Taylor Moore Show")

On Friday I'll list my five favourite.

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Larry Henderson, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumLarry Henderson was 89. He was the first regular newsreader on CBC-TV's "The National News".

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Mark McGwire Not Cooperstown Bound

mlbMany feel Mark McGwire will be punished by Hall of Fame voters for his alleged use of steroids. That may be the case, but even without the question of whether he was clean, I don't think he deserves to get in. I don't think he's Hall of Fame worthy.

Yes, he hit a lot of homers. When he beat Roger Maris' record it was a great moment that helped many forget about the labour strife that killed a World Series. Late in his career his slugging percentage began to soar, but he was all about the homer.

Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr. are also on the ballot, and they're shoe-ins. McGwire will be left on the outside looking in and that's a good thing. Not because he tarnished the integrity of the sport and not because he beat out George Bell for the 1987 Home Run crown but because he was a one-dimensional player who simply doesn't belong in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown.

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Foo-Foo

teddybearOn the day of my birth, Foo-Foo was a gift from my great-grandmother, Mary Whelan. I think every child latches on to one stuffed animal as a toddler. My James has his Tom and I had my Foo-Foo.

Other toys came and went through the years, but Foo-Foo remained a constant. He hung around until I moved in with my wife over ten years ago. At that time he was boxed up because I was simply unable to throw him out. Every once in a while I go through my old stuff and come across Foo-Foo. He's still stored away in that box, but he's here and that's what matters. They can throw him out after I'm gone, but while I'm alive he's unchuckable.

Foo-Foo

Lookin' good Foo-Foo. Lookin' good...

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Love

heartLove. It's sought by all. Nothing is more vital to our emotional well being. Love truly is all you need.

If a sweet young couple like Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson can't make it work, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Love. Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson had it. As fleeting as it was, we envy them.

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The Departed

A Movie ReelThe Departed: 8.5 out of 10.

If you exclude family movies and the Toronto International Film Festival, I don't think I've seen a movie in an actual movie theatre since "Kill Bill: Volume 2". Until yesterday, that is.

"The Departed" was fantastic. It's everything I hoped it would be. A great cast, a great story and wonderful direction from Martin Scorsese. It also contain 237 instances of the F bomb.

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Another Long Suffering Group Within Canada

paintingI like today's editorial cartoon by Patrick Corrigan that appeared in the Toronto Star.

Nation Defined

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Pictures x 3

picturesWhenever I update my pictures page, I archive older pictures on that page to a second page. Today, this second page refused to rebuild.

I believe I've hit some sort of Movable Type limitation with regards to file size. That second pictures page was getting awfully big. Being the genius that I am, I've decided the solution is to spread these pictures over three pages instead of two.

I see my Dead Pool page is getting rather long as well. I wonder how long it will be before I hit the same ceiling.

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"I was in Toronto when they had a severe outbreak of SARS - you know, Severe Asian Racism Syndrome. I was in the airport and there were these big snowboarder guys and they had white masks around their necks, and as soon as they saw me, they put their masks on. So I went "cough, cough, cough... You wanna egg rorr?""
      - Margaret Cho

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Maple Leafs 1, Bruins 3

LeafsI hate being right. My prediction following our 7-1 win over Washington on Friday night was a 2-1 loss to the Bruins. It's been that kind of season. Our best player returns and scores the only goal of the game.

I happen to believe we'll make the playoffs, but we're looking at a seventh or eighth seed in the East. Then, it's a first round match up we'll likely lose. It's the inconsistency that will do us in in 2006-2007.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
13-8-4
30 points
2nd in Northeast
3-1 Loss vs. Boston
7-1 Win vs. Washington
7-4 Loss vs. Buffalo
D. Tucker - 25
T. Kaberle - 23
B. McCabe - 23

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Wonderful Walking Weather

musicI hope you got out today because I doubt we'll see a weekend as nice for quite a while. The weather was just perfect, warm enough for the kids and I to go on a great walk through Etienne Brule Park. Here's a photoset of pics taken on a journey. There was an eerie fog permeating the unseasonably warm air for extra effect.

There's something about a good walk that soothes the soul. Musicians have known the power of the walk for some time now. Just check out the "walk" songs in my collection.

  • Walk On Water - Aerosmith
  • Walk On Down - Aerosmith
  • Walk This Way - Aerosmith
  • Remember (Walking In The Sand) - Aerosmith
  • When You Walk Out The Door - Albert King
  • If I Was Your Woman / Walk On By - Alicia Keys
  • Walk Like An Egyptian - Bangles
  • Walk - Blind Melon
  • Walk the Proud Land - Bob Marley & The Wailers
  • Dad Man Walkin' - Bruce Springsteen
  • Walk On By - Cake
  • Keep On Walkin' - Ce Ce Peniston
  • Walking In Memphis - Cher
  • Walkaways - Counting Crows
  • Spiritwalker - The Cult
  • Stoned Is The Way Of The Walk - Cypress Hill
  • Walk This Way - Daniel Ash
  • Walking In My Shoes - Depeche Mode
  • Walk Of Life - Dire Straits
  • Under The Boardwalk - The Drifters
  • Walk On Water - Eddie Money
  • Easier To Walk Around - Elton John
  • Snitches And Talkers Get Stitches And Walkers - Fall Out Boy
  • Walk A Thin Line - Fleetwood Mac
  • Walking After You - Foo Fighters
  • Walk Away - Franz Ferdinand
  • Walking Contradiction - Green Day
  • Walking Alone - Green Day
  • Walk Idiot Walk - The Hives
  • She Walks On Me - Hole
  • A Walk In The Irish Rain - The Irish Descendants
  • Walking Man - James Taylor
  • I Walk The Line - Joaquin Phoenix
  • I Walk The Line - Johnny Cash
  • One Day I Walk - K.D. Lang
  • Jesus Walks - Kanye West
  • Walking On Sunshine - Katrina And The Waves
  • Walking The Backstreets And Crying - Little Milton
  • I Walk The Line - Live
  • Walk On The Wild Side - Lou Reed
  • Walkin' After Midnight - Madeleine Peyroux
  • Dead Man Walking (A Dream Like This) - Mary Chapin Carpenter
  • Walking In The Park - Muddy Waters
  • Walking Blues - Muddy Waters
  • The Boots Were Made For Walking - Nancy Sinatra
  • Thanx For Sleepwalking - Naughty By Nature
  • Walk On - Neil Young
  • Long Walk Home - Neil Young
  • Walking In Circles - Our Lady Peace
  • Walking Thru Barbed Wire - Papa Roach
  • Walkin' Blind - Patti Smith
  • Walking The Cow - Pearl Jam
  • Walking On The Moon - The Police
  • Walkin' On Down The Road - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Walkin' Blues - Robert Johnson
  • Walk Right In - The Rooftop Singers
  • Walk This Way - Run DMC
  • Walk You Home - Rusty
  • Don't Walk Away Eileen - Sam Roberts
  • Remember (Walkin' In The Sand) - The Shangri-Las
  • Walk Away - The Sisters Of Mercy
  • Walkin' On The Sun - Smashmouth
  • Bone Walker - T
  • Celebrated Walkin' Blues - Taj Mahal
  • Walking Wounded - The Tea Party
  • Walk Away - Tom Waits
  • Walking Down The Hill - Travis
  • Walk On - U2
  • Walk To The Water - U2
  • Take A Walk - Urge Overkill
  • Love Walks In - Van Halen
  • Jesus Walking On The Water - Violent Femmes

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Danny Lewicki, From the Coal Docks to the NHL

bookI play in a couple of different slo-pitch leagues each summer, and one is the RSPA. The president of this league is a nice fellow named Randy Warren who just sent me a note.

its Randy from RSPA

I just printed a new book - an autobiography of Danny Lewicki, who played on the 51 Leafs with Bill Barilko; a great story of what hockey was like in those days; his fights with Conn Smythe and management...

Dashin' Danny Lewicki is the only player in hockey history to have won a Memorial Cup, Allan Cup and Stanley Cup while still a junior. And yes, he played with Bashin' Bill Barilko on that 1951 Stanley Cup winning Leafs team. During nine seasons in the NHL he scored 105 goals and 135 assists for 240 points in 461 regular season games with the Leafs, Rangers and Black Hawks.

"From the Coal Docks to the NHL" is Danny Lewicki's new book and I can't wait for my copy. You can get it from http://www.dannylewicki.com/ and at the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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RSS: Regular Society Shuns

rssI just read a nice little write up about who's using what for RSS. RSS has indeed become a key part of my daily routine. I use the Sage add-on for Firefox to manage my feeds and I check them a few times a day. What irks me now are the few sites I monitor that don't have a feed. I'm far less likely to read their content as regularly.

When I chat with others about RSS, I'm always surprised at the typical response. Most don't have a clue what it is. Some have heard of it, but don't get it. Those who do subscribe to RSS feeds are few and far between and true believers in the Web 2.0 revolution. Regular society has shunned the standard.

Thankfully, there are enough of us relying on RSS that just about every blog and news site makes a feed available. When I discover an interesting blog that appeals to me, the first thing I do is add the entry feed. If there isn't one, I'll only bookmark the page if it's Sidra spectacular.

I want to know if you're an RSS adopter. If you are, what do you use to check your feeds? If you've shunned the format up to now, I'd like to know why.

This is the day you pop your comment cherry. If a discussion about RSS doesn't get you hot, nothing will.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer""Distracted". Now that's a funny word. Does anyone ever get "tracted"? I'll call the suicide hotline and find out."

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Maple Leafs 7, Capitals 1

LeafsThis is why I cough up an extra $3 every month to those bastards at Rogers. This was a great game for Leafs fans that reminded me of the first game I watched on LeafsTV. I cheered so often, I lost my voice.

The second period was particularly impressive when we scored on four of nine shots. It's tough to figure out this team. On some nights, we're reminiscent of the '85 Oilers while on other nights we're the '93 Sens. With Sundin back for tonight's battle against the Bruins, we'll likely lose 2-1. It's that kind of season.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
13-7-4
30 points
2nd in Northeast
7-1 Win vs. Washington
7-4 Loss vs. Buffalo
4-2 Win vs. New York Islanders
D. Tucker - 24
T. Kaberle - 23
B. McCabe - 22

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My Blogerati File

mouseblogTO has profiled me in their Blogerati Files feature. Click on other there and read my snappy answers to Lily Dustbin's tricky questions.

If you've clicked on over from blogTO, welcome. Hit up the archives and make yourself comfy.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Robert Altman movies

  1. The Player
  2. Short Cuts
  3. M*A*S*H
  4. Popeye
  5. Gosford Park

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Breakfast with Scot

movies"Breakfast With Scot" is a movie starring Tom Cavanaugh and currently filming in the GTA. Did I mention Tom Cavanaugh is playing an ex-Toronto Maple Leaf who just happens to be gay?

The NHL and Maple Leafs have blessed the project which means Cavanaugh will be wearing an official Leafs jersey and the logo for Canada's team will be well represented. I can't recall another movie featuring the Leafs.

"Breakfast With Scot" will hit theatres in late 2007. Start the Oscar buzz now!

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Anita O'Day, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumAnita O'Day was 87. Her sassy renditions of "Honeysuckle Rose," "Sweet Georgia Brown" and other song standards made her one of the most respected jazz vocalists of the 1940s and '50s.

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Cosmos MVP Nation Oh Henry!

diceA few things have been banging around in my head and I haven't had a chance to commit the thoughts to blogification, so this is a smorgasbord.

1) Prime Minister Stephen Harper has stated the Quebecois form a nation within Canada. Does that actually mean anything? Considering Quebec is not being recognized as an independent nation, calling the Quebecois a nation within Canada is nothing more than semantic lip service. Has the meaning of nation changed recently or am I missing something?

2) As I write this, a Canadian is the MVP of the NHL, NBA and American League. This will never, ever happen again, but it's pretty damn cool it happened once.

3) When I wrote about Michael Richards earlier this week, I called him "Kramer" in the title. I've noticed a great deal of mainstream news outlets are doing the same, referring to Richards by his "Seinfeld" character's name. This tells you how type cast the guy is. To most, he's Kramer. Nobody identifies him with any other role.

4) When I wrote that entry about Richards, I accidentally called his character Cosmos Kramer and not Cosmo Kramer. Google indexed the error before I could fix it and subsequent Google searches for Cosmos Kramer had me sitting at #2. I should have left it as it was. I've now dropped to #5.

5) It turns out my kids both hate Oh Henry! bars and I've felt personally obligated to ensure we don't waste a single one from their halloween loot. I never want to see another one again.

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Surveying the Television Landscape

tvI don't watch a lot of television. I watch every Leaf game and any decent flicks that make their way to TMN, but not a lot of television proper. A couple of shows I do watch, "Rescue Me" and "Weeds", concluded their seasons this month leaving me with "Dexter", "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip", "The Office" and my 90 minute block of toons on Sunday night. Yes, I even watch "American Dad" and I dig it.

There are a couple of shows I love that are currently on hiatus, so I hit Wikipedia to learn when I'd see them next. The final eight episodes of "The Sopranos" will air in March. That's a show that isn't afraid to make you wait because they know you will, cocky bastards. The sixth season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will air sometime in 2007, but that's as specific as HBO will get.

Leaf games, documentaries, movies and the six shows I do watch will tide me over until then. It's always a good idea to survey the television landscape now and then.

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Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 7

LeafsYou didn't really think we could win two in a row in Buffalo, did you? This was an entertaining game with the Leafs jumping out to a 2-0 lead and then fighting back to tie it at four. The winning goal came after an Andrew Raycroft miscue knocked him on his rear giving Daniel Briere a half-empty net to shoot at.

Rumour has it Mats Sundin will return Saturday night when the Bruins come to town. If you put Sundin and Darcy Tucker together, Tucker could score 50. Of course, 46 would be from that same spot a few feet to the right of the net. Still, he is now forgiven for his ridiculous political views.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
12-7-4
28 points
2nd in Northeast
7-4 Loss vs. Buffalo
4-2 Win vs. New York Islanders
2-1 Loss vs. New Jersey
T. Kaberle - 22
D. Tucker - 21
B. McCabe - 21

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I Believe

moviesAs things worsen in Buffalo, I'm having trouble believing we can win again in The Queen City. I want to believe we can contend this season. I want to believe that if things fall into place perfectly, if our goal tending holds up and we're healthy, if the stars align exactly right, we can have that parade. I want to believe, as Crash Davis does in "Bull Durham".

Well, I believe in the soul. The cock. The pussy. The small of a woman's back. The hanging curveball. High fiber. Good scotch. That the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a Constitution Amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve. And I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days...Goodnight.

Oh, my...

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John Allan Cameron, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJohn Allan Cameron was 67. He was the Cape Bretoner who helped spread the gospel of Celtic music across Canada and beyond.

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The Land of Low Expectations

leafsHere in the land of ridiculously low expectations, John Ferguson gets rewarded. The Toronto Maple Leafs have picked up the one-year option for 2007-2008 on the general manager's contract.

Sure, we're off to a pretty good start, but does a 12-6-4 record translate into a birth in the playoffs? Maybe, but maybe not. I think Ferguson is being rewarded for fact Andrew Raycroft hasn't been a bust. Fergie should send him flowers.

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Weekly MP3: Them Bones

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.

Alice in Chains - Them Bones
Earlier in the year I listed my ten favourite bands. At number five you'll find Alice in Chains, a band I regard as the most underrated and under appreciated of all-time. They had a sound I just dug and I keep going back to Dirt, an amazing album that includes "Them Bones".

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Great Videos: Let Your Backbone Slide

tvWe're actually leaving the 80s for this one. Maestro Fresh Wes' breakthrough hit "Let Your Backbone Slide" hit the radio in 1990 and remains the best-selling hip hop single in Canadian music history. I just loved this track, buying the 12 inch and CD and catching this great video whenever possible.

This is a throw down, a showdown. Hell no, I can't slow down... It's gonna go.

Here are the other videos covered in this continuing series.

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Link: The Most Famous Photographs

LinkThe Most Famous Photographs - Simply a great collection of the world's most famous photographs. Here's my favourite.

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Justin Morneau, MVP

baseballJustin Morneau is the second Canadian to be named a major league MVP. The New Westminster, B.C. native has been named the 2006 American League MVP.

It was well deserved. He slugged 34 home runs and added 130 RBI while recording a .321 batting average, leading the Twins to the American League Central Division crown.

The other Canadian to win a major league MVP award, of course, is Larry Walker, the greatest position player this nation has ever produced.

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Robert Altman, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumRobert Altman was 81. He was the caustic and irreverent satirist behind “M*A*S*H,” “Nashville” and “The Player” who made a career out of bucking Hollywood management and story conventions.

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YouTube's Very Own mikeboon

newspaperToday's National Post column entitled "The city" is about that awkward video of Jane Pitfield being told by City TV they had declared David Miller the winner in last week's municipal election. This happened approximately 90 seconds into the telecast.

I'm linking to the article because it concludes on such a high note. Here's how they wrap it up.

But perhaps the most apt comment in the blog world belongs to YouTube's very own "mikeboon," who sums up the affair with a simple "I voted for Pedro."

If only, mikeboon.

It's true, I left that apt comment on that YouTube video page. I like how the Post refers to me as "YouTube's very own mikeboon". Where's my cut of the Google cashola?

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Maple Leafs 4, Islanders 2

LeafsThe Leafs scored more goals during the opening ten minutes than they did in the previous two games combined. Then, they barely held on.

I might be out of my mind, but I thought Nik Antropov played a pretty slick game. He wasn't his usual inept self and he finished the game with a whopping two points. Every dog has his day, I suppose.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
12-6-4
28 points
2nd in Northeast
4-2 Win vs. New York Islanders
2-1 Loss vs. New Jersey
2-1 OTL vs. Boston
D. Tucker - 19
M. Sundin - 19
T. Kaberle - 19

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Tokens or Tickets?

ttcForget that boxers or briefs question. The Toronto equivalent is far sexier. Tokens or tickets?

I'm a tickets guy. I keep them in my wallet where the rest of you keep your paper money and I haven't lost one yet. Whenever I use tokens they get mixed up with my coinage and cause me all sorts of grief. They're lighter than coins, so while I'm reaching in for a fistful of cash one or two tokens are libel to fall to the ground. Visually, those damn tokens look way too much like dimes. This problem, it seems, is finally coming to an end.

The TTC has unveiled a new token with a new colour scheme and texture. It's gold and silver, toonie style. It's a step in the right direction, but it doesn't beat the ticket.

I'm just a tickets kind of guy.

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I'm Cosmo Kramer, The Racist

thumbsdownMichael Richards, the actor who delighted us as Cosmo Kramer on Seinfeld, appeared at the Laugh Factory in Los Angeles last Friday. A heckler got under his skin and his retort was about as unfunny as you can get.

Watch this and judge for yourself. Not only is it not funny, but it made me totally uncomfortable. I can't tell if he was trying to be outrageous or if he'll check into rehab later this week and blame the whole thing on an addiction.

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This Just In... Roger Federer Is Good!

tennisIt wasn't long ago we said goodbye to Pistol Pete. Pete Sampras retired from professional tennis with 64 singles titles, including a record 14 majors. I thought he was the best and doubted we'd see anyone as good, ever.

Check out these stats on Roger Federer from the BBC. The dude entered 17 tournaments this year and played the finals of 16 of them. He only lost to two players all season. He's reached six consecutive Grand Slam finals and remember that record of 14 Pistol Pete has? Federer is already at nine.

That didn't take long, did it?

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Blinky Is Looking Better

thumbsupI saw Blinky again yesterday. Blinky is the talking, blinking police car that was all around when I was a kid. He's a mascot of sorts for the Metropolitan Toronto Police to promote children's safety. He was participating in the Santa Claus Parade as he always does.

Last year I wrote this upon returning from the parade. Blinky looked rough, and it was tough to see him like that. From previous parades I knew he could no longer drive on his own and he had stopped talking, but with one eye partially closed he looked out of sorts, hung over even. Here's the photo I took last year that upset me so.

Yesterday, both eyes were open and Blinky looked content. I don't care that he can't drive himself anymore or that he's lost his voice, I just want to see him out there enjoying the parade.

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2006 Santa Claus Parade

santaFor the third year in a row, I attended the Toronto Santa Claus Parade. This time I took both kids and parked our butts across the street from the Royal Ontario Museum.

It was indeed chilly, but the kids had a blast. James even got some great face time to open the Global television coverage of the festivities. He was the kid in the Maple Leafs toque chowing down on clown candy.

I snapped 74 photos of every float and more for this year's photoset. If you want to go back in time, here's the 2005 photoset and the 2004 photoset.

PB190103 PB190119

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A Plea in the Night

emailLate last night, someone sent me a message via this contact form. Unfortunately, this person forgot to include an email address where I could reply.

This happens every so often, and I just discard the message or request, but this particularly plea is laced with importance and must be addressed. Here's the message.

mike i need help! Single mom NO money for christmas, my son is an excellant hockey player who has loved the game from day one. A TRUE CANADIAN!!! At 5 months old he watched 2 and half periods of an NHL game without moving! I need to show him my support and love for the game. Please help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If this was you, contact me again and include an address. Your son needs you and Toronto Mike can help.

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Maple Leafs 1, Devils 2

LeafsUmmm, not to alarm anyone, but remember when we were all worried about who would score on this team? With two goals in two games during two losses, it might be time for us to flood sports radio stations with our valid concerns.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
11-6-4
26 points
2nd in Northeast
2-1 Loss vs. New Jersey
2-1 OTL vs. Boston
5-1 Win vs. Montreal
M. Sundin - 19
D. Tucker - 18
T. Kaberle - 18

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"You guys have so much energy. I threw a party in Toronto and there were, like, 4,000 people who couldn't get in."
      - Jamie Foxx

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Ruth Brown, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumRuth Brown was 78. Her recordings of Teardrops in My Eyes, 5-10-15 Hours and (Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean shot her to rhythm-and-blues stardom in the 1950s.

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Jarhead

A Movie ReelJarhead: 5.5 out of 10.

"Jarhead" was marketed perfectly. Remember all those ads to the sound of Kanye West's "Jesus Walks"? They had you thinking about great war movies past; "Full Metal Jacket", "Apocalypse Now", "Three Kings". "Jarhead" could have been great. "Jarhead" should have been great.

Instead it's boring. It starts off okay, but then it gets stuck in a rut. It ends up making "Three Kings" feel like "Apocalypse Now". You'd expect a great deal better from the man who directed "American Beauty".

Welcome to the suck.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"You're not the only one who can abuse a non-profit organization."

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Pond of Dreams

hockeyI was bouncing around YouTube looking for NHL content when I saw someone had posted Pond of Dreams. This was a 2.5 minute clip that aired prior to the 2000 all-star game. I remember watching it then and getting goose bumps.

Lemieux's lines are a little stiff and it's a fairly manipulative piece, but it still gives me chills. They're playing me like a fiddle and there's nothing I can do to stop it.

The official NHL videos from YouTube can be found here. It's worth visiting daily for the play of the night.

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AVG Is Still Free

virusIf you use AVG's free edition of virus protection, you probably recently saw that alert that says their free version will expire on January 17. The alert asks you to upgrade to a paid model of AVG protection, and many of you might think that's your only option. It's not.

I first saw this alert last Sunday and did some digging on the AVG site. It turns out this is nothing more than a sneaky marketing ploy to get you to cough up some coin. There will still be a free version of AVG and you can download AVG 7.5 from http://free.grisoft.com/doc/39791.

I've already made the switch and all is well. AVG Free is still the better way, they've just hidden it with a tinier font size.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Ethan Hawke movies

  1. Dead Poets Society
  2. Before Sunrise
  3. Training Day
  4. Reality Bites
  5. Explorers

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Louis Riel's Poem for Robert Gordon

canadaWhen I had to write my final essay for Michael Bliss' Canadian History course at U of T, choosing a topic was easy. There isn't a figure more intriguing in all of Canadian history than Louis Riel.

To steal a line from Wikipedia, "he led two resistance movements against the Canadian government that sought to preserve Métis rights and culture as their homelands in the Northwest Territories came progressively under the Canadian sphere of influence." 121 years ago this week, Louis Riel was hanged for high treason.

I'm telling you, this guy was fascinating. To many he was a hero, to others he was a traitor, and to some he was just plain nuts.

A poem he wrote for his jailer, Robert Gordon, three weeks before his death in Regina, has been donated to the University of Saskatchewan. Here it is:

The snow,
Which renders the ground all white,
From heaven, comes here below:
Its pine frozen drops invite us all
To white -- keep our thoughts and our acts,
So that when our bodies do fall,
Our merits, before God, be facts.

How many who, with good desires,
Have died and lost their souls to fires?
Good desires kept unpractic'd
Stand, before God, unnotic'd.

O Robert, let us be fond
Of virtue! Virtues abound
In every sort of good,
Let virtue be our soul's food.

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Bo Schembechler, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumBo Schembechler was 77. He was the winningest coach in University of Michigan football history.

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Wii, PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360?

nintendoIt's game console season. Everywhere you turn someone is talking about the Wii, PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360. I just read someone was actually shot waiting in line for the new PlayStation 3. This is serious stuff.

I haven't had access to to a game console in over a decade. That one was a Super Nintendo and a helluva lot of fun, but I won't be buying a new Wii, PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 this Christmas. My re-entry into this field of entertainment is inevitable, but it's not yet time.

I'll know when James is ready. It won't be long now.

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Maple Leafs 1, Bruins 2

LeafsWe just didn't seem to have any offensive punch last night. It could have been the lengthy layoff, it could have been the Willie Nelson, it could have been the wine.

I was glad to see us escape with the point, and we owe it all to Jean-Sebastien Aubin. The dude was brilliant, especially in the third period to keep it 1-0. With both Raycroft and Aubin clicking, this could be a great platoon situation a'la Garth Iorg and Rance Mulliniks.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
11-5-4
26 points
2nd in Northeast
2-1 OTL vs. Boston
5-1 Win vs. Montreal
6-4 Win vs. Boston
M. Sundin - 19
D. Tucker - 17
T. Kaberle - 17

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Bad Gillette Dub

tvWatching the Leafs game on TSN, I keep seeing an advertisement for Gillette. It's the one where the girlfriend doubts her guy just returned from a run because his shirt "doesn't even smell bad".

The girlfriend's voice is clearly dubbed over. The dubbing is so poor, I'm guessing it's intentionally bad, but why? It it trying to appear European or is this the "our deodorant is so good we don't even care that our ad looks amateur" approach?

Aubin is keeping us in this thing. There's still time to come back...

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Milton Friedman, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumMilton Friedman was 94. He was the Nobel Prize-winning economist who advocated an unfettered free market and had the ear of three U.S. presidents.

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Frank Thomas A Jay

bluejaysIt sounds like it's a done deal. Frank Thomas has reached a tentative agreement with the Blue Jays on a two-year contract. He just has to pass a physical before it's official.

Way back in 1993, we faced Thomas' Chicago White Sox in the ALCS. That season, Thomas hit everything thrown his way. I remember thinking when he was at the plate that he was the most dangerous hitter in the game. He has 487 career home runs under his belt and he'll DH for us this year.

It's hard to believe 1993 was thirteen seasons ago. Better late than never, I suppose.

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NHL YouTube Deal

nhlThe National Hockey League has signed a deal with YouTube to market highlight clips. You may recall I recently linked to the NHL on Google Video page, a multi-year deal to provide NHL video content to Google Video. With YouTube now in the Google family, this seemed like a natural extension of that deal.

This is a great move by the NHL. On October 1, I wrote about the problem with YouTube. I found the best clips are posted without consent from the copyright holder and are eventually pulled. Noticing all NHL content among my YouTube favourites had remained online, I wrote this prophetic statement. "Either the CBC and NHL understand the marketing potential of these videos or their lawyers just haven't got around to mailing that cease and desist letter yet."

Luckily, the NHL did understand the marketing potential and I applaud this move. Make it easy for bloggers and GooTubers to share and view NHL highlights and you build a rabid fanbase that will buy tickets, watch games on television and purchase memorabilia.

It's all good.

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SLS Submission: Sunday Morning

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS16 consideration. I submitted "Sunday Morning" from k-os.

k-os is one of my favourite Toronto-born artists and this is another cool vibe from the man. And yes, it's k-os, not K-os or K-Os or K-oS or K-OS or any other variation.

Warning: This "Sunday Morning" is not to be confused with great tracks from No Doubt or The Velvet Underground.

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Global National

microphoneI was just interviewed for Global National. They asked me what movie has changed the way I live my life and with a mere ten seconds to prepare I rambled off something about "The Shawshank Redemption" and the words of Red.

Global National airs on Global at 5:30pm and this afternoon's edition might just include a few seconds of yours truly.

Will someone grab the video for me please.

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2006 Canadian Blog Awards

mouseThis blog is up for Best Blog and Best Personal Blog at the 2006 Canadian Blog Awards. If everyone who visits this site votes a million times a day for me, I'll win. I'm sure the grand prize is massive.

Vote at http://cba.myblahg.com/ until November 21. While you're voting for Toronto Mike, throw Humble a vote for Best Humour Blog.

If I lose I'll start my own Canadian Blog Awards and rig the sucker.

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Weekly MP3: Where Have All The Good People Gone?

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.

Sam Roberts - Where Have All The Good People Gone?
Just before he broke nationally, I caught Sam Roberts opening for The Tragically Hip on two different tours. I remember singing along at The Hummingbird Centre and thinking he was pretty good.

I'm sharing "Where Have All The Good People Gone?" because it's a very good question.

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The Ford Frick Award

bluejaysIn his column today, Toronto Star journalist Dave Perkins reminds us that voting is open for the Ford Frick Award at http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/. Despite the fact I stuffed the ballot box last year, Tom Cheek didn't make the Hall in 2005. I think this year will be different.

If you're a Tom Cheek fan as I am, get over there once a day and cast your vote for him. He was something special.

Other entries about Tom:

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This Is My Life

moviesThe opening scene of "American Beauty" sets things up perfectly. Lester Burnham is spanking the proverbial monkey during his morning shower and preparing us for his imminent death.

My name is Lester Burnham. This is my street. This is my neighborhood. This is my life. I am 42 years old. In less than a year, I will be dead. Of course, I don't know that yet, and in a way, I'm dead already. Look at me, jerking off in the shower. This will be the highlight of my day. It's all downhill from here. That's my wife Carolyn. See the way the handle on those pruning shears match her gardening clogs? That's not an accident. That's our neighbor, Jim, and that's his lover, Jim. Man, I get exhausted just watching her. She wasn't always like this. She used to be happy. We used to be happy. My daughter, Jane. Only child. Janie's a pretty typical teenager: angry, insecure, confused. I wish I could tell her that's all going to pass...but I don't want to lie to her. Both my wife and daughter think I'm this gigantic loser. And in a way, they're right. I have lost something. I'm not exactly sure what, but I know I didn't always feel this...sedated. But you know what? It's never too late to get it back.

It's never too late to get it back.

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Chill Songs

thermometerMy mom called me tonight to tell me it's going to be chilly on Sunday. That's the day of the Santa Claus Parade and I'm taking the kids. I'm hoping Mother Nature has a change of heart and it's balmy on Sunday because a long wait with a four year old and a two year old in the cold can be rather challenging.

Speaking of chill, I see seven "chill" songs in my MP3 collection. They are:

  • Boogie Chillin' - John Lee Hooker
  • We Like To Chill - The 2 Live Crew
  • How To Kill A Radio Consultant (The DJ Chuck Chillout Mega Murder Boom)
  • Eat 'Em Up L Chill - L.L Cool J.
  • You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart - The Eurythmics
  • Chill - EPMD
  • Gula Gula (Chilluminati Mix) - Mari Boine

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Raymi the Minx Raw

A MicrophoneRaymi is a local Toronto blogger who gushes words of wisdom at http://raymitheminx.blogspot.com. I interviewed her a couple of years back and decided we needed a sequel. Here's another interview with Raymi the Minx.

Q: Word Tutor defines a minx as "A seductive woman who uses her attractiveness to exploit men". Are you exploiting men, and if you are, what's in it for you?
A: i came up with that name when i was 15 when i wanted to exploit men and then i did for a little while but not anymore, everyone got something out of the transaction i like to think.

Q: You've been blogging for quite a while now. Is there an end game? What's your blogging objective?
A: no end game per se, just something to do to keep my mind sharp, unless i lose the ability to use my fingers, there most likely will not be an end to writing, whether it be on my blog or somewhere else, who knows, i cannot fortell the future. my objective is to be disgustingly rich and have a lot of plastic surgery i don't fucking know, what's your objective? i've been asked this question numerous times, sorry.

Q: What kind of money are you making from your site?
A: that's a personal question and honestly do you expect me to answer it? how much does your mom make? who is to say that i make any money off it at all. i mean, i make money off the things i sell, books and junk and art.

Q: I parlayed my last interview with you into an interview with your buddy Matthew Good. Are you friendly with Gord Downie?
A: no but can you get me his phone number?

Q: Speaking of Matthew Good, you wrote about touring with him. How was that? Spill the stuff you weren't allowed to write about on your site.
A: dude you did this segue matthew good shit last time fucking interview him if you want to know. i am not going to blab personal shit about my friend who happens to be famous in some internet emailed interview so all his fans can masturbate and cut themselves to it. i was drinking 85% of the time, it was a great time, late nites watching carnivale on the bus, great shows, blah etc.

Q: There are rumours on the internets that you're considering a move south of the 49th parallel. Are you planning to move to Cali?
A: what the fuck? where did that come from? seriously that's funny. give me the link to this rumor.

Q: You periodically post pictures of yourself in the nude. I'm guessing this attracts a certain audience that visits for this purpose and this purpose alone. If you stopped posting these pix, how many regular visitors do you suspect you'd lose?
A: i rarely post nudes my hits have not declined, my blog is more than my tits, granted a lot of retards read my blog but i see it my blog is for the retarded, it's like a learning manual for life or an AA meeting that never ends.

Q: What's your favourite song these days?
A: that gary jules cover of mad world

Q: Did you vote yesterday?
A: no i have never voted

Q: Is there anything further you'd like to share?
A: can you not piss me off so much next time please, thanks.

Other interviews I've conducted:

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FBOFW to Stop in Fall 2007

newspaperLynn Johnston's "For Better Or For Worse" is my favourite comic strip by a very large margin. It's the only strip I read daily and I've been reading it since I was a little whipper-snapper.

Not only is it well written with a great balance of humour and reality, but the characters have aged in real-time. Sadly, the end is near. Lynn Johnston will freeze the characters' ages next fall when she takes a well deserved break from it all. "I feel I've done the best I can do for as long as I can do it," she said. "It's time."

It saddens me to think there will soon be mornings when I can't check in on The Patterson's. For the first time I will age while Michael Patterson stays in his early 30s. The long rumoured ending for the series will be Elizabeth marrying Anthony and uttering the words "for better or for worse" in the final panel. However Lynn decides to end things, I'll be there reading.

Other entries about For Better or For Worse:

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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. Hotel Song - Regina Spektor
  2. Sliver - Nirvana
  3. Prison Sex - Tool
  4. The First Time - U2
  5. No Way - Korn
  6. One Day In Your Life - 54-40
  7. Bounce - System of a Down
  8. Hunger Strike - Temple of the Dog
  9. Brain Stew - Green Day
  10. Positive Bleeding - Urge Overkill

This totally random shuffle produced a whack of songs I totally dig. I've been spinning Begin To Hope, the latest release from Regina Spektor, quite a bit lately. One of my favourite tracks on the disc is "Hotel Song", an infectious little ditty that contains the great lyric "A little bag of cocaine, a little bag of cocaine. So who’s the girl wearing my dress?".

You've still got a little over a day to grab another great Spektor track from this album, "Fidelity". Get it before it's gone.

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Hurricane Hazel

voteThe winner of our Mayoral election may be a foregone conclusion (have they called it yet?) but at least there's enough of a race that one feels compelled to cast his or her ballot. Do our neighbours to the west in Mississauga even bother to follow their Mayoral race?

I realize we're voting for more than a Mayor today, but when it comes to the top municipal position, Hazel McCallion has held it for as long as I can remember. Hurricane Hazel has been Mississauga's mayor since 1978, almost 30 years ago. She's so popular, no serious challengers bother to run against her. This time around I see she has two challengers but somehow I don't think she's too worried about the outcome.

She's money in the bank so long as she's breathing.

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It's Up To Us

voteHey Ontario, it's votin' day. According to the City of Toronto website for such matters, you can vote in the City of Toronto municipal election if you are:

  • a Canadian citizen
  • at least 18 years old
  • a resident of the City of Toronto
  • a non-resident owner or tenant of land in the City of Toronto, or their spouse
  • not prohibited from voting under any law

Got that? Personally, I find that list awfully confusing. It starts off as a list of "must-be's". You must be a Canadian citizen, you must be at least 18, you must reside in Toronto, that part is clear enough, but what's this fourth item? "A non-resident owner or tenant of land in the City of Toronto, or their spouse". My brain hurts just parsing that statement. Clearly you can't answer yes to both #3 and #4, so this list isn't a bunch of "must-be's". It's also not a "one must be true" list. In other words, it's as clear as mud.

If you can vote, you should. We are fortunate to have fair and democratic methods in place for the selecting of political representation. To not take part in the process or to feel like our opinion doesn't matter, would be to waste the incredible power that we possess.

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700 Pig Carcasses

picturesThose who live in Toronto will remember that five-alarm fire last week at a meat packing plant near Keele Street and St. Clair Avenue. New York Pork was BBQ'd and they brought in fire inspectors to determine how to safely and efficiently dispose of 700 pig carcasses.

The disposing of these cooked pigs produced some great pictures. Here's a New York Pork photoset which contains this stunner.

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Great Videos: Money For Nothing

tvA great song and an instant video classic collided in an explosive frenzy with Dire Strait's "Money For Nothing". At the time, these computer generated images were pretty cutting edge.

In grade seven, my classmate Marc brought in this song to play for the class. It was all part of a class project where we had to share a piece of music and discuss the lyrics. I remember Marc getting in some trouble because the word "faggot" was in there three times.

While we're on the topic of "Money For Nothing" lyrics, Marc and I had an interested debate prior to his presentation. Was he singing "hawaiian noises" or "how are ya noises"? We correctly agreed it was "hawaiian noises". In the days before Google, we actually had to debate such things. Imagine that.

Here are the other videos covered in this continuing series.

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My Google Argonaut Dominance

googleI mentioned briefly in an earlier entry that my site is #5 when you Google toronto argos. Here's a screen cap.

In actuality, the first and second ranked sites are the very same site. The official Argonaut site can be reached at both argonauts.ca and argonauts.on.ca, and somehow both got ranked separately, even though the content is identical. Between the official site and my site is the Wikipedia entry and the official shop. So, if we eliminate sites owned and operated by the the Argonauts football club, I'm #2 behind good ol' Wikipedia.

I'd like to use this as an example of my SEO prowess, and no doubt that's part of it, but this is probably more a reflection of how little online interest there is in the CFL. It's low hanging fruit.

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The Simpsons Movie Trailer

homerI remember the cautious optimism when it was confirmed they were making a Simpsons movie. Then, it was leaked they were targeting 2008 for the films release. Marked on my Google calendar now is July 27, 2007, the scheduled release date.

Tonight, the trailer will air during a new episode of The Simpsons. You know when and where. Also, I'm told at some point after 5pm Toronto time http://www.apple.com/trailers/fox/thesimpsonsmovie/trailer/ will spring to life with the very same trailer.

Excellent.

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A Quick Note For Pinball

argosIt's half-time in Montreal and we're down 16-3. Rumour has it Mike "Pinball" Clemons visits this site during half-time (currently #5 when you Google Toronto Argos!) so this message is for him.

Play Michael Bishop. Do it now. Damon Allen is 43 and unable to put points on the board. There's no tomorrow, play Bishop while you can.

And God bless you.

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Maple Leafs 5, Canadiens 1

LeafsLife is good. Life is very, very good. That's seven of eight if you're following along at home.

Again, the defence led the offensive attack as we outshot Montreal 41-26 and scored three power-play goals. Is there anything better than creaming the Habs on a Saturday night? Now it's the Argos turn to beat Montreal.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
11-5-3
25 points
2nd in Northeast
5-1 Win vs. Montreal
6-4 Win vs. Boston
4-1 Win vs. Philadelphia
M. Sundin - 19
D. Tucker - 17
T. Kaberle - 17

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"It's a beautiful city, and the waterfront area is fantastic. I haven't had time to visit the theatre, but I find it remarkable that Toronto has the third-largest English-speaking theatre district in the world, after New York and London. I once noticed a fellow sitting on a bench, then I realized it was a statue of Glenn Gould. It's very realistic."
      - Donald Trump

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Remembrance Relevance

poppyOn the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians are asked to pause and remember the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom and democracy during the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Afghanistan conflict and during peacekeeping missions.

I've scoured my site for relevant entries. Here are some you may want to revisit today.

Entries about Alfred Finley

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It's Our Job To Never Forget

poppyAs I mentioned earlier in the week, so many brave Canadians have sacrificed everything to preserve our freedoms. If you stop and think about what we asked (and ask) these young soldiers to do, it blows your mind. Back in 2003 I took a closer look at the participation and casualties. So many lost their child, brother, husband or friend. So many lost their lives.

My favourite Canadian military accomplishment took place on Easter Monday, April 9, 1917. A couple of years ago, I revisited Vimy Ridge in some detail. It was one of the key massive offensives launched by the Allies in WWI and our forces played a very significant role. When we captured Vimy Ridge, it was the moment that solidified a very young country. Here's a picture from the battle and the Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge Canadian National Vimy Memorial

Many Canadians paid the ultimate price in war. It's our job to never forget.

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Match Point

A Movie ReelMatch Point: 7.5 out of 10.

Of course Jonathan Rhys Meyers fell for Scarlett Johansson, who wouldn't? Who could resist?

Woody Allen's got a slick little movie on his hands here. It's got a hypnotic pace, although it could be tightened up just a little, but the conclusion doesn't drag and his opening line permeates throughout.

"I'd rather be lucky than good."

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Lousy traumatic childhood."

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Jack Palance, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJack Palance was 87. He was the craggy-faced menace in "Shane," "Sudden Fear" and other films who turned to comedy at 70 with his Oscar-winning self-parody in "City Slickers."

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Office Space Recut as a Horror

moviesI love Office Space. Somebody created a trailer for the flick recut as if it was a horror movie. Now this is thriller.

Well done...

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite I Mother Earth songs

  1. So Gently We Go
  2. Levitate
  3. Rain Will Fall
  4. Another Sunday
  5. Summertime in the Void

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SLS Submission: Level

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS16 consideration. I submitted "Level" from The Raconteurs.

Do you think "Level" is SLS-worthy? Leave a comment and let it be known!

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Maple Leafs 6, Bruins 4

LeafsJust before Andrew Raycroft went down with a groin injury, I was thinking about how the guy has won me over. He looked very sharp against his old club and we were coasting to our third win in a row. I'm digging Raycroft's play for the blue and white and I predicted the exact opposite.

I also predicted we wouldn't score many goals, and so far I'm way wrong about that as well. We've scored at least four goals in six of seven games, and last night we did it without our captain. Apparently, I don't know what I'm talking about. It's early yet, but things look good after eighteen games.

What's deceiving is checking out where we stand in the division. We're only two points back of the 12-1-1 Sabres, which sounds awesome, but we've played 18 games whereas the Sabres have only played 14. Montreal and Ottawa have only played 14 as well and the Bruins are at 13. Read the fine print.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
10-5-3
23 points
2nd in Northeast
6-4 Win vs. Boston
4-1 Win vs. Philadelphia
4-1 Win vs. Buffalo
M. Sundin - 19
D. Tucker - 17
A. Ponikarovsky - 15

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Three Little Pricks

poppyBecause I wear a cool Fonzie leather jacket, there's no where to pin a poppy. Thinking outside the box, I pinned my poppy to the strap of the brief case style sack I carry to work each day. When I slink this thing over my shoulder, the poppy is proudly displayed and my jacket remains hole-less.

Already this week I've pricked myself with the pin three times. Each time hurt more than the time before. The shot I took this afternoon drew blood and still hurts.

A sensible person might remove the poppy rather than risk a fourth prick tomorrow. I'm leaving it where it is. Every time that damn poppy sticks me in the hand I remember that nearly 69,000 Canadian soldiers gave their life in World War I and another 47,000 gave their life in World War II. Canadians also gave their lives during the South Africa War, the Korean War, peacekeeping and in the current war in Afghanistan.

I can handle a few pricks. I'm a lucky son of a bitch.

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Link: On-Line Anagram Generator

LinkOn-Line Anagram Generator - Throw your name in this online anagram generator and watch hilarity ensue.

I'm "I'm Bone OK" unless you prefer the cleaner "Moon Bike".

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Great Videos: Sledgehammer

tvWhenever MuchMusic would count down "all-time best video" lists in the late 80s, Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer" would always crack the top five, often finishing first. It was groundbreaking, that stop action stuff kicked ass.

This was one of those videos that was always on high rotation. They're probably still playing it daily.

Here are the other videos covered in this continuing series.

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Ed Bradley, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumEd Bradley was 65. He was a journalist who began reporting for CBS News in 1967.

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The Slime That Men Do

bookMy buddy Humble Howard has a new book out. It's called "The Slime That Men Do" and it includes awful tales about dudes sent to him by his radio audience at Mix 99.9. A portion of the proceeds is going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and you can buy a copy online at chapters.indigo.ca.

If you're looking for news about book signings, radio and television appearances and so on, check out his blog. If you've got a slime story you want to share, submit it here. You might just end up in the next book.

My wife once wrote a book very similar to "The Slime That Men Do". She calls it her diary.

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A Wiser Continent

usaOur continent felt just a little more sensible this morning, didn't it? Americans voiced their disappointment in Dubya and his military quagmire tendencies loud and clear yesterday, giving Democrats control of the House. It's also looking like they'll hold an edge in the Senate.

The writing was on the wall, but it still felt good seeing it come to fruition. Perhaps the world (and by world I mean Jesusland) hasn't gone completely mad. Perhaps there is hope for an open mind, an educated approach, a worthy cause. I'm still smiling.

If you're wondering what I really think of Dubya, here's a taste.

Memories...

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A Symbolic Moment

babyI just took down the crib. The baby of the house, two year old Michelle, slept last night in her new bed. She triumphantly made the jump from crib to bed and there's no turning back now.

Except for a brief period before Michelle's arrival, someone has been sleeping in that crib for the past 4.75 years. Not to get totally nostalgic on ya, but this is the very same crib I slept in over three decades ago. She's all packed up and ready for the next baby in the family.

The next symbolic moment will be when we buy our very last pack of diapers. That's when we break out the non-alcoholic champagne.

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Link: Free flu shots

LinkFree flu shots - Torontonians will want to note that free flu shots are available November 13 to December 9, 2006 and January 12-18, 2007 and you can see a list of vaccination clinics on this page.

I got my flu shot last week so you'd better get yours. Revisit my 2003 rant and 2004 rant.

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Ron Porambo's Intriguing Life

newspaperI never heard the name Ron Porambo until today. Porambo choked to death while eating an orange in New Jersey State Prison a couple of weeks ago. This guy had the most intriguing life.

  • He was serving 30 years to life for the 1983 murder of a drug dealer during a robbery
  • In Toronto in the '70s, he worked for the Star and the Globe and Mail, and as a Global TV producer
  • "No Cause for Indictment: An Autopsy of Newark", his best-selling book on the 1967 race riots in Newark, N.J., came out in 1971 and the New Yorker called it "probably the most moving and instructive book yet written on any of the bloody civil disturbances of the '60s."
  • There were at least three attempts on his life, once he was shot twice in the legs, another time he ended up with three bullets in his head
  • In the 1950s he was a Golden Gloves champion boxer in New Jersey who fought at Madison Square Gardens
  • While working as a reporter, he moonlighted as a thief to supplement his income
  • His dad invented the "twister cruller"

I couldn't have made this up if I tried. Now Porambo had a life worth blogging about.

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Weekly MP3: Fidelity

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.

Regina Spektor - Fidelity
I was going to share "November Rain", for obvious reasons, but I did that last year. Instead, let's freshen things up a bit with a tune I couldn't get enough of last week. You can thank me later.

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Love

heartLove. It's sought by all. Nothing is more vital to our emotional well being. Love truly is all you need.

If a sweet young couple like K-Fed and Britney Spears can't make it work, what hope is there for the rest of us?

Love. K-Fed and Britney had it. As fleeting as it was, we envy them.

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Jackie Parker, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJackie Parker was 74. He is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and won three Grey Cups with the Edmonton Eskimos.

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Maple Leafs 4, Flyers 1

LeafsAfter the first period last night, I thought we'd cruise to a 6-0 victory. We were relentless and only the Philly goalposts kept it 1-0. Then, we took the second period off before sealing the deal in the third.

I wasn't happy with the Andrew Raycroft signing. He was coming off a horrible season giving him one decent one and one terrible one during his short NHL career. I'm a big Aubin guy and I wanted him to get a fair crack at the #1 spot. I may have been wrong about Raycroft. He was great again last night and he's won four in a row. I've never been so happy to be so wrong.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
9-5-3
21 points
2nd in Northeast
4-1 Win vs. Philadelphia
4-1 Win vs. Buffalo
4-2 Loss vs. Florida
M. Sundin - 19
D. Tucker - 16
T. Kaberle - 13

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I Hope

movies1994 gave us some unbelievable movies. "Pulp Fiction", "Forrest Gump" and "The Shawshank Redemption" to name a few. "The Shawshank Redemption" was unbelievably good with monologues like this one from Red.

Get busy livin', or get busy dyin'. That's goddamn right. For the second time in my life, I am guilty of committing a crime. Parole violation. Of course, I doubt they'll toss up any roadblocks for that. Not for an old crook like me... I find I am so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.

That's goddamn right.

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He Tastes Exactly Like Jeffrey Tambor

homerDuring a sadly uninspired Treehouse of Horrors episode of The Simpsons last night, Homer was a green blob eating people. After devouring Dr. Phil he remarked that Dr. Phil tasted exactly like Jeffrey Tambor.

That's what I say!

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Who's Our Muldoon?

nhlI was just reading about the Curse of Muldoon. The Blackhawks haven't won the Stanley Cup since 1961 and they're blaming Pete Muldoon and a curse he put on the club back in 1927. That's their excuse for having the longest cup-less drought in NHL history. Guess who's #2?

The Toronto Maple Leafs haven't won it all since 1967, but where's our curse? I suppose we could blame Harold Ballard who assumed sole control of the team in 1971, but that's not really a curse. That was mediocre management, which is a curse of sorts, but not nearly as sexy as the Curse of the Bambino or the Curse of the Billy Goat.

We're a season away from hitting the big 4-0. Only the Blackhawk faithful have it worse, but at least they know they're cursed. We've just stunk.

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Keep Yer Damn NFL

argosThat was a great game. While most of you settled in for an afternoon of NFL football, I watched the Toronto Argonauts host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the East Division semifinal.

Down 27-17 midway through the fourth quarter, Michael Bishop came off the bench to bring us all the way back. He hit Arland Bruce III on a 68-yard TD strike on his first snap from centre and hit R. Jay Soward with a 15-yard pass to put us up 31-27. It was a thrilling comeback and earned us a spot in the East Division final againt the Montreal Alouettes.

You guys can keep yer damn NFL.

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David Miller For Mayor?

cntowerDid you know there is a municipal election here next week? You've probably seen the signs on lawns and green space throughout the 416. You might even know the names of David Miller's challengers. We're going to the polls next Monday so add that to your Google calendar.

Exactly three years ago this week I wrote this endorsement of David Miller. John Tory and David Miller duked it out to see who would succeed Mel Lastman. I liked Miller for the job because I saw him as an intelligent person with a worthwhile vision doing his very best for the greatest city on the planet.

Three years later, I'm a little disappointed in Miller. Let's just say I expected more. I still back him this time around, but mainly because there isn't a strong enough alternative to secure my vote. Here's hoping in three years time we're discussing promise fulfilled in the local election scene.

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Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 1

LeafsWho says we can't win in Buffalo? Last night we spanked the Sabres, becoming the first team to beat them in regulation all season.

This game was a pleasure to watch. Mats Sundin was awesome, young Ian White was flying, Jeff O'Neill and Darcy Tucker were scoring, the entire team was clicking. I was concerned down 1-0 on a cheesy goal that Andrew Raycroft should have had easily, but it was all Leafs from there.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
8-5-3
19 points
2nd in Northeast
4-1 Win vs. Buffalo
4-2 Loss vs. Florida
4-2 Win vs. Tampa Bay
M. Sundin - 18
D. Tucker - 16
T. Kaberle - 12

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"The best part is the food. There are some great Italian restaurants I go to whenever I am in Toronto."
      - Mary-Kate Olsen

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Great Videos: Bye Bye Mon Cowboy

tvI just searched my blog for instances of the word Mitsou and I was shocked there are none. How is it I've never dropped the word "Mitsou" once?

Her video for "Bye Bye Mon Cowboy" had me day dreaming as a fourteen year old. It was an instant crush. The entire song is sung in French, but I didn't care. I was smitten.

I still am.

Here are the other videos covered in this continuing series.

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Chuck E. Cheese

foodHow many 32 year old Torontonians have never been to Chuck E. Cheese? Until today, I was counted amongst those who had never had the privilege.

Before you shake your head and wonder how it is I went over three decades without such an experience I should point out that today was also my wife's first time going to Chuck's. On a whim, we decided to see what all the fuss is about and took the kids out for games, pizza and a giant rodent. It's all about living precariously through them, you see. Here are pictures from the day.

I actually had a great time throwing my tokens into the air hockey table and that game where you roll the ball up a ramp and get points based on which hole it falls into. The games were fine, it's the pizza that was horrible. I'm a big fan of the 'za and even bad pizza usually tastes good to these taste buds, but that Chuck E. Cheese pizza was brutal. I could barely eat six slices.

Next time, I'm just going for the air hockey. The kids can come along too, if they wish.

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A History of Violence

A Movie ReelA History of Violence: 7.5 out of 10.

David Cronenberg has pieced together a thought provoking film in "A History of Violence". With great performances by Viggo Mortensen, Maria Bello, William Hurt and Ed Harris, the question of natural born killers and innate violent tendencies is raised with spirit.

They'll call the small town Millbrook, Indiana, but it's actually Millbrook, Ontario. And those Philly scenes, that's the T.Dot.

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The Guest Blog, 2003 - 2006

guestblogI launched the Guest Blog service on November 16, 2003. At the time, this site was hand-coded without any CMS, and comments weren't accepted. A Guest Blog was an easy way to promote a sense of interaction. If you had something to say, you could say it.

Now that this site is powered by Movable Type, anyone can comment on anything. For those who enjoy following the comments, a few recent changes have made this much easier. Recent comments are now displayed on the Recent Posts, Recent Comments & Categories page and you can subscribe to the comments RSS feed at http://feeds2.feedburner.com/TorontoMikeComments.

Over the years there were many guest blog entries, and you'll find them all archived right here. Frequent contributions were made by Jill/jewelgurl, twins in bolton, Roshan, James, Vanessa, The Grinch, Kara, Annemarie and Mike H. If you guys or anyone else wants me to write about something in particular, contact me.

If you're looking for one page that lists every page on this site including RSS feeds, the site map is always current. The Guest Blog had three good years, but now it's mainly used by evil doers as a tool for spamming me. She did not go gently into that good night.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Marge, it's 3am. Shouldn't you be baking?"

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SLS Submission: Fidelity

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS16 consideration. I submitted "Fidelity" from Regina Spektor.

I think I've fallen in love with her voice. You can hear "Fidelity" on her MySpace page.

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Canadian Blog Awards

mouseIt appears I've been nominated for Best Personal Blog at the Canadian Blog Awards. Actually, I see dozens of nominations, and considering how few Canadians blog, it seems all blogs have been nominated.

I was nominated for Best Culture Blog last year. Have I gone from Culture to Personal. Believe it or not, I've made a concerted effort to do just the opposite. Go figure.

It seems nominations are still open. Go on and nominate me for Best Blog.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite quotes from The Big Lebowski

  1. "Hey! Watch it man, there's a beverage here." - The Dude
  2. "Let me explain something to you; I am not Mr. Lebowski. You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing." - The Dude
  3. "Nothing is fucked here, Dude. Come on, you're being very un-Dude." - Walter Sobchak
  4. "You know, Dude, I myself dabbled in pacifism once. Not in 'Nam of course." - Walter Sobchak
  5. "It's a complicated case, Maude. Lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what have yous. Fortunately I've been adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regimen to keep my mind, you know, limber." - The Dude

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Maple Leafs 2, Panthers 4

LeafsRats, the winning streak's over. We were badly outplayed last night and I just feel sorry for the suckers who coughed up $10 to watch it on the big screen.

Believe it or not, this was Jean-Sebastien Aubin's first loss as a Toronto Maple Leaf. He's now 10-1-3. He played a pretty good game last night, getting left hung out to dry by his tired teammates on several occasions.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
7-5-3
17 points
Tied for 2nd in Northeast
4-2 Loss vs. Florida
4-2 Win vs. Tampa Bay
4-2 Win vs. Atlanta
D. Tucker - 15
M. Sundin - 15
T. Kaberle - 11

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Another Honour

rewindI just learned my four year old son has a friend named Honour. Hearing that took me back about three decades when I too had a friend named Honour. Honour was one of my three imaginary friends.

A few years ago I opened up about Honour, Grrr and Lion, three not-so-real friends I thought were as real as could be. As you probably guessed, toddler Mike named them, but Honour doesn't seem like such a silly name now.

I haven't actually met James' friend Honour, but I'm assuming she's real. It's when he tells me about his new pal Grrr that I'll start having my doubts.

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Great Videos: A Criminal Mind

tvWhen I look back at the early days of MuchMusic, there are certain videos that immediately spring to mind. One such video is for Gowan's "A Criminal Mind". But first, let's review where we've been.

Gowan is Canadian, which meant here in Canada "A Criminal Mind" got plenty of airplay. This was a good thing because the video was/is really cool. I'm surprised by how well it's held up. The follow up, "(You're A) Strange Animal", is pretty good too.

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William Styron, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumWilliam Styron was 81. His 1979 novel "Sophie's Choice" was made into an acclaimed film and he won a Pulitzer Prize for "The Confessions of Nat Turner".

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Toronto 2015 World Expo

torontoWe're a day and ten minutes away from the deadline to submit our bid to host the 2015 World Expo. You've no doubt been hearing and reading about this all week, but do you actually give a damn?

I couldn't tell you who hosted any World Expo since '86 when it was in Vancouver. I have no clue who's hosting it this year. I'd Google it, but I just don't care. Clearly the World Expo has lost its sex appeal.

Having said all of that, I'd like us to bid and get this thing. Why? Because it's a big fat excuse to throw a bunch of money at a whack of stuff this city needs and deserves. The waterfront project will be completed much earlier, badly needed infrastructure will be financed and prioritized. Good things will happen in Toronto because we'll not want to look unprepared when the world visits in 2015.

We will soon know whether a level of government stepped up to cover a projected loss estimated at between $700 million to $2.2 billion.

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Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 2

LeafsThat's three in a row! Back in September I openly wondered who would score on this team. I predicted we'd get a bunch of goals from the blueline. Until recently, I was very wrong. But now, the blue line is leading the charge thanks to Tomas Kaberle's fifth goal in three games.

We'll go for four tonight against the Panthers.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
7-4-3
17 points
2nd in Northeast
4-2 Win vs. Tampa Bay
4-2 Win vs. Atlanta
5-4 Win vs. Montreal
D. Tucker - 15
M. Sundin - 14
K. Wellwood - 11

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Link: NHL on Google Video

LinkNHL on Google Video - This is HUGE. The NHL has announced a multi-year deal to provide NHL video content to Google Video. We'll see where this goes, but the premise is outstanding.

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Weekly MP3: Mushaboom

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.

Feist - Mushaboom (Postal Service Remix)
We've all heard about Leslie Feist by now, but have you heard this Postal Service remix of her hit "Mushaboom". You probably have, but I'm sharing it anyway.

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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.

Hey the Maple Leafs seem to have picked up speed and are ready to take a crack at the playoffs! It seems to be a lot more exciting than last year and last year was actually great! Buffalo seems to be all conquering and will be one of the favs to win the Cup. Pittsburgh seems to have the team of the future - let them come to Hamilton. I even heard that Ballsile wants to build a new stadium in Kitchener-Waterloo. Nah, Hamilton is cool! Although my friends in Winnipeg want a team there. And what about Quebec City?

      Roshan

On December 2, 2005 I wrote this Leafs recap following a 4-0 win over the Panthers. You'll see we were 15-9-3 at the time. We all know what happened last season. Still, I'm cautiously optimistic.

I wouldn't bet on a team coming to Hamilton. As neat as it would be, I can't imagine it happening.

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