January 2007 Archives

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Chris Sligh Is A Funny Dude

AII caught most of American Idol yesterday, but there was a Leafs game on so I may have missed a highlight or two. There wasn't much that was memorable, but there was an audition from Chris Sligh that's worthy of a revisit.

Sligh's a decent enough singer, and he's on to Hollywood, but it's his sense of humour I liked. He's a funny dude, and as you know, the world needs laughter. Here's his audition, complete with funny bits.

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Weekly MP3: Woodstock

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.

Joni Mitchell - Woodstock
Joni Mitchell was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in Toronto on Sunday. That's reason enough to share one of my favourite Joni Mitchell songs.

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When Mary Worth Was an Apple Selling Grandmother

appleAn interesting comment was left earlier today on this entry about Lynn Johnston's retirement from writing For Better Or For Worse. A fellow fan of the strip who goes by the handle T. K. Niland left Lynn a message, in the hopes that Lynn Johnston will find her way to my site. Here's what T. K. Niland had to say.

Dear Ms. Johnston,

I certainly understand your desire to “lighten” your load; but I will certainly miss the current format. I am a 75 year old comic strip “Junkie.” I’ve been reading comic strips since I’ve been able to read. I can remember when Mary Worth was an apple selling grandmother during the depression and have watched her grow younger to become a hot babe in Vietnam chasing a middle age Doctor.

I don’t look forward to losing the anticipation of finding out how the plot thickens; but I do understand and wish you God’s Speed.

Sincerely,
T. K. Niland

I love that line about remembering Mary Worth when she was an apple selling grandmother and then watching her grow younger to become a hot babe chasing a middle aged doctor. Heck, I love the whole thing. And I whole heartedly agree.

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Wendel Clark Is All Heart

leafsBeing a Maple Leafs fan in the 80s was tough. There were some awful teams in that decade, but hope arrived in the mid 80s when we drafted #17, Wendel Clark.

I will never forget the 1985-86 post season when we swept the Chicago Black Hawks in three games. That was when my brothers and I first broke out the Diet Coke. You would have thought we had just won the cup. Wendel was our leader and a member of The Hound Line with Russ Courtnall and Gary Leeman. We took the St. Louis Blues to a seventh game before bowing out. We went just as deep the next season, too.

Wendel Clark scored the overtime winner in the greatest game I ever saw. My brother Ryan proudly wore his #17 jersey and we all suffered during his long periods of inactivity due to injuries. Clark was our guy and pound for pound the toughest player you'll ever see playing the game. Doug Gilmour remains my favourite Leaf, but Clark was the definitive Leaf.

This video is entitled "All Heart" and it's a fitting tribute to the man who led us seven games deep in the second round in 1986 and gave me my first taste of the thrill a playoff series victory brings.


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Earning Sexually Explicit Content

bookThe Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board has removed David Guterson's novel Snow Falling on Cedars from school library shelves and English class reading lists. Apparently there were complaints about the book's sexually explicit content.

In this world of sex and gore filled video games, accessible Internet porn and instant digital/satellite/on-demand XXX movies, the idea that some kids may actually read a prize-winning novel for a dose of smut is refreshing.

I say, if the kids stumble upon a little sexually explicit content while reading Snow Falling on Cedars, they've earned it.

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Super Bowl CanCon

nflIsrael Idonije and Dan Federkeil will be representing Canada during Sunday's Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

Federkeil is a backup offensive lineman with the Indianapolis Colts and a native of Medicine Hat, Alberta. Idonije grew up in Brandon, Manitoba and is a defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears. He was actually born in Lagos, Nigeria, but he's so Canadian, he played ball for the University of Manitoba.

I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd bet a Canadian is winning the Super Bowl this Sunday.

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Maple Leafs 4, Hurricanes 1

LeafsLets face facts, since the All-Star game, the Leafs are undefeated, having outscored opponents 8-2. The Rayzor has been sharp and even bums like Nik Antropov are contributing. We've been more physical, playing with the heart and soul of a team determined to slip into that 8th spot in the conference.

Tonight we're in the big apple to face fellow Power grad Brendan Shanahan and the Rangers. We're road warriors, expect the streak to hit three.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
24-22-6
54 points
4th in Northeast
4-1 Win vs. Carolina
4-1 Win vs. Montreal
8-2 Loss vs. Pittsburgh
M. Sundin - 44
T. Kaberle - 42
B. McCabe - 37

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Sidney Sheldon, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumSidney Sheldon was 89. He won awards in three careers - Broadway theater, movies and television - then at age 50 turned to writing best-selling novels about stalwart women who triumph in a hostile world of ruthless men.

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Don't Stand So Close to Me

thumbsdownI've never liked The Police. They're reuniting to open the 49th Annual Grammy Awards and I couldn't care less.

I've tried to like their music, mainly because I love Sting's contribution to one of my favourite Simpsons episodes, Radio Bart. He was so good in that amazing ep, I've been trying to like his music ever since. The thing is, the only stuff I hate more than tunes from The Police is tunes from Sting himself. It's awful.

The man can dig like nobody's business, but his music is pure shite.

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He Got The Train Through!

rewindI just wrote about the Elmo and Zooey bit I do with the kids. We've been playing that boo / yay game for over a year now. There was actually a time last year when Michelle refused to wear her Elmo pyjamas because she didn't think I'd like them. I had to assure her that I actually (gulp) like Elmo and love those pjs, but I pretend I don't like Elmo for that game. Kids can be so gullible.

Enough about the new school Sesame Street. As a youngster raised on the show, my all-time favourite bit was Cookie Monster as Casey McPhee getting that train through. I loved the song, I loved the avalanche effect and I loved the outcome.

Bless YouTube and whoever shared this clip. Here's the aforementioned piece from the classic Sesame Street days of my youth.


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Elmo and Zooey? Boooooo!!!

tvThere's an running gag in our house regarding Elmo and his gal pal Zooey. They are Sesame Street characters that weren't around in my Sesame Street watching days, so whenever James or Michelle say their names, I give them a angry "Booooooo!!". They have to throw me a Cookie Monster, Oscar or old school character to get me to "Yaaaayyyy!!!"

If you're a sucker for nostalgia, and someone who watched Sesame Street in the 70s, you'll love this entry on the five forgotten Sesame Street characters. They focus on Prairie Dawn, Herry Monster, Don Music, Roosevelt Franklin and Sam the Super-Automated Robot.

I must confess, I don't recall Roosevelt Franklin or Sam the Super-Automated Robot, but I remember the others well. They are the forgotten five, replaced by the Elmos and Zooeys of the neighbourhood.

Booooooooo!!!!!

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U2's Window in the Skies Video

videoI'm not sure this tune is any good, but the video is great. It's from U2's singles collection, U218 and the video appears to be sung by an assortment of great artists, from Iggy to Flav.

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My Name is Michael, I Got a Nickel

rewindAs a child, I owned this plastic toy radio that only played one song. It played the tune from Clint Holmes' "Playground In My Mind" and on the back it had the lyrics to this verse from that song.

My name is Michael, I got a nickel
I got a nickel, shiny and new
I'm gonna buy me all kinds of candy
That's what I'm gonna do.

Being a Michael, I thought this was pretty cool. I didn't have to Google those lyrics, they're tattooed on my brain for all of eternity. In fact, I still have that old radio. It found its way into an old box of mine and has followed me from home to home over the past fifteen years.

Are there any Michael's out there who didn't hear this verse from "Playground In My Mind" a million times growing up?

My Name is Michael My Name is Michael - Reverse

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The Bestest Raptors Evah!

raptorsBack in 2005 I listed who I thought were the best Toronto Raptors of all-time as my Friday Five. In order, I listed Vince Carter, Damon Stoudamire, Tracy McGrady, Antonio Davis and Doug Christie.

Last Friday, someone anonymously sent in their Friday Five. This person listed Chris Bosh, Vince Carter, Tracy McGrady, Damon Stoudamire and Marcus Camby. Obviously, when I made up my list, Chris Bosh wasn't quite there yet. Another couple of seasons of Bosh excellence has forced me to revise my list.

As of this moment in time, here are the best Toronto Raptors of all-time.

  • Vince Carter
  • Chris Bosh
  • Damon Stoudamire
  • Tracy McGrady
  • Antonio Davis

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Optimus Prime

Question MarkI probably heard about this when it happened, but I just rediscovered it. Back in 2001, a firefighter from Ohio legally changed his name to Optimus Prime. He made the change on his thirtieth birthday and "Optimus Prime" now appears on his driver's license, military ID, and firefighter uniform.

Imagine having the name Optimus Prime. That would be the coolest.

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Instant Messenger Observations

gaimWhen I log in to Gaim, I'm simultaneously logging in to three IM channels: GTalk, Yahoo! and MSN. I've noticed a developing trend over the past year.

The Yahoo! users seem to be disappearing. There was a time when the majority of my friends, family and acquaintances were using the Yahoo! Instant Messenger. Today, it's rare I see anyone else joining me online.

As the YIM users have vanished, the GTalk users are increasing. Without a doubt, Google has experienced the biggest increase in my non-scientific study. In fact, many who were once faithful to YIM have gone to Google for their IMing.

The MSN users remain the same. I think once you've decided to use the MSN messenger, you're not going to change. You're not really the early adaptor, progressive type, are you? While the MSN users remain the same, it's worth noting they're still the largest group. GTalk is rising fast, but there's still a great deal of ground to make up.

If you're a YIM, MSN or GTalk user, and we've got exciting things to discuss, here are my usernames.

  • YIM: mikeboon
  • GTalk: mikeboon
  • MSN: torontobooner@hotmail.com

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Michelle Can't Wait For Sunday Morning

familyI mentioned Michelle loves to sing. One of her favourite songs to sing is k-os' "Sunday Morning". She just loves that song.

This morning, which just happened to be a Sunday morning, she was singing this song while she coloured. I thought it was pretty damn cute and took a little video with my digital camera. Here's Michelle singing a little "Sunday Morning".


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The Best Original Song Oscar Winners of All Time

oscarNormally by this time in January I'd have already launched my little Oscar pool. Here are the results from the last three years.

As you see, it very quickly went from twelve participants in 2004 to 99 last year. Truth be told, I'm not sure I have the time or want to exert that energy it will take to manage a 100+ person Oscar pool this year. I'd rather save all that energy for our annual NHL playoff pool.

While I sit on the fence and think about whether I'm hosting a pool this year or not, I'm going through the list of Academy Award winners for best original song. For the most part, the tunes are pretty darn weak. Here are my ten favourites.

  • "Over the Rainbow" - The Wizard of Oz
  • "When You Wish Upon a Star" - Pinocchio
  • "White Christmas" - Holiday Inn
  • "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" - Song of the South
  • "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • "Theme from Shaft" - Shaft
  • "Let the River Run" - Working Girl
  • "Streets of Philadelphia" - Philadelphia
  • "Lose Yourself" - 8 Mile
  • "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" - Hustle & Flow

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Link: Tangerine Panic

LinkTangerine Panic - WHY ARE THEY SO BIG?

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Gump Worsley, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumGump Worsley was 77. He was the Hall of Fame goaltender who played 21 years in the NHL with the New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota North Stars.

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Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 1

LeafsPavel Kubina had his coming out party last night as we once again whipped our arch rivals from Montreal. Kubina scored two goals and added an assist as we improved our record against the Haps to 3-0-2.

We're tenth in the conference right now as we embark on a season-high five-game road trip. Light a penny candle.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
23-22-6
52 points
4th in Northeast
4-1 Win vs. Montreal
8-2 Loss vs. Pittsburgh
3-2 Win vs. Florida
M. Sundin - 44
T. Kaberle - 40
J. O'Neill - 36

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Please Be Great

homerFrom the time it was revealed they were finally going to do it, I've been anticipating July 27, 2007. That's the day The Simpsons Movie will hit theatres.

I'm nervous. Things I read cause me concern. "We're still trying to figure out what the movie is about," admitted show producer James L. Brooks recently. Yikes.

I really, really want this movie to be good. It can't suck, it can't even be average. I've waited over half my life for this and it has to be great.

Homer

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Charlotte's Web

A Movie ReelCharlotte's Web: 6 out of 10.

This movie isn't nearly as good as the two Babe films, and it's probably not as good as the 1973 cartoon, but it's still a solid story and fairly easy to stomach.

Lots of big name celebrities lent their voices, including Julia Roberts and Oprah Winfrey, but Steve Buscemi as a rat steals that show. Steve Buscmei as a rat, whodathunkit?

If you're looking to take your kid / nephew / neice / little sibling to a flick, you might consider this one. How's that for a ringing endorsement?

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Things I Learnt Today

giftI spent the day hosting a bunch of James' friends as they celebrated his fifth birthday. There was pizza, there was cake and there was a movie. I learnt a great deal.

Spills Are Inevitable
The more four and five year olds you have in one room, the more spillage there will be. There were at least three big spills. When kids are drinking, spills are a guarantee.

Cake Tastes Better When Eaten With Fingers
You can give them forks with their cake, but the cake will taste better if they eat it with their hands. No forks required. Cake is, contrary to popular belief, a finger food.

Kids Talk During Movies
In the middle of Charlotte's Web, James wanted to tell me the pig's name was Wilber. Charlotte's Web attracts a young crowd, and many are asking their parents about what's happening on screen. If you can't handle a little chatter during films, don't go to Charlotte's Web.

When Charlotte Croaks, You'll Be Hit Harder
Even though I've seen the 1973 version of Charlotte's Web, I still got a little choked up when Charlotte died. She was such a sweet spider, dammit. While my eyes moistened and Taryn sniffled, the kids all had dry eyes. They're just young enough to be okay with the demise of that wonderful arachnid.

When It's All Over, It's Time For A Nap
After all that pizza and cake and games and a movie, it's time for a nap. I'm not talking about the four and five year olds, I'm talking about us supervisors. I'm exhausted!

James had a blast, the movie didn't suck and there's a little leftover pizza for tonight. All around, it couldn't have gone better. Well, except for the spillage...

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Always remember that you’re representing your country. I guess what I’m saying is, don’t mess up France the way you messed up your room."

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Ricky Gervais Meets Larry David

humourI loved watching Ricky Gervais Meets Larry David. If you're a fan of either of these two, or both like me, you'll love this too.

It's a five part YouTube extravaganza. It's well worth the 45 minutes it will take you to watch all five.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

Part Five

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Snow Falls On Renaissance ROM

picturesThe snow falling this afternoon created a nice effect with the Renaissance ROM. The snow was accumulating on those narrow windows on the roof. It was pretty neat, but I couldn't quite capture it with my camera.

Here's my best shot.

Snow Falls On Rom

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Frozen Headphone Wire Alert

snowflakeOk, so we celebrated the lack of winter weather a little early. That's our prerogative. This week, the chill has finally set in.

I can always tell when it's really cold because my headphone wires freeze. They assume a shape and won't budge. As a result, today I'm issuing a frozen headphone wire alert for all Toronto residents.

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Akeelah and the Bee

A Movie ReelAkeelah and the Bee: 7.5 out of 10.

I've had the soundtrack for Akeelah and the Bee for some time, but last night I actually finished the film. It's an endearing, charming movie with Keke Palmer doing a great job as the lead character who captures our heart.

You know how it's going to end, but you're still choked up when you get there. Good stuff.

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Hilarious ESPN Player Survey

hockeyESPN conducted a survey of 141 active NHL players. They were asked questions like "who is the best natural goal scorer in the NHL" or "who is the toughest player in the NHL". Players couldn't pick teammates.

I got a chuckle from question number five. "Game 7 of the Cup finals... which current goalie would you want in net for your team?" Naturally, Martin Brodeur got the most votes, but guess who else got a vote? One of those 141 active NHL players wanted Andrew Raycroft in net for his team in game seven of the Stanley Cup finals.

I hope the player who picked Rayzor doesn't aspire to become a General Manager. How could anyone who knows hockey want Raycroft between the pipes for a game like that when you can choose any current goalie in the league?

Pure hilarity.

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Talkin' Some Bosh

raptorsLet's talk Bosh this morning. The Raptors MVP will start for the Eastern Conference in next month's All-Star Game. He's only the second Raptor to get voted into the all-star game. The other, Vince Carter, wasn't voted in this time.

When we drafted Bosh I knew he was going to be good, but I didn't expect him to be this good. In the post Vinsanity era we didn't have to wait long for a superstar to emerge on this team. In just his fourth season Chris Bosh is starting an all-star game and has the Raptors one game under .500 and fighting for a playoff spot.

Can Bosh skate?

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I Redeemed All Of Canada

canadaI did good tonight. I redeemed all of Canada.

When Whorella Mundane requested an MP3 of Gord Downie's Hallelujah, I emailed it right away. That is, after all, my duty. I got this email from Whorella shortly thereafter.

Oh my god that was so fast! Thank you so much. You have redeemed all of canada for me!

My work here is done.

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Ed Boon's Mortal Kombat Armageddon Demo

nintendoI've never played Mortal Kombat, but when I saw some cat named Ed Boon was demonstrating Mortal Kombat Armageddon on the Nintendo Wii, I thought I'd check it out. After all, his name is Ed Boon and there's no "e" at the end of that surname.

It's actually a very cool little promo. It not only makes me want to play Mortal Kombat Armageddon, but it makes me want the Nintendo Wii. According to Wikipedia, Ed Boon is a co-creator of the Mortal Kombat fighting game series, but as far as I know, we're unrelated.

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Shocking News: Toronto Home Prices Rise

houseIn shocking news, it's been revealed that the average price of a Toronto home is significantly higher now than it was in 1981. It's true! The price of homes in the 416 have risen 290%, from $90,203 to $351,941.

As a Toronto homeowner, it's nice to see I've made a solid investment, but there's a catch. If I were to sell my home, I'd just have to buy another home in the same market, so there's no cash grab. Since I'm not willing to pull up stakes and move to Saskatchewan, I'll just have to wait until I'm ready to die before I cash in.

But if I were willing to move to Saskatchewan, I'd have a tidy profit on my hands!

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Link: Premature Death of Rock Stars

LinkPremature Death of Rock Stars - This is a very thorough listing of dead rock stars. It includes their age at the time of death and how they died. Heart attack seems to be the biggest killer, followed closely by drug overdose. The average age of death is a remarkably low 36.9 years old.

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Jory Steinberg, From Ottawa to American Idol

idolIdol was in New York yesterday and we were pummelled with the crazies. There were a few good auditions, however, including one from Jory Steinberg.

Jory Steinberg is Canadian. She was born and raised in Ottawa and a little Googling reveals she starred in Les Miserable at the age of eleven. Simon seemed to dig her, and did I mention she's Canadian? Here's her audition.

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Jason Sundance Head's Memphis Audition

idolI watch American Idol. Don't sound so surprised, I admitted I did the Idol thing here. Since my 2007 pledge was to make this blog all about me, I'm no longer hiding the fact I watch AI, or the fact I refer to it as AI. I do, and now I'm going to start writing about it.

Last night we saw auditions from Memphis and there were a few decent ones, but my favourite came from Jason "Sundance" Head. Admittedly, AI is a very cheesy guilty pleasure, but ya gotta admit this kid's good.

No wise cracks, please. I'm out of the AI closet and I ain't ashamed. Leave a comment and reassure me I'm not alone.

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Blame Canada, Of Course

movies20th Century Fox blames Canada for film piracy. "Canada has become a hotbed for film piracy," Bruce Snyder, Fox president of U.S. distribution, said in this article. "It's a serious problem."

Apparently it has something to do with the fact we can't get arrested for bringing a camcorder into a movie theatre. In the USA, you can. As a result, we're all recording movies Kramer-style and flooding the world with bootleg copies of new releases.

Fox is even threatening to release movies in Canada at a later date. They're completely serious when they suggest we're the root of this film piracy evil.

Go ahead and deprive us of your crappy films. I'm sure that will clear this problem right up. I know I'm always hankering for a camcordered copy of "Stomp the Yard" or "The Hitcher".

When all else fails, blame Canada.

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More Than Meets the Eye

teddybearI wish I had kept my Transformers. Naturally, I favoured the Autobots, collecting Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Hot Rod, and of course, Optimus Prime. I also had some Decepticons, like Rampage, Ramjet and Megatron.

There are now Star Wars Transformers, and James has a few. There's also a movie coming out, so the kids are talking about The Transformers again. Everything old is new again.

My brother Steve mentioned he has Optimus Prime stored away somewhere. I'm going other there to snap some pics of my old friend. I haven't seen him in a while.

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The Gandharvas - The First Day of Spring

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 Gandharvas - The First Day of Spring
Last time I shared some Rusty. That got me thinking about cool Canadian bands from the mid nineties that have disappeared. The Gandharvas broke with this ultra cool single "The First Day of Spring" and followed that up with a few more radio singles, including "Downtime", another very cool track.

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Toronto Rocks Intro and Hosts Clarification

cntowerThe passing of John Majhor got me thinking about "Toronto Rocks". Majhor was the original host of "Toronto Rocks", a video show I used to watch after school.

For the longest time I thought J.D. Roberts was also a host of that show. It turns out my mind was playing tricks on me. Despite what I wrote here, J.D. Roberts never hosted "Toronto Rocks". Brad Giffen took over for John Majhor and J.D. Roberts hosted "The New Music".

I couldn't find a clip of John Majhor hosting "Toronto Rocks", but I did find this intro with Brad Giffen at the helm. This brings back a boat load of memories. Hopefully they're a little more accurate this time.

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John Majhor, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJohn Majhor was 53. He was the host of City-TV's "Toronto Rocks" and "Lunch Television" as well as a popular disc jockey on CHUM-AM.

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Wanting To Like Water

moviesI start watching a number of movies I never finish. If the movie is boring or just plain awful, I'll bail. You never read my reviews of these movies because I don't review the flicks I don't finish.

Deepa Mehta's "Water" has been nominated for best foreign-language film. It's the first time a non-French Canadian movie has received such a nomination. Many a critic has praised "Water", and when it came to TMN last year, I wanted to like it. I'll bet you know where this sad tale is headed.

It bored me to tears. I couldn't take it any longer and stopped watching. This was a critically acclaimed Canadian movie but I couldn't sit through it.

I also couldn't get through "Mr. & Mrs. Smith", "Are We There Yet?" and "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life". There are many others, but I've successfully blocked out the bad memories.

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79th Oscar Nominees Unveiled

oscarThey announced the nominees for the 79th annual Academy Awards this morning. Here's the complete list.

Up for best picture are the following flicks.

  • Babel
  • The Departed
  • Letters From Iwo Jima
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • The Queen

Canadian Ryan Gosling is up for best actor for his role in "Half Nelson". From "Breaker High" to Oscar glory, this is the story of the day.

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Super Bowl Shuffle

nflI've waited twenty-two years to break this beauty out again.

We're not here to start no trouble, we're just here to do the Super Bowl shuffle.

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Weather Centre

snowflakeWithout failure, whenever there are rumours of a snowstorm, I get the same emails and instant messages from my mom. She wants to know how much snow we're getting and when we're getting it. For my mom, I made a little change to this home page.

Beneath those photos on the right I've got a little Weather Network module that shows the current Toronto weather. My mom now knows that she can click that forecast and get all the details from the Weather Network. They'll tell her how many centimetres are falling and when they're falling.

For the record, we don't expect any precipitation from Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening.

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Celeb Spotting: Aubrey Graham

binocularsI mentioned I had pretty good seats for the Raptor game on Friday night. Sitting in the front row, right beside the basket was none other than Aubrey Graham.

Most of you probably don't have a clue who Aubrey Graham is. I'm not embarrassed to tell you that both Taryn and I recognized him immediately as the guy who plays James 'Jimmy' Brooks on "Degrassi: The Next Generation". You know, the guy who got shot and ended up in a wheel chair.

He's the second Degrassi alumnus I met at a Raptors game. Years ago I saw Stefan Brogren there. That's right, I bumped into The Zit Remedy's own Snake. Snake trumps Jimmy, I know.

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Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

nflI don't watch much NFL football these days, but I caught the last quarter of the Colts - Patriots game last night. It was thrilling.

The Colts were down 21-3 before Peyton Manning led them all the way back to a 38-34 victory in the AFC title game. All week long I've been reading articles about Manning as if he was at the end of his career and he was going down in history as the best quarterback to never play in a Super Bowl. The guy is only thirty and he's been so close, so many times before, you just knew it was only a matter of time. That time is now.

I sure know how to pick my spots. That was the only quarter of NFL football I caught all season. It's all downhill from here.

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The Humble & Fred Podcast Returneth

podcastIf you head on over to humbleandfred.com this morning, you'll see a new look and a new podcast.

In addition to the hour long show there's a shorter RAW file of naughty outtakes that are NSFW. Up until last night I was using a rather embarrassing shot of the boys as Sunshine Boys as the main picture. A sick and weary Humble Howard called me yesterday and begged me to remove that shot and replace it with anything else. Little did he know I chose the teal colour scheme to match Fred's shorts from the Sunshine Girl spread.

Enjoy the show and let me know what you think.

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Dave Keon's Return

leafsThis may come as a surprise to younger readers of this site, but the Leafs once won the Stanley Cup. In fact, the Stanley Cup banner I'm staring at right now shows we won it eleven times, most recently in 1967.

The Conn Smythe Trophy winner in 1967 was none other than Dave Keon. Keon won four cups with the Leafs in total and is our second highest scorer of all time, at least until Mats Sundin catches him. Keon has also been holding a grudge since Harold Ballard screwed him in the mid 70s. I've read many an article in which Keon was quoted as saying he'd never attend another official Maple Leaf function. He's that bitter.

Never say never. Keon has agreed to appear in Toronto in a pre-game ceremony on February 17 at the Air Canada Centre to honour the 1967 Stanley Cup champion team. I never saw Keon play, but fans from the 60s will tell you he was the greatest Maple Leaf in the history of the franchise. He was also one of the most popular Leafs and it will be great to see him on February 17th.

Let the healing begin. Davey's coming home.

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The Video For Regina Spektor's Fidelity

videoWe sort of broke with convention when we put Regina Spektor's Fidelity on SLS16. We just dug the tune so much, we couldn't leave it on the cutting room floor. I even slapped it on my ten favourite songs of 2006 list.

Regina Spektor's got a video for "Fidelity". It's kinda cool. Here it is.

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It's A God Damn Arms Race

swearsIf you listen to "new rock" radio, you've probably heard Fall Out Boy's new single This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race. It's not a bad tune, it's sort of catchy, but I can't stand hearing it on the radio. The reason? It's far too heavily censored.

I understand radio singles with the F bomb removed or maybe the S word changed to a lingering shhhh, but the version of This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race they play on Edge 102 deletes the expression "god damn" and that expression is rather prominent in the chorus, repeated three times.

In 2007, are we still unable to play a rock song that says "god damn"? I'm sure this isn't Edge 102's doing and they're just playing the version they were given, but what does this say about our society. Fall Out Boy probably rightly assumed a number of stations would be afraid to play their single if they didn't censor "god damn". Yikes.

This ain't a scene, it’s a god damn arms race.

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Maple Leafs 2, Penguins 8

LeafsThe big debate at my house yesterday was whether the Leafs would make the playoffs or not. Ryan said we'd finish 8th in the conference and therefore make the playoffs. Steve said we'd finish 10th. I think we'll likely finish 11th.

Ryan, I present last night's game as exhibit A.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
22-22-6
50 points
4th in Northeast
8-2 Loss vs. Pittsburgh
3-2 Win vs. Florida
4-2 Win vs. Tampa Bay
M. Sundin - 42
T. Kaberle - 39
B. McCabe - 35

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Heroes In A Half Shell

partyAt James' birthday party tonight, he received all four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from his grandmother. James loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but today's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aren't quite the same as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I recall from the late 80s.

My Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were drawn a little softer, a little friendlier. James' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seem quite angry and far more intimidating. Even Splinter seems a little scarier.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I was such a big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan, my friend Joe and I attending the sneak preview of the 1990 movie. Keep in mind, in 1990 I was fifteen years old, but I remember loving that flick. It was funny, thrilling and it even featured Elias Koteas as Casey Jones.

I see a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is coming soon. It, of course, features James' TMNT, and not the Turtles I remember so fondly. Here's the teaser trailer.

Here is James and his new toys.

Playing With TMNT

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Five Years Ago Flashback

picturesNow that Sweet Baby James is five, I've been thinking a lot about that wonderful day five years ago.

Here are four photos from five years ago today.

Mike in Surgery James Birth
James Meets Mommy James' Birth

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I Don't Do NASCAR

carI started The Dead Pool back in 2000 with my brothers. Ever since, that dead pool page has taken on a life of its own. I've documented every significant celebrity death since.

Some known personalities have passed but weren't added to that page. It's very subjective as to who I determine to be a known person. I consider a local Toronto dee jay to be significant, but I'll omit a long time American senator. This past week I received a couple of emails about a death I ignored. That was the death of Benny Parsons.

I had never heard of Benny Parsons before he passed away Tuesday at the age of 65. I have sinced learned he was a NASCAR driver who was best known as the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup champ. Because I had never heard of him and because his claim to fame is driving NASCAR, I didn't deem him worthy. To many, he's quite famous, but unless it's Dale Earnhardt or someone I've actually heard of, I don't do NASCAR.

My apologies to NASCAR fans everywhere.

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Saint Sidney's Ascent

hockeySidney Crosby has now played 123 NHL games. He has 62 goals and 109 assists, adding up to 171 points. We're all looking for the next Gretzky, and many are hoping this is him. Today's Globe has a great comparision chart that shows you how the Great One and other Next Ones have fared after 125 games.

  • Wayne Gretzky - 219 points
  • Mario Lemieux - 191 points
  • Eric Lindros - 172 points
  • Sidney Crosby (through 123 games) - 171 points

It's worth noting that many tout Alexander Ovechkin as the next one, and he's not far off Sidney's pace with 167 points in 125 games. Call me Canuck-centric, but I'm pulling for Sid to be the next one. I want the greatest player suiting up for Canada during World Cups, the Olympics, etc.

There may never be another Gretzky, but that's okay. There may never be another Crosby, either. Sid the Kid takes on my Leafers tonight, and I'll be watching.

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Courtside at the Raptors Game

raptorsAs I mentioned yesterday, I was courtside for the Raptors - Jazz game last night at the ACC. I had never been courtside before.

They have three rows of chairs on one side of the court and these chairs are literally on the court. The only way to be closer is to be one of the refs. I took some pictures to try and capture of sense of the view, but they don't really do it justice. Here's the obligatory photoset.

Oh yeah, I said I'd tell you if they were worth $942. In my humble opinion, no basketball game short of game seven of the finals is worth even half that much. Even then, I'd save the cash and watch it on the telly.

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James Is Five

birthdayJames, my first born son and apple of my eye, is five years old today.

I remember that January day in 2002 when Taryn called me from the hospital. She told me to get my butt down there because after days and days of false alarms and anticipation, they were probably going in to get him out. I was home preparing to watch "The Greatest Show on Turf". Kurt Warner and the Rams were taking on my Packers in the NFL playoffs. Instead, I threw on my lucky Leafs hat and hit the road to become a father.

Five seems awfully old. What's next, six? I'm a lucky SOB because somehow James has become the sweetest, happiest soul on the planet. He's now learning to read, interested in playing tee ball this spring, enjoying Star Wars, Batman, Spider-man and he's an exceptional older brother to boot.

Happy fifth birthday, son! Here's a review of your first five years.

James Meets Mommy James and Daddy James Loves Homer James Chills James at Skydome august31-2005-bc24 Cool Tat James Ryan

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Marge, when I join an underground cult I expect a little support from my family."

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Denny Doherty, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumDenny Doherty was 66. He was the Canadian quarter of the 1960s folk-rock group the Mamas and the Papas, who were known for their soaring harmonies on hits like "California Dreamin’" and "Monday, Monday."

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Scott Bigelow, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumScott Bigelow was 45. He was the professional wrestler better known as Bam Bam Bigelow.

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$942 To Catch The Raptors

raptorsI'm holding in my hand right now two courtside seats for tonight's Toronto Raptors - Utah Jazz basketball game at the ACC.

Each ticket cost $471. That means this pair cost someone $942. I assure you, I'm not the one who forked over nearly a grand for a couple of seats at a regular season NBA game, but I sure am psyched about sitting in these seats tonight.

$942. Wow. That boggles my mind. When I buy tickets to see the Raps, I buy in the Sprite Zone where each ticket is less than $12. These seats I'm in tonight are about $460 more than that.

I'll let you know tomorrow if they're worth it. And yes, I'm bringing my camera. Catch the game on television and you might just see me coming off the bench in garbage time.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Rusty songs

  1. Groovy Dead
  2. Wake Me
  3. Empty Cell
  4. Misogyny
  5. Oh No Joe

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Crazy Mary

musicI've always liked a good cover. There's something about a familiar song being interpreted by another band that I dig. About five years ago we in the SLS committee threw together Cover Me Badd, 18 of our favourite new rock style covers of the day. Just a couple of years ago, I listed my ten favourite covers. This entry is about one of those songs.

Although I didn't rank it number one in that list of December 5, 2004, it should have been. There is no cover I like as much as Pearl Jam's cover of Victoria Williams' "Crazy Mary". I wrote a bit about what this song means to me when I included it as one of My Ten Tracks. For more, let me take you back to 1993.

The Buffalo Bills became the first team to lose 3 consecutive Super Bowls, the World Trade Center was bombed, the Habs won their 24th Stanley Cup, River Phoenix died of a drug overdose outside of the Viper Room in Hollywood, Jean Chretien became the 20th Prime Minister of Canada and I entered university. I had no older siblings or any idea as to what to expect, I just knew I was supposed to show up in some room in some building downtown at a certain time on a certain date. That morning, my alarm went off. CFNY was playing Pearl Jam's "Crazy Mary". It was quiet and Eddie's words were crystal clear. "That what you fear the most could meet you halfway".

By this point, I already loved the song and owned Sweet Relief: A Benefit for Victoria Williams. Somehow, hearing those words so clearly at that moment on that day elevated this song in my eyes and ears. I knew Eddie didn't write those words, but he was channelling them, and he was talking to me.

I've since seen Pearl Jam perform that song live three times. Here they are performing it in 2000 at the ACC.

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Maple Leafs 3, Panthers 2

LeafsThe Rayzor stayed sharp and our all-star trifecta of Boyd Devereaux, Chad Kilger and John Pohl scored goals as our winning streak hit two.

Kids, today's lesson is about goaltending. When you get good goaltending, you can actually win games when you're outshot 41-19. This is particularly true when the opposing goaltender is having an off night. Now we know how others teams feel when they come into Toronto.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
22-20-6
50 points
4th in Northeast
3-2 Win vs. Florida
4-2 Win vs. Tampa Bay
6-1 Loss vs. Vancouver
M. Sundin - 42
T. Kaberle - 39
B. McCabe - 35

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Don't Comment While Feverish

thermometerWhen delirious from a fever, it's wise not to blog. You should also refrain from commenting on the blogs of others. No, I'm not feverish, but Humble Howard was when he left three comment on this entry.

The comments got a giggle out of me. Here they are.

Humble
January 17, 2007 / 17:05

Uhhh yeah. Big response so far?
I will say this even though Mike Boon wasn't in the room this time the show was actually dedicated to him...you just have to listen carefully for that.
Mike Boon is soley responsible for anything you may like on the Humble and Fred Podcast of Hope, 2007.
Hh

humble
January 17, 2007 / 17:08

I left a comment, it was funny, now I can't see it.
I also can't remember what I said. I don't feel well.
H

humble
January 17, 2007 / 17:10

Okay, Now I can see it.
I have to go and lay down now.
I listened to the PodCasty thing this afternoon and I found it somewhat humourous, of course I've got some bug and I'm sweating like a Heroin Addict.
hh

That reminds me. The Humble & Fred Message of Hope 2007 podcast is only four days away. Here's the obligatory photoset, even though I wasn't there and didn't take these pics. I have heard the podcast, however, and it is funny.

I'm glad to hear it was dedicated to me.

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Jeff Healey's Angel Eyes Video

videoAll this chatter about Jeff Healey got me thinking of "Angel Eyes", a sweet tune from his 1988 album See The Light.

It was a bonafide Cancon hit single at the time, and here's the video.

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Andrew Lockington Sheds Light On The Hallelujah Mystery

emailI received a fantastic email last night from Andrew Lockington. He stumbled upon my "A Homemade Hallelujah" entry in which I spread my love for Gord Downie's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" that appeared in the movie "Saint Ralph". Here's his email.

Hey man,
I was the composer on Saint Ralph and am amazed that the orchestral version of Hallelujah I arranged for Gord has such a following. Thanks for finding a way to get it to all these people.

Best,
Andrew

I then asked Andrew the million dollar question, the question many of us have been wondering about. I asked him why this exceptional song was never released as part of a soundtrack or as a single. Here's what he told me.

There was a soundtrack deal all lined up for the film which included the source music and the two versions of Hallelujah (the orchestral and the acoustic) and a combined version which starts out acoustically and the big orchestra joins in part way through. Someone dropped the ball and didn't get the material to the record label on time. They concluded they couldn't have the CD pressed in time for the film's release, and thus it wasn't worth putting it out. It was a real shame because there'd been a few companies willing and interested in putting out the soundtrack.

It was sure interesting to find your website. The song has been either praised or bashed by a lot of people all over the world. Everyone seems to have an opinion on it. The vocal take used in the film was truly magical. We were all so moved while Gord was singing this take (including Gord). I think it really shows through.

Best,
A

I've been seeking that kind of awesome detail for years and I'm sure others have as well. In fact, I know others have, because my "A Homemade Hallelujah" entry currently has 141 comments.

Thanks Al! To make life easier for all of us, I've created a category for these Gord Downie's Hallelujah entries at http://www.torontomike.com/gord_downies_hallelujah/.

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Weekly MP3: Groovy Dead

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.

Rusty - Groovy Dead
I've been listening to quite a bit of Rusty's Fluke album and I think it's highly underrated. I'm not sure what happened to these guys, but they were damn good.

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Anna Molly Is A Megalomaniac

musicI'm have the same reaction to Incubus' "Anna Molly" that I had to their 2003 single "Megalomaniac". Allow me to explain.

I was fairly indifferent to both songs when I first heard them. They sounded okay, but nothing special. Then, after a certain number of listens, because 102.1 plays the crap out of both, I started to dig it.

The thing is, I don't just like these tunes, I start to love them. I sing along, I crave their sound, I get happy when they're played. I become addicted.

With "Megalomaniac", this infatuation was closely followed by fatigue and I just got sick of it. I'm certain I'll have the same response to "Anna Molly" soon, but not yet. I'm still digging it the most.

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Jeff Healey's Guitar Gently Weeps

musicI was just reading that George Harrison's handwritten lyrics to "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" were sold for $300,000 US. That's one of my favourite Beatles songs. Heck, I even loved Jeff Healey's cover of that tune.

I always liked Jeff Healey. I had the 45 single for "Confidence Man" and See the Light on cassette. It was a solid album with "Angel Eyes", one hell of a sweet tune. I liked Jeff Healey well before a priest told me we were related.

Apparently, I had a distant relative in Ireland who was a Roman Catholic priest. I met him in the early 90s when he was visiting my grandmother. He asked me if I knew the blind musician Jeff Healey. When I answered in the affirmative, he continued to tell me that Jeff Healey was a second cousin of mine. I thought that was pretty cool.

Jeff had major surgery last week to remove cancerous tissue from both lungs. It's the fourth time he's had surgery for cancer.

Get well soon cuz!

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Percy Saltzman, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumPercy Saltzman was 91. He was the first man to appear on Canadian English-language television and the first meteorologist employed by the CBC.

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Link: Catalog Card Generator

LinkCatalog Card Generator - I had fun with this one.

Catalogue Card

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Maple Leafs 4, Lightning 2

LeafsNow that we all love Andrew Raycroft again, we have to get something sorted out. Are we going to refer to him as Razor or Rayzor?

I would have started Jean-Sebastien Aubin, and maybe that explains why I'm not a professional coach. Andrew Raycroft finally played a great game and the twin towers Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky added a goal and an assist each to a big win.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
21-20-6
48 points
4th in Northeast
4-2 Win vs. Tampa Bay
6-1 Loss vs. Vancouver
4-2 Win vs. Buffalo
M. Sundin - 42
T. Kaberle - 39
B. McCabe - 35

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Preserving Mr. Mugs For All Eternity

bookA few years ago, I wrote about Mr. Mugs. He was a sheep dog who starred in a series of books I read in kindergarten. That mutt taught me how to read.

Earlier today, Charity Maggio left a comment on that entry. Here's what she wrote.

Hey Mike,
Just so you know your not the only Mr mugs fan I am too. Where did you find the book and do you remeber Mr. Wiskers. I am looking for copies of the old school readers that we used to read when we were in school. If yuo could help me out that would wonderful.
Sincerly a fellow
Mr. Mugs reader

In response to that plea, I decided to photograph every page of the one Mr. Mugs book I still have and I put them all in this photoset. Here's a slideshow. Mr. Mugs is now preserved for future generations.

Mr. Mugs Mr. Mugs

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Michelle Can Sing

familyMichelle has amazing recall when it comes to music. She'll hear a song once in the car and then start singing it days later. I can usually name the tune in three notes because her rendition is spot on. The other day I caught her singing "In View by the Hip and about an hour ago she was singing "Sunday Morning" by k-os.

She's two, she's got a great memory and she can carry a tune. I'm checking to see if there's an age minimum for Canadian Idol.

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Link: 20 Amazing Short Animations

Link20 of the most amazing short animations you need to see before you die - This is precisely what it claims to be. It's a great collection, complete with some NFB and PJ.

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Three Months To Turn Her On

ttcShe's workin'! Way back on October 11 I wrote about the new infotainment screens that were installed at Jane Station. They were there, but they weren't operational until today.

That only took a little over three months. Jane's turned on and rarin' to go and I couldn't be happier.

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TGFS: Thank God For Scorsese

goldenglobesI watched most of the Golden Globes last night. What struck me throughout the night was how all the winners were in movies and television shows I had never seen.

Scorsese won for his direction of "The Departed", a movie I actually saw. Other than that, the only winner I could relate to was "Cars" which won for best animated flick. I took James to that one.

Even the Cecil B. DeMille Award winner left me mainly in the dark. It was awarded to Warren Beatty, and believe it or not, I've only seen one Warren Beatty movie in my entire life. That was "Bulworth", which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thank God for Martin Scorsese!

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The Podcast Will Go Live Monday

podcastWe have a go live date for the Humble & Fred Message of Hope 2007 podcast. It will be available next Monday at 9am at HumbleandFred.com.

As I mentioned on the weekend, there will be the podcast and bonus raw NSFW audio. When I showed Humble the new site, he asked me what NSFW meant. Is there anyone out there who doesn't know what NSFW means?

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Talin' MLK, Gonna Find A Way

calendarMartin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963.

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Isn't It Ironic... Don't You Think?

musicThe weekly quiz in yesterday's Star asked who had won more Juno awards: Alanis Morissette or Gordon Lightfoot. The answer, unfortunately, is Morissette. I got it right because year's of trivia have taught me it's always the harder to believe answer with questions like that.

Alanis Morissette's "Ironic" was a smash hit that we were all singing back in the mid-90s, but the song was grammatically incorrect. The examples of irony weren't actually ironic. Here are the lyrics modified so they actually are ironic.

An old man turned ninety-eight. He won the lottery and died the next day... of chronic emphysema from inhalation of the latex particles scratched off decades' worth of lottery tickets.

As you'll read, the truly ironic phrases aren't nearly as catchy.

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11th Wedding Anniversary

weddingI married Taryn eleven years ago today. Last year, on the day we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary, I shared the exciting details of that cold January day in 1996.

I don't have many pictures from that day, but I have a couple. Here they are.

The Wedding The Wedding

Taryn, I love you very much and I'm so glad we made that dumb ass decision back in '96. Happy 11th anniversary, poops.

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My Prima Television Nightmare

angryIn January 2006, I bought a 27 inch Prima television from Sears for my basement. I didn't need anything great, just something I could watch games on while hanging in the basement or working on the computer. The price was right and for eleven months all was well.

Last month, the video on this tv stopped working. I turned it on one day and all I got was audio. I performed some trouble shooting of my own, making sure it wasn't a setting or the VCR, and quickly determined she was busted. Luckily for me she broke during her first year which meant she was covered by the manufacturer warranty. I called Sears, let them know the situation, and they told me to call Prima.

I've been trying to contact Prima ever since. Their website says you have to call a toll-free number but when you call the toll-free number you're put in a queue for fifteen minutes until you're dumped in a voice mail box. Then, the recording tells you the voice mail box is full and you're hung up on. There is no way to reach a human being by calling Prima, I've tried it dozens of times.

I've been without a television in my basement for almost a month now. I'm now trying to get Sears to intervene because I can actually talk to a human over there. For a while Sears wouldn't do anything more than tell me I had to talk to Prima, but after a well composed email of frustration they claim they're looking into this.

Does anyone out there have an old tv sitting in storage collecting dust that they're willing to donate to this poor bastard?

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The Humble & Fred Message of Hope 2007 Podcast

podcastThe 17th Annual Humble & Fred Christmas Podcast was an attempt to capture the essence of the Humble & Fred radio show and share it as a podcast. We went live with that show on December 22, 2006 and it was very well received.

Last Thursday, the guys returned to Dan Duran's house to record a Message of Hope 2007 show. I couldn't make it because of work obligations, but I was asked to make it all happen online again.

At some point next week, HumbleandFred.com will look quite different and will be streaming this new show. I've already permanently archived the Christmas show at http://www.humbleandfred.com/christmas2006/. I'll let you know when the new podcast is live on the home page.

I hear it's pretty funny (Dan's still polishing the production). We're even going to share a NSFW outtakes file for those of you over the age of 18. Stay tuned H + F fans...

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The Skeleton Key

A Movie ReelThe Skeleton Key: 4.5 out of 10.

This one just never captured my fancy. It seemed a little sloppy, a little forced and fairly predictable.

The ending wasn't bad, although I've seen it before, and that decent ending merely helped boost "The Skeleton Key" from the 3 out of 10 I was going to slap it with.

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Maple Leafs 1, Canucks 6

LeafsTravis Green is no Ben Ondrus. When Ondrus made his Maple Leaf debut last season, we went on to earn seven of a possible eight points. With Green rejoining the team, our winning streak was stalled at one.

Andrew Raycroft is clearly struggling. I think I could beat him on his glove side. I'll be the first to admit Jean-Sebastien Aubin hasn't played his way into the starter's role this season, but I truly believe it's time to give him another shot. There's no way Raycroft is a better goalie than Aubin and we've seen Aubin win in Toronto.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
20-20-6
46 points
4th in Northeast
6-1 Loss vs. Vancouver
4-2 Win vs. Buffalo
4-1 Loss vs. Carolina
M. Sundin - 41
T. Kaberle - 37
B. McCabe - 34

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"A Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe."
      - Pierre Berton

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The Neo-Luddism Revolution Will Be Televised

cdI just realized that I know a lot of Mike's. I suppose with a name that popular, everyone knows a lot of Mike's, I probably just notice it more because I am a Mike.

Mike Kic, I'll let you know when I'm dropping by to peruse the goods. I know that neck of the woods very well. Mike Hollick, this entry was inspired by something you said a few years ago. Let's get to it, I've got a game to watch.

Almost three years ago I wrote about how I've never owned a mobile phone. This fact remains true today. I don't want a cell phone that's just a phone. I've always said I'd buy one when there was a phone on the market that would do everything I felt it should. I'm looking for a mobile device that's not only a phone but a decent digital camera, an MP3 player with acceptable storage space and has an operating system that would allow me to jump on another desktop and use it as I would a lap top. I've yet to see such a device that nailed all these fine points but I've been reading quite a bit about the Apple iPhone. I think the Apple iPhone is the one.

While excitedly telling Taryn about everything the iPhone will do I was deflated by her lack of enthusiasm. She told me she just wanted a phone to be a phone and didn't care about the other stuff. That reminded me of when I had my epiphany back in 2003. I was looking at the towers of CDs in our living room and I realized I had to digitize the entire collection and get the disks themselves out of sight. She fought me on that too, telling me CDs were fine and there was no need to rip them and free ourselves from the inherent limitations of such a medium.

That got me thinking about 2003 when I started ripping the first of 1232 complete albums and 19123 individual songs. Like someone who had just found religion, I was preaching to everyone I knew about how this was the future and we wouldn't truly be free until our music was digitized and everywhere on demand. Mike Hollick disagreed. He couldn't foresee a time when he'd have to do the same. He had his CDs and thought I was crazy for wanting more. Recently, at an Argos game, he admitted he was wrong. I forgave him as I've forgiven Taryn. Some people just need a little more time to realize what they thought was freedom was actually an oppressive state of format slavery.

The neo-luddism revolution will be televised, and I'll probably be watching it on my iPhone.

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Everyone's Waiting

tvI miss Six Feet Under. It was quite possibly the best television series I ever had the pleasure of watching and I miss it.

Although I enjoyed every episode, my favourite scene might just be the final scene of the series finale. Here's all six minutes and forty eight seconds.

The song is "Breathe Me" by Sia. A beautiful end to a wonderful show.

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When A Toothbrush Was Just A Toothbrush

toothbrushThe dental hygienist this morning asked me what kind of toothbrush I use. I told her I use some battery operated thing that spins. My kids have similar toothbrushes, only James' is Superman themed and Michelle's is in the shape of a princess. Both require batteries and both spin as they brush.

When I was young, my toothbrush was just a toothbrush. It worked right out of the box, no batteries or charging required. It didn't come with some funky theme, it came in a colour; blue or green or perhaps red. That's as wild as it got.

I'm thinking about going retro and returning to the simpler days when a toothbrush was just a toothbrush. The one I got from the dentist's office today is blue and white, just like my hockey team.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Ah, the Luftwaffe. The Washington Generals of the History Channel."

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Maurice Edu Is The Answer To A Trivia Question You'll Never Be Asked

soccerI should disclose right off the bat that I don't follow soccer except for a few weeks every four years when the World Cup takes place. Furthermore, I've never played an organized game of soccer in my life, so it's no wonder I don't appreciate the game. I just don't dig the sport.

Having declared this fact openly, it's worth noting the big local soccer story that just hit the wire. With the first overall pick in their inaugural Major League Soccer draft, Toronto FC today chose nimble Californian midfielder Maurice Edu.

Maurice Edu, got that? That's the answer to a trivia question you'll never, ever be asked.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Oliver Platt movies

  1. A Time to Kill
  2. Simon Birch
  3. Kinsey
  4. Bulworth
  5. Flatliners

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Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 2

LeafsThe Leafs are undefeated with Travis Green in the lineup. Did you see that energy? The season starts now...

The line of Mats Sundin, Jeff O'Neill and Alex Steen needs a nickname. Let's start calling them The SOS Line. You read it here first, folks.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
20-19-6
46 points
4th in Northeast
4-2 Win vs. Buffalo
4-1 Loss vs. Carolina
4-3 Loss vs. Buffalo
M. Sundin - 41
T. Kaberle - 37
B. McCabe - 34

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SLS Submission: Lonely End of the Rink

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS17 consideration. I submitted "Lonely End of the Rink" from The Tragically Hip.

I know, I know. Big surprise, eh? If you disagree, watch this video and have the guts to say so in the comments.

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The Comfy Couches at Brennan Hall

uoftI could get used to this type of non-winter. It's 5° right now in downtown Toronto and the sun is shining. I've just returned from the most refreshing walk.

I decided to just walk without a destination in mind, and I ended up at the University of Toronto's St. Mike's College. I just sort of organically gravitated there, most likely because I spent many an hour lounging at Brennan Hall between classes back when I attended St. Michael's College at U of T.

They had comfy couches and a television in the cafeteria making it a great place to crash when your next class wasn't for another 90 minutes. Here's a picture I just took of Brennan Hall. I wonder if those couches are still as comfy as I remember...

St. Mike's College @ U of T

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I'm Lost

tvWe finished season two of Lost yesterday. Many of you reading this already know details from season three, so please treat me like a mushroom and keep me in the dark while feeding me shit. I'm probably a year away from delving into season three.

Lost is a show that intrigues me and infuriates me all at once. I keep coming back for more, so I clearly like it, but it pisses me off. *Season Two Spoiler Alert* First they show Libby in that insane asylum, then she's giving Desmond his boat and now we're to believe that Desmond's old flame is somehow surveying the island, brother? What happened to that polar bear in season one? Is the series finale going to show this is all Bob Newhart's dream?

Argh, I don't know what's going on but I just hope the writers do. There had better be a story here and they better not drag it on for ten years. Of course, I'm evidence that even the frustrated return for more punishment.

Psst... if you have the episodes thus far in season three on DVD, let me know...

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James Dances to Lisa's Birthday Song

videoI recently shared video of my son shouting out Doh!'s as he watched The Simpsons opening a few years back. In my family, a viral video that really took off when James was one involved Sweet Baby James dancing with Grandma while Bart and Leon Kompowski sung a song for Lisa's birthday. James loved that song.

Enough talk, here's the video.


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Yvonne De Carlo, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumYvonne De Carlo was 84. She played Moses' wife in "The Ten Commandments" but achieved her greatest popularity on TV's slapstick comedy "The Munsters."

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Words That Humble Me

mouseHumble Howard wrote a nice entry on his blog this morning. It's all about me!

He's good people.

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Welcome Back, Travis Green

leafsThe Toronto Maple Leafs just picked up Travis Green from the waiver pool. He was just floating there after playing seven games with the Anaheim Ducks this season. Last year with Boston, Green had 10 goals and 12 assists in 82 games.

I have fond memories of Green from his two years here and I always thought we should have kept him around. On St. Patrick's Day in 2004, he got his revenge.

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Lynn Johnston Not Retiring

newspaperWe already knew Lynn Johnston was freezing the For Better or For Worse characters' ages next fall, but we now have more details. The strip isn't actually being retired, there will be new material that would include revisiting storylines from the past and expanding on them. Everyone will stop aging, however.

That Star article discusses Elizabeth's three suitors: former high school boyfriend Anthony, new love interest Paul, a policeman, and Warren, a helicopter pilot. It also reveals Warren's full name, Warren Blackwood. I recently wrote about another Warren Blackwood.

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Maple Leafs 1, Hurricanes 4

LeafsReports are blaming this loss on a trip the Hurricanes took to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Apparently, after watching a video of their Stanley Cup win, they were highly motivated and ready to play like champions once more.

I'm blaming this loss on the fact we're not a great team when completely healthy, we're not very healthy right now and Andrew Raycroft is good for one or two soft goals each and every game.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
19-19-6
44 points
4th in Northeast
4-1 Loss vs. Carolina
4-3 Loss vs. Buffalo
10-2 Win vs. Boston
M. Sundin - 39
T. Kaberle - 37
B. McCabe - 34

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Weddings and Pig Guttings

googleI get a lot of visits from people Googling wedding playlists. I'm number one for that search and apparently engaged couples everywhere are looking for an ideal mix of music. The entry that's got me so highly ranked is 100 Wedding Songs which features the tunes I picked for my brother's wedding.

Although it's a far less popular search, I remain number one when people Google how to gut a pig. And yes, people Google that phrase. I have the referral log to prove it.

While we're on the subject of Google, a personal goal of mine is to be the number one result when people Google Boon. I've been numero uno for a while when people Google Mike Boon, but only now am I close to fulfilling my quest to rank first for my surname. I'm currently number two.

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The Iron Man Destroys The Mark

mlbIt's official. Mark McGwire only received 23.5% support from eligible members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. That's far short of the 75% he required to enter the Hall of Fame. Of course, I already announced McGwire wasn't Cooperstown bound back in November, so don't sound so surprised.

Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn are in like Flynt with Ripken getting the third most support ever being named on 98.5% of the ballots. Who knew a silly iron man streak could be so valuable? I mean, he was a good player, but his claim to fame is managing to remain injury free for most of his career. I'm just saying...

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Barilko's Winner Erased From Cup

Stanley CupThey recently added a new ring to the Stanley Cup for the Carolina Hurricanes and future cup winners, and that meant they had to remove a ring to make room. The ring they just removed included the Leafs' championship wins of 1942, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1951. That's right, Bill Barilko's cup winner in 1951 is no longer on Lord Stanley's Cup.

We have 26 years to win a cup or all our championships will have been removed. The clock is ticking boys, and we ain't gettin' any younger.

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Iwao Takamoto, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumIwao Takamoto was 81. His creation of Scooby-Doo, the cowardly dog with an adventurous heart, captivated audiences and endured for generations.

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Strange News Day

newspaperIt was a strange day for news. First there was that gas-like odour spooking residents of New York City. Then there were bird deaths in Austin that had the police shutting down ten blocks downtown. Then, there was that package in Miami that gave the area its second terrorism scare in as many days.

This is how it's going to be post-9/11. Whenever a city stinks, birds die or a package fails a test, we'll be holding our breath and wondering if we're under attack.

We don't know what that smell was, the dangerous package was just sprinkler parts and they haven't yet determined what killed those birds. Unconfirmed rumours have Dubya blaming Saddam for all three incidents.

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The Neon Bible Belt

emailMy brother Ryan just sent me the following email and asked me to share it with you all.

During the Christmas Season I met with my two brothers and had Mike burn a disc full of some nice tunes. I have always been a big Music/Sports Fan. But over the last 5 years I have clearly spent the majority of my time on sports and fantasy websites, leaving my music knowledge a distant 3rd among my brothers. After transferring a great majority of this music to my MP3 player I have the following thoughts:

  1. Arcade Fire is over-rated. I liked a couple of their songs that were released but after listening to most of their stuff I can say that it is not for me.
  2. The Strokes are phenomenal. I can’t get enough of their sound and I continue to add more Strokes songs to my player as I remove other songs to make room.
  3. Pearl Jam is Pearl Jam. I love almost every single tune from Life Wasted to World Wide Suicide to Gone.. God Bless Pearl Jam!
  4. The Beatles. The Beatles. The Beatles. I can honestly say that I am truly discovering them for the first time right now. I knew a lot of their hits and like many people I just figured that music has changed so much that The Beatles would not do it for me in this day and age. I was wrong. We Can Work It Out, Norwegian Wood and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band are among my favorites.

Currently, after leaving Mike’s house with music from about 30 musicians/bands, I have my MP3 Player full of The Beatles, The Strokes and Pearl Jam. And I could not be happier. Thanks Mike!!! Thanks Steve!!

Hey Ry, I agree with your Strokes and Beatles analysis, but we'll have to agree to disagree about Arcade Fire. In fact, as highly regarded as Funeral is, I still think it's under rated.

Neon Bible should be out soon and I can't wait to hear it.

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My Simpsons DVD Watching Routine

HomerI just wrote about wrapping up season eight of The Simpsons on DVD. Since I mentioned it, I thought I'd reveal my Simpsons DVD watching routine.

When a new season enters the home, I watch each episode twice. I watch it once with James and Michelle the way it was originally broadcast and once by myself with the director's commentary on. The kids are invited to watch the director's commentary with me, but James hates it when he can't hear "the real voices".

Both kids are showing great passion for watching The Simpsons and hockey lately, but my Spidey senses tell me they just like hanging out with Daddy. They know 90% of my television time involves one of those two subjects and cheering on the blue and white and yellow delivers some quality bonding time.

Next weekend, we're chipping away at season nine. Here's a classic take of one year old James mimicking Homer.


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My Theory of Relativity

HomerWhen season eight of The Simpsons originally aired, I remember being amused but realizing that the glory days were long gone. I was still watching but I was looking back to the first five seasons wishing some things had never changed.

I just finished season eight on DVD and I loved it. There were some fantastic episodes, many downright hilarious. A decade removed and season eight feels more like season four. I have a theory about this. I call it my theory of relativity. It's a good name, please don't steal it.

When season eight is compared to seasons three or four, the episodes are okay, but far from stellar. As time marches on, and we watch seasons sixteen, seventeen and eighteen, season eight is that much funnier and intelligent by comparison. It's all relative, my friends.

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Link: 10 kick ass opening credit sequences

Link10 kick ass opening credit sequences - This guy put together a pretty good collection of the best credit sequences you can find in film today. Many of my favourites made the list, including this credit sequence from Fight Club.

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Maple Leafs 3, Sabres 4

LeafsA trend has developed. Whenever we annihilate an opponent, we lose the next game. To be more specific, we are now 0-4 following games in which we won by more than four goals. How's that for riding momentum?

The kids are alright, but alright doesn't earn you a berth in the playoffs.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
19-18-6
44 points
4th in Northeast
4-3 Loss vs. Bufallo
10-2 Win vs. Boston
5-1 Win vs. Boston
M. Sundin - 39
T. Kaberle - 37
B. McCabe - 33

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SLS Submission: Fallen Leaves

SLS SubmissionI just submitted a tune for SLS17 consideration. I submitted "Fallen Leaves" from Billy Talent.

My brother Steve and I recently had a Billy Talent debate. He's tired of their sound and not digging them anymore while I'm still feeling it. "Fallen Leaves", for example, is another catchy rocker that I believe deserves SLS consideration. The fact they're from the Saug has nothing to do with it.

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Link: Movie Spider

LinkMovie Spider - Don't tell anyone, k?

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In Case You Missed Ales Hemsky's Goal

hockeyIn case you missed this Ales Hemsky goal to tie things up between the Oilers and Stars the other night, take a look at this.

It's unbelievable. Somehow Patrik Stefan missed an empty netter and remarkably the Oil got the puck up ice where Hemsky made a wicked move with two seconds left to beat Marty Turco. It's awesome, although the commenter came down a little hard on Stefan. Luckily for him, the Stars won it in a shootout.

Go ahead, watch it over and over again. I don't remember seeing anything like this before.

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Chalk Circle At The Forum

ticket stubsThe first concert I ever attended was Chalk Circle at the Ontario Place Forum. I couldn't tell you the year, but I'm guessing it was 1985 or 1986.

The Ontario Place Forum was pretty cool at the time for two reasons. They had a revolving stage and admission was free once you paid your way into Ontario Place. They tore the Forum down in the mid 90s when the Amphitheatre showed up and it's a damn shame.

Chalk Circle won an award from CFNY for being the most promising non-recording artists in 1985 and they went on to have a few minor radio hits. I see a Chalk Circle greatest hits album was even released last year. Chalk Circle becoming my first concert had more to do with timing and circumstance than a passionate love for their music, but for all eternity they'll be my first.

What was your first concert?

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Zyzzyx Road's Gross Gross

moviesReading the Globe this morning, I stumbled across a little bit about Zyzzyx Road. I'm still having difficulty believing what I've read.

Zyzzyx Road is a $2-million vigilante thriller starring Katherine Heigl and Tom Sizemore that grossed a grand total of $30 at the box office in 2006. It ran in one theatre in Dallas for six days.

I think I could release Christmas videos of my kids opening their presents as a documentary and score more than $30. If the tickets were only $6 it would take only five paying customers to hit the $30 mark. Dallas is a big enough city that there are at least six people who would go to everything or anything.

Zyzzyx Road is the lowest grossing movie in the modern record keeping era.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Marge, I agree with you - in theory. In theory, Communism works. In theory."

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My MP3s Updated

CDIt's been a while, but I've added 18 new CDs to my MP3 collection. Here they are...

  • The Tragically Hip - World Container
  • Rusty - Fluke
  • Hayden - Skyscraper National Park
  • Hayden - Moving Careful
  • Audioslave - Revelations
  • Various Artists - Hear & Now: The Best of the East Coast's Independent Bands
  • Ben Folds - Ben Folds Live
  • The Presidents Of The United States Of America
  • The Juliana Hatfield Three - Become What You Are
  • Irish Rovers - An Irish Christmas
  • Daft Punk - Homework
  • Various Artists - Help: a Day in the Life
  • Humble And Fred - #1 in '97
  • Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway
  • Nat King Cole - Anthology (Discs 1 & 2)
  • The Best Of Pooh And Heffalumps Too
  • Grover - A Celebration Of Me, Grover

That's 1232 complete albums, 19123 individual songs and 50.9 days worth of uninterrupted tunes. Check it out.

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The Kraft Dinner Glory Days

kdChecking out this weeks flyers I see Kraft Dinner is now 2/94¢ at Wal*Mart. Even my alma matter Price Chopper has them two for a dollar. This is a far cry from the 97¢ a box I've been seeing for the past few years.

When I was in the grocery business regular price was about 49¢ a box and the flyer sales put them at 3/99¢. Then, very quickly, the price for a box of Kraft Dinner began to skyrocket until it hit almost a dollar a box where it's been ever since.

Until now. Ladies and gentlemen, load up on KD, just like these guys.

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Canada 4, Russia 2

Canada HockeyCanada won its third straight gold medal at the world junior championship with a 4-2 win over Russia on Friday in Leksand, Sweden. Canada got goals from Andrew Cogliano, Bryan Little, Jonathan Toews and Brad Marchand to overcome the Russians.

Not only is this our third gold in a row, but it's the third time in a row we beat Russia in the finals. It's also our eighteenth win in a row over all. We rule!

See also...

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Maple Leafs 10, Bruins 2

LeafsWe haven't scored that many goals in a game since 1998. Alex Steen had a good month last night notching a hat trick and adding a couple of assists in a game that makes me feel great about shelling out a few bucks a month for LeafsTV.

Like you, I'm a little sick of playing the Bruins, but in the past two games we've outscored them 15-3. I could certainly get used to that.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
19-17-6
44 points
4th in Northeast
10-2 Win vs. Boston
5-1 Win vs. Boston
3-2 OTL vs. Ottawa
M. Sundin - 39
T. Kaberle - 36
B. McCabe - 32

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Crazy From The Heat

thermometerIt's 11° right now in Toronto. Are you kidding me?

With the sun beaming down, I just enjoyed a warm walk. I can't believe this is January. Tomorrow, it might get even warmer.

Here's a photo I just snapped of picnic tables in Queen's Park. It's springtime folks. Get out and enjoy it while it lasts.

Springtime?

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Long May You Run

musicThe older I get, the more I find myself listening to Neil Young. I first really got into Neil Young in 1989 when "Rockin' in the Free World" broke on Q107. Prior to that, I was only familiar with Neil Young's classic hits like "Heart of Gold", "Ohio" and "Old Man". "Rockin' in the Free World" became an instant favourite of mine and I started delving into the Neil Young catalogue.

One of the first things I did was pick up Decade, a couple of CDs that contains thirty-five of Young's songs recorded between 1966 and 1976. That's how I experienced "Cinnamon Girl", "Down by the River", "Cowgirl in the Sand", "After the Gold Rush", "Southern Man", "Helpless", "The Needle and the Damage Done", "Tonight's the Night, Part 1", "Like A Hurricane" and "Long May You Run" for the first time. Needless to say, I liked what I heard.

In 1995 I was blessed when one of my favourite rock bands collided with Neil Young and produced Mirror Ball and Merkin Ball. Both were added to my collection instantly and are still beloved. Prior to this, Pearl Jam and Neil Young blew my mind by collaborating on "Rockin' in the Free World" at the MTV Music Awards in 1993. Pearl Jam continues to cover this tune in concert, much to my delight.

There's a reason I easily named him my favourite Torontonian, consider "Rockin' In The Free World" to be our other anthem, listed two Young songs in my Ten Canadian Tracks and consider this picture the epitomy of photographic zen.

Whenever it's time to debate who is the world's greatest living songwriter, I stand firmly in Neil Young's camp. Sure, I accept the many arguments it might be Bob Dylan, but I believe it's Neil. When was the last time you listened to the tunes on Decade, checked out Rust Never Sleeps, Freedom or Harvest Moon? Revisit these tunes and you'll see why.

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Earl Reibel, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumEarl Reibel was 76. He made headlines in 1955 when he bested then Detroit Red Wings teammate Gordie Howe in scoring.

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No Quarter... Or Dime

mcdonaldsThere's an awful lot of chatter about our minimum wage hike to $8 an hour. For one thing, Ontario MPPs just gave themselves 25% raise while throwing the working poor an extra quarter. This 25¢ raise reminds me of the time McDoug rewarded me with a great deal less.

As a teenager, I worked 18 months for the local McDonald's. I knew cooking at McD's wasn't a career but a job to earn a couple of bucks after the CNE closed in September. I remember my performance review with the salary manager we called McDoug. We were in his office and he went through the standard reports and concluded by letting me know I was going to be rewarded with an extra 10¢ an hour. I was smart enough to know what 10¢ an hour would mean to my extravagant lifestyle. If I put in 18 hours one week, I'd earn a whopping $1.80 before taxes. The end result wouldn't be enough to buy a large fries.

Being a smart aleck teen I actually told McDoug I'd have felt better receiving no increase at all. About a month later I left the world of fast food for a lucrative run with Oshawa Foods.

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A New TTC.ca?

TTCLast spring I wrote a little love letter to the TTC. Although I was gushing at the time, I gave the TTC some much deserved lumps with regards to their website.

Finally, if you want to see how out of touch TTC marketing is in this new age of viral communique, one needs to look no further than their official web site. It's one of the worst commercial sites I've ever come across and a complete embarrassment. If you're interested in a challenge, try and learn from ttc.ca what a single adult fare would cost you today. Good luck! The official TTC site looks especially horrible when compared to Transit Toronto, a fan site that's vastly superior to the TTC sanctioned site.

TTC.ca is unusable. It was horrible then and it's horrible now. Both Torontoist and BlogTO have entries this afternoon about how Adam Giambrone is interested in hearing how local bloggers would improve the TTC's site. As the new Commissioner of the Toronto Transit Commission, he might just be able to give us TTC riders what we deserve... a new TTC.ca that works.

This makes so much sense I can't believe it's actually happening.

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Ontario's Minimum Wage

moneyI remember as a fifteen year old feeling awfully proud that I had negotiated my way up to $5 an hour. I was working at the CNE as a games booth attendant and I think minimum wage at the time was $3.85. $5 for an hours work was sweet.

Ontario's minimum wage is now climbing to $8 an hour. That's up from $7.75 in case you haven't made minimum wage in a while. The Radical Reverend, my MPP, lobbied to raise it to $10 an hour but her private member's bill stalled after a second reading at Queen's Park.

It has to be awfully tough to live in this city while earning $8 an hour. I make a little more than that and I find it tough. $10 an hour doesn't seem like too radical a jump to me, but while we slowly get there minimum wage earners will have to be satisfied with that extra quarter.

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Canada 2, USA 1

Canada HockeyWork commitments forced me to miss this game, but I followed along online. It was a thriller with Jonathan Toews scoring in the seventh round of the shootout to secure us the victory.

It took a Luc Bourdon goal with a little over five minutes left to force overtime. We'll be going for our eighteenth win in a row and our third championship in a row on Friday.

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TSN's Broadband

tvIt's late in the third period and Canada trails USA by a goal in our semifinal game. TSN has been celebrating the fact they're streaming live video of all the games on their website. Am I the only one who has never been able to connect?

Don't get me wrong, I love the idea, but if it won't work it's just annoying. Great news, I see Luc Bourdon just scored to tie things up.

Go Canada Go!

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It's All About Me

notepadAs I enter my fifth year of blogging, I find myself 360° from where I began. In the beginning, I was writing for a few members of my family and a few friends. That was my audience and the stats proved it. I remember when I first saw the number of unique visitors creep into double digits and I recall being surprised when there were returning visitors who weren't friends or family. In the beginning, I didn't care how many people were reading, I was just having a blast writing.

At some point a couple of years ago, I saw the number of daily visitors hit triple digits and I slightly modified my focus. Heading into 2006 I decided to blog less about the completely Mike Boon-centric aspects of my life and more about subjects that would appeal to the average Torontonian or displaced Torontonian. I started focusing on the traffic, I moved to Movable Type, opened all entries up to comments and even added ads to the interior.

In 2006 I saw the number of daily visitors hit quadruple digits but I realized the content of my blog would never have mass appeal. If I wanted more eyeballs and if I actually wanted to make any money from this, I'd have to dramatically modify my entire approach to this blog. It would become less interesting for my family and friends but more interesting to the thousands of new visitors who hit this site after Googling. I'd have to sacrifice the current organic state of my writing for a more manipulative, skewed approach designed to increase returning visitors. I'd also have to add sponsored links to the home page.

Here we are in 2007 and I find myself right back where I started. I'm going to write about what I want to write about, regardless of whether there are 20 people reading or 20,000 people reading. I'll always be naturally curious as to how people get to this site, but I'm not going to care about how many unique visitors there are or how many returning visitors there are. It just doesn't matter.

From now on, it's all about me. This is a hobby, a public display of a passion for writing. It's Mike Boon-centric and you can either visit or not. I'm a regular guy who loves his family, his city, his hockey team, his music and his Simpsons. When something interests me, I'll write about it. Everyone is welcome to follow along, but when I write I'm writing for a few members of my family and a few friends.

It's just like it was in the beginning.

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Maple Leafs 5, Bruins 1

LeafsIt was worth the wait for this recap. Mats Sundin scored twice and added an assist to help the Leafs start the new year right with a big win over the Bruins. Kris Newbury, who I thought was our best player the afternoon I watched the Marlies, scored his first NHL goal.

This win puts us a point ahead of Boston in the Northeast but they've still got four games in hand.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
18-17-6
42 points
4th in Northeast
5-1 Win vs. Boston
3-2 OTL vs. Ottawa
4-1 Loss vs. Pittsburgh
M. Sundin - 38
T. Kaberle - 34
B. McCabe - 32

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The Heart Grow Fonder

emailRegular visitors might have noticed this site has been offline for the past couple of days. Happy New Year everybody!

If you sent an email to one of my @torontomike.com accounts, please resend it. If you're suffering without the Leafs recap from a couple of nights ago, I'll get to that soon. If absence didn't make the heart grow fonder, I have failed miserably.

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Darrent Williams, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumDarrent Williams was 24. He was a cornerback with the Denver Broncos of the NFL who just finished the season with 88 tackles and four interceptions.

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