February 2007 Archives

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My Big Break

rollingstonesI was the Wizard of Woe in my primary school's production of The Canada Goose. It was my big break. The Canada Goose was a musical that played for two nights in the basement of St. Pius X church on Bloor Street near Runnymede.

The Wizard of Woe was no small part. I had the most lines and a number of solos. I'm guessing this was before my voice broke, because I can't sing a lick now. Sandra Oh got her big break in similar fashion playing the same role.

This was a big time production, just check out the graphics on the playbill below. Despite rave reviews, I don't think I've acted in a play since. I'm holding out for the big bucks. I want what Oh's getting.

The Canada Goose

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Not Bad, Not Great

idolBetter late than never, here's my recap of last night's American Idol. I missed a bunch of the songs and only caught up moments ago.

Let's face it, the guys were much better than they were last week, but the girls have the top four singers overall. A bunch of yesterday's performances were as boring as the Leaf game, but a few were at least half decent.

Here are my three favourites from last night:

  1. Blake Lewis
  2. Sundance Head
  3. Chris Sligh

Here were my three least favourite from last night:

  1. Sanjaya Malakar
  2. A. J. Tabaldo
  3. Nick Pedro

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Maple Leafs 1, Sabres 6

LeafsI hate losing. I really hate losing to the Sabres. But the worst thing is losing big to Rochester.

I knew Paul Maurice was going with Raycroft again and I knew it was a mistake. How many games in a row has Raycroft started? Isn't it time Jean-Sebastien Aubin got a couple of starts under his belt? We've lost four of five and we're falling fast. What's Felix Potvin doing these days?

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
29-25-9
67 points
4th in Northeast
6-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
5-4 Loss vs. Montreal
5-2 Win vs. Philadelphia
M. Sundin - 58
T. Kaberle - 49
B. McCabe - 46

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The Leafs Acquire Yanic Perreault For Brendan Bell

leafsIt looks like the Leafs only made one deal today. We've sent young defenseman Brendan Bell to the Phoenix Coyotes along with a 2nd round draft pick in 2008 for former Maple Leaf Yanic Perreault and a 5th rounder in 2008.

Perreault is pulling a Wendel and returning to Toronto for the third time in his career. He started as a Leaf before returning in the late 90s. I always liked his ability to win faceoffs, and let's face it, he's only here because of that skill.

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Jeremy The Bear's Theme Song

rewindNothing takes me back like the theme songs of the television shows I watched on TVOntario in the late 70s and early 80s. I've already covered Barbapapa, Fables of the Green Forest and Dr. Snuggles, but my write up about Jeremy didn't include the obligatory YouTube video. It's time I corrected this oversight.

If you remember Jeremy, you remember that theme song. I saw a lot of Jeremy as a youngin and I only saw him on TVO. He was known as Colargol in France and Barnaby in the UK, but we Canadians knew him only as Jeremy the Bear.


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Organic Traffic Can Be Yours

googleI've always been fascinated by SEO and search rankings. If you sell widgets, you want to be number one on Google for the search term "widgets". If you don't sell widgets, you really should consider it. I hear the widget market is about to explode.

I sometimes target keywords with this little hobby of mine, just to see what kind of organic ranking I can achieve. I'm always surprised by how easy it is to pick the lower hanging fruit with just a little effort and know-how.

In a world where content is king, just writing about the topics you love will bring you search traffic for keywords associated with that topic. For example, I love the Toronto Maple Leafs, The Tragically Hip and The Simpsons. I get tons of traffic from people searching for Toronto Maple Leafs blogs, Bill Barilko, The Tragically Hip setlists and Homer Simpson quotes.

Here are the ten keywords that brought me the most search traffic in February of 2007.

  1. toronto maple leafs
  2. concert tickets
  3. jory steinberg
  4. wedding playlist
  5. big shiny tunes 2
  6. bill barilko
  7. concert ticket
  8. toronto blue jays
  9. big shiny tunes 3
  10. wedding playlists

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Maple Leafs 4, Canadiens 5

LeafsGosh darn it, I thought we were going to come all the way back in this one. It was 5-2 heading into the third and I wrote this rant. A couple of goals later and the momentum was ours. We came close, but no cigar.

Tonight we have Buffalo, but all eyes are on the trading deadline. Rumours have JFJ pursuing Bill Guerin. Is giving up youth and prospects for Guerin really a wise move at this point. Of course it's not, so look for it to happen some time before 3:00.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
29-24-9
67 points
4th in Northeast
5-4 Loss vs. Montreal
5-2 Win vs. Philadelphia
3-2 SOL vs. New York Islanders
M. Sundin - 58
T. Kaberle - 49
B. McCabe - 46

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Aubin's Back in Net

leafsAbout a year ago, our playoff hopes were dashed by back to back losses against the Habs. Here's my recap of that first 5-1 loss and here's my recap of that second 6-2 loss.

I mention those games because Jean-Sebastien Aubin started his first game for the Leafs the very next game and he didn't lose in regulation until this season. He pulled us to within two points of the final playoff spot. He was awesome.

In Montreal, we're now down 5-2. Paul Maurice pulled Andrew Raycroft and put Jean-Sebastien Aubin in net. I realize Aubin's numbers this season aren't anything to write home about, but I feel better with Aubin between the pipes. I just don't trust Raycroft, just like I didn't trust Telly.

If Maurice continues his trend, he'll likely start Raycroft again next game. I say it's time to give Aubin a start.

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Nirvana? Nevermind...

musicRemember when Courtney Love sold 25% of her share in Nirvana's publishing catalog? My greatest fear was that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" might end up in a girls deodorant commercial. That's not happening yet, but a Nirvana track has been licensed for advertising purposes for the first time ever.

2K Sports has included Nirvana's "Breed" on the soundtrack of its Major League Baseball 2K7 video game. The company will also use "Breed" in a commercial for the game.

And so it begins. Nothing is sacred and every thing's for sale. It's endless, nameless...

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Twenty, Twenty, Twenty Four Hours To Go

nhlThere are exactly twenty-four hours to go before the 2007 NHL trade deadline. I've bookmarked TSN's Trade List and I'm visiting often.

In year's past, I was looking for the Leafs to add a proven player for the playoffs. Big names like Rob Blake and Owen Nolan would become available, and I'd encourage the Leafs to go after them. Then there was the lost season and last year we did little. This season, I'm torn.

We're only a point out of a playoff spot. I'd like to see us add a player, helping us return to the post season. Once there, ya never know, right? Then again, I know we're spinning our wheels and Lord Stanley's Cup isn't returning after 40 long years. Wouldn't it be wise to part with veterans and add some youth. Shouldn't we do what the Raptors did and rebuild this sucker so we're truly competitive in a few years?

I'm clearly conflicted. I understand the value of short term pain for long term gain, but I'd rather avoid pain altogether if that's possible. No more pain... we've had enough pain.

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Remember Meryn Cadell?

musicBack in 1991, Meryn Cadell released an album called Angel Food For Thought. An unlikely hit single came from that album and the video for "The Sweater" aired regularly on MuchMusic. It's not your typical hit, it's a monologue over top a beat, but it worked.

I haven't thought about Meryn Cadell since those days of "The Sweater", but I just read an interview with him. That's not a typo. Meryn Cadell publicly came out as transgendered and now lives comfortably as a man.

Here's that video for "The Sweater".

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Link: From Hockey to Basketball in Three Minutes

LinkFrom Hockey to Basketball in Three Minutes - The Air Canada Centre is the home venue of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Toronto Raptors. In as little as eight hours, a crew of 18 to 25 workers can transform the NHL ice to NBA hardwood. This video was recorded in a time span of over sixteen hours, compressed to under three minutes.

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The Results Are In

oscarI called five of the big six winners last night at the 79th Academy Awards, only blowing the best supporting actor category. I picked 14 right in total, but I lost to Vanessa who got 15.

Martin Scorsese should have won for Goodfellas, but better late than never. Of course, by the time he won for best direction, I was sound asleep. That thing went on way too long. Did anyone stay awake for the whole thing?

View the results of my little family pool right here. That's a PDF document, btw.

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Backing Up

mouseI buy very little for myself. Other than a ticket to see the Hip earlier this month, I haven't bought anything for myself in about a year.

When I want something, like The Simpsons on DVD, I wait for my June birthday or Christmas and request it as a gift. My MP3 player was a birthday gift and my digital camera was a birthday gift. Otherwise, I don't need much. Today, however, I bought myself a little something. I picked up a 250GB portable hard drive from Future Shop.

My MP3 collection is about 100GB in size, and I've been backing it up on DVDs. That's a lot of DVDs, and one serious pain in the ass. With my new portable hard drive it was easy to back up the entire collection, as well as my digital pictures, files and other important bits and bytes.

It was worth every penny of the $119 it cost me. You can't put a price on peace of mind.

My Portable Hard Drive

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Lower Bay TTC Station

ttcIn order to work on the tunnel roof between St. George and Bay stations, the TTC is rerouting westbound trains through the Lower Bay subway station. The Lower Bay station is an abandoned platform that was only used for six months in 1966. They now use it to train new drivers and for movie shoots. Here you can see it dressed up as a New York subway station for Don't Say A Word.

This diversion is temporary, so we can only experience the wonders of Lower Bay during Saturdays and Sundays from February 24 to March 31, 2007. There's already some sweet video of Lower Bay on YouTube, but the clip below makes you feel like you were there.

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Maple Leafs 5, Flyers 2

LeafsThere's nothing like a trip into Philly to snap a losing streak. The Maple Leafs have won five in a row against Philadelphia and seven of the last eight meetings.

Alex Steen and Jeff O'Neill each had a goal and an assist and Bryan McCabe added three assists as we climbed within a point of 8th in the conference.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
29-23-9
67 points
4th in Northeast
5-2 Win vs. Philadelphia
3-2 SOL vs. New York Islanders
3-0 Loss vs. Boston
M. Sundin - 56
T. Kaberle - 48
B. McCabe - 44

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A CFNY Gallery

picturesI spent the morning in Brampton with Freddie P. I was greeted with a great cup of coffee and a raisin bran muffin from Tim's, a perfect way to start a Saturday morning.

I was there for our Movable Type education transfer. His web site is now a real blog powered by Movable Type and I was giving him the 101 review so he can maintain and manage everything by his lonesome.

Freddie P has a cool collection of CFNY-related images in his basement. For a long time fan of the radio station, this was ultra cool. I created a photoset because that's the kind of guy I am.

P2245161 P2245156 P2245164 P2245163

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The Family Oscar Pool

oscarI openly debated whether to host an Oscar pool as I have the past few years and in the end I realized I just don't have the time to manage a free contest that would surely attract hundreds of participants.

Instead, I went old school and held a pool with very close family members only. Here are our picks (.pdf file), if you're curious.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"The strong must protect the sweet."

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Lothar-Guenther Buchheim, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumLothar-Guenther Buchheim was 89. He was the German author and art collector best known for his autobiographical novel, "Das Boot."

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Leonardo DiCaprio movies

  1. The Departed
  2. What's Eating Gilbert Grape
  3. Catch Me If You Can
  4. Titanic
  5. Gangs of New York

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Senators and Sabres Fisticuffs

hockeyI know there are people who staunchly believe fighting should be banned from hockey, but sometimes the fights are the most exciting part of the game. They don't fight like they used to, but when they do go at it the fans are on their feet and nobody turns the channel.

Last night, while the Leafs were taking on the Islanders, our divisional fiends from Ottawa were in Buffalo and a old time brawl erupted. Ray Emery took on Martin Biron before going with Andrew Peters, Anton Volchenkov fought Adam Mair, even the coaches looked like they wanted to go.

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Show Tom Some Frick'n Respect

microphoneDenny Matthews is the Ford C. Frick Award winner. Matthews is probably a fine broadcaster, covering the Kansas City Royals, but he's no Tom Cheek.

Removing my extremely biased perspective for a moment, Tom Cheek called Blue Jays games since day one, calling 4,306 of them in a row. During that time Toronto won two World Series championships and a few additional division pennants. Tom Cheek's no longer with us.

Dave Perkins wrote about this in today's Star, but I was thinking the exact same thing, I swear. If Tom Cheek had called games in the United States of America, he'd have won the Ford C. Frick award long ago. Of this I am certain. There's a definite bias against recognizing baseball achievements in this country and Tom Cheek is a victim.

Next fall I'll urge you all to vote for Tom once more, but I'm losing hope that he'll ever make it to Cooperstown. It's a Frick'n shame.

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My Name In Chinese

documentationMy Chinese friend Fei just told what my name is in Chinese.

My Name in Chinese

Now I just have to learn how to write it.

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Maple Leafs 2, Islanders 3

LeafsThis is yet another game we should have won. We earned a point, but we needed two. It was a road game and we rule on the road. We currently have the most road points in the NHL with 38.

When did the Islanders become so difficult to beat?

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
29-23-9
67 points
4th in Northeast
3-2 SOL vs. New York Islanders
3-0 Loss vs. Boston
4-3 Win vs. Edmonton
M. Sundin - 55
T. Kaberle - 47
B. McCabe - 41

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The Great Space Coaster

memoriesLately I've been playing retro recall with myself, remembering kids shows I watched in the late 70s and early 80s. For a while I was restricting myself to shows that aired on TVOntario, but today I thought of a show that aired elsewhere. I thought of "The Great Space Coaster".

Who can forget Gary Gnu and his "Gnus of the Week"? Not I. No Gnews is Good Gnews with Gary Gnu.

Here's the opening theme, which was, and is, pretty damn catchy.


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Dennis "DJ" Johnson, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumDennis "DJ" Johnson was 52. He was part of three NBA champions with the Boston Celtics and one with the Seattle SuperSonics.

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Link: Late Night With Conan O'Brien Bumper Art

LinkLate Night With Conan O'Brien Bumper Art - I've always been a fan of Conan, tuning in nightly when he first scored his late night gig. I've always loved the bumpers they'd show coming out of commercial breaks, and this gallery has 17 pages of them, capped from a high definition feed. Enjoy them in all their HD glory.

Hey Steve, remember this one?

February 12, 2004 - Conan O'Brien

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Grocery Shopping at Maple Leaf Gardens

leafsIt's official. Maple Leaf Gardens will become a grocery store.

After years of speculation, the company also made the formal announcement to investors that it will develop a grocery store in downtown Toronto's famed Maple Leaf Gardens.

"This is an icon, just like Loblaws is an icon. I think it represents a huge evolution of what's happening to Loblaws, as well as what's happening in Toronto," said Galen Weston Sr.

The arena has been empty since the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club moved to the Air Canada Centre in 1999.

Weston Jr. said the company will begin to clean up the building this summer, with plans to reopen the doors in 22 months.

I'm not one of those guys who's going to throw up his arms and declare this blasphemous. I have many great memories of Maple Leaf Gardens, and I sometimes walk by the old building on Carlton Street just to see how's she's going, but I'm a realist. I understand MLSE sold the building with one of the conditions being that it can't host hockey. If it can't be a skating rink, I just want it to be something useful that keeps as much of the facade as possible.

I'm sure Loblaws will do a great job restoring MLG and at least I'll be able to get back inside again. Besides, the people buying all those new condos in the area are going to need a place to buy milk and bread.

Maple Leaf Gardens

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Weekly MP3 - Today I Hate Everyone

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 Killjoys - Today I Hate Everyone
What happened to The Killjoys? This Hamilton, Ontario band had a series of radio hits in the mid-90s. This band doesn't even have a page on Wikipedia. No, this isn't them, that's another Killjoys.

If Mike Trebilcock, Gene Champagne or Shelley Woods is out there, let us know where you've been this past decade.

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The Finer Sex

IdolThe twelve guys who sang on on Tuesday couldn't hold a candle to most of the gals who sang on American Idol last night. It was night and day.

In this year's competition, the women are indeed the finer sex. Here are my three favourites from last night:

  1. Lakisha Jones
  2. Melinda Doolittle
  3. Stephanie Edwards

Here are my three least favourite from last night:

  1. Amy Krebs
  2. Leslie Hunt
  3. Antonella Barba

It's too bad only six females can advance to the final twelve.

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Barbapapa

rewindI recently wrote about The Fables of the Green Forest, a children's cartoon I used to watch on TVO in the late 70s and early 80s. Lori left a comment on that entry asking if I remember Barbapapa. Do I ever!

I loved Barbapapa. I thought the way they changed their shape and that spherical home of theirs was the coolest. Most of the Barbapapa videos being shared on YouTube are in French, but I did find this gem in English. It's not only the opening theme but it's a complete episode. And get this, I remember this episode quite well.

Clickety Click Barba Trick!

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My Good 'ol Stereo Resurrected

speakerWhen I was dating my wife back in '95, there were two sleeping quirks she had to deal with. I slept all night with a fan on, no matter what season it was, and I fell asleep each night to the radio.

She not only learnt to live with the fan, but she now requires the fan for a good night's sleep. We've had a fan blowing on us every night of our marriage. The radio habit, however, had to go. My night time ritual of cruising my station presets and falling asleep with the sleep timer on ended when we got married.

Last night I decided to dust off my good 'ol Sony mini-system and set her up in the bedroom. I cruised the dial and added 20 FM presets, just as I did as a teenager. This stereo is about fifteen years old but everything works great except the CD player. It was sweet hearing her and seeing her again.

I wonder if there's room for three in this marriage. We'll soon find out!

My 15+ Year Old Stereo

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AI Reality Check

American IdolLast night twelve dudes sang on AI. As a whole, they were awful. There are other words I'd use to describe them, like uninspired, mediocre and boring.

The biggest disappointment of the bunch has to be Sundance Head. I was so impressed with his first audition, I posted the video here. It was one of the best idol auditions I had ever heard, but since then he's been horrible. He sounds like a completely different guy now. He's sounding like me.

Here are my three favourites from last night:

  1. Phil Stacy
  2. Blake Lewis
  3. Chris Sligh

Here were my three least favourite from last night:

  1. Paul Kim
  2. Sanjaya Malakar
  3. Sundance Head

And here's hoping the women are better tonight.

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Maple Leafs 0, Bruins 3

LeafsAgain we outshot a team badly and lost. We outshot Boston 43-22 but couldn't put a puck past Tim Thomas and slipped into a tie for ninth place in the East, a point in back of Carolina.

Andrew Raycroft allowed three goals on 13 shots before getting replaced by Jean-Sebastien Aubin. There's a guy we haven't seen in a while. If I remember last season correctly, Aubin is one hell of a season finisher. He can even make a glove save if he needs to.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
29-23-8
66 points
4th in Northeast
3-0 Loss vs. Boston
4-3 Win vs. Edmonton
4-2 Win vs. Philadelphia
M. Sundin - 55
T. Kaberle - 47
B. McCabe - 41

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The First Tooth is the Loosest

familyJames lost his first tooth today. It's been pretty loose for a few weeks now and today it finally fell out.

I can't believe how small this thing is. It's been a while since I saw a baby tooth outside of a mouth. I just hope the Tooth Fairy is able to successfully retrieve this minuscule incisor from beneath the pillow because I hear it's worth a couple of bucks.

James Loses A Tooth

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The Fables of the Green Forest

tvI think I watched a lot of TVOntario in the late 70s and early 80s. Most of my television memories are from shows airing on cable 2. TVO brought me Jeremy and Dr. Snuggles and Fables of the Green Forest.

I'll never forget that opening with the blue jay warning of "trouble! trouble!" and I've never forgotten that opening song. Hearing it just now on YouTube flooded me with a ton of TVO memories.

In the Green Forest, the Green Forest, the stories you've read about all come to life, yes the stories you've read about all come to life!

Update: There is now a Fables of the Green Forest YouTube channel!

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The Grey's Anatomy Blitz

tvI don't want a lot of television, but sometimes I get exposed to a show because my wife is watching it. This happened recently with Grey's Anatomy.

Taryn had heard good things so she rented season one on DVD and blitzed it. I caught about half the episodes, got to know the characters and started enjoying the musical sequences. I joked that Grey's Anatomy is Dawson's Creek if they all became doctors.

Taryn then rented season two, and this time I asked to be included in the viewings. I think I missed two or three episodes, but otherwise I caught all of the second season. It's a show I don't think I'd follow with the old appointment viewing style, but throw on an episode every night before bed time and I don't mind it one bit. Bring on McDreamy and McSteamy and Robin and whoever else wants a piece of Doc Grey. Hell, I always wondered what would happen if the kids from Dawson's Creek became Seattle doctors.

We just saw the season's finale, so it'll be a while before we're blitzing Grey's Anatomy again. I think Taryn knows I'm digging Izzie, but I'm pretty sure she's into Doctor Shepherd so it's all good.

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C.R.A.Z.Y.

A Movie ReelC.R.A.Z.Y.: 8 out of 10.

Why do I rarely see films this good coming out of English Canada? C.R.A.Z.Y. is fantastic, almost as good as The Barbarian Invasions. No wonder it cleaned up at the Genie Awards.

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Flickr Signals Get Crossed

flickrI ♥ Flickr. It's a pleasure to use and she never causes me any trouble. If I have a memory that's fit for public consumption, I upload it to my Flickr account.

I just uploaded a scan of my Tragically Hip ticket stub and I think Flickr's wires got crossed. Here's what I see in the photo stream display:

outside

Here's what I see when I drill in to see the page for the image itself:

inside

I'm sure it will fix itself shortly, but that's how it looked as of 8:30pm tonight. I, for one, welcome our new praying mantis overlords.

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Celia Franca, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumCelia Franca was 85. She was the founder of The National Ballet of Canada and its artistic director for 24 years.

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The Exclusion of Drive

musicI'm not a completist, but I own a handful of R.E.M. albums. I've always liked the band and enjoyed their radio singles. I was happy to add In Time - The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 to my collection, but it's always bothered me that it's missing one of my all-time favourite R.E.M. tunes. For some reason, "Drive" didn't make the cut.

"Drive" was the first single from Automatic for the People, my favourite R.E.M. album. It plodded along hauntingly with a moody tone and cool lyrics. No, it wasn't the poppy "Shiny Happy People" or "Radio Song", it was better.

"Drive" should have made it on In Time - The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003.

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Link: SeeqPod

LinkSeeqPod - I've been totally digging this link lately. It's why I'm so glad Al Gore built them tubes in Chicago.

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My MP3s Updated

CDI've added 33 new CDs to my MP3 collection. Here they are...

  • Band of Horses - Everything All The Time
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - Some Loud Thunder
  • Roberts, Sam - Chemical City
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones
  • Weakerthans, The - Left and Leaving
  • Weakerthans, The - Reconstruction Site
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium [Jupiter]
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium [Mars]
  • Flaming Lips, The - At War With The Mystics
  • Oasis - Definitely Maybe
  • Oasis - Be Here Now
  • Brand New - Deja Entendu
  • Poison - Poison's Greatest Hits 1986-1996
  • The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic
  • My Morning Jacket - Acoustic Citsuoca
  • My Morning Jacket - It Still Moves
  • My Morning Jacket - Z
  • Joel Plaskett Emergency - La De Da
  • Joel Plaskett Emergency - Truthfully Truthfully (Disc 1)
  • Joel Plaskett Emergency - Truthfully Truthfully (Disc 2)
  • Joel Plaskett Emergency - Down At The Khyber
  • Various Artists - Arts & Crafts - Adventures in Advertising
  • GnarlsBarkley - St Elsewhere
  • Gryner, Emm - Public
  • Gryner, Emm - The Original Leap Year
  • Gryner, Emm - Asianblue
  • Gryner, Emm - Science Fair
  • Gryner, Emm - Girl Versions
  • Gryner, Emm - Dead Relatives
  • Gryner, Emm - The Great Lakes
  • Gryner, Emm - The Summer of High Hopes
  • Coheed and Cambria - In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3
  • Coheed and Cambria - Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness

That's 1265 complete albums, 19559 individual songs and 52.1 days worth of uninterrupted tunes. Check it out.

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The Third Simpsons Trailer

homerA third trailer for The Simpsons Movie aired last night. This appears to be the footage they watched on AI the other day.

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Explaining the Underwhelming Response to the '67 Champs

stanley cupIf you read my recap of last night's Leaf game, you already know that I expected more from the pre-game ceremony honouring our 1967 Stanley Cup champions. Why it all seemed so underwhelming has been bothering me ever since, but I think I know why the reaction was merely lukewarm.

The celebration was in honour of the fortieth anniversary of our last Stanley Cup winning team. It's a back handed compliment when you think about it. We're honouring these guys for what they did 40 years ago, but it just emphasizes the fact we haven't won it since. Forty years is a damn long time to go winless.

The people at the ACC last night were Leaf fans who shell out major coin to attend games. I'm sure they were happy to see Keon and the gang, but they'd be happier to see a winning team in this era. While honouring the 1967 champs, we're acknowledging a forty year drought and practically celebrating this ineptness. I'm sure many in the crowd were just pissed we Leaf fans haven't been rewarded with a winning team this decade... or the one before, or the one before, or the one before. We've got to stop being okay with this extended mediocrity.

It's been forty years of shite, and there's little hope this season or in the immediate future. I'm excusing the fans and MSLE for the underwhelming ceremony. In fact, I'm starting to wonder if we should have had it at all.

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Freddie P Is Getting A New Blog

mouseFred Patterson, or Freddie P as he's often called, was/is one half of the Humble & Fred radio show. He's been maintaining torontomike.com with a site building tool called SiteStudio and he's been leaving blog-like entries on his page on a daily basis. Every once in a while, he deletes the older entries, which has always irked me.

This weekend, I've been working on Freddie P's new blog. I helped him buy a new hosting package, I installed and configured Movable Type for him and now I'm working on the design of his new site. We spoke on the phone last night and he asked that a number of elements from his current site be brought over. To make Fred (and his wife) happy, I've mimicked the old font style, brought back his triangle menu icons and kept his colour pattern. As soon as he's ready to rock, we'll update the DNS name servers, let propagation take place and Fred will be updating his new blog in Movable Type.

For fans of Fred's rants and raves, this means you'll be able to leave comments, link to entry permalinks, subscribe to his RSS feed, view monthly and category archives and search his site for particular keywords. In other words, it's a real blog which will also please the search engines and will most definitely increase traffic.

If you want to be like Freddie P, let me know. This Movable Type installation and configuration and blog design thing is something I do, ya dig? I'll even teach you how to use this dynamic tool and manage your blog. Contact me if you want to talk about it.

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"In Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Canada has at last produced a political leader worthy of assassination."
      - Irving Layton

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Maple Leafs 4, Oilers 3

LeafsThe Leafs suck at pomp and circumstance. I was totally underwhelmed by the pre-game ceremony honouring our 1967 Stanley Cup champions. It was nice and all, but I expected something more. I expected a longer ovation for Dave Keon, I expected it to at least feel like those awesome ceremonies they have in Montreal to honour Hab legends.

I got an email from someone last night who reminded me the Stanley Cup made it to Mike Vernon's pre-game honouring. A second rate goaltender got the cup but the 1967 champs didn't, and the cup lives down the street. I haven't read Rosie DiManno's column in the Star yet, but Humble called me this morning and gave me a taste of what she said. It sounds like we agree.

At least we won the game. We're 8th in the East, sitting in a playoff spot and in sole possession of 3rd place in the division.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
29-22-8
66 points
3rd in Northeast
4-3 Win vs. Edmonton
4-2 Win vs. Philadelphia
2-1 SOL vs. New York Islanders
M. Sundin - 55
T. Kaberle - 47
B. McCabe - 41

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The Rapid Decline of CD Sales

cdI got the latest issue of Rolling Stone last week, but I'm only getting a chance to read it now. There's an interesting article about how January 2007 was the worst week for CD sales in SoundScan history. The Dreamgirls Soundtrack led the way by moving 66,355 units which would have placed it in twentieth place ten years ago when No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom shipped 250,842 units in a notoriously slow month for CD sales.

I'm sure digital music sales will offset this 67% decline over the past decade, but I'm positive digital sales aren't making up the difference. In 1997, if you wanted an album or a song, you bought it. The technically savvy might burn the disc from a friend, as we did in the previous decade when we dubbed cassette tapes, but most of us shelled out $20 for the CD. It's hard out there for a musician, especially those in the large tier beneath the likes of Justin Timberlake and Norah Jones. That has me thinking about my pal Custom.

Custom had a big hit back in 2002 with Hey Mister and he released an album called Fast. I actually heard Hey Mister this morning on CFNY Edge 102. Back in January 2005 I became fast friends with Custom after he came across our SLS discussion about Hey Mister. All my Custom-related entries are here if you want to catch up. Long story short, I started doing web work for him and I've had access to all of his unreleased material since Fast.

Custom's material is good. Actually, it's really good. Since his label died in 2004 he's been looking for a new deal, but here we are in 2007 and the follow-up album we were hoping to hear two years ago is still stuck in limbo. P2P networks are giving artists more exposure, but is it reducing the bottom line to a point where great new material is suppressed? And if it is, how much great stuff is out there that we haven't heard?

In Tragically Dipping I noted the clear and dramatic drop in album sales for the Hip since Fully Completely. The Hip make their money these days touring, but they're touring behind a wealth of material and for a devoted fan base. How does an artist like Custom build his catalogue and fan base in this era to a point where he too can make a comfortable living touring?

I remember buying many new CDs a month in the early to mid-nineties. I'll be the first to admit this isn't happening any more. Is anyone out there still buying music or are we all "borrowing" new tunes and sharing the love gratis?

If you want more doom and gloom, here's a very cool video for an unreleased Custom song, USA.


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A Dave Keon Blast From the Past

maple leafsTonight's the night. Prior to tonight's Leafs game at the ACC, sixteen players from our last Stanley Cup winning squad will be on the ice for an emotional reunion. The biggest draw is the inclusion of 1967 playoff MVP Dave Keon who surprised us all by agreeing to participate in this ceremony.

For those who struggle with math, 1967 was 40 years ago. As a fan who is less than 40 years old, I've never witnessed a Leafs Stanley Cup victory but I've looked back at the history books with great appreciation for these "old guys" who won the last cup of the original six era. At the time, this city must have assumed there would be more cups in the near future. Little did we know....

The sixteen players we'll see tonight are:

  • George Armstrong
  • Bobby Baun
  • Johnny Bower
  • Brian Conacher
  • Ron Ellis
  • Aut Erickson
  • Larry Hillman
  • Larry Jeffrey
  • Red Kelly
  • Dave Keon
  • Jim Pappin
  • Marcel Pronovost
  • Eddie Shack
  • Allan Stanley
  • Pete Stemkowski
  • Mike Walton

This is going to be something special. You'll catch it on CBC at 7pm EST. I'm sure MLSE will take Ron Ellis' advice and announce Davey Keon's name last. I've got goosebumps already.

Here's some footage of Keon if you're in my boat and missed his entire career.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Marge, why are you crying? You're not in any physical pain, the only pain a man can understand."

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Russell Peters' Toronto Humour

humourWhile it's still Friday, we really should spend a moment laughing about something only we Torontonians will get.

Here's Russell Peters joking about the sexual nature of getting driving directions in Toronto.

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Pretty Penny

moneyThe Desjardins Group says we're better off without the penny. Whether the penny stays or goes is up to Jim Flaherty, our minister of finance. Personally, I wouldn't miss it.

I found five songs in my collection with penny in the title. Here they are, in order of preference.

  • Pennyroyal Tea - Nirvana
  • Penny Lane - The Beatles
  • Pretty Penny - Stone Temple Pilots
  • Lucky Penny - Regina Spektor
  • Penny Lover - Lionel Richie

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Johnny Depp movies

  1. What's Eating Gilbert Grape
  2. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
  3. Donnie Brasco
  4. Platoon
  5. Finding Neverland

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Maple Leafs 4, Flyers 2

LeafsThe Leafs could use a little luck. Last night, Peter Forsberg skated for Philadelphia in the warmups but was traded to Nashville before the game, so we got a bad team without their best player.

We chased Philadelphia goaltender Michael Leighton from the game after one period and held on for the big win. It moved us into a tie for eighth with the Islanders and Habs. Did I mention we have a game in hand over the Habs? It's true, and Carolina is only a point ahead.

I'm really looking forward to the ceremony on Saturday night to honour our last Stanley Cup winning team from 1967. With Dave Keon in the house, this is going to be something special.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
28-22-8
64 points
Tied for 3rd in Northeast
4-2 Win vs. Philadelphia Flyers
2-1 SOL vs. New York Islanders
6-5 OTL vs. Pittsburgh
M. Sundin - 53
T. Kaberle - 45
B. McCabe - 41

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Whorella Mundane's Manic Ramblings

emailWhen I shared Gord Downie's Hallelujah with a reader named Whorella Mundane, she told me I redeemed all of Canada. I must have thought that was pretty cool because it prompted me to write this.

I just got another message from Whorella Mundane. Here's her manically wicked email in its entirety.

Hey toronto mike – i'd have written earlier but pipes broke in the house and water flowed downward – oh it was dark I tell ya!

well first I mean you gave me this gordon downie track I actually tried to get the mp3 from the DVD – but I couldn't figure out how – so I'd sit there watching the movie – over and over and over. And I've heard two other versions of that song and I love them both but wow ... Gordon downie.

But I have a proposition for you ... You already have my complete respect and I saw your blog and thought it was funny. But how would you like to engage in a little banter on your blog? Like if I just show up and post stuff in comments or something? But I really am this hated character. When I met gordie many years ago he said I had quite a following and the band heard about me everywhere agh! I didn't dare ask what he heard ...

But yeah we could converse out there - only I'd be kinda dogging canada but in this way like 'aw canada I love you but 1 out of 6 of you is living in poverty and dogging the us isn't helping those people.'

I want to fight with canadians over one point: we shouldn't be fighting!

But see I would try to do this with the tragically hip fans and they didn't think I was funny at all!

I'd been to the maritimes – PEI, baby! I loved canada until I got to the internet. When I used to be famous ... Seriously it was hilarious. I was driven all over nova scotia in a big old bus with my name on the front. Well "kathy jo" - not whorella!

I added "mundane" after the tragically hip outtake from 'in between evolution", "the utlra mundane"

So the thing is – I gotta admit you canadians are ahead by a century – but I guess I kinda think you're just behind the US a little bit and the shit I see going on around me everyday – I know it's headed north
East
South
West

It scares the shit out of me – the border is not between countries, but classes defined by power. People gotta find a way to get together and to me, that means we gotta get 'em talking. But the effect I have is this: after ten years, the tragically hip fans gave up on being able to get rid of me on the band's usenet group and all left! I'm the only one there ...

Oh yeah I was famous for being a huge left wing political activists but still, the tragically hip fans hated me! I mean they flamed me – you can't imagine. Whew! And I kept saying, "but we all love the same music, right? That's reason enough to not to fight, right?"

But you know how those kids can get! So be careful – whew. Such a blend of the sweetest kids in the world with a scattering of drunken retards.

Hey – the phantom power tour – calgary saddledome – I was in the f'n phantom zone, dude! I was inches from gordon downie who started taking his pants off to show us a big bruise he got playing hockey! Tighty whities!

So yeah – I talked to him – he called me many years ago. But man I've been a huge fan since 1995.

So yeah a lot of canadians have hated me and one time a work some consultant comes in my office and goes, "I just talked to a client who said you're a big trouble maker and a legend in canada." and I thought I was gonna get fired but he just looked at me like 'wow'

Yeah you don't hear that everyday!

So when I said you redeemed all of canada – on one hand I really meant it – I've seen some brutal behavior on the part of the fans and even had a big love affair with a hard core canadian hip fan who killed himself.

Oh toronto mike! What I have seen!

The cowboy junkies sang 'sweet jane' for me and my friend madge when playing here in carnegie hall ...

See how cool I am? I'm kind of a secret – well people read my shit, they just ... Don't admit it. But they hated me 'cause they said they couldn't help read my shit. And they couldn't! They couldn't just leave me alone and whew hew!

Yeah ... I met gordon downie after rob killed himself in the winter of 98. The hip were playing in state college PA and we got there early and the door to the club was wide open and no one was around, but we could hear the band rehearsing so we just went in and had our own concert! Well until we got kicked out but still.

But that night I asked gordie what he thought about a book – a collection of my columns I'd sent him – and he said he only saw a handful of times, where the music had really permeated the writer's life. And that was me, yo! And he said he wanted to name his next record, "my music at work"

And in 2000, that record came out and in the video, he's wearing a shirt I sent him with a copy of my final column which was mainly about him calling me. And still, the fans hated my ass dang! So then after awhile I just made a bunch of canada jokes – just jagging around ... But trying to warn them.

Oh we woke gordon downie up in the middle of the night once! Yeah ... But he didn't yell at us. But I had his phone number! And madge said he wouldn't have given it to me if he didn't want to call.

But I mean imagine it ... Calling gordon downie. What an f'n heart attack! And madge kept letting it ring and hanging up and calling back and letting it ring twice and hanging up and on the third time he picked up like he wanted to kill someone agh! You should have seen her face! Gordon? Gordon downie?

But he was real nice – aw we were all drunk and dancing up and down like adolescent nightmares after the call was over.

I just wished the canadians would have talked to me. I can tell you what the story is down here and we gotta find a way to talk to the rednecks, christians etc -

I mean desperate times call for desperate discourse

Well

My real name is kathy jo kramer and I love you for sending that song

Oh and when I said you redeamed canada – I did mean it tongue-in-cheek like ... Canada doesn't need as much redeeming as the US.

Not yet – but power shifted up there and I fear for ya!

So yeah okay I'll go now ... Thanks for reading and for the best gift – a song by gordon downie ...

I googled Whorella Mundane and learned that fellow Hip fans really do despise here. Here's what direwolf74 said about her in The Titanic Terrarium.

She was an avid poster at the old newsgroup (alt.music.tragically-hip), and from what I've seen, she still is. Her posts are notorious for being incredibly long-winded, bizarre, and completely off-topic. They're actually more like personal diary entries. Often times we knew stuff about her personal life that we didn't really need to know. She also had/has a rather unhealthy obsession with Gord Downie, which frighteningly straddled the line between fan and stalker. She once claimed that the green shirt that he wore often during the Phantom Power tour (and in the "Poets" video) was one that she had personally sent him. I never really believed that one myself. I'll admit though, she was pretty fun to argue with. Anyway, that pretty much sums up Whorella. And that's all I have to say about that.

"Long-winded, bizarre and completely off-topic" sounds like an accurate description.

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Chris Cornell Quits Audioslave

musicIn my recent Edge analysis I referred to the upcoming Rage Against the Machine reunion. The RATM reunion might be more than a one off for Coachella. Chris Cornell has quit Audioslave.

"Due to irresolvable personality conflicts as well as musical differences, I am permanently leaving the band Audioslave. I wish the other three members nothing but the best in all of their future endeavors," said Cornell.

I see this as a good thing. I liked Audioslave and all, but they were no Rage Against the Machine and they were no Soundgarden. If it takes an Audioslave breakup to bring back the Rage, we all win.

Cornell says he's going to concentrate on his solo career, but can a Soundgarden reunion be far behind?

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The Simpsons on American Idol

idolThe highlight of yesterday's American Idol was the footage of the contestants viewing a sneak peek of the upcoming Simpsons movie. There was quite a bit of new footage there and some interesting behind the scenes shots. Here it is, if you missed it.

Oh yeah, there was also some singing as they narrowed it down to twelve guys and twelve girls. Rumours on the internets say it's fixed and Brandon Rogers will win. Funny guy Chris Sligh advanced, as did Sundance Head who had an amazing first audition and then stunk up the joint in Hollywood. It seems you can ride a great early audition a long way on AI.

Personally, I like Lakisha Jones. Here's her audition.

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Some SLS17 Submissions

slsOn another cold February day in Toronto I'm thinking about late June when the 17th instalment of SLS will be unveiled. Here are a few songs I've recently submitted for consideration.

  • The Shins - Phantom Limb
  • Sam Roberts - With A Bullet
  • Modest Mouse - Dashboard

The snow should be melted by then.

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It Feels Like The Real Thing

raptorsI caught most of the Raptors game last night, and it was definitely one of those 2-for-1 victories. It was a big win over a division rival and it was a big win over Vince Carter. Here's a little taste of my history with Vince.

Carter's Nets are now 4.5 games back of our Raps. There's something awfully satisfying about that, isn't there? Playing .547 ball, the Raps aren't even banking on the fact they're in the weakest division. We'd be third in the Central and a solid second in the Southeast. We're beating good teams, taking out awesome home teams like the Bulls and hanging in and almost beating the conference leading Pistons. We've won eight straight at home and 10 of our last 12. This certainly feels like the real thing.

Not only did we extend our lead in the Atlantic while beating Vince, but the player formerly known as Air Carter finished with a mere 17 points on 5-for-15 shooting from the floor. Chris Bosh, our new idol, led all players with 25 points.

Go Raps Go!

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Howard Stern's Big Move

howardsternHoward Stern, the man who said he would never again marry, is getting married. He proposed last night to Beth Ostrosky, his girlfriend of the past six years.

Stern is a master manipulator of the media, and another Howard Stern has been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons. Howard K. Stern was married to Anna Nicole Smith and with her death his name was all over the press, sometimes with the "K" omitted.

I don't mean to be overly cynical here, but it's no secret shock jock Howard Stern hated the other Howard Stern being all over the press because many confused the two. Announcing an unlikely engagement to 34 year old Beth O was a slick move that will clear up any confusion about which Howard was married to Anna Nicole and named in the paternity suit.

When Howard K. Stern is implicated in Anna Nicole's death, Beth O will just have to announce she's expecting.

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The Ten Most Violent Video Games

nintendoWith all the violence readily available on television and in movies, is there really a market for violent video games? Of course there is! According to CNet, here are the 10 most violent video games of all time:

  1. Thrill Kill
  2. Manhunt
  3. Gears of War
  4. God of War
  5. Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks
  6. Mortal Kombat: Deception
  7. Hitman: Blood Money
  8. The Punisher
  9. Splatterhouse
  10. Mortal Kombat

Has CNet forgotten Wonder Boy? Tom-Tom was heavily armed with a stone hammer and we weren't afraid to use it. And lest we forget Drancon, he was one tough mofo. He didn't hesitate to use fireballs or lightning bolts against poor skater boi Tom-Tom.

Wonder Boy easily ranks in the top five, although I haven't really played video games that weren't sports related since I finished the Legend of Zelda.

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Weekly MP3 - Wild Horses

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 Rolling Stones - Wild Horses
This song is for my Valentine, Taryn. She loves this band, and she knows I don't. Nothing says love like sharing a song from a band you don't particularly care for.

I Choo-Choo-Choose You

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The Valentine's Day Podcast of Love Now Available

podcastHappy Valentine's Day! Humble and Fred's Valentine's Day Podcast of Love is now available at http://www.humbleandfred.com/.

Head over there for just under an hour of hilarity. The ensuing laughter is not only good for your heart, it's also free.

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Maple Leafs 2, Islanders 3

LeafsI thought we owned the Islanders? Rick DiPietro stole this sucker for New York and we had to settle for the single point despite having outshot them 41-20.

We're tied in ninth, but only two points behind 8th place Montreal. That's right Hab fans, you're falling mighty fast. Welcome to my world.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
27-22-8
62 points
4th in Northeast
2-1 SOL vs. New York Islanders
6-5 OTL vs. Pittsburgh
4-2 Loss vs. Nashville
M. Sundin - 51
T. Kaberle - 45
J. O'Neill - 39

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Foot Fellatio

clothesWhile we were recording the podcast of love, Humble Howard shared a story about his friend Lou Schizas, an analyst for Report on Business Television. According to Lou, there's a particular make of sock that's like fellatio for your feet. Okay, he didn't say fellatio but used a term with the initials bj instead. The point was clear, these were special socks.

Howard gave me a pair and I'm wearing them today for the first time. They're fine socks in an ideal colour, but are they worthy of the aforementioned claim?

No way, are you crazy? But they are nice socks.

The Foot Hummer?

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Best Player Never To Win It All

baseballNow that Peyton Manning has won the Super Bowl and Phil Mickelson has won a major, who's the best active professional athlete who has yet to win it all?

I think it's Barry Bonds. If we put aside the fact he's a jerk and likely juiced up at some point, he's without a doubt the best ball player of his generation. Some would argue he's the best ball player of all time. He hasn't won a World Series, which makes him the best active professional athlete who has yet to win it all.

Ain't karma a bitch?

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The Saint Ralph Soundtrack

cdI have a copy of the unreleased soundtrack for the movie Saint Ralph. If you shrugged your shoulders and muttered "so what" under your breath, I encourage you to read the entries on this page.

Now that you're up to speed, you know I've been in love with Gord Downie's cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah since I first saw the film Saint Ralph. You're also aware that this song isn't available anywhere. You can't buy a copy of the Saint Ralph soundtrack, you can't purchase the song online and it has never been released as a single. It simply doesn't exist anywhere other than in the movie, and a version ripped from the DVD is all I've had for the past year.

After years of hunting, I now have the unreleased soundtrack. A wonderful person who shall remain anonymous became aware of my plight and blessed me with not one, but two studio versions of The Tragically Hip's Gord Downie singing Hallelujah. This is truly a rare beast as only a few copies were pressed when they were trying to get it released as a soundtrack back in 2004.

So you don't think I've lost my mind, here are pics of the CD. Before you ask me to share with you this official copy of the Hallelujah audio I'm afraid I can't. Part of my deal with this anonymous donor is that I can't share it. I will, however, continue to share the version ripped from the DVD. For now, the polished Hallelujah is for my ears only, unless you want to drop by for a listen.

The Cover of the Saint Ralph Soundtrack The Back of the Saint Ralph Soundtrack The Saint Ralph Soundtrack

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Link: Toronto Google Maps Mashups

LinkToronto Google Maps Mashups - What do you get when you take a great city, the Google Maps API, and creative individuals with coding skills? You get 30 fantastic Toronto "Google Maps Mashups".

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Recording the Podcast of Love

podcastI just returned from a Sunday morning at Dan Duran's house where Humble Howard and Fred Patterson recorded their third podcast. This one is the Valentine's Day Podcast of Love, so we'll have to have it up at humbleandfred.com by February 14.

This time there was no Bingo Bob or Scary Pete, just the guys and yours truly. As usual, the banter was natural and funny and the discussions ranged from Bill Carroll to Karla Homolka and Anna Nicole Smith. Oh yeah, and there was a very interesting revelation about Moses Znaimer and a hilarious comment from Dan regarding the high hard one you won't want to miss.

I'll let you know when the audio is ready for your ears. A photoset of pics from the day can be found here.

P2115086

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Love, Reign o'er Me

heartDon Cheadle and Adam Sandler star in Reign Over Me, which is scheduled to hit theatres March 22nd. I don't know if the movie is going to be any good but if you watch the trailer you'll hear Pearl Jam's cover of The Who's Love, Reign o'er Me at the end and it's amazing. Hear for yourself.

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Love, Reign o'er Me has my heart skipping a beat. What say you?

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Maple Leafs 5, Penguins 6

LeafsI'm quite pleased this game even got to overtime. Down 3-0, it was starting to resemble the last time we played these young guns. Surprisingly, we came all the way back and even took the lead in the third. I'll take the point.

Kris Newbury was taken off the ice on a stretcher late in the third period after a fight with Pittsburgh's Ronald Petrovicky. He was conscious and talking, which is good news, because he lay motionless on the ice for several minutes and Sundin has been quoted as saying there was blood coming out of his ear. Hopefully, the kid's gonna be alright.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
27-22-7
61 points
4th in Northeast
6-5 OTL vs. Pittsburgh
4-2 Loss vs. Nashville
2-1 Win vs. St. Louis
M. Sundin - 51
T. Kaberle - 45
J. O'Neill - 39

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The Promote This! Plugin for MT

constructionI'm trying out a plugin for Movable Type called Promote This!. It makes it easier to add quick links to add entries to Digg, del.icio.us, Furl, Reddit, Google, StumbleUpon and other social bookmarking sites.

I'm now building these links here on the home page, on the permalink page, the monthly archive page and the category page, so I don't know what this extra strain will do to rebuild times. Let me know if you experience any weird delays posting comments or whatever.

While we're discussing delays, the Archive page now gets built once at night instead of every time a new entry or comment is added. That's why the recent posts and comments you see on that page are always from the previous day.

That is all. Remember, if you like an entry, it's now really easy to Digg it, add it to your del.icio.us bookmarks and all that funky web 2.0 jazz.

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Andrew Raycroft Stops Bill Guerin

leafsIn my recap of our 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues I mentioned the brilliant save Andrew Raycroft made on Bill Guerin.

YouTube, which gives me wonderful treats on a daily basis, has the video. See for yourself.

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Valentine's Day 1996

heartNext week is Valentine's Day. I'll be the first to admit I suck at these things. The whole "holiday" seems so contrived, I'd rather ignore it in protest. That, however, wouldn't go over well with Taryn.

In 1996, I actually paid to profess my love in the Toronto Star. That was sort of romantic, I think. The problem is, I don't know. We have a nice tradition going for our anniversary where we go out for ribs, but I'm unclear what's expected of me on February 14. There's no Leaf game that night, maybe we can chill and watch a flick?

Here's the Star from February 14, 1996. If you click the picture, you'll find I left a note to show you which one was from me.

A Message For Taryn

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Marge, what's wrong? Are you hungry? Sleepy? Gassy? Gassy? Is it gas? It's gas, isn't it?"

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My Bag of Buttons

vaultFor some reason, I've kept a bag of button for the past twenty years. It's not a particularly large collection or special collection, it's just 27 buttons from my youth.

Three are buttons with my name on it, one is to celebrate Toronto's 150th birthday, a few are to celebrate sports teams I rooted for at the time and the others range from an "I Adore My 64" button to a pledge that "I'll Never Smoke!"

Here they are...

Buttons I Collected As A Kid

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Akron Watson Smoked By Idol Producers

idolI missed both nights of American Idol this week, but I have an update nonetheless. William Green and Akron Watson are cousins who auditioned back to back. Akron Watson got a ticket to Hollywood, but that ticket's just been revoked.

You see, Akron was busted for marijuana possession back in 2003. Two days before he was scheduled to leave for Hollywood, Idol producers told him to stay in Dallas. His fling with Mary Jane got him disqualified.

Here's the audition of William Green and Akron Watson, who enjoys the green.

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Hank Bauer, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumHank Bauer was 84. He was the hard-nosed ex-Marine who returned to baseball after being wounded during World War II and went on to become a cornerstone of the New York Yankees dynasty of the 1950s.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Hip concerts

  1. June 24, 2006 @ Historic Fort York - 38 Years Old, a dream setlist and a perfect night under the summer sky
  2. December 31, 1999 @ Air Canada Centre - Ahead By A Century, seconds after midnight on New Year's Eve
  3. December 23, 2000 @ Air Canada Centre - No opening band so the Hip can play extra long
  4. September 6, 2003 @ Molson Park - A sweet farewell to Molson Park
  5. October 16, 2002 @ The Hummingbird Centre - Sam Roberts opening in an amazing venue

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I Wanna Be Like Mike

basketballIn the pre-Raptor days, it was all about the Bulls. When the Chicago Bulls played a national game, which was often, I tuned in. You see, Chicago had a guy who wore #23 and seemed to walk on air. Michael Jordan was able to do things I had never seen before and I haven't seen since. He is, without a doubt, the best basketball player of all-time.

If you're too young to remember Michael Jordan when he was at this best, Nike released a tribute that will give you a taste of his excellence. On the heels of Wendel Clark Is All Heart comes Love Supreme.

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The Tragically Hip at the ACC

Tragically Hip at the ACCLast night, the number of times I've seen The Tragically Hip live in concert hit double digits. Ryan and I got to our seats at the Air Canada Centre early to catch Buck 65. This Nova Scotian is unique. He's got a DJ spinning wax while he raps, but it's Hip Hop heavily flavoured with bluegrass country. It's not easy to describe, but it's interesting and entertaining.

I far prefer outdoor concerts, under a clear night's sky, but in February that's not going to happen so 20,000 of us hooked up in the ACC to see our band. Other than a cover none of us seemed to recognize or care for, it was another great show, although I'm rather biased. Here were the highlights.

Fiddler's Green
It took a single note of Fiddler's Green for me to realize I was finally getting my wish. I had never heard this song live, and it's one of my favourites. It's so damn pretty, and while Gord and the boys played it, time seemed to stand still. This song alone was worth the price of admission.

At The Hundredth Meridian
Whereas I was hearing Fiddler's Green for the first time, I heard At The Hundredth Meridian for the tenth time. Anyone who's seen the Hip in concert knows the live version of this tune is quite different from the version you hear on Fully Completely. It's faster, zippier and manic. Then, there's the ultra fast "If I die of vanity" sequence that fuels me like organic speed. This time, Gord threw in some Police and even that couldn't ruin it for me.

Feelin' Those Lighters
Let's see, Bobcaygeon, Fiddler's Green, Long Time Running, Wheat Kings... All had the joint lit up with lighters. I'm not talking about that crappy psuedo lighter thing people do with their cell phones, but actual fire. It was awesome, and all three songs killed. That night in Toronto...

In View Arrives
I've written in the past about how good a single I think In View is. Last night, I heard it in concert for the first time and I'm certain it will become a live staple. It's a great sing-along with that hook and arena presence. Last night was In View's coming out party.

I've updated my Hip page with the setlist and my all-time song statistics. Also, there's a small photoset here of pics I took, but taking a decent picture in the cavernous ACC is an exercise in futility.

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Maple Leafs 2, Predators 4

LeafsNobody is blaming me for this loss. This is the first game all season that I missed completely. I learnt the final score from the info screen at St. George station on my way home from the ACC.

The streak is over, but there's no shame in being beaten by the best. We were beaten by the best, boy.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
27-23-6
60 points
4th in Northeast
4-2 Loss vs. Nashville
2-1 Win vs. St. Louis
3-1 Win vs. Ottawa
M. Sundin - 49
T. Kaberle - 44
J. O'Neill - 38

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Anna Nicole Smith, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumAnna Nicole Smith was 39. She was the reality TV star and former model who appeared in The Naked Gun 33 1/3.

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I Hate Wade Phillips

nflThe Dallas Cowboys are about to make Wade Phillips their new head coach. Wade Phillips is the main reason I no longer enjoy NFL football.

You see, Wade Phillips was coaching my Buffalo Bills back in the late 90s. In 1999, Doug Flutie was coming off a Pro Bowl season and winning games for the Bills. That's all he ever did in Buffalo. A former Argo and CFL great, I loved Doug Flutie the way you love a sports idol. His Bills jersey hangs in my closet today. Flutie playing for the Bills was heaven and in 1999 he had us in the playoffs.

I'll never forget that AFC Wildcard game against Tennessee. I watched the game at my friend's apartment at Young and Eg and, of course, I wore my #7. For reasons that boggle the mind, Phillips didn't start the man who got him to the post-season. He started Rob Johnson, the Rob Johnson who was blessed with the better arm but 1/10 the heart and soul of Flutie. Rob Johnson, the man who played but two games during the regular season and threw but two touchdowns. This decision broke my heart.

You know what happened next. There was the Music City Miracle, Flutie was chased out of town and Rob Johnson went on to do squat. He's now out of football, by the way, but it's too late. The damage has been done.

Good luck Dallas. With Wade Phillips, you can pray for a 9-7 season, but I'd bet on 8-8. He's the reason I don't follow your league any more.

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The Hip Covers Thus Far

tragicallyhipThe Hip don't perform many cover songs in concert. I keep detailed statistics of every Hip song I've seen performed live and there's not a single cover song in the mix.

On this tour, however, Gord and the boys are singing a different cover each stop. Tonight I'll be seeing them at the ACC with my bro Ry and there's no guessing what we'll get. Here are the covers they've played thus far, courtesy of hipfans.com.

  • 2007-01-07 - Victoria: "Queen Bitch" by David Bowie
  • 2007-01-08 - Victoria: "C'Mon Everybody" by Eddie Cochran
  • 2007-01-10 - Kamloops: "On A Night Like This" by Bob Dylan
  • 2007-01-12 - Prince George: "It Makes No Difference" by The Band
  • 2007-01-13 - Grande Prairie: "I Can Only Give You Everything" by Them
  • 2007-01-14 - Edmonton: "Summer Side Of Life" by Gordon Lightfoot
  • 2007-01-16 - Red Deer: "Somethin' Else" by Eddie Cochran
  • 2007-01-17 - Lethbridge: "Four Stong Winds" by Ian & Sylvia
  • 2007-01-19 - Regina: "Powderfinger" by Neil Young
  • 2007-01-20 - Winnipeg: "2000 Light Years From Home" by The Rolling Stones
  • 2007-01-22 - Thunder Bay: "Going, Going, Gone" by Bob Dylan
  • 2007-01-23 - Sault. Ste. Marie: "Six Days On The Road" by Dave Dudley
  • 2007-01-25 - Barrie: "Train In Vain (AKA Stand By Me)" by The Clash
  • 2007-01-26 - Barrie: "The Weight" by The Band
  • 2007-01-27 - Sudbury: "Sudbury Saturday Night" by Stompin' Tom Connors
  • 2007-01-29 - Peterborough: "Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell
  • 2007-01-31 - Oshawa: "Hang On To Yourself" by David Bowie
  • 2007-02-02 - Ottawa: "Like A Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan
  • 2007-02-05 - London: "Lust For Life" by Iggy Pop
  • 2007-02-06 - Hamilton: "Picture My Face" by Teenage Head
  • 2007-02-08 - Toronto: ???

If you're going to the show tonight, I'm wearing my customary #5 Leafs jersey for Bashin' Bill.

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R U Kidding Me???

raptorsChris Bosh scored a career-high 41 points as the Raptors beat the Orlando Magic 113-103 last night at the ACC. That's the Rap's fourth win in a row and their ninth win in 11 games.

The Raptors are smoking hot right now, leading the division by 3.5 games. Hell, we're only 4 games back of Detroit for the conference lead. There's another team that calls the ACC home, how are they doing?

leafsThe Maple Leafs have won five in a row and seven of their past eight. A team many of us had given up for dead is now surging into a playoff spot. MLSE is on a roll.

Is it me or are days brighter when our teams go on these streaks? Food tastes better, music sounds better, jokes seem funnier... Good times.

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That Scene From Saint Ralph

sunWhen people first discover Saint Ralph, there are typically two reactions. For starters, they're surprised by how charmed they were by this little Canadian flick. The acting is good, the story sweet and the conclusion fulfilling. Then, they seek a copy of the Hallelujah cover that plays at the conclusion of the big race. Many of those people end up on this page.

The singer of this cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah is Gord Downie from The Tragically Hip. If you're new to this site, I have an entire section devoted to the song. I've heard two different people tell me of the magic in the room when Gord recorded it. Here's one account.

I attended a show with the film's director, and he said that Downie was watching the film as he recorded his cover of Hallelujah. If you listen carefully, you can hear his voice hitch when Ralph is running the marathon. Apparently he had tears streaming down his face as he sang.

Andrew Lockington told me something similar. Here's what he wrote me recently.

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.

I've written about this song that plays during Ralph's miracle marathon so many times, but I've never shown it. It's time you see for yourself. I must warn you, if you plan on seeing Saint Ralph, and you really should, viewing this clip will spoil things for you.

It still gives me goosebumps.

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Prince's Batdance and 1989's Batman

videosPrince is all over the news today because he used his guitar as a phallic symbol during his half-time show at Super Bowl XLI. Imagine that, Prince being sexually suggestive. Will wonders never cease. Have these people never listened to Darling Nikki?

The summer of 1989 was the summer I turned fifteen. The most anticipated film that summer was Batman. I had the tee shirt, we had the big cups they were giving away at McDonald's (or was it Burger King?) and Muchmusic was playing the video for Prince's Batdance on very high rotation.

Batdance was kitschy fun. It helped me memorize many of the best lines before I saw the movie. You never hear it or see it any more, but if you remember videos from the spring and summer of '89, you remember this one.

For the record, I absolutely loved the movie. I even bought the soundtrack on cassette. All subsequent Batman flicks paled in comparison.

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2007 Juno Awards

tragicallyhipThey've announced the nominees for the 2007 Juno Awards in Saskatoon. The Tragically Hip received four nominations: Group Of The Year, Rock Album Of The Year, Jack Richardson Producer Of The Year and CD/DVD Artwork Design Of The Year.

I'm surprised they missed out on a nomination for single of the year for In View. For fun, here are the nominees for Rock Album of the Year.

  • Billy Talent II - Billy Talent
  • Tomorrow Starts Today - Mobile
  • Chemical City - Sam Roberts
  • Never Hear The End Of It - Sloan
  • World Container - The Tragically Hip

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The CFRB Interview, As Promised

radioYesterday I wrote about my evening at CFRB. I promised I'd actually share the Humble Howard interview with Jim Richards, and here it is.

Here's part one...

And here's part two. This is the one you want to hear because the first 32 seconds are all about yours truly. Top of the world, Ma!

And just to be a completist, here's part three...

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Maple Leafs 2, Blues 1

LeafsThat's five...

I didn't like him from the get-go, I saw him allow 1.5 bad goals a game and I begged Fergie to trade him and go with Aubin, and now I'm eating my words. Andrew Raycroft has been stellar throughout this winning streak and last night he made a spectacular save on Bill Guerin that preserved the victory. This guy has gone from goat to god in a single month.

Five wins in a row has us ninth in the conference, a mere one point behind Carolina, who have played two more games. Even sweeter, we're just three points back of the Sens and four points back of the Habs.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
27-22-6
60 points
4th in Northeast
2-1 Win vs. St. Louis
3-1 Win vs. Ottawa
2-1 Win vs. New York Rangers
M. Sundin - 48
T. Kaberle - 44
B. McCabe - 38

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Frankie Laine, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumFrankie Laine was 93. He was the big-voiced singer whose string of hits made him one of the most popular entertainers of the 1950s.

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I'm An Adult Now Video

videoI liked The Pursuit of Happiness' I'm An Adult Now enough to list it as one of my ten Canadian tracks. I've always considered this cool song to be the definitive Toronto single.

In this video you catch a glimpse of Yonge and Dundas the way it was. That theatre they pan by is playing Wildcats and is located where the Pantages Theatre is today. It's total Toronto circa 1986.

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Toronto Mike

cntowerI picked up TorontoMike.com yesterday. That domain name now resolves here at torontomike.com. Since I've adopted the moniker, it just made sense to buy it. Now I can act cool and tell people to contact dude@torontomike.com. Or asshat@torontomike.com or pimp@torontomike.com or you get the idea...

Toronto Mike, out!

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Gerard Kennedy to Face Peggy Nash

ontarioMy NDP MP Peggy Nash will have a difficult battle on her hands when we next go to the polls. Gerard Kennedy plans to run for the federal Liberals in the riding of Parkdale-High Park where he was MPP for over seven years.

Gerard Kennedy is quite popular in these parts and historically Parkdale-High Park has voted Liberal. Peggy Nash rode an anti-Sarmite Bulte wave to power, but can she beat Kennedy?

I'm thinking we could be going red again.

For more on Peggy Nash's victory, check out these entries.

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My Evening At CFRB

radio"Wanna come to CFRB with me? It might be good for shits and giggles". That was Humble Howard's offer yesterday afternoon. As luck would have it, my Monday night was open and I was in the mood for shits and giggles. We agreed to meet outside 2 St. Clair Ave West at 7:45pm.

We burned an hour having coffee at the joint across the street before we entered the domain of Standard Broadcasting. This was his office before he was canned, so there was that extra element of awkwardness. We were met in the lobby by Richard the producer of the Jim Richards show and I was introduced as the embedded journalist. I love that title.

I got a tour of the on-air section and met Freeway Frank who was on the air at 99.9 MIX FM and a genuine nice guy. He's commented on this site before and even knew Toronto Mike. He was working in the studio where the Humble & Fred show was broadcast from, which made it even more eery. There was also EZ Rock 97.3, but we didn't go into their studio, and then there was 1010 CFRB.

My mother tells stories of my grandmother working at Laura Secords at St. Clair and Yonge and CFRB personalities like Gordon Sinclair and Betty Kennedy dropping by all the time, but I digress. CFRB has been a big time radio station in this market for a long time, whether we kids like it or not. It was very cool meeting the producer and board op and watching them to their thing while Humble was on the air. Dean, the board op, even answered my many questions about this crazy new medium called radio.

I took pictures, and you can see the photoset here. Jim Richards, who I sincerely think is a very funny man, was laid back cool, although we didn't get a chance to chat long. He was sorta busy workin'. The interview itself seemed to go well and Humble managed to drop a promo for this very site, which was cool. I'll share the interview here later.

At the end of the day, I enjoyed a lot of shits and giggles, and that was the point, wasn't it?

Jim Richards & Humble Howard

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Steve Barber, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumSteve Barber was 67. He was the first 20-game winner in modern Baltimore Orioles history and the losing pitcher in one of baseball's wildest no-hitters.

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Me and CFRB

radioI'll be at CFRB tonight for a live thing at 9pm on The Jim Richards Show. I'll be at CFRB, but I probably won't be on CFRB. I'm accompanying a friend who's promoting his Slime book.

As a guy who's not in the radio biz, this is kinda exciting. It's not a station I'd ever listen to, but I remember Jim Richards from The Fan 590 and I remember thinking at the time that he was damn funny.

I'll snap a few pics and let you all know how this radio thing works. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get on the air and plug this site. You'll have to listen to 1010 at 9 to find out.

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Extreme Frozen Headphone Wire Alert

snow flakeThe web is a weird place. A couple of weeks ago I issued a frozen headphone wire alert. It was cold, the thought came to me and I wrote it and published it in less than two minutes.

Somebody at StumbleUpon enjoyed that entry and added it to the service. Last Monday, thousands of people visited my frozen headphone wire alert because of that. It was wild.

Today it feels like -24° so I'm issuing an extreme frozen headphone wire alert. Consider yourselves warned.

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Link: 2007 Super Bowl Ads

Link2007 Super Bowl Ads - Here's where we can catch the spots we missed yesterday.

Here's a neat Coke commercial.

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The Place To Be

moviesRight off the top I should declare that Fast Times At Ridgemont High is one of my favourite movies of all time. It's one of the few movies I own on DVD. There are so many great scenes and lines, but one line in particular from Mike Damone actually changed my life.

Mike Damone delivers the line when he's sharing his five point plan for successful dating with Mark Ratner. "Act like wherever you are, that's the place to be." That's it, those ten words carry all the weight.

Think about it, if wherever you are is the place to be, you're always in the best place to be at any given time. On a Sunday morning, walking in the park, just throw up your arms and say "isn't this great?" Heck, on a Thursday afternoon, waiting in line at the MTO, make the same statement. If you realize there's no better place to be at that moment because you're in the place to be, you're always happy.

You laugh, but Damone was on to something. It's a state of mind that guarantees personal satisfaction. It works, trust me. His other points were solid too, but #3 is for me.

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Indianapolis Colts 29, Chicago Bears 17

nflI caught most of this sloppy affair, but with the rain and turnovers it never really hooked me. Super Bowl XLI started off with a bang when Bears rookie Devin Hester returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, but things got really messy soon thereafter.

I'm glad Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning got the monkey off their backs. We'll no longer have to read about this being the best team not to make the Super Bowl. They got there and they won. Manning hit 25 of 38 passes for 247 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Next year, it's the Bills' turn.

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Super Bowl XLI

nflDespite my recent anti-NFL stand, I still intend to tune in to the big game today. No, I'm not talking about the Raptors and Clippers, the Raps already won that one, I'm talking about Super Bowl XLI.

I don't really care who wins, I'm just hoping for a great game. Perhaps late game heroics from Manning or a breakout of the Super Bowl Shuffle at halftime.

As fellow Canadians prepare to watch today's game and complain about our crappy Global advertisements while American's get the good commercials, I'd like to remind you all that far more of us watch the Grey Cup each year than watch the Super Bowl.

Carry on...

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The Difference Between Boys and Girls

familyWhen James was two, he'd do his business in the potty and skedaddle.

When Michelle uses the potty, she removes the container, disposes of the waste in the toilet, rinses it out and gently puts it back for next time.

That, in a nutshell, is the difference between toddler boys and toddler girls as I see it.

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An Unfortunate Truth

emailI received an email from my brother Steve yesterday afternoon. Here it is.

If you guys don't already know about peekvid.com, you should check it out. You can stream recent releases on your computer and the quality is not bad at all. I just watched An Inconvenient Truth and it's alarming!

Mike, use the power of your website to tell everyone to watch and become consciously aware. It's also fresh right now in the wake of that environmental report. Something must be done and must be done soon.

As instructed, I headed over to peekvid.com and watched An Inconvenient Truth. Steve's right, it's alarming and something must be done and the sooner the better.

It's amazing how controversial this topic is. People of a certain political slant are quick to deny the cause and effects of global warming. This issue has become so politicized there's a sense that acknowledging this inconvenient truth is a kin to seeking socialist reform. Stripping away the political angles and staring at the facts reveals something deeply disturbing. The long-awaited report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said global warming is "unequivocal," "very likely" man-made and will "continue for centuries", findings bleaker than its last report in 2001.

You all have homework. Toronto Mike insists you watch this film and report back here with your feelings on the subject.

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I Need To Have A Drink Like Every One Else

emailThe day after my last university exam I started my first full time job. I was with this company from 1998 until the spring of 2000 and at some point during my tenure there the "My Cup" email was sent. We called it the "My Cup" email, because that was the subject line.

I won't reveal the sender's name, nor the company's name, but this email became an instant favourite between me and my friends. It was sent to the catchall distribution list that included everyone in the company, from the guys in the warehouse to the CEO. I've held on to this email for the past eight years, but today I'm sharing it for the first time. I've censored one identifying term, but the rest of this email is exactly how we received it.

who ever it may be you did not have a *** mug in the past and from any time this week you have one on you desk or hand right now which you know it don't belong to you or no one borrow it to you, kindly return it to it orignal owner thank you

I NEED TO HAVE A DRINK LIKE EVERY ONE ELSE THANK YOU

I still love that email. It's too good to be true, actually. It's right up there with "All your base are belong to us". I NEED TO HAVE A DRINK LIKE EVERY ONE ELSE THANK YOU

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Little Miss Sunshine

A Movie ReelLittle Miss Sunshine: 8 out of 10.

There is some serious buzz surrounding this film. It's up for four awards at this month's Academy Awards, including best picture and original screenplay, and everyone who sees it likes it and recommends it highly. Throw in the fact it stars some of my favourite actors, like Alan Arkin, Toni Collette and Steve Carell, and the bar is raised quite high.

It's a highly enjoyable movie. You burn through the 101 minutes, the acting is solid and the story bitter sweet. I liked it. I liked it a lot. It's not, however, Oscar-worthy. In fact, I would compare it to another dark comedy that was far superior but tragically overlooked when it came time to announce the best picture nominations. Except The Royal Tenenbaums was a great deal funnier and demanded repeat viewings. I don't need to see Little Miss Sunshine again.

Abigail Breslin is as great as you've heard as the Bee Girl inspired Olive and Alan Arkin is brilliant as Grandpa. This is a nice little film, I just hope it doesn't get crushed by the weight of the surrounding buzz.

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Maple Leafs 3, Senators 2

LeafsThe post-all-star game winning streak has hit four, ladies and gentlemen. Last night we coughed up a 2-0 third period lead in Ottawa only to win it in a shootout.

With the East this tight, we have to keep winning. We're currently sitting in ninth place and out of the playoffs. We have a couple of games in hand over 8th place Carolina and a game in hand over 7th place Tampa Bay. Montreal, struggling of late, is only four points up. Let's catch those Habs!

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
26-22-6
58 points
4th in Northeast
3-1 Win vs. Ottawa
2-1 Win vs. New York Rangers
4-1 Win vs. Carolina
M. Sundin - 47
T. Kaberle - 43
B. McCabe - 37

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Save Image To Tag

cdSo I've got this MP3 collection I'm rather proud of. It's quite a few years in the making and it brings joy to my life daily. Lately I've been perfecting the meta data and now it's time to bring in the album covers.

The album cover is the one thing I've missed. When playing Nirvana's In Bloom, it's nice to see that baby going for the cash. It just enriches the whole experience. Using a free tool called MediaMonkey, it's pretty easy to select an album at a time and download the album cover. The trick is to change the options so you save the image to tag. That's key.

At 1232 albums and counting, this isn't a thirty minute task. I've been chipping away at it on weeknights and I'm at albums that start with 'J". If you want specifics on the most efficient way to do this with your collection, ping me. For more boring crap about my collection, go here.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"How ironic. Now he's blind, after a life of being able to see."

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More Edge Analysis By Demand

radioI did this once before. Earlier today I copied the list of songs played on 102.1 in the previous twelve hours and I've added little notes to each one.

People seemed to like that entry from September, but this kind of thing is a little more labour intensive than I like. Still, I'll try to do this every few months or so. Here's the second instalment of Twelve Hours of Edge Analysis.

10:50AM Hostage Life - Sons Of Hostage Life This is a Toronto band with a pretty catchy Rancid thing going on. They get bonus points for singing about Union Station.
10:45AM Pearl Jam - Even Flow Definitely a classic alternative staple. Songs like this don't age.
10:38AM Beck - Loser Another classic. It's nice to see CFNY hasn't totally fogotten us old fogies.
10:33AM Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves I dig this tune. I dig this band. When this tune comes on, I crank it.
10:26AM Moby - Porcelain I was never a big Moby fan, but this a nice track, although I find it a little boring.
10:22AM Fall Out Boy - This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race I conversed with Alan Cross about this song yesterday. You can see his comments here.
10:15AM Sum 41 - Motivation I tired of these guys quickly. They may be from Ajax, but I still can't handle this track.
10:01AM Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (Hey Oh) My wife loves this song, I find it boring.
9:58AM Sam Roberts - Bridge To Nowhere This was SLS worthy and I still like it.
9:55AM Neverending White Lights - Age Of Consent This one is growing on me. I wasn't sure at first, but darn it, I think I like it.
9:47AM Three Days Grace - Pain More local talent that I wished I liked more. It's not bad, but it's nothing special.
9:43AM Finger Eleven - Paralyzer Speaking of local talent, this is a rather poppy number from our friends. Remember, Scott Anderson dropped by SLS to chat about One Thing.
9:36AM Modest Mouse - Dashboard The Modest Mouse faithful don't like this new song, but I do. It's SLS-worthy.
9:32AM Cypress Hill - Audio X I don't know this tune! Could someone please send it to me, I'd love to hear it.
9:20AM Our Lady Peace - Innocent It's nice to see CFNY favours Ontario talent. Check out how many of these tunes are Ontario-based musicians. I dig the OLP.
8:51AM IllScarlett - One-A I loved IllScarlett's first single and I love this one. I jack this one when it comes on, which is often.
8:37AM The Tragically Hip - 38 Years Old Damn, I love this track. I'll be seeing these guys next week. I hope they play it again.
8:21AM Linkin Park - In The End I have nothing bad to say about Linkin Park. Their hits, like this one, were fun.
8:08AM Incubus - Anna Molly This is one of my favourite songs right now. Anna Molly is a megalomaniac.
7:46AM Muse - Starlight It's no Hysteria, but it's nice. It's just not memorable, ya know?
7:34AM Nickelback - Figured You Out I'm done with Nickelback.
7:23AM Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit The definitive classic alternative selection. Load up on guns...
7:10AM Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves See 10:33AM
6:48AM Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (Hey Oh) See 10:01AM
6:36AM The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon With the Hip coming to town, CFNY has upped their Hippage. Of course, their Hippage is typically high, and so it should be. I love this song. Surprised?
6:19AM Gnarls Barkley - Crazy I'm tired of Crazy, but it was fun while it lasted.
6:13AM Pearl Jam - Alive Two songs from Ten this morning. Why the hell not?
6:03AM Finger Eleven - Paralyzer See 9:43AM
5:57AM Stone Temple Pilots - Creep From Core, this is another song that takes me back to the early 90s. Good stuff.
5:53AM Michael Andrews Feat. Gary Jules - Mad World Awesome cover. Not only is it better than the original, but it seems to get better every time I hear it.
5:41AM Green Day - Brain Stew This is the song I think of when Billy Talent's Fallen Leaves comes on. They both share that crunchy guitar sound during the opening. Great tune.
5:37AM Wolfmother - Joker And The Thief Wolfmother has a cool 70s vibe going and I'm digging this track just as I enjoyed their two previous SLS-worthy songs.
5:25AM U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday You know CFNY is going to throw a little U2 on during every 12 hour period. At least they went old school.
5:20AM Killers - Read My Mind It's okay, I guess. I'll stick with Hot Fuss.
5:14AM Our Lady Peace - Is Anybody Home? OLP has a number of catchy tunes that play well on the radio. This is one of them.
5:11AM Raconteurs - Level Great track from the Rac.
5:05AM Smashing Pumpkins - Zero I've always felt Zero is under appreciated. It's one of my favourite Pumpkin tracks
5:01AM IllScarlett - One-A See 8:51AM
4:57AM Nine Inch Nails - The Hand That Feeds Zzzzzzzzz.
4:53AM AlexisOnFire - This Could Be Anywhere In The World Yeah, I like this track. I threw it on the last SLS. How many Ontario bands are we at?
4:45AM Prodigy - Firestarter Here's a golden oldie. It was good fun, wasn't it?
4:42AM The Tragically Hip - The Lonely End Of The Rink Yeah!!! More TTH - lace up the skates and sing that anthem. Lest we forget the unofficial video.
4:37AM Rage Against The Machine - Renegades Of Funk These guys are reuniting for a really big she-ow. I wonder if Cornell will join them. I miss RatM.
4:31AM DJ Champion - The Plow I must admit, I'm not yet familiar with this one and therefore have no comment.
4:27AM Incubus - Anna Molly See 8:08AM
4:22AM Offspring - Self Esteem Yeah, I'm a carefree teen again! This was a huge song in my circle in the mid 90s.
4:18AM Fall Out Boy - This Ain't A Scene, It's An Arms Race See 10:22AM
4:12AM Hot Hot Heat - Bandages Nice Cancon selection. Great track.
4:07AM Nirvana - Lithium Perhaps my favourite Nirvana track, although that's hard to say. It's awesome.
4:02AM Muse - Starlight See 7:46AM
3:59AM OK Go - Here It Goes Again After seeing that treadmill video a couple of times I grew tired of this song.
3:54AM Eminem - Lose Yourself I must admit, this is still a solid track Mr. Mathers. Oscar-worthy indeed.
3:52AM Hostage Life - This Song Was Written By Committee This one never grew on me.
3:46AM R.E.M. - The One I Love Delving into the R.E.M. catalogue, this is a nice selection.
3:44AM Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment From Newmarket, Ontario of all places, home of Serial Joe as I recall, TPC have a nice single on their hands.
3:40AM Queens Of The Stone Age - No One Knows I loved it then and I love it now. Fantastic!
3:35AM Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor This single broke these guys in this country. It's a goodie.
3:31AM Billy Talent - Fallen Leaves See 10:33AM
3:27AM Coldplay - Speed Of Sound Not my favourite Coldplay song, I must admit.
3:22AM 30 Seconds To Mars - From Yesterday Jared Leto sings for this band, but you already knew that. Their sound does nothing for me.
3:14AM Lenny Kravitz - American Woman A useless cover of a great Canadian song. I hate Lenny for this.
3:07AM Tool - The Pot Sometimes I really like Tool, sometimes I don't. This one is typical Tool, in fact, it sounds like several of their other songs.
3:01AM Red Hot Chili Peppers - Snow (Hey Oh) See 10:01AM
2:57AM Seether - Remedy Nirvana redux!
2:53AM Green Day - Boulevard Of Broken Dreams American Idot made Green Day relevant again and this might be my favourite track from that album.
2:49AM City And Colour - Comin' Home Yeah, I like it. What are you going to do about it?
2:42AM Oasis - Don't Look Back In Anger A beautiful song from Oasis. This entire album is gold.
2:38AM Matt Mays - When The Angels Make Contact It's too early for me to judge this track. It needs a few more listens.
2:35AM Linkin Park - One Step Closer Another Linkin Park hit. I'm okay with that.
2:29AM The Good, The Bad & The Queen - Herculean This is an intriguing project. It's Damon Albarn but it's not the Gorillaz, although Danger Mouse is involved. It's good.
2:25AM Finger Eleven - Paralyzer See 9:43AM
2:21AM Foo Fighters - My Hero I still remember when they played this in Ottawa after Gretzky's last game in Canada. It brings a shiver to my spine and a tear to my eye.
2:17AM Army Of Anyone - Goodbye I haven't heard a lot of this song, and I don't love it yet. In fact, I find it a little boring.
2:12AM Sum 41 - Pieces I'll pass, thanks.
2:07AM Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars Yes, this is a pretty song. Yes, it's easy on the ears. Yes, I tried not to like it but it's highly likeable.
2:02AM Wolfmother - Joker And The Thief See 5:37AM
2:00AM DJ Champion - No Heaven I'm sick of it, but for a while last year I really liked this song.
1:56AM Felix Da Housecat - Ready 2 Wear This song sounds like it's from the 80s and if you like that sound you might like this. I don't.
1:53AM Le Tigre - Deceptacon (DFA Remix) Firstly, this is the best song title ever. Otherwise, it's a lot like the song above.
1:49AM Ladytron - Destroy Everything You Touch This must have been part of a trio of 80s inspired dancy tracks. This is the best of the three.
1:45AM Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out The summer of 2004 and the leader of the trifecta package. It's still good.
1:40AM Streets - Fit But You Know It It's fun to sing this with your best Brit accent.
1:37AM Killers - Mr. Brightside This tune got played into the ground, so it's unfair for me to trash it now.
1:29AM Metric - Dead Disco I like Metric.
1:26AM Gary Numan - Cars The original Cars, nice touch. Numan was ahead of his time.
1:22AM Erasure - A Little Respect Speaking of the 80s and that sound, here's one of the staples. Not my cup of tea, but I was sound asleep when this aired.
1:18AM Scissor Sisters - I Don't Feel Like Dancin' Just look at the next set of songs and you'll catch the vibe. Not for me, but that's okay.
1:14AM Louis XIV - Finding Out True Love Is Blind A great single that I threw on SLS. One of my favourites from 2005.
1:11AM Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated Speaking of Jared Leto, remember when he took the mic in My So Called Life for Rayanne and finished this song. That was the first sign that 30 Seconds to Mars was inevitable. Great song.
1:08AM Arctic Monkeys - Fake Tales Of San Francisco Not as stong as the first single, but still solid.
1:04AM Chemical Brothers - Hey Boy Hey Girl The Chemical Brothers had some cool singles, but this one wasn't one of my favourites.
1:00AM Benny Benassi - Satisfaction Ha! I love the stuff they play in the wee hours of the morning.

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Perfect Hair Forever

Viral MarketingYou've all heard by now that several suspicious packages found attached to bridges in Boston earlier this week weren't bombs but were ads for Adult Swim.

They were magnetic lights that comprised a guerrilla marketing effort in ten cities. Apparently, these lite-bright-like figures were in Boston for two to three weeks before law enforcement overreacted and shut down roads and ignited panic.

This is a great story I've been following closely, but it gets better. The Boston hoax suspects held a news conference yesterday where they only spoke about hairstyles of the 1970s. Here's the conference so you can watch for yourself.

It turns out the USA has this station called the Cartoon Network and this lite-bright hoax was to promote the show Aqua Teen Hunger Force from their Adult Swim lineup. Another show in the Adult Swim lineup is Perfect Hair Forever. Get it, these dudes are yakking about hair and the one guy says he's got pretty perfect hair and it's all yet another marketing attack.

And here I am writing about it now, proving these guerrilla tactics actually work.

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Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon

Goodnight MoonSince this blog is all about me, I'm going to write about Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon... again. Beautifully illustrated by Clement Hurd, it's the book I most fondly recall from my childhood. When James was younger, we read it every night. In fact, at two he was reading it to me. Well, he wasn't quite reading it, but he was reciting it.

It's now the book I read to Michelle before she drifts away into that sweet slumber. She too has it memorized and hits every note on every page with a quiet emphasis of the word "hush" and a tailing end for the closing "everywhere".

This is by far my favourite children's book and for obvious reasons. When I'm an old dude in the twilight of my life, I hope James and Michelle will read it to me.

Goodnight Moon

Previous tributes to Goodnight Moon:

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Gian Carlo Menotti, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumGian Carlo Menotti was 95. He composed a pair of Pulitzer Prize-winning operas and founded the Spoleto arts festivals in the United States and Italy.

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.500 Reaps Rewards

RaptorsWith the Raptors playing .500 ball, people in this city are actually starting to take notice. After an awful couple of years this team is starting to look respectable. In addition to leading the division, the Raps are earning props from the NBA.

Guess who's the Eastern Conference player of the month for January? That's right, it's Chris Bosh. Who's the Eastern Conference coach of the month for January? You got it, it's none other than Sam Mitchell. Who's the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for January? Andrea Bargnani, of course.

.500 never felt so good.

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Three Coins In The Fountain

radioI used to listen to a lot more radio. I've been a fan of the medium forever, and I've written extensively about radio here, but lately I've had less time for her.

For one thing, I rarely drive anymore. I used to commute to work and spend a great deal of time in the car, but now I'm strictly a TTC or walk guy. Not driving means less radio. Also, now that my music collection is digitized, it's so accessible and convenient, I'm listening to MP3s more and radio less. It really hit home how little radio I hear when I realized I've only tuned in three station in the past three months.

Those three were...

CFNY 102.1 The Edge - I still tune in my old favourite quite a bit for a dose of Billy Talent, Incubus, The Raconteurs, Modest Mouse or whatever. It's currently my shower station.

CBC Radio One - I tune in 99.1 periodically, mainly for the news. No Toronto station does the news like they do. There are other great programs, like GO or Definitely Not the Opera, that deserve more ears.

The Fan 590 - When I need a sports report or if I just want to hear what people are saying about the Leafs, Jays or Raptors, I visit good 'ol CJCL. I've been tuning in CJCL since the 1430 and Music of Your Life days.

There you have my three coins in the fountain. Not long ago, there were closer to ten coins in the fountain. There was also more time for radio in my life.

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Google Fu For January 2007

Search StringsThese are the top searches that referred people to this site in January of 2007. A lot of Jory Steinberg fans have dropped by, thanks to my #3 Google ranking for her name.

  1. jory steinberg
  2. wedding playlist
  3. bill barilko
  4. toronto maple leafs
  5. big shiny tunes 2
  6. john majhor
  7. concert tickets
  8. big shiny tunes 3
  9. big shiny tunes 6
  10. concert ticket

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Dr. Snuggles, Friend To The Animal World

rewindLast night a song entered my head. That's not unusual, except this was a song that hadn't been in my head for at least 25 years. In fact, at first I didn't know where it came from or whether it was an old memory or something I invented.

I sang it to Taryn, but she didn't know it. The lyrics are "Dr. Snuggles, friend to the animal world." When I closed my eyes, I could see the opening of a television I used to watch when I was very young. I could even see the little tv in the basement of a house I lived in until 1983.

Naturally, I dropped by YouTube to see if anyone was sharing a clip of this Dr. Snuggles opening. As luck would have it, they had it, and I felt so validated. The show existed, I had the words right and I even nailed the tune.

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Maple Leafs 2, Rangers 1

LeafsI don't know about you, but when Ian White sprung Mats Sundin on that breakaway in the third, everything slowed down for me. It was as if I was watching our captain stride in one frame at a time. When he snapped home the winner, I cheered so loud it woke the kids.

Make no mistake, our Leafs have won three in a row. The goaltender I love to hate played another great game and Sundin hit the 20-goal mark for the 16th straight season. It's all coming together at the right time.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
25-22-6
56 points
4th in Northeast
2-1 Win vs. New York Rangers
4-1 Win vs. Carolina
4-1 Win vs. Montreal
M. Sundin - 46
T. Kaberle - 43
B. McCabe - 37

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