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Live Blogging the Leafs and Pens

hockeyThe last time I live blogged a game, Sidney Crosby was part of a Canadian team that beat the Russians at the World Junior Hockey Championship.

Crosby is in town tonight as part of a Pittsburgh Penguins team looking to end our playoff dreams. I'm comfortably situated in my basement, watching the game on CBC and dropping my two cents here throughout the night. Go Leafs Go!

19:13 - No Bob Cole tonight. Here in Toronto we get used to hearing Bob Cole with Harry Neale every Saturday night. He's been the Leafs HNIC guy since 1980. I like Jim Hughson though, he's the heir apparent. Leafs 0, Penguins 0

19:15 - Leafs score!!! Chad Kilger puts us in front early. There's a nice pace to this game thus far. I'm feeling good. Leafs 1, Penguins 0

19:19 - It figures Gary Roberts would score on the Pens power play. I'm still glad he's in Pittsburgh and not Ottawa. I thrive on Ottawa's post-season chokage. Leafs 1, Penguins 1

19:28 - Did I just see a 2 on 0 for Pittsburgh? Great defence, guys. There's a penalty on the play and the Pens PP is pretty deadly. Leafs 1, Penguins 1

19:40 - This Pittsburgh team is the team I'm most envious of in the NHL. They have such young, awesome talent. Jordan Staal, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury... these guys will be very good for a long, long time. As jealous as I am, I still root for them, but not tonight. Leafs 1, Penguins 1

19:41 - Leafs score!! Poni pots his 20th shortly after snake-bitten Sundin hit the side of the post. Leafs 2, Penguins 1

19:47 - I've just been advised by my lovely wife that we're watching Children of Men after this game. I just checked IMDB and it looks like it's going to be a good one. She also told me that Cory Booker is now mayor of Newark. If you've seen Street Fight, you'll understand the relevance. Leafs 2, Penguins 1

20:02 - I just read Michelle Bear Loves Bedtime. Did I miss anything? Leafs 2, Penguins 1

20:06 - Kaberle scores! He's got a great shot from the point and he didn't miss this time. We're 0-3 against the Pens so far this season, but as a wise man once told me, that just means we're due. Leafs 3, Penguins 1

20:13 - We just learnt the secret to Andrew Raycroft's success. He stops white pucks in practice. Leafs 3, Penguins 1

20:19 - Alex Steen just had a breakaway from centre ice but couldn't beat Thibault. Leafs 3, Penguins 1

20:23 - Yes! Bryan McCabe has us up by three and Fleury's off the bench. It's too bad the Habs are winning too. Leafs 4, Penguins 1

20:35 - We weren't just winning, we were dominating. The Pens have scored to get back within two. It's important I remember the Sabres before I put these two points on the board. Leafs 4, Penguins 2

20:42 - Twenty minutes to play and a two goal lead. The Rangers and Montreal are winning, so we have to finish this. Sweep the leg, Leafs! Sweep the leg! Leafs 4, Penguins 2

20:59 - I just read James chapter nine of Dolphins at Daybreak. It's great that they both go to bed during intermissions. Antropov just took a cheesy hooking penalty. Leafs 4, Penguins 2

21:08 - Time to exhale. Raycroft looks sharp tonight. It doesn't appear we have another goal in us, so Raycroft had better be sharp. Leafs 4, Penguins 2

21:24 - Damn. Crosby was pretty quiet all night but he just put the Pens back in the hockey game. There's still 4:38 to kill... Leafs 4, Penguins 3

21:30 - C'mon guys, one minute to play... and there's an empty cage. Leafs 4, Penguins 3

21:31 - Oh. My. Lord. Four seconds to go and we're going to overtime. I feel sick. Four damn seconds. Leafs 4, Penguins 4

21:36 - Overtime is delayed while they attend to a medical emergency in the crowd. This is an opportunity to reflect upon the reality of the situation at hand. We were up 4-1 in a crucial game and we let it get away. Roberts took McCabe to school and the Pens took advantage to tie this thing up with 4 seconds on the clock. Montreal and the Rangers have already won, so we need the second point just to stay a point out of a playoff spot. We need this. Leafs 4, Penguins 4

21:42 - There's something wrong with me praying for the extra point while some guy passes away in the fourth row. This world is totally out of whack. Leafs 4, Penguins 4

21:52 - The Leafs have had a few good chances. Colaiacovo even hit the post. We can't beat this guy. I want Thibault back. Mats, your mommy is calling you, and she wants you to freakin' score. Leafs 4, Penguins 4

21:54 - Kaberle, you're our only hope. Leafs win! Leafs win! Phew. Leafs 5, Penguins 4

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Tie Domi's Rink Rage

swearsThe article in the Sun says it all.

Former Leafs' tough guy Tie Domi was "like a beast" as he screamed obscenities at his 11-year-old son Max's peewee hockey coach at a North York arena last night.

Witnesses say Domi's profane tirade happened in front of a dozen stunned and scared young players, parents and fans.

An enraged Domi was apparently upset at Max's lack of ice time.

I'm not going to bash Domi in this entry, because that's just too easy. I'm going to put myself in his shoes. If my son James were 11, had forgotten his hockey gloves and didn't get enough ice time as a result, would I be upset enough to leave the stands and confront the coach leaving with "You're a fucking shitty coach. What the fuck do you think you're doing ... You're just playing two fucking lines"?

Of course not. I can't even imagine a situation of that nature that would get me yelling at James' hockey coach. It's peewee AAA and the players are pre-teens. There's no place for rink rage and there are no exceptions.

Tie Domi's rapid fall from grace has been startling, and I don't think it's complete. You've got to wonder what's next.

Tie Domi and I

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MoPete's March Miracle

raptorsYou want buzz? I'll give you buzz, as in a miraculous Morris Peterson buzzer beater to send last night's Toronto Raptors game into overtime.

The Washington Wizards were up 109-106 with 3.8 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. We had no time outs and a long Hail Mary pass was intercepted by Michael Ruffin who tossed the ball into the air, apparently thinking the clock was about to expire.

What happens next is remarkable. MoPete comes down with it and tosses up a buzzer beating three to force overtime where we win 123-118. If this doesn't generate a little buzz, nothing will. I'm giving this a chill factor of 8.2. See for yourself.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"My back yard makes my front yard look like an idiot."

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The Closest I'll Get To Seeing Janis Joplin in Toronto

musicJanis Joplin passed away on October 4, 1970, almost four years before I was born. I own Pearl and her Greatest Hits, but to truly appreciate Janis Joplin you had to be there. I remember taking a pop culture history course at U of T and the professor attempting to convey the raw sexuality and importance of that distinctive voice.

Festival Express was a legendary 1970 tour across Canada by some of the world's biggest rock bands, including The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and The Band. It stopped at the CNE Grandstand in Toronto on June 27 and 28 that year before moving on to Winnipeg Stadium.

This is the closest I'm going to get to seeing Janis Joplin play my city. Here she is in Toronto singing "Cry Baby".

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Right Said Fred

raptorsFreddie P. was right. Back when we were working on his new blog we had a phone conversation he wrote about here. I was feeling a pro-Raptors buzz and he wasn't. This surprised me.

After tonight there are ten games left in the Raptors regular season and we're six games up on the Nets in the Atlantic division. Math isn't my strong suit, but I like the odds we'll win the division for the first time in franchise history. It will mark the first time we made the post season in the post-Vince Carter era and we're looking at potentially being the three seed in the conference. This is all wonderful stuff, but all anyone wants to talk about is the Leafs. Fred said nobody cared about the Raptors and I'm starting to agree with him. We'd like to make the playoffs and maybe win a round or two, but our hunger for an NBA Championship is so dwarfed by our hunger for the Stanley Cup, there's little buzz to be felt.

I'm as guilty as anyone. I root for the Raps, but I pray for the Leafs. I'd love to see the Raps win the conference but I'd die of happiness if the Leafs won the conference. The Raptors are 2nd class citizens in this town and it will always be that way so long as the Leafs exist.

It's a shame, but it's a fact. If Bosh could throw a body check, he'd own this city.

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite former Pittsburgh Penguins

  1. Mario Lemieux
  2. Ed Olczyk
  3. John Cullen
  4. Ken Wregget
  5. Chris Kontos

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Maple Leafs 2, Thrashers 3

LeafsAt this point in the season, every point matters. We really needed two, but one is better than none. We're sitting alone in 9th, a single point behind Tampa Bay and Montreal who are tied for seventh.

We have the Penguins in town tomorrow night. We've yet to beat them this season. This might be a wise time to reverse that trend.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
37-29-10
85 points
9th in Eastern Conference
3-2 OTL vs. Atlanta
6-1 Win vs. Carolina
4-1 Win vs. Buffalo
M. Sundin - 69
B. McCabe - 53
T. Kaberle - 51

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Sad Kermit Sings Hurt

musicHot damn I love this. Kermit the Frog covers Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" and it's all so sad. It's sad, but there's a comfort in feeling sad, and I haven't felt this comfort since Johnny Cash did the honours.

The scene with Ralph is just wrong, but desperate times call for desperate measures. The frog is hurt and needs our help.

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C'mon Google, Follow Yahoo's Lead

yahooA competitive marketplace benefits consumers. That's why I'm pleased to hear Yahoo! Mail will offer unlimited storage. Google has to respond and I'm hoping they follow suit. The Gmail 2.8 GB limit may sound like a lot, but I'm constantly having to delete messages to ensure I don't run out of space.

Gmail is ideal for both work and play. You can fetch mail from multiple accounts and reply from these accounts, and the filtering, labelling and search capabilities are super slick. The problem is, because it's so user-friendly, you use it a great deal and it doesn't take long to find out you're 95% full.

C'mon Gmail, don't let Yahoo! get the upper hand. April 1 is your anniversary and a perfect day to unveil unlimited storage for all.

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Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

A Movie ReelBorat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan: 7.5 out of 10.

I'm pretty sure most of you have already seen "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan". Last night, I joined the club.

When you hear a movie is very funny there's always a risk you'll be let down. I'm pleased to report I too found it funny which means there's nothing wrong with me. Well, it means something.

By the way, Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is not only fun to say, it's fun to type, too.

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Amateur Hour

musicAre you following the whole Juno Awards time shuffle? A two-hour episode of The Amazing Race was set to clash with the Juno Awards, so CTV announced they would tape-delay the Juno broadcast for those of us in the East.

As you might imagine, CTV was criticized heavily for this announcement. How hokey is it that the Juno Awards would air at 10pm instead of 8pm because of some lousy American reality show? Now CTV will air the Juno Awards before The Amazing Race, just to please us in the centre of the universe.

It's amateur hour. How embarrassing, eh?

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No Doubt About It

IdolIt was a challenge catching the performances last night. I had the running clinic and the Leaf game, but thank goodness for west coast feeds. If I don't get my Sanjaya fix, I'm just no good.

From what I saw, there's nothing too exciting to report except for the fact I thought Phil Stacey sounds like Corey Hart, and that's always a good thing. I'm hoping the theme next week is 80s Cancon and he gets to cover "Never Surrender". Gina could do Lee Aaron and you know that would be cool.

Here are my three favourites from last night:

  1. Melinda Doolittle
  2. LaKisha Jones
  3. Gina Glocksen

Here are my three least favourite from last night:

  1. Sanjaya Malakar
  2. Haley Scarnato
  3. Chris Richardson

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My Offline Challenge: Week Three

runningBefore I bore you with the details of my third week of running, the two of you who are interested in my offline challenge can read all related entries at http://www.torontomike.com/running/.

Last night I began my third week of this quest, which meant we're bumping up the run to two minutes of running followed by one minute of walking. Up until now I was finding these runs were pretty easy, but last night I actually started to feel the last couple of reps in my legs. It was a stern reminder that I'm out of shape and I need to get back out there tonight.

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Maple Leafs 6, Hurricanes 1

LeafsLet's face it, we toss around the term "must win" pretty loosely. In my humble opinion, last night's game against the Hurricanes was indeed a must win if we're going to make the playoffs this season. A loss would have been devastating.

We're tied with Carolina for 9th, two points behind Tampa Bay and Montreal. We have a valuable game in hand on those two teams, so all we have to do is win. Thursday night in Atlanta is yet another must win game as the annual tease continues.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
37-29-9
84 points
Tied for 9th in Eastern Conference
6-1 Win vs. Carolina
4-1 Win vs. Buffalo
5-4 Loss vs. Buffalo
M. Sundin - 68
B. McCabe - 53
T. Kaberle - 51

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Scott Adam's Happiness Formula

humourScott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip, has shared with us the formula for happiness.

Happiness = health + money + social life + meaning

I'm working on all four...

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Superman Returns

A Movie ReelSuperman Returns: 5.5 out of 10.

In the battle between "Batman Begins" and "Superman Returns", Batman wins easily. "Superman Returns" is rather disappointing. How do you take a story like that and make it boring? Even Kevin Spacey's Lex Luthor is boring.

Although we'll never see it, you just know Tim Burton's "Superman Lives" would have been way better. Heck, Howard Stern's "Fartman" would have been better.

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The Evolution of Homer

homerWatching the Simpsons last night, I was most impressed with the couch gag. I've seen hundreds of these things, and a few have really stuck out as winners, but last night's ranks amongst the very best.

It's the evolution of Homer and it might be the longest couch gag in the history of the show. Here it is.

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Edward Scissorhands Promotion

ticketstubsEdward Scissorhands is coming to the Hummingbird Centre for three shows, starting April 4th. As you know, I can get you $15 off the ticket price. That's right, I'm a mover and a shaker.

Login to Ticketmaster.ca with the promotional code EDBLOG to receive your discount. This offer is applicable to online sales only and can be applied to any seat location at any price.

I'll be there April 4th, so if I've saved you $15, slip me a fin and it's all good.

Edward Scissorhands

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Hockey Night In Canada Stays at CBC

cbcThe CBC and NHL announced a new television deal Monday that will keep Hockey Night in Canada on the air until 2014.

When they lost the Grey Cup, I wondered if the CBC would lose Hockey Night In Canada as well. I can adapt to anything, and I can punch up channel 30 as quickly as I can punch up channel 6, but I like the idea of Hockey Night In Canada airing on the CBC. If that makes me a socialist colour me pink!

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Diamond Songs

diamondsWatching "Blood Diamond" got me thinking about musical diamonds. Not Neil Diamond songs or Diamond Dave songs, but songs with Diamond in the title. And not "Black Diamond" by Kiss, "Diamonds on the Inside" by Ben Harper or "Diamonds Are Forever" by Shirley Bassey, but diamond songs that are in my collection.

Here they are:

  • Headlights Look Like Diamonds - Arcade Fire
  • Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds - The Beatles
  • Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds - The Black Crowes
  • Jack O' Diamonds Blues - Blind Lemon Jefferson
  • Diamond Mine - Blue Rodeo
  • Diamond Smiles - Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats
  • Diamond Dogs - David Bowie
  • Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds - Elton John
  • This Diamond Ring - Gary Lewis and the Playboys
  • Diamonds Is Forever - Jay-Z
  • Diamonds From Sierra Leone (remix) - Kanye West featuring Jay-Z
  • Diamonds From Sierra Leone - Kanye West
  • Ocean of Diamonds - Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time
  • Diamonds in the Mine - Leonard Cohen
  • Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes - Paul Simon
  • Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5 - Pink Floyd
  • Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Parts 6-9 - Pink Floyd
  • The 'Ol Diamondback Sturgeon - Primus
  • Diamonds and Pearls - Prince and the New Power Generation
  • Diamond Girl - Seals & Croft
  • Diamonds and Guns - Transplants

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The Therapeutic Thaw

sunAs recently as January I was writing about the unseasonable heat we were experiencing in Toronto. Later that month, winter did indeed arrive and February was bitterly cold. There were some chilly days earlier this month as well, but now we're enjoying our annual thaw.

It's so therapeutic. The snow melts, we return to the great outdoors and shed our layers. Nothing epitomizes spring to me like this photo I took during this glorious weekend in Toronto.

A Great Day

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Blood Diamond

A Movie ReelBlood Diamond: 8 out of 10.

I really liked "Blood Diamond" and I don't really like many films. Leonardo DiCaprio puts on a South African accent and it works. Jennifer Connelly played an American, but I'm sure I heard her slip into a faux British accent a couple of times a'la Madonna, although I forgive her because she's Jennifer Connelly. Djimon Hounsou was also good, but he's always good. In fact, one indication you're watching a decent movie is the presence of Djimon Hounsou.

The story is compelling, although more than a little depressing. The T.I.A. thread leaves little hope for a stable, safe and productive Africa. If everyone watched this movie, I suspect diamond sales would plummet. It is to diamonds what "Super Size Me" was to McDonald's.

Discuss "Blood Diamond" (4 comments so far)


Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 1

LeafsThere, that's more like it. I predicted a Buffalo split and that's exactly what we got. We've got 82 points and sit two points out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

With the teams we're trying to catch winning their games, we must win ours. There is no room for error.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
36-29-9
82 points
11th in Eastern Conference
4-1 Win vs. Buffalo
5-4 Loss vs. Buffalo
2-1 Win vs. New Jersey
M. Sundin - 68
B. McCabe - 53
T. Kaberle - 50

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Better Days

leafsIt's 1-1 after one but with both the Rangers and Islanders picking up wins this afternoon, I'm not feeling particularly optimistic. Thanks to YouTube, I just relived one of my favourite Leaf games of all-time.

Game seven between the Leafs and Red Wings in 1993. Nikolai Borschevsky has his defining moment and it truly is "unbelievable".

Yes, I've seen better days.

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Link: Photoshopping Toronto City Hall

LinkPhotoshopping Toronto City Hall - From FARK.com, our city hall is remixed.

Toronto City Hall?

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Take It To The Bridge

bridgeWe recently determined that the suspension bridge featured in the Tragically Hip's "Yer Not the Ocean" video isn't the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. Some suggested it might be the suspension bridge at Scenic Caves in Collingwood, Ontario, but as you'll see below, that's not it either.

bridge-comparison

Is it any of these?

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Casual Conversations

familyI met my brothers and mom for lunch. It rarely happens, but it happened today.

As usual, the conversations were all over the place. Here's a taste.

  • Another World - A defunct soap opera that was once my mom's favourite. We discussed the characters, where they've been seen since, how handsome Cass was and how cool Mac Corey seemed.
  • Anna Nicole Smith - None of us care, except Mom who loves this stuff. Something is being announced Monday. It's news that's sure to move mountains.
  • Edward Scissorhands - The movie, the play, who will babysit my shorties.
  • Cell phones - Who are these people who watch tv shows and movies on their cell phones? How long until Canadians are downloading porn on these things? How is Bell dealing with number portability? It's all about the data transfer now so beware the surprise $1000 phone bill.
  • The Leafs - Last night was pure ARGH. Mom's given up. This loss hurt and typifies this team of ours. Go Raptors Go!
  • Famous people we used to hate but now like - Rosie O'Donnell, the Dixie Chicks...
  • Jay-Z's Meet the Parents - Ryan told us the tale Jay-Z shares in this song from his Bluepring 2: The Gift & the Curse album.
  • Politics - I'm convinced most of Canada is socially liberal and wants to vote Liberal. I'm also convinced the Conservative Party will win another minority government, but no seats in Toronto. Steve blames Dion.
  • Jehovah's Witness vs. Catholicism - Ryan tells a controversial tale that triggers a healthy argument that almost leads to blows. We're like Oasis, dammit!

Don't you wish you were there?

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Maple Leafs 4, Sabres 5

LeafsAt 11pm last night, Buffalo Boy was already rubbing salt in the wounds.

Holy cow what a meltdown the Leafs had last night, I of course was jumping through my ceiling in amazement as the Sabres took it to them and tore them apart in the third. To quote a Freddie P Acronym, ARRRGHHH for you! YEAH for ME!

A meltdown, indeed. Who didn't have the two points on the board? I was thinking about the sweep, creeping into 7th, an opening round against the Devils, a team we've been beating.

Wow. I'm still stunned. 11th place sucks.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
35-29-9
80 points
11th in Eastern Conference
5-4 Loss vs. Buffalo
2-1 Win vs. New Jersey
3-2 SOL vs. Montreal
M. Sundin - 68
B. McCabe - 51
T. Kaberle - 50

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Aw, twenty dollars!? I wanted a peanut."

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Vanilla Ice's Ninja Rap for TMNT2

videoHistory repeats and James is now a TMNT fan as his father was before him. He's been talking about the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie for a while now, and in a moment of weakness at some point I may have promised I'd take him to see it.

Today I read the review of the movie in the Star and learnt it's not that funny, not as charming as it once was and it's neither a good time for kids or parents. Ouch. I'm wondering what would happen if I simply forgot to take him but made up for it by taking him to something good. Then, we could watch the new crappy TMNT when it hits TMN next March or so. I'm thinking this plan is crazy enough to work.

It's a shame the new TMNT doesn't measure up to the 1990 film I remember so fondly. The sequel to that film featured an embarrassing performance of "Ninja Rap" by Vanilla Ice. As difficult as this is to watch, I fear the new film is an even tougher pill to swallow.

Go Ninja, go ninja, go!

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Buffalo Springfield songs

  1. For What It's Worth
  2. Mr. Soul
  3. Rock and Roll Woman
  4. I Am A Child
  5. Broken Arrow

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Hopes High, Teams Mediocre

leafsThey're doing it again.

We Leaf fans are probably the most perennially punished patrons of any professional sports team. Our hopes are high, our teams are mediocre, yet with nine games to go we all know we have a chance. With nine games to go we're right in the thick of things, living on the playoff edge. We're cautiously optimistic while subconsciously expecting the worst.

We're in hell, rather appropriate since the Leafs are in Buffalo. The next two games against those damn Sabres could make us or break us. Knowing the Leafs, they'll likely split the series and we'll be strung along for six more games until the season finale against the Habs.

That's when they'll break our collective hearts.... again.

The Passion That Unites Us All

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Web 2.0 Marketing

microphoneEarlier today I wrote about the invitation I received to see Edward Scissorhands at the Hummingbird Centre. I wondered aloud how many other Toronto bloggers got the same offer. I figured there was no better person to ask than Julie Giles from AWA Touring Services in New York City as she's the woman who sent me the invitation in the first place.

I hit up Julie for a few answers to the questions I couldn't shake from my mind. As you'll read, she was very accommodating.

How many Toronto bloggers are getting this invitation?
About 20 but that number is divided over several communities. For example, we've invited several "cultural trendsetters", several "mommy" bloggers, bloggers from the Goth community, and so on...

How did you determine which Toronto bloggers would get an invite?
We look for bloggers who have interests that dovetail with the subject matter. A sports blogger, for example, would not be interested in this show but a photoblogger might be -- based on the fact the show is highly visual and features very dramatic sets and costumes. I guess you could say we look for a good "fit".

Have you tried this form of web 2.0 marketing in the past and was it successful?
We've been doing Web 2.0 marketing for this particular tour since November. It has been very successful in urban markets like San Francisco and Toronto where there is typically a large number of bloggers writing on a variety of topics. That being said, we've also had successes in smaller markets such as Charlotte, NC, and St. Louis, MI. In these markets, we took a slightly different approach and worked with people and their networks in MySpace and Facebook. It's been a very interesting experience.

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We Suck at Cricket and We Don't Care

questionmarkI take it we're no good at cricket. I typically avoid cricket news, but the BBC has been screaming at me all week about how pathetic we are at this sport I don't understand. I don't even understand the scoring. The BBC's sub header is "World Cup group C, St Lucia: New Zealand 363-5 beat Canada 249-9 by 114 runs". Does that mean we lost 363-5, 249-9 or by 114?

We bowed out of the World Cup at 0-3 with a R/R of -1.39. I don't have a clue what that means either. I don't get this sport in the least, but I know we suck at it.

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Pearl Jam's Oceans Video: Not Filmed in North Vancouver

pearljamI recently posted the video for The Tragically Hip's new single, "Yer Not the Ocean". There's a suspension bridge featured in the video that I'm trying to identify. A couple of commenters think it's the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver but I disagree.

Below is a picture of the Capilano Suspension Bridge and beside it is a screen cap from the "Yer Not the Ocean" video. As you'll see, they're two different bridges.

Capilano Suspension Bridge yernottheocean

Unfortunately, Ontario tourism wasn't clever enough to post their "There's No Place Like This" ad on YouTube so I can't share it, but if you've seen it you'll have seen a suspension bridge that might just be the one in the Hip video. If you know where this bridge is, let me know in the comments.

Speaking of Ocean songs and videos, Pearl Jam's "Oceans" is still awesome. Here's the video.

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Edward Scissorhands Loves Toronto Bloggers

emailI have a question for my fellow Toronto bloggers. How many of you have been contacted by the people behind the upcoming production of "Edward Scissorhands"?

I've been offered two free passes to the April 4th opener at The Hummingbird Centre and a chance to meet and greet the actors. They want me to write about it, obviously, and offer you all a special discount.

I know I'm not the only Toronto blogger to receive this offer. Who else got it? How far reaching is this viral attack?

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Weekly MP3 - The Reasons

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 Weakerthans - The Reasons
I saw The Weakerthans open for The Hip at Fort York last summer, and this tune was a highlight. It's definitely their biggest hit thus far, and it even cracked the Top 102 Canadian New Rock Songs.

I just dig it.

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Calvert DeForest, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumCalvert DeForest was 85. He was best known for his work as "Larry 'Bud' Melman" on Late Night with David Letterman.

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Seeking a Miracle: Week Two

runningYesterday marked the beginning of week #2 of my little experiment. Can a guy like me run himself into shape and eventually complete a marathon? We'll see...

Week one was running for one minute and then walking for two minutes. We did this around High Park and I found it pretty easy. Yesterday, we ran for one minute and walked for one minute around High Park. So far, so good, as I'm not experiencing any discomfort and I'm actually looking forward to getting out there and doing it again tonight.

This clinic was designed for complete beginners, so it's no surprise I've managed okay these first two weeks. I actually felt better yesterday than I did last week, but that's has everything to do with footwear. My ten year old cross trainers had no support and my new Brooks have me feeling like I'm running on air. Hallelujah!

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Yet Another Simpsons Trailer

homerHere's the latest trailer (I believe it's number four) for the upcoming Simpsons movie.

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Cool Tunes, Daddio

IdolI hated the performances last week because I disliked the Diana Ross songs they featured. This week we got cool 60s British invasion tunes, and it was a whole lot better.

Song selection is everything as far as I'm concerned. We got a number of gems last night and the result was an entertaining collection of songs. Even that Sanjaya Malakar managed to sound respectable... sorta.

Here are my three favourites from last night:

  1. Melinda Doolittle
  2. Jordin Sparks
  3. Blake Lewis

Here are my three least favourite from last night:

  1. Phil Stacey
  2. Chris Richardson
  3. Sanjaya Malakar

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Maple Leafs 2, Devils 1

LeafsIt's official. Kazakhsatan's Nikolai Antropov is no longer my whipping boy. His game winning goal has us tied in eighth place with the Carolina Hurricanes.

There's no room for error in these final nine games. We're three points out of sixth and a point from being 11th. These final nine are against some pretty good teams. The next five are against Buffalo, Carolina, Atlanta and Pittsburgh. We're going to need more Antropov magic if we're going to be drafting Leafs on April 9th.

Oh yeah, and lest we forget Belak vs. Janssen.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
35-28-9
80 points
Tied for 8th in Eastern Conference
2-1 Win vs. New Jersey
3-2 SOL vs. Montreal
5-1 Loss vs. Washington
M. Sundin - 67
T. Kaberle - 50
B. McCabe - 49

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Yer Not the Ocean Video

tragicallyhipThe Tragically Hip's newest video is for "Yer Not the Ocean". It features a polar bear and seems to have an environmental message for us all. Gordie with a message about the environment? Shocking!

Can anyone tell me what park Gord and that polar bear are in? Where would I find that bridge?

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Car Shopping in the GTA

carHere's the deal. I'm getting a pretty decent tax refund this year, and I'm looking to spend the extra dough on a used car.

Where in Toronto should I go or look for a dependable, economical used car for $4000 or less? Does anyone have a hook up or a good lead on a deal?

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Bad News Bears

A Movie ReelBad News Bears: 5 out of 10.

Imagine if Billy Bob Thornton's character Willie from Bad Santa cleaned himself up a little and started coaching a little league team. That's Bad News Bears, only not nearly as funny.

It's not as terrible as I expected it to be, but it's not great. Stick with the original.

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Stuart Rosenberg, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumStuart Rosenberg was 79. He was the prolific director of series television and theatrical films who partnered with Paul Newman on the widely popular prison drama "Cool Hand Luke" and several other movies.

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April 9th is Draft Day

hockeyMark April 9th on your calendars, poolies. That's the evening we're drafting our 2007 NHL playoff pool teams. When the action begins, you'll be able to follow it online at http://www.torontomike.com/2007hockeypool.html. Also, you can view our 2006 results, 2004 results, 2003 results and all relevant blog entries.

Please confirm with me whether you'll be attending the draft this year. If you've never been out before, this is the year to join in. We'll draft in West Toronto at about 6:15pm. $20 gets you in and every dime goes back in the pot. We draft until everyone has ten players and scoring is simple. A point is a point is a point.

See you at the draft.

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The Karate Dog

A Movie ReelThe Karate Dog: 1.5 out of 10.

I gave this movie a bonus half point because James seemed to like it. I'm not surprised James enjoyed himself as this film was clearly targeting the five year old demographic. It was far too dumb for a six year old.

James and I were looking for something to watch when I saw this film starred Pat Morita. I was feeling nostalgic for the late great Mr. Kesuke Miyagi and kids always dig animals who talk, so we settled in for "The Karate Dog". Sadly, Miyagi's character is killed off very early on and we're left with Chevy Chase as the unfunny voice of a dog who, well, knows karate. Even more sadly, this isn't the most pathetic part of the movie.

Oscar winning actor Jon Voight has a big role in this film, and it just makes you cringe. How does one go from "Midnight Cowboy" to "The Karate Dog"?

If you're over the age of five, take a pass. If you're missing "The Karate Kid", check out "Sweep the Leg" instead.

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Quirks & Quarks

tvI've always enjoyed Quirks & Quarks with Bob McDonald. It airs Saturdays on CBC Radio but you can hear archived shows here. Bob McDonald has a way of explaining complex aspects of science in a way dummies like me can understand.

This afternoon I caught McDonald on CBC Newsworld's Mansbridge One on One. Peter Mansbridge was hitting him with viewer questions and one was about male baldness. Bob was asked why we go bald and whether it was completely hereditary or not. Bob stated it was hereditary, usually from the mother's side, and there seemed to be a link between particularly hairy people and baldness. The more often you need to shave and the more hair you have on your body, the more likely it is you will go bald.

I loved that answer because I've always had a hell of a time growing a beard. If I go a few days without shaving, it just looks bad. The hair grows, but it's not full and bushy and there are bald spots. I've complained about this before, but now I'm glad I can't grow a decent beard. It's probably the reason why I still have a thick head of hair on my head.

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Quote of the Week

Quotes"The only Canadian mythology is that there is a Canadian mythology."
      - Irving Layton

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Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 3

LeafsI wanted four points from the past two games, and I got one. You'd think I'd be used to this team short changing me by now. Who the hell is Jaroslav Halak?

Enough talk, let's get to what matters. We're 10th in the East with 78 points because the 9th place Islanders have a game in hand. We've got a game on the Canadiens, who also have 78 points, and we're just a point back of the 8th place Rangers and two points back of the 7th place Hurricanes. Did I mention we have a game in hand on Carolina? 6th place to 11th place is currently separated by a whopping four points.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
34-28-9
78 points
10th in Eastern Conference
3-2 SOL vs. Montreal
5-1 Loss vs. Washington
3-2 Win vs. Tampa Bay
M. Sundin - 65
T. Kaberle - 50
B. McCabe - 49

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Jeopardy's First Tie Game

tvFor the first time in the history of Jeopardy, a game ended in a three way tie. You can imagine why this is such a rare occurrence. It's really only possible if someone throws a match. See for yourself.

I think that guy in the red shirt is a genius. He could have easily bet a dollar more and won the game, but by forcing a three way tie he gets his $16,000 and the other two blokes get their $16,000 and they all get to play again Monday. The red shirted fellow already knows he can beat this competition, so he'll just get to add to his winnings, and if he loses he still gets the $16,000. Meanwhile, the other two got some cold hard cash instead of the crap they dump on losers of this game. Nobody wants the home version, trust me.

Red shirted guy, I salute you. Thank you for betting $2,600 instead of $2,601.

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Danny Boy

shamrockI enjoy this song so much, I would have named my second son after it. That was the deal, if Michelle had been a boy, I'd have been given the privilege of naming him. As it turned out Michelle was a girl and Taryn got to name her and the world was spared another Daniel Boon.

Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the roses falling
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny Boy, oh Danny Boy, I love you so

And when ye come, and all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
Ye'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an Ave there for me
And I shall hear, though soft you tread above me
And all my grave shall warmer, sweeter be
For you shall bend and tell me that you love me
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me

Here are three gifted singers who have all kissed the Blarney Stone, singing Danny Boy.

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Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment

shamrockIt originally aired ten years ago yesterday, and to me it hilariously epitomizes everything this holiday has come to represent.

Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment begins as Springfield celebrates St. Patrick's Day with a day revolved around booze. Even Bart gets drunk, leading to a return to prohibition and much hilarity as Rex Banner takes on bootlegger Homer Simpson. Here's the hilarious beginning of that episode, ideal viewing on a day like today.

Great quotes:

  • Listen up, this is the busiest drinking day of the year. Where are the designated drivers? [two men raise their hands] Beat it! I got no room for cheap skates.
    ~ Moe
  • Top of the morning to ye on this gray, grizzly afternoon. Kent O'Brockman live on Main Street, where today everyone is a little bit Irish, except, of course, for the gays and the Italians.
    ~ Kent Brockman
  • Ladies and gentlemen, what you are seeing is a total disregard for the things St. Patrick's Day stand for. All this drinking, violence, destruction of property. Are these the things we think of when we think of the Irish?
    ~ Kent Brockman
  • Oh, honey, you're not the world's worst mother. What about that freezer lady in Georgia?
    ~ Homer

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Happy St. Patrick's Day

shamrockHappy St. Patrick's Day. Courtesy of the Star, here's proof I'm not alone in claiming Irish heritage.

  • Irish was the fifth most frequently reported ethnic origin in Canada on the 2001 census, behind Canadian, English, French and Scottish.
  • 3,822,665 – The number of Canadians who claimed Irish ancestry in 2001. That's 13 per cent of the population – nearly equal to Ireland's population (3.9 million).
  • 26,210 – Canadian residents born in Ireland. Three of five have been here more than 35 years.
  • 3,850 – Canadian residents who first learned a Celtic language as a child and can still understand it.

Enjoy the day and have a drink for me.

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Why you, you cancelled Platypus Man!"

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Maple Leafs 1, Capitals 5

LeafsI got my rant out of my system when it was 1-0, so go there if you want a taste.

It was pure crap. If we don't beat the Habs tonight, I see little hope for a playoff berth.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
34-28-9
77 points
3rd in Northeast
5-1 Loss vs. Washington
3-2 Win vs. Tampa Bay
4-3 Win vs. Ottawa
M. Sundin - 65
T. Kaberle - 49
B. McCabe - 49

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Why We Don't Chant Razor

leafsI subscribe to LeafsTV. That means I'm watching tonight's game against the Washington Capitals and I just witnessed a major Andrew Raycroft gaffe that led to the opening goal. This is a must win game, a game against a beatable team when so many of our remaining games are against better. If we can't skate away with two points tonight, I don't like our chances.

Raycroft so badly misplayed the puck, the goal was a gimme. This guy is only five wins from setting a franchise record for goaltenders, but we all know that record is a sham. Belfour and Cujo didn't have shootout wins to inflate the stats. It's a different era.

At the end of the recent win against the Lightning, I heard Harry Neale wonder why the crowd doesn't chant "Razor, Razor" like they did "Eddie, Eddie" or "Cujo, Cujo". The fact is, Andrew Raycroft isn't that good and hasn't won us over. We don't believe he's good enough to make the playoffs, let alone win us a series or two. He might put in a couple of solid outings in a row, but for the most part he's inconsistent. Some nights he has absolutely no glove hand and other nights he pulls a boner when you can least afford to give up a bad goal. That's already happened tonight and I fear the worst for my team.

It's a tough finish for the blue and white, but a win tonight would skip us into seventh. I think we need this, and we definitely need good goaltending. When we get good goaltending on a regular basis, we'll chant Razor, but that hasn't happened yet.

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The Day the Music Died

idolThe reason I refer to American Idol as my guilty pleasure is because I feel guilty watching such cheese. As cheesy as AI is, nothing is as cheesy as the crap they throw at you during the results show.

I missed Wednesday night's results show because I was at the Raptors game, but I heard about the Ford commercial that had the contestants singing Modest Mouse's "Float On". Here's a hilarious write up about the bit.

Last night, however, a line was crossed when Ford Motors sponsored a commercial featuring the finalists' douche-chill-inducing Kids Incorporated-inspired music video rendition of Modest Mouse's hit song "Float On", featuring Zombie dances and trashy convertible Mustang 5.0's that are orange. Now, I realize that this song - and the album from whence it came - outgrew Modest Mouse's long-held punk rock ethos long ago, but this - this was like the modern musical equivalent of the Kennedy Assassination, Watergate and and Jack Nicholson getting killed at the end of Easy Rider, all happening in front of us, at the same time, set to the soundtrack of Avril Lavigne covering ABBA's "Dancing Queen". In short, sensory rape.

Here's the sensory rape. Lord, it's bad. Consider yourself warned...

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Rami's Illegal Sign Crusade

thumbsdownToday's Toronto Star has an article about Rami Tabello's fight against illegal billboards. 283 illegal signs are currently being tracked on this map as he details his fight at http://www.illegalsigns.ca/.

Rami and I attended Michael Power high school and had several classes together. His dad even taught me science in South Portable one semester. Knowing Rami, I got a kick out of this quote from The Star article.

Self-employed, he calls himself a "professional speculator. I play the stock market and bet on horses for a living but I don't consider it gambling. I take advantage of inefficiencies in the betting market on horses. It's a systematic financial approach."

Don't you hate it when others in your graduating class live your dream?

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite "Army" songs

  1. Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
  2. Army Reserve - Pearl Jam
  3. Army - Ben Folds
  4. One Man Army - Our Lady Peace
  5. Army of Me - Bjork

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Seven Nation Army

teddybearJames is on March Break, so like any kid on March Break, he's been waking up a little later and going to bed a little later.

Last night he went to bed at 9pm, but at 9:45 I could hear he was still awake. His little footsteps were accompanied by his little voice planning some sort of attack. I had to see what he was up to, so I strolled down the hall and witnessed for myself the army he had assembled.

Toys Toys

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A 60 to 80 Kilometre Web of Light Rail

ttcThe TTC is unveiling an ambitious blueprint for a light rail system that would crisscross the city far beyond existing and planned subway lines. Here's a map of the network of new routes, which include:

  • Don Mills – Steeles Avenue to Bloor-Danforth Subway
  • Eglinton Crosstown – Kennedy Station to Pearson Airport
  • Etobicoke-Finch West – Yonge Street to Highway 27
  • Jane – Jane Station to Steeles West Station
  • Scarborough Malvern – Kennedy Station to Malvern/Morningside
  • Sheppard East – Don Mills Station to Morningside Avenue
  • Waterfront West – Union Station/Exhibition to Long Branch

I'm a pretty big fan of the Toronto Transit Commission and a very regular user of buses and the subway. I rarely start up the car anymore, far preferring to TTC it if I can't walk it. Blanketing the 416 with such a system is an exceptional idea and a key step toward Toronto becoming a true green, clean, and liveable city.

Now we just need the money...

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Calvin and Hobbes on Robot Chicken

humourWhenever I'm channel surfing and stumble upon Robot Chicken, I find myself laughing. It's a show I find very funny but I never make a point to watch it, I just trip over it occasionally and bust a gut.

My friend just sent me this very funny little Calvin and Hobbes bit from Robot Chicken. Speaking of funny, I watched the Sarah Silverman Program last night and loved it. It's on Thursday nights at 10:30 on the Comedy Network. I'm making a point to catch that one again next week.

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Bowie Kuhn. Rest in Peace

In MemoriumBowie Kuhn was 80. His 15 tumultuous years as baseball commissioner coincided with free agency and multimillion-dollar salaries.

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Canadian March Madness Contingent

basketball canadaThe 2007 NCAA Basketball Tournament is underway. I used to love this tournament, back when I followed NCAA basketball closely. I was a big Michigan fan, although I also loved Alonzo Mourning's Georgetown team. I miss those days.

Now I'm rooting for Canadians participating in the tournament. There are sixteen.

  • Pierre Marie Altidor-Cespedes - Gonzaga
  • Joel Anthony - UNLV
  • William Archambeault - Davidson
  • Jimmy Balderson - BYU
  • Tristan Blackwood - Central Connecticut St.
  • Theo Davis - Gonzaga
  • Frantz Dorsainvil - Oregon
  • Maurice Joseph - Michigan St.
  • Levon Kendall - Pittsburgh
  • Greg Noel - Niagara
  • Max Paulhus Gosselin - Davidson
  • Marlon Pompey - Texas A & M
  • Jemino Sobers - Central Connecticut St.
  • Sheray Thomas - Kentucky
  • Ryan Wright - UCLA
  • Ryan Wetherell - USC

Go Canada Go!

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Neon Bible Rawks

cdArcade Fire's Funeral is one of my favourite albums of all time. That's right, I love it that much. Every tune hits home for me, and after thousands of listens I still love every note.

When I first heard Neon Bible, I was ready for a let down. I'm happy to report there is no let down. I can't get enough of this new album. It's a great follow up that cements this band in an elite class. Is there a band producing better music than this right now? I don't believe so.

Somebody has actually posted to YouTube the great new tune "Intervention" set to footage from Rumblefish. It somehow works, and it's an awesome song, so enjoy...

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Raps Win, Is Steve the Reason Why?

raptorsThanks to my pal Humble, I attended the Toronto Raptors game last night at the ACC. We started sluggish but T.J. Ford made sure we came together in time to dispose of the New York Knicks 104-94. We booed both Isiah Thomas and Steve Francis, but Isiah got it loudest. Isiah Thomas is now 4-9 against us.

The Raptors are 23-9 at home, but one of those losses was to Utah back in January while I was courtside. The reason I mention that is because the home teams have stunk up the joint when I've been in attendance. I attended two Argos games last season, and we lost both. I attended a Marlies game and we got skunked. I caught the Leafs and Avs earlier this season and we lost. The only time I attend a winning game is when my brother Steve is in the seat next to me. That's how I got to witness a 4-2 win over the Thrashers in October and last night's Raptor victory.

I was there, but you can thank Steve for the big win. Here's a photoset of pictures I took last night at the ACC.

P3145230

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Alexi Chabane Paints Toronto Mike

paintingAlexi Chabane is an Art Director on the Backyardigans. He shows off his stuff over here and competes annually in our NHL playoff pool.

I kept seeing these neat paintings as his IM profile so I asked him how he did it. He opens a picture in Photoshop and simply paints over it. Naturally, I wanted him to do this with a picture of me.

He did and here it is. By the way, if you want to draft a playoff pool with us, we'll be getting together April 9. Drop me a line if you're interested.

Mike

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Flickr Launches Collections

flickrFrom the Flickr Blog.

Today we launched what's probably the most requested feature over the last few years: a way to categorize and organize your photo sets! In the past this feature has been referred to as "sets of sets" or "subsets". After today, we'll know it as "collections".

What are collections, you ask? A collection is a container into which you can place either sets or other collections, allowing you to create a hierarchy as deep as 5 collections. You can place as many of your sets into a collection as you like, and a set can be in as many different collections as you like.

I've already thrown together nine collections. It was damn easy.

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Weekly MP3 - Redemption Song

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.

Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer - Redemption Song
This great cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" appears on the Redemption Songs disc in the Johnny Cash Unearthed box set. Johnny covering "Redemption Song" is great, but being joined by Joe Strummer is sublime.

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Ed Norton's 25th Hour Monologue

moviesSpike Lee's 25th Hour has this five minute scene where Ed Norton's character delivers a monologue to the mirror. I wrote about this scene before. It's five minutes of total and complete anger, a sort of bizzaro world love letter to New York City.

It's most definitely NSFW as it's probably the least politically correct speech you'll hear all day with swears a plenty. It was the best part of the movie.

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A Minute to a Marathon

runningEarlier this month, I made a precious declaration. It started with a song and ended up at The Running Room. Yesterday evening I took my first steps toward my personal offline challenge.

This clinic is literally called "Learn to Run". It's for people like me who want to learn how to run and it concludes with the Mississauga Marathon in 60 days. No, I won't be running a marathon in 60 days, I'll be running the Hazel 5k. No word on whether Hazel will be joining us, but I wouldn't bet against it.

Last night involved a little orientation, introductions by the two instructors, Mike and Ale, and a run around High Park. In actuality, it was a run/walk hybrid, but you've got to start somewhere. The Big Guy upstairs threw down double digit temps in honour of the occasion. That was sweet.

In addition to these weekly clinics we're supposed to run twice more during the week. I'll run to the ACC tonight to catch the Raps and then run again on Sunday morning.

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Oh Diana, Can't You Hear?

IdolI think this is the weakest final 12 we've ever had on AI. Of course, forcing them to sing Diana Ross songs doesn't help matters much. I know she's "legendary", but I find her music super boring.

The one song I didn't mind was by Billie Holiday, but maybe that's because Lisa Simpson sang it on The Simpsons Sing the Blues.

Here are my three favourites from last night:

  1. LaKisha Jones
  2. Melinda Doolittle
  3. Jordin Sparks

Here are my three least favourite from last night:

  1. Sanjaya Malakar
  2. Chris Richardson
  3. Brandon Rogers

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Maples Leafs 3, Lightning 2

LeafsI would like to fully disclose my long time disliking of Nik Antropov. I don't dislike him personally, just his performance on the ice. Back in September I summarized my feelings in "Nik Antropov: The Bane of My Existence". With Hoglund gone, he became my new whipping boy.

Dagnabbit, the kid's allllllllright. He scored a huge goal the other day against Ottawa and last night he scored the winner early in the third period. These are crucial games and Antropov is helping lead the way. Could it be I've been wrong about this guy? Could it be he's totally unworthy of this whipping boy status I've placed on his fragile shoulders?

We're one point out of 8th with a game in hand on the Hurricanes. It's gonna be close.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
34-27-9
77 points
3rd in Northeast
3-2 Win vs. Tampa Bay
4-3 Win vs. Ottawa
5-1 Loss vs. Ottawa
M. Sundin - 64
T. Kaberle - 49
B. McCabe - 48

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Betty Hutton, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumBetty Hutton was 86. She was the energetic star of movie musicals like "Annie Get Your Gun."

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The Great Facebook and MySpace Resistance

crossbonesSomebody else has just added me as a friend on Facebook. I've been getting a lot of these emails lately as everyone and their mother gets a Facebook account. The thing is, I don't have a Facebook account, and I don't plan to ever get one.

The same is true for MySpace. I don't have a MySpace page. I'm not a fan of MySpace and spend as little time there as possible. Who wants to visit a page where not one but two or three pieces of audio and video start blaring at you immediately? MySpace is the armpit of the World Wide Web.

When people tell me I should get a MySpace page or a Facebook account, I wonder why. I have space on the web. You're on it right now. A Google search for my name takes you right here, so finding me couldn't be easier. This is my space and my face book and I shall resist until my dying breath all pressures to join these other social networking abominations. This I pledge to you, my brothers and sisters.

Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you'll live... at least for a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade all the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... our freedom!

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She Who Laughs Last, Laughs Best

fbofwI only read one comic strip on a daily basis. I check in on the Patterson's and see what's new in the For Better or For Worse universe.

I'm confused by today's strip. Read it below and we'll continue this discussion around the bend.

To laugh or to cry?

April and Elizabeth are clearly having a little sibling tiff while both rush to get to where they need to be. April loses it and calls Elizabeth "LARD BUTT!" and then I get awfully confused.

Lizzy is giving April the evil eye while April cries and says "She who laughs last, laughs best." What exactly does that mean in this context? Who's laughing? Why is April crying? Did Lizzy smack her in the head in a frame that got deleted? Am I missing something?

Help!

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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

A Movie ReelKiss Kiss Bang Bang: 6 out of 10.

Hmmmm, I'm not sure if I liked this movie or not. It started strong, Robert Downey Jr.'s narration had me laughing, the film noir spoofing seemed sharp and interesting, but then it sort of fizzled.

I stopped caring who murdered who and why, the humour dissipated and was replaced by boring action sequences and I started wondering where I had seen Michelle Monaghan before. She was in The Bourne Supremacy, a movie I caught last week.

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Kish Rhymed the World in 80 Days

videoIt's warming up outside, so I took a stroll to Yonge and Dundas. Passing 333 Yonge, home to HMV, I thought about Kish.

Kish was a local rapper who hit the charts back in '91 with I Rhyme the World in 80 Days. According to his Wikipedia page his real name is Andrew Kishino, but there's no info on what he's up to these days.

I actually bought his album Order From Chaos and thought it was pretty good, but teenagers are notorious for having bad taste. The reason that HMV reminds me of Kish is because I once saw him there when I was checking out new hip-hop in the basement. He had a large guy with him who may have been a bodyguard and I remember thinking that Kish probably didn't need a body guard while shopping for CDs at HMV.

I'll bet he doesn't have that body guard today. Andrew Kishino, if you're out there, let us know where you're at. I'm goin hypa.

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My Preferred Apps For Doing What I Gotta Do

firefoxThere are certain tasks I have to perform on a daily basis. I'm sure many of you are doing the same things with your computer, and I thought it might be interesting to hear what tools others prefer.

Below are typical requirements in my day to day life and the application I use to make it happen. I try lots of stuff to see what sticks and whenever possible I choose the simplest, most cost-effective solution.

Surfing the Web
Without a doubt, my browser of choice is Firefox. I've been using Firefox exclusively for three years and I honestly don't know how all the IE people manage. My Firefox add-ons alone make my life a great deal easier. I should point out that I prefer the portable version of Firefox that's completely self contained.

Email
I said goodbye to Outlook long ago and recently I said farewell to Thunderbird. My preferred app for email is Firefox and the service I use is Gmail. You can fetch mail from multiple accounts and reply to those messages from that account. The search capability, overall usability, labelling and efficiency is second to none.

Calendar
I used to use the portable version of Sunbird, but now my preferred app for calendaring is Firefox and the service I use is Google Calendar. These Google guys just get it, and their calendar complies with both the iCal and XML standards. The integration with Gmail is just a huge ass bonus.

FTP
I use the portable version of FileZilla. In the past I've done the WSFTP thing and the SmartFTP thing and even the CuteFTP thing, but Filezilla is simple, slick and free.

Imaging
When I require an image for a page or site I'm designing, or whatever, I use Photoshop. Unlike most of the other apps on this list, Photoshop isn't a free download. In fact, it's rather pricy. I've tried The Gimp, and I salute the spirit of The Gimp, but Photoshop is my choice.... for now.

XHTML / CSS Coding
For years and years I used a free app called First Page until work bought me a license for Dreamweaver. First Page was a free download whereas Dreamweaver costs almost as much as Photoshop. After using Dreamweaver for a while, I find I use it for much more than hand coding XHTML and CSS. It's just a really fast and easy to use text editor with some nifty bells and whistles. It lacks the spirit of NVU, but it's a better editor. Just avoid the "Design" tab and all is well.

Instant Messaging
I'm a Gaim man. I use the portable version of Gaim, and I use it to simultaneously log in with a MSN, Yahoo! and Gtalk identity. Go Gaim and you'll never log into that MSN messenger again.

Documents and Spreadsheets
I'm rarely on a PC that doesn't have the Office Suite, but I'm still more likely to create a document using Google's new Docs & Spreadsheets service. To answer my own question then, my preferred app for documents and spreadsheets is Firefox. Google's Docs & Spreadsheet integrates nicely with their Gmail and Calendar, so if you receive a .doc file from someone via email, you can easily open it in Docs & Spreadsheet.

Music
For years and years, I used Winamp, but when my collection started growing I tried iTunes. I'm still using iTunes, mainly because of the fast searching capability. As a power listener, I constantly want to isolate songs by a certain artist or songs with a certain keyword in the title. Of the apps I've tried, iTunes made this the easiest and gave my results the quickest.

RSS
I don't mean to sound like a broken record here, but again my preferred app for checking and reading my RSS feeds is Firefox. Specifically, I use the Sage add-on.

That's pretty much everything I do on a pc. I share my pictures on my Flickr account and power this blog by Movable Type. I envision a day when my answer to all of these questions is Firefox. That day is closer than you think.

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Happy Feet

A Movie ReelHappy Feet: 7.5 out of 10.

For the first time ever, all four of us went to the theatre together to watch a flick. James had already seen Happy Feet with his grandma, but he didn't mind seeing it twice. I just wanted to see the movie that won the Oscar for best animated feature.

Yes, it was better than Cars. Cars was pretty good, but Happy Feet was a little smarter. Good tunes, nice enviro-message and two well behaved kids meant a good time was truly had by all.

It was pretty cheap too. We had a coupon for James from a box of Cheerios and Michelle was free for being < 3. The only negative was having to endure Robin Williams for not one character but two.

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Richard Jeni, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumRichard Jeni was 49. He was the stand-up comedian who starred in the sitcom Platypus Man and appeared in the Jim Carrey film The Mask.

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Chalk Circle's April Fool Video

videoChalk Circle is already a major part of my personal history because they were the first band I saw live in concert. When CFNY Edge 102 played the top 102 Canadian new rock songs of all time, Chalk Circle showed up twice.

Their highest ranking song on that chart, and their biggest hit, was April Fool. It's still pretty sharp, see for yourself.


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Maple Leafs 4, Senators 3

LeafsI haven't been that excited about a regular season Maple Leaf victory in quite some time. When Tucker scored in overtime, I screamed loud and proud. We fought back from a two goal deficit in the third and secured two points we needed bad.

Elliot Friedman noted after the game that the Leafs dressing room was really up after the win. This is the kind of win that we could ride into a playoff birth. Speaking of Elliot Friedman, I had breakfast at Over Easy on Thursday and he was sitting in the booth next to mine. I over heard some insider radio stuff and Hip analysis, but that convo was off the record.

Also off the record was my Gtalk chat with my brother Steve during the game last night. It began after Antropov scored the tying goal. What the heck, here it is.

9:36 PM me: this comeback has saved the season
9:37 PM Steve: don't count your chickens yet
9:37 PM me: the momentum is ours!
9:38 PM Steve: I hope so
9:38 PM Steve: we need this badly!
9:38 PM me: Devereux will score the winner...
9:39 PM Steve: SO loss?
9:39 PM Steve: that's my prediction
9:39 PM me: that's the most likely scenario
9:39 PM Steve: it certainly feels similar
9:40 PM Steve: familiar
9:43 PM Steve: f*(*^*&
9:43 PM me: o captain, my captain
9:44 PM Steve: f#$%$#
9:44 PM Steve: Emery's having a good game
9:46 PM me: AR has two blockers, no glove hand
9:46 PM Steve: he's not the chosen one
9:46 PM Steve: our chosen one is stinking it up in the Marlies this year
9:46 PM me: he's not Tim Bernhardt
9:47 PM Steve: better than Ing
9:47 PM me: yes!
9:47 PM Steve: YES!
9:47 PM Steve: Awesome!
9:47 PM me: we're tied for 8th!!!!
9:47 PM me: Ryan was right!
9:48 PM Steve: we're one loss from 9th when I'll be right
9:48 PM me: good stuff - if I die tonight, I die happy
9:49 PM Steve: big game!
9:49 PM Steve: biggest win in a long time!
9:49 PM me: now I have to go and watch kiss kiss bang bang or whatever it's called
9:49 PM me: peace out
9:49 PM Steve: peace


Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
33-27-9
75 points
3rd in Northeast
4-3 Win vs. Ottawa
5-1 Loss vs. Ottawa
3-0 Win vs. Washington
M. Sundin - 62
T. Kaberle - 49
B. McCabe - 48

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The Top 102 Canadian New Rock Songs

musicAs previously mentioned, CFNY Edge 102 counted down the top 102 Canadian new rock songs of all time today. They just aired Underwhelmed seconds ago, so you're getting this awfully quick. I threw this together while watching the Leafs game and filled in the cracks with a little help from my friends.

  1. Sloan, Underwhelmed - One of my ten Canadian tracks, and it's a word!
  2. The Tragically Hip, New Orleans is Sinking - No brainer. You could see this coming a hundred miles away. It's another of my ten Canadian tracks, to top it off. Only one song could beat this one...
  3. The Demics, New York City - If they were going to celebrate a Canadian punk song from the late 70s, this is the one to celebrate because it's the best of the bunch. They were local, too.
  4. Arcade Fire, Rebellion (Lies) - Props to CFNY for putting Arcade Fire in the top ten, even if it's the wrong Arcade Fire song.
  5. Nickelback, How You Remind Me - I call bullshit.
  6. The Pursuit of Happiness, I'm An Adult Now - Now we're talking! I recently shared the video for this song. This is a band I have fond memories of and I included this song as one of my ten Canadian tracks.
  7. Billy Talent, River Below - The Billy Talent love-in continues...
  8. Spirit Of The West, Home For A Rest - I don't think you're allowed to listen to this song once you've graduated from university.
  9. Martha & The Muffins, Echo Beach - You knew this was coming. It had to be there, 'nuff said.
  10. AlexisOnFire, This Could Be Anywhere In The World - The ranking of this tune has clearly been inflated based on the fact it's a recent hit. Think back to when Bush's "Swallowed" was ranked the top video in the history of MuchMusic. I dig this tune though, and led off SLS16 with it.
  11. Our Lady Peace, Naveed - This is one of my favourite OLP song. It's true, you can look it up.
  12. Rough Trade, High School Confidential - These lists are always fairly predictable. Certain songs must be listed to prove it's not biased towards recent songs. High School Confidential is a fine tune, but should it be this high on the list? Of course not.
  13. Finger Eleven, One Thing - I call bullshit. "One Thing" was popular, and had mass appeal, but it's not Finger Eleven's best work and it doesn't belong in the top 102
  14. The Gandharvas, The First Day Of Spring - Great choice. I was just thinking about this song.
  15. The Viletones, Screamin Fist - I'm man enough to admit I didn't know this song. These lists need late 70s punk songs, and it seems The Demics and The Diodes weren't enough.
  16. Sam Roberts, Brother Down - After hearing the latest Sam Roberts album, my respect for this dude has soared. Brother Down is a fine tune that appeared on SLS8.
  17. Matthew Good Band, Apparitions - I knew Matt Good was going to be on this list somewhere, and this is probably their biggest hit. I once interviewed him.
  18. The Diodes, Tired of Waking Up Tired - I got to know this song when CBC radio was putting together their list of essential Canadian music. It's a neat tune, and you've got to pay respect to the pioneers, eh?
  19. The Tragically Hip, Wheat Kings - A truly beautiful, Canadian classic. I'm tearing up just writing about it.
  20. Alanis Morissette, You Oughta Know - Is this "new rock"? Maybe... but it's the only tune of hers that might qualify as such.
  21. Barenaked Ladies, If I Had $1000000 - This one is from that yellow tape and therefore worthy. I'm surprised it's not higher.
  22. Lowest Of The Low, Eternal Fatalist - I recently shared this one. Shakespeare My Butt still rulez!
  23. Pure, Anna is a Speed Freak - I hadn't heard this one in years. It's great!
  24. The Extras, Circular Impression - If you listened to the most recent Humble & Fred podcast, you heard me request this song.
  25. Blue Rodeo, Diamond Mine - I'm always surprised when they play Blue Rodeo on 102.1. I wrote about that, and the fact this is my favourite Blue Rodeo song, right here.
  26. Tea Party, The River - It's my favourite song from a band I never really liked.
  27. Teenage Head, Let's Shake - Good shite... classic.
  28. Death From Above 1979, Romantic Rights - I'm happy to hear this one up there. It's recent, but it's awesome. In fact, it was my second favourite song of 2005.
  29. Moist, Push - Here's the Moist song I was waiting for...
  30. Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, Having An Average Weekend - This song will forever be loved for it's promise a hilarious Kids in the Hall episode is forthcoming.
  31. Treble Charger, Red - Everybody's favourite Treble Charger song belongs on this list.
  32. Three Days Grace, (I Hate) Everything About You - Hmmm, this one is debatable. If a Three Days Grace song had to be ranked this high, I suppose we're lucky it was this one.
  33. Men Without Hats, The Safety Dance - Many forget this one is Canadian. It's one of the better 80s tunes, but is it "new rock"?
  34. Odds, Eat My Brain - Speaking of Canadian videos that featured cameos from other Canadian artists, the video for this tune had cool appearances by Junkhouse and The Pursuit of Happiness.
  35. I Mother Earth, One More Astronaut - Other IME songs should have been ranked ahead of this one.
  36. Payolas, Eyes Of A Stranger - I hear this one all the time on my Oh What A Feeling albums, and it always takes me back.
  37. Neverending White Lights, The Grace - Again, this song is sweet and all but experienced a higher than appropriate ranking because it's so fresh.
  38. Econoline Crush, All That You Are - I knew these guys were going to make the top 102. My favourite factoid about them is the fact their band name comes from a Neil Young lyric.
  39. Doughboys, Shine - I was hoping the Doughboys would break through, and this is probably their best song.
  40. Bedouin Soundclash, When The Night Feels My Song - I call bullshit. This song doesn't belong in the top 102.
  41. City And Colour, Save Your Scissors - This dude is all over the top 102, isn't he? We've got him with Alexisonfire and Neverending White Lights. Enough is enough!
  42. Blue Peter, Don't Walk Past - Do I know this song?
  43. The Tragically Hip, Fifty Mission Cap - How can I complain about a Hip song about Bashin' Bill?
  44. Sloan, Coax Me - Great selection. Nobody will complain about this one.
  45. 54-40, Ocean Pearl - It's easy to forget these guys, but they were so damn consistent. Hit after hit after hit, and I rarely think about them.
  46. Our Lady Peace, Clumsy - I'm cool with this.
  47. Rusty, Misogyny - Yay, Rusty! We were just talking about them.
  48. Parachute Club, Rise Up - Sadly, I only think of that damn McCain's commercial now. I know the song meant something to this city, but kids today are only thinking about frozen pizza.
  49. Sum 41, Pieces - I beg to differ.
  50. Arcade Fire, Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) - All of Funeral could have made this list.
  51. Spoons, Nova Heart - This is another song I know from the Oh What A Feeling collection.
  52. Billy Talent, Devil In A Midnight Mass - CFNY hearts Billy Talent.
  53. New Pornographers, Mass Romantic - Great selection.
  54. Northern Pikes, Teenland - I am so glad this song made the list. In primary school I used this song for an independent study project while in the gifted program. True story...
  55. K-OS, Crucial - I'm a little surprised this song made the list, even though I dig this dude.
  56. 54-40, Baby Ran - Just to repeat myself, this band was solid and quite under appreciated.
  57. Vital Sines, Collage - Don't laugh, but I'm pleading ignorance.
  58. Nickelback, Someday - I call bullshit.
  59. Sum 41, Fat Lip - I suppose this song had to be here.
  60. Breeding Ground, Happy Now I Know - I don't know this tune, do I?

  61. Metric, Dead Disco - Ahead of Combat Baby? No way, Jose.
  62. The Tragically Hip, Bobcaygeon - You'd better believe it.
  63. Chalk Circle, April Fool - This was my first concert!
  64. Our Lady Peace, Starseed - This list was going to be heavy on the OLP and Hip because they couldn't ignore the staples.
  65. I Mother Earth, So Gently We Go - My favourite IME song, for what it's worth.
  66. Dream Warriors, My Definition Of A Boombastic Jazz Style - I'm very happy they didn't forget the Dream Warriors. I loved this album from King Lou and Capital Q from Jane and Finch.
  67. Sarah McLachlan, Possession - Ya gotta respect the queen of Canadian new rock.
  68. Tea Party, Temptation - I'm calling bullshit on this one.
  69. Images In Vogue, Lust For Love - One of my favourite 80s songs!
  70. Sloan, The Other Man - Sloan's all over this list, and rightly so.
  71. 54-40, One Gun - This was the first song I ever heard on MuchMusic on the first day it fell to our cable tier.
  72. Rheostatics, Record Body Count - These guys never really broke, but every critic adores them.
  73. Sam Roberts, Where Have All The Good People Gone - Nice choice.
  74. Grapes Of Wrath, All The Things I Wasn't - Brilliant selection. I loved this tune.
  75. Skinny Puppy, Testure - Not my cup of tea.
  76. Mobile, Out Of My Head - I'll pass, it's too poppy and too recent.
  77. Nickelback, Photograph - Bullshit!!!
  78. B. B. Gabor, Nyet Nyet (Soviet Jewelry) - I'm pleading ignorance.
  79. Three Days Grace, Animal I Have Become - Nice try 'NY, this ain't the Thursday 30.
  80. Hot Hot Heat, Bandages - I'm glad Hot Hot Heat made the list.
  81. Jane Siberry, Mimi On The Beach - I must confess to never liking this song. I know I'm supposed to, but it bores me to tears.
  82. The Tragically Hip, Locked In The Trunk Of A Car - It's better for us if you don't understand.
  83. Big Wreck, That Song - My brothers hated this song, but I always like it. It seems I'm not alone!
  84. Trans-X, Living On Video/Vivre Sur Video - I'm pleading ignorance.
  85. Watchmen, Stereo - I miss these guys.
  86. Limblifter, Ariel Vs. Lotus - I hadn't heard this one in a while. It's nice, but I don't think it's top 102-worthy.
  87. Pukka Orchestra, Might As Well Be On Mars - I think the Edge was short on 80s music. Cool video, tho.
  88. Hayden, In September - Wasn't I just writing about Hayden? I love this song.
  89. Strange Advance, Worlds Away - I'd have preferred We Run.
  90. The Forgotten Rebels, I'm In Love With The System (Not Myself) - I get it. You have to acknowledge our punk scene from the late 70s if you're going to recognize Nickelback's Someday. It's still not a fair trade.
  91. The Weakerthans, The Reasons - I caught these guys in the summer and this song was a highlight. When they recreate this list in five years, the Weakerthans won't make the cut.
  92. Barenaked Ladies, Be My Yoko Ono - Our first BNL song and a CFNY favourite, I'm surprised it's not ranked higher.
  93. Chalk Circle, This Mourning - This was my first concert!
  94. Billy Talent, Try Honesty - How many Billy Talent songs made the top 102?
  95. illScarlett, Heaters - Even though I really dig this tune, only time will tell if it belongs on a list like this. I suspect it doesn't.
  96. Pursuit Of Happiness, Hard To Laugh - From the awesome Love Junk, this was a great single.
  97. I Mother Earth, Not Quite Sonic - Three tunes from IME is just a little too much. At least replace this one with Levitate.
  98. Tea Party, Save Me - No way, how can we have three Tea Party songs and only one Moist song?
  99. Rheostatics, Claire - I'm a little surprised another Rheostatics song beat out this one.
  100. Delerium, Flowers Become Screens - Zzzzzzz.
  101. Death From Above 1979, Black History Month - The first of two DFA1979 songs, it's too bad they're now defunct.
  102. Our Lady Peace, Superman's Dead - A great start to the list, OLP had a major hit with this tune.

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The New Daylight Saving Time

clockThanks to our neighbours to the south, we're springing forward a month earlier this year. Before you fall asleep tonight, do yourself a favour and change your clocks. For me, that means changing the clock radio next to the bed, the clock on the microwave and the one in the car. The one on my digital receiver and the one on my PC will update automatically.

Springing forward a month earlier is a step in the right direction, but I've long said we should spring ahead and stay there. In fact, I just counted six entries on this very topic, beginning in 2003.

Maybe I'll just refuse to fall back next fall. It'll just make me really early for appointments and meetings and stuff.

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Top 102 Canadian New Rock Songs of All Time

radioCFNY Edge 102 is right now counting down the top 102 Canadian new rock songs of all time. If you don't live in the Greater Toronto Area, you can listen online here.

If you know me at all, you know this kind of thing is right up my alley. When the list is complete, I'll post it here and throw my two cents in the mix. We'll definitely hear the staples like Our Lady Peace, The Tragically Hip, Barenaked Ladies and Sloan, and we'll probably hear new comers like Arcade Fire, The New Pornographers, Death From Above 1979 and Billy Talent, and let's hope we hear a little Treble Charger, Killjoys, Headstones, Watchmen, Rusty, The Pursuit of Happiness and Grapes of Wrath.

This should be interesting...

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Son, your mother makes a very loud point."

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Brad Delp, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumBrad Delp was 55. He was the lead singer for Boston, a huge rock sensation in the 1970s.

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Hayden's Bad As They Seem

musicI just posted the video for Treble Charger's "Even Grable". The video has a cameo appearance by Hayden, an artist I was touting as the next Neil Young. That got me spinning all my Hayden CDs and searching for his videos.

I was hoping I'd find the obscure video for Hayden's "Take", but it's nowhere to be found. That's okay, because another Hayden song was listed as one of my ten tracks, and that's pretty exclusive company.

Here's the video for that song I find so fine, "Bad As They Seem".


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Even Grable

musicI was walking home tonight when I started thinking about "Even Grable". "Even Grable" was probably the first Treble Charger song I ever heard, but what I remember most about the song was the video. The video had Toronto street scenes and a cool cameo from Hayden, an artist I first heard in '93 on CFNY's New Music Search disc.

Thinking about this cool video and song, I went hunting for it on YouTube. I found it, but it's not great quality. If you want a mid-90s Cancon flashback, revisit "Even Grable".


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Rob Ford Can't Support Bike Lanes

cityhallI've commented before on the stupid things Rob Ford says. He's a city councillor for Etobicoke North who says some awfully dumb stuff, but his quote in yesterday's Star may just be his most moronic statement to date.

I can't support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it's their own fault at the end of the day.

There are so many things wrong with that statement, I don't know where to begin. Perhaps I'll refrain from further comment and let Rob Ford's words echo alone.

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It's Better For Us If You Don't Understand

tragicallyhipI've been hearing from people since I posted a Tragically Hip hater's analysis of the band. Some agree with him, others know exactly where he's coming from. All of this has got me thinking...

I think you either get it, or you don't. If you get it, you get it large and you're hooked. If you don't, you don't, and that's just the way it is. Somebody has already stolen my thunder and written an essay on this topic that I think is pretty accurate.

I just get it, and there's little in this world that feels as good as being bathed in the poetic ramblings of Gord and being surrounded by those songs I know and love. I used to want Taryn to feel what I felt, and I dragged her to a few shows before I realized that she just doesn't get it, and that's okay.

It's better for us if you don't understand.

Cool Hip Poster

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The Friday Five

The Number FiveMy favourite Matt Damon movies

  1. Saving Private Ryan
  2. The Departed
  3. Good Will Hunting
  4. The Talented Mr. Ripley
  5. The Bourne Identity

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On the Radio, Whoa Oh Oh

radioI bumped into an old friend the other day told him to contact me through this site. I got an email from him later that day in which you remarked that it's pretty cool I'm working in radio.

I've never written about my career in radio because I've never worked in radio. I've listened to a lot of radio, but that's not quite the same thing, although I hear the pay is similar. The confusion probably derives from my involvement in the Humble & Fred podcasts, but that's web based "radio".

I got this message through my site yesterday, from somebody else.

hey i have just tuned into your station and i am loving it, the only problem is once you get to scarborough travelling on the 401 to ajax the signal cuts out. is there another station i can switch to in order to get the same relaxing music. Kay

It turns out Kay was asking about 103.9, Proud FM. My interview with Bingo Bob confused her and she thought it was my station.

I'm the leader of the show, keepin' you on the go, but I know I can't live without my radio.

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Maple Leafs 1, Senators 5

LeafsThat egg we laid last night was our game in hand on the Hurricanes and we've been joined in a three-way tie for the final playoff spot by the New York Rangers. This is a show down, a throw down.

Andrew Raycroft is 2-4-1 against Ottawa this season. With the Sens in town Saturday night, you just know he'll get a chance to finish the season 2-5-1 against Ottawa. Why the hell not?

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
32-27-9
73 points
3rd in Northeast
5-1 Loss vs. Ottawa
3-0 Win vs. Washington
3-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
M. Sundin - 60
T. Kaberle - 49
B. McCabe - 47

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My Michelle

familyWhen James was two, he was a daddy's boy. I'd be lying if I didn't admit I enjoyed being the preferred parent. James loved his mommy but he wanted daddy to read his bedtime story and if given the choice he'd choose to tag along with whatever daddy was up to. I was his clear favourite.

Michelle is now two and I've noticed she seems to prefer mommy. I'm starting to realize it's not as fun on this side of the coin. Don't get me wrong, Michelle and I are very close and we're bonding all the time, but there are little signs all over the place that she's a mama's girl.

It's all typical, normal behaviour for kids to have a slight preference, and since we were each chosen by the child of the same sex, it's totally understandable. She can run, but she can't hide. She's always going to be my Michelle.

Michelle

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Link: Star Wars in Five Seconds

LinkStar Wars in Five Seconds - Good stuff.

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The Hilarious House of Frightenstein

rewindCHCH, the Hamilton station we watched on channel 11, didn't supply us with a wealth of great television, but they did give us The Hilarious House of Frightenstein.

The Hilarious House of Frightenstein starred Billy Van who played most of the characters. Vincent Price would narrate parts, including the opening sequence you'll see below. A fan has put together a great list of the characters we knew and loved, including Grizelda, The Ghastly Gourmet, The Wolfman and Bwana Clyde Batty.

Another lovely day begins, for ghosts and ghouls with greenish skin. So close your eyes, and you will find that you've arrived in Frightenstein. Perhaps the Count will find a way to make his monster live today. For if he solves this monster-mania, he can return to Transylvania. So welcome to where the sun won't shine, to the castle of Count Frightenstein!

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The Great Firewall of China

mousegreatfirewallofchina.org enables you to see if a website is censored in China. You can do this in real-time.

It is estimated that some 30,000 Chinese civil servants are monitoring Internet traffic and blocking content that is deemed undesirable. Typing in sensitive keywords such as 'democracy', 'Falun Gong' or 'porno' in a search engine results in an error message. Websites of a sensitive nature are being blocked. Internet service providers also (self)censor, as do individuals: many people do not express their real thoughts because they know these will be censored anyway.

torontomike.com was blocked but TorontoMike.com was available. We just need to tell China there's more than one route to Leaf game recaps, children's television flashbacks and Homer Simpson quotes.

torontomike.com is Blocked TorontoMike.com is Available

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John Vukovich, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJohn Vukovich was 59. He was the longest-serving coach in Philadelphia Phillies history and a member of their only World Series championship team in 1980.

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Girls Rock the Boys

IdolThere might be six females better than every male left standing in American Idol. The Wednesday night shows have actually been fun to watch. Imagine that?

Here are my three favourites from last night:

  1. LaKisha Jones
  2. Melinda Doolittle
  3. Jordin Sparks

Here are my three least favourite from last night:

  1. Haley Scarnato
  2. Antonella Barba
  3. Sabrina Sloan

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The Polka Dot Door

rewindLately I've done a lot of writing about TVOntario shows from my youth. I've covered Jeremy the Bear, Barbapapa, The Fables of the Green Forest and Dr. Snuggles, but I've yet to cover the granddaddy of them all. The TVO show I watched the most as a kid was Polka Dot Door.

There were certain constants in Polka Dot Door.

  • it was always hosted by a man and woman
  • they always chatted with four stuffed animals named Humpty, Dumpty, Marigold and Bear
  • there was always a time check with the grandfather clock
  • there was always a video that was shown after the camera exited one of the polka dots on the door
  • there was (almost) always a visit from Polkaroo which would only be witnessed by one of the hosts
  • when the host who missed Polkaroo realizes he missed the big guy, the catch phrase "Awww, I missed him again!" would be uttered

I always had fun trying to guess which polka dot on the door would be our path to the video. I also loved the fact we were supposed to suspect the host who missed Polkaroo was in the Polkaroo costume. Sure ya missed him again, wink-wink.

I think I caught this show every day as a toddler. I was desperately searching for video of the opening theme, but I came up empty. I did find a video set to the theme song, however, so this will have to do for now.

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Did Sundance Just Sing Jeremy?!?

idol"Jeremy" is my least favourite song on Ten. That's not to say I don't like "Jeremy", it's just that Ten is one of my favourite albums of all time and "Jeremy" was my least favourite of the bunch. Even if you're a luke-warm "Jeremy" fan, hearing Sundance Head sing it would truly make you appreciate the effort from Eddie Vedder and the boys. I knew Eddie Vedder. He was a friend of mine. And Sundance, you're no Eddie Vedder.

Allow me to be the 123,093rd blogger today to tell you the female singers are way better than the male singers this year. I hardly liked any performances last night. Coming up with three favourites it tough, but here goes nothing.

Here are my three favourites from last night:

  1. Blake Lewis
  2. Chris Sligh
  3. Brandon Rogers

Here were my three least favourite from last night:

  1. Sanjaya Malakar
  2. Phil Stacey
  3. Chris Richardson

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Maple Leafs 3, Capitals 0

LeafsIf you look up inconsistent in the dictionary, you'll find a picture of Andrew Raycroft. One night he'll be so horrible I'm wondering if Peter Ing is still in shape, the next night he'll record a shut out when we desperately need a win.

The win puts us 8th in the conference, but it's awfully tight and it not an easy schedule the rest of the way. We're on the Razor's edge, literally...

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
32-26-9
73 points
3rd in Northeast
3-0 Win vs. Washington
3-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
4-3 Win vs. New Jersey
M. Sundin - 60
T. Kaberle - 49
B. McCabe - 47

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In Defence of Open Mike

tvI openly confess that I never caught Open Mike with Mike Bullard on CTV or The Mike Bullard Show on Global. I certainly knew of the shows, and caught ads for the two shows about a billion times, but I never tuned in.

Even though I'm not a Mike Bullard fan, I feel compelled to come to his defence. His XM satellite radio show was recently cancelled, and this news got an tiny little write-up in the Star. Here's the quote from The Toronto Star that I disagree with. "Mike Bullard also has two failed television shows under his belt, Open Mike on CTV and Global's The Bullard Show".

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Open Mike with Mike Bullard wasn't a failed television show. As I understand it, it was a rare Canadian late night success story creating content for both CTV and the Comedy Network. In the summer of 2003, Bullard's contract with CTV expired and he signed with Global as a free agent. That doesn't qualify as a "failed television show".

The Mike Bullard Show, however, was a failure no matter how you slice it. I attended a taping of Late Night with Conan O'Brien back in February 2004 and the press couldn't get over the fact we were lining up around the corner in freezing cold temperatures while Bullard's tapings were nearly empty. I'm partly responsible for Bullard's television failure, but so far, that failure is singular.

February 12, 2004 - Conan O'Brien

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The Mighty Hercules - Search of the Golden Apples

tvOn the heels of my entry about The Mighty Hercules, a cartoon I enjoyed in the early and mid-eighties, I've found a much better clip on YouTube.

This one has the great theme song by Johnny Nash, the voice of Newton I remember so clearly and that great animation when Hercules puts on his ring. In fact, I remember this episode well.

Olympia!

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The Mighty Hercules

rewindLesley just left a comment on my entry about Rocket Robin Hood. "Ah, memories! I was actually doing a search for the Barbapapas and came across your blog. Rocket Robin Hood was one of my favorite cartoons, too. And how about the Adventures of Hercules?"

How about The Mighty Hercules! That was another cartoon from the 60s that aired on Global all the time in the 1980s. My brothers and I watched an awful lot of The Mighty Hercules. Herc had this magic ring that gave him super strength and he was always taking on the bad guys, usually Daedalus. He had a hot girlfriend named Helena and was pals with Newton, a boy centaur.

I found a great clip but noticed Newton didn't sound like I remembered him sounding. I remember this high pitched voice, sort of like Mickey Mouse. He was always calling out "Herc, Herc!". It turns out there two sets of voices for the characters, so some episodes have the Newton I remember and some have the Newton you'll hear in this clip.

By the way, the awesome theme song was sung by Johnny Nash. I'm hunting for video of it now...


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Great Anti Piracy Ad Ad

virusalertAbout a year ago I complained about the anti-piracy advertisements they force down your throat when you're watching a legitimate, store-bought movie on DVD. What kills me about these ads is you can't skip them and they play every time you put the DVD in the player. It makes watching your legitimate, store-bought copy a total hassle.

Check out this great image that sends up the whole thing. By punishing those who don't steal creative content aren't they pushing you toward buying a pirated copy?

It's funny because it's true.

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20 Toronto Radio Stations

radioI wrote about my old stereo, recently resurrected and now bringing me much enjoyment on a daily basis. She's got twenty FM station presets on her, and I use every one.

At night I'll browse through the twenty stations and hear what's cooking in the city. I recently taught James how to do this and his new favourite pre-bed ritual is cruising the dial himself. He's right at home at the controls.

You're probably wondering what Toronto radio stations I've programmed into the twenty presets. No? Well, I'm going to share this information anyways, if for no other reason than to have it documented in case I need a quick reference one day.

Here they are, in ascending order.

  • 88.1
  • 88.9
  • 89.5
  • 91.1
  • 92.5
  • 93.5
  • 95.3
  • 96.3
  • 97.3
  • 97.7
  • 98.1
  • 99.1
  • 99.9
  • 102.1
  • 103.5
  • 103.9
  • 104.5
  • 106.5
  • 107.1
  • 107.9

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Auntie Beeb Adds Weight

cntowerAll day long I've been hearing about how they closed the Gardiner Expressway because huge chunks of ice were falling from the CN Tower. It seemed like an interesting local story, particularly for commuters who take that route, but it didn't seem like big news.

This afternoon, while checking my RSS feeds, I saw the BBC News | World | Americas | UK Edition had "Falling ice shuts Toronto roads" as the top story. Seeing that the Beeb thought our falling ice was a big deal gave the story so much weight in my eyes. If the Beeb finds it feed worthy, it's no local story.

Listen to Auntie Beeb for she is wise. And beware of falling ice.

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Babel

A Movie ReelBabel: 8 out of 10.

That was neat. Alejandro González Iñárritu has created a rather compelling little flick here, letting us into the lives of four families who are all connected in Magnolia / Traffic style. All four stories are interesting with tense pacing and strong writing.

It's all about communication, and how our different languages divide us. Babel refers to the Tower of Babel in Genesis, which was built to reach Heaven. God wasn't a happy camper and blew away the single language everyone shared. If you're looking to blame someone for all this miscommunication due to language barriers, blame the vengeful God who punished those tower builders back in the day.

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The Bourne Supremacy

A Movie ReelThe Bourne Supremacy: 6.5 out of 10.

I still love my story about watching The Bourne Identity. I borrowed the DVD from a friend and watched 90 minutes of it before the DVD conked out. With 30 minutes to go, Taryn shot off to Rogers to rent it. Later that night, guess what movie was playing on City-TV?

I preferred The Bourne Identity to The Bourne Supremacy, but this isn't a bad sequel. It was still entertaining enough to keep me awake on a Saturday night.

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What's Happening at Macdonald Hall?

bookI'm not a very big reader. Well, that's not entirely true. I'm not a very big reader in the traditional sense. That is to say, I don't read many novels. My wife is constantly reading a book or two, but I spend that time reading and creating content on the interweb.

As a pre-teen, I was a big reader, forever with a book on the go. My favourite author was Gordon Korman. Growing up in Richmond Hill, he wrote This Can't Be Happening at Macdonald Hall while in grade seven, the first of his Bruno and Boots books. His Bruno and Boots series was my favourite and I'm pretty sure I read every one of them.

At some point post-Korman, I lost the reading bug. An extra hour or two at night now gets spread between the radio, television and computer. I wonder what's happening at Macdonald Hall these days?

Gordon Korman

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Timing is Everything

newspaperThe Sun has an article today about Mike Bullard. It's all about how happy he is working at XM Satellite Radio, hosting his own show Mike Bullard Uncensored. Here's an excerpt from the article.

"When I got depressed -- and I got depressed -- I just said I am not going to give up," he said. "I decided I wanted to do something where I could become a known entity in the United States."

He has found it in satellite radio. With Sirius and XM about to merge he doesn't know what the future holds, but says, "If I did this the rest of my life, I would be happy."

Looks like the magician has reappeared and once again he's a comedian.

It sure sounds like Mike's a happy camper. The Sun went to print with this article this morning, but check out what Judy Croon has to say on her website.

Unfortunately, due to budget constraints at XM, Mike Bullard Uncensored has been cancelled. On behalf of Mike, Lawrence and myself, we would like to thank our listeners for their support. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me, or call XM at 1-800-XM-RADIO (USA) or 1-877-GET-XMSR (CANADA)

Just so you know, the three of us agree that this is the most fun we have ever had on a show and we are going to miss you :(

That's right, on Friday Mike Bullard Uncensored was cancelled and today the Sun has Mike beaming with glee at his new found success.

Timing is everything.

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Duplicate Songs

musicWhen you've got 1275 discs ripped to MP3, you're going to have some duplicate songs. iTunes makes it easy to isolate these dupes, so I can tell you that if I just played such songs I could could listen non-stop for eight days. As a random example, I have The Tragically Hip's "Gus: The Polar Bear From Central Park" on In Between Evolution, Yer Favourites and the 92nd Grey Cup Commemorative CD.

You might be able to guess where I'm going with this. What song is repeated the most often in my collection? That song is "Black" by Pearl Jam which appears on 11 albums. Upon further review, a number of Pearl Jam songs appear 8, 9 and 10 times due to the many official bootlegs they've released recently. That's not really fair, is it?

If I disqualify live recordings, the song that appears on the most albums in my collection is "Respect" by Aretha Franklin. It appears five times on the following discs.

  • The Soul Train 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame Box Set
  • Aretha Franklin's 30 Greatest Hits
  • Akeelah and the Bee Soundtrack
  • The Ultimate Soul Collection
  • Forrest Gump Soundtrack

I've also got a copy of the Otis Redding original.

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My MP3s Updated

CDI've added 10 new CDs to my MP3 collection. Here they are...

  • k-os - Atlantis: Hymns for Disco
  • Tegan and Sara - If It Was You
  • Various Artists - Garden State Soundtrack
  • Various Artists - The Kings of Hip Hop (Discs 1 & 2)
  • The Irish Rovers - The Best Of The Irish Rovers
  • Corinne Bailey Rae - Corinne Bailey Rae
  • Stompin' Tom Connors - 25 of the Best Stompin' Tom Souvenirs
  • Tom Cochrane & Red Rider - Trapeze (Discs 1 & 2)

That's 1275 complete albums, 19738 individual songs and 52.6 days worth of uninterrupted tunes. Check it out.

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The Simpsons on Inside The Actors Studio

homerI had seen the cast of The Simpsons on Inside The Actors Studio, but Buffalo Boy led me to an edited version that's 9:03 of pure hilarity.

It's worth another viewing.

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Maple Leafs 1, Sabres 3

LeafsI found it easier to love our craptacular teams of the 1980s. They'd bore us in the Norris and I was young enough to get really excited about a 6-5 win over Chicago in the middle of January and forgive them for finishing 19th overall.

The Buffalo Sabres are missing eight regulars to injury, but they keep steamrolling us. They're first in the NHL and 3-0 against us this season. Their fans have something to look forward to this spring while we're hoping we'll somehow pull it together and sneak into eighth place in the conference. Don't we in the capital of the NHL hockey kingdom deserve better?

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
31-26-9
71 points
4th in Northeast
3-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
4-3 Win vs. New Jersey
6-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
M. Sundin - 60
T. Kaberle - 49
B. McCabe - 46

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The Fifth Beatle?

picturesMy wife still owns one of those old style film cameras. You remember those 33mm things that you had to stick a roll of film in. You actually had to complete the roll before you could develop the pictures and if you took a bad pic you couldn't delete it. We've come a long way, baby.

Taryn bought a roll of black and white film and took some pictures of the kids. I scanned a few and uploaded them to my Flickr account. There's one of James that reminds me of the cover of The Beatles' with the beatles album.

Here's the fifth Beatle.

The Fifth Beatle? with the beatles

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My Personal Offline Challenge

runningI've been looking for an offline challenge. I've noticed that outside of fatherhood, all my recent personal challenges have involved a computer. It's time to set a goal that doesn't involve staring at an LCD screen for hours at a time.

I was inspired by Saint Ralph. For some writing about Saint Ralph, check out this page. Ralph needed a miracle, so he set out to win the Boston Marathon. I don't need a miracle, but for a guy who hasn't run since the 4x100m relay in primary school, challenges don't get much bigger than this. I'm going to run a marathon.

I made this decision a couple of months ago, and the first thing I did was contact a reader who left a comment about having run the Boston Marathon. He put me in touch with people who could help transform a total noob with no running experience into a marathoner. I'm literally starting from square one.

Since this blog is all about me, I'll blog about this challenge. I start clinics in a couple of weeks. I'm currently out of breath if I run a couple of blocks, so this should be interesting. When I need inspiration, I always have that song.

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

I've also registered to run in The Terry Fox Run in September. It's no marathon, but it's for a great cause. You can sponsor me here.

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Maple Leafs 4, Devils 3

LeafsJames and I watched that hit on Tomas Kaberle and while I was envisioning our playoff aspirations disappearing before our eyes, he felt the need to clarify something. He looked at me and reminded me "they're not bad grown ups, they just play for a bad team".

I disagreed with my five year old son. Cam Janssen's hit was definitely late, it looked like he left his feet and likely clipped Kaberle with an elbow. Our best defenseman is now day-to-day with a neck injury and there wasn't even a penalty called on the play. Cam Janssen was a bad grown up.

Carlo Colaiacovo, Nik Antropov and Matt Stajan scored in a span of 2:51 midway through the third period for Toronto as we overcame a 2-0 deficit for two badly needed points. We're only two points out of 8th in the conference.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
31-25-9
71 points
4th in Northeast
4-3 Win vs. New Jersey
6-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
5-4 Loss vs. Montreal
M. Sundin - 59
T. Kaberle - 49
B. McCabe - 46

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Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week

Homer"Okay Marge, its your child against my child. The winner will be showered with praise. The loser will be taunted and booed until my throat is sore."

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Paul Maurice and Jean-Sebastien Aubin

leafsWhat did Jean-Sebastien Aubin ever do to piss off Paul Maurice so royally?

Guess who's getting the start in net for the Toronto Maple Leafs as we take on red hot Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils tonight? That's right, Andrew Raycroft for the 26th game in a row. The same Andrew Raycroft who bombed out the past couple of games, the same inconsistent Andrew Raycroft who was absolutely horrible last season and the same Andrew Raycroft who has a .895 save percentage this season.

Sure, Maurice will start Aubin on Saturday night, but he should start Aubin tonight and ride the hot hand Saturday if the Leafs come up with a win. Maurice says he's just loyal to his starter, but I'm certain he's got a hate-on for Aubin. That's the only explanation that makes sense to me.

If Raycroft has another mediocre game tonight and we continue this free fall, expect a big fat "told ya so" tomorrow morning.

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The Bingo Bob Interview

microphoneI met Bingo Bob for the first time when we all showed up at Dan Duran's house to record the 17th annual Humble & Fred Christmas Show. He used to produce the Humble & Fred morning show and recently scored a cool gig producing the morning show at 103.9 Proud FM, the first radio station in Canada catering to the LGBT crowd. I just Googled it... LGBT means Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender, in case you didn't already know that.

Bingo Bob ArrivesWhen I threw these questions at Bob, I thought Proud FM had already launched. It turns out I was just hearing a test of the signal. Nevertheless, here's my interview with Bingo Bob.

Q: People know Bingo Bob from The Humble & Fred morning show. What went down in July of 2006. Spill the deets...
A: July 2006 was the end of a very significant part of my life. It had already been a strange 11 or 12 months...as Fred was let go a year earlier...leaving Humble Howard and myself the last two left from way back at the Edge days working together. But on July 15th I got a call from the assistant to the GM at Standard Radio Toronto at about 3:30 in the afternoon asking me to come in to the station at 5:30...yikes. I knew exactly what was coming. It was one of the worst feelings in the world. I had never been fired from anything, never mind something I cared so much about. Humble's explanation of how it felt in his article in the Post was very accurate. It's quite surreal. I wasn't even married a year yet, and it was the day before a planned two week vacation in London and Paris...talk about putting a damper on the festivities. I got to the station, my GM told me they are "going in a different direction in mornings"...and that was that. They walked me out...told me I could come back and get my stuff if I wanted...but I didn't...I stopped off at the morning show office and took as many office supplies as possible.

Q: How did you get the nickname Bingo Bob?
A: When I first walked into The Humble and Fred Show @ Edge102 to become an intern, Humble asked me what I did...and lucky me I was a bingo caller/runner/manager. So I immediately became Bingo Bob.

Q: Congrats on being the first Morning Show Producer for the new Proud FM. How is it working with Ken Kostick and Mary Jo Eustace?
A: They are terrific...very nice people who have a great chemistry...I can't wait to get on the air with them...and they cook! It's awesome.

Q: The launch of Proud FM was awfully quiet. You're the first gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender focused station in the country. Shouldn't you be bringing the noise?
A: Well, we aren't launched as of yet. If you do happen upon 103.9 while in your car, what you are hearing is merely a test of the signal...we don't launch until Mid-April.

Q: I'm a heterosexual male. Am I allowed to listen?
A: We are an inclusionary station, we don't JUST cater to the LGBT crowd, we are for everyone.

Q: Who's funnier? Humble or Fred?
A: Hmmmm...actually neither of them. I find them both to be quite serious and somewhat melancholy.

Q: In some quarters, Proud FM is probably a little controversial. Have you had any negative response? Do you receive homophobic email?
A: I haven't yet, but I know some people who were involved in the CRTC application have received death threats.

Q: The Proud FM website has been coming soon for a while now. Do you need a little help with that?
A: Let me ask around...I like your stuff...so we will see!

Q: I live a little west of the downtown core. I get 103.9, but it's a little fuzzy. Any plans to boost the signal so you come in clear throughout the 416?
A: Right now our signal is one of the smallest in Toronto...depending on where you are in the 416 you might have a hard time picking it up on a home stereo...but if you are listening in your car, we are coming in quite well all over the place. My dad called me the other day to say that he was listening while working in Brampton.

Q: Is there anything else you want to share with the Toronto Mike crowd?
A: Not that I can think of...Just that they should keep checking your site as often as possible, anybody who loves Humble and Fred, Pearl Jam and The Simpson's can't be half bad. (Those too are three of my favourite things) And of course to check out my blog too: http://blog.myspace.com/bingobob I have to admit I have been a little light on the postings as of late...who knew building a radio station from the ground up would be so much work?

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My Left Thumb

thumbsdownSince this thing is all about me, I'm going to write about my left thumb.

I jammed it during the first game of a slo-pitch double-header back on July 28, 2006. I know that's the date because I blogged about it. It was essentially unusable during the second game and it hurt like hell for weeks afterwards.

I kept waiting for my thumb to feel normal again, where I could actually bend it and use it as more than a decorative appendage. I'm still waiting. It's been well over six months and, although it's feeling much better, it still doesn't work like it used to.

I feel better just complaining about it. Thanks for reading.... or not.

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Rocket Robin Hood

rewindI've finally created a category for my trips back in time to the late 70s and early 80s children's TV. Rocket Robin Hood was an animated show I used to watch daily on Global television in the 1980s. The series was actually created in the late 60s by a Canadian company. We should be very proud.

My favourite part of this cartoon was when Friar Tuck would take a single bite out of plate of food and toss the rest over his shoulder. If he was so hungry, why did he stop at one bite and waste the rest?

The opening theme was great. Here are the lyrics and some video so you can join me in my television time machine.

Come gather around me. Space travelers surround me. Hark now to the ballad of Rocket Robin Hood.
I may well confound you, astound you, spellbound you, with heroes and villains, the bad and the good.
Watch now as our rockets race here from afar. For now, with our Robin, we live on a star.
Three. Two. One. Blast off!
Band of brothers, marching together. Heads held high in all kinds of weather.
With fiery blasts, our roaring rockets rise, beyond the Earth, beyond the skies!
At the sight of Robin, take your stand, with the gallant leader of our band.
Send a joyous shout throughout the land! For Rocket Robin Hood!


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Danger! Danger! Stay Indoors!

cn towerOur fire and police departments are asking us to stay indoors today.

Downed power lines and tree limbs across Toronto wreaked havoc for pedestrians and motorists during Friday morning's commute and were dangerous enough for the city's fire and police services to ask residents to stay inside.

"In the interest of public safety, Toronto Fire Services is advising that people stay indoors," said Capt. Mike Strapko, acting district fire chief.

Apparently, there's a lot of danger out there. There's ice falling everywhere, trees coming down and that electric wire thing.

I braved the elements and did venture outdoors this morning. In fact, I'm looking forward to a nice long walk at lunch. It takes more than a fire and police department warning to keep me inside.

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Weekly MP3 - Power To The People

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.

Public Enemy - Power To The People
There's one drawback to digitizing my entire music collection. Public Enemy's Fear of a Black Planet is one of my favourite albums on the planet and I used to listen to it from start to finish. There was no gap between the songs. In fact, it was often difficult to tell where one track ended and the next began. It was all stitched together by Terminator X on those wheels of steel and the bomb squad.

Now that I listen to Fear of a Black Planet as twenty individual files, they don't bleed into one another the way they used to. Sure, I can remove pauses between the songs, but it's not quite the same somehow. Fear of a Black Planet wants to be one long MP3.

Today I'm sharing "Power to the People", mainly because it's a rarely heard cut from the album and it's got that crazy Flav "right about now" action at the end that sounded awesome on the old Walkman.

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There's Always Someone Who Hates Your Favourite Band

The Tragically HipIt's no secret I love The Tragically Hip. I celebrate their entire catalogue and catch them live whenever possible. There is no band I enjoy seeing live as much as I enjoy catching The Hip.

No matter how much I like this band, there are always people who will have the exact opposite reaction. There's always someone who hates your favourite band, and there's something comforting in that fact.

Someone left a comment the other day in our SLS discussion about It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken. tom.t chimed in with the following.

I had tickets to see THE WHO tonight in Long Beach CA, guess who opened? Yup, The Tragically Hip. When i arrived at the venue, I asked everyone in sight who was opening and not a single person knew. Being a music fan, not particular to anything (excluding country which sucks), I sat through the whole set. Thinking not every song is great maybe it will get better. Song after song it seemed to increasingly get worse. By the end of their set about 4 people applauded, and the guy next to me returned the shirt he bought which he thought was a WHO shirt. I have nothing against Canada (RUSH is the shit), I have family about 2 hours north of Detroit. I have to say if you like this group you may need to see a doctor and have your head removed from your ass, and the crap pulled out of your ears. Not all was bad the group can play music, the singer couldn't hold a note in a bucket. What a fucking waste of time. I would rather have seen the crew just set up the stage for the event and let The Who play with no opener. On the bright side no matter how bad The Who could have screwed up, it would have sounded like heaven compared to the tone deaf fuck lead singer from hip. The only thing tragic is, your not thinking clear enough to see they eat balls.

tom.t and I couldn't disagree more, and that's pretty cool. If we all dug that same shite, it would get pretty bloody boring pretty damn quick.

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Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Rest in Peace

In MemoriumArthur M. Schlesinger Jr. was 89. He was the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and "court philosopher" of the Kennedy administration.

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Lazy Eye Experiment with Tokyo Pickups

slsThere's only about four months to go before SLS17 is unveiled. Of course, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. You're all about the SLS, aren't you?

I just submitted a couple of songs I've been digging lately for SLS17 consideration.

  • Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment
  • Silversun Pickups - Lazy Eye

TPC are from Newmarket of all places, but they sound nothing like Serial Joe. Lazy Eye is a tune that grew on me. I hear The Breeders in there and a little Pumpkins, but I'm totally digging it these days.

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Blinded By The White

snowflakeFrom where I'm sitting, Toronto has essentially disappeared. It was there an hour ago, but blowing snow has swept in and blanketed the horizon.

I could swear I just saw lightning. I don't think I've ever seen lightning during a snow storm before. Spooky...

Snow Day in Toronto Snow Day in Toronto

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No More Celine!

IdolThe best four of the twenty remaining AI participants are all female. You can't beat LaKisha Jones, Melinda Doolittle or Stephanie Edwards. The judges seemed to be all over Melinda but I still have LaKisha fever.

Here are my three favourites from last night:

  1. LaKisha Jones
  2. Melinda Doolittle
  3. Sabrina Sloan

Here are my three least favourite from last night:

  1. Alaina Alexander
  2. Antonella Barba
  3. Leslie Hunt

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