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She Did It Again

HalloweenFor the second year in a row, my daughter changed her mind with less than an hour to go before venturing out trick or treating. Last year, she was all set on being a baby butterfly and then decided to go as Cinderella at the last moment. This year she was all set to go as a fairy and once again decided to go as Cinderella.

I can't believe she pulled the same stunt twice in a row. It was deja vu all over again and once more I was left feeling dizzy.

Here's my Cinderella and skeleton.

PA318187 PA318182

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Studs Terkel, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumStuds Terkel was 96. He was the ageless master of listening and speaking, a broadcaster, activist and Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose best-selling oral histories celebrated the common people he liked to call the "non-celebrated."

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The Best Monster Songs

The Number FiveMy favourite songs with "monster" in the title, with apologies to Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt Kickers

  1. Monsters - Band of Horses
  2. Monster Hospital - Metric
  3. Monster - L7
  4. Of Birds, Moons & Monsters - MGMT
  5. Monster in the Mirror - Grover

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Howard Berger's Spanking

Thumbs DownHoward Berger has been covering the Leafs on The Fan 590 since it was at 1430. I have never read his blog until today. A chap who goes by the name eyebleaf contacted me about this entry on Howard Berger's blog. I'm going to ask you not to click through but to read his entry below, pasted in its entirety.

Most Valuable Losers Once Again

By HOWARD BERGER

TORONTO (Oct. 30) - Oh, how they must be chuckling in the ivory towers on Bay Street!

Arguably the worst team in the National Hockey League since the lockout continues to be the most lucrative commodity on skates. Even the tall foreheads at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment have seemingly thrown in the towel on their annual dissing of Forbes Magazines' NHL value rankings. Normally, by the evening of the announcement, CEO Richard Peddie is on record suggesting that no person outside the hallowed halls of the Air Canada Centre could possibly have a line on the Leafs' monetary worth. This is either an effort to keep the tax people at bay, or to avoid laughing out loud at the sheep that form the lifeblood of the company.

Yes, that is YOU, Leafs Nation.

An insatiable willingness to accept whatever garbage is tossed your way each year lines the pockets of the executives you purportedly "hate" [I see that word a lot in my e-mails]. No form of indignity is powerful enough to dissuade you from the uncontrollable love of your Blue & White. You bitch... and moan... and go insane over the always-accurate appraisals of the team in the media. Depending on the hour of day, you either castigate or lionize members of the hockey club - often the same player. The familiar disappointment of missing the playoffs on April 8th is washed away with delusional fantasies by April 9th. And, always, you are there to buy every ticket; purchase every jersey; watch every game on TV; lose your mind over every word written and spoken about the team [the part I like best], and generally cradle the habit you have no power to temper, let alone break. You are, by any measure, the most easily placated fans in all of sport - rivaled only by the zombie-like baseball fanatics on the north side of Chicago.

And, boy, do you make money for people! Even media scrubs like me. I can't begin to tell you what your devotion to these blogs is worth. I'm particularly thankful for the e-mailers that swear they will never again read my opinions, only to repeat that threat after the next blog.... and the next one... and the one after that. Probably the same folks that promise never to watch their blundering team after another home-ice embarrassment, only to count the hours until the puck drops again.

Knowledgeable? Where do I start? The celebration is already underway over the three-out-of-four games streak in October that may ultimately lift the team into its habitual 11th or 12th-place roosting in the Eastern Conference. What more could any devoted fan wish for?

Face it... you just can't control yourselves. And, the folks on Bay Street love you for it... so much so, that they refused to budget for playoff dates next spring at the ACC. I mean, why go down the same path of futility for a fourth consecutive year? Season-ticket renewals are dispatched after the Stanley Cup tournament concludes, prompting a wild stampede to the mailbox - cheques faithfully enclosed; interest about to accrue. The extra kick in the wallet from 100 percent renewals in early summer surely takes the sting off lost playoff gates, don't you think?

No wonder King Richard and Lucky Larry are indebted to you.

You ask for nothing, and give everything. What a perfect world some people live in.

[p.s. You're the very best, most devoted fans in the world... don't change a thing].

eyebleaf didn't like being called a loser by Howard Berger, so he wrote this.

As fans, we believe that those most deserving of our praise and our scorn are directly involved in the game, whether it's on the ice, in the press box or in the executive corridors. Fans don't pencil in the starting five, make bad trades, or write headlines of the day and shouldn't be blamed (or praised) for the totals in the wins and loss column.

That's exactly what Howard Berger wants. He clearly wrote that entry in an effort to piss off the passionate with the knowledge that an anti-Berger campaign will only increase readers of his blog which will in turn please the folks at Rogers. eyebleaf and these other Leaf fans in the Barilkosphere are feeding the beast.

Only one thing will get their attention, and that's a decrease of traffic to the blog. Stop reading his blog and stop commenting, that will really piss him off.

I know many passionate, die-hard Leaf fans, and consider myself one, but very, very few of us are delusional. We know what kind of team we have, and what's possible, but who doesn't dream of that surprising team that jumps up in Tampa Bay Ray fashion to compete for a title? I feel sorry for those who don't hope for such possibilities, no matter how implausible.

Go Leafs go... and Howard Berger, consider yourself spanked.

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The Best Scary Songs

The Number FiveMy favourite songs that will "scare" you

  1. Scared - The Tragically Hip
  2. Running Scared - Roy Orbison
  3. Y'all Scared - Outkast
  4. Scarecrow - Beck
  5. Scarecrow - Ministry

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Easily Pleased

HalloweenMichelle thinks the Jack O'Lantern we carved this morning is the scariest one ever. I don't have the heart to tell her I was drained from a long day at work and essentially mailed this one in.

Here are previous, better pumpkins. At least Michelle is happy with this year's effort.

PA308169 PA308170 PA308176

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Maple Leafs 6, Devils 5

LeafsThis team of ours is scrappy. You can't count them out because they never give up and they always give the proverbial and technically impossible 110%.

Almost as impossible, we actually won this one in a shootout. I kid you not, Tosky beat Brodeur. It was our first shootout win this season.

And most notable, in a very entertaining game, was the first NHL point for young Jedi Luke Schenn. The force remains strong in this one.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
4-3-3
11 points
4th in Northeast Division
6-5 Win vs. New Jersey
3-2 Loss vs. Tampa Bay
3-2 Win vs. Ottawa
N. Antropov - 9
A. Ponikarovsky - 8
M. Van Ryn - 6

And here's the funky winner.

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Raptors Raptors Raptors Raptors Raptors Raptors

RapsAs I watch the Leafs play New Jersey, I realize I missed the first Raptors game of the 2008/2009 season. I've been a big Raptors fan since day one, but during the winter they're the second best game in town. That's pretty unfair to the Raps, who have a nice team and might even win a playoff round this season, whilst the Leafers shouldn't get a sniff at the playoffs. But the Raps knew the score when they showed up 13 years ago.

As the Raptors season tips off, I just wanted to throw down a couple of Raptors notes. Firstly, I wanted to promote Doug Smith's Toronto Raptors Blog. Smith writes for the Toronto Star and has been covering Raptors basketball since our inaugural season, and I look to him for analysis and insight. His blog is interesting and informative, and I see he even live blogged tonight's game. If you like the Raps, subscribe to http://thestar.blogs.com/raptors/rss.xml.

Secondly, I thought I'd let you in on something cool Google does when you search for raptors. The first result is the box score from the most recent game, and the opponent and date of the next game. Soon I'll be Googling where I left my keys.

Raptors

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M.I.A. - $20

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.

M.I.A. - $20
When I started digging M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes," I gave Kala a listen. Kala is a great deal more than "Paper Planes." One great track on this stellar album is "$20".

"$20" brings in the Pixies' "Where's Is My Mind" and the effect is pretty sweet. Check it out.

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Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story

A Movie ReelWalk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story: 6 out of 10.

"Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" isn't in the same league as "Knocked Up" or "Superbad," but it's a fun 90 minutes if you're just looking for a few laughs, some neat cameos and music that ain't half bad.

Look for Jack White as Elvis and Jack Black as Paul McCartney. As for the tunes, here's my favourite. It's double entendre-mania with John C. Reilly and Jenna Fischer performing "Let's Duet."

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Maple Leafs 2, Lightning 3

LeafsThe Leafs fought hard, but a couple of sweet goals by Vincent Lecavalier did them in.

It was interesting watching Mike Smith beat us between the pipes while earning a point. Many moons ago, when he was just an Iowa Star, I shared this picture of his very cool Tragically Hip mask.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
3-3-3
9 points
4th in Northeast Division
3-2 Loss vs. Tampa Bay
3-2 Win vs. Ottawa
4-2 Win vs. Boston
N. Antropov - 8
A. Ponikarovsky - 7
M. Van Ryn - 6

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CSS Design

cssAs it gets easier and easier for regular folk to publish on the web, I find less and less publishers are actually bothering to get their hands dirty with design. Using Blogger? Simply choose a theme from the list. Using Facebook or MySpace? The default settings will do. Using Wordpress or Movable Type? Again, we've got numerous themes to choose from, one is just right for you!

I think it was early in the year 2000 when I stopped marking up my design in the HTML. CSS design made so much sense so I dove in. Every colour, every font size, every border, everything could be moved to an external CSS file.

Here we are, eight years later, and I'm still crazy about CSS when it comes to design. I'm also still creating web sites from scratch, hand coding the CSS files from a blank slate. This entry was inspired by a great article I just read on CSS design, entitled Why Programmers Suck at CSS Design. The author's hope is to show people that feel CSS challenged that you don't need to be an artist, know how to draw or even just pick colours, and certainly you don't need to know how to use Photoshop to be able to come up with a nice, clean, readable and original layout. I concur.

It's an article I wish I had written. If you design for the web, or if you think you might like to learn how, read the article. At the very least it will get your creative juices flowing.

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When Joe Touched Them All: 15 Years Later

rewindWhen I threw my support behind the Phillies, I referred to something that happened in this city fifteen years ago. It was fifteen years ago Saturday, to be precise.

In Touch 'Em All, Joe I revisited that moment.

Joe Carter came to the plate in the ninth inning of game six of the World Series. My Toronto Blue Jays led the series 3 games to 2, but trailed in the game 6-5. With Mitch Williams on the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies and Ricky Henderson and Paul Molitor on base, Joe hit a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall at SkyDome to give the Blue Jays their second World Series in a row.

I can't accurately describe how my brothers and I reacted to this moment. When that ball cleared the fence, the feeling was ecstatic. The joy was overwhelming and we all shed tears. Heck, just thinking about that moment is causing my eyes to swell.

Dammit, there's some strange salty substance seeping from my eyes as I type. That moment was sort of a double-edged sword. It was a tremendous moment of collective elation, but it raised the bar to a point we may never see again. How the hell do we top that? An overtime goal by a Maple Leaf to win the Stanley Cup perhaps? Not much else comes to mind.

Listen to this call again. It was broadcast 15-years ago and few people heard it live as we were all watching the game on television. If you want more Tom Cheek Blue Jays memories, go here.

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Warren Zevon on Larry Sanders

tvHave you heard that tune by Kid Rock? The one that borrows from Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama?" Of course you've heard it, who am I trying to kid?

Every time I hear it, I think about how great Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" is and that makes me think about my favourite performance of that song.

It was an episode of The Larry Sanders Show and Zevon was complaining about always having to play "Werewolves of London" on television appearances. Let's just call this a begrudging "Werewolves of London."


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Special Delivery Jones, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumConrad "S.D. Jones" Efraim was 63. He was a former professional wrestler best known as Special Delivery Jones from his time in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). I had an S.D. Jones action figure.

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Charles Dubin, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumCharles Dubin was 87. He was a former Ontario chief justice who dominated courtrooms for more than half a century.

If you're like me, you remember Charles Dubin best as the man who chaired the Dubin Inquiry after sprinter Ben Johnson lost his gold medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

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I'm With Larry

notepadLarry David recently wrote a guest post for The Huffington Post. I've always laughed my ass off at Larry David, both his contribution to Seinfeld and his most excellent Curb Your Enthusiasm. Read what Larry has to say in a post he entitled "Waiting for Nov. 4th."

I can't take much more of this. Two weeks to go, and I'm at the end of my rope. I can't work. I can eat, but mostly standing up. I'm anxious all the time and taking it out on my ex-wife, which, ironically, I'm finding enjoyable. This is like waiting for the results of a biopsy. Actually, it's worse. Biopsies only take a few days, maybe a week at the most, and if the biopsy comes back positive, there's still a potential cure. With this, there's no cure. The result is final. Like death.

Five times a day I'll still say to someone, "I don't know what I'm going to do if McCain wins." Of course, the reality is I'm probably not going to do anything. What can I do? I'm not going to kill myself. If I didn't kill myself when I became impotent for two months in 1979, I'm certainly not going to do it if McCain and Palin are elected, even if it's by nefarious means. If Obama loses, it would be easier to live with it if it's due to racism rather than if it's stolen. If it's racism, I can say, "Okay, we lost, but at least it's a democracy. Sure, it's a democracy inhabited by a majority of disgusting, reprehensible turds, but at least it's a democracy." If he loses because it's stolen, that will be much worse. Call me crazy, but I'd rather live in a democratic racist country than a non-democratic non-racist one. (It's not exactly a Hobson's choice, but it's close, and I think Hobson would compliment me on how close I've actually come to giving him no choice. He'd love that!)

The one concession I've made to maintain some form of sanity is that I've taken to censoring my news, just like the old Soviet Union. The citizenry (me) only gets to read and listen to what I deem appropriate for its health and well-being. Sure, there are times when the system breaks down. Michele Bachmann got through my radar this week, right before bedtime. That's not supposed to happen. That was a lapse in security, and I've had to make some adjustments. The debates were particularly challenging for me to monitor. First I tried running in and out of the room so I would only hear my guy. This worked until I knocked over a tray of hors d'oeuvres. "Sit down or get out!" my host demanded. "Okay," I said, and took a seat, but I was more fidgety than a ten-year-old at temple. I just couldn't watch without saying anything, and my running commentary, which mostly consisted of "Shut up, you prick!" or "You're a fucking liar!!!" or "Go to hell, you cocksucker!" was way too distracting for the attendees, and finally I was asked to leave.

Assuming November 4th ever comes, my big decision won't be where I'll be watching the returns, but if I'll be watching. I believe I have big jinx potential and may have actually cost the Dems the last two elections. I know I've jinxed sporting events. When my teams are losing and I want them to make a comeback, all I have to do is leave the room. Works every time. So if I do watch, I'll do it alone. I can't subject other people to me in my current condition. I just don't like what I've turned into -- and frankly I wasn't that crazy about me even before the turn. This election is having the same effect on me as marijuana. All of my worst qualities have been exacerbated. I'm paranoid, obsessive, nervous, and totally mental. It's one long, intense, bad trip. I need to come down. Soon.

I'm a Canadian living in Canada, but I feel the same way Larry does. I'm anxious as well, fearful of an October surprise or rigged e-voting machines. There's something eerie about McCain's guarantee of victory, as if he knows something... as if his party has already taken care of the details.

As a Canadian watching both campaigns, this is a magnificent no-brainer. Obama is so clearly the person for this job at this time it's making me crazy that he isn't up 20 points in the poll. I just want November 4th to get here and for my neighbours to the south to do the right thing, for them and for our planet.

Like Larry says, the result is final. Like death.

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Tony Hillerman, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumTony Hillerman was 83. He was author of the acclaimed Navajo Tribal Police mystery novels and creator of two of the unlikeliest of literary heroes - Navajo police officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee.

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Merl Saunders, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumMerl Saunders was 74. He was a keyboardist who had a long-term collaboration with Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead.

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The Google Adwords Maple Music Redirect Mystery

AdwordsI've never met Buffalo Boy, but I helped build his blog and I help him out now and then. Earlier today, I received an S.O.S. email from him. A visit to buffaloboymike.com was resolving at maplemusic.com.

At first I didn't believe it, because it didn't happen in my Firefox. Then, I tried it in IE and saw it with my old eyes. There was clearly a redirect from Buffalo Boy's blog to the official Maple Music website. I tried it in Chrome and saw the same thing. I was intrigued.

I reviewed every line of the source code looking for a redirect script that may have piggy backed its way in there with an image or video Buffalo Boy put on his site. Everything was clean. I checked out the Movable Type templates, deleted the commented out countdown script to Spring Training 2008 and trouble shot this sucker to death, scratching my head the whole time. Then, I had that eureka moment.

Buffalo Boys displays Google ads on his site, as I do. My Firefox suppresses these ads because I use Adblock. That would explain why I wasn't redirected in Firefox but was redirected in IE and Chrome. Lo and behold, when I took out his AdSense code, the redirect stopped.

I've never heard of this, and Googling the issue isn't shedding any light on the subject. How the hell was a Google ad from Maple Music automatically redirecting visitors to maplemusic.com? Does anyone have a clue?

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Kings of Leon - Sex On Fire

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS20 consideration. I'm submitting "Sex On Fire" by Kings of Leon.

I'm dedicating this video to RCA Records, a unit of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT. RCA Records, a unit of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, is still disabling the embedding of their YouTube videos. That means music ambassadors like me can't share the official video with you.

What RCA Records, a unit of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, fails to realize is that disabling the embedding of their videos merely forces web authors like me to embed the song without the official video. We all know a good video makes a good song better, so RCA Records, a unit of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, is essentially shooting themselves in the foot by failing to understand e-marketing in 2008. The more eyeballs that see your ad, the better, especially when I'm not billing RCA Records, a unit of SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, one penny.

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Damn, I Forgot TDK

moviesWe're almost done with October and I just realized I totally forgot to see The Dark Knight. How the hell does that happen?

I purposely avoided it during its first few weeks of release, because I didn't want to deal with the crowds, but I never meant to miss it completely. It was really the only summer release on my "must see" list. Just about every person I know who's seen it has loved it, so it's as safe a bet as there is.

I just checked and it's still playing at three theatres in the GTA. It's still in hot pursuit of the Titanic record for all-time gross. Maybe it's not too late...

Me and the Batmobile

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Maple Leafs 3, Senators 2

LeafsMy brother yesterday told me he's happy when the Leafs lose, because we're supposed to be losing at this point in the building process. I'm sorry, but I can't do that. I really, really wanted to beat the Sens Saturday night. When Poni scored our 3rd goal, you could have heard my yell in Scarborough.

I've seen this terrible team play eight games, and now I'm questioning all my doom-n-gloom predictions. Ron Wilson has this team playing way over their heads. They're fast, they're playing for ice time and they're earning points. The Maple Leafs have won two straight and earned points in five of six games.

For better or worse, this season is already more fun than last season. We might just have to accept the possibility of a playoff race.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
3-2-3
9 points
Tied for 3rd in Northeast Division
3-2 Win vs. Ottawa
4-2 Win vs. Boston
3-2 SOL vs. Anaheim
N. Antropov - 7
A. Ponikarovsky - 6
M. Van Ryn - 5

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Chinese Democracy Underwhelms

cdI had to have Use Your Illusion I and II on the first day of its release. That was back in 1991 and I was a big time GNR fan. If you were there you knew there was no bigger rock band on the planet than Guns N' Roses.

We didn't know it at the time, but Use Your Illusion I and II would end up being the final studio albums from this band for almost two decades. I remember the debates I'd have with my friends as to which one was better, I or II. Both were great, but I was a little partial to II.

17 years later, Axl Rose is threatening to actually release Chinese Democracy. It must be happening after years of psych outs and teases because radio is playing the first single, also titled "Chinese Democracy".

17 years after Use Your Illusion, this Gunners fan is underwhelmed by "Chinese Democracy". Maybe it will grow on me, the way the new Metallica single did, but I doubt it. It's okay, but after 17 years I was hoping for better than okay.

Wake me when Axl and Slash kiss and make up in a few years for a cash grab reunion tour.

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Opie and Richie for Obama

HumourI'm just catching up on the viral video hits from this past week, so I only just now saw Ron Howard's Obama promo on funny or die.

It's great fun, even if you're not an Obama supporter. I was a little young for The Andy Griffith Show, but I loved Happy Days as a kid, and man it feels good to hear from The Fonz again.

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The Extras' Circular Impression at Harveys

musicI went to Harveys for lunch yesterday, and I couldn't believe the song they played in-store. It was The Extras with their novelty 80s hit "Circular Impression." It was kind of surreal to hear it at a Harveys. I mean, it is all about a condom and it does start with the lyric "I've got a rubber in my wallet".

If you're feeling nostalgic and want to hear that song (by my request) along with Dan Duran, Humble and Fred, click over and listen to the 2007 Valentine's Day Podcast of Love.

To date, that's the last time Humble and Fred broadcast together. Soon I'll start working on changing that little fact.

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The Best Busy Songs

The Number FiveMy favourite songs with "busy" in the title

  1. Born to Get Busy - Cypress Hill
  2. Too Busy Thinking About My Baby - Marvin Gaye
  3. Busy Bodies - Elvis Costello
  4. Get Busy - Mr. Lee
  5. Get Busy - Sean Paul

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Big Daddy vs. Dolemite

rewindYou may have heard that Dolemite passed away earlier in the week. It was actually Rudy Ray Moore who passed away, but he was Dolemite, his 1970s blaxploitation persona.

I didn't know about Dolemite until Big Daddy Kane introduced me to him in 1990. I was a big Big Daddy Kane fan, and that meant picking up his Taste of Chocolate disc, which included "Big Daddy vs. Dolemite". It was foul, it was politically incorrect and it was great. To this day I still use some of the lines Dolemite dropped, especially "I was through with it before you knew what to do with it."

This is most definitely NSFW, but still a guilty pleasure.

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Maple Leafs 4, Bruins 2

LeafsThis team reminds me of those little dogs who don't realize they're little dogs and pick fights with much bigger dogs. Down 2-0, I didn't think we had it in us to rally back in Boston, but lo and behold, that's exactly what we did. That's the second game in a row we came back from a 2-0 deficit.

In the "strange facts" category we have a pretty cool submission. If you include the end of the Ducks game and the start of this one, the Leafs went 37:20 without allowing a shot on net. That's our Stanley Cup, my friends.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
2-2-3
7 points
Tied for 3rd in Northeast Division
4-2 Win vs. Boston
3-2 SOL vs. Anaheim
4-1 Loss vs. Pittsburgh
N. Antropov - 6
A. Ponikarovsky - 5
M. Van Ryn - 4

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Seeing Things This Halloween

memoryYouTube user Retrontario frequently uploads fantastic retro-Toronto-centric gems. These clips never fail to bring back a ton of memories for me, so I feature them from time to time.

Back in 1983, there was only one way to celebrate Halloween. You stayed home and watched Seeing Things on CBC.

Seeing Things aired on CBC Television from 1981 to 1987 and starred Louis Del Grande as Louis Ciccone, a newspaper journalist who solves murders with the help of his ability to see postcognitive visions. Del Grande had a pretty good career going, having written for King of Kensington before writing and starring in Seeing Things. Then, he just disappeared.

Now that's scary.

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CASBY 2008 Recap

MusicThe Kool Haus provided an intimate setting where I could get super close to the acts without fearing for my life. This is a good thing as I'm no longer the young man I once was. In fact, it's fair to say on this night I was one of the few people over the age of 30.

The set-up was great, with two stages going so there was minimal wait. It was one band after another with a few awards handed out and some video montages from the Edge personalities, most of whom hit the stage at one point or another. And yes, there was an appearance by Strombo.

I saw seven bands, and here's a bit about each performance.

Die Mannequin

Die Mannequin got to play their big radio hit and then their next radio hit and they did so while mired by technical problems. As the ballsy lead singer chick said, "help us out here, we're string-less". I know it was only two songs, but it was a fun two songs.

USS

I really like these guys. I'm a sucker for the wheels of steel in rock, or the 1's and 2's as I've been told the kids now call them. They cleaned up tonight, winning a couple of awards. Here's a little USS I stole with my dusty old Olympus.

Tokyo Police Club

I dig these guys, too. They actually played three songs, including their smash hit from last year. I grabbed a little video of that.

Neverending White Lights

This guy reminds me way too much of George Michael. I don't know if it's the beard or the hair or the earrings or the voice or all of the above. Without their guest vocalists, this ensemble does nothing for me.

Bedouin Soundclash

I was hard on these guys when they first hit a couple of years ago, but I'm starting to think I had them all wrong. I mean, what's not to like? They played three big radio hits and had me singing along. Here's a little BS for ya.

City and Colour

Yes, I spin the two City and Colour albums constantly. Yes, they are rather melancholy and slow, but I think they're sweet. Here's Dallas Green singing my favourite song from 2008, sans Gord.

Sloan

Sloan are now grandfathers of new Canadian rock. They actually got to perform four songs, and closed with Money city Maniacs, a true Cancon classic. Unfortunately, the battery died on my digicam.

It was a great night of music.

Tokyo Police Club

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Will I See Some Star Trek Porno?

QuestionI'm going to make my way over to the Kool Haus soon. I'll be checking out the 2008 CASBY Awards.

One of the bands performing, USS, impressed me when I saw them at Edgefest. I wonder if we'll hear Porno Star Trek tonight?

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TSN2 and the Raptors

TV25 regular season Raptors games are going to be televised on TSN2. There's only one problem with that. If your cable provider is Rogers, as mine is, you can't get TSN2.

This is a great deal worse than throwing the games on RaptorsTV, because at least a Raptors fan can get RaptorsTV. The only way to get these 25 Raptor games is to change service providers to Bell or one of several regional companies, including Cogeco.

Rogers and TSN, let's make a deal.

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Consciousness Raising As a Social Tool - TPOH

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 Pursuit of Happiness - Consciousness Raising As a Social Tool
When I threw down my ten favourite Canadian albums, The Pursuit of Happiness' Love Junk was #4. One tune on that album, "I'm An Adult Now", was one of my Ten Canadian Tracks. Here's another song from that album, "Consciousness Raising As a Social Tool".

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Maple Leafs 2, Ducks 3

LeafsIf you exclude the two Saturday night games, this team has been competitive. In fact, outside of Saturday night, we've either won in regulation or lost in a shootout. Clearly this team takes weekends off with the rest of us.

We almost won this thing in regulation, and in the shootout, Ron Wilson went with Cujo. I swear, the other day I was thinking we should try just that. Tosky isn't a very good shootout goaltender and it seems our inability to get that extra point kills us year after year.

What's the season record for most shootout appearances by a team? I think we're gunning for it.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
1-2-3
5 points
5th in Northeast Division
3-2 SOL vs. Anaheim
4-1 Loss vs. Pittsburgh
1-0 SOL vs. New York Rangers
N. Antropov - 5
A. Ponikarovsky - 4
J. Blake- 3

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Time to Kill the Blog?

GunWired magazine says the blog is very 2004. They say Twitter, Flickr and Facebook are the new homes for witty prose. They're suggesting I kill this blog.

The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It's almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.

When blogging was young, enthusiasts rode high, with posts quickly skyrocketing to the top of Google's search results for any given topic, fueled by generous links from fellow bloggers. In 2002, a search for "Mark" ranked Web developer Mark Pilgrim above author Mark Twain. That phenomenon was part of what made blogging so exciting. No more. Today, a search for, say, Barack Obama's latest speech will deliver a Wikipedia page, a Fox News article, and a few entries from professionally run sites like Politico.com. The odds of your clever entry appearing high on the list? Basically zero.

That said, your blog will still draw the Net's lowest form of life: The insult commenter. Pour your heart out in a post, and some anonymous troll named r0rschach or foohack is sure to scribble beneath it, "Lame. Why don't you just suck McCain's ass."

I laughed out lout at that last point because it's so damn true.

Wired names high profile bloggers who have retired and claims the personal blog is essentially dead. I've been doing this, whatever this is, for almost six years. I swear the minute it feels like work and isn't fun, I'm done.

In the meantime, I'm going to party like it's 2004.

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Even the Red-Headed Step-Child Can Be Loved

NHLThe big hockey story around here today is the leak to the Globe and Mail that some NHL governors would like to see a second NHL team in Toronto. Of course, Research in Motion CEO Jim Balsillie's name is getting tossed into the mix and there's chatter about moving a flailing franchise to Southern Ontario, a road we've been down before.

I think a second franchise in this market would thrive. There are more puck heads here than any other pocket of the Earth. Hell, we could probably support a couple more teams. The new team in this market would, however, be our red-headed step-child.

By that I mean the Leafs would always be glorified and beloved on a plateau the new team would never reach. There's too much history with the Leafs, too many of us have grown up enamoured by those uniforms and loyal to a fault. The new team would be loved, but the Leafs would be the local darlings.

That's not so bad. Even a red-headed step-child can be loved.

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Randy Newman Flashback Evokes Catalogue Dive

cdThe other day I had this memory surface quite randomly. I was about my son's age, maybe six or seven, and I was in the basement of my grandparents' house in Midland, Ontario.

In this memory I can see the billiards table, the brownish-orange shag carpeting, and in the corner, this great old turntable with dozens of records. I'm leafing through the records and along with The Irish Rovers and several artists I wasn't familiar with, there are many albums by Randy Newman.

This memory sort of sprung up and bit me out of nowhere, so I secured myself Randy Newman's entire catalogue of music and dove in. I've been listening to Randy quite a bit these past few days, and I'm loving it. I dig his style, his lyrics, the way he tells a story in song and the tone of his voice. Sure, I knew a little Randy Newman before, but I never appreciated his talent until now.

My grandfather, as it turned out, was a big Randy Newman fan. I was pretty young when my grandpa passed away, and I haven't really thought about him in over a decade, but suddenly we have this link.

Music's kinda neat that way.

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Rudy Ray Moore, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumRudy Ray Moore was 81. He was the self-proclaimed "Godfather of Rap" who influenced generations of rappers and comedians with his rhyming style, braggadocio and profanity-laced routines.

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The Phillies Return 15 Years Later

BaseballDo you remember what happened 15 years ago this week? Here's a clue. Joe Carter came to the plate in the ninth inning of game six of the World Series. My Toronto Blue Jays led the series 3 games to 2, but trailed in the game 6-5. With Mitch Williams on the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies and Ricky Henderson and Paul Molitor on base, Joe hit a 2-2 pitch over the left field wall at SkyDome to give the Blue Jays their second World Series in a row.

Philadelphia is competing in this year's World Series. They've returned 15 years later and we've yet to play another playoff game. It doesn't quite seem fair, but I'm rooting for them this time. I'm rooting for them because of two people.

Pat Gillick

Gillick is general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, a post he held here in Toronto from 1978 through 1994. He built our Jays from nothing to a franchise that won five division titles and two World Series titles. We haven't made the playoffs since he left and now he's got the Phillies on the brink. I'd love to have him back.

Matt Stairs

Stairs isn't just a Canadian and a former Jay, he's a class act. And when he went deep on October 13 to lead the Phillies to victory, he became the oldest player to hit a pinch homerun in the post-season.

I'd love to see the 40-year old from Saint John, New Brunswick win it all with his 11th team. It's just a shame he couldn't win it with his 10th team.

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Dee Dee Warwick, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumDee Dee Warwick was 63. She was a soul singer who won recognition for both her solo work and her performances with her older sister Dionne Warwick.

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Mr. Blackwell, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumMr. Blackwell was 86. He was the acerbic designer whose annual worst-dressed list skewered the fashion felonies of celebrities from Zsa Zsa Gabor to Britney Spears.

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Is There Something Wrong With Being A Muslim?

questionmarkRetired General Colin Powell appeared on Meet the Press this morning and explained eloquently why he's endorsing Barack Obama for President of the United States of America.

As I listened to Powell speak, he said many things I agreed with, but one thing in particular struck me as it hasn't been said enough during this campaign. It was regarding the incorrect assertion that Obama is Muslim, and the inference that one must be Christian to be President. Here's the transcript.

I'm also troubled by, not what Senator McCain says, but what members of the party say. And it is permitted to be said such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer's no, that's not America. Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be president? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion, "He's a Muslim and he might be associated terrorists." This is not the way we should be doing it in America...

As remarkable as it is that we're mere days away from having a black man elected President of the USA, I suspect it will be even harder for a non-Christian man or woman to reach that pinnacle. And a Muslim man or woman as President? I doubt we'll ever see the day. To many an American, the labels "muslim" and "terrorist" are synonyms.

Religious affiliations shouldn't matter, but they most certainly do. Muslims need not apply.

Here's Colin Powell making a great deal of sense this morning.

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Man Up! Canada

TVI spent the afternoon watching the taping of Man Up! Canada, a new reality-style game show for guys. It's hosted by Humble Howard Glassman and will eventually air on SUN TV and MenTV.

My brother and I were there for about 2.5 hours watching it all come together and appearing in several audience shots. There was a competition where the guys catch goldfish in a pool, slice open a different fish and eat yet another fish without using their hands. That sucker was called Survivor Etobicoke.

The next bit involved some trivia and a dunk tank and the final bit was called Pudding Licker. That's all I'm at liberty to say about that one.

It was fun and I met some neat peeps. Will Man Up! Canada be the next Amazing Race? Only time will tell.

Here are pix from the photoset.

PA198125 PA198113 PA198101 PA198098

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Maple Leafs 1, Penguins 4

LeafsSidney Crosby's timing is impeccable. He managed to score his 100th NHL goal, 200th assist and 300th career points against us last night. His planning is meticulous, but of course, when you nail down that 100th goal and 200th assist, it's almost impossible not to secure that 300th point.

Yesterday I gave the "cup half full" crowd their positives, so now it's a reality check for the realists amongst us.

  • The Leafs have lost four games in a row
  • The Leafs have only scored nine goals all season
  • The Leafs have not been competitive during a Hockey Night in Canada telecast with that new theme song
  • Despite a surprise opening night victory in Detroit, it is as bad as I thought it would be

It's going to be a long season, folks.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
1-2-2
4 points
5th in Northeast Division
4-1 Loss vs. Pittsburgh
1-0 SOL vs. New York Rangers
5-4 SOL vs. St. Louis
N. Antropov - 3
J. Blake- 3
A. Ponikarovsky - 2

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CASBY Awards 2008 Bound

ticketsThanks to Jason Barr, I'm going to the CASBY Awards 2008 at the Kool Haus on Wednesday night. A sweet selection of Canadian bands will be performing, including City and Colour, Tokyo Police Club, USS, Neverending White Lights and Sloan.

I know a lot of old CFNY fans read this blog, and they'll remember back in the day when the CASBY Awards were known as the U-Knows. They were the U-Knows from 1981 until 1986 when they were re-branded the CASBY Awards after a listener contest. CASBY stands for Canadian Artists Selected By You.

In a sad coincidence, the very first U-Knows award for Canadian Album of the Year went to Teenage Head for Frantic City. Teenage Head also won Group of the Year. Lead singer of Teenage Head, Frankie Venom, passed away earlier in the week. Hopefully there's some kind of tribute to him on Wednesday night.

I'll let you all know Thursday.

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How to Kick Ass on Apple Day

appleToday is Apple Day. If you have a son in Beavers, Cubs, Scouts or any other sect of Scouts Canada, you know what Apple Day is. Heck, if you yourself were ever a Beaver, Cub or Scout, of if you've been asked to donate to Scouts Canada by some young boy wearing a uniform, you know what Apple Day is.

As the father of a Beaver, and a former Beaver, I understand it's my job to ensure my son sucks as many coins out of your pockets as possible on this day. We just completed our shift at the local Loblaws, and we killed. Here are the secrets to our success.

Give the Basket a Little Flash

Beavers are supposed to decorate their baskets that will hold the apples you're buying. Just prior to going out, I like to grab the roll of tin foil and slap it on our basket, giving it a nice shine. This literally takes seconds and requires absolutely no artistic ability. And trust me, it attracts the big fish.

The Younger and Cuter, the Better

The younger and cuter the Beaver, the better he'll do on Apple Day. The moms and grandmas out there can't resist a youngin' begging for change. If your six year old looks more like a gangly pre-teen as mine does, see the point below.

Look Helpless

Teach your Beaver to look sweet and innocent and just a little helpless. Bat those eyes! Slip in a little baby talk! Look as young as you can!

Seek Traffic

When filling those tins with loonies and toonies, all of the above won't help if you don't have traffic. The more people you pitch too, the better you'll do. The entrance of a popular grocery store on a Saturday is ideal, and remember, you'll do better with those exiting the store than you'll do with those entering. In fact, if you've found a particularly busy place, make sure more than one Beaver is at the post. Many will want to donate to both for fear of hurting ones feelings.

The double dip is a the holy grail of Apple Day.

aluminum_foil

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Maple Leafs 0, Rangers 1

LeafsI don't remember enjoying a 0-0 game quite as much as I enjoyed this one. That third period, when the Rangers kept coming and coming and Tosky shut the door with a little help from the posts, was super fun. We were out-shot 13-4 in that third period.

It's safe to say we stole this point in New York. If you're a "cup half full" kind of guy or gal, look at all the positives:

  • The Leafs have secured a point in 3 of 4 games this season
  • The Leafs have not lost in regulation on the road
  • We finally have a guy (Kules) who can consistently score in the shootout

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
1-1-2
4 points
4th in Northeast Division
1-0 SOL vs. New York Rangers
5-4 SOL vs. St. Louis
6-1 Loss vs. Montreal
N. Kulemin - 2
A. Ponikarovsky- 2
J. Blake - 2

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One Show Makes Me Laugh, The Other Makes Me Cringe

TelevisionLast night, I watched the third episodes of a couple of shows that air here on The Movie Network. I watch them On Demand, which I find awfully convenient, and one is three-for-three in terms of making me laugh while the other is three-for-three in terms of making me cringe.

The Life & Times of Tim

This is a new animated HBO show and it's pretty damn funny. If you get TMN, you've got to give this one a shot.

Basically, this Tim guy keeps finding him self in awkward situations, and the tone is perfect. Here's a taste.

Californication

I'm not sure why I watch this show as I hate it. Heck, I hated it last season. I think I watch it because of the aforementioned convenience and because my wife likes it and is willing to listen to be complain about how cringe-inducing it is.

I watch and I cringe. I average about 20 cringes an episode, and they're only 30-minutes each. It's embarrassing really, but I seem to return week after week.

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Levi Stubbs, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumLevi Stubbs was 72. His distinctive, rough-hewn voice and pleading vocal style elevated the Four Tops' soul classics to masterpieces.

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The Best Velvet Underground Songs

The Number FiveMy favourite songs from the Velvet Underground

  1. Heroin
  2. Here She Comes Now
  3. I'm Waiting for the Man
  4. Rock and Roll
  5. White Light / White Heat

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Zing! Obama Roasts McCain

microphoneI can do a pretty good roast, but so can Obama. Here he is roasting John McCain. If you don't want to watch the video below, I'll throw down the transcript after the YouTubery.

Thank you.Thank you so much.Thank you so much.I thank you to Al and to Ann, to Your Eminence, to Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg, to Senator and Mrs. McCain, to my wonderful colleagues, Senators Clinton and Schumer, to all the distinguished guests. There is no other crowd in America that I'd rather be palling around with right now. I'm sorry he couldn't be here. I do send regards to my running mate, Joe Biden, or as Senator McCain noted, he now actually likes to be called Joe the Senator. I was thrilled to get this invitation and I feel right at home here because it's often been said that I share the politics of Alfred E. Smith and the ears of Alfred E. Neumann.But I have to say tonight's venue isn't really what I'm used to. I was originally told we'd be able to move this outdoors to Yankee Stadium, and -- can somebody tell me what happened to the Greek Columns that I requested? I do love the Waldorf-Astoria, though. You know, I hear that from the doorstep you can see all the way to the Russian tea room. It is an honor to be here with Al Smith. I obviously never knew your great grandfather, but from everything that Senator McCain has told me, the two of them had a great time together before Prohibition. So -- wonderful stories. The mayor of this great city, Michael Bloomberg, is here. The mayor recently announced some news -- made some news by announcing he's going to be rewriting the rules and running for a third term, which caused Bill Clinton to say, you can do that? The president's better half, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, is here. Glad to see you made it, Hillary. I'm glad to see that you made it because I heard Chuck Schumer actually tried to tell you that we really did move this event to Yankee Stadium. But I'll tell you all from personal experience, Hillary Clinton is one of the toughest and most formidable presidential candidates in history. She's broken barriers. She's inspired millions. She is the -- she is the primary reason I have all this gray in my hair now. I am also glad to see that Senator Schumer is here, and I see that he's brought some of his loved ones. Those would be the folks with the cameras and the notebooks in the back of the room. Of course, I am especially honored to be here tonight with my distinguished opponent, Senator John McCain. I think it is a tribute to American democracy that with two weeks left in a hard-fought election, the two of us could come together and sit down at the same dinner table without preconditions. Recently, one of John's top advisers told the "Daily News" that if we keep talking about the economy, McCain's going to lose. So, tonight I'd like to talk about the economy. Given all that's happened these past few weeks on Wall Street, it feels like an odd time to be dressed up in white tie, but I must say I got a great deal, rented the whole outfit from the treasury department at a very good price. Looking around tonight at all the gourmet food and champagne, it's clear that no expenses were spared. It's like an executive sale meeting at AIG. But I don't need to tell any of you that it's been a scary time on the stock market, with people losing their investments, their entire fortunes. It's gotten so bad Bloomberg now has to take the subway. And while the collapse of the housing market's been tough on every single home owner, I think we all need to recognize that this crisis has been eight times harder on John McCain. You know, we've been debating a lot these economic issues over the course of the campaign, but lately things have been getting a bit tougher. In the last few weeks, John's been out on the campaign trail and asked the question, who is Barack Obama? I have to admit I was a little surprised by this question. The answer is right there on my Facebook page. But, look, I don't want to be coy about this. We're a couple weeks from an important election. Americans have a big choice to make, and if anybody feels like they don't know me by now, let me try to give you some answers. Who is Barack Obama? Contrary to the rumors you have heard, I was not born in a manger. I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father Jorel to save the Planet Earth. Many of you -- many of you know that I got my name, Barack, from my father. What you may not know is Barack is actually Swahili for that one. And I got my middle name from somebody who obviously didn't think I'd ever run for president. If I had to name my greatest strength, I guess it would be my humility. Greatest weakness, it's possible that I'm a little too awesome. One other thing, I have never, not once, put lipstick on a pig or a pit bull or myself. Rudy Giuliani, that's one for you. I mean, who would have thought that a cross-dressing mayor from New York City would have a tough time running the Republican nomination? It's shocking. That was a tough primary you had there, John. Anyway. Anyway, that's who I really am. But in the spirit of full disclosure, there are a few October surprises you'll be finding out about in the coming weeks. First of all, my middle name is not what you think. It's actually Steve. That's right. Barack Steve Obama. Here's another revelation, John McCain is on to something. There was a point in my life when I started palling around with a pretty ugly crowd. I've got to be honest, these guys were serious dead beats. They were low lifes, unrepentant, no-good punks. That's right. I've been a member of the United States Senate. Come to think of it, John, I swear I saw you at one of our meetings. But I know Senator McCain agrees that some of the rumors out there are getting a bit crazy. I mean, Rupert the other day, Fox News actually accused me of fathering two African-American children in wedlock. By the way, John, I'm just curious, is Fox News included in the media? Because I'm always hearing about this love, just curious. Then at one of these campaign rallies, someone in the crowd started yelling, No-Bama, announcing to everyone in the room that I shouldn't be the Democratic nominee because there were far more qualified candidates. I really wish Joe Biden hadn't done that. But at least we've moved past the days when the main criticism coming from the McCain campaign was that I'm some celebrity. I have to admit that really hurt. I got so angry about it I punched the paparazzi in the face on my way out of Spago's. I'm serious. I even spilled my Soy Chai Latte all over my shih tzu. It was really embarrassing. But in all seriousness, I'm so glad that I could make it tonight, and I'm honored to be among such wonderful public servants. I want to especially say a word of thanks to Senator McCain. We are in the midst of a tough battle right now, and American politics at the presidential level is always tough. But I've said before, and I think it bears repeating, that there are very few of us who have served this country with the same dedication and honor and distinction as Senator McCain. And I'm glad to be sharing this space with him tonight, as I am during the course of this nomination. And before I close, I'd like to recognize one such servant who is not with us tonight, but who was mentioned earlier, and that's our good friend, Tim Russert. I know that Luke and Maureen are here. And I know Tim enjoyed these dinners very much. And I also know how much he would have enjoyed covering this election. And I know that John and I would have been quaking in our boots preparing for our appearances on "Meet the Press." And his absence is not just a personal loss for so many who knew him and loved him, but a profound loss for the country, and we continue to miss him very much. You know, the fact that each October, in the closing weeks of a hard-fought campaign, people of all political persuasions can come to this dinner and share a meal and honor the work of this foundation underscores the reality that no matter what differences or divisions or arguments we're having right now, we ultimately belong to something bigger and more lasting than a political party. We belong to a community. We share a country. We are all children of God. And in this country, there are millions of fellow citizens, our brothers and sisters, who need us very much, especially now. We are being battered by a very serious economic storm, and for many Americans it's only deepened the quiet storms they've been struggling through for years. Beyond the walls of this hotel, on the streets of one of the greatest cities in the wealthiest nation on earth, there are men and women and children who have fallen on hard times and hard luck, who can't find work, or even a job that pays enough to keep a roof over their heads. Some are hanging on just by a thread. Scripture says God creates us for works of service. We are blessed to have so many organizations like this one and the Catholic Diocese that perform these acts of God every day. But each of us also has that responsibility. Each of us has that obligation, especially now. No matter who we are or what we do, what I believe each of us in this room asks for and hopes for and prays for enough strength and wisdom to do good and to seek justice and play our small part in building a more hopeful and compassionate worlds for the generations that will follow. Before Al Smith was a candidate who made history, he was a man who made a difference, a man who fought for many years to give Americans nothing more than a fair shake and a chance to succeed. And he touched the lives of hundreds of thousands -- of millions as a result. Simply put, he helped people. That's a distinction we can all aspire to, that we can all achieve, young or old, rich or poor, Democrat or Republican or independent. And I have no doubt that if we come together at this moment of crisis with this goal in mind, America will meet this challenge and weather this storm, and, in the words of Al Smith, "walk once more in eternal sunshine." Thank you so much, everybody. God bless you.

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Frankie Venom, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumFrank "Frankie Venom" Kerr was 51. He was the lead singer of the Hamilton-based punk rock pioneers Teenage Head.

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Flickr Guide: How to Do Everything with Flickr

LinkFlickr Guide: How to Do Everything with Flickr - If you love Flickr like I do, you'll want to check out this list of all the things you can do with Flickr.

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Fred Embraces Canna Lilly

megaphoneIn what can only be described as a virtual online battle royale, I'm declaring victory. Freddie P fired the first shot and I opened a can of whoop ass on the grumpy old man late last night. Today, Fred has conceded.

Check out Toronto Mike's website today. He responds to my postng from yesterday - Toronto Mike Is Happy.

Very eloquent, extremely fair and to be honest, inspirational. From now on I'm going to be a far nicer and more understanding Freddie P.

I'll attempt to drop the grumpy old man image and behave like most others in the country. I'll pretend I can't read between the lines and I'll bend over and freely take it where the sun don't shine.

Tomorrow I'm going to write about some canna lilies my wife and I plan to transplant.

This is a proud moment for me. A bitter old man has seen the light and is embracing something as naturally beautiful as the canna lilly. Remember, Fred, most cannas like a sunny position, but off-white flowering varieties prefer dappled shade. They respond well to applications of well-rotted cow manure, so keep shovelling the shit.

Canna

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Head Over Heels, Literally

MusicI recently shared the literal version of A-Ha's "Take On Me". The people at Funny Or Die have released a second video in the series. This is "Head Over Heels" by Tears For Fears.... literally.

Fellow University of Toronto students and grads take note. Do you recognize the library in this video? It's Emmanuel College at Victoria University.

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Freddie P Will Never Be Happy

NotepadThis entry is a direct reply to Toronto Mike Is Happy, an entry written this evening by Fred Patterson on his blog, torontomike.com.

While I remove the gloves, here's a little background. Freddie P and I are good pals. We chatted on the phone as recently as Monday morning. We chatted about The Wolf website, Flickr, Toronto radio and, of course, our beloved Leafs. I sincerely like Freddie P and enjoy spending time with him, but this entry had to be written.

Freddie P is a grumpy old man and I doubt he'll ever be happy. He believes all sane people should share his political beliefs and values and that those who think differently are leading this country toward demise. Fred, I still haven't forgotten your Why Toronto Has No Chance entry in which you claimed I'm emblematic of what's wrong with Toronto. Today's entry, however, contains so many incorrect assumptions and errant inferences, I feel I should address it syllable by syllable.

Speaking of Toronto Mike, I love the guy. I really do. But I'm not big on his politics.

I love you too, Freddie. I really do. But I'm not big on your politics, either.

On his site today, Mike received the results of last night's election in a very peculiar way.

I wouldn't say my Why Harper Failed entry is peculiar, but from the far right I suppose everything short of canonizing King Stephen is a little peculiar.

So thrilled that Stephen Harper didn't win a majority, he displayed pleasure that the Bloc didn't fall in Quebec. How bizarre is that? The Bloc, a party whose sole purpose is to force the break-up of Canada, a party who puts Canada second, a party made up of unpatriotic, treasonous bastards.

This is the paragraph that struck a nerve with me. Firstly, I wouldn't say I was "thrilled" that Harper didn't win a majority, but I was relieved. As for me being pleased that the Bloc didn't fall in Quebec, that's simply not true. I simply relayed the fact that Harper lost a seat in Quebec and remarked that reports of the Bloc's demise were greatly exaggerated. I am not a Bloc fan in any regard. What's bizarre is that you interpreted my statement in such a skewed manner.

It's just another example of the anti-Conservative paranoia that reigns supreme in the GTA. The moniker "Toronto" Mike fits well.

Guilty as charged. Toronto is anti-Conservative, but it's not paranoia if they're really after you, is it? But more on that later....

To be honest, I've never really understood why Mike is so anti-Conservative. He's a smart young fella, but I've never really read any concrete reason why he hates Stephen Harper so much.

I've actually written in specifics on several occasions what it is about the Conservative Party of Canada that I don't like. Here's something I wrote back in January 2006.

"Stephen Harper's Conservative Party cannot win in Toronto because of how close to our hearts we cherish our socially liberal values. The mere suggestion of repealing our abortion laws or revisiting the same-sex marriage debate upsets the average 416er. Toronto, like Montreal and Vancouver, is a progressive, open-minded, accepting and sensible city that will not sacrifice these values at any cost. So long as the Conservatives can't make a dent in Canada's big cities they will never win a majority".

In a nutshell, that's my biggest issue with the Conservative Party. It's the social values they promote. That cannot be sacrificed in my Canada, at any cost.

On his blog today, Mike goes on about new leadership for the Liberals, and even mentions Justin Trudeau as some kind of hope for the future. Based on what, I don't know. It can't be connected to the record of his old man, because Pierre damaged the country a lot more than he helped it.

I never mentioned Justin Trudeau as any kind of hope, merely as a probable future leader of the Liberal Party. I sense Trudeau is merely a few years experience away from such a post and I believe the Liberals just need a bridge to Trudeau, someone like Michael Ignatieff. My primary point here is that Stephane Dion has to go. I think we can all agree on that one.

But to Toronto Mike, it doesn't matter. As long as it's not Conservative it's OK. As long as it's not Stephen Harper, everything is just grand.

Freddie my man, you're treating politics the way we treat hockey. When the Leafers are out, we both love to root for ABO: Anybody But Ottawa. With regards to our country, I don't root for anybody but Harper. I just don't root for Harper, plain and simple. That doesn't mean I want the Radical Marijuana Party running Canada.

At the end of his piece, Mike refers to Harper as a loser. But just for record, let it be known that Toronto Mike voted NDP yesterday. How did Jack do?

Freddie, how many entries have you written bashing the Toronto Star for taking things out of context to promote their agenda? After all, the gotcha media has a liberal bias. Despite your pleas for fair and balanced journalism, here you are stating that I called Harper a loser. In reality, which also has a liberal bias, I said Harper lost. Surely there's an obvious difference between saying someone lost and calling them a loser.

And yes, I did vote for my local NDP candidate. I wasn't voting for Jack Layton, I was voting for Peggy Nash. I vote for who I think would make the best MP for my riding. This time, that person happened to have orange signs. Next time, that person may have red signs or green signs.

Fred, I read your blog daily. Heck, I built your blog. I love your blog. But Fred, there's a fine line between a sceptic and a cynic. Your outlook is scornfully and often habitually negative. I fear you will never be happy.

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Remembering 1983

memoryYouTube user Retrontario frequently uploads fantastic retro-Toronto-centric gems. These clips never fail to bring back a ton of memories for me, so I feature them from time to time.

Remember 1983? I do. Here's J.D "Don't Call Me John" Roberts looking back over the Entertainment world in 1983 on CityTV.

It's quite telling how it concludes with the pertinent question at hand. Are you offline or online?


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Miles Davis - John McLaughlin

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.

Miles Davis - John McLaughlin
I remember as a kid seeing Bitches Brew in my father's record collection and being surprised an album name could have such a bad word in the title.

When I grew up I learnt Bitches Brew is one of those albums you have to have in your collection if you want to be considered cool. Almost every list of the best albums has Miles Davis' Bitches Brew in it, and for good reason. It was groundbreaking.

I'm sharing "John McLaughlin" from the 2nd of the double album. Why am I sharing "John McLaughlin" instead of "Bitches Brew" or "Pharaoh's Dance"? The answer is simple. "John McLaughlin" is the only track on the double album that's under ten minutes long.

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Why Harper Failed

canadaThe Conservative Party is still in power in this country and Stephen Harper is still our Prime Minister. That makes Harper the victor, but in a greater sense he has failed. Here's why Stephen Harper lost.

Toronto is Still Without a Conservative MP

Remember my $50 bet back in 2007?

I have a $50 bet with a friend regarding our next federal election. I say Stephen Harper's Conservative Party will be completely shut out in the 416. My friend says they'll win at least one seat in Toronto. I'm so confident they won't, I would have bet up to $500.

Once again, all of Toronto is Liberal red except for the two seats won by Jack Layton and Olivia Chow. Harper has never won a seat in Canada's largest city and he never will. You can dupe what I wrote here three years ago. In fact, the only seat that changed parties is my riding of Parkdale-High Park which was won by Liberal Gerard Kennedy last night. Harper hasn't made a dent.

Harper Failed to Win a Majority During the Perfect Storm

This was Stephen's best shot at a majority. Let's face it, the only reason he dissolved parliament in the first place was because he knew this was true. The leader of the Liberal party failed to inspire anybody, and the left was split by a strengthened NDP and Green Party. I once wrote that Dion made Harper seem like Winston Churchill by comparison, yet Harper is exactly where he was when this campaign began.

No Gains in Quebec

If Harper wants to win a majority without Toronto, he needs Quebec. The belief was the Bloc was going to lose seats and Harper would be the beneficiary. This never happened. It's as if Quebec came to the realization that the Conservative Party doesn't share their social values and respect for the arts. Harper actually lost one of his 11 Quebec seats last night, while the Liberals gained. Reports of the Bloc's demise were greatly exaggerated.

What's Next?

Stephane Dion has to go, and he will. I see someone like Michael Ignatieff assuming leadership of the party as sort of a bridge to Justin Trudeau. Trudeau has a great deal to learn and needs seasoning, and Ignatieff is ready today to improve upon the lousy 76 seats won by the Liberals. With a suitable leader, the Liberals have nowhere to go but up, and that's bad news for Harper's Conservatives.

Hundreds of millions were spent so 59% of us could give Harper another minority government. Don't be fooled by headlines stating Harper won. He lost, and he knows it.

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A House Divided in Parkdale - High Park

VoteI voted last weekend, but my wife didn't vote until this morning. I've just learnt that we're a house divided. In a too-tight-to-call fiercely competitive battle between the incumbent NDP MP Peggy Nash and the popular Liberal challenger Gerard Kennedy, we're on different sides of the fence.

The results will soon be coming in and it will be interesting to see who wins the seat. Peggy Nash has won before, and is well liked in the community, but Kennedy was a very popular MPP here for a good decade. My money is on Nash but Taryn is sure Kennedy will win.

It won't be long now. For live results starting at 10pm, check out http://www.cbc.ca/news/canadavotes/.

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1951 NHL Schaefer Player of the Week Cup

leafsPR guys send me all the Bill Barilko-related news. Here's something I just received.

I was just browsing your blog and saw that you're a fan of Bill Barilko and wanted to let you know about a special charity auction we are holding that features the authentic 1951 Player of the Week Schaefer Cup he had received prior to his disappearance. It will be auctioned off beginning October 17, 2008 at 9 p.m. EST at www.auctionwire.com.

I've been assured this charity auction will benefit Helping Cope Through Hope. For more on Bill Barilko, check out http://www.torontomike.com/billbarilko.html.

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Ringo Would Miss Out On Fab Painting

homerRingo Starr is giving fans until October 20 to send him fan mail, but after that you're S.O.L.

Here's the word from Ringo himself.

If Ringo had done this earlier, he would have missed out on that sweet painting of him by Marge Simpson. In Brush with Greatness we learn that Marge crushed on Ringo and painted several portraits of him, sending one to Ringo himself for an "honest opinion". It took Ringo a while, but he eventually responded.

Dear Marge, thanks for the fab painting of Yours Truly. I hung it on me wall. You're quite an artist. In answer to your question, yes, we do have hamburgers and fries in England. But we call French fries "chips." Love, Ringo. P.S. Forgive the lateness of my reply.

Here's Ringo excitedly opening his fan mail. My, how times have changed!

Brush_with_Greatness

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Why Don't You Vote?

VoteWhy don't you vote? That's right, I'm talking to you. Today is our federal election and you've got until 9:30 tonight to cast your ballot, yet many of you won't bother to exercise this right.

I'm sincerely curious. I love voting. People have literally died to protect our democracy. Why do you choose not to vote? Is it laziness? Is it because you're undecided?

Of course, the kind of person most likely to comment here is also the kind of person most likely to vote, so I expect just as much apathy in the comments. But, if you're Canadian and not voting in this election, I'd love to read why you've made this choice.

Why don't you vote?

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Maple Leafs 4, Blues 5

LeafsI'm not a big Ryan Hollweg fan. I'm okay with Matt Stajan being relegated to the press box, I'm just not a fan of Hollweg's undisciplined, dirty style that helped fuel the Blues' comeback this afternoon.

The Leafs blew an early 3-0 lead, eventually losing 5-4 in a shootout. Still, we've got 3 points in 3 games and that's out-pacing my prediction. Kules has a 50% shooting percentage, making him an early Hart trophy candidate.

That's right, I'm going with Kules for the young man from Magnitogorsk.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
1-1-1
3 points
Tied for 4th in Northeast Division
5-4 SOL vs. St. Louis
6-1 Loss vs. Montreal
3-2 Win vs. Detroit
N. Kulemin - 2
A. Ponikarovsky- 2
J. Blake - 2

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Thanksgivings Through the Years

thanksgivingIt's Monday, yet I'm still lounging in my Homer Simpson pyjama bottoms. It must be Thanksgiving.

I've got familial Thanksgiving responsibilities later today, but now it's time for flashbacks of Thanksgivings past. Gobble, gobble.

Hit up that last entry and go back in time to when it was 30° on Thanksgiving Day 2007. Not that I'm complaining about today's high of 25°.

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Another Raging Wedding

weddingMy super competitive slo-pitch team, Raging Storm, seems to be coupling off. A couple of months ago I witnessed my left fielder and 2nd basemen tie the knot, and yesterday I saw my center fielder and rover/3rd baseman get married. Ok, technically I missed the actual vows, but I was there for the cocktails, grub, speeches and tunage.

It was a super fun night. They even had this candy table with old school goodies like Bottle Caps, Nerds and Fun Dip. I was lucky enough to be at a table with a couple of people willing to play "Name That Rapper". I drop a rhyme from a rapper and they have to guess who recorded the original. Yes, it's as fun as it sounds.

Congrats to Michael Engell and Colleen Gauthier. I hope you don't mind that I stashed about 15 boxes of Junior Mints in my pockets before I flew the coop.

The Reception

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Don't Forget the Reality Check

CarI attended a lovely wedding in Jordan, Ontario yesterday. I had never heard of Jordan, so on Friday afternoon I hit Google after learning I was supposed to be at Cave Springs Vineyard for the wedding at 4pm.

I Googled the vineyard and found the "how to find us" page on the Cave Spring Cellars official page. Then, I copied the address and pasted it into the destination field on Google Maps. Google Maps threw down direction that would get me there in 1 hour and 11 minutes, and I printed the directions and threw them in the car.

I've highlighted the line that threw me. The locals will understand how I ended up going the wrong way. The QEW and 403 are the same highway for a stretch, and then one goes toward Niagara and the other goes toward London. The instructions clearly said to merge onto HWY-403W, so that's exactly what I did, like a good Google soldier. Of course, when I hit Brantford, home of Wayne Gretzky, my spidey senses kicked in and told me I was off course.

I missed the 4pm wedding, but I was early for the 5pm reception. Next time, I'll print the map along with the directions.

jordan

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Maple Leafs 1, Canadiens 6

LeafsLadies and gentlemen, last night we were exposed. We were exposed as the young, inexperienced, undisciplined team we are. The victory over Detroit, as we suspected, was an aberration. The egg we laid last night, as difficult as it was to watch, is more likely to become the norm this season.

Particularly disturbing last night, especially in the second period from hell, was how poorly our new defence played. When I search for the positives on this team, I first point to Toskala and then to our new faster, younger, solidified defencemen. Last night, they were all exposed, even the young Jedi, and I found myself missing Brad Marsh.

They'll be better days. At least Cujo got a shutout.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
1-1-0
2 points
Tied for 4th in Northeast Division
6-1 Loss vs. Montreal
3-2 Win vs. Detroit
D. Moore - 1
N. Kulemin - 1
P. Kubina - 1

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Alton Ellis, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumAlton Ellis was 70. He was known as the "Godfather of Rocksteady," having a string of hits in a career spanning more than 50 years, including "I'm Still In Love", "Dance Crasher" and "I'm Just A Guy."

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Into the Wild

A Movie ReelInto the Wild: 8 out of 10.

I know people who watch movies so they don't have to think. They seek mindless action movies or comedies that leave their minds minutes after the closing credits roll. That's a pretty good description of the kinds of movies I despise. I like movies that make me think, make me ponder the bigger picture and stick with me for days, weeks, months, and if I'm lucky, a lifetime.

Into the Wild is pretty lengthy. It's almost 2.5 hours but it's a thought provoking and heart wrenching journey with great acting and fantastic music by Mr. Eddie Vedder.

Remember the old coot who played Dixie Carter's boyfriend on Designing Woman. He'll make you cry in this one. Or, if you're a real tough guy like me, your eye will just moisten a little.

"Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, 'cause "the West is the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild". - Alexander Supertramp, May 1992

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All Summer Long

MusicI've always liked Kid Rock. In fact, I once took my mom to a Kid Rock concert. No other artist pulls off a hip hop track next to southern rock, right by a country-esque ballad. Kid Rock has this ability to genre-jump like no other artist.

Take "All Summer Long", for example. Last year around this time, a running buddy gave me a copy of Rock N Roll Jesus, and "All Summer Long" jumped out as the catchy pop hit of the album. It's based on Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" and it's a damn fun listen.

This past summer "All Summer Long" received plenty of airplay, from rock stations, pop stations and country stations. Hell, yesterday morning I heard it on EZ Rock, the safest of the safe MOR stations in this city. Here are stations in Toronto that have likely played "All Summer Long".

  • CHUM FM
  • EZ Rock
  • CHFI
  • Q107
  • JACK-FM
  • Virgin 999
  • 97.7 HTZ
  • Y108
  • Any other pop / rock / country station in town I can't think of right now

I'll bet my buddy Freddie P at The Wolf in Peterborough played the crap out of this song. It's been everywhere in the summer of 2008, making it the single of the summer.

Genre-bending cross-over hits like that are pretty cool. When a pot-smoking, boozing, womanizing, hip-hip artist from Detroit gets played during John Tesh's show on EZ Rock, it's something very special.

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EZ Rock Pictures

PixI mentioned I snapped some pictures when I was witnessing the organized chaos at EZ Rock this morning. You can check out the entire photoset at my Flickr account.

PA108079 PA108080 PA108067 PA108070

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The Best Films About Radio

The Number FiveMy favourite films about radio, or at least featuring radio

  1. Grosse Pointe Blank
  2. Howard Stern's Private Parts
  3. Pump up the Volume
  4. Good Morning, Vietnam
  5. Talk Radio

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Maple Leafs 3, Red Wings 2

LeafsEven though this team has been built to lose, I root for the blue and white. It's in my blood. When Nikolai Kulemin (nickname needed!) scored in the third, I cheered loudly. I wanted the W.

It's fun watching this team, because it's not the same old McCabe / Tucker / Sundin thing. It's fresh faces and youth. Last nights game was fun to watch as we surprised the best team in the NHL on the road. I don't think Wilson and the boys are aware they were built to lose.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
1-0-0
2 points
Tied for 2nd in Northeast Division
3-2 Win vs. Detroit D. Moore - 1
N. Kulemin - 1
P. Kubina - 1

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Live Blogging 97.3 EZ Rock's Morning Show

RadioI've made my way to Yonge and St. Clair. I'm sitting beside Humble, watching the action. I actually couldn't tap into this highly encrypted EZ Rock WiFi, but Humble has given me access to his PC. What a sweetie...

5:54 - They just played Johnny Nash. Apparently that happens a lot. By the way, before I forget... I heard Kid Rock on EZ Rock this morning. No foolin'...

The room is smaller than I expected. Heather and Andy are on one side of the desk and I'm on the side with Colleen, Kim and Humble. Humble is showing me the sheets of paper he has that tell him the name of the songs with the seconds before the lyrics kick in and lots of other neat info, like the year it was released, the length, etc.

6:02 - I've asked everyone the first question of the morning. I asked them what time their alarms go off in the morning. I can tell you mine went off at 4:40 and I'm exhausted. Kim's alarm goes off at 3:50, she hits the snooze button once or twice, than it goes off again at 4. Colleen's goes off at 3:45 and Humble's at 3:30. Andy, the producer, gets up at 3. He also just showed me a sweet pic of him and Kid Rock at the Kool Haus.

6:14 - 6am is a big deal around here. That's when Starbucks opens. I sure sounded like a dolt asking Heather for a double-double.

6:18 - There's definitely a little prep action while the tunes play. They discuss who will start, they divvy up the tasks and then it all goes down live. It's not too scripted, except for the "3 things to make your life better" bit they're doing right now. That's pre-written and printed on paper before them. Coffee's here!

6:24 - Colleen Rusholme just told me I look like Chris O'Donnell.

6:30 - This screen Andy has is pretty cool. The ads are queued up with a countdown clock, the songs are above also queued up, he gives the "talent" a head's up when there's one minute left then they watch the clock tick down the last ten seconds. There's a red light right above my head that tells me when to shut up.

6:33 - Colleen does the world's worst Don Cherry impersonation. Rick Hodge just walked in. Hey Ma, I just shook hands with Hodgy! They're all going debate the new CBC anthem thing. In all honesty, I haven't been following this contest as I'm still bitter about the CBC losing the rights to the anthem we all know and love. Rick hasn't heard these tunes either, so we're both getting our first listen in minutes. First, Soft Cell.

6:37 - I'm hearing these potential anthems and all I'm thinking is that they should have gone with The Hip's "Lonely End of the Rink".

6:44 - I just had a nice chat with Colleen. She's really sweet. I asked her about adjustments she had to make going from a two person show to a four person show. She was honest with me, telling me that it was tough at first. With four personalities in the room, there was lots of talk during breaks about who would pipe in when, but now that they've been together as a team for a couple of months, they're much better at anticipating who speaks when. In other words, practise makes perfect.

6:53 - I have seen the future. Coming up, Amy Sky, Train and Madonna.

6:55 - Colleen and Kim do like to sing some of these tunes. They love this Amy Sky song, "Love Pain and the Whole Damn Thing". They actually sound really good together. They're singing right now.

7:01 - Until right now, these folks hadn't seen anything I've written. Andy and Colleen just visited torontomike.com on their respective computers and they were excited to read the four comments. So comment, they're reading what you write.

I've asked everybody if they nap in the afternoons. They all do. Humble tells me that back in the Humble & Fred days he didn't nap, but he went to bed at 9. Now he stays up later to hang with his kids, and he naps every afternoon. They're prepping for the Brent Butt thing right now.

7:07 - If you haven't heard, it's going to be a sunny and warm weekend. I've been here for 90 minutes and I've heard that now about 132 times.

7:09 - Finally, Humble has told EZ Rock's listeners that this is happening. He also thrust the microphone in my face and I went on the air. I'm no Venus Flytrap... Welcome EZ Rock listeners. Enjoy your stay at torontomike.com and check out the archives to catch up on the past 6 years.

7:16 - I just asked Kim and Colleen about their most embarrassing on-air moments. Kim's happened recently when she was interviewing Jeanne Beker. She mentioned to Jeanne that she loved performing "Jerk" on stage with her at a Magna event. Jeanne had absolutely no recollection of this event.

Colleen was interviewing Jane Seymour and mentioned to Jane that she loved her in Queenie. Jane politely told Colleen that she wasn't in Queenie. Colleen replied with "yes you were!".

Humble blew up a $175,000 client. I'm going to get the details on that one later...

7:23 - They're prepping right now about who's saying what and when with regards to the "what do you have to have at Thanksgiving dinner" question. The Longos guy was just in the studio and I wanted to ask him if turkeys can fly.

7:28 - I asked Kim and Colleen about the post-show ritual. At 9 they leave our airwaves, but when does their work day end? After each show, they record promos for the next days show. Then, they prep for the next days show. Their typical day ends at any time between 10:30 and 1:00.

7:33 - Ok, you had to be here for that big slice of funny we just shared. What do you have in your sauce? The raw footage, edited before aired, was hilarious.

7:36 - Rick Hodge is back. Hear that, mom! I just asked him who is his favourite interview was. He said it's Bill "Spaceman" Lee and Weird Al Yankovic.

Humble says it's Kevin Smith, but he also loved interviewing John Cusack and John Hurt.

Colleen loved interviewing Bill Cosby and Roseanne Cash. I'd like to interview one of Cosby's sweaters.

7:41 - Driving here this morning, I heard John Tesh on EZ Rock. When I got here, I tried to hunt him down. That guy must blow outta here seconds after his show ends at 5:30!

7:45 - I just snapped some pictures I'll post later today. I had Colleen take a picture of me with Hodgy. And yes, I'll still be posting a Leafs update the morning after each game... I've just been a little busy this morning.

7:53 - I'm starting to get comfy here... I'm thinking EZ Mornings with Humble, Kim, Colleen, Rick and Toronto Mike has a nice ring to it.

I just asked Humble about what adjustments he's had to make going from a two-man booth to a four-person booth. He tells me the hardest adjustment he's had to make is getting used to working with three attractive young women.

7:57 - I just found out that Colleen and I are the same age. She and Howard both change their sleeping patterns on the weekends, and no, they don't sleep together. Colleen will sleep until 10am if possible on a Saturday or Sunday. Humble gets up between 6 and 7.

8:04 - Tesh alert! Tesh alert!

8:10 - Kim just sang a little 12 Years Old for us - that's a great tune I remember from MuchMusic back in the day. We're talking live to John Tesh right now. Humble promises to remind the EZ Rock listeners that this is happening, so stay tuned for another Toronto Mike promo.

8:14 - I've once again seen the future, and it's full of Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta, Bryan Adams, Leona Lewis and John Mayer.

8:17 - I've been hanging here, watching the action for almost three hours now, and it's a lot of fun. Everyone is sweet, they are truly having a blast, and it all just sort of comes together. As a guy who fell in love with radio watching WKRP, this is like that without the turntable and tape where walls would be if there were walls. This is just too much fun to be work.

8:20 - I've asked everyone one of the questions asked in the comments. I asked what they would change about their jobs, other than the salary. Unanimously, everyone would change the hours. In other words, hosting the morning show is awesome except for the fact it happens to take place in the morning.

8:25 - They just gave away a trip to Sea World. They actually tape the call with the winner and then play it from the tape about a minute later. I'm guessing that's in case the winner swears. Actually, Howard tells me it's to shorten it so it fits with the song and everything. Humble's Shamu impersonation is a big hit in this room.

8:29 - Humble promises the Toronto Mike promo is happening next. Colleen just did this neat gambling thing that's hard to explain. She gauged my luck with this finger trick. Yeah, you have to see it to know what I'm talking about.

Rick is back. He walks over from the CFRB broadcast room down the hall and now he's going to talk about the Jimmy Fallon "every song from the 80s can be sung to MC Hammer's U Can't Touch This". I actually posted that song on this blog earlier in the week when sharing the literal version of A-Ha's "Take On Me".

8:37 - The girls are singing along to Crowded House. I saw that this song was highlighted on Howard's song cheat sheet. It turns out the highlighting was to tell him this is the song of the day. It's a great song.

8:43 - I just dropped some Maestro Fresh Wes on these guys. Seriously, I hit 'em up with some "Let Your Backbone Slide".

I just got my 2nd promo of the show and my 2nd on-air shot. This time, I actually felt more comfortable. I'd consider a career in radio, except for the weak-ass voice and face for television and, in all honesty, I can't afford the pay cut.

8:56 - We've wrapped up here... it's been fun and the show flew by. It felt like 20 minutes...

I'll chime in with some final thoughts later, right now I'm getting booted off this PC!

11:17 - After the show I joined Humble, Kim and Colleen in another studio where they recorded promos for Tuesdays show. I also got a pic with Colleen and met Jessica Baker and Jim Richards. Jim actually recognized me from when we met almost two years ago which was pretty cool.

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I'll answer them there.

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2010: The Year We Make Contact?

leafsBack in 1984, the movie 2010 was released. It was a sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey and it was marketed with the tag line "The Year We Make Contact".

I remember watching a Leafs game in 1984 when the camera closed in on a sign a fan had brought in. This sign read "2010: The Year We Make Contact" and it had a painted picture of Rick Vaive hoisting the Stanley Cup. I remember thinking that 2010 was insanely far in the future and surely we'd win the cup before then.

We're now two years removed from 2010. There's no way this team is making contact before then. Tonight we begin our 42nd season since winning the cup. It begins at 7pm against the Red Wings on CBC. Remember kids, this year isn't about wins and losses, it's about having fun.

Which reminds me... which is the better nickname for Grabovski - The Grab or Grabs?

1967

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Tomorrow I EZ Rock

RadioTomorrow I'll wake up three hours earlier than usual and make my way to Yonge and St. Clair to sit in with the EZ Morning Show crew. I'll get there around 5:30, assume a seat beside Humble Howard, fire up the laptop, get online and live blog the show. Expect to read some inside deets, observations and answers to the questions you've submitted.

Here are questions I have so far...

  • How much of the show is scripted?
  • Can either Kim or Colleen change their voice so it's easier to tell them apart?
  • Why did Rick change teams?
  • What time does your alarm go off?
  • Do you prep for the next day's show after each show?
  • Is your work day complete at 9am?
  • Do you nap in the afternoons?
  • What adjustments (if any) did you have to make from working in a 1 or 2 person booth to now having to juggle four different personalities?
  • What was the most embarrassing live air moment that you've encountered?

No, I don't know if I'll have any on-air time. That's up to the hosts. I know this will be interesting, so check back here tomorrow morning and reload your browser every 20 minutes or so.

ezrock

Discuss "Tomorrow I EZ Rock" (0 comments so far)


McCain Should Stick To Country

musicI just learnt John McCain's campaign has been using "My Hero" from the Foo Fighters. I wrote about "My Hero" here. When the Foo Fighters learnt John McCain was using "My Hero", they issued a statement.

The saddest thing about this is that "My Hero" was written as a celebration of the common man and his extraordinary potential. To have it appropriated without our knowledge and used in a manner that perverts the original sentiment of the lyric just tarnishes the song.

The Foo join John Mellencamp, Heart and Jackson Browne as artists who had their tunes perverted by John McCain. McCain would be wise to stick to country music.

Discuss "McCain Should Stick To Country" (13 comments so far)


Hump Day Hump Songs

HumpIt's hump day, as in "over the hump, as in we're now closer to Friday than Monday. Hump Day isn't as good as Thursday, but it's way better than Tuesday.

Here are songs in my collection with "hump" in the title.

  • Hump De Bump - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe - Whale

And if I stretch the rules just a little...

  • Tubthumping - Cumbawamba
  • The Humpty Dance - Digital Underground
  • Icky Thump - The White Stripes
  • The Humpty Dumpty Love Song - Travis

Discuss "Hump Day Hump Songs" (4 comments so far)


Nirvana - Here She Comes Now (Demo, 1990)

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.

Nirvana - Here She Comes Now (Demo, 1990)
It's hard to believe "Here She Comes Now" is from the 60s. The Velvet Underground were so far ahead of their time, there's little wonder why they missed out on commercial success.

This week's MP3 is a demo version of Nirvana covering The Velvet Underground's "Here She Comes Now". Enjoy.

Discuss "Nirvana - Here She Comes Now (Demo, 1990)" (1 comment so far)


Take On Me Virtual Whirlwind Tour Of My Mind

VideosA couple of years ago, I started sharing great videos from the glory days of MuchMusic. I started the series off with "Take On Me" by A-Ha, the definitive 'great video' from the 1980s.

I just watched a hilarious literal version of the "Take On Me" video. If you remember the 80s, you'll love this.

And of course, I can't watch A-Ha's "Take On Me" video without thinking about one of my favourite Family Guy scenes.

And now that A-Ha's "Take On Me" is totally stuck in my head, I'm thinking about a funny bit by Jimmy Fallon called "Hammertime". It's a bunch of great 80s songs, including "Take On Me", sung to MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This".


Discuss "Take On Me Virtual Whirlwind Tour Of My Mind" (1 comment so far)


No Laugh Track, Please

Laugh TracksI'm busier than a one-toothed man in a corn-on-the-cob eating contest. Too busy to produce some wonderful fresh original content for you, here's something I wrote four years ago today.

I've been pretty busy this week, so I only got around to reading this week's Starweek television guide this afternoon. There was an article about the second season of Corner Gas and it referred to the fact this sitcom has no laugh track. The writer found it difficult to get used to this and claims it took him a few episodes before he got over the emptiness.

I have the opposite problem. I dislike hearing a laugh track in my television comedy. When it comes to comedies on television, there's only one with a laugh track that I truly found funny and that's Seinfeld. "The Simpsons", "The Larry Sanders Show", "The Kids in the Hall", "The Family Guy", "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Arrested Development" are all shows I've found hilarious over the years and not one of them employs a laugh track.

Laugh tracks come across as both corny and phony. Are we as an audience so inept that we can't be trusted to know when to laugh? Have you ever noticed how the laugh track finds absolutely everything said to be absolutely hilarious? Heck, all Raymond has to do is say hello to that prissy wife of his and the crowd erupts in laughter as if Groucho Marx just presented his A material.

No laugh tracks for me, thanks. I often regret that a great comedy like Seinfeld felt one was necessary. Truly funny programs don't require one.

I still feel this way. The best comedies don't have a laugh track. You can add "Flight of the Conchords", "The Life & Times of Tim" and "The Office" to that impressive list above. No laugh track, please. I'll know when to laugh.

Discuss "No Laugh Track, Please" (1 comment so far)


Bad News I Like

exclamationmarkGood news and bad news... Ever notice how they seem to come coupled together?

Here's a true exchange that happened this week.

Pal: I've got good news and bad news...
Me: Yesssss.....
Pal: I'm having difficulty scoring those Sound of Music tix for your ladies.
but.....
Me: Yesssss.....
Pal: I can give you 4th row tix to see the Leafs and Habs at the ACC on a Saturday night in November.

He shoots, he scores!

Discuss "Bad News I Like" (7 comments so far)


CFTR 680AM Commercial Free Sundays

memoryYouTube user Retrontario frequently uploads fantastic retro-Toronto-centric gems. These clips never fail to bring back a ton of memories for me, so I feature them from time to time.

I remember this ad for CFTR 680AM's Commercial Free Sundays well. That was my radio station back in 1984.

Specifically, I enjoyed waking up to Tom Rivers on 'TR. Here's some great footage of Tom Rivers and the Rivers Air Force.

And speaking of morning radio in Toronto, I once documented my morning radio history. In that light, it's kinda neat that I'm sitting in on an honest to goodness real Toronto radio show this Friday morning. But more on that later.


Discuss "CFTR 680AM Commercial Free Sundays" (0 comments so far)


Monday Shuffle

iTunesSometimes, on a Monday, I shuffle my entire MP3 collection in iTunes and list the first ten songs that played. Here are the ten tunes I heard today with a personal story about one of them.

  1. Babe I'm Gonna Leave You - Led Zeppelin
  2. Jay's Rap - Jay and Silent Bob
  3. What If I Do - Foo Fighters
  4. Save Me - Aimee Mann
  5. Lemon - U2
  6. Deadbeat Holiday - Green Day
  7. Merry Christmas Baby - Bruce Springsteen
  8. Groupie - Snoop Doggy Dogg
  9. Lord Only Knows - Beck
  10. El Manana - Gorillaz

Aimee Mann's "Save Me" plays at the end of Magnolia, an exceptional film from Paul Thomas Anderson. "Save Me" is good, but Aimee Mann's "Wise Up" drives a great sequence in which the characters sing the song in unison. It's chilling.

People love to hate on Tom Cruise, but I've always liked the guy as an actor and I think his performance in Magnolia was most definitely Oscar-worthy. If you haven't seen it, it's not too late.

And I see Bruce Springsteen's "Merry Christmas Baby" showed up... I have an iTunes question for you smart people. Can I shuffle my entire collection while excluding a playlist? I want to make a playlist of all my holiday music and suppress those songs from playing when I shuffle the entire library. How do I do that?

Discuss "Monday Shuffle" (4 comments so far)


Maple Leafs to Watch in 2008/2009

LeafsOur Maple Leafs finished the pre-season 2-5-2, pretty much the winning percentage I've predicted for this team.

With a few days before Thursday's season debut, it's time to focus on the positive. I caught a few of the pre-season games and most of the highlights, and here are my thoughts.

Mikhail Grabovsky - It looks like The Grab will score most of Mats' old share of goals. It's been fun watching The Grab, especially with The Hagman on his wing.

Niklas Hagman - The Hagman has been my favourite winger, feeding The Grab. These two on the top line might be our best chance for a little offensive spark. Yes, it's that bad.

Luke Schenn - Our very own Scott Stevens was a pleasure to watch. He's earned a spot in the top four to start the season and is a bona fide future star. Use the force, Luke. Use the force.

The Rest of the Good - I'd like to see more of Ian White as a forward, The Finger looked solid in the one game I saw him play, the defence as a whole shouldn't be any worse than it was the past few seasons and I'm digging what Ron Wilson is saying. Oh yeah, and Tosky might be Turk Broda.

A Bit of the Bad - Mark Bell better not make this team, Cujo looks super shaky, when The Grab is your best forward, it's going to be a looooooooong season.

I can't wait for Thursday.

Discuss "Maple Leafs to Watch in 2008/2009" (8 comments so far)


Michael Clayton

A Movie ReelMichael Clayton: 8 out of 10.

This is a smart, well acted film that I thoroughly enjoyed. At first I thought George Clooney's Michael Clayton was sort of like Mr. Wolf in Pulp Fiction. He's a janitor of sorts who gets called in when the shit hits the fan. Where Mr. Wolf could make the problem go away, Clayton is more of a realist. He's not a miracle worker, he's a janitor.

Tilda Swinton won an Oscar for her supporting role in this film and both George Clooney and Tom Wilkinson were nominated. It's the only movie last year to get that many acting noms.

Sadly, both the producer and one of the executive producers have passed on since this movie's release. Sydney Pollack, who also has a juicy role in the film, and Anthony Minghella are no longer with us.

Discuss "Michael Clayton" (5 comments so far)


Canadians and Former Jays in MLB Post-Season

Blue JaysWhen choosing a rooting interest in baseball, once my Jays are out of the picture, I usually focus on teams with Canadians and former Jays. There are a handful of Canadians in the Major League Baseball playoffs this year, and a whole bunch of former Jays.

Canadians

  • Russell Martin - Dodgers
  • Rich Harden - Cubs
  • Ryan Dempster - Cubs
  • Jason Bay - Red Sox
  • Eric Gagne - Brewers
  • Matt Stairs - Phillies

Former Blue Jays

  • Casey Blake - Dodgers
  • Jeff Kent - Dodgers
  • Gabe Gross - Rays
  • Eric Hinske - Rays
  • Trever Miller - Rays
  • Ted Lilly - Cubs
  • Reed Johnson - Cubs
  • Matt Stairs - Phillies
  • Jayson Werth - Phillies
  • Dewayne Wise - White Sox
  • Justin Speier - Angels
  • Kevin Cash - Red Sox
  • Dave Bush - Brewers

I'm leaving Mike Timlin off the list of former Jays because Boston left him off the playoff roster for their first round playoff series against the Angels. I'd like to see Timlin added for the ALCS. He's the only active player to have played on four non-New York Yankees championship teams.

As for me, I'm rooting for Russell Martin's Dodgers.

Discuss "Canadians and Former Jays in MLB Post-Season" (7 comments so far)


Advance Voting in Canada

VoteI just voted. With my mind made up, I decided to beat the rush and stroll over to the advance voting station. I usually mark my ballot early and I highly recommend it for those of you who are decided.

Even during a power outage, I witnessed democracy in action. That's right, the power was out at the school I voted at but there was little disruption. I wonder what would have happened if we were using electronic voting machines...

Things seemed more secure than usual. There was a security guard watching everything, I had to show photo ID to two different people, one before I entered the line and one when I received my ballot, I had to verbally confirm my name and address and I had to sign something saying I had voted. I'm pretty sure in the past I've voted with just a quick flash of my driver's license.

My vote's in, now it's your turn. You can vote until 8pm today and again on Monday from noon to 8pm. Or, you can kick it old school and vote on election day. That's October 14, in case you've been too busy Palin-watching.

Discuss "Advance Voting in Canada" (5 comments so far)


Homer Simpson Tries To Vote For Obama

homerFor years I had a Saturday morning routine. I'd think of a good Homer Simpson quote and add it to my Homer Simpson's Quote of the Week page.

After burning through all of my favourite Homer quotes I decided to halt that ritual on February 2, 2008. Today, instead of a Homer quote, here's a sweet piece of viral video making the rounds this week.

Discuss "Homer Simpson Tries To Vote For Obama" (11 comments so far)


Start the Fireworks

PuckDriving home tonight, I heard The Tragically Hip's "Fireworks". I love that song, and it always makes me think about hockey. Here's the opening verse.

If there's a goal that everyone remembers,
It was back in ol' 72

We all squeezed the stick and we all pulled the trigger
and all I remember was sitting beside you

You said you didn't give a fuck about hockey
I never saw someone say that before

You held my hand and we walked home the long way
You were loosening my grip on Bobby Orr

Damn, that's sweet. It doesn't get more Canadian than that. When I hear Gord sing this verse, think about the ties that bind this country. I think about our national team successes and the NHL. I think about the sport I love.

Games that actually count begin tomorrow. According to my handy dandy Toronto Mike Countdown Clock, there are only 6 days, 0 hours, 36 minutes, and 58 seconds left until the Maple Leafs opener. I can't wait.

Another thing I realized while belting out "Fireworks" at the top of my lungs is that I haven't seen the Hip live since February 8, 2007. That's the longest I've gone without a Hip concert in over a decade. We're way overdue for a Toronto show.


Discuss "Start the Fireworks" (4 comments so far)


Comment Pot Pourri

Comments Here are recent comments left on this site you may have missed. All of these comments were left within the past five weeks.

Hey Leafs Fans!

Come down to Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto on Thursday, October 9 to celebrate the first game of the Toronto Maple Leafs 2008-09 season. There will be an outdoor, big-screen broadcast of the regular season game between the Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings. A lucky fan (19 years and older) will also have the chance to win Seasons Tickets for the 2009-10 Leafs season in the Smirnoff Ice box at Air Canada Centre. The festivities start at 12 noon, so come by for your chance to win and cheer on the Leafs!

~ Laura, The Force Is Strong With This One

P.S. I just looked at their financial statements and, no surprise, learned that they are making money hand over fist. Moreover, I learned that the majority shareholder is the Pritzker family which is one of the wealthiest in the US. Penny Pritzker is a major fundraising organizer for Obama... the things you learn.

~ Malene, I Hate Ticketmaster

These turds followed me around for over a month trying to get me to sign the release. The one-eyed asshole in my studio gave me a hint at how bad it was going to be. I didn't receive a dime BTW.

I've never seen it; everybody I know has and I haven't heard one good word about it.

So, how much of it was funded by the Government of Canada? :)

~ Stafford, Let's All Hate This Documentary

Thank you so much for the picture of the gouge in the door. You have no idea how much better you just made my project. :) I've been looking for what seems like ages for a picture of it.

~ Michelle, Reznikoff Haunts

Commander Tom's hairy menagerie included Furry Bunny Creature, Mattie the Mop, Cici & Cecily & Fripple, Ogleston Moose, and "the lovable Dustmop & Flo Sweetley!

Don't forget my old personal friend "BadHead too"!

~ Thom, The Commander Tom Show

This company has scammed too many of us. Does anyone know how to start a class action law suit against Prima World Wide including Vic Wasyluk and Frank Macri? Perhaps we togethar can get some satisfaction, or at least put them out of business.

~ Pissed Off In Michigan, Don't Mess With Denyse in Qualicum Beach, BC

Hi all,

It's me, Stu. Before I say anything else, I want you all to know that your kind words and support mean the world to me. I am truly humbled (I know..weird choice of words) and I can't put into words how it feels to know I've made a connection with you all and we've never met! Thank you so very much!

My departure from EZ Rock was a business decision (NOT mine) and I have to respect that. I like Howard and Kim, don't know Rick personally but hear that he's a good man, and, of course, I love and miss Colleen each and every day. I also miss sharing stories with all of you and hope that someday soon we'll re-connect over the air again.

I'm on Facebook (just search 'Stu Jeffries'). Please, drop me a line so we can keep in touch, okay?

Thank you again for your kindness. I'm touched beyond words.

~ Stu Jeffries, Humble Howard Returns To Morning Radio on EZ Rock 97.3

A coworker hates the Blue Jays and the Toronto Maple Leafs. When she is on holidays we intend to teach her a lesson and decorate her cubicle with photos of both teams.

I also want to load an mp3 of the Ok Blue Jays song onto her computer and program it so that it starts playing every time she boots up.

Can someone please send me this mp3?

And are there any Toronto Maple Leafs songs that we could do this with too? If so please send me those mp3 files too.

You can email them to acar69@hotmail.com

~ Jim, OK Blue Jays (Let's Play Ball!)

These are my favorites characters as well, but I would put Tobias as my # 1. He was is one the most underrated actors of our generation. Then Chris, then Vern, then the rest. This was absolutely my favorite show, and I saw all six years when I was 16. It is a masterpiece. Why did you pick the order of the characters that you did? RSVP.

~ Kristen L. Reed, My Favourite Characters From HBO's Oz

OPRAH ... from spending several years in Jeremiah Wright's anti-American racist church, listening to sermons like "God Damn America", and giving life time achievement awards to the likes of Louis Farrakhan ... to her newest opportunistic religious beliefs ... who could possibly take Oprah seriously? This woman's ego is soooo big, being a billionaire celebrity isn't enough, she has to start her own religion ... not to mention all the additional money she is going to make selling all those book, tapes, CD's, etc. to her poor followers. Oprah's new power hungry ambitions include efforts to replace traditional America with Obama ... and access to a President she puts into office ... to her efforts at replacing Christianity with a new religion she controls. I think it's time for America to deny Oprah access to our television sets.

~ Howard, The Cult of Oprah

Hey, Jim is such a great guy. I can't wait to show this web site to him. He will get a kick out of it. Any questions you want to ask him?

~ Sandy, Jim Clancy: An Original Jay

Discuss "Comment Pot Pourri" (3 comments so far)


My Favourite Nicolas Cage Movies

The Number FiveThe best films with Nicolas Cage in 'em

  1. Raising Arizona
  2. Adaptation
  3. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  4. Leaving Las Vegas
  5. Moonstruck

Discuss "My Favourite Nicolas Cage Movies" (8 comments so far)


Debatin' and Fightin'

megaphoneMy fellow Canadians, I have no doubt you'll be tuning into the debate tonight. After all, it's the first televised English debate between Stephen Harper, Stephane Dion, Jack Layton, Gilles Duceppe and Elizabeth May.

What's that? You're going to watch a different debate tonight? Shame on you... but since we're being honest here, I'll be switching my attention to the USA VP candidates myself at 9 pm ET. Luckily, ours kicks off at 8 pm ET.

I was going to list songs with "debate" in the title, but there really aren't any. Instead, here are 15 "fight" songs to get you in the mood.

  1. Fight the Power - Public Enemy
  2. Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting - Elton John
  3. (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) - Beastie Boys
  4. Don't Fight It - Wilson Pickett
  5. Street Fighting Man - The Rolling Stones
  6. The Last Fight - Velvet Revolver
  7. The Last Gunfighter - Johnny Cash
  8. Fight - The Tragically Hip
  9. Can't Fight This Feeling - REO Speedwagon
  10. Fight Like A Brave - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  11. Fight Test - The Flaming Lips
  12. Still Fighting It - Ben Folds
  13. Supersoulfighter - Lenny Kravitz
  14. Can't Fight It - Bob Mould
  15. Street Fighting Years - Simple Minds

Discuss "Debatin' and Fightin'" (9 comments so far)


Atmosphere

cdMike Kic turned me on to Atmosphere. I was hanging out at his house when he slipped me a bunch of Atmosphere CDs and told me it was right up my alley.

I've only recently dived in, and now I can't get enough. I'm always going back to Atmosphere, a hip hop duo from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Slug drops the rhymes and Ant spins the wheels of steel.

If you like good hip hop and rap and aren't yet familiar with Atmosphere, it's time to catch up. Here's an early track to get you started. After this, you're on your own.

Discuss "Atmosphere" (7 comments so far)


September 2008 Google Organic Keywords

Search Strings According to Google Analytics, here are the top ten keywords that brought people to this site in September 2008. Sixty percent of this list is radio-related. The Rick Hodge inspired searches are particularly high with 1,143 people hitting my site up after googling his name.

  1. wedding songs
  2. rick hodge
  3. roger rick and marilyn
  4. stu jeffries
  5. wedding songs 2008
  6. george carlin quotes
  7. virgin 999
  8. roger, rick and marilyn
  9. big shiny tunes 2
  10. roger rick marilyn

Discuss "September 2008 Google Organic Keywords" (0 comments so far)


Edge Plays Gunners

musicBreaking news... I just heard Guns N' Roses on Edge 102. You'll see "Sweet Child O' Mine" was played at 7:40am.

I remember when CFNY first played Metallica. Is this another shift in the space-time continuum?

edge

Discuss "Edge Plays Gunners" (17 comments so far)


Deja Vu All Over Again

NewspaperYou've likely seen the footage below which shows Sarah Palin struggling to name a single newspaper she reads. She can't come up with a newspaper or magazine name, not even the Anchorage Daily freakin' News.

I don't know about you, but I suspect she's not reading the news at all. Somebody else we all know and love didn't read newspapers... Almost five years ago, I wrote this about George Dubya Bush.

In a recent interview with Fox TV anchor Brit Hume, Bush was asked how he gets his news. His answer frightens me. George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, gets his news from chief of staff Andrew Card and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. He doesn't watch the news on television, read newspapers or read the news online. Bush's exact quote was "the best way to get the news is from objective sources. And the most objective sources I have are people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world."

Yikes. Does he really think his staff will be objective? Sure, the media is biased, so that's why it's important he get his news from several different sources. Card and Rice are two sources with a vested interest in telling the President exactly what he wants to hear. For all we know, Bush is under the impression the war in Iraq is very popular. Maybe he thinks his popularity is peaking and that Americans are happy with his performance.

Here's the clip of Palin talking with Katie Couric about the news sources that shape her view of the world.

Discuss "Deja Vu All Over Again" (9 comments so far)


Date Set

radioI mentioned I've been invited to sit in with the hosts of the EZ Rock morning show. I'm going to be sitting next to Humble and live blogging the EZ Morning Show on Friday, October 10.

When I first mentioned this, you nice people gave me a bunch of questions to ask Humble Howard, Kim Stockwood, Colleen Rusholme or Rick Hodge. I'm going to ask them all, and if you have any more questions, please drop them in the comments.

This show airs from 5:30 to 9 and I'm thinking of showing up around 6. I'm told the room has WiFi so I'll be able to throw down updates throughout the show, giving you all a vibe as to how it's run, what kind of prep time there is and if Rick Hodge agrees to sign something for my mom.

Discuss "Date Set" (5 comments so far)


Transplants - Diamonds And Guns

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.

Transplants - Diamonds And Guns
Some songs can survive on hook alone. Heck, some songs don't just survive on a killer hook, but they thrive and prosper.

"Diamonds and Guns" is a song from The Transplants that came out in 2002, but thanks to a great piano hook and "woo woo" vocal samples, I'm still playing it all the time.

I was always surprised this wasn't a bigger hit.

Discuss "Transplants - Diamonds And Guns" (3 comments so far)


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