January 2009 Archives

« December 2008 February 2009 »

Front Row at Richoh to Watch the Marlies

HockeyI've got a sweet thing going with the Marlies. They leave me tickets and concession stand coupons and I basically sit wherever I want at the Ricoh Coliseum. Today I took my brother Steve to his first Toronto Marlies game.

You know it's a fun afternoon when you can enjoy a 6-3 loss as much as we enjoyed this one. Front row seats, Doug Gilmour bobblehead dolls, luke warm hot dogs, five fights and Justin Pogge. Let's discuss this Pogge fellow further...

Pogge is a big draw for us. Even as his shine loses its luster, we remember that World Junior Championship and his promise. We want him to make it so badly. The fact is, after seeing him up close several times, he's good for a couple of weak goals every game he plays and he just doesn't seem to have the make-up of an NHL starting goaltender. My hockey senses tell me he'll play less than 50 NHL games in his career, but my heart remains blissfully ignorant.

This afternoon, Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask recorded a 34-save shutout. You'll recall we chose Pogge over Rask when we traded Rask for Raycroft a few years back. Rask is now recording NHL shutous and Pogge is making 15 saves in an AHL 6-3 loss.

P1318510

Discuss "Front Row at Richoh to Watch the Marlies" (2 comments so far)


This Site Will Not Harm Your Computer

GoogleGoogle is having a rough morning.

Right now, Google searches are tagging every site on the web as malware. Everything is getting the "This site may harm your computer" warning.

Click the image below to see it full-sized.

malware

Discuss "This Site Will Not Harm Your Computer" (7 comments so far)


Bart Simpson Promotes Scientology?

HomerAs host of the greatest Scientology debate in the history of the blogosphere, I feel compelled to clarify something to the confused. Bart Simpson does not promote Scientology, it's the voice of Bart Simpson, Nancy Cartwright, who is robo-calling people to push them to some Scientology event.

As a long time fan of The Simpsons, I'm pretty sure Bart's not down with Operating Thetan Level 7. The video below makes me cringe. Enough is enough... I'm bringing down L. Ron Hubbard's expensive little scam. Aye, carumba!

Discuss "Bart Simpson Promotes Scientology?" (1 comment so far)


Shocking Local News Story

boltWe already knew about the dog that got electrocuted to death at Keele and Annette Streets and other dogs that have been shocked by sidewalk handwells, but now this danger has entered the human world. A child got shocked earlier today after stepping on a handwell at the corner of Dundas and Sumach Streets.

Handwells are those circular metal ground plates that cover underground wires, and I don't know about you, but I'll be stepping over them from now on. The kid who got the jolt today is fine, but when it comes to stray voltage, I like to err on the side of caution.

Hydro's taking this shocking situation seriously.

Starting tomorrow morning, all non-emergency hydro workers will be assigned to check and repair every ground plate, also known as a handwell, in the city. The workers will start in the downtown core, where the oldest hydro equipment is, and where problems have been reported.

The operation will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the repairs in older sections of the city expected to be complete by the end of February.

"We are redeploying our entire workforce," O'Brien told CBC News. "We have about 600 employees that will be moved off their regular jobs and will be focusing on going down every street."

Toronto Hydro started inspecting handwells after the first dog died in November, but with the latest incident involving a child, the company is increasing the scope of its operations.

The problem stems from a combination of weather and aging infrastructure, Toronto Hydro officials said. Salty, slushy water seeps into handwells, comes into contact with corroding wires and releases electricity. Hydro workers will resolve the problem by encasing all handwell wiring in rubber and plastic to create a water-tight barrier.

Heed my advice, step over the handwells!

Discuss "Shocking Local News Story" (5 comments so far)


No Respect

peI was getting some online jargon when I saw the lineup for Coachella 2009. The unbelievably good lineup can be seen in alphabetical order here but my issue is with the poster.

Here it is. WTF? Public Enemy gets the small font on line four?!?!?!??!

coachella

Discuss "No Respect" (7 comments so far)


A Week of Headers

typewriterThose of you who kick it old school and visit TorontoMike.com or torontomike.com will have noticed a different header image every day. Every Friday, I post all the header images from the previous week. Here are the awesomely hilarious and insightful header images you may have missed this past week.

header

header

header

header

header

header

header

If you ever have a question as to what a particular message means, ask in the comments and I'll tell ya!

Discuss "A Week of Headers" (4 comments so far)


Killer

LeafsI was just checking in on Canadian Thinker when I saw Fred had posted a little tribute video for Dougie Gilmour. I have only ever owned two Maple Leaf jerseys: a #5 Bill Barilko and a #93 Doug Gilmour.

Gilmour is my favourite Leaf of all-time. That's likely true for all 30-something year old fans of the blue and white. Doug Gilmour was a great captain, a fierce competitor and he produced. Wendel Clark and Mats Sundin were great Leafs, but there was only one Killer.

Previous Dougie Entries:

Dougie will be at the Air Canada Centre tomorrow night for a sweater-raising ceremony in his honour. It's well deserved.


Discuss "Killer" (10 comments so far)


Shine a Light

A Movie ReelShine a Light: 6 out of 10.

I should preface this review by admitting I grew tired of the Rolling Stones long ago. As a younger man, I adored Hot Rocks, essentially their greatest hits from 1964-1971. In the late 80s, I was still a fan, and actually bought Steel Wheels and left my post managing a game at the CNE to listen to their concert from outside the old Exhibition Stadium gates.

Then, around the time they sold "Start Me Up" to Microsoft, I had had enough. I was done with the Rolling Stones. Sure, I still dig "Paint It Black" and "Gimme Shelter", but I had no interest in seeing them in concert or delving into their catalogue. Keith is still cool, but the whole band just seems so corporate. The best Stones song from the past 25 years belongs to The Verve.

I love Scorsese, and my wife is still a big Stones fan, so last night we watched Shine a Light. I wanted more archival footage but instead it's 95% comprised of a recent Stones concert with a few special guests, including Jack White. It was kind of boring.

Stones fanatics will probably love it.

shine_a_light

Discuss "Shine a Light" (6 comments so far)


Maple Leafs 7, Avalanche 4

LeafsAndrew Raycroft always had a knack for making the opposition look good. Last night, he didn't disappoint, as several Leafs broke out of lengthy slumps.

Of course, we all agree now is not the time to secure two points. Once again, Raycroft is screwing with Leaf fans.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
18-23-8
44 points
4th in Northeast Division
7-4 Win vs. Colorado
6-1 Loss vs. Minnesota
4-3 Loss vs. Boston
N. Antropov - 36
J. Blake- 35
M. Stajan - 33

Discuss "Maple Leafs 7, Avalanche 4" (3 comments so far)


Scrapbook

VaultIn the pre-blog era, we had scrapbooks. Off and on throughout my life, I'd keep a scrapbook to document significant events, usually sports-related.

Here is one such scrapbook in which I covered everything from the deaths of John Kordic and Kurt Cobain to the retirement of Larry Bird and the Blue Jays back-2-back World Series titles.

From My Scrapbook From My Scrapbook From My Scrapbook From My Scrapbook From My Scrapbook From My Scrapbook From My Scrapbook From My Scrapbook From My Scrapbook From My Scrapbook From My Scrapbook

Discuss "Scrapbook" (3 comments so far)


Your English Is Good - Tokyo Police Club

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS21 consideration. I'm submitting "Your English Is Good" by Tokyo Police Club.

You know how I love to be current with today's new music. This track was actually released on July 9, 2007. 18-months later, I deem it SLS-worthy.

Discuss "Your English Is Good - Tokyo Police Club" (1 comment so far)


The Advantage of Having a Son

familyLet me preface this by saying how much I love my daughter. She's the best. I'm so blessed.

With that out the way, I'm glad I had a boy first. My son recently turned seven and gifts he now receives are actually gifts for me. I'm directly benefiting from having another big boy in the house.

His friends chipped in to get him Mario Kart for our Wii, complete with an extra steering wheel for the wiimote. James and I have battled it out several times and I'm having a blast.

Then, when I thought my life couldn't get any better, my brother Ryan surprised him with NHL 2K9. James is happy and I'm ecstatic. Ryan might as well have bought NHL 2K9 for me.

Back in the 16-bit Super Nintendo days, my favourite games were the NHL games from EA Sports. I can't wait to dive into NHL 2K9 for the Wii. Thanks, Ry!

In related news, blogging frequency is expected to plummet.

Discuss "The Advantage of Having a Son" (19 comments so far)


Alan Parker's Nosey Parker Blog

newsAlan Parker is a jounalist with the Toronto Sun who blogs at Nosey Parker. Today he wrote about Toronto Mike.

Toronto Mike is a very interesting — and very nice — guy who writes a wonderful, informative daily blog about things in this city and around the world that interest him — and will probably interest you too.

If you go to www.torontomike.com, here are some of the recent posts you’ll find: An MP3 upload of Nina Simone singing Feeling Good, Toronto Mike feeling bad about Justin Pogge’s nightmare in goal, a requiem for author John Updike, a very funny parody of Leafs GM Brian Burke running the team via Twitter, and an inquiry into the mystery of why CBC Radio’s Andy Barrie is off the air for two months.

All good, all interesting.

But the Toronto Mike blog I like best — and one that really stirs people up — is a post he did in honour of Canada Day 2007. After long consideration and due diligence, Mike came up with his definitive list of the Top 100 Canadian Songs.

It’s a great list, but one that drives everyone else batty, both because of the ranking he gives individual songs and because of the songs that are missing from the list.

There's more. Alan goes on to questions some of my choices and omissions and then asks his readers to send him their top ten Canadian tunes for a little contest he's running.

Here's my Top 100 Canadian Songs entry Alan is referring to. We're only a year and a half removed from then and already I see a few changes I'd like to make.

Them there's some kind words from Nosey Parker. I told you I was both interesting and nice.

Discuss "Alan Parker's Nosey Parker Blog" (3 comments so far)


Nina Simone - Feeling Good

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.

Nina Simone - Feeling Good
I heard some Nina Simone this morning and felt compelled to share "Feeling Good,", a track guaranteed to make you feel good.

This track got in my collection by its inclusion in the Six Feet Under soundtrack. I've got a Nina Simone anthology, but there's no "Feeling Good" on it.

Discuss "Nina Simone - Feeling Good" (0 comments so far)


Maple Leafs 1, Wild 6

LeafsWith Justin Pogge in net, I actually wanted the Leafs to win. Alas, it is as bad as it seems, and Pogge got pummelled, managing only 15 saves in his second career start.

That's 12 losses in our past 15 games. It's interesting going back and reading this entry and the comments left on this one.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
17-23-8
42 points
4th in Northeast Division
6-1 Loss vs. Minnesota
4-3 Loss vs. Boston
2-0 Loss vs. Carolina
N. Antropov - 35
M. Stajan - 32
J. Blake- 32

Discuss "Maple Leafs 1, Wild 6" (1 comment so far)


John Updike, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumJohn Updike was 76. He was the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, prolific man of letters and erudite chronicler of sex, divorce and other adventures in the postwar prime of the American empire.

Discuss "John Updike, Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


Following Brian Burke on Twitter

twitterOk, it's not the real Brian Burke, but it's actually more fun. I'm following the fake Brian Burke on Twitter.

About two hours ago he filled us Leaf fans in on what's coming down the pipe. "Just ordered Nonis to go trade for Luongo again. That's one problem solved".

twitter

Discuss "Following Brian Burke on Twitter" (3 comments so far)


Andy Barrie's Privacy Protected

CBCReaders of this blog know I'm an Andy Barrie fan. On November 6, 2008, I was listening when he signed off and told us he was going to be taking a leave of absence to care for a member of his family who was ill. I wrote about that and now rank #2 when you google his name.

Many are Googling his name, because CBC won't say boo about where Andy Barrie is and why he's not on the radio. If you happened to miss his sign off on November 6, you'd be left in the dark. CBC RadioOne's Metro Morning has gone on without Barrie and not once have the hosts mentioned what's going on.

The bulk of the 33 comments on that entry are Andy Barrie fans who miss his voice and want an update.. word that Andy is okay and will return. It's possible Andy will read this entry, so if you're out there, please let us know how you're doing. Either contact me or leave a comment.

CBC has done a great job protecting your privacy, but Toronto's most popular morning show host disappearing for three months without a peep isn't fair to the fans who made you #1.

Andy Barrie, are you okay?

Discuss "Andy Barrie's Privacy Protected" (14 comments so far)


Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten

A Movie ReelJoe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten: 8.5 out of 10.

If you're a fan of Joe Strummer, this is a documentary you absolutely have to see. Even if you're just a casual fan of The Clash, I'm suggesting you set aside a couple of hours for Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten.

There's awesome detail, and out of nowhere, sitting around a campfire, are a few of the coolest actors in Hollywood. I'm talking Steve Buscemi, John Cusack and Johnny Depp. But don't see this doc for those guys... see it for Joe.

joe strummer

Discuss "Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten" (4 comments so far)


The Pogge Experiment

leafsJustin Pogge gets the start tonight in Minnesota against the Wild. Then, no matter how he plays, he's returning to the Marlies. Apparently, the Leafs have a plan when it comes to Justin Pogge, and they're sticking to it. This is a good thing.

It's good because the Leafs actually have a plan! And, it's good because the Leafs are actually sticking to their plan! And I need Pogge back on the Marlies. My brother and I are behind the net for Saturday's game at Ricoh and Pogge is a big draw for us.

I wonder if the Leafs have any other plans they're sticking to... That's almost enough to give a long-time fan like me hope.

Discuss "The Pogge Experiment" (1 comment so far)


Mad Magazine Goes Quarterly

bookAs a kid, my favourite magazine was Mad Magazine. Alfred E. Newman didn't worry about anything, but I'll bet he's worried now.

Starting with April's issue #500, Mad Magazine is going quarterly. Editor John Ficarra said in a statement, "The feedback we’ve gotten from readers is that only every third issue of Mad is funny. So we decided to just publish those."

I used to read Mad like crazy, and I always regarded Cracked as the poor, distant cousin. Today, with this new thing called the Internet, cracked.com gets all the clicks and Mad's online presence is feeble.

Dare to select the more compelling online stop:

Mad should spend their extra time on their web presence.

Discuss "Mad Magazine Goes Quarterly" (10 comments so far)


The Killing of John Lennon

A Movie ReelThe Killing of John Lennon: 6.5 out of 10.

Using Mark Chapman's own words, this is a dramatization of the months leading up to and following his murder of John Lennon outside the Dakota Hotel. Jonas Ball actually does a pretty good job in the lead role.

It's not bad, but it's not guilt-free viewing. The tag-line is "I was nobody until I killed the biggest somebody on earth." Now we're spending two hours in his head, listening to his writings and statements. It doesn't glorify Chapman, but it's all about Chapman, who was nobody until he killed Lennon.

It seems he got what he was after and we all got screwed.

the_killing_of_john_lennon

Discuss "The Killing of John Lennon" (0 comments so far)


That Seen My Ghost Song

MusicWintersleep's "Weighty Ghost" came out in 2007, but I seem to be hearing it all over the place these days.

It's the song prominently featured in this fantastic trailer for the upcoming Canadian film One Week right after Sam Roberts' "Hard Road."

It's also the song that opened this afternoon's NHL All-Star Game in Montreal.

It's called "Weighty Ghost" by the Nova Scotian band Wintersleep, but many refer to it as "that 'seen my ghost' song." Wintersleep recently made their SLS debut, making #20 with their song "Oblivion". Here's the video for "Weighty Ghost."

Discuss "That Seen My Ghost Song" (6 comments so far)


Backspin Old Skool Rap and Hip-Hop

XMI've got this cool XMP3 player and a year's subscription to XM Radio. I pipe it through the Bose SoundDock II digital music system I got for Christmas to set the music free.

There is lots of content to choose from. There's a Disney channel for the kids, a top 20 channel for my wife and everything for me, from comedy to news to grunge to hip-hop. One station, however, gets more of my listening time than any other, and it might be surprising which station that is.

It's channel 65, Backspin. It plays "old skool rap and hip-hop" and I can't get enough. I listen while I work and groove to old Ice-T, Eric B. & Rakim, Grandmaster Flash, Run-DMC, Sugar Hill Gang, Slick Rick, Salt-N-Pepa, LL Cool J, Beastie Boys and whatever. I love it.

A wicked XMP3 player promotion I wrote about is still going on until January 31. Click over for details.

backspin

Discuss "Backspin Old Skool Rap and Hip-Hop" (1 comment so far)


Foot Fracturer Becomes Healer

RewindI suppose if you're going to write almost 10,000 entries, you're bound to cover a lot of bases. A couple of years ago, I wrote about the day I fractured my left foot and named the school mate who put me in a cast for six weeks. I was in grade three, so we're looking at 1983 or so.

Earlier today, this foot fracturer stumbled upon that entry. Here's the comment he left.

hey Mike!...I do remember that as you told in your story..no prob with the leg now?..Ironically, I am a Registered Nurse at Sunnybrook....hope your well>>Fergus Kelly

I left a comment in response.

Well, well, well.... if it isn't the man who broke my leg!

All is well... I know it was an accident and it's fine now. True irony would have been if you were a registered nurse at St. Joseph's and had treated my separated shoulder last week.

Now that would have been a story worthy of O Henry.

Discuss "Foot Fracturer Becomes Healer" (0 comments so far)


20th Anniversary Humble and Fred Podcast 99% Fer Sure

podcastBack in September I wrote about the Humble and Fred 20th Anniversary Podcast. I promised to do everything in my power to ensure this happened. It was 20 years ago this summer that the Humble and Fred morning show debuted on CFNY.

Since September, I've had one-on-one discussions with all the principles involved, and this is very, very close to being a done deal. The only potential gotcha would be if Humble's current employer had an issue with it. Assuming Astral doesn't care, this podcast will likely take place in the spring.

The details are still being ironed out, but it's quite possible that this event will take place at a public location where fans of the show could gather to enjoy the moment live. This is a significant change from the previous three podcasts, all recorded at Dan Duran's house. You can hear those at http://www.torontomike.com/humbleandfred/.

As soon as I have the finalized details, I'll share them here. Humble and Fred last recorded together on February 11, 2007. It's been far too long.

P.S. Happy birthday, Humble!

Discuss "20th Anniversary Humble and Fred Podcast 99% Fer Sure" (6 comments so far)


Melancholy and the Not-So-Infinite Sadness

calendarToday is January 24. I took James to hockey, it was team picture day, and now I'm chilling with Michelle watching Chicken Little. Later today, the extended family drops by for James' birthday party. I hear there will be pizza and cake. Today is a good day.

I've taken note of the date January 24 ever since I wrote this entry four years ago today. Cliff Arnall of Cardiff University in Wales determined January 24 was the most depressing day of the year.

His formula reads: 1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ divided by MxNA, where W is the weather, D is your debt (and small d is the amount of money you'll get on your next payday), T is elapsed time since Christmas, and Q the length of time since you abandoned a New Year's resolution or other self-improvement plan. M is a sort of all-purpose category for motivation levels. NA is the necessary action for making your life better.

That's some pretty convincing mathematics. I learnt long ago not to argue with 1/8W+(D-d) 3/8xTQ divided by MxNA.

It's time to resurrect an old Irish blessing my Grandmother would appreciate. These things I warmly wish for you: someone to love, some work to do, a bit o' sun, a bit o' cheer, and a guardian angel always near.

Keep your chin up!

Jay Leno

Discuss "Melancholy and the Not-So-Infinite Sadness" (0 comments so far)


Toronto Mommy Blog

mouseOccasionally, I have ideas. Some of these ideas make it further than others. One idea I had, about 18-months ago, was for a blog catering to Toronto mothers. My wife was to author this blog and it would include "what to do with your kids in the GTA" info.

She was gung ho about the idea, but life got in the way. Here's what I have:

  • The domain name torontomommy.com
  • A host with lots of space
  • Movable Type installed and fine tuned by yours truly
  • An initial design that I'm not a big fan of and am happy to change

All I need is an author. Is anyone out there interested in blogging at torontomommy.com? The only prerequisite is that you're a mother and that you live in the GTA. The subject matter is up to you, as long as it's family friendly.

I'll support you technically and show you the Movable Type ropes. You just have to supply the content. You don't have to pay a penny for the hosting or domain name or any of that jazz.

Let me know if you're interested. TorontoMommy.com needs an author!

Discuss "Toronto Mommy Blog" (3 comments so far)


Covenant School 100, Dallas Academy 0

basketballI've always been careful not to run up the score and show up the opposition. During the 2007 slo-pitch season, I wrote about the night we beat up on a weaker opponent, and I wasn't proud. In hind-sight, we played a jerk game and should have eased off the accelerator earlier than we did.

We won that game 32-6, but by the fifth inning we were "stretching" triples into singles. Covenant, a private Christian school in Dallas, continued to implement a full-court press and put up three's, even while up by 80. They beat Dallas Academy 100-0, with spectators and an assistant coach cheering wildly as their team edged closer to 100 points.

But here's the kicker...

Dallas Academy has eight girls on its varsity team and about 20 girls in its high school. It is winless over the last four seasons. The academy boasts of its small class sizes and specializes in teaching students struggling with "learning differences," such as short attention spans or dyslexia.

I'd love to have a chat with the Covenant coach who instructed his players to go with a full-court press and ordered them to keep putting up the three-point shots when destroying a school of 20 girls. It makes me feel better about that 32-6 drubbing of the TPS Warriors.

Discuss "Covenant School 100, Dallas Academy 0" (8 comments so far)


One Week Later

medicalIt's been a week since I separated my shoulder playing hockey. This is my first experience with a separated shoulder, so I'm throwing down notes about the first week after.

The first few days were the worst. I took the percocets every 4-6 hours just to stay ahead of the pain. There was one position that had little pain but any other movement of my left arm and I was hit with a sharp pain. Sleeping was tough, because I had to stay on my back when every instinct encouraged me to sleep on my side.

By Tuesday I could sense the pain was dulling, at least when I was just lounging around. I also had another inch or two of movement with my left arm. I still couldn't put on my socks or touch my head, but my range of motion was definitely improving.

By Thursday I felt like I could drive into the office. It's sore, like a deep bruise, and I don't even think about testing my limited range of use, but it's getting better. Tonight is hockey, which I'm obviously missing, but at this pace it's not unreasonable to expect that I could play in a month.

Until then, it's day-by-day.

Discuss "One Week Later" (3 comments so far)


A Week of Headers

typewriterThose of you who kick it old school and visit TorontoMike.com or torontomike.com will have noticed a different header image every day. Every Friday, I post all the header images from the previous week. Here are the awesomely hilarious and insightful header images you may have missed this past week.

header

header

header

header

header

header

header

header

If you ever have a question as to what a particular message means, ask in the comments and I'll tell ya!

Discuss "A Week of Headers" (4 comments so far)


A Leaf Fan's Guide to Accepting Losses (or How to Root Against Your Team and Sleep Well at Night)

LeafsThis entry is for fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs. If you're not a fan of the blue and white, please stop reading. I need a forum with fellow life-long fans of the Leafs.

It's natural for us to cheer Leaf goals and root for Maple Leaf victories. It's what I've been doing since the very early 80s. Even when the Leafs were at their worst during those lost seasons, I wanted goals by the good guys and wins for the home team.

Although I touched on this topic last season, I found it difficult to cheer against my team. My instincts were too strong and I still found myself cheering Leaf goals and Maple Leaf victories. But now, things are different.

I, a life-long Leaf fanatic, now find joy in losses. With our half-decent start a distant memory, I'm hoping Burke trades everyone he can at the deadline. I'd be okay if we never won another game this season. I'm rooting against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and I'm okay with that.

I'm able to do this, while sleeping well at night, because I recognize the greater good. This vicious cycle in which we just miss the playoffs is only delaying the inevitable. We need to hit the bottom, clear out the dreck and draft wisely, to bounce back to respectability. This is the only season in which I'm okay with rooting against my team. Next year, I'll return to the natural order of things.

Fellow Leaf fans, how are you doing during this particularly dismal season? Are you rooting against us? How have you justified this decision I'm sure didn't come easily? Let's help each other out here... we're all going through the same thing.

Senators Maple Leafs Hockey

Discuss "A Leaf Fan's Guide to Accepting Losses (or How to Root Against Your Team and Sleep Well at Night)" (5 comments so far)


Useless Info I Find Fascinating

baseballBilly Werber died today. He lived a nice long life, passing away at the age of 100, and he's a nice slice of trivia. Not only was Billy Werber the oldest living major league ballplayer, but he was the final surviving teammate of Babe Ruth, as well as the last player to play against Ruth while he was with the Yankees.

Think about that. Up to today, you could have had a conversation with one of Babe Ruth's teammates.

It's a useless piece of trivia, but I dig it... especially on a slow blogging day.

Discuss "Useless Info I Find Fascinating" (1 comment so far)


Obama Addicted to Crack(Berry)

PhoneObama is addicted to his BlackBerry. I can't say I blame him, I feel naked without mine. There's something about having all that info at your fingertips that becomes addictive.

Normally, Presidents don't use email as it can be subpoenaed by Congress and courts and may be subject to public records laws. There's also the obvious security risk in having the Commander in Chief wearing a phone. But, Obama gets to keep his BlackBerry.

"The president has a BlackBerry through a compromise that allows him to stay in touch with senior staff and a small group of personal friends," White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Thursday. He did not say with whom the compromise was struck.

I'm keeping mine, too.

Discuss "Obama Addicted to Crack(Berry)" (6 comments so far)


Maple Leafs 3, Bruins 4

LeafsRemember when the Bruins sucked? It wasn't that long ago, and now they're leading the conference by a pretty good margin. That's where I want to be in a couple of years.

I see we traded Robbie Earl to the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Ryan Hamilton. Although Earl only played a handful of games with the Leafs, I saw him up close with the Marlies and always thought he was capable of playing in the NHL. He's a tough energy player who will hopefully get a shot with the Wild.

Good luck Robbie Earl, NASCAR legend.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
17-22-8
42 points
4th in Northeast Division
4-3 Loss vs. Boston
2-0 Loss vs. Carolina
4-3 OTL vs. Atlanta
N. Antropov - 35
M. Stajan - 32
J. Blake- 31

Discuss "Maple Leafs 3, Bruins 4" (5 comments so far)


Sites I've Bookmarked

firefoxThe vast majority of content I read on the web is read in my Google Reader. That's where I manage my RSS feed subscriptions.

There are some sites, however, I have bookmarked in Firefox. Some of these are for banking, work or social networking, but some are just sites I find quite useful.

Here are web sites I have bookmarked.

Discuss "Sites I've Bookmarked" (6 comments so far)


Jeff Kent: The One That Got Away

MLBJeff Kent exceeded all expectations. Drafted by the Blue Jays, I remember his debut on April 12th, 1992, against the Baltimore Orioles. I remember how he filled in for an injured Kelly Gruber, and then we used him as trade bait to land David Cone from the New York Mets.

That trade took place on August 29, ending Jeff Kent's career with the Jays at a measly five months. We won the next two World Series, but we completely gave up on a player who would debatably become the 3rd-best offensive third baseman in the history of the game, ahead of Ryne Sandberg and Robbie Alomar and just behind Rogers Hornsby and Joe Morgan.

Yes, he was that good. He's the career home-run leader among second basemen with 351, 74 more than Ryne Sandberg. A five-time All-Star and the 2000 NL MVP, Kent had a .290 career batting average, 377 homers, 1,518 RBIs and a .500 slugging percentage.

Jeff Kent could have been ours, but we were living for he moment back in '92. Instead, we all had to watch his awesome 17 season career from afar. Today, he announced his retirement.

With Sandberg in the Hall of Fame, shouldn't Kent follow? I say yes.

Discuss "Jeff Kent: The One That Got Away" (16 comments so far)


Love and Rockets - So Alive

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.

Love and Rockets - So Alive
"So Alive" came out in 1989 but I still smile every time I hear it. Without an allegiance to Bauhaus, I was free to enjoy this fantastic single without missing their dark, gloomy sound.

I'm sharing this track today because I heard it on the radio last week and remembered how much I dig it. I honestly don't think I can name a second Love and Rockets single. Can you?

Discuss "Love and Rockets - So Alive" (6 comments so far)


One Week and Hallelujah Update

MusicCBC Radio 2's 49 Tracks included "Hallelujah", but it's the cover by K.D. Lang. I'm sure the cover by Gord Downie was ineligible in that it's the best kept secret in all the land.

Gord Downie's "Hallelujah" has taken me on quite the trip. I've got an entire category devoted to the subject. I hear from folks on a daily basis, people who have seen Saint Ralph and want this song. Back in August, my source assured me that a proper release was materializing. I'm not holding my breath, nor do I really care, considering I've got a copy of the unreleased soundtrack.

Back in August, when I got the tip about the release of Gord Downie's "Hallelujah", I also learned about One Week, a new film by the people behind Saint Ralph. It sounds really good and it's got a great trailer.

Watch this trailer for One Week and spot the Gord Downie cameo.

Discuss "One Week and Hallelujah Update" (8 comments so far)


Obama's Blog: The Briefing Room

MouseAt precisely 12:01 pm EST today, the new www.whitehouse.gov went live. Even though he hadn't yet said his oath, that's the moment Obama's presidency officially began.

The new site looks very modern and the heart of the content is the new White House Blog. It's called The Briefing Room and it's all about keeping American citizens, and the rest of us, in the loop. You can even subscribe to the RSS feed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/feed/blog.

I'm super biased, but I think a blog is a fantastic tool for the President and his administration to connect with the rest of the nation and the world. There are no comments accepted, I can imagine moderation would be a nightmare, but it is a new age idea from the first Internet Prez.

Welcome to the White House_1232482049343

Discuss "Obama's Blog: The Briefing Room" (9 comments so far)


Global Toronto News at Noon Gets the Axe

TVI just got the email below form Horonymous.

Hi Mike.

Looks like Global Toronto will be canceling their noon news show. No idea how this will impact staffing levels.

http://www.b-roll.net/forum/showthread.php?t=22747

Take Care
Horonymous

Advertisers drive media and in tough economic times advertisers typically show restraint. I feel for members of the Global News staff who may lose their jobs, but I don't think I've ever seen a minute of this program.

Will Global stations eventually become E! television stations?

Discuss "Global Toronto News at Noon Gets the Axe" (8 comments so far)


Obama's Inaugural Speech

USAI watched Barack Obama's inaugural speech live this afternoon. I thought it was brutally honest, without an ounce of sugar coating, but I thought it was liberally sprinkled with hope. I believe this was the right speech at this time, a time of "gathering clouds and raging storms".

If you missed it, here's a transcript of the inaugural address of the 44th President of the United States. Let me know what you thought in the comments.

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land - a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted - for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things - some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions - that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act - not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions - who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them - that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account - to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day - because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control - and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment - a moment that will define a generation - it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends - hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism - these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility - a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence - the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed - why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Discuss "Obama's Inaugural Speech" (22 comments so far)


Cancon for Barack Obama's iPod

iPodCBC has unveiled their 49 Canadian Songs for Obama's iPod. These 49 won out over their top 100.

I can't really speak to the French songs or the non-pop songs, but they seem to have hit most of the essential tracks from my definitive Cancon list.

Still, how does The Band's "The Weight" not make this list? Was no Sloan song worthy? Where's the Blue Rodeo? In typical CBC fashion, it seems inclusion was deemed the higher priority.

  • Arcade Fire, "Rebellion (Lies)"
  • Barenaked Ladies, "If I Had $1,000,000"
  • Beau Dommage, "La complainte du phoque en Alaska"
  • Ben Heppner, "We'll Gather Lilacs"
  • Bruce Cockburn, "Wondering Where the Lions Are"
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie, "Universal Soldier"
  • Daniel Bélanger, "Rêver mieux"
  • Daniel Lanois, "Jolie Louise"
  • Daniel Lavoie, "J'ai quitté mon île"
  • Diana Krall, "Departure Bay"
  • Gilles Vigneault, "Mon pays"
  • Glenn Gould, "Goldberg Variations"
  • Gordon Lightfoot, "Canadian Railroad Trilogy"
  • Gordon Lightfoot, "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"
  • Great Big Sea, "Ordinary Day"
  • Harmonium, "Pour un Instant"
  • Ian & Sylvia, "Four Strong Winds"
  • James Ehnes, "Barber Violin Concerto"
  • Jesse Cook, "Mario Takes a Walk"
  • Joni Mitchell, "Both Sides Now"
  • Joni Mitchell, "A Case of You"
  • Karkwa, "Oublie pas"
  • k.d. lang, "Hallelujah"
  • Leonard Cohen, "Democracy"
  • Leonard Cohen, "Suzanne"
  • Malajube, "Montréal -40°C"
  • Marie-Jo Thério, "Évangeline"
  • Marjan Mozetich, "Affairs of the Heart"
  • Measha Brueggergosman, "I'm Going Up a Yonder"
  • Mes Aïeux, "Dégénérations"
  • Michael Bublé, "Home"
  • Moe Koffman, "Swingin' Shepherd Blues"
  • Neil Young, "Rockin' in the Free World"
  • Neil Young, "Helpless"
  • Oscar Peterson Trio, "Hymn to Freedom"
  • Oscar Peterson, "Place St. Henri (from Canadiana Suite)"
  • Parachute Club, "Rise Up"
  • Raymond Lévesque, "Quand les hommes vivront d'amour"
  • Rush, "Closer to the Heart"
  • Sam Roberts, "The Canadian Dream"
  • Shad, "Brother (Watching)"
  • Stan Rogers, "Northwest Passage"
  • Stompin' Tom Connors, "The Hockey Song"
  • The Arrogant Worms, "Canada's Really Big"
  • The Guess Who, "American Woman"
  • The Rankin Family, "Rise Again"
  • The Tragically Hip, "Wheat Kings"
  • The Tragically Hip, "Bobcaygeon"
  • The Weakerthans, "One Great City!"

Discuss "Cancon for Barack Obama's iPod" (6 comments so far)


Happy Birthday, Son

birthdayI'm honoured by the fuss everyone's making because my son turns seven today. As I type, Aretha is belting out "My Country, 'Tis of Thee". This truly is a historic day.

I can't believe James is now seven years old. It's true what they say, time does fly. The day of his birth, I was watching an NFL playoff game starring Kurt Warner and now I hear he's back in the big game. Some things, it seems, change at a slower pace.

In a word, it's been an awesome seven years. I think James teaches me far more than I could ever teach him.

Happy 7th birthday, James! Daddy loves you very much.

JR3 Mike and James james092702-3 James october30-2004-james2 Family Portrait James at Skydome august31-2005-bc24 James James Love James Taryn and James Go Leafs Go Santa James

Discuss "Happy Birthday, Son" (3 comments so far)


Maple Leafs 0, Hurricanes 2

LeafsOur Maple Leafs have gone 127 minutes, 51 seconds since scoring on home ice, and we lost for the 10th time in 13 games.

Keep up the good work, guys!

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
17-22-7
41 points
4th in Northeast Division
2-0 Loss vs. Carolina
4-3 OTL vs. Atlanta
6-4 Win vs. Carolina
N. Antropov - 35
M. Stajan - 32
A. Ponikarovsky- 30

Discuss "Maple Leafs 0, Hurricanes 2" (0 comments so far)


Obama Icons For All

LinkSome say I faked a separated shoulder injury just so I could stay home and watch Obama's inauguration. I assure these people, that is not true. But, when life gives you lemons, you paint that shit gold.

I have been having a little fun with OBAMAICON.ME where you can upload a picture and get your own Hope poster a'la Shepard Fairey. Click on over and give it a spin.

Now if you''ll excuse me, the 44th President is #1 in my books. It's the dawn of a new era and I don't want to miss a thing.

mike

Discuss "Obama Icons For All" (3 comments so far)


Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech

MicOn August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

I share this video every year, but this year King's words carry more weight than ever. The content of ones character has never seemed more significant.

Discuss "Martin Luther King, Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech" (0 comments so far)


Catching Up With Lost

TVThe only network drama I still follow is Lost. I dig it. The way I've always watched Lost is on DVD, and I've always been one full season behind the rest of you. Until now...

We have only the season four finale to watch on DVD before season five premieres on Wednesday night. Then, for the first time in the history of this series, I'll catch Lost on ABC Television.

I hear Wednesday's Lost is three hours long and consists of a clip-show and two back-to-back new episodes. I also hear next season will be the final season and we're promised a shocking finale. This should be fun.

lost

Discuss "Catching Up With Lost" (5 comments so far)


The Wrestler

A Movie ReelThe Wrestler: 8 out of 10.

I was blown away by Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream back in 2000. I was less impressed by his follow up, the awfully confusing The Fountain, but he strikes a near perfect chord with The Wrestler.

It's super low budget and delightfully raw, but the success of The Wrestler lies squarely on the shoulders of Mickey Rourke. I don't know how he did it, but the Mickster played The Ram perfectly. He's a completely sympathetic character, despite being a natural born screw up.

Due to the film's modest budget, Axl Rose donated the use of Guns 'n' Roses' "Sweet Child O'Mine" free of charge. It's The Ram's theme song, and just one nugget form the '80s you'll spot in this film. See it in all it's 8-bit glory.

the-wrestler

Discuss "The Wrestler" (6 comments so far)


Flightplan

A Movie ReelFlightplan: 4 out of 10.

I hardly remember the release of this Jodie Foster movie from 2005. It was available at our local library, so my wife picked it up in the hopes it would be Hitchcocky.

I thought the whole thing was rather boring and predictable. But then, I'm not really much of a Jodie Foster fan. I'm probably the only one who can say that. She was okay in The Silence of the Lambs, but that's about it as far as I'm concerned.

Today I'm going to see The Wrestler.

flightplan

Discuss "Flightplan" (1 comment so far)


One More for the Road (and Argie)

usaI've already written my final words about Dubya. Here's one more for the road, and regular commenter Argie who unabashedly defends George W. Bush's presidential record because that's his thing.

This is Keith Olbermann on MSNBC summarizing 8 years of Bush in 8 minutes.

Now I really am done.

Discuss "One More for the Road (and Argie)" (10 comments so far)


Separated Shoulder Anxiety (or Bitchfest 2009)

thumbsdownWhat's the point of having a blog if you can't bitch about stuff? Last night I separated my left shoulder playing hockey, and 24 hours later the whole thing is seriously bumming me out.

First and foremost, the pain is constant and intense. I haven't been using the sling as much as I should, and instead I grip my shirt with my left hand in order to assume the one position that doesn't hurt. It's been less than a full day and I'm an impatient sonufabitch wondering when the hell there will be some degree of improvement.

Then there's the inconvenience. James had his 7th birthday party today and I couldn't even drive the party wagon. In addition to being hopped up on goofballs, my left arm is pretty useless, making driving pretty dangerous. I just got home and saw some snow had fallen, and then I realized I can't shovel. I did manage to push the snow with my right arm and use my foot to kick the snow onto the lawn, but it's pretty inefficient. My daughter helped me put on my socks today, my wife tied my boots and helped pull off my sweater and tasks once taken for granted now take a surprisingly amount of time to complete. Losing an arm is awfully inconvenient.

Then there's the reality that's starting to sink in. I've paid to play in the Skydome slo-pitch tournament in a couple of weeks, and I've really been looking forward to it, but there's no chance I'll be able to do anything more than cheer. I've thoroughly enjoyed my first season of hockey in 21 years, and I've improved every week, but from all accounts I'll be out of action for a couple of months. There isn't much more than a couple of months left in the season. I'm going to force myself on the ice Saturday mornings because it means a lot to my son and I don't have to do more than skate, but everything from rock climbing to tobogganing is out until March. Walking is just about the only game left in town.

And finally, there's the drugs. I usually refuse painkillers, but in this instance I didn't really have a choice. I'm downing a couple of percocets every 5 hours or so and I seem to have an amphetamine or methamphetamine-type reaction to this drug. Everything speeds up. I'm told I'm pretty funny when riding the percocet high, and it definitely helps with the pain, but I'm already trying to find out where Rush Limbaugh scores his goods so I can get a similar hook-up.

I'm told things will be better in two months. Only 5259487.66 seconds to go...

Discuss "Separated Shoulder Anxiety (or Bitchfest 2009)" (9 comments so far)


My First Upper Body Injury

medicalI play a lot of sports, and always give the proverbial 110%, so injuries are nothing new to me. Three different times I've broken bones in my legs, I've torn my ACL and I've suffered a complete shutdown of the posterior kinetic chain that plagues me to this day. Until last night, however, I've never suffered an upper body injury of significance.

At the tail end of my hockey game last night, I fell awkwardly on my left shoulder and the pain was excruciating. I couldn't pull off my jersey without wincing and shedding a manly tear. At half past midnight I realized I wasn't going to be able to sleep on this thing and went to the St. Joe's emergency room.

The good news is nothing is broken. The bad news is I've separated my shoulder and am now enjoying a steady diet of percocets. There's essentially one position in which my left shoulder doesn't kill and that makes it tough to sleep, impossible to drive and don't even think about tying up those boots.

It'll take 8 weeks to heal, but I don't plan to be on the disabled list that long. As soon as I can tolerate the pain, I'm getting back out there. I've got a ball tournament at SkyDome in a couple of weeks that I don't plan on missing.

Before I conclude this percocet-inspired, exhilarating tale of my broken left wing, there's an interesting side note. I've scored two goals in each of the past five hockey games I've played. Last night, once again sitting on two goals, I burst free on a break-away. I remember fighting off a defender to ensure I controlled the play, and then everything slowed down... Seriously, it was slo-motion and I put a killer move on the goalie to secure my first ever hat trick in a tight 8-7 win. Without a doubt, it was the best game of my life.

Discuss "My First Upper Body Injury" (4 comments so far)


Toronto 3, Atlanta 4

LeafsThe Leafs blew a 3-0 first-period lead and lost for the fifth time in six games.

Yet another sign that Tosky ain't as advertised: Toskala was 5-0-1 with a 1.81 GAA against the Thrashers prior to last night.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
17-21-7
41 points
4th in Northeast Division
4-3 OTL vs. Atlanta
6-4 Win vs. Carolina
2-0 Loss vs. Nashville
N. Antropov - 35
M. Stajan - 32
A. Ponikarovsky- 30

Discuss "Toronto 3, Atlanta 4" (1 comment so far)


Toronto T's

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.

This ad is from Stitches for Toronto T's and it aired back in 1985. I remember Toronto T's, City-TV promotional garments that were surprisingly popular back in the 80s. In fact, I remember owning a Toronto T myself.

If my memory serves me corrrectly, I believe you'd win prizes if a City-TV camera man spotted you wearing your Toronto T. Or maybe it wasn't a camera man... I'm hazy on the details. Does anyone out there remember the Toronto T City-TV promo deets?


Discuss "Toronto T's" (1 comment so far)


A Week of Headers

typewriterThose of you who kick it old school and visit TorontoMike.com or torontomike.com will have noticed a different header image every day. Every Friday, I post all the header images from the previous week. Here are the awesomely hilarious and insightful header images you may have missed this past week.

header

header

header

header

header

header

If you ever have a question as to what a particular message means, ask in the comments and I'll tell ya!

Discuss "A Week of Headers" (5 comments so far)


Maple Leafs 6, Hurricanes 4

LeafsI'm not at all comfortable with this. I'm actually disappointed the Leafs won this game. I shouldn't feel bummed when we're up 4-0.

Blake had a monster night with three goals and two assists. Luckily for us, the Maple Leafs are 1-4 in the second half of games on back-to-back nights this season.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
17-21-6
40 points
4th in Northeast Division
6-4 Win vs. Carolina
2-0 Loss vs. Nashville
4-1 Loss vs. Philadelphia
N. Antropov - 34
M. Stajan - 32
A. Ponikarovsky- 30

Discuss "Maple Leafs 6, Hurricanes 4" (3 comments so far)


Obama's Playlist

CanadaI wrote about the 49 Songs contest CBC Radio 2 is running this month. I've been tuning in and it's a lot of fun.

Voting closes today on their top 100 nominations. In an effort to be more inclusive, CBC has broken things down into four categories, to get instrumental pieces and French tunes a chance. Since I've only really heard of the songs in the first category, I'm only listing those below.

  • Acadian Driftwood - The Band
  • Agua Del Pozo - Alex Cuba
  • Alberta Bound - Paul Brandt
  • American Woman - The Guess Who
  • Raise a little hell - Trooper
  • Big Feeling - Susan Aglukark
  • Bobcaygeon - The Tragically Hip
  • Both Sides Now - Joni Mitchell
  • Brother (Watching) - Shad
  • Canada's Really Big - Arrogant Worms
  • The Canadian Dream - Sam Roberts
  • Canadian Railroad Trilogy - Gordon Lightfoot
  • A Case of You - Joni Mitchell
  • Cette Vie - African Guitar Summit & Alpha YaYa Diallo
  • Closer to the Heart - Rush
  • Crabbuckit - k-os
  • Dawn of a New Day - Crystal Shawanda
  • De Cara a la Pared - Lhasa
  • Democracy - Leonard Cohen
  • Farmer's Song - Murray McLauchlan
  • Flip, Flop, Fly - Downchild Blues Band
  • Four Strong Winds - Ian & Sylvia
  • Hallelujah - k.d. lang
  • Helpless - Neil Young
  • Hockey - Jane Siberry
  • The Hockey Song - Stompin' Tom Connors
  • Huron Carole - Tom Jackson
  • I Can See Clearly Now - Holly Cole Trio
  • I Feel it All - Feist
  • If I Had $1,000,000 - Barenaked Ladies
  • Jolie Louise - Daniel Lanois
  • Let Your Backbone Slide - Maestro Fresh Wes
  • Lovers in a Dangerous Time – Bruce Cockburn
  • The Longest Road - Stephen Fearing
  • Mario Takes a Walk - Jesse Cook
  • Merey Mathay - Kiran Ahluwalia
  • Northern Wish - Rheostatics
  • Northwest Passage - Stan Rogers
  • Good Mother - Jann Arden
  • One Great City! - The Weakerthans
  • Ordinary Day - Great Big Sea
  • Rebellion (Lies) - Arcade Fire
  • Rise Again - The Rankin Family
  • Rise Up - Parachute Club
  • Rockin' In the Free World - Neil Young
  • Seven Day Fool - Jully Black
  • Share the Land - The Guess Who
  • Showdown at Big Sky - Robbie Robertson
  • Snowbird - Anne Murray
  • Soobax - K'naan
  • Superman's Song - Crash Test Dummies
  • Suzanne - Leonard Cohen
  • Takin' Care of Business - Bachman-Turner Overdrive
  • The Truck Got Stuck - Corb Lund
  • Try - Blue Rodeo
  • Universal Soldier - Buffy Sainte-Marie
  • Wheat Kings - The Tragically Hip
  • Wondering Where the Lions Are - Bruce Cockburn
  • Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot

A lot of those songs made my list of the top 100 Canadian songs. It will be interesting to see which 49 make the final cut.

Here's a song on both of our lists, and a shoe-in to make Obama's playlist.

Discuss "Obama's Playlist" (1 comment so far)


Don't Do It

moviesJackie Chan is in negotiations to star in the remake of 1984 hit movie The Karate Kid, according to reports. The martial arts star would take on the role of mentor Mr Miyagi.

I wrote about my love of The Karate Kid and the late Pat Morita as Kesuke Miyagi a couple of years ago.

Remaking this iconic movie is a very, very bad idea. Don't do it.

Wax on... wax off. Wax on... wax off.

Discuss "Don't Do It" (4 comments so far)


Oh, The Boss is Coming! - Arkells

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS21 consideration. I'm submitting "Oh, The Boss is Coming!" by Arkells.

These guys are from Hamilton and they've got a fun tune on their hands here. This is my music @ work.

Discuss "Oh, The Boss is Coming! - Arkells" (1 comment so far)


KHAAANNNN!

RewindWith Ricardo Montalban's passing yesterday, I was reminded of Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan.

My father took me to see Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan at the old Runnymede Theatre back in 1982. Quick math tells me I was either 7 or 8 years old, depending upon how long the film was in theatres before I saw it. This movie is the only movie that freaked me out to a point where I actually had to leave the theatre.

Wikipedia says Khan "implants Chekov and Terrell with indigenous, mind-controlling eels that enter the ears of their victims, and uses the officers to gain control of the Reliant." I'd say the creepiest slugs I'd ever seen were crawling into dudes' ears and I was so damn sure I could suffer the same fate.

My mom tells me I would have nightmares about slugs, something I don't recall, and I never connected those nightmares with The Wrath of Khan until today. Ricardo Montalban ruined my childhood.

KHAAANNNN!

kaaaahn

Discuss "KHAAANNNN!" (2 comments so far)


Guess Who's Married Thirteen Years Today?

WeddingI like my marriage more and more with every year that passes. Today is my 13th wedding anniversary and I don't even want to think about a life without my wife. Seriously, I'm so blessed I'm practically embarrassed.

My wedding was unusual. I shared the story five years ago.

We both had classes that chilly Toronto afternoon, but we had an appointment we couldn't miss. Ten days earlier, while chatting on the phone with my twenty year old girlfriend of less than eight months, the topic of marriage came up. "We should just do it now", one of us suggested. The next morning we met at Ossington Station and got our marriage license at New City Hall for $53. The next stop was Old City Hall where we booked a time with the Justice of the Peace to get hitched. The cost was another $53 and the next available time was 2:00pm on January 15th. We took it and never looked back.

I'm well aware it could have been a disaster. I guess I just got lucky. I love ya poops. Happy Anniversary.

The Wedding

Discuss "Guess Who's Married Thirteen Years Today?" (13 comments so far)


Exploring Explore Music

CorusCorus Radio is heavily promoting ExploreMusic, "a new web and radio service dedicated exclusively to music discovery." From the ExploreMusic About page.

By leveraging the success of Canada's top two music documentary radio features - The Ongoing History of New Music and The Legends of Classic Rock - ExploreMusic features the latest music news and opinion, interviews with established and emerging artists, behind-the-scenes information, technology and a host of other music-related topics. We combine the power and reach of radio with the unlimited potential of the internet, connecting rock fans with music and each other.

The host is Alan Cross, former PD at CFNY and longtime host of The Ongoing History of New Music. What I liked about Alan Cross when he was program director for Edge 102 is how responsive he was to my questions and even when I'd call him out on for selling out. The new PD doesn't reply to my emails....

Because I like Alan, and because I like exploring new music, today I decided to explore ExploreMusic. There are good things and things that are less than thrilling.

On the positive side, I like the convergence of radio the web here. You can listen to the show in the Corus Radio Network and hit up the web for additional show notes and to hear the tunes Alan Cross talks about. Radio has to tap into the web in order to survive.

I also like the spirit. There are indie tracks, mainstream tracks, new tracks and old tracks. It's just a bunch of music, interesting facts about the industry and tid-bits any music fan would be interested in.

On the negative side, it seems unfinished. With Corus behind the project, you'd expect more. Instead of a financed branch of a major media company, it feels more like something I'd throw together in a weekend. The blog isn't really a blog, as there's no permalinks, comments or RSS feed, and hearing the tunes requires you click through to MySpace, YouTube or whatever. It just seems awfully home made.

Hey Alan, add an RSS feed so I can follow your notes and lists in Google Reader. The "5 Songs Ya Gotta Hear Today" is a cool idea, I just want you to push them to me. And tell CFNY's new PD to reply to my emails!

Discuss "Exploring Explore Music" (3 comments so far)


Ricardo Montalban, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumRicardo Montalban was 88. He was the Mexican-born actor who became a star in splashy MGM musicals and later as the wish-fulfilling Mr. Roarke in TV's "Fantasy Island."

I remember him well as Vincent Ludwig in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!.

Discuss "Ricardo Montalban, Rest in Peace" (8 comments so far)


Patrick McGoohan, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumPatrick McGoohan was 80. He was an Emmy Award-winning actor who starred as a British spy in the 1960s TV series "Secret Agent" and "The Prisoner" and was known for playing various villainous roles in films and on television.

Discuss "Patrick McGoohan, Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


Flight of the Conchords - Not Crying

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.

Flight of the Conchords - Not Crying
Season two of Flight of the Conchords will premiere on HBO and HBO Canada on January 18, 2009. I can't wait.

Discuss "Flight of the Conchords - Not Crying" (0 comments so far)


Maple Leafs 0, Predators 2

LeafsAnother Leafs game, another loss. Before this season began, I received some flack for calling this the worst Leafs team ever. Then, they came out of the gate playing some inspired hockey and I heard rumblings about making the playoffs.

That inspired play is long gone, and the one positive I thought we had in Tosky, ain't so sweet after all. We're playing for ping pong balls.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
16-21-6
38 points
4th in Northeast Division
2-0 Loss vs. Nashville
4-1 Loss vs. Philadelphia
6-2 Loss vs. Montreal
N. Antropov - 33
M. Stajan - 32
A. Ponikarovsky- 30

Discuss "Maple Leafs 0, Predators 2" (4 comments so far)


Michelle's Webkinz Hell

thumbsdownIf you've got a younger child at home, you've probably heard of Webkinz. For the unaware, a Webkinz is a plush toy pet you register online. Then, in a very safe web environment, your child plays with the pet and does all sorts of neat things.

My son has adopted a few pets over the years, but my daughter just got her first, a cute little golden puppy. I just helped her sign up online and we were both disappointed to learn that my daughter's first name is not allowed in the world of Webkinz. Webkinz will not allow my daughter to be named Michelle.

I'm guessing, in an effort to keep this space ultra clean, Webkinz has a long list of banned words that are disallowed. I'll bet "hell" is one of those words, and Michelle does contain the world hell. You'd think, though, that they would also white list a few exceptions, including the very common first name Michelle.

Unfortunately, no such white list exists, and Michelle can't be Michelle in the world of Webkinz. Below is the rejection notice my daughter received when she was trying to be herself.

webkinz

Discuss "Michelle's Webkinz Hell" (8 comments so far)


Ulysses - Franz Ferdinand

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS21 consideration. I'm submitting "Ulysses" by Franz Ferdinand.

I'm really digging this new Franz Ferdinand track. The quiet parts actually remind me of Flight of the Conchords, but don't tell Franz Ferdinand that. Great tune.

Discuss "Ulysses - Franz Ferdinand" (2 comments so far)


Orchestral Doogie Howser

TVFact: Doogie Howser was the world's first blogger. Think about it... he sat at that computer and typed out crap nobody but he would care about. Now that's blogging!

Discuss "Orchestral Doogie Howser" (2 comments so far)


Mr. Mom

familyMy wife had to make an emergency trip out west, so I was forced into Mr. Mom action. The weekend was fine, but yesterday was the first day I was solely responsible for the kids on a school day.

There was a drop off time and place for James, another for Michelle, a pick up time and place for Michelle, then lunch pick up for James, then James had to be taken back and picked up again at the end of the day. Meanwhile, there was a swimming lesson for Michelle in the afternoon and at the end of the day a Beavers tobogganing night at Rennie Park. (Dan Duran, by the way, makes an excellent hot chocolate with just the right amount of marshmallows and whipped cream.) By the time I got our soaking bodies home around 8:40, I was exhausted.

Don't get me started on the wardrobe and meal preparation duties. I mean, I'm responsible for three meals a day! And James lost a tooth and Michelle had a bad dream and I was trying to work from home... Not to mention the dog and all of that stuff I've happily ignored for 13 years.

I guess what I'm trying to say here, is thanks to my awesome wife for keeping me blissfully ignorant all these years. I can't wait to go into the office tomorrow. It sure beats working for a living.

Discuss "Mr. Mom" (2 comments so far)


4th Blue Jay Enters Hall of Fame

bluejaysA fourth Blue Jay has been elected into the Hall of Fame. Joining Phil Niekro, Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor is Ricky Henderson who dropped by for a cup of coffee and a World Series victory back in '93.

I remember Ricky was having a great season in '93 when we acquired him, but then he went into a slump. His presence probably slowed as down, as it disrupted WAMCO. We became HAMCOW, as I recall.

Remember though, it was Rickey Henderson who led off that ninth inning with a walk before Devon White flew out to left and Paul Molitor rapped out his third hit of the game. Then, along came Joe.

Discuss "4th Blue Jay Enters Hall of Fame" (10 comments so far)


The Legend of Zelda

nintendoThe Legend of Zelda was a big deal when I was a kid. We had the old 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System and The Legend of Zelda and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link were a couple of games that received primo play time.

I mean, we took these games seriously. I remember that feeling when it was too easy to complete and wishing it could somehow become challenging again. Getting Ganon gave us a goal.

Here's a dude who does the awesome Zelda theme song a capella with a violin. It's pretty cool.

Discuss "The Legend of Zelda" (0 comments so far)


Wannabe in LA - Eagles of Death Metal

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS21 consideration. I'm submitting "Wannabe in LA" by Eagles of Death Metal.

Maybe I like this song because 102.1 plays it 20 times a day. Maybe familiarity doesn't breed contempt.

Discuss "Wannabe in LA - Eagles of Death Metal" (0 comments so far)


Best. Party. Playlist. Ever.

tunesSome* are calling this the Best. Party. Playlist. Ever. I premiered this playlist on Thursday night to rave reviews.

Keep in mind, I avoided songs with swears (although a few slipped through the cracks) and tried to appeal to the masses, thereby avoiding my mosh anthems. The objective was to get the most people on the dance floor... with most in attendance born in the 70s.

The playlist was shuffled, but I sorted this table alphabetically by song name.

1979 4:24 Smashing Pumpkins
Alive 5:43 Pearl Jam
American Boy 4:47 Estelle
Anarchy In The U.K. 3:32 Sex Pistols
B.O.B. 5:04 OutKast
Barbie Girl 3:18 Aqua
Basket Case 3:03 Green Day
Believe 3:46 The Bravery
Bizarre Love Triangle-94 3:54 New Order
Body Movin' [Fatboy Slim Remix] 5:31 Beastie Boys
Bring Me To Life 3:57 Evanescence
Cannonball 3:34 The Breeders
Clint Eastwood 5:41 Gorillaz
Come On Eileen 4:08 Dexy's Midnight Runners
Come Out and Play 3:18 Offspring
Common People 5:52 Pulp
Connected 3:38 Stereo MC's
Crabbuckit 3:49 K-Os
Crazy 3:01 Gnarls Barkley
Dancing Queen 3:52 ABBA
Diamonds And Guns 4:02 Transplants
Do You Realize?? 3:33 The Flaming Lips
Drinking In L.A. 3:56 Bran Van 3000
Dude (Looks Like A Lady) 4:25 Aerosmith
Everlong 4:13 Foo Fighters
Funky Cold Medina 4:09 Tone Loc
Gangsta's Paradise (LP Version) 4:00 Coolio
Get Busy 3:35 Sean Paul
Get The Party Started 3:12 Pink
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun 3:56 Cyndi Lauper
Gold Digger (Featuring Jamie Foxx) 3:28 Kanye West
Hate To Say I Told You So 3:22 The Hives
Heart Of Glass 4:12 Blondie
Hey Baby 3:27 No Doubt
Hey Ya! 3:55 OutKast
Home for a Rest 4:27 Spirit of the West
Human 4:06 The Killers
Hypnotize 3:49 The Notorious B.I.G.
I Will Survive 3:51 Cake
Informer 4:30 Snow
Insane In The Brain 3:33 Cypress Hill
Into Action 3:40 Tim Armstrong
It Takes Two 2:57 Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock
Joy and Pain 3:49 DJ Rob Base and EZ Rock
Jump Around 3:24 House Of Pain
Just a Friend 4:00 Biz Markie
Just Can't Get Enough 3:44 Depeche Mode
Karma Chameleon 4:03 Culture Club
Laid 2:38 James
Last Nite 3:18 The Strokes
Lazy Eye 5:54 Silversun Pickups
Little Bones 4:45 The Tragically Hip
Live Your Life [Ft. Rihanna] 5:39 T.I.
Love Shack 4:17 The B-52's
Lump 2:15 Presidents of the United States of America
Mama Said Knock You Out 4:50 LL Cool J
Mony Mony 5:01 Billy Idol
Mr. Cab Driver 3:50 Lenny Kravitz
Mr. Jones 4:32 Counting Crows
O.P.P. 4:31 Naughty By Nature
Ordinary Day 3:11 Great Big Sea
Paper Planes 3:24 M.I.A.
Paradise City 6:46 Guns N' Roses
Piece Of Me 3:32 Britney Spears
Pour Some Sugar on Me (Historia Video Edit) 4:52 Def Leppard
Red, Red Wine 5:19 UB40
Rehab 3:33 Amy Winehouse
Rock Me Amadeus 3:17 Falco
Romantic Rights 3:15 Death From Above 1979
Salute Your Solution 3:00 The Raconteurs
Santa Monica 3:12 Everclear
She Sells Sanctuary 4:13 The Cult
Shut Up And Let Me Go 2:53 The Ting Tings
Single Ladies [Put A Ring On It] 3:13 Beyoncé
Song 2 2:02 Blur
Stronger 5:12 Kanye West
Summer Of '69 3:33 Bryan Adams
Sunday Morning 3:47 k-os
Sundown 3:59 Elwood
Swagga Like Us [Ft. Jay-Z, Kanye West,Lil' Wayne] 5:28 T.I.
Sweet Caroline 3:22 Neil Diamond
Sweet Child O' Mine 5:56 Guns N' Roses
The Bad Touch (The Eiffel 65 Mix) 3:36 The Bloodhound Gang
The Humpty Dance 6:31 Digital Underground
The Power 5:43 Snap
The Rockafeller Skank 6:54 Fatboy Slim
Time to Pretend 4:21 MGMT
Toxic 3:22 Britney Spears
Tubthumping 3:27 Chumbawamba
Umbrella (ft Jay-Z) 4:24 Rihanna
Unbelievable 3:30 EMF
Walk This Way 5:11 Run-D.M.C.
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 4:17 Michael Jackson
We Will Rock You 2:02 Queen
Whatever You Like 4:10 T.I.
Where it's At 5:31 Beck
Whip It 2:39 Devo
Womanizer 3:44 Britney Spears
Wonderwall 4:19 Oasis
Y.M.C.A. ('93 Remix) 3:46 Village People
You Shook Me All Night Long 3:30 AC/DC

* By some I mean me.

Discuss "Best. Party. Playlist. Ever." (55 comments so far)


Maple Leafs 1, Flyers 4

LeafsYeah, we lost another game. We're 3-7-0 in our last ten games. As bad as that is, it's not even as bad as Ottawa, which means we're doing something wrong.

Repeat after me, Leafs fans. Just lose, baby!

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
16-20-6
38 points
4th in Northeast Division
4-1 Loss vs. Philadelphia
6-2 Loss vs. Montreal
4-2 Loss vs. Florida
N. Antropov - 33
M. Stajan - 32
A. Ponikarovsky- 30

Discuss "Maple Leafs 1, Flyers 4" (0 comments so far)


My First Album: Vinyl and Cassette

CassetteThe first vinyl album I ever bought was Duran Duran's Rio. That same year, I bought my first cassette tape. I had golden oldies cassette tapes that were bought for me at gas stations, but the first cassette album I ever purchased was the Stray Cats' Built for Speed.

Do you remember your first?

duran-duran-rio

Discuss "My First Album: Vinyl and Cassette" (23 comments so far)


Google's New Favicon

GoogleGoogle has a new favicon. For the less geeky, that's the icon you see in the tab of your browser, assuming you've upgraded IE from 6 or are using a decent browser, like Firefox.

The new Google favicon is the Google "g" surrounded by blocks of blue, red, yellow and green. I wonder what other company has a logo with blocks of blue, red, yellow and green....

microsoft_vista-logo

Head over to Google and see what I mean...

Discuss "Google's New Favicon" (2 comments so far)


Returning to Normal

MouseI'm a fan of routines. On Thursday morning I was bussed up to Horseshoe Valley ski resort for a couple of days of corporate brainwashing in the guise of purely awesome fun.

They cover all meals, give you your own room, give you ski / snowboarding / tubing passes, but you have to attend some "let's kick ass in 2009 speeches" along the way. The highlight was the crazy Thursday night après-ski party with music supplied by yours truly.

I figured since this was a work thing, I'd leave songs with swears off the playlist. That reduced my options by about 50%. Then, I put together 5 hours of music that would get the masses on the dance floor. I ran the playlist off my iPod Touch, docked in a SoundDock Series II system, and I killed at this task. Best. Party. Playlist. Ever.

After hockey last night (in which I scored two nice goals) and again this morning, I'm ready for a return to normalcy. I miss my nice 'ol routine.

Discuss "Returning to Normal" (7 comments so far)


A Week of Headers

typewriterThose of you who kick it old school and visit TorontoMike.com or torontomike.com will have noticed a different header image every day. Every Friday, I post all the header images from the previous week. Here are the awesomely hilarious and insightful header images you may have missed this past week.

header

header

header

header

header

header

header

header

Discuss "A Week of Headers" (0 comments so far)


Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 6

LeafsI missed this one because I was busy supplying the tunes for a parrr-teee at a corporate retreat at Horseshoe Valley. It looks like I missed a real gem.

I see Brad May got his first fight as a Leaf out of the way. Sure, we lost handily, but that oughta make Burkey happy.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
16-19-6
38 points
4th in Northeast Division
6-2 Loss vs. Montreal
4-2 Loss vs. Florida
3-1 Win vs. Ottawa
N. Antropov - 32
M. Stajan - 31
A. Ponikarovsky- 29

Discuss "Maple Leafs 2, Canadiens 6" (3 comments so far)


The Blue Jays Album, Class of '92

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.

Here's a great ad for the Blue Jays Album, Class of '92. I love these songs, and I was lucky enough to have this CD sent to me by sweet reader Stephanie.

In an effort to pay it forward, I frequently shared these songs. Probably the easiest way for you to listen to them is to visit this entry which includes links to other awesome Blue Jays audio on this blog.

Discuss "The Blue Jays Album, Class of '92" (7 comments so far)


The Amber and El Diablo Show

Guest BlogBy far the most popular entry I've written in 2009 is Scientology, Autism and the Death of Jett Travolta. Sure, we're only seven days into 2009, but I'll bet you a loonie that I'll be able to make the same claim on December 31.

I've been at this game a long time, but in the 8462 entries I've written, I don't remember as interesting a battle in the comments as I've seen between Amber and El Diablo.

We're at 196 comments and counting. Head on over, catch some of The Amber and El Diablo Show, and share your opinion while you're there.

Discuss "The Amber and El Diablo Show" (6 comments so far)


Edward Henderson, 1919 - 2009

bereavementEdward Henderson was my wife's grandfather. Earlier this week, she received word from British Columbia that he had passed away in his 90th year.

I only met Ed a few times but I knew he was reading every word I typed on this blog. Part of Ed's daily ritual was a visit to torontomike.com and I'm told he felt it kept him in touch with our family, even though we were separated by thousands of kilometres. When calls came for my wife from out west, she'd be asked to tell me that Ed loves the blog.

I spoke to my wife's grandmother the day we learnt Ed had passed. She asked that I write about him here. I said I would, but I knew Ed was a navy man and I didn't want to write about him until I had more details as to the ships he served on. Then, earlier today, I received this note from White Rock, BC.

Dad joined the Navy (RCNV) on July 12.1940 in Saskatoon. The ships he served on were the British Battleship Royal Sovereign, and Canadian ships The Pas and La Salle. He was discharged in Saskatoon in 1945.

Ed Henderson was much loved by his family and will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, Ed.

edinvetuniform

Discuss "Edward Henderson, 1919 - 2009" (1 comment so far)


Lunch Money Day 2009

foodJordan wants you all to know it's once again time to help Toronto's less fortunate with Second Harvest's annual Lunch Money Day.

Get involved:

For every $5 donation, Second Harvest can provide enough fresh food for 10 meals for those in need.

Their goal this year is to raise $410,000 or about 820,000 meals for the men, women and children who are hungry in our community.

Fundraisers don't just help Second Harvest help the hungry, they make ya feel good. Do it!

Discuss "Lunch Money Day 2009" (0 comments so far)


Alanis Morissette - Uninvited

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.

Alanis Morissette - Uninvited
Back in '98, Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan starred in a pretty forgettable movie called City of Angels. It did have Andre Braugher from Homicide: Life on the Street in it, but the only other bright spot was this haunting song from our very own Alanis.

Over ten years later I still dig this track.

Discuss "Alanis Morissette - Uninvited" (0 comments so far)


Brad May a Maple Leaf

leafsThanks to a tip from Elvis, we called this one. The Toronto Maple Leafs have made a trade, acquiring Brad May from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a conditional sixth round draft pick in 2010.

May has been around forever, and is a toughie. And Brian Burke likes the tough character guys. It's only a 6th round pick, so we'll label this with our favourite term of 2006.

Meh.

Discuss "Brad May a Maple Leaf" (16 comments so far)


Maple Leafs 2, Panthers 4

LeafsBryan McCabe returned the Toronto and helped his Panthers beat us good, but I'm more interested in what might happen today.

Elvis is a new local blogger who blogs at My Morning Expresso. Today he wrote that his associate was at a breakfast today where Brian Burke was a speaker and Burke told the crowd there was going to be a small trade announcement today.

We'll see if Elvis' source is correct...

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
16-18-6
38 points
4th in Northeast Division
4-2 Loss vs. Florida
3-1 Win vs. Ottawa
4-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
N. Antropov - 31
M. Stajan - 30
A. Ponikarovsky- 29

Discuss "Maple Leafs 2, Panthers 4" (7 comments so far)


The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn) - Weezer

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS21 consideration. I'm submitting "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)" by Weezer.

This might be my favourite Weezer single since "El Scorcho." It's all over the place...

And the opening sirens really mess with you when you're driving.

Discuss "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn) - Weezer" (2 comments so far)


December 2008 Organic Keywords

Search Strings According to Google Analytics, here are the top ten keywords that brought people to this site in December 2008.

How do you visit your daily web haunts? Do you have the site bookmarked? Do you manually type in the URL? Or do you throw the name in Google and click the link at the very top?

#9 and #10 below are because many people throw my name in Google and click the first link. In addition to the usual suspects, it seems fans of Andy Barrie realized he was taking an awfully long vacation and hit the web to find out where he is. If you Google Andy's name, I'm #5.

  1. wedding songs
  2. andy barrie
  3. christmas playlist
  4. big shiny tunes 2
  5. hockey songs
  6. prima tv
  7. wedding songs 2008
  8. big shiny tunes 3
  9. mike boon
  10. toronto mike

Discuss "December 2008 Organic Keywords" (5 comments so far)


Canada 5, Sweden 1

Canada HockeyCanada has its fifth World Junior Championship gold medal in a row. I love this tournament and have watched faithfully for as long as I can remember, but I don't recall a tournament as exciting as this one.

First there was that New Year's game against the USA. Down by three goals early, we stormed all the way back.

Then, there was that unbelievable semi-final game against Russia. With a mere 5.4 seconds on the clock, we were down by a goal. Somehow, against all odds, we came back and won in a shootout.

Can-a-da! Can-a-da! Can-a-da! Can-a-da! Can-a-da!

Discuss "Canada 5, Sweden 1" (9 comments so far)


My Final Words About Dubya

USAGeorge Dubya Bush has 14 days left in office. A recent poll found that 79 percent of Americans will not miss him after he leaves the White House. This will be my very last entry about Dubya, a man I won't even miss as blog fodder.

Throughout the past eight years, I wrote about him often.

With only a couple of weeks left, I'm looking forward to never writing about him again. Besides, this op-ed column in the New York Times by Frank Rich called "A President Forgotten but Not Gone" says it all so perfectly.

WE like our failed presidents to be Shakespearean, or at least large enough to inspire Oscar-worthy performances from magnificent tragedians like Frank Langella. So here, too, George W. Bush has let us down. Even the banality of evil is too grandiose a concept for 43. He is not a memorable villain so much as a sometimes affable second banana whom Josh Brolin and Will Ferrell can nail without breaking a sweat. He’s the reckless Yalie Tom Buchanan, not Gatsby. He is smaller than life.

The last NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll on Bush’s presidency found that 79 percent of Americans will not miss him after he leaves the White House. He is being forgotten already, even if he’s not yet gone. You start to pity him until you remember how vast the wreckage is. It stretches from the Middle East to Wall Street to Main Street and even into the heavens, which have been a safe haven for toxins under his passive stewardship. The discrepancy between the grandeur of the failure and the stature of the man is a puzzlement. We are still trying to compute it.

The one indisputable talent of his White House was its ability to create and sell propaganda both to the public and the press. Now that bag of tricks is empty as well. Bush’s first and last photo-ops in Iraq could serve as bookends to his entire tenure. On Thanksgiving weekend 2003, even as the Iraqi insurgency was spiraling, his secret trip to the war zone was a P.R. slam-dunk. The photo of the beaming commander in chief bearing a supersized decorative turkey for the troops was designed to make every front page and newscast in the country, and it did. Five years later, in what was intended as a farewell victory lap to show off Iraq’s improved post-surge security, Bush was reduced to ducking shoes.

He tried to spin the ruckus as another victory for his administration’s program of democracy promotion. “That’s what people do in a free society,” he said. He had made the same claim three years ago after the Palestinian elections, championed by his “freedom agenda” (and almost $500 million of American aid), led to a landslide victory for Hamas. “There is something healthy about a system that does that,” Bush observed at the time, as he congratulated Palestinian voters for rejecting “the old guard.”

The ruins of his administration’s top policy priority can be found not only in Gaza but in the new “democratic” Iraq, where the local journalist who tossed the shoes was jailed without formal charges and may have been tortured. Almost simultaneously, opponents of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki accused him of making politically motivated arrests of rival-party government officials in anticipation of this month’s much-postponed provincial elections.

Condi Rice blamed the press for the image that sullied Bush’s Iraq swan song: “That someone chose to throw a shoe at the president is what gets reported over and over.” We are back where we came in. This was the same line Donald Rumsfeld used to deny the significance of the looting in Baghdad during his famous “Stuff happens!” press conference of April 2003. “Images you are seeing on television you are seeing over, and over, and over,” he said then, referring to the much-recycled video of a man stealing a vase from the Baghdad museum. “Is it possible that there were that many vases in the whole country?” he asked, playing for laughs.

The joke was on us. Iraq burned, New Orleans flooded, and Bush remained oblivious to each and every pratfall on his watch. Americans essentially stopped listening to him after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, but he still doesn’t grasp the finality of their defection. Lately he’s promised not to steal the spotlight from Barack Obama once he’s in retirement — as if he could do so by any act short of running naked through downtown Dallas. The latest CNN poll finds that only one-third of his fellow citizens want him to play a post-presidency role in public life.

Bush is equally blind to the collapse of his propaganda machinery. Almost poignantly, he keeps trying to hawk his goods in these final days, like a salesman who hasn’t been told by the home office that his product has been discontinued. Though no one is listening, he has given more exit interviews than either Clinton or Reagan did. Along with old cronies like Karl Rove and Karen Hughes, he has also embarked on a Bush “legacy project,” as Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard described it on CNN.

To this end, Rove has repeated a stunt he first fed to the press two years ago: he is once again claiming that he and Bush have an annual book-reading contest, with Bush chalking up as many as 95 books a year, by authors as hifalutin as Camus. This hagiographic portrait of Bush the Egghead might be easier to buy were the former national security official Richard Clarke not quoted in the new Vanity Fair saying that both Rice and her deputy, Stephen Hadley, had instructed him early on to keep his memos short because the president is “not a big reader.”

Another, far more elaborate example of legacy spin can be downloaded from the White House Web site: a booklet recounting “highlights” of the administration’s “accomplishments and results.” With big type, much white space, children’s-book-like trivia boxes titled “Did You Know?” and lots of color photos of the Bushes posing with blacks and troops, its 52 pages require a reading level closer to “My Pet Goat” than “The Stranger.”

This document is the literary correlative to “Mission Accomplished.” Bush kept America safe (provided his presidency began Sept. 12, 2001). He gave America record economic growth (provided his presidency ended December 2007). He vanquished all the leading Qaeda terrorists (if you don’t count the leaders bin Laden and al-Zawahri). He gave Afghanistan a thriving “market economy” (if you count its skyrocketing opium trade) and a “democratically elected president” (presiding over one of the world’s most corrupt governments). He supported elections in Pakistan (after propping up Pervez Musharraf past the point of no return). He “led the world in providing food aid and natural disaster relief” (if you leave out Brownie and Katrina).

If this is the best case that even Bush and his handlers can make for his achievements, you wonder why they bothered. Desperate for padding, they devote four risible pages to portraying our dear leader as a zealous environmentalist.

But the brazenness of Bush’s alternative-reality history is itself revelatory. The audacity of its hype helps clear up the mystery of how someone so slight could inflict so much damage. So do his many print and television exit interviews.

The man who emerges is a narcissist with no self-awareness whatsoever. It’s that arrogance that allowed him to tune out even the most calamitous of realities, freeing him to compound them without missing a step. The president who famously couldn’t name a single mistake of his presidency at a press conference in 2004 still can’t.

He can, however, blame everyone else. Asked (by Charles Gibson) if he feels any responsibility for the economic meltdown, Bush says, “People will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived.” Asked if the 2008 election was a repudiation of his administration, he says “it was a repudiation of Republicans.”

“The attacks of September the 11th came out of nowhere,” he said in another interview, as if he hadn’t ignored frantic intelligence warnings that summer of a Qaeda attack. But it was an “intelligence failure,” not his relentless invocation of patently fictitious “mushroom clouds,” that sped us into Iraq. Did he take too long to change course in Iraq? “What seems like an eternity today,” he says, “may seem like a moment tomorrow.” Try telling that to the families of the thousands killed and maimed during that multiyear “moment” as Bush stubbornly stayed his disastrous course.

The crowning personality tic revealed by Bush’s final propaganda push is his bottomless capacity for self-pity. “I was a wartime president, and war is very exhausting,” he told C-Span. “The president ends up carrying a lot of people’s grief in his soul,” he told Gibson. And so when he visits military hospitals, “it’s always been a healing experience,” he told The Wall Street Journal. But, incredibly enough, it’s his own healing he is concerned about, not that of the grievously wounded men and women he sent to war on false pretenses. It’s “the comforter in chief” who “gets comforted,” he explained, by “the character of the American people.” The American people are surely relieved to hear it.

With this level of self-regard, it’s no wonder that Bush could remain undeterred as he drove the country off a cliff. The smugness is reinforced not just by his history as the entitled scion of one of America’s aristocratic dynasties but also by his conviction that his every action is blessed from on high. Asked last month by an interviewer what he has learned from his time in office, he replied: “I’ve learned that God is good. All the time.”

Once again he is shifting the blame. This presidency was not about Him. Bush failed because in the end it was all about him.

I wish I had written that. Well said...

Worst. President. Ever. Farewell, Dubya.

Discuss "My Final Words About Dubya" (26 comments so far)


Heart to Heart Retro Phraseology

MegaphoneNow that my son is almost seven years old, we're having some meaty convos.

When I'm teachin' instead of preachin', I humour myself by borrowing phrases from a pop culture world before his time. Here are three such phrases I've used on the boy recently.

Try it with your kids. Teach 'em a lesson and close it with "and that's one to grow on." Trust me, it's the most fun you'll have all day.

Discuss "Heart to Heart Retro Phraseology" (4 comments so far)


49 Songs

canadaI'm a sucker for all these Canadian music features the CBC like to throw at us every few years. The latest is from CBC Radio 2. Starting this morning, CBC Radio 2 is inviting us Canadians to help select the top “49 songs from north of the 49th parallel” that would best define our country to the incoming U.S. President Barack Obama.

It wasn't long ago CBC Radio One was choosing 50 Tracks, which inspired my Best Canadian Song Search.

I wanted to compile a list of the 100 definitive Canadian songs. I wonder how CBC's 49 Songs will compare with my list. It'll be fun finding out.

  1. The Tragically Hip - New Orleans Is Sinking
  2. Neil Young - Helpless
  3. The Band - The Weight
  4. Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi
  5. Gordon Lightfoot - Canadian Railroad Trilogy
  6. Stan Rogers - Northwest Passage
  7. Sloan - Underwhelmed
  8. The Guess Who - American Woman
  9. Leonard Cohen - Suzanne
  10. Neil Young - Heart of Gold
  11. Blue Rodeo - Try
  12. Leonard Cohen - Hallelujah
  13. The Tragically Hip - Courage
  14. Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson
  15. Cowboy Junkies - Misguided Angel
  16. Arcade Fire - Wake Up
  17. Gordon Lightfoot - Early Morning Rain
  18. Neil Young - Rockin' In The Free World
  19. Rush - The Spirit of Radio
  20. The Guess Who - Share the Land
  21. Blue Rodeo - Lost Together
  22. Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights
  23. Our Lady Peace - Naveed
  24. Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
  25. Blue Rodeo - Diamond Mine
  26. Bruce Cockburn - Lovers in a Dangerous Time
  27. Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind
  28. Five Man Electical Band - Signs
  29. Bachman Turner Overdrive - Takin' Care Of Business
  30. Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown
  31. The Guess Who - These Eyes
  32. Blood, Sweat and Tears - Spinning Wheel
  33. Hayden - Bad As They Seem
  34. Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl
  35. Ian and Sylvia - Four Strong Winds
  36. Joni Mitchell - Woodstock
  37. Rush - Closer to the Heart
  38. Joni Mitchell - Both Sides, Now
  39. Our Lady Peace - 4am
  40. Maestro Fresh-Wes - Let Your Backbone Slide
  41. k.d. lang - Constant Craving
  42. The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon
  43. Neil Young - Old Man
  44. Dream Warriors - My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style
  45. Sarah Harmer - Silver Road
  46. Jeff Healey - Angel Eyes
  47. The New Pornographers - Mass Romantic
  48. I Mother Earth - So Gently We Go
  49. Our Lady Peace - Clumsy
  50. Joni Mitchell - The Circle Game
  51. The Pursuit of Happiness - I'm An Adult Now
  52. The Lowest of the Low - Henry Needs A New Pair of Shoes
  53. Ashley MacIsaac - Sleepy Maggie
  54. Robbie Robertson - Somewhere Down the Crazy River
  55. Tom Cochrane - Big League
  56. Rush - Tom Sawyer
  57. Moist - Push
  58. Billy Talent - Nothing To Lose
  59. Rusty - Wake Me
  60. The Northern Pikes - Teenland
  61. Sarah Harmer - Basement Apartment
  62. Sarah McLachlan - Hold On
  63. The Tragically Hip - Wheat Kings
  64. Sloan - Coax Me
  65. Spirit of the West - Home For A Rest
  66. Steppenwolf - Born To Be Wild
  67. Crash Test Dummies - Superman's Song
  68. Stars - Ageless Beauty
  69. The Tragically Hip - Ahead By A Century
  70. The Demics - New York City
  71. Barenaked Ladies - If I Had $1,000,000
  72. 54-40 - I Go Blind
  73. Bryan Adams - Summer of '69
  74. The New Pornographers - Use It
  75. The Watchmen - All Uncovered
  76. Treble Charger - Red
  77. Sam Roberts - Brother Down
  78. Randy Bachman - Prairie Town
  79. Sarah McLachlan - Angel
  80. Tom Cochrane - Boy Inside The Man
  81. Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know
  82. Skydiggers - I Will Give You Everything
  83. Men Without Hats - Safety Dance
  84. Rough Trade - High School Confidential
  85. Hot Hot Heat - Bandages
  86. Corey Hart - Sunglasses at Night
  87. Loverboy - Working For The Weekend
  88. Metric - Combat Baby
  89. Rusty - Misogyny
  90. k-os - Heaven Only Knows
  91. Tokyo Police Club - Nature Of The Experiment
  92. Stars - Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
  93. Rheostatics - Record Body Count
  94. Odds - Heterosexual Man
  95. The Gandharvas - The First Day of Spring
  96. The Diodes - Tired of Waking Up Tired
  97. Feist - Mushaboom
  98. Gowan - A Criminal Mind
  99. Grapes Of Wrath - All The Things I Wasn't
  100. Max Webster - A Million Vacations

49-banner

Discuss "49 Songs" (14 comments so far)


15th Annual Round-the-Clock Slo-Pitch Tournament

baseballFor the second year in a row, my slo-pitch team has registered to participate in the annual Round-the-Clock slo-pitch tournament at the ballpark formerly known as SkyDome, the Rogers Centre. Our games are scheduled for January 30 to February 1, 2009.

I'll never forget our 4:30 am game last year. We stunk up the joint, but our team is stronger in 2009 and I sense this Storm's gonna rage once more.

I miss playing ball.

Early Morning Ball

Discuss "15th Annual Round-the-Clock Slo-Pitch Tournament" (7 comments so far)


Steve Martin Visits Toronto in 1974

CN TowerAs found on Torontoist, which is magically still online despite their threats to unplug the site on December 31, this clip is from Steve Martin's 1974 televisoin special "The Funnier Side of Eastern Canada".

I always thought Steve Martin should have been Canadian. He was recently throwing zingers our way once again as Gavin Volure on 30 Rock. But it all started back in 1974...

Discuss "Steve Martin Visits Toronto in 1974" (2 comments so far)


Maple Leafs 3, Senators 1

LeafsMy, how the mighty have fallen. It wasn't that long ago that we couldn't buy a regular season win against the mighty Sens. They were in the Stanley Cup final, we were missing the playoffs. They were an all-star team, with Alfie, Spezza and Heatley leading the charge. Now, they suck.

That's right, Ottawa's calendar year of 2008 was the worst in the league. As bad as the Leafs are this season, we're still seven points ahead of the Sens. On this Saturday night, with most of us preoccupied by another game, the good guys won again.

The mighty haven't just fallen, they've plummeted. And damn, it looks good on 'em.

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
16-17-6
38 points
4th in Northeast Division
3-1 Win vs. Ottawa
4-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
4-3 Win vs. Atlanta
N. Antropov - 30
M. Stajan - 30
A. Ponikarovsky- 28

Discuss "Maple Leafs 3, Senators 1" (2 comments so far)


Canada 6, Russia 5

Canada HockeyI had given up. There simply wasn't enough time on the clock for us to come back. The Russians had us, we were playing Slovakia for bronze. And then, with 5.4 seconds left in the third period, Jordan Eberle scored.

That scream you heard when Eberle scored was me. It was awesome, but overtime awaited us. We had our chances, but this semi-final would be determined by a shootout.

Awesome goals by Eberle and John Tavares sealed the deal and we'll be playing for our fifth gold medal in a row Monday night. First the New Year's game against the USA and then this. My poor heart can't take much more.

Discuss "Canada 6, Russia 5" (6 comments so far)


Third Time's a Charm for Songbird

musicI used to swear by Winamp for playing my MP3s. For years and years I thought people were crazy for not using Winamp, then something happened with Winamp's development that had me looking for an alternative player. I flirted with the Quintessential Player for a while, and eventually ended up with iTunes.

Songbird is an open-source media player built on the same platform as my beloved Firefox. I've actually tried it twice before, when it was a proof of concept and Songbird 0.2. Now that they've released Songbird 1.0.0, I had to give it a third try.

It's so much better now. It's fast, stable and far more fun than iTunes. Like Firefox, there are add-ons that enhance the experience. For example, there is an add-on called mashTape that gives me band info, a discography, videos and more for each artists I play. I also use the side panel for song lyrics, and another add-on that tells me when an artist in my collection is coming to Toronto.

This is the open source iTunes killer I've been waiting for. It's finally ready for prime time.

songbird

Discuss "Third Time's a Charm for Songbird" (9 comments so far)


Double Booked

PuckI can't wait for tonight's semi-final in the World Junior Championship in Ottawa. Canada takes on Russia and you know it's gonna be good. The puck drops shortly after 7:30.

Speaking of Ottawa, the Senators are in town to take on the Leafs. Normally, that would have my full attention on a Saturday night. That game starts shortly after 7:00.

I'm double booked and without PiP. Canada vs. Russia takes precedent, without a doubt, and during intermissions and commercial breaks I'll check in on my Leafers.

There, I've got it all worked out.

Discuss "Double Booked" (4 comments so far)


Scientology, Autism and the Death of Jett Travolta

medicalThe 16-year old son of actors John Travolta and Kelly Preston, Jett Travolta, died today in the Bahamas. According to sources, Jett suffered a seizure at his family's vacation home at the Old Bahama Bay Hotel on Grand Bahama Island.

A few years ago, Hollywood, Interrupted published a plea from Hollywood for the Travoltas to open their hearts regarding Jett. That page doesn't seem to load properly anymore, so I'm re-posting the plea below.

A PLEA FROM HOLLYWOOD: JOHN TRAVOLTA - OPEN YOUR HEART! - April 10, 2006

On Friday, April 7th, Hollywood, Interrupted was treated to the Los Angeles premiere of "Normal People Scare Me" - a feature-length documentary about autism, co-directed by the high functioning autistic teenager Taylor Cross and his mother, Keri Bowers. The event was sponsored by an organization called Cure Autism Now (CAN) and the new magazine, The Autism Perspective (TAP).

This enlightening film was produced by b-movie actor/director/producer and former special education teacher, Joey Travolta. Joey's brother and sister-in-law, "Battlefield Earth" co-stars John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston, were not present. Too bad...

...Had John and Kelly been at the screening, they might have a better understanding of the disorder reportedly affecting their 14 year-old son, Jett. Sadly, the Scientology couple cannot even publicly admit that their son is afflicted with a neurological disorder, lest - according to the incontrovertible doctrine of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard - he be labeled a "degraded being" that brought his affliction onto himself. Instead, the Travoltas have long blamed their son's disability on Kawasaki Syndrome-related "environmental toxins," specifically carpet cleaning chemicals.

Rumors about Jett Travolta's disability have been floating around for years, but when no less than five sources (including a media rep from the Autism Society of America (ASA), an executive from Cure Autism Now, a major Hollywood producer and parent of an autistic child, and a Hollywood actor-parent) reported that Jett Travolta was afflicted did we decide to deliver this story. Scientology will not even recognize the disability, let alone the myriad therapies for treating it.

The CAN and ASA officials that spoke with Hollywood, Interrupted credited Sylvester Stallone and former pro football greats Doug Flutie and Dan Marino as celebrity parents of children with autism that have helped raise awareness of the malady. These celebs reportedly share their frustration with what they perceive as Travolta's "denial" stemming from Scientology's rabid hatred of psychiatry and judgment of those with psychological problems as lesser humans responsible for their own maladies.

The Hollywood actor interviewed describes having autism as "like being trapped within yourself, and having difficulty letting normal people know who you really are." Now, imagine being trapped inside a mind-control cult that prohibits you from availing your child to the treatment available. No wonder Scientology has long been plagued by suicides, and wrongful deaths.

The movie producer that spoke with Hollywood, Interrupted reports: "Kelly Preston, in her heart, wants to do the right thing for her son." "I bet it rips her heart out," says the actor. "But," says the producer," John Travolta has so far, done nothing to help raise awareness about autism."

Tragically, Scientology does nasty things to the heart. "And to the other families who are being torn apart by this disorder," sighs the actor. "Let me know if I can help you appeal to his heart." Hollywood, Interrupted believes that you may have done just that.

My heart goes out to anyone who loses a child, especially at such a very young age, but I can't help but wonder if Scientology is to blame. The entire concept of a "degraded being" is difficult for me to stomach.

Details are still emerging about Jett's death, but it sounds as if his affliction was acknowledged by everyone who knew him, except his parents. It would be difficult to believe devout followers of Scientology would do all they could do for someone suffering from a neurological disorder.

It's a shame this open plea fell on deaf ears years ago.

Discuss "Scientology, Autism and the Death of Jett Travolta" (252 comments so far)


Revisiting the 102.1 The Edge Playlist

Radio Last June, I took a closer look at the Edge 102.1 playlist. I was curious how many different songs were in rotation at CFNY. While I was crunching the numbers, I assigned each song a label: New, Recent or Classic Alternative.

A comment from egerton on my 102.1 The Edge's top 102 songs of 2008 entry piqued my interest. Egerton said they "put a whack of '80s and '90s songs back in rotation." A visit to the 102.1 the Edge playlist page did reveal a lot of 90s music, so I took every song they played today and did a little analysis.

New: I labelled a song new if it was new to the playlist in 2008. Yes, I was pretty generous with this label.

Recent: I created this category to cover songs that aren't exactly Classic Alternative but also aren't new. Songs less than five years old were labelled as "recent".

Classic Alternative: This covers the "golden oldies" CFNY likes to play. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, U2, Beastie Boys, STP, etc. Songs older than five years, essentially.

Here are the songs with their assigned labels. After the chart, I'll hit you up with some stats.

2:38 PM "YELLOW" - COLDPLAY CLASSIC ALT
2:35 PM "LOST!" - COLDPLAY NEW
2:31 PM "TURN YOUR BACK" - BILLY TALENT FEAT. ANTI-FLAG NEW
2:27 PM "TRY HONESTY" - BILLY TALENT RECENT
2:22 PM "MAN IN THE BOX" - ALICE IN CHAINS CLASSIC ALT
2:19 PM "WOULD" - ALICE IN CHAINS CLASSIC ALT
2:11 PM "LITTLE BONES" - THE TRAGICALLY HIP CLASSIC ALT
2:07 PM "BLOW AT HIGH DOUGH" - THE TRAGICALLY HIP CLASSIC ALT
2:03 PM "COME OUT AND PLAY (KEEP 'EM SEPARATED)" - OFFSPRING CLASSIC ALT
2:00 PM "YOU'RE GONNA GO FAR, KID" - OFFSPRING NEW
1:56 PM "LOSER" - BECK CLASSIC ALT
1:53 PM "ABOVE" - FINGER ELEVEN CLASSIC ALT
1:48 PM "SOMETIME AROUND MIDNIGHT" - AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT NEW
1:43 PM "SWEET CHILD O' MINE" - GUNS N' ROSES CLASSIC ALT
1:36 PM "THE KILLER" - MOBILE NEW
1:30 PM "ALIVE" - PEARL JAM CLASSIC ALT
1:27 PM "NOT READY TO GO" - TREWS CLASSIC ALT
1:24 PM "SEX ON FIRE" - KINGS OF LEON NEW
1:21 PM "STILL WAITING" - SUM 41 CLASSIC ALT
1:18 PM "RE-EDUCATION (THROUGH LABOR)" - RISE AGAINST NEW
1:11 PM "GUERRILLA RADIO" - RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE CLASSIC ALT
1:08 PM "CIVIL TWILIGHT" - WEAKERTHANS NEW
1:03 PM "EVERLONG" - FOO FIGHTERS CLASSIC ALT
1:01 PM "WANNABE IN LA" - EAGLES OF DEATH METAL NEW
12:58 PM "SANTERIA" - SUBLIME CLASSIC ALT
12:54 PM "BULLET WITH BUTTERFLY WINGS" - SMASHING PUMPKINS CLASSIC ALT
12:47 PM "SHEEP GO TO HEAVEN" - CAKE CLASSIC ALT
12:42 PM "BREATHE" - MOIST CLASSIC ALT
12:38 PM "NO RAIN" - BLIND MELON CLASSIC ALT
12:35 PM "BRAIN STEW" - GREEN DAY CLASSIC ALT
12:30 PM "VASOLINE" - STONE TEMPLE PILOTS CLASSIC ALT
12:26 PM "WAKE ME" - RUSTY CLASSIC ALT
12:22 PM "ASKING FOR IT" - HOLE CLASSIC ALT
12:18 PM "LITHIUM" - NIRVANA CLASSIC ALT
12:11 PM "THE IMPRESSION THAT I GET" - MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES CLASSIC ALT
12:05 PM "YELLOW LEDBETTER" - PEARL JAM CLASSIC ALT
12:00 PM "HANG TEN" - EDWIN CLASSIC ALT
11:56 AM "THE SHOCK OF THE LIGHTNING" - OASIS NEW
11:53 AM "GIRLS" - BEASTIE BOYS CLASSIC ALT
11:49 AM "SLEEPING SICKNESS" - CITY AND COLOUR NEW
11:44 AM "JEREMY" - PEARL JAM CLASSIC ALT
11:41 AM "CATH..." - DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE NEW
11:34 AM "SO FAR SO GOOD" - THORNLEY RECENT
11:31 AM "TROUBLEMAKER" - WEEZER NEW
11:26 AM "700 FT. CEILING" - THE TRAGICALLY HIP CLASSIC ALT
11:23 AM "YOU'RE GONNA GO FAR, KID" - OFFSPRING NEW
11:20 AM "OH, THE BOSS IS COMING!" - ARKELLS NEW
11:17 AM "THE GOOD LEFT UNDONE" - RISE AGAINST NEW
11:11 AM "WALLS FALL DOWN" - BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH RECENT
11:07 AM "IN THE END" - LINKIN PARK CLASSIC ALT
11:03 AM "AMERICAN WOMAN" - LENNY KRAVITZ CLASSIC ALT
10:59 AM "SEX ON FIRE" - KINGS OF LEON NEW
10:56 AM "ABOUT A GIRL" - NIRVANA CLASSIC ALT
10:53 AM "PAPER PLANES" - M.I.A. NEW
10:49 AM "LEARN TO FLY" - FOO FIGHTERS CLASSIC ALT
10:44 AM "STARSEED" - OUR LADY PEACE CLASSIC ALT
10:40 AM "HUMAN" - KILLERS NEW
10:32 AM "ULYSSES" - FRANZ FERDINAND NEW
10:29 AM "ARIEL VS. LOTUS" - LIMBLIFTER CLASSIC ALT
10:26 AM "WANNABE IN LA" - EAGLES OF DEATH METAL NEW (R)
10:23 AM "HOLLOWPOINT SNIPER HYPERBOLE" - USS NEW
10:19 AM "INTERGALACTIC" - BEASTIE BOYS CLASSIC ALT
10:14 AM "BEING HERE" - STILLS NEW
10:09 AM "GIVE IT AWAY" - RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS CLASSIC ALT
10:05 AM "WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD PEOPLE GONE" - SAM ROBERTS RECENT
10:00 AM "KIDS" - MGMT NEW
9:46 AM "IN TOO DEEP" - SUM 41 CLASSIC ALT
9:42 AM "SLEEPING SICKNESS" - CITY AND COLOUR NEW (R)
9:25 AM "EVERYTHING IS AUTOMATIC" - MATTHEW GOOD BAND CLASSIC ALT
9:21 AM "VIVA LA VIDA" - COLDPLAY NEW
9:15 AM "ONE MORE ASTRONAUT" - I.M.E. CLASSIC ALT
9:03 AM "YOU'RE GONNA GO FAR, KID" - OFFSPRING NEW (R)
8:45 AM "SEX ON FIRE" - KINGS OF LEON NEW (R)
8:36 AM "ANIMAL I HAVE BECOME" - THREE DAYS GRACE RECENT
8:23 AM "JUDITH" - A PERFECT CIRCLE CLASSIC ALT
8:19 AM "BETTER MAN" - PEARL JAM CLASSIC ALT
8:03 AM "WANNABE IN LA" - EAGLES OF DEATH METAL NEW (R)
7:46 AM "KIDS" - MGMT NEW (R)
7:36 AM "BROTHER DOWN" - SAM ROBERTS CLASSIC ALT
7:19 AM "BLEED IT OUT" - LINKIN PARK RECENT
7:15 AM "DAUGHTER" - PEARL JAM CLASSIC ALT
6:59 AM "SLEEPING SICKNESS" - CITY AND COLOUR NEW (R)
6:54 AM "KILLING IN THE NAME" - RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE CLASSIC ALT
6:37 AM "SEX ON FIRE" - KINGS OF LEON NEW (R)
6:28 AM "FAT LIP" - SUM 41 CLASSIC ALT
6:16 AM "RIVER BELOW" - BILLY TALENT RECENT
6:12 AM "RE-EDUCATION (THROUGH LABOR)" - RISE AGAINST NEW (R)
6:00 AM "YOU'RE GONNA GO FAR, KID" - OFFSPRING NEW (R)
5:57 AM "DISCIPLINE" - NINE INCH NAILS NEW
5:35 AM "NOTHING ELSE MATTERS" - METALLICA CLASSIC ALT
5:33 AM "WANNABE IN LA" - EAGLES OF DEATH METAL NEW (R)
5:26 AM "SONG 2" - BLUR CLASSIC ALT
5:22 AM "HOLIDAY" - GREEN DAY CLASSIC ALT
5:19 AM "ALL EMPIRES FALL" - WAKING EYES NEW
5:14 AM "SUNDAY BLOODY SUNDAY" - U2 CLASSIC ALT
5:08 AM "CATH..." - DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE NEW
5:06 AM "FELL IN LOVE WITH A GIRL" - WHITE STRIPES CLASSIC ALT
5:00 AM "KIDS" - MGMT NEW (R)
4:57 AM "BLEED IT OUT" - LINKIN PARK RECENT (R)
4:54 AM "LAST KISS" - PEARL JAM CLASSIC ALT
4:50 AM "THE SHOCK OF THE LIGHTNING" - OASIS NEW (R)
4:46 AM "BELIEVE IN ME" - SLOAN NEW
4:42 AM "LOSE YOURSELF" - EMINEM CLASSIC ALT
4:36 AM "SUNDAY MORNING" - K-OS RECENT
4:33 AM "TROUBLEMAKER" - WEEZER NEW
4:29 AM "SLEEPING SICKNESS" - CITY AND COLOUR NEW (R)
4:22 AM "PARADISE CITY" - GUNS N' ROSES CLASSIC ALT
4:18 AM "SOMETIME AROUND MIDNIGHT" - AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT NEW (R)
4:14 AM "TONIGHT, TONIGHT" - SMASHING PUMPKINS CLASSIC ALT
4:08 AM "YOUR ENGLISH IS GOOD" - TOKYO POLICE CLUB NEW
4:04 AM "UNDER THE BRIDGE" - RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS CLASSIC ALT
4:01 AM "SEX ON FIRE" - KINGS OF LEON NEW (R)
3:56 AM "HEAD LIKE A HOLE" - NINE INCH NAILS CLASSIC ALT
3:51 AM "HUMAN" - KILLERS NEW (R)
3:46 AM "SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT!" - NIRVANA CLASSIC ALT
3:43 AM "LOST!" - COLDPLAY NEW (R)
3:39 AM "INNOCENT" - OUR LADY PEACE CLASSIC ALT
3:36 AM "PAPER PLANES" - M.I.A. NEW (R)
3:30 AM "ALL THE SMALL THINGS" - BLINK-182 CLASSIC ALT
3:26 AM "AUDIENCE OF ONE" - RISE AGAINST NEW
3:23 AM "YOU'RE GONNA GO FAR, KID" - OFFSPRING NEW (R)
3:20 AM "ISLAND IN THE SUN" - WEEZER CLASSIC ALT
3:17 AM "HELP I'M ALIVE" - METRIC NEW
3:13 AM "LEARN TO FLY" - FOO FIGHTERS CLASSIC ALT (R)
3:07 AM "DO IT OR DIE" - DIE MANNEQUIN NEW
3:05 AM "WRONG WAY" - SUBLIME CLASSIC ALT
3:02 AM "NUMB" - LINKIN PARK CLASSIC ALT
3:00 AM "WANNABE IN LA" - EAGLES OF DEATH METAL NEW (R)
2:56 AM "VIOLET HILL" - COLDPLAY NEW
2:50 AM "FORTY SIX AND 2" - TOOL CLASSIC ALT
2:46 AM "EPIC" - FAITH NO MORE CLASSIC ALT
2:42 AM "AROUND THE WORLD" - RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS CLASSIC ALT
2:36 AM "SLEEP NOW IN THE FIRE" - RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE CLASSIC ALT
2:31 AM "SEMI-CHARMED LIFE" - THIRD EYE BLIND CLASSIC ALT
2:27 AM "KIDS" - MGMT NEW (R)
2:23 AM "STOP!" - JANE'S ADDICTION CLASSIC ALT
2:18 AM "BLOWN WIDE OPEN" - BIG WRECK CLASSIC ALT
2:14 AM "MR. BRIGHTSIDE" - KILLERS CLASSIC ALT
2:08 AM "NO RAIN" - BLIND MELON CLASSIC ALT
2:05 AM "TEMPTATION" - TEA PARTY CLASSIC ALT
2:01 AM "SLEEPING SICKNESS" - CITY AND COLOUR NEW (R)
1:58 AM "WALLS FALL DOWN" - BEDOUIN SOUNDCLASH RECENT (R)
1:55 AM "WHEN I COME AROUND" - GREEN DAY CLASSIC ALT
1:52 AM "ULYSSES" - FRANZ FERDINAND NEW (R)
1:46 AM "REBELLION (LIES)" - ARCADE FIRE CLASSIC ALT
1:40 AM "THE DAY THAT NEVER COMES" - METALLICA NEW
1:33 AM "DISSIDENT" - PEARL JAM CLASSIC ALT
1:29 AM "THE SHOCK OF THE LIGHTNING" - OASIS NEW (R)
1:25 AM "SEX ON FIRE" - KINGS OF LEON NEW (R)
1:21 AM "LAZY EYE" - SILVERSUN PICKUPS RECENT
1:18 AM "THE KILLER" - MOBILE NEW (R)
1:15 AM "DISARM" - SMASHING PUMPKINS CLASSIC ALT
1:08 AM "DISCIPLINE" - NINE INCH NAILS NEW (R)
1:07 AM "NATURE OF THE EXPERIMENT" - TOKYO POLICE CLUB RECENT
1:03 AM "TRIPPIN' ON A HOLE IN A PAPER HEART" - STONE TEMPLE PILOTS CLASSIC ALT
12:59 AM "YOU'RE GONNA GO FAR, KID" - OFFSPRING NEW (R)
12:56 AM "TROUBLEMAKER" - WEEZER NEW (R)
12:53 AM "COME AS YOU ARE" - NIRVANA CLASSIC ALT
12:49 AM "SOMETIME AROUND MIDNIGHT" - AIRBORNE TOXIC EVENT NEW (R)
12:45 AM "CIVIL TWILIGHT" - WEAKERTHANS NEW (R)
12:42 AM "HITCHIN' A RIDE" - GREEN DAY CLASSIC ALT
12:36 AM "HELL SONG" - SUM 41 CLASSIC ALT
12:33 AM "BLEED IT OUT" - LINKIN PARK NEW (R)
12:31 AM "WANNABE IN LA" - EAGLES OF DEATH METAL NEW (R)
12:26 AM "DANI CALIFORNIA" - RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS RECENT
12:22 AM "HUMAN" - KILLERS NEW (R)
12:18 AM "KARMA POLICE" - RADIOHEAD CLASSIC ALT
12:11 AM "LOVE REMOVAL MACHINE" - CULT CLASSIC ALT
12:08 AM "OH, THE BOSS IS COMING!" - ARKELLS NEW (R)
12:03 AM "JEREMY" - PEARL JAM CLASSIC ALT (R)

Here's what we learn from this random spot check of Edge 102's playlist.

  • # of songs played: 170
  • # of different songs played: 130 / 76.47%
  • # of "new" songs: 71 / 41.76%
  • # of unique "new" songs: 35 / 20.58%
  • # of "recent" songs: 13 / 7.64%
  • # of unique "recent" songs: 11 / 6.47%
  • # of "classic alternative" songs: 87 / 51.17%
  • # of unique "classic alternative" songs: 85 / 50%

Without a doubt, 102.1 the Edge is playing more classic alternative than ever before. Over 51% of songs played thus far today were older than five years, and if we look at the number of unique classic alternative songs (85) compared to the 130 different songs played, we're looking at a whopping 65.38%.

That's a definite increase since six months ago when that figure was 40.25%. In layman's terms, in case you're having trouble following, if we remove the repeats (they played Eagle's of Death Metal's "Wanna Be In LA" six freakin' times), almost exactly two-thirds of the music played today was older than five years and of the "classic alternative" genre. There's lots of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice in Chains and the songs you know and love, mainly from the 1990s.

I first wrote about the Classic Alternative radio format five years ago and asked aloud if a truer form of "classic alternative" was in 102.1's future. It might be closer than we realize. It might already be here.

Update: I've written the new program director at CFNY, Ross Winters, to see if he'll comment. If he does, I'll post what I learn.

Discuss "Revisiting the 102.1 The Edge Playlist" (18 comments so far)


Don Sanderson Dies

boxingWhitby Dunlops' defenceman Don Sanderson is dead.

Sanderson, a student at York University, and a native of Port Perry, got into a fight with Corey Fulton of the Brantford Blast in the third period their game back on December 12. Sanderson lost his helmet during the altercation and both players crashed to the ice with Sanderson's head striking the ice. He's been in a coma and on life support until he passed away earlier today.

I've always enjoyed a good hockey fight. I loved seeing Wendel take on Probert. I enjoyed the many Domi battles I watched on television. Fights got me on my feet and got my heart pumping. They've always been a part of hockey, so I never really questioned the practice, until very recently.

My six year old son loved the Wendel Clark tribute video set to Aerosmith's Dream On. His favourite parts were the scenes of Clark punching the crap out of somebody. James and I participate in a "learn to play hockey" program every Saturday, and once he was in full uniform he'd want to fight me. This prompted a chat between us which made me realize how barbaric and ludicrous it is that fighting is an accepted part of hockey.

Try explaining to a six year old that he can't fight in hockey, but NHLers and other pros, like Don Sanderson, can. Explain to him that he would be kicked out of the league for doing what we celebrate Wendel Clark for doing. Explain to him that fighting is wrong as you watch the Wendel Clark tribute video for the 17th time.

You almost never see a fight during the Junior tournament taking place in Ottawa right now, yet it's some of the best hockey you'll see all year. Hockey is a game of skill, a game of speed, a glorious game of dekes, passes, shots, goals, clean hits and great saves. Hockey wouldn't miss fighting, and neither would we. It's time for the sport to evolve.

Banning fighting in hockey won't bring back Don Sanderson, but it will prevent the next senseless death. And it makes sense. Just ask my son.

Don Sanderson

Discuss "Don Sanderson Dies" (33 comments so far)


A Week of Headers

typewriterI started doing something different with the header image for this blog last week. Those of you who read this content via RSS won't have a clue what I'm talking about, but those of you who kick it old school and visit TorontoMike.com or torontomike.com will have noticed a different header image every day.

Every Friday, I'm going to post all the header images from the previous week. I know this is a Friday (even though my internal calendar is completely out-of-whack) because that display in the bottom right corner is never wrong.

Here are the awesomely hilarious and insightful header images you may have missed this past week.

header

header

header

header

header

header

header

header

Discuss "A Week of Headers" (6 comments so far)


Most Visited Entries of 2008

MouseHere are the blog entries that received the most unique visitors in 2008. 40% are radio related.

  1. 100 Wedding Songs
  2. Rick Hodge Escapes Roger, Rick and Marilyn
  3. My Prima Television Nightmare
  4. Humble Howard Returns To Morning Radio on EZ Rock 97.3
  5. HMS Ontario Found 228 Years Later
  6. Hockey Songs: The Best Music About Our Game
  7. Link: 101 Greatest George Carlin Quotes
  8. Virgin Radio 999 FM
  9. Top 100 Canadian Songs: The Definitive List
  10. A Closer Look at the Edge 102 Playlist

Discuss "Most Visited Entries of 2008" (1 comment so far)


Maple Leafs 1, Sabres 4

LeafsThere would be no 451st win for Curtis Joseph on this night. Going 0 for 5 on the powerplay didn't help matters.

Cujo, by the way, has a 3.93 GAA. Why not see what Pogge has?

Current Record  Last Games Season Leaders
15-17-6
36 points
4th in Northeast Division
4-1 Loss vs. Buffalo
4-3 Win vs. Atlanta
4-1 Loss vs. Washington
N. Antropov - 30
M. Stajan - 30
A. Ponikarovsky- 27

Discuss "Maple Leafs 1, Sabres 4" (5 comments so far)


Donald Westlake, Rest in Peace

In MemoriumDonald Westlake was 75. He was the prolific mystery writer who wrote more than 100 books, using his own name and several pseudonyms, including Richard Stark, Tucker Coe, Samuel Holt and Edwin West.

Discuss "Donald Westlake, Rest in Peace" (0 comments so far)


Drillbit Taylor

A Movie ReelDrillbit Taylor: 5 out of 10.

Judd Apatow has produced some very funny films. This isn't one of them.

Sure, there are a few chuckles in the mix, but at 109 minutes it feels awfully long and it's a mere shadow of the comedy Superbad was. In fact, save yourself 109 minutes and just watch Superbad again.

DrillbitTaylor

Discuss "Drillbit Taylor" (5 comments so far)


102.1 The Edge's Top 102 Songs of 2008

radioBelow are the top 102 songs of 2008, according to 102.1 The Edge.

I threw down my personal top 10 right here. My tunes ranked 72, 62, 25, 10, 19, 67, 40, 36, n/a and 22 respectively. That n/a is for "Inside the Cinema" by Culture Reject which, unfortunately, never got a sniff from CFNY. I'm not sure why as it's an awesome, addictive tune by a Torontonian, and would have been a great add.

Here's the Edge's list...

1. Weezer - Pork And Beans
2. Foo Fighters - Let It Die
3. Queens Of The Stone Age - Make It Wit Chu
4. Nine Inch Nails - Discipline
5. Foo Fighters - Long Road To Ruin
6. Sam Roberts - Them Kids
7. The Bravery - Believe
8. Rise Against - The Good Left Undone
9. Radiohead - Bodysnatchers
10. USS - Hollow Point Sniper Hyperbole
11. Linkin Park - Given Up
12. Coldplay - Violet Hill
13. Against Me! - Stop!
14. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
15. Bedouin Soundclash - St. Andrews
16. The Offspring - You're Gonna Go Far Kid
17. Tokyo Police Club - Tessellate
18. The Offspring - Hammerhead
19. The Raconteurs - Salute Your Solution
20. Oasis - The Shock Of The Lightning
21. Weezer - Troublemaker
22. City And Colour - Sleeping Sickness
23. Rise Against - Re-Education (Through Labor)
24. The Flatliners - This Respirator
25. Kings of Leon - Sex on Fire
26. Billy Talent - This Suffering
27. Alexisonfire - To A Friend
28. Serj Tankian - Empty Walls
29. Die Mannequin - Do It Or Die
30. Sloan - Believe in Me
31. Metallica - The Day That Never Comes
32. Neverending White Lights - Always
33. Stars - Take Me To The Riot
34. Disturbed - Inside the Fire
35. Bedouin Soundclash - Until We Burn In The Sun (The Kids Just Want A Love Song)
36. M.I.A. - Paper Planes
37. The Flatliners - Eulogy
38. City And Colour - Waiting
39. Apocalytica ft. Adam Gontier - I Don't Care
40. MGMT - Time To Pretend
41. Jimmy Eat World - Big Casino
42. Linkin Park - Shadow Of The Day
43. The Stills - Being Here
44. Spiral Beach - Made Of Stone
45. Chevelle - I Get It
46. Against Me! - Thrash Unreal
47. Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Posess Your Heart
48. The Weakerthans - Civil Twilight
49. The Verve - Love Is Noise
50. Linkin Park - Bleed It Out
51. Radiohead - Jigsaw Falling Into Place
52. Mobile - The Killer
53. Rides Again - Infected
54. Foo Fighters - The Pretender
55. Social Distortion - Far Behind
56. Silversun Pickups - Well Thought Out Twinkles
57. Finger 11 - Talking to the Walls
58. The Killers - Human
59. Serj Tankian - Sky Is Over
60. Wintersleep - Weighty Ghost
61. The Weakerthans - Tournament Of Hearts
62. One Day As A Lion - Wild International
63. Billy Talent - Turn Your Back
64. Die Mannequin - Saved By Strangers
65. Yoav - Club Thing
66. Gob - Underground
67. The Black Keys - Strange Times
68. USS - 2 and 15/16ths
69. The White Stripes - You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do as You're Told)
70. Tokyo Police Club - Graves
71. Jack Johnson - If I Had Eyes
72. Wintersleep - Oblivion
73. Hot Hot Heat - Harmonicas And Tambourines
74. Ashes Divide - The Stone
75. Foxboro Hot Tubs - Mother Mary
76. Beck - Gamma Ray
77. Death Cab For Cutie - Cath...
78. Attack In Black - Hunger Of Young
79. Staind - Believe
80. Matthew Good - I'm A Window
81. Eddie Vedder - Hard Sun
82. The Kooks - Always Where I Need to Be
83. Stars - Bitches in Tokyo
84. Three Days Grace - Never Too Late
85. Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy
86. The Arkells - Oh, The Boss Is Coming
87. Puscifer - Queen B
88. The Waking Eyes - All Empires Fall
89. Sam Roberts - Detroit '67
90. R.E.M. - Supernatural Superserious
91. Beast - Mr. Hurricane
92. Silverchair - Straight Lines
93. Nine Inch Nails - 1,000,000
94. Oasis - Falling Down
95. Three Days Grace - Riot
96. Vampire Weekend - A-Punk
97. Band Of Horses - Is There A Ghost
98. The Constantines - Hard Feelings
99. MGMT - Kids
100. Black Lungs - Hold Fast (Sink Or Swim)
101. Coldplay - Lost!
102. Goldfinger - One More Time

Discuss "102.1 The Edge's Top 102 Songs of 2008" (10 comments so far)


A Night For Perspective

My New Year's EveLast night I enjoyed a calm, relaxing New Year's Eve. I prefer it that way. Five years ago, my New Year's Eve was anything but calm and relaxing.

Five years ago, we had one child. James was one and Michelle was on the way, arriving in July. James also had pneumonia and we spent five nights at St. Joseph's Health Centre. Here's what I wrote five years ago today.

There was the oxygen mask because his oxygen levels were low, there was the intravenous to keep him hydrated and to give him antibiotics, there was the withdrawal of blood and chest x-rays to determine the extent of his pneumonia. All of this in the pediatric emergency room and it was approximately 11:00 pm. James was admitted for a minimum 48-72 hours, but there were no beds available. The nurse blamed SARs, claiming new rules limited one child to each room, and the rooms that were previously used by four children were now holding one. So, James and I were stuck in the ER for the night, but were given a stretcher-like cot to sleep on.

This cot was a little narrow for me, let alone a sick child in an oxygen mask and intravenous injected into his little arm. I managed to squeeze myself against the bars of the cot so that I wasn't interfering with the flow of the intravenous but could still keep James' oxygen mask on his face in spite of his attempts to rip it off every few minutes. At this point I glanced at the big digital clock on the wall and it read 11:51.

Nine minutes later, an announcement was placed over the intercom wishing all of us in the emergency room on New Year's Eve a Happy New Year. I leaned in and gave James a kiss on the cheek whispering in his infected ear "Happy New Year Sweet Baby James. 2004 is going to be a great year." And it will be.

Nothing drenches you in perspective like holding your sick, weak one-year old. Your crazy hectic life zones out into a singular focus. You just want your child to get better.

And he did get better. Last night we watched the hockey game together before he hit the hay. I'll take the calm, relaxing New Year's Eve every chance I get.

Happy New Year, everybody.

james092702-3

Discuss "A Night For Perspective" (1 comment so far)


Canada 7, United States 4

Canada HockeyDown 3-0 early, things were looking grim. Then, John Tavares took over, scoring two goals in a span of 48 seconds to bring us back. Heck, even his third goal of the net, an empty netter, was something special. He picked up the puck at the U.S. blue-line, held off a defender with his left arm, and carried the puck to the crease to score a one-handed goal and ice the win.

Canada now plays the winner of Friday's quarter-final between Russia and the Czech Republic in the semis. If you saw this one, you witnessed one hell of an exciting game. This is why I love the junior tourney.

Discuss "Canada 7, United States 4" (0 comments so far)


« December 2008 February 2009 »

Want more Toronto Mike blog entries? Visit the archives.