June 2009 Archives

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What's New in Firefox 3.5

firefoxFirefox 3.5 came out today. I just updated, and so should you. Better yet, if you're still using Internet Explorer, this is a good time to test drive Firefox.

Sure, there's a new Firefox icon, but what else is new? The video below will show you.

I like how they talk about that present you're buying for somebody and need to delete from the browser history, so they've introduced Private Browsing. We all know they're really talking about porn. Now, when you're surfing for porn, nobody will be the wiser.

Thanks, Firefox 3.5!


iPod vs. Walkman: Could You Go Back?

walkmanThe BBC had a 13-year old swap his iPod for a Sony Walkman. It's a pretty fun read as the kid compares the two portable music devices.

I loved my Walkman. I took it everywhere and spent a great deal of time making perfect mix tapes. Here I am gushing about my good ol' Walkman days back in 2004 and here I am doing it again in 2005.

Once you adapt to the iPod, there really is no going back. The shuffle, the sound quality, the storage capacity, the size... it's simply not a fair comparison. But back in the day, when we didn't know any better, Walkmans rocked.

A Peek At My Cassettes


Pogge Saved From Chopping Block

leafsI really thought Justin Pogge was on his way out. Earlier this month, a Sportsnet report suggested the Justin Pogge era had indeed come to an end here in Toronto. It was time to move on, to get Jonas Gustavsson to compete with Vesa Toskala for the Leafs spot, to make James Reimer a Marlie.

Today it's been reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs have made a qualifying offer to goaltender Justin Pogge.

The move ensures that Pogge remains a restricted free agent after July 1st, allowing the Leafs to match any offer made to Pogge by other clubs. Had the Leafs not extended the offer and failed to sign him to a new contract by Wednesday, Pogge would have become an unrestricted free agent.

Drafted by the Leafs 90th overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Pogge has failed to live up to expectations. The Fort McMurray, AB native has spent most of the last few seasons with the Marlies, Toronto's AHL affiliate, and has not impressed in call-ups to the big club. In seven appearances with the Leafs last season, Pogge was 1-4 with a 4.35 goals against average and 0.844 save percentage.

I've never been so happy to be so wrong. I really want Justin Pogge to succeed and I'm glad Burke is giving him another year with the Marlies. I know I'll be there, cheering him on with my kids from the front row.

P1318510


Deconstructing SLS21

SLSNow that SLS21 is in the bag, it's time to deconstruct the 20 tunes that made the final cut. How much of SLS21 is CanCon? How many artists are making their first appearance on SLS? Find out the answers to these questions and more below.

  • Canadian Content - 10 (Arkells, Billy Talent, City and Colour, k-os, Metric, Mother Mother, Sam Roberts, Tokyo Police Club, The Tragically Hip, USS)
  • Making Their SLS Debut - 5 (Arkells, Cage the Elephant, Eagles of Death Metal, Mother Mother, Spinnerette)
  • Artists That Also Appeared On SLS20 - 7 (Billy Talent, Kings of Leon, Metric, Sam Roberts, Tokyo Police Club, USS, Weezer)
  • Providing a Female Voice - 3 (Metric, Spinerette, Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
  • Longest Current SLS Streak - 3 (Sam Roberts, Tokyo Police Club, USS, Weezer)
  • Longest SLS Drought Ended - 6 (Franz Ferdinand, Pearl Jam)


Toronto Taste Online Auction From Second Harvest

FoodStorm second baseman (or is it second basewoman?) Jordan just reminded me that the Toronto Taste Online Auction is underway on eBay.

Simply click this link to see all the great items you can bid on. Items are added daily, so keep that link handy.

Jordan says all monies raised will help Second Harvest continue to feed the men, women and children who rely on their services everyday. It's a great cause so click over and whip out the credit card.


SLS21 Unveiled

slsIt is with great privilege and honour that I unveil to you the final song list for SLS21. For an SLS primer, go here and to see what appeared on SLS20, go here.

We listened to hours and hours of new rock before deciding upon these 20 tracks. Without further ado, I give you SLS21.

  1. Arkells - Oh, The Boss is Coming!
  2. Billy Talent - Rusted From The Rain
  3. Cage the Elephant - Ain't No Rest For The Wicked
  4. City and Colour - The Girl
  5. Eagles of Death Metal - Wannabe in LA
  6. Franz Ferdinand - Ulysses
  7. Kings Of Leon - Use Somebody
  8. k-os - Burning Bridges
  9. Metric - Gimme Sympathy
  10. Mother Mother - Body of Years
  11. Pearl Jam - Brother
  12. Sam Roberts - Fixed to Ruin
  13. Silversun Pickups - Panic Switch
  14. Spinnerette - Ghetto Love
  15. The Raconteurs - Consoler Of The Lonely
  16. Tokyo Police Club - Your English Is Good
  17. Tragically Hip - Love is a First
  18. Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker - Laces Out
  19. Weezer - The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)
  20. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Zero

I just updated The Complete SLS Database. Look for SLS22 in late December, 2009.


Billy Mays, Dead at 50

In MemoriumBilly Mays was 50. He was the burly, bearded television pitchman known for his boisterous hawking of products such as Orange Glo and OxiClean.

When I read that Billy Mays had passed away, I asked myself a simple question. Who's Billy Mays? I hit up YouTube and didn't recognize his face or voice at all. Furthermore, I had never heard of Orange Glo or OxiClean. I figured if I had never heard of Billy Mays, he was most likely too minor a celebrity to warrant an entry.

I tweeted that I hadn't heard of Billy Mays and quickly got this reply from @SimonOstler, Assignment Editor & Producer at Global Edmonton.

@torontomike you've never come home late, sat down on the couch surfed through channels and seen Billy Mays. He is the MJ of infomercials.

I figured the MJ of infomercials was worthy of an entry, even if I had never heard of him. Further validation was this very recent appearance on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, an episode I've PVR'd but not yet seen.


Let's Stop Taking the Blue Smarties For Granted

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

I take blue Smarties for granted. I know I can stroll to the corner store, by a box of Smarties and there will be blue ones in the mix. They're just there, along with the purple, brown, green, yellow and others.

It wasn't always that way. There was a time when blue Smarties did not exist. In 1987, they literally fell from the sky.



Maple Leafs Draft Blogger

Leafs Draft BloggerNo, it's not me, but the Toronto Maple Leafs have drafted a blogger. Despite the fact I recorded a hat trick in January, I remain undrafted, but the Leafs did select Eric Knodel of the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers with their 5th round pick today in Montreal.

Eric Knodel writes a hockey blog at http://ericknodel.blogspot.com/. Here's what he wrote for his "About Me" page:

Philadelphia Jr. Flyers Midget Major AAA - 6'6" 225# - Defense- Left Shot - NCAA Clearinghouse- #0810631814 NHL Central Scouting 2009 Final Ranking Flyers Cup Finalist- 2008 - Flyers Cup- 2008 First Team All Tournament Team- Defense - 2007-2008- All Southeast Pa.- Breakaway Magazine - 2007-2008-First Team All-Area- Defense - 2007-2008-First Team All League-ICHSL - 2007-First Team All League Ches-Mont Baseball - 2007 All Area Baseball - 2007- All Southeast Pa. - 2009 Flyers Cup Champion 2009 Flyers Cup All Tournament Team 2009 Pennsylvania State Champion 2006- Bronze Medalist- 16U USA Hockey National Tournament - 2005- Participant 14U USA Hockey National Tournament

I just blitzed his blog archives and it's pretty boring stuff. I hope he's a better hockey player than he is a blogger. Speaking of hockey bloggers, here's all the Maple Leafs picks, culled from Pension Plan Puppets.

  • 7th Overall - 1st Round: Nazem Kadri, London Knights, OHL
  • 50th overall - 2nd Round: Kenny Ryan, US National Team Development Program U18
  • 58th Overall - 2nd Round: Jesses Blacker, Windsor Spitfires, OHL
  • 68th Overall - 3rd Round: Jamie Devane, Plymouth Whalers, OHL
  • 128th Overall - 5th Round: Eric Knodel, Philadelphia Jr. Flyers USMAAA
  • 158th Overall - 6th Round: Jerry D'Amigo, US National Team Development Program U18
  • 188th Overall - 7th Round: Barron Smith, Peterborough Petes, OHL

In other Leaf news, Tomas Kaberle remains a Maple Leaf and Brian Burke continues to favour North Americans. Eric Knodel, if you're reading this, hit me up for some blogosphere consulting.


Thoughts on Turning 35

birthdayTime is but a measurement, a most egalitarian offender, ageing the rich and powerful and the poor and meek at precisely the same rate. There are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day and 365 days in a year.

Today, I've been alive for:

  • 35 years
  • 420 months
  • 12 755 days
  • 306 600 hours
  • 18 396 000 minutes
  • 1 103 760 000 seconds

How does it feel turning 35? It feels an awful lot like 34. Look for my far more profound entry "Thoughts on Turning 40" in five years.

Plans for the day:

  • Coffee and cinnamon roll
  • Mow my mom's lawn
  • Coffee redux at Tim Hortons
  • BBQ
  • Old man chill time

Now scram ya young whipper snappers, I've got to put in my teeth and get the cream from the ice box. Now I'm cookin' with gas!


Nazem Kadri Drafted by the Maple Leafs

LeafsThe Toronto Maple Leafs have selected Nazem Kadri with the 7th overall pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

From Hockey's Future:

History

2006-07: This was Kadri's rookie season with the Kitchener Rangers (OHL). In 62 games, the center recorded 22 points (7g+15a), adding another two assists in nine playoff games.

2007-08: Kadri improved on his numbers from last season, netting 25 goals and another 40 assists in 68 games with Kitchener (OHL). He excelled in the postseason as well, recording 26 points (9g+17a) in 20 playoff games.

2008-09: Kadri was traded to the London Knights, netting 25 goals and 78 points in 56 games for that club. He put up another 21 points (9g+12a) in 14 playoff games. Scored a goal for the West at the OHL All-Star Classic. Appeared in the 2009 CHL Top Prospects Game.

Talent Analysis

Once projected as a sure-fire top-10 selection, Kadri's draft status dropped significantly during the regular season, but began to climb back with a strong playoff performance. Offensively gifted and showing a greater appreciation for the defensive side of his game, Kadri could be a wild card in this draft. Teams picking in the latter-half of the lottery may look to scoop him up based on his offensive potential. However, he could just as easily slide into the high teens, early 20s based upon questionable scouting and combine results.

It's fitting the Leafs would draft a player with Lebanese ancestry during Pride weekend. (joke removed b/c it sucked) Welcome to the microscope, Nazem. Henceforth you shall be known as Nazem the Dream.

Kadri_London_DM0001


Canadian War Posters

canada war postersMcGill University has a great collection of Canadian war posters online.

The holdings of the Print Collection in the Rare Books and Special Collections Division include some 250 Canadian posters from the two World Wars. The posters are accessible to researchers who visit the Division's Lande Reading Room; a printed finding aid is available from the Reading Room Supervisor.

This website contains basic descriptions and images of each poster, an artist index, a search facility, and an essay about Canadian War Posters. The search facility enables you to search by World War, by Category, by Artist, or by keyword. The results of your search are displayed as thumbnail images. Click on a thumbnail to obtain a larger image and a full description. Each description includes the following information: the poster ID number and title or lead text; the date, artist, and publisher, when known; size, and appropriate notes.

I dig this sort of thing. Here's one of my favourites from WWI.

beaver


2009 NHL Entry Draft in Montreal, Leafs Style

draft dayIt's NHL draft day, so I'll be following the action with regards to how it impacts my beloved Maple Leafs.

Rumour has it Boston is offering Phil Kessel for Tomas Kaberle and our 7th over all pick. It's highly likely Kaberle will be moved today, and Brian Burke is known for draft day drama. This should be fun.

Stay tuned, I'll cover any Leaf moves right here.


Michael Jackson, Dead at 50

FuneralI loved the Thriller album. We had that on vinyl and cassette, and I eventually had to get a second cassette because it got played so often. Thriller was one of my first favourite albums. To this day I'll put on "Billie Jean" or "Human Nature", the two tracks from that album that stayed most relevant to my ears. Without a doubt, Michael Jackson was an exceptional pop singer who could dance up a storm.

By the time Bad came out, I was digging the singles but questioning the man behind the artist. "Man in the Mirror" was a stunning song, but Jacko seemed lost in his celebrity. The man's songs were always supported by amazing videos, and we anxiously waited for their premieres, but meanwhile we watched his skin lighten, his nose disappear and his Neverland Ranch eccentricities escalate. Wacko Jacko's strangeness, his Jesus Christ posing and the accusations against him shone brighter than his dwindling talent. He had peaked creatively and his crazy behaviour turned me off that awesome Thriller album for years.

Today, as I drove to a softball game, I learnt he was dead. Dead at 50 from cardiac arrest. I keep wondering what could have been. What if Michael Jackson was "normal", for lack of a better word. What if he didn't have that creepy Peter Pan complex, didn't overfeed the tabloids and didn't spend the last 25 years of his life as a punch line. What if he was just a crazy talented pop singer and performer? That would have been an artist I could get behind. Instead, we lost Michael Jackson long before today.

As it is, the man gave us a killer album and several other great singles. He also gave us The Simpson's Stark Raving Dad and this song that brought my son a great deal of joy as a toddler. Thanks for that, Michael.


Where to Dump Garbage? Our Best Parks Will Do! #stupid

cityhallHave you heard Toronto's garbage peeps are on strike? I'll bet you have. We're only a few days into this thing and already everyone is bitchin' and complainin'. Premature panic is what we do best.

Toronto has unveiled 19 new temporary garbage drop-off locations that residents can use as dumping sites during the strike. This is in addition to the seven drop-off locations I wrote about on Monday. Here are the 19 locations where we can dump our garbage:

  • Ted Reeve Arena
    Northeast corner of Main St. & Gerrard St. E.
  • Villiers St.
    Paved roadway between Saulter St. and Cherry St.
  • Sunnyside Park
    Parking area south of Lake Shore Blvd. W., between Ellis Ave. and Colborne Lodge Dr. (must be east-bound on Lake Shore to access)
  • Sir Casmir Gzowski Park
    Parking area south of Lake Shore Blvd. W., west of Sunnyside Park (must be east-bound on Lake Shore to access)
  • Eglinton Flats (1)
    Enter off Eglinton Ave., east of Jane St.
  • Eglinton Flats (2)
    Enter off Emmett Ave., west of Jane St.
  • Etienne Brule Park
    Old Mill Rd. at Catherine St., east of Humber River
  • George Bell Arena
    215 Ryding Ave., south of St. Clair Ave. W., east of Runnymede Rd.
  • Christie Pits
    Enter off Crawford St., north of Bloor
  • North Toronto Memorial Arena
    North of Eglinton Ave., east of Oriole Pkwy., enter off Edith Dr.
  • Moss Park
    South of Shuter St., north of Queen St. E., west of Sherbourne St.
  • North York Centennial Centre
    580 Finch Ave. W., in parking lot
  • Caledonia Park
    1135 Caledonia Rd., in parking lot
  • Earlscourt Park
    West side of Lansdowne Ave., north of Davenport Rd.
  • Taylor Creek Park
    Enter off Haldon Ave., in parking lot at end of roadway
  • Scarborough Arena
    75 Birchmount Rd., in parking lot
  • Wishing Well Park
    In parking lot, north of 401, west side of Pharmacy Ave. (south of Sheppard Ave. E.)
  • York Mills Arena
    2539 Bayview Ave., enter off York Mills Rd., east of Bayview
  • Highland Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant
    51 Beechgrove Dr., in parking lot at end of Beechgrove Dr.

Are you kidding me? The city thinks it's a good idea to make Etienne Brule Park a temporary dump? My Etienne Brule Park where I spend many hours walking, playing and enjoying the summer? Beautiful, serene Etienne Brule Park?

There shouldn't be parks on this list. The seven original drop-off locations plus a few other strategic sites should have been suffice.

Sometimes, Toronto ain't got no class.


Farrah Fawcett, Dead at 62

In MemoriumFarrah Fawcett was 62. Her luxurious tresses and blinding smile helped redefine sex appeal in the 1970s as one of TV’s "Charlie’s Angels."

Let's face it, in 50 years we'll have forgotten she was one of Charlie's Angels and she'll only be remembered for her iconic “red swimsuit” poster.

farrahfawcettposter


The Blue and the Green

Magnifying GlassI just stumbled upon what might be the greatest optical illusion I've ever seen.

Take a look at this image:

colors

Do you see blue and green? I did too, then I was told they're the exact same colour. I have a colour picker add-on for Firefox that lets me click a colour to see the RGB numbers and lo and behold both the blue and green are rgb(0, 255, 150).

The reason they look different colors is because our brain judges the color of an object by comparing it to surrounding colors. In this case, the stripes are not continuous as they appear at first glance. The orange stripes don’t go through the "blue" spiral, and the magenta ones don’t go through the "green" one.


Humble's a Lousy Blogger, But a Great Tweeter

twitterA few years ago, I built Humble Howard a blog at www.humblehoward.com and taught him how to use it. As the years went by, his posts were less and less frequent and you could tell he was starting to mail it in. Humble's a fine radio personality and host, but a lousy blogger.

He's recently taken to Twitter and he's damn good at that. He's a much better tweeter than blogger, so I recently added his most recent tweets to his site so there's actually updated content there.

Here are a few of Humble's recent tweets that had me chuckling.

Ed McMahon died which is sad because he never got a chance to punch Perez Hilton. Damm you grim reaper!

Happy Fathers Day. Like all Dads today, I'll be getting high and stopping into my local rub N tug and uh, sorry that's Daddy's inside voice!

Welcome to Wednesday. I just realized that if I play my cards right it'll soon be Thursday and I can begin my pre-weekend drinking. Yum!

Just had a flat tire near Gravenhurst. This the part in the movie where I'm eaten by hillbilly cannibals.

Give the man any more than 140 characters, and he folds like a cheap suit. Follow Humble on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HumHow and follow yours truly at https://twitter.com/torontomike.


Romeo LeBlanc, Dead at 81

In MemoriumRomeo LeBlanc was 81. He was a longtime Liberal MP, cabinet minister and then senator before being named Canada's 25th Governor General.


The English Beat - Mirror In The Bathroom

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

The English Beat - Mirror In The Bathroom
The English Beat are only The English Beat on this side of the pond, because there was already an American band known as The Beat. The Beat, errr, The English Beat had a funky ska sound and "Mirror in the Bathroom" was my favourite of their singles.


Stormin' Norm Rumack Axed at Fan 590

radioNorm Rumack has been with THE FAN since its inception in September 1992, but you won't hear him on THE FAN 590 any longer. Stormin' Norm Rumack has been fired as Rogers-owned stations axed four ad reps, Rumack and an unidentified behind-the-scenes employee.

Back in the 90s, when I listened to quite a bit more of THE FAN, Norm was known for:

  • An unapologetic, unfazed appreciation for "God's Team", the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • A belief Wendel Clark was the greatest player in the history of the game
  • An absolute hate-on for the Muder City Dead Things
  • A HammerHead Alert he would sound if you disagreed with any of the above

It was fun late-night radio back in the day. I haven't heard him in years, but you don't soon forget a guy who tells you Wendel Clark is better than Mario Lemieux and believes every syllable.

The late-night vampire shall haunt us no longer. Hammerhead Alert! Hammerhead Alert!


Radio Contest Winners Tell Their Stories

radioI got an interesting email from Race Coach the other day. He had a couple of neat stories as to how he won prizes from CFNY / Edge 102. Here's his email.

I was thinking it might be interesting to blog about prizes people have won at CFNY, err The Edge. I don't bother trying to win prizes from the radio any more, but there was a time ....

1) I was washing my car out on the front lawn, listening to CFNY. The Live Earl Jive was on, and he just mentioned something between songs: "If you see a CFNY cruiser with a wind surfer on top, stop and ask how to win it". I didn't pay much attention. But, later that day, I was heading to work at Ontario Place, along Lakeshore Blvd, and saw the cruiser parked in a gas station. I pulled a U-ee and rolled down my window. "How do you win that think?", I said. "You just did", was the reply. That was the start of my windsurfing career.

2) The next one is a little vague. I remember going to a sporting event, in a box that was sponsored by CFNY. I imagine I must have won something, just to get there. Then, during the event, they drew names. The winners got to go to Winnipeg for a CFL game with Humble and Fred. Low and behold, I won (along with a bunch of other people). So, on a frigid, grey weekend a bunch of us flew to Winnipeg, sat outside on aluminum seats, froze out nuts off and watched a bad game of football. It was AWESOME! Humble and Fred were great hosts, and made the event particularly fun.

I've never won a radio contest, but I've never called in to win, which may explain my futility. I did win Jays tickets and an invitation to 680 CFTR's Pizza Pizza pre-game party, but that wasn't through the radio. That's a neat story you can read here.

I'm interested to know who out there has won anything interesting from a radio contest and how it all went down. Share in the comments!


Former Leaf to be Inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame

NHLThe Hockey Hall of Fame will unveil this year's selections in about an hour, but I have the exclusive. And it gives me great pleasure to announce that a former Maple Leaf is among the four newest members.

The four players selected today are Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Luc Robitaille and former Leaf defenceman Brian Leetch.

Brian Leetch joined the Leafs on March 4, 2004, and here are the only statistics we Leaf fans care about.

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2003–04 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 15 2 13 15 10 13 0 8 8 6

Congratulations to former Leaf Brian Leetch on your induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame!

leetch


Billy Red Lyons, Dead at 77

In MemoriumBilly Red Lyons was 77. He was the Canadian wrestling personality who promoted WWF live events throughout Canada from the mid-1980s through early 1990s, with the phrase “don’tcha dare miss it” becoming a signature ending to his promos.

I can't tell you how many times I heard him say "don’tcha dare miss it" during Maple Leaf Wrestling, a show I watched every Saturday afternoon as a kid.


Ed McMahon, Dead at 86

In MemoriumEd McMahon was 86. He was the longtime pitchman and Johnny Carson sidekick whose "Heeeeeeerre's Johnny!" became a part of the vernacular.

Without Ed McMahon's "HIYOOOOOOO!", there would be no Hank Kingsley's "Hey now!". For inspiring one of my favourite television characters, I am eternally grateful.


My Birthday Gift From the MTO

giftPart of the reason birthdays lose their lustre as we age is the ding we get from the MTO. The MTO, for those of you who don't live in Ontario, is the Ministry of Transportation for Ontario. I just came back from an MTO office $343 poorer.

You see, I have a birthday this week, and that meant I needed to renew the plates for the two cars I own and renew my driver's license. That last detail explains the need to actually visit the MTO office. I typically renew my plates online, but when the driver's license has expired, they force you to physically get to an office so they can snap an updated picture.

Normally it's $74 to renew a license plate for one year, but I got hit with some Toronto tax that pushed it to $134 a plate. Oh yeah, and one car needed an emissions test that's almost impossible to fail, so it's really costing me about $383 to have a birthday this year.

$383 so I can keep two cars on the road. Thanks, MTO!

</rant>


Garbage Strike, What To Do

cityhallI remember an episode of WKRP in Cincinnati where there was a garbage strike in Cincinnati during a hot summer and Dr. Johnny Fever told his listeners to take their garbage down to City Hall. We're being asked not to do that.

24,000 City of Toronto workers are now on strike, meaning garbage collection has stopped and daycare services have been shut down. I no longer require daycare services, but I do produce garbage. It's actually not the garbage I'm worried about, it's the green bin. That's where the stinky stuff goes, and our green bin is filled to the brim every week. The City of Toronto has drop-off locations if your green bin overfloweth. Here's what I extracted from toronto.ca.

Garbage drop-off locations

Transfer Stations
Two transfer stations will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to accept both residential and commercial garbage:

Bermondsey Transfer Station
188 Bermondsey Rd
(Eglinton Ave. E. & Victoria Park Ave. area)

Ingram Transfer Station
50 Ingram Dr
(Keele St. & Eglinton Ave. W. area)

  • All residential waste will be accepted free of charge. All must be double-bagged.

  • Yellow bag customers may deliver their waste to a transfer station free of charge and without use of yellow bags. Proof of registration in the yellow bag program is required.

  • All other commercial waste must be weighed and will be subject to a $100 per tonne tip fee. All odorous commercial waste must be double bagged.

In addition, five transfer stations will be open 12 hours a day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week, to accept both residential and commercial garbage. Remember to double bag.

Disco Transfer Station
120 Disco Rd
(Dixon Rd. & Carlingview Dr area)


Dufferin Transfer Station
35 Vanley Cr
(Chesswood Dr & Sheppard Ave. W. area)


Victoria Park Transfer Station
3350 Victoria Park Ave
(Victoria Park Ave & Finch Ave. E. area)

Commissioners Street Transfer Station
400 Commissioners St
(Lake Shore Blvd. E. & Logan Ave area)


Scarborough Transfer Station
1 Transfer Pl
(Markham Rd & Sheppard Ave. E. area)

Additional residential drop-off locations will be announced should the labour disruption continue for more than five days.

I'm told by friends and family in Etobicoke that their garbage is contracted out so they'll get their garbage picked up. Maybe I'll just haul my bins over to my bro's!


The Dark Knight

Movie ReviewThe Dark Knight: 9 out of 10.

I'm only a year late on this one. It could be worse. I still haven't seen Doctor Zhivago, and that came out before the Leafs last won the cup.

Allow me to report stuff you've probably read a thousand times before. Heath Ledger is fantastic as The Joker. He's damn good, and you're mesmerized whenever he speaks. Even if he had lived, I'd have rooted for him to win the Oscar, that's how good he was.

The movie itself is probably the best comic book movie ever made. It's dark and thought provoking, telling an interesting story with great acting and special effects. It's just cool to look at, and there's an actual story there that blows away most comic book flicks.

I liked The Dark Knight. I liked it very much.

What's next?

dark knight


And the Grass Trimmer / Edger Goes To...

Canadian Tire61 of you entered to win a lithium-ion grass trimmer / edger from Canadian Tire. Each eligible participant was given a number in the order the comment was left. Then, I asked my wife to pick a number between 1 and 61. She picked 52.

That made Rob S. the big winner. I wrote Rob to let him know he won and asked him to tell us a bit about himself.

I am a chef who works in a small independent restaurant in Markham. On the side I am an avid golfer and blog/Twitter addict. I entered this contest for my Dad who has a big lawn and would appreciate having a cordless trimmer for his bad back. I know he'll love it, Thanks Mike!

Thanks to Canadian Tire for shipping Rob the grass trimmer / edger and thanks to everyone who entered. On a personal note, it was pretty neat reading how regulars discovered this little hobby of mine and what kept them coming back.

Hopefully, there will be more of these giveaways in the future.


Play Them Off, Keyboard Cat

mouseKeyboard Cat's been with us for a while now, but I'm still enjoying Keyboard Cat vids on YouTube.

Here's a fantastic Keyboard Cat clip with some Helen Hunt after school special followed by a Hall and Oates video. It's surreal, you have to watch this to get it.

That got me wondering what the most viewed Keyboard Cat videos were on YouTube. Number one, not surprisingly, is Charles Schmidt's original video "Cool Cat".

Up next is Keyboard Cat playing off a guy on a treadmill.

Then there's Play Haley Off, Keyboard Cat, which is too good to be true.

Then there's our old friend Miss South Carolina getting played off by Keyboard Cat.

And finally, there's Michael being told Christmas is cancelled. Play him off, Keyboard Cat.

Can someone please have Keyboard Cat play off Kerry Fraser? DGB, I'm looking at you.


Father Songs for Father's Day

dad songsI just published a list of Dad and Daddy songs for all the dads out there, and now I've filtered my MP3 collection for songs with "father" in the title.

Here are Father songs for Father's Day.

  • The Godfather - B.K.S.
  • Child Is Father Of The Man - Brian Wilson
  • Like Father, Like Son - Busta Rhymes, , The Game
  • Father and Son - Cat Stevens
  • In My Father's House - Elvis Presley
  • I Believe in Father Christmas - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
  • Father Of Mine (Radio Mix) - Everclear
  • Our Father - Extreme
  • Heavenly Father - Fu-Schnickens
  • Father Figure - George Michael
  • I Believe In Father Christmas - Greg Lake
  • The Godfather - Ice-T
  • Brother and Sister - Father and Son - The Fleet Enters Hyperspace - Heroic Ewok - John Williams
  • Father Christmas - The Kinks
  • Forgive Them Father - Lauryn Hill
  • Of The Father's Heart Begotton - Marlborough Cathedral Choir
  • Retro Godfather - Method Man
  • Father, Son - Peter Gabriel
  • Doggfather - Snoop Doggy Dogg
  • Father Lucifer - Tori Amos
  • Like Father Like Clown (Medley) - The Simpsons
  • I Believe In Father Christmas - Vertical Horizon
  • You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son - Wolf Parade

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. If I missed a Father song, let me know in the comments.


Dad and Daddy Songs for Father's Day

dad songsI just filtered my MP3 collection for songs with "dad" in the title. After I pruned the list, removing the many Puff Daddy remixes and dupes, I was left with the following list of Dad and Daddy songs for Father's Day.

  • Daddy - Beyoncé
  • Daddy's Getting Married - Bif Naked
  • Go Daddy-O - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  • Big Daddy Vs. Dolemite - Big Daddy Kane, Rudy Ray Moore
  • Dear Ol' Dad - Blind Melon
  • Daddy Cool - Boney M.
  • Daddy - Custom
  • Sexy Daddy - Destiny's Child
  • Daddy Can I Turn This - Elvis Costello
  • Don't Cry Daddy - Elvis Presley
  • My Dad's Gone Crazy - Eminem,
  • Gone Daddy Gone - Gnarls Barkley
  • My Son Calls Another Man Daddy - Hank Williams
  • Daddy's Home - The Jackson 5
  • Sugar Daddy - The Jackson 5
  • One For Daddy - Julian Cannonball Adderly
  • Hey Daddy - Korn
  • Daddy - Korn
  • Just Like Daddy - Makaveli
  • Dear Old Daddy Bill - Motherlode
  • Daddy I'm Fine - Sinead O'Connor
  • Mack Daddy - Sir Mix-A-Lot
  • I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus - Stand Still
  • Treat Your Daddy Right - T-Bone Walker
  • Your Daddy Don't Know - Toronto
  • Don't Wake Daddy - The Tragically Hip
  • Daddy's Gonna Pay for Your Crashed Car - U2
  • Gone Daddy Gone - Violent Femmes
  • Daddy Rich In The Land Of 1210 - 3rd Bass

If I missed a Dad song, let me know in the comments. I'm going to cook up a "Father" list now.


Massive Edgefest Mudslide at Downsview Park

edgefestIn my Edgefest 2009 recap, I promised I'd write further about the massive mudslide that grew from the Downsview Park mud yesterday. I've been to six Edgefests and several Molson Park festival-style gigs, and when you've got acres of field, thousands of youngsters and rain, you get mud. And when you have mud, you inevitably get a giant wet banana-like mudslide.

I was parked beside the biggest mud pit, so I watched it evolve. At first it's a couple of guys who take the plunge, then others conger up the bravado, eventually a girl or two will join in, and like a page from Lord of the Flies, it often results in mud throwing at innocent concert goers, or worse, the dragging of non-consenting spectators into the pit.

I saw that happen several times. Someone would get too close to the pit, the mudders would target him or her, and force 'em in the mud. I'm always surprised the instigators don't get clocked.

From Woodstock to Edgefest, mud slides are a part of music festival lore, and I would have been disappointed if I didn't stumble upon one yesterday. Here are some pictures I took and a video.

Mud Mud Mud Mud


The Best Gig Ever

father's dayToday is Father's Day, which means the kids piled into my bed way too early to give me hugs, cards and presents they made.

I've made the super corny statement in the past that every day is Father's Day for me, but it's true. I've been blessed with the two smartest, cutest, sweetest, good-natured kids. Seriously, they're better than I could have ever imagined, and the older they get, the more I like 'em.

Note I used the word "like". It's easy to love them to pieces, but I sincerely like them both and enjoy conversing, playing and just chilling with them. Fatherhood is the best gig ever.

Here are my two babies, getting bigger and better every day.

Michelle

Camping Trip


Edgefest 2009 Recap

EdgefestI just spent 9 hours on my feet in the mud bowl better known as Downsview Park taking in Edgefest 2009. It was a whole lot of fun. Here are some brief thoughts on the bands I saw.

The Arkells
Hamilton's Arkells were playing when we arrived, so I missed the first couple of songs. They closed out with their two radio hits, and showed a great deal of promise. I'll be keeping my good eye on these guys.

The Stills
Although they didn't play "Still in Love Song", a personal favourite, the set was solid and I dug 'em, even though it rained throughout. This Montreal band recently won the Juno for Best Alternative Album of the Year.

k-os
The rain stopped for k-os, and the sun almost shone. He added some much appreciated hip-hop flavour to Edgefest, and killed with hits "Sunday Morning" and "Man I Used to Be." This was my 3rd favourite set of the night.

Metric
Emily Haines is a rock goddess. The set was tight, full of hits and future hits, and a couple of strong and smart monologues from Haines. My buddy, previously lukewarm on this band, is now converted. It was my 2nd favourite set of the night.

Alexisonfire
I enjoyed Alexisonfire live more than I thought I would. They're a wall of noise with lots of screaming, but there's often melody in there somewhere and they've got three guys with three different rock scream styles. It was a fun set, but I was distracted a little by the massive mud slide to my left.

AFI
AFI was the only American act on the big stage, and if we were going to import an act, as they did last year with Stone Temple Pilots and Linkin Park, why AFI? Seriously, I tried guys... but they're Matchbox 20 to my ears, without the sing-along numbers. Maybe it's the guy's voice I don't like. Admittedly, Miss Murder is a decent song, but everything else bored me.

Billy Talent
I've always liked Billy Talent, but I'd never seen them live. They blew me away. Hit laden, adrenaline charged and frenetic. They played every radio hit in their repertoire and crowd-pleased the shit out of us. They were fantastic, and worthy of a headlining spot.

Tomorrow I'll write about the mud slide. I've got photos and videos from Edgefest 2009 here. Here's my Edgefest 2008 recap and my Edgefest 2003 recap, if you're interested.

Billy Talent Me


Man and Dinosaurs Coexisted: Proof At Last! Science Be Damned!

bibleIf you ever find yourself in Petersburg, Kentucky, you've got to check out the Creation Museum. Thanks to the Creation Museum, I just learnt that our Earth is only 6000 years old and man and dinosaurs once coexisted.

Although that contradicts absolutely everything science has taught us, it must be true if it's in a museum. If you're under the false assumption Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old, and that the dinosaurs became extinct 65.5 million years before human beings arose, get your ass to Kentucky and "prepare to believe."

creation-museum


The New Firefox Icon: Can You See The Difference?

FirefoxI still swear by my Firefox browser. I use a portable version of Firefox that's self contained, so it can reside on a USB key. Although Chrome is probably a little faster, I'm pretty attached to my Firefox add-ons.

The first Release Candidate build of Firefox 3.5, shipping this week, has a new Firefox icon. I stared at the new icon for quite a while, unable to see the difference. It was only when I compared the two side-by-side that I saw the changes. Here they are...

The New Firefox Icon

firefox

The Old Firefox Icon

old-firefox


OJ Boy: To Ban or Not To Ban?

questionmarkI love reading the comments on this site. I wish more of you would comment more often. Don't be shy, create an alias and stick with it and you'll remain anonymous. Do you really think Argie is an Argie and Elvis is an Elvis?

Jason, a.k.a. OJ Boy, is a Jason, however. Since he added getyouroj.com to his display name, I just queried the database and found he's left 838 comments. Usually he's laughing at me for going to Edgefest or telling us all we're scum for using kleenex or listening to songs with mass appeal on corporate radio. Other times he's chastising the poor for shopping at Walmart, snickering at the masses for enjoying Twitter or sharing his distaste for hockey, the Hip, Pearl Jam or, basically, any song or band you dig.

I've never met OJ Boy. He was noticeably absent from the Humble and Fred 20th Anniversary Podcast, and he's clearly a huge fan of their old morning show. I'm wondering if it's time for an OJ Boy ban, because I'm getting tired of the constant stench of humourless misery and holier-than-thou judgement.

Don't get me wrong, I like comments that disagree with me or offer an alternative viewpoint. I would never consider banning Argie or Irvine or Sammi, a few commenters who seem to see things differently than I do. But haven't we all had enough of buzz-kill OJ Boy?

What do you guys think?


Iran's Twitter Revolution #iranelection

TwitterMahmoud Ahmadinejad won the 2009 Iranian presidential election with 62.63% of the popular vote. At least, that's what the "official" results show. Mir-Hossein Mousavi will tell you he had 62.63% of the popular vote.

Thousands gathered in protest, and the Iranian government responded by restricting all journalists working for foreign news organizations from reporting on the streets of Tehran. With the mainstream media out of the way, the citizens became journalists, reporting from the streets via Twitter, on Facebook and blogs. It was a corrupt government vs. web savvy citizens seeking freedom and democracy and Twitter emerged as a place to plan protests, share information and report to the rest of us what was happening on the streets of Iran.

Here's Andrew Sullivan writing for The Atlantic's blog:

I have to say my skepticism about this new medium has now disappeared. Without it, one wonders if all this could have happened. A reader notes a few facts:

Ahmadinejad's and Khamenei's websites were taken down yesterday - I saw the latter go down within a couple of minutes because of a DDOS attack organised via Twitter. @StopAhmadi is a good source for tweets on this. The other important use of Twitter has been distribution of proxy addresses via Twitter. This would be how most video and pictures of today's rally have gotten out.

Technology has not just made the world more dangerous; it has also enabled freedom to keep one small step in front of tyranny and lies. One thing you can do is use Twitter to fight the regime yourself. Help bring these fascist bastards down at the end of your modem.

It's not Twitter's revolution, the revolution belongs to the people of Iran. But it is Twitter's coming out party, enabling Iranians to seek what we take for granted. They are tweeting for freedom.


TFC Pull Off Miracle, Win Canadian Championship

tfcI attended the first TFC match in this 2009 Nutrilife Canadian Championship when we beat the Montreal Impact 1-0. Then, things went south and we came into last night's game needing a win by four or more goals to replace the Vancouver Whitecaps atop the final standings.

I don't follow soccer that closely, but I appreciate how difficult it is to win by four or more goals, especially when you consider TFC had never ever scored five goals or more goals in a single game. Throw in the fact that Montreal was up 1-0 last night, and you'd be forgiven for writing us off.

Queue the miracle. Toronto FC managed to score six straight goals to beat the Montreal Impact 6-1 to take the 2009 Nutrilite Canadian Championship. Dwayne De Rosario scored the first three, Amado Guevara had a couple and Chad Barrett scored the championship-winning goal in the 83rd minute.

The Voyageurs Cup is ours. Next up, the Stanley Cup.

Montreal Merda


Ball Songs

MusicI played softball tonight for the Piranhas. We won 20-4. I've got two games tomorrow night for Raging Storm. I love playing ball in the summertime.

I just searched my MP3 collection for songs with the word "ball" in the title. Then, I discarded songs about a formal gathering and just kept the songs about a spherical ball, whether it's a rubber ball, a wrecking ball, or.... you know. Did I miss any ball songs? Add the ones I missed in the comments.

  • Str8 Ballin' - 2Pac
  • Flippin Off The Wall Like Lucy Ball - 3rd Bass
  • Got You By the Balls - AC/DC
  • Ballbreaker - AC-DC
  • Big Balls - AC-DC
  • Take Me Out To The Ballgame - Arturo Sandoval
  • Ball & Chain - Big Mama Thornton
  • Butterball - Big Sugar
  • Rubber Ball - Bobby Vee
  • Take Me Out To The Ballgame - Carly Simon
  • Basketball Jones - Cheech & Chong
  • Chocolate Salty Balls (P.S. I Love You) - Chef
  • Ball Peen Hammer - Chris Whiley
  • Cannonball - Damien Rice
  • Fireball - Deep Purple
  • Take Me Out To The Ballgame - Dr. John
  • Pinball Wizard - Elton John
  • Medicine Ball - Eminem
  • Ball Of Fire - Ernest Ranglin
  • Boys Play Football - Gary Lewis/Jamie Bell
  • Take Me Out To The Ballgame - George Rabbai
  • Balls And My Word - Geto Boys
  • Take Me Out To The Ballgame - Harvey Hindermyer
  • Basketball - I Mother Earth
  • Wrecking Ball - Interpol
  • Mudfootball (For Moe Lerner) - Jack Johnson
  • Take Me Out To The Ball Game - Jacqueline Schwab
  • Ball And Chain - Janis Joplin
  • Take Me Out To The Ballgame - King Curtis
  • Ball Tongue - Korn
  • Baseball Boogie - Mabel Scott
  • Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball? - Natalie Cole
  • If You Can't Make A Hit At The Ballgame, You Can't Make A Hit With Me - National Passtime Orchestra
  • Baseball Dreams - The Naturals with Mel Allen
  • Wrecking Ball - Neil Young
  • Crystal Ball - Pink
  • W Balls - Snoop Doggy Dogg
  • Wrecking Ball - Spirit Of The West
  • Natural Ball - T-Bone Walker
  • Ok Blue Jays, Let's Play Ball - The Bat Boys
  • Cannonball - The Breeders
  • Ball of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today) - The Temptations
  • Ball And Biscuit - The White Stripes
  • Pinball Wizard - The Who
  • Ball Of Fire - Tommy James & the Shondells
  • Talkin' Baseball - Terry Cashman
  • Talkin' Softball - Terry Cashman
  • The Biggest Ball Of Twine In Minnesota - Weird Al Yankovic


Don't Forget To Enter To Win - The Odds Are Pretty Sweet

exclamation pointIf you haven't yet entered to win the lithium-ion grass trimmer / edger I'm giving away thanks to Canadian Tire, do it! Think of the odds... there are less than 50 entries right now. These are "draft Sidney Crosby" type odds!

Click here and leave a comment revealing how you first found this site and why you returned. You don't need to kiss my ass, because the draw will be completely random. I'm going to put all the entries in a hat and I'll have my wife pick one out.

What are you still doing here, go and enter!


9 Fictional Characters Who Were Suddenly Killed By A Truck

humourFrom the folks at College Humor, Sudden Impact: Nine Fictional Characters Who Were Suddenly Killed by a Truck (or a Similarly Oversized Vehicle).


COED Magazine Picks Up On The Party Playlist

hyperlinkA couple of days ago I wrote about the attention my Best. Party. Playlist. Ever entry was getting thanks to Stumbleupon. I've had to explain myself in the comments of that entry because thousands and thousands of people were dropping by and now think I'm quite the loser for thinking that's the best music out there. It was a corporate retreat, it was designed for the masses and it was meant to be chock full of guilty pleasures, I swear!

I'm still seeing all this extra Stumbleupon traffic over there, but now there's a new source. Something called COED Magazine is asking if it's the best party playlist ever. That question is currently on their home page, making me look like a total douche bag to a whole new crop of web surfers.

This is a good lesson for bloggers out there. Be careful what you post and in what context it's posted, because you just never know what's going to go viral in this day and age.

coed


Heinz Ketchup and My Brother Steve

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 retro ad is for my brother Steve. Steve consumes vast quantities of Heinz ketchup. Chime in if I'm off base here bro, but I'd guess he can kill a jumbo bottle in a single month. Maybe two.

Steve has always loved ketchup. For a while, he was even obsessed with ketchup chips. If you invite my brother to a BBQ, a single bottle of ketchup likely won't do, so ensure there's a second on stand-by.

This ad for Heinz ketchup aired in 1984. I still remember that "you're the top" jingle.



The Dirty Truth About Clearing 500 Followers on Twitter

twitterI got to 500 followers on Twitter fairly honestly. Some follow everyone under the sun in the hopes they'll reciprocate. In fact, there are even lists of people on Twitter who automatically follow back everyone, so if you follow 500 of those guys you'll hit 500 followers pretty quick. I only follow people on Twitter I actually want to follow, and right now that's 134 people.

I hit 500 followers at some point last week. I only really got into Twitter this past February, so most of my 500+ followers came on board since then. Unfortunately, there's a dirty factoid about one's Twitter follower count that tarnishes the whole thing.

A good number of Twitter followers are pr / marketing / spammy accounts. Someone is selling something or some service, and they create a Twitter account to market their product and/or service. Then, they follow everyone under the sun, in the hopes you'll reciprocate. I never reciprocate, but I don't do anything to block them from following me, either. So my Twitter follower number appears to exceed 500, but the number of actual people reading my tweets is most definitely less than that.

It's the dirty truth about Twitter followers. And the more Twitter followers you have, the more pr / marketing / spammy accounts you'll have following you. The cosmic Twitter ballet, continues...

twitter

P.S. Follow me on Twitter. If you have an account, follow me at http://twitter.com/torontomike.


The Jesus And Mary Chain - Just Like Honey

MP3I share an MP3 from my collection every Wednesday. You have seven days to grab this week's MP3. Please right-click your mouse and select "Save Link As..." or "Save target as..." so you can download it to your PC before playing.

The Jesus And Mary Chain - Just Like Honey
"Just Like Honey," one of my favourite Jesus and Mary Chain songs, borrows Hal Blaine's famous drum intro from The Ronettes 1963 classic, "Be My Baby", produced and co-written by Phil Spector. Spector is currently serving 19 years to life for shooting actress Lana Clarkson in his Alhambra, California home.


Video From the Humble & Fred 20th Anniversary Podcast

VideoFrom the better late than never files... here's video of the Humble and Fred 20th Anniversary Podcast of Memories.

You may recall that a bunch of us got together on May 2, 2009, to reminisce about the good 'ol days.

Get Flash to see this player.

The video was filmed by two gentlemen who deserve a great deal of credit. Ric from ACME Pictures took video and put together this video with Dan Duran's audio and fellow fan @geoperdis took additional video that helped flesh out this piece. Thanks to all, and be sure to talk to ACME about all your corporate video and television production needs.


Who Are These AFI Fans?

edgefestI'm going to Edgefest 2009 at Downsview Park this Saturday. My pal has hooked me up with tickets and I like enough of the bands that I think it'll be a great day and night of music outdoors.

Here's the bands and set times for the main stage:

1:30pm - Arkells
2:20pm - The Stills
3:10pm - K-OS
4:10pm - Metric
5:40pm - Alexisonfire
7:10pm - AFI
8:50pm - Billy Talent

That's cool, I like all of those bands, although I'm not the world's biggest Alexisonfire guy, preferring City and Colour, but I don't understand the allure of the 2nd last band playing. How did AFI get so big and who are these AFI fans who have them playing at 7:10?

I'd give AFI the 3:10 spot and bump up everybody else. Of course, I'd also put Metric on 2nd last. I love Metric.


Hair Decisions and Hair Songs

scissorsBack in January, I got a haircut. I got it cut pretty short. Then, I had an epiphany. I decided to grow my hair for one full year.

I've got pretty thick hair, so it didn't take long for me to alter this experiment. I decided I could get my hair cut, but I'd grow the top for a year. Now I'm wearing it short on the back and sides while growing it out on top. Sort of the anti-mullet.

But you're not here to hear about my hair, are you? This is about the music. Below are all the songs in my MP3 collection that have "hair" in the title. If you have a "hair" song that I don't have, drop the title and artist in the comments.

  • Atmosphere - Hockey Hair
  • Bad Brains - Hair
  • Beck - Devils Haircut
  • Cadence Weapon - Your Hair's Not Clothes!
  • The Cowsills - Hair
  • George Thorogood & the Destroyers - Get a Haircut
  • Guns N' Roses - Hair Of The Dog
  • Harry Belafonte - Scarlet Ribbons (In Her Hair)
  • Larry The Cable Guy - No Hair - Just A Red Head
  • Lightnin' Hopkins - Short-Haired Woman
  • Nazareth - Hair Of The Dog
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Black Hair
  • Nina Simone - Black Is The Color Of My True Love's Hair
  • Nirvana - Hairspray Queen
  • OutKast - Good Hair
  • Ray Charles - Hide Nor Hair
  • Regina Spektor - I Cut Off My Hair
  • Regina Spektor - Long Brown Hair
  • Scott McKenzie - San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair)


Comments Pot Pourri

Comments Here are recent comments left on this site you may have missed. All of these comments were left within the past month, and the first one is possibly my favourite comment of all-time.

Mike: This mix would be okay if one were 13 and going to their junior high dance. Any DJ would be fired if he tried to play this shit. You're either a huge tool or middle aged.

Suggestions:
1)Include some Justice MSTRCRFT Bloody Beetroots or anything similar in rage-i-ness.
2)Go to Hypem or read some damn music blogs.

Epic fail

~ wow, Best. Party. Playlist. Ever.

Every organized religion has the same basic bottom line: WE are right & everyone else is wrong... Duhhhh! As young children, we were all fed the same BS our parents were fed by their parents... on & on, back in time. Most people are so well indoctrinated & brain-washed that they completely fail to realize, recognize or accept that fact, rejecting even the possibility. It is this kind of sad manipulation that gets weak-minded people to fly planes into buildings. It is a very subtle form of hypnosis on a grand scale that's been going on for so many centuries that it has become invisible to all but those w/ a sane and logical mind. In nearly all cases, it is forced upon us from birth under local culture & society through chastisement & ridicule by our own friends & relatives. It uses the 'need to belong' & natural want of acceptance in an insidious way. The conclusion is very simple: Those who disagree with any of this don't even know they are sheep.

~ Don A., The Argument You Can't Win

I was the Chairman of Inner City Angels in 1983. As the Chairman I was concerned about the "Balloon Race" for the above reason and also I did not want young children knocking on stranger?s doors asking for donations. So I came up with another way to raise funds for the Inner City Angels art activities. I proposed that we publish a "Who's Who in Toronto" book. I estimated that we would raise over $250,000 for the arts. I explained to the board my concern about the "Balloon Race" and why I felt that this fund raiser would be more appropriate and not cause the concerns I had about children's safety and the environment. The board voted not to go ahead. They did not want to risk any funds on such an unknown undertaking. They were satified with the growth and funds they were getting from this Balloon event. The only Board member who supported my idea was the Toronto Star's restaurant food critic, the wonderful but alas departed Brent Thrall.

I resigned shortly thereafter and started the Community Homes for the Mentally Handicapped. I then took my own funds and produced in 1984 the historically acclaimed "Who's Who in Toronto: A Celebration of this City. The book was an immediate best seller raising over $250,000. The Toronto Star covered the City Hall launch on its front page. The book had 598 pages with hundreds of photos of the rich, famous and not so famous people. I even included the Inner City Angels. Today you can only find it in the reference library.

It was ironic when in 1989 the Chairman of Inner City Angels approached me for help in coming up with another fund raiser. It seemed that the city had stopped their environmental unfriendly fund raiser. Unfortunately, I could not since I was putting together the "Climb for Hope" Mount Everest Expedition to raise international awareness and funds for Rett Syndrome as I had change the charities name to better reflect the disorder that my daughter has.

Today, I am in Tianjin, China sell my patent pending Knowledge Generator software system to the Government and students of China and came across this article. Now you know some of the other sequence of events.

~ Ernest Sniedzins, Chairman, Inner City Angels Balloon Day Update

what not celine dion !

~ Anonymous, Top 100 Canadian Songs: The Definitive List

Prima is in receivership as of April 28, 2009.

Don't wait!!!!!

~ Joan, My Prima Television Nightmare

Remember when Mrs. Champ had a heart attack? The paramedics arrived, assessed her and said, " Hey Champ! Your wife has acute angina!"

Remember when the Champ and Knuckles had to sleep in bunk beds? Knuckles said, " Hey Champ, do you want the bunk above me or B'low me?"

Remember when the Champ had a carpentry job with Jack? One day the boss had to downsize, so he said, " Hey Champ! I have to lay you or Jack off!"

~ madmarc, The Champ

I will miss both Martin & Barry. They both had a unique style that you either loved or hated. Either way, you remembered them.

My biggest problem with the whole thing was how The Edge completely erased any existance of them from their website, without any words of thanks or well wishes. Especially for Martin.

I mean the guys had been there over 20 years? You gain a large following of fans with that longevity and without offering some sort of honour to such a long-time employee is insulting to Martin, as well as the Edge listeners who enjoyed listening to him.

I understand that changes like this sometimes need to be quick and dirty to minimize a backlash and to move forward more quickly, but it is a cowardice, weak and disrespectful way of doing things.

I'm not as upset that Martin and Barry are gone, it's how The Edge handled it. At the very least, allow Martin and Barry to post a farewell letter where they can say goodbye to their fans and to comment on the good times they had while at The Edge. By not doing so, The Edge management appears to be insensitive to their own listeners who connect with the talent they promote.

The Edge ties so hard to create the feeling of belonging to their radio community. So when they take someone away with out giving the audience a chance to say goodbye, it feels like you lost a family member. I know that sounds cheesy but it does. It makes me feel like the Edge doesn;t give a shit about their listeners.

Well you know what Edge, after a stunt like this, I'm starting feel like I don;t give a fuck about you anymore. Way to alienate your own listeners. Fuck you.

~ Buller, Martin Streek Out At Edge 102.1 / CFNY

"Here we are in the year"... The Edge Top 30 (May 28th, 2009) includes: Green Day (1), The Tragically Hip (5), Pearl Jam (9) Rise Against (18), Nine Inch Nails (21), Rancid (22), Depeche Mode (23), Our Lady Peace (30) -for 8 of 26 different bands, 30.7%

JackFM Top 20 (May 23rd-29th, 2009) includes: AC/DC (1), The Tragically Hip (3), Nickelback (4) (15) & (19), Green Day (5), Coldplay (8), Pearl Jam (9) U2 (16) & (20), Staind (18) -for 8 of 17 different bands, 47.1% combined 13/(26+5+8) = 13/39 = 33.33%

One is a "new music" station owned by a Shaw subsidiary; the other is a Rogers owned station with a broadcast TV video show.

~ CQ, Grunge Forever

watched them this morning discussing how archaeology was a difficult word to spell, then the girl decided to try to spell it out...she spelled it out as archeology, which is still right, but then everyone else there (ann and matt) were all impressed (after saying, "wow, well i have no idea how to spell it, but that sounds good...well done") and then went on to discuss how spelling is hard...i was forced to change the channel. I've never heard such awful banter.

~ ugh..., CP24 Breakfast Is Not Breakfast Television

Thank to those of you who made comments, both good and bad...either way, it's proof that you listened and/or cared about the scene I/we were part of...

~ Martin Streek, Martin Streek Out At Edge 102.1 / CFNY


I Gave Up Predicting Social Bookmarking Behaviour

linkThe big social bookmarking sites are Delicious, Digg, Stumbleupon and reddit. This is my 9005th entry, and I learnt about 5000 entries ago that you can't predict which entries will gain traction with these social bookmarking services.

Stumbleupon is currently sending a whack of traffic to my Best. Party. Playlist. Ever. entry. It's just a laundry list of the songs I played during a corporate retreat at Horseshoe Valley ski resort. The entry is six months old, and certainly not one of my more inspired posts, but it got added to Stumbleupon five days ago and is still gaining momentum. You just never know...

I gave up trying to predict which entries might cause a stir with social bookmarking sites, and so should you.


Allan King, Dead at 79

In MemoriumAllan King was 79. He was the acclaimed Canadian documentarian who took viewers on a harrowing journey into a home for troubled children in "Warrendale" and trained his unflinching lens on a crumbling marriage in "A Married Couple."

I record The View From Here, a fantastic documentary series that airs on TVOntario. A recent doc that aired during this program struck such a chord in me I haven't been able to let it go. It was called "Dying At Grace" and it was an Allan King film.

As recently as yesterday I was telling my mom about "Dying At Grace", a film I urge you to see next time it's on television. It's about five patients dying in the Palliative Care Unit of the Salvation Army Toronto Grace Health Centre. We meet them, spend time with them and then we watch them die.

We literally watch them take their last breath. It's terribly chilling, totally effective, and in many ways, absolutely reassuring. A fantastic documentary form a fantastic filmmaker who will be missed.

Here's Allan King talking about making "Dying At Grace."


Role Models

Movie ReviewRole Models: 5 out of 10.

Were you surprised with Paul Rudd started singing "Beth" near the end of this flick? I wasn't. I mean, why else would she be named Beth?

This one got a 5 because I happen to like Paul Rudd for some reason.

Why, McLovin? Why?

Next up, The Dark Knight.

role_models


Enter to Win a Lithium-ion Grass Trimmer / Edger

Free TrimmerAs promised, I get to give one of you a Yardworks 20V (6Ah) / 12-in Lithium-ion Grass Trimmer / Edger from Canadian Tire. Over on the Canadian Tire website this sucker sells for $199.

In the comments for this entry, you just have to tell me how you first discovered this blog and why you came back. Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered in a random draw. Please leave your email address in the Email Address field (it won't get published on the site) so I can secure your mailing address should you win. Canadian Tire will only ship the prize to addresses in Canada or the United States. I'll pick the winner on June 21.

How did you discover TorontoMike.com and why did you return?

trimmer


Billy Talent - Rusted From The Rain

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS21 consideration. I'm submitting "Rusted From The Rain" by Billy Talent.

We've been hearing Billy Talent on the radio for six years now, so maybe it's time I get over the fact they bastardized the spelling of Billy Tallent.

This is a nice single from this Streetsville band. I'm seeing them on Saturday.


The Toothbrush Family

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.

A couple of years ago I wrote about Polka Dot Door. In the comments of that entry, someone asked about The Toothbrush Family. I remembered The Toothbrush Family well and wrote the following comment:

There's not a lot out there about the original Toothbrush Family. They modernized it in 1997, but I can't find any audio, video or images from the version I remember.

It seems these cartoon shorts originated on Captain Kangaroo, but I don't recall it that way. Maybe here in Canada a station licensed the shorts or maybe they found their way onto the Commander Tom show.

Retrontario tells me The Toothbrush Family did in fact run on Commander Tom's World, and on Global TV and CHCH 11 almost every morning. It first ran in 1974.

I'd guess I've seen these four minutes dozens and dozens of times, but I haven't seen this in about 25 years. I've been looking for this for some time...



Tropic Thunder

Movie ReviewTropic Thunder: 7 out of 10.

I recommend seeing this movie if any of the following appeals to you:

  • Ben Stiller going "full retard" as Simple Jack
  • Robert Downey Jr. playing a black guy in black face
  • Tom Cruise stealing scenes out of the blue as a vulgar movie mogul
  • Ben Stiller desecrating the dismembered head of Steve Coogan

I recommend skipping this movie if any of the following offends you:

  • Ben Stiller going "full retard" as Simple Jack
  • Robert Downey Jr. playing a black guy in black face
  • Tom Cruise stealing scenes out of the blue as a vulgar movie mogul
  • Ben Stiller desecrating the dismembered head of Steve Coogan

Good stuff. Next up, The Dark Knight.

tropic-thunder-poster


Sleeping Sickness, Already Missing Hockey

PuckI loved the closing montage aired on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada shortly before midnight yesterday. It was set to City and Colour and Gord Downie's "Sleeping Sickness".

Pension Plan Puppets just posted the montage, so I'm going to follow suit.

It was such a great playoffs, and such a great finals. I'm already going through withdrawal. I can't wait for next season. I can't wait for my Leaf games.

Go Leafs Go in 2009/2010!


Carp Jumps at Humber River

binocularsEvery year around Thanksgiving, there's this awesome salmon run in the Humber River at Etienne Brule Park. It's just north of the Old Mill Bridge at the weir. You see hundreds and hundreds of salmon trying to swim up the weir and it's pretty fun to watch.

Today, as my son and I walked along the Humber River, we could see carp jumping by these falls. It's nothing like you see in early October with the salmon, but it somehow manages to fascinate us both.

IMG00019.jpg


Vanity, Definitely My Favourite Sin

FBAlthough I didn't take to Facebook, I recognize it's the big daddy of social networking sites. About 9 hours ago, Facebook made it possible for regular folks like you and me to secure vanity urls.

I was up anyway after the awesomely fantastic game seven of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, so I grabbed www.facebook.com/torontomike. I was disappointed to see www.facebook.com/mike was already gone at 12:01.

Don't be disappointed that your vanity url of choice is already gone. Facebook users, go to www.facebook.com/username/ now and get yours.

Vanity, definitely my favorite sin. - John Milton, The Devil's Advocate


Dirty Songs

musicToday I'm enjoying Just Look Them Straight In The Eye and Say.... POGUEMAHONE!!, a boxset of rare and unreleased tracks from The Pogues.

One of my favourite Pogues songs is "Dirty Old Town", a song I never get tired of. It's been scientifically proven that you can't listen to "Dirty Old Town" without singing along. Try it, it can't be done.

"Dirty Old Town" got me thinking of all the "dirty" songs I have in my collection. Here they are. If you have "dirty" songs in your collection that I missed, let me know in the comments.

  • Angels With Dirty Faces - Sum 41
  • Beautiful Dirty Rich - Lady GaGa
  • Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground - The White Stripes
  • Dirty - Korn
  • Dirty Blvd. - Lou Reed
  • Dirty Cash (Money Talks) - Adventures of Stevie V
  • Dirty Dancin' - Ol' Dirty Bastard
  • Dirty Day - U2
  • Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - AC-DC
  • Dirty Diana - Michael Jackson
  • Dirty Dirty - Ol' Dirty Bastard
  • Dirty Frank - Pearl Jam
  • Dirty Harry - Gorillaz
  • Dirty Jeans - Magic Dirt
  • Dirty Little Girl - Elton John
  • Dirty Little Secret - Sarah McLachlan
  • Dirty Little Thing - Velvet Revolver
  • Dirty Mack - Ice Cube
  • Dirty Man - The Living End
  • Dirty Mind - Prince
  • Dirty Mother For You - Memphis Minnie
  • Dirty Mouth - Hot Hot Heat
  • Dirty Old Town - Irish Descendants
  • Dirty Old Town - The Pogues
  • Dirty Pool - Spirit Of The West
  • Dirty Run - Ol' Dirty Bastard
  • Dirty Walls - Our Lady Peace
  • Dirty Water - K-Os
  • Dirty Women - Black Sabbath
  • Dirtywhirl - TV on the Radio
  • Fire (Dirty Dirty Alt. Version) - Ol' Dirty Bastard
  • I Play Dirty - Little Milton
  • Straw Hat And Old Dirty Hank - Barenaked Ladies
  • Talk Dirty To Me - Poison
  • The Dirty Boogie - Brian Setzer Orchestra
  • The Dirty Glass - Dropkick Murphys
  • The Girl In The Dirty Shirt - Oasis
  • The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court - Coheed and Cambria
  • Unholy, Dirty and Beautiful - David Usher


Zack Morris and Steve Nash: Friends Forever

tvThe only late night talk shows I watch are Conan O'Brien and Jon Stewart. Both shows get PVR'd every night and I catch up when I can.

This past week, I missed a couple of funny bits on Jimmy Fallon's new show and David Letterman. Fallon had Zack Morris on and the results were pretty awesome. Fans of Saved By The Bell will love this.

Meanwhile, Letterman has Greatest Canadian Basketball Player, Ever™ Steve Nash covering the NBA Finals. He also happens to be pretty damn funny. Here's Steve Nash on Letterman.



Game Seven Heaven

stanley cupMy 7-year old has been told he can stay up for the entire game tonight. He, like his father, is heavily rooting for the Penguins to upset the Red Wings in Detroit. He's pretty psyched about watching the whole game and watching the cup get passed from player to player.

I remember the first time I witnessed the Stanley Cup getting awarded. It was May 19, 1984 and a young Oilers team had just defeated an ageing Islanders team that had won four times in a row. I loved that Oilers team, and they'd be my second team for the remainder of the decade.

These Penguins remind me of that Oilers team. Sure, they're not as deep and not quite as awesome, but they've got stellar young talent and they're attempting to usurp a Detroit dynasty that's won enough in recent years. And these Penguins have become my second team, just like the 80s Oilers were.

History tells us the Red Wings will win. There's a stat making the rounds that suggests the home team almost always wins a game seven of a final. Still, they're playing the game, and if Fleury stands on his head and Crosby and Malkin are on their game, it might just happen.

Hell, game sevens in the Stanley Cup final don't happen every day. My 4-year old can stay up and watch it as well. Go Pens Go!


My Stab At The Toronto Fun Guide Cover

TorontoI'm still laughing at the fact our city Photoshopped a black guy onto the cover of the current Fun Guide. It really happened. Click here to see the before and after images.

Some are laughing at the terrible Photoshop job, others are laughing at the need to do it in the first place, and some are laughing at all of the above. That's me, so in the past 5 minutes as I dried off from a wet softball game, I took my own stab at making the Toronto Fun Guide cover as diverse as the city I love.

My name's Pitt. And your ass ain't talkin' your way out of this shit.

sam


Omar Little Had Respect Since Day 1

The WireBefore the final series of The Wire aired, HBO released three prequel shorts produced by Wire creator David Simon, exploring the backstory for the characters Prop Joe, Omar, and William ''Bunk'' Moreland.

Omar Little is the single greatest character in the history of television. The Wire is overflowing with amazing characters, so rising above such a stellar crop is saying something.

Here's Omar Little back in 1985. He had respect since day one.



Sexy Isotopes

HomerA medical isotope shortage isn't sexy, despite what natural resources minister Lisa Raitt said.

The Springfield Isotopes, an AA minor league baseball team that plays its home games at Duff Stadium, however, is sexy. Just ask Dancin' Homer.

isotopes


Our 2009 Hockey Pool Winds Down

puckTomorrow night, the NHL playoffs conclude. That means we'll have a winner in our annual Hockey Playoff Pool.

Patino looks to have first place locked up, thanks to his clever drafting of Evgeni Malkin. Patino picked up Malkin 6th overall. When I got my first pick at #13, I went with Patrick Marleau. Who had the better pick? We'll know Friday!

Stay tuned...


Fun! Toronto Style (Now With Photoshop)

CN TowerAndrew (with the capital "A", not the commenter with the small "a"), directed my attention to Mike Stafford's latest blog entry.

As Mike writes:

The smiling, ethnically diverse family featured on the cover of Toronto's latest edition of its summer Fun Guide was digitally altered to make the photo more "inclusive," which city officials say is in keeping with a policy to reflect diversity. Judging by the father's gaze, the policy must also reflect a high level of creepiness!

Here's that cover:

Toronto Fun NEW

As Andrew pointed out, it's reminiscent of an Onion bit.

In the spirit of celebrating diversity at Iowa State University, a black guy was digitally added to the cover of the school's 2001 spring-semester course catalog, school officials announced Monday.

onion_news482

Our beloved city is now ripping punchlines from the Onion's grasp. Has it really come to this, Toronto?


Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the '80s Underground

cdI rarely do this, but I'm in love with a 4-disc compilation I just borrowed entitled "Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the '80s Underground". It's all the best stuff we heard on CFNY in the 80s. Seriously, if you find yourself missing the spirit of radio, you have to hear this.

How awesome is the song selection? Check this out and tell me it's not the coolest.

Disc 1

1. R.E.M. - "Radio Free Europe" - 4:06
2. The Jam - "Going Underground" - 2:56
3. The Cure - "A Forest" - 4:55
4. Dead Kennedys - "Holiday in Cambodia" - 4:39
5. The Passions - "I'm in Love With a German Film Star" - 4:01
6. The Replacements - "I Will Dare" - 3:19
7. Mission of Burma - "That's When I Reach For My Revolver" - 3:53
8. X - "Johnny Hit and Run Paulene" - 2:50
9. The Jesus and Mary Chain - "Just Like Honey" - 3:02
10. Depeche Mode - "Black Celebration" - 4:53
11. Dream Syndicate - "Tell Me When It's Over" - 3:33
12. Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Hollywood (Africa)" - 5:03
13. New Order - "Temptation" - 5:44
14. Japan - "Ghosts" - 4:32
15. Magazine - "A Song From Under the Floorboards" - 4:11
16. Aztec Camera - "Oblivious" - 3:12
17. Hüsker Dü - "Don't Want to Know If You Are Lonely" - 3:32
18. Black Flag - "Rise Above" - 2:26
19. Wall of Voodoo - "Back in Flesh" - 3:43
20. The Go-Betweens - "Cattle and Cane" - 4:01

Disc 2

1. The Pretenders - "Message of Love" - 3:26
2. Ultravox - "Vienna" - 4:40
3. Dinosaur Jr. - "Freak Scene" - 3:37
4. The Smiths - "This Charming Man" - 2:44
5. Ministry - "Stigmata" - 5:45
6. Lone Justice - "Ways to Be Wicked" - 3:26
7. Killing Joke - "Wardance" - 3:47
8. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark - "Enola Gay" - 3:32
9. The English Beat - "Mirror in the Bathroom" - 3:08
10. The Raincoats - "Fairytale in the Supermarket" - 3:00
11. The Smithereens - "Behind the Wall of Sleep" - 3:24
12. Minutemen - "Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing" - 1:32
13. Dead Milkmen - "Punk Rock Girl" - 2:39
14. Concrete Blonde - "Still In Hollywood" - 3:45
15. Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart" - 3:27
16. Violent Femmes - "Blister in the Sun" - 2:26
17. Meat Puppets - "Lake of Fire" - 2:00
18. The DB's - "Amplifier" - 3:08
19. Prefab Sprout - "When Love Breaks Down" - 3:46
20. The Cramps - "Goo Goo Muck" - 3:07
21. The Sisters of Mercy - "This Corrosion" - 8:59
22. XTC - "Senses Working Overtime" - 4:36

Disc 3

1. Echo & the Bunnymen - "The Cutter" - 3:55
2. Bad Brains - "Pay to Cum!" - 1:28
3. The Sugarcubes - "Birthday" - 3:59
4. Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians - "Madonna of the Wasps" - 3:07
5. Faith No More - "We Care a Lot" - 4:05
6. Sonic Youth - "Teen Age Riot" - 6:58
7. Gang of Four - "To Hell With Poverty" - 3:28
8. The Feelies - "Fa Cé-La" - 2:03
9. They Might Be Giants - "Ana Ng" - 3:21
10. The Chameleons UK - "Swamp Thing" - 6:00
11. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - "The Mercy Seat" - 5:12
12. Rain Parade - "I Look Around" - 3:07
13. The Psychedelic Furs - "All That Money Wants" - 3:52
14. The Church - "Under the Milky Way" - 4:59
15. Public Image Ltd. - "Rise" - 6:08
16. Love and Rockets - "Kundalini Express" - 5:51
17. Green on Red - "Gravity Talks" - 2:34
18. Throbbing Gristle - "Adrenalin" - 3:58
19. The Stone Roses - "She Bangs the Drums" - 3:45

Disc 4

1. Pixies - "Monkey Gone to Heaven" - 2:56
2. The The - "Uncertain Smile" - 4:54
3. Bauhaus - "Bela Lugosi's Dead" - 9:34
4. Siouxsie & the Banshees - "Christine" - 2:59
5. Minor Threat - "Straight Edge" - 0:46
6. Lyres - "I Want to Help You Ann" - 2:30
7. Beat Happening - "Our Secret" - 2:48
8. Jane's Addiction - "Jane Says" - 4:53
9. Julian Cope - "World Shut Your Mouth" - 3:34
10. Kate Bush - "Running Up That Hill" - 5:00
11. The Gun Club - "Sex Beat" - 2:48
12. Camper Van Beethoven - "Take the Skinheads Bowling" - 2:30
13. Suicidal Tendencies - "Institutionalized" - 3:49
14. Cocteau Twins - "Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops" - 4:11
15. Happy Mondays - "24 Hour Party People" - 4:38
16. Hoodoo Gurus - "I Want You Back" - 3:11
17. Descendents - "Surburban Home" - 1:42
18. The Pogues - "A Pair of Brown Eyes" - 4:53
19. The Three O'Clock - "Jet Fighter" - 3:27
20. Butthole Surfers - "Moving to Florida" - 4:31
21. Billy Bragg - "A New England" - 2:13

I'm playing all 82 tracks like crazy. Buy this now for someone you truly care about.


Custom Gig at Guastavino's in New York

customYears ago, Custom put out an album entitled "Fast". It was a great album, but it was on the experimental Artistdirect label and everything fell apart shortly thereafter.

I came on board Team Custom in 2004, rescuing the teamcustom.com domain from Artistdirect and helping out with the web parts while Custom recorded awesome new material.

That awesome new material hasn't seen the light of day, and it's a shame. I'm hoping he'll let me share some of the tracks one day soon so you can see what I mean.

Anyway, my involvement with Team Custom means I'm always getting emails asking where he's at and why he's not touring. If you're able to get to New York City tomorrow, this email I just got from Custom will be of interest.

Looking forward to seeing you Thursday, June 11th at 9:30 PM. Guastavino's 59th and 1st.

Thanks to all of you for your interest and support in The Jed Foundation. On the evening of June 11th, 2009, we will celebrate our collective power to improve and save the lives of young people struggling with emotional issues. We have a stellar evening planned as we honor Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy and Sheila Nevins from HBO for their contributions to the cause. We have Brittany Snow hosting the party, an amazing DJ as well as a special live performance by CUSTOM and open bar all night long!!!!

For more about The Jed Foundation and The Mind Ball, visit http://www.jedfoundation.org/get-involved/the-mindball.


Dinosaur Jr. - Feel The Pain

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.

Dinosaur Jr. - Feel The Pain
This song popped up on my iPod yesterday and I was reminded how great it is. I actually think it's getting better with age.


The Savages

A Movie ReelThe Savages: 7.5 out of 10.

I'm not capable of disliking a Philip Seymour Hoffman movie. He's so good, his presence elevates a film. He's definitely in my top five - the man can act.

Throw in a great Laura Linney performance, and you can't really screw it up. "The Savages" is a little slow in parts, but overall a bittersweet film about a sister and brother who begin to care for their ailing father.

If you're interested, I once ranked my five favourite Philip Seymour Hoffman movies.

the_savages_movie_poster_final


My Father's Day Gift From Canadian Tire

giftI'm pretty sure we haven't hit Father's Day yet, because my kids haven't said a word about it, but I've already received a pretty kick ass Father's Day gift. It arrived this afternoon from Canadian Tire.

Since I was more than happy to give one of you a $199 lithium-ion grass trimmer / edger (details unveiled June 15), Canadian Tire was nice enough to send me a gift I truly needed. Hop in my time machine and I'll explain more...

My wife and I moved into our first place together in the summer of 1996. It was an apartment near Yonge and Bloor, and one of my first purchases in the new place was a socket set with screwdrivers and a few other essential tools. This thing was kept in a grey plastic case and was on sale for $34.99 at the nearby Canadian Tire. I've been using that set ever since, even though it's now missing a few pieces and a few other pieces are damaged. I really needed a new one.

And now, thanks to Canadian Tire, I have one. And not just any socket set, I'm the proud owner of a shiny new Stanley 149-piece Professional Grade Black Socket Set. This set not only looks cool, but it includes a quick-release ratcheting combo wrench set, six combination wrenches and ten bits. It really is awesome.

I'm off to find something to repair.

P6098970 P6098973


The Justin Pogge Era Ends in Toronto

LeafersI think The Sun buried the lead. They're reporting that the Leafs are done with Cujo, which I assumed was pretty obvious. Curtis Joseph is 42 years old. Several paragraphs deep into the Sun article is this little bombshell.

Burke has suggested that if Gustavsson, widely considered the best goaltender outside of the NHL, signs elsewhere, he will replenish the goaltending position via the draft or free agency, which begins July 1. It's expected that the Leafs won't retain restricted free agent Justin Pogge, one time the franchise's so-called goaltender of the future.

In April, I wrote Killing the Culture of Entitlement Means Pogge Has To Go in which I called Burke's shot. In hindsight, that entry was so totally awesome and accurate, I'm going to reproduce it below.

I'm as guilty as anyone. Justin Pogge was awesome during the 2006 World Junior Hockey Championship, and ever since we've been waiting for him to assume his role as Maple Leafs saviour. Here's the entry I wrote in January 2006 in which I opened with the following line. "I have seen the future of Toronto Maple Leafs hockey, and his name is Justin Pogge."

I have a great relationship with the Marlies PR people, and when I told them I wanted to meet Justin Pogge and ask him some questions, they quickly made it happen. He was the only Marlie I wanted to meet. Who wouldn't want to meet the future of Toronto Maple Leafs hockey?

I was there during the low points and the high points. It's been a roller coaster ride with peaks and valleys. When I learnt he was benched for the final playoff game of the season in Winnipeg, I responded with this tweet.

Pogge didn't get the start tonight.... it's Munro starting for the Marlies in the Peg. Whoa, methinks the Pogge era has grinded to a halt.

For the second season in a row, Greg Gilbert passed over Pogge at playoff time. Pogge's NHL record this season was abysmal. There's a reason we picked up Gerber... Pogge isn't anywhere close to being an NHL starting goaltender.

I want to believe, I really do, and that's the problem. There's a culture of entitlement with this franchise that Ron Wilson and Brian Burke are working hard to destroy, and that means Pogge has to go. I hate that this has to happen, but it's for the best.

It's time to get Jonas Gustavsson to compete with Vesa Toskala for the Leafs spot. James Reimer is ready to play with Adam Munro with the Marlies. The Justin Pogge era has indeed ground to a halt.

I'm going to miss rooting for Justin Pogge at Marlies games. My son is going to be devastated. I sincerely hope he catches on with another team and makes us rue the day we let him go.

Me with Justin Pogge


Down Goes Brown! Down Goes Brown!

Down Goes BrownDown Goes Brown isn't just the handle of a great Maple Leaf blogger I borrow gems from periodically, it's also a great call by Joe Bowen back in 1992 on The Fan 1430. Sylvain Lefebvre took on Rob Brown and "Down goes Brown! Down goes Brown!" was born.

Here's the video with that great audio.

A previous entry about Down Goes Brown (the blogger, not the Bowen call) currently ranks #21 when you Google Down Goes Brown.

If I played this right, this entry will now be found in the top five. Down Goes Down Goes Brown!


Bret Michaels of Poison Performs at Tonys, Loses Head (Almost)

I've never watched the Tony Awards. I'm not a theatre guy. I didn't know they were on last night, and even if I did, I wouldn't have tuned in.

Having said that, I didn't realize Poison was going to perform and Bret Michaels was going to nearly be decapitated. Seriously, at the end of this clip, you'll see a set piece coming down nearly knocking his head clean off.

Now that gives me something to believe in.


Notes From SES Toronto 2009

SESI mentioned in my interview with Andrew Goodman that I'm attending the Search Engine Strategies Conference & Expo Toronto 2009 today and tomorrow. I'm throwing down a quick entry with some thoughts about search engine marketing and e-marketing in general, and then we in Raging Storm have a game to play.

I still think they should rename this show the Google Strategies. Yahoo! Canada is exhibiting, as is Microsoft Bing, but it's all about The Google. Over 80% of all Canadian searches now happen in Google. There was much chatter about Adwords and their Quality Score, and how blended search is changing things up on us emarketers.

Everything changes so quickly, yet a few constants remain true. You need good, keyword-rich site content, you need good site and page architecture, and you need quality external links. As complex as it seems, it really is that simple.

I help people and small-to-midsize companies optimize their site for search, and two things I strongly believe were validated by the speakers today.

  1. Create lots of good content on a consistent basis and you'll grow your lucrative long tail while naturally building inbound links
  2. Optimize your site for people who use search engines, don't optimize your site for search engines

One day, when I have some free time, I'm going to finish polishing off marketingboon.com and properly launch it. One day...


Did You Know About Wolfram|Alpha?

wolfram|alphaI've been attending the Search Engines Strategies conference all day today, and I'll write a bit more about that later. In one discussion about the future of search, a panelist mentioned Wolfram|Alpha.

I'll admit, I hadn't heard of Wolfram|Alpha. I wrote down the name and Googled it at the next opportunity. It's an online service that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from structured data, rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine might. It was only unveiled to the public last month, so I'm not that far behind the times, but I was surprised I hadn't heard of it.

Their goals are lofty:

Wolfram|Alpha aims to bring expert-level knowledge and capabilities to the broadest possible range of people—spanning all professions and education levels. Our goal is to accept completely free-form input, and to serve as a knowledge engine that generates powerful results and presents them with maximum clarity.

Wolfram|Alpha is an ambitious, long-term intellectual endeavor that we intend will deliver increasing capabilities over the years and decades to come. With a world-class team and participation from top outside experts in countless fields, our goal is to create something that will stand as a major milestone of 21st century intellectual achievement.

I just Wolfram|Alpha'd my given name. No wonder I know so many Mikes!

michael


Halladay vs. Stieb: It's Getting Closer

JaysJust last September, I called Dave Stieb the greatest starting pitcher in Toronto Blue Jays history. I have Roy Halladay at number two on that list. It's now nine months later and the order remains the same, but the gap is closing.

The Jays beat Kansas City 4-0 today at the ballpark formerly known as Skydome. Roy Halladay became MLB's first 10-game winner, throwing the 12th shutout and 43rd complete game of his career. He threw 97 pitches for his 11th complete game since 2000 in which he has thrown fewer than 100 pitches. Halladay has thrown more than seven innings in all 13 starts this season. In the divisional era, he is tied with Curt Schilling for the third-best streak in the majors.

There are no typos up there. 97 pitches, 10th win of the season, back-to-back complete games... this throw back is on a mission to become the best starter in Blue Jays history.

At this rate, I'll be making the call before Labour Day.

Roy


The Baby Formula

MoviesI attended a screening of a new Canadian film entitled "The Baby Formula" this afternoon at the Drake Hotel. It was part of their First Weekend Club film series. The Drake has this sweet set up where you get a free drink from the bar, watch a cool new film in their ultra cool mini-theatre and then get a Q&A with the director, actors from the film, etc.

All I knew going into "The Baby Formula" was that it was about the first two women in the world to conceive using “female sperm” made from each other’s stem cells. It was surprisingly funny and charming. I laughed out loud several times and, if I were less of a macho man, I could have teared up at a few moving scenes. The pregnant lesbian couple were actually pregnant during filming (but weren't an actual couple), adding to the realism, and it was great to see them at the showing.

This flick was put together for $275,000 CAD. Some big budget films spend more on catering. It's really, really good but there's no money to promote it. AMC is giving it a weekend this month to see if it's worthy of more screen time. If you're looking for a charming as all hell movie that'll make you laugh, see "The Baby Formula" on June 19, 20 or 21 at the AMC at Yonge and Dundas.


Alex Rios: Swears Outside ROM, Deserves a Little Slack

JaysOn Friday night, during my own ball game, I got a tweet from Vegas Geoff.

Alex Rios swears at a fan. Just for you, @TorontoMike http://bit.ly/8AMYd

I watched the video that night, actually felt bad for Alex Rios, and tweeted the following:

@Vegasgeoff If I had 5 strikeouts, I'd swear at my own mother.

I didn't even blog about it, because I'd just defend Alex Rios and nobody wants to see a multi-million dollar athlete defended when he's swearing around young fans. He really should have showed some restraint, but he's slumping. He's slumping really good, and he had five strike-outs that day. As a guy who loves playing ball and plays about three times a week, I meant what I tweeted to VegasGeoff. If I had five strikeouts in a game, I'd swear at that guy outside the ROM as well. Whether it was a rec league softball game or a pro game for which I was a paid a mountain of money.

Mike Kic, a member of my comp division softball team, wrote me this morning asking why I haven't posted the video. Kic thinks Rios is a classless bum. I say Rios doesn't have to sign every ball handed to him outside a charity event and his response to the heckling wasn't drenched in Halladay-like class, but doesn't warrant a communal lashing by guys like us. I'm almost happy to see he gives a damn that the fans are demanding more.

We expect more from Rios and he expects more from himself. He's apologized for his tirade and that's good enough for me. What do you guys think about Alex Rios' profane tirade outside the ROM?


Twilight

A Movie ReelTwilight: 5 out of 10.

My wife loves the Twilight books. She's read them all, and raves about them. My only exposure to Twilight was all the awards the movie won at the recent MTV Movie Awards, and that's usually the kiss of death for a flick. Still, I was optimistic when we slipped the Twilight DVD in last night after a very disappointing hockey game.

Twilight is probably really deep and intense for the 17-year old crowd, but for those of us twice that age, it's a slow, boring piece of melodrama that leaves you wondering what all the hype was about. I kept waiting for the movie to actually start, then I realized it was almost over.

I watched True Blood from HBO and found it to be far more interesting, sexy and worthy of attention. In fact, Twilight felt like Dawson's Creek meets True Blood, only not nearly as good as that sounds.

In the words of Roger Ebert, Twilight will mesmerize its target audience, 16-year-old girls and their grandmothers.

twilight


Edge 102 Bands / Artists Played in the Past 7 Hours

musicIt seems the most popular entries around these parts lately have been about Toronto radio. It started when Martin Streek and Barry Taylor were fired at Edge 102, continued when I wrote about the problem with Jack FM and culminated in the birth of Kiss 92 where Jack once broadcast. All three entries seemed to bring out the commenters.

I've mentioned I actually liked the music mix at Jack. I also really like the music mix at Edge 102. I listened to a lot of Edge 102 today, in the shower, in the car running a few errands and even on the ol' home stereo. I was digging the playlist, pleased with just about every tune I heard during this Double Shot weekend.

For the heck of it, here are the artists played on 102.1 the Edge between noon and 7pm today. Beside each band / artist, I'm putting a YES to indicate I really like the choice, a NO to indicate I really don't like the selection and an OK if I can take them or leave them.

SILVERSUN PICKUPS YES
ALEXISONFIRE OK
NINE INCH NAILS YES
BILLY TALENT YES
RADIOHEAD YES
PEARL JAM YES
FRANZ FERDINAND YES
LINKIN PARK YES
KINGS OF LEON YES
FOO FIGHTERS YES
METRIC YES
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS YES
EMINEM YES
GREEN DAY YES
NIRVANA YES
MGMT YES
SILVERSUN PICKUPS YES
SUBLIME YES
BILLY TALENT YES
COLDPLAY YES
SLOAN YES
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS YES
GREEN DAY YES
FRANZ FERDINAND YES
WEEZER YES
LINKIN PARK YES
KILLERS YES
THE TRAGICALLY HIP YES
GREEN DAY YES
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS YES
COLDPLAY YES
FOO FIGHTERS YES
EAGLES OF DEATH METAL YES
OUR LADY PEACE YES
YEAH YEAH YEAHS YES
BEASTIE BOYS YES
BILLY TALENT YES
WEEZER YES
CITY AND COLOUR YES
FRANZ FERDINAND YES
PEARL JAM YES
METRIC YES
RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS YES
NIRVANA YES
NICKELBACK NO

I gave a YES to a resounding 95.5% of the bands I heard. Only 2% of the bands got a NO. That's pretty awesome, so what's the problem? The problem, according to this 7 hour snapshot, is repetition.

Only 30 of these bands are unique, or 66.7%. In fact, Billy Talent, Franz Ferdinand and Red Hot Chili Peppers each appeared in three different sets during this seven hour span. Considering every band is played back-to-back during Double Shot weekend, that's six songs from each band, which seems highly unnecessary.

102.1 the Edge is playing songs I want to hear, they're just repeating themselves more often than I'd like. But considering the current state of radio in this city, I'm just glad they haven't gone country... yet.


CBC Hourly Newscast MP3 Download - Perpetually Updated

CBCWhen it comes to getting my news, I turn to the CBC first. It's straight up, solid information, and it doesn't appear tainted by glitz, glamour or bias. I like CBC Newsworld for my television news and CBC Radio One for my radio news.

A tremendous resource when it comes to news and current affairs in this country is the vast assortment of CBC Podcasts available online. One gem, which you might not know about but will thank me for pointing it out, is the CBC Radio Hourly newscast that's always current and always available at the same url. This is awfully convenient. Download it, or listen to the < 5 minute broadcast at http://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/hourlynews.mp3.

If you're looking for Toronto info, Metro Morning with Andy Barrie makes several segments available for download at http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/podcast/.

You're welcome.


Raging Storm Sweep - Over .500 for First Time in 2009

baseballI don't blog as much about my two slo-pitch teams as I used to. That's partly because I realize blogging about the exploits of Raging Storm in the RSPA is only interesting to me and about 10 other people. But wait... isn't this all about me? Hell yeah...

We in Raging Storm pulled off two great wins last night. In game one, we overcame a five run deficit in a tight contest to win 7-6. 7-6 slo-pitch games are the best... and a rarity.

In game two, we got a different opponent and spanked them good. The mercy rule kicked in when we were up 24-8 after 5 innings. The win put us over .500 on the season.

If I've whet your appetite and you're aching for more Raging Storm info, click over to http://www.torontomike.com/softball.html.


Kiss 92.5 All Hits Radio Born From Ashes of Jack FM

RadioLess than a week ago, I wrote about the problem with 92.5 Jack FM. The ratings were abysmal, and I predicted there would be a format change by Labour Day. Jack didn't make it a week into June.

Jack FM is now KISS 92.5 FM, being billed by Rogers as "the only ALL HITS radio station in the city of Toronto".

Available on-air at 92.5 FM in Toronto and online at kiss925.ca, the station kicked off its broadcast Friday at 3 o'clock with a promise to play 10,000 songs in a row with no commercial interruption, featuring artists like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, Nickelback, Katy Perry, T.I., Justin Timberlake, Kardinal Offishall, Britney Spears, Ne-Yo, Kelly Clarkson and Rihanna among others. The launch was simulcast on Rogers All-News outlet, 680News.

KISS92.5 will engage its listeners both on the air and online by taking advantage of all the possibilities that present themselves in the new digital world. As the station evolves, the audience will be "plugged in" through instant messaging, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and several other social networking sites as well as wirelessly via texting.

On-air talent for KISS92.5 will be announced in the coming weeks, along with details on concerts and events that will feature today's biggest hit makers.

If Kiss sounds familiar, it should. Before Jack, 92.5 was known as KISS FM, playing top 40 hits before delving into more hip hop and R&B in the early 2000s.

Kiss is back, playing all hits once more. And I've just lost my shower radio station that provided me with uninterrupted rock from 7:30 to 7:48 each morning.


30 Years of Hip Hop in 60 Minutes by Jaguar Skills

XXX30 years ago The Sugarhill Gang released Rapper's Delight, the beat that signalled the birth of hip hop on the world stage. To mark the occasion, BBC aired a 60-minute mix by Jaguar Skills that covered all 30 years.

538 tracks charting the entire history of hip hop, from block party to arena, mixtape to multi-platinum selling album. Download the MP3 here.

Tracklistings for Jaguar Skills' mix:

HIP-HOP 1979
Fatback - King Tim III (Personality Jock) | Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight | Xanadu & Sweet Lady - Rapper's Delight | Xanadu & Sweet Lady - Rocker's Choice | Sequence - Funk You Up | Funky 4 + 1 - Rappin' and Rockin' | The House Funky Constellation - Street Talk (Madame Rapper) | Kurtis Blow - Christmas Rappin' | Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 5 - Superrappin' | Lady D - Lady D

HIP-HOP 1980
Crash Crew - High Powered Rap | The Sequence - And You Know That | Afrika Bambaataa - Zulu Nation Throwdown Volume 1 | Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five - Super Rappin' No.2 | The Treacherous Three - Body Rock | Ronnie Gee - Raptivity | Spoonie Gee Meets The Sequence - Monster Jam | Afrika Bambaataa - Zulu Nation Throwdown Volume 2 | Jimmy Spicer - Adventures Of Super Rhyme | The Treacherous Three - At The Party (Instrumental) | Spoonie Gee - Spoonin' Rap | Kurtis Blow - The Breaks | Spoonie Gee And The Treacherous Three - Love Rap | Brother D - How We Gonna Make The Black Nation Rise? | Sugar Hill Gang - 8th Wonder

HIP-HOP 1981
Boogie Boys featuring Kool Ski, Kid Delight & Disco Dave - Rappin' Ain't No Thang | Sangria - To the Beat Y'all Trouble Funk - Pump Me Up | Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde - Genius Rap | Blondie - Rapture | Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 5 - The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel | Sugarhill Gang - Apache T | Ski Valley - Catch the Beat | Fearless Four - Feel the Heartbeat | Funky 4 + 1 - That's the Joint | Afrika Bambaataa & the Jazzy 5 - Jazzy Sensation

HIP-HOP 1982
Sweet G - Boogie Feelin' Rap | Grand Master Flash And The Furious Five - Flash To The Beat (Live) | Masterdon Committee - Funk Box Party | Nairobi featuring Awesome Foursome - Funky Soul Makossa | Busy Bee - Making Cash Money | Grand Master Flash And The Furious Five - The Message | Grandmaster Melle Mel & Duke Bootee - Message II (Survival) | Malcolm McLaren & the World Famous Supreme Team - Buffalo Girls | Fab 5 Freddy - Change The Beat | Grandmixer D.ST & the Infinity Rappers - The Grandmixer Cuts It Up | Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force - Looking For The Perfect Beat | Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force - Planet Rock | Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 5 - Scorpio | Fearless Four - Rockin' It | Pieces of a Dream - Mt. Airy Groove (Rap Version) | Grand Master Flash And The Furious Five - Flash To The Beat (Studio) | Jimmy Spicer - The Bubble Bunch Whodini - Magic's Wand

HIP-HOP 1983
Double Dee & Steinski - Play that Beat Mr. DJ (Lesson 1: the Payoff Mix) | Run DMC - It's Like That | Double Dee & Steinski - Play that Beat Mr. DJ (Lesson 2: the James Brown Mix) | Run DMC - Sucker MC's | G.L.O.B.E. & Whiz Kid - Play That Beat Mr. DJ | West Street Mob - Breakdance Electric Boogie G.L.O.B.E. & Whiz Kid | Jimmy Spicer - Money (Dollar Bill, Y'all) | Run DMC - Hard Times | Run DMC - Jam Master Jay | Grandmaster Melle Mel - White Lines | Treacherous Three - Action (Instrumental) | K-Rob vs. Rammelzee - Beat Bop | Pumpkin - King Of The Beat | Malcolm X featuring Keith LeBlanc - No Sell Out

HIP-HOP 1984
T La Rock & Jazzy Jay - It's Yours | Kool DJ Red Alert - Hip Hop on Wax Volume 2 | Whodini - Friends | Whodini - Five Minutes of Funk Davy | DMX - One for the Treble (Fresh) | Disco 3 - Human Beat Box | Grandmaster Melle Mel - Beat Street Breakdown Disco 3 - Fat Boys | Afrika Bambaataa & James Brown - Unity | U.T.F.O. - Roxanne, Roxanne | L.L. Cool J - I Need a Beat | Run D.M.C. - Rock Box | World Famous Supreme Team - Hey | DJ Whodini - Freaks Come Out At Night | Newcleus - Jam On It

HIP-HOP 1985
Run DMC - Together Forever | LL Cool J - Rock The Bells | Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew - The Show | LL Cool J - Can't Live Without My Radio | Rockmaster Scott & the Dynamic Three - Request Line | Cutmaster D.C. - Brooklyn's in the House | Run DMC - King Of Rock Bad Boys featuring K Love - Veronica | Schoolly D - P.S.K. | Schoolly D - Gucci Time | Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew - La Di Da Di | Whistle - (Nothing Serious) Just Buggin' | Kurtis Blow - If I Ruled the World

HIP-HOP 1986
Run DMC - My Adidas | Ice T - 6 In The Morning | Just-Ice - Cold Gettin' Dumb | Biz Markie - Make The Music With Your Mouth | Biz Kool Moe Dee - Go See the Doctor | Eric B. & Rakim - My Melody MC Shan - The Bridge Boogie Down Productions - South Bronx | Eric B. & Rakim - Eric B. is President | Beastie Boys - Hold It, Now Hit It | Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew - Play This Only at Night | The Real Roxanne feat Hitman Howie Tee - Bang Zoom (Let's Go-Go) | Ultramagnetic MCs - Ego Trippin' | Run DMC - Peter Piper | DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - Girls Ain't Nothing But Trouble | Joeski Love - Pee-Wee's Dance

HIP-HOP 1987
Eric B. & Rakim - I Ain't No Joke | Audio Two - Top Billin' | Kid-N-Play - Last Night | Eazy E - Boyz N The Hood Boogie Down Productions - Poetry | Public Enemy - Bring The Noise | Public Enemy - Rebel Without A Pause | Big Daddy Kane - Raw | Latee - This Cut's Got Flavor | Big Daddy Kane feat Biz Markie - Just Rhymin' with Biz | L.L. Cool J - I'm Bad | Biz Markie - Pickin' Boogers | MC Lyte - I Cram to Understand U (Sam) | Ultramagnetic MCs - Funky | Boogie Down Productions - The Bridge is Over | Eric B. & Rakim - I Know You Got Soul | EPMD - It's My Thing

HIP-HOP 1988
Chubb Rock featuring Hitman Howie Tee - Caught Up (Remix) | Marley Marl featuring Masta Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap & Big Daddy Kane - The Symphony" | Eric B. & Rakim - Microphone Fiend | Eric B & Rakim - Paid in Full (Seven Minutes of Madness Remix) | Public Enemy - Don't Believe the Hype | Mark 45 King - The 900 Number | Kid 'n Play - Do This My Way | Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock - It Takes Two | L.L. Cool J - Goin' Back to Cali | Big Daddy Kane - Ain't No Half Steppin' | De La Soul - Potholes in My Lawn | Biz Markie - Vapors | Marley Marl featuring Craig G - Droppin' Science | Biz Markie - The Biz is Goin' Off | Stetsasonic - Talkin' All That Jazz | De La Soul - Plug Tunin' | Boogie Down Productions - My Philosophy | Run-D.M.C. - Beats to the Rhyme | J.V.C Force - Strong Island | Run-D.M.C. - Run's House | Boogie Down Productions - I'm Still #1

HIP-HOP 1989
Slick Rick - Mona Lisa | LL Cool J - Big Ol Butt | Digital Underground - Doowhatchalike | De La Soul feat Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest & Monie Love - Buddy (Native Tongues Decision) | Slick Rick - Hey Young World | Nice And Smooth - Early To Rise | Chubb Rock - Ya Bad Chubs | MC Lyte - Cha, Cha, Cha | Slick Rick - Children's Story | De La Soul - Me, Myself And I | Tone Loc - Wild Thing | Big Daddy Kane - Warm It Up Kane | NWA - Express Yourself | Special Ed - I Got It Made | The DOC - Is It Funky Enough | Ice T - You Played Yourself | NWA - Straight Outta Compton | 3rd Bass - Steppin' To The AM | EPMD - So What 'Cha Saying | Public Enemy - Flight The Power | Biz Markie - Just A Friend | Gangstarr - Words I Manifest

HIP-HOP 1990
Digital Underground - Humpty Dance | LL Cool J - To Da Break Of Dawn | Gangstarr - Who's Gonna Take The Weight | Main Source - Looking At The Front Door | Boogie Down Productions - Love's Gonna Get Cha | LL Cool J - Boomin' System | Public Enemy - Brother's Gonna Work It Out | Terminator X And The Valley Of The Jeep Beats - Buck Wildin' | Public Enemy - Welcome To The Terrordome | Chubb Rock - Treat Em Right | LL Cool J - Jingling Baby (Remixed But Still Jingling) | Double X Posse - Executive Class | A Tribe Called Quest - Can I Kick It? | Poor Righteous Teachers - Rock This Funky Joint | Nice And Smooth - Funky For You | Gangstarr - Just To Get A Rep | Kool G Rap And DJ Polo - Streets Of New York | Eric B And Rakim - In The Ghetto | Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted | K-Solo - Spellbound | K-Solo - Ya Mom's In My Business | LL Cool J - Around The Way Girl | A Tribe Called Quest - Bonita Applebum | X Clan - Funkin' Lesson

HIP-HOP 1991
EPMD - Rampage | Kool G Rap And DJ Polo - Bad To The Bone | Brand Nubian - Slow Down | Ice T - OG Tim Dog - F*ck Compton | Ice Cube - Steady Mobbin' | Cypress Hill - How I Could Just Kill A Man | Ice Cube - No Vaseline | A Tribe Called Quest - Check The Rhime | De La Soul - A Roller Skating Jam Called Saturday | Black Sheep - Flavor Of The Month | Geto Boys - Mind's Playing Tricks On Me | Gangstarr - Check The Technique | Nice And Smooth - Hip-Hop Junkies | De La Soul - Ring, Ring, Ring | Naughty By Nature - OPP | Leaders Of The New School - Case Of The PTA | Brand Nubian - One For All | Ed OG And Da Bulldogz - I Got To Have It | Main Source - Live At The BBQ | Public Enemy - Shut Em Down (Pete Rock Remix)

HIP-HOP 1992
Naughty By Nature - Uptown Anthem | A Tribe Called Quest - Scenario | Afrika Bambaataa Presents Time Zone - Zulu War Chant | Eric B. & Rakim - Don't Sweat The Technique | Eric B. & Rakim - Juice (Know the Ledge) | Redman - Time 4 Sum Akshon | EPMD featuring K-Solo & Redman - Head Banger | Das EFX - They Want EFX | Black Sheep - The Choice is Yours (Revisited) | House of Pain - Jump Around | Gang Starr featuring Nice & Smooth - DWYCK | Nas - Half Time | Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg - Deep Cover | Das EFX - Mic Checka (Remix) | Diamond D - Best Kept Secret | Black Moon - Who Got da Props? | A Tribe Called Quest - Jazz (We've Got) | Del tha Funkee Homosapien - Mistadobalina | Brand Nubian - Punks Jump Up to Get Beat Down | Main Source featuring Neek the Exotic - Fakin' the Funk (Remix) | Pete Rock & CL Smooth - T.R.O.Y. (They Reminisce Over You)

HIP-HOP 1993
Souls of Mischief - 93 'til Infinity | Wu-Tang Clan - Da Mystery Of Chess Boxing | Jeru the Damaja - Come Clean | Onyx - Throw Ya Gunz | Onyx - Slam | Cypress Hill - Insane in the Brain | Lords of the Underground - Chief Rocka | Fat Joe - Flow Joe | KRS-One - Outta Here | Diamond D - I'm Outta Here | A Tribe Called Quest - Electric Relaxation | The Pharcyde - Passin' Me By | A Tribe Called Quest feat Trugoy - Award Tour | Notorious B.I.G. - Party and Bullshit | KRS-One - Sound Of Da Police | Alkaholiks - Make Room | M.O.P. - How About Some Hardcore | Wu-Tang Clan - Method Man | Wu-Tang Clan - Protect Ya Neck | Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg - Fuck wit Dre Day | Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg - Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang

HIP-HOP 1994
The Notorious B.I.G. - Unbelievable | Fugees - Nappy Heads (Remix) | Group Home - Supa Star | Nate Dogg & Warren G - Regulate | The Lady of Rage feat Snoop Doggy Dogg - Afro Puffs | Snoop Doggy Dogg - Murder Was the Case | Snoop Doggy Dogg - Gin & Juice | The Notorious B.I.G. - Juicy | Smif-n-Wessun - Bucktown | Channel Live feat KRS-One - Mad Izm | Craig Mack - Flava in Your Ear | Black Moon - How Many MCs | Black Moon - Buck 'em Down (Remix) | Gang Starr - Mass Appeal | Crooklyn Dodgers - Crooklyn | Nas - World Is Yours | Wu-Tang Clan - Cream Wu-Tang - Can It Be All So Simple | OC - Time's Up | Redman - Rockafella (Remix) | Nas - It Ain't Hard To Tell

HIP-HOP 1995
Mobb Deep - Shook Ones Pt. II | Smoothe da Hustler feat Trigger tha Gambler - Broken Language | Redman & Method Man - How High | Raekwon - Ice Cream | Raekwon - Criminology | Raekwon - Incarcerated Scarfaces | Ol' Dirty Bastard - Shimmy Shimmy Ya | GZA - Liquid Swords | Ol' Dirty Bastard - Brooklyn Zoo | Show & AG - Next Level (Nyte Tyme Remix) | Frankie Cutlass feat Doo Wop, Fat Joe, Ray Boogie & True God - Boriquas on da Set | The Pharcyde - Drop | KRS-One - MCs Act Like They Don't Know | Group Home - Livin' Proof | Crooklyn Dodgers '95 - Return of the Crooklyn Dodgers | Das EFX - Real Hip Hop | Blahzay Blahzay - Danger Lost Boyz - Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz Luniz - I Got 5 on It | Junior M.A.F.I.A. feat the Notorious B.I.G - Player's Anthem The Notorious B.I.G. - One More Chance (Stay with Me Remix) Tha Dogg Pound feat Snoop Doggy Dogg - New York, New York Method Man feat Mary J. Blige - You're All I Need to Get By | Junior M.A.F.I.A. feat the Notorious B.I.G. - Get Money

HIP-HOP 1996
Busta Rhymes - Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check | Fugees - How Many Mics | Fugees - Ready or Not | Fugees - Killing Me Softly | Jay-Z feat Mary J. Blige - Can't Knock the Hustle | Mobb Deep - Drop a Gem on 'Em | Mobb Deep - Hell on Earth (Front Lines) | Ghostface Killah feat Raekwon, Cappadonna & the Force MDs - Daytona 500 | Capone-n-Noriega feat Mobb Deep & Tragedy - L.A., L.A. | The East Flatbush Project feat DeS - Tried by 12 | The Fab 5 - Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka | Jay-Z - Dead Presidents | Junior M.A.F.I.A. feat the Notorious B.I.G. - Get Money (Remix) | 2Pac feat Dr. Dre - California Love | De La Soul - Stakes is High

HIP-HOP 1997
Gang Starr - You Know My Steez | D.I.T.C.: - Day One | KRS-One - Step into a World (Rapture's Delight) | Puff Daddy feat The Lox, Lil' Kim & the Notorious B.I.G. - It's All About the Benjamins (Remix) | Busta Rhymes - Put Your Hand Where My Eyes Can See | Reflection Eternal feat Mos Def & Mr. Man - Fortified Live | Mos Def - Universal Magnetic | Mos Def, Q-Tip And Tash - Body Rock | Tha Alkaholiks feat Ol' Dirty Bastard - Hip Hop Drunkies | The Beatnuts feat Big Punisher & Cuban Link - Off the Books | Rakim - It's Been a Long Time | Rampage feat Busta Rhymes - Wild for da Night | L.L. Cool J feat Method Man, Redman, Canibus & DMX - 4. 3. 2. 1 | Mase feat Kelly Price - Feel So Good | The Lox feat Lil' Kim & DMX - Money, Power & Respect | The Notorious B.I.G. - Hypnotize | Nas, Foxy Brown, AZ & Nature - Phone Tap | The Notorious B.I.G. feat Puff Daddy & Mase - Mo' Money Mo'Problems | Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz - Deja Vu (Uptown Baby) | Makaveli feat the Outlawz - Hail Mary

HIP-HOP 1998
Pete Rock feat Inspectah Deck & Kurupt - Tru Master | Canibus - Second Round K.O. | Juvenile - Ha Silkk the Shocker feat Mystikal - It Ain't My Fault | Big L - Ebonics | Jay-Z - Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem) | Noreaga - Superthug | All City - The Actual | DMX - Ruff Ryders' Anthem | Cam'ron - 357 | Cam'ron feat Mase - Horse & Carriage | Big Punisher featuring Joe - Still Not a Player | Mase feat Total - What You Want | A Tribe Called Quest - Find A Way | Lauryn Hill - Lost Ones | Lauryn Hill - Doo Wop (That Thing) | Jermaine Dupri feat Jay-Z - Money Ain't a Thing | DMX feat Sheek - Get at Me Dog | Big Pun And Fat Joe - Twinz

HIP-HOP 1999
Q-Tip - Breathe And Stop | Mobb Deep feat Kool G Rap - The Realist | Dr Dre feat Snoop Doggy Dogg - Next Episode | Jay-Z - Jigga My Nigga | Dr Dre feat Snoop Doggy Dogg - Still DRE | Ol' Dirty Bastard feat Kelis - Got Cha Money | The Notorious B.I.G. - Dead Wrong | Eminem - My Name Is | Xzibit - B Please | Slum Village feat Q-Tip - Hold Tight | Q-Tip - Vivrant Thing | The Beatnuts - Watch Out Now | Ghostface Killah feat Raekwon - Apollo Kids | Mobb Deep feat Lil Kim - Quiet Storm (Remix) | BG And The Big Tymers - Bling, Bling | Nas feat Puff Daddy - Hate Me Now | Nas - Nas I Like | Pharoahe Monch - Simon Says

HIP-HOP 2000
DMX - What's My Name | Blak Rob - Whoa | Prodigy - Keep It Thorough | Royce Da 5 9 - Boom | Eminem feat Dido - Stan | Big L - Flamboyant | DMX - Party Up (Up In Here) | The LOX - Wild Out | MOP feat Busta Rhymes and Remy Martin - Ante Up (Remix) | Mobb Deep - USA (Aight Then) | Juvenile - Back That Ass Up | Wu-Tang Clan - Gravel Pit | Jay-Z feat UKG - Big Pimpin' | Dead Prez - Hip-Hop | Big Pun - 100 Percent | Jay-Z feat Pharrell - I Just Wanna Love You | Common - The Light

HIP-HOP 2001
Nas - Ether | Jay-Z feat Slick Rick, Q-Tip and Biz Markie - Girls, Girls, Girls | Mobb Deep - Cold As Ice | Outkast - So Fresh So Clean | Ludacris feat Nate Dogg - Area Codes | Jay-Z - Izzo (H.O.V.A) | Jadakiss - We Gonna Make It | Dilated Peoples - Worst Comes To Worst | Missy Elliot - Get Ya Freak On | P.Diddy feat Bad Boy Family - Bad Boy For Life | Ludacris - Southern Hospitality | Bubba Sparxxx - Ugly | Redman feat DJ Kool - Let's Get Dirty | Ludacris - Saturday Ooo Hoo | Mystikal - Danger | The Beatnuts - No Escaping This | The Liks - Best U Can | P Diddy feat The Neptunes - Diddy | Outkast - Ms Jackson | Erick Sermon feat Marvin Gaye - Music | Ja Rule - Livin' It Up | Busta Rhymes feat P Diddy - Pass The Courvoisier (Part 2)

HIP-HOP 2002
Eminem - Without Me | NERD - Lapdance | Jay-Z - Hovi Baby | Nas - Made You Look | Noreaga - Nothin' | The Clipse - Grindin' | Erick Sermon - React | Punjabi MC feat Jay-Z - Beware Of The Boys | Cam'ron - Oh Boy | Talib Kwali - Get By | Nas - Get Down | Styles P - Good Times | Missy Elliot - Work It

HIP-HOP 2003
The Diplomats - Dipset Anthem | 50 Cent feat Snoop Doggy Dogg - PIMP | 50 Cent - 21 Questions | 50 Cent - Many Men | Lil Kim feat 50 Cent - Magic Stick | 50 Cent - In Da Club | Mark Ronson feat Ghostface Killah and Nate Dogg - Ooh Wee | Jay-Z feat Pharrell - Change Clothes | Pharrell - Frontin' | Snoop Doggy Dogg feat Pharrell and Uncle Charlie - Beautiful | Kardinal Offishall - Belly Dancer | Missy Elliot - Pass That Dutch | Ludacris - Stand Up | The Neptunes feat Busta Rhymes - Light Your Ass On Fire | Beyonce feat Jay-Z - Crazy In Love | G Unit - Stunt 101 | Jay-Z - Excuse Me Miss Again | Nas - Flyest Angels | Birdman feat Lil Wayne - What Happened To That Boy | Joe Budden - Pump It Up | Lil Jon And Da Eastside Boyz - Get Low Bone |t Crusher feat Killer Mike - Never Scared

HIP-HOP 2004
Kanye West - Gold Digger | The Terror Squad - Lean Back | Snoop Doggy Dogg - Drop It Like It's Hot | Kanye West - Jesus Walks | 50 Cent - Disco Inferno | Petey Pablo - Freak A Leak | Akon - Locked Up | 50 Cent - Candy Shop | T.I. feat Swizz Beats - Bring 'Em Out | Fabolous - Breathe | NERD - She Wants To Move | Pitbull feat Lil Jon - Culo | Outkast - Hey Ya | Twista feat Jamie Foxx and Kanye West - Slow Jamz | De La Soul feat Yummy - Much More | MF Doom - Hoe Cakes | Jadakiss - Why

HIP-HOP 2005
Julez Santana - There It Go (The Whistle Song) | Ying Yang Twinz - Wait (The Whisper Song) | Lil Kim - Lighters Up | Young Jeezy feat Akon - Soul Survivor | Rhymefest feat Kanye West - Brand New | 50 Cent - Hustler's Ambition | Cassidy feat Swizz Beatz - I'm A Hustler | Kanye West - Diamonds From Sierra Leone | Kanye West feat Nas - We Major | Busta Rhymes - Touch It | The Game - Hate It Or Love It | Mobb Deep - Put Em In Their Place | Mobb Deep feat 50 Cent - Outta Control | Tony Yayo - So Seductive | The Game - Put You On To The Game | Pharrell feat Gwen Stefani - Can I Have It Like That | Common - Testify | Kanye West feat Lupe Fiasco - Touch The Sky | Three Six Mafia - Stay Fly

HIP-HOP 2006
The Game - It's Okay (One Blood) | Jim Jones - We Fly High | Nas - Hustlers | Lil Jon And Da Eastside Boyz - Snap Ya Fingers | Snoop Doggy Dogg feat B Real - Vato | Rick Ross - Hustlin' | Lupe Fiasco - I Gotcha | T.I. - Why You Wanna | The Game - Let's Ride | Lupe Fiasco - Kick Push | Pharoahe Monch - Push | Jay-Z - Show Em What You Got | Ghostface Killah - The Champ | Chamillionaire - Riding Dirty | T.I. - What U Know | DJ UNK - Walk It Out | Young Dro Feat T.I. - Shoulder Lean | Nas - Hip-Hop Is Dead

HIP-HOP 2007
DJ Khaled - We Takin' Over | J Kwon - Tipsy | 50 Cent feat Justin Timberlake - Ayo Technology | Mims - This Is Why I'm Hot | Lupe Fiasco - Dumb It Down | T.I. - Big Things Poppin' | Swizz Beatz feat Lil Wayne and R Kelly - It's Me Bitches (Remix) | Jay-Z - Roc Boys | KRS-One, Rakim, Kanye West and Nas - Classic | 50 Cent - I Get Money | Kanye West - Flashing Lights | Soulja Boy - Crank Dat (Soulja Boy) | Kanye West - Good Life | Kanye West - Stronger | Cassedy - My Drink And My 2 Step | Eve - Tambourine

HIP-HOP 2008 to 2009
Lil Wayne - A Millie | M.I.A. - Paper Planes | T.I. feat Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne - Swagger Like Us | Jay-Z - Brooklyn Go Hard | Lil Wayne - Mrs Officer | Jay-Z - Jockin' Jay-Z (Dope Boy Fresh) | 50 Cent - Get Up | Kanye West - Love Lockdown | DJ Khaled - Out Here Grindin' | Eminem feat 50 Cent and Dr Dre - Crack A Bottle | Common feat Pharrell - Announcement | Lupe Fiasco feat Matthew Santos - Superstar | Lil Wayne - Lollipop | Jim Jones feat Ron Browz - Pop Champagne | T.I. - Whatever You Like | Rick Ross - The Boss | 50 Cent - What Tia Told Me | Jay-Z - My President Is Black (DC Mix) | Jaguar Skills Outro


Conan's New Gig at the Tonight Show

conanI'm PVRing The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. I watched the first show on Wednesday night and was taken back to simpler times. There was a time when I wouldn't miss Late Night With Conan O'Brien, and I even saw the show taped at the Elgin Theatre. It was great seeing him back with Andy Richter and Pearl Jam's new single rocked.

Serious Lunch has noticed the design behind Conan O'Brien during the monologue looks like Mario's Mushroom Kingdom from Super Mario Bros.

Awesome!

seriouslunch_conan


Skydome Turns 20

BirthdayA lot's been said about the Skydome turning 20 this week. I still have my Domer turtle from that opening ceremony somewhere. I didn't attend the opening, but a friend of the family did and gave us Domer.

I caught two Jays games during the first week of games at Skydome and I still remember how awesome it looked as I first entered from the concession area. Compared to Exhibition Stadium, it was all so bright and modern looking. Sure, it would soon be known as the concrete convertible, but it was our concrete convertible.

The Good Point put together a list of the top 20 Skydome / Rogers Centre moments. Here they are so we can debate them in the comments.

  1. October 23, 1993 - World Series, Game 6
  2. October 14, 1992 - American League Championship Series, Game 6
  3. October 20, 1992 - World Series, Game 3
  4. March 24, 1996 - Toronto Raptors vs. Chicago Bulls
  5. June 29, 1990 - Toronto Blue Jays vs. Oakland Athletics
  6. May 31, 1997 - Bailey vs. Johnson
  7. November 26, 1989 - The 77th Grey Cup
  8. November 3, 1995 - Toronto Raptors vs. New Jersey Nets
  9. September 25, 2003 - Toronto Blue Jays vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays
  10. November 9, 1997 - CFL East Final
  11. September 30, 1989 - Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles
  12. September 27, 2003 - Toronto Blue Jays vs. Cleveland Indians
  13. April 1, 1990 - WrestleMania VI
  14. October 7, 1989 - American League Championship Series, Game 4
  15. August 17, 2001 - Toronto Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers
  16. December 7, 2008 - Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins
  17. July 9, 1991 - The 62nd MLB All-Star Game
  18. March 17. 2002 - WrestleMania X8
  19. November 25, 2007 - The 95th Grey Cup
  20. November 29, 1992 - The 80th Grey Cup


David Carradine, Dead at 72

In MemoriumDavid Carradine was 72. He was best known for his role as Kwai Chang Caine in the 1970s TV series Kung Fu, which spawned sequels in the '80s and '90s, but I knew him best as Bill in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films.


Total Eclipse of the Heart: Literal Video Version

humourIf you liked the literal version of A-Ha's "Take On Me" and the literal version of "Head Over Heels" by Tears For Fears, you'll love this.

It's the literal version of Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart".


Koko Taylor, Dead at 80

In MemoriumKoko Taylor was 80. She was the Grammy-winning blues singer known as the "Queen of the Blues" who belted out her signature hit, "Wang Dang Doodle," at hundreds of concerts.


A Good Use For Bing

BingRemember Bing, the new Microsoft search engine?

Here's a good use for it. Click the pic to enlarge it.

bing


The Great Grass Trimmer / Edger Giveaway

Canadian TireThis is pretty cool. Canadian Tire is giving me a Father's Day gift, and they're giving a Toronto Mike reader a Father's Day gift. I told you this was pretty cool...

And we're not talking about some cheesy $20 gift. We're talking a Yardworks 20V (6Ah) / 12-in Lithium-ion Grass Trimmer / Edger. Over on the Canadian Tire website this sucker sells for $199.

I'll kick off a little contest on June 15, and I'll announce the lucky winner on Father's Day. One of you is getting this Grass Trimmer / Edger, thanks to Canadian Tire. And yes, I still miss The Canadian Tire Guy.

trimmer


Red Hot Chili Peppers - Johnny, Kick A Hole In The Sky

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.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Johnny, Kick A Hole In The Sky
I've written about Mother's Milk before. It's still my go-to Red Hot Chili Pepper album. But, I rarely listen to it in the winter. It's a summer disc.

Rumour has it summer is coming. It feels like a "Johnny, Kick A Hole In The Sky" day.


Stuff White People Like

linkI subscribe to the RSS feed for a great blog entitled Stuff White People Like. Although it's updated far too infrequently for my liking, every entry makes me laugh out loud.

One of my favourite entries, because it's so damn true, is #85 The Wire.

Though white people have a natural aversion to television, there are some exceptions. For white people to like a TV show it helps if it is: critically acclaimed, low-rated, shown on premium cable, and available as a DVD box set.

The latter is important so that white people can order it from Netflix and tell their friends “they are really into <insert series> and I watched ten episodes in a row in the weekend. I’m almost caught up.”

If you attempt to talk about an episode they have not seen yet, they will scream and cover their ears. In white culture, giving away information about a film or TV series is considered as rude as spitting on your mothers grave. It is an unforgivable offense.

Recent series that have fallen into this category include The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, and most recently The Wire.

For the past three years, whenever you say “The Wire” white people are required to respond by saying “it’s the best show on television.” Try it the next time you see a white person! Though now they might say “it WAS the best show on television.”

So why do they love it so much? It all comes down to authenticity. A long time ago, someone started a rumor that when The Wire is on TV, actual police wires go quiet because all the dealers are watching the show. Though this is not true, it seems plausible enough to white people and has imbued the show with the needed authenticity to be deemed acceptable.

The popularity of this show among white people has create a unique opportunity for personal gain.

If you need to impress a white person, tell them you are from Baltimore. They will immediately ask you about The Wire and how accurate it is. You should confirm that it is “like a documentary of the streets,” the white person will then slowly shake their head and say “man” or “wow.” You will be seen in an entirely new light.

If you are not from Baltimore but the white person you are talking to is, they might start asking you a lot of questions. In this situation, you should just say you left when you were young but you still have a lot of cousins there but you don’t like to go back to visit. This will remove all doubts and they can go back to telling you about how John from Accounting needs to “stop snitching” about their two hour lunch breaks.

Trust me, you want to subscribe to this blog. Whether you're white or not.


Staged or Not? Bruno vs. Eminem

HumourMarshall Bruce Mathers III has been in our lives for a decade now, only we know him better as Eminem. I'll admit I'm a fan. I think The Marshall Mathers LP is exceptional, and I was sure to catch him on his tour with Limp Bizkit to promote the album. Yeah, I saw Limp Bizkit in concert. I'll admit that, too.

One thing Eminem always lacked was a sense of humour. Time and time again, he took things too seriously, over-reacting when he'd be better served laughing things off. He would benefit from taking a page from the Justin Timberlake handbook.

I PVR'd the MTV Movie Awards and watched it last night. The most buzz-worthy moment was when Sacha Baron Cohen's character Bruno, dressed in feathers and a thong, flew through the air, landing on Eminem. Eminem looked disgusted and promptly left with his entourage in tow. Here's some video of Bruno vs. Eminem.

The question is, was it staged? Some sources say it was all staged. Some say Eminem didn't realize how revealing Bruno would be and was legitimately pissed off, leaving in sincere anger.

What say you?


1980s PSAs From My Youth

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

I recently shared an Ontario Health public service announcement (PSA) from 1984 that I remember like it was yesterday. Today, I'm going to share a few more PSAs from the 1980s that I remember well.

First up is the Go Electric campaign from Ontario Hydro. This scary looking singing oil furnace freaked me out back in 1984.

Then there was this Really Me anti-drug ad from 1987. I remember this one vividly, because I was going to wear my hair like the kid at the end in the cool denim vest.

And finally, this Ministry of Health Ontario ad with a kid talking about his dad's mental health issues really touched me back in 1983. I wasn't too sure what the kid was talking about, but it made me sad and I felt bad for him.

Ontario produces the best PSAs in the world, no doubt about it.


Chris Bosh, Musician?

raptorsI follow Chris Bosh on Twitter. He just made an interesting announcement that he's signed a contract with.... Warner Music.

That's right, it's not an extension with the Toronto Raptors, an announcement most of us are hoping for, but an agreement with Warner Music Canada to produce a unique DVD and CD to be released in the fall of 2009. Chris Bosh also claims to be the first athlete in the world to launch his own application for iPhone and iPod touch on the Apple App Store.

The Chris Bosh branded CD will be a compilation of some of his favourite music along with new recordings from emerging artists. In a unique move, Chris is giving new, unsigned artists a chance to submit material for consideration on the compilation. Artists can submit their music through an interactive form on www.chris-bosh.com .

I haven't seen a Raptor this busy with extracurricular activities since Vince Carter attended his useless graduation ceremony the day of game seven of the conference semi-finals. We all know how that worked out...

bosh


May 2009 Organic Keywords

Search Strings According to Google Analytics, here are the top ten keywords that brought people to this site in May 2009.

  1. edgefest 2009 lineup
  2. toronto mike
  3. big shiny tunes 2
  4. wedding songs 2008
  5. cool wedding songs
  6. big shiny tunes 2
  7. humble and fred podcast
  8. the champ radio
  9. good wedding songs
  10. 1050 chum

The Edgefest 2009 entry had been getting a lot of traffic in early May, peaking on May 9th. I did a little digging and discovered there's another Edgefest 2009 by a different Edge 102.1 in Dallas. No foolin'. Here's the poster.

As for our Edgefest, I think I'll go if I land tickets. A nice and sunny Saturday in a field watching Billy Talent, Metric, Alexisonfire, The Stills, Arkells and k-os doesn't sound so bad.

If I gave you a ticket, would you go?


Bing Search Engine (Formerly MSN, Windows Live and Live Search)

Bing SearchGoogle has been my search engine of choice for most of this decade. Before that, I used Yahoo!. I don't believe I've ever used a Microsoft search engine for non-work purposes.

Microsoft has never got search right. They keep trying, bless their little hearts, and every few years we get a Microsoft search re-branding as they launch their latest Google-killer. This time, it's Bing.

It's live right now at bing.com. Go ahead and pay a visit while curiosity gets the better of you, it's unlikely you'll ever go back. As Google-killers go, this is pretty underwhelming.

If you're one of the 0.35% who used Live.com for searching the web (note: figure completely made up for comedic purposes), I have bad news for you. Bing is the new Live Search, which was the new Windows Live Search, which was the new MSN Search.

I'll let you know next month how many visitors came here from Bing. Personally, I preferred the codename Kumo. Microsoft couldn't even get that right.

bing



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