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The Call of the Year: Blowers Calls Tui's Shot

TUIThe Jays played Seattle on Sunday night, and something amazing happened during the Mariners television broadcast.

Mike Blowers predicted that Matt Tuiasosopo would hit his first career home run. He was very specific with his prediction, as you'll hear in the clip below.

Then, as predicted, the man they call Tui got up to bat in the 5th inning and was served up a 3-1 pitch. Listen to what happened next.

That's the call of the year, folks.

Update: Here's the prediction, the call and the visual.

We won 5-4.

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Stacked Washer / Dryer Combo Wanted

moneyOur dryer broke in the spring. All summer we dried our clothes outside, which was great, but with summer behind us and our washer on its last legs, I'm in the market for a washer / dryer combo.

Where should a poor bastard in need of a stacked washer/dryer go this weekend? Would I find a washing machine on Brandsource?

ka16522-pic

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Mats Sundin Retires (Translation: Swedish » English)

nhlMats Sundin has retired. He spoke in front of reporters at a news conference at Stockholm's Grand Hotel, and he spoke in Swedish.

Here's what he said:

Ishockeyn är som ett drama utan manuskript. Ett envig i ett känslomässigt kaos där varje byte har sitt eget liv. Manuskriptet skrivs under spelets gång och när alla gör ett bra jobb är slutet alltid lika ovisst.

Detta är för mig tjusningen med hockey.

Det känns tråkigt att i dag berätta för er att min karriär som professionell ishockeyspelare är över.

Min karriär inom den sport som jag älskat och älskar, som har gett mig så mycket, format mitt liv, även det liv jag har nu framför mig.

Jag har fått vara med om en resa både sportsligt och mänskligt och som jag inte kan sammanfatta i några få meningar.

Skulle jag få välja skulle jag fortsätta spela ishockey på elitnivå tills jag blir 65 år och pensionär, tyvärr så blir du pensionär i ishockey betydligt tidigare än så…

När jag som barn började med ishockey så drömde jag som så många andra om att bli en berömd spelare.

Att en gång bli så bra att jag kunde ta en plats i Tre Kronor och NHL.

Det var en pojkdröm som för mig gick i uppfyllelse.

Nu när karriären är över kan jag fortfarande överraskas av glädjen att plötsligt inse att jag har förverkligat min dröm!

Jag står i evig tacksamhetsskuld till alla hockey fans. Människor som följt och stöttat mig under hela min karriär, utan er hade jag aldrig stått här idag! Mina fantastiska föräldrar samt nära och kära.

Särskilt tack till Toronto där jag spenderat 13 år av min karriär.

Toronto är och kommer alltid att vara mitt andra hem.

Alla svenska och kanadensiska fans utan vilkas stöd mitt hockeyliv hade varit meningslöst. Ni har betytt mer än vad ett vanligt tack kan uttrycka.

Nu när jag blivit äldre och karriären går mot sitt slut ser man saker på nya sätt. Sporten får en lite annorlunda betydelse, som ung värderade jag alltid slutmålet högst, som äldre uppskattar jag kanske resan dit mer.

Sollentuna HC, Dif, Quebec Nordiques, Toronto Maple Leafs och Vancouver Canucks är alla organisationer som jag vill tacka för att de gett mig en chans att spela ishockey – att jag fått haft min passion som yrke.

Men livet som professionell ishockeyspelare har även ett vardagligt slit med stor psykisk och fysisk påfrestning, långa resor med mycket tid borta från familj, nära och kära. Något jag nu ser fram emot att ta igen.

Jag ser fram emot nya utmaningar!

TACK ALLA!

Thanks to Google Translate, I can tell you what that means in English.

Ice Hockey is like a drama without a script. A duel in an emotional turmoil in which every byte has its own life. Manuscript down during the game and when everyone is doing a good job is the end always uncertain.

This is for my fascination with hockey.

It feels sad to be here today to tell you that my career as a professional hockey player is over.

My career in the sport that I loved and love, which has given me so much, my life style, even the life I have now before me.

I got to be part of a journey both sporting and human and that I can not summarize in a few sentences.

Would I get to choose, I would continue playing hockey at the elite level until I am 65 years old and retired, unfortunately you will be retired in the ice much earlier than this ...

When I began as a child with hockey, I dreamed that so many others to become a famous player.

That once become so good that I could take a seat on the Three Crowns and the NHL.

It was a boyhood dream for me came true.

Now that his career is over, I can still surprised by the joy of suddenly realize that I have realized my dream!

I am in eternal debt of gratitude to all hockey fans. People who have followed and supported me throughout my career, but you, I had never been here today! My wonderful parents and loved ones.

Special thanks to Toronto where I spent 13 years of my career.

Toronto is and always will be my second home.

All Swedish and Canadian fans without whose support my hockeyliv had been futile. You have meant more than a simple thank you can express.

Now when I grew older and his career is coming to an end you can see things in new ways. The sport may be a slightly different meaning, as young ladies, I always end up the case, as older, I appreciate the journey there maybe more.

Sollentuna HC, Dif, Quebec Nordiques, Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks are all organizations that I wish to thank for that they have given me a chance to play hockey - I have had my passion as a profession.

But life as a professional hockey player is also an everyday wear with great mental and physical stress, long trips with a lot of time away from family, friends and loved ones. Something I now look forward to catching up.

I look forward to new challenges!

THANK YOU ALL!

Mats was our best player for 13 seasons. He was also:

  • the longest-serving European captain in NHL history
  • the first European player to be drafted No.1 when the Quebec Nordiques selected him in 1989
  • tops among Swedish players with 564 goals, 785 assists and 1,349 points in his NHL career
  • the NHL record holder for most regular season overtime goals with 15
  • the Leafs' franchise all-time leader in goals (420) and points (984)

I've mentioned Mats Sundin's name in 329 entries. Enjoy them all again for the first time!

Mats Sundin

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Buy Canadian

CanadaFor the life of me, I can't remember who sent me the "Buy Canadian" email this morning. I think it was Mike from Lowville, please correct me if I'm wrong... I got the instant message while balancing four burning issues.

I thought it was a valid point and worthy of repeating here, so here's Mike from Lowville's "Buy Canadian" message to us all. I'll admit, I haven't been reading labels, but maybe I should start. What do you guys think?

BUY CANADIAN ! ! !

You may want to check those labels when you do the grocery shopping, you will be shocked at were some of the items are coming from, I was for sure....spend more time shopping and it may help our fellow CANADIANS KEEP THEIR JOBS.

Check this out. I can verify this because I was in Lowe's the other day for some reason and just for the heck of it I was looking at the hose attachments . They were all made in China . The next day I was in Home Hardware and just for the heck of it I checked the hose attachments there. They were made in Canada. Start looking.

In our current economic situation, every little thing we buy or do affects someone else - even their job. So, after reading this email, I think this lady is on the right track . Let's get behind her!

My grandson likes Hershey's candy . I noticed, though, that it is marked made in Mexico now. I do not buy it any more . My favorite toothpaste Colgate is made in Mexico now. I have switched to Crest .. You have to read the labels on everything.

This past weekend I was at Wal-mart . I needed 60W light bulbs . I was in the light bulb aisle, and right next to the GE brand I normally buy was an off brand labeled, "Everyday Value." I picked up both types of bulbs and compared the stats - they were the same except for the price. The GE bulbs were more money than the Everyday Value brand but the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that GE was made in MEXICO and the Everyday Value brand was made in - get ready for this -in Canada in a company in Ontario.

So throw out the myth that you can not find products you use every day that are made right here .

My challenge to you is to start reading the labels when you shop for everyday things and see what you can find that is made in Canada - the job you save may be your own or your neighbors!

If you accept the challenge, pass this on to others in your address book so we can all start buying Canadian, one light bulb at a time! Stop buying from overseas companies!

(We should have awakened a decade ago . . . . . . )

Let's get with the program . . . . help our fellow Canadians keep their jobs and create more jobs here in Canada.

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Girls Can Be Beavers

scoutsThe past two years, my son has been a Beaver. For the unaware, Beavers are essentially Boy Scouts between the ages of 5 and 7. Although still eligible to be a Beaver, my boy has decided to move on and do indoor soccer instead. For the first time since 2006, I didn't have a kid in Scouts Canada.

That's where my daughter comes in. She's joined Beavers, and last night we had a blast by the Humber River roasting marshmallows over the bonfire. Yes, girls can be Beavers.

I was a Beaver, and we never had a single girl in the program. The past two years I've been involved with my son's lodge there wasn't a single girl, either. My daughter is breaking new ground here, and I couldn't be prouder.

Here's a crappy picture of our fire last night, taken with my crappy Blackberry camera.

Bonfire by the Humber

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100 Greatest Hits of YouTube in 4 Minutes

VideoIf you've had a life these past few years, and have missed the viral YouTube videos everybody's been talking about, you can catch up in four minutes.


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Henderson Made a Wild Stab For It and Fell

Henderson Scores For Canada37 years ago today, on September 28, 1972, "The Goal" was scored. There was only 34 seconds left in the eighth and final game of the Summit Series, and only a win would allow Canada to lay claim to victory in the series against the USSR. 32 years ago today, Paul Henderson scored for Canada.

Here's what Foster Hewitt said as it happened.

Cournoyer has it on that wing. Here's a shot - Henderson made a wild stab for it and fell. Here's another shot! Right in front - THEY SCORE!!! Henderson has scored for Canada!

     Foster Hewitt

Here's what Gord Downie said in "Fireworks".

If there's a goal that everyone remembers it was back in ol' 72. We all squeezed the stick and we all pulled the trigger, and all I remember was sitting beside you.

     Gord Downie

Excuse the quality of this video, but it's surprisingly hard to find "The Goal" on YouTube.

37 years ago today...

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Mr. Sub Produces Worst Ad of All-Time Contender

Worst AdMr. Sub's new "Dinner" ad might just be the worst ad I've ever seen. Granted, that's a pretty subjective analysis, so I'm wondering if I'm alone.

Here's the Mr. Sub Dinner ad in which the Dad tells Mary, Sara, Emily, Josh, Gideon, James, Sam, Michael... and Honey the big news. He's gay. Super, super gay.

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Brett Favre to Greg Lewis with 2 Seconds Left

NFLWhen Brett Favre retired the first time, I didn't like it. When he retired the second time, I still didn't like it, and I took heat for actually wanting him to make another comeback. I simply didn't want the ride to end.

Week 3 highlights offer convincing evidence as to why I was right for wanting Favre to keep playing. Favre took the Vikings 80 yards in 87 seconds before finding Greg Lewis in the back of the end zone for a 27-24 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

This is just sick.

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Changeling Review

Movie ReviewChangeling: 6.6 out of 10.

Clint Eastwood has made several better films than this, but even if Changeling doesn't measure up to Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby and his other superior movies, it's still a great deal better than most of the slop out there.

Angelina Jolie plays the primary role well, and although it's a bit long, it's an interesting story. I'm just glad Clint will be making films into his 80s. The man is still at the top of his game.

changelingposter

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Author Comment Styling In Movable Type: MT Tip

movable typeThe CMS running this blog is Movable Type version 4.2. I've been using Movable Type for years and I highly recommend it. My MT services are even available to you, but more on that later.

As much as I enjoy working in MT4, the documentation can leave you a little frustrated at times. This morning I wanted to implement code that would style comments left on this blog by me differently than comments left by you. I started with a Google search and couldn't find a solution that didn't involve installing a plug-in. I was sure you could do this in Movable Type "out of the box", so I hit up the MT documentation and forum. That was no help, although I did discover a new template tag that put me in the right direction.

If your blog or site is running on MT4, here's how I added author comment styling. Note: I see MT 4.31 actually has this approach in the default templates, but if you're like me, your templates were customized long ago.

1. Start commenting from within Movable Type's Manage Comments screen
In order for Movable Type to validate that the entry author's comment is indeed from the entry author, you have to start commenting on your own blog from within Movable Type itself.

This is quite simple. To reply to a comment:

  • Locate the comment you wish to reply to in the Manage Comments screen
  • Place your mouse over the row of the comment you wish to reply to. When you hover over the row, the system will place a "Reply" link next to the comment title in the listing screen.
  • Click on the "Reply" link, and the system will display the Reply to Comment screen

reply

2. Harness the power of <MTIfCommenterIsEntryAuthor>
This is the aforementioned new template tag in version 4. With this tag, you can edit your "Comment Detail" template module for the desired effect.

Here's my solution:

<MTComments>
<div class="<MTIfCommenterIsEntryAuthor>mycomment
<MTElse>comment</MTElse></MTIfCommenterIsEntryAuthor>" id="comment-<$MTCommentID$>">
<a id="c<$MTCommentID pad="1"$>"></a>
<p><span class="bigger bold"><$MTCommentAuthorLink default_name="Anonymous"$></span><br /><span class="timecheck"><a href="#comment-<$MTCommentID$>"><MTCommentDate format="%B %e, %Y / %H:%M"></a></span></p>
<$MTCommentBody$>
</div>
</MTComments>

In a nutshell, if <MTIfCommenterIsEntryAuthor> is true, serve up the CSS class name "mycomment". If it's not true, serve up the HTML with the CSS class name "comment".

3. Define the "mycomment" style in your CSS
In step #2, we told MT to assign a unique class name to all comments from the blog entry author. In this final step, we're going to write CSS that will decorate such comments different than all other comments.

Here's the addition I just made to my CSS.

.mycomment {
border-bottom: 1px solid #6699CC;
border-top: 1px solid #6699CC;
background-color: #F5F5F5;
}

In a nutshell, when the comment is surrounded by a div tag with the class name "mycomment", the browser now adds a blue bar to the top and bottom and adds a background colour. By the time you read this entry, I very well may have changed the CSS style for author comments, so here's a screen cap of how it works right now.

comments

It's as easy as 1, 2, 3. Now you'll immediately know the difference between my comments and others.

If you need help with implementing this change on your Movable Type blog, or if you're looking for an easy-to-use, fully customizable hosted blog or site / blog hybrid optimized for conversions, SEO and non-geek usage, contact me and we can do it together.

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Monsters I Have Loved

leafsI've watched The Monster tend net for the Leafs two nights in a row, and he's yet to allow a single goal. He made a save late in the third on a Detroit 2-on-0 that was just sick. I'm loving The Monster.

Here are monsters I have loved in my lifetime.

monsters

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Weezer - (If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS22 consideration. I'm submitting "(If You're Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To" by Weezer.

Back in the day, I was a much bigger Weezer fan than I am today. I still like 'em, but I no longer need to see them live. I like this new single, though.

Is it me or are Weezer singles getting longer titles these days?

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Making Peace with the W3C in the YouTube Age

w3cYears ago, in the pre-YouTube era, I was pretty stubborn with my HTML and CSS. It simply had to validate with the W3C or I wouldn't publish it. Here's an entry I wrote exactly six years ago today.

I'm proud to declare that all pages within torontomike.com conform to the W3C XHTML 1.0 standard. That means these web pages are now full-fledged XML documents, which can be validated using any XML parser. Go ahead and click that XHTML 1.0 logo to the left and see for yourself.

The Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) used for torontomike.com have also been validated by the W3C's CSS2 standard. You're welcome to click that CSS logo to the left for proof. Impressed?

In a previous blog entry (see August 25, 2003 / 16:03 EST), I ranted and raved about my attempts to validate my HTML 4.01 code for torontomike.com. HTML 4.01 was the standard before XHTML 1.0. The future, it seems, is XML and since XHTML is XML-based, and ultimately designed to work in conjunction with XML-based user agents, it was really the only way to go as I saw it. I promise future blog entries will be slightly less boring.

That was then, this is now. Although I still hand-code my XHTML and CSS, and I always do my best to write well-formed, valid code that would make the W3C proud, I no longer care if I validate. That's because I know I can't validate and blog in the YouTube age.

Every time I embed a video from YouTube, I'm simply copying down their code. Their code is totally invalid. There are several errors:

  • reference to entity "fs" for which no system identifier could be generated
  • reference to entity "feature" for which no system identifier could be generated
  • reference to entity "hl" for which no system identifier could be generated
  • reference to entity "color1" for which no system identifier could be generated
  • reference to entity "color2" for which no system identifier could be generated
  • general entity "feature" not defined and no default entity
  • many, many more

There are also several warnings. The W3C rejects YouTube's embed code as invalid, but the browsers don't seem to care. If it displays properly and works, does it really matter if it validates?

The answer, I've decided, is no. It no longer matters if your XHTML and CSS validates with the W3C because, at the end of the day, you're the only person who gives a shit.

I've made my peace with the W3C in this YouTube age. I'm invalid, and that's okay.

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The Monster, Doc, Great One and Two Words: Viktor Stalberg

notepadIt's Saturday morning, I'm sipping my coffee and about to head to High Park. This is the perfect time to throw down a sports smörgåsbord.

The Monster
Jonas "The Monster" Gustavsson made his preseason debut for the Leafs last night and he looked awesome. He played half the game and didn't allow the Red Wings to beat him once. It's tough to look any better than that. I'm excited about The Monster, because that is an absolutely fantastic nickname.

Doc
Roy Halladay, the best starting pitcher we've ever had, made what may have been his final start in Toronto as a member of the Blue Jays. It was a gem. He threw his major-league leading eighth complete game in a 5-0 win over the Seattle Mariners. Thank you, Roy.

The Great One
I grew up idolizing Wayne Gretzky. He's the best hockey player I've ever seen. This week has been tough for us Gretzky fans. The Great One deserved a better fate.

Two Words: Viktor Stalberg
Those are the words I used to close my 2009 Training Camp Roster analysis. I will use them again. Viktor Stalberg. That is all.

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Ron James Is Not Funny

ron jamesDuring the first intermission of tonight's pre-season Leaf game, I popped over to Canadian Thinker and read Fred's thoughts on comedian Ron James.

Fred doesn't think Ron James is funny. I agree 100% with Fred. I've never found Ron James to be the least bit funny, and after I saw him live in 2004 during a taping of the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, I wrote the following:

Mike Myers slipped into his "Scarborough accent" more than once and Ron James did his whole schtick in Newfie. And who the hell says Ron James is one of our funniest comedians? I can name at least 25 funnier Canadian comedians. I don't think I laughed out loud once during his entire set.

As Fred pointed out, CBC Television is replacing the unfunny Royal Canadian Air Farce with the unfunny Ron James. It's as if the CBC is living in some bizarro world where the goal of prime time comedy is to induce boredom and annoy the viewer.

For a country that has produced more genuinely funny people per capita than any other nation, this is shameful.

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David Miller Won't Run Again

City HallIt turns out David Miller won't be mayor of Toronto forever. He's not running next year.

I'm announcing this morning that I will not be seeking a third term as mayor of Toronto in next year's municipal election. While it's been a difficult decision, I feel secure in my priorities, proud of my record, and confident in my vision for the city I love.

One probable candidate for the job is John Tory, who will be campaigning from his new spot in the afternoon drive on CFRB Newstalk 1010.

Who else will run? Will Rob Ford run? Will Pinball? Will the ghost of Ben Kerr?

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DBS Spencer the Cripple Segment Violates Code of Ethics

swearsThe Dean Blundell Show on 102.1 The Edge / CFNY is in a little trouble. Here's the latest on their code violation.

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council today released its decision concerning a segment entitled “Spencer the Cripple” on the Dean Blundell Show on CFNY-FM (102.1 The Edge, Toronto). A listener complained that the segment was offensive and degrading towards persons with disabilities. The CBSC found the broadcast in violation of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Code of Ethics and Equitable Portrayal Code.

The Dean Blundell Show is The Edge’s morning show, which features the news, weather, music, humorous banter among the three hosts, and, occasionally, in-studio guests. One recurring guest was Spencer Miller, a man with cerebral palsy who referred to himself as “Spencer the Cripple” and appeared on the program to speak frankly about life with a disability. The CBSC received a complaint about the January 5, 2009 segment. Blundell and his co-hosts asked Miller about his personal hygiene habits and stated that they did not believe Miller when he insisted that he is able to wipe himself after using the bathroom. They also discussed Miller’s sex life, suggesting that Miller is not an active participant in such acts and that his “assistant” has to lie him down first and wipe him off after. At one point, one of the hosts even imitated what he believed a disabled person would sound like while performing oral sex.

The CBSC Ontario Regional Panel examined the complaint under clauses of the CAB Equitable Portrayal Code relating to abusive comment, stereotyping, stigmatization and victimization, and degradation, as well as the Human Rights Clause of the CAB Code of Ethics. The Panel concluded that the segment violated all of those clauses because the hosts

- unrelentingly made Miller the target of jokes and mockery. The routine based on the wheelchair-bound Miller’s ability to wipe himself was not merely in bad taste (that being an issue for the listener’s on-off switch), but it was also a form of victimization and stereotyping. One of the unnecessary and utterly inappropriate examples was host Blundell’s accusation: “I don’t think you can wipe your own bum. Admit it!” A cruel, harsh, finger-pointing differentiation for what is for most adults a basic (if generally undiscussed) activity. [...] All in all, the Panel finds that the hosts’ comments in the areas of personal hygiene and sexual performance inappropriately portrayed Spencer Miller, as a result of his disability, as helpless and incapable. It also finds that their comments in these areas were reproachful, insulting and condemnatory

- There were numerous examples of laughter and tonally inappropriate comments at Spencer Miller’s expense. In one example that the Panel found particularly shocking, Shapiro even made a mocking sound of a vocally-challenged person, which of course had no relevance whatsoever to Miller’s physical affliction, unless one were making the assumption that all persons with a disability could be put in the same container, as in “seen one, seen them all.”

The Panel also considered that some of the comments made during the discussion about Miller’s sexual activities were too explicit for the time of day at which they were broadcast. CFNY-FM, therefore, also violated Clause 9(b) (Radio Broadcasting) of the CAB Code of Ethics.

Does anyone know what happens when you violate Clause 9(b) (Radio Broadcasting) of the CAB Code of Ethics?

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When the Nicest Words You've Heard All Day Come From Comment Spam...

spamThis blog just received the nicest comment. It really made my day. Here it is...

I don't know If I said it already but ...Great site...keep up the good work. :) I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I'm glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)

A definite great read..Tony Brown

Sadly, this is an example of comment spam. Tony Brown's name linked to some XBox 360 forum. The new trend in comment spam are these "kiss ass" comments on random entries, and I get (and delete) several each week.

When the nicest words you've heard all day come from comment spam, it's never a good sign.

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Canada's First Rogers Batteryless

radioWhile we're on the subject of Toronto radio station call letters that meant something, I just learnt CFRB stands for Canada's First Rogers Batteryless. Those call letters date back to 1927, but all that history doesn't mean much in 2009. Astral Media will now promote the station as Newstalk 1010, leaving CFRB off the marquee.

The station recently let go 12 people, and this week they unveiled a new lineup. Bill Carroll is out as morning man, being replaced by John Moore. In the afternoon drive slot, John Tory is taking the mic.

Admittedly, I don't listen to CFRB Newstalk 1010, so I'm likely not their target audience, but I can't imagine there's a mass populous yearning to hear John Tory on their drive home. Jim Richards, a host I know to be pretty damn funny, would make more sense.

As for branding, I think they should go back to their historical roots. Canada's First Rogers Batteryless!

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Live Earl Jive Audio From the Spirit of Radio #cfny

radioI got a tweet from @genday telling me the Spirit of the Edge on Sunday nights is out on Edge 102 / CFNY. LoriAnn's Facebook page confirms it. Spirit of the Edge live to air from Velvet Underground was really one of the last throwbacks to the days of the Spirit, but now that weekly reminder is being cut from the schedule.

Speaking of the Spirit of Radio, Live Earl Jive was on the air there on and off from 1981 until 1991. I've got some great old audio of him to take you back.

It's The Live Earl Jive hosting Thursday Night Live, a program where CFNY used to air recorded concerts. This promo mentions Men Without Hats, the Stranglers, Stray Cats and Simple Minds.

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Nazem Kadri: Let the Kid Stay

leafsOn September 12, I threw my two cents at the Leafs' 2009 Training Camp roster. I openly bet Nazem Kadri would make this team.

I've watched all five Maple Leafs preseason games. We've won the last four, which makes watching them much more fun. But I don't watch to see the Leafs win, I watch to see how the kids play. And three of them, Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak and Viktor Stalberg, have looked pretty special.

You could tell during last year's preseason that Luke Schenn would make this team. He deserved to. Similarly, Nazem Kadri deserves to be playing for the Leafs come October 1. The Leafs are sadly lacking offensive skill and goal scorers, and Kadri has shown a gifted nose for the net. Kadri is precisely the kind of player this team needs, and we need him now.

I'm aware of the contract ramifications if Kadri plays the first 10 games for the Leafs, but I sincerely hope Ron Wilson gives him a fair nine-game run before sending him back to junior.

With Kadri, Bozak and Stalberg, the future suddenly looks a great deal brighter. Here's Kadri's sick shootout goal last night.

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10 Best Things We'll Say to Our Grandkids

wiredCourtesy of Wired Magazine, 10 Best Things We'll Say to Our Grandkids.

1. Back in my day, we only needed 140 characters.

2. There used to be so much snow up here, you could strap a board to your feet and slide all the way down.

3. Televised contests gave cash prizes to whoever could store the most data in their head.

4. Well, the screens were bigger, but they only showed the movies at certain times of day.

5. We all had one, but nobody actually used it. Come to think of it, I bet my LinkedIn profile is still out there on the Web somewhere.

6. *

7. Our bodies were made of meat and supported by little sticks of calcium.

8. You used to keep files right on your computer, and you had to go back to that same computer to access them!

9. Is that the new iPhone 27G? Got multitasking yet?

10. I just can't get used to this darn vat-grown steak. Texture ain't right.

* Translation: "English used to be the dominant language. Crazy, huh?"

We still rent DVDs for the kids. Sometimes, these DVDs are scratched. It's 2009 and I can't believe I can't just order a download of Honey I Shrunk the Kids on our digital receiver. There would be no trip to the video store required and we wouldn't have to worry about the condition of the physical medium.

I plan to tell my grandkids about the time we shared music and video on pieces of media like records, cassette tapes, CDs and DVDs. Those days are quickly coming to an end.

Discuss "10 Best Things We'll Say to Our Grandkids" (7 comments so far)


Polaris Prize Winners F**k Up MSM

Fucked UpToronto's Fucked Up (a hardcore band, not a declaration) won the fourth annual $20,000 Polaris Music Prize.

I can't say I'm familiar with Fucked Up. I was interested, however, in how this news would be reported by the mainstream media. Will they print "Fucked Up" or F***ed Up" or something else?

I shot over to Google News and scanned the articles about Polaris that were posted today. Here are how some media outlets are reporting Fucked Up's big upset win.

  • The Globe and Mail - Fucked Up
  • Toronto Star - F---ed Up
  • Toronto Sun - F----- Up
  • CBC.ca - F--ked Up
  • National Post - F----d Up
  • 680News.com - F**ked Up
  • Ottawa Citizen - F----d Up
  • Winnipeg Sun - F----- Up
  • Metro Canada - F--ked Up
  • McGill Tribune - Fucked Up
  • The Province - Fucked Up
  • Dose.ca - Fucked Up
  • Exclaim! - Fucked Up
  • ChartAttack - Fucked Up
  • CTV.ca - F**ked Up
  • Jam! Showbiz - F----- Up
  • Charlottetown, The Guardian - Fucked Up
  • Canada.com - F----d Up
  • Calgary Sun - F----- Up

Discuss "Polaris Prize Winners F**k Up MSM" (6 comments so far)


Silversun Pickups - Substitution

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS22 consideration. I'm submitting "Substitution" by Silversun Pickups.

Dangerbird Records gets it. Not only do they make their bands' music videos available on YouTube in HD, but they actually allow folks like me to embed it onto our sites.

Dangerbird Records, an independent record company located in Silverlake, CA, actually wants people to see music videos, which are essentially ads for the album and live shows. Oh, and the tee shirts and hoodies and DVDs and everything that comes with band worship.

By doing so, Dangerbird Records encourages the sharing of their bands' videos, controls the quality of the video being shared, because we're all sharing their HD version, and keeps fans happy, because they're not shut out of sharing the love. I'll never understand why many major labels disable embedding.

It's also a good song and video. Bonus!

Discuss "Silversun Pickups - Substitution" (3 comments so far)


Let Me Be Clear: Google Doesn't Care About Your Keywords Meta Tag

GoogleI've been keeping a close eye on the world of Search Engine Optimization for several years now. In fact, one reason this blog came to be was so I could use trial and error to see what worked for the bots. Over the past few years, one thing became abundantly true with regards to the biggest search engine of them all, Google.

Google doesn't care about your "keywords" meta tag. I can't tell you how many arguments I've had with people over this one fact. Earlier today, Google made it very clear.

Q: Why doesn't Google use the keywords meta tag?
A: About a decade ago, search engines judged pages only on the content of web pages, not any so-called "off-page" factors such as the links pointing to a web page. In those days, keyword meta tags quickly became an area where someone could stuff often-irrelevant keywords without typical visitors ever seeing those keywords. Because the keywords meta tag was so often abused, many years ago Google began disregarding the keywords meta tag.

It's all explained in this video. In a nutshell, you're wasting time stuffing keywords in your meta data. It's all about creating content and putting the content in the right places. And that's one to grow on.


Discuss "Let Me Be Clear: Google Doesn't Care About Your Keywords Meta Tag" (6 comments so far)


Nowhere to Hide: BNL Calls Me Out

twitterI attempted to come up with my own list of the 200 best songs of the 90s. This was in response to a similar list published by Edge 102 / CFNY a few weekends ago. Admittedly, it was a lot harder than I suspected and I was bound to miss a few deserving songs.

In this day and age, there's nowhere to hide. I missed a couple of deserving Barenaked Ladies tracks, and guess who called me on it? @barenakedladies, the official Twitter account of BNL.

bnl

I've actually gone back to that list and made a few edits. Shoot over and throw your two cents at it, if you can. And BNL, I apologize for the oversight. I had the yellow tape.

Update

All is forgiven...

bnl2

Discuss "Nowhere to Hide: BNL Calls Me Out" (5 comments so far)


The Death of Cursive Writing

cursiveI just read an AP write-up about cursive writing being a fading skill and it reminded me of an exchange I had with my son's JK teacher during my very first parent-teacher interview as a parent.

I cracked a joke with Mrs. X. about James learning to type his name and skipping the whole printing thing. She sort of glared at me until I muttered "just kidding" at which point she said "I hope so". You'd think I'd get the message that joking about this topic wasn't funny, but I asked her if they still teach cursive writing any more. I let her know that I never use it. She proudly stated that they still teach cursive writing before typing. I say teach 'em how to sign their cheques and credit card receipts and move straight to keyboard class.

That was three years ago, and I was sincerely surprised we still teach kids cursive writing. I now take all my notes on my laptop or Blackberry. It's not only faster, it deposits my remarks into a centralized database, making it accessible from home, work or wherever. It's smarter.

Be honest, when was the last time you used cursive writing, aside from signing your name to a cheque, credit card receipt or contract?

Discuss "The Death of Cursive Writing" (13 comments so far)


My Attempt at the Top 200 Songs of the 1990s List

musicI was so disappointed with The Top 200 Songs of the 1990s that aired on Edge 102 / CFNY a few weekends ago, I decided to create my own list.

There are almost 60 songs here that did not appear on the original list. I've marked my additions with "NEW". Feel free to tell me my list sucks in the comments.

  1. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
  2. Sloan - Underwhelmed
  3. Soundgarden - Jesus Christ Pose - NEW
  4. Oasis - Wonderwall
  5. Treble Charger - Red
  6. Green Day - Longview
  7. Foo Fighters - Everlong
  8. Radiohead - Creep
  9. Temple of the Dog - Hunger Strike
  10. Pearl Jam - Black
  11. Smashing Pumpkins - Today
  12. Pulp - Common People - NEW
  13. Weezer - Undone (The Sweater Song)
  14. Ministry - Jesus Built My Hotrod - NEW
  15. Nine Inch Nails - Closer
  16. The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
  17. Nirvana - Come As You Are
  18. The Offspring - Self Esteem
  19. Sublime - What I Got
  20. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge
  21. Breeders - Cannonball - NEW
  22. Stone Temple Pilots - Plush
  23. Nirvana - All Apologies
  24. R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts - NEW
  25. Rage Against the Machine - Killing In The Name
  26. Blur - Song 2
  27. Sublime - Santeria
  28. Beck - Loser
  29. Stone Temple Pilots - Big Empty
  30. Green Day - When I Come Around
  31. Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet with Butterfly Wings
  32. Our Lady Peace - Superman's Dead
  33. The Gandharvas - The First Day Of Spring
  34. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Give it Away
  35. Green Day - Basket Case
  36. Nirvana - Lithium
  37. The Tragically Hip - Ahead by a Century
  38. Pearl Jam - Jeremy
  39. The Toadies - Possum Kingdom - NEW
  40. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Scar Tissue
  41. Nirvana - Heart Shaped Box
  42. Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
  43. Jane's Addiction - Been Caught Stealing
  44. K's Choice - Not An Addict - NEW
  45. Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate Love Song
  46. Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun
  47. Hole - Violet - NEW
  48. Sloan - Money City Maniacs
  49. Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm
  50. Nirvana - In Bloom
  51. Beastie Boys - Sabotage
  52. Pearl Jam - Alive
  53. Blind Melon - No Rain
  54. The Cranberries - Zombie
  55. The Tragically Hip - Courage
  56. Green Day - Time of Your Life (Good Riddance)
  57. Faith No More - Epic
  58. Rage Against the Machine - Bullet in the Head - NEW
  59. Sloan - The Good in Everyone
  60. Pearl Jam - Better Man
  61. Weezer - Buddy Holly
  62. The Offspring - Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)
  63. Our Lady Peace - Naveed
  64. Pearl Jam - Daughter
  65. Stone Temple Pilots - Vasoline
  66. Oasis - Champagne Supernova
  67. The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon
  68. Everlast - What it's Like
  69. Nirvana - Rape Me
  70. R.E.M. - Man in the Moon - NEW
  71. Alice in Chains - Would?
  72. Radiohead - Just - NEW
  73. The Tragically Hip - At the Hundredth Meridian
  74. Radiohead - Karma Police
  75. Dinosaur Jr. - Feel the Pain - NEW
  76. Smashing Pumpkins - Tonight, Tonight
  77. James - Laid
  78. Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter
  79. The Tragically Hip - Little Bones
  80. Incubus - Pardon Me
  81. Oasis - Live Forever - NEW
  82. Watchmen - Stereo
  83. House of Pain - Jump Around
  84. Harvey Danger - Flagpole Sitta
  85. Soundgarden - Spoonman
  86. Matthew Good Band - Indestructible
  87. Green Day - Welcome to Paradise
  88. R.E.M. - Losing My Religion
  89. Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees - NEW
  90. Stone Temple Pilots - Sex Type Thing
  91. The Tragically Hip - Locked In the Trunk of a Car
  92. Rage Against the Machine - Bulls on Parade
  93. Matthew Good Band - Everything is Automatic
  94. Alice in Chains - Rooster
  95. Filter - Hey Man Nice Shot
  96. Sloan - Coax Me
  97. U2 - One
  98. Rage Against the Machine - Guerilla Radio
  99. The Tragically Hip - 38 Years Old
  100. Barenaked Ladies - Brian Wilson - NEW
  101. U2 - Mysterious Ways
  102. Cypress Hill - Insane in the Brain/Loco En El Coco
  103. Spirit Of The West - Home For A Rest
  104. Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
  105. Sloan - Losing California
  106. Tool - Sober
  107. Nirvana - On a Plain
  108. Foo Fighters - Monkey Wrench
  109. No Doubt - Just a Girl
  110. The Offspring - Gotta Get Away
  111. Cracker - Low
  112. Radiohead - High and Dry
  113. Matthew Good Band - Apparitions
  114. Barenaked Ladies - The Old Apartment - NEW
  115. Moist - Push
  116. The Cranberries - Ode to My Family - NEW
  117. Our Lady Peace - Clumsy
  118. Bush - Comedown
  119. Bush - Everything Zen
  120. Pearl Jam - Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
  121. Rancid - Time Bomb
  122. The Tragically Hip - Three Pistols
  123. Age of Electric - Remote Control
  124. Nine Inch Nails - Hurt
  125. Silverchair - Tomorrow
  126. Beastie Boys - Sure Shot
  127. Pearl Jam - Even Flow
  128. Fun Lovin' Criminals - Scooby Snacks
  129. Foo Fighters - My Hero
  130. Sloan - Everything You've Done Wrong
  131. Weezer - Say it Ain't So
  132. Alice in Chains - Man in the Box
  133. The Headstones - Smile and Wave
  134. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
  135. The Tragically Hip - Grace, Too
  136. Marcy Playground - Sex and Candy
  137. Bush - Machinehead
  138. Moist - Silver
  139. Nirvana - Dumb
  140. Nirvana - About A Girl
  141. Killjoys - Today I Hate Everyone
  142. Soundgarden - Outshined - NEW
  143. Live - Lightning Crashes
  144. Beastie Boys - So What'cha Want
  145. Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way
  146. Soundgarden - Fell on Black Days
  147. Doughboys - Shine
  148. Pure - Anna Is A Speed Freak
  149. The Offspring - Gone Away
  150. Cake - The Distance
  151. Odds - Eat My Brain
  152. The Tragically Hip - Wheat Kings
  153. Weezer - El Scorcho - NEW
  154. Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence - NEW
  155. Beck - Where It's At - NEW
  156. The Cure - Friday I'm In Love - NEW
  157. Ministry - NWO - NEW
  158. Soundgarden - Burden In My Hand
  159. Korn - Freak on a Leash - NEW
  160. Anthrax and Public Enemy - Bring the Noise - NEW
  161. Our Lady Peace - 4am
  162. Semisonic - Closing Time - NEW
  163. Alice in Chains - No Excuses - NEW
  164. Sonic Youth - Kool Thing - NEW
  165. The Stone Roses - Love Spreads - NEW
  166. Blur - There's No Other Way - NEW
  167. Primitive Radio Gods - Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand - NEW
  168. Collective Soul - Shine - NEW
  169. Radiohead - Paranoid Android
  170. Tori Amos - Cornflake Girl - NEW
  171. Soundgarden - Rusty Cage - NEW
  172. Alice in Chains - Them Bones - NEW
  173. No Doubt - Sunday Morning - NEW
  174. Soup Dragons - I'm Free - NEW
  175. The Jesus and Mary Chain - Sometimes Always - NEW
  176. Placebo - Pure Morning - NEW
  177. The Presidents of the United States of America - Peaches - NEW
  178. Stabbing Westward - Save Yourself - NEW
  179. Rusty - Wake Me - NEW
  180. Tripping Daisy - I Got A Girl - NEW
  181. Whale - Hobo Humpin' Slobo Babe - NEW
  182. The Flys - Got You (Where I Want You)
  183. Portishead - Sour Times - NEW
  184. The Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds - NEW
  185. Garbage - Only Happy When It Rains - NEW
  186. Nada Surf - Popular - NEW
  187. Blink 182 - Adam's Song - NEW
  188. L7 - Pretend We're Dead - NEW
  189. Mad Season - River of Deceit - NEW
  190. I Mother Earth - So Gently We Go - NEW
  191. Godsmack - Voodoo - NEW
  192. Belly - Feed the Trees - NEW
  193. The Tragically Hip - Poets
  194. Watchmen - All Uncovered - NEW
  195. Fatboy Slim - The Rockafeller Skank
  196. Beck - Devil's Haircut - NEW
  197. Big Wreck - That Song
  198. Green Day - Brain Stew
  199. Our Lady Peace - Starseed
  200. Bush - Glycerine

Discuss "My Attempt at the Top 200 Songs of the 1990s List" (34 comments so far)


The Thrill of the Ice

HockeyLast fall, I joined a rec hockey team and played on ice for the first time since I was thirteen. Despite separating my shoulder in January, I had a blast.

We kick things off again this season on October 2nd, but this afternoon I'm joining a scrimmage to shake off some rust. I can't wait to hit the ice again.

There was no way I'd let another 21 years go by between seasons.

Blades of Steel

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Alice in Chains - Check My Brain

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS22 consideration. I'm submitting "Check My Brain" by Alice in Chains.

I'm a big Alice in Chains fan. I once tried to rank my ten favourite bands of all-time and Alice in Chains came in at #5. When I assembled my 20 desert island albums, Dirt was a shoe-in.

Layne Staley's been gone for seven years now, and he's been replaced by a guy who sounds eerily like him. I can vouch for that, having seen Alice in Chains in concert with new lead singer William DuVall a couple of years back. They've since recorded a new album, and this is the lead single.

It's pretty good.

Discuss "Alice in Chains - Check My Brain" (9 comments so far)


Leafs Make the Kessel Run in Less Than Twelve Parsecs

LeafsTSN is calling it a done deal, and that's good enough for me. Brian Burke has completed a trade with the Boston Bruins and Phil Kessel is finally a Toronto Maple Leaf.

According to the tweet I just received from Darren Dreger, we gave up a 1st and 2nd round draft pick in 2010 and another 1st round pick in 2011. That's a mighty high price to pay, but Kessel is only 21-years old and coming off a career high 36 goals in 70 games with Boston.

Phil "The Thrill" Kessel is a nice addition to this team. He'll play his first game for the blue and white this November as he's on the shelf following rotator cuff surgery.

Oh yeah, and he once made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs. That's pretty sweet.

kessel-run

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We're Still #1! (Sorta)

CN TowerIt seems our CN Tower will retain its place in the Guinness Book of World Records, with a little edit to the record. It's no longer the world's tallest free-standing structure, it's now the world's tallest tower.

The tower lost the title of the world's tallest free-standing structure in 2007 when the Burj Dubai — a hotel, residential and commercial building in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, still under construction — surpassed the Toronto structure in height.

When it is completed the Burj is expected to be over 818 metres high.

But classification rules, as defined by an organization deemed the authority on such matters, suggest the CN Tower should be categorized as a communications tower, said Glenday.

"I can confirm that the Toronto icon will retain its record, as a tower is defined by Guinness World Records and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat as a building in which less than 50 per cent of the construction is usable floor space," he said in a Friday statement.

The Burj, by this definition, is not a tower.

We're back on top, baby!

Discuss "We're Still #1! (Sorta)" (1 comment so far)


My Ten Favourite Characters on The Wire

the wireThis list was inspired by "Andrew with a capital A" who now goes by the name McNulty. He emailed me a list of his ten favourite characters on The Wire, The Greatest Show On Television, Ever™.

His list was very good, but my list is just a little different. Here are my ten favourite characters from The Wire, The Greatest Show On Television, Ever™.

  1. Omar Little
  2. Jimmy McNulty
  3. Lester Freamon
  4. Bubbles
  5. Bunk Moreland
  6. D’Angelo Barksdale
  7. Howard “Bunny” Colvin
  8. Preston “Bodie” Broadus
  9. Frank Sobatka
  10. Michael Lee

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Sporting Events I've Recorded to VHS

RewindOn September 11, I posted a picture of the Globe and Mail newspaper I've kept from September 12, 2001. Just as I'd keep newspapers following significant news events, I used to record significant sporting events to VHS.

Kids, in the days before PVRs and DVRs, we had these things called VCRs and we'd record television programs to VHS cassette tapes. That's right, the video images wrote to tape, actual tape. You'll have to take my word for it.

Only a few of these sporting events have survived to this day. I still have the following games stored away:

  • Toronto Raptors Inaugural Game
  • Wayne Gretzky's Final Game
  • Final Leafs Game at Maple Leaf Gardens
  • 1991 All-Star Game from SkyDome
  • Final Jays Game at Exhibition Stadium

Here's the photographic evidence.

Sporting Events I've Taped

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Mary Travers, Dead at 72

In MemoriumMary Travers was 72. She was the female component of the 1960s folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary, known for their hits "Puff (The Magic Dragon)", the civil rights anthem "If I Had a Hammer" and a cover of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind".

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Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Thumbs DownThis just hit my RSS reader.

It's cruel and unusual punishment and it needs to stop. Now.

betty

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Pearl Jam - Got Some

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.

Pearl Jam - Got Some
One of my favourite songs on Pearl Jam's new Backspace album is "Got Some".

Enjoy.

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The Truculence Begins

LeafsIn 2009 / 2010, it's all about truculence.

"We require, as a team, proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence."
~ Brian Burke, President and General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs

truc-you

Tonight, at 7pm on TSN2, the truculence begins.

Discuss "The Truculence Begins" (17 comments so far)


Club 102 with Chris Sheppard

radioBack in July, I shared 1:02 of Club 102 from The Phoenix with Martin Streek. Before Martin Streek took over, Club 102 was hosted by Chris Sheppard.

Many I night I spent listening to Chris Sheppard at Club 102 on CFNY. Before his BKS and Love Inc. house / dance stunts, Shep played a grab bag of interesting stuff, from hip-hop to industrial and beyond.

Here's some of Club 102 with Chris Sheppard.

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Captain Kirk Shows Us How To Kiss A Woman

HeartThis is how Captain Kirk kisses a woman. I think I'm doing it wrong.


Discuss "Captain Kirk Shows Us How To Kiss A Woman" (5 comments so far)


New Custom MP3 - Both Hands - Feedback Wanted

CustomCustom and I became fast friends back in 2004. At that time, he was only 18-months removed from charting with "Hey Mister". In the five years since, he's sent me dozens and dozens of unreleased tracks he puts together on his Mac in his Manhattan loft.

Custom, a multi-talented Canadian musician who's just about the nicest guy you'll ever want to meet, sends me these MP3s under two conditions: I must provide honest feedback and I can't share them with anybody.

I've always provided honest feedback, usually overwhelmingly positive because I sincerely love his musical style, but I'm about to break his second condition. I'm going to post a raw, unreleased Custom track here in the hopes that you all will listen and provide honest feedback in the comments. I absolutely love this song, but because I've never shared it, I have no idea if I'm the only one or if this is really as good as I think it is.

This is Custom and Madison singing "Both Hands", an Ani DiFranco song. Listen to Custom's words as he tells an unbelievably true story I unearthed during an interview I conducted with Madison.

Custom put up a beat. Madison sang "Both Hands" by Ani DiFranco. Custom threw up some guitar. This was the moment. One seemingly typical event on an otherwise normal night. Days later, after Custom added a rap that recounted that moment in time and finished the track, Madison heard herself and was reborn. She said goodbye to the deposit she put down on her med school tuition. She said hello to poverty, the life of a starving artist, making ends meet by working many a difficult job. She said goodbye to the life she thought was hers and said hello to her true calling. After a year of writing and playing with a band she formed she signed a publishing deal with Windswept Pacific. Madison is a singer.

Here it is. You can listen, under two conditions: you must provide honest feedback in the comments and you must share this link with everybody.

Download the MP3 and throw it on the iPod

Discuss "New Custom MP3 - Both Hands - Feedback Wanted" (32 comments so far)


Patrick Swayze, Dead at 57

In MemoriumPatrick Swayze was 57. He was the actor best-known for his roles as Orry Main in the North and South television miniseries, and as romantic leading men in the films Dirty Dancing and Ghost.

Sure, he showed up in some great flicks, but it's this song I'll be revisiting tonight.

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Flip Flopping As Kanye Goes Too Far

kanyeI've had to hire a bodyguard since defending Kanye in the heat of the moment last night. You really had to be there. I was blasting The College Dropout, fist pumping my way through "The New Workout Plan", watching his "I want to be Elvis" speech at the American Music Awards.

That was then, this is now, and this has gone too far.


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Roger Federer vs. Serena Williams in US Open Tennis

TennisI follow tennis the way I follow golf. Week to week I couldn't care less, but when it comes to Grand Slam events, I'm suddenly intrigued.

For me, Roger Federer is the Tiger Woods of tennis. That is to say that I take more of an interest when he's in the running. I root for both Federer and Woods, convinced that I'm witnessing the best their respective sports have ever produced, and I think that's pretty darn special.

This past weekend, there were a couple of moments at the US Open that were made for YouTube. First, there's Roger Federer's greatest point in tennis history.

Then, there's Serena Williams chewing out the foot fault judge during her match against Kim Clijsters.

Which is your favourite?

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Too Many Connections - It's Not You, It's Me

ConstructionJust a quick housekeeping note for a Monday morning. The server hosting this blog is experiencing a MySQL issue. When entries are posted, comments are posted or even searches are conducted, a write to the MySQL database is required.

Periodically, the maximum number of connections to the database are exceeded and when that happens there's a period of time when comments and such don't get through.

The staff is troubleshooting the issue, and we'll fix this. As George would say, it's not you, it's me.

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Kanye's a Jerk, But He's Right

MTVIn this internet age, everything happens in real-time. Even now it seems a little late to be commenting on what Kanye West did to Taylor Swift at the MTV Video Music Awards, and that just happened about 90 minutes ago.

If you missed it, here's what all the fuss is about. Taylor Swift beat out Beyonce for Best Female Video and Kanye West stole the spotlight to point out the fact Beyonce should have won. If the Twittersphere is any indication, Kanye West is now the most hated man in the world.

In case that video is pulled, here's what Kanye said.

Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyoncé has one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!

Sure, it was classless what Kanye did, stealing the spotlight and all, but there's two facts I can't ignore. Firstly, he sure got our attention. And secondly, he's right.

I would have bet the farm on Beyonce winning that award for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)". I thought it was a shoe-in. But MTV went with the white 19-year old, blonde, blue eyed cutie.

With all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the head, Kanye reminded us that a more deserving black artist was once again slighted for a young white artist. It smelled before he stormed the stage and it smells now, but all anyone will talk about is how that mean man stole Taylor Swift's moment.

Kanye could have let the moment pass, but he's not wired that way. He spoke his mind, got us talking, and now he's paying the price. He's a jerk, but he's right.

Discuss "Kanye's a Jerk, But He's Right" (26 comments so far)


Jim Carroll, Dead at 60

In MemoriumJim Carroll was 60. He was a former drug addict turned prolific poet and writer of The Basketball Diaries.

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Surveillance Footage of Michael Bryant's Recklessness Enraging Cyclist Sheppard

VideoThere's been quite the discussion in the comments since I first wrote about Darcy Allan Sheppard's death. I got an email from Donald Wiedman who wanted me to review the surveillance footage from Bloor street that fateful day.

Please take a look at the below YouTube video (surveillance camera footage) showing what happened exactly – at Bay & Bloor in Toronto - between cyclist Darcy Allan Sheppard and motorist Michael Bryant. The clips appeared on City TV hours after the accident, yet the media continues to imply Sheppard chased the car down on foot in a rage after a minor collision.

In the footage, Bryant first uses the car to intimidate Sheppard. Then strikes him and pushes him ten feet. Bryant then puts it in Reverse then Drive and guns it past Sheppard. As the cyclist struggles to get up, he grabs the passing car mirror to try to keep the car at the scene.

Not quite the minor collision we've been hearing about, is it?

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2009 Terry Fox Run at High Park

Terry FoxWhat a fantastic morning. The entire family got out of bed early to participate in the Terry Fox Run at High Park. My wife and kids were met there by my mom, my brother, his wife and their unborn child. That's right, there's an unborn child in the family. Cool, eh?

David Miller was there as well, and I introduced myself as the guy he knows better as @torontomike on Twitter. He was joined by our MP Gerard Kennedy and our MPP Cheri DiNovo.

The reason we were there was to keep going for Terry. That's why I've raised $645.00 thus far. Most of that came from readers of this blog, and for that I'm truly appreciative. You guys are awesome.

It's not too late to sponsor me. If you can afford to give, click over to http://www.terryfox.org/cgi/page.cgi/Run/participants.html/GWJHRE and help pad my total. I promise warm thoughts in return.

Start MP, MPP and Mayor
T and I

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The Top 200 Songs Of The 90's According to 102.1 the Edge

radioOver the Labour Day long weekend, 102.1 the Edge counted down the Top 200 songs of the 90's.

Here's their list. Actually, they're claiming this list was compiled from listener votes. It's a pretty good top 10, actually, but I am surprised we got three Nirvana songs and Pearl Jam doesn't appear until 22. Then again, Alice in Chains doesn't debut until 75. Go figure.

1 - 1991 - Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
2 - 1992 - Nirvana - Come As You Are
3 - 1996 - Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
4 - 1997 - Blur - Song 2
5 - 1994 - The Offspring - Self Esteem
6 - 1996 - Sublime - What I Got
7 - 1991 - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge
8 - 1992 - Stone Temple Pilots - Plush
9 - 1993 - Nirvana - All Apologies
10 - 1990 - The Tragically Hip - New Orleans is Sinking
11 - 1996 - Sublime - Santeria
12 - 1994 - Beck - Loser
13 - 1994 - Green Day - When I Come Around
14 - 1995 - Smashing Pumpkins - Bullet with Butterfly Wings
15 - 1994 - Nine Inch Nails - Closer
16 - 1996 - Our Lady Peace - Superman's Dead
17 - 1991 - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Give it Away
18 - 1993 - Radiohead - Creep
19 - 1994 - Green Day - Basket Case
20 - 1992 - Nirvana - Lithium
21 - 1996 - The Tragically Hip - Ahead by a Century
22 - 1992 - Pearl Jam - Jeremy
23 - 1999 - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Scar Tissue
24 - 1993 - Nirvana - Heart - Shaped Box
25 - 1995 - Green Day - Brain Stew
26 - 1995 - Our Lady Peace - Starseed
27 - 1995 - Oasis - Wonderwall
28 - 1999 - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Around the World
29 - 1994 - Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate Love Song
30 - 1998 - Foo Fighters - Everlong
31 - 1998 - The Tragically Hip - Poets
32 - 1994 - Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun
33 - 1998 - Sloan - Money City Maniacs
34 - 1993 - Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm
35 - 1999 - Matthew Good Band - Hello Time Bomb
36 - 1991 - Nirvana - In Bloom
37 - 1998 - Beastie Boys - Intergalactic
38 - 1991 - Pearl Jam - Alive
39 - 1999 - Our Lady Peace - One Man Army
40 - 1997 - The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony
41 - 1993 - Blind Melon - No Rain
42 - 1992 - The Tragically Hip - Courage
43 - 1997 - Green Day - Time of Your Life (Good Riddance)
44 - 1993 - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Soul to Squeeze
45 - 1996 - Sloan - The Good in Everyone
46 - 1994 - Pearl Jam - Better Man
47 - 1996 - I Mother Earth - One More Astronaut
48 - 1994 - Weezer - Buddy Holly
49 - 1994 - The Offspring - Come Out and Play (Keep 'Em Separated)
50 - 1995 - Our Lady Peace - Naveed
51 - 1993 - Pearl Jam - Daughter
52 - 1999 - Foo Fighters - Learn to Fly
53 - 1994 - Stone Temple Pilots - Vasoline
54 - 1993 - The Tragically Hip - Fifty Mission Cap
55 - 1995 - Oasis - Champagne Supernova
56 - 1994 - Weezer - Undone - The Sweater Song
57 - 1997 - Big Wreck - The Oaf (My Luck is Wasted)
58 - 1993 - Rage Against the Machine - Killing In The Name
59 - 1999 - Matthew Good Band - Load Me Up
60 - 1999 - Blink - 182 - All the Small Things
61 - 1997 - Our Lady Peace - Clumsy
62 - 1995 - Bush - Comedown
63 - 1994 - Nirvana - The Man Who Sold the World
64 - 1995 - Bush - Glycerine
65 - 1999 - The Tragically Hip - Bobcaygeon
66 - 1998 - Everlast - What it's Like
67 - 1997 - The Tea Party - Temptation
68 - 1992 - Nirvana - About A Girl
69 - 1992 - Sloan - Underwhelmed
70 - 1994 - Stone Temple Pilots - Big Empty
71 - 1998 - Lit - My Own Worst Enemy
72 - 1993 - Nirvana - Rape Me
73 - 1991 - Metallica - Enter Sandman
74 - 1998 - Big Wreck - That Song
75 - 1992 - Alice in Chains - Would?
76 - 1993 - The Tragically Hip - At the Hundredth Meridian
77 - 1997 - Radiohead - Karma Police
78 - 1997 - Matthew Good Band - Everything is Automatic
79 - 1991 - Nirvana - Polly
80 - 1994 - Beastie Boys - Sabotage
81 - 1999 - Lenny Kravitz - American Woman
82 - 1994 - Green Day - She
83 - 1997 - Econoline Crush - All that You Are
84 - 1995 - Smashing Pumpkins - Tonight, Tonight
85 - 1999 - Our Lady Peace - Is Anybody Home?
86 - 1994 - Pearl Jam - Yellow Ledbetter
87 - 1991 - The Tragically Hip - Little Bones
88 - 1999 - Incubus - Pardon Me
89 - 1998 - Watchmen - Stereo
90 - 1992 - House of Pain - Jump Around
91 - 1998 - Harvey Danger - Flagpole Sitta
92 - 1994 - Soundgarden - Spoonman
93 - 1998 - Matthew Good Band - Indestructible
94 - 1994 - Green Day - Welcome to Paradise
95 - 1991 - R.E.M. - Losing My Religion
96 - 1996 - I Mother Earth - Used to Be Alright
97 - 1992 - Stone Temple Pilots - Sex Type Thing
98 - 1992 - The Tragically Hip - Locked In the Trunk of a Car
99 - 1995 - Sublime - Smoke Two Joints
100 - 1999 - Finger Eleven - Above
101 - 1996 - Rage Against the Machine - Bulls on Parade
102 - 1992 - Alice in Chains - Rooster
103 - 1995 - Filter - Hey Man Nice Shot
104 - 1998 - Lenny Kravitz - Fly Away
105 - 1994 - Sloan - Coax Me
106 - 1991 - U2 - One
107 - 1996 - Soundgarden - Burden In My Hand
108 - 1999 - Econoline Crush - You Don't Know What It's Like
109 - 1999 - Rage Against the Machine - Guerilla Radio
110 - 1990 - The Tragically Hip - 38 Years Old
111 - 1999 - Pearl Jam - Last Kiss
112 - 1991 - U2 - Mysterious Ways
113 - 1998 - The Offspring - The Kids Aren't Alright
114 - 1993 - Cypress Hill - Insane in the Brain/Loco En El Coco
115 - 1998 - Eve 6 - Inside Out
116 - 1998 - Fatboy Slim - The Rockafeller Skank
117 - 1994 - Live - All Over You
118 - 1991 - Metallica - The Unforgiven
119 - 1993 - Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
120 - 1999 - Sloan - Losing California
121 - 1993 - Tool - Sober
122 - 1993 - The Tragically Hip - Fully Completely
123 - 1995 - Smashing Pumpkins - Zero
124 - 1991 - Nirvana - On a Plain
125 - 1997 - Foo Fighters - Monkey Wrench
126 - 1995 - No Doubt - Just a Girl
127 - 1990 - Faith No More - Epic
128 - 1994 - The Offspring - Gotta Get Away
129 - 1993 - Cracker - Low
130 - 1995 - Radiohead - High and Dry
131 - 1996 - Big Sugar - Diggin' a Hole
132 - 1998 - Matthew Good Band - Apparitions
133 - 1996 - Marilyn Manson - The Beautiful People
134 - 1992 - The Tragically Hip - Looking For A Place To Happen
135 - 1994 - Green Day - Jaded
136 - 1994 - Moist - Push
137 - 1993 - James - Laid
138 - 1996 - Stone Temple Pilots - Trippin' on a Hole in a Paper Heart
139 - 1997 - Treble Charger - Friend Of Mine
140 - 1994 - The Cranberries - Zombie
141 - 1997 - Econoline Crush - Sparkle and Shine
142 - 1994 - Bush - Everything Zen
143 - 1993 - Pearl Jam - Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
144 - 1998 - Big Wreck - Blown Wide Open
145 - 1995 - Rancid - Time Bomb
146 - 1991 - The Tragically Hip - Three Pistols
147 - 1997 - Age of Electric - Remote Control
148 - 1994 - Nine Inch Nails - Hurt
149 - 1996 - I Mother Earth - Another Sunday
150 - 1995 - Silverchair - Tomorrow
151 - 1994 - Beastie Boys - Sure Shot
152 - 1997 - Treble Charger - Red
153 - 1992 - Pearl Jam - Even Flow
154 - 1996 - Fun Lovin' Criminals - Scooby Snacks
155 - 1998 - Foo Fighters - My Hero
156 - 1995 - The Tragically Hip - So Hard Done By
157 - 1997 - Our Lady Peace - Automatic Flowers
158 - 1993 - Smashing Pumpkins - Today
159 - 1996 - Sloan - Everything You've Done Wrong
160 - 1994 - Weezer - Say it Ain't So
161 - 1991 - Alice in Chains - Man in the Box
162 - 1994 - Green Day - Longview
163 - 1997 - The Headstones - Smile and Wave
164 - 1996 - Sublime - Wrong Way
165 - 1996 - Moist - Resurrection
166 - 1999 - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Californication
167 - 1995 - The Tragically Hip - Grace, Too
168 - 1993 - I Mother Earth - Not Quite Sonic
169 - 1992 - Pearl Jam - Black
170 - 1996 - Marcy Playground - Sex and Candy
171 - 1997 - The Gandharvas - Downtime
172 - 1995 - Bush - Machinehead
173 - 1992 - Stone Temple Pilots - Creep
174 - 1993 - The Headstones - When Something Stands For Nothing
175 - 1999 - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Otherside
176 - 1994 - Moist - Silver
177 - 1995 - The Tragically Hip - Nautical Disaster
178 - 1993 - Nirvana - Dumb
179 - 1997 - Our Lady Peace - 4:00 A.M.
180 - 1994 - Killjoys - Today I Hate Everyone
181 - 1994 - Soundgarden - Fell on Black Days
182 - 1999 - Danko Jones - Bounce
183 - 1995 - Live - Lightning Crashes
184 - 1998 - Big Sugar - Better Get Used To It
185 - 1990 - Jane's Addiction - Been Caught Stealing
186 - 1995 - The Gandharvas - The First Day Of Spring
187 - 1992 - Beastie Boys - So What'cha Want
188 - 1991 - The Tragically Hip - Twist My Arm
189 - 1993 - Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way
190 - 1990 - Spirit Of The West - Home For A Rest
191 - 1992 - Metallica - Nothing Else Matters
192 - 1993 - Doughboys - Shine
193 - 1997 - Blink - 182 - Dammit
194 - 1992 - Temple of the Dog - Hunger Strike
195 - 1996 - Pure - Anna Is A Speed Freak
196 - 1996 - The Offspring - Gone Away
197 - 1996 - Cake - The Distance
198 - 1996 - Odds - Eat My Brain
199 - 1991 - The Tragically Hip - Wheat Kings
200 - 1995 - Foo Fighters - Big Me

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Magic Songs - Ow Ow Ow It's Magic, You Know

musicMy daughter is with me at work where I've got an extensive music library sitting on an external hard drive. Yes, I back it up periodically.

She's loving this song by Selena Gomez of The Wizards of Waverly Place fame entitled "Magic". I just played the original "Magic" by Pilot and blew her mind. She still prefers Selena's version, because "she has a better voice".

It seems I have a lot of songs in my collection with the word "magic" in the title. Here are the ones I found. Let me know what I missed in the comments, assuming my MySQL connections issue is resolved.

  • The Magic Friend - 2 Unlimited
  • Magic Touch - Aerosmith
  • Do You Believe In Magic? - Aly & AJ
  • Everything's Magic - Angels & Airwaves
  • Magic Carpet - Apache Indian
  • Could It Be Magic - Barry Manilow
  • Magic Carget Ride - Bedlam
  • Magic Spells - Crystal Castles
  • That Old Black Magic - Dave Brubeck
  • Magic Number - De La Soul
  • You Can Do Magic - Drew Seeley
  • Black Magic Woman - Fleetwood Mac
  • Mister Magic (Single Version) - Grover Washington Jr.
  • Magic Man - Heart
  • Magic - Honor Society
  • Now That the Magic Has Gone - Joe Cocker
  • December Will Be Magic - Kate Bush
  • Magic Carpet Ride - KSM
  • Magic's In The Dancing - Lighthouse
  • Magic And Loss - The Summation - Lou Reed
  • Magic - Meaghan Martin
  • Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - Mitchel Musso
  • Johnny Magic - Neil Young
  • Magic Pie - Oasis
  • Magic - Pilot
  • A Kind Of Magic - Queen
  • Raining Like Magic - Raffi
  • Some Call It Magic - Raven-Symone
  • Magic Johnson - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Magic On My Mind - Sam Roberts
  • Black Magic Woman Santana
  • Magic - Selena Gomez
  • Those Magic Changes - Sha-Na-Na
  • Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf
  • Strange Magic - Steve Rushton
  • Magic - The Cars
  • Last Day of Magic - The Kills
  • Do You Believe In Magic? - The Lovin' Spoonful
  • Do You Believe In Magic? - The Pogues
  • Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic - The Police
  • Magic Johnson Dream - The Presidents Of The United States Of America
  • Magic Bus - The Who
  • Magic Power - Triumph
  • 30 Seconds Of Magic - Triumph The Insult Comic Dog

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Leafs 2009 Training Camp Roster + My Two Cents

LeafsI hate official team sites. Can you imagine a more biased source of news? I suppose a site like mapleleafs.com would be fine if you were just looking for a schedule or to purchase tickets, but if you're looking for team news and insight, the official site is the last place I go.

On the web, I've witnessed the birth of the Barilkosphere the past few years. There's a solid collection of Maple Leaf blogs run by smart, passionate Leaf fans that simply didn't exist when I started blogging. I didn't coin the term Barilkosphere, but I'm still very, very proud of my Google ranking for Bill Barilko (currently #2 after Wikipedia) and I won't attend a Leafs game (or non-summer Hip concert) without my custom made #5 Bill Barilko jersey, but I digress...

One site in the Barilkosphere is Pension Plan Puppets. They posted the Toronto Maple Leafs 2009 training camp roster, so I'm going to borrow their HTML, throw in a little of my CSS and put it here for y'all.

Forwards Defence Goaltenders
Jason Allison Dale Mitchell Francois Beauchemin Juraj Mikus Andrew Engelage
Alex Berry John Mitchell Jesse Blacker Phil Oreskovic Beau Erickson
Jason Blake Ben Ondrus Josh Engel Todd Perry Jonas Gustavsson
Darryl Boyce Colton Orr Garnet Exelby Andry Rogers Joey MacDonald
Tyler Bozak Alexei Ponikarovsky Jeff Finger Joe Ryan James Reimer
Tim Brent Wayne Primeau Jonas Frogren Luke Schenn Vesa Toskala
Joel Champagne Kyle Rogers Carl Gunnarson Barron Smith  
Jamie Devane Jay Rosehill Tomas Kaberle Juha Uotila   
Andre Deveaux Greg Scott Mike Komisarek Mike Van Ryn  
Alex Foster Robert Slaney Brandon Manning Ian White  
Stefano Giliati Viktor Stalberg      
Mikhail Grabovski Matt Stajan      
Richard Greenop Mikhail Stefanovich      
Niklas Hagman Lee Stempniak      
Ryan Hamilton Jiri Tlusty      
Christian Hanson Rickard Wallin      
Nazem Kadri John Kurtz      
Nikolai Kulemin Jamal Mayers      

19 days, 10 hours, 10 minutes, and 42 seconds from now, that list has to be down to 23 players. The goalies will be Tosky and The Monster, but nothing else is certain. Here's my two cents on the above list.

  • Is Jason Allison's invitation some kind of joke? If he was that slow last time, there's simply no chance of him making this team. I realize we're lacking scoring up front, but Jason Allison is not the answer.
  • The Marlies look to have a solid defense this season, because there's a serious glut of NHL-calibre defensemen coming to camp. If we agree the top six is Kaberle, Schenn, Komisarek, Finger, Beauchemin and White, we're forgetting about Van Ryn, Exelby, Oreskovic and Frogren. Will White start up front?
  • Who's going to score on this team? Please don't tell me that's Blake's job... I'll bet Tlusty and Kadri are playing October 1.
  • What time is it? Can I add Phil Kessel yet?
  • Two final words: Viktor Stalberg. That is all.

Go Leafs go!

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Larry Gelbart, Dead at 81

In MemoriumLarry Gelbart was 81. He the award-winning writer whose sly, sardonic wit helped create such hits as Broadway's "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," the films "Tootsie" and "Oh, God!" and television's "M*A*S*H".

"M*A*S*H" is one of my first favourite shows of all-time.

mash

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Hanging Up the Cleats for Another Winter

BaseballYesterday I played my last game of softball for the Piranhas in the rec league and tonight my slo-pitch team played its last two games of the season. I wish I could report that Raging Storm is the RSPA Competitive Division 2009 Champions, but that would be a lie. We're #2!

Starting in May, you play about three games a week between the two leagues until it all wraps up in September. I hate having to hang up the cleats for six months. I hate packing up the glove, throwing it in my old Adidas back with the rest of my gear and storing it in the basement.

At least hockey starts up next month. That'll tide me over until the Storm rages once more.

Tools of the Trade

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Put a Fork in this Jays Season, Please

bluejaysThis Blue Jays season was a tale of two polar opposite emotions. The swing was so severe, I haven't been able to write about this team in quite some time. This will most likely be my last entry about the Jays this season.

There was a point in May when I was literally giddy with the early season success of our ball club. We had the best winning percentage in the majors and there was a vibe this town hadn't felt since '93. Jays games on the telly became appointment viewing for me, I wanted to see every pitch live. Our Jays, I was sure, would be this year's Rays.

We all know what happened next. A couple of big bats disappeared, our stellar 3rd baseman wanted out of town, my favourite starting pitcher was the subject of numerous trade rumours and Rios was literally given away. When the dust settled, we were a distant 4th place in the AL East.

On Wednesday night, an announced crowd of 11,159 took in the third game of a four game series with the Minnesota Twins at the Rogers Centre. That's right, 11,159. I'll give you a moment to absorb that lowly number. There has never been that few bodies taking in a Jays game at the stadium formerly known as SkyDome. In my opinion, following a start that had this city buzzing, there has never been such total apathy toward our ball club.

I planned to share several retro Jays songs this summer, but passed because I wasn't feeling it. A die-hard fan who followed every pitch from 1983 through 1993, I stopped watching completely. It all seems so hopeless and even the future looks grim. No reasonable person can see us making the playoffs any time soon while buried in the powerful AL East.

I just want to put a fork in this 2009 season. It's done. I'm done. It's been all downhill since this glorious moment.

Joe

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A Day of Infamy

9/11This is a picture of a newspaper I saved. When significant world events occur, I would always save the paper. This is a practice that is sure to go the way of the dodo bird. For many, the 9/11 newspapers will be the last one they keep. Did you keep a 9/11 newspaper?

A Day of Infamy - 9/11

Other 9/11 entries:

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Mondoville: A New Blog From Marc Weisblott

HyperlinkI've always felt Toronto, as a city, has been underserved by the blogosphere. I've always felt something was missing... something more personal than a Torontoist or BlogTO, something that's clever and insightful and funny. We have one or two such blogs, but a city this size deserves far more.

Marc Weisblott, a name you might know from various publications, including a recent run at Eye Weekly, used to have a pretty good blog entitled Better Living Centre. It's been a couple of years since then, and this week he started a new blog he calls Mondoville.

It's early, but so far, so good. There's an interesting perspective on the TIFF, Anvil and a write up about Michael Bryant and his new career as a compulsive oversharer.

If you, like me, are looking for an interesting new Toronto blog, check out Mondoville.

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Quick Note Re: Canadian Thinker

mouseFans of Canadian Thinker have noticed that Fred hasn't been posting as often lately. Others seem to think he's censoring comments and there's speculation that Fred's bosses at Corus have asked him to cool it.

Fred tells me Corus isn't censoring the content of his blog and he hasn't been intentionally deleting comments. He's been buried in work lately, so the blog has suffered, but he's ready to focus on Canadian Thinker once more.

As for Humble's blog, don't hold your breath. He far prefers Twitter.

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What A Wonderful Surprise (Louis Armstrong vs Radiohead)

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.

What A Wonderful Surprise (Louis Armstrong vs Radiohead)
By someone named Overdub, this mashup is extraordinary. It's Radiohead's "No Surprises" with Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World".

You will love this. Trust me.

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Terry Fox Run 2009 - Have You Pledged Me Yet?

terryfoxIn four days I'm running in the Terry Fox Run. I'm aiming to raise $1000. I'm currently at $295.

Donate now. If you pledge more than $20 you get a tax receipt right away. Also, I'll know you pledged my run and will always have warm thoughts about you.

Do it for me. Do it for Terry.

Terry Fox

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Mid-30s Guy Plays First Game of Organized Soccer - True Story!

soccerI am 35-years old and I've just played my first game of organized soccer. I kid you not.

As I've watched both my kids playing on soccer teams, I've become rather fascinated with this fact. My brothers both played as kids, but I was somehow never enrolled. My summer sport was baseball.

Tonight, during the final practise of the season, an exhibition game took place between my son's under 8 team and the parents. I played the wing and scored a goal in a hard fought 3-3 tie. I had a blast.

An incredible streak has come to an end.

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9-9-09

9-9-09Today is September 9, 2009, or 9-9-09.

I don't think that means anything, but it's pretty neat. It's so neat, I'm back dating this entry to 9:09am.

Here are some "nine" songs. Are there others?

  • Nine Double Em - Brother Ali
  • Cloud Nine - The Temptations
  • Glock Nines - Beanie Sigel Feat. Jay-Z
  • Get Me Back On Time, Engine Number Nine - Wilson Pickett
  • Ninety-Nine And A Half (Won't Do) - Wilson Pickett
  • Cloud Nine - Evanescence
  • Cloud Number Nine - Bryan Adams
  • Riot In Cell Block Number Nine - The Blues Brothers
  • 9 to 5 - Dolly Parton
  • #9 Dream - John Lennon
  • Real Solution #9 - White Zombie
  • Revolution 9 - The Beatles

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Vicky Cristina Barcelona Review

Movie ReviewVicky Cristina Barcelona: 7 out of 10.

There was a time when I could bank on Woody Allen for one smart comedy a year. You could set your watch by his consistency. These days, he's hit and miss, but Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a hit.

It's light and easy. It's easy and easy on the eyes. Not only is it set in lovely Spain, but there are three actresses providing both eye candy and solid acting chops. They are Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson and Penélope Cruz.

For the ladies, Javier Bardem's character is far too cool for school. No wonder he scored with all three aforementioned beauts.

vicky-christina-barcelona

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My 8 Days with a Smart Fortwo

carI made the trip to Mercedez-Benz this morning to return the smart fortwo passion coupé I've been driving for the past eight days.

You really need to test drive a smart fortwo to appreciate its agility. During the past week I've fielded dozens of questions about how it drove on the highway, whether I felt safe and how it drove different than a normal sized car.

I'll answer those big three questions here, but first, here I am driving the smart fortwo. Yes, driving a smart fortwo will cause facial hair to sprout from your chin. Sorry, ladies.

P9049222

As for those questions... The smart fortwo drives perfectly fine on the highway. At 120km/h it felt completely stable and smooth and I never hesitated to take it back on the highway throughout the week.

I honestly always felt safe. It handled very well, was extremely agile and, while I was driving, it felt no different than a standard sized car. You never look back to notice the lack of back seat or trunk. It felt great.

It was tough to say goodbye to the smart fortwo because it was incredibly fun to drive. It's certainly not practical for a family guy, but I could see myself in a smart car if I needed a second car for myself and jetting around the city, getting to work and back.

Here she is...

P8319219

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> 1000 Followers on Twitter! #sowhat?

twitterAt some point this weekend, I cleared 1000 followers on Twitter.

No, I don't actually think that means anything of significance. I'm not even sure how many of the 1000 are real followers and how many are from the "I'll follow anyone in the hopes that they'll follow me" set.

Still, it is a milestone of sorts. And I love milestones.

1000-followers

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Work Songs for Labour Day

MusicIt's Labour Day. Let's celebrate the working class with a playlist of songs with "work" or variations thereof in the title. If I missed any "work" songs, let me know in the comments.

  • Brother's Gonna Work It Out - Public Enemy
  • Chemical Worker's Song (Process Man) - Great Big Sea
  • Cowboys Work Is Never Done - Sonny & Cher
  • Everything Works If You Let It - Cheap Trick
  • Finest Worksong - R.E.M.
  • Got My Mojo Working - Muddy Waters
  • Grover Work Song - Grover
  • Hurt at Work - The Jerky Boys
  • I Go To Work - Kool Moe Dee
  • Ice Is Workin' It - Vanilla Ice
  • Immigrant Workforce - Bedouin Soundclash
  • Julie's Been Working For The Drug Squad - The Clash
  • Let's Work (feat. Jeff Beck) - Mick Jagger
  • Let's Work Together - Canned Heat
  • Making It Work - Doug and the Slugs
  • Mr. President (Have Pity On The Working Man) - Randy Newman
  • My Music at Work - The Tragically Hip
  • Railroad Worksong - The Notting Hillbillies
  • Senses Working Overtime - XTC
  • Supermodel (You Better Work) - RuPaul
  • That'll Work - The Cool Kids
  • The Drugs Don't Work - The Verve
  • The New Workout Plan - Kanye West
  • Thief's Work - Nas
  • This Devil's Workday - Modest Mouse
  • Thought @ Work - The Roots
  • We Can Work It Out - Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
  • We Can Work It Out - Heather Nova
  • We Can Work It Out - The Beatles
  • Welcome To The Working Week - Elvis Costello
  • Work - Jimmy Eat World
  • Work - Philosopher Kings
  • Work - The Kleptones
  • Work It Out - Def Leppard
  • Work Me, Lord - Janis Joplin
  • Work Out Better - Rusty
  • Work Out Fine - Joel Plaskett Emergency
  • Work Song - The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  • Work That - Mary J. Blige
  • Work That We Do - Sublime
  • Work This - M.C. Hammer
  • Work To Do - Average White Band
  • Work To Do - Buck 65
  • Work With Me - Sonny Boy Williamson
  • Workaholic - 2 Unlimited
  • Worker Bees - Billy Talent
  • Worker's Song - Dropkick Murphys
  • Workin' For A Livin' - Huey Lewis & the News
  • Workin' For MCA - Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Workin’ On The Radio - 102.1 Band
  • Working Class Hero - Green Day
  • Working Class Hero - John Lennon
  • Working For The Man - Roy Orbison
  • Working For The Weekend - Loverboy
  • Working Man - Rush
  • Working My Way Back To You - Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
  • Working On A Dream - Bruce Springsteen
  • Working On The Highway - Bruce Springsteen
  • Workout Plan - Kanye West
  • You Have To Work Blue - Triumph The Insult Comic Dog

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Passchendaele Review

Movie ReviewPasschendaele: 4 out of 10.

When I wrote about the Passchendaele trailer back in March of 2008, I mentioned how much I was looking forward to seeing the film. The most expensive Canadian film project of all time about the 10th Battalion, CEF in the First World War at the Battle of Passchendaele was precisely the kind of film I could get behind. I so wanted it to be good.

There's better acting and more integrity in this one minute Part of Our Heritage commercial. Unfortunately, I'm not kidding.

Let me preface the rest of this review by saying I take absolutely no joy in trashing this pic. I honestly have never wanted to like a movie more. I'm fervently proud of this country and our efforts in the World Wars, and I've been looking for more Canadian films about WWI. In this case, with this budget and subject matter, even okay isn't good enough, and Passchendaele wasn't okay. It was embarrassing.

Most of the movie takes place in Alberta and not the battlefield. There it's plot convenience after plot convenience, and laughably bad acting. Most of that bad acting comes from Train 48's Joe Dinicol. Hey Paul! When you're putting together the most expensive Canadian movie ever made, let's not give such a key role to a guy from Train 48. See how well Gil Bellows did in his small role? That's the kind of acting we needed out of David Mann.

Then there's the silly little things, like David Mann's sister being kicked out of nursing because her father fought for the Germans while David is allowed to actually fight for Canada in the war. And what's with that silliness with Michael Dunne getting Sarah Mann through her morphine addiction in one rough night? And did that mean British recruitment officer really have to follow Dunne all the way to Belgium? And what was with all that talk about horses and rivers? Such melodrama!

**Spoiler Alert** And then there's my least favourite scene in this movie. It just so happens to be the climatic scene where Paul Gross' character brings back David Mann from the German trenches on a crucifix. Don't ask me why Mann ran into the German trenches in the first place, I'm still trying to piece that together, or why he ended up on a crucifix, just trust me that he did. This was Gross' movie, and he wrote it to ensure he could strike one helluva Jesus Christ Pose for the grand finale. It was the key scene and it was sickening. Is that seriously the best we can do?

There was an opportunity here to do something special to honour our war heroes. Instead, Paul Gross made a boring, moronic, poorly acted piece of melodramatic bullshit.

We deserve so much better than this.

passchendaeleposterb

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Stella Artois and Our Good 'ol CBC Exploding Pizza Logo

cbcI've always loved the old exploding pizza CBC logo. For a while many years ago, this was the masthead for this blog.

Toronto Mike Header

I did a double-take when I saw a tweet that CBC's "exploding pizza" logo was appearing on Stella Artois ads on the London Tube. According to the Inside the CBC blog, an ad campaign for Stella Artois has indeed recycled that beloved old CBC logo. Here's one of the ads.

stella-ads

What I want to know is whether we (the CBC) licensed this creative to a beer company or if Stella Artois borrowed stole the design.

Here's that exploding pizza again in all its glory.

The CBC Logo From My Youth

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6 Significant CNE Changes in 20 Years

the exThis is the 20th anniversary of my first summer working at the Canadian National Exhibition, known affectionately as simply The Ex. Although much has changed in the last 20 years, including a reduction in the number of days The Ex is now open, here are six significant changes I noticed during my visit yesterday.

BMO Field

20 years ago, Exhibition Stadium was found on the Exhibition grounds. It was home to the Blue Jays and Argos and several big-name concerts. One of the biggest differences between The Ex of 1989 and The Ex of today is the absence of Exhibition Stadium and the presence of BMO Field, home to Toronto FC, a team that didn't even exist 20 years ago. At least some seats from Exhibition Stadium survived the demolition.

BMO Field

Hand Sanitizer Stations

Walking the midway I noticed several hand sanitizer stations. We sure didn't have these twenty years ago. It's a wonder we survived our visits to The Ex.

Hand Sanitizing Station

Obama Dolls

20 years ago, George Bush Sr. was President of the United States of America. You didn't find a single George Bush doll available to be won on the midway. Yesterday, I spotted Barrack Obama dolls amongst the game booth flash. Yes we can!

Obama Dolls

The CNE Casino

The most popular midway games in 1989 where the small betting games. You'd put money on a number or colour and the carny would spin a wheel. I think they capped bets at $5 a pop, but I can't recall. Today, there's a CNE Casino. I didn't enter the CNE Casino, but I'll bet it was filled to the brim.

CNE Casino

The Polar Express Went R&B

My old game booth, Pop-A-Ball, was located right by The Polar Express. I've written about The Polar Express before. 20 years ago, it was all rock screaming out of the Polar Express speakers. The only time it wasn't rock was when we were shutting down to the sounds of Louis Armstrong. Yesterday, as I watched the Polar Express riders, I only heard R&B blasting. It's like going from a Leafs game to a Raptors game.

Polar Express

My Game Booth is Now Fresh Mini Donuts

When you worked the same game for 60 days of The Ex in a row, you know exactly where it stood, even twenty years later. Where Pop-A-Ball once stood is now a Fresh Mini Donuts stand. For me personally, this is the most significant change of all.

Where Pop-A-Ball Used to Be

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5 DVDs for $20 @ The Ex

cdAt the Ex yesterday, they had this "5 DVDs for $20" deal. There's four of us in the family, so everyone got to choose a movie and I'd top it off with one family flick.

Here's the choices made. Keep in mind, this DVD shack didn't have any A-list titles. It was strictly B-list, but at $4 a pop we went for it.

My Daughter - An Arthur compilation. Arthur, for the unaware, is an anthropomorphic aardvark.

My Son - A Scooby Doo compilation.

My Wife - Natural Born Killers

Me - Clerks

The Family Pic - A Mighty Wind

5 for $20

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A Great Day at The Ex: Three Reasons Why

CNEI'm back from a great day at the CNE. I've written extensively about my three summers working at the Canadian National Exhibition as a teenager, so when I join the family for a trip to the Ex now it's really for three reasons.

The Sights, Sounds and Smells
I love walking the midway, hearing the carny calls, the music, the bells, the whistles and screams. There's a distinctive sound to the CNE midway that takes me back and I love immersing myself in it. Joining that Ex sound is that Ex smell. The waffles and corn dogs and cotton candy melts together to form this distinctive syrupy sweet CNE odour. You know it when you smell it, and it too takes me back. Then, to complete this smörgåsbord of senses, there are all those colours and blinking lights and flash. I can walk the CNE midway for hours without feeling the slightest impulse to play a game or go on a ride. I just like being there.

P9059319

The Canadian International Air Show
I've always loved the air show. I loved it as a kid and I love it today. I've got my kids loving it too, so we park ourselves at the bleachers by the lake around noon and soak in the aviation excitement. This year's show was spectacular as usual as we celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Canadian International Air Show and the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada.

P9059279

The Food Building
Nothing is better than heading to the Food Building after the Air Show. There's so much tasty goodness in that building and some pretty sweet deals. My mom can never resist the 99¢ spaghetti, my daughter scored a $1.50 jumbo hot dog, my wife made two trips to the pierogi place and my son and I went for ribs. The Food Building is a key part of any visit to the Ex.

FOOD

That's all I need. I don't need the rides, games or exhibits. I like the walk, the ambiance, the air show and the Food Building. And once a summer is frequent enough.

Here's my photoset from today's visit. I'm beat.

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Smart People Review

Movie ReviewSmart People: 4 out of 10.

Smart People is a pretentious piece of crap. At 95 minutes, I thought it would never end.

The voice Dennis Quaid puts on to seem pompous is so annoying, I wanted to kick his ass, but not in an engaging, effective way. He was just bugging the shit out of me.

True story: when this movie was coming to theatres, the producers asked me to attend a media preview so I'd blog about it. I looked at the cast, thought it was pretty good, and agreed to attend. In what I now deem as a miracle, the tickets arrived three days after the viewing. This had never happened before, and hasn't happened since. This event, more than any other in the past ten years, has me wondering if there might just be a good Lord above. They say He works in mysterious ways...

smart-people-poster

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Hitler Hilarity! Hitler's Reaction to the Oasis Split

VideoI think I've seen about 50 remixes of this scene from Downfall by now, but it never gets tired. Here's Hitler's reaction to the Oasis split.

Hitler hilarity!

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The Best Dennis Quaid Films

The Number FiveI used to do this every Friday, but I haven't done it in a year or so. My wife just told me we're watching Smart People tonight, so here are my favourite Dennis Quaid films

  1. Traffic
  2. The Big Easy
  3. Any Given Sunday
  4. The Rookie
  5. Innerspace

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August 2009 Organic Keywords

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

  1. toronto mike
  2. martin streek
  3. fearless fred
  4. sandra rinomato breasts
  5. prima tv
  6. wedding songs 2008
  7. wedding songs 2009
  8. norm rumack
  9. wedding playlist 2009
  10. party playlist

For the very first time in the history of this blog, 'toronto mike' searches sent the most visitors. I've either become famous or you regulars have become lazier.

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12" Version of Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream) for Mike from Lowville and You

MP3A couple of days ago I shared the MP3 of The Icicle Works' "Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)".

Andrew chimed in with this comment:

There's a 12" remix of this song that I have from a collection called "Classic Alternatives." It's a 4 disc set with lots of great remixes and 12" remixes. The version that's on the compliation is one of the best 12" out there... at least from what I can remember from my radio and DJ'ing years.

Mike from Lowville followed with this comment:

Andrew, I've been trying to get that for years.....with no luck!

Andrew then sent the MP3 to me and I'm sharing it here for Mike from Lowville and you. Enjoy.

The Icicle Works - Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream) 12 inch Remix

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Putt-Putt For The Fun Of It

putt-puttYouTube 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.

Fellow Michael Power grad @joanneacri just tweeted about this old ad that aired in 1986. It's a catchy as all hell jingle and awfully contagious.

I knew the ad by heart, but it wasn't particularly effective. I have never played at a Putt-Putt Golf Course.


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Fan 590 20/20 Sport Update Intro Music Changed

fan 590The Fan 590 has sports updates every twenty minutes. They've had this for as long as there's been a Fan 590. As a Toronto sports fan, I know I can count on these twenty/twenty sports updates.

All week, the twenty/twenty sports updates have sounded different. The intro music, music they've used for as long as I can remember, has changed. Although I've probably heard the new intro music a half dozen times now, it's not at all memorable. Like Pavlov's dogs, I knew to prick up my ears when I heard the old intro music. It's playing in my head right now. Da-da-da-da-da-DAAAA-da-da-da-DA!

I wonder why they changed it? Is anyone at Rogers reading this who can get it changed back?

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Portable People Meter (PPM) Technology Comes to Toronto Radio

radioToronto radio is about to get a reality check. We're about to get a clearer, more accurate look at who's listening to what stations and how often.

9000 people across Canada are, as of today, wearing PPM devices. Here's what these PPM devices do, according to the BBM Canada press release.

The PPM is leading edge technology that allows BBM to follow television viewers no matter where they watch television, and record radio listening to one minute accuracy almost anywhere the listener is, in real time. The television system it replaces is wired to BBM panelist's television sets. The PPM is about the size of a pager and automatically detects inaudible codes that broadcasters embed in the audio portion of their programming using encoders provided by BBM. At the end of each day, the survey participants place the meters into docking stations that recharge the devices and send the collected codes via modem, to BBM for tabulation.

The old honour system radio diary system is dead. You can no longer listen to EZ-Rock and claim you were tuned into CBC Radio. On a daily basis, true data is being collected from these 9000 peeps. The truth will soon be known.

I'm guessing some Toronto stations are in for a shock. Some are not as popular as they think they are, while others have far more listeners than previously suspected.

Any guesses out there as to what this new PPM technology will teach us about Toronto radio?

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Archie Lovers Shouldn't Fall For the Veronica Trap

weddingI admit it, I used to read Archie Comics. I gobbled them up like candy as a kid. I know I'm not alone because the gang from Riverdale has been gracing comic book covers for 70 years.

It was recently revealed that Archie is engaged to marry Veronica. This upset many fans of the series, because we always assumed Archie would wise up and choose Betty. Heck, if he lets Betty go, I'll swoop in and take her. Betty is awesome. Veronica is a snobby, shallow user. Only an idiot would choose Veronica over Betty.

Archie, apparently, is an idiot. Here's poor Betty sharing the invitation she received on her blog. It's breaking my heart.

betty

Fear not, Archie lovers. This is a scam. There is absolutely no way Archie will go through with his wedding to Veronica. I'd bet the house on it. Archie, in the end, will choose Betty. It's a no-brainer.

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The Icicle Works - Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)

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 Icicle Works - Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)
These guys were named after the 1960 short story "The Day The Icicle Works Closed" by science fiction author Frederik Pohl. This is my favourite song from them, released in 1984.

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Darcy Allan Sheppard's Tragic + Unnecessary Death on Bloor

BikeI used to bike every kilometre of this city. Toronto's streets were my bike paths and I'd tackle them daily until there was snow on the ground and then start up again after the first thaw. When I biked to get myself from A to Z, it was the bike couriers who were my comrades. They were so fast, so deft with a bike, so cool.

Darcy Allan Sheppard was a bike courier who had an unfortunate altercation with Ontario's former attorney-general Michael Bryant last night. On Bloor Street, just east of Avenue Road, something happened between the car-driving Bryant and bike-riding Sheppard that caused Sheppard to slam his backpack onto the car's hood. What happened next was completely unnecessary, totally excessive and so very tragic.

The car apparently swerved to the oncoming lane of traffic along Bloor, very close to the sidewalk that the cyclist hung over. “He started going [driving] onto the sidewalk,” said Manuel Machado, a construction worker standing on the street as it unfolded.

“I heard the tires screech,” said Ryan Brazeau, another worker. “He [the cyclist] was right literally at the front windshield, almost holding on to the driver.”

The driver was now going west in the eastbound curb lane, leaving the cyclist clinging to the curbside door of the car. The cyclist, clinging to the car as it sped away, then struck trees and a grey mailbox like a “human battering ram,” Mr. Brazeau said.

“You could hear hitting, something, bam, bam, bam,” a third worker said.

The cyclist fell off the car when he struck the mailbox, and collapsed in a heap of blood on the sidewalk in front of Sephora. The driver kept going, hanging a right at Avenue Road.

Darcy Allan Sheppard succumbed to his injuries. Michael Bryant, who left politics earlier this year to take control of Invest Toronto, meant to attract business investment to the Toronto area, has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous driving causing death.

Sheppard never had a chance. When it's car vs. pedestrian, with a driver hell-bent on punishing the pedestrian like a "human battering ram", the result will typically manifest itself in "a heap of blood".

Darcy Allan Sheppard was only 33. RIP.


View Fatal hit and run in a larger map

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When Gmail Goes Down

GoogleI started using Gmail over five years ago. My work email resolves in Gmail, making it an integral part of my personal and professional life.

I love Gmail as an email client. The filters, the labels, the conversations, the integrated chat, it's served me well for half a decade.

All is well, until Gmail goes down. It's down right now. I'm paralysed.

gmail

I have one simple question for the hive mind. What email client do you use?

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Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker - Anti-Venom

slsI'm submitting a song for SLS22 consideration. I'm submitting "Anti-Venom" by Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker.

I must confess, I play Questamation all the time and I play it very, very loud. I play it and Welding the C:/ as a combo. A delicious Parkdale combo.

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